Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

"But all these flattering hopes were disappointed.

"On the 20th of June, while embarking the instruments from a little cove to the westward of Ayas, we perceived a number of armed Turks advancing towards the boat; Turks always. carry arms; and there was no reason to suppose that this party had any other object than curiosity, for several of the officers were at that time dispersed in the neighbourhood, and accompanied by the villagers; some of whom, about an hour before, had shewn the most good humoured assiduity in pointing out to me the inscriptions on the tower and other places: neither had their conduct to the watering boats, the preceding evening, led to any kind of distrust.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"As they approached, however, an old dervish was observed haranguing them; and his frantic gestures, with their reiterated shouts of Begone,' Infidel,' and other offensive expressions, left the hostility of their intentions no longer doubtful. The interpreter was absent with the officers, and all my little store of friendly words and signs seemed to irritate rather than to appease them. To quit the place seemed, therefore, the most probable means of preventing a fray; and as the boat was ready, we quietly shoved off. The mob now rushed forward; their voices assumed a shriller tone: and spurred on by the old fanatic, they begun to level their muskets: the boat was not yet clear of the cove; and if they had succeeded in reaching the outer points, our retreat would have been cut off. It was, therefore, full time to check their progress, and the unexpected sight of my fowling-piece had for a moment that effect; but as they again endeavoured to close, I fired over their heads. That expedient saved us. they immediated halted; most of them fell on the ground; the dastardly

de sta

Babitant

uch to

talized

wher

most v

breeze

a degree

re inden

Mount 1

dervish ran away; and we had gained sufficient time to get the boat'stered fro

Irhom the each oth

very skirt

ing und

been a

former

head round, and almost disentangled from the rocks, when one ruffian, more resolute than the rest, sprang forward to a rock on the shore, which covering his person allowed him to take deliberate aim. His ball entered near my groin, and taking an oblique course broke the trochanter of the hip joint. Had his example been followed, all the boat's crew must have been destroyed: but fortunately, they had been so intimidated by my fire, that we were beyond the reach of their's by the time they rose from the ground. The pinnace was luckily within signal distance; she was called down, and before I fainted from the loss of blood, I had the satisfaction of sending her round to rescue the scattered officers, and to protect the small boat, which waited for them to the eastward of the castle. Before the pinnace, however, could reach that place, Mr. Olphert, a remarkably fine young man, who was midshipman of the former boat, had fallen a sacrifice to the same party of assassins.

vers and Picture of

fact, that, abound

Pref. p. iv. here th

la capa

ad

anarch

"The pinnace, which contained nineteen men, was fully armed; from ber

ence o

0

and by the cool and steady conduct of Lieutenant E. Lane, the rest of
the officers and men were collected without farther mischief. It was
with difficulty, indeed, that he could curb the natural fury of the
boat's crews, which, if unrestrained, would speedily have taught these but the in
miscreants a dreadful lesson of retaliation." "(P. 286-290.)

iterranean

Menteous

had gi

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

"

Again:

"The wound I had received was dangerous in the extreme, and the sultry climate of the Levant was highly unfavourable. My constitution had already suffered from many former wounds; and for some time there appeared but little hope of its weathering the present strug gle. But assisted by the skill of the surgeon, Dr. Hugh Stewart, of whose unwearied attention I shall always preserve the most grateful remembrance, it ultimately triumphed; and after many months of tedious confinement and painful exfoliation, my recovery was at length

effected.

"While at Malta, however, it was still uncertain. At all events there was no probability of my being able to resume the thread of the survey, which had been so untowardly broken; and the ship being also in a bad state, we were ordered to proceed with a convoy to England, where we arrived before the close of the year." (P. 293, 294).

Nothing can serve more strongly than this occurrence to prove the state of moral and political degradation to which the inhabitants of this highly-favoured region are reduced. It adds much to this painful consideration to reflect that man is thus brutalized where nature has lavished all her gifts for his enjoyment: where she has spread her kindest skies, and poured forth her most valued productions: where the climate, tempered by alternate breezes from the mountains and the sea, seems in the highest degree delightful; the plain teems with fertility; the shores are indented with safe and capacious harbours.

