« 前へ次へ »
that gentleman has done us the honour to insert in the second edition of that work. Mr. Buckingham's retrospective view of Jerusalem amply justifies the suspicions we expressed as to the authenticity of the tradition wbich makes the place called Golgotha or Calvary, a' mount in the centre of the present city. He admits that there are well founded objections to the hypothesis on which all the plans of the ancient city have been constructed, by which Mount Calvary is placed without the walls. Instead of the present city having gained in a northern direction, so as to admit the hill Calvary, (a supposition made necessary by that hypothesis,) he conceives it to have lost the whole intervening space between the present walls and the Tomb of Helena, where the old walls passed on the North. But unwilling to concede that Dr. Clarke is right in disputing the identity of Calvary, be attempts to get rid of this objection, by denying that the place of crucifixion must necessarily have been without the ancient walls. It is strange enough, that while examining, as he appears to have done with some attention, the statements of the Evangelists, he should have overlooked the express remark of St. John, that “ the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city,” as well as the declaration of the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that our Lord “ suffered without the gate." Mr. Buckingham labours to set aside the objection, that the sepulchre, as a place of burial, must have been without the walls. He takes no notice of the still stronger fact, that Calvary was a place, not simply of burial, but of public execution. Dr. Lightfoot, however, has collected a variety of passages from Jewish writers, to shew that no sepulchres, except those of the family of David, were permitted to be within the city, and that a dead body was not allowed to remain within the walls even for a night.
' But on what authority,' he exclaims, 'is Calvary called a ' mount ? Upon no Scriptural authority, as we have already remarked*, nor, so as far we have been able to discover, for any other solid reason. The expression “ without
The expression “ without the gate," would seem to point to a place just without one of the gates of the city, in going out of which they met with Simon “coming out of the
country;"-probably by the side of the high road, so that all they that passed by might see the spectacle; and“ nigbunto the city, because there was obviously no motive for going to a great distance. Jerusalem, then, being built upon a hill, the place in question must rather have been on lower ground than the city, which corresponds with the representation that in that place
was a garden.” Mr. Buckingham's object in questioning whether Calvary was a mount, is, indeed, to shew that the site
* Eclectic Review. N. S. Vol. XIII. p. 170: Vol. XVII. N.S.
of the present edifice may be Calvary, although it is not a mount. We believe that the place fixed on was never without the walls, and that it has no pretensions to the name it bears ; in which opinion we are strongly confirmed by our Traveller's reasoning.
On what does the identity of the sacred places rest? On the general suffrage, it is said, of antiquity. But that suffrage may be adduced in favour of the most absurd and palpable fables. What is the chain of evidence by which it bas been attempted to support the received tradition ? ' First, we are to believe, that, • either from design or accident, a chapel was dedicated to Ve
nus on the spot which had been sanctified by the death and re• surrection of Christ.'* Next, that this design or coincidence was matter of notoriety, and served for ages to identify the spot ; and further, that, on the demolition of the pagan structure three hundred years after, the removal of the earth and stones re6 vealed the holy sepulchre to the eyes of mankind.' Now, if only the last of these positions were well attested by credible witnesses, there would be no difficulty in admitting the former two. But who were present at the alleged excavation which brought the sepulchre to light? The sepulchre is believed to have been itself a lateral excavation in a rock : how came such a spot to have been sunk beneath the foundations of a temple ? Who assisted at the process of levelling and cutting away the rock so as to leave it in the shape of a pepper-box ?' authority have we for bringing the spot on which our Lord and the two malefactors were crucified, into such close proximity to the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, as is required by the hypothesis that one edifice covered both? When these questions can be resolved, it will be time enough to inquire into the authority for the charge against the Roman Conqueror, of having selected the spot in question, a spot without the walls of the city, and which it might have been supposed he would not easily have identified, for the erection of a temple to Venus. Was it against the followers of Christ, that the arms of Titus and Hadrian were directed? Would the desecration of a place of public execution, have inflicted any insult or mortification on the Jews? Or was it to gratify them, that the Conqueror is supposed to have thus poured contempt on the crucified Nazarene, rather than set up his victorious trophies on the prostrate Temple in which they trusted ? In the absence of all credible testimony as to the fact, it may be allowed us to make these inquiries relative to the probable motive which could have led to the alleged transaction.t
• Vide Gibbon, e. 23, who refers to Jerome' and Tillemont, the historians of the miraculous discovery of the Cross, &c. &c.; legends attested by the same authorities.
+ Dio Cassius (as quoted by Dr. Clarke) affirms, that ' in the When Jerusalem fell, we have reason to believe that no Christians were among the victims. So complete was the destruction, that a ploughshare was drawn over the site of the Temple. Amid the total desolation, who was to conduct the Imperial Heathen through the labyrinth of ruins, to shew him where the Cross of the Galilean stood ? Few of the eye-witnesses of those transactions survived the catastrophe of the city. To the spots in question, the Jew would attach no interest. And with what feelings must they have been regarded by the early Christians ? Can we imagine St. Peter, or St. John, or Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, rearing a votive temple over the very site where their Divine Master was publicly executed, or fondly lingering near that accursed spot, and carefully banding down the tradition of its precise locality? Would they have even sanctioned the topographical curiosity which should bave led persons to seek out those precise localities, or the superstition which should have annexed the idea of superior efficacy to devotions offered there? We judge not. Attached as the Apostles naturally were as Jews to the holy city, more especially to the Temple, their keen remembrance of the horrors of the past, and their knowledge of the impending vengeance which darkened the future, must effectually have precluded that local attachment from becoming a source of complacent feeling. The instructions of their Master, too, had taught them, that no circumstantial sanctity was henceforth to be attached to any place, however favoured. And when St. Paul says, “ Yea, though we bave known Christ after the
flesh, yet now benceforth we know him no more," he must, we think, be understood as iipplying, that all the associations which related to Christ merely as a man, were to be discarded from the mind of the Christian, as having no connexion with that love of the Saviour which is the only effective religious principle. The truth of this sentiment could not be more strikingly illustrated, than by the total destitution of moral principle which
• place where the temple of God had been, Adrian erected one to • Jupiter.' May not this have led to the mistake, that an image of Jupiter was erected over the site of the holy sepulchre ? Dr. Clarke supposes that the accidental fissure in the rock might lead the Empress Helena to fix on the spot now called Calvary, as tlie site of the Crucifixion. The mode resorted to for discovering the Cross, by inflicting tortures on the Jews, and the miracle which distinguished the true Cross from the other two, which are parts of the tale, betray the wretched ignorance and superstition of the principal agents in those transactions. Of the transformation of Pagan edifices into Christian temples, later times furnish us with abundant instances. This economical arrangement might have been adopted by Helena, and the legend would be easily adapted to the locality.
