to view articles increasing in interest. One morning, riding to the mound, he was met by two Arabs urging their mares to their top of the speed. “Hasten, O Bey,” exclaimed one of them, “Hasten to the diggers, for they have found Nimrod himself. Wallah . It is wonderful, but it is true ! we have seen him with our own eyes. There is no God but God.”

“On reaching the ruins, I descended into the new trench. The Arabs withdrew the screen they had hastily constructed, and disclosed an enormous human head sculptured in full out of the alabaster of the country. They had uncovered the upper part of the figure the remainder of which was still buried in the earth. I saw at once that the head must belong to a winged lion or bull, similar to those of Khorsabad and Persepolis. It was in admirable preservation. The expression was calm yet majestic, and the outline of the features showed a freedom and knowledge of art, scarcely to be looked for in the works of so remote a period. . . . I was not surprised that the Arabs had been amazed and terrified at this apparition. It required no stretch of imagination to conjure up the most strange fancies. This gigantic head, blanched with age, thus rising from the bowels of the earth, might well have belonged to one of those fearful beings, which are pictured in the traditions of the country, as appearing to mortals, slowly ascending from the regions below. One of the workmen on catching the first glimpse of the monster, had thrown down his basket and ran off towards Mosul as fast as his legs could carry him. I learned this with regret, as I anticipated the consequences.” “Whilst I was superintending the removal of the earth, which still clung to the sculpture, and giving directions for the continuation of the work, a noise of horsemen was heard, and presently Abd-ur-rahman, followed by half his tribe, appeared on the edge of the trench. As soon as the two Arabs had reached the tents, and published the wonders they had seen, every one mounted his mare and rode to the mound, to satisfy himself of the truth of these inconceivable reports. When they beheld the head they all cried out together, “There is no God but God, and Mahommed is his Prophet !” It was some time before the sheikh could be prevailed upon to descend into the pit, and convince himself that the image he saw was of stone. “This is not the work of men's hands,” exclaimed he, “but of those infidelgiants of whom the Prophet, peace be with him has said, that they were higher than the tallest date tree; this is one of the idols, which Noah, peace be with him cursed before the flood.” In this opinion, the result of a careful examination, all the bystanders concurred” I. 72,73.

Before night, Mr. Layard succeeded in reaching a second vol. xv.1.—No. 31.

figure corresponding to the first. These human headed lions, for such they proved to be, guarding the portal of a grand hall, were twelve feet long and twelve feet high. The body and limbs were admirably pourtrayed, the muscles and bones, though disproportionately large— perhaps to indicate exceeding strength—evincing a perfect knowledge of anatomy. Long wings rose from the shoulders and covered the back. A knotted girdle with tassels encircled the loins, and the head was covered with a cap around which wound three horns. In order that the observer might have a perfect view of the figure, whether he stood in front or at the side, the artist had given the lion five legs. Standing in front, you see the human face and long beard overhanging the broad chest of the animal, and, underneath, two fore legs in full. He is now seen standing still. In a side view, the off fore leg is hidden by the near one, and in its stead another has been carved in relies, which like the two hind legs, is in the position of motion. The animal, thus seen from the side, appears walking. The whole was in admirable condition; not a line or letter of the inscriptions was wanting. Other lions were subsequently discovered, in which the human portion, reaching to the waist, was provided with arms. Mr. Layard celebrated this important event by a general feast to the friendly Arabs of the vicinity. But his joy was of short duration. The fame of the discovery of Nimrod himself, stirred up anew the bile of the Cadi and the Mufti, his old enemies, and again Ismael Pasha advised him to suspend operations, at least for a time. A Firman alone could remedy the evil. While waiting its receipt, he took the opportunity of visiting Sofuk, Sheikh of the Shammar Arabs—“the King of the Desert.” The account of this journey forms a delightful episode, which we will leave the reader to peruse at length in the lively pages of our author. On his return, he gave a general entertainment, at the foot of the mound itself, to the chief Christian families and the Mosul Arabs, who, doubtless, will long remember the three days there given to feasting, dancing, and wild Arab games. In the meantime, Ismael had been succeeded by Hafiz, and he in turn by Tahyar Pasha, “a perfect specimen of the Turkish gentleman of the old school.' Tahyar visited Nimroud, took some interest in the excavations and ever proved himself a warm personal friend to Mr. Layard. Under such auspices, the work was resumed, and Mr. Layard even dared to commence similar excavations at Kouyunjik, the scene, it will be remembered, of Mr. Botta's first labours. For a month, the successor of that gentleman searched one part, and Mr. Layard another part of this vast mound 1850 feet square and 78 high; but with little success. Meanwhile the mound of Nimroud was daily yielding inscriptions and sculptures of battles, sieges, hunts, processions, &c. The walls, had been, and many were still lined to the height of ten feet with slabs of marble, or rather of a coarse alabaster, bearing such subjects. Above that height they had been plastered and elaborately painted; the colours, especially the blue and the red, being still as vivid on the fragments of plastering, as if just laid on. They faded away, however, after a very brief exposure to the air. Mr. Layard was now enabled to send a first invoice of the monuments to England. They were despatched on rafts down the river to Bagdad. A Firman of the amplest form at length reached Mosul. Tahyar Pasha was personally favorable. But when the Cadi and the Mufti were rendered powerless, a third foe appeared who quailed not before Pasha or Sultan—the intense heat of summer. In the trenches, the thermometer ranged from 112° to 117° Fahr. The hot winds were like the blast of a furnace; it was impossible to work by day or to sleep at night. Mr. Layard found it necessary to recruit his failing health by a change of air; and resolved on a trip to the mountains of Tiyari, among which dwelt the Nestorian Christians. The account of this trip is given in his usual lively and picturesque style, and to many will prove the most interesting portion of his volumes. He has appended a chapter on the past history of a people, whose late tragic fate has awakened the sympathy of a Christian world. We wish Mr. Layard had either laboured more at this sketch or had omitted it. It is jejune and faulty. Assemani's Bibliotheca Orientalis, from which he drew most of his materials, may itself be compared to an Assyrian mound. Rich treasures of historic lore lie buried in its mass: but our author is not as expert in literary as in antiquarian research.

