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Art. 28. Tle Novice of Saint Dominick. By Miss Owenson, Au. thor of St. Clair.
Vols. 12mo. 18s. Boards. R. Phillips. 1806.
In the forty-third volume of our New Series, (p. 266.) we gave our willing testimony to the merits of this fair writer; whó, as we have been since informed, is the daughter of Mr. Owenson, of the Theatre Royal, Dublin. The present production affords another proof of her intimate acquaintance with the finer feelings of the heart, and of the possession of talents fully adequate to the sormation of a tender and attractive tale.
The interest of the narrative improves with its progress ; it seldom transgresses the legitimate bounds of probability; it exhibits unity of design, and consistency and appropriation of character; it abounds in trying incidents; and all its tendencies are strictly moral When the author indulges in description, either direct or indirect, she sel. dom fails to excel; and as specimens of powerful expression of emo. tion, we may safely refer to the parting scene between Imogen and the minor Canoness of St. Dominick, and to various interviews which occur in the course of the recital.
Having thus stated our very favourable opinion of her performance, Miss Owenson will excuse us for hinting that it would have lost none of its effect by a little compression; that her heroine is sometimes too much addicted to the contemplation of beautiful scenery, when her thoughts should be otherwise occupied ; and that, with her quiekness of perception and delicate sense of propriety, she profits somewhat tardily by the lessons of sad experience. The ode to the Butterfly is not destitute of graceful playfulness, but it is too much protracted, and wants finishing. We would also recommend a greater economy of epithets, and more attention to the subordinate accuracies of composition. Thou and you are often promiscuously applied to the same person; transmil is used for transmute, and aqueous for aquatic ; the relative is too often suppressed, and is sometimes ambiguous by improper collocation, as in the following notable instance: I found Í was too weak to allow them to extract the ball, without endangering my life, which lay almost within a hair's breadth of a vital part. Italian, whenever it appears, is printed with extreme negligence ; and French names do not experience much better treatment. Thus Montelimar is written Montelemarl; Venaissin, Venaison ; Cavaillon, Cavillon; Joachim de Bellay, Rimi de Balleau ; and D'Aubigné is styled the King's écurie.- Lastly, Montelimar is not visible from the coast of Provence ; and the antiquities of St. Remi are not within an evening's walk of Tarascon. These may appear to be too minutė criticisms : but the little inattentions, to which they allude, disfigure the work, and may be easily avoided in the author's future publicafons.
Another novel from this Lady's pen has lately appeared.
RELIGIOUS. Art. 29. Two Discourses designed to recommend a general Observance of the Lord's Supper, by T. Drummond. 8vo.
pp. 43 Johnson.
A passage in the preface to these Sermons seems not unworthy of selection for our readers : "With respect to the numerous friends and adherents to the Established Church, it is generally un. derstood that, comparatively speaking, few of them esteem it an in. dispensable duty to think conformably to the direction of the Rcformers in the reigns of Henry VIII., Elizabeth, or James I. It is no impeachment of the characters of the venerable first advocates of Protestantism, that they retained a few of their early prejudices; study and reflection had, in a great measure, emancipated them from the bondage of papal influence, but many disputable matters remained partially discussed ; many ceremonials, from babitual observ. ance, were regarded as unquestionably defensible; if the intelligence diffused at that period, and the spirit of the times, had borne any resemblance to the information and liberality of the present, little doubt can remain that the bond of uniformity would have encircled a far greater number than ever entered within the pale of the Episcopal Church. It may not be an opinion absolutely chimerical, that, were the dignitaries of the Church in the nineteenth century empowered to revise the formula of subscription, the benevolence which the gos: pel inculcates would be admitted as the most indisputable criterion of Christian faith ; whilst those texts of scripture usually quoted in sup. port of any particular hypothesis might furnish subjects of calm investigation; and the different explication of certain passages, no longer exciting pride or bigotry in the human mind, would be no longer regarded as tests of the favour of heaven, or as the signs, tokens, or testimonials of salvation.'
