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tion of the brain. Not content with this, that Deity whom the ancients had, by the light of nature, separated from his works, and elevated into a spiritual essence, and for whom, rising above the prejudices of their age and condition, they invented a religion of a more refined kind, where Nulla autem effigies, nulli commissa metello Forma Dei–
this Deity, we say, they imbrute and degrade by reducing him to a mere plastic nature, the creature of chance, or the slave of a blind and overruling fatality. Lastly, that moral law, which the ancients endeavoured to shew was general and immutable, our moderns would render dependent upon custom, degrade to the consequence of mere temperament, or reduce to a local fashion, varying with every varying circumstance, and as capricious as the whims of man and woman can make it.
It would be paying a compliment to these writers to suppose, that such productions were the result of the silly vanity of endeavouring to appear singular, or that they could not appreciate the tremendous consequences of scattering the arrows of death amongst the human race. We are afraid, however, that the learning and genius which some of them display, added to the method and coolness of their attacks, will deprive them of the benefit of so charitable a palliation. Indeed, the very explicit manner in which many express themselves, leaves us no doubt as to their motives. We beg leave to quote, for their consideration, a sentence of one who may justly be deemed the master of their sect, and to whose opinion in any question of this kind they ought to defer. Incapable of being himself impressed by religious feeling, he was not blind to what he would have termed the policy of cultivating it in the multitude. He was aware, that without this silent and secret monitor, laws were a dead letter, and punishment only an idle threat. “Partout,” says Voltaire, “ouily aura une societé etablie, une religion sera necessaire. Les Loir veillent sur les crimes publics, et la religion sur les crimes secrets /’’
In taking leave of these writers, we would submit to their candour, (if their zeal for their unholy employment have not impaired or even destroyed this quality,) whether, in discarding all idea of a relation between the Deity and his works, they have not taken away the most exalted and sublime contemplation upon which the human intellect could be employed ? Whether, in attempting to refute the doctrine, that the Creator has a perpetual care and solicitude for his works, they do not deprive us of a thought, of all others the most consolatory, that we are not overlooked in the millions (each perhaps more important than our own) by which we are surrounded ? Whether, in reducing our being to the miserable space we enjoy here, they do not impair every stronger motive which tends to impel the mind to excellence, by inducing us to prepare for a state which requires more ennobling virtues than the mere being of a day would deem it necessary to cultivate 2
And lastly, we ask, whether, in endeavouring to impair the influence of the Christian religion, they do not weaken those more exalted sentiments, that more elevated morale, and that finer tone of society, that are more peculiarly the characteristics of those nations which have the happiness to profess the Christian faith? To Mr. Hope, unhappily, such questions as these are vainly addressed, as he has gone to answer for his doctrines before a tribunal which has the best means of discovering his motives. But we trust that our interrogatories may meet the eyes of others, who, having taken up such wild and pernicious theories, are as yet guiltless of the crime of attempting to gain acceptance for them in the reading world. To such we should say, remember the awful responsibility under which you write and publish, and be assured that every soul which you turn away from the path of truth, will be demanded at your hands with a rigour which shall know no mercy. It affords us the greatest satisfaction to find, that it is precisely in this laudable spirit of christianised philosophy, that the American Journal of Geology and Science has been undertaken by its able conductor. The first number of that work now lies before us, and if the promises which it announces be fulfilled even to a limited extent, it cannot fail to collect very valuable materials towards a complete theory of the earth. It is the avowed intention of the Editor to ascertain, as far as it is possible, ‘a common ground for the theologian and geologist to stand comfortably upon; one which brings prejudice neither to religion nor science;’ and to inculcate that one of the great objects of existence, is ‘the study of the Creator through his works.” We need hardly add, that such a publication as this has our most cordial wishes for its success.
ART. V.-1. The Amulet; a Christian and Literary Remembrancer.
Edited by S. C. Hall. 12mo, pp. 318. Twelve Embellishments. London: Westley and Davis. 1832.
2. Friendship's Offering : a Literary Album, and Christmas and New Year's Present, for 1832. 12mo, pp. 384. Twelve Embellishments. London: Smith, Elder, and Co.
