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in the afternoon we set off again, and in about an hour reached Nabi Yunas, or the village of the prophet Jonas, where tradition says the whale cast him out upon the shore, and where the Moslems have built a kind of chapel to his honour.

“We rode on over a rough rocky road and a plain that seemed to us endless. The ground was a perfect carpet of lovely flowers, and green with the fresh verdure, but no bush or tree was to be seen, and again we had to rest in the sunshine. At last we reached the shores of the Nahreh Anwaly, and were rather surprised to find that our muleteer expected us to ford that river. We were by this time drawing very near to Sidon or Saide, as it is now called, and could not help admiring its situation: it stands on a long promontory; among the other buildings three ancient castles are rather prominent objects, one on the summit of a hill in the centre of the town, the other two on little rocky islands in the sea which probably were once united with the mainland.

“We entered the town and were received most kindly at the house of Mr. Eddy, the American missionary, under whose roof we spent the night. At eight next morning we again set forward, feeling that we were now treading on ground closely connected with Scripture narrative. Along the road we were travelling possibly our Lord and Master himself had once journeyed. St. Paul had visited these shores, and at Sarepta, our first point of interest, the Prophet Elijah had spent many months. Towards sunset we were glad to find that our journey was nearly at an end, but, unfortunately for first impressions, the sun was setting in such glory behind the city that we were quite dazzled, and could scarcely distinguish anything. All we could tell was that, like the parent city, Sidon, it stood upon a promontory.

“We entered it by the north gate, of which one of the ancient pillars forms the threshold. We wound our way through a series of bazaars. The arrival of two English ladies seemed to produce a great sensation, and the children rushed away to their homes to inform their parents; indeed, during the whole of our stay we seldom ventured out alone without being followed by a crowd of noisy children, who seemed to think us an amusing show. After leaving the bazaars we reached the school-house. The entrance was anything but inviting; indeed, few of the houses in Tyre have an attractive appearance, but we had a warm welcome from Miss Williams. The house was the best that could be obtained for the purpose last autumn, but I fear she had had to endure great inconveniences from leaký roofs and glassless windows during the wet weather. She has had great trouble with the priests, and much to contend with in her work from the ignorance of the people, but we were glad to find she has forty children in regular attendance. The greater number were wild, untamed and untrained noisy children when they came to her, but she is reducing them gradually to something like order, though she has still much to try her in the dirty, untidy habits of even those who belong to good families. Several are extremely poor, and these she hopes to persuade to become more orderly by promise of a gift of a pinafore, &c., when she sees them really trying to come to school with clean hands and faces and tidy hair. The daughter of the Governor of the town, a Moslem, comes daily to school, and she, I am glad to say, is quite a pattern to the rest ; she is a gentle, well-behaved child. Miss Williams had had such a long lonely winter, that at Mrs. Mott's desire we tried to induce her to give a few days' holiday, and come with us to visit some of the interesting places in the neighbourhood during our stay, but she was so afraid of scattering the children by so doing that we could only induce her to give one day that we might make an excursion to the Ladder of Tyre, about five hours distant from the school. We received visits from many of the principal people of the place, and, with the help of Raheel, we had some interesting conversation with them, and had thus an opportunity of studying both Mahomedanism and Roman Catholicism in a more unmasked form than I had ever had before. The attendance at the Sunday morning service varies from twenty to forty. A large bell and a good clock are both sadly needed here. Both the Consul and Mualim Habibe assured

many would gladly come, but had no means of ascertaining the time. “Mualim Habibe, you are probably aware, was formerly employed as teacher by the American missionaries, but is now engaged in business in Tyre, and kindly consents to conduct the service for us ; he has three children in the school. Sour, or Modern Tyre, stands on what was an island, before Alexander cast up a mound against it, and thus by erecting a causeway united it with the mainland. Against this island God has indeed brought up the sea, and as we sat on the beach we watched the fishermen spreading their nets on the rocks, and saw the ruins of that once proud city stretching far out into the waves, while the number of fine granite pillars lying prostrate showed how splendid the buildings must once have been.

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“ There are about 300 inhabitants living in the town; but its glory has departed. Over and over again we asked, “Is there anything for which Tyre now is celebrated, any silk work, any cloth, or pottery?' But the answer was always, 'No; Tyre is famous now for nothing but its fish.' One afternoon we rode out to see Old Tyre, the city besieged by Nebuchadnezzar. Our path lay along the sea-shore, a sandy beach, strewn with shells such as - would delight many a Londoner. Then, across some ploughed fields, and up a little hill, till we came to one of the most wretched Metawalie villages that I have ever seen; and this, we were told, stood on the ruins of the ancient city ; though as it is said to have been many miles in circumference, it must have spread over much of the surrounding country. Between the Old and Insular Tyres are many ruins of the fine old aqueduct, whose ruined arches are still standing at intervals. As we turned our backs on Old Tyre, and rode down the hill, we had a capital view of the causeway, with the waves washing each side, and of Insular Tyre lying at the extremity. The causeway, from the quantities of sand continually thrown up by the sea, is probably three times as wide as it was when first constructed ; and half the island is buried beneath the waters. The number of inhabitants in Insular Tyre, we were told, is about 3,000,-Greeks, Moslems, Greek Catholics, and Metawalies.

