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where completeness might be unattainable, its absence would be preferable to bad proportion. A picturesque ruin is better than an entire, if awkward, structure. A regiment is more. efficient when the poltroons are sent to guard the baggage.

No selection can ever be popular of which the hymns of Watts do not form the foundation. In particulars he has been surpassed, but, on the whole, he is without a rival; and if, in some of his productions, he has failed, in the large proportion he has combined more of the specific requisites for congregational psalmody, than any who have come after him: as to his predecessors, we are not aware of any, with perhaps a partial exception in favour of Bishop Ken, that can be considered as approaching him.

Next to Dr. Watts as a hymn writer, undoubtedly stands the Rev. Charles Wesley. He was probably the author of a great number of compositions of this kind, with less variety of matter or manner, than any other man of genius that can be named. Excepting his "Short Hymns on Passages of Scripture," which of course make the whole tour of Bible literature, and are of very unequal merit,— Christian experience, from the days of afflictions, through all the gradations of doubt, fear, desire, faith, hope, expectation, to the transports of perfect love, in the very beams of the beatific vision,Christian experience furnishes him with everlasting and inexhaustible themes; and it must be confessed, that he has celebrated them with an affluence of diction, and a splendour of colouring, rarely surpassed. At the same time, he has invested them with a power of truth, and endeared them both to the imagination and the affections, with a pathos which makes feeling conviction, and leaves the understanding little to do but to acquiesce in the decisions of the heart. As the Poet of Methodism, he has sung the doctrines of the Gospel as they were expounded among that people, dwelling especially on the personal appropriation of the words of eternal life to the sinner, or the saint, as the test of his actual state before God, and admitting nothing less than the full assurance of faith as the privilege of be. lievers :

"Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
Relies on that alone,

Laughs at impossibilities,

And says It shall be done.

"Faith lends her realising light,

The clouds disperse, the shadows fly,

The Invisible appears in sight,

And God is seen by mortal eye!"

These are glimpses of our Author's manner, broad indeed, and awful, but signally illustrative, like lightning out of darkness, revealing for a moment the whole hemisphere. Among C. Wesley's

highest achievements may be recorded, "Come, O thou traveller unknown," &c. page 43, in which, with consummate art, he has carried on the action of a lyrical drama; every turn in the conflict with the mysterious being against whom he wrestles all night, being marked with precision by the varying language of the speaker, accompanied by intense, increasing interest, till the rapturous moment of discovery, when he prevails, and exclaims, "I know thee, Saviour, who thou art," &c. The hymn, page 364, "Come on, my partners in distress," &c. anticipates the strains, and is written almost in the spirit of the Church triumphant. "Thou wretched man of

sorrow," &c. and its companion-piece, "Great Author of my being," &c. pages 278, 9, are composed with great strength and fervency of feeling, feeling congenial, yet perfectly contrasted with that in the former instance; for here, instead of the society of saints and angels, he indulges lonely, silent anguish, desiring" to live and die alone" with God, as if creature-communion had ceased with him for ever. "Thou God of glorious majesty !" &c. page 158, is a sublime contemplation in another vein; solemn, collected, unimpassioned thought, but thought occupied with that which is of everlasting import to a dying man, standing on the lapse of a moment between "two eternities." The hymn on the Day of Judgement, "Stand the omnipotent decree," begins with a note abrupt and awakening like the sound of the last trumpet. This is altogether one of the most daring and victorious flights of our Author. Such pieces prove, that if Charles Wesley's hymns are less varied than might have been desired for general purposes, it was from choice, and predilection to certain views of the Gospel in its effects upon human minds, and not from want of diversity of gifts. It is probable, that the severer taste of his brother, the Rev. John Wesley, greatly tempered the extravagance of Charles, pruned his luxuriances, and restrained his impetuosity, in those hymns of his which form a large proportion of the Methodist collection; the few which are understood to be John's in that book, being of a more intellectual character than what are known to be Charles's, while the latter are wonderfully improved by abridgement and compression, in comparison with the originals as they were first given to the public.'

Doddridge, Toplady, Cowper, Beddome are names too well known to need our eulogy, and as we are not, at present, intending to frame a hymnological code, we shall not attempt a discriminative estimate of their excellencies and defects. But there are less obvious sources from which contributions may be obtained; and one of these, which seems hitherto to have lain under a sort of ban and interdict, has furnished Mr. Montgomery with some beautiful specimens of devotional poetry.

'Give to the winds thy fears;

Hope and be undismayed;

God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears,

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God shall lift up thy head.

Through waves, through clouds and storms,
He gently clears thy way;

Wait thou his time; so shall the night
Soon end in joyous day.

He every where hath sway,
And all things serve his might;
His every act pure blessing is,
His path, unsullied light.
When He makes bear his arm,
What shall his work withstand?
When He his people's cause defends,
Who, who shall stay his hand?
'Leave to his sovereign sway,
To choose, and to command

;

With wonder filled, thou then shalt own,
How wise, how strong his hand.
Thou comprehend'st him not;
Yet earth and heaven tell,
God sits as sovereign on the throne,
He ruleth all things well.

