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invincible. Such was probably his own conviction. Wherever his power has extended, his authority has swallowed up the petty authorities between which the country was divided; the effect of which has been, greater protection, greater order, and wonderfully greater production, both in arts and agriculture, but withal an extraordinary amount of exaction, to enable him to realize the schemes of his ambition. The plague and war have repeatedly threatened him with destruction; his projects have often brought on him an expenditure, to which even his enormous demands in the shape of revenue have been unequal-still there he is, not menacing Asia Minor, it is true, nor any longer the master of Syria, but the recognised sovereign of a country which forms the great passage between the East and West; and if no longer astir in arms, signalized by no less activity in more humane pursuits, as the protector of commerce, the friend of education, and the strong hand which has substituted order almost European, in the place of anarchy worse than Asiatic. Certain of our readers will probably be interested with some account of the educational doings of Mohammed Ali.
* The scheme of public instruction in Egypt, I may take this opportunity of mentioning, embraces primary, preparatory, and polytechnic, and special schools. The primary amount to four in Cairo, and one in Alexandria, of 200 pupils each, and forty-five in the provinces of 100 each, making altogether 5500 pupils, who are instructed in reading and writing Arabic, the first rules of arithmetic, and “religious instruction.” A suitable set of books has not yet been prepared for them. The preparatory schools are only two, one being at Cairo with 1500, and one at Alexandria with 500 scholars. They receive their pupils from the primary. Their course' embraces four years, which are devoted to the Arabic, Turkish, and Persian languages, arithmetic, elementary algebra, elementary geometry, caligraphy, and lineary design and drawing. The polytechnic school receives its pupils from the preparatory schools. Its course is one of three years, and directed to elementary geography, algebra, rectilinear and spherical trigonometry, descriptive geometry, statics, analytical geometry, differential and integral calculus, mechanics, geodesy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mineralogy, architecture, geology, construction of machines, drawing, engineering, and mining. The polytechnic pupils who finish their curriculum satisfactorily, become sub-lieutenants in the army, at the call of the Páshá, and those who are rejected become non-commissioned officers. Among the special schools is one, the object of which is to furnish translators for the different public departments, and monitors for the preparatory schools. The others are respectively devoted to the training of persons for the different branches of the army, and the medical service. The standard of proficiency at all of them is most respectable. The youths attending them are generally selected, when necessary, by conscription, but some of them are volunteers; and they are fed and clothed at the expense of the government, which thus establishes its demand on their services. A vigilant system of superintendence is maintained, and periodical examinations, at wbich rewards are distributed, test the attainments, and encourage the application, of the pupils. Though the advances of the public services of the country, and the maintenance of his own power and influence, are the grand objects which Muhammad Ali has in view in his support of education, he still deserves great praise for the encouragement which the cause receives at his hands. It must in many ways ultimately tell on the elevation of the country, and the advancement of his people. How much it is needed must be apparent from a glance at the indigenous and religious schools of the country.'—Vol. i. pp. 71, 72.
These religious schools' are all connected with the mosques, and are in the hands of priests. The children are taught to read, seldom to write, and the instruction given is almost everywhere of the most frivolous and worthless description, relating, for the most part, to trivial things connected with the Mohammedan worship and superstitions—a sort of training which no doubt passes as being very religious.
We shall not accompany Dr. Wilson in his visit to the pyramids in the neighbourhood of Cairo, nor shall we attempt a critical estimate of the speculations presented in his pages concerning the march of the Israelites in the direction of the Red Sea. Great obscurity rests, and was, perhaps, designed to rest, on the question concerning the precise locality of events so pregnant with religious interest. We cite the following incident, for the reason mentioned by Dr. Wilson, and for other reasons that will readily occur to the biblical student:
About mid-day we came to a chasm running to the right, and still narrower than that through which we were passing. One of our guides reported that water was to be found in it, and there was a general rush to the place where the precious treasure was to be procured. The water, all derived from recent rains, was found collected in pools among the rocks; and one of these pools, called by our Arabs BírRamliyah, or the well of Ramliyah, contained a quantity more than sufficient to supply a large body of men and cattle. We replenished our skins with it, as we found it perfectly sweet and pure. Its occurrence suggested to us the rains of heaven, overlooked by infidels and rationalists, as the possible means by which the Israelites were supplied with this indispensable element in many of their marches through the wilderness. "Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance when it was weary.” The tremendous storms of thunder and hail over the whole land of Egypt, which formed one of the ten plagues, would alone have been more than sufficient to pro
THE LANDS OF THE BIBLE.
