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councils of legislation! The mysterious perils, confided by our cautious governors to Mr. Wilson and their select friends, were, it seems, so tremendously grave, that they might cheaply be bought off with the above enumeration!
It is painful to be obliged to connect such remarks with a work of such decided merit as that before us, but the perilous state of present affairs requires all who value their religion and their church to “cry aloud and spare not :" to shew that bad faith, self-contradiction, and mischief the most extensive, run through the whole texture of the late ruinous measure: and take every opportunity of exhibiting, most especially in the language of its advocates, the character of that system which is now engrafted on British policy.
With these remarks we conclude our notice of Mr. Wilson's work, sincerely recommending it to the notice of our readers, for its popular, comprehensive, and practical character, and its eloquent and energetic condemnation of those opinions which have the present good fortune to number its author among their political advocates.
Sacred Poems: containing Poetical Il
lustrations of Scripture ; the Pampeiro, or Tempest of La Plata; the Human Hand; the Hand Divine; the Infant's Death. By the Rev. CHARLES FREDERICK WATKINS. London : Rivingtons. Salisbury : Brodie and Dowding. 1829. pp. xx. 120. Price 7s.6d.
If a true devotional feeling could be considered as apology for want of a high poetical fervour, Mr. Watkins might rank amongst the great names he has enumerated in his Preface. But there is so much about his volume, as a subscription work, to disarm criticism of her offensive weapons, that we decline offering an opinion which jus tice might strictly demand. Nevertheless, it may be characterised as a very respectable performance. There are some truly original remarks in the Preface, which we extract for their originality.
It is the fault of the generality of sacred Poems in our language, that the thoughts and conceptions of the authors are beneath
the dignity of the subject: or that the expressions they use are derogatory to the occasion.
There are some, indeed, to be excepted from this censure; Pope's Messiah; a part of Dryden's Religio Laici; and one or two of his minor pieces; the noble Poem of Sir John Davis on the Soul; not to speak of Milton, and others, who have introduced fictitious characters and actions in the course of the drama.
Whether the present Poems can claim the eulogium which Episcopius passed upon those of Grotius, must be left to others to determine. I am satisfied with the approbation bestowed upon them by my learned and venerable Diocesan, and other highly esteemed and talented individuals; which affords me the greatest confidence and encouragement in submitting them to the notice of the public; at the same time keeping in mind, that a variety of tastes will occasion a variety of opinions upon every subject.
If any objection be made, it ought, in propriety, to be confined to the quality of the performance, and not to the nature of the work. For though many religious persons profess to discard all poetry from their reading, they only prove thereby either
points of domestic economy, up to the great and all pervading question, which many well-meaning persons would fain persuade themselves is now set at rest. If we think some of these hints rather superfluous, (such for instance as those on building a Parsonage, which, addressed to a country Curate, who is as likely to construct a Cathedral, made us smile,) and do not take quite the same view of some other subjects, the benevolent and truly christian spirit which breathes throughout the volume, would amply atone for greater defects than any which its pages contain.
that they possess a defective organization, or that their sentiments are not in unison with those of true piety. If the former, they cannot help it; if the latter, then may we ask, why is poetry applied by the inspired writers—especially by the sweet Psalmist of Israel-to the loftiest and most heart-felt strains of devotion, in all its branches of prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving?
Was not the creation commenced with the harmonious strains of angels; and will not poetry be used by the redeemed, whien the world shall have passed away? Is there not harmony and grace observed in the structure of all the works of God; in the plans and operations of his providence; in those of redemption likewise? And is it not an inconsistency to object to, nay, not to approve of, a harmony and grace of numbers, in the mention and celebration of those works?
The minor pieces which stand first in this collection, are specimens of Poetical Illustrations of Scripture; many more of which I purpose, with Divine permission, to publish at some future season, if these should prove successful.—Pp. xvi-xviii.
The “ Infant's Death" is not included in the title-page, but has been added since it was printed. It is founded on feelings which every father can appreciate. Whatever may be its defects as a composition, it does great credit to the writer's heart. The sweetness of the ideas in the following concluding lines makes up for all offences against rhythm or rhyme.
– undivided from its source: How low soe'er it falls, for various ends, To the same height it still again ascends. So “ of His fulness we have all receiv'd," Whilst he remains unsever'd, unbereav'd: His grace descending, hills our hearts with
love, Which bursting forth, returns to him above.
Pp. 27, 28.
The Opening of the Sixth Seal. A
Sacred Poem. (Rev. vi. 12–17.)
