a community or sect of Christians, numbering some 150,000, in Syria, particularly in the northern part of Mount Lebanon, and said to be of very ancient origin.
I. History. — Considerable controversy has arisen as to the real origin of this most peculiar Christian people; the most probable account represents them as descendants of a remnant of the honothelites (q.v.), who, fleeing from the repressive measures of the emperor Anastasius II, in the early part of the 8th century, settled on the slopes of the Lebanon, and gradually yielded their distinctive Monothelite views. According to Mosheim (Eccles. Hist. 1:457; 3:127), many Monothelites, after the Council of Constantinople, found a refuge among the Mardaites, signifying in Syriac rebels, a people who took possession of Lebanon A.D. 676, and made it the asvlum of vagabonds, slaves, and all sorts of rabble; and about the conclusion of the 7th century these Monothelites of Lebanon were called Maronites, after Maro, their first bishop. None, he says, of the ancient writers give any certain account of the first person who converted these mountaineers to Monothelitism; it is probable, however, from several circumstances, that it was John Maro, whose name they have adopted; and that this ecclesiastic received the name of Maro from his having lived, in the character of a monk, in the famous convent of St. Maro, upon the borders of the Orontes, before his settlement among the Mardaites of Mount Libanus. Gieseler (Eccles. Hist. 2:419), however, takes exception to this identification of the Maronites with the Mardaites, and, by authority derived from the writings of Anquetil Duperron (Recherches sur les migrations des Mardes, in the Mellr. de l'Acad. des Inscript. 1:1), holds that "the Mardaites or Mards, a warlike nation of Armenia, were placed as a garrison on Mount Libanus by Constantine Pogonatus, A.D. 676 (Theophanes, p. 295), and were withdrawn as early as 685 by Justinian II (Theophanes, p. 302). Madden (Turkish Empire, 2:154), upon the authority of the learned Benedictine St. Maur (Histoire Maonastique de l'Orient, p. 348), holds that the Maronites were founded by St. Maro, a patriarch of Syrian Christians in the 5th century, and that they existed under that name in the 7th century, when the Saracens ravaged the country, and were afterwards persecuted as Mardaites (comp. here Churchill, Mount Lebanon, 3:58). There is certainly much in favor of this argument, not the least of which is the fact that, "at the commencement of the 7th century, the entire range of mountains from Antioch to Jerusalem was in the hands of the Syrian Christians, who formed a political power under chiefs or emirs, exercising a hereditary government" (Churchill). But, however great may be the darkness surrounding their earliest history, one thing is certain, from the testimony of William of Tyre and other unexceptionable witnesses, as also from the most authentic records, namely, that the Maronites retained the opinions of the Monothelites until the 12th century, when, abandoning and renouncing the doctrine of one will in Christ, they were readmitted into the communion of the Roman Church. Jacques de Vitry, bishop of Acre in the 12th century, thus speaks of the Maronites in his Historia Hierosolymitanza, drawn up at the request of pope Honorius III: "Men armed with bows and arrows, and skillful in battle, inhabit the mountains in considerable numbers, in the province of Phoenicia, not far from the. town of Biblos. They are called Maronites, from the name of a certain man, their master, Maron, a heretic, who affirmed that there was in Jesus but one will or operation. The Christians of the Lebanon, dupes of this diabolical error of Maron remained separate from the Church nearly five hundred years. At last, their hearts being turned, they made profession of the Catholic faith in presence of the venerable father Amaury, patriarch of Antioch, and adopted the traditions of the Roman Church." The most learned of the modern Maronites have left no method unemployed to defend their Church against this accusation; they have labored to prove, by a variety of testimonies, that their ancestors always persevered in the Catholic faith, and in their attachment to the Roman pontiff, without ever adopting the doctrine of the Monophysites or Monothelites (compare Churchill, Mount Lebanon, 3:51). But all their efforts are insufficient to prove the truth of these assertions, and the testimonies they allege appear absolutely fictitious and destitute of authority.
