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Mexico. Our readers may rely upon hearing more respecting that country very shortly. In the meantime, we tender our thanks to Mr. Bullock for his entertaining volume and his praiseworthy exertions. He will excuse our passing remarks, in consideration of our cordial recommendation of both his book and his exhibition to the notice of our readers.
Art. V. The Modern Traveller. A popular Description, Geographi.
cal, Historical, and Topographical, of the various Countries of the Globe, Parts I. II. III. IV. Containing Palestine and Syria.
(Maps and plates.) 28. 6d. each. London. 1824. THIS THIS is a singularly well-timed, and, so far as the parts
hitherto published enable us to judge, an exceedingly well executed publication. Within comparatively a few years, geographical science and its collateral investigations, have been cultivated with an ardour, and prosecuted with an eagerness
and a heedlessness of personal inconvenience and hazard, · that have brought to light an immense variety of facts and elu
cidations of the most interesting and important nature. Few portions of the globe remain wholly unexplored ; and concerning those which have not as yet been subjected to actual scrutiny, a considerable mass, of valuable information has been obtained from collateral and incidental sources. Great improvements, too, have taken place in the modes of research and narration. Instead of an indiscriminate amalgamation of fact and fable, hearsay and actual inspection, the most cautious discrimination is made an indispensible prerequisite to the reception of testimony. The love of the marvellous, which looked, in the olden time, to voyages and distant journeyings—the mysterious realms of Prester John, or the glittering wonders of Ind and Cathay—for its gratification, is now content with humbler food, the diablerie of Germany, and the tawdry inventions of the Viscompte d’Arlincour. A more legitimate source of entertainment is furnished by personal anecdote, historical and biographical inquiries, local description, and antiquarian research. At the same time it must be confessed, that there is still room for improvement. Travellers are of different calibres; they are a little too apt to imagine that what has gratified themselves, must be interesting to others; they pay too little attention to previous statements, and are rather overfond of telling again what has been better told before. Our excellent friends the booksellers must come in for a share of the blame, Without, for a moment, venturing to attribute their excessive predilection for quartos to any but the most liberal and disinterested motives, we may be permitted to hint, that it has a disastrous effect on the character of this branch of literature. The information which would be respectable in an octavo, will but coldly furnish forth a tome of larger bulk ; and when all the artifices of typography fail to stretch it out, the author : must be drawn upon for supplementary, and too frequently for
supererogatory matter. Now, how feelingly soever, as writers, we may sympathize with the author, as readers the case is very different. Our time, our patience, and our purse, fail before this protracting and extenuating process, and we give a cordial welcome to any publication that may give us the genuine information, without the overlay of paint and filigree; or at least, only so much of the latter as may conduce to the real decoration and connexion of the substantial matter.
At the same time we cannot help feeling suspicious, in the first instance, of such publications as the present. We have seen so many of them, that have come forth with the highest pretensions, prove nothing more than mere jobs of trade, that we are instinctively on our guard when we take them in hand, against anticipated charlatanism. Their aspect is ominous ;they wear a base livery; they are redolent of paste ; they betray the mangling of the scissars. Instead of exhibiting the Jabour and the skill which such compilations, more than most others, demand, they display the redundant symptoms of work by contract; and we feel, in turning them over, all the annoyance which results from the double mischief of a good thing marred in the execution, and operating as a hindrance to a more spirited undertaking,
From all these depraved symptoms, the work before us, so far as the present specimen extends, is entirely free; and if it be conducted to the end with equal ability, it will form one of the most useful and attractive publications of the present day. Of the two sections, though Syria is the most entertaining, Palestine is the best done; it contains a masterly compression, marked, in some instances, by specific originality, of most that is truly valuable in the best of modern explorations. Maundrell, Pococke, Burckhardt, and Dr. Richardson, have supplied the ground-work; but a host of other travellers have contributed to the superstructure, and a list of important desiderata' is subjoined. As an example of the composition, we shall transcribe the eloquent and comprehensive
* CONCLUDING REMARKS. • Having now traversed the whole Land of Israel west of this boundary, from Beersheba to Dan, we close here our account of Palestine; preferring, for the convenience of the arrangement, to include the districts east of the Jordan, under the general denomination of Syria, which in strictness applies to the whole country. The parts we have described, however, are all that are usually comprehended under the term Holy Land ; although, as the scene of Scripture history, the theatre of miracle and of prophecy,—the Peninsula of Mount Sinai, the shores of the Idumean Sea, and the coasts of Asia Minor, might lay claim to the appellation. But we have now visited the whole of Palestine, Judea, "Samaria, and Galilee-those countries which, above all others under the sun, are interesting to the Christian. And abhorrent alike from reason and from true piety, as is the superstition that has grafted itself upon this interest, yet, the curiosity which inspires the traveller, in reference more peculiarly to these scenes, is rational and laudable. If Troy and Thebes, if Athens and Rome, are visited with classic enthusiasm, much more worthy of awakening the strongest emotions in the mind of a Christian, must be the country whose history as far transcends in interest that of every other, as its literature (if we may apply that term to the divine volume) excels in sublimity, all the ethics, and philosophy, and poetry, and eloquence of the heathen world. This sentiment of interest or of reverence has, indeed, no necessary connexion with religious principle or enlightened worship; for it may actuate alike the pious and the profligate. And, in the character of the Greek or Romish pilgrim, it is too generally found in connexion with an utter destitution of moral principle. The savage fanaticism of the Crusades was an illustration of this fact on a grand scale ; and the same spirit that breathed in Peter the Hermit
