« PredošláPokračovať »
two of them after an absence. “How are you? Oh, Maronites and Greeks of course keep this day much as George, how is your health ? May it please God you those of their persuasion do elsewhere, but more quietly; return safe and well? I trust you have had a suc- there is no noisy announcement, and only a little work cessful journey ? How are your family?" &c., &c. carried on, except among Druses, who do not keep SunThe other, taking the hand of his neighbour in both day at all. his, returns all these inquiries with cordiality and cheer- The Protestants assemble at an early hour in their fulness. If relations, they embrace, as also if they humble chapel, and I must do them the justice to are very dear friends; a father and son fall on each observe that, though mostly very poor people, and dirty other's neck, in the old scriptural fashion, which is very enough all the week, they come to church as clean and touching and pleasant to see.
neat as could be desired ; even the little boys have In the family where I am staying there frequently evidently had their curly locks well attended to, and come “poor relations,” who are so different from the their vests or long tunics of gay print or plain white more wealthy and educated members of the family calico carefully washed by their mothers. All sit on the that it is hardly possible to conceive them to be floor--men on one side, women on the other–except a even distant cousins; but, like the old Highland few of the most respectable men, who have the dignity clans, these are never coldly kept at a distance or of a bench. I cannot say much for their singing, as it unacknowledged, but most kindly welcomed; and, how-| is more like the growling of bears than anything else, ever slight their relationship, they all address the there being no one in the village capable of leading. aged head of the family as “uncle." From a sort of The native minister reads some portions of Scripture, tact or good taste native to the people, these simple and preaches from some written notes beside him. The poor relations do not wish to join guests of more dis- doctrine is sound; but the people, mostly ignorant and tinction, but sit contentedly round a large straw tray hard-working, and occupied in the open air all day, are called a tabac, and sup with the servants ; in fact, one inclined to sleep easily when sitting still, and would reof the servants is sometimes a poor relation. Here one quire a good deal of liveliness, energy, and tact to keep is, though not a relation, a connection of the family; yet up their attention, and keep them awake. not the slightest disrespect is ever observed in her After the service, which is but short, most of the manners. There is a great deal of equality here, as in women remain with me when I am here for a little inthe East generally, but the distinctions of position, wealth, struction in the gospel, and of course I do all I can to and education are all fully acknowledged. It was rouse their attention by illustrations, anecdotes, and curious to see the profound respect with which a person frequent questions. Just after church is not the best of distinction was welcomed on his arrival the other day, time; but they got dispersed and would not be collected -the kissing of his hand by all the humbler people, who when I tried a "cottage meeting.” hastened to meet him, and gladly assisted the servants As every one takes off his or her shoes at entering a of the family in serving the sherbet and coffee, and room, it may be supposed what a shuffling goes on at taking care of his horses, &c. Yet when all this was the chapel door as the congregation goes out. As all over, the poorest labourers crowded into the room and are nearly alike, it is a mystery to me how each finds his took their seats on the mat to hear the conversation, own; and the same when the women go in their turn. and even join in it occasionally. It looked quite patri- At last it is done, the slippers all appropriated, and the archal (but for the pipes, which I presume are modern, babies shouldered (they being, like soldiers' muskets, comparatively speaking); the guest and his host with one carried on the shoulder), and amidst a flood of salutaor two friends and relatives at the upper end of the tions we retreat, and the white-veiled throng disperses. divan, then the farmers and labourers, the stone-mason Scarcely any of the old costume remains in this village, (who is rather a superior young man, by the way), the except on a few old women; all wear prints or strong schoolmaster, and others ; most of these Protestants, linen dyed dark blue. like the visitor himself, and no doubt not a little proud at Perhaps it is more cleanly than the more valuable, the thought that the most talented and learned man in but less frequently washed, dresses of old time, made Syria, and one who is frequently consulted by the Pasha, of fine woollen cloth ; but it is far less picturesque. belongs to their faith. Besides these, however, were One day I amused a party of neighbours by making a several Maronites and a few Druses. The room was sketch of one of the family attired in the real old cöscrammed with men, from the wealthy land-owner in good tume, which she had to borrow for the purpose. It concloth dress to the most patched and ragged of the sisted of a curiously cut gown of dark green cloth, enlabourers of our host. The servants, male and female, broidered tastefully in white silk cord all down the came in, as soon as the dishes were washed, for prayers ; seanis and round the borders, which were also edged and our esteemed friend gave an exhortation after read- with red; the sleeves were tight, and just came to the ing the chapter in our course, which could not fail to elbows, a calico or linen dress with long sleeves appear, profit the hearers, and prayed with much fervour and ing within. But the great curiosity was a hora, called spirituality.
