LETTER xxix DAILY PEAYERS 301 stroyed whatever of value had been hidden, including a firman and a knife which (it is said) were given by Mohammed to a former Catholicos, and which are now in Stamboul. The general arrangement of the church is a pathetic protest .against chronic insecurity and persecution. The interior, and especially the sanctuary, are as black as smoke can make them, although very few candles are ordinarily used, the clergy holding rolls of thin wax taper in their hands when they require light on the Liturgies and Gospel. There is little architectural orna- ment except some sculptured stones, and two recesses with scallop-shell roofs at the sides of the chancel arch. The church is in good repair, for if any rain gets into a sacred building it has to be reconsecrated. Towards five o'clock the sounding-board is beaten, and the Patriarch, the two bishops, and some other men, all in secular dress, saunter down to evening prayers, which are usually said by the Patriarch himself, and consist of a few prayers, a short lesson, and some psalms. The custom is for the people on entering to kiss the Cross, the Gospels, and the Patriarch's hand, and to lay their daggers in the church porch. Clerical vestmejits are not worn at these services. The Liturgies and Gospels are magnificent specimens of caligraphy, and the Syriac characters are in themselves beautiful. Evangelist. At the Last Supper (the legend runs) our Lord gave to John two loaves, putting it into his heart to preserve one. At the Cross, when this same apostle saw the "blood and water," he took the phial from his bosom and added the water from the pierced side to the water of baptism, dipping the loaf at the same time in the blood. After the Day of Pente- cost the disciples, before going forth to "disciple" the nations, ground John's blood-dyed loaf to powder, mixed it with flour and salt, divided it among themselves, and carried it forth to serve as leaven for ever for the bread of remembrance. In like manner they took of the mingled water of the phial, and mixing it with oil of unction, divided it, and pre- served it for the perpetual sanctification of the waters of baptism.