The sermons correspond with these observations, and are intended to weaken the bases of those remnants of prejudice and superstitious attachment which still too evidently prevail in what is characterized as the church-reformed. If, it is said, the following pages contribute, as they are designed, to dissipate any of those formidable apprehensions which deter the majority of professing Christians from uniting in the celebration of the Lord's Supper,' the design of the writer will be accomplished. A kind of history of the ordinance and its corrup: tions is here given, for a consideration of which we must refer the reader to the pamphlet itself; and if he does not entirely concur with the sentiments here expressed he will no doubt perceive that Chris.' tians of different denominations have formed, and do form, mistaken notions concerning this institution, as well as other topics which the Gospel leads them
Sermons by Sir Henry Moncrief Welwood, Bart., D.D. & F.R.S. Edinburg), one of the Ministers of St. Cuthbert's, Edin. burgh, &c. 8vo. pp. 480. 8s. 6d. Boards. Longman and Co.
This volume consists of fourteen Discourses, not all of equal value, in our view, but some of them well deserving of being in this manner communicated for general perusal. In the preface, the author reinarks, that the subjects, to which they solicit the attention of the public, cannot be new ; and at this period of the Christian church, even novelty of illustration is scarcely to be expected : but it is with justice added, that the topics which they generally discuss are of per:
petual importance to mankind, and involve their most permanent in. terests ;-and, moreover, that, though the truths of religion are al. ways the same, the manners of the world, and the characters of men, to which they ought to be applied, are subject to perpetual variation.' In this manner, our reverend Baronet pleads for sermon-making with out end. With respect to the Discourses here collected into a vo. lume, he observes that they are chiefly addressed to the congregation for which they were originally prepared, to which he officiated thirty years ; and he allows himself to believe that among them they will neither be useless nor unacceptable. The seven which present themselves first to the reader appear to form the best part of the volume : they proceed from the heart of the writer, are pious and impressive, calculated to reach both the mind and conscience.
We shall not analize the contents of this volume, but allow the Rev. Baronet to explain his own intention, when he says ; • With regard to the subjects here illustrated, the author has only to add, that it has been his chief object, to represent the doctrines and the duties of Christianity as inseparably united, in the faith and practice of those who embrace it. Practical religion is of much more importance than the solution of difficult questions; and the sanctification and salvation of those who profess the gospel, than the soundest opinions.'- In this sentiment we heartily concur. Art. 31. Sermons preached to a Country Congregation : to which are
added a few Hints for Sermons; intended chiefly for the Use of the younger Clergy ; by the late William Gilpin, M. A., Prebendary of Salisbury, and Vicar of Boldre, in New-Forest. Vol. IV.* Svo: pp. 423. 75. 6d. Boards. Cadell and Davies.
The estimation in which we held Mr. Gilpin has always inclined us to speak handsomely of the productions of his pen ; while at the same time, the publications themselves, though not faultless or complete, sufficiently merited respectful notice. The additional volunie before us displays a farther claim as being posthumous, though intended by the author for the press, and corrected by his hand;--and also as being destined, by any profits which it may produce, to contribute to the support of a school which was benevolently established by himself at Boldre. Twenty-five Sermons are here offered to us, followed by twenty-three Hints for Sermons. Of the discourses, the first two cannot be supposed entirely to correspond with the professed design of the collection, because they were preached at visitations : but they are sensible, instructive, and useful, though more directiy suited to an audience superior to common country congregations.
When the reader reaches No. 16, in this volume, he perceives an alieration in the plan of its contents : this discourse and the eight which follow have the same text, John v. 29. Scarch the scriptures, &c. and are accompanied by an advertisement, stating that the following sermons are presented to the public merely as a specimen of a mode of preaching, which, it is thought, may be useful to a country congrega. tion: the scriptures will be read with more pleasure, the more each little difficulty, which now and then stops an unlearned reader, is re
* See M. Rey. Vol. xliii. N. S. p. 313.
moved. This mode of preaching might be carried still farther. The Sunday-lessons, from the Old Testament, are not all, perhaps, se lected with equal judgment Many of them contain difficulties which want explanation. If these lessons, as they occur, were now and then explained in the following sermon, it might have its use among the common people.'--After some remarks relative to the perusal of the scriptures, several chapters of St. Matthew's gospel are brought under review ; and an attempt is made to illustrate their contents, and to lessen the intricacy which attends some passages.--No. 25, which may be regarded as a sequel, from John vi. 68, is very sensible, and calculated to instruct and improve the hearer or the reader. Indeed, a similar account may be given in general of the volume ; although some parts are, we think, too slightly and hastily performed.
