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At this time, the position of Jerusalem, CHAPTER I.

as regards its natural strength and com

pact beauty, was, and yet was not, what « Again will I build thee, and thou shalt travellers now behold it. The everlasting be built, 0 virgin of Israel !” saith the hills do indeed maintain their ancient Lord. Evermore bearing in mind this places, but the deep ravines, naturally alpromise, regarding it as a beacon of hope, most impassable by a hostile force, are yea, of positive certainty, brightening the now choked up by the accumulated ruin dark path that we are about to traverse, and neglect of many centuries, divesting we may the better bear to fix a stedfast the site of its otherwise isolated appeargaze on the desolations of many genera- ance, particularly since Zion has been tions,-to recall, in what has been, the ploughed like a field; and the city of painful prelude to what now is; and to David presents, on its magnificent exterrelate how, with the stroke of a cruel one nal acclivity, little else than a waste of the holy city was smitten, her spiritual desolate ground. Our ideas concerning privileges extinguished, and her temporal the place are in general extremely conglories buried in the dust.

fused and errroneous : many will speak “ Beautiful for situation,” that which and write of Zion and Moriah, the city constituted its principal beauty was also of David and the Temple, as though they its main strength. Judea is peculiarly a had formed an undistinguished mass, and “hill country;' and in the neighbourhood | were convertible terms. So far is this of the holy city these mountainous eleva- from being correct, in reference to the tions are rendered so conducive to its de- Jerusalem of the Bible, that we require fence as to have furnished King David to obtain a clear, and in many instances with an illustration of the divine guardian- a wholly novel, view of its geographical ship: “ As the mountains are round about position, before we can comprehend even Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about the proceedings of the Roman invader. his people.” What the size and aspect We will first speak of its boundaries, as of the city may have been in the days of they existed eighteen hundred years ago. its highest splendour, when Solomon Northward of the city rose an undulating swayed the sceptre of Israel, not then ground, termed Scopus, which stretched disunited from Judah, or even what it away also to the westward, rendering the may have been when Zerubbabel had approach in that direction comparatively reared the second temple, and Nehemiah easy; it was, indeed, the only accessible rebuilt the walls, it is not our present in- point, and all the enemies who have attention to inquire. We come before the tacked Jerusalem made it their highway. city of the great king in darker days, in- Towards the south-west the ground betent on describing it as seen by the be- gan to deepen into a valley, whence rose leaguering hosts of Rome, advancing to in lofty grandeur the noble hill of Zion. fix the abomination of desolation spoken of This was called the valley of Gihon, and by Daniel the prophet, in the holy place. I soon spread into another valley, that of

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