Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Bengasi is a flourishing city of fifteen thousand inhabitants, of whom no less than two thousand are Europeans. Their import and export trade is large, though Rohlfs asserts that the latter is mainly composed of neyro slaves. The city itself is of intense interest to the antiquarian and historian on account of the high position that it assumes in classical history. This place is doubtless the site of the ancient gardens of the Ilesperides. These have disappeared, but the blooming landscape explains to us the charm that filled the ancients with ecstasy. Rohlfs declares that this whole region, as well as that of all Northern Africa, has degenerated in the course of centuries in regard to its vegetable world. But the river of Lethe is found here just as it has been described by the ancient geographers, only it is now more insignificant, probably from the fact that the entire region has become drier.

After landing at Bengasi, Rohlfs pursued his way along the coast, though much annoyed by incessant rains and storms. Luxurious vegetation from the fertile soil presented to the eye the most beautiful pictures, and the ruins met with at every step led back his thoughts to the early history of the country. The dilapidated tombs at times afforded them a refuge from the violent storms, and occasionally they were obliged to pass the night in the stone graves of the men of earlier ages, to experience a bodily resurrection on the following morning. These tombs become more numerous one approaches Cyrene, and in the cavernous mountains near the city the caravan passed for miles among the tombs of vanished multitudes of the former population-a city of the dead in the truest sense of the word. This is Cyrene, once the most flourishing colony of the Greeks in Northern Africa. When Alexander the Great visited the shrine of Jupiter Ammon, the Cyrenians voluntarily yielded to him and sent him valuable presents: in the year ninety-six they went over to the Romans: and at a later epoch it must have become an immense city. In its flourishing period the Jews were very powerful; they once rose in rebellion and murdered 200,000 Romans and Cyrenians. This led to the downfall of a city that had been renowned for the arts and sciences, and which gave birth to a number of distinguished men. This pride of antiquity is now nothing but a heap of ruins--a great collection of dilapidated tombs.

as

of the age.

It is now a question whether this condition is to last always. It would seem that this beautiful region, with its capability for gardens and fruits such as enchanted the ancients, can scarcely be allowed to remain a stranger to the humanizing influences

German geographers, with the famous Carl Ritter at their head, have long recommended the land for European colonization, and regretted that some one of the continental powers has not founded a colony there. Rohlfs now considers it just the spot to build up a flourishing port for the road across the desert to inner Africa, and, were le not so opposed to government colonization, would warmly recommend his countryinen to acquire it, if possible, and guide emigration thither. There can be little doubt that the completion of the Suez Canal is to give new life to all the Mediterranean coast, and especially to the northern shore of Africa. The great ancient course of commerce between the gorgeous and wealthy Orient and the wonder-loving nations of Southern Europe is about to be restored, with the advantage of continuous water communication from one extremity to the other. The effect of this revival of Oriental trade on the shores of the Mediterranean will be to renew the activity that for thousands of years has only lived in story. And this revival will take place under the auspices of the mightiest modern ally to commercethat of steam.

And the lovers of the race hope that this phenix will celebrate greater triumphs than those of arms or diplomacy, for these hare, again and again, tried in vain to give new life to the African shores; these and the lands of the Adriatic and the Bosphorus have lain comparatively dormant for ages, until the talismanic wand bid the steam-propelled vessel leave the shores of the classic seas of ancient times direct for the wealthy ports of distant Cathay. And still an abiding faith ever animated the breasts of classical scholars and scientific geographers that the past glory of the Mediterranean must return in its ancient splendor, and among the most confiding of these were the German explorers, from the great Barth, so famous for his African expeditions, down to Rohlfs, who is now thrilling his countrymen with the interest of his recitals and the boldness of his conceptions. He contends that Africa is the field for the future, and that with the advantages now opening to its northern coast, that no region of the globe offers finer opportunities to the Germans for commercial triumphis. Any other he repudiates. Ile is opposed to dependent colonies, and points to nearly all that now exist as failures. England is tired of Canada, Spain is annoyed to death with Cuba, Russia has sold Alaska, and other powers, such as Denmark, would gladly dispose of what they have in distant seas. England has been rich and powerful through India, but the desire to retain this mighty land now makes England a coward in her intercourse with foreign powers, for manifest destiny points to no remote period when India must be free, if it does not fall into the hands of Russia.

