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it in our power to designate them as the most worthy of the critic's applause.
Upon the whole, we are not sorry to find from the view which has been afforded us by this attempt at sacred drama, of the religious interior of Lord Byron's mind, that he is ignorant of the Bible;-ignorant not from the neglect of reading it, but from not reading it aright. Had he appeared to know more of it, we should have despaired of him more than we do. It is not till every spark of potential grace is extinguished in his mind, that a man can come from the serious perusal of that awful Book, with a disposition to do it dishonour. Lord Byron has certainly not read it seriously; and it does not impart its knowledge to those who read it for speculation, or for poetry, or for the purposes of profane pleasantry. As he talks about repentance, and his "death-bed," in his angry note concerning Mr. Southey, he may possibly endure a hint from us, that if he will read the Bible with his latter end full in his view, he will there meet with much that may be of use to him in the illustration of that topic. One of the first effects of such serious consultation of that book, may probably be to make him renounce all dangerous connections, and particularly that which we suspect him of maintaining with the anonymous author of Don Juan; concerning whom we have written our sentiments in our last number, if Lord Byron wishes to know more about him. Another consequence of such serious reading of the scripture we think, may possibly be, that the devil will begin to fall very fast in his estimation, and lose much of that comeliness, and comity, and interesting demeanour, with which he has come forth to view in this spiritual burletta before us. His Lordship may, in virtue of such better acquaintance with the scriptures, begin to think that it is safer to study divinity with the Holy Spirit for his guide, than with " Satan at his right hand." Upon the very law of the subject he will probably after such a perusal change his opinion; and think, that in the case ex parte Cain, notwithstanding the arguments, which, as counsel for the accused, he has urged in his defence, the judg ment was consistent with equity:-that in the balance of evil and good he was fairly dealt with, having had proffers of effec tual aid against the propensities of his fallen nature, had he chosen to accept it: which, indeed, is the case with us all.
One great inconvenience in having any thing to do with Satan, even in sport, is, that one is apt to get insensibly into bad hu mour. Why, when Mr. Southey writes about the "Satanic School," should Lord Byron take offence? Peradventure his brain was at that moment in the act of concocting this demoniacal drama. This soreness of Lord Byron has given Mr.Southey
an advantage over him, notwithstanding the injury to his famé from his own hand in his Vision of Judgment, which, though we acquit that gentleman of any irreverence for holy things, rises, we think, not greatly higher than "Cain" in religious propriety. One good may come from this poetical quarrel, which we cannot forbear adverting to with complacency, we may expect for the future that the Quarterly Review will act more in harmony with its professions, and more agreeably to that moral independence upon worldly connections which a critical work of dignity should exhibit, by treating with uncompromising severity every publication which has a direct or indirect tendency to disparage religion, pervert truth, or corrupt the heart.
Since the author of "Cain, a Mystery," takes credit to himself for having done good in his generation (see the note concerning Mr. Southey), may his good works testify in his favour, and procure for him a happier "death-bed" (we allude again to the same note), than, in the opinion of some, he has reason to anticipate; but as to this play, to use the technical phraseology of the theatre, we wish it damned as it deserves.
One word more, and we end our observations. We are just informed that cheap editions are printing of this last effusion of Lord Byron's genius, for circulation among the poorer portion of our fellow subjects. Does the author think that this is done in order to bring the poetical beauties of the work within the compass of the poor, or to promote Satan's kingdom upon earth? If this latter be the object, and who can doubt it, let his lordship look seriously at this consequence of his direful lucubrations. It must force upon him, we trust, as he draws insensibly, but inevitably, towards that abyss of frightful possibilities which lies at the end of his mortal career, some reasonable terrors of conscience, and some compunctious drops from his eye-lids. It would not be infidelity, but stupidity, to be insensible to such things. The age of sanguine security is sliding fast away,—the paradise in which he revels will soon shed its foliage, and grey hairs, the blossoms of the grave, will appear in its place; substantial pain, infirmity, and sorrow, will, unless anticipated, be his last companions, after the pageants of the passing hour shall have been long annihilated; and then this ugly drama, ugly in sentiment, however florid in imagery, how will it appear among the visions that crowd the melancholy retrospect? As to the distribution of the piece in cheap editions, we do not expect from it much diffusive harm: the Devil has in this play a certain romantic melancholy about him, coupled with an aristocratic elevation of manner, which will not recommend him to the populace. Besides which, if we mistake not, he has forfeited something of his credit lately, by the disappointment of
some brilliant expectations to which he had given birth. Events which appeared to be fast advancing his empire, have been ominously frustrated; so that, upon the whole, we have some hope that, notwithstanding the plausible figure he makes in this liberal drama, not a very large number will assent to the arguments which it ingeniously offers in his justification.
