« السابقةمتابعة »
REVIEW.-The History of the Church of Christ, in Continuation of Milner, &c. By John Scott, M.A. Vol. III. 8vo. pp. 637. Seeley, London, 1831.
not with the sanctity of their parents, but with the
faithfulness of an electing God.' And here he refers to Romans xi. For the latter conclusion concerning children generally, he quotes Rom. v. though he admits we have but little light upon the subject. He rejects the idea that baptism washes away original sin and condemnation. The blessing, he says, is not tied to signs and symbols: baptism recognizes and attests the privilege, rather than confers it. What scripture authority, he asks, is there for ascribing such an effect to baptism?
WE hardly know whether it be more mournful or pleasant, to go back through departed ages, and drag from their half-forgotten slumbers the causes of commotions which then agitated the religious world, and fed the unholy fires which burned in the bosoms of men. It is melancholy to reflect on the stern contention which gave fierceness to the malignant passions, and called into active operations a spirit which the gospel disavows; but it is gratifying to know, that we have fallen on more auspicious hearts, Rom. ii. The sentiment which he thus
days; and we may learn, from the contrast, to estimate and hold fast the privilege which we enjoy.
In the preface to this volume, Mr. Scott vindicates Calvin from the charge of causing the death of Servetus; but the defence appears less powerful than the accusation. To what extent the great reformer was accessary to the burning of this unhappy victim of relentless and malicious bigotry, we presume not to determine. The accounts transmitted to us are conflicting and contradictory, and no means of ascertaining
the actual truth are now within our reach. The death of Servetus is, however, a blot which has adhered to the character of Calvin through all generations, since the event took place, and no human efforts can now efface the stain.
Entering on the great subjects of his work, Mr. Scott traces the progress of the Reformation on the continent from state to state, adverts to the difficulties it had to encounter, and marks its perseverance and ultimate triumphs. Many of the distinguished individuals who bore their part on the great theatre of action, are brought before us, and, from numerous quotations selected from their works, we may perceive the doctrines which they taught, the disputes in which they engaged, and the manner in which they employed their talents and
In quoting the epistles of Zwingle, and analyzing their contents, the following observations occur, respecting infants and heathens.
"Having discussed the disease, he comes to consider the remedy, which is to be found in Christ alone. And he believes it certainly to extend to all who are born under the Christian covenant, so that none shall perish without their own actual transgression. He trusts also, that this blessing extends to infants universally. For the former conclusion he argues from the covenant originally made with Abraham and his seed, and now extended to Christians. I connect this freedom of infants from the condemnation of original sin,
"In this paper he also introduces his sentiment, elsewhere more fully stated, concerning the virtuous heathen. He speaks of the faith of Seneca, and quotes, as an instance of it, the well-known sentence- We ought so to live, as if some one could look into our hearts; and indeed there is ONE who can do it.' Who,' he asks, first implanted this faith in Seneca's heart?' and he argues in support of his opinion, from such men shewing the work of the law written in their
maintains, he says, does not supersede Christ, but, on the contrary, extends his glory; as it is through him alone that their (supposed) faith is implanted, and that they themselves are accepted, though they know him not."-p. 143.
That so much liberality should exist in any mind at the period to which we are referred, is rather a matter of surprise than of expectation. Intolerance was the order of the day; and but few were thought sound in the faith, who did not piously anathematize all who happened to differ from them. The liberal sentiments of Zwingle seems almost too much for the nineteenth century; for, on the quotations we have given, Mr. Scott makes the following observations.
"On this subject I refer the reader to Dr. Milner's remarks: only adding an expression of deeply painful regret, that there should appear, in point of fact, so little to support the conclusion, that the moral virtue of the class of persons referred to, was such, or sprang from such a principle, as might constitute it, in any sense, the obedience of faith; and arguing, from the case of these heathen philosophers, to whom the gospel was offered, so little to countenance the idea that they had any such faith as was ready to receive the gospel when proposed to it."-p. 145.
But, notwithstanding the liberality displayed by Zwingle in the preceding extract, he was not a dissenter from the good old orthodoxy of the times, as the following short passage will most decidedly
"Predestination must be irrespective of human works, performed or foreseen, otherwise the determinations of the Creator are made dependent on the actions of the creature; and we vainly imagine ourselves to be, or to become, something of ourselves, before God could decide anything concerning us."-p. 223.
Here it is but just to state, that Mr. Scott most decidedly differs from the passage above quoted. He pronounces it to be a conclusion repugnant, not only to all our notions of justice and goodness, but to all those views which the scriptures lead us to take of the divine proceedings, and contradictory to their statements at large.
