« PreviousContinue »
sarily involved, and, with Adam Smith before him as a model of perspicacity, wrap up his argument in a studiously technical and abstruse phraseology.
Art. XV., contributed by W. M. Leake, Esq. gives an account of an Edict of Diocletian, found at Eski-hissar (Stratoniceia) in Caria, fixing a maximum of prices throughout the Roman Empire, A. D. 203. The fact itself is curious, and the list of commodities with the prices annexed in denarii, renders it a highly interesting document. A translation would not have been unacceptable.
The last paper in the present part is, 'On some Egyptian • Monuments in the British Museum and other Collections : • By the Rt. Hon. C. Yorke and W. M. Leake, Esq.' It is one of the most interesting articles of the series, but consists of little more than brief letter-press descriptions of the lithographic sketches, which would not be intelligible apart from the plates. We observe that these gentlemen participate in the doubts we expressed in our notice of M. Champollion's Letters to the Duke of Blacas*, relative to the identity of his Mandouei and the famous Osymandyas. A very beautiful statue procured by Mr. Salt from the ruins of Karnak, is proved, by the shields or cartouches containing the title and name, to be a stative of the same monarch that is represented by the Colossus in the Royal Museum at Turin, the Vsymandyas of M. Champollion; and it is highly remarkable, that, in both, the leading character in the name, the symbol of the deity from whom the name is derived, has been carefully erased from every one of the shields containing it. This is also stated to be the case with regard to many of the shields intro. duced into the ornamental sculptures of the hall or chamber in which Mr. Salt's statue was found; and the Writer adds :
• It would be difficult to give a satisfactory explanation of the pains that have been taken to erase the principal character forming the name of this prince, in so many instances. Was it done by the priests, because the king was unpopular? And can it then be the great Osymanduas? Mandouei may indeed be the Greek Mandyas, but there are no signs corresponding to the title Osh (Great), whence Oov in Greek.' p. 210.
But, if Osh signify simply the title of Great, what becomes of M. Champollion-Figeac's hypothesis, that Ousi, a nanie which occurs in the list furnished by Syncellus, is another name for Mandouei?
Upon the whole, the present publication does credit to the
* See page 128 of our last Number,
Society, and affords a pledge and promise of valuable accessions to the stores of British literature.
Art. IV. A Widow's Tale, and other Poems. By Bernard Barton,
Author of “ Devotional Verses,” &c. 12mo. pp. 156. Price 5s.
London. 1827. THE affecting occurrence which suggested to the ready pen
of our Friend Bernard the subject of the principal poem in his present volume, is the loss of five Wesleyan Missionaries in the Maria Mail-hoat off the Island of Antigua in February last. The published account of the catastrophe, by the only survivor, has supplied the incidents; and she, as will be inferred, is the Widow who, in the poem, tells her melancholy tale. It is, indeed, a tragical one, and although pot worked up to the pitch of horror by which a mere fancy scene might be made to harrow up the feelings, cannot fail deeply to interest the reader by its unaffected pathos. Mr. Barton has evidently had in view, however, a higher object than the poet's fame; namely, to place in its true light, a mysterious and discouraging dispensation of Divine Providence.
• Mysterious to our reason seems your doom;
Yet not less merciful that doom might be.
And when the silent chambers of the sea
To our illumined vision be made clear ;
Shall great, and good, and merciful appear.
Dark doubt, and unbelief, by faith's strong might;
Through the dim glass of reason's erring sight,
When all around is prosperous, bright, and gay,
of fear and anguish, when we have no stay
As those who know not sorrow, never can:
All confidence in self, all trust in man,
• Lightly the worldling may our prayers esteem,
Since, save myself, all sank beneath the tide.
As if their richest blessing were denied :
But prayed of Him whose word once still’d the wave,
His power from death's most dreadful sting might save, And give us thro' His name the victory o’er the grave.' We cite these stanzas, not as being by any means the best in poetical merit that we could select, but as shewing the sentiment which the Author has aimed to impress upon his readers, and in expressing which, he has, in one or two instances, neglected the polish of his lines. There are many passages in the poem very superior, but we purposely refrain from detaching them from the narrative, under the idea that most of our readers will feel disposed to possess themselves of the volume.
