Topography Of Jerusalem. -- By: E. Robinson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 003:11 (Aug 1846)
Article: Topography Of Jerusalem.
Author: E. Robinson


Topography Of Jerusalem.

E. Robinson

Professor at New York.

In the Preface to the Bibliotheca Sacra for the year 1843, I made allusion to intimations which had reached me from various quarters, that some of the positions taken in the Biblical Researches in respect to tjje topography of Jerusalem, were “likely to be assailed, in carrying on a crusade in favor of the reputed site of the Holy Sepulchre.”

These anticipations have since been realized. During the last year (1845), two works appeared,—one in London, a thick octavo; the other in Berlin, a brief memoir,1 —giving the results of new speculations upon the topography of the Holy City; and devoted mainly to the support of a new theory as to the course of the ancient walls, by .which the traditional site of the Holy Sepulchre might be brought without the ancient city. These volumes, from the reputed scholarship of their authors and the advantages enjoyed by them during a long residence upon the spot in official stations, might seem justly to claim a higher degree of authority, than almost any former work upon these topics.

Indeed, I know of no work which can compete with them in all these (and perhaps some other) respects, except the folios of Quaresmius, who was for many years Superior of the Latin convent in Jerusalem.

Of the first of these works, that of the English chaplain, it is the express and avowed object, to controvert and (if possible) to overthrow the positions of the Biblical Researches, in respect to the alleged site of the Holy Sepulchre and the authority of the tradition on which it professedly rests.2 The infallibility of the church, or rather of the hierarchy, in this particular, is to be maintained at all hazards; and to this end the “believing spirit” of both writer and reader is put in full requisition,—even a faith which shall be able to ‘remove mountains,’ and thus impart a new aspect to the whole topography of the Holy City. So earnestly is this author devoted to his one main object, that the topographical portion of his volume approaches nearly to the nature of a controversial commentary upon the Biblical Researches; so much so, indeed, that it can hardly itself be intelligible to the reader, without constant reference to the latter work. Of this I cannot well complain. The spirit of the book is truly that of a crusade in behalf of the Holy Sepulchre.3 It may also be a circumstance worth notice, that this author, during a residence of fourteen months in Jerusalem, does not appear to have ma...

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