Why these dogmas of polemic secta rianism should be mixed up with what is professedly a Continuation of Milner's Church History, may well become a subject of inquiry. Even the passive-power hypothesis of the late Dr. Williams has found its way into a note, the introduction of which we cannot but think exceedingly irrelevant. This appears still more remarkable when, on turning to the preface, the author, on referring to the opinions entertained respecting Calvin, observes"It is needless to say, that I take my station with neither party. In such a diversity of opinion, one only course is open, the course of honesty and independence, which I would aim every where to pursue."
To the quantity of valuable matter incorporated in this volume, we can hardly assign any measure or limits. It lays open the arcana of the Reformation; and, touching those springs of action which were so powerful in their effects, brings before us those venerable characters who, in the hand of God, were rendered instrumental in breaking the fetters of papal tyranny.
On looking through the whole, surveying the power and prejudice to be opposed and overcome, and the apparently inefficient means by which the mighty revolution was to be effected, we cannot but behold the finger of God working, through human agency, in delivering a faithful and zealous people from a pretended infallible church, that by its enormities had become the curse of the christian world.
REVIEW.-The Life and Times of "England's Patriot King," William IV. With a Brief Memoir of Her Majesty Queen Adelaide. By John Watkins, LL.D. Fisher, Son, and Jackson, London, 1831.
No monarch, perhaps, ever ascended the throne of his ancestors with more sincere gratulations from his people than William IV.; and since the sceptre has been in his hands, the enthusiasm of the people has been unbounded. The frankness of his manners, and the popularity of his measures, will form a new era in the biography of kings, and hold him out as a bright example for his successors to imitate.
Of this very popular monarch, the work before us delineates the life, and bids fair to share in the triumphs of patriotism which it records. It is being published in numbers and parts, and is rendered doubly interesting, by adverting to the events which were associated with his Majesty's early years. So far as this work has proceeded, we
follow Prince William-Henry through his education, his novitiate while holding a subordinate station in the navy, his progressive gradation, the service he has seen, the conflicts in which he was engaged, his travels and voyages, and final advancement to the command which his naval abilities merited.
Advanced to the honour of Lord High Admiral, events full of interest respecting his Majesty will thicken round the biographer's pen, and every step from that station to the elevated pinnacle on which he sits, will render all his actions momentous, both to us and to posterity. Before the able biographer can overtake his Majesty in his career through life, the new Parliament recently formed will have assembled, and, with such a monarch at their head, and ministers of the first abilities, the issues which may be brought about, baffle all calculation.
At all events, the discussions and enactments, that are on the eve of bursting upon us, will give a zest to this memorial, which, from what we have already seen, and what may be expected, promises, independently of the plates with which it will be embellished, to be one of the most popular works of the present day.
REVIEW.-Oxford, a Poem. By Robert Montgomery. 8vo. pp. 258. Whittaker, London, 1831.
THE several masterly poems which this author has sent into the world, have so far extended his fame, and excited public expectation, that Oxford must be an extraordinary production indeed, if, on its appearance, his readers felt no disappointment. The more highly any composition is finished, and the greater the genius which it displays, the more strongly solicitude is awakened, when, from the same pen, any thing new is about to appear; and no one seems satisfied, unless the last shall excel all that have preceded it, how excellent soever they may have been. We seem to think no limits can be set to the human powers, that they always ascend in progression, towards a zenith of ideal perfection, of which no one presumes to give a definition.
Such is precisely the relation in which Mr. Montgomery stands with the public. They had noticed his capabilities, and learning that he was again about to pay them a visit, hastened before him to the most elevated mount that lay within the range of their conception, to wait his arrival, and behold him soaring so far above all his former productions, as those productions had originally exceeded their
REVIEW.-OXFORD, A POEM.
former expectations. They saw him approach with Oxford in his hand, the map of which, both in ancient and modern times, he has spread before them; but not finding it to abound with those transcendent sublimities and beauties which corresponded with their romantic imaginations, and which perhaps no human mind can yield, the meed of praise has been but sparingly awarded to the merits of his muse.
In his survey of Oxford, Mr. Montgo-
"What makes the glory of a mighty land,
Having thus assigned to power and greatness the honours which they have a right to claim, and found that "the paths of glory lead but to the grave," the question is again renewed in reference to mind.
66 What then alone omnipotently reigns,
That gilds the past, and bids the future glow;
2D. SERIES.-No. 7.
