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evident from its having occupied only one single night. At the spot where it is supposed to have taken place, the gulf of Suez is about 12 miles

across.

In the evening of the day before we passed the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, the hills of Arabia were visible on one bow of our vessel, and the hills of Abyssinia on the other. The principal port is Massowah, and is supported by a trade in slaves, cattle, and ivory. It was offered to the British government some years ago, on certain conditions, with an expressed desire that the slave trade should cease, but the offer was declined, probably from the known unsettled state of the people. The civil wars, which have been waged for so great a number of years, still continue, and there is at present no acknowledged ras. The coasts of Arabia are supplied with cattle from this country. The sheep are small, with large tails, but the mutton is extremely delicious.

We found at Kossier, the Palinurus, Capt. Moresby. She has been employed some years by the Bombay government in surveying the northern coasts of the Red Sea. The officers are attentive and intelligent, and have made some interesting discoveries upon the shores. They were kind enough to show us several of their drawings. They have visited Sinai, and reject the opinion of Burckhardt, who would place the sacred mount in another direction. The Benares has been employed upon a similar survey towards the south, and it was expected that the whole would be finished in a few months. The wind most frequently blows When we approached the port of Djuddah, from the north-west, and at times with great vio- there came from the shore in the same boat with lence. The waves are short and troubled, and the pilot, a tall man, with a flowing beard, in the the vessel that has to brave them seems to trem- costume of the country, and of an appearance so ble like a frightened steed. The great number interesting, that we all crowded to the gangway of reefs adds to the danger of the navigation, and of the ship to gaze upon the stranger. He stepsome of them are almost in the centre of the sea; ped upon deck, and after making a salaam, we but many of these difficulties will now be removed were surprised to hear him address us in English, by the great care and accuracy with which it is though with a foreign accent. He informed us intended that the new charts shall be completed. that he had come from Abyssinia, and as I soon The steamer was much longer than usual in discovered that he was a missionary, our mutual de performing the voyage, the stipulated period being light in meeting a Christian brother at such a time, 22 days, including the necessary stoppages. From and in such a place, may be more easily conceiv Bombay we steamed 2,727 miles, and were 22 ed than described. I gained from this excellent days, 7 hours, in actual progress, being an average inan, the Rev. J. Gobat, some information conof little more than five miles per hour. The tim-cerning the present state of religion in Abyssinia. bers of the Hugh Lindsay are of teak, which has He is a native of Switzerland, and was sent out become heavy from constant saturation. This by the Church Missionary society about five years prevents her from making much way; nor are ago. He speaks Arabic like a native, as well as her build or engines at all adapted to the purpose Tigre and Amharic, and several European lanfor which she is used. It seems desirable that guages. He visited the country at first to see the Red Sea should again become the usual route what prospects there might be for the establishto India, the saving of distance being so great; ment of a permanent mission, and not having and though I fear that the schemes at present on heard from his committee for two years, in consefoot will prove abortive, I look foward with confi-quence of the difficulty of communication, he dence to the period when British skill and capital shall be allowed to exercise themselves in a free trade with the eastern portions of our empire.

ABYSSINIA.

THIS Country is in the Scriptures denominated Cush and Ethiopia, though the same names appear to be used with great latitude of meaning and refer sometimes to places far distant from each other. It was from hence that the eunuch baptized by Philip, treasurer of Candace, queen of Ethiopia, went up to Jerusalem. There is a strange mixture of Jewish rites observed among the customs of this people, and some of them pretend to derive their origin from Solomon and the queen of Sheba. The church of Abyssinia is of high antiquity. In the 15th century attempts were made by the Jesuits to establish themselves in the country, but after various successes and reverses, and after the sword of persecution had been reddened with blood, they were finally banished by command of the king. The Scriptures have been published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in the vernacular languages of the country.

