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The Rhine includes within its banks sublimity and beauty, softness and amenity. In gliding down the stream the eye embraces all these at.a .. glance, and riots in endless variety,—the rugged and fantastic forms dis--played by naked mountain tops, vying in picturesque with some ancient and ruined castle—the overhanging forest—the sombre crag mingled with the verdant vine—the neatly cultivated plain-the clustered town with its turretted towers and spires --the sequestered village, and the lowly cottage, the beautiful island, and the constant succession of new objects, and a new disposition of them,_these are the features ever varied that constitute the beauties, and afford that delight, which travellers rarely fail to derive from an excursion on or along the banks of the Rhine.
• The town of Bingen is situated at the confluence of the Nahe with the Rhine, and is approached from the north by a stone bridge over the former, said to have been built, or its remaining piers at least built, in the time of the Drusus. The situation is beautiful, and there was an appearance of industry and bustle which we had not witnessed since our departure from Amsterdam. A number of vessels were lying alongside the quay, and in every street were coopers, house-carpenters, and masons, working at their several trades; the first preparing their large pipes for the approaching vintage, and the others on new houses building, and old ones repairing. Extensive floats of timber were lying along the quay and the shore, and about a dozen of those remarkably long and narrow vessels that navigate the Rhine were at anchor, having each a house on the deck, in which the owner or navigator with his whole family dwells.'-pp. 205 -209.
Returning by Aix-la-Chapelle, Liége, Namur, and the often-sung Waterloo, by Brussels and Bruges, our author and his party reached Ostend, and, as we have already said, London, within the month, which they had assigned for their excursion. We shall not notice the malignity or ignorance which he betrays on almost every matter connected with the Belgians and their religion. There is, however, one imputation so infamous, that we cannot, in the duty that we owe to truth, pass the slander in silence :Of what possible use, he asks, 'can any oath be that is taken with a mental reservation, and by those who have the means of freeing their consciences from any breach of it, by obtaining absolution ? The Papists are likely enough to be as ready as the Roundheads were to think that
" 6'Tis he who makes the oath, that breaks it,
Not he who, for convenience, takes it." ' If the absolving power which is here snakzea ef, in truth, existed in the church, we should wish to know by what_chance it happened that the Catholic peers and gentry in this county were prevented for many years from sitting in Parliament, as there was no other barrier whatever in their way except a phrase in a single oath? If they could have freed their consoiences from the breach of that obligation in the manner in which this slanderer says they might have done, why had they not done it? The fact of their exclusion from Parliament until an oath which they could not conscientiously
take was repealed, is so notorious, that this author must have well known it; and yet he deliberately endeavours to propagate his calumny. We have often observed that those who impute unworthy motives and base principles to others, are generally persons who are in the habit of acting upon such motives and principles themselves; we hope that to this rule the author forms an exception, and that he has fallen into the error of which we complain, rather from ignorance, or want of thought, or stupid prejudice, than from any real want of just and honourable feeling.
ART. VI.—Journal of Voyages and Travels, by the Reverend Daniel
Tyerman and George Bennet, Esq. Deputed from the London Missionary Society to visit their various stations in the South Islands, China, India, &c. Between the years 1821 and 1829. Compiled from the original documents. By James Montgomery. In 2 vols. 8vo,
with numerous plates. London: Westley & Davis. 1831. In the year 1820, the Directors of the London Missionary Society, now established upwards of thirty-five years, came to the resolution of sending a deputation to some of the more distant stations, which had been occupied by their agents. We are not aware that any immediate reasons existed to call for this unusual proceeding: but the members of the pious embassy were enjoined to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the state of their foreign missions, and to propose, in case it was necessary, any addition or modification that might, in their opinion, contribute to the efficacy of that great plan of charity which the Society was specially created to execute. They were authorized to entertain every question connected with the diffusion of the Gospel in these remote countries, and they were instructed particularly to ascertain if, with the religion of civilization, they could not also introduce its arts and some of its refinements. The commission was first limited to the South Sea Islands, but it was subsequently extended ; and the deputation proceeded on its mission" of good will and friendly enquiry” to the numerous establishments, insular as well as continental, where the Society had established a footing in the Eastern quarter of the world.
