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that state of things which now animates the outcry for church extension. Such is the consequence of institutions, which, instead of growing with the nation, are regulated by the enactments of a past age. On every side, therefore, we find Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,'
written on the walls of the church establishment. Unless those who have power in her councils learn, that she must subsist solely for spiritual, and not for secular objects; that she must abandon all idea of political supremacy; and must, at any sacrifice, attain an efficient internal legislativeand-executive power, capable of remodelling all her arrangements according to the wants of the nineteenth century ;-the case is plain ; the fabric must fall. So vast a body cannot fall quickly; the very rubbish which has fallen already, may give a temporary support ;-and, to drop the metaphor, the fears of the aristocracy will uphold the church, until some greater fear prevails. But meanwhile, the process of rotting will go on within ; and the discordant opinions of her clergy will become a more formidable danger, the longer it is dissembled. Whether any conceivable wisdom of parliament, convocation, or consistories, could now so re-adapt the antiquated establishment to the wants and feelings of the non-dissenting mass, (while propitiating dissenters, by abandoning all claims over them), as to give to the episcopal church a new lease of life; it may be idle at present to speculate: since we see no symptoms, that any are awakened to a need of the very fundamental reforms, which would at any rate be essential.
The French in Rheinstadt: a Romance of the day. A Friendly Voice
from the Avon's Banks to the Nations of Germany, and other Poems.
By James Nisbet. London : Longman and Co. These poems, without any pretensions to originality, display much feeling and moral force. The · French in Rheinstadt' seems to be grounded on the attempts of the French in 1830 to renew the work of revolution in Germany, but it is too vague to satisfy the historic reader, and not of that high order of merit, that seizes the imagination of the poetic one. The · Friendly Voice' is a much more attractive composition, especially to those who have visited Germany, and traversed it, with loving eyes and heart, as the author has evidently done. Mr. Nisbet revels in the charming recollections of his German sojourn, and gives us just such a volume as a man who has looked rather on the smiling outside of things in Germany, than stayed long enough to permit the golden mist of his enthusiasm to disperse, and to give him opportunity to look down steadily into the working of principles in the depths of the social system, is likely to produce. He is enchanted with the old castles on the steeps of the Rhine and the Danube, with the elysian banks of the Neckar, the vineyards, the solemn woods of the Odenwald, and the contented, kindly aspect of the people. He is evidently of a strong conservative tendency, and thinks things not only best as they are, but that even a monarch like the King of Prussia, who has broken his most solemn assurances to his people, who lays a hand of iron not only on the freedom of the press, but on the personal freedom of any eminent man who dares to form an independent opinion, and who deals round him ruin and incarceration to such, is 'a most excellent monarch. We can sympathise with the author in his love of peace, in his horror of French restlessness and unprincipled outrages on humanity, as in Tahiti, which, however, our government is as guilty for suffering, as the French for perpetrating; and in his appeal to the Germans not to be excited to a similar spirit. But were not Mr. Nisbet the thrall of his conservative opinions, he would see that Germany has no choice in the matter. If the French will march across the Rhine, there is nothing left for the Germans but to oppose them; and had be looked deeper into the matter, he would have learnt what a scene of horror and anarchy the princes of Germany are preparing for their country by their breach of the promise of representative constitutions, and by their new system of police and censorship. The German people are a people naturally fond of peace; but they are also fond of freedom, and had the monarchs granted what has long been the general popular desire, free constitutions, they would have given a solid strength, and a buoyant spirit of zealous patriotism to their people, which would have made them firm as one mass of adamant against any assault of France. As it is, however fair be the outside of things, all that is ancient and estimable in Germany is endangered by the smothered discontent that lies far and wide beneath the surface.
Wild Flowers; or Poetic Gleanings from Natural Objects and Topics of
Religious, Moral, and Philanthropic interest. By C. S. Pyer. Lon
don: J. Snow. We somehow overlooked these · Wild Flowers' in the bloom and spring of their first appearance, but they have a vitality which can survive the frosts of neglect. On examining them, we have been really pleased with their beauties and delicate fragrance. The poems under this title indicate, in almost every page, the sensibilities of the genuine poetic temperament, and which contradistinguish it from the now almost universal ability to compose respectable verse. While not challenging the comparison which the reference would seem to imply, we doubt if the first emanations of Mrs. Hemans gave more promise of future eminence; but we look upon the volume chiefly as the earnest and prognostic of advance—in the loftier aims and in the art more especially of her vocation—it is sufficiently impregnate with the sterling ore of fancy to preserve these flowers from early fading; perhaps to secure their amaranthine bloom. This may seem not ordinary commendation ; but, while for the repression of vanity and on obvious grounds, we would keep the standard high ; and while, as will be seen, these poems are obnoxious to critical remark, we feel, that where the fact of power, the essence of genius, or a deep spirituality exists, there is, in their respective spheres the germ of all other excellence; its development then becomes matter of cultivation and circumstance.
Among the more prominent excellences of this young writer, we note feelings exquisitely alive to the forms and symbolic significance of nature, and the resulting ability to describe them at first hand; and while copying the descriptions of preceding poets so little, as almost to indicate ignorance of their existence, hers show something of the suggestive generalism and bold sketching which avoids a Flemish minuteness of detail, and at the same time connects them with those human interests which give them half their beauty and all their value. The small repetition of imagery, considering the extent of the volume, shows her feeling of the exhaustless wealth of nature in this last respect, as affording a mine of innocent human joy. There is, besides a true poetic tenderness, a deep and pensive sympathy with her kind, a quick ideal realization of the experience, the sorrows especially, of human life; and what is of still better omen, glances of that more pervading sympathy, and deep, inward working of our nature, distinctive of the higher order of poetic mind, and which demands a larger moral experience to be developed and completed.
