Page images
[blocks in formation]



"The Village Blacksmith' is altogether one of the most interesting volunies of its kind, and the best written we have inet with. No one can take it up without the certainty of reaping instruction and delight. Mr. E. has exhibited the continued sweetness and playfulness of beautiful imagery which distinguishes his prose, and in every page tells us in spite of limself, it is 'Prose by a Poet.' Its peculi:r feature is graceful simplicity, with poetry oozing through every sentence. His arguments are clear and forcible, expressed in language generally elegant; and we feel that we are perusing the pages not only of a man of genius, but of an ardent, active, and cheerful Christian. And with all, there is a tone of delightful pleasantry, half-concealed in the writings of Mr. E., which is often placed under unnecessary restraint.

ECLECTIC REVIEW, Oct. 1831. “The simplicity of Samuel Hick often bordered on the ridiculous, and it required not only tenderness and experience, but the penetration and judginent of a master of the human heart to discriminate between them. The literary merits of this work are as superior to the maudlin mass of religious memoirs, as the comet-coursed rillage blacksnith was unlike the amiable, but inanimate personages, of whom they bear witness. We recommend the Village Blacksinith,' as likely to amuse, instruct, and edify--and the volume as containing more pure, manly, and beautiful English, than is to be found in any half-dozen modern novels. A poet's prose, where it is not inflated, is the best of all prose ; and in the work before us, Nr. Everett's este and judgment have fortunately prevented him from falling into the cominon error; and lic has introduced only so much imagination and metaphor as to elevate the subject, delight the reader, and to throw over the whole the quiet and pure spirit of his own muse."

THE ATHENÆUM, Nov. 19, 1831. “An interesting Memoir was published a few months ago of the life of Samuel Hick, late of Micklefield, Yorkshire, the details of which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they appear more in the character of a romance than real life.''

MANCHESTER CHRONICLE, July 30, 1831. “The volune now lying before us epitomizes the life of a blacksinith, distinguished for bis integrity and piety, and who has been very useful in his day and generation. It is written in an easy, graceful style; and it cannot fail to interest those whose hearts can warm to the expressions of sincerity and benevolence, which breathe through every page.”

NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE, April, 1832. Perhaps few inen, besides Mr. Everett himself, could have constructed, had they been s. disposed, such a goodly fabric, or, to pursue the inetaphor, have produced such a dish, out of such materials; for in the cruility of those very materials is to be seen the skill of the artificer,—who makes light shinc vut of darkness, speaks confusion into order, and throws a charm around what else had been repulsive to both 'sight and taste. Yet and innumerable disadvantages, there was one advantage in the subject alone, which the writer appears to have had prophecy of soul sufficient to foresee would arrest the attention of the reader, like the fiery brilliancy of a comnet, exclusive of its erratic course. With the exception of the Vulcan of the heathen, and the knot-tier of Gretna-green, we know of no 'artificer in brass and iron,' not even Tubal-Cain himself, the secrets of whose history would be more interesting than those of The Village Blacksmith,' and in the life of no one of them will be found such as astructor."

IMPERIAL MAGAZINE, April, 1832. - This is a singular little work, furnishing another very remarkable history of human chalactar acted upon by ideas of religion, which it were hard to characterize as too enthusiastic when stainped' by so much of charity and good works. We have not for a long time seen a volume which we read with more curiosity and pleasure--curiosity in following the develop ment of the character of the natural and simple man, in his rough but honest and untutored, and often singularly correct views of things,-and pleasure at that unwearied pursuit of good, woich marked every moment of his life. His dreams, his mental impressions, his self-denials, his syinpathy for the poor, his undaunted carriage in respect to what he thought was right, his untutored dialect, his firmness under persecution, and the quaintness of his manners, are all delightful. One thing, however, must be noted by way of detracting froin the subject of the memoir, as the whole cause of our satisfaction in perusing it, and that is the exceilence of the composition--the neatness and clearness of the writer's style, and the charming sim. plicity which prevails throughout. Hick was himself what Coleridge would call a psychologieal curiosity, and the memoir is not less a curiosity for its purity and elegance.---The Life of liick should be in the hands of every Christian philosopher; it is a most interesting account of a inind deeply impressed with religion, and furnishing a beautiful exemplification of the outpouring of a simple, benevolent, untutóred spirit, full of hope and enthusiasm."



Village Blacksmith;










"That not only the maxims, but the grounds of a pure morality, the mere fragments of which
the lofty grave tragedians taught in chorus or iainbic,' and that the sublime truths of the divine
unity and attributes, which a Plato found most hard to learn and deemed it still more difficult to
reveal ; that these should have become the almost hereditary property of childhood and poverty,
of the hovel and the workshop; that even to the unlettered they sound as conmon-place, is a
phenomenon which must withhold all but minds of the most vulgar cast from undervaluing the
services even of the pulpit and the reading-desk.”

COLERIDGE'S Biographia Literaria, vol. I. p. 226.

[blocks in formation]



[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

CHAPTER I. His birth-parentage-hears John Nelson-disturbance during

street-preaching-is bound an apprentice to a blacksmith-his conduct-attends a lovefeast-becomes the subject of divine impressionshears Thomas Peace-visits York--scenes of riot-hears Richard Burdsall— his conduct towards a persecuting clergyman-his heart increasingly softenedconviction

- Mr. Wesleythe good effects of that venerable man's ministry. PAGE 1.

CHAPTER II. He leaves his master before the expiration of his apprenticeship

is providentially directed to a suitable situation, and commences business for himself-his marriage-his benevolence death of his wife's motheris alarmed by a dream-obtains mercysuddenness of his conversionits fruits-his zeal-answer to prayer, and effects of his expostulation with a landladysummary of the evidence of his conversion. Page 18.

He seeks church fellowship-advises with a pious clergyman,

with whom he meets in band-unites himself, on the clergyman's leaving the neighbourhood, to the Wesleyan Methodists--the kind of preaching under which he profitedsociety Sturton Grange-revival of religiontwo colliers rendered extensively usefula solitary barn the resort of the devoutSamuel's distress on account of indwelling sin, and his deliver. ance from it-singular occurrence-deep distress compatible with a state of justification. Page 34.

CHAPTER IV. Samuel's public character_his call to speak in public-a dream

reproves a clergyman-assists in prayer-meetings-visits Hovden and other places a remarkable out-pouring of the . Spirit of God-his power in prayerlabours to be usefulma general plan laid down for the spread of religion in the villages of Garforth, Barwick, &c.—Samuel received as a regular


« PreviousContinue »