صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

speaks : “‘The cleft of the rock,’ he calls the cleft which was then at the door of the salutary Sepulchre, and was hewn out of the rock itself, as it is customary here in the front of Sepulchres, for now it appears not, the outer cave having been hewn away for the sake of the present adornment; for before the Sepulchre was decorated by royal zeal there was a cave in the face of the rock".” Then, after an interval of two centuries, a western pilgrim tells us that the very monument is cut out of the native rock. The rock is described as “like a millstone, and infinitely ornamented: so that the monument itself is in fashion as a Church covered with silver, and an altar is placed before the monument”.” Very much more distinct is the testimony of Arculfus, towards the close of the same century; but as it will be adduced by Professor Willis, I shall only cite so much as refers to the fact of such a Sepulchre as at present exists, and such as had been described by preceding authors: and this testimony is the more important because in the interval between this and the last-cited author, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre had been desolated by the Persians and Jews”, and it is necessary to prove that the Sacred Cave was not destroyed. He distinguishes between the Monument and the Sepulchre; extending the former name to the whole cave, and confining the latter to that excavation where the body was deposited. The Monument he aptly terms a round hut (tegurium) cut out in one and the same rock, cased externally with choice marble, having a gilded roof, on which stood a large Cross of gold. The door was on the East; the chamber was a foot and a half higher than the ordinary stature of a man; the Sepulchre was on the North side of the chamber, excavated in the same rock, raised three palms above the floor of the hut. It was a single, not a double grave; not cut in shape to fit the body, but a simple couch for one corpse, opening on the South, with a low overhanging roof skilfully wrought”. The interior of the cave was not at that time overlaid with any kind of adornment, but exhibited the native rock in its original state, and still bore throughout the traces of the tools used for its excavation; the colour of the rock appeared to be a mixture of white and red. The existence of the cave was appealed to as a fulfilment of Scripture Prophecy; for the prophet, speaking concerning the Lord Jesus buried in it, says, “He dwelt in the lofty cave of an exceeding strong rock:” and its adornment is thought to be foretold by the same prophet, where he writes, “and His restingplace shall be glorious".” Entirely consistent with the account of the French bishop is that of the English Saint, Willibald, in the following century". Again we have the Sepulchre cut in the rock; the rock standing erect on the ground, square below, contracted above, surmounted by a Cross; with the door at the East; the couch for the body cut in the rock of the Sepulchre, on the North side and on the right of the entrance. And here it will be well to introduce the description of the Sepulchre by Paschasius Radbertus in his Commentary on St Matthew', which he professes to have taken from the accounts of many travellers of that time". It will shew the then commonly received opinion of the plan and structure of the Sepulchre, which the Commentator considered necessary for the right understanding of the Evangelic narration of the Sepulture and Resurrection. Citing the words, “and he rolled a great stone to the door of the Sepulchre, and departed,” he remarks, “Whence we may understand that the Monument of Christ was not so cut as are monuments in this land, because it is said to have had a door. Hence we believe that to be true which many who have seen it have delivered, that there was a round house beyond the door of the Monument within, cut in a very spacious rock, of such altitude that a man standing within could scarcely touch the roof with his out-stretched arm, and that door is on the East, to which that very great stone was rolled. Concerning which Monument,” he proceeds, “since we have begun to describe its form and character for the understanding of the visions, it is necessary that we enlarge. For its entrance was, as I said, on the East; and to those who entered from thence, the place specially prepared for the reception of our Lord's body was to the right, on the North side, seven feet in length, and higher than the rest of the pavement by three palms. Which place did not open from above, after the manner of common sepulchres, but on the south side, along the whole of which the corpse could be inserted. Whence that of St Mark may be more clearly understood, that ‘the women entering in, saw a young man sitting on the right: for the place of the Lord's body, where the angel sat, was on the right; neither was it divided, but continued throughout, as being all cut in one and the same rock.” The passages heretofore cited prove incontestably, first, that the Monument in question was a rocky cave, and next, that the Sepulchre invented or recovered by Macarius is that which continued to be an object of Christian veneration up to the end of the ninth century. But in the earlier half of the eleventh century an event occurred, which is sometimes supposed to have materially affected the site. The theory of the entire transference of the tradition at this period from another locality to that which is now venerated, will be noticed in detail hereafter; I shall only here deal with that of Dr Schultz”, who imagines that the rocky cave of the Sepulchre was wholly destroyed, by order of the Khalif Hakem, and that a close imitation of it was subsequently erected on the exact spot; an imitation so close as to exhibit the very peculiarities which marked the original to be a new and unfinished grave. I am not aware what authority my friend has for his hypothesis, for he cites none; and none that I have consulted afford it any countenance, except perhaps William of Baldensel, who however does not venture to fix the time of the destruction of the original monument'. It is true, indeed, that an attempt was made to destroy the cave by fire, though the Church only was included in the Khalif's sentence; but it should be remembered that the writer to whom we owe this fact, himself informs us of the failure of the attempt, the circumstances of which were detailed in Europe by a French Ecclesiastic, who was present at what he described : and since we have the narrative from a contemporary chronicler, a compatriot of the traveller, who had opportunities of personal intercourse with him, (for they resided not more than twenty miles apart,) I can no more doubt the main particulars than if we had them from the tongue or pen of an eye-witness; and I apprehend that few historical facts rest upon surer evidence”. But the question still remains, whether we find any traces of the rock at a later period, and whether we have any reason to believe that it still exists beneath the marble wainscoting with which the Sepulchre is cased within and with

