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ning, urs of the At motely; the which
eat 10 md in Sinisterresti
ment, and circulated correct manuscripts. This syna- 1 The door is opposite the ark, towards which all bow gogue has sometimes been erroneously confounded with on entering, and turn towards it during prayer. the Sanhedrim or Jewish Senate. The great synagogue | The synagogue days for service are Monday, the eve was not an ordinary synod: it commenced with Ezra, of the Sabbath (Friday), and Sabbath (Saturday), and of and expired with Simon surnamed the Just, the son of course the festivals; and in some places Thursday is also Onias the First, who is commended in Ecclesiasticus 51. a synagogue day. Simon died two hundred and ninety-three years before The service is three times a day, viz., morning, noon Christ.
or afternoon, and night, according to Psalm 55. 17, From the days of the Asmonean princes, the ordinary “ Evening, morning, and at noon will I pray.” The synagogues, or appointed places of worship, multiplied Jews say that Abraham instituted morning prayer, so much in the Holy Land, that, as the Rabbins tell us, (Gen. 19. 29,) “And Abrabam got up early in the there were four hundred and eighty in Jerusalem morning to the place where he stood before the Lord.” alone.
Isaac the afternoon prayers, (Gen. 24. 63,) “And Isaac In the later Hebrew, the synagogue is called his went out to meditate (rather, to pray) in the field at the nod beth keneseth. The rule for establishing a syna- | even-tide.” And Jacob the night prayer; for the Rabgogue requires that in the town or city there shall be ten bins render Genesis 28. 11, “He lighted upon a certain 093502 batelnim. Concerning these batelnim there is a place, and tarried there all night;" he prayed in that difference of opinion; some think the word meant free place, &c., &c. men of full age, competent to assist two days a week The hours of morning and evening service are made besides the Sabbath at the service. Buxtorf thinks it to correspond with the hours of the daily morning and meant persons who received a stipend for attending duly, evening sacrifice in the Temple. At morning service, in order that ten persons might be present to form a the people first recite many collects, privately; then the congregation, according to the canon, which required minister, standing up, begins the public prayers, which that number. Lightfoot understands it, as ten officers, always commence and end with a particular prayer, curators, or ministers of the synagogue. The Talmudists called the Kadish, somewhat resembling our “Lord's understand it as men of leisure, to attend to, and admi- Prayer.” Then the Chazan takes out of the ark, with nister the affairs of the synagogue.
great solemnity, the book of the Law, and lifts it up, It was to rectify the inconvenience of this rule, which and displays it; at sight of which the people express virtually prchibited the public assembling to worship great joy. This book is a large roll, which is unfolded God of a less number than ten, that Our Lord declared, and read in seven sections, by as many readers; the two “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, first being ministers, the others seculars. The reader there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. 18. 20.) It recites the original text in Hebrew, in a low whispering was required to build the synagogue in the highest part voice, and an interpreter by his side translates it aloud within the city, on account of verse 9 of Ezra, chap. 9, to the people. To this custom Our Lord alludes in " to set up the house of our God;" Hebraic, to set up on Matthew 10. 27: “What ye hear in the ear, that preach high, to exalt, Dan In conformity with this rule, ye on the house-tops.” This custom of reading and the Jews still erect their synagogues on the highest spot interpreting verse by verse began when the Hebrew that they can conveniently procure. The walls are ceased to be vernacular with the Jews, and gave rise to wainscotted or whitewashed, and inscribed with texts of the Chaldee paraphrases, called the Targums. The Scripture inciting to devotion. In the middle of the reading of the Law is closed by solemn prayer. synagogue is the desk or pulpit, surrounded with rails, Originally the Law only was read at morning service; and large enough to accommodate three or four persons. but now an eighth portion of Scripture is added, called Here the book of the Law is unrolled with great solemn- Haphtorah, taken from the Prophets. Any person is ity, and read to the people; and here sits the preacher eligible to read it, except a female. or expounder when he addresses the congregation. The | When Antiochus Epiphanes conquered the Jews, principal object in the synagogue is a curtained chest, about 163 B.C., he prohibited the reading of the Law; representing the Ark of the Covenant, in which is kept and the Jews, that they might not be wholly deprived the synagogue manuscripts of the Law, and other copies of their Scriptures, chose portions out of the Prophets, of the Hebrew Scriptures. The ark is always set towards as nearly as possible corresponding with the Pentateuch, Jerusalem. The benches are so disposed that the con- and read them instead. In memory of which, after the gregation face the ark. The upper benches front the reading of the Law was restored, that of the Prophets people (so arranged, however, as not to allow the per- was still continued. (Acts 13. 14,15.) It is from this sons there seated to turn their backs on the ark, which custom that the Christian Church derived the reading of would be held profane); on these upper benches sit the the first and second lessons. rulers and rabbis. These seats were much affected by The Law was divided into fifty-three sections, accordthe Pharisees, because, facing the people, they drew on ing to the Massorites, which were so arranged that they themselves the attention of all, by their show of extra read the whole Law in the year, and began the new ordinary devotion; to which Our Lord alludes in course on the same day on which they finished the old Matthew 23. 6.
