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Full text of "Journal of Three Years' Residence in Abyssinia"

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JOURNAL 



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1850. 



JOURNAL 



or 



THREE YEARS' RESIDENCE 

ABYSSINIA. 

BY REV. SAMUEL GOBAT. 

HOW WIU^Qr OP JBBQSALIM. 
P&KCKDXD B7 AN XNTAODUOnON 

GEOQRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL, ON ABYSSINIA. 

TBANBLATBD FROM THX FBSNOK 

BY REV. SERENO D. CLARK. 

ACGOMrAIIIBO WXTH 

A BIOGRAPHICAL 0KETCH OF BISHOP GOBAT, 

BT ROBEBT BAIRD, D.D. 



^^^»^^»^>^^^^N^>^^^i^^^^»^^^^^^^ 



" Ethiopia tball soon itretch oat her handB nnto God.**— Psalm IxriU. 31. 



r^«^^^^^«^^«^N^^^^^kM#^>^'^^^r^ 



NEW YORK: 
PUBLISHED BY M.W. DODD, 

BBICX CHURCH CHAFEL, CITY BALL SQUARE, 
(OPPOfllTB THB CITT HALL.) 

1850. 



Gy:kC 






Batared acoonUiiK to Aet of Confress, la the year 1850, by 

M. W. DODD, 
In the Clerk's Office of the Southem Dlatiict of New York. 



miBOTTrKD BT T. B. laHW, 
816 WILLLUI iTEBBT. 



PREFACE. 



• •• 



Thb work here presented to the public, has been 
translated rather freely than literally; the translator 
deeming it sufficient to delineate in his own way, yet 
truthfully and vividly, the various scenes, events, and 
characters sketched by the author. This he has en- 
deavored to do without casting every period and par- 
agraph in the same mould with the original. 

He has also interwoven int(f the text of the trans- 
lation some facts and incidents drawn from other 
sources, adding much to the interest and value of the 
work. This, it is believed, will be duly appreciated by 
the public, when it is considered, that there is scarcely 
a habitable part of the globe in respect to which there 
is so little reliable information concerning the past and 
present as of Abyssinia. 

AsiinsLD, MiaL, April 10, 1850l 



CONTENTS. 



• •• 



BiooRAPHT or Mb. Gobat 7 

iHTRODUCnON 19 

Pakt L — Abtssinia and m Lthabitaiitb 19 

Pakt n. — ^HiBTomiOAL Sjcetcb or the ABTfiaoriAir Obuboh . . 66 



JOUKNAL. 



CHAPTER L 



Hr. Gobaf s jouroeT from Adegrate to Oondar. OooTerMtiooii^ by 
the way, with fdlow-trayel^ Arrival at Oondar . . llT 



CHAPTER U. 

Interview with Oabea. Mr. Gobat concludes to remain at Gkxi- 
dar. Is placed by Oubea under the protection of the Etchegua, 
chief of the monks. Conversations with Alaca Waldab, Habeta 
Selasse, and other ecdeeiastics, (mterspersed throughout the 
chapter.) Visit to the king, Joas. Troubles at the custom- 
house. Visit to Cantiba Cassai, governor of Goodar, and to the 
daqghter of the late Bas Qoogsa 154 



CHAPTER III. 

Celebration of Easter. Visit to the Etchegua or head of the 
monks. Conversation with him upon doctrinal subjects. Con- 
versations with various priests, and remarks upon their charac- 
ter. Sent for by Ozoro Waleta Teclit, to cure the madness of 
her brother. Disturbances in the city. Habeta Selasse proposes 
a mission to the Gallas. Brief account of the Falashaa. Ck>pies 
of the Amharic Gospel diatributed 206 



VI CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Visit to a TflUige of the FalashAa. Great disturbanoes in the city. 
Superstitious opinions concerning sorcery. Increasing inter- 
oonrse with the priests and the hiitj. Much sought to as a 
physician. Conversation with the Etchegua, and another priest 
nigh in authority, expressly upon religious subjects. Death of 
the king's wife. Discussions on Original Sin. Visited hv a 
Jewess, a sorceress. Barbarous treatment of a thie£ Attacked 
by a severe fever. Reasons for not fasting duriog his illness. 
Receives numerous visits afterward. Schism in di&rent prov- 
inces of Abyssinia concerning the nature of Jesus Christ Change 
of the Etch^^ua. Prepares to return to Tigre. Review of his 
stay in Gon£r 2*!*! 

CHAPTER V. 

Arrival at Adowah. Visit to Sebagadis. Arrival of the Rev. C. 
Kugler. Ophthalmia. Mr. Kogler wounded by the bursting of 
a gun. His last illness and dying scene. Directions concerning 
his funeral, not to conform to the Abyssinian superstitions. 
His burial Indignation of Sebagadis against the priests. Con- 
, versations with the young Tecla Georgis. Account of a Damo- 
tera's sting. Alarnung news from the scene of war . . . 864 

CHAPTER VI. 

Flight from Adowah, in company with Walda Michael. Account 
of the capture and death of Sebagadis. Mr. Gobat sent by 
Walda Michael, for protection, to the monastery of Debra Damot 
After three months seclusion, arrival at Adigrate. Description 
of the locusts. Reading of the Scriptures with his servant Gue- 
brou. Consequences of the battle of Februair 14th. Native 
dirge on Sebagadis. A youi^ son of Sebagadis revolts. The 
eldest Walda Michael, maintains his power. Oubea comes to 
attack Walda Michael. Mr. Gobat takes refuge again in Debra 
Damot Returns to Adigrate. He again takes refuge in Debra 
Damot Remarks on the Galla country. Recovery n-om severe 
illness. Cruel proceedings of Oubea. BatUe between Oubea 
and the sons of Sebagadis. They submit to Oubea, who gives 
them about half of their father's government Departure from 
Massowah. Waits upon Oubea and Walda Michael, before his 
departure. Arrives successively at Massowah, Jidda, Suez, and 
Cairo 886 

Gbkibal RncAHKS ON THE Statb OF AsTSSDnA. — Political, Civil, 
and Military affiiirs. Religious condition of the country. The 
ChristiaDS. Morals. Molutmmedana The Falashas or Jews. 
The Oamoimies. The Zalanes. General customs of Abyssinia. 
Conolasino 489 



BIOGRAPHY OF MR. GOBAT. 



About the time of my arrival at Paris, in the spring 
of 1835, a very interesting book was published in that 
city, which bore the title of " S6jour en Abyssinie."* 
This volume I read with great interest, and sent it, a 
year or two afterwards, to the Rev. Mr. Clark, to whom 
the public are indebted for the present volume, who 
had written to request me to send him something which 
he might translate for the press. In translating the 
work, Mr. Clark has compared it, at every step, with 
a similar work which appeared about the same time in 
England, and which consisted mainly of the letters 
which Mr. Gobat had addressed to the Church Mis- 
sionary Society, and which had been published in their 
"Register." This work he found to contain some 
things which the French work (that had been prepared 
from the German reports or letters of Mr. Gobat to 
the Missionary Institution and friends at Basle, and 
had been published in that language at that city,) did 
not ; and on the other hand, the French work was 
found to contain some things which were not in the 
English volume. The result has been the preparation 
of a volume, which I do not hesitate to pronounce, 
more complete and satisfactory than any of the three 

* A Scgoon in AJbywiiifaL 



VIU BIOGRAPHY OF MB. OOBAT. 

volumes that have appeared in England, Germany and 
France. 

Upon my return to this country, in the year 1838, 
on a visit, Mr. Clark requested me to write an Intro- 
duction to the volume, to consist mainly of a sketch 
of the life of the distinguished missionary whose self- 
denying and very interesting efforts to impart the 
Gospel to the idolatrous Christians and other inhabi- 
tants of Abyssinia it records. To do this it was neces- 
sary to obtain the information needed of some one who 
knew Mr. Gobat well. Accordingly, I wrote to the late 
Rev. Dr. Blumhardt, who was for many years " In- 
spector," or President of the Missionary Institution at 
Basle, whose acquaintance I had been so fortunate as 
to make during the first summer I spent in Europe. 
But my letter arrived some time after the death of that 
excellent man. The Rev. Mr. Ostertag, however, who 
was then an instructor in that celebrated seminary, 
and a nephew of Dr. Blumhardt, was so good as to re- 
ply to my inquiries, and even to procure for me the 
subjoined interesting letter of Mr. Gobat, who was 
then residing in Switzerland, on account of his health, 
which had suffered greatly during his two " sojourns" 
in Abyssinia. The reader, I am sure, will be pleased 
to read a part of Mr. Ostertag's letter. It is dated at 
Basle, March 2dth, 1839. 

** My Dear Sir^ — I dare say the intelligence of the lamented death 
of the excellent Inspector Blamhardt has reached you since yon 
addreaaed your last letter (of the 30th of January,) to him. This 
mysterious dispensation of our Lord, in which the whole Missionary 
Church is sadly interested, occurred on the 19th of December, 1838, 
after several weeks of painful illness. We incessantly united hi 
Intarceaaion for hia Tecoveiy» and for a tiind cherished the h<^ of 



VJOORAPHT OF MS. QOBAT. UC 

Ids being regt o red to the work, for a longer time ; bnt the Lord was 
pleased to take this valoabie servant to the everlasting rest of 
saints, where he will reap in joy what he has sown in tears. In the 
meantime the snperintendence of the Institution has been, under the 
Committee, committed to my care, as I had the privilege to labor a 
good while with the late Dr. Blnmhardt in the Institution, and to be 
faUy acquainted with his views, being his nephew and fellow-laborer* 
Some weeks since, a new Principal has been appointed, the Rev. 
William Hoffman, an excellent man, and distinguished for his 
learning, his piety, and his missionary spirit. He is to enter our 
Institution in the month of May. The Lord grant that His blessed 
work may be happily carried on by the hands of my dear brotheri in 
the spirit of my ever-lamented uncle ! 

" When your letter was handed to me, I at once asked the Rev« 
Mr. Gobat to be so kind as to answer your inquiries respecting him- 
self with his own hand, seeing you would no doubt be more pleased 
with this mode of gaining your object than any other. You will 
find his letter, directed to me, enclosed. 

** As far as I have had the pleasure to meet with missionaries, I 
venture to say, that I have never seen a man like him. His hu- 
mility vies with his eminent abilities, as you will perceive in his 
letter ; and his devotion and zeal are equal to his patience in the 
midst of great trials. It is now two years that he is led by the 
Lord's mysterious dispensation into a painful cessation from all lar 
bon, and almost exhausted by manifold inward and outward trials, 
— nevertheless, he is as calm and serene as if the Ix>rd had given 
him nothing but dainties." 

These extracts will suffice to prepare the way for 
the interesting autobiographical sketch, which Mr. 
Gobat gives in his letter to Mr. Ostertag, which is now 
submitted to the reader. 

" My dear BaoTBEE, — 

** Although I should like to pass unnoticed through the world, 
since it has pleased the Lord to put me to silence, by the severe trials 
through which he has led me ; still it affords me pleasure to hear 
that Mr. Baird finds my Journal worth being published in America. 
May the good which it may contain, be blessed to some. Although 

!• 



X BIOGRAPHY OP MR. OOBAT* 

the modesty which may be in me, as well as my oatunl pride, make 
it onpleasant to me to speak of my poor self; still I camiot bat com« 
ply with yoor wishes, and answer the questions proposed in Mr. 
Baiid's letter concerning me. 

** 1. I was bom on the 26th January, 1799, at Cremine, a small 
village in the valley of Montier, now in the Canton of Berne, (Swit- 
zerland ;) bat ihen under the French government, till the &11 of Na- 
poleon. 

** a. My father and my mother, especially the latter, had a relig- 
ious tendency from their youth ; they never neglected divine service 
on the Loid's-day, without necessity ; and the remainder of that 
day they usually spent in reading the Bible and other religious 
books ; they had daily family prayer, though this duty was some- 
times neglected* in the season of hard labors ; and in tlieir business 
they were quiet. If there had been true and vital Christians in the 
neighborhood, they would have united with them ; but still, before 
the year 1818, they were more under the law than under the Gos- 
pel. The doctrine of Grace was partially known to them ; but they 
always thought that a something was necessary before they could 
apply it to themselves ; and this something they never found. Du- 
ring the years of my infancy and early youth, my mother was under 
a continual sense of sin and guilt, yet not strong enough to deprive 
her of the hope she had of making herself fit to receive the Saviour ; 
and thus they wanted both the true spiritual life. Nevertheless, 
when I remember the wisdom with which they treated their chfl- 
dren, I am convinced that, even at that time, they were, without 
knowing it, under the influence of the Spirit of God. They had to- 
wards their children the most tender parental love, which could sup- 
port the faults of childish levity, without excusing them, and united 
with an unbending severity against wilful sin, lies, disobedience and 
the like. But having both of them been in comparatively easy cir- 
cumstances in their respective families, and lost the greater part 
of their property in the French Revolution and its consequences, 
soon after they were married, they had contracted a certain want 
of firmness, which, united to a tender conscience, made them almost 
unfit to deal with men. Their occupation was the cultivation of 
their own land, which, being in an unfertile spot, required much la- 
bor, until the year 1818, when my father, being charged with debts, 
and seeing that his sons (an elder brother and myseUf) were of no 



BIOOSAPHT OP MB. OOBAT. XI 

QM to him, reaohed to sell as much land aa waa neceaaary to pay 
Ilia debts ; ao that very little of it lemained in his possession. Since 
that time a special spiritual blessing was granted to the whole fam- 
ily ; 80 that father and mother, and their four children, were not 
only concerted to God, within two yean, bat it haa pleased God 
also to choose several of ns as instrumentB to lead other sinners to 
the same Savionr, whom to know and to love we had found to be 
life and happuiess. My mother especially, has since been a means 
of Ueasing to many^ronnd her, until it pleased God to take her from 
this world in Angast, 1837. My aged lather lives with my brother. 
" 3. In my earliest infancy I was taught to look to God for eveiy 
Ueaaing, and to love him above all things ; and in fact, I was ahnoat 
as pious as a young child may be. My greatest delight was to read 
the Word of God, and then to withdraw to secret pnyer. In my 
seventh year, I knew the BiUe nearly as well as now ; though there 
were many passages which I did not understand. Besides, I used 
then to read truly pious books. I prayed frequently to God that he 
would make me a minister of the Gospel. But this early piety 
proved to be as a cloud of the morning ; for in my ninth year I 
began to doubt about some passages of the Bible ; and a few years 
after I doubted about everything, even about the divinity of Chrikt 
and the immortality of the soul. Formerly my parents desired that 
I should study theology ; but when the time was come to decide 
about it, they had bad so many succeeding misfortunes, that they 
were no longer able to pay the expenses ; and when, in my eleventh 
year, a friend of my father offered to pay all the expenses which 
my studies might cost, I was no longer disposed to become a min- 
ister; because I had still the conviction, that a minister must be 
pious ; whilst my heart longed for the enjoyments of sin. Thus, 
from my eleventh to my twentieth year, I was an infidel, without 
allowing my parents to know it ; for fear of causing them more 
sorrow. For the same reason my conduct was orderly, as far as I 
thought that my parents would see it or hear of it ; still they were 
convinced that I was not in reality what I appeared to be in their 
presence. During that time I labored with my parents, only that I 
might not displease them ; but I did not like any kind of occupation ; 
my heart was the receptacle of so much evil. Whenever I could 
avoid the eyes of my parents or their friends, I was playing at cards 
with my equate, (who have since ahnost all become piona.) With 



XU 8I00&APHY or MA. OOBAT. 

all this, when I happened to meet with pious people, I loved theai» 
though, in ipeneral, I avoided their company as much as I could $ 
and when, in their absencei people mocked or calumniated them, I 
used to defend them ; for I despised all those who professed to be- 
lieve in the Bible, and did not live according to their profession ; 
whilst I considered pious people aa sincere and conscientious. I 
knew the system of Gospel truths and of Christian experiences so 
well, that when, on one occasion, two young Christians were per- 
suaded to sing a worldly song in a large company, not having the 
courage to warn them, for fear of derision, I went out to weep for 
\hem ; not that I thought that they had done wrong, but because I 
knew how bitterly they would suffer afterwards, until their con- 
sciences should be quiet again. 

** For several years I do not remember to have felt any want of a 
Saviour, nor any desire afler God. The first occasion at which my 
heart was moved for a moment was the following. My parents had 
invited a pious minister (Mr. Boat) of the neighborhood to come and 
speak with me, without my knowing it ; for, as he had the name of 
being very severe, when I knew that he would come, I always con- 
trived to be absent. He arrived whilst I was at table ; and at his 
sight I got somewhat uneasy. My mother perceiving it, and fear* 
ing I might absent myself, supposing too that it would be dangerous 
to attack either my unbelief or my conduct in the presence of sev- 
eral witnesses, asked me whether I would accompany him home; 
which I promised as the only means to avoid open shame. On the 
way the minister attempted many times to tell me the truths which 
my case required ; but, for about an hour, I continued to avoid bis 
blows and to turn such truths upon others. At the end of an hour, 
I perceived that the faithful minister was uneasy ; he looked at me, 
and then to the ground, somewhat confused ; for it was not his 
manner to make use of so mucli politeness wlien he thought hlm- 
aelf called upon to speak to sinners. Perceiving that he was about 
to attack me directly, and to tell me : you are the man ; and unwil- 
ling to oppose him, for fear be might give a mournful report to my 
parents, whom to offend was always painful to me, I took leave 
of him in an abrupt manner, under the pretext that I had some en- 
gagement. When I was at a distance, I looked back and saw the 
poor man wiping his eyes. At this moment I appeared really vile 
fu mj own eyes. I said to myself: it was love Uiat brought this 



BIOORAPHT OP ME. OOBAT. XUl 

mtn to oar honae ; it was for fear of ofiending me, that he tried ao 
gently to come to my heart ; and now he reproaches himself of 
having been unfaithful; — and I have dealt as a vile hypocrite. 
From this time, July 1818, 1 did not feel so easy in my spiritual 
death as before. In the beginning of October of the same year, my 
levity gave occasion to a young man to tempt me in snch a manner, 
that, for the first time, I saw somewhat of the danger of sm. From 
that day I had no more rest ; I labored harder by day and played the 
whole nights throogh, in order to avdd the melancholy thoughts 
which pursued me ; for I had resolved not to think about sin, nor 
about God. So it was till about the 20th of the same month, when, 
after having passed a Sunday sleeping at church — ^where I still went 
to please my parents— ^and dancing in the afternoon, I had made an 
arrangement with some young men to play the night through ; but, 
when I went out, after supper, much against the will of my parents, 
I was struck with the idea of the presence of God. I went in again 
and took the Bible to read ; which I had not done for several years, 
unless I was bidden by my parents to do it ; but when I opened it I 
felt myself under the vrrath of God and unworthy to read his Word ; 
and, for fear that my parents might observe my inward emotions, I 
withdrew ; it was between seven and eight o'clock in the evening. 
When I was akme I reflected a moment, and began praying with 
these words : ' O my Creator ! I have been told that thou hast sent 
thy only Son into the world to save sinners ; if it be really so, I 
pray thee to reveal him unto me ; for I am an undone sinner,' &c. 
The more I prayed the deeper was the anguish of my soul. I felt 
as if there had been only one pace between me and irremediable, 
eternal death. I cvontinued praying, and confessing my sins, until 
about three in the morning, when I said to God : * I will not let thee 
go until thou hast blessed me ; and if I must perish, I will perish in 
thy presence upon my knees.' A moment after this I could firmly 
believe that Jesus was my God, and that he had redeemed me ; and 
I ppent some of the most blessed hours of my life ; but on the morn- 
ing when I tried to rise, I had no strength lefl me to do it. When 
my mother came to see me in the morning, she said calmly : ' What 
is the matter with you, your countenance is altogether changed;' 
and when I related to her what had passed daring the last night, 
ahe did not show any great surprise in my presence ; but she went 
to my &ther and said to him : * We have neglected our children, 



XIV BIOGRAPHY OF MR. OOBAT. 

and we are not real Christians.' From this time they both graaned 
under a deep sense of sin for some months ; until the Lord spoke 
of peace to their sods. From this time I delighted in laboring hard 
during the day, and used to spend the half or two thirds of the night 
in praising God my Saviour. I desired to remain with my parents 
and to alleviate their situation in their old age. I thought for a long 
time of becoming a missionary ; but having had a very scanty edu- 
cation, and being about twenty years of age, I saw no possibility of 
it ; but still I was constrained to pray God to show me his holy will 
in this matter, and to call me clearly to the work, if it was his*good 
pleasure. Once, on a Lord's-day, when I had be^i praying earnestly 
that God would make known his will to me, I got the certainty that 
he would do it ; though I did not know in what way ; and when I 
went home (I had been praying in a wood) I found a pious lady 
who was in correspondence with the Missionary Institution at 
Basle,'^ and who asked me quite unexpectedly whether I would be- 

* The history of this Missionary Institution is not a litUe remarkable. 
It owes its origin to the following drcumstance, under the Divine in- 
fluence and blessing : — 

In the summer of 1816, about the time of the battle of Waterloo, 
a large army of Russians and Austrians under the command of the 
Archduke John of Austria — ^he who has figured so much in the recent 
history of Germany as Regent, or Vicar of the Empire which it was 
attempted to form — reached the Rhine, opposite to Basle, and pre- 

gu-ed to cross over. To resist this army a large French force, under 
eneral Barbenaigre, stationed in the Fortress of Hmiinfue (now 
destroyed), near to Basle, supported by 80,000 in the neighboring 
towns, under General Pinon, stood prepared. Had the Russians and 
Austrians crossed over and taken possession of Basle, that city must 
have been ruined by the cannon of the French fortress^ Just as the 
allied force was about to cross, and the battle on the point of com- 
mencing, the magistrates of Basle — which was a neutral city — sent a 
committee to say to the Archduke John, that if the battle should go 
on, their city must be destroyed. Upon receiving this intellicence, he 
withdrew his forces from that point, and crossed the river a row miles 
above, and came round on the south, and the French reti-eated. No 
battle was fought, and Basle was saved. 

In the midst of their joy, the people of this good city, which was the 
scene of the labors of CBcolampadius, rushed in crowds to their 
churches and offered up their thanksgivings to God for this signal in- 
terposition.* This done, they began to ask the question : " What 

* Probably no elty ob tbe Coniinent has been more splrltaally blessed than Basle. 
Whilst rationalism has prevailed, In the last century and the beginning of this, In 
every city of Germany and Switzerland, the truth hss been dominant la the city 
whKh was refbnned by the labors of CEcolampadloa. 



BIOGRAPHY OF MS. OOBAT. ZY 

come a misstonary ? My answer was : * As soon as the Lord calls 
me, I am ready to it.' Upon this, without asking my consent, she 
wrote to the committee of tlie Missionary Institation at Basle ; and 
in about three weeks I received the invitation to keep myself ready 
to enter the Institution with the first promotion that should be re- 
ceived; and in the beginning of 1821, I entered the missionary 
house, where I remained till the autumn of 1823. Upon this I 
passed one year at Paris, in order to study Arabic ; and in 1826 I ' 
passed nine months in London, whence I was sent to Abyssinia. 

^ 4. From the preceding statement, it is obvious that my attain- 
ments are very limited in every respect ; for in my infimcy I was in 
a most miserable village school, and only four months in a year, up 
to my sixteenth year, from which time to my twentieth year, I neg- 
lected every kind of study. The two years and a half which I 
passed in the Missionary Institution at Basle, could only remove my 
grossest ignorance. I have since tried to catch a little here and a 
little there as opportunities occurred. The Word of Crod has been 
and is still my principal study. I have begun eleven languages, 
besides my native patois ; but most of them I know very imperfectly. 

^ 5. The first time I was three years in Abyssinia, from the be- 
ginning of 1830 to the end of 1832 ; and the second time one year 
and a half, from March, 1835, to September, 1836 ; but I lay the 

moDionent shall we erect to commemorate this wonderful deliverance f 
Some proposed one thin^, some aoother, until it was at last suggested 
that they should establish a Missionary Institute, in which to prepare 
religious teachers for the poor Cossacks from the Don, thousanos of 
whom had just passed bv in the Russian army. This proposition 
pleased all, and immediately they set about the work. In 1816, the In- 
stitution was opened. In 1818 the first of its missionaries left its 
walls. The number of its students, for years, has been from 40 to 46. 
It might have many more, if the requisite means were possessed. 
About 280 young men have ^one forth fi-om this Seminary, of whom 
160 or no are now laboring m all parts of the world where missionary 
operations are going on. Many of its students are in the employment 
of the Churdi Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society, and 
the Netherlands Missionary Society. The remainder are in the serrice 
of the Basle Missionary Society, whose laborers are quite numerous in 
western Africa, India, and other parts, although its receipts scarcely 
exceed 120,000. 

The reader will be sorry to hear that the excellent and distinguished 
Dr. Hoffinan has been compelled, by protracted and severe illness, to 

e've up the inspectorship of this remarkable Missionary Institution ; 
it who has been appointed to take his place we have not heard. 



XVI 



BIOGRAPHY OP MR. OOBAT. 



whole time on my bed, always soffering cruel pains ; and was ca»- 
ried on a litter out of the country; wherefore I could do nothing 
during that time. 
y' ** 6. In May, 1834, 1 was married to Maria, the second daughter 
of Mr. 2^ner, director of a normal school (at Beuggen, near Basle) 
for poor schoolmasters, disposed to teach the children in poor vil- 
lages, where they have not the means otherwise to provide for good 
and faithful schoolmasters. In the same institution there are al- 
ways about seventy poor children, who are maintained and educated 
until they attain the age of sixteen years. The whole is supported 
by the gifts of charitable people. My wife accompanied me to 
Abyssinia, where she had a great deal of trials, especially by see- 
ing me continually, for eighteen months, on the brink of the grave, 
even when she had the cholera ; but, under God, she was not only 
the means of many comforts and alleviation of sufferings, but even 
of preserving my life. She has been pious from her ninth year. 
We have had three children, the first of which (bom in Abyssinia) 
got ill on the Red Sea, suffered much through the Desert, and died 
on the Nile. 

" 7. My illness in Abyssinia obliged roe to come back to Europe, 
where I have now spent two years, doing nothing ; nor is my own, 
or my wife's health so far restored as that I could return at present to 
Abyssinia. Wherefore, I intend leaving this during the next month, 
for Malta, where I have been called to help in the revision of the 
Arabic Bible, and in the direction of the Church Missionary press. 

'^ Now I fear I have been too long, and entered too much into 
details ; but you may make an extract of this, according to your 
good pleasure. Will you have the kindness to assure Mr. Baird 
of my Christian regards, and believe me, dear brother, to be 

•* Yours in Christian affection, Sl. Gobat." 

*• Bbuoobx, 14th March, 1839.** 



In the early part of the winter of 1839-40, Mr. Gobat 
went to Malta, where he made his home for six years, 
superintending the publication of the Scriptures in the 
Arabic and other oriental languages. During this pe- 
riod he made one visit, if not more, of considerable 
length, to Egypt and the adjacent portions of Asia, to 



BIOGRAPHY OF MB. GOBAT. XVll 

promote the circulation of the Word of God. He also 
yisited Germany during the latter part of that period. 
When the late excellent Dr. Alexander died — the first 
Bishop of Jerusalem, appointed and supported by the 
governments of England and Prussia, — the king of the 
latter, Frederick William IV., nominated Mr. Gobat for 
that post. After having received consecration at the 
hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, he set sail for 
his hard and sterile field of missionary toil, for such it 
deserves to be called, rather than a diocese. We are 
sorry to say that the last accounts which we have receiv- 
ed of him, represent his health as being very miserable. 

Few men of our times are more worthy of our pro- -^ 
found respect than Bishop Gobat. It is the testimony V 
of all who have seen him, that he is a man of extraor- x 
dinary talents, great humility, and devoted piety and \ 
zeal. He speaks eight or ten languages. As to his / 
knowledge of English, tl^e reader can judge from the ' 
letter which we have given, and which has been printed 
without the change of more than a word or two, — for 
whatever idioms it may contain, they are such as any ! 
one may easily comprehend. We do not believe that 
Henry Martyn was a more remarkable man. 

If the limits assigned to this notice of him permitted, 
it would be easy to give many striking illustrations of 
the wonderful tact which this remarkable man possesses 
for dealing with all classes of men. His admirable 
presence of mind and shrewdness, under God, more 
than once saved him from the greatest dangers among 
the Arabs. His life has been one of adventure, hard- 
ship, exposure, and suffering. 

As to the volume to which the attention of the reader 
is now invited, it may be said, that it is full of interest. 



XVUl BIOGRAPHY OF MR. 60BAT. 

It gives US a more correct idea of Abyssinia, and of 
the temporal and spiritual condition of its inhabitants, 
' than any other book in the English language. No man 
can possibly read the account which is here given of 
the patient, prudent, and able manner in which Mr. 
Gobat labored, amid much suffering, for the salvation 
of the poor benighted inhabitants of Abyssinia, without 
being profited. What an idea this book gives us of the 
superstitions, ignorance, useless ceremonies of the peo- 
ple, and the still more useless disputes of its " wise men" 
respecting certain points in theological speculation, so 
prevalent in the East ! And how admirably Mr. Gobat 
replies to these " sophists,"— one while candidly telling 
them that he knows nothing about the subject of their 
idle discussion, and at another trying to call their atten- 
tion to those subjects of infinite moment, about which 
these Abyssinian Christians — as they are called — are so 
deplorably ignorant. It is a treat to follow him in all 
his conversations with this people, and see the admira- 
ble skill with which he deals with them and their opin- 
ions. Nor did he labor in vain. 

But it is time to bring these introductory remarks to 
a close. The reader will find the translation faithful, 
clear, and readable. May the blessing of God attend 
it, and make it profitable to all who read it. It is com- 
mended to the special attention of young men who are 
desirous of going to the heathen world. They will 
learn from it how to deal with opponents of acute and 
subtle miilds, whether Pagan, Mohammedan, or nomi- 
nally Christian. R. Baird. 

New Tobx, Apnl, 1860. 



INTRODUCTION. 



PART I. 



ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

Before introdacing our readers to the interesting joor- 
nal, whioH Mr. Oobat has written daring his three years' 
residence in Abyssinia, it will not be improper to spread be- 
fore them a general view of this very remarkable territory, 
as well as to detail a few of the more striking pecoliarities 
of the inhabitants : — in a manner to transplant them upon 
ihe«tage on which have been represented the various trans- 
actions which the following leaves unfold ; and enable them 
more clearly to comprehend the connecting links, which 
unite the transhctions with the laws and institutions of the 
country. 

Abyssinia is a rich, mountainous district of Eastern Af- 
rica. It has often, and with propriety, been called the 
African Switzerknd. It was known to the ancients by the 
name of Ethiopia ; and its inhabitants, denominated by the 
Ethiopians, or the blacks, were early distinguished by their 
advancement in civilization, and their manifestations of 
bravesy. 



20 ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

Nature has strongly stamped the face of the eoontrj ; it 
rises in terraces from the shores of the Ked Sea, till it swells 
into lofty pyramids and abrupt peaks, whose heads are 
crowned with imperishable snows, and which, as yet, no Eu- 
ropean has ever trodden. Since the learned Job Ludof, 
near the close of the seventeenth century, by hb history 
of Ethiopia,* gleaned chiefly from the records of anti(^uity, 
made known to Europe this mysterious region, few Euro- 
peans have been disposed to hazard their case or safety, in 
efforts to satisfy the curiosity of the west, with reference to 
the actual state of the country or its inhabitants. Two or 
three, however, have ventured forth. James Bruce, a 
native of Scotland, who came to Algiers in 1764, in the 
capacity of English consul, first attempted to penetrate the 
rocky valleys of Abyssinia, where he arrived, after having 
spent considerable time in traveling through the countries 
of Numidia, Persia, and Arabia. He acquired the lan- 
guage, passed several years in the south-west provinces, and, 
on his return, in 1790, published an account of his travels ; 
a work comprised in five volumes, and which, on its appear- 
ance, excited a lively interest in the public mind. Some 
years later, Mr. Salt, an Englishman, who had been, for a 
number of years, Consul-General in Egypt, traveled into 
Abyssinia, entering the country from the east, and, by the 
publication of his Tour,t drew the attention of Europe to 
the north-east division of the country, or the province of 
Tigre, as Mr. Bruce, some time before, had succeeded in 

* Historia Ethiopica eire breTis et suocincta descriptio regni Uabys- 
simorom Franoof 1681-1694. Vol IL fol 
t An Aoooimt of a Voyi^ to AbyBsiiiia, by H. S. Bali, Loud. 1814. 



ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 21 

awakenlDg an interest in regard to the soath-west diyisioD, 
or the province of Amhara. 

Pastare-lands, almost entirely destitute of trees, thongh 
abundantly watered, stretch themselves before the eye, in^ 
delightful perspective, through a great part of the more ele- ; 
vated regions of the country, some portions of which are 
cultivated with great care. These airy tracts are richly 
stocked with flocks of sheep and goats, and abound with 
herds of cattle and horses of a very superior breed. The 
X>eople are beautiful, strong, and active ; but they are con- ( 
tinually engaged in harassing wars with their ferocious / 
neighbors, the Gkdlas, who are perpetually invading the 
country from the south and west, and have already suc- 
ceeded in subjecting a considerable portion of the territory 
to their savage sway. 

The country is plentifally supplied with streams. The 
Blue Eiver, taking its rise in the mountains of Gojam, flows 
through, and irrigates the valleys of the western provinces, 
and, afterwards, assuming the name of the Nile, fertilises 
the plains of Egypt. Near this, heads another principal 
stream, called the Tacazze. It traverses the middle region 
of the country, is swollen by a multitude of tributary 
streams, and, after forcing its way through an immense bar- 
rier of rocks, enters the plains of Nubia, and finally mingles 
its waters with those of the Nile. Numerous smaller 
streams chequer the country in almost every direction, dif- 
fdsiog about them life, fertility, and abundance. 

The same variety, which is everywhere so observable in 
the face of the country, also lends itself to the temperature 
of the climate. In the deep glens and narrow valleys at the 



22 ABTBBINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

foot of the mountains, the heat is intense ; the thermometer 
not unfrequentlj rising to 100° of Fahrenheit Bat the 
ur beoomes cool and refreshing in proportion as you rise ; 
and in the elevated valleys or table-lands, yon breathe a de- 
licions and exhilarating atmosphere, while the lofty snmmits 
tower into re^ons of perpetual frost. The year divides it- 
self into two seasons ; the one, of storms and inundations, 
the other, of drought and burning heat The rain com- 
mences in April, and continues till the month of August 
During this season, the mornings are usually fair and beau- 
tiful ; as the sun approaches the meridian, the sky becomes 
darkened with clouds; soon rain begins to fall, and for 
several hours pours down in torrents, accompanied by fear- 
ful exhibitions of thunder and lightniog. The defiles and 
narrow ravines dash down their maddening streams, and the 
traveler is driven for safety and shelter to the heights of 
the mountains, and to the recesses of the rocks. 

This region of the globe is rich in iron and gold ; the lat- 
ter of which is frequently found even in the sands, on the 
shores, and in the beds of the streams ; but the inhabitants 
have not yet learned the wealth of their soil.* No salt, how- 
ever, has hitherto been discovered in the mountains. This 
article is brought by caravans, from the extensive plains, 
which separate the provinces of Tigre on the south-east, 

* There are some proTinoes where, aooording to the aeooimt giren 
UB by Mr. Gfobat^ the natire inhabitants, when they find a piece of mas- 
are gold, a drcmnstanoe by no means UQOommon, break off the comers 
and the outer edges, and throw the oentnd part into the river again, as 

the seminal kernel, for the pnrpose, as they say, of propagatipg the 
metal 



ABYSSINIA AHfD ITS INHABITANTS. 28 

a 

from those of DancalL This whole distiici, stretehing four 
days' journey in length, and three in breadth, is covered with 
salt* lying in horizontal layers, one above the other. 

The sandy tracts, which stretch along the coast of the 
Bed Sea, are almost barren wastes, producing little but 
mimosas, which sometimes grow to the height of forty feet, 
and are often surrounded by creeping plants, which clamber 
over them. As you ascend farther into the country, the 
ground becomes more moist, springs break out, fertility in- 
creases, and the plants assume a more diversified character. 
In this region are found forests, whose trees strikingly 
resemble the nuinglier of the Indies. The tamarind and 
the fig-tree likewise flourish here. But no representative 
of the Abyssinian forest is more worthy of remark, or strik- 
ing in its form, than the kolquall, a tree which rises to a 
considerable height, and, spreading wide its branches entirely 
destitute of foliage, presents a spectacle very much resem- 
bling an enormous chandelier. In the vicinity of the an- 
cient churches, date-trees, as well as the orange and citron, 
are found, which were probably imported by the Portuguese. 
To them, also, it is generally supposed that the Abyssinians 
are indebted for the cidture of the vine, which has been in- 
troduced into several districts, and produces excellent wine. 
On the western declivities of the country, are large plan- 
tations of the cotton-tree ; and not far from these, the coffee- 
tree grows in an uncultivated state. 

Maise, of a luxuriant growth, abounds upon the high- 

* " The great plains covered with rock-ealt at the bottom of the east- 
ern moDntams hare excited the admiration of travelers. The sidt here 
fenni crystals of uncommon length.** — Jfalte-Brtm, 



S4 ABT88INIA AND ITS INHABIT AlfTfl. 

kadfl, where is also caltivatad, to a oonsiderable extent a 
kind of wheat, called Teff, which the wealthy families use 
for bread-stuff. Bioh and extensive pastnre-kads also 
stretch themselves before you, as you travel over these ele- 
vated plains, furnishing to horses, oxen, and sheep, abund- 
ant nourishment. The lowlands are covered with brush- 
wood and thorns. 

Herds of homed cattle are numerous, abounding in every 
district. The sheep are small, and generally black. The 
horses are fiery, full of life, and remarkably fleet. The 
mules of Abyssinia are of an excellent species ; they are 
used by the people, like asses, for beasts of burthen, and 
with them the Abyssinians perform journeys over the most 
difficult passes of the mountains with perfect safety. 

The villages, almost universally, swarm with packs of 
dogs, both of >ihe wild and domestic breeds, whose incessant 
baying is extremely annoying to the traveler.* Apes of 
every description are found throughout the country, among 
which roam the lion, the elephant, and th^ panther ; these last, 
however, rarely venture from their usual home, the highlands. 
The plains are infested with hyenas, whose hideous bowlings 
— ^precursors of those frightful devastations with which they 
ravage cities and villages — continually break the silence, and 
echo through the darkness of the night. These animals 
multiply in a surprising manner, owing to the superstitious 
notions of the people. The Abyssinian verily believes that 

* The dogs of Abyssinia wre of two kinds ; the one used for the 
chase, and other domestic puiposes ; the other, a roaming ammal, atr 
tached to no particular master, but collecting in packs, infest the difRsr- 
ent Tillages. 



ABTBfllNiA AND ITS INHABJTAWTfl. 95 

Jewiflh BOFeeroni, dbgiiiMd under this appearanod, deseend 
firom the mountains of Samen to perpetrate their fearful 
depredationfl ,* and they are, eonseqaentl j, foolishly deterred 
from giraig them the ehase. The eonntry abounds with 
dro?es of deer, among whioh^the snbtle, bat destmetire 
serpent insinuatingly finds his way, through the iafluenee 
of his eharm, and great numbers of them fall viotims to his 
treachery. Hippopotami and crocodiles are found in the 
lakes and rivers, especially in the Tacasze. 

Abyssinia is peopled by raees of men, tinged with almost 
erery shade of complexion. While, however, the black 
predominates, the color of the inhabitants varies horn this^ 
assuming brif^ter and lighter tints, according to location, 
till it reaches a transparent copper hue. For the most part, 
the Abyssinians are well made, and active. They are dis- 
tinguished firom the negroes by the regularity of their fea- 
tures ; and, indeed, they have little in common with them, 
excepting the dark color of their skins. They are not 
deficient in the capacities of the understanding, or the affec- 
tions of the heart ; though these rarely arrive at any very 
high deg^ree of elevation or refinement. The inhabitants 
of the southwest part of the country, or the province of 
Amhara,are better informed, more inoffensive, and civilised, 
than the people of Tigre, who are rude and uncultivated in 
their habits, quick and irritable in their passions, and among 
whom murder is no uncommon occurrence. The Amhare- 
ans are, therefore, frequent objects of pleasantry in the 
province of Tigre, where they are represented as a cringing 
and effeminate race. Slave merchants, indeed, well under- 
stand this difbrence of chaxaoter, and, regarding the Am- 

2 



96 ABVBSINIA AND ITB INHABITANTS. 

hareans as men of mild and benevolent disporitionB, pay a 
high price for them much more readily than for the inhalur 
tanta of the northern districts, who have the reputation of 
poaseasing mischievous and vindictive tempers. Most trav- 
elers are of the opinion that^ the Abyssinians are peculiarly 
prone to lying; though our missionaries have not found 
them so much addicted to dissimulation and fidsehood, aa 
people who have been for ages subjected to the galling yoke 
of Turkish tyranny, and constantly compelled to resort to 
a variety of insidious arts, to secure their possessions, how- 
ever small. Dwelling in his high mountain home, the pro- 
ductions of which are sufficient for his sustenance, the Abys- 
sinian still breathes the liberty which glowed in the bosoms 
of his forefathers. This spirit of independence, where it 
has not been crushed by the iron footsteps of the savage 
Gallas, contributes much to give to the national character a 
certain degree of openness of disposition, and simplicity of 
manner, which renders the people more accessible to the 
voice of truth, than is found to be the case generally in Mo- 
hammedan countries. 

Abyssinia is covered with cities and villages, and isolated 
habitations are here and there seen clinging to the sides of 
the mountains. The houses are mostly composed of mud, 
straw, and rushes ; the people not yet having learned the 
art of building with stone. As there is little buildmg tim- 
ber in the country, a wooden house is rarely found. In loca- 
ting their villages, they generally select some hill, or elevated 
position, so situated as easily to secure a vigorous defence 
against the assaults of their enemies. Caves are also some- 
ftiBMB used for human habitations. It is not, indeed, un- 



ABT80IMIA AND ITfl INBABITAMTS. 37 

eomiMm to find thete dingy reeesaes, which the plastic hand 
of nature has hollowed out in the sides of tiie mountains, 
niddiy eonTerted into the abodes of man. The dwellings 
of the more distingaished families are ordinarily constructed 
of a number of rooms, on a level with the ground, arranged 
about an open court. Their floors are spread with carpets, 
and a kind of sofa is generally used for seats ; as to the rest 
of their household furniture, nothiug can be more simple 
and unostentatious than that of the Abyssinians. The 
form of their houses is usually circular, and so small as to 
fdmish but very scanty room, even for a siugle family. 

The clothing of the poorer classes of Abyssinia is ex- 
tremely simple, consisting merely of skins, or pieces of cot- 
ton. A kind of drawers, and a strip of white cloth, wrap- 
ped about the shoulders, generally constitute their entire 
costume. The principal citizens, or nobles of the country, 
however, exhibit more taste, or at least more splendor, in 
their appearance. They usually wear a sort of under-dress, 
composed of white cloth from the Indies, embellished with 
embroiderings of variously dyed silk, oyer which they throw 
a loose mantle of cotton. They also decorate themselves 
with ornaments of silver about the neck, arms, and ankles. 
The dress of the females is in some respects quite becoming, 
being made so high as completely to cover their persons to 
the diin. They anoint their hair with a species of odorifer- 
ous pomatum, and sprinkle it with a powder of cloves. 

The food of the inhabitants consists principally of milk, 
bread made of teff, or wheat, a very little leavened, butter, 
honey, beef, mutton, and fowls. They are extremely fond 
of salt and pepper. Their usual beverage is eithir tmis or 



SB ABT00INIA AND ITS IlTBABITAimi. 

huia ; the fonner of which is mtde of honey uid fermented 
berley, with a slight mixture of Taddo— « bitter root, which 
increases its intoxicating quality. This is kept for special 
occasions, and is commonly ofifered to visitors. Boiua is a 
kind of beer, which they use for their ordinary drink, and 
to which they are strongly attached. On their fast days, 
which generally occur on Wednesday and Friday, they are 
too scmpnlons to take any kind of food, excepting fish and 
froits; though it is customary to compensate themselves 
for their abstinence during the day, by enjoying, after mid- 
night, a regular repast When the country is not deluged 
with locusts, a circumstance which frequently occurs, the 
harvest not cut short by drought, nor the fields wasted 
by any other casualty, the necessaries of life are very easily 
obtuned in Abyssinia, and a numerous family is sustained 
with little difficulty. The young men consequently marry 
at an early age. Even polygamy is not uncommon, though 
the established church strongly evinces her disapprobation 
of the custom. She limits every man, in the matrimonial 
connection, to a siogle woman, and all besides, who pretend 
to sustain the relation of wife, she brands with the name of 
concubine ; and him, who, in defiance of her injunctions, 
hasards the experiment of indulging in the crime, she indig- 
nantly thrusts from her bosom. 

In Abyssinia, as in all the East, woman is doomed to 
drudgery and toil. She is charged with the most oppres- 
sive and irksome labors, as well without, as within the house. 
The toils of the field, gathering the harvest, grinding the 
gndn, and all the laborious duties of procuring provisions 
and water finr the service of their fitmilies, fidl to the lot of 



A«T0SnVIA AND ITa INHABITAHTB. 29 

llie women ; and yon may often meet them with their in* 
fimts in their armB, weighed down, and trembling beneath 
their oroshing bordena. The rieher olass of females, how- 
ever, perform their taakfl through the interyention of slaves. 
They cultivate the growth of their finger nails, and suffer 
them to attain to a prodigious length, as a mark of their 
rank, or rather, of their idleness, though they take the pre* 
eantion to conceal them within a kind of leather glove. 

The education of children is fiur better attended to in 
Abyssinia, than in most Eastern countries. Many marks of 
this early training manifest themselves in the character and 
conduct of the youth. They are distinguished by a devoted 
attachment, and an affectionate obedience to their parents ; 
and by a modest and unassuming deportment towards the 
aged The youth are the flower of the nation. It is to 
them that the missionary will look with the fondest antid* 
pations. On them must repose all his well-grounded hopes 
for the moral resurrection of this people. They present a 
sphere of benevolent enterprise the most cheering, such as 
the lealous messengers of Chrbt must ardently desire ; and 
it seems only necessary that a few institutions should be 
erected peculiarly appropriated to their instruction, in order 
to see this nation elevated to a height of intellectual culture 
and moral excellence, which has never yet been attained by 
any people of Africa. 

The ancient language of Ethiopia, usually called the 
Gheei, was, down to the fourteenth century of the Christian 
era, extensively spoken throughout Abyssinia. All the his- 
torical records, now extant, concerning the religious state 
and moral condition of the people, are written in this diar 



80 ABT0SINIA AND ITS INHABITAWT0. 

leoi It has, however, generally fidlen into diBoae, and umo 
longer spoken, ezeept in the province of Tigre, where a few 
traces of it are still to be found. The langoage, which is al- 
most oniversally spoken at the present time, is the Amhario 
— a dialect which was employed a few years since, in the 
first attempt made to translate the Old Testament Serip- 
tnres into the language of the country. It is also into this 
dialect, that certain detached portions of the New Testa- 
ment, as well as a few tracts, adapted to enlighten and civil- 
ise the people occupying certain isolated sections of the 
country, have been translated and disseminated by the mis- 
sionaries. There are a few other dialects still used in some 
of the more /emote and secluded districts, which are of little 
or no importance with reference to the work of missions. 

The productions of the soil, and the state of agriculture, 
differ materially in the different provinces. Some are 
highly cultivated, and pour an abundant harvest into the 
treasury of the husbandman, while others are left to luxuri- 
ate undisturbed, in the wildness of nature. In some dis- 
tricts, they use a species of plough, which is constructed 
from the root of a tree, and is drawn by oxen. Millet, bar- 
ley, wheat, teff, and maize, are almost universally raised, and 
esculent plants, or vegetables, are occasionally cultivated. 
In several of the provinces, they double, and even treble 
their harvests annually. In the month of July, they sow 
teff and barley, which they reap in November ; and the same 
field, without enriching it with manure, is immediately re- 
sown with barley, which is gathered in February. This b 
succeeded by a crop of teff, or a species otpesettej which is 
harvested in April, just before the setting in of the rainy 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 81 

WMOn. Barley is trodden oat by oxen, and teff is separated 
from the straw by a kind of flail. The wheat is pr^Mured for nse, 
by braying it in stone mortars ; an operation which, as well 
as that of making the bread, is chiefly performed by females. 

The cnrrent money of trade is salt For this purpose, it 
is cat into plates, ten inches in length, and three in breadth, 
thirty-five of which are estimated at one eou or Talari, In 
large commercial transactions, however, they employ gold, 
which is divided into small pieces, and which are estimated 
at eight eons, weighing an ounce each. 

No traveler, down to the present period, has been able to 
give us any very deobive information in relation to the 
population of Abyssinia. The missionary, Oobat, although 
he resided three years in the country, acquired a thorough 
knowledge of the language, and enjoyed frequent oppor- 
tunities of personal intercourse with the chiefs of various 
provinces, does not feel himself authorized to make any posi- 
tive statements on the subject. We may, however, arrive at 
some general conclusions, by taking a survey of the grand 
superficies of the country, which extends from the 9th to 
the 16th degree of north ktitude, and from the 53d to the 
58th degree of east longitude, covering an area, 240 leagues 
in length, and 210 in breadth, which is everywhere stud* 
ded with scattered habitations and numerously populated 
villages; a fact, which may reasonably lead to the con- 
clusion, that the population is by no means inconsiderable. 
But after all, it must remain a matter of conjecture. Not 
only the wandering life led by a great part of the people, 
but also the perpetual wars, which keep entire districts of 
the country in constant movement, render it extremely 
difficult to ascertain, with any high degree of certainty, the 



ABYBfllHIA AND ITS INHABITANTB. 

4 

nuBiber of the inhabitants. It is a fiiet worthy of remark| 
that the numerous oommonities of Jews, or the Fhlashoij as 
as they are called by the Abyssinians, in those parts of the 
country which they inhabit, exert an inftnenoe far more ex- 
tensiye than they have been known to possess since the era 
of their dispersion. It seems, indeed, a fact well authenti- 
cated by the historical records of Ethiopia, that the oom- 
meroial relations, which existed frcMn the remotest antiquity 
between that country and the Holy Land, were extensive and 
well established. It is also a fact attested with equal pre- 
cision by the records of scripture hbtory, that the children ^ 
of Israel have, in all ages, regarded Mauritania, or Ethiopia, i 
as a friendly country ; and the yisit of the Queen of Sheba 
to Solomon is not only confirmed by the traditionary annals 
of Abyssinia, but is*ihere considered an event which might 
have very naturally occurred. Thus when the Jews, har- 
assed by their enemies, and driven from their father-land, 
fled in crowds to Ethiopia, they were not only received as 
friends by the people of the country, but had the still higher 
satisfaction of seeing the peculiar rites of their religion 
adopted. But the miseries of the Palashas ended not here ! 
They were afterwards attacked by Christianity. They then 
took shelter in the mountains of Samen, where they still ex- 
ist, a separate and distinct people, exercising their own gov- 
ernment, controlled by their own laws, and enjoying their 
own rulers ; but they live on terms of so little familiarity 
with the inhabitants of the country, and are so deeply in- 
volved in the impenetrable shades of ignorance, that it is 
difficult to obtMU any definite information respecting their 
actual condition ; and although the mis8i<mary, Oobat, was 



ABT08INIA AND ITB fNHABITAlfTS. M 

it niiidi ptins to inform himself upon this pointy he has not 

been able to learn anything with eortainty rdative to the 
snbject 

It is surprising that the Jews of Abyssinia have in their 
possession so few works of Hebrew origin. It is indeed re- 
ported that they haye none, excepting a Coptic translation 
of the Old Testament, and of the Apocryphal writings — a 
translation strongly colored with the ancient Oheei Ian* 
goage. Since the tenth century, they haye enjoyed a form 
of government of their own, but there appears to be consid- 
erable doubt in regard to the time when their ancestors 
emigrated to this country. It is generally maintained by 
themselves, that they came over prior to the time of Solo- 
mon and Behoboam ; but notwithstanding the prevalence 
of this opinion, it is probable that the migration, properly 
so caUed, did not take place until after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. It is well known that the Jews swayed the 
sceptre of dominion over Arabia, and a portion of Persia, 
for several ages previous to the appearance of Mohammed ; 
but when that malignant star arose, they withered beneath 
its influence, and soon bowed to the Arabian yoke. But as 
Christian Ethiopia resisted, with unbending obstinacy and 
heroic bravery, the inroads of Mohammedan fanaticism, 
the Jews, who resided within her borders, were screened 
from the power of the destroyer, and succeeded in maintain- 
ing their political constitution ; and it is affirmed that they 
have still preserved their religion without contamination, 
their government and laws without infringement. 

Christianity is the prevailing, or national religion, in the 
more elevated portions of Abyssinia, while the Oallas, who 



84 ABTBBIlfIA AND ITS HfHABITAim. 

ooTer the lower regions, are MohammedBns,. or PagiOBb 
The joarnal of Mr. Gobat paints, in lively colors, the de- 
plorable state in which he found the smothered remains of 
the Christian church in this benighted territory. As the 
Abyssinians first received the gospel from the Coptic 
church, they, like them, have embraced the doctrine of the 
Monophysites ; or, in other words, the belief of those Chris- ^ 
tians of the primitive ages, who acknowledged bat one 
nature in the person of Jesus Christ, while their opponents, 
the Nestorians, maintained there were two. This intimate 
and filial relation, which has subsisted for centuries between 
the Coptic and Abyssinian churches, still survives. Conse- 
quently, the latter are still in the habit of going to Egypt 
to procure their superior ecclesiastic, whom they call the 
Abuna, or Patriarch ; and hence it is that the Egyptians 
are the only people with whom the Abyssinians are on terms 
*of friendly intercourse. 

The civil commotions, which are constantly agitating the 
Abyssinian territory, render it extremely difficult to speak 
irith precision concerning the political organisation of the 
country. It may be said, however, that in modem times it 
has been divided between five princes, whose capitals are 
Oondar, Samen, Gojam, Begemder, and Axum. But these 
princes possess but little authority, and the chiefs of the mi- 
nor provinces are perpetually infringing upon their rights, and 
invading their dominions. Formerly, Abyssinia was an ab- 
solute monarchy. The king, or emperor, was called the 
Negus, or Lord of the Lords of Ethiopia. He was crowned 
at Axum by the Abuna, and resided at Gondar. A short 
time since, Sebi^gadis, the Has of the province of Tigre^ 



ABT88INIA AND ITS INHABITAITTS. S5 

was the mosi powerful prince of the country ; bat dnce his 
death, which occurred not long since, in a battle fought on 
the shores of the river Tacazse, the country has fallen into 
the utmost anarchy and confusion. 

Ras is the title giyen to the principal goTcrnors of the 
country ; those who enjoy less authority receive the appella- 
tion of CatUiba. On the demise of a Ras, the question of 
his succession is commonly decided by the army, and, as 
among most barbarous people, itrengih turns the scale. 
The people manifest the greatest respect for their Ras, who 
ia likewise the commander-in-chief of their army ; ordina- 
rily uncovering themselves to their girdles, when they stand 
before him. He is the absolute master of his subjects ; 
their lives and possessions lying entirely at his disposal 
His revenue consists of the duties paid him by tributaries, 
of the tolls which he collects of caravans and merchants, of 
the produce of his estates and the increase of his herds, 
and of the arbitrary contributions he exacts, both from his 
subjects and strangers. 

He who would travel in this country with any degree of 
safety, must secure the friendship of some powerful Rom; 
for without such protection, he will be momently exposed to 
wrong and robbery. Nor will he be able to pass the limits 
of the district in which he may at any time reside, but 
through the influence of such official recommendations to 
the governors of other provinces. A thousand dangers 
throng the path of the wanderer over this mountainous re- 
gion. He, therefore, who is desirous of passing through 
this country, or of sojourning in it for any length of time, 
ftoeds, not only before all things else, to implore the guid- 



80 ABYMXNIA1AN0 ITS ilfllABITANtV* 

noe aad proteeiion of tbe Ffttber of neretw, md to «D|ogr 
tlie folleet confidence in the rectitude of hie esnae, bat also 
lo posseas a thorough knowledge of the laws awd eostoms 
of the country, as well as to sabjeet his passions to the 
sway of an enlightened wisdom. Indeed, there is no object 
in life sufficiently elcTsted, no eanse sufficiently pure, to 
warrant an equiralent compensation for all the hasard and 
sufferings which must be eneountered in undertaking the 
perilous enterprise, but that of the misnonary €i the glort* 
ous gospel. But what nobler reward for all his prrrations 
tiad labors, or even for the sacrifice of life itself^ can the 
tmbition of any man demand, than the cheering hope of 
matching from the empire of darkness, and of bringing 
back to the fold of Christ, thousands of immortal souls, 
who, upon the far distant mountains of Abyssinia, daim 
for themsdyes the name of Christians 9 Let it not be in 
Tain that these brethren in Christ, who, for so many linger* 
ing ages hare perserered in their attachment to the Chris* 
tian religion, notwithstanding the efforts of Pagans, and the 
maohinattons of Mohammedans, notwithstanding the bitter 
persecution, and all the wretchedness and woe necessarily 
following in its train, of which their religious opinions haye 
rendered them the unworthy objects, — ^let it not be in 
fain, that in the times in which we liye, they have laid datm 
to our affection and esteem ; that they bare appealed to our 
qrmpathies, and solidted our active ooH)pemtion in the ardu- 
ous work of diffusbg among them the cheering light of 
truth and salvation. Would that their armorial ensignsi 
whiiih represent) upon a red ground, a golden lion in the 
attitude of walking, with the device, ^* The lion of the 



ABTflMNIA AND ITS UfafBtTANTS. 17 

of- Jndah bath goitea him the tictory/' might speedily r^ 
oevre a complete lealiiation ! 

I haye }08t mentioned that Abyesinia, in modem times, 
has been diyided between ^ye princes, and, conseqnentlj, 
into fiye grand diyimons; but, according to more recent 
accounts, it seems better to say, that it comprises three 
independent states, Tigre, Amhara, and Shoa, which lasl 
also includes E&t The two former are the most eztensire, 
and are separated partly by the riyer Tacane, and partly 
by the lofty mountains of Samen, which stretch themselyes 
in a gigantic range, to the majestic Laota. The inhabitants 
of the two provinces are distinguished from each other, not 
only by a diiferent language, but also by a distinct national 
character. The proyince of Tigre has always been a power- 
fill kingdom, and, down to the present period, has enjoyed 
entire independence of the Negus, or emperor, who resides 
at Gondar in the province of Amhara. But, during the 
late civil wars, which have rent the country, the independ- 
ence €t Tigre has received a severe blow. It is governed 
by the emperor's prefect or Bas, who sways the province 
with absolute control. 

When the traveler from cHdda, by way of the Red Sea, 
arrives at the small island of Massowah, which is the key 
of Abyssinia, he enters a narrow channel, up which he sails 
to the port of Arteeko. Here he first plants his foot on 
the shores of Ethiopia. The whole of this north-east coast, 
which is called Barhamagash,* and which is under the 
dominion of a chief of the same name, is divided into 
flfteen petty districts, each of which is governed by a pre* 

• LHerally, OoMt King. 



.M ABTSSIMiA AND ITS INHABITAlfT0. 

feot,or rather, a chief of brigands, who leads, in his oim 
district, a life entirely independent of the Bas of Tigre. 
The traveler who wishes to penetrate the interior regions 
of the country, most obtain, and usually by the payment of 
an unreasonable sum, the consent, as well as the protection 
of this last-mentioned prince. By this means, he will be 
able to traverse successively the territories of thiese petty 
chiefs with more or less security. 

When one has passed the burning plains of sand, which 
spread themselves in the vicinity of Arteeko, he begins to 
ascend the woody defiles of Taranta, the first of those 
ranges of mountains which form the immense chain of Ti- 
gre. On the table-lands, which lie in the midst of these 
lofty peaks, grows the magnificent tree called the kolquall, 
stretching far to the heavens its leafless branches ; while 
fbrests of cedar cover and adorn the fertile valleys, which 
repose at their feet. It is a romantic region, and oflen will 
the eye of the traveler be regaled with noble views of the 
snow-crowned tops of Tigre and Adowa, rising before him 
like the hoary Alps of Switzerland, and shutting in the £sr 
distant horizon. 

This territory, the temperature of which is fresh and 
agreeable, is inhabited by men of almost every shade of 
complexion ; and as one casts his eye over this rich and 
delightful region, peopled, as it is, by a nation abandoned 
to depredation and robbery, and hitherto entire strangers 
to the kindly sentiments of Christian love, he cannot avoid 
feeling the deepest sorrow. 

From the highest part of the pass, or defile of TaTanta^ 
one begins his descent into the district of Dixan, which 



•ABT88INIA AND ITS INHABITANTB. 'SO 

also Mongs to the territory of Barhamagash. The city of 
Bizan is ritoated on a rocky eminence, peopled in part by 
ChriatianB, and in part by Mohammedana, a mischievouB 
race of men, who are exceedingly tronblesome to trayelera. 
The most lucrative employment of this people is their 
traffic in children. These are stolen in Abyssinia, brought 
to the market of this city, and carried thence by the Moon 
to the port of Massowah, there to be sold, and transported 
to Arabia and India. Many Christian priests give their 
aaaction, and eren assistance, to this disgraceful commeroe 
in human flesh ! To the north of Dixan lies the district 
of Hamaser, which extends to the territory of the wild and 
nneultiTated Shangallas. The inhabitants of this region 
are barbarous in their manners, cruel in their tempers, and 
although they hare assumed the Christian name, they ex- 
hibit no redeeming qualities, which render ihem at all supe- 
rior, either in refinement or virtue, to their idolatrous neigh- 
bors. On the south of Dixan are the two districts of 
Upper and Lower Bura, which are inhabited by rude and 
uncivilized mountaineers, living in a state of savage inde- 
pendence. Having crossed Dixan, the traveler enters the 
province of Tigre, properly so called, which presents a plain 
ibnr degrees in length, and four in breadth, and is divided 
into nine districts. A pile of craggy mountains, called the 
Ambas, rear their towering heads high above the surround- 
ing plains, which are remarkable for their fertility. This 
region is stamped throughout with the beautiful and pictur- 
esque, and the atmosphere is uniformly pure and salubri- 



Adowah,ihe capital of Tigre, is situated upon the declivity 



40 ABTB8INIA AlTD ITS INHABITANTS. 

of a hill I the hoiues are built in the form of a oone ; the 
streets are narrow, and frequently interrupted by small 
gardens, planted with a species of tree called WangOj 
affording delightful shades, and presenting a pleasing pros- 
pect to the eya Three rivers wind their way through the 
plain below, diffusing about them verdure and fertility. In 
this city is a depdt for caravans ; they collect here the vari- 
ous articles of traffic, which are easOy transported thence to 
the shores of the Bed Sea. The heights in the city and 
vicinity, are graced with numerous churches, chiefly inhab- 
ited by laiy monks. There are about three hundred houses 
in Adowah, which, according to the estimate of Bruce, 
though probably erroneous, must contain nearly eight 
thousand inhabitants. The city is ordinarily the residence 
of the Bas of Tigre, with whom the missionary Kugler, 
and his associate, Aichinger, sojourned for a considerable 
time, while they were effecting a translation of the Holy 
Scriptures, and of a few tracts, for the benefit of the rising 
generation, into the langusge of the country. The house 
of the Bas is distinguished from the rest, rather by its siie 
than its form ; it stands on an eminence, commanding a 
view of the city, and resembles a prison more than a palace ; 
for it secures within its walls about four hundred prisoners 
loaded with irons, besides numerous other culprits, oonfined 
in cages, like untamed beasts. 

The traveler, continubg his route westward from Adowah, 
crosses bold elevations, swelling hillocks, and valleys finely- 
watered ; and, after passing through a long defile, suddenly 
strikes upon the ruins of the famous city of Axum, whieh, 
is fomer times, was the cradle of the literature, the refine- 






ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 41 

me&t) sad the civiluatioii of the country, as well as the seat 
both of its spiritual and temporal power. These remark- 
able ruins lie scattered between two mountains, rising above 
them, and feoeing in a fertile valley, rich with verdure, and 
blooming with beauty; where the river Marab, watering, in 
its oourse, the province of Tigre, takes its rise. A few 
flights of steps, leading up the adjacent declivities, conduct 
to those subterranean caverns, which having been hollowed 
out from solid rock, and embellished with graceful columns, 
Mre supposed to have served, for the final restingplace of 
the ancient kings of Ethiopia. The superstition of the 
people still points to the traditionary tomb of the Queen of 
Sheba, whose memory they preserve with a care approach- 
ing religious veneration. Here are, also, several obelisks, 
proudly rising towards heaven, similar to those in Egypt, 
and which, like those ancient master-pieces of art, speak to 
the passers-by of a magnificence which is now no more ; 
and announce to successive generations the indelible truth, 
tfiat vanity and decay are the lot of all things earthly. A 
square pillar, bearing a Greek inscription, erected at this 
place, also speaks of departed glory ; indicating that this 
city, though now in ruins, was once the centre of the pow- 
erful kingdom of Abyssinia. 

Turning from this place to the east, one enters the dis- 
trict of Agame, or Agouwa, which, situated on an elevated 
table-land, rising high above the level of the sea, enjoys a 
salubrious atmosphere — fine and refreshing breezes. Geni^ 
ter, a small place, mean in its appearance, composed merely 
of a mass of conical huts, above which towers an immense 
overhanging oliff, is its capital. The vicinity abounds with 



42 ABT88INIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

viUsges; but their names are oonstantly ohangiDg, and, 
indeed, their existence is extremely precarious, owing to 
the devastations and turmoil with which the civil wars are 
perpetuallj deluging the country. 

The province of Enderta lies on the south of Agame, 
extends to the mountains of Senaf, and is divided into a 
great number of petty districts. The small town of Musia 
is located in a rich and productive region, and at some dis- 
tance from it, lies the town of Ademaza. The whole neigh- 
boring region is highly cultivated, and finely watered. It 
abounds with game, which is an object of pursuit, both for 
the lion and the hunter. Antalo is the capital of this 
province ; it is composed of about a thousand houses, chiefly 
covered with thatch. To the east of Antalo is the town of 
Chelicut, planted on the banks of a delightful stream, and 
in one of the most beautiful and picturesque valleys of 
Abyssinia. At a considerable distance to the west, rises 
the mountainous district of Wazza — a district wild, uncul- 
tivated, and without inhabitants, though watered by nu- 
merous streams. 

To the south of Enderta is Wodjerat, a province of eon- 
slderable extent from east to west, distinguished for the 
whiteness of its honey, and for the bravery of its inhabitanta 
In Wofila, a district at no great distance from the last- 
mentioned province, and in which reposes the great lake 
Ashangeel, the pagan GktUas have mingled with the ori- 
ginal proprietors of the soil, and have adopted the Christian 
religion. The people generally maintain that thoy are 
descended from the Portuguese soldiers, who established 
themselves in the territory sometime during the fifteenth 



AtTBBINIA Ain> ITB IHHABITAIVTS. 48 

oenioiy ; and they are manifesilj prond of their European 
dewesi They are, indeed, the finest raoe of men in the 
country, being everywhere esteemed for their fidelity, and 
respected for their courage. The lake Ashangeel is about 
the nie of lake Tyrana, in the province of Amhara, being 
about three days' journey in circumference. 

The most southern district of the province of Tigre 10 
that of Lasta, a region abounding with enormous rocks and 
abrupt cliffis, among which the summits of the Ur pierce the 
sky with their lofty heads. The capital, Sokata, a city con- 
siderably larger than that of Antalo, lies upon the banks 
of the Tacasie, which rises in these elevated regions. Du&t 
is perched upon a rocky point, called Amba ; and not far 
from this mountain fortress is Senare, where the governors 
of the district usually reside. Hanging upon another gigan- 
tic pesk, rests a church, named Dohummada Mariam, that 
ooQstantly reminds the inhabitants of the light of Christi- 
anity, whioh once shone out brightly from this consecrated 
spot, but which now, alas I shines no more. The men are ex- 
cellent horsemen, and compose the best part of the Tigreaa 
army. On the north of Lasta, are several mountainous 
districts, peopled by the christianized Agows. Their dwel- 
liogs are distbguished by a kind of architecture peculiar to 
themselves, somewhat resembling the ancient temples of 
Egypt 

Abergale is a small province, extending from north to 
south about twenty-four leagues, along the eastern bank Of 
the Tacaise, with which a number of tributary streams, 
^hing firom the mountains, mingle their agitated waters. 
This portion of Abyssinia is remarkable, for its exjtreme 



44 ABTB8INIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

heat; Uie temperature in the middle of the day being al* 
most insupportable. It affords rich and luxuriant paa- 
turage, and, upon the edge of the burning jleppef, wheat 
sometimes grows to the extraordinary height of twelve feet 
It also yields an abundant produce of cotton, swarms with 
herds, and the hippopotami are by no means uncommon. 
The Agows have taken possession of, and oolonuEcd the 
greater part of this productive region. 

On the western shore of the river lies the province of 
Samen, the most elevated division of Abyssinia. It is a 
region extremely cold ; being often chilled with frost, and 
shrouded in snow, while the plains and lowlands beneath 
are withered by a burning sun. This province is peopled 
mostly by the Falashas or Jews, who planted themselves in 
the country at a period long since faded from the memory. 
The Oideon, or the mountain of the Jews, liAs its majestic 
head in the distance, proclaiming by its name, the former 
consequence of this peculiar people. Sagonet is the capital 
of the province, and contains a numerous population. Tem* 
ben, the northern district, is inhabited by the Agows, who 
dwell in their Elgyptiah houses. These people have estab- 
lished themselves about the sources of the Nile, and, being 
deluded votaries of idolatry, worship the god of the river. 
Their manners are entirely Egyptian ; and every feature in 
their character justifies the conclusion, that they maintain, 
with propriety, the antiquity of their Phenioian nobility. 

'Upon the northern frontier of Abyssinia, and under the 
fifteenth degree of the same latitude, lies the province of 
Shire. Its thick and exuberant forests swarm with monks 
and anchorites, who, clothed in yellow robes, lashed about 



ABT88I1VIA AKD ITS INHABITAVTS. 46 

Aa waiit with ropes instead of girdles, rotm over the coon- 
try, scourges wherever they ptss, on account of the oorrap- 
tion of their manners. Walduba and Wolkayt are two dis- 
tricts situated in the north-west corner of the country. 
They acknowledge their dependence on the Ras of Tigre, 
and pay him annual tribute. 

The extennve province of Amhara is washed on the east 
and west by the two grand sources of the Nile, the Tacaase 
and AbawL* Although it may haye originally enjoyed the 
reputation of inclosing within its boundaries the residence 
of ihe Abyssinian emperor, it can no longer lay claim to the 
distinction; the crown having long since fallen from his 
head. The savage Oallas, on the one hand, and the warlike 
Tigreans, on the other, have at length succeeded in rifling 
this people of their former supremacy. The name, Am- 
hara, although it is more particularly appropriated to a 
single district, is generally employed to designate all that 
extent of territory, in which the Amharic language is 
spoken, and which the celebrated prince, Googsa, consoli- 
dated into an independent state, and subjugated to his con- 
troL From the year 1814 untU a recent date, he held al- 
most undisputed sway over this province ; and, during that 
time, the emperor was confined a prisoner at Oondar. But 
the wheel of Providence was rapidly revolving. Ooogsa 
himself, the powerful chieftain of all that wide-spreading 
region west of the Tacane, was soon to experience a reverse 
of fortune. Continually employed in harassing warfare with 
the !Bas of Tigre, perpetually struggling to gain the ascend- 
eoof over him, and to attach his territories to his own, he 

• la Um Amhsrifl hfflgosge, fiU iifalW ^ Wiu$n. 



48. ABTssririA and its inhabitants. 

determined to inoretse his power, by allying himself irtih 
the ferocious (hUaa ; an event which prepared the way for 
the ruin of his country. 

Amhara is a high, mountainous region, stretching on the 
one hand to Kaura, and gradually declining on the other 
to the shores of the KoUa. The highest peaks are to bo 
found in the proyince of Gojam, from which issue the prin- 
cipal sources of the Nile. In this district rises the lofty 
chain, to which the name of Ambas is more properly ap^ 
plied, and which fortifies the country against its warlike 
neighbors. No traveler, since the time of Bruce, has under- 
taken the perilous enterprise of penetrating this unfre- 
quented section of the country, and the interior still remains 
completely veiled to European knowledge. We may soon 
expect, however, to come into possession of new facta. 
Whatever discoveries Mr. Buppel, who arrived at Gondar 
the past year, shall succeed in effecting in this mysterious 
region, will soon be made known ; though they must be less 
extensive, with regard to the manners and habits of the 
people, than might have been justly anticipated, did he not 
labor under the disadvantage of being unacquainted with 
the language of the country. Yet, with reference to the dis- 
closures which this learned and indefatigable traveler will 
be able to make concerning the different subjects of natural 
history, we may indulge the most sanguine expectations: 
and should the protection of Heaven be vouchsafed to the 
mission which Mr. Gobat has recently commenced with such 
commendable courage and zeal, we may confidently expect 
soon to receive accurate information of the laws, customSi 
and manners of life generally, adopted by this interesting 



ABYSSINIA ANO ITS INHABITANTS. 47 

peo[»le, mod which will he, at once, curioiis and instm^ 
tire. 

Among the different districts of Amhara most he reek- 
oned that of Temhea, sitnated to the north of hikes Txanna 
and Demhea. The face of the coantry is level ; the soil 
rich and productive, yielding various kinds of grain, espe- 
dally wheat, of excellent quality. One enters this region 
from the province of Tigre, by traversing the celebrated de- 
files leading through the mountains, known by the names of 
Lamalemon and Inchetkaub. They are steep and narrow 
passes, cutting an elevated ridge, whose summits rise one 
above another ^in nature's hurried mood," presenting a 
spectacle of wildness and grandeur. The highlands re- 
posing among them are usually flat, abounding with com, 
and destitute of forests. This district is bounded on the' 
south by a range of mountains, rising considerably higher 
than Elafia and Narca. 

Lake Demhea is the largest collection of water known in 
the country. Its greatest width, from east to west, is four^ 
teen leagues, and its length about twenty. In the season 
of drought its waters are sensibly diminished ; but during 
the succeeding months of rain, it is swollen by numerous 
streams, which not unfrequeAtly cause its banks to overflow. 
If we may believ^ the Abyssinians, forty or fifty small 
islands are sprinkled upon the bosom of the lake, which are 
often used for prisons to confine the guilty, or for places of 
shelter and ooncealment in times of war. 

The capital of Amhara, and indeed, of the whole country, 
tt Gondar, crowning a commanding eminence. According 
to the oomputation of Bruce, it contains about ten thousand 



48 ABT88INIA AND ITS INBABITAVTS. 

fiunilies. The hoaset are built chiefly of earth or clay, with 
conical roofs of straw. The royal mansion is located in th« 
western part of the city. It formerly presented the appear- 
.ance of a magnificent building, but at present, offers litUe to 
the eye, save a dreary scene of mins. It was built in the 
form of a square, with towers or battlements surmounting 
its several comers, and arose four stories in height, all of 
which are now leveled to the ground, and &st crumbling 
away. The emperor's hall of audience was situated on the 
ground floor, and measured an hundred and twenty feet in 
length. The whole palace was surrounded by a wall like a 
fortress. The river Koskam flows at the foot of the ele- 
vated site of the city, traversing a deep valley, issuing out 
of which are three ways, which lead into the interior of the 
country. Opposite this valley, on the right bank of the 
river, rises the location of Oondar. It is a fine dty, inhab- 
ited principally by Mohammedans, and composed of about a 
thousand houses. 

South-east of lake Dembea lies the province of Belesaem ; 
the capital of which, Empras, is built on the top of a high 
mountain, and contains about three hundred houses. The 
site of i}iia town commands a beautiful and varied prospect 
Immediately beneath your feet is spread the silver surfiioe 
of the lake ; beyond this, stretches a wide extent of country, 
opening to the eye a rich series of meadow, field, and forest, 
in delightful perspective. This place was once the residence 
of the king, or emperor, as he is usually styled in Europe. 
Its glory, however, has now departed. It is inhabited main* 
ly by Mohammedans, whose principal employment is trading 
with the Gallas. 



ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 49 

It IS in the narrow TallejB and glens of Gojam that the 
sources of the Nile are to be found. Tbej ooze from the 
ground and form small rivulets in the vicinity of the village 

of Geesh ; afterwards, swollen by numerous streams, they 

• 

wind their way through the western provinces of the king- 
dom of Amhara. Tbis section of country is rendered highly 
productive, in consequence of the fertilizing waters flowing 
through it. It is covered with fine fields of superior pas- 
turage, and stocked with numerous herds of excellent cat- 
tle. It supports a large population, among whom are 
crowds of ignorant and degraded monks, who are often at 
variance with each other. In the district of Damat, tower 
the mountains of Amid, which must be ranked among the 
most remarkable elevations of Abyssinia. The capital of 
this district is Bura. The climate is mild, agreeable, and 
healthy ; the intensity of the heat in the middle of the day 
being usually allayed by refreshing breezes. 

The honey, as well as the gold, frequently found in this 
region, is of an excellent quality, but the rudeness and bar- 
barity of the people make, to the feeling mind, a painful 
contrast with the beauty which nature has lavished upon 
this portion of her creation. The savage inhabitants, like 
the ferocious beasts that roam their forests, have chosen, for 
their rude dwellings, the caverns of the mountains. 

The province of Maitsha extends along the right banks 

of the Nile, to the point where the river enters and tra- 

yerses lake Dembea. This region, the inhabitants of which 

are mostly of Galla origin, seems not to be wanting in exeou-' 

tive authority, there being not less than ninety-nine petty 

ohiefs, who hold the sceptre of dominion in their narrow 

3 



60 ABT88INIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

limits. Ibaba, the capital, is said to rival Ghndar in popu- 
lation, wealth, and magnificence. The Agows have located 
themselves in the district, and cultivated the soil The 
houses of the Maitshans are of a fashion altogether peculiar. 
They select a parcel of ground, which is divided into four 
parts, by running through it two hedgerows of thorns, at 
right angles with each other. The principal, or most eli- 
gible section, the father of the family selects for his own 
use, and erects within it a small hut ; the remaining divis- 
ions are occupied by the other tfiembers of his household. 
They cultivate these hedges with the greatest care, so that 
they soon afford a strong bulwark of defence, behind which, 
the family are enabled to resist the encroachments of their 
enemies. 

The remaining provinces of Amhara are scarcely known, 
even by name. ' The barbarity of the people has hitherto 
prevented Europeans from visiting their villages. This is 
partioularly true of the south-eastern districts. The trav- 
eler, in passing from Amhara into the territory of Shoa or 
E&t, the third grand division of Abyssinia, and inhabited 
exclusively by savage hordes of Gallas, must encounter the 
perils of a passage leading through bewildering forests and 
desert wilds, swarming with robbers and beasts of prey ; 
and boldly make up his mind to hazard his life at every ad- 
vancing step of his journey. 

Efat, which lies under the ninth degree of north latitude, 
and stretches to a considerable length from north to south, 
is a rugged and mountunous district ; the governor of which 
has rendered himself independent of the Abyssinian em- 
peror. The capital, the usual residence of the prince, is 



ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 61 

the dty of Ankobar. This provinoe is generally regarded 
as OQe of the most wildly beautifal, and wealthy portions of 
the eountry.* It has been, however, hitherto entirely inao- 
oessible to the Eoropeans, although the inhabitants haye as- 
smned the Ghiistian name. 

The province of Shoa likewise extends along the shores 
of the Nile. It is remarkable for its picturesque and fertile 
valleys, covered with villages, and cloisters crowded with 
indolent monks. If we may rely upon the information given 
us by the traveler. Salt, the people of these two provinces 
are remarkably distinguished from the rest of the Abyssin- 
ians both by retaining the manners and customs of the an- 
cient Ethiopians, and by preserving a certain degree of re- 
finement and civilization generally difinsed among them. 
The province is said to be fiivored with men of considerable 
learning, who are not of the priesthood ; and whose com- 
mendable efforts have been thus far successful, in keeping 
alive in the minds of their countrymen, a glimmering desire 
for instruction. 

Farther than this, the province of Shoa is almost entirely 
unknown to Europeans, the entrance, for a long time past, 
having been almost completely closed to the ingress of 
strangers, in consequence of the ruthless inroads made into 
the district by the fierce predatory bands of the Qallas. 
The light of Christianity, however, which those rude bar- 
barians have happily preserved, still gives forth its pale, 
flickering lustre. Its life-giving spirit has, at least, induced 
great numbers to adopt the forms, and practise the rites of 
the Christian religion. Would that its traces were more 

* The supposed aceiia of Johosoo*! Ranslaa. 



52 ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITANTS. 

clearly yisible ; would that the happy epoch, perhaps not 
fiur distant, might speedily arriye, when these deluded vo- 
taries of " the Unknown Ood" shall sincerely abandon the 
degrading principles of paganism, and become the humble 
followers of the blessed Jesus 1 

As the missionary, Gobat, in the course of his journal, has 
made frequent mention of these savage hordes of Gallas, 
which infest the country, we cannot deem it altogether im- 
proper, briefly to delineate their character, and to sketch 
the events of their history. They are a subtle and vigorous 
foe ; forming the most powerful and dangerous enemies the 
Abyssinians have to encounter. Enterprising and warlike, 
they have succeeded, by their martial prowess and unflinch- 
ing courage, in penetrating a great number of the finest 
provinces of the country, — have rent asunder the once pow- 
erful empire of Abyssinia, and arrested, in various ways, the 
progress of Christianity, civilization, and refinement. For 
three centuries past, they have kept the Abyssinians in a 
state of perpetual excitement and alarm ; have compelled 
them, even while treading their own rugged mountains, the 
free inheritance of their fathers, to carry their arms con- 
tinually about them, as ready weapons of defence. They 
are divided into several branches or tribes, the principal of 
which are the eastern, or Bertuma Gallas, and the western, 
or Boren Gallas. They seem to have originated in the 
southern part of Africa, and to have advanced northward in 
their career of subjugation. They made their first incur- 
sion into the lower provinces of Abyssinia, in the year 1537, 
and have thus far made constant and uninterrupted ad- 
vances in depredations and conquests. To the west, they 



ABYSSINIA AND ITS INHABITAlfTS. S3 

liftTe goDO to a considerable distance beyond Gondar; to 
the north, as far as the proyince of Lastra, and in a north- 
easterly direction, to the borders of Enderta. Wherever 
they go, blood and oonflagrations follow in their train. 
They give no quarter ; they spare neither age nor sex, not 
even the blooming infistnt at its mother's breast. Nearly 
twenty tribes are now established in the country. They 
are entirely independent of each other, selecting and follow 
ing their own leaders. Many of them, like the Gothio 
hordes of former ages, who ravaged the provinces of the 
Roman empire, have gradually assumed the Christian name, 
from the name of the conquered ; though others still pre- 
serve their attachment to the religion of Mohammed. Most 
of them, however, are plunged in the deepest night of pa- 
ganism ; and the cruelty of their tempers is on]y equaled by 
the coarseness and barbarity of their manners. 

Formerly, wbile they led the wandering life of Nomads, 
their food consisted principally of milk, butter, and meat ; 
but they have recently become more civilized in their man- 
ner of life. Most of them have built themselves houses, en- 
gaged in agriculture, and gather most of their sustenance 
from the produce of the soil. They ordinarily wear no kind 
of clothing except a couple of skins, the one wrapped about 
the loins, and the other suspended from the shoulders. 
They possess great fire of spirit ; the energy of their national 
character, combined with a kind of civilization they have 
acquired in the provinces in which they have established 
themselves, are frequent subjects of remark. 

These last-mentioned facts, together with the present 
condition of the Galla tribes, lead us to conclude that they 



M ABTflBINIA AND ITS INHABITANTB. 

we a people well prepared for the work of eyangelioel 
sions ; especially, since the missionary Oobat has expressed 
ihe opinion, that a messenger of Christ might probably 
plant himself among them without the exposure of 
life or property. 



PART 11. 



mSTOKICAL SKETCH OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHUBCH. 

It is generallj admitted that Christianity was first intro- 
duced into Abyssinia about the year of oar Lord 330, at the 
time when Athanasius was patriarch of Alexandria in 
Egypt Merophius, a merchant of Tyre, setting sail from 
his native city in quest of traffic and commercial adventare, 
18 8aid, if we may believe the report of tradition, to have 
landed npon the shores of Ethiopia. He there sickened and 
died; but his sons, Fromentius and Edesius, both men 
eminent for piety, surviying their £Either, remained in the 
country. They were not permitted, however, to remain un- 
molested. Destined as instruments of good, they most be 
tempered for their work by the heat of the furnace. Fall- 
ing into the hands of the savage and unfeeling inhabitants, 
they were seised and dragged before the king, whom they 
were compelled to serve as slaves. But the God whom they 
adored was with them, and they soon succeeded in securing 
the favor, and gaining the esteem of their royal master, by 
means of their various and extensive learning, and by the 
spirit of genuine Christianity, which uniformly breathed in 
their lives. They became the favorites of the prince ; he 



56 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

gave them their liberty, and promoted them to places of 
honor and emolument about his court. After the death of 
the king, the widowed queen became ardently attached to 
the strangers, and as they had previously won the confidence 
and respect of all classes of people, they began, under her 
protecting influence, to disseminate the seeds of Christianity 
throughout the provinces of Abyssinia, with extraordinary 
zeal and unwonted success. Having, for several years, dili« 
gently prosecuted their benevolent and laborious enterprise, 
Frumentius, leaving his brother in the country, made a 
journey to Alexandria, to announce to the patriarch the 
happy success that had attended their efforts for the conver- 
sion of the Abyssinians to Christianity ; and before his re- 
turn, was named the first bishop of Ethiopia. Both him- 
self and confederates were now fired with increased zeal; 
they availed themselves of the opportunity afforded by the 
favorable disposition of the queen, to build and consecrate a 
number of churches, and to ordain as ecclesiastics, several 
of those who had recently embraced the doctrines of the 
cross. 

It is from this date that the Abyssinian church assumes 
importance in the annals of ecclesiastical history. Through 
all succeeding ages, from that period to the present, she has 
received her superior ecclesiastic, or Abiina^* by the ap- 
pointment of the patriarch of Alexandria; and has con- 
tinued, with little interruption, to maintain an intimate con- 
nection with the Coptic church of Egypt. In consequence 
of this bond of union, which had so early, and so firmly 
linked them together, when, during the fiflh century, the 

« literally, Our Father. 



OP THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 67 

discTiasioDS, oooasioned by the opinions of Nestorius, arosOi 
sbe followed her mother church, and embraced the doctrines 
of the Monophjsites ; or, in other words, the sentiments of 
those early Christians of the East, who maintained that the 
two natures of Christ, the human and divine, were absorbed 
into one.* 

* "The poculiar dogma of this heresy — ^fbr such it has beeo called, 
with what justice I do not pretend to determine — is that of acknowl- 
edging one nature in Christ, in opposition to the Nestorians, who hold 
twa On examining some of the best writers, however, on both sides, 
it will be found very difficult to discover in what they really do diifer. 
I cannot but think with Ludolf and La Croze, that the disputes which 
have so long divided the Eastern Church on this mysterious point, 
amount to nothing more than a battle about words ; which mighty loQg 
ago^ have been merged in the more important and more intelligible 
point of Christian charity, had not interested views and ang^ passions 
determined otherwise. 

'^ It is certain that both MonophyBites and Nestorians hold the divinity 
of our Lord ; their disputes respect only the mode of His incarnation 
So long as the Church of Alexandria remained at unity with itself and 
with the Greek Church, that of Abyssinia may be said to have held the 
same doctrines and customs ; but in the time of the Emperor Mardon, 
upon the disagreement of the bishops respecting the doctrine of the 
incaxnatioo, the Council of Chalccdon, wliich is called the Fourth Gen- 
eral Council, was assembled ; and, in it, the dogmas of Eutychcs and 
DioBOorus, the advocates for the Monophysite belief, were condemned. 
Those who embraced the orthodox faith were, out of contempt^ called 
Melchites, t. e. Royalists; because they followed the fiiith of the em- 
peror. The other party, also, out of contempt, received the title of 
Eufycfaians, Jacobites, ^c. 

" On the rise of this lamentable dissension, the reasons of which were 
but ill understocd, and much worse explained, those nationa that had 
been subject to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, placed themaeWes 

a* 



5§ HIBTORtCAL SKETCH 

During the serenth centarj, when the Hohammedaiu of 
Arabia, spurred on by their religious enthusiasm, made an 
irruption into Egypt, and nearly crashed the ohureh then 
existing in that country, the strong ties which had hitherto 
bound together the Eastern and Western churches were 
almost entirely sundered ; and the Abyssinian church, sud- 
denly becoming obscured, retired for several ages from the 
page of history. But ere she passed behind the cloud, she 
encountered a fearful struggle with the Arabians, a circum- 
stance which evinced the reality of her \ital energies. The 
Arabians were a crafty foe ; skilful in device, and unscru- 
pulous as to means, they employed alike stratagem and 
force to induce her to submit to their sway, and to adopt 
the new religion. But, steadfast in her religious principles, 
the Abyssinian church remained unshaken as a rock amid 
the dashing billows. Covering her with his shield, God 
preserved her from the galling yoke of Mohammedan 
tyranny, and permitted her to keep feebly burning the 
flame of Christian faith which she had received as a rich in- 
heritance from her fathers. 

It was not till near the commencement of the sixteenth 
century, that the Abyssinian church, which, in Europe, had 
sunk into almost total forgetfulness, amidst the darkness 
that gloomily lowered over the moral and intellectual 

under difiisrent heads, as the nature of their belief required The Mel- 
chites ranged themselves under the Patriarch of Constantinople ; while 
the Mooophysites adhered still to the chair of St Hark in Alexandria ; 
and as the Abyssinians continued to receive thdr Abunas from £gypt» 
they, of course, became di8c^[>leB of the Alemndrian fiuth." 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 59 

world during the middle ages, again emerged from obsourity, 
and glimmered above the horizon. Certain travelerSi 
whom John II. of Portugal had sent out to Africa, for the 
purpose of exploring unknown countries, heard, for the first 
time of a Christian church, planted at an early period 
among the mountains of Abyssinia, which had bravely re- 
sisted the victorious arms of the Saracens. The happy 
news was speedily brought back to the court. The king, 
overjoyed at the discovery, determined, if possible, to ascer- 
tain more definitely the actual state of this newly-discovered 
people ; and dispatched an embassy to Abyssinia for that 
purpose. After numerous abortive efforts, one Pedro Cv 
rilham, at length in H90, succeeded in penetrating the 
valleys of that remarkable country ; and on his return, un* 
folded to the astonished monarch, the treasures of his Indus* 
trious research. His appearance in Abyssinia awakened a 
lively interest, and the emperor Alexander, who was partic- 
ularly pleased with the mission of the stranger, had already 
re solve d to send deputies to the court of Portugal, when 
dJHphat subtle terminator of all sublunary schemes, in- 
tervened, and put an end to the project. 

Lebna Dangel ascended the throne as his successor, and 
governed Ethiopia under the guardianship of his mother, 
the empress Helena. Hearing of the extensive conquests 
which the Portuguese were then making on the coast of 
India, he thought it for the benefit of his kingdom, to enter 
into some terms of agreement with the court of Lisbon. 
Emmanuel, who then wore the crown of Portugal, believing 
that an alliance with Abyssinia might prove a source of ad- 
vantage to himself, gave a listening ear to his proposals. A 



60 HISTORICAL SKETOn 

compact was accordingly agreed upon in 1509 ; and at tli0 
request of the empress Helena, who seems to have been de- 
sirous of improving the condition of her subjects, the king 
sent into Abyssinia several learned men, as well as artists 
and tradesmen, who established themselves in the country. 
A channel of friendly communication was now opened ; and 
it resulted in a series of embassies, which were dispatched 
from time to time from the respective powers. The most 
remarkable was that of the Ethiopian, Zaga-zaba, who ar- 
rived at Lisbon in 1527. He was empowered by the court 
of Abyssinia to sign a confession of faith, such as, in his 
judgment, would promote the interests, both temporal and 
spiritual, of the two kingdoms. But after examining, in 
detail, the fundamental principles and usages of the Roman 
hierarchy, he had some scruples in regard to the propriety 
of subscribing his name to such an instrument in behalf of 
the Abyssinian church. But woe to him for listening to 
the voice of conscience! It fired a train which eventually 
exploded in his inhuman massacre ! 

