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rowed not from art, but from nature-or, if occasionally from art, yet from those general arts with which all nations and individuals are familiar. In general, it is the magnificent frame of nature—the glorious canopy of heaven—the sun going forth from his chamber—the moon walking in brightness—the torrent, the earthquake, the storm, the rock, the river, the mountain, the tree, the flowers, the grass, which are introduced to do homage to truth, and to serve its cause in description. The images, as if through fear of circumscribing the book, of nationalizing and appropriating the free and universal gift of God, are not even bounded to a country or district. They are such as universal man may see and feel. This peculiarity is, we are convinced, one of the sources of that popularity which, independently of its divine authority, the Bible enjoys with the poor and the young. It is the easiest as well as holiest of all books :-unlike the
systems of human philosophy, which are usually obscure, in proportion as they are profound. It is at once sufficiently profound for the philosopher, and clear for the child. This fact, we conceive, both sanctions the opinion of those who wish to give the Bible to the poor, and warrants the expectation we have expressed, that the poor will universally read it.
But, secondly, as the gift blesses him that gives, so these associations “ bless him that takes.”—It may often happen that a poor man, receiving a Bible from a rich society or individual, may regard it as a sort of onerous present—to be used only on holidays or funerals. It is not natural that men should be deeply grateful for what they consider as flowing from the superfluities of others. They are apt also to associate with the ideas of wealth and rank that of authority; and, with that authority, the relation of a master rather than a friend. As the Bible also contains an abundance of maxims calculated to bind the poor
down to their place and duties in society, they may suspect an interested motive in the gift, if it comes from a rich neighbour : but, coming from one of themselves, it is more difficult either to suspect or undervalue it. He can have no inducement but a good one to give the Bible who is not less fettered by it than ourselves. Nor can a gift fail to be valuable, which our poor neighbour has been willing to purchase the power of bestowing by the sweat of his brow. Indeed, the value which a poor man sets upon
his. Bible, lends, in some respects, more authority to it than the approbation of the rich. For the scholar finds many things, independent of the divine truths of the Scripture, to recommend them to his attention. The figures, the phraseology, the ardent conceptions, the poetry, the eloquence of the Bible, have drawn from the mouth of one of the most eloquent and learned of our own, or of any times; a challenge to his contemporaries to col lect from all other books the same quantity of fine writing into the same space. These then may be the inducements of the educated man to read it himself, and' to bestow it upon others while, as to other pomts, he may ésteem it even a volume of fables. But, if the poor man reads it, he reads and values it, not for its ornaments, but for its substance; it is not because it is splendid, but because it is true; it is not becalise the glory of the Shechinah gilds the temple, but because God himself is there; it is because he has found it wise in counsel and merciful in promise; because, anidst all the storms which agitate, and the want which afflicts the cottager, he las found it able “ to'mitigate and swage, by solemn touches, troubled thoughts”--to give him light in his darkness, hope amidst his fears-a holy confidence that even, when systems shall be dissolving around him, thë poor, good mati shalt“ lift up his head with joy." These are its titles to a poor iħan's favour; and such his testimony when he présents it to his neighbour. Need we say that, with this testimony, it speaks like its divine master, “ as one having authority.”
But it may also be said of gifts sûch ag tliese, that they “ bless him that gives and him that takes, jointly.” The whole order are elevated by this mutual conimerce of benefits. It has beeu the object of every enlightened legislature to breathe into the people a confidence in their own resources to make them the architects of their own welfare. Now it is sufficiently obvious that this attempt is by no means without its dangers. A spirit of independence may be either a curse or a blessing. Independence is power, and power may be employed to a good or a bad purpose-either to sustain or to overthrow the political fabric. The government, therefore, whose object it is to infuse into the people a miere sentiment of independence, may be arming them with the instruments of its own ruin. The endeavour should be at once to communicate the power and the desire to employ it aright: and such wé affirm to be regularly the tendency of these institutions. They' give the lower orders 'a'confidence in their own resources, for they elevate them from beggars to benefactors. They teach them that far from being dependent upon the public reservoir, each lias'a fountain springing in his own garden, whence he may draw for himself, and dispense to his neighbour. And while they thrus shew them their strength, they accomplish the other object of guarding the use of it. They do not simply say to the poor you have power”--but'" you have power to do good.” Now, according to our conception, it is almost impossible to over-estimate the
VOL. V. NO. IX.
value of such a lesson. It is the greatest among the real“ rights of man,” to be the benefactor of his species. This is his best
equality;" to move, all in the same sphere, and to reach the same level of benevolence. It is not merely power you give them, but consecrated power—the sword of the giant from the temple of the Lord.
