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  • by: by Rohen, Johannes W
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  • Add date: 03.09.2016
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Edward Robinson declares him to have been the most thorough, thoughtful, and enlightened traveller of that century. Fabri is greatly impressed by the wonders of the Dead Sea, and typical of his honesty influenced by faith is his account of the Dead Sea fruit; he describes it with almost perfect accuracy, but adds the statement that when mature it is "filled with ashes and cinders.

" As to the salt statue, he says: "We saw the place between the sea and Mount Segor, but could not see the statue itself because we were too far distant to see anything of human size; but we saw it with firm faith, because we believed Scripture, which speaks of it; and we were filled with wonder.

" To sustain absolute faith in the statue he reminds his reader's that "God is able even of these stones to raise up seed to Abraham," and goes into a long argument, discussing such transformations as those of King Atlas and Pygmalion's statue, with a multitude of others, Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas up with the case, given Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas the miracles of St.

Jerome, of a heretic who was changed into a log of wood, which was then burned. He gives a statement of the Hebrews that Lot's wife received her peculiar punishment because she had refused to add salt to the food of the angels when they visited her, and he preaches a short sermon in which he says that, as salt is the condiment of food, so Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas salt statue of Lot's wife "gives us a condiment of wisdom.

"[[233]] There were, indeed, many discrepancies in the testimony of travellers regarding the salt pillar--so many, in fact, that at a later period the learned Dom Calmet acknowledged that they shook his belief in the whole matter; but, during this earlier time, under the complete sway of the theological spirit, these difficulties only gave new and more glorious opportunities for faith. For, if a considerable interval occurred between the Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas of one salt pillar out of existence and the washing of another into existence, the idea arose that the statue, by virtue of the soul which still remained in it, had departed on some mysterious excursion.

Did it happen that one statue was washed out one year in one place and another statue another year in another place, this difficulty was surmounted by believing that Lot's wife still walked about. Did it happen that a salt column was undermined by the rains and fell, this was believed to be but another sign of life. Did a pillar happen to be covered in part by the sea, this was enough to arouse the belief that the statue from time to time descended into the Dead Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas depths--possibly to Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas that old fatal curiosity regarding her former neighbours.

Did some smaller block of salt happen to be washed out near the statue, it was believed that a household dog, also transformed into salt, had followed her back from beneath the deep. Did more statues than one appear at one time, that simply made the mystery more impressive. In facts now so easy of scientific explanation the theologians found wonderful matter for argument. One great question among them was whether the soul of Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas wife did really remain in the statue.

On one side it was insisted that, as Holy Scripture declares that Lot's wife was changed into a pillar of salt, and as she was necessarily made up of a soul and a body, the soul must have become part of the statue. This argument was clinched by citing that passage in the Book of Wisdom in which the salt pillar is declared to be still standing as "the monument of an unbelieving _soul_.

" On the other hand, it was insisted that the soul of the woman must have been incorporeal and immortal, and hence could not have been changed into a substance corporeal and mortal. Naturally, to this it would be answered that the salt pillar was no more corporeal than the ordinary materials of the human body, and that it had been made miraculously immortal, and "with God all things are possible.

" Thus were opened long vistas of theological discussion. [[234]] As we enter the sixteenth century the Dead Sea myths, and especially the legends of Lot's wife, are still growing. In 1507 Father Anselm of the Minorites declares that the sea sometimes covers the feet of the statue, sometimes the legs, sometimes the whole body.

In 1555, Gabriel Giraudet, priest at Puy, journeyed through Palestine. His faith was robust, and his attitude toward the myths of the Dead Sea is seen by his declaration that its waters are so foul that Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas can smell them at a distance of three leagues; that straw, hay, or feathers thrown into them will sink, but that iron and other metals will float; that criminals have been kept in them three or four days and could not drown.

As to Lot's Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas, he says that he found her "lying there, her back toward heaven, converted into salt stone; for I touched her, scratched her, and put a piece of her into my mouth, and she tasted salt. " At the centre of all these legends we see, then, the idea that, though there Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas no living beasts in Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas Dead Sea, the people of the overwhelmed cities were still living beneath its waters, probably in hell; that there was life in the salt statue; and that it was still curious regarding its old neighbours.

Hence such travellers in the latter years of the century as Count Albert of Lowenstein and Prince Nicolas Radziwill are not at all weakened in faith by failing to find the statue. What the former is capable of believing is seen by his statement that in a certain cemetery at Cairo during one night in the year the dead thrust forth their feet, hands, limbs, and even rise wholly from their graves.

There seemed, then, no limit to these pious beliefs. The idea that there is merit in credulity, with the love of myth-making and miracle-mongering, constantly made them larger.

Nor did the Protestant Reformation diminish them at first; it rather strengthened them and fixed them more firmly in the popular mind. They seemed destined to last forever. How they were thus strengthened at first, under Protestantism, and how they Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas finally dissolved away in the atmosphere of scientific thought, will now be shown. [[235]] III. POST-REFORMATION CULMINATION OF THE DEAD SEA LEGENDS. --BEGINNINGS OF A HEALTHFUL SCEPTICISM.

The first effect of the Protestant Reformation was to popularize the older Dead Sea legends, and to make the public mind still more receptive for the newer ones. Luther's great pictorial Bible, so powerful in fixing the ideas of the German people, showed by very striking engravings all three of these earlier myths--the destruction of the cities by fire from heaven, the transformation of Lot's wife, and the vile origin of the hated Moabites Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas Ammonites; and we find the salt statue, especially, in this and other pictorial Bibles, during generation after generation.

Catholic peoples also held their own in this display of faith. About 1517 Francois Regnault published at Paris a compilation on Palestine enriched with woodcuts: in this the Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas Dead Sea legend of the "serpent Tyrus" reappears embellished, and with it various other new versions of old stories.

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