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and smoothing them; others busy with the auger, while others fitted together the various parts.
All were animated by the same enthusiasm; the chiefs directed the works and encouraged the workmen to fresh exertions; the able bodied men labored at the engines; the youths, old men, boys, girls and women, sallied forth in companies with mules and asses, to collect twigs and osiers with which to form the threefold wicker sides of the towers. None were idle, rich and poor, serf and noble, labored side by side. Distinctions of rank were in a manner laid aside ; zeal in the common cause was the sole distinction.
Meanwhile, the army began to experience the most dreadful sufferings from thirst. Several causes combined to produce a scarcity of water. Jerusalem is naturally a rocky arid spot, being some five and twenty miles from the Jordan, the only river near. The brook Kedron, which in the winter season roars a very torrent through the ravine at the base of the temple rock, is, during the summer months, but a dry and stony water-course. For their supply of water, the inhabitants rely, as they have ever done, on their cisterns, the most capacious in the world: one of these, within the city, received the water from the area of the Mosque of Omar, from Zion, and from innumerable private dwellings. Those without the city, the upper and lower pools of Gihon, had been tapped by the Saracens preparatory to the advent of the Crusaders, a most effectual method of annoying an invading army. The wells within a compass of five or six miles round the city, had also been stopped with dust and sand, and all the cisterns had been emptied. The pool of Siloam, * a small and intermittent spring was the only source of supply. This was utterly inadequate to satisfy a thirsty host of 50,000 men, toiling from morn to night under the scorching sun of a Syrian June, while the clouds of dust and sand they raised at their labors, made the want of water the more severely felt. It was a most distressing sight to witness the crowd thronging round Siloam. Some were trodden to death; others unable to penetrate the press, lay around, swollen and unable to move; their tongues so parched that they could not articulate a word ; and it was piteous to see them
See a Sketch in Youths' Magazine for May, 1846.
vainly stretching forth their hands to those who were carrying away a small and hoarded treasure of the precious water. To supply the horses and other animals in the camp was absolutely impossible, and numbers of them miserably perished, while the pestilential odour from their carcases was almost insupportable. A few scanty wells were discovered at a distance of six miles or more, and thither many hastened, some died before they got there, and those who reached the wells had to fight their way through the eager crowd. From these wells a niggardly supply of putrid muddy water was brought in the sewn up skins of the oxen, horses, and camels, which had perished by thirst, and this was sold in the camp at a most extravagant price. For two silver pieces, at that time a large sum, a man was allowed to apply his mouth to the narrow aperture of the skin for the brief interval before it was snatched away. Many dug moist earth and applied it to their mouths, others sucked the smooth stones which lay around when wet with the morning dew. Many of the nobles, especially the ecclesiastical dignitaries, unused to such privations, complained most bitterly of their scanty fare. the putrid water, and coarse rasp-like barley bread. Many of the people wandering about the country in search of water were cut off by the hostile garrisons of Ascalon and other places. The daily diminution of their numbers excited the alarm of the leaders.
The Crusaders now heard that the Genoese fleet in attendance on their army with corn and stores, had put into the port of Jaffa. The sailors, moreover, were, many of them, skilful craftsmen, and would most materially assist in the construction of the machines. An escort was therefore despatched to conduct them to Jerusalem, an enterprize which was achieved after a successful skirmish with a body of the Saracenic cavalry.
By their aid the works rapidly proceeded. In order to protect the wood-work from destruction by fire, the wicker sides of the towers were covered with the raw hides of the animals which had perished. The superior tools and workmanship of the Genoese, much increased the stability of the towers. After four weeks of unremitted toil, their labors at length approached a termination.
The beseiged, meanwhile, recovering heart, and being them
selves abundantly supplied with water, timber, tools, and other requisites, were not remiss in their exertions to counteract the efforts of the Crusaders. In front of each of the towers which had been constructed, they erected, on their walls, with the advantage of better material and workmanship, a similar defence. Nine machines for casting large stones were erected by them, opposite to Raimund's tower, and five opposed to that of Godfrey. The Christians, not a few, resident within the city, were compelled, most reluctantly, to labor at these works. They were remorselessly plundered, and treated by the Saracens with the greatest personal contumely-pulled by the hair and beard-so sacred in the eyes of an Oriental.
The tender mercies of the Christians however, do not appear in a much more favorable light; indeed, in many cases we must pronounce the Moslems to have been the better “Christians" of the two.
