« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
experience but little satisfaction, unless it could be said that he so spake that a multitude applauded; that an admiring audience hung upon his lips, astonished by his eloquence, and attracted by his powers; the minister of Christ, on the contrary, is anxious that instead of the power of eloquence and the charms of oratory, the power of divine truth and the charm of divine love may pervade every sentence which he delivers ; that he may himself be overlooked and forgotten in the wondrous message of mercy and condescension which he brings; all that he asks of you, all that he desires of God, is, that by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may be led to yield yourselves willing captives, not to the strength of his arguments, but to the sweet attractions of bis Master's love."
To this last extract, may be appropriately joined the following solemn appeal to his hearers, which occurs at the close of the sixth Lecture:
“There is no feeling so deeply affecting to the heart of a Christian minister, as the apprehension lest any to whom he has been the appointed messenger to convey the bread of life should eventually perish. To think that any who have heard the offers of the gospel, or sat within the walls of our temples, and joined in our services, should not sit down hereafter in the kingdom of God; to think that while the children of God shall have entered in with the bridegroom to the wedding, you,-yes, if it be but one among you,should be shut out, you to whom the same gospel has been preached, the same Saviour freely offered, the same Spirit waiting to be gracious,-you, who have uttered, at least with the lips, the same prayers and praises as the people of God,—that after such privileges, and such opportunities, you should ever dwell' amidst everlasting burnings;' that you should exchange the hosannas and hallelujahs of angels, for the repinings and curses of condemned spirits! Even the thought is too dreadful to entertain for a moment; 0; what must be the tremendous, the indescribable reality? How invaluable, then, is the truth, that through this man,' even Christ Jesus our Lord, is still at this hour, 'preached to you the remission of sins. Come to him now, in penitence and faith, and all will be pardoned, all will be blotted out, all will be forgiven. Behold, he stands at the door and knocks.' Suffer this day, this hour, this warning, to pass unheeded by, and he may bave departed from you for ever.”
We had marked a long and more eloquent extract, evincing a high degree of tact and originality in the appeal which it makes to womed, but are compelled to omit it for want of room.
These volumes have been extensively and highly praised, and we have heard the claim advanced for them, of being entirely free from denominational peculiarities. This is not just to the author, nor candid in regard to the public. Mr. Blunt is a low, or moderate Churchman, holding and advocating the views peculiar to that denomination. We have noticed in these volumes, his taking for granted that baptism is the substitute for circumcision ;—that Lydia had children, who were baptized with her;—and it is also said, page 193 of the history of Paul, that lhe grace received in baptism, has, by VOL. IV.-NO. XIV.
some perhaps, been lost. These, and other instances of this kind, prove that the author was not careful to avoid allusions to his particular creed. Candor, bowever, would dictate the adıission, that he does not seem to have written these lectures with a sectarian spirit, and we trust their perusa) will be extensively blest, to the edification of saints, and the conversion of sinners.
6. Impressions of Travel, in Egypt and Arabia Petræd. By ALEX
ANDER DUmas. Translated from the French, by a Lady of New York. New York. John S. Taylor. 12mo. pp. 318. 1839.
From the days of Herodotus to the present, Egypt has been the favorite land of travel. After the descriptions of Pococke, Norden, Niebuhr, and many, many others, especially since the French expedition, what can a new traveller expect to say, that has not already been better said by others? And yet we read with eagerness every new book on Egypt. It is the land of wonders, the country of the Pharaohs and the Ptolemies; of Ethiopians, Greeks, Mainelukes, and Arabs; abounding in monuments of art and historical recollections, beyond all example.
It is well that our author is a lively Frenchman, who can be merry in an African desert, can jest with privations and hardships of every kind, and who can make old things new, dull things interesting, and trifles instructive. Dumas, who is a dramatic writer, as one might easily infer from the bewitching style of his narrative, is the son of the general Dumas, known in the wars of the French republic.
