Page images
PDF
[graphic]

three months taken, in that cattle, by the Turks, under Dra-gut the pirate «

"In this manner the siege continued three months, with many a hot and desperate skirmish, during which time nothing more troubled the defendants than thirst in that hot and dry climate, and intemperate time of the year', for in the Castle there was but one great cistern, which, though it yielded some good store of water, yet was it not enough to suffice so great a multitude, but was by measure still sparingly given out to the soldiers, so far as it would serve; no man having more allowed him than would suffice to keep him alive; the quantity whereof some augmented by distilling the sea-water, and mingling it with their allowance, and so well eased their thirst: until such time as having spent all their wood, they wanted that poor help also."—Knolles's Hist. Turks, p. 531 lol. edit. Loud. 1687. Robert Euwtitn Hunter, M. D.

Mr. Urban, Mill. Temple, Oct. 3.

YOUR Headers in general, I 'm persuaded, will be gratified by the ample and satisfactory Memoir, in p. 874, of that truly-eminent Prelate Bp Watson; and as the Rectory of Knaptoft, which he held for many years, is somewhat remarkable, as containing a ruined Church, and a dilapidated Manor-house, I trust you will think the accompanying View will be no unsuitable companion to the Memoir. It is copied from a valuable Work already become very scarce; and I shall add, from the . same source, a brief account both of the Church and Manor-house; premising that the Rectory is by no means a sinecure, as the Parish comprises within its boundaries two considerable viliage», Mo wsley and Siiearsby, in each ot which there i» ft regular Chapel for Divine service.

Of Knaptoft Church, originally a spacious building, it may now be almost literally aid,

—— Eiiam perieVe ruins.

"The inhabitants of Knaptoft," says the Historian ol Leicester-hire,"bought a new bell in 1625; which was afterwards transferred to Shearsby Chapel. The Church was standing in 16>0; but was probably dilapidated during the ravages of the Civil War. In 1792, there remained only the North corner of the steeple, as shewn in the Plate, and .some part of the foundations. This curious Gent. Mau. October, 1S16.

fragment is situated on an eminence, about a mile South of its hamlet of Shearsby, and about half a mile distant to the west of the turnpike-road leading from Welford to Leicester, somewhat more than ten miles distant from the latter. On niv last visit to the place, in . 1805, I found that the materials of this venerable fahrick were rapidly diminishing, some part of them being annually carried away to mend the roads with; so that not more than half of the height of the tower as delineated in the Plate is standing; the chief part of the arched door-way tie re given being blocked up by the lulling of the ruins, heaps of which are vi sible, though partly swerded i ver, on the site of the old church. What remains of the tower appears to have been built with a good kind of facine stone; the inner-part of the wall chiefly consisting of pebbles and rough stones, intermixed with a kind of "prize, composed of a small part of lime and a very coarse sand or fine gravel: this composition, or cement, appears of a very durable nature, as I saw a piece or two of about a yard square, which had fallen from the ruins in a mass exceedingly compact and firm. At the East end, the site of the chancel, an alder tree (under which the marriagesolemnities have occasionally been performed) was growing till the winter of 1904, when it was blown down} and there is still a yew-tree to the South, within the limits of the old church-yard." "The Rector receives no more from Knaptoft than a modus of lot, and the church yard, which lets for3/. The tax for modus and church - yard, U. 8j. Clear, from 1370 acres, III. I2». yearly. By the -smallness of the' modus, it seems not improbable that the inclusure and omission of duty at Knaptoft Church happened about the year 1653, when the doctrines of, and revenues for, the Established C burch were deemed unnecessary. There is no Register kept at Knaptolt t the requisite paro-hial entries being regularly made at Knaptolt.

"Mr. Burton says, 'There lyeth a monument of one John Turpin i whereon are graven the arm, of Turpin, Gules, on a bend Argent three lions' heads erased Sable; and this inscription';

"Hie jacet Johannes Turp.n, filius Nieholai Turpiu de Whitcherter, in com. Nortbuniorit, qui obit 1493. Et Eliza- bi tha uxor ejus, lilaTh. Hue Kinnesinan, arm. here* Paine II, heres Roberti Ciobion, m litis, temp. Hen. VII,'

"Among the ruins of the Church there still.remain a few modern memorials of the dead."

, "In

"In the old Hall-house, which had a circular tower, or bastion, of brick and stone, embattled, and was probably built by John Turpin in the reign of King Henry VII. and enlarged, or at least embellished, by Sir William Turpin, in the reign of either Elizabeth or James; I had the satisfaction, in July 1792, of observing some vestiges of its antient consequence. The whole mansion was then in a perishing state; and on a re-visit, in August 1805, the only remnant was a very small part of the embattled bastion, about two or three yards high, at the corner of the North view; and no other vestige of the old mansion remains, except the single window of the principal room. But the View which accompanies this description will be a memorial of it when perhaps its site will scarcely be known. The present Tenant, who for several years inhabited the lower part of the house, shewn in the View, has very lately built a comfortable modern dwelling on the site of the old mansion-house."