During the absence of Zaga-zaba, the fierce tribes of Mo- 
hammedan Gallas, who were settled on the confines of the 
country, arose in arms, and made an irruption into the 
Abyssinian territory. They were influenced to this step by 

L 

learning the empress' intention of negotiating an alliance 
with the monarch of Portugal. The Mohammedan prince, 
Mahomet Gragnd, after having been reinforced by succors 
furnished by the king of Adel, went forth to battle. Vic- 
tory decided in his favor. He put to rout the Ethiopian 
army, and ravaged several provinces. The emperor was 
forced to fly to the recesses of the mountains, while his 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 61 

triumphant foe was devastating his coantry, and slaughter- 
ing his snbjecta 

At this fearfol crisis of his affairs, the emperor dispatched 
one Bermudes, a Portngaese, belonging to his train, to the 
courts of Rome and Lisbon, to solicit aid. Previous, how- 
ever, to his leaving the country, the Almna nominated him 
to the office of bishop, and designated him as a suitable per- 
son to succeed him in the patriarchal chair. Bermudes 
arrived at Borne in 1538, and was kindly received by the 
pope, who consecrated him patriarch of Ethiopia, and sent 
him to the king of Portugal, accompanied with his respectful 
commendations. But although the king clearly foresaw 
that an alliance with the emperor of Ethiopia would greatly 
facilitate his ambitious designs of spreading the flame of 
conquest, and thus an alliance promising the most desirable 
consequences to himself, he could not readily persuade him- 
self to take part in the war which that prince was then carry- 
ing on against the Oallas, He did not, however, entirely 
quench the hopes of the envoy, but while he temporized, 
flattered him with the prospect of sending him aid from his 
Asiatic dominions. Bermudes believed the delusion, and 
with the expectation of obtaining a few hundred soldiers at 
Goa, he immediately proceeded to Asia, where he arrived 
in 1539. But he was destined to experience the bitter dis- 
appointment of seeing his cherished anticipations suddenly 
blasted. The king of Portugal proved himself treacherous ; 
not having commanded his troops at Goa to embark for 
Abyssinia, according to the encouragement held out to Ber- 
mudes while at his court. 

While these events were transpiring, Dangal, the Ethio- 



62 HI8TOBICAL SKETCH 

pian emperor, died, a&d bis son Glaudins asoended the 
throne. But it seems that the embassy of Bermndes to 
Lisbon was not entirely unsuecessful ; for a short time after 
his binding at Goa, the report was beard, and qoickly spread 
to the imperial court, that a Portuguese fleet was seen 
cruising upon the Red Sea, and that she had been sent to 
check the progress of the Mohammedan Gallas, who were 
making almost daily encroachments on the territorial limits 
of Abyssinia. 

Two deputies were forthwith dispatched to the admiral, 
entreating him .to accelerate his course. They found the 
fleet moored in the port of Massowab, and, at their request, 
a body of four hundred soldiers under the command of 
Christopher de Gama, son of the celebrated Vasco de Gama, 
was ordered to march to the assistance of the emperor. 
Accordingly, in the month of July, 1541, de Ghima disem- 
barked his troops at Arteeko, with the intention of joining 
the Ethiopian troops, if possible, before the Ghdla prince, 
Gragn6, should attack them. But de Gama nerer reached 
the point of rendezvous. He lost his life in a skirmish with 
the Gallas ; and his little band of valiant warriors were 
almost entirely destroyed. A few, however, headed by Ber- 
mndes, succeeded in making their escape, and afterwards 
joined the Ethiopian army. Soon after, the united forces 
met the Gallas in battle ; they rushed upon their ranks, and 
perpetrated a fearful slaughter, carrying everywhere before 
them defeat and death. The prince, Gragn^, was slain ; the 
war was terminated, and the emperor of Abyssinia was 
quietly reestablished on his throne. 

Urged on by Bermndes, the victorious Portuguese were 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. U 

not slow in making the most cztravagant claims for the 
serriees they had rendered the Ethiopians in the recent 
straggle, so happily terminated by their instrnmentality. 
They demanded nothing less than the conversion of the 
emperor, and that of his subjects, to the doctrines of the 
Somish church, together with the surrender of one third of 
his dominions to their undisturbed possession. Claudius 
boldly rejected their ridiculous jHKitensions. They, in turn, 
haughtily threatened him with excommunication — ^that fear- 
ful weapon to the Romanist ; but this did not at all discon- 
cert or terrify the emperor. He openly declared that the 
patriarch, Bermudes, had no legitimate authority in the 
country, and that he regarded the pope himself as a heretic. 
He went further. To evince his firm attachment to the an- 
cient church of Ethiopia, he sent deputies to Alexandria, 
earnestly soliciting an orthodox Abuna. Meantime he cast 
Bermudes into prison, where he was compelled to remain 
till he found means of secretly escaping, and took sanctuary 
on the shores of the Bed Sea, in the province of Tigre. 

While these events were transpiring in the East, Ignatius 
Loyola was busy in founding the order of the Jesuits ; and, 
when informed of the unhappy issue which affairs had taken 
is Ethiopia, made the proposal to the pope to undertake 
in person the difficult enterprise of effecting a reunion be- 
tween the Abyssinian and Romish churches. But the pope, 
who was wishing to reserve him for a more important sphere 
of operation, declined the offer. He commissioned, however, 
thirteen missionaries, selected from the newly-organised so- 
ciety of Jesuits, to commence, in his stead, the work of con- 
TmioD. One of the number, named Nunes Baretto, a 



64 RIBTOBfCAL SKETCH 

Portngaese, was elevated, previous to his departure, to tbe 
dignity of patriarch of the country ; and two others, An- 
drew Oviedo, and Melchior Garneiro, were nominated to 
the office of bishop. These three personages, accompanied 
in their arduous enterprise by ten fellow-laborers, were to 
proceed, first to Goa, and there remain, earnestly preparing 
themselves for the duties of their future destination, while 
three of their number, Oprestes, Rodriguez, and Freydre, 
should go before, and, if possible, open a way for their ad- 
mission into the Abyssinian territory. These pioneers of 
the mission arrived at the imperial court in 1555. Their 
appearance was not at all agreeable to the reigning mon- 
arch ; especially when apprized that there were several more 
of their countrymen then residing at Goa, and only waiting 
a more favorable opportunity for entering his dominions. 
They, however, commenced working their engines, but to 
little etfect. All the sophistry, as well as arguments, that 
Rodriguez could devise to convince his royal highness that 
the pope was the vicegerent of Christ on earth, and that 
there was no salvation out of the pale of the Romish church, 
did not at all narrow the distance between the emperor and 
the mbsionaries, nor in the least shake him from his posi- 
tion, that an assembly of the church should take into consid- 
eration, and decide upon these and similar questions ; and 
that, while here on earth, a scene, as it is, of darkness and 
delusion, no individual priest had authority to make altera- 
tions in the church. He also assured Rodriguez, that it 
was in vun for him to expect that the people of Ethiopia 
were bound to the religion of their fathers, by ties which 
could be 80 easily or summarily severed. He then dismissed 



OF THE ABTSSIINIAN CHURCH. 05 

bim and his associaieB, and started on a journey io yisit a 
diBtant province. 

The Jesuit missionary, finding himself completely foiled 
in his efforts, and scarcely knowing what to do, took lodg- 
ings at the honse of a wealthy Portugnese, and wrote a 
short treatise on the Christian religion. This, with oonsid- 
erahle difficulty, he translated into the Ethiopian languagOi 
and presented it to his imperial majesty on his return from 
his provincial tour. But this expedient succeeded no better 
than those he had previously tried ; on the contrary, it 
seemed to increase the estrangement, and deepen the aver- 
sion, which the monarch already felt to the newly-arrived 
envoys. 

Rodriguez, perceiving that his labors in the service of the 
mission at the imperial court were now brought to a close, 
returned to the sea-coast, with the view of finding the resi- 
due, and taking counsel of Bermudes, who had always re- 
garded himself as the legal patriarch of Ethiopia. On con- 
sultation, they concluded to return to Groa, and suspend all 
farther operations, till, in the revolution of affairs, an oppor- 
tunity should occur, more favorable to their designs ; and 
which would warrant their return into the country with a 
reinforcement of Jesuit missionaries. On their arrival in 
Asia, they consulted their brethren there, and it was de- 
cided that Bishop Oviedo, accompanied by a few of their 
number, should im,mediatcly set sail for Abyssinia, and that 
the patriarch, with the rest of their fellow-laborers, should 
follow whenever information was received that affairs had 
SBsumed a position that promised success to their projects 
of religious conquest. Oviedo accordingly embarked ; and, 



66 HIBTOSIOAL 8KBTCB 

ivafted by fiiyoring breeses, soon reached the shores of Ethi- 
opia, and anchored in the harbor of D6borowah. He here 
met with the Bahamagash, or chief of that section of the 
country, who had uniformly manifested a friendly disposi- 
tion to the Catholic missionaries, and, as he was at that 
moment on the eve of proceeding to the court of the empe- 
ror, offered to conduct hither his friend Oviedo. The bishop 
was soon favored with an opportunity of presenting himself 
to Claudius, and of showing him the letters of recommenda- 
tion which he had brought from the pope, and the king of 
Portugal But as the recollection of the conduct of Ber- 
mudes, and of the Portuguese troops, was still rankling in 
the monarch's bosom, Oviedo was forced to feel the mortifi- 
cation of seeing his commendatory epistles treated with dis- 
dain, and himself dismissed with impatience. At a second 
interview with the emperor, he assumed a loftier tone. He 
presented himself before him with a boldness and a decision 
of manner, altogether unbecoming either his condition or 
errand, demanding of him whether he would or would not, 
unconditionally, submit to the authority of the pope ; and 
at the same time affirming that without such submissioni 
there could be no salvation either for himself or his people. 
The emperor replied with great equanimity and mildness, 
that the Abyssinian church, from its earliest existence, had 
been closely united with thai of Alexandria, and that he 
knew, at present, of no reason sufficiently powerful to influ- 
ence either himself or his subjects to break those bonds 
which had grown and strengthened through so many ages. 
The bishop, however, was not to be so easily dissuaded from 
his purpose ; he resolutely persisted in again putting what 



OF THE ABT8BINIAN CHURCH. 67 

he deemed the only aliematiye. Bal the prinoe, not think- 
ing it beet to prolong the interview, diamiflsed him from Uui 
prwenoe, aesnring him that the bosinese should be presented 
for oonsideration before the aflsembly of the ohnrch, and 
their deoiaion oommnnioated to him. 

OriedOy perceiving that his artillery only spent itself in 
vain on the independent spirit of the monaroh, skilfully 
changed the mode of attack, and assumed the more conoil- 
iatoiy tone of friendship. He addressed him a oonfidential 
letter, calling to his remembrance the request he had pre- 
viously made to the pope and to the king of Portugal, to 
lend learned men into his kingdom ; and reminded him of 
the recognition he had once made of the claims of Bermudes 
to the dignity and authority of the patriarch. At the same 
time he besought him to be cautious of the influence of the 
empress, his mother ; and to fortify himself against the pre- 
judices or machinations of his courtiers. He also insidi- 
ously impressed on his mind the important truth, that with 
relation to the subject-matter of our faith, it often becomes 
our duty to encounter the ill will of our beloved parents, 
even to sever the tenderest of earthly ties, for the sake of 
Christ But this stratagem turned out as every reasonable 
man would have expected. Such artifices, however ingeni* 
oosly contrived, could have had but little influence in blind- 
ing a man of the shrewdness and intelligence of Claudius, 
whose knowledge of the Scriptures is said to have been far 
more profound than even that of the Jesuit missionary him- 
self ; and the sequel proved that they had no other influ- 
ence on the mind of the emperor, than to alienate him still 
more effectually from the bishop and his cause. Oviedo 



68 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

saw this, but not the least daanted, boldly perseTered in hifl 
enterprise. He seemed resolved to lift at the wheel bo long 
as a ray of hope remained ; and he fearlessly challenged all 
the liierati of Abyssinia to confront him in the field of logi- 
cal combat in regard to the subjects of dispute existing be- 
tween them. The challenge was accepted ; but the empe- 
ror, fearing that the monks who were designated to adrocate 
the cause of the Abyssinian church, would become embar- 
rassed by the subtleties and refinements of the Italian 
Jesuit, came forward, and replied in person to the bishop ; 
and, if we may credit the Jesuit historians themselves, be 
completely triumphed over his antagonbt by his profound 
knowledge and clear expositions of Scripture. 

But this indefatigable and zealous missionary by no 
means relished the idea of being thus summarily foiled in 
his undertaking He whet up his spirits to a keener edge ; 
and, resolving to scatter the seeds of truth, and thus gradu- 
ally leaven the Abyssinian mind by less ostensible measures, 
he published a few tracts on the principal subjects of the 
controversy. In his first publication he violently attacked 
the errors of the Abyssinian church, and confidently pre- 
sented a copy to the examination of the emperor himself 
desiring him to weigh its arguments with seriousness and 
candor. But this, like all his previous efforts, vanished in 
a transient blaze. The prince, after having carefully pe- 
rused the work, sat down, and with his own hand wrote a 
refutation of every article it contained. The bishop was 
utterly confounded ; but chagrined and irritated as he was 
by seeing all the efforts he had hitherto made, and the ex- 
pedients hitherto tried, to subjugate the Abyssinian church 



OF THIS ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. HO 

to the* MthiHrilij of the Roman see, thus entirely baffled, 
was in no mood to strike his colors. He resolved to make 
a last desperate effort^ which he seemed to think must de- 
cide the controversy in his favor. Accordingly, on the fif- 
teenth day of February, 1559, he issued a decree of excom- 
munication against the whole Abyssinian church. But its 
effect was directly the reverse of what he intended ; it not 
only served to unveil the tyrannical spirit of popery, and to 
bring to light the abominable errors lurking in its bosom ; 
it also tended to rivet closer to the established religion of 
his country, the affections of a monarch who was shrewd 
enoqgh to detect the gleamings of hypocrisy, though con- 
cealed by a gilded mask ; aud who declared, as reported by 
a historian of the times, that the more be knew of the spirit 
and manoBuvring of the Romisli church, the more despicable 
the institution appeared. 

But while Claudius was congratulating himself on the 
victory which be had finally gained over the bishop, a storm 
of another kind was darkly gathering over his head, and 
flashing its angry glances on his kingdom. Nur, the son of 
the king of Add, the ancient enemy of Ethiopia, watching 
with an eagle's eye the frontiers of the emperor's dominions, 
and seeing them eotirely unprotected, threw a powerful 
army into the country, and spread far and wide the fires of 
war. The emperor saw his danger, and went out to meet 
the invading foe with a small army of undisciplined soldiers. 
But the scale turned against him; he made but a feeble 
resistance to the furious attacks of his adversary ; his troops 
were routed, and himself left a mangled corpse on the field 
of battle. Thus closed the' career of a prince, whom, in un- 



70 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

ftffectad piety and religions seal, in the coltore of Ids intd- 
lectoal capacities, in the moderation and wisdom of his 
measures, few of his ancestors ever equaled, none excelled. 
Had a beneficent Providence seen fit to have prolonged his 
life, he might have been employed as ^some kind angel 
guard" in staying those torrents of blood, which, from that 
time forth, continued to crimson the valleys of Abyssinia. 
But Infinite Wisdom ordained otherwise ; and as Claudius 
died without descendants, his brother Adam, a proud and 
vindictive -prince, succeeded to the throne. He resolved 
forthwith to avenge himself on the Catholics who were 
living on their own estates, and to whose agency his jealous 
disposition easily led him to conclude were to be attributed 
the evils which had smitten both his brother and his coun- 
try. Influenced by such motives, he took from the Portu- 
guese the lands ceded to them by his brother, as grants for 
the services they had rendered him in war ; and threatened 
the bishop with instant death, if he continued longer to de- 
lude his subjects by preaching the errors of the Catholto 
church. 

It is a matter of uncertainty, whether Nur, the chieftain 
of Add, was actually instigated by the Jesuits thus to stain 
with blood the territory of his neighbor ; though there are 
other circumstances connected with the invasion, which are 
less equivocal. It is very evident that the emperor had 
some reason for adopting severe measures against the en- 
croachments of the Portuguese ; that the king of the coast, 
who had always been the zealous friend of the Jesuits, had 
joined the irruption against him ; and that in order to ad- 
vanoe more rapidly the work of conversion in the oountry, 



OF TBK ABTBBINIAN OHUSOH. 71 

lie had sent to the Portogaeee colonies in Aaift, and ob- 
tained from thence a supply of soldiers. These measnres 
touched to the qniok the irritable soul of the emperor ; he 
took the field against him, and dispersed his army. The 
king of the coast took sanctuary among the Mohammedans, 
and, by promising them fresh recruits from Portugal, he 
succeeded in gaining them over to his cause, and persuaded 
them to march against the emperor. The latter, true to his 
trust, boldly met the invading foe, and fell a victim to their 
sayage fury in the first encounter. Thb Jesuit missionaries, 
whom Adam had taken prisoners, would have ineyitably 
shared his fate, had not their friend, the king of the coast^ 
arrived at the decisive moment to avert the danger. 

The son of Adam, Malao Saged, now ascended the throne 
of Abyssinia; and though he might not openly have evinced 
Us hostility to the opinions of the Jesuits, who had now re- 
tired from the heart of the kingdom, and taken up their 
residence at Fremona, it is evident that he had inherited 
from his father and uncle all their abhorrence, both of the 
conduct and principles of the missionaries. But no pros- 
pect of opposition could dampen the zeal of the Fathers. 
They had taken last hold of their object ; the fire of their 
hopes burnt high ; and they pertinaciously clung to their 
original purpose of taking possession of Abyssinia, and of 
domineering over the Abyssinian, church, notwithstanding it 
had so often, like a wizard phantom, eluded their grasp. 
They, consequently, were not at all disposed to remain in- 
active in their retirement at Fremona. They sent depu- 
ties to the viceroy of Goa, earnestly soliciting a fresh supply 
of troops from Portugal, with which they flattered them- 



/72 UlSTOKICAL 8K£TCU 

selves they should soon be able to redaoe Ethiopia to sob- 
jeotion, and accomplish the conversion of the church. But 
this enterprise did not meet the political views of the vice- 
roy of India, and instead of complying with tho request of 
the fathers, he urged the Portuguese monarch to employ 
his influence to persuade the pope to recall the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries from the territories of Abyssinia. Accordingly, 
in 1560, Oviedo was officially withdrawn from the country, 
and ordered to repair to Japan, where it was thought his 
efforts in the service of the ^ mother of harlots" would meet 
with greater encouragement. This measure, however, was 
not at all congenial to the feelings, nor consonant to the 
ambitious views, or far-reaching schemes of the aspiring 
prelate ; and he was by no means disposed to submit to a 
removal without a struggle. He wrote to the pope in on 
unassuming and conciliatory manner, premising that he was 
ever ready to comply with his wishes, and obey his man- 
dates ,' still, at the present juncture he could not avoid in- 
dulging the expectation, that if allowed the assistance of six 
hundred Portuguese troops, he might soon be able to sub- 
ject the Abyssinian church to the apostolic throne. He 
was also careful to introduce every circumstance that could 
interest the feelings of his Holiness ; and artfully mentioned 
the fact, that most of the provinces of the country abounded 
in extensive mines, yielding gold in great profusion, and of 
an excellent quality. But all availed nothing. The pope 
had no desire to be drawn into the plans of the bishop, and 
oonsequently, notwithstanding his remonstrances, vessels 
arrived on the coast of Africa, with orders from the Roman 
pontiff to transport the Abyssinian Fathers to Cba. 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 73 

Thiifl terminated the first Jesuit mission to Ethiopia — a 
mission disgraced by arrogance and intrigue; and which, in 
consideration of the evils it occasioned, and the atrocity of 
the measures with which it was carried on, can only be com- 
pared with the second, which was undertaken about forty years 
later, by the same Jesuits, with the same objects in view, and 
with the adoption of the same means to effect its accomplish- 
ment 

The ill success attendant on this first effort, seemed to 
ehill the ardor of the Jesuits ; and for a considerable time 
they remained inactive, having apparently renounced all 
expectation of ever reducing the Abyssinian church to the 
dominion of the pope. But when Philip II. ascended the 
throne of Portugal, the subject was again revived ; and it 
was determined that two of the Fathers; Antonio de Montse- 
rado and Peter Paez, both members of the society of Jes- 
uits, should be sent into Abyssinia, disguised in the dress 
of Armenian merchants. They set sail from 6oa in 1588 ; 
bnt a stonn overtook them, drove them upon the coast of 
Arabia, and wrecked their vessel. They escaped ; but their 
true character as Romish priests being soon detected, they 
were thrown into prison, where they were doomed to groan 
away seven years in tedious confinement. 

When the report of this catastrophe reached Goa, at that 
time the general head-quarters of missions in India, two 
other ecclesiastics, Abraham de Georgys, a Maronite Jesuit, 
and a young Abyssinian, were set apart for this service, and 
immediately dispatched to Ethiopia. They disembarked, 
clothed in Turkish costume, at the island of Massowah, on 
the coast of Abyssinia ; but the governor, discovering that 

4 



74 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

Georgys^was a Bomish priest, gayo him the alternntive, that 
as he had been found in the garb of a Mohammedan, either 
openly to confess himself one, or submit to the ignominy of 
losing his life by decapitation. He heroically chose the 
latter, and was forthwith beheaded. John Baptist, an 
Italian, was soon after consecrated bishop of ihe mission, 
and sent into Ethiopia ; but he never reached his destined 
field of labor ; he was detected by the Turks in the isle of 
Comera, and shared the tragical end of Father Georgys. 

Don Alexis de Menezes, then archbishop of Gtoa, had 
already succeeded in pushing his religious conquests along 
the whole coast of Malabar. A blot, however, of the deepest 
dye must forever rest upon his victories. As he passed 
through the land in his might, it was often doomed to blush 
with the blood of the slain, and the air to glow with the 
flames of devoted villages. The news of the repeated 
failures experienced by the mission in Abyssinia, struck an 
answering chord in his bosom, and suggested the idea that 
he also must engage in the work of weakening the founda* 
tions of the Abyssinian church, and annexing it to the do- 
minions of the Papal See. Full of this idea, he prevailed 
upon Belchior Sylva, a converted Brahmin, to undertake a 
Christian mission to this country. The proposal met ihe 
views of Sylva ; he accepted the invitation, and after a pros- 
perous sail, landed safely on the coast of Abyssinia. As 
soon as Menezes was apprized of his arrival, ho wrote to the 
Abuna, urging him to submit without delay to the authority 
of the pope ; enforcing his request with the alleged ex- 
ample of his spiritual guide and father, the Patriarch of 
Alexandria, who, as he averred, had already bowed to the 



OF TBB ABYBSINIAN CHURCH. 75 

•nAority of the Roman p<mtiff ; and that the letter mi^t 
Buke all the impression intended, he acoompanied it with 
magnifieent presents, as well as liberal promises in regard 
to the future, if he would only yield to the demands of duty. 
Meneses at the same time dispatched another letter to the 
pope, entreating him to exert his influence with the Pa- 
triarch of Alexandria, and, if possible, induce him to effect 
the submission of the Abuna of Ethiopia. But unfortu- 
nately for the plans of the archbishop, the patriarch had 
nerer acknowledged the supremacy of the Holy Father, and 
consequently, all this ingeniously framed scheme fell, like a 
tinsel &bric, to the ground. 

The great zeal evinced by Meneses for the conversion of 
the Abysainians, gave a new impulse to the activity of the 
Jesuits, and they embarked ouce more in an enterprise 
which had already occasioned them so much vexation, and 
such signal disgrace. They succeeded in obtaining from the 
king of Portugal, a few transports to convey a band of mis- 
sionaries to Ethiopia, with whom Peter Paez, who had just 
been redeemed from his imprisonment, was connected. The 
latter reached Abyssinia in the summer of 1603, and imme- 
diately made known his arrival to the Emperor Jacob, as 
well aa his desire of holding with him a religious conference. 
But while he was waiting an answer to his message, the 
flames of revelation burst out ; Jacob was hurled from his 
throne, and Za Dangel crowned in his room. Paez took ad- 
vantage of the civil commotions to prepare a few treatises 
on the Christian religion, which he translated into the lan- 
guage of Ethiopia. Za Dangel was a weak and timid 
prince ; the strengthening of his throne, upon which an un- 



76 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

expected fortune had placed him, and the suppression of the 
party of Jacob, were the principal objects which engrossed 
his attention. When, therefore, he was informed of the 
arrival of Paes, he hesitated not to invite the foreign priest 
to his court; probably indulging the hope of being able, 
through his intervention, of obtaining assistance from Por- 
tugal, and establishing the throne he had usurped. The 
crafty Father, watching the state of the country, and regard- 
ing the present juncture as favorable to the consummation 
of his ambitious designs, gladly took upon himself the duty 
of presenting to the court of Portugal the wishes of Za Dan- 
gel. As he saw his path all marked out before him, in order 
to be free as possible in the part he was about to play, ho 
commenced by sending back to India his coadjutor Sylva^ 
the Brahmin convert. 

But Father Paez had scarcely arrived at the court, when 
he perceived, by the darkening aspect of the political hori- 
zon, that a storm was about to burst upon the country ; and 
the probability was, that the usurper would not long be able 
to maintain his seat on the throne. He framed, therefore, 
a pretext for retiring ; and not two months had elapsed, 
when a revolution broke out which tore the crown from the 
head of Za Dangel, and terminated his mortal career. The 
chief of the insurgents, Athanateus, presently invited Paei 
to his camp ; a favor which he was not slow to accept Per- 
ceiving, however, that the smoke and dust of contention 
were not yet allayed among the rebels, and that they were 
by no means agreed upon the succession to the throne, he 
thought it prudent to withdraw to Fremona ; a conclusion 
that was confirmed by learning that a number of his fellow- 



OF THE ABTB8INIAN CHUBCH. 77 

kborers had jast arrived at that Btation. The parties oon- 
tinned the straggle, victory vacillating, sometames in favor 
of one, and sometimes of the other, till at length, the de- 
throned monarch, Jacoh, resumed the diadem. But as one 
Snsnens, a descendant of David, was making some preten- 
nons to the throne, and taking advantage of the turbolenoe 
of the times, was actively engaged in devising means to vin- 
dicate the justice of his claims, the emperor's authority was 
extremely precarious. In the mean time, as they were 
almost daily ejecting the arrival of troops from Portugal, 
which, it was believed, would at once put an end to the ex- 
isting difficulties, the Jesuit missionary thought it expedient 
to proceed direotly to the court of Jacob, and there await 
the issue of tl"^ conflict. But the pretender, Snsneus, soon 
collected ri^ ^siderable force, and boldly raised the standard 
of revolt Jacob hastily put his army in motion, and met 
the enemy ; but the God of battles decided against him ; 
he was slain on the field of combat, and Susneus ascended 
the imperial throne under the name of Sultan Saged. 

The Jesuits lost no time in presenting themselves before 
the Emperor Susneus ; and as their coadjutor, Paez, had 
espoused the cause, and involved himself in the party of 
Jacob, they thought it prudent for him to retire from the 
stage of public action, till the heat of the moment and the 
flush of victory should have passed away. They therefore 
selected two of the Fathers, Lawrence Romano, and Anthony 
Fernandez, to perform the duties of his station. Their 
anxiety, however, owing to the course pursued by Paez, was 
of short duration. On their arrival at court, they were re- 
ceived with great civility and kindness, and enjoyed several 



78 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

intemewB with the newlj-orowned monareh. One of his 
first inqniries was for Father Paes, of whom he had heard, 
and whom he was anxious to see. Paes, learning the &Yor- 
able disposition of the emperor, appeared at the imperial 
court ; and as he was receiyed with open arms, seised the 
first opportunity to lay before him the immense advantage 
that would accrue both to himself and kingdom, from an 
alliance with Bome and Portugal — an alliance, he . affirmed^ 
which alone could ensure the continuance and stability of 
his rising power. 

Influenced by the suggestions of the Jesuit missionary, 
Susneus sent letters to the pope, and to the king of Portu- 
gal, praying them to order, without delay, a military force 
to Abyssinia. At the same time, the Jesuits were con- 
stantly on the alert, distilling, on every possP^ '"^ occasion, 
their peculiar tenets into the mind of the emperor, and 
urging the necessity of embracing, at once, the Catholic re- 
ligion ; a step that Paez at length persuaded him to take, 
by pointing out the striking similarity, which, as he pre- 
tended, subsisted between the creeds of the two churches. 
The Rasj Cells Christos, brother of the emperor, was also 
induced to espouse their cause, and enlist with zeal in their 
service. After signal success, they thought proper to send 
a deputation to the court of Portugal, which soon returned 
without effecting anything of importance. Meanwhile, the 
Jesuits spared neither vigilance nor toil in their exertions 
to secure possession of the Abyssinian church, and among 
other expedients, maintained public discussions on the doc- 
trines of the Gospel with the priests of the country. Their 
unwearied labors were soon apparently crowned with suo- 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHtJKCH. 79 

The emperor issued an edict, prohibiting the bestow- 
ment of offices or places of emolament on any of the olergj, 
ezeepting those who were disposed to adopt the confession 
of fidth promulgated by the Romish church. He even de- 
nounced the severest punishments upon all who should per- 
rist in maintaining that there was only one nature in the 
person of Jesus Christ. 

As soon as the Abuna of Ethiopia was apprized of these 
transactions, alarmed for the safety of his church, he flew to 
the coast, and threatened Susneus with instant ezcommuni- 
eation, because, without either his knowledge or consent, he 
had authorised public disputations with the priests. The 
emperor excused himself by saying he had done it with the 
best intenUons; that by adopting the measure, he had 
hoped to quench the flames of discord, and thus prevent a 
separation in the church. At the same time, in conse- 
quence of the dissatisfiftction of the Abuna, he expressed a 
desire of witnessing a renewal of the discussion with the 
Romish priests concerning the much-disputed question, 
whether there were two natures in the person of Christ, as 
is taught by the Catholic church, or only one, according 
to the dogma of the Abyssinian creed. With this answer 
the Abuna was satisfied, the subject was again debated in a 
public assembly, where the Abuna and his clergy had the 
mortification of being defeated by the subtle dialectics of 
the wily missionaries. 

The Jesuits seemed now to think that victory had ac- 
tually lighted on their banner ; and hastening to strike the 
decisive blow, pressed the emperor to thunder forth a second 
decree, threatening immediate death to all who should deny 



80 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

the dootrine of two distiDct natures in the person of Ohrist 
Bat the Abona, who knew himself supported by the mass 
of the people, as well as by a great part of the court itself 
undaunted by the menacing aspect of affairs, boldly resisted 
this encroachment on his authority, and excommunicated 
those who ventured to embrace the doctrines of the stran- 
gers. This conduct seemed^ for a time, to embarrass the 
moYcments of the emperor, but the encouraging solicitations 
of Father Paez at length aroused and fortified his sinking 
resolution; and instead of being disconcerted by the an- 
athemas of his church, he issued a decree, commanding his 
subjects to adopt the principles and perform the rites of the 
Catholic church. This daring measure moved the Abuna 
to a still more decisiye step. He summoned all the clergy 
of the country, as well as the people of every grade and 
condition, to awake to their danger, and take up arms in 
defence of the religion of their £eithers. This spirited sum- 
mons produced a tremendous movement in the public mind. 
Ellas, son-in-law of the monarch, and viceroy of Tigro, in- 
stantly put himself at the head of the disaffiected, and made 
hasty preparations to drive the new clergy from their quar- 
ters at Fremona. As soon as the emperor's friends saw 
this portentous appearance of affairs, they roused themselves 
to avert the storm which was pending over them, resolved, 
if possible, to persuade their master to desist from an enter- 
prise which threatened imminent destruction alike to him- 
self and his dominions. But ho obstinately refused to listen 
to their urgent remonstrances, and arrogantly declared he 
would continue to defend the principles of the Catholics, 
while a drop of blood should circulate through his veins. 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHUBCH. 81 

. Heaawliile, the summons of the Abuna for the defence of 
their faith, found an echo in the hearts of the people ; and 
the emperor, not thinking it for his interest to break with 
him entirely, invited him to visit his court, and hold a per- 
sonal conference with the missionary Paez. The Abuna 
and the Jesait accordingly appeared before the emperor ; 
the former attended by his clergy, the latter by his associ- 
ates in labor. A debate ensued upon the peculiar dogmas 
of their respective creeds, after which they separated ; and, 
as is usually the case, decidedly more irritated and dis- 
gusted with each other than before. But the Abuna, being 
too much devoted to his church to suffer her to sink while a 
single resource remained unemployed, resolved to hazard 
one more expedient to bring back the emperor to more ra- 
tional ideas. He ventured again into his presence, threw 
himself with the inferior clergy at his feet, beseeching him 
to resist the treacherous insinuations of the Jesuits, and no 
longer persist in lacerating the wound already rankling in 
the breasts of the people ; on the contrary, to grant his 
clergy and his subjects the heaven -born privilege of adher- 
ing to the &ith, and enjoying the worship of their ancestors. 
But the ear of the prince was sealed to the entreaties, and 
his heart untouched by the prostrations of his priesthood, 
and the Abuna left the court in profoundest grief. 

No sooner was Elias informed of the resolution of Sus- 
neus to support the Jesuits and defend their doctrines, than 
he appealed to the people of Tigre, calling upon all who 
were disposed to embrace the tenets of the pretended re- 
formers, to unite themselves at once with the anny of the 
emperor ; while those who were still attached to the worship 



62 HIBTORICAL SKETCH 

of their ftthers, he exhorted to enlist under his Btandttd 
without delay. He soon found himself at the head of a 
numerous army, whioh he instantly put in motion, and 
marched to the imperial camp ; nobly resolyed either to re- 
establish the ancient religion of his country, or perish in 
the attempt 

Simeon, the aged Abnna, whose frame was already trem- 
bling with decrepitude, and his locks scattered by the tem- 
pests of a hundred years, felt, at this fearful crisis, the fire 
of youth rekindling in his shriveled veins ; and, inspired 
by the enthusiasm of the occasion, united himself with the 
army which had been enlisted for the defence of the £iithfuL 
As they went out to battle, he gave them his paternal bene- 
diction, assuring them that those who should h\l in the 
ensuing conflict, would not only meet the death, but partici- 
pate in the glory of martyrs. This assurance produced the 
impression desired by the Abuna ; the troops, kindling with 
heroism, burned to measure themselves with the enemies of 
their faith. When his son-in-law appeared before the 
imperial camp, the emperor dispatched his daughter, the 
wife of the viceroy, to demand of her husband why he 
approached in this hostile array; instructing her at the 
same time to offer him pardon for his faults, provided he 
would instantly lay down his arms, and assume that sub- 
ordination which his rank and relation to his sovereign 
required; and, in case he should refuse submission, she 
was to request a short suspension of hostilities. But Elias» 
&ncying he saw in this proposal an acknowledgment of 
the emperor's weakness, as well as a disposition to tempo- 
riie in order to secure an opportunity of uniting his forces 



OF THE ABTSSINIAN CHUBCH. 88 

with those of his brother, the Ras Cella, refoBod compliance, 
and made immediate preparations for battle. The princess 
had scarcely reached the tent of her father, ere the roar of 
battle commenced. The soldiers of the yiceroy mshed like 
a torrent into the camp, carrying everything before them ; 
the brave commander, at the head of his troops, was on the 
point of entering the royal pavilion, when he suddenly fell, 
pierced by an arrow. A violent panic seized the army ; 
some madly throwing away their weapons, fled in dismay ; 
others stood their ground, and met their fate from the hands 
of the enemy. As the storm of battle raged and passed on, 
the aged Abnna remained deserted and alone, almost upon 
the identical spot where he stood during the action, being 
too decrepit and feeble to fly. His age and the dignity of 
his station screened him from the violence of the Abyssinian 
soldiery ; but a remorseless Portuguese found him, and 
without pity for his infirmities, or reverence for his office, 
fell upon him and transfixed him with his lance. 

The flame of discord might easily have been extinguished 
by the death of the viceroy and that of the Abuna, had not 
the emperor, regarding his late success as a decisive victory, 
issued a decree, forbidding the people longer to celebrate the 
Jewish Sabbath, which, from .time immemorial, they had 
been accustomed to hallow with the same strictness and so- 
lemnity as the Lord^s day. This fatal decree found its way 
to Joanel, governor of the province of Begemder ; and the 
boldness of the language, together with the conviction that 
the emperor was intent on making constant advances in in- 
novation, roused him to action, and determined him to 
throw himself in his way. The people, to whom the domi- 



84 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

nation of the strangers had become exoessively irksome, 
crowded around him from every quarter, earnestly entreat* 
ing him to commence anew the struggle for the religion and 
liberty of their suffering country. The governor had scarcely 
acceded to their wishes, and laid his plans for future opera- 
tion, when the neighboring (Dallas, learning his intentions, 
voluntarily offered to lend him their support He therefore 
lost no time in placing himself at the head of the disaffected 
part of the nation, and prepared for the conflict The re- 
port soon spread to the imperial court ; great numbers of the 
emperor's friends entreated him not to expose his life and 
crown to such imminent peril, but speedily abandon a scheme 
which, sooner or later, must prove his utter ruin. But Sus- 
neus was a man of too independent spirit to allow himself 
to be easily touched by the prayers or tears of his subjects ; 
he consequently replied that it did not belong to them to 
remonstrate, but to obey ; and with increased decision he 
renewed his manifesto, denouncing death to all who should 
have the hardihood to resist his measures. 

The governor of Begemder then wrote to the emperor, 
requesting him to drive the Jesuits from Ethiopia, and ac- 
knowledge him for life the viceroy of the province over 
which he presided. But instead of giving him a formal an- 
swer, Susneus rallied his troops and marched against him 
with a powerful army. This movement was entirely unex- 
pected to the viceroy ; and being too feeble to take the field 
with so little warning, he threw himself, together with all 
his forces, into the recesses of the mountains ; and as the 
royal army soon succeeded in cutting off his supplies^ he 



OP TRB ABT8SINIAN CHURCH. 85 

took refnge in the territories of the Gallas, where he wm pnr- 
sned, betrayed, and slain. 

Peace now seemed to dawn npon Ethiopia ; bnt it was 
only a transient gleam of sunshine. The malecontents had 
hardly laid down their arms, returned to their homes, and 
resumed their customary employments, when the din of war 
was heard from another quarter. The Damotes, a people 
inhabiting the borders of the Nile, and. to whom themanceu- 
TTes of the Jesuits had become too oppressive to be longer 
endured with patience, arose en masses and boldly resoWed 
to dethrone a monarch who had blindly submitted to the 
management . of foreigners ; and to drive from the country 
these disseminators of error and fomenters of discord. An 
army of fourteen thousand warriors was immediately raised, 
which was soon increased by numerous bands of monks and 
eremites, who mingled in their ranks. But the Ras Celia, 
the brother of the emperor, took the field against this pow- 
erful and motley host, and after perpetrating a dreadful 
slaughter, bore away the palm of victory. 

The news of this success occasioned great joy at court ; 
the Jesuit Paez regarded it as a decisive proof that a benefi- 
cent Providence was stretching the wing of his protection 
over the Catholic mission, and had already commenced the 
work of retribution on its foes. From this moment the em- 
peror became more decided ; the scruples which he had 
hitherto felt, relative to an open declaration in favor of the 
Catholic church, vanished ; and he at once confessed himself 
to the Jesuit missionary, and desired absolution. Paex, 
who now felt the decrepitude of age, and the infirmities of 
disease, rapidly increasing upon him, wrote to his brethren 



86 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

at Qoa, soliciting a patriarch and twenty ecclesiastics for the 
seryioe of the Ethiopian church, enforcing his request by 
the scriptural representation, that the harvest was great, but 
the laborers few. But as the Catholic church in India, at 
that juncture, was not in a condition to comply with the re- 
quest, the order was transmitted to Rome. It there met 
with a cordial reception. The general of the Jesuits, Mutio 
Yitelesci, anxious to engage in the renovation of the Ethio- 
pian church, proposed to undertake, in person, the comple- 
tion of the work so auspiciously commenced. But the pope 
having other objects in view, rejected his proposal, as he 
had that of his predecessor, Loyola ; promising, however, to 
send into the country Emmanuel d' Almeyda, to labor as his 
substitute. This indefatigable Jesuit reached Fremona in 
1624, accompanied by three other priests, who, a little time 
alter, were received at court with every demonstration of 
joy. 

Meanwhile, the courts of Rome and Madrid decided to 
send a patriarch into Abyssinia. They appointed to this 
service Alfonso Mendez, who, with two bishops, James 
Seco and John da Rocha, arrived in the country nearly 
at the same time, and were introduced with great pomp at 
the imperial court. Encouraged by this distinguished mark 
of favor, they forthwith opened their batteries ; earnestly 
pressing the emperor to fix upon the eleventh of December 
of that year, as the day on which should take place the 
final subjection of the Abyssinian church to the sceptre 
of the Romish see. Accordingly, on the day designated, 
an ecclesiastical council convened at the royal palace, over 
wluoh the emperor and patriarch presided ] a sermon was 



OP TBB ABTSSIIVIAN OBUBCH. 87 

deliyered on the text, " Thou art Peter, and upon this rook 
I will build my church ;" the confeasion of fiiith, which was 
the same as that of Alexandria, and which had hitherto 
been the universal creed of the country, was solemnly ab- 
jured by Susneus and his courtiers ; and excommunication 
was denounced against all who should have the temerity to 
violate this oath of abjuration. The sealons monarch, how- 
ever, did not rest here ; he immediately issued two procla- 
mations : the one forbidding the priests to perform their 
ecclesiastical functions previous to their being legally quali- 
fied by the patriarch recently installed in office by the com- 
mand of the pope ; the other enjoining upon his subjects, 
without regard to distinction of rank or condition, to submit 
to the government of the sovereign pontiff, and to discover 
and bring to punishment those within the circle of their 
acquaintance, who should persevere in their attachment to 
the religion of their fathers. 

The provision of an ample establishment for the new pa- 
triarch and his associates was the next point to be consid- 
ered. For this purpose, a large and elegant edifice was 
erected on the margin of Lake Dembea, to which was an- 
nexed a liberal endowment in land. But soon finding the 
location selected not sufficiently extensive, they erected at 
Doncas another patriarchal palace, in connection with a 
college sufficiently spacious to accommodate sixty Ethiopian 
youth, who were to be elevated to the order of the priest- 
hood, under the tuition of the patriarch. As the Jesuits, 
at the commencement of their enterprise, were few in num- 
ber, they sent out as missionaries, into different parts of the 
empire, those of the Abyssinian clergy who were most in- 



88 HISTORICAL BKETCil 

dined to the doctrines of the Catholic church ; and by the 
co-operation of these hiborers, the work of subjugation wis 
apparently making pleasing and rapid progress. 

Bat the emperor and patriarch, sealons and determined 
as thej were, conld not long shut their e jes to the &ct, that 
the revelation ostensibly going forward, was more in appear- 
ance than reality. Their measures met with decided oppo- 
sition ; two of the missionaries, who had with some difficulty 
entered one of the churches in the province of Tigre, for the 
purpose of reading mass, were, on the following morning, 
found murdered in their beds. The unfortunate career and 
untimely fall of £lias, Joanel, and other kindred spirits, did 
not at all dampen the fires of resistance, which those daring 
adventurers had so heroically kindled. A son-in-law of the 
emperor, Tecla George, with whom crowds of malecontents 
had leagued themselves in secret, suddenly burst from their 
hiding-places, and marched against their sovereign, firmly re- 
solved either to re-establish the religion and worship of their 
fathers, or to flEbll gloriously in the conflict. This party in- 
creased so rapidly, that the emperor felt himself compelled 
to put forth efibris to quell the rising waves of revolt ; and 
accordingly levied and sent forth an army to subdue his re- 
bellious subjects. The two armies met in battle, the recu- 
sants were routed, and the royal troops, pursuing them with 
unrelenting hate, indiscriminately butchered every man, 
woman, and child, that fell in their way. George and his 
sister Adera fled from the storm, and took refuge in a cave ; 
but they were pursued, and, three days afterwards, were 
discovered and dragged before the emperor. (}eorge was 
oondemned to be burned as a heretic ; but as hopes were 



OF THE ABTSSIIflAN CBUSCH. 89 

eniertuned tbat more mature reflecUoa would lead him to 
repent of his treason, and come over to the Catholic party, 
his punishment was remitted ; he heing merely required to 
make a public request of the patriarch to be admitted to the 
Bomish church. With this proposal he externally complied. 
But it was soon discoyered that his professions were only 
worn as a garment to protect him from the tempest impend- 
ing over him ; and he paid the forfeiture of his duplicity 
by a public execution in front of the royal palace, and in the 
presence of the whole court. Fifteen days after, his sister 
shared the same tragical fate, and upon the same gallows, 
although the courtiers exerted themselves to the utmost to 
rescue her from the grasp of the unrelenting monarch. Bpt 
Susneus was of too stem a temper to quail at the idea of 
cruelty, or be touched by the tones of tenderness ; he held 
on the bloody tenor of his way, and set the climax to his 
tyranny by publicly declaring, that since he had been in- 
spired with resolution to punish with death the rashness of 
his son-in-law, it was in vain for others, who were bound to 
him by ties less endearing, to indulge the expectation of 
pardon, should they render themselves equally reprehen- 
sible. 

Such severe measures for the promotion of religion were 
at that time altogether new in Ethiopia, where they had 
been recently introduced by the Jesuits. Even Anthony 
himself^ who aided in this fearful commencement of relig- 
ious conversion, filled with admiration in view of them, has 
remarked; ^He, who shall hereafter read with attention 
the history of Ethiopia, will not fail to observe the intensity 
of devotion to the principles of Christianity, at that time 



90 HISTORICAL BnTCH 

nuu&ifeBted in the coantry ; and that it oaa be oonaidered as 
nothing less than miraonlous, that the emperor should be 
stirred np to suoh a height of zeal, as to take, in defence of 
religion, the life of an endeared kinsman !" What a picture 
of in&toationl What a lamentable and heart-sickening 
perversion of every just idea of religion and morality 1 and 
how unlike the pure example of meekness and love left us 
by Him who, in poverty and sorrow, trod the hills and 
deserts of Judea, wearily wanderiDg from place to place, 
with the single object of doing good ; and whose eyes were 
suffused with tears as he surveyed the devoted city, whose 
inhabitants were fast hastening to their doom, driven on by 
the love of their iniquities. 

For a long time, Gk>d, in his wrath, had seemingly turned 
away his favoring regards from the land he once loved, and 
Ethiopia was left to wither beneath his frown. But the 
time was approaching, when his powerful arm was to turn 
back the storm of war, and, like the brooding spirit of crea- 
tion, hush to rest the conflicting elements. The groans and 
tears of so many wretched beings, driven to the dens and 
eaves of the mountains, which nature, more kind than their 
fellow-men, had ungrudgingly hollowed out to shield them 
from the shafts of that blighting fanaticism and persecution 
which was so powerfully armed against them, rose to the 
ears of Him in whose cause they bled, whose benevolent 
heart could not remain insensible in view of so much suffer- 
ing, especially of those excruciating tortures experienced by 
suoh as were doomed to the exeoutioner^s stroke. Daisied 
with the success hitherto attendant on their measures, the 
patriaroh and his associates suffered themselves to be drawn 



OF THS ABT88INIAN CHURCH. 91 

into a politioal intrigae, which resulted in driying them frmn 
this bleeding oonntry. In concert with the Baa Gella, they 
plotted a conspiracy, whose nltimate object was the de- 
thronement of the emperor. This scheme was not long un- 
known to the monarch, and at once dissoWed the bands of 
that &6oinating spell, so skilfolly cast aronnd him by the 
artifices of the Jesuits. Another incident also occurred 
about the same time, which tended to defeat the plans and 
thwart the machinations of the crafty missionaries, and 
erentually to complete their downfinU. This was the death 
<^ one of the most distinguished clergymen of the Abys- 
sinian church, and who had uniformly rensted the authority 
of the Catholic patriarch. He had been interred in one of 
the churches according to the ancient usages of the country ; 
but the bigoted zeal and iuTCterate hatred of Mendea, had 
robbed him of every feeling of humanity ; he ignominiously 
ordered the putrefying remains of the priest to be disin- 
terred, and left upon the surface of the ground to be de- 
Toured by beasts of prey. This barbarous outrage kindled 
ihe indignation of the Abyssinians to a glowing heat : they 
could no longer endure the supremacy of men from whose 
lips flowed the kind language of the cross, while their hearts 
were corroding with eyery yioe ; who could not only perse- 
cute the living with relentless malice, but refuse to the dead 
that tranquil repose, which CTcn Pagans and Mohammedans 
dare not disturb. 

In 1629, the flames of civil war again burst forth. The 
Aga of Begemder took up arms in defence of the religion 
of his country, and after having driven the viceroy Za Ma- 
riam from the province, sent a deputation to Merca Ohristoa, 



92 niBTORICAL SKETCH 

a son of the former emperor, and who, in cooseqnence of 
religiona perseoation, had fled for refuge to the Gkllas, 
offering him the imperial erown if he would unite with him 
in restoring the faith of his fathers. The prinoe readily 
complied, and raised the standard of revolt. The peasantry 
from every quarter, especially from the province of Lasta, a 
province which furnishes the most courageous and efficient 
soldiers in the country, flocked to his standard. The em- 
peror saw his danger, and to crush as soon as possible this 
growing confederacy, resolved to enlist in Gojam an army 
of 25,000 men, and resolutely to attack the insurgents in 
their strongest holds. But his day of brightness was £ut 
drawing to a dose. His troops were severely repulsed ; he 
lost the greater part of his officers, and nearly seven hun- 
dred soldiers. Thus was it reserved for the peasantry of 
the nation, who had been galled and irritated by repeated 
acts of usurpation, to shake, and finally overthrow the sa- 
premaoy of the Jesuits, which had now risen to an exorbi- 
tant height. Deputies flew to the court, imploring the de- 
luded emperor to take seriously to heart the misfortunes of 
his subjects, and to banish at once from his train those evil- 
minded counsellors, who, for a series of years, had done little 
else than stir up strife, and kindle animosities among the 
people ; and who, at length, had succeeded in plunging the 
entire country into the deepest misery. This appeal made 
considerable impression on the monarch, and he requested 
the patriarch to devise measures for the introduction of the 
new system of religion into his dominions, more mild and 
palatable. But this he refused to do ; and soon after the 
emperor received letters from the pope, stimulating him to 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. M 

gnftter exertioii, and urging him to struggle manfallj with 
his lebellious subjects, who still persisted in their opposition 
to his commands ; and, as if resolved to leaye no expedient 
untried, he dosed his epistle by anthoriang him to offer his 
people, in the name of the sovereign pontiff, a full absoln- 
tlon of their sins. Bat thb extraordinary offer struck the 
unsophisticated people of Abyssinia with utter astonish* 
ment ; they thought it worthy of nothing but ridicule and 
contempt, for they could not understand by what authority 
the pope could pardon sin. 

This unhappy war continued to rage with unabated fury, 
trembling in the balance between alternate successes and 
reverses, till the emperor felt the imperious necessity, in 
consideration of the interest of his throne and the tranquil- 
lity of his subjects, of requesting the patriarch to negotiate 
a treaty between the pope and his royal highness, in which 
it should be stipulated that the Abyssinian church might 
retain their ancient liturgy, celebrate the same festival days 
tiiat they formerly observed, and enjoy the privilege of hal- 
lowing not less the Jewish Sabbath than the Lord's day, in 
agreement with their uniform practice previous to the in- 
troduction of the Catholic faith. The Abyssinians were 
generally satisfied with these concessions, because, as the 
patriarch had shrewdly foreseen, they believed themselves 
authorised to extend these privil^es over the whole field 
of their ancient ecclesiastical polity. But the peasantry of 
the province of Lasta, who had hitherto been most success- 
ful in the war, were not satisfied with these modifications ; 
they claimed nothing less than the entire re-establishment 
of the aneient constitution of their ohuroh, and the total 



04 HIBTOBICAL SKETCH 

ezpnlfiion of the sirangenr from the kingdom. This wm a 
bold Btand on the part of the insargenta, and the unyield- 
ing emperor resolved to meet it Uniting his forces with 
the troops of the pagan Gallas, he took the field and hastily 
marched against the recusants. These warlike peasants 
were wrought up to the highest pitch of enthusiasm ; fear- 
less and certain of victory, they rolled down their mountain 
declivities like loosened rocks thundering along their path 
and crushing everything before them, to the number of 
20,000 men, and precipiteted themselves upon the plains 
below, bravely determined to engage with the troops of 
their inexorable sovereign. The two armies approached, 
but before they closed, they stood gasing upon each other 
for a time in uninterrupted silence, deep and profound 93 
the calm preceding the shook of the earthquake. At length 
they rushed together ; the cavalry of the Gallas commenced 
the attack on the strong lines of the enemy, and soon suc- 
ceeded in breaking through them. The wave of battle now 
ran high; rank dashed against rank in fearfol confusion ; 
desperation seemed the order of the day ; victory or death the 
only alternative. After a terrible conflict, which continued 
till the twilight of the evening, the parties retired, leaving 
nearly eight thousand valiant warriors dead on the field. 

The vanquished, in a paroxysm of despair, threw them- 
selves at the feet of the exasperated sovereign, and, min- 
gling tears with their sighs, expressed to him their misery 
and grief in the following pathetic appeal : << Who," they 
demanded of him, " who are these whom you see this day 
bathed in their own blood ? Are they Mohammedans or 
Pagans? Are there any among them who oheriah the 



OF THE ABTB8INIAN CHURCH. M 

iMflt kottilit J to your interests or kingdom? No! Thej 
are not foes to your weI£Etrc ; they are Christians ; they are 
your own subjecte, bound to us by the strongest ties of kin- 
dred and affection. These brave men who are now stretched 
lifeless at your feet, might have been, under a better admin- 
istration, the bulwarks of your throne, and the terror of 
those rery enemies with whom you are now in alliance, and 
beneath whose weight the blackening corpses of your ill-fated 
subjects lie crushed and gory. The very Pagans blush at 
our cruelty ; they brand us with the name of murderers, 
who have proved apostates from the faith of our fathers. 
Cease, therefore, great monarch ; cease, we pray you, thus 
obstinately to persevere in a struggle which must ultimately 
terminate in the demolition of your throne, and the subver- 
sion of our religion." The queen, also, at the same time, 
assailed the emperor with her tears, blending the pathetic 
tones of her voice with the groans of the wounded, and im- 
ploring him by the most touching considerations — by the 
love be bore his great Creator, and for the sake of coming 
generations, instantly to desist from these tyrannical and 
bloody measures, with which he was most cruelly persecu- 
ting his subjects, and thus c xcavating for himself and family 
a dishonorable tomb, over which the dark pall of execration 
would forever brood. *' What have you gained," inquired 
she, ^ by this battle ? Nothing but evil. You have drawn 
into the country thousands of Pagans, who detest both you 
and your religion; and all this merely for the purpose of 
introducing into Ethiopia a foreign creed, and establishing 
new rites of worship, with which most of your subjects are» 
enlarely unacquainted, and those who have gained the least 



b6 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

understandiDg of ihem, will firmly resist so long as a drop 
of blood courses throogh ilieir veins !" 

These represoDtations made so deep an impression on the 
mind of the emperor, that, instead of returning to his bead- 
quarters to rejoice over his victory, he sought a place of re- 
tirement, and there poured forth his sorrows, and deplored 
the rain he had just occasioned. With his imagination 
filled with this melancholy scene, he instantly summoned 
the dignitaries of the Abyssinian church, and announoed 
his resolution of granting them the privilege of professing 
the principles, and resuming the worship of their Others. 
No sooner had tidings of this unwelcome movement reached 
the ears of the patriarch, than on the 20th of January, 1632, 
accompanied with the whole college of Jesuit priests in the 
country, he hastened to the imperial court with the deter- 
mination of changing, if possible, the monarch's resolution. 
He made an impassionate appeal to Susneus, and in conclu- 
ding his harangue, in which he was pleased to grace the 
emperor's advisers with the bitter appellation of ^* serpents,'* 
he threw himself, together with his confederates, at the feet 
of his majesty, conjuring him either to desist from the reso- 
lution he had taken, or instantly put an end to their lives. 
The emperor, who had just witnessed the streams of blood 
which had drenched the plains of Lasta, permitted the sup- 
plicating Jesuits to arise, and then calmly, but firmly, told 
them that his attachment to the Catholic fiiith had already 
occasioned the destruction of great numbers of his subjects, 
and consequently he could no longer give his support to that 
system of religion. The scales now fell from the eyes of the 
missionaries ; they saw the tempest which was speedily to 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CIIURCU. 97 

orerihrow their hierarchy in the country, gloomily lowering 
on the horiason ; and especially were they convinced that 
the measures now in operation would prove disastrous to 
their cause, when they learned that the friends of the Abys- 
sinian church had united their cflforts to give life and firmness 
to the decision of the emperor. A report spread throughout 
the country, that the day of the festival of John the Baptist 
was designated by royal edict for the restoration of the an- 
cient religion ; and at the destined hour, thousands as- 
sembled in the capital of the kingdom, to assist at the sol- 
emn ceremonial. They were, however, on this occasion 
disappointed ; but the event was sufficient to convince the 
emperor that this act of justice could not be long postponed 
without imminent peril. }^ut the patriarch was so adroit 
in his movements to prevent its occurrence, that no other 
method of accomplishing the objoct was left to the emperor, 
but to cut, himself, the Gordian knot. An imperial herald 
was accordingly sent through the streets of the capital, pro- 
claiming, "Hear! hear! I formerly recommended to your 
acceptance the Catholic faith, because I believed it to be 
true I but as great numbers of my subjects have sacrificed 
their lives in defence of the religion of our fathers, I hereby 
certify that the free exercise of this religion shall be here- 
after guaranteed to all. Your priests are hereby authorized 
to resume possession of their churches, and worship without 
molestation the God of their ancestors." 

It is impossible, adequately to describe the demonstra- 
tion of joy, evinced even by the gushing tears of gratitude, 
which accompanied this public declaration. Voices, echo- 
ing the praises of the emperor, floated on every breesee ; the 

5 



98 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

people threw from their hooses the rosaries and chapletB 
of the Jesuits, and burnt them in bonfires ; satisfaction and 
delight were expressed in every countenance, gladness 
sparkled in every eye. 

The emperor did not long survive this extraordinary vic- 
tory which he had so honorably achieved over himself; he 
was seized with a lingering fever, of which he died in Sep- 
tember of the same year ; and his son Basilides was called 
to the throne. He had scarcely secured the peaceful pos- 
session of his crown, when he was called to queU a conspir- 
acy which the Jesuits had instigated against him. He 
therefore immediately despoiled these fomenters of revolt 
of their arms, and exiled them to Fremona. This last re- 
quisition, however, the obstinate patriarch iras slow to com- 
ply with; he hesitated and lingered, until, having been 
waylaid by robbers, and plundered of almost every article 
of his effects, he was driven by want to join his brethren at 
Fremona, where he arrived on the 25th of April, 1633. 
But the spirit and energy of the banished Fathers were not 
yet crushed ; delusive hope still glared like a meteor in 
their view, flattering them with being able, at some future 
period, to excite insurrections, and awaken tumults in the 
country. They found one of the disaffected chiefis, named 
O^Kay, who had formerly taken part in the rebellion of 
Tocla George. They allured him into their schemes by the 
promise, that if he would lend them his protection in this 
hour of their extremity, they would soon order Portuguese 
troops from Goa to sustain him. 

The emperor, however, was not long kept a stranger to 
ibis daring plot, and he arose to vengeance. He issued 



OF THE ABT88INIAN CHURCH. M 

orders oommanding the Jesoita to quit Ethiopift immedi- 
ately, and retire to Maraowah, where they would find a yes- 
eel in readiness to convey them from his dominions. Appa- 
rently in accordance with this injonction, the exiled strangers 
withdrew from Fremona ; but their friend 0*.Kay concealed 
them in the fastnesses of the mountains, where they were to 
await the arrival of troops from the Portngaese possessions 
in Asia. Basilides, however, soon heard of this treacherous 
movement on the part of O'Kay, and ordered him to deliver 
the exiled Fathers into his hands without delay. The pa- 
triarch, therefore, not finding himself entirely secure in his 
present situation, made his escape to the port of Massowah, 
and thence to Suakim, on the coast of Nubia, where he was 
taken by a band of robbers, and compelled to serve them as 
a slave. 

But the patriarch could not quit the country without 
maldng one more effort to secure his object. He directed 
O'Kay to conceal in the mountains four Jesuits, whom he 
had concluded to leave, as guides and assistants to the Por- 
tuguese succors, which they were expecting soon from Goa. 
They were accordingly concealed ; but after lingering and 
watching for five years, without the least intimation that 
their hopes would be realized, they were by some means be- 
trayed into the hands of the Abyssinian monarch, who con- 
demned them as traitors to his government, and banished 
them into the territory of the Agaws, where they fell a sac- 
rifice to the fury of the populace, and expiated the crime of 
their ambitious zeal on the gallows. Meantime, the pa- 
triarch was doomed to experience all the bitterness of cap- 
tivity ; but after having endured a series of painful suf- 



100 HISTORICAL SKETCH 

ferings, he was redeemed from bondage, and succeeded in 
making his escape to 6oa, where he endeavored to revive 
the sinking flames of his cause, and to enlist an army for 
the re-conquering of Abyssinia. But all his efforts proved 
unavailing ; he was at last compelled to abandon bis under- 
taking as altogether desperate and vain. 

Thus terminated a scheme, planned and put in operation 
with the view of establishing a mission in Abyssinia; a 
scheme which, in consideration of the subtilty and Jesuiti- 
cal shrewdness employed, of the ambition and cruelty occa- 
sionally manifested in carrying it forward, is stamped with 
a far blacker character than any of those similar undertak- 
ings which the gloomy records of the past unfold. Great 
indeed must the moral degradation of the church of Home 
at that time have been, if, in any age, when her power was 
receiving repeated checks from the growing spirit of refor- 
mation at the west, ehe could so far neglect her real inte- 
rest, as to devote either her strength or treasures to the 
accomplishment of an enterprbo of so little importance; 
which was undertaken merely for the purpose of gaining 
proselytes ; and which, regarding the end its movers had in 
view, and the means by which it was sustained, evidently 
had its origin in the kingdom of darkness, and has left an 
indelible stain on the pages of ecclesiastical history. 

The patriarch had no sooner left the shores of Abyssinia, 
than the people, following the custom of their fathers, sent 
to Egypt to obtain from thence a new Abuna. They suc- 
ceeded in securing the object of their request, who entered 
the country accompanied by Peter Hey ling, a Qerman, and 
a Lutheran. Both were cordially received by the emperor ; 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 101 

bat the histOTj of the times has left ns no definite aoconni 
of their labors ; it barely records their deaths. 

The multiplied crimes and mbdemeanors of which the 
Jesoits were gnilty during their residence in the country 
were fitted, in the highest degree, to stir up the animosities 
of the people ; and especially to enkindle in the minds of 
the ecclesiastics and monks, with whom the struggle was 
principally carried on, an inveterate hatred to all strangers 
who were at all disposed to introduce any very important 
innovations in the doctrines or worship of the church. The 
society, however, which was instituted at Rome for the prop- 
agation of the Gospel abroad, made two or three efforts, 
even during the reign of the Emperor Basilides, to procure 
the labors of the French Capucins in carrying forward mis- 
sionary operations in Ethiopia ; desiring them to take up 
and pursue the thread of missions, which, some years previ- 
ous, had been wrenched from the grasp of the Jesuits. But 
of the eight missionaries who engaged in the enterprise, 
and actually started on their journey to Abyssinia, only 
three ever succeeded in reaching the imperial court, and 
these were executed immediately upon their arrival; two 
fell on their way by the hands of robbers, and the three 
others, who were somewhat later in reaching the confines of 
the country, were beheaded at Suakim, in Nubia, by order 
of the Turkish pasha. 

The current of years now flowed on for nearly half a cen- 
tury, before the court of Rome again awoke to the subject 
of misaiona in Abyssinia. They recommenced their efibrts 
in the opening of the eighteenth century. A French Jesuit, 
Charles de Brevedent, resolved, at the peril of his life, to 



I OS HISTORICAL SKETCH 

nndertake a journey to Ethiopia, and searoh oat the remiiui 
of the miuion formerly established there. Foncet, a Frendi 
physioian, offered to accompany him, and they set forward 
together on their tour to Egypt. But the fiitigaes of the 
joomey proved too much for Breredent ; he wearied ont^ 
and died by the way. Poncet resolutely pursued his 
tedious journey alone, and accomplished his design in reaeh* 
ing, by way of Nubia and Sennaar, the capital of the Ethio> 
pian monarch. He has left behind him an interesting ac- 
count of his travels, and some valuable information with 
reference to the state of society and manners at that time 
in Abyssinia, which are assigned a place in the third vol- 
ume of *' Des Lettres 6difantes et curieuses sur les misuons 
6trangeres." It is a work of considerable merit, comprising 
numerous fisots of the highest importance, relative to the 
general history of missionary efforts. A few eztraots are 
subjoined. 

^^The strong aversion which the Abyssinians entertain 
towards Europeans, can only be compared with the intense 
hatred which they bear to the Mohammedans, who, in the 
early part of the sixteenth century, invaded their domin- 
ions, and gained a partial ascendency over them. But the 
Abyssinians, to whom their supremacy was extremely gall- 
ing, feeling that they could not long endure the iron yoke, 
resolved to apply for succor to the Portuguese, who were at 
that time powerful in India. These new conquerors in the 
East, flushed with recent success, and especially desirous 
that the gates of the Abyssinian territory, which was bor- 
dering upon their own, should be opened to them, readily 
acceded to the proposal. They entered the country, marched 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHtTRCH. 108 

agunrt the Mohammedans, yanqaished them in battle, and 
restored the imperial family to the throne. This signal 
snccess, attending the first efforts of the Portuguese, ope- 
rated strongly in their favor, and procured for them almost 
unbounded influence at court. Many of them settled in the 
country, and obtained the highest offices in the gift of the 
state. Their numbers continually increasing, and their 
power extending, their manners grew less conciliatory, and 
they gradually became so proud and overweening in their 
behavior, that they awoke the jealousy of the Ethiopians, 
who b^an to suspect that for the sake of their own aggran- 
dizement, they were laying a train which would ultimately 
explode in the subjugation of their empire to the crown of 
Portugal. The suspicion ran like fire through the country, 
and drove the people to the highest degree of exasperation. 
Both parties rushed to arms, and a terrible conflict ensued. 
The Portuguese were defeated, and many slaughtered on 
the field of battle. Those who survived the carnage were 
permitted to retain their effects, and ordered to quit the 
country. Seven thousand families obeyed the summons; 
they planted themselves in India and along the coast of 
Africa. A few remained in the country, and became the 
ancestors of the white Abyssinians, a small number of whom 
are still to be found. The present queen belongs to this 
race." 

One cannot fail to be struck with the dexterity and ad- 
dress with which the traveler slides over the history of the 
Jesuits, especially that disgraceful part of it which disfig- 
ures the preceding pages with cruelty and blood. The re- 
maining links in the chain of events which we have thus far 



104 HISTORICAL SKKTCH 

traced, (ire supplied, and perhaps witb sufficient accuracy, 
from the observations of Poncet; though the number to 
whicli, if vre are to believe his testimony, the Portuguese 
population had in his time increased, is altogether surpris- 
ing. Yet he is always positive in asserting that the Portu- 
guese who still remained in the country amounted to a con- 
siderable number, and were easily distinguished from the 
original inhabitants. 

'< The Mohammedans" (continues Poncet) '^ are permitted 
to enjoy their religious opinions and modes of worship un- 
molested at Gondar, though they are allowed to inhabit 
only a specified neighborhood in the lower part of the city. 
They are stigmatized by the name of Geherds, or slaves, and 
the Ethiopians cherish such antipathy to their customs, and 
abhorrence of their principles, that they will not, if possible, 
sit with them at the same table. The empire of Abyssinia 
includes a wide extent of territory, though it is divided and 
subdivided into numerous political and geographical sec- 
tions. The kingdom of Tigre alone, which is governed by a 
single viceroy, embraces twenty four provinces, one of which, 
ealled Agaut, was formerly a free and independent state. 
The emperor keeps two armies constantly in the field ; one 
stationed on the frontiers of the kingdom of Nerea, the 
other in the province of Gojam, where there are gold mines 
of considerable extent and extraordinary wealth. They 
have been successfully worked ; and their proceeds are car- 
ried to Gondar, where they are deposited in the treasury of 
the emperor, which, however, he seldom unlocks, except for 
the necessities of his court or the maintenance of his army. 
The emperor is absolute master both of the lives and prop- 



OF TRB ABT8BINIAN CHURCH 105 

eiij of his subjects ; and he ckims the one, and saerifioes 
the other, at his pleasure. At the decease of the father of 
a family, one-third of bis possessions nsaallj falls to the 
royal treasury." 

^ There is perhaps scarcely a country on the globe so 
thickly peopled, or the soil of which is so rich and produc- 
tive, as the territory of Ethiopia. All the valleys, and the 
sides of the mountains nearly to their tops, are, for the 
most part, subdued and moulded by the hand of cultiva- 
tion; and the plains are mantled with aromatic plants, 
which shed around them a delightful fragrance, and which 
generally grow to a size nearly four times as large as the 
same species in the soils of India. I have never seen any- 
where in Europe so many streams of water as flow through 
this country in every direction They profusely water 
every plain and valley of Abyssinia, and their banks are 
gambhed with an exuberant covering of the most beautiful 
flowers. The forests abound with the orange, the lemon, 
and the pomegranate, which load the air with their enliven- 
ing perfumes. There are also roses diffusing an odor far 
more delicious and aromatic than any of the most delightful 
that are found among us." 

^ I resided about three weeks at the palace of the em- 
peror, Adiam Saged ; he frequently conversed with me on 
the subject of religion, and seemed desirous of gaining in- 
formation concerning its general truths ; especially with re- 
spect to the main points of difference between the faith of 
the Rombh, and that of the Coptic church, to which he be- 
longed. I could silence his inquiries only by assuring him 
that I had never studied the subtleties of theology, and 

5* 



106 • HISTOBICAL SKETCH 

therefore felt myself entirely unqualified to give him the iii-> 
struotion he sought ; but that I would gladly haye brought 
with me one, who would have given him satisfaotory answers 
to all his interrogatories, had it not pleased a beneficent 
Providence to cut short his life while on his journey thither. 
This casualty the emperor deeply regretted ; replying, ^ It 
was a great loss to us '' 

Considerable doubt must always remain in regard to the 
degree of confidence which one may repose in the state- 
ments of Poncet, since those who accord with him in re- 
ligious opinions, have frequently accused him of treachery. 
It is fitting that every one should be made acquainted with 
the fiict, that after his return to Rome and Paris, in 1703, 
he engaged to undertake a second journey to Abyssinia. 
He was to go accompanied by Father Du Beruat, and en- 
trusted with valuable presents for the emperor and prin- 
cipal men of the country. But after he had received tho 
gifts, he fled to the Red Sea, and thence proceeded to 
Ispahan in Persia, where he is said to have closed his career 
with the reputation of an impostor. 

Sometime subsequently to this event, in 1714, Pope 
Clement XI. sent out four German monks of the order 
of St Francbco, as missionaries to Abyssinia. The em- 
peror Justus then occupied the throne. He received them 
in a friendly manner, generously promising to protect their 
persons and assist them in their enterprise, although it 
might be attended with the hasard of his life. The poverty 
of their appearance, and the disinterestedness with which 
they refused every offer of a temporal advantage, touohed 
the heart of the emperor, and disposed him to look with a 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHtTKCH. 107 

&?ormg eye on the work of the missions. He, however, 
forhade them to preach their doctrines in public, from fear 
of exciting the jealousy of the people. ^^ Your work," said 
the emperor, "• is difficult ; it requires time. You must not 
drive directly in the £&ce of prejudice, but use moderation 
and prudence. Gtod did not make the world in the twink- 
ling of an eye, but was employed six days in the work." 
The missionaries began to moye forward cautiously ; they 
enjoyed repeated opportunities of conversing privately with 
several individuals, and thus secretly planting the germs 
of the Catholic religion. But as soon as the monastie or- 
ders had learned the favorable disposition the emperor had 
evinced to the strangers, and their object, they rose in 
violent opposition. They declared that the Europeans 
were enemies to the mother of Qod, and endeavored in va- 
rious ways to prejudice the minds of the monarch and 
people against them. A general excitement ensued ; they 
threatened the dethronement of the emperor, and the im- 
prisonment of the missionaries : but the emperor continued 
faithful to his promise, and contrived to convey his protegte 
to a place of security, till the heaving waves of discontent 
should rock themselves to rest. The people, perceiving 
the objects of their displeasure thus summarily snatched 
from their grasp, were stung to the quick, and driven for- 
ward by the frenzy of the moment, determined to shiver, at 
a single blow, the power of the reigning monarch, and in- 
vited David, a youthful prince of the imperial family, to 
take possession of the throne. The young emperor sided 
with the disaffected, and summoned the missionaries to ap- 
pear without delay at Gondar, where they arrived Feb. 17th, 



108 ntsTORicAL SKETrn 

1718, and were forthwith coDdemned to be stoned. A re* 
pricve was subsequently offered them if they would abjure 
the faith of the Romish ohurch ; but they racoiled with hor- 
ror at the suggestion. The emperor, however, soon began 
to soften ; touched with the eourage, perseverance, and con- 
stancy, they uniformly evbced to their religious creei, he 
proposed changing the punishment of death to that of exile. 
But nothing less than the blood of their victims could slake 
the burning vengeance of the monks. They therefore 
urged the execution of the original sentence ; the emperor 
3rielded, and the barbarous deed was perpetrated in the 
month of March of the same year. 

One cannot survey so dark a scene as this in the records 
of missionary history, without being pierced with the deep- 
est sorrow ; nor can we avoid regretting that such courage 
in effort, such perseverance and devotedness in spirit, should 
not have been employed in a better cause than propagating 
the errors of popery. Both the philanthropist and the 
Christian must grieve that so much time has been wasted, 
so much labor lost, so much fortitude and Christian hero- 
ism spent to no valuable purpose, and so many lives sac- 
rificed in carrying forward an undertaking so entirely at 
variance with the benign and heavenly spirit of the Gospel. 
On tlie other hand, if this effervescence of zeal, this mag- 
nanimity and force of character had been expended in ad- 
vancing an enterprise undertaken purely for the meliora- 
tion of this unhappy people, and in pouring the light of 
salvation on these benighted wanderers to the world of 
spirits, who would have had the presumption to call in ques- 
tion the glory of a scheme, so pregnant with every feeling 



OF nr£ AHYBSitSlAS CHURCH. 109 

of a beneroleni heart ? And wbo would hare dared to pro- 
Boonoe it useless, although it might have been attended with 
the sacrifice of hundreds of yiotims on the altar of reform ? 
But all the missionary efforts, and Jesuitical machinations, 
which it has been our lot to sketch in the preceding pages, 
wear a stamp altogether diverse from that of heaven's signet, 
being mainly directed to the selfish object of extending the 
pope's authority over the Abyssinian church. The Jesuits 
would hare bound het by the ehains of slavery to the tri- 
umphal car of the Bomish hierarchy ; and to accomplish 
this trivial object, one cumbrous system of superstition must 
be exchanged for another still more dark and hideous ; anar- 
chy must rage throughout the ill-fated empire, and streams 
of Uood must flow. A scheme thus arrogantly planned, 
and governed in its subsequent movements by such unchris- 
tian views, could not succeed, because its object was not 
sufficiently pure and elevated ; not seeking exclusively to 
diffoso and make known in Abyssinia the word of the Lord ; 
the leading intention being to transplant into the country an 
exotic, which drank its vital nourishment from the em- 
poisoQod and corrupting fountains of human ambition. In 
a word, it was an enterprise too unholy in its nature, too 
selfish in its spirit, and too worldly in its aims, to receive 
the favoring regards of a righteous Providence ; and it was 
therefore permitted to wither and decay. 

From this time forward, for nearly a whole century, 
Christians in the west continued to slumber over the be- 
nighted state of the Ethiopian church, before they again 
awoke, and put on the armor of Christian conquest. The 

ly Protestants had few opportunities to engage in enter- 



no HISTOBICAL BKBTCH 

prbeB 80 divine. It was reserved for tbe nineteenth oen- 
tnry to witness fresh and more appropriate movements in 
the ranks of Christians ; to see evangelical chorohes and 
commanities bestirring themselves to long-neglected daty, 
and casting a sympathising eye over the dark and omel 
habitations of the earth. In the general survey, Ethiopia, 
which, in the language of prophecy is soon to " stretch out 
her hands unto Gk>d," has not been entirely forgotten. It 
was a fortunate circumstance, which, in 1808, brought the 
French viceKK)nsul, at that time resident at Cairo, ac- 
quainted with the learned Abyssinian, Abraham, a gentle- 
man who had accompanied Bruce in his travels through 
Abysbinia, and whom, on his return, he left in Egypt The 
consul suggested to him the idea of translating the New 
Testament into the Amharic language. As Abraham was 
a man not only of considerable ability and learning, but 
abo somewhat distinguished for the fervor of his religious 
zeal and the natural energy of his character, he was easilj 
induced to fall in with the plan. He entered upon the 
work with spirit and assiduity, and continued to toil for ten 
years at the house of M. Asselin, with the highest satisfac- 
tion to himself, and benefit to his countrymen. He at 
length enjoyed the happiness of seeing his task completed, 
when he again took up his pilgrim staff, and resumed his 
lonely journeyings, making his way to Jerusalem, where, it 
is reported, he was soon after seized and carried off by 
the plague. 

In 1818, Mr. Jowett, an English missionary, discovered 
at the house of M. Asselin, the precious treasure, which, 
through his instrumentality, was purchased by the British 



OP THE ABT88INIAN OBUKCH. Ill 

and Foreign Bible Sooiety. This toaohed a train which 
was prodnctiye of the happiest eyents ; it awakened the in- 
terest of the society, and a short time subsequent to the 
porehase, they undertook, for the benefit of the Abyssinian 
church, the printing of the four Gospels, and the Acts of 
the Apostles, in the Amhario language. Not long after, 
several other books of the New Testament were also pub- 
lished. These drew the attention of the English Church 
Missionary Society ; they saw that a large portion of the 
Holy Scriptures was now in actual readiness for distribu- 
tion ; and they resolved to engage in the work of resuscita- 
ting the dying germs of Christianity in Abyssinia, and by 
means of missionary operations and the dissemination of the 
Amharic Scriptures, of reviving an interest in the word of 
Ood, which was fast passing into forgetfulness. With this 
intention they addressed the Society of Evangelical Missions 
at.Basle, to ascertain whether there were any young men in 
that Institution, who were qualified and disposed to engage 
in the arduous enterprise. The subject was taken into 
consideration by the officers and members of the Seminary, 
and after fervent prayer to Qod for his direction, Samuel 
Gobat of Cremine, in the canton of Berne, and Christian 
Kugler of Shopfiock, in Wurtemberg, were, in 1825, conse- 
crated to this interesting work. They at first proceeded to 
Paris and London, with a view of perfecting their knowledge 
of the Arabic language, and afterward continued their jour- 
ney to Cairo, where they arrived in September, 1826. 
They remained in this city about six months, awaiting a 
nniitable opportunity for prosecuting their travels, and en- 
tmng the empire of Ethiopia ; but dis<fovering no opening 



lis HfSTORICAL SKETCH 

in this direction, they determined to leave, for a time, the 
land of pyramids ; and accordingly, in February, 1827, took 
their departure for Syria and Jerusalem. Here they ap- 
plied themselves to the acquisition of the Amharic and Ti- 
grean languages; in all their movements keeping their 
eyes fixed on their duties, as future missionaries to the peo- 
ple of Abyssinia. 

They returned to Egypt in August of the same year, 
where they were detained till October, 1829, anxiously wait- 
ing for the time when the civil war, then raging in Abys- 
sinia, would allow them to enter that distracted country. 
Zealous and indefatigable in their work, they employed this 
interval of time in obtaining such information as they 
thought would be subsequently useful to them; and in 
preaching the Gospel in Arabic, English, and French, to the 
motley collection of people among whom they were placed. 
But the wheel of Providence rolled round, and the hour, "so 
long and so ardently desired, which was to convey theso 
devoted missionaries to their field of labor, at length ar- 
rived. They took their final leave of Cairo, October 22d, 
1829, accompanied by a Christian brother, a carpenter hj 
trade, named Aichinger, and arrived at Massowah on the 
coast of Abyssinia, December 18th of the same year. Tar- 
rying a short time at this place, they commenced their peril- 
ous journey into the interior, January 15th, 1830,. and after 
four weeks of toilsome travel, (u*rived at Adigrate in the 
province of Tigre, where they were amicably received by 
Sebagadis, the sovereign prince of that part of the country. 
Shortly after their arrival in this city, the two brethren* 
oame to the conclusion that it might conduce to the interest 



OF THE ABYSSINIAN CHURCH. 113 

of tbe mission to separate, and pitch upon different portions 
of their extensive field. Kugler and his coUeagne, Aichin- 
ger, had become, by proTious study and their short resi- 
dence in the province, considerably acquainted with tho 
Tigrean language ; and it was therefore decided that they 
should remain in that section of the empire, and endeavor, 
under the favorable interposition of the Ood of missions, to 
lay the foundation of a permanent statiou. As the mission* 
ary Gobat had acquired a thorough knowledge of the Am- 
harie dialect, it was determined that he should proceed 
alone to the city of Gondar, the capital of the province of 
Amhara, to obtain more accurate information as to the best 
means of diffusing the word of God, and of rendering him* 
self useful to this miserable people, plunged in the depths 
of superstition and error. 

We shall close this geographical and historical introduc- 
tion to the journal of the missionary, Gobat, by observing 
that the editor has taken the liberty of making some mate- 
rial abridgment in several of the ensuing religious conversa- 
tions, being given, as they were forwarded by the author, 
with too much detail to interest the general reader. He 
would have entirely suppressed them, as he has done in a 
few instances, had he not felt himself swayed by an array 
of motives, which he could not feel himself justified in disre- 
garding. He thinks he has found in these discussions, which 
are mostly drawn from some intricate points in theology, a 
happy exemplification of the peculiar mode of conveying 
doctrinal instruction, pursued at the mbsionary institution 
• at Basle. The convictions, also, which seem to have been 
produced almost uniformly on the minds of the hearers by 



114 THS ABTBBINIAN CHURCH. 

ihe following oonyerBationSi are, in his opinion, nndeniable 
proofs, that, in most cases, we may give satisfactory answers 
to all abstruse inquiries on theological subjects, by merely 
repeating the simple, plain, unyamished language of inspi- 
ration. The word of God is the <^ ultima Thnle'' of all re- 
ligious inquiry-^of all religious knowledge. Let the Chris- 
tian minister, then, as well as the Christian missionary, 
learn a lesson from the following pages. Let him learn not 
to be wise above the simple declarations of the Divine Word. 
Let him not fear to give the answer often very honorably 
given, ^^ 1 do not know ;'' an answer which the Fathers, in 
their councils, our worthy and evcr-to-be-remembered Re- 
formers, and many of our most learned theologians in every 
age, have too rarely been disposed, or had the magnanimity 
to give. 



JOURNAL 



or 



A KESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 



* Sebagadis was a chie^ to whom the Ute Mr. Salt» Britiah C 
Gknenl in Egypt^ had, when m AbyBsinia more than twenty J^^ 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 



CHAPTER I. 

Mr. Gobat s journey from Adegrate to Gondar. — Coorersatioiis, hj 
the way, with fellow-travelers. — ^Arrival at Oondar. 

At eight o'clock on the morniDg of Feb. 25th, 1830, 1 
left Adegrate, together with my brethren Eagler and 
Aichinger, who kindly accompanied me for about half an 
hour on my way. I never experienced a deeper sensation 
of desolation and weakness than at the moment when forced 
to bid adieu to these missionary friends. As I rode slowly 
OD, I confessed my sins to God. implored his guidance, and 
entreated him to go with me, preserving me from the dan- 
gers of the way, especially from sin, and to bless my jour- 
ney to the salvation of some souls. — Circumstances pre- 
vented my taking more than about sixty copies of the four 
€k>6pels, with a few of the Acts and of the Epistle to the 
Bomans. 

In the course of the morning I once more waited upon 
SebagadiSj* who affectionately recommended me, as his own 

* Sebagadis was a chief; to whom the late Mr. Salt> British Gonral 
Q«Mnl in Egypt^ had, when in AbysBinia more than twenty yean ago, 



116 JOUBKAL OF A KB0IDBNCE IN ABYB0IMIA. 

BOB, to Beleta Daroopti, ambassador of Has Hariam,* and to 
a serrant of Oabea, governor of Samen, in connection with 
whom I was to pursue my journey. We moved forward ; 
and after traveling about half an hour over a level country, 
we b^gan to rise, and after ascending for an hour and a 
half, a mountain called Bahi-Adem, we commenced our 
descent, which we continued for two hours more, before 
reaching its base. Here murmurs a stream called Anader, 
apparently stretching on N. N. W. ; though I could learn 
nothing respecting its course fiiriher down. Having re- 
posed awhile on the borders of the stream, we continued our 
route an hour longer, till we arrived at Dencanoi, a small 
village lying at the head of a valley called Besets, and 
watered by the river Anader, and three or four others 
which unite with it at some distance below. Here we took 
lodgings for the night. Our course during the day had 
been from east to west On our arrival I seated myself on 
the grass, and was immediately surrounded by the attend- 
ants of Beleta DarcoptL 

One of them soon commenced speaking of our dear 
friend, Girgi8,f in the highest terms. Supposing him to be 



the opportonity of doiiig some important serrioe. His gratitnde 
ever after eyinced by his regard for the Engliah people. — J^. Ed, 

* Hm title of Ras has been given to Mariam on aooount of hia fiither, 
the oelebrated Baa Googaa; but there i« in fajsi no regular Raa in the 
country. All the govemors of the interior, beyond the rirer Tacaxae, 
are dependent go Mariam, except the goyemor of Samen, and tibe kiqg 
ofShoa 

f An Abyssinian whom Mr. Gtobat had known in Egypt, and lor 
whom he had, ftv a time, indulged the hope that he was a ainoero 



lOVMXAh OF A BEBIBBNCE IN ABT0SINIA. 110 

an Engliahman, he said that he had undoubtedly returned 
to his Engliah firiends, because he found not the Abys- 
BinianB true Christians. 

It being Lent, I seized the opportunity of making a few 
remarks, supported by several passages of Scripture, re- 
specting the ineffioacy of the manifold austerities they were 
accuatomed to practise on such occasions; affirming that 
without a radical change of heart, all their &sting would 
prore, in the end, of no avail ; a sentiment to which they 
assented. It was our intention at first to have kept the fast 
agreeably to the custom of the Abyssinians ; but after re- 
flecting upon the various evils which flow from its obser- 
vance, we resolved on entering the country, neither to ob- 
serve nor openly condemn it ; determining to be able, at all 
times, to say that we are careful to follow the teachings of 
Ood^s word ; that we believe in no doctrines or practice of 
man's devising, any farther than substantiated by this un- 
erriog standard. We freely opened our minds on this sub- 
ject to Sebagadis. who was apparently not at all dis- 
pleased with our determination ; on the contrary, he gave 
orders, that every evening, at the various villages where I 
might lodge, I should be furnished with a goat or a sheep, 
according to my choice. 

26th. We traversed to-day the valley of Besets, skirting 
its borders, and continued our journey to Maaya, a village 
lying at the distance of two leagues to the north-west of 
Dencanol, where we quartered for the night under a wide- 
spreading tree, called Daro, (in the Amharic, warka,) the 
trunk of which is about ten feet in diameter. It is the only 
species of large tree that I have hitherto discovered in Ti- 



120 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYdSINIA. 

gre ; its wood resembles the fig-tree, and it yields a fruit 
similar to a small fig, of an agreeable taste, though less de- 
licious than the common fig. At the distance of about an 
hoar's ride to the north-west of Maaya, rises the abrapt 
mountain of Debra Darmot, the summit of which is crowned 
with a village inhabited solely by monks. It can be as- 
cended only by means of a cord ; and it is said that no wo- 
man is ever allowed to approach its sacred asylum. 

27th. Last evening the people fiirnished us with two 
tents, together with a couple of beds, one of each for Beleta 
Darcopti, the other for myself Our Abyssinian attendants 
were whelmed in a tide of festivity, and manifested the most 
exuberant gayety in consequence of the excellent wine and 
metheglin which were poured in upon us. 

We have today passed over about three leagues of our 
way westward, and have encamped for the night at Antitoho- 
Daga-Soni, where there is a market on every Monday. An- 
titcho is an extensive district under the government of the 
Fit-Aurari,* &uebra Amlac, the brother of Sebagadis. He 
is a man of far less dignity of character and deportment 
than his brother, though he is said to bo a valiant warrior. 
Soon after our arrival, I saw a man seize a lad of thirteen 
or fourteen years of age, who had been one of our fellow- 
travelers from Adegrate, and beat him most unmercifully ; 
although I did not observe that the boy had given him, at 

* Fit- Aurari Bignifies " guide */* but only the guide of troops who are 
sallying out in quest of plunder. In a regular campaign, it is the duty 
of the Fit- Aurari to march at a greater or less distance before the body 
of the army, and always to encamp between the army and the foroM 
of his own master. 



JOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 121 

ihe time, any jast ocoasion of offence. I demanded the 
eaose of such cruel treatment, and was told in reply that 
the lad had formerly been a serrant of the individaal who 
had inflicted the chastisement, but after having received 
permission to leave his service, he entered the employ of 
another master who was on terms of hostility with the 
former.* Pained at such an outrage upon humanity, I re- 
counted the affair to the Fit-Aurari, who at first seemed 
highly displeased with the man who had perpetrated the 
deed ; but learning that the boy was not in my service, he 
told me he could not take cognizance of sueh offences, be- 
cause by so doing, he should have his head broken with 
oomplaints, both real and pretended, which would be forced 
npon him. 

-< How 18 this?'' said I ; '-are you a judge, and will you 
allow a man to beat and lacerate a child with impunity, and 
one too, who, in reality, has done him no wrong ?" 

''Well, well," said he, '^ propose whatever punishment 
you please, and I will chastise the offender according to 
your pleasure." 

" No," I replied, "I have not come into your country to 

* Abysfflnian servants enjoy, in some respects, a high degree of lib- 
erty ; in others, they are cruahed to the most abject slavery. When, 
for insiaaoe, a servaiit wishes to leave hb master in consequence of un- 
just treatment, if the master has the least interest with one of the 
grandees of the country, they compel him to remain in servitude, and 
ibat too, without receiving any compensation for his labor. If it hap- 
pens that a servant quits hb master for a while in spite of him, and 
enters the service of another, without permission being asked of his 
fermer ouster, the masters become infallibly enemies. 

6 



122 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

assume ihe anthoritj of the legislator, but I wish to learn in 
what manner you administer justice." Nothing was done 
decisively about the matter. This district is distingmshed 
throughout Abyssinia for the wickedness of its inhabitants. 

28th. We have advanced to-day about three leagues in a 
TV. S. W. direction. We are now at HassaT, where we are 
quartered for the night, and have been kindly reoeived at 
the house of the governor of the district, Guebra AmlaOi 
the former Fit-Aurari. 

March 1st, 1830. We have traveled about the same distance 
and in nearly the same direction to-day that we did yester^ 
day. About noon we arrived at Adowah, where I was im- 
mediately waited upon by Mrs. Coffin and her children, 
who came to make inquiries respecting her husband. I was 
also visited by two Greeks and two Armenians ; but neither 
visit was peculiarly interesting. ' 

2d. The whole of this day has been consumed in cere- 
monious calls of very little importance. 

3d. I have bad a long conversation with a monk of Wal- 
cait, in the presence of several others, though few of them 
understand the Amharic language, in which we conversed. 
I began by inquiring, << Why are the Abyssinians so scrupu- 
lous in observing their customary fasts, which are not com- 
manded in the word of God, while they manifest little con- 
cern for what has been revealed, and recklessly tnui^ess 
the plain commands of the Lord V^ 

The monk replied, << In your country, G^d ha6 seen fit to 
kindle in the minds of the people a knowledge of himself 
and his law ; and you are disposed to choose the good and 
to refuse the evil ; but with us it is not so. We, as a pea- 



JOURNAL OF A REdlDENCE IN ABYBSINIA. 123 

pie, are sank in degradation and crime. When any one 
injnres or displeases us^our malioioas feelings instantly 
prompt us to take his life ; and when we observe any object 
that pleases as, we are disposed to pilfer it from the owner. 
We are also a nation of liars. We therefore find it nece»- 
sary to observe fasts, and to practise other aasterities, in 
order to mortify and keep down oar depraved propensities. 
But yoa have no need of them." 

^ Not exactly so," I rejoined ; " bat now jast anderstand 
preeisely your error. You wish to justify yourself before 
God by your fiists and other works which you are pleased 
to call good; while you continue to live in sin, following 
your depraved inclinations. But this is not agreeable to 
the instructions of the Gospel, which declares that the sin- 
ner is justified alone by faith in Jesus Christ; that the 
fidth by which we are justified is inseparably connected with 
love to the Saviour, and that this love constrains us to obey 
the commandments of God.'' 

" This is true," said he ; " all our people are plunged in 
the depths of ignorance and error; they know not the 
Gospel" 

^ This," I continued, ^ is indeed a lamentable truth, which 
has forced itself upon my attention, and occasioned my deep- 
est grief in every section of your country. But let me 
kindly inquire, are not you, tiie priests and monks, the 
cause of this deplorable ignorance 9 Why do you not in- 
struct the people ?" . 

*'Toa are tmdoubtedly correct," he replied, " but the truth 
is, we have not the necessary means of instruction. It is 
now sometime since I first learned that the Gospel, in tho 



124 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

Ainhftric language, could be obtained in this country. I de- 
termined at once to procure it. I have traveled over a great 
part of Abyssinia, and have now entered Tigre expressly for 
thb purpose. I had almost despaired of gaining the object 
of my journey, and was on the poiot of returning home, sad 
and desponding, when I accidentally met you the other day 
at Maaya. You have kindly given me the precious treasure 
I sought. I shall now return to Walcalt, where I will first 
learn its sacred contents myself, and then spend the remain- 
der of my days in teaching them to children. Please write 
in it your name, that you may bo honored and loved in that 
part of Abyssinia where I reside. When it shall be known 
in the province of WalcaH that copies of the Gospel can be 
obtained in Tigre, people will flock hither in crowds to pro- 
cure them." 