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ceeded by the steamer to Suez, from thence intending to make the best of his way to England. Mr. Kugler, his only fellow laborer, died from a mortification in the arm, produced by the bursting of a gun, and departed happy in Christ. Mr. Gobat reported favorably of the people, and lived among them in perfect security, though Gondar, the place at which he principally resided, was the seat of war. There are some in whose hearts he trusts a work of grace is begun. The principal access to the people is by means of familiar conversation, as they know nothing of regular preach ing. The priests administer the sacrament daily, and in this consists nearly the whole of their religion. They refuse it to the people for the most frivolous reasons, and as the poor creatures imagine themselves to be under excommunication when this rite is refused, they suppose it is little matter what additional sin they commit, and thus give themselves up to the commission of many crimes they might otherwise avoid. It is not given to soldiers when they have killed an enemy. The Abyssinian church has hitherto acknowledged the supremacy of the patriarch of Egypt, from whom they have always received their abuna, or head, and it is an established law that he shall be a foreigner. It is a natural consequence, that as he has to govern a people whose language and cus

toms he does not understand, he is little more than major, a doctor, and myself. The town of Kosseir 2 mere cypher, and can exercise no proper author-is destitute of good water, and would soon be ity. Since the death of the last abuna they have abandoned were it not for its advantages as a seanot applied to Egypt for a successor, and it is not port. The pilgrims for Mecca embark from hence, improbable that they will choose one from among and it is from this place the grain is shipped, by themselves. Bruce is correct in his general state- which the coast of Arabia is principally supplied. ments, but not even the oldest inhabitant can be It is said that the summit of Mount Sinai may brought to say, that he ever heard of the cruel sometimes be distinguished from the shore: it is practice of cutting steaks from the living animal. often covered with snow. The English agent, a They eat raw flesh at their brind feasts, and in stout Arab, is an excellent representative of his the way they prepare it, with a large quantity of nation. To every thing he replied, "It is good;" pepper and spices, it is said not to be very unpa- but threw constant obstacles in our way, that he lateable even to an European. might extort from us more money. I was obliged to apply to the governor to procure a servant, though hundreds were ready at call, who would have been glad of the situation. We saw a prince from near Bornou, in the interior of Africa, who had come on a pilgrimage, and was attended by a great number of slaves. He was an old man, and was approached by his people on their knees, though his personal appearance was mean.

EGYPT.

THE first mention of Egypt in the Old Testament, except as a comparison, occurs Gen. xv. 18, where it is referred to as being one boundary of the land promised unto Abraham; and it is more or less intimately connected with Scripture history from that passage to the book of Revelation. Its name in Hebrew is Mizraim, supposed to have been received from Mizraim, the son of Ham, by whom it was originally peopled. It is still called Masr by the Arabs. It is in vain to seek for the origin of the word Egypt among the conflicting opinions of the learned, nor will those at all wonder at the circumstance who have had an opportunity of marking the modern perversions of native names. It contains at present less than 3,000,000 inhabitants. Its extent, from Assouan to the Mediterranean sea, is about 500 miles. The whole of the land now under cultivation is said to be less than half of the whole area of Ireland.

THE DESERT.

Feb. 12. The camels were brought, and we prepared to cross the desert, but the tumult that ensued was such as to lead us to expect that the consequences would be serious. The camels and men were all screaming at the full pitch of their voices, the narrow street was crowded with animals and Arabs, and cries and blows were resounding in every direction: it seemed like "confusion worse confounded." The Arabs can do nothing without noise, and it is the wisest method to leave them to their own way, as in a little time they work themselves into quietness, and have all things ready for departure. I had heard so much of the difficulty of first mounting a camel, that I almost dreaded to make the attempt, and tried to procure a donkey in its place, but was not able to succeed. To increase the excitement, I was told that all the saddles in the place were in use, and that only a common pack-saddle could be given me. On looking at it, it appeared almost impossible to ride upon it, as there were two pieces of WE entered upon the desert immediately after wood, placed as if on purpose to goad me; but leaving Kosseir, the port at which we landed. there being no remedy, I threw my boat-cloak In Hebrew, the word desert, or wilderness, does over the saddle, mustered all my courage, and not always mean a waste of sand, but is equiva- placed myself in my seat: the camel gradually lent to our moor or common. The Psalmist rose, and I found myself actually mounted, withspeaks of "the pastures of the wilderness:" and out the slightest difficulty. The animal kneels it was in a desert that Moses fed the flocks of down to receive its burden, and the knee is tied, Jethro. In other places the same word means that it may not rise before the proper time: it first literally a sandy plain, dry and barren. The de- half raises its fore legs, then its hinder ones, then sert to which we now addressed ourselves is situat- the fore legs again, and it is necessary to know ed between the Red Sea and the Nile, and is the this that the rider may not be precipitated to a same as that which the Israelites entered upon distance. My companions had by this time startimmediately after their dismissal by Pharaoh; ed, and as I knew nothing of the language of the and though the track to be described is upwards country, I made the people understand by signs of 200 miles from the one taken by Moses and his that I wanted some rope of which to make stirpeople, as the general character of one route may rups, as my legs were hanging down in a position be considered as equally applicable to the other, that I knew would soon be painful. Without my the reason will soon be discovered why the child-perceiving it, they took for this purpose the rope ren of Israel murmured against their leader, when that fastened the saddle to the animal, and I had he had brought them far away from the rich products of the cultivated valley, and there appeared to be no other prospect before them, but "to die in the wilderness."

