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caution from the dead — a human skeleton ! supposed to be that of a person who, not being sufficiently supplied with lights, was precipitated headlong and broke his neck, or rather his skull, I should judge, from the fracture I noticed on picking it up! There is also near this pit a basin excavated in the solid rock, about five feet in diameter and two and a half feet deep, into which the percolating water trickles; but it was in vain we tried to quench our thirst with water of such bitter, disagreeable taste. A little, however, was bottled for analysis. Water was everywhere dropping from the lofty ceiling, which had formed numerous stalactites and stalagmites — some of them very resplendent and beautiful, but too fragile to be collected and preserved.
“ We noticed bats clinging to the ceiling in several places, in patches varying from fifty to a hundred and fifty, hanging together, which flew away at our too near approach, and for some time continued to flit and scream round and about our heads in rather disagreeable propinquity. Numerous crosses marked on the wall indicated that, though unknown to Christendom of the present day, the devout pilgrim or crusader had been there; and a few Arabic and Hebrew inscriptions (though too much effaced to be deciphered) proved that the place was not unknown to the Jew and Arab. Indeed, the manner in which the beautiful white solid limestone rock was everywhere carved by the mason's rough chisel into regular pillars, proved that this extensive cavern, though in part natural, was formerly used as the grand quarry of Jerusalem.
“ Also, from the close correspondence in the strata of rock in this cave and the opposite hill, we came to the conclusion that this cavern and the Grotto of Jeremiah, two or three hundred yards distant (the intermediate hill having been carried away for the construction of the city wall, temple, etc.), constituted one immense cave. There are many intricate meandering passages leading to immense halls, as white as the driven snow, and supported by colossal pillars of irregular shape — some of them placed there by the hand of nature, to support the roof of the various grottos; others evidently left by the stone quarrier in quarrying the rock to prevent the intumbling of the city. Such reverberations I never heard before!
Though disappointed in our fond expectations of working our way to the Sanctum Sanctorum, Ilippicus, or Antonia, as we had vaguely conjectured we might be enabled to do, we were nevertheless highly delighted with our little jaunt in nether Jerusalem.
“ From the former entrance of the cave down to the temple area is a gently inclined plane – a fact that suggests a satisfactory solution of what has heretofore been regarded as a very puzzling question — the difficulty of placing such immense masses of rock in situ, as those found at the south-east and south-west corners of the temple wall.
6 We entered the cave at 7 P. M., with the intention of passing the night in its dark recesses ; but after making a plan, were so fatigued that we concluded, that were we to yield ourselves to the influence of Somnus, the rising sun would probably reveal to the jealous Mussulmans the
opene l entrance to the scene of our nocturnal adventure. Therefore, at 2 A. M., we repaired to an old vacated oil-mill adjacent, and having kindled a brush and grass fire, passed the remainder of the night in a state of no little discomfiture - longing for the light of morning.
“ The numerous burrows, into which we so often sank knee-deep, served to confirm the construction we had put upon the report made to us by our faithful dog in this arduous reconnoissance — and proved that here the foxes had holes,' as well as the birds of the air their nests' - for the bones that lay strewn about proved that the voracious jackal was now the • lord of this manor,' whose interminable halls had for centuries resounded to the busy din of the hammer and chisel. What untold toil was represented by the vast piles of blocks and chippings, over which we had to clamber in making our exploration! A melancholy grandeur, at once exciting and depressing, pervaded these vast saloons. This, without doubt, is the very magazine from which much of the temple rock was hewn." 1
Lest this should be regarded as the exaggeration of a youthful explorer, in the first enthusiasm of discovery, we subjoin a brief description of the quarry, from Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, D. D., of New York.
“Dr. Barclay's discovery of the great quarry under the north-eastern part of the city, was a very remarkable addition to the topographical knowledge of Jerusalem. In this vast subterranean cavern we wandered for hours in wondering observation. It runs south and east from under the northern wall, probably quite beneath the area of the temple. When we saw the immense white stones in the western foundation of the temple wall, where the Jews weekly meet for their wailing over the desolations of Jerusalem, the size and aspect of these ancient stones struck us with amazement. But our visit to this vast quarry interpreted the whole scene. llere, perhaps for more than a third of a mile in extent, we walked over heaps of chips and sprawls, such as fill every stonecutter's yard, and saw where courses of immense blocks of the purest white stone had been quarried and worked. Many of these stones are still remaining just as the ancient workmen left them. Some stand in rows still united to the rock, cut down in separate channels, scooped out at the bottom, as if worked with an adze. Some have the mortices for the wedges by which they were to be thrown off, worked on the back edge of the outside. Some are cracked and partially separated, as if the work had been arrested in the very use of the wedges; and some are lying across each other on the floor, just as they fell. Here is the whole secret revealed of the noiseless construction of the temple of the stones squared by the stone-squarers,' before they were brought thitli
er — and of the great stones,' hewed stones,' costly stones,' «glistering stones,' which were used in the construction of the wonderful edifice. The whole investigation is startling in its character, and compensating in a high degree.” 1
This discovery of the probable temple-quarry, serves not only to illustrate the manner of building, but, by exhibiting the stone in situ, confirms the testimony of Josephus as to its dazzling whiteness. The friable nature of the stone may also account for the complete disintegration of the temple walls after their overthrow by Titus. The name of Dr. Barclay will always be associated with this wonderful discovery.
