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order to ascertain, whether there be any Inconsistency or Contradiction in them, particularly on the doctrine of Regeneration, and to make their Report upon these points to the Board, have proceeded carefully to examine the same, as far as respects the doctrine of Regeneration, and do Report that there is nothing to impeach the Consistency of the Tracts, or involve them in Contradiction with each other on the point of doctrine; although, in some instances, the term Regeneration is used, sometimes strictly and properly, as applied in our Liturgical Offices, to the Grace conveyed in the Sacrament of Baptism; and, at other times, in a larger and laxer sense, by different, and, occasionally by the same authors."
This Report was presented to the Board by the Lord Bishop of London, at a very numerous General Meeting, on the 14th inst. As soon as the Report had been read, His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, who presided on this occasion, moved that the thanks of the Society be returned to the Lord Bishop of London, and the rest of the Committee for Revision, for their satisfactory Report then before the Board. The motion of the Archbishop was warmly opposed by several members present; but at length the vote of thanks, which was understood to express the Board's approval of the Report, was carried by a large majority.
Such are the causes which have contributed to disturb the union and harmony which has ever prevailed in the Society. That any member or any party of members are, in the present state of the Society, entitled to declare their opposition to any intended measure of the Board, we shall not deny; but that clamorous harangue and obstinate tautology are the best means of effecting their purpose, we must be allowed to doubt. Surely a temperate memorial and a simple vote would be a much less objectionable method of proceeding, or if they should still think themselves aggrieved, as a last resort, the press is open to their hands. It is, however, somewhat extraordinary, that in more instances than one, especially in the instance of the supposed author of the work before us, that the press was first resorted to (out of respect as we suppose to the Society,) and after that a vague and tedious harangue. Now if only half the members were to insist upon the privilege of hearing themselves talk upon Regeneration and other controverted points, the Society might sit, as was well remarked, as long as the Council of Trent, and after eighteen years discussion conclude where they began. We cannot too often protest against the degradation of the Board at Bartlett's Buildings into a British Forum, or of its Meetings into those of a Bear-garden.
Thus much as to the manner of proceeding. As to the matter we shall say but a very few words. It is too well known that a party has newly sprung in the Church whose principles upon the subject of Regeneration (as it is called), and other important points, though differing in various degrees among themselves, are all fundamentally opposite to those of the old and orthodox Clergy. The opinions of which are founded in a just and Scripturural view of Christianity, it is not our province at present to decide. We would only put two plain questions to those of the new party, who have raised so much dissension in the Society. First, whether, when they were admitted members of that Society, they were not fully aware, that its doctrines, its views, and its influence, were not in decided opposition on all Puritanical points to their own; and whether it has not always been considered as the organ of the Unpuritanical portion of the Established Church? This they cannot deny; and if so, we would ask them by what right they call upon that Society to resign the grounds on which it stands, or how they are justified in interrupting its long established harmony by clamorous and obstinate opposition? And secondly, with respect to the immediate question before us, we would ask, whether, quibbling and verbal distinctions apart, there is one principle in Dr. Mant's Tracts which may not be found in other Tracts of the Society; and conversely, whether there is any Tract now on the list, which contains doctrines fundamentally different from those of Dr. Mant; or, in other words, whether there is any one Tract, which teaches their principles, and inculcates their peculiar notions. For ourselves, having examined the greater number of them, we cordially assent to the Report of the Committee, being fully convinced that in all and every one of these Tracts, though there may be a laxity of expression there is an unity of doctrine, and a consistency of principle. Dr. Mant has indeed spoken strongly, and we thank him for his manly and able exertions; but attacked as the Clergy now are by fanatics of every description, it becomes them boldly to assert their doctrines and to vindicate their cause. Dr. Mant's Tract is the strict application of ancient and established doctrines to the peculiar circumstances of the present times.
We trust that no further attempts will be made to sow dissensions in a Society, which has long been the bulwark of the Established Church, and of pure Christianity, not only in these dominions, but in all quarters of the globe. Its doctrines and its practice are consistent, but not Puritanical: and we trust that every attempt to render them so, will be crushed, like the in its earliest bud.
ART. XI. Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude, and other Poems. By Percy Bysshe Shelley. 16mo. pp. 101. Baldwin. 1816.
IF this gentleman is not blessed with the inspiration, he may at least console himself with the madness of a poetic mind. In the course of our critical labours, we have been often condemned to pore over much profound and prosing stupidity; we are therefore not a little delighted with the nonsense which mounts, which rises, which spurns the earth, and all its dull realities; we love to fly with our author to a silent nook.
