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REVIEW OF BOOKS.

Self-Culture. By the Rev. W. CHANNING,

D.D. Boston, United States. Gilt edges, 32mo. pp. 64. London: AYLOTT and Jones, Paternoster Row.

Few men could be held more competent to write on such a subject. Without unduly exalting his genius, Dr. Channing was one of a rare order. His own mind had been severely disciplined ; and by intense application became possessed of great power and compass. Had his theology been as sound and comprehensive as his philosophy was enlightened and liberal, he would have shone as one of the first lights in the hemisphere of the New World. America was ever forward to acknowledge his greatness; but his Socinianism hung like a deep dark fringe in the halo which encircled him. No man, however, was more tolerant --more filled with universal charity. He did not write to propagate his own theological views. He was a philanthropist-a man that loved his race, and resolved on their improvement. He deeply sympathized with the physical, intellectual, and moral condition of man-his individual and social miseries. He sighed, prayed, labour ed for the deliverance and happiness of his species.

Incontrovertible proof of this fact is furnished in the little work now before us. Like the majority of American ministers, he felt the liveliest interest in the condition and prospects of those who are rising into all the duties and responsibilities of life. He had the most profound views on their position and influence in the social system. And he here addresses them under the full weight of his convictions. This lecture is admirable. It enters at considerable length into the idea and power of self-culture--the means by which it may be promoted,--and the objections which may be advanced against his argument. It is clear in definition,-powerful in reasoning,-vigorous in thought,-pure in wisdom, and rich in truth. We invite attention to the following passage.

“There is one circumstance attending all conditions of life, which may, and ought to be, turned to the use of self-culture. Every condition, be it what it may, has bardships, hazards, pains. We try to es, cape them; we pine for a sheltered lot, for a smooth path, for cheering friends, and unbroken success. But Providence ordains storms, disasters, hostilities, sufferings ; and the great question, whether we shall live

to any purpose or not, whether we shall grow strong in mind and heart, or be weak and pitiable, depends on nothing so much as on our use of these adverse circumstances. Outward evils are designed to school our passions, and to rouse our faculties and virtues into intenser action. Sometimes they seem to create new powers. Difficulty is the element, and resistance the true work of a man. Self-culture never goes on so fast as when embarrassed circumstances, the opposition of men or the elements, unexpected changes of the times, or other forms of suffering, instead of disheartening, throw us on our inward resources, turn us for strength to God, clear up to us the great purpose of life, and inspire calm resolution. No greatness or goodness is worth much, unless tried in these fires. Hardships are not on this account to be sought for--they come fast enough of themselves, and we are in more danger of sinking under than of needing them; but when God sends them they are noble means of self-culture, and as such let us meet and bear them cheerfully. Thus all parts of our condition may be pressed into the service of self-improvement."

Let every young man put himself in possession of this very neat little pocket volume, and make it his vade-mecum through life. No one can read and study it without feeling himself improved.

The Shopman; a Tract for Short Hours and

Present Times. By the Rev. JOHN
CUMMING, D. D. pp. 11. THOMAS
Brooks, Baker Street.

When the present generation, having “fretted its little hour upon the stage, shall have made its exit from the scene, carrying with it, we hope, many an ignorant prejudice, and many a worn-out custom,it will doubtless be regarded by posterity with the same feelings of wonder and even pity with which we sometimes look up to our own ghost-believing and witch-burning ancestors. And, amongst other things, those who come after us will read with no little astonishment of the wonderful exertions requisite to remove manifest and crying evils, which they themselves would not for one moment tolerate. They will learn with surprise, if not with unbelief, that in the nineteenth century, books innum

merable had to be written, and speeches the most eloquent had to be delivered, in order to prove that impure air and over-exertion are deleterious to the human body, and that

living !

want of exercise or of cultivation are equally influence, and the whole force of his elodestructive to the human mind! They will quence. It is clear that he is not one of hear, we know not whether they will be- those timid theorists, who wisely propound lieve, that by far the largest portion of a the imprudence of withdrawing the restricnation boasting of its freedom, lived never- tions at present crushing our young men, theless, in a state of comparative slavery, lest they should abuse the time which voluntary in many cases, and involuntary might be placed at their disposal! Neither in others, thousands foregoing health in is he one of those narrow-minded alarmists pursuit of wealth, giving up enjoyment and who would place literature and science yet in the pursuit of happiness, and sacri- within a ring-fence, as if they could break fieing life in accumulating the means of out and endanger the great truths of

Christianity! This is not the course And this is no overcharged picture of the which he pursues, in order to advance the present day. As if by universal consent, cause he has most at heart. “Proteefrom the prime minister to the peasant, all tion” he wisely repudiates, for he fears seem to live only in order to labour. Health- not all the efforts of infidel philosophy. ful recreation, innocent amusement, social In eloquent words which we remember to intercourse, mental pleasures, are all pro- have heard him on one occasion deliver, be scribed-are all merged in one eternal said, “Let us not seek to check the advancunchanging round of business. It is for- ing tide of knowledge, saying unto it, gotten that the human body is moved by 'Hitherto shalt thou come and no further.' nerves and muscles, and not by iron or Let us rather direct its rolling waves into steam. It is never considered that its the broad channel of truth, until they shall delicate organization is only capable of a bow their heads before the Redeemer's certain amount of labour, and is at the same throne, and prostrate themselves at the time most susceptible of injury. And thus, footstool of the Majesty on high." after all, the great object of all this toil Such is the noble object of the writer of and drudgery is defeated. Some indivi- this pamphlet. By the course which he duals, it may be, are richer, whether better and some other great and good men have or happier it may be doubted, while the adopted, an additional impetus has been imgreat majority are undoubtedly loss rich, less parted to the present movement, and at good, and less happy.

the same time it has been impressed with a The pamphlet before us is intended to healthful tendency. The first fruits of their aid the great movement, towards a wiserlabour have already appeared; we trust they and better state of society, which has re- will live to enjoy the spectacle of a precently commenced in this country. It is cious harvest. a “ Tract for the Times," directed against Of the contents of this tract we shall say the evil spirit of the times. It is true, as little ; we leave it to speak for itself, hoping its name implies, that it is written speci- that it will be in the hands of all who feel ally in behalf of one class, which has an interest in the cause which it so ably suffered, and is still suffering much, from advocates. We would particularly recomthe evils to which we have alluded. And mend it to the notice of country Associations, it is also true that there are many other as the best and most powerful appeal which classes and trades lying under the same they can put into the hands of the publie. evils, and equally requiring relief; but it It is full of those slight but effective touches must be remembered that great principles which indicate the hand of a master. What, may be most successfully applied in par for instance, can be more graphic than this ticular cases, not while they remain in delineation of assistants in shops seeking to the form of vague generalities; and shop quench the thirst for knowledge in some men, particularly assistant drapers, will such way as dogs lap the water of the Nile, not surely be denied the first benefits of a running as they drink lest crocodiles should movement, which has in some measure catch them." Or what could be better originated with themselves, which they than the quiet way in which he places have carried on almost unaided, but which the more intelligent and respectable por they are most anxious to extend to all. tion of the community, entirely "kors

We scarcely require to inform our read- de combat," in his attack upon the great ers, that the author of the present work support of the late-hour system--evening is one of the earliest and most able advo- shopping. “No lady," he says, "of any cates of an abridgment of the hours of respectability of character will select from business. Perceiving at a glance, the im- six to eight o'clock as her favourite hours mense importance of the objects in view, of shopping. Fashion, with all its follies, and the necessity as well as justice of the is in this matter the shopman's friend. No claims advanced by young men, he at once prudent and economical mistress of a house came forward and took up the cause, will prefer the twilight for the selection of throwing into it the whole weight of his goods, especially drapery.” Thus, assuming

that to be a fact which is not, but most to supply materials in the specimens themcertainly ought to be, he settles the matter, selves, for the higher cultivation of the as regards all who desire to be thought youthful taste, and by brief explanatory and ladies, and proceeds at once to speak of critical annotations on particular passages, those who form the larger proportion of to develope their spirit and beauty, and to evening customers, viz. the humbler classes. make the learning of poetry in schools

