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EACON (Suákovos, minister, servant), the name given their ministry in the Latin church in the 6th century.

to the lowest order of minister in the Christian The office was abolished in the Greek church in the 12th church. From the appointment of the seven Hellenic century. deacons (Acts vi.) we learn that their duty under the apostles DEAD SEA, the largest lake in Palestine, and phywas simply to distribute alms from the public fund. In the sically, as well as historically, among the most remarkable early church, however, they soon came to discharge higher in the world. It is called in Scripture The Salt Sea (Gen. functions. They assisted the bishop and presbyter in the xiv. 3), The Sea of the Plain, or more correctly of the service of the sanctuary ; in the administration of the Arabah (Deut. iii. 17), and The East Sea (Ezek. xlvii. Eucharist they handed the elements to the people; they 18). Josephus calls it the Asphaltic Lake (B. J. iii. 10, instructed the catechumens, and in some cases baptized; 17), a name adopted by classic writers in allusion to the and the archdeacons came to exercise in the 6th century bitumen, or asphaltum, which abounds in its basin. the judicial power of the bishop over the inferior clergy. Jerome gave it the name Dead Sea because its waters are

In the Church of England the form of ordaining deacons fatal to animal life, and in the Talmud it is called the Sea declares that it is their office to assist the priest in the dis- of Sodom. Its common name among the inhabitants of tribution of the holy communion ; in which, agreeably to Palestine is Baheiret Låt, “ The Sea of Lot.” the practice of the ancient church, they are confined to the The sea is 46 miles long, and varies from 5 to 9. in administering of the wine to the communicants. A deacon breadth. Its bed is the lowest part of the great valley of in England is not capable of holding any benefice, yet he the Jordan ; and its surface has a depression of no less may officiate as a private chaplain, as curate to a beneficed than 1308 féet beneath the level of the ocean. The Jordan clergyman, or as lecturer in & parish church. He may be valley itself, for a distance of about 80 miles to the northordained at twenty-three years of age, anno currente ; but ward and 30 to the southward, is also below the level of it is expressly provided that the bishop shall not ordain the ocean. The general contour of the seu is an elongated the same person a priest and deacon on the same day. In oval, with a number of bold promontories and deep bays Presbyterian churches, as in apostolic times, the deacons along the western shore, and a large, low peninsula on the have charge only of the pecuniary affairs of the congregation. south-east. It is shut in on the east and west by parallel In the Roman Catholic Church it is the deacon's office to ranges of mountains which rise steeply, and in some places incense the officiating priest or prelate ; to lay the corporal in precipices of naked rock, from the water. The western on the altar ; to receive the paten or cup from the sub- range is the mountain chain of Judah, and is composed of deacon, and present it to the person officiating ; to incense white limestone intermixed with yellow and reddish strata. the choir ; to receive the pix from the officiating prelate, Its whole eastern slopes are bare, rugged, and desolate, and to carry it to the subdeacon ; and at a pontifical forming that wilderness in which David found an asylum, mass, when the archbishop gives the blessing, to put the in which the Baptist preached, and in which our Lord was mitre on his head, and to take off the archiepiscopal pall tempted. The average height of the cliffs along the shore and lay it on tbe altar.

is about 2000 feet; but they are deeply fissured by Deaconess.—This was the title of a ministry to which torrent beds, which are all dry in summer. women were appointed in the early church, whose duty however, a few fountains in the glens and near the shore, it was to perform certain functions towards female the most celebrated of which is the Biblical Engedi. At catechumens during the ceremony of baptism by immersion, the north-west curve of the sea are extensive salt marshes, which could not so well be performed by the deacons and at the south-west is a range of hills of rock salt, 7 Their age was at first fixed at sixty years, but it was after miles long and 300 feet high, called Khashm Usdom, "The wzede reduced to forty years, and no married woman was ridge of Sodom.” On the south of the sea lies a low eligible to the office. Abuses gradually became prevalent marshy plain, partially covered with jungles of reeds, amongst the deaconesses, which led to the suppression of tamarisk, and broom.

