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sign and clumsy execution, contribute to deepen the impression of the monk ish scene. One venerable father stands forth in perfect nudity, except that a monstrous beard, extending to the ground, performs one of the most necessary uses of dress. Numerous silver lamps and a few glass chandaliers suspended from above, were on this occasion all lighted. More than half of the Aoor from the altar to the porch is enclosed by a railing for the special use of the clerical attendants, and was covered with carpets, some of which surpassed description in elegance and richness. The principal altar occupies a high elevation in a lofty alcove, or sanctuary, at the eastern extremity, and groaned under massive gold crosses, silver candlesticks, and many other not less costly ornaments. Two sanctuaries of smaller dimensions are furnished with altars on either side of it, and one of them served this morning for a sacristy. In the middle of each of the side walls, too, is another sanctuary, or chapel, and still another small one occupies an isolated position in the middle of the floor, directly under the centre of the dome. The latter was surrounded by curtains of gold cloth of different patterns, and lar surpassed every other part, in the exquisite finish and superlative richness of its furniture and ornaments. It is probably built upon the stone, respecting which Chardin reports a tradition of the Armenians, that it covers the hole where Christ, when he appeared to Loosavorich, thrust down to hell the evil spirits which formerly dwelt in the idol temples of Armenia. In a word, the display of wealth this morning, in candlesticks, crosses, curtains, carpets and dresses, seemed to me not surpassed even by that which is made at the cele. bration of high mass in the church of St John at Malta."
After this description of the principal church of the Armenians, we may next introduce that of their ecclesiastical bead, whom, it seems, the missionaries had but one opportunity of seeing, and then only on a public occasion.
"On leaving the room of the bishop, mentioned at the close of my last letter, we found the monks, in their gayest clerical robes, paraded in double file along the pavement, which leads to the church door from the entry to the apartments of the Catholicos. It appeared, on inquiry, that to-morrow was to be the twentieth anniversary festival of his inauguration, and that they were now about to conduct him in pomp to evening prayers, as the commencement of the ceremonies of the occasion. He soon came forward tot. tering with the decrepitude of age, and, leaning upon the arms of attend. ants, was led through their ranks. A gold cross only upon his cowl, and a staff, his badge of office, in his band, distinguished him from rest. Two attendants held a broad canopy of crimson over his head, and two or three deacons, going backward before him, perfumed him continually with incense. It was the pope of Armenia in festal show."
The peculiar office of the Catholicos is to ordain bishops, and to consecrate the meiron. The meiron is a sort of holy oil, to which the Armenians attach a superstitious value, and its indispensable importance on various occasions of ecclesiastical ceremony, renders it a source of considerable income, both to the treasury of Echmiadzin, and to the agents who are employed in distributing it about. The power of the Catholicos in appointing bishops is confined at present to Armenia proper; and since he has become a subject of the Russian government, bis relations with the Armenians of Turkey are less close than they ever were before. Mr. Smith is of the opinion that an entire dissolution of them would leave the Armenians of Turkey more open to the operations of missionaries,
After several very interesting interviews with the vartabėds, and the sectretary of the Catholicos, in which they strove to make amends for their former coldness by the frankness and cordiality of their behavior, our travellers took their leave of Echmiadzin and proceeded on their journey to Tebriz. Before they could reach the latter place, Mr. Smith was attacked by a violent disease, and in this condition was obliged to pass two days on the ground in a miserable stable, where the offensive smell and constant noise would have been intolerable, even to a well man. A messenger was immediately despatched by his companion, Mr. Dwight, to Tebriz, and by the prompt attention of Dr. McNeill
, the physician, and first assistant of the English embassy at that court, who lost no time in repairing to the spot in person, the sufferer was safely removed to the Persian capital of Prince Abbus,, where he found comfortable and well furnished aparments ready for his reception. Here, in the midst of friends, to whose hospitality and kindness there were no bounds, he soon recovered sufficiently to resume his duties.
The number of Arminians in Tebriz is at present extremely small; great numbers of them having emigrated since the late war from the Persian into the Russian territories. Those who remain are under the protection of an English governor. Their moral character is proverbially bad, but they are compartively free from the prejudices of their sect, against missionary labors, and a school might be established among them without difficulty. It was here Messrs. Smith and Dwight had the opportunity of attending the only Armenian sermon which they heard during the whole of their journey. The preacher was a bishop, distinguished among his brethren for his peculiar gifts.