<' Remember," I added, 'Hhat I present you this copy of 
the Gospel, only on the condition that you will be particu- 
larly cautious not to nuDgle in your instructions to children, 
anything which ie not taught in the word of Oed." 

« This," said he,. " I cheerfully promise." 

I cannot avoid indulging feelings of kind regard towards 
this amiable young man ; he has every appearance of inno- 
cence and sincerity. He starts to-morrow for Walcalt 

5th. To^cby I had an i]>terview with ono Warka. He is 
an Armenian by descent, though born in Abyssinia. He 
took me into a private apartment for the purpose of taking 
food secretly at an unseasonable hour. I improved the oo- 
casioD to* speak to him of the fear of man " which bringeth 
a snare^" and which can exist only where the oonscienoe is 
tttiier iU-iaformed or depraved^ adding, << Fear CkMLjand joa 



JOXTKHAJs OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 125 

never will be troubled with the fear of man." I then en 
deavored to show him his error, and the danger of seeking 
justification from sin through the efficacy of fasts and kin 
dred austerities; opening to him the way of salyation 
through faith in the blood of Christ, by repeating several 
passages of Scripture in which the doctrine is clearly taught. 
He seemed touched with the idea, and, like the Abyssinians 
generally, assented to all that was said, though he was not 
fully persuaded for want of adequate knowledge. 

6th. The pilgrim, Heila Michael, who accompanied us from 
Egypt, fleatiog himself beside me, suddenly burst into tears, 
and began to confess his errors, and to deplore his wretched 
condition, saying that every day of his life had been stained 
with sin ; and that notwithstanding his manj iniquities, 
Ood had been continually loading him with his bounties. 
He appears to have been a diligent student while at Jeru- 
salem ; having there committed to memory most of the four 
€U)spels. 

7th. The Sabbath. To^y for several hours I have en- 
joyed the pleasure of solitude. More than two months 
have elapsed since I have been permitted to enjoy this treat 
in my own house. My mind has been much in Europe ; I 
have thought much of my friends there, who this day 
assemble to pray and sing praises to the Lord, and to listen 
to his holy word. Would that my God would ever deign 
to be with them to hear and to bless ! 

A young man of Gojam requested, with so much earnest- 
ness, a copy of the Oospel, that I could not resist his impor- 
tunity, notwithstanding my determination of distributing 
nmie at present in Tigre. This afternoon I passed with 



126 JOURNAL OF A RE8IDBNCE IN ABYSSXlflA. 

Heila Michael, oonTersing with him and seTeral othen, re- 
ppecting the proper uses to be made of the liyes and histo- 
ries of the saints. I endesTored to impress the thought 
that we should learn to imitate, but not to adore them. 

8th. At nine o*clook this morning we bade adieu to Ad- 
owah, and set forward on our march for Azum, where we 
arrived after a ride of five hours. We all proceeded at 
once to the church with the intention of examining it ; but, 
for some reason, we were not then admitted. Soon after 
we were summoned to dinner. I had indulged the hope 
that our conductors would remain a day or two in this an- 
cient metropolis, and allow me the opportunity of visiting 
its more interesting curiosities; but at a late hour this 
evening, I was informed that Bclcta Darcopti was unwilling 
to delay. At first, we were received by the people with 
marked coldness ; but afterward, the governor of the city, 
Walda Michael Nebrid^ paid us sufficiently kind attentions. 
He promised that should I return this way, he would wil* 
lingly show me all that might be thought worthy of a stran- 
ger's notice. He pretended that great quantities of gold 
were concealed in the city ; and besides other depositories, 
that nine sacks-full were treasured up in the pillar described 
by the traveler. Salt. I took the hint from his remarks, to 
address him, together with three or four others, on tho 
vanity of all earthly possessions, when compared with the 
vital knowledge of Jesus Christ, and those unfading riches 
laid up for them who cordially trust him. 

9th. Notwithstanding the rebuff of my hopes last evening, 
I still flattered myself that I should be able to examine a 
few of the ruins of Axnm before the hour of oar departure 



JOUBVAL OF A RB8IDENCE IN ABTS8INIA. 197 

aniTed. But here I was again disappointed. Just as I 
was ready to set oat on m j round of investigation, a dispute 
arose between my porters and servants, which continued till 
we were ordered to move forward. 

Axum b delightfully situated at the foot of two moun- 
tains, about which is spread out a plain of considerable ex- 
tent, and of a rich and productive soil. After turning our 
backs upon the city, we traveled, for an hour and a half, 
over a champaign country, blooming beneath the hand of 
cultivation ; and then for another hour and a half, over a 
region abounding with shrubbery, and rugged with rocks. 
We then rested for a time beneath the shade of a tree, near 
the village of Segamo. Hence we again set forth, and con- 
tinued our journey over a level country for about two 
leagues, as far as Ado-Watsa, where we lodge. This hist 
village lies about five leagues to the south-west of Axum. 
The governor, Melcon, was not at home when we arrived ; 
consequently we were not very cordially received. We 
were compelled to wait for our supper till sometime in the 
night, although we had not taken food since the previous day. 

10th. This evening we were visited with a small shower of 
rain, which gave us considerable anxiety, owing to the ex- 
posed condition of our effects, our lodgings being nothing 
more than a common stable, without a roof. We have also 
had before a little rain on two or three other occasions ; 
once at Adegrate, and again at Adowah. The rainy season 
thus betokens its approach ; it usually commencing by short 
and sudden flurries of rain, attended with thunder and light- 
ning, and which gradually increase in frequency after the 
month of February. 



128 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSBINIA. 

Oar way now lay for four hours across a district, appa- 
rently formed of a fertile soil, and capable of high cultiya- 
tion ] but it is left to luxuriate for the present in its native 
wildness, abounding with thorns and thistles. The next 
two hours we traversed fields prepared for cultivation, i. e. 
blackened and seared by the fires which ha^ been kindled to 
consume the redundant grass and bashes. We quartered 
for the night at Tembera, at the house of the governor, 
Walakidam, who has the appearance of a proud and haughty 
warrior. The district which he governed is of considerable 
extent, stretching along the shores of the Tacazze, and is 
known by the name of Adiete. 

Tembera lies about five leagues to the south of Ado- 
Watsa. Daring the evening I felt somewhat indisposed, 
and consequently was less inclined to converse than usual. 
This not beiog agreeable to my attendants, they complainerl 
of my silence. I replied, that " where there were many 
words, there was usually much sin." This observation was 
not altogether pleasing to the Fit-Aurari, who is a little re- 
markable for his love of conversation, especially when him- 
self or his deeds are the subject. 

1 1 th. This morning, while I was engaged in writing among 
the bushc5, my companions in travel, thinking I had gone 
before them, made ready and started off. I immediately 
gathered up my effects and followed. When descending 
the hill on which the village is built, a lively troop of boys 
clustering around, accompanied me for a short distance, en- 
treating me to regard them as my own children, and to be- 
stow upon them my blessing. The Abyssinian children 
uniformly manifest great respect for all whom they happen 



^OUKNAL OF A BEMDENCE IN ABYSflZNIA. 129 

to meet, especiallj for strangers. Thej seem generallj 
better disposed, in this respect, than most of their age whom 
I have hitherto met in the different coontries through which 
I have passed. The boys do not manifest peooliarlj ma- 
licions dispositions, or become peculiarly evil in their con- 
duct, till they begin to feel that they have arrived at the 
dignity, and ought to enjoy the privileges of manhood ; nor 
do their daughters or wives till they have been ill-treated or 
neglected by their husbands. 

We traveled to-day about three hours. Our course lay 
over and among mountains of a strikingly wild and broken 
appearance, along the side, and through the ravines of which 
we wound our way till we arrived at Emferas, where we 
have taken lodgings for the night. This village lies in a 
retired valley, embosomed in the mountains, where the heat 
is intense, and to us, almost insupportable, im consequence 
of the severe cold we experienced the last night, higher up 
the mountain. A messenger has just arrived from Oubea, 
governor of Samen, whose errand is, to inform us that his 
master has rejected the overtures of peace, on the conditions 
proposed by Sebagadis. 

12th. The early part of this day's journey lay down the de- 
elivity of an elevated mountain, at the foot of which fiows 
the river Tacaaze. We struck this noble stream, at about 
twice the distance of a common musket-shot below its junc- 
ture with the Ataba, a river of considerable magnitude, and 
which rises in the lofty mountains of Bonahed. The Ta- 
eane is a large stone's throw in breadth, and in the middle 
of the current its ordinary depth is not far from two feet 
It abounds with hippopotami and crocodiles. After oross- 

6* 



IdO JOUSNAL OF A KE8IDBNCE IN ABYBSIHIA* 

ing tbe Btream, our oourse lay up a high and craggy range 
of mountainsj which b very steep in the ascent, and the road 
withal, extremely bad. I was lame in one of my feet, and 
therefore unable to walk ; bat my hardy mule happily sue* 
oeeded in scrambling up the rugged sides of the mountain, 
with me upon her back. My fellow-travelers, however, 
were not so fortunate ; they were obliged to clamber up 
their toilsome way on foot, their mulos not being able to 
carry them. While performing the ascent, my companions 
frequently alluded to the name '' Tacazsse," which signi- 
fies in the Tigrean language, '< I am sad or dejected.'' We 
at length overcame the difficulties of the way, and reached 
the summit of the mountain, where we found that the peo- 
ple of the neighborhood had built for us a cabin composed 
of the branches of trees, near the village of Toursoga. Here 
we received orders from Oubea to remain two or three days' 
in expectation of news from the interior. 

13th. I have been chiefly occupied through the day in read- 
ing the Gospel with a priest of our company, by the name 
of Hiskias. Several others gathered around us, and heard 
the words of eternal truth. I accompanied my reading 
with such explanatory remarks as the subject seemed to de- 
mand, and such, as appeared to me, must have exposed to 
all present the extreme ignorance of the priest. This in- 
deed, I intended to do. I then said to him plainly, '- How 
18 it possible for one so ignorant of the true import of the 
Gbspel, to be set apart to perform the duties of the priest- 
hood 1" Some one of the bystanders replied : << This class 
of priests pordhase of the AbunS) the imposition of hands 



idUftNAL OF A EESIDBNCE IN AllTSBINIA. ISl 

with money !" A few of my auditors were very attentiye, 
while othen appeared listless and unconcerned. 

1 4th. Sabbath. The early part of the last night was quite 
rainy, and we lay entirely exposed to the hitter peltings 
of the storm, in consequence of the roofless condition of the 
cottage in which we lodged. I took the precaution to strip 
myself of the little linen I had ahont me, and folding it 
up, lay down upon it wrapping myself in the carpet which 
was designed for my hed, that I could have a comfortable 
dress, when the storm was oyer. But my companions, poor 
feUows! not haying been so proyident, were completely 
drenched ; and the air being extremely sharp during the 
remainder of the night, had they been any other people, 
must baye chilled them through. But they bore it with 
little inconyenience. The Abyssinians, as a people, seem 
capable of enduring the cold in a surprising manner. They 
frequently sleep entirely naked, saye a small piece of cloth 
thrown oyer their shoulders, stretching themselyes upon the 
grass bleached asd stiffened with frost. 

I spent the morning reading the two Epistles of Paul 
to Timothy, in the original Greek. The cold was extremely 
mnoomfortable. I was forced to wrap myself in my cloak 
to Uunt the keen edge of the atmosphere, which I felt the 
more sensibly, because of the almost insupportable heat we 
experienced yesterday in the yalley of the Taoazze. 

About noon I received a yisit from the priest, Hiskias, 
bringing with him a book of prayers in the Ethiopic lan- 
guage for my perusal. I read a few passages, freely re- 
marking in the presence of the whole company upon what- 
eyer I found in agreement \yith the word of Qod ; and as 



182 JOURNAL OF A EBdlOBNCE IN AQYSBINIA. 

Ireelj notioing whatever was at variance with its spirit, and 
consequentlj the mere produot of human ingenuity. I 
then returned the book, observing that it was of no value 
as a directory of conduct. I exhorted him to reject, as use- 
less, the doctrines of men, and give himself up exclusively to 
the teachings of the word of God; that only sure and 
sufficient guide to everlasting life. While making these re- 
marks, I pointed to the seventh chapter of Mark, and de- 
sired him to read it ; but as he read very badly, the by- 
standers requested me to read them a few chapters, which I 
did with the greatest pleasure, accompanying the exercise 
with such explanatory remarks as I thought needful. We 
continued the pleasing task till we were interrupted by a 
shower of rain, which burst suddenly upon us about three 
o'clock in the ailernoon, and wet us completely through. 
Several young men in the company appeared well, and 
seemed desirous of farther instruction. I pray that they 
may be drawn by the Father to his Son Jesus, and conse- 
quently, belong to that happy number who are taught of God. 
15th. Before my departure this morning, several priests 
called upon me for the purpose of obtaining a copy of the 
Gospel. I did not think best, however, to comply with their 
request, having only a small quantity, which I wish to re- 
serve for the interior of the country. I referred all who 
might be desirous of gaining possession of the sacred 
volume, to brother Kugler, in the province of Tigre. — 
Our course through the day has generally been from north- 
east to south-west. At the distance of a long league from 
Toursoga, in a valley lying on the left of our path, reposes 
Walia, a village of considerable magnitude. 



JOURHAL OF A B£810SNCE IN ABYflSIlTIA. 188 

After eroding a moantuD, we descended into the deep 
Talley of the Ataba. We passed along the side of the vil- 
lage of Qnerbera, located in the Talley, about one league's 
distance from Walia. Not far to the south of Querbera, 
rises the fort of Sequenquena, resting upcm the summit of 
an elcYated mountain, or rather, the isolated point of a tow- 
ering rook. 

From Querbera, turning a little to the west, we continued 
our route another league to Chinaco, where we encamped 
ibr the night, beneath the protecting branches of a tree, by 
the side of a fountain. The attendaots of Beleta Darcopti 
here complained to me of the difficulty they experienced, in 
observing the customary austerities of a fast, while perform- 
ing the duties and hardships of their journey. This afford- 
ed me a theme of conversation, of which I readily availed 
myself. I spoke to them in a serious and feeling manner 
eonoerning the extreme precision they manifested in keep- 
ing all the commandments of men, while they heedlessly set 
aside the commandments of God. I then turned to the 
whole company and said to them : ^< I see that you are very 
scrupulous in the observance of your appointed fasts, while 
I have abundant evidence that you have malicious thoughts 
and vicious feelings reigning in your bosoms ; for I hear 
you from time to time uttering profane oaths,* and engag- 
ing in idle conversation, and I observe your daily conduct, 
which every one, who has learned his lessons of morality 

* Tbe AbyBsixuaiis are mnch addicted to the vice of swearing. In 
Amhara they are constantly saying, " May each a saperior die f or 
•May you die." In Tigre the usnal phrase is, "By your body," or *^y 
the bedj of a ■openor,'' and tonetimes hj the name of Ood. 



134 .JOUANAL or A &E0IOBNCB IN ABTB8XM1A. 

from the Bible, most know to be in direct opposition to the 
plain and unequivocal precepts of Jehovah. Does not iku 
olearly prove that you arc involved, both people and priests, 
in the deepest shades of error ; and are hastening down the 
broad way to perdition ?" 

They all answered simultaneously :-<^ Yes ; there is too 
much truth in what jou say." 

I was more free and pointed in my remarks to them, be- 
oause I frequently hear them say to each other by the way, 
that they have never known so good a man. Their views 
of my character, however, I deem of very littlo importance, 
so far as I am concerned ; for I know much better than they 
do, the deep depravity of my heart : but I endeavor to ren- 
der their favorable opinion of me a means of good to them- 
solve?. 

i6th. We have advanced to-day about two leagues in a 
south-westerly direction, traversing a deep valley which ex- 
tends along the shores of the Ataba. We have encamped 
under a small tree, growing on the margin of the stream, 
near the village of Ataba. After we had taken a little rest, 
Hiskias, the priest, requested the loan for a few minutes, of 
a copy of the Gospel. I pointed to the eighteenth chapter 
of Luke, telling him first to read it to himself, and then re- 
peat to me its contents. He was gone a sufficient length of 
time, and returned, saying, that ho had read it through ; 
but when I requested him to give me a summary of its 
contents, he showed that he knew very little about it, for he 
mentioned several things not contained in it. I then took 
the book, and read the same chapter aloud in the .presence 
of five or six of our fellow-travelers, who manifested no ti^ 



•JO0KNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 186 

*tle surprise, on learniog that the priest had so utterly mis- 
taken its real import. I wished, however, to give him one 
more trial ; and pointed him to the fifteenth chapter of 
Luke ; but he equally failed of comprehendiog its meaning. 
I therefore repeated its contents to those present, making, 
as I went along, snoh brief explanation, as the different pas- 
sages seemed to require. I found, on looking around 
after I had closed my remarks, that most of our company 
had silently gathered in a circle about us; which, being 
deeply engaged, I had not before perceived. Some appear- 
ed considerably affected by the representation of the love 
of God to sinners, as portrayed in that touching parable of 
the Prodigal Son. The priest now wished to try his skill 
again in reading ; but the others took the book from him, 
plainly telling him that he did not understand it. They 
Ihen requested me to read a few chapters more, which I did 
with the greatest pleasure until a violent shower, coming 
suddenly upon us, compelled me to close the book. The 
priest, to whom I spoke with so much freedom, still treats 
me with great cordiality and respect. 

17th. This morning we proceeded on our way till we 
arrived at Ebena, a village about two leagues from our last 
night's encampment, where we made a short delay for re- 
freshment and repose. Thence we again moved forward, 
advancing another league in a south-westerly direction, as 
fitr as Dongosga. Here the Ataba divides itself into two 
branches ; one flowing from the south, the other from the 
south-west. The region of country lying between this place 
and the Tacazse, is called Terente. We here pass the 
ftimtier boundary of Samen. 



186 JOUBNAL OF A BESIDEVCE IN ABYflSIHIA. 

In the course of this day's journey, there rose a diiewh 
sion among our fellow-travelers, concerning the authority 
of the priests, to bind and to loose, I felt some interest in 
the dehate ; but when I saw that both Hiskias the priest^ 
and others engaged in the controversy, grew warm, and 
seemed ready to burst into a passion, I instantly withdrew 
and kept silence, knowing, that the servant of the Lord does 
not love, and will not encourage disputations. 

On our arrival at Dongosga, our prospect of entertain- 
ment appeared exceedingly unpromising ; the women came 
out to complain of our inhumanity in coming to procure 
lodgings at their poor village. But notwithstanding this 
unwillingness to receive us, we were at length kindly pro- 
vided for ; a friend of Beleta Darcopti, generously supply- 
ing us with a sufficiency of excellent bread, made of the 
flour of Teff. Myself and attendants lodged in a circular 
house about ten feet in diameter. 

18th. We labored, for about four hours, up the toilsome 
ascent of the high mountidn Silqui, the summit of which ia 
mantled with imperishable snows, gleaming like a mirror in 
the sunshine ; but we had no occasion during our journey 
to rise to the frozen regions. We ascended high enough, 
however, to enjoy a rich and delightful prospect ; it being, 
I think, one of the most picturesque views I have hitherto 
beheld. At about a league's distance to the west of SOqai, 
lies a birge village called Bona, where the governors of 
Samen sometimes reside ; and about the same distance to 
the W. S. W. of the above-named village, rises the lofty 
summit of Toloca, ^ving sublimity to the scene. 

My traveling companions informed me that the Tolooft 



JOUBNAL OF A BESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 187 

formerly in the possession of the Falashas or Jews ; bat 
they were able to give me no further information ooncem- 
ing them. At the feet of its towering peaks, is the Tillage 
of Haonasa, inhabited almost entirely by Hussnlmans, in 
part descended from tbe Jews. Between the Silqui anJ 
Toloca rushes the river Bouga; and beyond the Toloca 
flows another stream, called the Antsia; both of which 
finally unite their waters with the Tacazse. We visited in 
the course of the day, the celebrated monastery, or rather dis- 
trict of Waldeba, inhabited solely by monks and nuns, who 
eannot be said, however, to enjoy the highest reputation, 
even for Abyssinia. But notwithstanding their reputed 
profligaey, it is said that many among them are so super- 
stitions that they never eat either bread or meat. 

As the eye stretches on to the north, the view is lost amid 
the swelling hills and jutting peaks of Walcalt, which rise 
one above another in enchanting wildness. While we were 
toiling up the steep ascent of the Silqui, our course lay 
nearly in a south-westerly direction ; but on arriving at the 
highest point to which we ascended, turning our course to 
the south, we continued to traverse the sides of the moun- 
tains about eight hundred feet beneath its summit. We 
prosecuted our journey, keeping nearly the same elevation 
lor about two leagues; and then made a slight descent for 
the purpose of striking the village of Lori, where we in- 
tended to procure lodgings for the night. At the moment 
of our arrival, and before we could secure comfortable ac- 
commodations, we were surprised by a cold and violent 
shower of rain. Not more than four hundred feet above us, 
it fell in snow or hail Before procuring suitable lodgings, 



188 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTB81NIA. 

we also experienced oonsideraUe ineonyenienoe in other re* 
specta, being) as it were, heaped cne upon another in a small 
hut We finally Buccecded, however, in procuring better 
accommodations : but we were not then entirely free from 
anxiety, our porters being still in the rear in oonseqnenee 
of the badness of the roads, which were vastly worse than 
any we had hitherto found. They, however, at length ar- 
rived, having experienced no other misfortune than being 
drenched with rain, and wearied by the toils of the way. 
While at Lori, the temperature of the atmosphere, and the 
general features of the scenery, reminded me of Switzerland 
in the seasons of spring or autumn. It is a r^ion of frosts 
and snows. But notwithstanding the cold, the inhabitants, 
in consequence of the scarcity of building timber so high up 
the mountain, reside chiefly in houses small in site, and 
badly built; being open, and exposing the indwellers to 
every beating storm. Their clothing by day and their cov- 
ering by night, is seldom more than a small piece of linen 
cloth, or a sheepskin thrown over their shoulders. 

19th. This morning a mountain again lay in our way, and 
we spent about two hours in clambering up its steep asoeni. 
We then turned our course to the south till we reached the 
foot of Mount Bonahed, whose towering head is almost per- 
petually crowned with snow. A few miles to the S. 8. E. 
of Mount Bonahed, lies the village or fort of Ambo Hai, 
which b probably the highest point of land in Abyssinia. 
Thence inclining a little more to the west, we pursued our 
way, for three hours, along the sides of a mountain called 
Aina, to the village of Ambas. Here at first we were not 
very kindly received. For a considerable time, we were 



iOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. Id9 

foreed to remain without the village, sitting in the oold, 
until a heavy fall of rain commenced, mingled with hail. I 
then suddenly arose to go for my mule, as if intonding to 
pursue my journey. This movement so alarmed the people, 
that they immediately begged me to stay, and accept for my 
convenience the best lodgings their village afforded. Beleta 
Darcopti procured accommodations for the night in another 
village. 

The inhabitants of the villages lying on this part of our 
tour, have not received official orders to entertain us, it not 
beiDg the course marked out for us to pursue. We had 
been ordered to take another routo from Lori — one that 
would lead us directly through the village of Antohatoab, the 
residence of Oubea ; but, learning that he had come to an 
open rupture with Mariam, and was then actually in the 
field against him, we resolved to take the shortest course to 
Gondar. This incident has thrown Beleta Darcopti into an 
unpleasant position; he is in constant alarm, lest Oubea 
should arrest his course, and take from him the three hun* 
dred talaris which he had just received from Scbagadis. I 
will state the facts of the case more particularly. Some 
difficolties existing between Sebagadis and Oubea, on one 
side, and Mariam on the other, Beleta Darcopti was sent as 
ambassador from the latter to negotiate terms of reconcilia- 
tion with the former. H« first held a conference with Se- 
bagadis ; and, while negotiating with him, his master, by 
some means, offended Oubea, and the latter instantly rallied 
his troops and entered the field against him. without waiting 
to hear the proposals of peace. Such being the state of 
afidrs, every consideration calculated to excite my fears has 



140 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

been soggested to me to prevent my proceeding to Oondar ; 
bnt I have not seen as yet sufficient cause to change mj 
original purpose. 

I have observed a remarkable regularity in the changes 
of the weather, occurring daily since we have been traveling 
among the mountains of Samen. The morning is beautiful, 
the sky clear and serene, and the sun shines brilliantly with 
a scorching heat, until nearly eleven o'clock ; the heavens 
then become gradually obscured, and a quick and enlivening 
breese springs up. About one o'clock in the afternoon, a 
few peals of thunder are heard rolling in the distance, and, 
about three hours afterwards, the rain begins to descend, 
accompanied by considerable wind, continuing till sunset 

20th. Our last night's host, who appeared at first very little 
disposed to receive us, became afterwards more reconciled 
to his visitors, and, with his wife, assumed a tone of consid- 
erable cordiality and kindness. As we were desirous of ad- 
vancing farther to-day than usual, in consequence of the 
fears of Beleto Darcopti, and consequently were in mo- 
tion long before the dawn, our host was also up and ready 
for our service, generously o£fering to attend us for half an 
hour, and direct our way, as we should be unable to follow 
it while it was dark. During the latter part of the night 
the air was quite chilly ; but between daybreak and sun- 
rise, the cold increased, and became so stinging, that we 
could with extreme difficulty hold the reins of our mules, 
even with our hands wrapped in the folds of our garments. 
We made about three leagues during the day, traveling in 
a south-west direction, till we arrived at Sancaber, where 
we were stopped by the soldiers of Oubea. They told us 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYBSINIA. 141 

that we moat remain here till farther orders were received 
from Antcbatcab ; we therefore, instantly dispatched a mes- 
senger to that place. SaDcaber is an assemblage of abont 
thirty small huts, inhabited by soldiers. It is a stronghold, 
fliinated on a narrow ridge, swelling up between two gulfs 
of great depth ; and its exposed situation renders it ex- 
tremely cold and bleak. They deyoted one of the largest 
and most convenient buildings to my accommodation, where 
I improved the opportunity thus afforded, in reading to my 
fellow-travelers the eleventh and seventeenth chapters of 
St. John, and continued the exercise till a storm of wind 
and rain arose, and became so .violent, that it carried away 
one half of the roof that covered my lodgings. I was 
oUiged, therefore, to seek other accommodations, and am 
BOW lodged in a smaJl hut of a circular form, abont seven 
feet in diameter, and six in height. 

On our arrival, I dispatched my men with a little pepper, 
a few needles, and sundry articles of this sort, to exchange 
for food at two different markets, considerably distant from 
this place. Just before sunset, they letnmed with a sack 
ef barley bread, a little parched grain, and a cruise of beer, 
of which we partook together, like brethren. As a general 
thing, the people of these mountains eat little bread, ez- 
eepting a coarse kind, made of barley or beans ] they make 
no use of teff, and very little of wheat. 

21 St. Last evening we were favored with a beautiful spec- 
tacle; the whole country seemed illuminated by the numer- 
ous fires, which had been kindled and were brilliantly 
bnming beneath us. This, as the rainy season approaches, 
U no unusual appearance ; the people, being in the habit of 



142 JOURNAL OF A EESIDKNCE IN ABYBBINIA, 

settiDg fire to the dry grass and redundant herbage, whkfe 
remain of the last year's growth. The aspect of the country 
during this season of the year, is consequently extremely 
disagreeable ; for the eye, as it wanders abroad, can fi&d 
little on which to rest, but melancholy plains, where the 
withered herbage stiLl remains, or roam over entire districts 
which have been swept by the devouring clement, blackened 
and desolate wastes. 1 spent the forenoon by myself, en- 
gaged in the delightful employment of reading the Gospel 
in the original language. This morning, I dispatched two 
of my servants again with needles to purchase provisions ; 
but about noon, the messenger whom we had commissioned 
to Antchatcab, returned ; and we immediately set off with- 
out having taken food. We prosecuted our journey in a 
south-westerly direction, advancing about two leagues to the 
village of Belligoebs. We could obtain nothing from the 
inhabitants of this village, but a little barley bread, which 
we shared with our beasts of burthen, for which nothing else 
could be procured. Having had nothing for two days but 
a small allowance of barley bread for each individual, we 
should have suffered from hunger, had not a priest of the 
village given us a fine young kid, in exchange for a copy <^ 
the Gospel. Nothing could be purchased. 

22d. We pushed forward about two leagues in a south- 
westerly direction, as far as Couara, where we rested awhile, 
waiting the arrival of thoso whom we dispatched yesterday 
in search of provisions. They at length appeared, bringing 
with them a small quantity of barley bread and beer, which 
the attendants of Beleta Darcopti shared in common with 
mine. At the moment we were ready to proceed, we re^ 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 143 

Miyed the unwelcome orders from Oabeft^ not to go on, nntit 
after his return. We were, therefore, compelled, in order 
to procure comfortable lodgings, to retrace our steps for the 
distance of three miles, to the vilkgo of Faras Sabar ; or. 
as it is sometimes called, Kedous Geor^ Varas Sabar; 
that is, ^'St. George, the horse is broken;'' or, <*he has 
broken the horse.'^ 

This Tillage was formerly known by another name. But 
at a period far back in the twilight of ages — ^so the storr 
goes — a military officer, desirous of pillaging the place, en- 
tered it with hostile forces. He was suddenly arrested in 
his career; his horse fell under him: was sadly bruised, 
and his bones badly broken ; a calamity which the officer 
was easily led to attribute to the influence of St. George, the 
patron of the place. He afterwards came on foot to the 
shrine of the saint, imploring the restoration of his horse, 
and promising him the full value of his steed in silver, 
should he comply with his request. He then returned to 
his broken-down horse, and to his utter astonishment, foand 
him not only restored — his bruises healed, and broken 
bones made whole, but what was more wonderful, his color 
changed — ^formerly brown, he was now white. Filled with 
gratitude, he performed his vow ; and the village from that 
time has been called Faras Sabar. This account is never 
called in question, and operates favorably to the inhabitants 
of the village. The Abyssinians sincerely believe, that if 
one should have the hardihood to enter the limits of the vil- 
lage by force, or even on horseback, he would inevitably be 
punished with the same misfortune. The governors, even 
in the time of war, never have the rashness to quarter their 



144 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

soldiers within this saored enolosure. When, therefore, an 
enemy is ravaging the country, Faras Sabar remains un- 
touched ; the people residing in the vicinity flee to it, as an 
asylnm from danger, carrying with them their families and 
their fortunes ; a circumstance which tends to render the 
place one of the most opulent in the country. 

We entered these peaceful borders, and had been seated 
for several hours near the church, when we were ordered 
to move our quarters and go back to another village. 
While sitting there, several priests, and various other in- 
dividuals were induced to pay us a visit I endeavored to 
impress upon their minds their errors and dangers ; and to 
make them feel the necessity, if they wished to be saved at 
last, of understanding the Scriptures, and clinging to them, 
as the only unerring rule of faith. When I had finished 
my remarks, one of the priests inquired : ^ What are the es- 
sential points of your belief?^' 

" We believe," I replied, '' all that is contained in the 
word of God ; nothing mere." 

'^ What do you say of the Alexandrian faith V^ 

<' Is there, I asked, one faith for Alexandria, and another 
for other countries ?" 

<^ Yes," he replied, " there is one faith of the Greeks, one 
of the Franks, one of the Armenians, &o. ; of what fiuth 
are you V ' 

'< All thb variety of sects and creeds," I answered, " has 
nothing at all to do with genuine faith. It is indeed, 
rather a proof of the unbelief and disobedience of men ; it 
is because they have either neglected or abandoned the 
word of God, and followed the flickering light of human in* 



JOUSNAL OF A RR8IDE1ICE IN ABTBSIITIA. 145 

gMiiiiij, thftt mankind are so much at variancd upon re- 
ligious snljecta. St. Paul says, there is but one baptism, one 
iaith ; and in that last tonehing prayer of oar Savioor with 
hiB disciples, he intercedes with the Father that all might 
be one^ sanctified through the truth, which is the word of 
God." 

^ Bni^" continued the priest, ^' what is your opinion of 
Arius and his followers % They say that they deriye their 
doctrines ezclusiyely from the Scriptures, and yet they 
maiDtain that Jesus Christ is a mere creature." 

^ Arius," I replied, ^ promulgated this doctrine, because 
he did not clearly understand the whole of the Scriptures ; 
while professing to make the Gospel the rule of his faith, he 
was in reality rejecting a part of it St. Paul says in the 
Epistle to the Romans, that Christ is God ever allj blessed for- 
every and again, both in his Epistle to the Philippians, and 
in that to the Hebrews, he declares that all things were 
created by Jesus Christ, and that he upholds and sustains 
the world by the word of his power ; and Si John is equally 
explicit, maintaining that he is the true God and eternal Ufe." 

^ There are some,-' he again remarked, '' who maintain 
that the Holy Spirit proceeds both from the Father and the 
Son. We believe that it proceeds from the Father only. 
What is your opinion?" 

^ Christ says in St John, 1 vnU send you the Holy Spirit 
y^kich proeeedethfrom the Father J'* 

^ This must be correct. But what think you of those 
who say that the divine was not united with the human 
nature of our Saviour, until the time when he was anointed 
by the Holy Spirit ; and that after that event, it was some- 

7 



lid JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT08INIA. 

times his Deity, and sometimes his humanity merely that 
oonstitiited the operating principle within him ?" 

Knowing this to be a subject which often forms the 
theme of their bitterest disputes, I replied : " This is alto- 
gether foreign to the Gospel ; it is meddling with that 
which lies too deep for finite comprehension, and savors too 
much of that philosophizing spirit and subtle investigation 
in reference to matters unknown, which is the product of 
human pride, as the Apostle Paul seems plainly to intimate 
in the second chapter of Colossians. It is enough for us to 
know that Jesus Christ is indeed the Almighty Gt>d, and 
that he became really and truly, man — a man of sorrows^ 
and acquainted with grvf^ to procure the means of our salva- 
tion ; for it is only through the atoning efficacy of his blood, 
that we may hope to obtain the inestimable benefits of re- 
demption, even the forgiveness of sin. If indeed we would 
sufier our minds to become absorbed in the contemplation 
of this unbounded love of God to sinners, our bosoms would 
uniformly glow with love to each other, and we might easily 
live together in peace and harmony, free from the burnings 
of passion and the bitterness of strife.'' When I had closed 
my remarks, one of the priests requested of me a copy of 
the Gk>spel ; and as the church in this place is one of the 
most celebrated in Abyssinia, I thought it my duty to ^ve 
him one. We then parted in friendship. 

We now moved forward to Debaree, a village situated 
about a i^ile and a half to the west of Faras Sabar, where 
we have procured accommodations for the night On our 
arrival, I was informed that Oubea had given orders to de- 
tain Beleta Daroopti in the neighborhood of the village, nn- 



JOUANAX. OF A REfllDENCB IN ABYSSINIA. 147 

il he should return. But I was told, that he did not wish 
to hinder me from my journey, and had sent therefore a 
man to conduct me to Gondar. 

23d. I passed this morning in the pleasing exercise of 
reading the Scriptures in retirement. It is my present cal- 
culation to start with the caravan day after to-morrow for 
Gondar. This evening we moved our quarters for the night 
to Amberco, a small hamlet situated upon a considerable 
elevation, about a league to the north of Debaree, and 
nearly the same distance to the west of Mount Lamalemon. 
We have been more kindly received here than usual. The 
place is situated at some distance from the common route ; 
and perhaps it is partly owing to this circumstance, that the 
inhabitants are benevolently disposed towards strangers. 

24th. This morning I returned to Debaree, where I had 
left my effects, and proceeded immediately to a house near 
the market, where I intend to pass the night I was sur- 
prised in my way by a heavy shower of rain, mingled with 
hail-stones of considerable size. I hastily fled for shelter 
to a small house, and although it was overflowing with 
people, I had the good fortune to gain admittance ; but my 
attendants were compelled to remain without, exposed to 
the fury of the pitiless storm. Just before reaching the 
market, I found a man lying on the ground, who had just 
suffered the amputation of a leg, as a punishment for revolt- 
ing from the cause of Oubea. On entering the house which 
I have concluded to occupy, I found an aged woman 
chained to a man who had been guilty of murdering her 
brother. A moment afler, however, I saw the woman freed 
from her confinement, and the murderer again chained to a 



148 iOUSNAL OF A BBSU>BNCB IN AfiY8SINIA« 

young lad, who was a relatire of him who had been killed. 
The murderer is a natiYe of Waloait Hia viotim had for* 
merly held the office of priest ; but had ▼olnntarilyrenoiuioed 
his Tooation, that he might indulge his licentious passions 
without restraint. He had sought a quarrel with his m.ur- 
derer, and in the contest had severely injured him. The 
latter, finding himself maimed, almost dying from Us 
wounds, and withal deeply disgraced, resolved to improve 
the first opportunity which should ofier, to take the life of 
his adversary ; and meeting him not long since, alone in the 
field, he put his bloody design into execution. There was 
no witness of the villainous deed ; but the friends of the de- 
ceased, well knowing the rancorous feelings which had ex- 
isted between the murderer and his victim, seised him, 
upon suspicion. They were at first desirous of seeing him 
immediately executed according to their summary mode of 
justice ; for the law of retaliation remains in all its force 
throughout Abyssinia. But the culprit found some means 
of making his escape, and fled forthwith to Oubea, to whom 
he disclosed the whole affair. 

Oubea sent for the relatives of the deceased, and urged 
them to settle the matter with the offender without taking 
bis life ; only exacting the pecuniary fine, which is usually 
regarded as an indemnification for the crime of murder. 
The friends of the victim were persuaded by the governor. 
The criminal was therefore sentenced to pay the sum of 
twenty okiets^ or two hundred taUms ; and he has now taken 
his station near the market, and constantly asks alms of all 
who pass in his way ; that he may have wherewith to pay 
ike stipulated fine. From morning till night you may hear 



jrotntlVAL OF A RESIDENCE OF ABT8BINIA. 14& 

his Toioe riong aboye the din of buBiness, ^ Yanassi ! Yanaa- 
Bil" ''For my life I for my life!" When a murderer is 
brought before a governor, he has no authority to pronounee 
judgment against him ; but he may use his influence with 
the relatives of the deceased, to induce them to become rec- 
onciled to the murderer ; and instead of taking his life, to 
take a spedfied sum of money ; although he has no power 
to enforce the acceptance of the proposal If, however, the 
eulprit has added robbery to murder, the governor assumes 
the prerogative of deciding against him in person. 

The market of Debaree is one of the most considerable in 
Abyssinia. It is open every Wednesday, and a caravan is 
OTganixed at Gondar, composed of twelve or fifteen hundred 
men, which passes regularly every week from the city to 
this place, and returns, for the purpose of supplying the 
capital with salt^ an article which they purchase at the mar- 
ket in exchange for cattle and cloth. At the present time, 
a talari is worth twenty-seven pieces of salt, about ten inches 
in length, two in breadth, and one in thickness. At Gk>n* 
dar, it is usually worth twenty-two pieces, though sometimes 
not more than fifteen. The market at Debaree yields to 
the governor of Samen an annual revenue of about three 
thousand talaris; and the Negad-Ras, or principal officer 
of the customs, generally appropriates an equal amount to 
his own use ; though he is said to be guilty of extortion. 
He is a Mussulman. 

525th. I set off this morning in company with the weekly 
caravan for Qondar. Our march lay over a level country 
finely watered by many rivulets. We saw only a single 
village, named Arona, lying on the left of our route, not ikr 



150 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTS8INIA. 

from nine miles S. S. W. of Debaree. We then entered a 
more undulating region — ^now rising into hills, and again 
sinking into valleys ; and scattered here and there, we de- 
scried the ruins of numerous villages, devastated by Googsa, 
who, about twenty-five years since, swept like a desolating 
flood over this section of the country. From Arena, we 
pushed forward ten or twelve miles to Tchambelga, where I 
have taken lodgings beneath a leafless tree. 

One may see, even from Debaree, the trees that embosom 
the church of Tchambelga, which Bruce has erroneously 
taken for the cedar, and Salt (at Taranta) for the flr ; but 
they neither entirely resemble the cedars of Lebanon, nor 
the firs of Europe. They occupy a middle space between 
the two ; they have thorns, but neither so hard nor so stiff 
as those of the cedar, and yield a fruit very similar to that 
of the juniper tree. They furnish most of the timber used 
for building in Abyssinia. 

In passing through the villages to-day, the people seemed 
almost determined to force me to become their Abuna, that 
is to say, bishop. They gathered in crowds around me, 
prostrating themselves before me, and imploring the absolu- 
tion of their sins 1 But alas ! when I saw this infatuation, 
it seemed as if my heart would break. Had I no other ob- 
jection to such promotion, I could never consent to receive 
the homage, little less than adoration, commonly rendered 
to a bishop in Abyssinia, and indeed throughout the Levant 

At twiUght last evening, I was suddenly seised with 
agues so severe, that they completely overcame me, and I 
was unable to sit up. I threw myself upon my bed, and the 
ohUls which had shaken my frame, were, in a few moments, 



JOOBNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 151 

suooeeded by a burning feyer. I drank three large glasses 
of water, and immediately fell into a gentle slumber. But 
I was soon awakened by a heavy fall of rain, which com- 
pletely drenched every article of clothing I had about me ; 
the water that flowed beneath the grass penetrated even the 
carpet on which I lay, and the rain still fell in torrents. I 
tried to procure better accommodations, offering a talari for 
a house only for the night ; but all my efforts were in vain. 
It was a dark hour ; but recommending myself to the Divine 
protection, and wrapping my clothes, dripping as they were, 
about me, I resumed my couch. Just before midnight, the 
rain ceased. My linen absorbed the heat which radiated 
from my feverish limbs, and I soon became comfortable, and 
rested quietly till the moment of our departure at the dawn 
of day. 

We could purchase nothing at Tchambelga but a little 
beer. We were not left, however, entirely destitute. As I 
was quite abstemious yesterday morning, taking but a small 
piece of barley-bread with garlic, my attendants in the eve- 
ning, thinking I might need it, generously left me a part of 
their own, which, after traveling about two hours this morn- 
ing, I shared with them. But all the food we had to sustain 
ua under the fatigues of the day, hardly amounted to an 
ounce for each. We traversed a champaign country for the 
distance of about five leagues, without observing a solitary 
village. The fiery banner of war has long waved here ; the 
whole region forming, for more than thirty years past, an 
almost uninterrupted battle-field, where the belligerent 
forces of the house of Gk>og8a, and those of the governors of 



152 JOURNAL OF A KESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

Samen have met in mortal conflict, domg the work of ntTage 
and death. Gonsequentlj, though naturally of a rich and 
productive soil, it now sleeps beneath the genial sun and 
refreshing shower, a desolate waste, without a hamlet to ro- 
lieve its loneliness, or scarce a vestige of cultivation to en- 
liven the scene. The country we then passed over was more 
broken ; and after traveling over hill, dale, and mounUdn for 
four successive hours, we arrived at Gondar, the goal we had 
long toiled to reach. This is a city of considerable magnitude, 
containing within its circumference forty-four churches; 
and, in consequence of the great number of shade-trees 
around them, rather resembles, as seen from a distance, a 
forest than a metropolis of an extensive province. 

Before entering the city, we were informed that the house 
of Thelolargai, to whom I had been recommended by the 
governor of Tigre, had been burnt. I was therefore obliged 
to seek other accommodations, and have taken up my abode 
at the house of Emmaha, the man whom Sebagadis gave me 
as guide. But on our arrival, as the family were not ex- 
pecting us, they had neither food nor drink to supply our 
pressing wants. His wife, however, soon succeeded in pro- 
curing a sufficiency of bread and beer, but learning that I 
did not drink the latter, set off in compaoy with one of her 
domestics for the market, to purchase a little wine or mead, 
in special kindness to myself Having obtained what she 
sought, on her return she was assailed by thieves, who vio- 
lently took away the mead she had purchased, and robbed 
both herself and servant of almost every article of clothing 
they bad about them. She, however, did not submit to this 



JOURNAL OP A KESIDENCE IN ABTB8INIA. 153 

depredation tamely ; she etroggled in self-defenoe, and re- 
oeiyed eeTeral braises in the eneonnter ; though when she 
reached home, she neither erinced pain, nor nttered the least 
eomplaint respecting the abuse she had receiTed. Oubea is 

encamped on a mountain in the vicinity of Oondar. 

7* 



CHAPTER II. 

Intenriew with Oabea.— Mr. Gobat oondades to remain at Gk)iidar.r— 
Is placed by Oubea under the protection of the Etdugoai chief of the 
monks. — ConyerBations with AJaca Waldab, Habeta Selaase, and 
other ecdeaasticB, (interspersed throughout the chapter.)— Visit to 
the king, Joas. — ^Troubles at the custom-house. — ^Visit to Cantiba Oaa- 
sai, governor of Qondar, and to the daughter of the hite Ras Goqgsa. 

March 27. At daybreak this morning, I was infonned 
that Oubea was making preparations for his immediate re- 
turn to Samen, together with all his forces. Wishing to see 
him before his departure, I hastened to meet him on the 
road. I had no sooner started, however, than I found I 
was not to go alone ; several priests, bearing crosses and 
other ornaments of the church, were also speeding their way 
to pay him their respects, and do him homage. 

As we drew near, I thought it proper to linger in the 
rear, till Oubea had completed the ceremony of receiving 
his more illustrious visitors. But as soon as he saw me 
waiting at a distance, instantly alighting from his mule, he 
came to meet me. The priests began at once to address 
him with obsequious and complimentary wisbes for his pros- 
perity. He listened to them a few moments, then bidding 
them delay their attentions for the present, invited me to 
take a seat by his side. I obeyed ; and as he had ever 
been kind to me, even generously defraying the expenses of 
my joaxney through his territory, as far as Debwree, I 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 155 

thought it my duty to present him with an elegantly 
wrooght pistol, which I had in my possession. He appeared 
abnndantly pleased with the gift, though he had expected 
no oompensation for the valuable services he had rendered 
me. While he was examining the pistol, I tendered him a 
oopy of the four Gospels in presence of all his officers. 
Soon as he saw it, he laid aside the instrument of death, and 
began to examine the Book of Life. After surveying it for 
a moment he said, ^' This is a gift which I receive with pe^ 
euliar pleasure." He then inquired, '^ But why have yoil 
come into thb unhappy country, at such a crisis as this, 
when war is raging, and such fearful commotions are dis- 
tracting the government ?" 

I replied, '^ I knew not the actual state of affairs at Oon- 
dar when I left the province of Tigre ; besides," I added, 
" I fear God ; and I know that even amidst the distractions 
and devastations of war, the Lord reigns and will graciously 
shield from harm, all who call upon him." 

Then turning with a quick and animated motion to his 
officers, he said, <' Behold 1 a true white man ; yes, the very 
pearl of white men ; we have never met with such a one 
before. But," continued he, '' how could Sebagadis think 
of allowing such a man as this, to expose his property and 
haiard his life amidst the disorders and turmoils, now ex- 
isting in the country ?" 

Perceiving that he felt an interest in my welfare, I ven- 
tured to request of him the protection of some efficient indi- 
vidual, who should remain with me while I continued at 
Gondar, and afterwards accompany me as far as his resi- 
dance, on my return. He feelingly replied, while tears 



156 lOURNAL OF A ftESfDEHrCE IN ABTSSINIA. 

gliBtened in his eyes, <* I would gladly assign you one, but I 
cannot ayoid feeling some alarm for his safety. After my 
departure, he will be left alone in the midst of enemies, 
and will probably become the victim of the assassin ; and 
then yon will be exposed to increased insnlt and suffering. 
Yon had better return with me ; if you are not ready to 
start to^y, I wUl delay till to-morrow." 

I told him in reply, that I had only just entered the city, 
not having arrived till last evening ; and it would be there- 
fore impossible for me to return so soon. He then called 
the priests, and with an air of decision, said to them, ^ I 
commit this stranger to your protection ; see that no evil 
befall him. Conduct him forthwith to the house of the 
Btchegua j* and be assured, that if, through your negligence, 
or &ult, he receives injury, I will require it at your hands — 
you shall be entirely responsible." We then took a friendly 
leave of each other. 

Oubea is a young man, between twenty-five and thirty 
years of age ; a little below the ordinary height, and of an 
agreeable physiognomy. His eye is keen, sparkling with life 
and intelligence, his lips are usually wreathed with an en- 
gaging smile, his hair is black, arranged according to the 
mode of the country, in numerous tresses, and hanging 
down upon his shoulders. His costume is generally white, 
simple in its adjustment, with little decoration, and no effort 
at display. He is less superstitious, and consequently less 
under the iniSuence of the priests, than Sebagadis. When 
not partiouli^ly under the dominion of pride, he frequently 

* The duef of all the monks of the coontiy, nod almoet the only one 
who hM at preseot any authority at Qondar. 



JOtmifAL OF A RE8I0BNCE IN ABYSSINIA. 107 

shows indubitable mirks both of his philanthropy and his 
regard for Ood. At some fatnre period, I shall endeavor 
to spend considerable time with him. His army is a disor- 
derly band, composed of from three to fonr thousand men. 

On my return to the city, I called immediately upon 
Tchdolargai, who apparently received me with the same de- 
gree of cordiality and kindness that he would have evinced 
to Sebagadis himsel£ He is possessed of an independent 
fortune, a merchant by occupation, and probably one of the 
richest in Abyssinia. Before our interview closed, several 
messengers, one after another, in rapid succession, rushed 
into the house, to inform my host that the whole city was in 
a tumult) and the market filled with thieves. The soldiers 
of Oubea were seen in every quarter, hastening hither and 
ihiiher throughout the city ; everything wore the appear- 
ance of depredation and war. Oubea himself has arrested 
his march, and encamped his army at a little distance from 
Oondar ; and, as it is well known that he harbors an invet- 
erate grudge against the priests and the Etchegua, it is a 
movement peculiarly calculated to excite the fears of the 
people. The reason is briefly this. Oubea married the 
daughter of the deceased governor, Marou. She has since 
died ; but she left a number of children, whom he regards 
as the legitimate heirs to the possessions of his &thor-in-law, 
and he is resolved to maintain what he deems their legal 
rights. But a sister of Marou intends to secure the prop- 
erty to herself. Immediately after the death of her brother, 
she seised all his effects, and immediately took refuge in the 
foarters of the Etchegua,* where she still resides. This 

• The quarters of the Etchegoa always aflford a safe rwidence, even 



158 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

part of the metropolis being entirely under the control of 
the priests, it is consequently before them that Oubea must 
depose his claims ; for they alone hare authority to satisfy 
him. To them, therefore, he has now proposed his terms 
of accommodation ; if within a certain time, they shall con- 
clude to comply, he will leave them in peace ; if not| he 
threatens to plunder the city. 

While I was at the hpuse of Tohelolargai, my effects were 
conveyed to one of the churches, and a room prepared for 
my reception near the residence of the Etchegna. The 
family of Emmaha have determined to take up their abode 
with me, until he shall receive fresh orders. 

28th. Sabbath. This morning I had the pleasure of receiv- 
ing a visit from one of the disciples of Alaca Waldab, by 
the name of Habeta Selasse. He is decidedly one of the 
most interesting young men with whom I have become ac- 
quainted since my arrival in the country. He was origi- 
nally from Marfoud in Shoa. I had a long conversation 
with him concerning synods, or ecclesiastical councils. He 
inquired what we, as a church, thought of them. 

I replied, " The Word of God is the only rule of our 
faith ; we believe all that is contained in the sacred canon. 
By this we abide, making it our only guiding-star through 
life, having the fullest confidence, that if we follow its light, 
it will infallibly conduct us to heaven. We, indeed, exam- 
ine the results of ecclesiastical councils, but we do not hold 

in the midst of the greatest troubles. No governor dares enter them by 
force ; otherwise, Oubea would have taken poeseseion of his wife's Ibc^ 
tone ere this, and undoubtedly, that of some of his enemies^ who have 
taken refbge under thu protection. 



JOmtNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 159 

them as proofs of doctrine. We diligently compare them 
with the Bible ; if they agree with this unerring standard 
of truth, we receive them ; if not^ we reject thorn." 

" Have you the book called Kidam Mariam ?" he asked. 

^ I hare seen it," I answered ; " but we do not receiye it 
as authority in matters of faith, because we have no evidence 
that it was divinely inspired. Indeed, we confidently be- 
lieve the contrary ; for without canvassing its contents, and 
thence drawing arguments to sustain our position, we well 
know that the book was written several ages posterior to 
the death of Mary." 

^ But was not St. Ephraim the author of the work ?" 

^ Whether Ephraim was a saint or not, is a point I shall 
not undertake to decide. I think there were many excel- 
lent traits in his character, and he has perhaps recorded 
some truths ; but he seems to have been one of those, who 
too frequently confound and darken truths which they do 
not fully understand, and afErm what they do not know. It 
b, perhaps, in his writings, more than anywhere else, that we 
shall find the seeds of the Koran of Mohammedans ; at least, 
it is undeniably true, that the false prophet was enabled to 
make too much use of them in leading off and corrupting 
his followers." 

He now changed the current of his inquiries, and re- 
quested me to explain the reason why there were so many 
different creeds and varying sects among professed Chris- 
tians. 

^' The true cause of all this diversitj of opinion," I replied, 
^ oonnsts in the £ftct, that mankind have too much neglected 
the Word of God, and followed the doctrines and devices of 



160 JOUKNAL OF A RBBIDBNCS IN ABT88IVIA. 

meiii who, when not guided alone bj reTelaiion, are eivw 
HaUe to beeome bewildered in the mbts of error. Theae 
divisions of his followers, are by no means pleasing to Joaoa 
Christ ; he nneqoivoeallj expresses his desire that all might 
he one m him ; and St. Paul has as ezplicitlj taught ns that 
there is but one faith, and one spirit, which uniyersally ao* 
toates all genuine beUevers, and that this spirit must haUt- 
ually dwell in the heart of every Christian ; otherwise^ he 
cannot be regarded as belonging to Christ In aoooxdanoo 
with these declarations, we find, that wherever Christ, by 
his spirit, has taken up his abode, peace and harmony exist, 
a similarity of views prevails, as he has himself declared: 
^ By this shall all men know that ye are my dueiplesj tfye Aom 
love one to another,** All these discrepancies in opinion and 
unhallowed contentions, therefore, prove that there are but 
few real Christians in the world. The hci is a solemn mo* 
nition to us, to watch over ourselves with the severest scru- 
tiny, lest we settle down in a false security, satisfied with 
the bare name of Christian. It should be a voice contin- 
ually sounding in our ears to arouse us from our lethargy. 
We should become thoroughly persuaded that Jeaus Christ, 
by the communication of those Uvdy hopes and heaven-bom 
consolations, which the Holy Spirit inspires, has indeed and 
in truth, taken up his abode in our hearts. Then, instead 
of di£ferences in external forms of religious worship, instead 
of heart-burnings and disputations concerning them, joy, 
love, and peace— these happy fruits of the Spirit, would 
brighten every countenance, warm every heart— we should 
live as brethren, loving each other, ^m Christ hoik loved us,^* 
Habeta Selasse called upon me again this afternoon, a^ 



N 



^OUXHAL OP A BBSIDBirCE Iff ABT8SIHIA. 

companied by one of his fellow-disoipleB. He prop 
aereral questions respecting Adam, most of wfaich were of 
triiing importance. He inquired, tdt example, when 
Adam receiyed the Holy Spirit, — how long I supposed he 
oontinued in Paradise, &c. To such questions I usually have 
but one answer : '' I do not know ; the Bible has given us 
no information upon that point, and we have no other means 
of ascertaining the truth." He then proceeded to inquire 
my views upon the future condition of infants who die before 
receiving the ordinance of baptism. I again replied : 

^ I do not know. God in the plenitude of his wisdom has 
not seen fit to give us any explicit revelation in regard to 
this subject ; although on the authority of that passage 
where Christ seems to intimate that they, and only they, 
who resemble children, are fitted for the kingdom of heaven, 
I am disposed to gather the opinion, that those who die in 
extreme infancy are finally saved." 

^ How can they be saved, since infants do not receive the 
Holy Spirit until they are baptized ?" 

'^Bnt ia this position supported by the word of God? 
It appears to me that it teaches us directly the reverse. 
We are told that Cornelius and his &mily received the 
Holy Spirit previous to baptism ; and St Peter informs us 
that the baptism which operates to the saving of the soul, 
does not consist in the application of water, but in the re- 
newing and cleansing of the heart by the influences of the 
Holy Spirit ; of which, the baptism by water is only the ex- 
ternal sign." 

^But another question. We maintain that the saints 
who lived under the old dispensation, were not admitted to 



X 



102 JOURNAL OF A RBBIDBNCB IN ABTBtllNIA. 

the pleasures of Paradise, until after the death of Christ 
What is your opinion upon this point 1" 

^ Tou believe what the Bible does not teach ; and as that 
is the only standard of my faith, I must say in regard to 
your inquiry, I know nothing about it ; though I feel per- 
fectly satisfied from certain passages of Holy Writ, that the 
saints of old were in a state of rest and fruition previous to 
the death of Christ. Besides, it appears to me altogether 
inconsistent to suppose that those who enjoyed the happi- 
ness of walking with God on earth — of seeing him and 
speaking with him, as it were, face to faoe, should be de- 
prived of these blessed privileges, as soon as they are de- 
livered from the clogs of mortality. For what is Paradise, 
if not a state of close and intimate communion with God ? 
If there are other privileges, they must be vastly inferior to 
this." 

'* But does not St. Peter intimate that our Saviour de- 
scended to the spirits in prison, and preached to them de- 
liverance V* 

<' This, it must be acknowledged, is a passage of difficult 
import I but we shall be better able to ascertain its mean* 
ing, if we bear in mind of whom the Apostle is speaking. 
He has no reference to the saints of the Old Testament ; he 
refers only to those persons who lived in the time of Noah. 
Besides, he expressly speaks of them as unbelievers^ whereas 
Abraham is called the father of believers. As the saints of 
old, in every successive age, and under all circumstances, 
were saved through fiiith in the Son of God, slain from Ike 
faundatumcf the toorld; so it is by&ith in Christ alone that 



JOURNAL OF A SESIDENCB IN ABYSSINIA. 168 

m 

we also can be justified before God, and deliyered from the 
wrath to oome." 

Habeta Selasse then taming to his companion remarked, 
that he thought me well versed in the Scriptures. ^ Yes," 
the other replied ; ^ and he is not ashamed to own that his 
knowledge does not extend beyond the simple teachings of 
the Bible. But we are not so candid — ^wo are too proud 
to acknowledge our ignorance, even when convinced of it" 

Selasse now changing the subject, inquired, ^ What is the 
cause of death?" 

'' Death, according to St. Paul, is the wages of sin." 

" Why, then, did the Virgin Mary die, since she was with- 
out sin ?" 

" Here you can see," I replied, << into what bewildering 
errors men are sometimes drawn, when they yield them- 
selves up to the delusions of human reason, as you must ac- 
knowledge yourself sometimes disposed to do ; for aside 
from the general tenor of Scripture, almost every page of 
which teaches us that mankind are universally sinners, 
liars, and wanderers from truth and duty, I think I can 
convince you from two passages recorded in the Gospel, that 
Mary, like every other son and daughter of Adam, was a sin- 
ner both before and after the birth of the Saviour. In the 
first place, you will grant that those who are in health have 
no need of a physician, and that those who are morally 
whole — ^who are not lost in sin, have no need of a Saviour. 
Yet Mary, in the first chapter of Luke, calls our Lord her 
Saviour." 

Habeta Selasse, while the bystanders looked upon each 
other, remarked, ^ Your reasoning is incontestable." 



164 JOUBNAL OP A aESIDENGE IN ABYBfllNIA. 

I resamed ; ^ The other passage to which I alluded, you 
will find in the second chapter of Luke. It is there said, 
that when Jesus was twelve years old, Mary and Joseph 
went up to Jerusalem, taking the child with them ; and that 
after the departure, of his parents on their return, Jesus, 
unperoeiyed by them, still continued at Jerusalem." 

Here, Selasse suddenly interrupting me, cried out, ^ Yes, 
it must be acknowledged, that whoeyer willingly or carelessly 
separates himself from his Bedeemer, is undeniably a 
sinner." 

" Notwithstanding," I continued, ^ I do not know that wo 
can find, either on the pages of Inspiration, or of any other 
book with which I am acquainted, another female so pure in 
feeling and spotless in character, as the mother of our Lord. 
She is indeed worthy of every Christian's imitation for her 
fidth, hor submission, her humility, and all the kindred 
graces ; nevertheless, since she was a mere creature, even 
allowing that she was not a sinner, I could never persuade 
myself that we ought to pray to her, much less, adore her." 

After a short pause, he resumed the conversation by in- 
quiring, <* Is then the death of every individual the wages 
of his own sins, or the wages of Adam's sin ?" 

<< St. Paul informs us in the fifth chapter of Bomans, that 
by one man's disobedience, sin entered into the world, 
and death by sin ; and that death has passed upon all men, 
for that all have sinned. Thus the death of the body is the 
consequence of the sin of Adam; but the death of the 
soul — eternal perdition, is the fruit of individual sins. 
< The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' " 

Then turning to thd company, Selasse observed, ^ I have 



JQVMXAL OF A R£0IJ>BNCE IN ABT80INIA. 165 

beard so clear an ezposiUon of thLi diffienU sub- 
ject" 

We BOW dropped the conyersation, and after reading to- 
gether a few passages of the Oospel, we separated with the 
spirit of friends ; I might almost say, with the affection of 
brethren* 

29th. I received a visit to-day from a wealthy merchant 
by the name of Kidam Mariam. He came accompanied by 
a priest, and another individoal who manifested some curi- 
osity to see me. Mariam is the Negad Bas, or chief of the 
caravan, in connection with which oar friend Oirgis traveled 
from Massowah to Adowab, on his return from Egypt. Gir- 
gis had frequently spoken to him of us ; he consequently 
knew my name, and had already acquired some idea of my 
religious sentiments. He therefore commenced conversa- 
tion immediately on entering my apartment^ by asking, 
** Why do you not love the Virgin Mary ?" 

^ We do love her, but we do not adore her." 

" Why do you not pray to her 9" 

"^ For the obvious reason that Ood in his word has not 
commanded us to ; on the contrary, he has pointed us to 
Jesus, as the only Mediator between God and man. Be- 
sides, he has said, cursed is the man who inutdh in suin, and 
maketh fiesh his arm ; for all the help we may expect from 
this source will surely fail us." 

^ Do you confess your sins ?" he inquired. 

^ Yes ; we confess our sins, but we confess them to God, 
who alone can forgive them. We are, indeed, happy at all 
times to confess our faults one to the other ; but it is only 
for the sake of offering up our united requests, more accept- 



106 JOUBMAL OF A EE8IDBNCB IN ABTSSIMIA. 

■Uy, to the Girer of eyeiy meroy, for pardon and reooninlir 
adon." 
^Bui did not Jesos say to his disciples, ' Wha$oever sins 

ye remii^ ihey are remitted unto tkemJ* " 

^ Yes, but do you not mistake the true import of the pas- 
sage ? This can have no reference to that kind of absolution, 
which the priests of the present day claim the priyilege of be- 
stowing ; for we do not find in all the subsequent writings of 
the Apostles that they oyer attached such a meaning to these 
remarkable words of our Lord." 

'- But what do you think of the person of Jesus Christ? 
Do you attribute two natures to him, or only one ?" 

^ This is a point that has awakened much angry discus- 
sion. Indeed, men of Tarious sects and nations haye 
quarreled quite too much about a word, the indeterminate 
signification of which varies in almost every language ; and 
it is a lamentable fSact, which only proves the corruption of 
man, and his need of the meek and gentle spirit of Ghrbt 
The Bible speaks neither of one, nor of two natures, though 
it plainly reveals the interesting truth, that Jesus Christ is 
truly God and truly man." 

" Do you suppose," continued Selasse, " that the Divinity, 
as well as humanity of Jesus suffered and expired on the 
cross ? — or was it merely his humanity." 

<' This is one of those subjects which lies far, very far be- 
yond our reach, when we take any other guide than the 
Bible. St. Paul says to Timothy, God is immortal" 

'* How then does Jesus save us ? Is it as GK)d, or as 
aaan?" 

^ Jesus unquestionably has loved us with a divine love, 



JOUmNAL OF A RB0IDSNCB IN ABTSSIHIA. 167 

Ibr it b saoh in its height and depth as none hat a GK)d oan 
leeL But as St Paul tells ns in Hebrews and elsewhere, that 
he became man in order to die to save us ; for it is only by his 
death that he has destroyed him who had the power of death ; 
and it is only by the blood of his cross that he has reconciled 
ns to God, and procured eternal redemption for ns. It is 
this love — this boundless love of Ood to ns vile and worth- 
less sinners — that should unceasingly employ our thoughts, 
and form the daily theme of our daily conversation ; — ^instead 
of devoting as we do so much of our time to vain jangling 
and unprofitable disputes on unintelligible subjects ; or of 
giving so much gf our attention to the shadowy pursuits of 
this fading scene. If such were the invariable fruits of our 
fiuth, it could scarcely be otherwise than the true faith." 

30th. I have not ventured abroad at all since my arrival, 
having chosen to seclude myself as much as possible, in 
consequence of the distracted state of the city. This 
morning, however, circumstances seemed to call me out 
I first visited Achaber, collector of the revenues, to whom 
it had been reported that I entered the city with a 
large amount of merchandise. I found little difficulty 
in convincing him of the error of the report We 
settled our afiairs pleasantly; and he gave me permis- 
sion to go where I pleased, until Beleta Darcopti should 
return to confirm the statement I had made concerning 
my character and employments. I afterwards called at 
the house of the Etchegua, PhilUpos, but did not see 
him. He sent one of his domestics to say to me, that he 
should be very happy to see me at the expiration of the fast, 
(it being fast before Easter,) but during the consecrated 



M8 JUVBNAL OF A RBSfDSNGE IN ABYSBIJIIA. 



it would be incoiiYenient to receive calls firom ftny 
one. He also had the goodDess to appoint a man to be my 
gmde, and directed him to attend me to whatever part of 
the city either my business or pleasure should lead m& I 
then left the Etohegua, and proceeded to the residence of 
the Emperor Ghugar, who bears, however, nothing mcure 
than the name of royalty, for he neither enjoys the magnifi- 
cence of a prince, nor possesses those intellectual endow- 
BMBts and moral qualities which the exalted station de- 
mands. He was formerly a monk ; but after the death of 
King Joas, his brother, he laid aside the cowl of St. An- 
thony, and assumed the crown and title, of sovereignty. 
But the first was much more becoming his character, and 
&r more suitable to the energies of his mind. 

He has resumed his connection with the wife whom he 
married previously to embracing the monastic life, thoqgh 
it is said that he has been induced to take this step, not 
from any conscientious scruple, but barely for the sake of 
protracting the lino of bis family. He resides in a small 
circular house, built by Joas, on the ruins of a part of the 
palace that was erected by the Portuguese. After our first 
salutetions were over, he bluntly inquired, ^ Have you any 
present for me ?'* 

^ No,'' I replied, ^ I never carry with me anything more 
than what is absolutely necessary for my convenience, and 
to enable me to discharge the duties of my station ; but if 
you will accept a copy of the Gospel, I will most cheerfully 
present )-ou with one." He said he should be pleased to see 
it, and I promised to send it to him the next day. 

He then directed a servant to show me the dififerent apart- 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 160 

meuts of the palace. It must bare been onoe a fine edifice, 
and although now in ruins, it is far superior to anything I 
bad expected to see in Abyssinia. Three chambers or halls, 
and several smaller rooms, still remain in a tolerable state 
of preservation, though they have lain so long unoccupied 
diat they present a very disagreeable appearance, being 
covered with dust and other impurities. The king occupies 
but a single room. This is decently furnished for this coun- 
try, and divided by a white curtain. After I had completed 
my examination of the mansion, he asked me if I had ever 
seen so superb an edifice. *' Yes," said I, " I think I may 
have seen some in my own country that might bear a com- 
parison with it." ''What!" he exclaimed with surprise, 
^ are there indeed men at the present day who are capable 
<tf executing such magnificent works ?" I had thought best 
to converse with the king through an interpreter ; and thus 
hi he performed his task tolerably well, construing accu- 
rately whatever I said. But having occasion to speak on 
some doctrinal points, upon which duty compelled me to ex- 
press opinions different in some respects from his own, I had 
a painful opportunity of seeing how useless it is to think of 
preaching the Oospel through the medium of unchristian 
interpreters ; for whenever I advanced an idea varying at 
all with the principles of the king, he not only woi|ld not 
repeat it, but frequently said what was precisely the re- 
verse. 

The emperor is said to be eighty-six years of age, though 
to me he did not appear to be more than sixty-five or sev- 
enty. He is evidently not very proud of his office, and he 
is waiting apparently with some little anxiety, for the arri- 

8 



170 JOURNAL OF A KE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

val of the Abana, when it is supposed another king will be 
erowned, and assume his place and dignity. He has en- 
joyed the name of royalty about seven years. Joas reigned 
four years, to the general satisfaction of the people. He 
was not, however, entirely unassisted, being efficiently sus- 
tained by Bas Googsa, who was his firm support, or rather 
his superior. But Guigar has no Bas ; he lives upon the 
contributions of the grandees of his dominions, who furnish 
him with whatever their generosity prompts them to bestow. 
He seemed, however, to have some property at his disposal ; 
for he told me that had it not been the season of fast, he 
would have had a beef butchered for my entertainment. 

31st. This morning I made my first visit to Alaca Wal- 
dab, who is celebrated for his learning throughout Abys- 
sinia. He is a fine old man ; though feeble and a cripple. 
When I entered, he arose and sat upon the bed on which 
he was reclining ; grasping my hand with energy, a.nd kiss- 
ing it with a warmth which would have indicated a much 
longer acquaintance. I spent only a short time with him, 
but he earnestly improved it in conversation. He began by 
lamenting the gloomy condition of Abyssinia. He spake of 
his own wickedness and errors, and the wickedness and 
errors of his countrymen, remarking that they had made 
little progress in knowledge or mental elevation. '' This is 
true," I replied, '* more or less in every country ; go where 
we will over this revolted world, we shall find wicked men 
giving a loose to their unhallowed desires ; an evidence of 
the extent of human corruption. But the view of our own 
corruption should teach us to appreciate the amazing love of 
God to us, and prompt us to requite it with answering love. 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDBlfCB IN ABY88INIA. 171 

For it is great hve that Ood requires of us, not great 
knowledge^* 

^ Yes, yes," he replied with animation, " if we oonld only 
feel a wanner glow of love to God, and a more heart-felt at- 
tachment to each other, how much better it would be for us 1" 

Waldab has the reputation of being the most learned man 
in Abyssinia. There are few works in the Ethiopio lan- 
guage with which he is not acquainted ; and by his close 
and unwearied application to the Arabic, he has become so 
much of a master of it as to be able to converse in it very 
intelligibly. When we parted he indicated the kindest 
feelings, expressing the desire that I would call upon him 
frequently. 

This afternoon I received another visit from his disciple, 
Habeta Selasse. As usual, he proposed several questions. 
He appears, in many respects, a promising young man ; 
manifesting no ordinary thirst for knowledge and mental 
improvement : and today I was particularly pleased to 
find him in some measure sensible of the wretchedness of his 
spiritual condition. '' I desire/' said he, "• to become good, 
but I find that I am extremely prone to sin ; even when I 
sincerely desire to do well, Satan is ever by me, tempting 
me to evil." Our conversation was directed principally to 
the ordinance of the Holy Supper ; and when we came to 
speak of transubstantiation, he evinced strong dbapproba- 
tion, and even horror at the thought of it ; remarking, ^ We 
do not literally believe in the doctrine. We call the bread 
and wine used in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, the 
body and blood of Jesus Christ, to distinguish them from 
the bread and wine used for ordinary purposes. But we do 



172 iOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABY88INIA. 

not maintain that their oonstituent elements are changed. 
We believe that the bread remains bread, and the wine, 
wine ; bat that believers, when they partake of the bread 
and wine, spiritually partake of the body and blood of Jesus 
Christ" 

He instituted some inquiries concerning the Greek, the 
Coptic, and Armenian churches, and asked me from which 
of them it was most suitable for his countrymen to receive 
their Abuna. As is my custom, I seized the opportunity 
which this inquiry presented, to unfold to his view the 
enormities and errors into which men fall, the moment they 
neglect to follow the word of God. As to these sects, I told 
him there was no material difference between them, that all 
had wandered far from the light of truth, and were corrupt 
both in doctrine and practice ; but if any preference were to 
be given to either, I might say, perhaps, there were some 
more favorable appearances among the Greeks with refer- 
ence to their future improvement, than among the others. 

April I St. A great part of the day has been engrossed 
with visits of very little importance. I passed two or three 
hours, however, with Habeta Selasse, very agreeably. Ac- 
cording to our usual practice, we conversed upon the great 
truths of revelation. The more I see of him, the more I am 
pleased with his intelligence. For the whole three years 
which I have spent among the Arabs, I have met with«D0 
one, who has appeared to me to possess so rich a fund of 
scriptural knowledge. We touched also upon other topics, 
and I took the opportunity to explain to him the difference 
existing between our church and the papists, who are known 
here by the name of Franks. 



lOUEMAL OF A SE8IDBNCE IN ABTBSIiriA. 17S 

2d. Agam visited Aohaber, the ooUeotor of the reveniiee. 
There wis present quite a cluster of people, and among the 
number sereral priests, who were disputing with Gantiba 
Cassai, gOYernor of Gondar. His soldiers, it seems, had 
been detected in stealing beer and various other articles ; 
and if I were not misinformed, as Gantiba refused to restore 
the rifled goods, the priests had leveled against him the 
anathema of the church. The Abjssinians fear ezeomma- 
nieation very little less than death. Indeed, this is the only 
thing which greatly alarms the grandees. Gantiba Gassai 
felt its influence, and was consequently extremely sad at the 
announoement of his sentence, though it was evident that 
indignation was mingled with his grief, notwithstanding his 
eflbrts to conceal its expression. After closing my inter- 
view with Achaber, I called upon Alaca Waldab. He 
opened the conversation by remarking, that it was currently 
reported from all quarters, that I knew everything, and that 
no one could propose to me a question which I could not 
solve. I told him the report was altogether incorrect ; that 
for a long time past I had made the word of Ood my almost 
exclusive study ; and that the more I read its sacred pages, 
and contemplated its tremendous truths, the more I was 
eonvinced that I knew nothing at all. '^ But," I added, ^ a 
reputation for erudition is of little moment ; there is only 
one thing necessary for us to know, and that is a knowledge 
of Ood in Jesus Ghrist — a knowledge that is inseparably 
aonnected with love to his holy name." 

There were present with Alaca Waldab five or six priests, 
who proposed several abstruse and perplexing questions, to 
each of which I endeavored to find an appropriate answer in 



174 JOUBNAL OF A KB8IDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

some passage of Scriptara. For example ; thej inquired, 
"Was Jesus Christ anointed with the Holy Ohoet in the 
same sense that Christians are 1" 

I replied ; " I do not know ; I only know that St. Peter 
says in the tenth of Acts, that ' God anoirUed Jesus <f Nat- 
arrdh wUh the Holy Ghost and with power? " 

^ How much influence had the Holy Spirit in effeoiing 
the incarnation of our Saviour ?" 

<^ This is a depth too profound for human reason to ex- 
plore. All we know is contained in the declaration of the 
angel Gabriel to Mary ; .^ The Holy Ghost shall come upon 
thee, and the power of the Highest shull overshadow thee? " 

'< What was the anointing which the Holy Spirit wrought 
in Jesus Christ ?" 

"Please to explain yourselves; I do not comprehend 
your meaning." 

*< Was not our Lord set apart, or consecrated?" 

" Yes ; for the word Christ signifies anointed, or con- 
secrated." 

" To what work or office was he consecrated ?" 

<^ Under the old dispensation/' I replied, '^the priests, 
such as Moses and Aaron, the kings, such as Saul and Da- 
vid, the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, were all set 
apart to their respective offices, by the anointing with oil. 
These, in this respect, were but so many types of that nnc* 
tion which Jesus must receive to constitute him our High 
Priest, that he might reconcile us to God by the offering up 
of himself ;*-our King, that he might subdue our enemies 
and deliver us from their power;-— our Prophet, that he 



JOUKNAL OF A R£SID£NCE OF ABYSSINIA. 175 

might illaminate our darkened anderstandings by the efful- 
gence of celestial wisdom.'* 

Waldab here turning to the priests, said, ^* I am satisfied. 
What was told me of this man was no exaggeration ; he well 
understands the Scriptures.'' The priests resumed ; " Is it 
as God, or as man, that Jesus executes the office of a priest?" 
<' This point," I replied, " seems clearly elucidated by the 
Apostle Paul. In his epistle to the Hebrews he says, that 
every high priest is taken from among men, and that Jesus 
Christ took on him the seed of Abraham, that in all things 
he might become like unto his brethren ; and thus qualify 
him to undertake the office of a compassionate and fail^id 
High Friesij and to expiate the sins of a world. This was 
indeed an infinite stoop ; and that unspeakable loye which 
prompted the Son of God to make it — to assume for a time, 
a station inferior to angels, should swallow up all the affec- 
tions of our souls, and kindle in our hearts a glow of cor- 
responding gratitude and devotion." 

^ How many boojcs are reckoned in the New Testament?" 
'* Twenty-seven," I replied. " Matthew, &o." 
''And the results of, the synods," he added; "what do 
you think of them ?" 

^ We read them as we read other ancient records, but we 
repose no confidence in them as the foundation of our faith. 
We, indeed, diligw^ntly compare them with the Bible, and 
whatever we find in them that endures this ordeal of truth, 
we think worthy of our serious regard, and cordially ap- 
prove ; but whatever is contrary to this unerring standard, 
we as rincerely disapprove, and as promptly reject" 



176 JOURlfAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ADT88INIA. 

'^ There is likewise the book called Didasoalia ; do yon re- 
oeive that V^ 

^ We do not ; the early Christians made no use of it, and 
we have no evidence that it was indited by wisdom from 
above. Besides, I have never read it" 

^ Do you receive the book titled Kidam Mariam ? Wc 
annex it to the New Testament ; deeming it divinely in- 
spired, as well as the other two works we have jost men- 
tioned." 

^ There is abundant evidence," I replied, ^ that this work 
was written long after the time of the Apostles, at a pe- 
riod when the church had become exceedingly corrupt its 
faith and worship perverted. It came too late upon the 
stage to be regarded as canonical ; we receive nothing more 
than what the early Christians received, because we are 
confident that they were much better fitted to judge in the 
matter than those who came after them. We wish to imi- 
tate the primitive Christians in this respect entirely." 

" How many canonical books," continijed Alaca Waldab, 
« do you reckon in the Old Testament ecriptares V" 

« Thirty-nine." 

^ We include a greater number." 

^ Tes, I know you do ; you include Maccabees, Tobit, 
Judith, and the other Apocryphal books ; but we do not — 
we do not feel that there is su£5cient proof of their divine 
authority to entitle them to the high rank of canonical 
books. On the contrary, we think there is the fullest evi- 
dence, that the Jews and early Christians did not regard 
them as such. We read them, but we do not rely npon 
them as to the subject matter of our faith. ** 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTBfllNIA. 177 

' ^ Ah!" exclaimed Waldab/' wisdom and knowledge hayo 
indeed foand their centre in your coantrj. Bat darkness 
and ignoranee are brooding over this V^ 

To-daj the king sent back the copies of the Oospel and 
the Acts of the Apostles, which I had presented hioL He 
directed the indiTidnal who brought them to say to me that 
he hoped I would not take it ill ; that he did not return 
them because he slighted the gift, but because he had 
already had a considerable number of books, and would con- 
aequently much prefer that I should giTO him something 
that might be more serviceable to him — ^a little cloth, a 
piece of silk, or some other article of merchandise. He 
also bade him say to me, that all other white men honoring 
him with a visit, had uniformly made him some valuable 
present ; and that he, being a monk, ceased not, day and 
ni^t, to offer up his prayers for their prosperity, and that 
he would gladly do the same for me. I returned answer, 
** That Qod would soon cease to honor that man who should 
cease to honor him according to the dictates of his revealed 
will, and that it was entirely out of my power to present 
him with anything in the form of a gift, so worthy the dig* 
nitj of a king, as the word of the King of kings." 

4th. Sabbaih. I have had the satisfaction of passing a 
great part of the day alone with my Bible. This afternoon, 
however, I was interrupted, though very pleasantly, by a 
visii fnMBi Habeta Selasse. He found me retired in the 
garden happily employed in reading hymns. I read aloud 
and translated a few of them, with which he appeared abun- 
dantly pleaaed. After a somewhat protracted conversation 
npon several doctrinal points, concerning which we entertain 

8* 



178 JOUSNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABT08tNIA. 

dIfFerent opinions, we tamed to the epistles of St. PauL 
'' Ah ! St. Paul /' said he, " he is my favorite ; he is the 
master of whom I wish to learn to soIt^ the question, What 
is faith ?" We read attentively the ninth and tenth chap- 
ters of the Epistle to the Romans. Inquisitive, and thirst- 
ing for knowledge, he would stop me almost every moment, 
desiring some explanation of what I was reading. His views 
of election are rather obscure, though he manifested no dis- 
position to contend with the doctrine ; on the oontraiy, I 
thought it evidently afforded him some degree of consola- 
tion. As evening approached, he said, ** I must now leave 
you, or I shall expose myself in the night-time to the dep- 
redations of thieves. I know not why it is that I feel so 
strong an attachment to you, or experience so much pleasure 
in your company ; but is it not a fact that the disciples of 
Christ become acquainted more easily, and love each other 
more ardently than men of the world do 1" 

During our interview I took occasion to give him a some- 
what detailed account of the Bible and Missionary So- 
cieties, as they exist in our own and other Christian coun- 
tries, with which he appeared highly gratified. He after- 
wards said with a sad tone : ^^ Many call themselves Chris- 
tians, who, it is to be feared, do not possess genuine piety, 
and who are, consequently, blindly traveling the downward 
road to death. There are but few real Christians." I gave 
him a copy of the Gospel, which he received with tears. He 
stooped to kiss my feet, but I forbade him, telling him it 
would be a sin. On taking his leave, he told me he should 
contrive to remain a year at Oondar until the close of my 
contemplated absence from the city, and then he would be 



JOUSNAI. OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTBSINIA. 179 

happy to aooompany me into the province of Shoa. He re- 
quested me, however, to procure him, in the meantime, an 
entire copy of the Scriptures in the Amharic language. 

5th. Ahout nine o'clock last evening, a fire broke out in tho 
vicinity of my lodgings, and in the short space of one hour, 
nearly thirty houses were consumed. We expected nothing 
but that our house must speedily fall a prey to the devour- 
ing element ; but just as the flames had seized upon the ad- 
joining building, the wind veered into a favorable quarter, 
and we were providentially preserved. Conflagrations fre- 
quently occur at Gondar, and the people anticipate such 
events in the form and structure of their houses. They are 
composed of as few combustible materials as possible ; only 
the roof and a few other minor parts of the building can be 
affected by the flames. Under the thatch or exterior cover- 
ing, there is constructed a sort of terrace or flat roof, com- 
posed of materials which the fire will not soon penetrate. 
As soon, therefore, as the fire kindles on the thatch, they 
seise their effects and throw them into the interior division 
of tho building. They then shut the door which separates 
the interior from the apartment between the roofs, and 
which IB so thick and impervious to the influence of fire, that 
by the time the light straw roof is consumed, the flames 
have usually but just begun to kindle on the external sur- 
face of the door. 

This morning I called upon a few of my neighbors and' 
acquaintances to congratulate them that they had been so 
happily preserved from the destruction of the flames. I 
afterwards proceeded to the house of Aohaber, the ooUeotor 
of the revenues, and arrived at the time when Beleta Par- 



180 JOUHNAL OF A BEdlDKNOS IM ABTBSINrA. 

oopii was with him ; bat I was Tory muoh diMatbfied with 
the oonduot af the latter. He expressly promised Seba* 
gadis in my presenee, that he would render me erery ser- 
vioe in his power after my arrival at Gondar; bat instead 
of this, he spoke rather to my disadyantage. Fixing my 
eyes steadily apon him with an air of dissatisfaction, I said 
to him, " Did yoa not promise Sebagadis, ibat when we 
reached this oity, yoa woald cheerfolly accord me erery 
assistance in yoar power? Did I not give yoa an opporta* 
nity of seeing, and did yoa not actually see all my effects by 
the way? What would it cost you to have spoken the 
truth ? If yoa treat me thus — ^you, who made so many pre- 
tensions to friendship, when you needed my inter&renoo 
and influence to obtain the privilege of being sent away in 
peace by Oubea, what can I expect from those with whose 
friendship and acquaintance I have never been &vored ? 
All I want is justice ; and if, contrary to custom, I must 
pay duty for the importation of books, I wish to pay what 
is right ; if more is exacted, you can easily take from me all 
that I have. You know I am a stranger here, and sur- 
rounded by strangers; but 6od,^' I solemnly added, ^ia 
witness between us, and he will finally decide the matter ac- 
cording to the dictates of impartial justice.^' At the close 
of these remarks, Beleta Dacopti requested Achaber to let 
me go without further molestation. But the collector was 
not disposed to settle the business so cheaply. He forth- 
with demanded fifty talaris as a duty for the importation 
of sixty copies of the Gospel ; and as I saw it would please 
Darcopti, I instantly paid over the amount In making 
this payment, however, I suppose I have acted in oppodtioii 



lOOmifAL OF A BB8IDGNCE IN ABTBSrNIA. 181 

to ihe feelings of the priests ; they endeayored to disooarage 
even mj goiog to the collector's office. They gaye me to 
nndentaiidi this morning, that they regarded me as an 
equal, or as one of their fraternity ; and that they woold 
Booner die with me in stmggling against the encroachments 
of the exeeatiTOi than suffer one of their number to pay duty 
for the importation of the Gospel. Bat I had no feelings 
of enyy or hatred to gratify, that should induce me so 
Teadily to identify myself with them in a quarrel against 
ihe goremment 

I afterwards visited the Etohegua, and held a long oon- 
Tersation with him and a number of priests, concerning the 
import of several passages of Scripture, containing chrono- 
logical and topographical references. I have distributed to* 
day six copies of the four Gospels, which have gone forth 
and begun their secret influence on the minds of this be- 
nighted people. I gave one to a young man from Shea; 
three to a soldier from Damot— one for himself, one for the 
widow of Ras Googaa, and mother of Mariam, and one finr 
tiie church of Lalibala. This youth accompanied me in my 
traTcls from the province of Tigre to this place. He was 
naturally taciturn ; seldom conversing with any one, though 
he imiformly manifested a lively interest in the word of Gh)d, 
and an eager desire to become acquainted with its truths. 
Whenever I spent a little time in reading the Gospel aloud 
during our tour, he would plant himself close by my side, 
and listen with the strictest attention ; and when others 
were disposed to retire, he would frequently request me to 
eontinue my reading. He can read some himself; though 
Bot with caBo or fluency enough to be readily undtntood. 



162 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA'. 

I also presented a copy to Beleta Daroopti, who continneiB 
his journej to-morrow ; but he does not wish to take me 
with him at present, owing to disturbances in every part of 
the country, and the dangers growing out of them. I like- 
wise gave him one to present to Mariam, who resides at 
Debra Tabor, three days' journey to the south-east of Gondar. 
6th. I passed all the forenoon at my own lodgings, in 
company with Alaca Stephanos, whom the Etchegua has 
kindly recommended to me as a suitable person, on whom I 
may rely for whateyer assistance I may chance to need. He 
is a priest by profession ; has traveled in Palestine ; visited 
Jerusalem, and subsequently spent eleven years in Egypt) 
as a Coptic Catholic. He is not a man of high attainment^ 
or strong intellectual capacities; but one who uniformly 
takes sound, judicious views of things, never arriving at hia 
coiiclusions rashly. He entertains a high opinion of the 
English people, and invariably speaks of them favorably 
whenever they become the subject of remark. Five or six 
other individuals, together with my dear friend, Habeta 
Selasse, dropped in about the same time, making a pleasant 
little party. We discussed several points of theology, which 
form the themes of their frequent controversies ; and they 
proposed to me several inquiries, to all of which I endeav- 
ored, as usual, to find an appropriate answer in some pas- 
sage of Scripture. For example ; they inquired if the hu- 
manity of our Lord had become absorbed in hiB divinity 
since his ascension. I took the Testament and read to them 
the following passages ; John v. 22, << The Father judgdk 
^ I no man ; but hath committed aU judgment unto the Son;^^ and 
in the 27th verse ; ^ And he haih given him authority to exe^ 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 183 

aUe judgment eUsOj because he is the Son cf man .**' also Acts 
zvii. Z\\ ^ He (God) hath appointed a day, in the which he 
toill judge the world in righteousness^ by that man whom he 
hath ordained." I then added, ^ You hear these passages ; 
jadge for jourselves of their import." 

'- It follows then." they observed, " that it is as man that 
he will be our final judge, and consequently his homanitj 
will remain entirely distinct from his divinity, till the end 
of the world ; but will it so continue after that event ?" 

" The Bible has given us no instruction on this point. I 
must therefore say I do not know." 

They then wished me to show them the passage where it 
is said that Jesus is the first-born among many brethren. I 
turned to the text, and read to them the entire chapter in 
which it is contained. In regard to some of its most strik- 
ing passages, they proposed a number of interesting ques- 
tions. For example ; '^ As we are joint-heirs with Christ, 
what is that which Christ is to inherit?" 

I replied ; <' St. Paul says to the Hebrews, that < God hath 
appointed him heir of ail things,^ " 

" What are we to understand here by the expression, ^aU 
things V' 

^ St. Paul explains this a little below by the clause, the 
world to come ; for it is plain that all things are not yet sub- 
jected to him." 

^ What is it that we are to inherit with Christ?" 

" The kingdom that has been prepared for believers from 
the foundation of the world, according to the declaration of 
our Saviour in the 25th chapter of Matthew ; for if we suf- 
fer with Christ, we shall also reign with him." 



184 JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

« Where shall we be after the judgment ?" 

^ St Paul has said of himself and other belieyers, we shall 
be forever with the Lord." 

" But where will the Lord be ?" 

" God has said by the mouth of Jeremiah ; < Do not I fill 
heaven and earth ?' and again, Solomon says ; < The heaven 
of heavens cannot contain thee.' " 

*^ Did not Jesus Christ declare that the heavens and the 
earth will pass away ?" 

^ Yes ; and St Peter has also asserted the same thing ; 
but he adds ; < J%ere shall be a new heaven and a new earth 
wherein dweUdh righieausnessJ " 

^ But where shall believers dwell?" 

<< According to Bev. xiv. 4. they shall follow the Lamb 
whithersoever he goeth." 

But they were not yet satisfied ; they wished to push their 
inquiries till I should give my opinion more definitely in 
respect to a particular point They therefore directly de- 
manded of me in what sense I supposed Jesus to be called 
the first-bom. (They wished me to say it was because he 
had received in his humanity the Holy Ghost, in the same 
manner that Christians receive it.) But I replied ; ^ Paul 
is not speaking here, as he is in the second chapter of his 
Epistle to the Hebrews, of the brethren of Christ according 
to the fiesh, but of the eUd, who are, in a peculiar sense, the 
children of God, and consequently the brethren of his first- 
born Son.'' 

^ How do the ded become the children of God ?" 

^ To all those who cordially receive him," I replied, " Je- 
sus has given power to became the sans of Gad; even to them 



JOURNAL or A KE81DENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 185 

ikai believe an kii name ; which were bom^ not of blood — as a 
son from a &ther — nor of ike will of the flesh — ^by their own 
choiec, or by their own peculiar power, — nor of the will cf 
man — whether the priest who baptises, or him who instructs 
— Imi of God, We become the children of God, therefore, 
bj reeeiviDg Jesus bj faith; a fidth of which he is the au- 
thor and finisher." 

We then read the third chapter of St. John, and several 
detached portions of the other Gospels, of the Acts of the 
Apostles, and of the Epistle to the Bomans, — ^the only books 
of the sacred canon which I have with me in the Amhario 
language. They informed me, that in one of their books, 
an account is given of our first progenitor, in which it is af- 
firmed that he remained seven years in Paradise, previous 
to his fall I told them this was the assertion of a fact, of 
which we neither had, nor could have any definite knowl- 
edge, because God had not seen fit in his Word to give us 
any information concerning it. I then endeavored to open 
their eyes to their errors. I urged them to abandon imme- 
diately, that delusive confidence which they reposed in 
books of human origin, and to attach themselves unwaver- 
ingly to the Word of Inspiration. On taking leave, they 
inquired if it was a common practice with us to eat fish 
during our seasons of fttsting. I replied ; ^^ A fast, properly 
speaking, is a total abstinence from all kinds of food. St 
Paul, however, says in the first chapter of Titus, < Unto the 
pure all things are pure ; but unto them that are d^ikd and 
unbelieving is nothing pnre^^ 

Yesterday, as I mentioned, I felt very much dissatisfied 
with the conduct of Beleta Daroopti. But I have been in. 



186 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

fbnned to-day that ho has manifested, in the presence of 
several individaals, considerable regret for his unkind beha- 
Tier ; and, with a view of making reparation, has Tisited a 
few of the most inflnontial families in the city, and recom- 
mended me to them with the same cordiality that he would 
had I been his own son. 

