صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

eastern mountains. Yonder comes the powerful king of day rejoicing in the east. What golden glory gilds his chariot wheels, shedding over the snow-crowned mountain tops! We ride on two hours over the plain, have another gazelle chase, and then we come in sight of the Tigris again. It comes flowing down with a whirling, eddying current. We ride two hours beside the river, and lunch in view of the blue mountains, stretching far in the distance. Soon we come, upon an eminence near the Tigris, to the castle and minarets of Jesireh, and then in two hours along the river-side we arrive at Mansoira, a Nestorian village of 300 population. It commands a fine view of the river, the mountains, and the plain around. The Kahyah comes out on foot to receive us, and politely kisses our hand. He quarters us in a spacious native house, with two large rooms, and a stable attached, separated by a hall. Here we expatiate in grand style, much entertained by the habits of the natives; baking in a round oven; a young girl of sixteen pounding bulgoar in a stone mortar, with a huge mallet. They gather in our room in the evening; have no Bibles or Testaments in the village. A Koordish chief, Ezdesher Bey, came and plundered the village, and carried away all their Testaments and religious books.

[ocr errors]

"SABBATH, Nov. 30, 1856.

Mansoira, a Nestorian village. A clear and cloudless morning. Have a splendid view over the river, and the hills round about, from the house-top. The priest calls to see us, a pleasant, amiable man. Present him with a copy of the Ingil in Chaldean and Syriac. Shemmas Eremiah reads and explains it to him. He says it is very good, and he receives it with much gratitude and thankfulness.

[blocks in formation]

"Then we assemble the villagers in the church with the priest, and give them the open gospel, and tell them to read it, and follow its teachings to guide them to heaven. Tell them to believe the Bible, have faith in Christ, and pray for the Holy Spirit to dwell in their hearts, and sanctify them unto everlasting life. They pay most devout attention, and frequently respond, 'Yes, yes, it is true.'

"It is most interesting to preach to these poor, oppressed Christians, who believe in Christ, on the banks of the ancient Tigris. Entreat them to pray that Moslems, Nestorians, Jacobites, Yezidees, all may receive the same gospel, and become brothers together in Christ Jesus. The dress of the women: white head-dress, loose robe, long braid to the hair, bracelets and beads on their arms, and anklets on their feet, and many silver coins on their head and neck. The men wear a conical felt cap, bound around with a red figured turban. In the afternoon they came to the Hakem for medicine, and are very friendly. At sunset, see the ground where the great battle between Beder Khan Bey and Reschid Pasha was fought. A Koordish chief, who plundered the Christian villages, and was taken captive by the Turks, is now a prisoner in the island of Crete.

"Also look over to Mount Judy, where Noah's ark is said to have rested,-a high mountain, covered with snow. Beyond, near Elkosh, is Am Sifna, where tradition relates that Noah built his ark.

"In the evening, the priest comes from Shah; the bishop feared to come, because he thought we might make him Catholic or Protestant. Isaac, the teacher, comes with him, who has been instructed in Oroomiah by Mr Stoddard; give to Isaac a Testament to carry to Maraha, a Nestorian



village, two hours distant; about 150 population; fifteen can read; they very much desire a Bible. Send also a Bible and Gospel by the priest Isaiah to the Nestorian bishop, Mar Joseph, at Shah, a village six hours distant, 200 population; send also a letter to testify that American Christians love much the Nestorians, and desire them all to receive the Bible and gospel of salvation. We dine upon

Shemmas Ere

Koordish pro

a young kid of a goat. A girl sits at the outer door with a dish of porridge in her hand, to give some from a spoon. to all the poor who come to receive it. miah is very entertaining in conversation. verb, 'If he see me, I am friend; if he not see me, I am thief.' Nestorian prayer in church, glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will to men, then the Lord's Prayer. Cry from the minaret, 'Alla hou achbar,' twice repeated, 'Allah la il Allah,' &c. The Catholics come in the evening, and we preach the truth to them.

"MONDAY, Dec. 1.

[ocr errors]

"Attend the Nestorian prayer in the morning before sunrise. The priest alone, in a dark room, repeats them from memory; two prayers and five or six psalms. He can repeat all the psalms by heart. One old woman comes, none of the people. We ride to Jesireh, have much detention in crossing the river; find there a new Moodir, Sadik Agha, a fine-looking, energetic man, who receives us with much politeness. The Medghis come in, Cadi, and various dignitaries, ten in number; 2000 population, 1500 Moslems, 500 Christians.

Meet with Lord Henry Ker, of the English embassy to Persia, travelling by post, and bearer of despatches to Diarbekir and Aleppo. He dines with us in Anglo-Turk

[blocks in formation]

ish style. We then bid farewell to our friends, Shemmas and the Doctor, and ride in company with his lordship two hours upon the road. He is a very affable and pleasant gentleman, twenty years of age, and has travelled much in the East. We ride two hours longer over a very stony road, and arrive just at sunset at the Koordish village of Hemdik-10 houses, 50 population; situated in the midst of the plain, bounded by snow-crowned mountains.


"Have a splendid sunrise view from our house-top over Mount Judy, where tradition relates that Noah's ark rested, and the dove plucked the olive branch from the plain.

In one hour came to the village of Babin, an old ruined town. The Onbashi refuses us a horseman. We continue our way past two small Koordish villages, over a wretchedly rough, rocky road, and lunch at noon on a little green spot in sight of the village of Ainser. Just before sunset arrive at Deir Ona. The Moodir is holding his medghis in the open air, clothed in a scarlet cloak. He is very civil-says he will give me horsemen, and begs me not to report the Onbashi to the Pasha, who dishonoured the Sultan's firman. One hundred and fifty population, Moslems and Jacobites. Hadji Suleiman Agha, very civilcomes himself on his fast horse, one half hour, to make ready a konak for us.

"We spend the night at the Koordish village of Atim— forty population; ten Jacobites.


"We are in the saddle at sunrise; in one hour we cross the plain with the Sinjar hills on our left, and the Marian

[blocks in formation]

mountain on our right, and the vast (chul) desert stretching before us, we come to the village of Bannet, on a little mound. One hundred and fifty Jacobites, Armenians, and Moslems. The villages are all upon raised mounds; peasants are ploughing and sowing in the fields, and the land is productive.

"The white church of Nisilin is seen in the morning sunlight far away.

We lunch at noon in sight of the snow-crowned mountains just rising above the wide-spreading plain-like peaks of light and purity, exceedingly beautiful. A raised mound gives us a splendid view in all directions; stop at the village. The Kahyah Shukuro is very polite and cordial in his greetings and attention. We then gallop on across the plain, passed several mound-built villages, and in two hours come in sight of the large barrack of Nisilin. Mule falls sick on the way; treatment and tears of muleteers. Meet several troops of soldiers, a Koordish chief with his guard; see the women coming to the wells with their rope to draw water; arrive at sunset across the river Chebar at Nisilin. Again we see another river, where the prophet Ezekiel is said to have seen the sublime visions of Jehovah and His glory. We find a curious room, full of soldiers seated round a good fire, smoking and drinking coffee. Call upon the Nakie of Moodir; send for the Usbashi, and despatch two horsemen for our mules. Have a long konak, and comfortable quarters for the night.


"See the ancient river Chebar from the house-top winding far through the plain. We ride two hours over the plain. On the left partly desert, on the right cultivated

« السابقةمتابعة »