« PoprzedniaDalej »
in his life. Every day within his shop he might be seen cobbling shoes, and surrounded by some score or two of ragged urchins, whom he was converting into useful members of the State. Honour to the memory of the patriot cobbler, beneath whose leathern apron there beat the kindest heart—there glowed a bosom fired with the noblest ambition-and who, without fee from scholar or reward from man, while he toiled for his hard-earned bread with the sweat of his brow, educated not less than five hundred outcasts before they laid him in the lowly grave! Honour, we say again, to the memory of this illustrious patriot! Nor is there in all the world any sight we would have travelled so far or so soon to see, as that self-same man when he followed some ragged boy along the quays of Portsmouth, keeping his kind keen eye upon him, and tempting the young savage to his school with the bribe of a smoking potatoe. Princes and peers, judges and divines, might have stood uncovered in his presence; and now marble monuments might be removed from the venerable walls of Westminster -poets, warriors and statesmen, might give place to make room for him.'
These posthumous tributes to the memory of this good man will, we hope, reach the eye of the curate who, a few years before John Pounds' death, declined to recommend him as master of the National School in Green Row, Portsmouth. It was the pleasant office of Rev. Henry Hawkes, and of the members of his congregation and the conductors of the High-Street Sundayschool, to appreciate, foster and second the philanthropic labours of their humble townsman. His remains rest in the ground belonging to the Unitarian chapel, and the funeral discourse on the occasion of his death was preached by the worthy minister whom we have just named.—The article (V) on the Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, is an admiring account of Mr. Smith's (of Jordanhill) interesting volume on this subject. In the prefatory remarks the reviewer, after speaking of the cultivation by laymen of biblical theology, complains of the indifference shewn by the dispensers of patronage in the English Church to those who have distinguished themselves by theological learning
“It is a notorious fact, that attention to, or proficiency in, biblical studies is an actual bar to a clergyman's advancement in the Church-not, we apprehend, from any undue motive or feeling, but from the doubt which arises whether a person of studious habits is qualified for the active duties of the pastoral office; though we must confess that the advantages secured in the Church by classical scholarship somewhat compromise this admission, as it would seem that the latter demands no less studious habits than the former, and is certainly not more, and we should fancy far less, consistent with the solemn responsibilities of the pastoral office. Is proof of this wanting? Look to the Episcopal Bench, upon which we shall not find one man of any eminence in biblical scholarship, although there are not wanting men of renown in classical Greek.”
Next follows an article on Layard's Nineveh, the most remarkable feature of which is the personal history of the author, who is stated to be the grandson of Dr. Layard, Dean of Bristol, and descended from a French Protestant family which took refuge in England on the revocation of the edict of Nantes. The reviewer speaks very highly, from his own personal knowledge, of Mr. Layard's eminent qualifications for his work, and states that he commenced his education for the law, but had an irresistible longing for foreign travel and adventure. Some observations of his on horrible atrocities of which he was once an eye-witness in Persia are referred to. The reviewer ascribes the curious process (mentioned by Layard) of restoring firmness to the frail and crumbling ivory ornaments discovered at Nimroud, by supplying gelatinous matter, to a suggestion of Dr. Buckland.
The British Quarterly Review, No. XVIII., May.-Although seriously disappointed and grieved by the tone of one important article in this number, we will not withhold from its contents, as a whole, commendation for variety, talent, and, with one capital exception, some liberality. The number opens with a very elaborate essay on the life and works of Schleiermacher. Every one will be prepared for a somewhat depreciatory estimate from this quarter of the distinguished German as a biblical critic. In the view of an English Independent," he failed to apprehend evangelical truth in its fulness and its certitude.” Considering this, we are agreeably surprised at the interest which the reviewer has shewn in his subject, and at the fairness with which, on the whole, he has executed his task. We can only make room for a very short extract.
“Schleiermacher takes a prominent place among those who have pursued the investigation of what the Germans call the higher criticism. Verbal or practical exposition he seldom attempted, but he loved to try his skill in that art of critical divination which seeks to separate, on internal grounds, the spurious from the genuine in the N. T. canon. He has displayed much ingenuity; the well-covered assumption, the plausible hypothesis, the skilfully-directed objection, evince the dexterity and scholarship of the critic; but the results are worse than useless.
