Imágenes de páginas



children of Heth. I was particularly struck to GANDOLFI, THE POPE'S APOSTOLIC VICAR. observe that, though of these Sheiks the greater part consisted of Druses, known by their broad Thursday, Oct. 16, 1823.— The Pope's Apostostriped dress, yet there were many Christians lic Vicar, Monseignior Gandolfi, whose residence who joined in the funeral procession. The house at Antoura has been before noticed, being at preof mourning seems, in every country, to be, in some sent in Beirout, I waited on him with our consul. measure, consecrated to the spirit of amity : there, The remark made with respect to many of the religious antipathies are at least suspended, if not Latins in this country, that such and such a one is extinguished; and persons, who would not have no bigot, carries with it a very partial satisfaction thought of meeting in the same church, yet to those who desire to see an ecclesiastic well acwillingly assemble over and the same quainted with what the truth is, and sincerely and grave.

ardently attached to the truth, and zealous in its On my arrival at Beirout, I was soon joined by propagation. Mr. Wolff; with whom I spent, during this week, T'he conversation of Monseignior Gandolfi was several profitable hours; conferring with him, as that of an acute, polite, and social person, who I afterward did with the other missionaries, on a knows the world. He is now about seventy years tract which I am continually preparing relative to of age, and came to his present situation before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these latter the breaking out of the French revolution. As days.

representative of the Pope, he is properly the organ of communication to the churches of Syria upon subjects of dogmatical theology.

His sway, in matters of discipline, is extremely Whatever other fashions may have changed in limited. The professing Roman Catholics among the east—and yet we may truly believe that very the natives are governed by their own respective few have varied—there is one still stationary, the hierarchies; these, of course, keep their own afsight of which carries us back to the remotest fairs as close as may be; and lay themselves open Scripture antiquity : I mean the fashion of splen- as seldom as possible to inspection or interference did dresses. I had a full specimen of it this evening from Rome. Even the Latin friars, established in in the lady of the house. She produced from her the various convents from Jerusalem to Aleppo, wardrobe at least ten heavy outer garments, coats are not under his jurisdiction: they have their of many colors embroidered and spangled with respective Superiors in Syria and Palestine, who gold and silver and flowers. I was weary with correspond each with the general of bis own order her showing them, at which she seemed surprised. in Rome. When the Propaganda was in power, There are some of them as old as the date of her and still more when the Jesuits were in authority, marriage, some still older. They are only worn the situation now held by Monseignior Gandolfi on great festivals, as Christmas, Easter, &c. when must have been one of the greatest influence. In she sits in state to receive her friends, and hands reading the “ Lettres Edifiantes el Curieuses," or coffee and a pipe to them. It is whiinsical, how the document hereafter given in this volume on ever, to see how her splendid dresses are contrasted the subject of education—a business which was with her humble daily occupations : for, in the much in the hands of the Jesuits—the magnitude ordinary duties of the house, she is to be found of the office of Apostolic Legate about a hundred sweeping out the kitchen, boiling the pot, &c. and

years ago, and previously, becomes very apparent. she eats her meals when her husband and his friends have finished, sitting on the ground with her children and servants at the parlor door ; and such, generally, is the condition of females in east A principal topic of our conversation was the ern countries. She wears an infinity of braids, remarkable religious divisions in this country. which hang down all the length of her back, and These have been already recorded in the opening terminate in gold sequins, which, together with part of this volume. The Druses, universally, are those that she wears on her head, may be worth an object of curiosity to all residents and visiters from five to ten pounds sterling. The advice of in Syria, and, consequently, they are a frequent St. Peter is quite forgotten in this land. The or- subject of conversation ; and yet all appear to me nament of a meek and quiet spirit appears to be equally in the dark as to what the Druses really very

little known ; but the adorning of plaiting the are. Some of their peculiar customs or obserhair, and of ring of gold, and putting on of vances are all which writers or persons in the apparel, is most studiously retained. In fact, none country can describe. One thing noticed by Moncan go to greater excess, in this particular, than seignior Gandolfi seemed to the company an inthe bishops and clergy themselves, who, on all high explicable wonder in their character.