vide any quantities of the needful element for the Israelites, previous to their
passage of the Red Sea.'— Vol. i. p. 131. The point at which the Israelites crossed the Red Sea can be determined with a nearer approach to certainty than the route by which they arrived at it.
* Near the north-east corner of the Badíya, there are a few high detached rocks which lie close to the shore. Most of our party left them to the right on rounding the corner of Jebel Atákah, or the Mountain of Deliverance; but Mr. Sherlock and I proceeded straight to the Red Sea before turning northward. We believed, for reasons to be afterwards stated, that when we were within the water-mark there, we were near the spot where Moses, at the Divine command, stretched his hand over the sea, and where, “at the blast of God's nostrils, the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea." We had no wish to
” rid ourselves of the sacred associations of the place, or to detract from that miraculous agency by which the way was thus marvellously prepared for the passage of God's people. We made an estimate of the distance across, with a view to our disposal of the objections of those
a who maintain that the Israelites could not have crossed the sea here in a single night as recorded in Exodus. We reckoned the width at about eight miles; but we formed our judgment merely from the eye, and were not inclined to lay much stress upon its accuracy. It appears, however, from Captain Moresby's admirable survey and chart, published by the East India Company, that we were not guilty of error.'*— Vol. i. pp. 135, 136.
Dr. Wilson, while doing full justice to the eminent service rendered to sacred geography by Dr. Robinson, in his wellknown Biblical Researches, complains seriously, and, we think, very justly, of the opinions of that writer concerning both the place and circumstances of this memorable transit. We deeply regret the tendency evinced by many theological critics, reputed orthodox and evangelical, to admit the rationalistic method of dealing with facts of this nature—so far, at least, as to reduce the miraculous to the lowest possible minimum, if not, in many cases, to preclude it altogether. No doubt, orthodox interpretations may be unsound, and may be perpetuated through prejudice or subserviency; but prejudice may have respect to the new no less than to the old, and what results from obstinacy in one case, may result from vanity in another. Suez, it should be remembered, is situated at the point where the Red Sea is bounded by the
* I have already remarked (p. 36) that the Badiya', or Wádí Tawárik, bears the Arabic name of Wádí Musá, or Valley of Moses, in Captain Moresby's map. When I asked our sheikh if this name was correct, he said, “This is indeed the path of our Lord Moses.” On cross-examination, he continued to make the same affirmaion.
