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open vision of my God!
THE RESIGNATION. Long have I view'd, long have I thought,
And held with trembling hand this bitter draught: 'Twas now just to my lips applied,
Nature shrank in, and all my courage dy’d. But now resolv'd and firm I'll be,
Since, Lord, 'tis mingled, and reached out by thee.
I'll trust my great Physician's skill,
I know what he prescribes can ne'er be ill;
I own him wise and good, and do submit;
Since 'tis thy pleasure, Lord, it shall be mine.
Thou'st wounded me in my most tender part;
I must and will thy sovereign touch endure,
And yet I still will pray, thy will be done.
With the most precious treasure of my heart,
My heart itself, as its delights, is thine ;
Thou gav’st a greater gift, thy Son, to me.
Himself he emptied of all good, but love:
More good, than from me he can ever take:
He took, and did at last e'en that resign.
But still will wish that I had still to give.
My paradise, I bless and do submit.
AN OLD AUTHOR.
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
Illustrations of Lying. By Amelia Opie. 2 Vols.,
12mo. Price 10s. 6d. Longman and Co. The name of Mrs. Opie has been long familiar to our ear-though now it becomes our task to speak of her as an author, we find it difficult to determine what idea we have hitherto attached to her as such. A distinguished novel-writer is, perhaps, the definition we should have given of Amelia Opie; and as such, however much distinguished, we shouid have considered it as of course, that our publication had nothing to do with the mention of her's. What was the character of her novels we cannot call to mind, though we can remember the sometime pleasure of reading them ; but it was at a period when pleasure was not necessarily profit, and the tendency of a book was less likely to be enquired after than the amusement it might afford: in short, when we were too young to judge as we should do now. So much, however, we remember to have thought or heard-that her novels were morally correct, and free from erroneous tendencies -not of that sort that young ladies used to read in corners, because they had just delicacy enough to be ashamed to lay them on their tables. In later years our reading has been so little in that line, we confess ourselves rudely ignorant whether Mrs. Opie has written or not; and with a view to our present task, should certainly not have thought of enquiring. A work, however, has come into our hands, which we hasten with no common eagerness to present to our readers, as one of which the merits will exceed our utmost commendation. It is a favourite subject with us, we confess—which may have added to the measure of satisfaction we have found in these volumes; we believe, nevertheless, that apart from our partiality, its merits are intrinsic. There are certain tests to which a work may be brought, which if it will stand, we may at once pronounce on it that it is good. Somebody has said of another description of writing, “ Quand une lecture vous éléve l'esprit et qu'elle vous inspire des sentiments nobles et courageux, ne cherchez pas une autre règle pour juger de l'ouvrage; il est bon, et fait de main de l'ouvrier.” So we should say of writings whose purport is the inculcation of religious or moral truth. If conviction comes upon your bosom as you read, and you find yourself saying to yourself, “I have done this often"_“I will do this no more" --you need no laboured criticism to prove the work is good in its tendency and good in its execution. Such we should expect would be the effect of Mrs. Opie's work: on ourselves it was so decidedly, and we trust to be the better for it. There needs no argument to prove that lying is a sin—the basest, meanest, most degrading and most dangerous of all sins—for it places the best of mankind at the mercy of the worst, and there is no earthly defence against its mischiefs :-but there needs a great deal to prove that lying is lying—and this is the aim of Mrs. Opie's efforts, as also to prove that lying is never necessary. On this indeed the argument must mainly rest-because nothing that is necessary is sinful; therefore if a lie could be necessary, its obliquity were gone. But she does more than prove it unnecessary—she proves it in all cases inexpedient: and bringing back to its office that proscribed and interdicted word, too strong for ears polite-would there were equal horror of the thing it stands for she proves that people—all people ladies whose lips are too delicate by any means to use the word -do lie, actively, passively, and practically, all the days of their life: and she so manages the position of this truth, that the conscientious reader owns it, is ashamed of it, and we hope, resolves to abstain from it in future. The difficulty of the task is not to be denied-and were a mere moral writer to expound this matter with equalstrictness, as some indeed have done, it might sleep in their pages as an abstract truth, which no one would think of bringing into practice. But our author takes her position upon higher ground. She knows that a christian never says, “It is my duty, but I cannot”—his language is, “I cannot, but He can"-"Through him I can do all things." And she knows beside that the meré moralist not only cannot, but will not conform himself to so strict a rule-he has not a motive suficient to the effort ; and therefore will never set about to try whether it be possible to "speak the truth always:” he sees no reason why he should—for so long as he stands excused by the opinion and practices of men, how bis conduct is considered of in heaven he cares not.
in her plea for truth-to religious principle she addresses herself, and from religion only she expects that strength may be found for the Herculean labour of-does it not read strangely?-leaving off lying. If we were in a humour to criticise, perhaps we should say that some of the stories might have been more natural, some of the illustrations more to the point-but we have much greater pleasure in begging all our friends, younger and older, to read the book directly. For the principle of the work we refer to the words of its author.
“ All the moralists from whom I have quoted, and those on whom I have commented in the preceding chapters, have treated the subject of truth as moralists only. They do not lay it down as an indisputable fact, that truth as a principle of action, is obligatory on us all, in enjoined obedience to the clear dictates of revealed religion. Therefore they have kept out of sight the strongest motive to abhor lying, and cleave unto truth, OBEDIENCE TO THE DIVINE WILL; yet, as necessary as were the shield and the buckler to the ancient warriors, is the breast-plate of faith to the cause of spontaneous truth. It has been asserted that morality might exist in all its power and purity, were there no such thing as religion, since it is conducive to the earthly interest and happiness of man. But are moral motives sufficient to protect us in times of particular temptations ? There appears to me the same difference between morality, unprotected by religious motives, and morality derived from them, as between the palace of ice, famous in Russian story, and a castle built of everduring stone; perfect to the eye, and as if formed to last for ever, was the building of frost-work, ornamented and lighted up for the pleasure of the sovereign; but it melted away before the power of natural and artificial warmth, and was quickly resolved into the element from which it sprung. But the castle formed of stones, joined together by a strong and enduring cement, is proof against all assailment; and even though it may be occasionally shattered by enemies, it still towers in its grandeur, indestructible, though impaired. In like manner, unassailable and perfect, in appearance, may be the virtue of the mere moralist; but when assailed by the warmth of the passions on the one side, and by different enemies on the other, his virtue, like the palace of ice, is likely to melt away, and be as though it had not been. But the virtue of the truly religious man, even though it may on occasion be slightly shaken, is yet proof against any important injury; and remains, in spite of temptation and danger, in its original purity and power. The moral man may therefore utter spontaneous truth; but the religious man must: for he remembers the precepts which he has learned from the Scriptures; and knows that to speak lies is displeasing to the GOD
21 OF TRUTH.
PRINTED BY BAKER AND SON, SOUTHAMPTON.