Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

die, and said, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers." We have here an instance of the infirmity of the man, prevailing over the faith of the believer. The words unquestionably contain • hasty petition, and an ungracious complaint: yet who does not spontaneously admit, that the prophet's situation and conduct, at this crisis, have a much stronger claim on our sympathies than on our censures? Perhaps the most remarkable feature in this disconsolate address, is the degree of querulousness produced in the mind of Elijah, by the disturbance of his latent selfsatisfaction. This is obvious in the concluding expression, " I am not better than my fathers;" a conviction often forced in upon an enlightened and ingenuous mind; but painful alike, though on different grounds, to the man who legitimately aspires after eminence, and to him who fancies that he has already attained to comparative superiority. Such distinguished honours as had lately been conferred upon Elijah, were likely to feed the native self-importance of the human heart; but small as was the injury which his humility sustained, by these temptations to rise in his own esteem, it is probable that he would have been quite unconscious of the incipient mischief, had it not been for the singular reverse which brought him low, and wrung from his afflicted bosom, the expression of its most secret and unsuspected emotions. It is thus that our all-wise and beneficent Father in heaven, carries on the divine education and discipline of his children; now affording them a system of means the most palatable and enlivening, and anon dealing with them in such a method, as to humble them, to prove them, and to know (or make manifest) what is in their hearts." pp. 155—157,

After describing the journey to Mount Horeb, the Writer proceeds:

'Elijah had now reached his destination. Horeb, "the mount of God," was his desired resting place; if not by anticipation, his last earthly home; "and he came thither unto a cave and lodged there." The aspirings of his zeal had been checked, and its ardour sublimated. He had learned to cease from man, to feel his own impotence and infirmity, and to resign the cause of God and the interests of Israel into the hands of Him, "without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy." His own purposes had been broken off, even the thoughts of his heart; but if his heavenly Father saw it good to withdraw him from a public, active life, and to appoint him a sequestered dwelling in the wilderness —what was he that he should presume to object? His daily manual taught him to say, "My times are in thy hands;" and the Holy Spirit wrought in his soul that grace which instructed him to be still, and to comfort himself with the assurance, that however great and long-continued might be his personal privations, there would ultimately be to the church, a fulfilment of that which was spoken to David in a prophetic vision, "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion."

'It is obvious, however, that Elijah's submission to the Divine will was not without alloy. There was blended with it a species of apathy, quite contrary to the natural element of his soul. The phantom of future eminence no longer flitted before his fancy; and when that was dissipated, the very idea of a possibility of future usefulness vanished also. This ought not to have been : and it was to rouse him from that growing recklessness of spirit, and to prepare him to receive some important symbolical instructions, that "the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?'

pp. 166, 7

A great deal of what follows is extremely interesting. Indeed, we think the latter part of the book decidedly superior to the former: it is more simple and more animated. The spirit that pervades the work is admirable. We do not know how long the Writer intends to maintain his or her incognito. Although we have heard a name confidently assigned as that of the Author of these productions, we do not feel ourselves at liberty to raise the veil.

Art. VII.—Reports of the Navigation of the Euphrates. Submitted to Government by Captain Chesney, of the Royal Artillery. Folio, pp. 68. Plates.

E should have felt scarcely authorized to take public notice of an unpublished Report, had not certain contemporary journals already referred to Captain Chesney's highly interesting papers. The feasibility of opening the Euphrates for steam navigation, which this gentleman has satisfactorily established, is a circumstance replete with interest, independently of its importance in connexion with an overland communication with India. This venerable river, so long lost to civilization, and scarcely better known to Europeans than the Niger itself, is found to be free from impediments to steam navigation throughout the year, up to El Oos, a distance of 900 miles, and for nine months of the year is without any serious obstruction as high up as Bir (or Beer), only twenty-five hours N.e. of Aleppo.

'Anxious to use some means to restore Aleppo to its former importance, Ali Pacha, now at Bagdad, and then its governor, submitted a plan to the Sultan some ten or twelve months ago, the outline of which was to open the navigation of the Euphrates and clear out Seleucia: both were countenanced by the Porte, and something was about to be done, when the Egyptian business put all on one side for the present. Ali Pacha, who is a liberal and enlightened Turk, fond of Europeans and their customs, knew, that so late as the time of Saladdin, the port of Bir contained 300 or 400 small vessels, and without any further knowledge of the state of the river, he built on this circumstance alone the hope, that by restoring the ancient port of Souedia, he would attract a great. commerce to Aleppo, not only from the East but also from the West. The engineer's estimate of the necessary expense in restoring the whole of Seleucia was 5000 purses of 500 piastres each, or about 31,0001.; but as the whole space could not be required, at least for many years, it was only intended to clear out a part at first, expending in this way about 10.000/.: and as the officer who framed those estimates is both skilful and much accustomed to carry on works in Turkey, it is more than probable that both of his calculations are very close to the truth; nor can there be any reasonable doubt as to the success, if ever the day should arrive for putting them to the test of experience. It is true that the project was entertained solely with the view of increasing the Sultan's revenue; and although no more enlightened idea is entertained, it is a great matter to know that the Porte, even from selfish motives, would be induced to undertake a work likely to be most advantageous to the commercial world, by re-opening a port sufficiently capacious to accommodate quite a fleet of moderatesized merchant vessels, and that, at the short distance of twenty-two or twenty-four caravan hours (through Antioch) to Aleppo; which project, under such circumstances, must realize more than all the present expectations of the Porte.'

Captain Chesney ascended the Euphrates from Bir to beyond Samsat; and during this considerable distance, found the river, in its lowest state, deep, broad, and free from impediments for a long way towards Rlalatieh, in the very heart of the country. Malatieh (or Malatea) is situated on the Melas (or Kara-su), which joins the Euphrates on its right bank in about Lit 38° W N., affording an inlet into the interior of Asia Minor.

Another line of route, however, has been suggested, with a view to facilitate the direct communication with Bombay; viz. by Rosetta, Kcnne, Kosseir, and Aden. Captain Chesney has instituted a very minute and careful comparison between the two lines of navigation, from which it appears that, in travelling from Bombay to the Mediterranean, the time is shorter, by Egypt, nine hours and a half, although the distance is shorter, by the Euphrates, 170 miles. But, from the Mediterranean to Bombay, the time, by Egypt and the Euphrates, would be equal, and the distance by the Persian Gulf, shorter by 1J0 miles.

The Report is full of interesting matter, which we have not room to analyse. Aware that either route can serve only for the conveyance of packets or light goods, Captain Chesney warmly advocates the revival of the ancient project of connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean.

'Any of these routes, however, which may be adopted, will probably only pave the way to the realization of the grand idea, so long indulged in England, and other parts of Europe, of connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea; a little time will probably remove the ill-founded apprehension, of increasing the height of the former, by the influx of the latter; for, whatever natural causes can be supposed to c\ist, likely to maintain the Red Sea at a higher level, can hardly fail to influence, equally, the Mediterranean at the distance of little more than one degree. The land, it is true, shelves gradually from the Red Sea to the western shore ef tin- Isthmus, at a mean difference of eighteen feet, according to the French engineers; but it is very questionable whether the sea itself is really higher, communicating as it does already, with the Mediterranean, round Africa. But even if it could prove so, an additional inlet will no more increase the height of the latter sea, than do the unceasing, and infinitely mure voluminous ones, pouring in from the Atlantic on one side, and Black Sea on the other; for the surplus is, and equally would be, disposed of by evaporation, when seemingly greater, because the influx must be regulated by the quantity of water exhaled; and, I apprehend, caa neither be more nor less, whether supplied through one or six inlets: on which principle, the Mediterranean, (when it shall communicate,) would as readily give to, as receive from, the Red Sea; were not the temperature of the latter, and its exhalation, lessened by the cool north winds prevailing during the heat of the year; for which reason, only a moderate current may be expected to run into the Mediterranean; and it is, in fact, rather to be feared, that such an inlet would not give a sufficient body of water, to open a noble passage for ships of moderate burthen, than that any prejudicial increase should be the consequence, to the shores of the Mediterranean.

'As to the executive part, there is but one opinion; there are no serious natural difficulties, not a single mountain intervenes, scarcely what deserves to be called a hillock; and in a country where labour can be had without limit, and at a rate infinitely below that of any other part of the world, the expense would be a moderate one for a single nation, and scarcely worth dividing between the great kingdoms of Europe, who would be all benefited by the measure.

'Were the Pacha and Sultan to consent heartily, the former could employ 500,000 Arabs on this work, as he did on the Mahmoudieh canal; feeding them out of his stores, so as to put nearly the whole of the contracted sum into his pocket. Mahomed AH is fond of speculations, and this would be a grand and beneficial one for the world, as well as a paying one for his coffers.'

The greatest credit is due to the ingenious and active officer, to whose enterprise and intrepidity we are indebted for this valuable addition to our topographical knowledge of the most interesting region of the East.

vOL. IX. M.S. K 1C

Art. VIII. CORRESPONDENCE.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ECLECTIC REVIEW. Sir,

On taking up the Number for last November, the other day, I perceived that the Reviewer, iu noticing the Winter's Wreath, observes, after mentioning a Poem 'revoltlngly opposed in its sentiments to the declarations of Scripture,' &c., 'Yet, in this same volume, we find introduced into a very sad and melancholy tale by Captain Sherer, the following exquisite hymn, which, if not a genuine antique, is a very skilful imitation of our English poets:

'" My life's a shade,"' &c.

In a note is added: 'As we cannot suppose the transcriber to be the author, we wish he had stated how he came by the hymn.'

I beg, Sir, to say how he might have come by the hymn, as it is to be found in a book before me, with the following title: 'The Young Man's Calling; or, the Whole Duty of Youth. In a serious and compassionate Address to all young persons to remember their Creator in the days of their youth; together with remarks upon the lives of several excellent young persons of both sexes, as well ancient as modern, noble and others, who have been famous for piety and virtue in their generations. With twelve curious pictures, illustrating the several histories. Also,

• DIVINE POEMS.

'" Wherewith shall a voting man cleanse hi* way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." Ps cxix. 9.

• Verecundo adolescente quid amabilitis? Her.

'Imprimatur, Tho. Grigg, R.P.D. Episc. Lond. a Sac. Dom.

'THE NINTH EDITION.

'London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, by C. Hitch, at the Red Lyon in Paternoster Row; and J. Hodges, at the Looking-Glass, on London Bridge. 1737- Price 1*. 6d.'

I had marked the hymn, 'My life's a dream', with one or two more, from 'The Young Man's Divine Meditations; in some Sacred Poems upon Select Subjects and Scriptures ', for a small collection of devotional poetry, or for private worship, at the end of my Appendix to Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns.

You may deem the following worthy insertion, if you have a blank page in a coming Number.

The title to 'My life's a shade', is, 'The Resurrection, ' from Job xix. 29. It is followed by ' Heaven '. But I will first give a preceding one.

'THE PILGRIM'S FAREWELL TO THE WORLD. '" For we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Heb. Mm. 14. '1. Farewell, poor world, I must be gone:

Thou art no home, no rest for me.
I '11 take my staff and travel on,
'Till I a better world may see.

« ForrigeFortsett »