course, which was the Sabbath before the first Sabbath The seats nearest the ark are generally purchased by after the Feast of Tabernacles. the rich Jews. Besides the ark, the synagogue contains After the reading of the Haphtorah, the officiating other chests, for keeping the books of prayer, the veils person dismisses the congregation with a blessing, unless worn by the Jews during the service, the candles for there be some one to preach, which was always done lighting the synagogue, the trumpets and horns for pro. sitting, as in Luke 4, Our Lord after reading the Haphclaiming the festivals, new moons, &c.
lorah from Isaiah, sat down and began to expound it. From the cieling and walls of the synagogue are sus- He also sat down to deliver his sermon on the Mount, pended lamps; and at the door are boxes for voluntary (Matt. 5;) and he sat in a ship to teach the people alms.
standing on the shore. (Matt. 13.) The women sit apart from the men, in a latticed The afternoon service consists of singing Psalm 84, gallery, where they can hear the service without being | from verse 5 to the end, and the whole of Psalm 145, seen,
and repeating the prayer Kadish; then one of the morna
on the highest spot et on the 2017. What ye here Lord olide
ing prayers; then several other prayers and thanks- I SYRIA, vpía, is properly the name of the givings; and concluding with the Kadish..
country of Western Asia, which is bounded by the The night or evening service is almost exactly the river Euphrates on the east, by the Mediterranean same.
on the west, by Mount Taurus on the north, The synagogue is called by the Jews the Lesser Sanc- and by Palestine and tracts of Arabia Deserta on the tuary. They dedicate it by solemn prayer; after which | south: frequently, however, Judæa was included in its it is held in such reverence as a sacred place that no one boundaries. In modern times the term Syria is applied may even take shelter in it from the weather, much less to designate the territory lying between the mountainous conduct themselves with levity, or transact any worldly range of Asia Minor and the confines of Egypt, now business therein.
a Turkish province, divided into five pachalics, Aleppo, The dedication of the Great Synagogue at Amsterdam, Tripoli, Damascus, Acre, and Palestine. There is a difin. A.D. 1675, was very solemn. It commenced with ference of opinion as to the origin of the name of Syria; prayer; and the most eminent Jews carried in the rolls some are disposed to think that Eupía signifies the of the Law richly adorned, in grand procession, marking land of Súr, or Tyre; observing that Šúr, or Túr, with their entry by alms and devotion; and several sermons
the Greek and Roman termination, Tyrus (Tupos), were preached on the occasion.
but pronounced by the Jews Tsór, is in fact the same (For the officers of the synagogue, see RULER.) word, its initial letters being interchangeable; others
The first synagogue in England, of which we have any contend that Syria is a mere abbreviation of Assyria, certain knowledge, was at Oxford, in the time of William which, being adopted by the Ionians, who frequented Rufus; but it is probable there was one about the same the coasts, after the Assyrians of Nineveh had reduced period in London, as the burial-place of the Jews was in the country to a province of their empire, was transmitted Jewin-street.
by the Greeks to us.