a “tantoor,” such as was formerly worn by all females You will expect some notice of our Sundays. The in the mountains, Christians and Druses alike,—though
I have heard it called the “ Druse horn,” as if peculiar | mixing with the people all seems to show that they forto them. It is now so entirely gone out, that it can merly enjoyed much more wealth, and in some respects only be met with in a few remote spots; and the only more civilization, than at present. one in this place had not been worn for many years. The almost total absence of drunkenness is one most Our hostess told me she had worn it, like all her neigh-important point in which they are superior to the beer bours, till the invasion of the Lebanon by Ibrahim and whisky-drinking population of too many agriculPasba, from Egypt, when he and his Moslem soldiers tural districts in Europe. Their vines produce excelspoiled the villages, and took all the “ tantoors” away lent wine ; but it is rarely used, except on festive occaby force. The people were robbed of so many valuables sions and in illness, and this in great moderation. The that no one could spare money afterwards to replace an juice of the grape is made by long boiling into a thick article which cost at the lowest price 400 piastres (about syrup or honey called dibs; and this is eaten with bread, £2), as it must be made of silver ; so the fashion was and used in cookery. Raisins are also made in quanabandoned.
tities, but for want of a market and roads are all conThe "tantoor” is a hollow horn, or tube, about four sumed at home. In September the people are all busy inches round, and from half to three-quarters of a foot raisin-making; and the business, being done at the high, made of embossed silver, thin enough to be no vineyards, partakes of the nature of a festival. All relagreat weight, though tolerably solid. It is fixed on by tions and friends in town who can get a holiday select this rings, through which a string is passed ; and a coloured time for it; children come home from school ; and parties muslin or silk handkerchief round the forehead secures are made to eat grapes at each other's vineyards. it in its place. Then the veil of white muslin is thrown It is pleasant to see so much innocent enjoyment at over it in such a way as to show a part in front only, and so cheap a rate; and the family groups wending their to hang gracefully round the shoulders. I thought, on way up the steep mountains forms a pleasant sight. examining this curious head-dress, that it was amazing With their simple habits and social nature, the gatherwhat women could mean by encumbering themselves ing together in the open air, with the enjoyment of the with such an inconvenient concern, and one with so delicious climate, and the abundance of beautiful grapes, little beauty. But when my young friend had put it supply all they require. en I soon saw their reason (though far from thinking it I thought the other day, when seeing a party of young worth the cost): it was so becoming, strange as it may people setting off on one of these little excursions, of seem, that a rather ordinary-looking girl appeared all the expression of the prophet, “There shall be wailing at once really handsome in this new equipment. I in the vineyards ;” and how evidently this was cannot say how Europeans would look in it-my subject meant as a peculiarly emphatic description of universal bad thoroughly Oriental features, though without much gloom. regularity and beauty—but I could at once see that the But, indeed, all through the summer in this country, Lebanon fair ones knew what they were about in wear- we are perpetually reminded of Scripture images and ing “ tantoors." The pretty looked beautiful, and the or- expressions, by the very habits and language of the dinary ones pretty, under its strange power. Their at- people. Earlier in the season I used to hear one and tention is now, however, I hope, beginning to be turned another say, “Let us get up early to go up to the vineto some matters of higher importance than outside yards and see how the grapes are advancing ;” and looks; and the fathers are more anxious to buy books again, “ Let us go down to the valley to the nut-trees;" for their girls than silver horns.
