Puslapio vaizdai

none of his discontented subjects being more bitterly hostile to him than the Armenians in his service, upon whom he has lavished favours, whom he has fed and educated, and who would still be buried in the darkest night of obscurity, but for his unaccountable partiality.

and industry—and the jealousy of certain Euro- tered throughout the east like the Jews, finding pean powers, have prevented them from acting in all the delights of home and country in their chests obedience to their impulses. If we run our eye and money bags. These patient and econoalong the mountains and valleys which intersect mical people, who are ever ready to compass and diversify the face of the land, reasons will sea and land, through devotion for the breechespresent themselves more than sufficient to explain pockets, constitute an important part of the poputhe existing moral lethargy of Syria. That which lation of Syria, where they contend with the may be denominated the basis of the population, Ishmaelites and Israelites for the mastery in all and is composed of Arabian elements, has hitherto matters of cash. Among those who do not beproved unsusceptible of all political amelioration. lieve in the Book, few are more disliked or more We mean the partizans of the Sunnce sect, or fiercely persecuted than the Armenians. From followers of the first three caliphs. Scattered the banks of the Nile to those of the Orontes, indiscriminately among these, are the sectaries Abanna, and Pharphar, we find innumerable who uphold the pretension of Ali, known else- anecdotes in circulation, illustrative of their where in the East under the name of Sheahs, avarice and worthlessness. Pashas and Kadhis but in Syria denominated Metwalis. Between acquire popularity by oppressing them. Mohamthese two divisions of Mohammedans there exists med Ali, who possesses some original ideas, and a degree of rancorous hostility, which they who loves to depart from the traditional policy of the are versed in the history of the Inquisition may, Turks, has sought to attach the Armenians to perhaps, be able to understand. Their hatred, in his government, by bestowing on them titles and fact, is exactly proportioned to the slightness and places, and enabling them, like another moneyfutility of its cause. But what will not men con-making race of old, to spoil the Egyptians. But vert into a pretext for destroying each other? | his plan has been attended with little success; Look at the Musslemans of Northern India, how they break forth at stated periods into lamentations for the death of Hassan and Hussein; how they parade with frantic gestures through the streets; listen how they wail and howl and lash themselves into a frenzy of grief; observe how, in the paroxysms of this madness, they assail the inoffensive Hindoos, the fierce and trucculent Sikhs, towards whom they have comparatively no cause of quarrel; and then imagine with what deadly fury they would be likely to fall upon those who represent to them the murderers of their prophets. | In a distinct part of Syria, consisting of lofty and almost inaccessible mountains, we find, in great numbers, the indomitable followers of the mad caliph Hakim Beamrilla. Into the peculiarities of their creed and customs we cannot just now enter; more Jesuitical than the Metwalis, they industriously disguise that heresy; affect to think in accordance with all who converse with them, but secretly in their own secluded shrines, practise rites, and give utterance to opinions, which, if openly proclaimed, would excite one universal shudder through the Mohammedan world. These formidable heretics are the Druses, who, without being at all understood by Europe, have attracted so much attention by the remarkable part they have always played in the intestine quarrels of their country.

Another Syrian tribe far more obscure to Europeans, is that of the Ansarièh, upon whom Mr. D'Israeli has bestowed so large a share of his admiration. Two things belonging to the people deserve special notice; first, they preside over the cultivation of that wild and oderiferous tobacco, which under the name of Jebel Lataskia, solaces the wearisome marches of travellers in the East; and second, they uphold some strange form of worship, which has the fascination of mystery about it, though enough perhaps has been revealed to enable us to form an idea of what the mystery was intended to conceal. It would perhaps be more correct to denominate the Ansarièh a sect than a tribe, though they unquestionably differ from the Maronites and Druses, in descent as well as in creed. Very strange notions have been propagated concerning them by travellers. Volney, in general so accurate and sagacious, was misled by Assemani; and succeeding writers have, for the most part, contented themselves with copying or abridging his


