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INSTITUTES of Natural Philosophy, The-PRIVATE Correspondence of William A NEW edition of a Manual of French
oretical and Practical. By William Enfield, Cowper, Esq. With several of his most intiLL. D. Fourth American edition, with improve- mate Friends. Now first published from the original, in the possession of his kindsman, John Johnson, LL. D. Rector of Yaxham, with Welborne in Norfolk. Female Friendship. A Tale for Sundays. By the author of "School for Sisters."
A General Abridgment and Digest of American Law, with Occasional Notes and Comments. By Nathan Dane, LL. D. In eight volumes. Vol. IV.
Collectanea Græca Majora. Editio quarta Americana.
A Treatise on Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Phrases, and French Conversations: adapted to Wanostrocht's French Grammar. Containing an extensive collection of words and dialogues under each rule, with examples from the best French authors. Calculated to assist the scholar in writing the exercises. By N. M. Heutz.
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of Lincoln's Inn, Esq. Barrister-at-Law.-With GRENVILLE'S Introduction to English Notes and References to American Authorities. Grammar, with Exercises in Parsing, &c. &c. By Daniel Davis, Esq. Solicitor General of Massa-Second and improved edition.
Collectanea Græca Minora. Sixth Cambridge edition; in which the Latin of the Notes and Vocabulary is translated into English. Publius Virgilius Maro;-Bucolica, Geor-chusetts. gica, et Æneis. With English Notes, for the use of Schools.
Lectures on various branches of Natural History. By William Dandridge Peck, A. A. & S. H. Š. late Professor of Natural History in Harvard University.
An Introduction to the Differential and Integral Calculus, or the Doctrine of Fluxions; designed for an extraordinary class in the University. A Greek and English Lexicon.
A new edition of Say's Political Economy. THE True Masonic Chart, or HieroglyEighth volume of Taunton's Reports. phic Monitor; containing all the Emblems The Seats and Causes of Diseases inves- Fellow Craft, Master Mason, Mark Master, Past explained in the Degrees of Entered Apprentice, tigated by Anatomy; containing a great variety of Master, Most Excellent Master, Royal Arch, Dissections, and accompanied with Remarks. By Royal Master, and Select Master; designed and John Baptist Morgagni, Chief Professor of Anato- duly arranged, agreeably to the Lectures. By R. my, and President of the University at Padua.-W. Jeremy L. Cross, G. L. To which are added Abridged, and elucidated with copious notes, by Illustrations, Charges, Songs, &c. Much enlarged. William Cooke, Member of the Royal College Third edition. 1 vol. 12mo. of Surgeons, London-and one of the Hunterian
[This work, which was announced some time since, has been delayed beyond the intention of the publishers by circumstances that could not be anti-Society. cipated; but will now proceed with all the despatch consistent with the nature of such a work; which, being designed for the use of young persons in particular, will demand very great care in the revision and correction of the press.]
Sermons, by the late Rev. David Osgood, D. D. Pastor of the Church in Medford.
Florula Bostoniensis, a Collection of Plants of Boston and its Vicinity, with their places of growth, times of flowering, and occasional remarks. By Jacob Bigelow, M. D. Rumford Professor, and Professor of Materia Medica in Harvard University. Second edition, greatly enlarged.
A Summary of the Law and Practice of Real Actions. By Asahel Stearns, Professor of Law in Harvard University.
The Four Gospels of the New Testament in Greek, from the Text of Griesbach, with a Lexicon in English of all the words contained in them; designed for the use of Schools.
Seventeen Discourses on Several Texts of Scripture; addressed to Christian Assemblies in Villages near Cambridge. To which are added, Six Morning Exercises. By Robert Robinson. First American edition.
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Arithmetic; being a Sequel to First Les
sons in Arithmetic. By Warren Colburn. Saratoga; a Tale of the Revolution.
Hobomok; a Tale of Early Times. an American.
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The Elementary Reader.-Being a Collection of Original Reading Lessons, for Common Schools, in which are combined useful instruction and just principles with attractive elegance, and purity of style; calculated for children from five VOL. XVI. of the Waverley Novels, en-to ten years old, and adapted to the faculties of the human mind at that age. To which are prefixed, by way of Introduction, Rules and Observations on the Elementary Principles of Correct Reading. By Samuel Whiting.
