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The Domestic Altar; or Prayers for the use of Families for one Month. By EBENEZER TEMPLE. London: Ward. 1839. We have seen many forms of domestic prayer, but none that we prefer to this, though it be written by a dissenter. There are here and there expressions which a churchman will deem it necessary to alter: but the whole volume breathes the spirit of Catholic charity.
Biblical Topography: Lectures on the Position and Character of the Places mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, with maps. By SAMUEL RANSOM, &c. &c., with a Preface by JOHN HARRIS, D.D. London: Ward. 1840.
MR. RANSOM has exerted himself to very good purpose, and has given in these lectures a concise account of sacred typography. We do not know any other work on this subject, though we have been given to understand that it was some time ago in contemplation to publish such a work under the auspices of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Meantime we are glad to see so good a manual as the present.
1. Plain Sermons preached to Country Congregations. By FRANCIS FOREMAN CLARK, A.B. London: Hatchards. 1840.
2. Sermons preached in St. Paul's Chapel, Stonehouse, &c. &c. By JAMES COOPER, M.A., minister of St. Paul's Chapel, Stonehouse. London: Hatchards. 1840.
3. Sermons on Practical Subjects, chiefly preached in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, commonly called Christ Church, Dublin. By the Rev. JOHN CLARKE CROSTHWAITE, A.M., T.C.D., &c. &c. London: Rivingtons. 1840.
4. Continental Sermons; or, Nine Discourses addressed to Congregations on the Continent. By J. HARTLEY, M.A., British Chaplain at Nice. London: Nisbet. 1840.
WE have here four volumes of sermons, of each of which we can say that it is admirably adapted to its end. Sermon writing is now much more generally studied, and we are so much benefited by this extended study among the clergy, that the standard of public taste is raised as well as the quality of the compositions published. Purer doctrines, more faithful addresses, and more correct language can hardly be required than those which now emanate from our pulpits. Mr. Crosthwaite has long been known as a theologian of no common order, and this volume of sermons will not diminish his high reputation. Mr. Cooper, Mr. Clarke, and Mr. Hartley deserve also the thanks of the religious world for the publication of these sermons.
The History of England from the Accession to the Decease of King George the Third. By JOHN ADOLPHUS, Esq. London: Lee. 1840. THIS very important work makes its appearance at a seasonable time. The life of that venerable King, George III., and the history of his reign possess an interest not derivable merely from the sixty eventful years which they include, but from the truly English character of the "Christian gentleman on the Throne" -our hearts go with Mr. Adolphus while he dwells on the virtues and the accomplishments of a sovereign whom "Whigs may hate and infidels despise," but whose memory will be held in reverence by every true patriot. We have here a true, because a conservative history of a true, because a conservative king. We shall notice the volumes as they appear, and shall, when the work is complete, enter at large on the light which it throws on the life and reign of George the Third.
We are sorry to see so small a list of subscribers. Every one, who wishes to see a fair history of the most interesting reign in the British annals, must look to Mr. Adolphus; and we certainly did expect to see all the Conservative members of the bar and of both Houses among the number.
The History of the University of Cambridge, from the Conquest to the year 1634. By THOMAS FULLER, D.D., Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles II., and Prebendary of Sarum. Edited by the late Rev. MARMADUKE PRICKETT, M.A., F.S.A., Chaplain of Trin. Coll. and THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., &c., &c., of Trin. Coll. with Illustrative Notes. Cambridge: Deighton. 1840.
WE shall say little on this book at present, save to recommend it to the reader. We shall very shortly enter at large into the history and present state of Cambridge; and shall then recur to this very admirable edition of Fuller's work. We are given to understand that Mr. Russell, the vicar of Caxton, is engaged on a life of its author, which will shortly appear.
Triplicity. Two vols. London: Hamilton and Adams. 1840. In this work we can only praise the intention, therefore the less we say the better.
An Apology for Cathedral Service. London: Bohn. 1840. WE might well content ourselves by parodying that celebrated exclamation of the venerable George III. "Apology for the Bible? I did'nt know that the Bible wanted any apology." Much that we find in this volume we cordially approve; but the author is fond of flippancy, which he unfortunately mistakes for wit.
Pere la Chaise; or, the Confessor. A Tale of the Times. Edited by GEORGE STEPHENS, Esq. author of the Introduction to the Church of England Quarterly Review, and subsequent articles. In 3 vols. London: Whittaker. 1810.
WF are no admirers of religious novels; they are, for the most part, written in advocacy of false doctrine, heresy, and schism, of excited feelings, and of all that is substituted by the fanatic and the enthusiast for true religion. The religious novel has, lately, been adopted by the Romanists, to inculcate the dogmas of their heresy, and on this ground, and because their works (of which, in our last, we noticed a specimen, "splendide mendax,") have been the means of perverting not a few, Mr. Stephens has written the present volumes. That they are clear and argumentative, is only giving them half the praise they deserve, for the narrative is as interesting as the reasoning is cogent. If we had the pleasure to meet with many works of this kind, the term "religious novel" would soon cease to be one almost amounting to reproach, and much good would be effected among parties who would shrink from perusing tomes of professed controversy. If any of our readers have been struck with the specious sophistries of "Geraldine," we would say "audi alteram partem," read "Pere la Chaise," and we are convinced that the result would be a conviction, not only that the Protestant had the better cause, but also that he pleaded it the best.
