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poses of fictitious narrative, or of amatory, dramatic, and lyrical composition. The Jews have no epic poem to throw a lustre on the early annals of their literature. Even the Song of Songs is allowed to have a spiritual import, pointing to much higher themes than Solomon and his Egyptian bride. A solemn gravity pervades all their writings, befitting a people who'were charged with the religious history of the world and with the oracles of Divine truth. No smile appears to have ever brightened the countenance of a Jewish author,-no trifling thought to have passed through his mind,-no ludicrous association to have been formed in his fancy. In describing the flood of Deucalion, the Roman poet laughs at the grotesque misery which he himself exhibits, and purposely groups together objects with the intention of exciting in his readers the feeling of ridicule. But in no instance can we detect the faintest symptom of levity in the Hebrew penmen; their style, like their subject, is uniformly exalted, chaste, and severe; they wrote to men concerning the things of God, in a manner suitable to such a momentous communication; and they never ceased to remember that, in all their records, whether historical or prophetic, they were employed in propagating those glad tidings by which all the families of the earth were to be blessed.
There can be no stronger proof of the pure and sublime nature of Hebrew poetry than is supplied by the remarkable fact, that it has been introduced into the service of the Christian church, and found suitable for expressing those lofty sentiments with which the gospel inspires the heart of every true worshipper. No other nation of the ancient world has produced a single poem which could be used by an enlightened people in these days for the purposes of devotion.* Hesiod, although much esteemed for the moral tone of his compositions, presents very few ideas indeed capable of being accommodated to the theology of an improved age. In perusing the works of the greatest writers of paganism, we are struck with a monstrous incongruity in all their conceptions of the Supreme Being. The majesty with which the Hebrews surrounded Jehovah is entirely wanting ; the attributes belonging to the great Sovereign of the universe are not appreciated ; the providence of the Divine mind, united with benevolence, compassion, and mercy, is never found to enter into their descriptions of the eternal First Cause; while their incessant deviations into polytheism outrage our religious feelings, and carry us back to the very rudest periods of human history.
* The sentiment contained in the text is beautifully expressed in the following ode by Lord Byron:
The king of men, the loved of Heaven,
O'er tones her heart of hearts had given,
In these respects the literature of the Jews is far exalted above that of every other nation of which history has preserved any traces. It must be acknowledged, that we remain ignorant of the learning and theological opinions cultivated among the Persians at the time when the Jews were under their dominion, and cannot therefore determine the precise extent to which the dogmas of the captive tribes were affected by their intercourse with a race of men who certainly taught the doctrine of the Divine unity, and abstained from idolatrous usages. But confining our judge ment even to the oldest compositions of the Hebrews, those, for example, which may be traced to the days of Moses, of Samuel, and of David, we cannot hesitate to pronounce that they are distinguished by a remarkable peculiarity, indicating by the most unambiguous tokens, that, in all things pertaining to religious belief, the descendants of Jacob were placed under a special superintendence and direction.
It softened men of iron mould,
It gave them virtues not their own;
That felt not, fired not to the tone,
It wafted glory to our God;
The cedars bow, the mountains nod;
Devotion and her daughter Love
To sounds that seem as from above,
Description of Jerusalem. Pilgrimages to the Holy Land-Arculfus-Willibald-Bernard-Effect
of Crusades-William de Bouldesell-Bertrandon de la Broquierem State of Damascus-Breidenbach--Baumgarten-Bartholemeo Georgewitz-Aldersey-Sandys--Doubdan-Cheron-Thevenot-GonzalesMorison-Maundrell-Pococke-Road from Jaffa to Jerusalem-Plain of Sharon-Rama or Ramla--Condition of the Peasantry-Vale of Jeremiah-Jerusalem-Remark of Chateaubriand-Impressions of different Travellers-Dr. Clarke-Tasso--Volney--Henniker-Mosque of Omar described-Mysterious Stone-Church of Holy SepulchreCéremonies of Good Friday-Easter-The Sacred Fire-Grounds for Skepticism-Folly of the Priests—Emotion upon entering the Holy Tomb-Description of Chateaubriand-Holy Places in the City-On Mount Zion-Pool of Siloam-Fountain of the Virgin-Valley of Jehoshaphat-Mount of Offence-The Tombs of Zechariah, of Jehoshaphat, and of Absalom-Jewish Architecture-Dr. Clarke's Opinion on the Topography of Ancient Jerusalem-Opposed by other Writers The Inexpediency of such Discussions.
