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THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, For JANUARY, 1817
Mr. Urban, Jan. 8.,
IF I am not much mistaken, you will not scruple to insert the brief character of an eminent Prelate, which I transcribe from the last Number of "The British Critic." The sentiments expressed in it are congenial to the general tenor of the Gentleman's Magazine.
"There are few events which could have contributed more to cheer and animate the Church, under its present circumstances-, than the elevation of Dr. Marsh to the Episcopal Bench. The promotion of those, who by their worth have strengthened, and by their talent advanced, the interests of our Holy Cause, is at all times a subject of legitimate triumph; but in no case, perhaps, has this promotion been hailed with more heartfelt exultation than in the present. While the depth and variety of his knowledge, and the acuteness of his reasoning powers, entitle him to our admiration, his manly zeal and spirited exertions in defence of all that is dear to us as Churchmen and as Christians, commend him to our affection. He has maintained the Good Cause in defiance of every worldly prospect or hope. His advancement has been hardly and severely earned; it came equally unsought and unexpected; and we bail it the more auspicious, as we consider it the advancement, not of himself alone, but of the interests of that Church, in whose defence be has shewn himself so able and so intrepid a combatant. He is now called into a higher scene of action, in which we doubt not but that the tame exertion, the same courage, and the same skill, will mark his career with honour; and, under the blessing of Providence, adorn it with success."
The abore most appropriate eulojium is copied from a Review of the Fourth Part of Bp. Marsh's "Lectures, containing a Description and systematic Arrangement of the several Branches of Divinity;" and the Reviewer then makes his remarks on the present Part, " Tim Interpretation •fProphecj."
"We consider the Volume before us an invaluable addition to the Prophetical department of every Theological Library. The principles of interpretation are simple, clear, and uniform; easy to be applied, and safe in their applisation. The ill-judged fancies of many good and pious men, in the interpretation of Hebrew Prophecy, have thrown such a veil of obscurity over the whole mass, as frequently to confuse the well meaning, and to stagger the timid. We know of no Treatise so admirably calculated to meet this growing evil, and to clear away the clouds and vapours which have gathered round one of the main pillars of the Christian Fabrick To any one who might feel any rising doubts as to this most important part of the evidences in favour of Christianity, we should earnestly recommend the Volume before us, as a compressed, luminous, and masterly exposition of all the difficulties which might fall under his consideration. We heartily wish that we could see the strong and discriminating powers of our Author turned toward a subject intimately connected with the one before us; we mean, to the Interpretation of the Prophecies of the New Testament. We are aware that the principles of Interpretation would be the same; but to apply them with strength and precision to that controverted subject, and to dissipate the heap of contradiction and absurdity which has been piled up by the labours of modern Trophonii, would require no less an arm than that of Bp. Marsh.
"We hope and trust, that when tha labours of bis new station shall have begun to sit lightly upon him, the Bishop will not forget with how much anxiety every Theological Student will expect the conclusion of this series of Lectures. For the take of the rising geueration, they should not be left unfinished; as every part is perfect, so should also be the whole."
Yours, &c. A Layman.
Tour through various Parts of the Netherlands and Germany in 1815. (Continued from page 486.)
TRAVELLERS who have a taste for Antiquarian and Topogram pbtml phical researches, will find ample materials for the gratification of their curiosity in Belgium, where they hate numerous Histories of their provinces and towns, which preserve lively and interesting pictures of their antient customs and manners, as well as of the progress of Taste and Literature. Topography is a favourite study upon the Continents and notwithstanding the contempt in which it is held by many people on this side of the water, as a dry uninteresting pursuit, fit only for the sons of dullness, and inconsistent with a taste for Polite Literature and the Elegant Arts, the example of our Belgic neighbours shews, that Topography, in the hands of liberal and cultivated minds, may be rendered highly instructive and entertaining. 1 beg leave to transcribe a passage illustrative of this remark from a Parochial History) which was published 25 years ago, by way of sounding a trumpet to announce the appearance of that monumentum tereperennius, the History of Leicestershire.
"It is the province of the Topographer to trace the history of Property, and the colour which the different modes of it have given to the complexion of the times. It is his province to connect antient and modern institutions, civil and ecclesiastical, and to compare their effects upon character, manners, and customs; to add to the stock of biographical knowledge; to explore the curiosities of the animal, the vegetable, and mineral kingdoms; to illustrate,the remains of genius in the Fine Arts, and to point out the monuments of antient grandeur; to preserve the remembrance of those spots which have been the scenes of remarkable events; and to mark the progress of population, agriculture, manufactures, and commerce. Thus the labours of the Parochial Antiquary may be rendered subservient to public utility and refined amusement; and greatly facilitate and assist the researches of the Naturalist, the Biographer, and the Historian."
