The same remark applies to the yet more solemn truth of the Divinity of Christ. Beeroth, which is fifteen miles distant from Bethlehem, 1 or possibly even Jerusalem, which is only six miles off, may have been the resting-place of Mary and Joseph before this last stage of their journey.
That not indeed as surrounded with all the recondite enquiries about the Trepixwprja-is or communicatio idiomatum, the hypostatic union, the abstract impeccability, and such scholastic formula? But the heavy languor, or even the commencing pangs of travail, must necessarily have retarded the progress of the maiden-mother.
Although this book is not mainly contro- versial, and would, had it been intended as a contribu- tion to polemical literature, have been written in a very different manner, I do not believe that it will prove wholly valueless to any honest doubter who reads it in a candid and uncontemptuous spirit. One tradition says that the khan was on the ruins of a fortress built by David which had gradually fallen to ruin. The humble wayfarers, as they passed near it, might have heard the hired and voluptuous minstrelsy with which its feasts were celebrated, or the shouting of the rough mercenaries whose arms enforced obedience to its despotic lord.
Hundreds of critics, for instance, have impugned authority of the Gospels on the score of the real or supposed contradic- tions to be found in them. The suggestion that the House of Chimham was the khan of Bethlehem is made by Mr. But the true King of the Jews the rightful Lord of the Universe was not to be found in palace or fortress.
But whether this book be thus blessed to high ends, or whether it be received with harshness and indif- ference, nothing at least can rob me of the deep and constant happiness which I have felt during almost every hour that has been spent upon it. There is therefore nothing improbable in the tradition which points out the actual cave as having been the one now covered by the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. 16, just as the subsequent words in the LXX., Itpros Soefoerai avrf, were fancifully referred to Bethlehem, " the house of bread." There seems to be no proof of the assertion (mentioned by Stanley, Sin. 441), that the Arabs, when they plundered the church, found that the Grotto of the Nativity was an ancient sepulchre.
They therefore ap- plied originally to an eminent theologian, who accepted the proposal, but whose elevation to the Episcopate prevented him from carrying it out.
IN fulfilling a task so difficult and so important as that of writing the Life of Christ, I feel it to be a duty to state the causes which led me to undertake it, and the principles which have guided me in carrying it to a conclusion. It has long been the desire and aim of the publishers of this work to spread as widely as possible the blessings of knowledge ; and, in special furtherance of this design, they wished to place in the hands of their readers such a sketch of the Life of Christ on earth as should enable them to realise it more clearly, and to enter more thoroughly into the details and sequence of the Gospel narratives.
It is not even intended to deal otherwise than indirectly with the serious doubts of those who, almost against their will, think themselves forced to lapse into a state of honest disbelief. ] Distant but a few miles, on the plateau of the abrupt and singular hill now called Jebel Fureidis, or "Little Paradise Mountain," towered the palace-fortress of the Great Herod. 4 of our Dionysian era, is all but certain ; but neither the day nor the month Can be fixed (tlfflv 5e ol irtpiepyorfpov ...
I may indeed venture to hope that such readers, if they follow me with no unkindly spirit through these pages, may here and there find considera- tions of real weight and importance, which will solve imaginary difficulties and supply an answer to real objections. The magnificent houses of his friends and courtiers crowded around its base.