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pass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another.” This prophecy has been fulfilled to the letter.
In many of these spots stood the Redeemer, when surrounded by the disciples he taught ; and there, a little to the right, by the city-wall, which runs over the Mount Moriah, lies the valley of Jehoshaphat, with the brook Kidron, as of olden time, flowing through the midst. In this valley Moloch and Baalpeor were once worshipped. It was the burial-place of the Jews.
It may be, that many a visitor to the panorama has had to contend with sceptical reflections. “But how do I know that the places pointed out to me are the very spots on which the events recorded in Scripture took place ?” “How can I tell that I am not deceived ?” The proper reply to these suggestions is, You cannot, with any reason, doubt that Jerusalem stood where Jerusalem stands now : this is proved by authentic records of history, as well as by the situation the city occupies, seeming to be shut up by hills and mountains in the centre of a vast amphitheatre: “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people.” The locality of Jerusalem is indisputably proved, whatever difference of opinion there may be as to the situation of some particular places within its walls. This difference of opinion, however, arises from the alterations which take place in the site, form, and use of particular buildings in a city during a number of successive centuries, more than from any other cause. That the mount, now called the Mount of Olives, is the same as that whereon our Saviour stood ; and that the ground occupied by the Mosque of Omar was the site whereon the temple stood, cannot be doubted or disputed, any more than that the Britain we inhabit is the island invaded by Julius Cæsar : indeed, many say that this latter fact is far less certainly authenticated than the former.
As I look all around, there are in the panorama a great many beautiful sketches, each of itself deserving attention. Groups of figures, scribes, sheiks, and friars, Turkish soldiers, and Arabs from the borders of the Dead Sea. The aga, mufti, and the sheriff in his green robe, as a descendant of the impostor Mohammed. All these attract the eye ; and the sight of the Arabian robber about to receive the bastinado on his bare feet almost makes the soles of my feet to tingle.
In some part of the scene around us was the spot where the holy Jesus had poured upon him the bitter derision of the Roman soldiery, and the rancorous malevolence of the persecuting Jews. Here, after he had been scourged, was he clad in purple, and his sacred temples were wounded with a crown of thorns. They mocked him, they spat upon him, and they led him away to be crucified. Let us think of the days when Caiaphas was high priest, and Pilate governor of Jerusalem. Eighteen hundred years have passed away since he was “wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,” laden with his cross, “despised and rejected of men.” “He was taken,” in the language of the prophet Isaiah, “ from prison and from judgment : and who shall declare his generation ? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”
There is a charge in Holy Scripture to do some things “in season,” and “out of season,” setting forth very clearly the important nature of the duty enjoined. Now, though it may appear somewhat “out of season,” in a place of public resort like this, to reflect on the way of salvation, yet when I turn my face towards Mount Calvary yonder, the subject is pressed on my thoughts.
It becomes an old man, who has travelled so many stages on his way towards eternity, frequently to require from himself a reason of the hope that is in him. What, then, is mine? Humbly, honestly, and heartily do I reply, that I have no hope of life eternal that clings not to the cross of the Redeemer. Old Humphrey, in his younger days, like many more, has tried to scale the inaccessible ramparts of heaven with the poor, crazy ladders of his own doings--and rob, by not entering in at “the door,” but by climbing up another way, the Lord of life and glory of the honour due to his name—but the time is gone by; and now he is made willing and anxious to forego his own vain imaginations, and gladly to lay hold of the only hope set before him in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Oh that I could more steadfastly and abidingly keep my mind stayed on the great truths of Christianity! As all are sinners, so no one can do without a Saviour. The Lamb of God can alone take away the sins of the world, “ for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” Acts iv. 12. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John iii. 16. To the Saviour, then, let us go, for “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,” Heb. vii. 25. Why should these things be so much forgotten, and why should we require to be continually reminded of what ought to be at all times in our thoughts?
Who can tell but this panorama of Jerusalem may call forth in many solemn and awakening reflections! Were not the place somewhat crowded, I should be disposed to spend another hour in gazing on the interesting scenes around me; but as it is, I shall quit the place, and give free course to the reflections that have been called up in my mind. Oh, how poverty-stricken is this earthly
Jerusalem to that heavenly city with the golden gates, whose spangled pavement shall assuredly. be trodden by the humblest disciple of the Redeemer!
PANORAMA OF THEBES. This panorama of the City of Thebes is not only a correct representation of modern Thebes, as it now stands, but, also, of those ancient ruins, which for thousands of years have been an instructive spectacle to the world. Every temple, every pillar, and every stone on which the eye rests in the enormous mass of ruin, may be regarded as copied from those real remains which have existed, perhaps, three thousand years, and many of them possibly much longer.
The spectator of the panorama of Jerusalem looks on the semblance of a city comparatively modern ; but in contemplating that of Thebes, he realizes to his mind a spectacle of more remote antiquity. Few aged people, I should suppose, can look upon a ruin without finding themselves disposed to serious thought. There is that in the overturned pillar and broken pediment, which silently, yet eloquently, tells an old man a tale of mutability, that he will do well to regard.
A dark cloud, seemingly impenetrable, has for