There are,

The mountain range along the eastern side of the Dead to a depth of 1308 feet. The southern section is shallow, Sea is the sustaining wall of the tableland of Moab, which the greatest depth of the channel between the peninsula and has an elevation of about 2800 feet, and is therefore 4000 the western shore being only 13 feet, while no part of the feet above the lake. At the southern end the range is lake south of the peninsula is more than 12 feet, and most composed of red sandstone, a continuation of the “red” of it only 3 or 4 feet deep. mountains of Edom. At the valley of Kerek the sandstone The water is intensely salt and bitter, and its density gives place to limestone ; but further north it again is so great that the human body will not sink in it. The appears in thick strata below the limestone. The range following is an analysis of water lifted by Captain Lynch is intersected by the deep and wild ravines of Kerak (the from a depth of 1110 feet, the specific gravity of which Kir-Moab of the Bible), Mojeb (the ancient Arnon), and was 1.227:Zerka Main (Maon). A few miles from the mouth of the

Chloride of calcium............

........... 3.107 latter are the warm springs of Callirrhoe, famous in Jewish

Chloride of magnesium......

.. 14889 and Roman times. À copious stream of warm sulphureous

Chloride of sodium......

7.855 Chloride of potassium. .......

( 658 water flows into the lake between stupendous cliffs of

Sulphate of lime...............

.. 0*070 sandstone. North of Zerka Main the cliffs along the shore

Bromide of potassium. .........

0.137 are sandstone, but higher up the limestone overlies the Bandstone, while dykes and seams of old trap-rock also occur.

Total ...............

26.416 At the mouth of the ravine of Kerak, on the south-east The presence of so much saline matter is accounted for of the sea, is the peninsula of Lisån, “The Tongue." Its by the washings of the sait range of Sodom, the numerous neck is a strip of bare sand about 3 miles broad. In form brackish springs along the shore, and the great evaporation. the peninsula bears some resemblance to the human foot, The reports of early travellers, however, regarding the Dead the toe projecting northward up the centre of the sea. Its Sea were to a great extent fabulous. They represented it length is about 9 miles. It is a post-tertiary deposit of as an infernal region, its black and fetid waters always layers of marl, gypsum, and sandy conglomerate ; the emitting a noisome vapour, which being driven over the surface is white and almost destitute of vegetation. adjoining land destroyed all vegetation; they also stated

The Jordan enters the lake at the centre of its northern that no birds could fly over it. All this is untrue ; the end, and has on each bank a low alluvial plain, now a water is as transparent as that of the Mediterranean, and desert, and mostly coated with a white nitrous crust. In a bath in it is both pleasant and refreshing. fact the whole circuit of the lake is wild, dreary, and The historical notices of the Dead Sea extend back nearly desolate. Ridges of drift mark the water-line, which rises 4000 years. When Lot looked down from the heights of a few feet in spring, when the Jordan, fed by the melting Bethel, he “bebeld all the plain of the Jordan that it was well snows of Hermon, flows in full stream. The drift is com watered, before the Lord destroyed Sodom, ever 'as the posed of broken canes and willow branches, with trunks of garden of the Lord(Gen. xiii. 10). The region is further palms, poplars, and other trees, half-imbedded in slimy described as a “ deep valley(Emek, Gen. xiv. 3, 8), dismud, and covered with incrustations of salt. Lying in a tinguished by “ fertile fields" (Siddim). The aspect now deep cavity, shut in by naked white hills, exposed during is entirely different. There must have been a lake then as the long summer to the burning rays of an unclouded sun, now; but it was smaller, and had a margin of fertile nothing could be expected on the shores of the Dead Sea plain, especially on the suuthern end," as thou comest unto but sterility. Yet here and there on the low plains to the Zoar." In the narration of the capture of the cities of the north and south, and on the eastern and western sides, plain hy the Eastern kings, it is said that they were wherever a little fountain springs up, or a mountain situated in the “ vale of Siddim," which was full of streamlet flows, there are thickets of willow, tamarisk, and “bitumen (slime) pits." When the cities were destroyed, acacia, among which the birds sing as sweetly as in more " the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brim. genial climes. The Arab also pitches his tent beside them, I stone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;" and Abraham and sometimes cultivates & few patches of grain and from the mountain ridges “ looked toward Sodom, and tobacco. The heat causes such excessive evaporation that toward all the land of the plain, and, lo, the smoke of the though the Jordan and other smaller streams fall into the country went up as the smoke of a furnace(Gen. xix. 24, lake the water seems to be gradually decreasing. The 28). The sacred writer further asserts regarding the rale marshes along the shore, especially to the north and south, of Siddim that it became the Salt Sea, or was submerged ; emit pestilential exhalations during summer and autumn and consequently it now forms part of the bed of the lake. which are fatal to strangers, and which make the inhabi- These events entirely changed, as it would seem, both the tants of Jericho, and the few poor tribes who pitch their political and physical condition of the whole region. Upon tents in the surrounding territory, weak and sickly. They the plains originally existing round the sea Gentile and are degraded and immoral also, as were their progenitors Jewish records combine in placing the earliest seat of in the cities of the plain.”

