« PreviousContinue »
was in the rear, arrested our progress by exclaiming, “Ladies! are you all willing to follow Mr. Y.?" "We are all willing," was the answer. "Then," said the guide," he is taking you right to the infernal regions!" And this was the name of the place to which we were ignorantly directing our steps. Not willing to be the leader to such a place, I turned aside, and requested the conductor to exchange situations. This granted, with some difficulty we entered a room more repulsive, and at the same time more valuable, than all the others. This is often called the infernal regions, but latterly it is better known by the spar room. It is at least one hundred and seventy feet long, and from forty to sixty wide. The floor of this apartment is from one to three feet thick, and is composed of different layers of the most brilliant deposites that have, perhaps, ever been discovered. Under this floor is a spring of very pure water, about two feet deep; and pendant from its lower surface is the richest collection of crystal, and white dog-teeth spar, I have ever seen. This is a source of considerable revenue to the owner; for many pieces of it have been sold for large sums of money; some for $50, and others even for $100. I have seen them in museums, and among the natural curiosities collected by the members of lyceum societies, as well as purchased for parlor ornaments.
To follow the main route usually taken by visiters, after leaving either the spar-room or the theatre, which lies to the south-west, you will soon be told that you are now in an apartment much larger and more magnificent than any other in the whole of this submundane edifice. This is Washington's Hall; and a more appropriate appellation could not have been selected. It is two hundred and fifty-seven feet long, from ten to twenty wide, and thirtythree feet high. The following objects in this hall are worthy of notice: The crucifixion, or three crosses, not very perfect however, near each other, representing the death of Christ and the two thieves; the statue of Washington, seven feet high, and at least as many in circumference, formed by calcareous deposites; the rock of Gibraltar; the pyramids of Egypt; the straits of Gibraltar; Cleopatra's Needle; Mark Anthony; Julius Cesar, and Pompey's pillar; and the eagle's wing. These are all the most curious, and some of them the most astonishing formations, that the lover of nature could desire to behold. They impress the mind with an idea of awful sublimity; and the effect they have on one's feelings is almost magical. When we entered this room at one end, a band of music was stationed around Washington's monument near the other; and two or three hundred candles were arranged in order along the whole length of each side. As we approached the natural monument of him who was "first in peace, first in war, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," the music ceased, and we could not help fancying ourselves in the vaulted resting-place of the venerable dead.
In the centre of the hall to the left is a large opening which leads you into Lady Washington's room; in this are the toilet, the lookingglass, the drapery around the glass, the fire-place, and the kitchen. The wall between the two rooms is the rock of Gibraltar, about fifty feet long, ten feet thick, and twenty high.
We will now pass through Jackson's Hall, at the extremity of
which is the confectioner's shop, and the bar-room, in which is a fine spring of water-for the bar-rooms of nature are all temperance houses-and take a view of the church. The length of this room is one hundred and fifty-two feet, its breadth from ten to fifteen, and its height fifty! Here you will see, first, the diamond bank, brilliant indeed! Second, the organ. This is formed by a great many pendant stalactites, different in length and size, which exactly resemble the pipes of such an instrument; and, if a stick be rapidly drawn over them, various pleasing sounds are produced. Third, the choir. Fourth, the steeple, forty feet high. Fifth, Lafayette's pew. And, sixth, the leaning tower of Pisa.
Under the steeple is an arch elevated about ten feet through which we entered the dining room; here are a natural table, and a saddle. It is sixty feet in height. Further on is a part of the cave called the Wilderness. To the left of the path are Bonaparte and his body guard crossing the Alps. This name was given to a collection of stalagmites on a rock twenty feet high. Having viewed this for a short time, we next paid a visit to Jefferson's Hall. As you enter it you will observe to your right the Tower of Babel. This is thus described by Mr. Cooke, of Staunton, who drew a ground plan and section of the cave, a few years ago, and to whom the writer is indebted for several items of information :
"Directly to your right as you emerge from the wilderness, there rises an immense mass, apparently of solid stalagmite, thirty-six feet long, thirty feet broad, and thirty feet high: this mass is beauti. ful beyond description, very much resembling successive stories, and is called the Tower of Babel! The most magnificent portion of the tower is on the back or northern part, but it is difficult of access, for it is necessary to climb up the surface of the rock fifteen or twenty feet; but the view amply repays you for the labor. For a few moments you can scarcely convince yourself that an immense body of water is not pouring over the precipice in a foaming torrent, so white, so dazzling is the effulgence of the rock; and when this impression is effaced, the words of the pious bard rush into the mind, where he describes the awful effects that will follow the consummation of all things:
'The cataract, that, like a giant wroth,
Rush'd down impetuously, as seized at once
'One might almost imagine that Pollock had visited this wonder, and caught the idea so forcibly expressed above from viewing this magnificent scene.'
Behind the tower are two apartments, one is called Sir Walter Scott's Hall, and the other his library; in the first of these is his tomb.
Jefferson's Hall, through which the principal path runs, is rather irregular, but two hundred and thirty-five feet in length. It contains the following formations:-First, The half moon; this is very beautiful, and exactly represents the queen of night in a crescent form. Second, Minerva and her shield. Third, Niobe in tears. Fourth, The ladies' toilet. Fifth, The gentlemen's toilet. Sixth, The
Gothic temple. Seventh, Bruce. Eighth, The fly trap; which is formed of two lamellar rocks, thin and regular, with the inner edges united, and the outer spreading out several feet apart. In a recess to the left of the fly trap is another fine spring of water. When you have gone as far as you can go, at the very extremity of the recess, you will meet with the source of the Nile! This is a fourth spring of pure water, crusted over with a pellicle of stalagmite, which has been perforated to gain access to the water below. Nearly opposite to the gentleman's toilet is a large rock, fifty feet long, and thirty high and deep, completely covered with an incrustation as white as snow; hence it is called snow hill.
After having wandered for several hours through this silent and gloomy laboratory of nature, (if this expression may be used in such a connection,) we at length began to retrace our steps toward the place of entrance. In returning the guide led us somewhat out of the main course, and conducted us into the Garden of Eden. On the road to this delightful spot we passed Mount Blanc, which is a high inaccessible rock. In the garden are the Banian tree, and Adam's bed-chamber. Some persons have thought this the most beautiful and interesting part of the cave. The stalactites are very singularly arranged, and are, perhaps, larger than anywhere else, except in the tan-yard. These are suspended from the roof; and the stalagmites have ascended from the floor and formed a union with them. They have been compared to the folds of heavy drapery, and are quite transparent. From the garden of Eden we took our" solitary way," as Milton says of Adam and Eve; and very soon the world was all before us.
Harrisonburg, Va., 1838.
History of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By NATHAN BANGS, D.D. In two volumes. New-York: Published by T. Mason & G. Lane, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Conference Office, 200 Mulberry-street.
NOTHING could be more timely than the preparation of a history of the Methodist Episcopal Church by one so well qualified in every respect for the task as Dr. Bangs is, in consequence of his personal knowledge of the transactions of its principal judicatories for many years past, and his official connection with its periodicals. There are many still living who can attest the correctness of what he has recorded; or, if in any case he has been misled by defective data, they may detect the error, and furnish the information necessary to correct it. We have reason to believe, however, that the personal knowledge of facts which aged ministers and members may possess, will seldom, if in any case, be found to be at variance with the record. Still, the circumstance that this history is published while many persons are still living who have been familiar with the events and transactions which form the base of it, especially since the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, will be a guaranty for its authenticity, to future generations. This history will undoubtedly be appealed to, in a future day, as an authen
tic work of reference. For this reason especially we say, it is a timely production.
The first volume has already reached its fourth edition, so rapid have been the sales; and the second volume is now out, and ready for delivery. Those who have ordered the first have no doubt done so with a view of having the second also; and now that both are ready for delivery, all who wish the work will forthwith forward their orders. The true character of Methodism is too little understood by even many who are members of the Church, and less by many others who take it upon themselves to animadvert, with much positiveness, upon its doctrines and institutions. To all such as feel any interest in knowing what it is, we recommend Dr. Bangs' History, published by T. Mason and G. Lane, at the Conference Office.
Professor Bush's Hebrew Grammar.
THIS is a new and greatly improved edition of the work, just issued from the press. From a thorough examination of the work competent judges rank it among the standard Hebrew Manuals of the day. It is at once simple and scientific. While the author has throughout studied the wants of the mere tyro, he has also opened an ample field for those who wish to go beyond facts to reasons.
