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CONQUEST OF JERUSALEM BY THE CRUSADERS,

A.D. 1099.

GODFREY OF BOUILLON erected his standard on the first swell of Mount Calvary: to the left, as far as St. Stephen's gate, the line of attack was continued by Tancred and the two Roberts; and count Raymond established his quarters from the citadel to the foot of Mount Sion, which was no longer included within the precincts of the city. On the fifth day, the crusaders made a general assault, in the fanatic hope of battering down the walls without engines, and of scaling them without ladders. By the dint of brutal force, they burst the first barrier, but they were driven back with shame and slaughter to the camp: the influence of vision and prophecy was deadened by the too frequent abuse of those pious stratagems; and time ard labour were found to be the only means of victory. The time of the siege was indeed fulfilled in forty days, but they were forty days of calamity and anguish. A repetition of the old complaint of famine may be imputed in some degree to the voracious or disorderly appetite of the Franks ; but the stony soil of Jerusalem is almost destitute of water; the scanty springs and hasty torrents were dry in the summer season; nor was the thirst of the besiegers relieved, as in the city, by the artificial supply of cisterns and aqueducts. The circumjacent country is equally destitute of trees for the uses of shade or building; but some large were discovered in a cave by the crusaders: a wood near Sichem, the enchanted grove of Tasso, was cut down : the necessary timber was transported to the camp by the vigour and dexterity of Tancred; and the engines were framed by some Genoese artists, who had fortunately landed in the harbour of Jaffa. Two moveable turrets were constructed, at the expense, and in the stations of the duke of Lorraine and the count of Thoulouse, and rolled forwards with devout labour, not to the most accessible, but to the most neglected, parts of the fortification. Raymond's tower was reduced to ashes by the fire of the besieged, but his colleague was more vigilant and successful; the enemies were driven by his archers from the rampart; the drawbridge was let down; and on a Friday at three in the afternoon, the day and hour of the Passion, Godfrey of Bouillon stood victorious on the walls of Jerusalem. His example was followed on every side by the emulation of valour; and about four hundred and sixty years after the conquest of Omar, the holy city was rescued from the Mahometan yoke. In the pillage of public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of the great niosque, seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and silver, rewarded the diligence, and displayed the generosity, of Tancred. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries to the God of the Christians : resistance might provoke, but neither age nor sex could mollify, their implacable rage : they indulged themselves three days in a promiscuous massacre ; and the infection of the dead bodies produced an epidemical disease. After seventy thousand Moslems had been put to the sword, and the harmless Jews had been burnt in their synagogue, they could still reserve a multitude of captives, whom interest or lassitude persuaded them to spare. Of these savage heroes of the Cross, Tancred alone betrayed some sentiments of compassion; yet we may praise the more selfish lenity of Raymond, who granted a capitulation and safe-conduct to the garrison of the citadel. The holy sepulchre was now free; and the bloody victors prepared to accomplish their vow. Bareheaded and barefoot, with contrite hearts, and in an humble posture, they ascended the hill of Calvary, amidst the loud anthems of the clergy; kissed the stone which had covered the Saviour of the world ; and bedewed with tears of joy and penitence the monument of their redemption.

Gibbon,

THE MOSAIC VISION OF CREATION.

Such a description of the creative vision of Moses as the one given by Milton of that vision of the future which he represents as conjured up before Adam by the archangel, would be a task rather for the scientific poet than for the mere practical geologist or sober theologian. Let us suppose that it took place far from man, in an untrodden recess of the Midian desert, ere yet the vision of the burning bush had been vouchsafed; and that, as in the vision of St. John in Patmos, voices were mingled with scenes, and the ear as certainly addressed as the eye. A great darkness 'first falls upon the prophet, like that which in an earlier

age fell

upon

THE MOSAIC VISION OF CREATION.

201

Abraham, but without the “horror;' and, as the Divine Spirit moves on the face of the wildly-troubled waters, as a visible aurora enveloped by the pitchy cloud, the great doctrine is orally enunciated, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' Unreckoned ages, condensed in the vision into a few brief moments, pass away; the creative voice is again heard, 'Let there be light,' and etraightway a gray diffused light springs up in the east, and, casting its sickly gleam over a cloud-limited expanse of steaming vaporous sea, journeys through the heavens towards the west. One heavy, sunless day is made the representative of myriads; the faint light waxes fainter,-it sinks beneath the dim undefined horizon; the first scene of the drama closes upon the seer; and he sits awhile on his hill-top in darkness, solitary but not sad, in what seems to be a calm and starless night.

The light again brightens,—it is day; and over an expanse of ocean without visible bound the horizon has become wider and sharper of outline than before. There is life in that great sea,invertebrate, mayhap also ichthyic life; but, from the comparative distance of the point of view occupied by the prophet, only the slow roll of its waves can be discerned, as they rise and fall in long undulations before a gentle gale; and what most strongly impresses the eye is the change which has taken place in the atmospheric scenery. That lower stratum of the heavens occupied in the previous vision by seething steam, or gray smoke-like fog, is clear and transparent; and only in an upper region, where the previously invisible

vapour of the tepid sea has thickened in the cold, do the

But there, in the higher strata of the atmosphere, they lie, thick and manifold,

, -an upper sea of great waves, separated from those beneath by the transparent firmament, and, like them too, impelled in rolling masses by the wind. A mighty advance has taken place in creation; but its most conspicuous optical sign is the existence of a transparent atmosphere,—of a firmament stretched out over the earth, that separates the waters above from the waters below. But darkness descends for the third time upon the seer, for the evening and the morning have completed the second day.

Yet again the light rises under a canopy of cloud; but the scene has changed, and there is no longer an unbroken expanse of

The white surf breaks, at the distant horizon, on an insulated reef, formed mayhap by the Silurian or Old Red coral zoophytes ages before, during the bygone yesterday; and beats in long lines

clouds appear.

sea,

of foam, nearer at hand, against a low, winding shore, the seaward barrier of a widely-spread country.

For at the Divine command the land has arisen from the deep,—not inconspicuously and in scattered islets, as at an earlier time, but in extensive though flat and marshy continents, little raised above the sea-level; and a yet further fiat has covered them with the great Carboniferous flora. The scene is one of mighty forests of cone-bearing trees,—of palms, and treeferns, and gigantic club-mosses, on the opener slopes, and of great reeds clustering by the sides of quiet lakes and dark rolling rivers. There is deep gloom in the recesses of the thicker woods, and low thick mists creep along the dank marsh or sluggish stream. But there is a general lightening of the sky over-head : as the day declines, a redder flush than had hitherto lighted up the prospect falls athwart fern-covered bank and long withdrawing glade. And while the fourth evening has fallen on the prophet, he becomes sensible, as it wears on and the fourth dawn approaches, that yet another change has taken place. The Creator has spoken, and the stars look out from openings of deep unclouded blue; and as day rises, and the planet of morning pales in the east, the broken cloudlets are transmuted from bronze into gold, and anon the gold becomes fire, and at length the glorious sun arises out of the sea, and enters on his course rejoicing. It is a brilliant day; the waves, of a deeper and softer blue than before, dance and sparkle in the light; the earth, with little else to attract the gaze, has assumed a garb of brighter green; and as the sun declines amid even richer glories than those which had encircled his rising, the moon appears full-orbed in the east,to the human eye the second great luminary of the heavens,—and climbs slowly to the zenith as niyht advances, shedding its mild radiance on land and sea. Again the day breaks; the prospect consists, as before, of land and

There are great pine woods, reed-covered swamps, wide plains, winding rivers, and broad lakes ; and a bright sun shines over all. But the landscape derives its interest and novelty from a feature unmarked before. Gigantic birds stalk along the sands, or wade far into the water in quest of their ichthyic food; while birds of lesser size float upon the lakes, or scream discordant in hovering flocks, thick as insects in the calm of a summer evening, over the narrower seas, or brighten with the sunlit gleam of their wings the thick woods. And ocean has its monsters : great 'tanninim' tempest the deep, as they heave their huge bulk over the surface, to inhale the life-sustaining air ; and out of their nostrils.

ocean.

THE MOSAIC VISION OF CREATION.

203

goeth smoke, as out of a “seething pot or cauldron.' Monstrous creatures, armed in massive scales, haunt the rivers, or scour the flat rank meadows; earth, air, and water are charged with animal life; and the sun sets on a busy scene, in which unerring instinct pursues unremittingly its few simple ends,—the support and preservation of the individual, the propagation of the species, and the protection and maintenance of the young.

Again the night descends, for the fifth day has closed; and morning breaks on the sixth and last day of creation. Cattle and beasts of the field graze on the plains; the thick-skinned rhinoceros wallows in the marshes; the squat hippopotamus rustles among the reeds, or plunges sullenly into the river; great herds of elephants seek their food amid the young herbage of the woods; while animals of fiercer nature,—the lion, the leopard, and the bear,harbour in deep caves till the evening, or lie in wait for their prey amid gled thickets, or beneath some broken bank. At length, as the day wanes and the shadows lengthen, man, the responsible lord of creation, formed in God's own image, is introduced upon the scene, and the work of creation ceases for ever upon the earth. The night falls once more upon the prospect, and there dawns yet another morrow,- the morrow of God's rest,—that Divine Sabbath in which there is no more creative labour, and which, blessed and sanctified' beyond all the days that had gone before, has as its special object the moral elevation and final redemption of man. And over it no evening is represented in the record as falling, for its special work is not yet complete. Such seems to have been the sublime panorama of creation exhibited in vision of old, to

The shepherd who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning how the heavens and earth

Rose out of chaos; and, rightly understood, I know not a single scientific truth that militates against even the minutest or least prominent of its details.

Hugh Miller.

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