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Leaving the scene of our Lord's bitter agony, we pass along the Valley of the Kedron, sometimes called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Jews and Mohammedans, alike, believe that this will be the scene of the final judgment. Hence has arisen an eager desire to be buried here, and the soil is, in many places, literally paved with tombstones, and the whole valley is one vast cemetery. Shortly before reaching the point of junction of the valleys of Hinnom and Kedron, we reach a cluster of remarkable tombs, called by the names of Zacharias, Absalom, and St. James. The tradition respecting them is quite modern, and has no historical basis. Those of Zacharias and
MOUNT OF CORRUPTION IN THE VALLEY of JEHOSHAPHAT, WITH THE TOMBS OF ABSALOM, ST. JAMES, AND ZACHARIAS.
Absalom are similar in design, being cut out of the solid rock. The former is said to be the burial-place of the Zacharias who was “slain between the temple and the altar.” The latter, tradition asserts to be the pillar which the rebellious son “reared up for himself during his lifetime in the king's dale, for he said, I have no son to keep my name in rememberance.” Its base is now buried beneath a heap of stones, upon which each Jew, as he passes, throws one in detestation of his memory. The tomb of St. James is a remarkable chamber, cut out of the side of the hill, with rock-hewn Doric columns in front. A modern tradition declares
TOMBS IV THE WA LLEY OF #EHOSHAPHA T.
that here St. James retired after our Lord's crucifixion, and vowed neither to eat nor drink till He had risen again. On the third day the risen Saviour appeared to him, saying, “Arise and eat, for I have now risen from the dead.” The marked resemblance between this sepulchre and the temple-tombs at Beni-hassan, in Egypt, has given rise to the suggestion that here we have the idol temple constructed by Solomon for his queen, the daughter of Pharaoh, in “the hill that is before Jerusalem.” The site and the style of architecture afford a certain measure of probability to the conjecture.
Just above us on the left is Silwan, the ancient Siloam—a collection of
wretched hovels, inhabited by peasantry, who have the reputation of being
the most dangerous, turbulent, and thievish in the district. Though I have
often passed through the village alone, or with only a single companion, I
have never had anything to complain of beyond a demand for backshish,
more than usually clamorous. In this village, and in other places round * I Kings xi, 4–8.
Jerusalem, I found many of the peasantry occupying old tombs which formed abodes at least as commodious as the huts in which their neighbours lived. The pool of Siloam is at the foot of the hill on our right. It and the neighbouring well of En Rogel are still much used, not only by the villagers, but by the water sellers of Jerusalem. Turning to the right up the Valley of Hinnom, we see, on the dark and gloomy Hill of Evil Counsel, Aceldama. Down to a very late period, it continued to be used as “a field to bury strangers in.” Skulls brought
away from this spot and submitted to the examination of competent ethnologists, have been pronounced to be those of negroes and other non-semitic 1"alCCS. Another tomb, on the north side of the city, demands brief mention here. It used to be called the tomb of the kings, but it has now been identified as that of Queen Helena, a Jewish Proselyte, who in the first century of our era died, and was buried at Jerusalem. It is remarkable not only for the extent and perfect preservation of the sepulchral chambers, but for the ingenious
* Matt. xxvii. 7.
THE TOMB OAT HAELEAVA.
mechanism by which the entrance was closed or opened—a huge stone being rolled to or from the mouth of the entrance. It thus affords an interesting contemporary illustration of the words of the evangelists, “Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? And when they looked they saw the stone rolled away, for it was very great."
But it would be impossible, with the space at our disposal, to describe, however briefly, all the objects of interest in and around Jerusalem. Whole
THE TOMB OF HELENA.
volumes have been devoted to the subject without exhausting it. This brief and inadequate sketch may be brought to a close by recalling to memory a Sabbath morning service in Christ Church on Mount Zion, as the Protestant church, recently erected there, is called. The liturgy had gained a deeper significance and impressiveness from the associations of the place. The sermon had set forth Christ crucified as the hope alike of Jew and Gentile. And the concluding hymn brought tears to many eyes; solemn penitential