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THE Nestorians do not so properly come under
the denomination of bodies existing in Syria, beGreek Roman Catholics
longing rather to Mesopotamia.* The Jacobite Armenian Roman Catholics
Syrians have also their residence chiefly on the Syrian Roman Catholics
banks of the Tigris; but their Patriarch, who Latins, or Frank Roman Catholics lives near Mardin, not unfrequently visits Aleppo, Protestants.
where many rich Jacobite Syrians reside.
late, who is styled, sometimes, the Maphrian. GREEKS.
sometimes the Primate, of the East; in dignity The Greeks, of the proper Oriental Church, are
inferior to a Patriarch, but superior to a Metronumerous in some parts of Syria. The Greek politan. The Jacobite Syrians have also a chapel Patriarch of Antioch resides generally at Damas- at the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem. They hold cus: the Greek Patriarchs of Jerusalem have, for the Monophysite heresy in common with the Copts
in Egypt. more than a century, taken up their residence at
It was about the commencement of the sixth Constantinople; where they have been accustomcd to assist the Patriarch and the Synod of that century that this heresy was promulgated by Se. sec. In Aleppo, Damascus, and Jerusalem, these verus, a Patriarch of Antioch. A very short time Oriental Greeks are in considerable numbers: afterwards, he was expelled from Syria ; and the from the maritime towns they have found it expe- Ere long, however, a follower of his
, James Ba
orthodox faith was re-established in that country. dient to withdraw during the present revolution, although some remain. "In Mount Lebanon they radæus, successfully reared again the Monophysite are not tolerated, the Romish influence being have ever since maintained their opinions, receiv
and, in Egypt and Mesopotamia, they there predominant and exclusive: but, to the south, towards Jerusalem, the Greeks probably far ing, from this second advocate of Monophysitism, outnumber the Roman Catholics. Their standard the title of Jacobites. of faith, it is almost superfluous to repeat, is that
The following remarks of the Jesuit missionaries which the author has mentioned in his former vo- in Syria relative to this body will describe their lume of Christian Researches; being formed ac
sentiments, and the tenacity with which they ad
here to them :cording to the First Seven General Councils, together with the Holy Scriptures. They have
“We could greatly wish that the fruits of our been found, as in Asia Minor and Greece, so also mission were more abundant among the heretics; in Syria and Palestine, favorably disposed to the but it is extremely difficult to recover them from labors of the Bible Society.
the error into which they are gone. The Syrians, otherwise called the Jacobites, are most deeply attached to their peculiar error. They are very
numerous. They are named Jacobites from one ARMENIANS.
of the disciples of Eutyches and Dioscorus, called
Jacob. This disciple revived the error of his mas. BETWEEN Syria and the British possessions in the ters in the beginning of the sixth century; and East Indies, there is a vast tract of country, of the taught publicly, that there was only one nature in actual religious condition of which comparatively Jesus Christ, composed of two natures, the ono very little is known. If we except a small portion divine the other human. of Roman Catholic Greek influence in the more western parts of this immense region, it will be do not undertand what is the point in question ;
" It is true that the chief part of these Jacobites found to be occupied, so far as Christianity is con- but their schismatic bishops and priests boast to cerned, by Armenians, Jacobite Syrians, and Nes them so often the pretended sanctity and the protorians, more or less scantily distributed among found doctrine of Dioscorus and Barsamas, that the native Mahommedan population. The Armenian church holds the opinion of the are in favor of these two heresiarchs, cannot ima
the common people of this sect, prejudiced as they Monophy«ics, concerning the incarnation of Jesus gine that these two men, so celebrated among Christ; in such a manner, however, as to differ them, should have been capable of falling into from the Jacobites, with whom they do not hold error. Thus their priests sounded continually in communion. They are governed," observes their ears that these two apostles of their sect Mosheim, “ by three Patriarchs. The chief, namely, Dioscorus the successor of the great St. whose diocese comprehends the Greater Armenia, Cyril in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and Barresides at Echmiazin. The second resides at Cis, samas that famous Monk his Arohimandrite, hare a city of Cilicia.