Akin to these fantastical tobacco growers, though of still more obscure tenets and practices, are the Ismaclieh, who, through a long succession of ages have persevered in their attachment to superstitions which the ordinary speculators upon human nature innocently believe to be extinct. In the East, however, follies are slow to die. Even that which we believe to be an universal antidote, the Press, fails to cure the Syrian mountaineers of their traditional infatuation. We behold printing going on in the midst of men more benighted than the Hellens before the advent of Cadmus among them with his alphabet. Books, Syria, so far from putting superstition to flight,

Close neighbours to these are the Maronites or Christians of the Lebanon, who, though far more numerous than the Druses, have generally been inferior to them in power, because much less passionately addicted to a military life. The history of this fragment of Christendom surviving in the midst of the Mohammedan world, is full of interesting vicissitudes, which would be instructive did men in reality derive any practical advantages from the annals of past times. Even the existence of the Maronites, however, may be regarded as an extraordinary circumstance, though less so than that of the Armenians, who, driven forth from the cradle of their race and faith, live scat-in

only, as far as hitherto appears, tend to foster it. | Mohammedans. As soon as that vast Pashalic shall The fables, in which the people believe, get imbedded in their literature, so that the more they read the more their credulity is nourished. Not, indeed, that they read much; they are too indolent for


Perhaps we discover in the Kords and Turcomans, who with Yezidis complete the cycle of Syrian populations, the only instrument by which 'Western Asia can possibly, by a spontaneous movement, be regenerated. These manly, though fierce and barbarous tribes, were the idea once to present itself powerfully to their minds, might easily erect an empire, the growth of which even Europe itself would find it difficult to check. They hover perpetually in the back-ground of the Turkish dominions, gifted with prodigious strength, 'but disinclined hitherto to make use of it. Their connexion with interior Asia would ensure to them an inexhaustible supply of soldiers; and their rudeness and ignorance would render them too indifferent to the most lavish sacrifice of human life, to induce them to pause for a moment in the career of ambition, should they once enter upon it.

The Turks and the Arabs are, for all great purposes, effete; so that it would be unphilosophical to expect anything further from them. The other inhabitants of Syria are numerically too weak to form or earry out any extensive plan of conquest; and the Kords and Turcomans who might, as we have suggested, be more successful, should they make the attempt, have hitherto only pushed their vanguard into Northern Syria; and, in the present state of the world, are not likely to be inspired by the idea of acquiring supremacy in Western Asia.

What then, it may be asked, is to be the fate of that part of the world? Is the political edifice of the Turkish Empire capable of re-construction, and, if so, can it be built up by European diplomacy, or must some modification of Asiatic genius preside over it? Without being at all dogmatic on the point, we would invite the statesmen of the West to consider diligently the progress they seem to have made in restoring vitality to the Ottoman Porte. The tendency of all they have accomplished up to this moment, seems only to have been to hasten the overthrow of that which they meant to reinstate in its primitive condition. There has been no revival of patriotism-no restoration of faith among the Turks, who have dwindled gradually into a sort of Oriental Epicureans, intent on present enjoyment, forgetful of the past, and careless of the future. Meanwhile, the greatest power of the North has been steadily pressing upon the frontier, extirpating or subjugating one small population after another; and causing it to be universally felt, that it is merely by an artificial check, originating in political combinations, and not by any native power of resistance, that it is restrained from extending its frontier to the Persian Gulph. On the other extremity of the Turkish Empire, there is a space widening every day into which European energy must sooner or later flow. We allude to Egypt, which cannot long remain under the domination of the

lapse, as it most probably will, to Great Britain, the Turkish territories, compressed between two mighty empires will be diminished rapidly; the Russians extending their conquests south, the English north, until the same strange phenomena which met our view in Central Asia, are repeated at the western extremity of that continent. At what point the two opposing forces will meet and shock against each other, it will be for futurity to decide; though, if we might regulate our speculations by the experience of all ages, it would not be difficult even now to draw the impassible line of demarcation.

The fate, then, of Western Asia as it appears to us is, to be absorbed by Europe which will only then have thoroughly accomplished its mission, when its two imperial races shall extend their dominions parallel to each other, from the Egean to the Yellow Sea.

Many provinces are

All the populations of Syria, with the exception of the Osmalis, are industrious, and nearly every district of the country abounds with sources All that is required, therefore, is to of wealth. rouse the spirit of production, which may at once be done by affording effectual protection to property, and opening sufficient outlets for the multiplied creations of industry. admirably adapted to manufacture; others are gifted with an inexhaustible fertility; some, bordering on the desert, would find a never-failing market among the Bedouins; others, skirting the sca, would look to Europe for their customers. It is unnecessary to enumerate here the productions of Syria, but we may mention its silk, and tobacco-its corn, and wine, and oil-its honey and its balm—its frankincence, and its unrivalled steel. But, perhaps, the greatest source of Syrian wealth-we mean of possible and future wealth-lies in an article almost of untried growth—that is to say, in cotton, in which, from various circumstances which have come to our knowledge, we feel convinced it might be made to rival even the most favoured districts of What is called the upland Georgia America. cotton, is scarely equal to some grown along the skirts of Lebanon, and the whole valley of the Jordan and the vast plains of Esdraelon and the Hauran could produce an article not inferior in fineness.

It is in circumstances like these, and not in wandering about the deserts in the hopes of enjoying interviews with angels, that the Syrians are to seek the instruments of their future regeneration. The best angel they could meet with just now would be a steam-engine. Not that we undervalue those pure principles of action with which Heaven inspires great men, through whom it instils truth and piety into the great moral world, as it instils moisture into the physical, by means of those lofty mountains which avert and attract the clouds; but over such processes we have no control.

Our business is to wield, for the promotion of our own comforts and happiness, the physical powers with which Nature has surrounded us. No madness can be greater than that which

would prompt us to interrogate an ignorant | mapping out, as it were, of the whole subject, people respecting the means of bettering human which, however vast and comprehensive, rests or society. With them revolution does not neces- one single principle, the necessary and lasting sarily signify ascent-they change, but do not subordination of force and violence to political always improve. Witness the outbreak of the wisdom. At this very moment we actively inWhahabis, who brought about what is technically fluence the whole fabric of society throughout called a revival in the Mohammedan world, and Asia. European agents stud the entire continent, gave, for a time, a new direction to the currents insomuch that there is not a single prince or emir, of faith and opinion. But it happened that the | from the isthmus of Suez to the utmost limits of principle they introduced was not prolific of Mongolia, who has not his mind, from time to civilisation; and so, after drenching the desert time, enlightened by some one from the West, with blood, and thinuing populations already commissioned to extend the circle of our arts and too scanty, they retreated into their original our commerce. This may, perhaps, reveal to obscurity, having only added one sect more to many a state of things with which they were not a part of the world which had before too previously familiar. We could print a long list of emissaries who are now labouring unostentatiously in that vast vineyard.


In Central Asia we find more unadulteratedpopulations on which to operate. It is easy to excite or enlighten a man of Samarcan, a dweller in Kokan, or a Kurgis Kasak. But, as you approach the Mediterranean, you have first to break through a crust of false refinement before you can reach the pure well-springs of intellectual activity. But, beginning at the right end, awakening the spirit of industry, and teaching men how to surround themselves with material comforts, you may effect a decisive amount of good. This we have practically demon

By introducing the lever from Europe, a very different state of things may be brought about. Already the vast populations of Asia are heaving and fermenting, and exhibit an inclination to put on new forms, and assume a similitude to the nobler races of the West. And what is this lever to which we allude? Simply the conviction that there is nothing in this world so noble as honest industry, which leads men, in the first place, to create property, and, in the next, makes them resolute to defend it. Let the East, then, return, under better auspices, to its old practice of buying and selling, and to its hereditary reverence for merchants-those great apostles of civilisa-strated in the case of many other countries. tion, who, whether they travel on the camel or in the caravan, in a ship or behind a steam-engine, are sure to humanise more or less all those with whom they have any dealings. We look upon Western Asia as hopeless as far as regards any spontaneous efforts.

