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VIA CRUCIS" 

The Lesson of Holy Week 



By 

HERBERT CUSHING TOLMAN, 
Ph.D.,D.D. " 

Hon. Canon of All Saints'' Cathedral, Milwaukee; 
Professor of Greek, Vanderbilt University 



t 




MILWAUKEE 
THE YOUNG CHURCHMAN COMPANY 
1907 



LIBRARY of CONFESS 
Two Copies Received 
FEB 21 190/ 



Copyright Entry 
COPY B. 



„ No, 



Copyright by 
THE YOUNG CHURCHMAN COMPANY 
1907 



To My Wife 
MARY WELLES fOLMAN, 

Whose life has always been an inspiration 
To follow in the footsteps of Christ 



By the same Author 

URBS BEATA 

A Vision of the Perfect Life. 



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fine simplicity, and the wisdom of an accomplished 
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TN the spring of 1905, I chanced to be a 
member of the First International Con- 
gress of Archaeologists, which convened 
in Athens. After its adjournment the 
privilege was afforded me of spending Holy 
Week in Jerusalem. What spot in all the 
world could be more filled with holy asso- 
ciations than beneath the same sky where 
Jesus suffered, and on the same soil where 
Jesus trod! 

Many of the meditations here recorded, 
I wrote down at the close of each day, after 
standing but a moment before on the 
ground made sacred by the footsteps of our 
Saviour. Where the order of events of 
this Great Week is disputed, I have fol- 
lowed Holtzmann (Lei en Jesu) and his 
historical setting, although in some cases I 
have departed widely from him. 

As we thus walk with Christ on the last 
days before His death, may we realize that 



viii 



VIA CRUCIS 



His divine religion demands that, loving 
as He loved, and serving as He served, we 
walk with Him in such self-denial that 
others seeing us do know that we have been 
with Jesus. 

Herbert Gushing Tolman. 
Vanderbilt University, 
October, 1906. 



palm Sutiba? 

THS the traveller coming from Beth- 
J I any rounds the southern spur of 
Olivet there bursts upon his view Jeru- 
salem, with its ten thousand sacred 
memories. He sees in front of him the 
Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Vale of 
Hinnom, the castellated battlements of 
the city wall, the old Temple precinct, 
while above the cupolas and minarets 
of the modern town looms conspicu- 
ously on the western side that palace 
structure which tradition styles "The 
Tower of David." 

It was near this point of the road 
that the throng following our Lord on 
Palm Sunday, strewed the ground and 
broke forth into loud Hosannas. This 
spontaneous outburst of acclaim was 
voiced in the words of a Psalm filled 



2 



VIA C BUG IS 



with eager hope of the speedy advent 
of the Messianic Kingdom. "Help 
(Hoshiah na). Blessed be He that 
cometh in the name of Yahweh. Help 
in the highest." 

The Kingdom of the Messiah had 
indeed begun, but not as the expectant 
crowd imagined. Christ entered, mount- 
ed not upon a horse with martial trap- 
pings as an earthly conqueror, but upon 
a lowly ass, a symbol of humility. 
How unlike the brilliant triumphs 
which Eome had often witnessed, with 
their pageants and their train of cap- 
tives! Jesus' victory was the emanci- 
pation from sin for those who had en- 
tered into His own life, His crown of 
conquest, the majesty of sacrifice; His 
kingdom, the reign of love in the hu- 
man heart. 

Tradition says that the triumphal 
procession approached the city by the 
portals of the Golden Gate. This gate, 



VIA CRUCIS 



3 



which, is usually closed, we were per- 
mitted to enter, and to study minutely 
the ancient columns within the en- 
closure. From the time of the Cru- 
saders the procession from the Mount 
of Olives always passed through it into 
the Temple Court. In recent times, 
however, the entire structure has been 
walled up because of the strong Moslem 
belief that some day a Christian con- 
queror will enter here and wrest Jeru- 
salem from Mohammedan power. 

An examination of the prostrate and 
ruined columns, which contain Hebrew 
carving on capitals of Greek shafts, 
leads us to infer that the gate was built 
partly out of the remains of the Jewish 
Temple. It is very probable that 
through an earlier gateway erected 
near this site our Lord made His tri- 
umphal entrance into the city. Even 
in its present form it is a dominant fea- 
ture of the modern wall, and from its 



4 



VIA CRUCIS 



summit there is an extended prospect 
over the environs of Jerusalem. 

As imposing as to-day is the view of 
the Holy City from the Mount of 
Olives, it gives but a slight conception 
of the splendor which met the gaze of 
our Lord as the sunlight fell upon the 
Temple. No doubt it was the grandest 
sanctuary which the eye of man ever be- 
held. The solid walls of white stone 
rose from the steep valley beneath to a 
height well nigh prodigious. Above 
this vast substructure magnificent 
colonnades surrounded the whole enclo- 
sure, while high beyond the various 
courts distinctly marked with terraces 
and guarded by gates which flashed 
with plates of gold, silver and polished 
brass, towered the Holy Temple itself, 
the symbol of Yahweh's everlasting pre- 
sence. What Jew would not be pro- 
foundly impressed by a scene so awe-in- 
spiring and incomparably sacred ! 



THE GOLDEN GATE. 



VIA CRUCIS 



5 



Yet Jesus saw that His teachings im- 
parted to a humble band of Galilean 
peasants were to be mightier and more 
enduring than the costliest shrine. 
We stand where once the Temple stood. 
Of its glory nothing remains. That 
proud monument of Yahweh's favor 
has long since been leveled to the dust. 
But to-day in place of one House of 
God, are our churches, our hospitals, 
and our asylums where dwells the 
spirit of the Father revealed in Jesus. 
The Holy of Holies is now the human 
heart, where is enthroned the royalty of 
service. 

The lesson of Palm Sunday is not 
our contemplation of the historic scene 
which occurred before the steep incline 
which we saw leading up to the city 
walls, but its vital truth is the trium- 
phal entrance of the Messiah into our 
own souls. It is only with this thought 
before us that we are fitted to follow the 



6 



VIA CRUCIS 



Saviour through the coming days of 
His Passion and Death. 

What does the advent of Christ as 
sovereign Lord into our hearts mean? 
It means the clear detection and con- 
quest of sin — the clear detection, I say, 
for sin is not fully discernible until we 
see it against the white background of 
Jesus' life and character. No foe ever 
lurked in deeper ambush. It is so dis- 
guised that we do well to digress a little 
as we inquire what is the nature of sin 
from which the dominion of Christ 
saves us. 

Probably a concise summary of the 
views of the late Dr. Julius Miiller, 
who for a long time was regarded by 
many as an authority, is in the state- 
ment that sin is self-absorbed selfish- 
ness. If this be so, certainly we need 
something more than self -vision to re- 
veal it to us. We must see sin as J esus 
saw it. 



VIA CRUCIS 



7 



Mr. Tennant in his recent work 
(Origin of Sin) has followed Miiller 
along the same lines, but has reached a 
conclusion more advanced when he de- 
clares that we come to morality only 
through "the formation of the non- 
moral material of nature into charac- 
ter." The thought in this brief quota- 
tion is so important that I may be par- 
doned if, to make the idea a little 
clearer, I give the words of Archdeacon 
Wilson in his address to the Church 
Congress. "To the evolutionist," he 
says, "sin is not an innovation, but is 
survival or misuse of habits and ten- 
dencies which were incidental to an 
earlier stage in development. Their 
sinfulness lies in their resistance to the 
evolutionary and divine force that 
makes for moral development and right- 
eousness." 

If sin be the terrible anachronism 
which these writers believe, a lagging 



8 



VIA CRUCIS 



behind in the race for the goal, a tardi- 
ness in advancing from the non-moral 
to the moral state, then the keen moral 
consciousness of the Christ becomes a 
necessary vade mecum for our progress 
in the divine life. We must see what 
sin is — and that is a difficult thing — 
before we can escape from it. It is 
here we need one who shall be to us 
Jesus "Deliverer/' for, as proclaimed 
at His birth, He shall deliver His 
people from their sins. 

Should we for a moment suppose 
that our self-assertive tendencies do not 
make sin difficult to detect, I beg that 
we remember how our most fatal and 
disastrous sins are so subtle as to clothe 
themselves with even the garb of vir- 
tues. Cruelty puts on the cloak of 
justice; pride and hate that of self- 
respect; greed and envy that of ambi- 
tion; narrowness, bigotry, and intoler- 
ance that of truth. It is only through 



VIA CRUCI8 



9 



Christ's triumphant lordship in our 
hearts that we are enabled to know sin, 
and at the same time to realize fully 
God's condemnation of and sorrow for it. 

Yes, such clear moral vision is the 
victory of the love of Jesus shed abroad 
in our hearts. Let me use a simple 
illustration. 

Eadiant energy — that white light 
from God's heaven — must exist before 
the sensitive plate of the camera re- 
ceives any effect whatsoever. So our 
hearts must glow with divine love — 
that pure love, uncolored by envy or 
malice, even that love which "thinketh 
no evil" — ere the Christ-likeness can be 
created there. 

The surface of the plate, again, must 
be brought before the projected image 
of the object. Should anything inter- 
vene reproduction is impossible. In 
like manner between our souls and 
Christ nothing can come. Should self 



10 



VIA CRUCIS 



intervene there will be no impress of 
the Christ-image. 

And finally — to carry the figure far- 
ther — the solar rays upon the exposed 
film cut out the silver nitrate and other 
chemicals so that the part shaded by the 
object stands out clear and distinct. 
Has not the love of Jesus to cut out of 
our souls all impurity, jealousy, pride, 
greed, and hate before His likeness can 
be discerned ? 

A hard process we say, yet this is the 
triumph of Christ in the human heart, 
a triumph which means nothing less 
than Christ-similitude. "We all with 
uncovered face, reflecting as in a mir- 
ror the glory of our Lord, are trans- 
figured into the same likeness from 
glory unto glory." 

It is said that after the lions in the 
amphitheatre had devoured one of the 
ancient martyrs, his heart was found in- 
tact, and on it was inscribed the single 



VIA OBUCIS 



11 



word Jesus. Surely, yes, surely, this 
supreme name alone will be in our souls 
when the Christ-victory is won. 

So we see that Jesus' triumphal en- 
trance into our hearts means a life- 
union with Himself, effecting in us a 
divine character like His own, whose 
realization is absolute harmony and 
complete fellowship with God. This 
is salvation, and is a lifelong struggle. 

Over our dead past with all its fail- 
ures and mistakes, as on the old Egypt- 
ian obelisk standing to-day in the 
Piazza of St. Peter's, will now be 
written the words so significant of the 
reign of Jesus within us, 

Christus vincit, 
Christus regnat, 
Christus imperat, 

which means that the dominion of self 
is replaced by the dominion of our 
Master, our Lord, our King. 

Christus Triumphal 



Mtoit&a? before £aster 



ON" Monday Jesus is at Bethany. 
Bethany ! How tenderly 
Christians pronounce this name, for it 
was here that Christ showed more of 
His human feelings. Here He de- 
lighted in the quiet home of Mary and 
Martha. Here He sorrowed for the 
dead Lazarus, even as we sorrow at the 
death of our beloved. Here was re- 
vealed the tender love of the Christ- 
heart : "He whom Thou lovest is sick," 
was the only message necessary to dis- 
tinguish this friend of our Lord. 
Happy Lazarus! That He who had 
come from the Father's bosom, He 
whom angels revered, should have 
singled him out for such peculiar and 
intimate companionship ! 



VIA CRUCIS 



13 



Looking eastward we see the illimi- 
table waste of the barren hills stretch- 
ing on as far as the Dead Sea and the 
Jordan. It is a part of that vast 
wilderness of Judsea whither Jesus 
withdrew to fight the power of evil in 
solitude. Certainly upon these desert 
hills our Lord had looked many times. 
Above our heads is the clear Oriental 
sky, the same heaven that opened to re- 
ceive the ascending Christ after He had 
led His disciples out even unto Beth- 
any. 

The traditional grave of Lazarus is 
pointed out to all travellers. Descend- 
ing into a second subterranean chamber 
we come to a small vault unlike the 
many rock-hewn tombs which abound in 
the environs of Jerusalem. It was at 
some open grave on this eastern spur of 
Olivet where the evangelist places that 
transcendent scene of Death bowing 
before the summons of the Lord of Life 



14 



VIA CRUGIS 



who, in the sublime consciousness of 
the immortality of self -giving love, pro- 
claims : "I am the Resurrection and the 
Life. He who puts his trust in Me, 
even though he has died, shall live, and 
he who lives and puts his trust in Me 
shall not ever die." May our life- 
union with Christ be such that these 
words of promise become more and 
more realized in our souls. 

Some ruined walls rising in the 
centre of the insignificant modern town 
are associated with the house of Simon 
the Leper, while a fairly preserved sub- 
structure, a short distance from the 
road, marks the foundation of the tra- 
ditional home of Mary and Martha. 

However incredulous the traveller 
may be in accepting the authenticity of 
these scanty remains which the drago- 
man points out with such zeal, yet this 
little village on the eastern slope of 
Olivet is a sacred spot, for here Christ 



VIA CRUCIS 



15 



withdrew from the noise and bustle of 
the city to the comfort of social joys. 

We do well to remember that our 
Lord threw His life into the throbbing, 
pulsating world with the same sym- 
pathy as He entered into the religious 
services of the Temple. It is a false 
dualism that would separate the sacred 
and the profane. All life is holy. 
The name "Christian" means that we 
are to be Ohrists in society, Ohrists in 
the home, Ohrists in business. Our 
words will be forgotten, but the 
personal touch of our lives with other 
lives will live as long as the souls which 
we may have influenced. 

Jesus loved His friends. What is 
there more divine than friendship? 
Yet how loosely we use the term! 
Friends are not made in a day. I had 
a friend in childhood and I loved him, 
but it was with the love of childhood. 
I have a friend in manhood and I love 



16 



VIA CRUCIS 



him with the strong, true, intelligent 
love of manhood. So the friend of my 
old age will be he whom I shall love in 
a friendship tried and tested through 
the years. Christ says that He calls us 
"His friends." We have perhaps loved 
Him with the love of earlier days, but 
how higher, diviner, richer, and deeper 
the love as the passing years of our com- 
panionship with Him bring us near the 
end of life ! 

Eternal life, Jesus tells us, is to 
know God and Christ Himself; to 
know our Lord as we know our dearest 
friend, and by this lifelong friendship 
with Him to receive into us His person- 
ality. It is very true that our friends 
become a part of ourselves and we a 
part of them. Are we through con- 
stant communion with Him taking the 
life of Jesus into us ? Are we in our 
social intercourse imparting to others 
the Christ within us ? If not, we may 



VIA CRUCIS 



17 



call ourselves "friends of Jesus," yet 
fail to have that friendship which 
Jesus meant. 

The evening of this day Christ spent 
at the house of Simon the Leper 
(Holtzmann) and received the devotion 
of a sinful woman who cast herself at 
His feet and bathed them with costly 
ointment. 

Along the road leading from the 
Mount of Olives over the Kedron 
Valley crowds of lepers to-day beg the 
passing traveller for alms. This foul 
disease in its present form obliterates 
the physical features. The eye be- 
comes glassy; the fleshy part of the 
nose falls away; portions of the limbs 
drop off. Is not this a fitting symbol 
of the loathsome disease of sin daily 
eating insidiously into the divine life 
of the soul? 

We note that our Lord mingled with 
lepers. He reached out His hand and 



18 



VIA CRUCIS 



touched them, saying "I will, be you 
clean." He was called contemptously 
by the self-righteous, "a friend of sin- 
ners." Blessed word! If sin in the 
world is to be cured, it can never be 
done by drawing the robes of our self- 
righteousness about us. Its remedy is 
only through the personal contact of the 
Christ-life in ourselves with the de- 
generate, the erring, the wicked. It is 
certain that Jesus treated sin as a dis- 
ease, an unsound, abnormal condition 
of human life. Are not the Church and 
society to find here a solution of the 
great problem of criminology? A 
truly Christian civilization should re- 
quire that all institutions for the 
criminal class be reformatory, not 
penal. Jacob Riis, in writing his well 
known book which shows the awful in- 
fluence of heredity and environment on 
the human soul, was profoundly im- 
pressed by the thought of the impos- 



VIA CRUCIS 



19 



sibility of showing the love of God to 
those who have ever been nurtured in 
sight of the greed of man. 

The religion of Jesus Christ de- 
mands nothing less than that we bring 
our healing life to sinners and our com- 
fort to the outcast. 



Oues6a£ before Caster 

OK Tuesday our Lord on His way to 
Jerusalem curses the barren fig 
tree, a type of many so-called Christ- 
ians, who show forth the external form 
of Christianity, but who have not in 
themselves that divine life which brings 
forth the fruits of the Spirit. Let us 
ask ourselves here that searching ques- 
tion: Have we these fruits of charac- 
ter ? Think well on each as we enum- 
erate them : "love, joy, peace, long suf- 
fering, kindness, goodness, trust, gentle- 
ness, self -control" (Gal. v. 22). 

Within the Temple enclosure Jesus 
finds those who were selling doves for 
sacrifice and the money-changers, who 
gained considerable profit in the pre- 
mium exacted for changing Roman 
coin into the Jewish money required 
for offering to Tahweh. The confu- 



VIA CBUCIS 



21 



sion in the court was such that our 
Lord drives them from the Temple, 
and so justifiable was this act that the 
Roman soldiers quartered in the neigh- 
boring Castle of Antonia did not ven- 
ture to interfere. 

If our Lord's anger was great in be- 
holding those who took advantage of the 
sanctuary for purposes of personal 
gain, with what displeasure he must 
look upon members of His Church who 
worship with hearts filled with avarice 
and greed, and whose ill-gotten wealth 
is amassed through the oppression of 
the poor ! 

There is no doubt that the Jewish 
Temple occupied the site of the present 
Haram esh Sherif ("Holy Enclosure"), 
a spot in Mohammedan religion second 
in sanctity to the Kaaba in Mecca. 

On the south side Solomon erected 
his vast substructure to afford a 
broader plateau for the temple area, 



22 



VIA CBUCIS 



and the massive square stones on which 
are traced Phoenician marks for six 
courses of masonry attest the solidity 
of the ancient foundation. These 
painted and incised characters have 
been interpreted as masons' signs and 
are identical with those carved on the 
tomb of the Phoenician king Eshmuna- 
zar. On this wall probably rose the 
pinnacle of the temple, whose summit 
commanded a dizzy height, overlooking 
the deep gorge of the Valley of 
Jehoshaphat. 

At the bottom of the southeast angle 
is a well-hewn block of stone, fourteen 
feet long and nearly four feet high, 
deeply sunk into the rock. It is evi- 
dent by the absence of marginal draft 
at the bottom that it was prepared in 
the quarry for its present position. 
For many centuries it has bound the 
two walls of supporting masonry above 
it, and strikingly became from the 



VIA CRUCIS 



23 



earliest period the symbol of moral 
strength, and later the token of the per- 
manency of Christ's kingdom. "Behold 
I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, 
a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, 
a sure foundation." So St. Paul re- 
ferring to the solidity of the ecclesias- 
tical structure speaks of it as "built 
upon the foundation of the Apostles 
and Prophets, Christ Jesus Himself be- 
ing the Head corner-stone, in whom all 
the building, exactly framed together, 
groweth unto an holy temple in the 
Lord." 

Are the lives of Christians such that 
no stone is placed therein which shall 
mar the spiritual edifice of the Holy 
Church of God? Are our acts, our 
thoughts, our words, such as to be com- 
pactly fitted into that building not 
made with hands, eternal in the 
heavens ? Will they stand the scrutiny 
of the Supreme Architect ? 



24 



VIA CRUCIS 



Along the south wall of the city a 
little farther to the west are remains of 
the Double and Triple Gates. We de- 
scend under ground to these structures, 
and observe several ancient columns 
as evinced by Jewish ornamentation 
that had come under the influence of 
GrsGco-Roman art. Since the Double 
Gate lay in the direction of Bethany, 
we are certain that our Lord Himself 
passed under the shadow of these very 
pillars which have survived the vicissi- 
tudes of Jerusalem. 

On the upper terrace of the modern 
precinct was found the famous stone 
containing the Greek inscription for- 
bidding all foreigners to enter the inner 
enclosure on penalty of death. I 
thought as I saw this stele several 
years before in the Ottoman Museum 
at Constantinople, how little the Jews 
realized that their national Tahweh 
was the common Father of all men. 



VIA CRTJCW 



25 



On this stone the eyes of our Saviour 
must have rested often, and we recall 
His words : "Many sheep I have not of 
this fold." 

So to-day, alas ! Christians erect their 
barriers of religious prejudice and 
dogmatism with somewhat the spirit 
of Eoman imperialism : extra ecclesiam 
nulla saluSj "no salvation outside their 
fold." Hence a disrupted and divided 
Christendom. Hence narrowness, big- 
otry, intolerance and schism. If the 
Church is to be what its divine Founder 
intended, a continuous and increasing 
revelation of Christ in the world — and 
who will deny this? — then there must 
be One Lord, One common faith in 
His love, One universal baptism of 
consecration. May the time be not far 
distant when a clearer understanding 
of the truths of Jesus shall sweep away 
the landmarks and boundaries of sec- 
tarianism, and the old walls which 



26 



VIA CRVCm 



guarded bigotry be looked upon with 
the same idle curiosity as the passing 
traveller regards the ancient Jewish 
stele in the Ottoman Museum. 

Under the shelter of the dome of the 
Mohammedan Mosque is the ancient 
Rock of Sacrifice which stood on the 
summit of Mount Moriah, a spot 
transcendently sacred to Jew and 
Christian alike. Here all the victims 
were offered from the time of David 
until the fall of Jerusalem. Behind 
it, where to-day stands a small grove of 
cypress trees, was the Holy of Holies, 
and it was necessary that the priest 
should pass by this Stone of Sacrifice 
before he could stand in God's presence 
in that inner shrine. 

Is not here a lesson for our lives? 
If we shall enter that higher, larger, 
and holier life, we must first pass 
through the stage of self-giving and 
sacrifice. This is the true ordo salutis. 



^Pednesda? before Caster 

CHE evening of Tuesday Jesus spent 
probably on the Mount of Olives, 
and again on Wednesday morning 
comes to the Temple court where He 
converses with a deputation from the 
Sanhedrim It is at this time that 
Jesus is fully conscious of the in- 
effectiveness of His stern invective 
against the hypocritical piety of the 
Pharisees, and in despair He laments 
"0 Jerusalem ! Jerusalem ! — how often 
would I have gathered thy children 
together — and ye would not" (Holtz- 
mann). 

In these haughty adversaries of our 
Lord we see a common type of Christ- 
ians who identify religion with theo- 
logic formularies, and complacent in 
the efficacy of their creed to save their 
souls, keep their heart untouched by 



28 



VIA CRUCIS 



love. Cold, cruel, self-opinionated, 
they look with scant charity upon the 
views of those who may be holding as a 
prerequisite for closer communion with 
God, the sign-manual Lux et Veritas, 
to follow wherever the Light and Truth 
may lead. They ponder upon the 
traditional theories of "personal" salva- 
tion, little realizing that 

"Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul, 
May keep the path but will not reach the goal; 
While he who walks in love may wander far, 
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are." 

