« AnteriorContinuar »
1829.] Review of Walsh's Journey from Constantinople to England. 381
contemplate. The passages of the Balkan are very difficult; to say nothing of the formidable mountain Turkish cavalry, called Spahis or Delhis (madmen), and other impedi
The author now proceeded to cross the Danube, and we cannot resist giving the result of his observations as he sat in the midst of the river.
"When we arrived in the middle of
the current, and had a full and distinct
in all ages, crowded over to make perma-
At Rutschuk the author was informed that the plague was raging in the country through which he was to advance; and, at Buchorest, the capital of Wallachia, he found that the report was not unfounded. This city is built on the river Domnitza; and contains about 80,000 inhabitants. The author describes it as exhibiting a singular mixture of Tartar and Turkish ha
bits; and as distinguished (in common, however, with other towns in the same country) from the rest of the world by boarded streets, of which he gives the worst possible report. His description of the moral character of the inhabitants is most painful. Oh, that the northern invaders might be permitted to open a way for the introduction of the Scriptures, into a spot from which they are almost as carefully excluded as from the citadel of Mohammedanism at Constantinople!
At Petesh, our author reaches the base of the Carpathian mountains.
Soon after he passes on to Rimnik, in which district the battle of Drageschan was fought, and mournfully distinguished by the extermination of a band of young students, who there devoted themselves for Under an the liberties of Greece. influence, worthy of the brighter days of their country, these youthful heroes forsook, as by some contemporaneous influence, their schools, colleges, and homes, and ranged themselves under the banner of Ypselantes against an overwhelming army of Turks.
The traveller reached the Carpathian mountains at a pass called And Rothentûrn, or Red Tower. here he was subjected to a species of quarantine which, as he truly says, instead of curing the sick, was likely to infect and destroy the healthy. From thence he passes onward over the plains of Transylvania, now in the occupation of Austria. In this part of his work he gives a somewhat minute and interesting account of that singular people, the Gypsies; called, in that country whence they first proceeded to England, and where they are still collected in large numbers, Czingaries. Their characteristics of body and mind, in Bohemia, are precisely those by which they are distinguished here. In our own. country we are not aware that they make the slightest acknowledgment of any religion. In Bohemia, on
the contrary, they appear generally to profess the principles of the Greek church, and practise some of its ceremonies, but with a most painful mixture of ribaldry and profanity. They have no schools: in Moldavia and Wallachia, they are in a servile state; but enjoy, in Transylvania, considerable privileges under the Austrian government.
As the author continues to cross the plains of Transylvania he finds himself on a sudden introduced into a highly cultivated country, covered with neat cottages, fine farms, large manufactories, and a respectable and independent population. On inquiry into the cause of the improvement, he discovers that the inhabitants of these Saxon villages, as they are called, are Protestants of German extraction; and that their civilization and happiness are to be traced to the unrestricted use of the holy Scriptures.
It is delightful to find scattered over the field of human nature these undeniable evidences of the value of a pure faith, and of the free profession of it. Let any person contrast the following picture, with all which he finds in this, or any other volume, with regard to countries where Mohammedanism or even Popery is the established faith.
Their houses bore the characteristic
marks of those of the country from whence they came ;- - the windows were high from the ground, like those in the north of Germany; the roofs were tall and narrow, and there was that air of neatness, comfort, and propriety about them, that always marks and distinguishes the progress of the Reformation on the Continent. The houses looked as if they had been all fresh painted and whitewashed; the windows were glazed with glass, and ornamented inside with snow-white musin curtains; and over the outside was generally some moral or religious sentence from the Bible, neatly written in gilded or black letters, in the German character. The houses had that uniformity of comfort, and a certain degree of opulence, which marked a happy equality of circumstances. All were neat and roomy, and none were mean or splendid; we did not see a hovel or a palace in the country. The farmers are all proprietors of the soil, and their lands are without enclosures, as if there was a community of goods;
but their properties are distinguished by certain land-marks, which are not visible. It is in the ground about their houses, however, that this sense of property is conspicuous in the rear is a large farmyard filled with stacks of corn and other produce of their farms; and in front, or at the sides, the gardens, orchards, or pleasure grounds, laid out with that taste and variety which people indulge who feel the value of property, and know that their time and money are expended on what is their own. But the object which partichurch: cularly distinguishes these towns is the church: this is always very large, built in an ornamental style of architecture, with a high steeple, and kept in the most perfect state of repair and neatness: it usually stands upon an eminence, in the midst of the village, and seems the rallying point round which the round which the people thronged, and their houses were built, as if the inhabitants considered it as the most striking them to cherish and keep alive their reliand important object, and placed it before gious impressions." pp. 317-319.
Our traveller next passes on to Deva-then crosses the noble river Marosch into Hungary-then tra verses the great steppe or plain of Hungary to Pest, and Buda, upon opposite sides of the Danube. He gives this short account of the religion of these two places.
