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assertion by many writers of high character in theology, "that Plato had some knowledge of the great mystery of the Trinity." This opinion met with universal concurrence in the early times of our religion, as well among Christians as Pagans. "The Pagans (says our author) fancied they saw a resemblance between the Christian Trinity and the doctrines of Plato. The Fa

thers met these opinions half-way, and confessed that this essential truth of our religion was known before Christ revealed it a second time to mankind." Mr. Mushet has examined this very interesting subject with care, and we think has satisfactorily shown the opinion is incorrect, and that it has arisen from confounding the ancient Triads of the Chaldees and Egyptians with the Platonic doctrines of the first principles of all things,-God, idea, and matter, which were probably first taught by Pythagoras and by Plato, whose theology was borrowed from the Pythagorean school; and which is exhibited by him in the Dialogue of Timæus. This system was a Pythagorean, a Timæan, and a Parmenedian doctrine, probably first brought out of Egypt. The substance of it is compressed in one sentence from the "Soul of the World," which is as follows, when translated :-" Before the Heaven was made, there existed in reality, Idea, Matter, and God, the demiurgus of the better nature."

Our own opinion is with Mr. Mushet,

1. That this Triad of the Philosophic schools has no relation whatever to the Sacred Trinity.

2. We think, that it is no remnant of any sacred tradition, which had found its way into the Pagan belief, and preserved, amid its vague and erroneous language, some original seed of truth.

3. We believe this widely spread mythological tradition to have arisen in great measure from the number three; that number which presents something besides matter and mind; and that something was the Creator of and ruler over them ;-the Zeus, the Demiurgus, or the To ev; and such we believe to be the original basis of this widely spread belief.

The Domestic Chaplain; or, Sermons on Family Duties. By the Rev. J. G. N. Molesworth, 2 vols.

THESE discourses treat chiefly of the domestic duties, for the conscientious discharge of which the author endeavours to lay a strong and scriptural foundation. In his address he says:

"Before the particular duties of each member of a family are discussed, some discoures will be introduced of a cautionary nature, respecting the dispositions, previous knowledge, expectations, and restrictions with which the study of such duties ought to be enforced. These he thinks have been altogether overlooked, or slightly touched upon, by writers on social and family duties. They are, however, important; and, for want of their being attended to and explained, prejudices against the discussion of family duties arise, and many of the advantages which would result from proper examination and

understanding of them are neglected,” &c.

Mr. Molesworth is so well known as a sound and learned divine, that we may expect, in a theological point of view, his sermons to be orthodox in doctrine, and well supplied with scriptural illustration: we also find that they are animated in their style, and well adapted for delivery from the pulpit. We much approve a custom of Mr. Molesworth's, little used in sermons in general, of inserting arguments and passages, which he selects for the force of their reasoning or happiness of their expression, from other writers, and inserts in the body of his own discourse. Now, certainly, we do not know why this custom is so little adopted in our pulpit composition, when we find it in all others. Read a disquisition on morals, you will find the author occasionally quoting the opinion of almost all who have preceded him in his inquiry; for truth must be gathered up from all the quarters where it is dispersed; and it is better to employ the" ipsissima verba" of a good writer, than to present his matter in our form, his argument and elucidation in our own words. Thus Mr. Molesworth often quotes some happy and forcible passage from our great writers on theology and practical piety, as Baxter, &c. Besides, we should approve this custom for the relief which it gives to disquisi

tions that are too apt to be not too attractive to the general mind. To use common language, sermons must be somewhat dry; and as in delivery they are relieved by the tone of voice, the look, the gesture of the preacher, so in perusal, we think an excellent stimulus to the attention may be found in a judicious introduction of passages from authors of rank and eminence; which would, moreover, tend to make their works more generally known.

There are passages happily conceived, and elegantly expressed also, often in works of inferior estimation; a writer in a happy moment strikes out a turn of expression that cannot be improved; or he takes a new view of an argument, or he introduces a singularly just illustration. These are the extracts to select and use, we believe, to the great advantage of the author and his reader. Some of the sermons in the second volume, as those on marriage, and on the peculiar duties of the various æras of life, are written with great feeling, and abound in passages of much beauty. All of them are practical; fitted for the domestic hearth and household; and the last one, on the "End of the Year," is such as could not be listened to without the deepest attention, and, we trust, improvement.

