« VorigeDoorgaan »
“ If there be no infallible tribunal, bow then, it may be asked, in these latter days of the world, are we to settle disputed points of doctrine and practice? How are we to avoid those divisions, which the bishop exbibits as the opprobrium of the Reformarion ? Our business is obviously reduced to a point of interpretation ; and, as very different expositions may be given of the same passage, the question arises, who is to determine which exposition is truth?
“ The Bishop of Aire will doubtless say ; Consult the Catholic Church, the sole judge and depository of the true faith.
“ This may be very good advice in the abstract; but the difficulty is to explain bow such advice must be followed. Had the church never varied, we might have had some reasonable expectation of success; but, unbappily, as it is well remarked by the deeply learned Chillingwortb, there have been popes against popes, councils against councils ; councils confirmed by popes against councils confirmed by popes ; the church of some ages against the church of other ages. Under such circumstances, therefore, the bishop must not only advise us to consult the Catholic Church; but be must also specify, giving reasons for his specification, the exact time when the Catholic Church is to be consulted.
“ Others, perhaps, wiil exhort us to call in the right of private judgment, which has often been described more eloquently than wisely, is a main principle of Protestantism, and which the Bishop of Aire not unjustly reprobates, as leading to nothing but confusion.
“Of this principle, as exhibited by the bishop, and not unfrequently as exhibited also by unwary Protestants, I entertain not a much higher opinion than the bishop himself does.”
(To be continued.)
The Pleasures of Piety ; a Poem. By Philip Dixon HARDY. Dublin: Second
Edition. William Curry, Jun. and Co.; J. Hatcbard and Son, and J. Nisbet, London ; W. Oliphant, Edinburgh.
It is but a trite remark to observe, that in the literary world publications often rise and fall, according to the estimation of their titles, and that a high-sounding name frequently elicits public approbation for a work, which had it not this recommendation would have been consigned to the dust of the bookseller's shelves: but let not our readers suppose, that in this preliminary remark we have already“ risen in arms" against the little poem at present lying before us. We have not the inclination to insult a Christian public so far, as to assert that its title, “The Pleasures of Piety," is sufficient to cast a cloud over its merits, or darken its beauties— our object was to show, that whilst its title was in itself fitted to attract the public attention, it was likewise calculated to draw down upon it invidious criticism; for with whom is the Author immediately associated ? With a Rogers, an Akenside, and a Campbell, and thus one of his first productions is dragged before the eye of the critic in competition with their splendid poems. We consider it to be our duty to disabuse the public mind at once on this subject; and whether the Author intended or not that bis poem should be compared with the “Pleasures of Hope," “ Imagination," or Memory,” we can assure our read
ers, that its merits, though sufficient to recommend it to their notice, will not gain additional lustre by such a comparison.
The poem consists of five Parts : in the first, the superiority of piety to philosophy, science, or poetry is shown-the second illustrates the necessity of such a comfort amidst the troubles of life; the Author then passes on to the characteristics and traits of true Religion—and in the fourth Part exhibits its power in the day of death, and describes the glories of the future world. The poem concludes with an animated description of the progress of truth over the world, and the comforts that Religion has brought to the various nations which have received the light of the Gospel. We have now given a sketch of the Author's plan- of its merits or demerits let our readers decide: but we must confess that we think that the arrangement of the Parts might be improved—we doubt whether it would not have been more natural, and at the same time more regular, to have noticed the characteristics of true Religion in the earlier part of the poem-but the matter is not of much consequence; it is of more importance to consider the execution. In several parts of it, we recognise the spirit of the Poet, and the gravity of ihe subject has been relieved by some chastely, ornamental images, which the good taste of the Author has introduced. The Apostrophes we would select as among the happiest efforts in the poem ; we are sure our readers will be gratified by perusing some passages, which we quote, in order to dissipate the ennui attendant but too often on Reviews.
“Say thou, * whose classic taste and thirst of fame,
* Lord Byron.
This yields a happiness by thee unfelt,
A moment pause !-and say what art thou now?
“Hope of the just- the Christian finds thee near,
The heavenly radiance makes the darkness fly,
The widow's succour in her deep distress.” The following simile we admire as one of the prettiest passages, occurring in the whole poem :
“ The weary worm, forth bursting from its shell
"Native of Heaven—when yon bright orb of day,
And call thee LOVE, thy last, and tby best name.” With these passages we take leave of Mr. Hardy, and assure him that we shall feel most happy to enjoy another treat, similar to that which we received from the perusal of his “Pleasures of Piety ;” and although we would not so far exaggerate its merits, as to affect to discover the refinements of extended classical reading, or the maturity of a full blown poetical taste--we must say that we have seldom received more pleasure from the productions of a new candidate for the poetic ivy, than we have derived from the reading of his poem.
A Compendious Introduction to the Study of the Bible. By Thomas HARTWELL
HORNE, M. A. Illustrated with a Map and other Engravings, being an Analysis
of the larger Introduction, by the same Author.-9s. Deism refuted; or plain Reasons for being a Christian. By THOMAS HARTWELL HORNE, M. A.--Seventh Edition.
These works are both derived from the author's large work, “ The Jutroduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Scriptures,” which is so deservedly considered an indispensable class-book for every student in Divinity. As an assistant to the studies of those who possess that work; and also, with the view of forming a comprehensive guide to the study of the Bible, adapted to the use of popular or general readers, Mr. Horne has prepared an abridgement, or analysis, omitting these bibliographical, critical, and other details, which would either be uninteresting to the English reader, or which would not admit of abridgement. Accordingly, the parts and books into which the
Compendious Introduction” is divided, will be found to correspond with the volumes, and parts of volumes of the larger work, the order of both being the same; and when we say that the abridgement is an abstract of almost all that the original work contains which could be rendered serviceable to the general reader, we conceive that we bestow upon it the highest praise which a work of the kind could deserve.
The “Compendious Introduction” is divided into four parts, and an appendix. Part I. is an abstract of the arguments for the Genuineness, Authenticity, Inspiration, &c. of the
Scriptures, and coincides as to its matter with “Deism Refuted,” both works being abridgements of the first volume of the author's Introduction to the Scriptures : we are glad to perceive, that "Deism Refuted” has already reached its seventh edition—it is less condensed abridgement of this part of the original work than the “Compendious Introduction,” and for that reason, we conceive more suited for general circulation among those who do not possess the larger work; it contains also, several very useful notes in an Appendix, some of which, we are of opinion might have been appended to the “Compendious Introduction," without materially increasing its bulk, we allude particularly to the “ Table of the Prophecies relative to the Messiah, with their accomplishment."
Part II. corresponding to the second volume of the original work, treats of the Literary History, Criticism and Interpretation of the Scriptures. It is divided into two books :-Book I. on the Literary History and Criticism of the Scripture, and Book Il. on the Interpretation of Scripture. This part of the work admitted of very considerable abridgement; and accordingly, the author has omitted several disquisitions and chapters which would have been uninteresting or unintelligible to the mere English reader. And were it not that the Analysis is principally adapted for students who wish to prepare themselves for examination in the original work, we conceive that most of the matter relating to the Hebrew, Greek and cognate languages, and also, perbaps