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PART II. divers times changed its masters, it was by a long siege
'finally taken by the Turks, and ruined by them in such a manner, as if they had thought they could never take a full revenge upon it for the blood it had cost them, or sufficiently prevent such slaughters for the future. As to its situation, it enjoys all possible advantages both of sea and land. On its north and east sides it is compassed with a spacious fertile plain; on the west it is washed by the Mediterranean sea, and on the south by a large bay extending from the city as far as mount Carmel.
But notwithstanding all these advantages, it has never been able to recover itself since its last fatal overthrow. For besides a large kane, in which the French factors have taken up their quarters, and a mosque, and a few poor cottages, you see nothing here, but a vast and spacious ruin. It is such a ruin, however, as sufficiently demonstrates the strength of the place in former times. It appears to have been encompassed on the land side by a double wall, defended with towers at small distances; and without the walls are ditches, ramparts, and a kind of bastions, faced with hewn stone. In the fields without these works we saw scattered up and down the ground several large balls of stone, of at least thirteen or fourteen inches diameter, which were part of the ammunition used in battering the city, guns being then unknown. Within the walls there still appear several ruins, which seem to distinguish themselves from the general heap, by some marks of a greater strength and magnificence. As first, those of the cathedral church, dedicated to St. Andrew, which stands not far from the sea-side, more high and conspicuous than the other ruins. Secondly, the church of St. John, the tutelar saint of this city. Thirdly, the convent of the Knights Hospitallers, a place whose remaining walls sufficiently testify its ancient strength. And not far from the convent, the palace of the grand master of that order, the
magnificence of which may be guessed from a large CHAP. V. stair-case and part of a church still remaining in it. SECT. II. Fourthly, some remains of a large church belonging to a nunnery, of which they tell us this memorable story. The Turks having oppressed this city with a long and furious siege, at last entered it by storm, May 19, 1291. In which great extremity, the abbess of this nunnery, fearing lest she and those under her care might be forced to submit to such bestialities as are usual in cases of that deplorable nature, used this cruel but generous means for securing both her and them: she summoned all her flock together, and exhorted them to cut and mangle heir faces, as the only way to preserve their virgin purity; and, to shew how much she was in earnest, she immediately began before them all to make herself an example of her own counsel. The nuns were so animated by this heroical resolution and pattern of the abbess, that they began instantly to follow her example, cutting off their noses, and disfiguring their faces with such horrible gashes, as might excite horror rather than lustful desires in the beholders. The consequence of which was, that the soldiers breaking into the nunnery, and seeing, instead of those beautiful ladies they expected, such tragical spectacles, took a revenge for their disappointed lusts, by putting them all to the sword: thus restoring them, as in charity we may suppose, to a new and inviolable beauty. But to go on, many other ruins here are of churches, palaces, monasteries, forts, &c. extended for more than half a mile in length; in all which you may discern marks of so much strength, as if every building in the city had been contrived for war and defence. This is the present state of Ptolemais, given us by an ingenious person, who saw it in 1697.
From hence, having staid one day, St. Paul z with his
z Acts xxi. 8.
15. St. Paul comes to Cæsarea,
PART II. company departed, and came to Cæsarea, where they
were entertained by Philip the Evangelist, and one of the seven deacons. Having tarried here many days, they
went up thence a to Jerusalem, where the brethren reand thence ceived them gladly.
a Acts xxi. 15.
C HA P. VI.
Of St. Paul's Travels and Voyages, from his being sent a
Prisoner to Rome, till his Martyrdom or Death.
Not long after his return to Jerusalem, St. Paul being 1.
St. Paul is in the a Temple, was laid hold of by the Jews, as a man
apprehendthat taught all men every where against the people of the ed and sent Jews, and against the law, and that place. And so great to Felix. was their rage against the Apostle, that they went about A. D. 56. to kill him; and had done it, had they not been prevented by the chief captain's coming with some soldiers to quell the uproar, who took him out of their hands, and commanded him to be carried to the castle. After some time the chief captain, Claudius Lysias, being informed of a b conspiracy of the Jews to kill St. Paul, ordered some soldiers to convey him to Felix, the then governor of Judea, who resided at Cæsarea.
Accordingly the soldiers took St. Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris, a place formerly called Ca- of Antipapharsalama; but being rebuilt, or at least enlarged or beautified, by Herod, it was by him named Antipatris, in honour of his father Antipater.
On the morrow the foot-soldiers returning to the castle at Jerusalem, left the horsemen that were sent to go with St. Paul is St. Paul to Cæsarea. Where St. Paul being presented to Cæsarea. the governor, and kept in a place called Herod's Judgment-hall, and having been often heard by Felix, and afterwards by Porcius Festus, the succeeding governor; and A. D. 58. at length, being obliged to make his appeal to Cæsar himself; it was after some time c determined that he should be sent into Italy. Hereupon he, with certain
4. other prisoners, was delivered to a centurion of Augustus's Being sent
A. D. 57.
to Italy, he band, named Julius; and they all went aboard a ship of a Acts xxi. 27, &c.
C Acts xxvii. 1-5. b Acts xxiii. 12--35.
goes aboard f Acts xxvii. 6.
PART 11. Adramyttium, a sea-port town in Mysia in the lesser Asia, a ship of lying over-against the isle Lesbos, or Metelin, and not far Adramyt- from Troas.
Setting sail they took their course by d Sidon, and so
under Cyprus, and then over the sea of Cilicia and PamHe comes phylia, till they came to Myra, a city of Lycia. As for to Myra in Lycia, it was a province lying between Pamphylia to the Lycia.
east, and Caria to the west, Lydia (or Asia proper in the Scripture sense) with Phrygia to the north, and the sea to the south. In this province it is, that the most famous and chief mountain of all the Asiatic continent begins, named Taurus.
The city Myra, at which St. Paul now touched, was the metropolis of the province of Lycia, when under the Romans; and by consequence an archbishop's see, when Christian. St. Nicholas, one of the bishops hereof in the primitive times, is said to have been a great patron of scholars; his festival, annually holden on the sixth of December, is celebrated in the church of Rome with several pastimes, and still in some schools here in e England, (as in that of Burford in Oxfordshire, saith my author,) for a
feast and a play-day. 6. At this place the centurion found a ship off Alexandria, of Alexan- that was bound for Italy. For Alexandria is a city on
the coast of Egypt, and was then one of the most celebrated marts in the world, and still is in sufficient repute for merchandize or trade. The great cause of the abatement of its trade has been the discovery of the passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, or on the south of Afric. For before this discovery, the whole spice trade was carried into this part of the world through this city, the spices being brought from the East Indies up the Red sea to Egypt, and from thence by land on camels to Alexandria. It takes its name from Alexander the Great, by whom it was built and peopled with Greeks, imme
d Acts xxvii, 1–5.