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we are conducted to the innermost gateway, through which, amid broken pillars and pedestals lying in heaps around us, we pass upward directly in front of the grand ranges of columns which constitute the centre of the Propylæa. A square marble tower, formerly crowned with an equestrian statue, rises on the north, and opposite, on the south, the Temple of "Victory without wings" is still visible, having been recently disinterred from the rubbish, and restored almost completely to its ancient proportions.
Here let us step back a little nearer to the brink of the massive western walls of the citadel, and from this point you will think it scarcely possible to conceive a design of purer majesty in architecture than the remaining splendors of the Propylæa offer to the view. A huge square tower, erected by the Turks, at the southern wing, encumbers and disfigures the harmony of the picture, but originally it must have been a pile of surpassing magnificence and beauty. By quoting a part of Col. Leake's accurate description of the plan and execution of this work under the administration of Pericles, you will have a better idea of the whole than I can otherwise convey: "The western end of the Acropolis,” says this writer, "which furnished the only access to the summit of the hill, presented a breadth of only 168 feet-an opening so narrow that it appeared practicable to the artists of Pericles to fill up the space with a single building, which, in serving the main purpose of a gateway, should contribute at once to fortify and adorn the citadel. This work, the greatest production of civil architecture in Athens, which equalled the Parthenon in felicity of execution, and surpassed it in boldness and originality of design, was begun 437 years before Christ, and completed in five years. Of the 168 feet which formed the natural entrance to the Acropolis, 58 were left near the centre for the great artificial entrance, and the remainder was closed by two wings which projected 32 feet in front of the grand colonnade of the entrance. The entire building, like others of the same kind, received the name of Propylæa from its forming a vestibule to the five gates or doors by which the citadel was entered. The wall in which these doors were pierced was thrown back about 50 feet from the front of the artificial opening of the hill, which was itself thrown back a few feet behind the natural entrance." The whole structure was entirely of Pentelican marble. There were six fluted Doric columns in front, each five feet in diameter, and 29 feet high. Behind this was a vestibule 43 feet deep, with six Doric columns on each side. Marble beams 22 feet long covered the side aisles. This vestibule leads to the five doors of the Propylæa, and through these you pass into the inner eastern portico, with its Doric colonnade.
"Here, above all places at Athens," says Mr. Wordsworth, "the mind of the traveler enjoys an exquisite pleasure. It seems as if this portal had been spared in order that our imagination might send through it, as through a triumphal arch, all the glories of Athenian antiquity in visible parade. In our visions of that spectacle we would unseal the long Panathenaic frieze of Phidias representing that spectacle, from its place on the marble walls of the Parthenon, in order that, endued with ideal life, it might move through this splendid avenue as it originally did of old. It was this particular point in the localities of Athens, which was most admired by the Athenians themselves; nor is this surprising. Let us conceive such VOL. IX.—July, 1838. 45
a restitution of this fabric as its surviving fragments will suggest; let us imagine it restored to its pristine beauty; let it rise once more in the full dignity of its youthful stature; let all the architectural decorations be fresh and perfect, let their moulding be again brilliant with their glowing tints of red and blue, let the coffers of its soffits be again spangled with stars, and the marble antæ be fringed over as they were once with their delicate embroidery of ivy leaf; let it be in such a lovely day as the present day of November; and then let the bronze valves of these five gates of the Propylæa be suddenly flung open, and all the splendors of the interior of the Acropolis burst at once upon the view!
"But ye shall see! for the opening doors I hear of the Propylæa!
Shout, shout aloud of the view which appears of the old time-honor'd Athenæ, Wondrous in sight and famous in song, where the noble Demus abideth." ARISTOPHANES, Eg. 1326.