There can be no doubt that the Maronites were brought back to the communion of Rome by the influence of the Crusaders. Even in our day the Maronites, "warranted, indeed, both by historical and traditional records, allude in terms of pride and satisfaction to the service done by their ancestors to the armies of the Crusaders, and estimate in round numbers 50,000 of their population as having fallen under the standards of the Cross" (Churchill). During the early part of the 12th century the communications between the Maronite patriarch and the papal see were of frequent recurrence, and thus the way was easily paved for reunion. But though the Maronites joined the communion of Rome in this very age, it required three centuries more before the sturdy mountaineers could be brought to acknowledge Rome's supremacy in matters of ecclesiastical discipline, and we are afforded a picture of a Christian Church existing for three centuries, "popish in all its forms and doctrines, saving the cardinal point of submission to the pope." They had entered the Romish communion on the establishment of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century, but they did not enter into a formal act of union with Rome until the Council of Florence in 1445, and only formally subscribed to the decrees of the Council of Trent in 1736. Mosheim observes that the subjection of the Maronites to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff was agreed to with this express condition, that neither the popes nor their emissaries should pretend to change or abolish anything that related to the ancient rites, moral precepts, or religious opinions of this people; so that, in reality, there is nothing to be found among the Maronites that savors of popery, if we except their attachment to the Roman pontiff. It is also certain that there are Maronites in Syria who still hold the Church of Rome in the greatest aversion and abhorrence (Schaff, Church Hist. 3:783); nay, what is still more remarkable, great numbers of that nation residing in Italy, even under the eye of the pontiff, opposed his authority during the 17th century, and threw the court of Rome into great perplexity. One body of these non-conforming Maronites retired into the valleys of Piedmont, where they joined the Waldenses; another, above six hundred in number, with a bishop and several ecclesiastics at their head, flew into Corsica, and implored the protection of the republic of Genoa against the violence of the inquisitors. Their union with Rome gave the Maronites the protection of European powers, especially that of the devoted Frank; but when the Franks were expelled from Syria, in 1300, by Malek Ashraf, the Maronites were compelled to defend their independence against the Mameluke sovereigns, and the greater part of them became mixed up with the Druses, still keeping up, however, their connection with Rome. In the 17th century they placed themselves under the direct protection of France, Louis XIV and Louis XV granting them "Letters of Protection;" and for some time the French consul at Beirut exercised almost regal sway over them, the Maronites regarding themselves as "the French of the East." In the early part of the 18th century the Druses called the Mohammedan family of the Shehabs to govern Lebanon, and in 1713 the Turks made the first attempt to bring the inhabitants under the direct rule of a pacha. They resisted successfully, defeating the Turks in the battle of Aindara; but in 1756 several emirs became Maronites, and, incited by the Maronits clergy, showed great favor to their new brethren, thereby displeasing the Druses, and provoking a feeling of ill-will between the Druses and the Maronites, which has not yet subsided. The pachas of Acre, since Jezzar, carefully promoted this misunderstandinug, for they felt that the tribes of Lebanon, fully united under an enterprising chief, would become dangerous to the Porte. Yet there was no feeling of religious animosity between the two nations at this early date, and, whenever political troubles broke out, Druse and Maronite sided indiscriminately with both parties. Emir Beshir Shehab (1789-1840), although in secret a Maronite, was always surrounded by the most important among the Druses, and, whenever he needed help, asked it of them rather than of the Maronites. Thus the Druses and the Christians were living peaceably side by side until 1831, when Syria passed under the rule of Mohammed Ali, and he commissioned his son, Ibrahim Pacha, to govern the province. Carrying out his father's enlightened views, Ibrahim Pacha applied himself to the improvement of the condition of his Christian subjects, and, in spite of the opposition of the Mohammedans, they were raised to civil and military offices. The Syrians, however, accustomed to the indolent Turkish rule, revolted against this energetic and active Egyptian management, and it was some time before the insurrection was quelled, the Druses being the last to submit. They had asked the Maronites to join them, and the latter, who had held back when there was some chance of success, now rose under the most frivolous pretenses. In the mean time, in 1840, the allied fleet of England, Austria, and Turkey were employed to secure the restoration of Syria to Turkey. Turkish agents were busy among the Maronites, fanning the flame of rebellion; most of these wretches were Englishmen. Finally, France not upholding Egypt, Syria was returned to Turkish rule. The position of the Christians now became worse than ever, and their merchants were obliged to invoke the protection of the European consuls against the spoliation of the Turks. Lord Stratford of Redcliffe interfered in their behalf at Constantinople, and quiet was for a while restored. The Turkish government wished to appoint a Turkish governor over Lebanon, but the English finally succeeded in obtaining the appointment of emir Beshir Kassim Shehab, a Christian. The Druses, however, took exception to this arrangement, and when subsequently the Maronite patriarch attempted to confiscate all civil authority for the benefit of the Maronites, they became exasperated. Colonel Rose, the English consul-general, wrote on that occasion, "The Maronite clergy show a determination to uphold their supremacy in the mountains at the risk of a civil war." And a civil war was the result of this obstinacy. The patriarch (for his functions among the Maronites, see below, under III. Religious Status. — 1. Clergy) at the same time, by his mismanagement, excited the jealousies of the Turks, and displeased the English, whom the Druses hailed as their friends.