The steamer proceeded forward to Suez, leaving eight of her passengers at Kosseir, who divided themselves into two parties. The party to which I was attached consisted of a colonel, a

not gone far before some Arabs in the street called out to me, but as I did not understand them, I went on. I soon found out what they intended, as I slipped from the camel behind, and came to the ground, but without sustaining any injury.— My stirrups were returned to their original occupation, and I again mounted. When I had got well into the desert my camel stopped, and would

not move a step further. The rest of the party were by this time nearly out of sight, and as I was afraid lest I should lose the road, I dismounted and ran towards them, half determined rather to walk the whole way than to have any more annoyance from camels.

we arrived at Hammanat. Our guide had remained behind, and we could only see a woman tending a few sheep, though what they could get to eat we were unable to discover. We made several ineffectual attempts to cause our animals My animal was how-to kneel down, that we might alight, but at last succeeded. We sheltered ourselves under the shade of a rock. When the other camels came up, we were told that we must proceed two hours further, to Jeyf-al-Ujul, and were by no means pleased with the intelligence, as we were already much fatigued. We passed, during the day, several caravans on their way to Kosseir with provisions. Near the rock, where we encamped, there were numerous hieroglyphics, but rude both in design and execution.

ever soon caught, and brought up, proper rope was procured, I ventured once more upon its back, and in a few minutes found myself as comfortable as I could wish. We had in all 20 camels, and gave about three shillings each as the hire from Kosseir to the Nile. We pitched our tents for the night near Bier Inglis, or the English Well.

15. We set off a little earlier than usual, and passed through a plain several miles in length. We had a fine specimen of the mirage, and could scarcely persuade ourselves that there were not before us streams of water, and islands and trees. In five hours we arrived at Legatta. In the evening we walked over to an Ababdie village. The dwellings of this wretched people were made of a few mats, and were quite open on one side, but they said this was their only home.

16. In three hours from Legatta we had the grateful sight of verdure in the distance. The camels walked well, as our guide said they scented the waters of the river, and a cool breeze had sprung up, which added to the delight. It was near noon when we arrived at Bier Amber. The women brought milk, bread, and fowls for sale, and were very importunate that we should purchase. Their manners form a striking contrast to those of the females in Arabia. They have no covering for the face, but their features are coarse. We saw the Nile from the summit of a low hill that we ascended. There could not be a greater contrast than was formed by the luxuriance before us, and, the sterility we had left.

