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LIST OF VIGNETTES.
The country of the Hebrews has been known under different appellations. It was termed the Land of Canaan, from Canaan the son of Ham, whose posterity had possession of it. It was afterwards named Palestine, from the people called by the Hebrews, Philistines, and by the Greeks and Romans, Palestines. It is spoken of in Scripture, as the Land of Promise, in reference to the promise which the Almighty gave to Abraham; as the Land of Israel, from the Israelites becoming masters of it; and subsequently as Judæa, from the tribe of Judah being the most considerable of the
twelve ; ultimately, being sanctified by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, it has received the name of the Holy Land. At the period of our Saviour's coming, it was divided into three provinces ; namely, Judæa, Galilee, and Samaria. In extent, the country may be calculated at one hundred and fifty miles in length, and eighty in breadth. This sacred spot has been emphatically described in the sacred volume as a pastoral country, “flowing with milk and honey." If we look to its geographical boundaries, it appears to be protected on all sides by seas and deserts, so as to prevent its inhabitants falling an easy conquest to the great monarchies which were successively permitted to subjugate the civilized world. If we consider that the Hebrews, for great and mysterious purposes, were destined to be kept a peculiar people, the choice of this land for their residence was singularly marked by wisdom. The commerce of their shores was limited, and the mountainous surface of their country prevented them from congregating in large cities; their institutions were consequently less liable, than those of regions more accessible, to be corrupted by the example of strangers.
Of all places on the face of the globe, Judæa, and the portions of Asia by which it is surrounded, unquestionably claim a superiority in point of interest. This spot is that “ glory of all lands,” on which the greatest scenes of antiquity were acted. It was in this quarter that the Most High placed his once favoured people, the Jews, that revelations were delivered to the prophets, and those oracles of truth communicated which shall endure for ever. Here, again, the most glorious and stupendous manifestation of divine love was accomplished, by the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the anointed Son of God; here were the foundations of Christianity laid, and the first churches planted.—See RAE Wilson's Travels, vol. i. pp. 161, 162.