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city, is the Mount of Judgment, or of evil counsel; because there they say the rulers took counsel against Christ, and the palace of Caiaphas stood. It is a broad and barren hill, without any of the picturesquea beauty of Olivet, though loftier. On its side is pointed out the Aceldama, or field where Judas hung himself: a small and rude edifice stands on it, and it is used as a burying-place.
9. But the most interesting portion of this hill, is where its rocks descend precipitously into the valley of Hinnom, and are mingled with many a straggling olive-tree. All these rocks are hewn into sepulchers of various forms and sizes: no doubt they were the tombs of the ancient Jews, and are in general cut with considerable care and skill. They are often the resting-place of the benighted passenger. Some of them open into inner apartments, and are provided with small windows, or apertures, cut in the rock.
10. In these there is none of the darkness or sadness of the tomb;
but in many, so elevated and picturesque is the situation, à traveler may pass hours, with a book in his hand, while valley and hill are beneath and around him. Before the door of one large sepulcher stood a tree on the brink of the rock; the sun was going down on Olivet on the right, and the resting-place of the dead commanded a sweeter scene, than any of the abodes of the living.
11. Many of the tombs have flights of steps leading up to them: it was in one of these that a celebrated traveler would fix the site of the holy sepulcher: it is certainly more picturesque, but why more just is hard to conceive; since the words of Scripture do not fix the identity of the sacred tomb to any particular spot, and tradition, on so memorable an occasion could hardly err. The fathers declare, it long since became absolutely necessary to cover the native rock with marble, in order to prevent the pilgrims from destroying it, in their zeal to carry off pieces to their homes; and on this point their relation may, one would suppose, be believed.
12. The valley of Hinnom now turns to the west of the city, and extends rather beyond the north wall: here the plain of Jeremiah commences, and is the best wooded tract in the whole neighborhood. In this direction, but farther on, the historian of the siege speaks “of a tower, that afforded a prospect of Arabia at sun-rising, and of the utmost limits of the Hebrew possessions at the sea westward." The former is still enjoyed from the city; but the latter could only be had at a much greater distance north, where there is no hill in front. a Pic-tur-esque', beautiful to the eye. c Tra-di"-tion, transmission from fathas b I-don-t-ty, sameness.
13. About half a mile from the wall are the tombs of the kings. In the midst of a hollow, rocky and adorned with a few trees, is the entrance: you then find a large apartment, above fifty feet long, at the side of which a low door leads into a series of small chambers, in the walls of which are se veral deep recesses, hewn out of the rock, of the size of the human body. There are six or seven of these low and dark apartments, one or two of which are adorned with vine-leaves and clusters of grapes.
14. Many parts of the stone coffins, beautifully ornamented in the Saracenic manner, are strewed on the floor: it would seem that some hand of ravage had broken them to pieces,
with the view of finding something valuable within. The se; pulchers of the judges, so called, are situated in a wild spot,
about two miles from the city. They bear much resemblance to those of the kings, but are not so handsome or spacious.
15. Returning to the foot of the Mount of Olives, you proceed up the vale of Jehoshaphat on a line with the plain: it widens as you advance, and is more thickly sprinkled with olives. When arrived at the hill in which it terminates, the appearance of the city and its environsa is rich and magnificent; and you cannot help thinking that were an English party suddenly transported here, they would not believe it was the sad and dreary Jerusalem they were gazing on.
16. This is the finest point to view it from; for its numerous minaretsb and superb mosque,' are seen to great advantage over the trees of the plain and valley, and the foreground is verdant and cultivated. One or two houses of the Turks stood in this spot, and we had trespassed on the rude garden of one of them, where the shade of a spreading tree invited us to linger over the prospect.
17. The climate of the city and country is in general very healthy. The elevated position of the former, and the numerous hills which cover the greater part of Palestine, must conduce greatly to the purity of the air. One seldom sees a country overrun with hills in the manner this is: in general they are not in ranges, but more or less isolated,' and of a picturésque form. Few of them approach to the character of mountains, save Carmel, the Quarantina, the shores of the lakes. and those which bound the valley of the Jordan.
