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Old Portraits and Modern Sketches. By John G. WHITTIER. Boston:
Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 12mo, pp. 304.
The readers of the National Era, Washington, have not failed to observe that that journal, along with its special mission as a political paper, has performed a somewhat unusual part in the literary world. In that journal, of which Mr. Whittier is in some way an editor, many of the portraits and sketches in this volume originally appeared. They are tinged with the spirit of the Quaker and the Reformer; and are the more agreeable for that, because they are true to the character of the author, who is both, and both sincerely. In the Quaker past he finds, amid fancies and extravagances which he would never defend, germs of freedom and progress illustrated in the lives and sufferings of true heroes and martyrs, and these form the subjects of some of the portraits before us. But these same germs and these same illustrations were found equally out of the Quaker ranks, and Mr. Whittier is too comprehensive in his admiration of moral heroism to discard such men as Bunyan from his gallery. In one of the portraits will be found confirmation of Macaulay's picture of the social position of parish priests at the accession of James II.,-a picture generally deemed extravagant. Among the “modern sketches” we find one of Nathaniel Peabody Rogers,--and we suppose we must set down to Mr. Whittier's Quakerism the extent of the charity with which he covers the assaults of that writer upon the institutions of Christianity. He could hardly be excused on other grounds.-All in all, the book is exceedingly agreeable, not as history, not as memoirs of individual lives, but as portraits and sketches, bringing out into strong relief characters and events prominent in their time, and linked with the grand march of humanity, The subjects are, John Bunyan, Thomas Ellwood, James Naylor, Andrew Marvell, John Roberts, Samuel Hopkins, Richard Baxter, William Lege gett, Nathaniel P. Rogers, Robert Dinsmore.
The Seaside and the Fireside. By HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 12mo, pp. 141.
Though Mr. Longfellow is too much imbued with the spirit of German song to be in strictness a national poet, he is nevertheless among the very first of our poets, and one of whom we may be justly proud. There is a winning fancy in his poems and an exquisite finish, which cannot fail to charm the reader. Unquestionably they will survive him, and become classics. The collection before us bears the usual marks of his poems. The opening one, the Building of the Ship, is boldly conceived and admirably executed, concluding with a passage of singular force and sublimity. We cannot withhold it :
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State !
In spite of rock and tempest-roar,
The Almost Christian Discovered; or, the False Professor Tried and Cast. By the Rev. MATTHEW MEAD. With an Introduction, by Rev. WillLIAM R. Williams, D. D. New-York: Lewis Colby, 18mo,pp. 250.
A searching book is this, the work of an eminent Nonconformist divine, and as suggested beautifully in Dr. Williams's preface, like sub-soil ploughing to agriculture, the sure occasion of richer harvests to those who apply it faithfully to their souls. We consider it a good augury that such a book is received with so much favor. We hope it may be widely circulated and widely read.
The War with Mexico Reviewed. By ABIEL ABBOT LIVERMORE. Bos
ton: William Crosby & H. P. Nichols. 12mo, pp. 310. This volume is the one which, under an adjudication by the Hon. Simon Greenleaf, LL. D., the Rev. William Jenks, D. D., and the Rev. Baron Stow, D. D., received the premium of five hundred dollars offered by the American Peace Society for “the best review of the Mexican War
, on the principles of Christianity and an enlightened statesmanship." It is remarkable for the number of facts, of every form and hue, and gathered from the widest variety of sources, which it brings to illustrate its positions against war, as a method of national arbitrament, and especially against the late war with Mexico, which it condemns in unsparing terms.
Literary. In place of the ample record of literary intelligence, both American and foreign, which we had designed for the present number, we are obliged to content ourselves with the brief summary which follows, and to exclude altogether some items of information pertaining to colleges and theological seminaries which we should be glad to lay before our readers.
Among the books lately published in England is An Essay on the External Act of Baptism, by the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Ť. Noel
, M. A. The second volume of Dr. Davidson's Introduction to the New Testament has been issued. It extends from Acts to 2d Thessalonians. Messrs. Johnstone & Hunter announce that the subscriptions for the proposed edition of the works of Dr. John Owen warrant them in putting the first volume to press without delay. The works will be comprised in 15 volumes, to be issued at the rate of five volumes per year. The sub
scription price until March 31st was one guinea per year; from that time the price was to be one and a half guineas.
« We have announce, with regret," says the London Christian Times, that Tholuck's Litterarischer Anzeiger has ceased to appear, with the year just ended, after having been for twenty years one of the ablest and most popular orthodox theological reviews of Germany. The learned and pious editor attributes his de termination chiefly to the want of contributors, since the great strife upon the Church and State question, brought on by the revolution of 1848. Many of his former fellow-laborers are so divided in opinion as to be unable to co-operate with each other, and the attention of those that are like-minded is absorbed by the practical interests of the Church, and of Society; they have neither time nor heart to sit and criticise. We trust the day is not far off when Dr. Tholuck may resume his pen, cheered by the results of that conflict which now fills him with despondency. One of the last numbers of the Anzeiger announces a third edition of Tholuck's comment upon the Hebrews, so revised as to be almost a new book. It seems the important question, how far the New Testament writers were influenced by the then reigning Jewish exegesis, is thoroughly investigated."