The deputation consisted of only two persons, the Rev. Daniel Tyerman, and George Bennet, Esq. of Sheffield, and no doubt they possessed all the qualifications which an important and delicate duty required. In the spring of 1821 these gentlemen proceeded on their voyage ; and after having nearly circumnavigated the globe, visiting the numberless stations that were in connexion with the society, a part only of the deputation returned to England in the summer of 1829. The Rev. Mr. Tyerman died at Madagascar, leaving his colleague to complete that important mission, in which he had taken so zealous a part. Both the deputies appear to have made daily registers of the occurrences which they
witnessed. These memoranda were written almost always on the spur of the moment: they were desultory, and not at all times particularly pertinent or worthy of preservation; they were besides voluminous ; repetitions were found in them, and the authors themselves, we are justified in supposing, would have treated them as a series of casual observations, the essence of which might be comprised in an infinitely smaller compass than that which, in their original state, they occupied. The various documents were ultimately placed in the hands of Mr. James Montgomery, to whose labour and judgment we owe the present compilation.
These volumes claim our attention under two very distinct points of view. As a fair and authentic report of missionary labours, the work presents information of an important and instructive character, whilst it possesses all the interest and value that belongs to a book of adventurous travels, in which the habits and manners of some of the most singular communities on earth are faithfully described. We deem it to be convenient to keep these two subjects perfectly distinct before the reader, and after having examined the evidence which is furnished by the deputation respecting the state of the missions at the different stations which they visited, we shall proceed to the very curious and entertaining notices on character, customs, natural history, and other subjects of equally general interest, with which, happily, the work is copiously provided.
The deputation sailed on the 5th of May from Gravesend, and the vessel took the usual route for the south-western voyage. At the
very outset we are struck with one of those passages which but too often obtrude themselves into the writings of pious men, and which, though they may remind us of the devotion of the writer, are calculated, we confess, but little to raise our opinion of his judgment. We allude to an anecdote related by Mr. Tyerman, in which he affects to consider that he was the object on one occasion of a special Providence. That the general superintendence of the Creator over the work of his hands is never for an instant suspended, is obviously a necessary part of the belief of every rational
But nothing, in our opinion, is more dangerous than the presumption, which would lead any person to the conviction that an extraordinary interference of Providence was exercised in order to secure his special safety. The following is the passage we allude to:
• Mr. Tyerman preached in the morning from Psalm cxxi. 4: “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” At the close of his discourse he mentioned the following circumstance: Yesterday was the anniversary of a great and very remarkable deliverance which I experienced, in the year 1793. At that time I was intimate with several young men, as gay and trifling as myself: and we frequently spent our Sabbaths in pleasure on the Thames. Early in the week, on the occasion referred to, I and four others had planned a Sunday party down the river; to make the most of it, we agreed to embark on Saturday afternoon, and proceed
to Gravesend. On Friday night, when I lay down to rest, a transient misgiving, whether it was right so to profane the Sabbath of the Lord, gave me a little uneasiness; but I overcame the monitory feeling, and fell asleep. On Saturday morning, when I awoke, the thought again came upon me, but again I resisted, and resolved to meet my companions in the afternoon. I was about to rise, but while I mused I fell asleep again, and dreamed I thought myself in a certain place, whither divine Providence often led me at that season of
life. Here a gentleman called me to him, saying, that he had a letter for me, which I went to receive from his hand. When I reached him, he had opened the enclosure, and appeared to be reading the contents. I imagined then that I looked over his shoulder, and perceived that the letter was closely written, but a pen had been drawn through every line, and had obliterated all the words. Wondering what this could mean, I was going to take hold of the letter, when a large black seal presented itself to my sight, and so startled me, that forth with I awoke, with this sentence upon my mind, “ You shall not go!' Though I had never been in any way superstitious regarding dreams, this so affected me, and the words • You shall not go!' seemed so perpetually sounding in my ears, and