BETA

Jerusalem.

Vast as is the period, and singular as
are the changes of European history
since the Christian era, Judea still
continues to be the most interesting
portion of the world. Among other
purposes, it may be for the purpose of
fixing the general eye upon this ex-
traordinary land, that it has been pe-
riodically visited by a more striking
succession of great public calamities
than perhaps any other region. With
less to attract an invader than any
other conspicuous land of the East, it
has been constantly exposed to inva-
sion. Its ruin by the Romans in the
first century did not prevent its being
assailed by almost every barbarian,
who, in turn, assumed the precarious
sovereignty of the neighbouring Asia.
After ages of obscure misery, a new
terror came in the Saracen invasion,
which, under Amrou, on the conquest
of Damascus, rolled on Palestine. A
siege of four months, which we may
well conceive to have abounded in
horrors, gave Jerusalem into the hands
Of the Kaliph Omar. On the death
of Omar, who died by the usual fate
of Eastern princes—the dagger—the
country was left to the still heavier
misgovernment of the Moslem vice-
roys—a race of men essentially bar-
barian, and commuting their crimes
for their zeal in proselytism. The
people, of course, were doubly tor-
nented.
A new scourge fell upon them in the
invasion of the Crusaders, at the begin-
ning of the 12th century, followed by
a long succession of bitter hostilities
and public weakness. After almost
a century of this wretchedness, an-
other invasion from the Desert put
Jerusalem into the hands of its old
oppressor, the Saracen ; and in 1187,
the famous Saladin, expelling the last
Of the Christian sovereigns, took pos-
session of Palestine. After another
century of tumult and severe suffer-
ing, occasioned by the disputes of the
Saracen princes, it was visited by a
still more formidable evil in the shape
Of the Turks, then wholly uncivilized
—a nation in all the rudeness and vio-
lence of mountaineer life, and spread-
ing blood and fire through Western
Asia. From this date (1317) it re-
mained under the dominion of the
Ottoman, until its conquest, a few
years ago, by that most extraordinary of
all Mussulmans, the Pacha of Egypt,
—a dreary period of 500 years, under
the most desolating government of the
world. It is equally impossible to read
the Scriptural references to the future
condition of Palestine, without dis-
covering a crowd of the plainest and
most powerful indications, that it
shall yet exhibit a totally different
aspect from that of its present state.
Enthusiasm, or even the natural inter-
est which we feel in this memorable
nation, may colour the future to us too
brightly ; but unless language of the
most solemn kind, uttered on the most
solemn occasions, and by men di-
vinely commissioned for its utterance,
is wholly unmeaning, we must yet look
to some powerful, unquestionable, and
splendid display of Providence in fa-
vour of the people of Israel.
The remarkable determination of
European politics towards Asia Minor,
Syria, and Egypt, within these few
years ; the not less unexpected change
of manners and customs, which seemed
to defy all change ; and the new life in-
fused into the stagnant governments of
Asia, even by their being flung into the
whirl of European interests, look not
unlike signs of the times. It may be
no dream, to imagine in these pheno-
mena the proofs of some memorable
change in the interior of things—some
preparatives for that great providen-
tial restoration, of which Jerusalem will
yet be the scene, if not the centre ; and
the Israelite himself the especial agent
of those high transactions, which shall
make Christianity the religion of all
lands, restore the dismantled beauty
Of the earth, and make man, what he
was created to be—only “ a little lower
than the angels.”
The statistics of the Jewish popula-
tion are among the most singular cir-
cumstances of this most singular of all
people. Under all their calamities and
dispersions, they seem to have remain-
ed at nearly the same amount as in
the days of David and Solomon, never
much more in prosperity, never much
less after ages of suffering. No-
thing like this has occurred in the his-
tory of any other race ; Europe in
general haying doubled its popula-
tion within the last hundred years,
and England nearly tripled hers with-
in the last half century ; the propor-
tion of America being still more
rapid, and the world crowding in a
constantly increasing ratio. Yet the
Jews seem to stand still in this vast and
general movement. The population
of Judea, in its most palmy days, pro-
bably did not exceed, if it reached,
four millions. The numbers who en-
tered Palestine from the wilderness
were evidently not much more than
three ; and their census, according to
the German statists, who are generally
considered to be exact, is now nearly
the same as that of the people under
Moses—about three millions. They
are thus distributed : —
In Europe, 1,916,000, of which
about 658,000 are in Poland and Rus-
sia, and 453,000 are in Austria.
In Asia, 738,000, of which 300,000
are in Asiatic Turkey.
In Africa, 504,000, of which 300,000
are in Morocco.
In America, Northand South, 5700.
If we add to these about 15,000
Samaritans, the calculation in round
numbers will be about 3,180,000.
This was the report in 1825—the
numbers probably remain the same.
This extraordinary fixedness in the
midst of almost universal increase,
is doubtless not without a reason—if
we are even to look for it among the
mysterious operations which have pre-
served Israel a separate race through
eighteen hundred years. May we
not naturally conceive, that a people
thus preserved without advance or re-
trocession ; dispersed, yet combined ;
broken, yet firm ; without a country,
yet dwellers in all ; every where in-
sulted, yet every where influential ;
without a nation, yet united as no na-
tion ever was before or since—has not
been appointed to offer this extraordi-
nary contradiction to the common laws
of society, and even the common pro-
gress of nature, without a cause, and
that cause one of final benevolence,
universal good, and divine grandeur ?

