« PreviousContinue »
in its progressive wave the riches of nature, the landmarks of pations, and all the most venerable institutions of human' policy. In the last season we have seen it pause indeed, bur pause only for a moment ; and while our hearts were throbbing with the hope, that a barrier was at last opposed to its fury, we have been doomed to see it return with accumulated force ; and soon (I fear) in spite of all the profusion of British generosity, in spite of all the energy of British valour, and of the sacrifice of the noblest blood which British heroism can shed, to see it overwhelm that country which we have in vain endeavoured to protect, in the general desolation. Amid the wreck of the nations of Europe; this country stands insulated and alone. * But we see the torrent gathering around us ; and it is fit, that on such solemnities as this, we should raise our eyes to heaven, and implore the direction of Him, who alone can say, hitherto shalt thou come, and no further; and who yet may make us the instruments of his power, in stilling the noise of the waves, and the madness of the people.' pp. 8-10.
The civil or political causes which have led to the present ruined state of Europe, Mr. A. leaves to the investigation of the historian and the philosopher. He himself professes to unfold the moral causes which have been operating; to discern the national sins for which Europe now suffers; and to impress the moral of the mighty tragedy on the minds of his hearers. This, we are sorry to say, he has performed but very superficially ; he inerely enumerates them.
The first Mr. A. discerns in the corruptions of religion ; in the proud, superstitious, soul-chaining power of the popish hierarchy. The second is perceived in the sins of statesmen. Here we were happy to find Mr. A. taking occasion to stigmatize that popular sophistical doctrine, which permits the sacrifice of justice to expediency. He likewise brands, with merited infamy, the sentiments and conduct of those who hesitate not to engage in the most expensive and sanguinary contests for the gratification of the unhallowed passions of kings and their ministers. He discovers them, thirdly, in the injustice of internal government; in the exclusion of the great body of the people from all share in their national administration, and in the base pampering of the haughtiness and ambition of nobility, at the expence of the rights, the interests, and the feelings of the multitude. He finds them, in the fourth place, in the personal vices of the great and the powerful: and lastly, 'in the guilt of genius and talents, in that base prostitution by which they who were destined by heaven to be the instructors of mankind, have lent themselves to be the slaves of power, the panders of courtly vice, or the apostles of sedition ! We must beg to remind Mr. Alison, that there are other
* The impropriety of this sentence requires no exposure.
sins to which genius and talent have been perverted, which, if more insidious in their operation on the public mind, are not less fatal. Is he entirely upacquainted with a set of writers, on whom his remonstrances might have a powerful effect; men who ostentatiously profess themselves the advacates of truth and reason, the literary guardians of society, but who assiduously employ the specious artifices of insinuation and ridicule to destroy the influence of religious princi. ple in the minds and conduct of our countrymen?
We should still more regret that Mr. Alison has not given a prominent situation in this discourse to the fatal influence of modern infidelity, did we not recollect how admirably that topic has been discussed in a sermon of unrivalled depth and eloquence by Mr. Hall..
Mr. Alison proceeds to remind us of the serious dangers which at present surround our nation, and these he earnestly employs as some of the strongest incentives to the faithful discharge of our duties. Such times, says he, “ call upon vice to pause, and folly to think, and party to be silent." He concludes the discourse in the following animated and glowing terms. Our northern readers cannot but be peculiarly gratified with the allusions to the wild scenery of their country, the heroic deeds of their patriotic ancestors, and the brilliant triumphs of former days.
* But chiefly you, my young friends! It is you, chiefly, whom the poice of religion now summons to duty. You are entering upon the stage of time, and upon that stage great interests are depending, and great events are to be transacted. In your day, the fate of your country will, to all human appearance, be determined ; and whether it is to exist or to fall, will depend upon the wisdom of your councils, and the vigour of your arms. It is a time, therefore, for you to encourage in your bosoms all the native generosity of youth; to scorn every vice that can debase, and every folly that can enervate; to train your minds for firm enterprise, and high achievement : to clothe yourselves in the armour of that Faith in which you were baptized; and, with the lofty devotion of freemen, to swear to heaven and to mankind, never to surrender to a ty. rant, the inheritance you have received from your fathers.
