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should not Unitarians do the same? Other sects are at the expense of educating their own ministers; why should Unitarian ministers be educated, either wholly or in part, at the public expense?
We have now done, at least for the present, with the volumes of President Quincy. In traversing the wide field presented before us, a great variety of topics, and some of them of the deepest interest, have necessarily come under review. God is witness that we have treated them, not in bitterness or in anger, but with the freedom of conscious truth, and under solemn convictions of duty. Towards the distinguished author of these volumes, we entertain no feelings but those of kindness and respect. He doubtless has many properties befitting the exalted station which he is called to occupy; but to be the historian of Harvard College, through the whole period of its existence, we cannot think that he possesses all the requisite qualifications. He may be strictly honest in purpose; and certainly he has access to the best sources of information; but he has his prejudices and predilections, like other men.
He is not, and can hardly be expected to be, impartial. It would be strange, too, if one who had pursued the same general course of life with President Quincy (although he might be the acknowledged head of a Unitarian theological school) were prepared to enter profoundly or satisfactorily into the various theological questions and controversies which had agitated New England, and in which the college had more or less participated, for almost two hundred years. We must further say,
that we think President Quincy disqualified, in spirit, to write the history of some of the early presidents of Harvard College. In views and feelings, theologically and spiritually, he is evidently a different man from them. Into what they doubtless considered as their best and holiest feelings, he seems to have no power to enter. With their high spiritual hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, ends and aims, he has no sympathy. Consequently, he cannot describe their religious exercises and character, so as to do them justice. When such men as Southey undertake to write biographies of Wesley and Bunyan, or Quincy to discuss the characters of Increase and Cotton Mather, the religious public anticipate a failure; nor are they often disappointed.
The treatment of the Mathers, in the work before us, constituted our principal inducement for bringing these volumes under review. We deem it a sacred duty of the living to protect, far as may be, the ashes of the dead. If it would be unpardonable to look coldly on, and see the sepulchres in which were entombed the remains of the once learned and pious, useful and honorable, rudely torn open, and their dust trodden under foot; much more inexcusable would it be, to see the characters of the holy dead aspersed, and their motives impeached, and their names dishonored.
Those who are now active and useful among the living will soon have gone to the congregation of the dead. Other generations will rise up in their places, and will look back upon them, as they now look back upon the generations of their fathers. And with what measure we mete, we may expect it will be measured to us again. If we feel no interest in protecting (so far as may be in consistency with truth and justice) the characters of those who have gone before us, who
may we expect will feel an interest in protecting ours?
Of the mechanical execution of the work before us we have already spoken. It is beautiful and perfect, beyond any thing we have seen from the American press. The style of writing also, though often too sweeping and declamatory for history, is in general creditable to the author. Occasionally, there may be a careless or an imperfect sentence, * but for the most part it is perspicuous and natural; in some places eloquent. As a collection of materials-of authentic documents, these volumes possess, also, a high importance. Indeed, this I conceive to be their principal historical value. The materials for a history of Harvard College, at least for the first hundred and fifty years of its existence, are in good measure furnished. The history itself remains to be written. Happy he, who shall undertake it competently, and accomplish it faithfully!
* Like the following: “He then with great clearness exposes and reprobates the nature of the examination, the form of the indictment, the irrelevancy of the admitted evidence, the guilt of the accusers, the innocency of those already condemned and executed, and the madness and iniquity of the course pursued." Reprobates innocency !! Vol. I. p. 413.
THE SECT OF YEZIDIES OF MESOPOTAMIA.
By Henry A. Homes, Missionary in Constantinople.
The attention of the public has been repeatedly directed to the Yezidies, often called Devil-Worshippers, of Mesopotamia. The American Board of Foreign Missions and the Episcopal Board, having each commenced stations in that region, whatever can elucidate the character of the inhabitants of the country is interesting.
In the year 1839, while residing two months at Mardin, in Northern Mesopotamia, and making the Yezidies an especial object of inquiry, I collected many facts respecting them. These facts, after consulting all the printed sources of information within my reach, I have embodied so as to present, at one view, all that is as yet known about this singular people. I have also subjoined some illustrations from history, with opinions as to the origin of the Yezidies, as helps to those who may hereafter be called to make farther researches.
