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result. For the production of this ponderous lump of biographical nothings, Dr. Bell, it is understood, left considerable pecuniary supplies. And what is the result? Dr. Bell has thought proper to enshrine, in the immortality of type, a reputation as contemptible as we ever met with.
This man began life with nothing ; he quitted it possessed of nearly 150,0001., which he screwed out of various ecclesiastical preferments: 120,0001. he left to the foundation of an institution in Scotland, for the furtherance of the educational system known under his name, and the rest to various ostentatious purposes. With these noble means, he bequeathed an annuity of 1001. a-year to an unhappy sister, while, throughout his life, he doled out to his nearest relations the princely sums of 5l. and 10l. per annum apiece. He was married to a respectable wife, and separated from her; he was presented to noble Church preferments, and all but prosecuted for misappropriation of the revenues of Sherburn Hospital; and his sole claim to distinction was the invention of the monitorial or Madras system, of which it is questionable whether, morally, it has not done more to ruin true Christian education tlian any popular delusion of the day. Mean, selfish, covetous, quarrelsome, and vain, without natural affection and without charity, - this is the temper which Dr. Bell was so desirous that the world should be acquainted with. It is a sad picture of the past generation, when such a man as this was one of the Church's popular idols. The only quotable things are two or three wonderfully good letters in the second volume, from Mr. Sikes, of Guilsborough, caused by some ignorant nonsense which Dr. Bell had uttered about the Church in Scotland.
Two, and each successful, volumes of the “Juvenile Englishman's Library," (Rugeley, Walters), Mr. Paget's capital series, have appeared.“ Tales of the Village Children, Second Part,” by the editor, in which“ Merry Andrew" is a most affecting tale, and Mr. J. M. Neale's “ Triumphs of the Cross," one, we think, of his best attempts.
The “ Canticles in the Prayer Book, with the Gregorian Tones," (Oxford, Parker), is a cheap and useful little manual,—the best, indeed, of the kind we have seen. It establishes the right method of Gregorian chanting ; while, as far-as it goes, it gives the tones in their correct form. We doubt not that ere long the old, simple mode of chanting the Psalter will become common in our churches. While we have such mistaken publications as those of Mr. Hullah’s Psalter widely disseminated among us, it is high time that we had something better to fall back upon; and we are glad, therefore, to hear that the editors of the present little work are about to supply the desideratum.
Among the holiday books suitable for presents at this season, Mr. Burns takes the lead by his various illustrated publications. Beginning at the beginning, the " Nursery Rhymes” are first in dignity and place: the engravings are chiefly by one of our best artists, whose powers we have more than once respectfully acknowledged. It is quite a lordly book. Some future “ Appeal” by an antiquarian purist is probably in store: but since the traditional legends have not been enshrined in a received text, the present alterations may be venial while they are conceived in a proper
spirit. Mr. Bellenden Ker and Mr. Halliwell must preserve the ancient forms: but the present edition is the real “blessing to mothers.” Some inaccuracies which have been pointed out show that the Rhapsodist, like his Scian master, has been occasionally nodding. In the song of the “ Five Finyers,” the juvenile authorities assure us, and our own experience confirms their experimental criticism, that it is the “ringman ” who “can't dance alone." We detect another grievous innovation : on the authority of the Arundines Cami we pronounce that the bush into which the wondrous man of Thessaly jumped was not “a quickset hedge,” as the present editor, No. 140, with temerity more than Bentleian, corrects the passage, but a “gooseberry-bush.” The original is, of course, the noble Aristophanic ακανθοχηνοκοκκόβατον.
. Acutissimi et reverendissimi viri, Samuelis Butler, Toû pakapitov, cujus tot præclaræ exstant lectiones, textum recepimus, quo nihil certius nobis videtur. Perperam Burnsius, infeliciter et audacter necnon imperite et mendose, “quickset hedge :" nuperi editoris emendatio sibilis excipi digna est, et longe insulsissimam eam judicamus. Quis vir emunctæ naris est, cui non arridet, Thessaliensem istum sapientissimum gulæ causâ in grossulariam se avidum conjecisse? [Eschedis Brunckianis.)
Intended for another class of readers is a republication of Massinger's noble play, “The Virgin Martyr." (Burns.) Mr. Pickersgill's drawings have been so admirabiy cut on wood, that not a few experienced persons have mistaken the material of the engraving. They are certainly the very best which we have seen. Great praise must be awarded to the artist, who has displayed wonderful freedom of pencil; though, considering the subject, the outline is rather too delicate, soft, and flowing. A little more abruptness and severity—straight lines, and heavier masses, would have suited the solemnity of the tale of martyrdom : at least, so we think. In such a case we seek an austere rather than a romantic feeling. The standing figure of Dorothea is certainly deficient in dignity, because in height.
Mr. Owen Jones's edition of the “Sermon on the Mount" (Longman), as a Christmas book, we cannot better characterise than rubrication and illumination gone mad. Never was such a display of ambitious ignorance in the way of ornamental illustration. This process of colour-painting on stone promises to become a nuisance : being cheap, ambitious, and incorrect. The same may be said for “Prayers for Children,” (Smith).
“The Mother's Primer" (Longman), by Mrs. Felix Summerly—is this unnecessary psuedonym to go on for ever?-is much better. The coloured inks are odd rather than correct; but the frontispiece is very pretty.
The article from our last number on the “ Poor in Scotland” has been reprinted, with additions, under the sanction of its author's name.
“ The Restoration of Churches is the Restoration of Popery;" a Fifth of November Sermon by Mr.Close. (Hatchard.) A flagrant falsehood in the way of title; and since, in the execution of his subject, Mr. Close (p.11) so appositely cites Scripture, “ I speak as a fool," we care not to disturb his self-convicted judgment. Were not the whole thing too contemptible for criticism we would ask the more respectable of Mr. Close's party what they think of the decency of reading, commenting upon, and abusing, whole pages of-the Ecclesiologist !—in the house of God, even though the occasion were the squib and cracker celebration of Guy Fawkes? What if any of us were to fire off sermons against the Parker Society, or the “Record," by name? Nothing can more forcibly illustrate Mr. Close's theory of Churches, than the use he puts them to. This is truly the “ lunatic asylum” view at work. On this great Protestant festival of St. William of Orange, we wonder why Roman-candles and Catharine-wheels are not prohibited; both have a Popish twang, and the latter, being both Popish and architectural, must, we should say, be especially distasteful to the incumbent of Cheltenham.
While the Cambridge Camden Society is before us, we may mention Mr. Paley's “ Church Restorers,” (Van Voorst.) We have so often, and so strongly, deprecated the religious tale in all its forms, that we can only say that the present work does not call upon us to reverse our judgment. It has all the faults of its class; some of them even exaggerated, such as the introduction of miracles. And practically it will convey a very unreal impression by representing church restoration as an easy task, which none who have tried it find. The unrighteous opposition to the Camden Society itself, in the matter of St. Sepulchre's, might have taught Mr. Paley to have been less profuse in his rose-colour. It is not with the subject, so much as with the form, that we quarrel. The information is very valuable.
From the same publisher and author is announced " A Manual of Gothic Mouldings,” and here Mr. Paley's technical lore is quite at home. In this volume we understand that Mr. Paley has produced a standard work, which will meet with all the success it deserves. It is to be recommended without hesitation.
“A Christian Kalendar," by a lay member of the Cambridge Camden Society, with brief notes (Walters), is, we presume, the publication to which a recent letter, on the part of the president, repudiating its connexion with the society, alludes. We think the president right. It is quite true that in fact the announcement of such membership means nothing; but it seeks to convey an impression, and often one with which neither member nor society would be satisfied.
“ Eothen," (Ollivier), a smart-looking volume on Eastern travel, is the most offensive book which we have met with for some time. It is lively, just as a monkey is—and pictorial after the teaboard fashion. It is a compound of Voltaire, Smollett, Mrs. Trollope, and a Byronized cynicism, which defies classification. There are some semi-erotic passages about the Blessed Virgin Mary which are worse than disgusting. Travel in the Holy Land is an awful probation: the present author has sunk under it, and we regret to find that he has had the benefit of Eton and other Christian training.
Very different in tone and purpose is “The Holy Land,” (Seeley,) a compilation historical and topographical, which we should have recommended unconditionally, were it not for certain flippancies of the “lively Stephens" (p. 173), and the “enlightened Robinson ” with regard to the sacred sites of Jerusalem, which are as distressing as they are silly. The references should have been made.
Mr. Robert Montgomery probably neither expects nor wishes us to review “The Three Parties,” &c., being an extract from the “Gospel before the Age.” (Mitchell.) This trisection of the theological angle is no wonderful discovery; seeing that in most moral questions there are those who say that black is black--those who say that black is white—and those who say, “Can't we split the difference?”—i. e. the whitey-brown school.
