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made more public“ the foolishness of the cross.” any separate consecrated buildings which From that time onward till the reign of Con- could be called by the name of churches in stantine there was again a regular succession of the apostolic times, or much later, we scarcely bishops of Gentile origin; and the sacred places supposed would
have been asserted by Roman could not of course have been forgotten.'-vol. ii., pp. 70,
Catholic or Protestant. Tillemont and
Moyle only dispute about a short reign or Dr. Robinson, we think, has done full two in the Roman empire, as to the date of justice to Châteaubriand's statement. He the first, properly called, churches. But acknowledges that it made a deep impression that these premature churches should be on his own mind, though this impression built at or close to Jerusalem itself—in the was again weakened and in part done away, midst of the jealous and hostile Jews-that when he afterwards goes on to admit the they should be built to reproach, as it were, alleged miracles which are said to have ac- the party which was dominant in the city companied the finding of the cross.' Of all till its destruction by the Romans, with their the miracles of Christian history of the same national crime in rejecting the Messiah, and date these are the strangest and most in- ' putting to death the Lord of life'—that the coherent-a fit foundation for the wild church of the Holy Sepulchre should be superstitions which grew out of the worship permitted to confront, as it were, the Temple of the Cross, restored it, after it had been -and though obscure in its lowliness, perlost, to wondering Europe, and multiplied baps in its situation, escape the lynx-eye of it till almost every celebrated church in Jewish fanaticism-to such suppositions no Europe could boast of one of the numberless one surely who has paid the slightest attention fragments, which put together, it has been to Jewish or early Christian history can give said, would make a man-of-war. All testi- any credit. It is purely gratuitous, and not mony after this period, that of Helena and of necessary for his argument, that ChâteauConstantine, is of course entirely irrelevant, briand would guarantee his imaginary holy as no one doubts that the church of the Holy building from ruin, when the remorseless Sepulchre stands on the site of that built by legions of Titus approached Jerusalem on Constantine. Dr. Robinson has been dis- almost every side, desolated all its pleasant passionate, almost to tenderness, in his treat- gardens, villas, and suburbs, battered down ment of this poetic statement. Some of the all its walls, laid every edifice in ashes, and objections he has put well; others, we think, spread the abomination of desolation not are even more forcible than they have ap- merely over the holy places, but over the peared to him. Every one must admit that whole city and its immediate neighbourhood. the early Christians (the earliest) must have It would have required a standing miracle to had a knowledge of the places where the protect the Christian sanctuaries from the Lord was crucified and buried,'— but of any general devastation. The Christians thempeculiar sanctity attached to these places selves, it is well known, had withdrawn there is not, as our author rightly observes, before the fall of the city to Pella; and it the slightest vestige in the writings of the seems very probable that by this retreat the New Testament, neither in the Gospels, nor accurate recollection of definite localities the writings of the Apostles. On the con- was for ever cut off. When they returned, trary, the whole tenour of our Lord's teaching, or how they returned, how soon any conflux and that of Paul's, and indeed every part of of inhabitants drew together amid the desothe New Testament, was directed to draw late walls of Jerusalem and formed a town off the minds of men from an attachment to around the Roman garrison, which continued particular times and places, and to lead the for a time to occupy the only buildings true worshippers to worship God, not merely which were allowed to stand, the three towers at Jerusalem or in Mount Gerizim, but of Herod's palace—on these points Jewish everywhere, “in spirit and in truth.”! Still, and Christian history are alike silent. It is however, the human heart is strong, and, by no means certain how far Jerusalem al· resisting in this as well as in many weightier ready existed as a city when Hadrian promatters the influence of pure and spiritual claimed his determination to occupy the site Christianity, it would refuse to detach its with a Roman colony. If we are to trust reverence from places thus sanctified by the the fullest authority (except that of the Rabpresence, by the sufferings, by the resurrection bins), the passage in Dion Cassius (or rather of the Redeemer-it would cling in fond Xiphilin), it was the announcement of this reminiscence to the spot, and in peaceful resolution of the Roman emperor which led times point out to succeeding generations to the last Jewish war under Barcochba those hallowed scenes. But the next step in (Barchochebas). Then it was that the insurthe tradition is a bold one-that they had gent Jews seized and fortified the city. The
expression of Xiphilin would rather lead us to Hadrian to insult them in those points of suppose that it was a vacant site, only occu- their belief, or in those reverential feelings pied by ruins, which Hadrian destined for which were purely Christian--nothing to his new city.