Yours, &c, Caradoc.

Gog and Magog,
Ezekiel xxxviii. xxxix.

THE Retreat of the French Armies from Moscow, with all the dreadful consequences attending it, is not only one of the most extraordinary occurrences of the late destructive warfare, but it is an event which only once before had its parallel in the annals of the world. Never, I am persuaded, was an Army of such real power and strength before collected together, and only one ever was so completely destroyed. It was composed of soldiers from every Nation professing Christianity, except England and Sweden; and it was most amply furnished with every necessary that could be required to give success to it. But, contrary to all the appearance" in its favour, this •vast Arman ent failed in its object. After having marched more than two hundred miles into the Country invaded by it, fought several battles with success, and having even taken the chief city (an event which had never before disappointed their Imperial Commander as to the getting every other Nation into his power), it found itself obliged to return, and by the way which, from the earliest times, has been considered the most disgraceful to Conquerors,—the very way by which they had advanced;

and from this they were not permitted to wander either to the right hand or the left; for in the whole course of this retreat, they were so continually engaged with their enemies, the armies and inhabitants of the Nation which they had most unjustly invaded, that a very small part of them escaped with their lives. Now several circumstances in the account of this expedition agree so particularly with what Ezekiel prophesied two thousand five hundred years ago, of certain enemies of the Church of God under the name of " Gog the Land of Magog," and which prophecy the Apostle St. John shows in the Book of the Revelation not to have come to pass in his time, but to be still future, and not likely to be fulfilled till near the end of the world, as it is one of the last visions of that wonderful Book; that it becomes a question deserving the most earnest attention of every good Christian to learn, whether this very extraordinary event may not be the accomplishment of this most ancient prophecy.

And I have already made some preparation for this inquiry by having attempted to make, it appear, that the thousand years of Satan's confinement in the Bottomless Pit have come to their end t for St. John expressly tells us, that Satan should "not go out to deceive the Nations and gather them to battle" under Gog and Magog, until these thousand years are expired. And if this objection is satisfactorily removed, I know of no other in opposition to what I have to offer on the subject of this Prophecy.

In considering the question as to "the Beast, the Antichrist, and the Man of Sin," all apparently descriptions of the same Character under different views, there seemed reason to conclude, that no particular Person, but some Country or Nation, was intended. And this conjecture is much strengthened by finding the same Personage under another name here, called •! Gog, the Land of Magog," where no doubt can arise as to a Nation being meant. Gog, in this prophecy, is represented as a "chief Prince of Mesech and Tubal," who are mentioned, in the book of Genesis, as two sons of Japhct, by whose posterity Europe was peopled. The great agent then in "these troubles

must

useless to him. The plenty, and the gold, had for the most part vanished. He was therefore compelled to " turn back," to retrace his steps, and that through a country already rendered desolate by his approach. And never did any Army suffer such miseries. Their retreat was a continued battle for more than 200 miles in length, and occupied a space of time of full two months' duration. Murat was defeated by the Russians at Meydin, the first battle on their return from Moscow, Oct. ISth; and Buonaparte did not pass through Wilna, leaving his army, still pursued, and suffering dreadfully, before December 17.

"I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand." What bows and arrows were to the armies which existed in the Prophet's time, their artillery and cavalry were to the armies of France, their great strength and dependance. And the loss of the latter in both these particulars was beyond all example. Twelve hundred pieces of cannon, we are told, fell into the hands of the Russians, and not one single gun was carried by the fugitives across the barrierstream. Out of 100,000 horses, scarcely one survived. And to this must be added, the loss of 27,000

must be expected to be a European Power, and one of the principal of them, ". a Chief Prince." And this description accords exactly with France, which has long been one of the most powerful of them, and a general Disturber of the World.

