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several crooked turnings and a steep descent with steps, find themselves at the South end of the court of the Church, where, as we have already seen, was once a cloister. From this point three steps more lead down to the court and into the Church. Thus it is evident that the gradual slope of the Northern street is compensated for in the Southern street by a rapid descent with many steps, which shews that something like the brow of a cliff is situated between Patriarch Street and the court of the Church, for Palmer Street (MG) from this court to St Stephen Street appears to be tolerably level, and so also is St Stephen Street from G to I, or at least their slope is a mere gentle inclination downwards towards the south-east. It follows from this, that the pavement of the Rotunda lies at about the same level as the Street of St Stephen, and that the point of Patriarch Street, which lies in contact with the Rotunda, cannot be less than from twenty to twenty-five feet above that pavement. I have already shewn that the western door of the Rotunda gave admission to the triforium of the Church; and it seems that in the original state of the ground this abrupt slope at L. must have extended northwards, forming the rugged brow of a cliff, in which the cave of the Holy Sepulchre C and the catacomb D (of which the socalled tomb of Joseph and Nicodemus was a part) were excavated. The architects of Constantine must have cut away the rock on the south, west, and north sides of the Sepulchral cavern, leaving it standing in a manner analogous to that in which the tombs of Absalom and Zachariah were detached from the rock that lies behind them'.

* Mr Fergusson, in a passage dis- pression and good taste, informs us that tinguished by his usual felicity of ex- “the out-and-out advocates for the

So far therefore from the cave having been originally formed in an isolated rock that stood up from the level land, as it is usually represented”, the present state of the ground shews that this Sepulchre was excawated out of the face of the cliff like the common tombs of Jerusalem and elsewhere, described in the second section above; and that its conversion into an isolated monolith was the work of Constantine. And this explains very readily the concealment and preservation of it when the agents of Hadrian heaped earth upon it and erected a Temple of Venus thereon; an operation of no difficulty, since they had only to cover up an opening in front of the cliff". But the rock of Calvary at E still stands up fifteen feet above the pavement, and it appears likely that in its original state this rock was part of a little swell of the ground that jutted out from the slope of Sepulchre Street, and probably always formed a somewhat abrupt brow on the West and South sides. This would afford a convenient spot for the place of public execution. For the south-western brow of the rock has just sufficient elevation to raise the wretched sufferers above the gazing crowd, that would naturally arrange itself below and upon the sloping ridge opposite (at M), which formed a kind of natural theatre with respect to the brow of Calvary. The ground immediately to the West of St Stephen Street (GI) appears at present to have accumulated. In its original state I have supposed it to have sloped down gradually eastward from the brow of Calvary and the little isthmus, FE, which connected that hill with the main slope of Sepulchre Street. It must be remembered that the city wall, G I, formed the West boundary of St Stephen Street, according to the accounts of those who defend the authenticity of the present Holy Sepulchre, and with which I concur. The ground, however, between the Chapel of Helena (A) and this wall, is higher than St Stephen Street, and is bounded by an abrupt descent, described as a

identity of the present Sepulchre insist
that it is a cave in a rock, but that the
rock has been cased with stone, inside
and out; as however, according to all
the plans I have had access to, Mr
Williams' among others, the rock, with
its casing, is in some places only two
feet thick, and nowhere more than five,
and the casing cannot be less than nine
inches to a foot on each side, it would
have been easier for the impious men to
have removed it in toto, than to have
covered it up : half-a-dozen men would
have accomplished the job in a week,”
p. 88. The text, to which this passage
is appended as a note, shews that by
the “impious men" he means those
mentioned by Eusebius, as having
covered up the Cave to conceal it, and
to afford a foundation for the Temple of
Venus. Mr Fergusson can scarcely re-
quire to be informed that the advocates
for the identity of the present Sepul-
chre necessarily suppose it to have been
wrought, by Constantine's orders, into
such a form externally as would enable
it to receive the ornamental casing ; as
indeed S. Cyril implies in the passage
qnoted, amongst others, by Mr Wil-
liams, in the first edition of the Holy
City, p. 295; and although it is quite
true that by this process the thickness

