« AnteriorContinuar »
was not yet effaced from his mind; he having lem-a timid expression of countenance, called in been, about a week before, forcibly seized in the Scripture a pining away: with a curiosity that night, and carried off to prison by order of the desires to know every thing concerning a stranger, new governor. The pretext alleged was, that his there is, at the same time, a slinking away from street door had been left open in the night: for the curiosity of others. We stood awhile with this he was compelled to pay a heavy fine of three the worshippers at this spot ; which they regard purses ; about 371, sterling. The officer, who as close to the place, where, in ancient times, the apprehended him, burst with violence into his inner Shechinah was ; and, though the glory of the chamber—waked him-spurned all his protesta- Lord has departed, they still venerate the place tions of his having European protection--he hav- where he once manifested His presence. To ing an Austrian firman ; and, forthwith, took him, worship here must be the summit of their desires: his disciple Rabbi Isaac, and two others to the it seems to be somewhat in the spirit of David's prison, from which, after twenty-four hours' con- vow, “ In thy fear will I worship toward thy holy finement and the payment of the fine, they were temple.” set at liberty. He was proposing to go for rehef We particularly observed the strength of this to the consul at Acre: from the Austrian consul part of the wall. It is built of large and well hewn at Tiberias he expected nothing, as that gentle- stones: one of the largest of these I measured, and man, himself a Jew, probably finds it as much as found it to be eight and a half feet English by three he can do to secure protection for his own declin- and a half. Of these, there are nine tiers; out of ing old age. Rabbi Mendel preferred going, in which seven seemed to be of the abovementioned person, to writing: for if it were known in Jeru- thickness of three feet and a half
, the uppermost salem that he had written, it would subject him to two being a little narrower. The wall runs up fresh insults or exactions. How truly is that threat still further about twenty feet : but this upper accomplished—“Thy life shall hang in doubt be- part is built of smaller stones; giving, as the fore thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and whole height, about fifty feet. It is not to be supshalt have none assurance of thy life !" (Deut. posed that these larger stones are of the date of xxvii. 66.) The money was, clearly, the sole Solomon's temple: but it seems by no means unmotive for this proceeding—a new governor, in likely, that they should have composed part of the this devoted city, generally making his advances, second temple: and that, after having been by rapid steps, first to the Jews, next to the thrown down, so that not one of them stood upon Greeks and Armenians, and finally to the Latins. another, they have been subsequently collected as Nor have these any appeal : their only relief is, fit for building. They are in fact far more superb by cunning and intrigue, to throw the burden as than what any other part of the city can boast ; much as possible upon the shoulders of their excepting those portions of the wall which face neighbors; or to plead their inability to meet the toward the east, and which are built of similar demands of the governor, who always begins by large stones. It was concerning some of these, bidding high. The parties from whom the de- probably, that the disciples remarked, “Master, see mand is made being either put in prison or other- what manner of stones, and what buildings are wise annoyed, part of their policy is to endure as here !” They are, independently of the contrast long as nature can bear the unjust infliction; thus with the meaner buildings of the city, such as in proving, by their willingness to suffer, their inabi- any spot would excite admiration, at the skill and lity to pay:
labor which must have been bestowed on them. The other party of the Jews, the Sephartim, being much more numerous, were soon obliged to pay a much larger sum. Four of their principal men were, during these days, thrown into prison ; Having mentioned the oppressions suffered by from which they were not released till the bargain the Jews, I will add an instance of a similar kind was adjusted. Some, whom we inquired after, inflicted on the Greeks; premising that it is only had secreted themselves in their neighbors' houses. a specimen of what they are continually liable to
suffer, and actually do suffer.
A few days after our arrival, a Greek, who oc
cupied the next room to ours in the convent, sudRabbi Isaac conducted us to see an interesting denly disappeared: so also did another young man spot, to which the Jews frequently resort on the belonging to the convent; and likewise a Greek, afternoon of Friday. It is on the outer side of who passes for a physician in the city. In a few the wall of the mosque of Omar. Within the days, we learnt that they were in prison: from area which surrounds the mosque none may enter, whence, after remaining there eight days, they under pain of death, unless he becomes a Moham- were released on the payment of money; and we medan: but at a particular part of the outside of the heard the story from themselves when at liberty. surrounding buildings, the Jews have the perinis. The charge, on which they were committed, was, sion, for which they pay money, to assemble every their having aided in ransoming a Greek girl of Friday, to pray. There were only eight while Crete from a Turk in whose possession she was : we were there ; but at a later hour, probably, on the arrival of the new governor this was laid there would be more. On other occasions, they hold of as a pretext for imprisonment and further are numerous : but the ineasures of the new gov- exaction. The one who lived next to us was per. ernor have thrown them into consternation, so secuted even after his liberation, by the officers, that they are not so forward to show themselves. three of whom beset his door for the payment of I observed, as we passed through the Jew quarter 60 piastres (about 1l. 10s. sterling) alleged to be -and upon many faces, in most parts of Jerusa- due to them—the first for putting on his irons, the
OPPRESSIONS SUFFERED BY THE GREEKS.
JEWISH PLACE OF WEEPING.
second for taking them off, and the third for bring statement, to suppose that the Jews should amount ing him his food in the prison. These claims he to more than five thousand : but it is no part of endeavored to elude, by retiring, in the day-time, their system, or of the system of the other relito another house. He was preparing, also, to gious bodies, to show their numbers. Admitting escape, as soon as possible into Egypt.
this, however, to be near the truth, if then, some
what more than five thousand should be given to TRACT, BY TÌE AUTHOR ON THE HOLY SPIRIT. the Mussulmans, and somewhat less than five
thousand to the Christians, it would give fifteen This evening Pappas Ysa sat with me some thousand for the population of Jerusalem; which time while I described to him the plan of a tract is the very greatest amount of population that I which I am writing on the subject of the Holy should be inclined to give to this city, from obserySpirit. I read parts of it to him, and requested ing its area from the Mount of Olives. It lias his opinion. He seemed surprised, I thought, that indeed, been rated at twenty thousand, and even I should be writing such a tract. Probably few higher. I should think that fifteen thousand was persons in the Levant apprehend, as yet, how well too high; and should not be very unwilling to rate their condition is understood in England, or how it at twelve thousand. In this calculation, of much we feel interested in their opinions and course the pilgrims are omitted—who are crowdcustoms ; especially how much we take to hearted into the convents, and fill up many spaces which the corruptions which the great enemy has suc- are vacant nine months in the year, augmenting ceeded in introducing into their churches. On the population by some few thousands. the other hand, possibly, some of my friends also at home might be surprised, did they know that a
CÆSARIUS, A GREEK EOCLESIASTIC. large part of my time is spent in Jerusalem in the writing of this tract. They would say, “ leave
Sunday, Dec. 7, 1823.-In the afternoon, we sedentary composition for your return to Malta: had a long and interesting conversation with a abroad, be in constant motion.” Every one must, Greek ecclesiastic, named Cæsarius. He is very in these things, be, in a considerable degree, a intelligent, and very desirous of general knowrule to himself
. I have already made tlie attempt, ledge. The conversation was entirely on religion; but without success, in Malta. One of the objects and gradually came to subjects concerning which which I proposed, therefore, to execute during my the Romish and the Oriental churches are accuspresent tour, was to write this tract, while sur tomed
to speak very positively-the washing away, rounded by the scenes to which it has reference of original sin in baptism; and the identity of I have, in the course of its preparation, availed baptism and regeneration. Scripture was the myself of the friendly suggestions and criticisms of standard to which we constantly appealed. Of all my missionary brethren on the spot : and they each proposition we carefully inquired, “Where are not a few.* I have also communicated va- does God, in his word, declare this?" The effect rious ideas on the subject to natives, and have produced on the mind of our visiter was, appawatched the course of their remarks: it is interesting to observe what ideas chiefly affect their increase of the inquiring, spirit. The passage at
rently, an abatement of the self-confident, and an imagination : one topic most caught the attention which he principally seemed to be at check was of my present auditor—“Kings will rule in righte: 1 Pet. ii. 21. After watching and assisting the ousness and subjects obey with cheerfulness."
turn of the discussion for about an hour, I left “Ah!” he said, “ if there were a good govern- him with Mr. Fisk, who was holding him close to ment to protect Christianity, something might be Scripture-the only method likely to succeed; for hoped !” He also expressed his apprehensions should we wander on the ground of the authority that the great efforts now making for the dissemi- of the Fathers, it would probably be only to prove nation of religious knowledge might last for only these fallible writers guilty of mutual contradica time ; and, after having done some good, lan- tions, and sometimes of inconsistency even with guish–leaving the world to relapse into its old
themselves. course. He was perfectly open and ingenuous in his expressions and manner. He deeply impressed me with the conviction, that there must CONVERSATION WITH THE BISHOP OF NAZARETH. be something higher than human wisdom and resolution to sustain here the hopes and measures of Monday, Dec. 8.-I went, in the course of the Christian men.
afternoon, to see the bishop of Nazareth, Daniel, on the subject of the manuscripts at the convent of the Holy Cross. The books which I selected
for more particular examination are brought into Rabbi Mendel is a principal rabbi among the the city, and will be delivered on my sending for sect of the Ashkenasim, or Polish Jews; who, at them. present, are but very few in number in Jerusalem. The bishop was inquisitive to know of what The Sephartim, or Spanish Jews, have long been rite my servant was. I gladly availed myself of established here ; and are said to have six or the opportunity of explaining to him in what light seven hundred houses. It is difficult, from this I regarded these differences. The youth, I told
him, is by profession, of the Latin church; but I : The number of missionaries, who have visited did not, on taking him into my service, inquire into this land within the compass of less than one year, that matter ; but merely desired him, in the mornhas been eight. Of these, I have had the benefit of ing and evening, to come to us, when we read the free and full conversation with all, except one. | Bible and pray together : to which he never inade
POPULATION OF JERUSALEM.
the least objection ; but, on the contrary, seems to ment when the nations appear restless for innobe pleased with it.
vation. On this topic, it is peculiarly grateful to The bishop was very attentive, and spoke little, find the Greek church favorable. 80 that, as I feared to appear to trespass on his I retired from this interview with spirits unusufeelings, the conversation was often suspended. ally depressed. I had felt, throughout the whole Indeed I thought I perceived a great degree of conversation, that my heart was drawn in contrary dejection on his countenance.
directions—on the one hand, by emotions of pity Presently, it being three o'clock, our attention for these suffering Orientals; and, on the other, was roused by the voice of the mowedden from by a view, every day augmenting, of their sinful one of the minarets, calling the Mohammedans to blindness and unchristian superstitions. While their usual prayers of that hour. The bishop humanity pleads for them; Christian faithfulness mournfully turned to me, and exclaimed, EWS TOTE; cannot acquit them as innocent. " How long ?" His few and simple words quite sunk into my heart. I said it was truly painful to REFLECTIONS ON THE STATE OF THE CHRISTIANS. hear that voice in the holy city; and that I viewed with sincere sympathy the present distresses On reaching home, I unburdened my heart; and which they suffer. '« Our sins !” he slowly re- could not help exclaiming, “ I have not spent one plied, " The measure of our punishment is not yet happy day in Jerusalem !” My missionary brother filled up!” I could only assent by the motion of readily sympathized with me.
