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The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe

The Characters of Theophrastus


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Narrative of a mission to Bokhara

by Joseph Wolff


I passed thence, via Rosetta, to Cairo, where I took into my service an Armenian from Tiflis, a most consummate rascal, Bethlehem by name, who had been in the service of Oubia, the chief of Simean and Tigre in Abyssinia. Of this worthy, Oubia, the interesting work of Major Harris on Shoa gives a good account. This fellow Bethlehem promised to carry me through Abyssinia on his head. He had been sent by Oubia to procure an Aboona from the Kopts. But the Kopts would not send one without the usual fee of six thousand dollars. By the way, Monsieur Fresnel, a gentleman of high Oriental acquirements, whom I met there, had married an interesting girl, that I learnt, to my astonishment, was once of the Galla tribe. The chief rabbi of Cairo came this time to see me. He told me, at the beginning of his address, that my having been ten times in Egypt with the same leading object,—proving Jesus to be the Messiah,—had certainly produced an effect upon them, for it looked both like pertinacity and sincerity. They received the exposition of my views most kindly, but the rabbi said at the last, that his nation would only be convinced by the actual presence of Jesus in glory.

I left Cairo on the 10th of March, and on the 16th, set out for Mount Sinai for the second time. On the 18th, I reached Khorandal. The Beduins received me most cordially. Sheikh Hassan introduced his wife to me, that I might bless her, for she was barren. He told me he had married four wives, and divorced three for this cause, but this one he sincerely loved. She, however, often threatens him that she will tear out his beard if he takes another wife. I next visited the convent on Mount Horeb, the monastery of Saint Catherine. They all received me well. This time I noted in the Book of Strangers, the following lines, written by the celebrated Trappist Geramb: "I arrived here, Feb. 25th, 1833, at the Convent of Mount Sinai. On the 28th I lay with my face in the dust on the holy mountain. The Eternal, in his mercy, gave to Moses, the most ancient of historians, the sublimest of philosophers, and the wisest of legislators, this law, the necessary foundation for our own. Quitted, March 3rd. Marie Joseph de Geramb."

March 29th, 1836, I proceeded thence to Tor. I must not omit to mention that I received at Mount Sinai the promised book of Johannes Stauros, a Jew from Bulgaria, converted to Christianity. I read it with great delight; and I perceived that he, like myself, held in a personal reign of Christ. It is also very remarkable, that the monks who had read the book were quite prepared for my view of the question, and themselves entertained it after having carefully read the book. They remarked to me that the third chapter of Habakkuk was a prophecy predicting the final coming of Christ in glory; and they read with great enthusiasm the words: "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow." The superior struck the earth with great animation, exclaiming, "On tr« spot mighty events shall yet be seen."

I cannot endure the manner in which I hear travellers speak ill of this Hospice of the desert. These monks are excellent people.

I reached Suez on April the 6th, 1836, to embark there by the Hugh Lindsay, expected from Bombay for Jiddah. While there, Koodsee Manoole, the British agent, at whose house I resided, and several of the Greek priests, had interviews with me. Some of their strange traditions affected me much; one was, that Satan was not convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, until he had seen the curtains in the Temple rent, the sun darkened, and the earth convulsed. My servant, Bethlehem, in some discussions that took place about the authority of councils, made a judicious remark on one, that for his part he could not profess himself wiser than three hundred and eighteen Fathers of the Church. One can perceive by these remarks of the Eastern Christians, that they have a high respect for ancient councils; and of this we can as little deprive them as we could the Lutherans of their Augsburg Confession, the Church of England of her Thirty-nine Articles, and the Kirk of Scotland of the Westminster Confession.

I embarked in the Hugh Lindsay on the 6th May. Singular to say, Mr. Hugh Lindsay was my fellow-passenger in the same ship which bears his father's name, in 1834, when he came from China. We reached Jiddah on May 11th. I found the Simonians infinitely madder than on my last visit, advocating a community of women, and that ships ought to be manned with women. One. Saint Simonian woman married four Frenchmen at the same time; and even the Turkish governor was so scandalized, that he protested against such abomination in one of their holy cities. Here I found a letter from my interesting friend Dr. Charles Ovenden. He afterwards proceeded to the camp of Khursheed Pasha, fell ill, and on my return from Abyssinia I called on him in his last illness. He exclaimed, "God be praised, you are come; dear Mr. Wolff, pray with me." I remained with him— read to him; he expressed deep repentance for all his sins, gave me the direction of his father in Enniskillen, and died. At Jiddah I, met the English travellers Messrs. Bayley and Ormsby. I considered Mr. Ormsby an extremely sensible gentleman. Here I found Hadara, an Abyssinian, and profited by his acquaintance to leam Amharic pre* vious to entering Abyssinia.

I left Jiddah for Mosawah, on the African coast, where I arrived on the 30th May, 1836. Here they speak the purest Ethiopic. The governor of this place told me that there are four great Sheikhs in the world, as there are four quarters of the world; that every Sheikh had forty bodies. Thirty-nine bodies go for nothing, with which he may commit every crime, but with the fortieth he must serve God. On quitting Mosawah, my servant Bethlehem gave me to understand that he was an Abyssinian gentleman, and could no longer act as my servant, but as my escort. No help for this, so I bore it patiently.

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