SYRACUSE, a famous city on the south-east of Sicily, with a fine prospect from every entrance both by sea and land. Its port, which had the sea on both sides of it, was almost all of it environed with beautiful buildings, and all that part of it which was without the city was on both sides banked up and sustained with very fair walls of marble. The city itself, while in its splendour, was the largest and richest that the Greeks possessed in any part of the world. For (according to Strabo,) it was twenty-two miles in circumference, and
Syrian Goddess Astarte.' both Plutarch and Livy inform us that the spoil of it was
Originally the Syrians were called Aramites, the equal to that of Carthage. It was built about A.M.
offspring of Aram, the youngest son of Shem, who pos3269, and in a manner consisted of four cities united
sessed parts of Syria, Mesopotamia, Chaldea, and Armeinto one; or as others express it, it was called quadru
nia: “Aram was the father of the Aramites, whom the plex, as being divided into four parts, Acradina, Tyche, Greeks call Syrians: of the four sons of Aram, lz Neapolis, and the island of Ortygia. The first of these
founded Trachonitis and Damascus; this country lies contained in it the famous temple of Jupiter, the second
between Palestine and Cæle-Syria.” (Josephus Andiq.) the temple of Fortune, the third a large amphitheatre, | As early as the days of the patriarch Abraham, we find and a wonderful statue of Apollo in the midst of a spa- |
that Damascus, the capital of that part of Syria estendcious square, and the fourth the two temples of Diana |
ing eastward along Mount Libanus, was in existence; for and Minerva, and the renowned fountain of Arethusa.
the steward of his house, we are informed, was “Eliezer For about two hundred and fifty years it made little
of Damascus.” The name of Syria was employed in the noise in the world; but in the next two hundred and
subsequent age; Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, being eighty it became conspicuous in war, in sea trade, and
described as “the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian, of in wealth, under its 'kings Gelon, Dionysius, elder and Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.” (Gen. younger, Dion, Agathocles, and Hiero.
25. 20.) In some parts of the Pentateuch, Jacob is aso About two hundred and ten years before the birth of
hundred and ten years before the birth of called a Syrian: “And thou shalt speak and say before Christ this city was taken and sacked by Marcellus, the the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my Roman general, and, in storming the place, Archimedes, father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourred the great mathematician, who is esteemed the first in
there with a few, and became there a nation, great, ventor of the sphere, (and who, during the siege, had mighty, and populous.” (Deut. 26. 5.) Before the time sorely galled the Romans with astonishing military of David, B.C. 1034, Syria was divided into severo engines of his own invention,) was slain by a common | principalities, or petty kingdoms, the names of watch soldier while intent upon his studies. After it was thus frequently occur in the historical parts of the Old Team destroyed by Marcellus, Augustus rebuilt that part of it ment,—Zobah, Damascus, Hamath, Geshur, Rehob, tsp which stood upon the island, and in time it so far re | tob, Maachah. The kings of these cities frequent? covered itself as to have three walls, three castles, and a made hostile incursions into the territory of the e marble gate, and to be able to set out twelve thousand of Israel, carrying away captives and committing horse soldiers, and four hundred ships. A.D. 675, the structive ravages. They received a decided check Saracens seized on it, but in 1090 it was taken from David, who marched an army against the kin them by Roger, duke of Apulia. It is still much fre- | Zobah, and defeated his forces near the Eup quented on account of its commodious harbour. Paul although the Syrians of Damascus bad gone to the sur staid here three days as he went prisoner to Rome, cour of Zobah. On that occasion David slew (Acts 27. 12;) here also Christianity was early planted, two thousand Syrians, exacted homage and trib and still, at least in name, continues, but the city has his enemies, and garrisoned Damascus. Do lost its ancient splendour, though it is a bishop's see. A.
