Page images
PDF
EPUB

in a chamber and the open air. The one change is of more importance to me than the other ; but not more so to the universe.”

This is the old argument, that “the life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.”

As far as this argument goes, then, there would be no harm done, if the whole species were to take arms, and, like Bayes's troops in the Rehearsal, “ all kill one another.” But we know that the life of man is no insignificant matter in the eye of God: and Mr. H. himself seems to think it of some importance to the person concerned.

GLEANINGS. No. VI. Or Select Thoughts, ANECDOTES AND EXTRACTS. Gather up the fragments that remain, that nuihing be lojt. John vi, 12.

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY AFTER this accomplished gentleman was woanded, near the walls of n Zutphen, the horse he rode being rather furiously choleric than bravely proud, forced him to forsake the field. In this sad progress, paf, sing along by the rest of the army where his uncle Robert, Earl of Lei. celter, the general was, and being thirsty with excess of bleeding, he called for some drink, which was brought hiin. But, as he was putting the bottle to his mouth, he saw a poor soldier carried along, who had been wounded at the same time, and who ghasily cast up his eyes at the bottle: Sir Philip perceiving this, took it from his mouth without drinking any himself, and delivered it to the poor man, with these words : * Thy necolity is yet greuter than mine."

This generous behaviour of our gallant knight ought not to pass without a panegyrick. All his deeds of bravery, his politeness, his learning, his courtly accomplishments, do not reflect so much honour upon him, as this heroic action. It discovered so tender and benevolent a nature: a mind so fortified against pain : a heart so overflowing with generous sentiments to relieve, in opposition to the violent call of his own neceflities, a poor man languishing in the same distress before himself, that none can read it without admiration.-Bravery is often constitutional ; fame may be the motive to feats of arms ; a statesman and a courtier may act from interest ; but a sacrifice so generous as this, can be niade by none but such as are truly good as well as great; who are noble minded, and gloriously compassionate like Sidney.

AVARICE PUNISHED. Monsieur Foscue, one of the farmers general of Languedoc, by grinding the faces of the poor within his province, had amassed an immense sum of money, which being known to the government, he was ordered to raile a considerable lum. But not being inclined to comply with this demand, he pleaded extreme poverty. And left the inhabitants of the province should give information to the contrary, he resolved to hide his treasure in such a manner as to escape the most rigid examination. He dug a kind of cave in his cellar, fo large and deep that he could go down by a ladder. At the entrance was a door with a spring lock, which on Mutting would fasten of itself. One day Monsieur Fofcue was missingdiligent search was made after him every where, but to no purpose ; at

laft last the house was sold. The purchaser beginning to rebuild it, difcos. vered a door in the cellar, and going down found Monf. Foscue lying dead with a candlestick near him, and on searching farther, they found the vast wealth which he had amassed. The purchaler supposed that he had gone down into the cave, and the door by fome accident fhutting after him, he was out of the hearing of any person, and perished for want of food. He had eat the candle, and gnawed the flesh off both his arms, Thus died this miser, in the midst of his beloved gold, to the scandal of himself and the prejudice of the state.

A HINT TO ARIANS AND SOCINIANS. Theodofius, the Emperor, having by an edi& given liberty to the Arians to preach, Amphilochus, bishop of Iconium, took the following method to prevail with him to recall that permission. As Theodofius had made Arcadius, his son, co-emperor and Cæsar with him, several bishops came to falute the emperor, to congratulate Arcadius, and to express their consent to the measure. Among others came this Amphilochus, who, after he had done obeisance very submislively to Theodosius, was going away without taking the least notice of Arcadius, who sat next to his father, arrayed in the royal robes · Theodosius, surprized at this behaviour, called to Amphilochus, saying, “ Do you not know that I have made Arcadius, my son, emperor with me?" On this Amphilochus went to Arcadius, and putting his hand upon his head, said “ he was a hopeful boy."

Theodosius being irritated at this rude behaviour, ordered the guards to take the bishop to prison. Amphilochus, after he had gone a little way, turned back, saying, “ O Theodofius, you are angry because I gave not your son the same honour which I paid to you, lince you have made him equal in majesty to yourself : and think you God will be well pleased that you suffer the Arians to abuse Chritt, whom he hath set at his right hand in glory, and will have all men honour the Son, tren as they honour the Father.Theodosius, like Felix, trembled, and the edict was reversed.