I can truly say, that I have derived much ration*! enjoyment from the researchesof the Belgian Topographers; to which 1 think I may venture to add, that from the various productions of this sort which I have had occasion to consult, a Writer of judgment and taste, possessing powers of combination and discrimination, might give the world a more interesting History of the Netherlands than has yet ap
peared. The late Mr. Thomas Warton, in the Preface to his admirable History of Kiddington. observes, that the French, the most lively people in Europe, and at the same time a nation of Antiquaries, have a strong predilection for Topography; and books of that description arc to be found in great abundance on the shelves of the circulating libraries, a presumptive evidence of their being • executed so as to be acceptable to the ladies. In my last Letter 1 gave a hint to those who travel with a view of increasing their stock of ideas, to which I beg leave to refer the Reader; and now proceed to fulfill the promise viiih which I closed that Letter. On my arrival at Halle 1 felt a strong desire to proceed immediately from thence to Waterloo, which is about eight miles to the East of it; but my fellow-travellers expressed a wish to take the circuitous route of Brussels, and 1 was uRwilling to lose their society as long as I could enjoy it. I knew that in a few days we were to bid each other adieu, perhaps for ever; and I had already entertained sentiments of regard for them, which absence has not been able to diminish. I considered, moreover, that we should be enabled to proceed from Brussels to Waterloo with advantages for exploring that celebrated spot, beyond what wc could derive from any other quarter.
Superstition has ever been a strong feature in the religious character of the Belgians, of which the town of Halle affords a conspicuous example. The Topographical accounts which I have seen of this place having been written by bigoted Papists, seem to have almost lost sight of every topic but one. For be it known that Halle has been renowned for aces as the favoured residence of an image of the Virgin Mary, which is called, by way of eminence, the Miraculous Image of our Lady; and is regarded with no less veneration by the Flemish Devotees, than was the Wooden linage of Pallas, which the Trojans firmly believed to have.fallen down from Heaven. As the Trojans reckoned their Capital secure while the Palladium remained in the Citadel, so the devotees of Halle regard the Miraculous Image of their Goddess as the Palladium of their town. And as the representative of the Trilonian Goddess Goddess is said to have emitted flames of tire from her eye-balls, on being conveyed by the sacrilegious hands of Diomcdes and Ulysses into the Grecian camp, io the linage of our Lady at Halle ii reported to have shed copious floods of tears on the introduction of the Lutheran Heresy into Belgium. There is no.place in the Netherlands which has been so much frequented by Pilgrims as Halle. Sovereign Princes, in former days, used to vie with each other in the value and splendour of their offerings to the Miraculous Image; nor has the shrine ofOurLady been more indebted to any royal devotees than to Albert and Isabella, who governed the Spanish Low Countries during the early part of the seventeenth century with distinguished equity and benevolence. Those excellent Sovereigns, who gave implicit credit to all the traditionary legends of monks and hermits, and who devoutly swallowed all the wonders that had been ascribed to the Image at Halle, were fully persuaded that the patronage of the Holy Virgin was the surest guarantee of what they had most sincerely at heart, the prosperity and glory ot their country; and they dedicated much of their time to the worship of her Image at Halle. In the study of human nature we sometimes meet with strange anomalies! and the Historian, in the delineation of character, has often to record inconsistencies that excite the pity of a rational Christian, while they draw a smile from the Philosopher, or a sneer of contempt from the lotidel. This remark hath been suggested by a review of the characters of Albert and Isabella, in whom the weakest superstition was united with mental vigour and firmness in the government of their subjects, and with persevering application to business. It has been remarked by a sensible and well-informed Writer*, that " much of the superstition of the Catholic provinces may justly he traced back to the reign of Albert and Isabella;" and jet they were the munificent patrons of Genius and Learning. And in no sera of the history of that country did the Arts and Sciences flourish with more lustre thnn during their mild and auspicious
* Shaw's Sketches of the History of the Austrian Netherlands.
sway: the Arts of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, were emimently protected and encouraged by them.
