« PreviousContinue »
cxv. 17.-16. xxvi. 19.-Ezek. xxxvïi. 12.- Dan, xii. 1, 2, 3. and some other passages of equal force; that is, in our estimation, of none.at all..
Sec:. v. is devoted to the consideration of the doctrine of the book of fob; particularly the famous passage, xix. 23. which, Dr. P. thinks, strongly supports his hypothesis.
The subject of Sect. vi. is the fate of the wicked on the resur. rection : of which the Doctor's conclusion is; “there is therefore reason to hope, that notwithstanding the destruction, with which the wicked in general, like the idolatrous Israelites, are threatened, mercy may be shewn to them at a distant period, provided the punishment denoted by the phrase destruction have its proper effect upon them.'
The essay closes with an attempt to explain the 18th chapter of Isaiah : the predictions in which cannot, Dr. P. thinks, relate to Egypt, as Bishop Lowth and most other interpreters suppose, but to Assyria.- We give the Doctor's translation of the whole passage, for the entertainment of our Bilblical readers. ",
Woe to the land with extended wings, beyond the rivers of Cush, which sends ambassadors by sea, in vessels of bulrushes on the waters. Go swift msssengers to a nation oppressed and afflicted, to a people wonderful from the beginning, and to this day, a nation dispersed and oppressed, and whose country the floods have destroyed, Yea all ye who inhabit the world, and dwell upon the earth, when the standard shall be lifted up upon the mountains behold, and when the trumpet shall be sounded hear. For thus has Jehovah said to me, I will sit still, and regard my fixed habitation, as the clear heat after rain, and as the dewy cloud in the heat of harvest. “ Surely before the vintage, while the bud is perfect, and the blossom is be. coming a swelling grape, he will destroy the leaders with a sword, and the strong ones he will destroy and cut off. And they shall be left together for the birds of the air, and the beasts of the earth; and the birds of the air shall be gathered to them, and all the beasts of the carth shall come to them. At that time a gift shall be brought to Jehovah, God of hosts, a nation dispersed and oppressed, from a people wonderful from the beginning, and to this day, whose country the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of Jehovah, God of hosts, to the mountains of Sion.” ,
This pamphlet is introduced by a preface by the editor,' (who, we imagine from the initials subscribed, is the Rev. T. Lindsey,) in which some account is given of the assiduity with which Dr. Priestley continues his pursuits in theology and in philosophy, principally extracted from some private letters from the Doctor to a friend. One paragraph states the following particulars :
In my last I think I mentioned to you a young man in this place of an excellent character ; who is become a zealous unitarian. By his means chiefly I have now a class of fourteen very promising young men, to whom I have great satisfaction in giving lectures 23 Í used to do in England from my Institutes ; And I have also been encouraged to open a place of public worship in a School room near my house where I have a small congregation. Many persons, I was told, would come to hear me, if I would preach out of my own house, and I find it to be so. I principally expound the Scriptures, reading one portion of the Old Testament, and another from the New. I am now reading Isaiah, and the history of the gospels from my HarAnony."
Perhaps, however, Dr. Priestley may be induced to return to Europe, by the alterations which have dately taken place in the state of public affairs.
ART. XIII. Travels in Greece and Turkey, undertaken by Order
separate Atlas. 21. 125.68. Boards. Longman and Rees. 1801. At the time when the attention of Europe was eagerly di
rected towards Egypt, by the extraordinary scenes of which that country had lately been the theatre, the curiosity of the public was much gratified by the appearance of M. Sonnini's Travels through Upper and Lower Egypt. The reception of them, indeed, was just such as might have been expected ; or, as the author expresses himself, was such as surpassed his most sanguine hopes. The work was not confined to his own country, but was translated into several languages; and two English editions of it appeared in London *.
