« السابقةمتابعة »
Oh, ne'er shall he, whose ardent prime
Forget his glorious native land !-pp. 10-13. We recon:mend to the attention of our readers the Notes on the above extract at the end of the volume.
The dreaın of past times restored, is well painted in the following lines :
'Tiven now, far distant fancy leads
- Again, sweet Fancy's dream is gone,
And midst the wild I walk alone!'-p. 41. Of the Miscellaneous Pieces,' the Author says,' the greater part are also early productions,-composed amid the scenes they describe, to amuse the Sumaier solitude of College vaca'tions. They consist of brief effusions on various subjects, and in various ineasures, among which we think there are not a few. favourable specimens of lyric writing. His songs, in general, are well conceived, and characterized by chasteness and sweetness of expression. To justify, in some degree, the favourable opinion we bave passed, we give our readers
And, first, of peerless form and hue,
• I turn'd and saw a tempting row
Though hid, like her, in shady nook,
Art. VII. 1. The Voice of Royal Bereavements. A Sermon preached
in the Protestant Dissenting Meeting House, Battersea, Feb. 16, 1820. By Joseph Hughes, A. M. 8vo. pp. 36. Price 1s. 6d.
2. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Harrow on the Hill,
on Feb. 6, 1820, on the Death of His Most Gracious Majesty George the Third. By J. W. Cunningham, M, A. Vicar of Har. row, &c. Svo. pp. 28.
R. HUGIIES has so rarely appeared before the public in the
character of an Author, although, as one of the co-secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society, his admirably appropriate talents as a public speaker have made bim known in every part of the kingdom, that in making our selection of the Serinons which have been published on the occasion of the demise of our late venerable monarch, bis would seem entitled to what will not be thought an invidious preference. Perfectly distinct, and we might add for the most part incompatible, as are the qualifications of the preacher or the secular orator, and those of the writer, we should not expect to find in a fugitive composition of the kind before us, any thing above a certain elegant correctness of style, and a dignified propriety of sentiment. It is by these qualities, perhaps, that Mr. Hughes's extemporaneous addresses are most prominently characterised, -qualities which, if they do not come up to the full idea of eloquence, are not less rare nor less valuable in the advocate of such a cause as that to which Mr. Hughes, has devoted himself, than the utmost impetuosity of a luxuriant inagination. In a written discourse, it would have been very excusable bad we found them carried to the extreme of a frigorific nicety. But this is not the effect which the present discourse will have upon the reader. It is far from being deficient in feeling or animation ; while the style is perfectly chaste, and the sentiments strictly appropriate to the occasion. It has all Mr. Hughes's calmness of manner, the caliness of unaffected good sense ; but this is carefully rescued from becoming tame. Altogether, we consider it as one of the very best occasional sermons which have come before us
The Preacher takes bis motto from Jer. ix, 21. « Death is
come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces.” And first he adverts to the loss which society at large bas sus. tained in the sudden death of H. R. H. the Duke of Kent, upon whom he pronounces a warm but not less just eulogy.
• In him the cause of civil and religious freedom was blessed with an intelligent and zealous advocate. Towards the various scbemes
of benevolence, fostered all around with such commendable assiduity, he evinced a friendly disposition. If, however, it were required of me to specify the cases in which his joy and pleading energies beamed forth with more than wonted lustre, I should be supported by those of you who witnessed his public career, in referring to those Institutions on behalf of which our countrymen, abstaining from allusions, political or theological, of a discordant nature, were seen associating their counsels, their pecuniary means, and their general influence, for the benefit, sometimes of a neighbourhood, sometimes of a nation, and sometimes of a world. You will, therefore, readily and justly presume, that The British and Foreign School Society, and she British and Foreign Bible Society, were his favourites. He cherished the former, as offering to the children of the poor an opportunity of learning to read; he cherished the latter, as disclosing and conveying to the educated poor, whether children or parents, the treasures of divine revelation; he was attached to the proceedings, and he exalted in the success, of both, as exhibiting common ground benignantly and ad vantageously occupied by the pious and humane of all ranks and of all parties. Few things were so revolting to his generous mind as selfishness, bigotry, and a systematic purpose to restrict within a mere section of the Christian church, or the globe, privileges, which, flowing down, not from an earthly partisan, but from our heavenly Father, were meant for universal circulation. Yet, to show how remote he was from the latitudinarianism often charged on liberal principles, it may not be unsuitable to inform you, that, the last time I had the privilege of intercourse with him, he expressed great satisfaction in ihe prospect of a measure then contemplated by himself and a few other patrons of education, which, if accomplished, besides perpetu, ating in the schools the use of the Holy Scriptures, would furnish the children with Catechetical instruction-regulated, of course, $0 as not to interfere with the convictions and scruples of their respective parents. Whether the project will be extensively tried, or abandoned ; and whether, it triedl, it will, without deteriorating the constitution of The British and Foreign School Society, convert objectors into advocates, or leave thein, for the most part, objectors still ; His Royal Highness's sanction and benevolent hope demonstrate that his endeavours to provide schools for al), did not imply the sacrifice of truth on the altar of indifference, or the opinion, that to introduce human formularies, is to bar an ultimate appeal to the oracles of God.'
