صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


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 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 scenes!

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 God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my

[blocks in formation]

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 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

[blocks in formation]

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 distinguish the streets, and the whole interior to the inner side of the further wall. First and most 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 ex



plored 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 valley of Jehoshaphat. It is cut in the solid rock of the mountain, to which the base is still attached, and is in the form of a circular pyramid upon a pedestal ornamented with sixteen Ionic columns. A large hole has been broken at the side, and Jewish children are taught to throw stones into it, in contempt for the unnatural rebellion of Absalom against his father David. There is very little evidence, however, that this is the identical pillar that Absalom reared up for himself in the king's dale,' because, he said, 'I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.' In the rear of this monument is the tomb of Jehoshaphat, said to be filled with ancient manuscripts of the law. And just below is the tomb or grotto of St James, extending into the side of the Mount of Olives. Here, it is said, the apostle took refuge in a time of persecution and distress. Just below stands the so-called tomb of Zechariah, who was slain between the temple and the altar.' It is also of pyramidal form, and hewn out of the solid rock. Each of its sides is ornamented with six Ionic columns, and a broad cornice runs around the shaft. No visible entrance to the interior has yet been discovered.

[ocr errors]

"It is doubtful whether any of these monuments can be truly assigned to the persons whose names they bear. They appear to be of the Egyptian style of architecture, intermingled with Grecian ornaments.



"We now crossed the valley, and ascended again to the walls of the city. Passing underneath the golden gateway, now closed, we observed the beautiful columns of verd, antique, and marble thrust into the wall by the Turks, and examined the immense blocks of stone on which the foundation rests, some of which measured twenty-four feet in length by four in thickness, and are doubtless a portion of the outer wall of Solomon's temple remaining in position to this day. They are dressed and beveled in the peculiar Jewish style of workmanship, and no cement is used in joining them together.

"Turning the south-east angle of the wall, we discovered an inverted tablet inserted near the top, containing a Latin inscription partly effaced, to Hadriano Diro Augusto, &c., probably a slab from the temple of Jupiter, which that emperor erected on the site of the Jewish temple. Ascending the south side of Mount Zion, we looked down the valley of the Tyropoeon to the pool of Siloam, and the king's gardens, that are watered from this fountain. Beyond is the well of Nehemiah and En-rogel, where Jonathan and Ahimaaz waited to bring intelligence to David when he was driven from the city by the rebellion of Absalom. Higher up in the valley of the son of Hinnom is Tophet, where the children of Judah built the high places to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, for which sin the Lord brought signal judgments upon His chosen people.

"The sun had just set behind the mountains of Judea, and the moon rose beautifully over the Mount of Olives, as we entered Zion gate, and returned to our home within the city.

"We have thus 'walked about Zion, and gone round


« السابقةمتابعة »