Page images
PDF
EPUB

That pales the stars, and bids the moon retire

Before the blaze of that auroral fire;
Its arrowy flashes shoot along the sky,

Like lighted torches flung from serried hosts,
And banners, brightly-colored, waving high,

As if the warlike Past had sent its ghosts
Of ruined armies at th' approach of even,
To storm with fires of hell, the gates of heaven.

In vain the wanderer turns his gaze
Up to that cold sky's sanguine rays,
And longs to feel the genial thrill
Of sunbeams warm to check night's chill,
Waiting to see the fuller light
Of morning's dawn to cheer his sight;
Those rays deceitful lure him far,
Where reigns alone the Northern Star;
Till driven by winds that on them crowd,
Or dimmed by snow-veils of the cloud,
They flee to darkness from his eye,

And leave him in despair to die;
There on the ice-paved waste he sinks to sleep,
As strange delusions o'er his senses creep,
To dream, he thinks, of all he left to roam,
Yet never more to hear the sounds of home.

“ In the late watches of the summer night,

The sleepless mariner from his full-sailed bark,

With eager gaze peers through the glooin to mark
The far horizon's circling line in light,

And after hopeful moments lengthened, sees,

Moved by the touches of the waking breeze,
Low-drooping clouds, dark eyelids of the morn,
Lifting their lashes toward the sky's wide brow;

Till faint white radiances beneath them glow,
Like light from some sweet infant's eye new born,
Or spirits of departed rainbows sent
To haunt the earth and sky where erst they bent.

Long though that quivering light may rest,
Upon the sea's benighted breast,
Ere come the brighter rays to tell
That night must bid that sea farewell,
Yet doth the mariner fully know
That 'tis the type of morning's glow,
The promise of the sunlit sky,

To waken hope of havens nigh;
And therefore, though the zenith still be dark,
He joyful, watching in his lonely bark,
Cradled in Ocean, rocking towards his home,
Lists to the plashings of the severed foam !”

Mr. Bulkley should carefully guard against the seduction of using beautifu words for their own sake, and should, we think, make a point of cultivating concentration of style. When people travel fifty miles an hour, as in these times, they must have their thoughts put up for them in the smallest possible shape.

Our brethren of the other branch of the Church have favored us with X. The Princeton Pulpit, edited by John T. Duffield, adjunct

Professor of Mathematics in Princeton College. New York: Charles Scribner: 1852.

This volume is published to aid the Second Church in Princeton. The Sermons are by Doctors Miller, Alexander, Carnahan, Hodge, Maclean, J. W. Alexander, Dod, Hope, Forsyth, J. Addison Alexander, Professor Green, and Rev. Messrs. Schenck, Giger, Cattell and Duffield.

It is touching to Princeton students to turn over the pages of this book. How the recollections throng upon us! We forget all differences of opinion, all the events of years between, and are young again“ at the feet of Gamaliel.” We hear the echoing feet along the corridors, we gather to the lecture room and the oratory, we feel the hushed stillness of the library. How ardent we were then for God, how eager for usefulness, what vast plans, alas what meagre execution! The venerable and beloved Alexander has here an Installation Sermon on "rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” We think we see his keen black eye, and hear the rising and falling of his remarkable tones. We recognize his favorite thoughts, and even expressions. Professor Dod's Sermon is on “ Looking at the things which are not seen," one of his best moods as to piety; but we remember how we used to steal to the College to hear the æsthetic beauty of his rounded periods; and we almost wish a Sermon had been selected with more of his characteristic poetry and philosophy. Dr. Hodge is on the topic, “Faith in Christ, the Source of Spiritual Life.” Princeton will not fail to do good, so long as this key-note of Dr. Alexander, that "the Union between Christ and the believer is the Central Truth of Theology," is a living thing there. The classical Dr. James Alexander writes an able and characteristic discourse on “ Sorrow is better than Laughter;" while Professor Addison Alexander communicates “ The Work of God,” to believe in Him whom He hath sent.

Since we have given up all idea of seeking a re-union with our separated brethren; since Abraham and Lot have fairly driven their flocks to different pastures; we feel a freedom to love our brethren, and rejoice in all that is good in them, that is pleasant to us. We should not like to hear the owl hoot, and the bittern cry, from the ruins of Princeton.

From our Methodist brethren, among other books not within our scope, we have received

XI. A new Harmony and Exposition of the Gospels: consist

ing of a parallel and combined arrangement, on a New Plan, of the Narratives of the four Evangelists, according to the Authorized Translation; and a Continuous Commentary, with brief Notes subjoined. Being the first period of the Gospel History. With a Supplement, containing extended Chronological and Topographical Dissertations, and a Complete Analytical Index. By James Strong, A. M.. Illustrated by Maps and Engravings. New York: Lane and Scott, 1852.

We have copied this long title, as giving a good idea of the book. We are very much gratified at the efforts making of late years by our Methodist brethren to cultivate classical and biblical learning. The establishment of Colleges is a most hopeful sign. The Methodist Quarterly Review, edited by Dr. M'Clintock, formerly Professor in Dickinson College, is an honor to the denomination. The work before us is written with great care, is beautifully printed, and some of the illustrations, for example, the Bathing-place of the Pilgrims, excellent. Harmonies of the Gospels are not sufficiently known, or used in this country. If any of our readers should not know exactly what a Harmony is, we would describe it as a connected narrative, e. g. of the four Gospels, in the words of the writers themselves, chronologically arranged, and, as in Mr. Strong's book, accompanied with expositions of any difficulties that may occur. It will be seen that the other apparatus in this work are very full. Without endorsing every thing in it, we can very cordially commend it to our readers.

XII. Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River

Jordan and the Dead Sea, by W. F. Lynch, U. S. Navy, Commander of the Expedition, with a map from accurate surveys. 1850.

The Dead Sea had never been explored by any one, at least at any time within the reach of history. The only two persons who had attempted it, Costigan and Molineaux, the former an Irishman, and the latter an English officer, lost their lives in the attempt.

Under these circumstances, Commander Lynch obtained permission to make the Exploration under the patronage and at the expense of our government. He landed two metal boats prepared at New York, at Acre, and hauled them on trucks, drawn by camels, to the Sea of Galilee. From thence he descended the Jordan, and sailed around the coasts of the Dead Sea, taking soundings constantly. From thence he went to Jerusalem, and by way of Nazareth, to the sources of the Jordan. His results are of the highest interest and importance.

As the space which we have left for noticing this work is very limited, we must reluctantly pass by Captain Lynch's picturesque descriptions, and give his conclusions.

The Preface contains his opinion with which the entire Expedition agree on the subject of the conformity of the actual condition of the Dead Sea region to what would be the state of things if the Bible narrative of the destruction of the cities of the plain be true. It will be seen that the only men who have explored the country are perfectly clear in favor of the confirmation of the Scripture narrative, 80 far as actual survey bears upon the matter.

“Our soundings ascertained the bottom of the Dead Sea to consist of two plains, an elevated and a depressed one; averaging, the former 13, and the latter 1300 feet, below the surface. Through the northern, and largest and deepest one, is a ravine, which seems to correspond with the bed of the Jordan to the north, and the Wady el Jeib, or ravine within a ravine, at the south end of the Sea.

“ Between the River Jabok, (a tributary of the Jordan,) and the Dead Sea, we unexpectedly encountered a sudden break-down in the bed of the last named river, and, according to the account of a distinguished eastern traveller, there is a similar break in the water-courses to the south of the Sea.

“ As stated in the narrative too, the conviction was forced upon me, that the mountains which hem in the Dead Sea are older than the Sea itself-for, had their relative ages been the same at first, the torrents which pour into the Sea would have worn their beds in a gradual and correlative slope ; whereas, in the northern section, where a soft, bituminous limestone prevails, they plunge down several hundred feet, while on both sides of the southern portion, the ravines come down without abruptness, although the head of Wady Kerak, at the south-east border of the Sea, is more than 1000 feet higher than Wady Ghuweir on the north-west shore.

Lake Tiberias is 312 feet; the Dead Sea 1316 feet, and the Red Sea (computed by Laborde) 75 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. As an elevation of the whole Ghor, preserving those exact proportions, would carry its walers into the Southern Ocean, I cannot resist the inference that, by a general convulsion, the whole valley has sunk down, with the greatest depression abreast of Wady Ghuweir; and that the streams which formerly ran through to the Red Sea, were thereby debarred an outlet and submerged the plain, the cities of which, from the abun. dance of bitumen that prevailed, were most probably the theatre of a preceding conflagration.” Introd. pp. vi. vii.

We have only room for the description of the remarkable “Pillar of Salt,” which we quote, commending earnestly the book to our readers :

“Soon after, to our astonishment, we saw on the eastern side of Usdum, onethird the distance from its north extreme, a lofty, round pillar, standing apparently detached from the general mass, at the head of the deep, narrow, and abrupt chasm. We immediately pulled in for the shore, and Dr. Anderson and I went up and exa. mined it. The beach was a soft, slimy mud encrusted with salt, and a short distance from the water, covered with saline fragments and flakes of bitumen. We found the pillar to be of solid salt, capped with carbonate of lime, cylindrical in front and pyramidal behind. The upper or rounded part is about forty feet high, resting on a kind of oval pedestal, from forty to sixty feet above the level of the sea. It slightly decreases in size upwards, crumbles at the top, and is one entire mass of crystallization. A prop, or buttress connects it with the mountain behind, and the whole is covered with debris of a light stone colour.” pp. 201. 2.

A similar pillar is mentioned by Josephus, (Ant. i. 12), Clement of Rome, and Irenæus. See also, Book of Wisdom, x. 7. (Capt. Lynch's note, p. 202.)

THE

. PRESBYTERIAN

QUARTERLY REVIEW.

DECEMBER, 1852.

No. III.

ARTICLE 1.*

Daniel Webster and his Contemporaries, by CHARLES W. MARCH.

Fourth Edition. New York, 1852. pp. 295. BEFORE God no man is great. When the sun rises all stars are hidden, but in the absence of the sun, one star differeth from another star in glory. So it is with man. While none measured by the infinite is great, yet relatively one may so rise above his race as in their estimation to claim the appellation of greatness.

Abner, the son of Ner, was great in war; and when he died David said, “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel.” In his character, martial skill and courage seem not to have been allied to moral virtue, and therefore he was only great as a military chieftain. As David needed his services and admired his prowess, it was natural that he should celebrate his renown, and bewail his tragic death.

• The author shrunk from a title so imposing as that of this article. It is not designed as a deliberate discussion of the qualities and merits of the great statesman, but as the expression of the heart in view of his death. The entire purpose of the author, he wishes us to say, will be attained if it meets a response in the heart of this great nation.

VOL. 1.-23

« PreviousContinue »