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ANALYSIS OF THE FIRST PSALM.
air about these and such-like analogical transferences. It may be difficult to put this fact into verbal expression sufficiently definite and tangible to enable one not familiar with this country to appreciate it, yet it is none the less real. The author of this first Psalm-no matter who he was, or when he wrote—must have been an inhabitant of this country. The figures, phrases, and comparisons would not have occurred to one residing in climes essentially different from this — in a country, for example, cold and stormy, with ways wet and muddy, used merely to pass from one place to another. Along such uncomfortable paths men do not saunter in converse and counsel; neither do they there stand idly plotting mischief; nor are seats placed there for the accommodation of scorners, or anybody else. One may wander for hours, even in ornamental parks, in such lands, without finding so much as a stone upon which to sit and rest. Very different is the case and the custom in such mild and seductive climates as this of Palestine. Here people pass a great portion of their time in the open air. They ramble at leisure along their pleasant and picturesque paths, stand in groups under cool shade-trees planted by the way-side, and there prepare they their seats, and pass away the time in mirth or mischief. Now, no poet of frigid Siberia, for example, or in the burning desert of Sahara, could or would have written the first verse of the first Psalm. Neither the thoughts nor the figures would have occurred to him. Nor, on the other hand, could one born and bred on the banks of the Mississippi have composed the third verse: “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither.” In such regions the greatest trouble and toil of the inhabitants is to cut down, burn, and destroy the trees; and no one would think of comparing the man that was blessed to one of these formidable giants of the forest. Again, this tree of the Psalm was planted, and by the rivers, or, rather, by the canals made for irrigation—all very appropriate to this country, but not to lands overshadowed by primeval woods, or where the chief anxiety is to get safely rid of a superabundance of water. In such regions trees grow without being planted, anywhere and everywhere, quite as well as “by the rivers of water.” Then this was
a fruit-tree-an incident eminently natural here, where, as the Arab proverb tells us, “ Many trees are planted, but only that is preserved which bears fruit." Few things in this country struck me more forcibly, when I first came to it, than this high estimate of trees, founded simply upon their fruit. The reason for this is obvious enough. A large part of the daily food of the people consists of various kinds of fruit which these planted trees produce; in many parts of the East it is their chief dependence. No explanation is needed of the additional fact mentioned by the poet, that the leaf of a tree thus planted by the water-courses would not wither, or of the implied fact that, in this climate, the case would be very different with trees standing in the parched deserts of southern Palestine.
Finally, no one at all acquainted with Palestine can read the fourth verse of the Psalm without having instantly presented to his imagination the summer threshing-floor, in the open air, upon some exposed hill-top, with the vehement wind catching up in its wings the useless chaff, and whisking it away among the ragged rocks. This doom is in vivid contrast to the green tree by the water-channels, with fadeless leaf, and branches bending beneath their burden of delicious fruit.
We may dwell for a moment on the ever-recurring use of the word fruit. Whatever results from a person's course of conduct, whether good or bad, is said to be the fruit of it. The transfer from the natural to the moral and the spiritual idea is made without the least conscious effort. The Great Teacher, therefore, did not need to explain his language when he said, "Ye shall know them by their fruits : Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ? Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Or again to his disciples, "Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." And so the apostle, writing to the Galatians that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," and all the other spiritual graces, did not pause to explain, neither need we.' 1 Matt. vii, 16-20.
? John xv.
3 Gal. v. 22.
NATURAL BASIS OF OUR RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE.
43 Something more, however, may be said about the chaff chased by the wind—“driven with the whirlwind out of the floor,” as Hosea has it. Chaff is the metaphorical symbol of the ungodly and their doom. John the Baptist expands the allusion by mentioning the fan by which the floor was purged, the chaff separated from the wheat, and then burned up with unquenchable fire. In purging the floor the following results occur: as the mixed contents are tossed up to the wind, the wheat falls nearest the winnowers, the tibn, or ground-up straw, next; and the light dust and useless chaff are carried farther off-quite outside the floor, if the wind be strong. This useless chaff is often burned on the spot, not merely because it is of no use, but also because there are mingled with it the seeds of tares and noxious weeds, which would be dispersed over the fields by the wind, or carried thither by the first autumn rains. It is not merely valueless, but positively mischievous; and so are the ungodly, who shall perish like the chaff.
We have not yet exhausted the contributions to our religious language which this short Psalm has made. The two last verses introduce us to an Oriental court, with the litigants standing before the judge, just as they do still ; and the resultant condition and behavior of the good and the evil are perfectly natural.
