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of Caiaphas, the high-priest, where they led away Jesus the night after his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. The place of the Saviour's imprisonment and mocking is here shown, also where the Apostle Peter denied his Lord, when the cock crew, and Peter went out and wept bitterly. Likewise behind the altar, they have a large, rough block of stone, which is said to be the identical stone that was rolled before the door of the Saviour's sepulchre. The pilgrims kiss it with much devotion, and bedew its surface with many tears. Though Protestant travellers, overcome by the emotions of the place and hour, frequently yield implicit belief in all these sacred relics and localities, I am rather inclined to conclude, that for wise reasons, for the most part, they are entirely lost. Yet one cannot but have his faith strengthened, and devotion quickened, by visiting the precise spots where tradition relates that these scenes of the Saviour's mission upon earth were witnessed.
"Entering Zion gate, we now pass the lepers' quarter, a few miserable hovels near the city walls. They live apart by themselves, are outcasts from society, and are obliged always to intermarry with each other. Consequently, not only themselves but their children are all afflicted with this loathsome disease. No sympathy seems extended to them, and they are suffered to live and
die in filth and wretchedness, the most pitiable objects in the world.
"Continuing our walk, we came to the outer walls of the haram or court of the mosque of Omar. Here we examined the immense stones forming the arch discovered by Dr. Robinson, that spanned the valley between Mount Moriah and Mount Zion. They bear marks of great antiquity, and were doubtless connected with the works of Solomon's temple.
"Then passing through the filthy Jewish quarter, we visited the wailing-place of the Jews opposite the large stones of the old temple wall. Here fifteen or sixteen old men and as many women and children, were standing opposite the wall reading the Hebrew prophecies, weeping and wailing over the desolation of Jerusalem, and praying that their long-expected Messiah would come and build again the wastes of Zion. They bowed down with their faces to a hole in the corner of the wall, and as they turned away their eyes were wet with tears, and their faces filled with sorrow and grief. It was indeed an affecting scene, yet I was more than ever impressed with the stubborn unbelief of the Jews, who still reject the Saviour before the very ruins of the temple whose destruction he predicted eighteen hundred years ago.
Returning thence near St. Stephen's gate, we
met with an old Franciscan monk, who walked with us along the 'via dolorosa,' and pointed out the various traditional localities connected with the trial and death of Christ. Here,' said he, 'stood the palace of Pontius Pilate the Roman governor, where the chief-priests and elders of the people led away Jesus bound from the house Caiaphas, and delivered him up to be falsely accused and condemned to death. And when Pilate found no cause of death in him, but would release him and let him go, the multitude cried out, His blood be on us and on our children; crucify him! crucify him!' Just upon our right is the chapel of flagellation, where the soldiers scourged Jesus, arrayed him in scarlet robes, platted a crown of thorns and put it upon his head, spit upon him, and mocked, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' An old arch standing across the street is called Ecce Homo, where Pilate said unto them, as Jesus came forth wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Behold the man! Then he delivered him unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him away, and he went forth bearing his cross. As we walked along this mournful way, 'Here,' said the monk, 'our Saviour cried Salva Mater, and there by that granite column they laid hold upon Simon of Cyrene to bear his cross. This upon our right was the house of Lazarus, and that yonder the palace of
the rich man of whom our Saviour spake in parables.' We then ascended the hill to the churches of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, both included under the same roof. It is a large and imposing edifice, entered from an open court fronted by two broad towers in the semi-gothic style. The centre is crowned by the dome of the Holy Sepulchre, and upon the right rises the smaller dome of Calvary. We first ascended a flight of twentytwo stone steps to the top of Mount Calvary. The floor is laid with marble, and just in front of an altar dedicated to the Virgin, a hole is cut, through which you see where the cross stood, and also a deep rent in the rock underneath made by the earthquake at the crucifixion.
"Descending thence by a long passage and another flight of thirty-one steps, we visited a dark chapel dedicated to St. Helena, where, it is said, the three crosses were found, that of our Saviour and the two thieves who were crucified with him. Upon our return a marble slab is shown to us as the stone on which the body of the Saviour was anointed previous to burial. Then we enter the sepulchre itself under a marble canopy richly decorated with lamps of silver and gold, kept burning night and day. In a small inner chamber stands a marble sarcophagus in which, it is said, our Saviour was laid, and from which he rose from the dead. Two black-veiled nuns entered
just before me, and kissed and bedewed the marble with their tears. It is profoundly reverenced by the Latin and Oriental Christians, though it bears no evidence of being the true sepulchre. In front also stands a small marble block, on which they say the angel sat who announced to the women first visiting the sepulchre the resurrection of our Lord. Upon the right as we came out, the Greeks have a marble pillar fixed in the pavement, surrounded by a railing, which they say occupies the centre of the earth, and marks the precise spot whence the earth was taken, of which Adam was created. In a side-chapel upon the left, the Latins also point out the stone column to which our Saviour was bound, and the block whereon the Roman soldiers cast lots for his vesture. Just behind the sepulchre are likewise shown the tombs of Adam and Joseph of Arimathea, hewn in the natural rock. It is now the time of Easter pilgrimage, and multitudes of devout worshippers are crossing and prostrating themselves before these sacred localities. Such are the absurd and idolatrous superstitions that are believed and perpetuated year after year (through their bishops and priests) by the thousands of pilgrims who visit the churches of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre.
"C. N. R."