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the designation of a science, scarcely admits of theory. Revelation forms the awful boundary of our knowledge. Christianity, as hath been admirably remarked, is a religion of fact and of experience. Intricacies which reason cannot unravel, as well as mysteries which it cannot fathom, attach to the simplest exhibition of its vast phenomena. Although a spirit of pertinacious discussion is not exactly the disposition in which truth should be investigated or maintained, we believe that a neglect of theological studies has proved much oftener fatal to the interests of genuine piety.
Towards the close of this chapter, our excellent Author suffers herself to be almost borne away by the fervour of her patriotism, which rises to the height of the boldest exultation.
Had any patriarch or saint,' she imagines, been allowed ' in prophetic vision, to penetrate through the long vista of
ages,' and to choose in what age and nation he would have wished to have his lot assigned him, it is more than probable' that he would have replied – IN GREAT BRITAIN, IN THE BEGINNING OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.'
She conjectures what would have been the feelings of David, had he seen the glorious accomplishment of his own predictions, in the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, the ple
nary gift of the Holy Spirit,' and ' the wide propagation of the everlasting Gospel in far more tongues than were heard on ' the day of Pentecost :'
• Had he seen, a Bible in every cottage, a little seminary of Christian instruction in every village ; had he beheld the firm establishment of the Christian Church, no longer opposed, but supported by secular powers, after having conquered opposition by weapons purely spiritual ; had he seen a standing ministry continued in a regular succession, from the age of the apostles to the present hour; had he seèn, in addition to these domestic blessings, England emancipating Africa and evangelizing India, commerce spreading her sails to promote civilization, and Christianity elevating civilization and sanctifying commerce.
• This conqueror of the heathen, this denouncer of false gods, this chosen monarch of the chosen people, this fervent lover of the devotions of the Sanctuary, this hallowed poet of Sion, this noble contributor to our public worship, this man after God's own heart, was not permitted to build one single church-we in this island only possess ten thousand!!!
And must we intrude upon this soothing twilight dream of our excellent Author, and remind her that this fantastic vision, composed of so incongruous an assemblage of ideas, is disowned by reality? We possess ten thousand churches,' and, we may add, three thousand chapels of ease! As for all the conventicles, they do not form a picturesque object in the landscape in which the village spire is seen pointing to heaven ;'
they are framed of too rude materials to delight a royal architect! But were the man after God's own heart, indeed permitted to take the survey of this favoured land, at this favoured era, --would be pass by the houses and the burns of religion, to dwell, in accents of felicitation and rapture, on the ten thousand churches which Popery has bequeathed to
Would the mysterious name of Church, even suggest to him a building made with hands; or would the architecture of the building, rather than the purpose to which the structure was consecrated, employ his admiration ? Would he recognise the regular apostolic succession, in the standing ministry of a complicated bierarchy, and in them exclusively? Or would he identify the external prosperity of a human institution, with the firm establishment of the Christian • Church?
We do not wish to dwell on this invidious topic. Perhaps we have misunderstood our Author, and have taken her words in a more restricted sense than they were intended to convey Perhaps the ten thousand churches' was a phrase indefinitely used, although involving in that case a considerable under-statement, in reference to the vast number of edifices which in this island are consecrated to the worship of the true God. If so, we entreat her forgiveness for so undesigned a misrepresentation. We share with our Author in the exultation which the animating prospects of the present day are calculated to excite, especially in the minds of those individuals, who remember the former days of comparative inaction and hopelessness. But let us not extend the illusions of self-love to our country, and call the glittering abstraction of excellence---England How long have the emancipation of Africa, and the evangelizing of India, ranked among the works of supererogation achieved by England ? Can the unwearied labours of a small body of indivi. duals, or the efforts of a few despised sectaries, who were, for a long time, the only agents in these immense fields of exertion, procure, thus easily, for their country, the honours of an Emancipator and Evangelist; when the very Government of that country so long exbibited itself in the form of decided opposition to their benevolent exertions, opposing interest to justice, and impious prudence to the authoritative dictates of Christianity ? Who are the evangelists of India? Who were they, when in the ten thousand churches' of England, the cause of Christianity in India scarcely obtained an advocate, and England despised the missionaries who, tolerated by her Government, went to spend their lives there, in the service of their Divine Master?
But we must lasten to the concluding chapter of the work before us, which contains a' cursory inquiry into some of the
? causes which impede general improvement.' It abounds with judicious observations on a variety of topics, and deserves to be read with particular attention.
On reviewing the account which we have given of these volumes, we feel as if we had awarded to their Author something less than the praise which this last effort of her pen appears to us pre-eminently to merit. To mete out the commendation or the dispraise which the Author might deserve, has not, however, been the object which has chiefly employed our solicitude. But we have very inadequately fulfilled our duty and our intention, if we have not given ihat character of the work, wbich will induce our readers to do their utmost in aiding in its circulation. We do not expect that it will attain the popularity of some of Mrs. More's former productions ; it is of a less inviting title and character: but those persons, on whom her influence has, through her former works, been beneficially exerted, will esteem the Essay on St. Paul as, perhaps, the most valuable of her labours. We consider Mrs. More as addressing herself, in this instance, more particularly to the religious public, to whom her reputation will ultimately be found to be indebted for its permanence; and to whom these volumes will be, we think, peculiarly acceptable.
