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failed to use them as we ought: namely, in works of charity and usefulness, as the stewards of God's bounty? Desire not riches, therefore, for their own sake. Remember that increase of wealth brings also an increase of care and responsibility. . . . Consider, before you purchase a thing, whether it is necessary to you; whether it is required of you in the circumstances in which you are placed; whether you can make the purchase without incurring debt? If you can satisfactorily answer these questions, that is enough; but if you cannot, if you only wish for the thing you see, and do not want it, it then becomes a vanity which you must renounce; and you should consider, at such a time, how many might be supplied with necessaries, if only you would learn to deny yourself of superfluities. . . . But you are, perhaps, ready to ask: Are we then to spend nothing in our amusements and pleasures, and are even harmless indulgences forbidden us?' Again, I answer, no. But it is required of you, first, to inquire whether the thing you desire is really necessary, and to think of the wants of others before your own pleasures. Before spending money in your own amusements, you should also satisfy yourself that they are perfectly innocent amusements, such as are not likely to produce harm either to yourself or others."-pp. 14, 15.
The third letter in this volume, upon "the Commandments," gives an admirable explanation of the several duties which they enjoin upon us, and would be read with great advantage by some of those who have not been accustomed to reflect, and to enlarge upon the points of obedience which are contained in the tables of the law, as applied to our daily duties.
The eighth and ninth letters, which treat of the "Lord's Supper," and the "Preparation for it," give a simple, and, so far as it goes, correct explanation of this blessed Sacrament. We could, perhaps, have desired that the authoress had spoken a little more distinctly and fully on its sacramental nature,―on its being a means of conveying supernatural grace, and not merely a commemorative rite. We are particularly pleased with the ninth letter, on the manner of preparing ourselves, both in heart and mind, to receive the holy Eucharist. We think that the authoress has fulfilled her purpose of supplying something more than an elementary treatise for that class, whose better education and more cultivated feelings can enter into her intentions. She will not be offended, if we add, that it were to be wished she had submitted her pages to some experienced eye, as we have detected an expression or two, to which polemics have attached a peculiar meaning, different from that which she would herself approve.
x.-1. Chollerton: a Tale of our own times. By A LADY. London: Ollivier. 1846.
2. Trevor: or, the New Saint Francis. A Tale for the Times. London: Longmans. 1847.
3. Steepleton: or, High Church and Low Church; being the Present Tendencies of Parties in the Church, exhibited in the history of Frank Faithful. By A CLERGYMAN. London: Longmans.
It is with no favourable eye that we regard, in general, that class of books which has lately been on the increase, and which we may designate as religious novels,-the advocates now of "High Church," now of "Low Church," doctrines and practices. We dislike them in principle. Few minds are capable of setting forth the opinions with which they disagree, in a perfectly full and fair manner; they cannot help showing some favour to the particular side which they have themselves espoused. We deem this to be the natural result of conviction on an earnest mind: we do not, therefore, blame them for this their inability; we only blame them for knowing so little of themselves, as to allow themselves, laboring under the infirmity, to write books as though they were free from it. For what is the consequence? The consequence is that of every one-sided argument; it does not, cannot, instruct those who are predisposed to agree; it hardens those whom it would convince. Each party is confirmed in its own way of thinking.
Besides this, we are inclined to question the propriety of thus mixing up religion with romance. It is doubtless done on the same principle on which our old nurse was wont to give us a powder between two slices of luxuriously buttered bread; but we apprehend that the plan is less successful with the religious, than with the physical dose. Those who are desirous of learning what is right, will read graver books; those who require to be enticed by a story, will pick out the romantic, and skip over the religious chapters.
We have been drawn into these remarks by reflecting on the books before us.
Chollerton appears to us to be written with the charitable intention of forcing Church principles down the reader's throat. It is compounded, apparently, of a series of sermonets, or extracts from some big book of polemical divinity, "adapted to the times," and "made easy," by the occasional relief of rides and walks, ruins and pic-nics. The author's model (Arthur) is self-sufficient, dogmatical, and ultra; blurting out his opinion, often an extrava
gant one, at all times, and in all companies; and laying down the ław, both before and after his ordination, as if he was the Pope himself. The tale bears internal evidence, we think, of being the offspring of one who has not seen much of the world. The author has fallen into the common error of spinning out common-place conversations, and mistaking this for what is "natural." The book is not without interest and ability, but very unequal. The love contrasts curiously with the theology: in the one, the writer evidently speaks from experience; in the other, from theory. The impression left on our mind by the perusal of Chollerton, reminds us of Old Poz's reply to his daughter, when she puts in a word for the prisoner, "Go to your dolls, Lucy, go to your dolls; and don't talk of what you don't understand.
Trevor, be the author male or female, is a work of much greater power, and of not less interest; the chapters short; the conversations spirited; the incidents, se non sono veri, sono ben trovati. The author is evidently a friend to the poor, a quiet-going country clergyman, and has, we should think, been harassed by the vagaries of some young priest in a neighbouring parish, full of the enthusiasm and inexperience of youth. The result of this is, that he has fallen into the opposite error to the authoress of the last noticed tale; she was prone to exalt the Romanizing element, fancying it to be Anglican; he too often decries the Catholic element, mistaking it for Popish.
