Imagens da página

ranks it among the canonical books : but neither of these circumstances is mentioned by Michaelis.

The Professor next considers the nature and completion of the prophecies in the Ayocalypse, on which he makes several just remarks.

With him we think that there are strong grounds for contending that, if this book must be considered as a prophetical work, it related chiefly (we had almost said, wholly,) to events which were to happen shortly after the delivery of the prophecy; and that much in it is to be considered as poetical imagery. He adds that it is a sublime, animated, and affecting composition :-it must, however, be allowed to abound with harsh constructions and Hebraisms.- Professor Michaelis asserts it to be an undeniable fact, that the style of the Apocalypse is very different from that of St. John's Gospel. While the author of the former hurries us down enchanted torrents which carry every thing before them, the writer of the Gospel of St. John glides (according to the present critic,) down a clear rivulet, which flows without rapidity or violence. This difference of style, however, may be ascribed by some to the different nature of the compositions ; the Gospel being a mere narrative of facts, requiring only a plain equable style, while the Apocalypse is a prophetic vision, prefigurating future events by the wildest and most singular imagery.-The various expositions of this book next attract the author's attention; and he divides them into three classes ; those by which its prophecies are referred to the Pope and the church of Rome ; those which confine them to the first three centuries; and those which make them relate solely to the destruction of Jerusalem. He omits the systems of the expositors of the church of Rome, who refer many of the prophecies to the reformation : but he should have observed that, however the expositors who do not confine the prophecies to the destruction of Jerusalem, or to the first three centuries, may disagree in other respects, almost all of them concur in referring the ultimate completion of the prophecies to the latter end of the world. As to his own opinion; he'affirms, in the most gee 'neral terms, that of all the commentaries which he has seen, not one has given him satisfaction, and he confesses that, from all these commentaries put together, he is unable to make one which is better.

To all present and future expositors of the Apocalypse, we recommend the perusal of the following short passage ; with which we shall conclude our extracts from this work:

Eatbynin imagines that he alone has discovered the true mean. ing, which had escaped the penetration of those who had gone before him : and after having read the various commentaries, which have

bew .

C 2

been written on the Apocalypse, one is almost inclined to believe that each commentator is so far in the right, when he says that all others are in the wrong. I remember soon after the foundation of the University of Gottingen, that Heumann and Oporin read lectures there at the same time on the Apocalypse. Oporin, a man of great modesty and diffidence, spoke of Heumann's learning and general good sense in terms of the highest approbation : but always made an exception to the lectures on the Apocalpyse, saying, that is Heumann's weak side.' Heumann, on the other hand, in many respects did justice to Oporin: but when he came to speak of the Apocalypse, he lamented that Oporin should attempt to read lectures on a book, of which he did not comprehend the meaning.'

Among the biblical works of our times, the present publication (including the former part of it) will certainly hold a conspicuous rank. The author evidently devoted to it an uncommon portion of extensive and curious learning, great talents for discrimination, and much good sense. He was far from being defective in judgment, but he sometimes suffered it to be overpowered by his imagination, and he is therefore occasionally a dupe to his ingenuity. His moderation and candor deserve the highest praise. Between all denominations of Christians, he anxiously endeavours to hold the balance with a very steady hand; and in all that he says, he may be trusted with equal safety by the Roman Catholic, the Calvinist, and the Lutheran. His style, however, is prolix; his manner of treating his subject is somewhat too digressive ; and his work evidently requires a reader who possesses much previous information. A considerable part of it is employed on verbal criticism, in which his greatest strength consisted ; and what he says on this subject is in general very interesting.-On the, whole, we doubt whether an introduction to any part of the sacred writings has yet appeared, which contains more valuable matter, or tends more to facilitate the explanation of the sacred text. The translation is also extremely well executed; and the annotations added by Mr. Marsh are replete with learning and observation. The pleasure, therefore, which we have found on the perusal of them, makes us regret, very deeply, that they accompany a part only of the work.

In a future number, we shall review Mr. Marsh's dissertation on the origin of the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, which he has annexed to the 3d vol. of his translation ; and which, we think, the reader will find to be one of the most interesting productions that have yet illustrated biblical literature.

But..r. [To be continued.]


Art. IV. The Natural History of Volcanoes : including Submarine

Volcanoes, and other Analogous Phenomena. By the Abbé Ordinaire, formerly Canon of St. Amable at Riom in Auvergne. Translated from the Original French Manuscript. By R. C. Dallas, Esq. 8vo. Pp. 328. 78. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies.

1801. A T the commencement of this entertaining and (in certain

respects) instructive work, the author observes that mountains in general contain large chasms; that they differ from one another in their internal structure; that the same mountain consists of various substances; and that in some, Pyrites are found in abundance. From the well known properties of these substances, as also from the remarkable experiment made with sulphur and filings of iron by Lemery, the Abbé Ordio naire (like many others who have written on this subject) is of opinion that the burning of a mountain may often be caused by these minerals, and sometimes by conflagrations of vapours pent in very deep subterraneous caverns ; ' for then (says he) it is possible that flames, so kindled in caverns situated at the base of a mountain charged with all the necessary materials, should set it on fire and render it volcanic.'

In the succeeding chapter, the Abbé proceeds to make observations on the craters of volcanoes, and on the manner in which their contraction is effected.

Chapter 4. gives an account of the mountain situated in the country of the Baschirs Mursalarskis, called KargouschKougisch ; and which belongs to the Ouralian chain. It has been mentioned by some authors as a volcano: but, according to Dr. Pallas, it is only in a superficial state of combustion, which originated (if the account of the natives may be credited) from a very large and lofty pine at the foot of the centre hill, which was struck by lightning.