There is a third, residing at taught them that the divine and human nature Aghtamar, but who is looked upon by the other make but one sole nature in Jesus Christ, they Armenians as the enemy of their church." Besides these, there are other prelates dignified with the title of Patriarch, although not fully of the * It is, however, said that there arc Nestorians in same rank ; those, namely, of Constantinople, Je- Syria. Some account of this body, will be given in rusalem, and Caminiec in Poland.*
a note to this section.
+ The author is, however, uncertain whether this * Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. Century xvi. Sec. 3. Part chapel belongs to the Jacobites or Nestorians. It 1. chao. 2.
is called, generally, the chapel of the Syrians.
NOTE ON THE NESTORIANS.
obstinately hold to that sentiment; and, if you time, they call themselves Christians, and dress as combat them, they only answer by invectives, such. All their Christianity, however, consists in making the sign of the cross with only the middle their dress; and in the circumstance that they finger of their hand, holding at the same time the have their children baptized. There is seldom other fingers closed, in order to make you under- seen at church any of their sect, excepting a stand that they acknowledge only one nature in couple, whom they send regularly, in order to Jesus Christ, and that you shall never make them avoid the accusation of never appearing at the believe the contrary.
church. They also have a Jacobiie ecclesiastic, “ Their obstinacy, great as it is, does not, how- to assist at the interment of their dead; but they ever, shut our mouth. As their conversion de- do not allow him to enter the house, till the coffin pends particularly upon that of their bishops, we is closed, when he follows the corpse to the bury. wait upon them as often as possible, in order that ing-ground of the Shemsy. I heard nothing posithey may be induced to come near us; and that tive concerning their religious tenets : the Chris. we may have the opportunity of explaining to them tians at Mardin told me that they always build the what the Catholic faith teaches us, and what we principal door of their houses toward the East, and are obliged to believe in order to be saved. that they always turn their faces toward the sun
Happily for us, in the visits which we pay when they pray.” Niebuhr, Voyage en Arabie, them they are the first to put us upon those ar. sc. Vol. II. pp. 321, 322. ticles of their belief which are contrary to ours; as, for example, the procession of the Holy Spirit, and the union of the two natures in Christ.
Having had occasion incidentally to mention the “Our custom is, to answer them simply with the Nestorians, I cannot pass on without observing, Holy Gospel, which we have in our hand. We op- that, of the different bodies existing in the East, pose to them those texts of Scripture, which clearly this is one peculiarly interesting as an object for decide the question ; and the decrees of the council religious research and exertion. They are deof Calcedon, which formally condemns their errors.”
nominated, variously, Nestorian, Chaldean, or AsLettres Edif. et Curieuses, Vol. 1. pp. 145–148. syrian Christians ; and they are very numerous.
If the following statement be in all circumstances 'The fullest account of them is to be found in the correct, it apparently argues an extreme laxity on fourth volume of Assemann's Bibliotheca Orienthe part of the Jacobites, in attaching to themselves talis, which he has entitled, Dissertatio de Syris hall-inade proselytes. Under the head of “ Obser- Nestorians. Their Patriarchs are three ; those, vations made at Mardin,” Niebuhr thus remarks, namely, of Mosul, Ormia, and Amida. Of these,
“ To the communion of the Jacobites belong the last-mentioned Patriarch has connected also the SHENSY. These seem still to have pre- himself with Rome: the others have, at different served a religion which has been patronised, not times, treated with Rome ; but still remain unoaly by the Mohammedans, but also by the Chris. connected with her communion. In the abovetians. An old man assured me, that, in his youth, mentioned work of Assemann, who devotes 982 he knew many villages in the mountainous parts folio pages to this subject, various reconciliations of the country hereabouts, which professed this of this extensive branch of Christians with the religion. At present, it is believed, there are none Romish See are diligently recorded. One chapter of the Shemsy in the country; but, at Mardin, is devoted to the recapitulation of these events. there still exist about a hundred families, in two It is entitled, Conversio Nestorianorum ad fidem diferent quarters. Formerly but a few years ago, orthodoxam. (Chap. viii.) It might, however, these existed as a separate communion: but when more properly have been denominated, “ Occasionthe idea came into the mind of the sultan Mus- | al conversions of a part of the Nestorians, to the tafa, to compel all the Christians and Jews in the church of Rome :" for the learned author enume. empire either to become Mohammedans or to quit rates not fewer than five such events, which took the country ; and all the grandees of the kingdom, place in the following periods, viz. A. D. 1247, not even excepting the Mufti, refused their assent | 1288, 1552, 1616, and 1681. These intermittent to this order, since Mahomet himself had, on con-attachments to the Romnish See might, alone sufdition of an annual capitation-tax, granted protec- fice to argue a very feeble degree of Papal inflution to the Christians and Jews; the edict was re
ence in those quarters. But this is yet more fully modelled: and, with a view of giving some satis- developed by Assemann himself, at the close of faction to the sovereign, it was ordered that thence that chapter; where, in a tone of complaint, he forth no persons should be suffered in the country, notices that one of three Nestorian Patriarchs except those who had sacred books; that is to say, alone continues in his adherence to Rome, while Mohammedans, Christians, or Jews. This order the other two have fallen off. He institutes an in gave very little concern to the Druses, Yasides, quiry into the causes of this; and himself furnishes and Ansari
, and those of other religions, who had a complete answer, full of practical instruction. their residence in mountainous countries, and
Why,” he asks, “ do not the successors of Elias were governed by their own Sheiks and Emirs. and Simeon observe in their jurisdictions this conBut the Shemsy were far too weak; besides which, cord with Rome, in the same manner as it has been they dwelt in cities, where the Mohammedan religiously observed by the successors of Joseph?” magistrate could easily have an eye upon them. To this question he replied in the following manThey therefore submitted themselves to the Jaco
ner:bite Patriarch of Diarbekir,* and, ever since that
“For four causes, as it seems to me. First, * It is also mentioned by Assemann, (vol. II. p. because, when they entered into communion with 291) that the Jacobites freely communicate with the Catholic church, their ecclesiastical books heretics.
were not purged of the errors with which they
abound; namely, their euchologium and horologi- tive countries of the east, a more proper claim to the um, or ritual, the Pontifical, and the daily and title of oriential Christians; we come to notice nightly offices, and those of the saints: for, in these, those Christians, who, either being natives, have the Nestorian heresy is everywhere contained, and adopted, or being foreigners, have introduced, the the memory of heretics cherished. Secondly, all dominion of the Papacy. The first four sub-divitheir books, as well Syriac as Arabic, on theology sions of this number consist of persons by birth and the Canons, which are continually in the oriental: the fifth is wholly a foreign interest, hands of their Patriarchs, Bishops, Presbyters, being by birth, as well as in faith, occidental. and others, were composed by Nestorian authors, Maronitesand consequently infected with the poison of heresy: Greek Roman Catholicsthese are the only books which they read: they Armenian Roman Catholicshave no other book composed in their language by Syrian Roman Catholicsthe orthodox, by which they might be taught the Latins, or Frank Roman Catholics. Catholic verities. Thirdly, the intercourse of letters and embassies between them and the Catholic church is interrupted: had it been continued, and had the Nestorians on the one hand had their orators at the Apostolic See, and were Rome on Mount Lebanon, and the adjacent cities. The re
The Maronites are to be found principally in the other hand continually to visit them by letter sidence of their Patriarch is at Kanobin, not far or by legates, they would probably never have from Tripoli ; and this may be considered as broken off the union once formed. Lastly, the apostolic missionaries destined for them by the The titular jurisdiction of this Patriarch, in com
nearly the northern boundary of their residence. Roman Pontiff are, for the most part, ignorant of their languages and of their rites, and scarcely east equally recognised by the See of Rome, is
mon with that of some other Patriarchs in the penetrate those regions in which their patriarchs Antioch; from which city, as having been visited reside: hence they transact their mission with plebians, not with patriarchs and bishops ; and not (secondary, however, to that of Rome,) is by them
by Saint Peter, a kind of papal rank and virtue, satisfied with instructing them in the faith, they supposed to emanate to all his successors in that very often move useless questions about rites, cal- See. South of Nazareth, the author heard of no culated to disturb, rather than conciliate, men, resident Maronites. who are remarkable for a most tenacious attachment to their customs." -Assemanni Bibliotheca
This church is in strict communion with the Orientalis, Vol. IV. pp. 412, 413.
