A Street In Jerusalem.
As In A Fortress.
Ecce Homo Arch.
Church Of Mater Dolorosa.
House Of Caiaphas.
House Of Veronica.
In this street also are the houses of Caiaphas and of Veronica, as well as that of Dives, before which lay the beggar Lazarus. At a neighboring corner, now lighted by an ever-burning lamp, Jesus, on His way to Calvary, is said to have met His Mother. Some twenty feet from this, there is a slight depression in the wall, to which tradition points as that caused by Christ's elbow as He pressed against it in His fall. In sight of this, also, is the stone on which the thirty pieces of silver were counted out to Judas, as well as the column on which the cock crew at the denial of Peter. To some readers the mention of these localities may seem sacrilegious; but no description of Jerusalem would be complete unless it gave due prominence to these so-called "Holy Sites," which have been revered for centuries by thousands. Moreover, though every one of them be discarded as historically valueless, their presence does not impair the transcendent value of the Christian religion, nor do they in the least detract from the incomparable teachings and inspiring life of Him who died upon the Cross.
The House Of Dives.
However, concerning one portion of Jerusalem tradition is beyond question trustworthy. It is the area now occupied by the Mosque of Omar. Certain localities in this world have been from earliest times reserved for worship. This hill is one of them. It antedates by many centuries the age of Solomon. Even before the days of Abraham it had been used for sacrificial rites; and to this height that patriarch came and offered up the ram in place of hisson Isaac. Years after, in the splendid temple built by Solomon on this site, the solemn ritual of the Jews went on for centuries; and, finally, for more than a thousand years the hill has been a place of worship for the followers of Mohammed.
Mosque Of Omar.
Eight handsome gateways open into its sacred courtyard. In former times, black dervishes, with drawn daggers, stood day and night beside these gates to keep the sacred precinct unpolluted by the infidel. In fact, till recently, no Christian, with rare exceptions, was permitted to set foot within this hallowed area. But now, save on the occasion of a Moslem festival, the traveler will have no difficulty in entering, if he will pay the required fee. At first it may seem strange that this old Hebrew site should be held sacred by Mohammedans. Yet it is easily understood, when we remember that Mohammed derived most of his religious knowledge from the Jews, and looked upon Jerusalem as a place sanctified by the prayers of Hebrew patriarchs and prophets.
A "Station " In The Via Dolorosa.
In this connection it is interesting to recall the fact that in their time the Jews were as exclusive as the Moslems. Not long ago an archaeologist discovered one of the tablets of the Hebrew Temple, which, verifying the statement of Josephus, forbade strangers to enter the privileged area. It reads as follows: "No foreigner is to step within the balustrade around the temple and its enclosure. Whoever is caught, will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue." This gives a startling reality to the event narrated in the Acts of the Apostles, when Paul, suspected of having introduced a stranger into the Temple, would have been put to death but for the prompt interference of the commander of the fortress (the present Tower Antonia), who with his soldiers hastened to Paul's rescue.