The traveller's true character and gevjus appear the moment he sets foot on Egyptian ground:
“On the very edge of the wharf were ass-drivers in waiting, as one sees the conductors of hacks, cabriolets, etc., in Paris. In fact, these men were every where,-at the Tower, at Pompey's Pillar, at Cleopatra's Needle,-and, to their praise be it spoken, they surpass in officiousness the coachmen of Sceaux, Bantin, and St. Denis. Before I had time to make my selection, I was seized, carried off, put astride of an ass, torn from my seat, placed on another, dragged from this again, and thrown upon the sand. All this took place so rapidly, in the midst of cries and cuffs, that I had no time to oppose the least resistance. I took advantage of the respite afforded by the combat between my persecutors over my prostrate body, to look around me. I found that Mayer was in a still more critical situation than 1; he was entirely a prisoner, and, notwithstanding his vociferations, was carried off at a gallop by an ass and its driver. I ran to his assistance, and succeeded in rescuing him from the hands of the infidel. This done, we darted down the first lane, to escape this eighth plague of Egypt, of wbich Moses had not forewarned us.”
The description of the scene in a hot-bath at Alexandria, page 26–33, is a perfect comedy. The following graphic description of the country along the Delta, agrees with the accounts of other travellers :
* We are indebted to the kindness of personal friends for those notices to which signatures are annexed.-ED.
6 The road from Alexandria to Damanhour is remarkable for nothing but its sterility. We waded through a sea of sand, in which our attendants and asses sank knee-deep. Occasionally we were blinded by gusts of hot wind mixed with dust ; and we knew, from the mornentary oppression at our lungs, as it passed, that we were encountering the burning breath of the Desert. Here and there, on either hand, were circular villages, built on the rising ground, which, during the overflow of the Nile, become islands. The houses are of a conical form, built of brick and earth, and pierced with small, square holes, designed to admit just as much light as is strictly necessary with just as little heat as possible.”
We select a passage on matrimonial engagements and obligations. The reader will need no comments of ours :
“When M. Amon came to the grave determination of eschewing bachelorship, he employed, as is customary, a female marriage-broker to find out a suitable person. In a few days she reported the discovery of a handsome Cophtish girl, fourteen years of age. M. Amon asked to see her. As a compliance with this request would have been contrary to all usage, he was told that it would be impossible; but, nevertheless, he might ask any questions he thought proper, and depend on honest and faithful answers. These answers proving satisfactory, a suitable portion was the next day offered to the parents, and accepted. The time was then fixed for the ceremony, and at the hour appointed, M. Amon on one side, and the lady and her friends on the other, appeared at the Cadi's. The money was counted out, the bride was passed to M. Amon as the receipt, and the husband marched off with his prize. He did not see her face until he reached his house. The parties, however, had dealt fairly with bim; and he felicitates himself, to this day, on his blindman's-buff sort of a marriage.
“But fair dealing does not always occur in these matters; and great disappointment often takes place. In such a case, the deceived husband sends his wife back to her parents, giving a second portion, equivalent to the first. The husband always reserves this right to restore the wife, when a moral deception has been practised on him, and when, at the end of a certain time, the pair perceive that their characters cannot assimilate. They then become free of each other; and after this divorce, which is valid by mutual consent, they are at liberty to marry elsewhere a second, third, or fourth time."
The best passage in the whole book (pp. 63–68), is but remotely connected with travelling. We would quote it at length, for its intrinsic merit as masterly portraiture of the history of architecture, did our space permit.
Whenever we are in the midst of a great scene of interest, wliether for its monuments of art, or for its connection with history, we always feel desirous of securing a commanding position, and making it, for the time being, a kind of observatory, a centre of geographical reckoning. Our author has a strong propensity this way; of which his description of Cairo, as seen from the citadel, furnish
es a good example. To render his statements, respecting this “capital of Egypt,” still more clear, we may add to what he says, that the Nile is here divided into two arms, and that Cairo is directly east of the island thus formed, stretching in an oblong shape, in a north-easterly direction from the right bank of the river. The citadel is in the southern angle of the city; directly south of that is the City of the Dead, or Tombs of the Caliphs; between these tombs and the river is Old Cairo; at the northern extremity of the right arm of the river is the haven, Boulac, corresponding to Old Cairo at its southern extremity; and on the island, Roudah, is the celebrated Nilometer. But we will hear M. Dumas:
“ The citadel commands the city: in every direction you embrace a semi-circular view, uninterrupted and of immense extent. Under our feet as it were, lay the tombs of the Caliphs: a dead city, silent and uninhabited, vet standing like a living city. It is the Necropolis of giants. Each sepulcbre is as large as a mosque; each monument has its guardian, as mute as a sepulcbre.
