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appearances in the crust or on the surface of the earth, he takes leave to hesitate, perhaps to deny the consequences. He will say to Mr. Gisborne, We are agreed as to the fact of an universal deluge, and the force of the united proof from Scripture and tradition, by which it is established, but when you require me to believe, on pain of being called an infidel, not only that every phenomenon, in or beneath the earth's surface, is solvable on that bypothesis, but on that alone,-nay, more, when I am obliquely threatened with the penalties of unbelief, unless I renounce all the lights which modern research and modern science have thrown upon a subject even yet comparatively new; when in every stratum and every fissure of the earth, I meet with appearances, which, according to my apprehension, negative such an hypothesis, in the use of my senses and in the operations of my understanding, I will no more be intimidated by a bigot, than by an inquisitor. I cannot accept of loose declamation for irrefragable argument, nor unwarranted assertion for legitimate proof,-I am not disposed to believe, that in a world, constituted of elements like the present, subterraneous fires could not be kindled, nor steam expand, nor earthquakes rend the surface, nor volcanos burst forth from its bowels, till their several principles were put in action by the sin of man. Without exploring the recesses of the earth, without being affrighted by the marks of disorder on its surface, I see enough in the character of the human species, to assure me that, in its present state, man both sins and suffers in consequence, This is matter of experience, why then am I so imperiously called upon to accept what I already allow, on proofs weakly hypothetical, or on no proofs at all?
Sorry we are to have felt the necessity of animadverting with such freedom, on the work of so good a man and so good a scholar as Mr. Gisborne; but it is the hard fate of revealed religion in the present day, to suffer as deeply from the injudicious assistance of its friends, as from the open, attacks of its enemies, who are only to be encountered by observers and reasoners not inferior to themselves. On the subject now before us, it must be admitted that they appear to be right in their facts, while they are certainly wrong in their conclusions. Their facts, grounded as they are upon the latest discoveries, ought, in this work, to have been admitted, and their consequence denied. Our author, on the contrary, undertakes to deny a minor, which, in our apprehension, has been satisfactorily proved, and sincerely do we hope, for the sake of revealed religion itself, that Mr. Gisborne will be the last Christian writer who shall attempt to shew that the present appearances on, and immediately beneath, the surface of our earth, can only have been occasioned by the Noachian deluge. The maintainers of a contrary opinion have
VOL. XXI, NO. XLI.
been, by our author, very unskilfully, and with as little distinction as charity, accused of infidelity. On this subject, it is fitting that he should be better informed. These persons then are, with Mr. Gisborne's permission, to be divided into two classes: the first, consisting of those who doubt or deny the reality of the Noachian deluge; and the second, among whom we desire to be numbered, of those who cordially accept the evidence of Moses, corroborated as it is by universal tradition, for the certainty of that astonishing event, while they descry no certain and ulterior confirmation of it, in the present appearance of the globe. Let it be remembered, that in this class stands first and foremost, Linnæus himself;-yet, on the other hand, while we see nothing in those appearances, which tends to negative the fact of an universal deluge, we pretend not to deny that any of the clefts and fissures on the earth's surface, may have been among the causes of the flood: we neither dogmatize with Mr. Gisborne, nor deny with infidels. Of the veracity and inspiration of the Mosaic history we are fully assured; and if, in the interpretation of the earlier steps of creation, we differ from Mr. Gisborne, we yet account these positions perfectly consistent with each other. Yet let not the adversaries of Revelation triumph, if in this instance they have been encountered by an unequal antagonist, who has failed, (justice, indeed, extorts from us that admission;) by the unskilful choice of his ground, by the narrowness of his religious system, the heat of his temper, the indulgence of his imagination, and the absence of a calm philosophical spirit. One Christian philosopher, able to encounter, on true grounds, the whole host of unbelieving geologists, has not long been removed by death, and no one, either similar or second to him, has arisen in his place. This is not the first instance which has given us occasion to lament, in an age of much acuteness, united with unbelief, the absence of a competent champion for the evidences of revealed religion. Meantime, we have only to request of every fair and candid sceptic, a sincere exertion of the philosophical 'ex, which he so much affects. In the progress of intellect as of generation, another Paley may shortly arise: meanwhile, the fair and philosophical geologists of the present day cannot fail to perceive that if all our author's reasons were allowed to be futile, all his facts mistated, and all his consequences inconclusive, which we are far from admitting, the merits of the question are yet entire and untouched, namely, whether the organic remains of the world are or are not inconsistent with the Mosaic history of the creation?
ART. IV.-Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China, and of a Voyage to and from that Country, in the Years 1816 and 1817; containing an Account of the most interesting Transactions of Lord Amherst's Embassy to the Court of Pekin, and Observations on the Countries which it visited. By Clarke Abel, F.L.S. London. 1818.
WE are now in possession of three quartos, besides a goodly
octavo, as the literary fruits of Lord Amherst's Embassy to China-how many more are yet hatching in the womb of time we venture not to conjecture; but we have heard that the same literary jobman who, under the guidance of Du Halde and Grozier, drove Eneas Anderson so successfully over the old ground, declares himself still able and willing to start with any other attendant of the embassy, notwithstanding the perils of the midnight procession round the walls of Pekin, and the horrors of the granite causeway.
Seriously, we scarcely imagined that Mr. Abel would have succeeded so well in filling his pages, without a repetition of what we had already learned from Mr. Ellis and Mr. M'Leod; and in fact there is a good deal of the same kind of matter as was furnished by these gentlemen, and which can now hardly be considered as interesting transactions.' There is something, however, in Mr. Abel's book, which has no place in those of the other two; and there would have been more, but for the author's illness during the most interesting part of the journey through China, and the subsequent shipwreck of the Alceste; by the former he lost the opportunity of making his personal observations, and by the latter those collections of natural history which had been made partly by himself, but mostly by the exertions of others. Three hundred packages of seeds had been collected by the unremitting efforts of Mr. Hooper, for the Botanic Garden, which it seems were thrown overboard on leaving the wreck of the Alceste, ' to make room for some of the linen of one of the gentlemen of the embassy.' A collection of zoophites, of madrepores and of Lew-chew plants shared the same fate; as did also an extensive geological and botanical collection from the coast of Tartary, and (to complete the catalogue of misfortunes) another collection from the same part of the world, made for Mr. Livingston, surgeon to the British factory at Canton. All that remained to Mr. Abel was a small collection of China plants, and another of China rocks,-from these, says our author,
I have derived all the specimens which have enabled me to give the slight geological and botanical notices of China contained in this work.' Under such untoward circumstances, we cannot help thinking, what indeed might be anticipated, that Mr. Abel has E 2
part of his
been more successful in his remarks on every other
On the arrival of the frigate off Anger Point, in the Strait of Sunda, Mr. Abel, instead of accompanying the ambassador overland to Batavia, preferred paying a visit to the crater of Gunoug Karang in the interior, which however had nothing very remarkable about it; but it gave him an opportunity of corroborating Sir Thomas Raffles's account of the kind and benevolent disposition of the native Javanese.
In descending the mountain I was obliged to use great caution, as the path must always be very slippery, in consequence of the heavy dews which fall upon the mountain; the thickness of the woods preventing their evaporation. On our return it was especially so, as it was raining heavily during our descent. I stumbled frequently, and should have fallen more than once, but for the attention of the natives. They followed me closely, uttered a cry at every false step I made, and caught me by the arm whenever I was in danger. It is impossible to do justice to the active and emulous good-nature of these mountaineers, who were anxious
anxious to excel each other in rendering me service. During my stay on the mountain I received great assistance from them in all my pursuits, although they could not comprehend their object. They were at first much amused at my collecting plants familiar to their daily observation, yet vied with each other in gathering them for me. If I pointed to a flower at a great elevation, several started to obtain it, and he who succeeded evidently triumphed in his fortune. Neither was my presence necessary to excite them to this benevolent activity. Not being able, from the advance of the day, to reach the top of the mountain, I dispatched several natives to collect specimens of rocks from it; and on their return, I was surprised to see them laden with pieces of rock, -bundles of plants, and joints of bamboo full of water collected from hollows at the top of the mountain. This they seemed to consider as holy, advising me to wash myself with it as a security against danger. But I should exhaust the patience of my reader were I to mention but a small proportion of the numerous proofs I personally experienced of the innate principles of benevolence that enter into the moral character of the Javanese. Not only in the excursion of which I am now giving the narrative, but during the whole period of my first and second visit in Java, they repeatedly occurred to me. That their intellectual is equal to their moral excellence, may be inferred from the specimens of their poetry which have lately been given to the world. Yet these are the people who have been pursued as beasts of prey, and of whom upwards of four hundred have been barbarously and uselessly slaughtered since the island of Java has been given up by the English. Thank God, I did not hear that any of my countrymen had ever oppressed them, but often heard, and often saw, that the Javanese looked upon the English rather as benefactors than as masters, and it was notorious that the name of Raffles was almost idolized by them.'—pp. 35, 36.
Having heard that the Sultan of Bantam was at the point of death, Mr. Abel proceeded to his residence to make a tender of his medical aid. He found him stretched on a small pallet supported in the arms of an interesting looking woman, and attended by two of his male relatives; he grasped the doctor's hand, shook his head, and declined his assistance, which, says Mr. Abel, would have been unavailing, as he died a few hours after I left him.'
'On quitting this house of mourning, I hastened to a grove, where I expected to find many of the great bats of Java, which had been represented to me as vampires, and which in look and ferocity might be supposed to appropriate the fables of those frightful beings. I had often seen, since my arrival in Java, flying in the day-time at a great elevation, an animal making a noise so resembling the cawing of a crow, that at first I mistook it for a species of this bird. I now saw many of its species suspended in large clusters with their heads downward from the branches of trees; and so firmly did they adhere, that although I fired at them, and must have destroyed two or three, they did not fall. By throwing large stones, I obliged them to quit their resting places and to take wing, many of them with young ones clinging to their