Изображения страниц

terised by the same fervent piety and ardent love of truth, issued from the diligent pen of our lamented author; and those unpretending volumes might be found in almost every religious family throughout the land; they passed the seas, and carried the lessons of unadulterated truth to the new world, and into our most distant colonies; travellers and sea-faring men, and families emigrating to foreign lands, carried out with them those treasures of wisdom and religious truth, until, in the course of eight years, the works of the Rev. Henry Blunt were disseminated wherever the British flag waved, and when they were read by thousands whether at home or abroad there was found in them nothing hard to be understood, every word told its own meaning. You had no mystery concealed beneath a doubtful phraseology; no handling of the word of God deceitfully; it was the Gospel in all its purity and simplicity; it was man exhibited in his fallen state, and Jesus lifted up in a manner to draw all hearts unto him; it was a picture of heavenly felicity to smooth the brow of sorrow, or it was a promise beautifully unfolded to make the bed in sickness; it was the unvarnished story of Jacob living in tents, of Abraham confessing himself to be a stranger and pilgrim, of Peter in the frailty of human nature, of Paul in the strength of divine grace using his apostleship; but above all, of Him who went about doing good, and whose blood cleanseth from all sin. Thousands read and wondered they had never before understood the way of truth, now made so of truth, now made so plain. Thousands will yet read and adore the simplicity of the Gospel. It pleased the all-wise Disposer of events, soon after your beloved minister's removal from this parish, that he should cease to teach publicly; but while he was restrained from the exercise of pulpit ministrations, his unwearied mind was engaged in preparing other works for the edification of the Church. He was permitted, until within a short period of his death, to continue those labours of the closet, and to be useful to the world, without opening his mouth. His family exposition of the Pentateuch was but just finished when his increasing weakness put an end to all exertion, and the last page which issued from his pen, contains an affectionate allusion to the present state of the Church. Let us

be careful' (such is the last admonition

of the departed man of God,) 'that we suffer nothing to stand between us and this Divine Leader [Christ], and least of all that we allow any thing to occupy his place. Sacraments, ordinances, churches, are only good inasmuch as they lead us to Christ, and not only use

[ocr errors]

less, but infinitely worse than useless, when they incline us to rest satisfied in themselves, or to substitute any thing for union with him our living head. May God, of his infinite mercy, grant that neither learning nor authority, a desire for fanciful and unattainable unity, nor a respect for some who ought not so to have learned Christ, may be permitted to turn us back to those weak and beggarly elements which for centuries misled and enslaved the world.'

"The speech of the man of God is ended. The remembrance of his preaching, his walk, and of his sickness and death, is left for us; his valuable expositions of divine truth are the legacy he leaves to the Church. But as for himself, who can doubt but that he lives in the glorious presence of the God of Jacob, and that his soul has been carried into Abraham's bosom, which, as he once said, 'is only another term for heavenly happiness and eternal bliss.""

We feel much indebted to Mr. Burgess and Mr. Close for these hallowed memorials. The passage cited by Mr. Burgess from Mr. Blunt, in which he alludes to errors now rife, and affirms that "sacraments, ordinances, and churches are good only as they lead to Christ," reminds us to mention how early he discerned the delusions of the Tractarian system, and how energetically he opposed them, so long and so far as he could labour either with his voice or pen. Some nine years since, a company of his reverend brethren met at his house, at Chelsea, to consider what measures ought to be taken to meet the evil, whether by sermons, or a series of counter tracts, or in whatever other manner; but objections were made elsewhere to the proceeding. He also, at a more recent period, wrote to us to request the republication of our controversy with Mr. Newman, and other antiTractarian papers in our Volumes; and proposed undertaking a subscription, that it might be done efficiently, and without our incurring any expense. He had, with similar zeal and faithfulness, opposed the delusions of Irvingism, by which some dear to him were in

danger of making shipwreck of their faith; and we received some valuable communications from him on the subject.

Mr. Blunt's short, but pre-eminently useful and honoured, career at Chelsea, was most remarkable. We have often heard it asked, "What is it in Mr. Blunt's preaching or writings which has produced such extraordinary effects?" His publications passed, in the aggregate, in a short term of years, through nearly a hundred editions and yet they were chiefly sermons, which are not the most popular species of writing; nor were they marked by stirring novelties, flights of fancy, or overwhelming bursts of eloquence. They were earnest, scriptural, practical, solidly useful, and frequently striking; but they were simple and unpretending. And what we say of the written discourses we may say of the preacher. No person ever surmised that he was affecting the orator;-he affected nothing; but he was deeply impressed with the responsibility of his office, and anxious for the salvation of his hearers; and all who saw and

