« PreviousContinue »
deter us from dwelling on them. It is in vain to expostulate with Mr. H. : 'coarseness of phrase' is explicitly defended in the preface, as not only innocent, but perfectly necessary in some kinds of poetry. We wish that our poets in general would forbear these peccare docentes historias of Boccace and Chaucer.
Of the smaller pieces, the · Loving Lady's Complaint is a pastoral, and unworthy of notice: we wish, too, the Lament for Robert Burns had been in some other form than that of an imitation from the Greek of Moschus. The poem on the death of a young lady,' contains nothing better than this.
• Oh! ye who round a parent's marble mourn
Should fail to save a beauty from the tomb ? p. 161. The impromptu to a lady,' and female levity,' are contemptible. Horace's 'Septimî Gades,' and Tibullus's Second Elegy,' are well imitated, but we have not left ourselves room to quote them. None of the sonnets are composed with any regard to its strict and unalterable laws. The rhymes are very incorrect; in one place we have vice' and advice, in another 'par' and 'coripare ;' in a third, in two · successive couplets, leap? rhymes to speak,' and thing' to "sin.'
It will be remarked, that these poems are said to be collected' by Mr. Hobhouse. Of those which are the production of his friends, we think Lord Byron's are the best. If the use of the publication be required, the answer is very obvious; to convince the world that a few young men have just acquired the talent of construing Latin verses, and writing English verses. There is indeed another use, which we ought to mention, if it were only to soothe Mr. Hobhouse. When it is observed that this gentleman professes in his preface a decided aversion to any thing that can excite' a blush on the cheek of modesty, and yet prints such poetry as we trust none of our female readers will have the mortification to see or hear ; when it is observed too, that he extols Mr. Gifford as the first (almost the only) poet of the day,'
it will be extremely natural for the public to adopt a conclusion, which we have long considered indisputable ; that an education merely classical,--and that a college life, involving an exclusive association with young men, and a separation from family endearments, from virtuous female society, and from rural scenes,--are in themselves remarkably calculated to stifle every generous sentiment, to benumb all tenderness of feeling, to destroy all sense of delicacy; to deprave the morals, and to corrupt the taste. Art. XIII. A Sermon preached before his Grace the Archbishop of York,
and the Clergy, at Malton, at the Visitation, August, 1809. By the Rev. Sydney Smith, A. M. &c. 4to. pp. 22. price. 28, Carpenter.
1809. THE professed intention of this discourse, founded on 1 Tim. iii. 5.,
is to shew the immense effect which the character of the preacher has in recommending his doctrine'-s to contend, that it is our duty to begin with ourselves, to regulate our own passions, and to purify our own conduct, before we deem ourselves the lights of Israel, What may have induced the reverend gentleman to select this particular topic, for the display of his pulpit eloquence, is a matter of no importance, and out of our province to conjecture. Sir Richard Steele, it is well known, published hise Christian Hero' in the vaig hope of binding himself down to habits of sobriety and decorum.
In discussing the Apostle's parenthetical inference-"If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall be take care of the church of God” -the preacher insists upon the necessity of propriety' in the clerical character ; adverts to the duties of exertion ;' spends a few sentences upon the subject of toleration, so closely connected with his text : launches forth into a termagant philippic against the evangelical faction' (a race of mortals whom St. Paul no doubt had particularly in his eye); and concludes with some well written observations on ministerial faithfulness. If Mr. S. has any regard to that self consistency, which he has taken such « immense' pains to recommend, we hope he will no longer think it necessary to upbraid the fanatics with the vagranty of their harangues.
In his remarks on propriety, Mr. S. has taken especial care not to overdraw the picture of clerical duties.' His good clergyman is to be distingui hed from the people around him, by abstaining from an immoderate indulgence in harmless amusements and secular follies But ia what respects, may we be permitted to ask, does this miracle of excel. lence differ from, much less exceed, any person who conscientiously vaIves his time and his faculties? Is it not the
of absurdity, (to say nothing of the crime) in any being, who aspires to be called rational, to consume life in frivolous occupations, or trifle it away in amusements," which the most accommodating moralist can only call innocent;' when pursued with moderation?' Indeed the distinction looks a little suspicious. When a shepherd feels inclined to follow the wanderings of his flock at a measured distance, it is no unfathomable policy which teaches him to break down their inclosures and lengthen their tether.
