Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

to little advantage, we return to the perhaps, have mistaken his means, for Medicean history. At the death of who is infallible ? and he probably made a John Gaston, the author sums up the false estimate of national character; but character of the Medici, enlarging his objects and motives were as sincere, chiefly upon the second dynasty. He noble, and honest as his benevolence was allows them little praise where they raise the people to a state of higher intel,

unbounded. His great ambition was to have usually been allowed a prescrip- lectual dignity, moral

attainment, physical tive title to it, viz. in the patronage of comfort, and virtue, and to annihilate literature.*

superstition. In physical improvements "The Augustine age of Florentine genius he succeeded, but for the rest the nation was not produced by the Medici, though was not generally ready, and he failed." promoted and encouraged by them all. (p. 391.)

The Augustine age of Italy was The eleventh chapter contains an also that of excessive vice, of cruelty, of oppression, treachery, and assassination, in the Maremma and Val-di-Chiana,

account of the physical improvements and the Medici were conspicuous in all."

with six lithographic maps. The last, (p. 598.9.)

shewing the state of the plain of The last volume contains the reigns Crosseto at different times from the of Francis II. Leopold I. and Ferdi- year 300 to 1830, is curious. They nand III. There is a little confusion, as are copied from Tarlini's maps, pubthe successor of Francis is alternately lished at Florence in 1838. called Leopold and Peter Leopold, as The concluding chapter on the reign well as first and second, which latter of Ferdinand III. is little more than a only belongs to him as Emperor of Ger- table of contents, and half of this is a many. The author has taken great retrospective panegyric on Leopold. pains with this part of the work, in The events of the French Revolution, which he had the materials amassed and the Royalist re-action, would have in his Life of Ricci to assist him, on afforded matter for regular history, and the subject of “the deep, artful, and as this volume is one of the smallest, harassing opposition to Leopold's ec- there was no obvious necessity for clesiastical reforms, their painful pro- compression. The want of an index gress, and lamentable termination.” (p. is a serious defect. 184.) This is true, but we are sorry to Our readers are now enabled to add that there is an ignorant flippancy judge of the merits and blemishes of in the way in which he speaks of the this history. For our own part we observance of the Sabbath. (p. 328-9.) consider it much too long as a whole, It is a great matter to know where and we suspect that if it reaches posone's province begins and ends, on terity it must first have disencumneither of which points does the author bered itself of at least one-half of its seem very clear.

burthen. The picture which is given of the monastic life, and founded, as we need not particularise, on documents printed The Mission of the Comforter, and in the Life of Ricci, is frightful. This other Sermons, with Noies. By J. chapter (the tenth of book iv.), with C. Hare, M.A. Archdeacon of Lewes, the caution we have suggested, de

8vo. 2 vols. serves to be read by students of Church THE first five of these sermons, on history in general.

“ The Mission of the Comforter," “ Leopold feared, and in a certain de

were preached before the University gree deserved the accusation of having

of Cambridge, in 1840; and the others abandoned Ricci;

on various occasions ; but as they was fast breaking up: both moral and seemed not ill-suited for a place in the physical energies were yielding before same work, their object being to set the troubles, misfortunes, and ingratitude forth the character, office, and destiwhich preyed on his spirit, and shortened nation of the Church, they are accordhis existence.

Leopold was re. ingly subjoined. moved too soon ; he might sometimes,

To these sermons a body of notes

is appendel, which has confessedly “They whom science loved to name." swelled out far beyond the author's

Collins.

expectation. As there is some diffi

but Leopold

[ocr errors]

.

culty “in explaining the three preg- its contents and style. All that can nant verses in which our Lord declares be done is to assure the reader whethe threefold work of the Comforter," ther the work deserves his attentive he thought it useful to show how they perusal, which it certainly does. The have been interpreted in various ages, verses of which it treats are some of and thus to aid the student in esti- the most important in the Gospels; mating the kind of light he may ex- and such a body of annotation as the pect from different periods in the his- archdeacon has subjoined is not to be tory of theology. For while, as he met with elsewhere. There is, perargues, a critical study of the divinity haps, a want of that lucidity which of former times will be beneficial, “on clears the way before the reader, so the other hand, if, as we have seen in that he knows to what point he has several instances, the end of this study advanced, and need neither turn back is merely to make us repeat by rote or look forward in search of what has what was said in the fourth century, not yet occurred. We say this, howor in the fourteenth, instead of be- ever, with reference to particular coming wiser, we shall become fool- parts, rather than the whole; and to isher." (Preface, p. ix.)

balance it, there are portions of pecuIn speaking on present controver- liar excellence, as for instance, at p. sies, he says,

71-81, where it is shown how our I have felt it an especial duty to call present mode of education fails of the attention of my readers again and again producing the results which are conto the inestimable blessings of the Re- templated in the text. In note K formation, as evinced in the expansion of the archdeacon gives his reasons for theology, no less than in the purification preferring the marginal reading conof religion.”

vince, to the common one reprove. As And further,

a summary of the subject, we quote "Now that the battle of the Reformation

these passages from Sermon iv. on is renewed, now that the Reformers are

“ The Conviction of Judgment." attacked with unscrupulous ignorance and

“The Comforter will convince the virulence, now that the principles which world of judgment. We have seen how animated them are impugned and denied, He convinces the world, how He convinces now that the whole course of events, pre- each individual soul, of the sin of not beviously and subsequently, as well as at

lieving in Christ; and how He leads us to that time, is strangely misrepresented and

cast away that sin, whereby we were cut distorted, it becomes necessary to defend off from God and all goodness; to give up the truth, not only by asserting its majesty

our hearts to faith, to believe and to find a and repelling its foes, but also by carrying power in our faith, which will deliver us the war into the enemy's country.” (p. xi.) from ourselves and from sin. We have

This alludes chiefly to note W, in seen how He convinces the world and each which the character of Luther is de- individual soul of Christ's righteousness ; fended against various recent attacks, how He convinces us that Christ, in that and to which we shall return. The

He went to the Father, manifested himself

to be the Lord our Righteousness; and archdeacon, who is well read in the

how He leads us to seek to be clothed in German divines, also calls the opinions the righteousness which Christ has obin Mr. Newman's sermons, and in the

tained for us.” (p. 126.). writings of some of his followers, on

“ The conviction of judgment, ... is that subject_erroneous ; and Mr. preparatory to our sanctification. The judgDewar's work on German Protestant- ment with which our Lord judged the ism, worthless.*

Prince of this World may be regarded as From a work, which is a compendium twofold: it was a judgment of absolute and on the subject of John xvi. 7-11, it entire condemnation; and it was a judgis difficult to make a series of ex

ment of utter overthrow and confusion... tracts which shall give a full idea of The judgment against the Prince of this

World was indeed completed and consum

mated by the sacrifice on the Cross. * “Ignorance, however, has not been si. (Serm. v. p. 159.). They who have been lenced, and, when it is maledicent, is sure truly convinced of judgment will no longer to find a credulous auditory; and thus cleave to that which they know their Saeven Mr. Dewar's worthless book is quoted viour has condemned: they will no longer and extolled as an authority.” (p. xii.) walk in the train of him whom their

master has overcome and cast out.” (Ibid. (642.) Of the Fathers, he considers p. 164.)

Chrysostom (on John vii. 39) far more

satisfactory than Augustin (439); but The doctrine implied in the words he remarks, that a narrow lifeless * It is expedient for you that I go character is often given to the exposiaway," is practically well applied in Ser. tions of the Fathers, by their aptness i. p. 17, to the successive changes of to reter words spoken, and things done, human life. But the concluding pas- to the past only, without considering sage of the same sermon (p. 19-21) what was permanent in them. (536.) which belongs to the kind denomi- Luther, “ as he is wont, goes straight nated experimental, is of first-rate to the heart of the truth."* (443.) beauty and value. We commend it At p. 449 a parallel is drawn between to the peru al of all who have found him

and Calvin, in which the latter is the path of religion grow rough when highly praised for fulness and precision. they expected it to be smooth. It may Our author professedly gives long exbe suinmed up, as leading the inquirer tracts from Luther's writings, to show to look less at the pattern of Christ, how far superior his expositions of and more at the Saviour's work, thus Scripture are, in primary truths, to calling him off from a strength which the best among the Fathers, even of is his own, to the source of another,

Augustin : which is divine. To some this will appear obscure, but those for whom it “When we come upon these truths in is calculated will discern its worth. Luther, after wandering through the dusky

