« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Jerusalem, June 22, 1845.- I did not think to find Jerusalem so calm and solemn a place, whose character, and the immediate impression which it makes upon us, are so much in consonance with the feelings, which in the hearts of all of us are bound up with her. You may imagine yourself how I felt, when a week ago, towards evening, I rode onwards, ascending the hills of Judah, naked, but magnificently coloured, brown, red, violet-blue, green, similar to the Campagna di Roma, and before me, covering the extensive ridge and the declivities of Mount Zion and Moriah, beheld, by the last beams of the setting sun, the Holy City, with the domes of her churches and mosques, with her stately walls and turrets, lighted up by the warm glow of a southern evening, under a serene and cloudless sky. All nature around me was so calm and solemn! It is as if you entered the sacred abode of the departed, and into the midst of bygone ages, where the present with all its trifles must vanish from the heart and the mind ! no link separated the future from the past, and my train of thought and feeling centered in that excellent hymn beginning, “ Jerusalem, thou high built city." Here, in sight of the widow sitting in the dust, the transition from the terrestrial to the celestial Jerusalem, becomes so natural, so necessary.
In the city, likewise, everything was calm and solemn. The streets, which, with their houses of stone, present the aspect of an European town of the middle ages, were unfrequented. I went afterwards, by moonlight, to the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the stately portal of which recalls to the mind the times of the Crusades; and then to the area of the temple, into which, however, I was only allowed to look through the door. Afterwards, in the silent closet, I gave myself to the considerations arising from the thought of being in Jerusalem. The morning of the Lord's-day raised other feelings in me. I went first into the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and, alas ! soon left again. The quite modern, gaudy, and tasteless decorations of the building correspond but too well with the perfect absence of even external respect and reverence manifested by the assembled Christians. Whilst the Greek service was celebrated in all its splendour, men, women, and children, walked about and sat down, talking and even shouting and quarrelling. None but the priests seemed to have anything to do with the ceremony. Within the gate of the church, quite near the stone, upon which, according to tradition, the body of our Lord was anointed, sat the Turkish guard, smoking and drinking coffee, and Greek priests were talking with them during the service. I have not been there since. The more refreshing was it, therefore, to attend our church on Mount Zion, and find myself in a very decent church-like place, filled with an assembly of upwards of sixty persons.
There I felt more than ever the blessing of Christian fellowship in worshipping“ in spirit and in truth." Truly it is no small thing to find the Protestant Church established in Jerusalem on Mount Zion.
Jerusalem, July 7, 1845.—Jerusalem! Jeru. salem !-- You can hardly yourself imagine how I am here at every step reminded of you, and how often daily I wish that you were here. I will not think it impossible that you will yet come and dwell, though only as guest, on Mount Zion, as you have done on the Capitol.
You must really some day attend service in St. James's Church. You would rejoice over the state of things here, as they now are. And let me at once tell you, that what I found here has by far surpassed my expectations as to the efficiency of the Bishopric. I should not have been at all astonished, and should not have thought the less of the institutions, if I had found only the first beginnings of what I saw, namely, a regular congregation of upwards of sixty persons, a well arranged college, where five young proselytes are educated, a school of industry, where, besides the proper inmates, some other artisans find occupation, besides a number of independent mechanics, who obtain their living here, and some German families, who have been induced from love to Jerusalem to come hither. I found, above all, the labourers in the vineyard rejoicing and of good cheer, undaunted and not depressed, active and persevering, and full of hope and confidence; especially the worthy Bishop himself. I feel more than ever convinced, that through the providence of God we have been permitted to find in him the proper, I might say the only proper person for this office. . . You cannot imagine how difficult it is to form and keep together a congregation consisting of Germans, English, and Jews; and if all these three had not been united in the person of the Bishop, it would never have been done. As the three nations are mixed here, there had hitherto been no proper cordiality between them. It is the Bishop who feels equal love towards all of them. Daily do I discover some new admirable quality in this man, when seeing as I do with what a candid but dignified manner, with what faithfulness and perseverance, what circumspection and discretion, and above all, with what cheerful courage, such as only genuine Christian love can inspire, he passes through all difficulties, of which truly there are not a few, both great and small. I rejoice to be able to say, that through my visit to Jerusalem, of which I confess I was a little afraid, not only my love to the work, but also my cheerfulness, and confidence in its prosecution, have greatly increased; nor is this owing to any partiality for the cause on my part, but to a clear and firm persuasion of its sure foundation and infinite blessing. I have now been here nearly three weeks, and thus have been enabled to obtain a somewhat clear insight into the working of the system, as from all sides I have been met with the greatest confidence. But how greatly do I wish to speak with you of these things; allow me, however, now at least, to make a few remarks.
From personal observation, I have become far more convinced than I was in London of the importance and necessity of basing the efficiency of the Bishopric upon the Mission to the Jews, and preserving it in the most intimate connexion with it.
The Bishopric must be the beginning of regaining Jerusalem for the ancient people of God, in a Christian, though not in a political
And how great its importance is in this respect, may be seen from the excitement amongst the Jews, and their apprehension of it, much more even than from the number of proselytes, which is indeed by no means small. . .
Jerusalem, August 2, 1845.--You will not be astonished. when I
say that Jerusalem becomes daily dearer to my heart. A wonderful stillness, which fills the heart with a peculiar sadness, hovers over this desolate city, whether I walk in her quiet silent streets, between the antique fortress-like stone-built houses, or whether from without one of the valleys I look up to her high walls, or from one of the hills, I survey all her domes and minarets, and the splendid place where the temple stood. She is the widow, and the princess in the dust and in night, and yet I feel as if the first dawn of the morning rested already upon these hills and valleys, these walls and turrets, as if I heard already from afar the rolling of the thunder, which announces the refreshing rain, through which the dust shall receive new life. Her dominion is not entirely passed away. I hear already upon the distant mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; yea, I hear them in the city itself.
As concerning our Church and Bishopric, continued observation has now corroborated all the impressions and convictions which I mentioned to you in my last letter. Much more than I expected and thought possible, has been done here, and all that in consequence of the Bishopric and through it.
A few days after I had written my last letter, I was present at the half-yearly examination in this College, and can say that I was greatly pleased with it. The five inmates, part of them young men, a part more advanced in age, manifested so much skill and knowledge as redounded to their own honour and that of their