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THE HOLY LAND.
I their manners and customs ; I had lived where
there were no other associates; labored among In ancient times the pilgrin, from the Holy Land them as the servant of Christ; travelled extenwas regarded with a reverence bordering upon sively over their mountains and plains; and I had superstition. He was welcome alike to the cas- to thank God, that although the years spent among tles of the great, and the cottages of the poor. them were not without some trials, I had never When the aged minstrel, with his harp and voice, spent one melancholy hour, though often in solihad recited the story of some virtuous female or túde, and had been most mercifully preserved from warrior brave, the excitement was continued by serious illness, though often exposed to the burnthe palmer's tale, as the members of the family, ing sun by day, and tainted air by night. We from the highest to the lowest, assembled before touched at several places upon the continent of the blazing fagot, at a greater or less distance India, and upon the Malabar coast had evidence from its cheering influence according to their rank; of the extent to which Roman Catholicism preand bright eyes wept over the history of sufferings vails among the people, as I counted at one time, endured upon spots that had been consecrated by with the help of a small telescope, no fewer than the bodily presence of the Son of God. The vil- fourteen churches, all visible from the deck of the lage green was at another time forsaken by its ship. In Bombay and its neighborhood I remained noisy occupants, when the pilgrim rested for a about a fortnight, and among other places visited moment upon his staff, and was surrounded by a the celebrated cave temples of Kennery and Elerude auditory, who gazed with mute astonishment phanta. On Thursday, Jan. 10, 1833, I embarked upon his mysterious figure, whilst he repeated the for Kosseir in Egypt, in the Hugh Lindsay, a tale of victories won by red-cross knights over pa steamer belonging to the East India Company, gan usurpers, and solicited the aid of charity, commanded by Captain Wilson, accompanied by afforded with the greatest readiness to the wearied ten other passengers, on their return to England. stranger. The times are now changed, and the The history of India might be considered as simple tale of the traveller, no matter where he connected with that of the Scriptures, inasmuch as may have wandered, fails to excite attention, un- it was in this region the systems of idolatry, which less there be combined with it the discoveries of it was one object of revelation to destroy, assumed science, or the flashes of a vivid imagination, or a power more extensive, more awful, and more mathe recital of dangers and deaths. I shall in these lignant than in any other part of the world: but respects be pronounced one of the most unfortu- as the name of India occurs only once in the Old nate of travellers, having neither discovered a new Testament, and then incidentally, I shall resist the pyramid, nor been wounded, nor robbed, nor made opportunity that so temptingly invites me to encaptive; and if the countries I have visited fail in large, and confine my observations within the prothemselves to create interest, I fear that my read- per limits. It was probably at first peopled by ers will soon pass me on from their gate, without the descendants of Ham. The customs of the granting me even an equivalent to the pilgrim's people alter not with the course of time, and many fare, though all he required was a pallet of straw parts of the earlier books of the Bible are greatly on which to repose, and a loaf in his scrip to sa- elucidated by the common practices that are even tisfy the cravings of hunger. I had always, from now every day witnessed among the Hindoos. comparative infancy, a great desire to visit Jeru- The gospel is said to have been introduced into salem, and do not now regret the toils I have en- India by the apostle Thomas, and the pretended dured to accomplish my wishes. I should other place of his burial is still shown near Madras. wise have been for ever a stranger to thoughts The island of Ceylon is supposed by the Perand associations as interesting as they are pure, sians and Arabs to have been the site of Paradise, and if I can succeed in imparting to the minds of and is by them called Serendib. There is a mounothers, even a small portion of the same salutary tain in the interior, rising more than 6000 feet instruction, I shall consider that the greater task above the level of the sea, on the summit of which of telling my toils to the world, will not have been is an indent not unlike the impression of a foot, undertaken entirely in vain.
said by the Buddhists to be that of Buddhu, and I embarked from Colombo, the capital of Cey- by the Mussulmans to be that of Adam. There lon, in a French ship, on the morning of Nov. 28, are others who think that our venerable forefather 1832, with feelings that are not to be described. was brought to this island after his expulsion from The most important period of my life had been Eden, and died upon the mountain that bears his spent upon the shores I was then leaving. I had name.-Bochart has endeavoured to prove that studied the language of the people, examined their Ceylon is the Ophir of Scripture, celebrated for the religion, and become intimately acquainted with fineness of its gold. To this place the ships of
one common source.
