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we suppose that these causes operate more or less in every part of the Turkish Empire, it will not be too much to say, that there is more of human life wasted, and less supplied than in any other country. We see, every day, life going out in the fairest portion of Europe, and the human race threatened with extinction in a soil and climate capable of supporting the most abundant population.'-(pp. 10, 11.)
Other travellers, Mr. Quin, Mr. Southgate, and Major Skinner, give equally deplorable accounts.
Mr. Quin, on his arrival at Constantinople, found the plague raging there :
“'In the city, no fewer than fifteen hundred victims had beer numbered with the dead only the day before. This was in 1834.
“At page 68, vol. ii. Mr. Quin remarks, “The reader will have collected from the pages of this work, that the age of religious frenzy has altogether passed away in Turkey. The Mahometan establishments of an ecclesiastical nature are very generally in a ruinous condition, and the people have utterly ceased to attend the mosques, in the crowds which formerly displayed so much ardour of devotion to the Koran. The frequent returns of the plague amongst them, its long continuance, its remarkably fatal character, and the wide range of indiscriminate slaughter over which it rushes, as if urged by some supernatural energy, are to my contemplation the lurid flashes of a destroying angel's wing, sent to announce the termination of the sway, which for inscrutable purposes, had been permitted to the doctrines of the false prophet.'
Major Skinner, in the account of his overland journey to India, published in 1836, mentions occasionally the scenes of desolation which surrounded his journey. He passed through Syria from Beyrout, and crossed the southern part of Asiatic Turkey, yet even there the work of destruction, or drying up, was as visible as in the more northern parts visited by Mr. Quin. At page 115, vol. ii., the Major says, 'Hit, which we are now contemplating, is wretched, the houses half fallen down, and the population dwindled away by the plague of last year, (1832.) A youth, who joined the caravan as we approached the town, told me, that of thirty-nine relations he was the only survivor; and that seven thousand five hundred died out of a population of eight thousand.'
“In 1831 the plague broke out at Bagdad with such fatal virulence, that thousands fell beneath its deadly influence. Part of the inhabitants attempted to leave the city, but were driven back by a sudden inundation of the Tigris, by which numbers perished. To add to their misery, the waters of the river made a breach in the walls, and swept away many of the habitations. The wretched inhabitants, crowded together, were compelled to take refuge even in houses made desolate by the plague. Almost immediately after the pestilence had abated, the sword came to fill up the measure of their wretchedness. Troops were sent by the Sultan to depose the Pacha, when fierce and bloody contests ensued. And after Daoud Pacha was compelled to abandon the town,' the Albanians,' says Major Skinner, 'who composed chiefly the invading army, destroyed by fire and the sword a great portion of what had yet been saved. The palace has not one room remaining; its outer wall only stands to shew its extent. The population at the breaking out of the plague, was eighty thousand; fifty thousand died of the disease alone. Bagdad is now as wretched and fallen in its appearance as St. Jean d'Acre. War and pestilence have walked unchecked through the dominions of the Turk; may we not read in this a judgment against the power of Mahommed, which surely must fall, dwindled to a shadow as it now is?
“The account which the Major gives of Hillah confirms the information previously received. 'It is now,' says the Major, 'sadly reduced, and has Jan. 1842.
suffered, like all the towns on the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates, the most appalling judgments.'
“The Rev. H. Southgate, in his Travels through Turkey and Persia, (vol. ii. pp. 237) bears testimony to the drying up of another portion of the Turkish empire. On arriving at Mossoul on the Tigris, he says, “One is struck with the extent of the city, when viewing it from an elevated position, and is no less surprised at the extent of the ruins when walking through the streets. This last feature is attributed to a dreadful calamity which befel the city two years before the great plague at Bagdad. The crops of grain having been destroyed by locusts, famine ensued, and many died of it: when relief came the plague followed, and in the space of two months and a half made such havoc, that the city was left almost a desert. I was assured by very respectable authorities, that no less than 100,000 were cut off, and many stated the number still higher. After such a catastrophe it is difficult to estimate the remaining population, but from all the accounts which I received, I judged it to be about the same with that of Bagdad-forty thousand souls: the city seems to have declined in commerce as well as in population.'”—(pp. 13—16.)
Thus, struck at once by three sore plagues from heaven, war, and pestilence, and famine, the great Euphratean power lies prostrate; like some giant, whose vital powers had vanished under the assaults of disease or decay. But we now come to the last and most interesting point in the discussion,- Who are “the Kings of the East,” to prepare whose way, this power is so wondrously removed ?
To ascertain the truth on this point, the author first begins by clearing away error :
“Commentators having very generally concluded that the title of Kings of the East,' is meant to be applied to the Jews, must have also concluded the Promised Land to be the East. A little reflection will convince every reader of Scripture, that this is contrary to the often-repeated language of both the Old and New Testaments.
“ By comparing 'Scripture with Scripture,' we shall be able to clear up this matter, and shew where the East is to be looked for. In Isaiah xlii. 5, 6, it is written, Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north give up, and to the south keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.' In this passage, the East is as distinct from Judea, the place to which the Jews are to be brought, as are the west, north or south.
“In Matt. ii. 1, 2, it is said-'Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the East, and are come to worship him.'”—(pp. 20–21.)
Again, in Dan. viii. 9, the prophet writes—And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.' Here again, the pleasant land, or Judea, is placed as distinctly separate from the east, as it is from the south. And no reasoning can make Judea and the east mean the same place.”— (p. 23.)
So far we can cordially proceed with our author. But his following step is of a more problematical character. He desires next to enquire what country is designated as “the East” in the prophetic scriptures. And, bearing in mind Daniel's prediction, «Out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the pleasant land,” he endeavours to discover which country, thus known as “the East," was the scene of the principal Mohamedan empire. He fixes on Hindostan as the scene of the chief Moslem triumphs,recounting all their successes in that quarter, and ending thus
“Having traced the rise and progress of the Mohammedan conquerors eastward, from Bagdad, through Persia, Bokhara, and Cabul to India—having scanned over the conquests of the Ghiznivede, Patan, and Mogul dynasties, till the Mohammedan empire included, from east to west, Assam and Cabul, and the whole peninsula of India, from the Himmaleh Mountains in the north, to Cape Comorin in the south, with a revenue of thirty-two millions sterling, and territories containing population and wealth exceeding probably those of the Roman empire in its most flourishing period : ' it is submitted to the reader whether the words of the prophet are not proved by the testimony of the historian, to be strictly fulfilled: That the Mohammedan power did ' wax exceeding great towards the east.” As India was the most eastern Mohammedan empire, it follows that India is the east,' meant by the language of Scripture."-(p. 34.)
“Upon the same spot must we therefore look for the dominion of the kings of the east mentioned in Revelation, for whom the Turkish empire is now being dried up.”—(p. 35.)
The hypothesis, then, is—that the British Indian power is that denoted by the term “the Kings of the East."
Probably we might give a qualified and doubtful assent to this position ; but we hesitate much more to take our author's next step. He quotes the xlist of Isaiah, which runs as follows, and then applies it, verse by verse, to the history of the British East India Company :
“Keep silence before me, o islands; and let the people renew their strength ; let them come near, then let them speak; let us come near together to judgment.' 'Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.' 'He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.'
Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? 1, the Lord, the first and with the last; I am he.' "The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near and came.' They helped every, one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.' “So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, (or founder) and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.' 'I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come; from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name, and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.' 'Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know ? and before time, that we may say, He is righteous ? yea, there is none that sheweth; yea, there is none that declareth; yea, there is none that heareth your words. The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.” Verses 1–7, 25—27."-(pp. 36, 37.)
Following out this idea, the next eight chapters are devoted to
shewing, with great ingenuity, how the British Isles have been commanded to “ renew their strength;” to “draw near to God;"how “the nations of India were given to them;"—they were made to "rule over kings;"_“the princes given as stubble to their arms;" they came upon princes as upon mortar;" and their empire is “fastened that it should not be moved." In all these expositions the author shews much ingenuity, without, however, carrying full satisfaction to the mind. We cannot help remembering, throughout the whole, that the chapters from the xlth onwards appear to be connected, and to possess unity; and that in the xlivth and xlvth, Cyrus is expressly named as the earthly deliverer predicted.
The next point, however, in our author's discussion, is one which is both interesting and unobjectionable. He shews how, literally as well as figuratively, the Euphrates is becoming a highway for those who are de facto Kings of the East. It is certainly wonderful, that the same moment which sees Britain in possession of the coasts of the Holy Land, should also find her, by a reflex operation of her power, coming from the east, pushing her way through the pools and morasses of Assyria, and establishing her posts and authorities on the whole line from Hindostan to Egypt. The author traces, with some pains, the history of the recent attempts to reopen the navigation of the Euphrates ; but we can only give his latest piece of intelligence,—which, in fact, sums up the results of all that had gone before :
" The East India Company's armed iron steam-boats Nimrod and Nitocris, arrived at Beles on the Euphrates, on the 31st May, 1841. The expedition was commanded by Lieut. Campbell, assisted by Lieuts. Jones and Grounds: the behaviour of the crews was most exemplary, and not a single casualty occurred during the whole voyage. It is said of this expedition—the Tigris and the Euphrates have now been opened to vessels of considerable burden, and the ascent and descent of these noble streams may be made available for the purposes of commerce as well as of civilization : for although the success of this splendid experiment reflects honor on the British name alone, the advantages which may be derived from it will be shared with us by many nations; and it is to be hoped, by the once famous regions watered by the great rivers of Mesopotamia.”—(pp. 194, 195.)
The next chapter attempts to identify the British with “the land shadowing with wings, which passes over (not, is beyond) the rivers of Ethiopia.” The writer considers this to predict the now constant traffic, to and fro, of the British, over the rivers of Ethiopia or Egypt, in the overland passage. The chief interest of the chapter, however, consists in the following extract from Colonel Churchill's farewell speech to the Jews of Damascus, when taking leave of them in the spring of 1841
“I trust, my friends, that I may claim for my country the first place in
your recollections. In the hour of your darkest trial and adversity, England hastened to extend to you the protection of her glorious and triumphant ægis. Other powers, no doubt, exhibited a generous sympathy in your behalf; but in England your woes and misfortunes and sufferings found an echo, and excited a national exhibition of feeling which struck down the fiendish malice which oppressed you to the earth, and rescued you from the hands of your malignant persecutors. She has proved herself to be your most steady, persevering, and uncompromising defender and friend. May this happy meeting be looked upon as a pledge of that friendship, and as the forecast of such å connection and alliance between the English and the Jewish people, as shall be alike honourable and advantageous to both. Yes, my friends, there was once a Jewish people, famous in arts and renowned in war. These beautiful plains and valleys, which are now tenanted by the wild and wandering Arab, on which desolation has fixed her iron stamp, once revelled in the luxuriance of their fertile and abundant crops, and resounded with the songs of the daughters of Zion. May the hour of Israel's deliverance be near at hand! (Here the gallant speaker was interrupted by the cries of Inchallah ! Inchallah !--may God grant it! may God grant it! To England alone we look! To England alone we look!) May the approximation of western civilization to this interesting land be the dawn of her regeneration, and of her political existence : may the Jewish nation once more claim her rank and station among the powers of the world! The descendants of the Maccabees will yet prove themselves worthy of their illustrious ancestors.' (pp. 216, 217.)
Perhaps, however, the most original and valuable chapter in the work is the 14th, entitled “Britain the land of Tarshish.” We cannot even give an idea of the weight of evidence by which the writer supports his hypothesis ; but its effect on the mind is very powerful. The general outline is this ;—that there was more than one place known by that name; that it seems to have been somehow connected with the trade in copper and tin; that the Phænicians kept the trade with the British Tarshish very much in their own hands, and refused to shew the way to any other nation. Messrs. Lysons, in their account of Cornwall, say,
“ * Cornwall has been celebrated for its tin mines from very remote antiquity; we learn from Strabo, Herodotus, and other ancient writers, that the Phoenicians, and after them the Greeks and Romans, traded for tin to Cornwall, under the name of the Cassite es, from a very early period. Diodorus Siculus, who wrote in the reign of Augustus, gives a particular description of the manner in which that valuable metal was dug and prepared by the Britons.'"-(p. 255.)
The writer adds :"When Jonah, also, arose up to flee unto Tarshish, he sailed from Joppa on the coast of Syria, and the circumstances mentioned (in Jonah 4,) imply that his voyage was of some length, and coupled with the intention which led him to undertake it, makes it probable that the Tarshish he sought was the Cassiterides, or Tin Islands, the most distant and least known colony of Tyre. The account of this portion of his history is as follows: 'But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish, from the presence of the and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.'