The importance of erecting a church on Mount Zion, where Protestant worship might be maintained in its purity, is that it may open the eyes of the Jews to see what true Christianity is. At present, they justly regard the Greek and Romish churches as idolatrous and licentious in the extreme, and believe the English to be Neologians or Infidels, without any religion.
The hope of Messiah's coming is strong in the hearts of many Jews here. Many believed that it would be in the year 1840, as that was the end of a period fixed in the book of Zohar; and some said that if they were dis
132 JERUSALEM—TOMB OP DAVID.
appointed in that year, they would turn Christians; but this is a mere saying, for they have often declared the same before, and when the time came have found out excuses for Messiah's delay.
The fact that Palestine is the stronghold of Rabbinism appears to be a sufficient reason why Christians should direct their most vigorous efforts to send the light of the gospel among the Jews of this land. There have been many tokens for good and encouraging appearances of late years among the Jews at Jerusalem. Their wretched condition in the city where their fathers ruled, loudly calls for sympathy. They are poor and despised, and sadly divided among themselves. The Consul told us of a Jew who last week was beaten till he died, by order of the Governor. He was not proven to be guilty of the offence laid to his charge, and was not in reality guilty, yet there was none to plead his cause, or avenge his murder.
In the cool of the evening we enjoyed our first walk about Jerusalem, Mrs. Nicolayson accompanying us upon her donkey. Passing by the Armenian Convent, which appeared to be the largest and most substantial in the city, surrounded with a pleasant garden, we went out at the Zion Gate, the only gate now open on the southern wall of the town, and came out upon the open summit of Mount Zion, for one-half of that hill is now outside of the walls. A gloomy ill-shaped building near the gate is an Armeniant Convent, enclosing what is called by the monks the House of Caiaphas; and nearer the southern brow is a small mosque covering the tomb of David. The minarets of this mosque, and that on the Mount of Olives, were both destroyed by an earthquake a few years ago. There is a prevailing and much-credited tradition, that within that building is the very tomb of which Peter said in his sermon, "His sepulchre is with us unto this day."*
These are the only prominent buildings upon the unwalled part of Zion. Leaving them on the left, we wandered among the flat tombstones of the Greeks and Latins. The graves of some of the American missionaries were pointed out to us, and also a small spot of ground which they have purchased and enclosed as a buryingplace, though we were told that they were still uncertain whether they would be permitted to bury in it, as the Moslems had found out that the shadow of David's mosque fell upon it at certain hours of the day. * Acts ii. 29.
Approaching nearer to the brow of the hill, we found ourselves in the midst of a large field of barley. The crop was very thin, and the stalks very small, but no sight could be more interesting to us. We plucked some of the ears to carry home with us, as proofs addressed to the eye that God had fulfilled his true and faithful word, "Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field." X The palaces, the towers, the whole mass of warlike defences, have given way before the word of the Lord, and a crop of barley waves to the passing breeze instead of the banner of war. On the steep sides of the hill, we afterwards found flourishing cauliflowers arranged in furrows, which had evidently been made by the plough; so that this important prophecy, twice recorded,} is most fully accomplished.
From the southern verge of Zion, we looked down into the valley of Hinnom, still called Wady Jehennam, which lies nearly due east and west. It appeared very deep, the opposite side rocky and precipitous, and the bosom of it filled with shady olive-trees. Here Manasseh caused his children to pass through the fire to Moloch ; || and here Jeremiah uttered that dreadful prophecy, "This place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter."1T From the awful wickedness committed in this valley,
* Ps. xlviii. 12.
t Ps. cxxv. 1. The force of this verse is evidently misunderstood when applied to the fortress, as done by Buchanan,— "Sinnia arcem non aquilo impotens Saxo sedentom perpetuo quatit." t Mic. iii. 12. § Jer. xxvi. la Mic. iii. 12.
II 2 Chron. xxxiii. 6. 1 Jer. xix. 6.
134 JERUSALEM—LOWER POOL OP GIHON.
perhaps as much as from the Satanic fires kindled in it, the name came to signify the place of eternal sin anc, woe. To us it appeared a pleasant shady valley, but in other days, when the precipitous sides were planted with thick trees, it may have been gloomy enough.
Instead of descending into it, we turned and went down the steep western side of Zion into the valley of Gihon, which lies nearly north and south on the west side of Jerusalem, to examine the upper and lower Pools of Gihon. We came first to the lower pool,* and, standing on the edge, were surprised at the vast size of the basin, which is by far the largest reservoir of the Holy City, though it is much dilapidated and perfectly dry. It is formed in a very simple manner, by throwing a massy wall across the lower end of the valley. This wall answers the purpose of a bridge, which is crossed in going to Bethlehem. There is a neat fountain at the middle of it, to refresh the traveller, with an Arabic inscription; but we found no water in it . The stones of this wall are closely cemented, and the work is evidently ancient. There are also the remains of a wall at the upper end, and on both sides. The bottom of the pool is merely the natural bed of the valley, and is bare and rocky. On one of the ledges of the rock beneath us, sat two men beating out corn with a staff; which is used instead of our flail, and is referred to by Isaiah, " The fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod." f The measurements of the pool are as follows:—
We proceeded up the valley as far as under the Jaffa Gate, and then to the north-west, till we came upon the conduit or rude aqueduct of the upper pool, out of which a flock were satisfying their thirst, and shortly after to the upper pool of Gihon itself . The walls of this pool are in a much more perfect condition than those of the lower pool, the strong walls being unbroken, the cement still remaining, and the steps into it from the corners nearly entire. It was about half-full of pure water. We spent some time here, and plucked leaves from a large Botin or Terebinth tree, \ which grows close by.
* Tsa. xxii. 9. t Isa. xxviii. 27.
) The rh» of Scripture.
conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name im manuel."J
It is interesting also to remark, that it was here Rab shaken, the Assyrian captain, stood at the head of a greai army, and reproached the living God.} And it was from this point, that he cried in the Jews' language to the men that sat upon the wall, a fact which goes to prove, that the wall of Jerusalem must have extended much farther to the north-west than it does at present.
As we took the dimensions of this pool, the scenery of Zechariah || was recalled, the measuring of the ancient places of Jerusalem being now to us a matter of deepest interest . The measurements were these:—
Around the pool is a burying-place for the Mahometan dead, where tombs were lying broken and scattered about in a most desolate manner. From the rising ground near, we got a view of the plain or valley of Rephaim, lying south-west of the city, and which is still so fertile, that we were assured it is capable of yielding three crops in the year. To this fertility the prophet Isaiah refers. He says," The glory of Jacob shall be made
• 1 Kings i. 38. 39. t Isa. vii. 3. t Isa. vii. 14.
9 Isa. xxxvi. 2, 13. II Zech. ii. 2.
136 JERUSALEM FLAIN OP REPHAIM.
thin," and shall be no more like the rich waving fields of Rephaim, but only like its gleanings; "it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim." *
In this plain, too, David twice defeated the Philistines, who had penetrated as near as this to the royal city ;f and somewhere not far off was Baal-perazim, where the heat of the conflict was greatest,—the type of a yet more terrible conflict in the latter days, when " the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim."J
By the help of Mr. Nicolayson, we now attempted to trace the probable extent of ancient Jerusalem upon the north. There is room for a great city on the elevated ground to the north of the present wall, and there can be little doubt that the Bezetha of Josephus, which Agrippa enclosed with a third wall of great strength, occupied a vast range of that district. It now consists of cultivated fields and olive plantations: but remains of ruins are visible in many parts of it. When the wall of the city was thus stretched out to the north, and included the whole of Mount Zion on the south, it is not very difficult to understand how Jerusalem could contain the millions who are said to have been sometimes gathered into it . In the distant north, we could see the hill Scopus which encloses Jerusalem on the north, where Titus first encamped when he came to besiege Jerusalem, "from whence the city began already "to be seen, and a splendid view was obtained of the great temple" (TM Tmb moo jityifof uXan^pov).^ We returned by the Cave of Jeremiah, a grotto cut in the rock almost due north of the Damascus Gate, lying in the road from Anathoth, his native village, and where tradition says he wrote the Book of Lamentations. We reached our dwelling a little before the city gates were closed for the night.