suggest an hatred to Christianity, which is The succession of the fifteen -not thirteen betrayed in no other act of his government. --bishops of Jerusalem is given by Eusebius Those, indeed, who are determined to adhere (as Dr. Robinson observes) with much un- to this legend will show their prudence if certainty ; he could find no written record of they throw over all the later embellishments their names, and Eusebius wrote two centu- (for it is only Jerome and the ecclesiastical ries later. There is another difficulty about historians of the fifth century who ascribe this list. If we are to trust Eusebius himself this work to Hadrian), and retreat upon the For rather his authority, Hegesippus- vaguer language of Eusebius, the earliest Simeon, the second bishop, suffered martyr- witness to the story. But even this will dom under Trajannot earlier probably than hardly avail against the following observations 1. D. 104. The other thirteen bishops must of Dr. Robinson :have succeeded in little more than twenty years. Eusebius might well say that they stantine himselt seems strongly to imply that
“The language both of Eusebius and of Conwere short-lived. But of all the improbable no such foriner tradition could have been extant. circumstances connected with this tradition, Eusebius relates, in speaking of the place of the the part assigned to the Emperor Hadrian is resurrection, that "hitherto impious men, or the least reconcileable with history. Hadrian rather the whole race of demons through their showed no especial hostility to Christianity; instrumentality, had made every effort to deliver his erection of a temple to Jupiter on Mount to darkness and oblivion.” They had covered
over that illustrious monument of immortality Moriah was an act of deliberate insult against it with earth, and erected over it a temple of the Jews for their rebellious insurrections Venus; and it was this spot, thus desecrated during the latter part of the reign of Trajan and wholly "given over to forgetfulness and and the commencement of his own; an oblivion,” that the emperor," not without a attempt to repress that dangerous fanaticism divine intimation, but moved in spirit by the which had broken out into acts not merely
Saviour himself,” ordered to be purified and of revolt against the majesty of the Roman adorned with splendid buildings. Such lanempire, but of unexampled atrocity. The guage, certainly, would hardly be appropriate
in speaking of a spot well known and definitely mildest sovereign might have been roused to marked by long tradition. The emperor, too, vengeance by the suspicious movements in in his letter to Macarius, regards the discovery Mesopotamia in the time of Trajan—the of “ the token of the Saviour's most sacred pashideous massacres in Egypt, Libya, and Cy- sion, which for so long a time had been hidden prus--and, finally, by the fierce and san
under ground," as "a miracle beyond the capaguinary insurrection in Judea when Bar- comprehend." The mere removal of obstruc
city of man sufficiently to celebrate or even to, cochba had seized Jerusalem, issued coins tions from a well-known spot could hardly have with the royal title, and had proclaimed been described as a miracle so stupendous. In. himself, and had been acknowledged by the deed the whole tenour of the language both of most influential of the Rabbins, to be the Eusebius and Constantine goes to show that the promised Messiah. But, however, in general discovery of the holy sepulchre was held to be the line of demarcation between the Jews the result, not of a previous knowledge derived and the Christians, especially the Judaizing tion and revelation.'-vol. ii., pp. 74, 75.
from tradition, but of a supernatural interposiChristians, may not yet have been clear and distinct
, it was known that in this insurrection After all, if the stern voice of truth will the tter body had taken no part; they awaken us from our pleasing visions as to could not in any insurrection, according to the sanctity of these particular spots—if the the vital and still effective principles of their spell which attached us to the fancied Gol. religion-above all, they could not, in an gotha and the imagined place of our Lord's insurrection which shook the very founda- burial be broken--is there much lost to the tions of their faith and rose under the banners devout Christian ? If we would yield to of another Messiah. In fact, the Christians the sacer admonitus locorum ;' if we would at this period were objects of relentless per- indulge the natural and indelible, and theresecution by the rebellious Jews, on account fore assuredly to the severest puritanism, or of their refusal to make common cause with the most refined spirituality, excusable affecthem. However, then, the Judaizing Chris- tions of the human heart; if we would tians may have been indirectly affected by strengthen our faith and deepen our love by some of the stern imperial enactments against wandering over scenes which have witnessed the Jews, the prohibition, for instance, of events so inestimably important to our temcircumcision, there was nothing to induce poral and eternal happiness, this is the sole
difference :-instead of concentrating all our heart and mind; it is the picture which arises reverential feelings on some few particular out of the records themselves, which groups and and ill-authenticated spots, we diffuse them harmonizes itself into form and vitality. At more equably throughout the whole region; all events, the student of the gospels, who is instead of resting on impressions, liable to be full of every minute incident of the narradisturbed by doubt and chilled by uncertain- tive, would be disturbed rather than edified ty, we draw them, as it were, from the whole by any view of the localities of those scenes soil of the Holy City, we inhale them from which would not accord with his well-groundthe whole atmosphere. We cannot pointed prepossessions; every incongruity would to the precise spots which were hallowed by jar upon his high-wrought religious feeling; the footsteps of the Redeemer ; we know not doubt would creep over his ardent emotions, the exact position of his cross; we have no and he would thus strongly exemplify that distinct evidence where they have laid him fatal but inevitable effect of pious fraud, or, if in his burial.' But all Jerusalem and its ad- not of fraud, of long superstition : it may