The author has adopted a peculiar twilight of the preceding centuries, it seems orthography, as preacht for preached, almost like the sunburst of a new revela&c. in which we have not followed him. tion, or rather as if the sun, which set tions from writers of various times, (p. 579.) The notes are replete with quota- when St. Paul was taken away from the

earth, had suddenly started up again." as well as critical remarks on translators and annotators. Bishop An- Note W, which extends from p. drewes “seldom lets any rational view 656 to 878, is devoted to a vindication of a subject escape him;" but the late of Luther from various aspersions in Oxford reprint of his sermons is blamed modern writers, such as Mr. Hallam, for verbal inaccuracy. He often, it is Mr. Ward, Sir W. Drummond, &c. further remarked, spins out a me- On the ground which these writers taphor in lieu of an argument. (403, have traversed in their way, the arch421.) “Cartwright is able and pious, deacon feels himself at home. He conthough too scholastic and technical.” siders that the tone of Mr. Hallam's (453.) Hammond is sensible, though unfavourable remarks is traceable to never profound, and" is fond of taking Bossuet's misrepresentations. (p. 666.) the words of the New Testament in The note is too long to analyse, and their lowest and narrowest sense ; and too important to be passed over: we thus, along with Grotius, must rank hope that the author will enlarge it among the precursors of the rational- into a separate essay; but, at all events, izing exegesis of the next century." it will have an effect on the future (454, 547.) Baxter is simple, clear, tone of ecclesiastical history. and sound (465); Lightfoot " sensible Part of this note is intended to deand intelligent, in addition to his great fend Luther against the charge of learning.” (639.) Beveridge is learned Antinomianism. On the alleged disand pious (464); Matthew Henry paragement of St. James's epistle, the fresh and rich in scriptural illustration. archdeacon shows that it is relative, (467.) Offoreigners, Lampe is learned not positive, as though that epistle did and elaborate.” (409.) Bengel's Gno- not bear on the question in hand; and mon “manifests the most intimate and that Luther himself omitted the ex. profoundest knowledge of the Scrip- pression in later editions of his preface tures.” (405.) Bossuet's Meditation to the German Testament. (p. 815.) on John`xvi. ü. is “ rhetorical, vague, and empty, and has that air of un- The exposition of John xiv.-xvi. is reality, not to say untruth, which so termed “one of the most precious of his often characterises French eloquence. works.”

He has been accused of saying, “The tions has acquired. Able as the His. Book of Esther I toss into the Elbe;" toire des Variations unquestionably is, if but his original expression was “the regarded as the statement and pleading of third book of Esther," meaning the an unprincipled and unscrupulous advoapocryphal Esdras, which Jerome him- cate, it is anything but a great work. For self reckons among the procul abji- with a paramount love of truth; this is the

no work can be great, unless it be written cienda. (p. 818.) Luther's words have

moral element of all genius ; and without undergone two transformations, the it the finest talents are worth little more one in omitting the distinguishing term than a conjuror's sleight of hand. Bossuet, third, and the other in substituting in this book, never seems to have set himEsther for Esdras. This shows how self the problem of speaking the truth, as incorrectly his conversations have been a thing to be arrived at. ... Never once, I reported (to say nothing of increasing believe, from the first page to the last did errors in reprinting), and how unsafe he try heartily to make out what the real it is to build conclusions upon them. fact was.” (p. 860-1.), “It is full time The archdeacon observes on miscel.

that a work which has been exalted so far lanies of this kind,

beyond its worth for a century and a half,

should be cast down to its proper place." “ Some collections of table-talk are (p. 866.) indeed interesting and delightful; but they Of Luther's character he says, “The should always be read in an indulgent, not

more one knows of him the in a censorious, spirit. The only safe rule he becomes, the more too he wins not

grander is to ascribe whatever we find that is wise, merely reverence, but love.” (p. 855.) or ingenious, or instructive to the speaker, since that is not likely to have been

in archdeacon, we think, is led rather

In the latter part of the notes the the absurdities, the extravagances should far by his wish to conciliate Nonconbe overlooked, from the probability that formists. Writers in general adopt they may be the scribe's interpolations or the complaints of that body, without perversions, or that they may have had considering whether any very different some unrecorded justification at the mo- result could possibly have been arrived ment." ." (p. 817.)

at. No scheme of comprehension could As to the defence of Luther's lan

have been devised that would have guage at p. 773, let those who are not materially altered their number; for satisfied with it read that of Erasmus how could the Anabaptists have coaconcerning his own Colloquies, for we

lesced with Pædobaptists, and the suspect that on the score of language Presbyterians and Independents with the latter had the harder task to per- Episcopalians ? The Church was both form.

