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his own names. He erected a temple to Jupiter, where that of Jehovah formerly stood, and placed a bog of marble upon the gate of the city, on the side of Bethlehem. The emperor also published an edict, prohibiting the Jews from entering the city upon pain of death, and forbade them even to look at it from a distance. They were accustomed, it is said, to give great bribes to the Roman soldiers to be permitted to approach Ælia, and weep over the ruins of their country.
In this state, Jerusalem, now called Ælia by the Romans, continued till the reign of Constantine the Great, who, duriug his government, subverted pagan superstition, and established Christianity. He caused the city to assume its ancient name, enlarged and beautified it with many superb buildings and churches, and extended his munificence to every spot which had been consecrated by the footsteps of the Apostles and Prophets, and the Son of God. Helena, the mother of the emperor, went to Palestine, visited the sacred places, and erected the church of the Holy Sepulchre ; so called, because supposed to be raised over the tomb in which our Saviour was buried.
Constantine and the succeeding emperors, his sons, treated the Jews with great severity. But their successor, Julian, an apostate from Christianity, favoured their cause, and attempted to rebuild their temple, and induce them to settle in Jerusalem, in avowed contempt and defiance of the prophesies. But his undertaking was repeatedly frustrated.
Jerusalem remained in possession of the Greek emperors, till, in 613, it was taken by the Persians. But the Greek emperor Heraclius, soon recovered it, and banished the Jews; prohibiting them, under the severest penalties, from coming within three miles of
The Arabian Caliph, Omar, invested and took Jerusalem in the year A. D. 636. He allowed the inhabitants the exercise of their religion, on condition of their paying tribute; but established the Mahometan mode of worship, and built a mosque where the temple had formerly stood. It is called, by the Mussulmen, El-Haram, or the Temple, and is by The govern
far the most splendid edifice in Jerusalem. Its external magnificence appeared to Dr. Clarke superior to the celebrated mosque of St. Sophia, at Constantinople. ment became entirely Mahometan. The holy city was transferred from the Greek Christians to the Arabian Mussulmen, and continued in subjection to the Caliphs above four hundred years.
The Turks, a fierce and valiant nation, after having conquered Persia and other countries, turned their arms against the Holy Land, took. Jerusalem in 1076, and established the Ottoman empire. The city of Jerusalem next fell into the hands of the Latin Christians. Peter the Hermit, a French monk, went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and there witnessed, and shared in, the oppressions the pilgrims endured from the Turkish government.
After his return to Europe, he described the sufferings of the Christians in such pathetic terms, that, by the authority of Pope Urban the Second, and the council of Clermont, an expedition was formed to take Jerusalem from the Turks. Immense numbers, who were
called Crusaders, from their assuming the badge of the cross, engaged in what they styl ed the Holy War, for the recovery of Palestine from the hands of infidels. The conquest of the city, in the year 1099, appeared to have crowned their enterprize with success. Godfrey of Boulogne, their general, was chosen king, and the kingdom existed till the year 1187, when the Turkish Mussulmen regained their former dominion, and the Holy Land is still in their possession.
The emperor Adrian rebuilt Jerusalem, not exactly on its former site, but on the spot which it now occupies. He included Calvary within its walls. The gate of the Holy Sepulchre is strictly guarded by Turks without, and Greeks within. Admission, however, is granted to pilgrims of all nations and sects, upon paying a small tax. It is necessary to observe the difference between the church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the sepulchre itself ; the first embracing all the apartments belonging to the different denominations of Christians; the latter, erected over the reputed tomb of our Saviour, at the foot of Calvary. The tomb is situated in the centre of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, near to which may be heard the prayers of Christians in ancient Greek, or Latin, Armenian, Arabic, and Syriac.