Зображення сторінки

The appearance of the higher cliffs, however, both snowy and rocky, and the sensations of this day, proved most satisfactorily that it would be a very arduous undertaking, if not an impracticable one, to ascend even nearly to the tops of these loftiest hills. We could not have been within several thousand feet of even those peaks of snow which were tolerably near us." (P. 449.)

* The vegetable productions of this day's march are very various, and many of them new, and differing from those formerly met with, Two flowers particularly attracted attention. One was called goo.gool, and grew somewhat like the common flat thistle, with leaves radiating from a centre like a sun, in which centre grew a flower, on a level with the flat leaves, and much resembling the blossom of a pine-apple. This plant is held in much religious veneration. The other was a very curious one: a stalk covered with large and long leaves, somewhat like those of a primrose, ended in a cup like that of a tulip, but which ap. peared merely the continuation of these leaves closing, and forming the petals of a very noble flower, in the centre of which the stamina and pistil were seen. The leaves which compose this flower have a green tinge at their insertion like those on the stalk, but the middle and higher parts are black and yellow, as is the centre of the cup, but more vivid. It is called by the hill people birmah counla, because, as the guide informed us, it was like the rajah among the other flowers; the sequitur,' of which I in vain searched for, particularly as I could get no translation of the component parts of this name.

It has since been suggested to me that the name is brimah counla, the latter part of which (counla) means the flower of the lotus plant, from which Brimah was produced at the commencement of the creation, according to Hindoo mythology, and therefore of course a flower held in high esteem, which caused its being likened to a rajah among the flowers.

Various, rich, and lovely were the myriads of large and smaller blossoms which decked these wild scenes, and I much regret my inability to give their names and botanical descriptions. Many varieties of the primrose and polyanthus, many orchides, and others resembling our common meadow flowers, grew in profusion. The only other plant, however, that I shall notice, is one which was found on the very extreme verge of vegetation alone: like the goo-gool it was low, but not quite flat, perhaps about four inches high, somewhat resembling a thistle just blossoming; but the leaves did not lie on the ground; they shrouded the blossom, which was enveloped in a thick covering like the web of a spider, which, spangled with dew, had a most singular appearance. The root was small, but firmly fixed in the ground: it displayed no colour but a brownish green. I could not obtain any name for this very curious mountain production. It seems to delight only in the close vicinity to the snow. During this day's march no living thing was seen except the monāls, which flocked together, and which I suspected to be of a species somewhat different from that which is met with lower down. They sat on the gray stones like ptarmigans on the loftiest hills at home, and in the short brown moss and grass

looked actly like grouse. I shot only one young one, which was a little larger, but precisely like a young moorfowl or blackgame, but could not suc ceed in killing any of the older birds.” (P. 450, 451.)


: The scenery of the upper parts of the Himālā range, which is noticed in the first of the preceding paragraphs, is afterwards described in a highly interesting manner, which does not admit of abridgment. Its general outline is thus pourtrayed :

It is not easy to describe the change of scene effected by this change of situation: not only is luxuriant foliage more rare, all rich and lively greens giving way to the dark brown of the fir, which spots the face of the rock, but even that rock is evidently more continually acted on by the severity of the storms. Instead of being covered with rich and varied hues, the effect of lichens and the smaller herbage, that usually clothe and variegate even a precipice, the rocks here are white, gray, red, or brown, the colour of their fracture, as if a constant violence was crumbling them to pieces. Their sharp and splintered pinnacles spire up above the general mass: their middle region and feet are scantily sprinkled with the sombre unvarying fir-tree; while the higher parts, retiring from the view, present little more than brown rock, except where a lofty mass of snow overtops them, and calls to our recollection how nearly and completely we are surrounded by it. No green smiling valleys yield their waters to the river: the white and foul torrents which swell its stream pour their troubled tribute through chaśms cleft in the solid rock, or are seen tumbling down its face, from the snow that gives them birth.

“ The whole scene casts a damp on the mind: an indefinite idea of desert solitude and helplesssness steals over it: we are, as it


shut out from the world, and feel our nothingness. Like the scenes they are placed among, the inhabitants of this village are wild in their appearance, and uncouth in their manners; but there is no essential difference between them and those with whom we have heretofore met. I met, indeed, with one or two who were peculiarly intelligent ; but their language forms a considerable obstacle to taking advantage of their acuteness : it was still Hindoostannee, but so disguised by accent and dialect, and altered by new terminations and expletives, that it was difficult to understand the simplest sentences without an interpreter, or frequent repetitions. The Pundit was not only an intelligent man, but gave his information in the most intelligible language. Their dress is the same as that of the peasantry at Cursalee, black and gray

blankets of coarse wool.” (P. 458.)

The author's account of his visit to Gungotree, one of the reputed sacred sources of the Ganges, is very interesting; and the more so, as it has not been before described or visited by any European. He made an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate to the actual source of the Ganges; but want of time compelled him to relinquish his design. From the information given him by a Pundit, he concludes that it is not more than five miles' horizontal distance from the temple, in a south-east direction, nearly 85°; and that, beyond this place, it is in all probability chiefly supplied by the melting of the great bosom of snow which terminates the valley, and which lies between the peaks


of the gigantic Roodroo Himālā. Bụt though our enterprising author could not penetrate to the real source of the Ganges, he endeavoured to collect, and has happily succeeded in collecting, the legendary history of this far-famed spot, for which we must refer our readers to his volume, as also for his observations on the geological structure and height of the Himālā mountains. We shall only add, that, after retracing his way over the perilous and fearful road above described, he safely reached Serampore (or Saharunpore, as he spells it) on the night of the 30th of July, 1815.

