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nothing so much as desire for Israel, and if the reader be one to whom our own church is dear, he will feel a recurring thankfulness as he goes along, to think that our's, of all the churches, should have been the first prompted to send an embassy of kindness after God's ancient people; and that such tokens of favour have attended and followed its labour of love. For awakening or aug. menting those feelings of affectionate interest in the peculiar people, without which no personal piety is complete, and no church is primitive,* we know not any likelier means than the wide circulation of these researches. Ministers might read extracts from them at their prayer meetings. Every parish library should get them. Teachers should give them as a prize where prizes are given, and read illustrative passages from them where sacred geography is taught. For it is one beauty of this book, that none other has discoursed so sweetly and lovingly of that land which once overflowed with milk and honey, and which has now a second time become a land of promise, and where alone God was manifest in flesh. So much of the Bible breathes in it-it is so calm and peaceful, so reverential and believing, that though we had not known the writers, we are sure we would have loved their book.
We cannot analyse the volume, and shall not attempt it. Much ground is traversed; for the deputation, in execution of their commission, visited the three old continents, through France and Italy passing on their way to Egypt, and from Palestine returning by Smyrna, Constantinople, and the Danube, through Austria, Germany, and Holland, to England again. Part of their routethrough central Europe-is less frequented by English travellers than Egypt itself; and even places of every-day resort, Avignon, Genoa, Leghorn, &c., we know them better from passing sketches in the book than from some professed and elaborate descriptions. Indeed, this power of lively delineation is its character. istic literary excellence. The travellers tell us not only what they saw, but how they saw it. Their landscapes are all coloured by the warm life tints supplied from their own feelings, and, in addition to the correctness of a penetrating and accurate eye, are rich in quiet fancy, and tender sympathy, and Bible truth. But the portion of the work which most readers will make haste to reach is that relating to Palestine, and its adjacent regions. And here the deputation were peculiarly at home, and, in their combined resources, had the advantage of all preceding travellers. With the command of almost all the requisite languages, there was distributed amongst them a diversity of gifts which can scarcely be combined in any one individual. The profound erudition and well
• Rom, ix. 1-3; x. i. I Cor. xvi. I, 3, &c.
known pursuits of the senior members made them familiar with the researches of their predecessors, and with those matters of antiquity, geography, and sacred criticism, on which eastern travel may throw farther light. Their affectionate enthusiasm for Jews, and every thing Jewish, made the junior brethren the most appropriate which the church could select for this embassy of love to Israel ; whilst a concordance-like command of Scripture, and an eager alertness to detect any rock or tree, any place or custom, in which a word of Scripture lingered, have made their book the freshest and most comprehensive collection of Scripture illustrations which any traveller has gleaned. With them the Jews are not merely a people wondered at, but they are a people full of meaning, on whose circumstances, nay, on whose very countenances, Jehovah's truth may be read, and in whose destinies the main part of the world's hereafter history is involved. And with them the Holy Land is not a place for romantic musings, but a place of sober recollections and of abiding realities, on which, amidst all its desolations, God's eye still watches, which is destined again to obtain Gerizzim's blessing for Ebal's curse, and over whose ransomed fields the voice that once came from the excellent glory, may be heard once more.
“O Saviour, gone to God's right hand !
Yet the same Saviour still,
And every fragrant hill.” P. 393. We have enjoyed no travels in Palestine like these, and we have read many. We once accompanied, through his two octavoes, an English clergyman, who seems to have visited the Holy Land for a season's shooting, and who registers, with sporting accuracy, the game which he found at the Jordan, and the partridges he bagged in Galilee. We have followed the footsteps of a deliberate German botanist, who searched for lichens on the walls of Jerusalem, and found a new species of bugloss at the sepulchre of David, or some ancient tomb. We have, in sheer disgust, forborne to follow the frivolous lack-a-daisical Frenchman, who went to Palestine to transfuse into his own infidelity something of oriental, if not of Christian warmth, and then, to relieve himself of some doubtful poetry and of much genuine spleen, published a sort of Byronian pilgrimage to Palestine. And we have read many instructive and some entertaining narratives, of which we are glad, for it enables us to say, that so far as it goes, this is the best of all. Without the stained-glass colouring, the cold cathedral sentimentalism, or the half-pagan philosophizing of Chateaubriand, it is full of warm beart-poetry and infallible philosophy, for it ascribes effects to the causes to which God himself assigns them. Without the superstitious credulity of the old pilgrims, and the wearisome descriptions of places which monkery alone made holy, it dwells on those fields and cities, mountains and lakes, whose changeless landmarks need no tradition, and which, escaping the all-enclosing zeal of Helena, possess the more solemn consecration of remaining exactly what they were. Nor does it weary the reader with the paradoxical doubts and unsatisfactory conjectures in which the ostentatiously learned work of Dr Clark abounds. And, though containing fewer bearings and admeasurements than the minute and ponderous volumes of Professor Robinson, it gives the reader a much livelier impression of the country, its appearance, its productions, and its population, than any dry collection of geographical statistics could supply. But its peculiar charm is evident. If our travellers saw the whole Bible written on the face of the country, it was because the whole Bible was written on their own memories. And if their readers find both the Bible and the country in their book, it is because the book is a faithful transcript of hearts, in which both the Holy Land and the Bible dwell.
From many others we have selected the following instances of the fulfilment of prophecy, by which we were much impressed.
The impression, of course, was stronger from reading them in connection with the almost continuous instances which these travels record.
1. The Nile.-" In the course of our ride, one of our friends, who bad resided long in Egypt, stated a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. Scarcely any of those reeds for which the Nile was once famous, are now to be found upon its banks. The lotus in particular has disappeared, so that it is nearly unknown; and the papyrus is very rare. Now the words of Isaiah are these :• The waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.' This has literally taken place. In the days of the prophet there were seven months of the Nile; there are now only two ; the rest have been wasted and dried up. But farther be predicts, • They shall turn the rivers (i.e. the eanals) far away, and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up; the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper-reeds by the brooks, and every: thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more! These words have come to pass, while at the same time it is interesting to remark, that Egypt is as famous for its melons and cucumbers, its leeks and onions, and garlic, as it was in the days of Moses. The reeds were commanded to wiiher, and they have fled away; the others, against whom no word of threatening went forth, have been left luxuriant as before. The shelving banks of the river, down which Pharaoh's daughter went with her inaidens to bathe, have been much elevated, owing to the vast deposits of alluvial soil which the Nile is making every day.” Pp. 70, 71.
2. GAZA." Returning to our tenis, we were now prepared to verify Dr Keith's conclusion, of the truth of which he had been fully satisfied, namely, that those bills of sand, where we had pitched our tents, really cover the ruins of ancient Gaza. Each of us had found minute fragments of polished marble in the fiat hollows between the sand-hills, the remains no doubt of the palaces of Gaza;' and also masses of fused stones, proving that God had sent å fire on the wall of Gaza.' We now saw in a manner we had never done before, that God had fulblled his own word, · Baldness is come upon Guza.' We saw that not merely mourning, such as · baldness' indicated in ancient times, but literally and most remarkably the appearance of baldness has come upou Gaza. No spot of verdure, not a single blade of grass, did we see upon these sand-hills. One solitary tree there was, which only served to make the bareness more remarkable. This barren, bare hill of sand is the bald head of Gaza. How awfully true and faithful are the words of God.
“ All along the coast of Philistia, we had seen how accurately these words are fulfilled, * | wiil stretch out mine band upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea-coast,' there being now Dope of all those ancient warriors that used to issue from those coasts, and penetrate iuto the heart of Judah. We saw also the fulfilment of this word,
The king shall perish from Gaza,' a paltry governor being now its ruler, not engaged in affairs of state, but in helping travellers to find camels for their journey. We were much struck likewise by observing how truly the seacoast had become dwellings and cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks,' for few of the fields are cultivated, and the hills and vales are so completely pasto. ral, that from oue rising ground we counted that evening ten large flocks and herds. One prophecy, however, regarding this region remains yet to be fulfilled, • The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah ; they shall feed therenpoo: in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down in the evening; for the Lord their (iod shall visit them, and turn away their captivity: Precious ray amidst the gloom! Speedily may the promise come to pass !' Pp. 137, 138.
3. SAMARIA.—" We read over the prophecy of Micah regarding Samaria as we drew near to it, and conversed together as to its full meaning. We asked Dr Keith what he understood by the expression, • I will make Samaria as an heap of the field;' he replied, that he supposed the ancient stones of Samaria would be found, not in the form of a ruin, but gathered into heaps, in the same manner as they do in cleaning a viueyard, or as our farmers at home clear their fields by gathering the stones together. In a little after, we found the conjecture to be completely verified. We halted at the eastern end of the hill beside an old aquedrict, and immediately under the ruin of an old Greek church which rises on this side above the miserable village of Subuste. The ruin is one of the most sightly in the whole of Palestine. We ascended on foot by a narrow and steep pathway, which soon divides into two, and conducts past the foundations of the ruined church to the village. The pathway is enclosed by rude dykes, the stones of which are large and many of them carved, and these are piled rather than built upon one another. Some of tbem are loose and ready to fall. Many are peculiarly large, and have evidently belonged 10 ancient édifices. Indeed, the whole face of this part of the hill suggests the idea that the buildings of the ancient city had been thrown down from the brow of the bill.
" Ascending to the tup, we went round the whole summit, and found marks of the same process everywhere. The people of the country, in order to make room for their fields and gardens, have swept off the old houses, and poured the stones down into the valley. Masses of stone, and in one place two broken columns, are seen, as it were, on their way to the bottom of the bill. In the southero valley, we counted thirteen large beaps of stones, most of them piled up round the trunks of the olive-trees. The church above mentioned, is the only solid ruin that now remains, where the proud city once stood. In the houses of the villagers, we saw many pieces of ancient columns, often laid horizontally in the wall; in one place, we saw a Corinthian capital, and in another a finely-carved stone. Near the villaye, and in the midst of a cultivated field, stood six columns, bare and without their capitals, then seven more that appear to have formed the opposite side of the colorpade; and a little way off about seventeen more. Again, on the north-east side we found fourteen pillars standing. But the greatest number were on the north-western brow. Here we counted fifty-six columns in a double row at equal distances, all wanting the capital, many of them broken across, and some having only the base remaining. These ruins may be the remnant of some of Samaria's idolatrous temples, or more probably of a splendid arcade which may have been carried completely round the city. And these are all that remain of Samaria, the crown of pride !' The greater part of the top of the bill is used as a field: the crop had been reaped, and we found the villagers busy at the threshing-floor. Part of the southern side is thickly planted with figs, olives, and pomegranates
, We found a solitary vine, the only representative of the luxuriant vineyards which once supplied the capital. At one point, a fox sprang across our path into the gardens, a living witness of an unpeopled city.
“ It was most affecting to look round this scene of desolation, and to remember that this was the place where wicked Ahab built his house of Baal, wbere cruel Jezebel ruled, and where Elijah and Elisha did their wonders. But above all, it filled the mind with solemn awe to read over on the spot the words of God's prophet uttered 2500 years before,— I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard; and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.' Every clause reveals a new feature in the desolation of Samaria, differing in all its details from the desolation of Jernsalem, and every word has literally come to pass. We had found both on the summit and on the southern valley, at every little interval, heaps of ancient stones piled up which had been ga. thered off the surface to clear it for cultivation. There can be no doubt that these stones once formed part of the temples, and palaces, and dwellings of Samaria, so that the word is fulfilled, “I will make Samaria as an heap of the field. We had also seen how completely the hill has been cleared of all its edifices, the stones gathered off it as in the clearing of a vineyard, the only columns that remain, standing bare, without their capitals, so that, in all respects, the hill is left like the plantings of a vineyard,' either like the bare vine-sboots of a newly planted vineyard, or like the well-cleared terraces where vines might be advantageously planted. Still farther, we had seen that the ruins of the ancient city had not been left to moulder away on the hill where they were built, as is the case with other ruined cities, but had been cleared away to make room for the labours of the husbandman. The place where the buildings of the city stood had been tilled, sown, and reaped; and the buildings themselves rolled down over the brow of the hill. Of this, the heaps in the valley, the loose fragments in the rude dykes that run up the sides, and the broken columns on their way down into the valley, are witnesses ; so that the destroyers of Samaria, (whose very name is unknown,) and the simple husbandman, have both unwittingly been fulfilling God's word, 'I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley.' And last of all, we had noticed that many of the stones in the valley were large and massy, as if they bad been foundation-stones of a building, and that in many parts of the vast colonnade nothing more than the bases of the pillars remain. But especially, we ob served that the ruined church had been built upon foundations of a far older date than the church itself, the stones being of great size, and bevelled in a manoer similar to the stones of the temple wall at Jerusalem, and those of the mosque at Hebron; and these foundations were now quite exposed. So that the last clause of the prophecy is fulfilled with the same awful minuteness, I will discover the foundations thereof. Surely there is more than enough io the fulfilment of this fourfold prediction to condemn, if it does not convince, the infidel.” Pp. 293–296.
TYRE.—“Keeping both the Tyres in view, we could not fail to notice with what awful accuracy the word of God has been verified concerning them. The word of Amos has been fulfilled, · For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for