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“ Here, then, are the details of what of water might be found, and grass to we observed on the burnt place.' save the horses and mules alive?-(Verses
“ Having seated ourselves beneath the 1-6). To get rid of this difficulty, some shade of a huge oak, we once more opened pious travellers, with imaginations our Bibles at chap. xviii. of 1st Kings, stronger than their judgments, have said, and examined what was required in the '0, as for that water, the thing speaks place of sacrifice, in order to its agreement for itself; it must evidently have been with the account given in the Bible. Ac- got from the sea. But less religious percording to verses 18th and 19th, it must sons, who were sharp enough to perceive have been ample enough in size to con- that the place where Elijah made the tain a very numerous multitude. El-Moh- offering could not have been at the seahraka must at that time have been quite side, have rightly remarked, that it must fitted for this, although now covered with have been impossible, from every other a rough dense jungle. Indeed, one can point of Carmel lying more inland, on acscarcely imagine a spot better adapted for count of the great distance from the sea, the thousands of Israel to have stood to go thither and return on an afternoon, drawn up on than the gentle slopes. The much more to do this three several times, rock shoots up in an almost perpendicular as is expressly stated in the 34th verse. wall of more than two hundred feet in Such persons, therefore, have rejected height on the side of the plain of Esdrae- altogether this absurd explanation, withlon. On this side, therefore, there was out, however, themselves arriving at any no room for the gazing multitude ; but, on better solution of the difficulty ; and this the other hand, this wall made it visible has led unbelievers, in their prejudiced over the whole plain, and from all the haste, to assert that the Bible narrative surrounding heights, so that even those is a mere fiction, that being the view which left behind, and who had not ascended best suited their purpose. Dr Kalley and Carmel, would still have been able to wit- I felt our mouths shut in the presence of ness, at no great distance, the fire from this difficulty. We saw no spring, yet heaven that descended upon the altar. here we were certain the place must have According to verse 30th, there must have been; for it is the only point of all Carmel been an altar there before, for Elijah re- where Elijah could have been so close to paired 'the altar of the Lord that was the brook Kishon, then dried up, as to broken down.' It is well known that take down thither the priests of Baal and such altars were uniformly built on very slay them, return again to the mountain conspicuous eminences. Now, there is and pray for rain, all in the short space not a more conspicuous spot on all Car- of the same afternoon after the Lord mel than the abrupt rocky height of had shown, by His fire from heaven, that Mohhraka, shooting up so suddenly
on the He, and He alone, was God (see verses east. Verses 31st and 32d point to a rocky 40-44). El-Mohhraka is 1635 feet above soil, in which stones were to be found to the sea, and perhaps 1000 feet above serve for the construction of the altar, and the Kishon. This height can be gone up yet where the stones must have been so and down in the short time allowed by loose or so covered with a thick bed of the Scripture. But the farther one goes earth, that ' a trench'could have been towards the middle of the mountain, the made round the altar, whilst not of so higher he ascends above the Kishon, beloose a composition of sand and earth as cause Carmel rises higher then, and the that the water poured into it would have plain through which the river flows runs been absorbed. The place we were ex
lower down. Add to this that the Kishon amining met these requisitions in every takes a course more and more divergrespect ; it showed a rocky surface, with ing from the mountain, and the ravine a sufficiency of large fragments of rock by which people descend to the river's lying around, and, besides, well fitted for bed is exceedingly difficult to pass the rapid digging of a trench. But now through, so that three full hours are comes the grand difficulty of both believers thought necessary for traversing the disand unbelievers, who have not seen tance from Esfiëh to the stream. Nothis place : Whence could Elijah have where does the Kishon run so close to procured so much water as to have it to Mount Carmel as just beneath El-Mohpour over the offering and the altar in hraka. Pious expositors, who would barrelfuls, so that he filled the trench also transfer the scene to the seaward side of with water, at a time when, after three the mountain, seem quite to have left out years of drought, all the rivers and brooks of sight the required condition--that it were dried up, and the king in person, must be near the brook Kishon. and the governor of his house, divided Well, then, we went down to the Kishon the land between them to pass through through a steep ravine, and, behold, right it, to see if, peradventure, any fountains below the steep rocky walls of the height
on which we stood -250 feet, it might be, ignorant of all this minutiæ of illusbeneath the altar plateau-a vaulted and tration. But the science is overdone. very abundant fountain, built in the form The illustration smothers the text, of a tank, with a few steps leading down and we become suspicious of every into it, just as one finds elsewhere in the old walls or springs of the Jewish times. teaching which toils to bring the
new attempt of that over-explanatory Possibly the neighbourhood of this spring may have been the inducement that led to
material and framework of the sacred that altar which Elijah repaired, having record down to "the meanest capabeen built to the Lord in former times. city," almost wearying us into increPossibly, too, the water of this spring dulity where, if left alone, we could may have been consecrated to the Lord, not choose but believe. Holy Writ, 80 as not to be generally accessible to the by far the truest and most life-like people, even in times of fearful drought. picture of its own time, explains In such springs the water remains always itself with small assistance-but we cool, under the shade of a vaulted roof, and with no hot atmosphere to evaporate illustration aš this, which brings
are glad always to light on such an it. While all other fountains were dried up, I can well understand that there before us, in all its striking features, might have been found here that supera ing scenes of the old dispensation,
the locality of one of the most strikabundance of water which Elijah poured 80 profusely over the altar. Yes, the Like every other traveller in this more I consider the matter, the more am singular country, M. Van de Velde is I convinced, that from such a fountain struck by the evident tokens everyalone could Elijah have procured so much where of long-restrained and dormant water at that time. And as for the dis- fertility. The land is still a land of tance between this spring and the sup- milk and honey. Folded into the unposed site of the altar, it was every way
seen recesses of Carmel, where there is possible for men to go thrice thither and scarcely an eye to look on it, the soil back to obtain the necessary supply.
