Imágenes de página

constantly mindful of the cause, which they are bound to support; and of the means, which may be used with most success. These are some of the most important characteristics, which we would wish to find in a Universal Dictionary. We shall now briefly mention some of the improvements, which the public has a right to expect in this American edition. The American Editor, in his advertisement states, that he “has engaged, in the various departments of science and literature, the assistance of gentlemen, whose talents and celebrity do honour to their country, and will essentially enrich this great and important work. Several important additions and corrections have been made to the present part; [Part I. Vol. I.] sometimes in the body of an article, without any distinguishing mark, but most generally at the end, and enclosed in crotchets.” Anxious for the honour of American literature, we received this information with mingled pleasure and solicitude. On examination of the first half volume, in reference to the additions and omissions made by the American Editor, in conformity to his original plan, we are free to make this general remark, that, with few exceptions, both have been judicious, and real improvements of the work. But loud, and we think unreasonable, complaints were raised against the Editor, on account of his omissions in some particular articles, and against the plan of omitting any part of the English edition. These complaints induced the American Editor to change his

first plan, and to pledge himself in the remainder of the work, to retain the whole of the English copy, and to enclose all additional matter in crotchets. The principles, which are to govern the gentlemen employed by the Editor, to examine and remark on the articles, which relate to morals and theology, are announced in the following words :

“Since, indeed, it has been determined that nothing which appears in “Rees' New Cyclopaedia” shall henceforth be omitted in the American cdition of the work, we thought it incumbent to avow, and we have accordingly here avowed, the principles which will govern us in examining and remarking on the moral and theological opinions which it exhibits. We are sensible that this is an arduous, an important, and a delicate duty. We have approached it not without undissembled diffidence in our ability to discharge it worthily. In its execution we believe that we can promise diligence and vigilance, and we shall endeavour not to transgress the prescriptions of decorum, the laws of candour, nor the demands of Christian meekness. With all this, however, we believe it to be perfectly consistent to say, that it will be matter of little concern to us in what class of living literary merit the name may be enrolled, or in what niche of the temple of fame the statue may be found, of him who has touched irreverently the hallowed depository of God’s revealed will. In the best manner we can, we will withstand his audacity, expose his impiety, and invest him with his proper character: for we believe with Young, that “with the talents of an angel, a man may be a fool.” Those who sympathise with heretics and infidcls will in vain endeavour to turn us from our purpose. Our work is sacred and we dare not slight it. Our responsibility is not doily to man, but to God.”

We are, on the whole, pleased with this change in the plan of the Editor, as it removes all ground of complaint against him

or his assistants, of partiality in deciding on the parts to be omitted ; as it also affords opportunity for stating both sides of a question, in “matters of doubtful disputation ;” and especially as we feel a confidence that sufficient antidotes will be provided against all the poisonous sentiments and insinuations, which are scattered through the English edition. Some inconveniences, however, will evidently result from this restriction. It will of necessity considerably increase the size of the work. The article America, for example, has been enlarged to nearly twice its original size ; and principally for the purpose of contradicting and disproving false statements, copied from interested, partial, or ignorant, romantic travellers. Had these statements been either wholly omitted, or at once corrected, the article would have been much contracted, and freed from that controversial form in which it now appears. Another inconvenience, attending the execution of this new plan is, that it naturally leads to unnecessary controversy, and will, we apprehend, sometimes lead to bitter controversy. The article Abernethy, would probably have led to this, had it not been altered previously to the adoption of the present plan. In that article, as it appears in the English edition, some violent partisan has embraced the opportunity to censure, in the most reproachful language, a whole order of respectable men. The American Editor, by a few omissions and alterations, has judiciously expunged from the article this extraneous and offen