April 7th. This morning I paid a visit to Achaber, the 
collector of the customs, and gave him a copy of the Gospel, 
while he was surrounded by some of the first people in the 
city. As none of them could read the Amharic language 
with fluency, they requested me to read them a chapter. I 
read the fifth of Matthew, to which they listened with an 
earnestness that might well put to the blush many European 
hearers of the Word. Reluctantly leaving this little band 
of attentive hearers of the glad tidings of salvation, I called 
upon the Etchegua, and informed him that the difficulties 
which had existed between the collector and myself were 
finally adjusted, and that we were new on friendly terms. 
He appears to take a lively interest in all my concerns, and 
had previously invited me to inform him of whatever trou- 
bles I experienced. 

I then proceeded to the residence of Alaca* Waldab, 
whom I found engaged in delivering a theological lecture to 

* The word Alaca properly means great; but when used as a title, 
it oorrespondB very nearly with Rector y in English. It is not neceaBary, 
however, that an Alaca ahoold belong to the priesthood ; on the ooo- 
trary, there are few priests who hold the office. It is the duty of an 
Alaca to fumiah the church over which he is placed with everything 
needful, and to see that priests are procured to officiate in the religioos 
■ervioea. There are some ohnrdies, whidi, after defraying all expenses, 
bri^g to the Alaca an annual income of a thousand talaris. 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 187 

a oompany of seyen or eight stadents. I offered him the 
foar Gospels in Amharic, which he at first refused ; a cir- 
cnmstance especially painful to me, on account of the unfa- 
Yorable influence I feared it might produce on the minds of 
those who were with him. In a moment, however, he re- 
lieved my feelings, by saying he would gladly receive it, but 
that he had nothing at present wherewith to pay for it. 
Presenting it again, I replied ; '' This can be no objection 
to your receiving the sacred volume ; all the compensation 
I desire is, your sincere acknowledgment of its truths, en- 
tire submission to its holy dictates, and the continuance of 
your friendship." He then grasped the book with great 
expressions of joy, and repeatedly pressing it to his lips, 
held it in his trembling hands till the moment of my depart^ 
nre. At the close of this touching interview, feeling some 
disposition for repose, I repaired to the residence of Tchelo- 
largai, where I was received with all the kindness and affec- 
tion of a son. Tchelolargai is a fiDe old man ; his fund of 
information is somewhat limited, but he is uniformly up- 
right in his conduct, benevolent in hb feelings, and unas- 
suming in his general demeanor. His wife is courteous, 
kind, and obliging ; in a word, the transcript of her hus- 
band. I spent most of the afternoon with Habeta Selasse. 
We examined several passages of Scripture, though we 
agitated no new subject of controversy. He asked me, how- 
ever, the meaning of several Greek and Hebrew proper 
names, to the signification of which the Abyssinians have a 
superstitious regard. 

8th. Achaber invited me yesterday to call upon him to- 
day, for the frivolous purpose of tasting his wines. Agree- 



188 JOURNAL OF A RBSfDBNCE IN ABTSBINIA. 

ftUy to hiB request, I waited upon him in the morning, and 
found the judges in session at his house, deliberating on a 
ease at law. I passed two or three hours with them, wit- 
nessing their mode of judicial procedure. They haye al- 
ready spent fi>ur days in the examination of the eaaei 
although it is one of very trifling importance. I saw with 
pleasure that they appeared extremely conscientious in their 
deliberatioiMh making every possible investigation to ascer- 
tain the truth; but with all their pains, their efforts to- 
day have proved equally unsuccessful with those of the 
four preceding. The Abyssinians employ no legal coun- 
sellors or advocates. Soon as the session of the court had 
closed for the day, the collector put a copy of the Gospel 
into the hands of a young man, requesting him to read 
a few chapters aloud, for the entertainment of the judges 
and a few other Abyssinian Obristians and Mussulmans, 
present He readily complied, and they listened with 
serious attention, and apparent interest to three chapters of 
St. Matthew. When he had finished, the bystanders began 
gradually to withdraw, and Achaber and myself were soon 
left alone. He embraced the opportunity afforded by our 
retirement, to apologise for receiving me with so much odd- 
ness and indifference on my first arrival. <' I was indnoed 
to adopt the line of conduct I did with reference to you. 
Sir,** said he, ^ in consequence of the ill-treatment I had r^ 
ceived from an Armenian, who viuted Oondar about a year 
since. I was prodigal of my kindness; meaning to gm 
him every assistance and show him every respect ; but not* 
withstanding all my efforts to please him and do lum good| 
ha frequently cajoled me, trifling with my feelings, and 



lOOBVAL OF A RE8IOSNCE IN ABTSSINIA. 180 

mparting with my interests. Such ungenerous oondaot 
tended fco change the high respect I had preyionsl j enter^ 
tained for white men into great disrespect, almost contempt 
I fancied they were all like the shameless specimen with 
whom I had become bat too familiarly acquainted. 1 re- 
garded you at first as a similar character, but I am now con- 
Tinced of my mistake. I feel that I have wronged you. I 
now crave your pardon, and hope you will be oouTinced of 
the high esteem and genuine feelings of friendship I enter- 
tain for you. If you find yourself at anytime in needy or 
difficult circumstances, if you think I can be of service to 
joa in any way, come to me, open your mind freely ; I will 
cheerfully render you every assistance in my power." 

The collector is at present the most infiuential individual 
at Gondar, excepting, perhaps, the Etchegua, though the in- 
fluence of the latter is chiefly available only in shielding 
firom evil The physiognomy of Achaber is not at all pre- 
pomessing ; on the contrary, his first appearance is rather 
repulsive, but the more I know of him, the more I esteem 
him. 

There are many facts showing that Europeans have ex- 
erted a deleterious infiuenco on the minds of this benighted 
people. The above named Armenian is by no means the 
only one who has tarnished the character of the white man 
in the view of the darker complexions of Ethiopia. At 
almost every stage of my journey from Tigre to Gondar, 
even where the name of Englishman is hardly known, I was 
perpetually mortified, and my ear pained with the repetition 
of the profanest English oaths. They, indeed, know not 
iktt predae import of the terms, but they say they are such 



190 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 



fts are coniinuallj bursting from the lips of 
especially when transported with passion. 

This afternoon the young man who read tj us in the 
morning, called at my lodgings, and we again took the (Jos- 
pel, and examined seyeral passages together. He would 
gladly have reeeiTcd a copy, but as I did not offer him one, 
he had not confidence to ask for it. In this respect the 
people of Gondar are very different from those of Tigre ; 
the latter, rude and unpolished, can see'soarcely anything 
without desiring to possess it ; but the inhabitants of Gon- 
dar, more discreet in their conduct, and more accomplished 
in their manners, are less obtrusive. The king is the onlj 
person in the city, who has ever expressed a desire for any- 
thing in my possession ; no other one ever venturing to 
make me any request, unless for something very trifling in- 
deed — a pinch of snuff, or so. 

After the young man had left me, I received a visit from 
two elderly gentlemen, the younger of whom declared his 
intention of taking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I tried to 
dissuade him from his project ; assuring him that it would 
only occasion him weariness and pain, without profit. I en- 
deavored to convince him of the blessedness of the Gospel, 
and entreated him to search for its hidden treasures; I 
urged him to go to Jesus as a Saviour, everywhere present, 
here as well as at Jerusalem, and ever ready to succor and 
save all who go to God through him. Besides the two aged 
individuals whom I have mentioned, several females were 
present, and I took the opportunity of directing their atten- 
tion also to the Gospel, reading a number of appropriate 
passages. When I came to the close of the eleventh chap- 



JOUBITAL OF A KESIDBNCE IN ABYSSINIA. 191 

ier of Msttbew, where is recorded the affecting invitation of 
oar Savionr, Come unto me, all ye that labor j and are heavy 
ktdejif and i* will give you rest ; the women with tears cried 
out, ^ We never heard anything so good before." "^ Yes," 
said he who had expressed his desire of visiting Jerusalem, 
"• I wish to learn the Gospel, and commit myself to God." 

10th. Yesterday and to-day I have not been out much, 
bat have received visits from various individuals at home, 
who have signified either their desire or intention of going 
to Jerusalem. They vainly believe, that the moment they 
kiss even the stones of the holy city, their sins \v^ill be for- 
given ; though the chief merit of the pilgrimage consists in 
the toib and &tigues of the way. As usual on such oc- 
casions, I used my efforts to dissuade them from their super- 
stitious designs, and endeavored to point them to Jesus, the 
Lamb cf Crod, which takeih away the sins of the world. They 
listened with attention, apparently swallowing every word ; 
bot it is only the vivifying influences of the Spirit of God, 
which can render the truth ^' quick and powerful" in thcf 
heart. The missionary in Abyssinia often experiences the 
mortification and discouragement of sowing seed in stony 
places, where, indeed, the Word is received with joy, but 
where, alas! it has little root, and is speedily scorched 
and withered. Notwithstanding, I desire to continue my 
labors, unprofitable as they sometimes appear ; perhaps a 
few kernels may fall on ground, prepared of the Lord, 
and in the day of final harvest, some fruit may be gathered 
into the gamer of heaven. 

11th. Easter- Sunday. To-day, as well as on every day of 
the past week, I have been in imagination repeatedly amid 



192 JOURNAL OF A SE8IDEHCE IN ABTS8INIA. 

Ihofte' oDoe loyed scenes of religious worship, in whibh my 
dear Christian brethren in Europe are aeeustomed to en* 
gage during this annual festival ; and I hope that I hare 
been in delightful spiritual union with them, offering the 
tribute of grateful ];raise to Gkid, for that wonderful love he 
has unfolded to sinners, in the untold sufferings and ex- 
piring agonies of our Saviour. But alas ! I have felt too 
oold in the contemplation of this melting theme ; I have 
felt deeply the need — a need that we all must feel so long 
as we are in this world of sin — of being surrounded by 
some of our brethren in the Lord, to enkindle our love and 
animate our seal Early this morning, I received an in- 
vitation from Achaber to pay him a visit at the Custom- 
house. I obeyed the summons, but as soon as I entered, he 
began to express his regrets that he could not converse with 
me as he intended, being then necessarily engaged, a cara- 
van having just arrived from Debra Tabor. 

The Abyssinians, as a people, are hx from observing the 
Sabbath so strictly as it has sometimes been reported of 
them in Europe. The men generally dbpense with their 
labor, and the women abstain from their usual employments 
of grinding and spinning ; in all other respects, they ordi- 
narily pursue their worldly avocations with the same aeal 
and assiduity as on other days of the week. Saturday, or 
the Jewish Sabbath, is less scrupulously observed by the 
women, who, for the most part, continue their customary 
occupation of spinning. As a general thing, the females are 
far more active and industrious than the males, the latter 
being mostly characterized by their extreme indolence, per- 
forming but little labor. The Sabbath, among this deluded 



JOUENAIi OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTS8INIA. 103 

people, 18 almost uniyenallj regarded as a day specially ap- 
propriated to eating and drinking ; even daring the saored 
aeason of Lent, a season in which they deem it peculiarly 
incumbent upon them to abstain from all animal food, with 
the exception of fish. 

The collector found time, however, notwithstanding his 
pressing engagements, to invite me into his private room 
for the purpose of tasting the pure wine of the Abyssinian 
grape, which I did for the first time. It has rather a pleas- 
ant flavor, occupying a rank between the wine of Bordeaux 
and that of Burgundy, and is of a pale red color. In a few 
minutes, a couple of priests entered the apartment, bringing 
with them a book entitled Sinquesar, and immediately com- 
menced reading it. Each of them had a copy of the work, 
.^d as they frequently discovered discrepancies in the text, 
I took occasion to show them the fallacy of human reason, 
and the darkness of human understanding, observing that, 
from their present experience, they might see what little 
confidence could be placed in books written solely by men, 
and consequently, how dangerous it must be to follow im- 
plicitly the flitting lights of human ingenuity; while the 
Bible is a fixed star, never changing, never waning, giving 
wisdom to the simple, and salvation to those following its 
guidance. They seemed struck with the thought ; for they 
dosed their books without adding a word, and I immediately 
withdrew. 

I passed most of the afternoon in conversation with two 
priests, who called upon me in company with Habeta Selasse. 
I turned their attention to the unhappy state of the Abys- 
(UQiaD church ; endeavoring to impress upon their minds the 

9 



104 JOUBNAL or A KE8IDENCE IN ABTS8IRIA. 

disagreeable truth, that judging firom the deficienoj of broth- 
erly love everywhere abounding, the number of genuine 
Christiana among them must be extremely small. ^' It is 
not," said I, <^by corporeal inflictions, not by undergoing the 
rigors of a fast for forty days in succession, nor by checking 
the generous flow of social and domestic affections by celib- 
acy, that our Lord wishes his children to be distinguished 
in the world ; but by a reciprocity of feeling, a warm, gene- 
rous, affectionate love for each other. St. John says, he 
that loveth not his brother loveth not God, and he that lor- 
eth not God, knoweth him not^ neither does he keep his 
commandments, but lives in a continued course of sin. Now 
I ask if this spirit of love is generally prevalent among you ? 
On the contrary, are not hatred, ill-will, and a thirst for re- 
venge poisoned and embittered by ignorance, the predom- 
inant characteristics of the Abyssinian people ?" 

They all replied; '^Yes, you are correct; the picture 
you have drawn of us is but too true." 

I then continued ; " Let me speak freely — ^let me frankly 
tell you the conviction of my heart, that it is you, the priests, 
who are the primary cause of all this superstition and error, 
intellectual darkness and moral impurity, which you see 
everywhere diffused among the people. For without speak- 
ing of your attachment to the world and the flattering vani- 
ties of this momentary existence, if, instead of incessantly 
disputing upon subjects which you can never fathom, you 
would devote your time to instructing the people, unfolding 
to their astonished gaze the heaven-bom treasures contained 
in the Word of Gtod, you would speedily witness a totally 
diffare&t state of things ; at least, you might wash your own 



. JOUBlfAL OF A BE6IDEHCE IN ABTB8INIA. 195 

ddrta from the blood of souls, and thus deliver yovrseltes 
from that fearful perdition which awaits the nn&ithfiil. 
Ton must remember God has placed you as stewards in his 
vineyard, and at a future day will call you to account for 
your stewardship !'' 

They made no reply, and we all kept silence for a consid- 
erable time. We then changed the conversation, and spoke 
of those who attribute two natures to Christ. <' They," 
said Selasse, ^ adopt the opinions of Nestorius, but we do 
not agree with them ; we admit of only one nature in Christ, 
and therefore reject them from our communion." 

"Then," I replied, "you do very wrong; for without 
pretending to justify Nestorius in every particular, I must 
say that I think he possessed a better character than the 
AbyssiniaA clergy generally do, and that he embraced 
opinions more consonant with the Word of God, than those 
assumed as the fundamental principles of your creed. We 
censure him for not having attached himself with sufficient 
firmness to the Scriptures of Truth ; we excommunicate 
those only, who do not cordially love our Lord Jesus Christ 
Paul intimates to the Philippians, that altlrough they might 
entertain opinions concerning certain minor points of doc- 
trine, decidedly at variance with his own, yet God, he 
trusted, would ultimately bring them to the knowledge of 
the truth ; and although there might be some differences 
of sentiment among themselves, he does not allow this cir- 
cumBtance, unhappy as it might be, to hinder him from re- 
garding them as dear brethren in the Lord. In this respect 
we ou|^t to walk in his footsteps. The Bible speaks neither 
of one, nor of two natures in the person of Jesus Ohriat; it 



196 JOUftNAL OP A BBSn>SNCE IN ABYB8INIA. 

timplj deobures, that he is GM over all, and that he eonda- 
aoended to beoome man, aasimilating himself to ovr natnrea 
in erery respect, save sin, that he might eventoallj resoue 
US from death ; redeeming us unto Otod by the shedding of 
his blood. This high idea should fill oar souls ; his suffer- 
ings, his death, his quenchless love, should be constantly 
before our minds, occupyiDg all our thoughts, engaging 
every affection ; not only during these few days of solemn 
festival, but through our whole lives." 

12th. I called this morniog, for the first time, on Gantiba 
Cassai, governor of Gondar. He is a young man about twenty- 
four years of age. At the moment of my arrival, the judges, 
called lAcaoufUe, (singular Lie,) were in session, settling a 
dispute that had arisen between the governor and an aged 
priest By the side of the latter stood a female of some 
distinction, interceding in his behalf It seems that the 
priest had fallen under the strong suspicions of the gover- 
nor, and he had therefore caused him to be arraigned. At 
the time of the fire a few nights since, several articles of 
property belonging to Gantiba Gassai were stolen, and a 
part of them were found the next day at the house of the 
above-named priest By this discovery, the governor was 
led to conclude that a considerable amount of money, pur- 
loined at the same time, had likewise been taken by the 
priest He therefore ordered him to be cast into prisoui 
where he has lain for the last eight days. This morning he 
was released from his confinement, and required to pay a 
fine of twelve talaris. The priest has all along obstinatelj 
maintained his innocence, affirming that the goods were de- 
posited in his house without his knowledge. The aiair 



iOUBlVAL OF A BB8IDENCE llf ABTSBINIA. 197 

oeeatfoned mnoh alteroation, bat it wm finally adjusted. 
Ab Boon as the qaestion was decided, I presented to Cassai 
a copy of the Gospel, which he received with the greatest 
demonstrations of joy. I have neyer seen one manifest so 
mnoh pleasure on receiving the Scriptores, though he knows 
not how to read them. He was apparently^ so overjoyed 
that he could not keep silence, and was continually saying ; 
^ What does this mean ? A stranger ! one whom I never 
knew, and to whom I never did any good, has kindly brought 
me the Word of Life 1 Had he given me a thousand talaris, 
I should not have valued them so highly as this precious 
volume. The Four Gospeb 1 Glorious Book 1 It is the 
light that will conduct me in the way of immortal life." 

While I was penning the above, the governor sent me as 
a token of friendship and esteem, a few bottles of excellent 
wine. I learned through the servant who brought them, 
that his master continues highly pleased with the copy of 
the Gospel which I gave him, holding it in his hand from 
morning till night, showing it to all who call upon him. 

After leaving the residence of Cassai, I called upon a lady 
of distinction, one of the most prominent, a few years since, 
in Abyssinia. She is a daughter of the late celebrated Sas 
Gkx)g8a, and widow of the late Dejaj Marou, both of whom 
are now dead ; a circumstance which has tended, in some de* 
gree, to lower her standing in society. She had given me 
an express invitation to visit her ; yet when I arrived, she 
received me with all that haughtiness of demeanor and lofti- 
ness of bearing, so characteristic of ladies of rank in Abys- 
sinia. Having, however, previously observed similar mani- 
festations of pride in other ladies of the country on firsfe 



196 JOURNAL OF A BESIDENCE IN ABTSBINIA. 

meeting them, I was less surprised than I otherwise should 
have been. But it is all a borrowed dress, and is soon 
dropped, their characters being too light and frivolous, long 
to maintain the imposing appearance. The lady in question, 
on reoeiTing me, scarcely condescended to return my salu- 
tations ; and immediately upon asking me in a cold and in- 
different tone how I did, assumed an air of chilling distance, 
and wrapping her whole face, except her eyes, in her yail, 
seated herself in silence. This treatment was more than I 
thought proper to bear ; and after sitting a few minutes, I 
arose and withdrew, firmly resolved never again to set my 
foot on her threshold. About an hour afterwards, however, she 
became dissatisfied with her behavior, and sent her servant 
with an apology for having received me with such coldness, 
alleging that the customs of society compelled women of her 
rank to manifest reserve on first meeting a gentleman 
stranger ; otherwise, they would bring upon themselves re- 
proach. Besides, she entertained a high opinion of my 
character, and could not avoid feeling a great degree of rev- 
erence and consequent di£Gidence in my presence ; and hav- 
ing now presented her apologies, she hoped I would prove 
to her, by a second visit, my cordial forgiveness. I directed 
the servant to say to his mistress, that had I intruded my- 
self on her notice of my own accord, I should have expected 
to be entertained with coldness in any part of the world, and 
that even when invited, in consequence of the extraordinary 
usages of this country, I could not expect a warm reception ; 
but I must say, that her reception of me had been fiir less 
cordial than even in consideration of their peculiar forms of 
society, I had anticipated ; and besides, her excessive pride 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 199 

liad BO much displeased me, that I had resolyed never to 
Yisit her dwelling again. Bat since she had become sensible 
of the injury she hod done me, and had condescended to ask 
mj forgiveness, I would most cheerfully grant it her, as I 
hoped my numerous faults would be forgiven of my heavenly 
Pather ; and from this moment I was ready to pay her a 
visit whenever she should desire it. 

This woman forms the theme of much conversation at 
Gondar. It is said, that in the lifetime of her husband, she 
became the mother of a deformed child, in the shape, partly 
of a serpent, and partly of some other animal unknown to 
me. It is also said that she is a cannibal, and that several 
children, from one to four years of age, have fallen victims 
to her unnatural voracity. When I first received this infor- 
mation, I could not think it worthy of the least regard ; but 
having heard the same thing frequently repeated, and hav- 
ing acquainted myself more fully with the facts in the case, 
I have some suspicion that the report is not altogether with- 
out foundation. My suspicion arises chiefly from the fact, 
that several children have disappeared in a very surprising 
manner, and from the evidence of some who have been 
seised, but subsequently permitted to escape, on the dis- 
covery of certain venereal diseases which they inherited from 
their parents. Among others of this description, I have 
been referred to one of the sons of my friend, TchelolargaL 
It is reported that Googsa was guilty of the same nefarious 
practice, and that he did it unblushingly before the world. 
I cannot believe, however, that either Googsa or his family can 
be justly regarded as cannibals, though I think it possible 
they may sometimes have taken the lives of children for 



200 JOUBNAL OF A BE8IOENCB IN ABTBSIHIA. 

BBother purpose. I luiye ofk»Q beard that the Edjow Gkil- 
las, the tribe from which the &mily of Googsa desoended, 
are in the habit, on particular occasions, of sacrificing hn* 
man victims on the altar of their Divinity ; though I never 
met an individual who had been an eje-witness of the im- 
pious deed. There is also a tribe, residing at the distanee 
of several days' journey to the west of Oooderow, called 
Zindgerows, (apes) who very much resemble the Gallas in 
their general manners and mode of life, though they speak 
an entirely different language. Some of their customs are 
extremely barbarous. When a caravan arrives among them 
for purposes of traffic, or a strolling company of strangers, 
although inoffensive and consisting perhaps of only two in- 
dividuals, the chief of the district immediately casts lots 
upon them, and he upon whom the lot fiills, becomes the 
victim of their atrocious superstition. He is instantly 
soiled, butchered, and his entrails laid bare, to enable them 
to foretell, or in the language of my informant, who had been 
an eye-witness of the horrid scene, in order to see pictured 
there the events of the ensuing year. I am also told that 
oxen, sheep, and goats are sometimes sacrificed by the Gal- 
las to appease their offended deity ; particularly when suf- 
fering any special calamity, such as general scarcity or sick- 
ness. In this practice I believe all the Galla tribes are uni- 
form. Even some Abyssinian Christians imitate them. 
They are also very fond of myrrh and incense, which thej 
offer in perfumes to their deity. They have no other re- 
ligious worship. 

13ih. I called upon Alaca Stephanos this morning, whom 
I found greatly alarmed on my aooount It wa0 reported to 



JOURNAL OF A KESIDENOE IN ABTB8INIA. 801 

him yesterday that the people of the city strongly snspected 
that I was a spy ; and he feared, that under the cover of 
this pretext, they would put me into irons, for the purpose 
of extorting from me a large amount of money. He said 
lie scarcely closed his eyes during the whole night ; the idea 
of my unprotected situation was continually before his 
mind ; he recollected that I was a stranger in the country, 
with no relative near to smile upon me in the hour of sor- 
row, or to defend me in danger. After a wakeful night, he 
had risen restless and uneasy ; he had taken pains to con* 
verse with Tchelolargai respecting me and my hazardous 
situation, and found him still more troubled than himself. 
They had concluded it would be better for me again to leave 
the dwelling of Emmaha, where I had spent the last eight 
days, and to reside for the future at the house with which 
the Etchegua was willing to furnish me in his quarters. I 
replied, that I felt unfeigned gratitude for the deep solici- 
tude he entertained for my welfare, and the readiness he 
had evinced to assist me ; but, all things considered, I could 
not persuade .myself that it would be best on the present oc- 
casion to follow his advice. In the first place, because I 
was confident that I had ^he friendship of two of the most 
distinguished personages in the city, and thought they 
would cheerfully exert their influence for my protection; 
and in the second place, should my expectations from this 
source fail, I had a never-failiog defence in God, and believ- 
ing that he would never allow anything to befal me, which 
would not ultimately redound to my good, I had cheerfully 
committed my all to him. Besides, I added, if I had taken 
a correct view of the subject, I thought the adoption of his 

9* 



t03 JOUSlfAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTSSINIA* 

ftdrice might in the end lead to unfayorable results, because^ 
should I take up my residenoe the second time at the qoar* 
ters of the Etchegua, especially at this particular juncture, 
when suspicion was abroad, the people might easily be in- 
duced to belieye that I was influenced by fear, and conse- 
quently, either suspect me of haying concealed property, or 
of harboring sinister intentions. In this manner I should 
forge my own chain, yoluntarily locking myself up in a 
prison, from which I could not escape without difficulty, and 
perhaps, danger. ^ You must do as you please," he replied ; 
^ I do not intend to oppose your wishes, but as you are com- 
mitted to our care, we must protect you. You know, also, 
that our country is now in a perilous condition, turmoil and 
confusion arc raising their wayes around us, and you are here 
a stranger, and the Bible commands us to be mindful of the 
stranger. I therefore could not rest till I had seen you, and 
expressed my fears.'' He was eyidently alarmed, but this 
is nothing uncommon for the people of Gondar ; as I haye 
already remarked, they are yery easily terrified. 

14th. Bain has fallen in great quantities in the course of 
the day, rendering it yery unpleasant abroad. I spent most 
of the afternoon in conyersation with Habeta Selasse, who 
begins to realize the folly and hazard of receiying, as a prin- 
ciple of religious practice, any doctrine which is no^ founded 
on the Word of God. This evening, I gaye a copy of the 
Gospel to a scribe who came to yisit me with his son. On 
presenting him the yolume, I entreated him to teach his son 
its holy precepts, instead of instructing him according to 
the doctrines of men. Baisbg his eyes to heayen, he sol- 



JOUXNAL OF A BSSIBBNCB IN ABT88IKIA. 908 

emnly replied ; ^ If it shall please GM, I desire first to in* 
stract myself 1" 

15tb. This morning was spent in maidng and reoeiying 
visits of ceremony. As the day advaneed, Selasse oalled, 
and I passed two hoars with him very agreeably. He ap- 
pears more and more decided in &yor of genuine Christbui- 
ity. He told me he was engaged Isst evening in a dispute 
with Alaca Waldab and several priests, who became some- 
what angry with him in the progress of the debate. Selasse 
maintained the position, that Christians ought to receive 
nothing ss a principle of £uth or role of conduct, which ia 
not recorded in the Scriptures ; the revelation which God 
has given in his Word being amply sofficient, if clearly nn- 
dwstood and strictly obeyed, to render us wiie unio sal- 
wUion. 

I had always supposed Habeta Selasse to be a member of 
ibe priesthood, but he has informed me to-day that this is 
not the case. He has been urged repeatedly to consecrate 
himself to the order, but has as often refused ; " Because," 
said he, ^ having observed the conduct of the priests, I am 
convinced that most of them are wicked men, traveling the 
broad road to perdition. But what especially deters me 
from devoting myself to the duties of the order, is the fact, 
that as a class, they are peculiarly exposed to the tempta- 
tion of seeking pecuniary advantage ; and I shrink from the 
thought of taking upon myself the holy office, with the view 
of gaining a livelihood. Besides, I have noticed that if a 
pHest is rather more conscientious in the discharge of his 
duties than the generality of his brethren, people are almost 
invariably more inclined to accuse him of avarice, than they 



304 JOUBKAL OF A RB8IDENCB IN ABTBBIKIA. 

are those who are decidedly yicions ; and in this xnaaner all 
his efforts are rendered nugatory and vain. I have pro-, 
posed to myself a different course. I intend to remain 
several months longer at Oondar, till I have completed the 
ninth year of my studies, and then return to Shoa, enter the 
service of the king, and endeavor to render myself useful 
as possible, by instructing the soldiers in his army. By 
this course, I shall avoid the accusation usually charged 
upon the priesthood, of teaching the people and reproving 
their &ults for the purpose of gain, and enable myself to 
exert a deeper and more permanent influence on the minds 
and morals of my countrymen. What think you of my 
plan V* ^ I entirely approve of it," said I ; " I only entreat 
yon, I solemnly conjure you, to confine yourself exclusively 
in your instruction,to the word of Inspired Truth by which 
means you ?rill both save yourself and them thai hear you." 



CHAPTER III. 

OdebratioD of Easterw— Visit to the Etchegiia or head of the monkiL-* 
CoDTenatioD with him upon doctrinal subjects. — ConversatioDs with 
Taiioos priests, aod remarks upon their character. — Sent for by Ozoro 
Waleta Teclit, to cure the madness of her brother. — Disturbances in 
the dty. — ^Habeta Selaase proposes a mission to the Gallas. — Brief 
account of the Falaahas. — Copies of the Amharic Gospel distributed. 

April 16th. To^ay is Good-Frldaj. In the morning 
the city was all life and motion ; masters were sending their 
serrants to present their compliments to persons of their 
aoqoaintance ; the streets were thronged with people rash- 
ing io and fro, coming and going, to their churches. Im- 
pelled by curiosity, I also visited one of their places of w^r* 
ship, and found there a company of young men together 
with two or three priests, inattentiTcly reading the works 
of Chrysostom. The Abyssinian churches are neat, and 
highly embellished. They are all furnished with carpets, 
which in this country are very expensive. The images and 
pictures are usually some representations of the Trinity 
under various forms, usually that of three old men ; Jesus 
expiring on the cross ; the Holy Spirit in the shape of a 
dove; the Virgin Mary with the Holy Infant reclining on 
her left arm ; St. George, and the peculiar patron of the 
church. There are also frequent representations of good and 
evil angels, the latter broiling amidst the ascending flames, 
t^eiher with the aich-apostate. The image of St. Michael 



206 JOITBNAL OF A RB8IDENCB IN ABTS8INIA. 

aeemB an essential ornament of every church, and ia m&wt 
wanting. The churches are usually endowed by some of 
the grandees of the country, and enriched by the sins of the 
affluent Let me explain myself. When a man of wealth 
commits a crime, or perpetrates any flagrant act of injustice 
or wrong, his father-confessor imposes upon him a long and 
rigorous hst, but at the same time proposes, if he oonsideis 
the penance too severe, to perform the duty for him, pro- 
vided he will pay a certain sum of money to the church of 
some specified saint. Although in this way, enough goes 
to the churches to ornament and enrich them, it is openly 
acknowledged l^at the priest is sufficiently careful to in- 
demnify himself for undergoing the rigors of the prescribed 

I received a visit to-day from a man belonging to the 
royal &mily, who informed me that he gains a subsistence 
by the toil of his hands. He is a scribe, painter, and joiner. 
He complained much of the wickedness and corruption of 
the people ; though I fear his regret was occasioned mainly 
by the neglect of his countrymen in leaving him unaided to 
struggle with poverty. I was pleased to find, however, that 
he was in the habit of carrying about with him a copy of Si 
John's GK)speL 

17th. This morning at early dawn, the priests of the two 
churches, St. Michael and St. George, came, one after the 
other, to perform the ceremony of singing at my lodgings. 
After they had finished, I called upon the Etohegua, who, 
owing to the peculiarities of the Abyssinian church, was for 
the first time to be seen since the &st. I was not Ma^ 
however, to converse much with him in consequence of the 



JO0B1VAL OF A EE8IDBNCB IN ABT00INIA. 807 

]KrMence of the prioBts of the varioiui ohorches in the city, 
who were coming in saocession to ring at his house, as they 
had at mine early in the morning. Their first appearanoe 
was extremely disagreeable; their dress seemed far more 
suitable to the friyolous masquerade of a camiyal, than to 
the sober duties of the servants of Gk>d ; but I used every 
effort to divest myself of all those feelings and prejudioes 
which I had imbibed from early association with European 
manners, and endeavored to look at the ceremony in its true 
light The struggle had the desired effect I have seld(»n 
had the privilege of enjoying so delightful a season of prayer, 
or of beiog so completely absorbed in the ardors of devotion. 
The* deputations from the individual churches commonly 
consist of two priests and two boys, one of the age of four- 
teen or fifteen, the other of ten, all attired in silk of varying 
shades, and wearing crowns of enormous size. One of the 
priests carries in his hand a magnificent cross, and the 
younger boy a belL Besides these there were several 
priests, clothed in their ordinary vestments of white. Their 
music is rude, though not entirely destitute of order or har- 
mony. The sentiment breathed forth in their song, was 
similar to that mentioned by St Paul in his Epistle to the 
Bomans, '^ Jesus died for our offences and rose again for our 
justification." In singing, they wave the right hand with a 
variety of gestures, which, at first, struck me as very &r 
from being in unison with the spirit of the hymn sung. As 
they approach the termination, they gently beat the ground 
with their feet ; and declining their bodies, finally stoop so 
low as to kiss the ground while pronouncing the last word. 
They remain in this po«ti<m while the JStohegua offers Ui 



209 JOURNAL OP A RB8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

orisons for their common oountry, and terminate the cere- 
mony by repeating the Lord's prayer ; commencing it in an 
elevated voice, and gradually sinking into a softened tone as 
they draw near the dose. In private houses, one of the 
priests offers prayers for the happiness and general wel&re 
of the family. 

On quitting the house of the Etohegua, I made several 
visits, and among the rest, I called upon a lady, Ozoro 
Waleta Tedit, sbter of the deceased Dejaj Uarou, and 
mother of the young warrior, Dejaj Gomfou. It was the 
first time I had seen her ladyship, and consequently, owing 
to the singular form of Abyssinian society, I was prevented 
from holding any connected conversation with her, though 
she by no means evinced that pride and haughtiness of dis- 
position, which I have often observed in other Abyssinian 
ladies, vastly her inferiors in rank. She, as well as those 
who were with her, appeared highly pleased with the beauty 
and mechanism of my watch. In general, when I speak of 
the improvements of the Europeans, and the progress they 
have made in the arts and sciences, they are very little dis- 
posed to believe me ; but when I show them mjr watch, thdr 
incredulity usually vanishes, and they cry out; ^'Sorelj, 
where they can execute such elegant specimens of art, they 
must know everything." 

I spent the greater part of the afternoon with Habeta 
Selasse. Our principal topic of conversation was baptism. 
At first, he seemed to have some correct views of the nature 
and design of the ordinance, being thoroughly convinced 
that the baptism of water could not constitute that r^ne- 
ratlon of soul, of wnich our Saviour speaks in the third 



JOUftNAL OF A RESIDBNCE IN ABTSSIKIA. S(M 

ehapter of John. Bat the idea that it wu only an external 
or visible sign without any real efficacy, was a thought en- 
tirely new to him. He paused, fixed in thought At length 
he said ; " This is a new idea ; it may howeyer be correct-^ 
I think it very probable, for I well know that most of those 
who have received the ordinance of baptism,4f we may judge 
by their outward deportment, are Christians only in name." 
We afterwards spoke of my design of going in the course of 
a year or two, and establishing myself in Shoa. 

18th. Easter Sunday in Abyssinia. The day has been 
spent by the inhabitants in rioting and feasting, as snoh 
days frequently are by other anti-scriptural sects. 

Last evening a rumor ran through the city, that a famous 
ehief of banditti had entered with his fellow-desperados, and 
pillaged several villages lying in the vicinity of Gondar ; 
and that in oonsequence of these disastrous tidings, the 
priests had threatened to excommunicate all who would not 
continue their fast to-day, as they had done for several days 
previous ; but this report not being confirmed by more sub- 
stantial testimony, they, who had the pecuniary means, be- 
gan soon after midnight, their festal mirth and revelry. I 
had purchased a cow, intending it for the celebration of the 
Easter festival ; but as all animals slaughtered at any time 
during the season of Lent, are regarded by the Abyssinians 
as impure, and consequently, as the cow could not be butch- 
ered till to-day, Sunday, I refused to have it done at all ; a 
movement which very much surprised the people, though I 
think not to my disadvantage. We therefore sat down to 
our repast without the beef, and though it was less sumpta- 
ooB than I had intended, I determined not to suffer the seii* 



210. JOUBNAL OF A BE8IDBNCB IN ABYSSINIA. 

son to pass by without improvement, endeaToring to impress 
upon the minds of my servants, and the ten or dozen indi- 
gent people who participated with me in the bounties of my 
table, the solemnity of the occasion ; that the festival kept 
in commemoration of our Saviour's resurrection, ooght to be 
celebrated in an impressive and religious manner ; if we 
feast, it should be a spiritual feast; not one of sensual joy 
and unrestrained indulgence. The people make no visits 
to-day. 

19th. The Etchegua sent for me this morning for the 
purpose of introducing to my acquaintance two men, who 
had recently been liberated by Oubea. They had been 
prisoners of war with him, and the fact of their release has 
inspired hopes that peace is about to take place. One of 
them is the brother, and the other, the nephew, of the late 
Has Googsa. The former expressed his intention of going 
on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and desired me to take him 
with me on my return ; but as usual in such cases, I avoided 
giving him a decided answer. I spent the whole of the 
morning with the Etchegua, but was unable to engage him 
in any connected conversation, owing to the crowds of peo- 
ple which were constantly entering and leaving his residenoe. 
He found opportunity, however, to propose a few questionsw 
Among others, he asked me whether we acknowledged St 
Peter to be the head of our church, like the Franks, or St 
John, like the Greeks. I replied ; '^ St Paul tells us that 
when one is disposed to be a strenuous partisan, saying, I 
am of Paul, or of ApoUos, or of Cephas, we may conclude 
that he is carnally minded, and exceedingly deficient in the 
spirit of Christian fellowship. We acknowledge no other 



JO0SKAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 211 

liead than Jesus Christ ; nor do wo reoeiye any other doc- 
trine than what is taught in the Word of Ood." This plain- 
ness did not appear to displease him. He even offered 
apologies for not being able to render me more assistanooi 
remarking, that he could not be as serviceable to me as he 
desired, on acconnt of the unsettled condition of the country, 
there being no king or Ras, who held the reins of govern- 
ment with su£Eicient firmness to keep the people in due sub- 
ordination. His quarters have recently been plundered for 
the first time by a band of robbers, who have little to fear 
under the loose administration of Mariam. He told me, 
however, that the use of his name as my firiend, would prob- 
ably secure me from every insult and abuse, wherever I 
might have occasion to travel throughout Abyssinia. The 
Etehegua is a man about sixty years of age. In youth, he 
served his country in the capacity of a soldier ; a course of 
life, which has, probably, very much contributed to stamp 
upon his features an ingenuousness and sincerity of expres- 
sion seldom witnessed in monks of other countries. Indeed^ 
he has none of that sinister look, or that assumed appear- 
ance of sahctity, too frequently the characteristic of this 
elass of people ; on the contrary, a pleasant smile usually 
plays upon his lips, an openness and simplicity beam in his 
eye, and dt on his countenance, which much engages my 
a£foctions. He is not, however, a man of extensive informa- 
tion, though I think he possesses more understanding, and 
exhibits greater discrimination, than generally falls to the 
lot of ignorant and secluded monks. His friendship, should 
it prove durable, cannot be otherwise than useful to me 
among the Abyssinians. 



&12 JOURNAL OP A BE8IDBNCE IS ABTMnflA. 

This afternoon I received a visit from Habeta SelasBO, ao- 
eompanied by a number of others. As it is one of their 
festival days, I prepared my dinner in Abysnnian styia^ 
causing meat in part roasted, and in part raw, to be served 
upon the table. I think it important for a misnonary to 
conform to the usages of society in the country in which he 
is stationed, so for at least, as be can do it without sin. I did 
not deem it wisdom on the present occasion, openly to op* 
pose the peculiar habits in which my guests had been edu-> 
oated ; but I endeavored, during the whole repast, to lead 
their minds to the contemplation of some salutary truth. I 
spoke of the ezhaustless love of Qod to sinners, and the 
affection and fellow-feeling that ought to exist among all 
true Christians ; specifying several points of doctrine, con- 
cerning which Christiana may differ without destroying tma 
faith, or interruptingfraternal love or intercourse. They re* 
tired, apparently well pleased, and, I hope, animated with 
new desires of seeing all Christians taking each other by 
the hand like brethren, and so fulfilling the law of Christ 

20th. Early this morning I received an invitation from 
Alaca Waldab to take break&st with him> which I accepted. 
I tried to engage him in some religious conversation, but his 
attention was so absorbed in directing the duties of the tabloi 
that I could not succeed. The banquet was sumpinonsy and 
the mead furnished so exhilarating, that it produced no 
little effect on my host ; he fell asleep in the midst of the 
repast, but was not so intoxicated as to be entirely bereft of 
reason. The rest were affected in a similar way. No one^ 
with the exception of Habeta Selasse, wss able to converse 
in a rational and serious manner. We spoke of the eduo»* 



lOVUVAI. OF A BX8IPBNCE IN ABYaMNIA. 21S 



tion suitable for bia eon, a lad foarteen or fifteen yean of 
age, and of bis own duty to fdmbb bim witb ibe means of 
proonring it We also spoke of bis favorite projeet in re- 
gard to tbe Oallaa He urged npon me tbe ezpedienoy of 
leaving Gondar as soon as oonvenient, and of going witb bim 
to establisb a mission among tbis barbarous people, wiih 
wbom, be indulges tbe bope tbat a missionary migbt meet 
witb encouraging success. We afterwards conversed on the 
general subject of evangelical missions; tbe more bis 
thoughts dwell upon tbe animating theme, the more be be- 
oomes interested, and the more firmly fixed in his purpose 
of going in person, to preach the Gospel to these roving and 
predatory tribes. 

This afternoon my bouse was continually thronged with 
people of both sexes. Among them was a priest, who, at 
first, was very forward in conversation. I handed him a 
oopy of tbe Oospel, and requested him to read. He readily 
consented ; but be read so iildifferently that it was impossi- 
ble to understand him ; and when I took tbe liberty of cor- 
recting his faults, and of showing him how be ought to read, 
he said, with a view of concealing his ignorance, that he did 
not know bow to read tbe Ambaric, though he could read 
the Ethiopic with great facility. I forthwith gave bim a 
oopy of the Psalms in that dialect, which he instantly com- 
manoed reading as rapidly as bis lips could move. I stopped 
hira, remarking tbat such a mode of reading could only serve 
to offend Qod, and requested him to translate literally line 
hj line. Thinking tbat I did not understand Ethiopic, be 
pretended to construe the first line with great promptness 
aod esse, but there was not a syllable of the original in his 



214 iOUENAL OF A RB8IDBNCE IN ABTflSIlTlA. 

tnnslatioii, and alter repeated oorrections, he was oompelled 
to oonfess before all, that he did not understand what he 
read ; a oonfesBion that very much astonished the mnltitade 
present. I seised the opportunity, thus afforded me, seri- 
ously to represent to him the danger to which he was hourly 
exposing both his own undying soul, and the undying 
souls of those committed to his care ; for, as our Saviour 
says ; " If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the 
ditch." Then turning to the rest of the company, I en- 
treated them not to suffer themselves to be led blindly by 
the dictates of their ignorant priests, who, it was to be feared, 
could not guide them to heaven. I closed my remarks, by 
reading for their reflection, a few texts of Scripture. The 
priest did not appear in the least offended with my plain- 
ness, but remarked, seemingly as an excuse for his igno- 
rance, that he knew of no one who was frilling to teach him ; 
and added, that if I should remain long in the oity. he would 
gladly come to me daily to receive instruction. 

21st. I passed the morning at the residence of OaAtiba 
Gassai, who apparently rendered me sincere thanks for the 
copy of the Gospel I had previously given him. He said 
that he was a rektive of Mariam, and of Oalla origin, but 
that the tribe to which he belonged were descended from 
the Franks, (Portuguese,) and that consequently he made it 
a point of honor to speak the truth, intimating that this was 
one of their peculiar principles of conduct There were 
present a couple of young priests, one of whom asked my 
advice concerning a project he had in view, of taking a pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem. I endeavored, of course, to dissuade 
him from the toilsome undertaking, repeating the twenty^ 



JOUBKAL OP A KE8IBBNCE IN ABTB8INIA. 215 

fint and twenty-third verses of the fourth chapter of Si 
John's GK>8pel. He canght the words of the text, and im- 
mediately asked me what I supposed was implied in wor- 
shipping God in spirit and in truth. As the room was 
crowded with people, I dwelt at some length on the import 
of the passage, and endeavored to bring it home to their 
hearta and consciences, by unfolding the necessity of becom- 
ing experimentally acquainted with Ood, and the ineffable 
glory of his character, as brightly displayed in the revelation 
he has made of himself in his written Word. All present, 
especially young Cassai, were very attentive, and apparently 
convinced of the truth of my remarks. 

22d. I passed the greater part of the day with Tchelo- 
largai. His house was filled to overflowing with the poor, to 
whom bread and beer were distributed with a liberal hand, 
and each partook to his satisfaction. The whole of this 
week is considered as one continued season of festival which 
they call Easter. Every one feasts and carouses according 
to his means, and those who have been elevated a little 
above the common level of affluence, entertain a great num- 
ber of indigent people, devoting a part of every day during 
the sacred season, to distributing food and drink among 
tbem in greair abundance. 

23d. I passed this morning at the house of Kidam Ma- 
riam, whom I found surrounded by as many of the poor as 
Tchelolargai was yesterday. The afternoon of the three last 
days I have spent very pleasantly in the society of Habeta 
Selasse. 

24th. I have been very agreeably engaged about four 
bours in the course of the day in conversation with the 



210 JOUHHAL OP A KESIDENCE llf AB788INIA. 

Etohegaa. The Lord apparently stood by me, and I have 
the pleasing oonyioiion that ho gave me wisdom, and loosed 
my tongue to answer all his numerous and intricate ques* 
tions. He began his inquiries by asking my opinion of the 
person of Jesus Christ, whether I thought him possessed 
of two natures or of only one. I took a pieoe of bread and 
said to him, <' What do you think of this pieoe of bread? 
Do you ascribe to it only one nature, or two ?" 

" I ascribe to it only one." 

"Tet," I continued, <'it may be said to oontain two 
natures, one of teff, the other of water, both of which, al- 
though in their present state they are closely united, may 
nevertheless be regarded as entirely distinct, and capable of 
being decomposed or separated. This is indeed a fiunt illus- 
tration of the union of the human and divine natures, as 
they exist in the person of our incomprehensible Redeemer; 
still we may trace analogy enough between them to shed, 
perhaps, some light upon this dark subject in the view of 
our feeble understandings. For a difficult subject all must 
acknowledge it to be ; but obscure as it is, the obscurity has 
been increased by the indefiniteness of the terms used to 
explain it. This is particularly true in your own language ; 
the term baher^ two natures^ which you confotind with the 
word acdl^ person, — a word altogether indeterminate in its 
meaning, are not terms, in all respects appropriately applied 
to Jesus Christ, as distinctive of his incomprehensible na- 
ture, because they convey the idea of two separate exist- 
ences. So, also, the term in our language, signifying one 
tuUurty cannot be regarded as entirely appropriate, owing to 



lOUftWAL OF A EE8IDBNCE IN ABT89INIA. .217 

ike extreme oonf obiob it gives to oar ideas of the person of 
our Saviour." 

^I think," said the Etchegua, <<that it is in conse- 
qaenee of this confusion and indefiniteness of language, that 
so great difference of views, and bitterness of contention 
have always existed on this point in the church." 

"Bo yon believe that Jesus Christ is really God and 
really man ?" 

" Most surely, with all my heart" 

" Very well : on this point we can take each other's 
liands like brethren ; our opinions are perfectly harmonious ; 
we ODly express ourselves in different knguage. As to the 
church to which I belong," I added, ^ we never think of de- 
barring any from our communion, excepting those who 
manifest no sincere love &r our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ" 

The Etchegua then turning to the bystanders who were 
listening to our conversation, exclaimed, ^ EouiuUe nacl 
eoufuUe nao ! it is truth ! it is truth 1" Then again address- 
ing me, he inquired ; " In what sense is Jesus Christ our 
brother ? Is it according to the flesh, or according to the 
spirits 

^ There are some passages of Scripture relative to this 
sabjeot, which are not altogether clear ; though there are 
others that are more specific, and go directly to show that 
he is called our brother in a natural sense, or according to 
the flesh. Among others are the following. In Heb. iL 
17, it is intimated that he is made like unto his brethren in 
all things, sin excepted. Again, Rom. i. 3, Paul says, 
< Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord^ which was made 

10 



318 JOURNAL OF A KBBIDENCE IN ABTSfllNIA. 

ff ikt ieed cf Davidy a son of Adam, according to ike flak} 
In other texts, be is represented as being called our broUier 
in a spiritual sense ; for instance, Jobn xx. 17 : ^ Goto my 
brethren^ and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your 
Father, to my God and your God /' " 

« I most acknowledge that this appears more clear than 
anytbing I baye hitherto beard on this subject'; a subject 
that has often given me a great deal of trouble ; but which I 
think I now understand. But bow does a man become the 
brother of Jesus Christ according to the spirit 1" 

(' Bj regeneration, which is called the new birth, 'bom of 
God,' ' born of the spirit,' ' born from above,' &c." 

'< Independently of the operation of the Holy Spirit," ihe 
Etchegua added, "I would like to inqiure, by whom was 

« 

this work of regeneration vbibly commenced under the new 
dispensation ? by Jesus Christ himself, or by his disciples 
after his ascension ?" I referred him to the 19th chapter 
of Matthew, and requested him to read it. He complied, 
and read it through ; but when he came to the clause, '' Ye 
who have followed me in the regeneration," smiting his 
breast he exclaimed ; '^ It is clear as day ; the point needs 
no further illustration." The rest looked upon eadi other 
in silence. He at length proceeded ; " Can you tell me at 
what time, or at what stage of our existence, this operation 
begins to work in the soul ?" 

'* To avoid all ambiguity," I replied, '^ I must say in the 
first place, that they are greatly deceived, who believe that 
baptism with water is, in any sense. Gospel regeneration, or 
the new birth. It is only the visible sign of an invisible 
operation which must be wrought in the heart of every man 



JOUBNAL OF A EESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 210 

who hopes to be united to Christ, the living head of the true 
ehnrch. Whether infants are fit subjects for Christian bap- 
tism, or whether the ordinance was designed to be adminis- 
tered only to adults, is a question altogether foreign to the 
point I am now considering ; but the evidence that water 
baptism is not evangelical regeneration, is, I think, substan- 
tiated by the fact, that th^re are numberless individuals, 
both in this and other countries, who have received the ordi- 
nance, but who are still strangers to the new birth, and con- 
sequently strangers to the Spirit's influence, and strangers 
to Christ" 

"Eounate nao — It is true;" interrupted the Etchegua; 
an answer that was evidently very unexpected to the crowd 
of priests by whom we were surrounded. <' It appears in- 
deed," I continued, "from numerous facts narrated in sa- 
cred history, especially from the parable of the householder, 
(Matt, zx.) who sent out every hour in the day, to hire la- 
borers into his vineyard, that regeneration takes place at 
every period of life ; some are brought into the kingdom in 
the morning of their days, while others are left till the 
shadows of age bave gathered around them." 

^ One question more," he continued ; '' how is regenera- 
tion wrought in the soul ? or what is the specific mode of 
the Spirit's operation in producing this change 1" 

^ It appears," I replied, " that Jesus himself was not able 
to convey in human language any adequate idea of the mode 
of this wonderful transformation ; how much less shall I be 
able to express it, especially in your language, with which I 
am but partially* acquainted. But by carefully comparing 
the different passages of Scripture which relate to this mys- 



220 JOUENAL OF A REBIDENCE IN ABTBSINIA. 

terioQS Babject, I think I can make yon onderatand in what 
manner and how &r it may be explained. It naaally makes 
its first appearance* in a lively and impressive sense of the 
hatefiilness of sin, and of the depths of moral pollution into 
which the sinner hss been by nature plunged. This pun- 
gent feeling of grief and ill-desert brings the sinner into the 
dust, and compels him to seek for pardon as a depraved and 
convicted criminal, who feels that ho richly merits eternal 
death. In this condition, the same Spirit which removed 
the veil from his eyes, and disclosed to his astonished gaae 
his spiritual guilt and wretchedness, leads him to the foot 
of the cross, and there makes him understand the wonderful 
truth that Christ was made sin — ^a curse for man, a sinner 
and accursed — so took the blow of Divine justice upon him- 
self, that *' whoever believeth in him should not perish, but 
have everlasting life.' The sinner, believing this glorious 
promise, and seeing himself bought with blood, saved by 
pure grace, begins to love hb Saviour because he first loved 
him ; and this absorbing love for his Lord, and interest m 
his cause, relaxes his grasp on the world, dislodges firom his 
bosom all delight in the trifles of time, and removes the fear 
of the threats and reproaches of men, so that he becomes a 
new creature ; he loves what he formerly hated, and hatee 
what he formerly loved. This becomes the unfiuling source 
of good works, sending forth its rich and fertilizing streams 
as the spontaneous gushings of a grateful heart. True, this 
is but a feeble description — the bare outline of the com- 
mencement and progress of regeneration in the soul, but it 

* Qobat» in this dMcriptioD of rogeoeratioiip includes the whole pro* 
oest of ooovietioQ and oonrenion. 



JOUKKAL OF A KB8IDBN0E IN ABT88INIA. 231 

IB all tliftfc I can give yon. Indeed, no better fllnstraUon of 
this myBteriooB operation can be oonceiyed, tban that which 
Christ has gi?en na in the third chapter of John ; ' The 
wind bloweth where it listeth, and then heareat the sound 
thereof, bat canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it 
goeth.' So every man who becomes the subject of renewing 
grace, is persuaded that he is born again by the change in 
hifl moral feelings, as he is assured that the wind is sweep- 
ing field and forest when he hears its roar." 

When I had finished these remarks, there was a long 
pause — ^a deep stillness perraded the whole house. At 
length the Etohegua inquired, ''When Christ shed his 
blood for sm, was it his humanity only, or did his divinity 
likewise sufier death V 

^ This," I replied, '< is a difficult question to solve, and 
if the Word of God had not given us a few feeble glimmer- 
ingB of light respecting it, I should entirely despair of 
answering it But I think we may gain some information 
from the apostles. St Paul says to Timothy that God is 
immortal; and St Peter asserts that Christ suffered in the 
Jiesh; two declarations, which I deem sufficient to give me 
confidence in forming the opinion that odr Saviour suffered 
only in his human nature. Besides, whenever the Scrip- 
tures speak of the love of God to us, every one must have 
observed, how this attribute is magnified and extolled, from 
the simple consideration, that Jesus became man, to enable 
him to suffer and die for our redemption." 

^ This," said the Etcliegua, << precisely accords with our 
opinions ; but if it was his human nature only that suffered 
death, what was that which was bom of the Yirgin Mary ?" 



222 JOURNAL OF A RE8IDBNCE IN ABT88INIA. 

'' Thifl is also a question," I resumed, ^ of extreme difi- 
culty, because Ood has nowhere seen fit to explain it in his 
Word. Great contention and confusion, and consequently, 
great bitterness of feeling, have ever rent the church in re- 
lation to this subject, owing to that restless spirit in man, 
prompting him to penetrate those deep mysteries which In* 
finite Wisdom has never chosen to reveal. I am willing^ 
however, to give you my views on this obscure point, and 
then you can judge for yourself. It appears to me that 
nothing can be more natural, than to believe that that por- 
tion of the incomprehensible person of Jesus Chrbt which 
was born in time, was that also which finally experienced 
the agonies of dissolution. Besides, reason infallibly 
teaches us that the mother must exist previously to the son ; 
but we know that Mary did not exist before Jesus Christ 
was CK)d. Hence, I conclude that it is a most egregious 
error to call Mary the fnolher of God, notwithstanding the 
high respect I entertain for her, the most blessed of women. 
I think it sufficient honor, to call her the mother ofJesus^ an 
appellation sometimes given her by the Apostles." 

« Thb must be true, this must be true ;** said the Bt- 
ohegua, " I have always entertained the same views.'' 

I think that no one of the crowd around us had antici- 
pated such an answer from the Etchegua ; at least they vp- 
peared exceedingly astonished and troubled. Before Ve 
separated, he made several other inquiries relative to 
England and France ; also, concerning our mode of celebra^ 
ting divine worship, the adminbtration of baptbm, the 
Lord's Supper, and the rite of circumcision. 

I could not observe that our conversation left any on- 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 228 

^kasint effect on the mind of the Etohegoa ; on the con- 
trarj, I shonld judge from his appearance, that he was 
rather pleased ; and for myself, I must say, that I was noyer 
before able to i^ak the Amhario with so much facility. 
Indeed, the Lord is ever present to assist onr infirmities, 
and ready to give him who needs, a tongue to plead his 
cause. I gave the Etchegua a copy of the Four Gospels, 
with the privilege of sending it to any district out of Gondar, 
that he pleased. I also gave him a copy of the book of 
Acts, and of the Epistle to the Romans, in Amharic, and 
one of the Psalms in Ethiopic ; all of which he received with 
manifest pleasure. The marks of confidence which I evinced 
towards him on the present occasion, also appeared to give 
lum unfeigned satisfaction. 

On my return from the residence of the Etchegua, I met 
Habeta Selasse, who was on his way to visit me, in company 
with four of his fellow-disciples. During their stay, our 
eonversation was directed principally to the worship of 
images and the invocation of saints. Habeta Selasse's views 
apparently coincided with my own, when I gave it as my 
opinion, that Mary was a sinner, stained by the same moral 
defilement that belongs to all, and that she was saved by 
the same unmerited grace by which we ourselves are saved ; 
and consequently we ought not to adore her, or implore her 
assistance or protection in times of need. Selasse did not 
appear, however, to take a deep interest in the discussion, 
not saying much on either side of the question. — My con- 
yersation with the Etchegua this morning seems to have pro- 
duced quite a sensation ; several, who have called upon me thb 
evening, state that it is much talked of throughout the city. 



2M iOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN AEYBBXNIA* 

25tL I was favored this marning with quite a Dumber of 
visits ; several from young men who were desirous that I 
should devote some portion of my time to their instruction. 
And here let me say, that the instruction of youth should 
form a prominent object of missionary enterprise in Abys- 
sinia^ The aged are deeply inomsted in prejudice ; it seems 
almost a hopeless effort to undertake the improvement, or 
endeavor to alter the opinions of those who are &r advanced 
on the current of life. The stream has become too impetu- 
ous to be checked or turned by any ordinary obstruction. 
Some obstacles, however, stand in the way of an easy or sue- 
cessful organization of schools in this country ; not but thai 
as many might, «t any time, be established as could be fur- 
nished with adequate teachers ; the main difficulty lies in 
the fiict, that, with the exception of a Very few, the scholars 
who put themselves under the superintendence of the 
schools, must be fed and clothed at the expense of those 
who have the benevolence to found them. But all things 
considered, it is an enterprise well worthy the patronage of 
the church ; such institutions would be like beacon fires on 
the mountains of Abyssinia, shedding, their light a&r ; they 
would exert a refining and elevating ' infiuenee ^ the 
masses, and thus prove the surest means of raising up an 
order of intelligent men, free from the prejudices and super- 
stitions of their countrymen. 

I had considerable conversation on a variety of topics 
with all my visitors, and read to them numerous passages 
of scripture, varying with the different subjects on which 
we discoursed. Some of them appeared very much sur- 
prised, and most of them expressed the greatest satis&otioiiy 



JOCSNAL OF A E£SIDEMC£ IN ABYSSINIA. 225 

ibAfc they could easily comprehend the import of what was 
read ; a circamBtance, which rendered the exercise entirely 
different from what they were in the hahit of listening to in 
their churches. In these, the langoage in which the Scrip- 
tares are read, is seldom understood hy the reader himself; 
never by the hearers. 

Habeta SeUsso called upon me this afternoon to express 
the great uneasiness which he experienced yesterday, on 
hearing me affirm, in the presence of many people, that the 
Virgin Mary was a sinner. '^ I beg of you,'' said he, '' con- 
fine this opinion to your own bosom. You can dispute with- 
out restraint upon most other points concerning which you 
entertain different views from the Abyssinians, but do not 
develop your belief that, the Virgin Hary was a sinner ; 
for, in this manner, you may awaken a prejudice against 
yourself which, to say the least, will procure you many ene- 
mie& As for myself, I can say that your opinion differs 
from my own, only in that I cannot believe she ever sinned 
willingly. This point, indeed, is the splitting edge of two 
existing parties in the country ; a few believing with us, 
that Mary was a sinner; but the Etchegua and Alaca 
Waldab are horror-struck at the idea. They cannot admit 
the notion into their creed, because, say they, if Mary was 
a sinner, the body of Jesus being bom of her, must neces- 
sarily partake of her nature, and consequently cannot be 
regarded as entirely immaculate or pure. So I entreat you 
not to agitate this disputed point" 

I replied; "My dear friend, I am extremely grateful for 
the deep interest you take in my wel&re, especially since 
ov opinions are so nearly coincident with reference to this 

10» 



226 JOURNAL or a BESIDENCE in ABYSSINIA. 

important point; you having rooently acknowledged that 
the Tarioos texts of Scrrptnre which I presented to your con- 
sideration, incontestably prove that Mary was not altogether 
free from sin. Bat the truth is, you have not yet drank 
sufficiently deep of the spirit of liberty, or in other words, 
the Holy Spirit has not wrought in your heart with suffi- 
cient efficiency, to inspire you with courage to break away 
from the shackles of pride, and confess your sentiments be- 
fore the world. But do not exact of me the same timidity ; 
ask not that I should speak in a manner contrary to the 
real conyictions of my heart If the homage which you rea- 
der to the Virgin Mary and to deceased saints was not in 
truth idolatrous worship, a homage, based on the pretended 
sanctity of certain priyilegcd persons of the human race — 
beings, originally sunk as low in moral corruption as our- 
selves, I would avoid coming into collision with, or offending 
those who may ignorantly believe that such is their duty. 
But regarding the practice as I do, fraught with impiety, 
and highly dishonorable to Ood, I cannot promise entire or 
uninterrupted silence. All I can promise, is, that I will not 
at present designedly provoke discussion on this subject ; 
but if any one, whether the Etchcgua or any other person, 
shall demand my views, I shall state them frankly. I can- 
not play the hypocrite." 

He rejoined, ^ I can reasonably ask no more, but I hope 
you will express yourself mildly as possible." He then 
proposed several questions concerning the nature of Deity, 
the manner in which the divinity is united with the human- 
ity in the person of Jesus Christ, and other kindred in- 
qniries, altogether too subtle and misty to admit of any dear 



JOUKHAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 227 

or satisfaotorj solution. I did not attempt it I felt bound 
to acknowledge my ignorance, frankly saying, '^I do not 
know. God has not made such abstruse points the subject 
of reTclation in his Word, and it is impossible for us to know 
more of God or his inexplicable attributes, than he has been 
pleased there to unfold.'' 

Early' in the evening, the mother-in-law of Emmaha men- 
tioned to me that she had been all day desirous of speaking 
with me, but seeing me so busily engaged with my numer- 
ous visitors, she had been deterred from preferring the in- 
quiries she wished to make, fearing to weary me. ^ But," 
said she, '^ if it will not be too much for you, I will ask you 
one question. How can a man who is a sinner be justified 
before God?" As this is a fundamental point, I was glad 
to have the opportunity of explaining it. I therefore passed 
the evening very agreeably in conversation on the subject, 
with perhaps a dozen individuals, who were fortunately at 
my house. The Abyssinians make use of the same word to 
express the two ideas, to be justified^ and, to be saved. 

26th. Lej dubea, the uncle, but inveterate enemy of 
Dejaj Oubea, who is at present confined to his house by 
sickness, invited me this morning to call upon him. As he 
occupies a somewhat commanding position in society, hav- 
ing many warm friends, as well as many powerful enemies, 
I thought it prudent in my intercourse with him, to pre- 
serve as great a distance as possible without wounding his 
feelings. I therefore conversed with him through my do- 
mestic interpreter ; but I was again compelled, as on a for- 
mer occasion at the residence of the king, to remark the in- 
efficacy, and indeed, the probable failure, that awaits the 



898 JOUINAL OF A RESIDENCE IN A8Y88IHIA. 

ittiBuonarj, who undertakes to preach the Gospel by meaoi 
of an unohristian interpreter. In the present instanoei a» 
long as our conversation was directed to secular topics, my 
domestic fiEuthfttlly interpreted the sentiments I advanced ; 
but when religion became the theme of discourse, particu- 
larly so soon as I uttered anything which at all clashed 
with the religious prejudices of Oubea, it no longer seemed 
possible for him to speak the truth. Even when he knew 
that I understood him, he would endeavor to render his trans- 
lation obscure and unintelligible, even by expressing himself 
in terms which he thought me unacquainted with, or by 
speaking with great rapidity. For example ; Lej Oubea 
showed me an amulet which he had carried a long time 
about him, but which he said he had not full confidence in, 
beoauae he did not know what it contained. A few sen- 
tences were inscribed upon it in Arabic character& After 
I had deciphered the inscription, I told him it contained 
the first chapter and a few isolated passages from the 
Koran. My domestic interpreted, " It contains several ex- 
cellent prayers, and numerous passages from the Word of 
God." 

I then said ; " Afterward follow a few prayers and con- 
gratulations to Mohammed." 

He seemed a little puszled here, not knowing how to trans- 
late the word Mohammed. But at length, said ho, " There are 
also a fdw words which have reference to Mohammed." 

I now added ; " This is a Mohammedan amulet, and con- 
sequently you ought by no means to carry it about you ; but 
oven were it a Christian amulet, it could not be of the leaal 
service to you." 



JOUENAL OF A RE8IOB1ICE IN ABT88IHI4. 230 

My iiiteq>reier translated ; '< It is an excellent tbiag, and 
j<m may be aasured that so long as yon oarry it with you, 
yon will find it an article of the greatest value." 

I ooold restrain myself no longer, and boldly observed in 
Amharic ; '< It is not of the least service to yon, nor ever 
ean be, either in this life or in that which is to come. If 
yon wonld be saved, the Gospel is the only chart you need 
to stndy ; its holy dictates the only directory you need to 
follow." Having closed this conversation, I retired. 

On my return, I met a judge, surrounded by ten or a 
dozen of his servants, and clasping with both hands one of 
the copies of the Four Gospels I had previously distributed 
in the city. It is a custom among the Abyssinians, when- 
ever they feel great respect for anything given them, how- 
ever small it may be, to grasp it with both hands. For in- 
stance ; should one of the higher classes present a glass of 
beer, a mouthful of bread, or any other trifle, although it 
were nothing more than a needle, to one of inferior rank, 
the latter would receive it with both his hands. 

I was intending to call upon Cantiba Gassai, but before I 
reached his house, I found him encompassed by a crowd, 
Btftndiog in the midst of the market. As soon as he saw me 
be came to meet me, and presenting his parasol, reproached 
me for not having sent, yesterday or Saturday, one of my 
serrants to his house to oongratulate him on his happy ar- 
rival — a return from an excursion which he had made the 
paet week into the territories of Oubea, for the sake of pil- 
laging a district belonging to his enemy. 

« Do not be displeased," said I, << if I only rejoice privately 
at home, on aocount of your prosperous return ^ it was rim- 



280 JOURNAL OF A BESIDBNCE IN ABYSBtNlA. 

ply because I ilid not wish publicly to congratulate yoo, till 
I was convinced that your proceedings were in aooordanoe 
with justice." 

^ Yes, I can speak with confidence on this point ] my con- 
duct has been in accordance with justice. Hence, the Lord 
has been pleased to return me in peace. I am by no means 
a personal enemy to Oubea, but as such, he recently pounced 
upon a village in the vicinity of Gondar, belonging to my 
jurisdiction, and wantonly plundered it ; and I went only 
to recover what was lawfully my own " 

^^ I am happy to learn this fact from your own mouth ; I 
had just been informed that such was the case by others ; 
and, as you see, am now on my way to congratulate you in 
person, for the signal success that has crowned your late ex- 
pedition." 

'^Well, well; let it pass; you always have a ready an- 
swer. Keturn to your house, far from the strife and tur- 
moil of this warring world. Were it not for this numerous 
retinue which must constantly attend my steps, I would 
visit you daily ; but I beg you to do me the favor of calling 
upon me often as convenient ; you will always be welcome." 

When crossing the market, I had more than I could do 
to answer the multitude of almost every class and descrip- 
tion of persons who gathered around me, to offer their salu- 
tations, or to inquire if I recognized them. Numbers ac- 
companied me even to the door of my house. Thus &r the 
nephew of the Etchegua followed me, and then gave vent to 
the ebullitions of his natural heart, by remarking* in the 
presence of many ; ^ Education is not so valuable an aoqui« 
sition as some suppose ; knowledge corrupts tiie heart" 



lOtJBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 231 

^ Why then," said I, ^ did Christ say to his disciples in 
the 28th chapter of Matthew, < Go ye and teach all nations V 
Was it that he wished them to corrupt the hearts of men 9" 

" Well," said he, " does our father, the Etchegua, say, 
that one cannot propose a question to Samuel, which he will 
not readily answer with some appropriate passage of scrip- 
ture." 

27th. The weather has been extremely unpleasant to-day, 
so much so, that I have been depriyed of the privilege of 
doing much good abroad. But I have received a number 
of visits from individuals belonging to the more ignorant 
and degraded classes of people, to whom I have read various 
passages of the Gospel. A number of priests of the same 
stamp also came, so illiterate, so low and grovelling in their 
feelings, so worldly and unspiritual in their views, that it 
was with the greatest difficulty that I could jnake them un- 
derstand the simplest truths. I have observed, as a general 
fiict, both in this country and in Egypt, that the priesthood, 
when they are ignorant and debased, are excessively so ; 
being vastly inferior in vigor of mind and quickness of per- 
ception, to the more rude and uncultivated pagans. They 
have, however, a fund of management and covert tact, which 
enables them to conceal their ignorance from the simple and 
unwary, and by a kind of dishonorable shrewdness, they main- 
tain their ascendency over a few idiotic and illiterate people, 
inth whom they are ohiefly conversant. There are many, 
however, who, though without education, are endowed with 
discernment enough to discriminate between the craft of 
these besotted priests, and the worth of those who are more 
oapable of instructing them, or, at least, more consoientioua 



388 JOURNAL OF A RBBIDBNCB IN ABY881N1A. 

in the discharge of their daties ; bat they often porohasa 
their wisdom at the costly price of experience. For in- 
stance ; to-day, after these illinformed and degraded priests 
had retired, the wife of Emmaha said to me ; << I was glad 
yon spoke so seyerely to them, they deserre it*' 

"Why?" linqnired. 

« Because they are entirely useless." 

^ Are not all priests useful according to their ability ?" 

^ I formerly thought so, and never indulged the least 
suspicion that all priests, without exception, were not the 
best, the holiest of men, till experience taught me the con- 
trary." 

She then related to me the dishonorable conduct of a 
priest, who basely attempted to corrupt her. 

^ But," said I, " all your priests are not such, I tmst" 

*' No, I know they are not ; my experience can testify to 
the truth of this also. For since I hsTC mentioned one 
&ct which so strongly evinces their corruption, justice 
demands of me to mention another, which bespeaks their 
virtue, although the disclosure will cover me with confusion. 
I will freely tell you I once had to confess to my priest the 
crime of unfaithfulness to my husband. But instead of 
seizing the occasion as a favorable opportunity of again 
staining my virtue, he reprimanded me in the severest 
terms, and imposed upon me a rigorous and self-denying 
penance. His whole conduct towards me was subsequently 
changed; he was more serious in his deportment, and 
guarded in his manner than before, and fully convinced me 
that he earnestly desired my salvation. I offered him 
money, wishing to conuaute my penance for a fine^ bat ha 



JOURNAL OF A RB8IDEN0B IN ABYSSINIA. 288 

wovld not aooept it. Bat let me say, notwitlistandiDg my 
misdemeanor, so flagrant in its nature and deleterious in its 
tendency, I never Wed any man as I do my husband." 

This woman is adorned with an assemblage of virtues. 
Indeed, whatever may have been her past oondactj she 
seems now to unite in her oharaoter almost all the ezoellen- 
des which can distinguish humanity in a state of ignorance 
and mental degradation. She is patient under restraint, 
submissive even to those who have no lawful right to ezer 
eise authority over her, kind to the unfortunate, affectionate 
and devoted to the welfare of her parents, correct in her 
deportment) industrious in her habits, with a disposition 
uniformly quiet and contented. She always procured for 
me whatever I needed with the greatest readiness ; appa- 
rently more solicitous to gratify me than to supply her own 
necessities. She, however, couples with her anxiety for my 
convenience and the gratification of my desires a becoming 
prudence ; frequently goiug to the distance of half a league 
to purchase articles which could have been more easily, 
though less cheaply procured in her immediate neighbor- 
hood. I one day said to her, '< I fear you will weary your- 
self in doing so much for my comfort." 

^ It is not for yourself," she replied, << but because of your 
condition, that i am willing to labor so much for you ; when 
you first came here you were not known to us, you were an 
entire stranger, and our Lord has commanded us to be kind 
to strangers. This gives me comparatively little concern ; 
what gives me the greatest trouble, and pierces me with pain 
wlienever I think of it in connection with my sin and unwor- 
thiness, is the desire to be saved." 



8S4 JOURNAL OF A RmiDBNCE IN ABTB0XNIA. 

At another time I said to her ; ^ I know not how I Bball 
ever recompenBO yoa for all the kindness you have shown 
mo, and for all the fatigue I have oaused you." 

She replied \ " If you can persuade my hushand to remain 
at home with me, it will be recompense enough. I will ask 
nothing more." I remarked that I should be very glad if 
she thought it would contribute to her happiness, to accom- 
plish her wishes ; and indeed nothing could give me greater 
pleasure than to use my influence in bringing about an event 
80 desirable, even had she not rendered me such marked at- 
tention ; but since her kindness to me had been so peculiar, 
I wished to give her something, which, while it should add 
to her comfort, would also awaken a remembrance of my 
gratitude. 

<^ If you think it your duty," said she, "to make me some 
small present as a memento of your gratitude, I cannot think 
of anything that would be more serviceable to me than a 
common frock.* As for myself, I am well provided with 
every other article of necessary clothing, but my husband, 
although he labors diligently in the service of Sebagadis, is 
not able to lay up anything of consequence for himself, so 
that the expense of his wardrobe devolves partly upon me, 
and I wish to furnish him with a new suit previously to your 
departure. You see that we are now poor, but it was not 
always so with us. In the time of Ras Walda Selasse, we 
saw happier days ; my husband was his nephew, and we lux- 

* This frock is white, usually double, and the coly article of dress 
worn by the females while laboring in the house ; when thej go out, 
they throw over this a. kind of mantle, called chama; this is i^^o the 
cominon dreei of the men, with drawers and a girdle. 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 285 

uriated in abundance ; but since his death our wealth has 
Tanished. Yet even if my hasband would not indulge the 
hope of again arriving at distinction, we might still live in 
competence and ease. My father and mother were of good 
&milie8,and left me property enough, though it is at present 
unproductive. I own extensive tracts of land, rich, and ca- 
pable of yielding abundant crops, lying in the vicinity of 
Gondar, and in the provinces of Dembea and Balessa. The 
soil of three entire villages belongs to me, as well as several 
smaller sections; but in the present condition of affairs, 
when strife and bloodshed are rife among us, and devasta- 
tion is sweeping with desolating fury over our country, how 
can a female take charge of large agricultural estates 1 If 
Emmaha would remain with me, and take the superintend- 
enee of my possessions, we should have an abundance of 
everything. But he is inclined to a different course, and 
therefore neglects my lands and leaves mc. He sometimes, 
however, desires me to go with him to Tigre, but I cannot 
do this, because I do not like to leave my mother alone. 
Besides, I know that I could not be much with him, as he 
spends a great part of his time in going from one place to 
another, in the service of Sebagadis, and consequently I 
should be more lonely and unhappy than at home." 

28iL I called this morning at the residence of Gantiba 
Cassai, but did not find him at home ; he set forward yester- 
day with his whole army for the province of Dembea. The 
immediate cause of this unexpected eruption I have not been 
able accurately to ascertain, but I conclude it was nothing 
more than the impulse of sudden alarm, for I have under- 
stood, that last evening, the whole city was thrown into a 



286 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYB8INIA. 

panic, though I knew nothing of it until this mormBg. 
Those who possessed any amount of property, immediatelj 
seised their effects, and retired to the quarters of tho Et- 
chegua, or to their churches. Similar fears are entertained 
this CTening. 

This fever of excitement which now pervades the city, ia 
occasioned hy the rumor, that the governor of the province 
which was last week plundered hy the army of Cantiba 
Cassai, has called Dejaj Sedat to his aid, and is madly bent 
on vengeance. Dejaj J3edat is the governor of an indepen* 
dent district lying to the west of Walcait He has the repu- 
tation of being a distinguished warrior ; the country rings 
with his name, and the people stand in the greatest awe of 
him. It is said that war is his element, that nothing pleases 
him better than strife and pillage ; though at the same time, 
he is reported to possess a brave and noble spirit, and to be 
an excellent governor in hb district Gondar is unable to 
resist his force, and consequently everybody is prognostioa- 
ting fearful events ; the confusion and ravage of a plundered 
city. 

About noon I received a visit from Habeta Selasse. We 
engaged, for the first time, in a regular course of argument^ 
concerning the invocation of saints. This led me to speak 
of the characteristics of genuine faith ; and I remarked that 
I thought there was very litUe of it existing in AbysuniB.* 

"How," said Selasse, ''will you prove this?'' ''I will 
prove it," I replied, ^ not from the conduct of the ignorant 
and decidedly vicious among you, but from a part of your 
religious worship itself. Recently, in that fearful conflagra* 

* Hie AbyssiiiiaDs always say they have fidih, but not worha. 



iOUftlTAL OF A BESIDENCBIN ABYSSINIA. 287 

tioD which reduced a portion of your city to ashes, I fre- 
quently heard, amidst the din and tumult, the voice of 
prayer ascending to St. Michael, St. George, Ahuna T^cla- 
Haimanet ; and only here and there the cry for deliyerance 
to the God of heayen. Would it have been so if the people 
had felt in their bosoms the promptings of genuine faith in 
Ood ? I think not ; if we have true faith in him, our souls 
will go out after him ; we shall call upon him in the hour 
of darkness and distress, as he has commanded in the 55th 
Psalm/' 

** Very well," said he, " we believe, as well as you, that all 
blessings come primarily from God, but we believe that the 
saints intercede with him for us, and as they are in a pecu- 
liar sense the friends of their Heavenly King, he listens to 
their intercessions in our behalf." 

" I will ask you one very simple question. When, for in- 
Btance, you pray to St. Michael, do you believe he is every- 
where present to hear you, and to grant the desired favor ?" 

" No ; we do not believe he is everywhere present, but we 
believe that as soon as he is invoked, he comes where we are^ 
and fulfils our petitions." 

^ But," said I, <' supposing thousands of people, dispersed 
into as many different parts of the world, were offering up 
thmr requests at the same instant, could your saint be pres- 
ent in all these several places to grant the requisite assist- 
ance r 

He hesitated for a moment, hardly knowing what to say ; 
at length he replied, — ^ No ; I do not think he oonld listen 
to them all at the same moment, for this would render him 
omniBcient^ equal to God himself, which I by no means be- 



SS8 JOUftNAL OF A BBSIDENOE IN ABTB0IN1A. 

lieTe. I muntain that God makes known to them the petir 
tions of the suppliant, and that he in reality does all that 
is requested of the saint." 

^ That is to say, you honor the servant in order to pro- 
cure the assistanoe of the Master." 

" Not exactly so. We believe that God has made an im- 
mutable covenant with the saints, in consequence of which 
union, the honor rendered to them he regards as rendered 
to himself." 

** Can you find any proof of this," I inquired, ^ in the 
Word of God ?" 

<< Did not Jesus Christ say to his disciples^ that whatso- 
ever good thing one should do to his saints, he would regard 
as done to himself?" 

'* Yes," I replied, ''but he said it to all Christians indis> 
criminately, the least of his brethren, as well as the greatest 
— those who have but tasted, as well as those who have 
drank deepest into his heavenly spirit ; and you must also 
recollect that this was spoken to those who were on earth, 
and not to those who had entered upon their everlasting 
rest ; for the saints in heaven stand in no need of any good 
thing that man can bestow upon them. Besides, it is no- 
where said that he who invokes the creature, by this act, in- 
vokes the Creator ; on the contrary, St. Paul severely rep- 
rimands the Romans for this identical sin, because they 
had robbed the Creator of that honor which is alone his 
due, and impiously bestowed it upon the creature." 

^ But we pray to the saints," resumed Selasse, " because 
we feel that we are wretched, depraved, and polluted sin- 
ners, and consequently, unworthy to approach into the 



iOUENAL 07 A RE8IDEHCB in ABT00INIA. 289 

presence of Infinite Parity. Did not the Israelites ezpe- 
rienoe similar feelings? and did they not entreat Moses to 
speak for them to God, so that he might not speak to them 
directly V 

'' But without saying anything in regard to the difference 
existing between a present indiyidual and a departed, abseiU 
spirit^ I would inquire, who were those that preferred this 
request to Moses 1" 

« The children of Israel" 

'' Yes ; those whose carcasses fell in the wildernesa ; and 
why did they fall ? Why could they not enter into the 
promised land ? Has not St. Paul told us, in his epistle to 
the Hebrews, iii. 19 7" 

^ Because of their unbelief," he instantly replied. 

^ Then you imitate these unbelievers ; is it not just as I 
told you?" 

'^ It is true," said ho ; " you must be correct. If we haye 
genuine faith in God, we shall go to him for succor. Yet 
there is some reason on our side of the question ; when one 
of the common people wishes «to present himself before the 
king to sue for some favor or privilege, is it not suitable for 
him to prefer his request through one of the king's favor- 
ites?" 

^ True, but what do you infer from this ?" 

" We think it b equally proper for us to make known our 
requests to Ood through the intervention of his saints, and 
this is the reason we invoke them." 

" Your argument at first thought," I rejoined, " appears 
very plausible — ostensibly springing from sincere humility ; 
but it is not so ; it is in truth only a germ growing out of 



$40 JOUBNAL OP A RESfDENCE IK ABT88INIA. 

the rankest unbelief as I will soon oonyinoe yoo. The 
position yon have taken is nothing new to me; it is the 
stronghold of the Franks, (Catholics) and all the variont 
sects who believe in the intercession of the saints. I there- 
fore beg jonr serious and candid attention, while I endeavor 
to disclose the fallacy of this vaunted argument, and con- 
vince you that if it proves anything, it proves too much ; it 
proves that you, who adopt the sinful practice, are in reality 
unbelievers, and destitute of the true knowledge of God. 
In the first place, what is the character and condition of 
those who need the intercessions of a favorite to present 
their case to a superior ? They are usually personal stran- 
gers to him, and he to them. Then he resides at the mag* 
nificent houses of the great, shut up from oommon inters 
course and free commerce with the world, and one cannot 
approach him, nor make himself heard without traversing 
passages sedulously guarded by his watchful servants. Bat 
it is not so with God ; he is omnipresent In approaching 
the saints, you must, so to speak, pass directly by your Sav- 
iour. Let us imagine, for a moment, that the king you just 
supposed were present in this room, and should kindly say 
to you, ^ My dear friend, I wish you no evil, I wish you every 
comfort — every happiness. — ^Unbosom to me your whole 
heart — ^tell me all your sorrows, every pain ; I will ease 
your pains and satisfy your desires. Be perfectly free; 
speak without the least restraint or fear ; I am your friend, 
your brother.' Now, if instead of accepting this gracious 
overture, you should directly turn your baok to him, and call 
upon one of his servants, or if you please, his favorite, and 
•ay to him, f Sir, I wish you to intercede for me with your 



JOUSNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTS8INIA. 241 

master,' would not the servant himself become yonr ao- 
enser ? And the master, instead of looking upon you with 
eomplacency, or listening to your request, charge you with 
open contempt of his gracious proffer, and as being actuated 
by the most ungrateful unbelief?" 

" This must be true," said he. 

" Very well, then you will condemn yourself, for you ac- 
knowledge that God is everywhere present, do you not ?'' 

*' Most certainly." 

^ You acknowledge likewise that the saints are not every- 
where present ?" 

" I do." 

^ This," I resumed, ^* is all I wish you to grant on this 
point But observe, this God who is everywhere present, 
has, in his Word, shown his willingness to hear and bless 
the sinner, explicitly declaring that he does not desire his 
death, but that he would turn and live. Jesus is also rep- 
resented in Luke xv. as being the friend of sinners, and in 
Hebrews ii. as the brother of man. He invites those '^ who 
labor and are heavy-laden," to come to him, accompanying 
the invitation with the cheering promise that he will allevi- 
ate their sorrows, and give^ rest to their souls ; and that no 
one might think himself excluded from his kindness and 
love, he has given, John vi. 37, that universal invitation ; 
Mim that cameth to joe^ 1 wiU in rw wise cast out. But what 
gives the death-blow to your doctrine, is a passage in the 
second chapter of 2d Timothy ; There is btU one mediator he- 
iween God and man, the man Christ Jesus?^ 

^ This is a new thought to me," he replied. '' But I think 

you have established your position.' I will acknowledge 

11 



342 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN AB788INIA. 

that the dootrme of the inyooation of eaints has its origin in 
a want of faith, and the practice must be oonfesaed a sin, 
especiallj in those who are well instructed in the oracles 
of truth ; but in the ignorant, where love to GK>d is the 
grand principle, the ruling motive from whieh it flows, I 
cannot deem the usage criminal'' 

^ I only intended,'' I returned, ^ t6 conyince jou that the 
invocation of saints is the result of unbelief; but since you 
hare opened the way, I will advance a step farther, and 
prove to you, both from Scripture and experience, that 
the usage evinces also an entire destitution of tave to €rod. 
For he has told us, John ziv. 28, ^ If any man love me, he will 
keep my words,^ Now his word teaches us to go to Jesus, 
and cast all our burdens on him, confidingly telling him our 
oares and anxieties, and not to go to the saints, for he has 
elsewhere said, Jeremiah zvil 5th, < Cursed be the man thai 
irusteth in man? Experience also teaches us, when we love 
any one, especially when we are confident that he warmly 
returns our affection, it is not with his servant we delight to 
take counsel, and talk over our hopes and fears, when we 
can enjoy the higher privilege of exohanging thoughts and 
feelings with the immediate object of our affection. It is 
not from his servant we crave relief in danger, or assistance 
in misfortune ; it is from the master himself." 

<< Well, so it is," said he; " you have refuted me on every 
point ; but I must be going ; I only intended calling upon 
you for a moment, and returning in season to assist Alaca 
Waldab in a lecture which he is this instant to commence. 
Adieu." . 

29tL I was engaged till noon in making visits of oere^ 



JOiniNAIi OF A KESIDENCE IN ABYSBINIA. 243 

'mony, and afterwards received a namber of the same char- 
acter, daring which I contrived to have several chapters of 
the Gospel read, and considerable religious instruction 
^en. Tecla Selasse, a relative of the king, called upon 
me, and gave me some account of the martial exploits, and 
civil policy of the Abyssinian kings in times past^ and the 
ancient practice of imprisoning the members of the royal 
fiunily. But it is not necessary to give the details of his in- 
teresting story ; those who wish to inform themselves in re- 
gard to these matters, can peruse the accounts already pre- 
sented to the public by Bruce and Ludolf. It is now about 
thirty years since this inhuman custom of confining the 
princes was discontinued. 

30th. The whole of this morning, my house was over- 
flowing with people, and among the rest were a number of 
priests, who propounded to me divers questions, dwelling 
particularly upon this, which is ever the first for ecclesias- 
tics to propose, viz. : to which of the Apostolic Sees we 
belong. I replied according to my usual custom when such 
inquiries are put to me, ^' St. Paul reproves the Corinthians 
for saying, lam of Paid, and I of ApoUos, and I of Cephoi, 
So this division of sees, this pretended sanctity with which 
you invest one above another, and this interest and attach- 
ment which you entertain for one fraternity to the utter ex- 
clusion of all others, are the ruinous results of human cor- 
ruption. Every man who possesses the spirit of St. Peter, 
will imitate him, and by consequence, will be his true suc- 
cessor, in whatever quarter of the world he may reside. 
The same is true of the successors of all the other aposUes. 
Bui every bishop, and every priest, who cherishes a spirit 



344 JOURNAL OF A RE8IDBNCE IN ABTBfllNIA. 

oppofiiie to that of the apostles, is an enemy to God, and tbe 
aerraDt of Satan, notwithstanding all the pretended sanotitj 
he may have thrown aronnd his chosen see." All seemed 
to be in some degree struck by these remarks, and looking 
upon each other, observed, '' This appears rational.** Then 
after a short pause, one of the priests said to me, '' Oar 
bishops do not seem so single-minded and detached from 
the world as the apostles were. Ton, and not they, are the 
'consbtent successor of the apostles ; for they willingly en- 
•dured suffering and encountered danger ; they went firom 
city to dty, and from country to country, preaching the 
Word of Grod ,* and you, in imitation of them, have left your 
home and kindred, and have come into our country, dis- 
tracted with war and depredation as it now is, to proclaim 
the glad tidings of the Gospel." 

I replied ; << I am very far from comparing myself witii 
the self-denying Apostles of our Lord. But recollecting 
that they have commanded us, in their writings, to imitate 
them so far forth as they imitated Christ, and, convinced as 
I am that those, who do not endeavor habitually to tread in 
their steps, are walking the broad road to everlasUng per- 
dition, I sincerely desire to copy their example." 

They also inquired if our churches were dedicated to any 
particular saint, such, for instance, as St. George, or Si Mi- 
chael. I told them that formerly, when our fathers were 
wrapped in the thick clouds of darkness and superstition, 
they were uniformly in the habit, as the Abyssinians now 
are, of dedicating their churches to some saint or patron \ 
but since the glorious light of the knowledge of the Uessed 
God, biasing from his sacred Word, has risen upon them ; 



JOOftNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 245 

rinoetbey bave learned that saints and angels are bat senr- 
aots of Gk>d like themselves, and that the least reti^ons 
homage paid to any other being than oar rightfol Lord and 
Sovereign is rank idolatry — ^is sin — ^they have ceased to 
dedicate their charehes, as well as the days of the week, to 
saints, and consecrate them to God alone. 

I gave a copy of the Foar Gospebi to Alaoa Fanta, with 
which he appeared highly pleased. This afforded me a fii- 
vorable opening for addressing the priests, and I earnestly 
exhorted them in their religions commanications with the 
people, to inoolcate no principles but saoh as are drawn from 
the oracles of Qod ; endeavoring vividly to portray before 
their minds, the imminent peril they incur by imbibing and 
teaching the doctrines of men, in a matter of such vast im- 
portance ; because, that upon the religious doctrines we em* 
brace, depends the salvation or ruin of our deathless souls. 

Af(cr this crowd of people had dispersed, I walked out, 
and called upon the governor, Cassai, whom I found distrib- 
aUng a small basket of barley bread to his half famished 
soldiers, each one receiving the merest trifle. He told me 
that he was compelled to suffer hunger himself, in order to 
provide even a pittance for the sustenance of his servanta 
On my return, I asked my domestics if they were hungry, 
it being then about three o'clock in the afternoon, and we 
had taken nothing since morning. One of them replied ; 
" When we set out on our walk, I felt some disposition to 
eat ; bat since witnessing such famine as I have just seen 
at the house of the governor, I have lost my appetite." 
While I was talking with one of my neighbors at the resi- 
dence of the Gantiba, the latter took the opportonity of con- 



S46 JOUBNAL OF A RBSIOBNCE IN ABTSSINIA. 

verdog with hia attendants respecting me. He Teiy softly 
said to them; ''How does this man appear to yon? For 
my part, whenever I see him, I always haye to ask myself^ 
< Is it really a man that I see, or is it an angel V I have 
seen many white men before; but I never saw one who 
wonld at all compare with this man." Another remarked ; 
^' If I should meet him in a field alone, I should flee for my 
life, fearing I should die." A third said ; ^ Those flowing 
looks which rest upon his shoulders, that long red beard, 
glistening as it fidb from his chin, and that clear, transpa* 
rent countenance, render him, certainly in appearaaoOi 
superior to the Archangel Michael." 

