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again, assert that Constantine was the dupe either of superstition or of imposture, and that there was absolutely no evidence that the sepulchre was where he sought for it.
Into the protracted and angry discussions which have raged upon these questions, I do not propose to enter here. But after a careful examination of the site and of the arguments urged by the various disputants, I come to the
conclusion that the place of the crucifixion and entombment must be sought elsewhere, and not on the spot which tradition points out. Though the indications of Scripture may be insufficient to show us where it was, they are yet quite adequate to tell us where it was not.
1. It was outside the city, yet near to it (John xix. 20; Hebrews xiii. 12).
THE SITE OF CALVARY.
2. It was a place where interments were permitted, and as a matter of fact did take place (Matt. xxvii. 59, 60; Mark xv. 46, 47; Luke xxiii. 53 ; John xix. 41, 42).
3. There was a garden in “the place” (John xix. 41).
4. It was by the side of a road leading up from the country (Matt. xxvii. 39; Mark xv. 21, 29; Luke xxiii. 26).
5. It was a spot capable of being seen by a considerable number of persons from a distance (Matt. xxvii. 55; Mark xv. 40; Luke xxiii. 49).
6. It was within sight and hearing of a place whence the priests could stand without danger of defilement (Matt. xxvii. 41; Mark xv. 31; John xviii. 28).
7. It was not far from the barracks of the Roman soldiers, some of whom ran and fetched the vinegar—the ordinary posca, or sour drink of the legionaries—when Jesus on the cross cried, “I thirst” (Matt. xxvii. 48; Mark xv. 36).
8. The language of the evangelists seems to imply that the procession, on leaving the judgment hall, passed not through the city but outside it (Matt. xxvii. 31, 32 ; Mark xv. 20; Luke xxiii. 26; John xix. 17).
The present site fails to satisfy any one of these conditions.
It is not only far within the walls, but apparently must have been so in the time of our Lord when the city was much larger and more populous than now, though in the time of Constantine, when the walls were demolished and the city desolate, it may have been outside the inhabited district. Even if by any sudden bend, or re-entering angle the line of circumvallation left it outside, which, however, is very unlikely, it must still have been in the midst of houses, for we find that Agrippa, twelve years afterwards, constructed a third line of wall to enclose an extensive suburb which had sprung up on this side; and we know that the ceremonial law and social usages of the Jews forbad the formation of graves among the abodes of the living.
Where could the priests have stood who so feared defilement, that they would not enter the judgment hall amongst a crowd of Roman soldiers and
rabble ? In a place of public execution and interment, they must have been defiled.
If, as seems certain, houses were all round the present site, where could the great multitude have watched from “afar off ?”
The judgment hall and the barracks are believed to have been in the Castle of Antonia. In this case the Via Dolorosa must have led, as tradition now marks it, through the heart of the city, crowded at the time to its utmost capacity by the multitudes who had come up to the feast. The rulers feared “an uproar among the people,” many of whom
of whom “believed on Him;" hence the need for taking Him by subtlety, and for hurrying over the trial in an illegal and stealthy manner. Is it likely that they would run the risk of a disturbance and a rescue in the crowded street ? especially with a guard of only four soldiers. We can hardly doubt that, in accordance with the indications of the narrative the rulers would choose some place for the execution to which they could pass immediately from the prætorium into the open country.
We have but to transfer the scene of the crucifixion from the northern to the eastern side of the city, in the valley of the Kedron, to find all the requirements of the narrative satisfied. It is, and always must have been, outside the walls. It was a recognised place of interment, the valley
, to this 1 The close proximity of the Pool of Hezekiah affords a strong incidental proof that the site of the church must always have been inside the walls. It is most improbable that this vast cistern should have been outside for the use of the besiegers, or that the wall should have included the pool and excluded the church.
John xviii. 28.
3 Ibid. xix. 3.
THE SITE OF CALVARY.
day being full of graves, many of them very ancient and cut in the rock. Irrigated by the river, by wells and fountains, there were numerous gardens. The slope of Olivet would allow a great multitude to watch the scene afar off, and the priests, standing on the Temple cloisters, would be within sight and hail of Calvary without fear of defilement. One of the two main roads leading from the country into Jerusalem passed close to the spot. And the procession, leaving the prætorium, would emerge at once from the city into the open country. Assuming then that the site of Calvary is to be sought on the eastern side, the whole narrative becomes clear and consistent.