Romish hierarchy; a connection which was careIn these remarks there is much good sense :
fully cherished by the Jesuits, as they found, in there is, however, one circumstance, naturally the ease and security of the mountains. and in the enough not alluded to by this learned papal envoy docility of the natives, the most advantageous
means of forming their oriental seminaries and si
milar establishments.* In the province, called CULATED AMONG ALL CLASSES OF CHRISTIANS IN But this could form no part of the Kastravan, situate between Beirout and Tripoli
, policy of the court of Rome. It may be hoped one of their missions was established in the college that the recent publication of the ENTIRE SYRIAC
at Antura, or Antoura. Several monasteries have will, under the divine blessing, be one of the means manifested his sense of the value of this station, BIBLE, by the British and Foreign Bible Society, also been established in this neighborhood by the
Franciscans from Europe. Pope Urban VIII. instrumental in giving Protestant missionaries a favorable acceptance from an immense body of by forming here, in connection with the propaganChristians, as yet almost unknown, because almost da, an institution for oriental learning and Romish unexplored by us, peopling the vast region between missions: from the rules of this establishment Aleppo and Travancore.
some extracts will be given in a future page, under the topics of “ The Work of an Evangelist" and “Education.” In this place the reader wil
be sufficiently informed of the origin of the MaCOPTS AND ABYSSINIANS.
ronites, according to the tradition most approved The Copts and Abyssinians in Palestine are to be by themselves, from the following passage:found principally in the Holy City ; devotion being “The Maronite nation derives its origin and its the motive which has drawn them to this land. name from the celebrated Abbé Maron; who must The Copts, from the nearness of Egypt, more not be confounded with another of the same name easily return to their native country; but the more ancient, a Monothelite Heresiarch. The Abyssinians, through extreme want, are obliged to holy Abbé Maron was born in Syria, in the fourth remain. They are very few in number, and of no century. He there spent the life of a hermit. He influence; living in great poverty, and many of had under his conduct several disciples, who emthem being dependent upon the richer Armenians, braced his manner of living. The reputation of to whom they are in some degree attached by the his holiness was so great, that St. John Chrysossimilarity of their religious faith.
tom wrote to him from the place of his exile, to entreat him to obtain from God, by his prayers,
* The Maronites had, previously to A. D. 1182, ROMAN CATHOLICS.
been Monothelites. At that period, they abjured
these opinions; and were re-admitted to the comHAVING enumerated the different Christian munion of the Roman church. (See Mosheim's bodies, which seem to have upheld, in the respec- Ecclesiastical History, century VII.)
-THE SCRIPTURES WERE NOT ABUNDANTLY CIR
grace to endure his excessive pains with patience period of time. The following extract records and courage. Cardinal Baronius eulogises some the reception of the Romish creed, by some digletters which the holy Abbé wrote to the Pope nitaries of the Greek church in Syria, about the Hormisdas, and the book which he presented to year 1717; an event which could not fail, for the the council, an authentic proof of the Catholicity time, to throw a great weight of influence into the of the holy Abbé.
papal scale; and it is accordingly announced in “ After he had piously finished his days, his dis- terms of high gratulation. may very properly ciples built a second monastery near the river Oron- be introduced, as illustrating this section, concerntes. The better to recommend it, they gave it ing the Greek Roman Catholics. the name of their father; and, after that time, it “The moment is at length come, in which the was called the monastèry of St. Maron. The em- bandage which hid their eyes from the Catholic peror Justinian rebuilt their church, and gave it a truth, has fallen. The Patriarch of Alexandria handsomer appearance than the former one. and the Patriarch of Aleppo have been the first to
“ In the number of hermits of this monastery, send to our holy father, pope Clement XI., their there was one named John: who, having distin- profession of faith; by which they protest, that guished himself among his brethren by his virtues, they recognise and revere him, as the vicar of was elected Abbé ; and in honor of their first fa- Jesus Christ, the head of the church, and the ther, he was surnamed the Abbé Maron. This centre of unity to the Catholic faith. second Abbé Maron powerfully combatted the “The Patriarch of Damascus, named Cyril, the heretics and schismatics. He converted many of most powerful, and consequently the most in crethem; and so successfully defended his nation dit of all the Patriarchs in the Leva
was the against schism and heresy which surrounded it on last to give himself up. He had long lived in all sides, that it alone in the Levant has remained schism ; but as he is a man of spirit and capacity, constantly and universally devoted to the chair of he could not refrain from praising and defending St. Peter.
