Obrazy na stronie


with which a party of this people would the notice of other persons present, as receive the present of a live sheep, and he does not suspend his conversation, on witnessing the haste with which it or make any marked movement, not was slaughtered and dressed, the vora- even so much as to cast a glance tocity with which it was devoured, and wards the person to whom the order the high glee, not unattended with is given, so sure is he that the servant dance and song, which seasoned the has not for an instant withdrawn his feast. We are almost afraid to say how eyes from the hands of his master. much an unstinted Arab will eat when Thus a despot has been known, while the opportunity is given. It is com- in company, to give a silent and unobmonly considered that an Arab can served order, by a slight movement of dispose of the entire quarter of a sheep his hand, for the decapitation of a large without inconvenience; and we have number of persons. The hands are certainly seen half-a-dozen of them pick also employed, by clapping them tothe bones of a large sheep very clean." | gether, to summon the servant who Again

may be in waiting outside, as bells are “There is a passage in the sixth not in use for such purposes in the chapter describing'a naughty person,' East. But with especial regard to the of whom it is said that he winketh proverb before us, it may be observed with his eyes, he speaketh with his that the Orientals are wonderfully profeet, he teacheth with his fingers.' ficient in making communications to Compare this with Psalm cxxiii. 2, each other by means of signs and *As the eyes of servants look unto the gestures with the eyes, the hands, and hand of their masters, and as the eyes the feet. The number of signs of this of a maiden unto the hand of her sort which have a wide and most exmistress,' &c. Taking these two pas- tensively understood significance, and sages together, we have much reason to which are, in fact, in current use conclude that the Hebrews possessed among the people, is very large. Havsome mode of inaudibly expressing ing seldom any natural significance, their meaning, or of conveying their few of them are at once intelligible to orders by manual signs. They had at Europeans, but in the East a large proleast, we apprehend, as much of this as portion of the same signs are common we still find in the East, where motions to many different nations, forming, for of the hands are often employed in one ordinary purposes, a tolerably adequate form or another as substitutes for oral means of communication between those expression. Let us therefore see what who do not comprehend each other's practices, in illustration of these texts, oral speech." the East can furnish. In regard to the Respecting Solomon's authorship of one quoted from the Psalms, it may the book of Ecclesiastes, Dr. Kitto, suffice to observe, that it is the custom while he adverts to the nature and in the East to convey orders to watch number of the objections that have ful attendants and officers by slight, been advanced against it as “quite a and, except to those who watch for monument of microscopic ingenuity in them, scarcely observable, but well un- criticism,” regards the old and rederstood, movements of the hands and ceived notion as substantially unshaken. fingers. A person while apparently The difference in style between this entirely engaged in entertaining his book and the Proverbs he accounts for, visitors, will give directions to his and says, “assuming Solomon to be servants, in a way that usually escapes the author of both these books, there is

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

good reason to suppose that the book of which made the Arabs say that his Proverbs was produced much earlier words all reached the heart.” than Ecclesiastes, which bears through- Respecting the Song of Songs, in its out the tone of an aged and used up' external aspect, our author says, “The man's experience.”