This volume, we understand, passed into a second edition a month after its publication. To such as weigh fame by the pound, and calculate merit according to a multiple ratio of impressions of any given sized sheet, this may appear like praise. But our poetical friend will not thank us for considering it as such; so we take the opportunity of saying something else in his favour, more available. And we cannot do so more flatteringly than by producing the following quotation to back us in our assertion, that the Poem contains much excellent writing, both as regards the mechanical and the intellectual parts of composition. It comes from the opening of Part II.
In the realms Of space, innumerable worlds revolved In their ethereal orbits. Suns on suns, With their attendant systems, rolling pathed The interminable void;—yet not at will Roaming through ether, but in bounds
prescribed By GOD himself; each flaming sun around Held planetary orbs their mystic dance, That never had known change; worlds
above worlds, Countless as pearly drops that gem the
mead On vernal morn, lay pillowed on the sky, And, in the centre of the wondrous whole, The Deity himself, benignant still, Guiding, protecting them, the spirit of life Transfused, and, omnipresent, reigned o'er
Parochial Letters from a Beneficed
Clergyman to his Curate. London:
’Andeúwy év ảyány, is the motto prefixed to these letters by their worthy author, whose sincerity and kindly feelings are indeed manifested throughout the work. The letters are fifteen in number, embracing a variety of subjects from suggestions on minor
So they went on in harmony, and knew Each its prescribed course; and, as they
rolled, Celestial music through the boundless space Incessant roamed, the music of the spheres, To mortal ears inaudible, but oft By listening seraphs, in their viewless flight On light's pure pinions, raptured heard;
so they In smooth, unerring course through ether
fled, Rapidly rolling, and, with hallowed song, Together hymned sweet music to their God.
Pp. 49, 50. We say not too much, when we give the writer credit for having brought before his readers, in this volume, specimens of his power as a poet of no every-day stamp. The subject we say nothing of. It is decidedly out of the reach of any poet. There are some playful and pretty minor poems added, of which our narrow limits preclude further mention here.
we select the following from the pen of Dr. Bowring, as most congenial to our pages:
GOD AND HEAVEN.
The golden bowl is broken ;
The words funereal spoken;
Or delved is the grassy clod;
O what is left-but God!
The flowers they wore are faded ; The twilight dim hath veiled the sun,
And hope's sweet dreamings shaded. And the thoughts of joy that were planted
Friendship's Offering: a Literary Album, and Christmas and New Year's Present for 1830. London: Smith and Elder. pp. xii. 384. 12s.
A GRAND feature in the Annuals is their sound moral feeling, and their encouragement of those social and manly virtues, which are at once the ornament and the happiness of civilized life. We did not think it irrelevant with the plan of our journal to recommend the “Friendship's Offering" of last year on this particular ground; and so long as it continues to hold its present rank among the works of its kindred, we shall ever be glad to award the praise which it so richly deserves. On the present occasion, however, after what we have said in our review of “The Iris,' we feel ourselves especially called upon to announce, that, what. ever we may think of its title to its title, its title to literary praise falls nothing short of those of its competitors, which we have yet seen. Had it come to hand in time, we should possibly have coupled it with “ The Iris" and “ Amulet in a more lengthened review. The embellishments are thirteen in number, and of very superior merit. As a specimen of the literary execution
The Juvenile Forget Me Not: a Christmas and New Year's Gift, or Birthday Present for the Year 1830. Edited by Mrs. S. C. Hall. London: Hailes. pp. viii. 229.
It would be unfair to have noticed the labours of Mr. Hall in behalf of those of riper growth, who look forward to the anniversary of “ Amulets" and “Forget Me Nots," without giving a passing glance at the more humble, but perhaps more interesting performance of his amiable partner. Her volume, as well as his, is decidedly far superior to that of last year; indeed there is much in its contents which would do no discredit to the " Amulet" itself; and the embellishments are truly enchanting. “My Brother alone is worth the whole cost of the book ; and “Bob-cherry" is worth three of “My Brother." Of the literary part of the volume we cannot speak too highly, The opening sketch by the late Mrs. Barbauld is inferior to few of the wellknown productions of that amiable instructress, either in originality of idea, or utility of design; and the “ Irish Cabin,” by Mrs. Hall herself, is a most delightful morceau. We think the “rising generation” will not be backward in wishing many happy New Years to so agreeable and kind a caterer for their pleasure and improvement.