Phænician civilization. “The Tyrians," says Justin, "first The only ruin of note close to the Dead Sea is the dwelt by the Syrian lake before they removed to Sidon." fortress of Masada, on a cliff on the western shore, opposite Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned as the first cities of the peninsula of Lisan. It was the scene of the final the Canaanites ; and when Lot went down from Bethel struggle between the Jews and the Romans after the de- “ the cities of the plain " formed a nucleus of civilized life struction of Jerusalem by Titus,' At Engedi there are a few before any city, except Hebron and perhaps Jerusalem, had ruins; and also at Ain-el-Feshkhah on the north-west, and sprung up in central Palestine. The great catastrophe in on a little peninsula near the mouth of the Jordan. The the days of Abraham changed the aspect of the country, and ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have entirely disappeared. gave å death-blow to its prosperity. With the exception Their site is disputed, for some hold that they stood near of the village of Engedi, and the small town of Jericho, the northern end of the lake, while others affirm that they the circuit of the Dead Sea appears to have remained must have been situated at the southern end.

ever afterwards almost without settled inhabitants. The bed of the Dead Sea is divided into two sections ; Recent researches, especially those of M. Lartet, the the northern, extending from the north of the Jordan to the Duc de Luynes, and Canon Tristram, have contributed peninsula of Lisan, is 33 miles long, and is a regular basin- greatly to our knowledge of the physical geography of the shaped cavity, its sides descending steeply and uniformly Dead Sea basin. It is now shown from the geological

strueture of the watershed in the valley of the Arabah to l of the great historical question about the destruction of the the south, and from the direction of the lateral ravines cities of the plain in the following manner : which fall into the great Jordan Valley, that the river "Setting aside all preconceived notions, and taking the simple Jordan eould never have run into the Red Sea. The record of Genesis xix. as we find it, let us see whether the existing depression of the Dead Sea is 1308 feet, while the elevation

condition of the country throws any light on the Biblical narrative. of the watershed is 787 feet; and the action · which

Certainly we do observe by the lake sulphur and bitumen in abund

ance. Sulphur springs stud the shores, sulphur is strewn, whether upheaved the watershed occurred at the same geological in layers or in fragments, over the desolate plains; and bitumen period which gave to the whole of Palestine its present is ejected in great floating masses from the bottom of the sea, oozes form. The formation of the Jordan valley M. Lartet

through the fissures of the rocks, is deposited with gravel on tho accounts for in this way. At some remote period a

beach, or appears with sulphur to have been precipitated during

some convulsion. We know that at the time of earthquakeg fracture took place in the upper strata in this region, bitumen seems to be detached from the bottom of the lake. Everyextending north and south. In consequence of the unequal thing leads to the conclusion that the agency of fire was at work. strength of the strata the western side of the fracture sank,