"One silent nook
Was there. Even on the edge of that vast mountain
It overlooked in its serenity
The dark earth and the bending vault of stars."
Tolerably high this aforesaid nook, to overlook the stars: but
"Hither the poet came. His eyes beheld
Their own wan light through the reflected lines
Vastly intelligible. Perhaps, if his poet had worn a wig, the case might have been clearer: for then it might have thrown some light on the passage from the ancient legend,
"By the side of a soft flowing stream
On the top of his head was his wig,
But this aforesaid hair is endowed with strange qualities.
"his scattered hair Sered by the autumn of strange suffering, Sung dirges in the wind."
This can only be interpreted by supposing, that the poet's hair was entwined in a fiddle-stick, and being seared with "the autumn of strange sufferings," alias rosin, "scraped discords in the wind," for so the last line should evidently be read. But, softa little philosophy, for our poet is indubitably a vast philosopher.
"Seized by the sway of the ascending stream
Till on the verge of the extremest curve
A very animated boat this; something resembling that of the Irishman, which must needs know its way to Greenwich, because it had been down the stream so often. We cannot do sufficient justice to the creative fancy of our poet. A man's hair singing dirges, and a boat pausing and shuddering, are among the least of his inventions; nature for him reverses all her laws, the streams ascend. The power of the syphon we all know, but it is for the genius of Mr. Shelley to make the streams run up hill. But we entreat the pardon of our readers for dwelling so long upon this ne plus ultra of poetical sublimity.
ART. XII. Eura and Zephyra, a classical Tale; with Poetical Pieces. By David Booth. 8vo. 6s. 6d. Gale and Fenner. 1816.
WHETHER this Eura and Zephyra be a prose tale in poetry, or a poetical tale in prose, we cannot with safety pronounce. As it is printed without the divisions of poetry, we would suppose that it is intended for prose; at the same time, the first paragraph would again decide us in favour of poetry.
"The loves of Zephyrus and Flora have been often sung by the poets. Amid orange groves, with underwood of myrtles and roses;-in bowers of jessamine and woodbine, where spring follows in the train of autumn, banishing winter from the blissful clime;there these happy immortals whispered the tender accents of love." P. 11.
We are informed that this is a classical tale-be it so. We can only say, that the Classics are under very great obligations to Mr. Booth, for presenting them with two new personages, Zephyra and Eura, of whom they certainly never heard before. What the end of the author may be in the tale before us, we profess ourselves unacquainted: from a few words here and there, we should collect that it was something about education. Of the philosophical principles of our author, the following sentence may give us a fair idea.
"Man is a machine in the hands of necessity. His wishes and his wants are formed by the objects around him, and over these objects he has little, if any controul."
We suspect Mr. Booth to be a little interested in this assertion, as nothing but necessity could offer any excuse for the trash with which the prose department of this volume abounds. The poetry of the latter half is somewhat better than the prose; but neither of the versification, nor of the principles, can we speak in any very high terms of commendation.
ART. XIII. Carpe Diem; or, the true Policy of Europe, at the present Juncture, with regard to France. Svo. 44 pp. 1s. 6d. Stockdale. 1815.
THIS Pamphlet, evidently the production of no sciolist in the revolutionary system by which the peace of Europe has been so long disturbed, discusses the important question, what precautions should be taken by the Allied Sovereigns in the adjustment of their relations with France, for preserving in future the tranquillity of their several states.
As far as its main object is concerned, viz. the offering suggestions to those by whom the treaty of peace was to be concluded, our notice of it comes too late; and we have only to observe, that of the precautionary stipulations which the author considers indispensible, whilst cessions of frontier territory and fortresses have been insisted upon by the allies and conceded by France to the extent deemed requisite to protect the neighbour ing nations from molestation, and provision for the stability of her legitimate sovereignty has been made, it does not appear that any guarantee has been given to maintain the succession to the throne according to the fundamental laws of the monarchy; the interruption of which, should it be disturbed, the author represents, with too much appearance of reason, as a practicable breach in the ramparts of social order, through which the host of Jacobins would storm their way, again to carry war and desolation to the extremities of Europe."
The grand mistake in which all the misconceptions and mistakes, which are the sources of our danger, originate, is thus pointed out in the pamphlet before us:
"Europe has been too apt to look upon Buonaparte as its only scourge, and to consider his destruction as all that was necessary for its safety. It has most unaccountably forgotten that this tyrant was but the child and champion of Jacobinism,' and that the monster might have other children and other champions to fight its battles."
Jacobinism then is the object to which the author endeavours to awaken public attention, as the bane, no less of the restored monarchy