and populations. We have peopled districts which, within the memory of man, were unproductive and uninhabited; we have converted dens of robbers into the abodes of trade and industry. We have in one province, and within a single century, added forty millions to the population; we have multiplied new heads of cattle, introduced new grains and grasses, trees, shrubs, and plants;

mountains and valleys, once devoted to barrenness, with the richest harvests. We are not the advocates of ambitious conquests; it is not our desire to subjugate mankind; but we certainly esteem it our greatest privilege, that we can, when called upon by circumstances, teach the least en

Their improvement must be accomplished by reconciling the nations of the East to their own interests, by showing them that there is some-opened up mines, hitherto unknown, and clothed thing more sacred than the sword; that there are such things as human rights and human liberties; and that there is and can be no degradation in the subjection of ignorance to knowledge. In glancing at their present condition, though we have not confined ourselves entirely to the surface, we have experienced little temp-lightened nations of the earth, how to emerge tation to enter into minute details, which can from want and ignorance, into the enjoyment of only then be profitable, when they have been all the blessings which industry and good governpreceded by a general statement of facts, by a ment can bestow.


We noticed at the close of last number, the death of Daniel O'Connell, at Genoa, on the fifteenth May. The blow fell heavily on Ireland at a period of famine, of disease, and in the year of death. Immediately afterwards Thomas Chalmers died at Edinburgh, on the 31st May. The stroke cut sharply almost to the heart of Scotland. They were the two greatest Commoners of their agewalking in lines distinctly apart; and yet occasionally, and at not a few points, approaching each other. The circumstances of their greatness and their death within so short a period have induced

many to institute comparisons between their character. The lives of an earnest Theologian and an acomplished Lawyer-the habits of the Professional chair and the Political tribune do not often afford many grounds of just comparison; but they are not wanting in these liveslives that will occupy so much of history. The one will be written by the son of O'Connell, and the other by the son-in-law of Chalmers; who has left the manuscript, we understand, of many valuable works.

Thomas Chalmers was found dead in his bed

educed in his own experience; then was he brought to feel, in his own person, the weight and burden of a city charge in a locality deficient in wealth, but abounding in population, for such was the character of both his charges in Glasgow; afterwards he was set to teach and gather a knowledge of university defects; and when all this was done, he was transferred to Edinburgh, there to educate the men whom he left to carry out his projects; and to wield that influence which he exercised amongst all Evangelical Churches.

In tracing the characters of the two great men whom death has brought together, we find far more similarity than their different modes of thought would actually lead us to anticipate. Their energy was remarkable, O'Connell accomplished objects that were considered by his contemporaries thoroughly unattainable. Chalmers wrought out effects that few men would have hesitated to pronounce impracticable. There required to be in each of their minds a strong element of hope. A marked resemblance existed between them in this respect. But there was an equally marked contrast in their mental qualities. O'Connell, at an early period of his life, fixed on some definite principles, and he clung to them with few and comparatively slight changes. The mind of Thomas Chal

room, on the morning of the day when he was to have addressed the Free Church Assembly on their Collegiate Scheme, of which he was, in every sense, officially and practically, "the Principal." The intelligence created the most painful feeling in Edinburgh-a feeling that soon circulated over all Scotland, and wherever, indeed, his life and works were known. It stunned the body with which he was specially connected-it startled all men. In one sense, it could not so much be said to have caused grief. He died, not stricken with many years-not knowing the burden of extreme weakness-in happy ignorance of the bitter sorrows attending decayed powers-in the most robust health of mind-without a scar on his immense int llect-with great works accomplished -with sincere love from all, even from his opponents, acquired—with a soul at peace with here and hereafter, with earth and heaven, with God and man, so far as man in any case can say of his brother man and yet he died full of years, and of honours, and of usefulness. It was reported that he had been struck by an apoplectic fit; again, that he was carried away by disease of the heart; and we have heard that neither of these statements is accurate. It is said that there was no such cause of death in him. A friend remarked to us that he had absolutely swooned away-mers was perpetually expanding. He either resignpassed into eternity in something like a feeling ed or was driven from one position after another, in of sickness-without pain, and without such dis- his practical efforts; but invariably he advanced. ease as might not have been easily stayed by He was never known to "retract, not by a hairsany friendly hand. But he was alone with God. breadth," of principle. He began life a modeThere was no mertal friend there to carry to his rate in politics and doctrine. His doctrine was lips even a glass of water. No man ever was changed, and that changed his politics. He then known to die liker to Enoch, to Moses, and to held in ordinary politics the position of a ConservaElijah. Few men ever combined more beauti- tive-Whig, and in ecclesiastical the place of a Confully the Patriarch's walk with God-the meek-servative-Evangelical. The steps from this point ness and humility of the Lawgiver-the fire and were remarkably gradual. He first thought to conthe zeal of the Prophet, in their character. vert patrons; then he obtained the enactment of the veto; at another time he sought a "liberum arbitrium" for the ecclesiastical courts; next he advanced boldly to the integrity of the call; and he ended with the absolute proposition of election by the people. His views on the connexion between Church and State were similarly modified. He began at matters as they stood in his youth— then he sought to enlarge the Establishment—

Thomas Chalmers was originally a Fifeshire minister, of the moderate school in the Established Church of Scotland. He was for some years far more remarkable as a young man of considerable scientific acquirements than as an earnest preacher or a careful pastor. While in his country parish a change in his manner of thought, in his style, and the substance of his preaching was observed--not as the gradual con-by-and-bye he was compelled to acknowledge the sequence of long and intense thinking, but as the result of an immediate and decisive conviction. He was soon drawn to Glasgow, and in the two charges which he occupied in that city, he obtained, as a preacher, the highest popularity and the greatest measure of practical usefulness reached by any man of his generation in Scotland. Subsequently he accepted the chair of moral philosophy in the University of St. Andrews. After spending some years there he was removed to the theological chair in Edinburgh. We mention these points in his life, not because we are writing its history, but to notice how this man was made, schooled, and managed to do his greatest work. All these movements were subordinate to that end. He was first practically learned the inefficiency of a curacy; next he had the lives and working of two kinds of rural parochial ministers

existence of chains and fetters, that he had assumed in his celebrated apologies and arguments for that connexion should not exist; with a knowledge of these evils there arose to his mind the necessity of labouring for their removal; that he failed in this work, and ended his life a practical Voluntary, proves more than any incident in the history of this controversy the hopelessness of attaining together freedom of action and the dignity of an Establishment. But these changes in the mode of pursuing an end involved no change in the end sought. In all he kept steadily one object in view. The good of the people, and that also of the common people, was his great lifetime's aim. From the day of one vital change in Kilmany, to that day when he died, there was no alteration of the goal-no shifting of the ambition that he sought and che

rished. Full of benevolence, he loved all men, but especially those who most needed counsel and direction. To him his opponents have ever conceded this honour. In the midst of bitter dissension-in the casting up of the muddy waters of agitation, there never floated on their surface the tiniest charge of selfishness or self-seeking against him.

The Irish Leader was less fortunate. His motives were assailed; his person was hated; his character was attacked; his consistency denied: yet through all these charges it may be true -and we believe it to be true-that he made little change of his one leading purpose; but many changes in the means used for prosecuting its attainment.

There was no such great dissimilarity in the titling of the respective objects sought by them. The advancement of religion was, we doubt not, with both the original object. The subsequent differences arose in the character of the religion they sought to promote, and the means which they chose to attain their purpose. Dr. Chalmers wanted to confer temporal benefits, by first making men religious. Mr. O'Connell wished to promote the interests of his faith by gaining for its followers political power. It was just to secure for them this power; and a feeling of right brought Chalmers in 1828 to the aid of O'Connell, nor know we that more valuable aid, out of Ireland, was ever afforded to his great scheme of Catholic Emancipation.