two lovers, or the bridegroom and the The English word “Preacher,” he bride, appear throughout, expressing observes, scarcely conveys the exact their feelings in highly impassioned, meaning of the Hebrew word KOHELETH but in very beautiful, and in strongly which signifies one who assembles or figurative but in truthful language, to gathers people together, but more spe- and of each other. The bridegroom is cially one who so assembles them in a king bearing the name of Shelomoh order to address them or to give them (the peaceful, or prince of peace), and instruction. “In chapter xii. 9, his the other a lady who becomes his queen, practice of teaching the people is clearly and who bears the corresponding name indicated : 'Because the preacher was of Shelomith, which is but the feminine wise, he still taught the people know- form of his own, and bears the same ledge ;' while from 1 Kings iv. 34, we relation to it as Julia does to Julius. learn that kings and people from sur- Besides these leading characters, there rounding nations resorted to Jerusalem appears through the whole a kind of to hear his wisdom. That all these chorus, as in the Greek drama, comwere instructed in private audiences, is posed of 'the daughters of Jerusalem ;' far less likely than that they heard him and towards the close two brothers of at meetings held periodically or occa- Shelomith appear, who each speak once sionally for the purpose. A custom only. Besides these, other characters like this would be in entire conformity are introduced or alluded to, such as with eastern usages. Perhaps the prac- shepherds, watchmen, gardeners, &c., tice of the Wahabee sultan, Ibn Saoud, but they are mutes and do not speak.” in our own time, may help us to some But he contends strenuously that the ideas on this matter. After supper allegorical or spiritual interpretation is he regularly assembled in the great not only the right one, but the only room all his sons who happened to be possible one. In this sense, he observes, at Derayeh ; and all who were desirous the Jewish writers have always underof paying their court to him joined stood it, and“ an Oriental, on first bethis family circle. One of the ulemas coming acquainted with this book, then read a few pages of the Koran, or would read it with rapture, and recogof the traditions of Mohammed, and nize it as full of edifying spiritual exexplained the text according to the pression, the general purport of which commentaries of the best writers. After he would be at no loss to gather; and him other ulemas delivered lectures in greatly would he be astonished to learn, the same manner, and the Saoud him- that in the cold regions of the north, self always closed the meeting by tak- there were many who questioned that it ing the book and explaining every had any spiritual significance." difficult passage.

It is said that he will be observed,” he adds, "that most equalled, or perhaps excelled, many of persons who once come upon the spithe ulemas in the knowledge of re- ritual sense, whatever view they take of ligious controversy, and of the laws in that sense, fall practically into the habit general. His eloquence was universally of treating it as a representation of admired; his voice was remarkably their own soul's history, and of its sweet and sonorous at the same time, intercourse with God. And this is


[ocr errors]


4 B

right; for if it represents the union distinction) hauled before the king by a between the Lord and his church, every rope fastened to rings passed through member of that church will find it suits the lips and nose. In the piece we have his case, and he has full right to take to copied from Botta's magnificent work, himself what he finds suited to his the king is represented as holding a wants and condition.” The necessity rope fastened to rings, which pass for an improvement in the translation, through the lips of three captives, one however, he concedes: "In this par- of whom is pierced in the eye by the ticular book of Solomon, it is especially spear of the king, at whose feet he allowed by all good scholars, that even kneels in supplication.” to those who look only to the first or The prophecy beginning "Bel boweth literal sense, and whose eyes are shut to down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were the spiritual meaning, the Song of upon the beasts, and upon the cattle; Songs is in the original a much more your carriages were heavy loaden ; they readable book than the authorised ver- are a burden to the weary beast; they sion represents it to be."

stoop, they bow down together; they To the prophecies of Isaiah Dr. could not deliver the burden, but themKitto has given much attention ; espe- selves are gone into captivity," gives cially to those which refer to the person occasion for the following remarks. and exploits of Cyrus—an interesting “There is no representation of any thing portion of Isaiah's writings on which of this sort among the ancient Persian expositors generally have not enlarged sculptures; but in the Assyrian marso fully as on some other parts of the bles we find a curiously proximate collection. Our author has not failed subject. It exhibits in a bas relief, to avail himself of the recent discoveries probably of the later Assyrian period, a at Nineveh for the illustration of facts procession of warriors carrying on their and predictions relating to Assyria, and shoulders four images. Layard is doubthas introduced into the second volume ful whether these are the idols of a conof this series a larger number of en- quered people, borne in triumph by the gravings than had been given in the conquerors, or whether the sculpture others, many of them copied from the represents the commemoration of some sculptures recently placed in the British religious ceremony. But he unconMuseum, or from M. Botta’s great and sciously adds the curiously illustrative costly work on Nineveh. One of these remark,—' It may record an expedition illustrates the language of the Almighty against the revolted Babylonians, whose to Sennacherib — " Because thy rage divinities, as described by Diodorus, can against Me, and thy tumult is come up perhaps be identified with the figures in into mine ears, therefore will I put my the bas relief. The gods of the two hook into thy nose, and my bridle in cities, Nineveh and Babylon, were, thy lips, and I will turn thee back by there can be little doubt, nearly the the way by which thou camest.” “Com- same.' Under the view which makes mentators have usually explained this,” them conquered idols, as we believe says our author, "as a metaphor drawn them to be, this sculpture is strongly from the mode of dealing with wild or illustrative of the present text; under refractory animals. But it now appears the other view, it becomes no less illusthat it was literally the custom of the trative of Isaiah xlvi. 6, 7. Assyrians themselves thus to treat the