Develops all that makes our being great,
From thus awarding to intellect the claims of superiority over the splendours of empire, the author conducts us to Oxford, the scene of his poem, where intellect was nobly cultivated in former years, by men who embellish his pages with their names. The same causes, with equal application, still produce the same effects; and if, in the present age, universities are deficient in producing their due proportion of intellectual greatness, it argues a defect in application, or a laxity somewhere, that cannot be surveyed without regret.
We have heard it hinted, that, by the publication of this poem, Mr. Montgomery has given great offence to some Oxonians, and on one occasion a foolish attempt was made to defame it with burlesque. There can be little doubt that in the various colleges of Oxford great diversity of character, appears. Some of these, whose morals will not bear the light, on beholding the following pictures, may suspect that the poet is personal, and feel displeased at the faithfulness of his mirror. He weaves his robes, and leaves those to put them on, who think that they are adapted to their stature, their shape, and their deformity.
"But who can languish through a hideous hour,
The shocking scene which follows is enveloped in shades of a still deeper character than the preceding, and, from its being too dark to be applicable to any members of the university in modern days, the Oxonians may resent it as a libel on their reputation. We shall rejoice to find that the imputation is unjust, and gladly learn that history and imagination, without the aid of fact, have dictated the foul aspersion to the poet's pen.
"From careless boyhood to uncultured man,
In Oxford see the reprobate appear!
From all that might to mental paths allure:
Than that which yesterday's excess hath brought;
The Dons' head-pieces for the college door!
Thus on, till night advance, whose reign divine,
"Alas! that truth must fling a doleful shade
Of Mr. Montgomery's descriptive powers, the passages we have given will enable every reader to judge. Many others that are superior in poetical merit, might be easily selected. His character of Johnson is finely drawn ; and the reflections to which his name, and the chambers of his residence, give birth, are placed before us in much plaintive beauty. The walk to Blenheim contains many exquisite touches; and throughout the whole, the poet's retrospective gaze on departed ages, can hardly fail to awaken admiration.
Were we to examine this poem with an eye to its defects, many blemishes might be discovered; but the task would be invidious, when they are so much counterbalanced by more obvious excellences. As a whole, Oxford will not outshine some of Mr. Montgomery's other productions, but, after all fair deductions have been made, its redeeming qualities will leave a surplus to prove that it is not unworthy of his poetical reputation, to which a monument has already been erected on the hills of Parnassus; and although his name has been legibly inscribed on a tablet in the temple of Fame.
This poem is embellished with twelve superb engravings, taken from the scenes and objects which he describes. Of these the designs are elegant and appropriate, and the execution does honour to the artists, and to the work which they adorn.
REVIEW.-Edinburgh Cabinet Library. Egypt. Vol. III. 12mo. pp. 480. Simpkin and Marshal. London. 1831.
WHATEVER may be the condition of this country at present, all historians agree, that it was the cradle of the arts, and the birthplace of science. These facts are attested by the authority both of sacred and profane writers; and the ruins of departed grandeur, still frowning in solitary desolation, as well as the venerable monuments of human ingenuity, power, and perseverance, which defy the wasting hand of time, and the corrosions of the elements, still survive, to give their attestations.
Into the history of Egypt, both ancient and modern, this third volume of the Edinburgh Cabinet Library fully enters. The whole scene of its infancy, advancement, maturity, zenith, prosperity, decline, and present condition, appears to be spread in ample panorama before the author; and from its rich and inexhaustible mines of historical wealth, he has selected all that is valuable and important, epitomized in a manner that preserves its interest, without encumbering his pages with irrelevant
It is universally admitted, that the Pyramids of Egypt are either the oldest, or among the oldest, monuments in the world; it is, therefore, natural to conceive that they should have engrossed the attention of every traveller, and have found their way into numerous works which treat of human ingenuity and art. Of these, the accounts before us are full of thrilling interest, and the sources whence the materials have been derived, leave no room for any suspicion to be entertained as to their authenticity.
Respecting these venerable works of distant ages, the labours of Belzoni, and his descriptions of the discoveries which he made, will never be forgotten. In this volume all his achievements are concentrated; but the detail is too voluminous to be transcribed, we therefore beg leave to introduce another subject, which is less generally known.
