Notices of Books

[British Critic, July 1841.]

{244} Archdeacon Thorp, of Bristol, has published two Charges delivered in 1839 and 1840. They embrace the subjects of Cathedral Chapters, Rural Chapters, Church Discipline, Church independence, the Tithe Commutation Act, and Church Rates; and contain an excellent suggestion on the union of the Five Church Societies into a Church Union Society.

Dr. Pusey has published a Sermon, preached in Bristol, (Rivingtons,) under the title of "Christ the Source and Rule of Christian Love."

The learned Dr. Todd has published a literary curiosity (Dublin Univ. Press), "The Last Age of the Church," by John Wycliffe, the morning star of the Reformation.

Mr. Collison, of St. John's, Cambridge, has published (Rivingtons) a temperate and successful "Vindication of the Anglican Reformers" from the well-meant calumnies of Professor Scholefield.

Mr. Beaufort's Norrisian Essay on "Scripture sufficient without Tradition" (J. W. Parker), is a careful, learned, temperate, and well-reasoned essay on the important subject which it undertakes. It is singular that the same general subject has been proposed for one of the Oxford Theological prizes of the year, which has been gained by the Rev. M. Pattison, Fellow of Lincoln College. These prizes are not ordinarily published, but the character of Mr. Pattison's mind, as seen in a work which we have reviewed above, is sufficient to assure us of the clearness and critical acumen with which he would treat an argument.

"A letter to the Warden of Wadham on the Oxford System of Education," (Vincent, Oxford,) is the work of a person who has evidently thought a good deal on the subject, and does not write at random.

The Bishop of Nova Scotia has published a Sermon in behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Mr. Hussey, Censor of Christ Church, a University Sermon on "The Great Contest," preached on Easterday; and Mr. Sibthorp, a University Sermon on St. Mark's, under the title of "The Claims of the Catholic Church;"—both excellent; the latter especially interesting from its subject;—Mr. C. Marriott, another University Sermon on St. Barnabas, on "The Church's Instruments for the Work of the Holy Spirit;" Archdeacon Thorp, an impressive University Sermon, called "The Student's Walk;" Mr. Ram, a Visitation Sermon at Towcaster; Mr. Tarbutt, a Sermon on the Observance of Lent; Mr. Scott, a Sermon on Christian Quietness, by way of warning against so-called Revivals of Religion. {245}

It is with melancholy satisfaction that we have received, in a collected form, the late Mr. Davison's "Occasional Publications" (Rivingtons); satisfaction, that so many papers can be traced to him on theological and other subjects; deep regret, that his pastoral labours hindered the gifted author from leaving us further memorials of his faith and wisdom.

"Principles of Natural Education, by Rev. H. Hopwood," (Burns,) is an examination of the views of "the state-educationists," with the main object of pointing out what is good in them, and developing it into something more definite and real than they present. The idea is philosophical and valuable, and it is well brought out.

"Hints to Teachers in National Schools," by the same author, (Burns), is a useful little selection of remarks and hints from some authors of name on the subject of education. There is much in it that is highly interesting; for on no subject has there been more ingenuity elicited than on education. The writer notices, with respect to some of these authors, their sad want of "definite Christian principles." If it had been possible, (which perhaps it was not), the book would have been made much more valuable by being compiled more from sources not thus objectionable.

"The history of a Pocket Prayer Book, written by itself," (Philadelphia), collects under that fictitious form a great number of facts and true narratives; and shows how wide and how deep church principles are taking root in the United States.

"The careless Christian reminded of his Privileges, warned of his Danger, and urged to repent without delay," by the Rev. G. W. Woodhouse, (Rivingtons), is written in a serious practical style, and more sound and faithful in its doctrine than many publications on the subject.

Mr. Cyril Hutchinson's "Plain Sermons on the Church Ministry and Sacraments," (Cleaver), are clear and plain spoken discourses, designed to prove the danger of slighting these means of grace.

Mr. Woodward writes on "The Amusements of the World" (Duncan and Malcolm) in a style almost amusing enough to be a fair substitute for them. Far be it from us to tolerate anything so utterly out of the control of the Church as the theatre in its present state, but we cannot agree with Mr.Woodward when he says, that if he had an acquaintance, a most exalted character, as near Christian perfection as a man can be, he would mentally pass a lighter judgment on him if he heard that he had "committed some desperate act of flagrant open sin," than if he heard that "a character of the same high stamp" had "with all sobriety and decorum, presented himself at the theatre." However he does not always speak in this tone.

