The Embalming of the Body of Jesus.
The Blessed Virgin seated herself upon a large cloth spread on the ground, with her right
knee, which was slightly raised, and her back resting against some mantles, rolled together
so as to from a species of cushion. No precaution had been neglected which could in any
way facilitate to her—the Mother of Sorrows—in her deep affliction of soul, the mournful
but most sacred duty which she was about to fulfil in regard to the body of her beloved Son.
The adorable head of Jesus rested upon Mary’s knee, and his body was stretched upon a
sheet. The Blessed Virgin was overwhelmed with sorrow and love. Once more, and for the
last time, did she hold in her arms the body of her most beloved Son, to whom she had been
unable to give any testimony of love during the long hours of his martyrdom. And she gazed
upon his wounds and fondly embraced his blood-stained cheeks, while Magdalen pressed
her face upon his feet.
The men withdrew into a little cave, situated on the south-west side of Calvary, there to
prepare the different things needful for the embalming; but Cassius, with a few other soldiers
who had been converted, remained at a respectful distance. All ill-disposed persons were
gone back to the city, and the soldiers who were present served merely to form a guard to
prevent any interruption in the last honours which were being rendered to the body of Jesus.
Some of these soldiers even gave assistance when desired. The holy women held the vases,
sponges, linen, unction, and spices, according as required; but when not thus employed,
they remained at a respectful distance, attentively gazing upon the Blessed Virgin as she
proceeded in her mournful task. Magdalen did not leave the body of Jesus; but John gave
continual assistance to the Blessed Virgin, and went to and fro from the men to the women,
lending aid to both parties. The women had with them some large leathern bottles and a
vase filled with water standing upon a coal fire. They gave the Blessed Virgin and
Magdalen, according as they required, vases filled with clear water, and sponges, which
they afterwards squeezed in the leathern bottles.
The courage and firmness of Mary remained unshaken even in the midst of her
inexpressible anguish.11 It was absolutely impossible for her to leave the body of her Son in
the awful state to which it had been reduced by his sufferings, and therefore she began with
indefatigable earnestness to wash and purify it from the traces of the outrages to which it
had been exposed. With the utmost care she drew off the crown of thorns, opening it
behind, and then cutting off one by one the thorns which had sunk deep into the head of
Jesus, in order that she might not widen the wounds. The crown was placed by the side of
the nails, and then Mary drew out the thorns which had remained in the skin with a species
of rounded pincers, and sorrowfully showed them to her friends.12 These thorns were placed
with the crown, but still some of them must have been preserved separately.
The divine face of our Saviour was scarcely recognisable, so disfigured was it by the
wounds with which it was covered. The beard and hair were matted together with blood.
Mary washed the head and face, and passed damp sponges over the hair to remove the
congealed blood. As she proceeded in her pious office, the extent of the awful cruelty which
had been exercised upon Jesus became more and more apparent, and caused in her soul
emotions of compassion and tenderness which increased as she passed from one wound to
another. She washed the wounds of the head, the eyes filled with blood, the nostrils, and the
ears, with a sponge and a small piece of linen spread over the fingers of her right hand; and
then she purified, in the same manner, the half-opened mouth, the tongue, the teeth, and the
lips. She divided what remained of our Lord’s hair into three parts, a part falling over each
temple, and the third over the back of his head; and when she had disentangled the front
hair and smoothed it, she passed it behind his ears.13
11 On Good Friday, March 30th, 1820, as Sister Emmerich was contemplating the descent from the Cross she
suddenly fainted, in the presence of the writer of these lines, and appeared to be really dead. But after a time
she recovered her senses and gave the following explanation, although still in a state of great suffering: ‘As I
was contemplating the body of Jesus lying on the knees of the Blessed Virgin I said to myself: “How great is
her strength! She has not fainted even once!” My guide reproached me for this thought – in which there was
more astonishment than compassion – and said to me, “Suffer then what she has suffered!” And at the same
moment a sensation of the sharpest anguish transfixed me like a sword, so that I believed I must have died
from it.’ She had had an illness which reduced her almost to the brink of the grave.
12 Sister Emmerich said that the shape of these pincers reminded her of the scissors with which Samson’s hair
was cut off. In her visions of the third year of the public life of Jesus she had seen our Lord keep the Sabbathday
at Misael – a town belonging to the Levites, of the tribe of Aser – and as a portion of the Book of Judges
was read in the synagogue, Sister Emmerich beheld upon that occasion the life of Samson.
