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Institute of France. Translated into The Spirt of Prayer; or a Discourse English Verse, by the Rev. Samuel on the Nature of Prayer, &c. with DiButler, DD. and the Rev. Francis Hodga rections fraita nip, the Gift of son, A.M, 2 Vols. 4to. 41. 4$. boards, Prayer. By Nathaniel V ..et, M. A. royal paper 71. 7s.

a Non Conformist Mini ter. A new The Lord of the Isles. By Walter Edition, carefully revised and corrected; Scott, Esq. Third Edition. 8vo. 148. to which a Memoir of the Inthor is

prefixed. By J. H. Hopkins. 18mo.

2s. boards. THBOLOGY,

Tie Practica! Expositor. By the The Doctrine of Atonement an essen- Rev. C. Buck. Second Edition. 6s. tial part of the Christian Systeni. A Sermons preached before the UniDiscourse preached before the Members versity of Oxford, and now published in of the Norfolk and Suffolk Associations. two Volumes, with Alterations and Ad. By W. Flull. 8vo. 2s. 6d.

ditions. By John Evelrigh, D.D. late Nine Serinons on the Nature of the Provost of Oriel College, and PrebenEvidence by which the Fact of our dary of Rochester. A new Edition. % Lord's Resurrection is established; and Vols. 8vo. 15s. boards. on var ous other Subjects. To which is prefixed, i Dissertation on the Prophecies of the Messiah dispersed among the Heatben. By Şamuel Horsley, LLD.F.R.S. F.S.A. Late Lord Bishop Travels in the Ionian Isles, in Alba of St. Asaph, 8vo. 10s. 6d, boards. nia, Thessaly, and Greece, in 1812 and

Evidence of the Divinity of Christ, 1813. Together with an Account of a from the literal Testimony of Scripture : Residence at Joannina, the Capital and containing a Vindication of Sharp's Court of Ali Pasha ; and with a more Rule from ihe Objections of the Rev, cursory Sketch of a Route through Calvin Winstanley, with Observations Attica, the Morea, &c, By Henry Hol. on Right Principles of Interpretation. land, M.D. F.R.S. &c. Illustrated by a By the Bishop of St. David. The se- Map and twelve Engravings. 4to. 31, cond Edition. Price Is, 6d.

3s. boards.

TRAVELS.

TO CORRESPONDENIS.

We are very sorry to be obliged, by want of room, to defer the insertion of sem veral interesting articles, some of which have been for a longer time than usual in our possession. The following are intended to appear in our next. Wathen's Voyage to Madras and China, Laureuce's Remarks upon Griesbach ; Scott's Lord of the Isles; Principles of Christian Philosophy; Tracts on the Apocalypse; the Bishop of London's Primary Charge; Alpine Sketches; More's Essay on the Character and Writings of St, Pavl; and the Conclusion of the Article on Dre Spurzheim's Physiognomical System,

*** Our readers are requested to notice the following Errata.

P. 225, 1. 22, of our last Number, for reference, readinferences
P. 311, ļ. 25,

for removal, read renewal.
P. 32% 1, 7, of our present Number, for perfogante, read préroyapter

THE

ECLECTIC REVIEW,

FOR MAY, 1815.

Art. I. An Essay on the Character and Practical Writings of St.

Paul. By Hannah More. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. xii. 290. Price 12s.

Cadell and Davies. 1815. IF in ethical, as well as in physical science, the discovery of

new truths, and the communication of knowledge, were the only purposes for which an author could worthily employ his pen, it were much to be regretted that so distracting a variety of works, making no pretensions to originality or predominant genius, should be continually soliciting attention. The least that upon such subjects we could exact from an author would be, that he should in some way contribute to the advancement of learning, or to the improvement of our means of acquiring knowledge, and we should treat with contempt the inefficient labours of him who should content himself with urging what is obvious, and illustrating what is familiar. In morals, however, there is no room for invention ; the simple elements are within the reach of the humblest capacity; and were there no other obstacle to the reception of religious truth than what attends the acquirement of other knowledge, there would be little scope or necessity for the efforts of the Christian Moralist. The difficulty consists, not in gaining the belief, so much as in conciliating the attention. Not only

does each individual stand in need of a specific degree of information according to the measure of intelligence by which he is distinguished, but his moral dispositions require a peculiar adaptation of the method of instruction or of address; the infinite diversity of minds presenting but so many varied forms of opposition to the impressions of truth. The most condescending accommodations of Vol. III. N. S.

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style, the lowest class of intellectual efforts, may be recommended by their fitness for their particular object : and it will sometimes be found, to the mortification of the pride of human attainments, that the success of such works, estimated by their usefulness, is in an inverse proportion to the original talent expended on their composition, or to the rules which a rigid criticism would have laid down for their execution. On the other hand it may occur, that a work of the highest literary excellence shall be wholly inefficient for the purposes of general utility. In both cases the decisions of the critic would be in reference to an inappropriate test.

We do not mean to say that works upon Christian Morality are not proper subjects for literary criticism ; but inerely that in estimating their value, we are to take into account their design, and their fitness for a particular object. Their literary merit constitutes but a very small part, perhaps, of that fitness. Those minds are undoubtedly to be placed the highest in the scale of intellectual agency, which are characterized by the loftiest capacities for abstract investigation, by boldness and originality of thought,-such as delight in pursuing subjects through all their intricate relations, in sounding the depths of human reasoning, or in surrounding themselves with the ideal forms and pure abstractions of imagination and science. Such persons may seem, perhaps, to be occupied upon speculations far removed from purposes of practical utility. They may appear to be moving in a narrow though exalted sphere, at an inaccessible distance from the ordinary theatre of exertion. But it will often be found that they are, in fact, by means of the minds upon which they act, the central impulse of a series of intellectual influences, indefinitely extending themselves through society.

