A letter from Jerusalem dated Nov. 23d, published in a Chicago paper, bears remarkable testimony to the gradual progress of restitution in that land and God's preparation for promised future blessing upon it and its people. By the time the "little flock," the Body of Christ, is fully completed and perfected, Jerusalem and the fleshly house will be ready for the great things foretold concerning them. Indications of both are multiplying. The following is an extract from said letter:
I am very glad to tell you of the glorious things that we have been witnesses of during the six years we have lived here. When we arrived here, six years ago, the 26th of September, we numbered fourteen adults and five children. As we drove up from Jaffa we were deeply impressed with the desolation of the land. Not a spear of green could be seen anywhere; the olive trees and vines were so covered with the gray dust of a hot, dry summer, that you never could imagine there could be any green underneath, and the whole earth seemed dried to its foundations. We realized to the full, that it was a land under the curse of God still, for sin. But we have never seen it look like that since that time. Every year it looks greener and greener, and now, so many of those barren hill-sides are covered with vineyards, and olive yards, quite changing the appearance of everything.
You will ask, what is the cause of this great change? God has promised that like as He brought all this evil upon this land, so He will bring great blessings unto it, and it has evidently begun by God's sending more rain than for many thousand years. He sends beautiful showers and heavy dews, where there used not to be any, and He sends clouds in summer, which were never known even twenty years ago. This tempers the heat, so that it does not dry up the ground so. Five years ago He sent, in July and August (months in which it never used to rain), three hours of rain in Jaffa, and sixteen hours in Damascus, and much all around, so that the American papers remarked upon it as a proof that the climate of Palestine is changing. Also, when we came here, there were very few Jews coming back to this land, but the persecutions in Russia and Germany and other places began to drive them out, and, in spite of the edicts of the Sultan, they began returning to this land, buying land, planting and building, and getting possession of the trade of the city; and so to-day there are many thousands more than when we came.
Jerusalem is in reality now in the hands of the Jews, so far as trade is concerned, and the Jew is no longer under the heel of the Mohammedan as he once was. They are also rapidly building up a new city, exactly on the line of the description in Jer. 31:38-40 and 32:43-44, so that even the Turks, who are in power, are taking notice of it, and are saying one to the other, 'It is God, and what can we do?' And, dear friend, what can we say to all this, but that God is rapidly fulfilling in our day His word and the covenant He made with Abraham, and we are witnesses of these things." AMELIA GOULD.
"The Lord hath comforted Zion; he hath comforted all her waste places, and hath made her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people. He hath redeemed Jerusalem. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart."Isaiah 51:3; 52:9; 61:4; Jeremiah 3:17Revised Version.