3. The Winter's Wreath for 1832. 12mo, pp. 372. Twelve Embellishments. London : Whittaker, Treacher, and Arnot. Liverpool : G. Smith.
4. The Juvenile Forget-Me-Not a Christmas and New Year's Gift, or Birthday Present. 1832. Edited by Mrs. S. C. Hall. 12mo. pp. 221. Eight Embellishments, with Sixteen engravings on Wood. London: Westley and Davis.
ALL hail ye heralds of the approaching new year ! Thrice welcome ye pleasant companions of the fireside, clothed in every colour of the rainbow, and decorated with all the splendour which you can borrow from the kindred arts of poetry and painting ! We hardly know of any family in which the questions are not now regularly asked, as soon as the leaves of the trees begin to turn yellow, and the autumn in good earnest cuts short the day, and shuts up the windows, “When are the annuals to make their appearance 2'-‘‘Which will be the first this time !”—“Which will be the best ?” And then follows the projected list of presents to distant friends of the higher order of these beautiful publications, and to various little boys and girls of the juvenile productions; and it is really delightful, looking for a moment beyond the mere surface of conversational benevolence, to observe the fortunate application which has been very generally made of these periodicals, as additional and very graceful links to the chain of sympathy and kindness, that binds the different branches of families together, that continues for years friendships which were formed at school, and preserves between persons aiming at still dearer ties, a sweet and delicate intercourse, which exercises a most useful influence upon the taste, as well as upon the heart. It cannot be expected that these works shall always exhibit literary excellence of the highest order. They do, and have done, much for the diffusion of sound principles of art, by the exquisite engravings which they have been the means of presenting to the public, at a much more moderate rate than could have been possibly expected some twenty years ago. They have afforded employment in many ways to the industrious classes, at a period when it was perhaps of all others the most acceptable, to those engaged in the manufacture of paper, to compositors, type-founders, pressmen, binders, to literary men, painters, engravers, booksellers, and others, these annuals have been a source of profitable occupation, during that very season of the year, which, heretofore, was the most apt to fall heavy upon those numerous and useful members of the community. If the poetry be not in every instance of the best description, it is good enough for common purposes. We have seldom detected any thing either in the poetry or the prose that was calculated to misguide the taste, or vitiate the morals; and we must do the editors of these works the justice to say, that in this point of view, they have, generally speaking, discharged their functions in a respectable and praiseworthy manner. We shall not therefore be found among the systematic depreciators of these engaging tokens of the rolling years. Although every new one that comes under our notice reminds us of the progress of time, and warns us with all the eloquence of an additional grey hair, yet we welcome them with a cordial shake of the hand, and admit them as friends to our homes and to our hearths, where we have always found their predecessors the uniform patrons of cheerful ease, and intellectual entertainment. First comes the “Amulet,” “with Mr. Hall's respects,” a genteel, carefully made up, useful, and handsomely decorated volume, whether we examine it externally or internally. It differs from the other annuals in this respect, that it aims at permanent effect, by contributing to the stores of general knowledge, without be-
coming too erudite, and inculcating a high tone of moral feeling, without becoming too grave. This, perhaps, is a sort of work which will not suit every taste; but we apprehend that it will find, nevertheless, a very large class of readers, who are apt to complain that the Annuals are in general too trifling in their contents, and too transitory in their influence. The present volume is perhaps . less diversified than usual. We must be ungallant enough to suggest that Mrs. Hall's story of ‘The Mosspits, which occupies nearly sixty pages, would have been more readable, and perhaps quite as useful, if it had been comprised in ten. We must allow that there is in the paper on the actual state of the slave trade, a mass of valuable information; but is it not rather too long Forty pages on the slave trade We hope they will be read, for they undoubtedly contain some excellent suggestions, and present some facts hitherto not generally known; but they would be better placed, we suspect, for that purpose, in the Anti-slavery Reporter than in the Amulet. But let these objections pass. There are modes of treatment by which subjects, apparently the most unpromising, may be rendered light and agreeable. With this admirable art no writer is better acquainted than Dr. Walsh, with whose account of a visit to Nicaea, the reader can hardly fail to be entertained. It is from that city, as every body knows, that the Nicene creed is so called, and it was there that the first general councils of the Christian church assembled, after the time of the Apostles. It has not for a long time been visited by any travellers; although we cannot extract the whole of the doctor's account of it, we shall, therefore, present a summary of the information which he has collected concerning a place so truly interesting in the annals of the Christian world. Nice, now called Isnich, is situated about three days’ journey from the shore, on the Asiatic side of the sea of Marmora. The walls, which are in a complete state of preservation, are six miles in circumference, with parapets and battlements. The place is supplied with a river of pure water, which is conveyed to the very walls on arches. The entrance is by three gates, one inside the other, ornamented with marble figures in sculptured relief; the second gate being of magnificent size and workmanship. But with all this splendid external appearance, the reader will be surprized to hear, that within those extensive walls there is at this day neither street, nor house, nor inhabitant Nay, there are not even the remains of such things | The whole space thus encompassed is a rude and desolate field as far as the eye can reach. “It appeared,’ says the author, “as if the earth had opened, and closed over the houses and inhabitants, and left the walls of the city perfect and uninjured.’ The country around it is beautiful.
