תמונות בעמוד

crucifix in procession, obliging the devotees who assist to salute it. This act of devotion has been embraced even by the Pagans. There are also crosses erected not only in their streets and high roads, but in the most solitary places. They are erected on a pedestal, in which there is a bole or cavity, large enough to contain a burning lamp ; and the Indians frequently contribute towards the oil that is spent to support these lamps.

The use of bells is prohibited amongst those Chaldeans who live under the authority and jurisdiction of the Indians ; because the sound of those instruments, in their opinion, is offensive and incommodious to their idols: the ancient Pagans were no strangers to this idle notion.

It is a common practice among the Indian Christians, out of devotion, to lie all night in their churches ; and the same custom was frequently observed by the ancient idolaters. The posture of these Indians, when they say their prayers, is prostration with their faces to the ground.

A description of their dances may be properly enough introduced in this place. The men dance by themselves, and the maidens and married women also by themselves, with all imaginable modesty and decorum. Before they begin, they not only make the sign of the cross, but sing the Lord's Prayer, with a hymn in commemoration of St. Thomas. The Indians, likewise, amongst whom these Christians live, make dancing a part of their divine worship ; and it is well known that it was a principal ornament, and an essential act of devotion, at the festivals of the ancient Pagans. With regard to their songs, the subject of them is always either the virtues of their saints, or the heroic actions of their ancestors.

Sec. 4.- Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Jacobites. Were we to include under the denomination of Jacobites all the MoNOPHYSITES of the Levant,—that is, 'all those who are charged with the

beresy of acknowledging but one nature in JESUS CHRIST,-it must be acknowledged that their sect would be very extensive;

for then we must reckon the Armenians, Cophti, and the Abyssinians, amongst the number. But there are very few who can strictly and justly be termed Jacobites, and they, for the most part, reside in Syria and Mesopotamia. There are not above 40 or 45,000 families of their persuasion ; and even they themselves are divided in point of principle; some of them being reconciled to the Church of Rome, and others continuing in a state of separation. The latter have two patriarchs, who generally act in direct opposition to each other : one of them resides at Caremit, and the other at Derzapharam ; independently of whom, there is another patriarch attached to the Church of Rome, who resides at Aleppo, and is dependant on, and absolutely under the jurisdiction of the court of Rome. As to the articles of their belief, the Monophysites, in general, (whether

Armenians, Cophti, or Abyssinians,) maintain the doctrine of Doctrines.

Dioscorus, with respect to the unity of the nature and person of Jesus Christ, and to that degree of exactness, that, in order the more clearly to express their belief, they make the sign of the cross, according to Brerewood, with one finger only, whereas the other Easterns make use of two : for this reason, they are looked upon and treated as heretics, though in reality there is no other difference but in point of terms between them and the divines of the Latin Church. This is readily acknowledged

General account.


by the most learned men amongst them at this very day; and is evident from the conferences which Father Christopher Roderic, the pope's legate in Egypt, had with the Cophti, on the subject of reconciliation between the two churches. They ingenuously confessed, that the only reason of their making use of such terms, was purely to testify their abhorrence and detestation of the Nestorians; for that, in reality, they were of the same opinion with the Latin Church, and freely owned the two natures of JESUS CARIST. They further insisted that the mystery of the Incarnation was more clearly explained by their asserting the unity of Christ's nature ; because there is but one Jesus Christ, who is both God and man. the contrary, the Latins speak of these two natures as if they were severed from one another, and did not constitute one real whole.

It is in this sense, likewise, that Dioscorus, who softened some of the harsh terms which were made use of by Eutyches, declared his opinion that Jesus Christ was a compound of two natures ; although he was not in himself two distinct natures, “which," says Father Simon, “appears an orthodox notion :” for they will not acknowledge that there were two distinct natures in JESUS CHRist, for fear of establishing two CHRISTS. The whole of this mighty disagreement arises, however, from the different construction which each party puts on those two terms, nature and person. To which may be added, the ambition of not swerving in the least from a position once laid down, and which was the principal reason why Eutyches maintained his opinion with so much obstinacy: from which it appears, that the terms he uses ought not to be understood in their most strict and rigorous sense, but be construed and restrained to that idea which he entertained of admitting but one CARIST, and consequently but one nature, after the union of the two natures, the divine and human, in such a manner as is incomprehensible to our weak understandings.

In regard to all other points, relating either to the faith or ceremonies of the Jacobites, the accounts which Brerewood has given us of them are Cereinonies.

not always strictly just. For instance, they neither deny a

state of purgatory, nor reject prayers for the dead, as he peremptorily asserts upon the authority of Thomas the Jesuit ; but their notions in those particulars are the same as those of the Greeks and other oriental nations. Neither is it true that they consecrate the sacrament with unleavened bread; the Armenians, and, according to Alvares, the Ethiopians, only excepted; for the true Jacobites, of whom we are speaking, make use of leavened bread. Gregory XIII. who purposed to found a college at Rome for the Jacobites, there being one antecedently erected for the encouragement of the Maronites, would no doubt have indulged them, as well as the Greeks, with the administration of the sacrament with leavened bread; but in regard to confession, the assertion that it is not practised amongst them, is likewise a gross mistake; for as it is not looked upon by them as of divine institution, it is consequently very much neglected. Brerewood says that they confess their sins to God alone, and not to a priest, except upon some extraordinary occasion. His assertion, however, about circumcision, must be false, unless he means to refer to a few amongst the Cophti and the Abyssinians; and even they look on it rather as an ancient custom than a religious ceremony.

A great distinction ought, however, to be made between the Jacobites,

when the Cophti, Abyssinians, and Armenians are included under that denomination, and those who are strictly and properly so called ; for though they are all followers of that St. James, from whom they derive their title, yet they do not all observe the same ceremonies. James was the disciple of Severus, patriarch of Antioch, in the sixth century. He is revered as a saint by the Jacobites, as well as Dioscorus, who was his contemporary. Abrahamus Ecchellensis insists that the Jacobites, as well as the Latins, acknowledge that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son ; but Father Simon says that “he is very much mistaken in this particular, as well as in several others relating to the customs and tenets of the Eastern Christians.”

Before baptism the Jacobites imprint the sign of the cross, not only on the arm, but on the face of the infant to be baptized. It is likewise a received notion amongst them, that the souls of the righteous reside on earth till the day of judgment, waiting for the second coming of Jesus CHRIST ; also, that the angels consist of two substances, fire and light.

The Jacobites, who are scattered throughout Syria and the parts adjacent, are computed to amount to more than fifty thousand families. There is a --> quotation in Brerewood, in which the number was then said to be advanced to a hundred and sixty thousand.

Sec. 5.- Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Copts. The Copts, according to Scaliger and Father Simon, derive their name from Coptos, once a celebrated town of Egypt, and the metropolis of

Thebaid ; but Volney and others are of opinion, that the name
Copts is only an abbreviation of the Greek word Aigouptios,

an Egyptian. The Copts have a patriarch, whose jurisdiction extends over both Egypts, Nubia, and Abyssinia, who resides at Cairo, but who takes his title from Alexandria. He has under him eleven or twelve bishops, besides the abuna, or bishop of the Abyssinians, whoin he appoints and consecrates. The rest of the clergy, whether secular or regular, are composed of the orders of St. Anthony, St. Paul, and St. Macarins, who have each their monasteries. Their arch-priests are next in degree to bishops, and their deacons are said to be numerous ; and they often confer the order of deacon even on children. Next to the patriarch is the bishop or titular patriarch of Jerusalem, who also resides at Cairo, because there are only few Copts at Jerusalem : he is, in reality, little more than bishop of Cairo, except that he goes to Jerusalem every Easter, and visits some other places in Palestine, within his own jurisdiction. To him belongs the government of the Coptic church, during the vacancy of the patriarchal see. The ecclesiastics are said to be in general of the lowest rank of the people ; and hence that great degree of ignorance which prevails among them.

They have seven sacraments ; baptism, the eucharist, confirmation, ordination, faith, fasting, and prayer. They admit only three æcumenical

councils; those of Nice, Constantinople, and Ephesus. They Rites and Ceremonies.

observe four Lents, as do the Greeks and most Eastern

Christians ; but it is said by Brerewood and Ross, that they do not keep the Lord's-day. There are three Coptic liturgies; one attributed to St. Basil, another to St. Gregory, and the third to St. Cyril.

General account.

These are translated into Arabic for the use of the clergy and the people. The Copts are fond of rites and ceremonies. During the time of service, they are always in motion. In particular, the officiating priest is in continual motion, incensing the saints, pictures, books, &c. every moment. They have many monasteries, in which the monks bury themselves from society in remote solitudes. Their nunneries are properly hospitals; and few enter them, except widows reduced to beggary. During the first three ages of the church, no country exhibited more sincere or greater Christian piety than Egypt, and the north of Africa in general. At present, however, little more than the mere shadow of Christianity can be seen in Egypt; and in point of numbers, not more than fifty thousand Christians in all can be found in this country. There are not more than three Christian churches at Cairo.

In respect to this people, we shall only add a brief account of their nuptial ceremonies, which, however, do not essentially differ from those

practised by the Greeks. After midnight service, or, as the Nuptial Ceremonies.

Romans would express it, after matins, the bridegroom in

the first place, and then the bride, were conducted from their own apartments to church, accompanied by a long train of attendants with wax-tapers, and other lights. During the procession several hymns were sung in the Coptic language, and the performers beat time, or accompanied the vocal with instrumental music, by striking little wooden hammers

upon small ebony rulers. The bridegroom was conducted into the inner choir of the church, and the bride to the place appointed for the women. Then the priests and the people began several prayers, interspersed with hymns, within the choir. This ceremony was very long. At the conclusion, the priest who solemnized the nuptials went up to the bridegroom, and read three or four prayers, making the sign of the cross both at the beginning and at the conclusion of each prayer. After that, he made him sit down upon the ground, with his face towards the HEIKEL. The priest who stood behind him held a silver cross over his head, and in that posture continued praying.

Whilst this ceremony was performing in the inner choir, the sacristan had placed a form or bench at the door of the outer choir, for the bride to sit on with one of her relations. The priest having finished in the inner choir what the Copts call the Prayer of the Conjugal Knot, the other priest, who solemnized the nuptials, dressed the bridegroom in an alb, tied it with a surcingle about his waist, and threw a white napkin over his head. The bridegroom thus equipped was conducted to his spouse. The priest then made him sit down by her side, and laid the napkin, which before covered the bridegroom's head, over them both. After this, he anointed each of them on the forehead, and above the wrist. To conclude the ceremony,

he read over to them, after their hands were joined, an exhortation, which principally turned on the duties incumbent on all those who enter into the holy state of matrimony. Then followed sundry prayers; and after them the mass, at which the bridegroom and the bride received the blessed sacrament, and then departed.

Sec. 6.—Doctrines and Customs of the Abyssinians or Ethiopians. Having treated of the religion of the Copts, and as there is little or no General difference between them and the Abyssinians in point of prinaccount. ciple, we shall say but little on that topic.

The country known to the ancients by the name of Ethiopia, is now called Abyssinia, and the natives thereof are distinguished by the name of Abyssinians. They are subservient only to the power and authority of one bishop, who is the metropolitan, or archbishop of all Ethiopia, and is dignified and distinguished by the title of Abuna, that is to say, Our Father. This bishop is sent by the Patriarch of Alexandria to preside over them, and his place of residence is at Cairo; so that they resemble the Copts in all their ecclesiastical concerns, except in some few ceremonies which are peculiar to themselves. They have likewise a language of their own, which they call the Chaldaic, because they are of opinion that it was originally spoken in Chaldea, though very different from the vulgar Chaldaic. For this reason, it is likewise called the Ethiopic tongue, and they always make use of it in their liturgies, and other religious offices. Such as are versed in the Hebrew language may easily attain a competent knowledge of the Ethiopic, because there are many words which are the same in both languages : they have characters, however, peculiar to themselves; and in the Hebrew language the points which supply the place of vowels are never joined to the consonants; whilst on the other hand, in the Ethiopic language, there is no consonant, but what at the same time includes its own vowel.

The Abyssinians are dependant on the Patriarch of Alexandria, who makes choice of, constitutes, and appoints that person to be Metropolitan

of Abyssinia whom he thinks most able to fill the office; Abyssinia.

which ability is generally estimated according to the extent

of the douceur which he is enabled to give. It is for this reason, that the Abyssinian priests mention in their prayers the Patriarch of Alexandria before their own metropolitan ; who, after his election, is always accountable to that patriarch for his conduct, and the due administration of his office. This metropolitan must not be a native of Abyssinia, neither has he power to constitute or establish any other metropolitans; so that, although he has the honour to be called their patriarch, he has neither the authority nor the power belonging to that august character. He alone, however, issues out dispensations, and is possessed of very considerable revenues, which pay very little, if any, duty or contribution to the government.

There are both canons, or prebendaries, and monks, in Abyssinia ; and amongst the latter there are two sorts of hermits. The canons are allowed

to marry, and their canonships frequently descend to their Orders of Clergy.

children : this custom is the more remarkable, for there is no

other religion, except that of the Jews, which can produce any instances of hereditary succession to any ecclesiastical dignities. The komos, or hegumene, is reputed the first dignitary, or principal person in the order of priesthood, after the archbishops and bishops, both by the Copts and the Abyssinians. Their monks never marry. Of these there are two kinds; one, that have a General, and form a regular body; the

Patriarch of

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