Mr. Fraser's volume is furnished with an excellent map, and with an Appendix containing much curious political and statistical information. The “ Views in the Himālā Mountains” are twenty in number, and represent the most striking scenes that occurred in the author's route, beautifully engraved and coloured to imitate the original drawings. The views of Jumnotree and Gungotree, above described, are singularly grand and awful. Altogether, we regard Mr. Fraser's work as a valuable accession to the chorography of India, and highly creditable to himself as an acute and diligent observer of nature in her wildest and sublimest forms.

ART. VI.-Horæ Homileticæ ; or Discourses (in the Form of

Skeletons) upon the whole Scriptures. By the Rev. C. Simeon, M.A., Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. 11 vols. 8vo.

Cadell and Davies, London, 1820. THERE are no subjects of deeper interest than those which relate to the character and influence of the national clergy. Nor is the mode in which they conduct their public instructions the least important part of such a question. The preservation or revival of pure religion among the great mass of our people depends far more than is commonly thought on the doctrines inculcated by them on each recurring Sunday. In the numerous cases where the pious clergyman, studying with becoming diligence the sacred Scriptures, endeavours, both in public and private, to teach and admonish his parishioners in a simple weighty and affectionate manner, the benefits of which he is the author or instrument are incalculable. Men are gradually taught the way of pardon and grace: they are trained in habits of devotion ; they are made familiar with their duties; the principle of conscience is awakened; the springs of domestic happiness are replenished; subordination, civil and domestic, iş promoted; the ills and troubles of life are alleviated:

in a word, peace and holiness are diffused around, and the formas and services of the national church are endeared to the people.

The blessings which ramify from this fruitful stock to the neighbourhood and the community are obvious. The protection they furnish against the inroads of demoralising principles in religion or politics need not be named. Every reader, on the slightest consideration, must allow that real, unaffected, and practical Christianity is the only shield to guard the heart of man in this world of trial, and especially in the moments of popular error and delusion.

- These observations on the importance of the character of the clergy will not, we imagine, be disputed. It is a more difficult task to dictate the course and character of their actual instructions in the present day. The danger of indulging in a spirit of criticism on pious labours, and the importance of encircling the ministers of religion with a conservative respect, concurto make the attempt hazardous. At the same time, it must be admitted, that a fair consideration of the facts of the case is quite indispensable to the discussion of any question. We do not, therefore, scruple to avow our persuasion, that there has been a lamentable. departure from the sound scriptural doctrine of our reformers on the part of many of our bishops and clergy; and that the prosperity of our church is intimately connected with the progress of that revival of religion which, through the mercy of God, is now going on. All the causes of dissent united have not contributed so much to the weakening of the bulwarks of the Church of England, as those careless, tame, and unsound discourses which, departing from the spirit of the reformed doctrines, have neither received the blessing of God, nor the favour of man. Ethics have too often usurped the place of the gospel-lifeless disquisitions have been substituted for warm and affectionate addresses--the promises and precepts of the Bible have been obscured and confounded the law of God has been enervated, and the salvation of grace almost forgotten-whilst declarations against enthusiasm, and over-statements on matters of church discipline, have only aggravated the evils they were employed to remedy. At this moment we verily believe that, in proportion as the pure tenets of christianity shall inspire the heart and guide the tongue, of the ministers of religion, will our national church be protected, and the national safety ultimately secured. This will nourish the root of public morals. From this, as from a mountain-spring, refreshment and life will flow. Whilst, on the other hand, we cannot but think that, in proportion as a secular-spirit, the love of case, the temper of the world, the ambition of preferment, indolence in spiritual duties, coldness

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and distance towards the flock shall prevail, will the dangers of our establishment be increased.

It is, therefore, with much interest that we take up any performance which appears calculated to promote real piety amongst the clergy, and thus to uphold and advance our national prosperity. We cannot, indeed, in a journal which strives to present a view of the vast circle of literature, devote frequently an express article to a theological work; but when eleven thick and closely-printed volumes the labour almost of a life are issued from the press, we seem to be under some sort of obligation to bestow upon them an extended notice; more especially when, as in the case before us, they constitute a part of a series of volumes which, altogether, form the largest and most important accession to our stock of pulpit divinity that has, for a long space of time, been presented to the British public.

Itwas, we believe, in the year 1796 that our author published his first volume, containing the celebrated essay on the composition of a sermon by Claude, and an hundred plans of sermons of his own. In 1801 and 1802 four more volumes appeared, consisting of 510 additional plans, or skeletons of sermons. These volumes having been well received, the author has now completed his design in the eleven volumes which are before us, and which contain a series of discourses, some more briefly, and others more fully developed, on the chief passages of the Holy Scriptures, beginning with the book of Genesis, and proceeding in the order of our English Bible, through the entire sacred

The number of sermons is, in the whole, about 1800; of which more than 1200 are given in the present publication. Of the form of these discourses, it may be necessary to give our readers a specimen before we enter on the consideration of their merits. It is that of an abridged sermon; the introduction, chief heads, and transitions being printed in a larger type, so as instantly to catch the eye, and present the order of the entire discourse, whilst the subordinate thoughts, which develope the leading ones :under each head, are printed in a smaller character. We give, as an example, the second discourse in the present work, on the appointment of the Sabbath, which we rather select because it states well a most important topic of duty, now, alas, too much neglected, and the breach of which goes in our judgment, to loosen the very foundations of the morals of this country.

« APPOINTMENT OF THE SABBATH. “ Gen. ii. 2, 3. On the seventh day, God ended his work which he had

made: and he tested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; be


« НазадПродовжити »