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; ... Visit to Mount Sinai: k.mov
time, when we entered the mouth of a, and is not visible from below, so that the narrow pass, where our conduetors advised spot where he received the law must have us to dismount. A gentle, yet perpetual been hid from the view of the multitudes ascent led on, mile after mile, up this around; and the smoke and fame, which, moumful valley, whose aspect was terrific, Scripture says, enveloped the entire Mount yet ever varying. It was not above two of Sinai, must have had the more awful hundred yards in width, and the moun- appearance, by reason of its many summits tains rose to an immense height on each and great extent; and the account deli. side. The road wound at their feet along vered gives us reason to imagine that the the edge of a precipice, and amidst masses summit or scene, where God appeared, of rock that had fallen from above. It was shrouded from the hosts around; as was a toilsome path, generally over stones, the seventy elders only were permitted to placed like steps, probably by the Arabs : behold “the body of heaven in its clearand the moonlight was of little service to ness, the feet of sapphire,” &c. But what us in this deep valley, as it only rested on occasions no small surprise at first is, the the frowning summits above. Where is scarcity of plains, valleys, or open places Mount Sinai ? was the inquiry of every where the children of Israel could have one. The Arabs pointed before to Gabel stood conveniently to behold the glory Mousa, the Mount of Moses, as it is on the Mount. From the summit of Sinai called; but we could not distinguish it. you see only innumerable ranges of rocky Again and again, point after point was mountains. One generally places, in turned, and we saw only the same stern imagination, around Sinai, extensive plains, scenery. But what had the softness and or sandy deserts, where the camp of the beauty of nature to do here? Mount hosts was placed, where the families of Sinai required an approach like this, Israel stood at the doors of their tents, where all seemed to proclaim the land of and the line was drawn round the mounmiracles, and to have been visited by the tain, which no one might break through terrors of the Lord. The scenes, as you on pain of death, But it is not thus : gazed around, had an unearthly character, save the valley by which we approached suited to the sound of the fearful trumpet Sinai, about half a mile wide, and a few that was once heard there. We entered miles in length, and a small plain we at last on the more open valley, about afterwards passed through, with a rocky half a mile wide, and drew near this hill in the middle, there appear to be famous mountain. Sinai is not so lofty few open places around the Mount. We as some of the mountains around it, did not, however, examine it on all sides. and in its form there is nothing graceful On putting the question to the superior 'or peculiar to distinguish it from others. of the convent, where he imagined the
Near midnight we reached (the convent Israelites stood : every where, he replied, of St. Catherine at the foot of the moun- waving his hands about, in the ravines, tain, and surrounded by a high wall, to the valleys, as well as the plains. i Luis guard it against the Arabs. On the third Having spent an hour here,
we/ demorning we set out early from the convent scended to the place of verdure, and, after for the summit of Mount Sinai, with two resting awhile, took our road, with one of Arab guides. The ascent was, for some the guides, towards the mountain of St. time, over long and broken flights of stone Catherine, supposed by some to be Mount steps, placed there by the Greeks. The Horeb, which is the highest mountain, in path was often narrow and steep, and all the region around ; but from its sumwound through lofty masses of rock on mit, as far as the eye could reach, nothing each side. In about half an hour we was to be seen on every side but ranges came to a well of excellent water; a short of naked mountains succeeding each other distance above which, is a small ruined like waves of the sea. Between these rocky chapel. About half-way up was a verdant chains there are, in general, only ravines or and pleasant spot, in the midst of which narrow valleys. stood a high and solitary palm, and the We now descended to the desolate rocks rose in a small and wild amphi- monastery in the glen, and, taking each theatre around. We were not very long an Arab pipe, solaced ourselves in the now in reaching the summit, which is of abodes of the fathers, till the sultry heat limited extent, having two small buildings was passed, and then proceeded for about
it, used formerly by the Greek pil- two hours till we came to the celebrated grims, probably for worship. But Sinai rock of Meribah. It still bears striking has four summits; and that of Moses evidence of the miracle about it, and is stands almost in the middle of the others, I quite isolated in the midst of a narrow