The Chaldean Christians, whom we coincide with Mr. Layard in regarding as the chief representatives of the ancient Assyrian population,-not of the ten tribes of Israel, as Dr. Grant thought—are divided into two separate bodies, between whom a great similarity of rites and creed only serves to render more intense their mutual dislike. The larger portion is in communion with the See of Rome. The other repudiates that union and professes to hold the doctrines of Nestorius. Each has its Hierarchy of Patriarch, Bishops and inferior Clergy. Both make use of the same Eucharistic liturgy in the ancient Chaldee— that “of the Holy Apostles,”—with this difference that the first introduce a prayer for the Pope, while the other party name Nestorius, and some of his followers among the saints they commemorate. The Catholics, likewise, insert the words “true God” after the name of our Saviour, or so change the phrase in a few instances as to express their belief in His Divinity. As far as the Chaldean Ritual goes, they both agree in the administration of the Sacraments, (both acknowledging seven); where that sails, the Catholics use portions of the Roman Ritual translated into Chaldee. On no other points is there any difference; at least in their symbolical works and early writers. The ignorance and poverty into which ages of persecution have sunk the Nestorians, have not failed to work their legitimate effects. It is long since they have possessed schools for training candidates for the ministry; and they cannot send them, as the others do, to the colleges of Europe. Many of their clergy, just able to read, are obliged to toil all the week for their sustenance. This ignorance has led, as Mr. Layard saw, to the neglect of doctrines and ceremonies; and the later Nestorian teachers differ much among themselves, and from their early and acknowledged standards.

The distinguishing points of the Nestorian Creed are found in the doctrine advanced by Nestorius concerning Christ, and the corollaries that flow from it. That doctrine expressed in plain and familiar terms is this : Jesus was a mere man, though holier than Abel, Moses or any Saint, whom the second person of the Holy Trinity selected, as the organ for redeeming mankind and establishing Christianity. For this purpose He established a moral union with him, of the same character with, though closer than that entered into with other holy men: in virtue of which, Jesus never thought, spoke or acted, save as God willed and prompted. In one word he was under a perpetual inspiration: his words and official acts are the words and acts of God. Jesus might, in virtue of this legation, speak in the name of, and as if he were God, as the Angels had done in the Old Testament. In this wide sense he may be called God. But Nestorius contended that the man Jesus, who was born of the Virgin Mary and died on Calvary, and the Son of God were two different and distinct persons. So that it is as truly an act of idolatry to worship him as God, as it would be to pay divine homage to any other man. He denied that Jesus was the God-man, and abhorred all phrases that expressed or conveyed this idea, such as “Infant God” applied to our Divine Saviour, and “Mother of God” applied to the Wirgin mother who bore Him. These two expressions became at once the test-words of faith for those who held the orthodox doctrine on the Incarnation, which they were conceived to express in the strongest and most emphatic Inanner. The Chaldeans claim to have been instructed in the doctrines of Christianity by St. Jude or Thaddeus the Apostle, and there is no solid reason for disputing their claim. Situated on the very confines, and beyond the limits of the empire, they felt but slightly the persecutions of Nero, Domitian, Decius, and the other Roman Emperors. Three centuries later, however, a Persian monarch displayed in their regard the combined cruelty and hatred of all three to the Christian name; and the Chaldean Church yet glories in her early crowd of martyrs. This portion of the early church was originally subject to the Archbishop of Seleucia, who was himself subject to the Patriarch of Antioch. The number of sees increasing, he became Katholiko or primate. When in A.D. 431, Nestorius was condemned at the Third General Council, held at Ephesus, there were many, who like him had studied under Theodore of Mopsuestia, and were ready to push the principles of their master to the same extent with Nestorius. Especially in the celebrated school of Edessa, and among the bishops and priests that went forth from its bosom, did the controversy rage, with no small display of the odium theologicum. At length, all the opposing +

« ElőzőTovább »