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same time present that variety, in the frequent alternation of prose and poetry, and the constant succession of different subjects in each, which will give relief both to learner and teacher. When such words occur as seem likely to embarrass the pupil hy their foreign look or an unusual combination of letters, the true pronunciation of them is usually given at the bottom of the page; and very frequently in cases of words that are prevailingly mispronounced, the proper accent or force of the vowels is designated. This pains we think extremely well bestowed, and could even wish that it had been extended further, although the necessity of such a help will we confidently hope be growing Jess and less conspicuous. There is now so much of intelligence, skill and care, employed in the instruction of our public schools in the city, that no veteran errors of this sort will be able to hold their stand much longer, but be driven fairly out of the field. A vulgar and inaccurate manner of reading is giving place fast to a more refined one; and we do not despair of seeing in a short time the r restored fully to liberty, and poor final g baving a voice wherever he makes his appearing. We expect that even at the University such disastrous accentuations as résources, ex'tent, con'tents, in'crease, détail, and próceeds, will be quite displaced; and that we shall be permitted to enjoy a noble chorus, sung by the most distinguished musical society in the United States, without being distressed by such specimens of what has been called the Boston dialect, as · HALLELUJAH! RAMEN!'

With respect to the pieces that compose this work, it cannot be expected that in every instance there should be a perfect similarity of taste and judgment; but we think it will at least be acknowledged universally, that they as a whole possess a high order of merit. Many most exquisite morsels of prose

and verse are found among them; and if we are left to regret the necessity, which the modesty of the compiler laid on him, of adding to them nothing of his own, we can forget this loss of what another would have done, in the marks of a highly cultivated moral and poetical sense, which he has set as his own seal on the work. Indeed, we will confess our fear at first that the book was too fastidiously good ;-that it would be found above the relish, and often above the comprehension of boys. Possibly this may be the case with some few of the selections.

But that it is not generally so, experience seems to have determined already. The older children in the schools take great interest in their new lessons, learn to read them intelligently, and are even affected by the pathetic narratives of such writers as Wilson. Now though it may well be, that they cannot always enter into the upper beauties, and discern and enjoy the more refined charms

of a composition, still it seems desirable that, at this forming period of life, the most polished models in style should be set before them, and even the finer efforts of fancy. The experiment is at least well worth trying, whether much may not be thus early done for the cultivation of their taste and sensibility. In this view Mr. Pierpont's book seems to us very important. It is an attempt to improve the imagination and intellectual relish of the pupil, as well as to instruct him in facts, and furnish themes for reading and recitation.

In short, as a school-book this possesses decided advantages over any, with which we are acquainted; and the stout typemetal plates of the Messrs. Carter will guard it secure from the disorders, into which its predecessor was fated to fall. Even if considered only as a small collection of . Elegant extracts,' it would deserve respectful accommodation on the parlour shelf. One may here regale himself, during the dull intervals of a long evening, with specimens from most of the distinguished living writers in Great Britain, not excepting the Author of Waverly and the fascinating New Monthly Magazine; and joined with these he will find the names of our own Buckminster and Channing, Webster and Everett, Irving, Bryant, Percival, and others.


A Family Prayer Book ; containing forms of Morning and Even

ing Prayers for a Fortnight. With those for religious societies and individuals. Second edition, revised and enlarged. Boston. Cummings, Hilliard and Co. 1823. .

THERE can be, we are sure, but one opinion respecting the value and importance of a Family Prayer-Book. Indeed it is only by providing a work of this kind which shall be satisfactory, and by earnestly recommending the inse of it, that we can hope to revive a general observance of the duty of family prayer, and thus restore to society one of the most powerful means of domeslic order, purity, and happiness. There is, it is well known, among our most exemplary men, and men, too, by no means destitute of religion, an invincible repugnance to praying ex tempore, or even from memory, in the presence of their families ;-a repugnance arising, we suppose, from a sense of the awkwardness they might feel in commencing the practice; or from real diffidence; or from a consciousness of defects, which must prevent



their conducting the service in an edifying manner; or from a want of a fervent and self-sustained glow of piety, which they may confess that they ought to possess, but which, as they do not in fact possess it, they think it would be vain and hypocritical in them to simulate. But we cannot conceive, that any of this repugnance would be felt against reading a prayer;-a prayer which they like, and which expresses their real feelings and sentiments, and for the proper reading of which nothing more is required than a devout manner and a serious mind. And even where a family has no immediate view to family worship, properly so called, such a work as we are recommending would be invaluable considered merely as a devotional book for private reading: Indeed as a mere devotional book for private reading it would possess some peculiar advantages, not only as it would serve by the nature of the topics introduced to connect all our daily cares and duties, and all our dearest earthly connexions and enjoyments, with religion and religious principle, but, also, because the very form of a direct address to the Deity, in which the language would be cast, would tend to keep our minds more continually turned towards Him, who is the object of our adoration.

