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which brought us out upon the rock of Cavalry, otherwise called Golgotha.* A part of the steps, nineteen in number, run up the sides of the church wall, and are of wood, the remainder are cut into the solid rock. It stands south-east of the sepulchre, and is distant from it about one hundred and ten feet. Its summit is level, and forms a platform forty-seven feet each way, on which is a chapel divided into two compartments, separated from each other by arches. In the inside one, a piece of mosaic work marks out the spot where the nailing on the cross took place. In the outer one, is an altar or marble slab, perforated so that the ancient recipients of the three crosses, and the "rent" in the rock (said to have been made by the earthquake which happened at the sufferings of the God of Nature),† may be seen, but not touched. Of course the sceptical will say, as has been said, that the former was made by the hand of man; but no one has ever contested that the fissure is a natural one, though at what period it was made, may be a matter of uncertainty. But the jus
tification of these details are unimportant to the true Christian pilgrim. An uninterrupted chain of evidence has proved to his entire satisfaction, that this is the site, whereon the humiliation, the trials, and the agonies which were to precede the triumphs of a Redeemer, came to a final close. "Those things which God had showed by the mouth of the prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled," within a few yards from the spot on which we are now standing, first contemplating the acknowledged fact,* and then, forgetful of the locality, absorbed, as it were, in the immensity of its import to the Christian world!
As I before observed the Church contains nothing remarkable either as to sculpture or painting, although it is said (and it is very probable), some valuable pictures once adorned its walls. Perhaps they were sold in a moment of distress, for there is no end to the avanias or forced contributions levied upon them by the local authorities, and upon the most frivolous pretences.
Auctor nominis ejus Christus, Tiberio imperitante, per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat."' (Tacit. Annal. lib. xv. cap. xliv.)
Having completed our inspection of all that is most worthy of remark in this far-famed sanctuary, we retired, and returned to the convent. In our way home, we could not but help regretting that the original founders of this and similar edifices in the Holy Land, in enclosing the hallowed places, the objects of their veneration, were not satisfied with merely affording them protection from the injuries of the weather, and the hands of the profane. Had they been allowed to remain in their primitive state, without any artificial embellishment whatever, there is reason to think that the sceptical would have doubted less; and that those who differ with the present guardians of them in matters of religion, would have more willingly believed in their authenticity. As it is, the over-zeal of the early Christians, by altering the face of nature, erecting altars and consecrating them to divine worship, have unconsciously done more mischief to the real interests of religion, than the ravages of time, or their total obliteration, could have done. This is our view of the matter now, but at the time they erected this expiatory monument on the site of Calvary, it must be borne in mind that there was more unity of feeling
and sentiment amongst Christians, than exists at present. In those days, (about the commencement of the fourth century), by the conversion of Constantine, their long persecuted faith had at length triumphed over the proud superstition of their heathen rulers; and in proportion as they had suffered and watched over in silence, the localities that were connected with the origin of their religion; when once the obstacles to the free worship of the true God was removed, they hastened to erect monuments of a more permanent discription, than what had hitherto marked these sites; and in a style of magnificence worthy of Him, to whom henceforward they were consecrated, by the universal assent of a fervent and grateful people.
Route to Jericho-Bethany-Tomb of Lazarus-Fountain of the Apostles-Scene of the Parable of the Good SamaritanMount of Temptation-Fountain of Elisha-Jericho-Night Scene-The Dead Sea-The Jordan-The Wilderness of Engedi-Return to Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM, Aug. 16.-Although we had as yet seen but little of the Holy City, we were induced to avail ourselves of an opportunity, which this morning presented itself, of visiting the shores of the Dead Sea, the river Jordan, and the very ancient town of Jericho. An expedition to these parts, at all times infested with marauding Arabs, knowing no other right than that of the strongest, is always attended with more or less danger, but particularly when unaccompanied by a military escort; a protection only to be procured by presents to the