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“ The king was above all things altar,--she advanced towards the incensed at the poverty of the ecclesiastic, made several turns chief altar of the parish of Valen- round him, to display the elegance cy; and at there being in the of her toilette, and said to him, Chateau, a play-house, while there sighing, that her son received the was neither a chapel nor an orato- vows of the king in recompence ry-while the people were luxuriof the fine robe that he had given ous in their furniture and frasts, her; that the Spanish princes and miserable in the decoration would not remain long without of their temples. The king em- being delivered; and that they broidered, himself, a beautiful must form an Order of the Holy robe of white silk, with gold pal- Sacrament, with which all the lets and gold fringe, for the Virgin. knights should be armed for his He had raised a superb altar, gilt, defence. and he sometimes served, himself, “The priest, much touched by the mass at the feet of the Queen this speech, awakened, and came of the angels. The Queen of the to me to reveal the miraculous angels was most sensible of these vision ; but I answered by assurroyal attentions, and manifested ing him that the Holy Virgin had to him her content by many signs. already said as much to the king It happened in particular, that himself—who in thanking her had one night an ecclesiastic of the promised, that on his return to district being overcome with sleep Spain he would make her worship in the church, the Virgin appear. flourish over all the provinces sub ed to him as coming out of the jected to his dominion.".
MANNERS, CUSTOMS, &c.
NATIONS AND CLASSES OF PEOPLE.
any superintendence over the af
fairs of men, or render them any (Fron Sir J. Malcolm's History of aid hereafter, is blasphemy. They Persia.)
deem Mahomedans who deviate in
any way from the plain, literal THIS sect was founded near a meaning of the Koran, infidek ; the name of Shaikh Mahomed, the upon all such is the imperious son of Abalool Wahab, whose name duty of every Wåhåbee. It is one they have taken. Shaikh Maho- of their tenets, that all titles meant med connected himself in the at- to shew respect and honour to tempt to reform the religion of men are odious to God, who alone his country with Ebn-Saoud, the is worthy of high name : and Prince of Dereah, the capital of the they assert, that in conformity province of Nujuddee. Through to what is revealed in the Koran, the efforts of the saint, and the true Mahomedans should wage aid of the temporal power of continual war against unbelievers, Ebn-Saoud, and his son and suc- till they are converted, or agree cessor Abdool Azeez, the religion to pay the tribute imposed on of the Wahâbees is now esta- infidels; and that in the latter blished all over the peninsula of case they should be compelled to Arabia. The tenets of this sect are wear the coarsest garments, not to peculiar, and merit notice. They be allowed to ride on horses, nor profess that there is one God, and to live in splendid dwellings. Mahomed is his prophet : but as They maintain that the taxes. (inthe Supreme Being neither has cluding zukaat and khums) levied nor can have any participator in by Mahomed are alone lawful: his power, they say, that to pro- that swearing by Mahomed or fess that either Mahomed, the Aly, or any other person, should Imaums, or any saints, can have be prohibited, since an oath is
THE SECT OF SOOFFEES.
calling a witness to our secret thoughts, which no one can know but God, They deem it a spe
(From the Same) cies of idolatry to erect magnificent tombs ; but to kiss re- In a chapter upon the religion lics, &c. is idolatry itself; and of Persia it is impossible to pass therefore they affirm, that it is an over the Sooffees. That extraaction aceeptable to God to destroy ordinary class of devotees have the tombs of Mahomedan saints in been before noticed ; but they , Arabia and Persia, and to appro- claim a fuller description. We priate their rich ornaments to world- discover from the evidence of Maly purposes, for which they were homedan authors, that these endesigned. They say, that it is thusiasts were co-existent with wicked to mourn for the dead, their religion.
Their rapturous for if they were good Mahome- zeal, perhaps, aided in no slight dans their souls are in paradise, degree its first establishment; but at which their friends should re- they have since been considered joice. The Wahabees reject the among the most dangerous of its whole of the traditions, limiting enemies. There can be no doubt their belief to the Koran, which that their free opinions regardwas, they say, sent from heaven ing its dogmas, their contempt of to Mahomed, who was an excellent its forms, and their claim man, and much beloved of God. a distinct communion with the They continue to preserve the Deity, are all calculated to subusages of circumcision, ablu- vert that belief for which they tion, &c. which they found esta- outwardly profess their respect; blished, but consider them more and their progress has, conseas matters of practice and usage quently, been deemed as synothan of faith. The leading prin- nimous with that of infidelity. ciple of this sect is their right to There is no country over which destroy and plunder all who dif- the tenets of the Sooffees have, fer from them: and those Ma- at different periods, been more homedans who do not adopt their widely diffused than Persia. The creed are represented as far less great reputation acquired by one 'entitled to mercy than either Jews of their priests, enabled his or Christians. Their progress was descendants to occupy the throne *so great about ten years ago, as of that kingdom for more than to excite considerable alarm in two centuries : but the mothe Turkish government. Among narchs of the Suffavean dynasty other places, they plundered the were too sensible of the aid which rich tombs of Aly and his sons at their power derived from the con-Nujuff and Kerbelah. Their in- tinuance of an established and roads are always dreadful, for understood religion, to indulge in they spare none who do not con- the rapt and visionary dreams of form to their opinions; but they their pious ancestors. Their counhave lately met with some se- try, however, continued to abound vere checks, and appear to be with persons who believed in the declining.
