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over it there is now built a wonderful edifice. And on the east side of the rock of the sepulchre there is a door, by which men enter the sepulchre to pray. And there is a bed within, on which our Lord's body lay, and on the bed stand fifteen golden cups with oil, burning day and night. The bed on which our Lord's body rested, stands within the rock of the sepulchre on the north side, to the right of a man entering the sepulchre to pray. And before the door of the sepulchre lies a great square stone, in the likeness of the foriner stone which the angel rolled away.”. Travels, p. 18, Bohn's ed.
We will next quote the testimony of another visitor Saewulf, A.D. 1102:
“ In the middle of this church is our Lord's Sepulchre, surrounded by a very strong wall and roof, lest the rain should fall upon the Holy Sepulchre; for the church above is open to the sky. This church is situated, like the city, on the declivity of Mount Zion.” “ We descend from our Lord's Sepulchre about the distance of two arbalist-shots, to the Temple of the Lord, which is to the east of the Holy Sepulchre, the court of which is of great length and breadth, having many gates; but the principal gate, which is in front of the Temple,is called the Beautiful,” etc. “ In the middle of which Temple is seen a high and large rock, hollow beneath, in which was the holy of holies.” — Travels, pp. 37, 39, 40, Bohn's ed.
From this it appears that the surreptitious transfer of site, for which Mr. Fergusson contends, made after the close of the seventh century, was unsuspected at the commencement of the twelfth.
The sepulchral cave of the church, above described by Arculfus and Willibald, Mr. Fergusson claims to have been the cave in the rock es-Săkhrah, beneath the dome of the present Mosque of Omar. This rock has been the most stationary landmark in Jerusalem, and has probably changed as little as any other object. We will quote such accounts as have reached us of the cave within it. The first is from a Muslim, written about A.D. 1150 :
“ Beneath is the rock tomb; this rock is of quadrangular form, like a buckler; one of its extremities is elevated above the ground to the height of nearly half a fathom; the other adheres to the soil; it is nearly cubical, and its width nearly equals its length; that is to say, nearly ten cubits. Beneath is a cavern or a dark retreat, of ten cubits in length and five in width, and whose height is more than a fathom. One cannot penetrate its darkness but by the light of torches." — El-Edrisi, p. 12, Rosen. ed.
The next is from the fullest Arabic description which we have of Jerusalem, written by Kadi Mejr. ed-Dîn, A.D. 1495.
“ Beneath the rock is a cave on the south, to which is a descent by stone steps. The steps are intercepted in the middle by a small bench excavated in the rock on the east side, where the pilgrims rest. Here is a marble, the base of which stands on this bench, joined on the south to the side of the cave; the capital supports the side of the Săkhrah, as if to prevent it from leaning towards the south side, or in any other way.” — Quoted by another from Williams's Holy City, to which we have not access.
The last is from a recent Christian visitor who has seen it, and who was permitted to examine it at his leisure :
“ The shape of the Săkhrah is irregular; it is about sixty feet in length from north to south, and fifty-five in breadth. In the southeast portion of this rock is a small room, irregularly square and roughly finished, about eight feet in height and fifteen on each side — the Noble Cave.' Its ceiling is about four or five feet below the upper surface of the rock, from four to six feet thick, and pierced with an oval-shaped hole about three feet in diameter. A hollow sound being emitted on striking the northern side, shows undoubtedly, that vacant space is beyond. On stamping upon a circular stellar-constructed piece of variegated marble about the centre of the floor, sonorous reverberations are emitted, clearly evincing the existence of a large excavation below this stellated slab, which they say, closes the door to Hades. This is the Bir Arraoh, or · Well of Souls,' which was formerly kept open for the convenience of holding intercourse with departed spirits. Is this the · Lapis pertusus' of the pilgrim fathers, that the Jews so much venerated ? Access is had to this room by a pair of steps cut in the native rock, just above which, on entering the door of the room, is a tongue very highly revered by good Muslims.” — Barclay's Jerusalem, pp. 497, 498.