How can it be otherwise than a matter of conI then acquainted him that I was writing a stant sorrow, to contemplate the state of things tract, in which I wished to address his nation in here? as consolatory a manner as I could; but added, The convents are either suffering, or expecting “it will not all of it be consolatory.” He plainly to suffer, continual extortions. Were some madtook my meaning, as one who saw that it was im- dening intelligence of successful operations of the possible to speak, agreeably to truth, of a suffer- Greeks to arrive here, it is not unlikely that the ing nation, without also saying something con- Turks might be exasperated to such a degree, as cerning their sins. Yet I never felt more, than I to rise and massacre numbers of Christians. did at this interview, a desire to address them with The Christians themselves, instead of being in tenderness; and that verse (Isaiah 1. 4,) was any sense united, seem to watch for one another's brought with fresh feeling into my memory, “The halting : and the centre, round which their petty Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learn- politics revolve, is the possession of some holy ed, that I might speak a word in season to him place. Under color of reverence for the great that is weary.” How difficult to do this! It is mysteries of redemption, they have here establisheasy to chide, with justice ; but it is a high attain- ed a metropolis, as it were, of lucrative will-worment, learned only in the school of suffering, to ship, and of most plausible tyranny over the minds reprove with a merciful spirit. Neither may we of devotees. It is in this that the spiritual Chrisrebuke an elder; and the tract must speak to tian discerns the secret cause of the divine judgmany bishops and dignitaries, whom I am boundments upon them. rather to entreat as fathers.
The doctrine of the merit of pilgrimages has, To his expression, which he would ever and for nearly fifteen hundred years, been the standing anon sigh forth—“ How long! Lord, how long !" order of the Christians of Jerusalem. Yet of the I, at length, made some reply, drawn from the in- deep-rooted error of this system, who are so interpretation of prophecy. He listened with great sensible as the ecclesiastics themselves? Probainterest; for on no topic is it more easy to gain bly in reading the Lamentations-still
, in many an eager ear in the east, than on the mysterious points, most pathetically applicable to Jerusalem : and unknown future. I limited myself, however, they would appropriate this verse as depicting to general allusions to the period of 1260 years, their state—"The ways of Zion do mourn, benow apparently drawing to its close; and endea- cause none come to the solemn feasts.” This, in vored to exhibit, also, some of those signs of the a literal sense, is exactly the case at present. times, which indicate the approach of an im- During the last years, since the Greek revolution, portant crisis—particularly mentioning the Bible the Greeks have had no pilgrims; they dare not, Society, and the system of general education. As cannot come; of those who came in 1821, when I described the convulsions which shake the con- the late Mr. Parsons was at Jerusalem, many, on tinent of Europe from the west to the east, he their return homeward, perished in consequence mentioned the affairs of Spain as being settled ; of the general massacres ; and there were probaand seemed, therefore, to infer, that 110 good had bly very few, who were able to find a safe asylum resulted from that movement. After noticing that from the Turks. To the Latin convent, also, not the revolutions in the west had been conducted many individuals now make pilgrimages; and pevery much by men who disbelieve the Christian cuniary remittances seldom come from Europe, in religion, I asked whether it might not be part of consequence of the troubles in Spain and Naples. a merciful dispensation, not to suffer such men to The Armenians alone, at present, prosper. attain all that they grasp at, lest they should over These are the afflictions of the convents; and throw Christianity. He entered into this view ; they see not, that, by these judgments, God is and seemed fully sensible, that change, without marking his displeasure against the whole system Christian principle, was always to be mistrusted. of monasticism and the whole traffic of pilgrimI seized the moment to press again the unspeak- ages. From none should we have so reluctant an able advantage of the labors of the Bible Society acknowledgment of this, as from the ecclesiastics, -filling the world with divine light at the mo- I who manage the springs of these systems; they
would probably confess any thing or every thing severe and compulsory chastisements of a divine
little excited my feelings on this subject. His
The more the circumstances of Jerusalem are garment of praise, which should be given them in reflected upon, the more they wound the heart. place of the spirit of heaviness! But when, so far They may be well represented thus: The Latins as we see, there is none that stirreth up himself live by remittances from Spain and other Roman to lay hold on God, what rescue is left? The Catholic powers—the Greeks and Armenians, by heart is ready to sink under the awful apprehenthe contributions of the pilgrims—the Jews, by sion, that, where truth has so long failed of obcollections made in all the world, and by alms taining admission, judgment must enter; and, brought by devotees of their religion—the Turk, where men will not tear up their rooted errors of in the midst of them, by exacting money from all
. more than a thousand years' standing, probably There is a little common traffic in the city and the desolations of war may be sent, as the only neighborhood, but very little stir or activity. Fo- effectual instrument to abolish inveterate and bereign purses are the resource to which they prin- loved evils. cipally look ; when these fail, they pine and mur.
