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REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
An Essay on the Evils of Popular Igno, that even the promulgation of the Gos
rance:" By John Foster. Evo. 316 pp. PEL itself rather casts a lurid glare over 73. 6d.
the picture, than serves at all to jrra. THE subject of this volume seems to diate it. His tints are likewise so unius to be hardly less intricate than im- formly and deeply sombre, as to preclude portant; and therefore liable to be treated what painters call keeping, in the dismal so as not merely to do little or no good,
recesses of the tablet. The horrors of but even to be productive of material war, famine and pestilence, could not damage. To be alienated from the have been denoted by darker shades life of God through the ignorance that
than those which he has employed on the is in us,” is a very different thing from the clumsy manner in which beasts are want of general education, and it no less usually slaughtered for our public marcharacterized the polished Ephesians,
kets. We should have thought the than the barbarous Scythians. When
amusements of hunting, angling, or God testified by his prophet, · My people shooting, (by which more birds are are destroyed for lack of knowledge, he
wounded than killed) better entitled to added, • Because thou hast rejected his reprobation; for surely it is preferknowledge, I will also reject thee. Hos able that animals should be killed for
iv. 6. Even the Gentiles were never food, as a business than as a sport. I left so destitute of means for the know- The author gives due credit to the
ledge of God, as to furnish them with pious zeal of Methodists, of both dean excuse for ignorance of him (Rom. i. nominations, and to the various recent 19-32;) much less the Jews, Chris, labours of philanthropists, for the dissie tians still less, even though degraded by
pation of popular ignorance : but the superstitions; but least of all protestants;
use to which he turns his review of these
exhilarating topics is truly characteristic. more general than among rapists, but among whom not only education is much a
* And now,' says he, p. 96, when we the Scriptures are publicly read to such have put all these tbipgs together, we ; as cannot read for theinselves. If spi- may well pause to indulge again our ritual destruction involved the bulk of wonder, what could have been the mental mankind inevitably, from want of th
situation of the inferior orders, the great means of knowledge, it would reflect majority of our nation, antecedently to rather on divine than on human govern
the creation of this modern comprehenment. The latter, under whatever form, sive economy of so many influences and has seldom been backward to dictate means for awaking them to something in matters of religion, either Pagan or of an intelligent existence.' Christian; but it is of course always
Such views are not adapted to excite liable to err, even with the best informa- sanguine expectations. A reader might tion and intentions; and where these naturally conclude that, as popular ignohave been wanting, the mischiefs are rance was from the beginning, and is equally deplorable and notorious. now, it will be world without end. But
Education, unconnected with religion, the author's hypothesis so far yields to belongs to political economy, and there. matter of fact, as to admit, p. 259, of the fore exceeds the scope of our review. following suggestion :The well-known author of the work be- • In all probability, the improvement fore us, bas exerted his peculiar powers of maukind is destined, under Divine to exhibit an affecting view of this sub- Providence, to advance just in proportion ject, but we think has insufficiently dis- as good men feel the responsibility for criminated the branches of it, that we it resting on themselves, as individuals." have now endeavoured to distinguish. With this sentiment we have the pleaThe religious ignorance which he attri- sure cordially to coincide; but we pause butes to the uneducated, we have found to indulge again "our wonder, what (if no less in persons of superior education. So) could have been the use of invece We thiok also that his laboured repre- tives against human governments, for sentation might have produeed stronger not taking such a responsibility upon effect, had he admitted into it sufficient them? We think it much safer and lights to form some contrast with the more likely to be efficient where Divine general gloom. He seems to us not only Providence has placed it. We therefore to have omitted various memorable events gladly listen to whatever encouragement of this character, but so strangely to have can be given for patient continuance in bedimmed such as he could not exclude, well-doing.'
• Let the promoters of education and of persons are employed in the arluous
It would gratify us to add, for the reflection ;
only recommend them strongly to gene. Ye blest, enlightened men, ye gentle
the trouble of those who can pa. Of weight, and worth, and vast rotundity,
sermon to a written address, and from
doo faith, and abominable practices of
and in India ; but of this we can only
give a fragment.