same king of wards, however, we find Hadarezer, the same, Zobah, again in the field, as an auxiliary of the cu of Ammon, who we are informed hired the serie
Damascus. Soon after
ndeu or as foundedemained subje. During the he his Amine the
his troops. “And the Syrians fled before Israel; and approach of the conqueror; Tyre alone offered a deterDavid slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the mined resistance, and on it aceordingly was poured the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Sho- fury of Alexander. After a seven months' siege it fell; bach, the captain of their host, who died there. And an indiscriminate massacre of the inhabitants took place; when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw the harbour was filled up; the city was fired; two that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace thousand of the Tyrian soldiers, who had been taken with Israel and served them. So the Syrians feared to prisoners, being fixed on crosses along the sea-shore. help the children of Ammon any more." (2Sam. 10. | After the death of Alexander, Syria attained a degree 18,19.) David, nevertheless, appears all along to have of importance higher than it ever had reached. It bemaintained amicable relations with some of the Syrian came the seat of the Syro-Macedonian empire established toparchs. One of his wives was the daughter of Talmai, by the family of kings called the Seleucidæ, Antioch king of Geshur; and Absalom, after the murder of his being the capital. Seleucus Nicator, the founder of brother, took refuge at Geshur, remaining with his Antioch, and of the kingdom of which it was the centre, grandfather, the king, for three years. During the reign was the son of Antiochus, one of the four generals beof King Solomon, Syria remained subject to Israel. By tween whom the vast empire of Alexander was divided. this monarch was founded Tadmor, or Palmyra, in Syria, Having assumed the title of king of Syria, he reduced to the grandeur of whose stupendous ruins, still remaining, subjection all the countries from the Hellespont to India excite the wonder and admiration of every traveller who and the Jaxartes. About three hundred years before visits them. There is nothing mentioned in the Bible the appearance of Christ, he built the city of Antioch, on relative to Tadmor except the fact of its erection. It the banks of the river Orontes, about twenty miles from derived the name of Tadmor from the great number of the place where it falls into the Mediterranean; calling palm-trees that ornamented the oasis in the centre of it Antioch in honour of his father Antiochus. Seleucus which it stood; after the conquest of the country by also built the city of Seleucia, about thirty miles from Alexander the Great, the city was called Palmyra, Babylon, on the borders of the Tigris and the Euphrates; which is a translation of the Syriac term. Josephus, he founded Apamea, which he named from his wife, referring to it, says, “ Nay, Solomon went so far as the and Laodicea, so called as a tribute of affection to his desert above Syria, and possessed himself of it; and built mother. there a very great city, which was distant two days' journey from Upper Syria, and one day's journey from the Euphrates, and six days' journey from Babylon the Great. Now, the reason why this city lay so remote from the parts of Syria that are inhabited is, that below there is no water, and that in that place only are there springs. When he had therefore built this city, and encompassed it with very strong walls, he gave it the name of Tadmor, and that is the name it is still called by at this day among the Syrians; but the Greeks name it Palmyra." (Antiq. viii. 6.) After the death of Solomon, the Syrians threw off the Jewish yoke, and appear to bave maintained their independence till the reign of Ahaz, king of Judah, B.C. 742, after the formation of the separate kingdoms of Israel and Judah. At
Apamea that time Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, son of Rema In all he erected thirty-four cities in Asia, in liah, king of Israel, formed a confederacy against Ahaz; which he planted Greek colonies. Antioch soon became and with their combined armies invested Jerusalem. In a mighty city, and its inhabitants acquired a reputation this extremity, Ahaz sent letters to Tiglath-pileser, king for pride and voluptuousness. “Fashion," says Gibbon, of Assyria, soliciting succour; and to propitiate that speaking of the city in the time of the Roman emperors, powerful monarch, sent the gold and silver that was “ was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the found in the house of the Lord, and the treasures of his splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction own palace, as a present to him. The Assyrian, anxious of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of Inxury were for a pretext to interfere in the quarrel, and hoping honoured; the serious and manly virtues were the subfrom an ally to become a master, gladly responded to the ject of ridicule; and the contempt for female modesty invitation from Ahaz; entered Syria with an invading and reverent age announced the universal corruption of host; sacked Damascus, carrying back into Assyria a the capital of the East. The love of spectacles was the multitude of Syrians who escaped the slaughter in which taste, or rather passion of the Syrians; a considerable King Rezin perished. These wretched captives were share of the revenue was devoted to the public amuselocated in Kir, on the banks of the river Cyrus, or ments; and the magnificence of the games was considered Kirus, and are supposed to have given the name to that as the happiness and glory of Antioch.” part of Media called Syro-Media. Syria remained in subjection to Assyria; and the Assyrians, following up their aggressive policy, soon afterwards reduced the tribes of Israel to abject slavery, from which they never emerged.