There is, as we have intimated, a base of material excellence in these poems, which can afford some friendly and respectful admonitions; the authoress is too good to be let go without some measure of kindly severity. We are perhaps precluded remarking upon the extremely disjointed character of these productions, since this is but in keeping with their title ; yet the talent they display would have justified its occasional exertion at least, on longer and more connected themes. terre in its place is not less pleasing than the wilder beauties of the woods and of the fields. There is a singular want of the literary element in the volume, of the selection and treatment of those striking incidents in history, those displays of the passions, and those deep-graved lines of character which afford to the describer the materials and the means of poetic effect; and which furnish at once the opportunity and the test of poetic pathos and power. The writer, too, shows, as is natural, considerable want of mastery over her art. We meet with many careless rhymes, some false ones, and sometimes with no rhyme at all. A little care and increased practice will remedy these and kindred defects, which, though not affecting the essence of poetry, do indicate some non-appreciation of an almost essential of the divine art, music and the soul of harmony. Much care and exercise, the discriminations of the judgment, and the selection of taste, are needful to the perfection of good writing either in
poetry or prose. He who cannot be denied to be a poet, has recorded of his own art :
Ego nec studium sine divite venâ
Horace, Epist. ad Pisones. We bid her, even earnestly, to beware of some forms of low colloquialism ; of thoughts merely expletive, which are of questionable relevancy, and with scarcely any logical congruity, the evident result of the exigencies of the metre rather than the course of association, or the suggestion of the forms and hues of fancy. There is one whole piece (page 130.) which most remotely illustrates its heading, reminding us of the book written before its title ; strongly contrasted, however, we are happy to add, with the little gem on the same subject on page 48. We would strongly recommend the reconstruction of not a few lines, and the substitution in several of thoughts more connected and more striking. There is, again, besides the partialities of maternity for some pet terms and phrases, an occasional vagueness which is not mysticism, religious or philosophic; were it so, the shield might possibly have been spread over her, and more perhaps have been said for it, than this age of steam and facts would relish. It is rather that which betrays the absence of clear and defined thoughts; in fact, in these instances, abortive conceptions.
The Pictorial Sunday Book. By John Kitto, D.D. London: Charles
Knight. We are glad to announce the completion of this work, which adds another, and by no means inconsiderable, claim on the gratitude of the religious public to those previously possessed by Dr. Kitto. Such a work was much needed, and we know no man better fitted to supply it than the learned editor. It is designed to present at the cheapest rate a series of engravings illustrative of the Bible history, the prophecies, the psalms, the life of our Saviour, and the Acts of the Apostles; exhibiting, in the form best adapted to interest and instruct the youthful mind, the scenes of scriptural events, the customs of the Jews, the natural history of Palestine, and the antiquities which throw light on the inspired volume. Matters of controversy are scrupulously avoided, and a course of sabbath reading is supplied, eminently adapted to the wants and capacities of the young. Those parents who have felt the need of suitable occupation for their children on the sabbath, cannot do better than introduce them to such a companion, whose external embellishments attract and gratify the eye, while its communications are well calculated to induce an intelligent and cordial attachment to the best of books.
We thank Dr. Kitto for this labour of love, and strongly commend it to the favour of our readers.
Narrative of an Expedition to the Polar Seas in the Years 1821, 1822,
and 1823. Commanded by Lieut. (now Admiral) Ferdinand Von Wrangell. Second Edition, with additions. Edited by Lieut.-Col.
Edward Sabine, R.A., F.R.S. London: Madden and Co. The English public are greatly indebted to Colonel Sabine for having rendered the Narrative of Admiral Wrangell accessible to them. By all who are interested in maritime discovery the volume cannot fail to be highly prized, whilst the details which it furnishes will greatly assist those who follow in the track of the Russian seaman. The present edition has been corrected by M. Von Wrangell himself, and though published in a much cheaper form than its predecessor, contains an additional chapter, sketching the proceedings of the Ustiansk Expedition to the islands in the Polar Sea, opposite to the mouth of the Iana. The narrative contains much to interest the general reader, as well as to inform those who have a professional concern in its details.
Cobbin's Child's Commentator on the Holy Scriptures. Parts I. and II.
London : Ward and Co. This little work obtained, we believe, a considerable circulation when first issued about ten years ago. It is now reprinted in an enlarged and tastefully-illustrated form, in sixpenny parts, and is well fitted to accomplish its professed object. The style of exposition is very simple, and adapted to interest the youngest readers. It is at once lucid and attractive, and the wood engravings with which it abounds will serve still further to gratify the juvenile pupil. The parts-of which there are to be twenty-four-are to appear on the 1st and 15th of every month, forming together two volumes.
Knight's Books of Reference. Political Dictionary : containing all the
General Terms, whether historical or in present use, of Con stitutional and Ecclesiastical Law, of Civil Administration, of Political Economy and Social Relations; forming also a work of universal reference in all the more important statistical departments of Finance and Commerce.
Vol. I. Parts I. and II. London : Charles Knight & Co. It would as yet be premature to pronounce a decided opinion on this work, the scope of which is sufficiently indicated by its title. Two parts only are published, consisting of two hundred and fifty-six pages; two hundred and forty of which are occupied with the letter A. Judging, however, from what is before us, we strongly incline to the opinion that Knight's Political Dictionary will be one of the most useful works which have recently issued from the British press. It embraces a wide range of important topics, the history and science of which are unfolded in a manner highly creditable to the talents and information of the writers. The work is published in monthly parts, price two shillings each, and is intended to be completed in twenty of these, respecting the practicability of which, however, we entertain some doubt.