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proportion between their preaching and living, that they should study to preach exactly, and study little or not at all to live exactly. All the week long is little enough to study how to speak two hours, and yet, one hour seems too much to study how to live all the week. They are loath to misplace a word in their sermons, or to be guilty of any notable infirmity, (and I blame them not, for the matter is holy and of weight) but they make nothing of misplacing of affections, words, and actions, in the course of their lives. O! how cautiously have I heard some men preach, and how carelessly have I seen them live.' p. 11.
• I confess, I think necessity should be a great disposer of a minister's course of study and labours. If we are sufficient for every thing, we might fall upon every thing, and take in order the whole Encyclopædia. But life is short; and we are dull; and eternal things are necessary; and the souls that depend on our teaching are precious. I confess, necessity has been the conductor of my studies and life. It chooseth what book I shall read, and tells when and how long. It chooseth my text, and makes my sermon, for matter and manner, so far as I can keep out my own corruption. Though I know the constant expectation of death has been a great cause of this, yet, I know no reason why the most healthful man should not make sure of the necessaries first, considering the shortness and uncertainty of all men's lives.' p. 30.
Notwithstanding the superior correctness and polish of style, combined, indeed, with piety and truth of sentiment, which appear in most of the other authors here cited, we feel more fully from Baxter's juxtaposition with them, how effective is the nervous plainness of that venerable non-conformist. If, as the Compiler intimates, a favourable reception of this work should induce him to add a second volume, we wish that an equal portion of it may be allotted to further selections from that powerful writer. Much will be found in this volume to humble, as well as to direct and incite the conscientions pastor. We can conceive that some parts of it may even, in certain minds, produce discouragement. Such persons will feel the force of a remark of Archbishop Leighton's, quoted by Dr. Erskine in a discourse on the difficulties of the pastoral office, from which extracts are given :
Even the best would have cause to faint and give over in it, were not our Lord the chief shepherd, were not all our sufficiency laid up in his richfulness [qu. rich fulness?], and all our insufficiency covered in his gracious acceptance.' p. 227.
Art. VI. 1. Treatises upon the Life, Walk, and Triumph of Faith.
By the Rev. W. Romaine, A. M. With an Introductory Essay by Thomas Chalmers, D.D. 2 vols. demy 1200. pp. xxiv, 372, 364. Price 9s. Glasgow. 1822. 2. The Imitation of Christ : in three Books. By Thomas a Kempis. Translated from the Latin, by John Payne. With an Introductory Essay, by Thomas Chalmers, D.D. 12mo. pp. Ixii, 334. Price 4s. Glasgow. 1822.
photo 10 I 3.. The Works of the Rev. John Gambold, A. M. Late one of the
Bishops of the United Brethren. With an Introductory Essay, tin by Thomas Erskine, Esq. Advocate, Author of Remarks on the
Internal Evidence for the Truth of Revealed Religion. pp. xxviii,
286. Price 4s. Glasgow. 1822. "THE spirit of trade is to be watched with a jealous eye in its
influence upon religious publication ; for, no doubí, things sacred are always in dan yer of being profaned, corrupted, and depraved, while they are in the hands of those, whether dig. nitaries, authors, or booksellers, who find that “godliness is “gain :” and truly no man-no, not a barefooted friar, with a knapsack of indulgences on his shoulders-has better right to whisper a hearty Amen to the text, than a Publisher in these days, whose capital, and connexions, and knowledge of the religious world, and general intelligence in theological matters, enable him to supply the wishes of the thousands and tens of thousands in the three kingdoms, who are constant consumers of good books. Looking at the subject only on one side, one might fear that the simple-hearted and unwary buyers of godly books were exposed, without protection, to every pestilent corruption that should promise to fatten the press, and those who live by it. But there are some effectual securities against any very serious or wide-spreading mischief from this source. For though there are flagrant exceptions, yet, still it is a maxim understood, and acknowledged, and generally acted upon by those whose trade is in books, that the best things sell best; and that if you wish to provide for the mass of readers, you must pub lish what is of unquestioned reputation, and of plain and obvious utility. There have indeed, been some designedly vicious enterprises, and many ill-judged enterprises in this line of business ; but, for the most part, capital employed in this department of literature will select, by mere mercantile tact, the very works which would have been selected, if disinterested and well-informed piety had been the sole guide in the choice.
But, besides this, it is far from being a justifiable presumption, that, because a man is a tradesman, he has no views beyond those of a tradesman. Still further from the language of candour, and, we will add, from that of a thorough knowledge of the world, is it to impute a species of simoniacal baseness of intéir. tion to every man who deals in Religion. On the contrary, we fully believe, that many enterprises similar to that of which the volumes before us are specimens, have been undertaken from motives altogether becoming to a Christian man of business. And, to say truth, we have good reason to believe that this is actually the case in the present instance.
