« ZurückWeiter »
to allow that the very qualities for which Richard was so distinguished, incapacitated him from being a distinguished general, yet we cannot refrain from observing, that too little respect seems to have been paid by Dr. Wilken to the expressed opinion of his cotemporaries. That Richard, harsh and uncompromising as was his language, notwithstanding that he was the object of dislike and hatred to the weak, the proud, and the ambitious, should have obtained so noble a distinction, proves that he must have possessed some other quality than brute force. Common tradition (and we have no reason for suspecting its truth) asserts, that he was as courteous to the fair, that he was as enamoured of poetry, as he was brave and fearless in action; and if we follow him to the retirement of his tent, we should probably find that the Lionhearted King was not so destitute of virtues as stern criticism would pronounce him. With respect to the massacre of the Turks, we will never be the advocates of bloodshed, nor defend principles which led to actions now justly looked upon with horror, but we may point to the difference of opinions on this subject among his cotemporaries; and we may, perhaps, be allowed to ask whether it is quite fair to judge such an action by the enlightened views which we have acquired in six hundred years? We know that it is no excuse to say that Richard gave way to paroxysms of ungovernable rage, and committed actions that, in his cooler moments, he would have escaped ; that he inflicted, without regret, terrors which he himself endured without fear. Richard Ceur de Lion will ever remain a memorable example among those who might have earned a nobler name as a private individual than as a monarch. He was totally deficient in self-command; swayed by impulse, instead of being guided by principle, he remains a splendid warning to mankind, that great qualities, without a correcting hand to control them and give them proper direction, shine but to betray. Richard was more an object of terror to the Mussulmen, than of love to the Christians. If a horse shied, the Saracens, even in later times, used to say, “ Do you think that the King of England is coming ?" If a child cried, the mother stilled iť by the terrible threat that she would call King Richard.
To this description of Richard, we shall extract some passages from the thirteenth chapter, which contains the account of Saladin's death.
• Saladin, who after a thirty years' campaign first enjoyed the repose of peace, now devoted himself wholly to the internal administration of his kingdom, rewarded those who had distinguished themselves against the Christians, put a stop to the abuses that crept in, and arranged, in a manner suitable to his own dignity, his differences with the court of Bagdad. He principally directed his attention to Jerusalem, and not only continued to erect new fortifications, and by lengthening the walls, brought the chapel of Mount Zion within the town, but established a school avd hospital, both of which he endowed with considerable revenues. He fulfilled all his duties
strictly and conscientiously, and after the expiration of the holy war, he wished to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, but relinquished his design upon the representations of his Emirs, that the Christians in Syria were not to be trusted, and that this journey of the Sultan to Arabia might easily inspire them with the hopes of surprising Jerusalem. He, therefore contented himself with inspecting the towns on the Syrian coast. .... In February in the year 1193, the Cadi Bohaeddin, who had come from Jerusalem to Damascus by command of the Sultan, found him in a melancholy disposition; Saladin tenderly embraced him, and could not refrain from tears. The Cadi remarked with sorrow that the Sultan, formerly so active, showed a disinclination to business.
On Friday, February 19th, Saladin left his palace for the last time, for the purpose of meeting the pilgrims; on the next day he was attacked by a fever, and although he left his bed and conversed with his ministers for some time, yet at dinner all that were preseat were filled with mournful presentiments when Malek al Afdal, contrary to the usual custom, sat in the Sultan's seat. On the 3rd of March, soon after the hour of morning prayer, Saladin expired in the 57th year of his age, deeply lamented by his people, his ministers, and his family.'-pp. 584—589.
L'honnêteé exegeait que ce siege (qui était de forme carrée) fut vacant. Abu Schamah.'—p. 665.
