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upon our descendants; if we would, so to speak, watch over the moral health of posterity, we begin before the schoolmaster. The child must drink in virtuous feelings and religious principles with the first dawnings of intelligence; we must excite his curiosity, fan his ardour, direct his steps. Linnæus learnt botany, almost in his infancy, at his father's knee; Cowley was made a poet by the Faery Queen, which used to lie in his mother's window ; Persius rose a satirist from the perusal of Lucilius. Some one has suggested the composition of an essay upon the love of celebrated authors for their mothers; a delightful and a philosophical disquisition it would be, as developing the immense influence excited over the opening mind by these nurses of its weakness. If we cast a rapid glance over the history of literature, we shall find that a large majority of its most distinguished cultivators were looking towards fame even from their childhood. So Milton, from the earliest dawn of boyhood, had been laying up treasure for future labours. He mentions the thoughtful character of his mind in Paradise Regained :
“ When I was yet a child, no childish play
To me was pleasing ; all my mind was set
All righteous things." How his parents must have wept and rejoiced—for joy often weeps !-over Jansen's portrait of their child only ten years old ! With what delight must they have gazed on those features illuminated by innocence and reflection ! In the young poet of Paradise the thirst for knowledge required moderation ; his eager spirit needed the rein. To that unwise indulgence which allowed the servant to sit up for him, while he read down the solitary hours of the night, his loss of sight was in some measure attributable. Genius is, indeed, an essence of quick maturity; a lamp that kindles in the morning. Calderon, the glory of the Spanish drama, began to write for the stage at fourteen. Quevedo was the wonder of the university of Alcala; he acquired Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, French; the scholastic studies; law, physic, philosophy; a scholar in the university, a cavalier in the world; by his countrymen elevated to the side of Cervantes; by Frenchmen compared with Voltaire. Poetry dawned upon Camoens while a student at Coimbra; Lucan in early manhood bequeathed a name to immortality. Pope lisped in numbers. We might go on stringing examples of equal interest
. In most of these cases, we doubt not, the decided tone of the mind was traceable to some early and perhaps imperceptible influence. The child who hangs upon its mother's hand through the green
lane or summer field, while she leads him through the beautiful gradations of nature up to nature's God, may become a Ray or à Cuvier. And assuredly no one will venture to undervalue the benefit of such teaching as this.
Of the influence of youthful associations upon the mind in after life,
a very singular and interesting illustration is given in Brown's Philosophy of the Human Mind :—“ During the time I passed at a country school in Cecil County, in Maryland,” says Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, " I often went on a holiday, with my schoolfellows, to see an eagle's nest upon the summit of a dead tree, in the neighbourhood of the school, during the time of the incubation of that bird. The daughter of the farmer in whose field the tree stood, and with whom I became acquainted, married and settled in this city about forty years ago. In our occasional interviews we now and then spoke of the innocent haunts and rural pleasures of our youth, and among other things, of the eagle's nest in her father's field. A few years ago called to visit this woman when she was in the lowest stage of a typhus fever. Upon entering the room I caught her with a cheerful tone of voice, said only, “The eagle's nest.' She seized my hand, without being able to speak, and discovered strong emotions of pleasure in her countenance, probably from a sudden association of all her early domestic connexions and enjoyments with the words I had uttered. From that time she began to recover. She is now living, and seldom fails, when we meet, to salute me with the echo of the Eagle's Nest.” This is a beautiful illustration, and carries a moral with it. The thoughts of childhood cannot be too soon familiarized with the charms of nature ; from this fountain-ever clear and untroubled-he will be able to drink in the most weary hours of his pilgrimage, when sweetened and purified by a spirit of piety. Let every parent print Cowper's lines upon his memory :
“ Our most important are our early years.
The mind, impressible and soft, with ease
Imbibes and copies what she hears and sees.” It is happily observed in the present pamphlet, that we convert the baby of Agrippina into a Nero. We may, in a future number, return to this subject.
The History of Nottingham Castle, from the Danish Invasion to
its Destruction by Rioters in 1831. By John HICKLIN, Author of “ Leisure Hours,” “Literary Recreations.” London: Hamilton & Adams. 1836.
Twice has this good old castle been demolished by the fury of the populace once, by the adherents of Cromwell; a second time, by the worshippers of Reform in these modern times, The antiquary may still rejoice in contemplating the remains of towers and bastions and ruined walls; the moralist may still speculate on the conduct of the military mob of the seventeenth century, and of the manufacturing one of the nineteenth ; but all must be pleased with Mr. Hicklin's interesting details. The perusal of the work is quite a " literary recreation." We recommend it strongly. It evinces, like all Mr. Hicklin's productions, considerable talent and attention. The illustrations are very beautiful. The engraving of “the ancient castle," by G. H. Phillips, from a drawing by J. R. Walker, is very much to our taste. Kings, queens, and haughty barons have lodged, and fought, and been imprisoned here. From William the Conqueror to the unfortunate Charles, this castle is connected with the annals of British royalty. We are therefore obliged to Mr. Hicklin for the pains he has taken to write its history, and to portray its picturesque beauties,
A Letter respectfully addressed to his Grace the Lord Archbishop
of Canterbury, on the Necessity of an Immediate Alteration in the Doctrines and Discipline of the Church of England. By a CLERGYMAN of her Communion. Hatchard. 1835.
