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about seventy feet higher, with magnificent battlements and turrets. Within, this upper tower was like a palace, and it was, doubtless, intended as a refuge for the king, in case of necessity. Mariamne, the smallest of the three castles, was about thirty feet square, and about seventy-five in height, but its upper half
was more highly finished than that of either of the others, as if to quiet its builder's conscience for the murder of her whose name it bore. All three fortresses, towering thus grandly aloft, above the high wall,which itself rose along the crest of a high hill, — were of white marble : each stone thirty feet long, fifteen in
breadth, and from seven to eight in thickness; and all squared so exactly that their joinings could hardly be seen. "Each tower," to use the words of Josephus, "looked like a great natural rock which had been cut by the workman into shape, like the rockhewn buildings of Edom."
3. Under the protection of these splendid structures rose the new palace of Herod, about the centre of the northern half of Mount Zion, a great part of which was enclosed within its park walls, themselves a second line of defence, forty-five feet in height, with strong towers rising, at equal distances, from their broad tops. The palace itsalf was indescribably magnificent. Spacious rooms, with elaborately carved walls and ceilings, many of them crusted with precious stones, displayed Oriental splendour to hundreds of guests at a time. Gold and silver shone on every side. Round this sumptuous abode porticoes with curious pillars of costly stone offered shady retreats. Groves and gardens stretched on every side, intermingled with pools and artificial rivers, bordered by long, delightful walks, frequented, through the day, by all who could endure the desecration of Jerusalem by the countless statues which adorned them.
4. The theatre built by Herod, to the horror of the nation, was also, apparently, in this part of the city; and outside, at a little distance, was the amphitheatre, an object of still greater popular aversion, from its gladiatorial shows, in which men condemned to death fought with wild beasts. Inscriptions in honour of Augustus, and trophies of the nations Herod had conquered in his wars, adorned the exterior of the theatre; and the games in the circus, though shunned by the Jews, were celebrated with the greatest pomp, strangers from all the neighbouring countries being invited to them. The trophies round the theatre especially excited indignation, being supposed to cover images, and hence being looked upon as heathen idols. So great, indeed, had the excitement become, in Herod's lifetime, that, for policy, he had caused the armour to be taken from some of them, in presence of the leading men, to show that there was nothing but shapeless wood beneath. Yet even this did not calm the people, and no Jew passed the hated building without the bitterest feelings at its presence in the holy city.
5. On the eastern crest of Zion stood the old palace of the Asmonean kings, and, north of it, an open space surrounded by a lofty covered colonnade, known as the Xystus. A bridge spanned the Tyropceon Valley to the south-west corner of the Temple enclosure, and near the Xystus rose a hall, known as the Hall of the King's Council. The main streets ran north and ;»uth—some along the brow of the hill, others lower down, but parallel, following the course of the valley, with side lanes or narrow streets connecting them. They had raised pavements, cither because of the slope of the ground, or to allow passers-by to avoid contact with persons or things ceremonially unclean. The upper city was mainly devoted to dwelling-houses of the better kind; but in the lower city bazaars or street-like markets were then, as now, a prominent feature, each devoted to a special branch of commerce.
6. Looking out at the Gennath gate on the north of Zion, the Almond pool, near at hand, refreshed the eye. Beyond it, across a little valley, slightly to the north-west, near the Joppa road, was Psephinos, another of the castles by which the city was at once defended and overawed. It rose in an octagon, high into the clear blue, showing from its battlements the whole sweep of the country, from the sea-coast to beyond the Dead Sea, and from the far north, away towards Edom, on the south. In Christ's day it stood outside the city, by itself, but soon after His death it was included in the line of wall built by Herod Agrippa.
7. The northern part of the lower town, known as Akra, was mainly interesting for the bustle of restless city life of every colour, which it presented. The wood bazaar, the city councilhouse, and public records office, were in it. Nor was it destitute of attractions, for the double pool of Bethesda lay at its northeast corner. The Temple and its courts occupied nearly the whole of Mount Moriah, the second hill on which the city was bnilt, the only other building on it contrasting strangely in appearance and character. It was the great fortress Antonia, at the north-west corner, on an isolated rock, separated by a cleft from Mount Moriah, and cased with stone where exposed, so that no foe could scale it. The castle occupied, with its inclosures, nearly a third of tho great Temple plateau, and was built originally by John Hyrcanus, but had been rebuilt by Herod with great magnificence, with baths, fountains, galleries, piazza, and vast rooms, to fit it for a residence for princely guests. It served now as the quarters of the Roman garrison, sent from Csesarea at the time of the great feasts, to keep peace in the city. In Christ's day the robes of tho high priest were kept in it by the Romans, to prevent a seditious use of them. Covered ways led from the castle to the Temple area, to allow the soldiery free access in case of tumult or disturbance.
inde s crib'ab 1 y,
beyond description, el ab'orately. highly
finished, with great
labour, porti'cos, covered walks, artificial, made by art. desecra'tion, pollution, appar 'ently, seemingly.
SPELL AND PRONOUNCE
oval theatre or circus.
exte'rior, the outside.
colon'nade, a range of
par'allel, in the same
prom inent, marked.
oc'tagon, a figure with
eight sides, isolated, separated
from that which is
plateau', a level open
space on a height, sedi'tious, tending to
rebellion, piaz'za, a covered walk
1. The character of Mahomet is an important factor in tho calculation, when we are discussing the claims of a social and political regeneration for Mussulman Turkey. Now what was the one prominent feature in the character of Mahomet? I do not hesitate to say that it was an imperious, all-ahsorbing selfishness. Whatever barred his way to the gratification of his passions must be got rid of by violence or treachery; and all means were considered lawful which furthered the ends he had in view. It is not necessary to discuss the relative proportions of sincerity and imposture which formed the staple of his earlier Suras. It is with his character after the success of his enterprise that we have to do. The test of character is not how a man bears himself in the season of adversity and impotence; but how he behaves when he is in a position to put his real motives and principles in practice. Judged by this standard, Mahomet must be pronounced one of the most detestable characters in history. The sword, the dagger, poison and unscrupulous fraud, backed by a commanding will, a persuasive tongue, and rare political capacity,—these were the instruments by which he mounted to power; and he compensated his followers for the few not very trying restrictions which he imposed upon them, by the gift of unlimited dominion over the rest of mankind. Like the tempter of old, he showed them all the kingdoms of the world and the
* Mahomet, the founderof the religion bearinghisname, was horn at Mecca A.D. 570, and died at Medina A.D, 632. Both places are in Arabia.
glory of them, and promised to put them in possession of the intoxicating vision, if only they would fall down and swear him an eternal allegiance. Nor, in enlisting them under his banner, did he make any severe demand on their self-denial. In forbidding the use of wine he denied them a gratification for which they had no special craving; but he not only permitted, he gave a Divine sanction to the unbridled indulgence of all their characteristic vices. The Arab inherited a supreme contempt for human life: Mahomet bade him gratify it to the top of his bent, on the sole condition that the life sacrificed should not be that of a Mussulman. The Arab was the most vain-glorious of human beings: Mahomet told him that he had a Divine right to his selfconceit, since it was written in the Book of Fate that the Arab race was the predestined ruler of the world and heir of all the ages. The Arab was proud of his language: Mahomet said that it was the language of heaven, and was consequently so sacred that its use was forbidden to all but the True Believers. The Arab was an inveterate freebooter: Mahomet opened up to him an endless vista of predatory warfare, with spoils in abundance, of all that could fire the fancy, in case of victory; or the refreshing bowers of Paradise, attended by ever-beautiful and ever-youthful black-eyed houris, if he died a hero's death. The Arab practised slavery: Mahomet gave him for bond-slaves as many of the human race as he chose to spare after satiating his lust of carnage. The Arab was grossly licentious: Mahomet gave him leave to take as many wives as he pleased, and concubines without number; and the crowning delight of his sensual Paradise is the increased opportunity which it oilers for the safe gratification of animal lusts. The Arabs had a shrine of stupid superstition at Mecca: Mahomet consecrated it as the holiest spot on earth, and made the city which was sanctified by the presence of the Kaaba the portal to Paradise. All this rendered the pretended Revelation of Mahomet very acceptable to the Arabs; but it pronounced on them at the same time, as Major Osborn truly observes, "a sentence of perpetual barbarism."
2. And Mahomet's example has been even more pernicious than his teaching. Every vice which he sanctioned in his followers he practised, even beyond the limits of his own precepts, in his person. While he was feeling his way to power and was exposed to persecution, he showed, as men in such circumstances are wont to show, a conciliatory disposition, and offered the right hand of fellowship to Jew and Christian. To both alike he said, "Unto