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Review.- The Modern Martyr.
a tale founded on facts which have fallen to the margin of the grave. On her under his own observation. He does not, departure, the father relented, but the however, mean to assert, that the facts mother remained inexorable, from an aprecorded in these volumes have ever been prehension that by countenancing the conexemplified under his own eye in any one duct of the daughter, they should lose all individual. He has perceived some por- their respectability in the eyes of the tion in one, an additional feature in a genteel profligates, whose society they second, and a continuation in a third, courted, and wished to secure. But, unThese fragments he has transplanted into fortunately, scarcely bad she been sent his pages, and, concentrating the whole into exile, before they found themselves in one character, given existence to his abandoned by the persons whom they Modern Martyr,
meant to please, and traduced as unfeel. The early part of this narrative we ing wretches, by the miserable rector who distinctly recollect to have seen in the had advised the measure. In consequence “Spirit and Manners of the Age;" and so of these complicated disasters, old Mr. well were we pleased with the interest it Lester became insane, but his wife reexcited, and its promise of entertainment mained inflexible. Recovering his underand usefulness, that we regretted it should standing, and repenting of his rashness, a have been left unfinished. In these vo- letter was despatched to recall the daughlumes the tale is again begun, and carried | ter, but being detained, apparently by the on to its conclusion, without any such unnatural mother, its object was defeated. interruption,
The daughter, however, returned exceedThe story commences with a survey of ingly ill, and shortly died, leaving her an old Baronial mansion, once inhabited father a prey to remorse and mental abby a hospitable family now gone down to erration, and the mother the victim of the dust, but on whose virtues, the parish- unyielding insensibility. clerk, becoming the faithful historian, de This general outline is filled up with scants to the author, who happens to visit numerous characters, events, and occurthe place. On the extinction of the rences, that naturally arise as we pass Baronial family, the mansion was pur- along. Some of these are remarkably chased by a Mr. Lester, a wealthy trades pleasing, while others derive their interest man who had retired from business, but from the disgust which they excite. The had scarcely brought with him a single conversations to which we are introduced virtue to adorn his name. The striking are in general sprightly and vigorous, in contrast between these two opposite cha. which each individual creditably sustains racters is nicely discriminated, and finely his allotted character. There are many preserved; the former being generous, letters, which, though excellent in themhospitable, compassionate to all around selves, lose much of their importance, him, and beloved by all; and the latter by interrupting the history, of which every mean, proud, and selfish, a stranger to reader is solicitous to see the catastrophe. benevolence and every noble feeling of the So far as progressive narrative, and diverheart.
sity of incident, can attract attention, the The Lesters had two children; one a former part of the first volume, and the young lady, amiable in her disposition, concluding half of the second, will be and truly pious, devoting her time and found the most interesting. The intertalents to the necessities of the sick and mediate portions either branch off into indigent, administering to their temporal | some needless digressions which might wants, and instructing them in the things well be spared, or furnish a convenient which made for their everlasting peace. vehicle to convey religious peculiarities, In almost every respect she was the con. though without being contaminated with trast of her churlish parents. This con sectarian bigotry. duct exposed her to much unkind treat- Throughout these volumes, many topics ment from them, to which they were of general and permanent interest become stimulated by the worthless rector of the the subjects of examination and discusparish. To rescue this young lady from sion, such as the Sunday-schools instructthe fangs of Methodism, fanaticism, piety, ing the lower orders of society, the progress and enthusiasm, both artifice and threat- of dissenterism, and the sin of attending ening exerted their influence, but finding conventicles. Against all these, Miss her incorrigible, she was at length banished Frip, Miss Grig, and the whole tribe of from home, and compelled to seek an | Fribbles, Gads, and Dancers, with the asylum in Wales, where, after remaining angry rector at their head, set their faces; some time, she was taken ill, and brought | denouncing them as the means of disturbe
123.- VOL. XI.
