rotaries. Of these votaries, the most numerous and respectable portion were strangers to Jerusalem: the pilgrimages to the Holy Land had been stimulated, rather than suppressed, by the conquest of the Arabs; and the enthusiasm which had always prompted these perilous journeys, was nourished by the congenial passions of grief and indignation. A crowd of pilgrims from the East and West continued to visit the holy sepulchre, and the adjacent sanctuaries, more especially at the festival of Easter; and the Greeks and Latins, the Nestorians and Jacobites, the Copts and Abyssinians, the Armenians and Georgians, maintained the chapels, the clergy, and the poor of their respective communions. The harmony of prayer in so many various tongues, the worship of so many nations in the common temple of their religion, might have afforded a spectacle of edification and peace; but the zeal of the Christian sects was imbittered by hatred and revenge; and in the kingdom of a suffering Messiah, who had pardoned his enemies, they aspired to command and persecute their spiritual brethren. The preeminence was asserted by the spirit and numbers of the Franks; and the greatness of Charlemagne60 protected both the Latin pilgrims and the Catholics of the East. The poverty of Carthage, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, was relieved by the alms of that pious emperor; and many monasteries of Palestine were founded or restored by his liberal devotion. Harun Alrashid, the greatest of the Abbassides, esteemed in his Christian brother a similar supremacy of genius and power: their friendship was cemented by a frequent intercourse of gifts and embassies; and the caliph, without resigning the substantial dominion, presented the emperor with the keys of the holy sepulchre, and perhaps of the city of Jerusalem. In the decline of the Carlovingian monarchy, the republic of Amalphi promoted the interest of trade and religion in the East. Her vessels transported the Latin pilgrims to the coasts of Egypt and Palestine, and deserved, by their useful imports, the favor and alliance of the Fatimite caliphs:"

•• For the transactions of Charlemagne with the Holy Land, see Eginhard, (de Vita Caroli Magni, c. 16, p. 79—82,) Constantine Porphyrogenitus, (de Adininistratione Imperii, 1. ii. c. 26, p. 80,) and Pagi, ^Critica, torn. iii. A. D. 800, No. 13, 14, 15.)

"l The caliph granted his privileges, Amalphitanis viria amicia e* milium introdtictoribus, (Gesta Dei, p. 934.) The trade of Venice to Egypt and Palestine cannot produce so old a title, unlean we adopv an annual fair was instituted on Mount Calvary: and th« Italian merchants founded the convent and hospital of St John of Jerusalem, the cradle of the monastic and military order, which has since reigned in the isles of and of Malta. Had the Christian pilgrims been content \o •evere the tomb of a prophet, the disciples of Mahomet, nstead of blaming, would have imitated, their piety: but ihese rigid Unitarians were scandalized by a worship which 'epresents the birth, death, and resurrection, of a God; tli« Jatholic images were branded with the name of idols; and the Moslems smiled with indignationM at the miraculous flame which was kindled on the eve of Easter in the holy sepulchre.83 This pious fraud, first devised in the ninth century,*4 was devoutly cherished by the Latin crusaders, and is annually repeated by the clergy of the Greek, Armenian, and Coptic sects,86 who impose on the credulous spectators" for their own benefit, and that of their tyrants. In every age, a principle of toleration has been fortified by a sense of interest: and the revenue of the prince and his emir was increased each year, by the expense and tribute of so many thousand strangers.

The revolution which transferred the sceptre from the Abbassides to the Fatimites was a benefit, rather than an injury, to the Holy Land. A sovereign resident in Egypt was

the laughable translation of a Frenchman, who mistook the two factions of the circus (Veneti et Prasini) for the Venetians and Parisians.

82 An Arabic chronicle of Jerusalem (apud Asseman. Bibliot. Orient, torn. i. p. 268, torn. iv. p. 368) attests the unbelief of the caliph and the historian; yet Cantacuzene presumes to appeal to the Mahometans themselves for the truth of this perpetual miracle.

88 In his Dissertations on Ecclesiastical History, the learned Mosheim has separately discussed this pretended miracle, (torn, ii p. 214—306,) de lumine sancti sepulchri.

64 William of Malmsbury (1. iv. c. 2, p. 209) quotes the Itinerary of the monk Bernard, an eye-witness, who visited Jerusalem A. D. 810 The miracle is confirmed by another pilgrim some years older; and Mosheim ascribes the invention to the Franks, soon after the decease of Charlemagne.