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Reflections on the Politics of Ancient Greece, translated from the German of Arnold H. L. Heeren: By George Bancroft. Boston. 1824. 8vo.
of the Romans in the West. Under a total | new care and pains. For these subjects change of national character, manners, and have a close connexion with practice. It religion, Aristotle, Galen, and Euclid were is common with one class of Christians to still more respected at Bagdad, than they say that doctrinal subjects are unimportant. had been at Athens or Rome. Our modern We speak merely now in a practical sense, learning is not less Grecian in its main when we ask, what is more important? Ir has been well remarked by Lessing, complexion and tendency. When ostensi- The opinions, which a man entertains on in confirmation of the claims of the Scrip- bly occupied with the remains of Roman the interpretation of certain passages in tures on our attention, that, in addition to literature, the superior importance of the the Scriptures and the Church Fathers, This attractive powerfully affect his standing in society, in every higher consideration, they deserve Grecian is still apparent. our notice, as the subject which has most power of Grecian letters, which has made most of the countries of Europe and in our exercised the thoughts of the human mind. them so nearly the centre of intellectual own. The Duke of Norfolk is the oldest, one More has been thought, spoken, and written accomplishments, has not been confined to of the richest, and, in parliamentary influupon them, and subjects connected with letters. The historical traditions and po- ence, the most powerful nobleman in Engthem, than upon any thing else. A greater litical institutions of Greece have maintain- land. He nominates to the House of Comcomparison and accumulation of human ed nearly an equal ascendency. The events mons the six members for Steyning, Arunopinion, reasoning, and feeling, have taken of the Grecian history are more frequently del, and Horsham, and he influences the place in respect to them, than with regard quoted than all others, contained in profane election of the five for Hereford, Carlisle, to any other subject:-nor is there any one annals; and almost all political disquisition and Shoreham. And yet, since he interpoint on which man can be compared with not avowedly abstract, resolves itself into prets Matthew xxvi. 26, and a few other man, in different periods and regions, which speculation on the Grecian forms of gov- texts, differently from the convocation would furnish so good a relative estimate of ernment, or the principles developed in who established the articles of the English his character and progress. What has been their various constitutions. church, he is excluded from the House of thus justly remarked by the German critic While these circumstances prove the Lords. The political study of antiquity on the subject of the Scriptures, is true, great importance of ancient Greece, in its presents no examples, perhaps, so direct of perhaps, in the next degree of ancient connexion with human improvement, they the connexion of a man's speculative opinGreece, in the full comprehenson of that create proportionate difficulty in forming ions with his condition in actual life. But term. Ancient Greece, its history, institu- impartial opinions, on most of the leading indirectly the connexion exists and opeThe opinions, which monarchs, tions, literature, and arts, may be regarded points, brought into question in the study rates. in the literary world, in much the same of its history, institutions, and literature. ministers, and statesmen form on many toplight of pre-eminence, in which the religion It is the inevitable effect of the long con-ics, seemingly speculative, are often proof the Scriptures stands in the moral world. tinued attention bestowed from age to age ductive of mighty effects in real life. The On Greece, and the subjects attached by by great multitudes of minds on leading statesman, it is true, is not examined as to association to it, the time, attention, and subjects of inquiry and speculation, to sub- his opinions of the character of Demosthethoughts of the cultivated classes of man, stitute for the real nature of things, new, nes and the designs of Philip; but his confrom the Romans downward, have been artificial, ingenious views of them which victions on the alternative of liberty and more employed than on any other, with the owe their origin merely to the imagination. power, his interpretation of the great docexception already made. The Romans of The modern philosophy tells us (how justly we trines of deputed authority and popular education formed an early acquaintance do not now inquire), that it is our own minds right, will decide, in almost every country, with Greek learning. Their rhetoricians which create all the qualities in external where he is to rank in society; or if he be, and philosophical instructers were Greeks; objects which we fancy that we discern in by privilege of birth, in a powerful station, all the terms of art employed, even in the them; nay, to go the whole length, that it this interpretation may affect the condition study of Latin eloquence, were Greek; is our own minds, which create the exter- of whole states. We make these remarks in some degree and Athens was the holy land of intellec- nal objects themselves. However wild this tual pilgrimage. The perusal of Cicero's species of metaphysics may be, it is very to illustrate the importance of the new epistles alone is sufficient to prove, that the true that, in all the different sects of re- work on the Politics of Ancient Greece. Greek language was to the well-educated ligion, schools of literature, and