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Continuing our walk, we came to the outer walls of the harem, or court of the mosque of Omar. Here we examined the immense stones forming the arch discovered by Dr Robinson, that spanned the valley between Mount Moriah and Mount Zion. They bear marks of great antiquity, and were doubtless connected with the works of Solomon's temple.
"Then passing through the filthy Jewish quarter, we visited the wailing-place of the Jews opposite the large stones of the old temple wall. Here fifteen or sixteen old men, and as many women and children, were standing opposite the wall reading the Hebrew prophecies, weeping and wailing over the desolation of Jerusalem, and praying that their long-expected Messiah would come and build again the wastes of Zion. They bowed down with their faces to a hole in the corner of the wall, and, as they turned away, their eyes were wet with tears, and their faces filled with sorrow and grief. It was indeed an affecting scene, yet I was more than ever impressed with the stubborn unbelief of the Jews, who still reject the Saviour before the very ruins of the temple whose destruction He predicted eighteen hundred years ago.
"Returning thence, near St Stephen's gate, we met with an old Franciscan monk, who walked with us along the 'Via Dolorosa,' and pointed out the various traditional localities connected with the trial and death of Christ. 'Here,' said he, 'stood the palace of Pontius Pilate the Roman governor, where the chief-priests and elders of the people led away Jesus bound from the house Caiaphas, and delivered Him up to be falsely accused and condemned to death. And when Pilate found no cause of death in Him, but would release Him and let Him go, the multi
tude cried out, His blood be on us and on our children; crucify Him! crucify Him!' Just upon our right is the chapel of flagellation, where the soldiers scourged Jesus, arrayed Him in scarlet robes, platted a crown of thorns and put it upon His head, spit upon Him, and mocked, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews! An old arch standing across the street is called Ecce Homo, where Pilate said unto them, as Jesus came forth wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Behold the man! Then he delivered Him unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led Him away, and He went forth bearing His cross. As we walked along this mournful way, 'Here,' said the monk, 'our Saviour cried Salva Mater, and there by that granite column they laid hold upon Simon of Cyrene to bear His cross. This upon our right was the house of Lazarus, and that yonder the palace of the rich man of whom our Saviour spake in parables.' We then ascended the hill to the churches of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, both included under the same roof. It is a large and imposing edifice, entered from an open court fronted by two broad towers in the semi-gothic style. The centre is crowned by the dome of the Holy Sepulchre, and upon the right rises the smaller dome of Calvary. We first ascended a flight of twenty-two stone steps to the top of Mount Calvary. The floor is laid with marble; and just in front of an altar dedicated to the Virgin, a hole is cut, through which you see where the cross stood, and also a deep rent in the rock underneath, made by the earthquake at the crucifixion.
"Descending thence by a long passage and another flight of thirty-one steps, we visited a dark chapel dedicated to St Helena, where, it is said, the three crosses
were found that of our Saviour and the two thieves who were crucified with Him. Upon our return a marble slab is shewn to us as the stone on which the body of the Saviour was anointed previous to burial. Then we enter the sepulchre itself, under a marble canopy richly decorated with lamps of silver and gold, kept burning night and day. In a small inner chamber stands a marble sarcophagus, in which, it is said, our Saviour was laid, and from which He rose from the dead. Two black-veiled nuns entered just before me, and kissed and bedewed the marble with their tears. It is profoundly reverenced by the Latin and Oriental Christians, though it bears no evidence of being the true sepulchre. In front also stands a small marble block, on which they say the angel sat who announced to the women first visiting the sepulchre the resurrection of our Lord. Upon the right, as we came out, the Greeks have a marble pillar fixed in the pavement, surrounded by a railing, which they say occupies the centre of the earth, and marks the precise spot whence the earth was taken, of which Adam was created. In a sidechapel upon the left, the Latins also point out the stone column to which our Saviour was bound, and the block whereon the Roman soldiers cast lots for His vesture. Just behind the sepulchre are likewise shewn the tombs of Adam and Joseph of Arimathea, hewn in the natural rock. It is now the time of Easter pilgrimage, and multitudes of devout worshippers are crossing and prostrating themselves before these sacred localities. Such are the absurd and idolatrous superstitions that are believed and perpetuated year after year (through their bishops and priests) by the thousands of pilgrims who visit the churches. of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre. "C. N. R."
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. 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