Syria was next held by the Chaldeans, who, imitating their predecessors, plundered Jerusalem itself,
Antioch. and carried the people of Judah captive into Babylon. The following were the successors of Seleucus: Antiochus The Persians then became the ascendant power in the Soter, B.C. 280; Antiochus Theos, 261; Seleucus CalliniEast; and the sovereignty of Syria was transferred to cus, 246; Seleucus Keraunus, 226; Antiochus the Great, them, continuing in their hands till the Macedonian in- 223; Seleucus Philopator, 187; Antiochus Eupator, 164; vasion of Asia by the army under Alexander the Great. Demetrius Soter, 162; Alexander Balas, 150; Demetrius Most of the principal cities of Syria surrendered on the | Nicator, 146; Antiochus Sidetes, 140; Demetrius Nica
tor restored, 130; Alexander Zebina, 127, dethroned by Orontes. The hills of Libanus and Anti-Libanus are Antiochus Gryphus, 123; Antiochus Cyzicenus, 112, who planted from north to south between the Orontes and took part of Syria, which he called Cæle-Syria; Philip the Mediterranean; and the epithet of hollon (Cæleand Demetrius Eucerus, 93; and in Cæle-Syria, Antio Syria) was applied to a long and fruitful valley, which is chus Pius; Aretas, king of Cæle-Syria, B. C. 85. confined in the same direction, by the two ridges of Antiochus, surnamed Asiaticus, was the last of the snowy mountains. Among the cities which are enumeSeleucidæ; being dethroned by Pompey, B. C. 66; rated by Greek and Oriental names in the geography and when Syria became a Roman province.
conquest of Syria, we may distinguish Emesa or Hems, Heliopolis or Baalbec, the former as the metropolis of the plain, the latter as the capital of the valley. Under the last of the Cæsars, they were strong and populous: their turrets glittered from afar: an ample space was covered with public and private buildings, and the citizens were illustrious by their spirit or at least by their pride; by their riches, or at least by their luxury. In the days of paganism, both Emesa and Heliopolis were addicted to the worship of Baal or the sun; but the decline of their superstition and splendour has been marked
by a singular variety of fortune. Not a vestige remains The era of the Seleucidæ is usually reckoned from the of the temple of Emesa, which was equalled in poetic reign of Seleucus Nicator, three hundred and eleven years style to the summits of Mount Libanus, while the ruins and four months before Christ. It was used in computing of Baalbec, invisible to the writers of antiquity, excite time in Syria, for many years, and is referred to in the book the curiosity and wonder of the European traveller.” of Maccabees; it was frequently employed by the Jews The capital of Syria was frequently honoured with the till the fifteenth century; and some of the Arab tribes presence of the emperors, and was the favourite residence yet date from that era. At the period of the birth of of Verus, Jovian, and Valens. In the reign of TheodoChrist, Cyrenius was the Roman governor of Syria; the sius, its inhabitants rose in a general tumult in conseadministration of affairs in Judea being entrusted to the quence of severe taxation, and of interference with their tyrant Herod, whom the Romans permitted to assume pleasures; and in their frenzy threw down the statues the title of king, after the invasion of the country by the of the emperor and his family. Theodosius was greatly Parthians. At the death of Herod, his son Archelaus incensed when the account of the sedition reached him went to Rome, to solicit the royal dignity and acknow- at Constantinople, and resolved to visit Antioch with ledge himself the vassal of Cæsar: the Jews detesting his signal punishment. “That proud capital was degraded character, sent an embassy to oppose his application; but from the rank of a city; and the metropolis of the East, their remonstrances were disregarded, and he returned stripped of its lands, its privileges, and its revenues, was home the tributary monarch of Judea. His reign was subjected under the humiliating denomination of a village not auspicious; terminating at the end of ten years, to the jurisdiction of Laodicea. The baths, the circus, and when Augustus deposed Archelaus for mal-administra- | the theatres were shut; and, that every source of plenty tion, and annexed Judea to Syria as a province of the and pleasure might be at the same time intercepted, the Roman empire. The preaching of Jesus had considerable distribution of corn was abolished by the severe instruc. effect in Syria, whither the reports of his miracles were tions of Theodosius. His commissioners then proceeded carried from the neighbouring country of Galilee. His to inquire into the guilt of individuals; of those who had fame, we are informed by St. Matthew, went throughout perpetrated, and of those who had not prevented, the all Syria; and sick people, from thence, were brought to destruction of the sacred statues. Christ in order that he might heal them. Two most inte- “The tribunal of Hellebicus and Cæsarius, enconresting events connected with the early history of the passed with armed soldiers, was erected in the midst of Church of Christ occurred in Syria; Saul of Tarsus the forum. The noblest and most wealthy of the citizens “yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against of Antioch appeared before them in chains; the examithe disciples of the Lord,” was arrested by a voice from nation was assisted by the use of torture, and their Ileaven on his road to Damascus, and there commissioned sentence was pronounced, or suspended, according to the to be a preacher of Christ crucified ;-at Antioch, the judgment of these extraordinary magistrates. The houses name of Christians was first applied to the followers of of the criminals were exposed to sale, their wives and Jesus.
