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(Continued from p. 94.)
Arru-FORUM, a place about fifty miles distance from Rome, where St. Paul was met by some devout Christians in his journey to that city. This place is supposed to have received its name from the same Appius, who gave name to the Appian Way. Acts xviii, 14. APOLLONIA (perdition, or destruction), a city of Macedonia, through which, and Amphipolis, St. Paul passed in his way to Thessalonica. Acts xvii, 1.
ARABIA (evening, or a desert place, or mixtures), a large country of Asia, extending from the river Euphrates to Egypt, and so lying to the east and south of the Holy Land. This country took its name from its inhabitants, being a mingled people, composed of Ishmaelites, Midianites, and Amalekites, the word Arat denoting in the Hebrew language, to mix or mingle, and the derivation Oreb or Arabim, a mixed multitude. This country has been from early times distinguished into three parts. Arabia Felix, or the happy, to the south, so styled from its rich products, and famous for the queen of Sheba, who came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and whose kingdom was situated in this fertile country: Arabia Petræa, either so called from its capital Petra, built on a rock, or from the rockiness of the whole division, being full of mountains, among which is Mount Sinai (or Horeb), so famous in sacred scripture. Not far from which, south or south-west, within the bounds of Arabia Petræa, was situated the land of Midian, whither Moses fled out of Egypt, and which was doubtless so called from Midian, a son of Abraham by Keturah. As Arabia Petræa lies to the north of Arabia Felix, so still more north, or rather north-east, lies the third division, Arabia Deserta, so called from its barren deserts, and large uncultivated plains. We cannot indeed in either of these divisions (as Dr. Shaw observes) be entertained with pastures clothed with flocks, or with valleys standing thick with corn, or with brooks of waters, or fountains, or depths that spring out of the valleys or hills. Here is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines and pomegranates. But the whole is an evil place, a lonesome, desolate wilderness; no otherwise diversified than by plains covered with sand, and by mountains made up of naked rocks and precipices. Neither is this country ever, unless sometimes at the Equinoxes, refreshed with rain; but the few hardy vegetables which it produces, are stunted by a perpetual drought; and the nourishment which the dews contribute to them in the night, is sufficiently impaired by the power of the sun in the day. The intenseness of the cold and heat at these respective seasons, very emphatically accounts for the provision of Providence in spreading out for the Israelites "a cloud to be a covering by day, and fire (like a harmless sun) to give forth light and heat in the night season." Psalm cv, 39. There is the same uniform course of weather throughout the whole year, the sky being usually clear, and winds blowing briskly in the day, and ceasing in the night. Of these the south winds are the gentlest, though those in other directions are the most frequent, which by blowing over a vast tract of these deserts, and skimming away the sandy surface along with them, leave exposed several putrid_trunks and branches of trees; make continual encroachments upon the sea, and occasion no less alterations on the surface of the continent. For to these violent winds may be attributed the many billows or mountains of sand, which are everywhere to be met with. No places in the whole world perhaps abound less with living creatures than these deserts, and indeed where has nature made less provission for their sustenance? The
quails must have been fed as well as brought by a miracle, if they had continued with the Israelites; and might they not, without the like miracle, have died of thirst in the wilderness? We cannot therefore sufficiently admire the great care and wisdom of God, in providing the camel for the traffic and commerce of these and such-like desolate countries. For, if these serviceable creatures were not able to subsist several days without water, or if they required a quantity of nonrishment in proportion to their bulk, the travelling in those countries would be either cumbersome and expensive, or altogether impracticable.
ARAM (highness, or magnificence), the fifth son of Shem, was the father of the Syrians, who from him were called Arameans or Aramites. There are many countries distinguished by this name in Scripture. Aram Naharim, or Syria of the two rivers; i. e. Mesopotamia; Aram of Damascus, Aram of Soba, Aram of Bethrohob, Aram of Maachah, because the cities of Damascus, Soba, Bethrohob, and Maachah, were in Syria, or at least because Syria contained the cantons of Damascus, Soba, &c. Homer calls those Arameans, which the Greeks and more modern times call Syrians; (see Iliad II, ver. 783, &c). The prophet Amos (ix, 7), seems to say, that the first Arameans (Assyrians), dwelt in the country of Ker, in Iberia; and that God brought them from thence, as he did the Hebrews from Egypt; but when this transmigration happened no one knows. It must be very ancient, since Moses always calls the Syrians, and people of Mesopotamia, Aramites. The name Syri, or Syria, is derived from Tyre, or Tor, a place which Homer never mentions, it being perhaps not then grown famous, even if it was built.
