« ElőzőTovább »
On the whole; we think the County Annual Register improves both in plan and execution, as it proceeds. We repeat, therefore, our wishes for its prosperity, and shall be happy if any of our hints and observations should contribite to render the succeeding volumes still more der serving of general perasal and encouragement. Art. VII. Short Sermons on important Subjects, By J. Edmondson. 8vo.
pp. 446. price 68. bds. Baynes. 1810. Of these sermons the most remarkable quality is their
brevity ; a circumstance which, by most persons, perhaps, would be regarded as a powerful recommendation, but which Mr.Edmondson seems to have been a little apprehensive might operate to their disadvantage. He has, therefore, thought it expelient to assure us, by way of apology, that having been employed in the work of the ministry more than twenty four years, he has always found short sermons both more useful and more acceptable than long ones;' and of the present discourses he observes that though short, each of them contains the substance of a long sermon. This he deems a great excellence; the design of a serrnon, in his judgement, being “ rather to open the way for people to think for themselves, than to exhaust the subject by long illustrations.'
We must confess, that to us brief discourses are by no means the least" acceptable': and we should be a good deal mortified were it again to becoine the fashion for our preachers to measure their serinons by the hour glass. But there is a medium in things. They who are so engaged in secular affairs as to have no time to read, have also little time to think. The art of conveying instruction to such persons does not consist in binting at sources of reflection-in presenting them, if we may so speak, with the dry bones of a subject, leaving them to clothe it with flesh and sinews and breathe into it a quickening spirit. Though there is no occasion to distract them with a variety of topics in the same discourses nor to fatigue them with prolis and useless illustrations, still it is obviously desirable to detain their attention on the subject till it becomes easy of comprehension, and to introduce such elucidations as shall enable it to take hold of the imagination and affections. There is a wide difference between perfect nudity and a suitable and becoming dress.
This defect of Mr. Edmonson, however, may perhaps be forgiven. As abridgments, these sermons are very excellent. They turn upon some of the most interesting veri. ties of revelation. While they discover a profound defe. rence for that authority, and great seriousness and solen.
nity of mind; the author evidently appears, in matters of religion, to be a thinking well-informed person, who aims to do good, selects with considerable skill the most prominent features of his subject, and transfuses into his compositions the emotions of a zealous and devotional spirit. They will be very acceptable to those who think as they read : and young preachers, especially, may consult them with advantage. With the exception of sone notions that are peculiar to the author, with his party, we cannot but recommend them to general perusal.
The following extracts will afford a favourable example of the spirit and manner of these Short Sermons. They are taken from the Sermon upon Matt. xxv. 41.
. The sentence opens with the word depart. While those wretched beings, who are commanded to depart, lived in a state of probation, Christ often invited them to himself, and complained that they would not come to him. But, what a sad change of circumstances ! Now he frowns, and says, Depart! They are not fit to remain in his glorious presence. Sin has made them contemptible, and the righteous Judge beholds them with conteinpt. Entreaties to remain with him would now be vain. There was a time when they might have been heard with kind attention ; but that time is past and gone for ever. Henceforth, should they pray, their prayers will never reach the throne of God.
• They depart from Christ, the HOLY ONE OF GOD, who lived and died for sinful man. In departing from him, they depart from all his blessed followers. On earth they mixed with the wise and good, and many blessings which they then enjoyed, were owing to that happy circumstance; but now the chaff is separated from the wheat and must be burned up with unquenchable fire. Perhaps they have relations, and acquaintance, at the right hand of the Judge ; but they must de. part and never see them more to all eternity. This is not all : for in departing from Christ, they depart from all the joys and glories of heaven. Their eyes shall never behold those happy plains of light, where God will reign with saints and angels. O what a loss! The loss of ten thousand worlds, were we in possession of them all, would be a trifle to the loss of Christ and heaven !' pp. 430, 431.
• Let us often reflect upon this awful sentence. Those who are banished from Christ have lost the world, which was their God: they have lost all peace and joy; and their souls are lost. How dreadful is their lot! Banished from Christ ; under a curse ; tormented in fire; and no prospect of deliverance ! They are filled with bitter reflections, · plagued with horrid companions, and terrified with doleful prospects ! And shall we, for a few fleeting and unsubstantial pleasures, plunge ourselves into endless misery? My dear friends, be wise. You are now warned—you are now entreated to accept of life and salvation. O delay not to accept the mercy of your God! Rejoice that your doom is not yet fixed. Bless God for his long forbearance. Renounce sin and embrace Christ upon gospel terms. Give your hearts to God, and walk in his ways; then this awful sentence will never be pronounced upon you.' pp. 436, 437.
Art. VIII. The Campaign in Egypt. A Poem. Intended to celebrate
the valour of the British Military and Naval Forces employed in the expedition to Egypt, &c. &c. By Constantine Williams. 8vo. pp.
326. price 10s. 64. 1811. ANOTHER epic. The bard begins with an invocation,
which we think his anonymous Goddess would have gone well to listen to :
O heavenly Goddess ! fore my lay;' &c. and again :
«Tis Britain's deeds that I rehearse,
Then Goddess deign to fire my verse.' The Goddess, however, being otherwise engaged, has left this duty to baser hands, and has imposed upon us, in the mean while, the task of snatching a grace or two from this extraordinary work, in its progress towards conflagration.
Our poet proceeds, in imitation of Homer, to describe the British Aleet.
• Bomb ketches, transports, sloops were there,
Form near two hundred sail in all !' p. 27. He says, that if he did but' possess the Mantuan's time,' (this poem having been completed in only two months -- or if he had 'but great Homer's muse,' he would soon pour the list along', with all the names of the ships, and commanders : but this,' he adds, my' huinble lays refuse.' . . .
In the course of a long discourse of Sir R. Abercrombie to the Pacha, that gallant officer says that the design of France in occupying Egypt is, to
open for herself a way, To where our rich possessions lay,
Within the realms of_ Asi-a ? p. 48. We hardly need inform the reader that he will find a fund of entertainment in this poem, which certainly bears no mark of plagiarism from the celebrated performance of Addison. If any further inducement can be wanting, we will indulge him with one stanza more.
Statesmen and patriots too has Hear'n
Again in Pitt: a Fox too thine.
See Sydney perish by the axe's stroke,
The same see Moore, 'neath lawless Henry's yoke !!! p. 89.
of the Scriptures into Oriental Languages. By the Rev. Claudius Buchanan, D. D. late Vice-Provost of the College of Fort William in Bengal.
(Continued from page 584.) FOR a considerable time past, the attention of the re
flecting part of our countrymen has been excited by certain bints, gradually enlarging into something like distinct information, that the Government has made itself a direct party to Indian paganism. It was with great difficulty, at first, that the reports on ihis subject obtained belief with some worthy people, in whose minds the kind of religious reverence they had been early taught, and long accustomed to feel, for the authorities that preside over the affairs of nations, was incompatible with the idea of the possibility of a Christian Government taking under its express sanction and management a system of idolatrous practices-practices congenial with those which had excited their abhorrence in reading the Old Testament, and constrained their acquiescence in the justice which visited them on the nations with dreadful calamities, or with extermination. What! they said, the Government of a Christian nation, which maintains a large and splendid establishnient to promote and perpetuate the knowledge and worship of the one Almighty Being—which sanctifies even its civil institutions with Christian rites--which thinks it necessary to adjure the consciences of its very excisemen by the living God, and which appoints, yearly, general fasts or thanksgivings,such a government formally sanction and superintend à worship of the same atrocious nature as that of Baal and Moloch, and greatly more diversified and multiplied in order to meet the demands and peculiarities of a courtless legion of demon gods! Those friends of christianity that knew the fact, had reasons for not being eager to proclaim it. Especially those who were solicitous for the fate of Indian missions, were careful what they said; naturallysupposing that the publication of such a fact would excite the displeasure of the persons bearing the chief responsibility; and prudently considering that it was not easy to calculate the possible effects of the resentment of authorities, capable of thus systematically allying themselves with a superstition transcendently malignant. Our journal made but one or two remote allusions to the subject during the heat of that controversy; but has subsequently had several occasions to advert to it, as a matter becoming avowed and notorious. We will not pretend to know the reasons why certain respectable contemporary Christian censors, who must have been perfectly informed on the subject, long before the public had beard one 'word of rum ur about it, have maintained a profound silence during the progress of the disclosure, till absolutely forced, by the complete public notoriety about to be given to the facts by Dr. Buchanan's publication, into a reluctant act of cognizance and censure, a censure carefully enfeebled by being made absurdedly hypothetical,-if the Directors do not inquire into the existence of what themselves have authorized !-f on inquiring they find the fact to be so, and do not then take measures, &c. &c.
For the condemnation and applause which the now complete exposure will bring on the Company and the Government (for this is a country in which measures for the support of idolatry will receive both) they will be nuch less indebted to the communicative dispositions of the enemies of such a system, than to those of persons who would see no harm at all in the matter. Major Scott Waring repeatedly stated, in his laborious series of pamphlets, the substance of the facts in question,-and, if we remember, in terms of more unqualified approbation than he seemed willing to confer on almost any other part of the British Indian economy. Soon afterwards, Lord Valencia proclaimed the same information with much more particular ty, and, apparently, without being in the least apprehensive of bringing the slightest shade of reproach on any of the high and dignified personages, concerned in what he was exhibiting to the judgement of the public. Dr. Buchanau only completes, for a religious purpose, a discl sure which these writers had gratuitously made ; though certainly the pro.. duction of the official account, thus given in palpable items, will contribute in a much greater degree to fix the public attention, and will seem to give us a more positive hold on the fact. All delicacy on the subject is now at an end. It is now placed in the full view of this Christian nation, that, in another and much larger division of the British state, the niost abominable rites of idolatry, instead of being simply left free from all obstructive interference, (the utmost favour that has ever been desired from christianity in Iudian by a large proportion of its most zealous and anxious