"Your Life, by an Ex-Dissenter," (Fraser), is in substance a comparative history of the Church of England, and Dissent, for the last century, leading to the condemnation of the latter. It is a mixed and rambling production, running too much on statistics to be always interesting; but contains many good observations.

Mr. Fulford has published a very interesting Essay on "The Progress of the {246} Reformation in England," (Rivingtons), likely to do great service by exposing some popular errors on that subject.

The Bishop of Chester has published a Charge, in which, amongst other topics, he urges on Dissenters "the Church, which authority has accredited, antiquity bequeathed, and the judgment of succeeding ages sanctioned."

A volume of Sermons by the Rev. T. T. Smith (Hatchard) appears both sound and practical.

Mr. Tate's "Continuous History of St. Paul" (Longman) is drawn up on the basis of Paley's "Horæ Paulinæ," and is intended to exhibit clearly the series and succession of St. Paul's labours and writings.

The excellent Bishop Mant has finished his elaborate work on "The History of the Church of Ireland" (Parker). The author has adopted the most useful mode of writing history, that of incorporating original documents into his text.

We do not mean to express our assent to the principles or views of Dean Waddington's "History of the Reformation on the Continent" (Duncan and Malcolm), but it is impossible to speak otherwise than respectfully of a work which has employed an able man through "seven assiduous years."

"Sephardim," or "A History of the Jews in Spain and Portugal, by James Finn," (Rivingtons,) is learned, yet in a popular and attractive form.

"The Canons of the Apostles" are, we are glad to see, published in a separate form, (Parker, Oxford,) with the translation and notes of Johnson.

Mr. Freeman's "Church Principles, as bearing on certain Statutes of the University of Cambridge," is a sound-principled pamphlet, with the motto, "Ne divagentur Scholares ad Ecclesias parochiales."

The Rev. Johnson Grant's "Sketches in Divinity" (Hatchard) are answers to three hundred questions published at Cambridge as specimens of examination for Orders. They are carefully done, and will furnish the student with much information on the subjects of which they treat, though we cannot follow the author in all he says about the Church of Rome.

Mr. Trench's "Notes on the Parables" (J. W. Parker) are, like every thing he writes, interesting, erudite, and instructive. He has "determined to use very sparingly" the materials which he "found ready to his hand, and rather to make an independent gathering of his own, however small it might prove, than to enter upon other men's labours."

Mr. Parker (Oxford) has added to his excellent series of publications, Hammond's "Parænesis;" Jones's (of Nayland) "Letters from a Tutor to his Pupils," edited by "E. C." and dated "Eton;" Sherlock's "Practical Christian," a devotional work especially to be recommended; and Spelman's "Churches not to be violated." Also, an instructive "Inquiry into the Mode of distributing the Holy Communion in the Church of England and Ireland," by Rev. J. C. Crosthwaite; and "A Book of Family or Private Prayer," by Rev. H. K. Cornish, which will be acceptable to many persons.

We had intended before this to announce the commencement of the publications forming the "Anglo-Catholic Library" (Parker, Oxford). It has begun {247} with three volumes of Bishop Andrews's Sermons, edited with great care and accuracy by Mr. Wilson of Magdalen College. We understand Bramhall's Works, a translation of Bull's Harmonia, and Courrayer's Defence of English Ordinations, are in course of preparation.

Among reprints of old divinity are two excellent Tracts by Thorndike; one "Of the Government of Churches," edited by Rev. D. Lewis, (Stewart); the other on "The Right of the Church in a Christian State" (Cleaver), by the Rev. J. Brewer. Also of Bishop Ken's "Pastoral Letter and Sermon on Daniel" (Wertheim); and of Mede's "Three Discourses on the Church and Offertory" (Burns). There have also come out Bishop Patrick on "The Work of the Ministry," edited by the Rev. W. B. Hawkins, (Rivingtons); and Bishop Montague's "Articles of Inquiry," (Rivingtons), with an interesting memoir, and notes.

We are glad to see a reprint also of Lawrence's "Lay Baptism invalid" (Burns), edited by Mr. Scott, of Hoxton.

Of the Englishman's Library (Burns) has appeared, Mr. Paget's instructive and excellent "Tales of the Village," Parts I. and II.; Dean Howard's "Scripture History of the New Testament;" and "Charles Lever," another of Mr. Gresley's clever productions. The 18th No. of this collection is a reprint of "The Art of Contentment," a series of meditations for those who are suffering or feeling disappointment, by Lady Pakington, the reputed author of The Whole Duty of Man; edited by the Rev. W. Pridden.

A considerable portion of Mr. Bosanquet's "Rights of the Poor" (Burns) has already appeared in this Review. Those who perused so much of it will need no recommendation of it in its new and enlarged form.

"Home Discipline by a Mother" (Burns) is a thoughtful little work, and will suggest thoughts to others, for which they will thank the authoress. The subjects of which it treats will best be seen by the headings of some of the chapters; such as, "the Government of Servants, and other Dependents;" "General Arrangement of a Family;" and "Home Duties as taking Precedence of Public."

Mr. Parkinson on "The Present Condition of the Labouring Poor in Manchester" (Simpkin and Marshall), is the pamphlet of a person who writes from what he sees and knows, and who combines knowledge with good principle.

We cannot give the reader a clearer notion of "Anti-Popery, a new edition altered and amended by John Rogers," (Simpkin and Marshall,) than by stating his opinion, that certain divines are "endeavouring to bring a dark papal cloud athwart our clear and bright Protestant firmament, by circulating the Oxford Tracts, or rather Oxford Trash."—p. 37. Also, he writes "suprematy and primaty for supremacy and primacy, as more musical and more etymological."—p. 61. Nor "could he well avoid coining the word secundaty," which "comes regularly from secundus, as primaty from primus."—p. 309.

We are glad to find from the Pastoral Letter of Mr. Boyd, of St. John's, Philadelphia, with the authorities he brings from bishops of his Church, that our American brethren are beginning a movement against the system of pew rent. {248}

"The Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England" (Burns), conveys instruction upon the subjects which it treats in an attractive, because in a devotional and affectionate tone. "The Mother of St. Augustine" is another of the little works which Mr. Burns has so seasonably furnished for young people.

An excellent Essay upon the "True Character of the Scripture Work of Mercy" has been published by "A Clergyman of the Archdeaconry of Dorset," under the title of "A hospital is a Religious Institution."

"One Tract more, or the System illustrated by the Tracts for the Times externally regarded, by a Layman," (Rivingtons,) will repay an attentive perusal.

Of Mr. H. E. Head's "Sermons on the First Principles of the Oracles of God," (Palmer and Son), it may be enough to observe, that he denies not only the Eternal Sonship of the Word, but even that the Word is Son in any real sense whatever.

Mr. W. Harness, the author of Four Sermons preached before the University of Cambridge, on the subject, "The Image of God in the Soul of Man," (Rivingtons), appears to us to treat of that first creation of man, the divine attribute of love, and the human instinct of benevolence, too exclusively of other parts both of the revealed word, and of human nature. In Five Sermons, on the parable of the "Rich Man and Lazarus," preached before the University of Cambridge, by the Rev. J. Hildyard, (Rivingtons), the author has introduced under that awful subject a great deal that is sound and useful, written in a serious style.

"Pastoral Addresses," by the late Bishop of Chichester, (J. W. Parker), is a valuable collection of Charges, Letters, and Sermons of that lamented prelate.

"Sermons on the Seven Churches of Asia, and other subjects," by the late Mr. Carr, of Southborough, (Dalton), is a publication much to be regretted. There are many things, both in the matter and in the style, which one can hardly suppose the writer would deliberately print and publish, and which it is painful to think were ever even spoken. Some of the worst peculiarities of the Jacob Abbot school, and worse even than they, are here to be found. For example, "Our blessed Lord himself does not appear to have been a man of strong nerve;"—"If this were the day of visions, and one of you saw Christ, in a vision, making at you with a sharp sword, &c.;" soon after, "Christ is well pleased, I am assured, with our creeds and articles of religion;"—"that it is his last effort, is evident from what he (Christ) says about supper-time;"—"even Christ himself said, Why call ye me good? Can they then be blameless who deify and canonize men into such objects of veneration as to make them almost worshipped;"—"as if he (Christ) said, 'I am glad you respect the name of a Christian, that is something,' &c.;"—"after an interval which gave Jesus an opportunity of showing much love to them all," &c.

The 4th No. of the Publications of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society is an essay on the application of Heraldry to the illustration of various University and Collegiate Antiquities, by H. A. Woodham, Esq., A.B. {249}

In the May Number of the Christian Miscellany our readers will find three most interesting lectures by the Rev. John Jebb on the Cathedral Service,—its history, and rationale; with suggestions for its proper performance.

"The Lyra, or Sacred Songs, the words taken chiefly from the Lyra Apostolica," (Bates), is a collection of airs, some original, and some adapted from German and other composers. Several of the originals are very sweet and suitable. The Morning and Evening may be singled out as most likely to be generally pleasing. The others have considerable merit, but are more difficult. The airs taken from foreign composers are melodious and well adapted; though perhaps we should say that some of them do not quite come up to the serious tone of the words.

