« السابقةمتابعة »
any such mistake as the opposite theory supposes. Imposture would most likely have found the site without the range of the third wall also, in order to be as safe as possible; while, on the other hand, the intelligence which determined that its situation within the third wall was no objection to its identity, would conclude that its position within the second wall was so ; and the historical knowledge implied in the former conclusion, would form a strong presumption in favour of accurate information with reference to the Sepulchre. Besides which, it deserves to be considered, that the very name assigned to the place where our Lord suffered would tend to preserve the memorial of the site among the natives; and to suppose that the site was lost, is to suppose nothing less than that the very name of a peculiar feature in the topography of Jerusalem had irrecoverably perished; which does not appear to have been the case with any other hill, or with any valley in the neighbourhood. It is inconceivable that, while Mount Sion, the Mount of Olives, and the valley of the Kedron, retained their distinctive appellations, that hill which the Christian population would not fail to regard with the deepest interest at least, if we may not say reverence, should have lost its name—a name, be it remembered, universally received in our Saviour's time, and the memorial of which was preserved in the writings of the Evangelists". The Christian Church, as we have seen, had never been absent from Jerusalem for more than a few years at the utmost, probably not more than two”; and would any Christian who had once known the place Golgotha fail to identify it after ever so long a period, however accident or design might have altered its character 2 It must be remembered too, that the effect of this part of the New City being thinly inhabited", would be that its features would undergo little or no alteration by the overthrow of Jerusalem'. Subsequently, the very attempt to obliterate the memorial of our Lord's Resurrection, would serve to perpetuate the tradition of the site. For it matters little whether the temple of Venus, erected over the spot with this design, was the work of Hadrian or no, It avails nothing to urge that Eusebius merely ascribes it to
' Dr Robinson speaks of “the pre- names of places continued current in servation of the ancient names of places their Aramean form long after the among the common people” as the most times of the New Testament, and mainsatisfactory kind of tradition, but does | tained themselves in the mouths of the not apply it here. “The Hebrew common people,” &c. &c. Vol. 1. pp.
if the tradition of the design was authentic.
impious men, while later writers specify the founder of AElia"; because even if it were demonstrable that Hadrian had no hand in it, the fact itself would not be affected, that the idol fane was set up to desecrate and to obliterate the site. Yet it is very far from improbable that this was done by the direction, or at least with the sanction of Hadrian, especially if the renegade Aquila retained any influence in his councils after his apostacy from the Christian faith"; for while we have the testimony of a writer contemporary with Eusebius to a similar pollution of the Mount of the Lord's House under the same Emperor', we have a much earlier record of a shrine dedicated to Venus at Jerusalem, in a continuous series of coins, commencing with his immediate successor Antoninus Pius”, nor have we any intimation of its existence at an earlier period: and since in the time of this Emperor “the crucifixion and burial of our Saviour was almost in the memory of man,” we may conclude, with Dr Clarke, that “this powerful record of the means used by the pagans to obliterate the rites of Christianity, seems to afford decisive evidence concerning the locality of the tomb, and to place its situation beyond the reach of doubt”.” And it is worthy of remark, that neither Eusebius, nor any of the writers of that century, imply any difficulty in ascertaining the locality. They all speak as if it had been a well-known fact that the fame of Venus covered the Holy Sepulchre. The only difficulty was to clear it from the heaps which had been raised over it'; and the expressions of astonishment which the success of the undertaking called forth would be amply justified by the state of complete preservation in which it was found after so long an interval, especially as they might not unreasonably have feared that the concealment of the spot had been preceded or attended by an attempt at the destruction or defacement of the Sacred Cave. Whether it be a reasonable