. *** Do you want motives, my brethren, to animate you to duty? They are around you, they are in every scene of that country, which is now like the garden of Eden before you, and which the sword of a conque., ror would convert into a desolate wilderness. The names you bear are the names of patriots and of heroes ; the ground on which you tread has been often wet with the blood of the invader: the mountains of your country rise around you, to remind you that on their summits no hostile banner was ever reared : and that from them, the eye of your Ancestors saw the tide even of Roman invasion roll back.
Do you want examples, my young Friends, to direct your patriotism? Go not to the records of other countries, or of other climes. Go to
the annals of your own country ; to the examples which every page of them presents to you, and which teach you how the patriot can live, and how the freeman can die. Go to that recent page which is yet wet with your tears : to the example of that ILLUSTRIOUS Man, whose uncoffin'd remains repose, alas, far from the sepulchre of his fathers ; but whose ascending spirit now lets fall the mantle of its glory, to cover the land which gave him birth ; and who has left to mankind a Name, at the sound of which in every succeeding age the heart of the patriot will throb, when tyrants shall have ceased to reign, and when the world shall have awakened to Truth, to Victory, and to Freedom.'
In the amiable feelings of the preacher, displayed in this last paragraph, we certainly do very strongly participate. Nonė, we are sure, more deeply, more sorrowfully than ourselves, can lament the death of the gallant and accomplished Sir John Moore. He was one of the most amiable of men; a warm friend; a truly affectionate relative: he was one of the bravest, most intelligent, sympathizing, and skilful soldiers, of which the British nation could ever boast : he was an HONEST MAN.
In concluding, we wish to indulge the bope that Mr. Alison will be persuaded by the calls of the public, and by what we believe to operate not less on bis mind, the tender urgency of friendship, to afford us frequent opportunities of testifying our respect for his talents. "We should be most happy to receive from his pen a volume of his best sermons; in which we fatter ourselves we should find ikustrated and enforced to much advantage those doctrines of scripture wbich eminently distinguish revelation as a divine system, and those dispo- . sitions and duties which peculiarly characterize the disciples of Christ, and prepare them through his death and mediation for eternal felicity:
It is only necessary to add, that the discourse is published at the request of Major-General Graham of Balgowan, to whom, as the friend of Şir John Moore, and the partner of his glory," it is inscribed. Art. X. - The Fountain of Living Waters". "Sermon, preached before
the University of Cambridge, on Sunday, May 14th. 1809. By the Rev. Charles Simeon, M. A. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.'
8vo. Pp: 22. price 18. Cadell and Co. 1809. M R. Simeon's discourse. has many claims to the applause bestowed
by Solomon on' words, fitly spoken'. Propriety of time and place, were not wanting to it, as an oral address; and the same reasons which suggested that it should be preached, equally required that it should be printed. The author pleads, however, that it was written hastily and not with the sinallest view to publication ; and is printed only is deference to the opinions and wishes of judicious friends. The most remarkable part of the discourse, and that which probably occasioned ita ... publication, is the introduction; in which the preacher very properly cautions the students of theology who constituted part of his audience against an exclusive attention to the theoretical part of Religion to the neglect of the practical ; a caution peculiarly necessary, where the learned and valuable lectures of Professor Marsh, on Biblical Criticism, are but too likely to encourage that neglect, though he should be acquitted of all intention to produce it. We are not quite satisfied with the preacher's terms; in making this distinction ; but he explains the first, to include every thing necessary to prove the truth of Christianity' ; and the second, whatever is required of those who embrace it.' The Sermon itself directs the attention of the audience to the latter, from Jer. ii, 12, 13, in such a strain of judicious observation and impressive admonition as will naturally be expected from this eminent preacher. . " To enter deeply', he observes, into the theory of religion, much strength of intellect, much general knowledge, and much patient investigation, are requisite. To have just, and even enlarged, views of the practical part, little is wanting but a humble teachable mind, enlightened by the truths, and sanctified by the influence, of the gospel of Christ. The former, when possessed in the highest degree, will copsist with all manner of evil tempers and evil habits : the latter necessarily involves in it a change both of heart and life. The former is of importance pripcipally to those, whose office calls them to defend the outworks of Christia anity against the assaults of infidels : the latter is essential to the happiness of every individuale? . Art. XI. On the Advantages which have resulted from the Establishment
of the Board of Agriculture : being the Substance of a Lecture read to that Institution, May 26, 1809 By the Secretary to the Board. 8vo. ,
pp. 70. Price 35. 6d. Phillips. 1809. THIS pamphlet contains, of course, little information that has not ap
peared in the publications of the Board : and the style in which it is drawn up, is often intitled to indulgence rather than commendation. It will afford, however, a tolerable idea of the services which this excellent Institution has rendered to the country, and contribute to remove many of the prejudices and misrepresentations by which it has been obstructed and assailed... ... .. Art. XII. The art of improving the Breeds of Domestic Animals. In
a Letter addressed to the Right Honourable Sir Joseph Banks, K, B. by Sir John Saunders Sebright, Bart. M. P. 8vo. pp. 31. price 25. 64. Harding, 1809. THIS is a sensible, though rather superficial, essay on an art of great
importance. Sir John Sebright is an advocate for judicious selection, and conceites that breeding in-and-in, or from the same family, however good, must tend to degenerate the breed. ' .
't I do not believe, ('says hey, that there ever did exist an animal without some defect, in constitution, in form, or in some other essencial quality; a tendency, at least, to the same imperfection, generally prevails in different degrees in the same family. By breeding in-and-in, bis defect, however small it may be at first, will increase in every suc
ceeding generation ; and will, at last, predominate to 'such a degree, as to render the breed of little value. Indeed, I have no doubt but that by this practice being continued, animals would, in course of time, degenerate to such a degree, as to become incapable of breeding at all.
• Breeding in-and-in, will, of course, have the same effect in strengthening the grod, as the bad properties, and may be beneficial, if not carried too far, particularly in fixing any variety which may be thought valuable.
• There are a great many sorts of fancy-pigeons ; each' variety has some particular property, which constitutes its supposed value, and which the amateurs increase as much as possible, both by breeding in-and in, and by selection, until the particular property is made to predominate to such a degree, in some of the most refined sorts, that they cannot exist without the greatest care, and are incapable of rearing their young', with out the assistance of other pigeons, kept for that purpose.”
• By selecting animals for one property only, the same effect will, in some degree, be produced, as by breeding in-and-in: we shall obtain animals, with the desired property in great perfection, but so deficient, in other respects, as to be upon the whole an unprofitable stock. .
Sir John makes some very ingenious remarks on the causes which prevent animals in a state of nature from degenerating, and on their hardi. hood and vigour, compared with those that are domesticated ; and we regret that he has not more widely extended his interesting observa-? tions on the Merino and other races of sheep distinguished by characte. ristic excellences. Indeed, the principal fault we have to find with this short pamphlet, is that it is so short. "We are convinced from this spe. cimen of Sir John Sebright's abilities, as a writer, as well as an expe. rimental observer, that it would be advantageous to the public and honourable to himself if he were to devote more of his time to pursuits of this laudable nature, content with the applause due to an upright Senator and an intelligent Agricultorist, and indifferent to popularity among sportsmen and prize fighters. Art. XIII. Quid Nunc ? Selections from the Poems of the late Wm.'
Cowper, Esq. contrasted with the Works of Knox, Paley, and others ;
on Fashion, Cards, Charity, Clergy, Priest, Pulpit, Duelling, Slander, * · Lying, Duplicity, Domestic Happiness, Vice, Seduction, 8vo. pp. 47.
price 1s. 68. Hatchard. 1809. THE ingredients of this wixture are neither unwholesome, nor repug
nant, (as erroneously implied in the title,) nor unpalatable ; we wish it were likely to be more generally taken. Art. XIV. Eignuoxòy. A Sermon, preached in Holy Trinity Church,
Kingston-upon-Hull, on Tuesday, July 25, 1809, at the Primary Vi-! sitation of the Most Reverend Father in God, Edward, Lord Archbishop of York ; by the Rev. J. H. Bromby, M. A. Vicar of the said. Church, and late Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. 4to.
pp. 28. Price 28. Johnson. 1809. AMONG the various points discussed or adverted to in this discourse,
there are many on which the preacher's views appear to us correct,