beheld him witnessed that he was preaching not himself, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and himself their servant for Jesus' sake. Among the more fastidious classes of society, his addresses, though unshrinkingly faithful, were listened to with favourable prepossessions, on account of his calm, yet impressive, speech and action; his respect for his audience; and the absence of display and self-seeking. No one could doubt that he was intent upon ; the which he had to message deliver; that he felt its unspeakable importance; and that he wished, by God's help, to enforce that conviction upon others. His life also was known to be a daily sermon. He was a zealous, affectionate, and laborious pastor; and those who least loved his religion

could not but admire his conduct and respect his motives. The results of his ministry, brief though it was, were very remarkable; he seemed as though a special trust had been committed to his keeping, and having early discharged it, he has rested from his labours, and his works do follow him.

ISENBERG AND KRAPF'S TRAVELS IN ABYSSINIA. Journals of the Rev. Messrs. Isenberg and Krapf, Missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, detailing their proceedings in Shoa, and other parts of Abyssinia, in 1839 to 1842 to which is prefixed a Geographical Memoir of Abyssinia and South Eastern Africa, by James M'Queen, Esq., grounded on the Missionaries' Journals, and the Expedition of the Pacha of Egypt up the Nile. London, 1843. WE doubt whether merchants or statesmen, philanthropists or Christians, have sufficiently considered the vast prospects which seem opening to British enterprise (secular and religious) on the Eastern side of Africa. Steam navigation has brought England within a few weeks' sail of India; and the route being by way of Egypt and the Red Sea, we have been introduced to important relations with the NorthEastern and Eastern, as we had

long been with the Southern and Western, coasts of Africa. If we waft ourselves to the Straits of Babelmandeb, and take our station at Aden, which Great Britain holds as a citadel, and a depôt for coals and other stores, we see, Northward, the vast tracts of Arabia, with the Red Sea leading us to Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the countries bordering on the Levant; Southward, the coast of Africa, and our own Mauritius, with Madagascar ;

Eastward, across an open sea, India, and the tract to China; and Westward, Abyssinia, and the whole interior of Africa, now presented to us from a point which offers new and enlarged facilities for its exploration, and in connexion with geographical discoveries which connect its hitherto inaccessible recesses, Eastward with the Indian Ocean, Westward with the Atlantic, and Northward with the Mediterranean Sea and Europe and Asia.

Of these geographical discoveries a very interesting memoir is prefixed to the volume in our hands, so far as respects the researches of the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in Abyssinia, and the expedition of the Pacha of Egypt up the Nile; but to see their full extent and importance, the explorations in Abyssinia should be connected with those in the South and West of the vast continent of Africa; by means of which the whole of the interior is brought within the probable range of rapid discovery. The Pacha of Egypt's steam vessels have ascended the White Nile, penetrating far to the South of Nubia, almost to the Equator; and not far to the Westward of the tract of country where this expedition terminated are the fountains of those mighty rivers which flow into the Atlantic; so that the Nile, the Zaire, the Congo, the Chadda, the Niger, are conspiring to unlock the interior of this mighty continent to Christian, and probably to mercantile, enterprise. The

Missionaries Isenberg and Krapf have furnished some important and necessary links in this chain of African exploration. They have been the first to acquire and communicate correct information respecting that once celebrated portion of Africa which lies South of the Straits of Babelmandeb, and South and South-East of Abyssinia, and the early course of the Blue Nile. They have laid open the highlands which give birth to and

separate some of the largest and most important rivers of Africa; and they have made known to the world regions in the interior of this sultry continent, which from their elevation and irrigation are rather European than tropical in their climate and productions.

It would be impracticable for us to follow the travellers through five hundred pages of narrative, so as to present an outline of their journies and discoveries. The book, perused with its accompanying maps, is very interesting and entertaining; but a string of dates, and names of towns, villages, and rivers, would bhe neither. We must, therefore, detach a few particulars; hoping that, as the work issues from the Church Missionary Society, it will obtain so large a circulation as to render even that superfluous.

The history of the rise, progress, and suspension of the Society's labours in Abyssinia, is succinctly given in a Preface, the substance of which we will extract.

"The operations of the Church Missionary Society in Abyssinia commenced in the year 1829. The Rev. Samuel Gobat, and the Rev. Christian Kugler, the first Protestant Missionaries who entered that country, landed at Massowah in Dec. 1829. They were favourably received by Sebagadis, the then Ras of Tigre. Mr. Kugler was removed by death just one year after his landing at Massowah: he died in the expression of lively faith in the Redeemer, and of a good hope through grace, on Dec. 29, 1830. Mr. Kugler's place in the Mission was supplied by the Rev. Charles William Isenberg, who reached Adowah, in Tigre, in April, 1835. He was followed

by the Rev. Charles Henry Blumhardt in the beginning of 1837, and by the Rev. John Ludwig Krapf at the close of that year.

