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righteousness cometh.” (Wisd. xiv. 7.) The blood of the Paschal Lamb sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts of their houses, in the form of a Tau Cross (T) brought salvation to the Israelites ; whilst the Paschal Lamb itself was pierced by and roasted on transverse spits in the form of a Cross. The arms of Moses outstretched in the form of a Cross, caused the people to gain the victory over their enemies, and it is only in the strength and by the virtue which flows from the Cross of CHRIST, that we can overcome our spiritual foes. The brazen serpent uplifted on a cross-shaped pole, was typical of the uplifting of our Blessed LORD Himself upon the Cross, for so He said, " A: Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so also must the Son of Man be lifted up.” (S. John iii. 14.) In the arrangements of the Tabernacle, the seven-branched golden candlestick on the South and the table of shewbread on the North within the Holy Place formed the transverse bar of a Cross, of which the upright staff was made by the Ark of the Covenant within the Most Holy Place, the golden Altar of Incense in the Holy Place, and the Altar of burnt offering and brazen Laver without the veil. (Exod. xl. 3-8, 20–31.)
The Rabbis tell us that whereas kings were anointed in the form of
a crown, priests were anointed (Ex. xl. 13–16) in the form of a Cross, (Smith's Dict. of Bible,) as though looking onward to the time when our Great High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, should be anointed with His own Blood upon the Cross to be a Priest for ever. And the Mosaic ritual furnishes us with yet another type of the Cross in the crossing of the hands of the High Priest over the head of the scapegoat on the Great Day of Atonement. (Lev. xvi. 21.) The Psalmist speaks beforehand of the Cross when he saith, “Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me,” for in the rod and the staff are seen respectively the upright stem and the arms of the Cross. So also in the two sticks which the widow of Sarepta was gathering when Elijah met her, and which brought safety to her house, are seen a shadow of the Cross, the Tree of life and safety,—for fling two sticks upon the ground as you will and they are pretty sure to form a Cross. Again, w
when Elisha would bring back the Shunammite's son to life he does it, so to speak, by means of the Cross, for he stretches himself upon the lad in the form of a Cross. In the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, God saith to
man clothed with linen which had the writer's inkhorn by his side, ... Go through the midst of the city . . . and set a mark upon
the forehead of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof, . . . slay utterly old and young, but come not near any man upon whom is the mark.” (Ezek. ix. 4–6.) In the Vulgate the passage reads thus,“ Signa thau super frontes gementium ... omnem autem super quem videritis thau ne occidatis," where the “Thau is the old Hebrew character shaped like a Cross. The word for sign or mark used by the prophet is , meaning, as Gesenius says in his Lexicon, signum cruciforme; and he adds that on the old Hebrew coins the Tau was always made as a Cross +."! Again in the Book of the Revelation it is written thus,
" And I saw another Angel ascending from the east having the seal of the Living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. vii. 2, 3.) Where this seal, especially when taken in connection with the passage in Ezekiel, has usually been understood of the Cross. Some have even seen the Cross in the “jot” and “tittle” of S. Matthew v. 18,—"I ĉoti tò ópdov gólov kai kepala rò ndrycov. (Theophylact in loco, quoted in Smith's Dict. of
Baring Gould's Sketches for Extemp. Preachers, p. 60 note.
the Bible.) The Cross, by means of which alone can man ascend to heaven, has been seen in Jacob's ladder; as also in the wonder-working rod of Moses; in the tree which the LORD showed unto Moses, and which when cast into the water healed the bitter waters of Marah ; and in the stick cast by Elisha into the waters of Jordan, which caused the axe-head to swim. Whilst further “ the Sign of the Son of Man," of which our Blessed LORD spake as to be seen hereafter in heaven at the time of the end, (S. Matt. xxiv. 30,) has been almost universally interpreted of the Cross.
And yet not only do we see in the Old Testament types of that Cross on and by which our Blessed LORD wrought out our salvation ; but it is not a little curious to learn that, in some one or other of its forms, the Cross was used, before the LORD's Incarnation and Crucifixion, as a sacred symbol by heathen nations, widely separated, and differing in language, manners and customs. In short it would seem as if the symbolic meaning of the Cross had lingered amongst the nations, having come down to them from early and patriarchal times. To give a few instances of this out of many which might be mentioned. In the ancient Egyptian paintings the Cross with a looped handle Ť -crux ansata—is used as “the symbol of life.”] “A similar Cross is found among the sculptures from Khorsabad, and the ivories from Nimrud. The same symbol also has been found among the Copts, the Persians, the Indians," (Smith's Dict. of Bible, and the ancient Mexicans. A Cross, or a T prefixed to the name of a Roman soldier on the muster-roll signified that he was alive and able for service. (Littledale on Ps. cxix. Tau.) The Cross is found in the pavement of Roman villas built before the Christian era ; and. there is a very singular cruciform mass of masonry in the foundations of the Roman Castrum at Richborough. The tau cross appears in the brooches discovered in the ancient cemeteries of Scandinavia and in the Saxon cemeteries of Kent. And on the “whorls” and other remains recently found at Hissarlik (Troy) we find the Cross. In short the Cross has been discovered in the East and in the West, amongst the remains of ancient civilizations now passed away. Now surely such a world-wide use of this sacred Sign cannot be regarded as merely a strange coin
See the well known picture of the Judgment, in Nations Around, p. 60 and plate.
Figured in Arch. Cant. vol. viii. plate facing p. 1. 3 See Arch. Cant. vol. viü. plates 16, 17, 18.
cidence, but must rather be treated as an indication of the primitive origin of the symbol and its deep significance.
As regards the form of the Cross, there are a great many varieties and modifications of it, and yet all of them may be classed under one or other of these four heads :
1. The Cross without a summit-crux commissa—T, the “mystic letter Tau," or S. Anthony's Cross; of which the Y Cross,- often embroidered on vestments, and notably to be seen in the shape of the pall (pallium) borne in the arms of the see of Canterbury,—is probably a variety.
2. The Cross with a summit and one transverse bar, i.e. the Cross with four branches, which resolves itself into two principal typesknown as the Latin and the Greek Cross respectively, each being subdivided into several varieties. The Greek Cross is formed by the intersection at right angles of two diameters of a circle , thus forming a Cross with four equal arms; whilst the transverse bar of the Latin Cross intersects the shaft above the centre, thus making the shaft
The Latin Cross resembles the actual Cross of CHRIST, whilst the form of the Greek is ideal. The S. Andrew's Cross X is merely a variety of the Greek Cross.
This Cross with one transverse bar is assigned to Bishops.
3. The Cross with a summit and two transverse bars— whereof the upper bar represents the “title," and the lower the branches on which our Blessed LORD's Arms were stretched—is appropriated to Cardinals and Archbishops. 4. The Cross with a summit and three transverse bars
, appropriated to the Pope, and borne before him alone; or the outside of Greek churches, where the two upper bars represent the " title” and the outstretched Arms of our Blessed LORD, and the lower bar, crossing the upright obliquely, represents the footrest twisted on one side in the agonies of death.
As to the material wood of the actual Cross, there is a tradition that the foot of the Cross was of cedar, the body of it cypress, the bar for the outstretched Arms of palm, (probably with reference to Cant. vii. 8,) and the transverse bar for the title of olive. Another tradition makes the aspen to have been the tree which furnished wood for the Cross,
as seen on
and from that time its branches, filled with horror at the Agonies and Death of God Incarnate, have trembled ceaselessly. Whilst there is a curious and interesting legend which relates that when Adam was dying, he sent Seth to the place where he was wont to pray, and desired healing from God. An angel gave three seeds to Seth, commanding him to place them in his father's mouth, and adding, “When these bear fruit he shall recover from his disease.” From these three seeds sprang three trees, which grew together into one trunk; from whence Moses cut his wonder-working rod. In after ages, when the tree had flourished and become exceeding great, Solomon gave orders that it should be cut down and used as a column for his palace. But, being found unsuitable for this purpose, it was cast aside, and for a time did duty as a bridge over a torrent. The Queen of Sheba refused to tread upon this bridge, declaring that the SAVIOUR of the world should hang upon this tree, and that it should bring about the destruction of the Jews. On hearing this, Solomon gave orders that the tree should be buried in a certain spot, where afterwards the Pool of Bethesda was dug, which derived its healing virtues from the presence of the wood of the Cross. As the time of the Passion of the LORD approached, the tree rose to the surface and floated on the pool, and of this predestined wood was made the Cross. (Didron's Christian Iconography, and Neale on the Psalms.) The historical Cross, upon which the LORD was crucified, is a tree, and consequently its colour is green. And even after the Cross had been squared and stripped of its bark, and transformed into a beam by the axe and saw of the carpenter, it retained its colour green, symbolical of Hope.
Durandus observes that the Cross is divided into four parts, whether on account of the four elements, polluted through our sin and healed by the Passion of CHRIST; or by reason of men, whom CHRIST draws to Himself from the four parts of the world, according to the words of His own prophecy, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” (S. John xii. 32.) These four parts may relate to the human soul; for the Cross is lofty, long, large, and deep. The depth is in the foot which is buried in the earth; the length is from the root to the arms; the breadth extends with the arms; the height is from the arms to the head. The depth signifies Faith planted on a sure foundation; the height is Hope, having its resting-place in heaven; the breadth Charity, extending even to the left or our enemies; the length Perseverance, which continues, or is without limit." (Durandus