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same affectation of independence descends to the sheiks of villages, who, aware of the precarious tenure by which their masters remain in office, are disposed to treat their orders with contempt. Like them, too, they turn to their personal advantage the power of imposition and extortion which belongs to every one who is clothed with official rank in Syria. They sell justice and protection; and, in this market as in all others, he who offers the best price is certain to obtain the largest share of the commodity.*
This chapter would not be complete were we to omit all allusion to the Jews, the ancient inhabitants of Palestine. Their number, according to a statement lately published in Germany, amounts to between three and four millions, scattered over the face of the whole earth, but still maintaining the same laws which their ancestors received from their inspired legislator more than three thousand years ago. In Europe there are nearly two millions, enjoying different privileges according to the spirit of the several governments; in Asia, the estimate exceeds seven hundred thousand; in Africa, more than half a million; and in America, about ten thousand. It is supposed, however, on good grounds, that the Jewish population on both sides of Mount Taurus is considerably greater than is here given, and that their gross number does not fall much short of five millions.†
In Palestine, of late years, they have greatly in
* See Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria and the Holy Land, p. 315.
+Weimar Geographical Ephemerides, and History of the Jews, vol. iii. p. 410.
creased. It is said that not fewer than ten thousand inhabit Saphet and Jerusalem, and that in their worship they still sing those pathetic hymns which their manifold tribulations have inspired; bewailing amid the ruins of their ancient capital the fallen city and the desolate tribes. In Persia one of them addressed a Christian missionary in these affecting words:- "I have travelled far; the Jews are every where princes in comparison with those in the land of Iran. Heavy is our captivity, heavy is our burden, heavy is our slavery; anxiously we wait for redemption."
History, says an eloquent writer, is the record of the past; it presumes not to raise the mysterious veil which the Almighty has spread over the future. The destinies of this wonderful people, as of all mankind, are in the hands of the all-wise Ruler of the universe: his decrees will certainly be accomplished; his truth, his goodness, and his wisdom, will be clearly vindicated. This, however, we may venture to assert, that true religion will advance with the dissemination of sound and useful knowledge. The more enlightened the Jew becomes the more incredible will it appear to him, that the gracious Father of the whole human race intended an exclusive faith, a creed confined to one family, to be permanent; and the more evident also will it appear to him that a religion, which embraces within the sphere of its benevolence all the kindreds and languages of the earth, is alone adapted to an improved and civilized age.
We presume not to expound the signs of the
* History of the Jews, vol. iii. p. 418.
times, nor to see farther than we are necessarily led by the course of events; but it is impossible not to be struck with the aspect of that grandest of all moral phenomena which is suspended upon the history and actual condition of the sons of Jacob. At this moment they are nearly as numerous as when David swayed the sceptre of the Twelve Tribes ; their expectations are the same, their longings are the same; and on whatever part of the earth's surface they have their abode, their eyes and their faith are all pointed in the same direction,-to the land of their fathers, and the holy city where they worshipped. Though rejected by God and persecuted by man, they have not once, during eighteen hundred long years, ceased to repose confidence in the promises made by Jehovah to the founders of their nation; and although the heart has often been sick, and the spirit faint, they have never relinquished the hope of that bright reversion in the latter days, which is once more to establish the Lord's house on the top of the mountains, and to make Jerusalem the glory of the whole world.
The Natural History of Palestine.
Travellers too much neglect Natural History-Maundrell, Hasselquist, Clarke-GEOLOGY-Syrian Chain-Libanus-Calcareous Rocks-Granite-Trap-Volcanic Remains-Chalk—Marine Exuvia Precious Stones-METEOROLOGY-Climate of Palestine-Winds-Thunder-Clouds-Waterspouts-Ignis Fatuus -ZOOLOGY-Scripture Animals-The Hart-The RoebuckFallow-deer-Wild-goat-Pygarg-Wild-ox-Chamois—Unicorn-Wild-ass-Wild-goats of the Rock-Saphan, or Coney— Mouse-Porcupine-Jerboa-Mole-Bat-BIRDS-EagleOssifrage-Ospray-Vulture - Kite - Raven-Owl - Nighthawk-Cuckoo-Hawk-Little Owl-Cormorant Great Owl— Swan - Pelican— Gier Eagle-Stork—Heron—Lapwing—Hoopoe-AMPHIBIA AND REPTILES-Serpents known to the Hebrews-Ephe-Chephir-Acshub-Pethen-Tzeboa-Tzimmaon-Tzepho-Kippos - Shephiphon-Shachal-Saraph, the Flying-serpent-Cockatrice' Eggs The Scorpion-Sea-monsters, or Seals-FRUITS AND PLANTS-Vegetable Productions of Palestine The Fig-tree-Palm-Olive-Cedars of LibanusWild-grapes-Balsam of Aaron-Thorn of Christ.
EVERY one who writes on the Holy Land has occasion to regret that travellers in general have paid so little attention to its geological structure and natural productions. Maundrell, it is true, was not entirely destitute of physical science; but the few remarks which he makes are extremely vague and unconnected, and, not being expressed in the language of system, throw very little light on the researches of the natural philosopher or the geologist.
Hasselquist had more professional learning, and has accordingly contributed, more than any of his predecessors, to our acquaintance with Palestine, viewed in its relations to the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral kingdoms. Still the reader of his Voyages and Travels in the Levant cannot fail to perceive, that some of the branches of natural knowledge, which are now cultivated with the greatest care, were in his day very little improved; and more especially, that they were deficient in accuracy of description and distinctness of arrangement. Dr Clarke's observations are perhaps more scientific than those of the Swedish naturalist just named, and particularly in the departments of mineralogy and geology, to which he had devoted a large share of his attention. But even in his works we look in vain for a satisfactory treatise on the mountainrocks of Palestine, on the geognostic formation of that interesting part of Western Asia, or on the fossil treasures which its strata are understood to envelope. We are therefore reduced to the necessity of collecting from various authors, belonging to dif ferent countries and successive ages, the scattered notices which appear in their works, and of arranging them according to a plan most likely to suit the comprehension of the common reader.
At first view it would appear that the ridges of Palestine are all a ramification of Mount Taurus. But the proper Syrian chain begins on the south of Antioch, at the huge peak of Casius, which shoots up to the heavens its tapering summit, covered with