The character of Saladin is familiar to our readers, but it cannot be too often contemplated. This celebrated sovereign, the ruler of so many wealthy countries, left, in bis treasury, only one Tyrian piece of gold and forty-seven silver coins; and the Cadi Al Fadel was obliged to borrow the money to pay for the expenses of his
• The Christians considered the death of this most terrible enemy of the Cross as a punishment of God, for the misfortunes which Saladin had brought upon the people of the Lord, and disfigured the accounts of his death with many fictions, but they could not refuse their acknowledgment of his great qualities. If the youth of this great man afforded room for many a severe remark, if the manner in which he obtained the government of Egypt, and withdrew his allegiance to Atabek Noureddin, cannot in any respect be praised; yet not even the most vịrulent of his enemies can deny that no one was more worthy to be the successor of the great Noureddin than Saladin, and that his power was only used in the defence of liis faith, the preservation of justice, and the promotion of the welfare of his subjects.'--p. 589.
Saladin was not a learned prince, but he was not without culture, and loved to converse with learned men, particularly such as could correct his opinion, on doubtful and dark doctrines of his belief, for in matters of orthodoxy he was as strict against himself as against others; heterodoxy found in him no indulgence, and the sages who applied their acuteness to Other
purposes than the establishment of Islam, were hated by him. He read no book so willingly as the Coran, and when the Scheik Abu Giafar, who had passed the night by the bed of the Sultan, read aloud the words of the Coran, “ There is no God but Alla, in whom I trust,” the face of the dying man brightened. But his piety was free from superstition, and he never placed any reliance on the dreams of astrology:'-p. 590.
Saladin's noble sentiments are well expressed in the counsels which he gave his son, when he took leave of him for the last time. “Adore God Almighty, the origin of all good, and follow his commands; for that will give you salvation. Beware of shedding blood, for blood that is shed does not sleep. Gain the hearts of thy people, and provide for their welfare, for it is entrusted to thee by God and me. Gain the hearts of the Emirs and nobles, for I have only, by mildness, attained the height on which I stand. Hate no one, for death looks upon all. Offend no one ; for men are reconciled only when they have executed vengeance; God alone, who is ever merciful, pardons on mere repentance."--Bohaeddin, ch. 174, page 266.
· His life was without blemish. As long as he swayed the sceptre, every dissipation was strange to him; he was master of all his passions, but particularly never yielded to anger. He ruled with gentleness, not with severity ; readily pardoned those who had offended him, and visited many a wilful crime with a slight punishment. Therefore his government was seldom disturbed by internal commotions in the provinces, and hardly any eastern sovereign had so few conspiracies to overcome as Saladin, although it cannot be denied that some severity against the Emirs, who, abusing his mildness and placability, by disobedience and unwillingness thwarted his plans, would have saved him many difficulties, particularly in his last campaign against the Christians.
Saladin never closed his ear against the complaints and difficulties of his subjects, nor did he deny foreigners their rights. When at Jerusalem, a merchant, from Chebat, in Armenia, had brought before the Cadi Bohaeddin a complaint against the Sultan, that he had confiscated the icheritance of a slave who had run away from him, and had entered the service of the Sultan. Saladin, after hearing the report of Bohaeddin, sent for the merchant to his court, descended from the throne to plead the cause before the Cadi, as the equal of his opponent. The merchant could not prove his right, but the Sultan presented him with a costly dress, and a considerable suin of money.'--pp. 592, 593.
We have presented the characters of the two heroes of the crusades by way of contrast, as exhibiting no unfavourable specimen of our author's manner. The character of Saladin shines, doubtless, in the purest light, and it is not a little singular that, when the Christians were making attempts for the extension of the Christian religion, Saladin intended to lead his armies across the sea, and plant his own doctrine to the extinction of the religion of the Cross. Yet his view of the holy warfare was unmixed with cruelty, and it is not the weakest proof of his goodness of heart, that thirty years of bloodshed and war had not changed the natural kindness of his disposition. The latter part of the volume contains an account of the imprisonment of Richard, and the negociations for his liberty. The whole is related with coolness and impartiality, and displays on all sides a duplicity which, in less elevated personages, would obtain a harsh name, but which, from consideration of the rank of the parties, we suppose we must include under the comprehensive name of policy.
In the Appendix, Dr. Wilken has given a collection of translations, from eastern writers; No. 11, is a curious account, in German rhyme, of the Crusade of the Landgrave, Louis the Pious, of Thuringin. The copious Index, and the short observations on the credibility of the authors cited, render the work very valuable as a book of reference. We should have extended our notice, had not the subject been already frequently discussed.