parties in "The politics of ancient Greece," cries the Romans more a second and dignified ver- politics-though the materials on which statesman of caucuses and central commitnacular tongue, than a foreign language. they act be the same-the results are so tees, "fine politics indeed for men of this Many Romans wrote Greek works: Cicero different, as to show well, that what men age! Tell us of the politics of Massachuhimself did it, and his friend Atticus also; are thought to have learned, they have in-setts or Virginia; let us know whether and had the Greek History of the Etrus-vented:-what they would discover in an- the tariff will succeed in the Senate; or cans, by the Emperor Claudius, survived to cient authors is the device of their own if General Jackson is likely to be Presithe present day, it would probably have minds; the religious rite, which they trace dent. That we call politics. The politics given that monarch a celebrity, which he to apostolic antiquity, is an institution of ancient Greece, forsooth! Tell us, if has not acquired from the Roman purple. which has been gradually formed in the you please, of the politics of Great Britain, In the middle ages, the Greek mathemati- church; and the political constitution, to of South America, of the Holy Alliance; cians, physicians, and philosophers were which they give a Greek name, has noth- nay, if needs must, of modern Greece: almost the sole masters of the human intel-ing else Grecian. but ancient Greece,-Priam and Achilles, lect. The Greek learning maintained its Leonidas and Xerxes,-who will deliver us ascendency over the human mind, through from them!" the medium of the Arabic language in the East; as it had done before, through that
From these considerations, which would seem to show the vanity of study bestowed on such subjects, we deduce, on the other hand, the importance of studying them with
Such observations, which we can easily conceive to be made, are the remarks of men
who learns in Grecian history to call Har-
destitute of any of that higher education, writers say, and to which the righteous country, within a few years, in the mode of which the mind, when college days are pass-reviewer alludes as "the most infamous of studying Geography, are attended with one ed, acquires for itself; education in the motives." We only observe, that the man, obvious disadvantage. Our geographies great school of the world's recorded expecontain little excepting abstract, statistical rience; education formed by observing exviews. These are the proper elements of tensive analogies, and by weighing princithe science, but they furnish little that is ples in the balance of other men and other interesting to children. We are under the times; education to those great and genernecessity of inventing a variety of methods ous sentiments, which fill the bosom almost to facilitate the study, not so much because to bursting, while we dwell on those few it is difficult, as because it is uninteresting. Avatars of the spirit of liberty, which the The descriptions are too general and too annals of our race relate. Of this educashort to gratify curiosity; and when this is tion, a considerable part of the active and known, they cease to excite it. They do leading portion of the community here and not occupy the mind long enough, to bring elsewhere is destitute. They read nothing, any of its powers into very active service; they reflect on nothing. Absorbed in busiand hence the impressions are indistinct ness, swallowed up with professional cares and readily effaced. We do not, however, and duties, they have no time for any thing object to the present mode of studying geogbut what assumes, in some degree, the form raphy; so far as it extends, it is certainly of a professional duty or care; and the good. Indeed, the progress we have made great work of administering the civil afin this science within ten years, has been fairs of mighty states and growing millions very great, and it is now a very popular is undertaken without a day's avowed prestudy. Of the works which preceded paration; and with hearts, to which the Cummings' Geography, we shall say nothvery name of a generous affection is matter ing. When that appeared, it rendered what relates to the absolute and relative situation of places easily attainable. This was what we most needed, and no progress can be made without it. Other works have succeeded, rendering this part of the science much more accurate, and containing several important additions of statistical information, but retaining the same general character. It is best they should still retain it; but it should be remembered that they furnish only a basis for something more interesting. We want to know more of a country than its latitude, longitude, and dimensions, that it is level or mountainous, cold or hot, that the inhabitants are black or white, christians, mahometans, or pagans, and that they sell corn and beef, and buy tea and sugar. We want the true characteristics, the real manners and customs and principles of every nation, with such an account of their country as will make us acquainted with them at their own homes. All who have devoted much attention to the higher parts of this science, regard it as highly interesting; but it receives very much less attention than it merits. Why is it that history is so much more esteemed than geography? indeed far more important to know what has been than what is? It may well be believed that a reading community will one day cease to prefer tales ten thousand times told-and often with questionable profit-to works which make us accurately and intimately acquainted with our cotemporaries. Give us good works of this char acter, and they will not long remain idle.