"Sheltered from all effectual control of the Porte by the great barrier of Mount Taurus, the half-independent and turbulent pashas, amongst whom they are parcelled, are engaged in constant petty hostilities with each other, so that their respective frontiers change with the issue of every skirmish.

"Groaning, under that worst kind of despotism, this unfortunate country has been a continued scene of anarchy, rapine, and contention; her former cities are deserted, her fertile valleys untilled,and her rivers and harbours idle. Perhaps nothing can present a more striking picture of the pervading sloth and misery, than the hardly credible fact, that, on this extensive line of coast, which stretches along a sea abounding in fish, the inhabitants do not possess a single boat." (Pref. p. iv. v.)

Yet even here the spirit of improvement is not wholly extinct;
there is still a capacity for amendment, which occasionally strug-
gles forth from beneath the triple pressure of despotism, super-
stition, and anarchy.

"The influence of commerce on this coast has been but little felt
till lately; but the immense demand for wheat in the British garrisons
of the Mediterranean during the war, and the failure of a supply from
that once plenteous granary, Sicily (now hardly adequate to its own
consumption), had given such a spur to the enterprizing islanders of

[ocr errors]

Psara and Hydra, that in search of it they ransacked the whole surrounding coast of that sea. With dollars in their hands, every creek was explored; and a few quarters gleaned from each valley soon completed a cargo. The exportation of corn is prohibited throughout the Turkish dominions, under penalty of confiscation and slavery; but this extreme severity only serves to give fresh activity to the traffic : for, the aghas, being exorbitantly paid for their connivance, have a direct interest in promoting it; and no agha in the empire is proof against self-interest. In populous countries, and in poor soils, it may be a slow and difficult process, to push the sudden culture of corn beyond its accustomed limits, or to divert the necessary capital from other pursuits; but in the rich and thinly inhabited valleys of these countries, a single year is sufficient to produce exertions, which the stimulus of a free trade is alone wanting to perpetuate. The great plain of Adalia had begun to feel the effects of this impulse; and even from distant parts of the interior, camels, horses, and asses, were daily bringing in their separate ventures, to load the Greek vessels which lay in the port." (P. 124-126).

[ocr errors]

We cannot take our leave of Capt. Beaufort, without again calling the reader's attention to the tone of unpretending good sense which marks every page of his narrative. He is compelled to enter on a variety of subjects wholly foreign to his professional pursuits; but he has managed his discussions with the best possible taste; he is alike free from the pedantic displays of scholarship, and the crudities of wondering ignorance.

ART. IV.-Christian Essays. By the Rev. Samuel Charles Wilks, A. M. of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 589. Baldwin and Co. London, 1817.

THESE Essays are upon the following subjects: Sources of Error in Opinion; Full Assurance of Understanding; Full Assurance of Faith; Full Assurance of Hope; Christian Obedience; The Form and the Power of Religion; True and False Repose in Death; False Modesty in Religion; The Duty of Christian Affection between Ministers and their Flock; Comparative View of Natural and Revealed Religion. They are dedicated to Mrs. Hannah More; and it may be said of them, without saying more than they deserve, that they are a very proper Sequel to the "Practical Piety," and "Christian Morals that truly Christian lady; and to those who are the possessors and admirers of her delightful Lessons, we can boldly recommend these volumes of Essays.

Christ has said that "his yoke is easy, and his burthen is light." But this passage of blessed import is only rightly understood, when it is understood to imply that "the yoke" and

"the burthen" are easy and light, not in the first putting on, but in the wearing; for experience and Scripture declare that breaking with the world and renouncing its vanities is a sufficiently hard task, and demands more than unassisted courage can perform, more even than the unprompted will can undertake. Not to lower the, magnitude of this undertaking, but to help to demonstrate the signs of success in it, and more especially to show "how easy and "how light" the true Christian profession is to those who have been brought within the operative influence of its injunctions and promises, is the object of Mr. Wilks.