J. L. Jacobi, Professor Extraordinary in the University of Berlin, has in preparation a compendium of Church History, of which the first volume has appeared. The Methodist Quarterly Review announces a translation as soon to be published in London or New-York, and perhaps in both. Professor Jacobi is a friend of Neander, and the
one, we suppose, who at Neander's request wrote the article on Baptism in Kitto's Cyclopædia. He denies the apostolic origin of Infant Baptism.
Messrs. D. Appleton & Co. have lately republished Notes on the Miracles of our Lord, by Richard Chevenix Trench, M. A.,-a valuable work, similar in character to Notes on the Parables, by the same author. The Life and Religion of Mohammed, as contained in the Sheoah Traditions of the Hyat-ul-Kuloob; Translated from the Persian, by Rev. James L. Merrick, is the title of a work just issued by Phillips Sampson & Co.
, Boston. Professor H. B. Hackett, of Newton, and Professor BB Edwards, of Andover, are engaged upon a Commentary on the Psalms, which is expected to be issued during the present year, Professor Hackett is also engaged upon a Commentary on the Acts,
No. LXI.-JULY, 1850.
ART. 1.-COLERIDGE AND SOUTHEY.
COLERIDGE's Works. 8vo. Philadelphia. 1840. COLERIDGE's Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit. 12mo. Bos
ton. 1841. Souther's Life of Wesley. With Notes by COLERIDGE. 3
vols. 12mo. New-York. 1847. SOUTHEY's Life and Correspondence. Edited by his Son, the
Rev. CHARLES CUTHBERT SOUTHEY, M. A. Vol. I. 1849. COTTLE's Reminiscences of Coleridge and Southey. 12mo.
“We have got Coleridge's Literary Remains," says the late Dr. Arnold, of Rugby,* (himself “a proper man,') in which I do rejoice greatly. I think, with all his faults, Old Sam was more of a great man than any one who has lived within the four seas in my memory.” Of Southey, said Coleridge,
" When future critics shall weigh out his guerdon of praise and censure, it will be Southey the poet only, that will supply them with the scanty materials for the latter. They will likewise not fail to record that as no man was ever a more constant friend, never had a poet more friends and honorers, among the good of all parties.”—“I know few men who so well deserve the character which an ancient attributes to Marcus Cato—that he seemed to act right by the necessity of a happy nature.”+
We venture to produce the above as, on the whole, a fair * Life and Correspondence, by Stanley, 8vo, New-York, p. 288. † Coleridge's Biog. Literaria. VOL. XV.-NO. LXI.
estimate of these remarkable men. The publication of the early parts of an authentic Life of Mr. Southey recalled naturally to our minds that of his early friend-one whom he would have called for some years his Mentor, and his “heart's best brother.” Each was a public writer from youth to advanced age ; both have been long enough withdrawn from the world, to enable us to estimate them fairly ; not too long for us to feel a vivid interest in them, as members of the great family of English writers who have left sharp and deep traces of their influence on the present age. To the Past do they enough belong, wherever the language of Milton and Shakspeare is spoken, for the maturity of their fame; while they are sufficiently linked with the Present, to live in the personal recollections of many; or, to enable us to read occasionally the author through the man of those recollections, as we cannot in the case of those who were in no sense our contemporaries—those of whose habits and idiosyncrasies “ the memory of no living man telleth."
We pair them, and will treat them as a pair, so far as possible; for Nature and Providence paired them. They began life together, leaving their family connections, respectively, for a romantic personal and literary friendship; toiled and lingered together over a cherished scheme for life-union ; published some of their first poetry together; married sisters in the same year; and alike sustained themselves afterwards and through life by literary efforts. They pair by similarity and by contrast. They were equal in many respects, alike in few. Each soon diverged from the other, but kept him in sight; .they often differed in temper and judgment, but were long, if not finally, jealous for each other's fame, and of any one beside differing with the other. The one had more genius, the other more talent and tact; one was by universal consent an oracle, the other a critic. One spoke, as by inspiration, of all things high and deep; the other wrote, in the fruition of immense acquirements, of all things accessible to literary labor. The one was often inexcusably idle, the other always, and often to excess, busy on system. To adopt a favorite distinction of Coleridge's, the one worshipped the idea of all truth, the other was a priest of the understanding of it: the one was the greater, the other the better man. melancholy but instructive parity may be traced through their last scenes. Each died at about the same age, having in an unusual way worn out his mind-Coleridge, in part, doubtless, by opium, by lassitude, and by ill-directed (never concentrated) efforts : Southey, by the honorable toil