We thought with joy of the Sabbath that was now drawing on—a Sabbath in Jerusalem. It seemed to us a wonderful privilege to be allowed to worship in the very city where Immanuel died, and where his living voice was so often heard, calling upon Jerusalem sinners, in accents of more than human tenderness, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not."||
(Sabbath, June 9.) The morning seemed the dawn of
* Iaa. xvii. 5. t 2 Sam. v. 17—25. t Isa. xxviii. 21.
$ Josephus, v 2, 3. II Malt, xxiii- 37.
den down of the Gentiles."f
Having rested till the noon-day heat was past, we went at lour o'clock to the house of one Simeon, a converted Jew, where Mr. Nicolayson went through the evening service of the liturgy in German, and preached on Hebrews xii. 5, 6. At five in the evening, we assembled again in the upper room, when Dr. Keith conducted the service in our own Presbyterian form, and preached from 1 Kings xviii. 21. All these exercises were very solemn and reviving; yet still we frequently felt throughout the day that it is not in the power of the place itself, however sacred, to enlighten and refresh a sinner's soul. Compassed about as we were on every side with the memorials of the Saviour's work, our eyes gazing on the Mount of Olives, our feet standing on the holy hill of Zion, we felt that there was still as much need as ever that "the Spirit should take of the things of Christ and shew them unto us," as he himself declared when sitting with his disciples in such an upper room as this in Jerusalem. "The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,"J is not an object within the compass of the natural eye. Associations of place and time cannot open the eye to lee it; though such associations as those with which we
• Mark xiv. 15. t Luke x.\i. 2 1. 12 Cor. iv. 6.
he saw a mustard-tree higher than he could reach, and its stem as thick as his arm; illustrating the parable of the mustard-seed.f
In the forenoon, we went to the Consul's house, and met with a Bedouin chief who had come to accompany Lord Hamilton to Ammon and Jerash on the other side of the Jordan. He was a genuine son of Ishmael, possessing a commanding figure, with dark and striking features. He wore the yellow shawl of the Bedouins over his head, fastened on by two circles of a rope made of camel's hair. His arm was bare up to the elbow, and the motions of his hands and features were graceful and expressive. Dr. Keith tried to ascertain from him the fact of porcupines being found in Petra; he asked him what the kangfud was, when the Bedouin immediately imitated the cry it uttered, and, on being shown a porcupine quill, at once recognised it as belonging to the kangfud.X He exacted the sum of KM. from the travellers, simply for the favour of giving them a safe conduct through the country of the Bedouins.
In the Consul's house, we saw a tame gazelle, gentle and timid, with bright black eyes. Mr. Nicolaysonrs two little girls had another. So that they are still known " to
* " On a line drawn from the north end of the Dead Sea towards the due west, the ridge has an elevation of 2500 Paris feet; and here, close upon the water-shed, lies the city of Jerusalem."—Robinton, voL i. p 381
t Matt. xiii. 31. t See p. 54.
CHURCH OP THE HOLY SEPULCHRE 139
the daughters of Jerusalem" as In Solomon's days, "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, and by the hinds of the field."* We saw also a very tall and beautiful lily, perhaps such a one as our Lord pointed to when he said, "Consider the lilies how they grow." f
We this day visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by so many to cover the very spot of Calvary where our Lord was crucified and buried,—a visit which awakened in our minds only feelings painful and revolting. The descriptions of this place commonly given in books of travels are perfectly accurate, and indeed the wonder is that the writers should have been so careful in describing what no serious mind can regard but as "lying wonders." The church is not remarkable for elegance or beauty, and the pictures, with a few exceptions are far from being of the first order. In the centre stands a marble house enclosing the sepulchre. We entered and examined the sarcophagus, which is of white marble. Even the monks seemed to be a great deal more taken up with the silver lamps hung over it than with the tomb itself. We were then led to a flat stone of reddish marble, on which, say the monks, the Saviour's body was anointed. With lighted tapers we descended to a damp dark place, where Helena is said to have found the three crosses. The rock of Calvary, so called by the monks, is only a few paces from the sepulchre. Ascending some twenty steps into a small chapel, the guide lifted up a gilded star in the floor, and showed what is called the hole in the rock where the cross was fixed. In a dark chapel underneath lighted by a single lamp, he pointed to the well-known fissure in the rock, pretended to be the rent that was made when Jesus died. We had little patience to go round all the spots accounted sacred under the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; and each of us felt the blush of honest indignation rising in our face at the mingled folly and profanity of the whole scene. To do the monks justice, they seemed to have as little feeling of reverence toward the holy place as we could possibly have, and Ibraim, our Arab servant who accompanied us, was fully as deeply impressed as any of the party. The fissure in the rock, and the tombs of Joseph and Nicodemus (so called,) situated in a dark chapel behind the marble sepulchre, were the only objects which peculiarly drew our attention, both being in the
* Song ti. 7. nitoi * Luke xii. 27
nui me longer we remainea in cue noiy L-ny, me more we were convinced that this is not the true site of Calvary. We are told expressly in Scripture that "Jesus suffered without the gate." * And also, that " the place where he was crucified was nigh to the city." f But the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a long way within the walls of Jerusalem. We cannot believe that the ancient city was narrower or smaller in any way than the present Jerusalem. On the contrary, there is reason to believe that it was much more extensive. From the church, along the Via Dolorosa, to the western enclosure of the Mosque of Omar, is but a five minutes' walk, and yet this must have been the whole breadth of the city, if the present Calvary was without the gate. How contrary is this to the description given by the Psalmist, "Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together." J
On the whole we found it a relief to our minds to rest in the conclusion that the cleft rock and the holy sepulchre of the monks, have as little to do with the place where Jesus died, and the rocky tomb in the garden where they laid him, as the polished marbles and gaudy lamps by which the place is disfigured.}
There is no tradition which may lead the mind to any other spot as the site of Calvary. It struck us forcibly bered the faithful description of this given in the gospel narrative, " when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise." \
* Heb. xiii. 12. t John xix. 20. t Ps. exxii. 3.
$ It gave us unfeigned pleasure to hear from Professor Robinson, whom we afterwards met in Kerlin, that he had deliberately arrived at the same conclusion. The cltar and able statement of the arguments against the present site of Calvary deduced from the topography and history of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Professor Robinsou's work (voL ii. p. 64.) may justly be regarded as a final settlement of this long agitated question.
In the cool of the day we enjoyed a delightful ride to the Mount of Olives. Mounted on hardy Syrian horses of very small stature, we rode out at the Jaffa Gate. Here we saw the reapers busy cutting down barley in the valley of Gihon. Turning to the right we went round the northern wall of the city. The road is rough and in some parts difficult. Often the bare rock appears, and the way was covered with loose stones. It is made entirely by the feet of the animals that pass along it; and there is not so much as one road about Jerusalem upon which a wheeled carriage could run. Coming to the north-east corner of the walls, the valley of Jehoshaphat opened to our view, and the Mount of Olives across the valley appeared very beautiful, having much more variety of rocks, gardens, olive-yards, figtrees, and patches of grain upon its sides, than we had expected to find . We now turned due south, riding still under the city wall, which is farther from the brow of the hill than we anticipated. In one point only, namely the S. E. corner, does the wall stand on the immediate brink of the valley, in other parts it is forty or fifty yards
* Eccl. xii. 5. t Matt, Jc 23.
142 JERUSALEM—MOUNT OP OLIVES.
from the edge. Before reaching St. Stephen's Gate, we came upon a small reservoir half full of water, in which an Arab was bathing. We could not learn its name or history. Near this stands the monument of St . Stephen, where he is said to have been stoned, and the gate called by his name is said to be that out of which they hurried him when " they cast him out of the city." * We descended the steep side of Mount Moriah by the footpath leading from St. Stephen's Gate, and crossed the dry bed of the Kedron by a small bridge. The path here widens out to a considerable breadth for about fifty yards, and then separates into two, the one leading directly up the face of the Mount of Olives, the other winding gent.ly round the southern brow of the hill. Both of these footpaths lead to Bethany, and between them lies a square plot of ground enclosed with a rough stone wall, and having eight very large old olive-trees, f This is believed to be Gethsemane. We stayed only to glance at it, for it needs to be visited in quiet and stillness; and choosing the path that leads straight up the hill, urged our little palfreys up the steep ascent. Mount Olivet was far from being a solitude this evening. One turbaned figure after another met us, and, to add to the interest of the scene, we recognised them by their features to be Jews. At one point we came upon a small company of Jewesses, not veiled like the Moslem ladies, but all dressed in their best attire. The reason of this unwonted stir among the solitudes of Olivet was, that Sir Moses Montefiore from London, who had come on a visit of love to his brethren in the Holy Land, had arrived at Jerusalem, and his tent was now pitched on one of the eminences of the hill. Multitudes of the Jews went out daily to lay their petitions before him.