“H. S.

THE NESTORIANS, THE PRESERVED OF ISRAEL.

THEIR RACE, THEIR PLACE, THEIR LANGUAGE, AND THEIR MISSIONS.

We now wish to give our readers a sort of carte de visite of our dear friend Dr. Perkins, which places us by his side on Mount Seir, the station of the American missionaries, in the midst of the Nestorian Christians, overlooking the plain of Oroomiah.

“How magnificent is the view from his study widows ; the atmosphere is so clear that, if it were night, the satellites of Jupiter are visible to the naked eye ; and the climate is very dry, as no rain falls between May and November. How sunny is the landscape ; we can see distinctly villages a hundred miles away, at the base of the lofty snow-capped Koordish mountains, whose treasures of cool and crystal water are shed gradually down through the spring and summer in generous supplies to the plains of Persia on the one hand, and of old Assyria on the other. On the Persian side they swell the salt Lake of Oroomiah, ninety miles long and thirty wide. That of Geneva is seventy long and seven wide ; the one is about five times the size of the other.

“In the vast mirror of Oroomiah we behold the sweet and quiet reflections, not of the passing cloud, for no shadow dims that Eastern sky, but of the islands that bestud its surface, and of fields and vineyards and gardens, skirting it on the east to an extent of fifty miles in length and twenty-five in breadth, till lake and plain alike are shut in by their frame of snow-capped mountains.

On the western range (looking from Mount Seir) dwell full two-thirds of the present remnant of the Nestorian Christians. Their abode is on the highest summits of Old Assyria, which stretch from Mount Ararat in Armenia in multiform chains, southward, towards the Persian Gulf.

“But our missionary friend is not always in his study. He will carry us out to visit some of the interior gorges of those mountains, starting from the city of Oroomiah, situate itself upon a plain 4,000 feet above the level of the sea.

We go seventy miles westward to the table-land of Gawar, in which journey we have gradually ascended 3,000 feet higher (crossing the boundary into Turkey by the way). At Gawar is another American Mission station, and thence rising rapidly again for yet another 3,000 feet, we at last attain a height of 10,000 above the sea.

“ And now over our heads still tower the lofty peaks of Jelu, which are about 14,000 feet high ; but we have to commence a descent into the gorge of Ishtazin, and looking down we see far below and beneath us a vast wilderness of rocky needles in a dell so deep and awful that we scarcely hope to fathom it unbarmed, but two hours of patient, careful toil down rough and zigzag passes convey us securely there.

Hence we look upward, and lo! those rocky needles are like vast Gothic spires piercing the sky. These lofty encircling ranges limit the rising and setting of the sun in the valley to ten o'clock A.M. and two P.M. for much of the year. At particular seasons, if the native evangelist, who dwells in this gorge, which is the home also of thousands of the Nestorians, scales the heights to seek some sheep of these long-forgotten folds, and point them to their good Shepherd, as he creeps along the steep and lofty cliff, he knows that the sound of his own voice, if lifted above a whisper, might by its echo bring on him an overwhelming avalanche, ever ready to quit its ledge at the slightest jar in the atmosphere.

“A considerable river, the Sheen, a tributary of the Zab, rolls terrifically down the bed of the gorge. It is here swelled by the confluence of several mountain streams, along whose margins and up the ravines nestle Nestorian villages. There are many such secluded glens among the mountains of Koordistan, where intelligent cultivated teachers, trained in the Mission seminary on Mount Seir, are rapidly planting themselves as spiritual watchmen.

* As spring opens,' says Dr. Perkins, this ancient land puts on its robes of beauty, all the more lovely to me for my temporary absence from it in the less genial climes of the far-off western world.'”

Here, then, we may idealize the “Men of the Book” in the midst of the people of the Ancient Book, restoring to them its living water. Our own countryman, Mr. Layard, in his very interesting researches at Nineveh about this period, discovered a series of basins cut in the rock, and descending in steps to the River Gomel. The water had been originally led from one to the other through conduits which of course were choked up ; but he and his Arabs cleared them, and by pouring water into the upper basin restored the fountain as it had been in the time of the Assyrians. This was just what the American Mission was doing with the “water of life.” It had cleared the old conduits, and the refreshing stream through its means was once more fertilizing the ancient Church of the Nestorians.

And how early in the Christian era did they get their SYRIAO version of the Scriptures ? The most ancient and the best form of it is called the Peshito (signifying clear, literal, exact, because of its sameness with the Hebrew). The date of the Syriac Old Testament is disputed. Some carry it back to the age of Solomon, others only to that of the Apostle Thaddeus, but this version is very valuable because its extant manuscripts are more ancient than any Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible now in existence. Tischendorf considers that there are good reasons for believing that both Old and New Testaments in Syriac were in use in the early part of the

* The reason for this may be the immemorial custom among the Jews in Jerusalem of carefully locking up their old Bibles and all the soiled leaves of Scripture that come in their way. These, every seven years, are collected by the Rabbis, and reverently carried to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there buried. A number of their people join the procession, and there is great rejoicing. A new copy of the Law is laid on the top of the old leaves whilst they are carrying them.

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