The Reformed population of Buda and Pest exceeds the Catholic. The Refor gress in Hungary; and in 1681, in order mation had made an early and rapid proto give some check to it, the Protestants were restrained to two churches, in the country, each of which was to serve for more than one hundred towns and vil
lages. Happily, those times are gone by, and a perfect toleration is every where allowed. The Reformed churches we saw, as we passed along, were more numerous than the Catholic; and of the be in Hungary, the majority are Protesnine millions of inhabitants supposed to tants." pp. 405, 406.
The judgment of so well-informed an author respecting the Greek population of the various countries in which he has resided, well deserves attention. We have not space to quote it; but it is, upon the whole, highly favourable.
At Buda Dr. Walsh fell into the track of multitudes of our vagrant countrymen and countrywomen. It is needless for us, therefore, to serve up to our readers the crambe repetita of stale authorship, especially as we have already loaded their
tables with liberal extracts of matter, in a great degree fresh and original. But before we dismiss the volume, we will take the liberty of offering a few remarks suggested by the affecting picture which he presents of every province on his route in which Mohammedanism is the ruling faith.
There was a period in the history of the world, when the eye of every Christian was turned upon Mohammedanism; and when to investigate its principles, and to trace out their practical consequences in the destinies of mankind, was the great business of authors, divines, and statesmen. But of late years the Mohammedan nations have so evidently been declining in power, and have been so little in circumstances to extend their dominion, that few modern writers have given themselves the smallest trouble on the subject. But, whatever statesmen may think, no disciple of Christ ought to contemplate, for a moment, that gross imposition on the credulity of mankind, without the most unmixed horror, and the most settled purpose to discharge his part in the work of extinguishing it. Let the nature of Mohammedanism be considered-its monstrous exhibition of the Divine character-its allurements to the lusts and cruelty of mankind-its unsocial, exclusive, and blood-thirsty temper-its profligate contempt of human life--and its implacable hatred to Christianity. Let also its effects upon the interests and happiness of mankind be considered. Look at Turkey, transformed into a wilderness. Look at depopulated provinces--a starving population-filth, with all its consequent diseases a state of things in which no man is secure of cither his property or his life for a moment-and you have the genuine picture of its practical results. And is not such a system to be contemplated with detestation? and must not every servant of God long and pray for the period when it shall be swept from the earth, and
the throne of love and righteousness be established in its place? This is one of the facts which more especially makes us rejoice in the establishment of the various Missionary societies in the Mediterranean. AIthough their conductors have been able to accomplish little, they have done something. It is consolatory to hear that Bibles and tracts have been circulated to a considerable extent in Mohammedan countries. And here may we be permitted to express our hopes, that these societies sufficiently call to mind the general circumstances of Mohammedan nations. For if it is an encouragement to know that they are not in what may be termed an altogether barbarous state; and that they are, therefore, open, at least in some instances, to the mode of argument and operation, which it is most easy and natural for European missionaries to employ; it is of consequence, also, to recollect, that this advance upon the intelligence of savage life demands corresponding attainments in those sent to instruct them. Henry Martyn appears to have been the most successful missionary to Mohammedans in modern times; and, "being dead," we are thankful to say "he yet speaketh" in the works he has bequeathed to us for their use. But all his communications with them serve to convince us that he had to deal, especially in their Muftis, with men completely armed with the objections which infidelity suggests, and to be met only by logical acuteness, as well as real scriptural knowledge. Savages, whose superstition is chiefly that of the fancy or passions, are easily persuaded to admit the truth of miracles; from their "resemblance to the supposed interpositions of their deities; from their ignorance of the force of natural causes; from their instinctive propensity to believe in all that is extraordinary." But it is very difficult to bring the argument from prophecy to bear upon them; as
this demands a more improved habit of reasoning-a power of pursuing the course of events from age to age--and of handling the links of a long chain of reasoning. Mohammedans however, while they The admit the argument from miracles, are perfectly capable of comprehending that from prophecy. And it is a mode of argument, we think, actively to be pursued with them. All this, however, supposes a body of missionaries qualified to instruct them; and with such, we venture to hope, the various missionary schools and colleges, and especially that attached to the Church Missionary Society, will gradually supply them. Some of the ardent spirits of the age appear to fancy that all missionary means for the extinction of Mohammedanism are superfluous; and that the cause may be safely consigned to the sword of the Russians, and the course of events as depicted in the prophetic volume. And even the more sober interpreters concur in thinking that the fall of Popery and of Mohammedanism will be nearly contemporaneous. The moment, however, at which this double blow will be inflicted upon the head of Antichrist, is among the times and seasons with which no man is acquainted. In the mean time, let us not be idle. Let the devout worshipper not "hold his peace" till the righteousness of "the Gospel" go forth
[JUNE, thereof as a lamp that burneth;" till "as brightness, and the salvation the universal church become "a crown of glory in the hand of the of our God." Nor let us despair of Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand stowed upon this generous object. success in whatever labours are beMohammedanism presents many points of hope and attraction to the enlightened and undaunted missionary.
