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ratives, who had evidently been in the Sultan's ward things,—his oratory the solitary mountains, army and knew something of the use of fire- his purpose the salvation of our race, his will the arms. And this had been the possession and will of God.” We rode through the whole length the dwelling-place so long ago of that noble of the town along its narrow tortuous streets, and Shunamitish woman who had “dwelt among pitched our tents a little way to the north of it, her own people.” Was this the old garden of in a shady grove of olives, with a Christian cemeherself and her husband, attached to that old tery on the one side, and “ Mary's well” pouring family mansion in which Elisha, as he passed out three full streams of water, not far from us, from time to time along this mountain-path, on the other. as we were now doing, had a little chamber As there were some hours yet before sunset, prepared for him,—with a bed and a table, a we no sooner got rid of our horses, than we were stool and a candlestick,-in which he might en- back again in Nazareth. The population is esjos undisturbed opportunity for meditation and timated at 4000. Of these, only a few hundreds prayer ? In that corn-field hard by, whose crop are Mohammedans: the rest are principally Chriswas now advancing to ripeness, the Shunamite's tians of the Latin and Greek Churches, with about little son may have gone out among the reapers
400 Maronites and 100 Protestants. There are and received that sun-stroke by which he died. no Jews. The usual good influence even of corThrough openings among the trees, we had Car- rupt forms of Christianity is seen in the superior mel full in view about ten miles across the plain, character of the houses—which are all built of where Elisha had his hermitage, and it was easy stone-in the bustle and variety of the bazaars to imagine the anguished mother seated on her and shops, in the dress of the women, and in the mule crossing the plain to the prophet's moun- general look of independence and industry among tain-home to seek relief from her terrible sorrow. the people. There is, of course, a large convent We know with what sympathizing alacrity the belonging to each of the two great Eastern comman of God obeyed her summons. She who had munions, a Maronite chapel, and a small unpreso often received the prophet in the name of a
We were shown the place prophet, obtained more than a prophet's reward. where the synagogue had stood in which our This village on the mountain-side had once been Lord preached on that memorable occasion rethe scene of a resurrection.
corded in Luke's Gospel, the workshop in which Ip and further up we climbed those grassy
he laboured as a carpenter with his reputed Lopes, and rode with growing expectation over father, the table at which he was accustomed to those rocky ridges, in search of Nazareth. At eat with his twelve disciples, and other spots length, on our ascending the shoulder of a hill, that have associated with them equally clumsy We saw it at no great distance. There, at the and unlikely traditions. But we soon became head of a flowery glen, hanging on its west- weary of this, and preferred to look on the un ern side, was the little mountain-town far re- changed face of nature on which He had looked, moved from the busy world, wonderfully retired and to wander among the flowers which had and silent. The first sight of Nazareth was a been pressed by his blessed feet. There was the sacred moment in our life never to be forgotten. wild thyme, and the stately holyhock, and many That was the home of our Lord's childhood, a rock plant and meadow flower unknown in the fouth, and earlier manhood. What a power has flora of the Western world. gone out from that quiet hamlet, mightiest for Is there irreverence in conjecturing what may good that the world has ever known or can know. have been the solitary walks of Jesus around ** 0 mystery of mysteries ! In that green basin Nazareth, and what may have been the posts of in the hills of Galilee, amid simple circumstances, observation from which he looked forth upon reperhaps in the exercise of a simple calling, dwelt moter scenes? We think not; though it is very the everlasting Son of God; the varied features possible to carry this kind of speculation to an of that nature which he himself had made so fair, irreverent extent. There is one eminence behind the permitted media of the impressions of out- Nazareth to which Dr. Robinson first called at
