ners, not practising the gross vices and cruelties of the Pagans, yet God was far from their thoughts, and they lived altogether in pleasure and self-indulgence; neither was there any divine worship in their families, nor did they read the book of God. There was indeed a place of public worship in the street; but it was seldom visited by any of them, and by the major part

Nay, it was deemed a thing unpolite among them to talk of heaven, of hell, or of death; and he that spake of the cross was despised in that street. Nevertheless, the pilgrim Nazareenee was, as I said before, much caressed and praised among these people, because he had manfully opposed the idolaters; for these Feringhees hate idolatry. They therefore lodged him in their houses, they pampered his body, and gave him rich presents." When behold, he that had stood his ground so well in adversity, being tried by prosperity was unable to maintain his standing; but becoming self-satisfied and self-exalted, was inclined to take

among the Feringhees. Now I saw, in my dream, that after the pilgrim had remained awhile with the Feringhees, that his leprosy, even the leprosy of his sin and his inbred corruption, broke out upon him worse than before; till at length it became more tormenting to him than ever, in that he was more than formerly sensible of the vileness of its nature. Becoming at last ashamed to be seen in the street (for he fancied there were none of the Feringhees about him who were rendered so unsightly by the complaint as himself) he applied to a hukeem, whose name was Politeness, who gave him an ointment to rub upon his face and hands; which, on being applied, drove in the evil humour, cleansing his skin, but making him sick at heart; insomuch as to render him incapable of all enjoyment. In this condition he remembered the former days of his pilgrimage, when he had peace with God, through the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover he called to mind the healing leaves which the shepherd-boy had administered to him, whose effects were so different from those of the hukeem's baneful ointment. And on the recollection of these things he exclaimed, “ Lord, thou hast bid thy healing art from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed it to babes." Here he lamented himself bitterly, not knowing what to do; when one came behind him, and, touching him on the shoulder, said, “ Arise, and depart ; for this is not thy rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy thee, even with a sore destruction." (Micah ii. 10.)

up his rest

At these words the pilgrim arose in haste, and departed; leaving all things behind him but his pilgrim's garment, his book, and his golden lota: and thus with his trusty staff in his hand he directed his steps to that part of the city which led to Mount Zion.

[ocr errors]


Shewing what happened to the Pilgrim when he

left the City of Vanity.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." --2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.

Now I saw, in my dream, that when the pilgrim had left the habitations of the Feringhees, and was making his way to the gate that opened towards Mount Zion, he came to a place where a number of persons were holding a festival to the goddess Luckshmee, who presides over wealth. The night was dark, for it was the last of the decrease of the moon in the month Kartiku; but many lamps were burning before the image of the goddess, who was represented in yellow garments, and sitting on the lotus. These lamps cast a dismal and lurid glare on the surrounding hults; and the air rang with the filthy songs of the idolaters and the horrid din of Hindoo music.

Now the pilgrim endeavoured to make his way through the crowd; but being perceived by a company of shroffs, worshippers of the idol, who were sitting in their shop, they requested him to come in; for having seen him in the houses of


the Feringhees, and among the chief of those persons, they imagined that they might render his credit useful to themselves in their business, if be that they could win his favour. But the pilgrim excused himself, saying, “My brethren, I was once such as you are. At that time, I was an assiduous observer of all the ceremonies of your religion: my adorations were more especially paid to her whose image I now behold; I celebrated the worship of Luckshmee four several times in the year. Being a rich man, it was said of me by the superstitious, “ Luckshmee is gone to abide in his house.” But I have long renounced this and every kind of idolatry, being convinced that these idols which our fathers worshipped are not the true Gods. Our God is in the heavens, the true and only God; but these idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not; they have hands, but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither speak they through their throat.” (Psalm cxv.

“ You have been living with the Feringhees, my friend,” replied one of the shroffs; “and we know that they despise our religion, and teach others to do the same: we will therefore wave this subject, and if you will enter into our house, we will there converse on other matters which more immediately concern us.”

I saw then, that they pointed to certain heaps of silver money, which were placed on low tables before them, as they sat upon the ground on the floor of their shops; and they promised to reward the pilgrim handsomely, if he would give them his interest with the wealthy Feringhees in those parts.

In answer to this, the pilgrim, lifting up his


heart to God, and receiving an immediate supply of strength from on high to resist the temptation, replied, “I was once a rich man, as I before mentioned, and enjoyed all the pleasures which riches could supply: but, finding that none of these things administered true comfort to my mind, nor could delay the approach of death, or remove the certainty of judgment, I cast them all away. And now I am going in quest of the true riches, which can only be procured through faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God, who being one with God, and equal with the Father, was given for the sins of the whole world. Seeing then that I have been happily delivered from the bondage of these things; shall I seek them again? Is it not written, He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house: but he that hateth gifts shall live ?" (Prov. xv. 27.) So saying, the pilgrim made his way through the crowd, and escaped towards that gate of the city, by which he purposed to take his departure. And behold, the morning rose upon him as he entered the suburbs of the city: but there was no place of refreshment fit for a pilgrim in all those parts; for the suburbs were little less noisy than the town itself. Moreover, the drains and gutters which flowed from the city, forming black and standing pools without the walls, filled the air with noisome smells.

The pilgrim therefore hastened forward till, towards evening, he came out upon a plain dry and barren; on which, a little out of the King's highway, was a dirgah, where were gathered together a small number of learned Mussulmauns, composed of certain aged men, whose business it was to wait at the tomb of one whom they called a saint, attended by a few of their young disciples.

Now the pilgrim Nazareenee saw the tomb from far, having three domes, with minarets at the four corners of the building, and in front a

« ForrigeFortsett »