ants of states just civilized enough Its followers are the inhabitcivilization-just instructed enough to perceive their want of more in religion to perceive,-when they want of a purer faith. They are not are brought to think at all,-their bound by the shackles of idolatry; they worship one God; they believe in the immortality of the soul, and in a future judgment; they allow the Pentateuch and the Gospel to be sacred books: they consider the founder of their religion. There is, patriarch Abraham as the first which to erect the instruments of therefore, much common ground on spiritual warfare. And may many soldiers of the Cross be found to adventure and personal ambition, enter upon a crusade, not of military but of holiness and peace, in which of our salvation," of which the banthe war is headed by "the Captain ments are, reason, and tenderness, ner is love, and the chosen instruand a holy life.
but had a more extended support been afforded them, they would have been enabled to accomplish much more. There being no charges for rent or salaries, the only expenses incurred by the Committee have been for the establishments of Glass and Day, for spreading information of the efficacy of the machine, and for printing and advertising. To meet these exigencies, a moderate but regular annual subscription is desirable. The tract, entitled "Practical Information," &c., which has been appended to our pages, renders it unnecessary to repeat the information contained in it. We are happy to learn that our circulation of this paper has greatly promoted the objects of the society. The machine is being introduced into many government departments and royal palaces, and the example has been extensively followed by many public institutions. As much of the evil which it is the object of the society to counteract has arisen from the irregular construction of chimneys, clauses have been introduced into the draft of the New Building Act, providing for the construction of flues, in future, in such a manner as to admit of being readily swept by machinery. The committee have also prepared the draft of a Bill for the better regulation of Chimney Sweepers and their Apprentices. These clauses provide that no boys under fourteen years of age shall be apprenticed to the trade, and prohibit climbing chimneys for the purpose of sweeping, coring, or extinguishing fires, by any person under twenty-one years of age.
Dr. Forster has conducted a variety of experiments to shew that original and reflected light may be distinguished from each other by causing the object glass of a telescope to vibrate, so as rapidly to change the inclination of its plane to the object; in which case reflected light remains unchanged after its refraction; whereas original light becomes decomposed into its colours. The fixed stars gave coloured light; the planets white; though the latter might be decomposed like the former through a prism. The discovery will be applied to ascertain whether comets shine by native or borrowed light.
Dr. Johnson's favourite willow-tree, which he always went to see when he visited Lichfield, was lately blown down. It is stated to have measured no less than twenty-nine feet in circumference.
The following are the altitudes above the sea of the chief hills in Kent, Essex, Middlesex, and Surrey:-Kent: Allington CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 330.
Knoll, 329 feet; Dover-castle, 469; Folkestone-turnpike, 575; Goudhurst, 491; Greenwich-observatory, 214; High Nock, near Dymchurch, 280; Hollingbourn-hill, 616; Paddlesworth, 642; Shooters'-hill, 446; Swingfield-steeple, 330; Tenterden-steeple, 322.-Essex: Highbeech, 760; Langdon-hill, 620.Middlesex: Hanger-hill Tower, 251; King's-arbour, 132.—Surrey: Saint Ann'shill, 240; Bagshot-heath, 463; Banstead, 576; Botley-hill, 880; Hind-head, 928; Hundred-acres, 443; Leith-hill, 293; Norwood, 380.
We are glad to find that the ecclesiastical court has at length pronounced a sentence of deprivation of his benefice against Dr. Free, of Sutton, whose inmoralities have been so often publicly noticed. But how wretched must be the state of discipline among us, that so opprobrious a should have been so long pending, and at such an enormous expense to the prosecutors! The learned judge stated, that it is highly honourable to our clergy that so few examples of scandal are found among them the expectation of legal visitation certainly cannot have much influence in the matter.
Captain Ross has sailed on another voyage for the discovery of the north-west passage.
Tobacco is extensively planted in Ireland; and the quantity grown last year, if foreign and imported, would have yielded 140,000l. to the revenue. No duty is attached to Irish tobacco, but the growth is interdicted in England.
The Revue Encyclopedique states, that although, in consequence of the colonial system, sugar is a very expensive article in France, the best refined sugar is to be had at Antwerp, duty paid, at sixpence or sixpence-halfpenny per lb.; and that sugar exported from France, with the allowance of the drawback, is sold in Switzerland at about half the cost for which it is to be had by the consumer in France.
In consequence of this high price of sugar the consumption in France is very small, only averaging five pounds yearly to each individual; whereas, in the United States, according to Humboldt, it is eight pounds; in England fourteen; in Hamburgh ten; and in the rest of Germany six. Beet-root sugar can now be manufactured in France as low as threepence per lb., and is likely to be still cheaper.
It is a remarkable indication of the depression of the Protestant church in 3 E