86 Oir travellers, Sindys, (p. 134,) Thevenot, (p. 621—627,) Maim ;lrell, (p. 94. 95,) Ac, describes this extravagant farce. The Catholici ire puzzled to decide when the miracle ended and the trick began.

68 The Orientals themselves confess the fraud, and plead neccst tj uid edification, (Memoirea du Chevalier D'Arvieux, torn. ii. p. 140 Joseph Abudacni, Hist. Copt. c. 20;) but I will not attempt, with Mosheim. to explain the mode. Our travellers ^iuve failed with tin hlood of St Januarius at Naples

(more sensible of the importance of Christian trade; and the emirs of Palestine were less remote from the justice and power of the throne. But the third of these Fatimite caliphs was the famous Hakem,67 a frantic youth, who was delivered by his impiety and despotism from the fear either of Goo or man; and whose reign was a wild mixture of vice and folly. Regardless of the most ancient customs of Egypt, he imposed on the women an absolute confinement; the restraint incited the clamors of both sexes; their clamors provoked ois fury; a part of-Old Cairo was delivered to the flames t and the guards and citizens were engaged many days in a bloody conflict. At first the caliph declared himself a zealous Mussulman, the founder or benefactor of mosebs and colleges: twelve hundred and ninety copies of the Koran were transcribed at his expense in letters of gold; and his edict extirpated the vineyards of the Upper Egypt. But his vanity was soon flattered by the hope of introducing a new religion; he aspired above the fame of a prophet, and styled himself the visible image of he Most High God, who, after nine apparitions on earth, was at length manifest in his royal person. At the name of Hakem, the lord of the living and the dead, every knee was bent in religious adoration: his mysteries were performed on a mountain near Cairo: sixteen thousand converts had signed his profession of faith; and at the present hour, a free and warlike people, the Druses of Mount Libanus, are persuaded of the life and divinity of a madman and tyrant."8 In his divine character, Hakem hated

61 See D'Herbelot, (Bibliot. Oientale, p. 411,) Renaudot, (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 390, 397, 400, 401,) Elmacin, (Hist. Saracen, p 821—323,) and Marei, (p. 384—386,) an historian of Egypt, translated by Reiske from Arabic into German, and verbally interpreted to me by a friend.

68 The religion of the Druses is concealed by their ignorance and hypocrisy. Their secret doctrines are confined to the elect who profess a contemplative life; and the vulgar Druses, the most indifferent of men, occasionally conform to the worship of the Mahometans and Christians of their neighborhood. The little that is, or deserves to be, known, may be seen in the industrious Niebuhr, (Voyages, torn ii. p. 354—357,) and the second volume of the recent and instructive Travels of M. de Volney.*

* The religioi of the Druses has, within the present year, been full)

developed from their own writings, which have. Ions lain neglertcd in iii*

libraries of Paris and Oxford, in ihe " Expose de la Religion des Druses 'ty

U Rilvestre de Sacy." Deux tomes, Paris, 1838. The learned antno*

VOL. V. —18

the Jews and Christians, as the servants of his rirals; while some remains of prejudice or prudence still pleaded in favor of the law of Mahomet. Both in Egypt and Palestine, his cruel and wanton persecution made some martyrs and many apostles: the common rights and special privileges of the sectaries were equally disregarded; and a general interdict was laid on the devotion of strangers and natives. The temple of the Christian world, the church of the Resurrection, was demolished to its foundations; the luminous prodigy of