The chapters into which this volume is divided are very numerous, and therefore very brief : but, as the matter of them is indicated in a prefixed table of contents, we shall be able to give a concise and yet satisfactory view of a considera able portion of the work by transcribing the heads of several of them:

• V. Of internal permanent fires, commonly called central fires. Proofs of their existence. These fires the most common cause of earthquakes. The formation of a volcano would be useful in some places. Central fires may cause the burning of a mountain. To them is owing the phenomenon of the Phlegrai Campi. •• VI. Are all mountains produced by subterranean fires ? Are not the burning mountains at least produced by them? Proofs of the con. flagration being posterior to the formation of the mountain.

C 3

• VII. Are

VII. Are all volcanoes formed under the sea ? The reasons that have given rise to this hypothesis discussed. The characteristics that distinguish volcanoes from the general subterranean fires.

• VIII. All volcanoes above the sea occupy lofty heights. Their elevation is still more evident in islands. Of the fires formed at the foot of a volcano. The cause of the cleyation of volcanoes on land.

• IX. The volcanoes of the Moon have eruptions equal to those of the volcanoes of our globe. That planet abounds with very high mountains,

• X. The striking contrast between the great elevation of the volcanoes on land, and the lowness of the submarine volcanoes.

• XI. Islands rendered uninhabitable by their volcanoes, The singular state of Iceland, in respect to its fires, and the heat of its waters. The means of discovering the cause of the heat of hot springs. These waters begin to boil in less time than common cold water.

« XII. Volcanoes are not vents for a grand reservoir of fire in the centre of the globe. The astonishing quantity of the fires of Kamtchatka.

“XIII. Volcanoes render the places around them fertile and healthy. The danger of their vicinity.

• XIV. What are the causes of the convulsions of a volcano ? How do those causes act? Their effects upon the mountain, upon the adjacent places, and often at a very great distance.

• XV. The sea, when near, partakes the motions of the earth. Prodigious oscillation of the sea at Awatcha. Illusion experienced, by the people of Naples in 1779. The eruption of a volcano puts an end to the great conflict of nature.

· XVI. The eruption of a volcano one of the grandest sights a man can behold. An idea of it. What causes it? The overspreading of the burning matter at the top of the column. Its whole form. The fall of the ejected substances. The prodigious distance to which they are sometimes carried.

• XVII. Of the dry fog in 1783. It did not proceed either from the convulsions in Calabria, or from those in Iceland. The opinion of the Abbé Bertholon of the cause of that phenomenon.

· XVIII. Of the nature of the substances ejected at the time of an erupțion. Of the lava. . Of the cause of its overflow. The manner in which it is disgorged.

• XIX. The incredible quantity of lava that issues from a volcano. The immense void it must leave. The principal fiery pits of volcanoes must have horizontal branches.

• XX. The crater of a volcano smetimes vomits boiling water. Whence does the water proceed? Of the water-volcano of St. Jago de Guarimala.

XXI. Nature proceeds uniformly in the discharge from vol. i canoes. Wherever the lava flows, it creates a sterility of an indefi

nite duration. Quarries opened in the lava.. The variety of colours in the lava. Vitrified masses most common near certain volcanoes.

• XXII, Volcanoes become extinct, from the mines being exhaust, ed; from the falling of the summit; from the rending of the sides


of the mountain ; from the sinking of the mountain itself into its own abyss"; from the entire inundation of the reservoir of fire, and from its being dried up.

• XXIII. The earth has been desolated hy a great number of volcanoes. The probable cause of the extinction of those in the islands of the Grecian Archipelago.

• XXIV. The Giants’ Causeway. Its wonderful formation. Various opinions respecting its origin.'

The general remarks on the eruption of a volcano, in chap. xvi., form an interesting scene, which is also closed in a singular manner :

• Ý 56. Let the reader figure to himself Vesuvius near four thousand feet high, Etna which is more than twelve thousand, Pichinca which is fifteen thousand, Cotopaxis or Antisana, which are eighteen thousand ; or, in fine, the insular volcano we have already mentioned, which was thought to exceed Chinboraço, and which, were it only equal to it, would still be nineteen thousand three hundred and ninety-two feet in height: let him imagine a column of fire of three or four miles in circumference, and sometimes more, whose height is more than double that of the mountain, rising from it with a thundering noise, greater than that of all the cannon in the world discharged together. It seems as if it would set the sky on fire : lightnings flash from it. The dazzling brightness of its fire could not be endured by the eye, did not immense spiral clouds of smoke inoderate its fierceness at intervals. These spread through the ata mosphere, which they thicken: the whole horizon is covered with darkness; and at length nothing is to be seen but the burning summit of the mountain, and the wonderful column of fire.

• 57. Its height, bulk, and explosion, result from the confine. ment in which the air had been kept within the volcano. Rareficd to the highest degree, forced on by the increasing heat of the immense pit, and pressed more and more by the prodigious fermentation of the lava, the inflamed air, reduced to the size of the crater, at length escapes, spinning round and round. Breaking the top of the shaft, it bears it along in a thousand pieces, with soet, ashes, and pumice, with which the sides of the abyss within were loaded. In this horrible whirlwind it is even common to see huge pieces of calcincd rock, torn from the bosom of the mountain, carried into the air.

• $58. The display of this phenomenon, in its extent and duration, depends upon the degree of force in the circumstances we have just mentioned. When the parts first raised luse this force, and, being left to their own weig!it, would naturally sink, those that come next, being still themselves supported, repel and throw them off. At that juncture an overspreading of the fire takes place at the top of the column which adds to its beauty. I think it must have been from this view of it that the younger Pliny drew his comparison between the productions of that eruption of Vesuvius, by which his uncle was killed, and of which he was himself an eye-witness, and the cypress treci

. 59. In


« AnteriorContinuar »