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in that, or in any other particular, we should assuredly witness his receding, if possible, from every idea of improvement; or, if under the necessity of conforming, that his whole deportment would betray the reluctance, and antipathy, he felt on the occasion.
* May not this trait in the character of Asiatics in general, serve as a hint to those who talk of coercing them to the adoption of Christianity? May it not shew that much may be done by suaviter in modo, provided we temper the fprtitcr in re ?—Certainly!' pp. 87, 88.
We cannot pass over the unhandsome and unwarrantable insinuation against the advocates of missions in general, and more particularly, we suppose, against Dr. Buchanan, as if they had ever entertained an idea of coercing men into a profession of Christianity. Captain W. oughtto have known that the term coercion has only been employed, in reference to those insults and disturbances of civil order which sometimes arise from Mahometan bigotry. This is not his only instance of misrepresentatiorl on the subject of Hindoo conversion;
In speaking of snakes, Capt. W. mentions the efficacy of volatile alkali taken in water as an antidote to the bite, and gives the followipg account of the ichneumon.
* This active little animal, the natural enemy of all serpents, as well as of the smaller kinds of vermin, worries his opponent by incessant feints, as though he were about to seize its throat, and, in time, so fatigues as to render it unable to resist with its primary celerity and caution.. When the snake is in that state, the ichneumon rushes forward, and, by seizing its throat, or the back, of its head, soon lays the envenomed reptile lifeless at its command. It sometimes happens that the ichneumon receives a bite, when he immediately relinquishes his object, and seeks among the neighbouring verdure for some root, of which he eats, and, after rolling himself in the soil, returns to the charge with unabated keenness. Should the snake have retired, the little quadruped speedily scents him out, and rarely fails to r.-venge himself for his past danger. What it is the animal has recourse to, never has been ascertained; of course, remains among our other important desiderata. The ichneumon is not only domesticated with facility, if obtained at an early age, but becomes extremely affectionate. Neither rats nor snakes will eater a house in which a tame ichneumon is retained, and allowed, as is usual, to range about at pleasure.' pp. 187, 188.
Among the faults of this publication we should notice the avowed neglect of order, the unsuitableness of many of its 'details to any thing short of such a work as the author promises, viz. a ' Description of India,' the spirit of sycophancy tbward the company and the directors occasionally betraying itself, and^he undaunted puffing of other works in which the author or his booksellers may happen to be interested.
Art. IX. Ecclesiastical Biography; or Lives of eminent Men, connected with the History of Religion in England; from the Commencement of the Reformation to the Revolution; selected, and illustrated with Notes, by Christopher Wordsworth, M. A. Dean and Rector of Bocking, and domestic Chaplain to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. 8to. 6 Vols. pp. 3434. Price Si. 15s. Rivingtons. 1810.
T ITTLE more will be needful, for the purpose of explaining the nature and adjudging the value of this work, than to specify the materials of which it is compiled. The articles concerning Wicliffe, Thorpe, Bilney, Tindall, Lord Cromwell, Rogers, Hooper, Rowland, Taylor, Latimer, and Cranmer, are compiled from Fox's Acts and Monuments. That concerning Lord Cobham is partly from Fox, and partly from Bale's Brief Chronicle. The account of Ridley is partly from Fox, and partly from a life of the bishop, by Dr. Glocester Ridley, published in 1763. The highly entertaining life of Wolsey, by the Cardinal's Gentleman Usher, Cavendish, is here for the first time faithfully printed from a manuscript in the Lambeth Library, collated with another MS. in that library, and a MS. of the same life in the library of the Dean and Chapter of York Cathedral. This performance, indeed, appeared in print long since, and Was reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany, but so altered and spoiled in almost every sentence, by some foolish editor, as to bear but little resemblance to the genuine exemplar. The long life of Sir Thomas More is now first published from a MS. in the Lambeth Library, written towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth, by a zealous papist. Walton's lives of Hooker, Donne, Herbert, Sir H. TVotton, and Bp. Sanderson, are reprinted entire, with additions by Strype to the life of Hooker. There are reprinted entire a life of Jewel, prefixed to an English edition, in 1685, of his Apology of the Church of England; the translation, published in 1629, of Bishop Carleton's life, in Latin, of Bernard Gilpin; Sir George Paule's life of Jbp. Whit gift; Bishop Fell's life of Dr. Hammond; Burnet's life of Sir M. Hale; Matthew Henry's life of his father, Philip Henry; and Burnet's 'Passages of the Life and Death of the Earl of Rochester'. The ' Memoirs of Nicholas Ferrar^ by Dr. Peckard, published in 1790, are here reprinted, • but not without some omissions.' The account of this most extraordinary man and his extraordinary nephew, is in this republication extended by the accession of some curious papers relating to them, found in the Lambeth Library, though supposed by Dr. Peckard to have been lost. The life of Bp. Hall is 'composed principally from a republication of two of his tracts,' 'Observations of some specialties of Divine Providence,' and, ' Hard Measure.' The account of Baxter .is composed of extracts from his 'Life and Times-' Tlie life of Tillotson is abridged from a
memoir of him 'by F. H , M. A.,' published in 1717,
which Mr. Wordsworth professes to hold in no very high esteem.
The work is inscribed, in profoundly reverential terms, to the Primate; and will not, we hope, have offended the modesty inseparable from the highest ecclesiastical dignity, by betraying to the public that his Grace's ' unceasing cares and labours' are directed to the promotion of ' pure taste, good morals, and true religion.' It is affirmed, that his Grace's 'many acts of munificence for the increase of the literary treasures of his country, exalt his name to the same level with those of the most illustrious of his predecessors, Cranmer, and Parker, and Laud.' It may be doubted whether Archbishop Tillotson would have felt the attributed resemblance in this subordinate species of episcopal merit sufficiently flattering, to atone for the associating of his name in any way with those of the ' illustrious' Parker and Laud: and we presume our editor cannot have studied, so accurately as he ought, his patron's taste in ecclesiastical character and in language.
