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vet extends ; for, as was formerly remarked, the mountain known by that name is not one eminence only, but a chain of eminences, several miles long, opposite to Zion, Moriah, and Acra, and divided from them, though at unequal distances, by the brook and valley of Kidron. As a person, therefore, standing in the east gate, saw, on his right, the southern extremity of Olivet, the village of Bethany, and the valley of Tophet ; so, on turning to his left, he would see the northern extremity of the same mountain, the village of Bethphage, or the house of green figs (so called on account of their abundance,) mentioned in Matt. xxi. 1. about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem ;' the head of the brook and valley of Kidron; and what must ever be interesting to the Christian's mind, the garden of Gethsemane, where our Saviour's dreadful sufferings commenced. The following is Mr. Maundrell's account of this interesting place :“ A little lower,” says he, 6 we were shewn Gethsemane, an even plat of ground, between the foot of Mount Olivet and the brook Cedron. It is about fiftyseven yards square, but is well planted with olive trees, which are believed to be the same that grew there in our Saviour's time; in virtue of which opinion, the olives, the olive stones, and oil which they produce, become an excellent commodity in Spain; and yet Josephus shews, in his Jewish War, vi. 8. that Titus cut down all the trees within about an hundred furlongs of Jerusalem; and that the soldiers were obliged to fetch wood at that distance, for making their mounts when they assaulted the temple. At the upper end of the garden is a flat ledge of naked rocks, said to be the place on which Peter, James, and John fell asleep during our Saviour's agony; and, just by is a cave, in which it is said he un
Lightfoot, Chorog. Marco præmissa, cap. iv.
derwent that bitter part of his passion. At a small distance is a narrow piece of ground, twelve yards long and one broad, said to be the path on which Judas walked up to Christ, and saying · Hail, Master,' kissed him. This narrow path is separated from the garden by a wall, as a terra damnata ; and, it is remarkable, that this was done by the Turks, who, as well as the Christians, detest the ground on which that infamous piece of treachery was acted.”
Having noticed the objects that presented themselves from the east of the temple, let us next examine those which were seen from the south. And here, immediately before the eye, lay all the streets of Jerusalem, extending in different directions, according as the windings, ascent, or declivity of Acra allowed; where the ear, in the morning, would be gladdened with the sound of the women at the hand-mills, grinding the corn for the day; and the eye with the rays of the sun, gilding the public and private buildings. The bustle and agitation also of the crowded city, would create an interest in the lover of his species, while in the soul of the virtuous, all the moral sympathies would awake, when he considered it as the capital of that kingdom, which God had erected to be the lamp of spiritual and Divine knowledge to the surrounding nations; and, as the shadows of the evening lengthened around, his mind would partake of their sombre pleasures; whilst the women, crowding to the public wells, with their pitchers on their shoulders, like Rebecca of old, and the present inhabitants, would exhibit a trait of female character, infinitely more interesting to the virtuous mind, than all the revelry of the faionable world. Nor would he overlook the pool of Siloam, or Bethesda, as it was sometimes called, whose
Gen. xxiv. 11. 15.
porches screened the inhabitants from the sun, and whose waters served for the purposes of bathing, and giving to the air a delicious freshness : but what makes it particularly interesting to the Christian's heart, where the number of cures performed by it at particular seasons, by the descent of the angel; and the striking instances of our Saviour's power on the impotent and blind men.* Mr. Maundrell's account of it is as follows:-6 On the 9th of April, 1696, we went" says he, “ to take a view of what is now called the pool of Bethesda, which is one hundred and twenty paces long, forty broad, and eight deep, but has no water in it. At the west end, there are some old arches now dammed up; which, though there are but three in number, some will have to be the five porches in which sat the lame, halt, and blind.”
