صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

ing to the left, visited the lower part of Calvary (H), and the tombs of Godfrey of Bouillon (36), and his brother Baldwin (37), which are almost destroyed. After this we proceeded towards the western end of the building, passing " the Stone of Unction" on our way, and pushing through crowds of noisy Greek and Latin priests in the Vestibule (B), entered the nave of the church (C), in the centre of which is the Holy Sepulchre (D). The nave is about 100 feet in diameter, in the form of a circle, surrounded by eight square columns (15) and eight pilasters (16), supporting galleries above, and a lofty cupola. This is the Latin Chapel, in the centre of which is an oblong building of stone resembling marble, brought from the Red Sea. It is surmounted by a small cupola, pierced with circular windows, and supported by columns. This is the Holy Sepulchre (D), which is the object of the pilgrim's visit to the City of God.

Ascending a few steps we entered the vestibule or ante-chapel (6), in the centre of which is a small square block of marble, which, we were told, was the stone the angel rolled back from the door and sat upon, when he announced . the tidings of the resurrection to Mary Magda lene and the other Mary: "He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay" (Matt. xxviii. 2—6). Stooping down, we passed through a narrow doorway, partially veiled from curious eyes by a curtain, and entered the sepulchral chamber (7), which is about seven feet square, containing the sarcophagus or coffin of marble, about six feet long, three feet high, and three feet wide, which forms a kind of altar. Above this a large number of gold and silver lamps, suspended from the roof, are kept constantly burning. They are the gift of princes and nobles, some of whom have made the pilgrimage. The sarcophagus, which is a modern production, is asserted to be the one wherein Joseph and Nicodemus laid the body of our Saviour (John xix. 38—42).

From the sepulchre we proceeded to the place where Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, as "she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus" (John xx. 14.) Near this is the Chapel of the Apparition (E), belonging to the Latins; and within the door, on the right, is the Pillar of Flagellation (22), which is almost hidden from view. This is said to be the identical pillar to which our Saviour was tied when he was scourged, before being crucified (Matt. xxvii. 26). The guide fixed a lighted taper to the end of a long stick, and passing it through a hole in the inclosure,

showed us the broken shaft of a pillar. Near to the Altar of the Flagellation is the Altar of the Holy Cross (21), and that of the Holy Sacrament (20), but they are not worthy of special notice.

Retracing our steps from this spot, we turned to the left and entered the Greek Church, which occupies the largest space in the building. It is fitted up in a rich and costly style, and contains the spot where the head of Adam was found, which the Greeks also call the Centre of the World (13); the chair of the Greek patriarch of Jerusalem (11); the chair of the Greek vicar (12) ; and the Sancta Sanctorum (10), with the screen before the altar (9).

Outside of this is the prison (24), where, it is said, our Saviour was confined when he was bound and delivered to Pontins Pilate, the governor (Matt. xxvii. 2); and the guide showed us one of the miraculously created wonders of the priests—a stone with holes in it, on which our Saviour was placed when put in the stocks! Near to this is the altar of the Inscription over the Cross (25), where the soldier is said to have pierced our Saviour's side with his spear (John xix. 34); and, adjoining it, the chapel where the soldiers "took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part," and cast lots for his vesture (26) (John xix. 23, 24).

Keeping towards the southwest, we descended a flight of about thirty steps (27), leading to the Chapel of the Finding of the Crosses (G), Which is a dark, damp chamber, about eighteen paces square, dimly lighted by some lamps suspended from a pole. The roof, which is rough and black, is supported by four large columns. In front of us was the altar (28), and, on the right, a seat where the Empress Helena sat, and watched the workmen digging below, when they were searching for the crosses. Below this is another chamber (29), darker than the other, which is reached by descending fourteen steps. The guide points to a 3lab marked with a cross, and says, "Eceolo! there cross found in bi£ hole under him stone." You retreat from this dismal place, retrace your steps to the church, and, turning to the left, arrive at the Chapel of Derision (30), where a large block is shown as the one on which our Saviour sat whilst mocked by the soldiers, when crowned with thorns and arrayed in a scarlet robe (Matt. xxvii. 27—31).

I turned with intense satisfaction from viewing these pretended relics, to gaze upon localities that had, at least, more of the semblance of reality and probability. Indeed, I should not have trespassed upon the reader's patience thus far, but for a desire to relate things as they exist at the Sepulchre, or, as it was formerly called, the Church of the Resurrection. A visit to the Holy City, that has been "trodden down of the Gentiles," and "ploughed as a field," leaves impressions upon the sober-minded Christian of a mournful kind.

A visit to the Sepulohre is replete with painful associations and feelings. The aged and the young, the noble and the beggar, undergo many a peril and privation, and encounter many hardships, to bow down before the supposititious sacred places and relics. The young and beautiful, the fairest daughters of other lands, were there, with pale faces and sunken features, that bespoke much mental and bodily pain, days of toil, and weary journeying. Yon man with a proud and haughty bearing, whose piercing dark eyes wander restlessly over the sea of heads, bespeaks a noble origin; but ever and anon a saddened look overspreads his features, and reveals a tale of hidden woe—perhaps the remembrance of some dark deed committed, that must now be atoned for by rigid penance and vigil. Contrast all the groups of devotees with the jovial-looking monks around; the impassioned fervor and intense devotion of the pilgrims, whose days are numbered, with the jocund laugh of the priest, well lodged and fed. Does not this scene of hope and sorrow, of joy and repentance, of self-denial and triumph, teach us a mighty lesson? Who can gaze on these people, who have sacrificed health and happiness, wealth and luxury, in exchange for poverty and all its horrors, with fell disease, and not be sad? Yet these people, who have braved so much, implicitly believe all they see, and all they are told, and go their way, faint and hungry, but buoyed up with the shadow rather than the substance—the illusion and not the reality.

How can we reconcile the discrepancies between traditional and biblical topography f Are we to believe that the Calvary of the present day is the Calvary of Scripture f Assuredly not. We are told in the Bible that Jesus " suffered without the gate" (Hebrews xiii. 12); "forthe place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city" (John xix. 20); and there was a garden in it, and in the garden a new "sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid" (John xix. 41). In the face of all this, we are shown the spot of the Crucifixion, of the nailing to the cross, and the rent in the rock, in a space fortyseven feet square; and collected within a comparatively small space, the sepulchre where the body was laid, the place of anointing, the

sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea, and many other places. But we have to remember that the Holy Sepulchre was burned A. D. 614, and the true Cross, with the patriarch Zacharias, carried away; that it was set on fire again A. D. 969; that about A. D. 1010 the Sepulchre was razed to its foundations, and every exertion made by the Khalif el-Hakim to remove all traces of its existence; and that, in addition to these, it has been partially destroyed on several occasions. It is but just, then, to conclude that the sites pointed out to pilgrims and travellers, by the monks and guides, do not coincide with historical and biblical accounts, and that the true sites are hidden for some wise purpose.

We must forbear mentioning the particulars of the enacted representations of the Crucifixion by the Latin church; the riotous scenes that occur on the eve of the Greek Easter-day, when the ceremony of receiving the Holy Fire is performed in the sepulchre, and other exhibitions of the same character.

Passing out of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and through several narrow streets, we came to the Bab-es-Sham, or gate of Damascus, the outer part of which exhibits a fine specimen of massive Saracenic architecture. It was from

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

in front of the gate, is the Cave of the prophet Jeremiah, where he is said to have retired to pour forth his Lamentations, where he sat and looked upon the city, exclaiming: "All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: Is this the city that men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?" It is a cave wrought in the face of the rock, under a burial-ground, and divided from the road by a low wall of loose stones. Here hermits were wont to live, but the place is now untenanted, unless by a few goats that browse on the slope in front of it.

Proceeding a short distance from the cave of the prophet, we came to what was formerly called Bezetha or Ccenopolis, now occupied by olive trees, but formerly by people of the lower class, and inclosed by Agrippa with a thick wall of great strength.

Not far from this there are some fine anoient sepulchres, commonly called the Tombs of the Kings of Israel, but generally considered to be the tomb of the Empress Helena, Queen of Adiabene, who was buried near Jerusalem, with her son, Izatus. After clambering over some rubbish, and descending a little, we arrived in a large open court cut out of the rock. On the west side it is hollowed out so as to form a wide entrance, which has a band of carved work over it, consisting of large clusters of grapes and garlands of flowers, mingled with other ornaments, all beautifully sculptured, and bearing evidence of Roman skill. The sides of the entrance, which were once ornamented with columns, are now broken and defaced. On the left hand side of this entrance is a small aperture, through which we crept on onr hands and knees, and entered an antechamber, about six feet high and ten feet square. We saw several passages leading from this into other chambers, where there are recesses hewn in the rock for the reception of marble sarcophagi, portions of which, with fragments of the panelled stone doors that closed the entrance to them, are strewn on the ground. The doors had stone pivots, which turned in sockets cut in the rock.

As the day was closing, we took a hasty glance at the Tombs of the Judges, that are situated a short distance to the north of the sepulchres we had just quitted; but were not repaid for the trouble, as they are far inferior in execution.

Crossing the fields in a south-easterly direction, we came to the head of the Valley of Kedron, where some vineyards and olive plan

tations form the eastern Leundary of the deep bed of the brook, which passes in a southerly direction through the vale, between Mount Olivet and the hills on which the Holy City is built, thence through the wilderness of St. Saba, and is finally lost in the Dead Sea. Although the bed of the Kedron bears ample evidence of its former greatness, it is now dry, and no longer gladdens the eye of the pilgrim with its silvery stream; for, except during the winter months, when the rain has contributed with the snow to form a pool, there is never any water in its bed. There are associations of an historical kind connected with the brook. It is probable that David and all his people crossed the ancient bridge over its bed, which is near to the tomb of Mary, when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 28). It was near to this brook that the idol of Maachah was burut by her son Asa (1 Kings xv. 13); it was in tie fields of Kedron that Josiah ordered the priests to burn the vessels that were wade for Baal, and to cast the dust of the altars, which the Kings of Judah and Manassah had made, into the brook (2 Kings xxiii. 12); and

"Thou, soft-flowing Kedron! by thy limpid stream, Our Saviour, at night, when the moon's silver beam Shone bright on thy waters, would oftentimes htrar, And lose in their murmurs the toils of the day."

We passed over the bridge with one arch, mentioned above, and entered the garden of "dark Gethsemane," with its eight aged olive trees inclosed by a stone wall. It was

"Alone to tho shade of Gethsemane's garden

The Saviour repair'd when the supper wns o'er. Weigh'd down with the load of their guilt, for whow pardon Such wonders of sorrow and suffering he bore."

Although this may not be the actual site of the Garden of Gethsemane, still it must be in the vicinity, because we know that it was "over the brook Cedron" (John xviii. 1), and "near to the city." The guide pointed to a part of the garden, which, he informed us, is looked upon as accursed, being the place where the traitor Judas walked when he came with "» great multitude, with swords and staves," ar.il betrayed his Divine Master with a kiss (Matt. xxvi. 47—49). The south-eastern corner of the garden—a ledge of rocks—is assigned a* the spot where Peter, James, and John slept (Luke xxii. 43).

Commencing the ascent of the Mount ot Olives, we were shown the Grotto of the Agony, which the monks assert is the one where onr Saviour retired, and, kneeling down, prayedr

'"Oh, Father, behold in compassion thy Son—

Now let this cup pass;' then, as plaintive, he sighed,

Bxclaimed, 'Not my will, but thine, Father, be doae;'"

and his sweat was, "as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke xxii. 42—44). A little further on, the guide pointed to a spot where our Saviour is said to have taught the Apostles the Universal Prayer, and near to this is the cave where the Creed was composed.

The Mount of Olives forms part of a range of limestone mountains extending to the north and south-west. It has three unequal summits; the highest of them, rising from the garden of Gethsemane, is crowned by the Church of the Ascension, within which is shown a stone having a mark something like the impression of a foot. This is affirmed to be the print of our Saviour's foot, left upon the stone at the moment of his ascension; the mark of the other foot is said to have been removed by the Saracens, and placed in the Mosque of Omar. Helena, the mother of Constantine, founded a monastery on the spot, which was afterwards converted into a mosque; and the Turks now exact a tribute from all pilgrims who may desire to have an impression of the foot-print on the stone.

A little to the north of the church is a spot pointed out as the one where the Apostles retired after the ascension of our Saviour; "and while they looked steadfastly toward heaven," they were accosted by two angels: "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?" (Acts i. 11.)

The view from this part is very fine, and decidedly the most extensive. At our feet is the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Tomb of the Virgin near to it; the Valley of Kedron and the Vale of Jehoshaphat, with the Tombs of Absalom, Jehoshaphat, and Zacharias. To the south is the village of Siloam, the Mount of Offence, and the Pool of Siloam. Before us is a cluster of flat-roofed buildings, mingled with domes and lofty minarets, and relieved by long lines of streets and ruined walls, cypresses and olive trees, rugged cliffs and sterile banks; while in the midst we can see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the bazaars, the Via Dolorosa winding from St. Stephen's Gate, and in front Mount Moriah, crowned with the Mosque of Omar, flashing its gilded crescents and spires in the last rays of the declining sun. Far away to the south the eye wanders o'er the barren hills of Judah, the Jordan, the still waters of the Dead Sea, and the distant mountains of

Moab; and below us on our left is a fine olive tree, with gnarled trunk and branches, that stands near the road to Jericho, along which the Bedouin is leading his camel; while, afar off, a husbandman is gathering the flocks that have endeavored to obtain a meal from the scorched herbage during the day.

Although we saw many other spots from the Mount, including the Hill of Evil Council, Mount Zion, and the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, the day was too far advanced to remain there any longer; therefore we descended, and retracing our steps, passed through St. Stephen's Gate, so called from its vicinity to the spot where Stephen was stoned (Acts vii. 58), and entered the Via Dolorosa, the road along which our Lord passed to Calvary, which contains many traditional sites connected with that event.

Proceeding along this street, which runs from east to west, we were first pointed out the residence of the Turkish governor, and then the arch of the Ecce Homo! over which is a double window, where Pilate is said to have brought our Saviour forth to the people, saying, "Behold the Man!" (John xix. 5.) At this time of the year and day the street was thronged with pilgrims and Jews, and bore an unusual appearance of bustle; for camels with noiseless tread were bearing bales of merchandise along, while the hum of voices was louder than usual. A few yards beyond this are the remains of a church, built on the spot where the mother of our Saviour met him. Sixty paces further on, Simon the Cyrenean met the multitude, and was compelled to bear the cross when our Saviour fell down under the weight of it (Lake xxiii. 26). The guide gravely pointed to an impression in the wall which he said was made by the end of the cross I Near to this is the spot where our Saviour turned to the women that were following him, and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me." After this we were pointed out in the following order, the Dwelling of Lazarus; the House of the Rich Man; the House of Veronica, the pious woman; and the Gate of Judgment, through which our Saviour passed as he went to Calvary.

But we have lingered almost too long amid these traditional sights, for

"The sun is set—and yet his light

Is lingering in the crimson sky,
Like memory beautiful and bright

Of holy men that die.
"The dews fall gently on the flower,

Their fresh'ntng Influence to impart,
As pity's tears, of soothing power,

Revive the drooping heart."


(Conclnded from page 341.)


"Now," said Mr. Milford, "for the explaua- v tion."

"I have none to give."

"Then, of course, I can draw my own inferences. I found Psyche in the arms of Cupid, somewhat after the fashion of this"—pointing to the beautiful statue that adorned the room.

"You found a foolish boy at my feet, Mr. Milford; that was all you found."

"All! that is a good deal to the boy, Amy; the remembrance of that abject kneeling to the woman he loves, if that love be not returned, will remain forever branded on his heart as if with a burning iron."

"You give him credit for a lasting love, when it is only the passing fancy of a passionate boy."

"A fancy you have encouraged." "I?"

"Yes ; you have petted and fondled him into this state of love, and now you are striving to stem the wild current with a few cold words."

There was a slight degree of warmth in Mr. Milford's manner as he spoke.

"Mr. Milford, you are nnjust; you talk like all men; you cannot understand how a woman can be kind, yes, even tender to one of the opposite sex, without having any wish to attract his love."

"But you saw the love that was gathering strength under your fostering care, and you took no pains to check it."

"Mr. Milford, I learned one lesson very early in life, which I have never wished unlearned. I have saved myself many a heartache by never thinking myself loved until I was told so. All attentions paid me, however devoted and flattering, I set down to friendly civility, and not to love. Many a woman makes herself miserable for life by her vanity; this great female blunder I have been spared. I build up no superstructure of love and hope on the baseless fabric of a little attention that simply said 'I like you;' not 'I love you.'"

"Women, Amy, know pretty well how to distinguish the true from the false. No woman ever inspired a genuine love that she did not know it."

"Women are as apt to go astray on this point as men. A few tender words, a few polite at

tentions, and the heart flutters and beats almost as wildly as if it had heard the words 'I love you.' My vanity has never led me into this snare."

"But, Amy, your heart must certainly have told you that there was danger to this boy in daily, close companionship with one of your—"

"Wonderful attractions," she laughed. "Well, no; my heart was altogether dumb on that subject, and told me nothing, excepting that here was a youth full of genins and noble impulses. We met frequently; I was attracted by hiin; we were attracted by each other; I loved to talk to him, to draw out his right ideas and his wrong ones. He came to see me, and brought with him his poems, which he read to me. I criticized them, sometimes lovingly, sometimes harshly. He paid me many attentions, which I accepted, in the same way that I would accept yours, Mr. Milford."

"Thank you." He smiled with his eyes.

"The thought never occurred to me that he would be foolish enough to think that he loved me. A very young man is not apt to fall in love with a woman several years his senior, and not pretty. So, without a thought of doing him any wrong, I showed him how much I liked him, and now—"

"You must be just, and marry him."

The color rushed to her face, and covered it with a crimson glow; she attempted to speak, but the words died away.

"Todevelop and strengthen that love, Amy, will be a far holier mission thau to write a book."

She looked at him earnestly. Was he jesting f No; he seemed really in earnest, and she could scarcely restrain the indignant feelings that were burning within her heart as she answered, coolly:—

"Perhaps your advice is excellent; some of these days I may follow it."

"You could not do better."

"Doubtless you, that are so well skilled in the affairs of love, must be aware how mnth more devoted is the passion of innocent twenty than the love of—"

"Wicked thirty-five. Finish your sentence. Yes, thirty-five years of selfish indulgence have made me very hard, and very wicked, and very—"

« السابقةمتابعة »