417 Slave-holding, a Crime of enormous Magnitude. 418 valley, which is here about two hundred the number of wells is so small, and in yards broad. There are four or five summer so soon 'exhausted.-Carne's Letfissures, one above the other, on the face ters from the East, vol. i. of the rock, each of them about a foot and half long, and a few inches deep. What is remarkable, they run along the SLAVE-HOLDING, A CRIME OF ENORMOUS breadth of the rock, and are not rent downwards; they are more than a foot EverY slave brought from Africa by force, asunder, and there is a channel worn be. with every slave born in a state of slavery tween them by the gushing of the water. in West India, exhibits a proof of injustice The Arabs still reverence this rock, and against some person or persons; and its stuff shrubs into the holes, that when any most strenuous advocates can only plead of their camels are sick, they may eat of ignorance, or something worse. them and recover. Two of the holes In civilized governments, every species at this time were filled with reed for this of property is identified by law! and that purpose, and they believed it to be en- which cannot be held legally, is not bona dowed with a peculiar virtue. The rock fide property ! is of a beautiful granite, and is about five Slave-holders cannot be accused of yards long, five in height, and four yards apathy, they have ransacked heaven and wide.
earth for a title to hold slaves : and the This narrow valley soon opened into a only title that can be found, is possession. plain, capable of containing a large num- I defy them to find a better title. All ber of people, where they probably stood, stolen property in Great Britain, is held as well as around the rock, and in the by this title; and slave-holders appear to valley, to receive the water that poured be determined not to let go this hold ! down. It is difficult to take that passage So far as European governments have in Scripture literally, which says that the put a stop to the exportation of slaves from water from the rock followed them in Africa, they have acknowledged its injustheir journeyings, when it is considered tice! but whilst they permit slave-holding that from the nature of the country, their to continue in West India, they sanction course was afterwards over rocky and an evil equal in magnitude! Suppose rugged places, and tracts of sand : to have every slave now held in slavery, were to carried that water over stony ascents, and make his and her escape from slavery! along dry and desert paths, which absorb Suppose them to carry away every article all moisture, would have been an infinitely denominated theirs, would criminality, or greater miracle than the bringing it at first an act of injustice, attach to such slaves ? out of the rock, or reproducing it in dif- Such an act, committed by Europeans, ferent parts of their journeys. Perhaps the would not be accounted any crime! passage may be intended to convey the If slave-holding is unjust, every added latter meaning.
day or hour of prolonged slavery, enhances We had not the opportunity of making the guilt of the holder ! the tour of the whole of the region of delay can only increase the difficulty, and Sinai, yet 'we traversed three sides of the swell the enormity! On the day I commountain, and found it every where shut mence slave-holder, I purpose renou
nouncing in by narrow ravines, except on the north, the Christian religion ! in which direction we had first approached There cannot be a more just mart in it. Here there is, as before observed, a Africa for the sale of Africans, than in valley of some extent, and a small plain, Europe for the sale of Europeans; would in the midst of which is a rocky hill. European nations allow the nations of These appear to be the only open places Africa to take and make slaves of Euroin which the Israelites could have stood peans ? Custom, however long continued before the mount, because on the fourth in, never can justify a merchandise in side, though unvisited, we could observe human bodies and souls. I have seen a from the summit, were only glens or small negro in Newgate. I have seen negroes rocky valleys, as on the west and south; begging in the streets of London. Can for the precipices opposite rose near and we then deny to the negro the human high : and a country like this can change character ? and can it be denied that little in the progress of ages. If water Europeans have been the cause, both of was not more plentiful of old than at the the imprisoned and the begging negroes ? present time, it was impossible for so If the negro is liable to a charge of felony, numerous a people to have been sustained such charge classes him with that of human without a constant miracle in their favour; ) beings! No creature but man is charm 125.-VOL. XI.
