Imágenes de páginas

by Nebuchadnezzar, and again by the Emperor Titus, the repeated insurrections of the turbulent Jews having filled up the measure of their iniquities, and drawn down upon them the implacable vengeance of the Romans. Titus ineffectually endeavoured to save the temple: it was involved in the same ruin with the rest of the city and, after it had been reduced to ashes, the foundations of that sacred edifice were ploughed up by the Roman soldiers. Thus literally was fulfilled the prediction of our Lord, that not one stone should be left upon another that should not be thrown down. (Matt. xxiv. 2.1) The Emperor Adrian erected a city on part of the former site of Jerusalem, which he called Ælia Capitolina: it was afterwards greatly enlarged and beautified by Constantine the Great, who restored its antient name. During that Emperor's reign the Jews made various efforts to rebuild their temple, which however were always frustrated: nor did better success attend the attempt made A. D. 363 by the apostate emperor Julian. An earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption compelled the workmen to abandon their design.

From the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans to the present time, that city has remained, for the most part, in a state of ruin and desolation; 66 and has never been under the government of the Jews themselves, but oppressed and broken down by a succession of foreign masters-the Romans, the Saracens, the Franks, the Mamelukes, and last by the Turks, to whom it is still subject. It is not therefore only in the history of Josephus, and in other antient writers, that we are to look for the accomplishment of our Lord's predictions we see them verified at this moment before our eyes, in the desolate state of the once celebrated city and temple of Jerusalem, and in the present condition of the Jewish people, not collected together into any one country, into one political society, and under one form of government, but dispersed over every region of the globe, and every where treated with contumely and scorn."2


6. The modern city of Jerusalem contains within its walls several of the hills, on which the ancient city is supposed to have stood; but these are only perceptible by the ascent and descent of the streets. When seen from the Mount of Olives, on the other side of the valley of Jehoshaphat, it presents an inclined plane, descending from west to east. An embattled wall, fortified with towers and a Gothic castle, encompasses the city all round, excluding however part of Mount Sion, which it formerly inclosed. Notwithstanding its seemingly strong position, it is incapable of sustaining a severe assault, because, on account of the topography of the land, it has no means of preventing the approaches of an enemy; and,

1 For a full view of the predictions of Jesus Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and their literal fulfilment, see Vol. I. Appendix No. IV. pp. 615


2 Bp. Porteus's Lectures on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, vol. ii.

P. 215.

on the other hand, it is commanded, at the distance of a gun-shot, by the Djebel Tor, or the Mount of Olives.' Imposing as the appearance of Jerusalem is, when viewed from that mountain,and exhibiting a compactness of structure like that alluded to by the Psalmist, the illusion vanishes on entering the town. No "streets of palaces and walks of state,"-no high-raised arches of triumph-no fountains to cool the air, or porticoes-not a single vestige meets the traveller, to announce its former military greatness or commercial opulence: but in the place of these, he finds himself encompassed by walls of rude masonry, the dull uniformity of which is only broken by the occasioned protrusion of a small grated window. From the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed. (Lam. i. 6.) The finest section of the city is that inhabited by the Armenians; in the other quarters, the streets are much narrower, being scarcely wide enough to admit three camels to stand abreast. In the western quarter and in the centre of Jerusalem, towards Calvary, the low and ill-built houses (which have flat terraces or domes on the top, but no chimneys or windows) stand very close together; but in the eastern part, along the brook Kedron, the eye perceives vacant spaces, and among the rest that which surrounds the mosque erected by the Khalif Omar, A. D. 637, on the site of the temple, and the nearly deserted spot where once stood the tower of Antonia and the second palace of Herod. The present population of Jerusalem is variously estimated. Capt. Light, who visited it in 1814, computed it at twelve thousand. Mr. Buckingham, who was there in 1816, from the best information he could procure states, that the fixed residents (more than one half of whom are Mohammedans) are about eight thousand: but the continual arrival and departure of strangers make the total number of persons present in the city from ten to fifteen thousand generally, according to the season of the year. The proportions which the numbers of persons of different sects bear to each other in this estimate, he found it difficult to ascertain. The Mohammedans are unquestionably the most numerous. Next, in point of numbers, are the Greek Christians, who are chiefly composed of the clergy, and of devotees. The Armenians follow next in order as to numbers, but their body is thought to exceed that of the Greeks in influence and in wealth. Of Europeans there are only the few monks of the Convento della Terra Santa, and the still fewer Latin pilgrims who occasionally visit them. The Copts, Abyssinians, Nestorians, &c. are scarcely perceptible in the crowd: and even the Jews are more

1 Travels of Ali Bey, in Morocco, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, &c. between 1803 and 1807, vol. ii. p. 245.

2 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together. Psal. cxxii. 3.