We shall only add the concluding para- what it has hitherto but rarely been a graph, in which he is addressing the em- valuable auxiliary to the study of our ployed. “ Bear in mind that it is by each mother tongue. Such a study as is here doing, not dreaming something, that the indicated involves, however, not merely an grand result will be consummated. One stone acquaintance with the general meaning of laid on earth is worth a thousand castles words and their grammatical relations, but built in the air. Based on righteous prin- a nice investigation into their origin and ciple, and patronized by all the instincts of history, the vicissitudes they have underhumanity and the sympathies of Christian gone, and their present significance and love, your cause will prevail. Like a spring power. Inquiries of this kind, cannot, of of water bursting through a snow-drift, it course, be extensively pursued at school; will melt the obstructions that oppose it but it is well to arouse the pupil to a sense into its own element, thereby deriving in- of their importance, and thus prepare his crease to its volume, and impetus to its mind for that sympathy with noble thoughts speed, till it rolls and swells, a majestic displayed in exquisite language, which is proriver."

ductive of some of our purest enjoyments." These words should be graven on a rock, The volume before us is divided into two for they are full of invigorating strength; parts ; the former of which consists of misthey should be written in letters of gold, cellaneous selections from all classes of for like cheering sunbeams they fall upon English poets. Of this, however, we canthose who are labouring in the work, dispel- not speak very highly, as an injudicious ling all doubts or fears, and filling their partiality appears to have been exercised by hearts with hope, and courage, and gladness. Mr. Payne. Of all the beauties of Camp

bell, we meet with nothing here but his Studies in English Poetry. By JOSEPH lines “ To the Rainbow," --admirable, in

Payne. 8vo. pp. 466. London, 1845. deed, we allow, yet far inferior to “ Hohen

It will be denied by few in the present linden,” which is omitted. Crabbe shares a day, that it is of great importance for a similar fate, and extracts from Moore are young man to be able to express his ideas totally inadequate to convey even an idea of on any subject with readiness, fluency, and the sparkle and brilliant imagery which precision. The advantages which such a pervade the writings of that poet. capability bestows on its possessor, both in To the latter part of this volume, which the conversational circle, or, if need be, on appears especially calculated to instruct the platform, or in the senate itself, are too those who are inclined to commence the obvious to require any remarks. But, as study of our mother tongue, we can give unnothing worth acquiring can be obtained qualified approbation. It consists of exwithout exertion, so, in order to attain this tracts from the highest class of English poets, desirable object, some degree of labour and chronologically arranged, from Chaucer to study is necessary. It is necessary for the Burns, and accompanied by selections from aspirant to become acquainted with the the different critiques which have from writings of the great men who have flou- time to time appeared on their respective rished both in our own, and in other coun- works. Both the text itself, and the crititries; and in our own, as well as in former cal selections, which are chiefly taken from times; and to study the poetry, and to Campbell's “ Specimens," and Dr. Johnson's become intimate with the beautiful thoughts « Lives of the Poets," are chosen with sinand language of our choicest English bards. gular felicity; and Mr. Payne is entitled to Attention should especially be paid to the the highest praise for the care bestowed on structure and progress of the English lan- the antiquated orthography of the earlier guage, as exhibited in the works of our authors, and the ability and judgment disgreat classical authors, and to the exact force played in the annexed notes throughout and signification of words. The work now the volume. This work, we conceive, will before us, by the Editor of that entertaining, be of the greatest service to those who may as well as instructive work, Select Poetry be desirous, at little expense and in a short for Children, is intended to assist in the space of time, to obtain at least some knowaccomplishment of these objects. “The ledge of the distinguishing characteristics of present work,” says the Editor, “is intended our most celebrated classics.

want of exercise or of cultivation are equally influence, and the whole force of his elodestructive to the human mind! They will quence. It is clear that he is not one of hear, we know not whether they will be those timid theorists, who wisely propound lieve, that by far the largest portion of a the imprudence of withdrawing the restricnation boasting of its freedom, lived never- tions at present crushing our young men, theless, in a state of comparative slavery, lest they should abuse the time which voluntary in many cases, and involuntary might be placed at their disposal! Neither in others, thousands foregoing health in is he one of those narrow-minded alarmists pursuit of wealth, giving up enjoyment and who would place literature and science yet in the pursuit of happiness, and sacri- within a ring-fence, as if they could break ficing life in accumulating the means of out and endanger the great truths of living!

