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that the first ministers of Christ, whose example, in this respect, must be regarded as a practical avowal of the understanding which they put upon the commission under which they acted, -we know, I say, that they carried the tidings of salvation through Christ, to men as barbarous as now inhabit the fastnesses of Kurdistan, and at the cost of as great sufferings as the bearers of the same tidings to the Kurds would be called to endure. Why is it, then, that we contemplate such an enterprise with terror, or reject the idea of it as the product of a visionary zeal ? Is it not because we have lost the true, original idea of the ministerial commission ; because we distrust the faithfulness of the promise conjoined with it; because, in a word, the church of Christ has left her first love ?'- Ib. pp. 283–285.
From Kurdistan our author passed into Persia, where the American Episcopal church had already established a mission. His meeting with his brethren at Ourmiah was highly gratifying to both parties, and an interesting account is given of their unostentatious labors. The Nestorian Christians appear to regard the missionaries with entire confidence, and some of their clergy, together with one of their bishops, are represented as having placed themselves under their instruction. Mr. Southgate's observations on the course that should be pursued towards these oriental Christians, though indicative of an Episcopalian bias, are characterized by good sense and candor. But we must hasten on to other matters contained in his narrative. Tehran, the present capital of Persia, is represented as a wretched place, presenting none of those points of interest which distinguish many other eastern cities. "Its site is unhealthy, and its buildings poor and abject. The place presents, in outward appearance, none of the • features of a royal city. Its bazars are extensive and are roofed with tile, so as to present a succession of small domes. They are filthy, however, and less attractive in every respect than • those of Tebriz. They are thronged with beasts as well as men, • which makes a walk through them no easy nor pleasant matter. • The streets are peculiarly bad, for the most part destitute of ' pavements, narrow, irregular, encumbered with filth, and full of
dangerous holes. The houses are extraordinarily mean, even • for an eastern town, and unsightly ruins, covering, in some in“stances, extensive areas, frequently meet the eye. The Shah was absent from the city during the period of Mr. Southgate's visit. The following sketch of his history and character will be read with interest in the present state of our eastern relations.
• The present Shah owes his elevation to the throne to the intervention of foreigners. The old king had appointed his son, Abbas Mirza, his successor, but the death of this prince occurring before his own, he declared in favor of his grandson, the reigning monarch, who was himself a son of Abbas Mirza. In so doing he set aside the claims
of the numerous brothers of Abbas, the most eminent among them, Mohammed Ali Mirza, being now dead, and the Shah wishing that the power should descend in the line of his favorite son. On the decease of the king, Mohammed Mirza, the present Shah, was at Tebriz. Immediately upon the arrival of the news, the English ambassador with his suite, appeared before him and saluted him as king. The British minister, Sir John Campbell, had orders from his government to aid the accession of this prince to the throne. He, therefore, advanced funds to pay the troops of Aderbeijan, who were ready to desert, and marched down with them to Tehran, a British officer lead. ing the van. One of his uncles had already seized the throne, but abdicated immediately upon hearing of the approach of the army. All opposition fell before the young Shah. He entered Tehran triumphant, and his rebellious uncle aided in the ceremony of his inauguration. Sir Henry Bethune (late Col. Lindsay), who had led the army to Tehran, soon afterwards marched to Shiras, routed the malcontents who had gathered there, and finally established the Shah upon his throne.
Mohammed Shah is still a young mạn, being now (1840) about thirty-five years of age It is reported, that neither his father nor his grandfather entertained very high hopes with regard to him. Abbas Mirza is said to have treated him with neglect, and to have made no effort for bringing him forward and engaging him in public service. When reminded of the imprudence of such a course, he used to reply, - What can I do? He is good for nothing. The Persians whom I have heard speak of him, use the same language, and lament the destiny which deprived them of Abbas Mirza.
