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riors often appeal to the "echoes" to witness their misfortunes and their innocence—they often call upon their wives and children; but we seldom hear them calling upon their God! The fury of impatience, the indignation, and the revenge, which these heroes betray, afford a fine contrast to the manner in which a Christian knows how to suffer.
Art. X III. A comfilete History of the Holy Bible, as contained in the Old and New Testaments, including also the Occurrences of 400 Years, from the last of the Prophets to the Birth of Christ, and the Life of our blessed Saviour and his Apostles, &c. with copious Notes, critical and explanatory, practical and devotional. From the Text of the Rev. Laurence Howel, A. M. with considerable Additions and Improvements, by the Rev. George Burder, &c. Three Vols. 8vo. price 1/. \\s. 6d. 12mo. price 11. 2s. Williams, 1807."
rJpHE most solid and valuable accessions which our knowledge can receive, are those which arise from an increased acquaintance with the sacred scriptures; the means by which this may be promoted, are as various as the tastes and capacities of men. Some of these means may be superior to others, but we should not reject the assistance of any. Among the least imposing, in its pretensions, is what may be called a History of the Bible, formed by collecting into one continuous narrative, the facts which are scattered through the sacred books. Where this is attempted by mere compilation, without any critical discernment, or tasteful arrangement, it is indeed a humble, and almost an useless task. But the volumes before us rise to far higher excellence. Much instructive reflection is, without ostentatious glare, wrought into the narrative, and the notes furnish no inconsiderable proofs of expertness in biblical criticism. The substance of Prideaux's . valuable Connection supplies a needful portion of information, concerning the period which elapsed between the close of the Old Testament, and the commencement of the New. Quite as much notice, also, as they deserve, is taken of the histories in the Apocrypha. The lives of the apostles are neatly sketched. Where a Hebrew ode occurs in the Old Testament, the narrative is occasionally enlivened by rendering it into English metre.
The following reflections are subjoined to the history of the book of Jonah, whose miraculous punishment and preservation are very satisfactorily explained and established.
* Though Nineveh was spared for a time, yet being taken by Arbaces in about sixty years afterwards, the people must, no doubt, have suffered by the war. The prophets Nahum and Zevnaniah foretel its ruin in a very particular and pathetic manner; the exacV method in which these predictions were accomplished, may be seen at large in Bithop Newton's Dissertation on the Prophecies.
* The Rook of Jonah, though short, is full of instruction. We observe, with pain, the perverseness and peevishness of a good man; for such he was, notwithstanding these imperfections; but let us instead of judging him, examine and judge ourselves, and endeavour to avoid those tempers which we condemn in the prophet.
* Let the severe punishment that God inflicted upon his servant, teach us the danger of disobedience, and that God is greatly displeased even with the sins of his own people. Yet, how encouraging is it to notice the condescending regard of God to the prayer of his penitent servant; let no one despair of mercy, who seeks it, like him, though as it were " out of the belly of hell."
* But the repentance of the inhabitants of Nineveh, as soon as Jonah delivered his message, is peculiarly observable; especially as we find our Lord applying it to the Jews. "The men of Nineveh," said he, "shall rise in judgment against this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, a greater than Jonah is here." Let us apply this to ourselves. How much greater are our advantages than those of Nineveh! But are we humbled? Do we believe the report of the gospel? If not, how shall we escape? But if we are enabled to repent of our sins, and seek mercy as offered to us through Jesus Christ, the readiness of God to turn away his threatened anger from Nineveh, may encourage us to hope that he will "multiply to pardon."
'It ought also to be remarked, that our Saviour refers to the restoration of Jonah from the fish's belly, and makes it a sign, or type, of his own resurrection. The deliverance of Jonah was probably the means, in the hand of God, of convincing the Ninevites that his message deserved full credit; and it is by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, that he is "proved to be the Son of God with power;" it is the grand evidence of his mission, and we are "begotten again to a lively hope" by that most important fact.' vol. ii. pp. 156,157.
The work discovers marks of haste, of which one is, the occurrence of the same note in two places. The Hebrew and Greek also are too frequently incorrect. Of the three words written in the sight of Belshazzar by the miraculous hand, two are falsely printed. We think that all the Greek words should be given in their own character, even where it might be deemed necessary to repeat them in English letters. But these blemishes are of trivial importance. We can heartily recommend the work in its present much improved state, as useful to those who value a knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, and especially to the young. It was probably to gratify and conciliate the latter class, that various engravings were interspersed throughout the work.
Art. XIV. Poems on various Occasions. By Elizabeth Bath. 12mo. pp. 154. price 5s. Bristol, 1806.
jyjISS B., we understand, is the daughter of the late Mr. Shurmur B. one of The Society of Friends, and a remarkable philanthropist, whose kindness to the poor of Bristol, at far as it respected temporal relief, was carried to the last limit of propriety. The hero of the following couplet could not, with stricter justice, claim the praise it awarded him.
