Page images

demarcation between them been more sharp, the two elements of the English Reformation would also have assumed a distinct character on the question of religious life; but it so happened that these points, which were implanted in the feelings of the people, were afterwards enforced upon the church. At the period when these two parties were arming themselves for mortal strife before the first revolution, the Puritans felt that they were imperatively called on, and charged to oppose a stern and impenetrable demeanour to the demoralizing influences which had crept upon the English people under the Stuart dynasty. In this serious frame of mind they abolished customs, not only subject to abuse, but even savouring of superfluity, and especially declared against the mere graces and ornaments of existence. With similar feelings, also, they made a rigid distinction between things of God and things of man; not, as it would appear, in a pious contempt of the world, but in classification of the former, as enduring, and not to be abandoned-the latter, as indifferent, and easily to be dispensed with.

"This vital distinction was followed up by the inspiration theory as referable to the Scriptures, a co-equal interpretation of the declarations of the Old and New Testaments; then, by the canonical exclusion of the apocryphal books of the Old Testament as human compositions; and even the division into chapters of the Bible was objected to as of mortal invention; and, lastly, an interpretation of the Eucharist by the strictest comprehension of the Trinity, according to which an efficacy is recognised in the former, beyond a publication of the word.

"During the revolution this anti-worldly manifestation and this religious feeling were very prevalent among the mass of the people. The Presbyterian constitution made no impression, but their views of religious life were not equally transient. And when on the Reformation [Restoration] the church resumed her constitution and liturgy, it led to this amendment, that she herself adopted the puritanic elements in the doctrine of the last supper, in the laying aside pictures and decorations in the churches, and especially in the observation of the sabbath; disregarding all the feast days, except Good Friday and Christmas-day."-pp. 171, 172.

The strict observance of the sabbath is also noticed as another effort of the same principles. We regret that we cannot extract the whole section.

"These feelings were first set afloat after the Reformation; Luther was adverse to them, and Calvin also denounced such (as he called it) 'Sabbathisms.' Knox first introduced them; and they were afterwards, at the end of the sixteenth century, introduced and adopted by the English Puritans. A collision of opinions had already existed for about forty years on this point, when, in 1595, one Bound published a work on keeping the sabbath, which was however suppressed by Archbishop Whitgift. Under James I. the controversy came to some head. After his accession the king had sadly disappointed the Presbyterians, and his institutes for the church exemplified his distaste to opinions of a puritanical caste. On his journey to Scotland, in the year 1617, where he entered into all the pleasures of his court, he directed that the sabbath should be strictly observed in Lancashire, in opposition to the feelings of the Papists, by whom that county was principally inhabited; as he was of opinion that prohibitive measures against relaxation after the week's toil would be of service in preventing a relapse into that religion on the part of the people, and also had a tendency to render the men unfit for the hardy and athletic exercises of arms. In pursuance of this idea, he caused announcements to be made in each church after service, that every one would be allowed to partake in the public amusements, excepting such only as did not attend the parish churches. These orders were afterwards made public, but did not meet with general observance. Charles I. renewed

them in 1633; and those ministers who declined reading the Book of Sports in the churches were subjected to suspension, deprivation, and excommunication, which punishments were extended to those individuals who were unfavourable to these public diversions. These measures roused the zeal of the Puritans, who at once endeavoured to neutralise their influence by seriousness of conduct and demeanour. These adverse principles formed a part of that great controversy which reached its height in the first revolution. The exertions of the people were successful; the sanctification of the Sunday was established during the parliamentary [and] Cromwellian governments, and eventually took deep root in English habits; its extension not being confined either merely to that part of the community which had proved itself so consistently opponent to Episcopacy and Monarchy. The restoration succeeded in bringing back the Liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer, but public opinion, in regard to Sunday, was inflexible; and the Episcopal church, perceiving that the people were firm, gradually incorporated the new conviction into her own body, but not in its entire strictness. During the religious indifference of the last century, the celebration of the Sabbath decreased very much; but it was esteemed a matter of primary importance by the Evangelical party as well as by the Methodists. The high-church party are quite as warmly interested in this day as the other sects, so that in England indifference about Sunday is on all hands quite incompatible with religious fervour. The Puseyites are opposed, at least, partially to this strictness. With them Sunday is entirely an institute of the church, and they therefore recognise no difference between it and the other feast days of the church; but in this they lay themselves open to the implication of papistry."-pp. 174-176.

Our readers have seen that Dr. Uhden purposed to withhold his own opinions, but he has not always been able to conceal them; and remembering the state of his mind on his first arrival in England, we are disposed to think that the Anglican church did not increase in his favour with his increased acquaintance. What the effect of this work may be in Prussia, we cannot venture to predict; but we expect that the Presbyters of the Reformation in that land will resolve "to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free," and will not submit to a prelatical "yoke of bondage."

