Page images
PDF
EPUB

A DOMESTIC SCENE.

Yes, here was Gethsemane, that sacred spot wet with the tears and blood of the Son of God,—the scene of more than an earthly contest. Never did I read with more feeling, or join more heartily in the prayer which they express, the beautiful verses of Keble, than when from the top of Olivet I looked down upon Mount Zion, and the clustering objects of interest between it and myself.“Ye vaulted cells where martyr'd seers of old

Far in the rocky walls of Sion sleep, Green terraces and arched fountains cold,

Where lies the cypress shade so still and deep, Dear sacred haunts of glory and of woe, Help us one hour, to trace his musings high and

'Twas early day, and sunlight streamed

Soft through a quiet room,
That hushed, but not forsaken seemed,

Still, but with nought of gloom.
For there, secure in happy age,

Whose hope is from above,
A father communed with the page

Of heaven-recorded love..
Pure fell the beam and meekly bright

On his gray holy hair,
And touched the book with tenderest light,

As if its shrine were there.
But, oh, that patriarch's aspect shone

With something lovelier far;
A radiance all the spirit's own,

Caught not from sun or star.
Some word of life e'en then had met

His calm benignant eye,
Some ancient promise breathing yet

Of immortality.
Some heart's deep language, where the glow

Of quenchless faith survives ;
For every feature said, “I know

That my Redeemer lives.”
And silent stood his children by,

Hushing their very breath,
Before the solemn sanctity

low : One heart-ennobling hour! It may not be : Th’unearthly thoughts have pass'd from earth

away,
And fast as evening sunbeams from the sea

Thy footsteps all in Sion's deep decay
Were blotted from the holy ground: yet dear
Is every stone of hers; for Thou wast surely here.
There is a spot within this sacred dale
That felt Thee kneeling, touch'd thy prostrate

brow.
One angel knows it. O might prayer avail

To win that knowledge! sure each holy vow
Less quickly from th' unstable soul would fade,
Offer'd where Christ in agony was laid.
Might tears of ours once mingle with the blood

Ťbat from His aching brow by moonlight fell,
Over the mournfuljoy our thoughts would brood,

Till they had fram’d within a guardian spell
To chase repining fancies, as they rise,
Like birds of evil wing, to mar our sacrifice.”

Of thoughts o'ersweeping death.
Silent, yet did not each

young

heart
With love and reverence melt;
Oh biest be those fair girls, and blest
That home where God is felt.

Mrs. Hemans.

Guilt, thongh it may attain temporal splendour, can never confer real happiness; the evil consequences of our crimes long survive their comnis. sion, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, for ever baunt the steps of the malefactor; while the paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace.

Sir Walter Scott.

#os

The lives of most are misspent for want of a certain end of their actions: wherein they do, as unwise archers, shoot away their arrows they know not at what mark. They live only out of the present, not directing themselves and their proceedings to one universal scope: whence they alter upon every change of occasions, and never reach any perfection: neither can do other but continue in uncertainty and end in discomfort. Others aim at one certain mark, but a wrong one. To live without one main and common end, is idleness and folly. To live at a false end, is deceit and loss. True Christian wisdom both shows the end and finds the way; and as cunning politics bave many plots to compass one and the same design by a determined succession, so the wise Christian, failing in the means, yet still fetcheth about to his steady end with constant change of endeavours: such one only lives to purpose, and at last repents not that he hath lived. -Bishop Hall.

Little reliance can be placed upon kind hearts, quick sensibilities, and even devotional feelings, if there is no religious principle to control, and direct and strengthen them. Southey.

The present numbercommences the seventh qnar. ter of the MALTA PENNY MAGAZINE, Subscribers sending the 13 numbers of the sixth quarter complete, marked with their name, to No. 97 Str. Forni, may receive thein again made up in a cover, after Easter.

MALTA PENNY MAGAZINE.

No. 83. & 8.1.

Saturday, 10th, April 1841.

[Price 2d.

In order not to divide the article on Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre two numbers of the malTA PENNY MAGAZINE are this week issued, and none will appear on Saturday

next.