Neither would the Christian traveller wish to pass unheeded the Potter's Field;" that field of blood, which was purchased with the money which Judas received for betraying his Master, but could not keep. It lay immediately without the wall of the city, on the south-east corner, and was only about a mile distant from the temple. It would remind him of the danger of profession without reality, of an undue love of the world, and of the necessity of continuing steadfast to his Lord. “On the west side of the valley of Hinnom,” says Maundrell,
is the place anciently called the Potter's Field, and afterwards (5797-5pm, Hekeldemè, or Aceldama,) the field of blood, but now termed Campo Sancto. It is only a small piece of ground, about thirty yards long and fifteen broad; one half of which is taken up by a square fabric, built for a charnel house, that is twelve yards high. Into this building, dead bodies are let down from the top, there being five holes left open for that
e Acts. i, 19.
• John v. 2, &c. ix, 11. Vol. I.
Mat, xxvii, 10.
purpose; through which they may be seen under several degrees of decay.” (Travels, April 6, 1697.) Calmet says, that the bodies are consumed in a few days, which he ascribes to the peculiar nature of the earth ; and adds, that the Empress Helena built the vault for a charnel house, and that she loaded several ships with the earth of Aceldama, and ordered it to be carried to Rome, where it was laid near the Vatican, and still preserves its quality of rapidly consuming dead bodies.-Dict. Aceldama and Potter's Field.
Having noticed the objects on the east and south sides of the temple, let us next proceed to those on the west. And there, directly before the eye, though at different distances, were Millo, the king's gardens, and the fountain of Siloam, which took its rise at the foot of Mount Zion, on the west; winded round the outside of the west and south walls of the city; entered it after passing the south-east corner; formed the pool of Bethesda, or Siloam, within the city; and then, moving towards Moriah, passed again without the walls, and lost itself in the brook Kidron, opposite the eastern front of the temple. It was probably to this rivulet of Siloam, or brook Kidron, that the Psalmist referred to in Ps. cx. 7; when, prophesying of the sufferings of Christ, he said, “ He shall drink of the brook in the way,” for these lay between Jerusalem and Calvary; although there is no doubt included in it the spiritual consolation by which he was supported. The present state of the pool of Siloam is thus described by Sandys, in his Travels, p. 146: “ In a gut in the hill, above which in the wall stood the tower, was the fish-pool of Siloam, containing not above half an acre of ground, now dry in the bottom; and be yond it is the fountain that fed it, now no other than a little trench, walled on the sides, full of dirty water. Though deprived of her salubrious streams, she is still held in honour for her former virtues,"
If, after leaving Millo, the royal gardens, and Siloam, we turned to the right, we should have a full view of Mount Zion, with all the royal buildings and the causeway of Solomon from thence to the temple, delightfully shaded on either side by a row of oak and teil, or lime trees. Or, if we looked to the left, the eye would be gratified with a new view of Jerusalem, the windings of Siloam, and that sacred spot where our Lord was crucified. It lay without the city a quarter of a mile, and about a mile and a half west-south-west from the temple. But, although then excluded as a polluted place, it now possesses a more distinguished station; for Maundrell tells us (26 March,) that “ Since Christ died upon it, for the sins of the world, the city has been built around it, and it now stands in the midst of Jerusalem, a great part of the hill of Zion being shut out of the walls to make room for it.” Nor should we overlook the sepulchre in which our Lord was laid ; and which we are told by the Evangelist, was nigh to the place where he was crucified. It was hewn out of the natural rock of Calvary, and lay originally under ground; but St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, cut away the rock round about it, that the floor of the beautiful church, which she erected over it, and called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, might be on a level with the floor of the sepulchre. It is at present, therefore, a grotto above ground, curiously overlaid with marble, and consists, as Dr. Shaw tells us, (Travels, vol. i. ch. 1.) “Of one chamber only, without cells, or benches, or ornaments, being about seven feet square, and six feet high; and over the place where the body was laid, (whether that was a pit, or whether the body lay, bound up only in spices and linen upon the floor) there, for many years,
a John xix. 41.