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niel Sandford, D.D. published at the Request of the Bishop and Clergy prelent. By the Rev. R. Morehead, A.M. of Balliol College, Oxford; Junior Minister of the Episcopal Chapel, Cowgate, Edinburgh; and Domestic Chaplain to her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte. Is.
A Catechism of the Christian Religion, in fifty-two Sections, in which the more important points of Faith and Practice are expressed in the language of the Holy Scriptures, the Fathers, Reformers, and the Church of England. By the Rev. J. Sutcliffe. Is. 9d. bd.
Sermons on various important Subjects: translated from the French of Daniel de Superville, Sen. By John Reynolds, Minister of the Gospel. 8vo. Si.
A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Gloucester, at the Primary Visitation of that Diocese, in 1816. By Henry Ryder, D.D. Bishop of Gloucester. 4to. 2s. 6d.
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A Narrative of a Ten Years' Residence at Tripoly, in Barbary. From the original Correspondence in the Possession of the Family of the late Richard Tully, Esq. the British Consul; comprising authentic Memoirs and Anecdotes of the reigning Bashaw, his Family, and various Persons of Distinction; an Account of the Domestic Manners of the Moors, Arabs, and Turks, &c. &e. With a map and several coloured plates. 4to. SI. 8s. bds.
Volume VII, (containing Cumberland, with numerous Engravings of Views, Antiquities, inc.) of Magna Briiaiinia; being a concise Topographical Account Of the several Counties of Great Britain. By the Rev. Daniel Lysons, A.M. F.R.S. P.A. & L.S. Rector of Rodmarton, Gloucestershire; and Samuel Lysons,
Esq. F.R.S. & F.A.S. Keeper of hit Majesty's Records in the Tower of London. 4to. 31. 3s. bds. Imperial paper, with proof Impressions, 61. 6s.
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Brussels and its Environs; or, An accurate Description of every Object that can interest the Stranger, both in the City and its Vicinity, by J. B. Romberg, embellished with eight beautiful Engravings, price 8s. bound.
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A Plan of the Battle of Waterloo, or Mont St. Jean, on the 18th June, 1815, exhibiting the precise Mode of Attack, and the various important Positions as they were occupied on that Day This is considered the most correct Plan of the Battle that has ever been presented to the public. Done np in a portable form. 4s.
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For OCTOBER, 1816.
Art. I. 1. Memoir of the Early Life of William Cotuper, Esq. Written by Himself, and never before published. With an Appendix, containing some of Cowper's Religious Letters, and other Interesting Documents, illustrative of the Memoir. Foolscap 8vo. pp. xviii, 126. Price 4s. Edwards. 1816.
2. Memoirs of the most remarkable and interesting Parts of the Life of William Cowper, Esq. Written by Himself. To which is added, an Original Poem and a Fragment. 18mo. pp. 94. Price 2s. E. Cox and Son. 1816.
3. Poems by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. Vol. III. containing his Posthumous Poetry, and a Sketch of his Life. By . his Kinsman, John Johnson, LL.D. Rector of Yaxham with Welborne, Norfolk. Various Sizes. 1815.
4. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of William Coivper, Esq. A new Edition: revised, corrected, and recommended. By the Rev. S. Greatheed, F.S.A. 24mo. pp. 148. Price 2s. 6d. Whittingham and Arliss. 1814.
TT is several years since a manuscript copy of this most af-*- fecting piece of auto-biography, was confidentially entrusted to us for perusal. Had we been altogether ignorant of the Author, had we never heard the name of Cowper, it would have been nevertheless impossible not to feel intensely, painfully interested; and the unknown individual, whose heart is laid open in this narrative, to its most sacred recesses, would even then have taken possession of our tenderest sympathy. But the man whose mental history we were thus admitted into the confessional as it were to hear from his own lips, was one for whose character we had long cherished the feelings of endeared intimacy. It seemed that we were listening to the voice of a departed friend. And the information furnished by these disclosures related exactly to that portion of his history which forms a chasm in the record of the biographer, and which no human being, how closely soever allied in sympathy, though Vol. VL N. S. 2 C
possessing all the advantages of familiar intercourse, could perfectly have supplied. The mysterious curtain, behind which we had so often with fearful curiosity desired to look, was drawn half aside, and exhibited the awful spectacle of a mind of exquisite texture agonized and struggling with its own ineffable emotions, in the darkness of incipient insanity. It was a sight we wished neither to prolong nor to repeat. The impression it made was too vivid to allow of the most minute trait being effaced from our recollection, and we were therefore under no temptation to abuse the confidence to which we were indebted for so melancholy a satisfaction. No doubt could consist with the strong internal evidence of the manuscript, as to its genuineness and authenticity. We felt convinced that it formed the key to a great part of Cowper's history, and that in the hands of a man of philosophical mind and genuine Christian principles, it would be invaluable, as materials for such a life of Cowper as is still a desideratum. We should however have strongly deprecated at the same time, the laying open all the disclosures of such a narrative to the public at large. Our objections would no doubt have originated partly in our feelings. It would have appeared to us a violation of the sacredness which seems to attach to the secrets wrung from a wounded heart. We thought of poor Dean Swift—for the difference of character formed no obstacle to the comparison—exhibited by his mercenary servant, in the helpless idiocy of premature age, as a spectacle. We thought of Cowper himself in his last days hiding his face with his hands, and turning to the wall, at the entrance of a stranger. It was casting pearls before swine. It was throwing open the closet of the anatomist to the gape of the vulgar. Few, we thought, could understand, and comparatively few could take much interest, in these details. And there are some who never reason in cases in which their prejudices are interested, in whose minds the perusal of this Memoir would, we feared, tend to fix still more incurably, the association of insanity with what they term Methodism, notwithstanding the demonstration deducible from the facts, that in the case of Cowper, religion was first known to the convalescent sufferer in the shape and with the efficacy of a remedy. We confess that these objections are not removed, but the Publisher of the volume has exerted his ingenuity, in furnishing the most satisfactory apology that could be offered.