*' Then Sculpture and her sisterArt revive,
Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began
to live: [rung"
With sweeter notes each rising temple
Pope's Essay on Criticism.
The celebrated Justus Lipsius, whose name shines with such splendour in tha annals of Classical and Critical Learning, was honoured with peculiar marks ot their favour i and their admiration of that great Scholar was, no doubt, heightened by his coming forward as the champion of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady at Halle. Liplius, whether from the same superstitious weakness which characterized his Sovereigns, or (which is more probable, from the general course of his life, as related by Bayle and others) from courtly adulation, and a thirst of popular applause, published a Book, entitled Hallensis Virgo, wherein he gravely admits the truth of all the wonderful works which had been ascribed to the Image of the Queen of Heaven s a Book, which a Topographer of Halle with no less gravity asserts, the Heretics have never been able to confute. If any Reader will take the trouble of consulting Bayle's Life of Lipsius, I am inclined to think he will rise from the perusal of it with a strong suspicion that Lipsius must have been laughing in his sleeve while he was descanting on the praises of his Goddess, as he styles her in a Copy of Verses which he presented to her on the consecration of a Silver Pen which he suspended before her altar.
The Miraculous Image of Our Lady is preserved in one of the chapels of the parish church of St. Martin; and the Anniversary of the Kene-Masse, or, as we should term it, of the Wakt Sunday, is a great day at Halle. On that day the Image of the Virgin it carried about the town in solemn procession, attended by the magistrates, and by deputies from twelve neighbouring cities and towns, amidst a vast concourse of people. I have never witnessed a procession at a KeneMasse without thinking of the learned Dr. Miiddleton's comparison between Rome Pagan and Rome Papal, together with the following lines from Pope's Dunciad:
"See "See Peter's Keys some clirislen'd Jove
adorn, And Pan to Moses lends his Pagan horn; See graceless Venus to a virgin turn'd, Or Phidias broken, and Apelles burn'd." CLERirilU Leicesthiensis.
On the Present State of the
THE recent affair at Algiers has led me to consider the state of the Mahometan influence and power iu that part of Europe and Africa bordering on the Mediterranean sea: the shores of which, to the East, South, North-eastern, South-eastern, and South - western borders, exhibit the power of the false Prophet: Turkey presents also his unlimited sway — which oppresses the fairest parts of Europe, and holds Asia minor in bondage—also the birth places of Abraham and of theRedeemer of mankind; besides Egypt, the cradle aud perfection of the multifarious springs of Science; besides Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco, which, being under bis dominion, form a strong "barrier to the recovery of the true religion into her African districts. The Moors extend his government also to the South in the interior of that Continent; to the South-east in Arabia, to the East in Persia, and to the North-east round the shores of the Caspian Sea. Thus a fifth or sixth part of the human race are < shewn to be Mahometans—and there is free access to all their States by the Mediterranean Sea.
The period of their termination is set by Prophecy, and we may now say, the day is approaching. From the date of Mahomet, A.D. 606, the terra of 1260 years will bring his imposture to a close in the year 1S66. His government is shaken at this time by the increase of enemies nurtured within its bosom; and their inveterate hatred to the Christians is a leading indication of their conscious jealousy of that authority to which they must ultimately yield. The.waters of the Euphrates are drying up. The extension of the Christian power in all the neighbouring States, by the diffusion of the Scriptures, under the influence of the two Societies in London for propagating the Gospel and promoting Christian Knowledge, are Bow enabled to calculate their sueCms from the extent of their exer
tions—and the vigour of the Church Missions which have seconded their efforts beyond example or human strength alone, aided by the powers of other Societies, have laid the foundation of that grand achievement whiih is instrumental lo the determinate councils of Divine Authority. Surely the Jews, who are extensively scattered amongst the Mahometans in the North of Africa, and in the confines of Palestine, might he rendered subservient to these efforts.— But further, the Heathens are dwelling in considerable population amongst them on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Among these must be reckoned the Driizes of Mount Lebanon, who use the worship of Ashlarolh with deference both to the Prophet and to Mahomet, and are also found in all parts of Palesliue. The Hordes or Clans which dwell in Syria, Judea.and Egypt, are very numerous; and one of them, inimical lo theTurkx, is found in the vicinity of Bjlam, in Syria. Many Christian sects are also scattered amongst them, as the Paulinists of Philippopolis and Nicopolis, and in the Valleys of Mount Hsemus: and some of the people of Barabra, in Nubia, are said to be far from strict iu their Mahometan profession. These, with the Attgbans, of whom some account was given in Volume LXXXV. Part ii. 108, are unfriendly to the present Mahometan profession of Religion and system of Government; and it is very possible that they will become finally instrumental in the destruction of the Empire, without, perhaps, knowing how steadily their operations coincide with those of its avowed enemies and conquerors.
