صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

perpetually.' This custom they have maintained for centuries, realizing the prophetic words of Jeremiah, 'Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.' We counted ten courses of those massy stones one above another. One of them measured fifteen feet long by three broad; another was eight feet square; others farther south were twenty-four feet long. They are bevelled like the immense stones of the mosque at Hebron, and are of a very white limestone resembling marble. Some of them are worn smooth with the tears and kisses of the men of Israel. Above the large stones the wall is built up with others smaller and more irregular, and is evidently of a modern date, affording a complete contrast to the ancient building below. Later in the evening, Mr. M'Cheyne went to visit the same spot, guided by Mr. George Dalton. On the way, they passed the houses where the lepers live all together, to the east of the Zion Gate within the walls. A little farther on, the heaps of rubbish on Mount Zion, surmounted by prickly pear, were so great, that at one point they stood higher than the city wall. The view of Mount Olivet from this point is very beautiful. The dome of the mosque El Aksa appeared to be torn and decayed in some places, and even that of the Mosque of Omar seemed far from being splendid. Going along by the ancient valley of the Tyropœon, and passing the gate called by the monks the Dung Gate, now shut up, Mr. Dalton pointed out in the wall of the Haram, near the south-west corner, the singular traces of an ancient arch, which Professor Robinson had discovered to be the remains of the bridge from the temple to Mount Zion, mentioned frequently by Josephus, and remarkable as a work of the highest antiquity. The stones in the temple wall that form the spring of this ancient bridge are of enormous size. This interesting discovery goes to prove


that the large bevelled stones, which form the foundation of the present enclosure of the Haram in so many parts, are really the work of Jewish hands, and the remains of the outer wall of the temple of Solomon. Neither is this conclusion in the least contradictory to the prophecy of our Lord. 'There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down,' for these dreadful words were spoken in reference to the temple itself, which was 'adorned with goodly stones and gifts;' and they have been fearfully fulfilled to the very letter, for the Mosque of Omar, entirely a Moslem building, stands upon the rock of Moriah, probably on the very spot where the temple stood. The Jewish place of wailing is a little to the north of this ancient bridge. Here they found a young Jew sitting on the ground. His turban, of a greyish colour peculiar to the Jews here, shaded a pale and thoughtful countenance. His prayer-book was open before him, and he seemed deeply engaged. Mr. Dalton acting as interpreter, he was asked what it was he was reading. He showed the book, and it happened to be the 22d Psalm. Struck by this providence, Mr. M'Cheyne read aloud till he came to the 16th verse, 'They pierced my hands and my feet;' and then asked, 'Of whom speaketh the prophet this?' The Jew answered, 'Of David and all his afflictions.' 'But David's hands and feet were not pierced!' The Jew shook his head. The true interpretation was then pointed out to him, that David was a prophet, and wrote these things of Immanuel, who died for the remission of the sins of many. He made the sign with the lip which Easterns make to show that they despise what you are saying. 'Well, then, do you know the way of forgiveness of which David speaks in the 32d Psalm?' The Jew shook his head again. For here is the grand error of the Jewish mind, 'The way of peace they have not known.'"

Such then is the modern Jew, and the desolate city to

which he still clings with such blind yet heart-felt sorrow. What it shall be, who shall say? The restoration of Judah to her own land appears to be most distinctly foretold in the same sacred page, where we read the records of prophecy which have been so wondrously fulfilled in the doom of Jerusalem. The time to favour Zion shall yet come. The city of David shall resume her ancient glory, and Palestine once more be a land flowing with milk and honey.

"O happy once in IIeaven's peculiar love,
Delight of men below, and saints above!

