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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 64



ceeded thus far : once more, fired with holy ardour, he directed that the ground should be dug up to a considerable depth, and the soil which had been polluted by the foul impurities of demon worship transported to a far distant place. . . . But as soon as the original surface of the ground, beneath the covering of earth, appeared, immediately, and contrary to all expectation, the venerable and hallowed monument of our Saviour's resurrection was discovered. Then, indeed, did this most holy cave present a faithful similitude of return to life, in that, after lying buried in darkness, it again emerged to light, and afforded to all who came to witness the sight a clear and visible proof of the wonders of which that spot had once been the scene." In other words; in the time of Constantine a report existed that the spot then occupied by a temple of Venus was the site of our Lord's burial-place : Constantine took down the temple, meaning to build the church upon it : then, in removing the earth, supposed to be defiled by ,the idol worship which had taken place upon it, they found to their extreme astonishment the cave or tomb which is shown to this day. Then came the building of the Basilica. " First of all,* he adorned the sacred cave itself, as the chief part of the whole work, and the hallowed monument at which the angel, radiant with light, had once declared to all that regeneration which was first manifested in the Saviour's person. This monument, therefore, as. the chief part of the whole, the emperor's zealous magnificence beautified with rare columns, and profusely enriched with the most splendid decorations of every kind. " The next object of his attention was a space of ground of great extent, and open to the pure air of heaven. This he adorned with a pavement of finely polished stone, and ,-* Euseb. ' Life of Constantine,' iii. ch. xxxiii. et seq. •


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