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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 139



the cave, and its rebuilding in 1010 , all served to increase the ardour of pilgrims. And there had been another cause already mentioned. Throughout western Christendom a whisper ran that the end of the world was approaching. A thousand years had nearly elapsed since the Church of Christ was founded. The second advent of the founder was to happen when this period was accomplished : the advent was to take place in Palestine ; happy those who could be present to welcome their Lord. Therefore, of all conditions and ranks in life, from the lowest to the highest, an innumerable multitude of pilgrims thronged to Jerusalem. And so deep was the feeling that the end of all things was at hand, that legal documents were drawn up beginning with the words, "Appropinquante etenim mundi termino et ruinis crebrescentibus jam certa signa manifestantur, pertimescens tremendi judicii diem." Among the best known pilgrims of the last century before the Crusades is Fulke the Black, Count of Anjou. He was accused, and justly, of numerous acts of violence. But he had also violated the sanctity of a church, and for this pardon was difficult to obtain. Troubled with phantoms which appeared to him by night, the offspring of his own disordered conscience, Fulke resolved to expiate his sins by a pilgrimage. After being nearly shipwrecked on his voyage to Syria—the tempest appeared to him a special mark of God's displeasure—he arrived safely in Jerusalem, and caused himself to be scourged through the streets, crying aloud, " Lord, have mercy on a faithless and perjured Christian ; on a sinner wandering far from his own country." By a pious fraud he obtained admission to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre : and we are told that, while praying at the tomb, the stone miraculously became soft to his teeth, and he bit off a portion of it and brought it triumphantly away. Be turned to his own country, Fulke built a church at Loches in imitation of that at Jerusalem. Tormented still by his conscience, he went a second time


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