EDWARDS on Religious Affections.
The Author visits the City of Medina: Description of the Prophet's Tomb, and principal Mosque.
MEDINA Tadlardh, errone|ously called Medina Talmabi, is situated in Arabia Deserta, about forty five miles east from the borders of the red sea. To this place, as has been before related, the prophet sled, when driven from Mecca his birth place; and here he was buried, and his remains still are preserved, in a silver cussin, ornamented with a golden crescent, enriched with jewels, covered with cloth of gold, supported upon silver tassels, and shadowed by a canopy, embroidered with Page 221 silk and gold thread upon silver tissue. This canopy is renewed annually, by the bashaw of Egypt; though other bashaws, and great men among the Turks, often assist in the expense, or augment the value of the yearly present, by silver lamps and other ornaments. The whole are con|tained in a magnificent mosque, in which are suspended innumerable gold and sil|ver lamps, some of which are kept contin|ually burning, and all are lighted on cer|tain public occasions; and even upon the approach of some dignified pilgrim. I had not acquired sufficient holiness, from my blessed companion, to be permitted to enter this sanctified building. The Ara|bians are profusely extravagant, in the ti|tles they bestow on the city of Medina; calling it the most holy, most renowned, most excellent city; the sanctuary of the blessed fugitive; model of the refulgent city in the celestial paradise; and some of the great vulgar suppose, that when Page 222 the world shall be destroyed, this city, with the prophet's remains, will be trans|ported by angels, with all its inhabitants, to paradise. We tarried there but a few hours, as the great object of the devotions of the pilgrims was Mecca. Pilgrim|ages are performed to both places; but those to Medina are not indispensably necessary; being directed by the book of the companions of the apostles, while those to Mecca are enjoined by the alco|ran itself. The former are supposed meritorious, the latter necessary to salva|tion. I had the curiosity to inquire re|specting the prophet's cossin being sus|pended in the air by a load stone, and was assured that this was a mere christian obloquy, as no pretensions of any such suspension were ever made.