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some celestial spectacle, some awful visage to make an indelible impression of sacred fear? and, why is it possible, in contempt of all that he has displayed, to fear, or to love to advance towards him in the last confirmed state of a character completed by, the full assemblage of all those unworthy acquisitions, which he has separately disapproved through every stage of the accumulation? Why is it possible for little feeble creatures to maintain their poor depende ant beings, fortified and invincible in sin, amidst the all-pervading presence of omnipotent purity? why does not the awful thought of such a being strike through the mind with such intense intolerable antipathy to evil, as to blast with death every active principle that is beginning to pervert it, and render gradual additions of depravity, growing into the solidity of habit, as impossible as to build structures of wood and stone amidst the fires of the last day? how is it possible to forget the solemn solicitude which should accompany the consciousness that such a being is continually darting upon us the mighty beams of observant thought (if we may apply such a term to Omniscience), the piercing inspection, compared to which the concentrated attention of all the beings in the universe besides, would be but as the powerless gaze of an infant? why is faith, that spiritual faculty of seeing the invisible, so absent, or so incomparably more slow and reluctant to receive a just perception of the grandest of its objects, than the senses are adapted receive the im. pressions of theirs ? why have the few particles of
dust which the spirit inhabits, the triumphant artifi. cial power to avert from around it, that sacred essence which diffuses through the world its infinite intensity of being, thus placing that spirit as in a vacuity and extinction of God?”
Hume’s work on natural religion has made a great noise amongst free-thinkers; but who, after this declaration, will dare to say that Hume was an honest man? Can any profligacy be greater than that of a man professing, and endeavouring to propagate, certain doctrines which he would not wish his wife and daughters to entertain or believe? Either Hume believed that his doctrines were true, or he knew them to be false. In the first instance it was the height of injustice not to seek to impress the same belief on the minds of those whom he most valued : and, in the last case, his conduct in labouring to propagate falsehood as truth, was most infamous*.
* St Augustin admirably observes, “ Religionis summa est imitari quem colis.” The highest pitch of religion is, tu imitate the being you worship. And Pythagoras being asked what it was that man could do like what God does, answered,
Speak the truth.”
Hume deserved at least the merit of consistency, for he died as he lived. An elegant writer, alluding to his miserable end, observes, “ Hume died as a fool dieth! the very hour in which he knew that his recovery was impossible, he spent in playing at whist, and making obscene jests against christianity !"
ACCOUNT OF THE BAGNE, OR CHIEF PRISON OF CONSTAN
TINOPLE; WITH THE HISTORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE TURKISH CHIEF.
The Bagne is a part of the arsenal, and, as in all the countries of Europe, the place of confinement for malefactors who are condemned to the gallies. Here are also imprisoned those Greeks of distinction who are sentenced to death, or are left to be redeemed by their families; as likewise the Turks who are to be secretly executed. It also serves for holding the prisoners of war taken by the Turks, as well as the slaves captured in Maltese vessels, with which the Porte is always at variance.
The capoudan-pacha, or grand admiral, is the supreme head of the arsenal; there are besides an intendant, and an effendi, who is a sort of police officer, and has the power of ordering the prisoners to be enchained, or liberated and beaten, but not to put them to death; he has under his orders the tchiaoux or hussars, and the executioners who strangle the criminals: these butchers are all of Maltese origin, and think they do a meritorious action when they murder a Turk; they are both in size and athletic structure, true descendants of Hercules; the Turks choose them from amongst the slaves, and they voluntarily consent to follow such an infamous employment: they enjoy, in consequence, the privilege of doing commissions for the captives; they are married, and have their houses out of the prison, whither they go to pass the night with their families.
The police, or rather the torments, of the Bagne, are inflicted by the guards of the bachis, who are Greeks; they always appear with sticks in their hands, and strike the prisoners indiscriminately whenever they please; they go round the prison at night, preside at executions, wake the prisoners, and send them to their work. They also take an account of the slaves morning and evening; for if any of these effect their escape, an equal number of the guards must forfeit their heads. They often get bribes for unchaining the prisoners, which they divide with the effendi.
The Bagne is situated on the eastern shore of the port or gulph of Ceras; its form is nearly that of a parallelogram; and the wall which is contiguous to the sea, follows the windings of the shore. The spot appropriated to the slaves, consists of a vast hall, above which is a floor or entresol; it contains fieldbeds, on which the prisoners sleep, though without being released from their irons. The officers have obscure niches, in which they reside; and they, as well as the sick, are exempt from labour. There are several other divisions for different classes of priso-
In the last war with the 'Turks, the Russians built a handsome pavilion in this prison, which still remains. There is also a chapel, in which a Greek papas celebrates mass every Sunday. On solemn festivals a kind of procession 'takes place in the Bagne, at which the Christians who are imprisoned give their assistance. Around the court-yard are several shops kept by the guards, who sell provisions, wine, and brandy.
Our soldiers were in the end treated far better than the other prisoners. The Turks no longer confounded them together; and though barbarians, they knew how to respect misfortune; they not only separated them from the slaves, but they did not fatigue them by excessive labour. Between six and seven in the morning, they called them over and sent them to work; they laboured in the port, in rigging and equipping ships; and those who were too weak, remained in the court of the Bagne, where they were employed in beating junk into oakum. Towards noon they had a meal, and at four in the afternoon their day was finished. The captains of the Turkish ships instead of ill-treating them, often made them a compensation. At six o'clock the guards again mustered the prisoners, who were afterwards shut up in their cells. A voice then addressed them to the following effect: “ Christians, eat and drink in peace; do not quarrel with any body; and to-morrow, if God wills it, you shall be at liberty.”
After this brief exhortation, the guardian bachis began their nightly service. This was also the period for executions, which were frequent in the first year of the war: it had scarcely broken out three months, before the capoudan-pacha sent to the gallies a Greek named Ianaki, who was nephew of Cangierli, prince of Wallachia: this young man, the favourite drogman of Hussein Pacha, after having followed him to Widdin, suddenly fell from the greatest honour to the depth of misery; but his good education, general knowledge, and innocence, rendered him an object of interest and conmiseration,