sive matter. Some of the sentences, left out, however, we think should have been retained, and we unfeignedly regret their omission. Still we think this distinguished character stands uninjured, and sufficiently high, as delineated in the American edition; unless any should think it necessary to the perfection of a biographical sketch to anticipate the judgment of the great day, presumptuously to usurp the prerogative of Heaven, and pronounce the sentence of the final Judge. In the article of American Biografthy, the publisher, in his advertisement, announces his determination to make such arrangements as shall lay claim to some degree of originality. This promise, if punctually fulfilled, will doubtless enhance the value of the work, in the opinion of every American, who looks with reverence and affection on the long list of venerable names, which shed a lustre over his country. When we consider our means of information with respect to the characters of our most celebrated men, it is natural to expect that material additions will be made to this most interesting branch of knowledge. The geographical articles, which relate to this country, it may also be justly expected, will receive great improvements. Not only our distance from Europe, but the rapidity, with which alterations take place in our population, wealth, and national greatness, renders it highly improbable, that a correct and impartial description of the United States will ever be given by foreigners. To this part of their duty, therefore, it is hoped, the American Editors will sedulously apply themselves. The two last subjects derive no inconsiderable importance from the fact, that a surprising and unaccountable ignorance of this country prevails among the learned, as well as the vulgar, in England. There are individuals, no doubt, who regard us in a point of view more conformable to truth ; but the most chimerical tales, and the most preposterous falsehoods, when we are the subjects, are received by many even of the literati, with all the credit and deference, due to grave history. Even the despicable vulgarity of a Parkinson, the unprincipled and empty raillery of a Moore, as well as the more credited misrepresentations and partial statements of a Weld, contribute to give a false and unfavourable view of our national character. It is indeed astonishing, that men of sense could be deceived, as they refeatedly have been with respect to us, by representations supported only by the assertions of the most worthless of men, whenever they undertake to publish what they call Travels. To repel all this calumhy, no method so effectual can be adopted, as to publish the facts, which relate to our schools, our religious institutions, our industry, and general improvement, and the various wise measures, adopted by our forefathers, to promote the prosperity of their children. These and many other particulars, at which we have not hinted, will properly find admission in some part of the work before us. As the principal aim of the Panoplist is to communicate mor

al and religious information and instruction, we shall, in the following review, pay a marked attention to subjects of this nature; not, however, withholding such reflections on any other topic, as may promise to be useful. The foregoing remarks have originated from a consideration of the importance of the work, under review, and are such, as strike the mind without any reference to the manner, in which that work is executed. The reader shall be detained no longer from our critical observations. On examining the first part of Vol. I. it is with no common pleasure, that we are enabled to bear direct and honourable testimony to the style of its execution. The paper, the type, the engravings, and the accuracy of the printing, will not, it is believed, suffer by comparison with any similar work, with which we have any acquaintance. In say

ing this, no more than a just tri

bute is rendered to the care and industry of the Editor. Yet there are some articles of small importance, in which improvements might be made. It would be an alteration of some convenience, if the subject or article treated of first, in each column, were noted in the margin at the top of the page. This has been done in other works of this kind, and facilitates the use of such a Dictionary. It is well too for the sake of easy reference, to be able to note the page; and, as the trouble of printing two or three figures is so trifling, we can see no objection to it. Every alteration ought to be made, which will so often save even a few seconds of time in the course of a man's life.

We suggest one thing more, which we have never seen in any similar Dictionary; and that is, when there is reason to fear an inexperienced reader will find difficulty in fronouncing a word, the true fronunciation might be expressed, by spelling it according to the natural powers of the letters in English. It is well *

known how differently foreign names are pronounced from what an Englishman would imagine, were he to regard the orthography alone. Hence arises the striking disagreement in pronouncing them, observable among persons of education. To be continued.

[blocks in formation]

“T H E last week would have been a very interesting week to you, had you been in London. It was the grand Jubilee of serious Christians throughout England. Perhaps there is no meeting in the world so interesting, as the meeting of the Missionary Society. To see thousands of private Christians, and hundreds of Christian ministers, uniting on this delightful occasion is a sight peculiarly grateful to every serious mind. On Wednesday morning, May 13, the services commenced at Surry Chapel, a very large, commodious building, where the celebrated Rowland Hill preaches. After the church service was read by Mr. Hill, Mr. Newton of Witham delivered a very judicious discourse from the words, “ All nations shall call him blessed.” I presume there were about four thousand souls present, and among them between two and three hundred ministers. The collection at the door was 255!. sterling. In the evening the service was at the Tabernacle, a place of worship built by Mr. Whitefield, which is larger than Surry Chapel. Mr. Tack of Manchester preached an excellent sermon from Isaiah xxvii. 6. The collection here was 1421. Thursday morning a most interestnort of the misssionary society