Christianity! This is not the course And this is no overcharged picture of the which he pursues, in order to advance the present day. As if by universal consent, cause he has most at heart. « Protecfrom the prime minister to the peasant, all tion” he wisely repudiates, for he fears seem to live only in order to labour. Health- not all the efforts of infidel philosophy. ful recreation, innocent amusement, social In eloquent words which we remember to intercourse, mental pleasures, are all pro- have heard him on one occasion deliver, he scribed—are all merged in one eternal said, “Let us not seek to check the advancunchanging round of business. It is for- ing tide of knowledge, saying unto it, gotten that the human body is moved by Hitherto shalt thou come and no further." nerves and muscles, and not by iron or Let us rather direct its rolling wafes into steam. It is never considered that its the broad channel of truth, until they shall delicate organization is only capable of a bow their heads before the Redeemer's certain amount of labour, and is at the same throne, and prostrate themselves at the time most susceptible of injury. And thus, footstool of the Majesty on high." after all, the great object of all this toil Such is the noble object of the writer of and drudgery is defeated. Some indivi- this pamphlet. By the course which he duals, it may be, are richer, whether better and some other great and good men have or happier it may be doubted, while the adopted, an additional impetus has been imgreat majority are undoubtedly less rich, less parted to the present movement, and at good, and less happy.

the same time it has been impressed with a The pamphlet before us is intended to healthful tendency. The first fruits of their aid the great movement, towards a wiser labour have already appeared; we trust they and better state of society, which has re- will live to enjoy the spectacle of a precently commenced in this country. It is cious harvest. a “ Tract for the Times," directed against Of the contents of this tract we shall say the evil spirit of the times. It is true, as little ; we leave it to speak for itself, hoping its name implies, that it is written speci- that it will be in the hands of all who feel ally in behalf of one class, which has an interest in the cause which it so ably suffered, and is still suffering much, from advocates. We would particularly recomthe evils to which we have alluded. And mend it to the notice of country Associations, it is also true that there are many other as the best and most powerful appeal which classes and trades lying under the same they can put into the hands of the public. evils, and equally requiring relief; but it It is full of those slight but effective touches must be remembered that great principles which indicate the hand of a master. What, may be most successfully applied in par- for instance, can be more graphic than this ticular cases, not while they remain in delineation of assistants in shops seeking to the form of vague generalities: and shop- quench the thirst for knowledge in some men, particularly assistant drapers, will such way as dogs lap the water of the Nile, not surely be denied the first benefits of a running as they drink lest crocodiles should movement, which has in some measure catch them." Or what could be better originated with themselves, which they than the quiet way in which he places have carried on almost unaided, but which the more intelligent and respectable porthey are most anxious to extend to all. tion of the community, entirely "hors

We scarcely require to inform our read- de combat," in his attack upon the great ers, that the author of the present work support of the late-hour system-evening is one of the earliest and most able advo- shopping. “No lady," he says, "of any cates of an abridgment of the hours of respectability of character will select from business. Perceiving at a glance, the im- six to eighi o'clock as her favourite kours mense importance of the objects in view, of shopping. Fashion, with all its follies, and the necessity as well as justice of the is in this matter the shopman's friend. No claims advanced by young men, he at once prudent and economical mistress of a house came forward and took up the cause, will prefer the twilight for the selection of throwing into it the whole weight of his goods, especially drapery." Thus, assuming

that to be a fact which is not, but most to supply materials in the specimens themcertainly ought to be, he settles the matter, selves, for the higher cultivation of the as regards all who desire to be thought youthful taste, and by brief explanatory and ladies, and proceeds at once to speak of critical annotations on particular passages, those who form the larger proportion of to develope their spirit and beauty, and to evening customers, viz. the humbler classes. make the learning of poetry in schools