If this be conceded a new and unexpected conformity between the type and the great Antitype is discovered. The Epistle to the Hebrews, written at a time when the Temple was yet standing and its sacrifices were being offered, says, respecting the sin-offering, “the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the High Priest for sin, are burned without the camp; wherefore Jesus, also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood suffered without the gate." Not merely “a gate,” but “the gate,” through which the bodies of the sacrifices were carried out to be burned. The great sin-offering for the world was thus led forth to be crucified through the very gate and in sight of the very spot in which the typical sacrifices had been burned in the valley of Hinnom.
Again the rending of the veil at the moment of our Lord's death gains a new significance if this view be adopted. The Temple, as we know, opened to the east. It would be within sight of Calvary. How striking, how suggestive that the typical veil should thus be “rent in twain from the top throughout " just when we received “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”.
And yet further, the fact that the place of our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection was in close proximity to the Temple, would give additional significance to the taunt of those " that passed by saying, Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days save thyself.”3 Here again the type and the antitype come into close juxtaposition.
The site of the TEMPLE claims our next attention.
any view of Jerusalem from the eastward the vast enclosure known as the Haram esh Sherîf, or the Noble Sanctuary, arrests the eye from its size, its beauty, and the profound interest which attaches to it. Within its limits stood the Temple, and the world can hardly afford a nobler, worthier site for the house of the Lord. Standing on a ridge, guarded by valleys on every side, it formed a natural and almost impregnable fortress. Psalmists | Heb. xiii. II, 12.
? Matt. xxvii. 51; Mark xv. 38 ; Luke xxiii. 45; Heb. x, 19, 20. 3 Matt. xxvii. 39, 40; Mark xv. 29, 30. See a clear statement of the foregoing argument in a letter by Dr. Hutchinson in the 'Quarterly Journal of the Palestine Exploration Fund' for July, 1873; and in a valuable work,' Horeb an 1 Sinai,' by the Rev. G. Sanlie.
is like an eye.
and prophets only gave expression to the feelings of the whole people when they celebrated, in exulting and rapturous strains, the strength, the beauty, and the glory of the city of God. It was a saying of the Rabbis that “the world
The ocean surrounding it is the white of the eye; the earth is the coloured part; Jerusalem is the pupil; but the sanctuary is the image within the pupil. There the being of God is at once mirrored and beheld.”
The walls of the Temple area enclose a rectangle of about fifteen hundred feet from north to south by nine hundred feet from east to west. Its stones are many of them of great size; Capt. Warren measured one which was thirty-eight feet nine inches in length. The peculiar bevel which characterises early Jewish and Phænician work may be observed on most of them. Occasionally, especially in the lower courses, they appear to occupy their original position, though whether placed there by Solomon, Nehemiah, or Herod, cannot be ascertained at present; more frequently the stones have been replaced by later and more modern hands than those of the original builders. A careful examination often shows that the original materials have been used over and over again in successive walls, and commonly reduced in size so as to be worked more easily. Columns of the finest marble, porphyry and serpentine built in amongst the blocks of limestone, are by no means rare. These are sometimes whole and erect, but more often broken across and laid in horizontally with the ends projecting. They evidently formed part of the Temple, and have been used by later builders as being ready to hand. Examining these massive remains of ancient power and wealth it was impossible not to remember the words of the disciples, “Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here.” The stability of the edifice seemed to be ensured not only by the size of the blocks but by the excellence of the Jewish masonry, which was so perfect that it is often impossible to insert the point of a knife between the joints. Yet the dilapidated condition of the walls shows how wonderfully our Lord's words have been verified, “Seest thou these great buildings ? there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
Starting at the north-east angle, and going eastward, with the valley of the Kedron and the Mount of Olives on our left hand, the Temple area on our right, we come to the Golden Gate, a remarkable double gateway the date and purpose of which are unknown. Some have supposed it to be the Beautiful Gate at which the lame man sat begging," but from the style of architecture it can hardly be older than the age of Constantine. It is now walled up, in consequence of a Mohammedan tradition that the Christians will again take possession of Jerusalem, and that their King will enter victoriously through this gate. Another tradition is that the last judgment will take place in the valley of Jehoshaphat or of Kedron, just below us, and that Mohammed will stand upon one of the projecting pillars over the