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• assisted at every step by his right-hand man and faithful aide
de-camp, “ Dapple."* A hearty laugh, as you may imagine, was ‘one of the consequences of the defeat; though, when the vanquished hero came to a stand-still, he was too busy with his pocket-handkerchief to allow the lookers-on to take particular notice of the effect which her ladyship’s superior fleetness had • wrought upon him.'—Pp. 14, 15.
Small-very small, indeed! Surely anecdote never descended lower than to dwell with real satisfied revenge on the fact, that Bentham was beaten by a lady in running, and was once vexed when he was beaten at fives.
Sermons, chiefly designed to show the Practical Working of Faith.
By the Rer. Fulwar WILLIAM Fowle, Prebendary of Salisbury, Rector of Allington, and Perpetual Curate of Amesbury,
London: Burns. 1845. Mr. Fowle puts good plain common sense into good plain English; and some prevailing faults of the day are exposed with much truth and force. At the same time there is such earnestness and sincerity in his remonstrances that we cannot imagine anybody offended with them. He speaks from his heart. He sees that our congregations have fallen into bad habits and ways of thinking, e.g. that they do not kneel, and do not attend to the prayers, and think only of the sermon; and he fairly faces them, and shows them their fault with honest clearness and point. We give an extract from the Sermon• The House of God the House of Prayer':
* Now, then, let us see what are some of the consequences of thus exalting preaching above prayer. The first and most awful one is, that we do not pray. I mean, that the greater proportion of our congregations are not actuated by a spirit of prayer : we are not a praying people generally : it cannot be said of us, in the sense in which the Lord himself spoke of the converted Paul-"Behold, he prayeth.” Many pray not at all; bear no part in the service, make no response ; say not to themselves the prayers which the minister offers up aloud for himself and the people, nor so much as utter their “ Amen” at the end of them. And if these persons do not come to pray, they come either to hear the sermon or as a mere matter of form, because, for very shame's sake, they do not like always to stay away. Does any one ask for a proof of this assertion, too-that the congregation generally do not pray when they come to church? Take that which I have already given. If they
* The appellation given by him to his favourite walking-stick.
come to the house of God to pray, why do they not come when there is the service of the Church without the sermon ? and, with respect to those who do not so come, it is a fair assumption that, when they come, they do not pray. Another evidence—to my mind a very convincing one-that people, generally, do not pray, is, that 80 few of them kneel
. I know that some persons cannot do so from illness, or some infirmity, and that others cannot from want of room in their pews : to these, of course, my present remarks do not apply; they best know their own hindrances, and will, if properly impressed on the subject, agree in opinion with me, and feel it to be a real and no trifling source of regret to them, that they are not able to carry out their principle in their practice. Some persons, too, consider standing to be an attitude of prayer. We hear of the Pharisee and the Publican both standing, when the one professed to be, and the other really was, praying. And, certainly, standing is not such a graceless and prayerless attitude for the supplicating sinner as sitting : but how a strong, healthy person, who can go about his business, or his pleasure, or any of the active concerns of life, during the six days of the week, can sit and pray in the house of God on the seventh, I cannot comprehend. I am sure this is not the way in which a man would pray for his life: I am sure this is not the way in . which a father would pray for a son condemned to death : I am sure this is not the way in which a man would pray to God, if he prayed at all, for a sick child, or some sick friend whom he loved as his own soul : I am sure this is not the way in which our Saviour said they were to pray, who would obtain power over unclean and evil spirits. We know that this was not the way in which that Saviour himself prayed, when he was in an agony in the garden, praying for the souls of others; for we are told that he “ fell on his face, and prayed.” I am sure that none, who are in earnest when they pray, will pray sitting, unless they have not the power of praying otherwise. There is, in all passions, a sympathy between the external motions of the body and the internal emotions of the soul. It would be easy to point out instances of this which every one would immediately understand and acknowledge ; but it would call me off too much from the direct object of my present remarks : suffice it to say, that the mind instantly and involuntarily admits the close affinity that subsists between certain affections of the mind and the corresponding inclinations of the body. To make this intelligible to every one—Saul, who wasted the Church of Christ, was suddenly arrested, as he was journeying to Damascus, by a miraculous manifestation of that Jesus whom he persecuted. “He fell to the earth,” “trembling and astonished :" "he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.” “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias ;" " and the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus; for, behold, he prayeth.” Now suppose a painter, wishing to represent this striking subject, were to select the moment when Saul, under deep conviction of sin and the agony of an awakened conscience, was earnestly pouring forth his soul unto God in prayer; and suppose that, when this picture was shown to us, we were to see this same Saul, instead of kneeling, sitting on a chair or a bench-would not the most thoughtless and uninformed exclaim at the absurdity of the painter, and declare that nothing else could have been so contrary to nature and common sense? Yes, every one would say so; and, in so doing, he would be speaking the language of nature and common sense. Every person who is joining in the prayers of the Church, ought to consider that he is praying, as Saul was, for the forgiveness of his sins, the grace and the mercy of God, and the salvation of his soul; and nature and common sense will say, that no man can really be under such an impression, and yet be sitting carelessly and unconcerned on his seat. And I would be content to take the honest answer of one of these careless sitters to this simple question-Can you say, before God and your conscience, that you have been joining, devoutly, heart and tongue and soul, this day, in the prayers which have been offered up to God for yourselves and for your fellow-worshippers and for all mankind ? I am sure that the honest answer would not be, “ Yes ;" for nature and common sense are against it. And I say that this is one proof, among many others, that one of the consequences of setting up preaching above praying -making the house of God an house of preaching, not of prayer-is, that men do not pray.'—Pp. 219–226.
Results of Reading. By J. STAMFORD CALDWELL, M. A.