13 Sister Emmerich was accustomed, when speaking of persons of historical importance, to explain how they
divided their hair. ‘Eve,’ she said, ‘divided her hair in two parts, but Mary into three.’ And she appeared to
attach importance to these words. No opportunity presented itself for her to give any explanation upon the
subject, which probably would have shown what was done with the hair in sacrifices, funerals, consecrations,
or vows, etc. She once said of Samson: ‘His fair hair, which was long and thick, was gathered up on his head
in seven tresses, like a helmet, and the ends of these tresses were fastened upon his forehead and temples. His
hair was not in itself the source of his strength, but only as the witness to the vow which he had made to let it
grow in God’s honour. The powers which depended upon these seven tresses were the seven gifts of the Holy
Ghost. He must have already broken his vows and lost many graces, when he allowed this sign of being a
When the head was thoroughly cleansed and purified, the Blessed Virgin covered it with
a veil, after having kissed the sacred cheeks of her dear Son. She then turned her attention to
the neck, shoulders, chest, back, arms, and pierced hands. All the bones of the breast and
the joints were dislocated, and could not be bent. There was a frightful wound on the
shoulders which had borne the weight of the Cross, and all the upper part of the body was
covered with bruises and deeply marked with blows of the scourges. On the left breast there
was a small wound where the point of Cassius’s lance had come out, and on the right side
was the large wound made by the same lance, and which had pierced the heart through and
through. Mary washed all these wounds, and Magdalen, on her knees, helped her from time
to time; but without leaving the sacred feet of Jesus, which she bathed with tears and wiped
with her hair.
The head, bosom, and feet of our Lord were now washed, and the sacred body, which
was covered with brown stains and red marks in those places where the skin had been torn
off, and of a bluish-white colour, like flesh that has been drained of blood, was resting on
the knees of Mary, who covered the parts which she had washed with a veil, and then
proceeded to embalm all the wounds. The holy women knelt by her side, and in turn
presented to her a box, out of which she took some precious ointment, and with it filled and
covered the wounds. She also anointed the hair, and then, taking the sacred hands of Jesus
in her left hand, respectfully kissed them, and filled the large wounds made by the nails with
this ointment or sweet spice. She likewise filled the ears, nostrils, and wound in the side
with the same precious mixture. Meanwhile Magdalen wiped and embalmed our Lord’s
feet, and then again washed them with her tears, and often pressed her face upon them.
The water which had been used was not thrown away, but poured into the leathern
bottles in which the sponges had been squeezed. I saw Cassius or some other soldier go
several times to fetch fresh water from the fountain of Gihon, which was at no great
distance off. When the Blessed Virgin had filled all the wounds with ointment, she wrapped
the head up in linen cloths, but she did not as yet cover the face. She closed the half-open
eyes of Jesus, and kept her hand upon them for some time. She also closed the mouth, and
then embraced the sacred body of her beloved Son, pressing her face fondly and reverently
upon his. Joseph and Nicodemus had been waiting for some time, when John drew near to
the Blessed Virgin, and besought her to permit the body of her Son to be taken from her,
that the embalming might be completed, because the Sabbath was close at hand. Once more
did Mary embrace the sacred body of Jesus, and utter her farewells in the most touching
language, and then the men lifted it from her arms on the sheet, and carried it to some
distance. The deep sorrow of Mary had been for the time assuaged by the feelings of love
and reverence with which she had accomplished her sacred task; but now it once more
overwhelmed her, and she fell, her head covered with her veil, into the arms of the holy
women. Magdalen felt almost as though her Beloved were being forcibly carried away from
her, and hastily ran forward a few steps, with her arms stretched forth; but then, after a
moment, returned to the Blessed Virgin.
Nazarene to be cut off. I did not see Dalila cut off all his hair, and I think one lock remained on his forehead.
He retained the grace to do penance and of that repentance by which he recovered strength sufficient to
destroy his enemies. The life of Samson is figurative and prophetic.’
The sacred body was carried to a spot beneath the level of the top of Golgotha, where the
smooth surface of a rock afforded a convenient platform on which to embalm the body. I
first saw a piece of open-worked linen, looking very much like lace, and which made me
think of the large embroidered curtain hung between the choir and nave during Lent.14 It
was probably worked in that open stitch for the water to run through. I also saw another
large sheet unfolded. The body of our Saviour was placed on the open-worked piece of
linen, and some of the other men held the other sheet spread above it. Nicodemus and
Joseph then knelt down, and underneath this covering took off the linen which they had
fastened round the loins of our Saviour, when they took his body down from the Cross.
