bracelets, ear-rings, and nose-jewels, mincing as they walked, their bangles tinkling on their ancles, affectedly drawing their veils over faces which never knew shame—bulls, consecrated to the idols of the city, with burnished horns, and crowned with garlands of white jessamine. These, with many miserable cripples and outcasts, so completely filled the streets, that the pilgrims passed along them with difficulty: while the noise of many voices, the bells and horns of the idol temples, the cries of the priests from the minarets, (for the pilgrims were now got under the great mosque, and could see the domes of the pagoda just above the houses on the opposite side,) the tum-tums, shells, and cymbals; the whining cries of the beggars; the loud altercations between the buyer and seller; with the noise of the children who were gathered in groups round the pilgrims, becoming every minute more and more loud and bold in their mockery of them; these formed altogether, so disorderly and discordant a sound, that the pilgrims were almost confounded. They endeavoured however to press forward, the mob gathering after them as they went, men and even women having now joined the children in their gibes and scoffings: but still the mingled multitude refrained from violence, suffering the pilgrims to proceed, till they came opposite the great pagoda. Here I saw that a company of Bramhuns, having been warned of the approach of the pilgrims, came out from the court of the pagoda, (led by him who had formerly been the teacher of Nazareenee,) and called upon the mob, in the name of their idols, to seize the Christians, and deliver them up to the punishment of their apostacy: “For they," said the Bramhuns, “ have forsaken the gods of our fathers, and the Hindoo faith, and have joined themselves to the Christian prophet.” Then they cursed the pilgrims and their God in the name of

their debtas; and horrible were the blasphemies which proceeded from their lips. On hearing the voices of the Bramhuns, the mob now became possessed with a cruel and furious zeal; when suddenly seizing the pilgrims, and dragging them along the pavement, they drew them before the great gates of the pagoda. There, bringing them before a monstrous figure of him who had been the guardian deity of Nazareenee, painted on the wall, the Bramhun, his former teacher, directed them to cast their pilgrims' garments and sacred book at the feet of this figure; commanding them at the same time to deny Christ in the face of all the assembly, under pain of imprisonment, torments, and death.

Then answered the old pilgrim, meekly, “ How can we deny the Saviour who died for us upon the cross? God forbid that we should do any such thing.” With that the Bramhuns and the mob becoming more and more enraged, they dragged the pilgrims into a spacious area, at the back of the pagoda. There they publicly scourged them: after which they cast them, more dead than alive, into a horrible dungeon, where they left them for a season.

Now the pilgrims lay upon the damp ground at the bottom of the dungeon a long while, their bodies being exhausted with the pain of the scourging. But after a time the old man said to Nazareenee, “Is it not written, my brother, Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matt. v. 11, 12.)

The pilgrims then began to pray; and they continued earnestly calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ till evening. Now this was a solemn festival night among the Hindoos: and behold, at sun-set they illuminated the great pagoda and all the buildings thereof with lamps; sprinkling holy water and sacred flowers upon the pavement of the temple, and decorating their idols with garlands. At an early hour of the evening the people assembled with all manner of musical instruments in the courts of the temple; where they filled the air with the harsh blasts of their horns, the shrill tones of their violins and dulcimers, and the discordant clinking of their shells and cymbals, still beating time with their tum-tums to the idolatrous dance; while the mob, intoxicated with bang, repeated the ten thousand names of their gods, or danced before their idols. In the midst of this tumultuous scene, the Bramhuns gave orders that the pilgrims should be brought before the people, and placed upon a scaffold in the midst of the area; when having enjoined silence to the assembly, the chief Bramhun examined the pilgrims.

And first the old man was questioned. “ Wilt thou,” said the chief Bramhun, “ deny Christ ?"

To this the old man meekly replied, as he had done before, “How can I deny him who died for me?" Whereupon the Bramhuns, being enraged, called immediately for the tormentors; while the pilgrim Nazareenee, who stood by trembling from head to foot, continued stedfastly to entreat the Lord for his brother. So the tormentors came, and while they exercised the pilgrim with various cruel tortures, such as I forbear to relate, the idolatrous crowd shouted with triumph, blowing their horns and shells, beating their tum-tums, and clinking their cymbals, singing and calling upon their gods. And behold, in the midst of this infernal clamour and diabolical triumph, a light appeared in the heaven above, amid the darkness of a starless night; from which an angelic figure descending approached the scaffold on which the

pilgrims stood. Now this angelic visitant was visible only to the pilgrims, and but indistinctly so to them, through the dazzling brightness of his appearance. And drawing near to the pilgrim Bartholomew, he supported his drooping head upon his bosom, wiping away the sweat, which, from the excess of his torment, poured in large drops down his face.

Three several times the chief Bramhun caused the tormentors to cease, and the assembly to be silent, while he questioned the martyr if he would yet deny Christ? But the pilgrim, each time, answered more and more boldly, that he would never deny his dying Lord. At this the idolaters becoming more and more enraged, one ran upon him, and thrust him through with a sword; thus putting a hasty period to the sufferings of the pilgrim, who died calling on the name of his Redeemer. And at the moment of his death the heavens opened, while the angelic messenger bare the spirit of the martyr triumphantly away to the regions of the blessed.

Now while Nazareenee still looked up, glorifying God, and rejoicing in the triumphant death of his companion, the enraged idolaters seized upon him, and dragging him forward, put the same question to him as they had but now done to his brother. To which likewise he made answer, as his brother had done, “How shall I deny that blessed Saviour, who died for me upon the cross?" Upon this the Bramhuns gave command that he should be tortured ;-when, suddenly, an uncommon noise was heard from without, and behold, a troop of Feringhee soldiers on horseback, bearing the banner of the cross, came rushing into the court of the pagoda, bidding the idolaters instantly to desist from their persecution. On enquiring whence these warriors came, I found that a street, not far distant from the court of the great pagoda, where the pilgrims were persecuted, was possessed by certain Feringhees who professed the Christian faith. The chief person among these, having been told what the idolaters were doing, sent a company of soldiers to compel them to desist from their purpose. And happily they arrived in time to rescue Nazareenee; for at the sight of the Christian horsemen, the people fled, leaving Nazareenee bound upon the scaffold, near the body of his dead companion. So they unbound the living pilgrim, and setting him on a horse, led him away to their own street; carrying off at the same time the body of the martyr, which they caused to be decently buried.

I saw then, in my dream, that the company of horsemen led away Nazareenee to their chief captain, by whom he was kindly received and entertained. Now the street in which these Feringhees dwelt, was orderly, quiet, and beautiful, the houses resembling palaces, each standing in a fair garden. And the pilgrim, as I before said, was kindly entertained by the Feringhees. Moreover the interesting relation of his and his brother's manful stand, which they had made against the idolaters, was told from one to another, in all their assemblies. Whereupon in every company the people praised the pilgrim, and caressed him, till he began to be pleased with himself, and to love the praise of men more than the praise of God: (John xii. 43.) forgetting that he was a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. (Heb. xi. 13.) And behold, being in great earthly prosperity, his care for divine things seemed to pass away from him; neither did he see or hear any thing in the place where he then sojourned, which was likely to remind him of his eternal interests: for although the Feringhees, in whose habitations he now dwelt, were called Christians, and had from habit and education gentle and courteous man

« ForrigeFortsett »