« AnteriorContinuar »
"Midnight and Daily Thoughts. By Sir William Killigrew. Born 1604. Died 1690."
"Methought I heard a beggar cry,
In wantonness themselves engage;
die." pp. 205, 207, 208.
We might easily extend our quotations, but our readers are probably by this time satiated both with the beauties and the defects of these "sacred specimens" of our earlier poets. Some otherwise good poems (that is, comparatively good) we have omitted from their being interwoven with quaintnesses and conceits so unwittingly ludicrous as to destroy their intended effect. It does not exalt our ideas of heaven to tell us that it is strewed "with rubies as thick as gravel," or diminish our inordinate attachment to earth to call its possessions "painted clay" and "gilded dung." An infant taken to heaven is represented as a chick bursting its egg, and "lo is hatched a cherubim !" Many also of the figures and expressions in the majority of our older poets are so mean or trivial, we might have said
sometimes so sterquilinious, as to debase their better matter. There is besides a want of variety, and great ́poverty of invention in their choice of sacred subjects. Even in the little volume of selections before us, we have several Christmas, or Easter, or Whitsun songs; and as for the translations of the hundred and
thirty-seventh Psalm and a few other favourite portions of Scripture, "sacred specimens" might be gathered out of number; though but few of them have as much claim to the meed of good poetry as of good intention.
A bard, with lips touched with hallowed fire, is still wanting to render the Psalms of David, and other devotional parts of Scripture, in a manner at once just to the text, and truly poetical in the structure of the composition. Milton himself failed here, and failed more conspicuously than many mere versifiers. The specimens culled from his poems, in the little volume before us, are surpassed by passages in Tate and Brady, or even Sternhold and Hopkins. A large selection, however, might probably be made from various authors, which would be at once acceptable to a refined taste and edifying to the practical Christian; and the necessity of such a selection, for the purposes of public worship, is strongly proved by the numerous collections of Psalms and Hymns which individual clergymen have felt it desirable to make for their several flocks.
But we will not enter at present into the questions which this consideration suggests; but, returning to the "sacred specimens" before us, will only present our thanks to Mr. Mitford for the labour he has taken in collecting the pieces in the present volume, and renew our best wishes, that his readers may derive abundant profit from the piety of many of the pieces he has transcribed, even where they do not consider them as gems of sufficient value to be enshrined "as apples of gold in pictures of silver.".
LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL INTELLIGENCE,
GREAT BRITAIN. PREPARING for publication:-A Translation of a Reply, by the Bishop of Strasbourgh (late Bishop of Aire), to Mr. Faber's Difficulties of Romanism;-Ele. ments of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation, translated from the Latin of Ernesti, &c. by M. Stuart; a new edition, with additions; by E. Henderson, D. D.
In the press :-The Elements of Euclid, adapted to elementary Instruction by the Introduction of Symbols; by a Member of the University of Cambridge;-The early Life of Christ, an Example for Youth; by the Rev. H.Marsh;-An Index to Taylor's Edition of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible ;-Memoirs of a West-Indian.
Cambridge. The Chancellor's gold medals, for the two best proficients in classical learning among the commencing Bachelors of Arts, are adjudged to Mr. B. Kennedy, of St. John's, and Mr. V. F. Hovenden, of Trinity College. The subject of the Seatonian prize-poem for the present year is, "The Marriage at Cana in Galilee."
Trinity College, Dublin.-The subject for the Vice-Chancellor's prizes at the next commencement, is-for all the students, both graduates and under-graduates, in Greek, Latin, or English verses, "In obitum Frederici Principis illustrissimi.”
The last Report of the Literary Fund states, that since its commencement in the year 1790, it has distributed no less a sum than 12,000l. among upwards of one thousand cases; some of them of a remarkable nature. But, adds the Report, "how vast a mass of lonely misery this bounty may have lightened, or even extinguished; how many sinking spirits it has cheered to new exertions; what sick-beds it has made the beds of health; what years of helpless decay it has made years of comparative comfort; what agonies of mind among a class of men whom the habits of their whole lives, their education and intelligence, render most vulnerable in the mind, have been healed; must be beyond human record." "It is not the purpose of the Literary Fund to reward able authorship, which should look for its reward to the Nation; nor to encourage bad authorship, nor to sustain the idle, nor to indulge the profligate; but to interpose, as far as it may, between the merito.
rious and those calamities against which no rank of merit can be always a security." "It restricts its hand by no invidious limits of class in society, religious persuasion, party feeling, or place of birth. It receives all claims alike; desires no other attestation than the evidence that its bounty is necessary, and then distributes to the utmost of its means."