In the preface, the author says:-"As a marked advance has been made of late years in explaining the reasons of many of the facts of the language, it seemed desirable to unite with the purposed simplicity of the former treatise such a scientific view of the interior principles and structure of the Hebrew as should satisfy the inquiries of the intelligent learner." Prof. B. has made a judicious use of the works of Gesenius, Ewald, Jahn, Buxtorff, Schroeder, Opitius, Roorda, Stuart, Hurwitz, and Lee.
The sheets of the latter half of the Grammar have been under the keen inspection of Prof. J. Seixas, a celebrated Hebrew scholar and instructer.
On the whole then we rejoice in the appearance of this Grammar as calculated to excite a new interest and impulse, as well as to afford new facilities to the study of this ancient and venerable language.
We are credibly informed that this work will be used as a textbook in several colleges and theological seminaries; the sheets having been examined previously to its appearance in public. It is beautifully printed on fine paper; and with the exception of some typographical errors, which it is next to impossible to avoid, it will compare with the very best works on Hebrew philology.
An Examination of the System of New Divinity, or New-School Theology. By Rev. FRANCIS HODGSON, of the New-York Conference. New-York: Published by T. Mason & G. Lane, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Conference Office, 200 Mulberry-street. 1839. 12mo. pp. 416.
In this volume are imbodied the essays on New Divinity published in the Christian Advocate and Journal, over the signature F. H., as revised and corrected by the author. This circumstance renders it unnecessary to say much of the character of the work, other than
that its publication in book form has been recommended by three several annual conferences.
When it is borne in mind that the preachers, usually denominated New-School divines, have adopted a phraseology in illustrating and enforcing their doctrines, especially in their public administrations, which leaves an impression on the minds of many that they have actually abandoned the peculiarities of the Calvinistic creed, and come over to Arminianism, it is due to them as well as to all others concerned, that the subject be investigated and placed in its true light. It is idle to think of bringing the public mind into a state of indifference respecting the subject of doctrines, particularly those on which the principal denominations of evangelical Christians are divided. And as a difference of opinion in these matters does not constitute a necessary barrier against that union of spirit which all the truly pious possess and cherish, we do not conceive that it would be even desirable to render men less interested respecting the faith they profess than they are wont to be. The main thing, and that which all should labor to promote, is to teach men, by precept and example, to express their differences of opinion in the spirit of candor and Christian forbearance.
The object of the work before us is, professedly, to place the subject in question in its true light, that the reader may examine it, and judge for himself. How far the writer has succeeded in this object, we leave to those who may read his work, barely remarking, that in so far as we have been able to examine his references, we believe he has been faithful in quoting the authors to whom he refers in his strictures on New Divinity, and treated them with candor and Christian courtesy.
The Life of Darcy, Lady Maxwell, of Pollock; late of Edinburgh: compiled from her voluminous diary and correspondence, and from other authentic docu. ments. By the Rev. JOHN LANCASTER. New-York: Published by T. Mason & G. Lane, 200 Mulberry-st. 12mo. pp. 407.
THIS is a new edition of the Life of Lady Maxwell, on fine paper, well and handsomely bound in cambric, or sheep. Price $1.
The first edition of this very interesting biography was published in two volumes, 12mo., at $1 per volume. This new edition contains the two volumes in one, at half the price. We are persuaded the more this work is known to our intelligent readers, and to pious females especially, the more highly it will be prized. Let it go in company with the Life of Mrs. Fletcher. Mr. Wesley corresponded with Lady Maxwell, and in his "Select Letters, chiefly on Personal Religion," recently published at the Book Concern, are found not less than eighteen of his letters to her.
The Centenary of Wesleyan Methodism: A brief sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Wesleyan Methodist Societies throughout the World. By THOMAS JACKSON, President of the [British] Conference. New-York: Published by T. Mason & G. Lane, for the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Conference Office, 200 Mulberry-st. 1839. 12mo. pp. 240.
THIS is a reprint from the London copy, and will be read with as much interest on this as on the other side of the Atlantic. It contains, in a condensed form, a brief sketch of the rise, progress,