Imatges de pàgina
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possible form and direction. Many theoretical writers even appear to have absolutely forgotten the practice of domestic slavery amongst the freest nations of antiquity.

Were we to dwell on the succession of events that occur, we should run a risk of repeating most of the subjects already detailed in our account of Mr. Planta's history. We shall therefore hasten to the close of the second volume, and exhibit some few of our author's general reflexions.

• If ever there existed a republic which was erected upon a virtuous principle, it was that of Helvetia. The more nearly we investigate the motives which actuated its founders, and the measures they pur. sued, the greater reason we shall discover to conform ourselves to this opinion. In vain we look for the strifes of ambition or the wars of interest. They had no share in the actions of that plain and honest people, whose hearts were pure as the Alpine breeze, whose manners were uncorrupted as the mountain spring. And yet, in the course of a century and an half, a tide of uninterrupted prosperity was sufficient to infect the two leading states with all those vices and passions which are the inseparable companions of wealth and commerce. The interest of the public was sacrificed to that of the indi. vidual. The grand and active principle of the federation was forgotten amid the violence of domestic dissensions, and an unnatural union formed with the hereditary enemy of Helvetic independence.

• The destiny of Helvetia appears to us a satisfactory proof, that virtue, considered as the fundamental principle of government, is the mere phantom of a heated imagination, the child of theory and spe. culation; but that it is in vain to look for it in any aggregate body composed of such corrupted beings as men. Virtue and greatness we fear to be almost incompatible in exalted posts; and more particularly so according to the abandoned system of modern politics. In a private station we may repose securely upon the bed of innocence ; but from the moment that we embark upon the perilous ocean of public life, the virtue of the most virtuous is in danger.

• It may then be asked, with some appearance of reason, in what consists the difference which is so visible in the characters of different people, and even of the same people, under a different form of government? The answer is plain and easy. It consists in the feelings of the heart-in that noble sentiment of independence which tells the lowest citizen of a free state that he is a man, and as such has an equal claim to the protection of the laws with the proudest and most wealthy of his countrymen.

• Deprive him of this, and his whole nature alters. It matters little by what means the change is produced, whether by the hand of power or by the pressure of poverty and distress. The effect in either case will be similar.

• Examples of this kind may escape the common observer ; but to the philosopher, who investigates the springs and motives of human conduct, they appear in all the strong and melancholy features of truth. Behold the man whose arm alone is sufficient to procure him every necessary of life! With what a bold and elevated countenance he looks around him! The smile of content sits light upon his brow,

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That smile is the characteristic of freedom. It denotes the feelings of a heart which can reply with fearless dignity to the mightiest of mankind, I am like yourselfa man. Let us now reverse the picture. Let us reduce the same person to a precarious dependence upon the bounty of others for his daily subsistence. He will no longer be recognisable. Not a feature, not an action, not a word will be the same. The open countenance of conscious honesty has disappeared, and assumed the close and sullen expression of discontent, servility, and despair!

. The history of mankind in every period of the world confirms the truth of this remark. But no instance can be adduced more striking than what may be found in a comparison of the Roman character under the consular and papal government.-And woe to the country where so fatal a metamorphose has taken place! The lje berties of that people no longer exist, but on the precarious tenure of their sovereign's discretion.' Vol. ii. P. 355.

The concluding view of the Swiss manners is not sufficiently confined to the proper subject, but filled with German and Italian anecdotes. What have the riches of Nuremburg to do with the history of Switzerland ? The account of fools, p. 382, might be greatly enlarged, even under the divisions selected by Mr. Naylor--of professional fools, court fools, and itinerant fools. Our learned author seems mistaken when he supposes that the race of professional fools has expired, as it is still ex

tremely numerous throughout Europe, and constitutes a pro-fession as lucrative as in the times to which he refers with regret.

Upon the whole, we must repeat our observation, that it is to be wished our author had begun with the modern history of Switzerland, in which so much industry and selection would not have been required as are indispensable in compiling the ancient annals of any country. With a little more time and attention, and a due study of the best modern models, it is probable he might greatly improve this work, of which the more interesting topics are already treated with considerable animation.

ART. VIII.-The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the

Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the Use of the United Church of England and Ireland : Together with the Psalter, or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in. Churches. Published for John Reeves, Esq. 121no. 8s. 6d. Boards. Wright. 1801.

THIS Prayer-book does credit to the royal press. It is dedicated to the queen, and is to be followed by a Bible, now in hand, which, by royal permission, is to be dedicated to the

tion of bishops for the ordinize surprise

ests, and the hours Our Prayer.piled from old man

king. The Prayer-book is evidently intended for the superior order of readers, and to them the Introduction will convey a considerable degree of instructive entertainment. It occupies nearly a third part of the whole volume—the remainder containing the usual matter in the Common-Prayer-books in general use ; to which however is added the visitation of prisoners, according to the form of the Irish church, and, what ought to be inserted in all prayer-books, the thirty-nine articles of the church of England. We are surprised that in a work of this kind the offices for the ordination of priests and the consecration of bishops should have been omitted; for it seems to us that many pages of the introduction might have been spared for such an insertion, and the work would then have been complete. For common use, we presume it is meant that the introduction should be altogether omitted ; and the volume will be then better adapted for the pocket.

In the introduction is given a general history of the Liturgy from the earliest times, together with researches on the dress of the priests, and the hours of offering up prayers in different periods of the church. Our Prayer-book is derived from the Mass-book, as the latter was compiled from older services.

