Page images

erase or to hide the traces of a mother going to weep over her son.

Fifty paces farther we came to the spot where Simon, the Cyrenean, assisted Jesus to bear his cross." And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenean, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."*

Here the road, which before ran east and west, makes an angle, and turns to the north. I saw on the right the place where dwelt the indigent Lazarus, and on the opposite side of the street, the residence of the obdurate rich man.-" There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell, he lift up his eyes, being in great torments."

St. Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, and St. Cyril, have looked upon the history of Lazarus and the rich man, as not merely a parable, but a real and well-known fact. The Jews themselves have preserved the name of the rich man, whom they call Nabal.

Having passed the house of the rich man, you turn to the right, and again proceed in a westerly direction. At the entrance of the street which leads up to Calvary, Christ was met by the holy women, who deplored his fate.-" And there fol† Luke, xvi. 19-23.

* Luke, xxiii. 26.

lowed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus, turning unto them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."*

One hundred and ten paces farther is shewn the site of the house of Veronica, and the spot where that pious woman wiped the face of the Lord. The original name of this female was Berenice; by the transposition of two letters, it was afterwards altered into Vera-icon, true image; besides, the change of b into v is very frequent in the ancient languages.

Proceeding about another hundred paces, you come to the Judicial Gate, by which criminals were led to be executed on Golgotha. That hill, now inclosed within the new city, was without the walls of ancient Jerusalem.

The distance from the Judicial Gate to the summit of Calvary, is about two hundred paces. Here terminates the Via Dolorosa, which may be in the whole about a mile in length. We have seen that Calvary is at present comprised in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. If those who read the history of the Passion in the gospels are overcome with sacred melancholy and profound admiration, what must be his feelings who traces the scenes themselves at the foot of Mount Sion, in sight of the. Temple, and within the very walls of Jerusalem?

After this description of the Via Dolorosa, and the church of the Holy Sepulchre, I shall say very little concerning the other places of devotion in the city. I shall merely enumerate them in the order in which they were visited by me, during my stay at Jerusalem.

* Luke xxiii. 27, 28.

[ocr errors]

1. The house of Anna, the priest, near David's Gate, at the foot of Mount Sion, within the wall of the city. The Armenians possess the church erected on the ruins of this house.

2. The place where our Saviour appeared to Mary Magdalen, Mary, the mother of James, and Mary Salome, between the castle and the gate of Mount Sion.

3. The house of Simon the Pharisee, where Magdalen confessed her sins. Here, in the eastern part of the city, is a church totally in ruins.

4. The monastery of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, and the grotto of the immaculate Conception, under the church of the monastery. This convent has been turned into a mosque, but admission may be obtained for a trifling sum.

5. The prison of St. Peter, near Calvary. This consists of nothing but old walls, in which are yet shewn some iron staples.

6. Zebedee's house, situated very near St. Peter's prison; now a spacious church belonging to the Greek Patriarch.

7. The house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where St. Peter took refuge when he had been set at liberty by the angel. It is a church, the duty of which is performed by the Syrians.

8. The place of the martyrdom of St. James the Great. This is the Armenian convent, the church of which is very rich and elegant. Of the Armenian Patriarch I shall speak hereafter.

The reader has now before him a complete view of the Christian monuments in Jerusalem. next visit the exterior of the holy city.

Let us



Exterior of Jerusalem-Pool of Beersheba-Mount Sion-David's Palace and Tomb-Fountain of Siloe-Valley of Jehoshaphat -The brook Cedron-Tombs of Zachariah, Jehoshaphat, and Absalom-Garden of Olivet-Gethsemane-Sepulchre of the Virgin Mary Grotto where our Saviour sweated blood-Rock where he foretold the Destruction of Jerusalem-Burning of the Temple-Tombs of the Prophets - Subterraneous meetingplace of the Apostles-Olive-tree where Christ foretold the Last Judgment-Spot of his Ascension to Heaven-Bossuet's History of Christ's Passion and Death.

Ir took me two hours to get through the Via Dolorosa on foot. I made a point of daily revisiting this sacred road, as well as the church of Calvary, that no essential circumstance might escape my memory. It was, therefore, two o'clock on the 7th of October when I finished my first survey of the holy places. I then mounted my horse, with Ali Aga, Michael, the drogman, and my servants. We went out by the gate of Jaffa, to make the complete circuit of Jerusalem. We were abundantly provided with arms, dressed in the French fashion, and fully determined not to submit to any insult. Thanks to the renown of our victories, the times are greatly altered; for, during the reign of Louis XIII. his ambassador, Deshayes, had the greatest difficulty in the world to obtain permission to enter Jerusalem with his sword.

[ocr errors]

Turning to the left as soon as we had passed the gate, we proceeded southward, and passed the Pool of Beersheba, a broad, deep ditch, but without water; and then ascended Mount Sion, part of which is now without the city.

The name of Sion doubtless awakens grand ideas in the mind of the reader, who is curious to hear something concerning this mount, so mysterious in Scripture, so highly celebrated in Solomon's Songthis mount, the subject of the benedictions or of the tears of the Prophets, and whose misfortunes have been sung by Racine.

This hill, of a yellowish colour, and barren appearance, open in form of a crescent towards Jerusalem, is about as high as Montmartre at Paris, but rounder at the top. This sacred summit is distinguished by three monuments, or more properly by three ruins; the house of Caiaphas, the place where Christ celebrated his last supper, and the tomb or palace of David. From the top of the hill you see, to the south, the valley of BenHinnon; beyond this the Field of Blood, purchased with the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas, the Hill of Evil Counsel, the tombs of the judges, and the whole desert towards Hebron and Bethlehem. To the north, the wall of Jerusalem, which passes over the top of Sion, intercepts the view of the city, the site of which gradually slopes from this place towards the valley of Jehoshaphat.

The residence of Caiaphas is now a church, the duty of which is performed by the Armenians. David's tomb is a small vaulted room, containing three sepulchres of dark-coloured stone; and on the spot where Christ held his last supper, stand a mosque and a Turkish hospital, formerly a church and monastery occupied by the fathers of the Holy

« PreviousContinue »