« PreviousContinue »
hence to the sepulchre itself is narrow and low-perhaps that no one may enter but in a posture reverently bent. The interior dimensions by no means correspond to the exterior. It is a small closet, rather more than six feet square by eight in height. Half its breadth, and about the whole of its length, is occupied by the sarcophagus, which is an oblong block of stone, on which it is said that the body of Christ was laid. It is encased in bluish-white marble, to protect it from the too zealous pilgrims, who might break off fragments for relics. For the same reason, the interior of the cave is lined with slabs of that beautiful breccia commonly called Verde antique marble; and it is also hung with silk, of the colour of the firmament. The sarcophagus is strewed with flowers and bedewed with rose-water, and over it are suspended four and forty lamps, which are ever burning. The greater part of these are of silver, richly chased, a few are of gold, and were furnished by the different sects who divided the possessions of the church." So says Jolliffe; but Dr. Richardson says "There are seven silver lamps constantly burning over it, the gifts of different potentates.” It will be observed that this sepulchre is above ground, not a subterraneous tomb, as all the excavated sepulchres of the Jews were. Shaw, like others, accounts for this, observing, that all the surrounding rocks were cut away, to form the level of the church, so that it is now a grotto above ground. Clarke denies this, and remarks that all the rocks of Jerusalem are of compact limestone, of which there is no appearance about this place. The answer to this would be, that the rock of this venerated spot is everywhere covered with slabs of marble: and this answer it might be difficult to refute, when a further reference is made to the small dimensions of the interior, as compared with the exterior mausoleum, so that ample room is afforded between the outside walls and the alieged internal lining of marble, for the rocky walls of such a grotto as the sepulchre is said to be; while these same walls of rock afford the best reason for the contracted limits of the interior. While therefore we doubt that there is evidence to show that the alleged sepulchre is not essentially a grotto, it by no means follows that, even if a grotto, it is to be considered the true sepulchre of Christ. If it were such (which we have not yet affirmed or denied), how much more gratifying and exciting to every reasonable mind would it have been, if left in its originally simple state, instead of being dressed out with the labour of art and the theatrical disguisings which we have described.
Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin were honoured with sepulchres in the church. Their original tombs were however destroyed, some years ago, by the Greeks; but the sword and spurs of Godfrey continued to be carefully preserved; and the tombs also have now been restored.
5. “Clothed in a long white garment.”—The Jews believed that good angels always wore, or at least, always appeared in white raiment. The present angel's appearance in white was therefore calculated, and probably intended, for the encouragement of those faithful women" whose praise is in all the churches."
S. LUK E.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts. of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these
1 Exod. 30. 7. Levit. 16. 17. Mal. 4. 6. 8 Or, by. Before the Common Account, called Anno Domini, the Sixth Year.
things shall be performed, because thou be- | beth conceived, and hid herself five months,
lievest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24 And after those days his wife Elisa
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
4 Or, graciously accepted, or, much graced: see verse 30.
33 And he shall reign over the house of
5 Isa. 7. 14. Matt. 1. 21.
Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
Dan. 7. 14. Mic. 4. 7.
37 For with God nothing shall be impos- | heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy sible. upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said. Not so; but he shall be called John
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them and all these "sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 "He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty
66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
19 Or, bowels of the mercy.
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 "And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 "The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the "dayspring from on high hath visited us,
8 Isa. 51 9.