May Ist. It has been quite rainy to-day ; consequently, I 
have not ventured much abroad, and have received but one 
visit at home. Habeta Selasse called, and passed considera- 
ble time with me. We conversed principally upon the na- 
ture and design of fasts. I think he is at length convinced, 
that a fast, to be either acceptable or useful, must be volun* 
tary ; that we should come to the duty with a lively sense 
of our wants and wretchedness, a feeling that shall so pene* 
trate our souls, and swallow up every other interest, that we 
can take no pleasure in delights and vanities of an earthly 
nature ; in a word, that it must be accompanied with earnest, 
importunate prayer for blessings of which we feel the perish^ 
ing need, either for ourselves or others. But as soon as we 
regard the act of fasting as a meritorious work, it becomes a 
sin ; and in this respect the fasts of the Abyssinians may be 
regarded as generally displeasing to Ood. The contempla- 
tion of this subject led us to the discussion of the important 
doolrine of justification through fidth. We, however, do noi 



JOURNAL OF A REfllDENCE IN ABTSfllNIA. 347 

BO widely in relation to this topie as on some others; 
for it is worthy of remark, that the Abyssinians, in theory 
at least, are far less opposed to this fundamental doctrine of 
Christianity than the Papists or Greeks, although in prao- 
tioe, I suppose the hearts of men are everywhere equally 
opposed to this only way of esoape for ruined sinners. Ha- 
beta Selasse advanced nothing which could be considered as 
decidedly against the doctrine, though it is evident he does 
not clearly understand it. He respects St. Paul, and does 
not seem disposed to dispute his statements or refute his 
principles ; still, truth does not shine upon him with un- 
clouded beam. So true is it, that notwithstanding all the 
explanations that can be given to the morally blind, this 
doctrine is never received in its full import, till by happy 
experience, they can make a spiritual application of it to 
themselves. 

There were no provisions in the market till a late hour in 
the afternoon ; the caravans having been delayed by the 
storm, so that the evening arrived before we were able to 
procure any provisions. But as soon as the caravans ar* 
rived, the market being replenished, everything was sold ex- 
tremely low, as low as is frequently the case in seasons of 
great plenty. I took advantage of the redundant supply, to 
famish my table, and purchased a steer two years old for a 
flinglo talari. Provisions have no fixed price at Gondar ; 
everything is cheap or dear according as the market on 
Saturday is scantily or profusely supplied. 

2d. Sabbath, I had the satisfaction of passing the greater 
part of the day in the study of the Scriptures. I was inter* 
mpted by no visits, excepting a short one from Habeta 



248 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

Selasee. He complained of the long and somewhat tedious 
expositions he sometimes found attached to passages of 
Scripture — ^passages, the import of which appeared to him 
as clear as the noonday. Our conversation was rather dee- 
ultorj; we confined ourselycs to no particular suhject or 
course of argument ; hut we took up the Gospel, and perused 
with attention a number of chapters. 

dd. Early in the morning, Ozoro Waleta Teclit sent for 
me to visit her brother, who for a few months past has been 
in a state of mental derangement. This excellent woman is 
at present the first lady in Gondar. She is sister to the de- 
ceased Dejaj Marou, and mother of the young warrior 
Dejaj Gomfou, governor of the provinces of Coura and Bem- 
bea. With the view of driving from him the demons of 
which she supposes him possessed, she has called at her 
house most of the priests of Gondar to offer up prayers for 
his relief. A few are constantly employed in reading near 
him ; but they have the good sense to accompany the exer- 
cises with a generous application of cold water, which they 
frequently sprinkle upon his breast I had seen him a day 
or two previous, and the observations I then made, agreeing 
with what I now discovered, I satisfied my mind as to the 
nature of his disease. I accordingly told his sister that I 
did not think him under the influence of any enchantment 
or evil spirit, but that, in my opinion, his malady arose from 
too great a pressure of blood. SHe, as well as the monks 
and nuns that her kindness had gathered around him, in- 
credulously shook their heads, and as I did not wish to 
offend them, I avoided pressing the point ; I only added, 
that if she could satisfy herself that it was best to take m 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 249 

little Uood, I should be yery happy to perform the opera- 
tion, whenever such a desire on her part should be made 
known to me. She continued three days longer to employ 
the reading of the priests, all of whom perseyered in affirm- 
ing that he was possessed. At length, finding that all their 
enchantments produced no fayorable effect on the disease, 
she yesterday morning sent for me. But I refused then to 
comply with her request, not only because it was th& Sab- 
lath, but because, on mature reflection, I did not wish to 
evince undue eagerness in opposing the priests in mat- 
ters of a secular nature. I returned her word, however, 
that I would call to-day if she desired it. At an early hour 
this morning, therefore, she sent three of her servants, de- 
siring me to vibit her brother, and prescribe for him what- 
ever, in my judgment, might prove beneficial for his restora- 
tion. I accordingly went, and for the purpose of winning 
his affections and gaining his confidence, I first said to him, 
'< My opinion of your disease differs entirely from that of 
others; everybody is persuading your sister that you are 
possessed ,* I alone believe and tell her the contrary. They 
wish to conyince me that this is the case, by pointing to your 
eyes, whioh appear red and surcharged ; but if you will per- 
mit me to draw a little blood, I shall hope to satisfy them 
that you are no more possessed than themselves. It is in 
consequence of too great a quantity of blood, that your eyes 
are thus bloodshot and heavy.'' He, forthwith directing all 
bis unsuccessful exorcists to retire, said to me, " You are 
indeed my only friend— do for me whatever you think 
proper ; I repose the utmost confidence in you." I imme- 
diaielj opened a vein, and he seemed to enjoy himself highly 



250 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABY08INIA, 

under the operation, in throwing jets of blood on those oot 
lected around him. Soon after the blood b^^ to flow, 
when, perhaps, he had lost a pound, the women began to 
weep and cry out, ^^His enough, it is enaughy But perceiT- 
ing that their conduct was displeasing to me. he said to them 
in an imperious tone, '< Don't trouble jourselyes ] keep si* 
lence ; this man is mj friend, and he best knows what I 
need ; besides, I begin already to feel that the operation is 
doing me good." After I had taken from three to four 
pounds of blood, and just as he was about to swoon, I or^ 
dered him to be taken to his bed, recommending his attend- 
ants to treat him with mildness, and to leave him for a time 
to uninterrupted repose. 

This afternoon I received a vbit from a servant of the 
king of Shoa, who, for some time past, has fiivored me with 
frequent calls. He came to bid me adieu before his depart- 
ure to rejoin his master, which takes place to-morrow. I 
entrusted to him a copy of the Four Gh}spels, the Acts of the 
Apostles, and the Epistle to the Romans, together with a 
short letter, to present to the king, Sehela Selasse. I also 
gave him a copy of the Four Gospels for his own use, with 
the permission of presenting it to whomsoever he pleased, 
provided the object of his bounty resided within the limits 
of the kingdom of Shoa. I also gave a copy to one of tho 
relatives of the king, who has frequently visited ma 

4ih. At early dawn this morning, I received an invitation 
from Osoro Waleta Teclit to call upon her. I immediately 
obeyed the summons, and as soon as I entered the door, she 
met me, and said in the presence of a large oonoourse id 
{eople, ^ I have sent for you, sir, that I might havo the op- 



JOUBNAL OF A BS8IDBNGE IN ABT8SINIA. 251 

portansly of showing you my sinoere gntitude for the kind- 
noBS yoa have rendered my brother, in mitigating his pain- 
ful illness. Since you saw him yesterday, they tell me he 
is decidedly better ; that he appears as composed as though 
his mind had never been bewildered. Now, whatever yon 
advise me to do for him, I will most cheerfully do it. Do 
yon think he can be unchained with safety ?" 

I replied, ''This disorder undoubtedly arose from too 
plentiful a supply of blood, and the bleeding has conse- 
quently proved beneficial to him ; but I assure you I have 
not performed the operation without accompanying it with 
earnest prayer to God, that he would render the means effi- 
cacious ; and especially have I entreated him efifectually to 
remove the veil from your mind, and cause you to see that 
the teachings of the priests are not always to be relied upon. 
Take this," I continued, reaching her the (Gospel \ '« this will 
grvv you a knowledge of truths which will never fiiiL'' She 
eagerly took it, Idssing it again and again. I then sud to 
her, '' I have not seen your brother since yesterday morn- 
ing, bat whatever may be the present state of his health, I 
dall not deem it advisable to take off his chains till you 
have seen him ; for during the prevalence of his disease, you 
were the peculiar object of his aversion." 

'' The task you assign me," said she, " is indeed punful, 
for I know he will load rae with reproaches before all who 
may chance to be with him ; but since such is your pleasure, 
I will not hesitate to comply." She then ordered all present 
to withdraw, and said to me in a private manner, " You are 
the only one who has correctly understood the malady of 
my brother, a circumstance, which gives me great confidence 



262 JOURNAL. OF A fiESlDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

in you. I will therefore frankly state to you my own 
I am frequently afflicted with a disorder in my head, which 
extremely oonfoses me, and sometimes almost robs me c^ 
my reason. So high does my malady sometimes rage, that 
I am forced to retire from public yiew, lest I should expose 
myself to the charge of madness, or, at least, of folly and in- 
discretion. Do you think that bleeding would be senrtoe- 
able to me V^ After inquiring into the origin, or the prob- 
able cause of her disease, I told her I rather doubted 
whether physicians in Europe would recommend bleeding 
in her present situation, though I did not imagine it would 
do her any injury. 

^ Very wel V said she ; ^' please to call upon me to-morrow 
morning." I then called upon her brother, whom I found 
evidently in a state of convalescence ; having improved con- 
siderably since yesterday. He was urgent to have me bleed 
him again, and especially desirous that I would unlock his 
chains. I promised to unshackle his hands to-morrow, and, 
if he should continue to mend till the next day, to unloose 
his feet. " Do it now," said he ; "I will promise to be 
calm ; I was out of my head, but since you bled me, my 
reason has returned, and I am as clear and composed as be- 
fore." I then took my leave of him, and directed my steps 
to the residence of the Etcbegua, whom I found alone. We 
were just entering upon an interesting conversation, when 
we were unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of several 
judges, who came to investigate a lawsuit upon which they 
were appointed to deliberate. The Etchegua told me that 
when he found himself again alone and at liberty, he would 
send for me. Immediately on my return to my lodgings^ a 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 258 

oompuiy of bojs called upon me, begging a copy of the 
Gospel, that, as they said, their master might teach them 
the doctrines of Jesns Christ I said a few words to them 
by way of exhortation, and sent them away with the desired 
treasure. 

A poor man has just left me, who yentnred, though with 
trembling, to ask for the Gospel, that he might be enabled 
to inculcate upon the minds of his children its holy pre- 
cepts. When he received it, he was apparently oyeijoyed ; 
he covered it with kisses ; it seemed impossible for him to 
find terms sufficiently strong to express the high satisfiao- 
tion he felt, in having at length received the object which 
he had so long and so ardently sought 

While I have been writiog the above, the soldiers of Ma- 
riam have passed my door, having entered Gondar, as I sup- 
pose, with the intention of taking up their lodgings for the 
night. The soldiers under the government of Mariam are 
little better than so many thieves. The city, on their ac- 
count, is in a perfect fever of excitement, every one tremb- 
ling for the safety of his property. My men have taken the • 
alarm, and have conveyed my effects to one of the churches; 
but for myself, I am determined to await the events of the 
night, trusting in the Lord. 

5th. Most of the people of Gondar slept last night in the 
churches, from fear of the soldiers, who, as I mentioned, 
passed my door just in the edge of the evening, though they 
did not, as was expected, encamp in the city. The furni- 
ture and provisions, however, which the people carried to 
the churches in the moment of excitement, have not been 
removed. 



254 lOUENAL OP A RESIDENCE III ABTBBIlflA. 

This morning, agreeable to her reqaesi,! oalled upon 
Oioro Waleta Teclit, with the design of bleeding her ; but 
as the vein could not be easily discovered, all her attendants 
struck in and opposed my doing it. For a time, I was not 
greatly in favor of proceeding myself; but at length under- 
taking it, I succeeded &r better than I anticipated; a cir- 
cumstance which led some to say they had some suspimon 
that I was the archangel Michael After I had finished the 
operation, she requested me to visit her brother, and call 
upon her again on my return. I accordingly went, and 
found him apparently recovered and in his right mind ; but 
I bled him again, because he desired it This morning he 
drove from his house all the priests who, for sometime past 
have infested it, telling them that all his insanity was occa- 
sioned by them and his sister. "When my sister first 
caused me to be chained," said he to me, ^ I was not de- 
ranged, I was only intoxicated. But seeing everybody re- 
gard me as insane, and especially having my house crowded 
with priests, who were continually performing over me their 
• conjurations, I must acknowledge that I soon became so, 
and that I was not perfectly sane the first time you saw me. 
I therefore willingly confess that I have been somewhat de- 
ranged ; and since an insane man cannot be reasonably 
trusted as soon as he begins to recover, I will not demand 
the privilege of being liberated entirely, at present ; I only 
desite you to request my sister to iengthen my chains, so 
that I can change my position more easily. I know not 
how I now stand with her, but she never offered to confine 
me until I told her my intention of going over to the side 
of Mariam, because I knew that both herself and son had 



iOVBNAL OF A RESIDENCE Ilf ABYBSIITIA. 356 

rendered ihem0elTe» guilty of treason. She mistrusted, per- 
kaps, that I should inform the Bas of her conduct, and she 
might have judged it expedient to make me pass for a mad- 
man, so that the Ras would not belieye me. However, let 
this pass ; but tell mj sister if she will restore to me the 
government of the province, which she has taken from me, 
she may oonfidentlj rely on my fraternal love and regard. 
I will own, indeed, that being the friend of her son's enemy, 
I gave her some cause for removing me from my trust" 

This afternoon, in agreement with her request, I again 
oalled upon Ozoro Waleta Teclit, whose house I found 
thronged with visitors. She had told all around her how 
mueh good the bleeding had done her. Every one present 
was now afflicted with some disease, and all, both small and 
great, desired to be bled. As there were many with whom 
I could converse only by means of an interpreter, I said but 
little to them ; only exhorting them, in few words, to realize 
their spiritual malady, and to seek its only remedy in the 
blood of the new covenant. I saw one personage amid the 
erowd whose physiognomy struck me as peculiarly disagree- 
able. I made a few inquiries concerning him, and learnt 
enough that was vile in his character to justify the horror 
I felt on first observing him. He is uncle of Oubea, who 
was formerly much attached to him, but the cord has re- 
cently been severed. A short time since, some one slander- 
ously told him that one of his concubines had held improper 
intercourse with a certain individual of his acquaintance, 
who had been aided in accomplishing his villanous design, 
Vy four accomplices, two men and two women. There were 
BO witnesses of the ne&rious act, but upon the simple evi- 



256 JOURNAL OF A REBIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

denoe of this ill-foanded report, he arraigned the man and 
woman, together with the alleged abettors of their crime, 
and caused them to be mercilessly beaten ; and afterwardSi 
as they would make no confession of their fault, cruelly put 
them to death with tortures which might well be termed, a 
refinement of barbarity. When Oubea heard of this outrage 
upon humanity, he was deeply affected, and exclaimed with 
tears ; '^ How is it possible that such an act should be per- 
petrated under my government ? Qo, measure out to him 
as he has measured out to others ; — suffer him not to live ; 
I can never see him again." The report of Oubea*s threat- 
ening quickly spread abroad ; the criminal caught the alarm 
and took refuge in Gondar. 

6th. The priest, who has charge of the young lads to 
whom I gave a copy of the Gospel a few days since, called 
upon me, with a number of his pupils, to thank me for Uie 
fiivor. I entreated them to seek the way of salvation as de- 
lineated in the Word of God. — An Alaca subsequently called 
upon me, with whom I had a long conversation, concerning 
the views and feelings with which we oaght to read the 
Word of God, as contrasted with those which we ought to en- 
tertain in perusing the writings of men. He proposed sev- 
eral questions relative to our mode of celebrating divine 
worship, especially with respect to the administration of the 
Holy Supper. I interrogated him with regard to transub- 
stantiation, and he answered me much as others have done ; 
<' After the bread and wine have been solemnly set apart, we 
call them the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, so as not to 
confound them with ordinary bread and wine ; but we do not 
believe their nature to be in the least ohaDged*— we only be- 



JOURNAJi OF A KE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 257 

lieve ihat the communicants, in partaking of these elements, 
spiritoally partake of the body and blood of our Redeemer." 
While we were oonyersing together, Habeta Selasse entered 
in company with several priest& He appeared melancholy 
and dejected, because, he said, he heard of nothing in the 
city but war and strife. " It is undoubtedly in consequence 
of our manifold iniquities as a people, that our country is 
now rife with confusion, and we lie beneath the scourge. 
We haye many books ; still we are illiterate. There are 
about three hundred persons in Oondar who can read, but 
the mass of the people are unlearned, and are as corrupt as 
ibey are ignorant The early Christians had not so many 
books as we haye, yet they were far better men. The 
simple truth, that the Word became flesh, was sufficient to 
kindle up in their bosoms a flame of love to God and good- 
will to their neighbor.*' 

''Formerly," I rejoined, '' my ancestors in Europe neg- 
lected, as you now do, the Word of God, and foolishly fol- 
lowed the fables and devices of men. The country felt the 
effects of their follies and sins, and afforded but one com- 
mingled scene of ignorance, vice, and misery ; but since their 
posterity have adopted the Word of God as their only rule of 
DEuth and practice, God has showered upon the land his 
choicest blessings. There are,. indeed, multitudes of aban- 
doned men still, who are crowding the broad road to ruin ; 
but God has blessed the country for the sake of the few right- 
eous men who dwell therein, according to his promise to his 
people of old, as recorded in the eighteenth chapter of 
Genesis. Indeed, I think you will always find it an invari- 
able rule, that wherever those who bear the Christian name 



256 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT8BINIA. 

endeavor to raise the works of men to a level with the in- 
struotions of inspired trath^ the people will beeome a prej 
to oorruption, and misery and ruin will sweep through the 
land. Such, you may expect, to a greater or less d^ree, will 
be the case in Abyssinia, so long as you confound the doc- 
trines of men with the truths of God." 

" But you must consider," said Selasse, '^ that we do not 
receive anything which is directly contrary to the Word of 
God." 

'^ Grant that to be true," I continued, ^and still your 
course is dangerous. I have already convinced you that 
the writings of men, especially since the fourth century* 
may be affirmed to abound with errors, and particularly is 
this true of your favorite work, Oudasse Mariam afJSphraiwk 
On the present occasion, I shall avail myself of only a sin- 
gle argument, to unfold to you the prolific source of all that 
temporal and spiritual misery, which is now deluging your 
unhappy country. Supposing, indeed, that there were noth- 
ing, not a syllable in all the writings of the learned doctors 
in your church, that might be reasonably construed, in the 
least degree, at variance with the general tenor of the Word 
of God ; you yourself acknowledge that they contain many 
things which are not to be found in the Bible, and that 
there is no proof that these novelties are divinely inspired. 
You must, therefore, necessarily entertain some doM in re- 
gard to those instructions which they inculcate. But a 
doubt, you must be sensible, is inconsistent with that im- 
plicit faith, by which we are made conquerors over the 
world. See, for instance, Ghrysostom, one of the best of 
men, and one whom I especially respect ; did you not ae- 



JOURNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABT88INIA. S59 

knowledge the other day that there are to be found in hiB 
writings many traces of self-love, if not positive marks of 
pride, not to say anything of certain extravagant specula- 
tions of his, so entirely at variance with the declarations of 
St Paul concerning the freedom of the will? Did you not 
also acknowledge that in the works of Cyril of Alexandria, 
there were manifestly incorporated a carnal and worldly 
leal, and a persecuting spirit ? This, if you will throw your 
mind open to the light of truth, must convince you that 
these works, although they may be excellent and useful in 
other respects, are not the works of God, but the specula- 
tions of men. Now the word of man cannot penetrate the 
heart ; it cannot change it ; it is only the feeble expression 
of a feeble being. But the toord if God is quick and powerful^ 
ihtvrper than any two-edged sword ; it pierces and softens the 
heart ; it illuminates the understanding, and Lb alone capa* 
ble of correcting, instructing, and rendering us wibe unto 
salvation. Now,- do you not understand that all this blood, 
confusion, and misery, which you see, and so justiy lament 
in Abyssinia, flow directly from that fountain of every evil ; 
—deep ignorance of the Word of Ood ?" 

All the priests simultaneously exclaimed ; '^ This must 
be true ;" and Habeta Selasse remarked ; '' You are always 
undermining and shaking the confidence I have so fondly 
reposed in the writings of religious men ; but your last re* 
mark has given the leveling blow. It has convinced mcy 
that though they may be valuable in many respects, they 
are not armed, like the Bible, with power to convert the 
heart, and render men virtuous and happy.*' 

After the priests had retired, Selasse said to me; ^ Since 



260 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTBEINIA. 

yon spoke to me on the subject of missions, tlie idea has 
been coostantlj impressed upon my mind, that I must go 
and preach the Gospel to the (Mlas. You propose, I be- 
lieve, to return for a season to your own country, though I 
think you said you intended to come again into Abyssinia, 
at the expiration of a year. Now I wish you to hasten your 
departure, and return again as speedily as possible. I will 
remun, meanwhile, at Oondar. I am very anxious to en- 
gage in a missionary enterprise among these savage tribes, 
in the company of yourself. K we go together, I think we 
cannot fail of being successful There are many favorable 
traits in the character, and encouraging circumstances in the 
condition of the Gallas. They are indeed ignorant and un- 
cultivated, but it will not be necessary to subvert before we 
can build up. They are fond of instruction, and disposed 
to believe the great truths of the Gospel, whenever judi- 
ciously unfolded to their view. In many respects, they are 
entirely unlike the Abyssinians." After this interview with 
Habeta Selasse, I received a number of visits ; and among 
the rest, an interesting young man called upon me, to whom 
I gave a copy of the Gospel. For a considerable time pasty 
he has called upon me almost every day, with the express 
intention of begging a copy of the sacred volume. 

7th. This has been quite a wintry day. For several days 
past the weather has been rather uncomfortable, having been 
extremely wet and rainy. I should have been glad to have 
returned to Tigre before the setting in of winter, but the 
hostile armies of Mariam and Oubea being stationed on the 
route, the journey would be extremely hazardous, if not 
utterly impracticable. I have just been favored with a viat 



iOUBNAL OF A RESIBENCS IN ABTSBINIA. 261 

firom two of the servmnts of Beleta Darcopti, who informed 
me that when the governor of Gojam saw the copies of the 
GoBpel which I sent him at Dehra Tabor, he burst into tears, 
and directiDg his remarks to Beleta Daroopti, said ; ^ Why 
did you fear to bring here a man whose only object was to 
famish as with the Gospel in oar own language ? I would 
not have injured him ; so far from it, I would have safely 
sheltered him from every danger." 

8ih. Last evening my house was thrown into a momen* 
tary state of excitement and alarm. The daughter of 
Emmaha was suddenly seized with a kind of spasms, or con- 
▼ulsion fits. She almost instantly lost her reason, and, be* 
sides the agitation that shook her limbs, she uttered fright- 
fal cries, which strikingly resembled the bowlings of the 
hyena. This circumstance led the bystanders to conclude 
that she was under the influence of the boudas^ or sorcerers; 
for it is a general opinion among the Abyssinians, that the 
greater part of hyenas are, in reality, metamorphized sorcer- 
ers. I tried to convince them that her disease was occasion- 
ed by no such agency ; telling them that I no more believed 
her under the influence of the boudasj than myself One of 
the priests present, at first seemed to coincide with me, 
though he afterwards insinuated that ho thought it very 
poesible she might be possessed by some evil spirit Ad the 
first remedy, they began beating the poor girl, either with 
the intention of driving out the demon by which they sup- 
posed her influenced, or from some other motive unknown 
to me ; but such conduct was too barbarous for me oalndy 
to endure. I instantly drove every individual from the 
house except the mother. In about an hour, her reason re- 



902 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INTA. 

turned, and she was apparent! j restored. A few moments 
before there were any indioations of returning health, her 
mother gave me several amulets to read ; I told her thej 
oould produce no salutary effect on her daughter, — ^fchat diey 
would be injurious, rather than useful But she did not 
seem perfectly satisfied with my summary manner of dia- 
posing of them. While her daughter's convulsions con- 
tinued to recur, I could clearly perceive, that she felt some 
uneasiness in having submitted her amulets to the decisions 
of my judgment ; but as soon as her daughter had obviously 
recovered, she said to me : ^ It is well for me that you were 
present, for if you had not been here, some writer of amulets 
would uudoobtedly have cheated me out of four or five 
talaris as the price of his crime." 

The more I become acquainted with the character and 
condition of ignorant people, the more I am astonished that 
Europeans, men of pretended learning and sound -sense, 
should think of maintaining that Uie savage and untaught 
are more happy than the better informed. When the Abys* 
sinians, and, indeed, the greater part of colored people who 
have fallen under my observation, are in health, they are 
usually cheerful and happy ; but let their health be in any 
manner impaired — let their blood cease to flow in its 
sprightly currents, or pain thrill their nerves, and their gay- 
ety is at an end. They become doubly wretched in conse- 
quence of the harassing idea that they have become the prey 
of sorcerers or evil spirits. Then the pains taken to pro- 
cure something which may operate as a defence against 
these supernatural attacks must be a source of frequent 
trouUe and vexation. For a poor man, indeed, it must be 



JOUENAL OF 4 RESIOENOB IN ABTSBIITIA. 2INI 

agreat saorifioe to part with ten or a dosen talans to pnr- 
ehase an amulet, when, perhaps, to gain them, he has for a 
long time serred irith dread a caprieions master. The 
Abyssinians believe that the Falashas or Jews, most. Mus- 
suhnans, and some Christians, are sorcerers. Mussulmans, 
and many of the Jews, however, are not entirely exempt 
from these strange ideas ; for they live as much in fear of 
the baudas, as the Christians. I oan easily conceive how 
that simple and uneducated people could be brought to be* 
lieve in the influence of sorcerers ; but I am utterly aston- 
ished that such intelligent men as Mr. Bruce and Mr. Salt 
should have thought that they found in Abyssinia, evidence 
sufficient to induce them to believe such preposterous ideas 
as are here entertained in regard to the boadas. For my 
part, I have not as yet discovered anything which I could 
suppose capable of convincing a child.* 

I have not yet since my residence in Gondar, enjoyed an 
opportunity of seeing or conversing with one of the Falashas. 
I have frequently requested various individuals to introduce 
me to some one of them, who knew how to read. They 
have often promised me the favor, but have afterwards uni- 
formly found some excuse for not doing so. The most that 
I know of them is, that they are generally reported to be an 
ignorant and besotted race, very few among them being able 

* They also regard as boudas^ the Camountes, a small Pagan people 
inhabiting the mountains in the vicinity of Qondar. Some account has 
been given of this people in a subsequent part of this work. little is 
known of the principles of their religion. They are somewhat similar 
to ilie Druses of Mount Lebanon, the word Druse in their langua^ 
•ignifying Lord. 



964 JOUBNAL OP A RBSIDBNGE IN ABTflSINIA. 

to read. It is said that they have no books in the Sthiopio 
but tho Old Testament. I was informed the other daj by 
a priest, that they emigrated to Abyssinia soon after the de- 
struction of Jerusalem by the Romans. 

I have had, to-day, a long conversation with Alaca Waoa, 
on the justification of the sinner before God. Like other 
priests with whom I have previously conversed on this sub- 
ject, he did not appear to be so much opposed to this funda* 
mental doctrine of the Gospel, as the priests of other sects 
usually are, though his ideas were by no means clear or 
satisfactory. There were some passages in the Epistle of 
James, particularly the 17th and 26th verses of the 2d chap- 
ter, which appeared very much to trouble him. I endeav- 
ored to elucidate them, and repeated to him a number of 
texts from the writings of St. Paul, which I regarded as ex- 
planatory of the doctrine. He assented to my positions, 
and acknowledged that there was reason in what I said; but 
I plaiuly saw that he did not intend to depend upon me as 
his guide to truth. I subsequently received a visit from 
one of the friends of Oubea, Lie Ateoou, who had this 
morning arrived from Antchatab. He told me he had seen 
the copy of the Gospel which I had given to Oubea, on the 
road near Gondar, and, on approaching the city, he resolved 
to call upon me before making any other visit He re- 
mained with me only a short time, but he intimated that he 
might call often during his stay among us, and that he was 
desirous of having some conversation with me on a variety 
of topics. 

9th. Sabbath. The whole of the day, from the dawn of the 
morning to the twilight of the evening, my house has been 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 2W 

thronged with visitors, because it is generally known in the 
<nty that I do not go abroad on the Sabbath. I know not 
how it has oomo to pass, — ^perhaps it has been owing to the 
pconliar frame of my own mind, — ^but for some reason, all 
our conversation has revolyed aroand a single point, — ^that 
bright centre of hope to the goilty, — justification through 
fidth. Almost every man and woman present had some 
question to propose concerning the wonderful method, by 
which a sinner, lost and ruined, can be justified before a 
righteous Qod, I always replied by some passage of Scrip- 
tore which was decisive on the subject, carefully elucidating 
whatever I thought, to their beclouded minds, might need 
exposition. The Epistle to the Romans, which I have in 
Amharic, I find of the greatest use to me. This morning 
a woman called to tell me over her sorrows. << Seven months 
ago," said she, " I held the rank of a noble lady, and enjoyed 
all the privil^es and comforts of such a situation ; but the 
scale is now turned against me. My son has been impris- 
oned, and every article of property has been rifled from me ; 
and to deepen the affliction occasioned by these disasters, 
my health has ever since been extremely infirm. Have you 
any medicine which you can recommend as adapted to my 
case?" I replied, that I had not come into the country to 
heal the diseases of the body, and consequently I had not 
brought with me the appropriate remedies ; but I directed 
her to God, in whom there dwells a fulness to satisfy all our 
wants, both spiritual and temporal ; and who would willingly 
grant her all that solace which her bleeding heart required. 
She answered, while tears streamed down her cheeks ; ^ I 
liftve tried to pray, but Ood has turned away his ear from 

12 



-966 JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABT88I1IIA. 

my request, becanse mj soul is loaded with siit^ iSinoe 
such was the case, I entreated her to go immediately to 
(}od, oraye the pardon of her numerous offences, and seek 
the remedy of her spiritaal malady in the atoning Uood of 
Christ ; then, I assured her, I could indulge the hope thai 
her temporal condition would improve. 

10th. This forenoon I called upon Osoro Waleta Teclit^ 
for the purpose of making the acquaintance of h&t son Bejaj 
Comfou. I found hor house crowded with people ; indeed, 
most of the nobility of Oondar were present They treated 
me with marked civility, and manifested no ordinary degree 
of friendship and esteem. My watch, as well as my hair 
and beard, afforded them considerable amusement From 
thence, I proceeded to the residence of the Etchegua, who 
appeared very friendly ; he was abundant in excuses because 
he could not supply me with everything I needed ; but, he 
said, the belligerent armies, which are unceasingly passing 
and repassing through the country, and have been since the 
commencement of the current year, had plundered and des- 
olated his fields. I replied, that up to the present time, I 
had felt the need of nothing which was indispensable to my 
comfort, and I hoped the ten talaris which I still had, would 
be sufficient to supply my necessities till the Lord should 
open a way for my return to Tigre. Such is the state of 
affiurs at present, that no one could undertake the journey 
with safety ; not even the privileged character of the priest 
would screen him from danger. The Etchegua proposed to 
me a number of questions concerning the nature of diseases, 
and the art of healing them. I longed to turn the current 
of eoaversatioD, and to speak of the moral diseases whioii 



IOI7BNAL or A RB8IDBNCB IM ABTSBINIA. SII7 

wn wnkering our iioiik, aad the remedy which the Gospel 
proflbrB for their reoorery ; but erery time that an opporta- 
Bity seemed about to present itself, some one would einter, 
or something take plaee which would lead our thoughts to 
other topics, so that I was compelled to retire without ao- 
oomplishing my desire. I returned dissatisfied and de- 
pressed. While I was with him, however, he performed 
one iwt which gave me some degree of pleasure. Two heads 
of convents, situated in the vicinity of Gk>ndar, were present 
To each of these he gave a copy of the Four Ch)8pels, with 
which I had previously entrusted him, and in the presence 
of several others, earnestly recommended their impartial 
examination. This was a cheering incident, and on account 
of this aloBO) I can rejoice that Providence has guided my 
feet to this nominally Christian city, and thus allowed me to 
liope that I have not labored in vain. 

I afterwards visited Alaca Stephanos, with whom I found 
one of the Falashas, who was very much surprised to learn 
that there were other Jews than those residing in Abyssinia. 
He was so ignorant that he was incapable of giving me any 
information worthy of notice ; but he promised to bring me 
s man who was able to read, and, consequently, better in- 
formed. I made him repeat several words of their lan- 
guage, but could detect only a single one, nnM,(one) which I 
eoiuld positively affirm to be of Hebrew origin. 

When 1 returned, I found my house full of people, among 
whom were two priests, who from time to time proposed a 
niunber of questions, sometimes to draw out futher informa- 
tion in relation to the various subjects which were under 
'AMnwdon ; and sometimes, se^ningly to dke^t the oontor- 



.906 JOUEKAL OF A BBSIDENCB IN ABTSSIMIA. 

flfttioiD to the oeremoniefl of the ohnreh. I dieoUBBod a 
TMiety of snbjectB ; I spoke of the neoesaity of the new birtii 
for every one of sufficient age to nnderstand the Word of 
Ood and believe its promises ; and, contrary to the generally- 
reoeived opinion of the Abyssinians, I pressed the idea, that 
water-baptism is not the r^eneration of the heart. I also 
spoke of the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit on 
the hearts of men, of the nature of saving fiiith, of the ab- 
solute necessity both of understandiog the Word of Ood, and 
adopting it as the only rule of futh and conduct, and finally, 
of the incomprehensible, though scriptural doctrine of pre- 
destination or decrees. On this last poiat, the priests made 
only this remark : '' Ood, from all eternity clearly foresaw 
what would be the feelings and conduct of every believer 
throughout the term of his earthly existence, and on this 
foreknowledge, he elected him to salvation before the foun- 
dation of the world." This led us to speak of the inefficaoy 
of human virtue to save the soul from death, and the crimi- 
nality of attributing it to the least merit This idea con- 
founds the Abyssinians not less than Europeans, and they 
oppose to it the same objections. 

A young man present seemed to devour every word tfist 
was uttered. To another young man from Dembea, who 
had perseveringly followed me for fifteen days, I gave a 
copy of the Oospel. All this time he had been desirous of 
asking for one, but his timidity prevented his speaking with 
me ] but to-day ho modestly said, '* I learnt yesterday that 
you had given the Oospcl to a citizen of Bamot ; I have 
been for a long time wishing to beg of you the same favor, 
bat I did not know that you had brought the Word of Lib 



JOUEHAL OF A RBNDBNCB fN ABYSSINIA. 8M 

QB for graiuitoTiB distribution ; I supposed that you 
sold it, snd I hsTe had nothing, nor haye I now anything^ 
whioh I oan give yon in exchange for it ,* I am not able eren 
to piirehase a sufficiency of daily provision ; will you, there- 
lore, be offended if I request you to give me a oopy of the 
Gospel ? I have a father and three brothers, who, with my- 
self^ are desirous of learning the Scriptures." I, of course, 
freely granted his request. His joy was excessiye; and 
after kissing it repeatedly, he stooped to embrace my feet, 
but I forbade him. He then said to me, while tears of grati- 
tttde gushed from his eyes, ^ I have now obtained the object 
of my desire ; I can now cheerfully return to my home. 
For fifteen days have I suffered the gnawings of hunger, in 
hopes of at length gaining this precious treasure." This 
has been a busy day with me ; I had no leisure to take the 
least nourishment, untU since sunset, except one or two 
glasess of metheglin, at the house of Osoro Waleta Teclil 

1 1th. This morning as soon as the dawn appeared in the 
east, a priest entered my apartment, bringing with him a 
numk who had explored a great part of ihe Abyssinian ter- 
ritory. He told me he had traveled about three weeks in a 
southerly direction from the province of Shoa, crossing the 
country of the Gallas, on the farther borders of which he had 
found a small community of Christians, and still &rther on, 
he had &llen in with a people called Caffre. A young Mus- 
sulman present, also stated that he had joumied consider- 
ably into the interior of the country, and that in continuing 
his route for about a month to the west or south-west of 
Shoa, he had struck upon a small Christian empire, the in- 
faabilaQts of which spoke a language peculiar to themselves, 



87Q JOUBMAL OP A EBSIDBIKTB IN ABTflSIiriiW 

called SidBmB. They bIbo bBve some books. The noak 
WBB yerj free to oonverse upon religiooB sabjecte, tboBgli I 
BBW he YBther Besomed the tone of b censor. He commenced 
by speaking of the bonndless love of the SBvioor. He said 
that he had often taken it upon himself to reprove the Bt- 
chegiiB and the priests, becanse they were more attached to 
this perishable world than to their blessed Redeemer. He 
complained mnoh of his conntrymen ] he clutrged me newt 
to place any confidence in them, as they were ezoesnvely 
given to hypocrisy. " Never weBry yourself," he continued, 
^ in endcBVoring to advance their temporal interests, for yea 
will only bring yourself into difficulty by your pains ; they 
are so deceitful in the management of business, that they 
will craftily plunder you of everything you have ; confine 
yourself to the duties of religion — ^to the preaohiog of Christ 
Bnd his salvation, and the distribution of the Gospel" 

His apparent zeal for Christianity led me to entertain Ibr. 
him some degree of regard, although I could not avoid see- 
ing thBt he was both extremely self-righteous and conceited. 
When he went eut, some one present remBrked with an air 
of peouliBr contempt; (< There goes b SBbaqui;" that is, 
preacher. 

After my company had retired, I paid b visit to Eadam 
Mariam, with whom I had an interesting conversation in 
the presence of a number of others, concerning the practice 
of confessing sin to the priests. I replied to him as I 
usually do to people who touch upon this point, that " such 
confessions of sin, so long as the priests shall confine them- 
selves to their appropriate limits — to exhortiog, instructing, 
and leadmg the sinner to Jesus Christ, thBt he mBy obtain 



lOURNAL OF A SEBIDSNCE IN ABT8BINIA. 37 If 

pardon and reoonoUiation through his atoning grace, might 
be r^arded as useful ; but so soon as the priests shall under- 
take to engender the belief that they, as a consecrated class 
of men, are endued with authority to forgive sins, proyided 
that the transgressor shall submit to the penance which they 
shall prescribe, — a penance not unfrequently foreign to tho 
dictates and spirit of God's Word, in such cases, confession is 
decidedly bad in its consequences ; it becomes the cause of 
beclouding the mental Acuities ; of depraving the morals, 
and diffusing misery among men ; a state of things, which, 
at this moment^ is everywhere darkening the hoe of society- 
tiironghout Abyssinia. When, indeed) the fear of man takes 
the place of the fear of God and his laws, deplorable conse- 
quences must necessarily ensue ; faith and love cannot dwell' 
with such a blighting spirit. Now, without citing numerous 
examples which I have seen amoog you, as attestetions of 
tiiis assertion, I will simply appeal to your own experience. 
When you are conscious of doing anything flagrantly wrong, 
do you not feel a greater dread of your fiither-confessor than 
you do of God ?" 

"^ I must acknowledge," said he, " that this is somettmea 
the case ; still I think it a beneficial custom ; for often, when 
the fear of God would not deter me from committing some 
act of wickedness, the fear of my father-confessor becomes a 
sufficient restraint" 

^' This is a fine gloss to throw over an evil disposition ; it 
is as if you should say in other terms, I frequenily do net 
fear io cffend Grod, provided 1 do not, at the same iime^ tffend 
tkepriestj and ihii indifference to my Htavenly Father if all 
r^kt" 



S7S JOUKlfAL OF A RE8IDBNCB IN ABT88IHIA» 

^ Oh no; yon go too fitr." 

^ Perhaps so," I oontinued ; '^ bat I think I can prove 
the practice wrong on other grounds ; and in doing it, I -will 
pass entirely over the pemioions consequences of confeaaion 
and abeolntion, such as are now eyexywhere seen in year 
distracted country, and will confine myself to a single point. 
It is this. As long as you believe that the absolution of 
t]ie priest is indispensable to salvation, you throw contempt 
<m the merits and sufiferings of Christ, and make God a liar ; 
for he has dechired in his Word that the blood of Ghrisi 
alone deanseth from all sin." This led us to speak of the 
doctrine of salvation by the grace of God alone, through the 
atonement of Christ, to which he made no objection. Ea- 
dam Mariam is the most intelligent Abyssinian with whom 
I have hitherto become acquainted ; he appears to have a 
thorough knowledge of the Arabic language and literature. 
I afterwards continued my walk to the quarters of the Mus- 
sulmans, but it always seems to me as though my mouth was 
supernaturally closed as soon as I enter the house of one 
professing the faith of Mohammed, and I always go away sad 
and dejected. I spent this afternoon in reading the Gos* 
pel with a few individuals who called to visit me. 

12th. Just after sunset last evening, a company of 
soldiers were seen strolling past our house ; my men were 
instantly struck with alarm, and hurried away my effects to 
the churoL In about half an hour, an uproar was heard ; 
the air was filled with tumultuous cries, — ^the shriek of ter- 
ror, and the wail of distress fell in mingled dissonance on 
the ear. The sound approached nearer, and the soldiers be- 
gan to pillage in the very neighborhood of my residence. 



JOITRNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. fttdf 

« 

Mj serrants, and those of Emmaha, insianilj seiiod their 
arms and prepared themselves to resist, but I strictly 
charged them not to use their arms, and especially not to fire 
a gan, except in defence of their Utos. They sallied forth^ 
but I remained alone in my house, as tranquil and un- 
ruffled in my feelings as on ordinary occasions ; though I 
oould hardly determine whether my calmness arose horn 
simple confidence in Ood, or whether it was not blended with 
a feeling of indifference or stoicism. But the sequel proved 
there was no need of weapons or stoicism to shield me firom 
harm or fear ; the storm spent itself without reaching our 
dwelling. The soldiers proved to be not a hostile troop, 
but a wretched band of miscreants, suffering for want of 
clothing and dying with hunger. 

Habeta Selasse and an aged priest called upon me this 
morning, and interrupted a conversation on medicine which 
I was holding with Tecla Selasse, son-in-law of King Tecla 
Haimanot Habeta Selasse requested me clearly to explain 
to him, once for all, my views in regard to the point which 
forms the principal subject of discussions among the Abys* 
sinians ; viz. : what is the meaning of the declaration that 
Jeeus Christ has been anointed with the Holy Spirit ? 

'* We can know nothing with reference to this subject," I 
replied, ''farther than God has seen fit to teach us in his 
Word. Now it appears to me that the passage of Scripture 
recorded in Luke, iv. 18, 19, is perfectly clear on this pointy 
and, if correctly interpreted, capable of shedding all the 
light we need. Let us examine it particularly. The Spirit 
of the Lard is upon tne; — this has exclusive relation to the 
mission of Jesus Christ, the anointed, to be set apart as 

12* 



S74 JOratTAL OF A SEBtOSNCE tft AB^SBfinA. 

long, prophet, and priest. The claofles, He hoik HWt me to 
preaekihe Gatpd to the peor, and to preach the oceeptaHe ffear 
tfthe Lmdy Teter to his prophetic office ; — 7b heal the broken 
hearted^ and to proclaim the recovery of nghi to the kUnd, re- 
late to his priestly office ; — and, Ih preach delvcerance to the 
oaptivet^ and to set at liberty them thai are bruised, belong to 
his kingly office. The Coptic ehnrch maintains that Jesns 
Christ is anointed by the superlative excellence of his na- 
ture, and that he consequently has no need of assistance 
firom the Holy Spirit ; bat this is direetly contrary to the 
declaration of the Word of Ood, (Acts z. 38.) The inhab- 
itants of Tigre believe that the anointing of Jesus Christ 
rimply means that the Holy Ghost has effected a union be- 
tween the human and the divine natures in the person of 
our Saviour. But by this interpretation, they entirely do 
away the typical sense of the anointing of the prophets, the 
priests, and the kings, under the old dispensation. Besides, 
the spirit of prophecy has declared Jesus Christ to be a 
prophet, (Deut xviii. 18.) a king. (Ps. ii. 6,) and a priest 
(Ps. ex. 4.) My opinion, therefore, as founded upon these 
various passages of Scripture, is, that GU>d anointed Jesus 
of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, as a many 
so that as man, he might be enabled to accomplish the work 
of our salvation ; as a prophet, that he might instruct us, 
and lead us in the way to God and heaven ; and, as a priest^ 
to heal our moral diseases, to subdue our wills, and to bring 
us into a state of reconciliation with God ; as a king, to res- 
cue us from the grasp of our enemies, and deliver us from 
the slavery of sin.'^ 
<<This," said Selasse, <*is just our belief; we, therefore, 



JOmtNAL OF A BBBIDBNCE IN AB788INIA. 27S 

be r^giu^ed henceforth as entirely separate from the 
Coptic church, and we, Ij no means, agree with the inhabit- 
ante of Tigre and Gojam. We believe that the union of the 
divine with the human nature in the person of our Re- 
deemer, was effected in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and 
is fully and correctly explained by this simple sentenee, 
I%e Word was madeflesh:^ 

^ Very well ; but you are wrong in supposbg that the 
anointing of Jesus Christ may be properly called a third 

birth." 

« 

" Not at all ; if Jesus Christ has been anointed with the 
Holy Ghost as man, he has, of course, been anointed in the 
same sense as his brethren, — as we have. Now the indwell- 
ing, or operation of the Spirit of God in us, is called a birth 
in John ilL 3, 5." 

*^ But you have drawn an entirely wrong conclusion firom 
this passage. The melancholy truth in regard to ourselves, 
is, that we have fallen from our bright original, and are by 
nature children of the arch enemy of Gt)d and man. The 
Holy Spirit worketh in us to change our hearts and renew 
our natures — to bring us out of darkness into light — and 
from the power of Satan unto God ; and it is this renova- 
tion of character, or change of principle, wrought in us by 
the Holy Spirit, which in the Gospel is called a rieus birth ; 
because, in consequence of this, we are adopted into the 
family, and become the children of God. But Jesus Christ 
was the son of Gt>d by nature ; he had no need of regenera- 
tion, or of a new heart, to make him such. Po you not^ 
therefore, clearly see that when you call the anointing of 
Jesus Christ a Hrthj you insinuate that he was a rinner f " 



370 JOUENAL OF A EBSIDBNOB IN ABT80INIA. 

Habeta SdaMe and the priest both replied, " Yoa aM eor- 
reot ; we must be wrong on this point*' 

This disonsston led ns into a somewhat protraeted oonver- 
aation ooneeming the new Hrth / a doctrine extremely ob- 
seure to the Abyssinuins, beeause, in their minds, it is in- 
separably oonneoted with the rite of water^baptisoL 



CHAPTER IV. 

Yiat to a TiUage of the FaliwhaA — Great distorbanoes in the dty.— 
SnpentiUooa opiniooB oonoenung loroeryw — ^IncreaaDg iotereotme 
with the priests and the laity. — Much sought to as a physidao.-— 
CknyersatJoo-with the Etchegua, and another priest high in authority, 
expressly upon religious subjects. — Death of the king's wife. — ^Dis- 
cosaons on Original Sin^ — ^Visited by a Jewess, a sorceress. — ^Bar- 
barous treatment of a thief — Attacked by a severe fever. — Reasons 
for not fiisting during his illness. — Receives numerous visits after- 
ward. — Schism in difforent provinces of Abyssinia concerning the 
nature of Jesus Christ. — Change of the Etchegua. — Prepares to re- 
turn to Hgre. — Review of his stay in Oondar. 

Mat 13th, 1830. I visited a village of Falashas (Jews) 
this momlDg. On inquiring for the Rabbi, the poor old 
man was immediately brought in, bat so tremulous with 
fear, tbat for a time be was unable to speak. In oomplianee 
with my request to see some of their books, he first showed 
me the Book of Psalms, with all the connected sacred songs 
or odes of the Bible, and the Oudasse Mariam, which the 
Christians have added, together with all the repetitions of, 
^ In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ohosi" He next brought a book in two parts, the first 
treating of Sanbat, (the Christians so call the Sabbath, and 
the Falashas Saturday,) who is represented as pleading 
wiik QoA for men ; whence Uie author concludes that Sanbat 
(the Sabbath) ought to be obserycd. The second part ia 



278 JOURNAL OF A REBIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

entitled, The Prophecy of Gorgorios. He then showed me 
another book, haying no specific tide, which treats of the 
stars. I Bvppo8e this to be the book of Enoch, Ihon^ I 
could discover no definite meaning to be attached to its con- 
tents. Next, he introduced to my notice a little book writ- 
ten in the Falasha dialect, with Ethiopic characters. I was 
anxious to note down a few words of their huDgnage in writ- 
ing, but was deterred by the prospect of rain, preferring to 
q>end the time in conversation with the BabbL I asked 
him to which tribe he beloDged. 
<< To the tribe of Levi" 

^ Are there not Jews of other tribes, Judah for instaocei 
in Abyssinia?'' 
<< We are of the tribe of Judah." 
" How ? You just said you were of Levi." 
^ Our father Jacob had twelve sons, five of whom he gave 
to Judah the king, and five to Levi the priest ; hence we 
are kings and priests." 
^ When did your &ther8 first settle in Abyssinia?" 
^Thej came with Menelaus, son of Solomon, king of 
IsimeL" 
'^ When do you expect the Messiah ?" 
Not folly understanding me, he answered, ^ The world is 
yet to remain six hundred and sixty-two years." 

^ How many years do you reckon since the creation of the 
world?" 
^ Seven thousand three hundred and thirty-eight." 
^ Ton know Moses speaks of a Prophet like himself who 
was to come, called by David and the Prophets, Messiah ; 
when wiU he appear?" 



lOUEHAL OF A BE8IDEI7CB III ABTS8INIA. 279 

«< We believe that this is Theodore."* 

<< When is he to appear ?" 

A young Falaaha replied, " In aeren years." The BabU 
answered, '' We know nothing about ii Some say the time 
18 near ; others, that it is still distant." 

^ Have you no book in the Hebrew language )" 

With a little hesitation, the Rabbi replied, ^ Tes, we have 
the Law, but owing to our present troubles, we have hid 
that, with some other books, in the Mussulmans' quarter." 

As the probability of rain continued, and the Falai^as 
seldom allow a Christian to enter their houses, I was obliged 
to drop the conversation here and take my leave of him. 
The Falashas are usually a quiet, peaceful people, and much 
more active than other Abyssinians, but generally poor, be- 
eause their cattle are often violently taken from them. 
They carry no arms, either for attack or defence. The 
great fear of them, as sorcerers, so prevalent in the minds of 
people, forms for them a sufficient safeguard. After having 
been in the company of Christians or Mussulmans, they 
wash the whole body, and change their dress, before entering 
again their own houses. In short, they are an ignorant 
people, full of superstitious notions, which, with some excep- 
tions, are the same as those of the Christians, only that they 
are modeled after the Jewish fiishion. 

^ The Abyasinians have a book called Fakra Tasoua, (Love of Jesus) 
which Bays that a certain name, Theodore, will rise in Greece and sub- 
dtie all the world to his empire ; and that from his time the entire 
world win become Christian. But Habeta Selasse recently said to me, 
with an air of sadness, *' The time fixed by this prophecy is elapsed^ 
and Theodore has not appeared** 

f 



260 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

On returning home, I found a young man who 1^ oome 
with a request that I would take him with me to JeroBalem. 
I told him I was too sensible of the folly of such a pilgrim- 
age to think of enoouraging him to make it ^ They tell 
me," said he, " that if I go to Jerusalem, I shall be sure of 
salvation. Will not the fatigue, suffering, and self-denial 
attending it atone for my sins ?" I repeated some passages 
.of the Bible to him, showing how we may be justified beforo 
Ood, and advised him to learn to read the (Gospel, raiher 
than go to Jerusalem. ^ Gladly will 1 1" he replied ; " in- 
struct me." He is apparently borne down with a burdened 
consoienoe. 

Soon after he had lefb, my friend Habeta Selasse called. 
We began to oonyerso on the conversion of man, bat were 
interrupted by Lie Atecou, with four or five others. lao 
Ateoou, though well informed, has neither the humility nor 
the good sense of Selasse. They stirred up all the perplex- 
ing points which Abyssinian Christians are accustomed to 
discuss, but Habeta Selasse, beginning to see the foUy, the 
utter uselessness of such discussions, was very restless, and 
evidently indisposed to be led into the labyrinth. When 
speaking of the Trinity, the nature of God, etc., they ofiten 
asked my opinion, to which I invariably replied ; ^ You oan- 
not say, JR is written. Now, whatever God has not revealed 
to us concerning His person, is so far above my understand- 
ing, that I dare not open my mouth." Habeta Selasse, 
striking his breast, constantly replied; '^You are right 1 
We ought to imitate you, and not forget these three things 
^-faithy hope, and charity.*^ At last, they all agreed that 
the Word of God is the only sure guide in the way of salva- 



JOU8NAL OF A RBBIDBNCB IN ABT88INIA. S61 

iion, and that no reliance whateyer should be placed on any- 
thing not contained in that holy book. 

14th. While I was writing by the aide of my house yes- 
terday, my people transported all my goods into the chnroh, 
ezceptiDg the clothes on my back, and the book which serves 
me as a table. At last, Emmaha's mother-in-law took away 
eren my paper and inkstand, saying to me, ^Betake yoar- 
self into the church quick as possible !'* and instantly fled, 
with the other people of the house. A single servant only 
remained, and while I was asking him the meaning of all 
this, an old man who often visits me, came running toward 
my house, and cried out from a distance ; <' What I are yoa 
mad? Know you not that the whole city is in trouble? I 
beseech you, take refuge in some church, immediately I" 
Without waiting to ascertain precisely what was the matter, 
I followed the old man's advice, and repured to the church, 
where I learned the cause of this alarm. For some days 
past, the soldiers, who have been collecting from all parts to 
engage in an expedition against Samen and Tigre, have 
committed many thefts. Yesterday, the market was full of 
aoldiers; and, as the government of the city devolves on 
Achaber, the Head of the Customs, in the absence of Can- 
tiba Cassai, he went with his people to order the soldiers to 
retire, fearing they contemplated still more mischief Some 
altercation ensued, on which a battle commenced in the 
midst of the city. Achaber's little force of two hundred 
chased the seven hundred invaders out of the city, but these, 
making a circuit, fell upon Achaber and took him prisoner, 
fie has been chained to-day, and also some of the leading 
men of the city, who did not even go out of their houses 



389 JOURMAIi OF A KESIDENOE IN ABTB0INIA. 

yesterday, and are guilty of no crime wbaterer eaye that of 
haying very little money or property of any kind in their 
honses ; all that they were not in abaolute need of having 
been, for some time paat, stored away in the ohurohesw 
Seven or eight persons have been kiUed, and many wounded. 
When Achaber was taken, his people fled, and the other 
party began their work of plunder. As I live on a hill, in 
a secluded quarter, and among poor people only, my house 
was not attacked by the robbers. The plundering had not 
ended this morning, and the great people of the city were 
running through the streets, with no covering except a ng> 
about the middle of the body. It is thought that the sol: 
diers will leave to-day, with their stolen mules and asses 
laden with other pillaged property, to go and share the 
booty with Mariam, who desires nothing better, although 
GDudar is under his jurisdiction, and Achaber is his friend. 
According to his usual practice, he will probably cause the 
prisoners to be beaten, with the hope of extorting money 
from them. A character worse than is attributed to Ma- 
riam, cannot be well given to a prince. He does justice to 
none. Far from punishing a soldier for robbing or killing 
his companion, he publicly commends him, as a man of eon- 
rage. It is said that he has ordered all his soldiers, on en- 
tering Oubea's territories, to kill every human being they 
meet, vdthout distinction of age or sex ; threatening with 
death the soldier, known to have spared a single person ia 
his power. 

Evening. At noon, the King and the Etchegua went to 
the market, and endeavored to quell the disturbances ; but 
their exhortations were unavailing, till the Etchegua began 



JOUmWAL OF A SB8IDBVOB IN ABTBBINIA. 268 

to MiBtliemBtiie ; then the chiefs prombed to repair imsie- 
diBtely to the house of the king, and settle the difficulty. 
They brought Achaber there, and liberating him upon the 
qK>t, promised to restore all that belonged to him, provided 
he would enter no complaint before Mariam. The Etohe- 
gua also came to the king's house, to anathematise all the 
addiers who should refuse to restore their stolen goods and 
money. The people hope that most of the soldiers will fear 
the anathema, and restore what they have taken *, but all 
will not, for the very next moment some of them entered 
and ransacked my house ; but they found nothing but a lit- 
tle pepper, which they drank with water. I am very glad 
I came to the church, for had I been in the house, my peo* 
pie would have suffered nothing to be taken but by force, 
which would probably have occasioned a battle in the house. 

15th. This morning I went to ike house of Alaca Stepha- 
nos, where I found a large collection of people assembled to 
eondole with Kidam Mariam, who was bewailing the death 
of his brother, who fell in the battle day before yesterday. 
To-day everything is quiet Mariam has at last left the 
neighborhood of Gondar, and the soldiers have all set off 
with him to meet Oubea in the vicinity of Debaree. Oubea 
requested him to hasten, that the caravans may pass, and 
the poor peasants sow their fields ; lest the cries of the poor 
rise to heaven against them both, in consequence of their 
quarrels. All, even the enemies of Oubea, speak well of him. 

Habeta Selasse came, accompanied by a monk, an Alaca, 
and some priests. He repeated the questions he put to me 
the other day, on the points of their disputes, especially on 
the anointing of Jesus Ohrisi I percdved at once, that hia 



S64 JOURNAL OF A RBSIDBNGB IN ABYSSINIA. 

only object was to persoade the priests tliat oar Tiewa on 
this point are not essentially different This subjeot always 
affords me opportunity of speaking on the new birth by the 
operation of the Holy Spirit. They all, at length, agreed 
that it is an error to call the anointing of Jesos Christ a 
birth, beoaose the work of the Holy Spirit in us is called a 
birth, only on aoeount of its renewing in us the image of 
God, which we have lost by sin. We likewise discussed the 
subject of the two natures in Jesus Christ; but on this 
point, I usually confine myself to saying, that the BiUe 
speaks neither of one nor of two natures ; and therefore, 
that we do wrong in condemning those whose opinion differs 
from our own. In theory, the Abyssinians do not admit 
the doctrine of the two natures ; but in almost all their re- 
ligious conversations, one sees that they admit it in prao* 
tice, for you may often hear them say, that Jesus Christ 
did such an action as man, and such a one as God. At this 
crisis, I always endeavor to draw their attention to the 
boundless love of Christ, who became man that he ought be 
able to suffer and die for us. 

As they often have done before, they all said ; ^ No white 
man like you, ever came to this country. When we quea* 
tion others, they are offended, and when we state our senii- 
mcnts to them, they say theirs are the same ; but express 
contrary opinions when out of our hearing.'' 

The Alaca said to me; ^TeVL us frankly whether the 
Armenians admit the doctrine of the three births of Jesus 
Christ" 

^ I have never conversed with the Armenians on this sub- 
jeot, and do not know." 



lanNAL OF A R£SI]>ENCB IN ABTB0INZA. M5 

^ I neTer before heard a white man Bay, ' I do not know ;' 
the others are like us, pretending to know everything, al- 
though full as ignorant as ourselves." 

Turning to the others, Habeta Selasse remarked ; *< It is 
his saying, < I do not know,' whenever I question him on 
points not contained in the Bible, that has gained my entire 
affection and confidence." 

The Alaca then inquired; "Do the Oreeks believe in 
three births ?" 

^ If I rightly remember, the Oreeks believe with me, that 
Jesus, as man, was anointed of the Holy Spirit to be Christ ; 
that is to say. prophet, priest, and king; but I never 
heard three births spoken of till I came to Abyssinia." 

" Tohannes* has then deceived us again, in asserting that 
the Greeks admit three births. He advised us to send for 
a Greek bishop, but if he comes, we shall only dispute ; and 
who will reconcile us ?" 

Selasse replied ; " None but the English can reconcile us." 

" Learn the Gospel," said I, " instruct the people in every 
part of the Word of God, and nothing else ; for that alone 
ean reconcile you, and create a new people in Abyssinia, to 
the glory of our Saviour." 

" It is precisely on account of your tolerating nothing but 
the Word of God," said Selasse, " that you only, can put an 
end to our discussions." 

* A Greek, who was here last year, and appears to have d&BpUyed 
]Q his conduct considerable art or management. He gained the esteem 
of all ; bat without having had occasion directly to contradict him till 
DOW, I see that the longer I stay here, the more he loses groimd with 
those who know him. 



386 JOCENAIi OF A KE8IDBN0B IH ABYSSINIA. 

This evening, Lie Ateoou introdneed an AJaoa to msj 
bat I was unaUe io oarry on any eonnected oonversation 
with him. 

i6th. Sunday. Two priests, and some young people 
visited me this morning, to whom I read several passages of 
the Gospel More people came this afternoon than could 
be accommodated in my room, so we went and seated our- 
selves on the grass in the church-yard. We read several 
portions of the Gh)spel, but had no connected oonversation 
on any point. Lie Atecou was present : he is one of the 
most learned Abyssinians, but extremely loquacious, and is 
oonstantly running from one subject to another, without any 
observance of order. This is quite offensive to Habeta Se- 
lasse, who is more systematical and thorough, always wishing, 
when one question is touched upon, to exhaust that before 
passing to another. They asked me whether the glory of 
Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, was essentaal, or 
given him by the Pather, like the anointing of the Holy 
Spirit 

<< I do not know, for the Bible does not say; but it ap- 
pears to me to have been the gloiy essentially belon^g to 
his person." 

^ That is also our belief," rejoined Selasse ; '< but I have 
heard that when Yagoube* was questioned on this point, he 
said he believed it was given him of the Father, as the 
anointing ; but since the Bible says nothing of it, it is a dis- 
tinction of little importance." 

Said Lie Atecou, '* Yagoube was a learned man, and no 

* The name byidiich Brace was known in AbjBBiiiia; tt is the 
Arabic and Abyaaiiiian fiar " Jamei." 



JOURNAL OF A REBfOBNCB IN ABTB8INIA. 287 

well-infonned white in*n has been in Gondar since. The 
others, in order to appear to us learned, professed much 
acquaintance with astrology, knowing that we conld not con- 
fute them on this point" 

" Did you know Yagoube 1" I inquired. 

'^ I am too young to have known him personally," answered 
Lie Atecou ; ^ but there are old men in Gondar yet who 
knew him. All the great people of the country loyed and 
respected him." 

17th. The king himself sent for me this morning, request- 
ing me to bring the copies of the Gospel and the Acts which 
he sent back to me. I instantly obeyed the summons ; and 
when I entered his presence, he said to me, with as kingly 
an air as he could possibly assume, '^ I told you to visit me 
often, and you Lave not been here since. Why are you so 
soon offended with me ?" 

'^ I am not offended with you ; but in our country, when 
a present, which had been accepted, is returned, though it 
may have been a mere trifle, we thereby understand that all 
friendly intercourse ceases. In this case 1 supposed the 
same ; besides, on no account whatever, do I desire the com- 
panionship of any individual who despises the Word of God." 

'< But you cannot always follow the customs of your own 
country ; — ^you must conform to the manners of the people 
with whom you are ; and as for the Gospel, I have it in the 
Ethiopic language, which I understand." 

The Afa Negus (described by Bruce*) then addressing 

• One of the King*8 Chamberlains. See Brue^$ Travels, Book V. 
diap. il describing the freedom with which these officers address the 
king. 



8i6 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

the king, said, '^ Yoa mistake in both these respects ; for in 
AbyssiDia, we never send back an accepted present, unless 
we wish to break firiendship.*' 

Addressing myself, the king said, *< I did not know it ; I 
pray yon excuse me." 

« With all my heart," said I. 

^ Then," continued the Afa Negus, '^ this was no common 
present It was the Gospel of the Lord. You are old, and 
he presented it, not for you alone, but for your household ; 
for many in your house desire nothing so much as the Gos- 
pel, in a language wbich they understand." 

^ That is true," replied the king ; " let us forget the past, 
and be friend&" I left him soon, with his urgent request 
that I would visit a cousin of his, who is sick. 

I passed the afternoon at the house of Lie Atecou ; but 
he was so absorbed in the study of geography as to prevent 
all connected conversation on any other subject He showed 
me the entire Bible in Latin, and a little catechism in Am* 
hario, printed at Borne in 1809, if I bave correctly deci- 
phered the date. ^' Five years ago," said he, ^ four Spanish 
priests came into Abyssinia ; but they made no stay with 
OS." He did not see them. He also produced a medical 
book in the Amharic language, nearly twice as thick as the 
Gospel. The author's name I did not find, but Lie Atecou 
said it was written by Plato. He refused to sell the book. 

18th. Teola Selasse, the king's cousin, spent the whole 
forenoon with me. He comes to see me often ; his conver- 
sation on the Word of God is so intermingled with the sci- 
ence of medicine, the misery of the royal family, treasures 
hid in the earth, evil spirits and sorcerers, that when he is 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 289 

gone, I can scarcely tell what wo have talked about. Bat 
he has so much piety withal, (though clouded by supersti- 
tion,) and so much good nature, that I cannot speak severely 
to him. Habeta Selasse also was with me a short time. 
Knowing that my servants killed a hyena last night, he took 
occasion to tell me that the flesh and teeth of this animal 
were a good preservative against the bouias (sorcerers.) I 
told him I could easily understand how ignorant people 
would believe in boudas, but that he should be under the 
influence of such a prejudice, was matter of astonishment to 
me. He instanced examples for the support of his belief in 
boudas ; viz. : that there are men who render themselves in- 
visible at pleasure \ that when any one kills an ox, &c., ho 
often finds a part in it, which ought to have been filled with 
flesh, either empty, or full of water, the boudas having eaten 
the flesh ; that men of good health, and good appetites, be- 
come like skeletons — internally devoured by boudas; and 
especially, that hyenas are often found killed, with their ears 
pierced, and even with rings in tbcir ears. 

'^ Yon know,*' said I, '< that the want of flesh in men and 
oxen may arise entirely from other causes. Besides, those 
who have the most amulets against the boudas are thus 
affected, as well as they who have none ; but did you ever 
see a man render himself invisible, or a hyena with ear- 
rings ?" 

"No.** 

*^Have you ever heard an honest person say, he had 
seen it ?" 

" No. Every one repeats, * I have heard so.* " 

^ Ton have often said that the country b full of liars. IHd 

13 



290 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

it never enter your mind, that the history of the boudss is a 
parcel of lies?" 

" Never, till now. For some time past, I have fancied 
myself the prey of boudas, but now I begin to doubt their 
existence ; but you surely cannot deny that some are pos- 
sessed ?" 

^ Far from that 1 I believe all who obey not the com- 
mands of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, are in the 
possession of the devil." 

'' You are correct. Those demons who cause us to sin 
against God require the strictest watchfulness on our part, 
much more than what affects our bodies only. But do you 
not suppose madness to be the work of these evil spirits ?" 

^ Doubtless it may sometimed be the case, since we have 
examples of it in the Gospel ; but you often attribute it to 
their immediate influence, when caused only by some physical 
disorganisation, as was the case with Gajar Hetlou, brother 
of Ozoro Waleta Teclit, whom the letting of blood simply, 
wholly restored." 

<' Tou condemn us on every point. I am sensible of the 
necessity of guarding more strongly against whatever may 
injure our undying souls, than against anything which con- 
cerns this life alone." 

19th. To-day is the feast of Abuna Teda Haimanot I 
wished to visit Alaca Waldab this morning, and Habcta 
Selasse came to accompany me ; but my house was so fall 
till noon, and several priests among the rest, that I could 
hardly breathe. Lie Atecou caused me much pain by turn- 
ing the conversation so often to geography, especially Bibli- 
eal geography. In speaking of the idolatry of China, 



JOURNAL OF A RE8IDBNCJS IN ABYSSINIA. 201 

Habeta Sehfise remarked, << We have no idolatry in Abys- 
sinia." 

^ Bat is there not covetousness ?" I inquired. 

"Jes; much." 

" And what says St. Paul ?" 

^ He Bays,** rejoined Selasse, "^ that covetousness is idolcUry ; 
but not in this sense." 

^ No ; for idolatry is the giving to the creature that love 
and regard which we pwe to God. Your very churches, 
siDce you have filled them with images, to which yoa bow 
yourselves and pray, have become temples of idols." 

A priest then remarked ; " We by no means adore the 
images ; by merely representing facts which occurred long 
since, they serve to recall more vividly to our minds the 
fiuth and sufferings of God's ancient servants." 

^ Tou will agree, however," said I, ^ that ignorant people 
at least, worship the images as much as the heathen worship 
their idols." 

*'Tes," replied Selasse; '*and it is to be greatly la- 
mented." 

The priesUi added ; ^ We all say this is but the abuse of 
flie images, since they are bare representations only of per- 
sons and facts." 

^ The worship of the images by the people, is surely, as 
you say, a sin — ^a sore evil ; consequently they ought to be 
removed from the churches." 

All were silent, till we came next to the Apocryphal 
Book& I brought forward our reasons for not receiving 
them as the Word of God, among which, was the fact, that 
the early Christians did not consider them such. To that 



202 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

they all oonsented, saying that none bat the Copts and 
themselTes regard them as inspired. 

I said to them; "The Franks (Papbts) oonsiderthem 
saored as the Gospel, and I believe you have learned to in- 
clude them in the Word of God, from this people." 

They all looked upon each other, saying, " It is posdble." 

^< As for your Didasoalia, you have not the slightest proof 
that Christians of the first ages had anything to do with it ; 
consequently, there is great danger in your receiving it as 
the Word of God." 

'' Yes," replied Selasse ; ^' because the Abyssinians alone 
consider this one of the inspired books." 

<• Your Councils," I added, '- since they pretend to teach 
nothing new, but barely to explain the principal articles of 
faith in the Word of Gcd, are very imperfect ; therefore we 
ought to judge of them by the Bible. Whatever accords 
with that we receive, rejecting everything else." 

All united in saying, '^ We cannot argue against that..*' 

This afternoon the Etchegua sent me a basket of wheat 
bread and a pitcher of beer, both made expressly in remem- 
brance of Abuna Tecla Haimanot. The £tchegua assem- 
bled from three to four hundred persons in his house, to 
whom he caused bread and beer to be distributed. Three 
times a year is the feast of this sunt celebrated as to^iay. 
and is considered nearly as saored as that of the Lord's Sup- 
per. My house was filled with people ; and the silenoe with 
which they drank their beer, and the vows which they offer- 
ed up for all in the house, although mixed with much super- 
stition, were edifying to me, and reminded me of the love- 
feasts of the first 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 29S 

20th. I received a Tbit this morning from two priests, 
who questioned me ou the anointing of Jesos Christ, which 
always leads to conversation on the new birth. Thej made 
some inquiries also respecting the two natures in Jesas 
Christ, from which I can always take occasion to speak of 
the love of Ood in becomiDg man for our salvation. I 
passed the remainder of the day in paying several visits, 
among others I visited the Etchegua, with whom were a 
number of priests. He questioned roe upon the anointing 
of Christ) with the single intention at first of ascertaining 
my opinion upon the subject ; but when I compared it with 
the anointing of prophets, priests, and kings, he was rather 
perplexed, and made several other inquiries, showing his de- 
sire to obtain clear and correct views of the matter. He 
was much pleased with the idea that Jesus Christ could be 
priest only as man. He inquired whether it were true that 
the Franks attribute two persons {acale$) and two natures 
(baker) to Jesus Christ My answer was, "No; they be* 
lieve that he unites two natures and two wills in one 
person." 

'^What is your opinion on this point?" inquired the 
Etchegua. 

^ Neither the words, ' one nature,' or < two natures,' are 
found in the Bible. The different languages of Christen- 
dom attach different significations to the expressions. There 
was formerly much disputing on this point, but without 
coming to any definite conclusion. The reason why I and 
my friends avoid using the term ' one, or two natures,' is, 
that we believe disputing without love to be inconsistent 
with Christianity ; we content ourselves vrith saying, like 



I 



294 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

the Bible, that Jesus Christ is perfect Qod and perfisot 
man.'' 

Then turning to the priests, ''We cannot express our- 
selves better," said the Etchegua ; ^ let this be our belief 
also." 

I have been told to-day that some talk of requesting me 
to become a bishop ; but aside from feeling no wish for this 
dignity in Abyssinia, I think it not best to encourage the 
people to ask for an English bishop at present. Last eren- 
ing, I received a visit from a priest of the most debased and 
abandoned character ; he was excessively ignorant, and, at 
the same time, extremely self conceited, vainly &neytng 
himself vastly learned. I addressed him in as serious and 
feeling a manner as I was able ; though it unhappily pro. 
duced little effect upon his obdurate and besotted mind. 
As soon as I had closed, instead of reflecting upon the ad* 
monition I had given him, ho impudently asked me if I had 
a wife in the country ; and upon my answeriDg in the nega- 
tive, officiously proposed to procure me one. I felt so in* 
dignant at the corruption of heart he betrayed, that I in- 
stantly drove him from the house, a circumstance which oc- 
casioned considerable merriment for all present. 

21 St. This morning I went to visit Kidam Mariam, who 
proposes going to Tigre and Massowah before winter, to con- 
sult him on the best route for us to take. We are compara- 
tively in prison at Gondar ; and for myself, I am without 
money. Unless the route of Wagara and Samen is opened 
in the course of fifteen or twenty days, we conclude to jour- 
ney along the borders of Lasta, and go to Antalo. 

On returning, I found two Alacas and some priests at my 



JOU&NAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYB8INIA. 205 

Loose. Thej asked me many questions on the doctrine of 
the anointing of Jesus Christ, and on the two natures ; and 
were satisfied with my replies. I never saw people more 
attentive than they were, when I spoke to them of the re- 
generation of man by the operation of the Holy Spirit, and 
of the love and obedience due from us to our Saviour, who 
wu madeJUshj a man of sorrows, for our salvation. 

My house was thronged all the afternoon with Alacas, 
priests, and laymen. They also questioned me on the anoint* 
ing, and on the two natures of Christ. I began by reprov- 
ing them for always dwelling on these topics, as if the Bible 
treated of nothing else ; adding, that their continual disputes 
on non-essential points prove their want of true Christian- 
ity, the test of Christianity being love ; and that did they 
possess Christian love, their disputes would immediately 
end. Then I explained myself clearly and briefly as pos- 
sible, for I learn gradually how to express myself upon these 
questions. When I closed, an Alaca said to the others, 
<< That is just our belief; but he expresses himself much 
more clearly than we do. I am inclined to think the word 
' birth' inapplicable to the anointing of Jesus Christ.** 

Another said, ^ He is right in saying that if Christian love 
was in our hearts, our disputes would immediately cease. 
Far from being passionate, like other white men, he spesiks 
to us in love. See here the reason of our readily agreeing.*' 

I observed, '^ Being orthodox on certain points in the Bible 
is altogether insufficient. To be a Ciiristian, requires a strict 
conforming of ourselves to the entire Word of God. You 
are,*' I continued, '< like a tree, which has some sound roots 
and some beautiful branches, but which yields no fruit ; you 



396 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

know, howerer, that the Father cuts off everff branch of the 
vine that beareth notJruU in Jesus, and casts it into the fire.*' 

" Yes," said Seksse, " we are like the barren fig-tree in 
the Gospel ; this was not a wild tree, but a fig-tree. Even 
so, we are not heathens ; we are orthodox Christians, but all 
our works are evil" 

The priests then inquired of me if I would not beeome an 
Abuna in Abyssinia ; in reply to whieh, I asked, " What are 
the duties of a bbhop among you ?" 

^ He makes priests by the laying on of his hands." 

^ Does he not preach the Gospel?" 

''No; because he does not speak the langnsge of the 
country." 

^ It is sinful to call a man a bishop, who does not feed the 
flock of Christ. Does he examine the priests before he lays 
his hands on them ?" 

« No" 

^ That accounts for the fact of there being among you so 
many wolves, who ruin the heritage of the Lord. How will 
he answer for his conduct before Grod ?" 

Selasse answered; ''He makes himself a partaker of 
other men's sins, by laying on hands suddenly, contrary to 
what St. Paul cautions Timothy." 

I observed ; " If one of my countrymen were to become 
your bishop, it would be only on these conditions ; he would 
suffer no one to fall down before him — ^he would not give 
absolution, as your bishops do — ^he would travel through the 
country once a year to ascertain the state of the church, and 
to preach the Gospel ; — and, above all, he would lay hands 
on no one, till he had strictly examined him, to determine 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTSdlNIA. 307 

wbether he were able and worthy to feed the flock, which the 
Lord hath purchased vnth hh own blood. Under these con- 
ditions, I would consent to beoome your Abuna; adding, 
howeyer, the condition, that in future, the Abuna be at lib* 
erty to marry, for St Paul says to Timothy, that a bishop 
should be ^ the husband ofoiu wife.^ What say you to this?" 

All were silent. I have remarked for some days, that my 
conversations with the priests are immediately reported 
throughout the city. 

22d. This morning I was sent for to go and see the sister 
of the deceased king, Tecla Haimanot. She knew Bruce, 
and said he was very much respected at Gondar ; but that 
he had no authority, only as the king once told him he 
would give him the source of the Nile, or the market of Sa- 
cala. An old man present told me that Yagoube found a 
quantity of gold, which he carried with him to Sennaar. 
The Abyssinians believe their country full of gold, but that 
the whites only know how to find and purify it. To reason 
the subject with them is utterly vain, for the greater part 
of them believe that white men come into Abyssinia for the 
single purpose of looking for mines of gold. 

I called afterwards upon Ozoro Waleta Teclit, with whom 
I found several priests, who again asked me if I would be 
their Abuna. I repeated to them the answer I gave the 
others yesterday, adding some remarks on the essence of 
true Christianity. Waleta Teclit would suflfer no one, not 
even the priests, to speak, lest her attention would be di- 
verted from what I was saying, till, all at once, her house 
was so filled, that she could no longer enforce sUenee. 
When I withdrew, she begged me to visit her often. 

13* 



298 JOURNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

23d. Swnday. This morning I was visited by some priests, 
with whom I read seTeral passages from the Gospel After 
thej retired, I passed some hours alone with my Bible. 
My house was full in the afternoon, but I was prevented 
from holding much conversation with those present, by Lie 
Atecou, who has the general respect of the people, and was 
continually running, as usual, from one subject to another. 

24th. I paid several ceremonious visits this morning ; but 
I cannot get about the city as I would, owing to some few 
individuals, particularly Gajar Heilou, Ozoro Waleta Teo- 
lit's brother, who was relieved of his malady by bleeding. 
(I have no other remedy.) Every one stops me, begging 
me to go and see some invalid friend. Indeed, such is the 
confidence of the people in me, that if I only had the effiron- 
tery to proclaim myself capable of removing diseases at my 
bidding, there would be no want of credulity on the part 
either of the sick or their friends. The more I tell them I 
am no physician, the more confidence have they in my pre* 
scriptions. There are some who believe even a look from 
me sufficient to restore the sick. 

An old priest with some other individuals called this af- 
ternoon. We conversed upon the spiritual misery of man, 
and the salvation meritoriously procured for us by Jesus 
Christ on the cross. The Abyssinians appear affected when 
one speaks to them of the corruption of the human heart, 
but their ideas of eternal salvation are vague. 

25th. I have seen none but sick people to-day, excepting 
Habeta Selasse, who spent some hours at my house. I told 
him that the most ardent desire of my Christian friends in 
England is, to redeem the Abyssinian people from their ig- 



lOUENAL OF A BESIDENCE IN ABY8BINIA. 299 

norance and misery, by acqoidnting them with Christ ; and 
that to effect this most desirable object, as learned an Abys- 
sinian as can be found, and one whose sole object should be 
the glory of God and the salvation of men, must first go to 
England to assist in preparing books in the Amharic lan- 
guage. " We should not give him money to hoard up, be- 
cause he who seeks the riches of this world would be an un- 
suitable person, his heart not being entirely devoted to the 
Lord ; but were a man like yourself to go, we would give 
him enough for his comfort. It would afford you a fine op- 
portunity of educating your son. Should I advise my friends 
to send for you to England or Malta, would you accede to 
this proposal V^ 

^* I desire," replied Selasse, '^ to consecrate my life to the 
Lord. If you think I can in this way contribute to the ad- 
vancement of the kingdom of Christ, I am ready to go, wish- 
ing no compensation but ray daily food. But I should pre- 
fer going with you to preach the Gospel to the Gallas. Se- 
hela Selasse (Ring of Shoa) strongly insists on my return- 
ing to him ; but I propose remaining yet a year at Gbndar 
till you return." 

26th. I had scarcely risen this morning before my house 
was filled with priests, monks, and others. I spoke to them 
of their great sin in worshipping images, and invoking the 
saints, even the Virgin Mary ; and they manifested no dis- 
pleasure at what I said. I read to them the history of the 
sufferings of Jesus Christ, in St. John, adding some remarks 
of my own. I had intended to read only one chapter, but 
they continued urging me on till noon. They had hardly 
gone, when in came the priests of Coscouam, with a party 



300 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTSBINIA. 

of young people. Thej had asked the Etchegua for a copy 
of the Gospel, and he referred them to me for my consent 
They put sereral questions to me concerning the anointing 
of Jesus Christ, and his two natures, and then began to dia- 
pute among themselves on useless points; for example, 
''Did Adam rule oyer the angels? Is it by some special 
gift conferred on him, as man, that Jesus Christ has power 
over the angels, or is it as Ood 1" &o. Being unable to 
agree, they wished to refer the decisicm to me, as judge ; 
but I confined myself to telling them that these are vain 
questions, which St Paul desires the priests and all Chris- 
tians to avoid. I then exhorted them to cleave to the Bible 
alone, assuring them that anything pertaining to matters of 
faith, which is not contidned in the Word of God, is not only 
useless, but decidedly injurious. They inquired whether I 
were a priest ; and on my replying in the affirmaUve, an 
Alaca, in compliance with the customs of his country, wished 
to kiss my hand, but I told him it was not proper for a priest 
to allow his hand to be kissed. Many of the Abyssinians 
believe that by kissing the hand of a priest their lips are 
purified, as Isaiah's were when touched by the coal from the 
altar. When a priest enters a private house, if any one in 
it does not rise to kiss his hand, he is sure of receiving a se- 
vere reprimand from the priest. 

The priests of Coscouam had but just left me, when 
another company with Lie Atecou came in. After we had 
read some passages from the Gospel, I spoke to them on jus* 
tification by faith, to which thoy offered no objections ; but 
this led to a long conversation with Lie Atecou on the vow 
of celibacy. He manifested a high regard for the monks, 



JO0KNAL OP A RfiSIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. SOI 

at first, bat wben I began to allude to their evil practices, 
he. confessed the justness of my remarks, obserring, how- 
ever, that they were applicable to one party only — ^that 
there was also a wicked Judas among the faithful Apostles. 

" Supposing," said I, '* that the monks are good people ; 
yet, by retiring into convents and deserts, they render them- 
selves useless to the world ; besides, supposing them to be 
enlightened by the spirit of Ood, they transgress the com- 
mands of Jesus Christ, who wills that the light of his dis- 
ciples should shine before men, that they may see their good 
uorks and glorify their/o/Aer lohich U in heaven.^* 

^ I acknowledge," Lie Atecou replied, " that were the 
monks to instruct the people, and set a better example to 
the fathers of families, they would do much more good." 

" The vow of celibacy," I continued, " being based on 
man's power alone, and not on tke grace of God, is of itself 
a sin, and therefore unlawful ; for we have ground for rely- 
ing on the grace of God, only when vowing to observe his 
express commands." 

With a pensive air, he observed, "That idea never 
occurred to me. Yes, you are right— of ourselves we can 
do nothing. Nevertheless, do you not think the monks will 
obtain salvation ?" 

*' I doubt not that some among them will be saved, as well 
as other true Christians ; but I believe many of them will be 
lost" 

27th. I spent the forenoon in visiting the sick. I after- 
wards had a long, but not unpleasant conversation with Lio 
Atecott, upon the difTerence we ought to make between the 
Word of God and the writings of men. After that^ we had 



802 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

one of the most interesting conversations I have had sinoe I 
have been in Abyssinia, on the love of God for us — ^the love 
which we owe to him— the vanity of all terrestrial things — 
and the eternal blessedness of the elect with the Lord. 
Several persons were present, who appeared desirous of 
having part with us in the inheritance of the saints. Lie Ate- 
cou then mentioned Bruce, saying that the Abyssinians 
watched him narrowly, and were persuaded that his charac- 
ter, while in Oondar, was perfectly chaste and correct ; — 
that he was continually occupied either in reading or writing 
with his friend Michael. The contrast in their testimony 
concerning the character of this, the only Englishman who 
has been at Gondar, and that of other Europeans, was so 
gratifying to me, that I could not refrain from expressing 
the peculiar pleasure I felt on the occasion. 

28th. My house was full from sunrise till ten o^clock ; but 
the minds of those present are so perverted, that I could 
hold no connected conversation with them. I made several 
visits afterwards. At the house of Ozoro Waleta Teclit, 
all were astonished to hear me say that we pay no homage 
to the Virgin Mary. After stating several reasons why we 
do not worship her, some said, '* He is right!" but most of 
them appeared dissatisfied ; not daring, however, to contra- 
dict me publicly, as I am looked upon here as a very learned 
man. On returning to my house, I found there two 
brothers, sons of King Joas the Great. They came from 
Begamder sometime since, to entreat Mariam to make 
peace with Oubca and Sebagadis ; but he would not listen 
to them. Thence they came to Gondar to engage the 
priests to exhort Mariam to reconciliation and friendship, 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 303 

Imt the priestB are afraid to say muoh upon the subject. 
All the members of the royal family, the present king ex- 
cepted, evince a singular attachment to white men. I never 
before saw sach nobleness of air, figure and disposition, as 
in these two men. I had a long conversation with them, 
principally on the justification of the sinner before God. 
Their numerous questions, designed to obtain clearer views 
upon this important point, discovered, if not much knowl- 
edge, at least, a sound judgment. They made some inqui- 
ries, also, concerning the religion and politics of England. 
My heart was touched with the apparent humility of these 
two royal youth. On leaving me, they said ; " Since you are 
Christians like ourselves, we and our brethren entreat you 
to recommend our unhappy family and country to your na- 
tion." 

I spent most of the afternoon in the company of Habeta 
Selasse, Guebra Haiwat, a well-informed young man of Be- 
gamder, and some other individuals. We touched on 
several points of doctrine ; but my principal aim was to con- 
vince them that in our religious concerns, anything not con- 
tained in the Bible, is prejudicial to faith and charity. As 
the conversation closed, Selasse and Guebra Haiwat spoke 
in a very decided manner, saying, "Well, we wish for 
nothing but the Bible." The invocation of saints they at 
once acknowledged to be useless, although they do not yet 
see the sin of it. They also gave their consent to the truth, 
that water-baptism is only a visible sign of the regeneration 
of the heart The Abyssinians do not imbibe the notions 
of the papists concerning purgatory ; but they pray for the 
dead, believing that their souls do not reach a state of felicity 



804 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

till the lapse of a certain time, proportioned in lengthy to 
their oondnct on earth, and to the quantity of alms and 
prayers of their relatives ; together with the necessary abso- 
lation of the priests. My visitors to-day readily acknowl- 
edged, however, that their belief on this point is not foanded 
on the Word of Ood ; and confessed that I was in the righl^ 
when I quoted to them texts of Scripture, such as, '^ That 
every one may receive the things done in his body, according 
to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad ;" 2 Cor. 
V. 10 — After death the judgment, Htb. ix. 27, without an in- 
termediate state — Blessed are the d^ad which die in the iJord, 
Ac., Bev. ziv. 13 — all of which arc against the belief in any 
purgatory whatever, after death. Habeta Selasse added ; 
'^The foundation of our belief on this point, is but the 
vision of a bishop, with neither a name nor a witness." I 
am told repeatedly, and from every quarter, that the Etche- 
gua recommends me to all the priests ; and he has referred 
several of them to me for my decision of important points 
of belief, on which they could not agree. 

29th. This morning I went to the house of Alaca Ste- 
phanos to consult him as to my route when I should return 
to Tigre. He told me he could promise me a safe journey 
by way of Lasta immediately ; but that Mariam has heard 
of me, and he would not advise me to take a course by which 
I must avoid him. However, unless the Wagara road is 
previously open, I purpose leaving with the caravan, for 
Hassowah before the rains. Were I his own son, Alaca Ste- 
phanos could scarcely manifest more solicitude for my weU 
hie. When I rose to leave him, he told me his slave disap- 
peared last night ; and inquired if I knew the art of return* 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE DT ABTBBINIA. 805 

log him, as the MassulmaDS, who have only to read a por- 
tion of their book to bring back a slave instantly. On re- 
entering my honse, I found a lady, who immediately threw 
herself at my feet, saying, <« I hear that yon know all things ; 
I entreat your assistance ; and I promise you any reward 
you may demand. I have a son, who is married, and is the 
father of several children. Another woman has given him 
medicine to wean his affections from his wife, and win them 
herself ; since which, he is continually running after this 
wonao, and refuses to hear a word either from his wife or 
children. I beseech you for a medicine which shall cause 
him to return to his family.*' 

I passed a great part of the afternoon with a company of 
young people, to whom I explained the nature of true Chris- 
tianity ; which led them to infer that the Abyssinians are 
Christians only in name. 

30th. The Etchegua sent for me to breakfast with him 
this morning I found but one priest with him, and a monk, 
both of whom carried the appearance of persons in authority. 
The Etchegua, in a very systematic manner, proposed to me 
every question which could be asked eonoeming the anoint- 
ing of Jesus Christ. His first was, <' What was Adam be- 
fore the fall r 

^ Adam was created a king, to rule over all the earth, and 
subject it to himself ; a priest, to render to God a rational 
homage in the name of all nature ; a prophet, to bring up 
his posterity in the knowledge and love of God.'' 

The Etchegua remarked, ^' Adam was not introduced into 
Paradise till forty days after his creation, and Eve eighty 
days after her creation. This is our reason for baptising 



306 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTS8INIA. 

boys at the age of forty days, and girls when they are eighty 
days old. What think you of it V 

*^ The Bible, which alone can inform us on this subject, 
speaks neither of forty nor of eighty days; therefore we 
know nothing about it. We baptize infants of one day old, 
or more, with no reference to a definite age." 

'- This di£ference between us and you," said the EtehegORi 
''is of no consequenoe. By whom was Adam saved ?" 

'' If he was saved, it was by Jesus Christ ; far there is none 
other name under heaven given among men whereby we mud 
be saved, but the name of Jesus alone." 

'' How were the Old Testament saints saved, since Jesus 
Christ had not then oome into the world ?" 

'< They were saved by faith in Christ, as well as ourselves ; 
for it is written that he was slaiii from the foundation of the 
worW 

" Why do men die ?" inquired the Etchegua. ^ Is it on 
account of the sin of Adam, or is it through their own 
fault ?" 

'- St. Paul says, that by one man sin entered the world^ and 
death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, through him 
(Adam), for that all have sinned.* Therefore the death of 
the soul in which we are born, and the death of the body, 
are the consequence of the sins of Adam ; but Jesus Christ 
has redeemed, or delivered, all who believe in him, both from 

* Mr. Gobat here quotes aooording to the Latm Vulgate, In quo 
(in whom ;) the original is i^'w. The critical reader is aware that there 
is a difficulty in the passaga The English rendering wiU probably be 
regarded by many as containing the more exact sense, though the other 
rendering is also given in the maxgin of our English Bibles. 



JOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 307 

the death of the soul, and that of the body ; — ^firom the for- 
mer, by the regeneration which takes place on earth, (John 
ill 12 ;) and from the latter, by the resurrection at the last 
day ; for it is by believing that we obtain the true life of 
body and soul through his name." 

The monk obseryed, " He is more learned than Yohan- 
nes," — ^the Oreek who was here last year. 

uTohannes," continued the Etchegua, ''knew the New 
Testament only ; but this man knows the whole Scriptures ;" 
then addressing himself to me, he inquired, ''How does 
Jesus Christ deliver us from the power of the angel of 
death ?" (that is to say, the devil) 

" St. Paul says, that by his decUhy he has destroyed him who 
has the potter ofdeaih, even the denil." 

" We agree,*' said he, " in all the principal points. I have 
now found the Abnna wo want." He then inquired whether 
there were monks in our country. 

" No," I replied : " there are many who do not marry, 
but they content themselves with saying, ' To-day I am not 
married ; but as for to-morrow God alone knows what will 
be suitable for me.' " 

He continued by saying : " The cap of St. Anthony, and 
that of St Macarius have not yet arrived from England ; 
but are you not acquainted with the order of St. Qeorge?" 

" We are acquainted with it ; but we believe the vow of 
celibacy to be a sin, because it is based on man's own power, 
to establish thereby that righteousness of his own, which St. 
Paul condemns ; and neither is it anywhere recommended 
in the Word of God." 

" This difference also is of no consequence." 



808 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTSBINIA. 

Our oonvenatioii then tarned upon the confession of sins 
to priests, and absolation ; bnt as this point is the basis on 
which the priests rest their tyrannical authority, we were 
oonstrained to differ widely, and they therefore chose not to 
understand me : we were interrupted also in the midst of 
our couTersation. He proposed resuming the question 
when we next meet. I was no sooner out of his house, than 
the rain and hail began to fall in such profusion, that I was 
obliged to stop for shelter at three different houses on the 
road. I was fearful of having offended the Etchegua by my 
frankness with him on the points of confession and absolu* 
tion ; but the moment the rain was over, he sent hb favorite 
servant to inquire whether I had reached home in safety ; if 
I were wet; if I had endangered my health by the expos- 
ure ; — ^leading me to conclude that his regard for me re- 
mains unchanged. 

I have to-day received my first intelligence from fnend 
Kugler at Adowah. The bearer of the letter informed me 
of Mariam's wishes that I should visit him on my return. 
If it be true that he has directed Cantiba Gassai to take me 
with him in eight days, I cannot refuse to accompany him ; 
although by going so soon, I shall offend Sebagadis and 
Oubea. Peace is not yet effected, though report says it is 
desired by all the chiefs. 

