– Have had a most delightful day. Enjoyed riding in connection with
two other parties – Turkish and English. Visited the church and ruins
of Samaria together. The ruins of old Samaria consist of huge columns of
limestone, many of them standing in rows, appearing to have been avenues
in the city as they are, lie parallel with each other for some distance
and are also lying about intermixed with heaps of old stone. This proves
the truthful prophesy of Micha, Chap. 1.8. Soon after leaving this place
we took lunch under a fig tree two or three feet in diameter. Near a fountain
just before reaching this place we had a good view of the snow clad peak
of Mt. Hermon. Leaving here we came into a large plain, where we had a distant
view of Mt. Tabor. We are now encamped at Jenir, which is near the plain
April 5th – This is one of the most beautiful plains I ever saw. We have been riding over it all day and have found new beauty at every turn. We have passed through the Village of Nain, Shunen and Endor, those being the scenes of beautiful Scripture stories. We had a fine view of Mt. Tabor, near which Napoleon defeated the Mamlukes and then ascended a rocky series of hills until we reached Nazareth, the place where Christ dwelt. Just before we reached Mt. Tabor we saw locusts in the air like a snow storm and on the ground in many places our path was covered with them. We visited a large fountain near Jezreel at Jallud, where Giddeon’s army lapped the water. At Nazareth we went to the top of the highest peak of the mountain of Galilee where we have the finest view in Palestine, the sea, Mt. Heren, Mt. Tabor and all the plains. After this we went down to the Fountain of the Virgin, where we saw the pretty maidens coming down to fill their pitchers. I drank from one of them. It was most delicious water. They all gathered around us as if we were a menagerie. We admired their jewels and dresses while they remarked on and admired ours.
April 6th – Left Nazareth this morning. Have been traveling all day in the Mountains of Galilee and Carmel. The hills of the latter are covered with most beautiful oak, olive and wild pear trees. The bloom of the latter is not unlike the lemon, a pure white star shaped flower with a rich leaf and a most delicious scent. The olive was almost in bloom. We passed through locusts again today. Saw a field nearly covered with them. Passed through Haifa on our way to the Convent on the summit of Mt. Carmel. It was a very steep ascent. Here we have a fine view of the sea. Returning to our tents pitched at the side of the village, we took a walk and gathered shells along the coast. There are a great many cactus hedges along the sides of fields and gardens. Near our tents this morning were a parcel of women wailing over their dead friends, one whose husband had only been dead 21 days. This is a great custom in the East.
April 7th – Left Haifa and rode along the seacoast for several miles until we came to Accho (Acre). This is a fortified town. It has only one gate, through which we entered and rode through the town until we reached a door or lookout upon the sea, which joins the ancient ____ or causeway. This was a noted place in the time of the Crusaders. In 1799 it was besieged by Napoleon, but he was forced to abandon it, being defeated by the English.
From Accho we rode over a beautiful plain until we came to Kana or Cana, where Our Lord was invited to a wedding and performed his first miracle by changing water into wine. There is a large fountain there, probably the very one from which the water was taken. While we were drinking the women came down to fill their pitchers.
Sunday – Went to the Greek Church at Nazareth where we saw the Bishop and his priests dressed in the richest robes, brocaded in gilt; a gilt jeweled crown. They passed our tent in procession bearing banners, joined by the Governor of the town. This is Easter with the Greeks and in an Olive Grove near us are dozens of children picking their eggs and swinging in the trees, two or three together. They were all gaily dresses. Here Jesus spent his early years and we may surely feel that he has been at the fountain and walked over the ground and hills around us.