Page images

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. It 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 monastery 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 Levant, 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 flock, 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 hum."-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 The 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, which I am about to relate.

to permit his falling into captivity in the manner in the same manner as do the orthodox Greeks of 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 difficult 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 be. came 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 whicń 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 Båshaw 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, in the Paris edition of 1780; and is addressed, by duce the Turks and make Franks of them—that

he had been informed of what he had done to se. 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 full and minute account of the Syrian mis religion, to pervert him—and that

, for hie crime, sions. The letter being without date, and enter. he deserved to be burni 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 priated to criminals destined to be condemned to

death. 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


[ocr errors]

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 profit 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 persons,

ruin 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. II. 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, 1823. 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


[ocr errors]


sent, than it has been at other times. There are is to the happy times of Christianity when nascent, also many merchants in Syria from Roman Catho- that you would have us ascend in order to justify lic countries.

the traditions. It is to the first four centuries, The various Roman Catholic families in Syria, that you appeal on the subject. Ask, then, all as well as in other parts of the Levant, have these people who surround you : they will answer, maintained their influence by intermarriages, in that, in all their practices, (which are the same consequence of the contiguity of Roman Catholic with ours,) they only follow the apostolical tradicountries to the Mediterranean, much more easily tions—traditions which they received from the fathan could possibly be the case with the remoter mous Antioch, which they regard as their mother.' Protestants of England, Holland, and Germany. This objection embarrasses our Protestants. They

The number of Latin or Frank Roman Catho- dare not advance that confession, fasting, lent, ablic missionaries, whom devotion and the papal sys- stinence, the real presence of Christ in the tem induce to visit Syria and the Holy Land, and Eucharist, Purgatory, the adoration of the cross who take up their residence either in monaste- the invocation of the saints, &c. are papistical inries or in the principal cities, is never inconsider- ventions, manufactured by Satan: their eyes,

their able. It is indeed, at present, far inferior to what very eyes make them see the contrary. It is not it was formerly: but, for the whole of this tract, here a question of Papists, or of Babylon, or of their number, even at this day, cannot be com- the Antichrist-great words these, which, proputed to be less than seventy. The influence of nounced with the hardy tone inspired by heresy, the European friars constantly serves to maintain may have an imposing effect in Europe, but in the Levant, in which they lead a migratory life, which signify nothing here: they must attack a kind of European or Frank attachment among a thousand Christian nations : they must renounce many Levantine families of western origin or antiquity: they must condemn Antioch, and abanconnections.

don the apostles. This step it is difficult to take: and, therefore, these gentlemen avoid, as much as

possible, entering with us upon a dispute where PROTESTANTS.

they would have the worst ; and, more wise than

in France, they observe, on all contested points THE Protestants in Syria are but few in number; and on all the rites of religion, a profound and reconsisting, principally, either of consular represen- spectful silence, well persuaded that they would tatives of Protestant nations, or of merchants from not have on their side the suffrage of the Greek those countries. In former times, there was an church. English Protestant chaplain fixed at Aleppo : the “ This conformity of sentiments between the office has been adorned by the names of bishop Greek and Latin churches sonetimes makes upon Frampton, of Maundrell, and of Pococke. Re- right hearts a salutary impression. I was particucently, Protestants missionaries have visited the larly acquainted, some years since, with a minister Levant, and some of them have begun to take up of the Dutch nation : he was a man of much their residence in this interesting region. talent: I often conversed with him, as he spoke

Before we quit this brief topic, it may be useful Latin easily: he was about to set sail; but, before to observe the footing on which Protestants are his departure, said to me in confidence, that he represented to have stood about a hundred years was going to Italy, there to weigh well an imporago, in their relation to the native Christians. tant affair

