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times of utter anarchy. When Bonaparte came here, however, Jaffa had again risen to some importance, and it has been growing ever since.
Forty years ago the inhabitants of the city and its gardens were about six thousand; now they must be fifteen thousand at least, and commerce has increased at even a greater ratio. Several sources of prosperity account for the existence and rapid increase of Jaffa. It is the natural landing-place of pilgrims to Jerusalem, Christians, Jews, and Moslems, and they have given rise to a considerable trade. The Holy City itself has also been constantly growing in importance during the present generation. Then there are extensive establishments for the manufacture of soap, not only here but in Ramleh, Ludd, Nâblus, and Jerusalem, much of which is exported from this port to the cities along the coast, to Egypt, and even to Asia Minor through Tarsus. The fruit trade from Jaffa is likewise quite considerable, and lately there have been large shipments of grain to Europe. Add to this that silk is now being cultivated along the river 'Aujeh, and in the gardens about the city, and the present prosperity of Jaffa is fully explained. And unless European enterprise shall hereafter construct a railroad which will carry off these sources of wealth to some more secure harbor, Jaffa must continue to rise in importance for ages to come. The harbor, however, is very inconvenient and insecure. Vessels of any considerable burden must lie out in the open roadstead-a very uneasy berth at all times; and even a moderate wind will oblige them to slip their cables and run out to sea, or seek anchorage at Haifa, sixty miles distant.
Jaffa is equally celebrated for her dangerous harbor and for her fruitful gardens. Most modern travellers allude to this fact.
You need not limit the remark to modern times. Sæwulf, who came here nearly eight hundred years ago, thus reports his experience: “The very day we came in sight of the port one said to me, I believe by divine inspiration, 'Sir, go on shore to-day, lest a storm come on in the night, which will render it impossible to land tomorrow. When I heard this I was suddenly seized with a great desire of landing, and, having hired a boat, went into it with all my companions; but, before I had reached the shore, the sea was troubled, and became continually more tempestuous. We landed, how
ever, with God's grace, without hurt; and entering the city, weary and hungry, we secured a lodging, and reposed ourselves that night. But next morning, as we were returning from church, we heard the roaring of the sea and the shouts of the people, and saw that everybody was in confusion and astonishment. We were also dragged along with the crowd to the shore, where we saw the waves swelling higher than mountains, and innumerable bodies of drowned persons of both sexes scattered over the beach, while the fragments of ships were scattered on every side." He then continues, giving a most appalling description of the awful shipwrecks and death, and closes by asserting that out of thirty very large ships, all laden with palmers and merchandise, scarcely seven remained safe when he left the shore. “Of persons of both sexes there perished more than a thousand that day. Indeed, no eye ever beheld a greater misfortune in the space of a single day; from all which God snatched us by his grace; to whom be honor and glory for
Amen." After making very large abatements from the manifest exaggerations of this account, certain things in it are quite interesting, and accord well with my own experience. It is implied that the roadstead is liable to sudden and unexpected storms, which stir up a tumultuous sea in a very short time.
To the truth of this I can testify; and I also approve of the advice of Sæwulf's friend, to come on shore as soon as possible.
Jaffa's sea is not to be trusted. When the Egyptian fleet came here in 1834, with troops to suppress the rebellion in the mountains, I took a boat, with three men to row it, and started to visit the fleet. It was a bright, calm morning in the middle of summer; but a furious wind from the south-west arose suddenly, and after rowing for two hours, without reaching the ships at all, we were driven far to the north; and finally a huge wave, with our boat on its back, rushed us far up on the sandy beach, and fortunately left us there.
The landing, also, is most inconvenient, and often extremely dangerous. More boats upset, and more lives are lost in the breakers at the north end of the ledge of rocks that defend the inner harbor, than anywhere else on this coast. I have been in imminent danger
myself, with all my family in the boat, and never look without a shudder at this treacherous port, with its noisy surf tumbling over the rocks, as if on purpose to swallow up unfortunate boats. This is the true monster which has devoured many an Andromeda, for whose deliverance no gallant Perseus was at hand.