is lavish of the richest vegetation, “ Further, the place of Elijah's offering --the same, probably, where he cast him. matted with plants and flowers self down upon the earth, and put his face
and everywhere the same teeming between his knees, in offering thanks to fruitfulness peers through the uncalthe Lord for the divine power He had tivated waste, which notwithstanding hitherto displayed, to beseech Him for is a barren waste bound with the the further fulfilment of His promises, visible restrictions of Providence, forthat of rain for the parched-up ground bidden and interdicted to spread forth the place of Elijah's offering, I say, its riches, and waiting solemnly, with behoves to have been so screened by a
the life pent up in its great bosom, rising ground on the west or north-west
till the call of God shall wake it into side as to intercept a view of the sea; for the luxuriance of old. he said to his servant, 'Go up now, and look toward the sea.' Moreover, the
A grand romance is in the position distance to that height must not have of this desolate but unexhausted land been great; for the passage runs — Go
-ruled by strangers, inhabited by an again seven times,' (verses
42-44). Now, alien race, and desecrated by an idolsuch is the position of El-Mohhraka, that atrous worship, yet with all its rich these circumstances might all quite well faculties hidden in its heart, and its have been united there. On its west and heirs, scattered yet indestructible, north-west side the view of the sea is waiting for return to it as it waits for quite intercepted by an adjacent height. them. M. Van de Velde cannot
That height may be ascended, however, restrain bis impatience with Turkish in a few minutes, and a full view of the sea obtained from the top."
rule in Palestine. Disgusted with
the universal corruption, universal There is nothing we hear of more mismanagement and oppression, he frequently than of the great additional chafes at the idea of the Christian light thrown upon the Bible by modern Powers upholding the effete and tyresearches; and with Scripture geo- rannical government of the Porte, graphy and Scripture botany, with under whose sway, he says, everyEastern usages and ancient customs, thing withers, from commercial enterthis modern time professes a much prise to family comfort, and in whose clearer apprehension of the Bible hands everything becomes a failure. than did the elder age, which was Setting political motives aside, it is
indispatably a singular position which a wail of blind inquiry, and long susEngland and France hold in this con- pense—are all the harp of Judah is test. A few hundred years ago, capable of now; and till the hand of Christendom resisted with desperation the Divine musician touch the strings, on these very boundaries the invasion it is a vain hope that any human of the Turk, and it is strange to see finger can wake them to the measure the leading powers of Christendom of David or of Solomon, the lofty crossing the very same line in these strains of old. days to fight under the banner of the One thing these modern times, with Crescent, and mingle the knightly all their fairy works of science and symbols, whose fame has been dearly mighty rush of “ progress," ought to won in the battles of the faith, with do for both Mahommedan and Jewthe ensigns of the unbeliever. Well, to convince them that there is but one letting alone the balance of power faith, which never becomes obsoleteand such imperial considerations, one religion, which, all independent show us the Englishman who will of climate or temperature, is from stand by and see the poor heathen God, and embraces all mankindHindoo, whose pathetic silence craves which is abashed by no discovery, and alms upon our streets, fall into the thrown into the shade by no improvehands of some big Saxon bully, with- ment. The creed of Mahomet is anout lifting hand or voice for the rescue tiquated, and in its dotage. To live of the weak, and we will say that a Jew in these days is to live among such a man, but no other, has a right the tombs. Paganism is dead and to stigmatise this crusade of right gone long centuries ago. Only Chrisagainst might, and condemn the tianity, in its sublime unfailing youth, Christian nation for defence of the is never out of date, but works as Infidel. But for our ally, with his handily with the instruments of tomagnificent indifference, his passive day as with those of a thousand years fatalism, his misgovernment, and all ago, and, knowing neither culminahis sins, let us be thankful that we tion nor decadence, is perpetually the do not need to adopt his faults when same. we vindicate his right-rather that But to M. Van de Velde, the charm our vindication of his rights, our as- of attraction which binds the devout sociation with himself, our help and mind to the children of Abraham, the brotherliness, are better modes of chosen people, is very strong. He vanquishing the Oriental, who has cannot sufficiently execrate the Turkproved his mettle in these days, than ish occupancy, which gives this histoa new crusade, such as M. Van de ric country to the race of all others