It is the prerogative of minds of the first order, to possess a plastic-a reproductive energy, so that the effect of their operation on the few with which they come in actual contact, is not so much to give birth to thoughts and passive impressions, as to communicate the power of thought and action, and to shape the mind itself as into a mould, from which its future ideas are to receive their form and character.

There are others, not destitute of original genius, but of less subtile and commanding faculties, that seem more particularly designed to be the organs of conveying the results of what philosophers have discovered or demonstrated, in the vivid and imaginative language of feeling. To them belong the arts of moral suasion ; that power of forcibly arresting the sympathies of the heart, which is connected with the deep emotions and living conceptions of genius; and that ascendency which makes us yield up our convictions and affections to its authoritative

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control. In this rank, the finest and the most impressive of moral teachers are to be placed; and it is a happy circumstance when such means of influence are consecrated to the noblest of purposes, the recommendation of truth.

In the next class are comprised all varieties of intellectual artisans, by whom the far greater proportion of moral improvement is carried on, and from among whom the means of effecting the most extensive good is often selected. From this class is provided that useful succession of writers, by whom the solid good sense of truth is exhibited in every different style, and with those peculiar modifications, that the taste and circumstances of the times, the prevalent forms of opinion, and the diversities of individual character, render expedient. A considerable degree of merit and ability distinguishes many of this number, who are nevertheless willing to rest their pretensions on the importance of the subjects of which they treat, and on the credentials of their office, rather than on their personal claims. They profess not so much to tell us what is new, as to remind us of what was forgotten, to' rescue stale and admitted truths from the

dormitory of the soul.' Their productions possess the nature of an external testimony, the accumulation of which is valuable as forming a body of moral evidence upon subjects of generally acknowledged interest, and as multiplying the chances, if we may so express ourselves, of individual conviction. Learning, ingenuity, and taste, may enhance the efficiency of such works, and contribute to the permanency of their influence; but their intrinsic value will mainly depend on the simplicity, integrity, and purity, with which they present to us the dictates of truth.

There are few names among the literary records of the past fifty years, that have continued for so long a period to engage the favourable attention and even deference of the public for the productions to which they have been attached, as that of the excellent Author of the work before us. It is of little moment, perhaps, by what combination of circumstances this popularity has been sustained. Her sex, her character, her talents, and her industry; the advantages derived from the circle in which she has moved; the degree of magnanimity which seemed to attach to the venture of reproving the manners of the great; but above all, we believe, her benevolent and successful assiduity in promoting the education of the lower classes, and in diffusing religious knowledge among the poor, which has procured for her name the honour of a public benefactress: these, and perhaps some subordinate circumstances, have concurred, in establishing Mrs. Hannah More in that favour and influence of which she has so honourably availed herself. By singular good fortune, she has attracted the patronage even of fashion ; and her volumes of grave morality, and of graver piety, have

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found their way to the toilets and the book-shelves of the trilling, the worldly, and the dissipated. The perfect good-breeding, and the manifest attachment to established institutions, which pervade her writings, have rescued their Author from the fatal suspicion of methodism. Stamped with the sanction of episcopal approbation, they have obtained a general passport; they have been acknowledged to be very good books; and their Author, though rather severe, a very good woman.

In too many cases the commendation bestowed has been, we fear, but a sacrifice of sincerity to decency; or, at most, a compromise of assent for obedience. But in not a few instances the favoureil instructress has, we doubt not, gained her object, and religion, froin having been merely tolerated as a subject of attention, has come to be entertained as a matter of serious thought, and this has issued in permanent convictions and a radical change of character.

That some of Mrs. More's earlier writings especially, were defective in the representation of Christian doctrine, must, we think, be admitted. She has not always been sufficiently explicit in laying the foundation of her moral system. She has appeared to distrust the effect, or to doubt the necessity, of bringing prominently forward, in connexion with practical piety, some of those peculiarities of the Christian System, which, in the language of the world, would be termed the most methodistical. ller moral system is more essentially that of humility, than her doctrinal scheme. With respect to the absolute depravity and impotence of the unregenerate will, and the total incompatibility of the notion of human meritoriousness with the Scripture doetrine of salvation hy grace, the Author has inanifested, we think, an undue anxiety to steer clear of systematic theology, and has in some instances left us in uncertainty as to the nature of her own views on these subjects. We are aware that sbe has written for a particular circle, for a class of persons labouring under the most unhappy prejudices with respect to religion. Perhaps the writings of a late amiable and venerable Prelate with whom she is known to have been on terms of friendship and intimacy, may have had the effect of deciding her tone and of modifying her sentiments in relation to these topics. It might be pleaded, that to those who professed to belong to the Established Chureh, it was less obviously necessary to nusist on those doctrines which they were supposed to admit, on the authority of her Articles, than on those duties which they neglected to deduce from them. Still we must retain our opinion, and express our regret, that Mrs. More has in any instance exposed her readers to the danger of taking up crude theological notions, and that she has given countenance, how undesiguedly soerer, to a sort of mixed scheme of justification, which is too inch in unison with the

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