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PLAIN OF THE JORDAN, LOOKING TOWARDS THE DEAD SEA. This view is taken from a height on the eastern side of the Jordan, overlooking the plain. This plain is of great extent, being from six to ten miles wide; and its length, from the Dead sea to the lake of Galilee, is a journey of two days. The greater part of this plain is covered with a wild and rich pasture, with but few trees, save on the banks of the Jordan. The flocks of the Bedouins graze on the pastures, which seem to have no lord or chief to claim them. This extensive plain, without a town, hamlet, or monastery, has, from time immemorial, been the haunt of the Arabs. Its wilds are cheered and beautified by the Jordan, that rolls its lonely stream through its whole extent in a generally straight course, and but rarely winds so much as in the plate. On the right, at the foot of the mountains, is the village of Jericho, no longer the City of Palmtrees; not a single palm-tree is now to be seen among the few trees that shadow it: its houses are wretched, its situation bad; there are no ruins, to awake the faintest remembrance of the times of old. It has a stone tower, called the Castle of the Governor, who has about thirty soldiers to keep the Arabs in awe. On the extreme right, its base scarcely visible, stands the mountain Quarantina, which tradition has preserved as the scene of our Lord's temptation in the wilderness. The summit, where this took place, is desert and savage, with no shelter save the shadow of the rocks, from the burning beams of the sun; no rivulet or fountain; all lonely and desolate—it was a fearful scene for the temptation. The surface of the plain, for many miles before you arrive at the Dead sea, is dry and withered, without a shrub, a flower, or even a blade of grass. Higher up, the verdure that fringes the river is delightful to the eye; many a tree, many a wild flower, many a beautiful shrub is there; sweet is their shadow and perfume beside the everlasting stream. This view appears to be taken in the summer, when the Jordan is shrunk within its bed, and flows shallow and languidly. In winter, its waters are full and rapid, often on a level with their bank. The Bedouins come from the mountains to the pastures on its banks; their dark tents are pitched in a group, or scattered over the plain, whose solitude they people for a time: when their fire is kindled, they gather round it at their evening meal, and converse with wild gestures; then kneel down in the open air before the tent-door, and invoke the Prophet, where the Israelite once poured out his sorrows before the Lord. The faint sound of their voices, heard amidst the stillness from afar, is hushed, and deep silence again falls on the plain. Each Arab is armed with a long spear and a matchlock gun, and it is not safe to travel through this plain without a guard; hardly a single traveller has traversed it from Jericho to the Sea of Galilee, though it would well repay the trouble and the danger. It is impossible to describe the joy which the sight and vicinity of waters give in this treeless plain, among these stern and savage mountains. I remember the joy I felt when, on gaining the summit of a precipice, at whose foot slept the Dead sea—still, bright, and breezeless; no ripple on its breast, no murmur on its shore; about six to ten miles wide, and above sixty miles long. Welcome, even in its gloom, is the deadly sheet of water; and the wanderer turns again and again from the burning wilds he has passed, and follows with his eye each creek, and gulf, and hoary precipice. A few hours hence is the Bedouin village of Safye, where it is supposed once stood Zoar, to which Lot intreated to be allowed to fly. There is every reason to believe that his flight from "the cities of the plain" must have been to the high mountains south of the sea: the valley of the Jordan, and the wilderness of Ziph, in the other directions, being either fertile tracts, or inhabited by shepherds. The air all around this celebrated sea is, in the fine season, dreadfully oppressive; even the Arab almost faints beneath it . The plain on the west extremity of the lake, towards the Red sea, is covered with sand, and no dweller comes there; but on the east there are some spots of fertility, and even groups of trees; and here the Bedouin peasant comes, and builds his hut of rushes, and cultivates a few scanty fields. It is strange that the Psalmist, who, in his wanderings from Saul in the wilderness of Ziph, had this sea often before his eyes, should never allude to it as a scene of sublime and boundless waters, or as a monument of the just judgments of God. He loved the impressive scenes of his country in mountain, stream, and valley, which inspired his descriptions, yet he neglected the chief beauty of Judah, the sea of Galilee. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is still unsafe, as in the times of old, when "a certain man went down and fell among thieves;" it passes over a succession of wild and barren hills; and about midway, Sir Frederick Henniker was attacked by the Bedouins, severely wounded, and plundered of all he had. The distance is twenty miles, and is performed in six hours, for the road is rugged. It was on the eastern side of the river that Joseph, his brethren, and people, wept for his father Jacob seven days. "And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a very great and sore lamentation. And when the inhabitants of the land saw it, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians." It appears to have been in this part of the river that the host of Israel passed over, on their issuing from the deserts into the Land of Promise, when they came from the plains of Moab and from Shittim, through the defiles in the mountains, on the extreme left of the plate : "the waters of Jordan, that came down towards the sea of the plain, even the Salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho." The rapid rushing of the Jordan during the rainy season, and the ghastly stillness of the waters into whose bosom the sacred river enters and is lost, is one of the finest contrasts conceivable. No outlet, no increase, no diminution—for ever the same. Such will the Dead sea ever be, the indelible witness of the terrors of the Lord, which changed the "glorious plain, the garden of beauty," into "the valley of the shadow of death." The only traveller who has made the circuit of the shores of this sea, was a Mr. Hyde, an Englishman, about twenty years since; he had a strong escort of Arabs, provisions, camels, and horses, and occupied three weeks in this desert journey, which was attended with much fatigue and danger, and with no satisfactory results. No discovery of any

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