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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 I 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 and directly facing it. 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 hath 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.
In any view of Jerusalem from the eastward the vast inclosure known as the Haram esh Sherif, 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 1 Heb. xiii. 11, 12.
2 Matt. xxvii. 51; Mark xv. 38 ; Luke xxiii. 45; Heb. x. 19, 20. * Matt. xxvii. 39, 40; Mark xv. 29, 30. See a brief statement of the foregoing argument in a letter by Dr. Hutchinson in the 'Quarterly Journal of the Palestine Exploration Fund'sor July, 1873; and in a valuable work, 'Iloreb and Sinai,' by the Rev. G. Sandie.
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 is like an eye. 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 inclose 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; Captain Warren measured one which was thirty-eight feet nine inche; in length. The peculiar bevel which characterises early Jewish and Phoenician 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 hands than those of the original builders. A careful examination often shows that the original materials 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 cdifice 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 ride in 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
THE VALLS OF THE TEMPLE AREA.
entrance, and Issa – their name for Jesus --on the Mount of Olives opposite, and together judge the world.
Along the southern side there is little to detain us. We have on our right the wall surmounted by the roof of the Mosque of El Aksa, and on our left the slope of Ophel running down to the point at which the Valley's
of Hinnom and Kedron meet. But immediately after turning the south-west corner we come upon an object of profound interest. The Temple was on this side divided from the city by a valley, now nearly filled up. From the wall, which here bears traces of extreme antiquity and appears to be a part of the original structure, some huge blocks of stones are seen to project. These were found by Robinson to form the first courses of an arch. Captain