The form of these republications is commodious, the price reasonable, and their appearance creditable to the parties engaged in the work. It is neither with the merits of the Authors chosen, nor with the propriety of the choice, that we need concern ourselves here ; for, in such undertakings, it is the public, not the publishers, that really makes the choice; and it is, in fact, the voice of the mass of readers that thus breathes into our past writers the breath of a second life. To that part of the plan which regards the Introductory Essays, we might object on several grounds ; yet, after all, if this sort of flourish of trumpets is found to promote the circulation of good books, perhaps we should not do well to be angry. But certainly, consulting our own feelings, we should at once say, that these erpedients of the school of “ Day and Martin,” of Bish and Hazard, are inexpedient, and, in the end, injurious to the cause they are intended to serve, and perhaps, also, in some slight degree, to the respectable names that are borrowed for the occasion. We have read with great pleasure these Essays by Dr. Chalmers and Mr. Erskine ;-they are quite equal to what these writers might be expected to produce under the given circumstances of requisition, and limitation, and task-work. But, though twenty or thirty pages of the full-toned writing of the one, or of the vigorous reasoning of the other, will certainly gratify the reader-meet with it where he may-yet, he feels that the “ Essay" has the slenderest connexion possible with the book to which it is prefixed; that it yields him no important aid in the perusal of the Author, and, in a word, that the true and sole reason why it is there, is because the words. With an In
troductory Essay by, &c.' must appear in the title-page. Now we think that the feeling of this sort of trick having been played upon them, will disgust a greater proportion of readers than the publisher has reckoned for in his calculation. For example; in projecting the scheme, he may have presumed that one reader in five hundred would understand the thing just as he understands it—as a mere means of pushing the sale of the books, but that the four hundred and ninety-nine would take it all for good. Now we verily believe that, supposing the lowest class of readers to be excluded from the estimate, (and such are not the purchasers of works of this sort.) these tricks of trade are now understood by, and offensive to, three fourths, or perhaps one half of the reading public in England. And being, therefore, understood, they are worse than useless. There is no prejudice which traders in wares of every sort, cling to more fondly, than the notion, that all the world but themselves may be gulled; yet, it is a prejudice that must be discarded by all but purblind understandings and sordid tempers. For our own parts, we confess that we indulge the hope that, if knowledge holds on its course among us, charlatanism, in all trades, will find that it has done its work,--and that it must die.
We have ventured this hint to the publishers of this series of religious classics. Perhaps they may find that, having gained circulation for the work, no other means are requisite to secure the public favour, than the continued exercise of a sound discretion in the selection of their authors, and of the pains and cost which have made the undertaking hitherto creditable and advantageous to themselves.
Art. VII. 1. The Enchanted Flute, with other Poems; and Fables
from La Fontaine. By. E. P. Wolferstan. 8vo. pp. 440. Price 12s.
London, 1823. 2. Eugenia : a Poem. In four Cantos. By E. P. Wolferstan. 8vo.
pp. 62. Price 3s. 60. London, 1824. LA
A FONTAINE, had he written nothing but his fables,
would be a poet which we might almost envy the French. He is our Gay with more vivacity and point, Swift, with more playfulness, amiableness, and grace, but he has a character distinct from either, inasmuch as he is perfectly French. Perhaps, our Peter Pindar comes the nearest to his style of humour, as well as his freedom of versification; and if the topics he had chosen had been less identified with the political scandal of the day, his works, cleaned and weeded, would have deserved a higher place than they can now maintain in that class of English poetry.
Mrs. Wolferstan (we believe we are correct in so designating her) has adventured on a difficult task. We have always considered La Fontaine as untranslatable--unless by Dr. Wolcot; but we frankly admit, that she has executed many of these fables with equal fidelity and spirit. If she will pardon our not giving the preference to her original poetry, we are willing to assign her no ordinary merit as a translator, and we think that these Fables will very generally and deservedly please. Every one recollects La Fontaine's fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant, the first in his book, beginning
Le cigale, ayant chanté
Quand la bise fut venue,' &c. Save and except the silver song' assigned to the insect, and the cheering influence ascribed to it, we think the fable very happily rendered as follows:
• THE GRASSHOPPER AND ANT.
• A Grasshopper, whose silver song
pp. 150–15). The following spirited version ofLe Rat de ville et le Rat • des champs,' is more free, and yet true to the spirit of the original.
« THE TOWN AND COUNTRY MOUSE.
Sent to invite his Country Cousin
On crumbs of Cake-their Rump and Dozen.
The rich, Epicurean treasure ;
The happy meeting at her leisure,
For little Mice who love the Moon!