work jacent fields are our Golgotha, our Holy its object with generations of believers, but Sepulchre ; the presence of Christ is every- the time must at length come when it will where; one' via dolorosa' passes through and injure, often most seriously, the cause which encircles all the city, every rock-hewn it wished to serve. sepulchre suggests the angelic assurance Among the excursions which our travel
He is not here, he is risen. in the inci- lers made from Jerusalem, the most interestdents, indeed, of our Lord's latter days there ing was that to the shores of the Red Sea. appears to us that peculiarity which, if we Their description of the Western Desert is may so speak, sets them above the aid of spe- very good, and it is remarkable how many cial local association : they are in themselves names, familiar to us in the Scripture, live so real that they do not require that realiza- either in the popular names of places, or in tion which strengthens our faith in the va- those which have been preserved by the guer and more indistinct wonders, especially Arabs, with but slight alteration. At one of the older Scriptures. It is singular how spot" in the mountains of Judea” we could totally regardless the evangelic narratives are enumerate before us not less than nine places, of anything which might lead to local remi- still bearing apparently their ancient names; niscence. Those places or buildings which Maon (Main), Carmel (Kurmul), Ziph (Zit), are incidentally mentioned, and which we Jutta (Yutta), Jatta’r (Attir), Socoh (Shuweimay call historical, are presumed to be suffi- keh, or Shaukeh), Anâb, Eshtemoa (Semùa), ciently known by their usual appellations, and “ Kirjath Arba,” which is Hebron. Be. the High Priest's House, the Hall of Pilate. sides these we find Tekua (Tekoa), and Ain So, we are simply told, that, they led him Jidy (Engedi). At the Frank Mountain away to crucify him;' but whether to the Dr. Robinson places, with great probability, east or the west, the north or the south, by the Herodium, the strong fortress which what streets, or through what gate--there is Herod the Great kept, as it were, as a secure not a single word. Whether Golgotha or place of refuge, in case of insurrection against Calvary was the ordinary place of execution, his tyranny ; and which, to guard his mortal we can only conjecture by remote inference. remains against the hatred of his groaning It has been supposed to be on a hill, as the subjects, he chose for his burial-place. It painful toil with which kneeling pilgrims would scarcely be just to the authors of a book wind up the Mont Calvaire, near many Ro- of travels, in a country not merely unrivalman Catholic cities of Europe, may witness ; led as to associations and reminiscences, but but in the gospels there is no expression which in itself in many parts highly romantic and intimates ascent. The weight of the cross picturesque, not to give some illustration of is not aggravated, nor the inability of our their powers of description. Our readers Lord to bear it heightened by any allusion to must not, however, expect any of the glowthe difficulty of the way. The only point ing and poetic paintings of Lamartine ; theirs descriptive of the sepulchre is, that it was are good, plain, and prosaic, but therefore near the place of crucifixion ; yet with all more trustworthy accounts of what they saw. this how clear and distinct the whole scene Our travellers were approaching the Dead lies before the imagination! It is not fami- Sea, by Engedi. liarity with paintings of the crucifixion, or of the angel standing before the rock-hewn
* For the last two or three hours of the way, tomb, which makes the whole live before us;
we had been subjected to continual disappointit is the inbred truthfulness of the history it- obiain some glimpse of the sea, and to arrive at
At every moment we had expected to self in its unlaboured simplicity ; it is its own the shore nearly upon a level with its waters. unassisted evidence which fixes it upon the But the way ai every step seemed longer and
longer ; and it was now only after nearly seven chain ; at the head of which Kerak with its cas. hours of travel that we arrived at the brow of tle was visible, situated on a high precipitous the pass. Turning aside a few steps to what rock far up near the summit of the mountains. seemed a small knoll upon our right, we found Opposite to us was Wady el-Mojib; and further ourselves on the summit of a perpendicular cliff north, Wady ez-Zurka. At the foot of these overhanging 'Ain Jidy and the sea, at least 1,500 mountains there is a passage along the eastern feet above its waters. The Dead Sea lay be shore for the whole distance on the south of the fore us in its vast deep chasm, shut in on both peninsula, but further to the north this would sides by ranges of precipitous mountains; their seem to be impossible. From the spot where bases sometimes jutting out into the water, and we stood, the line of the western cliffs ran in again retreating so as to leave a narrow strip of the direction about S. by W. 1 W., with a passhore below. The view included the whole sage along the shore all the way south of 'Ain southern half of the sea, quite to its extremity; Jidy. At nearly one-half the distance towards and also, as we afterwards found, the greater Usdum, just south of Wady es-Seyal, the next portion of the northern half; although the still beyond the Khubarah, a ruin was pointed out on higher projecting cliff, el-Mersed, intervened on a high pyramidal cliff, rising precipitously from our left, to prevent our seeing the extremity of the sea, to which our guides gave the name of the sea in that direction.