Classical scholars have admired the labours of Schleiermacher in this department ; but such praise is of a very equivocal description.
Schleiermacher criticised the Gospels in the spirit of Niebuhr, and the Epistles in the spirit of Bentley. It was obviously a rule with Schleiermacher to presuppose in his author a strictly logical course of thought and manner of expression."
The reviewer does that, for which Unitarian expositors have been not a little censured, -hinting that Paul is sometimes illogical. So intelligent a critic ought not to have written a sentence like the following—" He did not, with the Unitarian, regard Christ as an example only.” If some modern Unitarians have appeared to countenance this low estimate of Christ's work, he surely knows that it is repudiated by the bulk of the Unitarians of England and America as unscriptural and derogatory to the august character of Jesus as the Sent and divinely-inspired Son of God.
An article, abounding with facts of an interesting kind, follows on the staple manufacture of this country, and on the cotton of America and England. What a train of thoughts rise in the mind by the statement of such facts as these—that, in 1784, so little was cotton known to be an American product, that a ship was detained in Liverpool " on the ground that eight bags of cotton in her cargo could not be of American growth;" that now England pays to America for this single product of her fields not less than thirty-five millions of dollars; and that our cottons now amount to more than one-half of our export trade; that the total value of our cotton manufactures exceeds thirty-six millions per annum, finding employment for more than a million and a half of our people. But for the coiton manufactures, how could our expanding population have found employment and food ? and but for this wonderful development of national industry and wealth, England must have sunk with the terrific weight of its debt--the just retribution of its iniquitous wars. A trade of such national importance as this ought not to be made the sport of heedless and ignorant legislation, set on foot by unworthy agitators, supported on the one hand by their unconscious dupes, and on the other by exasperated squires, anxious to retaliate on the manufacturers for having wrenched from them the monopoly in the sale of their homegrown corn.
Next comes an article on Thomas Campbell. The critic foretels the vitality of Campbell's works. “Rogers's insipidities have perished. Byron's fire now seems putrid (?) and pale ; but there are sentences and lines in Campbell which have taken hold of the ear and heart of humanity.”.
Art. 4, on “Nineveh and the Bible" is interesting and able. As addressed to the extreme opinions advanced by modern scepticism, it contains much that is pertinent and forcible, and may be justified in its triumphant tone. But the more moderate and rational of historical critics, such as Mr. Kenrick (whose Essay on Primæval History is referred to in a note) cannot fairly be included among those whose speculations have been exploded by Mr. Layard's discoveries. In attempting to shew the historical character of suspected myths, the reviewer seems to overlook the distinction between the truth of a legend and the antiquity of the state of things which it may have been invented to explain. Thus he remarks that the lofty mounds of brick in the Assyrian plains tend to shew that the building of the tower of Babel was an historical fact; whereas all that they can be said to prove is, that the story is in conformity with an ancient practice; they throw no new light upon the question whether the story is a true account of the origin of the practice, or whether the practice suggested the story. Mr. Kenrick remarks in his Essay (p. 35), that " there is hardly a remarkable remnant of antiquity to which tradition has not attached some false explanation.” The reviewer's inference, however, from the statement in Genesis (that the builders of the tower of Babel “had brick for stone and bitumen for mortar")—that the story probably originated in Palestine, where stone and mortar were the common building materials-is striking and acute. Again, the reviewer adduces Mr. Layard's observations on the three great races and their strongly-marked distinctive characters, as confirmatory of the statement that they were descended from Noah's three sons, and eloquently comments on the fulfilment in Mr. Layard's own person of the prophecy, Gen. ix. 27—“God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” But nothing more is proved than that the distinctions now observable very anciently existed. No new light is thrown upon the question, whether the alleged descent from Noah and his three sons was historically true, or whether it was merely an imaginative fiction to account for observed facts. In the same way, with regard to the alleged fulfilment of other prophecies, the great question to be decided always is, whether the prophecy was a real prediction, or only a poetical invention after the event was known.