He is indignant at the refusal to read the Burial Service over the corpses of schismatics (p. 63); deals in a sophistical argument against "authoritative teaching" (p. 250); laughs at the notion of an Apostolical Succession, and the Divine right of kings (p. 189); declares that we want a reform of the Liturgy (p. 191); thinks that no "public declaration of faith is required to enable the truly devout to worship in common," and that the adoption of a Creed is of importance only as it exerts an “influence on the moral character" (pp. 189. 191); and finally, "not alarmed at the differences which exist between men of equal learning and piety," believes that "each may be right;" for that "the essential doctrines revealed" [in the New Testament,] may probably "be found in them all." (p. 251.)
The author is most successful when opposing the freaks of Young England," and the pernicious teaching of the Mystics. In both of these points we heartily go along with him: although we must question the wisdom of putting the following speech into the mouth of a clergyman, without subjoining a single word of disapproval. The class of readers for whom the book is intended, are not likely to be always able, left to themselves, to separate the poison from the food.
"Madam," said Malinsey, no efforts which you, a poor child of clay, can make, will avail in that spiritual conflict. The sophistry of the intellect, the pride of the heart will triumph eternally over the soul, if it relies on intellectual or moral assistance in its struggles. Strive not at all; watch and pray but let your prayers be the overflowings of a holy desire, the lamentations of a creature lost in sin, the verbal expression of inward penitence; and not vain supplications for benefits of of your own imagining, or outpourings of conceited hope." (p. 81.)
Of course we cannot recommend this book on the whole: but we are bound to acknowledge that the author, however decided his opinions may be, always gives utterance to them like a gentleman, a clergyman, and a Christian.
We wish we could say as much for the author of Steepleton. This is certainly the very weakest production in point of argument, that we have met with: it is likewise one of the most ungentlemanlike and uncharitable. Indeed, the Christian bearing of the book and its wit are about on a par. The author, doubtless, deems it very clever to nickname his "High Church" personages as "Mr. Punning, Dr. Dominant, Mr. Jolly-side, Mr. Crooked-soul," or the Baptist teacher as "Mr. Lacklove."
We should have left it here, quite sure that it is too bad to do any mischief; but to one passage we must refer, in which the author evidently thinks he has made "a good hit." "Faithful" (the name will bespeak the party which he is meant to represent) challenges another to
"Produce the passage where the Church, according to the direct and strictly grammatical force of the English language, asserts the doctrine that regeneration always takes place in baptism.'
Of course the other produces the well-known "Seeing now that this child is regenerate." "Begging your pardon," Faithful replies,
"That is not an assertion, but an inference or assumption grounded upon certain premises. Prove your position.'
Why, the Church says, Seeing now that, &c. What I see, I don't want to have proved.'
"But do you see it?' asked Faithful.
"See that the child baptized is actually regenerated?
"Well, then, so far you agree with me, that the very first word must be taken in its secondary or accommodated sense, and not in its strict literal sense; in short, in its grammatical sense, according to the connection in which it stands. It is clearly not to be taken alone, but as a part of a certain form of speech. Have you ever considered what is the grammatical force and meaning of the phrase, “Seeing now that?" VOL. VII.-NO. XIII.-MARCH, 1847.
If you refer to Dr. Johnson, you will find that "seeing that," is equivalent to pourvu que, "provided that," and the word "now" is obviously illative here, and not an adverb of time; so that ... the language here used is that of an assumption grounded on certain premised conditions." "-pp. 149, 150.
We have no great opinion of Dr. Johnson (pardon us, ye Boswellites!) as an etymologist, but we had the curiosity to turn to his dictionary, and are happy to say, that he is not quite so bad as this writer-either through inability to understand him, or from something worse-would represent him to be. The Doctor's words are, "SEEING that. [It would be more grammatically written, as vú que, pourvû que, in French; seen that, or provided that.] Since; sith; it being so that." It does not
require much penetration to perceive that-though "seen that and "provided that," in this passage, may have a conditional force-they may also have, and, from the subsequent explanatory synonyms, were intended to have the inferential force, which Churchmen attribute to "Seeing that " in the Baptismal Service: "it being so that this child is regenerate since so it is, that this child," &c.-"let us, seeing that this child, &c., give thanks." And in this sense it is employed in every one of the passages which Johnson cites by way of example. The author of Steepleton appends a note, to the effect that
"The old English word 'sith,'' it being so that,' or 'supposing it to be so that,' is similar in its force."
This note, taken in conjunction with the text, displays so happy a state of etymological ignorance, that we forbear to charge the writer with any thing else. His knowledge of Anglo-Saxon is manifestly derived from Johnson's dictionary, and the Doctor unfortunately knew nothing about it. The one explained seeing that" by "since" and "sith," as though they were strictly synonymous; and the other takes his "sith" at second hand, and affixes to it a meaning which neither it nor "since" ever had, nor "pourvû que" in its original use.
We have not space to enter more at length into this: we will content ourselves with observing that" since" is only the modern form, and (as Horne Tooke shows) "a very corrupt" form, of what the Prayer-book more correctly expresses by "seeing that;" words which, we venture to say, never imply the conditional, doubtful sense which it is now sought to affix to them by the modern use of "pourvû que," and the explanatory "supposing it to be so that ;" they always indicate "an inference" (if he will) "grounded on certain premises," but-premises, conditions, assumed to be granted. Seeing that" answers to the Latin quia