JERUSALEM, Palestine – Here is a place of overwhelming interest, but at first sight sadly disappointing. Little is seen of the ancient City of Zion and Moriah, the far-famed capital of the Jewish Empire, in the narrow, crooked and ill-paved streets of the modern town. The combination of wild superstitions, with the merest formalism which is everywhere observed, and the fanaticism and jealous exclusiveness of the numerous religious communities of Jerusalem, form the chief modern characteristics of that memorable city which was once the fountain-head from which the knowledge of the true God was wont to be vouchsafed to mankind, and which has exercised the greatest influence on religious thought throughout the world.
WAILING-PLACE OF THE JEWS, Jerusalem, Palestine.—Outside of the enclosure of Mosque El Aksa, at Jerusalem, is the noted wailing-place of the Jews. A large number of them, including old and young, male and female, gather here on Friday, kiss the stones and water them with their tears. They bewail the downfall of Jerusalem, and read from their well-worn Hebrew Bibles and prayer-books the Lamentations of Jeremiah. The following few words are an exact copy from their litany: "For the Palace that lies desolate, we sit in solitude and mourn." They present a curious spectacle.
STREET SCENE, Jerusalem, Palestine.—The above photograph represents one of the fourteen stations of the "street of pain," over which Christ is said to have carried the cross on His way to Golgotha. The place where Christ was laid upon the cross, the house of Dives, the rich man, where Simon of Cyrene took the cross from Christ, the house against which Christ is said to have leaned, or near which He fell a second time, and the place where Christ is said to have addressed the women that accompanied Him, are all seen along this avenue.
GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE, Palestine – This holy place is situated at the foot of Mount Olivet across the Kedron, and noted as the scene of our Lord’s agony. Jesus frequently came here, as did also His disciples. It is a small irregular spot surrounded by a high wall. This wall was built in 1847 by Franciscan monks, who claimed it necessary to keep from the garden, pilgrims who injured the olive trees. There are seven of these trees remaining in the Garden, whose trunks, nineteen feet in circumference, are cracked open with age, and claimed to date back to the time of our Saviour.
BETHLEHEM, Palestine – "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel." In Hebrew the word signifies the "place of bread," or, more generally, "the place of food," and is possibly derived from the fact that the region about Bethlehem has from very remote antiquity presented a marked contrast to the surrounding "wilderness." We learn from the Bible that the inhabitants of Bethlehem possessed cornfields, vineyards and flocks of goats, and that they made cheese. The natural products of to-day in every respect confirm this record.
DEAD SEA, Palestine – This sea, situated sixteen miles from Jerusalem and visible from the Mount of Olives, occupies that deep depression thirteen hundred feet below the Mediterranean, which extends from the mountains of Lebanon to the Gulf of Akabah, and is forty-six miles long and about ten miles wide. The River Jordan and smaller streams empty their waters into it, and it has no visible outlet. The water of the Dead Sea contains a large quantity of mineral substances, consisting of chlorides of sodium, calcium and magnesium, which give it a bitter taste, and render it smooth and oily.
NAZARETH, Palestine – This village, situated in Galilee about sixty-five miles from Jerusalem, is the place where Jesus grew up from infancy. From its highest elevation the most beautiful views of the Holy Land can be taken. The place must have been very small in the time of Christ, as the village is not named in the Old Testament. The population in those times was mainly Jewish, but it now has Greek, Latin and Moslem quarters and a Protestant mission. During the Middle Ages many Christians visited Nazareth, but when the Turks seized Palestine in 1517, they were again driven out.
JACOB’S WELL, Palestine – Jews, Christians and Muslims agree that this is the "Well of Jacob" of Scripture. (Gen. XXXIII., 19.) It is situated on the high road from Jerusalem to Galilee, according perfectly with the narrative of St. John IV., 5-30. In summer, it is often dry. It is seven and one-half feet in diameter and lined with masonry. If, as is probable, this well was the scene of Christ’s conversation with the Samaritan woman, the tradition had already attached to it, that this was Jacob’s Well, and around it was the field which he purchased, and where Joseph was afterwards buried. (Joshua XXIV., 32.)