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476

VALIDITY OF CALVARY AND THE SEPULCHRE.

I am not inclined to pay much attention to what is called the outer chamber ; but as regards the fissure in Calvary, Clarke himself was forced to acknowledge that it was a most astonishing phenomenon ; that he could not account for it; and that it was a natural crack or rent, proceeding down to a great depth, which could not have been formed by man, as its sides correspond to each other.

In conclusion, I do not think that any valid objection has yet been brought forward against the identity of the tomb, or Calvary; and until there has, we are bound, even as a matter of antiquarian research, to receive the tradition of nearly sixteen centuries, especially where no improbability appears against its authenticity. Thus it appears that Calvary or Golgotha was a small mound or elevation in the natural fosse or valley which surrounded the city immediately outside the walls, and derived its name from an ancient tradition regarding the skull of Adam. Here the Jews crucified the Lord, and the tomb of Joseph was in a garden beside it. And though no person can positively state that what are now pointed out as Calvary, and the Holy Sepulchre, are the actual places ; yet to the present moment no sufficient proof to the contrary has been offered. *

the author of the “Decline and Fall” to prove that the sepulchre was completely destroyed by the fanatic Hakem. This may account for the outer wall of the crypt being removed; but we here have evidence to show that the sarcophagus itself still remains.

* Haring carefully perused the various articles that have appeared on this subject since the first publication of this work, particularly those by Dr. Robinson in his “ Biblical Researches;" “ The Essay on the Ecclesiastical Miracles," from the Oxford press; “ The Bibliotheca Sacra" for July, 1843; and also the seventh number of “ Ancient Christianity;"_and having weighed and considered the arguments pro and con, adduced with such learning and ingenuity by the several writers of those essays, I must confess that, although I have no theory to support, and no superstition por religious bias to uphold, I still retain my original opinion. With regard to the miracle of the finding of the cross, I fully agree with those who look upon it as a “pious fraud;" and this has been, I think, completely established during the late controversy ;-but I am still slow to believe that, because the reputed finding of the cross is an idle tale, the antiquity and validity of the Sepulchre and Calvary on that account fall to the ground. To my mind the matter in dispute appears to rest entirely on the topography

LOCALITIES OUTSIDE THE CITY.

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Let us now make the circuit of the city, and examine some of the antiquities in its vicinity. Outside the modern wall, and near the Damascus gate, there is a deep excavation in the face of the rock, which anciently formed the outer side of the natural fosse or valley that bounded Nehemiah's wall, and separated Acra from Bezetha. This is called the Grotto of Jeremiah, and is shown as the prison of that prophet when confined by Zedekiah ; and it is also said to be the place in which he wrote his Lamentations. Its first appearance is that of an immense quarry, in the outer enclosure of which are the tombs of several Mohammadan saints; the place being now in the hands of the Mooslims, who hold it in great veneration, and exact a tax of a piastre from each Christian, for leave to visit it. Within this court are several grots, subterranean halls, and small chapels, all

of the ancient city, and of the position of the “second wall” of Josephus ; and if the locality which I have assigned to this at page 435 be correct, then one of the strongest arguments against the topographical inaccuracy of the site of the Sepulchre and Calvary is disposed of. It must, I think, be acknowledged by every candid reader that considerable obscurity exists in the text of Josephus on the subject of these walls; and it is quite im. possible to form any idea of the matter in dispute without a reference to the map. It may be possible that the triple wall of the Jewish historian had no reference to that which encompassed the southern brow of Zion, but consisted of the ancient “ broad wall” running from Hippicus to Antonia —that inclosing the northern shoulder of Acra—or “ Nehemiah's wall;" and lastly, the wall which encompassed the suburb of Bezetha. The narrowness of the city from Calvary to the tower of Antonia or the site of the temple has been also made the grounds of objection. To my mind this is one of the least valid; for the history of the various cities, the position that they held, and the natural condition of the ground itself, all teach us that Jerusalem being added bit by bit, and from south to northfrom Sion to Bezetha, is a series of segments of circles; and where Acra sprung from the Tyropæon valley, there may have been, without being within the city, and without disturbing the topographical descriptions of the Scriptures or Josephus, the site of the Crucifixion. The question therefore remains nearly in its former condition. Although no man can positively affirm or prove it to be the Sepulchre, no man can positively deny that it is so. It should, however, be borne in remembrance that Dr. Robinson was but once, for a few minutes, in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and does not appear to have ever seen the crypt itself during his entire visit! See pages 330, 331, vol. i.

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THE GROTTO OF JEREMIAH.

hewn out of the solid rock; the roofs being supported by massive pillars, which are also integral portions of the rock that have: been left standing in the centre of these places. Some of these apartments likewise contain the tombs of Mooslim santons ; probably they are the burial-places of the Durweeshes, whose college was situated near this place about two centuries ago.

