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I would say something about the Abbey of Westminster, though there is a mist round it that almost hides it from my view; and I could prate awhile about the bridges and the river, but the cold wind affects me, and old men are somewhat compelled to think of the pains and penalties of tomorrow, as well as of the pleasures of to-day. Much as may be said against the lumbago and rheumatism, they are capital things in their way, for though they pinch us much, they preserve us from more; the remembrance of them does us good. They resemble the painted boards that are set up on forbidden ground, “ Men traps and spring guns set here."
I will now make the best of my way down the spiral staircase. It was not, I hope, highmindedness that brought me up, and I trust that highmindedness will not accompany me down ; for sure I am, a proud man, seeing that he has so little cause for pride, and so much canse for humility, is not more vain than he is foolish. As John Bunyan's shepherd's boy sings
“He that is down needs fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride;
Have God to be his guide.” Never are we so safe as when we are lowly in heart, seeking in all things that holy and Divine influence, which can alone defend us from temptation, and deliver us from evil; “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ," 2 Cor. x. 5
PANORAMAS OF JERUSALEM ANL
The walk to this place has a little tired me, flight of steps are not so easily ascended by an old man after a long walk as before it. I must sit me down on the seat here in the centre to rest awhile. A goodly concourse of people are assembled, as anxious, no doubt, as I am to enjoy a peep at the Panorama.
Panoramic paintings afford a much greater degree of pleasure to the common observer, though not to the artist and the connoisseur, than is usually derived from the most finished specimens of the best masters; and this pleasure is of course much increased when the subject it represents is one of peculiar interes
The very name of Jerusalem calls forth associations which have been familiar to us from the years of our childhood. No wonder, then, that a panoramic representation of the “Holy City" should be an object of general attraction.
It is an excellent custom, before witnessing an interesting spectacle, to make some preparation to make the most of it, and turn it to advantage ; for the want of this preparation, perhaps, many have felt something like disappointment in visiting the panorama of Jerusalem. Many have been totally unacquainted with the history of the fearful changes that have taken place in the city, and for want of reflection have expected to see that Jerusalem of olden time, which was to be destroyed, and of which, according to the prophetic words of the Redeemer, not one stone is left upon another. To such
visitors the unexpected, and, at first view, confused pile of yellowish-white stone walls, gateways, monasteries, convents, churches, mosques, domes, and minarets, is far from being satisfactory. Not that the scene wants attractions, but that it is not what was expected to have been seen.
It is probable that very many of the visitors of the panorama have felt a painful sense of their limited knowledge of the Holy Scriptures; their recollection of events has been confused, and they have imagined that all around them knew more than themselves ; neither is it improbable that this circumstance has led many afterwards to their Bibles, to become better informed with those events with which the mind of every
Christian should be familiar. The first view of a panorama is usually so absorbing, that the printed description of it is rarely read by the visitor, until he becomes a little weary with the exhibition ; it is then glanced at, here and there, and put by with the determination to read it through afterwards, at a time, in fact, when the reading of it, so far as regards the panorama,
will be useless. Jerusalem, though fallen from its high estate, though shorn of its glory, cannot fail to be very attractive to all who feel interest in the stupendous events of by-gone days. No wonder, then, that a representation of it, as it now stands, should have drawn together old and young, to satisfy their curiosity in gazing on the mingled splendour and desolation that now characterize the city once “ beloved by God.”
A place that has seventeen times been ravaged with fire and sword, and all the ruthless desolation of relentless warfare, cannot be looked upon without emotion.
Here, the Jews have fought, to defend their hallowea city, their holy temple, and the ark of the covenant. Here, the victorious cohorts of the Romans, wice re. sistless fury, have broken down the strong walls of defence, and smitten the people of God with the edge of the sword. Here, legions of Saracens, like devouring locusts, have spread desolation around; and here, also, deluded men, calling themselves Christians, have shed their blood freely as water, in what they called “ a holy war." On this spot the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Egyptian, the Parthian, the Persian, and the Turk, have vied with each other in rapine and slaughter. The
page whereon is inscribed the desolations of Jerusalem, is a monument of Divine wrath, that cannot de contemplated without fear and trembling. Here are held up to view the righteous judgments of God wwards a rebellious and stiff-necked people. hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered ?" Job ix. 4. “ He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou ?” Dan. iv. 35.
Passing over the many destructions that visited this devoted city, let me dwell for a moment upon one only. When Titus invested the place, six hundred thousand Jews perished for lack of food. 66 The famine was sore in the land;" for the armed hand of the enemy guarded the gates night and day. Many more than a million died by the sword, and ninety-seven thousand were sent away prisoners. The magnitude of this desolation is oppressive; the besom of destruction, indeed, passed over Jerusalem, and laid low her greatness.
Jerusalem is now the abode of Turks, Arabs, Chris
tians, and Jews : of the latter there are but few, and they are miserably poor, and much oppressed.
The mosques are splendid buildings, especially that of Omar, the finest specimen of Saracenic architecture in the whole world. This splendid building is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient temple of Solomon, which stood on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, on Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David, 2 Chron. iii. 1, and where the visible glory appeared. It was erected by the caliph Omar, and is deemed next in sanctity to that of Mecca. At the time of the crusaders it became a Christian church, and when they abandoned the city, Saladin caused the whole building to be washed with rose-water before he would enter it.
“ It is a regular octagon, each side being seventy feet in width ; it is entered by four spacious doors facing the cardinal points, the Bab el Garb on the west; Bab nebbe Daoud, or of David, on the east ; Bab el Kebla, or of Prayer, on the south; and Bab el Djinna, or of Heaven, on the north. Each of these entrances has a porch of timber-work, of considerable height, excepting Bab el Kebla, which has a fine portico, surrounded by eight Corinthian pillars of marble. The lower part of the walls is faced with marble, evidently very ancient; it is white, with a slight tinge of blue, and pieces wholly blue are occasionally introduced with good effect. Each face is panelled, the sides of the panels forming plain pilasters at the angles; the upper part is faced with small glazed tiles, about eight inches square, of various colours, blue being the prevailing, with passages from the Koran on them, forming a singular and beautiful mosaic. The four plain sides have each seven well-proportioned windows of stained-glass;