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that these may be given and preserved by the Lord, as the Giver and Preserver of all good. It may perhaps be regarded as a general rule, that whatever it is lawful to desire it is lawful to pray for; and, on the other hand, that whatever it is unlawful to pray for, it is unlawful to desire. This does not imply that every minute thing which may be an object of our wishes is also to be made a subject of our petitions. It only sanctions the reasonable and Scriptural principle, that as we are indebted to the Divine Providence for temporal as well as spiritual blessings, and for the least as well as the greatest of our mercies, our dependence on that Providence may lawfully be expressed in our prayers as well as in our thanksgivings. In confession, it is not necessary that every particular sin should be acknowledged, but it is necessary that particular sins should be known by previous self-examination. In like manner it is not requisite to enumerate every particular want in prayer, though it is essential to have a knowledge of our particular wants before we pray, and to include them in our general petitions; in order that, to us, the Lord may be all in all.
Our prayers should be addressed to the Lord in the spirit of entire dependence on His Providence for every good, temporal and eternal, and in the faith that He is able and willing to do more for us than we can either think or ask. If we thus pray we shall experience the truth of the Divine promise, that whatever we ask in prayer believing we shall certainly receive. EDITOR.
FROM BEYROUT TO BETHLEHEM:
BEING REMINISCENCES OF A RECENT JOURNEY THROUGH THE HOLY LAND.
By C. COLLINGWOOD, M.A., etc.
HOWEVER much various authorities may differ as to the topographical relations of the ruins found in the sacred enclosure of the Haram, or as to the position of the ancient Temple, so utterly destroyed as to leave doubts as to its site, there can be no question that this area contains the ground most revered in Jerusalem from the earliest times with which we have any acquaintance. With regard to the rock of the Sakrah, its very existence in its rugged condition (although some chisel-marks have been detected upon it) shows that it has been long venerated ;
and those who chiefly maintain that it is really the threshing-floor of Ornan, suggest that the theory is strengthened rather than otherwise by the existence of caverns beneath it. Dean Stanley points out that "Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites" (Judges vi. 11). A cave also exists at the base of the Samaritan altar in Mount Gerizim, and in 1 Chron. xxi. 20, we read that Ornan and his four sons hid themselves when they saw the angel. "Now Ornan was threshing wheat." Such a cave may have been for concealing or storing the wheat; and such a cave certainly exists under the rock of the Sakrah, and is much venerated by the Mussulmans. They have a firmly believed legend, that when Mahomet ascended to heaven, he sprang from this rock, and that the rock attempted to follow him, but was arrested by an angel; and they say it is now suspended between heaven and earth, and has no support beneath. They jealously, however, exclude any attempts to explore the place; but under the rock one may gaze upon the mouth of the black pit, which they say is the mouth of Gehenna. When, however, the valuable explorations and excavations of portions of the Holy City were made by Captain Warren, the "Noble Sanctuary" was expressly excepted from the firman which gave him authority to undertake them, and for the present many things must be left undecided in relation to this interesting spot.
Having well examined the ancient rock, and the beautiful mosque enclosing it, we descended to what may have been the foundations of the ancient Temple, which have been partially excavated, and extend away southwards as far as the Mosque El Aksa. Here we were shown some interesting points of topography arising out of the surveys and explorations of the "Palestine Exploration Fund;" and passing through subterranean galleries, we reached a vast arched hall, which bears the name of Solomon's Stables. Although we read in 2 Chron. ix. 25, that "Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen," it would be hard to say that this was the veritable chamber in which certain of them were bestowed; but if it were so, it would only enhance one's idea of the greatness and prosperity of this magnificent king, who "made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar-trees made he as the sycomore-trees that are in the low plains in abundance." Of the Jerusalem of his day we cannot any conception from the ruined and squalid tenth-rate town it has now become. Certain iron rings let into the columns of this great hall seemed to indicate its purpose, and encourage the idea alluded to above.
Underground Jerusalem is a study of itself, and it is of two categories-first, the vast subterranean caves and buildings, such as that have just alluded to; and second, the buried remains of past ages, which have been partially brought to light by Captain Warren's shafts and excavations, and which may be read of in his "Recovery of Jerusalem" (1872), or "Our Work in Palestine," issued by the Committee in 1873. We examined on another occasion some of the lower foundations of the Temple area, laid bare from without by Captain Warren's excavations, in which were visible very ancient substructures believed to be as old as the time of Solomon; the massive size of whose hewn stones, and their peculiar workmanship, were extremely characteristic and interesting. One of the most remarkable of these objects pointed out was the spring of a wide arch, known as Robinson's Arch, in the south-west corner of the area wall, which is all that remains of a noble viaduct which once joined the Temple with the towers of David, and formed a grand connection between Mount Moriah and Mount Zion across the Tryopœum valley, and often mentioned by Josephus. We also visited a great subterranean excavation, which extends far beneath the city, and is entered from outside the walls, bearing the name of the "Quarries of Solomon," because it has been believed that from hence he derived the material which was used for the building of the Temple. For this purpose we were of course provided with candles, by the aid of which we could see evidences of the stone having been at some period artificially worked. These quarries extend for 200 yards in a south-easterly direction, and are 100 yards wide.
