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Remarks on the Progress of Popery. By the Rev. Edward Bickersteth,
Rector of Watton. London: Seeleys. 1836. 12mo. pp. 71. MR. BICKERST ETH recapitulates some of the various facts which have been stated, tending to shew the increase of popery. In his views with respect to certain prophecies, he will not hear of any doubt or difficulty, but insists that the pope is the man of sin, &c. &c., with the same decision and positiveness as that infallible head of the church would deny it. The first cause for the progress of this fearful error Mr. B. declares to be the neglect or loss of the precious doctrine of salvation by grace, and then proceeds at once to a most vigorous and long attack on the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in whose publications that loss is distinctly marked. He thinks there is no reasonable hope of any cure of the evils of the society in the proceedings of the Tract Committee.
It is not intended to enter into debate with Mr, Bickersteth on these points, here or now.
No one can doubt to what all these incul. pations of the society, and the determination to alter its tracts, must lead. But it may be well to point out the extreme injustice with which the society itself is treated. Mr. Bickersteth charges the society with a departure from the principles of the Reformation, and with keeping back the truth, because it has declined republishing Fox's Book of Martyrs. Surely charity might have suggested many very sufficient reasons. First, the society is strictly a charitable society, and its object is to offer Bibles, Prayer Books, and Tracts, to the poor, at such an easy rate that they can manage to purchase them, or to offer them to the charitable subscribers on such terms that they can give many away. Now, Fox consists of three folio volumes. Republish it in as small a size as you can, and it will cost from two to three guineas. How many copies of a book at this price will be bought by the poor, or given away ? It
very convenient to poor clergy, or zealous laity who are not rich, to have a cheaper edition of Fox; but is the society justified in expending its funds for others than the poor? Then, again, although no one now doubts Fox's veracity, or his general accuracy, yet it is a very serious thing for a public body, embracing most of our bishops, in a time of controrersy, to put forth a work of such enormous size, as they will certainly be held responsible by their adversaries for every historical statement so put forth. Does Mr. B. think that the papists would desire anything better than, in the midst of the present feeling against them, to have the means of diverting attention to an historical controversy ? On these grounds alone the writer of these lines (as a member of the society) would have voted against the society's publishing Fox. But if Fox is so necessary, and there is such a demand for him, why does not the Tract Society undertake the task ? Has Mr. Bickersteth no influence there?
Mr. B. says that the kirk of Scotland has fallen away from the great protestant doctrines of the reformers. That is an accusation with which we have nothing to do. Then, our “ leading journals” are another cause of the progress of Popery. One leading journal glories in letting men's creeds alone. Why does not Mr. B. name?
Again, we have given up declaring, as the reformers did, that the pope is antichrist and the man of sin. Mr. B. then says, in his note on this, that our articles are full of testimonies against papal doctrines. Indeed they are, and pity it is that this is not better understood. But what has this to do with the question ? Whether the pope is the man of sin, or not, what is there in our articles which has the slightest shadow of approach to that declaration ? If that ought to have been plainly set forth, Mr. B., instead of eulogizing our reformers, ought to reproach them severely. Again, he says that in the homilies the pope is called the man of sin, and proceeds to quote the passages.
But not a word on the subject is said ; and although there is (and very properly) very strong language as to the monstrous evils of the popedom, it seems to the writer that saying that the pope ought rather to be called antichrist than Christ's vicar, and that many of the practices of popery are such as are described in the kingdom of antichrist, fall very far short of the sense in which Mr. B. considers the pope as the one antichrist described in Scripture. In short, speaking in public documents, our reformers were very properly cautious. With respect to some of Mr. Bickersteth's remedies, the writer must beg leave to be sceptical. No one, however, can doubt Mr. B's zeal, though they may entirely disagree with his opinions. The Works of William Cowper ; with a Life, by Robert Southey, Esq.