CALVARY AND THE CHURCH OF THE

HOLY SEPULCHRE.

of a rock," instead of which the modern sepulchre is a building of comparatively mo

dern date, and stands above ground. The spot now called Calvary forms part

The following summary arguments I have of the site of the church of the Holy Sepul- extracted chiefly from Mr. Taylor's elabochre, situate towards the north-west of Je

rate reply, in which he has displayed much rusalem, at the first remove from the ingenuity and acumen. northern wall, supposing the city to be

1. divided into three equal portions from north to south. Its situation between the eastern

The name Golgotha - Calvary -- the and western wall is about midway, and as

place of a skull-given to the scene of our

Saviour's crucifixion by the Evangelists, respects the church constitutes a lateral wing projecting towards the south. As the

does not necessarily signify, “a place of objections which were long since urged sepulture, or a public cemetery. against the identity of the present Calvary ways used in the singular,—"the place of with the place of our Saviour's crucifixion

a skull," which would have been an improand sepulture have lately been renewed by

per designation for a place of many skulls. men of talent and research, an examination

The language of Luke, however, places it into their weight and validity will not be beyond doubt that skull was the proper thought either useless or uninteresting by

name of the place. Without mentioning such as love the truth and seek to attain it Golgotha, he writes: xal 8te årenoov tre in things of minor as well as in things of | τον τόπον καλούμενον κρανίον-«and when paramount importance. The principal ob- they were come to a place called skull.jections may be summed up as follows:

ch. xxiii. 33. Whence it is probable that (L.) All the Evangelists agree in represent

this appellation was given from the peculiar ing the place of crucifixion as “ the place form of the place, and not from any purof a skull,” i. e. a public cemetery, whereas

pose to which it was devoted. the present site of Cavalry does not exhi

II. bit any signs to entitle it to such an appellation. (2.) The place called “Golgotha,” The second objection is founded upon or “Calvary,” was a mount or hill, of which a wrong hypothesis, for whereas the objectthe place now exhibited under this name or argues that the present site has no aphas not the slightest appearance. (3.) The pearance of a mount, I would ask upon sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea, in which what authority he holds that Calvary was our Saviour was laid, was a tomb “cut out such. The Evangelists uniformly speak of it as the “place (tótov) called Calvary,” | Melou.) It is inferred, here, that what is renbut nowhere say that it was a mount. dered monument implies a kind of frontispiece, Whence, then, can this expression have ori- or ornamental door-way. Neither of the ginated, or how could it have been so im. other evangelists uses more than one term plicitly received, but from the fact that the-the monument. The nature of this will present site does in reality exhibit the ap- justify a closer inspection of it. pearance of a mount, as well as that parti- The Evangelist Matthew says this monucular form from which it derived its name? ment was thatoon tsv šv ty nétpg, cut out To obtain a clear idea of mount Calvary, hollowed outscouped out of the rock, which we must imagine a rising, now about fifteen

formed the substratum of the soil; while feet higb, ascended by two flights, the first

his other term (tápos) intends the external containing ten, and the second eight stairs, hillock, or mound-like form of the rock, in all eighteen. These lead up into two rising above the level of the ground. This parallel chapels, one raised a few feet above sepulchre of the “ rich man of Arimathea" the other, in which is shewn the spot where

may be compared to the sepulchres disthe cross of our Saviour, and those of the covered at Telmessus, of which Dr. Clarke two thieves were uplifted.

says: “In such situations are seen excavaIII.

ted chambers, worked with such marvellous

art as to exhibit open façades, porticoes In reply to the last objection, the first with Ionic columns, gates and dours beaustep to be taken is to determine what kind tifully sculptured, on which are carved the of sepulchral edifice was constructed by representations as of embossed iron-work, Joseph of Arimathea. Some having look- bolts and hinges.” It would seem, howed for an excavation in a rock, and nothing ever, that St. Luke's words are not restrictmore, have hastily decided that the presented to any carving of the rock, for the very cannot be the identical sepulchre in which term rendered monument leads us to buildthe Saviour was laid, because it does not ing of some kind prefixed to the rock, or answer this restricted acceptation.

even standing above it. This Evangelist's Matthew uses two words to describe Jo- phrase (ch. xi. 47.) is express to the point; seph's intended place of burial: ch. xxvii. οικοδομείτε τα μνημεία,-ye BUILD the v. 60, he says, he laid the body of Jesus in