The annals of Missionary enterprise afford more instances than a few, of occurrences which, to our limited view, seem, not less mysterious. The loss of the Duff will be in the recollection of many of our readers ; and we too frequently meet with cases in which a devoted and pious individual, having just entered on the field of his labours, or, perhaps, after surmounting the difficulties and impediments which a strange language and a strange climate present, has been suddenly cut off by disease, and the cost of years has been at a stroke rendered abortive. And at home, within the private circle of one's acquaintance, we hear of fatal accidents occurring to estimable and useful individuals, while actually engaged in the prosecution of some work of piety or benevolence. Two instances of this kind have fallen within our knowledge in the course of the past month. It is important, that Christians should learn to view such events in a proper light; for, when we term them mysterious, as undoubtedly they are to a certain degree, we, perhaps, conceal under that expression an undefined sentiment, a sort of misgiving, attended by a secret uneasiness, as if something had taken place at variance, if not with the Sovereign wisdom, yet with the promises of God. It is an excellent remark contained in a letter from that admi. rable man, the Rev. David Brown, of Calcutta : • There is an
aptness in us to misinterpret providential discouragements in • our duty, as if they amounted to a discharge from our duty,
when they are intended only for the exercise of our courage • and faith. This is, doubtless, one lesson which such events supply. Another design may be, to admonish those who have embarked in the sacred cause, or are engaged in any public works of benevolence, not to rest, in any degree, their personal security or preparation for death, on a presumption derived from the work they have undertaken ;-not to ascribe a conservative virtue, any more than a meritorious efficacy, to their good works, or to connect with the public services they may be able to render to God and his Church, an immunity from the events common to all ; lest they should be tempted, while so engaged, to relax in those duties which are strictly personal and connected with a meetness for immortality. It is stated to have been the effect of the judgement upon Ananias and Sapphira, that “great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things, and of the rest, durst no man join himself unto them." A salutary fear may, in like manner, be produced by events which are far from being judgements either upon the individuals or upon the society or community with which they may be connected. There is such a tendency to presume upon a Christian profession, and especially apon an official connexion with holy things,-so much room for self-deception is left by external engagements of the most sacred nature, -- that the sudden removal of ministers and missionaries, under circumstances peculiarly affecting and appalling, seems to speak loudly in admonitory accents to those who have taken upon themselves a similar office. In such cases, it may be said of those who are taken away, that it is
-' for us they sicken, and for us they die.' To themselves, the event cannot be regarded as calamitous ; and much of the apparent mystery results from the strength of a presumption which such occurrences seem adapted and intended to correct. It was at a very early period in the history of the Christian Church, that " Herod the king stretched forth his hands, and killed James the brother of John with the sword ;" so dividing the two brothers, and robbing the Church of one of the three chosen witnesses of some of the most remarkable transactions in the life of our Lord. The event must have struck with consternation, the whole body of believers at Jerusalem ; it must have put to their test alike their courage and their faith ; and it evidently gave a fresh energy to the prayers of the Church, in answer to which Peter was miraculously rescued from the tyrant's rage.
We will not apologize for this digression ; but we must now return to our Author, of whose talents, however, we have had so frequent occasion to express our high opinion, that little more cau be necessary, on reviewing his present volume, than VOL. XXVII. N.S.
to select a few specimens in proof of its comparative merit as
Arl's rev'rend homage, eager all should see
• But had thy mien to outward sight been such,
What mortal hand had dar'd thy form to touch,
• More truly, but more darkly, prophecy
Uncomely, and repulsive to the eye,
• Saviour, and Lord ! if in thy human hour
o how shall painter's art, or poet's power,
Portray Thee coming in thy promised glory?' pp. 54, 5. The stanzas to the Passion-flower well deserve a place in any future Flora Domestica. The melancholy Jacques is said to have found · tongues in trees,' and 'sermons in stones :' flowers are not less eloquent to the Poet's ear.
• If superstition's baneful art
First gave thy mystic name,
Against its groundless claim.
By grateful feelings stirr'd,
That name at first conferr'd,
By wild vagary driven,
May surely be forgiven.
Some king's or conqueror's name;
As meeds of earthly fame :