Pædobaptist and Episcopalian, and We would gladly enlarge upon this

must either have essentially altered head, but no analysis, such as could her nature, or things must have rebe made here, would be sufficient; so mained much as they did. The list of we pass on to the character which the Nonconformists, we suspect, has been archdeacon has given of Bossuet and swelled by the names of persons who his “ Variations :

were ejected to make room for the “ Indeed, if anything were surprising

lawful incumbents, or for want of any among the numberless napaloya of litera legal title. Thus while Calamy's work ture, one should marvel at the inordinate professes to give a long list of persons reputation which the Histoire des Varia.

who were ejected by the Act of Uniformity, he includes Mr. John Gibbs

of Newport Pagnel, who was conWhile we are writing this, the follow- fessedly put out "some months” before ing passage in Mr. Preston's recent trans

the Act. Gibbs's successor, Robert lation of " Ecclesiastes " has come under Marshall

, was presented by the Crown, our view. “The learned Huet and others January 16, 1660, which is more than have asserted that Luther spoke disparagingly of the Book of Ecclesiastes; but

some months; the Act only took effect the fact is, that the remarks in his Table

in August 1662.

If such cases are Talk, which led them to say so, are not

included it is easy to make out a list; with respect to this book, but to that of but criticism would probably reduce Jesus the son of Sirach." (Prolegomena, it to narrower limits. Calamy says p. 12.)

that Mr. Gibbs's offence was refusing

to admit the whole parish to the Lord's kind of information which Buona-
Supper, and this assertion has been parte's nation of shopkeepers should
introduced into a modern inscription be desirous to possess.
in the Independent chapel at New- The Jew, the inventor of bills of
port Pagnel. The assertion, however, exchange, and the Lombard, seem to
amounts to an impossibility. Not only have been the earliest true commercial
does the Sacramental Rubric enjoin the men of England ; and, as the Jews col-
contrary practice, but the canons are lected much personal property, some
explicit upon it, particularly the 26th, of our early kings showed no little in-
which excludes notorious offenders, the genuity in transferring some of it to
best comment on which is chap. xxii. their own treasures, by processes for
of Herbert's Country Parson, where it is which they found names that might
said, " he administereth to none but the conceal their injustice, such as tallage,
reverent.” As the current story then amerciaments for misdemeanours, ran-
cannot be true, we need not inquire soms, compositions, protection, and the
what foundation it had ; but that Mr. like; and, under pretence that the
Gibbs may have made himself enemies Lombards were extortioners, Edward
by rigidity on this point is possible, III. seized their wealth--an act which
which we believe to be the whole we should have taken for extortion
truth of the matter. He never had had we not thus found it to be a royal
any legal presentation to the vicarage, correction of extortion. Charles the
and the Crown exercised its right at First, Mr. Francis tells us, "conde-
the Restoration, His case, however, scended to answer his royal necessities
shows that party statements must be with 200,0001., which his loving sub-
received very cautiously.*

jects, the merchants, had deposited for

safety in the Mint, leaving a thousand History of the Bank of England, its breadless families to ponder on their

Times and Traditions. By John neglect of the warning of the Psalmist
Francis. 2 vols. 8vo.

- Put not your trust in princes.'”
THOUGH we, alas ! have but slight All this seems to show that, however
cause to mark in our calendar the strong our commerce may now have
transfer days at the Bank, and are grown, it had not kings for its nursing
but seldom the happy holders of the fathers, unless, indeed, we take the
gracious promises of " the Governor royal dealings which Mr. Francis nar-
and Company of the Bank of England” rates to us to have been only whole-
to give us gold whenever we might some fatherly corrections.
choose to go after it, and have never The Bank of England was projected
had so much experience as we would by William Paterson, who headed the
in the relative good offices of gold and unhappy colony that went out with
its paper representative, and therefore great hope, in 1698, to the Isthmus of
do not feel ourselves quite competent Darien, and either died there, or came
to deal with the mysteries of the great again brokenhearted to Scotland; and
palace of Pluto, the Bank of England it was established in 1694, under an
yet, as Mr. Francis has done us the act which munificently authorised a
honour of submitting his work to our corporation, to be called “ The Go-
critical authority, we cannot well do

vernor and Company of the Bank of less than introduce it to our readers. England,” to raise 1,200,0001., and

Mr. Francis, then, has collected a lend it to Government, at eight per great body of materials for the history cent. per annum. of the Bank of England, and therefore That such a Bank, and a paper curof our currency, and has delivered rency, may be necessary in a highly them in a narrative which is suffi- commercial community, and that they ciently lively to engage the mind, have been of service to the public, we while it affords it a great deal of that

are not prepared nor disposed to deny;

but very few human schemes are of * What is erroneously asserted of Mr. unmingled good. A paper currency Gibbs's case, actually occurred in that of seems to have created a new crime Jonathan Edwards, an eminent minister forgery; and we cannot help thinking among the Presbyterians in America. See may the great men of many promises his " Life" by Hawkesley, chap. 4. forgive the thought !--that the Bank

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »