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partly to account for the existence of evil under a government of infinite perfection, the source whence it proceeds, and the manner in which it is to be removed. They teach us in language so plain, and so often repeated, as not to be misunderstood, that man has fallen from the holy and exalted situation in which he was originally placed ; that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, assumed the nature of man, and voluntarily made himself an expiatory sacrifice for sin ; and that the design of this sacrifice, ia relation to man, is to redeem him from all iniquity, to deliver him from the effects of the fall, and restore bim to all the glories of his moral nature. And, finally, they teach us that the Saviour has promised a Divine influence to carry these beneficent designs into effect, to qualify us for the discharge of all the duties, for bearing all the trials of life, and for the eventual enjoyment of the glories and feliçity of that immortality, which is reserved for the soul in the immediate presence of its all-perfect Creator.
These are some of the doctrines that constitute the prineiples of the Christian philosophy. With respect to the work which has suggested the preceding observations, our opinions may be inferred froip the hints which we have already offered. Though not written however exactly in the manner in which we should like to see a treatise on the principles of Christian Philosophy, it has two qualities which are highly estimable, we mean soundness in the faith, and devotion in the sentiment. Many authors have written with a more enlarged comprehension of their subject, and with greater ability, but few with greater piety. The following extract affords a very favourable specimen of his usual manner.
• The reflection is awful, that a few years of human life, which compared with eternity, are no less than a drop in the mighty ocean, shall not only determine the situation of the soul, but even the precise degiee of happiness or of misery. This great gift of God ought to be diligently improved and spent in such a way as we could wish we had done when we are about to appear before the presence of the Judge who'gave us life. Time and life are in one respect synonimous terms, though strictly life is the principle, and time the continuation of the operation of the principle. Life now and life hereafter are portions of the same existence, but the circumstances are greatly altered. Then the state is everlasting and subject to no change. Now it is temporary, being the prelude to that state which shall endure for ever; and we mark the progress of this toward that by divisions, in order to enable us to ascertain and to remember it more correctly. This period is to all men very uncertain, and in itself is short and constantly in flight. Every moment diminishes its duration, and brings us near to eternity. He who listens to the beating of a clock may reflect, as he listens, that with each beat a moment flies never to return. Perhaps there is scarcely any thing better calculated to
impress the mind with the idea of the unceasing progress of time, than to look at the perpetual motion of the second index of a time piece. This speaks to the eye, and each rapid revolution proclaims that our life has become so much shorter.-How carefully then should we redeem time! low different does its value appear in the huur of health, and the near prospect of death and judgement! How greatly do the best of men on a death bed regret much misspent time, and with what different views do things appear at that solemn period, when all things assume their true and proper appearance! Ought it not to be the business of every day to determine whether we have lived, thought, and acted as we would wish we had done when we come to die? By the choice we now make, is our state hereafter to be fixed, and by the diligence with which we do the work of the Lord, is the degree of reward to be determined Did this strike the mind strongly, and were a faithful comparison made between time and eternity, we might well apply to our whole short life the words of Jesus, -What! could ye not watch one hour.'--pp. 158, 159.
Art. X An Essay on the Sanctification of the Lord's Day;
humbly designed to recommend that important Duty. By the Rev. Samuel Gilfillan, Minister of the Gospel, Comrie, The eighth Edition, corrected and greatly enlarged. 16mo. pp. 174. Price 2s. boards. Hamilton, 1815.
THE extensive circulation of this little work, and the num
ber of editions through which it has passed, render any commendation of ours unnecessary: at the same time we are unwilling to let the present opportunity pass by, without bearing our most explicit testimony in its favour. We have perused it with great satisfaction; and are acquainted with no production of modern date, which appears to us so well adapted to promote the “ Sanetification of " the Lord's Day Its arrangement is methodical; its language is uniformly marked by chastness and simplicity; its arguments are scriptural and convincing; and the tone of cheerful piety and elevated devotion which every where pervade it, combined with other excellencies, presents a powerful claim to our cordial and unqualified approbation,
Art. Xl. Essays Moral and Religious. By W. Potter. small 8vo.
pp. xv. 307. price 6s E. Cox and Son, 1814. THESE Essays appear to be the production of a modest
and pious person, desirous of being useful, especially to young persons, and encouraged to publish them by the
cordial entreaties of friends, and the importunate requests • of those of the juvenile world, with whoin he has the happiness to be acquainted.' He closes his preface with the following quotation from Dr. Knox.
• He who professes only an attempt, however unsuccessful, has a claim to candour and indulgence. Failure has ceased to be
ridiculous, where presumption has not made pretensions, nor . confidence anticipated success.'
After this apology, it might seem severe to remark on the defects of style and composition in the volume, which, though certainly considerable, would not, to readers of the description for whom probably the Author designed it, be obvious or important. We are rather disposed to allow him the benefit of an application of his own observations in defence of some preachers of the Gospel, which will at the same time serve as no unfavourable specimen of the style of the Essays.
Nor is the excuse, that those who preach the Gospel, are often ignorant and unqualified men, a sufficient argument; they will be at least as wise as the generality of their hearers; and if they are good men, their experience will prevent them from propagating error, and their conscientiousness, from preaching the truth in an improper manner. If they do not render those who attend their ministry, remarkable for knowledge and judgement, they will at least keep then from breaking the Sabbath, and from profligate habits, beside which, they will excite a spirit of de. votion, which will increase in strengh, and produce a corresponding influence on the general deportment of the life.' p. 216.
• It is our happiness, that Great Britain exceeds all other countries in the means which are adopted for the moral improvement and elevation of the lower orders of society. " by the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil, and by mercy and truth iniquity is purged." Let us use every proper means to inculcate that fear, and to promote that purity.' p. 217.
Art. XII. The Descent of Liberty, a Mask. By Leigh Hunt. Smail
8vo. pp. lix. 82. price 6s. boards. Gale and Co. 1815. PREFIXED to this little Poem is a disconrse 'On the
Origin and Nature of Masks.' Mir Hunt is not inclined to fetter so lively and airy a composition, in the bonds of a too strict definition ; be considers it as
• A mixed Drama, allowing of natural incidents as of every thing else that is dramatic, but more essentially given up to the fancy, and abounding in machinery and personification, generally with a particular allusion. p. xxiv.
Milton's Comus, he considers, as the best indeed, but, at the same time, the least specific work of its kind. Perhaps, common readers will have heir idea of a mask best formed by being referred to that in Shakspeare's Tempest.
Mr. Hunt's piece is of a much more extensive and varied nature; extremely gorgeous in its pageants, rich in its imagination, and delightfully romantic and fanciful in its diction. To some readers, indeed, the diction may appear as too much an imitation of our old poets; but to us, any thing that brings them to recollection is charming. Neither can Mr. Hunt be called, properly, an imitator; he has imbued himself richly with the wild fancies and picturesque language of those good old bards, but he has at the same time his own manner.
The subject, as the reader will guess by the title, is the return of Liberty and Peace to the earth, after the downfall of Buenaparte; and we think the political purport now and then peeps rather too broadly through the fancy of the piece. Shepherds are introduced as having heard, for some days, sweet music in the air, a
Our wood has heard for years.' Hence, they'augur some glad change at hand, some relief from the enchanter who has so long been the curse of the weary land.'
« I know not why,
Of this music and of their conjectures they resolve to ivforin old Eunomus,
Who used to set
• How has he suffered ?
Torn from his bride, and dead too as they say.'--p. 10. This Eunomus and his daughter-in-law Myrtilla are chariingly described; and, at the request of the latter, put forth in a sweet song, a spirit announces the coming of Liberty. The destruction of the enchanter is then shewn in an aërial pageant, and the twilight, which had before lain upon the face of the whole country, vanishes. Spring descends to prepare the earth for the approach of Liberty; and perhaps we could not quote any thing more characteristic of the Author's lighter and more playful style, than the description which is given of her flowers.
. Then the flowers on all their beds
a leaf for all that come ;
In his cloth of purple and gold.' pp. 28.-9. We return to earth, and we are delighted with the innocent fancies of Myrtilla.