Cranmer: By a Member of the Roxburgh Club. Three vols.

THIS is not exactly the kind of work we should have expected from a Roxburghian; though now and then the peculiar and appropriate spirit of that renowned Society breaks forth, and the author rejoices, as of old, in the contemplation of goodly tomes that he has handled in his youthful days; it still delights him

"To beholde howe it was garnished and bound Encoverde over with gold of tissue fine, The claspes and bullions were worth a thousand pounde, [shyne.' With valassis and carbuncles the borders dyd

But now, in his advanced years, as becomes him, he turns his moral to higher purpose,

"He paints forth vyce aright,

And blames abuse of men ;
And shows what life deserves rebuke,
And who the praise of pen."

It would, indeed, be impossible for

the most churlish critic to find fault with the moral feeling or sentiments of this work; and consequently the impressions which it leaves on the mind, are such as tend to make virtue more amiable, and shew the intimate connexion between the duty and happiness, the benevolent affections, and the approving conscience. There is, besides, no want of an animated and sprightly narrative, or of a sufficient diversity of characters, to make the whole tale amusing; but, perhaps, the author has crowded his pages too thickly with enterprize and adventure, and circumstantial detail, to leave sufficient room for the due display of the passions. This is no uncommon fault, both in novels and in the drama. From some passages, we guess the author to be a clergyman; but we think his list of theological authors for a clergyman's library, might be much improved. (v. vol. ii. p. 118.) We should not admit Jortin and Paley without a proper antidote being administered. As for Pretyman and Gilpin, and Porteus and Gisborn, we should supply their places by Van Mildert and Lawrence, and Magee, and Sumner, and Benson-men of far greater talents, and more profound acquirements. We must now leave our Roxburghian, with a pleasing impression of the amiableness of his disposition, the goodness of his intentions, and the variety of his accomplishments.

Gwaith Lewis Glyn Cothi. The Poetical Works of Lewis Glyn Cothi, a celebrated Bard, who flourished in the reigns of Henry VI. Edward IV. OxRichard III. and Henry VII. ford, for the Cymmrodorion, or Royal Cambrian Institution, 8vo. pp. xxxviii. 514.

THE book before us is another proof of the inclination which exists at the present day to form associations for the publication of the inedited monuments of Political and Literary History. Welsh societies have in general tended, by the manner in which their efforts were exerted, to establish prejudices, rather than to elicit truth: in fact, such must always be the result of societies of this kind, which, like most of the Cambrian ones, give

prizes for original Essays. Too often, the reward is given either for a few rhetorical flourishes, or for supporting that view of a question which is most consonant with the pre-existing opinions of the greater number of the persons who give it. This publication of the Cymmrodorion Society is, however, a specimen of a different mode of proceeding. However we may differ with the Welsh Antiquaries in general in our estimate of the antiquity, and value, and origin of the earlier Welsh historical and literary monuments, this we are sure, that we can never come to any certain conclusion on the subject, until a much greater number of the monuments themselves have been published than can yet be consulted in print; and we cannot give too much praise and encouragement to all who will occupy themselves in the publication of them. The book before us is interesting in a historical as well as a literary point of view, although it does not belong to a very early period. Glyn Cothi appears to have been a bard who lived upon the good things of the gentry of Wales and the border, and in return for their hospitality and liberality, he occupied himself in writing songs in their praise. The period at which he lived, the time of the wars between the rival houses of York and Lancaster, in which the Welsh were so actively engaged, afforded numerous occasions for the employment of his muse, and the bard is never at a loss in praising the valour and generosity of his countrymen, be they Yorkists or Lancastrians, a distinction which seems to have affected him less than the abundance which was spread upon their tables. His poems are far more valuable to us, than they would have been if he had taken humbler subjects; for they abound in historical incidents, and throw much light on the manners and characters of the Welsh gentlemen in the reign of the fourth Edward and his immediate successors, and on the feelings with which they entered into the different revolutions which then so frequently occurred. They were events in which it may truly be said that brother fought against brother, and father was pitched against son; and the poet not unfrequently

praises almost in one breath the exploits which different members of the same family had performed on opposite sides of the question, and boasts of the slaughter which they had severally committed. Such, to cite an example, was the case with Morgan ab Thomas and David ab Thomas, of whom we are told in a note,

