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said to Selumiel, “Is not this the place to which Jesus sent the blind man to wash, on whose eyes he put the clay?"
” “ Yes,” said Selumiel ;
66 and there was a peculiar simplicity and propriety in that direction of Jesus. It furnished a very excellent trial of his faith, and there was a very beautiful allusion in the name Siloam, which would remind the blind man from whom the blessing came.”
“But why, uncle," said Solomon, "did not Jesus cure the blind man at once, and not make clay with his spittle and send him to Siloam ?”
6. In all his miracles," said Selumiel, “ Jesus usually employed means, or required the subjects of them to do something, as the condition of their being healed. On a certain occasion he has himself given the reason why
When he had prayed at the grave of Lazarus, and lifted up his eyes and thanked his Father, that he had heard him, he added, • And I knew that thou hearest me always ; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.' So in the case of the blind man,
he did so.
he might have healed him by a word, but the impression on the mind of the blind man would have been rather of astonishment and admiration, than of humility and love. Whereas, by submitting to the simple and humble operation of having his eyes anointed with clay, he evinced both his humility, and his faith in the power of Jesus.
These waters, continued Selumiel, “ • living, flotving, fresh' as they are, are an apt emblem of the blessings which Christ bestows."
When, as is usu the Levites had drawn water from this fountain, and were pouring it out before the Lord in the temple, Jesus once stood in the midst of the court, and cried, saying ; “ If any man thirst, let him como unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
George Homer. I should like to ask you, Mr. Anderson, whether the fountain of Siloam is still to be seen at Jerusalem.
Mr. Anderson. It is. Our American missionaries, Messrs. Fisk and King, visited Jerusalem in 1823, and have given a description
of this fountain, which I will read to you. It is as follows:
- Near the south-east corner of the city (Jerusalem), at the foot of Zion and Moriah, is the pool of Siloah, whose waters flow with gentle murmur from under the holy mountain of Zion, or rather from under Ophel, having Zion on the west, and Moriah on the north. The very fountain issues from a rock twenty or thirty feet below the surface of the ground, to which we descended by two flights of steps. Here it flows out without a single murmur, and appears clear as crystal. From this place it winds its way several rods under the mountain, then makes its appearance with gentle gurgling, and forming a beautiful rill, takes its way down into the valley, towards the south-east. We drank of the water, both at the fountain, and from the stream, and found it soft, of a sweetish taste, and pleasant.'
But to proceed with my story. Stopping a few minutes at the fountain, just to taste its cool and refreshing waters, and admire its clear and purling rill, Selumiel and his boys passed on, and traced the course of the waters
* Missionary Herald, 1824, page 66.
till they were lost just below the water-gate, under Mount Zion. They then returned, and passing through the water-gate, by a short walk, went out through the prison-gate into the valley of Jehoshaphat.
The sun was now fully visible over the tops of the mountains, east of Jerusalem, and its bright rays darting through the embowering shades of palm and other trees that adorned this rich valley, gave to it a most delightful appearance. The little birds were chanting their morning songs, as they hopped from branch to branch, and seemed to rejoice in the return of this most charming season of the year. The contrast of the fine, balmy air, and shady bowers of this valley, with the close and murky atmosphere of the city, was exceedingly grateful. The inhabitants of the city had taken peculiar pains to provide for themselves pleasant retreats from the hot and dusty streets of the city in summer, and there were scattered up and down the valley of the Kidron a multitude of gardens and pleasure groves. A little south of them, near the union of the waters of the Gihon with the Kidron, lay one of these, called the King's Garden; a beautiful enclosure,-filled
with branching palms, pomegranates, terebinths, and other eastern trees. dens were frequently used as places of burial, because of their being retired and romantic spots. They frequently built sepulchres in them.* The view up the valley towards the north was most delightful. After visiting the King's Garden, our travellers rambled along leisurely up the banks of the Kidron, passing several private gardens and family sepulchres. The Kidron, which is dry in summer, was at this season swollen by the latter rains, and now foamed along like a wild, winter torrent.
George. What is meant by the latter rains ? I remember to have read in the Bible of the former and latter rains. I did not know what they were.
Mr. Anderson. There were in Palestine two rainy seasons. The one, from the middle of October to the middle of December, is called the former, or early rain; the other, from the middle of February to the middle of April, is called the latter rain. These rains were very necessary to the fertility of the
* 2 Kings ix. 27; xxi. 18. Mark xv. 46. Matt. xxvi. 36.