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we might add, in such characters, there is nothing characteristic. The Christian life consists of something more than a conversion and a death bed; but the fixing of the attention on these two points in the mental history of the individual, has, we are persuaded, sometimes had the effect of throwing Christian practice into the shade. Obituaries indeed, it may be said, are not to be considered as biographical memoirs. “We have a word coined expressly for this sort of prose epitaphnecrology. But religious obituaries are continually run out into memoirs, and an amazing number are eked out into little volumes, the inanity and piety of which render them nearly harmless, if they fall into the right hands; for the texts of Scripture and scraps of hymns are at all events instructive. Still
, what we regret is, that a style of piety should be held up in these works, to admiration and emulation, as exemplary, which has nothing in it distinguishing, and very little that is practical; that the standard of Christian character should be lowered to the most common-place specimens of well-meaning worth, and the mind be taught to shape its aspirings by the contemplation of dwarfish or vulgar models. In such works, we seldom meet with any thing either to elevate the mind, to inform the intellect, or even to excite to any high aim in the course of active piety. Their influence is at least negatively injurious; and it is well if they are not the means of corrupting the simplicity of the mind, by fostering a mawkish sympathy, rather than a noble emulation.
of the works now before us, the first is entitled to very respectful mention ; for Lady Glenorchy was no ordinary character, and her life would furnish matter for a highly interesting memoir. If Dr. Jones has not acquitted himself of his delicate task quite to our satisfaction, it is not that he has failed to place her Ladyship's character in an instructive light, or that the volume may not be read with profit and advantage, but chiefly that it is much too large. The size of the work would have been an objection, had it appeared immediately after Lady Glenorchy's death ; but her ladyship has now been dead nearly forty years, and after this long and 'most unaccountable delay in bringing forward her memoirs, it is really extremely injudicious to publish them in this state. Her Biographer terms them. annals; and be expresses his confident hope, that, by all who kuow the Gospel in its spiritual character, these • annals will be read with heart-felt interest;'
not because they contain any thing strange or novel, or unfold any xperience which is not more or less common to other Christians, but because they bring them to a more distinct and particular acquaintance with one whose memory is highly and justly honoured in the religious world.'
Alas ! how many individuals does Dr. Jones calculate upon as his readers, who can have any personal reason for honouring the memory of his right honourable benefactress, unless it be on hereditary grounds? Another religious world' has sprung up since she entered upon her rest and her reward, strangers to Lady Glenorchy, the larger part, even by name. A few individuals besides himself survive, to connect together the generation gone by with the present. The Rev. Rowland Hill, whom we read of in the first chapter, A. D. 1764, then a young man of a decidedly pious character,' is now, at sixty years distance, the venerable patriarch of Methodism. But scarcely a name occurs throughout the volume, of any other surviving contemporary. The form of annals, moreover, is the worst that could have been chosen for a biographical memoir; and the interest which might have been given to it as history, is precluded by the perpetual suspension of the narrative for the purpose of inserting different series of letters, and copious extracts from her ladyship’s diary. These are multiplied and extended beyond all reasonable bounds; and though, upon the whole, there is much that is instructive in the workings of mind which they lay open, and in the ingenuousness of character which they display, yet, Lady Glenorchy's natural powers were not of that high stamp that would give value to all her private meditations. On many passages we might be tempted to comment, were we not dissuaded by the consideration that the volume and our pages will have few readers in common,
It is but justice to say that the volume, though faulty in the respect pointed out, is free from any other objection, and may be recommended as containing much that is interesting to religious readers.
With the second work in our list we have been highly pleased. It is, as the titlepage announces, a reprint, with judicious abridgement and revision, of a memoir first printed towards the close of the seventeenth century. It may consequently be expected to reflect, in the quaintness of its composition, and the nature of some of its details, the taste and manners of the age.
In an Appendix is given, among other papers, a Letter written by Mrs. Walker to her grandchild, which amply justifies, by its good sense, naiveté, and enlightened piety, the fond estimate of her affectionate Biographer.
Dr. Gibbons's " Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women," the groundwork of the publication we have next to notice, was first published in 1777, in two volumes, 8vo. It was a good
idea of the worthy Doctor's, who seems to have had a somewhat aristocratical taste; and his list of female worthies shone most illustriously, commencing with four queens, and terminating with Mrs. Rowe. We cannot say as much for the additional volume compiled for the edition of 1804. Dr. Jerment was a sensible man as well as a sound divine, but he was touching on his dotage, assuredly, when he made that selection. Some of his eminently pious ladies were any thing but eminent. The first memoir in the volume was a case of decided lunacy ; several others were scarcely less objectionable; while half the volume was occupied by some worthy country, women of the Author's, who had made good housemaids and goud housewives, but to whom the immortality of the Evangelical Magazine had been a sufficient reward. Yet, the work, with this heavy makeweight, passed through an edition. In 1815, a third volume was added, and the venerable names of Gibbon and Jerment were rather unceremoniously merged in that of the Rev. Samuel Burder, A. M. Chaplain to H. R. H. the Duke of Kent, &c. &c. That gentleman took care to disclaim in his preface, all responsibility for the sentiments and opinions contained in the former two volumes ; a strange disclaimer for an Editor to make, who took the whole publication under the protection of his own name, excluding those of his predecessors from the titlepage. But his own portion of the work did him but little credit. matter seems to have been obtained by any means; partly supplied by friends who were left to gratify their own feelings in panegyrizing their pious relatives, partly obtained from old magazines, and put together without any regard to chronology or selection. As a specimen of the un-editorlike style in which the third volume was got up, that which professed to be a memoir of Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson, by far the most intetesting name in the table of contents, consisted merely of the fragment written by herself, which does not come down to her introduction to the colonel.