Geographical situation of the Yezidies. It has usually been said, although incorrectly, that they are found chiefly in the Sinjar mountain ; which rises out of the vast plain, known not only by geographers, but by the Christians of the country, as the plain of Shinar. It is an insulated ridge, between Mardin and Mosul, running from N. E. to S. W. It is about four days, or one hundred miles, in circumference; being nearly fifty miles long by twenty wide. In some parts it is between two and three thousand feet high. It lies south of the Hermas or Jugjé river, and north of the canal Thasthar. Nowhere else is the palm tree found in Mesopotamia.* It yields abundantly fruits like the fig, apricot and grape. The sides, ravines and skirts of the mountain are thickly covered with villages, many or the most of them in ruins. In most of these villages, are to be found walls resembling, in form and situation, Christian churches, * Haji Kalfa's Geog. the Jihan Numa.
and upon some of them are inscriptions in the Syrian character. The number of Yezidies inhabiting this mountain, as given by Kinneir, is the extravagant one of 2,000,000 souls :* yet, while one of my informants, who had been among them, rated them at only 10,000 souls, another, perhaps equally well informed, supposed they were only 5,000 souls. It is reasonable to suppose that a few years since they were much more numerous; but in the wars inade upon them by the regular troops of the late Sultan Mahmud, they were mercilessly destroyed as heathen, by the sword, and thousands were carried off to be sold as slaves. The war was carried on by the people sheltered in some of the immense natural and artificial caves of the mountain. When they finally surrendered, one man pretended to have counted over five hundred men coming out of a single cavest
The principal town of Sinjar lies to the north of the mountain, and is usually known simply as “the city.” It is the place called in Roman history Zingara, and was a fortress, passing repeatedly from the hands of the Persians to their Roman or Greek enemies. It contains, I was told, large and rich ruins, like those of Dara, near Mardin. It is said that all the Yezidies of the Sinjar were originally of five tribes; some of the names of which are, Koreish, Kaidiyé, Dûrman, and Havakiyé. The names of certain villages are Jenúviyé, Semmoka, Kerré, Dakhyan, Yara, Kheiran. Rich was told, at Mosul, that the Yezidies are distinguished from others by the name of Jenu, or Jelu.
The second region where the Yezidies are now found, in probably the greatest numbers, is east of the Tigris. Taking Mosul as a centre, and drawing an arc of a circle, beginning at forty miles southeast of that city, around to forty miles west of north, we shall have included the greater portion of the villages found in that quarter. Their villages are found in the plains contiguous to the mountains, or in the mountains themselves, that run from the convent of El Kosh, southeast to the river Zab. The villages in that quarter may be estimated at over fifty. Many of them are in the limestone cliffs of the
* Kinneir's Asia Minor and Kurdistan, 1814. London. † Southgate's Tour in Armenia, etc., Vol. II. N. York, 1840. I Gibbon's Dec, and Fall. $ Rich's Tour in Kurdistan, Vol. II. Lond. 1836.
mountains, and some of their homes were formerly tombs or charnel-houses. The common name of this people in this quarter is Dasini, which was the ancient name of this district; ecclesiastical history informing us of an ancient bishopric of that name.* In Kurdistan proper there is a ruined village to this day called Dasin, and the name is applied to the Yezidies of no other region. Another name of a district is Bergbé, or Berghiyé-being the northern part of this territory, in which alone are said to be fifty villages. The following are the names of some of the towns: Katti, Eski Kelleh, Nemir, Baasheka, Baazani, Cofan, Haji Jo, Mizik, Moghara, Sherab Airan, Sirej Khan, Baadli and Sherabi. At El Kosh, Mr. Rich remarks, he was surrounded with Yezidi villages in abundance.f
From Jezira, on the Tigris, four days north of Mosul, we have eastward another cluster of Yezidies, surrounded alınost entirely by Mohammedan Kurds. The names of some of their tribes are: Benwid, Kaûn, Pûrésh, Hiûrel. I
Between Sert (the ancient Tigranocerta) and Diarbekir, on the north of its branch of the Tigris, we have Yezidi villages again, scattered along in clusters, as at Bismil, Beshir, and Redwan, or Yezidi Khan. It is here chiefly a champaign country, with rolling hills. The names of some of their tribes are Khunduki, Behemrer, Serhani, Bejborni, Torkashiki. These Yezidies, with those in the vicinity of Jezira, (the ancient Bezabdé,) are known by the general name of the Musessan, or Dinnedí tribes.
Stretching westward from the Tigris at Jezira, across to Bir on the Euphrates, south of the mountain chains, we shall find Yezidies scattered through that whole distance. In the Tor mountains, surrounded with Syrians, speaking the Syrian language, are many villages. Mr. Southgate speaks of nine in the district of Haznäûr; in the plain before Mardin are six or seven; near Orfa, in a district whose chief town is called Nebbi Eyyoub,—the burial-place of the prophet Job,—it is pretended there are in all at least 5,000 Yezidies. Many of them live in tents in summer, and retire to huts in the mountains in winter.
Far remote from any of these tribes, we find three villages at the foot of Mt. Ararat, containing together three hundred
* Dr. Grant. Miss. Herald, March, 1841.