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on what he had formerly stated, the unity of Mohammedanism as a religious system. He did not, however, say much in defence of its evidences or peculiar tenets; at bottom he was evidently sceptical in regard to modes of faith, and often had recourse to the common infidel sophism, that all forms of religion were alike acceptable, or rather alike indifferent to God; and therefore the one he had chosen was as good as
These views I endeavoured to meet with the usual
arguments. Had God really given a revelation from heaven ? That was the first question. If so, it must necessarily be the only true religion, exclusive of all others ; otherwise its revelation were needless and unworthy of God. And which then was the true religion, Christianity or Mohammedanism ? Had he examined the evidences of both, or either? Had he tested those of the gospel, and found them wanting ? Had he found those of Mohammedanism satisfactory and conclusive ? Was not the latter utterly defective in proof; its one and only miracle an absurdity ? Were not its most prominent tenets immoral and licentious, and such as a holy God could not have given ? And though in regard to external forms and observances possessed of uniformity, was it not destitute of every attribute of spirituality, of that pure and spiritual worship, which He, who is a Spirit, can alone receive and approve? Especially, what provision did Mohammedanism make for man as a sinner? Was he not himself conscious of having broken God's laws, and on what did he rest for forgiveness and acceptance ? Did he not feel that he needed some expiation for his guilt, and a surer ground of confidence than any he possessed in himself? Did his new creed give him aught on which he could rest his soul ? Did it tell of an atonement? of any adequate ground of acceptance of any in which God could be just, and yet a Saviour? On this last point I dwelt particularly, because it seemed in some degree to impress him. • Believe me,' I added, that it is easy to satisfy ourselves as to the future while we are in health and strength, and the thoughts of eternity far distant. But think, I beseech you, whether it will be so always. Think whether the creed you profess will be able to sustain you in the hour of death, in the prospect of judgment, and on the eve of meeting a holy and righteous God.'
“ He made no reply, but seemed thoughtful. Little did I imagine how unconsciously prophetic were these last words, or how near was the unwitting prediction to its fulfilment.
“But we had now reached our point of separation. He resisted my solicitation to attend worship at the chapel. "That is impossible,' he replied. As we parted, he held out his hand. • You will not refuse,' said he, with a mingled expression of pride and sadness, “to take the hand of a rene
• Assuredly not. Would only it were as easy to reach your heart.' He saluted me cordially, and as we separated, turned round, and said, Perhaps we shall meet again.' And we did meet again!
“ It was again on the sabbath, some weeks later, and but a few days before my final departure from Cairo. Tempted by the beauty and coolness of the evening, I had gone forth just before sunset to pay a farewell visit to the tombs of the caliphs. My stay at this place must have been prolonged for some considerable time, for I was aroused from my reveries by the roll of the drums of the Arab infantry, announcing that the guard was mounting at the gates for the night. Hastening back, I passed through the gateway, and pursued my way along the street, now lighted up by the lamps of the bazars. Independently of this, the moonlight was sufficient to exhibit an European's features, though, on the present occasion, my dress was concealed by an Arab juba, or hvoded cloak, a disguise not unnecessary at night, in some parts of Cairo. Suddenly, and ere I had proceeded far, an unseen hand grasped my arm. I turned, and saw beside me, a female figure, covered with a long black silk veil, with its white frontlet, generally worn by women of the better classes in Egypt. Her manner was hasty and agitated, and she spoke quickly in what I believe was Arabic, to me of course unintelligible. A donkey boy who had accompanied me to the gateway, and was now returning with me, understood some English, and by his aid, I found out that the object of the woman's search was a Hakeem Feringhee,' a Frank physician. Somebody was ill, very ill, was I a hakeem? would I visit him? No,' I replied, I was not a hakeem ; but one could soon be got.' My reply was not understood, for the unknown female still continued her solicitations, and pulling me by the cloak, pointed anxiously down an adjoining street. I felt an inclination to comply, though scarcely knowing why, and after a few moments hesitation, I followed her.
“ After a short but rapid walk, we reached the door of an ordinary looking dwelling. My guide entered ; and following, I found myself in a room on a ground floor. The light of a lamp suspended from the ceiling, fell on a couch in the middle of the room, on which lay the form of a sick and apparently dying man. His face was averted, and at first I did not recognise him ; but he turned on his restless bed, and changed as his features were, they could not be mistaken. The parting salutation had been fulfilled. We had niet again, and I found that I stood by the side of the renegade. There was no one else in the room but the female who had been my guide, and who was now no longer veiled.
The peculiar circumstances of the moment had probably made her disregard the strict observance of Mohammedan etiquette. Clothed only in a white under robe, she was now kneeling beside the couch, anxiously ministering to the wants of the sufferer. She was young, and comparatively fair for an Egyptian ; and I should have deemed her possessed of beauty, but for the too obvious evidence which her general aspect gave of the ascendancy of unworthy passions. Her personal appearance, her present impassioned solicitude, the position in which she evidently stood towards her companion, told all too plainly the secret of the apostate's tale. There was the rock on which his soul had made shipwreck of faith.