They then passed sponges under this sheet, and washed the lower parts of the body; after
which they lifted it up by the help of pieces of linen crossed beneath the loins and knees, and
washed the back without turning it over. They continued washing until nothing but clear
water came from the sponges when pressed. Next they poured water of myrrh over the
whole body, and then, handling it with respect, stretched it out full length, for it was still in
the position in which our Divine Lord had died—the loins and knees bent. They then placed
beneath his hips a sheet which was a yard in width and three in length, laid upon his lap
bundles of sweet-scented herbs, and shook over the whole body a powder which Nicodemus
had brought. Next they wrapped up the lower part of the body, and fastened the cloth which
they had placed underneath round it strongly. After this they anointed the wounds of the
thighs, placed bundles of herbs between the legs, which were stretched out to their full
length, and wrapped them up entirely in these sweet spices.
Then John conducted the Blessed Virgin and the other holy women once more to the side
of the body. Mary knelt down by the head of Jesus, and placed beneath it a piece of very
fine linen which had been given her by Pilate’s wife, and which she had worn round her
neck under her cloak; next, assisted by the holy women, she placed from the shoulders to
the cheeks bundles of herbs, spices, and sweet-scented powder, and then strongly bound this
piece of linen round the head and shoulders. Magdalen poured besides a small bottle of
balm into the wound of the side, and the holy women placed some more herbs into those of
the hands and feet. Then the men put sweet spices around all the remainder of the body,
crossed the sacred stiffened arms on the chest, and bound the large white sheet round the
body as high as the chest, in the same manner as if they had been swaddling a child. Then,
having fastened the end of a large band beneath the armpits, they rolled it round the head
and the whole body. Finally, they placed our Divine Lord on the large sheet, six yards in
length, which Joseph of Arimathea had bought, and wrapped him in it. He was lying
diagonally upon it, and one corner of the sheet was raised from the feet to the chest, the
other drawn over the head and shoulders, while the remaining two ends were doubled
round the body.
The Blessed Virgin, the holy women, the men—all were kneeling round the body of Jesus
to take their farewell of it, when a most touching miracle took place before them. The sacred
body of Jesus, with all its wounds, appeared imprinted upon the cloth which covered it, as
though he had been pleased to reward their care and their love, and leave them a portrait of
14 This refers to a custom of the Diocese of Munster. During Lent there was hung up in the churches a curtain,
embroidered in open work, representing the Five Wounds, the instruments of the Passion, etc.
himself through all the veils with which he was enwrapped. With tears they embraced the
adorable body, and then reverently kissed the wonderful impression which it had left. Their
astonishment increased when, on lifting up the sheet, they saw that all the bands which
surrounded the body had remained white as before, and that the upper cloth alone had been
marked in this wonderful manner. It was not a mark made by the bleeding wounds, since
the whole body was wrapped up and covered with sweet spices, but it was a supernatural
portrait, bearing testimony to the divine creative power ever abiding in the body of Jesus. I
have seen many things relative to the subsequent history of this piece of linen, but I could
not describe them coherently. After the resurrection it remained in the possession of the
friends of Jesus, but fell twice into the hands of the Jews, and later was honoured in several
different places. I have seen it in a city of Asia, in the possession of some Christians, who
were not Catholics. I have forgotten the name of the town, which is situated in a province
near the country of the Three Kings.
The Body of our Lord placed in the Sepulchre.
The men placed the sacred body on a species of leathern hand-barrow, which they
covered wit a brown-coloured cloth, and to which they fastened two long stakes. This
forcibly reminded me of the Ark of the Covenant. Nicodemus and Joseph bore on their
shoulders the front shafts, while Abenadar and John supported those behind. After them
came the Blessed Virgin, Mary of Heli, her eldest sister, Magdalen and Mary of Cleophas,
and then the group of women who had been sitting at some distance—Veronica, Johanna
Chusa, Mary Salome, Salome of Jerusalem, Susanna, and Anne the niece of St. Joseph.
Cassius and the soldiers closed the procession. The other women, such as Marone of Naïm,
Dina the Samaritaness, and Mara the Suphanitess, were at Bethania, with Martha and
Lazarus. Two soldiers, bearing torches in their hands, walked on first, that there might be
some light in the grotto of the sepulchre; and the procession continued to advance in this
order for about seven minutes, the holy men and women singing psalms in sweet but
melancholy tones. I saw James the Greater, the brother of John, standing upon a hill the
other side of the valley, to look at them as they passed, and he returned immediately
afterwards, to tell the other disciples what he had seen.
