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lost links, connects the fourth Gospel with the Apostolic age, and with its reputed author, the Apostle John; and it is only strong dogmatic prepossessions which have led any, whether in earlier or in later times, to challenge the consentaneous tradition of the ancient Church respecting its authorship.

The internal indications of the Johannine authorship of the fourth Gospel are yet more decisive; and the assaults of hostile criticism have not only proved futile, but have served in a remarkable manner to confirm the conclusions which have been drawn from the external evidence.

The Gospel itself presents phenomena which can be explained only on one or other of the following suppositions : either that the author was an eye-witness of the scenes which he describes, or that he was a writer in comparison with whom the greatest poets and writers of fiction sink into insignificance.

The Prologue of the fourth Gospel, which is alleged to savour of the philosophy of a later age, is in entire harmony with the circumstances under which that Gospel is said to have been composed, and with the residence of the writer in a city such as Ephesus, which was one of the chief centres of Eastern and Western civilisation. The peculiar characteristics, as regards style and terminology, of the fourth Gospel accord with the known antecedents of the reputed writer, and are exactly such as might have been expected in the work of a Palestinian Jew who had been brought into contact in his early years with Hellenists, who remained in Jerusalem for many years after the Ascension, and who spent the later portion of his life in Ephesus.

The fundamental points of difference between the fourth Gospel and the Synoptic Gospels, as regards their contents and their general mode of dealing with a common subject, are atterly inexplicable on the supposition that the fourth Gospel is the production of a later age; and they admit only of one explanation, viz., that the writer was an eye-witness of what he has recorded, and that he knew that his book would be received as the genuine production of that Apostle whose authority it claims. On the other hand, the coincidences with the Synoptic Gospels—whether the writer was, or was not acquainted with them--are such as to afford strong corroborative evidence of the substantial truth of both.

The alleged geographical and historical inaccuracies of the fourth Gospel admit, for the most part, of satisfactory explanation, and of reconciliation with the results of ancient and modern research. In any case they amount only to difficulties,

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similar to those which are found in all writings of antiquity; and they are such as further investigation and future discoveries may entirely remove.

It is almost superfluous to add, that if these results are established, the conclusion at which the author of 'Supernatural · Religion' has arrived must be reversed; and that whereas he alleges, as the result of his investigation, that the testimony

of the fourth Gospel is of no value towards establishing the truth of miraeles and the validity of Divine Revelation,' it may with greater confidence be affirmed that if the genuineness of that Gospel be proved, no further evidence of the truth

of miracles, and of the reality of Divine Revelation' is required.

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ART. II.-1. 'The Frosty Caucasus ;' an Account of a Walk

through Part of the Range and of an Ascent of Elbruz in the

Summer of 1874. By F. C. GROVE, London : 1875. 2. Travels in the Caucasus and Persia and Turkey in Asia.

By Lieut. Baron Max Von THIELMANN. Translated by

C. HENEAGE, F.R.G.S. London: 1875. 3. The Crimea and Transcaucasia ; being the Narrative of

a Journey in the Knuban, in Gouria, Georgia, Armenia, Ossety, Imeritia, Swannety, and Mingrelia. By Commander

J. BUCHAN TELFER, R.N., F.R.G.S. London: 1876. The Russian frontier-lands towards Asia known as the Cau

casian provinces have, since in 1869 we last noticed them, acquired, both politically and commercially, fresh importance. Within the last few years they have been thrown open by means of railroads for the passage of armies and of commerceas of tourists. First in order of time, the Transcaucasian railway has brought Tiflis into direct connexion with the Black Sea at Poti; a concession has lately been granted for its continuation to Baku on the Caspian. The Rostof-Vladikafkaz line is at present the farthest arm of the great Russian system, and conveys the traveller from the North to the very foot of

, the snowy chain : it is intended to carry the rails down to the Caspian at Petrofsk, whence they may easily be run round the mountains to Baku. But another link between Tiflis and the North is in contemplation. According to Herr von Thielmann, a line of railway piercing the gorge of the Dariel and passing under the main chain a few miles to the E. of the present carriage-pass, the Krestowaja Gora, will soon be com

as well

menced. Surveys have been made for a railroad into Persia, viâ Erivan and Djulfa ; but this project hangs fire, and will probably continue to do so until the junction between the Russian and Transcaucasian systems has been effected.

The completion of this network will enable Russia to control and almost to monopolise many of the markets of Western Asia, and to hold at a moment's mercy Tabreez and the northern provinces of Persia, which, somewhat prematurely, her Government engineers have already included in their survey of Russian Transcaucasia. The most effective hindrance to these results would probably be the construction under British

guarantee of a railway from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, with branches into Central Persia. England must doubtless eventually be linked to India, as well as Russia to China, by a, literally, • Overland Route.' There seems, however, little present prospect of the commencement of an undertaking which would involve complicated negotiations and awkward responsibilities, and of which the cost can be more easily calculated than the returns. Our countrymen and Government may naturally be unprepared for so bold a venture. But they will do well to remember that it is in this portion of the Ottoman Empire, not on the Balkan, nor even in the Isthmus of Suez, that the portion of the Eastern question most vital to our own interests lies.