No traveller can visit Jaffa without being reminded of the history and adventures of the prophet Jonah. We know that he embarked from this city when he attempted "to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord;" but where he landed after the tempest and his marvellous cruise with the whale is, I suppose, wholly unknown. Several places along the head of the Mediterranean claim the honor; and Josephus says “ he was vomited out upon the Euxine Sea"-a very indefinite expression, but far enough from here certainly.
I care very little about these discrepancies as to the place. There are other questions, however, of far greater interest. The Bible says that “the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah ;"" and in Matthew it is called a whale by our Saviour.' Now, if I am correctly informed, there are no whales in the Mediterranean.
It is by no means certain that whales are no longer found in the Mediterranean; still, we have a right to suggest that the multiplication of ships, after the time of Jonah, frightened them out of it, as other causes have driven all lions out of Palestine, where they were once numerous. It is well known that some of the best fishing stations, even in the great oceans, have been abandoned by the whales because of the multitude of whalers that visited them. Up to the time of Jonah, navigation was in its infancy, ships were few and small, and they kept mostly along the shores, leaving the interior undisturbed. Whales may, therefore, have then been common in the Mediterranean; and there are well-attested instances on record of the appearance of huge marine creatures in this sea in ancient days. Some of these may have been whales. I have repeatedly seen the grampus in the deep sea west of Corsica, and others assert that they met with genuine whales in the same neighborhood, and elsewhere in the Mediterranean; and though I have nevJonah i. 17.
9 Matt. xii. 40.
WHALES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.-JONAH'S GOURD.
er been so fortunate myself, I can scarcely believe that intelligent observers, mariners and others, some of whom were experienced whalers, could have been deceived in this matter. Indeed, that whales are occasionally stranded in this sea, even in our day, has been established beyond contradiction, by the fact that a few years ago a whale was driven on shore not far from Larnaca, in Cyprus, and those who got possession of it are said to have realized more than three hundred pounds sterling by the trying out of the oil. Again, during the winter of 1877 a whale came ashore below Tyre. An attempt was made to procure the skeleton for the museum of the Syrian Protestant College, but, owing to the interference of the Turkish authorities, it was frustrated. The Hebrew word dag, it is true, means simply any great fish; but nothing is gained by resorting to such a solution of the difficulty. Our Lord calls it a whale, and I am contented with his translation; and whale it was, not a shark or lamia, as some critics maintain. In a word, the whole affair was miraculous, and, as such, is taken out of the category of difficulties. If a whale had never before been in the Mediterranean, God could bring one to the exact spot needed as easily as he brought the ram to the place where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. He could also furnish the necessary capacity to accomplish the end intended. It is idle, and worse, cowardly, to withhold our faith in a Bible miracle until we can find or invent some way in which the thing might have happened without any great miracle after all,
Is there any gourd in this country of growth so rapid as to corroborate the statement that Jonah's grew up in a night?
Certainly not; but, without any of that anxiety about the how and the possible in miracles, we may remark that there is an economical propriety in selecting this vine rather than any other, and for several reasons. It is very commonly used for trailing over temporary arbors. It grows with extraordinary rapidity. In a few days after it has fairly began to run, the whole arbor is covered. It forms a shade quite impenetrable to the sun's rays even at noonday. It flourishes best in the very hottest part of summer. And, lastly, when injured or cut, it withers away with equal rapidity. In selecting the gourd, therefore, there is not only an adherence to
verisimilitude, which is always becoming, but there is also an economy, if we may so speak, in the expenditure of miraculous agency. The question is not about power at all. The same God who caused the gourd to grow in a night could make a cedar do so likewise ; but this would be a wide departure from the general method of miraculous interposition, which is to employ it no