WILLIAM WHISTON. This eccentric but ingenious man, affected a more than ordinary skill in expounding the dark prophecies of scripture; and by his mathematical knowledge, thought he had discovered the precise time of the commencement of the Millennium, and the calling of the Jews ; which period having nicely computed, he himself happily outlived, and having reviewed his calculation and correced his error, outlived this prediction also; at length upon another review, he fixed it for the year 1766, which he was not likely to live to see. About the time of his uttering this prophecy, he offered a small estate for sale, to a gentleman who was well acquainted with the obstinacy with which he maintained his opinion in these matters : and having aiked the gentleman thirty years purchase for it, he appeared astonished. Mr. Whifton demanded the reason of his furprize, as he had asked no more than other people gave? I don't wonder at other people, said the gentleman, because they know no better ; but I am surprized that you Nould ask thirty years purchase, when you

know

know that in half that time all mens properties will be in common, and na man's estate will be worth a groat.

ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES. This motley junto, which was formed on the ruins of episcopacy, to establith the Presbyterian discipline and Calvinistie doctrine, consisted for the most part of ignorant fanaticks. The famous Selden was one of the lay-members, but he attended their meetings rather to laugh at and puzzle, than to allist them in their labours. Of this we have the following proof. The fapient divines were one day at a great loss, how to ascertain the exact distance between Jerusalem and Jericho; one faid it was twenty, another ten miles, and at last the conclufion was, that it could not be above feven, for this reason, that fish was brought from Jericho to Jerusalem for sale. Mr. Selden smiled and said, “ perhaps the fish was falt fish ;and so they were as much at a loss as before.

[ocr errors]

KING CHARLES THE FIRST. When this excellent and persecuted prince was at Newcastle, a Scotch minister preached before him in all the impudent cant of the party to which he belonged ; after which he had the baseness to call for the fiftyfecond psalm, which begins thus : “Why dost thou tyrant boast thyself, thy wicked works to praise ?”—This was too much for insulted majesty to bear, and therefore he got up and called for the fifty-fixth psalm, which begins, “ Have mercy Lord, on me I pray, for man would me devour.” The congregation were struck with the King's circumstances and piety, and sung the psalın which he had called for. .

Fanaticism, impudence, and rebellion, are in close alliance.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS: Elements of general Knowledge, introductory to useful Books in the principal

Branches of Literature and Science, with Lifts of the most approred Authors. Deligned chiefly for the junior Students in the Unitersities and the higher Classes in Schools. By Henry KETT, B. D. Fellow and Tutor

of Trinity College, Oxford. 2 vols. 8vo. M R. Kett is already well known to the world as a very learned and inHi genious divine. The present work will considerably add to his reputation as a very able tutor. It contains “the substance of a course of lectures which he has occasionally read to his pupils during the last twelve years." And “the satisfaction which they expretsed on hearing them, has encouraged the author to hope that they will not prove unacceptable to thofe for whose use they are now made public.” We are perfectly fatiffied that the author's hope will be abundantly gratified, and we have no fcruple in saying that the public are under great obligations to Mr. Kett for these volumes, in which there is not only a perspicuous view of almost every branch of knowledge, but likewise luch rules and directions as muft materially aflift not only the student, but the tutor. Such a work has long been a defideratum in our language, and we are happy, at last, to see the chasm so excellently filled up. The catalogue of books appended to the

second (econd volume is exceedingly judicious, nor do we see any recommended to which an objection can be made.

The following picture is so beautiful and so inftrudive, that we cannot refist the inclination of extracting it for the pleasure of our readers.

“A pious, learned, and diligent divine is one of the strongest supports and brighteft ornaments of his country. In his general intercourse with mankind, while he maintains his dignity, he is free from formality or moroseness; enjoys society, but avoids its diffipation and its follies, and knows the value of time too well to facrifice any very considerable share of it to mere amusements. To those who differ from him in religious opinions, he shows firmness of principle without asperity of conduct, as he is ever mild, gentle, and tolerant. He warms the hearts of his flock, by his fervent and unaffected piety, and he enlightens their understandings, confirms their faith, and invigorates their practice by his judicious and impressive discourlis. In bis private admonitions, he is diligent in giving advice, and delicate in his manner of doing it; always considering whether the means he employs of reconciling animogties and reproving vice, are best calculated to answer the propoled ends. He maintains a proper intercourse with all classes of bis parishioners, but he is neither arrogant to the poor, nor servile to the rich. To the indigent and deserving he is a contant friend, and protects them from the oppression of their superiors; he relieves their wants as far as it is in his power, and reconciles them to their laborious and humble stations, by the most earneft exhortations to patience and contentment. He is the compoler of strife, and the foother of outrageous parlions, and no less the temporal than the spiritual minister of peace. His tamnily is the model for all others, in their attention to private and public duties; he is the general object of esteem to all, except the malignant and the envious; and he has the happinels to observe, that as he advances in life, the respectability of his character gives additional efficacy to his instructions, and both increases the honor, and promotes the diffution of his holy religion.”

