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written by a distinguished, learned, pious, and every way excellent prelate. .... Just here and there, occurring very rarely in this unconebcionable printed length of little easy gossip with his female acquaintance on temporary inatters, there is a brief passage of some thought and interest. One of these comes out with most prominent appearance at page 272, 'iu answer to à recommendation from one of these friends to read Mrs. Rowe's Letters from the dead to the living, which, being published anonymously, were by the bishop attributed to a writer of his own sex. h:
"I have read the letters you - recommended to me. The manner in which they are written is agreeable enough, and I really believe the Author to be a sober, honest, virtuous person ; but some of his phi. Tosophical notions are a little out of the way, and by no means elevated to the dignity of a blessed Spirit. The Elysian fields were too much in his head, and he gives the eyes and ears more employment than an exalted understanding is willing to allow them. Surveying the
of God will undoubtedly be the noblest entertainment to an ipquisitive mind, and carry its admiration of infinite wisdom and power and its love of infinite goodness, to the utmost height; but the beauty of outward forms, the harmony of instruments and voices, and above all the splendour of other planets, their magnificent buildings and delightful prospects, are more suited to the low ideas, which our present narrow capacities dispose us to consider, than to any thing that Chirstianity sets -before us, or indeed, that a reasonable soul would condescend to take up with. If I had the honour of conversing with you, I could spend more time in further reflections, especially on the fifth Letter, but at present we will add no more than that, I am &c.'
The good bishop is very successful often at a compliment, somewhat in what may be called the old court style, but with a lighter, easier, neater turn of expression than the politenesses of Richardson's personages, and with a most evident sincerity of kindness. Now and then he gives little amusing notices of some of his occupations, but generally his least important ones. A little sparkling of genius thrown over these sketches, would, in a few instances, remind us of the descriptions of diminutive employments in the letters of Cowper.
A very exemplary strain of thankfulness and humble submission to Providence is maintained through every recorded part of the bishop's life. And these sentiments are disclosed in a very interesting manner as he advances into extreme old age, and consciously approaches the last scene. Two months before his death, he writes thus to a clergyman, one of his friends :
• l apprehend I shall not live to see much more of the coming year, though I wear out leisurely, and am free from sickness and pain; bat strength declines and memory fails. The moderate degree of understanding which God was pleased to give me does not impair. The famous Mr. Waller was of opinion that age improved it; I am sure experience does. But as the contrary often falls out, I hare strictly charged those about me, that when they discover symptoms of such a change, they suffer no consideration to conceal it from me,'-_ I have no doubt but that, when our gracious Redeemer comes in all his glory to judge mankind, you and I, with all faithful people, shall, through the mercy of God, and his Merits, find a place at his right hand. What our portion may be in his kingdom, is known only to his father, and himself, but this is revealed to us that there are pleasures above our conception and durable to all eternity.' p. 86.
In the same spirit of tranquil resignation and hope he wrote to Lord Digby only fifteen, and to Bishop Gibson. only four days before his death. And the serenity continued to the last hour.
• It appears that this venerable prelate could not withstand the remarkably severe weather in March and April of the year 1743. His constitution, however, struggled against it for a few days after he wrote this last letter to the Bishop of London ; but at length, he expired without a groan on the 8th of May, surrounded by some of his friends and neighbours, who attended him in his last moments, to whom he said, “We part, to meet again, I hope, in endless joys." Art. XI. The Mosaic Creation : illustrated by Discoveries and Ex
periments derived from the present enlightened state of Science ; to which is prefixed the Cosmogony of the Ancients : with Reflections, intended to promote Vital and Practical Religian. By Thomas Wood. 8vo. pp.
436. Price 88. Baynes. 1811. HOWEVER ingenious the design of this Inquiry may be, an attentive
perusal has not qualified us to say, that it is quite faultless in point of execution. Mr. Wood, we think, is rather too popular. Instead of indulging his readers with profound and original criticism, he has presented them with a collection of facts that elementary treatises of the most portable description could easily supply. On this account we must confess, that the expectations we had formed from the author's annonce have not been altogether realized. In a volume having to do with “ ancient cosmogonies and the enlightened state of science," it was really somewhat superfluous to insert a minute explanation of the geographical terms-island--ocean-lake, &c. &c.; together with a great deal of matter equally interesting: such as that-resin is useful in paintingturpentine in medicine’mor with resin the bows and strings of musical instruments are rubbed, to render them more sonorous ;'--fowers please comfort--and fruits are eaten either raw, boiled, roasted, or pickled, &c. &c.
It is proper to remark, however, that this censure extends only to a small portion of the volume. The greater part of it, consists of a very
Wood's Mosaic Creation.
535 agreeable and -interesting detail of the general facts of astronomical science, and natural history; in which are intermingled inoral and religious reflections, tending to excite the feelings of grateful and devout admiration. On subjects of this nature, Mr. W. seems at home; and we highly approve the attempt of supplying the spiritual improvement of philosophical investigations.
The first chapter is on the “ Heathen Cosmogony,” and states the absurd opinions entertained by ancient philosophers, concerning the origin and creation of the world. It is a remarkable fact (which we are a litile surprised at not lnding distinctly noticed by our author) that the proper idea of creation, never possessed the minds of the most enlightened pupils of nature. All their systems of cosmogony, attributed to the gods only the power of arranging, not of making the universe. Hence matter was thought to be eternal by sonie, and by others so identified with the Deity, as to exclude the notion of any separately existing principle. It was reserved for the pure philosophy of revelation to teach us, that “ the things which are seen, were not made of the things which do appear.”'