On Sept. 14,1841, a first affray took place between the Druses and the Christians at Deir el-Kamar; it was repressed by the efforts of colonel Rose. The Druses rose again, however, on Oct. 13, 14, and 15, and the entire destruction of the town was only prevented by the arrival from Beiruit of colonel Rose and Ayieb Pacha on the 16th. But the war had commenced, and the Druses, assisted by the Turks, who willfully and purposely promoted the hateful strife, soon got the better of the Christians, and, had it not been for the interference of the English consul, Turkish fanaticism would have extinguished every Christian life on and near Mount Lebanon. Quiet was restored, however, only for a season. See DRUSES. On Aug. 30, 1859, an affray took place at Bate-mirri, three hours from Beirut, originating in a quarrel between a Druse and a Christian boy, in which the Druses were defeated; but the next day, Sunday, they renewed the fight in greater numbers, and were victorious. The Druses now commenced burning the Maronite villages; the Turks fearing the power of European governments, Kurchid Pach put an end to the disturbance, yet without punishing the offenders. The Maronites, perceiving or believing that a secret understanding existed between the Druses and the Turks, promptly commenced arming. In April, 1860, Kurchid Pacha received despatches from Constantinople; soon afterwards Seid Bev Jumblatt assembled a Druse divan at Muchtara, and great agitation commenced to pervade the Druse districts; Christians were murdered either singly or in small parties, and a great number of them, leaving their villages, fled to the stronger places of Zachle and Deir el-Kamar. On May 4 some Druses broke into the convent of Amik, near Deir el-Kamar, and murdered the superior in his bed. The Maronites still sought to obtain peace, but found that they would be compelled to meet force with force. Three thousand men from Zachle attacked the Druse village of Aindara, but were beaten by a much smaller force, their arrangements, and especially their discipline, being much inferior to that of the Druses. Kurchid Pacha had a Turkish camp in the immediate vicinity of Beiriut, and commanding the plain, but he did not interfere now as he had done on the former occasion. On the contrary, after encouraging the Maronites by promising them his protection against the Druses, he gave the signal of their massacre on May 30. One hundred Turkish soldiers and the irregular Turkish cavalry joined the Druses in cutting down the Maronites. The Druses would have pushed on to Beirat had they not been prevented by the Turks. The European consuls now attempted to interfere; they were met with fine protestations by the Turkish authorities, and nothing was done to repress the outrages. At the end of May the Druses blockaded Deir el-Kamar, and on June 1 it was attacked by 4000 of them. The city surrendered the next day. The pacha, after entering the city, upbraided the Maronites as traitors, rebels, etc., because they had thought it wise to defend themselves against the Druses. At the same time 2000 Druses, commanded by Seleb Bev Jumblatt, took Jezin, and murdered the inhabitants. Roman Catholic convents shared the same fate as those of the Maronites, being sacked, plundered, and burned: in that of Meshmfisy alone thirty monks had their throats cut; the plunder was enormous. Ali Said Bey's district was given up to fire and the sword. Sidon was only saved by the timely arrival of captain Maunsell, with his English ship the Firefly, on June 3. In the Anti-Lebanon, Said Bev's sister followed her brother's example and instructions, causing the Christians of Hasbeya and Rasheva to be inveigled into the serail of the former place, under promise of their being taken safely to Damascus; they were there murdered in cold blood by the Druses, without distinction of age or sex, on June 10. The Turkish soldiers crowded into the serail to enjoy the sight, and some of them even took part in the butchery. On June 14 Zachle was invested and taken and on the 19th Deir el-Kamar met with the same fate.