3 1st. I have been to Asoso to-day, a village belonging to 
the Etchegua, about two leagues south-west of Gondar. I 
had promised him I would go there to see his church, much 
oelebrated from the circumstance of its having been the one 
in which Abuna Tecla Haimanot ordinarily officiated. The 
priests there told me that it was built by King Fasil (Fasil- 



JOUlNAIi OF A BESIDENCB IN ABYSSINIA. 309 

I, or Basilidan), alleging as proof of this that the walla 
are constructed of lime. The Abjssinians believe all the 
bnildings, and most of the walls in which there is lime, were 
built by Fasil. The Church of Asum is their only excep- 
tion, which they say was the work of the devil The mem- 
ory of Fasil LB highly honored in Abyssinia, in consequence 
of his having driven the Popish priests from the country, 
after his accession to the throne of Susneus, his deceased 
father. His body, six cubits in length, is said to have been 
preserved entirely free from putrefaction till thb day, on an 
island in Lake Dembea. The priests inquired if the 
churches in our coutitry were built like theirs. In explain- 
ing to them the form of ours, I took occasion to speak on the 
duty of priests to preach the Gospel and instruct the people, 
rather than content themselves with vain and foolish cere- 
monies, which serve to induce bigotry and pride. They 
then showed me some books, a large golden cup, and a 
golden cross ; also an iron cross, said to have fallen from 
heaven in honor of Abuna Tecla Haimanot. There are 
three or four more like it in Abyssinia, all of which are said 
to have fallen from heaven. Then they put the usual ques- 
tions respecting the anointing of Jesus Christ. I closed by 
exhorting them to forbear giving their exclusive attention 
to this single point, entreating them to study the whole 
Bible, and to preach the Gospel to their people in a Ian* 
gnage with which they are familiar. They invited mo to 
dine with the head man of the place before coming home. 
Asoso is a large village and pleasantly situated. From the 
bill on which the church stands, you have a full view of the 
lin of Dembea, Lake Tsana, and the mountains of Began* 



810 JOURNAL OF A RSBIDBNCE IN AB7BSINIA. 

der ; and bejond the Uke, the moontains of Goaorgon, 
whence building timber is brought to Gondar. 

On leaving the Etchegua, I went to salute Gantiba 
Gassai, whose house I found full of people, who immediately 
began talking about me, as the other day. Gassai said to 
them ; ^'I always feel myself unworthy of being SamuePs 
friend ; he is a priest altogether unlike any of ours. He 
came to Abyssinia for the single purpose of bringing us the 
Gospel, and teaching us its holy truths." 

June Ist. I called at an early hour upon the king, to con- 
sole him, as we say, upon the death of his wife, who died 
day before yesterday. A great crowd of people stood 
around the palace, weeping, and singing to the doleful 
sound of the tabor. Yesterday, nearly all the 'city assem- 
bled around the palace to weep. When an individual dies, 
all the friends of the nearest relative of the deceased attend 
him during the succeeding eight days, for purposes of con- 
dolence ; that is, they enter into the house, or, that being 
small, into the court, where the mourner is seated upon the 
ground ; not a word is spoken, but stopping a moment at his 
side, those who can manage so to do, weep ; those who have 
not the necessary art, put on the appearance of weeping ; 
and when they rise to go, they say to him in a low voice, 
"Egriabher yitsnah! (God strengthen you! God comfort 
you !") Whoever omits this ceremony, is not regarded as 
a friend. 

From the king's house, I went to see the Etchegua ; there 
I found Alaca Stephanos, with whom I conversed a few days 
since on the means of ameliorating the political condition of 
I endeavor to avoid engaging in oonveiekttblki 



JOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 811 

Upon political subjects, but, by reason of present commo- 
tions, and the unhappy state of the royal family, Alaoa Ste- 
phanos asked me the other day whether the English would 
render them any assistance, should a request to that ejOfect 
be presented to tbem. I answered, that I could not tell ; 
that the English had been anxious for the friendship of the 
Abyssinians for twenty years ; and consequently would, in 
all probability, lend a helping hand, should it be strongly 
desired. His next object was to ascertain how the request 
could be conveyed ; to which I replied, that I would advise 
them to write a letter, which I would myself take to Eng- 
land ; but that I was unwilling to be concerned in any way 
whatever in their political affairs. He mentioned this to 
the Etchcgna to-day, who stopped him, and told him in 
Ethiopic (thinking I did not understand it) to act cau- 
tiously, and not bo too ready to trust strangers, &c. He 
then recounted all the troubles in Abyssinia during the 
reigns of Susneus and his son Fasil. Wishing, however, to 
hear no more in tbis private manner, I interrupted him, by 
telling him that I knew this history. He questioned me on 
the entrance of the Franks (Jesuits) into Abyssinia, their 
progress while there, and their withdrawing from the coun- 
try. Many others soon came in, and I retired. 

2d. This morning the king sent for me to introduce to my 
acquaintance a friend of his, in whom I could discover noth* 
ing more calculated to interest one, than in himself After- 
ward I passed some hours with Habeta Selasse, who assured 
me that both himself and his friends are persuaded that the 
English are true Christians, because I distribute the Gbspel 
gratuitously ; adding, <' We are only nominal GhristianB^-r 



312 JOURNAL OF A RRSIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

we give nothing gratis,— even the best priests teach onlj for 
the sake of money. He told me also that if I should retom 
to Gondar soon, to go with him to preach the Gospel to the 
Gallas, his plan would be to remain in Shoa five or six years, 
for the purpose of qualifying some of the youth there to ac- 
company us as teachers to that benighted race. Meanwhile, 
Guebra Haiwat came in, and began to talk by saying to me, 
'' My only desire is to know Jesus Christ ; but I wish to 
karn all that can be known of him from the Word of God 
alone; for I am convinced that you are correct in asserting 
that human writings only perplex, without eulightening us, 
in matters of faith. I heard you say, the other day, that 
the anointing of prophets, priests, and kings, represents the 
anointing of Jesus Christ, which rendered him capable of 
perfectly fulfilling these three offices. I understand, that it 
is as man that Jesus Christ is priest and prophet ; but can 
you show me some passages of the Bible which assert that 
it is as man that he is King and Judge of the universe? 
for he is King and Judge as God." 

''Without multiplying proofs, one single passage will 
make it clear to you. Read the latter part of the 25th 
chapter of Matthew." He did so : and having finished read- 
ing, struck his head, saying, " Dancaro 1 dancaro nagne I 
(Stupid ! Stupid that I am !) How many times I have read 
this passage, but never before discovered what I now see 1 
It is the Son of Man who shall come to judge the world ; 
therefore it is as man. And he calls himself King ; — The 
King shall $ay^ &c. ; and as if more than to convince me that 
he is King and Judge as man, he calls believers his breth- 
TVSL This passage is conclusive." At this moment a third 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 813 

diseiple of Alaca Waldab came in ; and with these three 
friends I consulted as to the best measures for melioraUng 
the religious state of Abyssinia. I aimed, chiefly, to im- 
press upon their minds the duty of instructing the people 
on points of religious belief, in every part of the Bible, and 
in that alone. 

3d. My house has been full all day ; among the company 
were Lie Atecou, and the Alaca or chief priest of Coscouam. 
This Alaca was offended the other day by my saying that it 
did not become a priest to give his hand to be kissed ; and 
he now asked my reason for this assertion. I confined my- 
self to telling him, that priests are the brethren, and not the 
rightful sovereigns of others, — that it was their duty to be 
humble, — ^that the custom, among the common people, of 
kissing the hand of him only, who is accounted a superior, is 
of little consequence any way. in itself, provided the priest 
does not draw nourishment for his pride therefrom, and that 
others make it not a meritorious work. Conversation then 
turned on the confession of sins to the priests, and absolu- 
tion. I said to them ; ^ Tour confessions, and your abso- 
lutions are the prime causes of the corrupt state of the 
country. You reduce all sins to a certain number of gross 
ones. Now the whole life of the unregenerate, Uke that of 
your people, is one continued sin, which renders it utterly 
impossible for a man to confess all his sins, from his entire 
inability to number them. After confession, you impose a 
penance, which is not authorized by the Bible ; — contrary, 
often, even to the positive declarations of the Bible ; — and 
always contrary to the spirit of the Gospel ; because you 
thereby lead men to seek justification by works, and not by 

14 



814 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTBSINIA. 

fidth in Jesus Christ. Then, the priest dares to array him- 
self with the aathority of God, and pardon sins when he 
pleases. By all this, you lull the people to sleep in sin, 
and lead them to perdition. The duty of priests is, to oon- 
yince men of their corrupt hearts, and to show the fountain 
for their cleansing by the preaching of the Gospel. Soon 
as the sinner has a lively conviction of his misery, then let 
him confess — ^not a certain number of sins, but the entire, 
the deep depravity of his heart, to an enlightened priest; 
and let that priest first portray to his view the danger he 
incurs by continuing in sin, — then lead him to the cross of 
the Saviour ; and assure him, from the Word of God, that 
if he truly repent, and forsake all sin, God will forgive and 
graciously receive I}im. Such confession and absolution, 
and such alone, become Christians who profess to embrace 
the Gospel of Christ." Lie Atecou manifested his approval 
of what I said, and no one made any objection. 

4th. Most of the day has been rainy. Two priests and 
some of the common people spent a great part of the day 
with me, to whom I read several chapters of the Gospel. 

5th. I passed the morning in paying visits. Alaca Ste- 
phanos told me, that in case I should be unable to return to 
Tigre before winter, he would put the forty-four churches 
of Gondar in requisition to supply me with necessary food ; 
but so long as the Lord provides me with other means of 
subsistence, I declined his generous offer. I have expended 
all my money, and no road is yet open for returning to 
Tigre ; but one of my servants has ten talaris in his posses- 
sion, which he is willing to lend me \ thus will God pro- 
vide I 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 315 

For a loDg time, Ozoro Hiroute has invited me almost 
erery day to go and see her. She is the daughter of Ozoro 
Esther (see Bruce), born after the death of Has MichaeL 
She was queen, wife of King Tecla Georgia ; and is still dis- 
tinguished by the title, Itigue, (queen.) She has been very 
wealthy, but is said now to be quite destitute ; she had, 
howevor, several priests at her house to-day, an evidence that 
she possesses considerable property ; for I rarely find priests 
at the houses of the poor, and never more than one at a 
time. The priests immediately questioned me on the anoint- 
ing of Jesus Christ, but I cut short the conversation by say- 
ing, ^ You always dwell on one point ; as if the Holy Spirit 
dictated all the rest of the Bible to no purpose. You ought 
rather to study the way of salvation, and having found it, to 
lead your people therein ; for a man may be as orthodox as 
possible on your favorite point, and still lose his soul for- 
ever. I do not contradict your opinion, but I say, that not- 
withstanding your orthodoxy, unless you yourselves are 
anointed with the Holy Spirit, unless you are born again, 
you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.'' Upon this, 
two of the priests left in silence ; the others made some in- 
quiries respecting the new birth. 

6th. Sunday. I have been happy in being alone much 
of the day, reading my Bible. The feast of Pentecost is 
observed to-day by the Abyssinians ; but one priest came, 
whom I found ignorant of what the festival is designed to 
commemorate. An old priest, the father confessor of the 
king, called this afternoon, also a well-informed young man 
of Begamder. I had just been reading the text, 7%e Word 
was made flesh. I spoke to them of the love of God for us ; 



816 JOURNAL OF A SE8IDENCB IN ABT88INIA. 

and remarked, " The Kiog of the aniyerse became a servant, 
that he might redeem us from the bondage of Satan and of 
death ; — ^abnndant reason this, wkj our whole life should be 
one continual testimony of our love to him." Such remarlcs 
always touch the Abyssinians for a moment, and but for a mo- 
ment ; being too much out of the general order of things to 
produce any abiding impression. They wished to know of 
me what is the best prayer. I explained true prayer to 
them — ^the expression of the feelings of an humble heart. 
When the Abyssinians speak of prayer, they belicTC that 
the reading of any religious book whatever, is praying ; ac- 
counting the Psalms the best prayers. Not that they think 
of asking God for what David asked ; but they suppose that 
by reading the Psalms, or if they have no time for it them- 
selves, by having them read for them by others, they are 
preserved from the influence of evil spirits ; that is, most 
generally, from physical maladies, which they attribute to 
the influence of demons or sorcerers. 

7th. I have had people at my house all day, I conversed 
a long time with Guebra Haiwat on the origin of evil in 
man ; which I showed him to consist principally in a want 
of faith, manifesting itself by an inordinate desire to know 
more than God has been pleased to reveal to us ; and that, 
too, in direct disobedience to his commands. He imme- 
diately applied these observations to their disputes on unre- 
veal^ points of religion. The conversation then turned on 
the invocation of saints ; but he only spoke indiscriminately 
of all idolatrous sects. At the close, he confessed that tho 
first Christians called only upon the Lord ; and that the in- 
Toeation of saints, being a manifestation of want <rf fiiith in 



JOURNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 317 

Ood, is Bin. For hini to acknowledge the Yirgin Mary to 
hare been a sinner, cost a severe straggle ; yet he confessed 
that she could do no less than call God her Saviour, be- 
cause, without him, she, like all other human beings, was 
lost by reason of sin. I have observed, that, like the other 
Abyssinians, he is iwry fearful of being found wanting in 
that respect which is considered due to the departed saints. 
J^ot that they believe they shall ofifend God by neglecting 
the invocation of them, but they fear lest the one neglected 
will cause their deatii during the night. I do not know 
how much reason other travelers may have for pronouncing 
it so dangerous to speak against the opinions entertained by 
the Abyssinians of the Virgin and the saints ; but I know 
that I clash with them every day, and am not conscious of 
having thus offended any one. The more bluntly I reprove 
priests and others, the more respect I receive from those 
who hear me ; because they infer from my abruptness, that^ 
unlike themselves, I am no flatterer, and detest everything 
in the shape of falsehood. It is true that I always aim to 
express myself ^^ suaviter in mode, fortiter in re." Had I a 
thousand copies of the Gospel, I could circulate them to 
great advantage ; for almost all who come to see me now, 
ask for one. At first, the Gospel in Amharic was looked 
upon with a degree of indifference, the Ethiopic being re* 
garded as preferable ; but since the Etchegua has been dis* 
tributing the six copies I gave him, to the first Alaoas, pub- 
lic feeling has entirely changed. Several priests, even, now 
say that the Ethiopic ought to be laid aside, and the Gospel 
read in Amharic only, in order that all may understand ii 
A priest said to me to-day, << I sincerely regret not having 



818 JOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT8BINIA. 

known you while you had copies of the Gospel for distriba* 
iion ; but I rejoice that you have sown the good seed over 
so great a portion of our country. God grant that it may 
bring forth mach fruit." I learn, also, that some churches 
are having the Gospel copied into Amharic. I have been un- 
able to sell any ; for, aside from the few to whom I thought 
best to present it, the Abyssinians of the interior, in this 
time of war and scarcity, have scarcely the means of obtain- 
ing the necessaries of life. 

8ih. This morning, Emmaha*s wife went to the market, 
and bought a pot of honey for me ; but on her return, Acha- 
ber's soldiers forcibly wrested it from her. On learning the 
fact, I sent a servant with her to Achaber, who immediately 
caused it to be restored ; saying to her, ^ Why did you go 
and tell Samuel that my people had taken his honey ? You 
should have come directly to me, without speaking to any 
one else of it, for I will not suffer Lim to be injured in the 
least Gto ; let no one know that they were disposed to 
wrong the Guebts (white men.") For some length of time, 
there has been very little honey to be bought, which is the 
reason that all in authority keep soldiers constantly stationed 
in the market, to take by force all the honey they can find. 

I read the 24th chapter of St. Matthew with Habeta Se- 
lasse. Alaca Waldab had explained it to his pupils in the 
morning, but Selassc was not satisfied. I asked him to tell 
me by what means they are able to retain the explanations 
of the Bible which they hear, since they do not write, and 
have no book in which to review the lecture at home. To 
which he replied, that a small number of them hold little 
weekly meetings, when one reads the portions of Scripture 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 310 

which haye been discussed the week immediately preceding, 
and that they panse at every difficult passage, to consult 
each other as to its probable meaning. He' says that Alaca 
Waldab possesses the whole Bible, which the Abyssinians 
call <' The eighty-one books." I asked him the price of the 
Ethiopie Bible, supposing one wished to buy it entire ; he 
said that it could occasionally be bought for about a hundred 
talaris ; because, as none pretends study since the author- 
ity of the king has ceased, books are no longer wanted. 
Those who wish to become priests, confine themselves merely 
to learning to sing some of the church books, barely to ob- 
tain a livelihood. '* Our country," he continued, ^* needs a 
reform." 

9th. The weather has been unpleasant all day, which cir- 
cumstance, with a slight indisposition, has prevented me 
from seeing any one. 

For some days past, I have had people at my house from 
morning till night. I preached the Gospel to them accord- 
ing to my best ability, adapting myself to their different 
capacities ; but I have been quite unwell, with a daily in- 
crease of fever, and consequently unable to write. The 
cure of Ozoro Waleta Teclit's brother, whom every one 
looked upon as possessed, has brought me into great repute ; 
among some, as a physician, — ^among others, as a sunt 
The sick send and come from Dembea and Begamder to 
consult me, and priests from different places visit me. 
When individuals disagree on points of faith, they appeal 
to my decision. I always express my views frankly to them, 
establishing them by texts of Scripture ; then, I draw from 
them the natural inferences, calculated to appeal to their 



S20 JOURNAL OF A REBIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

oonsdenoes. If the Bible q^ys nothing npon the purtioakr 
point in question, I only answer, " God has not reyealed it, 
therefore we know nothing about it." I have all along ob- 
senred, that nothing gains me the unirersal oonfidence more 
than this one word, " I do not know." An ignorant young 
priest, Guebra Kidam, whom I have sometimes warned of 
the guilt and danger he incurs by leading the blind while 
blind himself, comes to ^e me almost CTcry day. He found 
the reading of the Gospel in Amhario much more difficult 
than the psalms, and two or three books of prayers in 
Ethiopic, which he knows almost by heart, with no under- 
standing of them ; but he now appears sincerely desirous 
of learning and comprehending the Word of God 

Guebra Haiwat came yesterday morning, very early, to 
tell me that I was wrong the other day in saying that Mary 
was a sinful creature like us, and that she was saved by the 
same grace by which we are preserred from eternal death. 
He said he had found a book stating that the world was 
created for the Virgin Mary. 

^ Your book is quite wrong," said I, '^ and I must tell you 
that its author is a liar ; for the Word of Gk>d says, that all 
things were created by Jesus Christ, and for him." 

(Striking his head,} he replied, " Now I see that you are 
right in telling us that we ought to adhere simply to the 
Word of God." 

After that, an old priest from Shoa came in, who is said 
to be very learned. He questioned me on various articles 
of faith, and on the ceremonies of the English church, and 
appeared satisfied with most of my answer& When I spoke 
to him of the witness of the Holy Spirit in the heart of maii| 



JOUSNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABYSSIDTIA. 821 

(Bom. TiiL 16,) he seemed utterly astonished ; indeed, all, 
to whom I mention the subject, manifest the same surprise, 
as if it were a doctrine entirely new to them. I often notice 
the lively impression this makes on my visitors ; for, with- 
out openly confesang so much, they show plainly enough a 
consciousness of their want of this witness. 

16tL Yesterday and to-day, all have heen engaged with 
news concerning the war One messenger after another has 
arrived, to announce the victory of Mariam over Oubea. 
Oubea fled after having killed many more than he had lost 
Madam's friends rejoice with trembling, believing Oubea to 
have retreated, only with the hope of drawing his enemy 
among some mountains, from which, escape appears impos- 
sible. Immediately upon hearing the news of the victory, 
the soldiers of Cantiba Ci&ssai, and those of Achaber, fell to 
binding and robbing those friends of Oubea who happened to 
be in the city. Messenger after messenger has come to inform 
me of the disturbance, and to advise me to go and sleep in the 
quarters of the Etchegaa, because everybody knows I am' a 
friend to Oubea and Sebagadis. Knowing that every word of 
mine is reported, I simply say, that if I deceive myself in 
trustbg to the friendship of Achaber and Cantiba Cassai, it 
will be entirely useless for me to go to the Etohegua's. 

17th. Received eeveral visits. I have had a long conver- 
sation with Habeta Selasse and Ouebra Haiwat, on original 
sin, infant baptism, and the new birth. On original sin, 
the Abyssinians are not agreed. As yet, I have found none 
but Habeta Selasso of my opinion ; viz. : that little children 
naturally partake of the corruption of their parents, and that 
if they die, it is in consequence of sin, the origin of which 



S22 JOURNAL OF A EE8IDBNCB IN ADY80INIA. 

eztendB back to Adam ; bat that thej haye been redeemed 
by Jesas Christ, and are not condemned^ becaaae they baye 
never rejected the coimsel of God. There are some who 
believe physical death to have been natural to man, even 
from the creation ; and that Adam would have suffered the 
death of the body, had he not sinned. The greater part, 
especially the priests, believe that at the moment of the 
conception of the body, Ood himself creates for it a booI, 
perfect in its kind ; that is, a soul neither of growth nor of 
development ; — that it is only the imperfection of the body 
of the child, which hinders the manifestation of the full fac- 
ulties of the soul ; for example, when a male child of the 
age of forty days, or a girl of eighty days, is baptised, its 
soul knows perfectly well everything that passes. Whence 
they conclude, first, that it believes in Jesus Ghrbt at the 
moment of baptism, and is consequently purified from all 
pollution, and born again ; then, that when an infant dies, 
whether by miscarriage or any other cause, before it is bap- 
tized, it is owing to some sin committed by the soul before 
or immediately after birth ; but they do not say whether 
such an infant is saved or lost ; some place it in a perpetual 
state of apathy. It is easily seen that such a system is soon 
overthrown by many proofs ; even the Abyssinians are read- 
ily convinced that it is erroneous ; yet, when the first im- 
pression of the contrary begins to wear away, they always 
return to this, probably, because the priests find their ad- 
vantage in it But notwithstanding this opinion, if they 
suppose an infant sick unto death, they do not hesitate to 
baptize it, even on the first day of its life. Soon as an in- 
fimt is baptiied, ibey administer the oommonion to it, and 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTBBINIA. S28 

the practice is regularly continued till the age of ten or 
twelve years. There are few persons, between the ages of 
fourteen and forty years, especially among the males, who 
commune, for they are either not married, and too generally, 
lead an irregular life, — and a man who receiyes the oomma> 
nion without first making the vow of celibacy, subjects him- 
self to more or less opprobrium, — or they have married 
many wives, and the priest will not administer the sacra- 
ment to them only on condition of their putting away all 
but the lawful wife ; for the law allows them but one wife at 
a time. I believe no one receives the sacred elements with- 
out confession. The number of female communicants rather 
exceeds that of the men, for two reasons ; first, many wc 
men, especially the wives of the great, are so secluded, that 
it is impossible for them to deviate from the paths of virtue ; 
and even should that occur, they would hire a favorite priest 
(for there is a great choice in this class) to do penance for 
them ; for the husband sometimes inquires whether his wife 
communes regularly, and if he finds she does not, he concludes 
that she is unfaithful ; many men, however, are unwilling that 
their wives should participate in the sacred feast unless they 
also partake. The Abyssinians can have but one lawful 
wife at a time, whom they can very easily divorce ; but they 
are forbidden to marry more than three during life. (There 
are, however, some priests, who give the communion to those 
who have married more.) A man who has been separated 
from his third wife, whether by divorce or death, is never 
allowed to receive the sacrament again, not even in his dy- 
ing hour, unless he become a monk. It is just so with wives. 
The Abyssinians are, in reality much more jealous than 



884 JDUBWAL OF A RB8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

Brace, jadging from the oharaotor of Baa Miohaal, ai^poaed 
them to be. 

1 aftenrard oonyeraed a long time with G-nelwa Haiwat^ 
and then with a priest, on the Lord's Sapper. They call 
the consecration of the bread and wine, which last b raimn- 
jnioe and water, mikiwaUj (a change,) and are yerj mach 
afiraid of explaining thb term ; yet, when I urged them to 
explain it, both of them said, that the nature of the bread 
and wine remains unchanged — that the bread remains 
bread, and the wine, wine ; but that those who receive ihem 
with faith, receive Jesus Chrbt ; and for this reason they 
call the bread, after consecration, flesh, and the wine, blood. 
Among the Abyssinians, in order that the sacrament bo 
properly administered, not less than five priests and deacons 
must officiate in the service. Should a less number do it, 
they would suflfer excommunication ; yet, when I prove to 
them by the example of Jesus Christ and St. Paul, that a 
single priest is sufficient, they confess the correctness of 
what I assert. Many who visit me, tell me that many of 
the great people talk of requesting my services as Abuaa, 
but that some oppose it 

Habeta Selasse told me of a large assembly of priests at 
the house of Alaca Waldab this morning, who did nothing 
but dispute on one single point, viz. : when it is said that 
Jesua Christ is our brother, one party insbted that he was 
so by hb incarnation, and, in thb sense, brother of all men ; 
the other, that he b our brother only by the anointing of the 
Holy Spirit ; that b, that he received the Spirit in the same 
manner that Christians do, and in thb sense, b brother of 
believers only. Selasse was very much dissatbfied with thb 



JQVBMAh OF A SB8IDENCB IN ABTB81NIA. 835 

dispute. He bad before asked mj opinion on tbui point, 
and I now inquired wbat were bis views. He answered ; 
^ I belieye as yon do, tbat bj bis incarnation, Jesns Gbrist 
is brother of all men, for bis genealogy is traced back to 
Adam, and all tbe cbildren of Adam are brethren ; be also, 
like tbe other cbildren, is a partaker of flesh and blood. As 
Son of (lod, be is tbe first-born among many brethren ; that 
is, among those only in whom dwelb the Holy Spirit." 

18tb. The feast of Si Michael is celebrated to-day. I 
baye been urged by seyeral priests to go and kiss tbe church 
consecrated to this saint ; and my refusal to go brought on 
a long conversation with them respecting the worship of 
imagte and the invocation of saints. The Abyssinians never 
attend church to hear the Word of God, seldom to pray ; 
for they only say, " I go to kiss the church of such a saint" 
The common expression is, '< I go to kiss St. Michael, St. 
George, ho, ;" sometimes several churches in succession ; 
and when they wish to convey tbe idea tbat a man is truly 
pious, they say, '^ He is a kisser of churches." 

After tbe conversation just referred to, I went to con- 
gratulate Ozoro Waleta Teclit that her son, Dejaj Comfou, 
escaped the slaughter of the battle on Sunday last. Had I 
&iled of this little attention, she would have been dissatis- 
fied; for the Abyssinians are exceedingly fearful of being 
deficient in ceremonies and forms. Their manner of eon- 
gratulating, however, is very simple ; they only say, ^' He 
(God) has given you cause for joy ;" and the other answers 
^ Amen," or, <' Do you rejoice." The Abyssinians are loth 
to engage in fighting on a Sunday^ but Mariam is of Galla 



926 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYBBINIA. 

origin, and prefers Sunday io any other day for this pnrposo. 
His soldiers, when spoken of, are called Gallas. 

On returning home, I found a large collection of people 
before my house. I invited them in, but some were obliged 
to remain out for want of room in the house. There were 
seven or eight priests of Coscouam among the company, who 
had previously consulted me on the points of religion con- 
cerning which they wished to interrogate me ; all of which 
I have before defined. These admit of two births only in 
Jesus Christ When I saw that my house was insufficient 
for the accommodation of all present, my heart glowed with 
love and pity, I addressed them on the conversion of the 
sinner by the operation of the Holy Spirit Closer attention 
than they gave, is seldom evinced in a European Protestant 
church. When I had finished, the priests gave me their 
hands, and all retired quietly together. I returned thanks 
to the Lord for having unloosed my .tongue, for I expressed 
myself as easily as I could have done in Arabic ; while, 
when treating of worldly subjects, I have oflen found diffi- 
culty both in understanding others and in expressing my- 
self. 

I cannot yet determine as to my being obliged to stay 
here through the rainy season ; it being not far distant, and 
the merchants do not yet know whether they can go to 
Massowah. Formerly, the caravan from Oondar could pass 
between two hostile armies without any fear, but no one has 
confidence in Mariam now ; and for my own part, seeing the 
people of the country dare not travel, I have no desire to go 
alone across a desolate country ; but J have only two talaris 
in my purse, and, at the present time, everything in Gondar 



JOURNAL OF A KB8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 327 

is very dear. A small sheep sells for a talari, and scarcely 
teff enough is to he found for making bread. One of my 
serTants has done nothing for a week, but run about the city 
in search for an opportunity to buy a little teff ; but He, 
who feeds the birds, will feed us, according to his wisdom. 
Neither myself nor servants have yet suffered from hunger, 
but we have begun to live by the chase. Yesterday I went 
to seek food on a mountain near Gondar, with one of my 
men, but wc shot two partridges only. To day my servants 
brought me a fine gazelle, which two men could hardly 
carry. I think it better to procure a livelihood by hunting, 
than to beg, especially at a season when the people of the 
country can scarcefy obtain food sufficient to sustain life. 

19th. I have had a long discussion to-day with the 
Etchegua. We began with the anointing of Jesus Christ, 
because several priests and Alacas are now of my opinion, 
that it ought not to be called " a birth." He aimed to bring 
me over to his side by asking me several difficult and en- 
tangling questions ; but when he saw that I eluded his bait, 
he proceeded to attack the question from a position entirely 
the reverse. I should not have thought him so artful He 
denied original sin, affirming that aU infants are born pure ; 
but I believe it was only because he was so hemmed in, for 
he wished, by that, to prove, that as children, free of all sin 
and uncleanness, are born anew by baptism, so Jesus Christ, 
although pure and holy, had to be born anew by the opera- 
tion of the Holy Spirit, in order to be the first-horn among 
many brethren. (Every one must perceive how much such 
ideas obscure the doctrine of man's regeneration.) He de- 
to conclude also from his bapUsm, that there had not 



826 JOUBNAL OF A EEBIDSNCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

been a child of God upon the earth since the fall of Adam j 
otherwise Jesos Christ would not have been the first-bom 
tmong many brethren. Like the Greeks and some others, the 
Abjsflinians belieye that the Old Testament sidnts did not 
enter into glory till after the death of Christ. I told him 
that we do not find decisive proof in the Bible that they did 
enter into glory before that event ; but that Jesus Christ, 
before his death, represents Abraham and Lazarus as being 
at rest ; whence we must certainly conclude that they are 
not in a place of torment. His reply to that was, that they 
were in hell, itself a place of torment, but that Gt^ had pre- 
pared them an asylum, where they felt neither grief nor 
pain. This conversation led us to speak of the Virgin 
Mary ; and when I began to prove to him that she was a 
sinner, his indignation rose to a degree which he would 
gladly have concealed ; but being unable to bring any proof 
from the Bible in support of his side of the question, he con- 
fined himself to maintaining that she was without sin as well 
as Jesus Christ. When my servants, who stood without 
the door, heard that the Etehegua was angry, they came in 
to tell him that we had much to do, and, as is customary, 
begged him to release me. 

I retired, very much dissatisfied with the Etehegua, and 
still more so with myself ; for my own heart was so insen- 
sible, that I expressed myself with difficulty, and, during the 
whole conversation, was unable to call to mind the clearest 
passages of the Bible. This occasioned me sadness through 
the day. At times, the thought struck me, that I did wrong 
in allowing myself to enter into such discussions ; but when 
they tell me that the man Christ Jesua is a child of God 



JOURNAL OF A BE6IBENCE IN ABY8BINIA. 339 



only by regeneration tiirough giaoe, as we sinners are,- 
that a human being is created holy and without sin, con- 
cluding thence that it is equal to its Creator and Saviour 
God, I cannot refrain from openly avowing my sentiments, 
and confirming them by testimony from the Word of Qod ] 
although I am thereby led into controversies which I would 
much rather avoid. My opinion of the Abyssinians varies 
almost every day that I am in their country. One day I 
rejoice in the hope that success will soon crown the Abys- 
sinian mission, to the glory of God, and the salvation of this 
poor people ] at other times, I see so much occasion to fear 
that all attempts to accomplish this glorious object will 
finally prove unavailing, that I cannot but be sad and de- 
pressed. God, however, gives me grace at times to cast all 
my cares on him. 

20th. Sunday. This morning I had a visit from a female 
Falasha, who is regarded at Gondar as the queen of the 
boudas or sorcerers. She evinces all the attachment to her 
people and the Law, combined with all the activity of an an- 
cient Jewish woman. She came to ask me whether, as she 
had heard, I really desired to see a learned Falasha. On 
my replying in the affirmative, she promised to bring me 
one, but said this most learned priest lived at Tchelga. 
Several people were in at the time, and one man, who con- 
siden himself very learned, began a controversy with her ; 
but she closed his mouth. I did not think it my duty to 
engage in this discussion, lest I should identify my senti- 
ments with the errors of the Abyssinians ; but when the 
Jewess had withdrawn, I showed the Christian that he had 
been confuted only in consequence of not knowing the Word 



880 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYBBINIA« 

of Ood. The Jewess spoke with some bitterness against 
Jesus Christ, which I would not have alluded to, except to 
show that enmity to the Anointed of God is found in every 
part of the world, modified only according to the intellee- 
tual capacities of the people. 

The following is, in brief, the substance of her account of 
the birth of our Saviour : — The Virgin was confined from 
her earliest youth in an apartment of the Temple, or 
one of the synagogues The archangel Michael, who was 
the constant and watchful guardian of consecrated places, 
seeing this poor, forsaken girl, thus shut up and secluded 
from the delights of society, was moved with compassion to- 
wards her. He transformed himself into the likeness of a 
man, succeeded in gaining her affections, and took up his 
abode with her. She soon gave indications that a third per- 
son was to be added to their number, and was indignantly 
spurned from the sacred precincts of the temple. She took 
refuge in the house of a nobleman, but here she received 
little else than insult and outrage ; she was again driven 
from her shelter, and pursued with such violence, that sho 
was wearied down in the way, and there, in that forlorn sit- 
uation, gave birth to our Saviour, and immediately expired. 
The orphan infant there lay in its loneliness beside the 
corpse of its mother, but a large white eagle was soon seen 
winging its way to the place, took up the child, and bore it 
high into the air. The multitude witnessing this singular 
event were seized with fear, and cried out, << It is a God.'' 
From that time the orphan son has been called the Christ, and 
has received that adoration which is due to the Deity alone. 

I made some inquiries of this woman concerning the time 



JOinilfAL OP A REfllOENCB IN ABT88INIA. 881 

when the Jews were sappoacd to have emigrated to AbjB-. 
nnia. She replied, that Solomon had a son by the qneen 
of Sheba, named Menilac, who so strikingly resembled his 
father, that the people of Jerusalem often mistook the prinoe 
for the kiog. The latter, becoming jealous, sent him away, 
bidding him go and take possession of the kingdom of 
Ethiopia. Menilac obeyed the royal mandate, and left his 
paternal dominions, accompanied by great numbers of his 
countrymen ; but in leaving the holy city, he took the pre- 
caution not to go without some memento of the religion of 
his fathers, and made choice of the ark of the covenant. He 
had the hardihood to prosecute his journey on the Sabbath, 
and coming to a river on that holy day, he, together with a 
part of his company, passed over, bearing their sacred memo- 
rial with them. From that time, he became a Christian, as 
well as all who crossed the stream with him. The Falashas 
are those who remained firm in the faith of Moses, and re- 
fused to pass the river on the Sabbath. The ark has since 
been lodged in the city of Azum, but is inaccessible to Chris- 
tians; and only a few Falashas are able to approach it 
When an uncommonly learned or pious Falasha draws near 
that part of the wall where the ark rests, it immediately di- 
vides itself to the right and left, and thus continues till the 
devotee has entered in, completed his adorations, and re- 
turned. 

The Falashas have the same histories of past times as the 
Christians of Abyssinia ; only they arc modelled according 
to the Jewish form. But having yet found no learned man, 
I can obtain little or no information from them. 

21st I passed a great part of the day in visiting the mer- 



3S2 JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABTBeiNIA. 

chants of my aoqnaintanoe, to see if I oould find some one 
of sufficient courage to aooompany me to Tigre. One only, 
Stif Augneda, was willing to go with me ; bat the priests 
opposed him, saying thai he would expose himself to death, 
and his fieunily to ruin. They have excommunicated him, in 
consequence of his persisting in his intention to go. Thus 
I find myself obliged to remain in Gondar through the 
rainy season. Mariam is now at Antchatcab, and is said to 
be destroying sll in his power. When he sends his soldiers 
to plunder the villages, he orders them to kill all within 
their reach, sparing neither women, children, nor priests. 

22d. This morning, the Jewess who called the other day, 
came again, with her son. All in the house, looking upon 
her as the most terrible of the boudas, begged me not to let 
her enter. When she was out of hearing, I suffered them 
to relate several stories of boudas — ^how they metamorphose 
themselves into hyenas, and their enemies into cows, cats, 
and even stones ; restoring them to their former state only 
when oompelled, by being known and accused before the 
judges ; besides which, they drink the blood of their friends, 
however distant, until the object of their greediness dies of 
exhaustion. There are some of the people who are con- 
cerned for me ; but the greater part of them say, that the 
boudas can do nothing to a man who is acquainted with the 
Scriptures. 

I passed the whole afternoon with Lie Atecon, Habeia 
Selasse, and some others, discussing the propriety of war* 
shiping images, the invocation of saints, the doctrine of the 
eucharist, faith and good works, the operation of the Holy 
Spirit in the heart of ChristianSj and the influence of the 



JOUBNAI» OF A KESIDENCE IH ABTBSINtA. MS 

devil OB the ohildren of disobedience ; but Lie Ateooa mns 
00 rapidly from one subject to another, that there is no dis- 
cussing any subject with him thoroughly. In endeavoring 
to jostify the worship of images, he made an observation 
which I had not before heard. He said to me, ^ Do you 
sot worship the bread and wine of the cuoharist ?" 

^ No, we only worship God in Jesus Christ ,* but, suppo- 
sing we did worship it, what is your conclusion ?" 

" The bread and wine of the eueharbt are not the true 
body of Jesus Christ ; they are the representation only, as 
images represent certain individuals." 

" We have no evidence that the apostles worshipped the 
bread and wine of the eucharist. That it is the true repre- 
sentation of the body of Christ, and of his blood shed for the 
remission of our sins, I grant, for Jesus Christ himself has 
taught us this ; but the Word of Ood condemns both tho 
making and the worship of images." 

Habeta Selasse spoke very little. Finally, I told them 
that the pernicious and ungodly works of the Abyssinians 
are the corrupt fruits growing on the corrupt tree of their 
ereed. This introduced the subject of missions. All 
united in pronouncing the Abyssinians very culpable for 
not sending missionaries to the Gallas, who would be very 
ready to embrace Christianity. 

25tlL For three days I have wished to write some letters 
by two or three young friends who leave to-morrow evening 
for Tigre ; but I have had so many people about me, that I 
have not yet been able to finish a single one. It appears 
that there is much talk in the city about my conversations 
with some of the priests respecting con&ssioQ and absolu- 



884 JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABTBBINIA. 

• 

tion ; for almost ftU who visit me begin oonyersation wiA 
this sabjeot As much is said at the present time of the 
emeltj of Mariam, and the general misery of the country, I 
endeavor to make them feel, that it is because they have for- 
saken God, that he has departed from them ; whiok truth 
they generally acknowledge. I also freely tell them, that 
the priests are the cause of the corruption and misery of 
the people; and this many hesitate not to acknowledge. 
When I tell them that Abyssinia will never be in a better 
condition till they turn to God, they generally look at one 
another without speaking ; sometimes, they say, ^' This is 
the only man in the country who is not afraid to teU us the 
truth:' 

. 26th. The weather to-day has been unpleasant, so that 
I have seen no one except Achaber. As I know him to be 
sincerely attached to me, I asked him if he could not lend 
me a little money. Tears came into his eyes as he said to 
me, ''My dear friend, no merchandise has been brought 
into the city for some months ; I am obliged to give five 
thousand talaris yearly to Mariam, and am in the same want 
as yourself, for I have but a single talari. I am now wait- 
ing for a caravan from Derita ; should it not fail, I will will- 
ingly share whatever it brings with you, without requiring 
any remuneration in return. If it should not come, and you 
can obtain money from no other quarter, I have a good gun 
to dispose of, the proceeds of which may support us both 
awhile, and then Gt>d will provide." Achaber is a warrior, 
and gifted with much judgment. He is a true Abyssinian, 
cherishing a high respect for the Word of God, without an 
understanding of it. In the ezeoution of his office he la 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA^ 885 

tyrannical ; he extorts from almost all the merchants ; but 
towards his friends is generous, and, at times, will most nn- 
gmdgingly spare even his indispensable garments for the 
relief of the poor, or the benefit of the churches. 

27th. Sunday. Habeta Selasse told me that Alaca Wal- 
dab, and all his family, are sufferiog from hunger. He ex- 
pended his last two talaris yesterday for food, and has fifteen 
persons at his table. He is Alaca of a church belonging to 
Oubea, which accounts for his being thus straitened. 

28th. I have had visitors to-day from far and near, of 
every kind, Jews, Mussulmans, and Christians. A priest, 
who was here, said to two Falashas, that all belonging to 
their sect were boudas. The poor Falashas were a little 
ofiended. One of them replied very gravely, ** We are not 
boudas. Supposing even that we were ; first, you have no 
proof of it, therefore you affirm a thing which you do not 
know, which is much the same as false testimony. Secondly, 
if boudas exist, you are obliged to believe that they can do 
nothing contrary to the will of God ; consequently they can- 
not harm those who have true faith in God. Thus your 
groundless fear of boudas only proves your total want of 
£uth in the God of Israel." Then turning himself to me, 
he said, ^' Now you, who know God, judge whether I am not 
right." I was astonished at his eloquence, and was compelled 
to pronounce him right, in the presence of all the rest. . I 
was unable to learn anything further about the Falashas. 
I interrogated them considerably, but their uniform reply 
was, *'• We know nothing ; you must inquire of one of our 
learned men." 

29th. I have had but two or three visits to-day, and these 



9M M>U|t!fAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

were short I passed the rest of the day in reading hjmns, 
and examining my own heart ; but, alas I I discovered so 
much evil and so little good, that I was compelled to spend 
some hours in weeping, and beseeching God to have pity 
upon me, and renew my heart entirely after his image. 

30th. This morning the king sent for mc with a request 
to visit himself and daughter, both of whom are somewhat 
indisposed. As I approached the palace, I heard shouts of 
joy from several female voices at once. I inquired the 
meaning of all this, when one of the servants of the king re- 
plied ; <' Eight days ago, the king caused a hand and both the 
feet of a thief to be cut off; and then left him in his suffer- 
ing and in his blood, in the middle of the market. During 
the night, the hyenas devoured him ; and the king regretted 
the next day that he had suffered him to be left unguarded. 
He demanded two hundred and fifty talaris from the mer- 
chants in whose neighborhood the thief was thrown, because 
they did not guard him through the night. As they re- 
fused to comply with this demand, the king put them in 
irons ; but they have paid the money this morning, and the 
king has released them ; and their wives have now come to 
express their gratitude to him.'' Many blame the king for 
this act ; others say that his conduct was in conformity with 
an ancient law, which requires the people in the vicinity, 
when a man b thus thrown into the street, to guard him 
till they receive orders from the king to abandon him to his 
fate. 

The Etohegua sent for me this afternoon, to dine at his 
house with several priests and others ; fifty or sixty persons 
in all. I had just taken dinner; so that while the others 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 337 

were at taSlc, all were Tery attentive to a long oonversation 
I held with the Etchegaa on the anointing of Jesus Chrbt; 
and on account of those present, I gave a kind of sermon on 
the regeneration of sinful man by the operation of the Holy 
Spirit. Dinner being over, the Etchegua oommanded si- 
lence, and, as a kind of approval of my discourse, said to 
the company, <- Samuel gives us many new ideas. He says 
that Jesus Christ received the Holy Spirit as true Chris- 
tians receive it ; with this difference, that it was given to 
him without measure, (John iii. 34 ;) while to us it is meted 
out in certain portions. This is what he calls '^ anointing ;' 
but he says it ought not to be called 'a birth,' because the 
influence of the Holy Spirit in us consists in this, that it 
turns us from darkness to light ^ from sin to righteousness, 
and frojuL the 'power of SMan to God. Till we receive the 
Holy Spirit we are children of the devil, dead in sin ; but 
when this Spirit is given to us, it produces in us a new life, 
regenerating us after the image of God, which we had lost 
by sin ; and all this is called in the Gospel a ' new birth.' 
But Jesus Christ had no need of this great change ; — no 
need of becoming a child of God through grace, because he 
was such by nature. So when it is said that he was anointed 
by the Holy Spirit, it was to constitute him prophet, priest, 
king, and Christ, the Saviour. Samuel is always particu- 
larly careful to caution us against receiving anything but the 
Bible as a sure, unerring rule of faith and conduct We 
never were taught so before." The priests seemed to ap- 
plaud his observations, because ho expressed himself as 
agreeing with me. Before they touched upon a new topic 
of discourse, I begged leave to retire. 

15 



838 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

July 3d. For the last few days I have been low botli in 
body and mind. I have not been out, and have had bat 
few yisitors, with most of whom I did nothing but read the 
Gospel, and make the necessary remarks. 

4th. Sunday. This morning I had a jisit from a young 
man who comes to see me often, but he has never attracted 
my attention particularly, excepting that he invariably asks 
for the Gospel when he first comes in, and spends whole 
hours in reading by himself. He expressed his r^ret to- 
day that he had not had an earlier acquuntance with me, 
while I was distributing the Gospel ; and added, ^' I know 
it is in the Word of God only that I can find the way of 
salvation, which I seek with all my heart I read Ethiopio 
well, but do not sufficiently understand it to be willing to 
place much dependence on what I read." 

Next came a monk, wrapped up in a sheepskin, and proud 
of his self-righteousness. He is much respected and feared 
by the Etchegua and the king, on account of his fearlessness 
in reproving with deserved severity. He introduced con- 
versation by saying to me ; "I am unwell ; and because I 
know you to be a friend of God, I feel a confidence in you 
which induces me to take the liberty of telling you the oo- 
casion of my present ill health. Some time ago, when liv- 
. ing in the mountains, I bound my body so strongly with 
chains, that I broke one of my hips. I then beat myself 
with a stick till my whole body was covered with bruisea 
To all this I added a continual fast, which has entirely 
ruined my health ; but I console myself with the reflection 
that I submitted to these painful inflictions from love to 
God, and a strong desire for my own salvation." I began 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 339 

my reply by proying to him, tbftt all these mortifications of 
the body were not only useless, but actually criminal ; be- 
cause he submitted to them from no other motiyes than a 
vain desire of being saved by his own righteousness. I next 
showed him, from several passages of the Bible, how man, a 
sinner, can be justified and saved, only by the grace of God 
through Jesus Christ. To my great surprise, instead of 
bringing forward the objections which the self-righteous usu- 
ally present, he only replied to each passage that I cited, 
^ Is it possible that it can be thus?" While we were talk- 
ing together, a woman entered ; he turned directly from her, 
saying ; " After having made the vow of celibacy, we may 
no longer look on a woman, nor listen to her voice." 
<< Whether," said I, ^ a man be a jnonk, or of any other pro- 
fession, it is our duty at all times, to covenant with our eyes 
not to look upon vanity ; but this is attacking evil only on 
its weak side ; the source of evil lies in our own hearts. 
And if we have once yielded our hearts up to the purifying 
influence of the grace of God, and if the Holy Spirit fill 
them with love for our Saviour, there will no longer exist 
any law obliging us to turn away our faces from any whom 
we may instruct and console ; but it will be sweet to us to 
avoid everything which would tend to weaken our love for 
God. Sufier the Spirit of Glod to do its work in you, con- 
verting your heart ; you will then bo able to serve the Lord 
in holiness, and in the glorious lihtrty of the children of God" 
" You are right," answered the monk ; " but my heart is 
corrupt ; I feel that Satan dwells there, and how to obtain 
deliverance I know not." I advised him to look to a cruci- 
fied Jesus, who giveth us the victory over sin and death. 



340 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

I haye had numeroiu visitors in the coarse of the day ; 
but oould have no connected conversation with any, because 
war and fumine are now the absorbing subjects of interest 
to the whole people. A joung man inquired of me, '^ Who 
is the Creator of the Mussulmans ?-' In explaining to him 
the cause of error, I told him, among other thingS; that the 
same Ood who created us, created the SkangalcLs^ (Negroes,) 
and that they are children of Adam as well as ourselves. 
On hearing this, he struck his breast, and exclaimed, 
^ What 1 the Shangalas then arc our brethren ! Why then 
do we make slaves of them?'' There are Abyssinians, 
though few in number, who, like this young man, are 
strongly inclined to polytheism, cherishing an idea that men 
of different religious views have difTcrent creators. The 
generality, however, believe that all religions were founded 
by God, and that each is the one most adapted to him who 
is born in it ; and that separate places will be assigned them 
in heaven. I doubt not, that their ardent attachment to 
their relatives is, with many, the only obstacle in the way 
of their changing their religion. 

6th. I passed the forenoon with two men, one from 
Wagara, and other an Edjow-Oalla; who, although ex- 
tremely Ignorant, is now by profession an Abyssinian Chris- 
tian, and, like many other Gallas, gifted with much taleni 
They soon began to dispute about the superiority of their 
origin, which led to the subject of religion, and to the doc- 
trine of man^s justification before God. The man of Wagara 
maintained, that man is justified and saved by a strict ob- 
servance of fasts, by the giving of alms, by regular confefr> 
sions, and by communing at the appointed seas(«6. The 



JOURNAL OF A SESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 341 

GallA said, '< All that is good, but never will save us ; it is 
bj doing good, avoiding lying, theft, and the like, that we 
are justified." As thej could come to no agreement, they 
both inquired of me the way by which men may be saved. 
I explained the subject to them, first, by showing them the 
nature of sin, and its consequences. Then I read to them 
Jesus Christ's sermon on the Mount, adding a few appro- 
priate remarks. As often as I wished to stop, the Galla 
bagged me to go on, till I had read the whole sermon. 

I spent this afternoon with Uabeta Selasse, in reading 
the second and succeeding chapters of the Apocalypse. He 
observed that the Abyssinians generally have a very pecu- 
liar mode of explaining the fifth chapter. They affirm, that 
the sealed book there spoken of, signifies the Virgin Mary ; 
and that no being ever existed, or ever will exist, either in 
heaven or on earth, worthy to become her son, save Jesus 
Christ ; '^ but.'' he added, " this exposition does not satisfy 
me ; I cannot receive it." This is a specimen of their in- 
terpretations of Scripture. What will not men who are left 
of God believe ? 

7th. I said to a young man this morning, ^ The Abys- 
sinians are of Jewish origin, and they still bear many marks 
of it ;" he was at once in such a rage as even to insult me ; 
telling me that I was a mean fellow, a liar, &c. In the 
meantime, one of the first Alacas of Oondar came in, to 
whom the young man immediately addressed himself, say- 
ing, '' Here is a man who has come from a distant country 
to insult us ; he tells us that we have no fiiith, and that wo 
are heath^s and Jews." 



842 JOURNAL OF A BE8IDBNCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

<<We are neither heathens nor Jews," said the Akoa; 
" we are Christians." 

<< It is true that I said to this young man that you have no 
fitith in this country ; for I see and hear nothing but your 
bad works on every side." 

^ We have &ith, but we haye not works " continued the 
Alaoa. 

" St. James says that faUh withotU works is dead ; that is 
to say, it does not exist ; and Jesus Christ sayj^ that th€ 
tree is known hy its fruit. When I said to this young man 
that you were Jews, I only meant to say that you were in 
part descendants of the Jews, since you yourselves affirm 
that your royal family is descended from King Solomon." 

'< That is true ; but we do not call David and Solomon, 
Jews. We are of the race of Israel ; but we give the name 
of Jews to none but those whose distinguishing characteris- 
tic is the rejection of Christ." 

^ Well ; since you acknowledge so much, I will again 
prove to you that you are Jews for the same reason. True, 
you confess Christ with the mouth, but, since you regard not 
his commands, you reject him by your works. And did you 
exercise faith in him, you would not invoke saints and angels. 
The distinguishing feature which St. Paul ascribes to the 
Jews in consequence of their rejection of Jesus Christ is, 
that they seek to be justified by works, and that they do not 
aMain unto righteousness. You, in like manner, setting aside 
the merits of Christ and his righteousness, labor to obtain 
justification by your works, such as fasting, alms, kissing 
the churches, and the like ; and yet you do not attain unto 
righteousness, as is clearly proved by your works. You are 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 343 

then in pressing need of the converting grace of God to 
make you a truly Christian people." Upon this, the young 
man was on the point of again showing the violence of his 
anger ; hut the Alaoa restrained him, and both left without 
making any reply. 

Sth. Elidam Mariam has become security for the loan to 
me of twenty talaris, at ten per cent, interest^ for three 
months ; the usual rate at Gondar and in all the interior is, 
I believe, a hundred and twenty per cent, yearly interest. 
It is said of the priests of Couarata, who are very wealthy, 
that they demand two hundred and forty per cent, yearly 
interest for money loaned. 

I afterward went to the Etchcgua's house, where I found 
some learned men of the country, disputing on the subject 
of the anointing of Christ. The Etchegua's principal op- 
ponent was Alaca Angueda, the first priest of Coscouam. 
There are too many subtleties in these discussions for them 
to bear reporting. I believe I have already noticed all that 
can be said of them. Each party carried his point to ex- 
tremes. Suddenly addressing himself to all present, the 
Etchegua observed ; '^ No one has yet given me a clear idea 
on the anointing of Jesus Christ, but Samuel, when he com- 
pared it to the anointing of prophets, priests, and kings in 
the Old Testament ; let us refer the matter to-day to his de« 
dsion." I expressed my views of the subject as I have be- 
fore done ; and the discussion ended. The Etchegua then 
inquired of me as to the form of the table in our churches.* 

* The AbyasiDiaxis call it tabot, (ark :) it is the principal object of 
their adoratioii. When there is no tabot in it, the church is no more to 
them than a common house. 



344 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

^ It has not alwajB the same form, but is like a oommon 
house table, because when Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's 
Supper, he did so on a common table, as he had just sup- 
ped with the twelve Apostles." 

*'What kind of bread do you use in the communion? 
Do you make the impression of images on it, or simply the 
cross ?" 

^ We stamp neither an image nor a cross on it, because 
Jesus Christ took the common bread of the table." 

The Etchegiia then remarked to the priests ; There never 
came a man into Abyssinia like Samuel, who proves every- 
thing he says by the Word of God, and who always persists 
in his rejection of every other book when he has anything 
to prove. The English arc certain in all parts of their re* 
ligion, because they admit the Bible alone ; while we often 
know not even the origin of our ceremonies and articles of 
faith." 

Conversing to-day with an individual concerning the 
present war, he related the following anecdote. Two priests 
were recently on their way from Samen to Gk>ndar, travers- 
ing the district occupied by the army of Mariam. One 
morning, one of them solemnly said to his companion, " This 
will prove an eventful day to us ; for ere the sun which is 
now rising in his splendor shall obscure his beams in the 
west, one of us will be wounded, the other slain.'' Not long 
after, they encountered the Oallas, soldiers of Mariam, who, 
according to the prediction, wounded one, and slew the other, 
cutting off his head ; but instead of blood, pure milk flowed 
from his severed veins. A man by the name of Onena, who 
is regarded as a saint, being concealed in the bushes near by, 



JOURNAL OF A RBdIDCNCE IN ABYSSINIA. 845 

seeing the miracle, immediately issued forth from hk re- 
treat, that he might die beside the slaughtered priest ] and 
in oonsequeuce of his faith, and his uniform and earnest de- 
sire to be saved, the same miracle was repeated in his ease. 
The soldiers, however, who were present and who perpe- 
trated the deed, as the authors of the report acknowledgOi 
saw nothing but blood. 

9th. Peace has been reported for some days past; but 
positive information of it has not reached Gondar till to-day. 
When the Oallas arc desirous of contracting a perpetual 
friendship, they always aim to cement the bonds by effect- 
ing a marriage. For this reason, Onbea is to marry the 
daughter of his friend, the deceased Has Iman, brother of 
Mariam ; but this will probably occasion a fresh war with 
Tigre. It is said that Oubca is very much offended with 
Sebagadis, his father-in-law and brother-in-law, because he 
has not been to assist him in this war. Had he not confi- 
dently calculated upon his services, he says he would not 
have delayed accepting peace till his country was half min- 
ed. Sebagadis had sent troops to his assistance, whose ud 
Oubea refused, because he did not himself appear at their 
head. 

August 30th, 1830. Thanks to my Saviour, who has again 
raised me from a bed of langubhing and pain ! May I, in 
seasons of health and activity as well as in sickness and in 
sorrow, feel an unreserved consecration to his service. 

The illness with which I have been afflicted, began by a 
violent attack of fever, on the 10th of July, and for two 
days continued without cessation, from ten o'oloek ja $ik9 

15* 



8i6 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABY00INIA. 

morniDg till ten at night. Then, for twelve days, it assumed 
the appearance of a tertian fever, producing a coldness in 
the hands and feet, which it was impossible by any means 
to warm, either by day or night Daring the eight succeed- 
ing days, I suffered the most violent pains in all my limbs 
and in my back ; and niy eyes have been peculiarly painful 
from the first day to the present time. When these severe 
pains left me, the disease concentrated in my stomach, which 
remained considerably swollen for several days. Having no 
suitable medicines with me, I consented at last to submit to 
what is considered by the Abyssinians a capital remedy. I 
b^an by drinking, as a purgative, a large glass-full of but- 
ter with a little honey. The day following, I took the same 
dose as an emetic. The third day, I repeated the potion 
again as a cathartic ; which relieved me of a quantity of 
worms apparently long dead ; lastly, I swallowed a double 
dose of the same as an emetic, after which, my appetite re- 
turned, and I soon regained my usual health. 

During the whole of this sickness, I had to combat the 
belief in sorcerers. All tried to persuade me that I was the 
object of the greediness of one of the Falashas who came to 
see me the preceding day ; from this little circumstance, I 
no longer wonder that weak minds should imbibe the notions 
of the Abyssinians on this point. But I admire the good- 
ness of God, who preserved me from delirium, while every- 
thing about me seemed calculated to rob me of my reason. 
For instance ; one day, when I was very weak, besides my 
servants and others who came in just to look at me, a doien 
persons were round my bed all day, very desirous of con- 
vinoing me that I was being internally devoured by boadas. 



JOUBNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 347 

I said to them, <^ My dear friends, do not tronble me ! I 
know I cannot make you believe that your notions and fears 
aboat boudas are entirely groundless, and prove your want 
of faith ; but I know, also, that I am in the hands of God, 
and that even were every Abyssinian a bouda, they could 
not pluck a single hair from my head without the permis- 
sion of my Saviour." 

^^ You are right with regard to the soul," they replied ; 
^ but do you not know that Satan has done much evil to the 
saints V 

^ I know it ; but you cannot prove that boudas have even 
an existence." 

Looking at one another, they replied, "' That is just the 
proof of what we say ; for those who are the prey of sorcer- 
ers will not even believe that they exist" 

They then related a number of stories in a very grave 
manner, and added, '^ Was not such an one devoured by 
boudas, for so long? Is not such an one dead? Have 
I not myself been ill of them ?" &c. My servant, Male, a 
little less superstitious than the rest, agreed with me at 
first ; but his confidence was soon shaken, and I was left to 
combat alone. When I spoke to them in a serious tone, 
they said softly among themselves, and to me, '^ See 1 this 
solemnity is proof positive that the boudas have made him 
the victim of their malice." When I smiled, they repeated 
this explanation in the same terms. I wished to send them 
out of the house, that I might gain a little rest ; but they 
all cried out together. " Now we have the most inoontestable 
evidence that you are the prey of the boudas, since you can- 
not -bear the presence of those who wish to deliver you from 



S48 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ARYSSINIA. 

their power !" While I ms speaking with one part of them, 
the others orept round mj bed to hide some amulets in it ; 
but I instantly rummaged them out, and flung them under 
my mulcts feet. At last, they took me by forte, and while 
some endeavored to tie my hands and feet, others brought 
great bundles of amulets to tie about my neck. " What !" 
said I to them, ^ can I submit to all this — I, who tell every* 
body that amulets are the device of the devil, and the inven* 
tion of deluded idolaters?^' Seeing that I produced no 
effect, I said to Malo, '^ Take care of yourself I If you suffer 
them to put amulets in my bed, I will discard you." Upon 
that, they dispensed with the amulets, but begged me to try 
the other known remedies against the boudas, to which I 
directly consented, with an air of indifference. They began 
by giving me a powder similar to bark ; then they sprinkled 
my body and bed with the juice of a certain herb ; then they 
introduced another herb into my nostrils, &c. During this 
commotion, I was affected to tears, by reflecting on the igno- 
rance and misery of this benighted people. 

I lost the esteem of many priests during my illness, from 
my unwillingness to send for a father-confessor ; and still 
more, perhaps, from my non-observance of the fifteen days^ 
Cast, in memory of the death, resurrection, and ascension oi 
the Virgin Mary. Emmaha and his family had begged me 
to fast these fifteen days for their sake, and I had nearly de- 
termined to do BO, although their meagre fare is very un* 
wholesome, till I was told in the presence of several persons 
but two days before the fast, that an old priest in the neigh- 
borhood had declared, that unless I did fast, he would be 
the means of my death. He had not said in what manner 



iOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCB IN ABYSSINIA. 349 

he would effect it^ but when I saw that the people belieyed 
he would do it by his prayers, I publicly avowed my fixed 
determination not to fast, for the purpose of showing this 
priest to be a deceiver and a liar. The priests are afraid 
to say muoh against me, for when they begin their opposi- 
tion, there is almost always some one ready to say to them, 
^ Hold your tongue I he has cast out a demon that all the 
priests of Gondar could not cast out ;" alluding to Osoro 
Waleta Teclit's brother. 

I recently listened to a conversation relating to the char- 
acter and conduct of the Abyssinian priests and monks, 
between Malo and a woman, who spoke, apparently, from 
experience. He began by remarking, that the priests of 
this country are extremely wicked and profligate in their 
lives, and that living at their ease on the bounties of others, 
they know little but the arts of corrupting the purity, and 
degradbg the morals of the community. The woman 
seemed somewhat moved at the declaration, and made, in 
substance, the following reply. '- Speak not thus severely 
of the priests ; you know not the difficulties with which they 
are perpetually forced to contend ; for no class of men have 
to struggle with so many temptations and trials as they are 
called to endure, in consequence of their love to God. They 
are, indeed, filled with the Spirit, but the devil is ever near 
ihem, whispering in their ears to excite them to evil." This 
is an opinion generally prevalent in Abyssinia ; it being sup- 
posed when the priests fall, as they often do, that they have 
been influenced to the infamous deed by the subtle sugges- 
tions of a devil 

I hftve resRon to believe that my sickness will not prove, 



850 JOUENAL OF A BESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

in the end, to have been without some adyantage, although 
I do not jet see the benefits of it. Wheneyer the weather 
allowed of going out, my house was full of people, to whom 
I preached the Gospel, according to the strength giyen me 
by Ood. I now ayoid discussions as much as possible, and 
always aim to direct the oonyersation to the internal oorrup> 
tion of man, and the unspeakable loye of God toward sin- 
ners. Seyeral of the young people appear affected, though 
they are not in the habit of oommunioating their feelings to 
me yery freely. I hope God will make his Word quick and 
powerful in them ! I see yery few priests ; but, from time 
to time, I collect some of the youth together, and relate to 
them the history of the Bible, with such remarks as most 
naturally present themselyes ; and when any one of them is 
alone with me, he giyes me an account of such portions aa 
he has retained. Two of them repeat what they haye heard 
almost word for word. For some time past, I haye had in 
my seryice a young man named Guebrou, who, should the 
grace of God continue to work in him, appears destined to 
great usefulness. £very lebure moment, he is engaged in 
reading the Bible, and can scarcely be made to leaye it for 
taking his food. Wheneyer he reads the Gospel, he dis- 
coyers in it these three things — the loye of God — the cor- 
ruption of his past life, (but not yet that of his whole 
heart) — ^and the wickedness of the priests. As yet, he is a 
mere beginner ; but should the Spirit of Grod render the 
AVord effectual in him, he will not fear to declare the 
grounds of his faith in the presence of the whole world. 

Sept. 3d. From a yery early hour in the morning till one 
o'clock this afternoon, I had my house fall of people. As a 



. JOURNAL OF A RBSIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 851 

new company reached the door, the preceding one would 
leave. I was enabled either to avoid, or cut short, the per- 
petual discussions on the two or three births of Jesus 
Christ, by constantly requesting them to ask themselves 
this question ; " What is a birth ?" They commonly remain 
silent, unless I press them, when they all answer, '' We do 
not know." I then say to them ; " Thus you see, that for 
three centuries, you have been disputing about a word, 
which, to you, has no meaning.'' On this remark, they 
usually say to one another, ^^ This is the Abuna that we 
need to enlighten and reconcile us. The Abunas who come 
from Egypt are ignorant ; they only add darkness to our 
darkness.'' On my explaining tho word " birth" to them 
to-day, they were all enraptured. One said, ^' Now I under- 
stand this point ;" and another, " It seems to me that I also 
see it more clearly. I wish to reflect upon it more." My 
.explanation was as follows : — " A birth is a passing from 
darkness to light. David says, that God forms us in dark- 
ness, (i was made in secret, Psalm cxxxix. 1 5. ) The birth of 
the body is, then, a passage from darkness to the light of 
this world. The Word of God everywhere declares, that 
before conversion, all men are spiritually plunged in dark- 
ness ; and it distinguishes those who are converted, or born 
anew, as the children of light. Thus the birth of Jesus 
Christ of tho Virgin Mary, is, like our physical birth, a pass- 
ing from darkness to the light of this world. The Holy 
Scriptures assert also, that God dwells in darkness. He is 
light in himself, but a light inaccessible to all creatures ; to 
them, therefore, he is darkness. Now Jesus Christ is 
oaUed the visible image of the invisible Gk>d ; that is to say, 



S58 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

if we may so speak, He is come ont from the darkoess in 
whioh the Divine essence dwells, to manifest himself to the 
creatures, and in them to manifest himself This is what is 
called the divine birth of Jesus Christ before the creation 
of the world ; and is, in one sense, a passing from darkness 
to light Now where does the Word of God speak either of 
the act or consequences of a third birth V* Would one es- 
cape the stigma either of extreme ignorance or cunning, he 
cannot avoid explaining himself on this question. 

4th. This morning I went to see the Etchegua, who is ilL 
On going out I found Alaca Stephanos, by whom I was in- 
troduced to Ayto Googsa, son of Dejaj Sedat, who has for 
some time wished to see me. Immediately upon my enter- 
ing, he told me he had seen one of the copies of the Gospel 
which I had distributed, and that it was his heart's desire to 
obtain one. Several persons stood around him, who inter- 
rogated me about England, till the sky was overcast with 
clouds, and I rose to return home before the rain. GoQgsa 
then said to me with an air of sadness, " It was not for this 
conversation that I was anxious to see you. I should be glad 
to speak with you about the Gospel, and to place myself under 
your instruction ; but come again after to-morrow if you 
can." 

As I entered my house again, Alaca Waca and Guebra 
Haiwat came in. They immediately directed the conversa- 
tion to the anointing or third birth of Jesus Christ I 
questioned them upon the nature of a birth, and expluned 
it to them as yesterday. I closed the conversation as usual, 
by some remarks upon the misery of man, and the immense 
love of Gh>d, who became man to save us by hia saffeiinga 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 353 

and death. This idea always appears to touch them, but the 
Spirit of Ood alone can give them a lively and effectual 
sense of the love of the Redeemer. I pray him also to ren* 
der quick and powerful those words of mine, the coldness 
and deadncss of which I hare too frequent cause to deplore. 

5th Sunday. To^ay a young man, and not among the 
most ignorant, asked me if Sunday (Sanbat) was a great 
saint ; as bis feast is celebrated every week, while those of 
other great saints, as St. Michael and St. George, are cele- 
brated only once a montL All the beggars personify San- 
day, asking alms for love of Sunday, as for the love of a 
saint ; adding, " May Sunday keep you ! May Sunday jus- 
tify you !" — I sometimes hear people call the Archangel 
Michael, Qod. 

6th. I passed the forenoon wkh Lej Googsa and his 
people. I read to then} the first chapter of St. John and 
fifth of St. Matthew, adding some appropriate remarks. 
Googsa told me, that one of Cantiba Cassai's friends having 
recently been very ill, Cassai laid the Gospel which I had 
given him on his heart, and in one single night he was per- 
fectly restored. 

7th. Lie Atecou came, as usual, with some of his friends, 
to take his lesson in geography. Some time ago I happened 
to say, that the sun does not turn round the earth, but the 
earth revolves round the sun to receive the genial influences 
imparted by that luminary. Since then, a few of the most 
learned people of the city assemble at my house occasion- 
ally, to receive lessons in geography, which they regard 
mainly as a study of the works of God, necessary to the un- 
derstanding of the Bible. To these lessons, I add a little 



854 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

of the history of nations ; for I find, that next to the Bible, 
nothing suggests remarks more touching to the hearts of 
these ignorant people than history. 

Before separating, however, our couTersation took a differ- 
ent turn ; they unitedly deplored the evils inflicted on the 
church by the causeless divisions and consequent disputation 
among the various sects of Christians. Lie Atecou added ; 
<' The ambition of Patriarchs and Bishops has been the fun- 
damental cause of all this evil." 

10th. The feast in commemoration of the death of St 
John the Baptist, is celebrated to-day. All the city of Gon- 
dar went this morning to bathe in the rivulet called Caha, 
to the west of the city, where the church of St John the 
Baptist is situated. Till noon, the stream was full of men, 
women, children and horses, confusedly mingled together ; 
some partly dressed, but more than a third without any cov- 
ering. I was invited by several individuals to go, but I re- 
fused to leave my house, rather than countenance this in- 
decent custom on any occasion. It is not a religious act ; 
and yet, some would condemn themselves unless they did 
go. Two women, who went to bathe before light this morn- 
ing, were drowned. The Abyssinians have a similar cere- 
mony, which they call* Baptism, in the month of January, to 
commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ This is con- 
ducted with rather more propriety, because it is a religious 
act) the two sexes bathing separately in almost every in- 
stance. The priests stand on the most elevated spot, with 
the ark of the churches and crosses to bless the water ; the 
people then throw themselves in, all together, plunging be- 
neath the water, and instantly rising out again. 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ARYSSINIA. 855 

After bathing, several Alacas came in company with each 
other to my house, and being of two opposite parties, at 
once began their controversy on the births of Jesus Ghrbt. 
The principal point of difference, as far as it can be de* 
scribed, is this : — The one party say that Jesus Christ re- 
ceived the Holy Spirit as a man, that he might accomplish 
the work of his mission as perfect man ; that, consequently, 
the Holy Spirit, dwelling in him, was not inherent in his 
human nature, but was given him by the Father, in the 
same manner as to us ; this is what they call a third birth. 
The union of the Divinity with the humanity took place, ac- 
cording to them, at the moment of conception, and by this 
union, Jesus Christ, the man, became by grace, that is to 
say, by gill, the Child or Son of God, at that precise mo- 
ment ; therefore, when asked to what party they belong, 
they reply, « I am for THE UNION !" The others, few 
in number at Gondar, say that Jesus Christ anointed him- 
self ; that he received nothing from the Father ; and that 
the word '^ anointing" means that Jesus Christ, as man, was 
conceived by the Holy Spirit ; and that he is, as man, the 
Son of God by nature ; and consequently. Flesh (the man 
Jesus Christ) is the Creator of the universe. They say, '^ I 
am for THE ANOINTING I" This confusion of words 
has placed these two parties at such variance, that they have 
not received the sacrament together for some years. At 
Gojam, they excommunicate and curse each other. Gojam 
and Tigre are principally for THE ANOINTING ; the 
others are generally attached to THE UNION 

After a long dispute, they all begged of me an explicit 
statement of my own opinion on this point. Rather than 



856 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

offend them by a refusal, I explained it to them as on other 
oeoasions. All then said to me ; ''If we had an Abuna like 
you, he would of himself be able to reeoncile us." I afber^ 
ward censured them severely for spending their lives in dis- 
puting on words and points comprehended by none of them, 
rather than in constant meditation on the love of the Saviour, 
who became man to bear our sins in his own body on the tret; 
and in examining their own hearts, to learn whether they 
have been anointed by the Holy Spirit, and have part in the 
redemption of Jesus. I finished my remarks to them by 
saying ; " I am sure that when you read the Bible, your 
mind is engaged in looking out for such passages only as 
may favor your particular opinion, rather than in searching 
for the whole truth." Most of them replied to this, '' It is 
true ; for myself, I only look for passages to prove what I 
already believe." Those of the UNION party added, " We 
would willingly renounce the expression, 'third birth,' to 
effect a reconciliation ;" but the other party remained silent 

12 th. Sunday. I have been visited today, only by Habeta 
Selasse and Guebra Haiwat; we passed the afternoon in 
pleasant conversation on the difference which ought to be 
observed between the Word of God and all human writings 
whatsoever ; on the depravity of the human heart, and its 
only remedy, the redemption by Jesus Christ. 

13th. Passed the forenoon with a priest, who asked seve- 
ral questions concerning true prayer, both public and pri- 
vate, concerning conversion, the remission of sins, the 
witness of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers, &c. 
My replies to him were apparently satisfactory. To his 
question, whether wc honored the saints, I replied \ " We 



/OURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 857 

neither worsbip them nor pray to them, for we owe divine 
honor to God our Saviour alone. The only homage we think 
due from us to the saints, is an imitation of their faith and 
good works." " On this point," said he, " you are much 
nearer the truth than we are." 

A day or two since, two women were struck down in the 
middle of the market by a stroke of lightning, and were sup- 
posed to have been killed ; but I have just learned that they 
revived at the moment their friends were letting them into 
the grave. 

1 4th. Great dissatisfaction with the king is now prevalent. 
On Saturday last, a tree in the centre of the market was 
blasted by lightning, and as the wood on which a thunder* 
bolt has fallen is greatly valued by the Abyssinians as an 
excellent medicine, several individuals seized this opportu- 
nity for securing some of the desired article. When this 
reached the ears of the king, he imprisoned all who had 
taken any of the wood, till they should pay such sums of 
money as he was pleased to exact from them ; — ^not propor- 
tioning the fine to the fault, but to the fortunes of the indi- 
viduals. They talk, very generally, of dethroning him soon 
as the Abuna shall have arrived from Egypt. 

17th. My house, for several of the last days, has been 
crowded with people, who came to express their regret that 
I so soon leave for Tigre. Many entreated me to recom- 
mend Abyssinia to my friends in England, and to use my 
influence in prevailing upon the English to send them troops 
in order to restore peace and quiet to their troubled country. 
Lie Atooou always urges me to send learned men, to instruct 
the people. His philanthropy, rather than any just ideas of 



358 JOURNAL OF A BE8IDENCB IN ABYSSINIA. 

union in Christ, has kindled in his heart longing desires for 
the reunion of nominally Christian sects ; believing, as he 
does, that rich blessings on the whole earth would unavoid- 
ably result from such a reunion. 

Latterly, I have had frequent conversations on the two 
natures in Jesus Christ. For some length of time, I habit- 
ually limited myself to advising the people to drop the word 
^ nature," and to say that Jesus Christ is truly God and 
truly man. I now endeavor to prove to their understand- 
ing, that those who ascribe two natures to Christ, have as 
much reason at least on their side, as those who impute to 
him but one; and this produces no unpleasant eflfect on 
them. 

When I told the Etchegua to-day in the presence of sev- 
eral Alacas, that I should leave in a few days, he cried out, 
" Behold ! our hope is lost !" What be meant by this, I do 
not know. The others expressed their regret at seeing me 
about to leave ; but I am sufficiently acquainted with the 
Abyssinian character, to know what weight to attach to 
their words. 

This evening I was anxious to bathe ; but the people in 
my house opposed me very strongly, and shut the door ; re- 
fusing to open it till I promised them I would dispense with 
bathing to-day. The Abyssinians believe that in the after- 
noon, all the waters are infested by evil spirits. At Gk)ndar, 
it is the prevailing belief, that the Augrab, which flows by 
the side of the city, is the constant abode of a demon. 
When a person is drowned, which is a frequent occurrence 
during the rainy season, his death is invariably attributed 
to the malign influence of the demon in the river. This 



JOURNAL OF A BESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 850 

ooeaaioned their saying to me to-day ; <' Were we to let yon 
go, in your simplicity, it would be as if we threw you into 
the hands of the demon, who would kill you. God would 
bring us to account for your death." 

19tb. Sunday. I spent the afternoon with Habeta Selasse 
and Lie Atecou. Habeta Selasse opened his whole heart to 
me in reference to certain acts of his past life, in a manner 
which leaves me no room to doubt his entire confidence in 
mo. He is, at times, very sensible of his spiritual misery ; 
but his too great respect for human traditions, and for aged 
men of learning, are powerfnl obstacles in his search for 
salvation. 

20tb. My servant has returned from Tigre, with several 
letters from Europe and Egypt; among them, one announ- 
cing the mournful intelligence of the death of my sister : — 
also, with fifty talaris, given him by Sebagadis for me ; so 
that I can now return to my brother Kugler, in Tigre. 
Soon as I told Emmaha of my sister's death, the whole 
family, with my servants, collected around me to express 
their sympathy by weeping aloud ; but I bade them be si- 
lent, and improved the opportunity afforded by the event, 
to speak to them of the end of our existence here below — of 
the way of salvation — of the happiness of the elect after 
death, and of the misery of the wicked. 

24th. My house has been so filled from morning till night 
for the last few days, that it has been impossible for me to 
write a single word of the interesting conversations I have 
had with several people. Expecting to leave so soon, I now 
refrain from all dispute on any of their points of contro- 
Tersy. I commonly bogin the conversation, espeoiaUy when 



860 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

«ny new comers are present, by speaking to them of the love 
of God for sinful men. I then endeavor, in the strongest 
possible terms, to impress upon their minds a lively oonrio- 
tion of their national and individual bin, showing them that 
their depraved morals are the natural and nnavoidable con- 
sequence of the corruption of what they call their faith. 
Several, especially one priest, evince some concern for the 
salvation of their souls, but as yet, I havo not found one 
who possesses a vital knowledge of Jesus. I have succeeded 
in exciting an ardent desire in many to study St Paul's 
Epistles ; but I have no more copies left for dbtribution. 
The news of my sister's death is the occasion of the present 
thronging of the people to my house. Thoy come to offer 
consolation, according to the custom : and I see that the 
instruction I give them now makes a stronger impression 
upon their minds, than my former efforts. 

The general voice of the people is, that I ought to be in- 
vited to become their Abuna ; but I tell them, that unless 
the people will submit to a thoroiigh reform in their religion, 
no man who lives in the fear of Ood, and in obedience to his 
Word, can consent to be Abuna in Abyssinia ; — ^that should 
God give them a good Abuna, his first effort would be to 
found an institution for the instruction of youth destined to 
the sacred ministry ; and that he would not lay hands on 
any one who was not well instructed in the doctrines and 
precepts of the Bible. The more I reprove them for their 
superstition and wickedness, the more I gain the respect of 
all. I believe, that were it now my wish to make myself 
pass for an angel, scarcely a tenth part of the people would 
doubt my being one. People come from every part of the 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABY88INIA. 861 

interior, and tell me they have heard of me, and have seen 
ihe Gospel which I have circulated in the country. The 
Etohegua speaks f&Torably of me to all who come to see 
him ; but report says, that Mariam, having been excommu- 
nicated by him, feels very great dissatisfaction, and intends 
to install a new Etchegua. 

Oct 3d. Sunday. To-day, a new Etohegua, Quebra Se- 
lasse, has been consecrated ; but the eeryice was more like 
the coronation of a king than the consecration of an eccle- 
siastio ] besides, there was such disorder and confusion, that 
a description of the ceremony would be altogether impos- 
sible. I had a desire, however, to see the new Etchegua, 
and for that purpose went to the church ; but his counte- 
nance indicated such extreme embarrassment, that I was 
wholly unable to judge correctly of his physiognomy. The 
austerity of his life has acquired for him such great reputa- 
tion as a saint, that I fear he will be less disposed to liberal- 
ity than Philippos, the preceding Etchegua. I went to see 
the late Etchegua the day .before yesterday, after his appa- 
rently voluntary retirement, and instead of complimenting 
him with regrets and lamentations, as all the rest did, I con- 
gratulated him that God had released him from his recent 
responsible situation, so burdensome, and so ensnaring and 
dangerous to his soul. I added, that if his salvation was 
dear to him, his present state, as a private man, was much 
more fikvorable for securing it, than his former situation. 
Since then, he repeats my remarks to all who visit him, add- 
ing, that I am the only man who knows the truth, and 
speaks in the sincerity of his heart. 

My intention of leaving to-morrow for Tigre, has made my 

16 



862 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCB IN ABYSSINIA. 

house a rendezYoos, for some time past, for all sorts of people, 
from morning till night. Frequently, I have no opportn- 
nity for taking food till eight o'clock in the evening. Anx- 
ious to leave a favorable impression, I no longer dispute 
with any, but simply endeavor to direct all conversation to 
Jesus Christ crucified. Several are evidently alive to their 
spiritual wretchedness ; and I leave it, not without hope, to 
the care of my God to water and make fruitftd the seed of 
his Word, which, during these six months, I have scattered 
over an extensive tract of country, according to the meas- 
ure of graoe he has given me. 

It is not without mingled emotions of joy and grief that 
I take my leave of this city, where, for the first time in my 
life, I have felt myself a missionary. If I may judge of 
Abyssinia from its capital, our mission may reasonably an- 
ticipate happy results from its labors ; for I have never dis- 
covered such hungering and thirsting for the Word of God 
elsewhere, as many here now feel. The greater part are 
convinced of their own ignorance, and in a great measure, 
of equal deficiency in the priests. They are sensible of 
their need of a Saviour and Mediator to bring them to God ] 
but, on the other hand, this deep feeling is met by almost 
every obstacle which will offer determined resistance to the 
messenger of Christ, for the pretended power of the priests 
to bind and to loose, the invocation of saints and angels, 
fasting, pilgrimages, and the like, are so many fiilse Saviours 
— so many Antichrists, which the devil has invented to draw 
weary and heavy-laden souls far away from the true Saviour. 
Reason is well able to furnish proofs of the utter futility of 
all these things ; but the Word of Gbd alone can annihilate 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYB8INIA. 368 

Bupentition in its multiplied and oonflioting forms, by re- 
generating the heart For this reason, eyangelioal missions 
in this eoontry, shonld make it their grand aim to multiply 
copies of the Bible, and to instruct the people in the Holy 
Scriptures. All other benevolent efforts should be made 
tributaries to the accomplishment of this end : for when the 
hearts of men are illuminated by the light of the Oospel, all 
human doctrines and inventions fall of themselves ; and in 
proportion as superstition yields to the truth, corruption of 
manners and character gives place to holiness of heart and 
Ufa 



CHAPTER V. 

Arriral at Adowah. — ^Yisit to Sebagadis. — ^Arriyal of the BeT. 0. Eug- 
lor. — Ophthalmia. — ^Ifr. Kugler wounded by the boratiiig of a gim.— 
Hk last illEieaB and dying scene. — DirectkxDs ooDoeming hia fonera], 
not to oooform to the Abyssmian superstitions. — His boriaL — Indigo 
nation of Sebagadis against the priests. — ConyersatiooB with the 
young Teda Georgis. — Account of a Damotera*s sting. — ^Alarming 
news from the scene of war. 

Adowah. Oct. 19tb. Although I had informed bnt 
few persons of my intention of leaving Gondar on the 4th 
of October, 1830, it was with extreme difficulty that I was 
Me to get away from the city on that day. I made my 
calculations to leave early in the morning, so as to be 
visited by some of my more particular friends only ; but as 
I was on the point of taking my departure, the king sent for 
me to call upon him, and then begged that I would defer 
going, at least eight days, to which proposition I was unwil- 
ling to accede. On returning to the house, I found so great 
a concourse of people, that I could hardly cross the garden 
to get in. I took my leave of most of them individually, 
exhorting them to unceasing effort to obtain the salvation 
which is by Jesus. At ten o*clock in the morning I left, 
accompanied for a considerable distance by a great number 
of my acquaintances. Habeta Selasse went nearly a lengue 
with me, expressing his desire for my speedy return, thai 



JOUmiTAL OF A RB8ID1N0B IN ABTflSIVIA. 865 

w« night then go among the Gallas, near his village, Mar- 
fond, Shoa, to oommenoe our united labors aa mianonarieB 
to that savage race. 

From the oommenoement of the journey, my eyes were so 
bad that I was unable to write ; besides, nothing transpired 
worthy of note. We were a very small oompany, and were 
oblig^ to return by the same road that I took in coming 
hither, owing to the frequent fevers which prevail on all 
other routes through the entire month of Ootober. Both 
myself and people suffered a little from hunger on the way ; 
first, because I had nothing left with which to purchase pro- 
visions at G-ondar ; and then, as Oubea had requested me to 
take him in my way on my return from Oondar, I naturally 
eonoluded he would furnish me with provisions as far as the 
Taeaue ; but when I arrived at Debaree, I learned that he 
had suddenly led some days previous, to punish the rebels 
of WalcaYt. On passbg near Ebena, I sent a servant with 
my respects to a lady whom I saw when passing the first 
time. She immediately set off with bread and beer to wait 
for me in the way. She begged me, in case I ever traveled 
that way again, to take lodgings at her house. It seemed 
as if we had met with a Melchisedec, (Gen. ziv. 18,) fbr on 
that day we had but a single morsel of bread to divide 
among thirteen persons. The next day we walked from 
daybreak till half past seven in the evening with no food, 
except a little barley which my servants gathered in a field 
by the road-side. I declined eating of it, but thought the 
passage in Deuteronomy xxfii. 24, 25, applicable to them.* 

* When thou oomest into thy neighbor's ymeyard, then thou mayeit 
eat grapes thy fill, at thine own pleasore; but thoa shalt not pot any 



866 lOUBNAL OF A BE8IDBN01 IN ABTflSIVIA. 

The governor of Toiuraogua gave us a friendly reoeption in 
the evening, and the day following we oroeaed the Taeasia 
All the villages between Gondar and Sanoaber were burned 
the late war, with the single exoeption of Kedona 
Faras Sabar. 

On the 17th of October, I reached Adowah, where Seba* 
gadis arrived two days previous. Immediately on xny en- 
tering, he ordered a eonoh, called by the Abyssiniana a 
throne, to be placed for me by the side of his own ; a com- 
pliment which he has never paid any one else. He evinced 
so many marks of friendship in his general treatment of me 
during the two days we spent in each other's society, that I 
cannot doubt his sincerity. When I told him I was about 
leaving him for a year's absence, he began to weep, and said 
to me, *< Why will you go ? Only tell me what you wish 
from me, and I am ready to do all you can ask ; for I love 
you, not because you are great, but because you love Qod, 
whom I also desire to love with my whole heart" I would 
have kissed his hand ; but he would not allow me till after 
he had kissed mine. He leii to-day for the war agunst 

■ 

Mariam ; and against Oubea, who has recently become his 
enemy. 

Oct 20th. Brother Kugler arrived last evening from 
Gouila, accompanied by our old friend Girgis, who appears 
to have made great advances in the knowledge and loye of 
evangelical truth. It was truly a feast to taste once more 

in thy veneL Whea tfaou oomest into the standing corn of thy neigh- 
bor, then thon mayert plack the ears with thine hand ; but thoa diah 
not more a iriokle nnto thy neighbor's atandii^ com. 



JOOBNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABY88INIA. 867 

the delights of social conyerse with my dear ChristiMi breth- 
ren, after eight tedious months of solitude. 

Deo. 18th. Soon after my arrival at Adowah, I suffered 
an attack of ophthalmia. I have always checked the pain 
attending this disease, by taking a pinch of snuff frequently in 
the course of the day. I learned this remedy from a negro ; 
and, within three years, have repeatedly tried it with great 
success. When applied in season, it effects a cure almost 
in a single night ; otherwise the disease takes its course of 
eight to twelve days ; but the snuff invariably removes the 
pain. When relieved from the ophthalmia, I began to suf- 
fer from my stomach. Though not very painful, the com- 
plaint was attended with so much inconvenience, that, at 
most, I could read but a single chapter in the Bible during 
the day. The writing of two lines even, affected my head 
nearly to distraction. I rode on my mule every day for ex- 
ercise, but that was not sufBcient. The neighborhood of 
Adowah abounds in game ; so I went to the chase two or 
three times every week, that, by having some object in view, 
I might think less of my fatigue ; and when exhausted with 
over-exertion, would mount my mule and return home. 
Sensible of the great benefit of these exercises on myself, I 
one day induced brother Eugler, who felt himself somewhat 
unwell, to accompany me. He felt so much better for it, 
that two days after, he repeated the experiment, with the 
special design of hunting wild-boars, to procure the fat of 
these animals, which he uses in the preparation of oint- 
ments. Passing by the side of a river before sunrise on the 
10th of December, we saw, in the water at a distance, a large 
beast, which we took for a crocodile. I said to Kugler, 



868 JOI7BNAL OF A BE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

<< Which of VLB shall go and shoot this animal ?" He replied 
immediately, with a tone of apprehension, '' I will go." As 
he approached, he thought it was a hippopotamus, and fired 
upon it ] but the bursting of his gun caused several wounds 
in his left arm, whioh are not yet healed. There is a fiur 
prospect of his recovery, however, so that we hope nothing 
serious will result from the accident My chief care is, to 
induce him to remain quiet, and be careful of his arm as pos- 
sible; a point which costs him great self-denial, since he 
considers himself now out of danger. 

23d. Kugler has been sadly unfortunate to-day. Beliey- 
ing himself perfectly restored, he lay down on his left side, 
and rested his head on his wounded hand, to read. While 
thus engaged, he involuntarily started, and the blood in- 
stantly began to flow from the wound, which had appeared 
to be healed. I was not with him, but he told me he had 
not lost less than two pounds of blood. This has occasioned 
a slight degree of fever. I should not apprehend alarming 
results, however, had he not, for some time back, continuall j 
alluded to his approaching deatL While I was ill, now 
more than a month since, and himself quite well, he said to 
me with a very serious air ; " If I should be called to leave 
this world soon, which I often have the presentiment will be 
the case, I wish you to write to all my acquaintances who 
may have injured my feelings, whether voluntarily or invol- 
untarily, and tell them I have not the least feeling of en- 
mity or ill-will toward any one ; and if I have offended any, 
I ask their forgiveness." He named some particular in- 
dividuals to me. 

24th. Beceived several letters from Europe. Kugler was 



JOUBITAL OF A BBSIDBVCB Ilf ABTBSnnA. M9 

mucb ezeited, especially by two of them. He liaB more fever 
this eyening than yesterday. 

25th. Kugler has again lost oonsiderable blood ; but feek 
very well this evening. 

26th. Sunday. Kugler has been well all day; bat he al- 
ways speaks of death as if he expected it soon. 

27ih. Kugler was well till about four o'clock this even- 
ing, when he requested me to untie his arm, and apply a 
new ointment, with which I am not acquainted ; saying, that 
it would tend to stop the blood, by speedily closing the 
wound. I hesitated a little at first, advising him, as he had 
not lost any blood for two days, and suffered but little pain, 
to let his arm remain for another day. But his entreaties 
finally prevailed. Afterward, he felt so well, that he wish- 
ed to walk to my house and take supper.* I advised him 
not to venture out, but he said he needed nothing but a lit* 
tie exercise to make him perfectly well On the way, he 
cried out, " Here is blood 1*' — and in a very short time, he 
lost at least two pounds. When we reached the house, the 
blood had ceased running ; but he soon feinted away, after 
which, he felt himself usually well. 

28th. Feeling the want of some exercise, I told Kugler I 
would take a short excursion on my mule, if his health 
would admit ; to which he replied, that he had passed a 
very good night, and I could feel myself at perfect liberty 
to go. I went out a little before day, and returned about 
nine o'clock. On coming in, I was much alarmed by learn- 
ing that he had suffered another loss of blood, a circum- 

* Hm houses being yery small, we haye taken tw<^ that we may be 
able to labor more freely : bat we baye our iaUe in oommoa. 

