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Hymns in Prose for Children. By Mrs. BARBAULD. A New Edition, with additional Hymns by the WIFE OF A CLERGYMAN. London : Painter.
In an age like the present, when education is so much and so justly the subject of anxious interest, it is with feelings of great pleasure, that we hail any appearance of sound principle, combined with effective ability, to be employed in this great work. There exists, still, a great want of books, which may be safely put into the hands of children; and, alas, so strong is the demand, and so much is it a matter of mere merchandize, that the political radicalism of "Peter Parley," and the spiritual radicalism of " Peep of Day," still continue to glut the market, to the deterring from writing those who have both the will and the power to benefit the rising generation. In spite of this somewhat discouraging prospect, the lady whose work forms the subject of our present remarks, has come forward with her new edition of Mrs. Barbauld. The book is small and unpretending, without clap-trap or puff, and yet we venture to predict for it a permanence enjoyed by few works. We must first make some remarks upon Mrs. Barbauld, and then proceed to notice, very briefly, the task so admirably executed by "the Clergyman's Wife." Mrs. Barbauld was a lady whose abilities were of a pre-eminent order, but who was, unfortunately, deeply imbued with Unitarian principles. It is somewhat remarkable and highly to her credit, that in her Prose Hymns for Children she has only offended negatively against orthodoxy ; and the book, as she left it, though insufficient, was yet by no means dangerous. In spite of her omissions, the hymns deserved and obtained a very extensive sale, they were so admirably adapted to the youthful mind, so qualified to induce a pure taste, and a spirit of devotion at the same time, that many families unhesitatingly adopted them, notwithstanding the avowed Arianism of their gifted authoress. Indeed there was no choice-either the soidisant poetry of the dissenting Dr. Watts, or the true poetry of the dissenting Mrs. Barbauld-the one would certainly spoil the taste, the other as certainly preserve and improve it. In the present day the choice is no greater; and till this work appeared, which is but, we believe, a few days ago, we had only to choose between incomplete theology and bad taste. Now we have the want supplied the additional hymns are so beautiful that we unhesitatingly pronounce them equal to Mrs. Barbauld, and they are both orthodox and highly devotional. Take as a specimen Hymn X. :
66 THE BUTTERFLY.
"I saw the butterfly sporting in the sunshine; its wings were of
purple and gold, and when it alighted upon the flowers their colours were out-shone by its own.
"I beheld it and rejoiced, for it was very beautiful; the hand of the Almighty had fashioned it, to show forth his power and his glory.
"I looked and the swallow seized it, and lo, it was devoured: I saw the hawk pursuing the swallow, and the hare fleeting before the hound.
"There are lands where the lion devoureth the ox, and the leopard the kid; where the snake lies hid among the long grass, and the venomous reptile glideth among the bright green leaves.
"Man is the lord of the creation, but these own not his sway; they have torn him in pieces when there was none to deliver him. The serpent hath bitten him, and he has died.
"Dost thou grieve because thou hast seen these things? and knowest thou not that man, too, devoureth his brother, and despoileth his neighbour? He is more cruel than the wolf, and more insatiable than the tiger.
"There was a time when the swallow did not chase the butterfly, nor the hawk pursue the swallow; when the lion was at peace with the ox, and the leopard harmed not the kid.
"The earth was filled with love, and man ruled over all in the image of God.
"That time was before sin came into this world; before man had offended his Maker; and it shall be again when sin hath ceased to pollute the earth.
"There is war throughout all nature through the sin of man; it is on this account that the eagle is the terror of the dove, and the wolf of the fold; it is through this, that murder and robbery stalk abroad, and that man trembleth before his fellow.
"Dost thou grieve for these things? Grieve then, for they are very dreadful. Yet, let thy grief be mingled with joy, for peace hath been proclaimed on earth. Our divine Lord Jesus Christ hath proclaimed it.
"His spirit is stronger than sin, and he will keep those who love him from it: his love is stronger than death, and those who serve him shall live for ever in heaven.
"Mourn not then as though there were no hope. Though war may prevail here, it shall not prevail against us, if he be with us. Though sin rule among the disobedient, it shall not rule over us, if we serve him. "He was God over all, blessed for evermore; yet he loved us, and came and dwelt among men: he suffered that we might escape suffering; he died that we might escape eternal death.
"Let us love him, for he hath been very good unto us: let us give him our hearts, for he is our Saviour; let us give him our worship, for he is our God!"
Already has the work of patronage commenced. Her most gracious Majesty, the Queen Dowager, has commanded six copies to be sent to her; and we both expect and hope, that in a very short time, no other edition of Mrs. Barbauld will be used.
1. The Early English Church. By EDWARD CHURTON, M.A., Rector of Crayke, Durham. London: Burns. 1840.
2. Tales of the Village. By FRANCIS E. PAGET, M.A., Rector of Elford and Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Oxford. London: Burns. 1840. THESE two volumes form the 8th and 9th numbers of the Englishman's Library-a series which increases in interest as it advances. That of Mr. Churton is decidedly the most delightful sketch of ecclesiastical history we ever read. It is correct, well written, and concise. We tender to the Rectors of Crayke and Elford the thanks of the Church.
The New Testament. Translated from the text of J. J. GRIESBACH, by SAMUEL SHARPE. London: Green. 1840.