argument against the existence of such a tradition that “no pilgrimages were made to it” before, covered as it was by an idol temple, is for the consideration of those who urge it"; but can any devout believer bring himself to suppose that the “many Christians who came up to Jerusalem from all parts of the earth before the age of Constantine, to behold the accomplishment of prophecy in the desolations of the city, and to pay their adorations on the summit of the Mount of Olives",” would be indifferent to the scene of the Crucifixion and Resurrection ? They would, without doubt, enquire for this sacred spot, and be pointed to the idol-temple which had been erected to pollute it; while the continued opposition of the civil magistrate, breaking out in frequent persecutions, would make them despair of all attempts to recover it, until the conversion of Constantine and the pious zeal of his venerable mother brought about this happy consummation. The Holy Sepulchre was recovered as soon as circumstances allowed of it. And should any be disposed to question the probability of the Holy Sepulchre being regarded with reverence before the time of Hadrian, considering such veneration as a symptom of later superstition and corruption, it must be remembered that, right or wrong, the Christians of the apostolic times were certainly in the habit of treasuring up the relics of the saints and martyrs"; and the same fond feeling would lead them much more to preserve the memorials of our Saviour's Passion and Resurrection, as they did, we know, of His miraculous Nativity”. So that if the erection of the idol-shrine was later than Hadrian”, the greater chance there would be of a correct tradition of these sites, as mere tradition would have less to do with the preservation of them—religious veneration more. With this strong presumption in favour of a right conclusion, we find the Holy Sepulchre placed exactly where the impugners of the tradition, in accordance with the sacred writers, fix its situation, with reference to the ancient city-walls, as far as their course can now be ascertained“. Under these circumstances the
375, 6. Strange that the most interest-
place, “Though it now be adorned, and
* The author of the Jerusalem Itinerary (A.D.333), speaking of the temple-area, says, “Sunt ibi et statua, Hadriani. Est et non longe de statuis,” &c. Itin. Hieros., p. 598. ed. Wesseling, A.D. 1735. See more fully, Vol. 1. p. 239–242, and Dio Cassius, Lx Ix. 12. * See a fuller notice of this coin (a copy of which is given at the close of this Chapter) in Vol. 1. p. 240, and the references. * Clarke's Travels, Vol. II. p. 310. * So far is it from being true that
“the balance of evidence would seem to be decidedly against the probable existence of any previous tradition,” that I am persuaded an impartial reader would find it impossible to avoid the conclusion, from the language of Eusebius and others, that such a tradition did exist. It is taken for granted throughout. And this explains why St Helena is nowhere said to have acted in consequence of any known tradition. “Divine suggestion” is never said by the earlier writers to have guided her to the spot, as is implied, but simply to have disposed her or her | St.Jerome, who would be best informed,
*on to recover it, while the diligent say a word about it. B. R. Vol. 11. toguiry among the ancient inhabitants, pp. 76, and 14, 15. is only mentioned by later writers. * Bib. Res. 11.78.
Neither Eusebius, nor St Cyril, nor " Ibid. p. 77, from Eusebius.
* See e.g. Martyrium Sti Ignatii, it. 11.9. sect. vi. p. 254, ap. Pat. Apost. Op. Ed. * So Clarke writes,—that Golgotha 3 Hefele, A.D. 1847; (Conf. S. Chry- was without the city, and very near to sostomi Serm. Paneg. in S. Ignatium. one of its gates, (Vol. 11. p. 552), and Tom. v. pp. 504, 5. Edit. Eton. A.D. the tomb of Joseph “in a garden” in 1612;) and Martyrium Sti Polycarpi the place where our Saviour was crusectt. xvii. xviii. Ibid. p. 292, 4. cified ; and then, with strange incon
* Justin Martyr, (A.D. 150,) Dial. sistency, he removes them far apart, sect. 78, Op. p. 175, speaks of the Cave marking the place of Crucifixion on of the Nativity at Bethlehem, in a man- || Mount Sion, outside the modern gate, ner which implies that it was well and the place of burial in the deep Valknown; and Origen, (A.D. 230,) cont. ley of Hinnom, and on the opposite Celsum, 1.51, p. 39, ed. Cantab. Spen- side : Dr Robinson writes: “We ceri, states that pilgrimages were then know nothing more from the Scriptures made to it. than that they (Golgotha and the Se
* As Dr Robinson wishes to make | pulchre) were near each other, without