Though, Salem, now the spoiler's ruffian hand
Has loosed his hell-hounds o'er thy wasted land;

Though weak, and whelm'd beneath the storms of fate,

Thy house is left unto thee desolate;

Yet shalt thou rise;-but not by war restored,

Not built in murder,-planted by the sword:

Yes, Salem, thou shalt rise: thy Father's aid

Shall heal the wound his chastening hand has made;
Shall judge the proud oppressor's ruthless sway
And burst his bonds, and cast his cords away.
Then on your tops shall deathless verdure spring-
Break forth, ye mountains, and ye valleys, sing!
No more your thirsty rocks shall frown forlorn,
The unbeliever's jest, the heathen's scorn;
The sultry sands shall ten-fold harvests yield,
And a new Eden deck the thorny field.
Even now, perchance, wide waving o'er the land,
That mighty angel lifts his golden wand,
Courts the bright vision of descending power,
Tells every gate, and measures every tower;
And chides the tardy seals that yet detain

The Lion, Judah, from his destined reign."

It is painful to think that the oppression and unjust exactions of Mohammedan tyranny are even now the chief impediment to the restoration of the once favoured land, as a scene of happiness and plenty. Yet situated as Jerusalem is upon the summit of the lofty table land, which slopes thence, with successive intervening ranges of hills, towards the coast, it is obviously more adapted for the capital of a peculiar and isolated people like the ancient

Hebrew commonwealth, than as the centre of great commercial traffic, for which the enterprise of the modern Jew seems so peculiarly adapted. The site of Jerusalem was evidently divinely chosen, with a view to the peculiar constitution of the Hebrew polity. Had it been situated on the coast of the Levant it would have become a great maritime city under Solomon, when the fleets of Tyre brought the wealth of the world to enrich the temple and the palace which he built. It would have been alike exposed to greater temptations in peace and to greater dangers in war. If Israel is to be restored as a temporal kingdom, and to retain, as she doubtless will, the ancient city of David as her capital, this circumstance alone will exercise a considerable influence in modifying the national characteristics of the restored race. How marvellous would it be to see Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, all yielding up their thousands of despised wanderers and outcasts, to return in triumph and re-possess the promised land!



Rough as the hand of Esau is the site

Of Edom's capital, yet fair her towers,

Though strange, as is the glance of eastern maid's
Unsunned perfections, garnered jealously

Within the harem's ward,-apt simile

For that strange valley, with its rock-hewen piles.


THE ruins of Petra, the rock-built city, the capital of Idumea or Edom, differ entirely from those of any ancient capital we have yet noted, and stand unique among the

remarkable ruins of the old world. This celebrated city is believed to have been founded by the descendants of Esau, who settled among the mountains of Seir. Petra was very advantageously situated for commanding a large share of the commercial wealth which continually circu lated between Syria and the trading cities on the Red Sea. We learn from sacred history that the Edomites were a powerful people fifteen hundred years before the Christian era, and even the wealth of Babylonia contributed to her splendour, by means of the laden caravans which passed and repassed, by the way of the Desert, to its capital. Saul conquered Edom, and compelled Petra to become tributary to the Jews. It recovered its liberty, but was again subjected to Hebrew supremacy, the seed of Esau, the elder, being thereby made to serve the descendants of Jacob, and with the rest of the Jewish kingdom it was at length subjected to the Roman sway. After the time of Hadrian, no further traces of the name of Petra can be discovered in ancient historians. The once magnificent capital of Edom, on which the Roman arts had engrafted new beauties, appears to have gradually sunk into insignificance and obscurity. The destruction of the Assyrian empire, the degradation of Egypt, and the desolation of Palestine, would all contribute to its ruin. Utterly abandoned in its strange "cleft in the rock," history preserves no further record of its fate; and it would now be vain to inquire at what time the last of its inhabitants forsook it, and left its palaces for dens to the wild beasts of the desert. From the third century, when Origen refers to Idumea as a country that had ceased to exist, to the year 1812, when the indefatigable English traveller, Burckhardt, rediscovered it, it had remained unvisited, save perchance by some wandering Arab, for fully fourteen hundred years.

Michell has pictured the remarkable aspects which its strange vestiges still present, in his "Ruins of Many

« السابقةمتابعة »