tention, which rises far above all the neighbouring of those instances in which his look disarmed his hills, and commands one of the most extensive enemies, and he passed away through the midst views in Palestine. Is it reasonable to doubt of them unharmed ? In front of this Maronite that Jesus must often have stood and gazed from Church, and looking up on the “Mount of prethat rocky summit? To the west the blue line cipitation,” there is one of the most interesting of the Mediterranean is distinctly visible. Turn- places in Nazareth. It is the little dispensary ing the eye slowly eastward, the plain of Esdrae- and hospital of Mr. Varten, a medical missionary, lon seems to spread its green carpet at our feet; who was sent out and is mainly supported by the behind it are the wooded ridges of Carmel, the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. This rocky mountains of Ephraim, and the far-off blue admirable labourer dispenses medicines and gives Judean hills. Further east, Gilboa lifts his dusky medical advice and surgical treatment during brow, and far beyond the Jordan stream, where certain hours each day; while more severe and the rays of the western sun are falling, are the difficult cases are treated in the hospital. It is a hills of Gilead and the grand Hauran mountains. neat, fastidiously clean, and well-aired house, In the midst of yon circle of grassy hills sleeps with admirable contrivances for protecting the the Sea of Galilee ; that town which sparkles like patients from noise, and from the glaring rays of a crown far up upon the brow of a hill is Safed; the sun. One could easily read contentment and and, behind all, the snowy Hermon looks down gratitude on the countenances of the patients, from his throne of clouds, as if he were the giant who had learned to value humane and intelligent guardian of "thy beautiful land, O Emmanuel.” treatment. Mr. Varten visits on horseback the
But there are two places in Nazareth itself villages around Nazareth, within a radius of fifteen which we may, surely, with a fair measure of or twenty miles ; and besides the directly benecertainty, connect with the presence of Jesus. ficent effects of his healing art, he has done much That fountain near to our tent which is pouring to strengthen the hands of Mr. Zeller and those out its three abundant streams into a spacious other Christian missionaries who have Nazareth tank beneath, is the one great public well of as their centre, and to associate Protestant ChrisNazareth. Early on the following morning we tianity in the minds of the people with superior saw multitudes of women coming to it with their skill and benevolent power. That little hospital
, pitchers, carried gracefully on their heads or with millions of other institutions for the temshoulders, to draw water. There were mothers poral good of men that are scattered over the among them who brought their beautiful little earth, would never have existed but for Him who children along with them, to play on the green- was called “a Nazarene," and condescended 1800 sward in front of the well, while they rested years ago to make this Nazareth bis home. their full vessels on its margin and talked with Early on the following morning we set ofi, one another. Nothing could be more decorous with Mr. Varten as our companion, on an excurthan the conduct of those picturesque groups of sion to Mount Carmel. It was necessary that maidens and mothers. Must not Mary, the wife we should once more cross the Plain of Esof the lowly carpenter, have often come hither draelon, which was the work of more than three
draw water from Nazareth's only fountain ; hours, and not without its adventures. and must she not have often come to it leading needed even more than the careful pilotage of by the hand her wondrous child.
yesterday, lest we should sink with our horses The other spot is a rocky precipice, between into oozy bogs, from which it might have taken fifty and sixty feet perpendicular, immediately hours to extricate us. Now we came upon storks behind the Maronite Church, which is, in all feeding in fenny places; and at other times we likeliliood, the real “ Mount of precipitation," startled large flocks of beautiful gazelles, which over whose brow the infuriated citizens en- fled before us with a nimble and bounding speed deavoured to force Jesus, after he had spoken that defied all pursuit. We found it no easy his faithful sermon in the synagogue. Did he matter to cross the Kishon, which flows along near effect his deliverance by a miracle ? or was it one the northern base of Carmel to the sea. There
was a considerable quantity of water in its channel; | the top of Carmel, Jehovah will search and take and its banks were so precipitous on either side, them out thence." that the problem seemed equally difficult as to how To our mind, Lieutenant Van de Velde has enwe were to get down into its water, or to get out tirely succeeded in identifying “the burnt place" of it again. But we floundered through some- as the scene of Elijah's sublime sacrifice, in which how, only one of our party being cast into the the question was reduced to experiment, “ Who muddy stream, from which he emerged not im- is the God ?” The scene presents every condition proved either in appearance or in temper. As which is required by the minutely graphic narwe approached the mountain, it struck us as a rative in the eighteenth chapter of the Second strange anachronism to see two telegraphic wires Book of Kings. First, there is a vast natural stretching along its side, and, as we afterwards amphitheatre, which we may imagine to have been learned, placing Beyrout in communication with covered with myriads of eager spectators, sumJerusalem. Beginning in a noble promontory moned