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MOUNT OF OLIVES. This hill is very near to Jerusalem, from which it is separated by the narrow vale of Jehoshaphat: its sides are thinly sprinkled with olive trees: it has no corn-fields or rich pastures: the grey rocks at its base look dim with age: no stream breaks down its wild slopes. There is an inexpressible charm about this hill: it is more interesting, thus forsaken, than if the hamlet or the harvest covered it: its every path and lonely place is full of indelible remembrances. The steps of the Redeemer often came here: it was his favourite place of resort from the city. On its declivity he wept over Jerusalem, and uttered the prediction of its ruin, as he beheld it at his feet . As you stand on the descent of Olivet, the walls, the towers, the houses of the sacred city, are distinctly visible, as if you were in their midst. From hence Titus and his army could almost look into the very streets and sacred places, which they were soon to destroy utterly. David fled this way from his son Absalom, after he had sent back the ark of God, and his armed men, and those who were helpless, had passed on before him. "And David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot; and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up." Tradition still points out the spot where our Lord stood, when he mourned for the last time over Jerusalem: there is a noble perspective from it on every side. It is about a third part of the descent from the summit. One day we wandered to the village of Lazarea, situated on the southern foot of the Mount of Olives, opposite the city. It was a wretched village of mud-built cottages: some of the abodes were excavated from the hill: it was a sultry day, without the faintest breeze. The place was shadowless, and the sun's rays fell scorching on the wretched hamlet, out of whose holes and cavernous places, many a shaggy head and half-naked figure was protruded, to gaze on the stranger. This was the site of the ancient gardens and palaces which Solomon built and laid out for his many wives and mistresses. Here also he built the high places of the various gods of these women. While we stood here, and looked on the sad scene, it was scarcely possible to imagine that palaces of beauty, chambers of luxury, groves and altars, once covered it. Surely

the curse has fallen heavily, and the earth is withered because of the sins of the people. Not a blade of grass grew on the parched soil: neither the footstep of the pilgrim, the merchant, or the pedlar, wandered here. The people were Arabs, and seemed to live in extreme wretchedness. The tinkling of the camel-bell, from the caravan approaching the gates, was sometimes heard: the beautiful rill of Siloam was seen to break down the descent of Sion, opposite. A more stern mockery of human grandeur could not be, than the sight of these squalid beings, crouching in their dismal homes, in the very places of Solomon's glory and apostacy, where "the cedar was as the sycamore trees for abundance, and the silver as the stones." **#