At the Clifton and Bristol Bazaar, in aid of the funds for the distressed manufacturers in the north, as much as 960z. were received.
The following are among the results obtained by Mr. Parkins, from experiments on the progressive compression of water. The column of water is 190 inches in height, and the pressure of one atmosphere is estimated at fourteen pounds. Atmospheres.
Compression in Inches.
At a meeting held on the 30th of March, at the house of the Right Honourable Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, in furtherance of a design commenced at Oxford, to testify by some public act the respect felt for the memory of the late Right Rev. Bishop Heber, it was resolved that a committee should be formed for the purpose of promoting the supscription. It is intended to erect, in the cathedral church of St. Paul, a monument worthy of Bishop Heber's memory; and to appropriate the surplus, if any, to the endowment of an Oriental Scholarship. Subscriptions will be received at the banks of Messrs. Parsons, Oxford, and Messrs. Hammersley, London.
Among the books lately sold in the Rev. T. Williams's library, was a Latin MS. of the Gospels presented by the Countess Matilda of Tuscany in the eleventh century, to the monastery of St. Benedict de Padolirone, near Modena. This codex, which Dr. Dibdin says is the finest in existence, is in folio, written upon vellum. It was sold for 1721. Evangelia Quatuor, a fine Greek MS. upon vellum, bearing the date of the tenth century, was sold for 521. 10.
A celebrated Missal which was presented to Isabella, queen of Spain, was lately sold by auction to Mr. Hurd, for 360 guineas. It was one of the most valuable articles in the splendid library of the late Mr. Dent.
A map of Turkey and Greece, drawn up by M. Lepie, from materials collected by the French ambassador at Constantinople, and Baron Tremelin, has resolved the problem of the length of the ancient stadia, and has demonstrated that they were 700 to a degree. Strabo, for example, reckons it 200 stadia from Corinth to Argos; and Pausanius, 660 from Sparta to Olympia. These are the exact distances found on the new map on stadia of 700 to a degree.
The operation of opening an Egyptian mummy was lately performed in the gallery of Egyptian Antiquities at Paris. The linen bands encircling the body from head to foot being unrolled, the mummy
found to be in wonderful preservation. The nails on the hands were remarkably long, and the hair was perfect; eyes of enamel had been substituted for the original, a singularity which has been observed only once before. Two papyrus manuscripts were found; one rolled round the head, the other round the breast; in such preservation as to allow of their being deciphered by M. Champollion, who states that the body is that of Tete Muthis, daughter to the keeper of the temple of Isis, at Thebes, 3000 years ago.
The cause of the colour of the Red Sea, which has given rise to various conjectures, has been decided by the Prussian travellers, MM. Hemrich and Ehrenburg, to arise from a species of oscillatoria, small vegetables, or animalculæ connected both with the animal and vegetable kingdom.
LIST OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
A Popular Commentary on the Bible, in a Series of Sermons. By the Rev. J. Plumptre, B.D. 2 vols. 11. 6s. Discourses on Experimental and PracBy W. F. Vance, tical Christianity. M.A. 1 vol. 5s. 6d.
Reasons for Abandoning Unitarianism. By J. Gilchrist,
Theology; or an Attempt towards a consistent View of the whole Counsel of God. By the Rev. J. H. Hinton. 4s.
The Sunday-School Catechist. By the
The Church Catechism explained, &c.
A Song to David.
By the late C.
An Invitation to Christians in behalf
Thoughts on the Co-operation of the
A Review and Analysis of Bishop Bull's
A Vindication of the Sentiments contained in a Letter to a Clergyman on the peculiar Tenets of the Present Day, By R. Bransby Cooper, Esq. M. P. 8vo. 10s. 6d.
A Letter to the King. By a Presbyter of the Church of England. Is.
The Annals of St. Paul. By John Pearson, D.D. late Bishop of Chester, trans lated from the Latin, by Jackson M. Williams. 4s. 6d.
A Survey of Scripture Prophecy relating to the Romish Church and the Turkish Empire. By a Layman. 4s.
Original Essays on Theological Subjects. By James Beckwith. 12mo. 4s. A Sermon preached at the Consecration of the Bishop of Bristol. By Archdeacon Pott.