Solomon traded. They sailed from Eziongeber and near it is a small mosque. The bay is well upon the Red Sea, and returned after an absence sheltered during the winter monsoon, and affords of three years, laden with gold, precious stones, good anchorage close to the shore. There are a peacocks, apes, spices, ivory, and ebony. All few native merchants from India resident here, these things are common products of the island, and under a good government it might be made a and at this day articles of export, except the first : place of considerable trade. We found two it has diamonds and pearls, but the more precious American whalers at anchor, that had put in, as metals are never found upon its shores.
we were told, for “vegetation.” The crews of both vessels belonged to temperance societies, and one of them had not had a single drop of spirits on
board since they left their port, yet the men apARABIA,
peared to be in excellent health. Near the town
we saw several encampments of Bedouins, with The name of this country occurs in the Scripture herds of camels, goats, and sheep. The camel is with less frequency than "might have been expect the principal beast of burden, and is here fed upon cd from its contiguity to the Holy Land. This fish. We saw one horse, but not a single dog. We arises from its peculiar character, which is alone spent a day at some wells a few miles distant from among the nations of the world. It was never the shore, on which the town is entirely dependent united under one king, and in consequence never for water. It is conveyed in skins, sometimes presented itself to the sacred historians, except in upon the backs of the women, but more commonly single and divided masses. Hence we find that upon asses and camels. The stream of water in this the volume of inspiration is remarkably from which the wells are supplied runs down a consistent with the truth; as we have individuals ravine, in which a few date-trees are planted, upon and tribes frequently introduced to our notice, patches of earth kept together by a parapet of without being led to form the least idea of conso- stones. The date season is welcomed here with lidated empire. The distinctive form we give to the same feelings that the harvest-home excites Arabia arises, perhaps, principally from its geo- in other parts of the world. We could see some graphical position, as the same language is spoken distance into the interior, but could discover nothing in Egypt and Syria, and in both these countries are more than naked mountains, with a few trees and found nomadic tribes, deriving their origin from small villages in some of the valleys. The dis
It extends 1500 miles from trict is governed by an independent sheikh, ex, north to south, and 1200 miles from east to west. tremely infirm, and both blind and deaf from old The population is taken at 12,000,000. Within age, so that the affairs of the state are conducted the limits of Arabia we find Sinai, and the range by others, and the principal minister is a mean of Seir, with the district of Horeb, the land of Mi- and avaricious parasite. The vessels that put in dian, and the countries of Edom, Amalek, Seba, for trade are not unfrequently detained until a and Sheba.
large present has been extorted for permission to The most intense anxiety was manifested by depart. Wherever I went I was saluted with the the passengers in our steamer to gain the first cry of hakkim, doctor, with many imploring signs sight of Arabia. We made the mountains near from the people, that I would enter their houses, Kisseen point, on the south-eastern coast, Jan. and from that time until my last departure from a 20; and as they form part of the region called Mussulman shore, I might have been constantly "the Blessed,” we anticipated the sight of a land occupied in listening to details of disease and preof surpassing beauty. In this we were disappoint- scribing remedies, had I known any thing of the ed, as all was sterility, and we could not discover healing art. The men are armed with knives in the least sign of life, either vegetable or animal. their girdles, a sword, a spear, or matchlock, and The next day we anchored in the port of Macul- a small round shield of rhinoceros' hide. The heir lah, to take in coals sent previously from England presumptive to the government came on board, by way of Bombay. The town has a pleasing quite a youth, and was as mean in his appearance appearance from the sea, like one vast castle, as the rest. The women are close muffled up, with towers in every direction, from one of the with only two small apertures in their coarse veil. highest of which the red flag of the false prophet The slaves are principally Somaulies, from Africa. was soon hoisted in our honor. The hills, of a red They leave only two tufts of hair on the crown of colour, barren, and broken into large flakes that the head, of a brown shade, perhaps from some seemed to threaten destruction to the inhabitants preparation used in their toilette. Their features bencath, rise immediately behind the houses, and are regular and agreeable, and their countenances are crowned with watch-towers. Those who manifest an elasticity of spirits that all the hardwish to fall in love with an Arabian