You shall festivals, are decked in such gorgeous and almost see,” he observed, “ a young man among them effeminate robes, as must necessarily lead the dissolute in the highest degree, given to every fashion, and tend to annihilate the simplicity which vice, and altogether unbridled; yet, on his becombecomes Christians.

ing initiated, in an instant his character is changed I have often, in my dealings with the people of to sobriety and even rigid virtue : instead of drinkthis country, felt that a most apt motto for them, ing wine freely, he drinks water only; his passions as serving to remind them of two duties in which are curbed ; his vices seem to drop off from him; they chiefly fail, would be “ LOVE THE TRUTH AND and he is as strict as before he was licentious.” PEACE.” There are no faults which so constantly This description struck the hearers with harass our spirits here as falsehood and vocife- ment; nor did they seem to know how to account ration.

for it. Some secret principle in the religious



theory of the Druses was what their minds were and spirits. I gave him much counsel : and, as evidently turning to, as the operative cause of he expects one day to go to Rome again, to fill such miraculous conversions. I endeavored, there some office as interpreting secretary, I reminded fore, to explain them upon a principle which every him, that one word from him might do great good man who examines his own heart may easily des- or great harm; and especially cautioned him, never cry. Admitting the fact, as stated, to be true, to sign his name to any thing which he knew to yet it may be nothing more than a change from be unchristian or untrue. I

gave him a sketch of the indulgence of the lusts of the flesh to the more the tribulations, which may be expected to fall dominant tyranny of the lusts of the spiritthe on all those who uphold a system of deceit and demon of pride expelling the demon of licentious error ;* and, in the contemplation of his possibly

The unclean spirit, as our Lord describes, living to witness troublous times, gave him for a is gone out of the man; but, ere long, seven other motto these words—“La fede vincitrice nelle trispirits, still more wicked, enter in, and take up bolazioni”—“ Faith triumphant in tribulations”— their abode in the restless, unhumbled heart; and explaining that I did not, by “ The Faith," mean the last state of that man is worse than the first. any particular form of words, or constitution of a All assented to this view ; but, with it, the con- church; but a personal, living faith, dwelling in a versation on this topic dropped.

man's heart, working by love, and leading him to There is, however, reason to doubt how far the Christ for constant support. fact stated may be a matter of mere appearances.

He did not, poor youth, forget before his deparThe Druses are said by Burckhardt to be more ture those two words, which might very properly observant of outward decorum than of genuine be taken for the motto to the armorial bearings of morality.

Syria—“ Give, give.” We willingly administered to his necessities. Much could we wish that there were as ardent a desire for the sacred Scriptures,

as there is for the supply of the wants of the body! Saturday, Oct. 18, 1823.—Having received let- God alone can put this spiritual desire into their ters from Malta, I went to Antoura to make ar- hearts—a hungering and ihirsting after righteousrangements for quitting this part of the country to go southward. On the road, I met Mr. King,

We prevailed on him to wait, and attend our who was, with a similar purpose, going to Beirout, morning service, which we had somewhat earlier After exchanging a few words, we each pursued

on his account. I preached in Italian. He then his destination. I arrived by a beautiful moon- took his staff, as we could not persuade him to stay light, at the college, where I found Mr. Lewis and any longer, and walked away, very much with the Mr. Fisk, as also Luigi Assemanni from Ain el air of a young pilgrim. Warka.





Sunday, Oct. 19, 1823.—Yesterday evening and this morning, I have had much conversation with

In the evening of this day, looking out at my Luigi Assemanni. He gave me this account of window on the vast irregular cliffs of Mount Lethe studies at Ain el Warka. The age of enter

banon, with the convents Deir el Shafi and Ybzuing the college is various—from eleven to eighteen

mar upon different summits far above me, and years of age; the term of complete study is four thinking of the toil of the next day's visit to them, years. In the first year, they learn the Syriac the animating words of Isaiah came into my mind grammar; in the second, they read the book of with peculiar force. The distance of Ybzumar the church-offices, both in Syriac and Arabic ; in may be less than five miles, in a direct line ; but, the third, they study, as he expressed it, prosody; to reach it, we shall have to wind round the base but, on my asking his meaning, he said that he of mountains, to go through the length of valleys, was not himself versed in this, and did not quite cend hills by difficult traverses on most rugged

so as to cross them at their extremities, and to asunderstand it ;* in the fourth year, they are occupied with moral theology, not dogmatical. Al single-footed paths, during four hours, chiefly with who are admitted must study with a view to the the sun upon us ; and the same on our return. priesthood.