* Is any sick? The Man of Ross relieves;
His daughter's poems have much to recommend them. If the imagery they display, is less original than we might wish; if the language falls somewhat short of classic purity; and if, here and there, we observe a repetition of thought and rhyme; we are, on the other hand, constantly gratified by the strong traces of an active, ardent, and amiable mind, void of affectation, characterized by the liveliest sensibility, and pouring all its influence into the scale of virtue. We are happy to add, that our author's allusions to the still higher theme, religion, are such as indicate that it occupies and warms her heart. Our gratification, however, she will permit us to remark, would have been more complete, if a distincter reference had been made to evangelical principles; because, persuaded, as we are, that they form the true basis of virtue and of hope, we feel confident that all productions of the sentimental and moral class, are likely to do good, according to the degree in which those principles are either asserted, or, at least, strongly implied. The poetry of Cowper has shewn, that the Muses do but add to their charms, when they consecrate them beneath the cross of the Redeemer.
From the pensive strain observable in Miss B.'s poems, we should infer, that she has been disciplined in the School of Adversity; a circumstance whereby she was probably enabled to impart that peculiar interest, which the reader will not fail to recognize in almost every page. In a poem entitled An Estimate af the Pleasures of Life, she pathetically says,
'What are all our promis'd pleasures.
We are pleased with the lines on the Advantage.of Resignation, and with those on Death. The following are from the Reflections of a serious moment.
'How cold are the deni in the depths of the grave,
Still and dark is their gloomy abode;
These are the frail monuments grandeur will rai«e
O'er those to the grave that descend:
Is lodged in the heart of a friend.
The snn sheds his rays to enliven the green,
And sports on the breast of the wave;
That is lodged in the depths of the grave?
Yet this is the spot Sensibility seeks,
There it weeps o'er the slumbering; dead;
Affection's sad tribute to shed.
These enjoyments are sacred, and who shall explain
How such scenes cap a comfort bestow;
On a pleasure he never shall know.' pp 27, 29.
As we have not room for a long extract, we quote the foV» lowing verses from the Address to Solitude.
• There is a hunger-and a thirst,
Which nothing can supply,
And water from on hijrh.
And ever has the heav'n-taught mind, '%
The tranquil scene preferr'd,
In silence only heard.
Sweet Solitude, O let me share
The pleasures of thy shade.!
And contemplation made.'
We should, perhaps, have chosen the Description of a great Character, as exhibiting the best specimen of ingenuity, and poetic address; but the turn of thought in the former part of the sixth stanza, is so foreigu to the whole connexion, that we are ready to pronounce it unintelligible, and must suppose, that there is some mistake which Miss B. will be surprised to discover.
The list of subscribers, with which the volume closes, is very respectable. Should another impression be called for, an event which is not improbable, we advise Miss B. to give her work those additional touches, which will render it more worthy of the public patronage; and in this task, she will be likely to improve her qualifications so much, as to be encouraged to undertake a distinct work.
Art. XV. A Sermon., preached at the opening of the Chapel of the Philan* thropic Society, Nov. 9th, 1806. By Vicesimus Knox, D. D. Printed at the Request of the Society, for the benefit of the Institution. 4to. pp. 28. price 2s. Mawman. 1807.
(TYN several accounts, we are sorry that this very singular sermon was published; one is, that it will lower the preacher in the eyes of many who have been accustomed to respect him. It bears the marks of much labour, and discloses a happy degree of self complacency; but the public, we fear, is likely to decide, that the former has been wholly thrown away, unless indeed it should prove the means of diminishing the latter.
The discourse commences with a kind of dedicatory Invocation; we referred to that of Solomon, in which the sublimity of thought is so much enhanced by the simple and humble tone of expression. We contrasted the temple with the chapel, the twelve tribes with the Philanthropic Society, and the Royal Sage with the reverend Doctor; and we really thought, that the balance of dignity was somewhat in favour of the Jewish spectacle. But in the two invocations, the advantage of pomp lies quite another way: we have looked in vain among the pe-. titions of the wisest of men, for a period like the following, so full of majesty and grandeur, so ingeniously contrived to concentrate upon the speaker, all the feelings which the place, the assembly, and the Divinity himself, would inspire.
* In uttering the first syllables ever solemnly pronounced from the hallowed place in which I stand; in opening for the first time, the gates of this house of prayer; I bow with reverential awe, and implore, on the very threshold, the blessing of the Almighty.'
Dr. K. seems to have thought, that he was invited to consecrate the place, instead of preaching to the people. Consecration, however, is not yet a part of his official duties. This pardonable mistake, inadvertently disclosing, perhaps, an object of sedate ambition, has occasioned some little slips in the first sentence: while Dr. Knox is, as he truly states, in the pulpit, "solemnly pronouncing syllables," he suddenly professes to be a door-keeper opening the gates, and avers that he is standing on the threshold! This ' opening of the gates,' and * imploring of a blessing,' doubtless took place after the liturgy had been read; in imitation of Caesar, however, he thought nothing was done, while any thing remained for him to do.
The application of Isaiah xxviii. 16. Behold I lay in Zion, Jor a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation, to a material building, exactly suits that mixture of figure with fact, of which the first sentence contains so remarkable an instance; it is a mere quibble, the metaphor is realized, and therefore degraded into a pun. It is only in this literal application too, that the passage is considered: for to that ineffable fabric, which all ages, and climes, shall one day contribute to form,—to that glorious corner stone, the foundation of the sinner's hope, the rock of enduring hap