to the spot by the authority of Ahab. that rises 1500 feet from the Mediterranean, into Then a platform rises a few feet high towards which it may almost be said to project itself, the centre, on which we may suppose Elijah to Carmel stretches into the centre of the land in a have reared his altar, and around which he drew south-easterly direction, until it links itself on to the trenches which were afterwards to be filled the less lofty hills of Samaria. Our aim was to with water. About two hundred and fifty feet come upon it at that point which leads up to the lower down, there is a large and deep fountain scene of the great contest between the prophet arched over by an overhanging rock, and further Elijah and the priests of Baal. We had ample screened from the sun's rays by the thick foliage opportunity, as we toiled up the mountain, to of an ancient oak. From this the water could verify the Biblical descriptions of it as the easily be brought in barrels of convenient size, ernblem of fertility and beauty,—“The excellency and poured into the trenches and upon the altar of Carmel and Sharon shall be given unto thee." and the dripping sacrifice. The climax of the At the point where we ascended, it was thickly scene arrives when, after the frantic Baal priests wooded to its summit,-so much so that our ser- have for hours invoked their god in vain, the Fants, who were following us at no great distance calm and solitary Elijah, stepping forward and with provisions, lost their way, and were so confronting them, prays for the divine signal of effectually hidden from us by the trees that we acceptance, and the moment afterwards the awecould only let them know where to find us by stricken thousands, with expectation strained to firing a succession of muskets. And the variety, the utmost, behold the flame descending from the alike in the flowers and the trees, was wonderful. blue heaven and consuming at once the sacrifice Not only the evergreen oak, the hawthorn, and and the altar. The Kishon flows at the foot of other hardy trees, but the fragrant myrtle and the the mountain, and there, on a green mound, whose delicate jasmine, and many lowly scented shrubs margin is washed by the stream, and whose traand beautiful creeping plants, among which we ditional name is “the hill of the priests,” those welcomed our old familiar friend the honey- ministers of idolatry who had misled the people, suckle. It was a perfect paradise for botanists. are slaughtered, their blood in a few hours to One enthusiastic German naturalist has said that crimson the Kishon, when, after the coming rain, "a botanist might spend a year on Carmel, and it rolls again in full current to the sea. After every day be adding a new specimen to his col- this awful tragedy on the river's brink, Elijah lections." We were able, before we left the ascends again to the scene of his great triumph, mountain, to add our testimony to the multitude and Ahab with him, probably to join in the acof natural caverns with which it abounds, and to customed feast after the sacrifice. And now the which it is supposed the prophet Amos alludes prophet who had brought down fire from heaven when, speaking of the vain attempts of the wicked by his prayer, pleads for rain to revive the long to escape the knowledge or the punishment of weary and parched land, and his servant is sent God, he says: “Though they hide themselves in up to a loftier eminence from which the Medi
terranean—the quarter from which the rains of , ing, have wondered at as lowering the prophet's Palestine come-can be seen, with directions to dignity, was a most touching revelation of his zeal report the earliest sign of the coming blessing for the Lord God of hosts. He, no doubt, expected We found, on ascending to a higher point that that, after such a direct testimony from heaven, rose a little to the west of the place of sacrifice, there would be an immediate renunciation on the that the Mediterranean came into view in five part of Ahab and all his court of the worship of minutes, so that it would not be long until the idols, and a restored allegiance to the true God. seventh report told of "the little cloud no bigger The terrible disappointment of the morrow, when than a man's hand” that was rising from the sea. a price was set on his head, drove him into Elijah knows the sign well; and as Ahab's chariot despondency, his life seemed a failure, he only was stands waiting down at the base of Carmel, the left, and he fled into the distant wilderness and prophet's servant now bears to him the urgent wished to die. request to make haste along the plain to Jezreel, When we rode through Nazareth to our tents whose site we could dimly descry from “the burnt among the olives, four hours after our leaving place." But why does the prophet descend the Carmel, the sun was disappearing behind the mountain also, and run all the way beside the highest ridge of the mountain, and the muezzinking's bounding chariot, until it enters the palace cry from the top of the little mosque was calling gate? The action which many, not understand- I the few Mohammedans in Nazareth to prayer.
BASLE AND ITS “JAHRES FEST.”
[The Editor is bappy in being able to present to the reader notes by an eye-witness of the mission festival of Basle, helt
so lately as the first week of July this year. The Church in that city is a grand outstanding example of the blessel influence exerted by missions on those who send them. The blessing comes back like an echo from the ends of the earth. In visiting the missionary institute of that city some years ago, the Editor was informed by the student who conducted him, that the National Church of Basle is not overrun with Rationalism, as in most of the other Protestant
The good works which the truth produced seem to have been the means of preserving the truth that produced them.]
HI E old city of Basle must ever be an inter- The series of meetings continues for eight days, ani
esting place, both from its quaint architec- they are in many respects very different from anything I ture-preserving so much of the character had before seen, either connected with the Presbyterian
of past centuries, and from its many as- Churches of Scotland, or the great Exeter Hall meetings sociations with the celebrated men of Reformation times, of London. Things seemed altogether on a more simple when it was often a harbour of refuge for persecuted and natural footing. What at once struck me was the Christians. But to me it will ever have a special interest, very large proportion of the lower classes in those meetas a place where I received a practical illustration of the ings, the absence of whom from our week-day missionary great and blessed truth of the trne brotherhood in Christ meetings is so conspicuous. Nor were they only the that still exists, in spite of the many divisions and lower classes of the town of Basle. The peasant cosoffences that rend his Church.
tumes of the Continent are so marked in their diversity, Arriving there as a perfect stranger, without any in- that I could at once trace whence many of the people troductions, my inquiries with regard to the great annual came, and was amazed to find what distances some of week of meetings of religious societies in Basle were the them must have travelled. occasion of my being received, not as a stranger, but a In the house where I was so kindly entertained, besister in Christ. At the office of the Mission House sides other guests, were two peasant women, who, for (where many students are trained for work in mission love of the work of the Lord, and from desire to hear of fields in all parts of the world) the names of those the spread of his gospel, had come a whole day's journey strangers who desire to attend the meetings are received, from their quiet Swabian village. Wurtemburg was and also the names of those inhabitants of Basle who well represented in the meetings. Many a man dressed are willing to receive these strangers, and show them in short-waisted, long-tailed coat, waistcoat ornamentel a free hospitality. My name was thus received, and I with large silver buttons, breeches, and long boots, was welcomed by those who, though I had never seen and many a woman bonnetless, and with ng tail of them before, I may now ever count as dear friends in plaited hair and ribbon (that reminded me of ChinaChrist.
men), showed by their face of keen interest that the
cause of missions bas taken a deep hold on the country the children, seeing the parents so set on having them population of that land. Then there were also to be high in this world, all too readily followed as they were seen many of the curious head-dresses of Baden, huge led, parents and children together forgetting our Lord's black bows of ribbon standing out at least a quarter of words, “ How can ye believe, which receive honour one a yard on each side of the head. The picturesque cos- of another, and seek not the honour that cometh tume of Canton Berne was not wanting, and the curious from God only ?” It was a very home-speaking, stirring tiff caps which I can recollect as a child often seeing on address, and I could only earnestly desire that all Christhe heads of the “Buy a broom” women. I know not tian parents in my own land would lay the same subject to what land they belong, or why they now hardly ever to heart. It is vain to pray the prayer taught us by our are seen in Scotland. Another thing that appeared new Lord, that the Lord of the harvest would send forth and extraordinary to me, was the remarkably intelligent labourers into his harvest, if we are unwilling either to. interest displayed by these peasants. They were evi- work ourselves, or to let others over whom we have condently all educated, and compulsory education is evi- trol or influence go forth to work wherever the Lord dently a useful thing. These peasant men and women may call ther. Surely the prayer can only come apdid not gape wonderingly at what they heard, or sleep propriately from those who, like the disciples, to whom through the speeches ; a very large proportion of them the charge to utter it was given, are themselves seeking were prepared with note-book and pencil to write down to do the Lord's work, and to lead all about them to that particularly struck them. Amidst these peasant Christ and his service. costumes were seen many of the white caps worn by the I rather think I was the only representative of Scotdeaconesses of the various institutions, daughters of land in Herr Christian's garden. One Englishman I Kaiserwerth. Some that I knew of were there from know was there, a clergyman, who, though utterly Stuttgart, and other distant places, employing the time ignorant of German, came to be present in the assembly they were having for refreshment after hard work, in of God's people, and by the kindness of the gentleman Christian intercourse, and in learning more of what the in whose house I lived, was able to understand much of Lord honours weak men to do in his service.
what was said; for Herr K., standing by him, interThe first meeting of the series was held on Sunday preted the speeches as they went on. evening, June 30th, in the garden of Herr Christian, the Monday evening, the regular greeting of the mission well-known friend of missions and all good works. There, guests took place. The Basle Bible Society, as the after we had been kindly welcomed, and partaken of re- senior religious society of the city, takes this duty on it. freshments, handed round by members of the family as In a crowded meeting, an address of welcome was given, irell as servants, we sat on benches under the trees, followed by many short addresses from gentlemen from while several short and stirring addresses were given by different countries, telling of the good done by BibleHerr Christian and others; and a hymn written for the distribution in the various parts of the world from which cccasion was sung, read out line by line, as is often done they came. among us, but sung as I never heard hymn sung among Among others, one of the Herschells, of London, gave us--all singing, and all taking the parts that suited their interesting details of the work of the British and Foreign voices. The birds in the trees seemed roused to do their Bible Society; and a gentleman from Russia made a best also, and joined their notes to swell the anthem of strong appeal for his land, that it should not be forgotten praise arising from God's intelligent creatures. One in the efforts for spreading God's Word.
All were especial subject then, as well as at other times dwelt on, listened to with the deepest attention. There was no was the humiliating confession of the lack of men ready sound of applanse, -it seems a thing unknown in these to come forward “to the help of the Lord against the meetings; but the vigorous use of pencil and note-book mighty” powers of superstition and unbelief both at showed when some fact of special interest touched the home and abroad. This want was at once traced to its hearts of the listeners. true source, the lack of lively devotedness among Chris- Sometimes the interest was too deep for note-taking. tians. Christian parents were especially addressed on Overflowing eyes could not see to write. I noticed an
Their sinful eagerness after the good instance of that tearful interest especially at the meetthings of this life, both for themselves and their children, ing of the Jewish Missionary Society, when one of the was set before them in all plainness of speech, yet speakers told, in simple words, of the conversion of a lovingly and humbly, as by one who felt his own short- Jewish rabbi; and of how, at the baptism of the rabbi. comings. It was shown how all, seeking their own, not and several of his family, a poor old woman came forthe things of Christ, they-instead of recognizing the ward, and, looking in his face, said, “Ah, I have prayed fact that the very highest vocation their children could for your conversion for eighteen years; and now God have would be to serve the Lord, whether at home or has given you to me.” And then the speaker turned abroad, not only in a godly life, but in a life given up round and asked if any of us had ever prayed thus for to spreading the gospel-sought to give them the pro- any soul. That inquiry seemed to go to many a heart. fessions where they could gain the most money, or Each day brought two, sometimes three, meetings in reputation, and distinction in the world. And then the various large churches, which were crammed to over