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have inquired about; do you know to what I refer?"
"O, this is the place of ascension, is it not, uncle?" said Simon, suddenly recollecting himself. "I knew it very well, but there have been so many things to look at, and all so beautiful, that I hardly thought any thing about the mountain itself. Which of these hills is the one from which Jesus ascended?"
"The very place on which we stand," replied Selumiel, "is the last spot of earth that was trodden by the feet of Jesus. Here he bestowed his farewell blessing on his disciples. Here he commissioned them to go forth into all the world and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Here he uttered that blessed promise which is the only consolation and support of all his faithful servants, 'Lo! I am with you always to the end of the world.' Here he was parted from them, and a cloud received him up out of their sight. Here, while they stood gazing up to heaven, there stood before them two angels, who said to them, ' Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus,
which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.' Amazed and wondering at what had happened, the disciples returned to Jerusalem. Our Jewish prejudices,' said John, as he once related to me the circumstances, clung to us to the last. Even just before his ascension, when we were assembled with him, we asked him if he would at that time restore again the kingdom to Israel. And even after he had rebuked our vain curiosity, and told us that it was not for us to know the times or the seasons, which the Father had put in his own power, we remained ignorant of the true nature of his kingdom till the Holy Ghost came upon us on the day of pentecost, and the errors and prejudices of our whole lives vanished like mists before the morning sun.'
"Thus it is, my dear boys, that the Spirit teacheth. He alone can enlighten the mind and purify the heart. There, alas! (pointing to the southern summit of Mount Olivet) is but too sad an evidence of the dreadful effects which follow, when the influences of the Spirit are withdrawn. Those ruins, which
you see on yonder mountain, are the remains of the temples which Solomon built to the gods of the Ammonites and Moabites, when he had been corrupted by his wives. There the wisest of men, forsaking the worship of Jehovah for that of Chemosh and Moloch, gave himself up to folly, and the mountain from that day has been called, in memory of his shame, the Mountain of Corruption.** Alas! what woes did Solomon's offence bring on Israel? The kingdom rent and plunged in civil war; the nation corrupted and debased by idolatry; the favour of Jehovah withdrawn; these, and a multitude of other evils in their train, have flowed from Solomon's departure from Jehovah."
The shadows of evening now began to settle upon the mountains. The little boys were glad to reach Helah's house, and hear the welcome salutation of Sarah. Their supper was hastily eaten, and "tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep," received them to its embrace.
Here Mr. Anderson closed his long account of the visit to Mount Olivet. William and
* 2 Kings xxiii. 13.
George had listened with the deepest interest "Cannot the Mount of Olives "I suppose
to the story.
be visited now?" said George.
the mountain stands there as it was eighteen hundred years ago, if the same objects are not to be seen from it. I should like to go to Palestine and see those interesting places."
"The mountains do indeed remain," replied Mr. Anderson, "but alas! how changed in all beside the mere rocks, and hills, and streams! The sad lamentation of her mourning prophet is now emphatically fulfilled. Jerusalem now 'weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers, she hath none to comfort her; the ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to her solemn feasts; all her gates are desolate; her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness; her adversaries are the chief; her enemies prosper, for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions. The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. The crown is fallen from our head; wo unto us, for we have
sinned.' I will read to you some of the descriptions and reflections of Mr. King, on visiting Jerusalem, in 1824. We have viewed Jerusalem,' says he, from different stations, have walked around it and within it, and have stood on the Mount of Olives with Josephus's description of it in our hands, trying to discover the hills and valleys as laid down by him near eighteen hundred years ago; and after all our research, we compare Jerusalem to a beautiful person whom we have not seen for many years, and who has passed through a great variety of changes and misfortunes, which have caused the rose on her cheeks to fade, her flesh to consume away, and her skin to become dry and withered, and have covered her face with the wrinkles of age, but who still retains some general features by which we recognize her as the person who used to be the delight of the circle in which she moved. Such is the present appearance of this holy city, which was once the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth.'
"He thus describes his visit to Mount Olivet and the valley of Jehoshaphat: The afternoon was a highly interesting season to us.