The Rev. Samuel Rickards has published, with an especial view to a rural congregation, "Selections from the Prayer-Book Versions of the Psalms," (Rivingtons), adapted to the services of the Church, and the different seasons of the Christian year. The Psalms are selected, and the tunes from our old English Psalmody appropriated to them, with carefulness and skill. With a view to the object of the work it is cheap, and easy of use.

Mr. Ogle's "Mariamne, an Historical Novel of Palestine," (Fraser,) has prefixed to it a flattering recommendation from Sir Walter Scott.

Mr. Alison's meritorious object, in his "Principles of Population," (Cadell,) is to "illustrate the intentions of God in the moral works of nature," and to deduce from statistical, geographical, and economical considerations, "the principles of supreme wisdom, human corruption, spiritual regeneration, and Christian charity."

Dr. Silver's "Second Letter to Sir R. H. Inglis on the Origin and Importance of the Church Rate" (Rivingtons), is one of the most learned pamphlets we have met with a long while.

Le Keux's "Memorials of Cambridge" continue. The new Numbers, from the tenth to the fifteenth, contain views and antiquities of C. C. College, Trinity Hall, and Sidney Sussex College; and of Great St. Mary's, with several other parishes.

We do not profess to agree with all the sentiments entertained by the author of "Pastoral Annals" (Seeley and Burnside), but they are written by a person of independent mind, though not of the most fastidious taste.

Mr. Gillmour's "Unity of the Church" (Rivingtons) is an impressive and forcible essay on a subject which will, we trust, attract more and more the anxious attention of all Christian denominations, and, not the least, members of the Church itself.

We have received a number of excellent Tracts from the New York Protestant Episcopal Tract Society. By-the-bye, we are glad to have the great authority of Dr. Mac Vickar's opinion against some of the words which go to make up this composite title. "For the legal style and designation of the Church in America," he says, "we are indebted, partly to the necessity of discriminating among the endless divisions of Christians in this country, as well w perhaps to some want of true Churchmanship in those who first adopted it." {250}

We have to notice a useful series of "Questions and Answers on the Church Catechism," by Mr. Sandford, (Rivingtons). And another of the same character, under the title of "A Manual of Christian Doctrine," (Burns,) by the Rev. John James.

Two very graphic and effective exposures have appeared of the mode in which Church-Building and Repairs are at present conducted (Burns); one by Mr. Paget, under the title of "St. Antholin's;" the other is anonymous, and is called "The Church Committee, or an Incident in the Life of Mr. John Wilful."

"Difficulties of Elementary Geometry, especially those which concern the straight Line, the Plane, and the Theory of Parallels, by F. W. Newman, formerly Fellow of Balliol College," (Ball and Co.) is an ingenious attempt to suggest a basis for geometrical proof, more axiomatic than that adopted in Euclid's Elements. With this view the author, whose high mathematical talent is well known to his contemporaries at the University, does not scruple to introduce the idea of motion and the doctrine of limits into his definitions, though aware of the objections to which, at first sight, such a method is exposed.

"Sacred Poems," by the Rev. J. Gorle, (Rivingtons), are the production of a cultivated mind, and contain much finished versification.

The known history of the Nestorians appears to us fully to account for their present condition, without having recourse to Dr. Asahel Grant's hypothesis that they are the Lost Tribes. Possibly this writer's prepossessions may have helped him to this conclusion. "They have," he says, "broad common ground with Protestant Christians, so that not inappropriately they have been called the Protestants of Asia."

A layman has published what he calls "The Bishop. A Series of Letters to a newly-created Prelate," (How and Parsons). Being advice to a bishop, the cover is adorned with a splendid mitre; and being written by one man, the motto in the title-page is, "The opinion of the many possesses great value." The writer also suggests that as bishops are appointed by laymen, therefore laymen are their proper advisers, on the principle that it is not a jury of cooks, but the guests, who pronounce whether a dinner has been well dressed. The writer gives "his friend" much the same advice that all the world has been favouring bishops with for the last fifty years and longer,—that they must not make their sons tuft-hunters, &c.; and then says that converting the maxim "præcipere laudando," he has offered a tribute of applause in the guise of precept. As the letters were entirely private and confidential in the first instance, they were written in sentences of the length of a page, with abundance of illustration and oratorical ornament. Having been so written, of course they were published, contrary, however, to a rule the writer himself lays down that "a concio ad clerum must not become a concio ad populum."