Review.-The Scripture Reader's Guide.
compose a sermon to be preached in the ensning
week, on behalf of the Religious Tract Society. teach those to think, whose duty is
Mr. Spencer left his paper and pen prepared for
this purpose, and proceeded to the river. Mersey to domestic intricacy the author well knows
bathe. While undressing bimself, he was engaged
in humming a bymn tune. He entered the river, how to conduct his readers, whom he con
was borne out by the current, sunk in the deep vinces more by the results of his state
water, and was drowned: thus suddenly was he ments, than by the force of argument
called from early labours on earth, to an early and
eternal reward in heaven.” Preface. which he puts into the mouth of his
The sermons which fill this volume, are speakers. Among the episodal characters,
in perfect unison with what might be exseveral are admirably drawn; whether we view them as designed to excite our abhor
pected from the preceding character of their
author, which is but an epitome of an enrence, or to urge us to imitation. As a whole, it is a work replete with valuable
larged and admirably written memoir of this
eminent but youthful servant of God, pubinstruction, invariably inculcating all that is praiseworthy, and
lished not long after the time of his unexdirecting its shafts
pected death, by the Rev. Dr. Raffles. against the fashionable vices, prevailing
These sermons, written on some important follies, and vacillating principles, of the
passages selected both from the Old Testament and the New, do not appear to have
been chosen to furnish the preacher with an Review.-Twenty-one Sermons. By the opportunity of displaying his talents on par
lale Rev. Thomas Spencer, of Liverpool. ticular topics which he had rendered fami. 12mo. pp. 324. Religious Tract So liar to his mind, but to enable him, in the ciety, London. 1829.
fulness of a pious spirit, through the meThe melancholy fate of this amiable young
dium of a vigorous understanding, to inculman created in Liverpool a sensation among
cate such awful truths of revelation, as all ranks, that will not speedily be forgot
should influence the hearts and lives of his ten. Of his history and death the follow
hearers. To accomplish this purpose they ing account is given in the preface to this
| are admirably adapted, and we cannot but volume.
wonder that they had not long since been
sent into the world. In giving them publi“ The Rev. Thomas Spencer was born at Hertford, January 21, 1792. Even when a child, preachers and preaching seemed to occupy nearly all his thoughts. The manuscript of a sermon,
character; and the honour they confer on written when he was about twelve years old, is still preserved, which shews the early bias of his | the name of the deceased, will in due promind, and indicates his future superiority. In
portion be reflected on themselves. 1806, when he was about fifteen, he was placed by Thomas Wilson, Esq. under the care of the Rev. Young as Mr. Spencer was when called William Hordle, of Harwich, to enter on his pre. | from time into eternity, his sermons evince paratory studies. In January 1807, he was ad.
| a mind imbued with genuine piety, accommitted into Hoxton college, During the vacation in tbe following midsummer, he preached his first panied with talents which must every where sermon in public, at Collier's End,' a small village
command respect. The lapse of time near Hertford. This sermon is the first in the present volume, and was preached July 5th, 1807 :
would have enlarged his sphere of knowthe two following sermons were also delivered in the same month. The dates affixed to the ensuing discourses, will shew the time when they were
consequence, have increased his usefulness. preached, and will account for the early popularity He had already attained a maturity of judgwhich Mr. Spencer acquired.
ment far beyond the number of his years; “In the midsuminer vacation of 1810, he was appointed to preach to a congregation at Liverpool. and had that life, which, through a mysteHis serions excited extraordinary attention, and rious dispensation of Providence, was sud he was invited to the pastoral office. « On Sunday the 3d of February, 1811, Mr.
denly brought to a termination, been proSpencer commenced his stated engagements at longed to the common longevity of man, Liverpool, just after he had attained his twentieth
we might at this day have hailed him as an year. His preaching attracted such overflowing congregations, that in a few months it was found honour to the pulpit, and viewed him inabsolutely necessary to erect a much larger chapel,
heriting an exalted rank among the celeof which the first stone was laid on the 15th of April, 1811, and in which the Rev. Dr. Rafies now
brated divines of the present age. successfully labours. But it pleased Him whose designs are inscrutable to man, though always wise and good in themselves, to cut short the days of this most promising and devoted young minister,
REVIEW after he had been settled about six months at Liverpool.