But let us pass upward through this splendid portal to the grand interior object of interest on the Acropolis, the Parthenon in ruins. A little more than one hundred years ago this perfect temple stood almost entire. The Turks, who possessed the citadel, kept their powder magazine within its chambers; and the Venetians, under Morosini, on the evening of the 20th of September, 1687, destroyed by a bomb, in five minutes, what time, and genius, and history, and poetry, had consecrated, and what time, and ignorance, and barbarism, and decay, had spared for thousands of years. And it might have stood for thousands of years longer, for its destruction was effected by none of the common agents of nature in her work of decay, but by elements which were not even known when the fabric was erected. The middle portion of the temple was entirely destroyed by the explosion; but the eastern and western portions, with their fronts, remain, though the cupidity of civilized spoilers has stripped them of their sculptured metopes, friezes, and pediments. The British Museum has been enriched at the expense of the dead body of Greece; and a sentiment of deep indignation burns in the mind at the contemplation of these ruins. It seemed to me, while gazing upon them, and thinking with what sort of feelings a man could fix his scaling ladders, and point the levers of his workmen to pry up and wrench off the exquisite sculptures with which the temple was adorned, that the land pirates, who strip the corpses cast ashore from shipwreck, show scarce a deeper insensibility to the sentiments of kindness and decency.
In part of the space of that portion of the Parthenon which was blown down by the explosion, a clumsy Turkish mosque was afterward erected upon its marble pavement, and still remains, a barbarian deformity, between the eastern and western portions of the temple, surrounded by huge piles of columns, cornices, and blocks of marble; a great quantity of fragments of statues and sculptures have been collected from the ruins, and arranged within it as a sort of museum. In spite of every injury, the beauty of the temple as it still stands is wonderful; and the pleasure of gazing upon its majestic columns, and upon the lovely scenery on every side, from amid its shattered piles, is very great. In this temple, as well as in that of Theseus and Jupiter Olympus, and also in the columns of the Propylæa, a singular effect of earthquakes is visible, showing at
once the force of the shocks and the solidity of fabrics which could have been thus moved by them, and yet so little injured. The enormous grooved marble blocks in the pillars are not unfrequently wrenched around, notwithstanding the prodigious superincumbent weight, in such a manner that the corner of the groove in one lies directly in a line with the hollow or curve in the next. This is observable sometimes in the very middle of a column 60 feet high, and could have been produced by no other cause but the shock of an earthquake. Many excavations have been made amid the rubbish of the Acropolis, and will probably be continued as long as there is prospect of any new discoveries. It is made a question among the literati of the modern city, whether any attempt ought to be made to restore the Parthenon with the fragments that lie in such immense piles around it; the preponderating opinion seems to be, that in its present situation it is an object of greater beauty and interest than it ever could possess by any attempted restitution of the fabric. If the exquisite fragments of art pilfered from it could be snatched back from the spoilers, and replaced in their original beauty, then, indeed, the effort would be desirable; but it would be difficult by any means to increase its power over the imagination as a spectacle of decaying grandeur, and a memorial of past ages.
There are other remains upon the Acropolis, which I have not noticed, especially the Erectheum, northward from the Parthenon, including in its fabric a temple to Pandrosas, and another to Minerva Polias. The beautiful Caryatides, or images of virgins, which support the roof on one wing instead of columns, have been recently discovered and set up again in their original position, and the farther renewal of the temple is gradually going forward. Here in ancient. times were the trident of Neptune and the sacred olive tree of Minerva. Erectheus was believed to have been buried here, and hence the name.
The interest of our visits amid the ruins of the ancient city is strangely mingled with the spectacle of its modern houses, confusedly rising from heaps of rubbish, and the aspect of its modern population in their shops and market places. The prospects of the future are pleasingly colored by the missionary efforts still but just commenced, and the schools in successful prosecution. Many thoughts occupy the mind in a day's excursion amid such scenes of classical, social, and religious interest, all mingled together, and borrowing increased vividness from each other. In a visit to Mrs. Hill's schools we were deeply interested with the various departments, from the infant school upward. Many of her scholars have been redeemed from poverty and degradation, especially some of the young ladies beneath her own roof, and exhibit already the power of a refined education in moulding the mind, the feelings, and even the form into beauty.
G. B. C.
Athens, December, 1837.
From the Western Christian Advocate and Journal.
ART. XIV.-LECTURES ON THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. BY LEONARD WOODS, D.D.
THE above is the title of a work published at Andover, in 1828. Dr. Woods is professor of Christian theology in the Theological Seminary at Andover, and these lectures form a regular course delivered to the members of that institution. They are what they profess to be the fruit of much thought, and contain the most serious and deliberate views of the church to which he sustains the relation of an authorized teacher of theology. I do not wish to arrogate to myself the office of reviewer, but simply desire to call the attention of my brethren in the ministry to a work which, in my humble opinion, forms a desideratum in theology, and which has been greatly needed in this country, inasmuch as there are many teachers of religion who deny the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.