The kindling of such a mass of combustible material, either by occasioning the abrupt dip observable in the strata on the

lightning froin heaven, or by other electrical agency, combinert

with an earthquake ejecting other bitumen or sulphur from tho western side of the valley, and the great depression of the | lake, would soon spread devastation over the plain, so that the valley itself; while the eastern side of the fracture smoke of the country would go up as the smoke of a furnace." remained in situ, showing at various places along the

(Land of Israel, p. 859). eastern shore of the Dead Sea & vertical section through Here we have to do only with physical facts and the limestone and sandstone. The basin of the Dead Sea

appearances. A mass of burning sulphurous matter might has thus been since its foundation a reservoir for the ejected from some open crater, as is often the case with fall: while its saltness originally proceeded from the salt Vesuvius; and this, falling upon the cities and the spring and hills, and gradually increased by evaporation.

bituminous plain around them, would produce just such a Deposits of great depth have accumulated in the whole

form of conflagration as Abraham is stated to have seen. valley since its formation, composed of beds of gypsum,

The valley may then have sunk a few feet, and become marl, flint, and alluvium, similar to those now in process

submerged. This, it is true, is mere theory; it is a theory, of formation at the bottom of the Dead Sea. They show

however, suggested, and to a large extent confirmed, by the that at one period the whole Jordan valley was under

physical aspect of the country, and the careful observations water; while the sides of the valley indicate successive

of travellers around the lake. The subject is not one for stages in the fall of the water from the time when its sur

vague speculation, and much less for dogmatic assertion. face was on the level of the ocean down to the present age.

The problems which the Dead Sea present must be solved, The hill-sides and strips of plain on both the eastern and

if they are ever to be solved, by scientific research. western banks of the Dead Sea are marked by a series of

It is not strange that the Dead Sea has never been terraces or shore-lines. The highest has an elevation cor

navigated to any extent. It seems probable from the responding to the level of the Mediterranean. About 230

statement oi Josephus (Ant. ix. 1, 2) that the Moabites feet above the present level of the lake there is another

crossed it to invade Judah ; and he tells us the Romans shore-line, marked by a strip of alluvial marl adhering to

used boats against the fugitive Jews (B. J. iv. 7, 6). the rocks and cliffs, particularly at the north-west angle.

Costigan was the first in modern times to navigate it, going The deposit is mixed with shells of existing species, layers

from the mouth of the Jordan to the peninsula of Lisân in of gypsum and gravel. This line would correspond with

the boat by which he had came from Tiberias. He afterthe general level of the great valley northward, through

wards died of fatigue and exhaustion. In 1837 Moore and which the river Jordan has cut a deep channel. There are,

Beck conveyed a little boat from Joppa, and visited some besides, in the ravines which descend to the lake, compara

points. Ten years later Lieutenant Molyneux took a boat tively recent deposits, reaching up their sides in places to

to the peninsula, and his life was also sacrificed. The & height of 400 feet, and then sloping down in a series of

expedition of Lynch was far more successful, and he was terraces to the present level of the lake, showing the

the first thoroughly to examine the shores, and to determino gradual depression of the water. Tristram also remarked

the depths by soundings. Several of his party took the of the western shore “no less than eight low gravel

fever which is so fatal, and one died. Winter is the terraces, the ledges of comparatively recent beaches, dis

proper season for such researches. Rain seldom falls; and tinctly marked. The highest of them was 44 feet above

the air during the depth of winter is fresh, and cold the present sea-level."

almost unknown. Many traces of volcanic action, both remote and recent, The following are the leading works which treat of the Dead have been observed in the basin of the Dead Sea, such as

Sea Robinson, Physical Geography of Palestine ; De Saulcy,

Voyage autour de la Mer Morte; Lynch, Official Report to United trap dykes, and hot sulphur and brackish springs. Tristram

States Government; Ritter, Comparative Geography of Palestine, describes a valley at the northern end of the salt range of vol. iii. appendix i.