Before quitting, however, this brief allusion to the stones of Jerusalem, I must allude to that exposed portion of the Temple wall called the Jews' wailing-place. Here are seen five courses of well-preserved stones, having the characteristic marginal draft, or Jewish bevel. Here it is that, on Fridays, the Jews betake themselves to lament over the departed greatness of the desecrated Temple. Old and young, on arriving at this spot, kiss the walls, and opening their books, while they sway to and fro in their grief, with tears streaming from their eyes, they read aloud passages from the seventy-ninth Psalm: "O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance; Thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. . . . Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them. . . . How long, Lord? wilt Thou be angry for ever? shall Thy jealousy burn like fire?" Or from the Lamentations of Jeremiah : "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she
become as a widow! . . . How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger!. The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath abhorred His sanctuary. . . . The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: . . . her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars. . . . All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?" etc.
It must be confessed, however, that the principal interest of Jerusalem centres around one spot, in which are brought together as it were all the chief events which have made it a place of such undying fame. This place is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre-the shrine which is supposed to contain the death-place and the burial-place of our Lord, as well as a host of other sacred associations, which have been given to it by a succession of pious, and too often superstitious and credulous monastics.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is now placed in the heart of the city, and lies about midway between the Jaffa and Damascus gates. Its domed edifice is crowded around by houses, and at first sight, at least, its genuineness appears very problematical to those who have been accustomed to believe that these things were done, not in the midst of the town, but without the walls, in a comparatively deserted situation. But there are found keen and competent critics on either side; and while, on the one hand, some, like Dr. Robinson, exhaust every argument in their power to throw discredit upon it, others, like the Rev. George Williams, use all the weight of their ability and long residence in Jerusalem in favour of the genuineness of some at least of the more important sites. In fact the controversy concerning the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has raged for a long period with great keenness on both sides, nor will it be satisfactorily cleared up until excavation shall have settled some long-pending topographical questions.
In this extensive building are pointed out to the faithful a vast number of spots of supreme interest, so that one is at once staggered by the difficulty of conceiving the possibility of their all having been crowded together in so small and confined a space. Every event referred to in connection with the death and burial of our Lord is supposed to have been enacted upon sites duly located in one part or another of the space covered by the roof of this interesting building. The stone of unction-the place where the angel sat-the place where Mary stoodwhere Christ appeared to Mary-the altar of scourging—the rent in
the rock, etc. etc.,-all these have been duly identified, and have received the seal of faith from the vast crowd of pilgrims who at certain seasons flock zealously to the holy places. But putting aside all these minor localities, the great and enduring points of interest are the supposed place of crucifixion of our Lord, and His reputed sepulchre.
With regard to the first of these, one is not a little surprised to be shown the place in which it is presumed that the cross was erected, not upon the solid earth, that is, on the ground-floor, or in some subterranean chamber of the church, but in an upper room! We ascend a flight of stairs, and enter a spacious chapel, decorated in the usual style of such places, although perhaps not so tawdry as some of them are. Here is an altar, before which are suspended numerous silver lamps, burning, for the place is usually somewhat obscure, and artificial light is needed. Beneath this altar we are invited to inspect, by the aid of a lighted wax taper; and kneeling down, we see a circular silver-lined hole, marking the spot in which it is asserted the cross was fixed in the ground.
With all the surroundings of the Holy City, and with one's interest wound up to its highest pitch by previous scenes, to say nothing of the feeling of the possibility of the genuineness of the spot, it is hardly to be wondered at that we should feel deeply moved by such a sight. I visited the place a second time in company with an American clergyman, and separated from the depressing association of a crowd of sightseers, and I may truly say that no spot I ever visited in this world impressed me so deeply as this. Notwithstanding the doubts as to whether it were really what it pretended to be, the mind is carried away by the associations of the place, and one only remembers that here, in the belief of a vast number of Christians, the last great tragedy was enacted. All feelings of incredulous scorn, of contemptuous doubt, are swallowed up in the one absorbing idea that here is perhaps the spot of earth at once the most blessed and the most accursed, where the Divine Man consummated His grand sacrifice, where the Son of Man exclaimed, “It is finished!" and the Son of God by His human death became once more reunited to His Father.
And yet there are important difficulties to be got over before we can calmly accept this as a probable place of the crucifixion. With regard to the fact that the site is in an upper chamber, and not on the solid ground, it has always struck me as a remarkable fact that that objection is but little touched upon when the merits of the spot are considered. Whatever may have been the reason for the fixing upon such an ap