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-is a striking object; but the buildings it contains greatly contribute to its beauty. In its centre, on a raised area of white marble, stands one of the most splendid mosques in the world, octagonal in form, encrusted with encaustic tiles of gorgeous colours, and surmounted by a graceful dome. From its area the ground slopes away to the encircling ramparts in gentle undulations of green turf, diversified with marble arcades, gilded cupolas, fountains, and prayer-niches ;--all interspersed with venerable cypresses, olives, and palms. At the southern end is a large group of stately buildings, including the Mosque el-Aksa, once the Church of the Virgin; and round the sides of the platform are cloisters, here and there covered with domes, and surmounted by tall minarets. The quiet seclusion of this sanctuary, the rich green of its grass and foliage, the dazzling whiteness of its pavements and fountains, the brilliant tints of the central mosque, and, above all, its sacred associations, make it one of the most charming and interesting spots on earth.
Just behind Moriah the Tyropean Valley was distinctly marked by a deeply-shaded belt, running from north to south through the city. Beyond it rose Zion, higher and longer than Moriah; in front, a confused mass of terraced roofs, tier above tier; further back were seen the white buildings of the Armenian Convent, like an immense factory; more to the right the new English church; and in the back-ground, crowning the hill, the massive square keep of the Castle of David. The southern section of Zion is now outside the city wall; and there a high minaret and cupola mark the Tomb of David. From it the hill sinks into the Valley of Hinnom in steep terraced slopes, covered with vineyards, olives, and corn-fields. As I looked, a moving object in one of the fields rivetted my attention. Haste, give me the glass," I said. I turned it upon the spot. Yes, I was right; a plough and yoke of Jeremiah's prophecy was fulfilled before my eyes: Zion shall be ploughed like a field."
oxen were there at work.
Along the further side of Zion runs the deep glen of Hinnom, which, turning eastward, sweeps round the southern end of the hill and joins the Kidron at En-Rogel. These two ravines form
the great physical boundaries and barriers of Jerusalem; they completely cut it off from the surrounding table-land; and they isolate the hills on which it stands, and those other hills, too, or hill-tops, which, as the Psalmist tells us, " are round about Jerusalem." These natural barriers also served to confine the city within regular and definite limits-to prevent it from sending forth straggling suburbs and offshoots, as most other cities do; hence it was said, "Jerusalem is builded as a city that is com-· pact together."
A high battlemented wall encompasses the modern city. It runs for half a mile along the brow of the Kidron valley, facing Olivet, then turns at right angles and zigzags across Moriah, the Tyropean, and Zion, to the brow of Hinnom.
The whole circuit
is two miles and a half. The city was always fortified, and the walls and towers formed its most prominent features. Hence the language of the exulting Psalmist: "Walk about Zion, and go round about her tell the towers thereof, mark ye well her bulwarks." Jerusalem has no suburbs. There is no shading off of the city into the country-long streets radiating from a centre, then straggling houses, and villas, and gardens, such as we are accustomed to see in English towns. The moment you pass the gates of Jerusalem you are in the country,-a country open, bare, without a single house, and almost desolate. Not a green spot is visible, and not a tree, save here and there a little clump of gnarled, dusky olives. Rounded hill tops, and long reaches of plain, strewn with heaps of gray limestone, extend from the walls far away to the north and south. There is no grandeur, beauty, or richness in the scenery. It is bleak and featureless. Hence the sad disappointment felt by most travellers on approaching Jerusalem from the west and north. They can only see the serried line of gray Saracenic walls extending across a section of a bleak, rocky plateau. But when I stood that morning on the brow of Olivet, and looked down on the city, crowning those battlemented heights, encircled by those deep and dark ravines, I involuntarily exclaimed, -"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, the city of the great King!" And as I gazed, the red rays of
the rising sun shed a halo round the top of the Castle of David; then they tipped with gold each tapering minaret, and gilt each dome of mosque and church; and at length bathed in one flood of ruddy light the terraced roofs of the city, and the grass and foliage, the cupolas, pavements, and colossal walls of the Haram. -No human being could be disappointed who first saw Jerusalem from Olivet. J. L. PORTER.
The day of freedom dawns; rise, Israel, "He comes, the King of kings! Hosanna
from thy tomb!"
to the Lord!"
DAVID'S LAMENT FOR ABSALOM.
THE pall was settled. He who slept be- | How could he mark thee for the silent tomb, My proud boy, Absalom!
Whose diamonds lit the passage of his But thou no more, with thy sweet voice,
A slow step startled him. He grasped his It were so sweet, amid death's gathering blade,
As if a trumpet rang; but the bent form
And left him with his dead. The king
Till the last echo died: then throwing off The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child,
He bowed his head upon him, and broke
In the resistless eloquence of woe :
To see thee, Absalom!
And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,
And thy dark sin!-oh, I could drink the cup,
If from this woe its bitterness had won thee.
May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,
My erring Absalom!"
He covered up his face, and bowed himself
Alas, my noble boy! that thou shouldst A moment on his child; then, giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped His hands convulsively, as if in prayer. And, as a strength were given him of God, He rose up calmly, and composed the pall And leave his stillness in this clustering Firmly and decently-and left him there, As if his rest had been a breathing sleep. N. P. WILLIS.
Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair! That Death should settle in thy glorious eye,
THE SEA OF GALILEE.
UNLIKE most of the memorable scenes of Palestine, this inland sea derives its sole interest from its connection with the personal history of our blessed Lord. In the whole range of Scripture narrative there is not one recorded incident to break in upon the sacredness and singleness of this association with the earthly life of Jesus. In these unruffled waters we see, as in a glass, the undimmed and never-fading image of the Man of Sorrows. It is his form we see on the lonely shore in the mist of morning, or gliding spirit-like at midnight over the stormy waves. And when, from the vine-clad slopes of Tabor, or the Mount of Beatitudes, the traveller first sees the blue gleam of the lake, deep-set among the Galilean hills, it is this undying remembrance which makes his heart swell and tremble with hallowed emotion......
The lake, which is formed by a widening out of the Jordan into a great mountain chasm, is from twelve to fifteen miles in length, and six in breadth. It lies in a deep rocky basin, more than three hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean. All travellers speak with delight of the clearness and sweetness of its waters, which glimmer with the dark polish of steel in the shadow of the mountains. These, in places, sink down sheer and abrupt to the water's edge. It still abounds with fish of an excellent quality, and "of divers kinds," peculiar to itself, which are taken by the Arabs with hand-nets. The plain that stretches, like a bended bow, some miles along the western shore, was famous, in old times, for its beauty and fruitfulness. This is the "land of Gennesaret," a pleasant and sunny recess, shut in between the mountains and the sea. Josephus speaks of it in terms that remind one of Bunyan's land of Beulah. The land was rich and well watered,the air soft and genial,-the seasons sweetly tempered; so that into this delicious region were gathered the fruits of every climate under heaven. Grapes and figs might be plucked there ten months in the year; the palms were loaded with golden