Fuad Pasha, one of the greatest Ministers of the Porte, declared in his testamentary letter of advice addressed to the Sultan in 1869 that what alarmed him most was the consider• able change that the pacification of the Provinces of the Cau

casus has brought about in the situation of Russia. He held it to be beyond all doubt that in the course of future events the most serious attacks of the Russians would be directed against the Turkish Provinces in Asia Minor. And he added emphatically, ' If some day there should appear a Russian . Bismarck, whilst the Powers of Europe are disunited, then * indeed would be changed the destinies of the world. It is impossible, in our judgment, to attach too much importance to this remark. It is not the overthrow of the Ottoman Empire, it is not even the possession of Constantinople by a hostile Power, that would be fatal to British interests in the East, but it is that great territorial revolution which would be the probable-we may say, the inevitable — consequence of those events, namely, the conquest and occupation of Asia Minor. We think it could be shown to demonstration, on military and political grounds, that Constantinople cannot be held as the seat of government without the command of Asia Minor, and

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that Asia Minor cannot be held or occupied in security without the possession of Constantinople. Should the course of events require it, we will endeavour at some future time to establish these two propositions. At this moment a few remarks must suffice. Constantinople draws her_supplies mainly from the fertile plains on the Bithynian and Phrygian coast. If she lost her Asiatic shore she would be within cannot-shot of an enemy's territory, and on the verge of her own soil: she would cease to command the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus: all the natural advantages of her position would be lost. The immediate lines of defence of Turkey against a northern enemy may lie in Bulgaria, but her strength in men and resources is above all in Anatolia. On the other hand, Asia Minor itself is, with the exception of one or two fortresses at the north-eastern corner, wholly undefended and at present indefensible. Its area is about equal to that of France. A hostile army which should ever gain possession of the table-land of the Tauric chain would command all the valleys leading up to it from the coast; and the coast is encircled by harbours and cities, now in ruins and forsaken, but ever memorable in the history of the Grecian and the Christian world. To a European military Power in possession of Constantinople the conquest of Asia Minor would not only be easy but indispensable. A glance at the map will tell the reader what that implies. It implies the entire command of all the great harbours of the Levant and of the territories lying between the coast of the Mediterranean and the Euphrates. The line of division between Europe and Asia is purely conventionala mere geographical expression, especially when an important part of Europe is governed by an Asiatic Power, and the most important parts of Asia by European States. Nothing is in truth more European than Asia Minor. It is the most fertile portion of the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean, and no territory on the face of the globe is so intimately connected with the history of Grecian civilisation and the early annals of the Christian Church as the coast which extends from the promontory of Lampsacus to the island of Rhodes. The Power which may one day restore those fertile but neglected lands to cultivation, and those deserted cities to civilisation, will be the mistress of Eastern Europe. This, then, is the true reason of the paramount importance of Constantinople itself to Great Britain ; and this is also the reason why the occupation of the Caucasian Provinces by Russia, and the efforts made by her to establish a system of railroads converging on Armenia, are amongst the most important and significant events of the

of peace.

present age, whether they be used for the purpose of war or

For this reason we propose to review all the recent contributions to our knowledge of the Caucasian region.

What effect the new railways may have, either in creating a demand for or in making available the mineral wealth of the Caucasian Provinces, it is perhaps premature to speculate. The naphtha harvest in the neighbourhood of Baku has hitherto been most remunerative. One group of springs was sold some years ago for 900,000 roubles (120,0001.). Coal, said to have given satisfaction when tested on shipboard against English coal of good quality, exists in the mountains near Kutais. Nakhitschevan produces salt, Elizavetpol alum; both have been

; worked with profit. The Karabagh has copper mines ; not far from Tiflis iron is found in large quantities, but the attempts to work it have not up to the present time been very successful. According to Herr Radde, obviously a sanguine though an honest witness, only European capital and intelligence are needed to ensure a large return. Gold and silver also exist in small quantities; the former is obtainable by washing from the sands of the Mingrelian rivers. But we are not prepared to follow Herr Radde further into this subject. We should be sorry in any way to promote the formation of an Alagir · Mines' or a. Phasis Goldwashing Company.'

The soil of the Caucasus is, in many parts, extraordinarily rich in vegetable products. Poti has a considerable timber trade, great quantities of box and the finer kinds of woods used in cabinet-making being exported to France. But in crops which require for their production the aid of human skill, the country, despite natural advantages, scarcely supplies its own needs. It will be long probably before the wines of Kakhety are manufactured with sufficient care to bear travel and obtain, as they well might, a market throughout Russia. The primitive character of the native husbandry, the poverty of the landowners, and, above all, the absence of decent roads, make the condition of Caucasian agriculture very hopeless. Nor can the introduction of colonists be looked to as a remedy ; for much of the most fertile land lies in districts stricken with the curse of deadly fevers. It has been rather from its remoteness than from any

absence of means of instruction that Englishmen as a nation have hitherto paid little attention to the Caucasian isthmus. A catalogue of Caucasian literature recently published at Tiflis extends to forty pages: according to Herr von Thielmann, the works on the Caucasus, including pamphlets and magazine articles, already number 2,355. The majority are naturally

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