« PreviousContinue »
Goldenthal. By Zschokke.
London: Whittaker and Co. 1833. 12mo.
This is a mixture of German sentimentality and Miss Martineau-ism. There is, of course, an old good-for-nothing parson, and very villainous cheating old overseers, and very drunken old poor, &c., &c., and a new system of saving and virtue, which sets it all right, introduced by a corporal, who has returned from the wars, and is visited by the reigning prince, (whose life he saved,] in his carriage-and-eight. He turns school-master, marries the miller's daughter, fogs the little boys by day, and gives lectures, dressed in a Star and Feather, by night, to the peasants, who take him for the inventor of the philosopher's stone. However, one is bound to be thankful that, in these days, the writer allows him to be assisted, in his good works, by a young reforming vicar, who is the Fery reverse of the old and good-for-nothing clergy.
Preparedness for the Day of Christ : being the Substance of four Sermons. By
the Rev. E. Bickersteth. London: Seeley and Burnside. 12mo. pp. 86. There is a point here and there in which the reviewer could not coincide with Mr. Bickersteth in doctrine; but he can say, with great cordiality, that these are plain, strong, affectionate, and valuable sermons, likely to do much good.
By the way, is not Preparedness a new word ?
An Analysis of Bishop Butler's Analogy of Religion. By the Rev. R. Hobart, A.M., Trinity College, Dublin. Dublin : Curry and Co. 1834.
12mo. pp. 201. UNQUESTIONABLY something may be done, by means of skilful arrangement, to make Butler less formidable to the young student. And Mr. Hobart seems to have offered a very useful contribution in dividing Butler's long chapters into heads, and prefixing a summary of the contents to each, so that the student has a thread to guide him through the labyrinth. Any one who leads people to study Bishop Butler, is entitled to warm commendation and thanks.
Pictorial and Geographical_Chart, displaying the Rise and Progress of the
Christian Dispensation. By R. Mimpriss. London: Low. 1833. Second
Edition. With a Key, in one Vol. 8vo.) This chart is really not only very beautiful, but very useful. There is nothing more difficult than to keep before one's mind the order of our Lord's journeys and their direction. Now, supposing Mr. Greswell to be right, (for Mr. Mimpriss has followed him,) and, in most instances, the reviewer would agree with him, this chart brings each journey before the eye, marking the route by a different colour, and giving a sketch of each great transaction by a picture. Nothing can more effectually fix things on the mind. And when, to great beauty of execution, one feels that one can safely add the praise of high accuracy, as far as learning, like Mr. Greswell's, can insure it, nothing more Deed be said on the merit of the work.
Select Essays. By H. Belfrage, D.D.
Berwick : J. Melrose.
These Essays are frequently very pleasing reflections on scripture characters, full of good feeling and good sense.
Memorials of Two Sisters. Edited by the Author of “ Aid to Development,” &c.
London : Seeley and Burnside. 1833. 12mo. pp. 308. In p. 3 of this work the following sentences occur :-“I had a strictly moral education, and was what is called a good child; but, at this time, my heart was as much at enmity against God as a heathen's—not against the god I had formed in my imagination, for him I loved, but against the God of the Bible." Then, a few sentences after, comes this—“I was a very passionate, perverse, fretful child, but courageous, &c." To add to the difficulty, this young lady describes herself, at this same time, as serious, fond of religion, the cheap Respository Tracts, Burder's Bible, and of attending public worship, hating fine clothes, and not loving the world. The reviewer must fairly own that his poor notions were so fairly bewildered by the attempt to understand this, that he got no farther. He is well aware that what is commonly called a good child-viz. a quiet, obedient child—may not be a religious child. But if this book means to say that they who are looked on, however unjustly, as mere moralists, call a perverse, passionate, fretful child a good child, he must add that they are exceedingly misunderstood or misrepresented. And there can be neither pleasure por profit in reading a book which performs either of these operations so successfully.
On opening the book at pp. 232-3-4, the reviewer has read, with very great pain, a very awful specimen of fanaticism-a declaration of a person, admitting that she was under the influence of fever and ether, that she had a long conversation with the persons of the Holy Trinity. This is too painful a subject to pursue.
Sermons, and Sketches of Sermons, by the late Rev. H. Gipps, LL.B. Revised
by the Rev. J. Latrobe. Seeley and Burnside. London : 1833. pp. 468. As Mr. Latrobe, in the preface, gives rather a merciless critique on bis friend's style, and says that he himself has done what he can to improve it in some degree,-as he afterwards states, that the Sermons are all early ones, and 'fail in giving the rich views of Christian experience which Mr. G's latter discourses contained, though they exhibit the same scheme of doctrinal truth,'“ as if the ray of Divine light which broke in upon his mind had brought before him, as a whole, that broad and comprehensive view of Christian doctrine, which to those less favoured is marked out by parts and parcels as the study of many years,' and as the sketches are“ necessarily brief and imperfect, though they may serve to remind Mr. G's hearers of some of his peculiar excellencies,' it would not be candid or proper to criticize the manner or style. "The doctrines,' says Mr. Latrobe, ‘ advocated by the Author, were what are popularly termed Calvinistic,
Remarks upon the Liturgy, &c., addressed to the Right Honourable and Right
Reverend Lord Bishop of London. By the Rev. S. Gompertz, B.A., F.R.A.S.,
Curate of Hartwell, Bucks. Aylesbury: 1834. 12mo, pp. 17. REALLY every body ought to quarrel with the Master of Trinity (or one of his sons) for not publishing a translation of his incomparable Concio ad Clerum, as people are too idle to read Latin. Had this been well circulated, the Meddlers would have been silenced, for he spoke of them as they deserved, and with that lofty tone, and that vigour of feeling and expression, which characterizes him whenever he speaks on such matters, and which would have put to shame any one capable of feeling the emotion. So one would have said before reading Mr. Gompertz—the least of all the little race of little Meddlers—who, in a paper thing, so small that one can hardly see or feel it, has, with that modesty which distinguishes the genus Meddler, proposed to reform the language of the Prayer Book and Bible, alter the Lessons,
strike out some of the Commandments, alter the Marriage, Baptismal, and Commination Services, and do away with subscription to articles and oaths of allegiance, &c. &c. All these are inconvenient, or, as Mr. Gompertz learnedly calls them, res incommodæ; and he first enumerates them, and, in about a page, settles each of them !
No. 3 is as follows:-" Inconvenience of some of the Commandments as considered in respect to the Christian law !!” Of course the poor fourth Commandment is first thrown overboard. The other inconveniences are—“Thou shalt not commit adultery." Thou shalt not steal”!
Mr. Gompertz's great learning will be shewn by the Greek of the following quotation, and his peculiar faculties for judging of languages, by the English :" In such amended version, the words wist, trow, Scythian, Publican, Tetrarch, Proselyte, Ghost (a vevpa), Lawyer (vojuros), possessed with devils, Anathema, Maranatha, Exorcists, Pentecost, &c., may profitably be substituted by words of Saxon derivation in more vulgar use.”
But Mr. Gompertz would be below all notice, if he had not adopted a very reprehensible artifice to bring himself into notice. He knew well enough that his own name would not command attention, and he has, therefore, placarded that of an eminent Prelate on his title-page. The reviewer has ascertained that (as may easily be imagined) this was done without permission. This is perfectly intolerable. To connect the name of a private friend with projects which he would equally despise and abhor, without asking him, would be bad enough; but what is to be said of a private clergyman who does the same to a Prelate of the church? Is his respect for office, station, and eminence, as utterly gone as his sense of the common courtesy due to a private friend or a private gentleman? It may be said truly, that such a pamphlet is not worth noticing ; but the act, the indecent and improper act, of connecting the name of the Bishop of London with such matters as these pages contain, deserves, not only notice, but the strongest reprobation.
EDUCATION. STRUGGLES OF THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY. This Magazine has pointed out several times that the British and Foreign School Society is now entirely and avowedly in the hands of Dissenters, and the equal distribution of the government grant to it and the National Society, is to be looked at with this consideration in view. It is very instructive too to view the desperate struggles which they are now making, on this first occasion of a parliamentary grant, to get a firm hold. The following paragraphs from the “ Quarterly Extracts” of the Society will not only, it is hoped, shew churchmen the absolute need of active exertion, but it will shew the system on which Dissenters work,—the system of getting up clamour and producing effect. If church publications are accused of speaking uncharitably of Dissenters, let it be remembered that they only condemn them out of their own mouths.
“The Committee of the British and Foreign School Society trust it will not be necessary to urge upon their friends the importance of availing themselves, without delay, of the assistance thus offered. They are increasingly convinced that British Schools are best adapted to the circumstances of the country, and the temper of the times. They are not contending merely for a peculiar syştem of mechanical arrangements, but for GREAT PRINCIPLES. They certainly consider the arrangements of a Lancasterian School better adapted to promote order than those of other schools, but this is of comparatively trifling moment.
Their highest value arises from the fact of their being associated in the public mind with schools in which the rights of conscience are respected. Schools in which sound literary instruction is imparted, in connexion with a thorough acquaintance with the doctrines and precepts of holy scripture ; and this without any undue interference with those peculiarities which belong to different sections of the Christian church."
