People and Land of Israel: 3. Recent Travels in the Holy Land and Neighboring Countries, Part 1

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 11
It appears from the Jewish Chronicle that the project for a railway from Jaffa to Jerusalem has been abandoned for the present. It is not that any insuperable difficulties stood in its way, for the line has been surveyed by a civil engineer of celebrity, who pronounces decidedly in favor of its feasibility. But the financial results anticipated are not such as to encourage the enterprise, unless grants of land were made by the Ports, such as are usually given by government in imperfectly cultivated countries Aali Pacha did not see fit to hold out this inducement; but those interested in it are looking for greater vigor and decision from Redschid Pacha.
On the other hand, the Sultan, who had already presented to the Emperor Napoleon the Church of the Nativity at Jerusalem, has also given him the old palace of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, which is annexed to St. Peter's prison.
Thus, with whatever slight delays and temporary checks, the prophetic student will descry the growing tendency and desire of the West to facilitate the political restoration of the Jews to their own land. Alas, an untimely birth! which will issue in the deepest sorrows, and in divine judgments upon all concerned. “For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut of the sprigs with prunning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.” Nor will it be merely the disappointment of Israelitish hopes; for their Gentile patrons will prove their scourge, and will turn again and rend them. “They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth; and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.” But that very time shall see the Lord undertake the work, and gather in His people with a high hand. “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people in the earth be gathered together against it.” Their worst tribulation immediately precedes their final deliverance, and the putting down of the Gentiles, who will afterward owe their best blessing, as far as means are concerned, to Israel. “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them towards the former sea, and half of them towards the hinder sea, (i.e. east and west:) in summer and in winter shall it be (i.e. always, as depending on God, not upon the mere natural seasons.) And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”