13. We set off at sunrise, and after four hours arrived at Seid Suleyman, where we halted for a little time. The well is deep, and has been recently dug, apparently at the expense of three English gentlemen, as their names are cut upon a stone at the entrance, but the water is not good. After four hours more we arrived about sunset at Abul Zeeran. We rode at a quicker pace than the camels with the tents and provisions, and usually arrived at our station about an hour before them. The camel drivers collected the dung of their animals for fuel, which may explain a passage in Ezekiel, and take away from the seeming harshness of the command given to the | prophe. The country through which we passed consisted of plains varying in extent from a hundred yards to two or three miles, bounded by ranges of hills, of different forms and elevation, but composed principally of sandstone. In whatever direction the eye wandered, it was met by a picture of complete desolation, unrelieved by a single blade of grass. In some of these plains there are perhaps as many as four little stunted trees, half covered with sand, and in perfect keeping as trees of the desert. There are marks of torrents, though rain falls only after intervals of years. The ground is hard, with stony places here and there, and as the camels are tied to each other, and follow their leader in the same path, | 17. We rode along the skirt of the valley, and there are from ten to twenty narrow tracks pa- all nature seemed to be keeping one glad holirallel to each other, worn smooth by their feet. day. There were camels, horses, buffaloes, catThe bones of dead camels that have perished in tle, sheep, and goats, all feeding in the richest the road, are very frequent. Near all the passes, pasturage, and the air was almost alive with the on the summit of the rocks, are little watch-towers, many flights of birds that were darting through it nearly all of them in ruins. We passed several in the full enjoyment of existence. We passed large heaps of stones, that have formerly been several villages, and in five hours arrived at Kencaravanseras, but we could not learn by whom nah, on the banks of the Nile. We did not meet they were built. There was one at the place with the least difficulty during the whole of our where we halted for the night, with many ruined journey across the desert, and my old pack-saddle apartments, and a well in the centre, now filled up. proved at last to be so comfortable, that my comTherm. at noon 76°. panions adopted it in preference to their own more elegant furniture. I shall not soon forget the nearness of access to the throne of grace I was permitted to enjoy, in passing through some of these mighty solitudes. The passage of the desert might easily be accomplished in a little more than three days, and as the camels travel at the rate of three miles and three quarters an hour, the whole distance may be stated at 106 miles.

14. The thermometer was as low as 35° a little before sunrise, and we felt the cold to be extreme, as I never saw it in Ceylon at a lower range than 69°, except upon the mountains.After a hasty breakfast of biscuit and eggs we mounted our camels, and in three hours passed the well Seid, in a rocky defile. Soon afterwards we observed for the first time hieroglyphics cut in the rock, and they had so fresh an appearance that one of our party supposed they were the work of some passing traveller, who had wished to puzzle the learned; but in a little time they became too numerous for this position to be tenable. They appeared as if eaten into the rock by some chemical preparation. In three hours more

THE NILE.

THE Nile is called "the river," and sometimes "the sea," by the inspired penmen. In some of

the most ancient languages the word nil, signifies blue, and it may thus have been denominated the Blue River. It rises in the mountains near Abyssinia, but it is thought that the place about which Bruce writes with so much eloquence, is not the source of its principal branch. It was the largest river known to the ancients, and flows upwards of 1200 miles without receiving a tributary stream. The rise of the Nile is occasioned by the heavy rains that fall in Abyssinia, and commence in June: it reaches the maximum about the time of the autumnal equinox, and then gradually decreases until April, from which time it remains at nearly the same level until again renovated by the Ethiopic floods. The color of the waters varies at different seasons of the year. In Upper Egypt the average rise is about 35 feet, but at Cairo not more than 24 feet, and near the sea still less. In those years in which the waters do not rise to a certain elevation, a famine is the necessary consequence. It is difficult to make a comparison of the present rise with the ancient, from the difference of the standard measures in the two periods, and it has always been the policy of the government to deceive the people in the accounts that have been officially published. The bed of the river has risen considerably, from the deposit it is constantly receiving, or the old monuments and temples would be admirable criterions by which to decide the matter: we can tell how much higher the water rises than it did in the ancient times, but what part of the rise is formed by deposit, and what by water, we are unable to ascertain. The water is clear, and its taste excellent, after it has been allowed to settle, and it is compared by the Mussulmans to the well of Paradise. The stream is not rapid, even when the water is at the greatest elevation, compared with the rivers of India. The ancients speak of seven principal mouths, but there are now only two, and these are constantly changing their position. The division of the waters takes place a little below Cairo, and the expanse of land between the streams was compared by the ancients to the figure of the Greek delta ▲, but by the moderns, more properly, to that of a pear. The mud brought down by the stream is continually adding to the extent of the Delta, and is found as far as 24 leagues out at

