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of any mind that is so forcibly moved by these finer traces of spiritual grace and power, as to feel it good to communicate its thoughts and suggestions to others. A severe taste may feel some want of simplicity in this discourse. A Sermon on Flowers ought especially to have been preserved from exposure to the slighting imputation of floweriness. The treatment should redeem the theme from all association with finery or sentimentality. We cannot say that this has quite been effected in the present case. Neither is the language at all times simple enough for the subject. An unweeting brother,'—the angulated lightning,'--the opposiveness between the loveliness of the world and the unloveliness of the human heart,' are expressions which, in their respective places, do not remind us of nature's simplicity. At the same time there is much true beauty and much tender feeling in this graceful little book,—and we know not a worthier function of the Christian Preacher than to make distinct the spiritual ministrations of the outward world. The following passage, which is in excellent taste, is a true record of many an experience:
“ There are seasons in the lives of most, when no voice and no book but the voice and book of creation, have power to awaken us to virtue and to holiness. We have waited on the ministrations of the Sanctuary, and have not been conducted to godliness—we have listened to the most eloquent of preachers, but, spite of ourselves, heeded not the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely—we have striven to think the Lord's thoughts on the Lord's day, and have not been able—we have even consulted the pages of the inspired prophets of the Most High, and there was no beauty in them that we should desire them; and all this has happened in our own despite, for with a longing have we longed for something of the heavenly. The spirit indeed was willing, but the flesh was weak;' the material had for a season bound the immaterial in fetters; the visible had gained a victory over the invisible. We have gone abroad; we have looked on the heavens and the earth, on the hills and the streams, on the rocks and the trees, on the grass and the flowers ; till at length, through the whole pores of the body, have virtue and piety streamed in warmly upon the soul; the sense has ministered unto the spirit; the terrestrial has been parent of the celestial. At such periods we have felt, not without marvelling, that as one of your own Poets has also said'
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Than all the sages can.
Among the illustrative poetry which the Author has quoted, we wonder that Mrs. Hemans' exquisite lines suggested by his text, 'Consider the lilies,' escaped his notice. It is a pleasure to have
any fair excuse for placing them on our pages :
III. A Treatise on Grammatical Punctuation. By John Wilson. Manchester : 1844.
This is a very useful Publication, giving clear and scientific instruction in the much neglected art of Punctuation. The
announces that it is intended for Letter-writers, Authors, Printers, and Correctors of the Press, and also for the use of Academies and Schools. There are two classes of writers to whom we respectfully recommend its diligent Study, and the careful writing out, under competent correction, of every Exercise in the book,—which, with remarkable diligence, will be about half a year's work,-namely, young Ladies, and the Contributors of Articles to Periodicals. How shocked and wearied Mr. Wilson would be, if he sat in an Editor's Chair for six months! Nay, we fear, even when the Editor has done his work, and revised his proofs,—that the result must be too often an abomination in the eyes of such a severe Punctuator as Mr. Wilson. But, seriously, this is a matter that requires more attention than it receives, to redeem the character of many a clever writer from scandalous slovenliness, -and to make writers who are not clever, at least intelligible.
A minute account of a work of this nature would be out of place in our pages. We can only recommend it as clear, and full, and in all respects sufficient. In his introduction Mr. Wilson gives some ludicrous instances showing the necessity of a stricter attention to punctuation. “A sailor going to sea, his wife desires the prayers of the congregation for his safety.” The
request was thus given out at Church :-“A sailor going to see his wife, desires the prayers of the congregation for his safety.”
Mr. Wilson has a good deal of experience of printing. The following is his testimony respecting the state in which manuscripts leave the hands of their Authors, and of the necessity of some scientific knowledge of language, on the part of compositors:
“ Until writers for the press condescend to employ the grammatical marks systematically and accurately, the humble workmen who put together the world-enlightening types must be more than unconscious machines : they must endeavour to enter into the conceptions of their literary employers, and to develope the sense of the manuscript, with the greatest possible discrimination, by the use and service of the poor, despised, but necessary handmaids,—the commas, the semicolons, and other little points.
“The observations just made will apply, with even greater force, to correctors of the press. Amid their multiform duties, their peculiar function is to attend to the proper insertion of grammatical marks. No matter how slovenly may be the manuscript—how erroneous the orthography-how badly constructed the sentences—how deficient or indiscriminating the points—how abstract or foreign the subject, and how tasteless the work of the compositor,-professional correctors are obliged to reduce the ill-digested mass into order, and present it to the public eye in at least a readable condition. To accomplish this task in all its perfection, they must themselves be perfect-must be universal geniuses—in other words, must possess an amount of learning and general information, which would fit them for the highest stations, or for the most lucrative employments. This surely it would be rather unreasonable to expect in mere operatives; but virtually it is expected. How necessary, at all events, that correctors of the press should
possess that kind of knowledge which is easily within their reach, and which at present forms an essential and a peculiar feature of their vocation,-a full and accurate acquaintance with the theory and practice of punctuation!”
IV. Hymn to the Week above every Week, Passion Week. By Thomas Hornblower Gill. London : 1844. 12mo. pp. 24.
The name of Mr. Gill's poem seems to be taken from Crashaw's “Hymn to the Name above every Name, the Name of Jesus.” It resembles that poem somewhat in its general style, though free from its numerous conceits, wide-seeking imagery, and frequently too bold personifications. The metre is irregular, appearing to accommodate itself naturally to the various chords of feeling, which are struck at different times. It contains a circumstantial account of the various events which took place from the entrance of our Saviour into Jerusalem, to his death upon the cross. At the commencement the author calls upon Time to ride in rivalry with the week, and announces the transcendant glories of the week over all the records of Time.
Week! thy little band array:
Count each hour! convene each day !
Muster all the deeds of might
Gather all the words of light
Dwindling greatness ! darkening glory!
Feebly ages tell their story
Thou takest to thyself our eyes
Thou only soundest in our ears
Thy days diviner than our centuries !” He calls upon his soul to hasten to meet them, to bring its tribute of gratitude, and not leave its “Reverence and Sorrow” unspoken. He bids it
“ Within each glory wholly lie,
The subject begins with the riding into Jerusalem, and the author forcibly describes that most impressive scene. verse, we have a description of our Saviour's character and mission, in a rich succession of vigorous and expressive epithets :
“Kindler of the quenched vision
Opener of the closed ear-
Sweetener of grief's bitterest tear-
Battler with world-shielded sin
Shelterer of world-slighted woe-
A Tender One who toil and care will know !”
* And He who Salem's voice invites,
Dwells no pride within his soul ?
Rides not rapture on the foal ?
Abides in Sorrow's keeping;
The accepted Christ is weeping!”
“Thou who didst bless the child ! the child is blessing Thee!” The darker features of the scene are not forgotten, the “ Wearers of the gorgeous Vest," “fierce Priest, malignant Pharisee,” who scowl with envious hatred on the triumphing Messiah, and whose "pride would teach the Lowliest lowliness.
After mentioning the entrance of our Lord into the Temple, the scene is changed, and we accompany the Messiah to Bethany, where Mary pours forth her offering of affection.
“What jeer can shame, what frown can make afraid
That bearer of the fragrant store?
The holy Lord to kneel before !
To her but humblest duty seemed ;
Her odorous munificence
Nor stayed the tender service of her hair.” The next morning, Jesus returns to the Temple and casts out the buyers and sellers from those sacred precincts.