“They lavish gold out of the bag captives of their sword. In the sculp

And weigh silver in the balance; ttres we see prisoners (probably of They hire a goldemith, and he maketh it a god :



[ocr errors]

They fall down, yea, they worship him;
They bear him upon the shoulder, and they carry lous providence to suppose that a plant

the ordinary course of even his miracuThey set him in his place, and there he standeth." naturally of rapid growth was chosen,

Dr. Kitto agrees with those interpret- and that this natural quickness of ers who believe that China is expressly growth was preternaturally stimulated promised to Messiah in the forty-ninth and quickened for the occasion. The of Isaiah, when it is said, “Lo these word employed in the original Hebrew from the north and the west, and these is generally supposed to denote the from the land of Sinim." After discuss- castor-oi! plant. It is of exceedingly ing the subject fully he concludes thus: rapid growth, and its broad palmatic

-“On the whole, then, a hypothesis leaves extend a grateful shade over the which solves all difficulties, satisfies the parched traveller. It is not unknown claims of philology and history, unites in our gardens : but it does not in them, the suffrages of the most independent though still a plant of most rapid schools and parties, fully meets the growth, attain the size or grow with the requisitions of the text and context, quickness that it does in the region of and opens a glorious field of expectation the Tigris.” and effort to the church, may be safely One of the Lord's day meditations is regarded as the true one."

introduced by a fragment of auto-biograThe following judicious observations phy with the citation of which we will close the chapter on Jonah's gourd :

conclude our notice of these very inter“Another point entitled to remark, is esting volumes. “Thirty years ago," the assertion of the Lord's providence says Dr. Kitto,“ before the Lord caused in the frequent intimation that the Lord me to wander from my father's house prepared all the material and circum- and from my native place, I put my stantial agencies that wrought in the mark upon this passage in Isaiah,—I history of Jonah. In his first adventure, am the Lord : they shall not be ashamed the Lord prepared the storm, the Lord that wait for Me.' Of the many books prepared the great fish : and, in the I now possess, the bible that bears this second the Lord prepared the gourd, mark is the only one of them all that the Lord prepared the worm, the Lord belonged to me at that time. It now prepared the east wind-all is of the lies before me; and I find that, although Lord's preparing. This also accounts the hair which was then dark as night, for everything ; and we are not bound, has meanwhile become a sable silvered,' in the case of the gourd, for instance, to the ink which marked this text has find a plant which, without the special grown into intensity of blackness as the ordinance of the Lord's providence, time advanced, care spending with and should attain such growth in a night as in fact recording, the growing intensity to afford adequate shelter to the pro- of the conviction, that they shall not phet's head. The Lord, however, is in be ashamed that wait for Thee.' I all his dispensations economical of pro- believed it then ; but I know it now; digies ; and we are to suppose that in and I can write probatum est, with my this instance He did not create a new whole heart, over against the symbol plant for the occasion, or choose one of which that mark is to me, of my ancient naturally slow growth. It is more in faith.”