“A general Circular, embodying this information, has been addressed by the secretary of the society, to the advocates and supporters of schools for the education of the poorer classes on scriptural and unsectarian principles,' in the principal towns throughout England and Wales, together with the following letter:
Sir,—I have to beg, on the part of the British and Foreign School Society, your immediate attention to the subject matter of the circular on the other half -sheet. For your own guidance, I have to inform you, that while schools unconnected with any particular party, and in the support of which all denominations are united, will be preferred; yet applications may also be encouraged for aid in the erection of schools which are intended to be used as Sunday schools, and united to places of religious worship, provided only that a daily scriptural education is given in them on the great principles of the British and Foreign School Society, viz. equal admission to children of all sects, with the right of attendance on the sabbath, at any place of worship their parents may choose. I have also to add, that in case the establishment of a British school should be absolutely impracticable, an infant school will be allowed; and further, that supposing any difficulty should arise as to obtaining the immediate promise of a sum equal to one-half of the estimated cost, a portion may be borrowed, provided it can be done without mortgaging the building or land. With these facilities for securing a scriptural education to the poorer classes of your town, the committee trust you will without delay see that a memorial is forwarded to the treasury at the earliest possible date.
“I have now to call your serious attention to the position in which the advocates of British schools may, before long, find themselves placed. It seems that unless those who prefer a simply scriptural education bestir themselves, it will be argued in the coming session of parliament (and with apparent reason), that the advocates of an exclusive system are the only class of persons making any effort to give the poor week-day instruction; and, consequently, that the country ought not, and would not object to a National System in immediate connexion with the Established Church. The sentiments of the people must, to a great extent, be estimated in parliament by the number of memorials sent in by respective parties. Convinced that the great principles of religious liberty will be endangered by apathy at the present moment, the committee feel it to be an imperative duty to call your immediate attention to the subject, with a request that you will shew this commnnication to the ministers of the different denominations, and other influential characters in your town, who may be friendly to the cause, as well as to any other person who may be likely to co-operate in the work. Whatever is done, must be done quickly, for there is not an hour to lose. I need not add, it must also be done in an unsectarian spirit.
I am, &c.
Henry Dunn, Secretary. “P.S. If you find it impossible to move, have the goodness to write, stating what is the obstacle,—whether total inability to support a school, or an opinion that it is not needed.”
CITY CHURCHES. The English Chronicle, in deprecating the proposed destruction of two of the city churches, states that the negotiation for their removal is proceeding. It adds, that the remains of the dead in the adjoining yards, and in the vaults
beneath, are to be disinterred, and “carted away by contract. So far has this nefarious plot been concocted, that we have been told the names of three individuals, who have offered themselves as commissioners, to be armed with an act of Parliament, to carry this foul object into effect.” “ The jobbers in this plot,” adds the Morning Herald, “are likely to suffer a defeat. The party that work this plot are stated to be chiefly that class styled mock Protestants, with a few Dissenters; but not any person of education, intellectual capacity, or good taste is, it seems to be found in their ranks. Last Saturday, in every ward where the foul project for putting down the churches was mentioned, a general burst of indignant feeling arose spontaneously from the assembled householders. In Vintry Ward an anti-destructive resolution was carried. This motion states firmly and respectfully, but in most unequivocal terms, the determination of the respective wards to oppose to the utınost every attempt that may be made, from whatever quarter, for the destruction of any of the London churches, and the desecration of the places of burial. Having mentioned the term 'Dissenters' as persons favourable to the pulling down of the churches, we mean it in a very limited sense, and confine it to the more obscure or turbulent individuals of these respectable classes: all the respectable Dissenters are on principle opposed to the destruction of churches and places of worship of every denomination of Christians.”—Christian Advocate.
If our information be correct, it is not the intention of the Cabinet to touch a farthing of the property of the Church. The change, we have been led to believe, consists chiefly in transferring the payment from the occupiers to the proprietors of the soil, and fixing the payment in each case according to the present value of grain, which payment is to be changed every fifteen years according to the changing value of money.- Record.
ALTERED FEATURES OF DISSENT.
(From a Correspondent of the Record.) Within even the last ten years, another change has taken place. At that period, there was comparative peace between the church and dissent. We remember one of the Claytons—the most respected family, perhaps, of all the dissenting clergy-remarking, at a Bible Meeting at Hertford, that “ he had ridden twenty miles that morning to be present on that occasion, but that he would not go half-a-mile to destroy the church,—no, not to remove one stone from the venerable fabric.”
But a new race of dissenting ministers is coming forward, and of another spirit. Flushed with hopes of assistance from high quarters, they now eagerly proclaim a “coming conflict.” Mr. Binney, who has lately succeeded one of the Claytons,- whether the same of whom we have just spoken or not, we are not aware,-has put forth, in most ostentatious style, an “ Address,” in which he says, that " he has no hesitation in saying, that he is an enemy to the establishment,”-that he believes “ that the established church is a great national evil,”-that it destroys more souls than it saves ; and that its end is most devoutly to be wished by every lover of God and man.
Beyond doubt, this change is an important feature of the times in which we live. Many results may be looked for of various complexions. One of the most certain is, if this spirit be encouraged among dissenters, the speedy dissolution of the union so long subsisting in the British and Foreign Bible Society.