We had intended to notice very briefly a few colloquialisms and verbal improprieties, which we earnestly wish to see removed from such a work : e. g. 'clubbed their opinions ;' 'patched up a code ;' tally with a dovetail correspondence;'
did not ito (such a state) pant for the blood of Christ ;'-and, as liable to a graver objection, ' deified humanity. These, and some rather excessive redundancies of expression, (as at p. 28.) we only advert to, as blemishes of style of easy avoidance, which detract nothing from the excellence of the work itself.
Art. IX. Memorial on Behalf of the Native Irish. With a View to
their Improvement in Moral and Religious Knowledge, through the Medium of their own Language. 8vo. pp. 80. Price 3s. Gale and
Co., Conder, London. 1815. No chieftain was ever more worthy of the gratitude of the
Celtic tribes, than the amiable and excellent Author of this Memorial. We do not indeed trace his atlinity by having the Muc, or the O, or the Ap, prefixed to his name; but we entertain, uotwithstanding, very little doubt of his relationship, since he presents to our view all the peculiarities of the Celtic character, purified by religion, cultivated by literature, and rendered subservient to the happiness of man by an enlarged philanthropy. Were the Celtic tribes to erect monuments to the memory of their benefactors, the Welsh would no doubt fix upon Jones and Charles; the Highlanders, upon Lord
Chatham and Dr. Samuel Johnson ;- the former, for maintaining their political rights,—the latter, for being the means of giving them the Scriptures in their own language :* --but both the Irish and the Highlanders, with the enthusiasm by which they are distinguished, will unite in regarding Mr. Anderson one of their first and firmrest friends.
It cannot be denied, that the operations of the Society for the support of Gaelic schools, have given an impulse to the mental pow. ers of the Highlanders, as in point of education, which it does not
seem they had obtained at any former period. These schools present ., one of the most gratifying scenes we have ever witnessed ; and
we have known a confirmed opponent-a proprietor of extensive estates, become a warm and steady friend by the argument wbich he himself deduced from the happy effects of one of the schools situated on his own lands. Nor does this present any thing wonderful ; for, by teaching the Highlanders to read the Scriptures in their own language instead of disgusting them with unintelligible sounds, they are delighted with the knowledge which they acquire, and the warmth of feeling and acuteness of mind by which they are naturally characterized, are discovered in the ardour and rapidity with which they receive instructions of their teacher.
It is more than time that the public should be awakened to a full sense of the singular absurdity of that preposterous system of education, which has been tried in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, the professed object of which is to communicate knowledge, while its direct tendency and effect are to retain the human mind in perfect ignorance; and which bears the semblance of charitable exertion, by the thousands of pounds that are expended in its support, but which really accomplishes no other end than that of persuading the community to believe that much is done towards enlightening their neighbours, when they are all the while walking in thick darkness. If Mr. Anderson was not the first to discover the palpable absurdity of a system, which has imposed on the understandings of very wise men, he has had the credit of inducing the public to pursue in the lIighlands a very different plan ; and though this gentleman, in his beneficent labours, does not seek the praise of men, we cannot forbear expressing the gratitude which he has merited from the Highlanders, from the native Irish, and from all who are anxious for the progress of knowledge.
The Memorial before us is a very interesting pamphlet; containing a statement of what has been done towards the instruc. tion of the native Irish, through the medium of their own
* See a letter of Dr. Johnson's in the Memorial.
language, chiefly by means of the press : including an account of the translation of the Scriptures into Irish, their printing and circulation; of the present extent of the Irish language, and of the counties or districts in which it is spoken ; answers to the most prevalent and plausible objections against teaching the Irish language; a plan recommended for adoption ; and encouragements to proceed on the plan recommended.
On the first of these particulars, Mr. Anderson has collected some curious information : but in place of illustrating the wisdom and beneficence of mankind, it only confirms an opinion, which we had been previously compelled to entertain, that the most simple and direct plan of doing good to our fellow creatures, is that which is generally the last thought of by the children of this world; and which, when it is recommended, will meet with much opposition. It is truly melancholy to think, that during past centuries, millions of our brethren in Ireland were industriously secluded from the sources of knowledge: they have been abused as wild and barbarous, by those whose unchristian policy contributed to make them so ;-and, as if we had been entitled to gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles, we have looked for the fruits of righteousness, without having used the proper means for their production.
There is something pleasing as well as painful, suggested by the subject before us; for while it fixes our view on the deplorable condition of Ireland, it helps to confirin the expectations which we entertain respecting the ultimate progress of knowledge. In the various branches of political economy, truths, which twenty years ago, were received only by a few philosophers, have now become elementary principles, influencing the decisions of popular assemblies. With regard to Ireland in particular, it is most gratifying to observe the importance its claims have gradually acquired on the public mind. It is not more than eight years since the grossest ignorance prevailed, and the greatest indifference was shewn on this interesting subject. It seemed scarcely possible to awaken the feelings of the inhabitants of this country, to commiserate the situation of our Irish brethren. Ireland, however, has now become the object of universal attention; and the various classes of the community are anxious to be informed how they can most effectually promote its interests. We are no longer solitary in raising our voice for the duty and necessity of instructing the native Irish in the language which they understand, as well as of giving them the Oracles of the Living God in the same tongue.
It is, indeed, gratifying to observe the wonderful change that has been produced in the course of a few years in Ireland.