, yet survives ; the same fanaticism in a milder form actuates the pilgrims who continue to visit the Holy Sepulchre, with the view of expiating their sins by the performance of so meritorious a penance. The Mussulman hadgi, or the Hindoo devotee, differs little in the true character of his religion, from these misguided Christians, and as little perhaps in his morals as in his creed. Only the stocks and stones in which their respective worship alike terminates, are called by less holy names, It becomes the Protestant to avoid the appearance of symbolizing with this degrading and brutalizing idolatry. But were all this mummery swept away, and the Holy Land cleared of all the rubbish brought into it by the Empress Helena, the holy sepulchre included, more than enough would remain to repay the Christian traveller, in the durable monuments of Nature. We know not the spot where Christ was crucified; nor can determine the cave in which, for part of three days, his body was ensepulchred; nor is the exact point ascertainable from which he ascended to hea
The Scriptures are silent, and no other authority can supply the information. But there are the scenes which he looked upon, the holy mount which once bore the temple, that Mount Olivet which once overlooked Jerusalem;-there is Mount Gerizim overhanging the Valley of Shechem, and the hill where once stood Samaria; there is Nazareth, within whose secluded vale our Lord so long awaited the time appointed for his public ministry,—the Plain of Gennesareth and the Sea of Galilee,--the mountains to which he retired, the plains in which he wrought his miracles, the waters which he trod, and there the Jordan still rolls its consecrated waters to the bituminous lake where Sodom stood.' pp. 363——365.
An editor of such a work as the present, would, we imagine, feel some difficulty in determining his plan. Mere digest would serve the purpose of conveying information in a small compass, but it would be in great peril of proving uninteresting and insipid to general readers. Analysis would ensure much repetition without an equivalent in valuable result. Mere extract would be nothing more than the paste-and-scissar system, and must perforce be wofully guilty of the mortal sin of preterition. The editor of the - Modern Traveller” has taken the effectual way of combining all the three. He has introduced enough of extract and anecdote to give spirit, freshness, and variety to the work, with sufficient analysis and reference to convey a general notion of what has been contributed by different authorities; and he has blended the whole together, and given it completeness, by a judicious digest of the great mass of his materials. He has, above all, imparted unspeakable value to his volumes, by the recognition, not forced or obtrusive, but explicit, of the great principles of morality and religion. The adoption of • Routes,' as one of the principal vehicles of description, though not always practicable, has, in countries but partially known, the double advantage of indicating the lines which have been previously traversed, and of directing future travellers to the tracts of country which still require investigation. In short, these little volumes contain the pith of many an expensive volume; and while they will serve the traveller as a pocket companion, and the general. reader as a useful compendium, they will be found singularly available for the purposes of education, at an age somewhat advanced beyond the mere elements of geographical knowledge.
The maps and plates are well executed, but, as far as our own taste is concerned, we would give up the latter for the advantage of possessing the former on a more efficient scale. They are got up with much care, and contain more than could be expected in the way of geographical and political feature ; but we should have preferred them larger.
Art. VI, 1. Sermons preached in St. John's Church, Glasgow. By
Thomas Chalmers, D.D. 8vo. pp. 446. Price 10s. 6d. Glasgow.
1823. 2. Sermons. By the Rev. J. W. Cunningham, A. M. Vicar of Har
row. Vol. II. 8vo. pp. 436. London. 1824. 3. Sermons. By the late Rev. Noah Hill. 8vo. pp. 464. Price 9s.
London, 1822. 4. Twenty Sermons. By the late Rev. Henry Martyn, B.D. Second
Edition. 8vo. pp. 444. London. 1822. 5. Sirteen Lectures on the Influences of the Holy Spirit. By Thomas
Mortimer, M. A. 8vo. pp. 420. Price 10s. 6d. 6. Sermons delivered at Salters' Hall. By the late Hugh Worthington.
Taken from Memory. Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 56o. Price 12s.
London. 1823. 7. Twenty-four Sermons on Practical Subjects. Translated from the
Works of the most eminent French and Dutch Protestant Ministers in Holland. By J. Werninck, D.D. Minister of the Dutch Church in London, &c. 8vo. pp. 436. Price 10s. 6d. London. 1823.
E find ourselves so deeply in arrears as respects the no
lately appeared, that we are under the necessity of disposing of a few of the publications now on our table, as it were en masse ; a method not so complimentary, perhaps, to the individual authors, but preferable to neglecting them, and which will have the advantage of saving our readers the otherwise unavoidable iteration of the same train of remarks.
Mr. Irving tells us, in the preface to his Orations, that the very name of sermon hath learned to inspire drowsiness and
tedium. We cannot plead guilty to its being so with us, for the name is associated in our minds with some of the finest compositions in the language. But of all things in the world, criticisms upon sermons are, for the most part, the most irksome and uninteresting. We will confess, therefore, that not merely the fear of annoying our readers, and of throwing an uninviting character over our pages, but a positive disinclination to the discharge of this part of our bounden duty, may have led us to take less notice than we ought to have done of this class of publications. Sermons which may be excellently calculated to instruct and to edify, when read either in the closet or in the family, very often present no specific literary characteristics, no prominent features by which to distinguish the individual ; and extracts are with difficulty made, unless at