But His Countrymen, Although
Cherishing The Same Principles, And Full Of The Same Uncharitableness,
Seldom Have The Courage To Give Vent To Their Feelings, And To Follow
The Example Of The Saint.
None of those genuine popular commotions,
which were once so frequent in Europe, when the members of the reigning
church saw individuals of a rival persuasion extending their influence,
are now witnessed in the East.
Whatever may be thought of it in a moral
point of view, we must respect the energy of a man who enters headlong
into a contention, of at least uncertain issue, and generally
detrimental to his own worldly interests, merely because he fancies or
believes that his religious duty commands his exertions. The Moslim of
the Turkish empire, as far as I have had an opportunity of remarking,
easily suppresses his feelings, his passions, the dictates of his
conscience, and what he supposes agreeable to the will of the Almighty,
at the dictates of his interest, or according to the wish or example of
the ruling power.
In the time of the Sherif, Christians were often ill treated at Djidda;
they could not wear the European dress, or approach the quarter of the
town situated towards the gate of Mekka. But since the arrival of
Mohammed Aly's army, they walk about, and dress as they like. In
December 1814, when two Englishmen passed the gate of Mekka on a walk
round the town, (the first persons, probably, in a
[p.208] European dress, who had ever passed the holy boundary,) a woman
was heard to exclaim, "Truly the world must be near its end, if Kafirs
(or infidels) dare to tread upon this ground!" Even now, if a Christian
dies there, it is not permitted that he should be interred on shore; the
body is carried to a small desert island in the harbour.
Enter page number
Page 290 of 669
Words from 78951 to 79261