But, finally, these associations “ bless him that gives and him that takes, mutually.” Such are the hardships of the poor, and such the constant compulsion to pursue the comparatively selfish end of their own preservation, that they are apt to acquire much indifference to the interests and much insensibility to the wants of their fellow-creatures. Hence, if the feeling of common danger had not generally the power to unite them for a common end, a nation, where poverty largely prevailed, would be a sort of rope of sand in which no particle had any principle of adherence to another. It is, therefore, a highly important object, not merely to the preacher, but to the politician, to create some such bond of union as may be able to counteract this principle of separation. And such we maintain these associations to be. If, as Tacitus says, “we hate those we have injured,” we are also disposed to love those we have benefited. Every man's fortune is an object of attention and interest to us when we ourselves have endeavoured to lay the foundation of it. Thus, then, these associations which render every man the benefactor of his neighbourhood, endear that neighbourhood to him. And as he learns by degrees that, by means of these societies, he is linked not only with his own village—but with the neighbouring town—not only with the town, but with the county-not only with the county, but with the kingdom-and that he not only gives but receives from them-each imparting according to his means, and each receiving according to his necessities-he feels a new impulse to love his country. scarcely rest his eye upon a spot where he has not bestowed or received a benefit - which is not consecrated by the hallowed image of charity-where he does not see a friend and a brother. Even when expatriated by the calls of commerce or the iron hand of war, he looks to his Bible, and blesses the country which gave him the inestimable gift. Living, he loves her the better for this pledge of her benevolence and piety—and at that awful moment when, perhaps, this very gift constitutes the stay of his hopes and joys, whatever may be his previous petitions,
“O save my country, Heaven," will be “his last.” But here we check our career, feeling ourselves already exposed to the imputation of attempting to demonstrate what
ought perhaps to be taken for granted. To reward our readers we give them the eloquent description of the effects of the general diffusion of the word of God by the unacknowledged though not unsuspected writer. The gypsies discolour children to conceal them-and, unless the author writes a litile worse, his friends, and his enemies, if he has any, will find him out.
“Let it be granted, that by any means the Holy Scripture is perused with diligence by every poor man who is able to read it ; what would be the consequence? Is it too much to hope, that the noise of tumult and disorder may be hushed in peace? that men may be taught to fear God, and to honour the king? to do unto others as they wish that others should do unto them and to discharge with fidelity all the duties and relations of life? Is it an unreasonable expectation, that husbands may learn to cherish their wives and to love their children? that woman may rise to her just elevation and legitimate influence; and that the virtues of the parents may shine forth in their offspring? If the blessings of Christianity should be extended to all according to the measure in which they are enjoyed by many, how would this world of sorrow and of pain be converted into a pieture of Heaven! Should we refer to past experience, there is no fact more certain, than that the religious and moral state of every country may be fairly estimated by the facility of procuring Bibles, and the disposition to read them. Appeal to a Christian, in any age, and in any country, and ask him, what is the greatest benefit which one child of mortality can confer upon another : will he not refer you to the Bible? He will tell you, that the streams of charity may, indeed, flow in ten thousand channels, and that they will not fail to convey blessings wherever their course can be di. rected; but that the records of Heaven are calculated, above all other means, to meet the wants, and to diminish the sụfferings of man: to point out to him his condition; to point out to him, also, his privileges : to improve his state, and to brighten his prospects; to impart consolations as he proceeds upon his earthly pilgrimage, and to cheer his last hours, even in the agonies of dissolving nature, with a hope full of immortality. It would seem as if the very touch of the inspired volume had power to communicate new feelings and to kindle new desires; to elevate the standard of principle, and to raise the tone of morals ; to purify the springs of domestic happi. ness, to tame the fierceness of the passions, to civilize manners, to bind in harmony the various members of the embodied state,' and to give to the family on earth some resemblance of the family above.
« Whenever Christianity has been permitted to walk forth in the native majesty of her form and the loveliness of her character, a blessed influence has travelled by her side. Her charms have fixed the regards of infancy and of age. The mouth which was once
full of cursing, deceit, and fraud," has learned to utter the language of sincerity and praise. The feet which were • swift to shed blood,' have run with alacrity in the way of God's commandments.
Mankind have been taught to love one another, and have delighted in the assembling of themselves together: the house of prayer has been crowded with worshippers, and the sentiment of every heart has echoed responsive to the sweet singer of Israel: “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts ! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house : they will be still praising thee.' Let it be granted that the Scriptures are read with assiduity through the whole extent of our population, and results like these may be confidently anticipated. My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.' What though the effects are not immediately perceptible; what though the
of the creation are not at once hushed in repose, or converted into sounds of joy: the promise is indisputable, and the blessing is sure. The change in the moral world will resemble the change in the natural: the sun arises, and the dews descend; but the rigours of winter do not instantly abate, nor does the face of nature at once resume the gaiety of spring : yet the great principle of life and fertility is secretly at work; it is imperceptibly operating in ten thousand channels, and gradually covers the regions of sterility with luxuriant vegetation and abundant harvests."
Art. VII.-The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale. By
Lord Byron. London. ' 1813.
There is generally a barrier or two to get over before the critic is fairly within the inclosure where the muse of Lord Byron receives the homage of her votaries. Something new and surprising in the name, and in the plan of his production, always puts us at our wit's end to conjecture, before we enter upon it, what it can all be about. We had just this sort of difficulty withi the Childe Harold; his name, character, and office occasioned us considerable perplexity, and our impatience to advance to the interior was checked by a sort of sphynx which embarrassed us at the entrance.
The word Giaour might have been too much for Edipus himself, as it walks either on one, two, or three feet, or in other words, is composed of one, two, or three syllables, as it may be convenient to pronounce it. We will not attempt to make our readers wiser than ourselves by endeavouring to explain the word : it seems to imply an infidel in the Turkish language, and is consequently a term of reproach. It is not appropriated, we