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was making progress in the subjection of the sons of the desert. “I am the only man,” he said to Colonel Rose, the English Consul General, “.

“to manage the Arabs and Bedouins, who never had any master before me. I could and did cut off their heads, which the Turks never will do.” The wild men of the wilderness found their day of vengeance, as they told us, gnashing their teeth at the mention of Ibráhím's name, and pointing with exultation to the fractured skulls on their path, as the proofs of their prowess and successful hate. Wherever we travelled in Syria, we found similar feelings expressed by the Arabs, in reference to their deliverance from the Egyptian government. The reason is obvious. It was gradually bringing them under restraint, to the security and peace of the whole country, though with a harshness and cruelty, perhaps, which we have no occasion to justify. The Christians, on the other hand, without exception, deeply lamented to us the re-establishment of the Turkish government, and declared that they were grossly deceived by the four allied powers which lent their assistance to the Sultán; and who, instead of settling the country as they had professed to do, had given it up as a prey to the destroyer.'—Vol. i. pp. 345, 346.

Such is the too common history of our most plausible diplomacy-beginning with large promise, but ending without any real effort to bestow substantial security and improvement. To keep the great powers in wholesome check of each other seems to be the end of this business, with little indication of solicitude as to the improved condition of the people. So the dividers of the spoil are kept within their due limits—the spoliation itself is left to go on as it may. When Englishmen experience the partial or total denial of liberty of worship, and of nearly all other liberty, in foreign countries, as they often do, it is something chafing to the spirit to remember, that all this happens, notwithstanding the unshackled freedom which is ceded to every stranger under heaven the moment he touches the British soil.

Our travellers crossed the Red Sea on the 14th of February, on the 18th of March they made their appearance before the walls of Hebron. But it was about nine o'clock in the evening, says Dr. Wilson

• When we arrived in Hebron, that ancient city which was seven years before Zoan in Egypt,” and which is so hallowed in the history of the great patriarchs. We entered it on foot by a low gate; and groping our way through its dark streets, we went direct to the Jews' quarter, where our friend Mordecai had for weeks been awaiting our arrival. We knocked at the door, by which is the entrance to this division of the town; and as soon as it was announced that the “travellers from Hind” had arrived, there was a general turn-out of its inmates, to bid us welcome to the place which became the first possession of Abraham in the land of promise. Every thing, they told us, was in readiness for our reception, at the house of one of the


Rabbis. Before we passed its threshold we were embraced by all its members, of all ages and both sexes; and so many persons offered us their services that we really knew not how to avail ourselves of their kindness. We were conducted to a vaulted room, raised from the general passage, having diwáns in the Turkish style at its extremity, and covered with carpets. We were told that it was the best in the house; and that it was set apart for our use while we might remain in the place. Several lamps with olive oil, the product of the Vale of Mamre, and a fire of charcoal, were immediately kindled. Our luggage, carried from the gates by some of the willing youth who came to our assistance, was quickly at our command. The damsels brought us water for our ablutions, offering, at the same time, to wash our feet, in discharge of the primitive rites of hospitality. We were speedily arrayed in dry clothes; a dainty repast was set before us, and everything which we could desire was at our command. After escaping the exposure and toils of the desert, and the rough travel of the night, we found ourselves, amidst all these comforts, in some measure grateful, I trust, to our Heavenly Father and Guardian, from whose grace they flowed. In our social worship, we returned thanks for all the protection extended to us, during perhaps the most perilous part of our journey, and for the mercy and goodness which He was making to continue with and abound toward us.'-Vol. i. pp. 357, 358.