• Thou seest our weakness, Lord;
Our hearts are known to Thee;
O, lift thou up the sinking hand,
Confirm the feeble knee!

Let us, in life and death,
Boldly thy truth declare;

And publish, with our latest breath,
Thy love and guardian care.'

These fine stanzas are from the Moravian Hymn-book, and there are other examples of equal worth from the same collection. The last section of the volume contains about a hundred original hymns' by Mr. Montgomery himself, and a more interesting series of compositions will not be found in the pages of the most highly favoured among the writers of sacred poetry. They are not overloaded with epithet and ornament, though there is enough of decoration to give colour to the thought and feeling. Evangelical simplicity and devotional sentiment are, however, their distinguishing characteristics; and with Mr. M.'s pure taste it could not be otherwise, since nothing can betray greater infirmity of judgement than the sacrifice to the imagination, of that which concerns the heart. The following is an average specimen.

Thou, God, art a consuming fire;
Yet mortals may find grace,

From toil and tumult to retire,

And meet Thee face to face.

1 Though "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord!"
Seraph to seraph sings;

And angel-choirs, with one accord,
Worship, with veiling wings;-

Though earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne,
Thy way amidst the sea;

Thy path deep floods, thy steps unknown,
Thy counsels mystery ;-

· Yet wilt thou look on him who lies

A suppliant at thy feet;

And hearken to the feeblest cries
That reach the mercy-seat.

'Between the Cherubim of old
Thy glory was expressed;

But God, through Christ, we now behold
In flesh made manifest.

Through Him who all our sickness felt,
Who all our sorrows bare;
Through Him in whom thy fulness dwelt,
We offer up our prayer.

• Touched with a feeling of our woes,
Jesus our High Priest stands;

All our infirmities he knows;

Our souls are in his hands.

'He bears them up with strength divine,
When at thy feet we fall:

Lord, cause thy face on us to shine;
Hear us-on Thee we call.'

On the whole, we feel ourselves under much obligation to Mr. Montgomery for this volume, both as an excellent manual of devotion, and a collection of delightful poetry. It is decidedly of a higher order than any other book of the kind that we are acquainted with; compiled under the guidance of better canons of selection, and printed, as far as our recollections serve, without any of that affectation of editorship and alteration which has so frequently annoyed us. There are several hymns of antique character, and remarkable for the raciness and vigour which such compositions frequently exhibit, that are new to us; and there is an admirable instance of the effect of judicious adaptation, in a hymn formed by the selection of five stanzas from one of Merrick's psalms consisting of seventeen. The collection is divided into five parts. I. Scripture subjects.-2. Prayer and Praise.-3. Special Occasions.-4. Miscellaneous Hymns.-5. Original Hymns. The Introduc

'tory Essay' is full of instruction and interest; the extract that we have given will sufficiently illustrate its general character. If the volume meet with a reception in any degree proportioned to its merits, it must become extensively popular.

We would by all means recommend the immediate expulsion of the marvellous attempt at graphic embellishment that fronts the title.

Art. VII. Naval Records: or the Chronicles of the Line of Battle Ships of the Royal Navy, from its First Establishment in the Reign of Henry VIII. Part I. Foolscap 8vo. pp. 334. Price 8s. London, 1824.

THE glaring discrepancies that are so unceasingly and so

bewilderingly encountered in historical reading, have sometimes tempted us to the wish that all national records were restricted to the simple statement of dates and results, unless the commentary could be so ample and minute as to afford all requisite means of examination and adjustment. Prejudice, pride, and interest have a strange influence on the organs of reception and communication, and men of veracity will not only unconsciously throw over their narratives the colour of their feelings, but will actually contemplate the same occurrence with different eyes in the precise ratio of their personal concern in the event. In all cases, it is desirable to be made acquainted with the truth; but it becomes of incalculable importance when the public weal is so deeply at stake, as in the conduct and issue of military operations. Has a battle been lost?-we can only ascertain the causes of the disaster by a minute and unvarnished detail of all the circumstances connected with the plans and arrangements of the general, and with the quality and numbers of his troops. Does the tide of victory turn against England in her career of naval triumph ?— it is of the last necessity that an accurate knowledge be obtained of all the facts which bear upon the inquiry, whether our failures have been the effect of relaxed discipline, erroneous system, inferior strength, or disastrous casualty. In this respect, the researches of Mr. James have been of the highest utility. If he has stripped our successes against the French navy, of the glare which incomplete statements had given them, he has abated the mortification and dismay which our reverses in the maritime war with America, were calculated to produce. If, in the former instance, his statements rebuked presumptuous exultation, in the latter, they offered a fair and reasonable counteraction of all tendency to despondency in the

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