Mr, Vugbes expresses himself with most exemplary caution on the subject of his Royal Ilighness's views and impressions as an expectant of immortality, wben be arrived at its confines. Aware that by some persons his language will be thought more than sufliciently guarded, he adds :
• 1 feel assured, that, could the voice of him whom the statement regards, be tendered audible in this assembly, lris voice, from whatever region of the universe it might proceed, would proclaim my for
giveness, or rather, my full acqutital. The colourings of hope, ia their application to the dead, are, probably, much oftener chargeable with excess than with defect; and, wbile, in neither case, can they alter the condition of the dead, it is to be feared, that, in the former case, they are incalculably prejudicial to the living-whom they dazzle into a confidence, that, whether their characters be exemplary, or dubious, or flagrantly bad, death will elicit the encomiums of men, and surround them with the congratulations of angels.
«On the other hand, we should recollect, that the spiritual disadvantages of a prince are neither few nor small. To say nothing of the homage invariably paid bim, and of that pomp whose glare so often conceals from him his obligations and his interests-how easily may he avoid listening to the accents of evangelical truth, as they fall from the lips of those who, experiencing its renovating influence, are intent on the eternal welfare of all around them ; and how seldom is wholesome advice poured into his ear, or “ pure and undefiled religion" exemplified before his eye! The elemenis of his grandeur conspire against his salvation.
Let inferior and even indigent mortals, when regretting, the former their obscurity, the latter their privations, consider this ; that they may learn to oppose the first risings of discontent, aad even to be thankful that God has assigned to them the humble vale—a spot favourable to the growth of righteousness and peace. I may also suggest, that the most candid conclusions which the Scriptures, fairly interpreted, will support, should be eagerly drawn in favour of such as must encounter the perils of worldly elevation' p. 9, 10.
In the same spirit of affectionate but chastened loyalty, the Preacher proceeds to delineate the character of our late sovereign, adverting to 'bis regular habits, his temperauce, bis conjugal • fidelity, his paternal tenderness,' -describing him as frank, • sincere, affable, and benigo, a patron of the arts, a “ lover • of good men,” a firm believer in the Bible, and a constant frequenter of the sanctuary.'
• The fact is familiar, that many subordinate situations about the court were filled by persons of undoubted piety; that his majesty «et a high value upon such persons; that he occasionally conferred with them on the subject of their distinguishing sentiments ; that he was uniformly indulgent to their peculiarities; and that, according to their testimony, he deserved to be revered as an humble disciple of the Di. vine Redeemer.'
• As for bis official capacities, the administrations which he framed or dissolved, the wars whịch he levied or concluded, the territories which he lost or acquired, and all those mighty movements which, within the last forty years, have convulsed Europe, and astonished the world; I attempt no discussion, I adduce no document, no conjecture, no opinion. My province is not that of a politician ; I should never be at home, never at ease, there. Thoughts, indeed, will naturally arise on such subjects, which it were fastidious and absurd to banish from our social intercourse. But, sensible that, every where, the disciple of Him whose kingdom is not of this world, must guard