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brought him unto Antioch," he returned to it no more. The vicinity of the town is to the imaginative mind full of interest: the fall of the Cydnus is ever a beautiful object, and Taurus a sublime one: and they tell, and so does each ruin around, that the poor soldier of the Cross, who dwelt beneath one of the roofs of Tarsus—has left trophies more imperishable than those of the conquerors of the world.
His garments were "rolled in blood," that flowed from his own wounds; his banner, rent and pale, became an ensign to the nations, until each step, each word, of the Apostle of the Gentiles, grew indelible; and his silent empire over the Christian world, no lands can limit, or ages stay. Perhaps in a home as mean as the wooden homes of Tarsus, that powerful intellect was cultivated, that ardent temperament fanned into a flame; and, amidst the heights of Taurus, and its mountain exercises, was nursed that vigour of constitution that was so availing in his subsequent fatigues and hardships. As yet there was no intense desire to be useful to others: there was a cruel and fiery zeal, in which, perhaps, mingled an ambition to gain the favour and applause of the rulers of his people. What were his aspirations of the future, when meditating or seeking repose on the roof of his home, in the silence and glory of an Eastern night? had an angel predicted the swift change of every desire, every hope, the path of peril and victory on earth, of glory and immortality in heaven,—he would have seemed "even as them that dream." Skilled in the literature of the heathen, the region of Amanus and the Cilician vales and mountains was to him full of beautiful associations, of indelible scenes: the youthful Saul, a Jew in bigotry, a Roman in resolution, a Greek in intellect—visiting the battle-fields of Alexander and Caesar, the ruins of the cities they had destroyed, would have been an interesting sight to the poet or the historian. Ere a few years should have fled, he was also to go forth on his resistless career—to extend the kingdom of his Lord from shore to shore, and, sealing it with his life, leave to posterity a name as deathless and cherished as that of Issus or Arbela.
JUNCTION OF A TRIBUTARY STREAM WITH THE ORONTES.
The course of the river is here beautiful, strongly reminding one of the Wye near Coldwell rocks; but the myrtle, the bay, the pine, and many Oriental trees and shrubs, give greater richness to the present scene. On ascending from the rocks represented in the view near Suadeah, you walk for about three miles, and then ferry across, and in about a mile further come to this spot, where a stream which descends from Mount Amanus falls into the river. In the distance on the left, rising above the Orontes, is the mountain called the Column, on the summit of which are the remains of a very noble convent and church, dedicated to St Simon Stylites, who was born in the year 392 at Sison, a town on the borders between Syria and Cilicia: he was the son of a shepherd, and followed the same occupation to the age of thirteen, when he entered into a monastery. After some time he left it, and took up his abode on the tops of mountains, and in the caverns of
rocks, fasting sometimes, it is said, for weeks together. He next adopted the strange fancy of fixing his habitation on the tops of pillars; and, with the notion of climbing higher and higher towards heaven, he successively migrated from a pillar of six cubits to one of 12, 20, 36, and 40. Multitudes flocked from all parts, to pay their veneration to the holy man, as he was generally denominated. Simon passed forty-seven years upon his pillars, exposed to all the inclemency of the weather. The extremities of each column were only three feet in diameter, with a kind of rail or ledge around, that reached almost to the girdle, somewhat resembling a pulpit: there was no lying down in it At length a dreadful ulcer put an end to his life at the age of 69: his body was taken down from his last pillar by the hands of bishops, and conveyed to Antioch, with an escort of six thousand soldiers; and he was interred with a pomp equal to any thing that had been displayed for the most powerful monarchs. These honours produced imitators, a few of whose performances surpassed the original: one of them inhabited his pillar 68 years. This fanaticism remained in vogue till the 12th century, when it was suppressed. As religious works, even in manuscript, were scarce in the 4th century, and these pillar saints had little taste for reading, it is difficult to imagine how they passed the time: beat by the rain, the wind, and the sun, their temper could scarcely grow more sweet, or their imagination more clear and vivid, with the lapse of years: a gloom and melancholy, and sometimes a wild and degrading mysticism, took possession of the mind. The great excitement of these men was the wonder and applause of the multitude, which never deserted them: in their utter ignorance of true religion, they felt little or nothing of its consolations. The second Simon, who lived in the 6th century, 68 years on his pillar, taught, like his predecessor, or rather deluded, the gazing multitude, declaimed against heresy, pretended to cast out devils, heal diseases, and foretell future events.
The whole valley of the Orontes, up to Antioch, is magnificent; it is cultivated in many parts, and might be made, with industry, as productive as it was in ancient times *. viewed a few miles farther, from the heights of Beit-el'-ma, it presents a splendid broad expanse, reposing beneath the heights of Amanus, and watered by the bold sweeping Orontes.
The numerous flocks, and their shepherds, give a pastoral appearance to this scene: the old stone bridge, with its single arch, crosses the tributary stream, that loudly pours its tide from the melted snows into the calm, majestic bosom of the Orontes. Cultivation is visible even to the water's edge: the declivities afford the richest pasture to the flocks, whose keepers, seated on the banks or beneath the trees, look every day on a scene that might vie with the fields of Arcadia. The pillar of St Simon, if that saint had any taste for the picturesque, was admirably placed; his was no fierce retreat in the desert , like that of so many other excellent anchorets: the gloriousness of nature, in water, grove, garden, and mount, was always present on his right hand and on his left; and he could not well shut them from his vision. Some patches of snow were still clinging to the highest crags: in the valley the air was delightfully warm, and had the fine inspiring freshness felt in the East while it is yet early in the day.