Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

the more we love him, the more he will And for the same reason it does love us : and the less we love him, the also follow, that the religion amongst worse it will be for us.

christians, which does most recumAgain, if this instinct, or concep- ment virtue and a good life, is, ita tion, we have of a Deity, be the all probability, the best religion. ; ground of our religion, it ought also And here I must leave every man to be the guide of our religion : that to take pains, in seeking out and is, if the strongest reason we have chusing for himself; he only being to believe, that God Almighty does answerable to God Almighty for his take a more particular care of us, own soul. than he does of other animals, is, I began this discourse, as if I had because there is something in our to do with those who have no reli. nature, nearer a-kin to the nature gion at all; and now, addressing of God, than any thing that is any myselt to christians, I hope they will other animal; I say, in all reason, not be offended at me, for ending it that part of us which is nearest a- with the words of our Saviour: kin to the nature of God, ought to Ask, and it shall be given you ; be our guide and director, in chu- seek, and you shall find ; knock, and sing the best way for our religious it shall be opened unto you. worship of God.

I shall beg leave farther only to There is also this other conse- propose a few questions to all those, quence, which, in my opinion, does in general, who are pleased to call naturally depend upon what has themselves christians. been said ; that one of the greatest First, Whether there be any thing crimes a man can be guilty of, is to more directly opposite to the docforce us to act or sin against that trine and practice of Jesus Christ, instinct of religion which God Al- than to use any kind of force upon mighty has placed in our hearts; men, in matters of religion ? And for, if that instinct be somewhat a- consequently, whether all those that kin to the nature of God, the sinning practice it let them be of what against it must be somewhat a-kin church or sect they please) ought to the sin against the Holy Ghost. not justly to be called antichristians?

If then it be probable that there Secondly, Whether there can be is a God, and that this God will re- any thing more unmanly, more barward and punish us hereafter, for all barous, or more ridiculous, than to the good and ill things we act in this go about to convince a man's judge life; it does highly concern every ment by any thing but by reason ? man to examine seriously, which is It is so ridiculous, that boys at the best way of worshipping and school are whipped for it; who, inserving this God; that is, which is stead of answering an argument with the best religiou.

reason, are loggerheads enough to go Now if it be probable, that the to cuffs. instinct which we have within us of - And, thirdly, Whether the prace a Deity, be a-kin to the nature of tice of it has not always been ruinGod; that religion is probably the ous and destructive to those countries best, whose doctrine does most re- where it has been used, either in mo. commend to us those things, which, narchies or commonwealths? And by that instinct, we are prompted to whether the contrary practice has believe are virtues and good quali- not always been successful to those ties. And that, I think, without ex- countries where it has been used, ceeding the bounds of modesty, I either in monarchies or common. may take upon me to affirm, is the wealths. christian religion.

I shall conclude with giving them

this friendly advice: if they would souls: and not be perpetually quarbe thought men of reason, or of a relling amongst themselves, and cutgood conscience, let them endea- ting one another's throats, about voury by their good counsel and those things, which they all agree good example, to persuade others to are not absolutely necessary to salJéad such lives as may save their vation.

REVIEW OF BOOKS.

more!

· Jaid.

The Soldier; and other Poems: By Tug, till life, love, and anguish are no the Author of the Vernal Walk;

How beautiful, how beautiful in death, .: a Descriptive Poem. 2s. Jones.

On hideous slaughter's crimson breast he The " Vernal Walk," the second sleeps! edition of which was published a few Oh! lovely, lovely is that ghastliness, .. years since, contains various passa- So blackly pale! and o'er his shroudless ges, the beauty and sublimity of corse which naturally remind the reader

Weeping, the dewy midnight loves to

bathe of THOMPSON and Milton. The

His dusky cheek. Though earth unhalsmall volume now hefore us consists low'd be of various pieces on different sub. Thy pillow; though the peasant on thy jects, which, if for description they bones do not equal the former admirable Shall tread unconscious; yet th' unperformance, display considerable

closing eye originality of thought and energy of

Of heaven is on the spot where thou art expression. The measure is various,

Eternity shall listen to thy praise. and in the irregular pieces we sus. Full many a tender thought sball live pect the author had some of Mr. for thee; Southey's poems impressed on his For thee the angel-tear of beauty flow; mind, and whose blemishes, as well. The soldier's widow,and the sireless maid, as beauties, are to be traced in se

(The soldier's love, shall think of thee

and weep. veral of the pages before us.

I, therefore, woo the muses to inspire In the principal of these Pocms, Their unrenown'd and youngest votary, it is the design of the author to The rural bard; on rural themes intent pourtray the usual life of the Soldier, No longer: in the shade alone I sit,

his worth and his wrongs." The Weaving, laborious this devoted verse, subject is introduced by the follow- Proud of my theme, and plead the ing contemplation on the sight of a soldier's cause."

The author as he proceeds, in de newly fallen victim of war on the field of battle.

scribing the life of a soldier, drops

some hints to governments in gence * Ah! bath the fleet ball pierc'd him?

ral, which it is much to be lamentIs he slain? How amiable in the arms of death,

ed, they have not better attended to.

" Send not thy soldier forth reclines !

A licensed ruffian, hir'd to massacre ! No selfish feeling stains his final hour.

Oh! purchase not dishonour with his

blood !" . Anguish liath quench'd the diin smile on · his lip,

" Had no wars been undertaken bat Which mourning victory hath planted those which were purely defensive, there,

and which cannot accurately be With trembling hand affectionate;and,oh! termed wars, as self defence is not The widow and the orphan at his heart making war against any one, ninety

[ocr errors]

rather and

nine wars out of a hundred from Oh, horror: that corse moves !-how

the wretch frowns! the beginning of the world to the

Oh, horror !-man of battle, present day, and we will add, all the

Art thou not cold with fear? wars in which this country has been “ Yes, thou art pale. engaged for these forty years past, Warrior, thou tremblest!-Warrior, let might have been prevented.

us heuceThe progress of the “ man of For dreadful is the silence Corsica," is next described, and the Of this vast sepulchre!

“Ah, what is she poet deprecates the ambitious victor's ,

Jan O'er carnage tottering there? Oh, God! “planting his foot on Albion's Isle,”

sle sbrieks! for whose protection he offers up the

She falls couvuls'd ; she rises, following prayer.

And grasps his stiff cold hand! “Sovereign of worlds ! my Father and " Rending her hair, my God!

Her sad look speaks to heaven; kissing With virtue, virtue, arm my native land. his cheek, Thou Sire Eternal, with omnipotence, : Wildly exclaims she, Husband ! Girded, and chariotted on storms and Alas, he hears ber not !! :' right

PEACE. From world to world :--thoủ, whilst the " AFFLICTED earth, in horror clad, stars turn pale,

When DISCORD arins his ruffian clan, Driving the reinless lightnings, calınly Sees wholesale butchers, murder-mad, see'st

Spill and drink the blood of man ! . Thy thund'ring axles shake unnumber'd But earth is bless'd when PEACE to earth orbs.

is given, So, on the malice of her foes, looks down Arts from the tonib start forth, and The righteous state! So may che queen talent sings to heav'm). of isles

“ LEISURE o'er healthy hills shall rove Smile on the tempest,and from ruin-arm'd To cull the lovely ALPINE flower, Invasion, guard her pastures ocean girt, CONTENT shall dwell with wedded love, And dash th' oppressor from her bal. And WEALTH shall gild the mace of low'd shore,

power. And make th’insulted sea bis sepulchre.” For Peace the anguish'd heart of com

or the smaller pieces the follow. . merce burns, ing may serve as a specimen of the And PEACE, the lov'd of man, the blest

; author's manner of describing scenes

of God returns.
;
'

“ And bright and bluely smiles the sky, and objects the most pleasing, as And morn bath cast away his shroud: well as the most horrible.

