« ForrigeFortsett »
A.D. 363. STATE OF JERUSALEM. 157
of Christianity in the banners of the Roman legions.65 Such miracles as seemed necessary to account for its extraordinary preservation and seasonable discovery were gradually propagated without opposition. The custody of the true cross, which on Easter Sunday was solemnly exposed to the people, was intrusted to the bishop of Jerusalem; and he alone might gratify the curious devotion of the pilgrims by the gift of small pieces, which they enchased in gold or gems, and carried away in triumph to their respective countries. But as this gainful branch of commerce must soon have been annihilated, it was found convenient to suppose that the marvellous wood possessed a secret power of vegetation, and that its substance, though continually diminished, still remained entire and unimpaired.66 It might perhaps have been expected that the influence of the place and the belief of a perpetual miracle should have produced some salutary effects on the morals, as well as on the faith, of the people. Yet the most respects able of the ecclesiastical writers have been obliged to confess, not only that the streets of Jerusalem were filled with the incessant tumult of business and pleasure,67 but that every species of vice— adultery, theft, idolatry, poisoning, murder — was familiar to the inhabitants of the holy city.68 The wealth and pre-eminence of the church of Jerusalem excited the ambition of Arian as well as orthodox candidates; and the virtues of Cyril, who since his death has been honoured with the title of Saint, were displayed in the exercise, rather than in the acquisition, of his episcopal dignity.6'
» Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.d. 326, No. 42-50) and Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. torn. vii. p. 8-16) are the historians and champions of the miraculous invention of the cross, under the reign of Constantino. Their oldest witnesses are Paulinus, Sulpicius Severus, Rufinus, Ambrose, and perhaps Cyril of Jerusalem. The silence of Eusebius and the Bordeaux pilgrim, which satisfies those who think, perplexes those who believe. See Jortin's sensible remarks, vol. ii. p. 238-248.
"This multiplication is asserted by Paulinus (Epist. xxxvi.; see Dupin. Bibliot. Eccles. torn. iii. p. 149), who seems to have improved a rhetorical flourish of Cyril into a real fact. The same supernatural privilege must have been communicated to the Virgin's milk (Erasmi Opera, torn. i. p. 778, Lugd. Batav. 1703, in Colloq. de Peregrinat. Religionis ergo), saints' heads, &c, and other relics, which are repeated in Bo many different churches.*
<" Jerom (torn. i. p. 103), who resided in the neighbouring village of Bethlem, describes the vices of Jerusalem from his personal experience.
68 Oregor. Nyssen. apud Wesseling, p. 539. The whole epistle, which condemns either the use or the abuse of religious pilgrimage, is painful to the catholic divines, while it is dear and familiar to our protectant polemics.
69 He renounced his orthodox ordination, officiated as a deacon, and was re-ordained by the hands of the Arians. But Cyril afterwards changed with the times, and
* Lord Mahon, in a memoir read before for the If ill of Calvary. There is none in
the Society of Antiquaries (Feb. 1831), the sacred writings; the uniform use of the
has traced, in a brief but interesting man- common word rirti, instead of any word
ner, the singular adventures of the " true" expressing ascent or acclivity, is against
cross. It is curious to inquire what au- the notion.—M. thority we have, except of late tradition,
The vain and ambitious mind of Julian might aspire to restore the jniun ancient glory of the temple of Jerusalem.70 As the Chris
rebuuS'th? t'ans were firmly persuaded that a sentence of everlasting temple. destruction had been pronounced against the whole fabric of the Mosaic law, the Imperial sophist would have converted the success of his undertaking into a specious argument against the faith of prophecy and the truth of revelation.71 He was displeased with the spiritual worship of the synagogue; but he approved the institutions of Moses, who had not disdained to adopt many of the rites and ceremonies of Egypt.78 The local and national deity of the Jews was sincerely adored by a polytheist who desired only to multiply the number of the gods ;73 and such was the appetite of Julian for bloody sacrifice, that his emulation might be excited by the piety of Solomon, who had offered at the feast of the dedication twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep.74 These considerations might influence his designs; but the prospect of an immediate and important advantage would not suffer the impatient monarch to expect the remote and uncertain event of the Persian war. He resolved to erect, without delay, on the commanding eminence of Moriah, a stately temple, which might eclipse the splendour of the church of the Resurrection on the adjacent hill of Calvary; to establish an order of priests, whose interested zeal would detect the arts and resist the ambition of their Christian rivals; and to invite a
prudently conformed to the Nicene faith. Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. torn, viii.), who treats his memory with tenderness and respect, has thrown his virtues into the text, and his faults into the notes, in decent obscurity, at the end of the volume.