Messiah the Prince; or the Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ. By WILLIAM LYMINGTON, D.D., Minister of the first reformed Presbyterian congregation, Glasgow; and author of a Treatise on the Atonement and Intercession of Christ. Second edition. Edinburgh: Johnstone. 1840.
THE general tone and tendency of this work is such as we can cordially approve-the author treats first of the necessity, and next of the reality of the mediatorial kingdom. He then proceeds to point out the qualifications of the Redeemer to be the Mediator, passes next to the universality and spirituality of that dominion, and considers then the rule of the Messiah as affecting, first, the Church, and secondly, the nations of the world; and the work concludes with a very well written chapter on the Perpetuity of Christ's kingdom. While we give our approbation to the general tone and tendency of this work, we must remark that it is written by a Presbyterian, and that consequently it takes views of the Church and of Ordination (and both subjects are brought prominently forward) to which we cannot at all
Views of the Architecture of the Heavens; in a series of Letters to a Lady. By J. P. NICHOL, L.L.D., F.R.S., &c., Professor of Practical Astronomy in the University of Glasgow. Third edition. Edinburgh Tait. 1839.
THE extraordinary discoveries of modern astronomy, which make it at once the most sublime and the most certain of sciences, are of a character which appeal more forcibly to the imagination than those of past ages. To be told that the sun was the centre of our planetary system, and that round him revolved all his majestic attendants, of which our world formed but a small part, was, however important, in point of science, but the revival of an old doctrine. Newton proved this and many other most essential facts; he laid the vast foundation for that superstructure now building up by Herschell and Airybut the poetry of astronomy is connected with the superstructure, and not with the foundation; and in the work before us we have a popular view of "those glorious plains studded with stars of light." The mysteries of the fixed stars-their revolutions round one another in the binary systems-glimpses into the vast constitution of the universe-some faint notions of those dimly seen masses, awful for their tremendous magnitude, and which, to us, are but known as Nebulæ ; these form the subjects of Professor Nichol's volume. With regard to the execution, we have every reason to be satisfied with it, for though no human language can do justice to the sublimity of themes, such as are these, yet that of Dr. Nichol is at once chaste and impressive. The present volume has the great advantage of being written by a practical and scientific astronomer. Others might have written the book as well, but it would not have been so trustworthy. It is addressed to a lady, but gentlemen will find it both useful and interesting.
Christ and Anti-Christ: a Poem in Seven Cantos. By a LAYMAN, &c., &c. Respectfully dedicated to the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Nisbet. 1840.
We do not wish to be severe; but we are compelled to say that there is no poetry in this volume. Had it been written in prose, it might have made a decent essay, though even then we could not have praised it very highly.
Cardinal Bellarmine's Notes of the Church, examined and confuted. Part V. London Holdsworth. 1840.
THIS work “ progresses," to use an Americanism, very satisfactorily. Part V. contains much interesting matter, and
concludes vol. I.
Thoughts on the Litany. By a Naval Officer's Orphan Daughter. Edited by the Rev. GEORGE HEATON, M.A., of Catherine Hall, Cambridge; Chaplain of West Ham Union, and Assistant Minister of St. Olave's, Hart-street. London: Painter. 1840.
AMONG the many volumes which our admirable Liturgy has elicited, so much the greater proportion are mere commonplace, that it is really, as Wordsworth observes, "refreshing" to find a book, which throws any new light upon old doctrines, or which sets those doctrines in a point of view more adapted to make them generally understood. "The Thoughts on the Litany" before us belong to this latter class-the writer possesses great powers of discrimination-she seizes upon the most prominent points, and sets them in the clearest light. We should find it difficult to give a better analysis of "false doctrine, heresy, and schism," than we perceive is given in page 99 of this treatise:
"From this union (hardness of heart and contempt of God's holy word and commandment) springs that progeny of false doctrine, heresy, and schism, so baneful to the Unity of the Christian Church. The mind, thus influenced, in its worst estate, despises revelation altogether, and, of course, all the ordinances of religion. But there is another state of mind, from which religious notions and obligations are far from being professedly expatriated. In this state man sets up for himself, as more congenial to his own views, other doctrine than that of Christ, taking some one passage, perhaps two, of the Gospel, and enlarging upon this fragment, to the exclusion of all the rest-hence false doctrine; he then raises questions in support of his own pride and self-sufficiency-hence heresy the evil gathering strength, explodes at last, in a division, a rending asunder of the body of Christ-hence schism. A sin so venial in general estimation, that, although separation in the Christian family is almost ever in unison with licentiousness of practice, it is actually by some perverted to mean a determination on purity and holiness of life; by others, sanctioned as a throwing off of spiritual restraints, which interfere with the conscientious practice of faith."
An Examination of the Ancient Orthography of the Jews; and of the Original State of the Text of the Hebrew Bible. Part the Second. By CHARLES WILLIAM WALL, D.D., Sen. Fellow of Trin. Coll. and Professor of Hebrew in the University of Dublin. London: Whittaker. 1840.
THE object of Dr. Wall, in the present volume, is to show the vast inferiority of ideagraphic to alphabetical or phonetic writing. In the former he endeavoured, and with no small success, to establish the miraculous origin of the latter. We shall reserve our remarks on this very important work till the appearance of the third and concluding volume which may, we are glad to hear, be expected before the close of the present year.