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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. JERUSALEM. By cool Siloam's shady rill How sweet the lily grows Ileber. Before describing the city, let me give a brief description of the land of which it was so long the capital; and in order to understand the peculiar characteristics of Palestine, we must take a more extended view of the land forming the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. If then we take a model or outline map, it will be observed that the coast from Asia Minor to Egypt, from the Bay of Iskanderiin to Port Said, runs nearly north and south, with a slight inclination to west, and that at a few miles (from twenty to thirty) inland there exists a deep crack on the earth's surface running nearly parallel to the shore line, and entirely cutting it off from Arabia. This crack or crevice is most strongly marked, and can be distinctly traced from ancient Antioch up the River Oroiites to the head of the valley near Baalbec, thence down the Leontes through Coele-Syria to the foot of Hermon near Dan, and thence down the Jordan through Tiberias to the Dead Sea, and through the Desert of Zin and Gulf of Akaba to the Red Sea. The Peninsula of Sinai, Canaan, and ancientPhoenicia are thus distinctly cut off from Asia, and form a sort of neutral ground between that continent and Africa. This deep and narrow crack is one of the most extraordinary physical features the face of the earth now presents, and must in some measure assist in producing the singular climate of Palestine, and possibly may have influenced the history of the people. These features can be more readily understood by noting the fact that at the present time the whole of the Jordan Valley is below the level of the Mediterranean and Red Sea, as is also the Desert of Zin south of the Red Sea for about half its length, the remaind...
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