70 Imperii sui memoriam magnitudine operum gestiens propagare. Ainmian. xxiii. 1. The temple of Jerusalem bad been famous even among the Gentiles. They had many temples in each city (at Sichem five, at Gaza eight, at Rome four hundred and twentyfour); but the wealth and religion of the Jewish nation was centred in one spot.
71 The secret intentions of Julian are revealed by the late bishop of Gloucester, the learned and dogmatic Warburton; who, with the authority of a theologian, prescribes the motives and conduct of the Supreme Being. The discourse entitled Julian (2nd edition, London, 1751) is strongly marked with all the peculiarities which are imputed to the Warburtonian school.
"I shelter myself behind Maimonides, Marsham, Spencer, Le Clerc, Warburton, &c., who have fairly derided the fears, the folly, and the falsehood of some superstitious divines. See Divine Legation, vol. iv. p. 25, &c.
73 Julian (Fragment, p. 295) respectfully styles him u,iy*: 3f«, and mentions him elsewhere (Epist. lxiii.) with still higher reverence. He doubly condemns the Christians, for believing and for renouncing the religion of the Jews. Their Deity was a true, but not the only, God. Apud Cyril. 1. iz. p. 305, 306.
T* 1 Kings viii. 63. 2 Chronicles vii. 5. Joseph. Antiquitat. Judaic. 1. viii. c. 4 [§ 5]j p- 431, edit. Havercamp. As the blood and smoke of so many hecatombs might be inconvenient, Lightfoot, the Christian Rabbi, removes them by a miracle. Le Clerc (ad loca) is bold enough to suspect the fidelity of the numbers."
* According to the historian Kotobed- sand camels and cows, and fifty thousand
dym, quoted by Burckhardt (Travels in sheep. Barthema describes thirty thou
Arabia, p. 276) the khalif Mokteder sand oxen slain, and their carcasses given
sacrificed during his pilgrimage to Mecca, to the poor. Quarterly Review, xiii.
in the year of the Hejira 350, forty thou- p. 39.—M.
A.D. 363. DEFEAT OF THE ENTERPRISE. 159
numerous colony of Jews, whose stern fanaticism would be always prepared to second, and even to anticipate, the hostile measures of the Pagan government. Among the friends of the emperor (if the names of emperor and of friend are not incompatible) the first place was assigned, by Julian himself, to the virtuous and learned Alypius.75 The humanity of Alypius was tempered by severe justice and manly fortitude; and while he exercised his abilities in the civil administration of Britain, he imitated, in his poetical compositions, the harmony and softness of the odes of Sappho. This minister, to whom Julian communicated, without reserve, his most careless levities and his most serious counsels, received an extraordinary commission to restore, in its pristine beauty, the temple of Jerusalem; and the diligence of Alypius required and obtained the strenuous support of the governor of Palestine. At the call of their great deliverer, the Jews from all the provinces of the empire assembled on the holy mountain of their fathers; and their insolent triumph alarmed and exasperated the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem. The desire of rebuilding the temple has in every age been the ruling passion of the children of Israel. In this propitious moment the men forgot their avarice, and the women their delicacy; spades and pickaxes of silver were provided by the vanity of the rich, and the rubbish was transported in mantles of silk and purple. Every purse was opened in liberal contributions, every hand claimed a share in the pious labour; and the commands of a great monarch were executed by the enthusiasm of a whole people.76
