Page images
PDF
EPUB

.And loathes the light ;—or seeks again its beams, -' - To prove his virtue is whate'er it seems: •. .• ■

''• —His, who preserves the past in his account,

And looks but to the lowest sphere to mount:
Not with the host who tune a ceaseless praise,
To gird th'eternal throne, and drink the golden blaze.' p. 37, 38.

Art, XII. The Fall of David; a Sermon preached at All-Saints' Chapel,
Bath, on Sunday the 4th of March, 1810, by the Rev. Lucius Coghlan,
D. D. ( 1 he tendency of this Sermon having been industriously mis.
reported, the Author has been advised to offer it to the Perusal of a
Candid Public.) 8vo. pp. 31. price Is. Bath, Barry, Cruttwell, &c.
Longman and Co. 1510. -

HPHOiJGH a few passages in this sermon might have been more happily expressed, we think there is no room for charging it either with indelicate language, or injurious tendency. The doctrine chiefly insisted on, the danger attending idleness, and the importance of resisting the first impulse of temptation, is usefully enforced. The text is 2 Sam. xi. 1.

Art. XL I. Personal Reform the only sure and effectual Basis of National

. Reform, A Sermon, by the Rev. Charles Moore, M. A. one of the

Six Preachers in'the metropolitical Cathedral Church of Canterbury,

(and Vicar of St. Nicholas, Rochester.) 4to. pp. 30. price 2s. Hatch,

ard. 1810.

A DOPTING one sense of the term National Reform, this thesis js true; but in the ordinary acceptation, it is false and pernicious. If the maxim 'let every one mend one,' were to be the limit of human action in every case, those who did not voluntarily conform to it would be left at perfect liberty: laws would be useless, for want of officers to administer them, and the magistrate would indeed bear the sword in vain. Neither the performance of personal and social duties, nor the neglect of them, warrants or enjoins inattention to political duties. This is all we . think necessary to say on the principle of Mr. Moore's discourse; the tenor of which cannot render it a very great effort of fortitude, in his parishioners, to endure existence, though deprived by his ill health of the pulpit services for which this publication is intended as • a substitute.

Art. XIV. The Spirit of Christianity, exh bited in a faithful Digest of . those Declarations and Moral Precepts of Jesus Christ, which are of general Application, and were recorded in unambiguous Terms. 12mo. pp 86. puce Is. 6d. Eaton, 1810.

'T'HIS is a new, and we need not say a futile attempt, to try the efficacy , of the morality enforced by our blessed Saviour, apart from the sanctions he annexed to it, the doctrines he revealed, and the atonement he accomplished.

Art. XV. Unequal Marriages considered, being the Substance of a Ser

• mon preached at the Methodist Chapel, George Yard, Hull, Feb. 27,

18.09. By John Slack. 8vo. pp. 32. Price Is. Ferraby, Hull, 1809.

fTVHE leading principle and general tenor of this sermon, are unexceptic*able,

Art. XVI. Select Passages from the holyt Scriptures ; containing a Summary of religious and moral Instructions, proper to be committed to Memory by Young Persons. Compiled by Henry Tuke. 2nd Edition, 12mo. pp. 32. price 6d. York, Blanchard, Longman and Co, 1810.

HTHIS little compilation is arranged with considerable judgement, and may undoubtedly be employed to advantage.

Art. XVII. Astrography, or the Heavens displayed, on a new Plan. Containing Remarks on the Value of the Knowledge of Astronomy; Plurality of Worlds, &c. The Rise and Progress of Astronomy, with Instructions for Beginners. Astronomical Definitions, Armillary Sphere and Description. A Representation and Epitome of the Solar System, including the new Discoveries. A Map of the Heavens with a Description of its chief Divisions. Forty-three Maps, exhibiting the principal Constellations, the chief Stars in them, and their Names; with the Etymology of the Constellations, and the Time of culminating, &c. of the most brilliant Star in each specified. A large Disk of the Moon, with the Description and Use of the Spots on it; Tides; Harvest Moon; Aurora Borealis; Ignis Fatuus; Thunder and Lightning, &c. &c. By John Greig, Teacher of Mathematics, Geography, &c. 12mo, pp. xvi. 224'. Price 4s. bound. Kent, and Law. 1810.

T HOSE who are inclined to purchase Mr. Greig's Astrography, after perusing the above copy of the title, are welcome to the ** full, quiet and peaceable possession" of the enjoyment, which will be furnished by a close eKaminaion of their treasure. If this author's talents were commensurate with his desires or his intentions, the present would be a performance of considerable value : as the matter now stands, we are not able to say much in its favour. Astronomy is an useful and fascinating science: but its elementary principles, we imagine, do not lie quite so low, as to be readily comprehended, or correctly taught, by one who appears but little conversant, we will not say with geometry, but with English grammar. Mr. Greig's notions are about as accurate, as his mode of expression is elegant and perspicuous. For example* •

« Septuagint, a name commonly given to the 72 translators.' p. 7.