We have no means of judging of the merits of the translation; but from the obscurity of some passages, and the blunders in others, we have some misgivings upon this matter. Still the work is readable, and it will be read; and we can confidently recommend it to our readers as containing a large amount of interesting information respecting the polity and position of "the Anglican church," which, from Dr. Uhden's account of "the sects within the body of the church," Chap. III. must be far from satisfactory to its discerning friends.

Geology for Beginners; comprising a Familiar Explanation of Geology and its Associate Sciences, Mineralogy, Physical Geology, Fossil Conchology, Fossil Botany, and Paleontology. By G. F. Richardson, F.G.S., of the British Museum. Second edition, large 12mo., pp. 664. London: Longman & Co. 1843.

It has been to us a subject of frequent and sincere regret, that the incessant demands of innumerable other duties betrayed us into a

procrastination of that which we had fully intended, -a notice of the first edition of this work in the year 1842. This, advantage, however has accrued, that we can announce the new edition as enriched with many insertions and additions, to the amount of much more than onefifth of the letter-press, and nearly one hundred new illustrative engravings; though the former edition was well furnished with those beautiful and most useful auxiliaries to the understanding.

In the Preface to the first edition, (from which we quote, because much of that Preface is omitted in the second,) the author gives this summary of his plan and design :

"The work is of the most elementary character: it is designed merely as an Introduction to others; and the highest objects of the writer will be attained, if, by means of its pages, the reader should become acquainted with the admirable and judicious reasonings of a Buckland, -the philosophic speculations of a Lyell,-the splendid oratory of a Sedgwick,-the fascinating eloquence of a Mantell, the talented writings of a Phillips,—the able and energetic researches of a Murchison,— the enlightened expositions of a Pye Smith,-the instructive publications of a Fitton, a De la Bèche, a Bakewell, and of many, many more, of whom science and literature may be justly proud, and who may be regarded as ornaments to letters and philosophy, and benefactors to the whole family of man."

It cannot be expected that we should give any sketch of the contents and order of this volume; for the general facts must be the same as those which have been so luminously described by Mr. Lyell, Mr. John Phillips, Dr. Mantell, Dr. Hitchcock, and other eminent geologists. The merits of Mr. Richardson consist in his bringing together the elements of the comprehensive science which he professes, in combination with the vast number of facts necessary to be described; in his giving a "familiar explanation" of phenomena, but one by no means childish or jejune; in his diligent care to introduce, where the appropriate places occur, the most important new facts; in his fair representation of difficulties and opinions; in his candid reasonings; in his lucid order; and in his plan of "Exercises," upon every principal topic, adapted to secure to young persons especially a just understanding of the subjects, a clear connexion of them, and an ability to combine and arrange them in the manner which will ever be the most satisfactory to a well-disciplined mind. His style unites ease and condensation: and we regard the work as eminently adapted for the higher class of schools. It has also the welcome merit of being extremely cheap, in comparison with its size and the number (261) of admirable wood engravings. It is no disparagement to say, that many of these, or their resemblances, have appeared in other works; for the similarity or identity in representations of the natural objects is evidently a matter of necessity. We select one passage as a specimen of the whole :

"MODERN DATE OF MAN. The comparatively modern period of the creation of man, and the inferior age of our race to that of the globe which we inhabit, is a fact revealed by Scripture and confirmed by science. The same internal evidence which

convinces us of the extreme antiquity of our planet, affords the like satisfactory proof of the comparatively modern period of the origin of our species. The whole vast series of aqueous deposits are of course crowded with organic remains; with fragments of the weeds, plants, corals, shells, crustaces, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammalia, relics of the vegetable and animal existences of the ancient earth: but no fossil remains of the human form have yet been discovered in the solid rocks themselves; or in any [formation] save those accumulations of silt or mud which date from the most modern era-the yesterday, as it were, in the infinite history of the past. It is only in these accumulations of the historic period, that we discover the remains of even the most ancient families of mankind; that in this country we meet with the implements or utensils of our British ancestors, or the coins and weapons of their Roman invaders; that in Italy we find the Cyclopean structures and works of art of the Etruscans, a nation who appear to have preceded the Romans in the occupation of Italy, and to have excelled them in civilisation, and the arts of life; while vestiges of the Pelasgi are alike discoverable in similar deposits in Greece; and in the new world, traces exist of the Tulteques, a people who seem to have been the predecessors of the Mexicans, and their superiors in knowledge and improvement. In the solid rocks, we repeat, no traces of man are discernible. Yet, had the human race been really the aborigines of the physical history of our planet; had they actually existed in its primeval times, their remains would unquestionably have been found scattered throughout its varied deposits, from the oldest to the most recent in the series. No impediment exists to their conservation. Our bones, composed of the same elements as those of the animal races, are equally capable of being kept from destruction; the same battle-field has preserved the bones of the horse and his rider: the same cavern which in earlier eras gave shelter during life to the hyena and the bear, and retained their skeletons after death, has alike preserved the remains of those human occupants who, at a later period, found in the same retreat a refuge and a tomb. But a still stronger proof of the modern date of our species exists in the obvious fact, that, if man had really been an inhabitant of the earth during its early history, his skeleton, or the mere fragments of his osseous structure, would have constituted the least of those relics which he would have bequeathed to the soil of which he was an inhabitant. We should have discovered his mighty and majestic works, which so far transcend in duration his ephemeral existence. We should have found his cities and his structures overwhelmed in the waters of ancient seas, or buried beneath the ejections of primeval volcanoes; his majestic pyramids sunk in the bed of early rivers; his mountain temples hewn on the surface of the deepest and the oldest rocks. We should have encountered his bridges of granite and of iron, his palaces of limestone and of marble, the tombs which he reared over the objects of his affection, the shrines which he erected in honour of his God. But, in the absence of these, or any other trace of man, in any save the most superficial of deposits, we are compelled to acknowledge the chronology of Holy Writ; to recognise the complete and satisfactory accordance of science with revelation; and to admit that the existence of man has not extended beyond those five or six thousand years upon the earth, which the Scriptures assign as the period of his creation. It will be self-evident that this fact, like many others in natural science, far from lowering our ideas of the Divine perfections, serves only to strengthen and exalt them. It is, in fact, impossible to form a more magnificent conception of infinite bounty and wisdom, than that which reason and revelation combine to offer; representing the Supreme Being as first elaborating and perfecting our earth into one vast sphere of blessings; erecting on a foundation of granite a vast superstructure of sandstones, limestones, clays, shales, salts, coal, and the varied substances known as rocks; injecting their fissures and crevices with minerals and metallic ores; then, by the intrusion of volcanic agency, bringing these