As the preacher has thought proper to confine this branch of bis discourse to the subject of diversions, to the entire neglect, or nearly so, of the main scope of the Apostle's reasoning ; as he has left almost untouched the specific scandal. Cum fas esse putet curam sperare
cohortis Qui bona donavit præsepibus ; 30 he has very compendiously comprehended the duties of ministerial exertion in a love of knowledge. To instruct the ignorant, to reclaim the wandering, and confirm the undecided — to administer relief to the necessitous, and consolation to the afflicted-and above all, to maintain a devout and holy intercourse with the Great Author of our being these are duties of an inferior rank, and not being exactly calculated to cut a figure in a visitation sermon, are very properly omitted. The Clergy, he seasonably reflects, after all is said and done, must unavoidably have a tiresome quantity of idle time on their hands: How are they to employ it?" The answer is obvious: in the pursuit of knowledge. On the advantages of mental cultivation, therefore, our preacher has judged it convenient to indite a very glowing eulogium ; and when we consider how perfectly new his thoughts on this subject are, and that this is not much above the ten thousandth time of repetition, we must acknowledge it is intitled to considerable commendation. Yet Mr. Smith will pardon us if we com. plaia of a trilling omission on this point. He has forgot to tell us whether knowledge is to be pursued for its own sake merely, or for a higher purpose ; for its husks, or for its kernel ; as a principal, or as an ac. cessory. • The love of knowledge' is one of the most indeterminate expressions in the compass of language. In itself it cannot properly be styled a virtue. Intellectual attainments, however exalted, do not, as too many examples testify, by any means presuppose pure conduct or well regulate, passions. Their excellence must depend upon their use. The genius may be enlarged and strengthened only to extend wider the sphere of its pernicious influence : and in truth, it ought not to have been left quite unexplained, whether a minister, who conscientiously applies his ta. leots to the developement of truth in the service of a sacred profession, ranks precisely in the same scale with him, who perfects a turn for declamation, by inventing anonymous libels on methodism and missions.
We cannut sufficiently admire the effect produced by Mr. Smith's juxta-position of his sentiments on the subjects of toleration and fanaticism. Religious opinion, he observes, is no cause for hatred ; and its diversity should teach us moderation. Ina discourse upon consistency it was therefore an artful oratorical expedient, a novel and well-judged antiphrasis, to exemplify this doctrine by an illiberal and abusive attack on his evangelical' brethren.
But we can easily account for this unwonted irritation ; for this wrymouthed distaste to a primitive faction ;' for this bitter antipathy to men who, by the sanctity of their life and zealous activity, are a practical slander on the careless and profane,-who, instead of perplexing themselves in ascertaining how far they may go, and where exactly they must stop,
with a taste absolutely gothic are willing to believe that a min existence in a state of perpetual exile from card parties and assemblies-who do not regulate their views of propriety' by any such standard as
ter may endure the world's opinion, or even its applause,-and who unambitiously ima. gine that a minister may be sometimes better employed than in reading or writing himself into distinction. That our author should hunt down such men with the hue and cry of madness and delirium,' is not, we repeat, surprising. But why, in the name of all that is wonderful, should he preface his reproaches with a tirade on toleration, or connect them with à pretended alarm for the safety of the church? It has of late, we perceive, become fashionable with a certain set of writers, to practise upon weak imaginations by religious phantasmagoria ; to amuse themselves with drawing through their magic lanthorns a set of caricatures on the dangers of the establishment. Things,' say these visionaries with the utmost gravity, 'cannot long continue as they are' : the fever must come to a crisis ; mankind will at last awake from their delirium, and then down goes the temple of the true God with the images of Dagon.' Do you inquire, who are the authors of these denunciations ? Men with whom piety is a phantom, and morality a name.
To his Šermon, Mr. S. has added some notes ; in which he is ex. tremely anxious to repel the unfounded (and by him unperused) attack of a brother critic on the soundness of his faith. It is impossible to express the astonishment, admiration, and delight, with which we read the following sentences from the pen of this most orthodox and profound divine.
