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We made our first visit to Mount Olivet, and there bowed before him who from thence ascended to glory, and sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.
There we held
our first monthly concert for prayer in the promised land; there, where our Lord first commissioned his disciples to go and preach the gospel to every creature, promising to be with them even unto the end of the world. There we have been permitted to look up towards heaven, and plead with him to hasten his second coming. We had a delightful view of the city, and also of the Dead sea. Perhaps no place in the world commands a finer prospect, or is associated with events more sacred and sublime.' "
"I should like to ask," said William, "whether Jerusalem has been rebuilt; I have always heard that it was wholly destroyed by Titus. I do not exactly understand what Mr. King means when he speaks of the 'city.''
Mr. Anderson. Jerusalem, as the city and capital of the Jews, has never been rebuilt. After that dreadful destruction, the same fatal persuasion that it was the peculiar residence of Deity, and therefore could not be taken,
continued to influence the Jewish nation with expectations of recovering it. They rebelled against the Romans under Adrian, about the year A. D. 150, and he deprived them of whatever of the form of a government remained to them. Yet such was their infatuation, that they are said to have "purchased with money from the Roman soldiers the privilege of weeping over the site of Jerusalem, or even of gazing on it at a distance." About the year A. D. 363, an attempt was made by the emperor Julian, an apostate and bitter enemy of Christianity, to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the Jews to their native land, so as to prevent the fulfilment of the prophecies of Scripture. But his impious attempt was defeated, as Chrysostom and other ancient fathers testify, by balls of fire bursting forth from the ground and destroying the workmen and their materials. Of the condition and appearance of modern Jerusalem, I shall hereafter give you some account. And now, as this meeting has been unusually long, we will close by singing a beautiful hymn, addressed to a "Hebrew mourner" weeping over the ruins of Jerusalem:
'Why, trembling and sad, dost thou stand there and
Son of Israel, the days that can never return?
And why do those tear-drops of misery fall
Yet why dost thou mourn? O! to gladness awaken;
He preserves for his people a city more fair,
Which the ruthless invader no longer shall share.
VISIT TO GEHENNA AND ACELDAMA.
"LAST week," said Mr. Anderson, as he resumed his narrative," we accompanied Selumiel and his scholars to the most beautiful
spot around Jerusalem. We are now to visit with them the scene of her disgrace, and the sink of her pollutions. You know, I suppose, to what place I refer."
"The valley of Hinnom, is it not, Mr. Anderson?" answered William.
"Yes, William; and a more melancholy or disgusting place than Gehenna (for Gehenna in Hebrew means the Vale of Hinnom) was, the earth does not contain. I would gladly omit the description of it; but faithfulness to my story, and a desire to place before your minds Jerusalem just as it was in the time of our Saviour, compels me to relate to you the story."
The next morning, Simon and Jonathan, notwithstanding the toils of the preceding day, were early upon the roof of the house, to catch the first rays of the sun when he should appear above mount Olivet. Multitudes were already in the streets, hasting to go up to the temple at the hour of morning sacrifice. The grey mist still lingered in the vallies, and the hills and distant objects, seen through it, as the sun rose above the mountain, and darted its piercing rays athwart its gloom, wore a magnificence which art cannot imi
tate. The vapours which till now had seemed to rest as if calmly sleeping upon the hills and tops of the houses, began to roll together and ascend in a graceful spiral motion, till, melted and dispelled by the bright rays of the king of day, they were lost and gone, and a flood of glorious light alone rested on Jerusalem. And such thought Simon, is human life, a vapour which appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. But Jesus has brought life and immorality to light, and I know that there are mansions above prepared for all who love and serve him here.
Here Selumiel joined them, and after a few turns upon the roof, the hour of breakfast being announced, they all went down to partake of a frugal meal prepared in the women's apartment. When the meal was concluded, Helah produced an elegant parchment roll, which he had obtained the day before, and handing it to Selumiel, requested him to open it and read. Selumiel unrolled the parchment, and found it to be an elegant manuscript of Matthew's gospel.
"May I ask you, Mr. Anderson," inquired George, "if that was the only kind of books