the Catholic religion. He frequented the com“The Abbé John Maron, of whom we speak, pany of the missionaries, and was well pleased was the first of his nation who was honored with that they should have the honor of often visiting the title of Patriarch of the Maronites. He re- him. Far from opposing the conversion of his ceived the Patriarchate from the Holy See. His Hock, the schismatic Greeks, he favored, as much successors, after their election, never omit, up to as possible, their return to the Romish church. the present day, to depute a person to the Pope, He confessed, even, that he was ill pleased with in order to receive his confirmation and the Pal- the Greeks of Constantinople, for having formerly lium.”—Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, Vol. I. separated themselves. These good discourses, pp. 109-111.
expressive of his sentiments, excited in the Catholics a feeling of affection toward him. They desired and asked of God, on his behalf, strength
that he might follow the example, which the two Tue Patriarch of the Greek Roman Catholics Patriarchs of Alexandria and Aleppo had just resides at the Monastery of Mar Michæl, near given him. God has been pleased to hear their Antoura.*. They have several monasteries in prayers; but mark the final method, by which Mount Lebanon and the adjacent cities,
among this prelate to the bosom of the Romish church,
the Saviour of men has been pleased to recover which a principal one is that of the Deir Mhalles, which had been so often the subject of his euloor San Salvador, near Saide. From this place, many are sent forth to occupy the office of paroch-gium: Schism had held him in slavery—to comial priests, in various towns of Mount Lebanon. pel him to quit it, it was necessary for Providence They take to themselves the name of Melchites, to permit his falling into captivity in the manner in the same manner as do the orthodox Greeks of which I am about to relate. Egypt; but this title at first originated in a poli- the missal of his church to one of his disciples,
“ The Patriarch, of whom we speak, confided tical, rather than in a religious, distinction. It may be dificult to trace at what exact period chance entered the shop, found this missal. One
to take it to a binder. Some Turks, having by members of the Greek church in Syria first became Roman Catholics. The activity of the Rom- of them seized it; and carried it immediately to ish missionaries in the promotion of such conver- The Bashaw charmed with the opportunity of
the Bashaw designing to make his court to him. sions must have been successful, probably, long before the period alluded to in a letter from which making an exaction from the Patriarch and exwe are about to give an extract. It is a letter torting money from him, did not fail, the next mornwithout date, of considerable length, occupying Bashaw then said to him, in a furious tone, that
ing, to send and summon him before him. The 159 pages of the “Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses,” he had been informed of what he had done to sein the Paris edition of 1780; and is addressed, by duce the Turks and make Franks of them-that the superior of the Jesuit missions in Syria and he had given to one of them a book of his false Egypt, to the superior-general of the order, giving a very fuil and minute account of the Syrian mis religion, to pervert him—and that, for his crime, sions. The letter being without date, and enter. he deserved to be burn: to death: then without ing into a very great variety of matter, has rather waiting for his justification, he committed him to the appearance of being a compilation from the
the prison of blood, so called, because it is approarchives of the Jesuit missionaries during a long death.
priated to criminals destined to be condemned to
The Bashaw's order of commitment See the following Journal, under date of Octo- was executed: but the Patriarch, after some ber 21, 1823.
day's confinement, having learnt that for three
GREEK ROMAN CATHOLICS.