• that in heathen land
Incessant. Day of rest relieves thee not, • With all the sunbeam colouring of
These, and such like, being in the grey light O'er hubbub scenes, and through the burlesque part of the Poem, we should
have thought the author indulged himlive-long day 'Tis noise, and merriment, and labour instances occurred in the serious parts ;
self with a little licence, had not similar all.'
such as in page 7, line 17, We insert also the following, from the Blood-spirtled flags unfurling the cross Poor Bengalee' Convert:
or moon.' - O Great Power !' thus would But as such irregularities are more
admissible in blank verse than in rhyme, With eves fixed, on the ethereal conflict- many writers avail theinselves of that
liberty. Considered in the whole, this “Whoe'er thou art, where'er thoudwell'st; Poem contains many accurate descripor wrapt
tions of Eastern scenery, many quaint In everlasting mystery, known to exist touches of humour, many sublime flights By these thy visitings, or manifest of fancy, and many a powerful appeal to To nations in this world of thine more religious feeling. It is creditable to the blest
author, and will interest the reader, A Than these thy darker walks, not less few instructive notes illustrate the rest thy own;
pective subjects, Whoe'er thou art, heard in the hurri
cane, Seen in the fulgence of the firmament,
A Commentary on the Psalms, called Felt in the immortal soul, yet still un- Psalms of Degrees , in which, among known
many interesting Subjects, the scrip"To me, though ever felt, and seen, and tural Doctrine respecting the divinely heard ;
instituted and honourable Estate of - Reveal Thyself ! if aught so immensely Matrimony is explained and defended, great
&c. By Martin Luther. To which is May but be faintly understood, and loved
prefixed an Historical Account of the By mortal things, adored by energies Monastic Life, particularly of the MoNiade to adore, or else create in vain!' nasteries of England. 8vo. 10s. 60.
We should observe, that besides the Trus Commentary is not now first pub. general division of the poem into the lished in the English language, being, as first and second part, each part consists the Editor himself observes,
taken from of separate pieces with appropriate titles, an edition “ Imprinted at London, by like so many chapters ; yet that a con- Tho. Vantrollier, dwelling in the Black nexion runs through the whole, and the Friers, by - Ludgate, 1577,”-and seems changes are not more abrupt ihan the to have undergone little or no alteration transitions usual, and needful, to keep but in the modernizing of the spelling. * up the attention throughout a long poem. The Commentary itself contains a great "The reader of taste will find in the peo deal of sound practical divinity, combatsusal much to admire, and the severe ing, as in all Luther's writings, the errors critic but little to blame. A few care and superstitions of popery. On the lessly constructed and inharmonious lines 128th Psalm in particular (which is inmay be found; such as-page 63, linell, corporated into our marriage service) he May dare expect rest for the sole of defends not only the lawfulness of matrifoot
mony, in opposition to popish celibacy, Polluted.
but the character of woman, in opposi
tion to those who consider a wife only as Page 80, 4 lines from the bottom,
a necessary evil ;' and who assert that, * In weanedness, she would live and to bury a wife is better than to marry gladly die
her.' (See p. 293.) Luther, it may be To inherit her desire.'
recollected, was charged by the papists
with a double crime : 1st, in marrying Occasionally the ten syllable line is lengthened into 11 or 12 syllables, as in page 46, line 6,
* It was translated from the Latin by “Or perpendicular, rising in the fields.'
a Mr. Bull, and recommended to the
reader by Mr. John Fox-mas we presume, Page 48, line 8,
at all, himself being an ecclesiastic; and, say another word; but, as reviewers, we 2dly, in marrying a nun, who was also may announce Mr. Timms's publication, consecrated to the church. This great, and give our opinion of the manner 10 reformer, bowever, despised the clamour which he has treated the Dr. and bis of his adversaries, and, when he was satis- opinions. We have, in the first place, fied that he had the propbets and apostles the satisfaction to state, that this writer with him, set very light by Doctors, is temperate and argumeutative; not pasPopes, or even Fathers; of which we sionate or abusive. He treats the person shall give an instance that will at the of his adversary with respect, while he same time afford a specimen of his strong boldly controverts, and we think fairly and vehement style.