Bea.

the silence was the cry of a distant hyæna. On passing a boat deeply laden with slaves, one of the men, who appeared to have been ill-used, appealed to us most vehemently, but we could not understand what he said. Near Siout the wind and stream were both in our favor, and as we flitted along at a delightful rate, the objects upon shore, as they receded from us, appeared like the moving scenes of an endless panorama. Soon afterwards the wind changed, increasing in violence, the air became darkened by the clouds of sand, and long before the sun had sunk below the horizon, the atmosphere assumed an appearance like that which the imagination forms over the dark waters of the Dead Sea. It was no small punishment threatened against the Israelites that the rain of the land should be powder and dust, and not many sorer trials can be conceived than that inflicted upon the Egyptians, when the dust became lice throughout all the land. Below Manfaloot the river passes under a range of hills, elevated and precipitous, and as we sailed slowly by them, the different birds by which they are inhabited came forth and flew at a little distance from their clefts, round and round, as if on sentry, until they deemed that we intruders were too far distant to injure them. Those more bold than the rest dashed down to the water, almost close to the oars, to pick up little substances floating down the stream. Upon a bank formed by the falling of the earth from above, we found several crocodiles basking in the sun, though it is said they are never seen below Girge. They differ from the Indian alliga tors, which I was accustomed to see almost daily, the tail being more stunted, and not so round. We saw two eagles upon a shoal near the same place, perhaps male and female, as one of them was much larger than the other, with its legs feathered. They were magnificent creatures. Several birds of a small size were near them, probably waiting to partake of the remains when their majesties had finished their repast. A party of Algerines at a village where we purchased some bread asked us to give them a passage to Cairo in our boat, and when we refused they threatened to shoot us, but we knew they would not dare to put their threats into execution. Our canja frequently struck upon sand-banks; sometimes they were above water, and when so, were in general covered with birds, some kinds of which I often saw stand in rows, and in one particular position, perhaps upon one leg, or with the head under the wing, with as much formality as the hieroglyphics upon the walls of the temples.

We embarked for Thebes at Kennah in a canja, with two immense lateen sails, striped blue. It had two apartments and a bath, and was rowed by six men, but rather required twelve men from its size. It had been sunk some time under water before we entered it, to free it from vermin. From The valley of the Nile, which includes nearly Thebes we proceeded to Grand Cairo, visiting all the whole of cultivated Egypt, is in few instances the principal antiquities by the way, and our voy-more than 20 miles broad, will in general average age occupied nine days. Near Denderah the less than one-half of that extent, and in many wind blew against us with such strength, that the places the sands or mountains approach close to boatmen were unable to keep the prow of the the banks. The produce is entirely from irrigacanja to windward, so they put down their oars, tion, and where this ends verdure ends, and the and allowed her to float with the stream. desert in all its sterility commences. The vilThe mountains in some places run parallel with lages are numerous, and by continued waste are a the river, at a few miles distance, but near Girge little more elevated than the surrounding plain. they come close to the water, and seem as if reel- They are usually surrounded by a mud wall. The ing in drunkenness, from the singular confusion houses are built of mud bricks, and many of them manifested in the dip of their strata. The even-have small turrets, with sticks at the outside, in ing we were off Ekmim was one of the stillest I which pigeons are reared, principally to procure ever remember, and the only sound that disturbed their dung for manure. The whole of the valley

is never covered by the Nile, and to the higher grounds the water is raised by artificial means. The wheels for this purpose on the banks of the river are numberless, and are turned round by oxen. In some instances a lever, to one end of which a skin is attached, is used for the same purpose, worked by men; and in places where the banks are steep, I have seen four pairs of these instruments, one above the other. The water falls into a canal, and is from thence conveyed at will in all directions, at every division the stream becoming less, until the little rill can be guided to each separate plant, and the peasant, making a line with his foot, thus waters the garden of herbs.-Deut. xi. 10. The food of the people is still the same as that which was remembered with weeping by the children of Israel,-"the cucumbers, and the leeks, and the melons, and the onions, and the garlic.'

