« السابقةمتابعة »
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, requires 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 ex
tends from the end of the fourth to the beginning of the twentyseventh 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 above 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-book; 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 fami. liar 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. il. 45. 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 slegree of enthusiasm little progress can ever be attained; but a cold blooded reader might probably smile at the perfections here expected in a topographer. The author afterwards proceeds to acknowledge his obligations to many respectable characters; and he concludes his preface with an account of Mr. Wyndham's plan for a history of the county.
The work is divided into sections, each comprising some remarkable object; and the general arrangement is not illaudable. They open with some introductory observations on the county at large; after which the other sections are entitled-Old Sarum, Salisbury Cathedral and the Churches and Colleges, Longford Castle, Downton, Clarendon, Bemerton, Wilton, Wilton House, Fonthill, Wardour Castle, &c Those in the second volume relate to Stourhead, Longleat, Warminster, the agriculture of Wiltshire, Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge, Ambresbury, Savernake Forest, Marlborough, Devizes, Newpark, Bowood, Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Bradford. There are seven plates in the first volume, and nine in the second, with several neat wooden vignettes.
As there is no necessary connexion between the sections, we shall begin with Stonehenge.
• Inigo Jones adopted an hypothesis of its being a temple of the Tuscan order, built by the Romans for the worship of Cælum or Terminus.
• This idea is opposed by Dr. Charlton, who would fain assign this structure to the Danes; and endeavours to prove that they crected it as a pastime or frolic, during their short-lived triumph over the great Alfred, whilst he was concealed in a cottage, meditating plans to retrieve his fortune. Some writers also of the present day espouse this silly and very improbable notion.
It is asserted by Aubrey to have been a temple for the Druid worship, and that it was erected at a period long before the arrival, of the Romans in Britain.
• Dr. Stukeley followed in the same track, and became a warm advocate for assigning to the Druids the honour of raising Stonehenge. In order to establish this opinion, he allows his mind to range freely through the regions of fancy, and confounds Druidism with the ceremonies of the Pagan sacrifices among the Greeks and Romans.
• With a more sober mind, Mr. Wood, the architect, espouses the same hypothesis.
· The next author who holds this opinion is Dr. Smith, who endeavours to prove that the structure was primarily intended for astronomical observations, as well as religious rites.
• Benjamin Martin, in a publication under the title of the Natural History of Wiltshire, affects greatly to deride all who have given their opinions on Stonehenge ; and is particularly severe upon them for supposing the work to be of natural stones, when they appear clearly to him io consist of an artificial composition.
The next writer that I shall have occasion to notice is Mr. Warl
tire, who, in the year 1792, delivered a lecture on Stonehenge, a few extracts from which will show the futility of chimerical hypothesis, when discoursing on such subjects.
“ The name of Stonehenge is Saxon, and means hanging stones. The large stones were brought from the Grey Weathers, on Marlbo. rough Downs, round a circuit of about thirty miles. Some of these stones are of fine granite, some of porphyry, but the largest are of granulated quartz. One of these stones is ninety tons weight; another one hundred tons. The cross stones of the trilithons are of. jaspar, foreign granite, and some of bad porphyry. The altar is of porphyry, from the Black Mountain in South Wales : some of the granite has been brought from the Pyrennian Mountains, or Fin. land, for there is none of the kind in this country. This structure was so contrived, that one person speaking behind the interior altar could be heard distinctly by every person within the outer circle, but a person without that circle could not hear any thing distinctly. It will hold three thousand people, or thereabouts. It is a vast theodolite for observing the motions of the heavenly bodies. It had a meridian line, ten miles in length, at the time of its formation, from which the present meridian line varies forty-seven degrees. The barrows are so placed as to represent the stars, the Pleiades, and other heavenly bodies. Some of them are in a ring, some of which were to represent ancient eclipses in their various gradations, and the small tumuli in these rings always represented the
moon. Stonehenge has been a place of worship, and for national assemblies as well as for astronomical observations.
“ There are two clayed pits, and two stones near the ditch, to represent the greatest declination of the sun. There is one of the trilithons that answers to the present meridian ; and after that others come in, during an immense length of time. By measuring the shadow of the trilithon on the parabolic arch, they were enabled to tell how the year passed, and when it began and ended. There is a stone in the avenue so placed, that the shadow should not appear when the moon was in its greatest altitude; and at other times showed what the deficiency was, agreeably to a very remote period. The times of assembly were the equinoxes and solstices. It was erected before the use of iron was known in this country; the artificers' tools were of flint, some of which were found lately near an adjoining barrow, or moveable mount, in which are the chippings of the stones. The stones were, as it is supposed, carried by men, and supported on rafts. They were raised by a moveable mount, formed into an inclined plane : that barrow near which the tools were found appears to have been the instrument made use of.”
• These extracts will be fully sufficient to convince the reader of the absurdity and imposition cf such wild conjectures, which, although calculated “to elevate and surprise" the ignorant, must provoke a smile with the man of erudition.' Vol. ii.
But the man of erudition will equally smile at the ridiculous Welsh fables here detailed by Mr. Britton, upon the authority of his friend Mr. Cuen. 'Our author justly ridicules Dr. Stukely, but seems little conscious that Mr. Owen's account is