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metropolis, from which it was séparated by the river Kidron and the valley of Jehoshaphat. Perhaps no place in the world affords a finer prospect, or is associated with events more sacred or sublinie. Here our Saviour beheld the city, wept over it, and predicted its impending ruin. Here also he pronounced the beautiful and affecting apostrophe, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest those who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." This metaphor is very siriking. When the hen sees a bird of prey coming, she makes a noise to assemble her chickens, that she may shield them with her wings from the danger.* The Roman Eagle was about to fall upon the Jewish state. Our Lord expresses a desire to guard his countrymen from the threatened calamities. But they neglected his invitations and warnings, and fell a prey to their enemies. If we suppose, (and the supposition is highly probable,) that our Lord, while in the act of speaking, pointed to the majestic and stupendous edifices, whose destruction he foretold, every word which he uttered must have derived, from the surrounding scenery, a force and effect, which it is impossible adequately to describe, or even to conceive.
* See Harris's Natural History of the Bible.
The garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of Mount Olivet, was a place to which our Saviour often resorted. There he endured his agony, and was betrayed by Judas. From the summit of this mountain, as is supposed, he ascended to heaven. A large church was anciently built upon this spot, in honour of this glorious event.
Bethany, a village situated about two miles distant from Jerusalem, was built at the foot of the Mount of Olives. It is celebrated as the residence of Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus, whom our Saviour raised from the dead. Jesus was a frequent guest in this distinguished family; and it was here that Mary poured the costly perfume upon bis head.
The Pool of Siloam furnished with water several pools in Jerusalem, particularly that of Bethesda, which, for its singular usefulness, was called the house of mercy. Here Christ healed the man who had an infirmity thirtyeight years." In the pool of Siloam he commanded the blind man to wash, and his sight was restored.
The pool is at the foot of Mount Moriah, on the south side.
Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem, on the north side, is celebrated for the very interesting conversation of Jesus with two of his disciples, after his resurrection. A church has been built on this spot, where the house of Cleopas is supposed to have stood.
Our blessed Lord completed the great work of redemption, by his death, on Mount Calvary, called, in Hebrew, Golgotha, which signifies a place of skulls. It was anciently appropriated to the execution of malefactors, and shut out by the walls of the city, as an execrable place. This spot, formerly so ignominious, is sanctified by the death of the Redeemer of mankind.
Sketch of the History of Jerusalem since the
Time of Christ.
MY DEAR NIECES,
I will now give you a brief sketch of the complicated miseries in which Jerusalem was involved after its inhabitants had crucified the Lord of Life, and impiously exclaimed, “his blood be upon us and our children.” In my History of the Jews, you may find further information on this subject.
The prophecies of our Saviour, respecting the tremendous calamities and utter ruin of the city and temple, were verified in their utmost extent. The day on which Titus encompassed Jerusalem was the feast of the Passover; and it is deserving of particular attention, that this was the anniversary of that memorable period, when the Jews crucified their Messiah.
After the destruction of the devoted city, multitudes of the Hebrew nation were disa persed over the earth, suffering severe persecution, and in a most oppressed and wretched condition. Some, however, still remained in their country, and even in Jerusalem ; or rather, in the new buildings which they had erected amidst the ruins of the city. But they were entirely subjected to the Romans, and obliged to pay to the emperor that tribute which devotion had destined annually for the service of the temple.
About the year of our Lord 132, Barchochebas, who pretended to be the Messiah, stimulated his countrymen to revolt against the Romans, and engaged to restore them to their former liberty and glory. The emperor Adrian had sent a colony of heathens to Jerusalem, and proposed to build there a temple to Jupiter. This so exasperated the Jews, that they broke out, under Barchochebas, into open rebellion, which was obstinately maintained. They were, however, at length subjected after a terrible slaughter.
When the war was terminated, Adrian completed his designs respecting Jerusalem. He rebuilt the city, calling it Ælia, after one of