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song, and deigns to speak to us of the beauties, the movements, and the hymns of angels, and the joys of heaven, in terrestrial images. The faculties and endowments to which I refer, were designed to be gracious hand-maids to virtue: and, when united with purity and innocence, are still stray flowers of Paradise, that may teach our imaginations what man once was, before his fall, and what once again, the Christian man, in the New Jerusalem, is destined to become.
" But, if these are suffered to engage the mind to the neglect of more substantial endowments, and before a solid foundation has been well laid in religious principles and impressions : if these be made the edifice instead of the ornament of instruction ; if they be the business, and not merely the recreation of life: and still further, if they be accompanied by frivolous pursuits, worldly counsels, unchristian desires, and ungedy examples and liabits in the parents—then do they become dangerous gifts indeed; day by day they minister provocations to mere vanity and folly, and waste of life, and temptation, and sin. The song leads to revelry., and riot; and the dance to wantonness. Then, too often has the daughter cause to bewail her beauty, her grace, and external acquirements. They have alas! but too fatally tended to make her the murderer of her own soul, and that of others.
" Be careful then, I beseech you, parents, to lay the foundation of your children's education, in giving them religious principles and impressions. Let them be inured to sober, serious, and good examples at home. For their sakes also., as well as for your own, endeavour that no foolish, no idle, or sinful word, thought, or action, may escape from you : but let your demeanour be that of persons who are in earnest intent on doing their duty in the sight of God here, and who bear in mind, all the while, as they journey along, that they are strangers and pilgrims, seeking a better country; and having therefore something higher in pursuit; having indeed a hope full of immortality. The influence which your age and relation, which God and nature give you over your offspring, let it, I entreat you, be exerted for good, and not for evil. Let them feel your guiding hand, and hear your directing voice behind them, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it,' when they tạrn to the right hand, and when they turn to the left *. So the son shall be an ornament and defence unto his father ; and the daughter a grace and delight to her that bare her. So God will bless your fidelity and care.
So at least, no prayer, no wise counsel, no holy example shall fall to the ground. All will be registered in heaven, and thou hast delivered th ine own soul”. Vol. I. P. 364.
The second volume contains fourteen Sermons, I. Christians must be Doers of the Word, not Hearers only. II. St. Peter's
Discourse upon the Day of Pentecost. III. The Mote and the Beam. Luke vi. 41, 42. IV. The Christian Law of Retaliation. V. The Case of the Father of the Dumb Demoniac. VI. St Paul before Felix. Vil. The Rich Man and Lazarus. VIII. The Widow of Zarephath. IX. The Ascension. X. Religious Education historically considered. XI. Before a Come mittee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. XII. A Holy Family. XIII, For a Parochial Collection. XIV, The Death of Stephen ; a Funeral Serinon.
The Sermon upon Religious Education presents not only an instructive, but a very interesting history of religious education in this kingdom. Even in the time of Alfred, schools were erected in different parts of his dominions; the intentions of that ancient and illustrious monarch coinciding with the wishes of our own venerable and beloved monarch. The tiine is fast approaching when they shall be fultilled; and when by the exertions of that mighty engine of good, the National Society, every child shall be instructed in the principles of our pure and primitive Church, and in that book, on which alone they are founded.
Dr. Wordsworth is a zealous advocate of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge : its claims indeed cannot be stated in a more powerful manner than in his Sermon upon that subject. No other societies are inentioned by name : to which of them therefore the following observations will best apply, we leave to the discernment of our readers to discover.
" And truly, if the times in which we live, be distinguished by those extraordinary effusions of the divine grace, and more than common gifts of the divine Providence, which some believe, O that there were not still more, the most afflicting reasons to fear, that in too many respects, the celestial bounty is marred amongst us, on all hands, by earthly intermixtures of zeal not according to knowledge, of ostentation, and vain-glory, of faction, and insubordination, of a pragmatical self-importance, and a craving after human praise ; insomuch that, upon the whole, the religious principle, so far from being purified, elevated, and confirmed, is, it is to be greatly feared, in a rapid course of becoming lamentably debased, and deteriorated, by continual large accessions, from the most carnal and secular sources. Vol. II. P. 257.
We shall conclude our extracts with a description of a Christian family, v bich cannot fail of attracting the interest and the admiration of the reader.
“ Thus have we considered separately the constituent parts of a holy Christian family: the aged, those in the middle stage of life, and those of tender years. And if they be lovely when thus
divided, how much more so, when considered as united and blended together in one houshold! There we beliold the old and young linked together, comforting themselves, strengthening and edifying one another, in the holy bands of brotherly love, natural affection, and Christian charity. They pray together, and for one another. Together they read the Scriptures: and they are glad to repair together to the house of the Lord, in search of needful help, and to declare his goodness and mercy to the children of men. They bear one another's burdens. They weep together, and rejoice together; and live together in unity: and their prayer is, that after they are once torn asunder here and divided, they may all be found worthy in the end' to meet again together in heaven, a happy family, no more to part, even unto everlasting : receiving the end of their faith the salvation of their souls. Šo indeed it shall be, through his might who is gone before. And this is the perfect consummation in bliss of a holy family.” Vol. II. P. 399.
From the extracts which we have thus given, the reader will be enabled to form a very fair esțimate of what he is to expect in these two volunies. No man is better acquainted with the lives and writings of the fathers of our English Church than Dr. Wordsworth, as his Ecclesiastical Biography will bear a very convincing testimony. From the frequent study of these great masters in theology, in many passages he has insensibly fallen into their style, and presents not unfrequent specimens sometimes of their native beauties, and occasionally of their quaintness and embarrassment. But notwithstanding this, the style of these Sermons may be pronounced both simple and energetic, and they may be considered as admirably calculated to promote the end for which they were designed. We trust that they will frequently be resorted to by those among the clergy, whose severe and constant duty renders it necessary for them occasionally to adopt the labours of others. Wherever these Sermons are either read or preached, they cannot fail exciting those scriptural feelings, and of producing those beneficial effects, which it is the great end of their learned author to promote.
Art. II. A Literary History of the Middle Ages, compre-
of Learning from the Close of the Reign of Augustus to its Revival in the Fifteenth Century. By the Rev. Joseph Berington. 4to. 728 pp. Mawman.
1814. THIS is a work of no inconsiderable merit; and, though the subject may be regarded nearly as exhausted by writers of foreign
countries as well as of our own, and the merit of Mr. Berington to be very little more than to have collected under one view all the materials which lay scattered amongst many books of different Janguages, yet this merit, small as it may seem, deserves the highest degree of praise. Without difficulty or expence, the reaHer has now become possessed of a satisfactory account of the fall and revival of learning; without perusing hundreds of volumes, he may now be acquainted with the thoughts of the masters who have written on the subject; by sound philosophy, he is led to investigate the causes which produced those astonishing pheno. mena, he may witness the decay and follow the progress of the human mind; and by seeing for how long we have been preceded by foreigners, and how much we have profited by their Jabourg, he may divest himself of some of the many prejudices so inherent in the mind of an Englishman.--Too justly prepossessed in favour of some of our best institutions, our coun Men carry this predilection at times a little too far; and, like a Chinese, they regard with contempt the best institutions of foreign countries, and with admiration even the absurdity of their
To these merits Mr. Berington adds another, and that is of not having given to his book either a preface or a dedication. By leaving out the first, he has taken upon himself much of that labour which our fashionable authors, in their rage of preface writing, generally leave to their reader; and by ushering his work into the world without a dedication, he is at least absolved from the censure of choosing an unworthy patron.
Our author has divided the whole period of the middle ages, from Augustus to the fifteenth century, into six epochs.
In the first, he comprises a period of nearly five hundred years, that is, from the end of the reign of Augustus to the fall of the Western empire in the year 476.
In the second, he embraces the succeeding period of abont three hundred years, from the fall of the western empire to the beginning of the reign of Charlemagne, in the year 774.
The third epoch ends with the tenth century.
The eleventh and the twelfth century forni the subject of the fourth epoch.
The thirteenth century is treated in the fifth ; and the whole of the fourteenth, and the first part of the fifteenth century, to the invention of the art of printing, is comprised in the sixth.
to each of these epochs Mr. Berington has dedicated a book; to u bich he has added two appendices; one on the learning of the Greeks from the sixth century to the fall of the empire in the East, in the year 1453 ; and the second, on the Arabian or Saracenic learning. In all of them be endeavours to give to the reader a complete idea of the state of literature and sciences,
points out the causes which have concurred to hasten or retard their progress; mentions the most celebrated men who have seves rally Hourished amongst the different nations during the different ages, and without giving a biographical detail of the whole of their lives so nearly the same, and so uninteresting to a philosophiçal reader, he records merely those events which have given a bias to their writings, of which, in general, he gives a tolerable and fair criticism; and what is more, though a member of the catholic communiou, he does not disguise the errors, the crimes, and the usurpations of the different pontiffs who have sat on the chair of St. Peter. For this reason we are very willing to give him ample credit, especially at the present moment, when this visible head of the Roman Catholic Church is endeavouring with all his might to bring matters back to the same level of superstition, intolerance, and bigotry in which they were enveloped during the dark and turbulent ages, which form the subject of his book.
This division, in point of matter and time, is very just; it is the same which has been adopted by Tiraboschi and by Andres, two favorite authors with Mr. Berington; and indeed it is almost the only one which has been followed by all the writers who have treated the same subject of literature: liowever, we were pot a little startled at the following clause, in the very opening of the book.
“ I have somewhere seen an opinion hazarded, that it would have been well for the state of man, had Carthage triumphed, and the Roman power been subdued. It has been supposed that, compared with that of the sword, the spirit of commerce is mild and benefi. çent; that, acting under the influence of this spirit, Carthage would have respected the rights of nations, and have promoted, as herself interested in the event, their greater prosperity; that by her, nau« tical science would have been advanced, and new regions discoverá ed, by which a more early and ge:eral intercourse would have taken place amongst nations, the condition of mankind would have been improved, and the arts of peace more generally cultivated. The theory is pleasing, but it is not in unison with the conduct of com, mercial nations. Their spirit is less often mild and beneficent, than gelfish, rapacious, and mercenary. For them letters have few charms; and the culture of the nobler arts is apt to be neglected in the pursuit of sordid pe!f.” P. 5.
In delivering this opinion, our author manifestly joins together two things of a very different nature, the spirit of commerce and the culture of literature and arts. It may be that the spirit of a mercbant in a commercial nation may be often selfish, rapacious and mercenary; it may also be, that by this individual, the culture of the nobler arts, and the pursuits of literature, may be often Reglected in the pursuits of gain, but is a nation to be judged by