Thomas Chalmers was the type of another kind of Catholicity. He was a link amongst the Evangelical Protestant Churches. He loved all, and by all he was beloved. No man, therefore, could with more propriety be supposed to impersonate the visible union that they have recently formed. And thus these two leaders were, in this point, the representatives of thoroughly antagonistic principles-of submission and of inquiry. Singularly accordant with this fact were their last employments. O'Connell died at Genoa on a pilgrimage to Rome, not so much, we fervently be lieve, a "medicinal" as a "devotional" exercise. Chalmers bore his testimony once more before the rulers of the land in favour of perfect religious freedom, and against a "toleration" that is the " 'mockery of liberty ;" and he returned home to die. The last acts of both were representative of their respective principles.

In literary attainments they both occupied the highest place in their native divisions of the empire. O'Connell's life was busy, bustling, and planning. That of Chalmers was busy, planning, and acting, but not bustling. He seemed to do his work leisurely, and yet the quantity was immense. The simplicity of his life, and the occasional retirement that he provided, enabled him to leave those works that will perpetuate his name to the boundary of time, and extend it to the confines of earth; because there are in them many marks of a strong and original genius, lighting up all the dark places on which it fell. His published works form twenty-five volumes, to which, we believe, fifteen will be added, consisting principally of those commentaries on Scripture-his Hora Biblico-to which his last years were given. O'Connell left few literary remains. His acts and speeches were his works. The latter would occupy many volumes-and who can deny to them the distinctive marks of true genius? Lesser men than either-infinitely lesser men-quibbling respecting originality, have denied it to both: and to both they have denied it

But there was a great dissimilarity in the creeds to which they adhered. Within the pale of nominal Chistianity there can be none scarcely farther apart. Chalmers, standing with his Bible, repudiated and repelled the claim of any man to think for him or for other men, and assert for their thoughts the privilege of judgment without appeal. O'Connell was a medieval Roman Catholic. In his composition there was as large a portion of the "jus-divinum" as could consist with a sturdy Radicalism. He venerated the memory of Thomas A'Beckett, if not as the "ulti-wrongously. These jaundiced critics say that they mus Anglorum," yet as one of the highest and were not coiners but circulators of thought. They best of the English. In one department, there- allege that neither Chalmers nor O'Connell fore, and that the most important department of wrought a mine of ideas, but counted out and human affairs, he admitted not the possibility of paid away the precious things that other men had error-and allowed not the propriety of reform. drawn from the deep wells of their own thoughts. Towards his Church, O'Connell had only to In the case of both, we hold it to be the utterance give faith and fealty; while Chalmers gave his of an opinion that every day for many years bore fealty to his faith, and moulded his Church to witness against. We are not now writing a rethe advancement of his creed. Thus, not only view of O'Connell's speeches, nor of Chalmers' by profession, but by choice and from principle, works, or it would be an easy matter to make Thomas Chalmers cast the greater part of his quotations, and ask what may be called “original,” energy into the path of Church Reform: by pro- if these deserve not the name. We take another and fession and necessity, Daniel O'Connell employed a shorter way. What matters it to us that men his powers in political reform; and yet it is, as should think profoundly and perpetually, if they we have said, that both had for their end this never act? To mankind it would signify nothing one community of object-the advancement of that a rough labourer did ever cast up, from under a religion. A French (Parisian) paper desig- the world's crust, richly precious stones, to be nates O'Connell the greatest lay Catholic. He tossed over the surface like chips of granite, if was the impersonification of profound obedi- there was no skilful artizan to polish the dark surence to his Church. Thus he came also to be faces, to bring out the beauty of the colouring that a living type of that faith; for in no instance otherwise, to the world, had not existed, and to has a stronger intellect ever bowed to its dictates. render the gems valuable. And so with thought.

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