We would willingly follow our author through all his supposed discoveries and identifications ; but the reader would be impatient of further detail. Dr. Barclay displaces many of the localities fixed by previous topographers, and determines others with a facility which fails to inspire confidence in his results. The most obvious fault of his work is that of hasty inference, prompted by the desire to settle every disputed point. The reputed tomb of Helena he regards as a sepulchre of the Herodian period. Golgotha he locates upon the eastern brow of the Kidron, far up the valley. He attempts also to identify nearly every gate and quarter of ancient Jerusalem with some locality of the modern city. It was our privilege and our pleasure, in 1853, to ride in company with Dr. Barclay, over the principal suburbs of Jerusalem, and especially to make the circuit of the mount of Olives as far as Bethany. His location of Bethphage upon a spur of Olivet about a mile from the city, appeared more plausible upon the spot than it is possible to make it by a verbal description. It rests, however, mainly upon conjecture. The same must be said of the rocky eminence overhanging the site of Bethany, which Dr. Barclay would make the scene of the Ascension. This is very well as a conjecture; but it enhances the sublime spirituality of the New Testament economy that, in the very land of sacred places and symbols, every trace of the Saviour's footsteps which
· Protestant Churchman.
might be used for. scenic effect, or perverted to the ends of superstition, is utterly and forever obliterated.
But the merits of Dr. Barclay's book are too great to suffer us to criticize severely its defects. It gives a valuable compendium of ancient and modern authorities concerning Jerusalem; a minute array of the points of its topography drawn from the Scriptures and Josephus; careful observations upon its climate and its vital and economical statistics; valuable measurements of ancient remains; the most elaborate and reliable account of modern Jerusalem yet given in the English language; while in its minute descriptions of the water-resources of the city, of the discovery of the great quarry, of the interior of the mosque of Omar and the substructions of el-Aksa, and also of the arch of the Tyropæon bridge, first identified by Robinson, it adds not a little of substantial value to our knowledge. It is understood that the author will soon return to Jerusalem to prosecute his labors and researches under the most favorable circumstances. It is important to the interests of archæology to have such an acute and indefatigable observer continually upon the ground.
The concluding chapter of Dr. Barclay's book treats of “ Jerusalem as it is to be.” Dr. B. is a literalist of the extremest school. Accordingly he maps out upon the present territory of Palestine the features of Ezekiel's vision — the “Prince's possession" of fifty-one and a quarter miles square, including the city “ Yehovah-shammah,” nine miles square. This looks like running prophecy into the ground. Still, at this very hour, the Christian nations of Europe are girdling the land of Palestine with great commercial lines, uniting the East and the West; and nothing is wanting but a wise and efficient government, giving protection to capital and encouragement to industry, to render Palestine the very centre of commercial intercourse for both hemispheres. The memoir of the American Geographical Society on “ Syrian
i Dr. Barclay discovered an arch with a key stone under Solomon's Pool at el-Burak.
Exploration,” develops many interesting facts upon this subject. In the cycle of ages, the law may once more “go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
“ Palestine is so remarkably situated, that it forms the bridge between two continents, and a gateway to a third, Were the population and wealth of Europe, Asia, and Africa condensed into single points, Palestine would be the centre of their common gravity. And with the amazing facilities of modern intercourse and the prodigious extent of modern traffic, it is not easy to estimate the commercial grandeur to which a kingdom may attain, planted as it were on the very apex of the old world, with its three continents spreading out beneath its feet, and with the Red sea on one side to bring it all the golden treasures and spicy harvests of the East; and the Mediterranean floating in, on the other side, all the skill, and enterprise, and knowledge of the West. For the sake of higher ends, it seems the purpose of God to make the Holy Land a mart of nations."i But whether that land shall be occupied by Israel recalled and regenerated, and Jerusalem shall once more become a joy in the earth, are questions we would reverently and patiently leave to the unfolding of that prophecy which,“ sounding through the long galleries of centuries,” proclaims that all nations shall be blessed in Abraham and his seed.
Note. Since the foregoing Article was in type, Dr. Horatius Bonar's “ Land of Promise" has come to hand. It gives a clear statement of the theory which enlarges Mount Zion upon the North, and transfers Akra to the eastern side of the valley from the Damascus gate, which Dr. B. regards as the Tyropoeon. (pp. 496 –501.) His view of Gihon, however, is untenable and self-contradictory.
i Cited in “ The Last Times," a volume of discourses by Rev. J. A. Seiss, Lutheran Pastor in Baltimore; an cloquent advocate of the pre-millenial advent.