children were suddenly reduced from affluence and luxury to the most abject distress; and a bloody execution was expected to conclude the horrors of a dar, which the preacher of Antioch, the eloquent Chrysostom, has represented as a lively image of the last and universal judgment of the world." The Syrians hastened to make submission to Theodosius; they sent deputies to Antioch to the emperor, to beg for pardon; the city of
Seleucia petitioned in their behalf, and the senate of Roman.
Constantinople ventured to intercede for them. The Syria continued to maintain its importance under the deputies, who were accompanied by Chrysostom, obtained Roman emperors. Its noble capital attracted strangers a favourable audience of Theodosius; and in a few days from Athens, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome; the emperor granted a free and general pardon to the the temples, porticos, and stately palaces of Palmyra rose city and people of Antioch. At this period the fame of during this era of prosperity; and the numerous cities the learned and pious John Chrysostom added lustre to that flourished in various parts of the province were the the province of Syria. He was born at Antioch, and seats of politeness and learning. “A plain of ten days' was designed for the bar by his parents, who were noble journey from Damascus to Aleppo and Antioch is wa- and opulent. He studied philosophy and rhetoric in tered on the western side by the winding course of the the school of the celebrated Libanius, the sophist of
a prole dedicated to debius menit below the temples
Antioch; but, although his talents were highly appre- | were celebrated at the expense of the city, and a revenue ciated by his master, who declared that he was destined of thirty thousand pounds sterling was annually applied to be bis successor in the chair of philosophy, Chry- to the public pleasures. The perpetual resort of pilgrims sostom renounced the profession of the law, received and spectators, insensibly formed in the neighbourhood Christian baptism, and for six years withdrew to one of of the Temple, the stately and populous village of Daphne, the monastic retreats which were to be found in num- / which emulated the splendour, without acquiring the title bers among the hills of Libanus, or in the desert tracts of a provincial city. The temple and the village were of Syria. Returning from thence he was ordained a deeply bosomed in a thick grove of laurels and cypresses, presbyter; and so celebrated did he become as a preacher which reached as far as a circumference of ten miles, and at Antioch, that on the death of Nectarius, patriarch of formed, in the most sultry summers, a cool and impeneConstantinople, he was appointed as his successor. trable shade. A thousand streams of the purest water,
The faith of Christ was now pretty generally prevalent issuing from every hill, preserved the verdure of the in Syria. Constantine the Great had not only afforded earth and the temperature of the air.” (GIBBON.) Yet protection to its professors, but exerted himself to sup- the exertions of Julian could not revive the taste for press the licentiousness and immoralities of the heathen such scenes; and no sooner had the pageant ended than worship. In obedience to his orders, several of their he saw the temple in flames, which consumed the statue altars in the province were cast down. Eusebius men- of Apollo, and left the theatre of idolatry a miserable tions the demolition of a temple dedicated to the impure ruin. Julian's vain attempt to falsify the prophecies by worship of Venus, at Aphaca, in Libanus, on whose rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem, had the effect of heights, in modern times, the Druses,-a sect whose wor. confirming the fidelity of the Christians, who saw in the ship exhibits a curious mixture of the practices of frustration of the design a signal manifestation of the heathenism, Christianity, and Mahommedanism,-yet power of God, and a new proof of the divine origin of revel in similar abominations. “As some most sharp- their sacred writings. Accordingly, we find that in the sighted eagle," observes the historian of the early reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Christian population Christian Church, “which has raised herself to heaven of the Syrian capital exceeded 100,000 souls, although no on her wings, sees from above those things on the earth less than 250,000 persons had perished in the earthwhich