'There may be considerations,' he remarks,' of moral utility, in favour of a circumstantial publication, which ought to over-rule and supersede all considerations of mere personal delicacy. The Publisher is satisfied that these are principles which apply to Cowper's Memoir of Himself, and which fully justify him in rescuing it from privacy, and in giving to it the facilities of universal circulation. He is of opinion that if the excellent Poet himself could be consulted, he would direct, not its suppression, but its publication; under the persuasion, that its details will be the most efficient means of correcting certain false notions, unfriendly to spiritual religion, which some have thought themselves sanctioned in entertaining, by the vague and indistinct accounts which were previously before the world. Statements have been made, which contained perhaps the truth, but not that whole truth, the knowledge of which was essential to a right judgment on the case.'
Whatever opinion may ultimately be retained, with regard to the propriety of the publication, the thing is done; and as on the one hand, it would be useless to regret it, so on the other, it would be idle to profess an apprehension of serious evil resulting in any respect from the utmost publicity being given to its contents. When we speak of religion having any thing to fear from the injudicious conduct of her friends, or from the calumnies of her enemies, it is obvious, that the phrase exclusively intends the mischief which persons may do to themselves by taking occasion from such circumstances to fortify themselves in their prejudices, and to vent in ignorant invectives against personal character, their lamentable antipathy against the spiritual requirements of the Gospel. Religion can have nothing to fear from the most degrading associations with which it may be connected. The evidence on which Christianity rests, is unimpaired, its authority remains undiminished, its essential character and its heavenly tendency continue the same, through whatsoever medium they are contemplated, or whatsoever be the pretence on which the obedience of the heart is withheld. Call it Methodism, fanaticism, madness,—religion undergoes no change in consequence of the terms by which it is designated. It may indeed be found in actual combination with a morbid intellect, or a perverted imagination. To confound the wise, it may be permitted that religion should be sometimes associated with human weakness and human folly. It is a salutary trial, a moral exercise of the faculties as influenced by the dispositions of the heart, to witness the genuine element of piety mingling with forms of deformity and wretchedness so uninteresting and even so loathsome, that religion constitutes their sole redeeming attraction. Nay, sometimes it shall be difficult to discover the identity of religion in cases where, though disguised and hidden beneath the infiru ities of our poor shattered nature, it really exists. It is the i lumph. of religion that it "saves to the uttermost" objects on which perhaps Divine Compassion alone bestows the attention of pity, as even capable of being saved. So unreasonable as well as pernicious are the prejudices entertained against spiritual Religion, in consequence of the tasteless or forbidding forms of individual character in which it may be enveloped, or of the uncertainty which sometimes may attach to the boundary of religious principle and human infirmity.
The character of Cowper, however, is so amiable, so virtuous, so perfectly lovely, that even the scornful infidel must regard it as forming a presumptive argument in favour of the moral principles in which it had its root. In spite of his prejudices against that system of belief to which he attributes all that was morbid in the mind of that excellent man, it must tend to silence his cavils, if not to strike him with conviction, to find, that to nothing was Cowper's first loss of reason more obviously attributable, as a negative cause, than to the absence of religious knowledge, and of all fixed religious principle. In his subsequent relapse, the most prominent feature of his insanity was the utter incompatibility of the idea that retained fixed possession of his mind, not merely with his own religious creed, but with any system of religion, and indeed, so far as we are aware, with any notions of religion entertained by an individual besides himself. Not only was the unalterable persuasion which he cherished of his being doomed to everlasting perdition, opposed to the doctrines in which he had been established, but he regarded his own case as a solitary exception to the general laws of the Divine Government,—as the oniy instance of a person, who' believed with the heart unto righteousness, and was not'withstanding, excluded from salvation.' And the ground on which this fatal imagination rested, was not less indicative of decided insanity. The supposed cause of his exclusion from Divine Mercy, was his having neglected a known duty, in disobeying the positive command of God to destroy himself. Self-destruction had been, he conceived, specially enjoined upon him as a trial of his obedience to the will of God: he had through irresolution resisted the command, and by this means, had placed himself beyond the reach of redemption. 'Never 'neglect a known duty,' was the injunction which he pressed upon a young friend, in reference to his own condition; to such neglect he attributed all his own hopeless agony of mind. So consistent, so blameless had been his own conduct, since he had embraced the truths of Christianity, that it should seem there was no one act of mental disobedience which furnished occasion for remorse; no stain upon his conscience that in his melancholy broodings supplied the tempter with an accusation:—there was only an imaginary crime. Nor was there any one doctrine in his religious creed, which his disordered imagination could convert into an instrument of self-inflicted condemnation; no inference deducible from the tenets he held, that fostered or countenanced his despair. All that is alleged, as being involved