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language of an eye-witness. A panic took place in the church, and “the Turkish guards outside, frightened at the rush from within, thought that the Christians wished to attack them, and the confusion soon grew to a battle. The soldiers, with their bayonets, killed numbers of fainting wretches, and the walls were bespattered with blood and brains of men who had been felled like oxen with the butt-ends of the soldiers' muskets. Every one struggled to defend himself, and, in the mêlée, all who fell were immediately trampled to death by the rest. So desperate and savage did the fight become that even the panicstruck and frightened pilgrims appeared at last to have been more intent upon the destruction of each other than desirous to save themselves. For my part, as soon as I had perceived the danger, I cried out to my companions to turn back, which they had done, but I myself was carried on by the press till I came near the door where all were fighting for their lives. Here, seeing destruction before me, I made every effort to get back. An officer of the Pasha's, equally alarmed with myself, was also trying to return; he caught hold of my cloak and pulled me down on the body of an old man who was breathing out his last sigh. As the officer was pressing me to the ground, we wrestled together among the dying and the dead with the energy of despair. I struggled with this man till I pulled him down, and happily got away upon my legs (I afterwards found that he never rose again), and scrambling over a pile of corpses I made my way back into the body of the church. The dead were lying in heaps, even upon the Stone of Unction, and I saw full four hundred wretched people, dead and living, heaped promiscuously one upon another—in some places about five feet high.”*
In making the tour of the Rotunda almost every step brings us to some place of legendary or historical interest. A few steps to the west of the Sepulchre is the chapel of the Copts, held by them ever since the sixteenth century, but very unpretentious in comparison with some of the chapels of other sects. Hard by is the chapel of the Syrians, or Jacobites, and here a candle is lighted to enable the visitor to see his way through a narrow passage to a rocky chamber, where are two tombs, said to be those of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. From the existence of this rocky chamber and of these tombs Dean Stanley argues as follows :“The traditional names of Joseph and Nicodemus are probably valueless, but the existence of these sepulchres proves almost to a certainty that at some period the site of the present church must have been outside the walls of the city, and lends considerable probability to the belief that the rocky excavation, which perhaps exists in part still, and certainly once existed entire within the marble casing of the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, was at any rate a really ancient tomb, and not, as is often rashly asserted, a modern structure intended to imitate it. Coming back to the Rotunda, we next see the Chapel of the Resurrection, belonging to the Latins, with slabs of marble indicating the spots where Jesus stood when He said, “Woman, why weepest thou?” and where she stood when she, “supposing Him to be the gardener,” said, “Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him and I will take Him away.” Ascending three steps we reach the Chapel of the Apparition, where, according to a fourteenth-century legend, Jesus again appeared to His mother after His resurrection. of thios antramu ins Bolumn of the Scourging, formerly exhibited in the reputed lumes of (spoloosse, whebe 11usturs 11* vermitted to touch with a stick, but cannot see
* Curzon, “Monasteries of the Levant."
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marks the spot where it is said the Cross was planted in the rock; and two other holes, each five feet from that in which the Cross of Christ was planted, are said to be the site of the crosses of the two thieves, that of the penitent thief being on the right hand. Silver lamps burn ceaselessly, and pilgrims kneel adoringly, and are allowed to thrust their hands into the socket where the Cross of the Saviour was planted. About four or five feet from this spot is the Rent in the Rock said to have been made at the time of the Crucifixion, and reaching to the centre of the earth. The rent is covered over with a brass slide and a grating, but when these are pushed aside a cleft is seen about eight inches deep.
The chapel adjoining to Golgotha is where Christ is said to have been nailed to the Cross. It belongs to the Latins, as does also the Chapel of St. Mary, where it is alleged the mother of our Lord stood with the disciple John at the time of the Crucifixion. The adornments of this chapel are of the richest and most profuse description.
Such are the main features of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the joint property of the Greeks, Latins, Armenians, and Copts. It would be tedious to tell of the many minor “sacred localities” in the church, such as the Tomb of Adam and Eve, the Tomb of Melchizedek, &c.; nor would it be possible to attempt a description of the endless services of the various churches held in these holy places. It may be mentioned, however, that the different sects take their turn in making processions and worshipping at the various shrines, and the fact that the Latin Calendar differs by some days from the Greek is a matter of great convenience in avoiding unseemly collisions. It may also be noted that some of the places held in great veneration by some sects are lightly esteemed by others; for example, the Chapel of St. Longinus belongs to the Greeks, who do homage there, but the Latins ignore the tradition, and so pass it by when making their processions.
THE VIA DOLOROSA.
The traditional Via Dolorosa, the route by which our Lord is said to have borne His cross to Golgotha, is a narrow, ill-paved, dirty street, winding in and out by ruined walls and rickety buildings. There are picturesque spots here and there, and invariably scenes of interest may be witnessed when devout pilgrims are making their religious tour along this Street of Pain, or Way of the Cross; but in itself there is little to inspire reverential feeling,