Having described, as fully as the plan of our undertaking will admit, the constitution, history, learning, and religion of the ancient Hebrews, we now proceed to give an account of the present condition of the country which they inhabited nearly 1500 years, interrupted only by short intervals of captivity or oppression. The connexion which Christianity acknowledges with the people and soil of Judea has, from the earliest times, given a deep interest to travels in the Holy Land. The curiosity natural to man in respect to things which have obtained celebrity, joined to the conviction, hardly less natural, that there is a certain merit in enduring privation and fatigue for the sake of religion, has in every age induced pilgrims to visit the scenes where our Divine Faith was originally established, and to communicate to their contemporaries the result of their investigations. It is to be regretted, indeed, that some of them from ignorance, and others from a feeling of the weakest bigotry, have omitted to notice those very objects which are esteemed the most interesting to the general reader; thinking it their
duty, as one of them expresses it, to “quench all spirit of vain curiosity, lest they should return without any benefit to their souls."
About the year 705, Jerusalem and its holy places were visited by Arculfus, from whose report Adamnan composed a narrative, which was received with considerable approbation. He describes the Temple on Mount.Calvary with some minuteness, mentioning its twelve pillars and eight gates. But his attention was more particularly attracted by relics, those objects which all Jerusalem flocked to handle and to kiss with the greatest reverence.
He saw the cup used at the Last Supper,—the sponge on which the vinegar was poured,—the lance which pierced the side of our Lord,—the cloth in which he was wrapped, -also another cloth woven by the Virgin Mary, whereon were represented the figures of the Saviour and of the Twelve Apostles.
Eighty years later, Willibald, a Saxon, undertook the same journey, influenced by similar motives. From his infancy he had been distinguished by a sage and pious disposition; and, on emerging from boyhood, he was seized with an anxious desire to “ try the unknown ways of peregrination-to pass over the huge wastes of ocean to the ends of the earth.” To this erratic propensity he owed all the fame which a place in the Romish calendar and the authorship of an indifferent book can confer. In Jerusalem he saw all that Arculfus saw, and nothing more ; but he had previously visited the Tomb of the Seven Sleepers, and the cave in which St. John wrote the Apocalypse.
Bernard proceeded to Palestine in the year 878. He travelled first in Egypt, and from thence made his way across the Desert, the heat of which recalled vividly to his imagination the sloping hills of Campania when covered with snow. At Alexandria he was subjected to tribute by the avaricious governor, who paid no regard to the written orders of the sultan. The treatment which he received at Cairo was still more distressing. He was thrown into prison, and in this extremity he asked counsel of God; whereupon it was miraculously revealed to him, that thirteen denari, such as he had presented to the other Mussulman, would produce here an equally favourable result. The celestial origin of this advice was proved by its com
plete success. The pilgrim was not only liberated, but obtained letters from the propitiated ruler which saved him from all farther exaction.
The Crusades threw open the holy places to the eyes of all Europe ; and accordingly, so long as a Christian king swayed the sceptre in the capital of Judea, the merit of individual pilgrimage was greatly diminished.
But no sooner had the warlike Saracens recovered possession of Jerusalem than the wonted difficulty and danger returned ; and, as might be expected, the interest attached to the sacred buildings, which the “infidel dogs” were no longer worthy to behold, revived in greater vigour than formerly. In 1331, William de Bouldesell adventured on an expedition into Arabia and Palestine, of which some account has been published. In the monastery of St. Catharine, at the base of Mount Sinai, he was hospitably received by the monks, who showed him the bones of their patron reposing in a tomb, which, however, they appear not to have treated with much respect. By means of hard beating, we are told, they brought out from these remains of mortality a small portion of blood, which they presented to the pilgrim as a gift of singular value. A circumstance which particularly astonished him would probably have produced no in a less believing mind; the blood, it seems, “had not the appearance of real blood, but rather of some thick oily substance ;” nevertheless, the miracle was regarded by him as one of the greatest that had ever been witnessed in this world.
A hundred years afterward Bertrandon de la Broquiere sailed from Venice to Jaffa, where, according to the statistics of contrite pilgrims, the “pardons of the Holy Land begin.” At Jerusalem he found the Christians reduced to a state of the most cruel thraldom. Such of them as engaged in trade were locked up in their shops every night by the Saracens, who opened the doors in the morning at such an hour as seemed to them most proper or convenient. At Damascus they were treated with equal severity. The first two persons whom he met in this city knocked him down,--an injury which he dared not resent for fear of immediately losing his life. About thirty years before the period of his visit, the destroying arms of Timur had laid a large portion of the Syrian capital in ruins, though the