Either the Editor or the publishers have, however, bethought themselves in preparing this new edition, which appears in a vastly different shape. Dr. Gibbons's original work still forms the first volume, and is given without alteration; but the other two have been 'submitted to a severe revision, the more objectional memoirs have been entirely omitted, and others have been much abridged, while something like chronological order is now preserved in the arrangement. By this means, room has been made for a considerable quantity of new matter.
• The memoirs which now appear for the first time in this work, or have been expressly rewritten for the present edition, are those of
Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson, Mrs. Evelyn, Mrs. Savage, and Mrs. Hulton, in the second volume : and in the third, those of the Viscountess Glenorchy, Lady Maxwell, Mrs. Berry, Miss Sinclair, Mrs. Fletcher, and Mrs. Graham. These extensive additions, it is presumed, are of a character to give an enhanced value and interest to the publication, which has long been a favourite with a large class of the religious public.
Certainly, these additions have very much improved the work, and the Publishers deserve well of the religious world for the cost and paivs bestowed on this new edition. Nothing now remains that is positively objectionable, but it would still bear weeding; and should an opportunity of further revision present itself at some future time, we should strongly recommend the entire suppression of several memoirs relating to obscure individuals whose cters were distinguished by no striking trait. There would be little difficulty in supplying their place with genuine exemplars. The work, however, in its present state, forms the most interesting collection of female biography extant, and will, we doubt not, prove very useful.
Perhaps we ought not to have classed the remaining work with the others, as it is avowedly a family memorial, in which the Author has given the freer vent to his feelings as a husband and father, from the idea that he was in the first instance addressing his children, and was appearing before the public anonymously. His debt of affection and gratitude to his deceased wife, appears to have been of no ordinary kind, as respects the aid he derived in all his studies and pursuits from her intelligent counsel. Among other things, he owns that,
to her mild, persuasive, intelligent remarks,' he was greatly • indebted in' his first serious examination of the principal • theological controversies, especially that between the Calvi• nists and Arminians.' And yet, she was no polemic. A sterling, if not a shining character, consistent and uniform, if not eminent or highly accomplished, her worth was best known to those who had the opportunities of the closest observation, and the anxiety is natural, which is felt to preserve the pore trait of such a mother.
ART. X. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.
* Gentlemen and Publishers who have works in the Press, will oblige the Conductors of the Eclectic Review, by sending information (post paid) of the subject, extent, and probable price of such works ; which they may depend upon being communicated to the public, if consistent with its plan.
In the press, the Star in the East, with lation of Magendie's Formulary for the o'her Poems chiefly religious and do- preparation and mode of employing mestic. By Josiah Conder.
several new remedies, lo 12mo. The Eighth Volume of the Annual In the pre-s, The Night before the Biography and Objöuary, compreheud. Brillal, and other Poems. By Miss ing Memoirs of most of the celebrated Garnett. In an 8vo. volome. Persons whose Decease has taken place, Sir J. E. Smith, President of the or may take place, within the present Linnæan Society, &c. &c. has nearly year, is in preparation; and will be ready for publication the first portion of published on the 1st of January, 1824, his English Flora. So much has been
In the press, the Sixth Volume of done in Botany since the publication of Sketches of Sermons, furnished by their this Awhor's Flora Britannica and Eng. respwctive Authors.
lish Botany, especially with regard to Preparing for publication, a Treatise natural affinities; and he has for thirty on the Law of Libel, by Richard Mence, years past found so much to correct, in Esq. Barrister at Law; in which the the characters and synonyms of British general doctrine of Libel will be mi- Plants, that this will be entirely an orinutely and logically discussed.
ginal Work. The langnage also is at. Shortly will be published, Gleanings tempted to be reduced to a correct from pious Authors: to which is added, standard. The genera are reformed, a choice collection of Letters, including and the species defined, from practical some by the late Rev. John Newton, observation ; and it is hored the expecnever before published. Together with tations of British botanists will not be a selection of Poems, chiefly origi- disappointed. nal. By the Author of Miscellaneous A Geognostical Essay on the SuperThoughts.
position of Rocks in both Hemispheres, lu the press, the Portable Eidoura. by M. de Humboldt, and translated nion, or Transparent Solar System. into English under his immediate inspec
In the press, the Life and Letters of tion, will be published, next month, in Krishna Pal, the first Hindoo convert to 1 vol. 8vo. Christianity. By the late Rev. William Captain A. Cruise of the 84th Res Ward, Missionary at Serampore: withi giment, has just ready for publication a portrait,
in an 8vo. volume, “ Journal of a Ten In the press, Original Letters from Months Residence in New Zealand." the late Rev. John Newton to his in- The regular publication of the Entimate friends, from 1784 to 1804. cyclopedia Edinensis will now be re
Dr. Carey has just publisherl, the sumed. Part xix. will be ready in OcComedies of Plautus, in continuation of tober, and the work will be completed the Regents' rocket Classics. Seneca's within the original limits. Tragedies will follow.
James L. Drummond, M. D. Surgeon, Nearly really for puhlication, the Professor of Anatomy and Physiology Principles of Forensic Medicine, &c. by in the Belfast Academical Institution, G. Smith, M. D. In 1 vol. 8vo. This edi- has in the press a duodecimo volume, lion will contain much new matter and entitled, First Steps to Botany, intended various improvements.
as popular illustrations of the science, Mr. Samuel Plumbe has in the press, leading to its study as a brapcb of gea Systematic Treatise on the Diseases of neral education, illustrated with numethe Skin, with coloured plates.
rous wood-cuts. Mr. Haden has in the press, a Trans- The Second Edition (with corrections