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But how useful soever these rules | To a work possessing superior excelmay appear, they occupy only a subor- lencies, it is scarcely needful to add, dinate station in the compiler's plan. that the paper is remarkably good, He places before the reader a system and the type equally clear. To young of ethics, without entering into those persons, and to many others, who may profound recesses, in search of the have reached an age to acquire anorigin of action, where the pupil some other appellation, we consider this to times travels only to behold the suffo- be a valuable performance. It concation of those philosophers, whose veys, at a small price, the sentiments visionary speculations he had been of some of our most celebrated writempted to follow. The great object ters, and furnishes specimens of their of this work seems to be, to point out modes of thinking, and their manner those duties which we owe to God, to of expressing their thoughts. We our fellow-creatures, and to ourselves; have no doubt that the compiler will to enforce a discharge of them; to place meet with that encouragement, of virtue in an amiable light; to make which we think his labours highly device appear detestable; and to array serving. in the garb of dignity, those truths on which are founded the imperious mandates of moral obligation.
Review.—The Mystery of Godliness. The work seems admirably calcu
A Sermon intended as a check to lated to awaken thought in the youth- Deism. By John Bryant. Published ful mind, and to give expansion to the by request. Second edition, 8vo. pp. intellectual powers; and the wisdom 37. Blanshard, London, 1820. of the compiler appears highly conspi- This is one of those articles, which, cuous in those selections which he independently of its own intrinsic mehas made. They elevate the mind, rit, derives considerable importance which they seem to accommodate by from the complexion of the times. At familiar condescension ; and conduct a period like the present, when the adit through intricacies in such pleasing vocates of infidelity are using every paths, that the reader forgets he is as- exertion which power and impudence cending an eminence, because he is can combine, to promote the interests gratified with his movements, being of that gloomy system, we cannot but charmed into an unconsciousness of hail with pleasure, every effort that is fatigue or weariness.
made to check the progress of the Of any particular theological tenets, destructive torrent; and more espethe compiler has scarcely suffered any cially so, when the means employed tinge to appear.
A selection that are calculated to ensure success. would incline to sanction any favourite The text which Mr. Bryant has creed, is generally counterbalanced by taken, (1 Timothy, iii. 16.) furnishes another of a different tendency, through an admirable basis on which to take which the equilibrium is again restored. his stand, not only to defend the GosOn the more exalted doctrines of the pel, but occasionally to carry his arms Gospel he rarely touches; but nothing into the territories of the assailant. resembling reprehensible enthusiasm Mr. B. readily admits, that the Gosis permitted to pollute his pages. pel contains mysteries; but he sucViewing this work through the medium cessfully contends, that this can furof sectarian spectacles, perhaps persons nish no reason against its authenticity, of hostile creeds may find occasions to nor be admitted as an argument why complain, that their own local opinions it should not be received. Mysteries, are not inculcated; but we are not he argues, are inseparable from the Diaware that even the most fastidious vine nature, the Divine attributes, and will discover any just cause to reject, from every thing that is the effect of as erroneous or useless, a single se- creative energy. Hence, if nothing lection, from the great variety which were to be admitted as true, but that the author has introduced.
which is exempt from mysteries, we Of the style and peculiarities of com- should not even allow, either the Diposition nothing can be said. The vine Being, a material world, or ourwork is avowedly a compilation, and selves, to exist. The second part of as such it partakes of all that diver- this discourse applies to the facts resity of diction, by which the produc-corded in the text, and the third aims tions of each author are distinguished. at an improvement of the subject.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL
In the method of arrangement, there | book with his mind less disposed to is nothing either new or striking. It treat with reverence sacred things ; embraces the common routine of ser- with his heart less able to withstand monizing:-an introduction; a first, the insinuations of impure desires ; a second, a third ; and an improve- or with perceptions of morality less ment. The matter, however, is highly acute,-may conclude such a book has important, whether we view it in rela- done him real harm. We may theretion to the prevalency of political opi- fore open our examination of Don nion, to morals, or to theology. From Juan with the three following axioms. a work so small, we cannot afford room 1. The Religion of the Bible is the for any quotations; but we can assure strictest morality, having in view the our readers, that a shilling laid out in happiness of man as an individual, the purchase of this pamphlet, will be and of the human race collectively, advantageously bestowed.
both now and hereafter: whatever
lessens our reverence for the ScripAnimadversions on Lord Byron's “ Don Poem before us does this,—it is there
tures, weakens our morality. The Juan."
2. Adultery is forbidden by the Law
of God in the Bible, because it is preSir, -To eugolize the poetry, and judicial to the interests and happiness condemn the impiety, of Lord Byron, of mankind : whatever lessens our abappears so generally to comprehend horrence of adultery, is contrary to the the sentiments of his readers of all Scriptures, and our own happiness. classes, that it may seem superfluous Don Juan does this,-it is therefore for me to occupy your pages on the immoral. subject; and I should never have done 3. Whatever has a tendency to create $0, had not my recent perusal of his or foster impure thoughts, or lessen last publication, Don Juan, convinced the sacredness of the marriage tie, is me more than ever of the injurious contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, in tendency of this production of its noble which an evil eye or an evil thought is author.