If any should doubt on what their hearts are principally set, he might ask within himself—“On Monday, Dec. 10, 1823.-In the course of the what account would these people chiefly desire evening, Rabbi Isaac called; with another young the restoration of the Levant to peace and order? Jew, who has travelled as far as London. They or for what reason would they wish to see the assume this title “ Rabbi,” at so very early an Christians gain the upper hand? Would it be, age, that it surprises a person who has been acthat they might extend the faithful preaching of customed to connect it with the idea of venerable the pure gospel? Or would it not be, that the years and learning. They marry also extremely numerous pilgrims might flock, with augmented young. enthusiasm, to repair the pecuniary desolations The Abyssinian priest coming in, we obtained a inflicted by the present war?"
little information concerning the condition of the It is, in fact, a most remarkable feature in the Jews in his country. He stated that there are present distresses, that the current of extortion many in Gondar—a few in Samen; and he had sets in with especial violence on the convents, heard, but could not declare it from having been and, consequently, on the whole monastic system. there, that, at Kuarka, the Jews are very numer. The monasteries, supposed to be the depositories ous—that the inhabitants are nearly ah Jews. I of treasure, attract the cupidity of the Turks. had hitherto understood, that, in Abyssinia, Jews And, should the present system of exaction be were only to be found in Gondar, where they are long protracted, it must inevitably prove the ex-known by the name of Falasha. He gave some tinction of the resources of the convents; and account of the rigor with which they attend to consequently, in the end, the ruin of the monastic certain ceremonial purifications, in a manner more system. Rapacious tyranny merits our indigna- severe than is practised even by the Jews of Jerution, and individual sufferings claim our pity; bui, salem; this rigor was highly applauded by the in such an event—the extinction, I mean, of the Jews present; it had particular relation to the monastic system-reason, decorum, nature, Chris- treatment of females. tianity, would all exult. Nor does it appear to
gave Rabbi Isaac a Hebrew and an Arabic human calculation in any way probable
, that such New Testament. On my wishing to point out to a system will be relinquished, except from the him Stephen's sermon in Acts vü. and particularly
the application of it at verse 51, he was so fearful *“ The city is without trade, and consequently of my taking the books from him, that he would exceedingly poor. Its principal revenue consists in not let me have them to show him the place. I the profit gained from the pilgrims." --Lettres Edi- therefore looked for another copy and referred him tantes et Curieuses. Vol. I. n. 420.
JEWS IN ABYSSINIA.
to the page.
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.
Thursday, Dec. 11, 1823.-We called on Ysa vengeance. It may, spiritually, be called an aboPetros, and found him surrounded with papers, mination of desolation standing in the holy place, translations, &c. He evinces a general love of where it ought not. knowledge, and a desire to communicate know In the afternoon of this day, we waited on the ledge. Besides several maps drawn by his own two Epitropi of the Greek convent, in order to hand, and with the names of places in Arabic, he speak with them on the subject of the Apocryphal has made some small globes celestial and terres- books of Scripture. We had a very explicit contrial, the workmanship being entirely his own. versation on this topic, in which Daniel chiefly en
gaged: his colleague, Agios Petras, being very MOSQUE OF OMAR.
