« السابقةمتابعة »
thus to circumvent the walls, and behold the complete desolation of this ancient city under the judgment of God. We occupied an hour and a half in our ride of eight miles.
a The air was pure and bracing, and much we enjoyed the
“Returning, we held a conference, by special appointment, with the Syrian archbishop, at the house of the English consul. He expresses a willingness to join the Evangelical Alliance. He also desires to leave the errors of his church, and unite with the Church of England, if he can meet with sympathy and support. Or he will give up all, if need be, and hire a chapel and there preach only the gospel and the Word of God. He seems to be very sincere, and we trust and pray that the Lord will abundantly strengthen him to do His will.
It was a deeply interesting interview. In the evening made our final arrangements for departure on Monday.
“SUNDAY, 16th. “Attend Arabic service early in the morning, at the hour of sunrise. Mr Marsh preaches on the third commandment. It is a pleasant hour to meet together for the worship of God. At eleven Mr Jones gives us a sermon in English, My heart is fixed,' &c. Then we call upon the archbishop, and find him quite ill. He is unable to enter further into the subject of the Evangelical Alliance; wishes it to be carried forward in writing through Mrs Russam. He seems very sincere, and entirely disposed to take the Bible alone for his rule of faith, and the gospel for his hope of salvation. I tell him our prayer will be that the Holy Spirit may guide him in the way of all truth, and that we may meet in heaven at last. In
the afternoon we have the communion service, when Mr Jones and I address them. It was a most interesting and solemn occasion. In the evening the native brethren meet at the house of Mr Marsh, and he questions them upon the preaching of the day, and conducts prayers in Arabic. Again they thank us for coming from England and America to visit them in the name of Christ.
“MONDAY, 17th. « The Pasha sends his salaams, and regrets that himself, defterdar, and suite could not escort us out of the city, as the post had just arrived.
“At noon the katugi and his animals come, and the cavasses, ready for our departure. We set out in due time, a highly respectable party in numbers and appearance. Dr Haskell joins us.
The native brethren on foot accompany us, and our friend Houaza Yohanna, wearing his decoration, and mounted on his fine Arab mare, beautifully caparisoned, escorts us across the river and some distance beyond. A cavass from the Pasha, and four zabtiers as a guard, accompany us. My Arab steed, Emir, is in full spirit, and we gallop on beautifully over the plain. The snow-covered mountains are in front, tinged with purple light, and the whole western sky is flooded with golden light. The air is mild and genial, and much I enjoy it. Mr Marsh also joins us for the first
I night. Just at twilight we reach Tell Kef, a large town of 2000 inhabitants, all Papal Nestorians or Chaldeans (Mussulmans and Christians). We are most comfortable, in a large, well-finished room, with a good fire, and an excellent dinner.
“ TUESDAY, 18th. “Have a comfortable night. The view from the country is beautiful. Gallop on over the plain past two Syrian villages, and in four hours arrive at El Rosh. It is beautifully situated just at the base of the mountain range.
“The fig, pomegranate, and evergreen trees are growing beside the fountain and stream that flows through. This was the birthplace of the prophet Nahum and the Elkoshite. He has often ploughed these fields and looked upon these scenes.
We are very cordially received by the Kahyah Yusef, a Chaldean. He says that English, Americans, Chaldeans, are all one in Christ. Christ is our Master and Head.
“He speaks in the highest terms of Dr Grant; says he was an excellent man, and has been in the village, and in this
very room. “After lunch, visited the tomb of the Prophet in a small church underneath the mountain. It is a small round tomb, covered with Persian cloth. We then ride on to a Yesidi village. It is very neat and comfortable. A woman runs down the hill to the doctor, and begs for medicine. Then we ride over a stony road past several Yesidi villages. There were two large mounds on the plain. Oleanders are growing by the brooks. We start up gazelles near the mountain. They are beautiful creatures as they nimbly leap among the rocks. Just after sunset we reach the Yesidi village of Baadri. It is situated in a little valley with a stream flowing through, and planted with green trees. It is very neat and thrifty in appearance.
“Hassein Bey, to whom we have letters of introduction, receives in very gracious manner, shaking us cordially by
the hand, and bidding us welcome. He is a young man of amiable and agreeable address. The village contains a population of five hundred.
“ WEDNESDAY, 19th. "Have a very comfortable night. In the morning our chief calls upon us and takes a cup of coffee. Then we call the Moolah, and present him with a copy of the Bible. He receives it very reverentially, and his priest began to read both in the Old and New Testament of the Creation and Christ. Tell him we love this much in England and America. That we have much money, but we value this above all. That comes from the earth, this from God. He says he will read in it every day, and also to the people of his village. Tell him this speaks of Jesus Christ, who came from heaven, and through faith in Christ we hope to reach heaven. It was a most interesting scene.
“Then the Bey walks with us to a hill that overlooks the village. Here is the ruin of his father's palace, destroyed by Raroudoz Bey. The view is beautiful. Over the plain are sixty villages of Yesidis. As we come down we enter a native house. It is very neat and well constructed. Now we mount our horses, and the chief, with twenty horsemen, his son, Hassan, accompanies us. As the word is given, and the horses gallop on, the spears glitter in the sunlight, the music sounds. It is a gay and brilliant scene, Two are richly dressed in goldembroidered red suits. The sheik is dressed in a light brown suit, neatly embroidered, and mounted on a fine black horse of Yesidi breed. Hassan, his son, is dressed in scarlet, and though only seven, rides a gray mare beautifully. It is a beautiful view over the hill as they
gallop around in circles, and then close around their chief. In one hour we come to a white pointed tomb; they dismount and kiss a flat stone in front, repeating a short prayer, and then ride on, singing as they go their
In another hour we come to a small ravine, through which a clear stream flows, and it is planted with oleanders and green trees.
“We now move on in single file for a half hourin sight of the white spires of Sheik Avi. Descending to a small valley they all dismount and pull off their shoes, and walk up to their sacred shrine. The chief folds his hands in front, and walks barefoot in solemn style. It is a beautifully shaded place-green olive trees, oaks, with autumn tint and various shades; the brook rustles through, and the birds are singing in the branches. I walk beside the Bey, and we enter the outer court of their temple. He and his men all walk around and kiss the sacred stones, and then we sit down under the shade of a large overspreading vine to lunch. A stream of clear water is running through, and birds are singing beautifully. The blacksnake and hatchet are upon the wall outside. It is one of the most interesting visits I have ever made, and all are so amiable and courteous I cannot realise that we are in the midst of the hated devil worshippers. Then the door of their temple was opened, and we entered. A large fountain of water is in one side, and at the other two tombs with curtains drawn before them. One is said to contain the devil's head. Lamps are kept continually burning before them. I then presented the sheik with a copy of the Bible, in Arabic, to be kept in their temple and read at their festivals, and whenever any one came who wished to read it. We then