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ed upon an unequal surface, illumined by a multitude of lamps, is singularly mysterious; a sombre light pervades it, favourable to piety and profound devotion. Christian priests of various sects inhabit different parts of the edifice. From the arches above, where they nestle like pigeons, from the chapels ben low and subterraneous vaults, their songs are heard at all hours both of the day and night. The organ of the Latin monks, the cymbals of the Abyssinian priest, the voice of the Greek caloyer, the prayer of the solitary Armenian, the plaintive accents of the Coptic friar, alternately, or all at once, assail your ear.. You know not whence these accents of praise proceed; you inhale the perfume of incense without perceiving the hand that burns it; you merely observe the pontiff, who is going to celebrate the most awful of mysteries on the very spot where they were accomplished, pass quickly by, glide behind the columns, and vanish in the gloom of the temple. :
“Christian readers will perhaps inquire what were my feelings upon entering this sacred place. I really cannot tell. So many reflections rushed at once upon my mind, that I was unable to dwell upon any particular idea. I continued nearly half-an-hour upon my knees in the little chamber of the Holy Sepulchre, with my eyes rivetted upon the stone, from which I had not the power to turn them. One of the two monks who accompanied me. remained prostrate on the marble by my side, while the other, with the Testament in his hand, read to me by the light of the lamps the passages relating to the sacred tomb. All I can say is, that when I beheld this triumphant Sepulchre, I felt nothing but my own weakness; and that when my guide exclaimed
with St Paul, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? I listened, as if death were about to reply that he was conquered and enchained in this monument. Where shall we look in antiquity for any thing so impressive, so wonderful, as the last scenes described by the Evangelists ? These are not the absurd adventures of a deity foreign to human nature: it is a most pathetic history, a history which not only extorts tears by its beauty, but whose consequences, applied to the uni. verse, have changed the face of the earth. I had just beheld the monuments of Greece, and my mind was still profoundly impressed with their grandeur; but how far inferior were the sentiments which they excited to those I felt at the sight of the places commemorated in the gospel !"*
We must not presume to follow the ardent pil. grim along the Via Dolorosa, the name given to the way by which the Saviour passed from the house of Pilate to the Mount of Calvary. Nor can we stop to revere the arch, called Ecce Homo, where, we are told, the window may still be seen from which the Roman judge exclaimed to the vindictive Jews, “Behold the Man!” We cannot resign our belief to the minute description which recognises the house of Simon the Pharisee, where Mary Magdalene confessed her sins; the prison of St Peter, and the dwelling of Mary the mother of Mark, in which the same apostle took refuge when he was set at liberty by the angel ; and the mansion of Dives, the rich man at whose gate the mendicant Lazarus was laid, full of sores.
Travels in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, &c. vol. ii. po 22.
On crossing the small ravine which divides the modern city from Mount Zion, the attention of the traveller is drawn to three ancient monuments, or more properly ruins, covered with buildings com. paratively modern,—the house of Caiaphas,-the place where Christ held his Last Supper,—and the tomb or palace of David. The first of these is now a church, the duty of which is performed by the Armenians; the second, consecrated by the affect ing solemnity, with the memory of which it is still associated, presents a mosque and a Turkish hospital; while the third, a small vaulted apartment, contains only three sepulchres formed of dark-com loured stone. This holy hill is equally celebrated in the Old Testament and in the New. Here the successor of Saul built a city and a royal dwelling, here he kept for three months the Ark of the Covenant,--here the Redeemer instituted the sacrament which commemorates his death, here he appeared to his disciples on the day of his resurrection, and here the Holy Ghost descended on the apostles. The place hallowed by the Last Supper, if we may believe the early Fathers, was transformed into the first Christian temple the world ever saw, where St James the Less was consecrated the first bishop of Jerusalem, and where he presided in the first coun. cil of the church. Finally, it was from this spot that the apostles, in compliance with the injunction to go and teach all nations, departed, without purse and without scrip, to seat their religion upon all the thrones of the earth.
· Descending Mount Zion on the east side, you perceive in the valley the Fountain and Pool of Si. loam, so celebrated in the history of our Saviour's
miracles. The brook itself is ill supplied with water, and, compared with the ideas formed in the mind by the fine invocation of the poet, usually creates disappointment. Going a few paces to the northward, you come to the source of the scanty rivulet, which is called by some the Fountain of the Virgin, from an opinion that she frequently came hither to drink. It appears in a recess about twenty feet lower than the surface, and under an arched vault of masonry tolerably well executed. The rock had been originally hewn down to reach this pool; and a small crooked passage, of which only the beginning is seen, is said to convey the water out of the Valley of Siloam, and to supply the means of irrigating the little gardens still cultivated in that spot. Notwithstanding the dirty state of the water, and its harsh and brackish taste, it is still used by devout pilgrims for diseases of the eye. *
It is said to have a kind of ebb and flow, sometimes discharging its current like the Fountain of Vaucluse, at others retaining and scarcely suffering it to run at all. The Levites, we are likewise told, used to sprinkle the water of Siloam on the altar at the Feast of Tabernacles, saying, “ Ye shall draw water with joy from the wells of salvation.” The reader will
* The invocation alluded to must be familiar to the youngest reader:
“ Sing, Heavenly muse, that on the secret top
Paradise Lost, book i.
find on the opposite page a representation of the Fountain or Pool of Siloam, as it appeared to the eye of an able traveller; a considerable part of the arch having fallen down, or been destroyed by the barbarians who continue to hold Jerusalem in subjection.
The Valley of Jehoshaphat stretches between the eastern walls of the city and the Mount of Olives, containing a great variety of objects, to which allu. sion is made in the Sacred Writings. It was sometimes called the King's Dale, from a reference to an event recorded in the history of Abraham, and was afterwards distinguished by the nameof Jehoshaphat, because that sovereign erected in it a magnificent tomb. This narrow vale seems to have always served as a burying-place for the inhabitants of the holy city: there you meet with monuments of the most remote ages, as well as of the most modern times: thither the descendants of Jacob resort from the four quarters of the globe, to yield up their last breath ; and a foreigner sells to them, for its weight in gold, a scanty spot of earth to cover their remains in the land of their forefathers. “Observing many Jews, whom I could easily recognise by their yellow turbans, quick dark eyes, black eye-brows, and bushy beards, walking about the place, and reposing along the Brook Kedron in a pensive mood, the pathetic language of the Psalmist occurred to me, as expressing the subject of their meditation-By the rivers we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. Upon frequently inquiring the motive that prompted them in attempting to go to Jerusalem, the answer was, ' to die in the land of our fathers.'"*
* Travels by Rae Wilson, vol. i. p. 220.