* S. Cyrilli Catech. xiv. ix. p. 208. Lectures in Lent, A.D.347 or 348. Wid. Ed. Bened. This writer was certainly | Dissert. Op. praefix. col. xci. an eye-witness of the changes which he * Antonini Placentini Itin. xv. 111. describes, for he was born at or near p. 356, 7. ap. Praefatt. ad Bollandum. Jerusalem, in A.D. 315, ordained Dea- || Tom. I. He wrote cir. A.D. 600. con by Macarius a.d. 334, Priest by * A.D. 614. See Vol. 1. p. 300, &c. Maximus A.D. 345, and delivered his

* Adamnan wrote cir. A.D. 697. and Vulg. In this last passage the word See his tract (compared with Bede) in Ynnyn is rendered n divānavarts abroo Gretseri Op. Tom. iv. pars 2, p. 255, &c. T •. and for the author, see above, Vol. 1. pp. 320, 21.

and sepulchrum ejus.
* Sti Willibaldi Hodopporicon. ap.

Canisii Thes, ed. Basnage, Tom. 11.

* I*. xxxiii. 16; xi. 10 in LXX. p. 111, 12.

Vol. II. 6

* Lib. xii. ap. Magna Biblioth. I Coloniae, 1618. The date of this writer Vet. Pat. Tom. Ix. pars 2; p. 1229. is A. D. 848.

* Schultz's Jerusalem, p. 99.

' This writer (A. p. 1336) is the earliest I have met with who called in question the existence of the actual Rock-tomb. He calls the Sepulchre, “parvula domicula,” and says of it: “Illud vero advertendum est, quod monumentum illi sanctissimo loco superpositum, non est illud in quo corpus Christi sacratissimum examine primitus

aliter, et minus quam deceat, ordinate.” He argues that the Christians would not have left any part of the true monument to be insulted by the infidels; but adds “Veruntamen, quicquid sit de hoc, ipse locus Sepulchri Christi formaliter moveri non potest, sed remansit et remanebit immobilis in aeternum." Guilielmi de Baldensel, Hodorporicon ad Terram Sanctam, Ap, Canisii Thesaurum, Tom. Iv. p. 349.

est immissum; quia sacro attestante eloquio, monumentum Christi erat ex

cisum in petrá vivā. Illud vero ex petris pluribus est compositum de novo conglutinato carmento, minus artifici

* See the particulars in detail in Vol. 1. p. 346, &c., and the passages in note 3, p. 349.

« السابقةمتابعة »