We come now to the Hints, which occupy upwards of sixty pages of the volume, with great propriety and advantage. We find here much to approve and commend ; and, had we room, we should be inclined to insert some specimens of the writer's thoughts and manner.-One, however, must suffice, from No. 8 ; which, wandering perhaps from its motto, 1 Pet. iv. 8. proceeds to enumerate some instances in which men endeavour and hope to cover their offences :
· Some men (says the preacher,) will ask, what almsgiving to the poor will do for them? They are willing to cover their sins by great bounty in this way; but these traders must be informed, that as far as themselves are concerned, they might as well keep their alms in their pockets. Theirs is just the old popish practice of indulgencies : in both cases, money is paid for a liberty to commit sin. -In the same manner, others endeavour to cover their sins with what they call their virtues : - Their honesty, their temperance, their. veracity, or some other virtue which they think they possess, they set in opposition to some favourite sins; and hope under such cover to escape. But these men must not be surprised to hear, that vir. tues arising from such motives are no virtues at all; and instead of atoning for sins, are in fact themselves only sins in disguise — Their circumstances and situation in life are with many considered as maka ing a good cover for sin. While we live in the world, they cry, we must in some degree follow the ways of the world. The ways of the world are not always consonant with strict duty; but we must now and then temporize, or we are nothing.–But, perhaps, our situation in life is not so commonly seductive as we are apt to sup
No honest profession has, I believe, any thing in it opposite to the duties of religion. If, however, we have unhappily chosen a profession which avowedly leads us into sin, we have our option; we may take either the broad or narrow way; and serve either God or mammon.'
To these Hints, which may be profitably studied by Divines, para ticularly the junior part, is immediately joined an Analysis of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, well worthy of a careful perusal, and an Examination of Illustrations used by St. Paul in his Epistles.
MEDICAL, &c. Art. 32. Cow.pox Inoculation no Security against Small.pox Infection,
with above 500 Proofs of Failure. By William Rowley, M. D. &c. &c. 3d Edit. 8vo. 35. Harris, &c. 1806. As the subject of Cow.pox still continues to occupy a large share of the attention of the medical world, many treatises respecting it have lately issued from the press, some vehemently opposing the practice, and others zealously contending in its favour. In order that our readers may be able to form a just opinion respecting the state of the contioversy, we shall first notice the works of those authors who are adverse to vaccination, and afterward examine the arguments that have been employed to repel the objections.
We begin with Dr. Kowley's publication ; to which we give the precedence, not from any idea of its superior merit, but because we believe that it has been the most widely circulated, and has probably, on the whole, had the most effect in counceracting the progress of the vaccine inoculation. In remarking on a production of this kind, there are two points to which the attention must be directed ; we are to have respect both to the strength of the arguments employed, and to the manner in which they are set forth. Dr. Row ley sets out as a must violent partizan, and continues to support his cause in an unparalleled strain of declamatory virulence. Although occasionally some symptoms of candor make their appearance, the general strain of the pamphlet is marked by a degree of illiberality which no cause can justisy, and which irresistibly leads the mind to doubt the force of reasoning that requires the aid of such weapons. He repeatedly charges the friends of vaccination with the most gross and criminal transactions ; he accuses them of giving false accounts of the success of their practice, and even of bribing their patients to conceal the truth ; and he proceeds on the supposition that the greatest part of them persevere in supporting and recommending the cow-pox, although they are well aware of its inefficiency. This conduct on the part of Dr. R. is so directly contrary to that spirit which ought to guide philosophical discussions, and which can alone enable us to arrive at the truth, that it cannot be sufficiently repro. bated.
The arguments here employed are buried under such a heap of declamation, that it is with some difficulty that we are able to recognize them; they may, however, be reduced to the following heads. The cow.pox was unnecessary, because the variolous ino. culation completely secured the patient, and was never fatal. The cow.pox has its origin from the ulcerous, stinking, horrid disorder, called grease in horses,' and must therefore itself necessarily produce an equally disgusting disorder. The cow.pox is not a permanent security against the small.pox. The attempt to eradicate the smallpox is absurd, or even impious ; and, lastly, the cow.pox is followed by the most unpleasant effects, such as foul ulcers, incurable erup: tions, &c.-Our readers, who have attended to the state of the controversy, will at once be able to appreciate the weight of Dr. Rowi ley's arguments. They chiefly resolve themselves into discussions concerning matters of fact; and notwithstanding the very positive