[merged small][ocr errors]

for the last year was read at Haberdasher's Hall by the secretary, (Rev. Dr. Burder.) It contains an abund. ance of important information. This neeting closed with a short address by Mr. Hill of Homerton, considering the missionary society as the cause of humanity, the cause of truth, and the cause of God. In the evening Mr. Griffin of Portsea preached a most valuable sermon, at Tottenham Court Road Chapel upon the signs of the times, as favourable to missions : “The time to favour Zion, the set time is come.” The congregation at this place was larger, than at either of the others. The collection was about 1501. Friday morning at St. Saviour’s Church in the Borough, Dr. Draper of the Church of England delivered a truly catholic discourse from Matt. xxviii. 18–20, which I heard with very uncommon pleasure. The collection." was about 1501. In the afternoon we went to Sion Chapel to close the solemn scrvices, in which we had been engaged, by commemorating the death of our common Lord, by celebrating together the riches of redeeming love. Can you conceive a more delightful sight, than two thousand five hundred Christians, of different denominations, sitting down at the same time, at the table of their Lord, and thus publicly professing their attachment to Jesus, and their love to one another The Rev. Dr. Haweis presided on this interesting occasion. Several ministers exhorted, several engaged in prayer, and thirty or forty

were employed in distributing the elements. The collection was 1601." Thus closed one of the most sol

emn and interesting scenes I ever witnessed. Many ministers, I trust, have returned to their congregations more animated with zeal for the Redeemer's cause than they were before. The prayers of all good people in our dear country will no doubt be offered up to the throne of grace, for such a useful, such an extensive, such a blessed institution, as the Missionary Society. Let us fervently pray, that those excellent men, who have left their native land, with all its comforts, to engage in the dangers, the trials, and the arduous duties of missionary labours, may be supported by that Being, who can make water to flow from the flinty rock, and who can make the wilderness to blossom as the rose; that they may go out with joy, that they may be led forth with peace ; then shall the mountains and the hills break forth into singing. Instead of the thorn, shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree ; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for a sign, that shall, never be cut eff. Hasten the time, Lord Jesus!”

Extracor of a LETTER FROM THE rev. ch. A R Lesco FFIN, vice : Res 1DEx T o F GREEN VILLE Co LLEGE, TENNEsse E, To A PARTICULAR rR1 EN ID 1 N N Ew ENGLAN D. DATEd MAY 6, 1807. Dear Sir, IT gives me pleasure to inform you, that at our late examination and exhibition spectators were apparently unanimous in the opinion, that the students evidenced important ad

* “The expenditure of the missionary rociety last year was £6200. The society has a seminary at Gosport, under the care of Rev. Mr. Bogue, where there are now 13 students preparing for missionary service.” It should be observed, to the praise of many wealthy Christians in London, that during the missionary services, there are as an any as thirty houses of private Christians open for the reception of any ministers who choose to come.

vancement both in scholarship and public speaking. But a scene of much greater moment took place in the vacation, for which you will warmly unite with us in grateful acknowledgments of the triumphant power of divine grace and truth. Union Presbytery, in which for some months Mr. B. and myself have had a regular standing as members, had a session at Grechville, according to previous appointment ; and such a reviving season I never enjoyed before, since our arrival at the College. You know the common practice of Presbyterians is to have public worship for several days on a sacramental occasion. Wishing our ministerial brethren from a distance to be heard by the people here as of ten as possible, we have gladly conformed to the prevailing custom, though with singular exemption from those disorders, which in some parts have greatly marred the visible beauty and comeliness of the church. Public exercises commenced at Mr. B.'s meeting house on Friday afternoon ; two sermons were preached there on Saturday, two on Sabbath day, one on Monday, and two at the College on Saturday and Lord’s day evenings. We have reason to be thankful that our brethren came to us “in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ; that they did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God; but that speaking the truth in love, they in meekness instructed those that opposed, and commended themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” We have reason to believe that through the divine blessing much good has been done. On Sabbath noon the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered. About 70 persons communed ; and to the joy of our sculs, Mr. W.'s former people, who have heretofore unanimously declined to commune with us, were included in the number. It is remarkable, that the ministers were so enabled to exhibit the spirit of the gospel with its doctrines and institutions, that where opposition is not subdued, its mouth is shut. It would have afforded you high gratification to have witnessed, on the late occasion, the fidelity of the ministers and the solemnity of the people ; to have heard those truths, which have here been

« AnteriorContinuar »