419 Slave-holding, a Crime of enormous Magnitude. 420 able with felony! If a negro in Britain a local nature, and founded on a usurped is charged with felony, he is not a prin- power, is yet unknown as such in Europe, cipal, but an accessary? By Europeans and especially in Great Britain. It is the he is displaced from the order of Provi- spurious offspring of British law-transdence ! his alleged crime is more justly planted into West India! chargeable upon some other person or per- Eight hundred thousand Africans, held sons than it is upon himself! Such pity in slavery and imprisonment by Europeans as is due to prisoners in Newgate, is due in West India, is a most awful portraiture to the holders of slaves. There is hardly of deformity, whether we behold the Afria description of sinners whom I do not can or the European! pity, and for whom I would not pray. If barbarism characterize the African, Were I to advise the planters in West cruelty and injustice characterize the EuroIndia, my advice would be, Give up every pean. European colonists have involved idea of the slave being real property; themselves in a most awful predicament: as he is not property in fact, so neither they express great alarm at the state into ought he to be in imagination!. Whatever which they have brought themselves, and may constitute property in West India, solicit the protection of the British governor whatever legitimate rights are held by ment, for the maintenance of a species of planters in West India, to the enslaved property not recognized in Europe,-and African no title can be found ! No deed primarily obtained by rapine and murder ! of conveyance, no deposit of purchase, Every slave_in West India is a living can constitute the African the property of witness of European injustice, and the the European ! That people are yet blood of every murdered African cries for uncivilized, where man constitutes a part justice against the murderer ! of the property of his fellow-man?
How long shall European governments Arguments have little or no effect upon hesitate to put an end to this usurpation the man who is determined to pursue his of African rights? If a house were own course ; self-interest is a perpetual fire, should we justify a delay in deterstimulus to human exertion. Man is mining which engine should first play prone to put a favourable construction upon the flames? Were a man perishing upon his own actions ! There is not a in the water, should we justify a delay in thief who wisheth jiot success to his own determining who shall cast a rope for his enterprise !
deliverance. If interest dims the sight of honesty The system of slavery in West India itself, what must be the consequence inevitably occasions the premature death where honesty is absent ? Allow the of slaves; colonial laws fully substantiate principles of slave-holding, maintained by this fact ? Justice sanctions just laws, but slave-holders; and slavery will never be it never sanctioned a law under which one abolished ! I have seen a string of argu- man shall be the property and the slave of ments to prove, that such are the vast another. The British government may advantages of a state of slavery to the turn a deaf ear to remonstrance, and conslaves, that their condition might be tinue to protect the colonists in the post almost deemed desirable. But as yet, session of slaves; but while it will be a I have not seen one argument through proof of the exercise of British power, it which a school-boy would not penetrate, will be an equal proof of the exercise of or at which an idiot might not take the British injustice! Weakness may connive alarm!
at injustice, but power has not any excuse ! Great has been my astonishment at Had the British government any doubt of speeches made in the British senate in its power to put an end to slavery, it behalf of the rights of the colonists, and the would have tried the experiment long ere benefit of slavery to the slaves : speeches now! Eight hundred thousand free men, much better calculated to entertain a might fearlessly have held fifty thousand company of rustics, than a house of repre- slaves in chains : but fifty thousand free sentatives ! Speeches to which the speaker men holding eight hundred thousand himself would not give credit, and which slaves, (without a strong military force,) passed without refutation, chiefly from the would ever be in a state of perturbation ! unpopularity of the subject !