16« 



870 JOfTBHAL OF A BX8IDBNCE IN ABTSSIHUL 

stuioo wliioh had not before occurred in the morning. I 
hIbo foand our brother Aichinger (a German carpenter) yery 
ill. Kogler was in great Buffering firom a variety of eanaea. 
Every limb was so tremulous, that he could not enjoy a mo- 
ment's quiet, and every motion caused pain in his arm ; 
meanwhile, such was the strength of his soul, and such hia 
confiddnoe in Ood, that he was enabled to conceal his suffer- 
ings from almost every eye. While conversing together, he 
said to me ; '' The loss of blood which I have thus hx sus- 
tained, will not destroy my life, but, from my resUessnesa 
for some days past, I am fearful that some rust from the 
iron which struck me, may have entered my veins. It is 
possible this accident may be the cause of my death ; and 
with this idea, one subject lies on my heart with considera- 
ble weight. Afier my death, the duty of sending the intel- 
ligence to Europe will devolve upon you ; and should you 
write, in general terms, that I was wounded in hunting, I 
know that ftet would affect the minds of many persons very 
unpleasantly. That, however, would not affect myself then ; 
for, on this point, I have a pure conscience before Ood, who 
knows that my object in hunting on that day, was not pleas* 
ure, but simply the preservation of my own health, and the 
benefit of the sick in this country. But were this accident 
generally known, I fear that many Ohristians would suffer 
undeserved reproach on account of it, and that the world 
might take occasion to speak unfavorably of the work of 
missions, as if the missionaries idled away their time in hunt- 
ing. After all, however, I am persuaded that the two Com- 
mittees in London and Basle, know me too well to attribute 
any wrong intention to me. You can give them a minute 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT8BINIA. 371 

detail of the whole ; the j can decide upon the course most 
expedient for adoption, in regard to publishing or withhold- 
ing the account." In order to soothe his troubled mind, I 
told him that hunting and fishing are one and the same 
thing, as the same word, in Oriental languages, expresses 
both ; and that no Christian ever blamed the Apostles for 
preaching the Gospel at one time, and fishing at another. 
Neither is it evil, only as it is made so. About four o'clock 
this evening, the wound bled again ; but, as everything was 
in readiness for such an event, we succeeded in stopping it 
before much escaped ; but his arm became very much 
swollen, and was painful in the extreme. 

29th. Last evening, Kugler*s sufferings were very great 
A cry escaped him, but he instantly said, '* It is the will of 
God that I should suffer ; I therefore desire to bear all that 
he sees fit to lay upon me with patience." The next mo- 
ment, he fainted nearly away, but recovered very soon. 
Several persons were assembled around his bed, to whom^e 
gave a long address in the Tigrean dialect. I was very 
much surprised to hear him say, decidedly, '' I am at the point 
of death!" When the company had left, he said to me, 
"While speaking, I had almost forgotten my pain, but it is 
now so violent, that it seems to penetrate all my bones." 
Saying this, he untied his arm himself, the swelling of which 
continually increases. I prepared a little opium, with 
camphor and spirits of wine, occasionally dipping a linen 
rag into the liquid, which I applied to his arm. This tended 
to allay the pain, so that he fell asleep at two o'clock, and 
slept till morning. He has been very comfortable through 
the day ; the swelling of his arm has abated considerably, 



372 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN A1I7S9INIA. 

ft&d he is more oalm than before; bni now, (Banset) hb 
palfle IB 80 full, BO hard, and so irregalar, that I greatly fear 
fat the night. Aichinger has also been ezeroiBed with muoh 
pain for two days. 

30th. It is with the most poignant grief that I attempt a 
doBcription of the Bcene I witnessed last evening ; bat the 
Lord, who has hitherto supported me, will yet eontinue to 
sustain me. Last evening, a little after sonset, as we were 
eonvernng together on the advancement of the kingdom of 
6od, Kngler said to me in a mild, but argent manner, 
<* Gobat, come qaickly ! my blood is flowing in great drops." 
I immediately seised the linen I had prepared ; bat so maeh 
blood had already escaped, that, when I raised his arm, he 
fainted away, and the blood stopped. Aichinger, thoagh 
weak and soffering, sprang from his bed to come to my 
assistance. On seeing him, the thought that I might pos- 
sibly lose the only two brethren I have in thb country, 
almost robbed me of my senses. Kugler soon came to him- 
self ; but his first words were, " I am going to die. I could 
have wished to live longer, to proclaim to this poor people 
the salvation which is in Jesus ; but the will of the Lord be 
done !" After that, he several times repeated, in the Tigrean 
dialect, ^ I have no fear at all I Weep not for me. It is 
far better for me to die, than to remain here." He then 
commenced praying in Tigrean, ** Lord Jesus, bless me t— 
Show mercy on me! — Receive me to thyself I — Thoa art my 
Saviour — ^my Father I I have no Father but thee 1 — I come 
to Thee ! Receive my spirit ! Prepare me a place near 
thyself 1" He then began to pray in German, saying the 
same words, but added, " I give thee thanks, Lord, for 



JOUmiTAL OP A BE8IDENCB IN ABT88INIA. 898 

all the mercy ihoa hast manifested towards me I Hum hast 
erer been faTorable to me, even to this very hour." He then 

said to me, *^ Cbbat, salute all my brethren. Salute ; 

I have no directions for her." He again called several 
times upon the name of Jesus, sayiug from time to time, 
^ Beoeiye me 1" When his voice began to fail, he said to 
me, ^ I can speak no more. Tell these people," (a great 
number stood around him,) ^ that Jesus is my portion ; and 
that they must, on no account, indulge in their usual ex- 
treme weeping. Perform no Tescar."* After having 
called upon the name of Jesus several times, he said to me, 
^ Speak to me of the Saviour ; I can say no more.'* I could 
not yet believe that he was on the point of leaving me. 
Seeing him and Aiohinger in such a state, so oppressed me, 
that my voice failed me, on attempting to speak. But I had 
the consolation of seeing his soul occupied entirely with 
thoughts of Jesus, in a full assurance of fiiith. ^ Be of good 
courage t" I said to him. ^ The Lord will not forsake you, 
neither in life, nor in death. He never leaves those whose 
trust is in him." "' I know it well !" he replied in a tone of 
confidence; ''He has never forsaken me." Having said 
these words, he again looked around on all present, and 
then fell asleep so gently, that for two hours, none of the 
attendants could believe that he was really dead. It was 
about nine o'clock in the evening, (Dec. 29,) when he re- 
signed his soul into the hands of his Creator and Saviour. 

* Id thia oountiy the relations and frieods of a deceased person in- 
Tite, at different times, muxj priests and poor people, to whom they 
give some^ing to eat and drink, to engage their prayers for the soul 
of the deceased ; this they call TVsear, i. f . " remembrano^." 



874 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTS0INTA. 

Immediately upon my Rnnouncemeiit of Kngler's death, 
the men and women, of whom the honae was fall, began, ao- 
oording to the coatom of their country, to weep and cry, ae 
if each had loat an only son. Aiohinger could hardly endnre 
their cries ; but I encouraged him to be patient awhile, and 
not wound their feelings, thinking it best to let them in- 
dulge in their wailings for about a quarter of an hour. Gob- 
tom led me to expect continual cries from them till the 
burial. But when they had continued their cries and 
lamentations about a quarter of an hour, I said to them, 
" My dear friends, I doubt not your friendship for my de- 
ceased brother, but your tears and your cries offend God. 
Although your desire is to do well, yet you commit sin ; 
first, because my brother, when dying, told you that he be- 
longed to Jesus ; that his lot was the best ; consequently 
you do wrong to weep. Then, you know Aiohinger is ill, 
and your cries are injurious to him. And lastly, your tears 
and moans are a kind of rebellion against God, and his wis- 
dom in regard to my brother ; so I beg you to cease your 
weeping, and listen for a moment to what I have to say to 
you." Upon this I gave them a short discourse in Amhario, 
on 1 Thessalonians iv. 13, to which they were very attentive 
listeners. When 1 had closed my exhortation, the most of 
them expressed their conviction that I was in the right ; and 
that, as they believed Kugler had died in the exercise of true 
Christian faith, they would restrain their weeping much as 
possible. A Mussulman present observed, *'I have been 
with many individuals in their dying moments, — ^four have 
died in my arms ; but never, till this day, have I seen fidth 
triumphant over death !" None present manifested any dis- 



JOUmNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTS&INIA. 875 

saiisfaotion, save one woman, who said to me in rather an 
angry tone, " It is not for myself that I weep, but for you ! 
however, as you do not wish it, I will go." So saying, she 
took her departnre. The remainder of the night was spent 
in mournful silenoe, only that the stillness was now and 
ihen broken by some expression of loye and esteem for 
Kugler. Aichinger was in great pain through the night. 

31st The two last days have been sad and painful to me ; 
but the Lord has sustained me. My first care was to give 
close attention to Aichinger, and see that he should be an- 
noyed and disturbed as little as possible, by the great num- 
ber of people, who were continually coming and going. 
These who were in attendance at Kugler's death, have greatly 
comforted and assisted me, by kindly warning all who enter 
the house to desbt from weeping aloud. All were very ur- 
gent to have him buried yesterday, saying, that in this coun- 
try, a dead body cannot be kept in the house more than one 
day ; but I strongly opposed them. I decided this morn- 
ing, however, that we would bury him about noon. Having 
been here hnt a short time, and most of the men being en- 
gaged in the war, I felt that I had no friends on whom I 
could depend ; but the Lord gave me all the assistance I 
needed. A young priest took all proper measures to secure 
the same interment for him, which is given to persons of 
honor and distinction of the country. 

Having determined to observe none of the superstitious 
ceremonies of the country, I was well aware of the opposition 
I should be obliged to encounter from the priests ; but at 
the moment I was about sending to the young prince, Tecla 
Georgia, son of the deceased king of that name, to request 



9M lOUftlTAL OP A RE8IDENCB IN ABT88INIA. 

bim to speak to the priests, he came in person to offer his 
services, and to ask me in what church I desired to inter 
mj brother. " At the bnrial-groond of the ohnrch called 
Madhan Alam^^ (the Saviour of the World,) I replied ; " but 
I wish neither mass,* nor absolution, nor Tescar, nor any 
of your ceremonies which are not founded on the Word of 
GK}d. If the priests are willing to read a chapter of the 
Bible, and to pray to Ood for the living, I do not object." 
He understood my explanation of the resolution I had 
formed ; and went to the priests, yesterday morning, to re- 
quest of them one of the first places in the burial-ground. 
They said, that Kugler could not be buried in the church, 
because he had neither confessed, nor received absolution 
before his death. To that, Tecla Georgia replied, that many 
persons die suddenly without confession, and are, neverthe- 
less, buried in the church. 

The priests answered, "We have no objection to that, 
provided we are directed to say masses and pronounce the 
absolution over him." 

'^That cannot be," rejoined Tecla Georgis; ^tor his 
brother has told me, that before he (Kagler) died, he re- 
quested that neither absolution, mass, nor Tescar should be 
performed for him ; because Jesus Christ had absolved him, 
and pardoned his sins ; besides, in their country, they have 
no such thing as absolution, or mass." Several persons were 
present, who divided into two parties ; but the priests finally 
yielded their point, lest, by persbtiog, they should incur the 
anger of Sebagadis. After that, Teck (}eors^ sent for me, 

* The AbjBBimaa mass differa a little from that of the FapigtB ; but 
I do not know what other name to give it 



JOU£NAL OF A KE8IDBNCB IN ABTSSliriA. S97 

to see if I were pleased with the selection lie had made for 
the place of hurial. When I arrived, the priests were de* 
sirons of renewing their objections. Bat I said to them in 
the presence of all the people, '< You are sinners yonrselves, 
and you need a SaTionr to absolve yon ; oonseqnently, all 
your masses, and other like ceremonies, answer no purpose 
whatever, either for the living or the dead. But I am not 
ignorant of your object in requiring my consent to have 
masses sud, and absolutions pronounced ; it is only to get 
money. Your motive is not very praiseworthy ; but that 
you, and all present, may know that not my avarice, but my 
conscience, forbids my receiving your services, I am ready 
to give you all that you can lawfully demand." Their real 
intention was to engage me to promise them money, but 
they would much prefer that I should do so secretly ; they 
replied, therefore, that they would receive no money unless 
I would commission them to pray for the deceased ; but 
they have already, this very day, sent to tell me, privately, 
that they are willing to accept whatever I see fit to give 
them. I answered, that I had no idea of giving them anything 
in secret Three priests, from the interior, who are not con- 
nected with this church, have openly declared for me. Pre- 
viously to our retiring from the grave to-day, one of them 
offered up a short prayer, to which he added the Lord's 
Prayer. The exercises received a very numerous attend- 
ance, and were conducted throughout with much propriety. 
Last night was spent in a manner designed to edify. 
There were many people in the house, but they made no 
loud crying. I read, at intervals, the fifteenth chapter of 
the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, and the last 



878 JOURNAL OF A BESIDBNOB IN ABTBSINIA. 

three ohapters of the Reyelation, and some other passages,* 
maklDg sach remarks as I thought were suited both to my own 
ciroumstanoes, and to the spiritual wants of those present 

I could not have thought it possible for me to endure so 
many trying providences, all coming together. In a strange 
oountry — ^with only two brethren, one of them dying in my 
arms, while the sighs of the other sick one are sounding in 
my ears — opposition from various quarters — duty calling me 
to seize each of these opportunities for speaking to the hearts 
of great numbers for three successive days and nights, 
without any sleep — all this might have seemed enough to 
crush my weak constitution ; yet notwithstanding all, I find 
myself, as far as my bodily health is concerned, quite well 
May the help which the Lord has given me, strengthen my 
faith, and fill me with love for himself, forever 1 

Jan. 5th, 1831. For many days past my house has been 
thronged with people, who came to bestow upon me their sym- 
pathies in this hour of trial and sorrow. I have endeavored 
to address myself to the hearts of all who understand Am- 
hario ; and, for the first time, have been asked by three or 
four priests to explain to them the nature of true, saving 
faith. One of them, about sixty years of age, is constantly 
expressing to me his desire to be my disciple ; but I fear he 
is actuated by some secret motive, though I have heard 
him publicly condemn some of the errors of his countrymen. 
Till yesterday morning, Aichinger suffered very much, with- 
out being able to take any nourishment. Perceiving some 
indications, as I thought, that he was laboring under the 
same disease, only with increased pain, which I had at Gon- 
dar, I administered to him the remedy that effected a cure 



JOU&NAL OF A HJBBIDENOE IN ABYSSINIA. 879 

for myself. Yesterday morning, I made him drink a large 
glass of tepid butter,* which produced a most wonderful 
effect ; for since drinking it» he has been entirely free from 
pun. 

7th. The servant, whom I sent to Sebagadis, near the 
Tacazze, to inform him of the death of Eugler, returned to- 
day. Immediately on receiving the intelligence, Sebagadis 
covered his face with his mantle, and wept ; he then sent 
for several of hb great men to come and weep with him, but 
directly countermanded this order, saying, " I had forgotten 
my situation ; it will be better for me to weep alone in se- 
cret, for should my enemies hear that we are mingling our 
tears together, they will believe that it is for some brave 
officer, and be encouraged to persist in refusing to oome to 
terms of peace.'' Having thus said, he again covered his 
fftce, and remained nearly two hours without uttering a 
single word. Afterwards, he inquired of my servant, the 
manner and place of Kugler's burial ; who assisted me, &o. 
When told that the priests wished to oppose his interment 
in the church, he suddenly rose up in anger, and immediately 
sent for the chief of the priests of Adowah, who was in the 
camp. Soon as the priest presented himself, he said to him, 
in the presence of all, ''What, wretch that you are! do 
you refuse a sepulchre to a stranger, who is a better Chris- 

* (See Aug. 80, 1880. Ladolf, in his history of Abyssinia, states 
that the natives, " for want of oonyenient and proper ntensils, shake the 
milk about in a skin (goat skin), till it becomes butter." L. ir. c. 4. et 
oomm. It is used in this fresh state. Preserving butter hj salt is the 
praotioe in colder dimates. See yarious allusions made in scripture 
to the use of batter : Judges iv. 19, and v. 26 ; Isaiah vii 16, 22. 



930 JOURNAL OF A RBfllDBNCB IN ABTSaiNIA. 

tun than all the priests of my country ? Do yon not knoir 
that Kugler was niy brother ? — ^yes, my son ? and do yon re- 
fuse him a sepolohre in the church which I myself built 9" 

The priest, trembling from head to foot, answered, " The 
fault is not mine. I was not at Adowah, as yon very well 
know." 

To which Sebagadis replied ; << I know very well that it 
is not your fault in this particular case ; but it is you who 
have introduced all this rubbish into the church ; yon are 
responsible for it Send immediately to Adowah, and com- 
mand these unworthy priests to prison, till I go myself to 
infliot upon tliem the punishment they richly deserve." It 
is feared that he will order their legs or tongues to be cut 
off; but if it is in my power I shall preyent such barbarous 
treatment 

11th. My next-door neighbor, the young prince Teda 
Georgia, has been in the habit of coming to see me almost 
every day since my arrival at Adowah ; but he is always ac- 
companied by two or three priests, and perhaps a dosen 
other persons, so that he has ever studiously avoided all 
kind of religious conversation. He is, however, continually 
offering some remark, to induce the priests to converse with 
me ; but is sparing of words himselC If he hears that I am 
engaged in discussion with any priest, he is sure to come 
and listen to the conversation ; but takes no part on either 
ride of the question. Kugler's last words, and the manner 
in which I have received this dispensation of Providence, 
have inspired him with increased confidence in me, so that 
he is less fearful of being misled by me than before ; he has 
therefore made a connecting passage to the roof of my house, 



JOO&NAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 881 

which ffteB him the means of coming to me, if he wishes, 
alone. 

He came by this new way this morning, for the first time, 
but was somewhat disconcerted by meeting in my room his 
father-confessor. He nevertheless asked several qnestions 
on the anointing of Jesus Ohrist, on saving faith, the justifi- 
cation of a sinner, the invocation of saints, and other dis- 
puted points. Speaking on the invocation of saints, he said 
to me ', ^ Your belief on this sabject is more satisfactory to 
my mind than ours. You pray to God only, and are thus 
sure of being heard. As for us, we invoke the saints, and 
worship both them and their images, and are still doubtful 
whether they will do us good or evil" 

His fikther-confessor stopped him, saying, ^ We worship 
not the saints, neither their images." 

'^ Pardon me !" said Tecla Georgis, " we do worship them." 

'^ I do not worship them ;" rejoined the priest. 

'< Why then have you taught me to worship them V* 

The priest, evidently confused, replied ; ^ I will do so no 
longer ; the saints are men, like ourselves. I worship none 
but Gtod and the Virgin Mary." 

" If you do not worship the saints, why worship the Yir- 
g^ Mary? Is she not also a creature, like other human 
beings?" 

The priest could not answer him: Tecla Georgis con- 
tinued, ^ We do not know where we ought to stop ; ihera- 
fore the faith of the English is preferable to ours." 

Feb. 1st. All the people being engaged in the war, I have 
no opportunity for seeing any but some priests, with whom 
it is always more difficult to hold edifying conversation ihaa 



882 JOURNAL OF A RB8IDBNCE IN ABY88INIA. 

with other people. They inTariably endeayor to talk aboai 
ceremonies, or some points of history, which do not affect 
the heart The young Teola Oeorgis, who comes daily to 
my house, often eyinoes a disposition to yield his heart to 
the truth ; but is greatly diverted from his purpose of re- 
ceiving the true &ith, by the efforts of the great number of 
priests who are his constant visitors. 

9th. The woman of the house in which I live, went out a 
little while about nine o'clock last evening, and on return- 
ing, said that she had been stung on the tip of one of her 
fingers by a scorpion. But nothing could be seen, and she 
complained less than people usually do when bitten by venom- 
ous reptiles. She was very quiet through the night till t3- 
wards morning; at least wo heard nothing from her till 
about an hour before day, when she began to make a noise 
so much resembling the growling of a dog, that I really sup- 
posed the disturbance proceeded from one. At daybreak, 
on perceiving our mistake, we began to question her a little, 
but she made no answer. I thought, at first, that she had 
been bitten by a serpent instead of a scorpion. I called 
some people in, who, on seeing her saliva, said she had not 
been bitten by a serpent, but had been stung by an insect, 
laiger than a scorpion, full of prickles, which the Abyssin- 
ians call damotera, (in Tigre, aco^) and perfectly black in its 
color. It inhabits old walls and the driest parts of moun- 
tains It is said that there is but one antidote for the sting 
of this insect, and that a sure one, only when applied in- 
stantly ; it is, to take the small intestines of a young black 
she-goat, just killed, and force them down into the stomach 
of the patient^ from whence they are drawn out chaiged 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 888 

with the poisonous matter. The frequent repetition of this 
operation for two or three days, restores the patient In 
this country, the principal remedy for a man who has been 
bitten by a serpent, is, to prevent him from falling asleep. 
I recently came very near being bitten by an extremely 
venomous serpent ; it was following me, with its open mouth 
not more than two inches from my naked foot, when my 
servant, having a heavy stick in his hand, gave it a severe 
blow, which arrested its progress. I have seen but three 
venomous serpents alive, since I left Europe, and these 
three in tbe neighborhood of Adowah. 

The woman, who was stung last evening, died about nine 
o'clock this morning, and was buried at two this afternoon. 
The priests have seized all the little that she had, for pro- 
nouncing absolution; and because she had not confessed 
before her death, have imposed on all her relatives a fast of 
forty days. My house has been surrounded, all the rest of 
the day, with men and women weeping aloud; many of 
whom rubbed their faces with a coarse woollen cloth, till 
the skin of the forehead and of both cheeks was entirely 
peeled off. The sores made in this way, are frequently not 
healed for thirty or forty days. When in mourning, the 
Abyssinian men and women generally shave the head ; ex- 
cepting the great people, who content themselves with out- 
ting the hair. 

The number of my visits has greatly diminished of late ; 
a circumstance which has enabled me to employ a part of 
my time in reading the works of Heinasoth of Leipsic ; for I 
do not wish to lose entirely the character of a European. 
Another portion of my time, I devote to revising the trans- 



(04 iOUENAL OF A RB8IOENCB IN ABITSSIMIA. 

totioii of the Gospel into the dialect of Tigre. Hattheos, m 
AbjBsinian by birth, though the 8on of a Greek, bj the 
name <^ Apostoli, presides oyer the work ; and I take the 
opportunity of looking it over with him, for the purpose of 
acquiring a more accurate knowledge of the language. 

i5ih. Some runaway soldiers have arrived this evening, 
who announce that the Gallas, under Mariam, passed the 
Tacane on the thirteenth ; and that yesterday the Tigreans 
suffered a defeat. I wait for more definite information. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Flight from Adowah, in company widiWalda Michael — Account of the 
capture and death of Sebagadis. — Mr. Gk>bat sent by Walda Michael, 
for protection, to the monastery of Debra Damot — After three months* 
teclusion, arrival at Adigrate. — Description of the locusts. — Reading 
of the Scriptures irith his servant Quebrou. — Consequences of the 
battle of February 14th. — Native dirge on Sebagadi?. — A younger 
fiOD of Sebagadis revolts. — ^The eldest, Wolda Michael, maintains his 
power.^Oubea comes to attack Walda Michael. — Mr. Oobat takes 
refuge again in Debra Damot — Returns to Adigrate. — He again 
takes refuge in Debra Damot — Remarks on the Galla country. — Re- 
covery from severe illness. — Cruel proceedings of Oubea. — Battle 
between Oubea and the eons of Sebagadis. — ^Tbcy submit to Oubea, 
who gives them about half of their fatlter's government — Departure 
from Massowah. — Waits upon Oubea oud Walda Michael, before 
his departure. — Arrives successively at Massowah, Jidda, Suez, and 
Cairo. 

Behate. When I rose on the morniDg of the 16th of 
February, 1831, 1 learned that all the people had fled in 
oonseqaenoe of the news received the previous evening; 
none remained, except some elderly women, who were on 
the roo& of the houses, weeping with loud and bitter cries. 
Boon a great number of soldiers were seen returning in 
great confusion, with the people who had fled the neighbor- 
ing villages. Tears stood in almost every eye. Till then, 
I had been undecided as to the course best for me to pur- 
sue ; sometimes, I had thought of remaining and protecting 

17 



886 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTB9INIA. 

mj house by foroe ; sometimes, of continuing quietlj at 
home, and allowing the G alias to seize whatever they 
pleased ; and sometimes, of fleeing with such articles as I 
oould carry with me. But I constantly hoped, that, at the 
moment necessity should compel me to some definite action, 
Qod would direct me to the best decision. When I saw all 
in alarm, I retired to ask counsel and direction of God. 
After this, I was informed, that one of the sons and the 
brother of Sebagadis, had just passed by the side of the 
town, without entering it. I immediately ran after them, 
to ascertain the state of affairs. Thoy told me, that having 
been stationed to defend a distant pass, they were not at the 
battle of the 14th, and consequently did not know where 
Sebagadis was ; — that they supposed he had taken another 
road, and that the Gallas would be up soon. They advised 
me to lose no time, but to take what property I could imme- 
diately, and go with them to sleep on a neighboring mouB- 
tun. Returning to the house, I found there our friend Ali 
from Egypt, who, at hb own suggestion, had been sent by 
Walda Michael, eldest son of Sebagadis, to take me with 
him. My brother Aichinger had been occupied ever since 
morning, in getting all our property in readiness for a re- 
moval. We transported the books and medicines to a neigh- 
boring church, Madhan Alam, and set off with the rest of 
our effects about sunset, and walked till about nine o*elook 
in the evening. Some of our company were robbed of their 
property by the country people, but I lost nothing on this 
occasion. The night was very dark, and we dared not build 
a fire from fbar of the banditti of the country ; so wc slept on 
the grasSy witii no other covering than our light day-olothea. 



iOORNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 387 

On the 17th, I overtook Walda Michael, who wa0 ao- 
qoainted with me only by name ; but he knew his father 
was strongly attached both to Aichinger and myself We 
continued our march till three o'clock in the afternoon, when 
we halted in a plain, in the district of Antitcho, where our 
mules found capital grazing. We had intended to start off 
again towards sunset, and march part of the night ; but at 
four o'clock, a man arrived at our encampment, who had 
been taken prisoner, and had made his escape. Having 
just learned that Mariam fell in the battle of the 14th, 
Walda Michael immediately issued a proclamation through 
the camp, ordering all to prepare for retracing their steps. 
The brother of Scbagadis, whom I saw at Adowah, soon 
arrived. We were in his district. The tears of many in 
distress were immediately changed for cries of gladness ; 
but this joy was to be of short continuance. At sunset, we 
received some raisins from Walda Michael, and a good piece 
of meat, part of which wo eagerly devoured in its raw state, 
having had nothing to eat for two days. Much rain fell 
during the night ; but we had improved our leisure time in 
preparing the hides, which served for beds and covering. 

Rising on the morning of the 18th, I was exceedingly 
surprised at the marked sadness of the chiefs, and to see 
some soldiers continuing their march on the same route as 
on the evening previous. Walda Michael soon sent for me 
privately ; and told me that a messenger arrived in the night, 
with sad intelligence ; but that I must not appear dejected, 
through fear of exciting suspicion ; — ^it was, that his father 
was dead ! Poor Sebagadis I he was taken captive on the 
14th, and on the 15th was beheaded. Before putting him 



388 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

to death, the OallaB gave him permission to speak with one 
of his offioers, abo a prisoner, who was to be sent back. He 
made his will, and, among other things, directed all his 
children to regard his son, Walda Michael, as their fiettheri 
and be submissive and fiuthf ul to him. He requested Walda 
Michael to deal kindly with his English friends, so long as 
he should have the power. On entering the tent in which 
his life was to be taken from him, he said to his enemies, ^ I 
have fought in thb war, only to defend the country of which 
I am the father, and which, without cause, you wish to deso- 
late and ruin. You may kill my body ; but my soul is be- 
yond your reach — ^in the hands of God. Only strike; I 
have no fear !" Saying these words, he covered his eyes 
with his hand, to receive the fatal blow. Having thus an- 
nounced to me the death of his father, Walda Michael 
swore to protect me to the extent of his power, provided I 
would promise to be a faithful friend to him. Having made 
this agreement, he directed his uncle to conduct me to the 
monastery of Debra Damot, and to secure the reception of 
my property there also. 

We arrived at Debra Damot on the 19th, about noon, 
with the servants of Sebagadis' brother, who told the officers 
of the convent, that they had orders to see that my goods 
were received and secured in that place ; whence the priests 
concluded that they could not be surrendered but by com- 
mand of the brother of Sebagadis, in whose house they were 
deposited. After discussing the point till night, I succeeded 
in getting from them a promise, that, at last, they would 
give up my property to no one, unless I were present I 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 889 

Wfts not altogether satisfied with this arrangement, but I 

« 

knew of no other safe depository for my effeots. 

On Sunday, the 20th, as I was wishing to descend the 
mountain, which can be done only by means of a rope, — ^I 
saw Walda Michael, who came for a younger brother who 
was in the monastery. Learning that his uncle's servants 
had not properly executed their commission, he immediately 
caused them to be bound for some hours ; and then seyerely 
reproved the monks, for treating a stranger, whom he bad 
sent among them, with so much coldness. He next ordered 
them to receive my property on the conditions I desired ; 
viz : that they should return it to me whenever I wished, 
without directions from any other person. He then advised 
me to remove my things from his uncle's house to the con- 
vent. We remained together, under the mountain, till four 
o'clock in the evening, when ho left for Adigrate. Upon 
the whole, the monks, as a body, exhibit more kindness and 
fellow-feeling, than the superior. I passed the evening with 
several of their number, some of whom were inclined to 
listen to the Word of God. 

Feb. 21, 1831. — We advanced about three hours on the 
road last evening, and arrived at Behate to-day, where I 
purpose to remain, at the residence of our friend Ali of 
Egypt, till the storm shall have passed away. 

26th. During the three last days, I have been engaged in 
writing letters to Messrs. Bickersteth, Blumhardt, and 

others. 

♦ • ♦ ♦ ♦ * 

May 22d. Adigraie. I have just passed three very dis- 
agreeable months, in the midst of the savage Shohos ; but 



890 JOUENAL OP A EBBIDBNOE IN ABYBBDnA. 

ibe Lord has preserved me from all evil. As this ooontiy 
had been forcibly brought under subjection, for the first 
time, by Sebagadis, the natives had recognised his authority 
up to the present moment, only by compulsion. As soon as 
they heard of his death, they became the enemies of his chil* 
dren. Thus, the few friends that Ali had, became his ene- 
mies, and consequently mine, as I was in his house. The 
tribute, which they ought to have payed him some months 
before, they all now refused. All the quarrels which oc- 
curred under the administration of Sebagadis, and which 
were not terminated agreeably to their customs, have been 
renewed in all the neighboring villages, especially on the 
market-days, which seldom pass without a recurrence of 
some serious disturbance. Three or four hundred armed 
men have engaged in violent contest at three different 
times ; but, savages as they are, they fight with great care- 
fulness, from fear of killing some one ; because the relatives 
of the person slain would most surely take the life of the 
murderer ; or failing in this, that of some one of his kindredy 
even in generations to come ; hence, the number wounded is 
always small The people of several villages have been very 
near Behate three times, with the intention of attacking and 
plundering the village. 

But the Abyssinians, aside from their propensity to quar- 
rel, when they have no government to fear, are almost in- 
variably given to robbery. Many have often conspired to- 
gether, and contrived some plan for pillaging my house ; but 
some unforeseen obstacle has uniformly thwarted their treach- 
erous schemes. One of my servants, who belongs in the 
vicinity, ban a large circle of family connections, who always 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTB8ZNIA. 801 

oppose every attempt to do me injury. Once, when the 
banditti of several villages had brought their plan to such 
maturity, that they had even fixed upon the very night for 
taking my four mules and all the property they should find 
in my house — on that very evening, a soldier of good fiunilyi 
and respected for his bravery, returned from the neighbor- 
hood of the Tacazze, where he had been wounded and muti- 
lated by the Gallas. The thieves went to welcome him, and 
to inform him of their plan, before coming to my house, 
hoping, in case they should meet with opposition, that he 
would be ready to render them assistance. But he said to 
them ; ^' I might, perhaps, have united with you, formerly ; 
but to-day I have barely escaped death, and it looks to me, 
that it is for the purpose of delivering unoffending strangers 
from your hands, that God has rescued me from the doom 
which I was momentarily expecting. I do not consent to 
aid you ; and I assure you, that he, who shall do this stran- 
ger any harm, shall be my enemy till death.'' Thus was 
their nefarious design suddenly baffled. But this same 
man, Ardou, was summoned to attend Walda Michael to 
the war ; and I hear from every quarter, that many are 
only waiting his departure, to come and plunder my dwel- 
ling. I know not what to do. I would willingly have gone 
to Adowah ; but, not only is the road filled with banditti, 
but Asal Guigar, who lays claim to the government of 
Tigre, puts in irons and robs all the friends of Sebagadis. 
He consigned Emmaha to chains for three days, because his 
wife fled at the same time that I did, and because he has my 
house under his protection ; he also demanded of him two 
hundred talaris of my money. At last, a respectable rela- 



'892 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTffSTNIA. 

ti7e suooeeded in procuring his liberation. While I waB in 
doubt respecting the course expedient for me to adopt, Wal- 
da Michael directed me to Adigrate. assuring me that no 
other place would afford me equal safety. I received this 
advice as coming from the Lord ; and yesterday I arrived 
at Adigrate ; having been prevented from coming sooner by 
some discord among the sons of Sebagadis. But the gentle- 
ness and clemency of Walda Michael have now restored 
perfect harmony among them, and they all have finally ac- 
knowledged him their lawful ruler. 

My health was rather feeble during most of my stay at 
Behate, but as I was seldom interrupted by visitors, except- 
ing an old priest who does not oppose the truth, I had 
leisure for making two copies of my Journal. I have been 
in the constant enjoyment of good health since the middle 
of April ; my eyes however are not yet fully restored. The 
war claims the services of all the people ; I am consequently 
destined to solitude in Adigrate, for the present. 

June 9th. Locusts were seen here for the first time this 
season, some days since ; but have not assumed the appear^ 
ance of a formidable army till to-day. The first signal of 
their approach was a noise resembling the hum of many 
swarms of bees. On listening attentively awhile, it became 
like the sound of heavy hail at some distance ; I then went 
out to ascertain whence the noise originated. The air was 
teeming with locusts, by which the light of the sun was al- 
ready greatly obscured. But this was only the advanced 
guard. On looking toward the north, I perceived, about 
a league distant, several fftint clouds, as it were, rising from 
the earth, which I at once took for locusts, having before 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 393 

seen this appearance of them near Gana of Galilee. After- 
ward, this mist became so thick, that it entirely hid the 
sky and neighboring mountains from our view, and the 
people of the country, though accustomed to seeing locusts, 
no longer believed these wonders to be occasioned by them ; 
but the locusts soon arrived to convince us of the fact As 
they approached, their sound fully equalled the roaring of 
the sea after a storm. Terror and alarm filled every eye 
with weeping. The air was so darkened, that we could 
scarcely discern the place of the sun ; and the earth was so 
completely covered with these insects, that we could see 
nothing else. Children, running about the fields, at only a 
stone's throw, could scarcely be seen through the multitudes 
of locusts hovering around them. Every year, there is a 
greater or less descent of locusts in Tigre, but they are 
much more numerous this year than usual. They have al- 
ready ruined the fields of several villages on the borders of 
Debra Damot, and Antitcho, nearly to Adowah. Added to 
this, there has been a total suspension of rain for more than 
three weeks past, so that we may reasonably anticipate a 
&mine next year. The Mussulmans of Tigre are fond of 
locusts, as an article of food ; and for this reason they col- 
lect great quantities of them in casks. In times of scarcity, 
some Christians eat them; bat this stigmatizes them as 
Mussulmans, and at their confession, the priests impose upon 
them a terrible penance. I have even heard that they must 
be rebaptized, before they can again be regarded as Chris- 
tians ; but the truth of this report I have not yet been able 
to ascertain. Calling the Tigrean people Locust-eaters, is 
the greatest insult you can offer them. These insects are 

17» 



S04 JOU&NAL OF A BE0IDBNCB IN ABTaBlHU. 

nurelj found beyond the Tacasse, so that the MoBanlmaiis in 
that region eeldom eat them. 

I am visited almost every day by two Alaoas and two 
other priests, all of whom appear to be men of considerable 
information ; I always converse with them on religions sub- 
jects, in Amharic ; but not one of them is a serions inquirer 
after the truth. I find more pleasure in spending a few 
hours with the family of Bida Mariam, who filled the king^s 
seat for three days, at Qondar, some years since. Neither 
himself, his wife, nor his children, are enemies to the Gros- 
pel ; but their absolute dependence, and their present miser- 
able condition, give them an undecided character. 

My eyes are becoming more affected. It is only from 

nine o'clock in the morning till three in the afternoon, thai 

I can see with sufficient clearness to read and write. On 

first opening them to the light in the morning, they suffer 

exceedingly ; but the pain gradually subsides towards eight 

o'clock. They are not at all painful in the evening, though 

I can hardly recognize the persons in the house. 
%*%%**%% 

Sept 5th. Thanks to Gk)d, that I have enjoyed very good 
health through the rainy season, though the state of my eyes 
varies but very little. I have been able, however, during 
these last few days, to read the accounts of the events at 
Paris in 1830. Besides, I can only read two or three chap- 
ters in the Bible daily. I am so much alone, that time 
passes quite heavily. There is a very well-informed old 
monk from Dembea, who comes to see me almost every day, 
for whom I entertain some hope. He defends his prindples 
with all his might, but I have long perottved that be does 



JOURNAL OF A REBIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. d96 

not fally belieye even what he affirms, and that he is leea 
reluctant than formerly to hear of the ChriBtianitj of the 
heart. The two or three other priests who yiait me are oo- 
cupied with the nicer points of religion, which they endeavor 
to resolve by sophisms. 

My stay at Adigrate is rendered quite pleasant by daily 
conversations with my servant Guebrou. His progress in the 
study of the New Testament is truly surprising. Let me 
begin any passage to him, either in the Gospel or the 
Epistles, and he will continue and finish it nearly word for 
word ; and almost uniformly gets hold of the true meaning. 
He is familiar, also, with a great portion of the history of 
the Old Testament, having heard it from ray mouth. But 
(he occasion of my greatest joy is, that the truth has taken 
deep root in his heart. It was since I have been here, that 
he told me of the anguish of soul he experienced at Adowah, 
on reading the Epbtles of St. Paul and St. Peter, and th« 
pure joy by which this agony was succeeded. He frequently 
ooroplaiDS of deadness of heart, and an apathy which leaves 
him neither true joy nor sorrow ; nevertheless, he seizes 
every moment to read the New Testament, and to write. 
He is peculiarly desirous to possess the Psalms of David in 
Amharic, that they may assbt him in learning to pray. 
The vivacity of his temperament is less favorable to true 
Christianity than could be wished ; but aside from some of 
the frailties incident to our natures, his conduct, in every 
respect, is exemplary. I am confirmed in my eonviotion 
that he has listened to the Father, and is influenced by the 
Holy Spirit, by the enmity shown him by the world ; ex- 
cepting, however, a few good men, who wish him to como to 



>i06 JOUSNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSBINIA. 

tlieir houses to instruot their children. As no one can laj 
tny very serious ofifence to his charge, the priests content 
themselyes with calling him a Mussulman ; hecause he do^ 
not kiss the churches, and refuses to have a father-confessor. 
Some, in derision, call him, Tsadic; I e. ^^just;" ''sunt;" 
and the women giye him the appellation of ^' monk," because 
thej cannot triumph oyer his virtue. If the Lord continue 
in him the work he has begun, I hope eventually to qualify 
him for a teacher. 

I have reserved the description of the results of the battle 
of the 14th of February for this place. The facts, as I have 
them, are as follows : — After the Gallas had killed Sebaga- 
dis, Dori, brother of Mariam, led them in a body to Axum, 
pillaging and destroyiDg all the villages. On his arrival at 
Axum, Dori was taken unwell, and knowing that to instate 
the formation of parties in the interior, reports of his death 
would soon be carried thither, he saw the necessity of hb 
return to the Amhara country. By the advice of Oubea, 
Dori put his two principal officers, Dejaj Ahmada, governor 
of the Ooodezou Gallas, and the young Dejaj Comfou, whcnn 
I saw at Gondar, in irons. All returned together, except 
Oubea. Dori chained my Gondar friends, Cantiba Gassai, 
and Negadras Achaber also ; but his disease gradually in- 
creased upon him till near the close of the month of May, 
when it terminated in death. Those in irons were conse- 
quently released ; and all the chiefs acknowledged their al- 
legiance to Ali Mariam, nephew of Ras Googsa, without 
further trouble. Thus Ali Mariam has assumed the title 
of Ras in lieu of his cousin Mariam, and has placed a new 
king, called Joaa, on the throne. 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 807 

* The Oallas left Axam without plundering it ; and Ouhea, 
whom they had honored with the title of Governor of Tigre, 
encamped near Adowah, where all the people in the neigh- 
borhood assembled to acknowledge him as their chief. He 
inyestcd one Azai Guigar, an enemy, although a relative of 
Sebagadis, with the temporary govemment of Tigre, and 
then suddenly left for Samen, afraid to trust himself with 
the Oallas. WhUe in this unsettled state, parties were 
formed on all sides in Tigre. The majority would submit 
neither to Oubea, nor to the children of Sebagadis. The 
ktter quarreled among themselves about the property left 
them by their father ; so that their soldiers lost all expecta- 
tion of seeing them in the chair of government, and every 
one returned home. When I arrived here on the 20th of 
Hay, I found Walda Michael with but thirty or forty sol- 
diers, and intending to leave on the 23d ; first, to go and 
subdue one of his brothers, who had till then refused sub- 
mission to him, and then, to endeavor to secure to himself 
the government of Tigre. Before a reconciliation between 
these brothers was effected, they received intelligence that 
Oubea was near Antalo, which immediately restored har- 
mony between them. 

This news soon spread far and near ; the women of the 
villages collected together every evening, to cry, at the high- 
est pitch of their voices, " To arms ! To arms ! Oubea is 
coming to destroy us !'' The soldiers immediately rallied 
around Walda Michael, so that in two days his army 
amounted to about five hundred men. with whom he deter- 
mined to wait for Oubea. Oubea's object in coming, was 
the seizure of an individual named Sol Angueda, who pre- 



996 iOUKNAL OP A RESIDSNCE IN ABT88INIA. 

tended to the goyernment of Tigre and Samen, where he 
had many partisans. Ouhea had about five hundred horse- 
men, but no other troops. Having bound Sol Angueda, he 
abruptly withdrew into his own country. 

After the departure of Oubea, Walda Michael purposed 
to go and reduce Adowah and the vicinity to submission ; 
but as he approached Adowah, he found himself surrounded 
by several chiefs, all of whom were not only enemies to him, 
but were also at variance among themselves. Seeing him- 
self thus encompassed, he proposed a truce to one half of his 
enemies, who accepted it till the middle of September. 
Viewing himself still too weak to attack the other half of 
the opposing party, he returned to Adigrate about the mid- 
dle of July, when Azal Guigar, with several other ohiefiB, 
suddenly fell upon him. At first, Walda Michael consid- 
ered the battle lost to himself; but remembering, that de- 
feat on that day would be certain death to his cause and 
that of his brothers forever, he rushed forward, with but a 
single boy by his side, into the ranks of the enemy. Seeing 
him thus exposed, his men were inspired with fresh courage, 
and gained the victory over an army more than four times 
their own in number. Azal Guigar made his escape ; but 
his four sons, and nearly all the other chiefs, were taken 
prisoners. 

In the middle of August, Walda Michael achieved the 
victory over another party, and took a fortress or mountain 
to which his enemies had retired with their property, fie 
has yet to contend with three parties beside Oubea, before 
he can consider himself governor of Tigre ; but the yaluable 
apoilfl whioh their last victory secured to his army, induced 



JOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 999 

soldiers from eyerj quarter to flock to his standard ; many, 
even, from the opposite parties surrendered. And more than 
this, the people of Adowah are filled with alarm, hecaose, 
after Walda Michael's first victory, which was so little 
looked for, a report was circulated, that he had obtained 
from the English who were with him, (t. e, myself,) a medi- 
cine which would, on all occasions, ensure to him the vic- 
tory. They had previously attempted to bind my servant, 
whom I had sent to Adowah, hoping thereby to secure a part 
of the treasures which they supposed I had left deposited in 
my medicine chest, and in the boxes containing my books. 

Oct. 20th. For many days, the women have collected to- 
gether at evening, to cry, ^' To arms !" Every one is filled 
with consternation, and many have taken flight. At the 
distance of some leagues, are three bands of rebels, who 
threaten, while Walda Michael is at Antalo, to plunder and 
destroy Adigrate and the adjacent region. They have 
robbed and burned several villages in the mountains of Ha- 
ramat, about four leagues from this place ; but did not ven- 
ture to come and conceal themselves in the mountains 
around Adigrate. They have retired, and all is again tran- 
quil. I confess I am tired of this solitude, though I find a 
constant companion in my Bible. I see no way for me as 
yet but to remain in my loneliness ; but I thank God that 
my health is very good, and my eyes nearly well ; I, how- 
ever, suffer constant pain in my teeth. I have no company, 
and rather than remain entirely without employment, I go 
with my servants, twice every week, into the adjacent moun- 
tains, to dig tsado-roots, from which they prepare wine or 
mead. This I do, both for my own benefit, and also to gain 



400 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTaSINIA. 

friends ; but, aside from the preserration of my own bealthi 
my principal object is to set an example of labor to my ser- 
vants as well as to the people of the neighborhood. 

Nov. 3d. It is reported, that Walda Michael has at last 
effected the subjugation of Antalo and its suburbs ; and that, 
by lenient and gentle means. He has destroyed only one 
single village, and this one in which twenty of his soldiers 
had been killed. Should he, as he said, come here in about 
a fortnight, I shall try to persuade him to let me leave here, 
and to provide me an escort as far as Massowah ; but I fear 
he will refuse my request. Beport says, that Oubea intends 
passing the Tacazze bye-and-bye ; if so, Tigre will be in 
trouble and commotion for a long time to come. Present 
circumstances augur a famine in the country ; for even now, 
there is scarcely any wheat to be bought, and the season of 
harvesting is nearly over. The locusts have devoured every- 
thing in Tigre, and, if reports are true, even beyond the 
Tacazze. 

Dec. 8th. I have just passed three days with Eidam Ha- 
riam, chief of a caravan of Grondar. I was rejoiced to see 
that he had not forgotten our conversations of last year, and 
that he had obtained light on several essential points ,' bat 
he has not yet entered in at the strait gate. Soon as I saw 
him, he told me that he had come in advance of the caravan 
purposely to converse with me on the Word of (Jod. He 
has had either the GU)Bpel, or the Acts of the Apostles, in 
his hands from morning till night, during the three days he 
has spent here. On receiving a copy of both, he declared 
his intention of reading some chapters every evening, with 
the Christians of his caravan. The first evening, I heard 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 401 

tbe seirants of Kidam Mariam singing an air which touched 
me, even to tears ; the only agreeable air I have heard in 
Abyssinia. I inquired what his men were singing ; to which 
he replied, with tears in his eyes, " It is a dirge over Seba- 
gadis, which the people in the whole Amhara country, weep- 
ing, sing eyery evening." The following is the literal trans- 
lation of the Ethiopio : — 

Alas ! Sebagadia^ the friend of all. 

Htm fallen at Daga Sbaha, by the hand of Oubeehat ! 

Alas I Sebagadis, the pillar of the poor, 

Has £&lleD at Daga Sliaha, welteriug in hia blood 

The people of this coantry, will they find it a good thing 

To eat ears of com which hare grown in the blood f 

Who will remember [St] Michael of November t 

[t. e. to give alms ?] 
Mftwttm, with &VQ tlioosand Oallas, has killed him: 

Qum, i. e. who remembered to give alms :] 
For the half of a loaf, for a cup of wine, 
The friend of the Chriiitians has fallen at Daga Shaha I 

Kidam Mariam had with him a slave, or servant, (for the 
Abyssinian Christians do not sell their slaves,) of Sidama 
I wished to make several inquiries of him respecting his 
country ; but he was so young when sold, that he has very 
little definite knowledge about it. He said that the Sida- 
mas are Chrbtians, and their country large, and very good. 
He remembered having seen books, but was wholly ignorant 
of their contents. The Sidamas are a peaceable race, seldom 
engaging in war ; but their king evinces a tyrannical dispo- 
sition ; for, let one of his subjects commit any crime what- 
ever, the king sells him. and not unfrequently, his whole 



402 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

familj with him j to the GaUas, as a aUve. On the death of 
the last king, vast treasures of money were found in his 
house, amounting to four hundred mule loads. The country 
lies at the south-west of Oooderou, a distance of two months' 
travel hy caravan. On this side of Sidama is a Galla pro- 
vince, called Enarea ; the king, or present governor of 
which, has procured an Abyssinian priest to offer prayers 
for himself and people. He has given him the best house the 
country affords, and generally treats him as an equal ; but 
neither the king nor the priest think of teaching the people. 
Forty days since, when Eidam Mariam left Gondar, the 
country was in peace and quiet ; but since then, there seems 
to have been quite a revolution. Some say, that nearly all 
the under governors have deserted Ali Mariam, and attached 
themselves to Aligas Faris, governor of Lasta, who has 
stationed himself near Lalibala, with the design of reducing 
allthe Amhara country. Others say, that Aligas Faris is 
at Debra Tabor, the usual residence of Googsa and his chil- 
dren, three short days' journey from Gondar, between Be- 
lessa and Begameder ; that the chiefs who had joined him 
have revolted, and called Oubea to their help; and that 
Aligas Faris is hemmed in on every side. This much, how- 
ever, is certain, — that Oubea, who intended coming to Tigre, 
has suddenly left to join Ali Mariam. In Aligas Faris the 
children of Sebagadis have a friend. — I have since learned 
that Aligas Faris was conquered toward the last of October, 
and made his escape with great difficulty. He is now di- 
vested of all authority ; for should he return to Lasta, the 
inhabitants would no longer acknowledge him their sove- 
reign. 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 403 

10th. Intelligenoe reaqbed this place yesterday oveniDg, 
that Cassai, the chief of Tembene, and son of Sebagadis, had 
revolted against his brothers, wishing to nsarp the gorern- 
ment to himself Contrary to the adyioe of his brothers, he 
recently plundered a district, and drove away about two 
thousand head of cattle, which he distributed among his 
own soldiers, and those of his eldest brother, Walda Michael, 
hoping therewith to bribe them. At the same time, he sent 
to his brother's enemies, inviting them to come and attack 
Walda Michael while his soldiers were absent. There was 
also an understanding between himself and a chief, who was 
defeated by his brothers sometime since, and who was to 
come to-day to plunder Adigrate and its borders. Day be- 
fore yesterday, about a hundred soldiers, belonging to his 
brother, Walda Michael, and who were going to rejoin their 
chief, had been seized by him and bound. All had resolved 
last evening to make their escape this morning ; but, at three 
o'clock, a messenger came with the news, that Cassai was 
taken prisoner yesterday on a mountain or fortress, and put 
in chains. While all this was transpiring, Walda Michael, 
who had started to meet his opponents near Antalo, ac- 
quainted bis brother Cassai with all his secret plans, and in- 
vited him to join him soon as possible. Since the death of 
Sebagadis, none of the friends of Walda Michael look to 
Cassai for protection or advice. It was currently reported 
about a fortnight since, that Cassai contemplated putting his 
brother in irons. A priest informed Walda ^Michael of the 
same, and advised him to be on his guard ; but Walda Michael 
replied, '' I shall take no precaution against my brother, for 

we have sworn immutable fidelity to each other, in the 



404 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTSBTNIA. 

preaeDoo of Qod. If I perjure myself, all mj precantioai 
will avail me nothing ; God will pnnish me for it without 
the interference of any man ; and should my brother break 
his oath, most certainly God will give him his just reward." 
11th. About nine o'clock this morning, bitter cries and 
lamentations were heard from cTcry quarter. On going out 
to learn the cause of the distress, every one I saw was rub- 
bing his face till the skin came off the forehead and both 
cheeks ; and some tore all the hair from their heads. The 
women were running in all directions, beating their breasts ; 
and nobody had breath enough to answer me, when I in- 
quired the reason of all this tumult At last, I heard a cry, 
that Walda Michael was dead. To ascertain the truth of 
the case, I sent to his wife; who replied, that Walda 
Michael had been surprised by his Antalo enemies, and 
made their prisoner. Half the inhabitants of Adigrate in- 
stantly took flight with such of their goods as they could 
carry with them. Those who had the means, removed their 
most valuable articles to a neighboring mountain. For my- 
self, I went about getting my things in readiness to leave 
either this evening or to-morrow morning, unless something 
more favorable should reach us before night ; but being ao- 
customed to hear false reports every day, I was inclined to 
doubt the correctness of the news this morning ; but I could 
not feel perfectly at ease. Towards three o'clock this afler- 
noon, cries of joy burst upon our ears. A messenger, who 
was at the battle of the 8th of December, had just arrived 
with the tidings, that, on that day, all the chie& of the 
neighborhood of Antalo fell by surprise upon Walda Michael, 
who had with him about two hundred soldiers only, to whom 



JOURNAI« OF A RESIDENCE IS ABYSaiNIA. 405 

he made a brief address, closing with these words ; << To-daj 
there is danger. Without a gun, or even a lance, sword in 
hand, spread terror in the midst of our enemies !" So say- 
ing, he made the first advance toward his antagonists, and, 
in less than one quarter of an hour, put to flight their army 
of about two thousand men. Walda Michael made some 
of the chiefs prisoners, but the two most powerful effected 
their escape. The morning's report is supposed to have 
been an intrigue of Cassai, chief of Tembene. They were 
about setting him at liberty, at the very moment the news 
of his brother's victory reached here. 

13th. Our friend Girgis, with whom we became acquainted 
in Egypt, has just arrived from Adowah, where he has spent 
the last few months. He has had the misfortune to lose the 
whole of his little property, which he acquired during his 
residence in Egypt He says the priests of Gondar at- 
tempted to take his life, because he advanced opinions con- 
trary to their own, so that he was compelled to flee by night 
Poor fellow ! he longed to preach the Gospel to these igno- 
rant priests, but, like many other zealots, he failed in discre- 
tion. He would engage in violent disputes concerning the 
three births of our Saviour, and thus prevented, or, at least, 
hindered the very object he wished to accomplish. His 
residence at Adowah has apparently diminished his zeal, 
and eooled his ardor, in the interest of his Divine Master ; 
though I think it has neither weakened his faith, nor per- 
verted his views of the doctrines of the Gospel. 

15th. To-day, a Damotera was brought in for me to look 
at (See Feb. 9th.) It is an insect resembling a spider, 
about two inches long, and entirely covered with hair of a 



406 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTSSINIA. 

deep brown color. I had before seen several, withoat sap- 
posing them to be hurtfal. 

31 St. On reviewing the year just closing, I am forced to 
this, as the only correct conolasion : — Perdidi annum.* 

Jan. 2, 1832. Walda Michael has arrived at Adigrate, 
intending to leave again before many days, hoping to sub- 
due Adowah. 

Feb. 3d. I have suffered severely from a complaint in the 
stomach, ever since the arrival of Walda Michael I am 
not yet fully restored, but, thanks to God 1 I am whoUy re- 
lieved from pain. 

26th. Walda Michael has left for Adowah with very few 
men. While here, he preseuted me with four cows. If one 
would avoid offending an Abyssinian prince, he is obliged to 
accept whatever he pleases to give. In the present instanoe, 
however, the donor claimed some little favor in return ; giv- 
ing me no rest till I had consented to sell him a brace of 
pistols, which I had carefully kept for my journey from this 
place to Massowah, and for which he willingly gave me 
twenty talaris. 

March 16th. Guegues. 1 have again been compelled to be* 
take myself to flight. Oubea no sooner learned that Walda 
Michael was at Adowah, than he passed the Taoazze with the 
few soldiers that he had about him ; and while he waited on 

* " I have lost a year" — Our missionary is here speaking of imme- 
diate and visible results. But no one knows bettor than he does^ thai 
the months during which the seed-corn lies buried in the earth, are 
not time lost Behold^ the hiubandmxtn waiteth/or the preeioue fruit 
of the earthy attd hath long patience for itj until he receive the early and 
latter rotn ; James v. 7. 



JOUBNAL OF A KESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 407 

the shore some three or four days for the arriyal of his 
troops, all^he chiefs of Enderta, Tembene, Tigre, and Shore, 
joined him. The sons of Sebagadis retired into the environs 
of Adigrate, to defend all passes by which Oubea could pos- 
sibly enter the district of Agame. Oubea wished to get be- 
fore them ; and he was not more than a day's journey from 
Adigrate, when they hedged up his way. His cavalry can- 
not number less than one thousand, besides a number of 
Gallas. The sons of Sebagadis have but few with them, 
except the peasants of Agame and some Teltals. When 
they heard at Adigrate of the near approach of the hostile 
army, all fled. I was disposed to remain to witness the 
event ; but all the people, as they ran on, cried out to me 
that I was a madman, which so frightened those in my house, 
that I at last found myself obliged to yield to their entrea- 
ties. Consequently, I set out this morning, to take refuge in 
the monastery of Debra Damot ; but knowing the insatiable 
oovetousness of the monks, I resolved, on the road, not to 
go near them till pressed by absolute necessity. This is the 
reason of my staying here, in a small house belonging to a 
married priest, waiting for further events. Guegues is about 
two leagues to the east of the monastery of Debra Damot. 
The district is called Damot. 

17th. All's servant, sitting, this evening, at the door of 
my house, was bitten by a serpent. I was reminded of the 
passage in Amos v. 19. Ali applied burning coals to the 
wound as long as the man could endure it ; but after the 
space of five minutes, the skin being already quite burned 
away, he still felt no heat ; and it was with the greatest 
difficulty that we could keep him awake. But now, at ten 



408 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ADT8SINIA. 

o'clock, there are no bad appearances, except the wound oc- 
casioned by the fire. 

April 4th. I have been called to day to the performance 
of a melancholy and painful duty. Having come to an open 
rupture with Qirgis, in consequence of his irregularities, I 
felt constrained to take my final leave of him. Perhaps my 
brethren in Europe will censure mc for having had too much 
patience with him, and for not having sooner taken this de- 
cisive step. Should such a charge be preferred against me, 
^11 1 can say is, that I felt it incumbeut on me to treat him 
with all that mildness and forbearance that circumstances 
would allow. I will, however, give some account of his con- 
duct, and of jnj treatment of him sinco his return ftoni 
Adowah, so that they can judge for themselves. When he 
arrived at Adigrate, in December last, I found him in his 
religious aflfections extremely cold and languid. He, how- 
ever, spoke well and in a Christian manner of the grace of 
God, frequently saying that he trusted in that alone for sal- 
vation. Yet his general deportment was such, that I felt a 
kind of antipathy irresistibly rising in my bosom, mingled 
with the love I had uniformly entertained for him. After 
a short time, he told me he must return to Adowah for a 
part of his baggage which he had left there ; and commenced 
his journey the following day. It was reported that he had 
a wife in that city, and that he had gone to visit her. But 
I could not believe it, because I knew the strong propensity 
of the Tigreans to falsehood ; and besides, I had heard cer- 
tain circumstances respecting him, while at Gondar, which 
rendered the declaration altogether improbable. But con- 
trary to my confident expectation, he arrived at Adigrate on 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 409 

the 5th. of January with a woman, whom he called his ser- 
yant He very soon, howeyer, gave indications which satis- 
fied my domestics that she sustained to him a very different 
relation. My first determination was to drive them instantly 
from my house ; hut, on farther deliberation. I said to my- 
self,^ Jesus Christ would not have acted thus hastily: I 
therefore resolved to exercise forbearance towards him for a 
time, and treat him with kindness, hopiog I should thus be 
able to make a deeper impression on his dark and obdurate 
heart Several days passed on, and I neither commended 
nor censured him. At length, he sent one of his servants 
to me with his compliments, and asking pardon for his fault 
I barely replied, that I did not wish to treat with him 
through a mediator. Upon this, he came in person, and 
with tears in his eyes, frankly acknowledged his misconduct. 
He said that for fourteen years he had led a single life of 
virtue ; but for some time past his affections had become so 
deeply ensnared with the charms of this woman, that he could 
not be happy but in her society. Assuming a gentle tone, I 
mildly answered that I was not very much surprised at his 
fall, notwithstanding it exceedingly pained me ; that I could 
not bear to see him walking the broad road to perdition ; 
and, that although I pitied him for his infirmities and his 
crimes, I could make him but one alternative : — he must 
either be united to this woman in regular marriage, and 
that for life, or else he must instantly discard her. He 
chose the latter ; and the next day, dismissed her. I in- 
dulged the hope, that his fall would result in humbling him, 
and prove beneficial to him in other respects. For several 
days he courted retirement, and frequently sought a solitary 

18 



410 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

place that he might weep ; he could neither eat nor sleep. 
He appeared to suffer the keenest pangs of remorse. But 
the sequel too plainly proves that he did not sorrow after a 
godly sort. At length, just as I was setting out on my 
journey to Guegues, he said to me, that the woman with 
whom he had been connected had so much engaged his affec- 
tions, that he could not reconcile himself to living without 
her, and craved permission to renew his intercourse with 
her. Astonished and grieved at the proposal, I addressed 
him in the most serious and affecting manner in my power, 
and closed by saying, that if he would regularly marry her 
with the determination of separating from her only at death, 
I should not, for that reason, withhold from him my friend- 
ship, although I did not desire that she should ever enter 
my house, as she bore the reputation of being a woman of 
abandoned character. He said he would marry her, and 
forthwith take her into the house which he had hired for 
her use. I waited several days, and, as he did not fulfil 
his promise, I demanded of him why he did not solemntxe 
his marriage, and thus make known to the world that he 
was regularly united to the woman of his choice. To my 
regret and surprise, he replied, that he could not endure the 
thought of forming the connection for life ; but, at the same 
time, his attachment was so strong, that he could not think 
of repudiating her at once ; he therefore requested the privi- 
lege of living in intimacy with her until our departure for 
Egypt. I thought it wisdom to bear no longer with his 
perversity, and told him in a decided tone, that since he had 
sold himself to the devil to live in sin after having known, 
and, in some measure, felt the truth, I oonld have no fkrther 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 411 

commoiiioation with him, and that he must immediately 
leave my house and sapervision, and rush on in his own 
dark way alone. Thus this fair flower which had so beauti- 
fully blossomed, and been the object of my fondest hopes for 
the future, has fallen and withered ; — an event that has 
caused me more pain and heart-felt grief than any misfor- 
tune that has befallen mo sioce I left Europe. 

♦ * • • • 

May 22d. Adigrale. Having learned that Kidam Ma- 
riam of Gk>ndar was intendiug presently to pass this way, 
and that Oubea had retired as far as Tembene, I returned 
hither, where the air is much more salubrious, and the house 
much more convenient than at Gucgues. At Ouegues, I 
had no religious conversations, except with the priest, my 
host, who was very anxious for knowledge, but evidently 
still ^ dead in trespasses and sins." The others who visited 
me never chose to understand my Tigrean dialect when I 
spoke on religious subjects. 

28th. I have been passing three days with the Oondar 
merchants ; but Kidam Mariam has been so constantly en- 
gaged with the custom-house officers, that I have been pre- 
vented from having any connected conversation with him. 
I have Become acquainted with a traveler,* a gentleman of 
Frankfort, who proposes returning with this caravan into 
the interior. His principal object is, to collect whatever he 
can find that is interesting in natural history, chiefly in 
soology. My servant, Guebrou, has also left with the cara- 
van. I have been less satisfied with him for the last few 

* Mr. RuppeU, the genUemiin referred to in the Introdnction, oo 
the geography of the eotmtry. 



412 JOURNAL OF A BESIDENCE IN ABYB8INIA 

months, than I was previously to that time. Not that I 
can complain of anything in particular in his conduct ; but 
seeing himself superior to others in knowledge, he appears 
to cherish a degree of pride, which causes me some anxiety. 
Yet I regard him with brotherly affection, and cannot but 
hope, that the opposition he will encounter will be service- 
able to him. 

Kidam Mariam informed me to-day, that Girgis had em- 
barked at Massowah near the middle of April, in company 
with that infamous woman, whom he had suffered to alluie 
him from the paths of virtue and peace. 

June 9th. Monastery of Debra Da,mot, All is once more 
calm. After having plundered and burnt Atobi, and nearly 
the whole district from Tembene to the frontier of the Tel- 
tals, Oubea retired to the province of Tembene, with the 
supposed intention of returning to Samen to pass the win- 
ter. The Fit-Aurari, Guebra Amlac, brother of Sebagadis, 
hearing of this, immediately deserted his brothers and 
nephews, to go and connect himself with a man named 
Golja, governor of a district between Antitcho and Ado- 
wah ; and who has done nothing but rob his neighbors and 
travelers, ever since the death of Sebagadis. Walda Mi- 
chael hasted with half his army to pursue his uncle, design- 
ing to besiege the mountain to which, with Golja, he had re- 
tired. When the Fit-Aurari deserted, he called upon 
Oubea for succor, promising to conduct him safely to Adi- 
grate, provided he would only restore to him the rank of 
Fit-Aurari, which Walda Michael had taken from him about 
a year ago, on his first desertion. While Walda Michael 
was besieging the mountain, Oubea made his appearance ; 



JOURNAL OP A BE8IDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 418 

and seeing himself too feeble to contend with his antagonist 
in the plain, Walda Michael withdrew to the mountains 
west of Adigrate, with the design of occupying there all the 
narrow passes ; but he was forsaken by nearly half his sol- 
diers, who wero filled with consternation and dismay. 
(There is no punishment for a common soldier who de- 
serts, provided he does not carry a gun.) A messenger 
arrived before day this morning, announcing Oubea's ar- 
rival at Besate, near Debra Damot. At daybreak, all fled 
for refuge to the mountains in the vicinity of the Teltals, a 
perfectly savage race, whither they had previously removed 
their wheat and other valuables. As nothing can be pur- 
chased there, I could not go with the rest ; but about nine 
o'clock, I started for Debra Damot, where I arrived in safety 
about four o'clock in the afternoon. I went immediately to 
the camp of Oubea, which is less than a league from the mon- 
astery. I should think his troops consisted of three or four 
thousand ; but it is said that nearly half of them are women. 
12th. For some days past, Oubea has been engaged in 
ravaging all the neighboring villages. His soldiers and the 
peasants engaged in some slight contests, leaving several 
wounded, but only three or four killed. Oubea, or rather, 
the Fit-Aurari, Guebra Amlao, has burned some houses 
every day, but only the best in each village. A report of 
the death of the young Bas, Ali Mariam, reached here a few 
days since ; but it is impossible in Abyssinia to ascertain 
the truth. Be the report true or not, Oubea would not go 
to Adigrate, notwithstanding the urgent entreaties of the 
Tigrean part of his army. He departed this morning, how- 
ever, on his return ; but it is not yet known whether he in- 



414 JOUtNAL OF A RBSIBBNCB IN ABT88INIA, 

tends pusing the rainy season at Adowah, or to recross the 
Tacasse. Several distant fires have been seen this evening. 
Oubea is probably destroying a district between Besate and 
Antitcho, whose inhabitants have remained fidthfnl ad- 
herents to the children of Sebagadis. It is said that when 
Oubea was defeated by Mariam two years ago, notwith- 
standing his striot and persevering attendance upon fiuting 
and prayer, he remarked, that since God gave the vic- 
tory to the wicked, he also wonld be wicked that he might 
thus prosper. From that time, his conduct has uniformly 
been in accordance with this resolution. 

16th. I see some of the monks every day of my stay at 
Debra Damot ; but their whole minds are given to the war, 
to the exclusion of every other subject. 1 can scarcely gain 
their attention, even for two or three minutes, when I speak 
to them of the one thing needful. I must, however, except 
Debtera Neblou, my host, a fine old man ; for his heart, so 
far as I can judge, is not insensible to the love of Qod. 
Yesterday evening, a few monks, with five or six others, as- 
sembled in my room. The principal subject of my remarks 
to them was that faiih which loorketh by love, as opposed to 
the legal and servile fear by which they are prone to be ac- * 
tuated through life. They gave me their undivided atten- 
tion till nearly two o'clock, without offering any remark, or 
asking any questions of consequence. They made one or 
two inquiries, however, which 1 will barely notice. They 
asked me if I supposed that those who led a single life in 
our country, were as deserving of reward as those with them 
who were really nuns and monks by a vow. I directed 
them to their own hearts, to see if corrupt and illicit 



JOURKAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 41& 

thoughts were not reigning there ; and eome of them con- 
fessed the &ct in snch a manner, that I could not donbt 
their sincerity. I feel satisfied that they would. all soon 
leave the convent, were it not for the fear of man. 

21st. I visited the church dedicated to the Abuna Ara- 
ga?ri, (from the word Araga^ -^ to ascend,") who is there repre- 
sented as holding the tail of a serpent which is ascending a 
rock. On the side, is recorded the story of his ascension to 
the rock of Debra Damot, which, as far as I could compre- 
hend it, is as follows: — Aragawi was one of the nine 
Apostles sent into Abyssinia, by St Athanasius. After 
having spent some years in instructing the people, be greatly 
desired a situation where he could enjoy more retirement ; 
but his numerous miracles constantly attracted such num- 
bers to him; that he could never bo alone. Passing one 
day, near the rock of Debra Damot, ho felt a strong desire to 
ascend it, that he might spend his life there alone in com- 
munion with God ; and, at that instant, there came a ser- 
pent, eighty cubits long, which began gliding up the rock. 
When Aragawi saw that his head had reached the summit 
of the rock, he seized him by the tail, and the serpent drew 
him up to the top. After remaining there some length of 
time, and experiencing the sanctity of the place, he con- 
ceived the project of establishing a convent there for the 
purpose of giving his brethren an opportunity of sharing his 
happiness. He therefore spun a cord, by means of which 
some monks ascended up to him. Two or three hundred 
monks have constantly lived there from that time ^ no woman 
having ever set her foot there. 

I went, afterward, to see the tombs cut in the rock, which 



416 JOUKNAL OF A RE8IDBNCB IN ABTBBIIVIA 

0arpa88 anything I could have expected in Abysainia, al- 
though they are very inferior to those of Jerusalem. The 
monks dig them during their lifetime. In one of these ex- 
cavations, I found a monk who never leaves his abode, and 
who, consequently, has a reputation for extreme sanctity 
through that whole region. I found him, however, full of 
self righteousness and ignorant of the righteousness of 
Christ. He could talk of nothing but himself, telling me 
how he is supplied with everything he needs without ever 
leaving his cavern in quest of any want To convince him 
of sin, I began by telling him that his life is in direct op- 
position to the Gospel ; — ^for either he has no light, and is 
therefore a hypocrite in passing himself off for a child of 
light ; or ho has light, but disobeys the command of Jesus 
Christ to his disciples, that they lei their fiffhi shine brfore 
men, &c. He listened to all I said without making any re- 
ply, astonished that I could doubt his sanctity; at last, he 
asked me for a copy of the Gospel. By the side of his own, 
is another cave, in which all the monks affirm that the 
Abuna Aragawi is still living, and that, from time to time, 
he manifests himself to the more holy among them. I 
wished to go into it ; but the monks, who said that it was 
impossible to come out of it alive, would not suffer any one 
to enter with a candle ; and fearing there might be some 
precipice in it, I would not venture without a light. 

25th. Adigraie, Although the air of Debra I>amot af- 
fects me unpleasantly, I would gladly have remained there 
some time longer, because, during some of the last days, I 
had several opportunities of preaching the Gospel to the 
monks, who evinced an attachment to me ; but being anaUe 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTBSINIA. 41t 

to procare any wheat in the vicinitj, I was obliged to return 
to Adigrate, where I arrived yesterday, at the same time 
that Walda Michael did ; but ho has left again this morn- 
ing, without giving me a direct answer to the request I 
made him, to let me leave for Egypt. 

July 9th. It is not yet known whether Oubea has re- 
passed the Tacazze ; but without waiting to ascertain, Walda 
Michael has left for Antalo, where his enemies have roused 
up since the arrival of Oubea. I again asked him to let 
me go ; but he advised me to delay a little longer, pretend- 
ing that he could do nothing at present to facilitate my 
journey; but promising to let me go at the end of the 
month of August, with the assurance that there would then 
be no obstacle in the way. 

30tfa. Yesterday morning, women were heard on all Bides, 
crying, '' To arms ! to arms !*' I had retired to a grove for 
prayer ; and, on my return, I was told that the Fit-Aurari, 
Guebra Amlao, and Goija, were not more than three leagues 
off, coming to pillage Adigrate and all the district of Agame. 
Nearly all the inhabitants of Adigrate fled with their cattle. 
But not knowing where I could find a safe retreat, I rea- 
soned with myself, that having long been on friendly terms 
with the Fit-Aurari, he might possibly leave me unmolested. 
They ransacked several villages between Damot and Agame ; 
but the peasants belonging to the plundered villages, having 
united together, succeeded last evening in overcoming the 
soldiers of the Fit-Aurari and Golja, reo6vered their stolen 
property, and in addition, seized a quantity of arms in the 
possession of two banditti. It is said, that they have gone 
home to-day, intending to return shortly with a larger foroe. 

18» 



418 JOU&NAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABT88INIA. 

Aug. 2d. A couple of lads, one aged fifteen, and the other 
sixteen, who had agreed to Rcrye Girgus for a year with no 
other remuneration than the privilege of being conducted 
to Egypt, and sent thence to Jerusalem, have just arrived 
at my house from Massowah. Their appearance in some 
respects is good ; and, to the praise of Girgis it must be 
said, that he has instilled into their minds an ardent desire 
to loam and understand the truth. Their story is too in- 
teresting in itself^ and too intimately connected with the 
fortunes of this unhappy man, to be passed over in silence. 

When Girgis left me in April, concealing from me his in- 
tention, he immediately set off for Massowah, where he was 
obliged to remain nearly a month, waiting an opportunity 
for sailing to Jedda. The frown of God seemed here to 
rest upon him ; despised by the Abyssinian merchants who 
happened to be there, and destitute of money, he was obliged 
to dispose of his clothing and the few ornaments of his con- 
cubine, in order to procure the immediate necessaries of 
subsistence. But as the time of departure approached, his 
servants, who had all along suffered the extremes of lim- 
ine, and who well knew that his resources were very lim- 
ited, if not entirely exhausted, were exceedingly surprised 
to see his house filled with every kind of provision for the 
contemplated voyage; and when they asked him whence 
he derived all this abundance, he simply replied that he 
had taken this occasion to unfold to their view the rich 
stores he possessed. At length the day on which he was 
to sail, arrived, and they all embarked together for Jedda ; 
but when they reached the island of Dahlac, he put his two 
servants ashore, telling them that the Na!b had thus wm- 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 419 

manded, and, that in a few days he would send a vessel to 
transport them to Jedda, where he would await their com* 
ing. His concubine wept bitterly on separating from them, 
although she was probably ignorant of the foul plot that 
was going on against them. The conduct of Girgis was 
very different ; he barely remarked to them, '^ As St. Helena 
was left amidst the waves and was miraculously preserved, 
so I leave you here ; if you are the children of God, he will 
undoubtedly save you ; if not, he will abandon you to de- 
struction ;" andj so saying, he took his leave. The deserted 
boys went directly to the house of the governor of the island, 
who maintained and treated them kindly for about a fort- 
night, although ho watched them with the greatest vigilance, 
never leaving them for a moment alone. All their wants 
were abundantly supplied ; but that instinctive desire of 
liberty and preservation which burns in every man's bosom 
rendered them restless and uneasy. They began to think, 
and it was made the subject of frequent remark among them* 
selves, that they should probably be sold into slavery ; or, 
that they were treated thus kindly, only that they might be 
allured by blandishments to embrace the doctrines of Islam- 
ism. Indeed, they had already been assailed on this point ; 
great promises had been held out to them, though always 
with extreme caution and mildness. They cheered each 
other in their trials, mutually strengthening their courage 
to sufier every extremity, even death itself^ rather than re< 
Bounce their faith or deny their Lord ; and frequently 
offered up their united prayers to God for sustaining grace 
to confess the name of Jesus, although the most fearful oon- 
sequences might follow the steadfiftstness of their profession. 



420 jotraiVAt dP a ftesrDEi^cis m ABrssmrA. 

In the midst of these harassing fears and conflicting emo- 
tions, their host informed them that the bark which was to 
transport them to Jedda had arrived, and that they must 
be readj to depart in two or three days. On the reeeption 
of this newsj they were still more anxious and troubled than 
before, though they could give no definite reason for their 
fears. In the meantime, one of them had learned Arabic 
enough to understand familiar conversation ; and, on in- 
quiry, they found that the bark that was to take them was 
laden for Yemen. They were then convinced that their 
destination Was slavery. The n( zt day, their master being 
absent, they walked out attended, upon the seashore, where 
they met an old man of respectable appearance, of whom they 
asked counsel, entreating him to facilitate their return to 
Massowah. Their guard opposed his interference, but the 
old man became interested in the forlorn situation of the 
boys, and soon succeeded in securing for them a passage to 
the desired port. On their arrival, they entered the house 
of the very man who had secretly bought them, not in the 
least suspicious of injury from him, because they bad previ- 
ously lodged at his house, while under the protection of 
Girgis ; but he kept them more closely and treated them 
more severely than their overseer at Dalhac had done. For 
several days, they were confined to the house, without per- 
mission to leave it a moment. Their host said little to them 
but by way of mildly advising them to remain closely con- 
cealed at hid house for a time, lest some marauding brigand 
should discover and claim them as his property ; but to his 
domestics he gave another lesson, charging them to keep a 
strict watch over his prisoners, and not permit them to pass 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE Ilif ABTSermiA. 431 

orer the threshold of his house. The poor hoys hegan to 
think that they had not yet escaped from the clutches of 
their enemies, feeling that they were indeed doomed to 
slavery. They again mutually encouraged each other, and 
unitedly prayed to God to preserve them from the evils 
they feared, or give them courage to confess Jesus Christ 
under all circumstances, however trying. One day, after 
having thus prayed, they found means of making their es- 
cape, and fled to the governor, (a Turk,) hefore whose house 
they hesought assistance and protection ; but he was sur* 
rounded with too many people, and too much oceupied to 
listen to their entreaties. While they were here waiting au 
audience, their host unexpectedly arrived, and discovered 
them. At first, he endeavored to frighten them into a wil- 
lingness to return ; bat failing in this, he had recourse to 
mildness and the lure of a promise ; and afterwards, under- 
took to enforce their submission. But the Na'ib interfered 
and retained them at his house ; and here they first learned 
definitely what their enemies had intended to do with them. 
Girgis, by an agreement with his host at Massowah, had sold 
them to a brother of his, for thirty talaris, who came to the 
house of the Nalb to claim his property, but in vain. On 
the very night of their arrival, when all the inhabitants of 
the place were buried in sleep, it was the intention of their 
captors to have shipped them for Yemen. But their pur- 
poses were thwarted ; the Nalb kept and sustained them a 
number of weeks, until a safe opportunity presented itself for 
sending them to Hala'i. In the meantime Girgis had departed, 
carrying with him a portion of the stipulated price of the boys. 
Sept. 12th. Intellfgence of the death of our friend, Ali of 



432 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

Egypt, baa just reached me. More than a year since, his 
wife, in a fit of jealousy, administered to him a dose of poi- 
son, which ever after rendered the state of his health feeble 
and precarious. He left my house fifteen days ago, much 
better than usual, to go and attempt a reconciliation between 
two tribes of Shohos, below Halai. There he met an old 
Mussulman, who offered him a Mussulman medicine, as- 
suring him, that it would decide his case one way or the 
other— either secure his restoration to perfect health, or 
terminate his life. Agreeably to the great principle of Is- 
lamism, that if an unalterable decree had not decided his 
death, this medicine would prove efficacious, Ali expressed 
his determination to receive it. He took it, and died on 
the following day. 

13th. For tbe last two months, I have spent a consider- 
able pordon of my time in the society of a Greek, named 
Demetros, originally from Thessalonica, but who has now 
resided in Abyssinia for twenty-two years. On our arrival 
in the country, he made every effort to blacken our charac- 
ter in the view of Sebagadis, of whom he was the peculiar 
favorite. I therefore thought it my duty to treat him with 
more kindness, and exhibit a greater warmth of friendship 
than I otherwise should have done; a course of conduct 
which has made a very favorable impression, both upon him* 
self, and those who had previously heard him speak of us in 
the most contemptuous manner, declaring all our religion to 
be mere pretence. But he has been brought to a partial dis- 
covery of the evil of his past life ; he often deplores the cor- 
ruption of his heart, and the misfortune which led him to 
this country, here to lose evezy feeling* of reverence or love 



JOURNAL OF A EESIDENCE IN ABYSBINIA. 428 

for God. When he came to Abyssinia at the earlj age of 
eighteen, his character was good ; for five years he success- 
Tally resisted the intrigues of infamous women who under- 
took to ensnare him in their artful toils. But he was finally 
overcome and drawn into crime by a woman of some distino- 
tion in the country, who gave him an intoxicating draught 
mingled with wine. For several days, he wept incessantly 
over his fall, but his bitter sorrow did not change his heart 
He at length said to himself, that since he had lost his inno- 
cence, he might as well yield himself up to the sway of his 
passions, as endeavor to struggle against them. From that 
time he entirely forsook his Bible, and plunging down the 
dark stream of ruin, becoming even worse than the AhjBf 
sinians themselves. He is, however, still able to repeat a 
great portion of the Four Gospels, and of the Psalms. He 
started, this morning, to join his family at Azum, apparently 
determined to return to virtue and to God. 

22d. Debra Datnot, Having learned that Oubea, who has 
passed the rainy season at Tigre, is ere long to march from 
Adowah against the district of Agame with a numerous 
army, I have once more taken refuge in this monastery, 
whose monks have ever expressed to me nothing but kind- 
ness and friendship. I am told that Oubea always inquires 
very particularly about me, and that if he meets me at Adi- 
grate or elsewhere, he b resolved to make amends for the 
wrong he did me, in a moment of impatience, at the time of 
my return from Gondar. The injury consisted im his re- 
fusing to receive a servant whom I sent to him. The sons 
of Sebagadis are greatly excited and alarmed ; but one bat^ 
tie which they have lately gained, and which has placed sev- 



424 lOUKNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

•rml obiefii of Tembene in their power, has giren them a lil- 
tie enoouragement. 

Oct. 3d. I have just passed eight days at Adigrate with 
Walda Michael, who is greatly dejected, inasmach as his 
adherents are few, and the peasants of Agame are exceed- 
ingly terrified. His intimate friend, Belata Darasso, who 
received me so cordially at Tonrsogua, near the Tacazse, on 
my return from Gondar, gave me several opportnnities of 
preaching the Gospel to the soldiers. They set oat yester- 
day to go and meet Oabea, who is at the distance of only 
two short days' jonmey from Adigrate. 

6th. Gassai, the son of Sebagadis, had a partial combat 
day before yesterday with Oubea's men. He killed abooi 
ten of them, and took some horses. This so revived the 
drooping hopes of the inhabitants of Agame, that it is said 
not a single peasant remains, who has not gone to join 
Walda Michael in the defence of their harvest, which is al- 
ready commenced. Even the priests have gone to the war. 
The qnestion respecting the government of Tigre will donbi- 
less be decided before many days. 

8th. I am much interested in a youDg Galla, who visits 
me twice every day, from his ardent desire to know the 
tmth. To-day, he gave me a brief history of his life — ^made 
a prisoner aud a slave at the age of fourteen years, (he is 
not yet thirty,) he was sold to a master at Gojam, who afler 
causing him to receive the ordinance of baptism, soon re- 
stored bftai to liberty. Being once more his own, he might 
have returned to his country, which is not far from Grojam ; 
bnt he was loth to bear the name of Christian, while a stran- 
ger to the great truths of Christianity. Without assistance, 



JOURNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 42B 

and, I migbt almost say, without a master, he has attained 
to a tolerable understanding of the Etfaiopio. He uniformly 
prepares his own parchment, for the purpose of learning to 
write, and although he has never had an instructor, his 
writing is very legible. Until the present time, he had no 
idea of the diiferenoe between the Gospel and human writ- 
ings. But he is now studying the Epistles with the great- 
est assiduity. He went, three years ago, to visit his rela* 
tives, and entreated his father to come into the Amhara 
country, there to embrace the Christian religion. His fa- 
ther replied, that he had not the least objection to becoming 
a Christian ; but, that always having been free, he could not 
bear to be regarded as a slave in the Amhara country. 
" But go," added he^ " and bring hither a Christian priest to 
teach and baptize us ; we will all receive his instructions.'^ 
He returned to Amhara ; but no intelligent priest could be 
found, who was willing to accompany him into his country. 
He therefore resolved to consecrate himself to the ministry ; 
he became a monk at Gondar, and came to Tigre to receive 
the imposition of hands from the Abuna ; but, on his ar- 
rival, the Abuna had just died; and, for more than two 
years, did ho continue in Tigre, waiting fc^ the coming of a 
new Abuna, from whom he could receive the sacred charge. 
The disposition to murder is so common among the Gal- 
las, that one can scarcely venture into their country, with* 
out hazarding his life; and a Galla, who has never imbrued 
his hands in a fellow-creature's blood, is despised by all his 
acquaintances; and his wife is still more contemptible. 
When she goes to get wood or to draw water, the wife of 
some one who has murdered, waits fbr her by the side of 



436 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 

her house, and takes her load from her by force, she, daring 
neither to defend herself, nor even to cry for help ] on ihe 
contrary, she seeks to revenge herself on her hnsband, who 
can have no peace at home, till he brings positive proof that 
he also has killed a man. The country of the (Dallas pre- 
sents a vast field to the eye of the Christian public, and de- 
mands their special attention. It offers, perhaps, fewer ob- 
stacles to the messengers of Christ than those nations which 
have more complete systems of idolatry or anti-Christian 
superstitions ; but I see not how it can be entered upon 
without the aid of one or two missionary stations in Chris- 
tian Abyssinia. 

• . • • • • 

Nov. 6th. The Lord has again been pleased to visit me 
with a very severe sickness, from which, through his mercy, 
I have nearly recovered ; although for several days I had no 
other food than dry bread, because there was absolutely noth- 
ing to be bought at Debra Damot but a little barley ; and 
that with great difficulty ; and in the present state of things, 
the roads are so deserted on account of thieves, that even 
beggars dare not pass lest they should be robbed of their 
rags. 

When I returned from Adigrate a month ago, Oubea was 
in the district of Haramata, which he has entirely destroy- 
ed. It is reported that in one night alone his soldiers 
butchered nearly three hundred women and children ; but it 
is said, that he expressed his disapprobation of it. While 
Oubea was at Haramata, the news came, that Aligas Faris 
had gone to the Amhara country, and had imprisoned 
Ahmade, governor of Gooderou. On receiving this intelli- 



JOUENAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 487 

genoe, Oubea ordered home the people of Tigre who were 
with hini) pretending that he should leave for Samen. He 
passed hy Antalo, and the report was circulated, that he had 
repassed the Tacazze. Consequently, the sons of Sebagadia 
left for Adowah; but while they were destroying and 
burning the district of Cblja, the tidings reached them, that 
Oubea had entered the territory of Agame. They retraced 
their steps; and when they arrived on the Ist inst., found 
Oubea encamped near the village of Adigrate. On the 2d, 
they rested ; gave him battle on Saturday, the 3d, and were 
defeated. Oubea lost about five hundred men, but he took 
a great number of prisoners. Meanwhile I am shut up 
here, with no means of foreseeing when I can leave for 
Egypt, and have only fifty talaris in my possession ; but as I 
came into this world, so shall I leave it. He, who is the 
Saviour of all men, will provide me with all things needful. 

During my last illness, I had frequent opportunities of 
preaching the Gospel, not only to several pilgrims who came 
to assist at the annual festival of the Abuna Aragawi, which 
occurred fifteen days ago, but also to the monks. The ma- 
jority of the monks have become my enemies ; and call me 
" Mussulman,'' because I condemn the adoration of the Vir- 
gin Mary, and have no confidence in her intercession ; but 
the more intelligent, and consequently, the most influential, 
always evince friendship for me. There are some even, who 
condemn the worship of creatures, and begin to doubt the 
lawfulness of praying to the Virgin ; but I know of none 
who sincerely seek the Saviour. 

Nov. 14th. My servant Guebrou, having passed the rainy- 
season with Oubea's army, in which he has two brothers, has 



428 iontWAL OF a kesidence m abtbsinia. 

arnTed here. He in bent on attending me as fiir as Egypt 
without wages; for the sole reason, he says, that he yet 
finds himself too weak to resist, alone, the temptations of 
the world, and the opposition of the enemies of the GospeL 
I had already heard of his witnessing to the truth, both in 
his oondnot and in his words ; but I experience far greater 
joy in seeing him much more sensible, than formerly, of his 
weakness, and of the corrnption of his heart 

I was told about two months ago, that my goods had been 
burned at Adowah, with a part of the church. I had 
thought that something might have been preserved; but 
Ouebrou has just informed me that nothing is left entire, ex- 
cept a chest of books, containing the Acts of the Apostles, 
and the Epistles, in Amhario ; the other books which are 
not wholly destroyed, are entirely spoiled and useless. 

Since I left Adowah, in the month of February, 1831, the 
roads have been impassable ; and the petty governors in the 
region of Adowah have confined all, whom they suspected 
of having a little money, in irons ; so that, had I gone there, 
I could not have obtained my goods, and should have been 
obliged to relinquish all that I had left, to escape imprison- 
ment and blows. Before the burning of my property, how- 
ever, I had improved a favorable opportunity for sending 
for Golius' Dictionary. 

2l8t Two days ago, the sons of Sebagadis surrendered 
to Oubea, to prevent his entire destruction of their prov* 
inces, and to redeem the prisoners who were unjustly and 
ctuolly treated by Oubea's soldiers. He received them 
well, and has given them about the half of their father's 
government His officers wish to give the whole adminir 



JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 4d9 

tration of Tigre to Walda Michael, beoause he has fought 
bravely ; bat Oubea has not jet consented. 

23d. Gnebron's brother has been here, and taken him 
awaj bj force. The poor youth wept bitterly ; but resist- 
ance was of no avail. The monks all coincided with his 
brother, and he was obliged to go. His sobs affected me 
deeply ; but I can most confidently recommend him to God^ 
and to the Word of his Qrace^ which is able to build him «p, 
aTui to give him at last an inheritance among them thai are 
sanct^ied, I should have many things to say of this young 
man to the glory of Ood's almighty grace ; but the recol- 
lection of the sad history of Girgis constrains me to keep 
silence, and to rejoice only with trembling. 

26th Perceiving the entire frustration of all his darling 
hopes, Walda Michael has finally consented to let me leave ; 
and I am preparing to set out to-morrow, if God permit. I 
have very little information from the interior. The country 
has been quiet during the past year, and the people are ap- 
parently well satisfied with the young Bas, All* Subse- 
quently to my return from Gondar, the king, Guigar, was 
dethroned, and his place supplied by a King Joas, an entire 
stranger to me ; but it is now a year since Guigar, support- 
ing the charge by false testimony, caused Joas to be accused 
of having invited Aligas Faris to usurp the government of 
Bas Ali. Joas was consequently divested of all regal power, 

* The Ros, Ali Mariom, seeing the horror that the people had of the 
name of Mariam, has retained that of Ali only, which is a MnsBiilman 
name ; his mother, before her marriage, having been a Mussulman of 
Gkxxlerou. Ali is grandson of Googsa; and not his nephew, as I 
thought 



4M JOUKNAL OF A HB8IDBNCE lit ABTSSIHIA. 

• 

ftnd his vaoaney filled bj Gaebra Ohriatoa ; but it ia mm 
said, that the old king, Guigar, has procured his death bj 
pobon. The name of the present oocnpant of the throne I 
do not know. 

Dec. 10th. Massowah, On the 27th of November, all the 
most respectable of the monks attended me on my departore 
from Debra Damot, to the pass where they descend the 
mountain, and some descended with me to the foot On 
parting with them, I again gently exhorted them to give 
their hearts unreservedly to Jesus, and to trust in his grace 
for everything. Alaca Walda Selasse, a learned man of 
Shoa, who came to see me every day with a number of dog- 
matical questions, but for whom I felt no particular attach- 
ment, because he always opposed, in the driest manner, 
everything I said — ^suddenly burst into tears, and in the 
presence of all the monks, said to me ; <' Now that you are 
taking your leave, I ask your forgiveness for all the trouUe 
that I have caused you. I had heard of you at Gondar, and 
your doctrine had awakened in my mind strong doubts on 
many essential points of belief My principal object in 
coming here, was to see you, and to hear by what proofs you 
maintained your doctrine, in opposition to ours. I resisted 
you with all my might ; several times even when already 
convinced of the truth of your words ; but it was for the 
sake of obtaining stronger proofs of your doctrine. Now 
that we are -parting, perhaps for life, I ought to be free and 
candid with you. It is you who have opened my eyes. I 
will treasure up your instructions in my heart, and will 
publicly call myself your disciple. You are my father." 
On saying these words, he again wept ; and I left him leas- 



n>URNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN AB766INIA. 481 

ing ftgainst a rook, bathed in tears. I took my night's lodg- 
ing at Facada, three leagues east of Debra Damot, at the 
house of a rehitive df one of my serrants. The district is 
called Goula Macada. The inhabitants of the place have 
presented Oubea with sixty bags of honey, to prevent him 
from seizing their property. 