adultery. The story of Don Juan has As a Poem, it contains all those a tendency to do this,- it is therefore strong discriminating features which immoral. characterize his Lordship's former A very brief abstract of the story will publications : it is impressed with the shew its tendency to produce the efstamp of a genius, altogether his fect charged upon it in the second of own ;-that strength in delineating the foregoing propositions : Don Juan character,—that splendour of imagery is the son of Don José and Donna and description,-and, above all, that. Inez; the father dies, and leaves his rich poetical versatility of language, child to the guardianship and tutorwhich adapts itself to all subjects,-or age of his mother; her qualifications assimilates all subjects to his powers. for this important office are minutely Not to be sensible of the superior described,
,-as a woman, powers of this autocrat of modern “O! she was perfect past all parallel,". poetry, would betray an insensibility “ Of any modern female saint's comparison, to the sublimest productions of a modern pen. It is always pleasant to
“ But then she had a devil of a spirit.” award praise, and painful to convey (i.e.) as you will perceive, the spirit of censure. The latter, however, is the a devil, for we are told “ Juan was unpleasant duty of your correspondent taught (from out the best editions” at present; and he is compelled by a of Anacreon, Tibullus, Ovid, &c. those duty to his own conscience, and those editions forsooth, when the “
grosser to whom his influence may reach, to parts,
," instead of being scattered characterize Don Juan as an immoral through the pages,
6 stand forth marPoem. This is a serious charge, and shalled in a handsome troop” at the ought not hastily to be advanced. I end of the volume. Thus educated, am not, however, the first who has our author's hero is prepared, at the brought such a charge against this age of thirteen, with the most anompoem, as I am afraid the subsequent alous and hybrid associations of childproofs will too fully justify.
hood and lust for the part he is to act ; Whoever rises from the perusal of a l and the reader is conducted, with a
the insinuations which may excite his to be the case, in the arguments with own passions, from Juan's incipient which he furnishes some of his chaconception of a libidinous passion, to racters. He may call it light poetry; its guilty consummation with the but light poetry should be weighed seDonna Julia, the young and beautiful riously by an author, when it goes to wife of an old man. I shall not pol poison the springs of virtue. There is lute your pages with quoting his ob- One who will weigh it in the balance of scenity, through several stanzas of the the sanctuary. most moral-poisoning double intendre ; His adulterous heroine, Julia, to put if those scenes indeed deserve the to the test her unnatural passion for epithet, over which the blandishments her boyish paramour Don Juan, “ deof poetry have hardly thrown a veil. termined that a virtuous woman should This detestable adventure concludes rather face and overcome temptation ; the first canto, and the noble author that flight was base and dastardly;", observes
and then he adds, “I recommend “ This was Don Juan's earliest scrape, but young ladies to make trial!” The vi
per is here too ill concealed, to make “ I shall proceed with his adventures, is Dependent on the public altogether.
it necessary to warn them of its sting We'll see, however, what they say to this.” | and its poison. I would however, Sir, While the guilt before hinted at was have such readers, in whose welfare I
just recommend young ladies, (and you going on,
the husband of Donna Julia, who was expected to be distant, re
am interested,) I say, I would returns, and an eclaircissement takes commend them not to make trial place, the consequences of which are,
of the strength of their virtue by That Don Juan is sent away to travel,
exposing themselves to temptation, takes ship, a storm arises, the vessel is not the worst : For “what men
but to “
flee youthful lusts.”—But this is cast away. This affords a fine op- call gallantry, and gods adultery,” his portunity for Lord Byron's descriptive Lordship has smoother terms and powers; and the shipwreck is perhaps although he pretends to read in Bar(some few unseasonable strokes of the ludicrous excepted) as fine a strain of row, South, Tillotson, and Blair,“ the poetic imagery as is to be found in highest teachers of eloquence in piety
After enduring the most prose,” yet he presently asserts, horrid perils for some time with a
that, “ few things surpass old wine ; part of the crew, he finds himself the and they may preach, who please the sole survivor on a reef of rock, and in more, because they preach in vain; the arms of a fisherman's daughter, and laughter.” O yes! “What men call
let us have wine and women, mirth Here he again gets into his second scrape of guilt; in which the second gallantry, and gods adultery,”i.e.“ Incanto leaves him at the conclusion of constancy-is nothing more than admithe first volume. I conceive that this ration due, where nature's rich profubrief outline of the story will shew its sion with young beauty covers o'er immoral tendency. The noble author the perception of the beautiful
, a fine some favoured object.
»* * * * " 'Tis tells us in one stanza, that he has forgotten the number of the command extension of the faculties; Platonic, ments in the decalogue which he was Editor, ifour aversion to the sentiments
universal, wonderful.” about to quote. As it is probable he in this definition of “Inconstancy” did does not often read the commandments, and still more seldom recollect not absorb all considerations of the them, I would remind him and his language in which they are conveyed, readers, that the seventh command
we might be tempted to exclaim with ment refers itself to the case, and the noble poet, in one of his couplets, runs thus, “ Thou shalt not commit “ His speech was a fine sample, on the wbole, adultery.' See also our Saviour's ex- “ Of rhetoric, which the learn'd call'
• rigposition of the spirit thereof.
marole.'” In the third of my foregoing propo- The next part of my painful duty sitions, I have asserted that this poem leads me to prove my first
proposition, has a tendency to foster impure thought, namely, that sacred things are treated and to lessen the sacredness
of the with levity. I shall here make rather marriage tie. This I think must ap- more quotations ; but of these, neither pear from more than inference of fact all, nor the worst that might be made.