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the day, and each have their appointed time for public worship. He added, that the Greeks might possibly be supported by the prevailing influence of Russia at the Porte, while the wealth of the Armenians would be still more powerful with Turkish authorities. Father Placide was unmoved: the usurpation was as great a calamity to the rightful guardians of the Sepulchre, as the loss of the ark, when it fell into the hands of the Philistines, to the people of Israel. France, they said, had declared war against the Dey of Algiers for a cause of much less importance than that of which they complained !
But it appears, from a subsequent letter of M. Poujoulat, that the Latin Christians had really a good reason to be apprehensive of the neighbourhood, at least, of the Armenians, and to resent their invasion of the Holy Sepulchre. Some of our readers may not be aware, (we do not ourselves remember to have seen so full an account of the melancholy event,) that the ancient church of the Holy Sepulchre, hallowed by so many sacred, by so many romantic and chivalrous associations, a few years ago was almost totally destroyed by fire. Though the critical inquirer of modern days may doubt whether this edifice does cover the spot where the devout women came to seek in vain on the third morning the body of the crucified-yet its splendid pile had been consecrated by the devotion of all Christendom; it contained the ashes of the first crusaders; the style, and even the irregularity of parts of its architecture, bore witness to the superstition it may be, but still to the profound and generous superstition, of successive ages. The Armenians were the cause of this fatal desolation.
• It was in the year 1907. At this time the Armenians appeared but as strangers in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; they possessed only a poor chapel situated in one of the galleries of the nave. The nakedness of this chapel contrasted with the wealth of the nation. Besides this, it was ready to fall into ruins, and the Armenians had several times solicited permission to repair and embellish it. After many ineffectual petitions they determined to set fire to their chapel-- to destroy it-in the hopes that the privilege of rebuilling their fallen sanctuary would be more easily obtained. They thought that they could master the flames so as not to spread beyond their chapel; but the fire speedily reached all the galleries, and sprang up to the dome of the church ; the Corinthian columns which supported the nave were thrown down; the dome of the church, which was made of cedar, could not long resist the fire-it fell with the upper part of the nave, and in its fall crushed the Holy Sepulchre. The flame spread to the Calvary, and all the altars were burned. The tombs of Godfrey of Bouillon and of Baldwin disappeared in the course of the general destruction; eye-witnesses have assured me that the tombs of the two kings had been spared by the fire, and that they were destroyed by the Greeks themselves in the midst of the confusion of the conflagration! The tombs of the two kings were as it were the Palladium of the Latin monks; they were the glorious title-deeds of the monasteries of the Holy Land; and the Greeks, the enemies of the Latin convent, wished to get rid of these monuments. At present two stone benches covered with a mat fill the place of the two tombs : the ashes of Godfrey and Baldwin, mingled with the ashes and the rubbish of the fire, profaned and cast to the winds, are lost from the soil of Palestine ; and these two mighty spirits, banished from the temple which they conquered with their swords, have their only refuge, their last monument, in your history!
M. Michaud no doubt acknowledged the last sentence with one of the graceful bows which distinguished the ancien régime. We presume that M. Poujoulat's eye-witnesses were some of the Latin fathers, and that we have to choose between some inclination to uncharitable mendacity, or at least misrepresentation, on their part, and this act of wanton and detestable malice on that of the Greeks. It is curious and melancholy enough to see the implacable resentment, which grew up with the tirst crusade between the Greek and Latin Churches, perpetuated in their latest descendants. The church, however, was not quite destroyed; the parts which escaped were those behind the choir, the Lady's Chapel, the altar of Dividing the Garments, the altar of the Improperium, the two sanctuaries of St. Helena and the Discovery of the Cross; all this part of the temple remains as in the days of Godfrey. The restoration of the church, according to M. Poujoulat, though it has exactly followed the ancient plan, bas been executed with wretched taste. He complains of the profaneness, yet acknowledges the truth, of an English traveller's comparison of it to a modern French theatre.
M. Poujoulat laments that, in the West, the days of religious pilgrimage are past; and as to his own country, we confess we do not at present see any signs of the revival of that sort of feeling from which such expeditions used to proceed. Wben it was proposed to Buonaparte to advance upon the Holy City, he replied, “Jerusalem does not come within my line of operations. But if the facilities of steam-navigation are increased, as appears likely, in the Mediterranean, we should not in the least be surprised to hear of a regular summer excursion of Hadjis from our own shores. The taste for travel, the love of the picturesque, will mingle up, as did the old chivalrous love of war and adventure, with religious excitement. It is quite within probability that the Joppa steamer may start regularly from the Tower Stairs. We must confess that we should ourselves be strongly tempted by such an announcement, however the old poetic and romantic charm
might be disturbed by the chimney, trailing its heavy line of smoke, and the thoroughly utilitarian air of the conveyance.
In the East, the passion for pilgrimage has never become extinct. The following lively description carries us back to days long gone by for Europe :
• The pilgrims arrive in the months of January and February, at the beginning of March at the latest; they depart after the celebration of the Paschal festivals. It was at this time likewise that in former days the pilgrims of the West were wont to repair to Jerusalem. I see pilgrims of all the Christian nations of the East, Greeks, Armenians, Abyssinians, Syrians, Copts; all those sects which adhere to the Gospel have their meeting here. Many Jews are likewise encountered, and even Turkish pilgrims; for Jerusalem in the eyes of a Mussulman also is a holy city. All these pilgrims of the East arrive in troops. The Christian caravans march by the order and under the command of a captain, like the cranes and storks when they pass away to other climates. They march with provisions for the journey, with vessels and utensils for cookery suspended from the sides of their camels or mules. There are entire families, followed by all their domestic equipage, reckoning for nothing a journey of several hundred leagues, marching from morning to evening, sometimes under the rain, sometimes under the burning sun, passing the night without shelter, and when their provisions are exhausted, living on what they can find, like the birds of the air. Not only robust men impose upon themselves these fatigues and privations, but feeble old men, who are unwilling to die without having seen Jerusalem, women and young children destined for a more peaceful and easy life, children scarcely escaped from the cradle, who serve an apprenticeship in the sufferings of life on the road to that city where their God suffered and died. Although the pious band does not venture to be without arms, it sometimes falls into the plundering hands of the Bedouins; and then what tears! what regrets! for money, a good deal of money, is necessary to accomplish the pilgrimage. Persons work ten, twenty years for the holy journey. A Christian family sometimes comes to Jerusalem to spend the earnings of a whole life.?
The Armenians (the schismatic, according to M. Poujoulat, not the Catholic Armenians) are by far the most numerous, the most wealthy, and the most liberal of the pilgrims. Each nation or sect is received at their own convent, and each individual remunerates its hospitality according to his means and his disposition, Some Armenians bestow fifteen or twenty thousand piastres on their convent; one had presented the patriarch with one hundred thousand; but he expected in return to secure to himself one of the best places in heaven! The Armenian pilgrims, in the year in which these letters are dated, 1831, exceeded all former amount: they were at least 5000. The Greeks were expected to be about 2500. There were a few Copts and Abyssinians, and only sixty
Catholics! However strange some part of the ceremonial-however the imposing religious drama of the Holy Week may, in some respects, offend the colder and less imaginative devotion of northern Protestants--however ignorant or superstitious the monks who celebrate the mysteries of the Holy Week-in such a place, among oriental costumes, which carry the mind back to the days of oldit must be impossible for any Christian mind to remain unmoved in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There the representation of all the events of our Saviour's closing life, be it executed with greater or less solemnity of effect, must come home to every heart which has been once touched by the beauty of the Gospel. M. Poujoulat seems to have entered into the whole with the faith and feeling of a devout Catholic; the following passage struck us very much. It appears that the whole host of worshippers pass the night preceding Good Friday in the church.
Holy Thursday, Midnight. I write to you at this moment by the light of the torches of the Holy Sepulchre ; I have never in my life passed an hour more serious and solemn than the present. To me a night in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre could not but be a night without sleep. I pass from chapel to chapel, from altar to altar; I go from the sepulchre to the Calvary, from the Calvary to the prison of Christ, from the prison of Christ to his sepulchre, and the sound of my feet alone disturbs the silence of the church. The Mahometan guard are asleep upon their bench (estrade) near the gate of the Temple; all the Christians, shut within the church, are reposing in the deepest slumber; some are lying upon benches or chests, others on the steps of the altars, others upon mats or carpets in the middle of the great nave; the chapel of the Magdalene is full of women, stretched out upon mats, wrapped in their long white veils, or clad in a simple caleçon ; infants at the breast are sleeping upon the bosom of their mothers; each retains the attitude in which sleep has surprised him; the whole forms the strangest sight possible. All the monks sleep in their convent of the Holy Sepulchre, exc two who are prostrate at the foot of the divine eucharist in the sepulchre. This is the first time that I have ever found myself in the Church of the Resurrection without hearing any noise ; it is only during the hours of the night that prayer can hope to be undisturbed at the foot of the Holy Sepulchre. As I walk along the Temple in the midst of darkness, crossed here and there by the feeble and trembling gleam of a few lamps, in solitude, and yielded up to religious meditation, I sometimes stop as though listening to unknown voices which seem to address me: my knees bow as though the spirit of God breathed upon me; and standing in the shade between Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre, I experience a sensation which approaches to terror.'
M. Poujoulat * We take this opportunity of saying that the Panorama of Jerusalem, now open in Leicester-fields, will richly reward ihe trouble of a visit. We do not say this M. Poujoulat of course visited the sacred places in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. There seems good sense in part, at least, of the observations by which he attempts to reconcile the conflicting statements of travellers concerning the Dead Sea.
• Statements and theories concerning the Dead Sea have been multiplied. It appears to me that these discrepant opinions may be explained by the difference of time, of the season of the year, and even of the place at which the sea has been visited. When the object is to make observations on nature where, in former ages, it has been totally disorganized by revolutions, and is still influenced by the original causes which acted upon it, we must not expect to find at all times the same appearance or the same character. A soil delivered up to the power of fire, internally labouring with its more or less violent agency, must present at times different phenomena. Visit a volcano, when the lava is boiling, you will see effects which will no longer exist to those who come after you, when the flame slumbers and the mountain is in repose. This will perhaps explain the sometimes contradictory reports of travellers concerning the Lake of Sodom or the Sea of Lot, Bahr el Louth as the Arabs call it. One had remarked that the birds fled from the Dead Sea as from another Avernus; others had seen eagles or wild fowl flying over the lake ; one said that a vapour rises from the middle of the waters ; another found the atmosphere pure and transparent. The same may be said of the smell of sulphur spread along the shores of the sea, the black colour of the flints, the weight of the water. All these phenomena may take place at a certain time and not at another, and the wonders of the day may not resemble the wonders of the morrow. Is it impossible that the Dead Sea is modified in its appearances according to the season? Is it the same in winter as in summer ? in spring as in autumn ? Have the winds, the tempests, cold and heat no influence upon it? May it not likewise be the case that it appears under peculiar circumstances according to the part of its shore which is visited by the traveller ?'
M. Poujoulat does not seem aware of the value, or even of the existence of Burckhardt's Travels. To that volume, and to the preface of Col. Leake, we believe that we owe the first account of the ghor, or valley, which runs from the foot of the Dead Sea to the eastern fork of the Red Sea. It is much to be desired that some observant traveller, a good geologist, would trace the whole course of the Wady, through which there seems little doubt that, before the awful convulsion which destroyed the cities of the Plain, the Jordan found its way into the gulph of Elath.
As to Bethlehem, we find little beyond the ordinary observations of all travellers. We were better pleased with the account of Tekoa-of a remarkable cave, supposed to be that of Adollam, in without having ourselves inspected it, in company with a traveller recently arrived from the Holy Land.