Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Lejah; and here, as De Vitry above remarks, it borders on Trachonitis. On the south it has Jaulan— the ancient Gaulanitis; and the line which separates them passes from the Haj Road near the village of Nawa, over the plain to a point a little to the north of Kuneiterah. The mountainrange of Keish and Jebel esh-Sheikh forms its north-western border. On the north, lies Wady el-'Ajam. Its dimensions are about seventeen miles from north to south, by twenty from east to west. The greater portion of the district is a fine plain, with a rich and well-watered soil. But towards the base of the mountains the surface becomes stony and undulating. There are twenty-nine inhabited villages at present in Jeidur, and nine others deserted: most of these are the sites of ancient towns, and they bear evidence to the former populousness of this country. The present population, according to the latest government returns, is nearly eleven thousand, of whom only ninety-four are Christians; all the rest are Mohammedans. The geological features of Ituraea resemble those of the Hauran and Jaulan; from which provinces there is no natural boundary to divide it. The substratum is wholly of basalt, and covered with a rich deep-black soil. Small conical hills, or mounds, occur at intervals — some of them being cup-shaped, and evidently extinct craters. § 4. Kenath.

Kenath (PJi?', Sept. Kavafo; modern Arabic otyJ Kunawfit), a city in the territory of Manasseh, beyond the Jordan. It was, before the conquest, one of the principal places in the province of Argob (compare Num. 32: 42. 1 Chron. 2: 21—23. Josh. 13:30). It was taken from its ancient possessors by Nobah; and for a period of nearly two hundred years it was called by his name. (Comp. Num. 32: 42 with Judg. 8: 11.) It appears however that after that time the new name was forgotten, and the old one resumed; a circumstance of very common occurrence in the topographical history of this country. Josephus refers to this place under two forms of the ancient name —Kana Kome and Kanatha (Kava, Ant. xv. 5. 1.; and Kavcfcd, Bel. Jud. i. 19. 2). It is numbered by Pliny among the cities of Decapolis; and Eusebius, in his Onomasticon, says that it is situated in the province of Trachonitis, near to Bostra (Reland. Palest, p. 698). The name of this town is found upon coins in the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Maximianus. It was afterwards one of the episcopal cities under the metropolis Bostra (S. Pauli Geogr. Sac. p. 296). The extensive ruins of Kunawat which now stand on the western slopes of the JebelHauran, mark the site of the ancient Kenath. The modern name and the position of the ruins would, of themselves, be sufficient to identify it; but there is still stronger proof, for Seetzen found there a Greek inscription on which was inscribed the ancient name Kava&d (Rioter Paliistina und Syrien ii. p. 933). These ruins are among the most beautiful and extensive now existing east of the Jordan. They are finely situated on the left bank of a picturesque ravine, amid dense forests of the evergreen oak; and they command a wide prospect over the rich plain of Auranitis. I visited them in February, 1853, and was no less pleased than astonished to see the temples, palaces, and theatres which still remain, crumbling but not fallen, as evidences of the former grandeur of the city, and of the taste of its people. In no city throughout this country have I seen so many fragments of statues. On the summit of an eminence, in the upper part of the city, is a group of stately buildings comprising a palace of great extent and elaborate workmanship, a small but very chaste temple, and a spacious hippodrome. Here I observed and sketched a gigantic piece of sculpture, representing the head of Isis or Ashteroth, in high relief. It was, unfortunately, broken; but the upper part of the face was perfect — the crescent upon the forehead, and rays radiating from the upper side of it. From the reverse of a coin of the reign of Maximianus, we know that this goddess was worshipped at this place. The main streets leading from this group of buildings, are well paved with slabs of basalt. The walls are, in some places, almost perfect; and the form and extent of many of the ancient houses can be traced. I saw and copied a number of Greek inscriptions; and many more would, no doubt, be brought to light by a diligent and careful search. I estimated the extreme length of the ruins at above one mile, and the breadth nearly half a mile. ARTICLE VI. WORKS OF REV. AUGUSTUS TOPLADY. By Rev. George N. Boardman, Professor in Middlebury College.

Among the writers who undertake the defence of any of the Christian doctrines, none has a better claim to be heard than the pastor; and none should be more readily pardoned in case of intemperate zeal. We naturally suppose that he has found the truths he would vindicate effective in his public and private ministrations. Augustus Toplady had possession of the vicarship of Broad Henbury, in Devonshire, from 1768 till his death in 1778. He was called to preach the gospel, as he thought, in evil times. Those of his works which were written for publication, were intended to check the progress of Arminianism and to defend the church of England from the charge of being Arminian in doctrine. It was his love of the church that first called him out, in the year 1769, in a letter to Dr. Nowell. He says: "To vindicate the best of visible churches from the false charge of Arminianism, fastened on her by you, and to prove that the principles commonly (although perhaps not properly) termed Calvinistic, are plainly and repeatedly delivered in the authentic declarations of her belief, were the reasons which chiefly induced me to resolve on the present undertaking." i The earnestness with which he addresses himself to his labor will be seen in a remark to Dr. N. in the letter: — "You have been fighting against those very truths which, when you received ordination, you, on your knees, was solemnly commissioned to defend." To this he adds, as pertinent to the present argument, the expostulation of the great Dr. South : " To be impugned from without, and betrayed from within, is certainly the worst condition that either church or state can fall into; and the best of churches, the church of England, has had experience of both." 2 Besides the letter just noticed, Mr. Toplady published, in 1774, the "Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England." His treatise is a condensed statement of the views of the eminent reformers and martyrs of the English church, from the time of Edward VI. to the Commonwealth. After establishing his position by abundant and superfluous evidence, he concludes with a " Humble Address to the Episcopal Bench," in which he says:

"Your Lordships lament the visible encroachments of Popery, — Arminianism is at once its root, its sunshine, and its vital sap. — Your Lordships see with concern the extending progress of infidelity; — Arminianism has opened the hatches to this pernicious inundation." * "We have had, since that otherwise happy period [the Restoration], more than an hundred years' experience of the unsanctificd effects which naturally result from the ideal system of free-will and universal redemption. What has that system done for us? It has unbraced every nerve of virtue, and relaxed every rein of religious and social duty."4

At the rise of Methodism, Mr. Toplady was one of the most conspicuous writers in the controversy between the Calvinists and the followers of Wesley. In the same year that he published the letter to Dr. Norwell, he published a tract in English from the Latin of Jerom Zanchius, with the 1 Vol. V. page 11. The references in this Article arc to an edition of Toplady's Works, in six volumes, published in London, 1794. 1 V. 124. «IL861. * II. 364.

title: "The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination stated and asserted; with a Preliminary Discourse on the Divine Attributes." Mr. Wesley attempted a refutation of the doctrine contained in this work; and closed with these words:"The sum of all is this: one in twenty (suppose) of mankind are elected, nineteen in twenty are reprobated. The elect shall be saved, do what they will; the reprobate shall be damned, do what they can. Reader, believe this or be damned. Witness my hand, A—T— ."1

This naturally called out a reply, which was published as "A Letter to the Rev. Mr. John Wesley, relative to his pretended abridgment of Zanchius on Predestination." This paper was followed by others, such as " More Work for Mr. John Wesley," "An old fox tarred and feathered;" all written quite as much "for Mr. John Wesley," as for the truth. But without noticing, at present, the manner of controversy, the main purpose of this Article will be to present the doctrinal views of Toplady as Ihey are exhibited in his opposition to Arminianism. He did not profess to contend for truth in the abstract, nor for the Bible as a book to be interpreted by each man; but for a creed."To say that the church would be sufficiently secured by subscribing to the Scriptures at large, is a mere pretence, far too thin to conceal the cloven foot which lurks beneath."' "The expedience, propriety, and even necessity of these [Articles of Faith] appear, among other considerations, from hence: that without some given model or determinate plan of doctrine, deduced from the sacred Scriptures, it will be impossible either for minister or people to form just and connected ideas of divine thing3."J

Nor is he disposed to be lenient towards those who maintain that "our faith should go no farther than the clearness of our ideas." He thought if all mysteries were to be expunged, we might as well " commence infidels and madmen at once." This point he illustrates, as had been done by Bishop Butler, from the analogy of nature. Notwithstanding the rigid theology of our author, it sometimes requires patience to separate his arguments from the

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »