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ment for the province of Ajlunthe modern designation of a considerable portion of Gilead. The population of the village is principally Mussulman. The few Christian families found there dwell in harmony with the Bedawin; mainly because they imitate Mussulman laxity in domestic habits.


On the top of the mound, at whose base the houses of the villagers are built, is an ancient fortress; the mound is evidently artificial to a large extent, the eastern side being partially faced by a high wall constructed of blocks of stone from fifteen to eighteen feet long, and three to five feet high. The ancient name of the place was Arbela, and may be identical with the Beth-Arbel mentioned in Hosea as the scene of a sack and massacre by Shalman.' From the ruined tower of the fortress the eye ranges over an undulating and fertile tract to the level cornlands of the Hauran and the Jebel Druse mountains behind Kenath, the town taken by Nobah in the conquest of the country by the Israelites; where Porter discovered extensive ruins and the colossal head of Ashtaroth. To the North the view extends as far as the spurs of Hermon, and Southward, to the forest glades and thickly-wooded heights in the vicinity of the brook Jabbok. The houses of the village are partly excavated from the side of the castlemound, and only contain one or two rooms; their outside walls being formed of old blocks of dolerite stone, covered with flat clay roofs, which make favourite lounging-places for the owners, and coigns of vantage from whence the dogs ferociously threaten strangers. One of these houses is thus described: The front was composed of immense blocks of stone admirably jointed without cement; the framework of the door was all carved stone, and there were sockets in the lintels and thresholds

for pivots to work in, showing that formerly the door was a slab of stone turning on a stone hinge. On many of the stones were inscriptions in Greek, but they were too much effaced to read.'

The opportunity was taken to visit some extensive ruins situated upon a chalk and limestone hill about three miles to the North of Irbid, among which was discovered what had evidently been a considerable temple. 'It was approached from the East by a colonnade, more than two hundred yards in length, of basalt columns, only the bases of which were visible, while their fragments lay strewn on both sides in great profusion. A carved archway, forming one of the entrances to the temple, was still standing, and near it was a singular excavation one hundred yards long by twenty broad, and about fifteen in depth. Opening into this were large vaulted chambers, which may in old times have served either as dwellings or as storehouses. At present the natives penned their sheep in some, lived themselves in others, or had constructed huts out of the fragments of columns and carved capitals and architraves with which the place was strewn. A little distance from the temple are the remains of an aqueduct and a bath. Here were two stone slabs on which two eagles were carved, both in excellent preservation, and measuring three feet between the tips of their wings.'

The few Arabs who dwelt there were much astonished at the presence of Europeans, and were so innocent as to refuse to accept the money offered them; but a happy thought struck them amidst their wonderment. They led our author to a cave in the side of the hill. With considerable difficulty managed to crawl through the narrow entrance, and found that the cave consisted of several chambers


joined together by connecting galleries which evidently led upwards to the temple buildings, and probably, at one time, were a means of subterranean communication between it and the outskirts of the town. From the location of these ruins they are conjectured to be those of the episcopal city of Capitolias, originally a place of some importance, and the 'connecting-point of the two great Roman roads, one of which led Eastwards through the Hauran to Bozra and the Euphrates; and the other Southwards to Gerasa, or Jerash, and Rabboth-Ammon or Philadelphia, traces of which still remain.'

The Turkish Governor of Irbid was found to be a man of some intelligence, sturdy in his resolution to have good government throughout his district, and prompt and decisive in action. He had just visited with quick punishment a tribe called The Children of the Rock, who had set law and order at defiance, and are the dread of travellers from their habit of remorselessly plundering all who come near their territory. Some of these Arab tribes are considerable in point of numbers and resources, and thorns in the side of any Government which may endeavour to school their lawless spirit into reverence for authority and order. The Anazeh, for instance, can send into the field a hundred thousand horsemen and camel-drivers, and they range over a territory, between the Jordan and the Euphrates, of some forty thousand square miles.

The Beni Sukhr ('Children of the Rock') have reduced three tribes to the position of feudal subjects; the whole country has been laid waste by them, and villages depopulated. Large tracts of land are now abandoned where once rich harvests were reaped. Another tribe, the Roala, claim preeminence as having alone retained possession of the warcradle,' once owned by every tribe.

It is a sort of car composed of ostrich feathers; and before the tribe goes to war, the most lovely girl in it is selected and placed in the cradle, in the lightest possible attire, which is then put upon the back of a camel. The silken string by which the camel is led is placed in her hand, and the warriors of the tribe pass before her. Whoever she selects as the leader of the camel becomes the leader of the host, which she accompanies, and is a prominent figure in the battles. If, in the war that follows, the tribe is beaten and the war-cradle captured, it is deprived for ever after of the privilege of possessing one.' Many of these tribes have their sheikh, or a representative, resident in Damascus.

