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LATER HISTORY OF JERUSALEM.

is much greater in illness and captivity than in the field of battle. A prisoner to the last heir of Saladin, he saw that prince cut off by the hands of assassins; and the murderers themselves paid such profound homage to his royal virtues as to deem them worthy of the throne of Egypt. He excited in them equal astonishment and admiration by his patience and the intrepidity with which he rejected every proposition that was beneath him. “ We considered thee,” said they, “as our captive, our slave; and it is thou who treatest us as if we were thy prisoners.”

From this period, Mameluke chiefs successively ascended the throne of Egypt and oppressed Palestine by their tyranny. In the space of forty-three years, the Christians lost the very last place which they possessed in that country; they were entirely expelled from it in 1291, and an end was put to the second kingdom of Jerusalem, after a duration of eighty-eight years.

The only vestiges of those crusaders whose glorious achievements saved the West from barbarism, and whom anti-christian philosophy calumniates with greater violence and animosity than the Mussulman himself, are to be found in the different orders of religious chivalry which we have seen subsisting till our times. These orders have defended, protected, Europe, as their family; and Europe has destroyed or suffered them to expire, weakly sacrificing them to the irreligion of the age; and perhaps also prompted by that allurement of gold, which at the present day torments her not less than the Turk, the Arab, and the Bedouin.

The Baharite sultans, having no reason to dread the

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efforts of the West, and delivered from the Christians of Palestine by the triumphs of Melek-Araf, maintained possession of their conquests from 1291 till 1382. About this time they were overthrown by the Mamelukes of Circassia, who successively placed one of their own body on the throne, and ruled till 1517. Tourmon Bey, the last of those whom they had elevated to the supreme power, having been defeated in two battles by the ferocious Selim I., emperor of the Turks, lost his life in an ignominious manner : he was hanged on one of the gates of Grand Cairo, by command of the conqueror, who became master of all his dominions. Palestine has ever since belonged to the Ottoman emperors, who include in their titles that of " lord and servant of Jerusalem.”

I know not, my friend, what effect is produced in your mind by this frightful series of calamities which for so many ages have befallen Jerusalem, and a very faint image of which my pen has rapidly, and as it were running, here set before you ; but, if your soul feels all that they make mine feel, I can affirm that they leave you an impression which no language can describe. Eighteen times taken, seventeen times sacked and laid in ruins; after undergoing during the war all the distresses, all the horrors, which attend that scourge; after losing millions of men by famine, by pestilence, by the sword, by fire; maltreated, plundered, sometimes even laid waste during the short intervals of peace; never resting but beneath the sword which her tyrants hold continually suspended over her head; breathing somewhat more freely, if I may be allowed the expression,

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only for the time necessary to furnish fresh generations for fresh calamities; unable to call together the wretched remnant of the innumerable population which formerly she collected annually within her walls, without hosts of enemies instantly rushing upon her to disperse, to crush, and to destroy ; scarcely retaining, out of all the buildings that constituted her ancient glory, more than a few ruins of their first ruins ; feeling torrents of fire boiling in her bowels, ready to burst forth and to consume any one who shall be tempted to endeavour to restore her altars and her splendour, who with this intention shall attempt to replace one stone upon another; doomed to see both in and around her no other temples than those to which Christian piety repairs to worship the God whom she crucified, and those mosques consecrated to the absurd as well as sacrilegious superstitions of Mahomet, the chief and the pattern of the rulers under whose sabre she groans - does she not exhibit to the world a spectacle of wretchedness, degradation, and desolation, such as the history of no other city in the world presents? Does she not say to every one who like me comes to look closely at her: I am accursed ?” And should one imagine that a single human mouth could call all this fatality, chance, if a stupid impiety had not so called it ?

I know, my friend, that this language of impiety has reached your ears, and that it has excited in you profound indignation ; but you should come hither to see how very pitiful it is. Be no longer surprised that certain men pretend to attribute to chance that which to us Christians the history of religion explains in so

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precise, so clear a manner, by showing us, on the one hand, crime; on the other, punishment. The men who talk thus are the same who give to chance the honour of the existence and of the course of the sun, rather than admit that a supreme intelligence has launched into space and imparted to it that regularity of motion from which it never deviates. They are sufficiently good logicians to feel that there is danger for them in even admitting that the eye is made to see, the ear to hear, and they will not compromise themselves. Chance is a god which does not annoy consciences; he does not punish bad actions.

For my part, my dear friend, when I consider only with the eyes of my reason the long chain of facts and the consequences which they involve, I feel that I must do violence to my understanding to prevent it from arriving at belief. But when I open our sacred books, when I read them here on the very theatre of the divine vengeance-oh, how much more clear, more distinct, more luminous, then appears the impress of the hand of God upon Jerusalem! I see it bearing more and more heavily from age to age on the guilty city, because it punishes in her the most heinous of all crimes, and at the same time that there may not pass from the earth a single generation, which, unless it wilfully turns away its eyes, shall not perceive the punishment and derive instruction from it, or remain inexcusable.

The Lord, I am told in the holy Scriptures, chose and sanctified this place, that his name might be there for ever: and his eyes and his heart were to be there perpetually, (II. Chron. c. vii. v. 16) if Jerusalem herself

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remained faithful, and the penalty of her infidelity had been signified to her beforehand. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, had warned her of all the calamities that befel her before the coming of our Saviour.

Daniel wrote more than six hundred years before Titus appeared, and I read in Daniel the same predictions that my Saviour here uttered, weeping, thirtyeight years before Titus came to fulfil them.

“ Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself : and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; he shall make it desolate even until the consummation.” (Daniel ix. 26, 27.)

Were I to strive to raise doubts respecting the precise date of these prophecies, could I help avowing to myself that they were written, known, translated, circulated, among the nations long before the events by which they were accomplished ?

And suppose, my friend, it could so happen at this day that the obstinacy of some men, too many of whom, alas! I knew before I renounced the world, were to insist, contrary to all evidence, that these prophecies, these oracles, were written after the events occurred, do you think it would be necessary for me to enter into an historical discussion for the purpose of refuting them ? I should merely take up Daniel again, and continue to read the destinies of Jerusalem.

" The abomination of desolation shall be in the temple, and the desolation shall continue even unto the consummation and the end." *

• This passage does not correspond with our received English version, though a correct translation of the Latin Vulgate quoted by the author : "Et erit in templo abominatio desolationis, et usque ad consummationem et finem perseverabit desolatio.” (Daniel, ix. 27.) TRANSLATOR.

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