There is perhaps some danger lest an unauthorised man should mislead the people in the interpretation of the service; and when it is promulgated with the additional weight of the king's printing house, a greater degree of caution is necessary. We do not find much cause for censure in this respect in the publication before us ; yet there are several points we hope to see altered in a future edition. The Athanasian creed has lately been made the occasion of much scandal in the church; it has been attacked by one of our prelates in terms of uncommon asperity, and defended by the university of Oxford with becoming zeal from its pulpit. In such a state of the controversy, the king's printer interposes his judgement in a manner which seems to us above measure jesuitical. He asserts, that'however agreeable to reason every verse of this creed may be, yet we are not required by the words of the creed to believe the whole on pain of damnation; for all that is required of us is, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. This is all that is required to be believed. What is brought in proof or illustration of this, which makes the greater part of this famous composition, Fequires no more our assent than a sermon does which is made to prove or illustrate a text.' To what purpose the writer could make this unwarrantable assertion, we cannot conceive, and the less so as we find in the next sentence these words.:

Such is the character of this creed as far as the twenty-sixth verse,'--thus contending that the portion of the creed which extends from the end of the fourth to the beginning of the twentya seventh verse no more requires our assent than a sermon. In opposition to this strange and unfounded subterfuge, we beg the writer and our readers to take the trouble of inspecting the creed once more, and examining for themselves the aboye verses in conjunction with the twenty-seventh verse. The latter contradicts our writer in the plainest terms possible: 'He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity;' namely, he must think of the Trinity as this creed has declared it in every preceding verse. This mode of frittering away the doctrines of the church, by those who are either appointed to be, or pretend to be, its defenders, is far more dangerous to its real interests than the attacks of its open enemies. .

In the account of the communion our author seems to have had his eye fixed rather on the Missal than the Prayer-bcok; and the grand and important distinction between the two is by no means accurately preserved. In the Romish church we see a priest, an altar, a sacrifice, and incense; all the terms familiar to a sacrifice are employed in that service: in the church of England, instead of an altar, we see a plain table; the word altar is never used either in the rubric or the service- it is called a communion service, and a commemoration of the Lord's supper, and the table is appointed to be either in the body of the church or the chancel. When the English church has taken such pains to distinguish itself from the church of Rome, we cannot approve of any recurrence to popish language by way of explaining any part of our own ritual; and to call the communion table of the English church an altar, is scarcely ever, though the term be figuratively introduced, justifiable. This hint we hope our author will attend to in the future editions of his Introduction. We cannot, moreover, avoid suggesting to those of our readers who may be induced to purchase this edition, that they should consider its Introduction as the work of an unauthorised writer; and consequently, although it be bound up with the Prayer-book, that they should be cautious of receiving any sentiments contained in it with that reverence which is due to the decrees and interpretations of the church itself.

ART. VIII.—The Beauties of Wiltshire, displayed in statistical, his

torical, and descriptive Sketches; illustrated by Views of the principal Seats, &c.; with Anecdotes of the Arts. 2 Vols. 8vo. 1l. 4s. Boards. Vernor and Hood. 1801.

THE author of this elegant little work is Mr. Britton, who has executed the drawings with great taste, while the engravings are extremely neat and pleasing. We have never seen a to

pographical work assume a more beautiful form; and we hope that the public attention will recompense the writer for his labours.

After a dedication to the earl of Radnor, recorder of the city of Salisbury, we meet with a preface, in which Mr. Britton displays some knowledge of the pen as well as of the pencil.

The topographer, above all others, should be possessed of undeviating perseverance ; for the complete attainment of his object, the perfection of his labours is dependent as much on patient investigation as on the more volatile effusions of the most animated genius. His intellects should be unclouded, his talents pre-eminent, his acquirements universal. He should possess a knowledge of the languages, be familiar with the sciences, and acquainted intimately with history, agriculture, mineralogy, biography, and the belleslettres. His mind should be enlarged by commerce with the various branches of society, and his judgement endowed with those comprehensive powers which result from the study and comparison of the opinions of every age and of every nation. He should have a taste for the polite arts, and particularly for drawing, which induces new ideas, and quickens the perceptive faculties almost to the creation of a new sense. In short, every exercise by which the moral and physical capabilities of man are invigorated should be familiar to him. Wisdom, and knowledge, and understanding, should be the herald3 of his way, and the companions of his lucubrations; and his capacity should be enough enlightened to seise the remote relations of things, and combine them according to times, situations, and circumstances. Possessing these attainments, he should commence his researches with an examination of every promulgated authority. He should investigate deeds, however ancient ; and unroll and peruse charters, however worm-eaten. He should compare evidence, where accounts clash; and believe no assertions without demonstrative argument. He should trace the relations of history to the theatres wherein the events were transacted ; and compare the records of past ages with existing memorials. No political bias should sway his opinions; no prejudice pervert his judgement. His inquiries should be indefatigable; his studies unremitted. With a mind thus moulded, and industry thus employed, he may presume to hope that the difficulties which the complex nature of the subject entails upon his labours will be successfully terminated.

“ What, then," it may be asked, “ are you in possession of all these estimable qualifications ? Are your talents so superabundant, that after this acknowledgment of the obstacles which impede research, you dare to rush into the world, and call the attention of the public to a work which the concentration of so many qualities is requisite to make perfect?”—No; far from it! I know the limited extent of my own abilities too well to imagine that these imperfect sketches of my native country are of sufficient eminence to justify such an arrogant opinion. The motives which induced me to under. take it will corroborate my assertions.' . Vol. i. p. vi.

We love an enthusiast in any science, as, without some sle

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