It is, more especially, with reference to the state of liberty among the Greeks, that the work of Mr Heeren makes a seasonable appearance in our language. Mr Mitford, with mild feelings and a perfectly gentlemanly spirit, has uniformly pleaded the cause of arbitrary power among the Greeks, and given the most unfavourable view of their democracy. There is really so much good nature evinced in his able work, that notwithstanding the frightful inference to which it is designed to lead-that men in society ought not to govern themselves-you see in it only a customary deference payed by an Englishman to aristocratic principles, as to a part of the established system of his country. But Heeren's work is written in a much better tone; not that of a champion and an apologist, but that of a man who gathers traits of greatness with a kindred feeling; who sees in the patriotic exploits, the admirable literature, and beautiful arts of Greece, testimonies more decisive of the excellence of their institutions in the main, than the opposite language of their popular excesses. However, we do not recommend the work, that converts may be made by it; for it is really written in no spirit of proselytism. We recommend it because it contains profound original views;-the fruits of much learning with the display of a very little; and a judicious selection of topics out of the great mass of Grecian history and tradition. Mitford must still be read; and it is to those who read him that Mr Heeren's work will prove both most useful and most interesting.
It needs not be said that ancient Greece is the school, where the politician may find some of those lessons which he requires, and where the really great politicians have found them. It is a remark, which may be confirmed by a very long induction, that the course and part which a man will take in the great controversies of modern politics, may be judged of by the opinions he entertains of those of Greece. A striking instance has lately suggested itself to us. In the last number of the Quarterly Review-a number, not disgraced, but characterized by a pitiful libel on America-we find this sentence:-"To us, indeed, who have no great taste for assassination, even though executed by a sword hid in the myrtle boughs which graced one of the most beautiful of the Grecian processions; to us, with whom the song of Harmodius and Aristogiton, though written in better metre* than the 'Marseillois hymn,' and in language less vulgar than the 'Tragala, perro,' of modern days, is not a whit the less a vile revolutionary song, giving the noblest of names to one of the most detestable of deeds, originating in the most infamous of motives; to persons of this way of thinking, the first wearer of the name (Aristogiton) had left The translation of this work by Mr an abomination upon it, which it required Bancroft is very good;-far better than no successor to the appellation to augment." the translations usually made from German We shall not dispute with this temperate into English. It is the performance of a man writer whether Harmodius and Aristogi- who understands not only the language but ton conspired against the life of Hippias and Hipparchus, as tyrants and unlawful rulers, as most accounts state, and as the Athenian people implied, when they erected a monument to them in the Ceramicus, "because they had slain the tyrant and given EQUAL LAWS to Athens;" or whether it was a movement of private indignation on account of the seduction of the sister of
Harmodius by Hippias, as the best ancient
the subject. To prepare it was an honour-
Sketches of the Earth and its Inhabitants,
* The criticism of this learned Theban is as valuable as his politics. The song in question is an inartificial compilation of four different verses by different authors, and partly in different metres. THE changes which have been made in our
The book before us is of this kind, and the success it has already met with, proves the demand which existed for it. The diligence and fidelity of the author have been well attested by his Gazetteers and Elements of Geography. His reputation for accuracy is certainly merited; and we know not whether it is necessary even to remind him, that his obligations to great circumspection increase with his reputation. The Sketches consist of descriptions of
the most interesting natural objects in every country; the character and customs of the inhabitants; and their civil, literary, and religious institutions. A considerable part of these descriptions is taken from books of travels, and great judgment and fidelity are manifested in excluding from them every thing of an immoral tendency. It is, indeed, difficult to give a faithful view of the character and manners of the various classes in society, without resorting to language too gross and indelicate to be exhibited to children; and books of travels are seldom recommended by a great degree of purity. The art of describing licentious scenes or habits in an inoffensive manner, does not consist merely in marking them with just opprobrium. If the mind of the writer be in itself pure, a savour of innocence will characterize all that it does, and all that it produces, and do more than the severest censure, to protect the reader against the enticement of evil.
