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We cannot but give to Dr.Campbell praise for the able manner in which he has accomplished his task, especially on considering the time and labour it must have cost him to look over and arrange the documents for the work. He has dealt faithfully with the faults of his friend, and exhibited in striking language wherein Mr. Nasmith was worthy of imitation. We wish that the volume may meet with the reception it so well merits. Spring Buds, Summer Flowers, Autumn Leaves, and Winter Hours. By SAMUEL
SHEPHERD, F.S.A. 8vo. pp. 84. HATCHARD, London. We respect the author of this small collection, for the unsophisticated sincerity and goodness of heart his compositions evince. The preface informs us that they were produced at intervals during a space of thirty years; and this accounts for the diversity of tone and feeling that pervades them, as well as for the talent with which they are executed. Some few we could wish had been omitted ; all poetry is lost in them, in order to force in the tinklings of mere rhyme, and on account of their vast inferiority to the generality, they in some measure detract from the merits of the volume. The majority, however, do not exhibit any inferior poetic talent, and are written in an animated and romantic style ;-we subjoin a specimen,—"The Rising of the Pleiades,” p. 82.
“Lo! yonder seven sisters, hand in hand,
Ascend the calm unclouded evening sky;
Are softly singing as they rise on high ;
And heavenly radiance doth their features light;
And bless the gems which so adorn the night.
And melody which doth their song inspire,
And long to learn the music of their lyre ;
While they, the heavens ascending, hymn high praise to Jove !"
PROPOSED PRIZE ESSAY. We invite those of our readers, who have at their disposal some leisure time, to employ it in exerting their powers on a subject to be announced every month, the best essay on which will be inserted with the name of the author. A Correspondent observes, “I hope your essay may provoke emulation, for with poetry we hold the love of song is its own reward,' so let us with prose say that the pleasure it gives us in executing the proposed task is also its own reward.” We are convinced that the pages of the Student will verify the soundness of this opinion.
Essays occupying not more than six pages manuscript must be forwarded to the Editor with a sealed note, containing name and address, on or before the 15th instant, and directed to the care of the Publisher.
Subject for August, “The WRITINGS or St. Paul."
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. We beg to inform our friend " In the dark," that chemical action is no longer attributed to the luminous rays, but to a distinct series possessed of great refragibility, and therefore chiefly occurring at the violet extremity of the spectrum.
We are much encouraged by the tones of “A Voice from the Million;" we shall be happy if our space will allow us to insert any question for the solution of our readers.
“A Young Chemist” is informed that the base of strontia was discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy about the year 1808.
Several answers are unavoidably postponed.
LONDON :-JOHN SNOW, 35, PATERNOSTER ROW:
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
Printed by W. Blanchard & Sons, Warwick Lane, St. Paul's.
A COURSE OF LECTURES TO YOUNG MEN.-No. I.
THE INFLUENCE AND CONSEQUENT RESPONSIBILITY
OF YOUNG MEN.
It is the eternal principle of moral obligation, arising from the will of God as revealed in the light and law of nature and in His word, that as the intelligent creature was originally formed to subserve the glory of his Creator, so it ought to be his voluntary, his sustained, his paramount object, in all place and in all time, with all his powers and all his opportunities, to fulfil this grand, ultimate, worthy design of his creation.
The Creator has formed his intelligent creature a social being — in other words, has imparted to him such a mental and physical organization, that the social state is essential to the adapted development of his intellectual and corporeal faculties, to his happiness, to his very existence. Self-evident, therefore, it must be, that as the divine glory is to be considered as the object, not only of individuals, but of aggregations, of the whole body, of intelligent creatures, so he best fulfils that eternal principle of moral obligation stated above, who subserves to the greatest extent the divine glory—that is to say, who diffuses the greatest amount of moral and physical good (for the divine glory is nothing but the emanation of goodness) among intelligent beings, as the creatures of the same God, the subjects of the same government, and endowed with the same immortal destinies.
Equally evident also must it be, that such an ascertained and unalienable obligation to promote the divine glory, to diffuse moral and physical good, must be proportioned to the capacities imparted and the opportunities afforded to the intelligent creature. So that this obligation, upon the Christian principle “Unto whomsoever much is given of him shall much be required, and to whom men have committed much of him will they ask the more” — must be the strongest, where the best and most available talents for effort, and the highest and most adapted advantages for usefulness, are bestowed. This momentous practical principle has been so irrefragably established by reason, it has been so decisively confirmed by the universal consent of mankind, it has been so authoritatively and repeatedly promulgated in the personal instructions of the great Author of Christianity, that it would be a work of absolute supererogation to adduce in this place any of the irresistible arguments by which it is substantiated beyond the possibility of either evasion or denial.
Without delay or dispute, then, we come to the conclusion, that the responsibility to discharge this obligation is imperative beyond all others upon young men, because their physical energies, their mental faculties, and, in the aggregate, their social opportunities, peculiarly capacitate them to aid in this diffusion of universal good ; and because the right formation of their characters, and consequently the proper exercise of their natural and acquired endowments, must, as a matter of moral necessity, exert the most effectual and abiding possible influence upon the coming generations of our world.
Important, however, as this conclusion is, it does not embody the precise view which we feel it our duty to take of the subject. It is our intention to show that the peculiar responsibilities of young men, thus arising from the first principle of moral obligation, are enhanced beyond all recorded precedent, and are enforced with an impressiveness never before known in the history of man, by the ominously intelligible signs, the truly imminent and almost awful circumstances of these most extraordinary, eventful, and portentous times. The course, then, that we have to pursue, is perfectly clear-we have, first of all, to point out and to explain some of these signs, some of these circumstances, and then to illustrate their asserted connexion, or rather identity, with the influence and the responsibilities of the young men of the age.
Half a century ago, one of the most sagacious observers of the period, * distinguished equally by his illustrious genius, his transcendent eloquence, and the accurate estimate which he formed of the past, the present, and the future, thus declared his opinion of the aspect of the times : “Everything in the condition of mankind announces the approach of some great crisis, for which nothing can prepare us but the diffusion of knowledge, probity, and the fear of the Lord. While the world is impelled with such violence in opposite directions; while a spirit of giddiness and revolt is shed upon the nations, and the seeds of mutation are so thickly sown, the improvement of the mass of the people will be our grand security, in the neglect of which the politeness, the refinement, and the knowledge, accumulated by the higher orders, weak and unprotected, will be exposed to imminent danger, and perish like a garland in the grasp of popular fury.” Events have proved that this able writer, though derided at the time as one of the wildest of enthusiasts, was right.
Since those words were penned, though nearly thirty years of peace have rolled their apparently tranquil round, though the political geography of the civilized world has been changed by no violent eruptions of national malevolence, yet in every country of Europe and almost every region of the globe, formidable elements have been operating with progressive vigour, which will inevitably, and that, too, at no very great
* R. Hall's Works, vol. ii. p. 163.
THE INFLUENCE AND CONSEQUENT RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUNG MEN. 51 distance of time, completely transmute our social and general institutions - and which we confidently believe, ascending the mount of inspired prophecy, and overlooking from that sublime and holy elevation, the madness of human passions and the clashing of human interests, are destined to herald the benignant reign of the Prince of Peace, who is even now preparing to ascend the chariot of his glory, and to assume the possession of his illimitable dominion.
Most emphatically does the preceding description apply to this country, And it is very remarkable that politicians of every party, and divines of every denomination, however on other topics they may angrily differ, on this cordially agree. Thus on the one hand, Dr. Pusey tells us, that we are surrounded with the spectral shadows of coming revolutions, which cause the flesh to tremble and the bones to shake; and on the other, Lord John Russell informs us that the clouds which have long hovered upon the horizon are now ascending to the zenith, and we are thus experiencing the comparative lull which precedes the final and decisive tempestuous change in the political and social atmosphere. Thus on the one hand, the Archbishop of Canterbury declares that the man must be blind indeed, who does not discern that we are on the very eve of a crisis such as the world has never seen ; and on the other hand, Bentham concludes that we are all infallibly engaged in rearing the great landmark of history, the beacon of succeeding time. Thus, on the one hand, the Edinburgh Review asserts that it is plain that the aspirations of bygone ages are on the verge of being signally fulfilled or irretrievably blasted, and on the other hand, the British Critic affirms that every principle of government has become so essentially heathen, every approved maxim of life so worldly, society so corrupted, disorganized, ready to rot and to crumble to pieces, that it is evident that events must, must, evolve, to produce either our social renovation or our
Without adducing further illustration of this very significant coincidence of opinion, among, on other subjects, the inveterately discordant authorities of the day, we can only express our conviction that no enlightened and unprejudiced observer can now contemplate the present direct antagonism of truth and error-the process of thorough sifting which all institutions and all principles are undergoing—the mighty alteration which is plainly taking place in the relations of the social classes — the wonderful changes which have occurred in our political, agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial systems — the application of scientific discoveries and inventions to the practical purposes of everyday life the circulation of valuable information upon almost every conceivable subject among the masses of the people, against whom, but a short time since, the very openings of useful knowledge were hermetically sealed--the ferment which is working in every department of popular opinion—the purifying or the consuming fire which is felt to be smouldering beneath the surface of our individual and collective position
-the strangely-meaning aspect assumed by our domestic and foreign relations—the universal resurrection of mind from the sepulchre of its
torpor—the results which are in the course of production by the gigantic efforts which are made to accelerate the march and extend the triumphs of Christianity, and to accomplish the happy evangelization of the world
-no candid and unprejudiced observer, we say, can, according to our conviction, contemplate such facts and appearances as these, especially when they are devotionally viewed, as they ought to be, through the medium of inspired predictions, promises, and calculations, and in their uniform subserviency to the curative work and mediatorial royalty of “the Son of Man”_without believing that we are soon to witness the grand opening of a new and awful scene in the mysterious action of the moral and providential government of God, which is to be preparatory in the course of advancing ages to the ultimate catastrophe of his dispensations, the winding up of his inscrutable plans with respect to the intelligent world, the consummation of his stupendous scheme of justice and of mercy, of holiness and of love, amidst the destinies and glories of eternity.
These statements are no delusions of fanaticism-no dreamings of over-sanguine or over-excited imagination. They are confirmed, as we have seen, by the common consent of the most eminent individuals of the most opposite opinions ; they involve known and visible facts ; and the conclusion we have described, is only the result of those facts, arrived at by the purest process of inductive reasoning, whose premises are found in the tried and sifted experience of every age from the first dawn of authenticated history, through all its eventful, living, speaking records, to the present hour.
Our view, then, of the responsibility of young men is evidently peculiar ; but it is peculiarly important, and we hope it will prove to be as peculiarly impressive.
If the preceding representations be correctand that they are so, we are fully warranted in assuming—then young men are now occupying positions, and will be called to act in scenes, teeming with everything which can affect earth or interest heaven, and when compared with which, all that has hitherto transpired sinks into insignificance. The denouement has already arrived -- the course is accurately ascertained the end is palpably in view. Before God and their fellow-creatures, young men are responsible for their full preparation for the duties which are before them, and which, in a reflex sense, are imminent upon them now. As they are to fight the battle of truth against error, of virtue against vice, of genuine Christianity against all the forms and modifications of scepticism, superstition, ignorance, cruelty, crime, irreligion, against everything which opposes the welfare of man, or insults the majesty of Godit is their high and sacred responsibility-and it is at their peril and for their undying discomfiture if they neglect to discharge it—to train and exercise their energies for the conflict, to arrange their tactics under the direction of infinite wisdom, to put on their armour, to prepare their weapons, to provide for every emergency, that they may be adequate for their canse and worthy of their Leader, and at last unite in the exultant Pæan of triumph which shall be celebrated when the immortal honours