The entire male population was ruthlessly massacred, and the city given a prey to the flames. The surviving widows and children fled to the coasts. On June 22 a disturbance broke out at Beirut, in which even the Europeans were assailed, but it was repressed with the aid of general Kmety (Ismail Pacha). The purely Maronite districts of Lebanon now became greatly alarmed, the more as Turkish soldiers were quartered there under the pretense of protecting them. The European consuls advised together, and drew up a remonstrance to the Druse chiefs, which a Mr. Grahamr was sent to deliver to them. Said Bey Jumblatt, however, when appealed to, declared only his respect for England and his willingness to see this struggle end, but added that he had no power over it, and that the Druses would not obey him. Most of the Druse sheiks contrived to avoid Mr. Graham, and those he did meet gave him but evasive answers. Finally, on July 10, the Mohammedans of Damascus rose against the Christians, of whom there were some 25,000 in the city. The Christian quarter was soon a heap of smoldering ruins, beneath which numberless corpses were buried. Women, married and unmarried, were wandering through the streets, and were seen to cry for assistance, with heads uncovered and feet naked, appealing to the murderers for mercy. Many were sold as slaves for a few piastres, or taken away to the desert. The streets were crowded with fanatics, who shouted continually, "Death to the Christians! Let us slaughter the Christians! Let not one remain!" Every church and convent was plundered and afterwards burned. The silver plate, jewelry, and gold coin taken from these sanctuaries "were not allowed to be plundered by the rabble, but were removed by soldiers." These are the words of the British consul, Mr. Brant. The consulates of France, Russia, Austria, Belgium, Holland, and the United States were all burned. Those of England and Prussia escaped, as they were not situated in the Christian quarter, and they became an asylum for as many as were able to reach them. Others were saved in great numbers in the house of Abd-el-Kader, and in the citadel; but the governor, Ahmed Pacha, was an unmoved witness of the devastation, or an accomplice in the lawless deeds of the plundering rabble (Lond. Rev. 1860, Oct., p. 160). As has already been stated in the article DRUSES SEE DRUSES (q.v.), the French and English governments were obliged to come to the rescue of the Syrian Christians, and the Porte was forced to inflict punishment upon those whom the Turkish officers had made pliant tools for the destruction of the Maronites. On Aug. 3 a conference of the great powers — Britain, Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, and Turkey as well-met, but the meeting was closed without accomplishing any real good. All that was secured was the promise that the Sublime Porte had endeavored and would continue to do its duty; but what this duty consisted in, it has been hard to determine to this day. Only a few weeks previously the Christian emirs had been compelled by the Turkish pacha to testify that the conduct of the Turks was irreproachable, when the emirs felt constrained afterwards to acknowledge their extorted perjury. In October, finally, the international conference of the plenipotentiarics of European powers convened at Beirut, and crowned their labors successfully, June 9, 1861, by a special treaty concerning the administration of the Lebanon. SEE DRUSES.