Sebbeh. One feature of the sea struck us immediately, • The features now described, together with which was unexpected to us, viz.; the number the flat shores, give to the whole southern part of shoal-like points and peninsulas which run of the sea the appearance, not of a broad sheet out into its southern part, appearing at first of water, but rather of a long winding bay, or sight like flat sand-banks or islands. Below us the estuary of a large river, when the tide is out on the south were two such projecting banks on and the shoals left dry. Only a comparatively the western shore, composed probably of pebbles narrow channel remained covered with water. and gravel, extending out into the sea for a con- This channel of the sea (so to speak) is in some siderable distance. The larger and more im- parts quite narrow, and winds very much. Beportant of these is on the south of the spot call-tween the point of the western shoal and the ed Birket el-Khúlil, a little bay or indentation peninsula, the distance cannot certainly be more in the western precipice, where the water, flow-than one-fourth or one-sixth of the whole breadth ing into shallow basins when it is high, evapo- of the sea, if so much. The direction of the perates, and deposits salt. This spot is just south ninsula, and then that of Usdum, causes the of the mouth of Wady el-Khubarah. Opposite channel apparently to sweep round first towards to this, nearly in the middle of the sea, is a long the west and afterwards towards the east, give low narrow bank, also apparently composed of ing to this portion of the sea a very irregular pebbles and gravel, running from N. E. to S. W., form. Our Arabs, both the Ta'amirah and and joined towards the south end to the eastern Rashaideh, knew of no place where the sea shore by an isthmus of some breadth. This could be forded. As we looked down upon it long peninsula extends towards the south beyond from this lofty spot, its waters appeared decidedthe western shoal or point above described; so ly green, as if stagnant, though we afterwards that from the point where we now stood, they saw nothing of this appearance from below. A seemed to interlock, and we saw the end of the slight ripple was upon its bosom, and a line of peninsula across the point of the shoal. froth was seen along and near the shore, which
* Towards the southern extremity of the sea looked like a crust of salt.’-vol. ii., pp. 204-208. a long low mountain was seen running out obliquely towards the S. S. E., extending from
Our travellers made a second visit to the near the western cliffs apparently to the middle Dead Sea, on their way from Hebron to of the Ghór. This our Arabs called Hajr Us- Wady Musa, and the ruins of Petra. We dum, “Stone of Sodom;" and said it was com- shall throw together some of their more imposed wholly of rock-salt, too bitter to be fit for portant observations during these two excurcooking, and only used sometimes as a medicine for sheep. The sea washes the base of this sions. One of the most remarkable circummountain, and terminates opposite to its S. E. stances relating to the lake itself, and to the extremity as here seen; though, as we were still whole ghor, or valley, is its singular depresunacquainted with the features of that region, sion. It is differently given at 500 and 598 the water seemed to us to extend further south feet below the level of the sea. The whole and to wind around the end of the mountain. declivity of the desert, and the high and steep This appearance, as we afterwards found, must descent to the shores of the sea, confirmed have arisen from the wet and slimy surface of the ground in that part: which, by reflecting the this casual discovery. We understand that rays of the sun, presented the optical illusion a report of observations by our lamented of a large tract of water, and deceived us as to countryman Sir David Wilkie, has been made the extent of the sea in that direction.
