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202

BROOK CHERITH.

they immediately returned it and acted as our guard by the way. Thence we came to Bethany, and crossing the Mount of Olives, entered once more within the Holy City."

CHAPTER XVIII.

FROM JERUSALEM TO DAMASCUS.

MR. RIGHTER left Jerusalem March 10th, haying on the same morning met a number of Chris. tian friends at Bishop Gobat's study, and having persuaded them to form a Committee of the Evangelical Alliance with Bishop Gobat as Chairman He gives the following account of his journey to Damascus:

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BEYROOT, April 8, 1856. "From Jerusalem we journeyed northward, and came to Bethel, or, House of God, where Jacob saw in his dream a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold the angels of God ascended and descended upon it, and behold the Lord stood above it, and said: 'I am the Lord God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he was afraid and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the

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GERIZIM AND EBAL.

gate of heaven ... And he called the name of that place Bethel.'

“Passing by way of Shiloh, where the ark and tabernacle long continued, we next arrived at Nablous, the ancient Shechem. Near by is Jacob's well, where our Saviour sat wearied with his journey, and as the woman of Samaria came to draw water, he discoursed to her of the water of everlasting life. On the right rises Ebal, the Mount of Cursing, and on the left Gerizim, the Mount of Blessing, whereon the Samaritans built a temple and worshipped God, in opposition to the Jews at Jerusalem. Ind here the small remnant that is left still go up four times a year to offer sacrifice and worship. They live entirely distinct; and as of old, 'the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.'

“In the morning we ascended an eminence, and, looking to the east, saw Ramothgilead beyond Jordan, where Moses set before the Israelites a blessing and a curse,' and charged them to place the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and the curse upon Mount Ebal. Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites?' This Joshua afterward did, when they entered in to possess the land, placing 'half of them over against Mount Gerizim, and half of them over against Mount Ebal,' as Moses, the servant of the

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Lord, had commanded before. And he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.' And all the people answered Amen. It was most interesting to view and realize this whole scene, spread out like a picture before us.

“We then journeyed on, and in half an hour came to the hill of Samaria. Here stood Herod's ivory palace, and this sensual monarch reigned in all his ambitious splendor. Here the daughter of Herodias, Herod's brother's wife, danced before him on his birthday, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised to give her whatsoever she would ask, even to the half of his kingdom: and at her request Herod sent, and beheaded John in prison, and his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel. More than sixty massive columns, that formed the long colonnade in front of Herod's palace, are still standing on the hillside of Samaria. Thence, crossing the great plain of Esdraelon, and ascending the steep hill side that bounds it on the north, we came to the town of Nazareth. It is beautifully situated in a basin, encompassed by hills that command a fine view of the country round. Here the angel Gabriel was sent from God to predict unto Mary the birth of an infant Saviour, 'who should be called great, the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God shall

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give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.' The fountain is near by, where it is said the annunciation was made by the divine messenger. After the flight into Egypt, we read that Joseph,' being warned of God in a dream that Herod was dead, arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.' Here our Saviour spent nearly thirty years of his life, and these scenes were all familiar to him. To Nazareth also he first came after his baptism and temptation, and entered into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and from the book of the prophet Esaias preached the acceptable year of the Lord.

“There are two missionaries of the English Church Missionary Society established here. They have a school numbering forty-one children, of whom thirty are Protestants, six Greeks, four Latins, and one Armenian. The Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments are used as a textbook. During the last year fifteen Bibles in Arabic and six in Italian have been sold and distributed among the people. They have now decided, however, to confine themselves entirely to the sale of Scriptures, and no longer give them gratuitously as heretofore. Since, about twenty

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