II. Social Position. — The nation may be considered as divided into two classes, the common people and the sheiks, by whom must be understood the most eminent of the inhabitants, who, from the antiquity of their families and the opulence of their fortunes, are superior to the ordinary class. They all live dispersed in the mountains, in villages, hamlets, and even detached houses, which is never the case in the plains. The whole nation consists of cultivators. Every man improves the little domain he possesses, or farms, with his own hands. Even the sheiks live in the same manner, and are only distinguished from the rest by a bad pelisse, a horse, and a few slight advantages in food and lodging; they all live frugally, without many enjoyments, but also with few wants, as they are little acquainted with the inventions of luxury. In general, the nation is poor, but no one wants necessaries; and if beggars are sometimes seen, they come rather from the sea-coast than the country itself. Property is as sacred among them as in Europe; nor do we hear of robberies and extortions so frequently committed by the Turks. Travelers may journey there, either by night or by day, with a security unknown in any other part of the empire, and the stranger is received with hospitality, as among the Arabs: it must be owned, however, that the Maronites are less generous, and rather inclined to the vice of parsimony. Conformably to the doctrines of Christianity, they have only one wife, whom they frequently espouse without having seen, and always without having been much in her company. Contrary to the precepts of that same religion, however, they have admitted, or retained, the Arab custom of retaliation, and the nearest relation of a murdered person is bound to avenge him. From a habit founded on distrust, and the political state of the country, every one, whether sheik or peasant, walks continually armed with a musket and poniards. This is, perhaps, an inconvenience; but this advantage results from it, that they have no novices in the use of arms among them when it is necessary to employ them against the Turks. As the country maintains no regular troops, every man is obliged to join the army in time of war; and if this militia were well conducted, it would be superior to many European armies. From accounts taken in late years, the number of men fit to bear arms amounts to 35,000.
III. Religious Status. — Although the Maronites are united with Rome, and though they are perhaps the most ultramontane people in the world, they nevertheless retain their distinctive national rites and usages.
1. Clergy. — The most peculiar of all their institutions is undoubtedly the clerical. As we have seen above, it is supposed that the folunder of the Maronites constituted himself a patriarch, and this position remains the highest dignity among them. It is true they admit the supremacy of Rome, but for the home government of the Church the patriarch is the highest authority. and in his election, as well as in the selection of all the clergy, the Maronite exercises his own private judgment, independent of the papal power at Rome. Here it may not be improper to state that the patriarch is at present expected to furnish every tenth year a report of the state of his patriarchate. Associated with the patriarch in the ecclesiastical government of the Maronites are twelve bishops, but of the latter four are titular, or inpartibus. The patriarch himself is chosen by the bishops in secret conclave, and by ballot. "'The debates usually last for many days, and even weeks; at last, when the choice is made, the bishops present kneel down and kiss the new patriarch's hands; the patriarch immediately writes letters to all the chief nobles of the mountain informing them of his nomination. The latter lose no time in assembling to pay him their respects and make their obeisance. A pelisse of honor shortly afterwards arrives for the patriarch from the governor of Lebanon. Fires, and rejoicing, and illumination extend throughout the whole range of the Maronite districts; a petition is now drawn up to be sent to the pope, praying him to confirm the choice which has just been made, and signed by the principal chiefs. It is open, however, to the clergy, or any party, to protest against the nomination. . . The pope, however, never fails at once to confirm a selection which has the support of the feudal aristocracy and principal clergy of Lebanon" (Churchill 3:78). In true puerile affectation and presumptuous inference, the patriarch of the Maronites, who is styled the Patriarch of Antioch, usually takes the name of Peter, intended to denote an official descent from the apostle Peter. "His power," says Churchill, "is despotic, and from his decision there is no appeal, either in temporal or spiritual affairs; even the pope's legate, who resides constantly in Lebanon, and is supposed to superintend all the ecclesiastical proceedings of the Maronite Church, has no influence over the patriarch beyond what may be obtained by personal superiority of character.... The income of the patriarch may amount to about £5000 a year, derived principally from lands set apart exclusively for the office. He obtains likewise a sixth of the revenue of the bishops." "The patriarch of the Maronites," says Madden (Turkish Empire, 2:160), "formerly exercised very extensive power not only of a religious, but of a civil kind, for the protection of his people, who in those times possessed many important immunities and franchises, which, since 1842, have been either abrogated or assimilated to the privileges enjoyed by the Roman Catholic subjects of the Porte. But the Maronites still, in all great emergencies and dangers at the hands of their old and constant enemies the Druses, are wont to look for counsel and guidance to their patriarch rather than to the emir, their nominal civil protector. The patriarch, in the winter, resides ordinarily at Kesruan, and in the summer at the monastery of Canobin, in the valley of Tripoli, supposed to be, on very insufficient grounds, where the venerated Maron had fixed his abode." The eight regular bishoprics of the Maronite Church are Aleppo, Tripoli, Jebail, Baalbek, Damascus, Cyprus, Beirut, Tyre, and Sidon. Thle incumbents of this, the second office, are, like the patriarch, possessed of stated revenues, that enable them to live in comparative affluence. Their election takes place as follows: "When a bishop dies, the patriarch writes to the principal people of the village under the jurisdiction of the deceased prelate, requesting them to assemble together and nominate a priest to the vacant see; should there be a unanimity of voices, the patriarch confirms their selection; if; on the contrary, they cannot agree, he desires them to send him the names of three priests, and from this list he selects one for the bishopric." The inferior clergy of the Maronites, who have no fixed sources of income, subsist on the produce of their masses, the bounty of their congregations, and, above all, on the labor of their hands, i.e. they exercise trades, or cultivate small plots of ground, and are thus industriously employed for the maintenance of their families: it is one of the peculiar characteristics of the Eastern clergy that they are not strangers to the married state. The Maronite priests marry as in the first ages of the Church, but their wives must be maidens, and not widows; nor can they marry a second time.