The Obligatory Nature of the Sacraments; or, Strictures on Mr. Gurney's Remarks respecting Baptism and the Lord's Supper. By the Rev. G. Bliss, M. A.
Funeral Sermon for the late Rev. Dr. Hawker. By the Rev. G. Mutter.
"A Tribute of Respect to departed Greatness," a Funeral Sermon for the Comb. late Rev. Dr. Hawker. By the Rev. G.
Memoirs and Correspondence of Mr. By John Urquhart, with a Portrait. William Orme. 2 vols. 12mo. 10s. History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times. By Isaac Taylor, jun. 1 vol. 8vo. 8s.
Selections from the Works of the Rev. 2 vols. 18mo. with a Portrait and John Howe. By the Rev. Dr. Wilson. Life. 6s.
Plain Scriptural Addresses to Sick Persons. By a Clergyman._1s.
Recollections of the Rev. C. Malan, D.D. Is.
Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical, elucidating the Duty of the Study of Prophecy.
By the Rev. John Noble Coleman, M. A. 8vo. 12s.
The General Diffusion of Christianity the Duty of the Churches; a Sermon. By the Rev. J. Carlile.
Christian Preaching; a Sermon. By the Rev. J. Davies. 2 vols. Practical Lectures. By the Rev. J. Bullock. 1 vol. 5s. 6d.
History of the Earl of Chatham. By the Rev. F. Thackeray, A.M. 2 vols. 4to. with Portraits. 31. 3s.
The Life, Diary, and Correspondence of Sir William Dougdale. By William Harper, Esq. In royal 4to. 21. 2s.
The History of Rome; now first Translated from the German of G. B. Niebühr. By F. A. Walter, Esq. F.R.S.L. With Maps. In 2 vols. 8vo. 11. 4s.
Prize Essay on the State of Society and Knowledge in the Highlands of Scotland at the Period of the Rebellion in 1745,
and their Progress to 1825. By John Anderson. 8vo. 7s.
A Hebrew Grammar (with points). By S. Newman.
An Answer to certain Letters addressed to the Author respecting the Chew Magna Theatricals. By the Rev. W. P. Wait. Is.
The Apocryphal Controversy summed up, and directed to Useful Purposes. By the Rev. J. Carlile.
Human Sacrifices in India. By J. Poynder, Esq. 1 vol. 5s.
The Suttee's Cry to Great Britain. By J. Peggs, late Missionary.
Historical Review of Papal and Conciliar Infallibility. By the Rev. W. Keary. 1 vol. 5s. 6d.
The Reigning Vice, a Poem. Affectionate Advice to Apprentices. By the Rev. G. H. Watkins. 6d.
The History of the South-Leith Sabbath Evening School. 2s.
BISHOP HEBER ON THE NATIVES OF INDIA.
A FRIEND of the late Bishop Heber has published, in a periodical work, some highly interesting extracts, from letters written to him by that revered and lamented prelate, while prosecuting his extensive journeys throughout his vast diocese. These letters communicate the results of his observations, respecting matters connected with his pastoral office, diversified by occasional observations upon subjects of a more general character. We select a few passages relative to the habits of the natives, and the promotion of Christianity among them.