The question here asked is one which Dr. Robinson raised in 1838, and was disposed to answer affirmatively in 1852. (Biblical Researches, p. 236). The Bordeaux Pilgrim in the fourth century describes a “ perforated rock,” on or near the site of the Temple, to which the Jews came annually with lamentations. If its identity with this rock is established, it proves that Constantine's church was not erected upon it. Waiving this point, we ask the reader to compare the description of Arculfus with the last two descriptions. It is not credible that they all refer to the same excavation. His account can be adjusted to the present Church of the Sepulchre
and its reputed tombs, making due allowance for the changes wrought by the destruction of the building. But by no practicable change, by no possibility, can the narrative of Arculfus be adjusted to the rock es-Săkhrah and the cave beneath it. And this disposes of the fourth point.
We have now completed our examination of Mr. Fergusson's “ four points ” — his “ Quadrilateral.” He offered to “rest the proof” of his theory “on any one ” of them; and we have shown that on a fair investigation not one of them sustains his theory in a single particular, and for the most part they pointedly refute it. His plea that “no solution, beyond the merest assertion, has been proposed to any one of these difficulties,” must now be withdrawn in respect to each of them ; and if he abides by his offer, his case is lost. That he does not intend to abide by it is plainly indicated, we think, by his closing remark : “And even these are not one-half the case; but till they are answered, which I have no fear of their being, they alone suffice." These words, if we understand them, are prophetic of a retreat into his architectural castle, whither few, comparatively, can follow him. He may ensconce himself within that ; and we take leave of him on its threshold, with the friendly suggestion that he cannot prudently venture a foot beyond it in any direction.
THE ATONEMENT IN THE LIGHT OF CONSCIENCE.
BY REV. LEMUEL S. POTWIN, BOSTON, MASS.
SALVATION by the atonement, whatever else may be true of it, is certainly right. This is the least that can be said in its favor. Yet on this very point our theories of the atonement present the greatest difficulty. They do not commend themselves plainly to the conscience. But no theory can stand without this endorsement of our sense of right. If the conscience is not satisfied the reason cannot be.
The strength of the Old School theory of the atonement lies in its seeming response to the demand of conscience, that sin must have its desert. Premising that the desert can come only by punishment, and then conceiving of a penalty per se that can exhaust itself upon the intrinsically innocent, the advocates of this theory satisfy themselves that sin has, in the person of Christ, received its penal desert. What sin really deserves we will consider further on; but it seems to us self-evident that sin cannot be punished without the punishment of the sinner. Hence, speaking for ourselves only, the theory under notice cannot satisfy our conscience, because the conscience cannot be satisfied by what the mind sees to be absurd.
But we are no better satisfied with any theory that leaves out of account the intrinsic desert of sin. We may see, with Dr. Bushnell, how the atonement satisfies our highest conceptions of love ; but this makes more intolerable the want of a correspondingly full satisfaction of the sentiment of justice. The conscience is set for the defense of justice, and, though dazzled for a while by the overpowering rays of love, it never quite loses its hold on the idea of desert.
What is called the “governmental theory," but which ought, we think, to be called the “ manifestation theory," is
often presented in such a way as to leave conscience and its demands very much out of sight. Dr. Taylor made the support of authority to be the end of both punishment and atonement. “When applied to denote the attribute of a perfect moral governor, justice is a benevolent disposition on his part to maintain by the requisite means his authority, as the necessary condition of the highest happiness of his kingdom.” i But how can authority be maintained to any good purpose by punishments that are in the view of conscience unjust ? Although, as we hope to show, the atonement does more than meet the ends of punishment, yet to do as much as that, must it not satisfy the sense of desert? In other words, if punishment must have such a relation to sin as the unperverted conscience pronounces just, why must not the atonement, if atonement takes the place of punishment, wholly or in part in the divine government? Here we discover the weak point of the governmental theory, or at least in many expositions of it. It is easy to discern in it the reforming power of the atonement, but not so easy to see its absolving power.
Without any further statement of difficulties, let us take up two questions which lie at the foundation of the subject :
I. What, in the view of conscience, does sin deserve ?
I. What does sin deserve? The answer may be embraced in one word - CONDEMNATION. But we must unfold that word to discover the complete answer. This condemnation must be unqualified, effective, and supreme; unqualified, because sin and righteousness are incompatible ; effective, because to pronounce a thing condemned is nothing, unless it is reprobated with such force of character as to be effectually branded as vile and abominable, and utterly expelled from the sphere of goodness; supreme, because if the condemnation is reversible by any higher will or character, it is not effective. The last court of appeal has more weight than all others together.
1 Moral Government, Vol. č. p. 280, Essay on Justice.