Eight hours of toil and burning heat, in order to The present Maronite Patriarch, Joseph, was

have the opportunity of selling the sacred Scripof this college. He has been elected but a few tures, and converse upon religion! It is well: months: he adds Peter to his name, as being suc

and it is delightful to think, that, while such mouncessor of St. Peter in the See of Antioch. He tains furnish an emblem of the spiritual difficulties resides at Kanobiu, beyond Tripoli

. The young

and perplexities through which we have to wind our men, when they have taken orders

, are at the way, they have supplied to the evangelical prophet command of the Patriarch, to be sent to Damas- a fine image for describing the future success of

this work. cus, or elsewhere, as he may choose.

:-“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall he made low; and

the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough I find this young man to be very feeble in health places plain : and the glory of the Lord shall be

revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for * Query, if this may be what is referred to in the the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." account of the course of education, from which I have, in a subsequent page, made extracts, signifying what we would call Belles Letters.

* 2 Thess. ii. 7-12



visited in winter by tremendous thunder-storms,

and enveloped in thick and cold mists. The wall Monday, Oct. 20, 1823.-We set forth, Mr. Fisk at the end of this hall in which we are sitting, and myself, on sure-footed asses, skilled to climb bears witness, by a large fissure in it, to the alarms the mountains. The road is, for the first half of it, which they must suffer during the mountain storms; the same as that to Ain el Warka. We were and they have not yet procured a lightning conovertaken on the way by a Maronite bishop, who ductor : they asked us questions on this subject; appeared to me more delicate than any native and seemed chiefly influenced by the fear that, whom I had yet seen, having furnished himself if such an apparatus were not placed properly, it with a small umbrella of white muslin: he just inight do them harm instead of good, by attractreturned our salutations, and spurred forward, ing the electric fluid. Many smatterers in philobeing well mounted. We turned off to the right, sophy visit Syria, but they have no confidence in to reach the convent of Deir el Shafi, situated on them. We recommended them, for the safety of a fertile eminence, commanding a magnificent a building on which so much money has been exview of the sea, the town and harbor of Beirout, pended, to send at once for a skilful man from and all the intermediate country. Eighteen mo- England. The Armenians are not a race of men nasteries may be seen from it. The air is pure; fearful of expense; being rich and closely conand, even on the hottest days, they here enjoy a nected with one another in whatever part of the breeze. It is pleasantly screened by groves of world they are to be found. pine trees full of sap, which rise up the side of the The Patriarch has been seven years and a half mountain in the back ground.

in his office. We were presently joined by one The elevated site of many of these monasteries, of two bishops, now residing in the convent; and well chosen for air, retirement, and security, often by another ecclesiastic, whose name I regret not brings to the mind that expression, Oh inhabitant to have noted down, a very lively and intelligent of Lebanon, that maketh thy nest in the cedars! man of about thirty-eight years of age, aspirant to

