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children may be superseded in nine cases out of ten : are they in such cases employed ? Is it made an object, to discourage as far as possible the inhuman degradation of children? We put the question to the conscience of every reader. If any one has any specious argument to urge in defence or extenuation of his connivance at the evil, short of absolute necessity, it is at least his duty to read this volume, if not for the poetry. for the facts.
Art. IX. Conversations on the Bible. By a Lady. 12mp. pp. 438.
London, 1824. 'TO
O talk of Scripture doctrines in our social circles now,
we are told in the Preface to these “ Conversations, • is just as fashionable as it is to be a member of a Bible
Society ; for in our age of wonders, we are all philosophers • and philanthropists. From this we are to infer, we presume, that to talk of Scripture doctrines, is to affect to be a philosopher; to be a member of a Bible Society, is to be a philanthropist. But this Writer disclaims being either. The flip• pancy and temerity,' it is added, with which the most ab-) • truse questions of Scripture are introduced into familiar con• versation, is as irreverent as it it is absurd, and ought to be
discouraged. Our readers will learn with surprise, that too! large an infasion of theology into familiar conversation, is one of the crying sins of the day; but the Author must be allowed to have hit upon a curious antidote, in composing Conversations on the Bible !
This work is, we doubt not, well meant, and we regret that we cannot commend the execution. The style is very
deficient in simplicity, and the young ladies converse in a language which sounds much too lofty for their years. • What I want, says Miss Fanny to her Mother, “is a synoptical elucidation of • the story, with its general relation to the several parts of the • Bible.' A young lady who could understand the use of these terms, ought to have read her Bible.' Her Mamma replies: 1:37
11 • I will endeavour to give you such a view, though I may not accomplish it as well as I could desire. The subject is exceedingly interesting, for the Bible is not only the oldest book in existence, but it contains an account of the creation of all things, and á history of mankind from the beginning.'
It is but just to add, that other and better reasons for studying the Bible, are afterwards intimated. But Mrs. M. is evidently not at home on the subject of religion. The design
Conder's Star in the East, &c.
17 563 seems to have been, to present the Old Testament history in a connected and unexceptionable form. Mrs. Trimmer and Miss Neale have anticipated the idea ; but, had the present work! been competently executed, we should not the less have given it our cordial approbation. In a work for young persons, we look at least for correct and intelligible composition; yet, what can we say for such sentences as the following?
• Prophecy is unquestionably the most obscure portion of the Scriptures ; yet is it sufficiently plain to form the great palladium of their origin, the chief argument of their divinity: Its predictions are so far beyond the penetration of human intellect, and the accomplishment of these predictions are so multiplied and exact, res no art of man or combinations of men could achieve. The most hardened infidelity is compelled to refer both the prescience and the power to something more than humän.'
Art. X. The Star in the East ; with other Poems. By Josiah Conder.
12mo, pp. 195. Price 6s. London. 1824. CIRCUMSTANCES probably well known to the majority of
our readers, embarrass us exceedingly in the criticism of this publication. Conscious that our warm admiration is the result of impartial and even of severe examination, we feel that there is something almost unmanly in shrinking from the full responsibility of avowing and sustaining it; nor should we suffer, in such a case, any thing short of a specific injunction · to interfere between our feelings and their entire 'expression. : Happily, there is an alternative, far more satisfactory in the present instance, than in others more doubtful: if we are for bidden to praise, we can at least produce examples, and we may venture on these somewhat the more largely, since we shall, though most reluctantly, abstain from every thing in the shape of eulogy, and confine ourselves to simple analysis and extract.
The first and principal poem The Star in the East,' commemorates the progress of the Gospel, and anticipates its final triumph. opens
with the Song of the Angels at the Messiah's advent.
to have heard the unearthly symphonies,
rio di una
Ilsbool. When from the angelic multitude swellid forth
The many voiced consonance of praise :-
passes to the massacre of the Innocents, the destruction of Jerusalem, and its modern state, the predicted restoration of the Jews, and, after an animated apostrophe to England as the chosen · Evangelist of nations, breaks forth in the following indignant strain :
• There was a nation-whisper not its name
Persia, China, and Taheite, presented objects to decidedly poetical to be neglected.
te is T
Thy palaces have heard a heavenly voice': " 2. A prophet's feet have trod thy burning soil:
A" man of God” has left his name with thee, from bogie, Thy sage Mollahs, say, have they yet resolv'd
The Christian's knotty interrogatives?
And thou,“ Celestial Empire!" teeming hive
• Where, in the furthest deserts of the deep,
Uprears, and new-made islands have their birth,
In Polynesian groves long undisturba
Greenland, the Indians of North America, Africa, then pass along the field of this poetical magic-lantern, and are followed by an apostrophe to the Star of Bethlehem, that will not be overlooked.
O Star ! the most august of all that clasp
All shadowless, even to the poles shall reign. pp. 16, 17. The Scriptures and the progress of knowledge claim an emphatic notice, and the signs of the present times afford an appropriate subject for the conclasion.
The · Sacred Poems' consist chiefly of versions of the Psalms, and of stanzas suggested by different passages of Scripture. There are a few of a more general cast, among which we were well pleased to recognise the Reverie, from the additions to the second edition of the Associate Minstrels.' The 145th Psalm is versified in a measure of which we do not, at the present moment, recollect a previous instance, and which, we think, produces a very impressive effect. It is the heroic rhyme alternated. We shall give a part.
• I will extol thy name, O God, my king
For ever will I bless Thee. Day by day
To Thee an everlasting tribute pay.
Exalted as his greatness be his praise.
His deeds of might, the goodness of his ways.