Rohlfs’ theory, therefore, is, that Germany will do best to establish amicable relations with Africa, the only land unoccupied by Europeans that remaius open to them, by the establishment of naval and commercial ports at important outlets, and thus through these open up paths of internal trade that will lead them to the untold wealth of that rich and extensive country in Central Africa which he thinks might in time be made a German India by peaceful means.

To these ports he would encourage German emigration, and protect it by their power and influence; but would give to it an independent position that would throw it on its own resources, and give it pride and strength in developing independent life. This system would largely develop German mercantile interests without involving a necessary developinent of a navy to protect colonies. A marine that could look after the interests of the various trading stations would be all that would be absolutely necessary, as Germany, with her present inland boundaries, can never expect to be a first-class naval power.

The scientific explorations of Africa by German savants and travelers have put their country in possession of much valuable knowledge, and the friendly relations established with the Sultan of Bornou is an opening wedge to much closer associations. A commercial route from Tripoli or Bengasi across the desert of Sahara, is, in the opinion of Rohlfs, quite practicable, and he is intimately acquainted with every mile of the way. He then recommends the establishment of a trading and naval station at the mouth of the Niger, as a southern outlet for the commerce from Bornou, which might

[ocr errors]

be protected in the interior by the establishment of military posts in connection with the friendly Sultan of Soudan. In addition to these, he recommends also the establishment of commercial ports at the principal river outlets of the western coast, and points out a feasible line of trade right across Central Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. He repeatedly alludes to the immense wealth of these regions, abounding in ivory, gold, precious woods, diamonds, and all that goes to make up our most exalted conceptions of fairy land.

In short, Africa presents almost a carte-blanche to the world, and for years the Germans have been quietly mapping it out without as yet reaping any advantage from their labors. But it would seem that a higher Power has been directing these men, that their labors might be well advanced at the moment when the Mediterranean is to receive new life, and their own nation, in its resurrection, has acquired the strength and the inclination to go peacefully up and possess this rich land as one of promise to them and to the world. And as they proceed on their scientific and commercial missions, they must inevitably be accompanied by the soldiers of the Cross to make conquests for the one true God, and advance the cause of Christian civilization.

Aer. V.-TWO SYSTEMS OF MINISTERIAL EDUCATION.

The near approach of another General Conference seems to call for some fresh public review of the theory, state, and needs of ministerial education in the Methodist Episcopal Church. As a useful introduction to such a review, we propose, in the present paper, to state and examine the two great historic systems which antedate, and in important respects antagonize, the Methodistic.

A word as to the origin of the three, for here lies the philosophy of all their differences.

In devising schemes of ministerial education, Churches naturally proceed from their own particular view of the ministerial call and office. Churches greatly differing as to what a Christian minister should be, cannot be expected to agree as to the best method of educating ministers. Of these theories of the call there are in reality but three: the Roman Catholic, the State Church Protestant, and the Methodistic. According to the Roman Catholic theory it is the business of “ the Holy Church” to call men to the ministry; all they have to do is to accept the call. According to the State Church Protestant theory men are to call tliemselves to this profession as to any other; all the Church has to do is to accept of such as come. According to the Methodistic theory the call must come from God, and be ratified both by the man and by the Church. Out of these radically different conceptions of the call have naturally sprung the three diverse systems of ministerial education. How naturally we shall see, as we examine them in order.

First, then, the Romish system. Under normal circumstances the Roman Catholic Church selects her future priest when he is but twelve years old. At that impressible period she adopts him as her son, puts her robe upon him, lodges him in her own house, feeds him at her own table, instructs himn in her own school, secludes him in the cloistered solitude of her seminarium clericorum from all the cares, distractions, and turmoils of the wicked world without. After eleven years of careful oversight, instruction, and training, during which time the youth has passed through the four lower orders of the ministry, she ordains him a deacon, and two years later an elder of the “Holy Catholic Church.” Such is the Papal system of ministerial education, wherever that Church is free to carry out the provisions of the twenty-third session, eighteenth chapter, of the Decrees of the Council of Trent. It may be briefly characterized in one sentence as follows: Thirteen years of purely professional discipline--the pupil being meantime secluded from all contact with secular life, subjected to unintermitting ecclesiastical oversight, supported by the Church, in the Church, and for the Church.

The theory and practice of the Protestant State Churches afford us an almost perfect contrast to this Papal system. That theory of the State which requires the Government to provide the people with a religion, requires it also to provide them with education. If the State must build churches and support clergymen, it certainly must erect schools and salary

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »