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lowing description from the pen of Rev. Mr. Parsons will best convey an idea of its present situation. He says, “From this (pool of Siloam) we began to ascend Mount Zion. We passed through fields of grain, which reminded us, at every step, of the awful prediction, · Mount Zion shall be ploughed like a field.'* On the summit is a mosque, erected over the tombs of David, and of the kings of Israel ; and an Armenian church, said to be (i. e. by the superstitious inhabitants, and without any good reason) the ruins of the house of Caiaphas, the high-priest. Mount Zion on three sides is strongly fortified by nature. This agrees precisely with the description given of it in Scripture, Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, the same is the city of David.' At the foot of it on the west, are the ruins of the pool of Beersheba, on the south, the valley of the son of Hinnom. On the south side of Mount Zion are the ruins of the old wall, supposed to be the one repaired by Nehemiah. Here may be seen to the best advantage the site of Solomon's temple, the
* Jer. xxvi. 18. Micah iii. 12.
Mount of Olives, and the plains and mountains of Judea.
“ Next week, boys,” said Mr. Anderson, as he finished reading the preceding extract, “ I will give you an account of the visit to Mount Calvary, and then we shall have gone over the holy city.” They then sung Bishop Heber's beautiful hymn :
I. “ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, enthroned once on high, Thou favoured home of God on earth, thou heaven be
low the sky! Now brought to bondage with thy sons, a curse and
grief to see, Jerusalem, Jerusalem! our tears shall flow for thee.
II. Oh! hadst thou known thy day of grace, and flocked
beneath the wing Of him, who called thee lovingly, thine own anointed
King, Then had the tribes of all the world gone up thy pomp
to see, And glory dwelt within thy gates, and all thy sons be free.
III. . “And who art thou that mournest me ?” replied the
“And fear’st not rather that thyself may prove a cast
away? “I am a dried and abject branch, my place is given to
But wo to every barren graft of thy wild olive-tree !"
IV. “Our day of grace is sunk in night, our time of mercy
spent, For heavy was my children's crime, and strange their
punishment; Yet gaze not idly on our fall, but, sinner, warned be, Who spared not his chosen seed, may send his wrath on
V. “Our day of grace is sunk in night, thy noon is in its
prime; Oh! turn and seek thy Saviour's face in this accepted
time! So, gentile, may Jerusalem a lesson prove to thee, And in the new Jerusalem thy home for ever be.”
CHAPTER X I.
JEWISH SYNAGOGUE.-MOUNT CALVARY.
- “ To-Day, my dear boys,” said Mr. Anderson, we are to visit the mournful scene of our Saviour's crucifixion. If there be any spot which is dear above every other to the Christian, it surely must be that which was wet with the living stream from the Redeemer's heart.
Let the Jew turn his longing eyes towards the site of his once loved temple, and weep over the desolations of Mount Zion ; but we, my dear boys, will still dwell on Golgotha,' and hail with cheerful gratitude the spot where our • last enemy' was slain, and the sins of the world taken away.'
“ Have you examined the map, William, to see in what direction and how far Calvary lay from the temple ?"
William. It lay on the west side of the city, just without the wall, a little to the north of the temple, and I should think about half a mile from it."
Mr. Anderson. Very well, William ; that is the probable direction and distance. At least the tradition of eighteen centuries places it there.
The next morning found Selumiel and his scholars, after a cheerful breakfast, on their way to visit Mount Calvary, and the scenes that lie west of Jerusalem. Their way led them through the “ lower city,” as it was called, which was built round Mount Acra. The summit of this hill had been so levelled, that it was scarcely any longer a hill. King
Antiochus had formerly built a fort upon it, which commanded the temple. But when Simon Maccabeus had expelled the Syrians and obtained possession of Acra, he demolished the fort, and spent three years in levelling the mountain on which it stood, so that no situation might in future command the temple. Selumiel led them by a circuitous rout over the top of Acra, for the sake of entering the synagogue which was erected on it. Such buildings had come into use only since the captivity, but there were already nearly five hundred of them in Jerusalem. Before that time, the Jews seem to have held their social meetings for religious worship either in the open air or in the houses of the prophets.* Synagogues could only be erected in those places where ten men of learning, age, piety, and easy circumstances could be found to attend the service in them. They were scattered over the land, and were the parish churches of the Jewish nation. The arrangement of the synagogue had a good deal of resemblance to that of the temple. A large quadrangular or square space was surrounded
* See 2 Kings iv. 23.