to the Devotional Use of the Holy Scrip"On Monday morning August 5th, he resolved ture to bathe in the river Mersey, thinking it might | brace his nerves after the exertions of the preced.
edeld 170. Nisbet. London. ing Sabbath, and prepare him for the duties to
The first section of this little work conwhich he intended to devote the day. He had
obfolded his paper, and prepared his pen, in order to
Review.--Meimoir of the Rev. Matthew Henry.
servations on the importance of reading 1 high and too distant to be affected by the the Holy Scriptures, and exposes to public voice either of friend or foe. In this view, view many unworthy motives from which, though dead he may be considered as yet it is to be feared, a vast number engage speaking, through the medium of his exalted in this solemn duty. This is accom. character and bright example, which canpanied with suitable directions as to the not be contemplated without profound spirit in which it should be performed, veneration, and the object that should always be kept Shortly after Mr. Henry's decease, a in view. Throughout the following sec- memoir of his life was published by Mr. tions, the whole being eleven in number, Tong, which at that time was in much no deviation in principle, no laxity in its request. But the lapse of years having application, is perceptible. The fair writer, thrown it somewhat on the back ground on the contrary, enters fully into the of religious biography, it is at present but spiritual import of the sacred word, and little known, and seldom read. In addiuniformly inculcates the necessity of its tion to the scarcity of the above work, influence on our hearts and lives. its phraseology bears an antiquated cast, Under this impression, she places man's and the arrangement of the materials is moral inability to turn to God, in a scrip- not altogether adapted to our modern taste. tural light, and hence infers the aid of the These causes conspiring to threaten it with Holy Spirit as essential to a saving ac oblivion, induced Mr. Williams to underquaintance with Him.
take the present work, especially, as in It must not, however, be inferred from addition to what Mr. Tong's volume conthe preceding observations, that this is a tains, he could have access to many valuable book of profound research, or one that documents, which appear necessary to set deviates from the common track of de- Mr. Henry's life and character in a deseryvotional compositions. The ground on ing light. which the writer takes her stand, has been After passing through the details imoccupied by thousands, and is open to mediately connected with Mr, Henry's every eye; but being the high road to sal- personal and family history, Mr. Williams vation, the charms of novelty are rendered proceeds, in subsequent chapters and secwholly unnecessary, to attract “ the weary |tions, to delineate his private character, his and the heavy laden." It is a book de strong attachment to truth, his extended signed for young persons who are anxious benevolence, his patience under trials, and to profit by reading the scriptures, and to his devotedness to God. To the preceding such it is likely to prove useful. The is added an account of his various writings, advice given, though derived from simple which though neither so voluminous nor so sources, is always judicious, and easy to be diversified as those of his friend Mr. Richunderstood. It recommends piety of heart | ard Baxter, will appear gigantic, when we and life as essential to future happiness, compare with them the pigmy productions and with an eye to this, seriously incul- of modern days. cates “the devotional use of the Holy | Interspersed throughout various parts of Scriptures."
this volume, we find many characteristics of
the times in which Mr. Henry lived. They Review.-Memoirs of the Life, Charac
were days of trouble and perplexity, of in
justice taking shelter under the name and ter, and Writings of the Rev. Matthew
form of law, and of persecution reigning Henry. By J. B. Williams, F.S.A.
throughout the land with an almost unmo8vo. pp. 355. Holdsworth. London. 1828.
lested triumph. The vengeful spirit of
popery had not then been hushed into ALTHOUGH more than a century and a half repose; it had even assumed a Protestant have elapsed since this great and good man garb: and many thought that “ they did flourished, his writings are in as high re God service,” by inflicting misery upon pute as ever, and his name is still fami- | others, who hesitated to swallow the dog. liar to every student of the Bible. Ge. | mas which power had sanctioned. A spunerations have passed away since it was rious liberality may cause these evil days enrolled in the archives of immortality, and | again to return, and succeeding generations his fame can neither acquire nor lose any may mourn over disasters which they will coing from a biography written in the nine. | have no power to remedy.