thousand crowns his liberty would be restored to those Armenians, who have accepted the dignity him, caused this sum to be paid to the Bashaw; of the patriarchal title from Rome. and the door of the prison was opened to him, on “ There are, also, on the large and fertile mounWhit-Monday, 1717. Scarcely was he out of pri- tains of Lebanon, many Christians, (that is, Roson and returned to his house, when he received mish Christians,) who are denominated Greeks, the brief from Pope Clement XI., in which his ho- because formerly they held to the Greek church ; liness expressed to him that he had learnt, with a but their ecclesiastics are often less acquainted sensible joy, the protection which he granted to with the Greek, than the Maronites are with the the Catholics, and the proofs which he gave of his Syriac language, which occasions them to perform esteem for the Romish church; that these dispo- their worship principally in the Arabic language. sitions led him to believe that he was not far from They have also their own patriarchs ; but to all the kingdom of God; that he conjured him, as his appearance, this has only been the case since the brother in Jesus Christ, to hear the voice of God time of their union with the Romish church; and that called him, and would use the voice of the I imagine that the other united Greeks, who do common pastor to recover his flock to the fold. not live in the territory of the Druses, pay no res• Meditate,' said he to him, on those words of pect to this patriarch; but that the Pope simply Jesus Christ-What shall it profil a man, if he gives this title to some ecclesiastic of the country should gain the whole world, and loose his own here, in order that he may say he has a Greek soul? Beware lest the fear of loosing some tran- patriarch in the Levant. In the same manner, sient and temporal advantages occasion you the there is, on Mount Lebanon, an Armenian patriloss of an eternal blessing. Follow, rather, the arch, who is nominated by the Pope, and who, example of the Patriarch of Alexandria and of the probably, has not much to say for himself. In gePatriarch of Aleppo, who have sent us their pro- neral, all these self-called European patriarchs fession of faith conformable to the holy councils. live very tranquilly under the protection of the We expect,' said the pope to him in conclusion. Druses : while the Chaldean patriarch of the pope 'we expect from you such a reply as we desire; at Diarbekir, and other apostate ecclesiastics of and we will then explain to you what you will the east, often suffer great mortifications from the have to do, and the conduct which you should members of their ancient religion, and from the maintain.'
bashaws: for there are still to be found, in all the “In terms nearly such as these, the brief was Syrian villages, many Greeks, Armenians, and conceived. The Patriarch received and read it with Jacobites; who adhere to the patriarchs of Conprofound respect. The Lord, at the same time, stantinople, Echmiazin, and Diarbekir, as heads spoke to the heart of the Patriarch; who, touch of their churches respectively; and who do not ed by this invitation of the father and chief of pas- regard it with an eye of indifference, that the Pope tors, assembled the missionaries, to declare to should give the title of patriarch to apostates, or them, that he had taken the resolution of sending that the European monks and their disciples his profession of faith to the holy father in the should seduce members from the ancient comterms which he desired. The prelate has kept munions, and thereby foment discords, and utterly his word. He, last year, deputed three
many good families. The dissensions of the who carried to Rome his profession, together with Christians are always a clear profit to the Turkish presents and his pastoral staff, in order to submit government.”—Niebuhr, Vol. 11. pp. 346, 347. it to the vicar of Jesus Christ.
“ We doubt not but his holiness would feel a sensible joy at receiving into his communion, and nearly at the same time, the three Patriarchs of the Greek church. God grant that those who succeed them may be the inheritors of their or
Of this body, which is not numerous in Syria, the thodox faith, as well as of their dignity!”—Lettres Patriarch is generally understood to be Mar GreEdifiantes et Curieuses, Vol. I. pp. 140_144.
gorius; the ecclesiastic who visited England in the year 1819, as Archbishop of Jerusalem. Some further account of this body will appear in the fol
lowing Journal, under the date of October 20, 18:23. THE residence of the Armenian Roman Catho
LATINS, OR FRANK ROMAN CATHOLICS. lic Patriarch is at Ybzumar, situate to the north of Beirout: some account of this convent will ap To this number must be referred the consular pear in the following pages, the author having representatives, French, Spanish, Austrian, &c. visited it during his stay in Mount Lebanon. But of the respective Roman Catholic countries of although the Romanists have used very active Europe. These are, generally, either natives of exertions to bring over the Armenians to their their respective countries; or else, if born in the profession, and have long maintained a consider. Levant, they are of immediate European extracable influence with that people, both in Constan- tion. They are usually--perhaps it might be said, tinople and in other parts of the Turkish empire; invariably-professors of the Roman Catholic faith. yet it is not to be supposed, that the proportion of In this respect the church of Rome has never lost these converts is, in any degree, comparable to sight of its exclusive policy. In contrast to this those who have adhered to the ancient national it may be observed, that Protestant England is church of the Armenians. The following remarks often represented in the Levant, in subordinate of Niebuhr will convey a very just idea of this consular situations, by Roman Catholic or Greek fact, in reference both to those Greeks and to agents. This is, however, less the case at pre
SYRIAN ROMAN CATHOLICS.
ARMENIAN ROMAN CATHOLICS.