THE text of Griesbach is so very valuable, and in such high request among scholars, that we were very glad to see a translation of it, for the use of those who, though feeling an interest in the subject of translations and versions, were yet unable to read the original text for themselves. It appears that the chief use of a translation, like this, will be for dissenting ministers, who will thus be enabled, without a knowledge of Greek, to see wherein the most eminent of German New Testament critics differ from the authorized version. We say this will be the chief use of a translation like the present, but it would have been easy to have made a far more valuable work than it is. The translator was not bound to the phraseology of our authorized version, and ought, where it was in the slightest degree incorrect, to have changed it. His book was not to be read in churches, nor to be circulated among the poor; there would, therefore, have been no evil precedent set, and the slightest inaccuracy should have been by him amended. Why, for instance, did he not change the translation of that wonderful
passage of St. Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 44. σπείρεται σώμα ψυχικον εγει did he confound ψυχικὸν with φυσικον, ρεται σωμα πνευματικον, as it would seem our translators did? He should have rendered the passage: "It is sown a soul-informed body, it is raised an ethereal body." Many metaphysical disquisitions would have been obviated, had this translation been adopted in the time of James I., and though we are far from wishing for a new translation, the effect of which could only be to show that the old is better; yet, in an undertaking like the present, there is no ground for retaining any error. Again, why not render the word aokos, in Luke v. 37, a wine skin, and not a bottle?
Had the translator taken up this line, he would have done a service to many; as it is, we can scarcely compliment him on the volume he has produced,
A Refutation of the first Report of the Constabulary Force Commissioners. By the Rev. C. D. BRERETON, A.M., Rector of Little Massingham, Norfolk. London: Simpkin and Marshall. 1840. We are not inclined to enter at large into the somewhat difficult question" Is a rural police expedient?" We agree with Mr. Brereton, that it is not universally called for; while, at the same time, we feel well assured that, in the manufacturing districts, it is absolutely necessary. No one, however, who feels interested in the subject should neglect examining Mr. Brereton's evidence.
Tracts on the Church and the Prayer Book. By the Rev. FRED. U, FABER, M.A., Fellow of University College, Oxford. London: Rivingtons. 1840.
THERE is more than semi-Popery here. Mr. Newman would have thought twice before he published such a passage as this: By alms do we absolve ourselves from sin. Alms, as one of the ancients teaches, are a second baptism."-p. 34, No. 1. This may be the doctrine of Oxford, but it is any thing but the doctrine of Christ.
Tracts of the Anglican Fathers. Nos. 11, 12, 13. London: Painter. THIS series is slowly, but satisfactorily, advancing. No. 11. is Bishop Sanderson on the Divine Right of the Episcopate not prejudicial to the supreme authority of the Civil Ruler. No. 12. The Points of Difference, and Agreement between the Churches of England and Rome, by Bishop Cosin; and No. 13. Bishop Sparrow, on the Authority of the Church, in Matters of Discipline and Faith. There can be but one opinion as to the republication of these admirable Tracts, and though they have, by some, been branded with the stigma of being auxiliary to the "Tracts for the Times," because they proceed from followers and favourers of those Tracts, we must take exception to this conclusion, and put the two on their proper basis. The "Tracts for the Times" tell us what Dr. Pusey, Mr. Newman, and their friends think of the Anglican Fathers; the present series tell us what those Fathers thought for themselves. Had these Tracts been published instead of the "Tracts for the Times," the Church would have been spared many divisions, and not a little heresy. We can willingly agree with a Cosin or a Sanderson, when we are not so inclined to yield to the judgment of our zealous—over-zealous contemporaries.
The Christian Gentleman's Daily Walk. By Sir ARCHIBALD EDMONSTONE, Bart., London: Burns. 1840.
A pleasing addition to Mr. Roberts delightful volume, the Portraiture of a Christian gentleman, and to the still more valuable portrature of a English Churchman by Gresley.
Outlines of China: presenting a popular view of its History, Arts, Productions, and Social Characteristics of the British Relations with China, and the Opium Trade-and the Origin and Causes of of the War. By ROBERT BELL, Esq., Author of "The History of Russia," "The Lives of the Poets," &c.-Reprinted from the Atlas Weekly Newspaper. London: T. H. Brown.
Ir a great book be a great evil, and not unfrequently is this the case, then Mr. Bell has, at all events, abstained from inflicting "great evil" upon us.
But the tract (for in size it is no more) which is here. announced contains so much real and authentic information on China and Chinese matters, that we can cordially recommend it in preference to many bulky volumes. The Chinese seem resolved on war.
tantæ ne animis cœlestibus iræ ?
and the rise and causes of that war are well detailed. As to the celestial literature of the "central flowery land," Mr. Bell would have very much improved his little work had he consulted for that department, the "Hora Sinicæ," published at various times in Fraser's Magazine. We are glad to see it in its present shape, for it is decidedly too valuable to be left in the perishable columns of a newspaper, even though that newspaper be an Atlas, where we should most naturally look for the outlines of China.
A Life of Socrates. By Dr. G. WIGGERS. Translated from the German, with notes. London: Taylor and Walton. 1840. THIS excellent translation of a learned and interesting work is accompanied by the Life of Socrates, by Diogenes Laertius, in the original, and with useful and apposite notes. It is calculated to give a greater interest to this book, to know that the translation as well as the original, is the work of a young but learned German, Mr. L. Schmitz, of Bonn, who is also engaged in communicating papers to the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Mr. Schmitz has made himself so fully master of the English language, that the present work might be taken for that of an accomplished Englishman: there are no Germanisms; and this is, however, not half the praise which the translator deserves; he has given us an interesting and useful book.
A Treatise on the Pastoral Care. By GILBERT BURNETT, late Lord Bishop of Sarum, with a Preface by the Rev. T. DAle. London : Washbourne. 1840.
Ir would be quite needless to say how valuable a work is that of the good Bishop of Sarum; or to say how much that value is increased by the excellent preface of Mr. Dale. These propositions are self evident.