The adjustment of this business having Only in slave-holding countries is man been so long declined by colonial legis. considered as property. Europeans in lation, European governments alone can West India have to learn the value of apply a remedy! slaves, and the art of governing them; Subjects of far less importance than this species of chattels being entirely of slavery have agitated nations, nnsheathed
DISSERTATION ON APPARITIONS.
the sword, depopulated provinces, and dicated and sedulously disseminated by dethroned kings ! The displeasure of the vulgar. Jehovah is to be deprecated; he is not The ancients also entertained less able to pour his vengeance upon notions concerning the state of the soul mighty empires, than to punish indivi- on its escape from the body, which duals! European strength will make but favoured this opinion; and they were á feeble resistance against Almighty disposed to seek the spirits of their deenergy : “He breaketh the bow, and ceased ancestors near the habitations in snappeth the spear asunder.” Be wise, which their bodies
deposited. oh ye nations ! be instructed, oh ye kings Hence, they would be easily led into of the earth! If Jehovah enter into a deception; and when fancying that they controversy with Europe and India, where actually saw their deceased friends, they is the barrier which shall defend from distinguished the illusions, which were His power, or turn aside the stroke of His merely the creations of their own fancy, wrath !
W. by the name of “Shades.” It ought
also to be considered, that the relation and belief of apparitions have prevailed chiefly in times of ignorance, and amongst
those who had the fewest opportunities APPARITION, in a general sense, is the for inquiry and information. In fact, as appearance or semblance of a thing. It night and ignorance have been the seasons is also used to denote a spectre, or pre- to which the appearance of ghosts has ternatural appearance of some spirit, or been referred, so the belief of their reality the like.
has gradually subsided in proportion to We read of apparitions of angels, genii
, the degree in which light and knowledge dæmons, fairies, witches, departed souls, have been diffused. It is also well known &c. apparitions of God, of Christ, the that apparitions have, as convenient instruVirgin, saints, prophets, and of the Devil
ments on particular occasions, rendered himself.
essential service to generals, to ministers Among the most zealous advocates for of state, to priests, and others; to say the reality of apparitions and witchcraft, nothing of the very injudicious and cul. we may reckon Dr. Henry More, Baxter, pable use that has been made of them by and Glanvil. The latter, in particular, those with whom the care of children, at has attempted, in a treatise entitled, “Sa- a period when their imagination is easily ducismus Triumphatus," to prove the impressed, has been entrusted. Upon doctrine of apparitions, by arguments de the whole, it must be allowed, that many duced from the nature of the soul, the of the apparitions recorded by writers, or testimony of scripture, and the evidence reported by tradition, are mere delusions ; of fact; and he expressly asserts, (part ii. others are fictions contrived solely to p. 2.) that those who deny and deride the amuse, or to answer some purpose; while existence of apparitions and witchcraft, others have originated in dreams or deli. are prepared for the denial of spirits, a quiums. life to come, and all the other principles of There are seasons of slumber when we religion.
are not sensible of being asleep. On this On the contrary, it cannot be denied, as principle, Hobbes' (Treatise of Human a strong presumption against the reality Nature, part i. c. 2. Works, p. 102.) has of apparitions, however anciently and endeavoured to account for the spectre generally the belief of them has prevailed, that is said to have appeared to Brutus. that they have been connected with some “We read,” says he, “of Marcus Brutus causes and circumstances of terror, either one that had his life given him by Julius real or apprehended ; and these have pre- Cæsar, and was also his favourite, and viously disposed the imagination for being notwithstanding murdered him,) how at imposed upon and deluded. The dark- Philippi, the night before he gave battle ness of the night, the gloom that has to Augustus Cæsar, he saw a fearful apoverspread particular situations, the horror parition, which is commonly related by produced by the record of some disastrous historians as a vision; but considering occurrence, such as murder or the like, the circumstances, one may easily judge and a state of mind naturally depressed to have been a short dream. For, sitting and melancholy, and of course easily in his tent, pensive and troubled with the alarmed, have contributed to give rise to horror of his rash act, it was not hard for many of those stories, that have been cre- him, slumbering in the cold, to dream of dulously received, and as obstinately vin- | that which most affrighted him; which fear,
424 as by degrees it made him awake, so also came over from Asia, and again the night it must 'needs make the apparition by before the battle of Philippi, the noise as degrees to vanish; and having no assur- one entering into his tent which he heard, rance that he slept, he could have no and the words spoken, “I am, 0 Brutus, cause to think it a dream, or any thing but thy evil genius, but thou shalt see me á vision."
again near Philippi,? might all be only The well-known story told by Claren- inward representations upon the sensory, don, of the apparition of the duke of and any other person present might neiBuckingham's father, has been solved in ther have heard nor seen any thing. This, a similar manner. There was no man in in our author's opinion, affords a better the kingdom so much the subject of con- account of the appearance than that of versation as the duke; and his character Hobbes; who makes cold produce dreams was so corrupt, that he was very likely and visions of fear, without either reason to be misled by the enthusiasm of the or experience to support his assertion. He times. Sir George Villiers is said to have makes Brutus to be sleeping; but Plutarch appeared to him at midnight; and hence tells us, that he had slept the former part it appears probable that the man was of the night immediately after eating, and asleep; and as he was terrified by the had risen to digest something in his own dream, it must have made a strong im- mind; so that, according to Hobbes' pression, and was likely to be repeated. scheme, it was a waking vision, and it
Mr. Andrew Baxter, in his “Essay on occurred without any previous distemper, the Phenomenon of Dreaming,” recurs to either external or internal. the principle, “that our dreams
The case of Dion, related by Plutarch, prompted by separate immaterial beings,” is alleged to the same purpose ; for he was in order to account for apparitions. If sitting in the porch of his own house in a the power of such beings be unrestrained, thoughtful and meditating attitude, when this author maintains, that it will equally the spectre appeared to him; and this possess the fancy with delusive scenes, happened while the assassins were contrivwithout waiting for the occasion of sleep ing his death, a little before he was cruelly to introduce them, and obtrude them murdered. No men in antiquity could be forcibly upon the organ, amidst the action less liable to the suspicion of weakness and of external objects. For it requires but a credulity than Brutus and Dion; and greater degree of the same power to make therefore, according to Mr. Baxter, the delusory impressions upon the sensory, terror they experienced must have prowhile real external objects are making true ceeded from the power of some superior impressions upon it, than it would require being. Upon the whole, he thinks that to make the same impressions, while no although Accordarpovia, (Deisidaimonia,) or other impression from external objects is a fear of spirits, hath been much abused made upon it at the same time. “If our by vain or weak people, and carried to an imaginations," says Dr. Tillotson, in one extreme perhaps by crafty and designing of his sermons,
were let loose upon us, men, the most rigorous philosophy will we should be always under the most not justify its being entirely rejected. It dreadful terrors, and frightened to distràc- is true, he adds, no evil can happen to us tion with the appearance of our own fancy; | in God's world, but by our own fault; but but an over-ruling power restrains these that subordinate beings are effects ;” that is, as Mr. Baxter conceives, mitted, or commissioned, to be the minisby restraining the power of invisible beings, ters of his will, is a hard point to be which would otherwise incessantly distress proved ; and that direct atheism is better the soul with such unpleasing sights. than this deisidemony, is horrid. See Upon this hypothesis, he thinks there is Essay on the Phenomenon of Dreaming, nothing inconsistent in those relations of in the “ Inquiry into the Nature of the apparitions which we meet with in history, Human Soul,” vol. ii. p. 3. whether the facts be true or false; for The Abbe de St. Pierre has a discourse these spirits may, upon some important expressly on the physical method of solvoccasions, be licensed so to affect the ing or accounting for apparitions; he sensory, according to the exigency of the makes them the effect of feverish dreams, case, that the whole scene of vision, which disturbed imaginations, &c. REES. is then thought to have an existence from without, may be the effect of impressions madel on the brain only. Thus, for in
ON THE MORAL EFFECTS OF RIDICULE. stance, that apparition mentioned before, There is no engine more generally apwhich was presented to Brutus before he plied: to eradicate absurd or unpopular