(Vol. II. of the Life). London: Baldwin and Cradock. 1836. The present volume of Mr. Southey's Life of Cowper is a precious addition to the stores of pleasure and improvement for which English readers are indebted to this distinguished writer. No page of Mr. Southey's prose can be read without pleasure to the ear; and none, where the great interests of man are concerned, without improvement to the heart that is capable of it. In the present work, in addition to these attractions, we shall have, for the first time, a complete Life of Cowper, by one who, as a poet and a man, is equally qualified to speak of that great poet, and most unhappy man; to appreciate all the various gifts of his highly-gifted, but unbalanced, mind; and to discriminate between reason and madness, health and malady. The whole volume, containing many new letters, will be read with deep interest; for one is never tired of Cowper's domestic life ; and such a view as Mr. Southey has given would revive an interest that had died away.
There is one most valuable addition to our critical stores, in the present volume, in a view of English poetry, from Chaucer to Cowper. Six Months of a Newfoundland Missionary's Journal, from February to
August, 1835. London: Smith, Elder, and Co. 1836. This journal of Archdeacon Wix is most earnestly recommended to general notice. It is full of interest; and many readers will indeed be surprised to know the fearful hardships encountered by those who attempt to carry the comforts of religion to the poor settlers on the shores of Newfoundland. To make his way through wild woods and snow; to sleep in the open air, on the snow; to take all chances of wind and weather, at the most inclement season of the year; to have, as his greatest luxuries, a bed by the fire of some smoke-dried hut; and to go on in this way, from day to day, for months, is the lot of those who, like Archdeacon Wix, undertake the office of the Newfoundland missionary. The comfort which they give to those who have no minister, no books, no schools, no access to the means of grace, are their earthly reward. And they who may read in this simple narrative the affecting expressions made use of by many of the poor English settlers, their bitter regret for having so often neglected the sabbath at home, and their high value for these casual means of attending divine worship, will know that this reward is a great one indeed. It may be hoped, too, that many who read will be induced, when they see what a comfort bibles and prayer-books were to these desolate people, to give a little assistance, at least, to this object.
Ewald's Hebrew Grammar, Translated. By J. Nicholson, B. A.
London. Dr. Ewald has long been known as a very able labourer in the field of oriental, and especially of Hebrew, literature. His very clever dissertation * to shew the unity of design, composition, &c., which pervades the book of Genesis, in opposition to the writers who divide it among as many authors as their caprice may lead them to fix upon, and seem to imagine that its composer only collected these sybilline leaves, appears, by the trouble which Hartmann gives himself to answer it, (in his “ Inquiry about the Composition, Age, and Plan of the Five Books of Moses. Rostock. 1831,) to have given the supporters of the fragmentary hypothesis more annoyance than any work on the same side of the question. Dr. Ewald, however, must not be claimed as an authority by the supporters of the genuineness of the Pentateuch, although he makes some considerable strides towards assisting them in establishing their position. He considers it as proved, that the first four books of the Pentateuch must have been in existence previously to the tenth century before Christ. His Hebrew grammar has long been highly thought of: its great merit appears to consist in the fulness with which the analytic part of grammar is treated, and in the ability with which the difficult question of the Hebrew tenses is discussed, in which portion of the grammar, by considerations founded on the distinction of aoristic and of relative time, he endeavours to give reasons for the apparent anomalies in their use, and investigate the conditions which regulate it. The writer may be permitted, while he expresses bis admiration for the learning and ability of Dr. Ewald, to say, that he sometimes refines with rather too much subtlety; that is, when he attempts to determine, from the style of a small passage in Scripture, the part of Palestine from which its author came; † and that he sometimes generalizes, with respect to the usages of the Hebrew language, on insufficient data,-an instance of which is given in the work of Hartmann, above referred to. These remarks are only made to in
Die Composition der Genesis Kritisch untersucht von Dr. H. A. Ewald. Brunschweig. 1823.
| Gram, p. 5. First Edition.
duce those who use this grammar to bear in mind that they must sometimes take the trouble (as they ought to indeed, whatever grammar they use,) to investigate for themselves. It is a valuable contribution, at all events, to the stock of Hebrew criticism in our language.
A Letter to Andrew C. Dick, Esq., Scotch Advocate, on his Disser
tation on Church Polity. By the Rev. John Collinson, M.A., Rector
of Gateshead. London: Rivingtons. 1836. This little volume shews much thought and good strong sense. It often shews, with great force, the absurdity of the arguments against establishments, by carrying them out to their legitimate conclusions. It always fairly meets the question; and one only regrets, that it is an answer to what seems a very poor performance, instead of being a substantive and original treatise on a question which Mr. Collinson appears qualified to treat very ably.