(J. L. P.) Sodom, in which there are

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE. See BELLADONNA. " large masses of bitumen mingled with gravel. These overlie a DEAF AND DUMB. It is a not uncommon supposition thick stratnm of sulphur, which arrain overlies a thicker stratum of sand so strongly impregnated with sulphur that it yields power

that deaf mutes are dumb on account of some vocal or ful funes on being sprinkled over a hot coal. The bitumen, unlike

organic defect, whereas the dumbness arises, with very that which we pick up on the shore, is strongly impregnated with rare exceptions, from the deprivation of hearing caused by mlphur Above all, it is calcined, and bears the marks of having sone natural or accidental disease. Where partial or total been subjected to extreme heat. So far as I can understand this

dumbness exists with the sense of hearing perfect, it will deposit, if there be any physical evidence left of the catastrophe which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, or of similar occurrences,

be generally found to proceed either from great nervous We have it here. The whole appearance points to a shower of hot debility or from some mental derangement, and not, as is sulphur, and an irruption of bitumen upon it, which would often supposed, from some defect in the vocal organs, naturally be calcined and impregnated with its fumes; and this

which in the congenitally deaf, with hardly an exception, ut a geological period quite subsequent to all the dilavial and alluvial action of which we have such abundant evidence. The

are in their normal condition. Many children who are catastrophe must have been since the formation of the valley, and enumerated as congenitally deaf have the sense of hearing while the water was at its present level, therefore, probably during I to a greater or less degree but not the historio period." (Land of Israch, pp. 855, ag. 1

be of service to them in the acquisition of language. It is Tristram applies the above-obses ved facts to the solution I remarkablo that the defect of bearing is not generally dis

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coveroa till an advanced period of childhood, and though everything calculated tô pollute their uncultivated minds the child remains mute the real cause is neither readily kept from their acute powers of observation. acknowledged nor properly attended to. Children who Causes. -The causes assigned for congenital deafness are have lost their hearing after the acquisition of the power of consanguineous marriages, hereditary transmission, weuk speech cannot be included in the class of deaf mutes ; tbe constitutions of parents, scrofula, climate, and the ill-health impression-which language has made on their minds gives to of the mother at a certain period of life. There is them a marked superiority over those who are deaf from birth. necessarily difficulty in ascertaining the real cause of deaf

Such a calamity as the deprivation of hearing must be ness. That difficulty has its ground in the uuwillingness productive of great and varied disadvantages, as it totally of parents to admit that their children were born deaf. excludes the mind from an extensive class of ideas and Their deafness is often attributed to some infantile disease, associations. It is then not to be wondered at that this though the defect is congenital. On the other hand, when state of social isolation should occasionally give rise to they have lost the sense of hearing at an early age, they moroseness and despondency, and that external objects may be included among the congenitally deaf. But all should inspire little sense of surprise or admiration. They institutions for the deaf and dumb contain instances which are simply objects recognized by their form, colour, and illustrate scientific investigations, and establish the position texture, and the emotions they raise are different both in that such causes as those now alluded to tend to induce character and in intensity from those experienced by hear and perpetuate the disease of deafness. In all cases of ing children. This physical defect has not, however, any congenital deafness it will be found that there exists some necessary connection with the presence or absence of intel. disorganization of the organ of hearing itself, some obstruclectual capacity, or with the active principles of our nature. tion in the internal ear or compression of the auditory nerve, There is only the want of one of the natural and most im. whereby the vibrations of the ear are prevented from proportant avenues to intellectual development, with its ducing the required effect upon the internal parts of the ear, primary consequence of dumbness, and its secondary one or from being communicated to the brain. of social isolation. Still, the denial of all such knowledge After-birth or acquired deafness occurs at all ages, and as can be derived through the medium of the ear is has its origin in such diseases as small-pox, measles, typhus, somewhat atoned for by the quickened influence of other convulsions, paralysis, hydrocephalus, and other affections senses, especially that of sight. Thus the visible marks of of the brain, and “scarlatina, which more frequently than attention the deaf and dumb receive from others, their any other disease leaves the patient deaf, in consequence of caresses, frowns, and smiles,mall make a corresponding the inflammatory state of the throat extending to the impression on their tender minds, and as they grow older internal ear, causing suppuration and destruction of the they watch the looks and gestures of those near them with delicate apparatus on which hearing depends ; such being a keenness unknown to other children, so that the slightest the case, especial attention should be directed during the change of 'expression does not escape their observation. course of the disease to the state of the throat, so as to Their affections are stimulated and their passions excited provent if possible the inflammation extending." Vaccinamuch in the same way as in other children.