We should like to call especial attention to what ought to have more than a local reputation, Mr. Formby's “Extracts from a Sermon, preached at Ruardeane, relative to a proposed dismemberment of the Parish.” (Hough, Coleford.) It is surprising how little notice has been attracted by these forced divisions of parishes, contrary to the will of incumbents and people. We owe Mr. Formby some thanks for making a stout protest against a ruling and popular error; indeed, this is not his first appeal for forgotten, but ancient, principles. Mr. Formby's present distress is attributable not a little to the silence which, in worse days, accompanied the Church Commission's most miserable line-and-compass work with our ancient and Catholic dioceses. The sermon dwells strongly on the divine sanction of institution to a cure : and seems to hint that if aliens from our communion, while they admit our orders, deny our mission or jurisdiction, we surrender their whole argument, if we permit an interfering priest to seize upon a portion of our flocks, without, or against, our consent. Surely it becomes all the Clergy to be as strenuous in defence of their divine overseership as of their unbroken succession; but somehow we have come to think that the former can be interfered with by the gentlemen in Great George-street just as Acts of Parliament please. Even the favourite scheme of dividing parishes may have its latent errors, as witness some at least of those who take it up. Church Reform is a pretty thing in the abstract: but a little Canon Law, and deference to ancient ecclesiastical principles, would not hurt those who in Church Reform only find a means for the creation of new benefices. Has any one reckoned how many pieces of preferment the recent Church Extension Act has given to the government of Sir Robert Peel ?
In some degree connected with this subject, may be recommended, Mr. Turnbull's “Parochial Disorganization,” (J.W.Parker), which, with reference to a particular parish, records a state of things sufficiently perplexing.
That excellent collection, “ The Churches in Yorkshire" (Leeds, Green), has finished one volume, and commenced another under the superintendence of Mr. Poole. Patrington seems a beautiful church. The lithographs are rather too pictorial for studies in the way of example—measured outlines are the only thing to rely upon.
The “Life of Isaac Milner” (Seeley) is only an abridgement—and few biographies so much required compression-of a larger work, which has been freely and fully noticed in a former number.
“ Tractarianism not of God,” by Charles B. Tayler, M.A., Rector of St. Peter's, Chester. (Longman.) Mr. Tayler says, “I know of no one whose natural heart was more inclined than my own to approve the doctrines of the Tractarian party, or whose natural taste was more disposed to be captivated by the seducing appeals to the imagination which they put forth.” He adds, “ I do not say that all is error in Tractarianism, but error is so intermingled with truth, that an utter confusion is produced as to all clear and scriptural doctrine. The system is like the web of a fabric in which the worthless materials have been so commonly interwoven with pure gold,” &c. &c.—“ Tractarianism not of God. I write these words with deep sorrow of heart, for I think of the many gentle and amiable spirits who are to be found in the ranks of the Tractarian."- Mr. Tayler must allow us to return the compliment. There is a real pleasure in having such an amiable opponent as Mr. Tayler: as Shakspeare expresses it,“I pray chide a year together.”
Without committing ourselves to every word of Mrs. Toogood's “Reiigious Lessons for Children,” (Rivingtons), we can safely say that it is among the very best of a good class. We recommend it without hesitation.
A new (the sixth) volume of “ Plain Sermons," by the authors of the “ Tracts for the Times," has appeared. It requires no recommendation.
Besides the sermons already noticed, we desire to mention with great satisfaction, one by Mr. Macmullen, preached at the Exeter School Meeting. (Hannaford.) “The New Birth," by Mr. Henry Robinson, of Dudcote, is sound, but not remarkable (Parker and Rivingtons). Various discourses by Mr. Garbett (Hatchard), preached at all sorts of places, and for all sorts of purposes, are very much the contrary, i.e. remarkable and unsound. Other valuable volumes have just arrived. Dr. Moberley's “School Sermons,” (Rivingtons); Dr. Wordsworth's “ Discourses on Public Education,” (Rivingtons), delivered at Harrow,--it must have required some courage to preach about Aristophanes in church, - which, for obvious reasons, we class together, since the good work of reforming public schools goes on most hopefully. Mr. R. W. Evans's “ Parochial Sermons.” (Rivingtons.) Among single sermons, we have received Dr. Hook's “ Take heed what ye hear;" Mr. Samuel Wilberforce's “ Consecration Sermon,” preached at Farnham, and elsewhere, (Burns); and of importance equal to any, Mr. Cheyne's “Holiness the true Reforming Power of the Church," (Aberdeen, Brown), which has, and most deservedly, reached its second edition.
[A pressure of important matter has obliged us,—though our number extends several sheets beyond the average quantity,—to omit a variety of notices which are in type.]