city, must be ships of slavery are unable to depress. content to admire it from the distance, and leave From Macullah the steamer coasted within the imagination to fill up all its interior charms. sight of land, and entered the Red Sea through The houses, on a near approach, are found to be the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, or Gate of Tears.built of clay, or of bricks burnt in the sun, and Many an Arab mariner has here called to his recarelessly plastered over with a preparation of membrance the fresh water and delicious dates of lime. They are some of them three or four stories his native valley, and has wept when he thought high, with fat roofs and latticed windows. The that he might see them no more ; and the same streets are narrow and irregular, the common re- eyes have again wept, with still more copious ceptacles of every nuisance. The slave town is streams, when he has returned from his voyage separated from the other, and is composed of mi- of years, and his bark has again entered upon the serable huts. The sheikh's house stands alone, sea that washes with its waves the very shore
where he bade a long farewell to the wife of his aga. Soldiers were stationed in all directions, affection and the son of his pride, and expects who appeared to keep the people in great subsoon to be received by them again with a kind mission, a lesson they much needed, from their warm welcome. We passed within sight of Mo- extreme rudeness and constant disposition to quarcha, so celebrated for its excellent coffee. The rel. The houses are some of them highly ornacoffee imported immediately from this place is less mented, especially the entrances and windows.valuable than that which is procured from other There are dwellings made entirely of the fibre of ports of Arabia, as it is mixed with berries of an the date, interwoven upon a wooden frame. The inferior description brought over from Abyssinia. Turks had some fear that the East India governThe sun shone full upon the white buildings of ment might assist the pacha to reduce thein, and the town, and had we not already been deceived it was perhaps to conciliate us as much as possiwith a similar appearance, we should have gazed ble in their favor, that they paid us greater atwith admiration upon the apparent splendor of its tention than in general they are willing to pay to minarets and towers. We could distinguish the strangers. tomb of a Mussulman saint who opposed the cru- In the night of Feb. 2d, we were off Djuddah; saders most stoutly at the siege of Acre. A date- but as it is surrounded by a number of reefs, it grove extends some miles on the southern shore. was not possible to approach it in the dark. In The British factory which formerly existed at this the morning it was still difficult to distinguish the place has been abandoned some years.
reefs, as there was a perfect calm, and the sea The strong north-wester, that soon afterwards reflected the rays of the sun like a mirror. The set in, obliged the captain to put into the port of man at the mast-head suddenly called out, “HardHodeida, as we could make no head against it, a-port!" and from the poop, where I was standand were burning our coals to no purpose. The ing, I saw through the gang-way the point of a town is smaller than Mocha, and is protected by rock that we had escaped by only a few feet.a range of castles. We found the place in pos- There was not much danger of our being lost; session of a party of Turks, who had rebelled but the steamer might have been so much injured against Mahomet Ali, pacha of Egypt, under pre- as to have been unable to proceed. We waited tence that they were unable to procure their ar- upon the governor, and found him to be a stout rears of pay. They were headed by Toorkee man, with a countenance indicative of much good Bilmass. They first siezed upon Mecca and nature. He conducted himself with more ease, Djuddah, from both of which places they were but less dignity, than the aga. The room in which driven by the regular troops. On evacuating the he received us looked towards the sea, and we sat latter place, they took with them the whole of the in a recess lined with crimson cushions. The pacha's fleet in this sea, consisting of several large effendi excused himself from partaking with us of ships. They had taken possession of several the coffee and pipes, as it was the fast of the hundred miles of coast, including the towns of Ramzan; but he chatted with us a considerable Mocha, Hodeida, and Zeebed. These places time, principally relative to the rebellion at Mocha have been nominally under the government of and the successes of Ibrahim Pacha against the the imaum of Senaar, an idle and effeminate chief- sultan. Upon taking leave, a servant was in attain. The rebels had hitherto conducted them- tendance with sherbet. We next proceeded to selves with caution, but some of their party having the house of Malam Yuseff, an Armenian, the had a previous quarrel with Seyd Addullah, go- English agent. At all the principal ports, pervernor of Mocha, required that he should be put sons are appointed as agents by the nearest conto death. Three shots were fired through him, sul or resident, to assist travellers and protect the his body was carried a little way out of the town, interests of the nations they represent. They reand when his friends, the Wahabees, came to ceive no salary, and deem the honor and collateral treat for his ransom, his body was shown to them, advantages a sufficient recompense. During the and they were told he had been shot in an at- late wars, when Christian blood was flowing in tempt to make his escape. We paid a visit to copious streams around, the flag of an European the governor of the town, Hussein Aga, who ap- power flying over a native dwelling often propeared to be in ill health, as did nearly the whole tected the female from violation, and the man of his followers. It struck the mind with a feel- from death. ing of melancholy to look at these men, and then The importance of Djuddah arises entirely from at the peril of their situation: they were rebels its vicinity to Mecca, from whenoe it is distant against a more successful usurper, and the angel about 40 miles. It is the port at which all the of death seemed already to be rejoicing over their pilgrims arrive who come by sea. The bazaar is blood, either from the hand of the private assassin, well supplied. In one shop I saw spectacles, steel or the sword of the Egyptian on the battle plain. pens, knives, scissors, and many other article of The aga conducted himself with great dignity.- European manufacture. The houses are built of He was seated on a raised couch, attended by his coral from the sea-shore, in the style we attribute soldiers, who stood without order around him, to the times of the crusaders. The passages are proud and powerful men, and added to the wild narrow and steep, and would be more agreeable interest of the scene. When pipes had been if more frequently cleansed. The coffee-houses passed round, we were presented with coffee, in are lighted up at night; and this is the time of small vessels, about the size and shape of egg enjoyment after the languor of the day, when cups, with gilt stands. We walked through the striking groups of soldiers and citizens are seen bazaar, and our appearance attracted a great sitting together in circles, listening first to the number of gazers, who were prevented from an- news of the day, then to some tale of blood, and noying us by the attendants sent with us by the afterwards to a recitation from some ancient poet
or historian, who unfolds the glory of their country war; and they are seen at times even in the most in brighter days. The fortifications of the town distant ports of India. After proceeding about 30 are perhaps the most extensive in Arabia. Upon miles from the shore, this district is found to be the plain towards the north is a building that pur- well cultivated, and its coffee is the finest in the ports to be the tomb of our mother Eve. It has world. From its extreme richness, it was long become ruinous; but the pacha has given orders thought that the spices, silks, and other treasures that it shall be repaired, at the expense of 15,000 exported by its mariners from India, were its own piasters. There are several Italians resident here, native produce. in the employ of the pacha. One of them is mar- The ancient inhabitants of Arabia were idola. ried; and his wife, when she walks out, is obliged ters, and adored the sun and moon, and the stars to muffle herself up in the close dress of the coun- of the firmament. “If I beheld the sun when it try, out of respect to the prejudices of the people. shined,” says an Arab of old, in clearing his chaShe is young and interesting, and I could not but racter from the sins of his country, “or the moon pity her, not having a single female companion of walking in brightness; and my heart hath been her own rank or religion with whom to converse. secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my We had an opportunity of hearing the band of hand; this also were an iniquity to be punished one of the pacha’s regiments. It consisted of by the judge; for I should have denied the God twenty performers, all natives of Egypt. They that is above.”—Job xxxi. 26–28. The worship played several European tunes, all from notes; of the black stone of the Kaaba is of far earlier and though the execution was a little violent, it date than the origin of Islamism. In the first cendid them great credit. The troops are dressed in turies of the church, the spread of Christianity in coarse red calico,—a close jacket and loose trow- Arabia was rapid, but it sunk too soon into heresy, sers; but have not the soldier-like appearance of and was entirely swept away by the sword of Mathe native regiments of India. The officers are homet. It is an affecting thought, that with the more respectable: they are dressed in the same exception of the monks near Mount Sinai, I know form, but in good woollen cloth, with an additional not that there is at the present time a single Chrisjacket, something resembling that of our hussars. tian minister of any description whatever, throughThey, as well as the men, have a red cap, but no out the whole of proper Arabia, turban; and mustachios, but no beard. They The language of Arabia is one of the most coare well paid, but are usually several months in pious in the world, and its ancient poets and hisarrears.