— Van Dyke. 

Jesus is aware also of the intense 
hatred His words have incurred, and 
knows that His enemies will not rest 
until they have accomplished His ruin. 
His suspicions are fully justified, for 
presently emissaries come from the 
Sanhedrin with the concealed purpose 
of inducing Jesus to make some rash 
statement which might be construed as 



VIA CRUCIS 



29 



treason against Roman authority. So 
they introduce the tax question. A 
direct answer would either have given 
offence to Jewish sentiment, thereby 
diminishing Christ's influence among 
the people, or, had Jesus questioned 
the right of Eome to levy tribute, a 
criminal procedure would have been the 
immediate consequence. 

Jesus' familiar evasive reply, "Pay 
what is Caesar's to Caesar, and what is 
God's to God," is a remarkable example 
of astuteness in avoiding a most difficult 
dilemma, and at the same time in teach- 
ing a profound truth. "His foes," 
says Keim, "must have felt disap- 
pointed above measure, completely 
overthrown, for they had achieved 
nothing. They had neither as they had 
wished and expected, unmasked Him as 
a rebel and an enemy of Eome, nor 
even, as they might have afterwards 
wished, as a traitor to God, to the 



30 



VIA CRUCIS 



people, to their liberty, to tlieir future, 
to their longings for Messianic salva- 
tion" (Jesus of Nazara). 

Another captious question is put to 
our Lord by the Sadducees respecting 
what they deemed an insurmountable 
difficulty to belief in the resurrection. 
Jesus does not answer the question, but 
plainly declares that the finite condi- 
tions which surround us here should 
not be projected into our thought of the 
world beyond. The spiritual com- 
munion of the next life transcends the 
human limitations of family, and is 
like that of the angels of heaven. 
"More illustrious than ever the hero 
from Galilee stood there, His foes His 
footstool, and the people, newly en- 
chained, roused afresh for the Prophet, 
the God" (Keim). 

In marked contrast to these responses 
to His adversaries is the plain and 
direct answer which Jesus gives to the 



VIA CRUGIS 



31 



honest inquiry of the Scribe respecting 
the greatest of the Commandments. 
It is then Christ made for all time that 
concise summary of religious obliga- 
tion: "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy 
soul, and with all thy understanding, 
and with all thy strength." The Second 
Commandment is this: "Thou shalt 
love thy neighbor as thyself." 

The former was very familiar to 
every Jew, written as it was on His 
phylacteries, and naturally met with 
the hearty endorsement of Jesus' inter- 
locutor. The latter command, although 
found in J ewish Scripture, had become 
obsolete. To make plain its meaning 
our Lord at the Scribe's request defines 
the word neighbor through the graphic 
parable of the Good Samaritan (Holtz- 
mann), who was passing along the 
Jerusalem road which Jesus had re- 
cently traveled, a region doubtless as 



32 



VIA CRUGIS 



barren and wild in Christ's time 
(eprjfxov Kal 7rcTpo)8cs, Josephus) as we 
see it to-day. 

Nothing met our eyes as we 
journeyed by this route to the Dead 
Sea save desolate stretches of sand upon 
which the rays of the sun beat with un- 
mitigated vehemence. Only two small 
Khans, which afford a little rest and 
coolness to the traveller, break the mo- 
notony of a long and tedious journey. 
One is named "The Inn of The Good 
Samaritan"; but it certainly cannot 
localize the imaginary place of the 
assault upon the wayfarer, since it lies 
nearly half way between J erusalem and 
Jericho. We infer from the parable 
that the robbers attacked their victims 
at no very great distance from Jerus- 
alem, as the two passers-by were 
evidently coming out from the city. 

The priest was doubtless on his way 
home from service in the Temple 



VIA CRUCIS 



33 



(Jiilicher, Die Oleichnisreden Jesu). 
He had been standing in the quiet soli- 
tude of the Court of the Priests before 
the divine Presence, yet he had seen no 
vision of God. He, as well as the 
Levite, was an official representative of 
Judaism. Both were strict in their 
theology, but disregarded a fellow be- 
ing in distress. It remained for an 
ignorant, lowly, despised Samaritan to 
render a service more divine in God's 
sight than magnificent temple cere- 
monies. Then Jesus sums up the 
ratio vivendi in a single brief sentence : 
"Do likewise." 

In the old White Keep of the London 
Tower the visitor is shown where in 
the underground chambers stood the 
rack and the wheel. The walls are 
dark and damp, haunted even to-day 
by the cries of pain they have echoed. 
Yet by a strange inconsistency a wind- 
ing staircase brings one to the chapel 



34 



VIA CRUCIS 



of St. John the Divine. Here stood at 
the altar the cross, that symbol of suf- 
fering love; here men knelt and re- 
peated the very words of the Saviour of 
the world, while stifled by the thick 
stone beneath them were the shrieks 
and wails of victims tortured by cord 
and thumbscrew. Was that Christ- 
ianity ? Yet have we not to-day much 
of that spirit? We leave our comfort- 
able homes and enjoy the dignity and 
calm which come from worship in the 
House of God. But did we see in that 
narrow alley which we passed any de- 
graded lives to lift Godward? Did 
we hear from the dank of the cellar and 
the gloom of the attic any cry of suf- 
fering? Christianity is seeing with 
the Christ-vision the sorrows of the 
sorrowing, the poverty of the poor, the 
despair of the despairing. 

That night Jesus retires again to the 
Mount of Olives. 



ON Thursday morning our Lord for 
the last time visits the Temple. 
The Pharisees had probably heard that 
a courtesan had anointed His feet a 
few days before, and that the act had 
met with His favor. Jesus' compassion, 
they believe, will now destroy His in- 
fluence. An excellent opportunity 
offers. They find a common adulter- 
ess, who happened to be in the crowd 
about the temple, and publicly place 
her before Him. 

I know that this incident is not 
found in some of our best manuscripts, 
yet it is so in accord with the spirit of 
Christ that I feel it is real. Even 
Holtzmann regards it as genuine, and 
places it here in the order of events. 
If J esus condemns the sinful woman, 



36 



VIA CRUCIS 



He will act inconsistently with His 
spirit of pardon. If He does not con- 
demn her, He will lose all claim to be- 
ing a moral teacher. But our Lord's 
rebuke is to the woman's accusers. He 
asks them to search their own hearts, 
and if they find they have lived blame- 
less before God, then and then only are 
they qualified to judge a fellow crea- 
ture. Unable to evade this searching 
test, they creep away, one by one, till 
Jesus stands alone before the sinner. 
I should like to have seen the look our 
Lord gave to that shrinking, abject be- 
ing. It must have been full of love, 
tenderness, sympathy. He saw, be- 
cause He was the Christ of Love, what 
her accusers had failed to see. He saw 
God's image with all the possibilities 
of the divine life in that weak and 
broken body, and His words had to do 
only with the future: "Go and sin no 
more." 



VIA CRUGIS 



37 



The Pharisees demanded punish- 
ment; Jesus Christ asked for reforma- 
tion. 

In a Christian city of 'New England 
a girl who had been nurtured under 
the influence of God-fearing parents 
found employment in one of the large 
factories. Deceived by the treachery 
of a so-called friend who had invited 
her to meet some of her acquaintances, 
she was drugged, ruined and aband- 
oned. Later as she reeled half uncon- 
scious through the streets she was 
arrested for drunkenness, brought with 
a load of vile and loathsome criminals 
into the police court, and sentenced to 
ninety days in jail. At the expira- 
tion of that time she sought her em- 
ployer and told him her story. He 
refused to take her back. She went to 
another city, but found evil report had 
preceded her. In despair she turned 
to her old Sunday School teacher, but 



38 



VIA CRUCIS 



the door was shut in her face and she 
was told not to defile that home with 
her presence. Yes, she was an 
abandoned woman— that awful term- 
abandoned by a self-righteous world, 
but still dear and precious to the Christ- 
heart. A week later the waves gently- 
washed her frail and outworn body 
upon the rugged shore of that New 
England coast. The waters, more 
kind than the human hearts, to which 
she had appealed, gave that rest which 
had been denied her in the great city 
of Christian homes and Christian 
churches. How different the con- 
demnation of the world to-day from 
that of Jesus two thousand years ago! 
The Sunday School teacher still meets 
her classes, but she has not heard the 
Christ saying "Inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of these least, ye have 
done it unto Me." 

As Jesus was still sitting in the 



VIA CRUCIS 



30 



temple (Holtzmann), he observes a 
poor widow approaching the treasury 
and putting in two lepta (a quarter 
cent), surely an insignificant sum com- 
pared with the contributions of the 
rich. Our Lord takes this occasion to 
teach the great truth that the value of 
an offering in God's sight is measured 
solely by the personal sacrifice in- 
volved. We cannot hoard our wealth 
and give to God something which 
costs us little to surrender. Neither 
can we use our money for selfish aims, 
and then satisfy our consciences by 
leaving legacies for great philanthropic 
purposes, since what death wrests from 
us is in no wise a voluntary gift. 

It is the spirit of individual self- 
denial which God accepts and blesses. 

Jesus now passes out of the temple 
buildings which by their size and 
magnificence overawed the simple band 
of Galilean peasants. Yet our Lord 



40 



VIA CBUGIS 



boldly foretells the utter destruction of 
a shrine so sacred to every Jew. The 
language of a similar prophecy was 
later used against Him at His trial. 
He had also on this day publicly ex- 
posed the hypocrisy and pride of 
Pharisaism, thus arousing still more 
the hatred of His enemies. Jesus is 
glad to retire again to the quiet of 
Olivet. 

Sitting on the hillslope He con- 
verses with His disciples concerning 
His second coming. He tells them, 
through graphic illustrations, of the 
necessity of preparedness, of the 
separation between those qualified and 
those unqualified for admission into 
His kingdom. He shows that the uni- 
versal law of that kingdom is one of 
love, and that the sole criterion of judg- 
ment will be based on the amount of 
this unselfish love contained in the 
hearts of His believers. He clearly 



VIA CRUCIS 



41 



teaches that service to humanity is 
service to Himself. 

When the evening shadows gather 
Christ prepares to eat His last meal 
with His disciples. 

Late in the afternoon of Thursday 
we visited the traditional cenaculum. 
A statement of Epiphanius, to the 
effect that the Upper Room used at 
that time as a little church had escaped 
the general demolition of Jerusalem, 
has led many to regard this chamber as 
one of the most authentic of sacred sites 
(Zahn, Neue KircMiche Zeitschrift). 
Prof. Sanday commits himself fully to 
this view, remarking that the evidence 
appears to him so strong that he is pre- 
pared to give it an unqualified ad- 
hesion. The room is to-day in the 
hands of the most fanatical sect of the 
Moslems. It is an ancient edifice with 
later vaulted ceiling, supported by mas- 
sive columns, and I can easily believe 



42 



VIA CRUCIS 



that at least it may have been in exist- 
ence in the time of Christ. 

On the evening of that day we cele- 
brated the Holy Communion in the 
English Church at J erusalem, certainly 
not far from the spot where Christ 
Himself established this memorial of 
His death. After the words, "This do 
in remembrance of Me," we paused, 
that our thoughts might go back 
through the centuries to that solemn 
scene when, on this same night and at 
the same hour, our Lord took the cup 
into His hand and blessed it to be for- 
ever the pledge of His love. 

It is thought by many modern 
scholars that the Last Supper on that 
eve before the Passover symbolized the 
ancient Sinaitic Covenant whereby 
Yahweh bound Himself to His people 
(Titius, Neutest. Lehre). During 
the ceremonies of this feast the victim 
was slain, and his blood originally was 



VIA CRUCIS 



43 



drunk by the worshipper in the belief 
that he was actually partaking of the 
life of his God. Although the J ews in 
the time of our Lord had advanced far 
beyond that crude idea of sacrifice, yet 
there still survived a symbolism of the 
shed blood as a type of the union of 
God with His people. 

If this view be correct, I think we 
see a more suggestive and a diviner 
meaning in the Holy Eucharist. It is 
His Body and His Blood, not of the 
old Jewish compact with a national 
God, but of the new covenant "with 
Yahweh's Servant suffering to redeem 
not only the nation's sin but those of 
the world" (Giesebrecht, Der Knecht 
Jahwes des Deuterojesaia). It is 
strictly a communion service, for in it 
we take into ourselves the life and 
nature of our Lord. It is a type of 
Christ-similitude. 

We do well to ask ourselves as we 



44 



VIA CBUGIS 



come Sunday after Sunday to His Holy 
Table, "Are we more like Christ now 
than when we partook of the Holy 
Communion in the days gone by ?" If 
we are not, we have not that religion 
which Jesus brought. Are our hearts 
filled with pride, greed, jealousy, and 
hate ? Then is it not sacrilege for us to 
partake of the emblems of His divine life ? 

Communion with Christ in this 
sacred ordinance means our becoming 
more and more Christ-ed. 

When our service in the church was 
ended, we passed out along the dark 
and tortuous streets of Jerusalem, 
through St. Stephen's Gate, over the 
dry bed of the brook Kedron, to the 
Mount of Olives and the Garden of 
Gethsemane. It was the time of the 
full Paschal moon. I have seen the 
moonbeams illumine the weird deserts 
of Arizona ; I have seen them sport on 
the waters of the Aegean Sea, and 



VIA CRUCIS 



45 



silver the domes and minarets of Con- 
stantinople ; but never have I seen their 
effulgence greater than on that night 
when their light came down through 
the silver sheen of the olive trees. 

For a long time we gathered in 
silence, and then we read the simple 
Gospel narrative of our Lord's agony 
and betrayal. It was no time for 
words, but each one of that little band 
gave himself up to the thoughts sug- 
gested by the holy environment. We 
stood there with no superstitious feel- 
ing that we were standing on the very 
spot where Christ had knelt, but we 
realized that it was under the same sky 
and on the same soil and at the same 
hour. We knew that the same moon 
had met His upturned gaze as He 
prayed, "If it be possible let this cup 
pass from Me." We knew that the 
same ground had been wet with the 
sweat of His agony. 



46 



VIA GRUGIS 



From a band of Christians gathered 

at another point on the hillside were 

wafted the familiar words 

' ' Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee, 
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me," 

and we thought how in accord they 
were with the spirit of Christ's prayer, 
"Not My will but Thine be done." Do 
we, as we take the chalice into our 
hands, hear Christ speaking to us as He 
spoke centuries ago, "Are ye able to 
drink of this cup of sacrifice that I 
drink of?" Upon our answer to that 
question depends the degree of our fel- 
lowship and communion with our Lord. 

A picture by a celebrated foreign 
artist has been fitly styled a sermon in 
painting. It is called "Despised and 
Rejected of Men," and portrays the 
suffering form of our Saviour bound to 
an altar, on the pedestal of which is in- 
scribed Ignoto Deo, "to the unknown 
God," while there pass by a confused 



VIA CRUCIS 



47 



and noisy crowd representing all con- 
ditions of life. The scientist is there 
absorbed in his investigations, the 
priest of God engrossed in dogmatic 
problems, the woman enslaved by the 
sham and emptiness of society, each of 
them oblivious to the divine call to 
share in the Christ-Sacrifice. The 
only one who responds in all that 
throng is a poor woman holding a babe 
to her breast ; the love for her child has 
enabled her to catch some vision of the 
divine love, and she has crept up to the 
altar steps and looks sympathetically 
into the face of Jesus. Our Lord's 
heart is broken with sorrow, and angels 
raise to His lips the cup of anguish 
which He again must drink. 

Are we of that number that pass by 
and receive not from the Saviour's 
hands the cup of His sacrifice ? 

The evangelist beautifully tells us 
that an angel came and ministered 



48 



VIA CRUCIS 



to Him. The struggle is now over. 
Christ's prayer is answered and He has 
entered into complete harmony and 
touch with the Father. So every life, 
which enters into communion with 
God, hears the divine voice. 

I remember that I was crossing the 
Atlantic shortly after the Marconi 
system had been put in operation. I 
spent many hours watching the move- 
ments of the little machine which was 
receiving messages from the distant 
shore. We were surrounded by the 
trackless expanse of water, yet the deli- 
cate receiver transmitted to us tidings 
simply because it was attuned to the 
vibrations of the ether waves. Our 
ears were too dull to respond to them. 
Is it not true that our lives must be in 
harmony with God before they can re- 
ceive messages from heaven ? 

Perhaps we have heard God speaking 
to us in moments of prosperity, in 



VIA CRUCIS 



49 



hours of sorrow. Perhaps God's voice 
was heard as we stood by the bedside of 
a departing soul. We went forth 
thrilled and responsive, but the clamor 
of the busy world dulled our souls. Is 
not the function of all educative in- 
fluences whether in the school, the col- 
lege, or the church, is not the purpose 
of the disciplinary forces of life, to 
draw us out into such attune with God 
that we may hear the divine voice even 
as Christ heard the whisper of angels 
in dark Gethsemane ? 

Before we separated on that sacred 
hill we sang together that hymn: 

"When I survey the wondrous Cross 
On which the Prince of Glory died," 

and it seemed as if we could literally 
survey that Cross which on the morrow 
was to be erected on one of the hills 
which frowned down upon the slumber- 
ing city. 

We returned across the Kedron 



50 



VIA CRUCIS 



brook by the road which preserves the 
direction taken by the captors of our 
Lord. As the domes and minarets of 
the city glittered in the moonlight we 
pictured the midnight scene in the 
Palace of the High Priest. 

Whatever the Sanhedrin had to do 
must be done quickly. The following 
day would be the fourteenth of Msan 
(Holtzmann), and the Passover would 
begin at six o'clock in the evening. 
This accounts for the desperate haste 
of the Priests, Scribes and Elders to 
condemn and execute Jesus on the day 
previous to the Great Sabbath. They 
must kill the Son of God before they 
enter upon their religious services. 
Here is a lesson so deeply significant 
that it needs no comment. 

The hall of the Sanhedrin lay close 
to the "ancient city wall which joined 
the Xystos square with the western por- 
tico of the temple" (Holtzmann). The 



VIA CRUCIS 



51 



power of this body to condemn Christ 
rested in the charge of His proclaiming 
a religion which would supersede the 
God-revealed tenets of Judaism. His 
caustic accusations against the official 
representatives of the national faith, 
His blasphemous prophecy relating to 
the destruction of the Temple, and His 
presumptive assurance that He could 
rear another in an incredibly brief 
period, were regarded as sufficient 
ground for his condemnation. But the 
criminal proceedings against Jesus were 
stayed through the failure in concur- 
rence of two witnesses respecting the 
actual language of the accused. Con- 
demnation on the testimony of a 
single witness was illegal. It was at 
this crisis that the High Priest resorted 
to the device of causing Christ to in- 
criminate Himself. Looking with de- 
rision upon the lowly peasant before 



52 



VIA GEUOIB 



him, he asks: "Art thou the Messiah, 
the Son of God?" 

Jesus up to this time had said 
nothing, but now the question involved 
His Messiahship publicly proclaimed 
a few days before. To continue silent 
longer or to deny it would be disloyalty 
to His consciousness of His divine 
mission. "No degree of caution will 
allow Him to keep back the admission 
which revealed the essential meaning of 
His life now that He is questioned 
directly" (Holtzmann). Although 
knowing full well the fatal result of 
such an affirmation He calmly replies: 
"I am indeed the Messiah." 

This statement of our Lord inter- 
preted in the light of His life and 
teachings could not be regarded by the 
Sanhedrin as fanatical; it must be 
blasphemous, and blasphemy was a 
capital offense. Jesus is forthwith 
condemned to death. 



VIA CRUCIS 



53 



Another legal step is necessary. 
Christ's Messianic claims must be con- 
strued to mean treason against Rome. 
The Sanhedrin must bring Him to 
trial before the Roman Viceroy, who 
at this time happened to be in the city. 
While J esus is waiting to be led before 
Pilate the servants of the High Priest 
mock our Lord as a blasphemer, blind- 
folding Him and demanding that He 
declare in His role of prophet who it 
is that strikes Him. 

At this point even Peter denies Christ. 
The other disciples had long since aban- 
doned Him. J esus now stands alone. 

How often since that awful scene 
have the followers of our Lord been 
called upon to stand alone against the 
world! It matters little whether men 
applaud or condemn so long as we are 
conscious of truth and right. Moral 
isolation is power, if we stand alone 
with God. 



03ST Good Friday we found Jerusalem 
crowded with pilgrims. The Mo- 
hammedans had come to celebrate the 
festival of Moses, a Moslem invention to 
counteract the Christian influence of 
Easter, the J ews to keep their Passover, 
while thousands of Roman and Greek 
Christians had assembled to follow the 
footsteps of Christ during Holy Week. 

Many of these were Russians who 
had walked their weary way overland. 
We meet them everywhere — even along 
the lonely road that leads from Jerus- 
alem to Jericho, tramping under a blaz- 
ing sun because Christ had gone foot- 
sore and weary as they over the same 
way. They have little purse or script 
for their journey. I remember seeing 
one venerable white-haired pilgrim en- 



VIA CRUCIS 



55 



ter with slow step a neighboring shop 
and spend his all for a glass ball, which 
was to be the receptacle of the Holy 
Fire on the Greek Easter. Death is 
constantly thinning their ranks. 
Funerals pass our hotel at the rate of 
five a day. In fact, very many never 
expect to return to the land of their 
fathers, but count it a privilege to be 
buried in holy soil. 

Why this self-denial, this toilsome 
journey, this coveted death? Simply 
to walk where Jesus walked; and I 
doubt not that our Lord receives this 
sacrifice in the spirit in which it is 
offered. 

Is not Christianity a walking with 
Christ in love and service? Are not 
His steps very plain ? They lead us to 
follow Him in unselfish mission, rebuk- 
ing pride, hypocrisy and greed, bring- 
ing sight to the blind, opening the 
mouth of the dumb, healing by the 



58 



VIA CRUGIS 



touch of our lives the leprosy of sin, 
raising through our hearts' love the sor- 
rowing and afflicted; they lead us to 
Gethsemane where we make His will 
our will ; they lead us even to Calvary 
that we crucify our selfish selves and 
enter upon the immortal life of sacri- 
fice. 

Early in the morning of this most 
sacred day of the Christian year we 
stood beside the ruins of Herod's 
Palace, preserved for several courses of 
great drafted blocks in the foundation 
walls of the fourteenth century citadel. 
The Koman Procurator presumably had 
his temporary residence here, and 
hither Jesus was brought as soon as 
Pilate was ready to give audience. 

It is probable that the trial took place 
on an elevation (Gabbatha) before the 
palace (Holtzmann). The charge 
against the accused is His treasonable 
claim to Judaic kingship. 



VIA CRUCIS 



57 



Pilate tests the seriousness of this 
accusation by putting upon the populace 
the responsibility of choosing between 
an ordinary robber and the "king of the 
Jews" as to which should become a 
recipient of clemency. Had they re- 
quested the release of Jesus, he would 
have suspected a real plot against 
Eoman authority; but their vehement 
demands for Christ's execution convince 
him that Jesus is a victim of irrational 
Jewish fanaticism (Holtzmann). He 
regards Him as an innocent man and 
plainly tells His accusers that he finds 
no fault in Him. His subsequent 
condemnation of our Lord is an act of 
cowardice. He dreads a popular 
demonstration. He fears that he might 
be accused at Eome of pardoning a 
traitor. "The priests," as Weiss points 
out, "threaten to appeal to the Emperor 
Tiberius, should Pilate release an 
acknowledged pretender to the throne" 



58 



VIA CBUGIS 



(Leben Jesu). They cry out, "If you 
let this man go, you are not Csesar's 
friend" ; a fearful accusation, for Taci- 
tus distinctly states that Laesa Majestas 
under Tiberius was the greatest of 
crimes. Political reasons alone in- 
fluence the Roman Governor reluctantly 
to pronounce sentence of death upon the 
guiltless Son of God. 

Alas ! this is not the only time in the 
world's history when right and truth 
have been sacrificed on the selfish 
ground of expediency. 

Jesus suffers now the flogging which 
regularly accompanied crucifixion. 
While some of the soldiers mock Him in 
the role of king, others prepare the 
cross. 

Doubtless they had made many 
crosses for condemned criminals ere 
this. They little realized when they 
fitted the rude transverse beam to the 
upright that this gruesome gallows- 



VIA CRUCIS 



59 



tree would come down through the cen- 
turies as the holiest symbol of our 
faith; that it would flash in gold 
and sparkle with gems upon our 
altars; that it would rise on heaven- 
pointing church spires, far above the 
din of our busy streets as if to hal- 
low the city's life. Yes, around 
it martyr hands have clung. It has 
been oft-times the last earthly object on 
which were fixed the eyes of the dying. 
It is to-day the idolon of service to those 
who have entered into life-union with 
Christ, and its divine lesson of consecra- 
tion and sacrifice must leave its impress 
upon the soul before it can fully com- 
mune with a God of Love. 

A centurion leads the party towards 
the place of execution. The Via Dolo- 
rosa, or Path of Pain, begins at the site 
of the Roman barracks of the ancient 
Castle of Antonia. 

At the hour of our visit a fanatical 



60 



VIA CRVCIB 



Mohammedan procession was going 
from the Haram esh Sherif, where 
elaborate ceremonies had been held for 
several days, to the tomb of Moses, 
which, very conveniently for the follow- 
ers of the prophet, has been found on 
this side of the Jordan. From the din 
and discordance of the military music 
of the Turkish bands, from the confu- 
sion and jostling of the crowd, we with- 
drew into the peace and seclusion of the 
Latin Convent of the Sisters of Zion, 
situated at the beginning of this tra- 
ditional road which Christ trod on His 
way to Calvary. 

A Sister with a pure and sweet face 
which reflected the calm of her daily 
life, took us beneath the ground floor of 
the convent, and showed us the ancient 
pavement some twenty feet below the 
modern street. Pointing to it she ex- 
claimed: "It is very sacred; our Lord 
Himself walked here." 



VIA CRUCIS 



61 



Deeply cut in the hard stone were the 
familiar outlines of the game of 
draughts, so popular among the Eoman 
soldiers, and which the traveller ob- 
serves on the floor of the Basilica Julia 
in the Eoman Forum. These marks, it 
is true, tend somewhat to confirm the 
hypothesis that the old Eoman Pre- 
torium and the Judgment Hall of 
Pilate were situated near this spot. In 
fact Weiss (Das Leben Jesu) remarks 
that the narrative seems to indicate the 
tower of Antonia where the Eoman 
cohort was quartered, and where doubt- 
less the commander resided. Yet I 
have accepted what seems to me the 
more plausible view, that the Procura- 
tor during his presence in Jerusalem 
occupied the royal Palace of Herod 
near the modern Jaffa Gate. 

We all looked, however, with deep 
reverence upon these ancient stones, 
feeling that it was indeed possible that 



62 



VIA GROCm 



they had been pressed by the footsteps 
of the Son of God, and had resounded 
to the dull thud of the Cross on this 
very day and at this very hour. 

Spanning the modern street at this 
point is the Eece Homo arch, a struc- 
ture not standing in the time of Christ, 
but probably erected during the reign of 
Hadrian. Here it is said Pilate showed 
our Lord to the people, saying : "Behold 
the Man." 

A famous French painter has given 
us this sad scene. The Saviour wears 
the crown of thorns deeply sunk in His 
brow, yet is the only one quiet and com- 
posed amid the tumultuous throng. 
Pilate points to the sorrowing form of 
our Lord and utters the famous words : 
Ecce Homo. 

It is fitting that the Way of Pain 
should begin here, that we should see 
from the balcony of Pilate's Palace that 
mocked but silent Christ as if saying to 




THE VIA DOLOROSA, 
Showing Ecce Homo Arch. 



VIA CRUCIS 63 

us, "Look upon Me. Consider what 
the name 'Christian' involves before you 
take it upon yourselves/' and as if 
appealing to us to follow in His foot- 
steps of love and sacrifice as we enter 
the Via Dolorosa to ascend to Calvary. 

Following the Stations of the Cross 
we come to the spot where Simon of 
Cyrene took upon his own shoulders the 
Cross from the exhausted and fainting 
Christ. 

Is it not true that we need in Christ- 
ianity more Cross-bearers? We have 
enough Cross-parasites. Many are 
ready to sing "Simply to Thy Cross I 
cling/' but Christianity demands that 
we bear the Cross of sacrifice. Yes, on 
our own shoulders must be laid that 
great world-burden of our Lord. 

The Cross of self-denial is hard to 
bear, but He has borne it before us. 
The path may be rugged, but His feet 
have trod every step of the way. He 



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does not say, "Go," but lie turns and 
bids us, "Follow after Me." 

Suppose every member of the Church 
of God were a Cross-bearer. How the 
afflicted, the downcast, the degraded, 
would crowd our doors ! How lovingly 
and tenderly our names would be taken 
upon the lips of the poor, the father- 
less, and the suffering! What mean- 
ing would be carried by the name 
"Christian!" We cannot doubt that 
this is Christ's test of our discipleship, 
for He has plainly declared: "He who 
would be My disciple, let him deny 
himself and take up his cross and fol- 
low Me." 

A few steps beyond we reach the 
place where legend says that St. 
Veronica wiped the face of the Saviour 
with her napkin. She did not know it 
was the Lord of Glory; she doubtless 
thought it was only some poor criminal 
led to an ignominious death. 



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65 



We envy her this holy opportunity; 
we wish we could have been there to re- 
lieve the suffering Christ ; but our Lord 
points us to the sad and the despairing, 
to the sorrowing and the bereaved, and 
says: "Inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of these least, ye have done it 
unto Me/' 

We are told that on the cloth the 
maiden carried there appeared the face 
of our Lord Himself. So every good 
deed and every kind word leaves the 
Christ-character stamped upon the soul 
forever. 

And now the Stations of the Cross 
end at Calvary. As we stood on this 
height, sacredly associated with the dy- 
ing agony of our Lord through a tra- 
dition extending over fifteen hundred 
years, we realized how the Church 
throughout the world was remembering 
the divine suffering; how the Cross 
upon each altar was veiled during these 



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awful hours; how Christians were as- 
sembling to keep that day of days by 
solemn meditation on those last words 
uttered by our Saviour from the Cross, 
while we were permitted to spend that 
holy day beneath the same sky where 
He died. 

Desiring to keep full possession of 
His powers, Jesus will not drink the an- 
aesthetic generally given to criminals 
before crucifixion. The soldiers now 
strip Him of His clothes and nail Him 
to the Cross, while they post above His 
head, as Eoman custom required, the 
accusation of the condemned : 

King of the Jews. 

They stand guard to prevent any at- 
tempt at rescue, and cast lots for the 
garments of the Lord. 

