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our Lord made his last visit to the guilty metropolis of Judea. When it was brought to him, he sat upon it, and rode forward in triumph to the city. As he drew near, it spread before his sight in all its magnificence and pride. But to the kind Redeemer it presented only a melancholy spectacle. He saw it polluted with the deepest defilement of guilt-he saw the cloud of heaven's awful vengeance hung above its splendour, ready to burst and sweep it with unsparing desolation-he remembered, at the same time, its glory of many generations, its sacred privileges, its holy name-and he wept over it! (Luke xix. 29-44.) Not long after, from the summit of the same hill, he rose with a far more excellent triumph, attended by rejoicing angels, and sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. (Acts i. 9-12.) Just over from the bottom of the more northern part of Moriah, between the Cedron and the foot of Olivet, there is showed to the traveller an even plat of ground, about 170 feet square, well planted with olive trees. This, he is informed, is that garden to which Jesus oft-times resorted with his disciples, into which he entered the night before his death, where, in agony, he offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, and where the wretched Judas betrayed him in the dark and silent hour-the Garden of Gethsemane. As from the top of the Mount of Olives, the eye, directed toward the west, looks over Jerusalem, so, when turned the other way, it ranges across a far more extensive prospect. Before it, stretches the wilderness of Jericho ; and downward, towards the south, the wilderness of Judea; far forward in the view to the right, it descries the sluggish waters of the Dead Sea, gathered over the ruin of Sodom and Gomorrah; and away beyond Jordan, over against Jericho, the mountains from which Moses beheld the promised land.
On the south side of Jerusalem, starting from the valley of Cedron and running westward, was Gehena, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, called also, Tophet. (Jer. vii. 31, 32.) It was originally a very agreeable retreat, delightfully shaded with trees. But it became a scene of idolatrous abomination-a place consecrated to the dreadful worship of Moloch. To the image of this idol-god, were offered
children in cruel sacrifice. Their own parents brought them forward, and caused them to be placed on the arms of the brazen statue, from which they dropped into a furnace of fire, that was kept burning before it, and perished without pity. To drown the cries of the miserable victims, drums of some sort, it is said, were beaten during the sacrifices; and as the Hebrew name for such an instrument is Toph, it has been supposed by many, that the part of the valley where this idol was worshipped, got its name of Tophet from this circumstance. Good king Josiah, who vigorously attempted to take away idolatry from the land, defiled this place, we are told, "that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Moloch." (2 Kings xxiii. 10.) He caused it, it seems, to become a place for carcases of animals to be removed to, and where the dead bodies of malefactors were frequently thrown. (Jer. xix. 2, 6, 11-14.) After the captivity, the Jews regarded it with the greatest abhorrence, and continued to defile it still more than before in the same way, so that it became a great and foul receptacle for all manner of filth and dead animal matter. To prevent the pestilence which the putrefaction of such a mass was likely to breed, fires were kept constantly burning to consume it. Thus loathsome, dismal, and full of burning destruction, the place came to be considered an image of hell, and the word Gehenna grew at last to be the common name for that awful dwelling-place of the damned, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is never quenched.
From the foot of Mount Zion, where Mount Moriah stands, directly over against it, flowed the fountain of Siloam or Shiloah. Its waters were conducted into two large pools, the Upper and the Lower, from which they might be conveniently used; what were not required for use, glided with quiet and gentle stream into the channel of the Cedron. (Is. vii. 3. viii. 7. xxii. 9, 11. John ix. 7.) At present, according to the account of our late Missionaries to Palestine, "the fountain issues from a rock, twenty or thirty feet below the surface of the ground," to which there are steps for persons to go down. "Here it flows out without a single murmur, and appears clear as crystal. From this place, it winds its way several rods under the
mountain: then it makes its appearance with gentle gurgling, and forming a beautiful rill, takes its way down into the valley towards the south-east." On the borders of this humble streamlet, were the Gardens of the Kings, abounding no doubt with shady trees and walks of pleasant beauty. It has been imagined, that the upper pool was designed principally for supplying these gardens with water, and so was called also the king's pool. (Neh. ii. 14. iii. 15.) Somewhere near this fountain, we may suppose, stood that tower, called by its name, which fell in the days of our Saviour, and killed eighteen persons. (Luke xiii. 4.) There was quite a deep valley in this quarter, between the hills of Zion and Moriah. Over it was erected a beautiful bridge, or causeway, planted on each side with a row of stately trees, which, while they secured the borders of the walk, overhung it also with pleasant and refreshing shade. This was raised originally by king Solomon, among his other magnificent works, and led directly from the royal palace to one of the gates of the temple-court. It was designed to be a convenient and agreeable passage for the king to visit the house of God, and was, accordingly, the common way by which the monarchs of Israel went to, and returned from, its sacred courts. (2 Chron. ix. 4.)
