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of El Makam Souleman, the Place of Solomon. A similar one upon the left is named El Makam Daoud, the Place of David. A cavity or niche on the south-west side of the rock is called El Makam Ibrahim, the Place of Abraham. A similar concave step at the north-west angle is described as El Makam Djibrila, the Place of Gabriel ; and a sort of stone-table at the north-east angle is denominated El Makam el Hoder, the Place of Elias. In the roof of the apartment, exactly in the middle, there is an aperture almost cylindrical through the whole thickness of the rock, about three feet in diameter. This is the Place of the Prophet.
M. Burckhardt observed a copy of the Koran, the leaves of which were four feet long, and more than two feet and a half broad. Tradition reports that it belonged to the Caliph Omar; but he saw a simi. lar one in the grand mosque at Cairo, and another at Mecca, to both of which the same origin is assigned. The drawings supplied by this enterprising traveller give a very distinct notion of the extent and magnificence of the great Mussulman temple, the most prominent object in the modern Jerusalem, and occupying the site of the still more interesting edifice erected by Solomon in the proudest period of Jewish history.
But the Christian pilgrim, who walks about the holy city “ to tell her towers and mark her bulwarks,” is more readily attracted by less splendid objects, the memorials of his own more humble faith. Among these the most remarkable is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is built on the lower part of the sloping hill, distinguished by the name of Acra, near the place where it is joined
to Mount Moriah. The Turkish government, aware of the veneration which all Christians entertain for relics in any way connected with the sufferings of the great Author of their religion, have converted this feeling into a source of revenue; every person not subject to the Sublime Porte, who visits the shrine of Jesus Christ, being compelled to pay a certain sum of money for admittance. But the church, nevertheless, is opened only on particular days of the week, and cannot be seen at any other time without an order from the two convents, the Latin and the Greek, with the sanction of the governor of the city. On such occasions the pressure at the doors is very great ; the zeal of the pilgrims, checked by the insolence of the Turks, who delight to insult and disappoint their anxiety, leading sometimes to scenes of tumult not quite in harmony with their pious motives. We shall give an account of the effect produced by the local and historical associations of the place on a sober spirit, in the words of a traveller to whom we have been already indebted :
“ The mind is not withdrawn from the important concerns of this hallowed spot by any tasteful decorations or dignified display of architecture in its plan or in its walls; but having cleared the throng, the religion of the place is allowed to take full possession of the soul, and the visiter feels as if he were passing into the presence of the great and immaculate Jehovah, and summoned to give an account of the most silent and secret thoughts of his heart. Having passed within these sacred walls, the attention is first directed to a large flat stone in the floor, a little within the door ; it is surrounded by a rail,
and several lamps hang suspended over it. The pilgrims approach it on their knees ; touch and kiss it, and, prostrating themselves before it, offer up their prayers in holy adoration. This is the stone on which the body of our Lord was washed and anointed, and prepared for the tomb. Turning to the left, and proceeding a little forward, we came into a round space immediately under the dome, surrounded with sixteen large columns which support the gallery above. In the centre of this space stands the Holy Sepulchre; it is enclosed in an oblong house, rounded at one end with small arcades, or chapels for prayer, on the outside of it. These are for the Copts, the Abyssinians, the Syrian Mareonites, and other Christians, who are not, like the Roman Catholics, the Greeks, and Armenians, provided with large chapels in the body of the church. At the other end it is squared off and furnished with a platform in front, which is ascended by a flight of steps, having a small parapet-wall of marble on each hand, and floored with the same material. In the middle of this small platform stands a block of polished marble about a foot and a half square; on this stone sat the angel who announced the blessed tidings of the resurrection to Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. Advancing, and taking off our shoes and turbans at the desire of the keeper, he drew aside the curtain, and stepping down, and bending almost to the ground, we entered by a low narrow door into this mansion of victory, where Christ triumphed over the grave, and disarmed Death of all his terrors. Here the mind looks on Him who, though he knew no sin, yet entered the mansions of the dead to redeem
us from death, and the prayers of a grateful heart ascend with a risen Saviour to the presence of God in heaven.”* .
The tomb exhibited is a sarcophagus of white marble, slightly tinged with blue, being fully six feet long, three feet broad, and two feet two inches deep. It is but indifferently polished, and seems as if it had at one time been exposed to the action of the atmosphere, by which it has been considerably affected. It is without any ornament, made in the Greek fashion, and not like the more ancient tombs of the Jews, which we see cut in the rock for the reception of the dead. There are seven lamps constantly burning over it, the gifts of different sovereigns in a succession of ages. It occupies about one-half of the sepulchral chamber, and extends from one end of it to the other. A space about three feet wide in front of it is all that remains for the accommodation of visiters, so that not more than three or four can be conveniently admitted at a time.
Leaving this hallowed spot, the pilgrim is conducted to the place where our Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene, and next to the Chapel of Apparition, where he presented himself to the Blessed Virgin. The Greeks have an oratory opposite to the Holy Sepulchre, in which they have set up a globe, representing, as they are pleased to imagine, the centre of the earth ; thus transferring from Delphi to Jerusalem the absurd notions of the pagan priests of antiquity relative to the figure of the habitable world. After this he enters a dark narrow stair
* Richardson's Travels, vol ü. p. 321.
case, which, by about twenty steps, carries him to Mount Calvary. “This,” exclaims Dr Richardson, “ is the centre, the grand magnet of the Christian church : from this proceed life and salvation; thi. ther all hearts tend and all eyes are directed ; here kings and queens cast down their crowns, and great men and women part with their ornaments ; at the foot of the cross all are on a level, equally needy and equally welcome.”*
On Calvary is shown the spot where the Redeemer was nailed to the cross, the hole into which the end of it was fixed, and the rent in the rock. All these are covered with marble, perforated in the proper places, so that they may be seen and touched. Near at hand a cross is erected on an elevated part of the ground, and a wooden body stretched upon it in the attitude of suffering. Descending from the Mount the traveller enters the Chapel of St Helena, the mother of Constantine, in which is the vault where the true cross is said to have been found,-an event that continues to be celebrated every year on the 3d of May by an appropriate mass. The place is large enough to contain about thirty or forty individuals, and on that annual solemnity it is usually crowded to the door.
The spirit in which these commemorations are sometimes performed is by no means honourable to the Christian character. An ancient rivalry between the members of the Greek and those of the Roman communion continues to embitter their disputes in regard to their respective privileges and procedure. Maundrell informs us that in his time
* Travels, vol. ii. p. 325.