"In the beginning of 1830 Mr. Gobat proceeded to Gondar, the capital of Amhara, where he was kindly received, and protected by Oubea, then exercising chief authority in that part of Abyssinia. In 1836 Mr. Gobat was compelled by ill health to quit the Mission.

"Early in 1838 opposition to the Misthe Abyssinian Church, fomented by sion was excited by the priesthood of

certain members of the Church of Rome

who had entered the country. The result was, that the Missionaries were obliged to quit Abyssinia, Oubea declaring that he was not able to resist their enemies any longer.

"On quitting Abyssinia, Messrs. Isenberg and Blumhardt proceeded to Cairo. Mr. Krapf being unwilling to relinquish the hope of re-entering Abyssinia from another quarter, determined to make the attempt to do so by Zeila, which lies without the Straits of Babelmandeb, in lat. 11° 20′ north, long, 43° 50' east. He was led to contemplate this attempt in consequence of the Missionaries, while at Adowah, having been invited by the king of Shoa to visit his country. Mr. Krapf accordingly proceeded to Mocha, where he arrived on the 28th of May, 1838. Here he met with a servant of the King of Shoa, who encouraged him to prosecute the design which he had formed, and gave him much information as to the best method of proceeding from Zeila to the capital of the King of Shoa. From Mr. Naylor, the British Consul at Mocha, Mr. Krapf met with a friendly reception, and the promise of every assistance in his power. While he was employed in collecting information at Mocha, he was attacked by dysentery; which reduced him so low, that he was compelled to return to Cairo, where he arrived on the 27th of September, 1838.

"Mr. Isenberg and Mr. Krapf now seriously deliberated on their future course; and came to the conclusion jointly to engage in an attempt to reach Shoa by way of Zeila and Hurrur. Should they fail in their object with regard to Shoa, it was their purpose to make their way, if possible, to the tribes of Heathen Gallas, which are spread over the country to the southward and eastward of Shoa.

"Colonel Campbell, then British Consul-General at Cairo, procured for the Missionaries a firman from the Pacha of Egypt. He also gave them letters to the Consul at Mocha, and to the King of Shoa, strongly recommending the Missionaries to their protection and favour. Mr. Gliddon, the United States' ConsulGeneral at Cairo, gave them a letter, recommending them to the friendly offices of all captains of United States' vessels with whom they might meet.

"Thus aided and encouraged, they started on their arduous undertaking. Mr. Krapf thus concluded a letter from Cairo to the Secretaries of the Church Missionary Society, Jan. 20, 1839: May the Lord of Sabaoth be our guide, our preserver, our strength, our light, and our life!'

"From Mocha they crossed to the opposite coast, passed the straits of


Babelmandeb, and on the 4th of April arrived at Tadjurra, which they found preferable to Zeila as a point of departure to the interior. After encountering the many difficulties which embarrass travellers in these unfrequented regions, they reached the frontier of the kingdom of Shoa on the 31st of May, the journey having occupied thirty-five days. They had an interview with the King on the 7th of June, who gave them a favourable reception.

"The Missionaries remained together in the kingdom of Shoa until November 6, 1839; when Mr. Isenberg departed, to return for a season to this country. During these five months they were diligently occupied in conversational preaching and discussion, and in obtaining a great variety of information. Mr. Isenberg had made considerable progress in translations into the Amharic Language, both while in Tigre, and after his arrival in Shoa. A leading object of his visit to England was to print the works which he had prepared, for the future use of the Mission wherever the Amharic Language is vernacular. He arrived in London on the 30th of April, 1840. Here he completed works already commenced, and prepared several others. He eventually carried through the Press:-An Amharic Spelling Book, 8vo.; Grammar, royal 8vo.; Dictionary, 4to.; Catechism, 8vo.; Church History, 8vo.; Amharic General History, 8vo. Mr. Isenberg had prepared a Vocabulary of the Dankali Language, which was likewise printed.

The object of the Mission was not only the Christian population of Shoa, but the Galla Tribes extensively spread over the south-eastern parts of Africa. To the Galla language therefore, hitherto unwritten, Mr. Krapf's attention was much given. During Mr. Isenberg's stay in London the following Galla works, prepared by Mr. Krapf, printed:-Vocabulary, 12mo.; Elements of the Galla Language, 12mo.; St. Matthew's Gospel, 12mo.; St. John's Gospel, 12mo. The Committee have since received from Mr. Krapf a translation into Galla of the Book of Genesis, and the Epistle to the Romans.


While Mr. Isenberg was absent in England, Mr. Krapf, though alone, and painfully feeling the difficulties and disadvantages of his solitariness, occupied himself diligently and zealously in his arduous duties. Amidst much to try and discourage him, he was graciously sustained in his work, and not left without tokens of the Divine blessing upon it. The nature of that work, and the difficulties and trials incident to the pro

5 D

secution of it, are fully detailed in the Journals of the Missionaries contained in this volume.


"Mr. Krapf's private affairs having called him to Egypt, he left Ankobar on the 10th of March, 1842. He determined to go by Gondar and Massowah. One object was personal communication with the new Abuna, the ecclesiastical head of the Abyssinian Church. this object he was disappointed. Just before he reached Daunt, in the province of Belissen, his progress was stopped in consequence of the country having been thrown into a state of confusion by hostilities between two of the chiefs of that part of Abyssinia. Hence he was obliged to retrace his steps to Gatira, the capital of a chief named Adara Bille. This man on Mr. Krapf's advance had treated him with kindness, and gained his confidence. He now, however, determined to plunder him. By a series of artful proceedings he effected his purpose, and stripped Mr. Krapf of the whole of his property. His life itself was seriously endangered. A gracious Providence rescued him from the perils of his situation. Having obtained leave to depart from Gatira, he determined to attempt reaching Massowah by a route directed to the northeast. Throughout this journey he encountered great hardships, privations, and dangers; but under the defence of the Most High, in whom he trusted, he was brought to Massowah in safety, on the 1st of May, 1842. This journey led Mr. Krapf through parts of Abyssinia not previously traversed by Europeans. This portion of his Journal is therefore of much interest for the geographical information which it contains, as well as for the insight which it gives into the state of the people.

"In Egypt Mr. Krapf met his fellow labourer Mr. Isenberg returning to Abyssinia. Mr. Blumhardt, their former associate in Tigre, had been transferred by the Committee to the North Indian Mission. He had been replaced in the Abyssinian Mission by the Rev. John Mühleisen, who reached Cairo in company with Mr. Isenberg. The three Missionaries and Mrs. Krapf, to whom Mr. Krapf had been united in Egypt, left Cairo on the 17th Oct. They reached Aden on the 2nd of Nov. On the 18th of Dec. they sailed for Tadjurra, and reached that place on the 20th. Here they found a series of obstacles opposed to their re-entrance into Abyssinia. Having in vain employed every means in their power to surmount those obstacles, they were compelled to relinquish the attempt and return to Aden. Of the precise nature of the causes which operated to close the door against the return of the Missionaries to Shoa we are not

has transpired, however, it is probable at present fully informed. From what that they are of the same description as those which led to the expulsion of the Missionaries from Tigre-the jealousy of the Priesthood and politico-popish intrigue.”

"Whether a re-entrance into Abyssinia may be practicable to the Missionaries at a future period, it would be vain to speculate. That a measure of scriptural light has been diffused by their instrumentality cannot be doubted. Many copies of the New Testament in Amharic, supplied by the liberality of the British and Foreign Bible Society, have been widely dispersed. They were received with avidity wherever the Missionaries had an opportunity of circulating them, and in Mr. Krapf's journeyings copies were found in remote places, far distant from any spot previously visited by a Missionary. We may therefore warrantably hope that a portion at least of the good seed will take root, and bring forth fruit to perfection."

able magnitude fall into the Indian "As it appears that rivers of considerOcean from those parts of Eastern Africa inhabited by the Heathen Galla Tribes, Mr. Krapf had it in contemplation to make an attempt to re-establish the Mission in that direction, so soon as circumstances would permit."

[ocr errors]

sidence at Ankobar, a communication During the period of Mr. Krapf's rewas opened between the King of Shoa and the British Authorities in India. An Embassy, under the direction of Captain Harris, was sent to Shoa by the ris reached his destination in July 1841. Governor General'of India. Captain HarHarris and the King of Shoa on Nov. A Treaty was concluded between Capt. 12, 1841, establishing a commercial intercourse between the two countries, and

guaranteeing the safety of British subjects in Shoa, and the security of their Harris, Mr. Krapf acted as his Interpreproperty. At the solicitation of Captain ter in negociating the Treaty; and in a despatch to the Bombay Government, Captain Harris recorded his sense of the value of Mr. Krapf's services."

The above outline furnishes a guide to the volume; and will enable the reader to connect together the following passages from Mr. M'Queen's Geographical Memoir; which we quote from as giving the results of Isenberg and Krapf's travels more succinctly than their own Journals, and combining with them valuable intelligence from other quarters.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »