« ZurückWeiter »
" Women, or Pour et Contre,” has a man of imagination and feeling rataken a higher flight than that of ther than of profound thought and in“The Life and Opinions of Tristram tellectual perspicacity. The author is Shandy." Even as novelists, there is evidently, though we had no other more of contrast between these writers evidence but the volume on our table, than of similarity. The arch humour, a man of originality and of extensive and endless, though seldom wearisome, and various literary acquirements, digressions of Sterne, as well as his while, at the same time, it is equally simple and melting puthos, are entire- evident that the tendency of his mind ly peculiar to himself, and constitute is not to deep investigation or close the great charm of his unique compo- discussion ; for, in the topics which sitions. Maturin, again, is distinguish- he takes up in his sermons, he does ed by an onward course of narrative, not reason, but expatiate-often, inand a stormy wildness of passion. The deed, with much beauty and elevation former, at his pleasure, moves us to of language, with much rich and laughter or to tears, by means of the graceful imagery, and with many apperfectly ludicrous or the exquisitely propriate Scriptural quotations and altender scenes which his matchless tact lusions ; but he very rarely announces enables him, in all the living lineaments an order of arrangement, or illustrates of truth, and in all the circumstantial a proposition by a logical induction. detail of natural combination, to re- Hence, we think, that, though these present: the latter fixes us in asto- Sermons, if well delivered, must have nishment, or appals us with terror, by had great effect from the pulpit, the means of the strange or the terrible impression, at the same time, could exhibitions created by his irregular scarcely be any thingelsethan transient, but powerful imagination. Perhaps as the hearers of them were not furthe satiric vein of these two authors nished with well-defined land-marks has a closer affinity than any of their to assist their recollection or to guide other endowments; and this relation- their reflections. The mode of preachship is the more apparent, from the ing without any formal statement of circumstance of this dangerous talent's the topics to be explained, illustrated, having been employed by both to ex- or enforced, is, we are aware, not pose the abuses of religion. If Sterne without its advocates, who pretend had the superstition and the intoler. that the omission is conducive to the ance of the Church of Rome to whet eļegance of the composition ; but we the edge of his satire, that of Maturin are decidedly of opinion that a lucidus was sharpened to equal keenness by ordo is a great excellence in any spethe pharisaical conduct of the reli- cies of composition whatsoever, and gionists of Dublin, who professed to that, as arrangement is managed by hold the “ scarlet lady” in utter abo- Blair, Alison, and many other elomination. But, while we admire the quent authors of sermons whom we facility and the effect with which, in could name, it is a positive beauty in the developement of several of the point of taste, as well as of immense characters introduced into “ Women, advantage to the memory of the hearor Pour et Contre," he has exposed ers. We readily admit that we have hypocrisy and dogmatism in all their an utter aversion to that refinement revolting deformity, we trust that, for of division, the object of which is to his honour as an author, and his com- multiply distinctions--which gives a fort as a man,' he has not been assist- sermon the hard and ghastly appeared in his descriptions by personal al- ance of a skeleton, and which, in lusion or party malignity.
many instances, in former times at But we recur to his Sermons, which least, reduced preaching to mere verwe regard as a novelty, not merely in bal quibbling ; but neither do we aprelation to their author as a dramatic prove of that mode of preaching which poet and a writer of fictitious tales, reduces a sermon to an immethodical but also in respect of that class of and rhapsodical harangue-and it is compositions to which they belong, in this respect chiefly that we have for they are very unlike any other any fault to find with the Sermons of serions with which we are acquaint- Maturin. We have nothing to obed. These discourses, indeed, bear ject on the score of orthodoxy, and throughout “ the image and super- the discourses abound with beautiful scription" of a man of genius; but of and pious passages though we must;
at the same time, take the liberty to fection which the prophet cherished state, that, in the perusal of them, for his wife, and hence the severity of we have met with figures, phrases, the trial, which called him to leave and allusions, too strong and even her sudden death unmourned, and to gross for the pulpit, at least on this go in the exercise of his function to side of the Channel. We might ad- call the people to repentance. After duce instances, but we rather refer an impressive appeal, or rather referthe reader to page 30 and to page 55, ence, to the disregard which man, in as containing glaring examples of what his prosperity, pays to the calls of we condemn. There is, we think, al. God's words, or the procedure of his so too frequent a recurrence of the Providence, he introduces the death term “the Bible," than is consistent of the Princess in this affecting manwith good taste in a sermon. Scrip- ner:tures, the word of God, or any of the other designations contained in the " We have, within these last few awful sacred volume itself, ought, in our days, been taught what death is in all its opinion, by all means to be preferred terrors, in all its anguish, in all its bitter. in all addresses from the pulpit. ness of present evil, in all its overwhelm.
Having made these remarks, we ing and incalculable consequences of sushall now introduce the reader to the ture danger and calamity. The destroying volume by which they have been sug- angel bore a two-edged weapon, as subtle gested. It contains twenty-two dis
as it was potent-fine enough to divide the most exquisite ligaments
strong enough courses, about the half of which were
to sunder the mightiest ties--one edge eut delivered on particular occasions. The off domestic happiness the other smote to first is of this description, having been the dust the hopes of a mighty nation.” preached on the lamented death of the Princess Charlotte of Wales. The “ If imagination were tasked to devise text is taken from the 24th chapter an event that united the widest extremes and the 16th verse of Ezekiel,"Son of domestic misery and national calamity, of man, behold I take away from thee that combined all the sufferings of mortali. the desire of thine eyes with a stroke.” ty with the more tremendous impressions After this alarming intimation, the of eternity, imagination itself would faint
under the burthen of conceiving a portion prophet spoke to the people in the of that evil which bows us down before morning, and his wife died in the God in anguishin terror-and I trust in evening; and by this domestic afflic- repentance, as at this day. tion he was taught to announce to his " The image of a young female about countrymen, that their sins were a- to be bound to existence by a new and debout to be visited with punishnient, lightful tie, about to become a mother, reunless they repented and turned unto quires scarce an additional feature to in. God. The prophets lived in a state terest every heart for its object ;--add to of sacred abstraction from the world this that she is beautiful, beloved, intellecand its passions; but of all the pro- ' tual, exalted, and virtuous ;-add that it phets, says the preacher,
“ if indivi
is not only the heart of a husband and fa
ther that trembles for her safety--that the dual and domestic feeling were to
hearts of millions are throbbing that the judge, Ezekiel seems to have been one of the greatest personal sufferers ;" and surely our knees would be instantly,
hopes of a mighty nation depend on her and then he describes that species of eagerly, bent in supplication for the preaffliction in the following piece of ge- servation of her inestiruable life. Such nuine pathos:
prayers, doubtless, have been put up by “ Public exigencies, great disasters, many, without the parade of affected feel. rouse and brace the mind of man; he ing or exaggerated loyalty-they have been wakes all the energies of his nature to meet
answered—but not as the supplicants had them at his utmost need, and perhaps his hoped.she is no more!
6. She has been smitten in the abundant pride assists him to bear or to hide the aw
and accumulated enjoyment of those blesful impressions of their visitation--but domestic suffering breaks the heart--then sings, any of which, singly, is enough to even man weeps and no one can chide enrich life, any of which would have conhis tears and no one can dry them.”
ferred happiness on us : youth, health, emi. pp. 6, 7. nence, felicity, domestic felicity-the best,
the only that deserves the name, the sole “ The desire of thine eyes” may be flower that has been borne unwithered from an Eastern idiom, but still it marks paradise. . Whatsoever things are pure with peculiar emphasis the tender af- whatsoever things are lovely--whatsoever things are of good report
if there was any must be the power and blessedness of the virtue, and if there was any praise,' they religion of Christ, that can make us---frail all waited on her-they all have perished and feeble beings as we are, bound down with her. No event of greater horror and with the chains of infirmity—forget them, anguish ever desolated the 5 short and or feel them not, when we are once brought simple' annals of domestic life : no event, under its gracious and superior inflyen ces ! perhaps, of similar importance, has left its What must be its power, that when it is awful track on the page of history. But thus put into one scale can counterpoise all from history, 'at this moment, we turn with the evils of humanity in the other, and disgust; such events make general truths make thein in comparison as the dust of and remote examples loathsome to the the balance !" pp. 33–35.. mind of man : at such a moment as this 6. The ancients consoled themselves with we seek, like Joseph, a place where we the thoughts of meeting poets and philomay weep, and go to our chambers and sophers in their Elysium; but the Christweep there.” pp. 14–17.
ian's heaven has a brighter company,
prophets and patriarchs, saints and marThe text of the second discourse is tyrs, and she whose crown and palm were from 1st T'hess. iv. 13," Sorrow not
so lately given : and those whom we loved, as them that have no hope ;" and is and those whom we lost, shall we not hope intended as a sequel of the one by they are there ? The spirits of just men which it was preceded--the improve made perfect ' are there, all holy, happy, ment of the stupendous calamity which and harmonious ; the Son of God is there, had plunged three mighty nations in
• who loved us and gave himself for us ;' mourning ; and, with this view, the and God himself, whose name is love, preacher directs the attention of his shall not we seek to be there ? Oh yes : " let
whose presence iş eternal hlessedness! And hearers to that life and immortality which has been brought to light by and it shall be opened.” ” pp. 39, 40.
us seek, and we shall find ; let us knock, the Gospel. We give the following
The next discourse was preached passages, as worthy of attention in
on the death of Lord Nelson, The this point of view.
text is from St John, ix. 33,-" If “ Select any individual in your imagi- this inan were not of God, he could nation-surround him with every thing do nothing." As these words were that men are accustomed to call fortunate, spoken with a direct reference to our eminent, or enviable; health, fortune; Saviour, we feel it something like profriends, fame, cultivated intellect ;-add richer colouring to the picture, add till fanation to apply them to any other imagination and desire are exhausted, and person or event whatever. An accomwhen you have finished the portrait, it is modated text, we grant, may occathe portrait of a finished wretch ; if it be sionally be extremely beautiful and
that of a being who knows not God, who impressive, especially when there exis conscious of an immortal spirit within ists an obvious analogy or similarity him, but knows neither its destination nor of circumstances between the primary its dignity,—who feels within him those signification and the adapted sense. cravings of unsatisfied desire, that render This liberty with the language of all his present enjoyments hollow, worth- Scripture ought, however, to be emless, and unsatisfactory,—that poison them ployed but very sparingly, and all by an indefinite longing after immortality those passages relative to the Gospel of which his terror increases with his cer.
or its Author ought to form an exceptainty. But shew me a being crushed to
the earth under all the accumulated evils tion, otherwise there is no saying of nature and fortune, one whom
the rising where the perversion will end, or what sun wakens to light up to suffer, and on evil consequences may ensue. whom it sets without bringing him the In this discourse, the preacher, afhope of rest, one whom the world has never ter a long, and apparently not a very - regarded but with the averted eye of scorn applicable, exordium, asserts, in reor of hatred ; and that being is blessed,- ference to the events both prior and blessed above the lot of mankind,—if God subsequent to the French Revolution, is the stay of his heart, and the consoler of that, everywhere throughout Europe, his sorrows, if religion has shed its wine national guilt preceded national calathrough the wilderness of sin and suffer- mity; and, in proof of his position, ing, he beholds the promised land bright he particularly mentions Italy, Gerbefore him., and knows that his light af. 'many, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, fiction, which is but for a moment, work and other “ victims of French horeth for hiin a far more exceeding and eter- rors.” Then he traces the source of nal weight of glory. Oh, brethren! what such overflowings of ungodliness as he
describes to France," whose boast it We have now a charity sermon for was to set up a standard of depravity the children of St Audeon's school; to the rest of Europe.” In speaking the text is taken from Titus iii. 4,of Britain as the chosen and the ho- " The kindness and love of God our noured instrument of Providence to Saviour towards man hath appeared.” sustain the righteous cause, he has After having shown that the kindness this fine allusion, which must have and love of God is manifested in all appeared peculiarly beautiful and ap- his procedure to man, and especially propriate at the time when it was de- in the plan of salvation by Christ, and livered :
applied the subject to the occasion of progress in this world should be the assembly and of the sermon, he like the march of the Israelites in the closes with this artful and eloquent wilderness, and whether God appears in peroration: the illumination of his obvious interposi- 66 Beloved, I would speak one word tion, or surrounded in the cloudy pillar of more; I would speak of a man, who, had his darker purposes, still we should be he thus pleaded before you, would have confident that God is with us of a truth. made you alike profuse of your wealth and On this spirit, therefore, which sees good your tears. In pleading for a public in all things, and good of an higher power charity, I will speak ot him; for rid I not, and character than mere natural things the • very stones would cry out'-I speak can bestow, I congratulate you my breth- not of his zeal, his labours; I speak of My Christian brethren, it is our
that eloquence, at the sound of which, as privilege, and the more freely we exercise of a mighty rushing wind, the spirit of it, the more richly shall we feel its conso- charity has descended, and sat upon each lations : it secures us from all things by of the assembly. Let not the decorum of which the world loves to agitate its vapid this place be violated, when I add the energies, and make to itself matter of pain name of Kirwan. Had he addressed you and of importance; it secures us from the to-day, guilt would have trembled, and pe importunity of selfish hope, the disappoint- nitence would have wept—every eye had ment of querulous sagacity, and the de- poured forth tears, and every hand been jection of unbelieving despondency ; it ac- lavish of gold. Beloved, is it the advocompanies us through life, dives:ing ca. cate or the cause that moves you ? I have lamity of danger, and prosperity of pre- not sought to work on your feelings sumption, giving to the individual strength have stated to you the terrors of the Lord ; to resist the shock that has shaken nations, knowing, that if one soul be brought to and to believe and hope where nature repentance, there will be more joy than if trembles and despairs: nor shall its infiu- mountains of gold were heaped in that ence be limited to these elements-it shall aisle.--I have laboured to lay before you not desert us in the hour of death, nor in those principles which can alone make us the day of judgment.” pp. 61, 62. turn from dead works to serve the living
God; because I know, that at the last day, Of Lord Nelson he thus speaks :
not actions but motives will be weighed, “ Blessed be God, who hath given such and that no works are good but those power to men !—not in the cloister, nor in which are the works of love. I have not the cell, nor in those retired and shaded sought to move you by eloquence, or by walks of human life that seemed formed passion ; for the former I do not possess, for knowledge and converse with divine and the latter I despise : but I have sought things--it may be found in the blaze of a
to commend myself to you by“ manifesta
tion of the truth.' battle, and in the life of a hero. " I speak of the great person whose
“ I will not add another word. May the death has, as on this day, clouded the en. Almighty bless the seed that is sown, that joyment of victory. God only knoweth it may bring forth “ fruit to everlasting the heart ; but if there be any dependence
Life.' on those modes by which man makes his The next sermon in order is on the thoughts and feelings known to inan, he influence of the Holy Spirit; the text appears to have furnished an example of from St John iii. 8.' From this disthis spirit unequalled in the history, of course we select the following exbumai nature- to have considered him.