ARARAT (the curse of trembling), a famous mountain in Armenia, on which Noah's ark is said to have rested after the deluge, Gen. viii, 4. It is affirmed, but without any good proof, that some remains of Noah's ark are still to be seen upon the top of this mountain. John Struis, in his voyages, assures us, that he went up to the highest part of it; and that a hermit who abode there, declared to him, that some broken pieces of the ark were still to be seen there; and at the same time presented him with a cross made out of the wood, belonging to this famous vessel. But M. de Tournefort, who was upon the spot, assures us, that there was nothing of the kind to be seen there; that the top of Mount Ararat is inaccessible, both by reason of its great height, and of the snow which perpetually covers it. This mountain is situated twelve leagues east of Erivan, in a vast plain, having no other mountain near it on either side. Josephus says (Ant. lib. x, c, 2), that the remains of Noah's ark were still to be seen in his time, in the canton of Adiabene, called Coron, a country remarkable for producing great plenty of cinnamon.
That part of the mountain of Ararat, whereon the ark rested, is called by many of the Eastern nations, Ardag, or Parmah-dagh, the finger mountain, because it stands upright by itself like a finger, when held up. It is so high, as to be seen at the distance of ten days' journey, according to the stages of the caravan. The city of Tauris is near this mount. Tavernier says, that there are many monasteries upon mount Ararat; that the Armenians call it the resoussar, because the ark stopped there. It is, as it were, taken off from the other mountains of Armenia, which make a long chain, and from the middle to the top of it, is often covered with snow for three or four months in the year.-Calmet's Dictionary.
AROAD, ARPHAD, or ARPAD (the light of redemption), and the Aradus of the Greeks and Romans, is a rocky
island, not above a mile in compass, and about twenty furlongs from the continent. It is not improbably thought to be so named from one of the sons of Canaan, since we find him reckoned among the descendants of Canaan, the Aroadite. It seemed to the eye (says Mr. Maundrel) to be not above three or four furlongs long, and was wholly filled up with tall buildings like castles. The ancient inhabitants of this island were famous for navigation, and had a command upon the continent as far as Gabala; and it was anciently surrounded with a strong wall, consisting of stones of an immense size; which so exactly tallied and corresponded with each other, as in many other instances of the ancient building, that the architect might very justly estimate the weight and symmetry alone of its materials, without cramps and mortar, to have been sufficient to withstand the violence of the sea, and the engines of an enemy. During the time of its prosperity both art and nature seem to have conspired in making it a place of such strength and consequence, as sufficiently to justify the boast, "Where is the king of Arphad?" which Sennacherib made in the conquest of it, 2 Kings xix, 13. The Turks at present call this island Rom wadde.
CHARACTER OF THE ARABS,
ILLUSTRATING GEN. XVI, 12.
THE Arabians have always been commended by the ancients for their fidelity, and they are still scrupulously exact to their word. They have however their vices and defects: they are naturally addicted to war, bloodshed, and cruelty, and so malicious, as scarcely ever to forget an injury. Their frequent robberies committed on traders and travellers, have rendered the name of an Arab almost infamous in Europe: so faithful has been the prophecy, "their hands shall be against every man, and every man's against them." Amongst themselves, however, they are most honest and true to the rites of hospitality: towards those whom they receive into their camp every thing is open: enter but once into the tent of an Arab, and by the pressure of his hand he ensures you protection, at the hazard even of his life: he is ever true to his bread and his salt; once eat with him, and a knot of friendship is tied which cannot easily he loosened. Hospitality was ever habitual to them: at this day, the greatest reproach to an Arab tribe is, "that none of their men have the heart to give." Nor does this feeling of liberality extend to those only of high birth, the poor and wandering Bedouin is often known to practise a degree of charity far beyond his means, from a sense of duty alone. The love of country discoverable in the wildest tenant of the most barren rock, is not felt by the wandering Arab; he roves from district to district, from pasture to pasture, without any local attachment, and his sole delight is his irregular, predatory life. Many of the elder chiefs plan new expeditions with as much glee, as if they were but just beginning life, instead of tottering on the brink of death. But notwithstanding all his savageness, there are sometimes noble thoughts seen to cross over his powerful mind, and then again to leave him choked up with weeds of too strong a growth to be rooted out.
