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The govern

And yet

literary men, commission a score of accomplished travellers, like Irby and Mangles in Syria, or Wilkinson and Lane in Egypt? It is not on account of the distance or inaccessibleness of the country. Palestine is on the confines of Asia, Europe, and Africa. It is washed by a sea, which should seem to have been intended to bind three continents together. It is easily accessible from Damascus, through the Red Sea and Egypt, and by many harbours along a coast which is comparatively quiet.

Neither is the unsettled state of the country an adequate cause of the lack of accomplished travellers. ment of Palestine has been bad enough. The hazards connected with exploring it have sometimes been serious. But so it is with Persia. A more inefficient police than is professedly kept up by the Shah, does not exist on the face of the earth. 'A population more thoroughly corrupt than that of Modern Persia, has rarely been found. The same things are true of the countries immediately on the west. able travellers have not been deterred from boldly entering the country, and faithfully examining it. The conscientious labors of such men as Rich, Malcom, Kinneir, and Frazer, have supplied ample materials for an intelligent acquaintance with the character and institutions of the Persians, and with the interesting monuments of the past, which exist in many places. But in Palestine there has been no attempt at an accurate scientific survey, like that accomplished by Kinneir in Persia. Some of those individuals, who were the best qualified to travel in the Holy Land, were compelled to pass hastily through it. Niebuhr's visit to Jerusalem was hurried. All that Burckhardt effected in Syria and Arabia was incidental ; his ultimate aim was discovery in Africa. The well-written and accurate journals of Irby and Mangles have never been published.

We are not to attribute the deficiencies in question to want of learning. Some of the travellers in Palestine were well-read scholars. Pococke had a high reputation in certain departments of literature. Dr. E. P. Clarke was a man of science, and his journals are enriched with historical illustrations of much value. German and French writers of no small literary pretension have visited the sacred places of our faith.

A principal cause of our ignorance of the geography and

antiquities of Palestine, is the fact, that it is called The Holy Land. From the time of the good monk Jerome, and the pious Saint Paula (with whose peregrinations he appears to have been enamoured), down to the present hour, Palestine has been a land of marvels. Its soil is too pure to admit the spade of the antiquary. Its precious ruins ought not to be desecrated by the hammer of the scientific explorer. Faith, and not reason, should accompany us, when we ascend the Mount of Olives or journey over the hills of Galilee. The traveller in other regions of the globe has submitted to the trouble of personal examination, has carefully weighed evidence, has elicited truth by severe cross-questioning. But Palestine is a sacred region. We must walk sostly and reverentially over its hallowed ground. We must not lightly disturb the traditions of centuries. It would be impiety to doubt the correctness of testimony which is venerable by age, and which originated with men who lived in near communion with God. Thus we have had the same stories repeated, substantially, year after year. One journalist has copied the errors of his predecessor. A mass of tradition, partly true but mainly false, the gradual growth of fifteen centuries, has rolled down to our times. The number of wretched absurdities, in respect to the site of many places mentioned in the Scriptures, is incredible. One has but to cast his eye on the maps of the Holy Land, which have been in vogue among us, to be convinced of the credulity or rather gullibility of travellers, map-makers, and their patrons.

Many of the deficiencies in question, however, are to be attributed to another cause. Travellers to Palestine have not been masters of the languages of the country. Some of them have been learned in classical Greek, but they were not familiar with the dialect of Josephus and Philo. Skilful botanists have plucked up the shrubs of the Great Desert, or analyzed the rose of Sharon, while they could not read the Hebrew Scriptures. With the native population, agricultural or nomadic, they could enjoy no intercourse, except through a blundering interpreter. The hundreds who have passed through the country since the period of the crusades, have been ignorant, almost without exception, both of the spoken and of the ancient Arabic. In this primary and indispensable qualification, Burckhardt stands nearly alone; and even his knowledge of the language was by no means complete. How should we regard the antiquary or the traveller, who should profess to give us an exact account of the existing and of the ancient condition of Italy, while he was altogether ignorant of the Italian and Latin languages ? Yet we have tome after tome upon the ruins of Jerusalem and Samaria and Galilee, by men who were as liule familiar with Hebrew and Arabic, as they were with the Sanscrit or the Japanese. They were thus cut off, in a great measure, from the stores of local knowledge, comparatively uncorrupted by monkish tradition, which the native peasantry could bave supplied.

The appearance of the volumes, whose title is given at the head of this article, we hail as the indication of a better day, as the commencement of a happier method of investigating the condition and antiquities of the Holy Land, and indeed of any other land. These Researches will serve as a guide to future explorers. They will point out, not only what to observe, but how to observe. It will be regarded, we apprehend, as among their especial merits, that they will be the means of deterring incompetent travellers from undertaking to enlighten men by words without knowledge. They demonstrate that specific preparation must be made by him who would worthily describe either of the more important oriental countries. The value of accurate and profound Biblical learning was never seen to better advantage than in these admirable journals. But we must hasten to justify our opinion by going into some details, in respect to the authors of the work, and their method of proceeding.

One of the gentlemen, the Rev. Eli Smith, after having pursued his studies, particularly in the languages, with much success, both at Yale College and at the Andover Theological Institution, was sent, in 1826, as a missionary to Western Asia, by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. At Malta he pursued the study of Italian, Arabic, and other languages. He was soon after employed, together with the Rev. H. G. O. Dwight, now of Constantinople, on an extensive survey of the northern part of Asia Minor, Armenia, and other neighbouring districts. As the fruit of this journey, flourishing missions have been established among the Nestorians of Western Persia. The journals of Messrs. Smith and Dwight were published in Boston in 1833, and were soon after reprinted in London. A second edition of these Researches will speedily appear in this country. By the publication of this work Mr. Smith gained a high character sor accuracy, discrimination, and sound learning. Since 1834 he has resided, with the exception of a visit to Germany and the United States, at Beirât, on Mount Lebanon. During this period he has been able to make several important tours of observation in almost every part of Syria and Arabia Petræa, including a journey to the Haurân, a country east of the Jordan, which had scarcely been visited by preceding trayellers. No individual within the sphere of our knowledge combines more qualifications for an oriental traveller than Mr. Smith. To a familiar and accurate knowledge of the Arabic language, he joins an acquaintance with the people of the East, and large experience gained in former extensive journeys. To his taste for historical and geographical studies, and to bis tact in eliciting and sifting the information to be obtained from an Arab population, his companion gratefully ascribes the more important and interesting results of the journey. To his profound knowledge of the Arabic, particularly of the spoken dialects, honorable testimony has been given by such men as Gesenius and Roediger of Halle. Indeed, to to show this, we need only to glance at some parts of the present work. In the appendix to the third volume, he has given in a brief but very satisfactory essay, the principles which govern the pronunciation of the spoken Arabic at the present day ; an essay which, we are sure, will be a welcome present to all Arabic scholars. This is followed by lists of ihe Arabic names of places, many of which Mr. Smith had previously procured as they were written down by educated natives. They were subsequently verified and corrected from various sources, as well as by himself on visiting the respective districts. They were written down from the pronunciation of the Arabs, and according to the established rules of the language. The essay and the lists occupy one hundred

Of the eminent qualifications of Dr. Robinson for the work which he has completed, many of our readers are well aware. He has made this journey to Palestine in the full maturity of his powers, and after a long course of diligent preparation. Early in his literary career, he edited a very acceptable edition of a part of the Iliad. As the fruit of his subsequent Biblical and classical studies we have admirable translations of

and six pages.

Wahl's “ New Testament Lexicon,” Buttmann's “ Larger Greek Grammar," and Gesenius's “ Hebrew Lexicon.” The first four volumes of the “ Biblical Repository,” as well as the “ Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament,” bear ample witness to the diligence, sound judgment, and accurate scholarship of Professor Robinson. A residence of six or seven years in Germany, at the fountain-heads of Biblical and oriental learning, has placed before him means and facilities for study, such as perhaps no one of his countrymen has enjoyed. These various privileges he has turned to the best possible account.

Dr. Robinson had contemplated, for many years, a journey to the Holy Land. In 1832 he agreed with Mr. Smith, who was then on a visit to the United States, that they would, if possible, make such a journey together at some suture time; and the same general plan was then marked out, which they have since been enabled to execute. Mr. Sinith returned to his missionary labors at Beirût, while Dr. Robinson directed his attention to the preparation of a work on Biblical Geography. On the 17th of July, 1837, he embarked for Liverpool. On the 13th of November he went from Berlin to Halle, where Gesenius, Tholuck, and Roediger, suggested many topics of importance in respect to the researches on which he was about to enter.

He then passed through Italy, and sailed for Alexandria from Trieste, by way of Corfu, Athens, and Syria. The first two months of the year 1838 Dr. Robinson spent in Egypt, visiting the principal cities and the more celebrated monuments. Here he was joined by his companion, Mr. Smith, and also by the Rev. James Adger, of Charleston, S. C. On the 12th of March, the party set off from Cairo for Jerusalem, by the way of Mount Sinai and Akabah. We shall not follow them in their various wanderings through “ the great and terrible wilderness,” nor after their feet bad entered the Promised Land. Our limits will not permit us to refer to a tithe of the attractive topics which are crowded into the journals of the travellers. We shall select a few points which may be of special interest to the general reader, or upon which 'new light is thrown by their investigations. We shall be obliged for the most part to abridge, materially, the extended descriptions of our author, and to state results rather than go

into detail.

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