We often halted during the ascent, and turned round to view the city lying at our feet, the deep valley of Jehoshaphat, and trie surrounding hills. By far the finest and most affecting views of Jerusalem are to be obtained from some of these points. In a little after we came to the eminence where Sir Moses Montefiore had
* Acts vii. 58.
t Chateaubriand's argument regarding the age of the olive-trees in Gethsomane is curious. He argues that they must be at least as old aa the Knstern Empire, because the Turks, at the conquest. laid a tax of tme medine on every olive-tree then growing, while every olive-tree planted since that time is taxed at half its produce Now. he states, that the eight olive-trsea of Gethsemane were charged only the one medine each.
INTERVIEW WITH SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. 143
pitched his tents. He had fixed a cord round the tents at a little distance, that he might keep himself in quarantine On the outside of this, a crowd of about twenty or thirty Jews were collected, spreading out their petitions before him. Some were getting money for themselves, some for their friends, some for the purposes of religion. It was an interesting scene, and called up to our minds the events of other days, when Israel were not strangers in their own land. Sir Moses and his lady received us with great kindness, and we were served with cake and wine. He conversed freely on the state of the land, the miseries of the Jews, and the fulfilment of prophecy. He said that the Bible was the best guidebook in the Holy Land; and with much feeling remarked, that, sitting on this very place, within sight of Mount Moriah, he had read Solomon's prayer* over and over again. He told us that he had been at Saphet and Tiberias, and that there were 1500 Jews in the latter town, and more in the former; but they were in a very wretched condition, for first they had been robbed by the Arabs, then they suffered from the earthquake, and now they were plundered by the Druses. When Dr. Keith suggested that they might be employed in making roads through the land, as materials were abundant, and that it might be the beginning of the fulfilment of the prohecy, "Prepare ye the way of the people; cast up the ighway, gather out the stones ;"f Sir Moses acknowledged the lienefit that would attend the making of roads, but feared that they would not be permitted. He seemed truly interested in the temporal good of his brethren, and intent upon employing their young people in the cultivation of the vine, the olive, and the mulberry. We explained to him the object of our visit to this land, and assured him that the Church of Scotland would rejoice in any amelioration he might effect in the temporal condition of Israel.
Taking leave, we proceeded to the summitj through a plantation of fig-trees. From this the view on all sides is splendid and interesting in the extreme, but it was too near sunset to allow us to exhaust it . Looking to the north-west, the eye falls upon Naby-Samuel, believed by most travellers to be Ramah where Samuel was born,
* 1 Kinzs viii. t Isa. lx-.i . 10.
t The elevation of the central peak of the Mount of Olives above the aea, m given by Schubert at 2556 Paris feet, or 416 Paris feet above the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Hence it appears (o be 175 Paris feet higher than the highest point of Zion.—Robinson, vol. i p. 106.
144 JERUSALEM—VIEW PROM MOUNT OP OLIVE*.
but by others Mizpeh, the rallying place of Israel.* It seems to be five or six miles distant, and forms one of the highest points of the landscape, crowned with a mosque which always catches the eye in the northern view. To the east and south-east, over the summits of a range of bare and rugged mountains, we looked down upon the Dead Sea, of a deep blue colour, The air was so clear, and every thing seen so distinctly, that our first momentary impression was, that we could ride down to it before nightfall; though in reality a long and difficult day's journey lay between. Beyond it the range of Abarim, the brown barren mountains of Moab, rise steep and high, and bound the prospect. Over a dark rugged chain of hills between us and Jericho we could distinctly trace the valley of the Jordan and the verdure on its banks, but the river itself was hid. The summits of Abarim present to the eye an almost even line, so that we could fix on no particular peaks, and yet some one of the mountain tops we were gazing on must be Bethpeor, and another Pisgah, the top of Nebo; the former ever memorable as the spot where Balaam stood when he wished to die the death of the righteous,f and the latter as the spot where Moses did indeed die that blessed death.J The sight of this mountain scene reminded us of a passage in Jeremiah, the force of which is lost in our version, but which had peculiar meaning when uttered in Jerusalem. It is in reference to the death of Jehoiakim, the son of pious Josiah, and the desolation that followed, "Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from Abarim; for all thy lovers are destroyed." j The cry of wo is first uttered from the heights of Lebanon, the northern boundary of the land; it is echoed back from Bashan, the eastern range; and then it resounds from Abarim, the mountains of Moab, seen so distinctly from Jerusalem. In this w'ay the tidings of distress are carried from Lebanon to Bashan, from Bashan to Abarim, and from Abarim to the Capital itself .
Turning to the west, we looked down upon Jerusalem —its mosques and domes, fiat roofs and cupolas, being stretched out beneath us. We could now see the accuracy of the description, "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people."|| We obtained a complete view of Mount Moriah,
* 1 Sam. vii. 5. t Num. xxiii. 10. t Pent . xxxiv. 1.
( Jer. xxii. 20. Sec the original || Ps. exxv. 2.
violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he hath destroyed his places of assembly."1T "The mountain of the house is become as the high place of the forest." ** The mountain on which God's house was built has literally become a place of heathen sanctuaries, like those which in Micah's day were erected in groves and forests.
The present wall of the Haram is nearly identical with the enclosure of Solomon's Temple on three sides. The Mosque of Omar stands in the centre, and probably on the spot where were the holy place and holiest of all. On the south stands the Mosque El Aksa, and there are several other oratories and sacred buildings round the walls. The rest of the area is beautifully laid out with cypress and orange trees, and here the Moslem ladies enjoy themselves on their holidays. No Christian is ordinarily permitted to enter these enclosures. No foot but those of the heathen, "the worst of the heathen,"ff is allowed to tread the court of God's holy and beautiful house, so that "their holy places are defiled." Surely the mountain of the house has become literally like "the high places of the forest." How true and faithful is the word of the Lord! In the days of Hezekiah, Micah was sent to a flourishing city, "the perfection of beauty, and the joy of the whole earth." He was to walk about Zion, and when he looked upon its towers and bulwarks, to say, "All these shall be desolate, and the ground on which they stand shall be ploughed as a field." He was to pass by their ceiled houses and along their splendid
• Gen. xxii. 2, 9. t 1 Chron. xxi. 17. X 2 Chron. iii, 1.
$ John vii. 37. II Matt, xxvii. 50, 51. * Lam. ii. 6.
•* Mic. iii. 12. tt Ezek. vii. 24.
146 JERUSALEM INTERVIEW WITH A COUNTRYMAN.
streets, and to cry, "All these shall be heapa." Last of all, he was to stand in the court of the temple in which they gloried, where God indeed dwelt on the earth, and to say, "It shall be as the high places of the heathen." And now, as we stood on Mount Olivet, our eyes beheld these things brought to pass. This is the doing of the Lord!" Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints! Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name 1 for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee, for thy judgments are made manifest."*
We descended into the Valley of Jehoshaphat by a path further to the south, which led us past the Jewish burying-ground, and onwards to the monuments of Absalom and Zacharias, cut out of the solid rock, which have been often described, and are well known. It occurred to us that the pillars, pilasters, and other ornaments, may have been added at a recent date, but that the square mass cut out of the rock of the mountain may be veiy ancient. Again we crossed the Kedron, and by a slanting path ascended to the south-east corner of the Haram; then, passing round the southern wall of the city, entered the Zion Gate a little before the gates were shut .
We spent the evening at the house of our kind friend Mr. Nicolayson. Here we found a fellow-countryman, who had been invited to meet us. He lives in Jerusalem in complete retirement, joins no church, and has no fellowship with Christians of any denomination, but waits for the coming of the Son of Man. He wears the long beard, turban, and flowing dress of the Easterns. He is a very pious, but singular man. On one occasion imagining that Elijah, " the watchman of Ephraim," would soon be on the mountains of Israel, he went to seek him, though he knew nothing of the language of the country. He travelled as far as Sychar, keeping in his hand an Arabic list of vegetables, and other articles of food, so that by pointing to the written word, he was able to make himself understood. On another occasion, passing by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the monks mistaking him for a Jew, rushed out upon him, and pursued him through the streets, into a house where he took refuge, threatening to kill him, unless he kissed a picture of the Virgin,
* Rev. xv. 3,4.
several passages ui S5uripture.| vve spent a pleasant
evening thus conversing on the word of God within the gates of Jerusalem.
(June 11.) We had agreed to visit the Consul, Mr. Young, this forenoon, to receive information from him regarding the Jews. On going to him, he told us that a remarkable circumstance had occurred that morning. The Turkish Governor of Jerusalem had allowed Sir Moses Montefiore and his attendants to enter the tomb of David upon Mount Zion, and to pray over it, a privilege not granted to a Jew for many centuries. The Governor had called on Sir Moses the day before, and shown him great respect, and that morning had sent him a present of five sheep. The ground of the Governor's respectful treatment of him was the fact of his being a native of Great Britain. Mr. Nicolayson was fortunate enough to be with Sir Moses at the time, and so obtained admittance also, and heard the Jews recite a long form of prayer, and read many of the Psalms, such as the xv, cxxii, cxxvi, over the tomb of the Sweet Singer of Israel. He described it as a solemn and affecting scene.
Mr. Young gave the following statistics of the Jews in the Holy Land; and having afterwards taken down Mr. Nicolayson's information on the same subject, we insert both together for the sake of comparison.
* Ezek. ix. 4. t Mark xiii. 15. t Ps. xlvii. 1. Isa. lv. 12.
On the whole, Mr. Young reckoned that there are in round numbers about 10,000 Jews in the whole of Palestine. The difficulties, however, in the way of procuring accurate statistics are very great. The Jews are unwilling to give their true numbers, and they are reduced from time to time by the ravages of the plague. Add to this, that few young men come to the land; so that it is not reckoning accurately to take the usual average of individuals in a family. People who come here are generally elderly, and do not leave families behind them to increase the population or supply its vacancies. There is, without doubt, a constant influx of Jews into this country, yet not so great as to do more than supply the annual deaths. Their poverty is great. The contributions from Europe of late have been smaller than usual; and when they arrive, instead of doing good, are the occasion of heart-burnings and strife. There is no such thing as " brethren dwelling together in unity"* in Jerusalem; no Jew trusts his brother, f They are always quarrelling, and frequently apply to the Consul to settle their disputes. The expectation of support from the annual European contributions leads many to live in idleness. Hence there are in Jerusalem 500 acknowledged paupers, and 500 more who receive charity in a quiet way. Many are so poor that, if not relieved, they could not stand out the winter season. A few are shopkeepers; a few more are hawkers; and a very few are operatives. None of them are agriculturists—not a single Jew cultivates the soil of his fathers. Among other peculiar causes of poverty, they are obliged to pay more rent than other people for their houses; and their rabbisJ frequently oppress and overreach those under their care. Whilst Mahomet Ali was in possession of this country, the government had been far more tolerant toward them
* Pa. cxxxiii. 1, t Is this a fulfilment of Micah vii. 2—&
t This is a fulfilment of Ezek. xxxiv. 2, 3, continued down to thisoajcoming strongly attached to British Christians. The fact of a British Consul being stationed here on their account has greatly contributed to this effect. How wonderful that a British Consul should be sent to the Holy Land, with special instructions to interest himself in behalf of the Jews, and having for his district the very refion formerly allotted to the twelve tribes of Israel! And ow much more wonderful still, that our first Consul in Jerusalem should be one actuated by a deep and enlightened attachment to the cause of God's ancient people! At present, however, the Jews make less use of his influence than they might do; for they say, "if the Consul were to go away, revenge would be taken on us." This is so much their feeling, that when it was lately reported, that he was to be removed on account of the war that threatened, many Jews came to him, with tears running down their cheeks, entreating him to remain. There is also another singular fact, namely, that converted Jews have complete access to their brethren. Five converts are here at present, and the Jews treat them with kindness, allow them to visit their houses, and frequently visit them in return. Oh, that the day were come when "the fountain shall be opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness!" *
* Zech. xiii. 1.
150 JERUSALEM—G1HON—HILL OP EVIL COUNSEL.
In the afternoon we mounted our hardy little palfrsya, and with Mr. Nicolayson for our guide, set out to visit some of the interesting spots around the city. Going out by the Jaffa Gate, we turned to the south, and crossed by the wall of the lower pool of Gihon—that being the usual way to Bethlehem. The name of Hinnom is very generally given to this western valley, as well as to the south of Zion; but if the two pools be really the pools of Gihon, it seems much more probable, that the valley on the west of the city is the vale of Gihon, while that on the south is the vale of Hinnom.* Crossing Solomon's aqueduct, which we could trace far on its way to Bethlehem, we turned to the south-east, and climbed the hill immediately south of Mount Zion, parted from it by the deep vale of Hinnom. This ridge is named the Hill of Evil Counsel, because upon the summit a ruin is pointed out, which is called by the monks the countryhouse of Caiaphas, where the priests, scribes, and elders met and took counsel how they might kill Jesus. From this we had another pleasant view of the plain of Rephaim.f lying to the south-west. The reapers were gathering the ears of corn at the very time. The most prominent object to the south is a graceful conical hill, called
the Frank Mountain, and supposed by some to be Betbhaccerem, a suitable spot for " setting up a sign of fire."J To the north, we looked across the valley of Hinnom to Mount Zion, descending bold and steep into the ravine. Several parts were ploughed like a field as already mentioned, and on one part sheaves were standing. To the north-east, beyond the high wall of the mosque on Mount Moriah, we obtained the finest view we had yet seen of the Mount of Olives, with its three graceful summits. The depth of the Valley of Jehoshaphat (vale of Kedron) struck us very forcibly, and gave an appearance of great loftiness to Mount Olivet. To the east, "Who is he that condemneth?"
* Josh. xv. 8. It formed the northern boundary of the tribe of Judah, and hence Nehem. xi. 30, speaks of those who " dwelt from Beer-thti* unlo the valley of Hinnom"—the two extremities ol Judah.
t Isa xvii. 5. t Jer. vi. I
Descending gradually toward the eastern side of the ridge, we came to the spot pointed out as Aceldama," the field of blood," the field bought with the thirty pieces of silver, and "known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem." * It lies opposite the south-east corner of Mount Zion. A charnel-house or square chamber sunk in the earth is still shewn here, and some of the cells have been lately opened; but we found no traces of that peculiar kind of earth said to have been found here, which had the property of causing dead bodies to decay within four-andtwenty-hours.f A particular tree is pointed out as the tree on which Judas hanged himself, a mere tradition, or rather a barefaced invention, but interesting as shewing that to this day the awful doom of the Son of Perdition is not forgotten by the dwellers of Jerusalem. At this point is obtained a remarkable view of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It is wide and ample, in some parts terraced, and a small portion of it planted with gardens, which are
* Matt . xxvii. 7, a Acts i. 19.
t A recent traveller, W. R. Wilde, a medical gentleman, visited a sepulchre lately opened here, when he found the skulls to belong, not to Jews, but to individuals of different nations. He gives this fact on personal examination, as affording proof that this is "the field to bury strangers in." The only abatement of this interesting evidence, is the possibility of these having been buried in it at a period later than the Jewish kingdom existed.
ilUnl J CI USiilflll. J
From this point, also, is seen the gentle hollow that marks the separation between Zion and Moriah. At other points, it seems as if the one hill overlapped the other; but here it is quite easy to trace the line of separation. This hollow is the Tyropceon of Josephus, or Valley of the Cheesemongers, beginning near the Jaffa Gate, and running east to the wall of the Mosque, and then south till it opens out into the Valley of Jehoshaphat It was no doubt much deeper and more distinct in ancient days. The debris of the ruins of many generations have been long filling it up. Between the Tyropceon and the Valley of Jehoshaphat, outside the walls of the city, stood the tower called in Scripture, Ophel. The ridge ends there in a precipice of solid limestone rock, overhanging the Pool of Siloam, to the height of about sixty feet. Due east from the Mount of Evil Counsel, on the other side of the valley, rises the hill called the Mount of Offence, or Mount of Corruption, on which, it is believed, Solomon set up idols to his strange gods. It is just a lower ridge of the Mount of Olives, Darren and rocky. We thought we could trace indications of former buildings on the face of the hill, near the top.
Winding down the hill, we reached the lowest part of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, a retired spot, pleasantly shaded with fruit-trees. Here is Nehemiah's Well, or rather, there is little doubt, the ancient En-Rogel, "the fuller's fountain." There are the remains of ancient buildings over it, and a largo tank beside it. It is 125 feet in depth. Formerly, the water seems to have been drawn
• Joel iii. 12, 14. t Joel iii. 16.
part which Joab acted in that memorable scene that the well is called by the Arabs to this day Beer-Eyub, "the well of Job," or Joab.
Proceeding up the valley, we passed through a smaL grove of olives, pomegranates, and figs. A girl came running to us with her lap full of ripe apricots. Her head was ornamented with a circle of silver coins. Here we found people busily employed, some treading out corn by the feet of the ox and the ass, others winnowing what had been trodden out already. This peaceful scene in so retired a valley, near a refreshing well, served to explain the prophet's manner of reproving the indolence of backsliding Israel, "Ephraim is an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn."} The winnowing with the shovel, recalled to our minds the " clean provender which hath been winnowed with the shovel and the fan." ||
We passed the mouth of the Vale of Hinnom, and approaching the rockof Ophel above described, came to an old mulberry-tree, whose roots are now supported by a terrace of rough stones, said to mark the place where Manasseh caused the prophet Isaiah to be sawn asunder. 1T Three Arabs were reclining under its plentiful shade, and seemed to wonder why we gazed.
Passing under the rocky face of Ophel, we came to the Pool of Siloam. We were surprised to find it so entire,
• Joeh. xviii. 16. t 2 Sam. xvii. 17. t 1 Kings i. 9, 41
i Hos. x. 11- II Isa. xxx. 24 f Heb. xi. 37.
154 JERUSALEM POOL OP SILOAM.
exactly resembling the common prints of it . It is in the form of a parallelogram, and the walls all round are of hewn stones. The steps that lead down into it, at tht eastern end, are no doubt the same which have beer there for ages. The water covered the bottom to the depth of one or two feet. At the western end, climbing a little way into a cave hewn out of a rock, we descended a few steps into the place from which the water flows into the pool. It is connected by a long subterranean passage, running quite through the hill to the Fountain of the Virgin, or more properly the Fountain of Siloam, the entrance to which is a considerable way farther up the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Through this passage the water flows softly from the fountain till it finds its way into the pool, not as generally represented in pictures by
Eouring over the mouth of the cave, but secretly from eneath. Wild flowers, and among other plants the caper-tree, grow luxuriantly around its border.
"We are told that " the wall of the Pool of Siloah, by the king's garden," * was rebuilt in the days of Nehemiah. There can be no doubt that this is the very spot; and possibly the present walls and steps may be as ancient as the days of our Lord. While sitting on the margin, we could imagine the history of the blind manf realized before us. We had seen that very day a blind man in the streets of Jerusalem as we passed by. Now it was to such a man that our Lord said, " Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam." The man obeys—comes out at the
fate—descends the sloping side of Zion, gropes his way own these steps, and feels for the cool water with his hand; then laves his clay-anointed eyes, and they open! Now he sees the glory of Jerusalem, but above all, comes back to see the face of the Son of God, tue light of the world, whose word commanded the light to shine on his dark eye-balls and his darker heart. The water of this pool flows out through a small channel cut or worn in the rock, and descends to refresh the gardens which are planted below on terraces, illustrating the expression "a fountain of gardens," J for a fountain in such a situation waters many gardens. These are the remains of " the king's garden,"^ mentioned by Nehemiah and by Josephus.|| Leaving the pool, we turned northward, proceeding up
* Neh iii. 15. t John ix. t Song iv. 15.
i Neb. iii. 15. II Ant. vii. c M, y I
be a standing pool, until we put our hands into it, and felt the gentle current pressing them aside. Nothing could be more descriptive of the flow of these waters than the words of Isaiah, "The waters of Siloah that go softly."* The calm silent stream of grace and power which flows from under the throne of a reconciled God is, by this simple figure, finely contrasted with the loud noisy promises of Rezin and Remaliah's son. The believing soul has a secret and unfailing spring of quiet joy ever flowing from " the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High," which forms a complete contrast to the rude and boisterous mirth of the ungodly. We drank with joy of the cool water, which we found sweet and pleasant, all the sweeter because of the sacred recollections with which it was associated. It seemed to be a much frequented spring: for some came to drink, some to draw water to wash their clothes, and others were conveying it to their camels.
It has been suggested with much probability, that this fountain may have an artificial connection with another fountain said to be under the Mosque of Omar in the heart of Moriah; for the flow of water seems too large and too calm to be the commencement of a spring in a limestone rock. But there does not appear to be any solid foundation for the conjecture of Dr. Robinson, that this may be the pool of Bethesda. It bears no resemblance to any of the other pools around the city; nor can we see where the five porches could have stood, for it is a cavern five-and-twenty feet deep in the solid rock. And most certainly the irregular flow sometimes observed in the fountain, cannot have any thing to do with
• Isa. viii. 6. Bks a'S^nn " that go so as to be unperceived, or escape observation."
156 JERUSALEM—FOUNTAIN OP SI LOAM.
the troubling of the water of Bethesda, for we are expressly told, that "an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water."* That was a miraculous event, plainly intended to typify the Lord Jesus, the true " house of mercy;" for it is worthy of remark, that this was the only occasion in which Jesus healed only one out of a multitude of sick folk. He wished to show that he was the true pool of Bethesda. On every other occasion " he healed them all." Probably this fountain bore the same name as the Pool of Siloam, with which it is so strongly connected, and is to be regarded as
Siloah's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God. It was with a full remembrance of this day's pleasant visit to the Fountain of Siloam, that the following lines occurred at an after period, when stretched in our tent Under the brow of Carmel.
Beneath Moriah's rocky side
A gentle fountain springs.
Silent and soft its waters glide.
Like the peace the Spirit brings.
The thirsty Arab stoops to drink
Of the cool and quiet wave;
And the thirsty spirit stops to think
Of Him who came to save.
Siloam is the fountain's name;
It means " one sent from God;"
And thus the holy Saviour's feme
It gently spreads abroad.
O grant that I like this sweet well,
May Jesus' image bear;
And spend my life—my all—to tell
How full his mercies are.
We now passed further up the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and observed with interest on the sides of the Mount of Olives, immediately opposite where the Temple stood, the Jewish burying-ground. Innumerable white flat stones overspread the valley, with short Hebrew inscriptions, generally very simple and uninteresting. It is here that the old Jews desire to be buried, that they may reach bliss without needing to make their way underground to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, as others require to do who die elsewhere. They expect to arise from these tombs at the resurrection, and see Messiah among the first. How awful their disappointment when they find that they die only to pass forthwith into consuming * John v. 4.
We left the valley, and ascended the southern limb of the Mount of Olives by the Jericho road. We wished to view Jerusalem from the spot where the Saviour is supposed to have stood when he " was come near, and beheld the city and wept over it."f Mr. Nicolayson guided us to the place. The road to Jericho crosses the shoulder of the hill, so that when a traveller is approaching Jerusalem, the city is brought into full view all at once by a turn of the road. The scene is truly magnificent: the air is so clear and the view so comprehensive. The city lies, not under your feet, but almost on a level with you. You look across the valley to the temple rising full before you, and think that you could count every tower, every street,and every dwelling. Jesus saw all this before him, and its guilty people were themselves as fully open to his view in that wonderful moment, when his tears testified his unutterable love to Israel, and his words declared their fearful doom. Oh, that we could stand and look on Israel now, with our Master's love and bowels of compassion! We stood awhile to realize that myste riously interesting moment, and then rode on towards Bethany. The road slopes gently down the other side of the hill, and you are immediately out of sight of Jerusalem. Climbing another shoulder of the hill, and looking back, we obtained another view of the city, but a distant one; not the one spoken of in the gospel, where it is said, "when He came near." The road is very rocky, often indeed worn out of the solid limestone.
• 2 Sam. rviii. 1a t Luke xix 41.
bly a tower in former days, and selected to bear the name of the House of Lazarus by traditionists, who did not know how else than by his worldly eminence such a man could draw the special regard of the Lord Jesus. They did not know that Christ loveth freely. The sepulchre called the Tomb of Lazarus attracted more of our attention. We lighted our tapers, and descended twenty-six steps cut in the rock to a chamber deep in the rock, having several niches for the dead. Whether this be the very tomb where Lazarus lay four days, and which yielded up its dead at the command of Jesus, it is impossible to say. The common objection that it is too deep seems entirely groundless, for there is nothing in the narrative to intimate that the tomb was on a level with the ground, and besides it seems not unlikely that there was another entrance to the tomb farther down the slope. A stronger objection is, that the tomb is in the immediate vicinity of the village, or actually in it, but it is possible that the modern village occupies ground a little different from the ancient one. However this may be, there can be no doubt that this is " Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha, nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off."* How pleasing are all the associations that cluster around it! Perhaps there was no scene in the Holy Land which afforded us more unmingled enjoyment: we even fancied that the curse that every where rests so visibly upon the land had fallen more lightly here. In point of situation, nothing could have come up more completely to our previous imagination of the place to which Jesus delighted to retire at evening from the bustle of the city, and the vexations of the unbelieving multitudes—sometimes traversing the
• John xi. 1, 1a
from it we visited the Church of the Ascension, originally built by Helena, the mother of Constantine, A. D. 326, over the spot where it is said that our Lord ascended from the earth, and where the inhabitants still pretend to shew the print of his last footstep! This tradition, though very ancient, is directly at variance with the words of the Evangelist. It evidently arose from the circumstance of this being the most conspicuous summit of the hill, and perhaps in some measure from the appearance, which does exist, of something like the footmark in the limestone rock. But the simple words of the Evangelist decide the matter, "He led them out as far as to Bethany.''J He led them beyond the summit, and down the other side of the hill, as far as the retired village of Bethany; and in the spot where he so often parted with them for the night, he now parted with them for "a little while,"} till the hour should come, when again "his feet shall stand upon the Mount of 01ives."||
We passed across the face of the Mount of Olives, towards the northern summit of the hill, and there descending into the valley of the Kedron, considerably to the north of the city, crossed over to the Tombs of the Kings. We first clambered down into a large area
• Luke xxir. 61. t Acts i. 11. t Luke xxiv. 50.
♦ John xiv. 19. II Zech. xiv. 4.
160 JERUSALEM—TOMBS OP THE KWGS.
which has been cut out of the solid rock, and on the west side of which is a wide entrance which slopes down under the rock. The band of carved work over the entrance is very beautiful, representing a vine branch with bunches of grapes. With lighted tapers we crept through the low aperture which leads from the portico into an inner apartment, where are entrances to the chambers of the mighty dead. We examined with interest the remains of the stone doors described by many who have visited the place. One is pretty entire, but lying on the ground. The pannels are carved in the rock, and also the tenons or hinges, which are suited to sockets cut in the rocky wall. It was to such abodes of the dead that Job referred when he said, " Now should I have Iain still and been quiet; I should have slept: then had I been at rest with kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves." * Isaiah also refers to them, where he says, "All the kings of the nations, even all of them lie in glory, every one in his own house."f And again, "Go get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, What hast thou here, and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewn thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock ?"J The sloping ground at the entrance reminded us of what is said of John at the sepulchre of Christ, "He stooping down and looking in saw the linen clothes lying."}
A great deal of obscurity hangs over the history of these interesting sepulchres. Some have supposed them to be the work of Herod and his family, and others have called them the tomb of Helena, Queen of Adiabene, who being converted to the Jewish faith along with her son was buried near Jerusalem.
As the sun was nearly down we began to move homewards, and from a rising ground between the tombs and the city we obtained a much more pleasing view of Jerusalem, with its domes and minarets, than is afforded by any of the other approaches on this side. We entered the Damascus Gate before sunset. Spending the evening with Mr. Nicolayson, we saw again the custhe low rude wall enclosing the plot of ground which for ages has borne the name of Gethsemane. Clambering over we examined the saered spot and its eight olivetrees. These are very large and very old, but their branches are still strong and vigorous. One of them we measured, and found to be nearly eight yards in girth round the lower part of the trunk. Some of them are hollow with age, but filled up with earth, and most have heaps of stones gathered round their roots. The enclosure seems to have been tilled at some recent period. At one corner some pilgrim has erected a stone and carved upon it the Latin words, "et hie tenuerunt e.um" marking it as the spot where Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss. The road to Bethany passes by the foot of the garden, and the more private footpath up the brow of the hill passes along its northern wall. Looking across the Kedron, the steep brow of Moriah and sombre wall of the Haram with its battlements, and the top of the Mosque of Omar, shut in the view. At evening, when the gates of Jerusalem are closed, it must be a perfect solitude. Our blessed Master must have distinctly seen the band of men and officers sent to apprehend him, with their lanterns and torches, and glittering weapons, descending the side of Moriah and approaching the garden. By the clear moonlight, he saw his three chosen disciples fast asleep in his hour of agony; and by the gleam of the torches, he observed his cruel enemies coming down to seize him and carry him away to his last sufferings; yet "he was not rebellious, neither turned away back."-f
* Job iii. 13, 14.
t Isa. xiv. It). Compare Ezek. xxxii. 17—end. May not the prophet nave derived the scenery of this passage from some such sepulchres isihese?
t Isa. xxii. 15, 16. $ John xx. 5.
• See p. 69 t Isa. 1. 5.
162 JERUSALEM—POOL OF BETHESDA.
He viewed the bitter cup that was given him to drink, and said, " Shall I not drink it ?" * We read over all the passages of Scripture relating to Gethsemane, while seated together there. It seemed nothing wonderful to read of the weakness of those three disciples, when we remember that they were sinful men like disciples now; but the compassion, the unwavering love of Jesus, appeared by the contrast to be infinitely amazing. For such souls as ours, he rent this vale with his strong crying and tears, wetted this ground with his bloody sweat, and set his face like a flint to go forward and die. "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." f Each of us occupied part of the time alone—in private meditation— and then we joined together in prayer—putting our sins into that cup which our Master drank here, and pleading for our own souls, for our far distant friends, and for the flocks committed to our care.
It is probable that Jesus often resorted to this place, not only because of its retirement, but also because it formed a fit place of meeting, when his disciples, dispersed through the city by day, were to join his company in the evening, and go with him over the hill to Bethany. And this seems the real force of the original words,
"FloXAdffif ffvvftx.0r i & ^Iritnii Iket fieri ruv paQjiTwv ait-rov" J "JeSUS
ofttimes rendezvoused at this spot with his disciples."
As the day advanced, we repassed the brook Kedron, visited the spot where Stephen is said to have been stoned, and entered the city by the gate which bears his name. Here we delayed a little to examine the large dry reservoir which is generally called "the Pool of Bethesda." It is 360 feet long by 130 feet broad, and about 70 feet deep. A low parapet of large stones runs along the margin, over which you look into the vast dry basin below. The bottom is partly covered with rubbish, and partly planted with a few flowers and old trees. At the further end are two arches, forming entrances into dark vaults, which are generally believed to be remains of the five porches. Dr. Robinson has conjectured that this very deep pool was part of the trench of the castle of Antonia, which stood on the north-west corner of the ancient temple; and it seems exceedingly probable that this is the case. But is it not probable that when the trench of Antonia was dug, dividing it from the hill Bezetha, advantage was taken of the Pool of Bethesda pre
* John xviii. 11. t Rom v. 8. t John xviii. 2.
gate of tlie mosque than Christian feet are permitted to do. An Egyptian soldier .who was by took our part, and we quietly retired. Being without a guide, we had the pleasure of losing our way, and wandering up and down for about an hour in the streets of Jerusalem, before we found our home on the brow of Mount Zion.
In the afternoon we spent five hours in receiving from Mr. Nicolayson full information regarding the numbers and condition of the Jews in Palestine. The Committee of our Church who sent us forth, had furnished us with a list of questions to be investigated and answered. These we shall set down in order, with the information we received in reply to them.
L What is the number of Jews in Jerusalem, and in the Holy Land!
We have already set down briefly the answer to this question.* A few more particulars may be added. In Jerusalem 1000 Jews pay taxes, and all of these are males from thirteen years old and upwards. The Jews marry when very young, so that, allowing five to a family, there are 5000, represented by the 1000 who pay taxes, in Jerusalem. Foreign Jews, however, such as Russians, Poles, and Hungarians, and many others, continue under the protection of European powers, and pay no taxes. These may amount to 2000, which would give about 7000 Jews to Jerusalem. This is the largest statement of the number of Jews in the Holy City that we
* See p. lia
164 NUMBERS AND CONDITION OF
any where received, and is no doubt above the rea, amount; for^the average of five to a family appears to bo far too great.
The destruction of Saphet by an earthquake in 1837* occasioned the dispersion of many of the Jews who dwelt there. Of these, some settled at Acre, and some at Jerusalem. In the cities along the coast, the Jews have been increasing of late. In Tyre, formerly a Jew was not allowed to spend a night; but the Pasha's government changed the law, and now a congregation and rabbi have settled there. They are chiefly from the Barbary coast. The recent occupation of Algiers by the French enabled the Jews of that coast to claim protection as French subjects, and this induces them to leave home more freely for purposes of trade. The same class of Jews are found in Sidon and Beyrout. At the utmost, the whole Jewish population of Palestine may be reckoned at about 12,000. This is the largest estimate which we received; yet comparing it with their numbers in the days of Solomon, we may well say in the words of Isaiah, there are " few men left." f
II. Has the number of Jews in Palestine been increasing of late years?
Their numbers did increase decidedly during the first five years of the Pasha's government, that is from 1832 to 1837,—a time which coincides with the occupation of Algiers by the French. Many came from the Barbary coast, who settled chiefly at Saphet and on the coast . During the last two years there has been little or no increase. There is always an influx, but then the mortality is great, and the number that come do no more than supply the places of those cut off. The change of climate at the advanced period of life in which many come, the new habits which the country forces them to form, their being crowded together in damp, unwholesome residences, all combine to shorten their days. This diminution in the numbers of Jews returning to their own land, seems to be caused by the ravages which the plague has been making for two years past; by the rise in the price of provisions; by the embarrassed finances of the Jewish coming, and of their own restoration. This opinion has now even more weight with them than formerly, for they partake of the general impression that a crisis is approaching. The Jews here, as a nation, are far from infidel, but there are many whose minds are fully occupied with their miseries.
* See an interesting account of thib event published by Erasmus S. Caiman, who was afterwards our faithful aud affectionate companion in tra vel.
t Isa. Xjuv. 6.
IIL Are the Jews in Palestine supported by their brethren in other parts of the world?
Generally speaking, they are all supported by a yearlycontribution made by their brethren in other lands. All foreign Jews residing in Palestine are entirely dependent on contributions from Europe, except a few who have property in Europe. These latter either bring their little property with them, or make it over to friends in Europe, on condition of their sending them an annual sum to the Holy Land, upon which they live here. But even these may receive their share, as every Jew, rich or poor, who has been one year in the country, has a share allotted to him if he chooses to take it. The sum received by each individual is very small; much is swallowed up by their differences and quarrels, and much is required to pay the interest of their debt. Five ducats, or about 3/., 10». a-head, is thought a good contribution. At present, however, it is even smaller. The way of collecting the European contributions used to be this. Messengers (a-mSr, sheleeheem) were sent from Jerusalem to the different cities in Europe, where collections were made, and these brought the money to Palestine. This was a very expensive method, for nearly one-fourth of the sum small sum is appropriated by legacy to each of the persons who are chosen to study there. This yields perhaps 100 or 150 piastres a year to the individual.
IV. Is there kept up constant and rapid communication between the Jews in Palestine, and those in other parts of the world?
The Rabbis of Palestine maintain a constant communication with their brethren all over the world. In one respect, indeed, it may be said, that Jerusalem is not the centre of Jewish influence; for there is little outgoing from it; the Jews are stationary there; yet, on the other hand, it is true that Jerusalem is the heart of the nation, and every thing done there or in the Holy Land will tell upon the whole Jewish world. When conversions take place, although they wish to keep them quiet, still the intelligence is soon communicated, and known and spoken of every where. A Jew said lately to Mr. Nicolayson, that he believed that in a short time no young Jews would be allowed to come to the Holy Land, if the missionaries continued to labour as they were doing. They would trust only old confirmed Jews there, who would be able to meet their arguments. The communication, however, is by no means rapid, being carried on by means of messengers. Much mischief has often arisen from this system, for the rabbis sometimes intercept the letters of poor Jews, which they fear may be complaining of their conduct.
THE JBW9 IN PALESTINE. 167
V. From what countries do the Jews principally come?
The greatest numbers come from Poland, and the Austrian dominions. Many come from Russia, and many more would come if they were not hindered.* There are some from Wallachia and Moldavia; a few from Germany; a few from ilollund; but scarcely any from Britain. All these being Europeans receive the name of Ashkenazim.j The native Jews, that is, those Jews who are subjects of the country, are called Si-phardim, and are almost all of Spanish extraction. They come principally from Turkey in Europe, from Salon iki, Constantinople, and the Dardanelles. Those who come from Asia Minor are chiefly from Smyrna. Many have come from Africa, especially of late years, from Morocco, and the Barbary coast, from Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. These bring French passports, and are therefore under protection. There are a few from Alexandria and Cairo. Mr. .\icolayson never saw any Jews from India, though several have gone to India and returned. They have occasional communication by individuals with Yemen and Sennah. There are many Spanish Jews, and several Polish families, who have been here for generations, whose fathers and grandfathers have died here, and who are really natives of Palestine. But most even of these count themselves foreigners still, and they generally contrive to make a tour to Europe some time in their life.
VI Are there manij Rabbis in Palestine .*
There is often a great mistake made about the rank of those who get the title of Rabbi. The truth is, all are included in that class who are not in the class f-mn ap (am haaretz), that is the uneducated. Formerly, the Rabbis were a kind of clergy, and were appointed by laying on of hands, but now there is no such distinction. The official Rabbi does not even preside in the synagogue, but deputes this to another, the Hazan, who is often chosen because of his fine voice. The only part of the duty which is reserved peculiarly for the priest, is the pronouncing the blessing. None but a Cohen, a priest of Aaron's line, can give this. In the synagogue any one may be called up to read. This custom appears belonging to two or three are collected into one. These have Been established by individuals for behoof of their souls. They left a little money to furnish them, and to enable a few persons to devote themselves to study there, and to be trained up in the law, for this is a noi (zechuth), or deed of merit . Five or six readers are elected to each of them, one or two of whom are expected to be always reading the Talmud there, and each of these receives 100 or 1M piastres a-year to maintain him. These appointments are obtained by favour and private influence. In many cases the rooms are much neglected
* There is n day coming when the prophecy shall be fulfilled, "I will My to the north. Give up." I*a. xliii. ti.
t Gen. x. 3. Aehkpnaz. son of (ioiner, gives origin to the name, u Sephvad, mentioned in Obadiah 20, dooa to Svphudim.
VII. What are the peculiar characteristics of the Jews
Their principal characteristic is, that they are all strict Rabbinists, though in this they can hardly be said to differ from the Polish Jews. They are also superstitious in the extreme. Their real characteristic may be inferred from the fact, that those who come are the elite of the devotional and strictly religious Jews of other countries. They have so little trade that their covetousness and cheating are turned upon one another.
VIII. }Vhat are the feelings of the Jews in Palestine
IX. What success has attended the efforts hitherto made
for their conversion?
These two questions involve each other. The first effort of the London Society in this country was made in the
* Luke iv. 16.
