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made implicitly to believe what the lips of the priest pronounced ; if he saw us iniposing on him, from our own authority, a blind submission to sealed and secret oracles ; if he saw the body of the clergy, (for I will not allow that an isolated instance or two of bad courage or bad life will avail him) if he saw the body of the clergy, amidst the bold or subtle attacks of the enemies of Christianity, either timid in meeting the attack, or ignorant in encountering it, I might be inclined to listen to his plea. But he knows that I address him in the most enlightened days, and in the most enlightened country of the world ; where not only is knowledge high and universal, but freedom of enquiry is unlimited, and even pressed upon him by us. He knows that we urge him again and again to "search the Scriptures, whether these things are so.? He knows that we refer him to no hidden, no mystic, powers; he knows that we appeal to God the searcher of all hearts;-and I fear no contradiction when I assert that, if ever there was a subject on which irrefragable evidence was adduced, --if ever there was a time when it was most forcibly adduced, -the subject is the Religion of Jesus Christ, and the time is the time in which we live. Whether it be the external proofs, in demonstrating the completion of prophecy, in vindicating the reality of miracles, in tracing up, to the very hour of our Redeemer's existence on the earth, the establishment of his Religion; or whether we enter into the more interesting, and, I may almost say, the still more satisfactory, proofs from its internal evidence, its harmony, its sublimity, its purity, its adaptation to the state of man, in all ages, in all climates, in all circumstances, I will affirm that not an argument against Christianity has been left unrefuted, not a remonstrance left unenforced. If the understanding required to be addressed, it has been addressed with all the powers of human reason and human eloquence. · If the heart required to be touched, it has been urged in the name of Heaven to “try the doctrine," and by an obedience to its precepts, and the consequent promised influence of the Holy Spirit on the soul, to learn “whether it be of God.”' I will affirm that on every point the press has teemed, and, notwithstanding the alledged coldness of English preaching, the pulpit has almost burned with answers and appeals. The great truth of Christianity is incontrovertibly established; and, if ever the assertion could be made, it may now be emphatically said, “ If the Gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost." P. 19.
Upon the second and third heads Mr. Mathew argues with equal succi but if we were inclined to disagree with him, it would be upon the last; where we must confess that too much of the prevailing spirit of fanaticism must be ascribed to the neglect of some portion at least of the parochial clergy in former days. But a spirit of activity and zeal in their holy calling is now gone forth, which we trust will, under the blessing of Providence, repair the evil, and recall the scattered sheep of the
house of Israel. To the few, the very few as we hope, who still live in negligence and apathy, we could not address ourselves in more energetic language than that of Mr. Mathew.
“ Let us, however, my brethren in the ministry, (for I will tain you no longer) let us endeavour, as much as in us lies, to cut off occasion from those who seek occasion, whereof to accuse
Our station is on an eminence, and our actions will be watched. The Bible is open to all, and discussion on it will be free. If our Church be true, Christ will be with us to the end. Grand, momentous, and eventful, is our charge: ceaseless its duties, and deep our responsibility. To us is committed the gracious word of reconciliation between sinful man and his offended God. Think how precious is the value of an immortal soul, how awful is human redemption! Let the high concern of heaven---the everlasting interests of man-be our first concern, to whom through Christ they are entrusted here. In purest fervour of Christian charity, let us bear with all men; yet in an earnest zeal for the faith once delivered to the saints, let us “think it a small thing to be judged of man's judgment: knowing that he that judgeth us is the Lord, let us hold fast the profession of that faith without wavering,” and never want firmness to stand against the obloquy, to which integrity exposes us.-But, however pure we believe our faith to be, however guarded our actions, however unfounded may be the calumnies against us, or wilful the sins of many, to whom we preach in vain, let us from hour to hour remember the solemn account which we must one day give of our charge: with the everlasting world constantly before us, let us contemplate the millions that will be assembled at the bar of Heaven, and let each of us think, how many of those souls, for whom Christ died, will on that day be required at our hands ! 'P. 30.
Art. X. Original Lines and Translations.