Divinest maid, thy gentle eye THE FIELD OF BATTLE. Hath chasd afar each stormy cloud: “ WARRIOR, thou com'st

Strong labour hails thee, and, with From slaughter, smiling! Oh that smile lifted hands, pourtrays

Shouts, while thy mournful glance skims Thy beart in deadly colours !

o'er his blasted lands. Less horrid murder's frown.

“ COMPASSION, poor MISFORTUNE'S “ Back, warrior, back!

child, Return! and lead me to that spacious field Was near when war bis javelin broke;

By war, supreme destroyer, She saw, Oh PEACE, thy features mild, Too dreadly cloath'd in death. And mutely wept; no word she spoke: « How calm the night:

For she regretted much the slain in war, The murder'd man sleeps with the And fear'd the fiend-like men who drove slaughter'd steed;

the martial car. And, scatter'd in the moonlight, «.What form is that? "Tis POVERTY. Arms shine among the slain. She throws her ragged cloak away. « Proudly entombid,

Her naked children fly to thee, Heav'n roofs your cemetery; the moon And dance like madness wildly gay; and stars

Strange transports in their little bosoms Your funeral lamps, poor soldiers,

burn, Illume its amplitude.

• The wars are o'er, they say, 'our fa. “ Whence is that sound?

thers will return.' VOL. IX,

21

“With brows up-rais'd in glad surprise, dations from our best periodical ReWhen first she saw thy heaving breast, viewers.) “ That the author bad not She smil'd, and wept, and wip'd her eyes, “ attained his seventeenth year,” we And hush'd her hungry babe to rest: • Thou shalt have foud', she said,' war's

cannot but consider several of his storm is past,

pieces as affording a display of no • Peace from the skies descends with common talents.

overnal days at last.'
ON A SNOWDROP SEEN BY

A few Words on the Increase of Me-
MOON-LIGHT.

thodism, occasioned by Hintsof “LILY of Winter! daughter of the storm: a Barrister, and the Observations Oh! hide thy lovely whiteness from in the Edinburgh Review. 15.bis ire;

Johnson and Co. For, strong to ruin, o'er thy lowly form, “The Scriptures declare that the sins of Growls the harsh wrath of thinc hora

" the people are derived from the sins rific sire.

" of the priest : for which reason, as Emblem of virtue! wildly sweet, like thee, “ St. Chrysostom tells us, our Saviour, Worth wakes to mourn, while heedless “ willing to take care of the infirm folly sleeps ;

“ city of Jerusalem, went into the Clasps to her breast the rags of poverty, “ Temple to chastise the sins of the And in the desert of existence weeps; “ priests first, as a good physician, Like thee, pale flower of winter's paler « who cures the distemper from the snows,

root.” POPE ADRIAN VI. She smiles through horrors, beautifully The author of this well written · lone;

pamphlet, introduces his subject by And, ah! like thee, beneath the storm of woes,

some remarks on that fashionable She dies unfriended, for she dies unknown. 10

folly in the religious world the inPoor trembling flower! how dismal are vention of “ nick-names, or the misthese vales

ive appropriation of terms already inAs o'er the moon the vast clouds hurried " vented, which has always been one fy!

grand expedient to inflame the Thy circling bills are herbless; and rude « minds of the ignorant.” This regales

mark equally concerns both the poBear winter's strength, like fate, along 1

8 litical and the religious world. How the sky. Yet, though the landscape wide is frequently have the sound and wholewildly drear,

some opinions inculcated by the And scourgʻd with storms that blow friend of Reformation, been reprotbine humble head ;

bated under the names— Jacobin, Thy simple smile, and vernal grace appear Incendiary, &c. And how common Like spring reposing on a snowy bed. Silent, though wrong'd!-Lead'st thou

w has been the practice of a certain the train of May?

party, and it is to be lamented, a Art thou the barbinger of blooming hours? large party in the christian church, Or art thou, (beauteous in declension) the numerous brood of spurious or

thodoxy, who, when they would mar The last, the loveliest ruin of the flowers? the labours, and hinder the useful. Which e'er thou art; while storms on

ness, of their superiors in talents and storms arise, And ocean tumbles o’erth'affrighted isles,

christian virtues, rattle in the ears of His white foam mingling madly with the

the unsuspicious and the ignorant, skies,

the names Arian, Socinian, &c. al. I turn to thee, and, lo! the desert smiles.” though the application to the per