of rock and casing has been in some
places brought down to less than three
feet at the western corners of the cham-
ber, it is equally clear that the state of
it must have been very different when
“the impious men” operated upon it
two centuries before, in the time of
Hadrian. Indeed, I have endeavoured
to shew that it was only brought to
its present form by a very laborious
excavation. Mr. Fergusson's supposi-
tion of from nine inches to a foot for
the thickness of the casing, would be
true if it were an ashlaring of stone,
but it is a lastrication of marble slabs,
for which three or four inches is an
ample allowance.
* Eusebius, in the Theophania, evi-
dently describes the Cave as he saw it,
after the operations of Constantine had
taken place. “It is astonishing to see
even this rock standing out erect and
alone, in a level land, and having only
one cavern within it.” Book 111. p. 199,
of Lee's translation. If the above sup-
position be rejected, we must conclude
that the Sepulchre of the Gospels was
originally detached from the Rock,
like those of Absalom and Zachariah;
but the latter are evidently Pagan
tombs, and not Jewish.

Fabri (p. 326) imagines that the impossible, and not inconsistent with opening of the outer cave of the Sepul- the view I have given above of the chre looked to the south, which is not original state of the ground.

bank of earth (not of rock), which shews its South face behind a certain tannery in Palmer Street (at N), and its eastern face between the Chapel of Helena and the street, and upon this bank is erected the Coptic Convent, formerly the Convent of the Canons of the Sepulchre. The part of the street of St Stephen occupied by a deserted bazar, is arched over (from H to I), and the raised ground is so much higher than the street at this point, that the garden-surface is carried over these arches without interruption, so that this end of the street appears like a tunnel or excavation. But this accumulation is plainly the natural result of the form of the ground, which sloped downwards to the wall, and, occupied by buildings that have fallen into decay, would necessarily become heaped up in the corner, so as to admit of being levelled and formed into gardens”.


Eusebius relates” that Constantine, being desirous to do honour to the place of our Lord's Resurrection, at Jerusalem, commanded an House of Prayer to be erected on that spot. For that certain impious persons

* That this ground is an accumulation, is evident from Schultz's description of the ruined portal, (which I shall presently shew was the great porch of Constantine's Basilica, ) for he tells us that the pillars are half-buried in the ground, and that the bank of earth upon which the Abyssinian monastery stands

Vol. II.

rises behind them.

* The work of Eusebius is so well known, that it is unnecessary for me to do more in this place than give such a mere abridgment of his narrative, as may serve to introduce the description of the Basilica, which I shall translate at length.


(acting, as other authorities inform us, under the orders of the Emperor Hadrian",) had formerly resolved to consign to oblivion that Salutary Cave, and had therefore with much labour brought thither a vast quantity of earth, with which they filled up and levelled the whole place, and having paved it with stone, they thus concealed the Holy Cave beneath this heap of materials. They proceeded, moreover, to erect thereon a temple of Venus, and offered there their sacrifices. But the Emperor Constantine commanded that not only the buildings and the statues should be taken down, but that their materials, and even the earth which had been heaped up there, should all be carried away to a great distance, because they had been defiled with the blood of the profane sacrifices. When this was done, it was discovered, contrary to all expectation, that the Sepulchral Cavern existed unharmed beneath. Then the Emperor ordered a magnificent House of Prayer to be erected round about the Salutary Cave, and wrote letters to the governors of the Eastern provinces to forward the work, and amongst others, a letter (A.D. 326) to Macarius, the Bishop of Jerusalem, which is given at length by Eusebius, in which he expresses his joy and gratitude and admiration that the Token of our Saviour's most Holy Passion, for so many years hid under the earth, should now so gloriously appear; and confessing this to be miraculous, he declares his firm determination that that Holy Place which he had disburthened of the vile idol, should be ornamented with magnificent structures”.

* Holy City, Vol. 1. p. 240. Vol. 11. proving the authenticity of that wonp. 71. - drous relic which is known by the name * Writers who are interested in of “the true Cross,” endeavour to shew

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