The poverty to which the Maronite clergy is doomed is, however, recompensed to them by the great respect the people award them. "Their vanity is incessantly flattered; whoever approaches them, whether rich or poor, great or small, is anxious to kiss their hands, which they fail not to present.... It is perhaps to the potent influence of the clergy that we must attribute the mild and simple manners generally prevailing among the Maronites, for violent crimes are extremely rare among them. Retribution immediately follows every offense, however slight, and the clergy are rigorous in preventing every appearance of disorder or scandal among the members of their flocks. Before a young man can marry he must obtain the consent of his pastor and of his bishop. If they disapprove of the marriage they prohibit it, and the Maronite has no remedy. If an unmarried girl become a mother, her seducer is compelled to marry her, whatever be the inequality of their conditions; if he refuses he is reduced to obedience by measures of severity, fasting, imprisonment, and even bastinadoing. This influence of the clergy extends to every detail of civil and domestic life. The Maronite who should appeal from the decision of the clergy to the civil authority of the emirs would not be listened to by them, and the act would be regarded by the appellant's bishop as a transgression to be visited with condign punishment" (Kelly). The number of Maronite priests is said to be 1200, and the number of their churches 400.
2. Monastics. — Of the more than 200 convents scattered through Lebanon, nearly one half belong to the Maronites, and contain from 20,000 to 25,000 inmates, who all wear a distinctive costume, and follow the rule of St. Anthony. They are divided into three different congregations those of St. Isaiah, those of the Alipines, and those of the Libanese or Baladites; besides which there are also a number of nunneries. Their dress, like that of all Greek monastics, consists of a black frockcoat, reaching to the knees, confined round the waist by a leathern girdle, and surmounted by a hood, which call be drawn over the head. This attire is called a "cacooly." The temporal affairs of the convents are directed by a superior monk, called Reis el-Aam, a sort of accountant-general, who regulates all the disbursements of his fraternity. "Lest the monks should form any particular local attachments, they are removed from convent to convent every six months, in a kind of rotation. They are, in general, exceedingly ignorant, but skillful in such trades as are necessary for their own wants and necessities." "The monks, by the rules of their order, are not allowed to smoke or eat meat. The latter, however, is permitted in case of sickness, by the order of the physician and the consent of the superior. In making long journeys the bishop may give the same permission, provided they shall not indulge in it on the days in which its use is forbidden by the canons of the Church. Much stress is laid on the nunneries being built at a distance from the convents; and no nun or woman is allowed to enter a convent, nor a monk to enter a nunnery, except on occasions of great necessity, and with strict limitation. The monks are employed in their prayers, and in various occupations of industry; the lay-brothers tilling the lands of the convents, making shoes, weaving, begging, etc.; and the priests applying themselves to study, copying books, and other matters befitting the dignity of their office. The nuns are taught to read and sew. Both the monks and nuns vow the three conditions of a monastic life — namely, chastity, poverty, and obedience; and, taken as a whole, both are extremely ignorant and bigoted."
