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BETHANY AND BETHLEHEM.
"As we had now visited the principal places of interest within and around Jerusalem, we proposed this morning a visit to the village of Bethany. Walking out at the Damascus gate on the North, and continuing along the city walls, we came to the grotto of Jeremiah, an ancient cave or quarry, hewn in the limestone rock. There is now a neat little garden enclosed by a wall in front, and a Mohammedan dervish has built a mosque and praying place within it. We refreshed ourselves at the well and then continued on our way past St. Stephen's gate, and by a winding path to the valley of Jehoshaphat and the brook Kedron, and at length came upon the high road to Jericho. This is the same road our Saviour was often wont to walk on his visits to Bethany. But how changed the scene. Then the ancient covenant people filled the Holy City, and the splendid temple of Herod crowned the height of Mount Moriah. Now the Moslem mosque of Omar rises there, and we hear the
Muezzin cry to prayer as we ascend along the side of Olivet. Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles, even of the followers of the false prophet, who curse alike the name of Jew and Christian. Yet she shall rise again. Thus saith the Lord, 'Rejoice ye with Jerusalem; I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.'
"In a half hour more we came to Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha, with whom Jesus loved to dwell. It is beautifully situated in a quiet little valley at the base of the Mount of Olives, and seems a fitting place for our Saviour's retirement and social enjoyment. With this one family more than any other on earth, he held personal communion and fellowship, and his affectionate tenderness flowed forth to them in all its blessed fulness. Here it was that Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with precious ointment, very costly, and wiped his feet with her hair, to testify her love for the Saviour. And when she was rudely rebuked by Judas Iscariot, Jesus replied, 'Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of
her.' Here also Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. We at once sought out the grave of Lazarus, and were pointed to a large tomb excavated in the natural rock and bearing many marks of antiquity. Descending a flight of twenty-seven stone steps, we came to a dark room eight or nine feet square, which conducted to a second arched chamber. This was doubtless the place where the body was laid and the stone placed upon the door of the sepulchre. 'It was a cave and a stone lay upon it,' says the Evangelist John. Here, then, at the entrance of this very cave, in all probability, Jesus wrought the great miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. How sublime was the scene. Jesus said, 'Take ye away the stone.' Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, 'Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me; and I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.' I was nowhere so impressed with a sense of the divinity of Christ as when standing beside the grave of Lazarus.
TOMB OF LAZARUS.
He spake and the departed spirit heard his voice, and returned to bring the dead body from the tomb, and restore the brother to his loving sisters. Surely this was not the work of man, but of God, even the God-Man, Christ Jesus. He wept at the door of the sepulchre, to testify how tenderly he loved him. He prayed to his Father in heaven to signify that he came forth from the Father. He called the dead to life to manifest his dominion over the spirit world, that 'all might see the glory of God,' and believe that he was 'the resurrection aud the life, and that whosoever believeth in him shall never die."
"We loved to linger long around this sepulchre and feel our faith strengthened that we, at last, through the same divine power, would triumph over death and the grave and rise to immortal life. The air was mild and lovely, the birds were singing sweetly, amid the blossoms of the almond trees, and all things were in harmony with the
"On our return we took the foot-path across the side of Olivet, where Christ so often walked, and ascended to the summit of the Mount. Here tradition has falsely located the place of our Saviour's ascension. Whereas the Evangelist Luke expressly declares that 'he led them out as far as to Bethany. And he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass while he blessed
VIEW FROM OLIVET.
them, he was parted from them and carried up into heaven.' Now this point is perhaps only half the distance from Jerusalem to Bethany, and manifestly cannot be the place of the ascension, yet the oriental Christians have erected here. a church and piously consecrated the spot. The Moslems have converted the church into a mosque, and guard it with zealous care. We are permitted to enter, however, and are pointed to a footprint of our Saviour on a rock under the centre, the last that he left on earth when he ascended to heaven. It is much worn by the kisses of pilgrims. Ascending the minaret, we enjoyed a splendid view of Mount Moriah, Mount Zion and the Holy City on the one side, and on the other the beautiful valley of the Jordan, the waters of the Dead Sea, the Mount of Temptation, and the mountains of Moab beyond, all forming a panorama of nature in the verdure and bloom of early spring.
"Such scenes as these, filled with all their sacred and hallowed associations, yield the highest joy to the Christian traveller. He seems in his journey to have reached the Delectable Mountains, whence he can well-nigh see the gates of the Celestial City.
"We passed the night in Bethlehem, the birthplace of the sweet singer of Israel and the Saviour of the world-what sacred associations