Still the Shah is, in some respects, an extraordinary man. Though a reputed Souffee, he is strict in all the duties of his religion, and remarkably pure in his moral character and habits. His Soutfeeism, it would seem, shows itself chiefly in his contempt for the ecclesiastics, and in his preference of Souffees for civil officers. He has few or none of the vices of his country. He has but two wives, and only one of them was resident at Tehran. His example, in this respect, is the more remarkable as following immediately upon that of Feth Ali Shah, the inmates of whose harem were sufficient in number to have composed the adult female population of a town of 6000 inhabitants. The present Shah drinks no wine, and does not even use the kalioun. Notwithstanding his contempt for the religious orders, he is himself a bigoted man. His prejudices are strong, and his mind is not of a sufficiently elevated character to rise above them. His most prominent trait is self-will and a dogged obstinacy in his opinions and plans. He is rather penurious in his own expenses, and has very little disposition for regal display; yet he has been imprudently lavish in granting favors, even where no service has been rendered. I had it on good authority that, in the single province of Aderbeijan, he had bestowed pensions to the amount of 250,000 tomans, or about £125,000 sterling, He has some idea of the value of European institutions and European learning, but he has not the character needed for a reformer. From the want of enlarged views he is satisfied with meagre results, and has
not the capacity for framing a full system of reform. Still he would probably encourage any efforts for the general improvement of his people, especially if they were gratuitously rendered. He was so much pleased with the work on Geography laid before him by one of the German missionaries, that he invited the author to Tehran to establish a seminary in the capital.
• In his private character the Shah is not reputed a cruel man, nor is he an oppressive ruler. Yet his punishments are sometimes terrible, and he makes no effort to relieve his people from the tyranny and extortion of petty governors. The last vice is too deeply ingrained in the civil polity of the country ever to be eradicated by any but a strong and bold hand; but the apparent severity of the Persian Shahs is, I believe, misjudged by our habit of looking upon the working of a despotic government with feelings grown out of and conformed to our democratic institutions.'— Vol. ii. pp. 78–80.
A lamentable view is given of the moral character of the Persians. Accessible and polite, the impression they first make upon a foreigner is pleasing, which is greatly aided by the contrast of their manners to the reserved and coid demeanor of the Turks. But the illusion soon vanishes, and is succeeded by a painful conviction of their moral degradation. Their national character is a compound of vanity, fickleness, and guile. The sacredness of truth or the binding obligations of a promise appears to be utterly unknown among them. There does not,' says Mr. Southgate, exist a country where society approaches more nearly ' to that (which moralists have sometimes imagined) of a community where truth is unknown than in Persia. I learned for myself long before leaving the country, that my only security was in acting upon the supposition that every man was unworthy of trust. Having accomplished the object of his mission in Persia, our author proceeded to Bagdad, of the ancient opulence and learning of which but few traces are now visible. Two thirds of the population were carried off a few years since by the plague, and the commercial stagnation which thence resulted has not had time to disappear. Here he remained a month, and was hospitably entertained by Colonel Taylor, the British resident. From Bagdad he returned to Constantinople, through Mesopotamia. This route brought him into frequent contact with the Chaldean Christians, of whose relations to the church of Rome an interesting account is given, which we should be glad to extract if we had not already exceeded our limits. We must, however, make room for the following brief passage descriptive of the religious state of this section of the oriental church.
* In a word, these Christians seem to be almost entirely destitute of a spiritual idea of religion. They have no distinct conception of our need of divine aid for the renewal of the heart and for the maintenance
of a religious life. They have little of a feeling of the deep corruption and desperate wickedness of the natural mind, little of an inward sense of their need of a Saviour from sin, little of bright hopes of heaven, little of a knowledge of or sympathy with its bliss of holiness. Their fears, their hopes, and their religious views cluster around the exter. nals of religion and rest there. They have the form, and, among the churches of the east, a remarkably pure form of Christianity, and I am not prepared to say that there are not among them some truly spiritual
, though feeble and uninstructed believers in Christ; but after all the conversations which I had, and after all which I saw of their devotions and practices, I could not avoid being deeply impressed with the conviction that Christianity was, with most of them, a form without a power.'-Ib. p. 247.