tenets which these had taught ;
and the increase of their num- and visionary doctrine has most bers has been, of late years, so flourished. There is, in the bagreat in Persia, that the Maho- bits of that nation, and in the medan divines of that nation have character of the Hindoo religion, called upon the reigning king what peculiarly cherishes that to defend the true faith from mysterious spirit of holy abstracthe attacks of several popular tion in which it is founded : and teachers; who, from the sanctity we may grant our belief to the of their lives, and the delusive conjecture which assumes, that character of their doctrines, had India is the source from whence acquired an alarming popularity. other nations have derived this The monarch has, in consequence, mystic worship of the Divinity. adopted the most rigorous pro- The general irame which the eeedings ; and his severity has, Persian followers of this sect have for the moment, repressed a adopted, is Sooffee ; a term which flame, which it would appear implies pure: and by this all more calculated to increase than ranks who adopt this creed are to extinguish.
known, from the revered teacher, It would be vain to attempt to who is followed by thousands give a full history of the Sooffee of disciples, to the humblest doctrine ; traces of which exist, dervish, or fakeer, who travels in some shape or other, in every about naked, and begs alms region of the world. It is to be to support him in that life of found in the most splendid theo- prayer which he has voluntarily ries of the ancient schools of adopted. Greece, and in those of the mo- The Sooffees represent themdern philosophers of Europe. It selves as entirely devoted to the is the dream of the most ignorant, search of truth, and as inees. and of the most learned ; and is santly occupied in the adoration seen at one time indulging in the of the Almighty, an union with shade of ease, and at another tra- whom they desire with all the versing the pathless desart. It ardour of divine love. The great every where professes to be ad- Creator is, according to their verse to error and superstition, belief, diffused over all his creabut exists by the active propaga- tion. He exists every where, and tion of both. The wild and in every thing. They compare varied doctrines of their teachers the emanations of his divine esare offered to the disciples of this sence, or spirit, to the rays of the sect, in the place of the forms and sun ; which are, they conceive, usages of their religion. They continually darted forth, and are invited to embark on the sea reabsorbed. It is for this reof doubt, under the guidance of a absorption in the divine essence, sacred teacher, whom they are re- to which their immortal part bequired to deem superior to all other longs, that they continually sighi. mortals, and worthy of a holy confi- They believe that the soul of man, dence that borders, upon adora- and that the principle of life, sion. It is in India, beyond all which exists throughout all naother climes, that this delusive ture, is not from God, but of
God; and hence those doctrines this stage cannot be obtained which their adversaries have held without great piety, virtue, and to be the most profane, as they fortitude ; for the mind cannot were calculated to establish a he trusted in the neglect of usages degree of equality of nature and rites, necessary to restrain is between the created and the when weak, till it has acquired Creator.
strength from habits of mental The Sooffee doctrine teaches devotion, grounded on a proper' that there are four stages through knowledge of its own dignity, and which man must pass before he of the divine nature of the Al-' can reach the highest, or that mighty. The third stage is that of divine beatitude; when, to of knowledge; and the disciple use their own language, “his who arrives at it is deemed to corporeal veil will be removed, have attained supernatural knowand his emancipated soul will ledge ; or, in other words, to be mix again with the glorious es- inspired : and he is supposed, sence, from which it had been when he reaches this state, to be separated, but not divided.” The equal to the angels. The fourth first of these stages is that of and last stage is that which dehumanity, which supposes the notes his arrival at truth; which disciple to live in an obedience implies his complete union with to the holy law, and an ob- the Divinity. servance of all the rites, cus- The Sooffees are divided into toms, and precepts of the esta- innumerable sects, as must be blished religion ; which are ad- the case in a doctrine which may mitted to be useful in regulating be termed the belief of the imathe lives, and restraining within gination. By enumerating a few proper bounds the vulgar mass, of the most remarkable of these whose souls cannot reach the sects, the character of the whole heights of divine contemplation, will be understood : for though and who might be corrupted and they differ in name, and some misled by that very liberty of minor usages, they are all agreed faith which tends to enlighten in the principal tenets; and parand delight those of superior in- ticularly in those which incultellect, or more fervent devotion. cate the absolute necessity of a The second stage, in which the blind submission to inspired disciple attains power, or force, is teachers, and the possibility, termed the road, or path ; and he through fervent piety and enwho arrives at this, leaves that thusiastic devotion, of attaining condition in which he is only for the soul, even when the body admitted to admire and fol- inhabits the earth, a state of celow a teacher, and enters the lestial beatitude. pale of Sooffeeism.
Authors are divided whether abandon all observance there are two or seven of what of religious
forms and cere- be deemed original sects monies, as he exchanges, to among the Sooffees : but a very use their own phrase, practi- learned writer, whose hostile cal for spiritual worship;" hut bigotry made him direr; all his