are at the greatest distance, in the same manner quake which visited Antioch during the residence of he, whilst he was resident in the imperial palace of his the elder Justin in that city. Still it is probable that most beautiful city, beheld, as from a watch-tower, a the Christians of Syria did not, upon the whole, form certain pernicious snare of souls in the province of Phæ- more than a fourth of the aggregate population; a cirnicia. It was a grove and a temple, not situated in the cumstance which can scarcely be a matter of surprise, midst of a city, nor in the forums or streets, of which when, to the consideration of the various obstacles to sort many are visible in cities most gloriously built for the spread of the truth, is added the numberless heresies ornament sake; but this temple was out of the way, far and rancorous controversies which vexed the churches distant from the common road and beaten path, conse of Syria, in common with the other churches of Asia, crated to the filthy dæmon termed Venus, in part of the Africa, and Europe. top of Mount Libanus, which is at Aphaca. This was a school of wickedness open to all impure persons." (Life of Constantine, edit. Camb., 1683.) The Emperor Julian had in vain attempted to subvert the religion of Jesus, although his principal efforts were directed against Syria and Palestine. He exerted himself to restore heathenism in the country where Christianity originated; and, by his personal exhortations and example, endea
Gaza. Toured to induce the people to do honour to his gods.
In the year A. D. 450, Chosroes, also called Nushervan, He celebrated with great pomp the festival of Apollo, at the bir
the king of Persia, having engaged in war with the Rothe temple of Daphne, near Antioch; but, although the
man emperor Justinian, entered Syria with a powerful scene was well calculated to seduce the thoughtless mul
army. The inhabitants enervated by luxury, made but a titude, he had the mortification to find that the influence
feeble resistance: Hierapolis, Beræa or Aleppo, Apamea, of religion was superior among the great body of the
and Chalcis, purchased safety by giving ransoms of gold inhabitants to the commands of an emperor and the and silver to the invader. Chosroes laid siege to Antioch, allurements of ungodliness. “At the distance of five
which soon falling into his hand, was plundered and miles from Antioch, the Macedonian kings of Syria had
burnt; many of its inhabitants been carried captive into consecrated to Apollo one of the most elegant places of
Persia. To mark his conquest of Syria, Chosroes desdevotion in the Pagan world. A magnificent temple
cended the Orontes, and after bathing in the Mediterrarose in honour of the god of light; and his colossal
nean sea, at the mouth of the river, offered a sacrifice to figure almost filled the capacious sanctuary, which was
the sun, the divinity he worshipped, in honour of his enriched with gold and gems, and adorned by the skill
victories. By the skilful maneuvres of the Roman of the Grecian artists. The deity was represented in a
general, Belisarius, the Persians were compelled to retire bending attitude, with a golden cup in his hand, pouring
within the Euphrates; but from this period the power of out a libation on the earth, as if he supplicated the Rome in the East continued to declinc. Chosroes II., venerable mother to give to his arms the cold and beau- | A. D. 611, again over-ran Syria with a Persian army: teous Daphne; for the spot was ennobled by fiction, and ( Hierapolis, Chalcis, and Aleppo, fell in succession; Anthe fancy of the Syrian poets had transported the amorous
tioch, already weakened by the ravages of fire and earthtale from the banks of the Peneus to those of the Orontes.
quake, could offer no opposition; and the Persian The ancient rites of Greece were imitated by the royal
conqueror resolved to advance into Palestine. Six and colony of Antioch. A stream of prophecy, which ri- twenty thousand Jews enlisted in his army to aid in the valled the truth and reputation of the Delphic oracle, reduction of Jerusalem; and after some severe battles in flowed from the Castalian fountain of Daphne. In the Galilee, and the region beyond Jordan, the holy city adjacent fields a stadium was built by a special privilege, itself was taken by assault. The Christian shrines and which had been purchased from Elis; the Olymn
purchased from Elis; the Olympic games | temples were plundered and burnt; ninety thousand