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"And 'this same Jesus,' cried ilte Pair,
Such expressions will, we fear, repel some readers.
Of the Miscellaneous Pieces, the Missionary Hymn of Praise, which stands last in the volume, appears to us facile princeps; and this notwithstanding two or three weak lines, as "Swift as the solar radiance," which is so manifestly dragged in as a rhyme, though an imperfect one, for " The strain of rapturous cadence." Despite these feeble lines, there is an onwardness and a glow about this Missionary Hymn which betoken rich promise of future excellence. But let our readers judge for themselves. We give the hymn entire.
"Chief Shepherd of Thy people,
We own with joy the union
The Spirit's blest communion.
Our voices join the concert,
The strain of rapturous cadence,
Swift as the solar radiance.
"When o'er Pacific billows
The Sabbath wakes in glory,
In China sing before Thee:
They sing, and westward ever
The daylight speeds the chorus,
From Araby to Taurus.
"Anon, awakening Europe
Begins her loud devotion,
To Moorish gates of Ocean:
And hymns from Britain mingle
With voices gathering ever
Where Niger pours his river.
"Soon as the arch of morning
Atlantic waves embraces,
Ascend Columbia's praises:
And onward swells the echo,
On southern waters flying,
From rock to rock replying.
"All, all as one we praise Thee,
Great Giver of salvation!
Nor language knows, nor nation.
"We praise—and wait imploring
Thy hour of final favour:
And o'er us reign for ever." (p. 137.)
There are few readers but will be reminded, by these lines, of Bishop Heber's matchless hymn. But to have written a single hymn, which follows even longo intervallo in the wake of such a leader, is no mean achievement, and the writer of it deserves our cordial thanks.
Since the above notice was written, the Seatonian Prize Poem, to which allusion was made, has come into our hands. It is a work of very different caHbre from any in the volume of pooms before reviewed. And we should be doing Mr. Moule but scant justice if we brought one, and not the other, under the eye of our readers. This Prize Poem gives proof and promise of far higher power.
The subject proposed was "Christian Self-denial." It is always most difficult to write a poem on an abstract theme like this. But Mr. Moule has, with the happiest art, brought before us, in a few masterly lines, the administration of the Lord's Supper in a rural church, and the prayer of Selfdedication.
"' We offer and present, O Lord, to Thee,
The worshippers rise and go their several ways.
"Confessed once more
It was the vow
From every fear: rather a will to abide
This truest theology is truest poetry; and the lofty virtue of self.denial, thus admirably defined, is illustratod by examples of the prosperous man, who,
"Still bent to occupy with all for Him,
of the bereaved aged pilgrim,—
"Now sickly, poor, alone: children and wife
of the Christian wife greeted by her surly husband, but
"With such a smile as may conceal
of the Sunday School Teacher, and of the Visitor in the crowded city.
The first portion, to line Mi, seems to us eminently success, ful; and we believe the pictures thus sketched will cheer many a weary labourer in tho Master's vineyard.
From this point Mr. Moulo appeals to historical examples of Christian self-denial, Marinus, Augustino, Ridley, Herbert—-and lastly Henry Martyn, a sketch of whose life occupies nearly half the poem. Though wc doubt whether this biography of Martyn is of equal merit with the rest of the poem; though we find it difficult to invest, the names of London, Cambridgo, Madingley, with poetic associations; though some details seem to us too common-place, "Hark, the wheels roll near, &c," "The horse led to the door," &c. &c; yet this sketch of one of the noblest of the Missionary band has a peculiar interest as written in that University, to which we look so earnestly for volunteers to swell the ranks of those who are storming the many breaches in the crumbling ramparts of heathenism. It was more than thirty years ago that the gifted Hankinson wrote his noble poem on "Ethiopia stretching out her hands to God," which likewise obtained the Seatonian IViae. Who shall say in how many hearts that poem has fostered and fanned the Missionary flume? We cannot but hope and pray for like issues from Mr. Moule's poem on Christian Self-dc
Vol. 68.-No. 38*. 6 I)
THE JEWS OF ABYSSINIA.
Joseph HaUvy. Excursion chez les Falacha, en Abyssinie. Bulletin de la Sociiti de Gtographie. Mars—Avril, 1869. Paris; Au Bureau de la Societi.
The Falashas (Jews) of Abyssinia. By J. M. Flad; with a Preface by Dr. Krapf. Translated from the German by 8. P. Goodhart. London: William Macintosh. 1869.
Little has hitherto been known respecting Jewish life in Abyssinia, in consequence of the very restricted amount of intercourse which has been held with those districts which are inhabited by the Jews, either on the part of travellers, or of missionaries. The subject was briefly noticed by Bishop Gobat, in his diary; and in the course of the present year our information has been considerably enlarged by the publication of the two treatises which we have named above; the former containing a brief statement of the results of M. Joseph Halevy's expedition, made with the express design of becoming better acquainted with the religion of the Falashas; the latter containing a general account of the same people from the pen of Mr. Flad, one of the missionaries of the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews.
The meaning of the word Falashas is 'exiles'; and it points to the fact, that the people to whom it applies were emigrants from another country. Concerning the early history of these emigrants, about 200,000 probably in number, who are now found in villages (inhabited chiefly, though not exclusively, by their own communities) in North-west Abyssinia, little can now be ascertained with absolute certainty. It is possible (as Dr. Krapf is of opinion) that the Jewish settlements in Abyssinia began in the time of King Solomon; more probable, perhaps, that they date from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, when the fugitives took refuge in Egypt.
There is little, as regards their external appearance, to distinguish the Falashas from the Christians of Abyssinia. Their dress is similar, both as regards that of private individuals, and that of the Priests; their houses are built in a similar manner, and they speak the Amharic dialect with as much facility and purity as the Christians. In their own families, however, they make use of another dialect, viz., that which prevails in Quara, and which is equally distinct from the Hebrew and the Ethiopic, of which latter the Amharic is one of the newer dialects. This dialect, it seems reasonable to infer, if not their original tongue, is at least one of more ancient adoption than the Amharic.
As regards their appearance, the Falashas, like the rest of the Abyssinians, are dark brown in colour, but sometimes they are found with the black skin and pouting lips which distinguish the negro race. Their habits and customs, like those of the native Christians, are, for the most part, according to Mr. Flad, of a low and degraded character. The condition of their women, however, according to M. Halevy, bears witness to a higher degree of morality than seems compatible with the facts recorded by Mr. Flad. Woman is represented by him as in every respect the equal of man, not veiled, nor confined within the harem, and found frequently in the society of the men. Against this statement we must set that of Mr. Flad, who speaks of the grain as being carried home on the back of the donkey, or of the woman; and not only baked, but cleansed and ground by her hands.* We may notice, as another instance of discrepancy in the two accounts under our consideration, that M. Halevy states that the Falashas have no need of the services of servants or slaves, the price of whose services for six years (after which time they would be entitled to their liberty) would, he says, exceed their value. Mr. Flad, on the other hand, says that the Falashas keep slaves, like the other natives, but make proselytes of them, and treat them like members of their own families, and, moreover, do not sell them again.
Amongst the rites and ceremonies of Jewish origin, now observed by the Falashas, we may notice the following :—
(1) The children are circumcised on the eighth day, unless it falls on a Saturday, in which case they defer the rite till the ninth day.
(2) At the expiration of forty days after the birth of a son, or of eighty days after that of a daughter, the mother, having been previously purified, brings as a sin-offering a pair of doves, after which the woman and child receive the priestly blessing.
(3) The first-born of their children, if males, are frequently dedicated by the parents to the monastic life. The first-born of the cattle, if males, are brought to the priest (not on the eighth day, as directed in Exodus xxxii. 30, but) when a year old, and the flesh is eaten only by the priests. If a female, the first-born is kept by the owner, but the milk and butter which it yields belong to the priest. The first-born of an ass is redeemed with a lamb.
(4) The Sabbath is observed very rigorously. No fire is
• In a little book entitled "Notes trious than tho Christians," that they
from the Journal of F. M. Flad," "all practise agriculture," and that the
edited by Mr. Veitcb, in 1860, it is Jang guve them land for that purpose,
stated that " the Jews are more indus- (p. 87.)