A TRUTH AND THE TRUTH. We offered, last month a few remarks on the subject of “Friendly Controversy," with reference to a recent periodical, the second number of which is now before us.* We are afraid we see some indications, not apparent in the first, of a desire to plunge into controversy, simply for its own sake, without due regard to the practical bearing of the question at issue. Now we hold that victory alone, is never worth contending for: we must fight only for truth. If anxious to “prove all things,” let it be with the simple desire to "hold fast that which is good.”
Another tendency of our argumentative friends, is to overprove their own case. It must be everything-crushing, oversweeping, anniltilating all that can be said on the other side. A little or unimportant truth must not be inflated into one demanding acceptation of the whole world, or be made like Pharaoh's lean kine to swallow up the fat-fleshed and well favored.
Apropos of this last point, we notice with suspicion in this second number of the Controversialist, some significant advertisements on the subjects of Vegetarianism, Hydropathy, Teetotalism, and Phonography-matters demanding legitimate
• See page 263.
enquiry, but sadly over-ridden by their advocates. But our graver charge lies against a notice to correspondents, on the fifth page of the cover, which seems to betray a favorable leaning towards the “ Bible Christian Theology" of S. T. We regret this-not because we consider “the Professor and teacher" of it altogether wrong, (unless we are to regard the vital importance attached to his creed as a necessary part of it)
but because it has not, and cannot have any practical influence on the life of a believer in the Gospel.
But assuming the truth of our parenthesis, and receiving these dogmata as "the great, leading, fundamental, essential, and impregnable principles" of Christianity, we feel deeply grieved at the contemplation of its probable results.
The end of the Bible seems rather to be simply this—to shew men the way to heaven, and provide for their sanctification here, and their glorification hereafter. If allowed to dictate a scheme of Christian Theology, we should say that its "great, leading, fundamental principles," were involved in that faithful saying, that “ Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
Nor does it seem to us that the Gospel is a scheme intended as our friend imagines, to "challenge discussion." "He that believeth shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned," is no controversial problem, but a great saving truth. Unquestionably its leading facts will bear the severest intellectual scrutiny; but we shall find that when its first preachers “reasoned,” or “disputed,” which was very seldom, their arguments had all reference to the mission and work of Christ, and his sufficiency to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. They determined to know nothing among men, but Christ Jesus, and him crucified.
As this writer appears so anxious to “contest” respecting his peculiar dogmas, he should begin by furnishing Scripture proofs, not of these dogmas themselves, but of the fact that they were one and all implicitly believed in by the apostles; or failing this, should show how those good men could ever have got to heaven without a knowledge of "the great, leading, fundamental, essential, and impregnable principles" of the glorious gospel on which they rested all their hopes.
When he has done this, let him search the best biographies extant of all the holy, but uninspired men, of later times, and state in how many instances he can detect decided proofs that this theology occupied the foremost place in their religious life. Let him satisfy his readers, if he can, that “the noble army of martyrs" held it, and that “ the holy church throughout all the world” in past times acknowledged it as “the great” principle of Gospel Christianity. Unless he can do this, he places Peter, Paul, John, Jude, Wickliffe, Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, Howe, Owen, Bunyan, Jeremy Taylor, Leighton, Baxter, and all the saints of former days, in the category of lost spirits, or at all events in the “forlorn hope" of believers in the nonessentials of Christianity, who, for aught we know to the contrary, repudiated its fundamental truths.
And with them, how many of our living Lights in the Church must go too! For we much doubt whether a tithe of our holiest men belong to the school of this modern apostle. Let him "have the pre-eminence,” if he desire it in this new school; but let Christ be still our Alpha and Omega--the Beginning and the Ending the First and the Last.
We trust that that our friends of the Controversialist, if they admit the arguments of this new body of Theologians as subjects for discussion, will receive them only for as much as they are worth. It may be something, but it is not all, to know that God the Father is, in a certain sense, and according to a peculiar scheme of interpretation, both anterior and superior to the Son, and that the Holy Ghost is in like manner posterior to both ; but give us the simple and heart-cleansing Christianity which tells us that Christ is all we want for this world and the next.
FAITH. True faith is what may be called colorless, like air or water; it is but the medium through which the soul sees Christ, and the soul as little rests on it and contemplates it, as the eye can see the air. When men then are bent on holding it, as it were, in their hands, curiously inspecting, analyzing, and so aiming at it, they are obliged to color and thicken it, that it may be seen and touched. That is, they substitute for it something or