"One fact, during this journey, has been impressed on my mind very forcibly -that the character and situation of the natives of these great countries are exceedingly little known, and in many instances grossly misrepresented, not only by the English public in general, but by a great proportion of those also who, though they have been in India, have taken their views of its population, manners, and productions from Calcutta, or at most from Bengal. I had always heard, and fully believed till I came to India, that it was a grievous crime, in the opinion of the Brahmins, to eat the flesh or shed the blood of any living creature whatever. I have now myself seen Brahmins of the highest caste cut off the heads of goats as
a sacrifice to Doorga; and I know, from the testimony of Brahmins, as well as from other sources, that not only hecatombs of animals are often offered in this manner as a most meritorious act (a rajah, about twenty-five years back, offered sixty thousand in one fortnight), but that any person, Brahmins not excepted, eats readily of the flesh of whatever has been offered up to one of their divinities ; while among almost all the other castes, mutton, pork, fish, venison-any thing but beef and fowls, are consumed as readily as in Europe. Again, I had heard all my life of the gentle and timid Hindoos, patient under injuries, servile to their superiors, &c. Now, this is doubtless, to a certain extent, true of the Bengalese (who, by the way, are never reckoned among the nations of Hindoostân by those who speak the language of that country); and there are a great many people in Calcutta who maintain, that all the natives in India are alike. But even in Bengal, gentle as the exterior manners of the people are, there are large districts close to Calcutta, where the work of carding, burning, murder, and robbery, and every other act of violence goes on as systematically, and in nearly the same manner, as in the worst part of Ireland; and on entering Hindoostân, properly so called, which, in the estimate of the natives, reaches from the Rajam. ahal hills to Agra, and from the moun
tains of Kumaoon to Bundelcund, I was struck and surprised to find a people equal in stature and strength to the average of European nations, despising rice and rice-eaters, feeding on wheat and barley bread, exhibiting in their appearance, conversation, and habits of life, a grave, a proud, and decidedly a martial character, accustomed universally to the use of arms and athletic exercises from their cradles, and preferring, very greatly, military service to any other means of livelihood. This part of their character, but in a ruder and wilder form, and debased by much alloy of treachery and violence, is conspicuous in the smaller and less good-looking inhabitants of Rajapootan and Malwah; while the mountains and woods, wherever they occur, show specimens of a race entirely different from all these, and in a state of society scarcely elevated above the savages of New Holland, or New Zealand; and the inhabitants, I am assured, of the Deccan, and of the presidencies of Madras and Bombay, are as different from those which I have seen, and from each other, as the French and Portuguese from the Greeks, Germans, or Poles. So idle is it to ascribe uniformity of character to the inhabitants of a country so extensive, and subdivided by so many almost impassible tracts of mountain and jungle, and so little do the majority of those whom I have seen deserve the gentle and imbecile character often assigned to them.
"I met, not long since, with a speech by a leading member of the Scotch General Assembly, declaring his 'conviction that the truths of Christianity could not be received by men in so rude a state as the East-Indians, and that it was necessary to give them first a relish for the habits and comforts of civilized life before they could embrace the truths of the Gospel.' The same slang (for it is nothing more) I have seen repeated in divers pamphlets, and even heard it in conversations in Calcutta. Yet, though it is certainly true that the lower classes of Indians are miserably poor, and that there are many extensive districts where, both among low and high, the laws are very little obeyed, and there is a great deal of robbery, oppression, and even ferocity; I know no part of the population, except the mountain tribes already mentioned, who can with any propriety of language be called uncivilized. Of the unpropitious circumstances which I have mentioned, the former arises from a population continually pressing on the utmost CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 305.
limits of subsistence, and which is thus kept up; not by any dislike or indifference to a better diet, or more ample clothing, or more numerous ornaments, than now usually fall to the peasant's share (for, on the contrary, if he has the means, he is fonder of external show and a respectable appearance, than those of his rank in many nations of Europe); but by the foolish superstition, which Christianity only is likely to remove, which makes a parent regard it as unpropitious to allow his son to remain unmarried, and which couples together children of twelve or fourteen years of age. The second has its origin in the long-continued misfortunes and intestine wars of India, which are as yet too recent (even where their causes have ceased to exist) for the agitation which they occasioned to have entirely sunk into a calm. But to say that the Hindoos or Mussulmans are deficient in any essential feature of a civilized people, is an assertion which I can scarcely suppose to be made by any who have lived with them. Their manners are at least as pleasing and courteous as those in the corresponding stations of life among ourselves; their houses are larger, and, according to their wants and climate, to the full as convenient as ours. Nor is it true, that, in the mechanic arts, they are inferior to the general run of European nations. Where they fall short of us (which is chiefly in agricultural implements and the mechanics of common life), they are not, so far as I have understood of Italy and the South of France, surpassed in any great-degree by the people of those countries.
They are so inquisitive, and have such opportunities of information, that it is apparent how little sense there is in the doctrine that we must keep them in ignorance if we would continue to govern them. They know enough already to do us a great deal of mischief, if they should find it their interest to make the trial. They are in a fair way, by degrees, to acquire still more knowledge for themselves; and the question is, whether it is not the part of wisdom, as well as duty, to superintend and promote their education while it is yet in our power, and supply them with such knowledge as will be at once most harmless to ourselves and most useful to them.
"In this work the most important part is to give them a better religion. Knowing how strongly I feel on this subject, you will not be surprised at my placing it foremost. But even if Christianity were out of the question, and if, when I had 2 R