By the present publication, the translator observes, M. Sonnini fulfils his enagement to give an account of the other countries which he visited, after his Egyptian expedition ; and we agree with him that these additional volumes will in no respect disappoint the hopes which were excited by a perusal of the former. We have been equally gratified by accompanying him in his travels through Greece and Turkey : in which similar intelligence and judgment, with equal brilliancy of imagination and of colouring, are every where conspicuous ; and which, we doubt not, will prove alike acceptable to all who seek for information concerning these interesting parts of the globe, with regard to natural productions, to manners, to * See M. Rev. N. $. vols. xxix, xxx, and xxxi.
politics, or to commerce. We were, indeed, already in possession of many accounts of the islands of the Archipelago: but, besides that they have undergone great alterations since those descriptions were published, it should be considered that it is impossible for any individual to take notice of every thing; that one man attends to that which escaped the observation of his predecessor ; that, as painters have their several methods in their representations of a particular subject, so every observer has his own manner of viewing and of representing what he has seen ; and that heoce the same object may be perceived in different reJations, and the same thing described in an interesting manner, by different individuals. The present author gives a very ena tertaining account of his adventures; and we believe that it is a faithful cne, allowing for some embellishments in which Ptravellers are often apt to indulge, and to which the French idiom offers additional temptations. . Our readers will not, perhaps, be displeased to see the coma parison which M. Sonuini draws between the people of Greece and those of Egypt:
• The sea of Greece is seen to spread its waves, whose expansion is retarded and opposed by an immense number of islands, on the inclined shores of Egypt ; a space rather short separates the two countries on which Antiquity prides herself; and, after having visited that which passes for the cradle of the arts and sciences, and from which the Greeks derived a part of their knowledge, I resolved to see also the country which may be called the cradle of the graces and of good taste, Thcre, a burning climate does not, as in Egypt, dry up a soil which ceases to produce, as soon as active industry ceases to cultivate it, and cover it with an abundant moisture, There, we see not those vast, sandy, and arid plains, those naked and heated rocks, forsaken by nature, and which man does not traverse without considerable difficulty and danger. That frightfal na. kedness by which habitable Egypt will ever be circumscribed and confined, disfigures not the land of Greece. There, the temperature is mild, the mountains are covered by forests, the atmosphere is cooled by rains, the vallies are watered by numerous streams, and the soil may be adapted to several kinds of culture.
• If, from the comparison of the physical state of the two countries we pass to that of the men who inhabit them, we shall find no resem. blance but in the despotism by which they were both cuslaved. The Copt or the native of Egypt, whose character partakes of the dry. ness and rudeness of the climate, is short and heavy ; his head is big, but empty; his face is broad and fiat ; his complexion is sallow and dark; and his countenance is mean. His disposition is gloomy and melancholy; his treachery is the more dangerous, as it is, in a man ner, more concentered ; having no taste for the arts, no flight of euriosity leads him to instruction ; sedentary, because he has no vivacity in his mind, he seeks not to be acquainted with what sur. rounds hini; lazy and slovenly, clownish and iguorant, unfeeling and
süperstitious, tre has no longer any remembrance, nor even any trace remaining, of the greatest of his ancestors.
Whāt a difference between this nation entirely degenerated, and that which still inhabits the beautiful countries of Greece! Under a pure sky, in a wholesome, temperate atmosphere, impregnated with the sweetest emanacions, on a soil which nature decks with flowers, and clothes with the verdure of an eternal spring, or which may be enriched with crops of every sort, or with delicious fruits, we must expect, among the men, to meet only with amenity of manners and sweetness of disposition. I am speaking of the men whose generations there succeed each other without interruption ; for the ignorant and untractable usurper may, by his stupid ferocity, pollute the most happy climate, the most smiling country ; and ages are required for their influence to temper, in a perceptible manner, the rudeness of his inclinations.