feeble from the effects of his late fever, and not
manifesting any particular turn for theological disWe afterward waited on the governor. The cussion. They will send to us, from their library, approach to his residence, the residence itself, and the acts of the seven general councils, which may the aspect of his court, are all so destitute of what assist us in our present inquiries. would be expected from his station, that I forbear to describe them. He asked some questions, which were far from courteous : being answered with reserve and distance on our part, he suddenly Friday, Dec. 12, 1823.-We went, this morning, became very complaisant, repeated the compli- to see the church of the Holy Sepulchre. ment of sherbet, pressed us not to hurry away, The sight which meets the eye immediately and spoke of the hospitality due to strangers. The upon entering, as most incongruous to the idea of only favor which we had to ask of him, was per- a Christian place of worship, is a party of Turks mission to go on the roof of his house, which over- sitting on the left hand, taking their ease on the looks the mosque of Omar, the Sakkara el Aksa, divan, smoking, and watching every pilgrim who and the surrounding spacious area of which his passes, that they may not loose their fee. house forms one'side. As we were the first since The first sacred object to which the attention his new government who have asked this, he had is attracted, is the stone of unction, as it is called; to inquire of his attendants whether it was Adet being a splendid slab, laid over the spot where the (custom.). Being answered in the affirmative, he body of our Lord was washed and anointed and gave us leave, and we went up.
shrouded, previous to its interment: here, devoHere we had a view of this very interesting tees were prostrating themselves, and kissing the spot; within which had we set our foot, the penal- stone. ty must have been either death or the embracing On the right hand, having ascended a flight of of the Mohammedan faith. Can any thing be stairs, we entered the chapel of the crucifixion : more absurd, unjust, or harshly oppressive? Let the spot where the cross stood is shown under the insult offered to any, even the most absurd religion, altar: and, in a chapel underneath, is shown, very suffer condign punishment: but is it possible that dimly, the figure of the rock; concerning which, the followers of Mohammed can be gratified by Maundrell and other travellers have related the such an extorted conversion to their faith; or thirst tradition of Adam's scull having been found there, for the blood of a man, who shall, in a moment of when the rock was miraculously rent. temerity, have touched the mere earthly precincts On the east side of the church is the chapel of of one of their sanctuaries? We availed ourselves the Greeks ; who, having borne the principal share of the moment, attentively to survey the solemn of the expense (if not the whole) of repairing the scene before us—where, once, that wonder and church after a fire which, in 1808, broke out and praise of the whole earth, Solomon's temple stood. consumed a considerable part of it, have repaid The ample area is, in some parts, covered with themselves by keeping possession of by far the turf: in others, the bare rock shows itself; and a largest and handsomest portion of the building. few scattered trees scarcely suffice to give it the Their chapel and high altar are decked with very title of picturesque. The dome of the mosque is showy pictures of saints, after the oriental fashion; a truly noble specimen of taste; but, pressing too that is, almost without any regard to perspective. low upon the subjacent part of the structure, it Passing behind the screen which separates their overwhelms the symmetry of the whole: it is, in high altar from the wall of the church, there is a fact, best viewed at a distance, when it is seen wide semicircular passage; from which there is, apart from the lower building with which it is con on the right hand, a descent, by many steps, to St. nected, and standing pre-eminent for beauty Helena's chapel, and the chapel of the spot where among the buildings of the city--a pre-eminence, she is related to have found the cross. however, diminished by its mournful defect in mo At the northern extremity of this
passage is the ral beauty. Here, they of the captivity in Ezra's portion assigned to the Latins. Their chapel is days, priests and Levites, and chief of ihe fathers, very far from splendid: it seems, indeed, dim and who were ancient men that had seen the first house, gloomy. One or two devotees I observed passing wept with a loud voice on beholding the inferiority a cane through a grate, and touching with it some of the second. Here, the Hebrew and the Chris- stone or other object out of their reach; then tian may now, also, mingle their tears over the withdrawing the cane, and kissing the extremity violation of the true faith. Here, are neither the which had touched the holy relic within: thus, holy precepts of the law nor the inviting promises virtue is transfused from the relic to the cane, and of the gospel, to dignify or to endear the place. from the cane to the lips of the devotee! This splendid edifice, surmounted with the cre Returning to the body of the church, we apsent, serves only to exhibit to all the world this proached the holy sepulchre, which is placed a desecrated spot, as a central monument of divine | little north of the centre. It is covered by a small