Zechariah ix. 9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
One of the greatest and most incontestable proofs of the divine authority and rank of Christ, is exhibited in the accurate fulfilment of the ancient prophecies in his person and his offices. It is a proof which infidelity cannot refute, and scepticism cannot justly disbelieve. It is a proof at once comprehensive and clear, determinate and irre. fragable ; one which must dissipate the clouds of error, and confirm the wavering mind of the unconvinced inquirer into the mysteries and truth of revelation. The comparison of the Sacred Scriptures is a task delightful and important, and one which will not fail to instruct the humble-minded Christian. It is true, that in the writings of the ancient prophets, there are yet many things to be understood; but there are also so many things adapted to the comprehension of the merest infant, that human reason may be satisfied, whilst it gives an opportunity to faith to exercise its most important duties. In the earlier portions of Old Testament history, the events which were to happen in the distant course of ages, are typified by ordinances and by rites, which required a greater stretch of foresight and of faith than was necessary, when the progress of events had prepared the heart of the believer for the wonderful and mysterious circumstances that attended the coming of the promised Saviour.
In the dim and clouded visions of the patriarchs of old, futurity was darkly shadowed forth ; but, as the light of years broke in, by slow degrees, the prospect brightened ; till, in the glorious twilight which preceded the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, truth was made clear, and the everlasting purposes of almighty wisdom were revealed in the effulgence of an almost actual presence. Thus gradually prepared for the consummation of their hopes, the faithful were enabled steadily to gaze upon the dawning splendour of the dayspring from on high, and to await with patience the developement of that complicated drama, whose foundation, and whose catastrophe had respect alone to the redemption of mankind, by the incarnation, the death, and the resurrection of Messias.
For some time, however, previous to the great event of Christ's first advent, the veil had been drawn between the present and the future; the eye of prophecy was closed, and inspiration ceased to act upon the minds of men. Yet so plain were the last utterings of the sacred Spirit, that those who ran might read. Prophecy had almost ceased to be mysterious ; and its language was the language of an accurate depicter of what was no longer hid from his eyes, but which seemed to be revealed in the presence of an actual existence. Of this kind was the prophecy of Zechariah, whence the text is taken, VOL. XI. NO. XI.
whose fulfilment, as recorded in the gospel for the day, at the distance of 551 years after the prediction, accords not only in the circumstantial details of the facts themselves, but in the very language and the style of the narration, with the exact delineation of the ancient seer.
There are many considerations connected with this prophecy and its fulfilment, which ought to take the firmest hold upon the heart of every one amongst us ; for they will not only confirm our faith in the gospel, but afford to us a warning that no one, who thinks at all upon his present and his future state, can carelessly refuse to listen to. It is well known that the Jews, notwithstanding their right to be esteemed the peculiar children of the Lord, were a bigotted and unbelieving race of men who, to suit their own particular purposes, had corrupted the pure words of life by the tradition of the scribes. Captivated by the gorgeous panoply of human. power--bewildered by the vain imaginations of temporal majesty—they had foolishly conceived, that Christ, the promised King, should come in the character of a temporal prince, surrounded by courtiers, and attired in all the magnificence of eastern splendour. They looked to him as to a mighty conqueror, and expected his arrival at the head of victorious armies, triumphing over all their earthly enemies, and restoring to their former rank the favoured sons and daughters of Jehovah. It was clear to them that the promised Messias would appear in the character of a prophet, priest, and king ; but when they read of him in prophecy, they either did not, or would not see, in what manner he was to take on himself those glorious attributes. “I will raise them up a Prophet,” was foretold to them by God himself, through the mouth of his servant Moses:–He was predicted also a Priest, by the parentage and office of Melchisedek ; and in the language of the Psalmist, God had declared, “I have set my King upon my holy bill of Zion." And Daniel speaks of the Redeemer of Israel in the following terms:-“ There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” The dignity also of this almighty Sovereign was depicted by Isaiah. “The government,” says he, “shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the increase of his government and peace shall be no end.” Such a priest, prophet, and king was Christ; although he did not come unto his people in the expected array of a triumphant warrior. To the sanguine minds of the ambitious Jews, the exalted titles of their Saviour could do nothing but awaken hopes of wealth, and grandeur, and dominion, pomp and magnificence; conquered realms, and captive nations.
It pleased, however, the eternal God to will it otherwise. His Son came not in power, but in weakness; born in poverty, nurtured in seclusion, and doomed to persecution; their promised Saviour, Priest, and King, “ came unto his own, and his own received him not." Foretold, as he had been, in the mystery of his birth, that he should come of David's line, and should be born at Bethlehem; they saw in