What a title ! IMMEDIATE ALTERATion in the doctrines and discipline of the Church of England-proposed by whom ? an avowed enemy-a political opponent ?-a Romanist or a Jew..? Would that it were so !" By a Clergyman of her own Communion!” How strange the title he gives himself. There is no other species of clergyman, but such as officiate at her altars. And what does he propose-some slight modification in the manner of expressing her doctrines ? some due enforcement of her admirable discipline? Alas! it is "immediate alteration." No opportunity is to be allowed for patient consideration--for calm discussion of the most awful verities and the most momentous questions which can engage the attention of immortal beings. All that the exalted piety of our early reformers devised and sanctioned-all that the wisest of their successors have proved judicious and salutary-all that the heteredox have attempted to equal and have confessedly failed in approaching, is to be immediately altered !—and why so? Who is dissatisfied? What new discovery of heresy has been made ? What fresh deficiency in discipline has been manifested? The title page startled us so much, that we expected to find some mighty novelty. Alas! how grievously were we disappointed on finding that the 37th Article on Baptism is the “blasphemous" doctrine ! A page and a half is enough with this writer to prove it “inconsistent and absurd;" while a few sentences suffice to convict the
baptismal services of " blasphemy.” And how is the discipline to be improved ? By calling a Convocation-pronouncing the Evangelical party the only true ministers of Christ-taxing every orthodox incumbent with a salary for the support of one of the opposite opinions, and preventing in future any but these arrogant self-commenders from holding any office or responsibility in the Church !
Really we are sorry that the writer of such trash is a clergyman. We are glad that we do not know his name ; if we did, we should request his diocesan to take official notice of his existence, and then recomiend him to ship himself across the Atlantic, and try the alterative effect of the western breezes.
- Self is a
Sermons by the Rev. FREDERIC DUSATOY, A. M., late Fellow of
Queen's College, Cambridge. London: Hatchard. 1836. THERE are a number of singular positions in these Sermons. In the second, we have the following definition of “self." “ Self is the old man' which must be destroyed; it is the love “ of sin in our members' which must be abolished.”
“ Man's " fall was caused by turning from charity to self, and our con“ version consists in returning from self to charity." “ bird of hell.” “ Self may be conceived to be the middle point " between love and hatred.” He expounds “the flesh lusteth “ against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh," by “self “ lusteth against charity and charity against self;" i.e. the middle point between love and hatred lusteth against charity and charity against the middle point, &c.!! A man of sense ought to be ashamed to print such trash.
In Sermon III. we are told—“ The God-man Jesus Christ having the two distinct natures of God and man in one person, “ assumed the human soul.” This is not orthodox. His distinction between redemption and salvation is correct, although we do not admire his alterations of the authorized version. In Sermon IV. he dives too deeply into the method of the Holy Spirit's operations, and consequently makes many assertions without certain warrant of Scripture. His explanation of his views on regeneration are neither philosophical nor orthodox; whilst his last sermon verges towards most dangerous heresies. On the whole, Mr. Dusatoy has attempted to grapple with lofty subjects, far beyond his feeble powers.
Plain and Popular Subjects of Religion and Morality, treated in
a plain and popular manner. By the Rev. Andrew HudleSTON, D.D., Incumbent Curate of St. Nicholas, Whitehaven; and Rector of Bowness, Cumberland. London: Rivington. 1836.
Dr. HUDLESTON's Sermons do not display any degree of talent. The style is very heavy, and the doctrinal statements are so modified and qualified, that it is often difficult to elicit any impressive meaning. They do not contain any striking faults or any striking beauties. The subjects discussed are the most ordinary topics of pulpit ministration; they certainly do not merit the first epithet of the title “ plain,” and we are quite sure that they will not be “ popular,” except where the Doctor is personally respected.
A View of the Creation of the World, in illustration of the
Mosaic Record. By the Rev. CHARLES JAMES Burton, M. A. Vicar of Lydd, Kent. London: Rivington. 1836.
MR. BURTON's “ View of the Creation” is divided into seventeen chapters, which is only another word for sermons. They do not develop any new train of reasoning, or bring forward any new illustrations. The sixteenth and seventeenth chapters on the literal meaning of the word “ day," and on “the sabbath," are worth perusing. In Chaper I., we have detected a slight astronomical mistake. “The moon,” says Mr. Burton, “ has no rotatory motion.” The work is a plain commentary on " the Mosaic record,” without any pretensions to originality or research.
Plain Words addressed to Members of the Church of England.
By one of themselves. London: Rivington. 1836. These " words are very
plain,” and very much to the purpose. They expose the fallacy of the hackneyed argument, that tithes were originally the property of the nation; and show that the Church's title to its landed possessions is older than that of any nobleman in the kingdom. They explain to the farmer, that when he takes a farm, he agrees to make two payments for the use of the land, viz., rent and tithe ; and if the latter were abolished, the former would be proportionably increased. May such “ words " be spoken boldly and seasonably throughout the land.
A Churchman's Appeal to his brother Churchmen, in Defence of
the Clergy of the Church of England. London: Rivington. 1835.
This is an excellent little tract; it enters more into detail than the “ Plain Words.” It appeals to the good old Protestant principles of our yeomanry; it defends the Clergy well, by appealing to every-day facts, against the insidious attacks of the Dissenter, and the trumpet-tongued assault of political foes.