Small Svo. pp. 106. Murray. WHEN we have mentioned the name of the author of these poems, it will be unnecessary to add, that, in point of morality, they are unexceptionable. They are by Mr. Granville Penn, the author of the Bioscope, and other valuable works; and though he modestly calls them only “ lines," they are such lines as a poet need not be ashamed to have written : they have both spirit and elegance. The first three poems in the book are Gratulatory Addresses for May, 1814, addressed 10 the Prince Regent, the Emperor Alexander, and the Duke of Wellington. We should not wonder, if the first of these were to call down on the writer the sneers and abuse of those pa
triotić gentlemen who, in the ruler of their country, can ses. only an object for the sbafts of calumny and malice. to all such"--if for such there can be any peace. They are wel. come to our hearty. contempt; and so we leave them. The Address to the Duke of Wellington we will extract.
What strain will be found worthy to praise the hero, now that he has consummated his glory, and that of his country, by the decisive day of Waterloo ! “ GREAT SPIRIT! rais'd to crown thy country's fame;
To make her praise on earth and sea the same;
"O! deeply drink the transport of thy breast,
regret that our limited space does not allow us to insert in our pages the “ Lines to Harold," which are in the stanza of Spenser, and are as pious in spirit as they are musical in their numbers. They were written under the first impression produced by the perusal of the Poem of Child Harold, and were jinmediately sent to the noble author of tliat poem. Mr. Penn augurs' well from * the kind and courteous manner in whicli they were received from a stranger," and we sincerely hope that his auguries will not be falsified by the event.
The remainder of the original lines are not less worthy of perusal than those which we have mentioned.
Of the translations, the principal, is a version of the fourtki Eclogue of Virgil. This poeni, which has perplexed the judgments and divided the opinions of the learned world in all ages as to its specific and true object," Mr. Penn maintains to be
a simple, beautiful, and unobscure Birth-day Poem, written by Virgil, in the year of Rome 715, in honour of Octavius, then denominated C. Julius Cæsar Octavianus, upon occasion of his liaving acquired, in the preceding year, while Pollio was Consúl, the sole supremacy of Rome, Italy, and the H’estern Provinces, by the partition of the Roman world with M. Antony in the treaty of Brundusium, which partition was afterwards confirmed in the peace of Puteoli, at the beginning of the year 715." This theory Mr. Penn has .explained and defended in a separate volume. Without giving any opinion on this theory, further than that it cannot be denied to be highly plausible, we must pronounce, that the version of the Eclogue is executed in a masterly manner. Here again the length of the piece precludes us from justifying our opinion, by the best of all possible ways, that of extracting the poem.
The rest of the translations are “ close” ones from Anacreone They are not, however, so close as to be ungraceful, which the reader will readily perceive from the following ode;
TO THE SWALLOW.
Tak’st thy roving journey, here
now, what hope remains for me!
ART. XI. Conversation : A Didactic Poem, in three
Parts. By Willium Cooke, Esq. of the Middle Temple, Barrister at Laro, &c. &c. The fourth Edition, revised and enlarged, with Poetical Portraits of the principal Characters of Dr. Johnson's Club. Small 8vo.
pp. 136. Un derwood.
THE author of the volume before us, as will be seen from his title page, is not a new and trembling candidate for public fa. vour. He has already been well received ; and it must be owned that he is not undeserving of the reception which he has experienced. His work will occupy a respectable place among didactic poems. Not that we believe it to be practicable by any rules to teach the nice and difficult art of conversing with propriety and elegance. To shine in conversation, requires a rare union of talents, taste, knowledge, and judgment. Still, though rules must be inadequate to confer the power of attaining excellence, ihey may be so far useful as to prevent the commission of glaring faults. In this point of view, Mr. Cooke's poem may be of service to its readers. His precepts are sound, and the characters by which he illustrates them are drawn with a considerable share of spirit. The following specimen will give a tolerable idea of the general tone of the volume:
“ Press none to contest on his favourite art,
“ Nor turn from him whose habit and address,
behold, how cool. Sir VAPID shews!