The following observations are very striking and important: « To preserve this spirit of our established institutions in its most energetic and active ftare, is more particularly necessary at a crisis like the present, when the PEACE, beneficial as it may prove in many respects to the empire, is likely to expose the young and the inexperienced to new temptations. Britain, peculiarly calculated by nature, and highly improved by the industry of its inhabitants, for widelyextended commerce, will, in consequence of this auspicious event, obtain new sup. plies of wealth, and new means of luxury. The communication with our Gallic neighbours is likely to be free and unreserved ; and multitudes of our countrymen will be led by the most eager curiosity to visit the banks of the Seine. The thoughtless votary of pleasure may imile at the assertion, but the true friend of Britain will be fenfible of its important truth, that more fatal and extensive mischief is to be apprehended from the insidious arts of thole natives of France, with whom our young travellers are most likely to converse,---from their soft allurements to luxury, their fpecious arguments in favor of their own governmeni, and their zeal to make converts to their new opinion, than we have ever had reason to fear would result from the menaces of Gallic vengeance, and the power of Gallic arms. What encouragement to persevere in the pursuit of virtue, and what approbation of our system of education can we expect to find in a Metropolis, perhaps the most luxurious in the world, where we are told, that, at this moment, a tatte for vicieus pleasures, a rage for public amusements, a licentious intercourse between the fexes, and a fystematic plan of gaming, prevail in a degree unequalled during the most licentious periods of the French monarchy? If the recent negociation of the First Consul with the papal power, and the ceremony of restoring the papal religion, were capableɔl producing an instantaneous change of opinion among the infidel part of the French nation; --if the sovereign Pontiff could by his spiritual edicts obliterate the deep stains of apostaly and atheism, no mischief would result from our intercourse with his purified prolėlytes : but while moral, as well as natural causes operate with fure and un

changing changing effect, the surest method to escape the consequences of the prevailing contagion, is not to expose ourselves to its influence. Should however the British youth determine to visit the palace of Circe, let him, like the prudent Ulysles, make use of suitable precautions against the power of the enchantress: he ought to explore her dwelling rather as a halty spectator, than a lingering guest; and not give her time to fascinate bin with her spells, and intoxicate him with her draughts of pleasure. · After giving these extracts, we presume no more need be said by us in favour of these Elements, which may jufily be styled a library of useful knowledge.

A Sermon preached in the Chapel of the Magdalen IIofpital, before the Rt. · Hon. Jacob Earl of Radnor, President, &c. on Tuesday, May 4th,1802;

and published at the Request of the Audience ;by C. P. LAYARD, D. D. · F.R. S. F. S. A. Dean of Bristol. 4to. pp. 24. THE very able and most exemplary divine who composed and preached 1 this sermon, has published it for the benefit of the Magdalen Hofpital. The author, in his advertisement prefixed to the discourse, speaks of it with that degree of modesty which always accompanies superior genius and real learning. It is our part to give its true character, which is that it is an excellent sermon. The text is, St. James, v. 20. “He which converteth the finner from the error of his way, ihall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” These are the concluding words of St. James's epistle. The dean of Bristol, after a very appropriate exordium, enters elaborately into the meaning of his text, and establishes, on firin grounds, his point of doctrine. Ordinary preachers content themselves with taking the words of any text, as they occur in our English version, and going into a string of hortatory periods ;--this pack-horse rate of going, this mill-horse round so often trodden by blind leaders of the blind, does not satisfy the dean of Bristol. He sets out like a scholar, and chuses a path for himself, not an out-of-the-way path ;-yet not such a one as every body could find out, and pursue, without losing himself in intricacies, or puzzling those who attend him in his career.

He shews us what is meant by “the error of the finner's way ;''- and combats successfully that diftich of Mr. Pope which he unwarily penned ; and the fascinating versification of which, added to “the fame of the poet," has procured to it a kind of popular celebrity, which too often resembles universal approbation ;

“ For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight,

His can't be wrong, whole life is in the right.” The clean argues, that “no doctrine was ever more false or mischievous than this, that a man may think erroneouily, and yet act correctly." He concludes “ that the error of the finner's way, mentioned in the text, relates to conduct, as well as to opinions.”

He takes “ the Greek word here translated Soul (Yuxnu,) in its most extended acceptation ;” and thence appreciates the “ value of an human soul.”

He then considers what is intended by the expression -- Mall hide a multitude of sins;"--and contends, unanswerably in our opinion, that the fins lo hidden, or covered, are “the converter's own fins.” He supports this interpretation by the authority of that most accomplished divine Bp.

ATTERBURY

« PreviousContinue »