haunting my imagination, that I determined to be obedient and not go ; persuaded that some evil would befal me if I did. I spent that day and the two following in great anguish and anxiety, expecting hourly to hear something that would explain this singular presentiment. No tidings, however arrived till Tuesday morning, when I read in a newspaper the following paragraph Last Sunday, in the afternoon, as a boat, with four young gentlemen, a waterman, and a boy, belonging to Mr. - of Wapping, was coming up the river, in Bugsby's hole, a little below Blackwall, a gust of wind upset the boat, and all on board perished.' That was the identical boat on which I was to have embarked. I could scarcely believe my eyes; I read the paragraph again and again. There it was, and there I remained, speaking the same words. I cannot express the horror and consternation of my mind. I was constrained to exclaim, “ This is the finger of God! Who am I, that God should in so wonderful a manner, interpose for my deliverance?- What a warning against Sabbath breaking! What a call to devote myself to the Lord and his service!' A warning which I took, and a call which I humbly hope I was thenceforward enabled to obey : "For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not, when deep sleep falleth upon man, in slumberings upon his bed; then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing.' Job xxxiii. 14, 18.'— vol. i. 27-29.
After a long, and—it would seem in the opinion of such fresh water mariners as the members of the deputation--perilous voyage, the vessel anchored before Tahiti (sometimes called Otaheite,) the station where they were to commence their important labours. The Society Islands, of which Tahiti is the principal, has been for a long time considered as one of the most interesting subjects of discussion, connected with the history of missions. Captain Kotzebue, whose voyage round the world we some time since reviewed, and who visited this island in the course of bis voyage,
has been pleased to comment with great freedom, on the effect of missionary influence in Tahiti in particular. He charges the missionaries with having deluded the authorities, as well as the simple people of these savage islands; of having by various arts held them in complete subjection, and of having established the religion of peace and charity amongst those barbarous islanders, by sanguinary and destructive wars. He tells them further, that the religion which they have thus unwarrantably forced on these people, is essentially different from the religion which genuine Christianity recognises, for it is inconsistent with the true spirit of the latter, to impose such a code of severe restriction on their conduct and habits, as the unfortunate islanders are now compelled to endure. We must, however, combine in our consideration of such statements as these, the recollection that both politically and religiously, Captain Kotzebue was opposed to the missionaries and their principles; we must remember that the captain entertained a natural' jealousy against us for the influence which we enjoyed in Polynesia, and that as an orthodox member of the Greek Church, he was conscientiously impelled to entertain a cordial hatred of the Protestant worship.
Without however entering any further into the motives which actuated Captain Kotzebue on this occasion, we may be allowed to enquire if there were any foundation for his charges. A prejudiced accuser may not always be a false one, and this examination leads us directly to the scene where the deputation first opened their commission. It appears from former records, that an attempt had been made in 1997, by Protestant missionaries, to convert the inhabitants of Tahiti and some of the islands in its neighbourhood, to the Christian faith. No success however attended these efforts until the year 1814, when Christianity was introduced upon a firm basis, and it has been ever since, according to the deputation, making a rapid progress. It is not to be denied that much of this success was owing to the strenuous exertions of King Pomare, who professed the Christian faith. It is also true that in 1815, a dreadful battle had been fought, which had terminated in the complete subjugation of the idolatrous army, by the Christian warriors of Tahiti. According to the report of the deputation, the islands of Tahiti, Eimeo, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha, Borabora, Maupiti, Tetaroa, Maiaoiti, Tubuai, Raivavai, and Rurutu, have all embraced the religion of the missionaries, and they have no doubt that several of the other islands only wait the announcement of the glad tidings in order to reject their idolatrous worship. The deputation describe, as being perfectly edifying to them, the manner in which the natives go through their religious duties. They never lift their heads for a moment during prayers, but kneel in the devoutest manner, and those that can read, always produce their testaments, and turn to the proper chapter when the minister begins to read. But the deputation seems to