“ In the absence of a pulpit, a chair was placed for him in front of the altar, and a rich carpet spread before it. Chairs were also offered to us, but we declined them, and took our seat among the audience on the floor. His subject was the proper observance of the fasts; and his thoughts were probably unpremeditated, and of little value. But his manner was striking. He commenced sitting, and that seemed the posture he chose to maintain, bnt the animation of delivery frequently called him upɔn his feet, and urged him forward to the edge of his carpet with a fine effect. No tone marked his enunciation, nor any stiffness his gestures. It was nature that spoke and acted; and nature indeed in too undisguised a form except for these regions. Violent actions; varied, often high keyed and passionate tones; and significant contortions of the countenance, expressed his sentiments more clearly than the words he uttered, and would have astounded a more polite audience, as the ravings of madness. But here, where every man is accustomed from infancy to be kicked and flogged into his duty, all was in place, and was needed. He took occasion in his remarks to reprove the boys who had sported with the bonfire yesterday, by accusing them of bringing upon their church the ridicule of the foreigners who were present; and, as if unable otherwise to express his feelings, he actually spat at them in contempt. All his violence of action, however, failed of fixing the attention of his audience. The women were repeatedly engaged in loud talk; once, conversation seem. ed to be general throughout the house; and the boys, stationed near the altar for the purpose of aiding in the performance of prayers, manifested such a constant disposition to play, that he was once constrained to order them in a rage, to be silenced by thosging."
While at Tebriz, the missionaries made many inquiries respecting the Ne-touan and Chaldean Christians of Kürdistán. Finding it to be importable from the lateness of the season, and the unsettled tite of the country to return (as it was suggested in their instructions that they might find it expedient to do) by the way of Mesopotamia and Syria, and thus to visit those sects upon the soulier side of the Kürdish mountains, they turned their attention to those Nestorians and Chaldeans who, they were intouned by the Guglish at Tebriz, inhabited in considerable number the western borders of the lake of Oormiah.
They left Tebriz on the 4th of March, to make the circuit of this lake, having first provided themselves with a rákam, a passport from the Persiai Government, and with several recommendatory letters from English oflicers to the chiefs and khans at the places which they intended to visit, On the 9th they arrived at the first Chaldean village, Khósrova. This is the residence of the bishop of all the Chaldeans on the northern side of the Kürdish mountains. As they rode up to his house, they were met and welcomed by “an old man with a long Kürdish cap, green turban, and ragged sheep-skin pelisse. It was Mar Yohanna, the bishop.” They found these Christians to be nothing more nor less than Papal Syrians. Both the bishop and his confidential priest had been educated at Rome, and were still connected with that See.
The most interesting part of this excursion was the visit to the Nestorians in the province of Oormiah. Their frank and open character, the simplicity of their service, the extreme liberality which they profess towards other sects, the fieedom with which they communicated information, and the eagerness with which they received it, all made a strong impression upon our missionaries. They are, however, extreinely ignorant, and the church services which are in the Syriac language are not comprehended by the common people. None of the Nestorian females are taught letters. This neglect of education according to the account of one of their bishops, is involuntary. said he, “can attend to such things, but we, both men and women, are obliged to labor with all our might to get money for the moslems. Even if a boy sits down to read, a moslem comes up before he is aware, and with a blow upon his neck, says,
"Give us money.'”
Different from the Chaldeans, the Nestorians in celebrating the eucharist, all partake of both the elements, though they firmly believe in the real presence. They also admit all known Christian sects, who will come, to their communion, and in return" the Nestorians have full liberty to go to the conmunion of any other denomination."
Mr. Smith concludes his account of this very interesting people with the following remarks on the expediency of establist.ing a mission in this part of Persia.
“We have little to say, in addition to the account already given of the Persian moslems, to enable you to judge what would be the prospects of a mission established specially for them. Such a mission we are not prepared decidedly to recommend ; though our persuasion is strong, that a missionary, while directing his attention expressly and primarily to the Christian population, would find many occasions and means of doing good to the followers of Mohammed also, as a secondary braneh of labor.— The Armenian population is so small and dispersed that any considerable number could with difficulty be reached; not to mention another certainly important consideration-their extreme degradation. In hesitating to recommend these two classes of peo. ple as promising objects of missionary labor in Persia, we are of course to be understood as declining to propose the city of Tebriz for a missionary station. -But to the Nestorians of Dormiah we would specially direct your attention. That Abbas Mirza wonld, without doubt, patronize missionary efforts for their improvement, and in fact for the improvement of all his Christian subjects, we received the unanimous testimony of all the members of the English embassy. Equally decided assurance was given us that missionary families in Oormiah, would be secure from any oppression; for besides being favor. ably regarded by the prince, the embassador also would protect them. Among others who accorded with these sentiments, were two gentlemen, who had resided some time in that province; and one of them added that the climate is very fine.
“ That religious instruction is needed by the Nestorians, this and the preceding letter will have sufficiently convinced you. How it would be received by them experiment alone can fully determine. We cannot but refer you, however, to their extreme liberality toward other sects, their ideas of open communion, and their entire rejection of auricular confession, (that efficient police system of the other old churches,) as considerations which have produced in our minds a firm conviction, that a mission to the Nestorians would meet with far fewer obstacles, than among any other of the old churches. The week that we passed among them was among the most intensely interesting of our lives. For myself" I felt a stronger desire to settle among them at once as a missionary, than among any people I have ever seen.
The missionaries relurned to Tebriz on the 23d of March, and on the 9th of the following month set their faces towards home. As far as Khoy they retraced their former steps in the journey from Echmiadzin. Thence they proceeded in a north-westerly direction through the pastoral country of the Kürds, and crossed the Turkish frontier into the province of Bayezeed. The only important adventure they met with was in crossing the mountain
which separates the last named province from the pashalik of Erzroom. Here they encountered a terrible storm, their baggage horses fell, and occasioned
them great delay as well as vexation, finally they were abandoned by their tartar, and left without a guide to find their own way as they best could. We give the rest of the story in Mr. Smith's own words.
* We had not yet reached the highest part of the mountain; the road we were unacquainted with, and it was beginning to be hidden by the newly fallen snow; the wind had acquired almost the violence of a hurricane, and drove the damp snow and sleet against us with such impetuosity as thorough. ly to drench our clothes ; their weight, as our jaded horses obliged us to walk almost every step, impeded our progress; and all our remaining strength was repeatedly called for to re-load the bags, which were repeatedly thrown off in our struggles to master the snow-drifts. As this accident happened once in an exposed situation, a dense dark cloud enveloped us, and a blast so piec cing accompanied it that it seemed to penetrate to the heart. An indescribapie sensation of horror came over me, and my compauion was completely bewildered.
“ The clouds at length broke away for a moment, as we reached a lofty summit, and showed us that we were at the top. Far down an unbroken and steep descent appeared the dark sides of naked hills, stripped of their wintry covering by a southern exposure to the rays of the sun. We dragged our horses, with all the speed that our strength and weight could give us, to the bottom; and then stumbling as we could, over snow-drifts and through mud, were at last cheered by a view of human habitations. Just then a single horseman, sent (whether by the old Kürd or by our tarter at this late hour, we never learned,) to bring up our party, met us. No remonstrances, however, would induce him to go on to the succor of those we had left behind, and he returned with us. The village we had found was inhabited by Kürds and called Dáhar: we entered it at sunset, having spent thirteen hours in riding six.”
On the 23d they arrived at Erzroom, which, after their leaving Persia, seemed less uninviting than at their former visit. Ai Trebizond they embarked in an Austrian vessel for Constantinople, and on the 2d of July arrived safely at Malta, after an absence of fifteen months and a lialf.
* The Lord had delivered us,” says Mr. Smith in recording this cvent, " from all our fears. The forebodings of misgiving nature or of wavering faith had not been realized. In the midst of pestilence, among barbarous people, and in inhospitable countries, the angel of the Lord had encamped around about us for our deliverance,' and we were brought back again in peace. Our friends had been equally protected, and now affectionately welcomed us again to their bosom. Leiters awaited us from America, also, and cheered us with the most gratifying intelligence of what God was doing for our kindred and the churches of our land. And in the fulness of our hearts, we blessed the Lord, who had “redeemed our life from destruction, and crowned us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.'”
The “Researches" are very appropriately introduced by "an historical sketch of Armenia," which appears to have been carefully compiled from the best sources of information. We conclude by expressing it as our confident opinion that this work will increase the general reputation of our missionaries, already so high, as men of enterprize and intelligence, as well as of piety, and will be considered as a valuable addition to the literature of our country.