confutes, his opinions. We shall, in the “ Thus much I thought good to say as next place, shew the train of argument touching the gross error and profane wbich Mr. T. pursues.-1. The definiopinion of Hierume, [Jerome) trifling, tion of foreknowledge which Dr. Clarke and by foolish allegories with his com- gives, as consisting in power to foreknow, panion Origen, imagining spiritual fathers is not true, on his own shewing; for God and spiritual children: whereby they could not, according to the Dr., foreknow have given occasion unto the Pope to those things which he calls contingent.make himself the bridegroom or the 2. If Dr. Č. could establish his point, it husband of the Church; and so one error would avail him nothing, except he has brought forth another. But I would could disprove all foreknowledge, and rather wish that this bridegroom were make God ignorant of every thing that hanged upon a tree with Judas and bu- is about to happen. 3. The Dr. assumes
, ried in hell, than that by this means he what he ought to have proved, that the should spoil Christ of his name. For certainty of a future action, would renChrist Jesus alone is the husband of the der it unworthy of praise or blame. Church. All the saints of God besides, Here Mr. T. quotes John Howe and Dr. are but the friends of the bridegroom, Edw. Williams, who deny that certain as John the Baptist calleth himself. The futurity involves any violation of free Church is the spouse or the wife. The agency. 4. The assertion of Dr. C., that children are the faithful which daily with God there is neither foreknowledge, come unto the marriage. These also are nor after-knowledge, “ but an eternal made the spouse, for they become pare now,” has no other tendency thap to neztakers of the good things, and the bless- tralize or destroy the Dr.'s own stateings of the bridegroom, and they obtain ment. Here Mr. T. acutely observes, the righteousness of Christ and his me- that, if futurity and preteriety are to the rits. If the Pore be good, then he is in Deity the same, then that kiud of couthe number of these, and not the bride- tingency which Dr. C. attempts to estagroom, not the husband, but the spouse; blish, concerning future events, may also and is partaker of the benefits and the be proved concerning the past ; and we blessings of the bridegroom : But if he may be told, that what has already hap, be evil, he is the bridegroom of Satan pened is to the Deity "contingent and and the friend of Judas."
doubtful; so that though we know that The Historical Account of Monaste- it has made sure of existence, it is the ries' prefixed by the editor, appears to privilege of his being to be doubtful
, be carefully drawn up and neatly written; whether it has happened or not. And now, and is illustrated by a well engraved where falls the charge of absurdity and frontispiece, exhibiting the different or contradiction, and blasphemy, so liberally ders of monks and nuns in their eccle- thrown out by the other side? 5. The siastical costume. The narrative is also parallel which Dr. C. attempts to mainenlivened by some curious and interest- tain between the attributes of omniscience ing notes : the whole being calculated to and omnipotence fails. Dr. C. himself expose the evils of popery, and shew the could not assert that the Deity had no necessity of the Reformation.
other justice, or wisdom, or holiness, than a power to become holy, wise, or
just. 6. If the Dr. could establish any lio Remarks on the Foreknowledge of God, mitation of the divine power to fur:
suggested by Passages in Dr. Adam know, with regard to moral agency, Clarke's Commentary on the New Tes- would be of no avail to his system, up
tament. By Gill Timms. 8vo. 2s, 6d. less he could extend it also to the physiOur review of the sentiments of Dr. cal world; so that God could not foresee Clarke, concerning the foreknowledge of that the sun would once be arrested in God, and of the defence which Verax his course, once shrouded in preternatuattempted to set up, were so full, that ral darkness, with a host of et ceteras, we do not feel ourselves called upon to because these events are so involved in
the inoral system, that they could not be Horne) in the Athanasian Creed as peforeseen without foreknowing the con-'cessary to Salvation, is, that before all duct of moral agents. 7. In fine, to limit, things we hold the Catholic Faith; whicka and in effect destroy the prescience of faith, it is said in the second verse, Deity, we must destroy the moral go. which Faith, received from the beginning, verument and providence of God, and and to be preserved to the end, as emleave the world to chance.