The notes which are subjoined form an bringing him, however, fairly before the interesting appendage to this volume. They reader, may have an important influence on are of various kinds, occasionally referring
lalter, even though the former is too to individuals, to incidental occurrences, to
Review.- Christian Souvenir- Transubstantiation.
historical facts, in the arrangement of minis-, in any of the materials of which it is comterial labours, to subjects of theological posed. To compensate, however, for this discussion, and to local memoranda: A defiance to the dictates of novelty, the comcopious Index, referring to every topic of piler has had recourse to the writings of note which this work contains, closes its eminent divines, and enriched his pages pages, and gives completion to the whole. with the fruits and flowers he has culled
Many letters written by Mr. Henry to from their compositions. By these means his friends, and several specimens of his nearly two hundred authors are laid under mode of preaching, have found their way contributions, and in this volume he preinto this memoir, from a perusal of which sents to his reader the concentrated excelwe cannot but infer, that he was “ always lencies he has selected from their works. serious in a serious cause;" — that the im Among these writers we find the names of portance of the office which he filled lay celebrated men, who in their day supported near his heart ;-and that his great aim was hostile denominations; and, although by to benefit those whom divine providence far the greater part are of the Calvinistic had committed to his care. In this he school, and some few are of no contemptiseems to have been eminently successful, | ble celebrity in the realm of Antinomianism, and, as an honoured instrument in the it is pleasing to observe how all can unite hands of God in turning many to righteous their testimony in favour of experimental ness, his name is not less deserving of re- and practical godliness, when the scalping membrance than for his voluminous com knives of controversy give place to the mentary, and his various publications. calumets of peace.
The life, the writings, the character, the An article being appropriated to each trials, and the labours of this eminent man, day throughout the year, no one is extended his present biographer has placed in an to any unreasonable length. Some passage amiable light; but we feel convinced, that of scripture is prefixed as a kind of text the picture he has drawn owes nothing to or motto, and the reflections which follow flattery, and but little to friendship. It is are generally in unison with its contents. not more pleasing than it is just. In the About three or four minutes will be suffi. memoir itself there are no incidents parti cient time for the perusal of the longest in cularly remarkable; yet the biographer has the volume, and this, nothing but a suitable contrived to keep alive the attention of the disposition is required, to enable every reader while passing through his pages. It reader to spare. With the character and is a work which embraces the memory of a tendency of the sentiments inculcated, we laborious and faithful minister of God, have, on the whole, been much pleased, whose name can never be forgotten, nor though about some there is a smell and erased from the annals of the church of tincture which bespeak their origin, and Christ.
which, on a work like this, can confer no By revising, remodelling, enlarging, and real excellence. To the pious reader, howreprinting this memoir, Mr. Williams has ever, these peculiarities will appear too direscued from obscurity a valuable piece of minutive to arrest his attention : he will biography that ought not to be lost, and read what is laid before him for each day's placed it in a light in which it never before meditation with better motives, nor will his appeared. It is now brought forward from hopes be cut off, or his expectations be disdeparted years, and set afloat on the stream appointed. of time flowing through the nineteenth century. In almost any hands, the name of Matthew Henry would have rendered it
Review.- Protestant Remarks on Tranbuoyant for a season, but the advantages it
substantiation, and other Tenets of the has derived from the researches, the talents,
Church of Rome; with an Appendir, and the pen of Mr. Williams, will tend to
containing Observations on Purgatory, prolong its existence, while he will have the
and the Duration of Future Punishsatisfaction to
ments. By the Rev. W. Cowley, A.M. “ Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale."
12mo. Houlston. London.
The establishment of the Inquisition, and a Review - The Christian Souvenir; or, belief in Purgatory and Transubstantiation,
Reflections for every Day in the Year, I were perhaps three of the greatest triumphs selected from the Writings of approved that imposition and insolence ever achieved Authors. 18mo. pp. 490. Oliphant, in their march along the stream of time; Edinburgh. 1829.
and in no instances on record, has the There is nothing new in the construction human intellect to mourn a more deplorable of this book, and scarcely any thing original state of degradation.