The second chapter includes seven distinet sections, the first of which is a disquisition on the existence and perfections of God The doctrine of the Trinity is here scripturally defended, and its authorities clearly adduced. Why Mr. W. in classifying the natural and moral perfections of Deity, has referred omnipotence to the former, and power to the latter class, we are unable to explain. The succeeding lectures treat on the . creation of light,'— the atmosphere,'--the earth and seas,'—the sun and moon,'-' fishes and fowls,' quadrupeds and man. This method of arrangement, founded on the Mosaic account, has enabled the author to exhibit a valuable compilation to the young and devout inquirer : but has at the same time betrayed him into occasional repetitions. The last chapter is on “the institution of the sabbath."
Before we close our account of the work, it may be proper to give an extract or two. The following contains a piece of information, which to some of our readers, may possibly be new.
• The names of our days are of Heathen origin. The seven planets were anciently looked on as presiding over the affairs of the world, and to take it by turns, each one hour' at a time, according to the following order ; Saturd first, then Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and last of all the Moon : hence they denominated each day of the week from the planet, whose turn it was to preside the first hour of the nuchthemeron. --Thus, assigning the first of the twenty-four hours of Satur, day to Saturn, the second will fall to Jupiter, the third to Mars, and so the twenty-second will fall to Saturn again, the twenty-third to Jupiter, and the last to Mars. On the first hour of the next day it will fall to the sun to preside ; and by the like manner of reckoning, the first hour of the next will fall to the moon, &c. Hence the days of the week came to be distinguished by the following names, and to assunie the following order-Dies, Saturni, Solis, Lune, Martis, Mercurii, Jovis, Vereris : hence amongst us the Saxon names, respectively answering these.' p. 97.
In another part of his volume Mr. W. thus illustrates a pa sage in Hosea.
• In this beautiful text of scripture '(Hosea xiv. 5-7) we see the "spring and fountain of prosperity and happiness, are the favour and blessing of God, represented by the Jew. The dew is refreshing and fructifyin?, gives to the fruits of the earth, growth, verdure, fragrancy and usefulness; somshall the church be under the influence of the spirit-Israel shall grow as quickly and be as fair and beautiful as the lily, being possessed of, and shining in the beauties of holiness. He shall East, forth his roo's as lofty cedars in mount Lebanon-h's branches shall steredd be increased and enlarged on every side, which signifies either the increase or fruitfulness of the members of the church. His beauty shall be as the olive tree which is always green, even in winter; and is an excellent figure, by which the abiding verdure and pleasantness of the graces of the righteous even in the trying season of affliction are exhibited And his smell as Libanon. There were very many cedars, sweet shrubs, and variegated flowers on mount Lebanon, which diffused a most fragrant smell, and perium d the surrounding air. By this is signified the graces of the pe pie who live in union and friendship with God, and abide under his peculiar blessing. Thus fragrant, they shall be acceptable to t ose with whom they converse; their tempers, words, and actions, shall gain them much esteem; and their fame, honour and reputation shall be spread all around.' God will bestow on his faithful people, such infinences of his spirit, as shall make them, beautiful, stedfast, acceptable, and useful in the world.', pp. 155-177.
There is nothing advanced in the preceding strictures, we bope, which will be held to imply that the merits of this work, do not considerably preponderate over its defects, or that, viewing it as a whole, we are not disposed to regard it as doing credit to its author's industry and quisitions. The religious sentiments, it is scarcely necessary to add, are uniformly scriptural and devout.
Art. XII. The Conduct of Man. A Didactic Epistolary Poem. 810.
pp. 164. Chapple. 1812. Art. XIII. The Nature of Man, A Didactic Epistolary Poem. Ey
the author of the Conduct of Man. 8vo. pp. 90. Chapple. 1812. A FEW extracts from the Introductory Epistles to these Didactic
Epistolary Poems" will form our best apology for declining to enter into a minute investigation of their merits.
* How feels the Briton when abroad they sing
Behold an Indian unto Europe brought.
But in his view should tree exotic stand,
“My Country rear’d thee, and thou’rt all to me!" Int. En. to the Conduct of Man, a Diduclic Epistolary Poem. p. 3.
• Love ! Love! O Love! celestial passion ! pure !
sway, in plenty, as in scenes of dearth!
My God! how fine to think of thee, and die!
Human nature is under immeasurable obligations to a poet-wright who expresses himself with so much force and perspicuity, and who has no doubt reflected,
with a secret pride, on that memorable line-
Art. XIV. An Account of the Character and Peaceful Death of Pretor Whitty; who died at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, April 14, 1811, aged sixteen years and seven months. By John Bullar. em. 8vo. pp. 64.
Price 29. Longman and Co. 1811. WE have been much gratified by the perusal of this modest narrative,
and are anxious to give it the full benefit of our most unqualified approbation. The reader will find in it, an accurate delineation of the divine agency on the heart of a youth of good natural abilities, and liberal education, from the time when it appeared to the observer merely by an external attention to religious exercises, till it was completed by that faith in the atonement which gives its possessor the victory over death. This account is not tricked out by rhetorical embellishments, nor are the events narrated;; of that violent class which some well meaning religious readers are perpetually in quest of. It is a common history, but it is also an important one.
In the course of the narrative Mr. B. has introduced several of his young