I believe, most firmly, in the doctrine of the Trinity, and in every iota of every doctrine taught in the Thirty-nine Articles !!! Upon the doc. trine of the Trinity, in particular, I have always thought that the passage in St. John has been given up a great deal too easily, and that the concessions upon this point, made by the Bishop of Lincoln and others, are replete with the greatest possible danger !!!'p.
20. Many of our author's observations on subordinate topics, when duly limited and explained, are just and forcible : but his views on religious subjects appear to us indistinct and partial, his doctrine erroneous,
his mo. rality sometimes questionable, and his misrepresentation of a party, who do not happen to see exactly with himself, highly disingenuous. Art. XIV. Cheuji and profilable Manure, &c. Plain and easy Direc
tions for preparing, and Method of using an excellent Compost for Manuring Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Lands, in general, in the cheapest Manner, from which greater Productions of Grain, &c. will be obtained than from any other. Manure at equal expence, discovered solely by John Morley, of Blickling, in the County of Norfolk, farming bailiff to the Honourable William Assheton Harbord; to which is added, his much approved Plan of clamping Muck, whereby a considerable expence is saved to the Farmer ; and also the Manner of Improving the Growth of Underwoods, in the most lux. uriant way. Second Edition, revised and corrected, by the Author, with additional Observations on various kinds of Manure not in general use, in this or the adjoining Counties : and Remarks on the Cultivation of Turnips, improving Grazing Lands, &c. 8vo. Pp. 72 !!!
price 78. Harding. EST modus in rebus. The utility of a wheelbarrow as a wheelbarrow is
undeniable ; but it ought not to be gilt, and varnished, cried up as an admirable and unique intention, and exhibited for sale at the price of a barouche, or a curricle. An evil of this kind, however, is so infallibly certain to work its own cure, that censure would be misapplied. It is quite needless for us to warn the industrious husbandman' against giving the moderate price' of seven skillings for a few hot-pressed pages, con. taining only Mr. Morley's excellent method, and his much Japproved plan.
Mr. Morley's discovery' consists in making compost-keaps upon the headlands of the fields for which the manure is intended, and mixing quick lime with it; certainly a most laudable method ; but we should not be surprised if malicious critics were to quarrel with the origipality of
this invention, merely because it happens to be detailed in Parkinson's Experienced Farmer and Irish Farming! The judicious reader will know better than to call every coincidence a plagiarism.
The publication, however, is not without its value. The practices it recommends, we in general highly approve. One of these, though very commendable
, supposes such an attention to minutiæ which are generally thought below a farmer's notice in England, that we despair of seeing it adopted. It is to collect the dung of the cattle dispersed in the fields ; which, if suffered to remain there, is useless, but when added to the compost hill may prove of considerable service.
The observations on manures not in general use, with the other supple. mentary, matters, are mere common place. Art. XV. A Sermon delivered at the Ordination of the Rev. John Cod.
man, to the Pastoral Care of the Second Church of Christ in Dorchester, (N.A.) Dec. 7, 1803. By William Henry Channing, Pastor of the
Church in Federal Street, Boston. 8vo. pp. 24. Belcher, Boston. 1808. IN this sermon the duty of earnestness in discharging the ministerial
office is considered, from 2 Tim. iv. 2. Be instant in season, and out of season ; and various urgent motives to it are assigned. It is an ani. mated, impressive discourse : and proves that the preacher is no unwor. thy teacher and pattern of Christian zeal. The following extract will place him, we think, in a favourable light.
• Genuine christian earnestness is too rarely seen. Ministers and private christians are indeed very often in earnest ; but their zeal is not seldom an unhallowed, destructive fire, kindled at any altar rather than that of God. There are some, whose zeal is madness, who place religion in the fervors and extacies of a disordered mind, and who shatter their own and others' understandings in a whirlwind of sjund. There are some whose zeal is partial : they spend it all on forms and opinions, which though not unimportant, are not the essentials of christianity. They compass sea and land, not to make followers of Christ, but converts to their sect. They overlook the heart, that they may rectify the head ; and make christianity, not a vital, inward, efficient principle, expressed in increasing conformity to Jesus Christ, but a dry, cold, barren system of modes and speculations. There are some who are earnest enough, but their earnestness is passionate and irritable. They cannot bear contradiction. They do not address serious argument to the erroneous, and affectionate persuasion to the sinful, but express their zeal in clamour, abuse, hard names, and all the varieties of persecution, which their situation places within their