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be broken up. The devil has erected his throne in the very constitution of the soul, and he will not be expelled without a desperate struggle. Over these islands, the fire of ardent spirits has also burned, and it is still burning. The Temperance reform, and it is not strange, has hardly reached that distant quarter of the world. Public opinion in England does not yet send a full measure of regenerating influence to the colonies and missions.

Africa. A number of circumstances are conspiring to direct public attention to this continent. It was ascertained by the Landers, that the river Niger below Boosà, after wandering four or five hundred miles through the heart of western Africa, and receiving the contribution of many navigable streams, empties itself into the ocean, by several mouths, through the gulph of Guinea. The Nun river, by which the Landers descended to the sea, discharges its waters near cape Formosa ; a promontory separating the bight of Biafra from the bight of Benin. By the Nun, the Niger is navigable for the whole four or five hundred miles between Boosà and the ocean. Though above Boosà, the channel is obstructed by rocks, yet little doubt exists of its having a communication with Timbuctoo. It appears highly probable that tho whole course of the Niger is through a thickly populated region, studded with towns and villages hitherto unvisited by Europeans. Soon after the results of the expedition of the Landers were communicated in England, an expedition was planned at Liverpool for the purpose of exploring the Niger, and for establishing a settlement, if thought expedient, at Patàshie, a large and beautiful island in the Niger, one day's journey below Boosà. The command of the expedition is intrusted to Richard Lander. It is composed of two steamers and one sailing vessel. The largest steamer, commanded by Mr. Herries, is called the Quôrra, and is of nearly 150 tons. The other is of wrought iron, and is called the Alburkah, an Arabic word, which signifies blessing. She draws but two feet of water, and carries fifty tons, and will be capable of ascending the Niger much farther than her formidable companion. The sailing vessel, called the Columbine, will furnish the steamers with the necessary fuel, goods, &c. The expedition is amply supplied with chronometers and other instruments for making the necessary scientific observations and surveys. The British and Foreign Bible Society availed itself of this first opening into central Africa, to send thither copies of the Bible, and the merchants themselves, who planned the expedition, consigned presents of the Scriptures to the principal chiefs on the river. One of these merchants is Adam Hodgson, Esq., 'well known in the United States for his liberal views and Christian feelings. It is gratifying to reflect that Liverpool, a city deeply implicated in the slave traffic, is leading the way in efforts to communicate the blessings of learning and christianity to the interior of that continent. The expedition reached Cape Coast castle on the 7th of October last, and soon proceeded up the Nun.

In the train of this expedition, it is highly probable that Christian missions will follow.

Perhaps no portion of the unevangelized world is making more rapid advances towards civilization than South Africa. The British government is more enlightened and liberal than in past days. The “ Bible and School commission,” formed in 1813, have established schools in the principal village of each district of the colony. In two schools in Cape Town, and twenty-four elsewhere, belonging to the Commission, there are 1,267 scholars. In Cape Town, there are twelve private schools for boys and ten for young ladies; two schools of industry have one hundred and forty scholars; an infant school has sixty pupils; a grammar school, begun in 1824, is supported by government; a college begun in 1829, supports itself, and is the first institution in the colony which has rendered it unnecessary to send children to Europe for education, and will be the means of raising many competent teachers for the district schools. The Dutch have a school, preparatory to the college, with 180 scholars. All these schools are independent of the various missionary and Sabbath schools. Temperance societies are about to be established in several places. It seems that the Hottentots have frequently been paid for their services in brandy alone. Among the Caffre tribes, occupying several hundreds of miles of the coast from Keiskamma river to the vicinity of Dalgoa bay, there are eleven missionary stations. Thirteen missionaries, connected with these stations, have lately requested the British and Foreign Bible Society to aid them in printing the Bible in Caffre. Many of the stations in Caffreland have, during the past year, been visited with the special influences of the Holy Spirit. At Lattakoo, 630 miles north-east of Cape Town, a printing press was established in June, 1831, which is now occupied on various small books.

The island of Madagascar is supposed to contain 4,000,000 of inhabitants. The queen, by an order of May 20, 1831, gave the missionaries of the London missionary society, liberty to preach, and her subjects permission to act according to their convictions. The printing of the New Testament in Mallagasse, and a considerable part of the Old, is completed. The number of scholars in the schools is about 2,500; and of communicants, 100.

