Imatges de pÓgina


"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sake, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good."

The privilege conferred upon me by the God of my fathers, was a high and a glorious one. He, the keeper of Israel, hath sent me hither to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to proclaim the message of peace in Christ Jesus to the sons and daughters of Israel, to seek their eternal good.


Having been marked out as the sphere of my future labours, I made myself therefore soon acquainted with its present position, its sacred localities, and its inhabitants, of which I shall give a description.

The Holy City is surrounded by a massive stone wall, which is forty feet high and four broad, built in 1542 by Sultan Sulyman, with tower, battlement, and loopholes, like that of York; and so constructed that a convenient walk may be taken on the top of it, with perfect safety. In the cool of the evening and early in the morning, this promenade is one of the most pleasant recreations the Holy City still affords.

The wall is in tolerably good repair, except towards the north-east, where in some places the masonry has given way, and threatens to fall. It appears that originally there had been a trench around the whole city, which in lapse of time has been filled up with the

rubbish brought out from the town and thrown into it. Vestiges of it are yet seen at the north-east and northwest of the town.

The present wall encloses only a part of Mount Zion, Ophel is entirely without, as is also a large portion of the north side of the ancient city. The circumference of modern Jerusalem is about three miles. It took me an hour to walk round it.

Of the several gates of the Holy City mentioned in the Scriptures and in Josephus, four only have been left open, leading to the four cardinal points.


Called by the Europeans the Jaffa gate, leading to Jaffa, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Gaza. The natives call it "Bab Achaleel," the gate of the friend. Abraham is styled in Holy Writ, The Friend of God, and as he resided in Hebron, the Arabs call that place, in honour of their grand ancestor, "Alchaleel," The Friend.



Is known by the Europeans as the Damascus gate, by the natives, as Bab Ashsham," Sham being the Arabic for Damascus. It leads to Damascus, Nablous, and the north countries.


Called by the Europeans "St. Stephen's gate," because outside that gate the spot is pointed out where the proto-martyr was put to death. The native Christians call it "Bab Sadna Miriam," the gate of our Lady Mary, because it leads to the church where the Virgin Mary is said to be buried, and also to Gethsemane, the village Siloam, Bethany, the Jordan, and the Dead Sea.


Is named by the Europeans, "the Zion gate," because it is on that mountain. The natives call it "Bab Seedna Daivid," i. e. the gate of our Lord David, because outside this gate is the tomb of David. It leads to the Christian cemetery, the nether pool, Bethlehem, and Siloam.

"As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, So the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth even for ever."

Though Jerusalem is built upon hills which are more than 2,000 feet above the level of the Mediterranean, yet it is surrounded by mountains still higher.

The south-west of the town is encompassed by "the Mountain of Evil Counsel," deriving its name from the counsel which was taken on it in the villa of the high priest Caiaphas, to put Jesus to death. This circumstance the holy penman thus describes :

"Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself; but being high priest that same year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death."

The ruins of that villa, and some subterranean

passages, are still seen. The Aceldama, or the field of blood, which was bought for the thirty pieces of silver, for which Judas betrayed his Master, is likewise on that mountain; also the much spoken of "Charnelhouse," sunk twelve yards into the ground, in which in former times the dead were deposited. There was a superstitious belief that the earth here consumed the corpses in a short time. Many subterranean vaults and tombs are here, filled with skeletons, skulls, and bones. At one time the Armenians were masters of this piece of ground, who used it as a burying-place, for which they paid to the Pasha a yearly tax amounting to ninety pounds sterling.

The "Mount of Offence," so called on account of the idolatry king Solomon committed on it, and the ever-memorable mount of Olivet, which is 2,700 feet above the level of the Mediterranean, and 400 above that of Kedron, enclose the east side of the town.

From the summit of this hallowed mount, the extensive view charms every eye. Towards the east, the mountains of Moab, the Dead Sea, the Jordan, and the plain of Jericho, carry us back into the remotest ages.

Towards the north, the height of Ramah Samuel reminds us of the last judge in Israel, and Scopus brings Titus and his battering army to our recollection.

Towards the south the winding way to Bethlehem seems to point to Micah's words, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." And yonder, the curiously shaped Frank mountain, shows the last retreat of the Crusaders, and Hinnom, the abomination of Manasseh; whilst to the west Jerusalem bows her widowed head into the dust.

Here it was that the Lord of Glory, looking down upon the doomed city whilst still in all her royal dignity, exclaimed, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest

the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

These mountains are separated from the town by steep glens. The narrow valley of Hinnom runs between the mountain of Evil Counsel and that of Zion, whilst Jehosaphat, with all its sacred antiquities, divides Moriah from Olivet.


"How doth the city sit solitary, that was once full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" None who are acquainted with Jerusalem's history can proceed far in her streets without being reminded of these words.

Most of the streets are desolate, badly paved, narrow, and disgustingly filthy. The houses, with few exceptions, are out of repair, and many are entirely in ruins. The dust-cart is not known here; the rubbish is carried out of town by donkeys, which is rather expensive, to avoid which, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who are for the most part poor, have recourse to a curious expedient.

There is a large number of deserted magazines scattered throughout the town; in these all the rubbish is collected, and, as often as one of them is filled, they close it in with a stone wall. I have counted more than a hundred of this description. Sometimes it happens that these walls give way; then the whole neighbourhood is enveloped in the dust of many generations.

Others do not even take the trouble of carrying the rubbish out of their houses, they appropriate one room as a common receptacle, and when that is full they take

the next.

Soon after our arrival, we hired a house for the use

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