Barrister at Law. London: Murray. 1843. And certainly if such are-as in a sense they are- - the results of reading, most fully do they confirm the deep saying of Scripture, of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh,' and a desolation of the heart too. Mr. Caldwell ought to have prefixed to his collection Milton's lines,
Deep versed in books and shalluw in himself.' This work is a mere emptying of an (other than) extensive reader's common-place book-a cento of quotations from every imaginable source lying within the range of an ordinary and desultory reader. If the volume be intended as an index of Mr. Caldwell's research, we cannot think it very extraordinary: the books are not rare--the quotations are rather plentiful than judicious, and a stitcher of purpurei panni might, we think, have produced a much more showy patchwork than Mr. Caldwell's. Though France, Germany, Italy, England, Greece, and Rome,
have been ransacked, some of the bost and most accessible • striking passages' have been omitted; and the excuse that they are too common for selection, will hardly be urged by Mr. Caldwell, for while quotations abound from such distant sources as Sir Walter Scott and Shakespeare, Paley and the Spectator, Pope and Byron, Jeremy Taylor and Tom Moore, (the perusal of the present volume must be our excuse for this last grotesque collocation,) we can hardly award the questionable praise of extensive reading, or of judicious taste, to one who quotes Ilooker onceClarendon not at all-Spenser once(under the name of Spencer)Wordsworth never, and of the whole range of Elizabethan dramatists only Shirley and Heywood, and each at second-hand. We are quite aware that Mr. Caldwell is not to be blamed for not having read everything, but when we have to pay for reprinting “O fortunatos nimium,' &c.; O woman, in our hours of ease;' • How sweet the moonlight sleeps,' &c. ; we have a right to say that something a little less common-place would not have offended us.
But we have a far graver objection to urge against Mr. Caldwell than his narrow, as it seems to us, range of literature. From the whole class of • Elegant Extracts' we turn with a decided aversion--not so much because, as in the case of Enfield's Speaker, at once the most popular and mischievous of school-books, they happen to be the easy manufacture of some Socinian hack compiler, but also in the way of principle, and that upon more accounts than one. These books of extracts, in so far as they have any proper use or meaning, are a practical embodiment of moral eclecticism. They seem to teach that, be a writer earnest or a scoffer-be he Jew or Turk-orthodox or heretic, so that he have written a well-turned or a fine-sounding stanza or sentence, it all comes to the same thing. And yet more; be the sentiment what it may, so that a passage sets well and sparkles brilliantly, the lesson which it conveys is altogether unimportant. Hence it is, that, unless Mr. Caldwell means one half of his quotations in the sense of an Expurgatorial Index, which was our first impression, we cannot divine his principle of selection. His classification under heads is illogical, because incomplete and inexhaustive; and the passages are so manifestly inconsistent in piety, reason, and taste, that no principle, save the wildest eclecticism, can reconcile them into an harmonious or a definite whole. We were once inclined to give Mr. Caldwell the benefit of this obvious difficulty, and to take the Results of Reading' as a jest upon general reading, though somewhat of the coldest: we could not have imagined that any man could have strung together pig-nuts and pearls with such hopeless unconsciousness of ail congruity. We cannot understand the morbid taste to which the laystall and incense seem to be equally delightful. And yet that we are not misrepresenting our author, let him announce his own notion of his book:
"The test of good judgment, in the selection, will be, not how much might have been advantageously added, but what ought to have been left out.'—Preface, p. vi.
Ought to have been left out! Why in extracts about religion, either Jeremy Taylor, or Dr. Channing, (chap. iv.); either Dr. Price, p. 10, or Bishop Jebb, p. 14; and to quote in the same chapter_S. Matthew, the prophet Micah, Swift, Madame de Staël, Franklin, Locke, Lady M. W. Montagu, as all of the same apparent authority, and all equally accredited teachers and guides, does seem hideous folly, to apply the very lightest con. demnation to it. Hume and Bishop Butler appear as parallel guides at p. 11, and Channing and Bishop Butler at p. 35 ; Gibbon's sneer about the rebuilding of Jerusalem (which we do hope that Mr. Caldwell copies with a happy though singular ignorance of its meaning) bears company with one of Johnson's noble sayings at p. 61; Channing (!) Chubb (!!) and Bishop Butler, divide p. 64; Shaftesbury and Boyle are pendents to each other on the next page; Hume pairs off with Sir Thomas Brown, at p. 206; and at p. 201 we caught William Wilberforce poussetting to Sam Foote, the buffoon. When all this infelicitous collocation is the staple of the book, we have a right to charge one who reads to so little purpose either with the dullest ignorance, or with a total absence of a healthy state of mind. While Burke, Butler, and Byron (the alliteration is not our own) are produced as in the same measure forcible and respectable authorities for-the truth of Christianity, at pp. 69, 70; and in a chapter headed, “Woman,' Byron in Beppo-VoltaireRousseau-Don Juan--and such sayings as He comes too near,' &c. p. 106, are selected with the greatest nonchalance as a fitting supplement to Sherlock, Barrow, Taylor, and Sir Thomas More, in the previous chapters: this argues an audacious disregard of propriety which we are bound to condemn with great severity.
But to crown all, we hardly know how to express our intense disgust at finding the passage, My son, despise not thou the chastening,' &c. succeeded, in the very next line, by a quotation from the Nouvelle Héloïse,' p. 185. This almost reminds us of one of the most detestably wicked books which we ever saw, a manual for the use of a London meeting-house,* in which the
A Sunday Manual used at the chapel in Beaumont-square, Mile End Old Town. London: Allian, 1840. This place was built and endowed by the late Mr. Barber Beaumont; he also compiled this frightful. manual.'