Art. VII.—The Correspondence and Diary of Philip Doddridge, D.D., illustrative of various particulars in his Life, hitherto unknown. With notices of many of his Contemporaries, and a Sketch of the Ecclesiastical History of the Times in which he lived. Edited from the Original MSS. by his Great Grandson, John Doddridge Humphreys,
Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London: Colburn and Bentley. 1829. The distinguished station which Doctor Doddridge held in a large and powerful division of the religious world, would alone render his memoirs fruitful in useful details. It is from the lives and characters of the great leaders of the different sects, whether theological or political, that we can most safely judge of the spirit and influence of their several doctrines. The biographies of the principal defenders of Christianity would be a good history of the Church at large, and every work which brings before us the private opinions, and relates the memoirs of men eminent in their religious profession, adds a new and valuable chapter to the Catholic annals of Christendom.
The great and amiable man whose correspondence is before us, exercised, both in bis life time and since his death, an extensive influence over the affairs of the English Dissenters. His talents and humane spirit, the power which he possessed in his learning and eloquence, and the suavity with which he employed this ability to the advancement of his work, made him equally popular as a preacher and as a writer. From his first entrance into the ministry, he was followed by crowds of affectionate hearers; different congregations struggled with each other to obtain him for their pastor, and it was difficult to decide whether he was most active and useful as the teacher of a congregation, or as the superintendant of an academy, to which he early devoted his attention.
As an author Doctor Doddridge deserves our respect, as one of the best of modern writers on divinity. His naturally good taste rendered the style of his works pure and elegant. He wrote after the best models of the period when he lived, and though he wanted, consequently, much of that richness and fulness of thought which belonged to a more ancient school, his compositions are as free from errors and affectations of manner, as they are impressive and devotional. But they are also conspicuous for a much greater excellency; their freedom, namely, from any sectarianism of spirit This is a rare quality in the writings of Dissenters, who, much as they profess tolerance of principle, too generally forget the meek ness and universal charity which ought to follow their profession. Bui the writings of Doctor Doddridge breathe the mildest benevolence of feeling, and manifest the sincerity with which he adopted the line of conduct which he followed from the beginning to the end of his life. We speak not here of a coldness in his manner of expressing what he believed to be right and true, nor do we believe that he was any moment of his life otherwise than deeply anxious for the establishment of his views, but he never forgot that "the body is more than the raiment," and he would not sacrifice Christianity to sectarianism, though he was an erudite and a conscientious sectarian.
The works of Doctor Doddridge, therefore, have been admired and studied by every class of Christians, and it is well worthy of observation that the names of Doddridge and Watts have a claim to the respect of a large number of the younger clergy of the establishment. At Cainbridge, the sermons of the former on the Evidences of Christianity, serve as a text book in the lecture room of St. John's, and the Scripture history of the former is used by hundreds to supply the place of the original works which they are either too idle or too ignorant to study. The practical writings of our author, though occasionally impressed with particular views of religious truth which all Christians do not assent to, are fraught with sentiments of the purest piety, and appeal powerfully to the breasts of every description of readers. The Family Expositor, the Rise and Progress, and some others of his works have passed through innumerable editions, and are to be found on the shelf of the humble cottage kitchen, and in the libraries of the wealthiest and the most learned.
The popularity and general esteem of this excellent man, might serve as a useful lesson to the divines of all parties.
Controversy is better than negligent agreement at any time, but it can never be productive of good, when not conducted in such a spirit that each adversary may see nothing in his opponent to dislike, except the one single article on which they expressly differ. Volumes of polemics are now mouldering in forgetfulness, on the shelves of the learned, which, but for the virulence of their style, would be still read as useful defences of particular points of belief. It is an observation which experience, we think, will authorise us to make, that time has a peculiar power over works of controversy, and that if the books of an old library be examined, the worms will always be found to have eaten through more of these, than others of a different description. The remark holds good in a great variety of instances, and applies with equal truth to the theologians of all denominations; oblivion almost invariably succeeding to intolerance, whether he who is guilty of it be a Churchman or a Catholic, a Socinian, a