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" At the southern end of the inclosure is the mosque of El Aksa, ornamented with a dome and covered by a sloping roof. The Mosque of the Mogharibeh, the college of the Dervishes, and the Serai, the residence of the pasha, stand on the west and north sides—while the whole extent of the eastern side of the city is only broken by St. Stephen's Gate, and the long-closed Golden Gate,' with its two round arches and small domes.
" This is the view over which Jesus wept, when He beheld its beauty, and thought upon its ruin and desolation ; and strange and thrilling, indeed, is the feeling it gives to one now: the gloomy ravines lose much of their effect seen from above : the surrounding hills are, one and all, the very dreariest, barrenest, and ugliest one can find anywhere, and yet the whole is beautiful, and even the fastidious and trifling are impressed by it.”
It is when we endeavour to fill in the details of the city itself that our difficulties and perplexities commence. They are caused partly by the vague
and indefinite language of ancient historians and topographers, and partly by the fact that valleys have been filled up, hills have been levelled, and successive cities have arisen upon the ruins of those which have preceded them, thus effacing the landmarks which would otherwise have guided us. Mediæval and monkish traditions have likewise done much to obscure and pervert the true topography of Jerusalem. Learning and labour have been wasted in the endeavour to defend theories which have nothing in their favour but ecclesiastical authority. Theological controversies have thus been imported into questions which ought to have been discussed only in the light of historical and geographical science.
We know from Josephus that the city stood on two hills, divided by the Tyropæan Valley. One of these was Zion, the other Acra. We read likewise of Bezetha, Moriah, and Ophel. Did these last form a separate ridge, or were they names given to parts of one of the former ? If so, to which-Zion or Acra ? The sketch plan given above shows the conclusion
arrived at by Dr. Robinson, who maintains that there were three separate hills. Other writers of scarcely inferior authority identify the Temple ridge with Zion-others again with Acra. Notwithstanding the confident dogmatism with which cach of these views has been maintained, I cannot say that any of them have carried full conviction to my own mind. It is to be hoped
that the explorations now in progress may throw some light upon these obscure questions,
No less conflicting are the views as to the sites of the SEPULCHRE and of the TEMPLE. Though the Temple claims priority in the order of historical sequence, yet, for reasons which will subsequently appear, shall first consider the site of the Sepulchre.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands in a crowded part of the city, at some distance to the north-west of the Temple area. It is a comparatively modern structure, no visible portion being probably older than the period of the Crusades. It is entered through a courtyard, in which a market is now held for the sale of trinkets, rosaries, pictures and curiosities. Just inside the principal entrance a Turkish guard is stationed to keep order, and repress disturbances amongst the hostile sects and nationalities who visit it.
In passing round the church
attention is distracted and incredulity excited by the aggregation under one roof of numerous shrines and holy places. Here are shown not only the sites of the crucifixion and the resurrection, but the tombs of Adam, Melchizedek, Joseph of Arimathæa, and of Nicodemus; the place where our Lord was crowned with thorns, and where He appeared to Mary Magdalene ; the pillar to which He was bound during the scourging; the slab upon which His body was laid for the anointing ; the spot where He first appeared to His mother after the resurrection ; the centre of the
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.
world; the place whence the earth was taken out of which Adam was made, with many other marvels. Even those who come, with simple faith, to “see the place where the Lord lay,” depart indignant at the frauds and lying legends palmed off upon them. This feeling is increased by the tinsel and frippery which abound everywhere. The very Chapel of the Resurrection is made offensive by puerile ornamentation and tawdry finery. Yet in spite of all it is strangely affecting to see the agony of earnestness, the passionate fervour of devotion displayed by pilgrims, many of whom have travelled on foot from incredible distances to pray at the sacred shrines.
a. Entrance to the Church of the m. Chapel of the Angel.
n. Inner Chapel.
9. Ditto of Schismatic Syrians. C: Ditto of the Greeks.
r. Tombs of Joseph and Nicodemus. d. The Place of Crucifixion.
Armenian, und (ptic e. Greek Altar, where is found the
t. Staircase to latin Church. f. Cleft of the Rock.
u. Station of Mary Magdalene. kg. Greek Chapels
. Place where Christ appeared to g. Parting of Garments.
Mary Magdalene. g'. Crowning of Thorns.
x. Christ's Prison. h. Stone of Anointing.
y. Steps leading to Chapel of the i. Position of the three Maries.
Findings kk Staircase and Armenian Chapels. z. Tlace where the cross has foun L. II. Chapels attached to Latin Convent.
a. Centre of the Worl l.
We may dismiss, without a moment's hesitation, the legends which cluster around the main central tradition ; but have we reasonable ground for believing that our Lord was crucified and buried upon this spot? What is the evidence upon which the authenticity of the site rests ?
In the reign of Constantine the city had been laid utterly waste ; its very name had ceased to be used, and Christians and Jews had been banished from it for generations. The superstitious zeal of the Empress Helena prompted her to visit the sacred places, and the site of Calvary had been fixed by the alleged discovery of the three crosses which were found in a pit, and their authenticity is said to have been attested by the miracles which