"Both brothers, it appears, took an active part in the wars of the time. Mor

gan, like his father, was a Yorkist; but

David a staunch Lancastrian. The following anecdote is recorded of them. When, after the final battle of Tewkesbury, Jasper, Earl of Pembroke, with his nephew the young Earl of Richmond, the only surviving heir of the house of Lancaster, had taken refuge in the Castle of Pembroke, King Edward on hearing the news immediately dispatched an order to Morgan to muster his forces, and besiege the Castle; which he did without delay. lous situation of the Lancastrian princes, His brother David, alarmed at the pericollected his retainers, raised the siege, and shipped both the Earls at Tenby for the coast of France. Thus was David the means of saving the life of the future Henry the Seventh of England."

In the Introduction to this book, Mr. Jones, the Editor, has given an interesting sketch of the history of this period, showing what part the Welsh gentry took successively in bringing Edward to the throne, in supporting or opposing him during his eventful reign, and afterwards in bringing about the Revolution which raised Henry the Seventh to the crown by the death of Edward's crookedbacked and crooked-minded brother. The text of Glyn Cothi's poems seems to be very carefully edited; each is accompanied by an introductory abstract of its contents in English, and by English explanatory notes at the foot of the page. We regret much that the poems are not accompanied by an English literal translation; it might have been given in small type between the text and the notes, and would have rendered the introductory abstract, which takes up almost as much room, unnecessary; and there are so few English readers who are quainted with the Welsh language, that such an adjunct could not fail to have made the volume not only much


more popular, but it would also have increased the field of its utility.

The notes, so long as they are confined to the explanation of uncommon words in the text, or of historical allusions, are extremely good and useful. A few anecdotes are inserted in them, which we do not often meet with elsewhere; but the larger notes are generally mere compilations, and we could point out more than one instance where they are incorrect or injudicious. The long note about the St. Grael, at p. 259, is a striking specimen of this; and we cannot imagine how such an explanation as the following could have been thought necessary in a work of higher pretensions than a class-book for children of eight or nine years of age:

"Venis-Venice, a large and celebrated city in the north-east of Italy, situated near the northern extremity of the Adriatic."

However, we must confess that blemishes of this kind are few and slight, and only mention them as a hint that may be worthy the attention of the editor on future occasions; for we are extremely well pleased with this edition of Glyn Cothi, and we heartily hope that its editor may be able to proceed in the publication of similar documents, according to a desire which he himself expresses in the beginning of his introduction, in the following note. Everybody is now beginning to feel the necessity of placing historical monuments in such a position that they can be freely and easily consulted, and no other means will ever effect that end so certainly as printing them. Alas! that our Record Commission should have been

allowed to fall! How much good might be done in England by a Government Commission like that which still exists, and pursues vigorously its labours in France! The editor of Lewis Glyn Cothi says, with justice,

"The writer of this Essay laments that he had no opportunity of consulting the works of the poets contemporary with Lewis Glyn Cothi; otherwise, the Essay would have been enriched with the historical illustrations which those works might have furnished. His regret at this circumstance urges him to impress on all who desire a complete history of those

times, the necessity of publishing, in a collected form, the whole of the [Welsh] poetry of the 15th and 16th centuries now extant; instead of suffering it to remain scattered, perhaps to moulder, in private libraries. For such a purpose he is well aware the funds of this Society would prove inadequate; but he is unwilling to believe that an appeal to the literary pub.. lic, in behalf of so desirable a publication, would be unanswered."

We sincerely join in the appeal; and think nobody could be chosen more fit, both by his zeal and learning, for the task, than the reverend editor of the book before us. Equal in interest with the history of political events and of literature, is that of science, and we rejoice to see in a note at p. 348, the following announcement.

"Rhivallawn, a celebrated physician of Myddvai in Caermarthenshire, who lived in the beginning of the 13th century. In conjunction with his three sons, Cadagan, Grufydd, and Einion, he drew up a full account of the practice of physic, as then known to them. There are several MS. copies of this work now extant. An edition of it, with notes, &c., is now being prepared for the press by our patriotic countrymen David Lewis, Esq. M.D., Surgeon to the Military Depôt, Bunhill Row, London.”