Abyssinia, the scene of so many destructive wars, is in an unsettled

state. It has been for some time, divided into three provinces, Tigré, Amhara, and Efàt. The province of Tigré, lying nearer to the Red sea, and farther from the risk of invasion from the interior, might enjoy more tranquillity, were the chiefs united among themselves. Sebagadis, the principal chief, and a supporter of the mission, was taken prisoner in a war with the Galla—the soldiers of the interiortwo or three years since, and was put to death. There is now considerable prospect that Wolda Michael, a son of Sebagadis, will obtain the supreme command. He was known, before his father's death, as almost a single example in the country for adhering to his word. The missionary of the Church mission, the Rev. Samuel Gobat, was enabled, through scenes of great confusion and suffering, to maintain his ground, and to exert his Christian influence on the mind of the young and hopeful chief. By the latest intelligence, he had twenty scholars, who were travelling about the country, and instructing the people.

In North Africa, there is a large field for moral and intellectual cultivation. Algiers is a central spot, from which the word of God may be widely diffused in the French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Arabic languages. More than 4,000 protestants now reside in the city, without a church, minister, or schools. Arabic Bibles are purchased by the Moorish inhabitants, and the New Testament by Jews.

a

QUARTERLY OBSERVER.

No. II.

OCTOBER, 1833.

ARTICLE I.

HUME, AS A HISTORIAN.

It may be a prejudice, but I have always regarded it as à matter of gratitude, that I was born and educated under the influence of English literature. Books are destined to have a powerful influence over men; they are the only weapons which achieve the permanent victories that alter the face of our globe ; and, on the whole, English literature is the purest, and most impregnated with the spirit of the gospel, of any which has existed. In Germany, the human mind wanders in vagaries; every thing is pushed to extravagance; and they seem to have no sense of the absurd or ridiculous, either in forming theories, or painting characters. They seem to need the lash of such satirists as Swift and Pope, to tame them from the vagaries of enthusiasm, to the plain realities of common sense. In France, they are all

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It may be a dream of mine, but it has always appeared to me, that such writers as Swift, Pope, and Addison, with all their faults, have had a powerful influence in giving to the English nation that common sense character, for which they have been distinguished, and the more distin. guished, the more they are compared with some of their neighbors. Other causes have indeed co-operated. The manner in which many of the highflying dreams in politics and religion, in the days of Cromwell, terminated; their commercial character, and their government; have tended to make them calculators of the earth, rather than soarers into the clouds. But certainly their satirists, though, in swinging their promiscuous scythes, they have cut down many a fair flower as well as many a hurtful weed, have had a hand in keeping them from that wild spirit of theory and speculation, which prevail in Germany. It seems to me, that the value of VOL. I.

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economists and sensualists; never unlocking the secrets of our spiritual nature; never soaring into the regions of moral grandeur and beauty ; and their literati still write and act as if they half believed, what no man can entirely believe, that death is an eternal sleep. Italy has her pastorals, and Spain has her ballads; but England, blessed old England, has poured on us the treasures of some of the greatest geniuses, combined with the purest hearts, that ever wrote. It is a privilege to say, that the language of Milton is your mother tongue; that the songs of Watts were sung over your cradle ; and that your religious sentiments were formed by such writers as Hooker, and Owen, and Baxter, and Edwards, and Butler, who often combine the warmest piety with the most rigid demonstration, and sometimes with the most persuasive eloquence. These are stars, whose lustre I never look to see surpassed; and I repeat it, it is the richest blessing to be born under the beneficent influence of these constellations of our northern sky.

There was one department of literature, which, for a long time, the English were supposed to be deficient in, and that is, historical composition. It is now believed, however, since Hume, and Gibbon, and Dr. Robertson, of Scotland, have produced their elaborate performances, that this reproach has been wiped away. Each of these authors have a high name, not certainly to be acquired without great merit; but I am afraid, if the removing of the reproach of our historical deficiency depends on them, it must still remain. If the merit of history depends upon holding up an unwrinkled mirror, to reflect, in perfection, past events, it is certain this praise must be withheld from two of them, at least. Besides, the whole style and character which they have given to historical writing, in my opinion, is wrong. Written history should flow over the events of time, like a

German literature has been vastly overrated. No doubt their biblical critics have brought some new lights to illustrate the Scriptures. But strip them of their extravagant theories, and how little will remain. The same erudition, brought to a subject, when it is shown enlarged through the mists of some ingenious hypothesis, appears much greater than when arranged to establish the antiquated dictates of common sense. Whatever value these German geniuses may have, it has always been lost in the importing. Their worth is too fugitive to endure the ordeal of a translation. Whatever is their own, is false; and whatever is true, we have heard before. Their dramatic writers are too little like Shakspeare, and their critics and commentators too much like Warburton. As I am somewhat an enemy to their reputation, I have malice enough to wish they might all be translated.

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