MONUMENTS of the prophets, where the term his own new uvnusius (TOMB, Eng. trans.) | build is explícit. "The sepulchre of David -and they rolled a great stone to the door (Acts ii. 29.) was a monument (rynusiov;) toū uvquslov (of the SEPULCHRE, Eng. traps.) not an excavation in the rock of Sion. The - And there were Mary Magdalene, &c. sit- rocks were rent, (Matt. xxviii

. 32.) but the ting over against toū ta pou (the SEPULCHRE, monuments in which the dead were deposiEng, trans.) The rendering of the same ted were opened. word, je vnuelov, both by tomb and sepulchre We conclude, therefore, on the authority is injudicious. Campbell more properly of Matthew, that the intended burial-place continues to each term of the original that of Joseph of Arimathea presented two diswhich he had first chosen to express it in tinctions, a taphos or sepulchre, and a mneEnglish: "he deposited the body in his own meion or monument. monument. — Mary Magdalene, &c. sitting Not unlike is the tomb now shown for over against the sepulchre”—“Command that of the Saviour. It is affirmed to be a that the sepulchre (edv tápov) be guarded." rock encased with building. Sandys calls -“Make the sepulchre (ady tápov) as se- it: "a compact roof of the SOLID ROCK, lined cure as ye can.”—Mary Magdalene, &c. for the most part with white marble.” That went to visit the sepulchre, (cov rápov.) — the encasement may not have been more "Come, see the place where the Lord lay;— than once removed it will not be disputed, they went out from the monument,” (tou jevn for the building over the tomb itself manifests two distinct styles of architecture in the soldiers of Titus, who destroyed every tree formation of the outer and inner arch. in the country around to employ its timber Moreover, if Mr. Hawkin's history of this in the construction of their works, would church be correct, wherein he speaks of He- effectually dismantle the garden of Joseph; quen, Caliph of Egypt, sending Hyaroc to and we cannot from this time reckon, with Jerusalem to raze it to the ground, it would any certainty, on more of its evidence than be no wonder to find that what now covers what was afforded by the chambers cut into the tomb was but a mere shell, and this the rock; and, possibly, the portal, or without

any
reflection

upon

the character monument, annexed to them. of the Empress Helena, who could not fore- At the time of the commotions in Judea, see what the Saracens would do nearly and the siege of Jerusalem, the Christians nine hundred years after her death. of that city retired to Pella beyond the Jor

dan. These must have known well the siSo much for the similarities between the tuation of mount Calvary; nor were they Evangelists' description of the sacred places so long absent as might justify the notion and those appearances which they now pre- that they could forget it when they returnsent; it remains to inquire what proof we ed; or that they were a new generation, have that these localities were accurately and therefore had no previous acquaintance preserved. It is certain that many thou- with it. They were the same persons, the sands of strangers resorted every year to same church officers, with the same bishop Jerusalem for purposes of devotion, who at their head, Simeon son of Cleophas; and would find themselves interested, in a more whether we allow for the time of their abthan ordinary degree, in the transactions sence two years, or five years, or seven which that city had lately witnessed, which years, it is morally impossible that they were of a nature too stupendous to be con- could make any mistake in this matter. Sicealed. The language of Luke (xxiv. 28.) meon lived out the century, and from the plainly imports wonder that so much as á time of his death to the rebellion of the single pilgrim to the holy city could be ig. Jews under Barchochebas, was but thirty norant of the late events; and Paul appeals years—too short a period, certainly, for the to Agrippa's knowledge that “these things successors of Simeon at Jerusalem to lose were not done in a corner.” It is, in short, the knowledge of places adjacent to that impossible, that the natural curiosity of the city. The war ended some time before human mind—to adduce no superior prin