Their fondness for the traditional history of their ancestors is proverbial. Professed story-tellers are the appendages to a man of rank: his friends will assemble before his tent, to listen night after night to a continued history, for sometimes sixty nights together; it is a great exercise of genius, and a peculiar gift held in high estimation among them. They have a quickness and clearness of delivery, with a perfect command of
words, surprising to an European ear. Their descriptions are highly poetical, their extempore songs are also full of fire, and possess many beautiful and happy similes. Arabic songs go to the heart, and greatly excite the passions. Certain of their tribes are highly celebrated for this gift of extempore speaking and singing, and it is often possessed to an astonishing degree, by men unable either to read or write. Many of these children of the desert possess intelligence and feeling which belong not to the savage, accompanied by an heroic courage, and a thorough contempt of every mode of gaining a livelihood, except by the sword and gun. They value themselves chiefly on their expertness in arms, horsemanship, and hospitality irritable and fiery, their common conversation appears to be one continued strife; they are however brave, eloquent, and deeply sensible of shame. - Denham and Clapperton's Africa.
PROGRESS OF THE SCIENCES.
THE first savages collected in the forests a few nourishing fruits, a few salutary roots, and thus supplied their most immediate wants. The first shepherds observed that the stars moved in a regular course, and made use of them to guide their journeys across the plains of the desert. Such was the origin of the mathematical and physical sciences. Once convinced that it could combat nature by the means which she herself afforded, genius reposed no more, it watched her without relaxation, it incessantly made new conquests over her, all of them distinguished by some improvement in the situation of our race. From that time a succession of conducting minds, faithful depositories of the attainments already made, constantly occupied in connecting them, in vivifying thein by means of each other, have conducted us, in less than forty ages, from the first essays of rude observers, to the profound calculations of Newton and La Place, to the learned classifications of Linnæus and Jussieu. This precious inheritance, perpetually increasing, brought from Chaldea into Egypt, from Egypt into Greece, concealed during ages of disaster and of darkness, recovered in more fortunate times, unequally spread among the nations of Europe, has everywhere been followed by wealth and power; the nations which have reaped it are become the mistresses of the world; such as have neglected it, are fallen into weakness and obscurity. Curtis's Lectures on the Physiology of the Ear.
ON THE DEATH OF A CHRISTIAN MINISTER.
A messenger of peace, to him 'twas given
SCRIPTURAL KNOWLEDGE IN CEYLON. THIS large and populous island, (nearly as large as Ireland) has long been a scene of the labours of Methodist Missionaries. Their operations have been crowned with considerable success, and the Spirit of grace appears to have been poured forth richly both upon the Missionaries and their hearers. The Rev. Benjamin Clough, on his recent returning to Ceylon, says, in a letter to the Committee of the Bible Society,
"I am very glad to find the Committee are so well disposed to encourage the completion of the version of the Old Testament in Ceylon, or Indo-Portugese; and that being a task which I have proposed to myself, should it please God to spare my life, I will see it done free of all expense to the Committee. I have been much gratified, ever since my arrival in England, at receiving, from various sources in Ceylon, the most unequivocal testimonies in favour of the New Testament which I had completed before I left, and of the great anxiety of the people, for whom it was designed, to possess it. They are, in fact, a people whose situation is very affecting: they form what is called the Bergher Population, and, in all its grades, are very numerous all over the country: there must be, I think, from 15,000 and upwards in Colombo alone. Great numbers of them are renouncing the errors of popery ; and the change has been effected solely by reading the New Testament.
"I was greatly pleased to hear of your munificent liberality, in the grant of a fresh supply of printing paper; and I do hope God will continue most abundantly to replenish your stores. The Bible in Ceylon is, I am satisfied, working a great change in the views and feelings of the heathen. Formerly, the priests and others felt but little at its circulation: this must have arisen, I suppose, from an ignorance of its character: but since the people got a more extensive supply of its sacred contents in their own familiar style of language, and the effects of their reading it became apparent to the priests-and since, also, the priests have themselves ascertained its uncompromising character, namely, that it allows of no religion but what is revealed in itself-they have taken the alarm, and have endeavoured in various ways to thwart its circulation, and oppose us in our labours in giving the people the word of God. But the matter has gone too far, and this they now see; for in our schools alone, in the southern districts of Ceylon, we have, by the blessing of God, raised up in the midst of the population, not less than 30,000 Native Christian Readers, who do read, and will read, in spite of all the opposition of the heathen!"
THE CHRISTIAN NOT ALONE. Although depress'd by sin and woe, A wandering exile here below, My Heavenly Father hears each groan, And tells me I am not alone. Though left by every earthly friend On whom I thought I could depend, And though to all the world unknown, I still can say I'm not alone.
What though my kindred round me die, And every earthly comfort fly,
I'll take my seat near Mercy's throne,
When passing Jordan's stormy sea
His worthless child He'll ne'er disown,
SINGULAR DELIVERANCE FROM
A very singular providence occurred to Mr. Cecil on his going from London to Lewes, to serve his churches. Instead of his leaving town early in the morning, the farrier, who shod his horse, detained him till noon, in consequence of which he did not arrive at East Grinstead Common till after it was dark. On this common he met a man who appeared to be intoxicated, and ready to fall from his horse at every step. Mr. Cecil called to him, and warned him of his danger; which the man disregarding, with his usual benevolence he rode up to him, in order to prevent his falling, when the man immediately seized the reins of Mr. Cecil's horse, who perceiving he was in bad hands, endeavoured to break away, on which the man threatened to knock him down if he repeated the attempt. Three other men on horseback immediately rode up, placing Mr. Cecil in the midst of them. On perceiving his danger, it struck him-"Here is an occasion of faith!" and that gracious declaration also occurred to him-" Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee." He secretly lifted up his heart to God, entreating that deliverance which He alone could effect. One of the men, who seemed to be captain of the gang, asked him who he was, and whither he was going. Mr. Cecil here recurred to a principle to which his mind was habituated, that "Nothing needs a lie." He therefore told them very frankly his name, and whither he was going. The leader said, "Sir, I know you, and have heard you preach at Lewes. Let the gentleman's horse go: we wish you good night."-Cecil's Remains.
A farmer of Aberdeen brought home a young seal, and fed it for three days with bread and milk. His wife disliking its presence, it was taken out of the town, by the man and some friends, and thrown into the sea; but it returned to them notwithstanding every effort to repel it. The tallest of them then walked into the sea as far as he safely could, and threw it into the waves while they hid themselves behind a rock; but the animal again advanced to land, and found them out in their hiding place, and remained with them, till the farmer took it back once more to his house.—Bingley, p. 100.
In Otaheite eels are great favourites, and are tamed and fed until they attain an enormous size. These pets are kept in large holes two or three feet deep, partially filled with water. On the sides of these pits they generally remained, except when called by the person who fed them. I have been several times with the young chief, when he has sat down by the side of the hole; and by giving a shrill sort of whistle has brought out an enormous eel, which has moved about the surface of the water, and eaten with confidence out of his master's hands.—Ellis's Polynesian Researches.
A pike in a pond at Ely became so tame, as to follow the waving of a pocket handkerchief.
A Mental Victory.-Human nature has not a sharper spur than the desire of revenge; therefore, to forget it, is one of the most generous actions of the mind.
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THE TEMPLE OF VISHNOO, AT GYA. INDIA becomes every year more interesting to the people of Great Britain, on account of its immense extent-its prodigious wealth-and its political importance in relation to the other great empires of Asia. The renewal of the "Company's Charter," with improvements in the British policy towards that country, and the opening of a more direct communication with that distant region, through Egypt, by the Red Sea, or through Syria, by the river Euphrates, will render it still more interesting. But the millions of its wretched population-their abject superstition-their abominable idolatries-and their consequent moral degradation, chiefly affect the heart of the Christian Philanthropist Every new arrangement in favour of India, it is hoped will be attended with increasing facilities for the effusion of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God by Jesus Christ. We rejoice to be assured that such is the benevolent disposition of the British Govern
The Temple of Vishnoo at Gya, in the province of Bahar, in the north of India, is one of the most celeVOL. II.
brated by the Bramins, who derive their support from its wicked delusions. Gya is visited annually by thou sands of pilgrims, who resort thither in the superstitious hope of procuring the salvation of their deceased rela tions, by their own meritorious mortifications, and by their devotions paid to the idols in the sacred temple. This building is a modern edifice; but the adjoining pagoda is comparatively ancient. This gorgeous edifice, with its numerous spiral ornaments, is said to be covered with solid gold. Priesteraft has celebrated its sanctity, by declaring that, under the centre of the dome, is a print of the foot of the god Vishnoo. This impression is at the bottom of a cavity, about twelve or fifteen inches below the surface, and it is pretended to have been made by the stepping of this deity on the granite stone, when passing from hill to hill. Ignorant superstition has so honoured this particular part of the floor, that it has been cased with silver, at an expense of about 30,000 rupees, or 3,250.
