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taken as decisive evidence that it is interpolated in the other '
But in truth, all the discrepancies between these two writers are accounted for by observing, that both mention facts unrecorded by the other; both, when checked by Paschasius Radbertus, are proved to be entirely consistent with the idea of the Sepulchre then current in Europe; and both, when equated with the fuller and earlier description of Arculfus, are found to coincide in all points in which agreement was possible, with three unimportant exceptions, which Mr Fergusson does not fail to remark and exaggerate”; 1st, an epithet used by Arculfus in describing the Church of Calvary is omitted by Willibald'; 2dly, the stone before the door of the Sepulchre is said by the latter only to represent the original; and 3dly, in St Willibald “we have on Calvary only the similitude of the Cross,”—which Arculfus leaves us to infer, when he says that the cross on Calvary was silver", and describes the true cross at Constantinople"l
Finally, an incidental notice of Bernhardus concerning the arrangement of the Churches connected with the Holy Sepulchre, clearly proves that he is describing—not such a plan as Mr Fergusson conceives, but one nearly similar to that which still exists; for he remarks that the four Churches,—i. e. the Sepulchre,
* The remark on the words “Beata Helena collocavit illum locum intus in
Hierusalem” is too pitiful to need com
ment. “If translated literally, it would appear that it was supposed that Helena brought the sacred places into the city ; and not that she extended the city to them " " Essay, p. 161. * St Willibald expressly notices
“ecclesia in illo loco qui dicitur Cal
variae locus; ” but because he does not
Golgotha, St Mary's, and another, were united by their respective walls", and grouped round an open court, laid out as a garden”. There are certain questions and forms of argument that are “such silly things, that very easiness doth make them hard to be disputed of in serious manner.” I find myself involved in such a difficulty when I come to notice Mr Fergusson's—arguments must I call them 2 for the transference of the Sepulchre, and proofs of the probability of the transference. They consist entirely of declamation against the corruptions of the Church during the dark ages, which I am not concerned to deny; and of citations of various instances of gross imposture, which I have no wish at all to defend; and the conclusion follows, that “such things, instead of being improbable, were of daily occurrence; and things ten thousand times more absurd and improbable than this, were done and asserted and believed, with an implicitness of faith which we have now-a-days a difficulty in comprehending.” Nay, any one who considers the dark superstition of the times, “will admit that the removal of the Holy Sepulchre, so far from being an improbable event, was almost a matter of course; and he may rest satisfied with the moderation that left it still at Jerusalem, and has not transferred it to Italy or Spain".” “Indeed, had the Khalif (Harun er-Rashid) sent the Emperor (Charlemagne) the Sepulchre itself on the back of the elephant
* “...quatuor ecclesiaemutuis sibimet transept of the present Church. A
parietibus cohaerentes.” Mr Fergusson applies this only to Golgotha and the Basilica of Constantine. Essay, p. 163.
* “Inter praedictas 1111or ecclesias est paradisus sine tecto.” This must have been in the place of the south
reference to the Restored Plans of the Buildings” (plate V.I.) in Mr Fergusson's Volume, will show how irreconcilable is the above description with his theory.
* Essay, pp. 165. 166.
he presented him with, all Europe would have received it with transports of joy;” “and it has always been a matter of wonder to ” Mr Fergusson “that the San Sepulchro neither accompanied nor followed its sister cave (of Loretto) in her peregrinations".” Now, all this may be perfectly true, and yet, I suppose, it must be admitted that there are sites, both in Europe and Asia, which did not undergo transmutation in those ages, however favorable the darkness might be to such a process; and the question is, have we a right to assume, in the first instance, without any evidence whatever, that the transference took place, and then account for it by the ignorance of the times 2 Let Christians well consider the legitimate consequences of such a theory, and they will pause before they adopt it. But now, When did the transference take place 2 It is admitted, that it is not possible to ascertain this “ in a manner entirely satisfactory: those who committed the fraud were not likely to betray their secret, and, in fact, did not".” But “the proposition is this,”—that “after the burning of the Basilica of Constantine by Muez (A.D. 969) the Christians were forced to abandon the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and between the years 1031 to 1048, did rebuild a Church to represent that one from which they had been ejected, where it now stands".” This is “the most distinct view he can form of the matter; for he does not think the materials admit of any one being quite certain about it?.” A few difficulties involved in this supposition shall be stated, with Mr Fergusson's replies. And, first, What motive could induce the Moslems to deprive the Christians of their Holy Sepulchre, after leaving them in
* pp. 158, 167. * p. 157. " p. 164. 7 p. 176.
undisturbed possession of it for three centuries? “It is, perhaps, hopeless to attempt to inquire'.” But does
not history record the total destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by the Khalif Hakem, A.D. 10102 Certainly. “All the historians of that age narrate the total destruction of the Church of the Sepulchre by El-Hakem's order, and its being rebuilt between 1031 and 1048°.” How then do you account for the fact, that the building remains at this day in a state of perfect preservation,-ceiling and all ? This question Mr Fergusson does not directly answer. He leaves us to conclude for ourselves, that all who witnessed or recorded the demolition of the Church under Hakem, were fools or liars—most probably both : it is a “startling falsehood;” like the destruction of the Church by the Persians and its restoration by Modestus, “most extremely apocryphal.” It must be so, for “the architectural evidence is so strong as to settle the matter; and here we find nothing whatever to contradict it”! Which last assertion must be qualified, if it be not negatived, by the admission immediately preceding, that “all the historians”—yes, all, Christian and Moslem, Greek, Latin, Syrian and Copt, “all narrate the total destruction of the Church’.” Indeed, the circumstantiality of the narrative, as collected from the writers of various creeds or rites, is so minute that we have the names, not only of the renegade who instigated, and of the Khalif who commanded its demolition,--but of the Copt Secretary who wrote the order, of the Moslem Governor who executed it, and of the French Bishop who witnessed its execution”. Again, was there no difficulty in concealing the fact, or in silencing objections? Even if all the various religionists agreed in the fraud, and if the Latin monks of Jerusalem, having one copy of the tract of Adamnanus in their possession, lent the incorrect plan of Arculfus to the Greeks, that they might build a bad imitation of the original pile, would the pilgrims look on in silence? would no whisper of the cheat be blown westward 2 It is admitted that “the question still remains of the practical difficulty of successfully perpetrating the pious fraud.” How then is the difficulty disposed of? It is set aside with the remark, “This, however, appears to me but a very trifling affair.” As for any pilgrim who might detect the fraud, “If such a pilgrim did exist, he probably was a priest, and consequently, for the honour of his cloth, would not betray the secret; or if a layman, were he inclined to tell tales, means could easily be found to silence him, if necessary:” and again, considering the credulity of the times, “we need scarcely wonder that this absurdity escaped exposure".” Now it is a remarkable fact that the rage for pilgrimage was never so rife in Europe as at that
* Essay, p. 175.
* p. 176. He adds, “and though they do not assert it, it may be assumed that they, or at least some of them, understood it to be on the same site as the old one, though this is by no means clear.” I look in vain for symptoms of a suspicion that the site had been changed ; but it is certain that not one of all the authors had the slightest doubt of its identity, which is the reason why “they do not assert it.”
* p. 177.
* In p. 178, Mr Fergusson says that some of the authors—he only cites Ademar—make a distinction between the Church of Constantine and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; and he maintains that the former, and not the latter, was demolished by Hakem. But he misrepresents Ademar, who calls it, “sepulcrum ;” “basilica Sepulchri Domini;” “basilica Sepulchri gloriosi: ” it is much better to say plainly, “it is pretty clear how it should have here; they will be found in Vol. 1. pp.