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his manner of citing and translating his authors, would have demonstrated how very untrustworthy a guide he is to the fountains of historic truth. But I have followed him carefully through all his authorities in the vain hope of finding a single fair quotation; and, failing in this, I have exposed his unfairness; I hope with temper and moderation, for I have no desire to repay his discourtesy in kind. But now he must allow me with all honesty to enter a strong remonstrance against the line which he has, unwittingly or wilfully, pursued. The wildest and most extravagant theories that were ever propounded, on this or any other subject, may be treated with toleration, however ridiculous, if honestly held and fairly maintained by their advocates; but when an over partiality for a preposterous fancy so warps our judgment, or darkens our perceptions, as to incapacitate us from appreciating evidence, or to indispose us to receive the truth, there is an end of forbearance—we need to be recalled to moral consciousness by a full exposure of our errors. The greatest wrong that can be done to any department of history, is to attempt to poison the fountains from which it must be drawn. Nothing can justify it—neither boldness, nor cleverness, nor zeal for truth: for all which the author of the Essay must have full credit. Thus much by way of protest. I need only add, that I have not thought it needful to cite other writers than those referred to by Mr Fergusson, or I might have shewn from the Patriarch Eutychius”, and from other authors, that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and the Mosk El-Aksa, had each a separate and independent existence previous to the date assigned to the transference: but if any doubt remain on the subject, the Architectural History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, from the pen of Professor Willis, will so fully establish the identity of the present site with that of the original Sepulchre, that it were superfluous to pursue the subject any further in this place. I am not aware of any other traveller or writer of celebrity who has declared against the main Ecclesiastical tradition of Jerusalem, since the publication of the Biblical Researches, with the exception of Dr Wilson', who, however, has advanced few original objections, all of which have been anticipated in this or the preceding Chapter. He admits that the conclusions of Dr Robinson, “though they have obtained the acquiescence of multitudes of his readers, both in Europe and America, have been assented to but by few travellers who have visited Jerusalem,” since their publication. For himself. he decides against the authenticity of the traditionary site, which he thinks must have fallen within the Second Wall; whereas “the intimations in the Scriptures make the impression on his mind, that the Crucifixion and Burial of Christ took place, not merely beyond any particular wall of Jerusalem, but beyond any distinct parts of the city which might lie beyond that wall.” The situation of the Gate Gennath, near the Hippic Tower, which he adopts from Dr Robinson, (an impossible position, as I have endeavoured to prove) and the Pool, so doubtfully attributed to Hezekiah, are the two topographical arguments which, in his opinion, countervail against the authority of the received site”. With respect to the historical evidence, “after a careful examination of Dr Robinson's authorities, he is inclined to say that he has perhaps pressed them somewhat beyond their legitimate bounds;” and he moderates with sufficient impartiality between these ancient writers and their critic”. But as if to compensate for this service, he attacks Macarius with more than usual vehemence", suggesting motives of deception with an ingenuity of suspicion surpassing all preceding writers on the same side"; the most novel of which is, that “the search may have been commenced at this site, simply to get rid of the idol-fane”—as though there was no other method but an impious fabrication to accomplish this object, under an Emperor who made it his business everywhere to demolish the monuments of pagan superstition". Will Dr Wilson allow me to suggest whether these evasions of historical evidence be not dictated rather by prejudice than by reason; and to add my conviction that he has done equal injustice to the early Church, and to his own candour and judgment in his strictures on the conduct of Macarius. And surely he must have imbibed little of the spirit of the primitive Christians, when he could suppose that they were likely to pay more marked honour to the resting-place of their human teachers “than to that grave in which the body of the blessed Saviour had been without seeing corruption, and which had yielded its charge on the morning of the resurrection.” I do not believe that the Christians whom he would regard as nearest to the primitive model, would so prefer a monument of human corruption, to a witness of our Lord's Resurrection—an earnest and pledge of the general Resurrection through His almighty operation. I am equally convinced, that if the Church of the fourth century did know the actual Sepulchre, a fact which Dr Wilson thinks “may be reasonably admitted”—no motives whatever would have induced them to substitute a fictitious one; and that, if they did not, they would have shrunk from the idea of an invention with perfect abhorrence. I will conclude this historical discussion in the words of the sober-minded Dr Shaw', who writes, that notwithstanding the changes and revolutions which the sites have undergone, “it is highly probable that a faithful tradition has always been preserved of the several places that were consecrated, as we may say, by some remarkable transaction relating to our Saviour or to His Apostles. For it cannot be doubted, but that, among others, mount Calvary, and the Cave where our Saviour was buried, were well known to His disciples and followers; and not only so, but that some marks likewise of reverence and devotion were always paid to them.”
* See Eutychii Annales, Tom. 11. and the Holy Sepulchre existing togepp. to 1–429, cited in Vol. 1. pp. 337, 8, ther between A. D. 813 and 829. Eutywhere we find the Dome of the Rock | chius died in A. D. 940.
* pp. 436,437. in a respectable book.
* pp. 433–440. * Lands of the Bible, Vol. 1. pp.
* The citation in p. 442, n. 1, from 442, 3. “a vigorous writer in the North British * Vita Constantini, Lib. 111. cap.
Review,” might well have been omitted | liv.
The remainder of this chapter may be devoted to an historical notice of two of the principal sacred localities within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Immediately opposite to the entrance of the cave, which faces the East, is the Greek church, occupying part of the site of the basilica of the Emperor Constantine”, but differently arranged, with its apse towards the East. It is the finest church in Jerusalem, excepting only that of St James, attached to the Armenian convent on Mount Sion. It was erected by a Russian architect, in the year 1809, after the fire, and is of large dimensions, surmounted by a cupola of considerable altitude, and adorned, as the Oriental churches mostly are, with handsome chandeliers and strings of lamps alternated with ostrich-eggs, hanging in festoons from the ceiling. The iconostasis, surmounted by the rood, is handsomely carved, as are the ambons and the patriarchal thrones, immediately without the bema on either side. The icons, with their gilded aureoles, are in the usual taste, executed by Russian artists, and far from pleasing. The aisles are excluded from the church, and being connected at the East end, run completely round the Choir, forming the means of communication between the various chapels and the sacred localities common to all Christians. The church of the Franciscans is a comparatively mean building, to the North of the Holy Sepulchre, called the Church of the Apparition; the Armenians worship in one of the galleries of the rotunda; the Syrians have a small chapel under the gallery, at the West of the Sepulchre; while the Copts have their altar in a small shed, scarcely large enough to admit the officiating priest, at the back of the Cave itself. There are also apartments about their respective chapels, assigned to the monks of these several rites, who wait continually on their ministry at the sacred places, and live immured,
* Travels, p. 277, 2nd Ed. 4to. Lond. 1757.