"The Labyrinth is also mentioned by Herodotus as one of the greatest wonders of Egypt, and the most surprising effort of human ingenuity and perseverance. It exceeds, I can truly assert, all that has been said of it; and whoever takes the trouble to examine them will find all the works of Greece much inferior to this, both in regard to workmanship and expense. The temples of Ephesus and Samos may justly claim admiration, and the Pyramids may individually be compared to many of the magnificent structures erected by the Greeks; but even these are inferior to the Laby. rinth. It is composed of twelve courts, all of which are covered their entrances are opposite to each other, six to the north, and six to the south; one wall encloses the whole. The apartments are of
REVIEW.FAMILY CLASSICAL LIBRARY.
two kinds; there are fifteen hundred above the surface of the ground, and as many beneath, in all three thousand. Of the former, I can speak from my own knowledge and observation; of the latter, only from the knowledge I received. The persons who had the charge of the subterraneous apartments would not suffer me to see them, alleging that in these were preserved the sacred crocodiles, and the bodies of the kings who constructed the Labyrinth. Of these, therefore, I presume not to speak; but the upper apartments I myself examined, and I pronounce them to be among the greatest triumphs of human industry and art. The almost infinite number of winding passages through the different courts, excited my warmest admiration. From spacious halls I passed through smaller chambers, and from them again to large magnificent courts, almost without end. The ceilings and walls are all of marble, the latter richly adorned with the finest sculpture; and around each court are pillars of the same material, the whitest and most polished that I ever saw. At the point where the Labyrinth terminates, stands a pyramid one hundred and sixty cubits high, having large figures of animals engraved on the outside, and an entrance to the interior by a subterraneous path."- p. 110.
In the principal facts respecting this famous Labyrinth, thus stated by Herodotus, he is corroborated by Strabo, who observes, that it was impossible to enter any one of the palaces, or to leave it, without a guide. Pliny also refers to this famous Labyrinth, in a manner which plainly evinces that, even in his time, its fame, if not its workmanship, still continued to command public attention. It is, however, melancholy to add, that at present no vestige of it is known so exist; and historians and travellers have not agreed as to the spot on which it
Egypt having been from time immemorial the grand depository of all that was rendered venerable by age and genius, a considerable portion of this volume is filled with descriptions, memorials, and elucidations, of its numerous and very wonderful productions. The ruins of ancient grandeur every where appear, and in each page some hoary monument, some hieroglyphic, some ancient sculpture, rescued from gathering desolation, calls the attention, and arrests the eye. Among these the surviving remnants of scientific knowledge in ancient Egypt are not passed over in silence. Many memorials that have triumphed over the corrosions of time, still exist, to prove, that in astronomy the attainments of the Egyptians were very considerable.
Of the present inhabitants, their manners, employment, genius, modes of life, and general character, this volume gives a succinct account. Each particular is replete with life and vigour, and every page presents something that is interesting, if not astonishing.
The second chapter contains some very curious calculations respecting the overflow
ing of the Nile, the soil which its waters deposit, the elevation which is slowly but regularly taking place in the surface of the ground, and on the probable results which time may be expected to produce. It is stated on the authority of Dr. Shaw, that,
"Since the time of Herodotus, Egypt has gained new soil to the depth of two hundred and thirty inches. And if we look back from the reign of Moeris to the time of the deluge, and reckon that interval by the same proportion, we shall find that the whole perpendicular accession of the soil from the deluge to A. D. 1721, must be 500 inches, that is, the land has gained forty-one feet eight inches of soil in 4072 years. Thus, in process of time, the whole country may be raised to such a height, that the river will not be able to overflow its banks; and Egypt, consequently, from being the most fertile, will, for want of the annual inundation, become one of the most barren parts of the universe."-p. 39.
Proceeding upon the principle advanced in the preceding passage, some of the French philosophers have attempted to ascertain the age of many statues and monuments, from the quantity of soil accumulated round their bases. From data so uncertain, nothing, however, can with any degree of accuracy be inferred. Such calculations, therefore, may be rather placed among the amuseranked with the discoveries of science. ments of philosophical speculation, than
The last chapter is devoted to the natural history of the country. This comprises its geology, and the numerous varieties of its vegetable and animal tribes. Many of these are particularly remarkable, especially the monsters which inhabit its rivers, some of its birds, its corals, and its gums.
With this very instructive and entertaining volume we can now proceed no further. What we have said may be sufficient to place it in a favourable light, yet the whole must be examined by every one who wishes to become acquainted with the value of its
REVIEW.-Family Classical Library. Vol.
XVII. Horace. Vol. I. translated by Philip Francis. D.D. 12mo. pp. 316. Valpy. London. 1831.
THE writings of Horace are familiar to every classical student, and this edition of his works is calculated to create classical minds in many, to whom the term is almost unknown. The versatility of talent, and strong mental powers, displayed by the Roman poet, have gained him the admiration of all the ages which have intervened from his day to the present; and the strength of genius that is diffused throughout his works, cannot fail to keep them alive, amidst all the revolutions to which literature may be liable.
In the masterly translation of Philip