In the occupants, however, of Deir el Shafi, a bishopric, and not unlikely to be promoted. The there is a melancholy air of somnolency. The Patriarch speaks a very little Italian; but the Partriarch, who visited England, Mar Gregorius other two speak it well. The bishop is of Aleppo, Peter Giarve, resides here only two months in the but has been passing much of his time here ; and summer, for coolness : the rest of the year he blessed himself that he was not in that city at the lives at Mar Ephraim, a spot more inland. We time of the dreadful earthquake. were received by a bishop, who formerly was Mr. Fisk had made a contract for the sale of a Partriarch for five years, and who was succeeded large number of Armenian New Testaments, by Giarve. From his conversation the following which he brought with him. Of these they greatly particulars were obtained. The whole patriarch- preferred the Venice edition, to that printed in ate contains one patriarch and seven bishops. Of Russia. these bishops, two are in Aleppo; one is in Meso As noon drew on, the table was spread for dinpotamia, and another will be appointed there in ner. We dined alone with the Patriarch, and lieu of one deceased ; one is in Beirout; and were certainly never better treated than here. there are two at this convent, one of whom we He seemed to take a particular pleasure in giving did not see, he being on an excursion in the neigh- us proofs of the excellence of his vintage, orderborhood. In Jerusalem, they have no religious ing different kinds of wine to be brought in suchouse; but their Syro-Catholic pilgrims go to the cession ; so that it became necessary for us to Latin convent. In Cairo, they have one Syrian have a strict eye to the proper limits on such an establishment; a merchant's house, I understood occasion. After dinner, he took his repose : and him to mean.

I also was obliged to lie down, being much fatigued The upper part of this convent was built about with the morning's ride; but could take no rest, forty years ago, and appears substantial : there is my mind being filled with the scene around me. a considerable building some few yards detached In the mean time Mr. Fisk, surrounded by the from it, lower down the hill, (for it is all built on young men, produced his Armenian stores, the the side of a steep acclivity,) of the date of only whole of which were purchased by them. The ten years, but likely to be unserviceable, unless room in which I lay down belonged to one of the great expense is laid out upon it; the roof being students, a hopeful bright youth, who speaks Itabroken in some material parts. In this second lian well, and who seemed gratified in showing me building we were informed, lies the printing press, attention. His little library was select, containwith the other materials brought from London and ing Armenian and Italian books; and, no doubt, Paris.

he has an ambition to be useful. It is impossible not to desire that such an ambition may receive a right direction ; but, for this end, a purer know

ledge of truth, than we find in these regions, is We proceeded, by a rough and hot road, to the wanted : and, indeed, the ambition itself needs to convent of Ybzumar. This is the residence of be supplanted by a higher motive than, we fear, the Catholic Armenian Patriarch, and is a noble exists in the generality of these students. After establishment. We were courteously received by half an hour, I joined the company, who were all, the Patriarch, in the large divan; a more spacious under the direction of the ecclesiastic above menand well furnished room than any I have yet seen tioned, making their purchases. They soon after in Syria. The convent has been built twenty- dispersed; and the ecclesiastic proceeded to take eight years: in summer, it must be delightfully us over the establishment. cool; but standing on so bigh an eminence, it is The church is, after their manner, heavily


splendid. In their dining-hall is a pulpit, from what object, which could not as well be attained by which a portion of some book is read, while the them as married men ?" He turned to St. Paul's rest are dining. But that which most surprised argument in 1 Cor. vii; in discussing which, we me, was the number of rooms for the accommoda- pointed out the consideration that the apostle's tion of pupils : we were told that there are about view applied more particularly to times of perse. seventy. The pupils at present, are very few in cution and distress, when the office of preaching number; about twelve : they do not average the gospel might be embarrassed by the preachers' more than twenty : sometimes they are as few as having families; as well as the converts themfour or five. I do not well know how to account selves hindered, by the same circumstance, in their for such variations, unless it be because there are flight from the persecutor. We then asked, how two other Catholic Armenian convents not far far this applied to their case : he would have distant, at Kraim and Beit Hashbo. This eccle. evaded the question, by asking if there were not siastic informs us that the youths are not required' other useful objects to be attained by study, and to be priests : consequently, this may be regarded seclusion, and celibacy: we pressed upon him, as, in some degree, a school for their merchants' that St. Paul gives no other reasons for the expechildren ; and these merchants, moving about in diency of the state of celibacy, than that it gives the extensive regions of the east, or residing for more freedom from worldly distraction, and thus uncertain periods in the cities more or less near-affords more leisure for the active service of God; as Constantinople, Smyrna, Erzroum—may send and now, “in what way,” we asked, “ do these their children more or less regularly to this and convents promote the active service of God? Do similar colleges. The course of education throws the priests here preach the gospel, at the hazard some light on the subject. Our conductor inform of their lives? Is it to this, that their young men ed us, that, on their plan, it would require ten are trained? Does their unmarried state, which years to be well educated; for the complete course i would give them an opportunity of more easily esis to learn ancient Armenian, Arabic, a little phi- caping if their life were sought for, encourage losophy, and various European languages. He is, them to stand out boldly on behalf of the gospel? himself preceptor; and is versed in these acquire- What for example, is the state of the convents in ments. Considering the low standard of the edu- Mount Lebanon? What converts are they in the cation of the clergy generally in the east-excep- habit of making among the Mohammedans ?” tion being made in favor of a few individuals “ Are you, then, he asked," "come to preach to the among them, who have aspired to considerable at- Mohammedans ?" I replied, “I will go with you, tainments—this course of education manifestly and preach to them :' but from this answer he declares itself to have been adopted for those inanifestly drew back. He asked what ground we who are designed to be men of the world. The had for supposing that all countries would become Armenians are, in fact, an industrious, ingenious, Christian–expressing it as his opinion, that the persevering race; not at all, I have been told, ad- promises of sacred Scripture do not go to prove dicted to war, but to civil pursuits : especially as that all the world will be Christian, but that there bankers, in which character they rival the Jews. will be some Christians in all countries; a suffi.