tion has been the means of greatly decreasing the cases of The proportion of children born deaf was formerly sup- deafness; and doubtless, as sanitary laws become wiore posed to be much smaller than it really is. Cases have general, the introduction of perfect sewerage, pure water, come to be known in largely increased numbers since and good ventilation, will all tend to lessen the liability to institutions for the deaf and dumb have been estab- those zymotic diseases upon which deafness supervenes lished, and such statistical tables as are given in this Amongst other causes of deafness are cold, and severe blows article suggest the incorrectness of the popular supposition. or falls upon the head. It has been ascertained that the The institutions which have been founded on their behalt proportion is about 60 per cent. congenitally deaf to 40 per have not only diffused correct information concerning their 'cent, accidentally so; and the census returns for 1871 show number, but by the gratifying success of the educational that of the 1054 inmates of 12 institutions of England and methods adopted have greatly contributed to dissipate pre- Wales 63 per cent. were congenitally deaf. Consanguineoug judicial notions concerning their capacity to receive instruc- marriages are perhaps the most fertile source of deafness, tion, and to direct public sympathy towards the claims of which fact is established by the numerous cases of deaf this class. The latter office it is still needful that they children who are the offspring of first cousins. It is not fulfil, for prejudices get exist against deaf mutes,-one only so in England, but in other countries of Europe of these being the general supposition that they are very and in America. Dr Buxton says, “ In an inquiry which vicious and hot-tempered. It may be admitted that some I made some time ago, I found that about every tenth of them are so; and it may even be granted that the pro- case of deafness resulted from the marriage of cousins." portion of mutes with such dispositions is as high as in | The Irish Commissioners' Report for 1871 says, "Too close any other class of afflicted persons, for in the case of the consanguinity in the intermarriage of relatives, and also deaf and dumb there are undoubtedly special circumstances | hereditary predisposition, have long been supposed to be of early life which tend in no small degree to such a result. causes of .congenital deaf-muteism." The results obtained The total inability of parents to deal with their abnormal by the census of 1871 tend to establish these suppositions. peculiarities must be included among the causes which pro The following table from census returns for Ireland judicially affect their dispositions, and overshadow attractive exhibits the amount of deaf-muteism where consanguinity features of their character; and the kindly-intended in- of parents existed :terference of neighbours with the parental management often proves morally injurious to them. Their discernment

Congenital Acquired of right and wrong is equal to that of other children; and


Deaf Cases. Deaf Cases. hence, when neighbours unwisely seek to screen them from

First cousins.... merited punishment, & spirit of insubordination is excited,

Second cousing........

63 and sullenness or passionateness is induced. It should Third cousing ......... therefore be the parents' utmost endeavour, when punish Fourth cousins. ...... ment is to be administered, to treat these children im

Fifth and sixth cousins...

14 partially. It is most desirable also that external circum

201 stances should be as favourable to them as possible, and





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