We had nearly forgotten to observe

that the notes are chiefly the work of the Rev. Walter Davies, vicar of Llanrhaidr yn Mochnont, in Denbighshire. The book is edited by the Rev. John Jones, precentor of Christ Church, Oxford,

The Mabinogion, Part II. containing Peredur the Son of Evrawc. (Edited by Lady C. E. Guest.) 8vo. 1839.

vations to the foregoing article apply SOME of our introductory obserwith equal justice to the book which we now take in our hand, the second part of the Mabinogion, edited, with a translation, by Lady Guest. We can not speak too favourably of this praiseworthy attempt to lay before the public a monument concerning which so many vague ideas had circulated in the world. It is our own opinion that these Welsh romances are no more than translations, somewhat embellished, from the Anglo-Norman ones; but their publication will enable

scholars to examine into this point more critically than could previously be done. We wish heartily that the whole of the Anglo-Norman and Old English Metrical Romances, which belong to the cycle of King Arthur, were published together in one collection. There are still inedited and almost unknown various other documents which bear more or less upon the same subject and question, which ought to be printed, and then we may hope that some light will be thrown on the mysterious history of this cycle.

We reviewed the first part of Lady Guest's work, soon after it was published, and it is hardly necessary for us to enter into the merits of the present, further than to say that it is in every respect quite equal to its predecessor. The adventures of Peredur the son of Evrawc form also the subject of an Anglo-Norman romance, of which the incidents differ not much from those of the Welsh tale now published, except that in the latter they are much embellished, and that it contains many additions. It would not be difficult to classify and point out their additions and embellishments, but we have at present neither time nor space for such an undertaking, and, therefore, reserving this task until the conclusion of Lady Guest's edition of the Mabinogion, when we shall probably give a review of the whole, we take our leave of the present number, and in so doing repeat our approval of the manner in which it is edited, and our conviction that it deserves the attentive perusal of all who are interested in the history of literature.

Anecdotes and Traditions, illustrative of Early English History and Literature, derived from MS. Sources. Edited by William J. Thoms, Esq. F.S.A. 4to. Lond. 1839.

THIS pleasant volume, which is the fifth publication of the Camden Society, consists of three parts, of different characters, and derived from several sources. The first part is a collection of anecdotes extracted from the Harleian MS. No. 6395, a small volume entitled Merry Passages and Jests," compiled by Sir Nicholas L'Estrange,



Bart. of Hunstanton in Norfolk, in the reign of Charles the First; "the second part is derived," to use the words of the Editor, "from the Lans.. downe MS. No. 231, written by the well-known John Aubrey, and containing his materials (with some subsequent additions by Dr. White Kennett, Bishop of Peterborough) for a work the publication of which he contemplated under the title of Remains of Gentilism and Judaism;'" the third part is selected from No. 3890 of the Additional MSS. in the British Museum, a common-place book once the property of a Mr. John Collet, as is indicated by an inscription upon the first page, which has the appearance of being beautifully written with a pen, but which a member of the Camden Society has proved to us to be engraved. The gentleman to whom we refer has shown us a volume of historical tracts, having for a fly-leaf another impression of the same engraved plate, and the inscription exactly in the words which Mr. Thoms has quoted in his preface, p. ix. That inscription proves nothing, therefore, as to the compilation of the book, but simply that it once belonged to John Collet, born on the 4th June, 1633, son of Thomas, and father of Thomas, William, and John Collet, all of whom he survived.

From these various sources Mr. Thoms has made up an amusing and by no means unimportant volume, setting off the articles selected from his authorities by illustrative notes, which display a pains-taking desire to make the best use of his materials, to trace home the persons mentioned in his extracts, and point out their historical and biographical bearings. He has been greatly aided, also, by "Notices of Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, Bart. and his family connexions," communicated by Mr. John Gough Nichols. Sir Nicholas gathered together his

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conversation, or from the communicaMerry Passages and Jests" out of the tions, of his friends, and to every anecdote appended the name of his authority; Mr. Nichols has identified a great number of the persons thus mentioned as relatives and connexions furnished a very interesting piece of of Sir Nicholas, and in so doing has

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