3 In the Travels of Ali Bey, (vol. ii. pp. 214–227.) there is a minute description illustrated with three large plates, of this mosque, or rather group of mosques, erected at different periods of Islamism, and exhibiting the prevailing taste of the various ages when they were severally constructed. This traveller states that they form a very harmonious whole: the edifice is collectively termed, in Arabic, El Haram, or the Temple.

remarkable from the striking peculiarity of their features and dress, than from their numbers as contrasted with other bodies. Mr. Jolliffe, who visited Jerusalem in 1817, states that the highest estimate makes the total number amount to twenty-five thousand. Of these there are supposed to be




Roman Catholics (including European Catholics)



from 3 to 4,000




[ocr errors]

Dr. Richardson, who was at Jerusalem in 1818, estimates the population at 20,000 persons, of whom 5000 are Mussulmans, 5000 Christians, and 10,000 Jews.

This is a very slender aggregate, compared with the flourishing population which the city once supported; but the numerous sieges it has undergone, and their consequent spoliations, have left no vestige of its original power. "Jerusalem, under the government of a Turkish aga, is still more unlike Jerusalem as it existed in the reign of Solomon, than Athens during the administration of Pericles, and Athens under the dominion of the chief of the black eunuchs. We have it upon judgment's record, that before a marching army, a land has been as the garden of Eden, behind it a desolate wilderness. (Joel ii. 3.) The present appearance of Judæa has embodied the awful warnings of the prophet in all their terrible reality."

IX. As it would require a volume to give even an epitome of the history of the Jews, a brief enumeration of their principal historica! epochs must terminate this chapter. They are as follow:

1. The Exode from Egypt

2. The Delivery of the Law

3. The Death of Moses; the entrance of the Israelites
into the promised land, under Joshua
4. Saul appointed and consecrated king
5. The Accession of David to the throne

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6. The Reign of Solomon alone

7. The Dedication of the Temple

8. Accession of Rehoboam, and the secession of the
ten tribes under Jeroboam
9. The Kingdom of Israel terminated by Shalmaneser,
king of Assyria, after it had subsisted two hundred
and fifty-four years

[blocks in formation]

1 Jolliffe's Letters from Palestine, written in 1817, Lond. 1820, 8vo. p. 102. The sketch of the modern state of Jerusalem, above given, has been drawn up, from a careful comparison of this intelligent writer's remarks, with the observations of M. Chateaubriand, made in 1806 (Travels, vol. ii. pp. 53. 83. 84. 179, 180.), of Ali Bey, made in 1803-1807 (Travels, vol. ii. pp. 240-245.), of Capt. Light, made in 1814. (Travels in Egypt, &c. pp. 178-187.), and of Mr. Buckingham, made in 1816. (Travels in Palestine, pp. 260-262.) See also Dr. Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. pp. 238-368.



A. M.

10. The Destruction of the kingdom of Judah, after it
had subsisted four hundred and sixty-eight years
from the commencement of David's reign; and
three hundred and eighty-eight years from the
separation between Judah and the ten tribes
11. The Dedication of the second temple at Jerusalem 3489



12. The Birth of Jesus Christ
13. The Crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension

of Jesus Christ

14. The Siege and Capture of Jerusalem by Titus, and the utter subversion of the Jewish polity

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• 4073

B. C.

588 515

A. D.




[graphic][ocr errors]

Mount Tabor, as seen from the Plain of Esdraelon.



I. Climate.-II. Seasons.-1. Seed Time.-2. Winter.-3. The Cold Season, or Winter Solstice.-4. Harvest.-5. Summer.6. The Hot Season.-Heavy Dews.-III. Rivers, Lakes, Wells, and Fountains.-IV. Mountains.-V. Vallies.-VI. Caves.VII. Plains.-VIII. Deserts.-Horrors and dangers of travelling in the Great Desert of Arabia.-IX. Productions of the Holy Land.-Vegetables, Animals, and Mines.-Testimonies of antient and modern authors to its fertility and population.-Its present degraded and comparatively uncultivated state accounted for.X. Calamities with which this country was visited.-1. The Plague.-2. Earthquakes.-3. Whirlwinds.-4. The Devastations of Locusts.-5. Famine.-6. Volcanoes.-7. The Simoom or Pestilential Blast of the Desert.

I. THE surface of the Holy Land being diversified with mountains and plains, its Climate varies in different places; though in general it is more settled than in our more western countries. From Tripoli to Sidon, the country is much colder than the rest of the coast further to the north and to the south, and its seasons are less regular. The same remark applies to the mountainous parts of Judæa, where the vegetable productions are much later than on the sea-coast or in the vicinity of Gaza. From its lofty situation, the air of Saphet in Galilee is so fresh and cool, that the heats are scarcely felt there during the summer; though in the neighbouring country, particularly at the foot of Mount Tabor and in the plain of Jericho, the heat is intense. Generally speaking, however, the atmosphere

Harmer's Observations, vol. i. pp. 2-4. London, 1808.

« AnteriorContinuar »