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him in that chapter has been literally executed. No sign is so eloquent as the Jew on our streets.
I turn from the capital and its inhabitants to the country itself—to Palestine. What is its state now? Once it was a land that overflowed with milk and with honey; its gardens rising in successive tiers into every zone and climate. On the mountain ranges of Lebanon grew the fruits of every country, and of every latitude of the globe. It was once the most fertile and prolific of all lands, as it is still the most beautifully situated. But since the fall of Jerusalem what has been its state? The earthquake has its home in Palestine; the very sea —the Mediterranean-ebbs from its shores, as if it felt weary with touching them. Its cities are become tombs; its population is drying up; the Arab plunderer roams in every valley; its once beautiful trees and tiers of gardens have been washed by the rains till the bare rock is all that remains; the eagle screams amid its solitary recesses, and the owl hoots in its wild and desolate parts. Palestine is at this moment an illustration and specimen of a land that God Almighty has cursed, a desert attesting the truth of God's word, yet pregnant with a glorious Eden. Chateaubriand, the celebrated French traveller, and not at all disposed towards the view that we take of the destiny of the Jews and the hopes of Jerusalem, thus speaks of it:
“This portion of the country is so shockingly barren, that it does not even possess the semblance of a bit of moss. One can only discover here and there some tufts of thorny plants, as pale as the soil that produced them, and covered with dust, like the trees on the sides of our highways during summer. The mountains present the same appearance, clothed in white dust, without a shade, without a tree, destitute of herbage, and not even possessing a scrap of moss. If I should live a thousand years I never can forget that desert (where Jerusalem first appeared), and which seemed still inspired with the majesty of Jehovah, and the frightful terrors of death. The country, which up to this moment had still preserved something like verdure, now became barren. The sides of the mountains expanded, and assumed a more sterile and sublime appearance. Soon after all vegetation disappeared, not a blade of grass could be discerned. The amphitheatre of mountains was then tinted as with a red and burning colour. We travelled laboriously for an hour amid these mournful regions, to attain the summit of a bill at a distance before us. Arriving here, we rode for another hour upon an elevated and naked plain, sown as it were with rounded masses of stone. Suddenly, at the extremity of this plain, I perceived a line of gothic walls flanked with square towers, enclosing apparently the roofs of some buildings. At the foot of these walls appeared a camp of Turkish cavalry in all their oriental pomp. The guide exclaimed, • Behold the holy city! Behold Jerusalem! We perceived Jerusalem through an opening in the mountains. I did not at first know what it was, as I believed it to be only a mass of shattered rocks. The sudden apparition of this city of desolations in the midst of such wasted solitudes had something about it altogether fearful. She was there indeed, the queen of the desert. When a traveller enters into Judea, a great lassitude rises upon the spirits. But when in passing from one solitude to another, and space stretches in limitless expanse around, by degrees this weight on his mind is removed, and a sacred awe is felt, which, far from depressing the soul, gives a fortitude to, and elevates the powers of the mind. The most extraordinary forms of objects declare it to be on all sides a country which has groaned under miracles. The burning sun, the fierce eagle, the barren fig-tree, all the poetry and all the painting of the Scripture are here. Every local name retains within it some mystery, every cavern speaks of futurity, each rocky height reverberates the accents of some prophecy. God himself has spoken within its borders. The wasted rivers, the cloven rocks, the yawning tombs attest the prodigy. The desert seems still stricken dumb with terror, and as if it had not yet dared to break that silence which was felt when the voice of the Eternal had been heard. Those who come as strange Jews to live in Jerusalem live but a short time. And those who are in Palestine are so poor as to be obliged every year to send a begging mission for alms, amongst their brethren in Egypt and Barbary. The surrounding country is frightful. On every side are naked mountains, of rounded summits or terminating in broad plains; whilst many of them, at greater distances, assume the appearance of ruined castles or mosques. These mountains are not so wedged together as not to present intervals through which the spectator beholds other scenes; but by these openings you only can discover plains covered with rocks like those which are immediately in front.”
He thus describes the valley of Sodom: “The valley contained within these two chains of mountains looks, in its soil, like the bottom of a sea, from which the water had for a length of time receded, made up of long reaches of salt, an expanse of dried mud, and shifting beds, furrowed as it were by the waves. Here and there wretched shrubs grow with difficulty in a soil deprived of vitality; their leaves are enervated with the salt which has nourished them, and their bark has the smell and taste of smoke. Instead of villages, the ruins of a few towers are perceived. Through the body of the valley a discoloured river flows, and moves slowly and with painful regret towards that pestiferous lake in which it is utterly lost. Its course is alone distinguished, in the midst of the sand, by the reeds and willows which grow on its margin; whilst the Arab conceals himself amongst these reeds to attack the traveller and plunder the pilgrim. Such is the river Jordan! And this lake is the Dead Sea. It appears to sparkle; but the guilty towns concealed in its bosom have poisoned its waters. The solitary depths afford a home to scarcely any living creature,— no vessel (until lately) has ever floated on its waves; its banks are without birds, without trees; have no green herbage; and its water, painfully bitter to the taste, is so heavy that the most violent winds are scarcely able to produce any agitation on its surface. A crust of salt covers the sand of the valley, and looks like a field of snow, from whence spring some few disjointed shrubs. Places held sacred by both Jew and Mahometan, are now the resort of wild beasts and robbers. Fear attends the traveller, and he marches through them in haste and trepidation, with his fire-arms loaded, and his life in his hand.”
Such is Chateaubriand's description of Palestine as it now is. We ask, if the words of the traveller thus acquainted personally with Jerusalem be not the very echo of the prophecy pronounced by our Lord eighteen hundred years ago ? Literally, the house of the Jew has been left unto him desolate; literally, one stone does not stand upon another of his illustrious Temple; and literally, that land which Moses beheld from Mount Pisgah, and which was admired as the beauty and the joy of the earth, the garden of the world, is now such as it has been described by the traveller whose words I have read
-a bleak desert, the haunt of the robber, the home of the Arab and the Ishmaelite, whose hand is against every man. It has one feature only that redeems its awful desolation. It is covered with