* Centrifugal force is that power which impels a body to fly off ax a tangent.' p. 12.

f To represent the orbit of a planetj tie a piece of string or thread to

'two pins, stick them in a board so as the thread may lie loose, then with

a lead pencil straighten the thread, moving the point round, till it ha»

traced a circular figure. This will represent the form of their orbits, &,(!.'

p. 15.

«It is evident from many instances of Scripture, that they were not th» fended tpinstiuct us in the sciences.' p. 20.

'The -Galaxy—is the only real circle in the heavens.' p, 2j8- .Wfck submission to Mr. Greig, the Galaxy is not a circle, at all.

'The longitude of the stars have a small annual variation*.' i p. SS,

«-The declinatron of "the stars txtettd to the poks.' '.'.'■

[graphic]

The use of the eclipses are as follows, p 78.

• The constellations mentioned in scripture, being the most ancient specimens of astronomy now extant, &c.' p. 199.

We presume our readers will require no more * specimens' to convince them of the singular beauty and propriety with which Mr. Greig composes. Logical precision will not be expected from an autnor who writes thus; and much less from one who introduces illustrations of the nature of the rainbow, clouds, and winds, into a book of astronomy. Mr. Greia 's grand claim to distinction, however, seems to rest on his plan of giving separate • maps, exhibiting the principal constellations.' He must excuse us, if our admiration of this fancy is not quite so inordinate as his own. The figures of the constellations are, it is true, very wall executed, and the book will therefore please the eye. But will it enlarge the understanding? Will these insulated figures give a better idea of the relative magnitude and positions of the fixed stars, or of their real situation in the heavens, than can be obtained from the inspection of a moderate sized celestial globe? Certainly not. Besides, even if this question were answered in the affirmative, still we would wish it to be recollected, that learning the figures of the constellations, or even the relative places of the fixed stars on a globe, is, if we may be allowed the expression, but the veriest knicknackery of astronomy. To dwell too much upon the constellations, tends to fix erroneous ideas in the mind, so far as it tends to fix any; and to consume too long a time in poring over the places of the stars in those constellations, is literally resting on the surface of the science; wh^Je it leaves the more fascinating, the more useful, and the more sublime parts of it, those which exercised the genius and excited the delight of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Lagrange, and Laplace, unseeji, untouched, and unknown. But we have already dwelt too Jong upon this book: nor, indeed, should we have suffered it to occupy so much of our attention, had it not been undeservedly commended by some of our contemporaries, and had not Mr. Greig been pretty active in circulating their encomiums.

Art. XVIII. Obedience the Path of Religious Knowledge, a Sermon preached before the University of Oxford at St. Mary's, on Sunday, January 28, 1810, by Daniel Wilson, M. A. Vice-principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and Minister of St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row, London, 8vo. pp. 53. price Is. 6d. Hatchard. 1810.

"IT is not easy to say which merits the greatest commendation, the simple apd natural style, or the good sense and solid piety of this discourse. Mr. Wilson has proved that it is possible to be at once graceful, and edifying, even at Oxford. The subject is very appropriate to the occasion, and is discussed with considerable felicity of illustration.

It will not in general be denied, that feelings congenial with truth, are indispensable qualifications, to he profitable study of Christian theology and ethics; but the influence of this admitted principle is very circumscribed, and hi actual life—theory and practice are for the most part at variance. Mr. W. undertakes to explain this truth, and apply Vol. VI. U u

It to a few of the most interesting divisions of Christian truth* The spirit and sentiments of the discourse, we think, are in perfect accordance with revelation. It would at first appear, that the explanation of the principle would have been better followed by arguments tending to confirm its truth and display its advantages, than by an application of it to any part of Christian doctrine. This would have obviated objections ; and demonstrated the importance, as well recommended the cultivation of a pious spirit, in order to derive permanent advantage from the study of the scriptures. The observations made on the necessity of a right state of heart to the attainment of just sentiments in religion, lead us to regret, and the following extract will shew with hpw much reason, that Mr. W.'s thoughts did not flow more in this direction.