The city was bordered on the west by the valley of Gihon. It does not appear to have been very deep, and had nothing about it, as far as we know, worthy of particular remark. Behind it there was all along a height rising considerably above the town, so that when a person was coming from the west, he could see nothing of Jerusalem, till he got on the summit of this elevation; when, all at once, directly before him, its walls, and towers, and palaces, and solemn temple, burst upon his sight.
A little distance out of the city, to the north-west, was the hill called Golgotha or Calvary. It was the place appointed for the execution of malefactors. There our Lord was crucified, though he had done no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; and thus that spot became the theatre of the most astonishing and interesting transaction that ever took place on earth.
It was a beautiful sight, to look upon Jerusalem in the days of her ancient glory. That glory however has long
since passed away. It perished first under the desolating power of the Chaldeans, 588 years before Christ came into the world. Then it was that the eye of the prophet Jeremiah ran down with rivers of water, for the destruction of the daughter of his people. "The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem :" but a righteous God, for the multitude of her transgressions, gave her into the hands of the heathen. "The Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!" The beauty of Israel was the temple, and the footstool of Jehovah was the sacred ark of the covenant over which the Shechinah abode in glory between the cherubim. (Lam. ii. 1—8. iv. 12.) Yet afterwards, the city was seen rising again upon its ruins. The Jews endeavoured, with the greatest zeal, to restore it to its former splendour. From age to age it received improvement, and went on recovering beauty and magnificence. Herod the Great, at last, just before the time of our Saviour, brought the glory of its second state to its highest point of perfection. He was fond of great and splendid buildings, and wished to procure respect and honour for himself by the noble works of art which he caused to be finished. Vast, therefore, were the sums of money which he expended in different ways for the cmbellishment of Jerusalem. Thus the city came to rival, and in some respects to excel, its former self. Again it was a beautiful sight to stand upon Olivet, and look over its irregular extent. But the horror of its first desolation was now to be renewed and surpassed in a second overthrow: The measure of iniquity was at length filled to overflowing, by the crucifixion of the Lord of life and glory. The cry of guilt went up to heaven with exceeding loudness. The vengeance of the Holy One displayed itself in overwhelming terror. Jerusalem, after a siege in which sufferings altogether indescribable were endured, fell once more, utterly crushed beneath the weight of the Roman arm. The abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, was seen standing in the holy place. The sacred city was
trodden under foot of the Gentiles. The name and place of the Jewish nation, in the midst of streaming blood, and desolating flames, was taken entirely away.
Jerusalem became a city again; but not to compare in any sort with her former state. Oppression hindered her growth, and war from age to age, sported with her feeble strength. Her own children were scattered into every corner of the earth, and strangers crowded her streets.For a long time now, it has been pressed under the miscrable government of the Turks. So much has it suffered from the ravages of war, and so much have different spots within and around it been altered by other means, that it is no longer easy to trace even the most striking features of its ancient situation. Its hills have been in some cases lowered, and its valleys raised; so that to the spectator some distance off, appears to be all situated upon one general declivity, gently sloping from west to east. But on a nearer view, it is perceived to be still resting on several hills, among which the forms of Zion and Moriah are discovered rising with principal importance. The south wall passes over Zion, near its suminit, so that a great part of the mountain is without the city. The north wall, on the contrary, has been made to take in, on that side, more than was anciently inclosed, so as to bring into the northwest part of the town what is supposed to be the hill Calvary. The whole city, it is thought, contains not more than twenty thousand inhabitants. Half of these are Mohammedans, rather more than a fourth part Jews, and the remainder nominal Christians of different sects, who have lost almost entirely the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. The streets are narrow, and most of them irregular; the houses generally low, with flat roofs and small grated windows. The summit of Moriah, where once the temple of Jehovah rose in sacred magnificence and grandeur, is now crowned with the mosque of Omar, a distinguished place of Mohammedan worship; and none but a Mussulman may pass the wall that surrounds it, on pain of instant death." After all our research," the missionaries write, "we compare Jerusalem to a beautiful person whom we have not seen for many years, and who has passed through a great variety of changes and misfortunes, which have