The next article we would gladly have never read. Respecting Dr. Vaughan as we do very highly, and regarding his Review as one calculated by its general tone, spirit and power, to improve and adorn English Nonconformity, we cannot but be surprised and grieved that he should have opened his pages to a writer so little influenced by the right historic spirit, so evidently seduced by hero-worship, or, worse still, inflamed by sectarian animosity, as to palliate the share which Calvin had in the death of Servetus. An Attorney-General, when opening a case against the liberty of the press, generally begins with a panegyric upon it. With equal candour, our reviewer disclaims at every step in his argument all sympathy with persecution. "Our readers,” he says, “will not suppose for a moment that it is our intention, in this age, and with principles such as ours, to be the apologists of intolerance.” He is influenced solely by justice and commiserationjustice to Calvin, and commiseration, not for his victim, but for Calvin, in consideration of the load of infamy with which the reviewer alleges his memory is wrongfully burthened. From the elaborate opening of his case, we imagined that the reviewer had been enabled to dig out of the historic remains of the sixteenth century some circumstances in mitigation and extenuation of Calvin's deep guilt, never before heard of. Such is not the case. Little or nothing is alleged which had not previously been urged by M. Rilliet and his translator, Tweedie. Our readers will remember that we fully discussed this subject in a former volume (see C. R. III. 1—21), and that we saw no reason for disturbing the verdict returned by men of all parties, by which Calvin is condemned as guilty of the murder of Servetus. There is a considerable amount of indifferent rhetoric in the reviewer's plea for Calvin, but new arguments there are none. He attributes the death of Servetus to the spirit of the age. The substance of his plea may thus be stated :
It was the misfortune of Calvin to live in an age when persecution of heretics to death was deemed right and proper. He was not worse than others. Cranmer, in putting Joan Bocher to death, was far more guilty. He made no efforts to save, though he did to hasten the destruction of his victim-that victim a defenceless woman. Calvin, though he was not sufficiently in advance of his age to wish to save the life of this heretic, yet did wish to soften the horrors of his death. It is doubtful whether Calvin could have saved him if he wished. The Council of Geneva were exasperated against Servetus, whom they punished for his resistance to their civil authority, as well as for his religious heresy. Besides, Servetus was a Pantheist, and a very coarse and vulgar opponent of Calvin, whom everybody disliked : he had not a single virtue; except in the article of his death, he was a dastard.
But unless we quote the reviewer's own harsh words, written, be it remembered, of a man who died with heroic courage at the stake in the assertion of what he deemed truth, our readers will be unable to appreciate the bitterness of this portion of the apology for Calvin.
“Superfluous offensiveness characterized Servetus in every thing.".. " He was everywhere and by everybody regarded with detestation. “Of dignity, modesty, humility, integrity, truthfulness and firmness (except in the closing scene of the last act of his life), he does not seem to have possessed one particle." “With all his arrogance and virulence was conjoined a singular pusillanimity in moments of danger. His timidity was equal to his arrogance. Both alike shewed a want of intellectual and moral soundness."
There is much more in this strain; but our readers will scarcely thank us for continuing our quotations, or for any further remarks on this article. One remark we cannot forbear. The reviewer complains of a disposition on the part of the world to attribute to Calvin's theological system a tendency to bigotry and persecution. With such an exhibition of unrestrained bigotry as this apology for Calvin's crime before their eyes, the world may stand excused for imputing persecution to the Calvinistic faith. If it were Calvin's misfortune to live in an age when men and women were burnt for their theological errors or presumed errors, it is the good fortune of his apologist to live in times when the law and public opinion happily restrain him from the commission of the last excesses of persecution.
It is a very singular circumstance that in this same number of the British Quarterly Review (the character of which will suffer by this article not less than did the Eclectic by Robert Hall's half insane revilings in the article on the Life of Theophilus Lindsey) is an elaborate and finely-toned article on Giordano Bruno. He, too, was a martyr, and the reviewer writes with genuine admiration of his heroic courage in dying for what he deemed truth. A single passage (all that we can now quote, though we may perhaps return to the article in a future notice) will serve as a specimen of the article:
“ Bruno perished a victim to blind intolerance. It is impossible to read of such a punishment without strong revulsions of feeling. There is, indeed, no page in the annals of mankind which we would more willingly blot out, than those upon which fanaticism has written its bloody history. Frivolous as have often been the pretexts for shedding blood, none are more abhorrent to us than those founded upon religious differences."