and soon it will be, “ Let us go and see them treading We were all much diverted, however, at the antique the grapes in the press,” this being done for grape costume ; and I was interested in hearing one or two of honey as well as for wine. the old matrons telling anecdotes of Ibrahim Pasha's The “cottage in a vineyard” spoken of in Isaiah, invasion, and how their fatted sheep, as well as their ought more correctly to be called a hut, or shed, as it is beloved horns, had been confiscated by the Moslenis. not a residence of a permanent sort, but a temporary
Poor things, first persecuted by the Mohammedan abode (made usually of boughs and reeds) for the notoor, power, and then by the Druse ; always robbed and in- or keeper of the vineyards ; a man appointed by each jured! It surely becomes foreign Christians to be village to watch them and drive away “the little foxes liberal in assisting them, both in endeavouring to give (here called wawee) that destroy the vines," and also them the unadulterated gospel, and in raising them by thieves. He is always provided with a staff and a loaded education and civilization, not to what they once were, gun; and at certain seasons has to be awake all night. but much higher. Some Europeans who come here to He has a rather solitary life for the time ; and his lonely teach, or merely to visit, express much surprise at the little wigwam, perched generally on the summit of some primitive and often rough ways of the mountaineers; eminence, so as to command a wide view, is a conspicuous but these persons have probably mixed little, if at all, object in the landscape ; and the Scripture comparison with the peasantry in remote country districts, even in seems strikingly appropriate when one views the natoor's our own islands. The humblest Lebanon dwelling is hut from a distance. far above an Irish cabin in Galway or Derry; and in There is a beautiful bird which at this time frequents the vineyards, and remains for about six or seven weeks, high upon the floor; and as we are a mixed party, we coming when the grapes are sweet enough to attract a have some forks for those accustomed to them, and number of bees and wasps, which form its food, and plates also. Those who eat in the old fashion, take a flying away to some other region when the vintage is bit of bread in the fingers and hook up a morsel out of over. I could not learn from the inhabitants whence it the dish thereby. But I observe knives and forks are comes, but all agree it is a migratory bird, and never much used in the towns by the better families, and breeds here. This lovely visitor is called the "wa-warr.” certainly are more cleanly and comfortable; though they It is about the size of a thrush, with plumage of delicately manage more cleverly than one would expect, and shaded green, the head crowned with reddish-brown rarely drip the sauce in conveying it in that primitive feathers, a throat of brilliant yellow, and a green breast; manner to the mouth. At least, this is the case with its bill long, hard, and jet-black, and black circles round well-bred persons ; but a circle of rough labourers or the eyes, which are of a crimson colour: the effect is not
hungry boys at a meal is not a pleasant sight. The gaudy but dazzling, the hues being blended so exquisitely thing I like least, however, is the custom of each together. The hen bird is less brilliant than the male, despatching his meal as quickly and silently as possible, but very gaily clad, nevertheless. They come in flocks, and then jumping up and running off, so that one who and make a cheerful piping as they dart abont after cannot eat so fast is left in solitary dignity at the table! their prey. These pretty birds, unluckily, are good to Those who have mixed much with Europeans geneeat, and so are often snared by the peasants ; they taste rally catch our habit of chatting during the meal, and much like a snipe. No one was able to stuff one for me, then cannot leave it off; but the former is the old so I was obliged to be content with painting them, having fashion. Children rarely find room at the small table tied a pair by a string round the feet. But they were if many are present, and indeed have the bad habit of not agreeable sitters, being fierce little things; they going about all day munching something, so that they snapped at me with their beaks whenever I ventured near cannot take a hearty meal at once. The splendid air them, and