A sensible preface explains the compiler's motives to the undertaking. Every one will accord to his opinion, as to the necessary and happy influence of the college and the archiepiscppal palace in kindling pure Christian zeal. He observes, 'a protracted residence in either of our universities, and afterwards in that service which I have mentioned, it will easily be understood, was likely to engage any man in ardent wishes and desires for the general prosperity and welfare of sincere piety and true religion,' and to inspire him more particularly with an earnest concern * that these most important interests should ever advance and flourish among our theological students and the Clergy; and, through their means and labours, with the divine blessing, in every rank of society.* Preface, p. x. It was but in obedience, therefore, to the cogently evangelical influence which is always operating within the wails of an university, and in emulation of the active piety which he observed in every person who had resided there a considerable time, that Mr. W. projected, during a long-continued residence at Cambridge, a work of the.nature of that now bef6re us. The official situation which 'has since given him access to the Lambeth Library, must obviously have afforded him many facilities for the execution of the design; and he has availed himself of them with a very laudable industry.—The -following paragraph defines the plan of the compilation.
* It appeared then, to the present writer, that there were extant, among the literary productions of our country, many scattered narratives of the lives of men eminent for their piety, sufferings, learning, and such other virtues; or such vices, as render their possessors interesting and profitable subjects for history, many of which were very difficult to be procured, and some of them little known; and that, therefore, the benefit which might have been expected to result from their influence, was in a great degree lost. These I thought it might be a labour wellbestowed to restore to a capacity of more extensive influence, and to republish them in one collection ; not merely to afford to many readers an opportunity of what they could not otherwise enjoy; but also from the hopes, that the serviceable effect of each might be increased by their union and juxta-position; and that, through the help of a chronological arrangement, a species of Ecclesiastical History might result, which though undoubtedly very imperfect, might yet answer, even in that view, several valuable purposes; while it would possess some peculiar charms and recommendations.' Preface, p. x.
The editor assigns good reasons why the series should not commence earlier than the 'preparations towards a Reformation by the labours of Wickliffe and his followers,' nor be brought down lower than the Revolution. *
The space so limited, formed in our island the grand military age of Christianity, during which the substance and the forms of that religion were put in a contest which exhaust-, .ed the possibilities of human nature. The utmost that could, be attained,or executed by man, in point of piety, sanctity, courage, atrocity, and intellectual energy, was displayed during this warfare. The. compiler justly thought that nothing could be more interesting than a fair exhibition, presented in the persons of the leading combatants, of the principles and the most signal facts of that great contest. And this is very effectually done, as to that part of it which lay between the church of Rome and the protectants; but not so satisfactorily as to that part of it, which was maintained between the English establishment and the puritans.
The editor's preference of original authorities, and his forbearance to alter their expressions or even their orthography, will obtain the marked approbation, we should think, of every sensible reader. He says,
t It will be found, (for which, I imagine, no apology is necessary) that I have preferred the ancient and original authorities, where they rould be procured, before modern compilations and abridgments; the narratives, for instance, of Fox and Carleton, before the more artificial compositions of Gilpin.—Neither do I think it will require any excuse with the judicious reader, that in the early parts of the series, I have been at some pains to retain the ancient orthography. It was one ad* vantage which I contemplated in projecting this compilation, that it would afford, by the way, some view of the progress of the English language, and of English composition. This benefit would have been greatly impaired by taking away the old spelling. But I have always thought that the far more solemn interests of reality and truth are also, in a degree, violated by that, practice.
* The reader is desired further to observe, that in many cases the lives are republished from the originals, entire, and without alteration; but in others the method pursued has been different. Wherever the work before me seemed to possess a distinct character as such, either for the beauty of its composition, the conveniency of its size, its scarcity, or any other sufficient cause, I was desirous that my reader should have the satisfaction of possessing it compleat: but where these reasons did not exist, I have not scrupled occasionally to proceed otherwise: only, in regard to alterations, it is to be understood, that all which I have taken the liberty of making are confined solely to omissions. Thus, the lives written by Isaac Walton are given entire, and I have inserted all that he published: but the accounts of Ferrar and Tillotson have been shortened.
Many of the lives which are given from Fox's Acts and Monuments, and which the editor looks upon as among the most valuable parts of his volumes, are brought together and compiled from distant and disjoined parts of that very extensive work; a circumstance of which it is necessary that any one should be informed, who may wish to compare these narratives with the originals. It will be found also that in many places much has been omitted; and that a liberty has not uhfrequently been taken of leaving out clauses of particular sentences, and single coarse and gross terms and expressions, especially such as occurred against papists. But, though he has not all Fox laid before him, yet the reader may be assured that all which he has is Fox.';
• In the notes which I have added, my aim has been occasionally to correct my author; but much more frequently to enforce his positions, and illustrate him, and that especially in matters relating to doctrines, opinions, manners, language, and characters. Their number might easily have been increased, but I was unwilling to distract the reader's eye from the object before him, except where I thought some salutary purpose might be answered.' Preface, p. xiv.
After expressing his desire to promote by this work the interests of Christianity in general, he acknowledges it would not be a mistake, if any one should surmise that he wishes to promote it especially as * professed within the pale of the Churclrof England,' being persuaded that its advancement under that specific modification will conduce most to the prosperity of the universal church. He adds,
• « And yet, if he could any where have found Popery associated with greater piety and heavenly-mindedness than in Sir Thomas More, or nonconformity united with more Christian graces than in Philip Henry, those