The Confession of Faith of the Church of England, in her Thirty-nine
Articles. By Thomas Stephens. Edinburgh: Fraser and Co.
1836. 12mo. MR. STEPHENS' name has often been before the readers of this Magazine. He is the editor of a very excellent and useful periodical in Scotland, called the “ Episcopal Magazine,” and the author of a “ Guide to the Service," highly creditable to him. A more zealous episcopalian cannot be, nor one at all times more ready and anxious to exert his best abilities in the cause of truth. In the present small exposition of the articles, he has entered on a more difficult task, but has executed it in a manner highly creditable to himself. Here and there one could wish a phrase altered, or a short passage expunged ; but, as a whole, it does Mr. Stephens, as a layman, great credit.
Parochial Sermons. By the Rev. J.H. Newman, Fellow of Oriel, &c.
Vol. III. London: Rivingtons. When the public call for a second edition of a first volume, and for a second and third, the critic may have the pleasure of feeling that his services are not required, and that his expressions of warm approbation are supertluous. If any one should complain of too much severity, let him remember what this age is; and that if there is any fault, it is one on the right side. A correspondent has sent the following letter:
To the Editor of the British Magazine. Sir,- In the hope that Mr. Stanley, or some of the readers of his late pamphlet, may light on the pages of your Magazine, I send the following extract from Mr. Newman's advertisement to his third volume of sermons :
“ It may be advisable to notice here, for want of a better opportunity, a mistake in an extract made from the author's second volume of sermons, in Mr. Stanley's late pamphlet. The extract stands thus, in page 22, second edition of the pamphlet:— By a priest, in a Christian sense, is meant an appointed
channel, by which the peculiar gospel blessings are conveyed to mankind one who has authority to apply to individuals those gifts which Christ has promised us generally, as priests of mediation.'
“In the sermon itself, the concluding words stand as follows :—'which Christ has promised us generally as the fruits of his mediation.'”-p. 338. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Observations on a Memorial to his Majesty, 8c., from certain of the
Clergy of the Church of Ireland. By a Churchman. Dublin :
Milliken. London: Fellowes. 1836. This very spirited pamphlet (containing, in an appendix, all the letters of Dr. Dickinson and others in defence of the memorial, and in reply to them) most ably and powerfully exposes the evils which would arise from the system recommended in the memorial. So many of the reflexions apply to the case of England, that the pamphlet is warmly recommended to English readers.
Doctrines of the Church of Rome, and Disorders of Ireland. By the Rev.
Mortimer O'Sullivan. London: Mortimer. 1836. The statements in this pamphlet are, if possible, more curious and important than those relating to Dens. Mr. O'Sullivan has closely examined the conferences, of which we have heard so much, and has discovered what must be called most remarkable coincidences, -viz., that, very shortly after a discussion among the priests, inquiring who are really the possessors of the benefices, the tithe war was proclaimed by the priests; that after a discussion as to the duties of military with respect to heretics, the addresses in the chapels to the soldiers were such as to make it necessary for an officer to accompany the men, and so on.
These matters are of the very highest moment just now, and, coupled with other curious and striking facts related by Mr. O'Sullivan, make this pamphlet one of the most striking which have lately issued from the press.
A Defence of Christianity. By M. D. Frayssinons, Bishop of Her
mopolis. Translated by J. B. Jones. London: Printed for the
Author, and sold by Rivingtons. 2 vols. 8vo. 1836. This is really a remarkable work. In the year 1803–i. e., when everything godless reigned in Paris, M. Frayssinons commenced a course of lectures to young people, chiefly of the higher orders, on the evidences, in the church of St. Sulpice. They were suspended in 1809, resumed in 1814, and concluded in 1822. They embrace not only the direct evidences of Christianity, but several lectures on Natural Theology, on the moral order of things, the immateriality of the soul, the providential Governor of the world, free will, religion as the basis of morals, &c. After this, M. Frayssinons proceeds to prove the truth of the Mosaic dispensation, and then proceeds to the direct proofs of the truth of the Christian revelation. These two last points are comprised in the second volume; and it only is justice to the author and translator to say, that the arguments are not only extremely well