cient number to stand as witnesses of the truth, and examples to their heathen or Mohammedan

neighbors. “Is there then," I asked “ a sufficient After going over the whole building, we were number of converts to Christianity in Mount Le. invited to visit an aged priest who occupies an banon and Syrian ?” To this he principally anapartment here. In foriner times, he has visited swered, that he thought the call to preach the Rome frequently. He considers himself in the gospel applied fully to Pagan nations ; but that, in light of a British subject; having made himself, these countries, nothing could be done without at one time, useful to Sir Sydney Smith. protection—that the moment any one should begin

We had here a very long conversation, on vari- to preach generally, out of the line which he was ous points concerning the state of religion in the known to occupy, he would be put down by the east, and the opinions of the western churches. government. Here he, at once, came to their The Armenian ecclesiastic took the chief part in magnum gravamen. We dwelt on the obstacles it, the other priests being very infirm. Particu- opposed to the first entrance of Christianity, and larly he defended the question of the monastic its triumphant success in spite of them; endeavorvows. I urged that there was no sufficient reason ing to show how much we all need the revival of for them; and that they were contrary to nature the faith and zeal of the primitive times. The ex. and the design of Scripture : particularly I pressed pression was used by me, incidentally, that they the extreme improbability that the young men needed new opinions-at which they started : 1 should be able to know themselves sufficiently, immediately explained, pointing to a Bible on the when they make the vow of celibacy. “To this shelf, that that book contained all my opinions; and end,” he said, “ surely in a probation of two years, that what I meant to express, was, New FEELING kept under strict rule, they would be able to judge of the opinions there laid down for Christians. Mr. of their ability to continue in the observance of Fisk emphatically added, “ A NEW HEART !" that rule.” " Far from it," I said: “their nature The two priests, in conclusion, asked me, whether is not developed in so short a space of time: the there were many in England who thought on this extraneous restraints, under which they are placed, subject as I had expressed myself. Remembering may give them an artificial opinion of themselves the scenes which I had witnessed at the anniver: and of the world; and, when they come into real saries of the different religious societies in May life and its snares, two years' probation will be 1821, I ventured to say, that we have both bishops found to have done very little for them. And for and noblemen, as well as many others of the nation,



who earnestly desire to see the preaching of the trance is a school, where I noted about fifteen boys pure gospel in the Turkish empire. I am not noisily saying their lessons to the master. The sure that his question was not intended to elicit a service of these Greek Catholics is chiefly in feeling of sympathy for their political circumstan- Arabic, with a few doxologies in Greek. They ces. I limited my answer to the religious view of call themselves Melchites. The aspect of this the question.

establishment was very far from comfortable or They, likewise, inquired whether our religious clean; and the ecclesiastics whom we saw had a societies would encourage their young men in very indolent appearance. their studies, and give them help if they went to England. To this, considering the sense in which the question was put, I did not give any very encouraging reply. Indeed I am more than ever convinced, that , although it would be less gratify- found Mr. King, and learned that Mr. Wolff had