We are not unapprized of the extreme difficulty there is in finding, or providing forms of prayer, which shall be entirely satisfactory. There is, indeed, a peculiar and essential difficulty in this species of composition. For a prayer, to satisfy us, must not only express our ideas correctly and forcibly, but also our feelings, and the exact measure of them. Now as there are very few, who think precisely alike even upon devotional subjects, and still fewer, who feel precisely alike, it is morally impossible, that any form of prayer should be prepared, which shall entirely satisfy any considerable number. The very circumstance that it satisfies one, is proof sufficient, that it cannot satisfy another, as his habits of thinking and feeling are different. This reasoning is not set aside by the fact, that all Episcopalians appear to be perfectly satisfied with the liturgy of their church; for it is a satisfaction growing much more out of the associations with which the book is connected in their minds, than out of any thing in the book itself,

It is unreasonable, therefore, to expect in taking up any book of prayers, that we shall be entirely satisfied on the first perusal. Nor is this necessary, nor even desirable always, as our devotional taste may be bad, and instead of needing a form of prayer that will gratify it, we may rather need one that will chastise and correct it. We should consider a prayer as sufficiently satisfactory, if kept from all material errors and defects by the careful observance of a few general rules. In the first place, it should be kept wholly free from sectarianism. So obvious is this rule, and so obviously correct, that, we confess, it is unaccountable to us, why so many excellent men of the orthodox persuasiou still persist in using their unscriptural and schismatical addresses and doxologies to the Deity. Do they really think, that they have found better words, than those which the Holy GHOST teacheth? Or do they think it an object, thus gratuitously and wantonly to wound the feelings of those of their fellow-worshippers, who differ from them in opinion? But it is not enough, that our prayers speak a pure theology; they must speak it in a simple and affecting language. Every thing like literary affectation, or a capricious manner and style, is studiously to be avoided. It is this, that ruins Jay's Prayers, in many respects admirable. Hard words, abstract terms, chilling generalities should, also, be excluded as much as possible. If we would have a devotion living and breathing, it must be excited by language and images equally so. Enfield, and many other Unitarian composers and compilers of devotional books, have failed from not sufficiently regarding this principle. Any thing, however, is preferable to what is aptly enough termed by a strange combination of language-an elegant prayer! We have listened to the wildest fanaticism, and to the dullest stupidity in the shape of prayers ; yet never have we been so thoroughly shocked and disgusted, as at this most untimely and irreverent parade of human vanity and affectation. To think that God will be moved by the fineries and fopperies of rhetoric, which might, perhaps, amuse the congregation, if they could understand them! It always reminds us of what was said by the ever-memorable Hales.

Why measure we God by ourselves ? and because we are led with gay shews, think it so with God? A puppet-player and dancer in Rome, because he pleased the people well, was wont to go up every day into the capitol and dance before Jupiter, and thought he did the god a great pleasure. Beloved! in many things we are like unto this puppet-player.'

Prayers, also,, should be short. There is no surfeit so difficult to cure, as a surfeit of devotion; and, we are sorry to say it, there is no surfeit so easily to be produced. We wish, therefore, that our prayers, whether printed or extemporary, had less of this mark of heathenism. Care should, likewise, be taken to avoid abrupt and unnatural transitions. There should be, if possible, an unbroken unity in every prayer--something answering to the key-note in music, wbich should never be violated. It is to a strict observance of this rule, as well as the preceding, that the prayers in the English liturgy owe one of their principal excellencies. To this, also, we are to refer the amazing power of New Series-Vol. V.


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the litanies in the English and Catholic churches.' It would be well if all our congregational prayers partook more of this character. Where the same feeling is continually addressed and acted on, for a long time, it cannot but yield even in the hardest and coldest hearts. Unnecessary pains are taken, as it seems to us, to multiply occasional prayers. We can conceive of no reason, why a man should pray any differently in the summer, from what he does in the winter; and yet in almost all our collections we have particular prayers for the different seasons. So, too, we have A Prayer for one that deliberates about Marriage,** and one •For a New Married Party.'t No doubt a man may feel very devout on such occasions, and have something very peculiar to say. But we still think, that as they are occasions not likely to occur more than five or six times in the course of a man's life, it might safely be left to his ingenuity, at the time, to get up something, that would answer the purpose. 'Ejaculations for Sick and Dying Persons,'I in a printed book, are absolutely preposterous.

When we apply the preceding rules and observations to the Family Prayer Book, the title of which we have prefixed to this article, it stands the test remarkably well. We are glad that encouragement has been afforded for issuing a second edition of this useful work; and that the writer bas availed bimself of the opportunity to make some very judicious corrections and improvements upon the first. Almost every page bears the marks of a careful and thorough revision. Some inaccuracies of expression, and a few rather striking violations of good taste, which found a place in the former edition, probably from haste of composition, have all been attended to ; and care has also been taken to prune away a redundancy of epithet, and, in general, to make the language more simple, and the petitions themselves more natural and affecting. Three additional prayers have, also, been insert. ed, one of which, “For a Person in Active Business,' is parti. cularly edifying. The uncommon neatness and correctness of the typography is, likewise, a consideration by no means unworthy of notice among the circumstances enhancing the value of this edition. In fine, both as to its substance and form, it is a work of an excellent design, and well calculated to answer its design; and considering how much it is wanted amongst us, and how much good it may do, we are happy in having this opportunity to recommend it most cordially.

New Manual.

+ Jay's Prayers.

| New Manual.

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