The poems are all juvenile per- sons concerned may be utterly groundformances, and when we are inform- less. Every honest man who has ed in the Preface to the second edi: been much conversant with the retion of the “ Vernal Walk” (a work ligious world, must have frequently which obtained very high commen, lamented the iniquitous arts made

[ocr errors]

use of by sectarian, as well as by es. ance is present, contempt and radical tablished priests, to prevent the bulk reform must soon be the result. When of mankind from fairly and impar

the priest is only distinguished by exact.

i ing his tithes, or by riding over his neightially judging for themselves, and

bour's corn,“in ' a fine sporting country,' froin attaining to that elevation of in pursuit of a fox, how can popular reknowledge and virtue, indispensibly verence be expected? And, in such a requisite to the character of a sincere situation, is it not a cause for inuch real and a confirmed christian.

satisfaction, that the people, instead of Our author professes himself to be being disgusted with religion entirely.

have had the moderation and good sense “ neither a follower of Whitfield, nor dat

to turn their attention towards other re« Wesley. My religious opinions,“ ligious teachers, who at least seem to he adds,“ do not accord with any of display more zeal and sincerity. Zeal “ the hundred and fourscore schisms is the only certain proof of sincerity in " which Moreri informs us had their religious belief; for so much are we inrise from the apostolic age to that terested in the truths of religion, that if “ of Luther. nor with any of the in- our belief be firm, it must be attended

with zeal. “ numerable ones that have had their

“ The present state of our established “ rise since.” Although he does not

religion cannot surprise any person who pretend to vindicate the peculiarities is familiar with the history of similar esof methodism, he maintains “ most tablishments. As the poet has said of “ of their doctrines are, with trivial the human body, in their very forma“ variations, to be found not only in tion, they have the seeds of their disso" the articles of the church of En- lution, 'which grow with their growth,

and strengthen with their strength.'“ gland, but amongst the tenets of

Make any set of men independent of " almost every christian sect.” The their duty, and their duty will most proassertion, however, that/" To John bably be neglected. Nor perhaps would " Wesley and George Whitfield we the fall of the establishment be produc“ owe all the religion which now ex- tive of much evil, for the beneficial ef“ ists among the lower orders of so- fects of such establishments are not very “ ciety," is far from being correct,

evident. Our present one, in a weak

state, is, however, certainly preferable

estley, to one in full vigour; and were a few who published it as his opinion, more of its teeth drawn, it might, perthat to the labours of the methodists haps, languish on for another century, the lower classes were more indebted and be productive of some advantage. for the religion they possessed, than Religious zeal should be approved; but to those of the whole body of the es. secular power should not be added to tablished clergy.

religious zeal, and our present lukewarm

system is better than a union of power On the subject of religion in ge

and religious enthusiasm. The methoneral, and the state of religion in dists and dissenting sects merit support the established church, and amongst - as independents; but should be as strethe methodists, the following obser- nuously opposed were they attempting vations are worthy of serious consi, to supplant the established church. The deration.

zeal of the methodists, like the zeal of

the established clergy, would soon va“ Religion is not merely a political in- nish, were their preachers put in quiet stitution-it has a much higher claim on possession of the good things which the our attention; and acting as if it were clergy possess. But, it is to be hoped, merely a political institution, has been when once the present establishinent the real cause that the established church terminates its career, such will be the already totters to its foundation; and, improved state of popular intellect, that if similar conduct is pursued, must even- a similar institution will never again meet tually fall. The people never long brook with support. an open display of priestcrast. To de- “Let us now notice one of the most ceive them it must be concealed, at prominent objections which has been adleast under an affectation of zeal. But vanced against the methodists. when neither the reality nor the appeare “ The methodist preachers are igno

« ZurückWeiter »