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the Vulgate was made by him, a translation still in use as the authorized text of the Roman Catholic Church.

The village of Bethlehem (now called Beit-lahun) stands a little apart from the great convent, and contains about 3000 inhabitants, all being (since 1834) Greek, Latin, and Armenian Christians, so that the relations between them are not now disturbed by fanatical elements of another kind. Indeed there is happily less of that quarrelsome disposition here, on the spot where peace and goodwill to mankind were first proclaimed, than is found either at Nazareth or at Jerusalem. The women of Bethlehem are proverbially well-looking. A considerable amount of industry is exhibited in the carving of articles in mother-of-pearl and olive-wood, Crucifixes, beads, and medallions representing sacred subjects, thus carved, are met with in the greatest profusion, and offered at a low price; indeed the traveller is beset by the hawkers of these articles. Some of the large mother-of-pearl shells with the backs entirely sculptured with Scriptural scenes are really elegant as well as interesting souvenirs of Bethlehem.

Having concluded our inspection of this Holy Place, which although thus last seen by us, recalls the first opening scene of the sacred drama of the life of Christ upon earth, we returned to Jerusalem. From one point of the journey we looked upon the fields clothing the slope of the hill, which we could readily believe to have been those in which there were shepherds abiding, "keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them : and they were sore afraid,” etc. (Luke ii. 8-14.) One particular spot in these fields is, I believe, enclosed, and a Latin chapel built on it, which claims to be the precise scene of this event.

Our sojourn in Palestine was now drawing to a conclusion. We had seen everything of interest in our route, and nothing remained to be conveniently inspected without making a long détour, such as our arrangements did not provide for. Having then spent our allotted time in Jerusalem, arrangements were made for our last journey, namely, from the Holy City to the sea-coast, from Jerusalem to Jaffa, where we were to take ship once more and leave the shores of the Holy Land. Accordingly on the 2nd of December we set out on our journey, leaving Jerusalem by the Jatra Gate. This journey is usually divided, as it is considered almost too much for either horse or rider to perform in one day; but inasmuch as a small jolting omnibus was provided for such of us as did not wish so long a ride, we easily, and without fatigue, effected the whole distance on the same day.

There is a carriage-road all the way, but it is by no means such a one as that on which we made our first journey, from Beyrout to Damascus. It is not only extremely rough, but for some distance makes a long, winding, steep descent, from the elevated site of Jerusalem down to the Maritime Plain. We were on our way by half-past six in the morning, which gave us an opportunity of signalizing our departure by a view of a grand sunrise among the mountains. Then we soon began to descend by a circuitous route, affording very grand views, and occasionally giving us glimpses of places of Scriptural interest. The first of these was the traditional Emmaus, a village called Kolonieh, but which we were forced to admit did not quite fulfil the demands as to distance from Jerusalem. We made a halt at Kirjath-Jearim, the city of forests, on the borders of Judah and Benjamin. There are no forests here now; they have disappeared both here and elsewhere in Palestine, and their disappearance has wrought a consequent change of climate, to which we may in great measure attribute much of that difference which evidently exists between the barren unlovely country of the present day and the fertile land of old, “a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trecs, and pomegranates; a land of vil olive, and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass” (Deut. viii. 7-10). Such was the land as promised to the Israelites, but such is not the land at this day; for as Isaiah prophesied, so it has come to pass : “Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers” (xxxii. 13). “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls” (xxxiv. 13). Nothing indeed strikes the traveller more forcibly than the utter change which must have taken place in all but the great natural features of the country, since the time when the people whom God so favoured lived and flourished here. The desolation of the country is only matched by the wretchedness of the inhabitants, who now present no traces whatever of the prosperity, happiness, or numbers of the population which lived here in the reigns of David and Solomon.

Leaving Kirjath-Jearim, where we are told the ark of the Lord abode for twenty years after it was recovered from the Philistines (1 Sam. vii. 2), we got a splendid prospect over the Maritime Plain, the most prominent object in which is the town of Ramleh. We sawalso on our right the

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opening of the valley of Ajalon, once a stronghold of the Amorites (Judges i. 35), and the place invoked by Joshua to remain beneath the beams of the arrested moon in the great miracle recorded in Joshua x. 12. At Ramleh we halted for lunch, a considerable place, interesting as being at the present day the chief town of the great plain which was once Philistia. It has a population of about 3000 Greek Christians, and stands upon a slight eminence, upon which is a tower, the view from which is fine. From it we could see Lydda, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, and to the north the plain of Sharon and the long range of Carmel. After an hour's rest we once more mounted, and making our way through a dismal throng of wretched lepers at the gate, we set out for Jaffa. But now the scene became greatly changed, and the road was enlivened with plenty of company. Arabs in families on donkeys, rude carts, and strings of camels became numerous; and during the last hour of our journey I estimated that we passed no less than ninety camels. As we neared the city, the aspect of the road became exceedingly beautiful, from the gardens and orange-groves among which we passed. These increased in number and luxuriance until, soon after four P.M., entered the gates of Jaffa and proceeded to the Jerusalem Hotel.