“ Turning to the other side, the city of the living is beneath our feet. There are Arabs walking slowly, clothed in their magnificent msallah ; there is a confused mass, from which come the bustling cries of merchants and camels; there are the bazaars; there is a myriad of cupolas, appearing, in their close combination, like a roof, or like the thick bosses' of a Titan's buckler; and there is an array of madenehs, like a navy of masts or a forest of palm-trees. On the left stands old Cairo; on the right, Boulac, the Desert, Heliopolis. In front, and beyond the city, is the Nile, with its isle of Roudah: on its opposite shore is the battle-field of Embabeh ; farther on, the Desert; on the south-west, Gizeh, the Sphinx, the Pyramids, an immense wood of palm-trees where sleeps the Colossus, and where was Memphis; above their tops are Pyramids again, and again the Desert: the Desert on all points of the horizon, --an immerse ocean of sand; with its ebb and flow; its dromedaries traversing it like boats; its caravans covering it like navies ; its simoom sweeping it like a tempest."
The writer of these travels writes as if dulness were an unpardonable sin, and, with no little management, keeps up a constant dramatic interest, by selecting and interweaving affecting incidents. Still in the citadel, he proceeds to say: “On the platform where we were now standing, the Pacha of Egypt, I believe in 1818, assembled together the whole corps of Mamelukes, as if for a feast; and, having suddenly secured all egress, excepting the sheer and precipitous descent over the sides of the elevation, he destroyed them with cannon and musketry. They came, according to custom, in their richest costume, with their finest arms, and bearing about them all their wealth. At a signal, given by the Pacha, death burst upon them from all sides. Crossing and enfilading batteries poured forth their flane and iron; and men and horses were at once weltering in blood. The dismayed troop dispersed itself in the circumscribed arena, the individual horsemen dashing against the walls with infuriated cries of rage and vengeance. They rushed together; divided in groups; scattered like leaves before the wind; then, uniting again, returned as in a last effort to crush the breasts of their horses against the muzzles of the blazing artillery: still again they dispersed, like flocks of frighteved birds, again to be overtaken by the iron rain which followed them. Many precipitated themselves from the summit of the citadel, and were destroyed in the abyss. Two, however, recovered themselves. At the first shock of the concussion, both horses and riders were stunned; they trembled for an instant like equestrian statues when shaken by an earthquake, and then darted off with the rapidity of lightning: they passed the nearest gate, which fortunately was not closed, and found themselves out of Cairo." The one was overtaken and killed : “ The other Mameluke, more fortunate than his companion, traversed El Arich, gained the Desert, escaped unhurt, and, in time, became the governor of Jerusalem, where, at a later day, I had the pleasure to see him,-the last and only remnant of that redoubtable corps which, thirty years before, rivalled in courage, though not in fortune, the élite of Napoleon's army.”
The account, which next follows, of the mode of punishing thieves, is equally interesting. The Battle of the Pyramids, and the assassination of Kleber (with whom the father of Dumas was then residing, although his name is not even mentioned in the whole volune), and numerous other sketches, are of a siinilar character. Indeed, two thirds of the volume might be acted as well as read.
7. Fireside Education. By the Author of Peter Parley's Tales. New York. 12mo. pp. 396. 1838.
We have read this attractive work with much pleasure; and, for the most, with satisfaction. An eloquent plea in behalf of education occupies the first 64 pages; from 64 to 134 are devoted to the parental and filial relations in regard to education ; 134–171 to religion, as the subject of education ; 171–276 to morals, under the topics Truth, Justice, Mercy, Forgiveness, Pity, Patience, Discretion, Cheerfulness, Fidelity, Prudence, Courage, Self-government, Patriotism, Duties of Citizenship, Perseverance, Industry, Order, and Neatness, Warnings, and Charity. Then follows Health (276-301), Intellectual Culture, (301–364), Accomplishments, Manners, &c. (361–395). Such is the plan of this practical book; and to say that under the author's practised hand, grave subjects are made interesting by numerous illustrations, that the sentiments are throughout elevated, and the style graceful and flowing, is but to bestow an unnecessary commendation. Mr. Goodrich borrows largely from numerous popular writers, and seems to have aimed more at utility than novelty or originality.
The chief objection that we have to the work is, that religion and morality, though traced directly to Christianity as their true source, are, nevertheless, founded too much upon education, and too little upon the grand principles of human redemption and spiritual renovation. That all religious excellence, and even moral excellence, so far as it contains a religious element, depend, with respect to all buman beings, upon those two principles, we regard as a funda