Imatges de pàgina
[ocr errors]

very earliest stages of life, -by which we mean, the vigorous and harmonious play of all the animal functions,-has much more to do with the future disposition, than is generally suspected.

That the intelligence which produces emotion is received by the brain, and that it secondarily affects the heart, we admit. But then, the brain, not being the seat of emotion, cannot be the seat of those dispositions and feelings which determine the degree and character of emotion. The organs of such dispositions are not, therefore, to be sought for in the brain. . There seems nothing incredible in the notion, that the head would prove to be, could we but make it out, the physiognomical index to the whole organization. We see in the amplitude of the forehead the marks of intellectual capacity ; in the development of the lips, the signs of a sanguine or of a phlegmatic temperament; in the lower parts of the face, the strength of the animal propensities. Why should the knobs on the surface of the head, any more than the features of the face, be considered as indications relating only to the brain? As physiognomical signs, they might be found to relate equally to the functions of the organic system,—to the size of the liver, the force of the heart, or the texture and action of the bowels. These are the real organs of jealousy, benevolence, decision, and heroism; and we see no reason why they should not have their representative knobs, as well as the intellectual organs of the brain. It appears to us a great mistake to hunt in the medullary membrane for the organs of emotion, which lie much lower down in the system. These discover themselves in the configuration of the face ; why may not the stomach and the liver have their share in determining also the shape of the cranium ?

The signs, then, even of moral qualities or dispositions, may occupy the situation assigned them on the surface of the brain-box, though we cannot tell how they got there. The strange and revolting juxta-position, however, of some of these knobs, makes much against the correctness of the arrangement. The nomenclature of the system, too, is, in reference to the indications of moral organs, both offensively injudicious and liable to perversion. This remark applies more especially to the organ of veneration. The notion of an organization exciting in us reverence for the Deity, strikes us as grossly improper. Reverence for the Deity has assuredly not its place in the brain; and although certain natural turns of mind must be allowed to be more favourable than others to the cultivation of piety, we cannot believe that these are indicated by any knob on the top of the head.

On the whole, the system of Gall and Spurzheim, considered as an organological system, we consider as having no better foundation than imperfect induction and gratuitous supposition. But it has been charged with consequences which do not attach to it, supposing it to be true, and has given rise to unfounded alarms and unjust aspersions. As a physiognomical system, we think it imbodies a number of curious facts, mixed up with much that is uncertain, and with not a little that is, in terms, absurd. Let it be pursued, however, as a branch of physiognomy, and we see no objection to the study; although whether it will ever assume the true character of a science, seems very questionable.

Art. IX. A Brief Memoir of the late Thomas Bateman, M.D. Third

Edition. pp. 24. London. 1822.
THIS brief Memoir of the last days of a man as eminent in his

profession as he was estimable in private life, but who, up to within a few months of his death, was an infidel,- presents exactly one of those 'signs' which the world are continually asking for, and which the half-believer requires to satisfy him of the truth and power of Christianity. We have seldom perused án obituary more striking in its nature, or more judiciously drawn up. The conversion of Dr. Bateman, (for, if his was not à conversion, then the word is wholly misapplied to the change wrought upon Saul of Tarsus,) was of the most unequivocal, decided, and satisfactory kind. Here is nothing at which the philosopher can sneer, or the scoffer cavil. The tract is an argument addressed at once to the understanding and the heart; and we have no doubt that it will be extensively useful.

Scott's Essays was the work which, after Dr. Bateman's mind became alive to the subject of religion, was the chief means of producing a total change in his views and feelings. He died exactly one week before his revered but unknown instructor.

He never ceased to remember, with the deepest gratitude, his abligations to that excellent man. It was only the evening before his death that he was recommending with great fervency to a young friend, whose molber, under affliction, was first beginning to inquire after religious truth, to engage her to read “ Scott's Essays,” acknowledging, with fervent gratitude, the benefit he had bimself received from that work, and concluding an animated eulogium, by saying, " How bave I prayed for that man!” What a blessed meeting may we not suppose they have bad in the world of glory!

The medical friend before alluded to bas most justly remarked, that " the entire simplicity and sincerity of Dr. Bateman's natural character give additional value to all that fell from him. He never used a language

that was at all at variance with his real feelings, and was in no degree given to vain imaginations." This testimony is very true, and this remarkable simplicity and sobriety of his natural character remained unaltered in the great revolution which took place in his principles and dispositions : be went into no exaggerations of feelings, or excesses of enthusiasta. And surely thc merciful Providence which preserved his sound understanding, in all its integrity, to the last moment of his life, must si. Jence the gainsayer and “the disputer of this world,” who might strive to attribute the sacred influence of religion on his mind to the errors of an intellect impaired by long disease and suffering.'

Art. X. 1. A Dialogue between a Minister of the Church and his

Parishioner, concerning the Christian's Liberty of Choosing his
Teacher. By the Rev. Thomas Sikes, M. A. Vicar of Guilsborough.

6th Edition. 12mo. pp. 32. London. 1820. 2. A Second Dialogue between a Minister of the Church and his pa.

rishioner, concerning Christian Edification. By the Rev. Thomas

Sikes, M. A. 5th Edition. 12mo. pp. 48. London, 1915. 3. A Third Dialogue between a Minister of the Church and his

Parishioner, concerning those who are called Gospel Preachers or
Evangelical Ministers. By the Rev. Thomas Sikes, M. A. A new

Edition. 12mo. pp. 78. London. 1819. h. An Address to the Separatists from the Established Church. . In a

Dialogue between the Minister and his Parishioner. 12mo. pp. 16.