The town of Hebron is situated in the valley of Machpelah, and no doubt covers the cave in which the remains of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were interred, with their wives, and the bones of Joseph: though the sepulchres at present shown there are probably in great part, if not altogether, apocryphal. The Jewish families resident in Hebron number less than 300 persons. They are mostly poor. With one or two exceptions, they consider it as ‘unbecoming the object which they have in view in • settling in the country—that of weeping and mourning over its desolations, near the tombs of the patriarchs to whom it was given in everlasting covenant-and unbecoming its intrinsic sacredness, to engage in secular employment, and they are consequently supported almost entirely by foreign contributions, * sent to them from foreign countries.' (Vol. i., p. 372.) It is easy to infer from this fact what the condition of these people must be, both in respect to mental cultivation and circumstances. The most available account for us of Hebron and its neighbourhood, as given by Dr. Wilson, is contained in the passage following:

Our walks to-day extended to the highest hill in the neighbourhood of Hebron, which lies to the south-east of the town. We did this in deference to a notice of the view from thence, in the work of Messrs. Bonar and M'Cheyne, which breathes a spirit more congenial with that of the traveller seeking Christian enjoyment in the Holy Land, than any other which has been yet published. The ascent, which leads

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through several cultivated fields and vineyards, is rather steep, as you pass upwards from terrace to terrace. The barley we found had only lately cut the sod, and the vines, which were mostly lying prone on the ground, were beginning to bud. We passed some patches of olive trees, and on the top of the hill we found a considerable quantity of bushes of the prickly oak. The view of the town below, embosomed in the hills, was very distinct. It is divided into four quarters, the Hárt el-Kadím, or Ancient Quarter, around the cave of Machpelah; the Hárt el-Kazáz, Quarter of the silk merchant, lying below it to the south, inhabited by the Jews; the Hárt esh-Sheikh, or Quarter of the Sheikh, the largest division, which is first entered from Jerusalem; and the Hárt el-Harbah, or Dense Quarter, now of small dimensions, lying contiguous to the last-mentioned, to the north. The houses have a respectable appearance, and in their flat roofs and swelling domes, they present a truly oriental aspect. The view from the east is very extensive, and the hills of Moab, and part of Idumea, sloping down towards the Dead Sea and the Wádí Arabah, are visible. As suggested by the travellers to whom I have last referred, it is probably that very view which Abraham would have, when he looked toward Sodom on the morning of its awful destruction by the hand of God. The Jews pointed out to us the direction of CARMEL and Maon of Judah; but they have not such distinct views of the geography of these parts as can be got from Robinson and Smith's map. These observant travellers, from Maín, which lies about seven or eight miles to the S.S.E. of Judah, could enumerate no fewer than nine places in sight, still bearing apparently their ancient names-Maín, the MAON of Nabal; Semua, which I have already noticed as probably corresponding with the ancient ESHTEMOH; 'Attír, with JATTIR; 'Anáb, with ANAB; Shaweikah, the diminutive form of Shaukah, with the SHOCOH of the mountains of Judah; Yattá, with JATTAH; and Karmal, with CARMEL. The incidental geographical notices of the Bible accord most minutely with the localities of this country. “ From the days of Jerome until the present century, not one of these names, except Carmel, occurs in history, or has been known as still in existence;" yet still they remain with the names which they bore in the days of Joshua. Though this, in the judgment of many, is a plain matter of fact, it is extremely interesting. '-Vol. i. pp. 378—380.

We must allow Dr. Wilson to describe his approach to Bethlehem, and the village, and the surrounding country, as seen from the roof of the Greek convent found within its walls.

From el-Burak we hastened to Bethlehem by the upper road, going to the N.E., and not by that which leads along the aqueduct from the upper pools; which we traced, however, for a few minutes. The distance may be about two miles and a half. We were deeply affected and interested, when, after passing over a rough and rugged plot, little corresponding with our western ideas of Bethlehem's plains, we came in sight of the Town of David, and of David's Lord.” “Great is the


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mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh, seen of angels,' at this very place,—was the engrossing theme of our conversation, or rather the overpowering theme of our meditation, as we drew near to the village. It stands upon an eminence, surrounded by small valleys or depressions, devoted to the culture of the olive and vine; and has a massive and imposing appearance at a little distance. When we entered it, we found its principal street filled with a most healthylooking population of old and young persons, many of whom gave us a cordial welcome as we passed along. The ecclesiastical buildings crown its eastern slopes, a small platform intervening between them and the village. We went to the Franciscan convent, to seek accommodation. The superior of the monks said he was afraid to admit us, as quarantine had been lately re-established at Jeruselem. “We have performed quarantine," we said to him in Latin, “for we have been exactly forty days in the great wilderness.” He smiled, and opened the low gate, by which we made our entrance. Comfortable apartments were provided for us, and we felt thankful for all the mercies of the day.'—Vol. i. pp. 389, 390.