Pliny Fisk, to rent one of the small convents for their establishment. Pliny Fisk, however, died in October 1825, before the arrangement was completed; and Dr. Dalton was again left alone. It was to aid him that Mr. Nicolayson was sent to this country in December 1825. But very soon after his arrival, Dr. Dalton died, in January 1820, of an illness caught on a tour to Bethlehem. Mr. Nicolayson returned to Beyrout, and studied the language more thoroughly during that winter. In the summer of the same year (1826), a rebellion broke out, and Mr. Nicolayson retired to Saphet and lived there till June 1827, having much intercourse with the Jews. Considerable impression was made, and the rabbis grew jealous of him. They threatened to excommunicate the man who let him his house, and the woman who washed his clothes, so that he was forced to return to Beyrout. He then left the country for four years, and travelled on the Barbary coast. In 1832 he returned, and came to Beyrout with his family at the time when the Pasha had nearly taken Acre. The country was now quite open, so that he spent the summer at Sidon, and had intercourse with Christians and Jews. He was beginning to build a cottage there, when the jealousy of the Greek priests threw obstacles in his way. In 1833, Mr. Caiman came, and he and Mr. Nicolayson made a tour together to the holy cities. Mr. Caiman's sweetness of tempei and kindly manner gained upon the Jews exceedingly
170 NUMBERS AND CONDITION OP
At Jerusalem they consulted with Ysa Petros, a Greek priest, who was very friendly, as to the practicability of renting a house in that city. They visited Tiberias, and had many discussions with the Jews, the results of which were often very encouraging; and last of all spent an interesting fortnight at Saphet. On returning to Beyrout, they found that two American Missionaries had arrived on their way to Jerusalem to labour among the native Christians. They all resolved to attempt the renting of a house in the Holy City. Accordingly, in the autumn of 1833, Mr. Nicolayson and family removed to Jerusalem, to the house on Mount Zion where he now lives, and spent a quiet comfortable winter. In the spring of 1834, Mr. Thomson, an American Missionary, arrived, and about the same time the rebellion broke out . One Sabbath morning, the Missionaries found themselves environed, the soldiers having left the town to the mercy of the Fellahs; and an earthquake happened the same day. They were shut up in their dwelling till the Friday when Ibraim arrived, but remained in a state of siege for five or six weeks. During ten days they had to live upon rice alone. Sickness followed. Mrs. Thomson, of the American Mission, died of brain fever, produced by the alarm and other circumstances. Mrs. Nicolayson was ill for three or four weeks, and Mr. Nicolayson fell ill soon after, so that they had to leave for Beyrout, and thus lost that summer. In the spring of 1835, Dr. Dodge and Mr. Whiting, two more American Missionaries, arrived. Mr. Whiting boarded with Mr. Nicolayson in Jerusalem, but Dr. Dodge died in the middle of the same year he came out. From this time the Jewish Mission may be accounted as established in the Holy City. In 1835, the subject of a Hebrew Church on Mount Zion was started in England, and in 1836 Mr. Nicolayson was called to England to consult regarding it. He returned in July 1837, and laboured alone in Jerusalem for a year. But in July 1838, Mr. Pieritz and Mr. Levi, converted Jews, but not in orders, were sent out to strengthen the Mission here; and in December, Dr. Gerstmann, and his assistant Mr. Bergheim, both converted Jews, and both medical men, arrived. They have thus made Jerusalem the centre of the Mission to the Jews in Palestine. Mr. Young, the English Consul, had fixed his quarters here about three months before our arrival. The efforts made have been blessed to the conversion of some Jews in Jerusalem, ttnnjgh it is still the day of to come to Jerusalem, and being regularly instructed byMr. Pieritz, and also affected by an illness, she gave good evidence of having undergone a saving change, and now she speaks like a missionary to her countrywomen. The whole family, consisting of Simeon, his wife, a boy, and girl, were baptized in Jerusalem after last Easter. This is the family at whose house we heard the German service last Sabbath-day. Another case was that of Chaii or Hymen Paul, an amiable young Jew, an acquaintance of Simeon, who became intelligently convinced of the truth. He was baptized last Pentecost, and at his own desire sent to England.
The first native Jew awakened at Jerusalem was Rabbi Joseph, in September 1838. He was a learned young man, and so bitterly was his change opposed by the Jews, that the Missionaries were obliged to send him away to Constantinople before he was baptized. Three rabbis have very lately become inquirers after the truth, and seem determined to profess Christianity openly. We afterwards received a fuller account of these two last cases from Mr. Pieritz. These are all the known fruits of the Mission in the way of conversion.
When Rabbi Joseph was awakened, a herem or ban of excommunication was pronounced in the synagogues asrainst the Missionaries, and all who should have dealings with them. But when Dr. Gerstmann, the medical man, came in December, the Jews immediately began to break through it. Another herem was pronounced, hut in vain. No cne regarded it, and Rabbi Israel refused
172 NUMBERS AND CONDITION OF
to pronounce it, saying that he would not be the cause of hindering his poor and sick brethren from going to be healed. This interesting fact shows the immense value of medical missionaries.
The more general fruits of the establishment of the Mission have been these: 1. The distinction between true and false Christianity has been clearly opened up before the eyes of the Jews. 2. The study of the Old Testament has been forced upon them; so that they cannot avoid it. 3. The word of God has become more and more the only ground of controversy. The authority of the Talmud is not now appealed to; the only dispute about it being whether it is to be referred to at all, or what is its real value?
The support of inquirers and converts is one of the chief difficulties that meets a Missionary here. The institution of a printing press, to afford them both manual and mental labour, has been proposed. An hospital for the sick has also been set on foot.
X. What modes of operation have been employed?
The mode of operation is entirely by personal intercourse. The Missionaries frequently make tours to other towns, and dispose of copies of the Old Testament. Mr. Nicolayson has sold about 5000 Hebrew Bibles. The Missionaries never dispose of the New Testament, except to those in whom they have confidence. They at one time sold a box of fifty New Testaments, bound up with the Old. But they afterwards found the New Testament torn out, and blank leaves inserted in stead, with Jarchi's Commentary written on them. The Jews will not take tracts except privately. Many of their Old Testaments have been conveyed to Bagdad and to India.
XI. How far is the health hf the Missionaries affected
by the climate?
The climate of Jerusalem is decidedly healthy. The sicknesses and deaths among the Missionaries above mentioned, can hardly be attributed to the climate. Dr. Dalton was very delicate when he came; Mrs. Thomson died of brain fever; and Dr. Dodge's death was occasioned by a hurried journey, in which he was much exposed.
THE JEWS IN PALESTINE. 173
X1IL What kind of house accommodation is there, and what is the expense of living in Palestine?
The house accommodation in Jerusalem is tolerably comfortable. One of the Missionaries pays £15, and another £17 a-year, as house-rent. In the winter it is difficult to keep the houses dry, the rain causing much dampness , but the sorest privations are want of Christian society, and public means of grace. A Missionary here meets with many trials which he did not anticipate. He must have great patience, and must make up his mind to suffer delays and disappointments, which are much more trying than merely temporal privations, which are really small. A Missionary coming out must not expect full work at once, he must be willing to stand by and wait . Often we may say, " His strength is to sit still." The Christian Missionary enjoys perfect liberty to carry on his operations under the Egyptian government, more so, indeed, than under the British government at Malta or in India. No one inquires what he is about.
Provisions are easily got; but the expense of living is rising continually. The price of food is now double wnat it once was, and some things are four times as high as when Mr. Nicolayson first came. This arises from there being more money in the country. If boarding could be obtained in Jerusalem, then an individual might easily live here on less than £100 a-year. But this is not to be had, so that a Missionary must keep a house and servants, and lay up stores for the season. This is the only way of managing here; and this would require at least £100 a-year. In addition to the salaries of the Missionaries, the London Society pay all the travelling expenses of their missionary tours.
The business of the day being over, we enjoyed a walk outside the Zion Gate. As we sat upon the brow of the hill, we were led to rejoice in the thought, that as certainly as " Zion is now ploughed as a field," the day is coming when "the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." *
Two flocks were moving slowly up the slope of the hill, the one of goats, the other of sheep. The shepherd was going before the flock, and they followed, as he led the way toward the Jaffa Gate. We conld not but re
• In. xxiv. 23.