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gether with the nations more immediately in relation with them-MODERN GREECE-TURKEY IN EUROPE AND ASIA-ARMENIA, and the neighboring regions PERSIA, SYRIA, and PALESTINE (the review of which is, in the present volume, in a considerable measure, executed)-ARABIA-EGYPT and
In the following pages, many of the author's observations are given in the form of a Journal. It would not, indeed, have been difficult to subdivide the volume into parts, each furnishing a separate account of the different classes of society to be found in Syria and Palestine. Since, however, that small country does, in fact, present an epitome NUBIA-ABYSSYNIA-and the BARBARY STATES. of nearly all the bodies of men existing around the Mediterranean, it is evident, that, in such a partition of subjects, some would have been found too inconsiderable to form by themselves a detached chapter.
An intelligent investigation of the condition of these various regions, prosecuted by the different missionaries in a truly Christian spirit, with accuracy of observation, sound judgment, meekness of temper, and a practical determination of mind, 'The want of lucid order, incidental to this mode would furnish to the conductors of missionary of publication, will appear, however, to be, in a and Bible societies, and to missionaries actually considerable measure, remedied by the introduc-on service, an invaluable depository of information, tory section of the work; in which, by means of on which to form their opinions and direct their an extensive compilation from a variety of authors measures. there is presented to the reader a classified view of the different bodies of men existing in Syria and Palestine.
In the sections which follow the journal, the author has aimed at developing more fully than his journal had done, the condition of the people; not without an ardent hope, that the picture exhibited may be the means of rousing the public to a deeper sense of their obligations to prosecute Christian missions in this part of the world. Various suggestions, the result of frequent communication with the men of intelligence and piety, are likewise offered, in reference to character of missionaries and the measures of missionary and Bible societies.
It is however fully to be borne in mind, that such a system of research forms only a part-a small, and continually decreasing part, of the work of a missionary. Enough has, indeed, been already effected, to open an introduction to immediate and important labors. The various Christian societies of our own country, of the continent, and of America, would probably all of them concur in this judgment, and many of them are acting upon it. But the spirit and the measures of all need a vast enlargement. It is high time for the faithful members of Christ to be instant in their supplications to Him, who is the great Head over all things to the church-that He would vouchsafe to pour out the gift of His Holy Spirit more abundantly than The Church Missionary Society has felt the ad- ever, preparing all the nations by a feeling of anxvantage of the system of research thus far conduct-ious expectation of some great event, and at the ed, with sufficient force to desire that it should be, in its proportion, steadily pursued. It would be desirable for the public to be furnished with an exact view of the circumstances and opinions of the following principal countries-the PAPAL STATES, to
same time sending forth a numerous company of Evangelists to visit all the dark places of the earth in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospol of Christ.
IN describing the different classes of people who vt present dwell in Syria and the Holy Land, it is natural to give the first place to that nation, which, in the most ancient periods of history, possessed so considerable a portion of this territory, by the title of a special gift from heaven. What we might almost term, the Divine Nobility of this race, is briefly and energetically sketched in those words of Scripture:-"Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." (Rom. ix. 4, 5.) No Master of Heraldry ever pronounced such a majestic train of titles: no country, not the proudest, can present, in a condensed form, such a splendid record of its privileges and distinctions. There does not, nor ever did there exist, such a remarkable nation as that of the Jews-a people terrible from their beginning hitherto !
This family of the children of Abraham-attaint-ed and despoiled of its heritage, but not extinctstill lingers, a small part of it at least, upon the paternal estate; anxious to be found on the spot, at the moment of the appearance, daily and hourly expected, of their Deliverer and Restorer; or, in the event of their death, fondly deeming it meritorious to be gathered to the grave of their fathers. From Aleppo to Jerusalem, Jews are to be found in all the principal cities: in Mount Lebanon there are but few. The author, in a future part of this volume, gives an account of them, principally in those places which he visited.
The distinction between the two leading divisions of the Jews is extremely simple-the Rabbinical, who are attached to a multitude of human traditions and commentaries; and the Karaites, who adhere to the simple text of the Scriptures of the Old Testament.
Besides this leading distinction, there is another, which is of a national kind; that between Jews and Samaritans. It may, indeed, very reasonably be doubted how far the Samaritans have a claim to be classed with the descendants of Abraham. A fuller discussion of this point than could be allowed in this preliminary chapter, will be found in a subsequent part of this volume. It seemed, however, not improper to class under this head, a body which professes to ground its religion entirely upon the five books of Moses.
There are, further, distinctions among the Jews, arising from differences in their modes of worship, or from refinements of speculative opinion. Such
are the sects of the Spanish and Polish Jews, the Hassidim, &c. of which some notice will appear in that part of the following Journal which describes Tiberias.
Ir pure Christianity consists in the enjoyment of the light of Revelation; in the exercise of faith, hope, and charity; and in the maintenance of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace-then must it be mournfully admitted, that the professors of our most holy faith have, in Syria and Palestine, wandered very far indeed from the truth and simplicity of the Gospel. Darkness and discord share the dominion here. It is true that there is no part of the Christian world into which these foul spirits have not, in various degrees, found entrance: but, in our present survey, the sight of them is doubly painful; while we contemplate the intensity of their influence, and the melancholy fact, that they should be here ruling in that very sphere, where the religion of light and love was first promulgated.
We must not shrink, however, from faithfully delineating the picture. If the scornful feelings of the infidel should begin to kindle at the description, let him reflect that here is no triumph over Christianity, but a developement of erring human nature. That professing Christians have departed from the purity of the faith, no more tends toward a refutation of Christianity, than the errors of idolatry and polytheism to deprave the doctrine of the eternal Godhead. Does a reflecting man doubt the truth, that there is One God, because the myriads of the heathen have worshipped stocks, and stones, and beasts, and reptiles? Neither ought the faith of any Christian man to be shaken, by seeing that the professors of Christianity have multiplied schisms and heresies. All these facts serve but to prove the infirmity and sinfulness of human nature: they cannot shake the truth of Revelation. Although the evidence of the doctrine be not apparent in Palestine, yet there is, in the Christian church, "one body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling: One Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all." (Eph. iv. 4-6.) He who prays for a spiritual participation of the blessings expressed in that passage, and he alone, may, with safety and with painful profit, contemplate the following details.
The professing Christians of Syria and Palestine may be thus classed :
Greeks, of the proper Oriental Church-
Copts and Abyssinians
Roman Catholics; namely,
Greek Roman Catholics
Armenian Roman Catholics-
Latins, or Frank Roman Catholics-
THE Greeks, of the proper Oriental Church, are numerous in some parts of Syria. The Greek Patriarch of Antioch resides generally at Damascus: the Greek Patriarchs of Jerusalem have, for more than a century, taken up their residence at Constantinople; where they have been accustomed to assist the Patriarch and the Synod of that see. In Aleppo, Damascus, and Jerusalem, these Oriental Greeks are in considerable numbers: from the maritime towns they have found it expedient to withdraw during the present revolution, although some remain. In Mount Lebanon they are not tolerated, the Romish influence being there predominant and exclusive: but, to the south, towards Jerusalem, the Greeks probably far outnumber the Roman Catholics. Their standard of faith, it is almost superfluous to repeat, is that which the author has mentioned in his former volume of Christian Researches; being formed according to the First Seven General Councils, together with the Holy Scriptures. They have been found, as in Asia Minor and Greece, so also in Syria and Palestine, favorably disposed to the labors of the Bible Society.
BETWEEN Syria and the British possessions in the East Indies, there is a vast tract of country, of the actual religious condition of which comparatively very little is known. If we except a small portion of Roman Catholic Greek influence in the more western parts of this immense region, it will be found to be occupied, so far as Christianity is concerned, by Armenians, Jacobite Syrians, and Nestorians, more or less scantily distributed among the native Mahommedan population.
THE Nestorians do not so properly come under the denomination of bodies existing in Syria, belonging rather to Mesopotamia.* The Jacobite Syrians have also their residence chiefly on the banks of the Tigris; but their Patriarch, who lives near Mardin, not unfrequently visits Aleppo, where many rich Jacobite Syrians reside. He claims also to be styled Patriarch of Antioch : although, at Mosul, resides another Jacobite Prelate, who is styled, sometimes, the Maphrian, sometimes the Primate, of the East; in dignity inferior to a Patriarch, but superior to a Metropolitan. The Jacobite Syrians have also a chapel at the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem. They hold the Monophysite heresy in common with the Copts in Egypt.
It was about the commencement of the sixth century that this heresy was promulgated by Severus, a Patriarch of Antioch. A very short time afterwards, he was expelled from Syria; and the Ere long, however, a follower of his, James Ba orthodox faith was re-established in that country. radeus, successfully reared again the Monophysite standard; and, in Egypt and Mesopotamia, they have ever since maintained their opinions, receiv ing, from this second advocate of Monophysitism, the title of Jacobites.
The following remarks of the Jesuit missionaries in Syria relative to, this body will describe their sentiments, and the tenacity with which they adhere to them:
"We could greatly wish that the fruits of our mission were more abundant among the heretics; but it is extremely difficult to recover them from 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 of the disciples of Eutyches and Dioscorus, called ters in the beginning of the sixth century; and Jacob. This disciple revived the error of his mastaught publicly, that there was only one nature in Jesus Christ, composed of two natures, the one divine the other human.
do not undertand what is the point in question; "It is true that the chief part of these Jacobites but their schismatic bishops and priests boast to them so often the pretended sanctity and the profound doctrine of Dioscorus and Barsamas, that are in favor of these two heresiarchs, cannot imathe common people of this sect, prejudiced as they gine that these two men, so celebrated among them, should have been capable of falling into
their ears that these two apostles of their sect Thus their priests sounded continually in Cyril in the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and Barnamely, Dioscorus the successor of the great St. samas that famous Monk his Arohimandrite, have taught them that the divine and human nature make but one sole nature in Jesus Christ, they
The Armenian church holds the opinion of the Monophysites, concerning the incarnation of Jesus Christ; in such a manner, however, as to differ from the Jacobites, with whom they do not hold error. communion. "They are governed," observes Mosheim, "by three Patriarchs. The chief, whose diocese comprehends the Greater Armenia, resides at Echmiazin. The second resides at Cis, a city of Cilicia. There is a third, residing at Aghtamar, but who is looked upon by the other Armenians as the enemy of their church." Besides these, there are other prelates dignified with the title of Patriarch, although not fully of the same rank; those, namely, of Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Caminiec in Poland.*
* It is, however, said that there are Nestorians in Syria. Some account of this body, will be given in 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: I 1. chap. 2. is called, generally, the chapel of the Syrians.
time, they call themselves Christians, and dress as such. All their Christianity, however, consists in their dress; and in the circumstance that they have their children baptized. There is seldom
couple, whom they send regularly, in order to avoid the accusation of never appearing at the church. They also have a Jacobite ecclesiastic,
obstinately hold to that sentiment; and, if you combat them, they only answer by invectives, making the sign of the cross with only the middle finger of their hand, holding at the same time the 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 Jesus Christ, and that you shall never make them believe the contrary. "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 depends particularly upon that of their bishops, we wait upon them as often as possible, in order that they may be induced to come near us; and that we may have the opportunity of explaining to them what the Catholic faith teaches us, and what we are obliged to believe in order to be saved.
"Happily for us, in the visits which we pay them they are the first to put us upon those articles 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.
"Our custom is, to answer them simply with the Holy Gospel, which we have in our hand. We oppose to them those texts of Scripture, which clearly decide the question; and the decrees of the council of Calcedon, which formally condemns their errors." Lettres Edif. et Curieuses, Vol. I. pp. 145-148. If the following statement be in all circumstances correct, it apparently argues an extreme laxity on the part of the Jacobites, in attaching to themselves half-made proselytes. Under the head of " Observations made at Mardin," Niebuhr thus remarks
do not allow him to enter the house, till the coffin is closed, when he follows the corpse to the burying-ground of the Shemsy. I heard nothing positive concerning their religious tenets: the Christians at Mardin told me that they always build the principal door of their houses toward the East, and that they always turn their faces toward the sun when they pray." Niebuhr, Voyage en Arabie, &c. Vol. II. pp. 321, 322.
NOTE ON THE NESTORIANS.
HAVING had occasion incidentally to mention the Nestorians, I cannot pass on without observing, that, of the different bodies existing in the East, this is one peculiarly interesting as an object for religious research and exertion. They are denominated, variously, Nestorian, Chaldean, or Assyrian Christians; and they are very numerous. The fullest account of them is to be found in the fourth volume of Assemann's Bibliotheca Orientalis, which he has entitled, Dissertatio de Syris Nestorians. Their Patriarchs are three; those, namely, of Mosul, Ormia, and Amida. Of these, "To the communion of the Jacobites belong the last-mentioned Patriarch has connected also the SHEMSY. 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 unonly 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 962 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 different 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 enumeempire 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 Romish 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 remodelled: and, with a view of giving some satisfaction to the sovereign, it was ordered that thenceforth no persons should be suffered in the country, except those who had sacred books; that is to say, Mohammedans, Christians, or Jews. This order gave very little concern to the Druses, Yasides, and Ansari, and those of other religions, who had their residence in mountainous countries, and were governed by their own Sheiks and Emirs. But the Shemsy were far too weak: besides which, they dwelt in cities, where the Mohammedan magistrate could easily have an eye upon them. They therefore submitted themselves to the Jacobite Patriarch of Diarbekir,* and, ever since that
It is also mentioned by Assemann, (vol. II. p. 291) that the Jacobites freely communicate with heretics.
ence in those quarters. But this is yet more fully developed by Assemann himself, at the close of that chapter; where, in a tone of complaint, he notices that one of three Nestorian Patriarchs alone continues in his adherence to Rome, while the other two have fallen off. He institutes an inquiry into the causes of this; and himself furnishes a complete answer, full of practical instruction. Why," he asks, "do not the successors of Elias and Simeon observe in their jurisdictions this concord with Rome, in the same manner as it has been religiously observed by the successors of Joseph?" To this question he replied in the following man
"For four causes, as it seems to me. First, because, when they entered into communion with the Catholic church, their ecclesiastical books were not purged of the errors with which they
abound; namely, their euchologium and horologium, or ritual, the Pontifical, and the daily and nightly offices, and those of the saints: for, in these, the Nestorian heresy is everywhere contained, and the memory of heretics cherished. Secondly, all their books, as well Syriac as Arabic, on theology and the Canons, which are continually in the hands of their Patriarchs, Bishops, Presbyters, and others, were composed by Nestorian authors, and consequently infected with the poison of heresy: these are the only books which they read: they have no other book composed in their language by the orthodox, by which they might be taught the 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 the other hand continually to visit them by letter or by legates, they would probably never have broken off the union once formed. Lastly, the apostolic missionaries destined for them by the Roman Pontiff are, for the most part, ignorant of their languages and of their rites, and scarcely penetrate those regions in which their patriarchs reside: hence they transact their mission with plebians, not with patriarchs and bishops; and not satisfied with instructing them in the faith, they very often move useless questions about rites, calculated to disturb, rather than conciliate, men, who are remarkable for a most tenacious attachment to their customs."-Assemanni Bibliotheca Orientalis, Vol. IV. pp. 412, 413.
In these remarks there is much good sense : there is, however, one circumstance, naturally enough not alluded to by this learned papal envoy
-THE SCRIPTURES WERE NOT ABUNDANTLY CIRCULATED AMONG ALL CLASSES OF CHRISTIANS IN
THE EAST. But this could form no part of the policy of the court of Rome. It may be hoped that the recent publication of the ENTIRE SYRIAC BIBLE, by the British and Foreign Bible Society, will, under the divine blessing, be one of the means instrumental in giving Protestant missionaries a favorable acceptance from an immense body of Christians, as yet almost unknown, because almost unexplored by us, peopling the vast region between Aleppo and Travancore.
COPTS AND ABYSSINIANS.
THE Copts and Abyssinians in Palestine are to be found principally in the Holy City; devotion being the motive which has drawn them to this land. The Copts, from the nearness of Egypt, more easily return to their native country; but the Abyssinians, through extreme want, are obliged to remain. They are very few in number, and of no influence; living in great poverty, and many of them being dependent upon the richer Armenians, to whom they are in some degree attached by the similarity of their religious faith.
HAVING enumerated the different Christian bodies, which seem to have upheld, in the respec
tive countries of the east, a more proper claim to the title of oriential Christians; we come to notice those Christians, who, either being natives, have adopted, or being foreigners, have introduced, the dominion of the Papacy. The first four sub-divisions of this number consist of persons by birth oriental: the fifth is wholly a foreign interest, being by birth, as well as in faith, occidental. Maronites
Greek Roman Catholics-
THE Maronites are to be found principally in Mount Lebanon, and the adjacent cities. The residence of their Patriarch is at Kanobin, not far from Tripoli; and this may be considered as nearly the northern boundary of their residence. The titular jurisdiction of this Patriarch, in common with that of some other Patriarchs in the east equally recognised by the See of Rome, is ANTIOCH; from which city, as having been visited by Saint Peter, a kind of papal rank and virtue, (secondary, however, to that of Rome,) is by them supposed to emanate to all his successors in that See. South of Nazareth, the author heard of no
This church is in strict communion with the Romish hierarchy; a connection which was carefully cherished by the Jesuits, as they found, in the ease and security of the mountains, and in the docility of the natives, the most advantageous
means of forming their oriental seminaries and similar establishments.* In the province, called Kastravan, situate between Beirout and Tripoli, one of their missions was established in the college at Antura, or Antoura. Several monasteries have
also been established in this neighborhood by the manifested his sense of the value of this station, Franciscans from Europe. Pope Urban VIII. by forming here, in connection with the propaganda, an institution for oriental learning and Romish missions: from the rules of this establishment 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 will be sufficiently informed of the origin of the Maronites, according to the tradition most approved by themselves, from the following passage:
"The Maronite nation derives its origin and its name from the celebrated Abbé Maron; who must not be confounded with another of the same name more ancient, a Monothelite Heresiarch. The holy Abbé Maron was born in Syria, in the fourth century. He there spent the life of a hermit. He had under his conduct several disciples, who embraced his manner of living. The reputation of his holiness was so great, that St. John Chrysostom 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, been Monothelites. At that period, they abjured these opinions; and were re-admitted to the communion of the Roman church. (See Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, century VII.)