Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

save, that it would require a more than ordinary degree of moral insensibility, not to be touched with their beauty ...' And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. From my earliest childhood, I have learned to admire that passage: and, now that I am on the very spot to which it refers, it comes over my mind with a new freshness and delight. Here I am, resting, where my Redeemer, perfect God and perfect Man, deigned to pass his youth; and was even subject to those, of whom He, as God, was the Creator and Lord! Here the devoted Mary ... kept all his sayings in her heart. Few, very few, of these His youthful expressions are recorded . . . but here, those sayings were by Him uttered ; and here, by Mary, and possibly by a few others, they would be treasured up as matter. for affectionate and adoring meditation ..."

“ Nazareth is situated on the side, and extends nearly to the foot of a hill, which, though not very high, is rather steep and overhanging At the foot of the hill is a modest simple plain, surrounded by low hills, reaching in length nearly a mile; in breadth, near the city, a hundred and fifty yards; but, further on, about four hundred yards Then follows a ravine, which gradually grows deeper and narrower, till, after walking about another mile, you find yourself in an immense chasm with steep rocks on either side, from whence you behold, as it were, beneath your feet, and before you, the noble plain of Esdraelon. The situation of Nazareth is very romantic. The scenery around is of the kind in which one would imagine the Saviour of the world delighted to wander, and to withdraw himself when meditating on his great mission-deep and secluded dells, covered with a wild verdure—silent and solemn paths, where overhanging rocks shut out all intrusion. No one can walk round Nazareth without

[ocr errors]

feeling thoughts like these enter his mind, while gazing often on many a sweet spot traced, perhaps, by the Redeemer's footsteps, and embalmed by his prayers."JOWETT's Researches, pp. 154—156, 165.

“... I walked out alone to the top of the hill over Nazareth . . . Here, quite unexpectedly, a glorious prospect opened on the view. The air was perfectly clear and serene; and I shall never forget the impression I received, as the (scene) burst suddenly upon me. There lay the magnificent plain of Esdraelon... on the left was seen the round top of Tabor over the intervening hills, with portions of the little Hermon and Gilboa, and the opposite mountains of Samaria Then came the long line of Carmel . . . In the west lay the Mediterranean, gleaming in the morning sun

below, on the north, was spread out another of the beautiful plains of Northern Palestine ... beyond it, long ridges rise one higher than another; until the mountains of Safed overtop them all, on which that place is seen,

a city set upon a hill. Further towards the right is a sea of hills and mountains, backed by the higher ones beyond the lake of Tiberias, and in the north-east by the majestic Hermon with its icy crown. Carmel here presented itself to great advantage, extending far out into the sea, and dipping his feet in the waters.

“... I remained for some hours upon this spot, lost in the contemplation of the wide prospect, and of the events connected with the scenes around. In the village below, the Saviour of the world had passed his childhood ; and although we have few particulars of his life during those early years, yet there are certain features of nature which meet our eye now, just as they once met his. He must often have visited the fountain near which we had pitched our tent; his feet must frequently have wandered over the adjacent hills; and his eyes doubtless have gazed upon the splendid prospect from this very spot.

Here the Prince of Peace looked

6

down upon the great plain, where the din of battles so oft had rolled, and the garments of the warrior been dyed in blood; and he looked out, too, upon that sea, over which the swift ships were to bear the tidings of his salvation to nations and to continents then unknown. How has the moral aspect of things been changed ! Battles and bloodshed have indeed not ceased to desolate this unhappy country, and gross darkness now covers the people; but from this region a light went forth, which has enlightened the world and unveiled new climes; and now the rays of that light begin to be reflected back from distant isles and continents, to illuminate anew the darkened land where it first sprung up.”—Robinson's Researches, vol. iii. pp. 189—191. “«Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth ?'

It has occurred to me as no unlikely conjecture, that the very position of this town might, in some measure, account for its ill character. It was a kind of frontier-town. It was frontier in three directions : toward Samaria, to the south,—a region notorious for iniquity, and frequent revolts; toward the land of the Philistines, on the south-west ; and, on the west, toward the maritime city, peopled by heathens, Acre. Between these three regions and Nazareth there is little more than the broad sweep of the plains of Esdraelon and Acre. These plains lie more or less at the feet of the mountains of Nazareth ; although the plain of Acre does not so nearly approach them as the plain of Esdraelon. In the rear of Nazareth, northward and eastward, are the peaceful towns and plains of Galilee. Now, in addition to the bad character of the Samaritans, the inhabitants of all the sea-coast were notoriously flagitious. They were left, as we are expressly told, (Judges iii. 146,) to prove the Israelites, and that the generations of the children of Israel might learn war. An evil neighbourhood this for Nazareth. The men of Nazareth might, in such a vicinity, easily be ensnared into heathenish affinity. (Judges iii. 6.) Their worst

characters, fleeing from justice or revenge, would easily find the nearest asylum, at a distance of from twenty to thirty miles, in Nazareth. In every quarrel or war, between Galilee on the one side, and on the other side either Samaria or the Philistines, and the inhabitants of the coast, Nazareth would stand the foremost. In commerce with the maritime towns, Nazareth would lie constantly exposed to the temptations to break the Sabbath, mentioned in Nehemiah xiii. 16. Thus, by degrees, might this frontier-town become a nest of the very worst characters, and addicted to the worst sins ; and its condition would probably be the more notorious, from the contrast which it would form to the better protected and more peaceful inhabitants of the interior of Galilee.”—Jowett’s Researches, pp. 167–170.

CANA OF GALILEE, (KÂNA EL-JELÎL.)

SCRIPTURE NOTICES. “ And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee ; and the mother of Jesus was there : and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the

governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants which drew the water knew ;) the governor

of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him,

Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine ; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse : but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory ; and his disciples believed on him.”John ii. 1–11. 6. . Nathanael of Cana in Galilee.”John xxi. 2.

[John iv. 46.]

Cana of Galilee is not mentioned in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it is celebrated as being the scene of our Lord's first miracle—and the disciple Nathanael was a native of Cana. The Old Testament has only Kanah in Asher, south east of Tyre.—(Josh. xix. 28.)

The monks of the present day, and all recent travellers, find the Cana of the New Testament, where Jesus converted the water into wine, at Kefr Kenna, a small village an hour and a half N. E. from Nazareth, on one of the roads to Tiberias.

It lies on an eminence connected with the hills of Nazareth, on the south side of a branch of the plain, el-Búttauf, which runs up towards the village elLûbieh. Here are shown the remains of a Greek church, and of a house reputed to have been that of St. Bartholomew. So fixed indeed has the impression now become, that this was the true Cana, that most travellers probably are not aware of there ever having been a question as to the identity.

“From the Wely above Nazareth, (we had) pointed out to us a ruin called Kâna el-Jelîl, on the northern side of the plain, el-Búttauf, about N. E. from Nazareth, and not far from three hours distant. It lay at the foot of the northern hills beyond the plain, apparently on the slope of an eminence . . . In the days of Quaresmius it contained a few houses. This spot (we were told) was known both among Christians and Muslems

« AnteriorContinuar »