• The man of these charming parts of Greece is of a handsome stature; he carries his head high, his body erect, or rather inclined backward than forward; he is dignified in his carriage, easy in his manners, and nimble in his gait; his eyes are full of vivacity; his countenance is open, and his address agreeable and prepossessing ; he is neat and elegant in his clothing; he has a taste for dress, as for every thing that is beautiful; active, industrious, and even enter. prising, he is capable of executing great things; he speaks with case, he expresses himself with warmih; he is acquainted with the language of the passions, and he likewise astonishes by his natural eloquence; he loves the arts, without daring to cuitivate them, under the brazen yoke which hangs heavy on his neck; skilful and cunning in trade, he does not always conduct himself in it with that frank. ness which constitutes its principal basis ; and if we still find in modern Greece many of the fine qualities which do honour to the history of ancient Greece, it cannot be denied that Superstition, the child of Ignorance and Slavery, greatly tarnishes their lustre ; and we also discover in their disposition that fickleness, that pliability, that want of sincerity, in short, that artful turn of mind which bor. ders on treachery, and of which the Greeks of antiquity have been accused *.
. But this obliquity of character fortunately does not extend, or at least is very much weakened, among the women of the same countries. The Greek females are, in general, distinguished by a noble and easy shape, and a majestic carriage. Their features, traced by the hand of Beauty, reflect the warm and profound affec. tions of Sensibility; the serenity of their countenance is that of dig. nity, without having its coldness or gravity; they are amiable without pretension, decent without sourness, charming without affectation. If, to such brilliant qualities, we add elevation of ideas, warmth of expression, those flights of simple and ingenuous eloquence which
** Every one is acquainted with that famous line which paints so well the character of the Greeks : " Timeo Danaos, et Dora ferentes."
attract and fascinate, a truly devoted attachment to persons beloved, exactness and fidelity in their duties, we shall have some notion of these privileged beings, with whom Nature, in her munificence, has embellished the earth, and who are not rare in Greece.'
As some subsequent passages also appear to us extremely interesting, especially at this time when so much is said con, cerning the Turkish empire ; as they correspond entirely with what our countryman Mr. Eton has affirmed of the instability of that government, and as they confirm the reflections on this subject by the ingenious M. Chevalier; we shall .extract them for the gratification of our readers :
• This amiable and interesting people of Greece are bept under the very heavy yoke of the stern and proud Mussulman ; their slavery, like that of the descendants of the ancient Egyptians, is abso. lute and of long standing. The Copts lived in the brutalized stupor of a debased condition. Never could they have dreamt of breaking their chains, had not the French undertaken their deliverance; and the Greeks, although possessing more energy and means, will never themselves shake off fetters, which, notwithstanding, are to them odious. Should an enterprising genius, the friend of glory and of his country, rise up in the midst of them, and offer to lead them to the conquest of liberty, he would find it difficult to draw round him numerous partisans. Reduced to the simple character of leader of a few insurgents, he would have to fight his own countrymen, and he would end by falling a victim to the treachery of some of them; so much does long slavery blunt energy, corrupt the qualities of the soul, and leave to the vices of weakness and abasement alone freedom of action!
But should foreign forces, sufficiently imposing to banish fears, which, in weak minds, are inseparable from the uncertainty of success, make their appearance, not with projects of invasion, but as deliverers of Greece, insurrection against tyranny would become general; national activity would display all its resources ; cohorts of courageous combatants would be formed on all sides ; intelligent and active mariners would cover the sea with fast-sailing vessels, which would rapidly carry succours and troops to all the points of the islands and coasts that would become those of the whole nation; all would second and bless their deliverers. The period when one of the finest countries of the globe, that which is the richest in precious recollections, shall be snatched from Ottoman despotism, is not perhaps far distant. The existence of that vast and monstrous empire of the Turks cannot be of long duration ; its incoherent parts shake, and are on the point of falling to pieces ; on every side Rebellion waves her standards; the authority of the chief of the empire, disowned and insulted without, scarcely extends beyond the walls of Constantinople ; a domination, established on ignorance, cannot resist the contact of knowledge; it will be annihilated with the supersti. tious barbarism to which it owes its origin; and the most cruel and most improvident tyranny will no longer leave any other traces than