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necessarily implies that the precipice was close to the town ; it is said, they “ thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong."*

In a room of solid masonry, eighteen feet square and ornamented with pictures of our Saviour, the holy family, and St. Francesco, a large stone, twelve feet long, seven broad, and three high, is shewn as the table where our Lord eat with his disciples before and after his resurrection. While we were examining it, two females entered, and with great solemnity kissed it. With only less veneration they saluted the hand of our guide, an act which was frequently repeated in the course of our walk by others of the Nazarenest who regard the friars in charge of the holy relics with a reverence almost amounting to adoration.

A circular room, fifteen feet in diameter, furnished with one door and one window, is declared to be the dwelling and workshop of

* Luke iv. 29.

+ The names Nazarene and Nazarite have sometimes been thought to be connected; but they are very distinct words, and only appear similar because two different Arabic letters are represented by the European z. Nazarite is derived from ; (nuzur), a vow or offering ; Nazarene from šai (Nazareth), the town.

MISHNA AND GEMARA.

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Joseph, where “the carpenter's son” practised the humble trade of his father. The masonry is very strong and ancient; the interior is adorned with an altar, a lamp, and a picture; and a recess is shewn as the bedroom of Joseph who, if he ever occupied so substantially built a house, was favored beyond most of his trade, even in modern days.

The 'view from the hills above Nazareth embraces many interesting objects. Besides Tabor and Hermon, the valley of Esdraelon, and Carmel, already referred to, in the east is Cana of Galilee, the scene of our Lord's first recorded miracle; and in the north, in the plain of Zebulon, Sephoury the site of the ancient Diocæsarea, where the pilgrim is invited to inspect the house of Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Virgin, and that of “Judah the holy,” who, according to the Jews, composed, completed, or reduced into form the Mishna, or traditions of their religion, in the second century after Christ. The Gemara, or commentary on the Mishna, is generally believed not to have been compiled till the sixth century. It is held to be of equal authority with the Mishna; and though the Mishna and Gemara form conjointly the talmud, yet, in general, when the talmud is

376

CATHOLIC LEGENDS.

spoken of, the Gemara is principally intended. When the word of man is thus preferred to that of the Most High, can we wonder at the solemn censure of our Lord addressed to the expounders of the law, “ Well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, In vain they do worship mé, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men ?”

In their exaltation of traditions above the written word, 'the Roman Catholics in the Holy Land follow the example of the Scribes and Pharisees; and, as though the country they dwell in were not sufficiently fraught with interest, every spot must be forced into a false, connexion with some event related in Scripture. Thus wearied with unmeaning legends, after seeing all that is to be seen and hearing all that is to be told, the traveller finds it no small comfort to get rid of the kind, officious monks, that he may retire to meditate on the interesting realities of a place where the Lord of heaven was known, though as the son of a carpenter; where his glories and his god. head shone, though concealed from the eye of man; and where the brightness of his Father's image shed a divine, though unacknowledged, radiance over his veil of flesh.

* Matt. xv. 7, 9.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

SAMARIA.

FROM NAZARETH TO NABLOOS.

Leave Nazareth.—Plain of Esraelon, or Jezreel. Shunem.

- River Kishon.—Gilboa and Megiddo.--Probable spot where the last battle will be fought.— Jezreel.- Sarcophagi.-Battles.-Vineyard of Naboth.-Present desolation.-Junneen.-Hills of Samaria.--Territories of Asher and Manasseh. - Jubbah. - Curiosity of villagers. — Accommodations.-Ruins of Sebaste, the ancient Samaria.Terraces. Columns. Origin of name. Colonnade.--. Ruins of church.-- Prison of John Baptist.-History of Samaria.-Sieges.—Prophecy fulfilled.-Israelites carried captive.--Heathen colony.-Christianity introduced into Samaria. – Villages. - Conversation with natives. - Nabloos, the ancient Sychar.–Gerizim and Ebal.-Population. -Festival.- Amusements and dress of women.

.—Dinah's curiosity. Reproof of guide. — Lepers. - Anecdote. Greek priest.--Mode of preparing leather.- Bazaars. Springs of Samaria. - Joseph's portion.—Jacob's well.Burial-places of Joseph, Eleazar, and Joshua.-Spot where Joseph was sold. Modern Samaritans.—Their early history.-Synagogue and “cohen.”—Samaritan copy of the Pentateuch.- Its age and character.-Walton's Polyglott.

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PLAIN OF ESDRAELON.

-Priesthood hereditary.—Differences between Jews and
Samaritans. - Alteration of Scripture. — Appearance of
Gerizim and Ebal.-Annual sacrifice on Gerizim.Sama-
ritan secretary.--Antipathies of religious sects.

LEAVING Nazareth at 6 A.M. we crossed over the “ Hill of precipitation” at some distance from the spot whence the monks say the Jews proposed to cast our Lord headlong into the abyss. Proceeding by a steep descent, in an hour and a half we reached the plain of Esdraelon. The interesting villages of Nain and Deboree, with the site of Endor, where Saul consulted the woman that bad “ a familiar spirit,”* again came into view; and soon we passed Soolam, or Shunem, the residence of the Shunemmite, f whose son Elisha raised. Two hours after, we forded a little stream, one of the sources of the river Kishon; a mile beyond which is the parallel of the low hills of Gilboa, the scene of destruction to Saul and his sons. On these, two villages are situate that still retain, with slight corruption, their ancient scriptural appellations; the former is Gilboa, now called Jilboon, which gives its name to the hills; the other is Megiddo,

* 1 Sam. xxvij. 7, 8. + 2 Kings iv. 8.

#1 Sam. xxxi. 8.

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