Jaffa, the ancient Joppa, was an important port, if not the only one on these coasts, south of Tyre; not that there is any harbour worth mentioning, but the roads are so far free from rocks as to make it convenient for anchorage as well as for embarkation. Whether in ancient times there were any ships which on occasion touched at Joppa may be exceedingly doubtful. Rafts conveyed merchandise, as we read (2 Chron. ii. 16), “ And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need : and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa ; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.” It is curious that the modern name, Jaffa, approaches even more nearly to its most ancient name, Japho (Joshua xix. 46), than the Scriptural and New Testament name does. Of course we visited the interesting locality with which the name of Joppa is ever associated, viz. Simon the tanner's house, by the seaside (Acts x. 6), the scene of the singular vision of Peter which taught him that he should call no man common or unclean (Acts x.). This house, although modern, is built upon the very old traditional site of this event, and is held sacred by the Mahometans, in whose possession it is at the present day, as the place where they say (by a curious confusion of ideas) “the Lord Jesus asked God for a meal, and the table came down at once.”

This was our last Bible association in Palestine, and the pleasant

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situation of Joppa, its fine sea-breezes, and clear sea-water, in which we were glad to have a swim or two before leaving, were the chief attractions for the remaining few hours which we had to stay upon the shores of the Holy Land. Next day at noon the Austrian Lloyd's steamer “ Achille” hove in sight, and we embarked for new scenes, being now bound for the “land of Egypt.”

It was not however without regret that we quitted a country through which we had made such a pleasant journey, with so many interesting experiences of travel on horseback and in camp; and to which we might always look back with satisfaction, and with thankfulness that we had all been preserved in safety through so many dangers, both seen and unseen, as we had doubtless encountered. The time since we had first set foot upon it seemed much longer than it really was, so vast a fund of experimental information had we acquired in passing through scenes of such transcendent interest as those we now left behind. Our minds seemed to be recast, as it were,—to be framed anew, upon true and definite lines, so to speak; and we felt refreshed in spirit and increased in understanding by the daily food which eye and mind had united to afford us. I, for one, shall never in anywise regret the expenditure and labour which had realized a wish of my life; and in thus reviewing the scenes of travel associated with so many Scriptural events familiar from our earliest youth, I have but given myself a sincere pleasure, and a gratification which I trust is not altogether unshared by those who have followed me through these papers, which I now bring to a conclusion.

THE DIVINE LAW OF HONOURING FATHER AND

MOTHER. “Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”—Exodus xx. 12. Among those principles of life and conduct which go towards making a man truly virtuous—truly religious, which help to ennoble his character and raise him to a position of true moral dignity and worth, the principle of honour holds a by no means unimportant place. To make any pretensions indeed of being religious without being honourablewithout having a thorough reverence and respect for all the rules of duty and all the maxims of spiritual wisdom which form the very mainstay and support of the religious life—is to give direct utterance to a gross untruth, to profess with the lips what is denied in the heart. True honour and true religion must always go together--there can be no divorcing them. There is a species of honour, I am well aware, which evil men sometimes boast that they possess a species of honour which leads them to observe with fidelity any particular pledge or promise they may happen to have made, or causes them to abstain from committing some enormity which they have it in their power to commit. In novels and in biographical sketches this characteristic is often pointed out as forming a great redeeming feature in the history of the lives of bad men and women, and we are sometimes asked to overlook the dark part of their career because of the keen sense of honour they possessed ; but, alas ! such honour is but pseudo honour after all. It is just a specious covering donned for the purposes of allurement and deceit; it is not that manly determination to abide by all that the conscience declares itself in favour of, which springs from a willing antagonism to all known forms of evil, that ready earnestness on the side of truth and of right, which the man who has for long years been struggling against sin has incorporated into his character, but it is in reality nothing better than a cowardly device to prevent the hidden subtlety of the heart from openly manifesting itself; it is an imposition and a pretence, a means slyly adopted for the purpose of winning the confidence of those whom it is proposed to dupe and mislead; it is a species of honour worth nothing; and although it may serve as a germ from which real goodness may afterwards be developed, yet whilst the heart clings to its old selfish loves, and there is an evident pandering after the delights of the world and the flesh to the exclusion of the higher delights of charity and use, its possession reflects no merit whatsoever upon him who boasts concerning it, and confers upon him no real title by which he can claim any esteem of the slightest kind from his fellow-men. Honour is valuable only when it is an active principle, influencing us not at this time or at that time just according to our pleasure, but at all times"; a principle governing our whole life, conspicuously shining through all our demeanour. It consists, to sum up the matter in brief, in a steady and unfeigned allegiance to truth for truth's own sake, in an unswerving resolve never to yield in any way to anything mean, selfish, or cowardly, but to go forward bravely and earnestly in the path of duty wheresoever that path may lead. That man shows himself to be truly honourable who acts,

when unconscious that any one sees him, as he would act if the eyes of the world were always fastened upon him ; who lets his honesty, his candour, his readiness to serve others, follow him wheresoever he goes; who retains these noble qualities in adverse circumstances with as much tenacity as he seemed to cling to them in the hour of prosperity.

Such an one

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