tract: self as called and commissioned for a great purpose, not by might, nor by power,
" If it be demanded, how shall a man but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts; know whether he is under the influence of and to have fulfilled it with that uniform divine power, or only a perilous illusion of and unmixed ascription of glory to God, the imagination, I answer, not by a single which became him who was conscious of act, however good and laudable--not by a his high-destination.” pp. 69, 70. strain of feeling, however intense and vivid VOL. VII.
pp. 94, 95,
not by any series of devotional acts, REMARKS ON CRAWFURD'S HISTORY however regular and consolatory--but by OF THE INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO. a conscious change of heart and mind, producing a corresponding change of life
The fine enthusiasm of Sir Wilby a heart dead to the world, and alive liam Jones, associated, as it was, with to God :'-by the whole course and cur- profound scholarship and cultivated rent of life flowing in a new channel, no taste, gave an impulse to the literary longer wearing itself in a fretful struggle exertion of our countrymen in India, against the rocks of life, but a placid, which, in the course of its operation, steady, onward course to eternity.” has produced the most important ef
pp. 110, 111. fects. The researches of the Asiatic From these samples of this volume Society, instituted under the auspices of Sermons, our readers will be en- of that distinguished individual, have abled to judge for themselves of their shed a tide of light and interest both merit; and, as the extracts are taken
man and nature" as they exist, nearly at random from the discourses or have existed in Asia. This instias they stand arranged in the volume, tution has been the means of inducing they may be regarded as fair speci- many persons to observe, and to remens of the author's manner of write cord their observations, who would ing and preaching.
otherwise have permitted the favourThe subjects of the other discourses able circumstances in which they were are~The New Year, 1817--On Male placed for extending the limits of our and Female Education - On the Love knowledge, to pass altogether unimof God-On the New Creation-A proved.
But the valuable papers, Charity Sermon-On Sincerity of Re.
the now numerous voligion — On Christian Perfection- lumes of the Transactions of the SoFast-day, February 5, 1812-On the ciety in Bengal, do not coinprise the Example of Christ-On the Atone-whole of what has thereby been done ment-On the Promise of the Life for the cause of literature and science. which now is-On the Parable of the It has become the parent of a simiProdigal Son-Reasons for Preferring
lar association, which has also beCommunion with the Church of Eng- gun to publish its Transactions; and land-On the Spirituality of Christ- it is not too much to assert that it has ianity-On the Offence of the Cross- inspired individuals with the literary and on the Importance of Searching arnbition, and the confidence requithe Scriptures.
site for appearing before the world in These are topics both various and the character of authors: and hence important, and, though none of them
we have soldiers, and sailors, and be handled in the manner
of a thesis, merchants, who have spent a portion with an array of arguments, illustra- of their life in the East, claiming our tions, objections, and answers, yet attention from time to time, not meremany pertinent things are said on each ly in regard to their conduct in the of them. In the sermon on Educa- discharge of the duties of their retion much hostility is manifested to spective professions, but chiefly as classical learning. We are the more
antiquaries, historians, naturalists, surprised at this, as the author, in and iravellers. some of his former works, has shown
The author before us belongs to an extensive and intimate acquaint
this class: Having, like multitudes ance with the writers of Greece and of others, gone out to India at an Rome. To be sure, he has a singu- early period of life, his first attempts lar habit at times of alluding to
at authorship were made in the pages some of the most disgusting pas
of the Transactions of the Asiatic Sosages of their writings; but, if his ciety; and having been stationed first own imagination has been disagree in Prince of Wales' Island, and afterably affected by these, we believe wards in the Island of Java, in situathe world in general have derivedl from the great writers of antiquity
Containing an Account of the Man. no other influences except such as
ners, Arts, Languages, Religions, Institu. have been favourable both to good By John Crawfurd, F. R. S. late British
tions, and Commerce of its inhabitants. taste and sound morality.
Resident at the Court of the Sultan of Java.