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THE LADIES' GARLAND.
ANTIOCH IN SYRIA.
Drawn It J. D. Harding, From A View By M. De Cabas.
There were several cities in the east which bore the name of Antioch: but only two are mentioned in Scripture, viz: Antioch in Pisidia; and Antioch in Syria—once the capital of the Syro-Macedonian empire —of which a view is given in our engraving. It is situated on both sides of the river Orontes, about twenty miles from the place where it discharges itself into the Mediterranean, being about midway between Alexandria and Constantinople, and about seven hundred miles from each.
Formerly, this " Queen of the East" was called Riblath, but it was not known under the name of Antioch until the reign of Seleucus Nicanor, who built it, and called it Antioch, from respect to his father, Antiochus, B.C. 301. For several hundred years it was theftsidenceof the Macedonian kings of Syria, and afterwards of the Roman governors of that province.
This city, which was anciently so beautiful, so flourishing and illustrious, is at present scarcely any thing but a heap of ruins, by the Arabs called Antakia. The walls are still standing; but within the city, which is approached by an old bridge over the river Orontes, there is nothing to be seen but ruins, gardens, the minarets of the mosques, and some wretched houses. The bishop of Antioch has the title of patriarch, and has constantly had a great share in the affairs of the eastern church.
Antioch was almost square, having many gates; and much of it on the north side stood on a high mountain. It was adorned
Vol. VI.—No. 7.—Jan. 1843.
with galleries and fine fountains; its circumference exceeded twelve miles, and its population was not less than half a million of souls. The fertility of its soil; the richness of its local scenery; the beauty 'of its fountains; the magnificence of its temples; the sumptuousness of its palaces; the extent of its commerce; and the learning, genius, and taste of its inhabitants, were celebrated throughout the world, and it was considered an honor to be one of its citizens. Hence, Cicero, in his oration,for the poet Archias, who was a native of Antioch, introduces this fact in favor of his client, and commends the place of his birth as "a noble city, abounding in eminent men."
Vespasian, Titus, and other emperors, granted very great privileges to this city; but it has likewise been exposed to great vicissitudes. It was almost demolished by earthquakes, A.D. 340, 394, 396, 458, 526, and 528. The emperor Justinian repaired it, A.D. 529: in his time it was called Theopolis, or the City of God, on account (it is said) of its inhabitants being mostly Christians. A.D. 548 it was taken by Chosroes, king of Persia, who massacred the inhabitants and reduced it to ashes. Four years afterwards it was rebuilt by Justinian: and in the year 574 Chosroes took it a second time, and destroyed its walls. A.D. 588, it suffered a dreadful earthquake, by which upwards of sixty thousand persons perished. It was again rebuilt, and again was exposed to new calamities. In the year 637 or 638, the Saracens took it: in 966 it was retaken by
Nicephorus Phocas; four years afterwards, an army of one hundred thousand Saracens besieged it without success; but afterwards they subdued it, added new fortifications, and made it almost impregnable. This city was the first object to which the crusaders directed their efforts. They held it from A.D. 1098, till it was taken and destroyed in 1268, by the sultan of Egypt, who demolished its splendid churches, and put most of the inhabitants to death. It has, ever since, lost its reputation and magnificence, and has groaned under the dominion of the Turk. Antioch abounded with great men, and the Christian church in this city was long governed by illustrious prelates; but it suffered much on several occasions, sometimes being exposed to the violence of heresies, and at other times being rent by deplorable schisms.
The greater part of the inhabitants were Greeks and Syrians; but Josephus says that many Jews also settled in it. The kings of Syria allowed the Jews the freedom of Antioch equally with the Greeks, so that their numbers increased exceedingly, and they were always bringing over a great many of the Greeks to their religious worship.
Antioch was sometimes called Antiockia Epidaphne, and Antiockia apud Daphnem, to distinguish it from other cities of the same name. It derived these appellations from its neighborhood to Daphne, a village mentioned in the history of the Maccabees, (2 Mac. 4. 3!) ;) which stood about five miles from Antioch, and was accounted one of the suburbs of the city, Here Seleucus had planted an immense grove of laurels and cypresses, more than three miles in extent, in the centre of which was a temple dedicated to Apollo and Diana; the whole being consecrated as an asylum or sanctuary. To this place the inhabitants of Antioch were accustomed to resort for amusement, as the Romans did to Biie, and the Alexandrians to Canopus; but in process of time it was so much frequented by the dissolute, that it was avoided as infamous, by all who had any regard for their reputation. Here the worship, as among other idolatrous people, was, alas! worthy of its object. Hence, Daphnicis moribus vioere, "to live after the manner of Daphne," became a proverbial expression, to denote the most dissolute course of life. It was, indeed, the general characteristic of the inhibitants of Antioch, in almost every period of their history, to live after this manner; and to this, their voluptuous disposition, may be ascribed many of the calamities which bejel this celebrated city, if not indeed its final catastrophe.
Such was Antioch in the time of the apostles. Yet in this most unpromising soil did Christianity take root. It has been already
remarked, that the inhabitants were chiefly Greeks. To these, in particular, it appears from Acts 11, 20, certain Cypriot and Cyrenian converts, who had fled from the persecution which followed the death of Stephen, addressed themselves, "preaching the Lord Jesus." The humble and faithful labors of these persecuted men, were signally blessed in this idolatrous city; "and the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord." Some are of opinion, however, that the Gospel had been previously introduced into this city, by the Jewish converts, soon after the day of Pentecost. Should this opinion be admitted, (and it is not improbable,) this season must be regarded as a very great and glorious revival at Antioch; and hence arose one of the most illustrious of all the primitive Christian churches. When the apostles at Jerusalem, were informed of the success of the Gospel in this populous capital of Syria, they sent Barnabas to aid the infant church. His coming was attended with the happiest results; and so fast did the field expand, and the harvest ripen, that he was soon forced to solicit the assistance of Paul, who was then residing among his friends at Tarsus. By means of their joint labors, the church was greatly enlarged, and this place became their future residence, the centre and rallying point of all their subsequent miriisterial and missionary exertions. Here they were also joined by Peter; who, on one memorable occasion, for his unreasonable concessions to the Jews, respecting the observance of the ceremonial law, and consequent dissimulation, was firmly and publicly reproved by Paul, as putting to hazard the very substance of the elorions gospel. Acts 15: 22—St); Gal. 2: 11—14.
Antioch was the birth-place of St. Luke; and also of Theophilus, to whom his two books of the evangelical history were addressed. In this city, also, the name of Christians was first given, and as the original word indicates, by divine authority, to the followers of Christ; who, before this, were commonly styled Nazarenes, as being the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, a name by which the Jews, in scorn, call them to this day, with the same intfnt that the Gentiles of old were wont to call them Galileans. In the relief sent by this church to their suffering brethren in Judea, during the famine foretold by Agabus, which occurred in the fourth or fifth year of Claudius, (as mentioned by Josephus, Eusebius, and others.) we see the generous overflowings of their Christian charity. Acts 11: 27—30. And we have the testimony of Chrysoslom, both of the vast increase of this illustrious church in the fourth century, and of the spirit of charity which then continued No. 7. Anecdote.—How to Make
Wives Love their Home.
to actuate it. It consisted, at this lime, of not less than a hundred thousand communicants, three thousand of whom were supported out of the donations of their brethren.
It is painful to trace the progress of declension in such a church as this—a church whose infancy was watched over by such a brilliant galaxy of eminent and inspired teachers, (Acts, 13: 1;)—whose maturity was adorned by the character and writings of the most distinguished of the early martyrs, Ignatius, for many years its venerable pastor—and which flourished for three centuries with increasing vigor, under the fires of persecution; yet from the age of Chrysostom, that is, from the close of the fourth century, must we date its decline and fall. It continued, indeed, outwardly prosperous; but superstition, secular ambition, and the pride of life; pomp and formality in the service of God, in the place of humility and sincere devotion; the decay of charity, and the growth of faction; showed that real religion was fast disappearing; and that the foundations were already laid of that great apostacy, which, in two centuries from this time, overfpread the whole Christian world; led to the almost entire extinction of the church of the East; and still holds dominion over the fairest portion of the West.
Antioch, under its modern name of Antakia, is now but little known to the western nations. It occupies, or rather did till lately occupy, a remote corner of the ancient inclosure of its walls. Its splendid buildings are reduced to hovels; and its population of half a million, to ten thousand wretched beings, living in the usual debasement and insecurity of Turkish subjects. Such was nearly its tftndition when visited by Pocock about the year 1738, and again by Kinnico, in 1813. But its ancient subterranean enemy, which, since its destruction in 587, never long together withheld its tremendous assaults, has again triumphed ,over it. The earthquake of the 13th of Augu.-t, 1822, laid it once more in ruins. The Jewish missionary, Wolfe, who was present at the awful scene, transmitted to his friends a most vivid description of this closing catastrophe. Every thing relating to Antioch is now past.—Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.
Anecdote.—A distinguished gentleman of Pennsylvania, whose nose and chin were both very long, and who had lost his teeth, whereby the nose and chin were brought near together, was told, " I am afraid your nose and chin will fight, they approach each other very menacingly." "I am afraid of it myself," replied the gentleman, "for a great manv words have passed between them already."
HOW TO MAKE WIVES LOVE THEIR HOMES.
A great deal has been said, here and elsewhere, about the stay-at-home duty of wives; and the obligation under which they live, to make home pleasant and comfortable, attractive, and all that. The inference from this one sided preaching and caution is, that men have nothing to do in the matter; and that nothing depends upon them in relation to the comforts of what is intended to be the pleasant place upon earth. Women are soundly rated for gadding, as if they had no right to be seen out of doors; while men may treat their houses as mere cook-shops, and places where lodgings are provided for them—coming in only to their food and to their beds, and nobody questions either their right thus to neglect their families, or the propriety and policy of such neglect.
When a man thus contemptuously treats his home, and evinces in every action his preference for any place except his own fireside, what are we to expect of the rest of "the folks," but that they should emulate the father of the family, and despise home tol If they make it comfortable, it must be from selfish considerations; for nobody cares any thing about it more than an hour at a time. All the efforts of the wife to call attention to improvements and alterations in the household being lost, or responded to in the language and tone of indifference, she becomes dispirited, and naturally learns to put a small estimate upon what receives but small consideration from others. Of course, she must "gad," or be miserable.
Wives and religion are treated much alike in this world. Both, to use an Hibernicism, are considered the one thing needful, and both are neglected. To both a great deal of lip worship is paid—and towards both, to do human nature justice, there is a great deal of warmth of heart. It is, however, but an abstract feeling—a sentiment by fits and starts, which comes over one when he is melted by adversity, or cheered by extraordinary good fortune. It comes out upon great occasions, but in the daily walks of life, where itw influence should be seen and felt, it is a hidden thing. If a man is dying himself, he calls upon his Maker with as much fervency as if he had never forgotten Him; and if his wife is at the point of death, he makes himself as busy and anxious as if he had never forgotten her. The same feeling equalized through his life, would prevent a man's terrible anxiety at the point of death; and proper and attentive care of his wife, at all times, and under all circumstances, would leave him no necessity to be over-anxious to atone for usual remissness when she is in 'danger or distress.