Yet, on this occasion, the joint efforts of power and enthusiasm were unsuccessful; and the ground of the Jewish temple, which is now covered by a Mahometan mosque,77 still con- prise is tinued to exhibit the same edifying spectacle of ruin and desolation. Perhaps the absence and death of the emperor, and the new maxims of a Christian reign, might explain the interruption of an arduous work, which was attempted only in the last six months of the life of Julian.78 But the Christians entertained a natural and pious expectation that in; this memorable contest the honour of religion would be vindicated by some signal miracle. An earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption, which overturned and scattered the new foundations of the temple, are attested, with some variations, by contemporary and respectable evidence.79 This public event is described by Ambrose,80 bishop of Milan, in an epistle to the emperor Theodosius, which must provoke the severe animadversion of the Jews; by the eloquent Chrysostom,81 who might appeal to the memory of the elder part of his congregation at Antioch; and by Gregory Nazianzen,82 who published his account of the miracle before perhups by the expiration of the same year. The last of these writers L"iuraTr nas boldly declared that this preternatural event was not event. disputed by the infidels; and his assertion, strange as it
75 Julian, Epist. xxix. xxx. [p. 402, sqq.] La Ble'terie has neglected to translate the second of these epistles.
'" See the zeal and impatience of the Jews in Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. iv. p. Ill) and Theodoret (1. iii. o. 20).
77 Built by Omar, the second khalif, who died A.d. 644. This groat mosque covers the whole consecrated ground of the Jewish temple, and constitutes almost a square of 760 toises, or one Roman mile, in circumference. See D'Anville, Jerusalem, p. 45.
■ Ammianus records the consuls of the year 363, before he proceeds to mention
the thoughts of Julian. Templum instaurare sumptibus cogitabat immodicis.
Warburton has a secret wish to anticipate the design; but he must have understood, from former examples, that the execution of such a work would have demanded many years.
may seem, is confirmed by the unexceptionable testimony of Ammianus Marcellinus.83 The philosophic soldier, who loved the virtues without adopting the prejudices of his master, has recorded, in his judicious and candid history of his own times, the extraordinary obstacles which interrupted the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem. "Whilst Alypius, assisted by the governor of the province, urged "with vigour and diligence the execution of the work, horrible balls "of fire, breaking out near the foundations, with frequent and "reiterated attacks, rendered the place, from time to time, inac"cessible to the scorched and blasted workmen; and, the victorious "element continuing in this manner obstinately and resolutely bent, "as it were, to drive them to a distance, the undertaking was aban"doned."a Such authority should satisfy a believing, and must
79 The subsequent witnesses, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Philostorgius, &c, add contradictions rather than authority. Compare the objections of Basnage (Hist, des Juifs, torn. viii. p. 157-168) with Warburton's answers (Julian, p. 174-258). The bishop has ingeniously explained the miraculous crosses which appeared on the garments of the spectators by a similar instance and the natural effects of lightning.
M Ambros. torn. ii. Epist. xl. p. 946, edit. Benedictin. He composed this fanatic epistle (a.d. 388) to justify a bishop who had been condemned by the civil magistrate for burning a synagogue.
"Chrysostom, torn. i. p. 580, ad vers. Jucheos et Qentes [c. 16], torn. ii. p. 574, de Sto. Babyla [c. 22], edit. Montfaucon. I have followed the common and natural supposition; but the learned Benedictine, who dates the composition of these sermons in the year 383, is confident they were never pronounced from the pulpit.
"Greg. Nazianzen, Orat. iv. p. 110-113. T. 3i tut rifiiinrn rati baifut, xai tiiii T»7« atietf etvrtif a.Titr*ufiMv, Al£w» iwi/iat.
M Ammian. xxiii. 1. Cum itaque rei fortiter instaret Alypius, juvaretque provinciffi rector, metuendi globi flammarum prope fundamenta crebris assultibus erumpentes fecere locum exustis aliquoties operantibus inaccessum; hocque modo elemento destinatius repellente, cessavit inceptum. Warburton labours (p. 60-90) to extort a confession of the miracle from the mouths of Julian and Libanius, and to employ the evidence of a rabbi who lived in the fifteenth century. Such witnesses can only be received by a very favourable judge.