Velde longs for, to restore to the most indifferent to its holiest memoHebrews their old inheritance. With ries, and when he sees the soil itself God, and not with us, does it remain indicating, by many evidences, its into decide when the Jew is ready for herent riches, yet lying scorched and his new existence—when the time of barren under the eye of heaven-when prophecy shall be accomplished, and he sees a government which discouthat revolution begun which is to call rages every exertion, a people who out of all lands and places the wan- have no heart to make any, conscious, dering nation, the great pilgrim of as he says, of the usurpation of these centuries, and bring Israel home. It lands, which are not their own-our is not easy to realise the possibility fervent pilgrim burns with natural of such an event, and there is no wonder impatience to accelerate the slow in all past history equal to what this course of events, and can scarcely will be but the work is manifestly out bring himself to tolerate the
support of man's hands. At this moment, find given to this “Empire of Turkey," him where you will, the qualities for which he apostrophises, with all which the Jew is distinguished are its tyranny at home and impotence not those which win the respect or abroad. Far better service, as he admiration of his neighbours-he is thinks, these same victorious Eurobarren and desolate like his country, pean arms would render, if they exand has no beauty in him. Harsh pelled the Crescent from Palestine, sounds and unmelodious-at the best, and established the Hebrew in his immemorial fatherland; but it is a into the water, almost cutting off into hard thing for a man to set about ac- a separate lake the southmost portion complishing prophecy-the work is of the sea. This portion, beyond the above his hand. M. Van de Velde promontory El-Lisan, is found to be mentions, however, almost with en- extremely shallow, and in more than thusiasm, the enterprise of a small one spot fordable, presenting a strikAmerican colony which, established ing contrast, in this particular, to the at Bethlehem, professed an intention main body of the water, which reaches to prepare the soil, to “break up the the depth of 1300 feet. This shallow fallow-ground," in preparation for the end of the lake, guarded by its broad return of the banished Israelites. peninsula, Dr Robinson, the eminent The idea gratifies his eager mind; American traveller, takes to be an but the colonists, after all, turn out inundated plain ; in other words, the but indifferently, and the enterprise vale of Siddim, the ancient site of the is found to fail.
condemned cities. According to the The present questio vexata of these Scripture narrative, the soil of this sacred localities occupies some space fertile valley was “full of slime-pits," in the journals of M. Van de Velde. a bituminous underground to the surThis controversy, originating in the face of tropical luxuriance; and Dr real or alleged discoveries of M. de Robinson's theory holds, that the fire Saulcy, calls up one of the most which destroyed Sodom and Gomorremote and mysterious events ever rah broke up the superficial soil, igbrought under human discussion—the nited the bitumen, and lowered the destruction of the cities of the plain, surface of the plain below the level of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Ze- the lake, which immediately flooded boim. The original idea, touching over the sunken valley, and formed these guilty objects of the Divine the shallow piece of water at the wrath, wrapt in awe and mystery as south end of the Dead Sea. A glance their fate was, seems to have been, at the map will show how the form of that the Dead Sea, itself the gloomi- the lake justifies this theory, in which est and most appalling object in crea- many travellers, and among them tion, had been called into existence Lieutenant Van de Velde, fully concur. by the same miracle which annihilated On the other hand, M. de Saulcy the condemned cities, and that its affirms positively to finding extensive deadly waters swept every trace of ruins at a place called Kharbet Sdoum them out of sight for ever. But mo- (ruins of Sodom), at the foot of Djebel dern travel has taken from the Dead Sdoum, or Mountain of Sodom; and Sea much of its mysterious desolation; on the edge of this submerged plain he it is found that sweet fountains spring, finds also other ruins bearing the and luxuriant vegetation flourishes, name of Sebaan, which he concludes within sight of its waters, and that to be Zeboim, and still others called itself bears no evident trace of its by the Arabs Zouera, or Zuweirah, deadly qualities, but appears, as one
which he reckons Zoar. These conand another of its visitors say, only a sist of walls, of now and then a dis“ splendid lake,” an inland sea, mir- tinct building, and of masses of fallen roring clear skies and picturesque stones, to such extent as to merit the mountains, sublime, but not terrible. term “ stupendous ruins.” Here the Traces of the most frightful convul- reader, who can only compare testisions of nature surround it on every mony, is put completely at fault; for, side ; extinct volcanoes and tremen- as confidently as M. de Saulcy affirms dous chasms, mountains dislocated his discovery of these ruins, does M. and shattered in pieces, and tracts of Van de Velde deny the existence of unparalleled desolation; but still it is any such. No former traveller has impossible to regard the lake itself as lighted upon them; no after traveller the fatal object which former ideas has confirmed the story; but what held it to be. As the subject clears shall we make of the distinct assertion from the superstitious veneration of of M. de Saulcy, with his little band less informed times, a new theory is of companions, who declared thempropounded. Near the end of the selves to have twice visited and exapresent Dead Sea, a peninsula strikes mined these extraordinary remains, and to be perfectly convinced of their manfully in the face of the Frenchauthenticity ? Limestone rocks, cor- man, denies his premises, scouts his rugated and channelled by winter conclusions, and is thoroughly contorrents, and worn into the resem- vinced in his own mind that not a blance of layers of building, explains vestige remains above ground of the M. Van de Velde—stupendous ruins, submerged cities of the plain. veritable remains of the cities of the M. Van de Velde, who travels Pentapolis, says his adversary: both economically, without thinking it neproduce battalions of testimony- cessary to secure the attendance of which is right?
sheikhs of half a dozen tribes, seems In real locality, we apprehend, the to meet with a very much less degree controversy makes little difference, of annoyance and obstruction than is since both sides of the question mu- common to travellers in Palestine. tually agree in choosing this southern We cannot fail to observe, in the end of the Asphaltic Lake for the midst of many complaints of the raposition of the destroyed cities. M. pacity and perpetual exactions imDe Saulcy places Zoar on the western posed by the tribes of the desert upon side; Dr Robinson and M. Van de wandering pilgrims, that every traVelde, and all preceding travellers, veller has at least one faithful Arab, settle its position on the eastern coast, who, if not entirely superior to bakupon the peninsula. The Frenchman sheesh, does yet deport himself with finds his tangible memorials of Sodom, exemplary conscientiousness, and gain and the wonderful event which de- the entire confidence and friendship stroyed it, his large burned stones, of the party he conducts. A good and destroyed buildings, recognised omen this, for a race so completely by Arab tradition, on the still remain- beyond the rules of ordinary law. ing soil ; the American and the Ne. There are some cases, too, where, cast therlander cover these awful remnants almost upon their charity, sick, exof Almighty vengeance with the bitter hausted, and undefended, with no waters wherein no life can be. The greater retinue than two unwarlike former proposition may admit of proof servants and one Bedouin guide, M. palpable to the senses, since “ stu- Van de Velde meets with unexpected pendous ruins” are not things to be kindness and hospitality from these ignored by an honest examination ; children of Ishmael, and in his expebut the waters of the lake, if they rience the Bedouins seem to contrast contain it, will not open to disclose rather favourably with the resident their secret ;-so all the advantages of villagers through whose domains his proof are on M. de Saulcy's side. As former course had been. Notwithit is, however, the question does not standing, though the unobtrusive traseem to us a question for ordinary veller, who trusts himself without a discussion, but simply one of compa- guard among them, may meet with rative credibility of testimony—are less annoyance than the richly-equipthere ruins, or are there not? Has ped expedition, prodigal of piastres, there been glamour in M. de Saulcy's one does not see how controversies, eyes, or has obstinate scepticism ob- historicalor geographical, touching this scured the vision of M. Van de Velde? mysterious territory, can ever be rightThe question is not one on which we ly determined so long as the invesare prepared to give a judgment. Our tigators are compelled to hurry from impetuous Gallic champion_stands point to point, and are kept in terror alone, defying the civilised Bedouin of the least divergence from their proCriticism, as he defied the Ishmael of jected course, lest an enemy pounce the desert; but an army of heavy upon them in the wilds where no help artillery fights on the side espoused is. A railway to the shores of the by M. Van de Velde. What shall we Dead Sea is scarcely to be feared or say
y?- in prospect of a magnificent hoped for these few centuries, but duel pending between the head of the there surely might be an expeditionary one party and the sole and indivisible band, strong enough to disregard the representative of the other, only that wild inhabitants of this land, which our present author boldly throws him- piques and tantalises with imperfect self into the discussion, Aings his glove revelations the curiosity of science.