of Thermopyla. "It consists of a narrow
The use of the distributive either as
We have discovered other errors, but forbear mentioning them, lest it should be inferred that the faults bear a considerable proportion to the excellencies. Although we cannot concede to Mr Worcester a very good talent for descriptive writing, he certainly possesses a rare faculty for selecting the most important facts, which his subject affords; and, with a few excepThe style of this work is, in general, tions, he presents them in a manner not pleasing and correct; and many of the only intelligible, but highly interesting. descriptions are uncommonly beautiful. It Considering the great difficulty of describwould be difficult to name two volumes, ing works of art in a manner intelligible to which display finer specimens of this kind children or common readers, he has sucof writing. For this, however, Mr Wor- ceeded very well. We doubt not that the cester is principally indebted to his author-present edition will soon be disposed of, and ities. We frequently notice a want of case we shall offer a little advice in relation to and simplicity which will render the sen- improvements. tences of his own writing obscure to children; and, occasionally, a deficiency in grammatical correctness. There are also many passages, to understand which, will require more science than most of his readers can be supposed to possess. He sometimes aims at the lighter graces of composition, but with no very great success. He has much better taste in selecting than in writing, but even here he sometimes fails. His assiduity in searching every where for the useful and the important, is not beyond his judgment in choosing, from his gathered stores, whatever it is peculiarly necessary that his readers should know; but he does not always cull the most beautiful flowers, nor wreathe them very tastefully.
We have noticed two or three instances, in which the definite article is used for the the indefinite; as, vol. ii. p. 121, in describing the Grotto of Antiparos. "The sides are planted with petrifactions, also of white marble, representing trees; these rise in rows one above the other, &c." If there were but two rows, this would be correct. The very prevalent error of using the singular adjective any after an adjective in the superlative degree, sometimes occurs; as in vol. ii. p. 288. "The largest of these temples and of any [all] in Egypt, is that of Carnac."
In vol. i. p. 275, we read: "The Lithuanians, who were formerly under the same government with the Poles, but now chiefly included in the empire of Russia, resemble the Poles and Russians." The imperfect tense here supplies the places of both the imperfect and present. Still greater confusion is produced in the following passage, vol. ii. p. 119, from leaving both tenses to be understood. He is speaking of the pass
objections relate principally to their want of moral purity, and their containing so much that is uninteresting and useless. We will merely suggest to Mr Worcester the propriety of publishing other volumes of extracts from books of travels. The course of his reading must have qualified him to select, with little labour, a great variety of useful and interesting matter which it is not easy for all to obtain, and which, connected as it is with much that is unprofitable or injurious, costs far too much.
The author has not stated in what manner the Sketches should be used in schools. We will suggest a method, which seems to us a good one. After the study of an elementary work on geography, it may be reviewed; and during the review, the Sketches may be studied in connexion with it. Short lessons of the geography should be given, that the scholars may have suitable time to attend to the descriptions of the most interesting objects; and in no case should their progress in the geography exceed that in the Sketches. The recitations should consist of answers to such questions as may be propounded by the instructer, and should never be made verbatim. The work is adapted only to the higher classes in our schools, but we hardly know any work which will be more interesting to them.
The engravings are sufficiently well executed, and they add much to the value of the work. The typography is neat, and has very few errors.
For the Oracles of God, four Orations. For Judgment to Come, an Argument, in nine parts. By the Rev. Edward Irving, M. A. Minister of the Caledonian Church, Hatton-Garden. New York, 1823. 8vo.
As to the style, we have already made some remarks, which may have the effect to correct some errors. As to the matter, it would be well to describe the religions of several countries, especially in Asia, or to omit to mention them. The book may be filled with what is highly important and interesting, and, at the same time, intelligible; and it is injurious to the minds of children to accustom them to read or commit to memory what they cannot understand. We do not state this as a universal Ir is difficult to say what constitutes genius, principle, for there are many important or to provide a criterion which shall deterexceptions to it; but whatever can be mine its existence and its measure. Permade comprehensible should never be forc-haps there is no better test, than the power ed upon the mind unexplained. It is, there- of influencing others, especially if the mind fore, rather worse than useless, to encum- to be subjected to examination, is wholly ber the work with a remark that the reli- devoted to the work of acting upon other gion of a certain country is that of Boodh, minds. If we judge him thus, Mr Irving is of the Grand Lama, of Sinto, or of Vishnu, surely a very great man; and it would be difwithout any explanation of its character. ficult to deny him, on any grounds, the credit We might apply the same remarks to some of possessing an extraordinary intellectual other subjects, which are occasionally intro- and moral character. duced in a manner that gives no important information. The Sketches are not a purely elementary work, and should not, like the Elements of Geography, admit general statements. They may receive a little improvement in this respect.
A very important object, which we expect these Sketches to promote, is to excite a more general interest in works which give similar information. To gratify this interest, it might be well to add an appendix, giving a short account of the principal authorities, especially of those which are not common in our booksellers' shops. There are some serious objections to books of travels, which might be obviated; and they would then constitute a very suitable and highly interesting part of our literature. These
Every one, who reads the newspapers, knows that the Caledonian Chapel, in which he preaches, is crowded with the highest rank and fashion and talent of London. He gathers, Sunday after Sunday, an audience who could not be gathered unless he spoke to them with a power victorious over habit, and pride of rank, and love of ease, and contempt for religion;—an audience, who, as they could not be drawn into his presence by any common enticement, so neither could they be deluded by oratorical quackery into a belief that glittering nothingness was eloquence. Still so many papers and literary journals ridiculed him, we thought he must be somewhat ridicu lous; and as it was confidently said, that he had destroyed his power and popularity by
printing his sermons, and thus taking from of the Word is a duty distinct from all therefore, to have a chance of hearing, I have rethem the support of his oratory, we did ex- other duties; that the principles it de-frained from systematic forms of speech, and enpect to find in this volume much more to be clares are excellently well adapted to cer- deavoured to speak of each subject in terms proper to it, and to address each feeling in language that surprised at, than to be pleased with. In tain parts of the business of life, but of dif- seemed most likely to move it-in short, to argue this we mistook the matter altogether. ficult application or doubtful expediency in like a man, not a theologian; like a Christian, not The style of this work is very peculiar, others; and that, on the whole, it promul- a churchman.” and occasionally very bad; it savours of af- gates a law, which should generally be held In giving his book the strange title it fectation, which indeed stares upon us in good esteem, but may be safely disre- bears, Mr Irving was probably influenced from the title page,-but its prevailing garded when it arrays itself against the es- somewhat by the wish to depart from the characteristics are derived from the exces-tablished fashions of society, or demands the common path, and thus arrest the attention sive use of the Scotch idiom, and from his abandonment of some cherished indulgence, by eccentricity, and somewhat by the reapassionate love for the earlier English writ- or insists upon the dethronement of a favour-sons assigned in the preface, from which ers, who have evidently influenced his ite and customary sin. we have already quoted. whole manner of thought and expression. Much as we reverence the name of Taylor, we are almost disposed to say, that Mr Irving is not only nearer to him than any living English writer, but so near, that it is more just to call him a kindred spirit, than an imitator. He occasionally writes in bad taste, and uses words and figures carelessly, and attempts, somewhat too often and too obviously, a high strain of imaginative eloquence. On the other hand, his language is generally perspicuous and forcible, his ornaments and illustrations are used for the sake of the argument, which is never turned aside to make room for them;-and though often exceedingly severe, he finds fault with nothing that is good.
The most prominent and unpleasant fault in this work, is the frequent huddling together of subjects which are as far apart as heaven and earth. For instance, in one part of his "Argument," he goes, with scarcely the transition of a paragraph, from a magnificent and sublime picture of the Last Judgment, to a criticism of modern poetry. This certainly arises, in great part, from bad taste, but it probably originates in a degree from Mr Irving's declared intention of endeavouring to extend the uses of religion, by connecting with it literature and every thing else which men love or busy themselves about. His principle is a good one, and it may be that we find fault with some instances of its operation, only because we cannot free ourselves from the influence of those thoughts or sentiments which separate religion from that which should make one with it, and, as it were, exile her from her proper home. But with all its faults, it must be acknowledged, that this book abounds with specimens of splendid diction, and that every paragraph gives proof of strong, bold, and original sagacity. Mr Irving believes that the Bible is not -"an Orphic song indeed, Full of strange words, to a strange music chanted," but really true, and true in a sense in which nothing else is true; that it is among books as the Saviour was among men, and that we shall actually do a wise thing and behave with a provident regard to coming events, in striving to learn what this book says, and to govern our relations to each other, our judgments upon all the matters of life, and our conduct in all its concerns, by the directions herein contained. He seems to think it quite time that the world should be delivered from the rooted and universal error,-universal in its operation, if not in its acknowledgment,-that the study
"For criticism I have given most plentiful occa
He supposes the nature and offices of religion to be utterly mistaken; that it is handling religious truth-the Oration, and the Ar"I have set the example of two new methods of banished from daily domestic duties and gument; the one intended to be after the manner constantly recurring exigencies, from the of the ancient Oration, the best vehicle for addressoccupations of business, the relations and ing the minds of men which the world hath seen, intercourse of society, in all which it should far beyond the sermon, of which the very name dwell as their sovereign and their life, other after the manner of the ancient Apologies, hath learned to inspire drowsiness and tedium; the from seasons of health and activity, when with this difference, that it is pleaded not before the mind is clear to perceive and the frame any judicial bar, but before the tribunal of human strong to execute its commandments, and thought and feeling. The former are but specithe homage that is paid, is a free-will offer- mens; the latter, though most imperfect, is intending,-to moments marked out for reluct-in the volume, because the Oracles of God, which ed to be complete. The Orations are placed first ant and melancholy worship, to casual they exalt, are the foundation of the Argument, fragments of time when leisure can be which brings to reason and common feeling one of spared for cold devotion, to hours given by the revelations which they contain. way of bribe that the rest of life may go sion, and I deprecate it not; for it is the free agifree, and to the visitations of suffering and tation of questions that brings the truth to light. disease, when the heart is shuddering with It has also been my lot to have a good deal of it fear, and the shadows of coming death darken where I could not meet it, and if I get a good deal the intellect, and the whole soul is enslaved more I shall not grumble; for a book is the property by dread and agony. If, indeed, every moof the public, to do with it what they like. The ment of this fleeting and unreal existence author's care of it is finished when he hath given it birth. The people are responsible for the rest. create the destiny of abiding, yea, eternal I have besought the guidance of the Almighty and realities, and religion, or the want of it, his blessing very often, and have nothing to bedetermine whether this destiny shall be of seech of men, but that they would look to themjoy or wretchedness;-surely each instant selves, and have mercy upon their own souls." which passes by while we stop upon this threshold of being, should bear witness that religion existed in the whole conduct of the man, as life in the healthy frame;—all full and perfect in every part.
Mr Irving seems to propose not only the
"Until the servants and ministers of the living
In the dedication of the second part of
"For seems to me that upon religion we are growing wiser than our fathers, who were content with a train of human authorities, and that this age requireth religious truth to be justified, like other truth, by showing its benefits to the mind itself, and to society at large. *** For their ear is shut, and I hope the ear of all men is for ever shut, to the authority of names; and it is vain now to quote the opinions of saints or reformers, or councils or assemblies, in support of any truth. They even hold cheap our venerable theological language, though it can boast of great antiquity, and they insist upon its being translated into common phrases, that they may understand its meaning. And the misery is, they will not listen unless we gratify them in this reasonable request, but allow us to have our disputations to ourselves while we cover them with that venerable disguise. In order,
The subjects of the Orations are, First, The preparation for consulting the oracles of God
Second,-The manner of consulting them. Third and Fourth,-The obedience due to them.
The purpose of the Argument is, to show plainly the certainty and the reasonableness of man's accountability, and its exact conformity not only with the whole course and character of human pursuits, relations, and institutions, but also with the absolute and universal necessity of created beings ;and further, to claim for the whole subject of God's reckoning with man its rightful dignity; to rescue it from idle, aimless speculation and the vain phantasies of imagination, from the blasphemy of those who scorn it, and the unmingled horrors which the thoughts of many gather around it, and make it stand forth, a certain and solemn circumstance, which must occur to every individual, and which every one would do well to make adequate provision for.
He discusses the subjects, which fairly come before him, with great power and boldness;-telling many plain truths and attacking many influential and favourite opinions. We cannot make extracts enough to give an adequate idea of his course of argument, but will quote some passages, which may suffice to show the character of his thoughts and expressions. They are from the second Oration.