Isthmus of Suez—the waters which ascend higher than that town being very inconsiderable; while the point of the transit, according to Dr. Wilson, is some twelve or fifteen miles lower down, and there, as we have seen, the width of the sea is between six and seven miles. To suppose the passage to have taken place through the arm of the gulf above Suez,' is to preclude the necessity of a miracle; while the supposition, that it took place at the lower point mentioned, implies the necessity of such an intervention. The following passage is somewhat long; but we make space for it, as presenting an instance of the unwise sort of concession on the part of good men, to which we have adverted:
• Dr. Robinson, though he does not deny the miracle recorded in Exodus, considerably detracts from its magnitude. He ascribes a particular character to the “strong east wind” of Moses, representing the miracle in which it originated as “mediate,” not a direct interference with the laws of nature, but a “miraculous adaptation of those laws to produce a required result.” He ventures to do this, though there is not a syllable in the Bible explanatory of the peculiar nature of the wind, as arising from a non-suspension or non-interference with the laws of nature, or otherwise. Is not this being wise above what
“In the somewhat indefinite phraseology of the Hebrew, an east wind,” he goes on to say, “means any wind from the eastern quarter; and would include the north-east wind which often prevails in this region.” This, it will be observed, is a pure supposition, and not so admissible when the general direction of the gulf of Suez is adverted to, as another which it suggests, that a north-east wind would be denominated in the Hebrew from the north and not from the east, as is done by Moses. “A strong north-east wind,” the Doctor adds, "acting upon the ebb-tide, would necessarily have the effect to drive out the waters from the small arm of the sea which runs up by Suez, and also from the end of the gulf itself, leaving the shallower portions dry; while the northern part of the arm, which was anciently broader and deeper than at present, would still remain covered with water. Thus the waters would be divided, and be a wall (or defence) to the Israelites on the right hand and on the left.” The “ebb-tide” here, I need scarcely observe, is a pure invention. Such an action of the wind as this is a mere skimming of the waters and forcing them away down the gulf, to leave the shallows, both at the extremity of the arm and near Suez, dry, and the upper pools, lying immediately between them, undisturbed in their depths; but it is obvious, that whatever its effects might be at the extremity of the arm of the sea, where most certainly the Israelites did not pass, as there, there would be no water on their left hand to correspond with the statement of the Bible, it might, commencing there and extending downwards, blow the deep waters out of the arm to the head of the gulf, and upon the very shallows which, according to the theory, should be made bare. The effect of a wind upon a deep body of water communicating with one less deep
and in the direction of that shallower body, is to increase the depth of the shallower body, as may be constantly observed in the case of our Scottish lakes and rivers. But, overlooking this circumstance, where, I would ask the Doctor, in his view of the matter, is the wall spoken of in Scripture? Dr. Robinson wishes us to dispose of it in a figure, and to commute it for a " defence." But is it not said, that the FLOODS, stood upright as an HEAP, and the "FLOODS were congealed in the HEART of the sea?" This is poetry, the Doctor would say. True, but it is the poetry of inspiration, having a becoming sense. It surely means more than that the waters were blown off a mere shallow.
'But the Doctor has to do with "the interval of time during which the passage was effected," as well as with "the means or instrument with which the miracle was wrought." He has spoken of an "extraordinary ebb thus brought about by natural means;" and he "cannot assume" that "it would continue more than three or four hours at the most." "The Israelites were probably on the alert, and entered upon the passage as soon as the way was practicable; but as the wind must have acted for some time before the required effect would be produced, we cannot well assume that they set off before the middle watch, or towards midnight. Before the morning watch, or two o'clock, they had probably completed the passage; for the Egyptians had entered after them, and were destroyed before the morning appeared. As the Israelites numbered more than two millions of persons, besides flocks and herds, they would of course be able to pass but slowly. If the part left dry were broad enough to enable them to cross in a body, one thousand abreast, which would require a space of more than half-amile in breadth, (and is perhaps the largest supposition admissible,) still the column would be more than two thousand persons in depth; and in all probability could not have extended less than two miles. It would then have occupied at least an hour in passing over its own length, or in entering the sea; and deducting this from the largest time intervening, before the Egyptians must also have entered the sea, there will remain only time enough, under the circumstances, for the body of the Israelites to have passed at the most over a space of three or four miles. This circumstance is fatal to the hypothesis of their having crossed from Wady Tawârik, since the breadth of the sea at that point, according to Niebuhr's measurement, is three German, or twelve geographical miles, equal to a whole day's journey." In reply to this, I have to say, that I do not see that the Scripture narrative suggests a single one of the contingencies here referred to. The "ebb-tide" is a pure hypothesis of the Doctor; and, as we have already seen, it is one not to be admitted. But supposing its occurrence by a wind raised and directed miraculously,-by what in the figurative language of the Bible is called the "BLAST OF GOD'S NOSTRILS," is it not somewhat presumptuous in us, without direct information to guide us, to limit it to "three or four hours at the most?" "The Lord," it is said, "caused the sea to go back (or asunder) by a strong east wind all that night.” We have no warrant to suppose that the miracle took any length of time to reach its perfection. It may, for anything we know to the