« السابقةمتابعة »
will but as thou wilt.' Here, or at least not far off, the Saviour endured that agony and bloody sweat,' which betokened that the redemption of a sinful world rested upon his soul, and well nigh crushed the human nature with its weight. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him.' Beyond rises the beautiful Mount of Olives, the favorite place of retirement to our Saviour and his disciples, from the noise and distraction of the city for divine meditation and prayer. 'And in the day time he was teaching in the temple, and at night he went out and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives.' Here, also, upon this hillside, just without the walls of the city, was doubtless the scene of the crucifixion. It was outside the
MOUNT OF OLIVES.
city in a public place, for they that passed by reviled on him, wagging their heads,' and saying, 'Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.'
"The high road to Huathoth runs near this place. And just across this little valley, on the slope of Olivet, the women may have stood and beheld afar off. " And many women were there, (beholding afar off,) which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him.'
"The sepulchre, too, was probably here. This was a place of gardens and private tombs of
wealthy Jews. The hillside is still filled with sepulchres and tombs, cut in the solid rock. 'Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews' preparation day! for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.'
"Here, then, our Saviour suffered on the cross and made atonement for the sins of the world. Here he was laid in the grave, and burst the bonds of death, that all through faith might walk in the newness of life. Here, then, our hopes of salvation and immortal life centre and cling, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, knowing that when Christ appeareth we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
"How greatly was our faith strengthened and zeal quickened by looking upon these
"We continued our walk upon the city walls, and came to St. Stephen's gate, and the wall of the harem, that surrounds the court of the mosque of Omar. Beyond this, Moslem bigotry will allow no Christian foot to tread, without special orders from their Pasha. Descending thence we passed through the gate, and beside the rock where the first of martyrs for the Gospel suffered death. He, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of
THE MARTYR STEPHEN.
God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' What a halo of glory surrounds the death of this devoted preacher of righteousness so soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ; whose earnest zeal in the service of his Master caused his face to shine as it had been the face of an angel; and whose triumphant faith saw the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Pursuing the path across the valley and bed of the brook Kedron, we walked up the old footpath toward Bethany. Here are ancient steps cut in the rock over which our Saviour often walked to visit Mary, and her sister Martha, and Lazarus whom he loved. Just at the right are the large stones on which it is said the disciples slept, when Jesus withdrew for prayer in Gethsemane, saying unto them, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me.' And he cometh unto the disciples and findeth them asleep. And he went away again the second time and prayed, and he came and found them asleep. The third time also he cometh to his disciples and saith unto them: Sleep on now and take your rest; behold he is at hand that doth betray me.' A granite column marks the spot, it is said, where Judas betrayed his Master with a
MOUNT OF OLIVES.
kiss, and delivered him to the multitude with swords and staves, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people, to take Jesus, that they might put him to death.
Passing on and ascending the side of the Mount of Olives, we reached the place where our Saviour beheld the city, wept over it, and predicted its ruin, saying: 'For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.' How literally was this accomplished by the Romans under Titus. The historian tells us 'the folly of resistance was so clear to Titus, that he became exasperated at the unpleasant task which their obstinacy imposed upon him. He raised around the city a strong wall of circumvallation, strengthened with towers, resolved that none of them should escape but such as surrendered to him.' Thus Titus became the unconscious instrument of accomplishing that doom of the city which Christ had nearly forty years before denounced. The whole city lay extended
like a map before us. We could see and distin
guish the streets, and the whole interior to the inner ride of the farther wall. First and most
TOMBS OF THE PROPHETS.
conspicuous are seen the walls of the harem, the court and the mosque of Omar, upon the broad summit of Mount Moriah, the site of Solomon's temple. The grounds are covered with greensward, and planted with olive and cypress trees, that form a picturesque feature in the view. Beyond stands Mount Zion, crowned with the American convent and the English Protestant church, and on the right are the domes of the church of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre; while the Moslem minarets, rising at intervals between, tell us that the followers of the false prophet still bear sway in the holy city. It was indeed a lovely view, when we remember the divine glory manifested and the wondrous scenes that have transpired here.
"We then ascended still higher the side of Mount Olivet, and visited the cave or tombs of the prophets. They consist of chambers and passages that extend far in the mountain. In some places they are very narrow and explored with much difficulty. Returning thence, we walked through the Jewish burial ground upon the side of the mountain looking toward Jerusalem. The Jews love to be buried here, because they say their Messiah will come and stand upon the Mount of Olives, and they will then rise to dwell and reign with him in the restored city and kingdom of Israel. Then we came to Absalom's Pillar in the