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the ante-chamber to the great church of the Sepulchre, we were shown the place, where, until lately, stood the tombs of this great champion of Christendom and of his brother Baldwin. In consequence of some alterations made in this part of the building, by the Greeks, subsequent to the fire of 1808, they were sacrilegiously displaced for party purposes. From a drawing I have seen of these monuments, they appear to have been remarkable only for the illustrious ashes they contained; and yet they ought to have been respected by Christians of every sect.
At length, at six A.M., to our great satisfaction, we were liberated from our confinement, and enabled to return to our more comfortable quarters in the Casa Nova, belonging to the convent of St. Salvador.
Set out for Bthlehem-Valley of the Rephaim, or the Giant's Valley-Appearance of the Country-Mar Elias-Star of the Magi-House of Simeon the Just-Tomb of Rachel-Rama, and the Holy Innocents-First View of Bethlehem-Arrival at the Convent of St. John-View from the Terrace-Village of Bethlehem-Church of Santa Maria-The Grot of the Nativity-Excursion to the Pools of Solomon-Country lying to the southward of them-Return to Bethlehem.
AUG. 23.-This afternoon we set out for Bethlehem. We had spent the preceding week in visiting the scenes of our Saviour's miracles and sufferings; we now directed our steps, with more cheerful heart, to the place of his nativity. It is situated about six miles from Jerusalem, or about two hours slow walking, for, in the true spirit of pilgrims, we went thither on foot-I might almost say barefootedthe perigrinations of the last ten days over the hill country of Judea" having worn our shoes till
they had become like sandals, and the miserable bazaars of Jerusalem were unable to supply us with others, at least such as we required. It lies in a southerly direction across the Valley of the Rephaim (or the Giant's Valley), so called from its gigantic inhabitants; being situated on the confines of the territories allotted to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and memorable, as oftentimes being the field of battle between the Philistines and the Jews, under David and his successors. On leaving the town, we crossed the upper part of the valley of Gihon, and having ascended the opposite hill by a rocky path, we came out upon a plain of considerable extent. Like all the country about Jerusalem, it is stony and scantily furnished with patches of light red soil, but entirely destitute of trees; and, though anciently distinguished for its abundant population, at the present day, there is hardly a dwelling within sight. At about half way we reached the Greek convent of Mar Elias, near to which is a well, said to be the one in which the star appeared to the Eastern Magi.-To the westward of the road, upon a gentle eminence, is a ruined tower called the house of Simeon, surnamed the Just-he
who had been long and impatiently "waiting for the consolation of Israel." Having met the child Jesus in the temple, "he took him up in his arms and blessed God, saying, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation!" (Luke ii. 28, 29, 30.) In like manner does the modern Israelite sigh after a vision of the city of his forefathers during a long period of years; and when, in his old age, he has accomplished the object of his wishes, he seems to say to his creator, Lord, I am ready to depart.Shortly after leaving the convent, we came to a tomb by the roadside, near to which a group of Jewish women were standing, in the attitude of prayer. On inquiry, I was told it was the Tomb of Rachel, the wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. When I beheld the children of Israel gathered round this modest shrine, I felt an irresistible willingness to believe, that in this instance, at least, there was no deception, and that it really was the place of her interment, as mentioned Gen. xxxv. 19, 20.* This belief was further confirmed by seeing
"And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrata, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set up a pillar
a Turkish oratory in the immediate vicinity; and 4 asked myself, are not the poor Christians of Palestine equally indigenous to the soil? and may they not have had their affections likewise? Then why should the local traditions in which they believe, excite the indignation of almost every traveller who visits the Holy Land? These uncharitable epithets applied to a priesthood, who have contributed so much to preserve local tradition, are they warranted? Are they Christian-like? The building itself is modern, and resembles in form and appearance the sepulchre of an Arab santon. It is square, with four pilasters supporting a whitened dome, under which is a raised catafalque of coarse masonry, the whole being surrounded by a low wall.
At about two miles to the westward of the tomb is the village of Rama, where as was "spoken by Jeremy the prophet," "was there a voice heard, lamentation and weeping, and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted because they are not." (Matth. xi. 17, 18.) In all the towns and villages of this country, and
upon her grave, that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day."