torians yield to none in the strength and beauty No Christian until lately was allowed to go out of their style. of the gates of Djuddah, but they may now ap- I was not able to penetrate far into the desert, proach even to the entrance of the holy city with- but a single glance into its wastes may almost tell out molestation. The pilgrims to Mecca are every the tale of a thousand miles as to distance, and year becoming less numerous. The desecration three thousand years as to time. It is here alone of the Wahabees, and the late siege it has under that the Arab is seen in his primitive simplicity, gone, will tend to bring it into greater disrepute; free as the gazelle, and both as swift in his speed, and we may hope that the Kaaba will soon be and unsettled in his dwelling-place as this beautibroken in pieces, and its fragments mingled in ful wanderer upon the same plains. We are carundistinguishable confusion with the sands of the ried back at once to the age of the earliest patriforsaken desert. I could perceive the hills in the archs. The forms we see present unto us the picneighborhood of Mecca from the deck of the ture of these ancient fathers, with scarcely a sin. steamer, but the time allowed for taking in coals gle alteration. We may listen to their language, did not permit us to proceed far from the shore. number their possessions, partake of their food, exIt was the birth-place of Mahomet, who was born amine their dress, enter their tents, attend the in 569, of the tribe of the Koreish, and was bu- ceremonies of their marriage festivals, and present ried at Medinah in 632. Both places are con- ourselves before the prince, still all is the same. sidered sacred, but Mecca is the most considera- At the well they water their flocks; they sit at ble town, and is resorted to by a far greater num- the door of the tent in the cool of the day; they ber of pilgrims : they come from very distant take “butter, and milk, and the calf which they parts, from China in the east, and from the pillars have dressed,” and set it before the stranger; they of Hercules in the west.
move onward to some distant place, and pitch their tent near richer pasturage; and all the treasures they possess are in camels, kine, sheep, and goats ;
men servants and women servants; and changes It will be seen from these notices, that the places of raiment. We may stand near one of their enupon the coasts of Arabia partake of the character campments, and as the aged men sit in dignity, or generally exhibited by towns under the dominion the young men and maidens drive past us their of Mussulmen rulers. The inhabitants are occu- focks, we are almost ready to ask if such an one pied in trade, and among them are turks, Egyp- be not Abraham, or Lot, or Jacob, or Job, or Biltians, Hindoos, slaves from Africa, and a few Ar- dad the Shuhite, or Rebekah, or Rachel, or the menian and other Christians. The Arabs of the daughter of Jethro the Midianite: we seem to towns have lost many of the distinctive features of know them all. The mountains, and valleys, and their race. In the division of Arabia Felix, a num- streams partake of the same unchangeableness : ber of independent sheikhs rule over districts dif- not a stone has been removed, not a barrier has fering much in their extent and resources. The been raised, not a tree has been planted, not a vil. imaum of Muscat is at present the most powerful lage has been collected together. The founder prince of Arabia. In his navy are several men-of-l of the race might come to the earth, and he would
recognize without effort his cwn people and his nor to have vineyard, nor field, nor seed, but to own land.
