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Sermons, preached at Prestwich. By T. Stone, M.A., of St. John's
College, Cambridge, and Theological Lecturer at St. Bees. Lon
don: Hatchards. 1835.. 12mo. A PLEASING volume of sermons, sound in principle, and good in composition. St. Bees has great reason to rejoice in having Mr. Stone's aid. The following specimen will give pleasure :
“ And have not some of us, my brethren, experienced similar instances of parental affection? Does not the review of our years of childhood bring to our remembrance one who was our best, our earliest friend, who, when sickness or pain has visited us, hath taken her watchful station beside our couch ; from whose eyes slumber hath been banished so long as the angel of death seemed to hover over us; whose hand hath administered the cordial, or adjusted the pillow, to ease the aching head? And in succeeding years, when the cares and anxieties of life have begun to thicken upon us; when disappointments have clouded our prospects; when the world hath frowned upon us; when the finger of scorn hath been pointed at us; when friends have proved faithless, and all have forsaken us-still have a parent's arms and a parent's heart been open to receive us ; from their pure and hallowed affections, no reverse of fortune, no frowns, no sneers, nor calumnies of the world, have ever been able to divide us.
“ Let such parents, if living, receive from us all that grateful respect and honour which reason, and religion, and affection suggest. Or if God in his providence hath removed them to a better world, let the memorial of their love be engraven on our inmost hearts in characters too deep for life or death, for time or for eternity to efface."
Contemplation ; or, a Christian's Wanderings. By W. Vivian. London:
Simpkin and Marshall. 1836. It is really curious to find how large a body of persons can write very respectable verses. Here are six cantos in the Byron stanza, with a great many very tolerable and readable stanzas among them. The author has caught Lord Byron's rhythm, and something of his way of putting things, so to speak. The commencement of the second canto is a fair specimen. But he has nothing else in common with Lord Byron, for be is a sincerely religious man. But the doctrines of theology do not suit a poem, or at all events they want a real master's hand to touch them.
Mr. Vivian's theology in prose, it is not the purpose of the reviewer to touch. He thinks that he has explained the great and difficult questions as to “who shall be saved,” whereas he has left it (as might be expected) exactly where it was. He thinks it satisfactory to say that Christ died for all, and that (p. 11,) he has thus opened a way by which every son of Adam might be saved; “ but their perverse nature presents an insuperable obstacle ; they will not, and therefore they cannot come to him.” Now, what is gained even so far?
The History of Rome. By T. Keightley. London: Longman and
Co. 1836. 12mo. It cannot be denied that in some respects there has been a great improvement in elementary books for schools. No one has done more good in the region of classical literature than Mr. Keightley.
This journal has noticed frequently, and recommended his mythology as Vol. IX.-Feb. 1836.
free from the insuperable objections as to decency which apply to most of such books; and last year his History of Greece was mentioned with just praise. It has succeeded as it deserves; and he has now given students a very valuable volume of the same kind as to the History of Rome. One used to read Goldsmith as a sort of story book, but in this volume there is really as much of the feeling and tone of scholarship as an elementary work will admit. The principles are sound and just, and there is hardly a page in which (besides the narrative) a boy would not pick up some really valuable information on matters of antiquity, customs, manners, and phraseology. The Reviewer begs to recommend the book most warmly.*
The Old and New Poor Law. Who gains or who loses? London :
John W. Parker. 18mo. Tuis little book is very well and clearly written, and sets forth exceedingly well and plainly all the evils of the old Poor Law, and the blessings of the new. It is very happy, as the new law is passed, that there are conscientious and clever men who are persuaded of its perfection, and who try to reconcile the poor to it. The Author, like all other wise men, who are their own opponents, keeps out of sight all the hard parts of the argument, and is therefore quite invincible. The whole argument (though the speaker is, rather cleverly, made an honest industrious labourer) goes on the supposition that the wicked and idle are the only parties in the purview of the law, and that there is plenty of employment for good men everywhere, if the old system is done away. Would it were so. No one disputes that the tendency of the old law, as it was administered in many places, was evil. But the real difficulties are not cured in practice as easily as in pen and ink. There are large parishes where the farmers now employ more than they can afford at the present prices, where even so, there are very many unemployed, where, too, the picture here drawn is not the true one; viz., that the idle are employed, and the good not so, but where men of just decent character, who would do very well upon work, are becoming every day worse and worse for want of it.
The Four Gospels, arranged in a series of Tabular Parallels on a New
Principle. London: Rivingtons. 1836. Royal 8vo. This is a very handsome but cheap work, of the nature of a Harmony, the novelty of which seems to be that by the large size of the page, and good management, all passages where the evangelists harmonize are exhibited in the same page, and meet the eye at once. This is undoubtedly a great convenience, and the volume will, probably, in consequence, be very popular. The compiler, as in the next case, does not enter into any explanation or justification of the chronology of the arrangement which he has adopted. It is not Mr. Greswell's, nor M.Knight's, nor Mr. Townsend's.
In p. 8, instead of “ though far inferior was perhaps similar,” the Reviewer would have said, “ might perhaps occasionally act as a miserably inadequate substitute for the notion of one who spies out all our ways."
A Harmony of the Gospels. London: Longman and Co. 12mo.
1836. This Harmony is very clearly and well printed, and from large blank spaces being allowed, the eye is not wearied, nor the reader confused. The compiler prints a good selection of parallel passages in Italics. This answers very well where one evangelist is illustrated by another. But when a passage from the same gospel is quoted, his plan is to insert it in the text in Italics, which rather breaks the text and confuses the reader. To discuss the comparative merits of the chronological arrangements of different Harmonies would be to write volumes. This differs from Mr. Greswell's admirable Harmony, from M.Knight's, and Mr. Townsend's. And the compiler gives no account of his arrangement. There is a very useful index. The Rationality of Revealed Religion, in a Series of Sermons. By
P. E. Butler, Curate of St. Margaret's, Ipswich. Ipswich: Deek.
1835. 12mo. MR. BUTLER is the gentleman to whose arguments the late Unitarian minister at Ipswich declared that he owed his rescue froní that error. This, of itself, must create much interest about Mr. Butler, and this volume of sermons (although perhaps statements are pushed too far) displays a good deal of the vigour and spirit which one would have expected in one capable of thus convincing those who are in
Fifty-two short Sermons for Parochial or Domestic Readings. By the Rev. J. Jowett, Rector of Selk Willoughby. · London : Seeley and
Burnside. 1835. MR. Jowett writes most plainly, clearly, and straight-forwardly, and puts his points so shortly and directly that no one can either be weary or mistake him. Out of these fifty-two, it is only justice to say that there are a great many very sound, valuable, and useful discourses. In others the Reviewer thinks there is a little want of taste (as, for example, in the use of the old common-place calling the Day of Judgment, the Assizes, and talking of the Jury, &c.) and a little overstatement in matters of doctrine.
Selections from the Evidence received by the Irish Poor Inquiry Com
missioners. Dublin : Milliken and Son. 1835. Few volumes can contain more terrible pictures of the daily and ordinary tragedy of real life than this, if misery, degradation, and sin make up tragedy. There are some scenes described, in which cold, hunger, disease, and nakedness, combined, fell on unhappy beings in a way which no effort of the imagination could exceed. This part of the book cannot be doubted, for it is obvious that the descriptions are natural. But it is quite clear, from an ingenious confession in p. 340, that the labourers examined used a very Irish latitude indeed in describing their feelings on various subjects.
One collects clearly that the rate of wages is fearfully low almost everywhere—that the number of beggars is intolerably large, many labourers begging for part of the year, and many married people and widows till their families are off their hands, but not longer that the poor generally have a dread of a poorhouse, and that the farmers have à still greater dread of a poor rate. But much beyond this one does not gather, as one part of the book contradicts another, or rather shows that what is quite true in one district is quite as false in another. Nothing can be more wearisome or awkward than the arrangement of the work. The bias of the Commissioners is very amusing. They inquire most carefully whether protestant charities, collected at church, are distributed without regard to the religion of the poor; and they have admitted a scandalous party paper by Dr. M Hale.
Faith : a Poem. By Benjamin Luckock, Minister of the English
Churches of St. John and St. Paul, St. Croix. London: Hamilton,
Adams and Co. 1835. 12mo. This poem is written, as far as versification goes, on the model of the “ Pleasures of Hope,” and contains a great many spirited passages in that style, the admirers of which will read it with pleasure. The last four cantos, in which there is more of historical,-i.e., of allusions to illustrious instances of Faith,—are superior to the two first, in which there is more of an argumentative nature, a task which requires firstrate powers to handle well. The following lines will give some idea of the poem. The writer is speaking of a child taken from him by death :
An earthly being, and a child of time-
The Prophetical Character and Inspiration of the Apocalypse considered.
By G. Pearson, B.D., Christian Advocate in the University of
Cambridge, Cambridge: Parker. 1835. This is a large and handsome volume, in which the present worthy Christian Advocate has presented to the public a view of the subject matter of the apocalypse, founded chiefly on the principles of Dean Woodhouse and Vitringa. Mr. Pearson has prefixed a chapter on the authenticity of the apocalypse, and, after going through the book, adds two chapters on its prophetical character and inspiration. Where principles have been so long before the public, it would be a mere waste of time to enter on an examination of them. It will be sufficient to say, that they who can adopt the views of Vitringa and Woodhouse will find Mr. Pearson's a very useful volume, and will join in the opinion that it is highly creditable to his zeal and industry.
Historical Conversations for Young Persons, on Malta and Poland. By
Mrs. Markham. London : Murray. 1836. Tuis volume is in the same style as Mrs. Markham's former works, is quite as good, and the subjects are perhaps even more interesting. Mrs. Markham is perhaps a shade or two more liberal than the Reviewer, especially as to Poland, but always moderate and full of good feelings.
Digest of the Seven Church Building Acts. By George Bramwell,
Esq. London: Rivingtons. 1836. 8vo. This publication will supersede all others on this important subject, as it contains every enactment on the matter now in force, alphabetically arranged, with convenient references, by an eminent professional man, who is entitled to the best thanks of all interested in the subject.
Christianity, a Poem, in Three Books, by the late William Burt, Esq.,
with a Memoir of his Life. By his Nephew, Major Burt. London:
Cochrane and Co. 1836. No one can look at this poem, and the long and laborious notes to it, without respect for the author, and for the right feelings which led him to devote so much time and thought to the consideration of the greatest of all subjects. It would be going too far to say that he was a poet, but he seems to have been what was better, a very sincere Christian and amiable man.
A short Defence of the Doctrines, Discipline, Revenue, and Clergy of the
Church of England. By the Rev. S. Wix, A.M. London: Wix.
1836. Svo, pp. 73. All who know Mr. Wix will have anticipated exactly what they will find here,—a sound, sober, and sensible view of the whole matter in question, based on high principle, and expressed with feelings of sincere and fervent piety.
Tuere is a singular and very interesting publication by Mr. Collins of Glasgow, a collected edition of Dr. Chalmer's works, in which that great man, instead of allowing them simply to be reprinted, has begun to recast some of them. The first volume contains a treatise on Natural Theology on the basis of the Bridgewater Treatise, but full three-fourths of which is new matter. Few persons bave courage or