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Departure from Jerusalem-Taking Leave of the FriarsLast Promenade round the City-The Jerusalem of the Scriptures-The Modern City-Route to Nazareth by Nablous, described-Shechem or Sychar-Mounts Ebal and Gerizim-Nablous-Jacob's Well-Sabousta, the ancient Samaria- Djenin, the ancient Jezreel-Convents of St. John in the Desert and of the Holy Cross-Former Fertility of Judæa-Its present Aspect-Lydda-Tomb of St. George -Return to Ramla—Evening spent with Padre Tomaso.
AUG. 27. Having visited the most remarkable localities within the Holy City and in its environs, we set out this afternoon on our return to the coast. Previous to starting, we waited upon the superiors of the convent, to take leave, and to return thanks for the hospitality afforded us-having already sent by their dragoman what we considered an indemnity for the expenses we had occasioned them. No regular charge is made on these occasions-each visitor pays according to his means. In ancient times,
after Jehovah had appointed Jerusalem to be the place of his habitation and temple, it was considered as the metropolis of the Jewish nation, and the common property of the children of Israel. On this account it was, that the houses were not let, and all strangers of the Jewish nation had the liberty of lodging there gratis by the right of hospitality. Thus it is, even to the present day. All Christians, of whatever nation or sect, are equally well received, if devotion be their object; and if, on quitting, it is apparent that they have not wherewith to requite the hospitality afforded them, the farewell on the part of the host is not the less sincere. Having received from the Fathers letters of recommendation to the heads of the other establishments of the Terra Santa, we bade them adieu and retired.
Whilst our servants were employed in getting all ready for starting, we made our last circuit of the Holy City, following the line of the exterior walls. We have no particulars recorded concerning the nature of the fortifications of Jerusalem previously to its entire destruction by the Chaldeans. After the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, they rebuilt Jerusalem; and in the account of
the rebuilding of the wall, we have a notion of the direction it took, with the names and positions of the gates by which it was pierced. In the interval between its first destruction by Nabuchadnezzar, and the second by Titus, Jerusalem was captured four times without being demolished-viz. by Shislack, sovereign of Egypt, from whose ravages it never recovered its former splendour; by Antiochus Epiphanes; by Pompey the Great, who rendered the Jews tributary to Rome; and by Herod, with the assistance of a Roman force under Sosius. Previous to the fatal wars of the Jews, with the Romans, we learn from Josephus that the city of Jerusalem was erected on two hills opposite to one another, with a valley between them. The loftiest of these (Zion) contained the " upper city," and the other called Acra, contained the "lower city," which seems to have been the most considerable part of the whole city. By the valley must be understood the hollow which now forms the Jewish quarter, for the relative height of one hill over the other is not very great. Over against this was a third hill (Moriah) lower than Acra, and once separated from the other by a broad valley, but subsequently filled up with
earth, in order to include the temple within the city. As population increased, and the city crept beyond its old limits, Agrippa joined to it a fourth hill, which was situated to the north of the temple, called Bezetha, and thus further enlarged Jerusalem. The whole circumference of the city at this time was nearly four miles and a half. Of the walls described by the Jewish historian, nothing remains; but the site of the ancient city is so uneqivocally marked out by its natural boundaries on the three sides where there are ravines, that there can be no difficulty, except with regard to its extent in a northern direction. The only subject of contention between those who are willing to believe in tradition, and those who are predisposed to contest its authority, is whether the present supposed site of Calvary was inclosed within these walls, or excluded by them. The historian tells us that the western wall on reaching the tower of Psephinus, did not extend further north, but turned off towards the east. If, therefore, the tower at present occupied by the modern Gothic castle, near the Bethlehem gate, formed the north-west angle of the city, it can easily be imagined, if the continued wall widened ever so little
to the eastward, how it was excluded, without robbing the city of its character of compactness of structure alluded to in the Psalmist. Its original form appears to have been an oblong square, which it has nearly preserved in its present condition, though considerably reduced in size. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the emperor Adrian erected a city on part of the former site, which he called Elia Capitolina. It was afterwards greatly enlarged and beautified by Constantine the Great, who restored its ancient name.* Since its destruction by the Romans, it has never at any time been under the Government of the Jews themselves; but has been oppressed and broken down by a succession of foreign masters-the Romans, the Saracens, the Franks, the Mamelukes, and, lastly the Turks, to whom it is still subject.
The modern city contains within its walls, several of the hills on which the ancient city is supposed to have stood; but these are only perceptible by the ascent and descent of the streets. A high embattled wall, built for the most part with the common lime
* See Appendix, No. 24.