The Holy Sepulchre and the Temple at Jerusalem...

Book Details

Author  James Fergusson F.R.S.
Publisher  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date   March 29, 2012
ISBN  147511415X
Pages  172

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DURING the eighteen years that have elapsed since the publication of the 'Essay on the Ancient Topography of Jerusalem: a considerable amount of accurate information has been collected, bearing on the questions therein discussed. This would be sufficient, under ordinary circumstances, to justify a second edition of the work; but there are several reasons why this should hardly yet be attempted. First--There is a survey now in progress at Jerusalem, which will rectify our knowledge of the topography to a very considerable extent, but, though completed on the spot, it will not be published and available to the public for some time to come. Secondly-The works of De Vogue and De Saulcy are still incomplete, and will no doubt throw important light on many points of interest; and there are other researches in progress which have a more or less direct bearing on the points at issue. The most important reason, however, for deferring the second edition is that the questions raised on the original work have not yet reached that stage which entitles them to the consideration of earnest and competent inquirers. When a question of this kind is first brought forward, it meets only with contempt, and sneers supply the place of arguments. When these will no longer suffice, misrepresentation of the facts of the case, and abuse of the author who brought it forward, serve to keep back the truth for some time. If it survives these, it is then taken up by those who ought to have investigated it when first promulgated, and what is good in it established, what is erroneous put on one side. My own impression is, that the theory, that the Dome of the Rock was built by Constantine, has passed through the first two of these stages of its existence; but whether it has reached the third is by no means so clear. It is so much easier to criticise than to investigate; so much safer to deny than to admit an hypothesis which may afterwards be proved to be untenable; so much pleasanter to detect another in error, than to acknowledge his success even in the slightest degree, that from one or all of these causes the great difficulty of such a case as this, is to obtain for it a fair hearing.

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