has prefixed a life of Hakem Biamr-Allah, which enables us to correct several errors in the account of Gibbon. These errors chiefly arose from his want of knowledge or of attention to the chronology of Hakem's lite. Hakem succeeded to the throne of Egypt in the year of the Hegira 386 He did not assume his divinity till 4i<8. His life was indeed "a wild mixture of vice and folly," to which may be added, of the most sanguinary cruelty. During his reign, 18,000 persons were victims of his ferocity. Yet such is the god, observes M. de Sacy, whom the Druses have worshipped for 800 years! (See p. ccccxxix.j All his wildest and most extravagant actions were interpreted by his followers as having a mystic and allegoric meaning, alluding to the destruction of other religions and the propagation of his own. It does not seem to have been the "vanity" of Hakem which induced him to introduce a new religion. The curious point in the new faith is that Hamza, the son of Ali, the real founder of the Unitarian religion, (such is its boastful title.) was content to take a sec ondary part. While Hakem was God, the one Supreme, the Imam Hamza was his Intelligence. It was not in his "divine character" that Hakem "hated the Jews and Christians," but in that of a Mahometan bigot, which he displayed in the earlier years of his reign. His barbarous persecution, and the burning of the church of the Resurrection at Jerusalem, belong entirely to that period; and his assumption of divinity was followed by an edict of toleration to Jews and Christians. The Mahometans, whose religion he then treated with hostility and contempt, being far the most numerous, were his most dangerous enemies, and therefore the objects of his most inveterate hatred. It is another singular fact, that the religion of Hakem was by no means confined to Egypt and Syria. M. de Sacy quotes a letter addressed to the chief of the sect in India; and there is likewise a letter to the Byzantine emperor Constantine. son of Arniarcous, (Romanus,) and the clergy of the empire. (Constantine VIII., M. d Sacy supposes, but this is irreconcilable with chronology; it must mean Constantine XI., Monomaohus.) The assassination of Hakem is, of course, disbelieved by his sectaries. M. de Sacy seems to consider the fad obscure and doubtful. According to his followers he disappeared, but is hereafter to return. At his return the resurrection is to take place; tin triumph of Unitarianism, and the final discomfiture of all other religions The temple of Mecca is especially devoted to destruction. It is remarkable that one of the signs of this final consummation, and of the reappearance of Hakem, is that Christianity shall be gaining a manifest predominance over Mahometanism.

As for the religion of the Druses. I cannot agree with Gibbon that H does not ''deserve" to be better known; and am Sai y notwithstanding the prolixity and occasional repetition in his two larg* volumes, for the full examination of the most extraordinary religion aberration which ever extensively affected the mind of man. The worib'f of a mail tyrant is the basis of a su Jtle metaphysical creed, au<l of t •eTere. and even ascetic, morality.—M

Easter interrupted, and much profane labor was exhaust ed to destroy the cave in the rock which properly constitutes 'ho holy sepulchre. At the report of this sacrilege, the nations of Europe were astonished and afflicted: but instead of arming in the defence of the Holy Land, they contented themselves with burning, or banishing, the Jews, as the secret advisers of the impious Barbarian." Yet the calamities of Jerusalem were in some measure alleviated by the incon stancy or repentance of Hakem himself; and the royal man date was sealed for the restitution of the churches, when the tyrant was assassinated by the emissaries of his sister. The succeeding caliphs resumed the maxims of religion and policy: a free toleration was again granted; with the pious aid of the emperor of Constantinople, the holy sepulchre arose from its ruins; and, after a short abstinence, the pilgrims returned with an increase of appetite to the spiritual feast.7' In the sea-voyage of Palestine, the dangers were frequent, and the opportunities rare: but the conversion of Hungary opened a safe communication between Germany and Greece. The charity of St. Stephen, the apostle of his kingdom, relieved and conducted his itinerant brethren;T1 and from Belgrade to Antioch, they traversed fifteen hundred miles of a Christian empire. Among the Franks, the zeal of pilgrimage prevailed beyond the example of former times: and the roads were covered with multitudes of either sex, and of every rank, who professed their contempt of life, so soon a& they should have kissed the tomb of their Redeemer. Princes and prelates abandoned the care of their dominions; and the numbers of these pious caravans were a prelude to the armies

88 See Glaber, 1. iii. c. 7, and the Annals of Baronius and Pagi, A D. 1009.

70 Per idem tempus ex universo orbe tain innumerabilis multitude :,c&pit confluere ad sepulchnini Salvat.oris Hierosolymis, quantum nullus hominum prius sperare poterat, Ordo inferioris plebis . ...

mediocres reges et comites pnesules muli

eres multae nobilis cum pauperioribus Pluribus enim erat

mentis desiderium mori priusquam ad propria reverterentur, (Glaber, 1. iv. c. 6, Bouquet. Historians of France, torn. x. p. 50.)*

11 Glaber, 1. iii. c 1. Katona (Hist. Critic. Regum Hungarie, torn u p. 804—oil) exanuiies whether St. Stephen founded a monastery at Jerusalem.

* Compare the first chap, of Wilken, Geschichte der Kreax-a'ige.—M

« ForrigeFortsett »