The procession stopped at the entrance of Joseph’s garden, which was opened by the
removal of some stakes, afterwards used as levers to roll the stone to the door of the
sepulchre. When opposite the rock, they placed the Sacred Body on a long board covered
with a sheet. The grotto, which had been newly excavated, had been latterly cleaned by the
servants of Nicodemus, so that the interior was neat and pleasing to the eye. The holy
women sat down in front of the grotto, while the four men carried in the body of our Lord,
partially filled the hollow couch destined for its reception with aromatic spices, and spread
over them a cloth, upon which they reverently deposited the sacred body. After having once
more given expression to their love by tears and fond embraces, they left the grotto. Then
the Blessed Virgin entered, seated herself close to the head of her dear Son, and bent over
his body with many tears. When she left the grotto, Magdalen hastily and eagerly came
forward, and flung on the body some flowers and branches which she had gathered in the
garden. Then she clasped her hands together, and with sobs kissed the feet of Jesus; but the
men having informed her that they must close the sepulchre, she returned to the other
women. They covered the sacred body with the extremities of the sheet on which it was
lying, placed on the top of all the brown coverlet, and closed the folding-doors, which were
made of a bronze-coloured metal, and had on their front two sticks, one straight down and
the other across, so as to form a perfect cross.
The large stone with which they intended to close the sepulchre, and which was still lying
in front of the grotto, was in shape very like a chest or tomb;15 its length was such that a man
might have laid himself down upon it, and it was so heavy that it was only by means of
levers that the men could roll it before the door of the sepulchre. The entrance of the grotto
was closed by a gate made of branches twined together. Everything that was done within the
grotto had to be accomplished by torchlight, for daylight never penetrated there.
The Return from the Sepulchre.
Joseph of Arimathea is put in Prison.
The Sabbath was close at hand, and Nicodemus and Joseph returned to Jerusalem by a
small door not far from the garden, and which Joseph had been allowed by special favour to
have made in the city wall. They told the Blessed Virgin, Magdalen, John, and some of the
women, who were returning to Calvary to pray there, that this door, as well as that of the
super-room, would be opened to them whenever they knocked. The elder sister of the
Blessed Virgin, Mary of Heli, returned to the town with Mary the mother of Mark, and
some other women. The servants of Nicodemus and Joseph went to Calvary to fetch several
things which had been left there.
The soldiers joined those who were guarding the city gate near Calvary; and Cassius
went to Pilate with the lance, related all that he had seen, and promised to give him an exact
account of everything that should happen, if he would put under his command the guards
whom the Jews would not fail to ask to have put round the tomb. Pilate listened to his
words with secret terror, but only told him in reply that his superstition amounted to
Joseph and Nicodemus met Peter and the two Jameses in the town. They all shed many
tears, but Peter was perfectly overwhelmed by the violence of this grief. He embraced them,
reproached himself for not having been present at the death of our Saviour, and thanked
them for having bestowed the rites of sepulture upon his sacred body. It was agreed that the
door of the supper-room should be opened to them whenever they knocked, and then they
went away to seek some other disciples who were dispersed in various directions. Later I
15 Apparently Sister Emmerich here spoke of the ancient cases in which her poor countrymen keep their
clothes. The lower part of these cases is smaller than the upper, and this gives them some likeness to a tomb.
She had one of these cases, which she called her chest. She often described the stone by this comparison, but
her descriptions have not, nevertheless, given us a very clear idea of its shape.
saw the Blessed Virgin and her companions enter the upper-room; Abenadar next came and
was admitted; and by degrees the greatest part of the Apostles and disciples assembled there.
The holy women retired to that part of the building where the Blessed Virgin was living.
They took some food, and spent a few minutes more in tears, and in relating to one another
what each had seen. Then men changed their dresses, and I saw them standing under the
lamp, and keeping the Sabbath. They ate some lambs in the supper-room, but without
observing any ceremony, for they had eaten the Paschal lamb the evening before. They were
all perturbed in spirit, and filled with grief. The holy women also passed their time in
praying with the Blessed Virgin under the lamp. Later, when night had quite fallen,
Lazarus, the widow of Naïm, Dina the Samaritan woman, and Mara of Suphan, came from
Bethania, and then, once more, descriptions were given of all that had taken place, and
many tears shed.