We shall only add the concluding para- what it has hitherto but rarely been-a graph, in which he is addressing the en- valuable auxiliary to the study of our ployed. “ Bear in mind that it is by each mother tongue. Such a study as is here doing, not dreaming something, that the indicated involves, however, not merely an grand result will be consummated. One stone acquaintance with the general meaning of laid on earth is worth a thousand castles words and their grammatical relations, but built in the air. Based on righteous prin- a nice investigation into their origin and ciple, and patronized by all the instincts of history, the vicissitudes they have underhumanity and the sympathies of Christian gone, and their present significance and love, your cause will prevail. Like a spring power. Inquiries of this kind, cannot, of of water bursting through a snow-drift, it course, be extensively pursued at school; will melt the obstructions that oppose it but it is well to arouse the pupil to a sense into its own element, thereby deriving in- of their importance, and thus prepare his crease to its volume, and impetus to its mind for that sympathy with noble thoughts speed, till it rolls and swells, a majestic displayed in exquisite language, which is proriver."

ductive of some of our purest enjoyments." These words should be graven on a rock, The volume before us is divided into two for they are full of invigorating strength; parts; the former of which consists of misthey should be written in letters of gold, cellaneous selections from all classes of for like cheering sunbeams they fall upon English poets. Of this, however, we canthose who are labouring in the work, dispel- not speak very highly, as an injudicious ling all doubts or fears, and filling their partiality appears to have been exercised by hearts with hope, and courage, and gladness. Mr. Payne. Of all the beauties of Camp

bell, we meet with nothing here but his Studies in English Poetry. By JOSEPH lines “ To the Rainbow,"-admirable, in

PAYNE. 8vo. pp. 466. London, 1845. deed, we allow, yet far inferior to “ Hohen

It will be denied by few in the present linden,” which is omitted. Crabbe shares a day, that it is of great importance for a similar fate, and extracts from Moore are young man to be able to express his ideas totally inadequate to convey even an idea of on any subject with readiness, fluency, and the sparkle and brilliant imagery which precision. The advantages which such a pervade the writings of that poet. capability bestows on its possessor, both in To the latter part of this volume, which the conversational circle, or, if need be, on appears especially calculated to instruct the platform, or in the senate itself, are too those who are inclined to commence the obvious to require any remarks. But, as study of our mother tongue, we can give unnothing worth acquiring can be obtained qualified approbation. It consists of exwithout exertion, so, in order to attain this tracts from the highest class of English poets, desirable object, some degree of labour and chronologically arranged, from Chaucer to study is necessary. It is necessary for the Burns, and accompanied by selections from aspirant to become acquainted with the the different critiques which have from writings of the great men who have flou- time to time appeared on their respective rished both in our own, and in other coun- works. Both the text itself, and the crititries ; and in our own, as well as in former cal selections, which are chiefly taken from times : and to study the poetry, and to Campbell's “ Specimens," and Dr. Johnson's become intimate with the beautiful thoughts “ Lives of the Poets," are chosen with sinand language of our choicest English bards. gular felicity ; and Mr. Payne is entitled to Attention should especially be paid to the the highest praise for the care bestowed on structure and progress of the English lan- the antiquated orthography of the earlier guage, as exhibited in the works of our authors, and the ability and judgment disgreat classical authors, and to the exact force played in the annexed notes throughout and signification of words. The work now the volume. This work, we conceive, will before us, by the Editor of that entertaining, be of the greatest service to those who may as well as instructive work, Select Poetry be desirous, at little expense and in a short for Children, is intended to assist in the space of time, to obtain at least some knowaecomplishment of these objects. “ The ledge of the distinguishing characteristics of present work,” says the Editor," is intended our most celebrated classics.

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