is found the usual concomitant of the will-worship of the Romish devotee. The question is not, what might have been the natural feelings of the disciples as men, but, what would be the operation of their religious attachment to the person of their ascended Lord, after their minds had become enlightened into the spirituality of his kingdom. If the reverence for the holy places,' be pot of a devotional character, if it be resolved into merely natural principles, such as may alike actuate the pious and the profligate, it has clearly no religious tendency, nor any other than a purely accidental connexion with the religion of Christ. That this is the case, the history of the Crusades and the annals of modern Jerusalem fully evince. Nor can we imagine that the total destruction of the ancient city would have been permitted by Divine Providence, had it been designed that the scenes of our Saviour's passion should attract the religious homage of true Christians, as having a permanent and efficacious sanctity.
If any local attachment to the scenes of our Lord's sufferings, or any disposition to linger in Jerusalem, was cherished by the first Christians up to the time of their final abandonment of the city previously to its overthrow, after that event, they could have bad no inducement to come back and build among its embers. The voice which warned them to depart from the devoted city, might almost seem to interdict their return. It was pot for them to attempt to reverse the sentence of their Divine Master, which had consigned it to destruction, or to attempt to repair what the Almighty vengeance bad overthrown, or to choose as their last abode the guiltiest spot under heaven, and that which lay the most visibly under the anathema of God, from which He had in an emphatic sense departed.
It is not then enough to say, that the imbecile mummeries of Romish superstition receive no countenance from Scripture; that Scripture is, we might almost say, purposely indefinite or silent about the precise spots designated by Tradition as holy; and that neither Apostolic precept nor precedent can be adduced in favour of the fanaticism which has led to pilgrimages and crusades. These could have originated only at a time when Christianity had already become transmuted into a system of ritual observances and human traditions; when faith was devoid of spirituality, ignorance was the parent of devotion, and every erime bad, in some penal or pecuniary exaction," its fixed price and compensation. And if there is a spot on earth where this corruption and debasement of the religion of Christ, visibly, exhibited in the form of idolatrous fanaticism, on any other, offensive to God, or ought more peculiarly to excite the shame and indignation of man, that spot is Jerusalem.
Objections to the site of the Holy Sepulchre and of Calvary, are of very early date, and Quaresmius undertook to answer them.
can be, more than
One of these very ancient and very reasonable objections, we are told, was this, that the original sepulchre was an excavation, whereas the present is a building. This is adipitted to be true of the exterior of the sepulchre, that is, of all that the pilgrim is permitted to see, but the real rock is said to be within the casing of masonry!! Leaving these disgusting munnmeries, we proceed to notice our Author's observations on the topography of the city, a subject of considerable difficulty and real interest. Our readers are probably aware, that all the maps
and plans of the ancient Jerusalem which illustrate the various learned topographical treatises on its situation and boundaries, are founded on the description of the city given by Josephus, together with the few brief intimations contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. From the Jewish historian we learn, that the city was built upon two opposite bills, which divided it into the upper city or upper market place,' and the lower city. At the valley which divided them, called the Valley of the Cheesemongers, the corresponding rows of houses on both hills ended, so that it would seem, there was an intermediate spaee not built upon. Of these bills, that which contained the upper city, was much higher
and in length more direct.' That which sustained the lower city, was called Acra, and is of the shape of the moon when
she is horned.' Over against this, was a third hill, naturally lower than Acra, and formerly parted from it by a broad valley. On this stood the Temple. But under the Asmonean dynasty, in order to join the city to the Temple, and to preclude its overlooking the sacred edifice, the top of Acra was taken off so as to reduce its elevation, and the valley filled up. There is no ambiguity in the eastern boundaries of the city; these are defined by the valley of Kedron, which separates it from the Mount of Olives. 'The western boundary is not less determinate, being marked out by the natural elevation of the ground. On the North, according to D'Anville, “ the royal sepulchres, falsely
called the tombs of the kings, and with great shew of pro
bability identified with that of Helena, Queen of Adiabene, forms • the utmost limit of the city that way. The principal difficulty respects the southern boundary and the identity of Mount Zion, which name is now given to the southern part of the hill on wbich the present Jerusalem is built.
In the forty eighth Psalm, there is a reference to the local situation and aspect of Mount Zion, which has abundantly exercised the ingenuity of commentators : 66 Beautiful for situ“ ation is the joy of the whole earth, Mount Zion, on the sides
of the North, the city of the great king.” Mr. Buckingham considers this as a positive authority for fixing Mount Zion on the South of Jerusalem; but he does not tell his readers