We can scarcely imagine a more timely rebuke than this, administered by a fellow-contributor, to the apologist of Calvin.
Manchester New College. * conversation with yourself), both in conWe are enabled, by the joint per- in relation to the whole Theological course
nection with my own Historical class and mission of the Committee of this insti. tution and the Rev. J. J. Tayler, its instruction which should deal with Chris
of the College, the want of some further Professor of Ecclesiastical History, to present to our readers some interest, dition of the world, and (as a preparatory
tianity as a present fact in the moral coning documents respecting an additional discipline for young men who are pub. Course of Lectures which he proposes
to licly to inculcate its doctrines and admideliver to the students in theology, and nister its ordinances) should exhibit the which promise to be equally interesting fundamental principles of our faith, and and useful. It will be no small privi- the usages and institutions wbich embody lege to the students of the College, and them—in immediate relation to the wants to such of the inhabitants of Manches- of our existing society, as grounded in ter as value learning in combination universal reason, corresponding to the with a philosophical spirit and refined taste, to listen to the proposed series of permanent necessities of our moral and Lectures by the author of the “Retro; higher sanction in the life and doctrine
spiritual nature, and enforced by a still spect of the Religious Life in England.” The document No. I. is a letter from brought down to us by the joint instru;
of Christ, as a power of divine authority, Mr. Tayler to one of the Secretaries of mentality of Scripture and the Universal the College, and No. II. is the Syllabus Church. I have observed that the studies of the proposed course.
to which the attention of young men are No. I.
chiefly confined in our Academies, have Manchester, March 12, 1849. sometimes the effect of leading them to My dear Sir,- I have long felt (possi- view Christianity as altogether a thing of bly I may have alluded to the subject in the past, lying almost dead in the inter.
pretation of ancient books, whose spirit * In the last Report it was stated indeed is imperishable, but whose letter that the funds of the institution re- cannot be completely penetrated without quired assistance. We are pleased now a vivid apprehension of the spiritual wants to be able to report that, to supply the and interests of our actual life :—so that deficiency of the current year, some frequently when a young preacher, even congregational collections have been of the most industrious habits and serious already made, and several others are spirit, first enters on the ministry—though promised. At the New meeting, Bir- he may be familiar with the canons of mingham, after an able sermon preached criticism and interpretation, can read the by the Rev. Samuel Bache, a collection Greek and Hebrew of the Scriptures reawas made of £50 and upwards. At the dily, knows the strong points of the EviCross-street chapel, Manchester, a ser- dences, and has a tolerable acquaintance mon by the Rev. J. G. Robberds was with the principal eras of the history of followed by a collection which amount- Christianity (all branches of knowledge ed to £25, the chief part of which is to to which I attach the greatest value in be applied to the purchase of books their place)-the field of vision opening for the College Library. To the same before him, where his actual duties lie, purpose it is probable that a sum of and where he has to apply principles to £30, being the unappropriated balance the solution of great practical questions, of the “Kenrick Testimonial Fund," seems to spread out as a confused and will be devoted; such an application, pathless waste, in which he often knows suggested by the gentleman in honour not how to take his way, and where of whom the fund was raised, will, it is possibly his best feelings may unconscibelieved by the committee of manage- ously commit him to views and courses ment, be cordially approved by all the which he afterwards sees reason to regret. contributors. In lieu of a congrega. I can recal not a few instances of this tional collection at Belper, Mr. John sort in the earlier records of my ministeStrutt has offered a donation of £20. rial experience. It is true, only years and Two legacies to the College are also personal observation can effectually proreported—one of £100 (duty free) by vide against these difficulties. Still it the late Thomas Dyson, Esq., of Diss; appears to me a defect in our Academic and the other by the late Mr. Parsons, arrangements, that they offer no proviof Dudley.
sional belp and guidance in this respect, 3 с