Fifty yards from this place, where the Durweeshes are interred, we were led down a flight of steps into another hall and subterranean church, the roof of which was worked into massive and deeply-grooved gothic arches. One end of this place has been excavated into deep cistern, to collect the water that is constantly dropping from the roof and walls. The date at which this many-chambered cavern was constructed, probably coincides with that of the numerous localities within and around the city ; which, where tradition could possibly assign a shadow of sanctity, were hallowed by the erection of altars, and rendered sacred to some saint, either real or imaginary. A dim and feeble light is admitted from the opening at top of this place, just sufficient to make the darkness within visible. This, added to the hollow sound of our footsteps, the damp atmosphere of the place, the dropping of the water from the roof, together with the gloom and solemnity of all around us, was strikingly impressive, and called to my recollection the grotto of Engaddi, so graphically described by the great magician of the north. In this part of the suburbs there are several dry cisterns, and some curious vaults, of considerable size, that are completely beneath the surface, and lined with cement. In form they resemble bee-hives, with circular openings at top.

Leaving the grotto we proceeded to the Tombs of the Kings, or the royal sepulchres, to which I before referred when describing the wall around Bezetha.* These splendid remains differ from most other rock-caved sepulchres in not being cut in the side of a hill, but being placed beneath a level spot of ground approached by a narrow path which leads to a square inclosure hewn out of the limestone stratum, of about fifteen to twenty feet deep. A wall

* Several eminent authoritiesPococke, Clarke, and Robinson, regard this monument as the sepulchre of Helena, Queen of Adiabne. This, however, is still a disputed question.

THE TOMBS OF THE KING$.

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of the natural rock separates this inclosure from an inner square open court, then covered with rubbish and brambles, and into which it opens by a round arch on the southern side. This inner court has a very handsome square portico with a beautiful carved architrave—one of the most perfect specimens of Hebrew sculpture that I believe at present exists. The frieze is adorned with a regulus, trygliphs, vine leaves, and other floral embellishments; and in the centre is an immense bunch of grapes, of a size that might lead us to believe that the architect had far surpassed nature, did we not read of similar ones being brought to Joshua by the spies whom he sent to inquire into the fertility of the land. A pilaster at either end still remains ; and in all probability there were two columns in the centre like those in the porticos of Telmessus, which, on the whole, it must have very much resembled. These columns have long since been broken off, and the entire carving has been very much defaced; a small portion of the left-hand column still, however, remains at the top. The face of the rock within the portico is smooth, and presents no appearance of openings; but a small low door-way in the lefthand side, leads into a large square antechamber, hewn with extraordinary skill out of the solid rock, similar to the hypogea · at Sackara. There are no niches or places for sarcophagi within this apartment; but a series of small chambers branch off on each of its three sides. These are for the most part oblong cryptæ, with ledges on either side for holding the bodies or coffins. The floor of each has a small channel cut in its centre; probably to collect and drain off the moisture that is constantly dropping from the soft limestone rock out of which they are excavated.

The most extraordinary and ingeniously-contrived part of these chambers are the doors, each of which is formed of a single stone seven inches thick, sculptured so as to resemble four panels; the stiles, muntins, and other parts are cut with great art, and exactly resemble a door made by a carpenter of the present day—the whole being completely smooth and polished, and most accurate in all their proportions. The doors turned on pivots, of the same stone of which the rest of them were composed, which were inserted into sockets above and below; but I regret to say

that they are all now torn down and many broken across. Many persons, supposing that these were carved out of the rock

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SPLENDID SARCOPHAGI.

that filled up the door-way, have been puzzled to know how the hinges were constructed; but this has been already clearly described by Dr. Pococke, who has given a plate, and a most ingenious explanation of the manner in which this curious work was completed.* There are no troughs or soroi in any of the chambers of this subterranean mausoleum, but simply ledges on the sides, like those in the regal sepulchres in Asia Minor, which have been described in the former part of this volume.

A low door and a flight of steps leads down to another suite of chambers of similar form and construction below those just described. In these we found some of the most rare and elegant sarcophagi, as regards their form, ornamental work and adornment, that I have ever beheld in any country. Each of them consisted of two half cylinders of white marble excavated within ; and which when placed together resembled the shaft of a beautiful pillar. The bottom part was of comparatively plain workmanship; but the lid or upper piece was literally covered with the most elaborately carved foliage in basso relievo, traced in vines, roses, and lily-work.

The groove or cavity for the body, which was principally hollowed out of the bottom part, was about two feet broad and a foot deep; a space sufficiently large to contain the body of an ordinary sized person. The ends of the sarcophagus were also carved ; and in its form and appearance it resembled very much the large carriage trunks of former days.

The niches for these sarcophagi were somewhat different from those in the upper chambers, and formed the segment of a dome similar to those I have described as existing at Tyre. Above the coffin was a small niche apparently made for the purpose of holding a lamp, though not unlike those places found in heathen temples, for containing votive offerings.

See Pococke's Description of the East, vol. ii. p. 21. # In two learned essays written by my esteemed friend, Baron Hammer Purgstall, in the Oesterreichische Zeitschrift for 1836, he gives an account of some Christian (Arabian) kings of Gashan under the title of“ The Adventures of Dschebele the son of Eihem, the last of the kings of Gashan; translated from the work of the prophet Ibrahim aus Kaleb Kano.” Dschebele returns to Jerusalem after his expulsion from Mecca, (in the days of the Emperor

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