* Nicaea is surrounded on the south and east by mountains which are distant about three miles. The interval is a plain of exceeding richness and beauty, which extends in length for a considerable space. At one extremity is the Lake of Ascanius, expanding for several miles into the recesses
of the hills, which surround it on three sides, and form wooded promontories projecting into it, giving it a highly picturesque character, not so sublime, but full as beautiful, and more extensive, than any of the lakes of Cumberland. Between this picturesque lake and this fertile valley, stands the town of Nicaea on the edge of the water, slumbering in solitary magnificence, and now silent and desolate as Tadmor in the desert. The walls are twenty-five feet high, and fourteen feet thick at the base, having round or elliptic towers at small intervals along the whole extent. They are still so perfect and undecayed that we ascended to the summit, where we found a broad walk between the parapets, and continued in an uninterrupted course round the city. Along this we pursued our way, looking down on the enclosure below, where nothing presented itself to our view but an immense empty space, in which not a trace or vestige of the streets or magnificent edifices which once filled it was to be seen ; nor a single human being of all the large population that once crowded it. Such depopulation of ancient cities is very common in the Turkish empire; but this is, perhaps, the only city in the world where the walls remain as entire and perfect as when they were raised, while the edifices which they enclosed have totally disappeared.’—Amulet, pp. 30, 31.
Yet this place was a flourishing city so late as the year 1677, when it contained a population of 10,000 Greek Christians, and many precious remains of antiquity. What, it will maturally be asked, has produced so violent, and so destructive a change 2 An earthquake? an all-consuming fire, or pestilence 2 No–no power has done this, save the uncivilizing, brutal arm of the Turk. That savage race, which ought long since to have been driven back to its native fastnesses in the mountains near the Caspian Sea, has caused all this desolation, and effaced every trace of this once celebrated city, the resort of kings and of ecclesiastical dignitaries from all regions of the Christian world. ‘It is truly,’ as Dr. Walsh remarks, “a subject of melancholy contemplation, now to behold it—the shadowy phantom of a magnificent city, on a beautiful and fertile spot, where bountiful Nature has provided every thing necessary for human life;—an extensive plain exuberant with fertility, sloping lawns verdant with pasture, wooded hills covered with timber, expanded waters teeming with fish, and a climate the most bland and delicious that ever refreshed a mortal frame.’
“The next morning,” he adds, “at daylight, we left this most interesting but melancholy place, where there is a lovely and fertile plain, fifteen miles long, and no one to cultivate it; a lake like an inland sea, full of fish, and nobody to eat them ; and the magnificent walls of a city, six miles in circumference, and nobody to inhabit it;-and we could not but feel the strange perversity of the human race, that while God and Nature had presented this place ready for and inviting a million or more of men to come and live in it, as in a social paradise, nobody is to be found; yet people are murdering and destroying one another, even in our own country, for a patch of barren waste, because there are more inhabitants than the country can accommodate.’
Mr. Ellis's history of the decay of infanticide in the islands of VO Li II V. N. (3... I II. C C