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the Caspian Sea. They keep the place on Mount Calvary where the cross was prepared, and the prison in which our Lord was confined till the hole was made to set it
in. “ The eighth nation is that of the Maronites, who inhabit Mount Lebanon. Like us, they acknowJedge the supremacy of the Pope.
Exclusively of these places, which all who are within are at liberty to visit, each nation has a particular spot allotted to it in the ailes and corners of this church, where its members assemble and perform their devotions, according to their respective rituals : for the priests and religious who enter this place, are usually two months before they leave it, that is, till others are sent from the convent in the city to attend in their stead. It would be scarcely possible to remain there long without being ill, because the place has very little air, and the vaults and walls produce a coldness that is extremely unwholesome : nevertheless, we there found a worthy hermit, who has assumed the habit of St. Francis, and lived twenty years in the place without ever leaving it. There is, moreover, such abundant employment to keep two hundred lamps burning, and to sweep and cleanse all the holy places, that no more than four hours a night can be allowed for sleep.
“ On entering the church, you come to the Stone of Unction, on which the body of our Lord was anointed with myrrh and aloes, before it was laid in the sepulchre. Some say that it is of the
same rock as Mount Calvary; and others assert that it was brought to this place by Joseph and Nicodemus, secret disciples of Jesus Christ, who performed this pious office, and that it is of a greenish colour. Be this as it may, on account of the indiscretion of certain pilgrims, who broke off pieces, it was found necessary to cover it with white marble, and to surround it with an iron railing, lest people should walk over it. This stone is eight feet, wanting three inches, in length, and two feet, wanting one inch, in breadth ; and above it, eight lamps are kept continually burning.
“ The Holy Sepulchre is thirty paces from this stone, and exactly in the centre of the great dome, of which I have already spoken : it resembles a small closet, hewn out of the solid rock. The entrance, which faces the east, is only four feet high, and two feet and a quarter broad, so that you are obliged to stoop very much to go in. The interior of the sepulchre is nearly square. It is six feet, wanting an inch, in length, and six feet, wanting two inches, in breadth, and from the floor to the roof eight feet one inch. There is a solid block of the same stone, which was left in excavating the other part. This is two feet four inches and a half high, and occupies half of the sepulchre ; for it is six feet, wanting one inch, in length, and two feet and fivesixths wide. On this table the body of our Lord was laid, with the head towards the west, and the feet to the east : but on account of the superstitious devotion of the Orientals, who imagine that, if they
leave their hair upon this stone, God will never forsake them, and also because the pilgrims broke off pieces, it has received a covering of white marble, on which mass is now celebrated. Forty-four lamps are constantly burning in this sacred place, and three holes have been made in the roof for the emission of the smoke. The exterior of the sepulchre is also faced with slabs of marble, and adorned with several columns, having a dome above.
“ At the entrance of the sepulchre there is a stone about a foot and a half square, and a foot thick, which is of the same rock, and served to support the large stone that closed the access to the sepulchre. Upon this stone was seated the angel when he spoke to the two Marys; and as well on account of this mystery, as to prevent the sepulchre from being entered, the first Christians erected before it a little chapel, which is called the Angel's Chapel. " Twelve
from the Holy Sepulchre, turning towards the north, you come to a large block of grey marble, about four feet in diameter, placed there to mark the spot where our Lord appeared to Mary Magdalen in the form of a gardener.
“ Farther on is the Chapel of the Apparition, where, as tradition asserts, our Lord first appeared to the Virgin Mary after his resurrection. This is the place where the Franciscans perform their de- . votions, and to which they retire ; and hence they pass into chambers with which there is no other communication.
Continuing your progress round the church you find a small vaulted chapel, seven feet long and six wide, otherwise denominated the Prison of our Lord, because he was here confined while the hole was made for erecting the cross. This chapel is opposite to Mount Calvary, so that these two places form what may be termed the transept of the church, the hill being to the south, and the chapel to the north.
Very near to this is another chapel, five paces long and three broad, standing on the very spot where our Lord was stripped by the soldiers before he was nailed to the cross, and where they cast lots for his apparel, and divided it
them. Leaving this chapel, you find on the left a great staircase, which pierces the wall of the church, and descends into a kind of cellar dug out of the rock. Having gone down thirty steps, you come to a chapel on the left hand, which is commonly called the Chapel of St. Helena, because she prayed there while she caused search to be made for the sacred cross. You descend eleven more steps to the place where it was discovered, together with the nails, the crown of thorns, and the head of the spear, after lying buried in this place upwards of three hundred years.
“ Near the top of this staircase, turning towards Mount Calvary, is a chapel, four paces long and two and a half broad, under the altar of which is a pillar of grey marble spotted with black, two feet
in height, and one in diameter. It is called the pillar of Impropere, because our Lord was there forced to sit down in order to be crowned with thorns.
from this chapel you come to a very narrow staircase, the steps of which are of wood at the beginning, and of stone at the end. There are twenty in all, by which you ascend to Mount Calvary. This spot, once so ignominious, having been sanctified by the blood of our Lord, was an object of the particular attention of the first Christians. Having removed every impurity, and all the earth which was upon it, they surrounded it with walls, so that it is now like a lofty chapel enclosed within this spacious church. It is lined in the interior with marble, and divided by a row of arches into two parts. That towards the north is the
where our Lord was nailed to the cross. Here thirty-two lamps are kept continually burning: they are attended by the Franciscans, who daily perform mass in this sacred place.
“ In the other part, which is to the south, the Holy Cross was erected. You still see the hole dug in the rock, to the depth of about a foot and a half, besides the earth which was above it. Near this is the place where stood the crosses of the two thieves. That of the penitent thief was to the north, and the other to the south; so that the first was on the right hand of our Saviour, who had his face turned towards the west, and his back to Jerusalem, which