even pecked at each other. Linnets and larks and constant exercise keep them from being sick abound here, as well as some other birds I do not know. with such a system ; but in a town it would never But all are rather hunted down to eat, as the scarcity of answer. The hospitality shown to strangers and visitors meat makes it a temptation to catch the humblest game. I have already alluded to; but in nothing is it more The people's diet is somewhat meagre, consisting prin- remarkable than in the readiness with which a “table cipally of very dark, coarse bread, baked in thin flaps is spread” (this is the term, a strictly scriptural one, (usually mixed with more or less grit, from the nature observe, for providing a meal) for strangers. Every of the grindstone), sour milk, and dried curds, with muleteer, every traveller, every lad who comes with a vegetables, which in the summer consist of small gourds message, or labourer who brings wood from the hills, or pumpkins, kidney beans, and tomatoes, besides no matter what hour of the day he comes, has a table potatoes and black egg-plants. These are cooked with prepared at once, with half-a-dozen little plates, the fat of their sheep instead of butter or oil. Eggs, supplied with fried eggs or salad or cooked food, if such and now and then a fowl, as a treat, make up the is ready; if not, sour milk, grape-honey, or cheese, summer bill of fare; not forgetting rice, which, however, olives, &c., is set out, with a heap of bread, more than though relished by all, is not cheap enough for the three men could consume. But it is in order to let him poorer people to obtain habitually. The bread is not see he is welcome that such an immense allowance must palatable to any but those early accustomed to it, but is be set before him. In families where there is no servant wholesome and nutritious to the hardy mountaineers, (and but few, even of those comfortably off, keep any), the who often make a meal of nothing else but their coarse mistress and her daughters often have to prepare these bread and a handful of the sweet herbs so abundant.on tables half-a-dozen times a day, if chance sends so the Lebanon, which are eaten both fresh and dried as a many guests; but it is always done cheerfully and correlish. Dry pease and lentils are much used, but when dially, want of hospitality being looked on as something possible, rice is always cooked with them, and either horrible. And though the mountaineers have the prepared fat or oil is never omitted, so that Europeans character of being stingy as regards money, no one can think the food too greasy; but as they have no butter, say they are so as to provisions, or in taking trouble, and meat very rarely, these supply the place. A goat especially for travellers. When guests are departing, it is now and then slain, but its flesh is very coarse, and it is the custom to urge them to delay till next day, or at is not till autunın is far advanced that the fat sheep, least for several hours, and if they are persuaded to do which have given so much trouble, and which by that so, the hosts always seem delighted. Of course there time can hardly walk, are killed, and the fat fried down must be cases where there is no particular friendship or for winter use. It is very delicate, superior to lard, any reason for trying to prevail on them to delay; but which it much resembles.
it is a point of honour to insist on it. “Tarry a little While speaking of food, I may mention here how we till the afternoon and rest yourselves, and after that eat in the mountains, where modern ways have not you can depart,” in almost scriptural language, is urged penetrated. We all sit round a little table a few inches on the departing guest. If at last he must go, his saddle-bag is stored with whatever portable food can be refuse a beggar, especially if a gipsy, and the pieces of found ; and if he is a poor man going on foot, a napkin stale bread are kept for the purpose of giving to tramps is tied up with bread, eggs, &c., and all the family bid by those who have a household on a sufficiently liberal him a kind farewell, and commend him to the care scale to have more than is needed absolutely from day of God. These may be words of course sometimes, to day. I own the mountain bread, when stale, is but certainly arise from a right feeling, and are often indeed “bread of affliction," and needs the appetite of sincere prayers in Christian persons.
a very hungry beggar to swallow it! I need hardly say that a good many superstitions Our last day having come, we had quite an assembly still linger among the villagers, amongst which the in the large room, which has to do duty as reception fear of the evil eye is the most troublesome; it is going room for female guests, as well as for-I am afraid to out, however, among the younger inhabitants. Some say how many purposes besides. Every one of the of their fancies are rather droll. For instance, the other Protestant women, amounting to about twenty-five or day, a young woman who had a few years ago been more, and several of the Greek and Maronite Churches servant to sonie of our party, and had since married, also, came in to bid farewell, and spend part of the called to pay her respects. She carried her first child, evening, and the mat was quite covered with guests, a fine little girl a few months old, in her arms. After most of them carrying children. We endeavoured to imnoticing it, and asking the age, &c., I inquired the baby's prove the opportunity, and read from the Scripture, and name, and to my surprise the mother said, “She is conversed with our poor friends, of whom only two or called Dtheby” (I cannot write the curious sound more three could read, and most of whom were very ignorant. nearly than this), the meaning of which is “she wolf !” Their husbands were in the other room having a “What a very singular name,” I said, and not common similar meeting with the heads of the family, so that here, where the meaning of names is even more thought the house was full. Nor was this a final leave-taking. of than sound.
All the neighbours who were able to spare time from their I was then informed that the young woman was a work collected at sunrise to see us off, and many of second wife, and that her husband had lost all his the men walked a considerable way over the rough children by the first wife in infancy, therefore when mountain path down to the river in the valley ere they this little one by the second marriage was born, the old would say farewell. This friendly courtesy to parting women all assured her that it must be given the name guests is a very pleasing trait, and makes people go off of some wild beast, and that then the spell would be with kindly feelings to their neighbours. May the broken. Wild beasts are supposed to be very long-lived, light of the gospel, which shines as yet but here and boys are not unfrequently named Lion and Tiger and there over the mountains of Lebanon, soon illumon this account. As the second wife is a remarkably inate them with a spiritual brightness more lovely to strong, vigorous person, and her child the image of its the Christian than the fair sunshine was to the eye as mother, the superstition will probably be confirmed in the we wound our way up and down its steep tracks ; and ignorant family, to whom it would never occur that the may the day soon come when Lebanon and the isles sickly woman who died early had naturally weak children. of the sea shall rejoice together in the coming of the
A benevolent superstition is, that it is unlucky to glorious Redeemer !
BREATHINGS ON THE BORDER.--NO. IV.
BY ELIZABETII C. CLEPHAXE.
INTO His summer garden-into His pleasant garden- Yet when the Master cometh—when the dear Master In the dawn of the morning, the Master bade me go;
comethAnd the place he showed to me was beneath a spreading In the cool of the evening, to see the garden green,
I have flowers too to give, that in the shadow live, Where I only saw the sunbeams as they passed to and And lift up their leaves, all shining, where heaven's dew fro.
hath been. I was glad of that shelter -- of that broad branching I will bring him tall lilies—the white, patient lilies— shelter;
Like the crowns of the angels, so stainless and so fair; It was green in that shelter, so quiet and so fair:
I have violets, dark and sweet, to lay before his feet; Out beyond the cooling shade weak flowers droop and I have pale flowers that blossom but to scent the night air.
fade; And I was one weaker than the weakest flower there.
So when the day shall darken-when the long day shall
darkenFar out amid the sunshine—the bright, happy sunshine- I shall rise from my shadow, I shall listen for his word. They walk in the sunshine, where I shall never be : And oh, that it may be, looking on my flowers and meAnd roses red they bring, for the Master's welcoming ; “Thou art my good servant; thou hast watchëd for thy But pale, pale the roses are that grow round me.
Apologetics for the People.
BY DR. R. PATERSON, CHICAGO.
[We propose to present a series of papers on the Christian evidences, from the pen of an eminent American minister. They will differ from most treatises on that subject in that the theoretic and the practical will freely intermingle. Logical and scientific argument will alternate with the most loving and pungent appeals to the heart and conscience.