It is said that the publisher has repented of his concern with this work. Of this we know nothing. Let us see his repentance in the Quarterly Review, which has suffered in many instances works of the most pestilential tendency to disgrace our national press with impunity. Whoever may be the author of the little pamphlet called "The Remonstrance," we think he has taken a right view of the subject; and we strongly recommend it to the public. Booksellers are a very responsible class of men. Johnson called them the patrons of literature. Why should they degrade themselves into the mere brokers of intellect;-the passive, if not the venal instruments of moral mischief? They surely do not, as a body, renounce their personal interest in the national honour and prosperity; nor hold themselves liable to be called upon to propagate as merchants what they deprecate as men. We address ourselves, of course, in these observations, to those of this branch of trade who are among the honourable of the earth, without, perhaps, a sufficient feeling of the real extent of their duties comprehended in that character: the miserable vendors of obscene and seditious trash are at open war with human happiness. By their increase or diminution they serve as indices to mark the fluctuations of public stability. When once they cease to produce a correspondent reaction on society, our equipoise is lost, and we are gone as a people for
ART. V.-HORNE'S INTRODUCTION TO THE CRITICAL STUDY OF SCRIPTURE.
An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. By Thos. Hartwell Horne, A. M. (of St. John's College, Cambridge,) Curate of the United Parishes of Christ Church, Newgate Street, and of St. Leonard, Foster Lane. Second edition, revised, corrected, and enlarged, illustrated with numerous maps, and fac-similes of Biblical Manuscripts. 4 vols. 8vo. London, 1821.
Ir is a truly auspicious "sign of the times," that the zeal and ability displayed by the believers in Divine revelation, in combat
ing the assaults of infidelity, have risen in proportion to the attacks which, especially of late years, have been directed against the authority of the Sacred Scriptures. In these assaults there is scarcely a trace of novelty of argument; the old rusty weapon newly furbished, the old poison newly concocted, are all that infidelity can discover to attack the Gospel and destroy the souls of men; so that whoever has well considered the specious, though in many cases gross cavils and objections of Spinosa, Tindal, Morgan, Chubb, Bolingbroke, Hume, and other sceptics of the last and preceding centuries, will be readily able to refute the bold and unmeasured attacks of later writers. Yet even the authors just specified were not original in their objections; many of their arguments were but the common-places of infidelity in every age, and had been satisfactorily answered. long before they were born. One class of weapons was stolen, by an ingenious but not very honest process, from their adversaries;-finding that devout and learned men, after having devoted years of close application to the study of the sacred text, had observed some seeming contradictions, anachronisms, inconsistencies, and other inaccuracies, which infidels by themselves would never in all probability have discovered (for if they had meditated on the scriptures with sufficient attention for such a purpose, they could hardly have remained infidels); they eagerly laid hold of these apparent difficulties, but wholly kept back the solution, thus leading the "unstable and unwary" to suppose that no solution had been, or could be, offered. We could easily point out a hundred examples of this artifice, were it necessary.
If, indeed, truth were the object of the writers who have of late figured in the cause of blasphemy and infidelity, they would have rested satisfied with the full and irrefragable answers given by learned and pious men of former times, and would long since have desisted from obtruding their mischievous publications upon the world, knowing, as they must know, that they contain little or nothing but what has been again and again confuted, and ought therefore to be for ever abandoned by all ingenuous disputants. We might add also, that if truth, and not gain, or the love of notoriety, or a factious spirit, or an appetite for mischief, were their excitement-they would adopt a very different style of writing to that which usually characterises their productions; they would display their arguments as arguments, not as cavils, and, much less, expressed in the language of derision or scurrility. But whatever may be the motives of such writers, it is their obvious policy, and that of their abettors, to represent themselves as champions, and, if necessary, as martyrs, for truth. Hence, they bring forth objections refuted again and again, with
all the apparent ardour and simplicity of new discoverers; and every fresh production is hailed by the partizans of the faction with triumph, as though it were a new work, affording original as well as unanswerable objections to revealed religion. Such being the fact, we are not displeased to observe, though, after so much has been written and proved on the subject, the service might at first sight seem superfluous, that numerous advocates have of late appeared on the side of revelation; and that, while individuals and societies have been using their efforts to stem the torrent of blasphemy, materials adapted to their purpose have been provided in abundance ready to their hands. And, whatever may be the character of the modern advocates of infidelity, or, however insolent their language, or arrogant their pretensions, yet, as their productions are read, and their conclusions gulped down by many who cannot detect their sophistry, it is necessary that persons competent to the task should continue to meet these antagonists, and to furnish such new arguments, or revive such old, as may enable every private Christian, and still more those who are engaged in preparing for the sacred office, to combat every objector. Happily for the cause of religion, the Sacred Scriptures demand and invite inquiry; and the more critically and minutely they are investigated, the brighter will be the lustre of those evidences which prove them to be "not the word of man, but in truth the word of God."
These remarks have suggested themselves to us in taking up the elaborate work mentioned at the head of this article; a work which we are glad to find has so soon passed into a second edi→ tion, though it may seem to reproach us for not having sooner reviewed the first. Mr. Horne's publication, however, appeared to us, like a dictionary or encyclopædia, more suitable for reference and instruction, than to form the subject of a paper in a popular journal; and might have still continued unnoticed, had not the considerations in our prefatory remarks induced us to think it our duty not to overlook so erudite and valuable a publication, even at the risk of being able to present to our readers little more than a catalogue-scarcely a catalogue raisonné—of its
The object of the author in the present volumes is to furnish a comprehensive manual of biblical criticism and interpretation, and a full and satisfactory view of the Divine inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures. From the great variety of the subjects discussed, as well as the extent of research apparent in every page, we can readily believe the reverend writer when he states, that this work embodies the result of nearly TWENTY years' diligent study and labour. It is comprised in four very large