Officers of the Government, both Hindoos and Mohammedans, are stationed here, to collect the taxes paid by the pilgrims, and to serve as a police, in defence of those who visit the temple. Some of the
priests are supported by salaries paid out of these taxes, while others live on the offerings, which their avarice extorts from the devotees. The Rev. Thomas Morris, one of the Missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, having passed three months at Gya, had an opportunity of witnessing the superstitions of the wretched pilgrims. He says, "I saw many poor creatures who had travelled a thousand miles at least; and who, in their journey, endured privations of every kind."
The British government, with a view to diminish the number of pilgrims resorting to this and other like sacred places, laid a tax upon each: but instead of diminishing, this policy has promoted an increase of their numbers, the practice being thus publicly sanctioned. An intelligent writer observes, "At Gya, the British Government have an agent who levies this tax on each pilgrim according to the magnitude of the ceremonies he has to perform; for visiting one place 2 rupees, two places 3, thirty-eight places 4%, forty-five places 14 rupees. In this, as in all systems of superstition, the duty to government and other necessary expenses form but a sinall part of what the poor devotee is compelled to pay; the priests always fleece off all his ready money, and not unfrequently extort promissory notes, which their agents compel him to honour when he returns home. Formerly it was customary for the priest to keep the thumbs of the votary tied together, till he promised to give such a sum as was considered proportionate to his circumstances; but this the British have abolished, and no one can be forced now to give the priest more than he chooses. The pilgrims to this sacred shrine have been gradually increasing; in 1801 the number amounted to 22,732; in 1811 to 31,114; the amount of the collections in 1814-15, was 229,805 sicca rupees, or 23,3791. !
Mr. Ward, in his "History of the Hindoos," gives an account of the proceedings of those who visit Gya, and other places of the same description :
When a person resolves to visit any of these places, he fixes on an auspicious day; and, two days preceding the commencement of his journey, has his head shaved; the next day he fasts; the following day he performs the shraddhu of the three preceding generations of his family on both sides, and then leaves his house. If a person acts according to the Shaster (sacred book), he observes the following rules: Till he returns to his own house, he eats rice which has not been wet in cleansing, and that only once a day-he abstains from anointing his body with oil, and from eating fish-if he rides in a palanquin, or in a boat, he loses half the benefits of his pilgrimage-if he walks on foot, he obtains the full advantage of it. The last day of his journey he fasts."
The ceremonies of the Temple are thus described by Mr. Ward:
"On his arrival at the sacred spot, the pilgrim has his whole body shaved; after which, he performs the shraddhu (offering). It is necessary that he stay seven days, at least, at the holy place: he may continue as much longer as he pleases. Every day during his stay he bathes, pays his devotions to the images, sits before them and repeats their names, and worships them, presenting such offerings as he can afford. In bathing, he makes kooshu-grass images for his relations, and bathes them. When he is about to return, he obtains some of the offerings which have been presented to the idol or idols, and brings them home to give to his friends and neighbours these consist of sweetmeats, flowers, toolusee leaves, the ashes of cow-dung, &c. After celebrating the shraddhu, he entertains the Bramins, and presents them with oil, fish, and all those things from which he has abstained. Having done this, he re
turns to his former course of living. Besides the benefits arising to his relations, the reward promised to the pilgrim is, that he shall ascend to the heaven of that god who presides at the holy place which he has visited."
Having performed the prescribed ceremonies, and pillaged of their money by the crafty and rapacious priests, the miserable dupes set out on their return home, without the means perhaps of purchasing a morsel of rice so that from want of food, the fatigue of a long journey, and exposure to bad weather, many thousands perish annually on the road, leaving the guilt of their blood, in a great measure, upon the heads of their sacerdotal deceivers! Nor are the members of the British Government altogether guiltless in supporting such a system of imposture, impurity, and blood! We rejoice that Christians in England are making appeals to the Government to leave the accursed sys. tem to its own resources; that the priests may receive no salary for their abominable impositions; and that the people may be instructed in the doctrines of life everlasting, by the faithful servants of Christ.