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of the Dee to its source; or pass the mountains to the fertile Vale of Clwyd; or make the tour of Wrexham."
The town of Llangollen is small and poor, but beautifully situated, in a most romantic spot, near a pretty common, watered by the Dee, and appears anciently to have been under the powerful protection of the neighbouring fortress, Castell Dinas Brân.
SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATIONS. 2 Kings v. 12. “ Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus.” -Amana signifies perennial, and is probably the true name of the former river, the permutation of b and m being very common in the Oriental dialects. It is easy to find “rivers of Damascus," but there is a difficulty in appropriating the distinctive names which are here applied to them. The main stream by which Damascus is now irrigated is called Barrada. This river, the Chrysorrhoas, or golden stream, of the ancient geographers, as soon as it issues from a cleft of the Anti-Lebanon mountains, is immediately divided into three smaller courses. The central or principal stream runs straight towards the city, and there supplies the different public cisterns, baths, and fountains : the other branches diverge to the right and left along the rising ground on either hand, and having furnished the means of extensive irrigation, fall again into the main channel, after diffusing their fertilizing influence, without which the whole would be an arid desert, like the vast surrounding plains. In those plains the soil is in some parts finer even than here, but barren from the want of water. The main stream and its subsidiaries unite in greatly weakened force beyond the town on the south-east; and the collected waters, after flowing for two or three hours through the eastern hills, are at length lost in a marsh or lake, which is known as the Bahr el Merdj, or Lake of the Meadow. Dr. Richardson states that the water of the Barrada, like the water of the Jordan, is of a white sulphureous hue, and of an unpleasant taste. At the present day it seems scarcely possible to appropriate with certainty the scriptural names to these streams. There is indeed a resemblance of names which would suggest the Barrada to be the Pharpar; and then the question would be, which of the other streams is the Abana. But some contend that the Barrada is the Abana, and are only at a loss for the Pharpar. Others find both in the two subsidiary streams, and neglect the Barrada. The most recent conjecture seeks the Abana in the small river Fidgi, or Fijih, which Dr. Richardson describes as rising near a village of the same name in a pleasant valley fifteen or twenty miles to the north-west of Damascus. It issues from the limestone rock, in a deep, rapid stream, about thirty feet wide. It is pure and cold as iced water; and, after coursing down a stony and rugged channel for above a hundred yards, falls into the Barrada, which comes from another valley, and at the point of junction is only half as wide as the Fijih. Dr. Mansford, who adopts the notion that the Abana was one of the subsidiary streams, well remarks that “Naaman may be excused his national prejudice in favour of his own rivers, which, by their constant and beautiful supply, render the vicinity of Damascus, although on the edge of a desert, one of the most beautiful spots in the world; while the streams of Judæa, with the exception of the Jordan, are nearly dry the greater part of the year, and, running in deep and rocky channels, convey but partial fertility to the lands through which they flow.”
Deut. xxxii. 49. “Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo."-Chap. xxxiv. 1. “Unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah.”—This is a mountain, or rather chain of mountains, which form, or rather belong to the mountainous district east of the Dead Sea, and the Lower Jordan. It presents many distinct masses and elevations, commanding extensive views of the country west of the river. From one of the highest of these, called Mount Nebo, Moses surveyed the promised land before he died. From the manner in which the three names are connected above, it would seem that Nebo was a mountain of the Abarim chain, and that Pisgah was the highest and most commanding peak of that mountain. The loftiest mountain of the neighbourhood is Mount Attarous, about ten miles north of the Arnon; and
travellers have been disposed to identify it with Mount Nebo. It is represented as barren, its summit being marked by a wild pistachio-tree overshadowing a heap of stones. The precise appropriation of the three names, however, remains yet to be determined, as this locality has not yet (1843) had the advantage of such searching exploration as Professor Robinson has applied to western Palestine.-Kitto's Encyclopædia of Biblical Literature.
MEMOIR OF SOCRATES.