[According to the visions of Sister Emmerich, the three women named in the text had been living for some
time at Bethania, in a sort of community established by Martha for the purpose of providing for the
maintenance of the disciples when our Lord was moving about, and for the division and distribution of the
alms which were collected. The widow of Naïm, whose son Martial was raised from the dead by Jesus,
according to Sister Emmerich, on the 28th Marcheswan (the 18th of November), was named Maroni. She was
the daughter of an uncle, on the father’s side, of St. Peter. Her first husband was the son of a sister of
Elizabeth, who herself was the daughter of a sister of the mother of St. Anne. Maroni’s first husband having
died without children, she had married Elind, a relation of St. Anne, and had left Chasaluth, near Tabor, to
take up her abode at Naïm, which was not far off, and where she soon lost her second husband.
Dina, the Samaritan woman, was the same who conversed with Jesus by Jacob’s well. She was born near
Damascus, of parents who were half Jewish and half Pagan. They died while she was yet very young, and she
being brought up by a woman of bad character, the seeds of the most evil passions were early sown in her
heart. She had had several husbands, who supplanted one another in turn, and the last lived at Sichar, whither
she had followed him and changed her name from Dina to Salome. She had three grown-up daughters and
two sons, who afterwards joined the disciples. Sister Emmerich used to say that the life of this Samaritan
woman was prophetic—that Jesus had spoken to the entire sect of Samaritans in her person, and that they
were attached to their errors by as many ties as she had committed adulteries.
Mara of Suphan was a Moabitess, came from the neighbourhood of Suphan, and was a descendant of
Orpha, the widow of Chelion, Noëmi’s son. Orpha had married again in Moab. By Orpha, the sister-in-law of
Ruth, Mara was connected with the family of David, from whom our Lord was descended. Sister Emmerich
saw Jesus deliver Mara from four devils and grant her forgiveness of her sins on the 17th Elud (9th September)
of the second year of his public life. She was living at Ainon, having been repudiated by her husband, a rich
Jew, who had kept the children he had had by her with him. She had with her tree others, the offspring of her
‘I saw,’ Sister Emmerich would say,—‘I saw how the stray branch of the stock of David was purified
within her by the grace of Jesus, and admitted into the bosom of the Church. I cannot express how many of
these roots and offshoots I see become entwined with each other, lost to view, and then once more brought to
Joseph of Arimathea returned home late from the supper-room, and he was sorrowfully
walking along the streets of Sion, accompanied by a few disciples and women, when all on a
sudden a band of armed men, who were lying in ambuscade in the neighbourhood of
Caiphas’s tribunal, fell upon them, and laid hands upon Joseph, whereupon his companions
fled, uttering loud cries of terror. He was confined in a tower contiguous to the city wall, not
far from the tribunal. These soldiers were pagans, and had not to keep the Sabbath,
therefore Caiphas had been able to secure their services on this occasion. The intention was
to let Joseph die of hunger, and keep his disappearance a secret.
Here conclude the descriptions of all that occurred on the day of the Passion of our Lord;
but we will add some supplementary matter concerning Holy Saturday, the Descent into
Hell, and the Resurrection.
On the Name of Calvary.
Whilst meditating on the name of Golgotha, Calvary, the place of skulls, borne by the rock
upon which Jesus was crucified, I became deeply absorbed in contemplation, and beheld in
spirit all ages from the time of Adam to that of Christ, and in this vision the origin of the
name was made known to me. I here give all that I remember on this subject.
I saw Adam, after his expulsion from Paradise, weeping in the grotto where Jesus
sweated blood and water, on Mount Olivet. I saw how Seth was promised to Eve in the
grotto of the manger at Bethlehem, and how she brought him forth in that same grotto. I
also saw Eve living in some caverns near Hebron, where the Essenian Monastery of Maspha
was afterwards established.
I then beheld the country where Jerusalem was built, as it appeared after the Deluge, and
the land was all unsettled, black, stony, and very different from what it had been before. At
an immense dept below the rock which constitutes Mount Calvary (which was formed in
this spot by the rolling of the waters), I saw the tomb of Adam and Eve. The head and one
rib were wanting to one of the skeletons, and the remaining head was placed within the
same skeleton, to which it did not belong. The bones of Adam and Eve had not all been left
in this grave, for Noah had some of them with him in the ark, and they were transmitted
from generation to generation by the Patriarchs. Noah, and also Abraham, were in the
habit, when offering sacrifice, of always laying some of Adam’s bones upon the altar, to
remind the Almighty of his promise. When Jacob gave Joseph his variegated robe, he at the
same time gave him some bones of Adam, to be kept as relics. Joseph always wore them on
his bosom, and they were placed with his own bones in the first reliquary which the children
of Israel brought out of Egypt. I have seen similar things, but some I have forgotten, and the
others time fails me to describe.