Mr. Southgate has not detailed the latter part of his journey, as he is about to proceed on a second visit to the countries which it embraced. On this account he has deemed it wise--and we concur with him in opinion—to withhold his first impressions till he has had an opportunity of subjecting them to the test of further observation. He finally arrived at New York on the 30th of December, 1838, having been absent from his native country rather more than two years and a half. His narrative is written in a clear, sensible, and manly style, and though somewhat too minute in its details of his route, never fails to sustain the interest of his reader. His privations and sufferings must have been great, but there is a sweet spirit of Christian confidence and hope diffused throughout his volumes which enables him cheerfully to make the sacrifices which his mission entailed. We take our leave of him with unmingled respect, and earnestly recommend his work to the attentive perusal of our readers.
Art. V. A Manual of Land and Fresh-Water Shells of the British
Islands, with Figures of each of the Kinds. By William Turton, MI. D. A new edition, thoroughly revised and much enlarged, by John EDWARD GRAY, Esq., F.R.S., &c.
8vo. pp. x. and 324. 1840.
IT T is not many years since conchology was regarded, by even
well educated persons, as little more than an elegant ment,-a collecting of beautiful toys, rather than a serious branch of natural history ;-a mode of amusement for persons of leisure
, and of exercise for amateur painters in water colours
, rather than a field for peculiarly instructive physiology,* and the demonstra
* See the portions
which treat upon the Invertebrata in the admirable work of Dr. W. B. Carpenter, Principles of General and Comparative Physiology.
tion of a necessary part in the series of animated nature. The opinion was widely spread that to form a correct acquaintance with the animals themselves, upon a scale approaching to adequacy, was altogether hopeless; and that therefore their dwellingplaces only should be to us the objects of study and arrangement. Men of science were partly alienated and partly misled. Many eminent naturalists, as well as some who were only empirical, labored amidst perplexity and discouragement. Even the industry and sagacity of Linnæus failed him here, as in mineralogy. Yet his classification was extensively adopted and long retained, till the indefatigable researches of Cuvier and Lamarck opened the right direction for the study of this great class, and presented the materials in their proper comprehension of both the shell and the inhabitant. The Linnæan arrangement kept its ground in our country longer than in any other; owing, in a great measure at least, to the obstructions and the prejudices maintained by the melancholy period of war. Since 1815, however, a nobler 'state of feeling and action has prevailed; the scholars, mathematicians, and scientific men of Britain and France have come to know each other better, and gladly to reciprocate kind offices, and the fruits of their respective attainments. Men whom an honorable veneration had the most attached to the Linnæan arrangement, felt themselves compelled to relinquish it, as irremediably defective, and incapable of furnishing a basis for the annexation of new discoveries. In both these respects, the system of Lamarck is now approved universally, or nearly so. It is founded on just views of physiological facts, and it is therefore susceptible of addition and iinprovement, without infringing its symmetry.
The number of the known living species of this class, nearly amounts to eight thousand; and, no doubt, many are yet to be discovered. Of fossil species, the larger part of which do not exist in the present condition of the earth, the ascertained number is above five thousand. These numbers far exceed the proportion between the recent and the fossil groups of the other classes of animals, not even excepting the Zoophytes. Thus, of existing animals which nourish their
young by milk secreted in teats, there are about twelve hundred known species; but the fossil species are scarcely two hundred : of birds we have six thousand living species; of fossil remains the vestiges in all ways scarcely make out fifty: of living fishes, eight thousand species ; of fossil but about one-tenth of that number: of reptiles, including the batrachians, probably near two thousand of existing species, while of the fossil perhaps one hundred have been ascertained. It must however be remembered that some of these classes did not live in circumstances favorable to their being preserved ; and another fact is important, that many of the fossil species were rich in their population or number of individuals to