to the Geographical Society of London, in• The mountains on both sides of the sea are teresting not merely for their results, but as everywhere precipitous; those on the east were coming from that quarter. But this singular now very distinct, and obviously much higher at some distance from the shore than those upon before alluded to, the flow of the southern
fact, in connection with that-wbich we have the west. Across the isthmus of the low peninsula towards the S. E. we could look up along and western watercourses towards the Dead a straight ravine descending from the eastern Sea, is fatal to the hypothesis, which carried
the waters of the Jordan along the Ghôr, in Dr. Robinson, with former writers, conan uninterrupted channel down to the Red nects the slime-pits (the bitumen-pits, Gen. Sea, until the terrific convulsion which for xiv. 10 ) with the general formation of the the first time spread them in a stagnant and district, and supposes that there were large fetid lake, without any outlet, over the cities courses or layers of bitumen, which are now of the plain. The theory of our author re- covered by the sea, and detaching themlating to the physical agencies employed in selves in masses, rise and float upon the that awful catastrophe is so moulded up with heavy water:his observations, that we cannot well detach them from each other. We must be under 'The country, we know, is subject to earth
quakes; and exhibits also frequent traces of volstood, however, as in no way pledging our
canic action. In the whole region around the selves for his views, especially for his ge- Lake of Tiberias these traces are decided; and ology. The traces of volcanic agency, we at a short distance N. W. of Safed we afterhave been informed, are denied by high and wards came upon the crater of an extinguished quite recent authorities. Dr. Robinson in- volcano. It would have been no uncommon efdeed coincides to a certain extent with the fect of either of these causes to heave up the views of former writers, but instead of
bottom of the ancient lake, and thus produce the
supposing that the Dead Sea did not exist pre- account of the destruction of the cities implies
But the historical
phenomenon in question. vious to this convulsion, he thinks there are also the agency of fire: “ The Lord rained upon manifest indications that, from that period, it Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from spread much farther to the south, and covered the Lord out of heaven ;” and Abraham too with its outpouring waters the plain on which“ beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went the cities stood, as well as the cities them- up as the smoke of a furnace.” Perhaps both selves.
causes were at work: for volcanic action and
earthquakes go hand in hand; and the accom• It seems also to be a necessary conclusion panying electric discharges usually cause lightthat the Dead Sea anciently covered a less ex- nings to play and thunders to roll. In this way tent of surface than at present. The cities we have all the phenomena which the most litwhich were destroyed must have been situated eral interpretation of the sacred records can on the south of the lake as it then existed; for demand. Lot fled to Zoar, which was near to Sodom; Further, if we may suppose that before this and Zoar, as we have seen, lay almost at catastrophe the bitumen had become accumu. the southern end of the present sea, probably 'lated around the sources, and had perhaps, formin the mouth of Wady Kerak as it opens upon ed strata spreading for some distance upon the the isthmus of the peninsula. The fertile plain, plain; that, possibly, these strata in some parts therefore, which Lot chose for himself, where extended under the soil, and might thus easily Sodom was situated, and which was well wa- approach the vicinity of the cities; if, indeed, tered, like the land of Egypt, lay also south of we might suppose all this, then the kindling of the lake, “as thou comest unto Zoar.” Even to such a mass of combustible materials, through the present day more living streams flow into volcanic action or by lightning from heaven, the Ghor at the south end of the sea, from Wa- would cause a confiagration sufficient not only dys of the eastern mountains, than are to be to ingulf the cities, but also to destroy the surfound so near together in all Palestine; and the face of the plain, so that “the smoke of the tract, although now mostly desert, is still better country would go up as the smoke of a furnace;" watered through these streams and by the many and, the sea rushing in, would convert it to a fountains, than any other district throughout the tract of waters. The supposition of the accuwhole country.
The remarkable con- mulation of bitumen may at first appear extravafiguration of the southern part of the Dead Sea I gant, but the hypothesis requires nothing more have already described ;- the long and singular (and even less) than nature herself actually peninsula connected with the eastern shore by a presents to our view in the wonderful lake or broad low neck; the bay extending up further iract of bitumen found on the island of Trinidad. south, in many paris very shallow, and the low The subsequent barrenness of the rema flat shores beyond, over which the lake, when portion of the plain is readily accounted for by swollen by the rains of winter, sets up for several the presence of such masses of fossil salt, which, miles. Indeed the whole of this part of the perhaps, were brought to light only at the same sea, as I have said, as seen from the western time.'--vol. ii., pp. 604-606. mountains, resembles much the winding estuary of a large American river, when the tide is out Dr. Robinson quotes a letter, illustrative of and the shoals left dry. I have also related the his view, but worded with truly philosophic sudden appearance of masses of asphaltum caution, from the celebrated geologist
, Leofloating in the sea, which seems to occur at the present day only rarely and immediately after pold von Buch. We cannot but connect earthquakes; and also, so far as the Arabs knew, with his statement the curious account of the only in the southern part of the sea. The hill of salt, which our travellers examined character of the shores, the long mountain of with much care :fossil salt, and the various mineral productions have also been described.'- vol. ii., pp. 602-604. I • Beyond this, the ridge of Usdum begins to