braced by the universal Church, except We had, at tirst, concluded that this every one do keep whole, without rejectwas a fictitious name, but as we are in-> ing any part of it that 'is clearly revealed, formed it is not, and though now we- and undefiled, without adding any thing have no knowledge of the writer, we beg to it, which may defeat its sense and leave to assure him, that it would give us corrupt its tendency; without doubt, that pleasure to see him again on this is, it is beyond all controversy if the arena; for he wants noiking but more Scriptures be true, he shall perish everpractice in composition, and in discus- tastingly, he will finally forfeit his title sions of this kind, to make him all that to the benefits of the Christian Covenant. we wish to see him.
In the 3d and 4th verses, the Catholic
Faith is stated to be this, that we worship *The Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity - One God in Trinity, and Trinity in
briefly stated and defended : and the Unity, neither confounding the persons i Church of England vindicated froin (as the ancient Sabellians and others did, the charge of uncharitableness in re- and as some in our own country do at. taining the Athanasian Creed. By this day), nor dividing the substance, as. T. H. Horne, M.A. Curate of Christ the Arians did and do. This, it is dea Church, Newgate-street, &c. 8vo. 58. clared, is vecessary to be believed ; but MR. HORNE has already been intro- . all that follows, írom the 5th to the 25th. duced to our readers as an able ad- verse inclusive, is only brought as a vocate and judicious illustrator of the proof and illustration of it, and thereSacred Writings;* and, so far as respects fore requires our assent to more than a • the Scripture Doctrine of the Trinitý,' sermon does, which is written in order he is no less entitled to our commenda- ' to prove or to illustrate a text. The text tion. This work originated in two dis- is, confessedly, the word of God, and & courses on the much controverted text therefore is necessarily to be believed:
concerning the three witnesses, 1 John, but no person is for that reason bound to * V. 7. of the genuineness of which the believe every particular of the sermon author appears to be well satisfied, and deduced from it, upon pain of damnagives his reasons; to which we might tion, even though every tittle of it be add one founded upon Christian Charity: true. Now this is the case with the The words-in question may have been Athanasian Creed. The belief of the Caomitted through the mistake of a tran- tholic Faith above mentioned, the Scripscribert; but they could, if not original, tures make necessary to salvatiou; and be inserted only by design, and we think therefore we must believe it: but there not a good one: we wish, indeed, the is no such necessity laid upon us to behistoric proofs of its authenticity were as 'lieve the illustration which is there given strong as its internal evidence. The doc- of it, nor does the Creed itself require trine does, however, by no means rest it. For it proceeds in the 26th and 27th upon a single text: the numerous texts verses, to state, so that in all things as adduced in favour of the Divinity of is foresaid the Unity in Trinity and Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. are also proofs in favour of the Scrip. He therefore that will be saved (that is, ture Doctrine of the Trinity;' and these is willing or desirous to be saved), LET Mr. H. has arranged and argued from him thus think of the Trinity. Such is with no small degree of perspicuity and the proper rendering of the clause. Thus force. In his second section be proceeds it is evident that the things contained in to consider and refute objections--not the beginnivg and end of the Creed, are only to the Scripture, but the Athanasian spoken of as mätters of faith; but this doctrine, which he considers to be the intermediate matter, which is inserted same, and is bold enough to defend even in opposition to existing errors, is a the dampatory clauses' in that ob- matter of opinion only. “In reference to noxious Creed. In this we cannot say the first and last parts (the doctrine of we conceive him to be equally success. the Trinity and Incarnation, and offices ful : it is but just however that he should of Christ) “ the certainty of condemnabe heard.
tion is asserted : but in reference to the All that is required of us (says "Mr. intermediate part, nothing is asserted, * See Vol. xxv: p. 433.
except that such are the views which we + This is more evident in the Greek. tion.” P. 69, &c. Let our readers Dom
ought to entertain of the point in ques