“ But the moments were precious ; the seal of death was on that cold and clammy brow.
But the sufferer was still pos. sessed of consciousness, and his utterance was clear and articulate. He soon recognised and addressed me. • Strange,' he said, 'most strange, that it should be you.' Strange indeed,' I replied, yet not, I trust, unwelcome;' and I took hold of his hand. "No, not unwelcome,' and he feebly and cordially returned the pressure. I sat down on the edge of the couch, and we spoke for some time in low and earnest whispers. The substance only I can now remember. What I state more minutely was, that which most deeply impressed me at the time.
“ I had alluded to his abandonment of his faith, and looking towards the Mussulman girl now seated by the couch, said I no longer doubted the cause of his apostasy. He groaned inwardly, " True, too true,' he muttered, I have cast away all, and for a woman's love; and now what can she do for me?' And looking bitterly at lier, he drove away he outstretched hand, speaking in Arabic quickly and sharply, The hapless girl recoiled, and cowered down at his feet weeping silently. I almost regretted my allusion, and interposed, Nay, nay, do not yield to passion; you should have other thoughts. Think of yourself, and the God you are so soon to meet. Are you at peace with him ? ' • Peace!' he
answered, 'peace ! no peace for me. Have I not denied, blasphemed the name of Christ, and spit and trampled on his cross ? Away, get away, you have only come to mock me.'
No, I will not go away; God has sent me here, and I will not leave you. Be composed and listen. You have sinned, deeply and fearfully sinned, yet I am warranted to say, that even for you
peace, mercy, forgiveness. You have not forgotten your Bible. Remember Paul. He was once a persecutor, and blasphemer, yet he obtained mercy. Remember the thief on the cross. He sought and found forgiveness even in the very article of death. Oh! if
will but seek, you will yet find. God willeth not the death of a sinner; and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.'
“ He was quiet, and seemed to listen. After a pause, he said, “Is that the Bible ? Say it again. Which ?' I asked. “The last.' I repeated the text. All sin,' he kept repeating, all sin ?' Ay, all sin, every sin. Sin red as crimson, all may be blotted out in the blood of the cross. If you will cast yourself upon Christ, he will in no wise cast you out. . Pray for a believing, a penitent, and contrite heart. Return unto me, and I will return unto you."
- I will arise, and go unto my Father.” Were I dying myself, I could have no other hope than this.'
“ He remained silent, but continued to listen. I repeated such passages of Scripture as seemed most suited to his situation, and whatever else appeared, under God, calculated to lead him believing and penitent to the cross of Christ. He gave
indeed scarcely any reply, but one thing was evident, he had no reliance on Mohammedanism. As might have been expected, it was like every other false system, found worthless on a death-bed.
“ But had he fled to the surer and better hope? Was he clinging to the Rock of ages ? I cannot presume to say. My fears, alas ! were otherwise. For towards the close, he repelled sulkily, and almost fiercely, the advances he had formerly received. • Be done, be done, the game is up, I must take my chance.' These were his last words. He never spoke again, and from that moment, sank rapidly. I knelt by the bed, and prayed. Oh for one other hour of life and grace !
“ But the end was at hand; ere the night had turned, he died, and made no sign. Suddenly and sternly the soul of the renegade had passed away.
“Like scorpion girt with fire,
in soul expire,
So writhes the mind remorse hath riven,
Around it flame, within it death!” And had such been the unhappy reality here? God alone can tell. With him is the secret of the dead. Be the warning to those who are still living.
Rejoice, o young man, in thy youth : and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes ; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother. Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck, to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of the strange woman. Let not thine heart decline to her ways; go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. The way
of the wicked is as darkness ; they know not at what they stumble.'
“But she, that hapless one, what had become of her ? In the confusion which was occasioned by the last sad catastrophe, and amid the bustle of the attendants entering the room, she had escaped my notice. She was now nowhere to be found. With some difficulty it was ascertained, that when all was over, she had suddenly quitted the house, and was last seen hurrying down the street in the direction of the southern gate of the city. Endeavouring as far as possible to intimate that some should go in search of her, I hastened from the house. My errand, whatever had been its issue, was at an end, but whither had she sped on hers ? “ Two days after, and the last before
final departure for India, I happened to be in conversation with a Persian dragoman, whose services I then required. Among other things, he mentioned the following as the common talk of the bazars. The frequency of such events in Egypt, where life is held so cheap, was little likely to render the incident one of inquiry. On that same sabbath night, such was the dragoman's tale, on which the preceding events took place, or rather very early on the following morning, and just ere the moon went down, a friend of his, returning to the city from the southward, was traversing the usual pathway leading to the tombs of the caliphs. Suddenly a female figure darted past him, making towards the river. Her wild and hurried manner, and the