, concerning which, what he had seen For this purpose, we shall select from the work with his eyes had led him to make serious reflecalready so often quoted, the following passages, tions which had changed him. written in a lively style; and tending, pointedly, · Persons of the pretended reformed religion to illustrate the extremely disadvantageous ground would not dare here to dogınatize : at least they which a Protestant must occupy in the view of would not do it with impunity. Some time since, oriental Christians, whenever he allows, or is re- an English minister, zealous for his sect, went to presented by others as allowing, questions of great expenses in printing a catechism according Christian doctrine or worship to be brought before to his fashion. He aimed at infusing into the the tribunal of mere antiquity, usage, or tradition. spirit and heart of all the Christians the poison One of the Jesuit missionaries, writing from Aleppo, with which he was filled. But they trampled it says

under foot : they tore it, and burnt it, without the “ You will ask me, how the English and the missionaries being obliged to interfere in the least Dutch conduct themselves. Here, as in Holland degree.* and England, they observe neither fast nor absti. nence : but it occasions scandal. The people of

The learned Orientalist Pococke, who, from the the country say that they are not Christians; and year 1630 to 1636, was chaplain to the English at the Turks themselves regard them as people with Aleppo, subsequently published in England, (besides out religion. They are sometimes affected with many other valuable pieces,) the work "de Veritate these reproaches; and, not being able to bear Fidei Christianæ ” of Grotius, with whom he was them, many of them during Lent eat meat only in personally acquainted ; and, likewise, a Selection secret. Those, who act like men of good faith, from the Liturgy of the church of England—both in confess that they are extremely surprised to see, Arabic. The treatise of Grotius has been reprinted that the religion of all the Christians of the east by the

Church Missionary Society, and copies have resembles that which they profess in scarcely any there is a copy in the library of the society: it was

been circulated in the Levant. Of the Liturgy thing.

printed A. B. 1674. Il contains the forms of co " This marked difference gives us a great ad- fession and absolution, with several other prayers, vantage over them. “It is,' we say to them, “it and the Litany. The author is ignorant what steps



- " The Christians of all the nations of the east apostle One believeth that he may eat all do not know what it is to doubt of the reality things; another, who is weak, eateth herbs. He, of the body of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist ; and that eateth, eateth to the Lord; for he giveth God they have so great an attachment to their fasts thanks : he, that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth and their lents, that they would die, rather than not, and giveth God thanks."-(Rom. xiv. 2, 6.) fail in them. They have also received from An- The preference which this Jesuit gives to the tioch, their neighbor and their mistress in the faith, Turk above the Protestant, might find its parallel, the custom of praying for the dead. The invoca- though in a higher degree, in those words, Not tion of the saints, and in particular of St. George, this man, but Barahbas : for he has more than half is, to them, so dear and so precious, that they would offered the right-hand of fellowship to the Morather suffer themselves to be hacked to picces, hammedans, who would rob Jesus Christ of his than renounce it.

divinity; while he, at the same time, calumniates " It is impossible to add any thing to the pro- those in England and in Holland, who honor, not found veneration, which even the Turks have for less than the Romanist, Christ as the Son of God, Mary. They call her the mother of the great and reject only their excessive worship, practically prophet Jesus ;* and, in this quality, they rever- amounting to adoration, of the blessed Virgin. ence her to such a degree, as to impale those Scarcely, even, will a correct disciple of Rome be Jews who dare blaspheme against her. What a brought to admire the juxta-position, which he has strange contrast! Men born in the bosom of so smartly effected, of Jerusalem and Mecca! But Christendom, refuse to Mary honors, which are it may suffice briefly to remark, on one main point, rendered to her by the most implacable enemies that, at the bottom of all these delusive represenof the Christian name!

tations, there is a mystery of iniquity, which stil “Further the respect of Mohammedans is not works in the Levant. The enemies to the enlimited to the mother of our God: the sepulchre trance of the pure light of the gospel will adopt of the Messiah is one of the objects of their pil the same tactics as formerly: any friend, rather grimages of devotion. They regard those who than the friend of the Bible, will be the object of have visited the sepulchres of the two prophets as their choice ; the Turkish civil power is even now men of extraordinary piety: and to this double courted, with a view to obstructing the labors of pilgrimage, are attached certain marks of distinc- that glorious society, which has embodied in its tion. Such an one is a saint,' they would say: fundamental law the best part of the spirit of • he has been at Jerusalem and Mecca.'

Protestantism. Upon this topic, however, as be“One of our merchants, who has resided a long longing to the affairs of the present day, it will be time at the Holy City, and has seen, various times, proper to treat more largely in another part of these Turkish pilgrims, related to me that they go this volume. upon their knees,

that they crawl upon the ground from the gate to the holy sepulchre ; but, before entering there, they take off the bandage of their

MOHAMMEDANS. turban: this is with them a mark of ignominy, when done upon compulsion; and a mark of respect,

SONNITES. when done voluntarily—that then they prostrate themselves ; that they make profound obeisance, THE Sonnites are that division of the Mohamand strike their head upon the pavement. • This medan world, which asserts the legitimacy of the spectacle,' he added, has always edified me, and first three caliphs-Abu-Beker, Omar, and Othhas sometimes touched me even to tears.' The

It is not designed to enter here into the Grand Signior himself

, among all the pompous various opinions of this body. In addition to the and magnificent titles which he assumes in the Koran, they admit a multitude of traditions and orders which emanate from the throne, prides interpretations ; while the rival sect, the Shites, himself in adopting that of protector and preserver though they admit some traditions, yet hold them of the Holy City of Jerusalem. It is a consola- more loosely, and are almost considered by the tion, not a little moving, for poor enslaved Chris- Sonnites as unbelievers. The Sonnites regard tians to see their proud masters do so much honor the Grand Signior of Constantinople as their civil to the God whom they adore.”—Letters Edifiantes head and protector ; and the Turks and Arabs of et Curieuses. Vol. II. pp. 167–172.

Syria are, generally, of this sect. Persia is the It would be an easy task, were it requisite, to patron of the opposite party : yet these, also, as refute the various misrepresentations contained in will appear under the next headare found in the preceding extract. The supposed merit of

Syria. the rigid abstinences, so much extolled, might well be contrasted with the moderate views of the

[ocr errors]



METAWALIES. were taken for the circulation of this book, or what accounts may exist of its reception in the countries This is the title by which many Mohammedans where Arabíc is spoken. It seems, however, by no in Syria are distinguished, as being the followers means improbable that the above-cited passage of Ali, the fourth Caliph, the cousin and son-in-law has reference to this pious and laudable effort of of Mohammed ; maintaining his right to be the Pococke, to make the Christians of the east ac- immediate successor of his father-in-law. In this quainted with the church of England. * But they would not call her * Ocorokos

, Deipara, they resemble the Persians, and are in opposition Mother-of-God" here, therefore, this impassioned to the Turks. The following extract will give the encomiast of the Turks has stretched the bow too reader a general view of the extent to which their lar.

influence reaches in these parts.


« The Metawali make, either entirely or in part, | bodies in the east more copious and minute infor. profession of that Mohammedan sect which is mation than is to be found perhaps in any other. dominant in Persia ; and, consequently, they are single author. Subsequent travellers appear to Shiites. Like the Persians, therefore, they neither have borrowed largely from him. It is not with eat nor drink with people of another religion; any design to detract from his merit, (which would nor would they even use a plate from which a be impossible,) that the extracts made from his stranger has eaten, till they have well cleansed it. work are less copious than those made from subThey even hold themselves to be defiled, when a sequent travellers : but the inquisitive reader may stranger simply touches their clothes. As they better be recommended to consult the original are under the domination of the Turks, they dare materials. Niebuhr observes not treat the Sonnites with contempt. They are “ The Druscs are divided into Akals, that is to sometimes under the necessity of passing them- say ecclesiastics ; and djahels, or seculars. The selves off as Sonnites.

ecclesiastics are dependant upon three Akals, who “ In general, neither the Sonnites nor the Chris- are Sheiks among them; of whom one dwells in tians like to dwell among them; and the Maro- the district Arkub, the second in the district nites, who serve as secretaries to the Sheiks of Tschuf el Heite, and the third in the district Has. the Metawali