To point out and explain the numberless contributions to our spiritual language and religious nomenclature, whose natural basis is found in Palestine, would require a volume, and this might well be written, for herein consists the chief interest of the Holy Land in our day, and its abiding importance to the Christian world.
JAFFA TO CÆSAREA.
Departure for er Râs.–Foreign Residences and Schools in the Suburbs.-Contemplated
Railroad and Harbor.—Modern Fruit compared with Biblical.—Sarona, the German Colony.—Unhealthiness of the Plain.—Castle of Mirabel.–River 'Aujeh, the possible Boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh.—Buffaloes and Papyrus.-Er Râs, Site of Antipatris.— Native Traditions concerning Napoleon Bonaparte.-Jiljûlieh, Site of Gil. gal.-Kefr Sâba, Traditional Site of Antipatris.—Tent Life.—Mosaic Law respecting Pledged Raiment.--Route from Kefr Sâba to Cæsarea.-Kilkîlieh.—Hableh.–River Kânah. --Boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh.—River Fâlik.-Lot of Ephraim and Manasseh.—The Hebrew Y'ar and the Arabic W’ar.-Doom of the Gibeonites.Marshy Watercourses.—Bethar.—Bâkah.—Jett, possible Gath-rimmon.–Oak Glades. -Camp at Tawahîn ez Zerka, near Cæsarea.-Sindiâneh.-Death of Absalom in the Wood of Ephraim. — Robber's Grave. – Fog at Early Morning. – El Kŭsr, Roman Theatre.-Aqueducts across the Marsh of Ez Zoar.-Ancient Quarries of Cæsarea.Ride to Dor.–Seaboard of Syria.-Athlît.-Dor and her Towns.—Harbor of Cæsarea. -Cornelius the Centurion.-Peter's Mission.—Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.Ruins of Cæsarea.-Revolt and Massacre of the Jews.-Destruction of Cæsarea.Aqueducts.—Mill-dam and Mills of Ez Zerka. - The Crocodile River.
April 7th. In accordance with the route adopted, our first ride is northward towards Cæsarea and Dor.
Because otherwise the district between Jaffa and the south end of Carmel would not be visited at all, since it lies quite outside of our line of future travel.
I am more than content, for that entire region is terra incognita to me.
We may leave Salîm and the head muleteer, Abd Allah, in the midst of the general confusion and wrangle over the distribution of the loads, which inevitably occurs when first starting on such a journey as we are about to undertake. They will go direct to Kefr Sâba, where we are to spend the night. We have a long detour to make, and I hope we shall find the tents pitched and dinner awaiting when we reach our camp in the evening.
SCHOOLS IN THE SUBURBS.-RAILROAD TO JERUSALEM.
For what special purpose is this detour ?
To obtain a general view of the northern part of the plain of Sharon, and to visit the fountain - head of the river 'Aujeh at er Râs, which has recently become a competitor with Kefr Sâba for the honor of being the site of Antipatris.
Here, on our right, is a suburb evidently modern, and the houses have a familiar appearance, not unlike those in our own land.
They are foreign, and the people who inhabit them are also foreign, and connected mostly with the German colony through which
in about an hour's time. This nearest and most conspicuous house is the residence of our present consular representative, Mr. Hardegg; and near it is the girls' school, and the home of Mrs. Hay and her invalid sister, Miss Baldwin, who conduct it. For similar benevolent purposes, that large and prominent edifice on the elevated ridge east of the city has been erected by Miss Arnott, an energetic and devoted lady from Scotland. May their self-denying work be crowned with abundant success.
Where is to be the terminus of the much-talked-of railroad to Jerusalem ?
You noticed a large building on our right, before we passed this suburb; that is to be the first station, and it is the only part of the enterprise that has hitherto been achieved.
Or ever will be, I suppose. I cannot associate Joppa and the Holy City with a modern railway, even in imagination.
It would be unwise to pronounce almost any projected enterprise impossible in these days. And since there are no great engineering obstacles to overcome between Jaffa and Jerusalem, a railroad could soon be built, were there any adequate demand for it, or travel and traffic to support it. When I was here a few years ago, there was some talk of excavating a harbor along the low ground extending into the gardens eastward from that solitary station-house. It could be made, no doubt; and when the great Hebrew capitalists of the world purchase Palestine from the Sultan, and restore it to the Jews, it very likely will be.
If not till then, the prospect is dim and distant enough.
You need not be too confident even of that. Some such project is persistently kept before the public by letters, essays, pamphlets,