Review.— A Guide to the English Language, fc.
The Roman Catholics, who contend for the determining point, and simple credulity transubstantiation, readily admit that the would as readily swallow the one as the evidence of our senses is hostile to the fact; other. but this they conceive, instead of militating against its certainty, furnishes a stronger
ger REVIEW.- A Gentleman's Guide to the ground for the operation of faith. Against sophistry so palpable, all argument must be
English Language; to which is added,
a Cratylus of Primitive Words, and useless; and if, in defiance of such evidence as the dictates of our understandings,
Essays on Language, Composition, &c.
By Joseph Sutcliffe, A.M. the testimony of our senses, and the result
Edition. 12mo. of philosophical experiments, afford, we can
pp. 312. Baldwin,
London, 1828. believe that to be a fact which every legitimate means of information attests to be a Though called a second edition, this is in falsehood, there can be no ground of cer. fact an almost entirely new work, and tainty within the empire of existence. By must have been, what it professes to be, the many able writers, this monstrous absurdity, labour and study of the author for many with others of the papal church, has been years. We heartily wish that he had rerepeatedly exposed; but while this dogma, ceived more encouragement; but suspect “The more repugnant to sense, the stronger the cause to be, that, falling from the press is our faith in embracing it,” retains its hold almost dead-born, he has failed in making on the minds of the deluded devotees, the it known to the public. reasoning powers of an archangel would! In this work, Mr. Sutcliffe has collated be exerted in vain.
modern grammar with the most ancient In this volume Mr. Cowley has brought sources of Gothic, Scandinavian, and Saxon his formidable artillery to bear upon these lore; and largely so with Latin, German, hideous edifices which superstition has and French grammars. This has led him, raised, and to the force of his cannonade in some places, to launch out 100 much nothing but a papal understanding can be into universal grammar. But, at the same invulnerable. Many of his arguments have time, it rewards the reader by amplitude been long in use during the ancient, pro- of ideas; for on collating it with Mr. Murtracted, and now revived papal controversy. ray's, we find, almost at every page, an These still remain unrefuted, and while the accession of rich and instructive remarks. dogmatism of that antichristian church sup- In the declension of the noun, we have plies the place of reasoning, it would be the true distinction between the Gothic of both unnecessary and unwise for its learned or off, and the Latin preposition de, as doctors to risk the issue of a contention on written in the words Davidoff, Peteroff, &c. these points, in the field of doubtful con- as also the more frequent form of the genitroversy.
tive case, Davides son. To this a note is The interpretations also which Mr. Cow- added, of the declensions of the noun in ley has given to the passages of scripture the Sapponic grammar by Fiellstrom, by by which these disgusting propositions are which it appears that they have nine variapresumed to be supported, have but little tions of case. These are collated with the claim to originality. He has, however, older forms of the Latin, as in the ancient given concentration both to the argument Roman tables, and with the Greek. and authority which he has produced, and On the definitive article the, Mr. S. condensed within a narrow compass, the accounts for the want of it among the Rosubstance of many voluminous publications. mans, and the paucity of its use among the
To the Protestant reader this book will Goths, on the ground of the numerous and operate as an antidote against the sorceries luminous character of their declensions. of popery; and such as are wavering in a Ex. Toga mulieris, a robe of the woman; state of indecision, its reasonings and argu- Toga muliebris, the robe of the woman: ments will enable to determine on the side by them no article was wanted. In the of scripture and of truth. To the genuine Gothic gospels of Ulphilus, we find in but sons, however, of old mother church, though a few places sa for the masculine, and only long afflicted with one of the plagues of in three places so for the feminine. We Egypt, all that he has collected and ad. sometimes find thai for the plural, and latvanced will be of no avail. To them it terly tha. On this head Mr. S. presumes would be much the same, whether the horse that we have left the longer sound of the had eaten the millstone, or the millstone plural article behind, which the French had eaten the horse.' The declarations of have preserved in le and les, and the Gerthe church, and the dictates of a council mans in der and die. This is a capital grown mouldy with age, would have been defect in the English language. The ex