, seldom remain with them for many beia. The Akals are distinguished from the seyears. They have, nevertheless, for some centu- culars by their white dress. They have generally ries been in possession of several districts. A good houses on the hills; and, judging by those family named Harfoosh, the head of whom takes few which I saw on the road from Saide to Dathe title of Emir, lives at Balbec, and pays the mascus, it seems to me that they have not chosen rent of this district direct to Constantinople. At the worst situations. On Thursday evening, Sour (i. e. Tyre,) and in the adjacent country which among the Orientals is called the night of called Belad B'sherri, there are seven or eight Friday, they assemble in the house of one or other Sheiks of the family Nasif, which govern there, of their fraternity, to perform their worship and and pay their rent to the Pacha of Saide.* There is pray for the whole nation : the wives of ecclesialso Sheiks of the Metawali of the family Elasties may be present; but they do not admit Kuanza, which govern at Kirrinie and Hurmel, a seculars, not even a Sheik or an Emir. They town on the river Orontes. They pay their tribute despise all employments of honor in the world: to the Bey of Homs."—Niebuhr, Vol. II. p. 347. but perhaps, in this they make a virtue of neces

sity ; for, on the return of Hakem, they hope to

be kings, viziers, and pachas. They do not marry DRUSES.

the daughters of seculars; and they even carry

their aversion to the property of the great so far, This people appears to be one of the most consi- as not to eat with the Sheiks and Emirs of their derable in Syria, on account both of their num. own nation. Akals eat only with Akals; and bers, and their political situation in Mount Leba- with the peasants and other poor people, who, non. Although less numerous than the Chris. they are certain, earn their bread by labor." tians, yet, together with them, they constitute Voyages en Arabie, doc. Vol. II. p. 349. nearly the whole of the population of the moun

The following passages, extracted from a more tain. Neither the Christians nor the Druses, recent traveller, the enterprising Burckhardt, will however, have the government in their hands, develope the political state, and describe some of The Emir Bechir, who governs Mount Lebanon. the more curious customs of the Druses. The is not a Druse. The government was formerly account is rendered the more interesting by his held by Mohammedans, whose policy it was to bas having discovered that these people are not conlance the Christian and Druse interests. The fined to Mount Lebanon, but have spread thempresent Emir is said to be a Christian ; but, in selves to a district on the east of Damascus, the conformity with this line of policy, and to keep up

Haouran. appearances with his superior, the Pacha of Acre,

" It is now about one hundred and twenty years, he complies with many Mohammedan usages.

since the government of the mountain has been The extent of territory in which the Druses are always entrusted, by the Pachas of Acre and Trito be found is thus described by one of the Jesuit poli, to an individual of the family of Shehab, to missionaries :

which the Emir Bechir belongs. This family de“We have also in our mountains another nation, rives its origin from Mecca; where its name is of which it is not easy to discover either the ori- known, in the history of Mohammed and the first gin or the religion. They are called Druses. Caliphs: they are Mussulmans, and some of them This nation inhabits a part of Mount Lebanon, pretend even to be Sherifs. About the time of the mountains above Saide and Balbec, and the the Crusades, for I have been unable to ascertain country of Jabaile and Tripoli


the exact period, the Shehabs left the Hedjas, and “These Druses extend even into Egypt.-Let- settled in a village of the Haouran, to which they tres Ed. et Curieuses, Vol. I. p. 366.

gave their family name : it is still known by the The division of this body into religious and appellation of Shohba; and is remarkable for its secular orders is described in the following terms antiquities, of which I have given some account, by Niebuhr; a traveller of the greatesť merit, in my journal of a tour in the Haouran. The faand who has collected upon the state of various mily being noble, or of Emir origin, were consi

dered proper persons to be governors of the So styled in the Firmans of the Grand Signior; mountain ; for it was and still is thought necesbat more commonly called, from his modern place sary, that the government should not be in the of residence, Pacha of Acre,

hands of a Druse. The Druses being alwavs di


« PreviousContinue »