IV. Peculiar Religious Usages. — Like the Bohemians and the (Greek Christians, the Maronites administer the sacraments in both kinds, dipping the bread in wine before its distribution. "The host is a small round loaf, unleavened, of the thickness of a finger, and about the size of a crown- piece. On the top is the impression of a seal, which is eaten by the priest, who cuts the remainder into small pieces, and putting it into the wine in the cup, administers to each person with a spoon, which serves the whole congregation" (Kelly, Syria and the Holy Land, as compiled from Burckhardt. etc., p. 92). They also keep up public nightly prayers, which are attended by women as well as by men; have a peculiar commemoration of the dead in the three weeks preceding Lent, and their whole office during Lent is of immense length and peculiar to themselves. Indeed their ritual and liturgy differ in many respects from those of the Latin Church. The mass is recited in the Syriac language, with the exception of the Epistle and Gospel, and some prayers, which are recited in Arabic, the only language understood by the people, the Syriac being simply used in the services of the Church and the offices of the priests.
V. Educational Status. — The Maronite clergy had formearly lands at Rome, the revenues of which were appropriated to keeping up a seminary for the education of young Christians from the Lebanon; and from this high school came forth some illustrious Romanists, e.g. Gabriel Sionita, Abr. Echellensis, the Assemani, etc. The resources of this appropriation were confiscated by the French during the first revolutionary war. Since then the court of Rome has granted them a hospitium at Rome, to which they may send several of their youth to receive a gratuitous education. It would seem that this institution might introduce among them the ideas and arts of Europe; but the pupils of this school, limited to an education purely monastic, bring home nothing but the Italian language, which is of no use, and a stock of theological learning from which as little advantage can be derived; they accordingly soon assimilate with the rest. Nor has a greater change been operated by the three or four missionaries maintained by the French Capuchins at Gazir, Tripoli, and Beirat. Their labors consist in preaching in their church, in instructing children in the Catechism, Thomas a Kempis, and the Psalms, and in teaching them to read and write. Formerly the Jesuits had two missionaries at their house at Antura, but the Lazarites have now succeeded them in their mission. The most valuable advantage that has resulted from these labors is that the art of writing has become more common among the Maronites, and rendered them, in that country, what the Copts are in Egypt, that is, they are in possession of all the posts of writers, intendants, and kaiygas among the Turks, and especially of those among their neighbors, the Druses. "But, though the ability to read and write be thus general among the Maronites, it must not be inferred that they are a literary people. Far from it; the book-learning of all classes, both clergy and laity, can hardly be rated too low. There are native printing-presses at work in some of the monasteries, but the sheets they issue are all of an ecclesiastical kind-chiefly portions of the Scripture or mass-books in Syriac, which few even of the clergy understand, though they repeat them by rote" (Kelly, p. 97).
The American Protestant churches, so ably represented by the Rev. W. M. Thomson and others, have done already a noble work for Syria. The MaIronite, of course, has not been forgotten, and his educational disadvantages it has been sought to ameliorate by bringing the influence of American schools to his very door. Tristram (Land of Israel [Lond. 1865], p. 22), who cites the opinion of the noteli pacha Daid Oghli, writes the following as from the mouth of the illustrious Mussulman ruler of Mount Lebanon: "He spoke with much warmth and interest of the American mission-schools; and it was gratifying to hear his independent testimony to the importance and solid nature of the work they are carrying on, especially among the Maronites, with whom he considered they have met with greater success than with any any other sect." See Churchill, Mount Lebanon (Lond. 1853, 3 vols. 8voa, iii, chap. v-viii; id. Druse and Maronite (Lond. 1864, 8vo); Kelly, Syria, and the Holy Land (compiled from Burckhardt and others), chap. viii; Guys, leir-ut et le Liban (Par. 1860); Madden, Turkish Empire, ii, ch. vi; Ritter, Erdkutnde, 17:744; Robinson, Palestine, 2:572; Comte de Paris, Dumas et le Liben, p. 75-78; Neale, Hist. of East. Ch. (Introd.), 1:153 sq.; Cowper, Sects in Syria (Lond. 1860); Schnurrer, De eccl. Spurmit. (Tub. 1810 and 1811); Silbernagl Verfassung u. gegenwartiger Bestand sammtlicher Kiechen des Orients (Landshut, 1865); Foulkes, Christendom's;Divisions. ii, ch. ix; New-Englander, 1861, p. 32; Westminster Review, 1862 (July).