[ocr errors]


Letters on the Church of Rome, addressed to think with the gentleman who has undertaken the Rev. Emmanuel Feraut, D.D. and LLD., to introduce the volume to the public, that the Chaplain to the King of Sardinia, and writer had over estimated its practical results. Italian Missionary to England. By BAPTIST We cannot speak in approving terms of the WRIOTHESLEY NOEL. London : Nisbet. “ getting up of the work. It is intended, 1852. 16mo. pp. 595. Cloth.

however, for a class of readers who overlook

inferior paper and type if the matter be thoHaving bad opportunity to characterize some roughly good. of these Letters while they were in progress, we need not say more now than that the series A Discourse on the Greatness of the Christian being completed furnishes & comprehensive

Ministry, delivered before the Students and and lucid view of the Romish system. The

Supporters of Horton College, Bradford, doctrine and practice of the church of Rome

Yorkshire, on Wednesday, Angust 4th, 1852. are contrasted with the doctrine of the bible

By J. P. MURSELL, of Leicester. Published and the practice enjoined by our Lord and his

by Request. London: 8vo., pp. 44. Price apostles, and in the development of this contrast

Sixpence. Mr. Noel has shown, as he says in the preface, “that the church of Rome is the rival and

Taking as his motto the apostolic question, enemy of the church of Christ; that its bier

Who is sufficient for these things? Mr Mursell archy is without commission or authority; that calls upon his bearers to form distinct ideas of its doctrine is a spurious gospel, that its purga- the ministerial office in connexion with the tory is an antichristian fiction ; that its worship work to which it relates, illustrates its diversiis idolatrous; that its sacraments are delusive fied excellencies, specifies the qualifications and disgraceful; that its sacrifice of the altar is fictitious, useless, and profane ; that its transub necessary for the right performance of its duties,

and gives wholesome counsel respecting the stantiation is a blasphemous absurdity; that its confessional is a tyranny which enslaves and spirit and manner in wbich they should be discorrupts mankind; that its discipline is at once impossible to convey in language or adequately

charged. He says, however, “I believe it to be relaxed and sanguinary; that its opposition to

to conceive in thought, the magnitude of the the study of the word of God is impious; and

Christian ministry. There is in it an essential that its whole system, against scripture and and abiding glory, which no detraction can reason, is constructed to give dignity, power, obscure, nor any eulogy enhance. Amid the and wealth, to the priests.” The most curious marvels of that 'state to which we are all ad. parts of the book however are the few pages vancing, it will not be the least that such a work which proceed from the pen of the challenger, should in the inscrutable wisdom of God have Dr. Feraut; few as they are they may be been committed to the hands of the feeble studied advantageously as illustrations of the children of men.” remarks in the book of Proverbs respecting “a scorner. Mr. Noel has wisely left them to

Bethel; or the Blessedness of Frequenting the make their own impression on the reader,


Elder Street Chapel, Edinburgh. London: Christophany: The Doctrine of the Manifes.

Houlston and Stoneman. 32mo., pp. 32. tations of the Son of God under the Economy of the Old Testament. By the late Rev. This is the third edition of a little book GEORGE BALDERSTON KIDD, of Scarbo- eminently calculated to promote attendance at rough. Edited by Orlando T. Dobbin, week day services. We are informed that a LL.D., M.R.I.A. London: Ward and large edition has been printed by the permission Co., Paternoster Row.

of the excellent author which will be sold at a This is a posthumous work;. the author churches will employ it as a stimulus where the

low price, in the hope that deacons of our having completed it just before his death. It is written to prove that the manifestations of prayer meeting is not well attended. the Son of God under the Old Testament dis- Notes and Narratives of a Six Years' Mission, pensation were much more numerous than Christians have been accustomed to believe,

Principally among the Dens of London. By

R. W. VANDERKISTE, Late London City and that the right understanding and reception of this truth by the church would be the basis

Missionary. Half the Profits of this work of unity among all its members, and the pre

are devoted to the Funds of the Mission.

London : Nisbet. 16mo. pp. xvi. 352. cursor of universal triumph. The author has exhausted his subject; and to any one who feels It has long been our conviction that there is disposed to study it his work will be an in. no part of the world that needs missionary valuable authority: It abounds in biblical exertion more than the metropolis of the British criticisms-Quotations from the Fathers— empire. This opinion will be diffused, we and strictures on the writings of such men doubt not, among the readers of this volume, as Lord Brougham and Richard Watson, which supplies ample evidence of the gross The question discussed is one of interest and ignorance of multitudes by whom we are sur, importance ; nevertheless we are inclined to rounded, of the necessity for persevering and

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »