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ny of their valour and affection. The aged monarch* receives from their hands a pledge they had so dearly earned, but rcfuses to drink of water, every drop of which had been purchas. ed by their blood. He returns thanks to the Almighty, wło had vouchsafed the deliverance of his warriors from the jeopardy they had encountered ; and making libation with the precious gift, pours it upon the ground, an offering to the Loril. The ancient character and history of the early inhabitauts of Judæa are beautifully illustrated by this brief record; but it presents a picture of manners which has not lost its prototype among the Arabs of the same country at this day. The well, too, still retains its pristine renown; and many an expatrialeil Bethlehemite has made it the theme of his longing and regret. As there is no other well corresponding in its situation with the description given by the sacred historian and by Josephu-and the text of scripture so decidlesily marks its locality, at the farthest extremity of Bethlehem (with reference to Jerusalem,) that is to say, near the gale of the town on tire castern side, & (for David's captains had to fight through ail the garrison stationed within the place, before they reacher it,)--this may have been David's Well. It is well known to travellers who bave seen the wells of Greece and of the IIoly Land, Urat there exists no monument of ancient times more permanent than even an artifical well; that cases of terri cotta, of the highest antiquity, have been found in cleansing The rells of Atheos; and if they be natural sources, springing from cavities in the limestone rocks of a country where a well is the most important possession of the people, in which number this well of Bethlehem may be classed,) there seems no reason to doubt the possibility of its existence in the remote ages. whereto it is now referred. It has not hitherto excited the
* "Now king David was old, and stricken in years." 1 Kings, i. 1.
Tbat is to say, woich was the price of blood. “ Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?" (2 Sam. xxiji. 17.) It was contrary to the Jewish law to use any thing which might be considered as the price of blood.
Thus it is recorded by St Matthew, (xxvii. 6.)“ And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, it is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood."
1.Εσπεισεδέ απ' αυτά τω Θεώ, και περί της σωτηρίας των ανδρών ήυχαριστήσεν αυτώ. " Deo autem inde libavit, eique pro virorum incolumitate gratias egit.” Joseph. Antių. lib. vii, c. 12. tom. I. p. 402. 1726.
$ Bethlehem in dorso sita est augusto, ex omni parte vallibos riscumdato. Ab Occidente io Orientem mille passibus longa, humili sine turribus muro; in cujus orientali angulo quasi quoddam naturale semiantrum est,"' etc. Beda in libro de Locis Sanctis. cap. viii.
# This appears by the context, (2 Sam. xxiji. 14. 16.) " And the garrison of the Philistines was then in Beth-lehem.
And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem ibat was by the gate,”' &C
attention of any writer, by whom Bethlehein is described ; for Quaresmius, * who has written a chapter - De Cisterna Bethlehem quae et David nuncupatur," places this upon the road to Jertsalem, at a considerable distance from the toin.
The tradition respectiog the cave of the nativity seems so well authenticated, as frardly to admit of dispute. Having been held in veneration from a very early period, the oratory established there by the first Christians attracted the police and indiguation of the Heathens so early as the time of Adrian, who ordered it to be demolished, and the place to be set apart for the rites of Adonis.t The situation of the town upon the Harrow ridge of a long and lofty bill, surrounded on all sides by valleys, is particularly described by the Abbot of fona, from the account given to him by Arculfus ;I and for a description of the interior of the monastery, the reader may be referred to the very recent description given by Mons. De Chateaubriand. He considers the church as of high antiquity ; being unmindful of the entire destruction of the convent by the Moslems, toward the end of the thirteenth century. We felt very little disappointnient in not seeing it. The degrading superstitions maintained by all the Monkish establishments in the Holy Land excite pain and disgust. The Turks use the monastery, when they travel this way, as they would a common caravanserai; making the church, or any other part of the building that suits their convenience, both a dormitory and a tavern, while they remain. Neither is the sanctuary more polluted by the presence of these Moslems, than by a set of men whose grovelling understandings have sunk so low as to vilify the sacred name of Christianity by the grossest ontrages upon human intellect.
Elucidatio Terr. Sanct. tom. II. p. 614. Antv, 1639.
† “ Bethleem nunc nostran, et augustissimum orhis locum de quo Psalmista canit (Ps. 84. 12.) Veritas de terra orta est, lucus inumbrabat Thamus, id est, Adonidis : et in specu ubi quondam Christus parvulus vagiit, Veneris Amasius plangebatur." Hieronyinus Epist. ad Paulin.
p. 564. $" Quae civitas non tam situ grandis, sicuti nobis Arculfus retulit, qui eam frequentavit, quàm famâ praedicabilis per universarum gentium ecclesiam difamata, in dorso (montis) sita est angusto undique ex omni parte vallibus circumdato. Quod utique terrae dorsum ab occidentali plaga in orientalem partem quasi mille passibus porrigitur. In cujus campestri planicie
superiore humilis sine turribus murus in cir. cuitu per ejusdem monticuli extremitatis supercilium constructus valliculis hinc et iade circumjacentibus super eminet: mediaque intercapedine intra muros per longjorem tramitem habitacula civium sternuntur." Adampani de Loc. Sanct. lib. ii. c. 1. Vid. Mabillon. Acta Ord. Bened. Saec. 3. L. Par. 1672.
See Travels in Greece, Egypt, and Palaestine, vol. 1. p. 392. Lond. 1811. lll “ Saincte Paule fit bastir ce rropastère pour des religieux, ou le grand sainct Jerosine demeura plusieurs années, mais il fut ruiné par les Infidèles l'an 1263." Doubdan Voy. de la T. S. p. 163. Paris, 1657.) PAULA was a Koman matron, one of tbe first women who, with MARCELLA, SOPHRONIA, and PRINCIPIA, professed a monastic life at Rome. MARCELLA had been instigated by Athanasius; but the others were instructed by Jerom. PAULA and MELANIA accompanied him to the Holy Land: the former of these erected four monasteries, three for women, and one for mel, wbere Jerom lived for many years, as he testifies in bis Epitaph of PAULA.
In the pavement of the church, a hole, formerly used to carry off water, is exhibited as the place where the star fell, and sumk into the earth, after conducting the Magi to the cave of the nativity. A list of fifty other things of this nature might be added, if either the pas tience of the author or of the reader were equal to the detail : and if to these were added the inscriptions and observajions contained in the bulky volumes of Quaresmius upon this subject alone, * the guide to Bethlehem, as a work, concentrating the quiotessence of mental darkness, would leave us lost io wonder that such a place was once enlightened by the precepts of a scholar whom Erasmus so eloquently eulogized.t They still pretend to show the tomb of St. Jeromt (although his reliques were translated to Rome,) and also that of Eusebius. The same manufacture of crucifixes and beads, which supports so many of the inhabitants.of Jerusalem, also mainttains those of Bethlehem; but the latter claim, almost exclusivel the priviledge of marking the limbs and bodies of pilgrims, by means of gunpowder, with crosses, stars, and monograms. A Greek servant, who accompanied us, thought proper to have his skin di: figured in this njanner; and ilie wound was for many days so painful, and accompanied with so much sever, that we had reason to apprehend a much more serious cousequence than he bad expected.
Leaving our balting place by the rell, we made a wide cirs cuit in the valley, to keep clear of the town; and returning again to Jerusalem, iustead of entering the city, took the road leading to Jaffa. No notice has been taken of what is called the Tomb of Rachel, ** betireen Bethlehem and Jerusalen, because it is a work of no antiquity. The place, however, is held in veneration, not only by Christians and Jews, but also by Arabs and Turks. The whole distance from Jerusalem to Jaffa does not much exceed forty miles ;* and this, according to the ordinary time of travelling, might be performed in about thirteen hours; but owing to rugged and pathless rocks over, which the traveller must pass, it is impossible to perform it in less than a day and a half. Wheu it is cousidered that this has been always the principal route of pilgrims, and that during the Crusades it was much frequented, it is singular that po attempt was ever made to facilitate the approach to the Holy City. The wildest passes of the Apennines are not less open to travellers. No part of the country is so much infested by predatory tribes of Arabs. The most remarkable circumstance which occurred in this route, although it is a very general characteristic of the Holy Land, were the number of caves, most of them being artificial excavations in the rocks. It must remain for others to determine their origin, whether they were solely used as sepulchres, or as dwellings belonging to the ancient Philistines. At present, they serve for retreats to bands of plunderers dis. persed among the mountains. After three miles of as hard a journey, over bills and rocks, as any we had experienced, we entered the famous Terebinthine tale, renowned, during nineteen centuries, as the field of the victory gained by the young. est of the sons of Jesse over, the uncircumcised champion of the Philistives, who had “defied the armies of the living God.” The ADMONITUS LOCOROM cannot be more forcibly excited, than by the words of Scripture :f “ And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the val. ley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them." Nothing has ever occurred to alter the appearance of the country: as it was then, so it is now, The very brook whence David “ chose him five smooth stones” has been noticed by many a thirsty pilgrim, journeying from Jaffa to Jerusalem; all of wliom must pass it in their way. I
* Elucid. T. S. Jib. vi. p. 614 ad p. 695. tom. 11.
St. Jeron passed great part of his life in this retirement. Erasmus says of him, "Qulis docet apertius ? quis delectat urbanius ? quis movel (licacius? quis laudat candidius ? quis suadet gravius ? quis hortctur ardentius ?"
He died at the age of 91 in the beginning of the fifth century, A. D. 422.
Vid. Quaresmius, tom II. p. 676, et seq. 11 It is worthy of being remarked, that there exists rarely an instance among the popular minor snperstitions of the Greek and Roman Church, but its origin roay be found in more rein te antiquity. Even this practice of marking the skin is lociced by Virgil Eneid. lib. iv. v. 146.) ani by Pomponius Mela, lib. xxi.
**** Est quædam va regia, quæ ab Ærin contra meridianam placan Chebron ducit, cui vie Bethlehem vicina sex milibus distans at Hierosolyma; ab orientali plaga adhe ret. Scpu?rrun zeri Rachel in eadem vite extremitaie ah occidentali parte, hoc est in dextro latere hal etur pergentibus Chebron cohærens, vilj operaricre collocatur, et nulla hauen adornationem, lapiilea circundatur pyramide." Adana De Cocin Sanct. apud Murbillon. Act. Qrd. Benedict. Sara 3. Per 2. . 512. Ir. Per. 1672
* Quaresmius gives the distance from St. Jerom, (Eluc. T. S. tom. II. p. 4) reaking it equal to forty miles. His own knowledge of the country also adds weight to the high authority he has cited. But Phocas, also a very accurate writer, describes the «istance of Rama from Jerusalem as equal to thirty seren miles See Phoc. Deser. Loc. Sanct. apud L. Allat. . p. 44. Col. 1653. If this be true, Jaffa is forty-seses miles, at the least, from Jerusalem. + Sam. xvii. 2,3
Torrens verò ex quo David accepit quinque limpidissimos lapides, quibus dejecitet prostravit gigantem, proximus est. et pertransitur prosequendaiter versus kanetam civitatem.” Quaresm. Elucid. T. S. lib. iv. tom. II:p. 16. Anty: 1829. Sca also Adriçiomius in Judan. num. 235. Brocard. Itin. 7. Breidenbach. ecd. &c.
P'he ruins of goodly edifices indeed attest the religious veneration entertained, in later periods, for the hallowed spot; but even these are now become so insignificant, that they are scarcely discernible, and nothing can be said to interrupt the native dignity of this memorable scene.
Seven other miles, not less laborious than the preceding, brought us to another valley, called that of Jeremiah, on account of a church once dedicated to the prophet. In a se. rable village of the same name, Mons. De Chateaubriaod was gratified by the sight of a troop of young Arabs, imitating the French military exercise with palm sticks, and by bearing them exclaim,* in his own language, en avant ! marche !!! We intended to have passed the night in Jeremiah; but the drivers of our camels, perhaps by design, had taken them forward, with our baggage, to the village of Bethoor, where they were seized by the Arabs. All our journals. were with the baggage; and as we travelled with a recommendation from the governor of Jerusalem, and from Djezzar Pacha, we thought there irould be little risk in venturing to claim our effects: after a short deliberation, we therefore resolved to proceed. Barren as are the hills in this district, the valleys seem remarkably fertile. We found the latter covered with plentiful crops of tobacco, wheat, barley, Indian millet, melons, vines, pumpkins, and cucumbers. The gourd or pumpkin seems to be a very essential vegetable in the cast, and many
varieties of it are cultivated. The prospect among the bills - resembles the worst parts of the Apennines. Mountains of na
ked limestone, however broken and varied their appearance, have nothing in their aspect either grand or picturesque. Their summits and defiles are tenanteil by the willest Arabs; † a party of whom, attended by their prince, favoured us with their company, at a well where we halted; but fortunately, from the paucity of their number, offered us no molestation. We were therefore permitted to admire, without apprehension, the very interesting group they exhibited ; their wild and swarthy looks; the beauty of their horses; and their savage dress. Some of them dismounted, and, having lighted their pipes,
* Travels in Greece, Palaest. eto. vol. I. p. 323. Lond. 1811.
" I was toiri of the tribe between Ratna and Jerusalem. The European Monks, who are now the only pilzrims that visit the Holy Land, describe those Arabs as devils incarnate, and complain dolefully of their cruelty to the poor Christians. Those lamentations, and the superstitious pity of good souis in Europe, procure large alms to the Convent or Franciscans at Jerusalem," Niebuhr's Trav. in Arabia, vol. 11. p. 182. Edir. 1792