The degraded stale of Ihe Christian Religion and its professors, throughout the Ottoman Empire, has continued ever since the siege of Constantinople iu the year 1453, by Mahomet 11. who took that city by storm, and in which the last of the Cassars,ConstantinePaleologui,bravely fell in the midst of the slain. Tho successful Impostor took exaiuplo from the complaints of his conquered Nation* in the case of burdensome taxes, by levying only a small tribute, aud securing his supplies upon tho contributions of the victims. But, although this artful measure may b« politically advantageous, yet there is a root of evil in the Ottoman Code, which wilt at last accelerate its fall— stamelv namely, tbe recognition of slavery aa lawful against all persons of a different faith, and the abuse of it in their authorised cruelty which accompanies it—and further, theentire subjection of the female part of the community to lust and indolence; thus tbe greatest part of that Nation are born to become subservient to the bad passions of the other. Notwithstanding these reprehensible but established practices, they are said to pray habitually five times in each day, in which they are expected to entirely abstract their minds from all worldly aflairs; and beiug fatalists by principle, tbey acquire, in the midst of avarice, ambitiou, grandeur, and passion, habits of contemplation, and an indifference, more professed than practised, to secular concerns. Upon these grounds it is not so much, says Gibbon, ix. 350, the propagation, as the permanency of his Religion, that deserves our wonder.
Mahometans are said to entertain great reverence for our Scriptures as well as for their own, and to receive and peruse them with pleasure; they likewise read with great attention our religious Tracts, and strive to procure them for their study and attention. Hence, it is impossible but our Scriptures and Sacred Writings should have great influence amongst them, and finally cooperate with other means for christianizing the whole Ottoman Empire.
This influence must even now be advancing insensibly, by the intercourse subsisting in the islands and shores of the Adriatic, in the new settlement of the Ionian Isles, in Egypt, and on the Barbary coast, where they are speaking the same language, and require only the influence of some British Consuls to promote the distribution of Arabic Translations among them. By these means we may anticipate the rapid march of their conversion, when every pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Damascus, Aleppo, and Medina, shall increase its interest, secular and religious, by loading its extensive caravan with the records of Christian faith, and carrying the name of our Redeemer to the interior of Fezzau and Derfur. The Mabomo tau pride that would disdain to accept a present from a Christian, would eagerly purchase them at a low price. Air. Bickerstetb, ia/ hi* special re
port of Church West African Mission, in Aug. last, says, "The Mahometans have made considerable progress by means of schools. The instruction which they give, is not gratuitous; but many of the natives are so sensible of the distinction which it confers in society, that they pay one or two slaves for the maintenance and education of each scholar. Yet it is important to consider that Our progress will necessarily be slower in this mode of communicating religious truth. The Mahometan has not to encounter, like the Christian, temptations to change his religion, arising from natural corruption, or from the opposition of his countrymen. Indeed every worldly motive and temporal advantage strengthen his attachment to his creed." This may be deemed the last information which has been received on this subject, and tends to furnish suitable reflections on the condition of Mabomedism at the present day.
From these few sketches of the state of Mabomedism, and from the recollection that its power will expire in 50 years from this time, we mar readily see the gradual progress of decline, and the approach of its fall. Those who have visited any part of that extensive Empire have continually afforded evidence for this suggestion; and whoever will take the trouble to consult what Historians have recorded, will be convinced, that the march of Time strides rapidly over its dominion, and marks, with, the besom of unerring ruin, the ostentatious bulwarks of her unprincipled' usurpation. A. H.
Progress of Architecture in England
in the reign of Queen Anme. (Continued from last Volume, p. OW.) QT. JOHN'S Church, Westminster, ^ continued. Cryjit. Like all Vanhrugh's works, the basement has thoroughly engaged his attention. Extreme, length, East and West, in three ailes, made by massive piers, with plain plinths and caps. At the narrowed part of the plan, by sweeps (already evinced), the ailes lessen, dimensions beiug less; three divisions, the centrical aile four ditto: the several arches and groins take oval forms. From thesu particulars it will