Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

as I could desire, and more courte- day before the flowing of Nilus in sy than I could expect, without any Grand Cairo, as they certifyed me, temptation to apostatize from my and a day or two afier, not one perreligion.

son more died of the infection. This As for the occurrences that I met I observed, that the land is full of with, they were many : But these unhealthy fogs, mists, and vapours, four were the most considerable. which cause the disease; and it

First, The strangling of the great seems the waters of Nilus do purify Turk by the Janizaries, at which it again. time there was great fear and trouble In the kingdom of Grand Cairo, in Constantinople; but they en- alias Pharoah's Town, is the city, throned his son, and this brought and it is greater than any elsewhere a peaceable settlement. And with I did behold; but Memphis is the him there were cut off divers Basha's neater city : and being there, I went heads; all whose heads (excepting to see the Land of Goshen, where the Great Turk’s) lay three days in the Israelites did inhabit. This is chargers before the Palace Gate, for a very pleasant and fruitful land the public view of the people; which for pasture, such as I have no where they say is the custon for the noble- seen the like. At this one also, I men that are beheaded.

had an opportunity to see the Red The next thing is, The filowing of Sea, and the place where (as they the river Nilus in Egypt; the man, informed me) the Israelites did enter ner whereof is this : It beginneth to their journey through the same. flow about the fifteenth of June eve- There also they shewed me the great ry year: the people know the time mountains that inclosed them, when thereof, and expect it accordingly; Pharaoh pursued them with his great and this is after their harvest, which army; and the hills where the two is usually ended about the begin- armies lay in sight one of abg her. ning of May. As for rain, there And there I found the true reason seldom falleth any in Egypt. Du- why it is called the Red Sea; not ring the time the river is up, all because the water is red naturally, the country appeareth like islands. but because the sand is red: and Their towns are seated upon hills, this was clear to me by plain de and their lower grounds are all co- monstration; for I put some of the vered with waters; and the inhabi- water into a clean vessel, and there tants use small boats to pass from I did see it had the same colour of place to 'place about their affairs; other water ; but the sand is red. and because they know the yearly dish, and giveth the same colour to flowing of Nilus, they provide for the water. the safety of their cattle till the wa- I shall omit many other things ters are wasted away again. There concerning Egypt; only this,-lt is are also certain pillars of stone set under the Turks dominion, and the up, with divers marks upon them, natives are his miserable slaves. by which they know the degrees of Thirdly, You may expéct some the rising, and the usual height that news from Rome, where also I was, the waters do ascend unto; and if and did behold their great solemnity; the waters do ascend above the it being then the Anno Sancto, as highest mark, they do expect some they there call it, that is, the year strange consequence thereof. But of Jubilec.. the greatest wonder is, the present There I beheld the Pope in his cessation of the plague upon the glory, and how in great state he was flowing of this river. There died carried about the city: the streets some thousands of the plague the were thronged with the people; and

[ocr errors]

as he passed by, they made them it to be a preparative and hopeful even ring with acclamations and re- sign of the Jews conversion, and that joicings : He was carried by some it will be glad tidings to the church eminent men, having a rich canopy of Christ; and therefore I have over him. He made his crosses in yielded to satisfy their desires there. the air with his fingers, and threw in. And thus it was : his blessings amongst them. And At the place above-named there truly these delusions were so prevail- assembled about three hundred rabing with the people, that (poor souls) bies, called together from several they seemed to me to rejoice, as if parts of the world, to examine the Christ himself had been come to scriptures concerning Christ; and Rome, and brought them down the it seems this place was thought most felicities of heaven.

convenient for this council, in reAt one time I bebeld in Naples gard that part (of the country was (perhaps it will seem strange, but not much inhabited, because of the it is true,) about eight thousand pil. continual wars between the Turk grims going to Rome for their atso. and the King of Hungary; where Jution; all which the Vice-Roy of (as I was informed) they had fought Naples maintained three days at his two bloody battles : yet both Princes. own charge; and on the fourth day, notwithstanding their own differen. they did present themselves before ces, did give leave to the Jews to bim at his palace in Pilgrim Weeds, hold their council there. And for viz, with leaden pictures of saints their accomodation there, the Jews in their hats, with leather collars did make divers tents for their reabout their necks, which fell down pose, and had plenty of provision half way over their arms, and their brought them from other parts of staves in their hands : and thus they the country, during the time of their marched away from Naples, in the sitting there. There was also one posture of an army towards Rome; large tent, built only for the coun. and so farewel Rome. Vidi, satis cil to sit in, made almost four est vidisse.

square; the North and the South I omit to recite many other oc- part of it, being not altogether so currences, which by conference I large as the East and West part shall willingly communicate to my thereof. It had but one door, and friends, they being too many to that opened to the East; and in the commit to writing: only now the middle thereof stood a little table fourth remarkable thing remaineth and a stool for the propounder to to present you with ; and that is,- sit on, with his face towards the

The proceedings of a great coun- door of the tent. The said propoun. cil of Jews, assembled in the plain der was of the tribe of Levi, and of Ageda in Hungary, about thirty was named Zacharias; and within leagues distant from Buda, to exa- this tent round about were placed ainine the scriptures concerning divers forms for the consulters to sit Christ; on the twelfth of October, on. It was also inclosed with a 1650.

rail, that stood at a distance from It hath been much desired by ma. it, to prevent entrance to all stran. ny honest christians, that this nar. gers, and to all such Jews as could rative of the Jews' council should not prove themselves to be Jews by be published, which I did intend record, or could not dispute in the only to communicate to private Hebrew tonguc, which many had friends. The chief argument by forgotten, who lived in such counwhich they have persuaded me to tries, where they are not allowed do it, is, because they do conceive their synagogues, as in France,

Spain, and those parts of Italy that cord prove themselves to be native do belong to the King of Spain, viz. jews; and for defect herein, I obthe kingdom of Naples, with the served above five hundred refused : Province of Calabria and Apuleia; though doubtless they were truethe kingdom of Sicilia and Sardinia; born jews, yet they could not by in which places if a jew be found, record prove themselves so to be; and he deny the Popish religion, he and for this they were not admitted is in danger to be condemned and to be members of the council, but executed for it; and yet profit and they did abide without the rail with benefit allureth them to dwell in the strangers that were there, and those countries, notwithstanding the number of them that were actheir fears and dangers : and them- cepted to be members, was about selves are willing to forget, and so three hundred jews. And this was neglect to teach their children their all that was done the first day. native language, rather than they On the second day, the assembly will lose their opportunity of profit: being full, the propounder stood up, and some have burnt the antient re- and made his speech concerning the cords of their tribe and family, that end of their meeting :- And this, they might not be discovered by said he, is to examine the scriptures searching, or otherwise. And for concerning Christ, whether he be althis defect, that they could not ready come, or whether we are yet to prove their tribe or family, they expect his coming ? In examining were not permitted to come within this question, they searched the Old the rail, but were commanded to Testament with great care and laremain without, with the strangers bour, to be resolved of the truth that remained there, to see the issue thereof, having many bibles with of their proceeding, which were a- them there for this end. And about bove 3000 persons, and they were this point there were great disputes for the most part Germans, Almains, amongst them. The major part Dalmatians, and Hungarians, with were of opinion,-That he was not some Greeks; but few Italians, and come: and some inclined to think not one Englishman, that I could that he was come; being moved hear of, besides myself.

thereunto by their great judgment, I was informed, that the King of that hath continued now this sixteen Hungary not favouring the reformed hundred years upon them, religion, did give no encouragement I remember very well one of the to any protestant churches to send council, in his conference with me, any divines thither; but he did al- seemed to be very apprehensive of low that some assistants should be the great and long desolation of sent from Rome: and their coming their nation, ever since their destructhither did prove a great unhappi- tion by the Roman Emperors; and ness to this hopeful council. he imputed this their affliction to

When the assembly did first meet, their impenitency. And comparing they spent some tiine in their mu- their present judgment, with their tual salutations; and, as their man- other judgments they had suffered per is, they kissed one the other's before, lie ingenuously confessed, cheek, expressing much joy for their that he did conceive it was for some łappy meeting. And all things be- great wickedness; and that their naing provided for their accomodation, tion was guilty of the blood of the they considered of the Jews that prophets sent from God to their nawere to be admitted members of this tion, and the many massacres that council; and they were only allowed had been committed by the several to be members, which could by re- sects and factions amongst them. For (said he) we are no idolaters, cause this opinion, was contradicted neither do I think we were guilty of by others, the day following they idolatry since our captivity in Baby- took into examination the same lon ; and therefore (said he) I do question, to answer them that said impute this our calamity and present Elijah was not the Messiah. They judgment to the fore-named causes. of the contrary opinion did urge the And this was the sum of that which care and love of Elijah for the good was disputed amongst them the se- of their nation, in that he left them cond day of their meeting; and so Elisha his disciple to teach and inthey adjourned till the next morn- struct the people; which they exing, which was the third day of their pect to be the care of their Messiah, mecting.