As regards the origin of the name of Calvary, I here give all I know. I beheld the
mountain which bears this name as it was in the time of the Prophet Eliseus. It was not the
same then as at the time of our Lord’s Crucifixion, but was a hill, with many walls and
caverns, resembling tombs, upon it. I saw the Prophet Eliseus descend into these caverns, I
cannot say whether in reality or only in a vision, and I saw him take out a skull from a stone
sepulchre in which bones were resting. Someone who was by his side —I think an angel—
said to him, ‘This is the skull of Adam.’ The prophet was desirous to take it away, but his
companion forbade him. I saw upon the skull some few hairs of a fair colour.
I learned also that the prophet having related what had happened to him, the spot
received the name of Calvary. Finally, I saw that the Cross of Jesus was placed vertically
over the skull of Adam. I was informed that this spot was the exact centre of the earth; and at
the same time I was shown the numbers and measures proper to every country, but I have
forgotten them, individually as well as in general. Yet I have seen this centre from above,
and as it were from a bird’s-eye view. In that way a person sees far more clearly than on a
map all the different countries, mountains, deserts, seas, rivers, towns, and even the smallest
places, whether distant or near at hand.
The Cross and the Winepress.
As I was meditating upon these words or thoughts of Jesus when hanging on the Cross: ‘I
am pressed like wine placed here under the press for the first time; my blood must continue
to flow until water comes, but wine shall no more be made here,’ an explanation was given
me by means of another vision relating to Calvary.
I saw this rocky country at a period anterior to the Deluge; it was then less wild and less
barren than it afterwards became, and was laid out in vineyards and fields. I saw there the
Patriarch Japhet, a majestic dark-complexioned old man, surrounded by immense flocks
and herds and a numerous posterity: his children as well as himself had dwellings excavated
in the ground, and covered with turf roofs, on which herbs and flowers were growing. There
were vines all around, and a new method of making wine was being tried on Calvary, in the
presence of Japhet. I saw also the ancient method of preparing wine, but I can give only the
following description of it. At first men were satisfied with only eating the grapes; then they
pressed them with pestles in hollow stones, and finally in large wooden trenches. Upon this
occasion a new wine-press, resembling the holy Cross in shape, had been devised; it
consisted of the hollow trunk of a tree placed upright, with a bag of grapes suspended over
it. Upon this bag there was fastened a pestle, surmounted by a weight; and on both sides of
the trunk were arms joined to the bag, through openings made for the purpose, and which,
when put in motion by lowering the ends, crushed the grapes. The juice flowed out of the
tree by five openings, and fell into a stone vat, from whence it flowed through a channel
made of bark and coated with resin, into the species of cistern excavated in the rock where
Jesus was confined before his Crucifixion. At the foot of the winepress, in the stone vat,
there was a sort of sieve to stop the skins, which were put on one side. When they had made
their winepress, they filled the bag with grapes, nailed it to the top of the trunk, placed the
pestle, and put in motion the side arms, in order to make the wine flow. All this very
strongly reminded me of the Crucifixion, on account of the resemblance between the
winepress and the Cross. They had a long reed, at the end of which there were points, so
that it looked like an enormous thistle, and they ran this through the channel and trunk of
the tree when there was any obstruction. I was reminded of the lance and sponge. There
were also some leathern bottles, and vases made of bark and plastered with resin. I saw
several young men, with nothing but a cloth wrapped round their loins like Jesus, working
at this winepress. Japhet was very old; he wore a long beard, and a dress made of the skins
of beasts; and he looked at the new winepress with evident satisfaction. It was a festival day,
and they sacrificed on a stone altar some animals which were running loose in the vineyard,
young asses, goats, and sheep. It was not in this place that Abraham came to sacrifice Isaac;
perhaps it was on Mount Moriah. I have forgotten many of the instructions regarding the
wine, vinegar, and skins, and the different ways in which everything was to be distributed to
the right and to the left; and I regret it, because the veriest trifles in these matters have a
profound symbolical meaning. If it should be the will of God for me to make them known,
he will show them to me again.