(Continued from page 419.) The piece entitled by Plato, the “Apology of Socrates," is much more full than the statement made by Xenophon, which is only an abridgment, with one or two extracts, and constitutes a portion of his larger work, the Memorabilia, the “ memorable things,”-matters to be remembered, -of Socrates. Mrs: Fielding calls it, “Memoirs.” So far as they may be compared together, they are substantially the same, and furnish, no doubt, a tolerably correct account of the behaviour of Socrates before his Judges, and of his defensive address to them. Against the charge of not believing in the gods whom the citizens acknowledged, and of seeking to introduce other and new deities, his defence, according to Xenophon, amounts to a direct denial of its truth. He asserts that he had been accustomed to offer sacrifices to them at the common altar, and on the appointed festivals. He added, “ I stand here unconvicted of any of the crimes whereof I have been accused. For no one has proved against me that I sacrificed to any new deity, or by oath appealed to, or even made mention of, the names of any other than Jupiter, Juno, and the rest of the deities which, together with these, our city holds sacred.” When we add to this his very last words, in which, recollecting that he "owed the offering of a cock to Esculapius,” he requested that Crito would attend to it for him, and received his friend's promise that it should be done, this would appear to be what may be termed the weakest point in his case ; perhaps the weak point ; for on every other he was triumphant. His disposition was eminently practical ; and to subjects which appeared abstruse and speculative, and which he could not bring to bear directly and powerfully on the conduct, he paid comparatively little attention. That he was not satisfied with the common mythology, so as to believe that the deities worshipped by the Athenians, whose history was so contradictory as to include statements respecting their parentage and birth, were that supreme deity of whom he sometimes speaks in the singular number, and to whom be ascribes a providence which the favourite city-gods, with such character as they were supposed to possess, could not possibly exercise, is more than possible. Of deity, using the term generally, he sometimes gives utterance to the noblest conceptions. Still, his notions appear, at the best, to have been only general. Absolute creation, bringing matter itself into being from nothing, even the close-reasoning Aristotle understood not. Socrates seems chiefly to have looked at the disposition of the world and the universe, so far as he understood them, and most of all, to their perpetual government. Of all this, such a being as Jupiter would be utterly incapable. He would very likely see the necessity of an “eternal power and godhead,” far surpassing anything supposable in the deities actually worshipped; but in what this resided he could not perceive. Perhaps feeling the insurmountable difficulty of the subject, he shrank from further research, and contented himself with guardedly expressing, on some occasions, his own more exalted views, unsatisfactory as they were even to himself, and with honouring that great Unknown One by. acts of religious veneration towards those who were commonly acknowledged as deities. Suppositions of this sort seem to account for the known facts of the case. That he worshipped the city.gods is evident from his uncontradicted appeal to his Judges ; and could his accusers have adduced instances of positive neglect, they evidently would have been glad to do so. This conduct, too, combined with his occasional expressions concerning the divine character and providence, proves that he was no atheist. Still, that in some important respects he differed from others, more credulous and less thoughtful than himself, cannot be doubted, else, there would have been
nothing even to excite the suspicion which malice exaggerated into a direct fact, making it matter of accusation, that he did not hold sacred the deities of the city, and that he sought to introduce strange deities, Perhaps, as we have said, feeling the difficulty which surrounded him whenever he sought to go beyond the general notion of a divine existence and power, and feeling, too, that the expression of his doubts might be injurious, taking away from the Athenians the control which their notions of deity sometimes exerted, and, by giving no clearer notions, plunging them into that worst state of all, absolute atheism, the fear of nothing above man, he refrained from either studying the subject or saying much upon it; hoping that in another state of existence, if such there were, the whole truth would become intelligible to him. In fact, beyond this none of the sages of antiquity ever went but one, of whom we will soon speak; and in his case the exception proves the rule. Aristotle, whose powers of reasoning were never surpassed, and who laid the foundations of all the systems of logic that have since been devised ;-Plato, profound, discursive, and imaginative ; — and, two or three centuries later, Cicero, only less than each in what was the peculiar attribute of each, because the attributes of both, one modifying the other, were united in him, and who wrote expressly on this very subject, laying open all the thinkings of his soul upon it:-none of them went beyond the state in which we have supposed that Socrates lived and died. In the writings of Seneca, indeed, we find a great advance on the general question. But no wonder. Seneca lived as many years after, as Cicero did before, Christ. Seneca was at Rome when St. Paul was there. Rome knew much more of Judea than it had done, and the glorious light of Christianity was there shining brightly.
We see plainly the establishment of the declaration which St. Paul did not fear to address to the Corinthians, “The world by wisdom knew not God.” Three centuries after Socrates and his great disciples, St. Paul, standing where Socrates had stood, and defending himself against a similar charge, had to announce to them the “Unknown God," whom they “ignorantly worshipped.” In the light of actual revelation the