Twas eve on Jerusalem !1
Glorious its glow2
On the vine-cover’d plain,3
On the mount’s marble brow,4
On the Temple’s broad grandeur,5
Enthroned on its height6
Like a golden-domed isle7
In an ocean of light ;8
And the voice of her multitudes9
Rose on the air,10
From the vale deep and dim,11
Like a rich evening hymn.12
But whence comes that cry ? —13
’Tis the cry of despair !14
What form stands on Zion ? —15
The prophet of woe !16
His frame worn with travel,17
His locks living snow.18
His hand grasps a trumpet ;19
The heart’s-blood runs chill20
At its death-sounding blast :21
All the thousands are still22
All fixing their gaze,23
Where, like one from the tomb,24
The shroud seems to swim25
Round the long, spectral limb,26
And the lips pour in thunder27
The terrors to come !28
Thou’rt lovely, Jerusalem !29
Lovely, yet stain’d ;30
Thou’rt a lion’s whelp, Judah,31
Yet thou shalt be chain’d.32
Thou’rt magnificent, Zion !33
Yet thou shalt be lone ;34
The pilgrim of sorrow35
Shall see thy last stone.36
Hark, hark to the tempest—37
What roar fills my ear ?38
’Tis the shouting of warriors,39
The crash of the spear.40
The eagle and wolf41
On that tempest are roll’d42
Twin demons of havoc,43
To ravage thy fold.44
They rush through the land45
As through forests the fire ;46
Woe, woe to the infant,47
Woe, woe to the sire !48
Rejoice for the warrior49
Who sinks to the grave ;50
But weep for the living—51
A ransomless slave.52
But, veil’d be mine eyeballs !53
The red torch is flung,54
And the last dying hymn55
Of the temple is sung !56
The altar is vanish’d,57
The glory is gone ;58
The curse is fulfill’d,59
The last vengeance is done !60
Again all is darkness :61
Year rolls upon year ;62
I hear but the fetter,63
I see but the bier.64
But the lions are coming !65
They roar from their sand :66
’Tis Amrou and his Saracens—67
Curse of the land !68
Like the swamp-gender’d hornets,69
They rush on the wing70
By thousands of thousands,71
With death in their sting.72
Like vultures, they sweep73
O’er Moriah’s loved hill,74
And the corpse-cover’d valleys75
By Kedron’s red rill.76
Where, where sleeps the thunderbolt ?77
Heaven ! hear the cries78
Of the Ishmaelite slave79
To his Prophet of lies.80
Hear the howl to his demons,81
His frenzy of prayer ;82
Mix’d with Israel’s lament83
Of disdain and despair !84
It has come ! and the throne85
Of the robber has reel’d ;86
And the turbans are floating87
In gore on the field.88
I see the proud chiefs89
Of the West in their mail ;90
And my soul loves the standard91
They spread to the gale.92
Stay, vision of splendour !93
On Jordan’s rich marge94
They rush to the battle,95
Earth shakes with their charge.96
Like lightning the blaze97
From their panoply springs :98
I see the gold helms99
And crown’d banners of kings.100
Yet evil still smites thee,101
Thou daughter of tears !102
No trophy is thine103
In the strife of the spears.104
The stately Crusader105
And Saracen lord,106
But give thee the choice107
Of the chain or the sword.108
Again all is silence !109
The long grass has grown110
Where the crossbearer sleeps111
In his rich-sculptured stone ;112
And the land trod by prophet113
And chanted by bard,114
Is left to the foot115
Of the wolf and the pard.116
But who ride the whirlwind ?117
The drinkers of blood ! —118
From the summit of Lebanon119
Rushes the flood,120
’Tis the Turcoman ravening121
For slaughter and spoil :122
Oh, helpless gazelle !123
Thou art now in the toil.124
King of kings ! on our neck125
Sits the slave of a slave,126
As wild as his mountains,127
As cold as our grave.128
All his sceptre the scourge,129
All our freedom his will ;130
Yet thy children must linger—131
Must agonize still.132
Fly swift, ye dark years !133
Still the savage is there134
The tiger of nations135
Is couch’d in his lair.136
The field is a thicket,137
The city a heap,138
And Israel on earth139
Can but wander and weep.140
King of kings ! shall she die ?141
Hark ! a trumpet afar142
It thrills through my soul,143
Yet no trumpet of war.144
I hear the deep trampling145
Of millions of feet ;146
And the shoutings of millions,147
Yet solemn and sweet.148
Now—the voices of thunders149
Are rolling on high ;150
The pomp has begun,151
The redemption is nigh.152
I see thy crown’d fathers,153
Thy prophets of fire,154
And the martyrs, whose souls155
Shot to heaven from the pyre.156
Who comes in his glory,157
Pavilion’d in cloud ?158
Judah, cast off thy shame !159
Israel, spring from thy shroud !160
Thy King has avenged thee—161
He comes to his own,162
With earth for his empire,163
But Zion his throne !164