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of the Patriarchs-Bazars- Sepulchres of the Kings their real History --- Mosque OF OMAR- Existing evidence of Julian's discomfiture, Observations of Mosheim and MoyleGreek and Armenian Convents- State of Politics in Jerusalem.
Perhaps it may now be manifest, that so far from deriving accurate notions of the topography and antiquities of Jerusalem from the descriptions of former writers, these objects really remain for future investigation. If, during an endeavour to remove existing prejudices, and to excite a due contempt for Monkish errors, the subject seems rather perplexed than elucidated, it is because, in the subversion of a fabric raised by Ignorance and Superstition, its parts must necessarily lie scattered and confused. The materials have been falsely put together, but they are genuine ; and others, coming after, will arrange and connect them in a more reasonable
Since the period of the author's visit to Jerusalem, the building which had received the appellation of the Church of Mount Calvary has been destroyed by fire. In all probability it will now be seen, that what was called the Holy Sepulchre was a mere delusion-a Monkish juggle; that there was, in fact, neither crypt nor soros, resembling a Jewish place of burial, beneath the
dome of that building ; that we must look else. where for the place of our Saviour's Tomb ; and that the city never was so limited in its extent, towards the north-west, as to admit of a wall in that situation. A sepulchre, such as was that of the Messiah, being, of all others, the least liable to injury, would remain in spite of the devouring element. It is, perhaps, not impossible to develope the true cause of the selection made by Helena, in fixing upon that spot as the place of crucifixion. Persons who have been accustomed to compare the manners of different countries, must be well aware how general the practice is, among all nations, of connecting with a Lusus Naturæ, or any extraordinary physical appearance, some wild and superstitious fantasy. Thus in the similitude of a hand in the surface of a rock, as at Nazareth'; of a foot, as at the Mount of Olives® ; any remarkable shape in a log of wood, as in the Palladium of antient Ilium" ;
(1) See Chap. IV. of this volume, p. 178.
(3) The Palladium, like many other of the antient idols of Greece, was, according to some authors, nothing more than a piece of wood, of an extraordinary form. Heyné, in his Excursus, says that the Palladium and the Penates were lignea. See also Ovid's account of the preservation of the Palladium by Metellus, when the Capitol was on
the places venerated by Laplanders“, and the CHAP. idols worshipped by the Chinese”; in short, in every country of the earth where uncultivated man is found, Fear, the parent of Superstition, has pointed out objects of adoration, or multiplied articles of faith. The state of human intellect is not less degraded among Christians of the Holy Land, making prostrations and processions before stocks and rootso, than among the forlorn worshippers of Thor, the loggerheaded idol of Northern nations. Such superstitions disgraced
(4) “ Loca quæ Lapponibus sancta erant et religiosa, singulari quâdam et inusitatâ formâ et figurâ a reliquis distinguebantur.” Lemii Comment. de Lappon. fc. p. 442. Hafn. 1767.
(5) In Cuchiung, near to Hangam, there is a great stone, &c. which they cover yearly quite over with gold, and then worship it.” Nieuhoff's Dutch Embassy to China, englished by Ogilby, p. 224. Lond. 1669.
(6) See the account given by Quaresmius of a Lusus Nature found near Jerusalem, to which miraculous powers were ascribed in healing diseases. Also the engraving " CRUCIFIXI EX LILII RADICE, PRODIGIOSA ET NOVA IMAGO.” The representation really excites horror. Speaking of it, he says, “ Mirabilis est virtutis et efficaciæ : illo et enim aqua benedicitur, quæ etiam post annum, etsi in parvo vase recondita, incorrupta ac velut recens è fonte hausta invenitur: febricitantibus feliciter propinatur, qui et sanitatis inde beneficium consequuntur. Ad eum (i. e. possessorem) habentur stationes et processiones, et in quibusvis afflictionum et tribulationum necessitatibus, post Deum, ad illum confluunt fideles, ut ab omni animi et corporis allversitate liberari, et necessariis bonis ditari mereantur." Elucidat. T. S. lib. iv. c. 10. tom. II. p. 18. Antv. 1639.
(7) Thor, or the Thunderer,' of Northern nations, (See Verstegan's Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, p. 75. Lond. 1628.) from whom pur Thor's Day, or Thursday, is derived, is always an image of
wood VOL. IV.
both the Greek and the Catholic churches long after the time of Constantine : and Helena, whether the daughter of a British Prince', or of an inn-keeper at Drepanumo, cannot be supposed to have possessed attainments beyond the age in which she lived, or the circumstances of her origin. That she was amiable,—that she merited, by her virtues, her exalted station, has not been disputed; but her transactions in Palæstine bear the stamp of dotage and infirmity. Few things, considering her sex and the burthen of her years, have occurred more extraordinary than was her journey to the Holy Land, and its consequences. Whatsoever might have been her mental endowments, her bodily energies, at a season of life' when human strength is said to be “but labour and sorrow,” were superior to the weight of age, and to the fatigues of a pilgrimage sufficient to
wood among the Laplanders. The account given of it by Scheffer
“ Filia fuit unius Britanniæ Reguli, Coel nomine.” Quaresmii Eluc. T. S. tom. II. p. 424.
(2) «Την πόλιν Δρέπανον, Ελενόπολιν την μητέρα τιμών, προσηyópeve. Oppidum Drepanum, matrem honorans, Helenopolim adpellavit.” Nicephorus Callistus, lib. vii. c. 49. Paris, 1630.
(3) “ Paulo ante mortem, quam octogesimum ætatis agens oppetebat, stud iter fecit." Theodoret. lib. i. cap. 18. Paris, 1642.
have exhausted the most vigorous youth'. CHAP. Nothing could surpass the zeal with which she visited every spot consecrated by the actions of JESUS CHRIST, and by his Apostles, from the hills of Jerusalem to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and over all Samaria, nor the piety with which she endeavoured to perpetuate the remembrance of the holy places by the monuments she erected. But, after all, the manner in which the identity of any of those places was ascertained seems not less an object of derision, than the gross superstition, founded upon their supposed discovery, has long been of contempt. From the time of Adrian, to that of Constantine, Jerusalem had been possessed by Pagans: Helena arrives, overturns their temples, and prepares to identify the situation of every place connected with our Saviour's history. The first thing to be ascertained is the site of Mount Calvary. An acci . dental fissure in one of the rocks of Jerusalem suggests the idea of a possible consequence
(4) “ Cum ætate recipiens incrementa virtutum, sexu et ætate quidem infirma, sed divinâ virtute promptior et fortior reddita," &c. Quaresm. Elucid. T. S. lib. v. cap. 28. Antv. 1639.
(5) Vid. Nicephor. lib. viii. c. 30. Paris, 1630.
(6) Nicephorus, (ibid.) after enumerating twenty-six churches and chapels built by Helena in the Holy Land, adds, “ Quin et plures ecclesias alias in sanctis illis locis, supra triginta, amantissima Dei foemina Imperatoris mater condidit.”