That Russia is the other Country intended in this Prophecy, there seems no room to doubt, since no other Country answers so well to the account here given of it. It is called the Land of unwalledvillages. "Thou shall say, I will go up to the Land of unwalled Villages, I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates." Now no Country appears to have so few great Towns in it as Russia; and that it abounds in Villages must be inferred from two accounts which I have met with respecting it. Buonaparte was advised by some of his officers to " revenge himself of the Russians by burning the twenty thousand Villages which lay about the City of Moscow;" and in his speech to the Legislative Body, on his return to Paris, he tells them that "a swarm of Tartars in a few weeks burned four thousand of their finest Villages, under pretext of retarding his march." The Prophecy opens with an expression of God's displeasure against Gog: "Thus saith the Lord God, I am against thee, O Gog." Then follows the threatening, which we have seen so remarkably executed in the Russian war: "I will turn thee back,and put a hook in thy jaws." And the former words are again repeated afterwards, as if to fixthem moredeeply in the reader's mind, "I will turn thee back." And what a turning back have the present generations of mankind been witnesses of! When the French army had arrived at Moscow, it seemed to have accomplished all that its great Leader desired of it. As soon as he came in sight of that City, he exclaimed to his followers, "Behold the end of the campaign; the gold and the plenty of Moscow are yours." But he soon found himself miserably mistaken. After a residence in that City a few weeks, the decree of Heaven against him began to operate. He had now reached the utmost limit permitted to his tyranny. Moscow, by the unexampled heroism of its inhabitants, had been rendered

"Thou shalt fall upon the open field, for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God." And this was a natural consequence, from the nature of the Country which was the scene of this dreadful warfare. There were no fortified towns which the flying invaders could seize upon to aid them in their retreat. The whole was transacted in "the open field." It was, as I have before had occasion to observe, "a continued battle."

"I will give thee to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field, to be devoured." The flight of these wretched people was so hasty, and constant, that the bury■ ing of their dead was never thought of. Wherever each body fell, there it lay for many months, an addition to the great feast of the feathered fowl, and the beasts of the field, to which God commanded his Prophet, so many ages before, to invite them. "Assemble yourselves and come, gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you.

Ye Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the Princes of the Earth. Thus ye shall be filled at re; table, with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God." This needs no com men t.

"And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth.... and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord Gud." The recovery by the Russians of all the plunder which these merciless Invaders had collected together iu their unfortunate Country, is a circumstance that never perhaps happened in any war before, and therefore has been appointed a peculiar sign of Gog's expedition against the "the Land of nnwalled Villages." In every stage of their pursuit of their enemies, the Russians recovered some of these spoils; and in one place they found so many waggons loaded with them, as covered a square of half a mile, and these so close together, that it was scarce possible to pass between them. This part of the Prophecy we may suppose also refers to the breaking up of the Museum at Paris, when the books, pictures, and other select spoils, were ordered by the Allies to be restored to the Nations from whence they had been taken.

The Powers of Nature were likewise to take a share in the contest against this devoted Army. "I will rain upon him and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone." And how terribly the French Army suffered from the severity of the weather is a fact well known. The frost, we are told, commenced with an intensity uncommon even in Russia, it was hardly in the memory of the oldest person in Russia, the winter having set in so early, and with such iron rigour. In this more than mortal cold, the French attempted to light fires, and round the half-kindled sparks they huddled together to participate the vital heat each yet retained. But it was so small, that in a few hours, many hundreds died, aud lay around the glimmering ashes.

But though the fury of God was excited against this vast Army, yet it was Col. -his will that the whole of it should perish. It was his pleasure

that a part of it should be left, but it should be but a small part of it. "I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee." To establish this fact, it is not only necessary to know the whole number of the invading Army, but also the exact number of those who had the good fortune to escape with their lives. However, this is what can scarcely be expected; but it will be allowed a most wonderful circumstance, that the calculations given, in both these points, exactly bear this proportion to each other. The numbers can not have been invented with any reference to-this Prophecy, because i (Jo not think that this Prophecy was ever before supposed to have any relation to these events. "We must recollect," says Porter, in his Account of this Campaign, "that Buonaparte was generally accounted to have entered Russia with 480,000 men." "When the Austrian Prince," says the same Author, "and his soldiers, with Ilenier, and his followers, halted at Ulodava," (on their retreat to avoid the army of the Danube,)" they were about 40,000 strong." "Not more than 25,000" (of Napoleon's army) "re-passed the Niemen," he adds in another place. Lord Cathcart's dispatch, in the Loudon Gazette, states the number of Prussians included in the Convention to have been 15,000 men. The total of them who thus escaped gives then 80,000 men, the sixth part of 480,000.

I shall take notice of ouly one more Prediction, which is, "Seven months shall the House of Israel be burying of them." Now whether this circumstance arose from the immensity of the slaughter, and the paucity of the inhabitants of the country who were able to perform this sad office, or from the ground being locked up by the severity of the frost, or from any other cause, this part of the Prophecy would be equally fulfilled. That there were French soldiers unburied during this full space of time, I see no room to doubt. The battle of Smolensk was attended with the loss of a vast number of them, and it was fought on the I 6th of August 1812. A letter, dated March 27,1813, brought the information that great numbers of dead bodies had been burned in the Governments of Moscow, Witcpsk, and Mo

Iiilow,

« PreviousContinue »