These were the chief arguments they When being assembled together had to defend their opinion: ansl again, the point that was chiefly the same day, towards night, it came agitated was concerning the manner into question amongst them,--W'bat of Christ's coming. And this, some he then was that said he was the said, shall be like a mighty Prince, Son of God, and was crucified by in the full power and authority of their ancestors? And because this a King, yea, in greater power than was the great question amongst ever any King had; and that he them, they deferred the further conwill deliver their nation out of the sideration thereof until the next day, power of their enemies, and their When meeting again, the Pharitemple shall be rebuilt again; and, sees (for some of this sect were athat the nations shall be of their re- mongst them, that were always the ligion, and worship God after their enemies of Christ) they first began manner. For they hold,' That the to answer this last night's question ; Messiah will not alter their religion, and these by no means would yield whensoever he cometh. And fur- that he was the Christ; and these ther, concerning his parentage, they reasons they gave for their opinion. did agree in this, that he should be first, Because (said they) he came born of a virgin, according to the into the world like an ordinary and prediction of the prophets; and they inferior man, not with his sceptre, agreed also, that he may be born nor royal power; wherewith they of such a virgin, which might be of affirmed the coming of Christ should mcan note amongst their nation, as he glorious. Secondly, They pleadwas the Virgin Mary. And here ed against him the meanness of his some of them seemed to me, to in- birth, in that his father was a carcline to think that Christ was come. penter; and this they said, was a Therefore when they came together dishonour that Christ should not be again the next day, the propounder capable of. Thirdly, They accused demanded of them, if Christ were him to be an enemy to Moses's law, already come, and who they thought in suffering bis disciples, and in he was? And to this demand they doing works himself that were progave this answer, that they thought hibited on the Sabbath day; for Elijah was he, if he were come, be- they believe that the Messiah will cause he came with great power, punctually and exactly keep the which he declared by slaying the law of Moses; and where the gospel priest of Baal; and, for the fulfil. doth testify of Christ, that he did ling of the scripture, he was op- fullil the lawr, they reject the testipressed by Ahab and Jezabel : yet mony thereof, because they do not they esteemed him to be more than a own the gospel. But I observed mortal man, because he so strangely these reasons of the Pharisees did ascended up into heaven. And be- not satisfy all that heard them, but there still remained some doubt in parts against him ; so did the Sadsome of them concerning Christ; duces also endeavour (for some of for there stood up one Rabbie called that sect were also of the council) Abraham, and objected against the to render Christ vile and odious to Pharisees, the miracles that Christ the rest of the Jews that were as. wrought whilst he was upon earth, sembled there. I observed it was as his raising of the dead to life with them, as it was once with Heagain, his making the lame to walk, rod and Pilate; though they two the blind to see, and the dumb to could not agree betwixt themselves speak. And the same Abraham de- at other times, yet they could agree manded of the Pharisees, by what together to crucify Christ: for the power he did these miracles? The Pharisees and Sadduces, though answer the Pharisees returned to they be much divided in opinion him, was to this purpose: They among themselves, yet did they at said he was an impostor and a ma- this time too much agree to digrace gician; and blasphemously traduced and to dishonour Christ with their him of doing all his miracles by lies, calumnies and blasphemies : magic: Thus, said they, he first for the Sadduces, as well as the caused thein to be blind, to be dumb, Pharisees, did in other things acto be lame; and then by taking cuse him for a grand impostor, and away his magical charm, they were foi a broacher of corrupt doctrine; restored to their former condition. in that in his gospel he teache:h the Nevertheless, this answer gave little resurrection from the dead, which satisfaction to the said Abraham: they there denied to be true docbut thus he replied, That he could trine: but it is no new thing to see not charm those that were born in factions dissenting, to agree in some that condition, as blind, &c. and evil design against others, as I found born also before Christ himself was it by experience. Being at Rome born; as it appeareth some of them in the year 1650, which was the were. This seemed to him an ab- year of their jubilee, there was a surd paradox; and truly the press- great strife between the Jesuits and ing of this argument did almost put the Fryars of the Order of St Domithem to a nonplus, till at last they nick, both which were against the had this evasion, (though weak and Protestants; and although their difvile,)-They were said they) by other ferences have been by the care and magicians convinced to be so in vigilance of the Pope so smothered. their mother's wombs; and that al. that the world hath not taken much though himself were not then born notice thereof, yet this fire broke when they were born with these out into a flame greater than ever it evils, yet he being a great dissem- was before, (as they certified me bler, and more cunning than any there) both by public disputings, magician before him, power was and by bitter writings one against given him by the devil, to remove another, opening the vices and erthose charms which others had plan rors of one another's faction, thus ced. And there was one Pharisee sceking to disgrace one the other; named Zebedee, who of the Pharisees which caused the Pope to threaten There did most opprobiously revile to excommunicate the authors of him, and vehemently urge these all such black and libellous books. things against him ; but I conceive that did tend to the dishonour of he did it not to the well-liking of his clergy and religion, to make many there that heard him, even theni infamous to the world. But members of the council. And as this by the way. the Pharisees that day played their

VOL. IX,

« VorigeDoorgaan »