The Lands of the Saracen eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 378 pages of information about The Lands of the Saracen.
ruined as to give no clue to the date of their erection.  Further towards the mountain there are some arches, which appear to be Saracenic.  As we ascended again into the hill-country, I observed several traces of cisterns in the bottoms of ravines, which collect the rains.  Herod, as is well known, built many such cisterns near Jericho, where he had a palace.  On the first crest, to which we climbed, there is part of a Roman tower yet standing.  The view, looking back over the valley of Jordan, is magnificent, extending from the Dead Sea to the mountains of Gilead, beyond the country of Ammon.  I thought I could trace the point where the River Yabbok comes down from Mizpeh of Gilead to join the Jordan.

The wilderness we now entered was fully as barren, but less rugged than that through which we passed yesterday.  The path ascended along the brink of a deep gorge, at the bottom of which a little stream foamed over the rocks.  The high, bleak summits towards which we were climbing, are considered by some Biblical geographers to be Mount Quarantana, the scene of Christ’s fasting and temptation.  After two hours we reached the ruins of a large khan or hostlery, under one of the peaks, which Francois stated to be the veritable “high mountain” whence the Devil pointed out all the kingdoms of the earth.  There is a cave in the rock beside the road, which the superstitious look upon as the orifice out of which his Satanic Majesty issued.  We met large numbers of Arab families, with their flocks, descending from the mountains to take up their summer residence near the Jordan.  They were all on foot, except the young children and goats, which were stowed together on the backs of donkeys.  The men were armed, and appeared to be of the same tribe as our escort, with whom they had a good understanding.

The morning was cold and cloudy, and we hurried on over the hills to a fountain in the valley of the Brook Kedron, where we breakfasted.  Before we had reached Bethany a rain came down, and the sky hung dark and lowering over Jerusalem, as we passed the crest of Mount Olivet.  It still rains, and the filthy condition of the city exceeds anything I have seen, even in the Orient.

Chapter V.

The City of Christ.

  Modern Jerusalem—­The Site of the City—­Mount Zion—­Mount Moriah—­The
  Temple—­the Valley of Jehosaphat—­The Olives of Gethsemane—­The Mount of
  Olives—­Moslem Tradition—­Panorama from the Summit—­The Interior of the
  City—­The Population—­Missions and Missionaries—­Christianity in
  Jerusalem—­Intolerance—­The Jews of Jerusalem—­The Face of Christ—­The
  Church of the Holy Sepulchre—­The Holy of Holies—­The Sacred
  Localities—­Visions of Christ—­The Mosque of Omar—­The Holy Man of
  Timbuctoo—­Preparations for Departure.

  “Cut off thy hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a
  lamentation in high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the
  generation of his wrath.”—­Jeremiah vii. 29.

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The Lands of the Saracen from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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