* Michael is has given an ingenious and and a Pagan, will not permit us to call in
sufficiently probable explanation of this question. It was suggested by a passage
remarkable incident, which the positive in Tacitus. That historian, speaking of
testimony of Ammianus, a contemporary Jerusalem, says,—" The Temple itself 84 Dr. Lardner, perhaps alone of the Christian critics, presumes to doubt the truth
astonish an incredulous, mind. Yet a philosopher may still require the original evidence of impartial and intelligent spectators. At this important crisis any singular accident of nature would assume the appearance, and produce the effects, of a real prodigy. This glorious deliverance would be speedily improved and magnified by the pious art of the clergy of Jerusalem, and the active credulity of the Christian world; and, at the distance of twenty years, a Roman historian, careless of theological disputes, might adorn his work with the specious and splendid miracle.84
was a kind of citadel, which had its own walls, superior in their workmanship and construction to those of the city. The porticos themselves, which Burrounded the temple, were an excellent fortification. There was a fountain of constantly running water; subterranean excavations under the mountain; reservoirs and cisterns to collect the rain-water." Tac. Hist. V. 12. These excavations and reservoirs must have been very considerable. The latter furnished water during the whole siege of Jerusalem to 1,100,000 inhabitants, for whom the fountain of Siloe could not have sufficed, and who had no fresh rainwater, the siege having taken place from the month of April to the month of August, a period of the year during which it rarely rains in Jerusalem. As to the excavations, they served after, and even before, the return of the JewB from Babylon, to contain not only magazines of oil, wine, and corn, but also the treasures which were laid up in the Temple. Josephus has related several incidents which show their extent. When Jerusalem was on the point of being taken by Titus, the rebel chiefs, placing their last hopes in these vast subterranean cavities (i-royoptvi, vrtya'-x, 5.a''jt/-£«t,-), formed a design of concealing themselves there, and remaining dining the conflagration of the city, and until the Romans had retired to a distance. The greater part had not time to execute their design; but one of them, Simon, the son of Gioras, having provided himself with food, and tools to excavate the earth, descended into this retreat with some companions: he remained there till Titus had set out for Rome: under the pressure of famine he issued forth on a sudden, in the very place
where the Temple had stood, and appeared in the midst of the Roman guard. He was seized and earned to Rome for the triumph. His appearance made it be Buspected that other Jews might have chosen the same asylum; search was made, and a great number discovered. Joseph, do Bell. Jud. 1. vii. c. 2. It is probable that the greater part of these excavations were the remains of the time of Solomon, when it was the custom to work to a great extent under ground: no other date can be assigned to them. The Jews, on their return from the captivity, were too poor to undertake such works; and although Herod, on rebuilding the Temple, made some excavations (Joseph. Ant. Jud. xv. 11, vii.), the haste with which that building was completed will not allow us to suppose that they belonged to that period. Some were used for Bewers and drains, others served to conceal the immense treasures of which Crassus, a hundred and twenty years before, plundered the Jews, and which doubtless had been since replaced. The Temple was destroyed A.d. 70: the attempt of Julian to rebuild it, and the fact related by Ammianus, coincide with the year 363. There had then elapsed between these two epochs an interval of near 300 years, during which the excavations, choked up with ruins, must have become full of inflammable air. The workmen employed by Julian, as they were digging, arrived at the excavations of the Temple; they would take torches to explore them; sudden flames repelled those who approached ; explosions were heard; and these phenomena wore renewed every time that they penetrated into new subterranean passages.* This
• It la a fact now popularly known, that, when mines which have been long eloped are opened, one of two things takes place; either the torches are extinguished and the men full first into a swoon and soon die; or, If the air is Inflammable, a little
flame is seen to flicker round the lamp, which spreads end multiplies till the conflagration becomes general, is followed by an explosion, and kills all who are in Uic way.—G.