18. To account for the existence of so large a population in the promised lands, the numerous hills must have been entirely cultivated : at present, their appearance on the sides and summits, is for the most part bare and rocky. In old a En-vi'-rons, places near or adjacent. c Mosque, a Mahometan house of war Min-arets, small spires or steeples.
d Is'-o-la-ted, detached, insulated.
time, they were probably formed into terraces,e as is now seen on the few cultivated ones, where the vine, olive, and fig-tree flourish.
19. High up the rocky side of a hill, on the left of the wilderness, and amidst a profusion of trees, is the cave or grotto of St. John. A fountain gushes out close by. When we talk of wildernesses, mountains, and plains, in Palestine, it is to be understood, that they seldom answer to the size of the same objects in more extensive countries; that they sometimes present but a beautiful miniature of them. It certainly deserved the term, given by the Psalmist to the city, of being a pact” country.
20. From the east end of this wilderness, you enter the famous valley of Elah, where Goliah was slain by the champion of Israel. It is a pretty and interesting spot: the bottom covered with olive-trees. Its present appearance answers exactly to the description given in Scripture; the two hills, on which the armies stood entirely confining it on the right and left.
21. The valley is not above half a mile broad. Tradition was not required to identify this spot;
nature has stamped it with everlasting features of truth. The brook still flows through it in a winding course, from which David the smooth stones; the hills are not precipitous, but slope gradually down; and the vale is varied with banks and undulations, and not a single habitation is visible in it.
22. At the south-east of Zion, in the vale of Jehoshaphat, they say the gardens of Solomon stood, and also on the sides of the hill adjoining that of Olivet. It was not a bad, though rather a confined site for them. The valley here is covered with a rich verdure, divided by hedges into a number of small gardens. A mean looking village stands on the rocky side of the hill above. Not a single palm-tree is to be seen in the whole territory around, where once every eminence was covered with them.
23. The roads leading to the city are bad, except to the north, being the route to Damascus; but the supplies of wood, and other articles for building the temple, must have come by another way than the near and direct one from Jaffa, which is impassable for burthens of a large size, from the defilesd and rocks amidst which it is carried; the circuitouse routes by land from Tyre or Acre, were probably used.
24. The Turk, who is chief of the guard that keeps watch at the entrance of the sacred church, waited on us two OT
d De-files, narrow passages.
6 Cir'-cuit-ous, going round in a circuit. c Un-du-li-tions, waving motions
a Ter-ra-car, raised hanks, flat roofs.
Pre-cip i tous, very steep.
three times; he is a very fine and dignified looking man, and ensured us entrance at all hours, which permission we availed ourselves of to pass another night amidst its hallowed scenes, with interest and pleasure but little diminished.
25. We chose a delightful morning for a walk to Bethany The path leads up the side of Olivet, by the very way whicka our Savior is said to have descended, in his last entry in's Jerusalem. At a short distance are the ruins of the village of Bethphage; and half a mile farther is Bethany. The dis- i tance is about two miles from the city. The village is beautifully situated; and the ruins of the house of Lazarus are still shown, and do credit to the good father's taste.
26. The condition of the Jews in Palestine is more insecure, and exposed to insult and exaction, than in Egypt and in Syria, from the frequent lawless and oppressive conduct of the governors and chiefs. These distant pachalics are less under the control of the Porte;b and in Egypt the subjects of Mahmoud enjoy a more equitable and quiet government, than in any other part of the empire. There is little national feeling or enthusiasm among them; though there are some exceptions, where these exist in an intense degree. In the cicy, appear fearful and humbled; for the contempt in which they are held by the Turks is excessive, and they often go poorly clad to avoid exciting suspicion.
27. Yet it is an interesting sight to meet with a Jew, wandering with his staff in his hand, and a venerable beard sweeping his bosom, in the rich and silent plain of Jericho, on the sides of his native mountains, or on the banks of the ancient river Kishon, where the arm of the mighty was withered in the battle of the Lord. Did a spark of the love of his country warm his heart, his feeling must be exquisite :—but his spirit is suited to his condition. Letters from the East. a Pa'-cha-lics, provinces, or governments. c Ex'-quis-ite, very fine, excellent. Porte, the Ottoman court.
PIECES IN VERSE.
Love of Praise.
Beauty of Expression.
Man and Woman.
That frowns o’er many a wave beat shore;
Joy and Sorrow.
Oft the phantom of sorrow appears;
With timely aid the widow's woes assuage;
And be the sure resource of drooping age.