dwell in tents. These commands they have strictIt is doubted whether any tribes are yet left of ly obeyed, and the promise of God has been rethe aborigines of the country, though there be membered. The Rechabites still exist, a separate many that claim this distinction. The families of people, glorying in their independence, and are the desert are the descendants of Ishmael, the son called by the same name. They are excellent of Abraham. It was said unto Hagar, concerning horsemen, and seem to fly through the desert with her son, by the angel of the Lord, " I will make the speed of the winds. They acknowledge the him a great nation,” Gen. xxi. 18; and again, law of Moses, but maintain that they are not Is“He will be a wild man; his hand will be against raelites. About 300 years ago a great number of every man, and every man's hand against him; them were driven from Yemen. Some of them and he shall dwell in the presence of all his bre- are now found near the Gulf of Acaba. They frethren." Gen. xvi. 12. These prophecies have quently rob the caravans of pilgrims, and are much been literally fulfilled. No nation has ever been hated by the other Arabs and by all Mussulmans. so great that could trace its origin to one single It appears as if there was written upon every head. The Roman empire was more extensive, page of Arabia's extended history, and graven but it was one empire composed of many nations. upon every rock in her deserts, with a pen more There are kingdoms in our own day whose ma- powerful than iron, “Al Scripture is given by injesty is brighter, but it is produced by the concen- spiration of God.” Let him who readeth, undertrated glory of many distinct families and tribes, stand. and cannot be claimed by any single people. The Arabs are wild men: their hand is against every man, and of necessity every man's hand is against them. It is no protection to speak the same lan
THE RED SEA. guage, or to profess the same religion. The caravan on its pilgrimage to Mecca is considered to i This sea is supposed to have taken its name from offer as lawful a booty as the bales of the rich mer. the country of Edom, which borders upon it, and chant, or the stores of the infidel stranger. Of signifies "red.” Others derive the name from the only one among all the streams of population by red sea-weed that is discovered in large quantities which this earth has been covered, was this pro- upon some parts of its surface. We passed sevephecy uttered ; and of only one would it have been ral extensive portions of this weed between Djudtrue. The surrounding countries of Egypt, Syria, dah and Kossier. It is called “Yam Suph," or and Persia, have once and again changed their “ the weedy sea," both by Moses and David. It rulers and their race. Arabia has ever continued was thought by a recent German traveller that the same. The march of conquest has been around the color of the sea is caused by a species of oscilher, but has never penetrated into her wilds: still latoria, one of the small plants that are intermeshe has retained her identity, an oasis of freemen diate between animals and vegetables. We enamidst a desert of slaves. That which was true tered the sea through the straits of Bab-el-Manconcerning her in the time of Moses, has been deb. There are two passages of unequal width, equally so in every subsequent period of time; and divided from each other by the island of Perim, will still continue, until another prophecy be ful- which was taken possession of by the English durfilled, and even “ Arabia's desert ranger" shall ing our war in Egypt, but is entirely destitute of bow before the power that is supreme: then the water. The Red Sea is about 1500 miles from horse shall no longer stand ready caparisoned to one extremity to the other. We could never dispursue and plunder the passing traveller; “Holi- tinguish the land on both bows at the same time. ness unto the Lord,” shall be inscribed upon its It is visited by a few European vessels, that trade bells: then shall Isaac and Ishmael again meet principally to Mocha; the pacha of Egypt maintogether in peace, to worship at one altar the God tains a small fleet upon it for the passage and proof their fathers, and Jesus Christ whom he has tection of his troops ; and the vessels of the borsent: their hand shall be with every man, and dering countries are seen skimming along in all every man's hand with them.
directions, laden deep with passengers, with high There is one tribe that deserves a more ex- painted prows, and the ropes and sails made of tended notice from the Christian recorder. I was the fibres of the palm. The coasts are lined with not so favored as to obtain an interview with any coral, sometimes of most beautiful construction ; of its people; but my information is derived from and when the day is calm, or the night is dark and a gentleman who was many years the English re- still, the mariner might think himself transported sident for the East India Company at Mocha.- to some enchanted land, the water is so clear, the There was this promise given to the descendants coruscations of light are so radiant, and the coraj of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, of the family of beneath so extensively ramified; but the coasting Jethro, in the days of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, vessels are often from the same cause in extreme king of Judah: “Thus saith the Lord of Host, the danger, and though they are furnished with a false God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the com- keel, this is not always proof against the violent mandment of Jonadab, your father, and kept all its strokes they have to bear. We were visited dur. precepts, and done according to all he hath com- ing our progress by a few locusts and quails. manded you: therefore thus saith the Lord of I landed from the steamer at Kossier, in Egypt, Hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab, the son of Re- Feb. 9, and consequently did not proceed so far chab, shall not a man to stand before me
as the place where the passage of the Israelever.” Jer. xxxv. 18, 19. Jonadab had command-ites was effected. It was more properly through ed his sons not to drink wine, nor to build houses, an arm of the sea than the main ocean, as must be