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surface. In places where a human being never yet breathed there may thus arise a countless population, and winds that have never yet been charged with any sound but the groan of the wanderer as he ventures to cross its parched wilds, may convey the praises of the Lord from the glad and grateful hearts of many worshippers. It was from the river Nile that "the seven wellfavored kine, and the seven other kine" came up, of which Pharaoh dreamed: in the flags of the river's brink, Moses was placed in an ark of bulrushes: and into this river the Israelites were commanded to cast their male children by the king "who knew not Joseph;" but the river thus polluted, though worshipped by the Egyptians as a god, manifested the anger of the Lord against the sins of the people, when its waters were turned into blood, its fish died, and it brought forth frogs It is wonderful that the Egyptians in ancient abundantly. The "seven streams are referred days did not make the Nile their sole deity, in to in the prophecy of Isaiah. In the same book, preference to the multitude of bulls, birds, beetles, chap. xix. 7, it is said; "the reeds and flags shall cats, crocodiles, and onions, that they adored. wither; the paper reeds by the brook, by the They had no blessing that did not come imme-mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by diately or otherwise from this beneficent source: the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be when its supplies were withheld the whole land no more.' There is at present a remarkable deswas a desert; when it poured forth its riches, the titution of reeds throughout Egypt, though we same land was the garden of the world. It must might suppose the country admirably adapted to have puzzled them sorely to know from whence it their production, and we know that they were originated, as, year by year, it came in kindness, once so plentiful as to supply the world with papyand irrigated their fields, and left upon them a rus, and so large as to supply materials for the rich deposit to receive the seeds of life and in due making of ships, naves. It was in one of these time smile with the ripened grain. It were hard"arks of bulrushes" that the mother of Moses to attribute to mere chance this admirable adap- placed the goodly child. It is said again in the tation of river to country, and country to river. following verses, "the fishers also shall mourn, The river overflows, and there is no rain, because and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall rain would be an injury: in other countries there lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters is rain, and the rivers overflow not like this river, shall languish: moreover they that work in fine because were they to do so it would be an equal flax, and they that weave networks, shall be coninjury. These events may be added to the other founded: and they shall be broken in the purposes instances of design, wisdom, and goodness, that are thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish." constantly manifested in the works of God. The There are now very few fish in the river, and rise of the waters is watched by the peasant with those of an inferior quality, which is another congreat impatience, and when the elevation is ac-trast to the abundance of ancient times; and that cording to his wishes, with his flocks safe folded and the former harvest secured, he looks around upon the extended sea, and rejoices in his confinement: then the palm that spreads its grateful shade over his dwelling-place exhibits its richest green, and the villages of the neighborhood are converted into islands that appear in the distance verdant and beautiful. The Nile may be designed to impart far greater blessings to the world than have yet been drawn from its beneficence. The desert that commences on its western bank extends nearly to the Atlantic ocean, a distance of more than 3000 miles. The waters of the Nile and of the Niger may in part be one day turned upon this desert; that which is now lost in the sea may supply nourishment to millions; and Egypt may still be "as the garden of the Lord," from the advantages that will be derived from new improvements in machinery and new discoveries in hydraulics. These two rivers, the sources of which have been an object of equal interest from time immemorial, and have alike eluded the search of every traveller, appear as if formed for the express purpose of bringing into cultivation the largest desert in the world, when the exigencies of mankind may require an extension of habitable

they were abundant we have evidence in the murmurings of the children of Israel, who remembered the fish as well as the vegetables, so that it must then have been the common food of slaves. In these lands, many passages of Scripture appear to be invested with a peculiar beauty, and none more so than those which compare the condition of the righteous to "a tree planted by the rivers of waters.' "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, whose hope the Lord is; for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."—Jer. xvii. 7.

NO, OR THEBES.

THE city which in our version is rendered No, is by the LXX. called Diospolis, or the city of Jupiter. It is called Amon No in the Hebrew, improperly translated "the multitude of No." It is supposed to be the same city as the Thebes of the ancients. Its description may not only be consi

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