I reached Beirout in the afternoon. Here I ing to our feelings to teach them in their own native soil, than to invite them to ours; yet more

set off for Damascus. good incomparably will be done, by one faithful

Wednesday, Oct. 22.—This afternoon Mr. Fisk missionary's going among them, than by a plan arrived from Antoura. We remained in Beirout for receiving twenty or any number of them among Scriptures were sold

, while we also made our ar.

a week: during which many copies of the sacred ourselves. mere courtesy would lead them to accommodate rangements for departing for Jerusalem ; Mr.Fisk themselves, as far as possible, to our habits: but, having kindly consented to be my companion on should they change their manners in their own

this journey. iand, the change may be more fairly set down to

Saturday, Oct. 25.-- This evening Mr. Lewis the account of real conversion of heart. And is also arrived from Antoura, with the intention of not this change more likely to be effected by the making a tour of some length to Damascus, and example and instruct:ons of one pious and zealous from thence to Jerusalem. I had, also, this evenman stationed among them, that by their viewing ing an interview with the Greek procurator, who us “ en masse,” and acquiring what at best might acts for the Greek bishop of Beirout, of the orthobe only a general good impression in favor of our sacred Scriptures to him ; but he complains of the

dox oriental church. We wished to sell the Greek national character ?

great distresses which have fallen upon his nation since the revolution. The bishop has retired from

the city to the mountains : the people are scatterAt the close of this conversation we prepared ed; and are in continual alarm. to depart. The first part of our ride was as

The procurator reads ancient Greek very

well: hot as it had been in the morning ; but, during his uncle was a Greek bishop; and, perceiving in the latter part of it, we enjoyed the coolness of him a turn for study, educated him. How many evening, and the descent of the dew after sunset of this people are now continually being sacrificed

-men who have made a far greater progress, upon the fragrant herbs—the smell of Lebanon. (Canticles iv. 11.) It is not, indeed, very easy to

than any others of the east, in useful knowledge! converse in these single parties, where one follows —men truly distinguished for having blended comanother ; but, although conversation cannot thus mercial and literary enterprise! Were they to be be rapid, or anong several persons at once, yet exterminated, the Levant would be thrown back when it is between two individuals it assumes a

into barbarism, and the instrumentality much more meditative cast. In this manner,

of learning in the propagation of Christianity nearwearied with the day, but refreshed by the last ly lost. And yet if the sword has a charge against half-hour, we reached Antoura.

these countries, to destroy the accumulated errors Tuesday, Oct. 21, 1823.—The early part of the

and superstitions of so many ages—corruptions morning was engaged in preparing finally to quit it may yet be long, very long, ere that sword be

which seem likely to yield to no other disciplineMr. Lewis ; and where, with the rest of the mis- quiet. sionary brethren, I had unexpectedly derived, from

Sunday, Oct. 26, 1823.—This morning, notice our united prayers and conversations a greater having been previously given to the Frank consuls measure of spiritual edification, than, in my former and residents in Beirout, that there would be disolitary travels

, I had ever had the opportunity to vine service in Italian at the British consul's enjoy. After we had breakfasted, the Latin friar garden-house, we assembled to the number of of flareesa, Padre Carlo, came in from Beirout: twenty. Mr. Fisk read portions of the sacred to him I gave an Italian Testament. The number Scripture ; and prayed; after which I preached of roonis in his convent he states at thirty, now oc- froin Matthew xviii. 20. Where two or three are cupied by himself alone.

gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


some ages



On quittting Antoura, I proceeded to the convent of Mar Michael, about three quarters of an hour The following day closed my residence for the distant, where dwells Ignatius, the Catholic Greek present, in Mount Lebanon. Patriarch. He is a very infirm old man, blind and In order to give, at onc view, the whole of my obbed-ridden. About fifteen or twenty priests are servations in this part of the country, in this place in the convent; and, at a small room near th: en- I may very properly be subjoined the few additional

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