'The successful method of studying Theology is not to bestow all our diligence in arranging our system in a speculative manner^ whilst we leave the practice of it to some future time, as a matter of acknowledged moment, but of no immediate influence on our present enquiries; but rather with our text, to let obedience precede investigation, to consider piety as that which must open the way to knowledge, to return first to our duty by sincere endeavour to do the will of God, and then to hope that impediments to the reception of religious truth will be gradually removed, and that our advances will be direct and accelerated. Without this, our very first principles will be wrong, and all our deductions must partake of the error. With it " the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein." Barren speculation, like the light of the moon, may be clear, but it is cold and lifeless, and leaves men to their slumbers; whilst the knowledge of my text, like the light of the sun, warms and animates, and calls them up to labour and activity: by the first a man may be "a hearer," by the second he is •' a doer of the word, and is blessed in his deed."

At the same time we can easily believe, that, in his choice of a plan,1 Mr. W. was guided by considerations of expediency. In an university, there are doubtless many individuals whom it is highly important and necessary to instruct, in a manner judicious, persuasive, and unexceptionable, "what are the first principles of the gospel of Christ"; and in this view, we can justify his availing himself of such an opportunity, to illustrate the corruption of man,—the method of justification— the value of good works,—the influences of the Holy Spirit, and the nature and extent of Christian holiness,—rather than following a different method better adapted for a theological lecture.

We are glad to find this sermon has attained a second edition, in which it has received several augmentations and improvements.

Art. jXIX. True Stories; or Interesting Anecdotes of Young Person*: designed, through the Medium of Example, to inculcate Principles of Virtue and Piety. By the Author of " Lessons for Young Persons in Humble Life." 12mo. pp. S30. price 3s. 6d. Longman and Co. 1809. /~\UR readers are probably acquainted with the "Lessons" referred to ^•' in this title. We scarcely need add any recommendation of ours, t»

a work avowedly compiled by the same hand. It is divided into two parts, the first containing 'Anecdotes of Persons distinguished for Virtue and Piety, who died in early Life,* the second, « Anecdotes of the Youth of many distinguished Persons.' Both the design and execution are, in our opinion, intitled to the highest praise. We cordially welcome so valuable an accession to the class of useful and entertaining books for young persons, among which the " Power of Religion" and other works of Lindley Murray occupy a distinguished place. The only additional recommendation we think necessary, is a list of the lives which in whole or in part are included in this volume. Part. I. King Edward the Sixth, Lady Jane Grey, Henry Prince of Wales, Lord Harrington, Countess of Suffolk, Hon. Algernon Greville, Ann Baynard, Lady Gethin, Lady Cutts, Hon. Christopher Vane, Hon. John Vane, Lord Beau*hamp, Letter to Dr. Doddridge (from Orton,) Tribute of Paternal Affection, (from Zimmerman) Eliza Cuningham, James Hay Beattie, Catherine Hurdis, Naimbanna, Montagu Beattie, the Mother and Son (from the Guardian of Education,) Extracts from the MS papers of a young Lady (from the same), Elizabeth Smith, Joshua Rowk-y Gilpin, Henry Kirke White, John Dawes Worgan. Part. II. Virtuous Friendship (from Rollin,) Sir Philip Sidney, Richard Hooker, George Herbert, Dr. Robert Sanderson, Hon. Robert Boyle, Queen Mary, Edmund Stone, Letter from a Brother to a Sister (from Anecdotes of distinguished Persons,) Lord Lyttelton, Dr. Robertson, Sir William Jones. The book is very neatly printed.

.Art. XX. A Friendly Gift to Servant* and Apprentices: containing, Character of a good and faithful Servant, Advice to Servants of every Denomination, Letter from an Uncle to his Nephew on taking him Apprentice, and Anecdotes of good and faithful Servants. By the Author of "Lessons to Young Persons in Humble Life," 18mo. pp. 70. price 6d. Longman and Co. l8l0.

rF,HlS is a very instructive and useful tract, taken with some alterations and additions, from the "Lessons for Young Persons in Humble Life," and extremely well adapted to answer the purpose for which it itdesigned.

Art. XXI Elements of Religion, natural and revealed, so arranged, as to combine the Instruction of Youth, with their catechetical Examination. 8vo. pp. 36. price Is. Hatchard, 1810.

TN the hands of judicious instructors, this little catechism may be useful. It is framed on the opinion, that 'elementary instruction on religion should be first, concise, and yet comprehensive of the leading doctrines and duties of religion, to the exclusion of matter of minor consequence or of doubtful nature; secondly, that it should be conveyed in term* famU liar and level to the capacities of young minds; and thirdly, that the mode of instruction should be such as most effectually to secure, not so much a remembrance of the words taught, as a clear comprehension of the ideas and principles exhibited.' The work is divided into sections, called 'Instructions,' 10 each of which short questions for examination are appended.

« PreviousContinue »