Armed with a circular letter from the Turkish functionary to the heads of the villages in his district, and accompanied by two Kurds, who proved to be very unsatisfactory attendants, our author and his friend left Irbid for Gadara, and found the general appearance of the country to greatly change as they rode over the gullies intersecting the high rocky plateau which lies between the Yarmuk and the plains of Gilead: the sides of the gorges are clad with oak, wild almond, terebinth and other trees, and the air laden with the scent of the wild jasmine. As Gadara was approached, numerous caves or grottoes were seen, and presently the old Roman road was struck, in which the deep ruts still remain, formed by the chariot-wheels of long ago. On each side of this road were many sarcophagi, embellished with carved bust and garland; while the number of tombs observable even exceeded that of the stone coffins, and at the entrance of many, stone doors still swung on their basalt bearings at the push of the natives, who used the chambers of the dead as storehouses for their grain. Many commentators have placed the scene

of our Lord's miracle in healing the demoniac among these tombs of Gadara, being led to the decision by the designation in St. Mark and St. Luke: 'the country of the Gadarenes.' The requirements of the Gospel-narrative cannot be met, however, by this location. We read: And when He was come out of the ship immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit'; and again, that when the evil spirits entered into the swine,' they'ran violently down a steep place into the sea,' and were drowned. But Gadara is eight miles away from the Lake of Galilee in a direct line; so that if the scene of the miracle be placed there, the Saviour is not so likely to have been met by the man immediately upon landing; and the swine could only have reached the lake side by a hard gallop of two hours,and then to no precipitous place.


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St. Matthew says the miracle was wrought in the country of the Gergesenes'; and at the head of Wady Semakh, about the centre of the Eastern shore of the lake, is found a ruined town, named Kersa by the Bedawin, which in all probability is identical with Gergesa. Near it is the only steep place' on the Eastern shore which abuts closely enough upon the lake to ensure destruction of the swine by drowning; and, as Gadara was the capital of Peræa at the time, Gergesa would probably be in its jurisdiction, and so the more familiar name might naturally have been used to designate the district by Mark and Luke, while Matthew, more familiar than they with the environs of the lake, defined more accurately the scene of the miracle as being in the neighbourhood of Gergesa.

wealth, when it was a centre of Roman civilization. The principal street is clearly marked by the ruins of its colonnade, and the rows of seats are still preserved in the theatre where Roman dames and nobles applauded the feats of gymnast and gladiator. Fifteen hundred feet below the town, the Yarmuk flows through its rocky gorge, circling a beautiful green meadow wherein are the warm springs of Amatha, surrounding which are 'ruins of superior description, and several elegant stone chairs, with backs two and a half feet high-relics of the days when the springs were the resort of the luxurious and wealthy. Along the valley of the river, and a few miles from Gadara, is a plain watered by a hot sulphur spring of considerable volume, whose waters have made the surroundings quite tropical in appear


Mr. Merill, of the American Palestine Exploration Society, says:

'I counted here eighteen different tropical trees and shrubs, and I am sure there are more. It is almost impossible to penetrate the immense jungle, while above the tangled mass of vegetation there rise two hundred graceful palmsthe whole, as one looks down upon it from the neighbouring hills, forming one of the most beautiful landscapes in Syria. About a mile East of M'khaibeh, and on the same side of the river, there is a beautiful little lake of cool sweet water, called Fountain of the Brides. It has no outlet or inlet, is nearly circular, and I was twenty-five minutes in walking round it. Ducks and some other water-fowl are found here, and the gentle slopes about the lake are green, and afford excellent pasturage for the flocks'

of the Mandhur Arabs, a peaceful agricultural tribe, who now 'dwell in the tents of the children of Gad. Thus far Northerly came the territory of that branch of the Israelitish family, and the boundary-line between Gad and Manasseh ran from Gadara, in a South-easterly direction, down to Rabbath-Ammon. (To be concluded.)

The ruins of Gadara are about two miles in circumference; and, judging by the grandeur of its buildings, it must have been a place of



Then had the Churches rest throughout all Judæa and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.'-ACTS ix. 31. We are apt to regard these two forces-fear and consolation-as contradictory, and when we can distinguish the two acting simultaneously within us, we infer that our state is not exactly what it ought to be. The passage before us throws much light upon this phase of experience, and by its aid some of our perplexities may be resolved.


The fear of the Lord' marks an abiding characteristic of the Christian life. The central idea of this expression is: the fear which dwelt in our Lord Himself must dwell in His disciples. The mind which was in Christ,' must be in us in this particular also. We know what is meant by the beauty of the Lord' being upon us, and in a similar sense we must understand the fear of the Lord' being in us. Christ was no stranger to fear. Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared.' What was the nature of this fear expressed by our Lord? In the passage just quoted the Apostle undoubtedly refers to the special anxiety and distress exhibited by Christ in connection with His Passion and approaching death; but the reason given for the prevalence of His supplications, namely, and was heard in that He feared,' refers to the permanent habit of the Master's mind. Christ was penetrated by a sense of religious awe and conscientiousness; He was delicately alive to the will of His Heavenly Father; He had an acute sympathy with whatever was venerable and holy;

He had a quick sensibility to discover unrighteousness, and an unutterable shrinking from its contact; and because of this conscientiousness and circumspection He had power with God and prevailed. There was no other fear of God in Jesus Christ, but only the deepest love and confidence.


Now, this sensibility to the will of God and purpose of God must be in "The fear of the Lord,' like the love of the Lord, or the glory of the Lord, is to be participated in by His disciples, and is altogether a noble thing. It is an anxious state of mind lest we should wound the love of God, violate the law of righteousness, or fail to reach the highest sanctification of character. 'Perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment'; but perfect love does not cast out this fear, which is inseparable indeed from the rarest blessedness. In this fear the primitive Christian walked, and in this fear all true believers walk. Having been made to know and love the holiness of God, we must watch over ourselves with a trembling solicitude that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,' must fulfil all righteousness, walk in all Christ's steps and be fit at last to see God's face. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, Who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.'

"The comfort of the Holy Ghost' is also an indispensable element in our spiritual life. The first disciples enjoyed the inspiration and encouragement of the Spirit of God, and all

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disciples share in the same privilege. Scholars differ as to the propriety of characterizing the Spirit of God as the Comforter'; some wishing to retain the appellation as in the Authorized Version, others excluding this signification altogether, and rendering it 'Helper,' Advocate.' The truest view is, that the Greek word which our translators have rendered by Comforter has a rich fulness which no single term can exhaust. The Spirit is both Helper and Comforter. Olshausen remarks: 'The idea of comfort implies that of efficient succour'; and we may add, the idea of efficient succour implies that of comfort. We cannot agree with Dr. Bushnell, that the very poorest, thinnest representation ever proposed, or adopted for the name given by our Saviour to the Spirit, is our English name Comforter.' This name must not be regarded as suggesting earthly comforts, as expressing feeble over-soft sympathy, as in a soothing key, but as suggestive of the deep satisfaction which is imparted to the soul by the indwelling presence and energy of the Spirit of God. The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of strong consolation,' and such consolation or encouragement is specially inspired by the royal Spirit.


The primitive Christians felt this consolation and walked in its power. Whilst they were painfully conscious of the presence and possibilities of sin both around them and within them, and watched over themselves with a jealous and unrelaxing vigilance, they were energized and comforted by the power and grace of the Holy Ghost. Great and sorrowful as the conflict was into which they were plunged, they felt the Spirit of God unfolding in their soul a banner which promised matchless strength and glorious victory. Some praise the heathenism of antiquity because, amid all its absurdities, it was a

cheerful religion; the song, the dance and the banquet intermingled with its rites, and sacrifices were preludes to well-spread tables and social repasts, whether on occasions of public rejoicing, or in the hilarious communions of private hospitality. Now, it must be acknowledged that Christianity is not a 'cheerful religion' in the sense in which Greek and Roman worship were cheerful. Jesus Christ brought out the deeper meaning of life; and we have, morally speaking, far deeper reasons for seriousness than men could possibly feel prior to the Advent. Christ has immensely exalted our conception of God, of His love and holiness; of the Divine capacity of our nature; of the spiritu ality, breadth and inviolability of the law; and of the vast issues of human character and conduct. The super

ficial hilariousness of pagan worship was an impossibility to those who knew the Holy One of Israel, who had seen the awful beauty of Christ, and who were expecting the manifestation of that perfect universe into which nothing can enter that defileth.

But, on the other hand, if Christ has intensified our conception of the momentousness of life, by declaring its solemn obligations, and vast consequences, He has given us such reasons for bravery and hope in the moral life as men never knew before. Do we fear lest we fail to realize the wondrous love of God? 'The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.' Do we tremble lest we fail to recognise the mind of God? 'Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.' Are we afraid to present ourselves before God's pure presence? The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.' Do we shrink to contemplate the wide gulf which comes between us and the perfection of our Father in heaven? The Spirit

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