The palm-groves are gone from Olivet, so is the cedar, the sycamore, and the fig-tree: the olive is the only tree in its bosom. In some parts of the Mount there are bold declivities; but its general character is gentle, undulating, and easy of passage. A lovelier, a wilder walk cannot be imagined, than one of the paths that leads over it . Not the sublimer heights of Lebanon, the more rich and soothing landscapes of Carmel, the bold and graceful front of Tabor—so affect the imagination, and bring up the immortal visions of the past, as the forsaken breast of Olivet. During the feast of Easter, crowds of pilgrims are seen passing along its declivities, and their hymn of devotion is sometimes heard at evening, breaking on its solitudes. The building on the top of the mountain is a small christian church, where divine service is performed during this festival. At a short distance is the impression of a foot in the rock, which has been shown, for ages, as the last footstep on earth of our Lord at his ascension. Our faith was not strong enough to admit of its identity, yet it was the object of the veneration, tears, and kisses of every pilgrim, whose superstition never distinguished between the creations of the priesthood, and the last memorials of mercy. The number of objects presented to the eager belief of the pilgrims, is very great, and often very absurd: the tears shed by St. Peter, are said still to be kept in a bottle, and to be exhibited to the delighted eyes of the more favoured: the spot of the withered fig-tree, the house of Dives, the very hall of Pilate, are among these relics. Often, in passing through the narrow streets, we were stopped by the guide, to point out some particular spot, till we refused to hear any mere priestly inventions. A poor Servian and his wife travelled a little way with us; they had come from their own country to visit Jerusalem; so great was his joy at all he saw, that he gave forty pounds to the monks. Better that he had kept his money; for on their return they fell into troubles, began to quarrel, and the wife upbraided her husband for coming so weary a journey. How beautiful is it to turn from these fables to the free, the wild, the indelible aspect of nature! the valley, rock, and river are still unchanged: the curse that swept away the labours and the homes of prince and peasant, the temple and altar—has left unchanged the places where the prophet and the apostle wandered, and the Redeemer retired to pray for the world he came to save:—on the silent plain, the solitary mountain, and the untrodden shore, every footstep of the Christian is full of an everlasting interest: voices of mercy and salvation seem to come in the desert breeze, and deeds of immortality to start afresh from the withered earth, so long forsaken. The spot in the plate, directly in front, below the tower at the foot of the hill, is the garden of Gethsemane; its eight large and very ancient olive-trees are seen standing alone: a low fence separates it from the road. This place is justly shown as the scene of our Lord's agony the night before his crucifixion, both from the circumstance of the name it still retains, and its situation with regard to the city. The sceptic has never presumed to doubt the identity of this memorable spot, whose situation is one of the most solemn, and, it may be said, romantic, that can be conceived. Above, are the heights of Olivet; on the right and left, is the vale of Jehoshaphat; and directly in front, are the gloomy walls of Jerusalem, covering the crest of Mount Zion, and sweeping their hoary battlements and towers above the vale, till lost to the sight as they wind above the descent of Hinnom. Few are the passengers on the road beside the garden, fewer still are the feet that enter its sacred precincts: evening is the hour at which to be here, when the sounds from the city are hushed, when its gates are soon to close, as the sun's last rays are on the dome of the Mosque of Omar, and the crest of Olivet: to be here alone, will never be forgotten in after life: not a breeze is in the olive-trees, whose mass of foliage spreads a deep gloom around: they are of immense size. Then, as evening is falling fast, rises to the memory that night and hour, when in this very spot the Redeemer was betrayed and forsaken by all, even by the loved disciple. Save Calvary and its more ineffable interest, this lonely garden is the most awful and endeared scene the world contains: the Passion was suffered here in its deep retreat, in the gloom of its aged trees, which perished with the city: a few grey rocks are at its extremity, to which, tradition says, the disciples retired and fell asleep, wearied with sorrow and apprehension. This garden was a loved place of retirement with the Redeemer; the betrayer knew that he frequently went there, perhaps to be alone, and at evening; for he led the band of soldiers immediately to the spot. The low building on the left, not far from the garden, is the tomb of the Virgin Mary: it is a cave or grotto, hewn with great pains and skill out of the rock: the descent to it is by a flight of fifty marble steps, each of which is twenty feet wide. This is the largest of all the sepulchres around Jerusalem, and was, no doubt, hewn out and used by the ancient Jews as the home of some illustrious dead; the labour and taste bestowed in this noble excavation, were ingeniously put to a more venerated use by the early Christians, or rather by the priesthood, who assumed this to be the burialplace of Mary, who, it is understood, neither died nor was buried in Palestine, but retired with St. John to Ephesus. The interior of this sepulchre is lofty, with altars richly adorned, and a dome. At this time it was nearly filled with pilgrims, whose forms were half shrouded and half revealed, by the clouds of incense that floated around: the silver lamps mingled their light with the beams of the rising sun, which struggled redly into the dim and spacious tomb. It was very early in the morning, and we had left the city at this hour, in order to be present at a solemn ceremonial here: many priests were busily occupied in the services of the altar, in chanting, &c: the pilgrims continued to arrive with earnest and impatient looks, the staff in their hands, the scalloped hat, the sandals on their feet, the girdle round the waist; once only in their life could such a pilgrimage be performed, and they felt they could not see too much of the sacred places, and could not afford to waste a moment of time, in the scenes they had so desired, and had suffered so much, to behold. It was a pitiable scene, of misplaced devotion, of feelings of adoration and sympathy, that should have been reserved for holier memorials: some of the Fathers who ministered were not far, perhaps, from this opinion: two or three were quite inattentive, took snuff, and chatted about politics, while tears were flowing, and groans heaving, by the devotees around. The odours and the chanting, the crowd and the closeness of the air, at length grew oppressive, and we left the grotto, a noble monument, like many others of the same class, to the boldness of design, and patience of labour, of the ancient Jews: the fresh air of the hills and vales was welcome; so was their deep silence and solitude, only broken now and then by the passing on of some votary to the sepulchre. A dollar was paid for admission, and the sum of money received on this occasion could not be small: the richer men, merchants and gentlemen, among the pilgrims, often make handsome presents, such as one, or several hundred pounds, to the Order to which they belong, Armenian, Romish, or Greek; the former has the wealthiest members. VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT, AND BROOK KEDRON. This celebrated vale separates the hill of Zion, on which the city stands, from that of Olivet: it is not so narrow or unpicturesque as the plate represents it; but is in its aspect, separate from its memorable localities, an interesting and romantic glen. It is a pity that no stream breaks through its narrow bosom: it wants the sight and sound of flowing waters: was the dry bed of the Kedron filled as of old, it would here be a blest and welcome object The distant hill in front, to which the valley leads, is called the Mount of Judgment, where the palace of Caiaphas stood. This is a broad and unsightly hill, yet it is the loftiest around Jerusalem. On its declivity is the Aceldama, or field of blood, where Judas destroyed himself, and was buried. This is a melancholy spot, shunned by the neighbouring people, as well as the wayfaring man. A little forsaken chapel now stands on the spot: no grass grows around, no herb or wild flower. The shepherd and his flock do not wander near: it seems still to be regarded as an accursed place; and this belief is augmented and perpetuated by its dreary and desolate aspect. The deep bed of the Kedron is seen on the left in the plate, and passes straight through the vale, and thence on through the wilderness of St. Saba, till it is lost in the Dead sea. Its bed is several feet in depth, and the idea of the "softflowing Kedron" recurs to the traveller, as he looks down on its withered bosom, and longs to hear it murmur to his sense, as it often did to his fancy when at home. During the winter, and the rainy season, there is water in its bed, but in a poor and partial stream. A bridge leads over it, of ancient structure, near to the spot where now stands the tomb of Mary. The bold declivity on the right is Mount Sion; this may be said to be one of its steepest parts; it is thinly sprinkled with olive and other trees: the path that leads up its side, along which the passengers are going, enters the city at the gate of St. Stephen. About a third part of the way down the descent on the right, is shown the very spot where the first martyr was slain: "And they stoned Stephen, and the witnesses laid their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul; and he cried with a loud voice, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, lay not this sin to their charge!" The walls of Jerusalem are seen on the right, sweeping round the summit of Mount Sion: they are lofty, strong, and massive; their appearance, as beheld from beneath, is

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