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who assert, that in some places “the solid grey limestone rock is distinctly to be seen".” Against the testimonies that have now been adduced, we are to set the suspicions of William of Baldensel, of Korte, Dr Clarke, and others; the assertion of Hottinger (for he cites no proof) that Cyril Lucar and the then Patriarch Theophanes discovered and acknowledged the imposture”; and the equally astounding and unsupported declaration of Dr Robinson, concerning the incredulity of the modern monks. I must now endeavour to do justice to Mr Fergusson's elaborate argument, in support of an hypothesis entirely subversive of all received theories of the topography of Jerusalem”, which may certainly claim the merit of originality, and of boldness amounting to temerity. I will first state the points which he endeavours to establish, so far as they bear on the subject before us. Nothing doubting that the veritable Sepulchre was recovered by Constantine, he is disposed rather to aid the arguments advanced in support of this fact. He thinks that sufficient weight has not been attached to the “intellectual philosophy,” which in the age of Constantine “still existed among the educated classes, when men reasoned on events with almost as close an induction as we now use.” He distinguishes between the “historical criticism” of the first three centuries of the Christian era, and the legendary invention of a subsequent period". He extends such a charitable judgment to Eusebius, as to rank him “last of the historians,” though “not quite first of the fabulists;” and is anxious to “vindicate Constantine and his friends from the obloquy” which the invention of the cross and the miracles attending it “necessarily entail;” and is, consequently, inclined to give more credence to the fact that they knew where the Sepulchre really stood. He is even disposed to allow some weight to Mr Finlay's argument" for this conclusion; indeed, he desires no better support for his assumption than that furnished by this pamphlet. And what is that assumption ? In his own words, it is “neither more nor less than that the building so well known among Christians as the Mosk of Omar, is the identical Church of the Holy Sepulchre erected by Constantine".” Bold theories require bold arguments for their support; and a geometrician who undertakes to construct “an equilateral right-angled triangle” (which is impossible) is not likely to be staggered by ordinary difficulties. Accordingly, whatever can be done to sustain
' So Wilde, p. 203, “the sides of in Le Quien's Oriens Chris. Tom. 111. the door, as well as the part above it, col. 518. are hewn out of the solid, &c.” M. *An Essay on the Ancient TopograNoroff told me the same. phy of Jerusalem, &c., by James Fer* Analecta Historico-theologica, Ap- gusson, F.R.A.S. London, 1847. pend. ad Dissert. VIII*. p. 555, cited
* Essay, p. 82–84. * Which see above, p. 65. One thing is very amusing. Mr Finlay
lity to comprehend it.” p. 87, note 1. This may serve as an indication of Mr Fergusson's qualifications for estimat
dedicates his brochure “to his brother, Jas. Mac Gregor, Esq.;” for this he is taken to task by Mr Fergusson, who says: “perhaps the best description of Mr Finlay's argument is contained in his dedication. .....That Geo. Finlay should be the brother of Jas. Mac Gregor, is a conclusion I should not have arrived at, nor would any one else, I believe; and though he ought to know best, I must confess my inabi
ing and clearing up such difficulties as surround the questions which he has undertaken to elucidate. I adduce it on this account; for as he has the modesty in his preface (p. xvi.) to promise some “sterling reasoning,” it is a matter of interest to see how this engagement is fulfilled.
* Essay, p. 76.
7 See this phaenomenon in Mr Fergusson's Essay, p. 122.
his views, by suggesting the corruption of MSS., in the way of mutilation, interpolation, or omission,--by variations in the original, or alterations in translating.—is resorted to without scruple, sometimes without notice, always without authority: of all which we shall find abundant, and sufficiently palpable examples, as we follow him through his catena of testimonies, the examination of which is no longer “a mere work of supererogation,” since Mr Fergusson has answered the question— “Who has ever doubted the identity of the present site with that selected under Constantine 2''” But first I must mention some other notions of Mr Fergusson, as connected with this question; though their complete refutation must be deferred to a subsequent chapter. The Jewish Temple, according to his view, occupied a square of 600 feet at the South-West angle of the present Haram. About 150 yards from the NorthEast angle of the Temple was the place of crucifixion*, over which was built the Church of Golgotha. The present Golden Gateway is the propylaeum to the Atrium of Constantine's Basilica. Mount Sion was a small knoll about the middle of the level area of the Haram, nearly corresponding in situation with the platform now occupied by the Mosk of Omar, which Mosk is the Martyry of the Resurrection,-the hollowed Sakhrah, or Sacred Rock of the Moslems, being the very Sepulchre itself. Now the main argument adduced in support of this new and startling theory, is the architecture of the Dome of the Rock, which, it is said, can only belong to the date of Constantine. This argument belongs to the Temple-area, and when we come to examine it, we shall find that it halts throughout, and fairly breaks down at the last. But I am here prepared to maintain that, if the architectural argument were without a flaw—if the Mosk were as perfect a specimen of Constantinian architecture as could be devised, still, if historical evidence is worth anything, Mr Fergusson's theory cannot hold. I am convinced that it would be quite as easy to prove that the present St Paul's was a pagan temple, or that Westminster Abbey is the identical St Paul's that was burnt down in the fire of London; in short, there is nothing so extravagant that might not be proved by such a process of historical criticism and architectural reasoning as that adopted by Mr Fergusson, who himself allows, that “it is rather a startling fact, to find in a building so often burned down, according to the chroniclers, the very original ceiling with which it was erected fifteen centuries ago.”.” The “scriptural narrative,” and “the testimony of subsequent writers, both Christian and Mohammedan,” are appealed to with almost as much confidence as the architecture; and to these I must advert. With regard to the former, it is admitted that “the indications of the New Testament are so slight, that nothing positive can be concluded from them directly in favour of any system’.” The topographical argument, when considered in laying out the ancient Temple, will be found to be directly opposed to this new theory, and it is difficult to notice the scriptural objection to the received Sepulchre, because I know not what idea Mr Fergusson— who, it should be remembered, has never been at Jerusalem—has formed of it; I know only that it must be an erroneous idea". He says, the Evangelists all agree that those who came to look for the body, “ looked down into the Sepulchre.” The statement is not correct, though the words are marked as a citation. The disciples are said to have stooped down, in order to look in”; and this description is entirely consistent with the present tomb, with its very low door—still low, though probably somewhat heightened for the accommodation of the pilgrims; nor can I imagine any period when it would have been possible to look in without stooping nearly to the ground; much less when it would have been necessary “to stand on tip-toes to have looked in.” We will proceed to Eusebius, who witnessed the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre, and assisted at the dedication of the Church of Constantine. His description of the site, of the Sepulchre, and of the buildings about it, are wholly irreconcilable with Mr Fergusson's hypothesis, as they are consistent with the established tradition. It has been already shewn, by an incidental agreement with the language of Josephus, how correctly the New Jerusalem is placed by Eusebius opposite to the Old; the other notice that “the Sepulchre is situated in the northern parts of Sion,” has been also explained”; and a glance at the plan will shew that it is true as regards the received Sion and the actual Sepulchre. But this relative position of the Sepulchre and Sion does not suit Mr Fergusson's hypothesis;
' Dr Robinson, Bib. Res. Vol. ii. p. 71. * Essay, p. 78.
* Mr Fergusson places the tomb cites no authority, p. 88. “several feet above the level of the * trapaxillas BAéret, Luke xxiv. Church,” and speaks of a “pavement | 12; John xx. 5. Trapéxvilev eis rô and filling-up,” of which no previous uvnuelov, John xx. 11. writer had any idea, and for which he * Above, pp. 62, 3.