The plan pursued by our author is pretty much the same as that found in systems of Christian theology, (Watson's particularly ;) but the subject is carried out to a much greater length than could be expected in a work embracing the evidences, doctrines, morals, and institutions of Christianity, and therefore commends itself to the careful perusal of every student of theology. In the introduction of this work, after stating the intimate connection the subject has with the great controversy in Christian countries at the present day, the author adds, "On the particular views we entertain of the inspiration of the Scriptures, must depend our views of the Christian religion; and every thing which pertains to the doctrines and precepts, to the belief and practice thereof, will be colored by these particular views. As soon as we discover the sense of an inspired book, we are bound to yield to it our cordial assent; not because we could make out that sense by the use or exercise of our own unaided reason, but simply on the authority of God. The moment men leave this high position, that the Scriptures are divinely inspired, they cease to have an infallible standard for their faith, and are thrown back upon human ignorance as their guide. Not regarding the Bible as the word of God, they feel at liberty to doubt or deny any of its decisions, and the most they will do will be, to use it as they do other books, to assist them in forming a religion for themselves. This subject is likely, before long, to form the dividing line between those who adhere to the doctrines of our forefathers and those who renounce them.
The first lecture is divided into eight parts. After showing the mode of reasoning proper to be used in this subject, two questions are propounded:-First, Can the inspiration of those who wrote the Scriptures be proved from the miracles which they performed? Second, Can the divine inspiration of those who wrote the Bible be proved from the excellence of what it contains? To the first question the author gives an affirmative decision, alleging that miracles prove the commission of those who are sent to declare doctrines which God only could teach them; and the nature of their commission proves the necessity of divine inspiration. The second question,
in which the proof in the affirmative of divine inspiration is urged from the sublimity, the purity, the harmony, and the efficacy of the Scriptures, is rendered inconclusive. The same is said of the arguments drawn from the character of the writers, and the care of divine Providence in the preservation of the sacred book; nevertheless these are indispensable to our belief of the doctrine, and, in connection with other things, very satisfactory evidence of its truth.
He next notices mistakes which ought to be avoided, and cautions which are necessary to be observed in the examination of the subject of inspiration. He says we are not to suppose that we can exactly understand the manner in which the mind of man is affected by inspiration of God, or how any man knows he is under infallible divine guidance, and his words or declarations clothed with divine authority. In the next place, we are not to assume that the influence of inspiration upon the writers of Scripture was confined to the revelation of new truths. Again: it is no objection against the inspiration of the Scriptures, that they were written in a language completely human, and that they exhibit all the varieties in the mode of writing which are common in other works. He also adds, "It is not to be admitted, as an argument against the doctrine of inspiration, understood even in the highest sense, that in writing the Scriptures the sacred penmen evidently made use of their own faculties; that the Scriptures contain many things which in themselves are of little or no consequence; or that the real and full meaning of some passages was not known at the time they were written, or even that they remain unknown to the present time; or that instances of incorrectness in the present copies of the Scriptures cannot be brought as an objection against the inspiration of the writers; or that instances of apparent disagreement among different writers of the sacred volume, and of apparent contradictions in the same writers, form no valid objection against their inspiration."
The above is a synopsis of the first lecture in the work; and although it is a very meager one, it will at least show that these lectures on inspiration would be a valuable acquisition to the library of any student of theology. There is an appendix attached to the book, in which the author enters more critically into the subject of inspiration, and in which he gives the views of several German professors. W. P. S.
ART. XV.-THE HAWAIIAN SPECTATOR:
Conducted by an Association of Gentlemen. January, 1838. Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Sandwich Islands. Printed by Edwin O. Hall, for the Proprietors. 8vo. Pp. 112.
WONDERFUL! a respectable quarterly, in the English language, issuing from a cluster of islands unknown to the civilized world until 1778, and then only known in connection with blood and massacre-islands where, until 1819, infanticide, human sacrifices, and idolatry in its most debasing forms, reigned uncontrolled! What is it that has wrought the astonishing change which we now witness; driven the ten thousand idols to the moles and the bats; dotted the islands with churches and schools; elevated women from slavery to companionship; introduced the press, that mighty engine of civi