Sivut kuvina



JULY, 1842.



Most lovely was the scenery through which our travellers bent their way for a considerable time after leaving Ramab, and but for one circumstance, it would have been a season of rich enjoyment. Da Costa, while pointing out the ever-varying beauties that surrounded them, and expatiating on the unquestionable fertility of the soil, if but common justice in the way of tillage was done to it, seemed to lose the recollection of his outcast condition. The land was his; and he spoke of it as though, not only in retrospect and in prospect, but also in actual possession, it was his own. Every group of olives, every scattered oak was to him an object worth descanting on; and his intimate knowledge of Scripture, which he quoted fluently, and so far as regarded the historical and geographical sense, with most correct application, rendered his discourse alike inJULY, 1842.


teresting and instructive. "You are aware,' said be, that it is the fashion among those who profess to understand our Scriptures better than we do ourselves, either to explain away by some shadowy interpretation what is declared of the natural fertility of this good land, or else assert that God has smitten it by an irreversible decree of barrenness, so that it shall never recover its former fruitfulness. According to them, the soil and its inheritors are alike shut out from the life-giving favour of the Almighty : their former distinction existing but in name; or rather indeed, as they would make out, rendered more conspicuous by the very marked reverse of all that they once were. . It may be so, as regards the race of Israel ; it may be,' he added, with a proud and scornful smile, as he encouraged his fiery steed to prance, and shew forth his own and his rider's stateliness, . it may be that we are all a race of abject, spirit-broken slaves; that among us is no intellect, no wealth, no enterprise, no worldly wisdom or spiritual knowledge : it may be that every man's foot is still on our neck, and that Israel is yet trodden down as the mire of the streets-but look at yonder patch of corn; narrow though the field be, how rich, how abundant is its produce! See that magnificent palm, rearing its tufted head on high, while the brown olive boughs beneath it are bending with the weight of ripening fruit; and see to the left what a carpet of gorgeous flowers is spread out, springing in pore wanton defiance of human culture from the recesses of this neglected soil—I tell you this country shall again bloom as Eden, when once its own sons have it under their fostering hands.'

" And I tell you,' answered Ryan, 'that they too,


the seed of Jacob, shall again blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.'

• And you very well know,' said Mrs. Ryan, 'that your description of what Israel, through grinding oppression, and fearful persecution, has been in Europe, no longer exists. The Lord bath begun to take away the reproach of his people: the wealth, that formerly was wrung from them by inhuman tortures is now borrowed by states and rulers, on terms most advantageous to the lenders, affording them an interest in, and an influence over the destinies of empires. In art, in science, in literature, the Hebrew continually stands before us successfully competing the highest prizes of emolument and fame. Your position now is, in reference to Ezekiel's vision, not that of separated bones, scattered bleak and bare, and very dry throughout the valley, but of bones re-united, and rapidly receiving their covering of flesh and sinew, preparatory to the reception of perfect, glowing life.'

* And that once received,' added Captain Ryan, * you will rise up an exceeding great army, against whom no people shall be able to stand; for the Lord yoor God will be with you, and the shout of a king be among you.'

Da Costa smiled kindly: 'I believe we are well agreed as to the end, however we may differ concerning the means of its attainment.'

During this time, Alick never once spoke, nor did his attention appear for a moment diverted from the little carriage in which Charley was slung, by a contrivance of his, more independent of the motions of the male than before. That child had been to him in an especial manner the bearer of glad tidings if

« EdellinenJatka »