It happened at this hour of the day 
of our visit that the motley procession 
which I have described was filing out 

tore 



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67 



St. Stephen's Gate. As we looked at 
the disorderly and shouting mob we 
could easily imagine the crowd that 
jeered, hooted and reviled as they 
passed by the Cross. They knew not 
that it was the Kedeemer of the World 
who was hanging there. 

J esus, because He was divine, looked 
beyond all hate and cruelty deep into 
their souls, and out of pity of a heart 
broken with sorrow He cries : "Father, 
forgive them, for they know not what 
they do/' 

Even at this awful hour the heart of 
our Saviour forgot the pain of the Cross 
in filial solicitude for His mother as He 
commits her to the care of His beloved 
disciple saying: "Mother, look upon 
thy Son." ' 

With the same unselfish love His 
next words are those of pardon to a 
penitent fellow sufferer, and a promise 
of entrance into His Kingdom. 



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We were sitting beneath burning rays 
of an April sun. We realized how the 
unmitigated heat must have been even 
greater suffering to our Lord than the 
pain from the driven nails. As the 
blistering sun of midday fell upon that 
barren hill, we cannot wonder that there 
escaped from Him those words, wrung 
from His lips by awful torture: "I 
thirst, I thirst." 

The populace which had proclaimed 
belief in Jesus as the Messiah, now de- 
mand a miraculous descent from the 
Cross as a vindication of His claim. 

Could our Lord have escaped death ? 
Even without a miracle, He had the 
power to save Himself, but He never 
could have had the desire. He could 
have withdrawn to the wilderness of 
Judsea at the time He was anticipating 
His capture in Gethsemane. If He had 
denied His Messianic mission before 
the Sanhedrin, it is probable that suffi- 



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69 



cient evidence of blasphemy could not 
have been brought against Him. Had 
He undertaken His self-defence before 
Pilate, the trial might have resulted in 
acquittal. But "as God, He could be 
moved by no necessity. As it would not 
be power but weakness for God to wish 
to lie (whence its impossibility), so it 
would not be power but weakness for 
Christ to desire to withold His life 
when once the purpose of salvation had 
been formed, and in view of the great 
good to be wrought by the gift of it" 
(Stevens, Christian Doctrine of Salva- 
tion). 

In the sight of the people Christ's 
failure to avoid an ignominious death 
invalidates His Messianic claim, and 
they revile Him as an imposter. Their 
taunting words must have been greater 
agony to the heart of Jesus than any 
physical suffering. It is at this awful 
moment that our Lord takes refuge in 



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the Psalm of Agony which He utters 
in the Aramaic dialect: Elo'i, Elo% 
lama sabachthani : "My God, My God, 
why hast Thou forsaken Me !" 

I cannot believe that He whose life 
had been in perfect fellowship with the 
Father could have felt a sense of 
divine abandonment in the very hour 
when He most needed God's presence. 
"In life and death Christ's conscious- 
ness of complete union with God was 
uninterrupted" (Kitschl, Die Christ- 
liche Lehre). Kather, He spake these 
words with the same spirit that inspired 
many a martyr at the stake to chant 
portions of the Liturgy, in calm assur- 
ance of divine comfort in the midst of 
the revilings and the mistaken judg- 
ments of men. 

Because of the noise and confusion 
around the Cross, this utterance of 
Jesus is indistinctly heard. The crowd 
imagine that He is calling upon Elijah 



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71 



for help. An observer takes this oppor- 
tunity to do a merciful deed (Holtz- 
mann). It was a violation of the 
Eoman law to offer drink to a criminal 
during the period of his execution. 
Under the pretense of derision (for 
such an act would have been prevented 
had its friendly purpose been sus- 
pected), he raised a sponge to the lips 
of Christ, while he contemptuously re- 
marked, "Let us see if Elijah will come 
and take Him down." 

Conscious of the approach of a re- 
markably speedy death, Jesus now 
utters those words of tremendous sig- 
nificance : "It is finished !" and commits 
His soul to God in a prayer which can 
come only from a life in unbroken com- 
munion with the Father. 

Let us look upon the dying Christ as 
the centurion, amid the gloom of a 
heaven overcast with clouds as if 



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nature felt the divine agony, exclaims: 
"Behold, this was the Son of God!" 

Behold Christ ; and in His death you 
behold God's incomparable sorrow for 
sin. You behold the world-vision of 
self-giving love. You behold the roy- 
alty of forgiveness and sacrifice. You 
behold what was central in the heart of 
God from eternity, His infinite yearn- 
ing to bring man into perfect fellowship 
with Him. You behold the great lov- 
ing heart of God Himself. You behold 
the divinest, noblest, most exalted 
revelation, that of the God-likeness of 
suffering and service. 

In the Paedagogium on the Palatine 
Hill at Rome, was found a rude graf- 
fito done by a slave in ridicule of a 
Christian comrade. It represents an 
ass suspended on a cross, and under it 
is scrawled in miserable Greek, 
"Alexamenos worships his god." I 
thought as I saw this relic in the Museo 




THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, 
On Traditional Site of Calyaey. 



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73 



Kircheriano how little that slave knew 
that those arms were outstretched for 
him, that those feet and hands were 
pierced for him, that the agony of 
death was for him, all to reveal how a 
3ommon Father loved the humblest of 
His children. We can pardon him, for 
he knew not what he was doing. 

But what shall we say of the pro- 
fessed followers of our Lord who hold 
up to the world the image of the Cruci- 
fied, marred by selfishness, narrowness, 
greed and pride? Do men see in our 
lives the Christ of Calvary? Let us 
answer seriously and thoughtfully, for 
Jesus Himself will some day ask, and 
He too will answer this question; and 
upon His answer will depend the 
promise of entrance into the joy of our 
Lord. 



Caster Stfcorttiitg 



CHE Easter sun ushered in a glorious 
morning. Very early, while the 
birds were singing their carols, we came 
to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, 
which by a tradition fifteen centuries 
old is supposed to mark the tomb of our 
Lord. At any rate it is a spot made 
profoundly sacred by blood and tears. 
Since the time when Helena may have 
identified some wooden beams of a sub- 
terranean reservoir with the true Cross, 
and Constantine surrounded the Holy 
Grave with a Basilica, sacred memories 
have gathered here. The cold stones 
shutting in the burial place of our Lord 
have been moistened by Christian blood, 
as hands of martyrs have been out- 
stretched to defend it. 

The conquest of this consecrated 




THE HOLY GRAVE. 



VIA CRUCIS 



75 



shrine has inspired the heroic deeds of 
the Crusaders. The Grave of Christ has 
been the goal of thousands and thou- 
sands of pilgrims who have come to lay- 
down their sins and burdens before the 
Holy Sepulcher. 

Later that same morning I had the 
privilege of celebrating, within the 
walls of Jerusalem, the Holy Euchar- 
ist, at this hour especially, as its 
etymology implies, a true service of 
Thanksgiving : 

Christus Resurkexit. 

I cannot close this little volume with- 
out repeating the great fundamental 
obligation of our Christian religion, 
that we go with Christ to Gethsemane, 
there to take the chalice of His sacri- 
fice ; that we follow Him in the steps of 
His divine forgiveness, by which He 
forgave those who reviled, cursed and 
mobbed Him ; that we go with Him even 



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to Calvary, there to give up life, to show 
that the entrance into the life of God 
comes only through love and sacrifice 
and service. 

Once more let me give the searching 
test of our discipleship ; are we able to 
drink of the cup of self-denial whereof 
He drank, and to be baptized with the 
baptism of service wherewith He was 
baptized? Are we ready to deny our- 
selves and take up the Cross and follow 
Him? 

Then and then only can we enter 
into the Easter joy of a risen life with 
Christ. 

"If I find Him, if I follow, 
What His guerdon here? 
Many a sorrow, many a labor, 
Many a tear. 

"If I still hold closely to Him, 
What hath He at last? 
Sorrow vanquished, labor ended, 
Jordan past/' 



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