A.D. 140. and from the end of the war we ciple-should be content to undergo the are to consider the emperor and his successfatigues of a long journey to visit Jerusa- ors as intent on establishing his new city, lem, and yet, when there, should refrain Ælia, and on mortifying to the utmost both from visiting the scenes of the late astonish- Jews and Christians, who were generally ing wonders. The apostles were at hand, considered as a sect of the Jews. It is to direct all inquirers; neither James nor worth our while to examine the evidence John could be mistaken; and during more in proof of the continued veneration of the than thirty years the localities would be as- Christians for the holy places, which should certained beyond a doubt, by the participa- properly be divided into two periods: the first tors and the eye-witnesses themselves.- to the time of Adrian's Ælia; the second Though the fact is credible, yet we do not from that time to the days of Constantine. read of any attempt of the rulers of the Jerome, writing to Marcella concerning Jews to obstruct access to them, or to de- this custom, has this remarkable passage: stroy them; but it is likely that they might During the whole time from the ascension he in danger on the breaking out of the of the Lord to the present day, through every Jewish war, (A.D. 66.) and especially on the age as it rolled on, as well bishops, martyrs, circumvallation of Jerusalem, A.D. 10. The and meneminently eloquent inecclesiastical

learning, came to Jerusalem, thinking them- who hated the religion of Christ, filled up selves deficient in religious knowledge, un- the place with a dyke of stones, and built less they adored Christ in those places from in it a temple to Venus, with a figure standwhich the gospel dawn burst from the ing upon it; by which they intended to cross." It is a pleasing reflection that the dissipate all recollection of the holy place.' " leading men in the early Christian communities were thus diligent in acquiring the most Sozomen is more particular. We learn exact information. So we read that Alex- from him that “the Gentiles by whom the ander, bishop of Cappadocia, (A.D. 211.) church was persecuted, in the very infancy going to Jerusalem for the sake of prayer, of Christianity, laboured by every art, and and to visit the sacred places, was chosen in every manner, to abolish it: the holy assistant bishop of that city. This seems place they blocked up with a vast heap of to have been the regular phraseology on stones; and they raised that to a great such occasions; for to this cause Sozomen height, which before had been of considerascribes the visit of Helena to Jerusalem, able depth, as it may now be seen. And, for the sake of prayer, and to visit the sa- moreover, the entire place, as well of the cred places."

resurrection as of Calvary, they surroundThis may properly introduce the second ed by a wall, stripping it of all ornament. period in this history, on which we lay great And first they overlaid the ground with stress;—it is no longer the testimony of stones, then they built a temple of Venus friends, it is the testimony of enemies; it on it, and set up an image of the goddess, is the record of their determination to de- their intention being, that whoever there stroy to their utmost every yestige of the adored Christ, should seem to be worshipgospel of Christ. On that determination ping Venus, so that, in the process of time, we rest our confidence; they could not be the true cause of this worship in this place mistaken; and their endeavours guide our should be forgotten, and that the Christians judgment. Jerome says: "From the time practising this should become also less atof Hadrian to that of the government of tentive to other religious observances; while Constantine, about the space of one hun- the Gentile temple and image worship should dred and eighty years, in the place of the be, on the contrary, established.” And that resurrection was set up an image of Jupi- the evidence of this desecration should not ter; in the rock of the cross a marble statue rest on “monkish historians," Providence of Venus was stationed, to be worshipped has preserved incontestible witnesses in the by the people; the authors of these perse- medals of Adrian, which mark him as the cutions supposing that they should deprive founder of the new city, Ælia, and exhibit us of our faith in the resurrection and the

a temple of Jupiter, another of Venus, and cross, if they could but pollute the holy various other deities, all worshipped in it. places hy idols. Bethlehem, now our most It is evident, that if the rock of Cavalry venerable place, and that of the whole world, and the holy sepulchre were surrounded by of which the Psalmist sings, 'Truth is sprung the same wall, as Sozomen asserts, they out of the earth,' was overshadowed by the could not be far distant from each other; groye of Thammuz, i.e. of Adonis; and in the cave where once the Messiah appeared as an infant, the lover of Venus was loudly This nieets the remaining objection as to the lamented.” This is a general account of contiguity of the holy sepulchre to mount Calvafacts; a few additional hints may be glean

ry. The language of John, too, is decisive upon ed from other writers. Socrates say: "Those

this point: “Now there was in the place (šv TÉTO)

where he was crucified a garden, and in the garden who followed the faith of Christ, after his

a new sepulchre.-There they laid Jesus,” cbap. death, held in great reverence the monu- xix. 41. And he repeats, that the sepulchre was ment of that wonderful work; but those nigh at hand-érrús-close by, adjoining.

« PreviousContinue »