That the first studies in Christian knowledge should be attended with difficulty; that the renunciation of wrong habits and false impressions, the submission to a new and countervailing discipline, the substitution of constraining realities in the place of loose imaginations and visionary trusts, should demand sacrifices difficult and austere in the commencement and outset, is quite in analogy with all the rest of that dispensation under which we are placed; and so far are these primary obstacles from being any hardship, or a subject of repining in other studies and attainments, that it is in this "amicable conflict with difficulty," as a great man has expressed it,*. that our strength is effectively called forth, and final success promoted and secured. In the same manner, it is the incipient difficulties of the Christian's career which provokes and invigorates exertion, ennobles the object, and ascertains the reality of the accomplishment. To avoid these difficulties, there is no case in which man resorts to so many evasive shifts and devices. There is no acquirement in which what is spurious is so apt to be received for what is ine; there is no task or undertaking in which so many "tricking short cuts and little fallacious facilities," to use again the phrase of the same great man, are practised with more certain disappointment and loss.

genu

It is to expose the fallacy of all subterfuges, and the true nature and extent of the surrender which the Gospel requires, as well as its vast overbalancing compensations when once the altitude is gained ;-to show how trying is the storm, and yet how easy and how safe the vessel rides when it has found and entered the proper harbour, and the only stationary anchorage, that Mr. Wilks has given to the public this valuable result of his sound and pious meditations.

The heart of man is so fertile in practices of self-imposition, that he who pursues its windings, and traces its multiplied expedients of error-he who lays open the diversified system of human sophistry by which holiness and worldliness are sought to be re

* Burke's Reflections.

conciled, enters upon a theme which affords exhaustless oppor tunities of novelty, as well in the detection of artifice, as in the specification of danger. The actual condition of society is in perpetual flux, and the tastes and habits of mankind are for ever varying the forms of depravity, and putting the soul into new perils. To pursue these ephemeral and fugitive shapes of practical error, which have all a uniform and constant tendency to disparage the Gospel, by straining it into conformity with human maxims, is a service of never-ceasing exigency. Mr. Wilks has performed this service with great fidelity and power. He well understands his business, and his work has eminently that character of artless vehemence, of energetic simplicity, and natural strength, which mark the procedure of a man conversant with truth, and honest in its defence.

But if this writer has successfully defined the difficulties to be overcome, which arise from errors of education, and the practical mis-understanding of the Gospel, he has in a no less correct manner developed the characteristics of religious improvement, as it proceeds through its several stages of faith, hope, and Christian obedience. Perhaps the best mode of doing justice to the work will be to let it speak for itself.. The view which it takes of the nature and efficacy of faith may be in some measure collected from the following specimen.

"Both Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in speaking of the all-sufficiency of faith, guard their doctrine from abuse by alluding to one or more of its essential properties, in order that their converts might not boast of an inefficient creed, while their hearts and conduct were unrenewed. Faith that purifieth the heart and worketh by love, could not easily be supposed to mean a mere barren assent to the truth of Christianity.

66

Among the characteristic properties of faith, there is no one more remarkable than that mentioned by Saint John, and to which allusion has been already made, namely, that it overcometh the world.' It is evident from universal experience, that no other principle can produce this effect. Faith, however, performs it by a mode of operation peculiar to itself; by presenting to the view things that are invisible, and showing their great superiority to the vanities of time and sense. The reason why men prefer this world to that which is to come, is not that their judgment is convinced, but that their passions are allured. Heaven is allowedly the greater object, but it is distant and invisible; whereas the world is ever at hand with its fascinations. It assumes every shape, addresses itself to every passion, obtrudes into every reWe are never free from its influence. Whatever we see around us is the world, and if we look into our own hearts, the world and worldliness are triumphant there. The voluptuous man worships it in the shape of pleasure; the covetous, of gold; the ambitious, of honour; the retired, of ease. It dwells in cities; but, not confined to these, it seeks the lonely retreat, it enters the temple of the Al

cess.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »