Now The Nature Of The Ground Upon Which Jerusalem
Stands Is Such, That The Localities Belonging To The Events There
Enacted Might Have Been More Easily, And Permanently, Ascertained
By Tradition Than Those Of Any City That I Know Of.
whether ancient or modern, was built upon and surrounded by sharp,
salient rocks intersected by deep ravines.
Up to the time of the
siege Mount Calvary of course must have been well enough known to
the people of Jerusalem; the destruction of the mere buildings
could not have obliterated from any man's memory the names of those
steep rocks and narrow ravines in the midst of which the city had
stood. It seems to me, therefore, highly probable that in fixing
the site of Calvary the Empress was rightly guided. Recollect,
too, that the voice of tradition at Jerusalem is quite unanimous,
and that Romans, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, all hating each other
sincerely, concur in assigning the same localities to the events
told in the Gospel. I concede, however, that the attempt of the
Empress to ascertain the sites of the minor events cannot be safely
relied upon. With respect, for instance, to the certainty of the
spot where the cock crew, I am far from being convinced.
Supposing that the Empress acted arbitrarily in fixing the holy
sites, it would seem that she followed the Gospel of St. John, and
that the geography sanctioned by her can be more easily reconciled
with that history than with the accounts of the other Evangelists.
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