* The Greek convent forms the south-eastern part of the buildings. We much enjoyed the view of the country from its roof, and we spent a considerable time in surveying the interesting panorama. The general character of the district of Bethlehem is well hit off by Quaresmius. “Regio Bethlehemitica abundat campis, vineis, collibus, vallibus, olivetis, ficubus; vinoque praesertim, et frumento stabilita est.” The territories of the tribe of Judah, through most of which we have now past, taking them as a whole, are more fitted for pasture and the culture of the tree, than raising grain; and this is in entire accordance with the delineation of them by the dying Jacob, who, with the eye of a seer, saw Judah binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; washing his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes, and with his eyes red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. The village of Bethlehem, as I have already mentioned, stands upon a height, from which there is a pretty steep slope on both the north and southern sides, particularly the former, to two Wadís or gorges which form its boundaries. On the flanks of these Wádís are the

principal gardens, vineyards, and plantations of olives and figs. They unite a little to the east of the town, and form what is called the Wádí et-Taámarah, from the village of Beit Taámr in the neighbourhood. The village of Bethlehem itself slopes a little to the east. The nearly level plain of no great length, in which the monks say the annunciation of the birth of Christ took place, lies to the east of the town. It is beyond the rocky shelvings on which Bethlehem stands, and when we saw it, it was sown, like several fields in the neighbourhood, with barley. A nunnery, said to have been built by St. Paula, formerly stood on it, but it is now destroyed. It was, doubtless, in some field in this neighbourhood that Ruth followed the reapers of her uncle Boaz. The neighbouring village of Beit Sáhúr is said to be that in which the shepherds lived.

It is now inhabited principally, or solely, by Christians. The view in this direction eastward is very extensive. It comprehends the mountains of Ammon and Moab, beyond the Dead Sea and the Jordan. The monks pointed out to us, as they said, the position of Kerak, or Kir-Moab, which, they told us, is now, as it has long been, the seat of the see of Petra, lying nearly directly south-east. The ridge east of the Dead Sea, appeared to have much the same general altitude, though one or two higher elevations were here and there discernible. Of the deep basin of the Dead Sea we had a good view; and we even thought that we saw the surface of the waters, till, on using our telescope, we found that we had been labouring under an ocular illusion, arising from their exhalations, and the consequent haziness of the atmosphere. The country intervening between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea is nearly entirely desert, and its cretaceous strata and debris had much the appearance of what we had witnessed in the great wilderness. Jebel el-Fareidís, or the Frank Mountain, which we had before noticed on the way from Hebron, lying to the south-east of us, according to the compass, at the distance of an hour and a quarter, was a conspicuous height. It is much in the form of a truncated cone; and rises about three or four hundred feet from its base.'-Vol. i. pp. 394, 395.

We shall not detain our readers with any account of the Greek or Latin convents at Bethlehem, nor of the church, or the alleged cave of the Nativity. Suffice it to say, that some portions of this church, and of its decorated cave, may be traced as far back as the time of Helena, the mother of Constantine,but that they point to the exact spot of the nativity, no intelligent man supposes. Of course the superstitions connected with this place are abundant. In this respect the Greeks and Latins have here vied with each other in their powers of invention, for under this roof they hold a divided sway, their ministers officiating alternately at the same altars.

The walk from Bethlehem to Jerusalem may be accomplished easily in two hours. Less than half-a-mile distant from the present village is the cistern which bears the name of the Well of David'-the well intended when David exclaimed, in the hearing of his men of war at Adullum, 'Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate The Philistines were then in possession of Bethlehem, but the loyalty and courage of the followers of the Hebrew king sufficed to gratify his wishes in that particular. to doubt the identity of the modern cistern with the ancient well.

At a short distance from the Well of David is the supposed tomb of Rachel. The sacred history says—They journeyed * from Bethel, and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath

-and Rachel died and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which


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