28th. I found Oubea with his army at Behate, where I 
remained four days. He received me in a very friendly 
manner, although he has several reasons for disliking the 
Europeans. Immediately on my arrival, he expressed to 
me his regret that he had refused to receive my servant, on 
my return to Gondar ; and then he inquired why I did not 
go to him myself I told him, that on coming from Adowah, 
I had promised Walda Michael that 1 would not go near his 
enemies ; which reason was apparently satisfactory to him. 
I was introduced by the young prince, Tecla Georgis, my 
old friend of Adowah. I believe he was more rejoiced to 
see me again, than he would have been to see his own father. 
He had already told Oubea and his officers all that he could 
understand of my religious principles ; so that I had several 
opportunities every day of preaching the Gospel, both in 
Oubea's tent, and in those of his officers. I thought it my 
duty to avoid wounding their feelings, and therefore aimed 
rather to convince them of the positive truths of religion, 
than contradict their own, where it was not absolutely ne- 
cessary. But one time, when Oubea's tent was full of 
people, a priest suddenly asked me why I objected to call- 
ing Mary the " Mother of God :'* — to which I simply re- 
plied, that Josus Christ being truly God and truly man, I 
<Ud not, in one sense, oppose their calling Mary *' Mother of 



482 JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSldiNIA. 

Qod," provided they did not theooe draw the coDclasioa, 
that they ought to pay her religious worship and adoration ; 
— as if a feeble creature could share with the only God and 
Saviour of the world in the work of our redemption ; add- 
ing, that our reason, given us by God, teaches that there is 
fiomething self-contradictory in the title '* Mother of God," 
— implying, that the Eternal, the Creator of the Universe, 
derived his existence from the creature of a day. " It would 
be much better to call her simply ^ Mother of Jesus/ as the 
Apostles did ; and to believe the Grospel declaration, that if 
we imitate Mary in her faith, her humility, her love, and 
her obedience, Jesus Christ will sustain the same endearing 
relation to us that he does to Mary." Oubea interrupted 
me by saying, '^ It must be confessed that we are greatly 
presumptuous in oalliog Mary < Mother of God,' while the 
Gt»spel does not authorize that appellation ; I am persuaded 
we had much better call her ^ Mother of Jesus.' " As to 
the article of justification by faith, the whole body of Abys- 
sinians, without exception, content themselves with saying, 
in a very vague manner, that as works are of no avail with- 
out faith, 60 faith is of no avail without works. They be- 
lieve, that faith with baptism afiFords ample ground for iho 
justification of a man, who was not previously a ChrisUan ; 
but that God requires satisfaction for the sins committed 
after receiving this ordinance->that is, satis&ction by fitt- 
ing, alms, and other similar penances. Some among them 
believe in absolute predestination — not only of the futvve 
condition of the godly and ungodly, but also of all their ac- 
tions in this world. All are firmly persuaded that the pre- 
cise moment of the death of every individual is long since 



JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABYSSINIA. 483 

unalterablj decreed, and that there is no escaping the uni- 
versal destroyer. 

Oabea is extremely unwilling to be suspected of ever 
having resolved upon any wrong act himself, but confesses 
that his soldiers, by their mischief, occasion him much 
trouble; which he proves by the extreme severity of his 
punishments. He has caused several to be beaten in my 
presence, for having stolen wheat ; notwithstanding which, 
all the wheat of Behate is pilfered away. 

All the copies of the Gospel in Ethiopic and Amhario 
have been distributed. I have commissioned Oubea's secre- 
tary, Walda Tecla, whom I knew before, to divide the re- 
mainder of the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles among 
those who desire them. Walda Tecla has given the copy of 
the Four Gospels, which I gave him at Gondar, to Walda 
Selasse, governor of Walcart ; it is said, that he reads it day 
and night, and constantly inquires when they can have the 
rest of the New Testament in Amharic. I have not yet 
succeeded in getting an interview with him. Before part- 
ing, Oubea ordered Walda Michael to give me a good rec- 
ommendation to Guidea, master of the customs, and chief 
of the district of Halal, to conduct me safely to Massowah. 
Poor Walda Michael ! he wept when I bid him farewell ; — 
only begging me not to forget him. Oubea, at parting, sent 
me thirty talaris, to help me on my journey. Thus all the 
principal men in Abyssinia, who know me, prove themselves 
my friends. 

Dec. 3d. I left Behate to come to Halai by the same road 
we took in going. All the villages were deserted, the in* 
habitants having fled with their cattle to the mountains of 

19 



484 JOUBNAL OF A RESIDENCE IN ABTB8INIA. 

the SHohos, from fear that Ouhea's army would pass by tiiis 
road. We lodged the first night at Tohonda, (not Dohona, 
as we understood in coming,) where the three or fonr men 
whom we found there, prepared us a good supper, apologiz- 
ing for their inability to entertain us as they wished, as all 
their property is concealed in the mountains. The succeed- 
ing day brought us to Halal. 

At Halal I found five or six chiefs of the Shohos- 
Hassaorta, (Salt, Hazaorta ;) whom, on our coming, we saw 
at Massowah in chains. They recognized me immediately, 
and said one to another ; '^ This is he who gave us two dol- 
lars, when he passed through Massowah." We had giren 
them this to procure necessary food. One cannot go from 
Halal to Massowah and vice versa, without a guide of this 
tribe of Shohos ; to whom, \vhen going, a recommendation 
from the Nalb of Massowah is required, and, when return- 
ing, from the governor of Halai. The Hassaorta Shohos 
have a dozen petty chiefs, who share in turn the privilege of 
conducting travellers ; but they arrange that, after having 
made the bargain. Their usual fee for conducting a white 
man across their territory is ten talaris ; but they readily 
consented to take me, as a countryman, for one talari and 
a half They told me that Mr. Salt gave them a hundred 
and fifty talaris for attending him from Massowah to Halal. 

I found an Armenian at Halai, who calls himself Bethle-^ 
hem, and who came from India with a Portuguese servant ; 
but he is so reserved and so incommunicative, that I could 
ascertain nothing about the intention of his journey. He 
said ho was a citizen of Tefiis in (Georgia. He speaks 
English and Arabic with considerable fluency. He had 



JOUBNAL OF A BE8IDBNCB IN ABTSBIIOA. 485 

oonaidentble tronble with the Shohos, although he had giyen 
ten talaris to his guide, and came with a caravan. They re- 
fused to let him pass unless he would give them monej ; 
but, after having been detained three days, he appriied the 
Nalb of his detention, who immediately came himself to pro* 
cure a pass for him. 

6th. I left Halal with a heavy heart, as I cast the last 
glance towards a country where I had just spent three years. 
I said to myself when passing through Halal three years 
ago, that if I might but contribute in any way to the salva- 
tion of a single sinner, I should rejoice that I had come into 
this country ; and now I feel, that were there but one indi- 
vidual remaining in Abyssinia unacquainted with Jesus, I 
could exult in devoting my life to the leading of that one to 
the Good Shepherd. As I walked along, I returned thanks 
to God for his many mercies bestowed on me in this coun- 
try ; but there rose within me a voice that could only cry, 
'^ Grace 1 grace!" 

9th. I arrived at Dohono (Arkeeko) about sunrise. My 
Hassaorta guide has conducted himself with so much pro- 
priety that I presented him with an ass, worth two or three 
talaris, with which he was perfectly satisfied. The Nalb 
received me very well ; probably much better than if we had 
given him the thousand talaris which he demanded when 
we first passed ]* but knowing that he was in the habit of 
taking mules from the Europeans as they return from Abys- 
sinia, I presented him with both of mine. He would not 
have taken them by force ; but fearing that he might do so^ 

• Mr. Rappell, on entering AbyBsinia, gave bim odo hundred and 
seventy talarifl. 



486 JOUBNAL OP A RESIDENCE IN ABTSSIHIA. 

nobody would have bought them. The Naib told me im- 
mediately on my arrival, that a boat Wt>uld leave in two or 
three days for Jedda, with the Caim-Maoam, the governor 
of Massowah. 

Dec. 10th. I arrived at Massowah, where I found Mr. 
Coffin, who handed me a very brotherly letter from Messrs. 
Jowett and Goates, of the month of June. Two years had 
elapsed since my last letter from Europe. It was truly a 
balm to my fainting spirit I 

On the night between the 12th and 13th, I embarked at 
Massowah, and on the 2d of January, 1833, 1 arrived at 
Jedda, where the good Mallem Tousouf received me with 
his accustomed hospitality. The officers of the ^ Benares" 
corvette, which I found at Jedda, manifested as much kind- 
ness towards me as if I had been a near relative. 

Feb. 6th, 1833. Captain Wihson of Bombay had the good- 
ness to take me as fkr as ^ez, in his steamboat ; and on 
the 16th of the same month, I arrived safely at Cairo. 



GENERAL REMARKS 



Off 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 



GENERAL REMARKS 



ON 



rrt 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 



Ih the preceding Journal, I have endeavored to give an aecnrate 
delineation of the various facts and events, which have fallen under 
my observation while residing in Abyssinia. I have confined my- 
self, however, more particularly to occurrences which related, either 
directly or indirectly, to the object which the English Church Mis- 
sionary Society had in view in planting a mission in the country. 
How weU I have succeeded, it does not become me to affirm ; but 
I may say, that I have uniformly aimed at candor and correctness. 
With thb purpose in view in describing transactions, or delineating 
scenes, not personally witnessed, I have endeavored to employ, as 
far as possible, the identical expressions used by those from whom 
I derived the information, always anxious to keep at a distance from 
certain errors which I think I have sometimes remarked in the ac- 
counts of more systematic travelers. The error of journalists to 
which I more especially refer, springs either from vanity, or a want 
of accurate research ; they keep the eye fixed upon the more elevated 
and splendid points, while the low level of common transactions is 
suffered to pass unheeded; thus recording those incidents only 
which but seldom occur ; and this is done in such a way as to con- 
vey the impression that they are ordinary events. The consequence 
is, they make out a bundle of marvels which strike the European 
reader with admiration and surprise. Thus, also, it not unfre- 
quently occurs, that in order to maintain a system of investigating 
and recording facts, — a system perhaps too hastily adopted^ — they 



440 GENERAL BEM ABK8 ON 

are ixiaenaibly led into an error, from whose toils they are aekkxn 
able to extricate themselves, in attempting to communicate, in the 
form of a journal, their observations to others. A two-fold fiiult is 
the inevitable result ; first, they exaggerate objects and scenes, and 
secondly, speak too positively on points about which it would be 
wiser to suspend the judgment 

I shall, perhaps, be censured by some, as having manifested too 
much partiality for my friends, especially in what I have related 
concerning the various successes and reverses of the civil war. 
But the prevailing vices of the people are such, that it was almost 
impossible to avoid the imputation. It is peculiar to the Abyssiniana, 
even without saying anything decidedly untrue, to convey wrong 
impressions ; misrepresenting actions and events, and distorting or 
coloring characters too deeply. When speaking of a friend, they 
carefully veil his imperfections, but tinge his excellencies with the 
brightest hues. When an enemy is the subject of remark, they 
take special care to shade his virtues, but bring out the defects of 
his character in bold relief. It is consequently almost impossible 
to obtain any very satisfactory information with reference to the 
achievements or personal qualities of others, whether derived from 
friend or foe. I have been at considerable pains to collate and 
weigh the faults and virtues of the different individuals who are at 
the present time conspicuous in Abyssinia, and I have come to the 
conclusion, that all with whom I have become acquainted, with the 
exception of Sebagadis, who must undoubtedly receive the palm of 
moral excellence, and Mariam, whom I am disposed to rank with 
the most depraved and vicious of his countrymen, may be arranged 
on the same level. Oubea is perhaps rather more intelligent, and 
possessed of finer intellectual capacities than the others ; but as to 
moral qualities, they all manifest about an equal mixture of good 
and evil. 

OtherB,*I am aware, may complain of the repetitions with which 
my Journal abounds. But in justification of these, I will say, that I 
have made them with the best intentions ; wishing to give a gen- 
eral idea of the difficulties and perplexities that a missionary must 
encounter when compelled, perhaps every successive day, to repeat 
over the same truths, and substantiate them by the same reasonings, 
which, though apparently unavailing, cannot, in consistency with 
his duty, be altogether dispensed with. I also flatter myself, tliat I 



THB PftESBNT STATE OF ABTB8INIA. 441 

have thna indirectiy given a sufficiently accurate description of the 
character, which should be possessed by a missionary to Abys- 
sinia; the principal trait of which should be untiring aetrnty^ 
coupled with untiring patience. 

Most of the observations I have made in my travels, especially 
those of the greatest importance, will be found in my Journal. But 
I have thought it might be for the gratification of the reader, to 
present him with a cursory sketch of the present condition of 
Abyssinia, slightly touching upon their religious rites and military 
affairs, their social customs and their laws. 



POLITICAL, CIVIL, AND MILITARY AFFAIRS. 

The supreme judicial and executive power, including both the 
administration of the civil law, and military offices, are intimately 
connected in Abyssinia, being deposited in the hands of a single ioh 
dividual ; for all the governors are both civil judges and military 
chieftains. The govemora of the independent provinces are entirely 
uncontrolled in their official movements, obeying only the sugges- 
tions of their own caprice. Civil affaire, consequently, hang in a 
very loose and fluctuating state, and one cannot expect to find any 
setded or uniform system of political administration in the country. 
The Rases are free to bestow the govenmient of their various sub- 
ordinate districts on whom they please, and again, whenever fickle 
fancy dictates, to take away the power they have delegated ; al- 
though they generally find it for their interest to adopt the heredi- 
tary system, in conferring the government of their numerous depen- 
dencies. It is left to their option either to choose counsellors to 
advise with them in the affiiirs of state, or, without reference to 
others, to manage according to their own discretion. They usually 
declare war without consultation with any one ; but when they 
approach the encampment, or the hostile array, of their enemies, it 
is customary to obtain the opinions of their officera with reference 
to the mode of commencing the attack, or directing the defence. 

Sometimes, they call together all their counsellors in solemn 
assembly, to hear the various opinions which they may please to 
pfier; on other occasions, they ask their opinions separately, that, 
with mare apparent propriety, they may reserve to themaelfas tfap 

19» 



44S GBNEEAL RSMABK0 ON 



privilege of daeidiiif according to their own inclination. This kM 
method is nsoaliy employed by Oubea ; probably, becaoae his ahaip- 
aigfated sagacity has led him to observe that the enmities of hia 
countrymen are much stronger than their friendships ; and that not 
nnfrequently an officer makes it his doty, rather to oppose the posi- 
tion of his rival, than calmly and impartially to consider the interest 
of his chief. 

There is no uniform mode of punishing rebellions officers. 
Whenever the governors apprehend their subordinates in power 
who have proved themselves delinquent in duty, they chastise them, 
each in his own way. Oubea usually amputates one arm and a 
leg ; Sebagadis sometimes took their lives, and at others threw them 
into prison. Googsa, on the contrary, generously offered them one 
of his daughters in marriage, together with the government of one 
of his dependent districts, which they were ambitious of obtaining. 

The Abyssinian chiefs, with the exception of Sebagadis, who 
seems not to have known how to take hold of the subject, have 
never thought of engaging in any measures of intellectual and 
moral improvement, or social melioration among their people. The 
absorbing object of their lives, apparently, is to increase thar own 
power and emolument, while other matters of more importance, 
such as the happiness and prosperity of their subjects, the educa- 
tion of their children, and the destiny, for good or for evil, which 
may await them down the voyage of life, occupies but little of their 
attention. When, however, they find themselves approaching the 
termination of life, they commonly put forth a dying efibrt in favor 
of the son of their favorite wife, and endeavor to transmit to him tho 
power and privileges which they themselves have enjoyed. But it 
often happens, that this chosen son, younger and less courageous 
than his brothers, is incompetent either to maintain hia dignity or 
defend his rights. 

The administration of law in Abyssinia is extremely simple. 
There is no legalized order of advocates, whose appropriate business 
it is to plead civil causes. When one has a subject of complaint 
against another, he rises before day, and places himself in front of 
the house of the governor of his district, and there continues his 
cries until his excellency is made to hear the representation of his 
wrongs. The accused is then sent fgr, who has the right of plead- 
iqg his datooe in person. The governor, now assuming the judge, 



THE PBEBENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 44S 

presides over the litigation. The parties reciprocally intenogaie 
and examine each other ; the judge listens to their statements and 
reasons, summons the witnesses, if there are any, and upon their 
testimony, or in default of foreign evidence, upon the oath of the 
parties, pronounces the sentence. To prevent confusion in the 
course of the trial, the judge directs the plaintiff and defendant to 
speak alternately in a regular series of charges, questions, and an* 
swers, enforcing his command by the denouncement of a pecuniary 
fine against him who interrupts the remarks of his opponent ; and 
in tliis way order in the debate is secured. Should one of the par- 
ties bring forward any very serious charge, or one which strikes his 
adversary as altogether unfounded, the other has the privilege of re- 
questing, by some sign, the liberty of replying ; and the judge grants 
him his request by imposing silence on the other. 

The inferior governors, however, are sometimes known to be se- 
duced by the glitter of a bribe. Their decisions, consequently, are 
not always reposed in with perfect confidence, and all causes, which 
involve great interests, are usually brought for a second hearing 
before the governor-general, or Dejasmat, who spares no pauia in 
investigating and ascertaining the truth. He frequently employs 
the assistance of some one who is learned in their code of civil 
laws, called FethorNegesU the origin of which they attribute to Con- 
stantino instead of Justinian ; and having ascertained the meaning 
of its rigorous statutes, pronounces punishment accordingly. But 
though the Dejasmats are subject to no higher power, and are at 
full liberty in giving their opinions on litigated questions to follow 
their private inclinations, it is said, they are far less severe in the 
administration of the laws, than were the emperors when they held 
the sceptre of authority, and the sword of justice. Under their dy- 
nasty, a thief, for instance, was flogged for the first ofience ; for the 
second, his right hand was cut off; and for the ihird, he was exe- 
cuted ; but ui the present state of executive authority, the culprit is 
castigated several times before his limbs are amputated, or his life 
forfeited. 

The lot of the murderer cannot be decided by the civil judges ; 
he is left entirely to the clemency or severity of the relations of the 
murdered man. The judges may propose a pecuniary fine instead 
of death, and exhort the relations to accede to the proposal ; bat 
they cannot compel compliance. The usual fine assessed upon the 



444 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

homicide is two hundred and fifty talaris. Wben one takes the life 
of his own kindied, be is subject to no penalty, the horror of the 
unnatural crime being regarded as sufficient to restrain from its 
comnussion. In no case, however, do the Abyssinians appear very 
strenuous to bring the delinquent to justice, never crossing the Ta- 
cazze from either side, to punish the murderer. When the rela- 
tives of the individual who has fallen by the hand of the assassin 
are not known, the priests become in some sense the avengers of 
blood ; and close the doors of Christian communion against him, 
until he shall have paid the price of his delinquency ; that is to say, 
two hundred and fifty talaris, into the coffers of the church. 

Formerly, all suits of great importance were brought before the 
emperor, who presided over the trial in concert with twelve LeecsJ^ 
This court alone had the right to decide in all criminal matters. At 
present, however, they retain but little of their former power, ex- 
cepting tho title and the privilege of judging in certain specified 
cases, and these only at Gondar. 

In the time of Bruce, the emperors enjoyed a small measure of 
authority, and even as late as the visit of Salt, they continued to 
maintain some appearance of imperial dignity ; but since the death 
of Googsa, which occurred about ten years ago, they have been 
stripped of every appendage of royalty except the name ; and long 
ere this, would have been rifled of this renmining shadow, had not 
the governors felt the necessity of suffering them to retain it, in 
order to pave tho way for their assuming the office of Ras, which 
can be legally done only by placing a new king on the throne. 

Gooaloo was the reigning prince of the country in the time of 
Salt. After a reign of seventeen years, he resigned his dominions 
to Joas, wbo continued to guide the wheels of government for the 
four following years. The Dejasmat of Samen, Heila Mariam, then 
succeeded in placing Beda Mariam on the throne ; but in three or 
four days his fortune changed, and Guigar assumed the crown, and 
bore, for tlie eight succeeding years, the title of emperor. But after 
the death of Mariam, Guigar was hurled from his throne, and an- 
other Joas was clothed with regal power. He was permitted, how- 
ever, to enjoy his supremacy but a single year, at the expiration of 

* Leees, In the pinral LsKooumte, means literally learned or great. The Leeci 
oomposed a kind of ministry. They were chosen and dismissed by the einperor» 
wbo, in tonii could coodemn no ono lo death without their eoneent. 



THE PRESENT STATE OP ABYSSINIA. 445 

which, he was compelied to yield it to Guebra Christos, who, if we 
may believe report, was destroyed by poison given him by the in- 
strumentality of the aged king, Guigar. 

The imprisonment of the male members of the royal family, a de- 
tailed account of which has been given by Bruce, is a measure of 
security not at present regarded as necessary. Members of this 
family are everywhere dispersed throughout the different provinces, 
and are sustained in part by the liberal presents received from the 
higher orders, and in part by the fruits of their own prudence and 
toil. They are generally the favorites of the people, and live pleas- 
antly amon^ them ; but although they are so much beloved, there 
are seldom any popular combinations in their favor. Most of the 
inhabitants are so degraded in their characters, so crushed in their 
circumstances, that they seem incapable of forming any very ex- 
pansive ideas of liberty ; and the only desire which they cherish in 
regard to the future condition of the government, is, to see the royal 
family restored to the peaceful possession of their throne, and all 
Abyssinia rejoicing in its light. 

The most celebrated of those who have exercised the office of 
Ras in the interior since the time of Salt, are the Ras Googsa, who 
was distinguished for his justice and peaceable disposition, and his 
three sons; Eeman, beloved like his father by the whole nation, and 
who administered the government for three years ; Mariam, who 
governed for the same length of time, but, with the exception of the 
army, was universally detested ; and Dori, whose career was short, 
wearing the robes of office but three montlis. The grandson of 
Googsa, by a daughter, enjoys, at the present time, the title and 
dignity of Ras Ali, and governs the country to the general satisfac- 
tion of the people. The Dejasmat Maroo, son-in-law to Googsa, 
administered, for some time, the government of the three provinces, 
Dembea, Kouara, and Agow, with mingled justice and cruelty ; but 
his only son, since his decease, has not been able to succeed to the 
office of his father, because the Rases of the family of Googsa had 
previously ceded the governments of Dembea and Kouara to their 
nephew, the Dejasmat Comfou, whom I had the happiness of seeing 
at Grondar. 

Ras Gabriel was governing the mountainous district of Samen in 
the time of Salt. His son and successor. Hula Mariam, is still re- 
membered and deeply lamented throaghout Abysshua, especially by 



446 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

those who enjoyed the benign influences of his govenunent Neuly 
seven years have now elapsed since his death, and his son Onbea 
has succeeded to the office of his father, and maintains the subjuga- 
tion of the province of Walcait, which his father had annexed to 
his dominions. 

For about forty years past, the people inhabiting the region be- 
yond the Tacazze, have been troubled with few internal broils, and 
the country has not materially suffered, excepting during the three 
years of Mariam's administration. Tigre, on the contrary, ever 
since the death of Ras Walda Selasse, which took place in 1815 ot 
1816, has presented, with the exception of seven or eight years da- 
ring the government of Sebagadis, one uninterrupted scene of con- 
flict and confusion. Such, at the present time, is the fever of ex- 
citement, the disorder and tumult raging throughout Abyssinia, that 
I doubt the possibility of any one's w^riting a correct and detailed 
history of the various commotions which the country has recently 
experienced. I can assure the reader, however, that I have per- 
sonally witnessed a great proportion of the facts recorded in my 
Journal ; and those which have been transmitted to me through the 
agency of others,! have never inserted, witliout first convincing my- 
self of their probability, and indeed of their correctness. 

The secluded vales of Shoa have never experienced those hard- 
fought strifes and bitter contentions, which have latterly embroiled 
the rest of Abyssinia. The present king, Sehla Selasse, now in the 
thirty-fourth year of his age, has already held the reins of govern- 
ment nearly eighteen years, to the universal acceptance of the peo- 
ple. The crown has descended in the line of his family for seven 
successive generations. Recently, the flame of conquest has been 
kindled in his bosom ; he has very much extended the limits of his 
kingdom, especially to the south and west. The ferocious hordes 
of Gallas, who were hovering about the borders of his dominions, 
have felt the weight of his conquering arm ; several provinces of 
these uncivilized people having submitted to his authority, most of 
which have been induced to embrace the Christianity of Abyssinia. 
But the character of this otherwise respected prince sufiers from 
the fact, that he is said to have no less than five hundred concu- 
bines, the greater part of whom are Galla slaves. 



THE PBESENT BTATE OF ABYSSINIA. 447 



RELIGIOUS CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY. 

In passing from the political state of Abyssinia, to an examination 
of the religious opinions of the inhabitants, we shall find them divi- 
ded into three grand divisions, Christians, Mohammedans, and Jews ; 
to which may be added the two peculiar people, called the Ca- 
mountes and Zaianes. 

THE CHRISTIANS. 

Although Christianity in Abyssinia has sadly fallen from the high 
eminence to which its dignified nature and glorious destiny aspire, 
some slight traces of its excellence still remain stamped on the 
character of the inhabitants ; which, notwithstanding all the deterio- 
rating circumstances that have contributed to their fall, and are still 
exerting their corrupting influence, must strongly attract our inte^ 
rested regards, and lead us to cherish them as Christian brethren, 
though as brethren who have grievously wandered from our com^ 
mon Father, and are now reaping the bitter fruits of their errors, 
in political confusion and mental degradation. We feel constrained, 
indeed, notwithstanding the mass of moral pollution now pressing 
upon the very vitals of the people, to congratulate them for that 
purifying spark of the Christian religion, which still feebly glows 
on their crumbling altars, and which, amid a variety of chilling cir- 
cumstances, has continued to gleam from their mountain-tops, as a 
beacon of happier times, and of their upward destiny ; for it is this 
alone, to which must be attributed all those honorable and praise- 
worthy traits, still adorning their characters, and rendering them so 
vastly superior to the inhabitants of the rest of the African conti- 
nent ', not excepting even the far-famed people of wretched Egypt. 

It must be considered a favorable circumstance in regard to the 
religious condition and religious prospects of the Abyssinians, that 
they have uninterruptedly enjoyed the government of Christian 
princes ; for as this is a fact which the Mohammedans themselves 
acknowledge, it is in the religious principles of the chiefs of the na- 
tion, that the germs of regeneration in this degraded country are to 
be found. The way, therefore, to elevate the moral and political 
condition of this people, is, in some respects, open. It will not be 
nacesaaiy first to disorganixe, and that demoralize, to tear down. 



448 OENBRAL RBMARKB ON 

and remove the rubbish of ages^ before erecting the temple of 
knowledge and virtae, as it has sometimes been thought wonld be 
requisite, in order to effect the moral renovation of the Turkish em- 
pire. Not that the Abyssinians are far advanced either in Cbriati* 
anity or morals ; the reverse is lamentably true. Indeed, such is 
their degeneracy, that it would be undoubtedly far easier to eradi- 
cate from their breasts every particle of religious principle, than to 
rekindle there the pure flame of Christian philanthropy ; as it is 
always far less difficult to influence man to the perpetration of vice, 
than to turn the current of his natural corruptions, and engage him 
to virtue. Nevertheless, when one feels within him the stirrings 
of that benevolent spirit, which will induce him to forsake his kin- 
dred and his home, and devote himself to the toils of resuscitating 
vital Christianity in the Abys«nian church, coupled with the con- 
viction, that it is the duty of every Christian to put forth his effiyrts 
to make known to the nations tbe glorious Gospel of Christ, he need 
not feel that the work is impossible, nor allow himself to be disheart- 
ened by the dark appearances which may sometimes lower in his 
horizon, but can only terrify the timid, or discourage the unbelieving. 

The Christians in Abyssinia are now divided into three parties ; 
and so violent are their mutual animosities, that they respectively 
imprecate the worst of evils upon their opponents, and will not, if 
possible, have anything to do with them. It is only a single subtlety 
in theology from which all this discussion flows; but I have dwelt 
BO particularly upon it in my Journal, that I deem it sufficient in this 
place barely to refer to it It relates to the endless dispute con- 
cerning the person of Jesus Christ. 

Some maintain that when the Scriptures declare that our Saviour 
was anointed with the Holy Spirit, the simple meaning is, that the 
Divinity is personally united to the humanity of Christ ; and, in all 
those passages in the Bible, where our Lord is represented as re- 
ceiving the Holy Spirit, the name Holy Spirit only signifies tbe 
Deity of Christ ; for, say they, the Saviour could have stood in no 
need of receiving what he always possessed. Their manner of ex- 
pressing themselves, is, that Jesus Christ has anointed, has been 
anointed, and is himself the unction. The supporters of this 
opinion carry on the controversy with the greatest obstinacy and 
hittemess. They are most prevalent in Tigre, where their peculiar 
tenets were espoosod and defended by the hiBt Coptic Abnna. 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 449 

Others maintain, that when it ia said our Savionr was anointed, 
it only signifies that the Holy Spirit wrought a union between the 
i>ivinity and humanity of Christ The favorers of this doctrine are 
found chiefly in the provinces of Gojam and Lasts. 

A third opinion, and one that extensively prevails throughout all 
the other provinces of Abyssinia, including even the retired kingdom 
of Shoa, is, that the man Christ Jesus, although united to the Deity 
from the moment of his immaculate conception, has received, in his 
humanity, the Holy Spirit in the same manner in which we receive 
it ; that is to say, as a gift from the Father, thus qualifying him, as 
man, to accomplish the glorious work of our redemption. Hence 
they conclude, that since Christ has received the Spirit in the same 
manner as we receive it, bis anointing may with propriety be termed 
a third birth. As a party, they profess groat liberality towards those 
who differ from them ; and I have heard since leaving Gondar, that 
several of the most learned of the sect have renounced the opinion 
that the anointing of Jesus Christ may be properly called a birth. 

It appears on examination, that all these discrepancies of opinion 
flow entirely from the different points of view, which the Abyssin- 
ians take of the question relative to the two natures of Christ ; for, 
in reality, they are all Monophysites, are all groping their way 
under the same cloud, embrace essentially the same errors, and en- 
tertain essentially the same superstitions. Their belief concerning 
the Holy Spirit accords with that entertained by most other sects 
in the Levant, maintaining that it proceeds only from the Father. 

The Abyssinians believe in infant baptism ; but they defer the 
administration of the rite to their sons, until the fortieth day afler 
their birth, and to their daughters until the eightieth, excepting in 
cases of dangerous illness. They find authority for this practice, 
as they affirm, in the mode of procedure manifested by the Creator 
towards our firat parents. They believe that Adam did not receive 
the Holy Ghost, and was not admitted into the garden of Eden till 
the fortieth day afler he had breathed the breath of life, and that 
eighty days intervened between the creation of Eve, and her enjoy- 
ment of the same privileges. But I think that the usage finds its 
origin in the Mosaic law, which declare that a woman shall be con- 
sidered unclean for forty days subsequent to the birth of a son, and 
eighty days succeeding the birth of a daughter. The Abyssinians, 
however, as they are strongly attached to the idea that infants re- 



450 6ENEBAL REMARKS ON 

oeive the Holy Spirit at the time of baptism, choose nther to refer 
to the Divine conduct towards Adam as the foundation of their 
belief, and the origin of their practice, than to the Jewish law oon> 
coming the purification of Hebrew mothers. 

They place little confidence in the ceremony of water baptism, 
unless the water contains a proportion of meromj a substance which 
ia also used on the same occasion by the Greek church. I cannot 
precisely recollect the ingredients of which it is composed; but 
what renders it peculiarly efficacious, are a few drops of the Sa- 
viour's blood, which have been miraculously preserved. The bap* 
tism of an infant forms a kind of era in its existence ; it is clothed 
in difierent attire, a ribbon of blue silk is bound about its neck, as a 
sign that it has entered the pale of the church ; and they then ad- 
minister to it the elements of the Lord's Supper. Hie priests 
usually partake of the communion eveiy day in the year ; the laity 
either on tbe sabbath, or only from time to time, as inclination dio- 
tates. The break of day is ordinarily the hour of celebrating the 
sacrament, though in the time of fast, it is common to delay till 
three o'clock in the afternoon ; and even those who are conscien- 
tious enough to abstain from food, but neglect the duty of com- 
munion, usually wait till the close of this significant ceremony, 
before they partake of their ordinary repast. 

In order to the administration of the Lord's Supper according to 
the rules of the Abyssinian church, it is necessary that five deacons 
should be present on the occasion. Besides the priests, howeveri 
there are seldom few but old men and children who are disposed to 
partake of the consecrated emblems ; thus manifesting the great 
disrespect in which the ordinance is held by those in the prime of 
life, as well as the general irregularity and carelessness with which 
it is observed. 

The service, at the celebration of the holy supper, consists in 
reading a few chapters from the Gospels, and in singing a few 
hymns in the ancient language of the country. The consecration 
of the bread and wine is called Mdatc€U^ ** a change ;" although I 
never saw any one at Gondar who professed to believe in transub- 
stantiation. But in Tigre, the doctrine is almost universally ad- 
mitted ; and when any one inquires how the wicked or unbelieving 
can receive Jesus Christ, it is replied, that he does not, that an 
angel comes and separates our Lord from the emblems at the mo- 



THE PRESENT BTATE OF ABTSSINIA. 451 

mfint they are enteriDg the mouth of the receiver; and the bread 
and wine instantly resume their simple qualities of ordinary nourish- 
ment. With respect to the preparation of the bread that is used at 
the sacramental table, they are extremely superstitious and exact ; 
no woman may touch it ; it must be made and broken alone by the 
hands of men. The wine is composed of the juice of dried grapes 
mingled with water. 

There are numerous circumstances in which one may be placed, 
and various crimes of which he may be guilty, that render him un- 
worthy, according to the rules of the church, of receiving the sac- 
ramental ordinance ; though one of the most prevalent grounds of 
unworthiness U the want of connubial fidelity. 

The marriage ceremony is exceedingly simple. The parties 
betrothed, after having given and received mutual pledges, prepare 
a sumptuous banquet, and invite a number of friends and relatives, 
together with a priest, to partake of their hospitality. When the 
repast is over, the plighted pair present themselves before the priest, 
and he receives their reciprocal promise of constancy and afiection ; 
after which he wishes them prosperity and happiness in the connu- 
bial relation, and the marriage ceremony is closed. But this knot 
is as easily untied as tied. Whenever either the husband or wife 
becomes dissatisfied with the other, they both present themselves 
before a priest or judge, and mutually repudiate each other. If 
they have several children, they are shared between them ; but if 
they have but one, it belongs to the mother when under seven years 
of age ; if farther advanced, it is claimed by the father. This licen- 
tiousness of conduct, however, is not left entirely without curb or 
restraint. After a third divorce, the Abyssinians can neither con- 
tract a regular marriage, nor are they allowed to partake of the 
symbols of the sacramental supper, unless they consent to embrace 
the life, and perform the duties of monks. When, therefore, a man 
has divorced his third wife, and afterwards becomes desirous of 
leading a more virtuous and regular life, for the sake of participa- 
ting in the privileges of the holy communion, he consummates, if 
possible, a reconciliation with some one of his former wives ; and 
thus it not unfrequently occurs, that after having been separated for 
more than twenty years, and both parties having been joined in the 
marriage covenant with two other individuals, the first pair reunite 
their destiny, and live together for the remnant of their days. 



468 GENERAL RBMARK0 ON 

When the Abysainian perceives his end approaching, he eaaily 
makes np his account for an irreligious life ; nothing more being 
required than to call a priest of the church, who listens to his con- 
fession, and grants him absolution. Numbers have told me, and 
even priests themselves, that they had been guilty of the most fla- 
gmnt vices, though they had never confessed them, from fear of the 
penance which they knew would be imposed upon them ; and had 
therefore reserved the confession of such heaven-daring crimes for 
the final hour. The priest never refuses to the dying the privileges 
of full absolution ; and should the latter be desirous of engaging 
some one to observe a fast in his behalf, and offer money as com^ 
pensation for the task, the priest readily accepts the profl^red re- 
ward, and promises to carry into effect, either in person, or by the 
agency of others, the wishes of the dying man. Hence the priest 
frequently imposes a fast on the whole family of the deceased ; and 
I have been personally acquainted with a young woman, whom the 
priest had required to fast for seven successive years, merely be- 
cause her father had died suddenly without confessing his sins ; and, 
for two years, she had continued to observe the rigorous injunction. 

As soon as the Abyssinian breathes his last, he is interred. The 
priests accompany the procession to the grave, to offer prayers and 
pronounce absolution, the number of whom is alwajrs in proportion 
to the wealth of the deceased ; though they often perform the duty, 
without expecting to receive any farther compensation than the lux- 
ury of feasting to satiety. Sumptuous feasts being usually prepared 
on funeral occasions, the father-confessor to the deceased oalculatea 
largely upon the table of the widow. Even for some time after the 
occurrence, the relatives continue to keep an exact account of the 
days as they pass, and, at certain intervals, prepare banquets, and 
invite the priests to eat and drink, to repeat psalms and to pronoimce 
absolution again over the departed. On all such occasions, it ia 
common for one or more oxen to be slain, according to the fortune 
of the mourning friends ; it being a kind of religious sacrifice. 

The Abyssinians do not believe in a separate purgatory, thougii 
they generally maintain that almost all go directly to hell at the 
moment of death ; and that the archangel Michael descends from 
time to time to the place of torments, to unlock the chains of the 
lost, and Introduce them to the blessedness of Paradise. Some are 
delivered for the good worics which they performed on earth ; othen 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 458 

on account of the prayeis and meritorious efforts of surviving 
friends, or the prevailing intercessions of priests. They are in the 
habit of reciting numerous fables in confirmation of their super- 
stitious notion. The most common is the story of a man, whose 
sojourn on earth had been a scene of almost uninterrupted violence 
and crime, but who had perseveringly observed the stated fasts of 
Wednesdays and Fridays. He at length closed his iniquitous ca^ 
reer, and immediately descended to the prison of woe. But he was 
not left to traverse this dark abode in total obscurity. Two brilliant 
lights attended him, floating on either side wherever he went, and, 
by their assistance, he -was enabled eventually to reach the gate 
separating these fearful regions from the abodes of the blest Here 
the archangel Michael speedily met him, and introduced him to the 
golden fields of Paradise, informing him that the two lights which 
had been his unfailing attendants in the world of darkness, were 
the fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays, of which, while an inhabitant 
of earth, he had been a constant and scrupulous observer. 

The Abyssinians regard fasting as the essence of religion. 
Their fasts are therefore numerous, long, and rigorous. The num- 
ber of days consecrated to this object is equivalent to nine months 
of the year ; though there are comparatively few monks, so uni- 
formly exact in their conduct, or so devoted in their feeliugs, as to 
observe them all. There are some however, such as the protracted 
fast of fifty-six days preceding Easter, the one of sixteen days, cele- 
brated in the month of August, in commemoration of the apparent 
death and ascension of the Virgin Mary, and the regular fasts of 
Wednesdays and Fridays, that are regarded as indispensable. The 
fast of forty days immediately preceding Christmas, is likewise gen- 
erally observed in the interior of the country, though but rarely in 
the province of Tigre. Besides all these, there is scarcely a con- 
fession made, which the priest does not require to be followed by a 
fast more or less protracted, although the privilege of neglecting it 
may be easily purchased with money. I became acquainted with a 
roan, who, after having committed some flagrant crime, had re- 
tired to the monastery of Waldeba, as a place of security from the 
arm of the civil law. The priests of the institution imposed upon 
Mm a fast of a year's continuance, with the additional requisition of 
repeating the whole of the Psalms two hundred times during the 
.^ame period. Our delinquent, however, felt little inclined to under- 



454 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

go the privEtions necessarily attending the rigors of so long a fiurt, 
and therefore proposed to purchase his freedom from the impositioo, 
by the payment of a suitable compensation ; a proposal which was 
readily accepted. But as the man did not choose to pay the price 
of his acquittal without receiving any benefit in return, the priests 
procured fifty boys to perform the duties of fiisting, and repeating 
the Psalms the requisite number of times in his presence. The 
more intelligent and better disposed portions of society, however, 
severely censure the priests for such iniquitous proceedings. 

The fast of the Abyssinians consists in abstaining from every 
species of animal food, with the exception of fish ; and in taking no 
kind of beverage, not even water, till three o'clock in the afternoon, 
save on Saturdays and Sundays, when they are allowed to eat and 
drink after eight o'clock in the morning. 

The ordination of a priest Is a very trifling matter. He is con- 
sidered as amply qualified for the duties of the sacred office, if he 
has acquired a knowledge of the alphabet, and can repeat a few 
prayers ; and is supposed to have done all that is required of him, 
when he has paid to the interpreter of the Abuna, or Coptic bishop, 
two pieces of salt to procure the imposition of hands. This com- 
prises the whole ceremony ; it is neither preceded by any examina- 
tion of the character or motives of the applicant, nor followed by 
any exhortation to correct deportment or Christian feeling. The 
better informed part of the Abyssinians, therefore, consider it dis- 
graceful to officiate in the capacity of a priest, and consequently 
have no disposition to be thus employed. There are, indeed, excep- 
tions to this remark ; I only speak of the predominant feeling. 

Various charges have been preferred against the character of 
Kerglos, the last Coptic bishop. The reports of his friends and 
enemies are extremely contradictory ; and such is the discrepancy 
between them, that it is utterly impossible to arrive at any degree 
of certainty concerning the real extent and precise nature of his 
delinquency. All that can be relied on, is, that he murdered one of 
his slaves with a blow of his cane, which he inflicted as a chastise- 
ment for a slight ofience. Perhaps it is owing to his misconduct, 
that there has been no Abuna in the country for nearly three years. 

The priests are allowed to marry previous to receiving the rite of 
ordination; subsequent to that transaction, they are forbidden to 
form any mattimonial engagement Should a priest, however, even 



THE PRESENT STATE 07 ABYSSINIA. 455 

in face of his consecration vows, enter the married state, all the 
punishment to which he would be exposed, would be some slight 
reprimand, or trifling mark of disgrace from his superior, accompa- 
nied perhaps with a prohibition longer to perform the duties of his 
sacred office. The officiating deacons generally are mere children, 
or very young men, because the Abyssinians, as they grow in years, 
plunge into all those irregularities of conduct, which render them 
unworthy the office. There is no public preaching of the Gospel 
in the churches of Abyssinia. 

Numerous customs and ceremonies belonging to the Jewish ritual 
are still preserved in Abyssinia. The rite of circumcision is almost 
universally practised upon both sexes. The operation is usually 
performed during the first week after birth, though some parents do 
not circumcise their sons at all. The Abyssinians may be said to 
abstain generally from every kind of food prohibited in the Mosaic 
law, though some make use of the wild boar as an article of diet, 
pretending that it possesses certain medicinal qualities. 

The rite of sacrifice is also common in Abyssinia. One of these 
ceremonies, which is considered propitiatory, is called Beza, or Re- 
demption. It is particularly appropriated to the benefit of the sick. 
It consists in causing an animal, designed to represent the diseased 
individual, to make several turns around the bed of the sufferer, and 
afterwards taking its life. Sometimes they take an eggy and after 
turning it three times aroand the head of the patient, break it before 
his bed. 

All the churches in Abyssinia are furnished with a kind of ark or 
chest, for which the people entertain the highest veneration. In- 
deed, they literally adore it ; and it is its presence that constitutes 
the peculiar sanctity, which, in the view of these superstitious wor- 
shippers, always encompasses their sacred edifices, and inspires 
within them that deep feeling of solemnity and awe, which induces 
them to cry out like the Jews of old, *' The Temple of the Lord ! 
The Temple of the Lord ! The Temple of the Lord are these !" 

When they are interrogated respecting circumcision and fast, 
they usually reply in regard to the first, that they consider it barely 
a matter of ceremony ; and that with respect to the last, they abstain 
from the different kinds of food forbidden in the Mosaic law, simply 
because they have no relish for them. But I have frequently ob* 
served, that when attacked on these and kindred points in their i^ 



456 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

ligioufl Bystem, they defend them with a warmth which indicates 
that they regard them as matters of vital importance ; and a priest 
seldom fails to impose a fast or penance on any individual, who may 
have the temerity to partake of the flesh of the wild hoar or hare, 
even under the pretext of disease. 

The spirit of idolatry, which at all times, and in all places, is con- 
genial to the heart of the natural man, has made but too much prog^ 
ress among the Abyssinians. It is true, they endeavor to prove, by 
a thousand subtle and sophistical arguments, that they neither rev- 
erence nor adore the images themselves, that they only intend to 
honor the saint, on whose image their eyes are, for the time, fixed ; 
and that the honor thus paid is nothing more than a mere natural 
mode of doing service or homage to God. They readily acknowl- 
edge, however, that the more degraded and less intelligent classes 
of community are liable, and, indeed, often do actually render their 
adoration to the images themselves ; but I never found one who 
was willing to acknowledge himself an idolater. They believe that 
each saint has a peculiar sphere of action appropriated to himself, 
in which he is delegated to render assistance to his earthly votaries. 
Consequently, they do not universally offer their orisons to a partic- 
ular patron ; but, guided by the time and occasion, always select 
those who are capable of rendering them that assistance, which, at 
the peculiar juncture, they are desirous of obtaining. They affinn, 
however, in common with the Papists, that it is not of the saints 
that they supplicate assistance ; they only entreat them to act as 
intercessors between themselves and an offended Deity. 

I never understood, in its full extent, the moral influence which 
this kind of idolatry necessarily exerts upon the tastes and feelings 
of its votaries, till I witnessed its baneful effects in this unhappy 
country. For instance, the man who selects St. Michael, or St. 
George, for his particular patron, constantly seeing them repre- 
sented, the one with his sword, and the other upon his war-horse, 
armed cap-a-pie, and fully prepared to execute the vengeance of 
heaven, can scarcely fail of cultivating a warlike and vindictive 
temper ; and if a woman makes the like selection, she is liable to 
become the special admirer of the soldier's life, and the soldier's 
spirit. While the man of a libidinous temperament and groveling 
feelings, almost universally will choose the Virgin Mary as the pai^ 
ticular object of his adorations, because she is always represented 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 467 

under the fonn of a blooming girl, an image every way fitted to 
aroose the baser passions of his nature. 

Idolatry, indeed, saps the very foundation of all true morality. It 
has often struck me that an Abyssinian appears far more troubled 
at the thought of offending one of the canonical saints, than of in- 
curring the wrath of the infinite Jehovah. I have sometimes ob- 
served one making reiterated requests of a friend or neighbor, and 
entreating him in the name of God to bestow upon him some favor, 
or render him some service, without the least efiect. But as soon 
as he began to press his suit in the name of a departed saint, the 
person addressed would immediately reply, and frequently with an 
indignant flush upon his cheek, that of course he must now grant 
the favor sought, as he dared not refuse, lest he should incur the 
vengeance of the saint, in whose name the request had been pre- 
ferred. Thus at the monastery of Debra Damot, one can seldom 
obtain a favor from the monks, without presenting his petitions in 
the name of Abuna Aragowi, the patron of the house. Clouds of 
thick darkness are, indeed, everywhere settled down over this be- 
nighted country. I have oflen heard the more besotted and less 
educated classes call St. Michael, God, and the Virgin Mary, Crea- 
tress of the world. But such gross instances of error are rare. 

After surveying this dark picture of errors and superstitions, now 
extensively prevalent and deeply rooted in the Abyssinian church, 
it is reasonable to conclude, (as indeed my own experience has con- 
vinced me,) that her. adherents have no correct ideas of the funda- 
mental and saving doctrines of the Gospel — ^those doctrines so 
essential to be interwoven in every system of religious belief ;— such 
as the justification of the sinner by faith alone — ^the work of divine 
grace on the heart — ^the re-creating and sanctifying influences of 
the Holy Spirit, as exerted on the dispositions and afi^ections of 
God's children — and other kindred doctrines of the cross. But 
errors in principle will not long remain concealed beneath the 
ground ; they are secret fountains of moral activity, which will fer- 
ment and swell, and sooner or later break forth, and run through 
every channel of life. Thus we find the erroneous principles, so 
rife in Abyssinia, are strongly reflected in the customs of the people, 
as well as in the extreme corruptions of their morals. 

20 



458 GENERAL BEMARKS ON 

MORALS. 

This amazing ignorance concerning the fundamental truths of 
religion is not, however, the only source of degeneracy in morals 
and nuuiners, so chilling to behold, and so widely spread throughout 
Abyssinia. The ordinary mode of life which characterizes this 
unsettled people is another deep source of moral putrefaction. 
Even the princes, or subordinate governors, seem to delight in roam- 
ing over their respective dominions; never remaining long in one 
place, not even in a time of the profoundest peace. They some- 
times dwell in one extremity of the province over which they pre- 
side, and sometimes in the other ; now here, and now there, as 
fancy or circumstances prescribe, always surrounded by a numerous 
train of officers and attendants. They commonly compel their 
wives to renuiin in the houses originally assigned the mon assum- 
ing the marriage relation; and finding themselves lonely and 
unhappy while thus separated from their companions, not unfre- 
quently plunge into the crime of concubinage. At first, they con- 
tent themselves with a single concubine ; but when tlie first step 
has been taken in the downward way, becoming emboldened in sin, 
they soon select others, yielding themselves up to the dictates <^ 
ungovemed passions ; and thus blunting the edge of all those tender 
sentiments and sympathizing feelings, which powerfully strengthen 
the bonds, and add a charm to the duties of wedded life. Their 
officers and attendants are oflen in the same situation, and eagerly 
copy the criminal example of their superiors. In this manner, a 
great number of women are oflen found attached to a single indi- 
vidual, for whom he cherishes none of those kind sympathies or 
grateful afiections, which cement, and render sacred, the matriirao- 
nial union, and consequently, at the slightest bidding of caprice, he 
is disposed to sever the feeble ties which bound them together. 
These forsaken females, chagrined, perhaps, by disappointment, and 
soured by ill-treatment, seek their revenge in ensnaiing the youth 
of the nation in the toils of vice ; and thus corruption pours its de- 
structive virus through every vein of society. 

I have been informed, that beyond the Tacazze, there are but 
few couples who have lived together a dozen years, without viola- 
ting their marriage vows. But this deadly pollution is chiefly con- 
cealed behind the scene ; in the presence of others, they evince ft 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 469 

conaiderable share of modesty and propriety of deportment ; far 
more than one would expect afler reading Mr. Bruce's description 
of an Abyssinian festival. I cannot, however, avoid feeling some 
degree of uncertainty concerning the accuracy of this account. I 
can easily believe, indeed, that such a repast might have taken 
place in a company of shameless libertines ; though I am confident 
one will seldom meet in Abyssinia, with parallel excesses of inde- 
cency and cruelty. 

I have sometimes overheard conversations of a very improper 
and, indeed, debasing character; but I have never witnessed so 
much lewdness, or indecency of conduct in the capital of Abyssinia, 
as is sometimes witnessed in those of Egypt, France, or England. 
I do not say this with a view of justifying the Abyssinians ; I 
mean simply to affirm, that looking merely on the face of society, 
without attempting to search out the haunts of vice, one will not 
be particularly struck with the licentiousness of Abyssinia, as con- 
trasted with that exhibited in the different countries of Europe. In 
the province of Tigre, with the exception of the cities of Adowah 
and Antalo, the females are much more reserved in their deport- 
ment, and retiring in their habits, than in the interior sections of the 
country. The consequences of this vice are far-spreading and de- 
plorable. Idleness, with its uniform attendants, poverty and a dis- 
position to live in respectability without effort or forethought, on the 
resources of others, almost inevitably follow in its train. It has thus 
wrought in Abyssinia, and besides working out this train of evils, 
it has penetrated every pore of society, and given birth to envy and 
hatred, cunning and falsehood. Indeed, the Abyssinians, as a peo* 
pie, are no less addicted to deceit and lying than the Arabs, though 
when detected, they manifest a feeling of shame, which the latter 
never appear to experience. 

Another train of vices which may be regarded as resulting from 
conjugal impurity and illicit connections, (for thus I name the polyg- 
amy of the Abyssinians, because they very well know the practice 
is unlawful,) flows from the fact, that children having the same 
father, but a different mother, are almost universally so utterly at 
variance among themselves, that they ca;mot peaceably endure the 
company, or even the sight of each other. They are also destitute 
of all sentiments of filial affection for their father, who, in turn, 
Boema equally estranged from his offspring, apparently cherishing 



460 GENERAL EEMARKS ON 

for them none of those kind feelings and parental attachments, 
which nature dictates, unless wo except, perhaps, for the children 
of his favorite wife. This picture is, indeed, sufficiently dark ; I will 
not, therefore, deepen the shades by speaking of the jealousiesy 
heart-burnings, and all the bitter consequences occasioned by this 
polluting practice of violating connubial ties, except barely m»i* 
tioning that the adulterer not unfiequently becomes the slau^tered 
victim of the enraged man he has injured. This looseness and 
irregularity of conduct between the sexes is observable in every 
period of life ; one can scarcely say, that the Abyssinians are ever 
constant, save in their course of coutinued inconstancy. It must 
be said, however, in favor of the children, and those in the eariy 
stage of youth, that they are less remarkable for levity of conduct 
and frivolity of character, than those of Similar ages in other coun- 
tries. 

But it is useless to enumerate the vices and crimes, which so 
deeply shade the character of the Abyssinians ; if they are more 
immoral, if they are guilty of grosser sins than Europeans, it most 
be attributed in a great measure to the circumstances in which they 
are placed ; especially to the thick veil of ignorance which is brood- 
ing over them. Let it be remembered, that the heart of the natural 
man is the same in every age and in every country ; '' it is enmity 
against God ; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed 
can be." 

It gives me pleasure to say, however, that the Abyssinians evince 
some very estimable traits of character, and those too which are 
rarely found even in Christian countries ; but they are few in num- 
ber, and sparkle only here and there like glittering pearls, amid tiie 
moral ruins, spreading wide around them. The traveler, for instance, 
will seldom have occasion to seek a house of entertainment, where 
he can rest for the night When he arrives at a village near night- 
fall, the first individual he meets will usually bid him welccmie, and 
press him to take lodgings at his house. Here he will find himself 
perfectly at ease, and enjoying all the privileges of home, confident 
that his host will not touch an article in his portmanteau, though 
he knows it laden with gold. Nor is the traveler, in turn, inclined 
to trouble or incommode his host, uniformly making use of his own 
provision, unless pressed to participate in the bounties of the family 
which entertains him. I do not, however, here speak of the vil- 



THE PRESENT BTATE OF ABYSSINIA. 461 

lages on the routes frequently tiaveraed by caravans ; for they soon 
lose their cordiality for the stranger, and learn to put on an appear^ 
ance of coldness and reserve. 

Formeriy, the Abyssinians highly respected, and were quite at- 
tached to white men residing among them; and the same sentiments 
are still cherished in the interior districts. But in the province of 
Tigre, they are generally despised ; at least, the people manifest 
very little respect for them, unless they imagine they may, by some 
means, be made instrumental in promoting their pleasure or advan- 
tage. This arises from the fact, that having become more or less 
acquainted with Europeans, they have enjoyed too many occasions 
of understanding their real character, and of observing that they are 
not superior to themselves In moral ezcelleoce, especially when 
surrounded by similar influences. I have never failed, however, 
even in Tigre, of securing suitable accommodations in any place 
where night overtook me ; and often the people of the village where 
we stopped have shared with me and my attendants the very best 
of their provisions. 

I have elsewhere observed that the Abyssinians are peculiarly 
addicted to thieving. This however is not strictly true, except in 
times of anarchy and general insubordination, when every provin- 
cial governor not only aspires to independence, but also to sway do- 
minion over the neighboring chiefs. But to accomplish this, funds 
must be raised ; and these can be obtained, only by giving full 
liberty to his subjects to plunder the wayfarer and stranger, and, if 
possible, extend their depredations into adjacent districts. This kind 
of pillage they regard as a right of war ; and in this sense, almost 
all the people of the countiy may be called robbers ; but when a 
governor or Dejasmat stands at the head of affairs, and the functions 
of the government are in a healthy state, such irregular proceedings 
are unknown. 

Many, indeed, seem disposed to overreach in aflfairs of trade ; 
though in consequence of the severe laws which have been enacted 
concerning theft, and the general voice of ignominy which public 
opinion has raised against it, very few oiTences of the kind are 
Imown ; and when they do occur, it is ordinarily very easy to dis- 
cover the pilfered articles. At one time, for instance, when I waa 
in the camp of Walda Michael, complaint was made that property 
had been stolen, though it was not known by whom the crime had 



403- OBNERAL REMARKS ON 

been comm^tod. A priest was instantly summoned to 
the thief; bat in about fifteen minntes after the order was issued, 
the culprit, without making himself known, restored the rifled pn^ 
eity. In this manner, almost all cases of theft may be easily de- 
tected, and the purloined goods recovered. But in case the prop- 
erty is returned, no effort is made to detect the pilferer, lest the 
dread of punishment would countertxilance the fear of the anathe- 
ma, and the menace of the church thus be rendered nugatory. 

Servants are generally more faithful in this country than in 
Europe. A man-servant, although a robber by profession, is sel- 
dom found guilty of purloining from the house in which he is em- 
. ployed ; and in the very rare instances in which such unfaithfulness 
does occur, the delinquent contrives to escape forever from the 
presence of his master. The female servants, however, are some- 
times known to pilfer articles of food which lie in their way. But 
great pains are taken to prevent this vice ; no crime indeed among 
the children is punished so severely as that of theft. I have known 
a mother, of mild and affectionate disposition, who was ordinarily 
very gentle in correction, and possessed of puch quick and tender 
sensibilities that she would not willingly see the vilest insect 
crushed, — such a mother I have known to bum almost to a crisp 
the skin on both the hands, and even the lips of her daughter only 
nine years of age, because she had secretly dipped her fingers into 
a pot of honey. 

Though I have heard of some acts of cruelty, the Abyssinians 
cannot be regarded as a cruel people, especially in the interior of 
the country. Even during tlie ravages of war, they are rarely dis- 
posed to slay an enemy, when he can be taken prisoner ; and when 
they see the scale of victory rising in their favor, they are far more 
inclined to spare their foes who are still defending themselves with 
resolution and bravery, than to wreak their vengeance in unmerci- 
ful butohery. They sometimes, however, manifest a savage dis- 
position towards the wounded of the opposing party, not nnfre- 
quently leaving them miserably to languish and perish alone, with 
no one to* commiserate or soothe them in the expiring conflict, when, 
with a little care, their lives might be saved. It is even said, that 
when their wounded prisoners, weakened by tlie loss of blood, and 
exhausted by suffering, feel unable longer to prolong their march, 
the brutal soldiery sometimes mutilate still more their already 



• THE PRESENT BTATE OF ABYSSINIA. 463 

mangled limbs, to hasten their death. Bat such a procedure mast 
be considered .an exception to the common usage ; for most with 
whom I became acquainted, and to whom I mentioned the subject, 
evinced the strongest detestation of such barbarous condact. 

In the treatment of their domestic animals, they are not generally 
unkind, and I can scarcely persuade myself that the account of Mr. 
Bruce concerning their cruelty towards them is correct When- 
ever I have inquired whether it now is, or ever was, their custom 
to cut pieces of flesh from the bodies of living animals for the pur- 
poses of food, they have uniformly expressed the utmost horror and 
disgust at the suggestion. But as I am not an entire stranger to 
the gloomy forebodings and actual sufferings which cluster around 
the idea of famine, I can believe it possible for one to do all that 
imagination can conceive, or ingenuity devise, to procure that 
nourishment which the necessities of nature demand. If, however, 
such instances of cruelty as Mr. Bruce has related, ever did take 
place, they must be looked upon in the light of exceptions ; as much 
ao, indeed, as if they had occurred in any part of Europe. But 
whether this account be true or false, I know they are careful to 
inculcate upon the minds of the young, sentiments of benevolence 
towards brutes, quite the reverse of tiiis. I have seen fathers and 
mothers punish their children with severity, merely for plucking 
fd^thers from a living fowl which they were about to kill. 

The Abyssinians are remarkable for their charity to the poor. 
The motives by which they are actuated are not perhaps the purest ; 
of these, however, it is not my province to judge ; God alone ^ows 
the secrets of the heart. When at Gonda, in a time of scarcity, I 
was acquainted with those in easy circumstances, who maintained 
at their tables as many as fifty or sixty cripples, who were unable 
to support themselves. Indeed, as a general fact, the Abyssinians, 
especially when they have the ability to afford relief, are never 
guilty of sending the beggar away empty ; and sometimes they are 
known to go even beyond their means, and actually suffer hunger, 
to indulge their generosity in sharing their pittance with those who 
are more miserable than themselves. In consequence of this ami- 
able trait of character, in years when tlie earth yields her increase 
in rich profusion, few mendicants are seen strolling over the coun- 
try, and craving the morsels of charity. The &mall number, how- 
ever, who intrude upon the charity of the humane, well understand 



464 OBNBBAL BEMARK8 ON 

the method of procaring the object of their suit ; uniformly preaent^ 
iog. their request in the name of the particular saint of the day ; and 
as they have eighteen festival days every month, they frequently 
change the form of their invocations. 

The Abyssinians are a sensitive people, and their passions are 
easily fomented to a storm ; but the gust speedily passes away, and 
they axe as easily reconciled as they are enraged. In Tigre, they 
sometimes resort to blows in the heat of debate, but in the province 
of Amhara they seldom proceed to such unwarrantable lengths ; 
there, he who strikes his opponent is subject to a fine, half of which 
goes to the individual who suffers the infliction, unless he has re- 
sorted to the same means in settling the quarrel ; then, both £dl 
alike under the penalty. You will sometimes see the Abyssinians 
taunting and reproaching each other w^ith such acrimony of expres- 
sion, that it would seem impossible for them ever again to be recon- 
ciled ; but the torrent of passk>n soon subsides, and sometimes in 
fifteen minutes they become apparently as good friends as before. 
Indeed, there are few, excepting subordinate governors, who, goaded 
by jealousy with regard to their equals, or envious of their supe- 
riors, continue, for any length of time, to harbor feelings of imjda- 
cable resentment Those in the higher walks of life are easily in- 
duced to forgive the crimes and misdeeds of their inferiors, when 
the latter sue for pardon at their hands. 

Their process of reconciliation is somewhat peculiar ; and can 
only be accomplished through the intervention of a mediator. Some- 
times one of the parties concerned in the difficulty engages a third 
person to perform the duty ; especially is this the case, when the 
quarrel to be settled exists between husband and wife. When the 
parties are prepared for reconciliation, one of them, usually the 
most culpable, places a stone upon his neck, and approaching the 
other, asks forgiveness of his offence. The other, saying to him, 
** May God forgive you," takes the stone and places it upon his own 
neck, in order, in his turn, to crave pardon of the former ; who, in 
granting him his request, retakes the stone, and restores it to its 
place. The master, however, seldom condescends to perform this 
last act of humiliation to his slave, thinking it sufficient in such a 
case, merely to take the stone from his neck and put it between his 
hands. They also assume the same mode of asking forgiveness of 
one whom they have offended, although there has been no open 



THE PRBSENT fiTATE OF ABYSSINIA. 465 

rupture between them. At one time, two of my servants, aftef 
having vainly sought a lost sheep till ten o'clock at night, came io 
me creeping upon their hands and knees. Each bore upon his neck 
a stone of about eighty pounds^ weight, and entreated me to beat 
them severely, as proof that I cordially forgave them, as a father 
pardons his erring children ailer having duly chastised them. The 
instance of forgiveness most rarely witnessed among the Abys- 
fiinians, is that between the relatives of a murdered man and hia 
murderer. When no satisiactory agreement can be effected be- 
tween the parties by the payment of a fine, the friends avail them- 
selves of the same instruments or means to take the life of the cul- 
prit, which he employed in destroying their kinsman ; so that if his 
death was occasioned by a blow, inflicted either by the hand or 
foot, they resort to the same means to end the life of the criminaL 



MOHAMMEDANS. 

Besides that portion of the community who call themselves 
Christians, and who comprise a great f>art of the population of 
Abyssinia, the country contains a large number of Mohammedans. 
They have apparently been on the increase since the time of Bruce, 
and in some places have become quite numerous. They are not, 
however, equally distributed throughout the several sections of the 
country, being found principally in Adowah and its environs ; at 
Hawasa ; and in the vicinity of ftlount Taloca in the district of 
Samen, where the Jews formerly resided and maintained an inde- 
pendent government ; at Derecta in the province of Begameder ; and 
at Gondar. They have little difficulty with the Christians, and live 
in considerable harmony with them ; but in communities among 
themselves, they continually wear the mask of hypocrisy. Some- 
times, indeed, they link themselves in friendship with those of their 
own religious opinions ; but whenever they fall into circumstances, 
or engage in enterprises, requiring stability of friendship, they unite 
themselves with Christians. Nothing would give them greater dis- 
satisfaction, than to see themselves placed under the dominion of 
Mohammedans ; though they experience the i^reatest joy when one 
of their number is exalted to high dignities, or entrusted with im- 
portant fonctiooB, in any other country. The Mohammedans sol- 

20* 



466 GENERAL BEMARKS ON 

dom exercise the goveminent of extensive districts, tfaongfa they are 
appointed chiefs of most of the castom-bouses throughout the coun- 
try, for the very obvious reason, that in consequence of the exor- 
bitant exactions which their consciences allow them to make, they 
are enabled to bring the Dejasmat who employs them a far more 
lucrative revenue than the Christian custom-house officers, who are 
for th.e most part more scrupulous and exact in their conduct. 
Generally, the Mohammedans are more extensively engaged in 
trade and commercial concerns than the Christians; and conse- 
quently they belong to the more wealthy classes. The traffic in 
slaves is left almost exclusively to them ; Christians seldom en- 
gaging in this iniquitous merchandise of flesh and blood. little 
can be said with confidence concerning their religions opinions, be- 
cause there are very few who have acquired any competent knowl- 
edge of the Koran ; and provided they know enough to supply thdr 
Focaras or Sheiks with a sufficiency of food and clothing, the latter 
take very little pains to instruct them in anything farther. The 
greater part of them are acquainted with only a few passages of the 
Koran, which they find convenient to use, either as weapons of self- 
defence, or in condemning others, being excessively fond of main- 
taining their own doctrines, and gaining proselytes to their religious 
creed. When the Mohammedan of Abyssinia sojourns in any for- 
tign country, where Islamism is the prevailing religion, he learns 
to pray, and prays regularly five times a day ; he becomes extremely 
austere and scrupulous in his devotions, and observes the fast of 
Ramadon far more strictly than tlie Arabs ; but as soon as he re- 
turns to his native soil, his devotional spirit disappears, a|id he for- 
gets his prayers and his fasts. The Mussulmans, like the Chris- 
tians and Jews of Abyssinia, never eat the flesh of an animal which 
has not been slain by one of their own sect Their manners are 
low, and their morals decidedly more degraded and corrupted than 
those of the Christians. 



THE FALASHAS OR JEWS. 



Besides the two principal sects of which I have spoken, there is 
also a small body of Falashas or Jews. Very little, however, is 
known of them. They live in a manner so retired, and have so 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 467 

little intercourae with those who profess Christianity, that neither 
their religious dogmas nor their social customs are well understood 
by the latter. They occupy but a small portion of the Abyssinian 
territory, residing chiefly in the neigliborhood of Gondar and Shelga, 
and in a narrow district to the north-west of Lake Tsama< J have 
made efforts to gain information of their condition and character, 
but with little success ; having learned decidedly but one thing ; 
and that is, that as a race, they are far more ignorant and besotted 
than the generality of Christians in the country. Whenever I 
have proposed to them any questions concerning their history, pres- 
ent condition, or doctrinal belief, they have invariably referred me 
to their learned men. They know not to what tribe they belong, 
and have no correct idea of the time when their fathers first settled 
in Abyssinia. Some suppose that they emigrated hither with Men- 
ilec, the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba ; others maintain 
that they were not established in the country until afler the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem by the Romans. The truth is, the whole subject 
is shrouded in the twilight of antiquity. Scarcely a wandering ray 
illumines the scene, unless the numerous fables or legends con- 
cerning the Queen of Sheba, which have floated down the current 
of tradition, and which are now eagerly propagated and treasured 
up, may be supposed to shed a feeble light. But even these tradi- 
tions are too ridiculous to secure rational confidence ; and although 
they are received with the same deference by the Christian as by 
the Jew, they are really unwortliy of the least regard. The Fa- 
lashas, in general, entertain the superstitions of the Christians 
around them, though such as are slightly tinged and moulded by 
the Jewish religion. They have some lingering notions of the 
promised Messiah ; but I could never perceive that the idea awak- 
ened in their minds any strong or lively interest ; and when I have 
questioned them in regard to his coming, they have replied with in- 
difference, that he would probably appear in the character of a con- 
queror by the name of Theodores, whose advent was supposed to 
be near ; and which the Christians were not less anticipating than 
themselves. But when he comes, whether he will be a Christian 
or a Jew, is a point about which the poor Falaslias have formed no 
definite opinion ; though in regard to the person of Jesus Christ, 
they indulge the same intense hatred, which is felt by the Jews in 
every land. 



468 GENEAAL REMABK8 ON 

In their intercoorae amoDg themselves, they use an idiom which 
is equally unlike the Hebrew and Ethiopic ; thoogh most of them, 
with the exception perhaps of a few females, are able to Rpeak the 
language of Amhara with more or less ease and accuracy. I have 
never been able to find but a single book among them, written in 
their peculiar dialect ; and this, as they told me, was a collectioo of 
prayers. Their ignorance is extreme ; but deep and dark as it is, 
it cannot much surprise us, since they have no other books, except- 
ing those written in the Ethiqnc language — a language with which 
they are so little acquainted, that the infonnation conveyed by it 
must remain veiled to their view. I have seen, however, a consid- 
erable number among them, who have acquired a tolerable knowl- 
edge of the five books of Moses. They read the Psalms, together 
with all these repetitions ; ^ In the name of the Father, the Son," 
&c., which the Christians have ventured to subjoin to them, as well 
as the songs of Mary and Simeon, which the same hands have 
added ; but the Oudassd Meiiam of Ephraim they reject. 

They are much more industrious in their habits than the rest of 
the Abyssinians. They compose the architects of Gondar, and 
build most of the houses in that city. The Christians are never 
allowed to enter their dwellings; and the former, on the other 
hand, fearing the supernatural influences with which they believe 
the Falashas endowed, have no disposition to force an entrance. 
Indeed, the whole of this peculiar people, as well as all workers in 
iron, and many others, are regarded as boudas or sorcerers. A Fa- 
lasha never re-enters his house afler having conversed with a Chris- 
tian, without previously washing his entire body, and cbanging every 
article of his clothing. They are also equally scrupulous in regard 
to cleansing their provisions ; whatever is purchased in the market 
must be washed before using it in the family. For some reason, 
their intercourse with Mohammedans is much more free and unre- 
strained than with Christians. In general, they may be said to be 
a peaceable people, never bearing arms either in defensive or ofien- 
sive war. They are benevolent to the poor among themselves, snp> 
plying their wants, and rarely suffering them to gain their subsisir 
ence by begging. 



THE PREBSNT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 469 



THE CAMOUNTES. 

As I have said above, the Christians, the Mohammedans, and the 
Jews, do not comprise the whole of the population of Abyssinia. 
Beaidea these, there are two other sects. One of these, which is 
called CamourUe, is composed entirely of agriculturists, and inhabit 
the mountains in the vicinity of Gondar. The females, with per- 
forated ears, weighed down with immense rings of brass, and rest* 
ing upon their shoulders, chiefly furnish the market of this city with 
wood. I was unable to visit their village, finding no one willing to 
accompany me. I had the privilege, however, of soeing a few of 
them at my own residence ; but never succeeded in gaining any 
definite information respecting either their religious practice or prin- 
ciples. I believe most of them are Deists, who, satisfied with the 
bare idea of God's existence, never trouble themselves as to the re- 
lation he may sustain, or the feelings he may cherish, towards the 
human family. The consequence is, their manners are left to the 
dictates of passion. Feeling no accountability to a higher power, 
like the Deists of Europe, they cannot be trusted. When ques* 
tioned upon any subject, especially in respect to their religious 
faith, they answer in an evasive and jesting manner. They have, 
however, an order of priests, and assemble occasionally at private 
houses to partake of a common repast, which they call " Coban ;" 
communion or eucharist They use flesh as an article of food in 
common with Christians and Mussulmans, provided the animal is 
not slain on Saturday ; but they never eat fish. 



THE ZALANE8. 

The other people to which I referred are called Zalanes. They 
are a wandering race, who roam with their flocks and herds over 
the rich, though uncultivated regions lying in the vicinity of Lake 
Dembea. I saw only three or four of them ; but these were of a 
towering height, of a muscular frame, and robust appearance. It 
18 said that they have some idea of a Divine Existence, but have no 
other notions of religion. They rarely fight except in self-defence, 
and then use large cudgels or battle-axes *, which they wield with 



470 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

sach dexterity, that no one, thongh armed with sword and lance, la 
willing to attack them. They are said to indulge in sensual pas- 
sions which degrade them to a level with the brutes ; but I think 
this can be asserted of them only in particular cases, as sometimes 
occurs in Egypt 

From all that I can gather concerning this singular people, I am 
Inclined to believe that their ancestors were originally connected 
with the Abyssinian church ; but neglecting its forms of worship, 
and suffering the little genuine Christian spirit which they possessed 
to go out, they gradually sunk into the grossest ignorance. The 
ties that bound them to the mother church were soon forgotten, and 
they have fallen to the depths of their present degradation. This 
opinion, however, I am aware will not accord with that entertained 
by most of the Abyssinians. 



GENERAL CUSTOMS OP ABYSSINIA. 

Haviro related these several particulars respecting the laws, re- 
ligion, and morals of Abyssinia, it only remains, in order to finish 
the portraiture of tliis interesting people, briefly to detail a few of the 
customs generally prevalent among them. 

Immediately after birth, the infant is taught to drink melted but- 
ter mingled with a little honey — ^a practice, which, according to Isa. 
viii. 15, appears to have been common among the ancient Jews. 
Indeed, in passing through this country, the traveler is repeatedly re- 
minded of texts of scripture, which relate to the habits and usages 
of antiquity. As long as the child is allowed to draw its nourish- 
ment from the breast, it passes the night on the bosom of its mother, 
or of its nurse ; for the females in tlie higher classes never perform 
the grateful task of nursing their own children. After the first 
month, the infant has no other cradle during the day than the back 
of its mother. She takes it by both its hands, and places it low be- 
tween her shoulders; it soon learns to cling with its little feet 
around her sides, and to lay its little hands upon her shoulders, so 
as to sustain its weight. She secures it by passing a wide leathern 
strap around her waist, and another about her neck, which serve 
both to support, and partially cover the child. 

From the age of six or seven years, the children are employed as 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 471 

0ervant3 in their respective families. The. boys are generally oc- 
cupied as shepherds or herdsmen till fourteen or fifteen, under the 
care of their fathers, unless the latter are in straitened circum- 
stances ; in such cases, they are allowed to leave their parents at 
the age of eight or nine, and obtain support by tending the herds of 
others. The daughters are chiefly engaged in the various little 
duties of household economy ; and while very young, almost as 
soon as they arc able to walk steadily, begin the service of bringing 
%vatcr, which is sometimes at a considerable distance from the 
house ; afterwards, when only eight or nine years of age, they are 
forced to go upon the mountains to gather wood for the use of the 
family. They do not commence the task of grinding bread-stuff 
until fourteen or fifteen. When they become connected in mar- 
riage, they generally cease to perform the laborious services of 
bringing water, and collecting wood, and also of grinding corn, un- 
less they are extremely poor, 

A small portion of the Abyssinians place their children in con- 
vents or elsewhere, with the desire of furnishing them with the 
means of instruction; others are unwilling to do this, lest their 
children should become monks. For this reason, many boys res- 
olutely desert their parents, with the determination of obtaining an 
education by their own efforts. They gain little of that lore, how- 
ever, which they leave their homos to acquire. Whether under the 
tuition of priests, or other private teachers, they are sometimes 
doomed to be employed as domestic servants through the day, and 
all the instruction they receive is dispensed to them during the 
night ; or, aAer repeating their lessons, they are forced to wander 
about the streets, and beg their daily sustenance. There are, how- 
ever, some wealthy individuals, who are in the habit of supporting 
a few children of poor parents, and of supplying them with gratui- 
tous instruction. Most of the noble families place their sons in con- 
vents, to afford them facilities for learning to read, and to commit to 
memory the Psalms ; this being all the knowledge which their 
parents are anxious to provide for them. The daughters in families 
of the same rank, are taught little but spinning and culinary duties, 
though a few women of distinction are able to read. 

The course of studies, pursued by those who are desirous of be- 
coming what they term learned men, is considerably more extensive. 
When they have learned to read they are required to commit to 



478 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

meoioiy the Gospel of St John, and to read several of St Paul's 
£|Nstle8, together with a namber of the Homilies of Chrysostom. 
After they have thus been initiated into the mysteries of the temj^ 
of knowledge, they are assigned the severer task of iesming by 
heart the Psalms of David, the Oudassd Mariam, and several pray- 
ers, winding up by committing to memory the dictionary of the 
£thiopic language. This last, however, few ever succeed in ac- 
complishing. Finally, to give the finishing touch to their ednca^ 
tion, they unite themselves to one of the sages of the country, who 
explains to them the Scriptures and other religions bodes, and ex- 
pounds their code of civil laws. A few acquire the art of writing ; 
and, as far as I can judge from what has fallen under my own ob- 
servation, I should think, that in that part of the country where the 
Amharic is the prevailing language, about one fifth of the male 
population have gained some knowledge of reading; and in the 
province of Tigre, not far, perhapn, from one twelfth. 

As soon as the son of a nobleman has learned to read, be it well 
or ill, his father entrusts him witli the government of a district, 
more or less extensive, proportioned to the strength of the affection 
he bears him. He then surrounds him with a train of servants, 
settles him in marriage, and makes him a soldier for the rest of his 
days. Daughters of the same rank marry at a very early period, 
often at eight or nine years of age ; and seldom appear in public 
afterwards, until subsequent to the death of their husbands. Among 
the common people, when a young man is about sixteen, if he in- 
tends to remain with his father, he begins to arrange his afiairs in 
such a manner as to be able, at the age of seventeen or eighteen, to 
unite himself in marriage with a young girl three or four years his 
junior ; and he then settles down as an agriculturist for the re- 
mainder of his life. Most of his labors consist in breaking up the 
soil and sowing the seed, in erecting and repairing his buildings, 
and sometimes he may be seen in the field assisting his wife in 
gathering the harvest ; but the rest of the hardships and toils inci- 
dent to the management and sustenance of a family, devolve upon 
the woman. About one half of the young men, at the age of six- 
teen, select their occupation as soldiers or laborers, and usually for 
life ; for they seldom rise from the condition in whicif they first 
settle ; being entire strangers to forethought and economy. 

The AbysaaniaQa ccmdnct themselves with mildness towaida their 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 478 

slaves, addressing thetn in the same tone of kindness and respect 
with which they speak to their equals ; and, as it is always con- 
sidered a mark of easy circumstances and a benevolent heart to 
maintain a great number of servants, every one is emulous of keep- 
ing as many as he conveniently can, although he has little for them 
to da There are few male servants in the country ; but female 
servants are to be found in every family, patiently toiling in the 
various departments of domestic service, — ^grinding com, carrying 
water, gathering wood, and performing kindred laborious duties. 
The Christian part of community rarely sell their slaves, though 
they sometimes give them away. 

Most Abyssinians of both sexes, whatever their condition, whether 
rich or poor, married or unmarried, when they perceive themselves 
far advanced in years, seek the retirement, and assume the charac- 
ter, of nuns or monks. The rich, when they thus retire, transfer 
their possessions to their children, who, with the strongest demon- 
strations of filial affection, adminbter to their pleasures, and supply 
their wants. The poor having no other means of sustenance, de- 
pend on the charities of their neighbors. It is common for men at 
every period of life, to withdraw, and assume monastic^ habits ; but 
the women generally delay till they arrive at the age of forty or 
fiAy years. As the Abyssinians ordinarily do not cover their heads, 
but anoint them with butter, one may easily recognize the monks 
and nuns by the bonnets they wear. It is customary for a portion 
of the monks, especially for such as make the greatest pretensions 
to devotion and learning, to wear no other clothing than the skin of 
a deer or some other animal. This apparent humility, however, 
seldom deceives the people, who are too well acquainted with their 
real characters to be beguiled into any very high degree of venera- 
tion or respect 

When a man becomes embarrassed with debts, he frequently be- 
comes a monk, which frees him from the obligation to pay them, 
though be may continue to live with his wife, who is a nun; but 
should he take another wife, he would be still obliged to pay them. 

The food of the Abyssinians is ordinarily very simple ; and their 
mode of cooking, to one fond of pepper, is by no means disagreea- 
ble. Their houses are all famished with tables, though the chil- 
dren and servants generally seat themselves upon the ground while 
taking their meals. At the house of the Dejasmat, he alone claimii 



474 GENERAL REMARKS ON 

the dignity of a seat ; all his officers arrange themselves on carpets 
spread upon the groand, When they wish to make rather more 
than an ordinary repast, they commence by loading the table with 
various kinds of bread. The family and guests tlien seating them- 
selves in appropriate places around the room, are first served with 
bread of an inferior quality, perhaps of barley or wheat ; afterwards 
with bread of black teff; and lastly with that of whtie-teff-~%, kind 
of food much used by the more wealthy classes. For a second 
course, they are served with meat or pulse. They now seat them* 
selves at the table, and each one dips his bread into the sauce, then 
moulding it into a roll, thrusts it into his mouth. When they wish 
to show special honor to any one at table, particularly to a stran- 
ger, a female servant assumes the office of preparing for him mouth- 
fuls of bread, and, inserting in each roll a morsel of meat, places it 
in his hands. 

At their common meals, the husband and wife usually sit side by 
side, and Introduce rolls of bread reciprocally, and at tlie same time, 
into each other^s mouth. When tliis is not the case, but both are 
seen serving themselves respectively, it is evident that they live un- 
pleasantly together. As the Abyssinians never have two wives at 
the same house, I think the memory of Mr. Bruce must have failed 
him, when he described two women as serving at the same time, 
the mouth of one man. Both sexes of the Abyssinians are too jeal- 
ous for this, unless it might have been done for the sake of pleas- 
antry, or to carry out a joke ; though such an instance even never 
came to my knowledge. Nor have I ever seen any excepting hus- 
band and wife feed each other. 

At the houses of the governors, and sometimes in private fam- 
ilies, on occasions when numerous guests are assembled, it is cus- 
tomary for the males and females to take their repast in separate 
apartments ; or where this is not convenient, to suspend a curtain 
between them, so as entirely to exclude them from the view of each 
other. I can scarcely believe, therefore, that the celebrated feast 
of which Bruce has given so disgusting a delineation, could ever 
have taken place, excepting among the grossest libertines of the 
country. Among the affluent, however, when the first course is 
finished, they generally bring on for a dessert, the bronds, or the 
raw flesh of a fattened beef; and every one freely helps himself to 
as large a share as he thinks he shall need. They then pass the 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABTSSINIA. 475 

wine or metheglin, and regale themselves with the delicious bever- 
age ; though if the family is poor, beer is commonly used in its stead. 

Most of the houses in Abyssinia are furnished with only a single 
bed, which is occupied by the father and mother of the family. 
Children and servants commonly sleep upon the bare ground; 
sometimes, indeed, they are allowed the luxury of pieces of leather 
or skins on which to rest, though they generally use nothing more 
to cover them than their ordinary garments. The wife occasionally 
stoops to the humiliating duty of washing her husband's feet ; but 
notwithstanding this mark of inferiority, the indications of affection 
and equality between them are far more numerous, than are usually 
found in the families of the Arabs. The wife never uses the terms, 
thou and thee, when addressing her husband, though he always uses 
them when speaking to her. 

This people are somewhat peculiar in their mode of using the 
persons and numbers of the verbs and pronouns of their language, 
as indicative of rank or respect. When speaking to their equals, 
they use the second person, singular ; when a child addresses his 
parents, or the wife her husband, they employ the second person, 
plural ; when they are absent, the third person, plural ; both of the 
pronoun and verb. When addressing a superior, or a man whom 
they wish especially to honor, they make use of the third person of 
the singular number for the pronoun, and of the plural for the verb, 
though, if absent, they employ the plural for the pronoun also. In 
the province of Tigre, they use the singular number both of the pro- 
noun and verb, only in speaking with those with whom they are on 
terms of great familiarity, or in addressing their children ; in all 
other cases, they employ the second person plural, except in speaking 
of a governor in his absence, when they use the third person plural. 
I have mentioned these peculiarities, because, in not observing them, 
one will be liable to be drawn into vehement disputes and bitter al- 
tercations, especially with the priests. White men, however, are 
usually allowed the privilege of addressing all classes of people in 
the singular number. 

The Abyssinians pay great respect to their superiors, being 
rarely heard to speak reproachfully of those who rule over tliem. 
Servants are strongly attached to their masters ; they swear by 
their names ; and if they have been the peculiar objects of their re- 
gard in lifp, continue the practice after their deaths. 



476 GENERAL REMABKS ON 

In every district, and in every village thronghoat the country, 
there is a market or fair once a week, where the inhabitants aa- 
sembie and pnrchase their requisite supplies for the ensuing eight 
days. Men and women indiscriminately crowd to this general ren- 
dezvous, though the men seldom traffic in cotton, or the women in 
meat The men, indeed, never interfere m the management of 
domestic concerns, although they usually assume the task of wash- 
ing the garments worn by both sexes, excepting such as the women 
choose to do for themselves. Their mode of cleansing them is 
very simple. They make a hole in the ground by the side of a 
stream of pure water ; on the bottom of this they spread a piece of 
leather ; and after having laid upon it the clothes to be washed, and 
sprinkled them with a kind of flour, produced from a fruit very much 
resembling the Corinthian grape, they fill the hole with water. 
Then entering it, they tread the clothes enveloped in a white foam 
generated by the flour, for one or two hours. They afterwards dip 
them in the pure running water of the stream, and the work is 
done. They take them out white as the driven snow. 

The dress of the men consists of a pair of drawers reaching 
down to the knees, a girdle, and a species of mantle wrapped about 
them. The clothing of the women is composed of a double che- 
luise, and a mantle similar to that worn by the men, though difier- 
cntiy adjusted. The monks and priests, as well as the Lies and 
AiacaSf also wear a chemise instead of a girdle; and cover their 
heads with a sort of cap, or if they have the means, with a turban. 
The young men up to the age of thirty-five or forty, adopt very 
different modes of arranging the hair, though they all agree in di- 
viding it into several small tresses. On the decease of those very 
dear to them, they shave their heads in honor of their memories. 

When traveling, the Abyssinians seldom take anything for suste- 
nance on their journey, except a little flour and salt, of which, when 
they stop for the night, they prepare unleavened bread, and dip it 
into the sauce of the family with whom they lodge. The mer- 
chants, who generally travel in caravans, enjoy almost the same 
comreniences of life while on their route as at home ; though the 
poor who accompany them, are constrained to accept such acoom- 
modations as the former are disposed to give them. In carrying 
burdens, the men support them either upon their heads, or on one 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 477 

shoulder ; the women hear them on hoth shoalders at a time ; never 
on one, nor on their heads. 

The Abyssinians are oppressed with numerous superstitions. I 
will not, however, delay my readers to detail them ; merely giving 
a brief account of a singular prejudice, which has shot broad and 
deep its roots, and which is working a subtle influence, hostile to 
the moral and religious interest of the country. I refer to their 
belief in sorcerers, and the influence of malignant eyes. When 
one is seized with disease, or experiences any misfortune, both 
himself and neighbors are at once disposed to seek the cause in 
some supernatural power exerted by the boudas^ or in the influence 
of malignant eyes. Their suspicions, at first uncertain and vague, 
soon fix on some individual to whom they ascribe the origin of the 
evil, and who, in consequence, becomes the victim of a secret and 
implacable hostility. I have been informed of a man still living, 
who was made finally to believe himself possessed of a malignant 
eye. He made frequent experiments to convince himself of the 
truth of the supposition ; and, at one time, after having gazed upon 
a child with his right eye, while the other was closed, he learned 
that it fell sick on the following day ; and he was so thoroughly 
convinced of the evil influence of his eye, that he caused it to be 
removed from its socket Such is the power of superstition. 

This ignorant and benighted people seem particularly desirous of 
withdrawing the veil which Auta the future from our view ; cooae- 
quently, they are disposed to cherish the recollection, and submit to 
the authority, of a thousand vague and frivolous auguries. Barely 
the singing of a small blue-biid on the left of an army which has 
commenced its march against the enemy, is sometimes sufficient to 
induce the dS&ceis to stop their course, and retrace their steps. 
But I will neither waste my time, nor weary my readers, by re* 
counting the various signs, which seem, to the mind of an Abys- 
sinian, to open the door of futurity. Let one contemplate the nu- 
merous fantasies and wizard forms, which a roaming imagination 
can conjure up, and he may have some idea of the vast structure 
of superstition, which the Abyssinians, whose lives are chiefly spent 
in idleness, and not unfrequently in debauchery, have ingeniously 
contrived to ftbricate. 



476 GENERAL REMARKS ON 



CONCLUSION. 

From the preceding nanative, one can form some idea of the 
circumstances and general cbaiactcristics of the people ; and, hj 
consequence, learn what will probably forward, and what oppose, 
the efforts of the messenger of Christ in this once Christian country. 
I have endeavored simply to sketch tlie unvarnished facts as they 
occurred to my notice, without remark or comment ; fearing that I 
should be guilty either of representing the Abyssinians as worse in 
condition, and more degraded in morals than they really are ; or, 
on the other hand, of touching their character with too light a pen- 
cil ; and thus present to the eye of the foreign reader, either too 
dark or too bright a picture of the present situation of this, in many 
respects, interesting people. But if I pass from contemplating their 
present state, to the missionary enterprise among them ; if I look 
at the work which has been already accompli:$hed, and at that which 
still remains to be done, what shall I say 7 With regard to the 
first, I would briefly remark, that the translating and printing por- 
tions of the Holy Scriptures in the Amharic language, must be 
classed among the most important and successful effiirts hitherto 
put forth. I would also add, that I foel warranted in expressing 
my conviction, that the obstacles now existing to the general diffu- 
sion of the Gospel in Abyssinia, need not cool the ardor, or weaken 
the courage, of the devoted missionary of the cross ; if he will go 
resolutely forward, meekly trusting in the grace and protection of 
his covenant-keeping God, ho may confidently expect Uiat the dark- 
ness will become light, and the mountains sink to plains before him. 
For further information, the reader is referred to the preceding 
Journal, where he will find that the Word of God contained in the 
Four Gospels, and a few copies of the Epistles, have been widely 
disseminated, and are now, it is hoped, working a secret, but health- 
ful influence, and glimmering amidst the moral darkness, as har- 
bingers of light and salvation to this benighted land. The religiona 
conversations, also, which I held with various individuals at Gon- 
dar, have gone forth, and been repeated in every province. A 
spirit of inquiry has been awakened ; the best informed among the 
people have become still more enlightened ; and are beginning to 
feel no little uncertainty concerning errors, which they have hitherto 



THE PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 479 

regarded as established truths. Some of the youth likewise share 
in the general movement ; and seem willing to lend a listening ear 
to the calls of the Father of mercies, whose good pleasure it is to 
lead them to Jesus, and eventually crown them with glory and im- 
mortality. 

With reference to the best course to be pursued in subsequent 
efforts, it is difficult, beforehand, to speak with precision. One must 
be guided, in a great measure, by circumstances and the leadings 
of Providence. The Christians, indeed, with whom I became ac- 
quainted, treated me with great cordiality and kindness ; neverthe- 
less I know they are so deeply imbedded in prejudice, and their 
tempers so suspicious, that their jealousy would be instantly kindled 
to a blaze, by the least movement in their behalf, wearing the ap- 
pearance of publicity. I will venture, however, to mention the 
principal methods of operation which strike me as ti)0 most natural, 
the most feasible, and which, perhaps, in the end, will prove the 
most efficient. In the first place, I should think it advisable, to 
multiply, as extensively as practicable, copies of the Holy Scrip- 
tures ; in the second, to preach the Gospel in the form of conversa- 
tions on every possible occasion, and under all possible circum- 
stances ; and lastly, to train up a number of young men with the 
view of qualifying them to become teachers of schools ; for it must 
be utterly vain to found these nurseries of knowledge and improve- 
ment, without having previously fitted some to superintend and in- 
struct them. In establishing missionary stations, I should advise 
that the cities of refuge, of which I have elsewhere spoken, be se- 
lected for the purpose; and while there can be but one establish- 
ment of the kind, Gondar, in present circumstances, affords the most 
eligible situation. It is, indeed, the most populous city in the 
country; its security depends less upon the influence of the priest- 
hood, than the other cities of refuge, and its situation in the centre 
of Abyssinia, will draw daily within its walls, travelers of all 
classes, desirous of seeing the white men, and of hearing them con- 
verse. A missionary, therefore, stationed at Gondar, would have 
all the advantages, and be exempt from many inconveniences of an 
itinerant preacher ; besides being favorably situated for embracing 
opportunities of political quiet, to visit the different sections of the 
kingdom. But whether he spends his time in traveling from one 
portion of the country to another, or remains stationary in some 



480 PRESENT STATE OF ABYSSINIA. 

one city or village, the misHioiiaTy who woald be snccessfiil, most, 
while exercising wisdom in all his connections with the people, be 
swayed alone by the, love of truth. He must express himself with 
humility and simplicity, having for his exclnsive object the gloiy of 
God, and for his principle of action, the love of his neighbor. I 
make this suggestion, because, in my intercourse with them, I 
have seen savage and ferocioas tempers softened — ^rendered mild 
and tractable by an exhibition of fraternal afiection. 

It is scarcely necessary to add, that I feel a peculiar interest in 
the people of Abyssinia ; and perhaps I cannot better express my 
desire for their salvation, than by announcing my intention of 
speedily returning to preach to them the Gospel of peace. May it 
please the Lord safely to restore me to my labors, at the expiration 
of the short period I spend in Europe, with the special view of re- 
kindling my zeal in the cause of our common Lord, of which I feel 
the pressing need. 



THE EHD. 



^ ''73 




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