Worcester. 1822. 5. A Letter to the Rev. Jeremiah Jackson, M. A. Vicar of Swaffham

Bulbeck, occasioned by his Sermon preached at Wisbech, on July 31, 1821, at the third quadrennial Visitation of Bowyer Edward, Lord Bishop of Ely. By J. Jarrom. 8vo. pp. 58. Price Is. 62.

Wisbech. WE like these village dialogues extremely. They come to

the point at once, and exhibit the controversy in its true light as a practical question. There is an honesty, an explicitness, and an appearance of earnestness about Mr. Sikes, that we commend." He tells us that he feels a respect for the • honest Dissenter;' and we can return the compliment by professing with equal sincerity our respect for the honest Churchman. - The Christian's Liberty of choosing his own Teacher, Mr. Sikes very properly considers as the cardinal article, the hinging point of the Dissenting controversy. Every other question compared with this, sinks almost into insignificance. The question respecting liturgies and free prayer, that which relates to the three orders of Episcopacy, or the three times three orders of the hierarchy, nay, the matter of rites and ceremonies, are all,


2 T

thongh important, of inferior practical importance to this The Divine authority of the parochial priestly rule here contended for, being once established, little would be left worth contend. ing for, and that little would be in danger,

The hypothesis of Mr. Sikes, and it is one for which a large proportion of the evangelical clergy, whom he reprobates as Gospel preachers, are known to be as great sticklers as himself, --the hypothesis on which the constitution of the Establishment is built, is this : That every parish minister is a servant of • Christ, appointed by the rulers of his household, to the care • of a certain district of country, callerl a parish,' being

charged with the care of all the souls that live in such a place. He is to feed all its inhabitants with the sacraments, and to rule them according to the Scriptures. You very properly ask me,' says the Minister in the first dialogue with his parishioner, 'to shew you my commission for assuming • the sole government and care of the inhabitants of this parish; that is, you ask me how God Almighty is to be considered as setting me over this purticular place.'

Twilight. Aye, Sir, that is exactly what I mean, because, if you can shew me that, I can easily perceive that no other minister ought to thrust himself upon your people under any pretence whatever.

Minister. 'True, John, and now attend closely to what I say, and you will soon see the matter in a very different light to that which has so misled you: My commission to take care of the people of this place, is from the Lord himself. You acknowledge that I am sent by the authority of Jesus Christ into his vineyard the Church; and now I will shew you that I have his commission to take care of this particular part of it. I received my commission from the Bishop in these words, when he ordained me a Christian priest : “ Take thou authority to preach the “ word of God, and to minister the holy sacraments in the congregation where thou shalt be lawfully appointed thereunto;" and afterwards, he lawfully appointed me to this parish, when I first became your minister here. The Bishop, you know, derives bis authority from the Apostles, and the Apostles had theirs from our Lord himself. Whatever the Bishop does in the Church, in consequence of his authority from our Lord, through his Apostles, our Lord declares he considers as done by himself. Now the Bishop appointed me, in Christ's nanie, to take care of this place, and no other; and therefore, I have Christ's authority to feed and govern that part of his fuck living in this parish ; and if so, you and all your fellow-parishioners are bound to obey and submit your selves, and receive my instructions, because I have, by Christ's authority, ihe rule over you. Heb. xiii. 17. á Tw. You have put it in a new light, indeed, sir! I cannot say I ever saw it so plainly put before.'

As honest John does not pretend to much book-learning, it is very likely that he never did. But it is not a new light' it

is a doctrine much older than Luther. Many ministers, how. ever, who act upon this assumption, would not go quite so far in their statement of the principle. Yet, between Mr. Sikes and Mr. Simeon, there is only, we believe, this slight difference. The former contends, that to leave the parish church on any pretence whatever, is to fly in the face of Christ and his Apostles : the latter would tolerate, in case of necessity, stray, ing out of one parish to attend service in a neighbouring parish church; but on no account must the parishioner leave his church to hear the Gospel from a non-commissioned minister. There are the prayers, the all-perfect and all-sufficient Liturgy, and the Sacraments; and with these, if the pulpit is dumb or dark, he must be content, and hope for better things. Mr. Sikes is, we readily concede, the more consistent reasoner. The same liberty of choice, or right of private judgement, and power of judging, which would justify the preference of one parish minister to another, wouid, pushed but a step further, lead to the dangerous consequence of preferring a Presbyterian or an Independent minister in the same parish, to the parish minister; that is, unless the latter can be shewn to have a Divine commission and absolute claims which, under any circumstances, it would be impious to disregard. But, from this consequence, the evangelical clergyman shrinks back in utter horror. We must profess, however, that we cannot understand how the Church-government of the Establishment can be maintained consistently with a departure from the strict parochial principle. Honest Twilight has not been guilty of going to meeting, but merely of wandering out of his parish to hear a

Gospel preacher in a neighbouring parish; having always thought, simple man! • that it was all one whether he went to

one parish church or another, provided he did not go to the Dissenters' meeting.'

Min. Alas! my good friend, you are not the only honest man that has been so deceived with this very error; but you have been much more like a Dissenter than is commonly imagined.

Tw. Then I am sure it was because I knew no better; for I detest the Dissenters, and I

Min. Hold, John; shame upon such words as those : you should · rather pity them, and endeavour by all the kind methods of Christian charity, io shew them their faults, and so bring them back to the true Church and fold of Christ. " If a man be overtaken in a fault,” says St. Paul, “ ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Gal. vi. 1. And, I tell you again, your fault in deserting your minister and parish Church is that very sin which is the grand sin of Dissenters; and you are much nearer to being a Dissenter than you think for, John.

« AnteriorContinua »