A Winter in the Azores," by J. Bullar, M.D. and H. Bullar, of Lincoln's Inn, (Van Voorst), is written in a light amusing style, with numerous pretty sketches, both by pencil and pen. It gives a pleasant account of the people, and describes their religious customs with as much sympathy as one expects from a good-natured traveller of the liberal school. {251}

"A History of British Star-Fishes," by Edward Forbes, Esq. (Van Voorst), discloses a world of wonders round our shores. The illustrations, in which fancy is made to lighten science, are very beautiful.

"Letters from Italy to a Younger Sister," by Catharine Taylor, (Murray), a mere traveller's note-book, not much illumined by sentiment. Speaking of the splendid decorations of the tomb of Borromeo, she makes the following singular remark: "These riches seem indeed ill to accord with the memory of one whose life was devoted to acts of mercy and benevolence, and whose days were spent in self-denial and humiliation." Has this lady ever read the Beatitudes?

"One Hundred Sonnets," translated from Petrarch, with the original and notes, by Susan Wollaston, (Bull), are at once elegant as compositions, and useful for Italian students; but we cannot prevail on ourselves to be patient with a poet whose genius is dedicated to the praises of another man's wife, whom, by-the-bye, suitably enough, he fell in love with in church on Good Friday.

"Poems by Lady Flora Hastings" (Blackwood) is really a beautiful volume, and speaks as pleasingly for the religious feeling as for the talent of the lamented writer.

Sir A. Croke's "Progress of Idolatry, and other Poems," (Rivingtons,) are written at once with learning and classical taste. However, we like the poetry better than the theology.

"The Selwood Wreath" (Burns) is a collection of poems from one neighbourhood, forming an agreeable memento of the parties concerned in it. They are written with much religious and amiable feeling, and are not ambitious of any extended celebrity.

An elegant edition of Bishop Heber's Poems (Murray) has been published in one volume.

"Athanasion, an Ode by A. C. Coxe," (Hertford, America,) is a poem of much merit, and more promise.

Mr. Hankinson's "Ministry of Angels, a Seatonian Poem," (J. W. Parker), evidences abundant power of versification and elegance of thought; but one marvels how any one should treat the very sacred subjects which are introduced with so little sobriety and reverence as is here shown, e.g.

"There be Four, standing by the Throne,
     Nearest of living things;
 Within the rim of the rainbow zone,
 They catch its emerald tints upon
     The snow of their folded wings."

Is St. John's heaven a romance or fairy tale, to be celebrated in ballad-metre?

The Camden Society at Cambridge, amongst other valuable services to the cause of sacred architecture, has published some useful Directions to Church-wardens, which should be circulated to every parish in the kingdom. We have, however, two objections to make. The first is a matter of taste. We do not think that stone is beyond doubt the best paving for churches. For our part we like {252} coloured tiles, which are getting cheaper every day, quite as well. The other is a more important affair. It is most dangerous to attempt the cure of damp by clearing away the earth from the foundations of churches. In half-a-dozen instances, recently, within our knowledge, this proceeding has been followed by the spreading of the walls, the earth having, as it afterwards appeared, done the duty of a buttress. Our churches were built in days when people did not care for damp, and built their own houses half underground. From inspection we are able to say that it was common to build village churches thus: an excavation was made the size of the church, one or two or three feet deep; the foundations were laid not much below the inner surface, and against the side of the excavation. In such cases, instead of the earth having accumulated against the wall, it will be found that the outer face of the wall to that height never was above ground, and accordingly was not finished. At least let not the earth be removed without the advice and assistance of an experienced architect.

The following has been sent to us as an illustration of our remarks in the last Number on Religious Advertisements. It is without parallel.

"NEWLY INVENTED WAFERS, neatly coloured, containing fifty various Scripture Texts, Maxims, Admonitions, and Appeals.

"The publisher has spared neither time, trouble, nor expense, in preparing these Wafers, and trusts that by a general circulation, they will tend greatly to encourage the Christian, impart a word of consolation to the afflicted, admonish the careless professor, and warn the impenitent sinner.

"They possess many advantages beyond any article in present use; require only to be moistened on one side, and gently pressed, are considerably cheaper than sealing-wax, and the mottoes being short, and impressive, are more liable to be read and remembered than a tract.

"Sold by ——, Paternoster-row, and all booksellers, at the low rate of 3d. per 100; and sent, post-free, at 4d. per 100; or 300 for 10d., if the cash is enclosed to ——, Essex.

"All true Christians should immediately forward their orders, and use these wafers, without delay, and thus assist in disseminating gospel truths and religious precepts throughout the world.

"'As ye have opportunity do good unto all men.'—Gal. v. 10."

Top | Contents | Works | Home

Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright © 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.