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author of all evil; that they by a mixture of light and darkness made all things; and are in a perpetual struggle with each other. That when the angel of light prevails, there good reigns; and where the angel of darkness, there evil predominates. That this struggle shall last till the end of the world, when the angel of darkness, with his followers, fhall for ever be Separated from the light; but those who cherith their spiritual nature, and obey the angel of light, shall go with him into a world, where they
shall be rewarded amidft everlasting brightnefs, and triumphant glory. In short, this laft Zaroafer caused temples to be built, in which the sacred fire was ordered to be conftantly preserved.
These opinions, with a few alterations, are fill preserved by the Gebers, or Gaurs, the poiterity as we have said, of the ancient Indians and Persians, who are very zealous in preserving the religion of their anceftors, particularly with respect to their veneration for fire.
What is commonly called the everlasting fre, is a phænomenon of a very extraordinary nature. This abject of their devotion is about ten miles from Baku, a city situated by an excellent haven in the Caspian Sea, on a dry, rocky soil, where there are several ancient tem. ples of stone, supposed to have been all dedicated to fire ; but most of hem were only arched vaults, about ten or fifteen feet high. Among others is a little temple in which the Indians now perform their devotions. Near the
altar is a large hollow cane, from the end of which issues a blue flame like that of a lanp burning with spirits, but to appearance more pure. This flame the Indians pretend has continued ever since the food, and they fancy it will last till the end of the world. Here are generally forty or fifty poor devotees who come on a pilgrimage from their own country, and feed upon a kind of Jerufalem artichokes, wild fallary, and several other herbs and roots. They pretend to make expiation both for their own sins and for those of others, and continue longer in proportion to the number of persons for whom they promise to pray. They mark their forehead with faffron, and have a great veneration for a red cow. They wear but little cloathing, and those most distinguished for their piety put one of their arms upon their heads, or some other part of the body, and keep it unalterably fixed in that position.
At a small distance from the temple, is a low cleft of a rock in which is an horizontal gap two feet from the ground, near fix long, and about three broad, from which issues a blue flame like that already described: in ftill weather it burns low, but when the wind blows, it sometimes rises eight feet high, and yet it is not perceived that the flame makes any impression on the rock. The Indians here also pay their adorations, and say that if these fires are stopped in one place, they will rife in another. But what appears still more extraordinary, is, that the earth for above two miles
round this place has this property that on taking up two or three inches of the surface, and applying a live coal, the part uncovered immediately takes fire, almost before the coal touchesit: the flame heats the soil, but does not confume it, nor does it affect the earth that is near it; but this earth carried to another place does not produce this effect. If a cane, or even a paper tube, be set about two inches in the ground and closed up with earth below, on touching the top of it with a live coal, and blowing upon it, a flame immediately issues, without burning either the cane or the paper, provided the edges be covered with clay, and this method they use for light in their houses, which have no other floor but the earth : three or four of these lighted canes will boil water in a pot, and thus they dress their victuals. The flame may be extinguished in the same manner as that of spirits of wine. The ground is here dry and ftony, and the more ftony it is, the ftronger and clearer is the flame : 'it has a fulphureous smell like naptha; but it is not very offenfive. It burns lime to great perfection.
Near this place brimstone is dug, and springs of paptha are found. The chief place for the black or dark grey naptha, is the small island Hetoy, which is now uninhabited, except when they are taking naptha. The springs boil up higheft when the weather is thick and hazy; and the naptha often takes fire on the surface, and runs in great quantities in a fame into the sea, to an almost incredible distance from the
fhore. fhore. In clear weather the springs do not boil up above two or three feet. This oily substance in boiling over, becomes of such a confiftance, as by degrees almost to close the mouth of the spring : fometimes it is quite closed, and forms hillocks as black as pitch; but when a spring is resisted in one place, it breaks out in another ; fome that have not been long open, form a mouth of eight or ten feet diameter. It is unpleasant to the smell, and is mokly used by the poor among the Perfians and the neighbouring people, as we ule oil in lamps, or to boil their provisions ; but it gives the food a disagreeable taste. It burns beft when mixed with a small quantity of ashes, as there is great plenty of it, every family is well supplied. They keep it in earthen vessels under ground, at a small distance from their houses, on account of its being very liable to take fire.
In the peninsula of Apcheron there is a white naptha of a much thinner consistence, which the Rusians drink as a cordial and medicine ; it is also used externally, and is said to be carried into India, where being prepared, it makes the moft beautiful and lasting varnish yet found.
The End of the Fourteenth Volume.