We on this side may gain something at the present crisis by seeing the subject treated by competent hands from an American view point. For a long time the line between belief and unbelief has been much more sharply drawn across the surface of society in the West than in our own country. This circumstance gives more definiteness and directness to the utterances of Christian men there on the questions that rise between themselves and their non-believing neighbours. There is thus more, if not of uprightness, at least of downrightness in their methods and expressions. Our readers will, we are persuaded, find and welcome in these papers the skill of an acute dialectician in union with the warmth of a Christian heart.- Editor.]
unfortunate delusions to come upon him, may not as many people say, and a greater number well allow them to remain upon him-and as he has had think. When one of this class is urged the misfortune to live in his sins because of his unbelief,
to love Christ, to pray to God, to read why he may not have the misfortune to die in his sins the Bible, to keep the Sabbath holy, to worship God in because of his unbelief—and, as God's mercy did not his family, and bring them to church, or any other plainly prevent him from despising the service of God in this commanded duty which he dislikes, he will coolly reply, world, why it may not well enough consist with allowing “I am not a member of the Church ; I don't believe in him to remain of the same opinion in the next world; religion.” As if he supposed that the authority of God's ay, and to continue of the same opinion throughout law depended on his pleasure, or the truth of religion eternity-and as his opinion led him to serve the devil upon his belief of it.
on earth, notwithstanding God's mercy, why the same Some of these unbelievers will lanient their unbelief opinion may not lead him to continue in the devil's as a misfortune which somehow or other has befallen service in hell notwithstanding God's mercy; for surely them. They would like to enjoy that high religious God's mercy is not bound to drag people to heaven feeling which Christians possess, but really they are un- whether they will or no. If unbelief, then, be a misforable to believe the dogmas of religion. And as their tune merely, it is certainly a great one, the cause and opinions are the inevitable result of their education and beginning of many others, a fire that will surely burn circumstances, if they should happen to be wrong, they the house it has caught on, a sickness that will be the cannot help it, but must just rely upon the infinite death of the sufferer. The man who will not believe mercy of God to preserve them from the consequences God's truth must of necessity believe the devil's lie-for of error, and do not see why they may not please God | there is no third theory-and so live in error and die in as well as the rest of the world, most of whom do not error, and find himself as far astray from truth and hapgive themselves very much trouble about religion. piness in the next world as he was when he left this.
But this convenient creed is short at both ends. For And so unbelief and perdition are as firmly chained the teaching of the Bible is, that the rest of the world together by common sense as they are by Holy Scripture, does not please God at all, but is crowding down the which says, “ He that believeth not shall be damned." broad road to destruction; and the particular business But still you may urge that “it is very hard that God of the Holy Spirit is to convince the world of this sin of should damn a man for his opinions, seeing he cannot unbelief. And if unbelief of the truth be a misfortune, help them—that belief or unbelief is wholly involuntary. and the mercy of God has not prevented it from falling | We believe where we have sufficient evidence; and upon them, it may happen that it will not prevent a where we do not see sufficient evidence, we cannot befurther misfortune of the belief of a lie from falling lieve if we would. If I see anything with my own eyes, upon them, for misfortunes never come single. If a I cannot help believing it. If I have had experience blind man shall undertake to walk a crooked road, sin- of any feeling, I cannot help believing its reality. If cerely believing it to be straight, neither God's mercy any scientific problem is mathematically proved to me, nor his sincerity shall prevent him from falling into the I cannot help believing it. But religion gives no such ditch. So, if a worldly-minded man shall persist in the proof to me, therefore I cannot believe it. Its doctrines helief that ungodliness is just as pleasing to God as are beyond my comprehension. The miracles recorded piety, and contemptuously despise mercy and salvation in Scripture are contrary to all my experience, and the through Christ, and sincerely believe that he is better duties it requires are utterly beyond my power to peroff in the devil's service than in God's worship, I see no form. How can I believe such a mass of mysteries, or good reason why God's mercy, which allowed all these live up to such a standard of piety?"