varied deposits near the surface, and so diversifying the soil as to present every variety of condition best adapted for its mineral, agricultural, and economical cultivation; tempering, as well, the climate to the degree best adapted for human health and enjoyment; peopling it with animals adapted for the use of man, for supplying him with food and assisting him in his labours; and, finally, calling man himself into existence, to take possession of a world which infinite wisdom and benevolence had thus prepared and perfected for his reception and enjoyment."-pp. 89-92.


THE Protestant Dissenters' Catechism: containing a brief History of the Nonconformists-and the reasons of the Dissent from the National Church. By the late Rev. Samuel Palmer. The twenty-third edition. With a Preface, by the Rev. John Pye Smith, D.D., F.R.S., &c. 12mo. pp. 80. London: Jackson & Walford. Scripture Truths in verse, for the use of the Young; being an attempt to exhibit, in easy descriptive poetry, some of the all-important lessons contained in the Old Testament Scriptures. 12mo. pp. 272. London: Bagster & Sons.

The Teacher's Offering; or Sunday-school Monthly Visitor for 1843. 18mo. pp. 376. London: Ward & Co.

Foot-Prints of Popery; or Places where Martyrs have Suffered. 18mo. pp. 100. Tract Society.

A Supplementary Report on the Results of a Special Inquiry into the Practice of Interment in Towns. Made at the request of her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department. By Edwin Chadwick, Esq., Barrister at Law. 8vo. pp. 280. London: Knight & Co.

Proceedings of the General Anti-Slavery Convention, called by the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti-slavery Society, and held in London from Tuesday, June 13th, to Tuesday, June 20th, 1843. By J. F. Johnson, Short-hand Writer. 8vo. pp. 360. London: J. Snow.

Egypt and the Books of Moses; or the Books of Moses Illustrated by the Monuments of Egypt: with an Appendix. By Dr. E. W. Hengstenberg, Professor of Theology at Berlin. Translated from the German by R. D. C. Robbins, Theological Seminary, Andover, United States. 12mo. pp. 300. Andover: Allen & Co.London: Wiley & Putnam.

Fifty Days on Board a Slave Vessel in the Mozambique Channel, in April and May, 1843. By the Rev. Pascoe Greenfell Hill, Chaplain of Her Majesty's Sloop "Cleopatra." 12mo. pp. 116. London: J. Murray.

The Pictorial Sunday Book. Part I, folio. pp. 40.

London: C. Knight & Co.

Two Lectures on the Historical Confirmation of the Scriptures: with especial reference to Jewish and ancient Heathen Testimony. By William Blatch. 18mo. pp. 108. London: J. Mason.

The Happy Transformation; or the History of a London Apprentice: an authentic narrative, communicated in a Series of Letters. With a Preface. By W. H. Pearce. 16mo. pp. 106. London: G. & J. Dyer.

Ancient Christianity, and the Doctrines of the Oxford Tracts for the Times. Supplement, including Index, Table, &c. By the author of "Spiritual Despotism." 8vo. London: Jackson & Walford.

Thoughts on Sacramental Occasions, extracted from the Diary of the Rev. Philip Doddridge, D.D. 18mo. pp. 136. London: Tract Society.

Tendrils of the Vine. By Eliza Darnton. 18mo. pp. 114. London: Houlston & Stoneman.

Payne's Universum, or Pictorial World: being a collection of views, portraits, and works of art. Edited by Charles Edwards, Esq. 4to. No. 1. London: Brain & Payne.

« PreviousContinue »