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blessed Lerd and bis first Martyr St. Stephen in their dying mo-
These are lessons which all the theories which the ingenuity and the pride of self-sufficient man ever wove together, have never been able to enforce. This train of thought is carried on to a still further extent in the concluding portion of this admirable volume, in which our author considers those precepts which are peculiar to the Holy Scriptures, so that we find nothing analogous to them in matural law. Such, for instance, is the precept, Matt. v. 39. I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him thy other also. The comment of Dr. Hey upon this passage, which is not without its difficulties, is so admirable both for its acuteness and for its judgment, that we shall present it to our readers.
“When Christ says that his disciples must yield to a blow, or to oppression, is it to be understood that they are to do it repeatedly, or only at the time when the first insult is offered: We are to forgive an indefinite number of times; Matt. xviii. 22, or there is no stated number of times beyond which forgiveness is wholly wrong, or meedless : but it may be doubted whether forgiveness properly belongs to the passage now before us. We are now concerned with right conduct at the time of an attack; forgiveness has a retrospective view... It is possible to forgive an offender when you look back upon his injuries, and yet to repel force by force on any - - particular
particular occasion, Perhaps each man must judge for himself how often yielding to evil will answer its proper ends. That man who does not in the first instance try to overcome evil by some yielding to it, has no pretension to be honoured with the title of a good Christian, - • , r “In fact, it is probable, the difficulty before mentioned, has the greatest weight in hindering men from yielding to evil; I mean the dread of the imputation of cowardice. On this difficulty a good deal has been already said; but with relation to the passage before us it may be added, that he who voluntarily exposes himself to a second insult after receiving a first, cannot do it from cowardice; it is not required of him by the aggressor; he has nothing. to fear from him if he does not do it, and something if he does. If our Lord had commanded his disciples, on receiving a blow, to run away from the striker, obedience to his commands might then have been construed into cowardice; but surely not, when the Christian is to bear one blow firmly, keep his station, and offer, for the sake of public peace, to bear another. Many a man will return blows at random in the moment of provocation, even through fear; but no man through fear will present his cheek to the smiter unnecessarily.
“And the Christian is the less to be suspected of cowardice, when he yields to evil in this manner, yielding properly will have the effect of courage upon his adversary; it is plain enough, that the person who receives the stroke, may, in this case, be as brave as he who gave it. And if bravery is known to exist, it will be expected to appear at the proper time, and will therefore have its proper effects. In a popular tumult the peasant attacks with fury the steady veteran; the veteran bears his intemperate and ill-directed rage, and firmly maintains his station ; is he therefore a coward? What man returns every blow of drunkenness, or of childish anger? no brave man; and why should more notice be taken of the paroxyms of passion, which occasion the blow when it proceeds from vice? In short, to associate the conduct of the true Christian with cowardice, when he is insulted, can only be the dictate of fashionable prejudice, prevailing in some particular time and place; it cannot be the effect of solid and perpetual fitness and reason.” P. 176.
After a similar comment upon various passages of this nature, Dr. Hey considers shortly the motives which Christianity so exclusively holds forth for the forgiveness of injuries. . The very circumstance of our “being bought with a price,” is justly considered as possessing a strong tendency to mortify that self importance, by which resentment is so generally supported. His observations upon that exquisitely beautiful precept of the Apostle, “Be ye kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you,” are so simple and yet so just, that although our extracts have been necessarily long, we cannot forbear from transcribing.
“No motive could be offered to the human mind more powerful than this last, and it is wholly Christian. It is equally calculated to silence the cavils of the captious sceptic, to work conviction on the mind of the man of thought and reflection, and to rouse the affections of the man of sensibility. Moreover, Christian motives make the unchangeable Deity the primary object of our at
tention, even when that Duty is directed to yariable man. Nothing can tend more to our being steadfast and immoveable in our
duty, in spite of human folly and ingratitude. And if you say, that this the nature of all religious motives, we need only observe in reply, that Christianity has greatly improved religion, that it has
greatly strengthened our hopes of future happiness, by bringing
life and immortality to light, and that, inasmuch as it has made such improvements, it has added to our motives for practising the Duty of forgiveness considered as a religious Duty.” P. 211.
Our readers will now be enabled to form a tolerable estimate of the system pursued in the volume before us. It is the design of our author to establish this position; that all our passions, even those generally considered malevolent, are implanted in our breasts by a wise and a good Creator, to answer the best purposes, and to serve the most beneficial ends. It has pleased the Almighty to place his creatures here in a state of trial; to constitute the very notion of which, the existence and the prevalence. of evil must be supposed. Now whatever averts evil in any particular state of things, is a good to that state; and though that which averts evil be itself an evil, yet if it averts a greater evil, it may still be considered as a good. Now to this system no objection can be raised from the notion that we encourage the practice of “doing evil that good may come,” as this can only arise from the abuse of it. Anger, if duly applied, is productive only, of good, and he that is thus angry does no evil, to produce this good. Yet anger is of itself an evil to its possessor, it is an evil. in itself, though not in its use : like a poison, if administered in due proportions and at proper times, it is of eminent service, though even thus it is nauseous to the taste, and disagreeable to him who is driven to its use. The rock upon which moral philosophers have split in their theories of the passions, is the fancied perfection of man; which but ill accords with the existence much less with the necessity of those passions, which so easily and so generally degenerate into malevolence. Revelation declares him in a state of imperfection, not only from the contagion of example, but from a natural tendency to evil; those passions therefore are given him, which though in themselves evil, are if
administered with caution, productive of general good.
mind. It is evidently the result of a calm and Christian meditation, enriched by much observation of human nature in all its va. rious workings, and aided by all the precision of mathematical reasoning. Upon so intricate a subject we must expect to find some occasional subtilties in the decisions, and refinements in the classification of the passions. But when the author descends to practical remarks, his casuistry comes recommended by all the simplicity of a Christian: and in this point of view we earnestly recommend the study of this volume to all those, who are desirous of subjecting their unruly passions to the dominion of reason and the authority of Scripture. The further the reader advances into the volume before us, the better will he be pleased, and the more will he be interested in its contents; and he will rise from its study not only the wiser philosopher, but the sounder Christian and the better man. - It will be an additional incitement to his attention, to be assured that all the laws which its learned and venerable author has laid down to regulate and discipline these sterner portions of our moral frame, were such as resulted from a long and successful
experience of their effect upon himself and his own mind:
ART. II. Historical Memoirs of my own Time. By Sir N. William Wrawall, Bart. 2 vols. 8vo. Cadell and Davies. 1815. -
FROM different parts of his works we have culled and put together the following short notices of the life of Sir N.W. Wraxall. He was born in 1751. In 1769 he went out to India in a civil capacity, and in 1771, at the age of twenty, was made judge advocate and paymaster of our army sent into the Guzerat. Returning from the East in 1772, he went to Portugal; and in 1773, 4, travelled through the Northern countries of Europe. In 1775, 6, he made a tour through the interior of France, and passed the three years 1777, 8, 9, in visiting the capital cities pf Germany and the Low Countries. In 1780, he was brought in Member for Ludgershall : and that Parliament being dissolved in 1784, was elected to sit in the ensuing one for the Borough of Hindon. He appears, by his own account, to have given a constant attendance in his place, and to have been present at all the remarkable debates during those stormy and unsettled times. He usually divided with Lord North and the Coalition Ministry, except on the occasion of the celebrated India Bill, when he sided
ow - with
WOL. Iv. JULY, 1815.
with the minority. In 1794, he appears to have quitted public life; and has since employed himself, as he informs us in his motto, not in hunting or in agriculture, the usual pursuits of country gentlemen, but in writing an account from memory of
what he had seen and heard. His publications are as follow."
* A Tour round the Baltic, &c.” “ Memoirs of the Courts of Berlin, Dresden, Warsaw, and Vienna.” “A History of France under the Kings of the Race of Wallois.” “A History of France
from the accession of Henry the Third to the Death of Henry
the Fourth " These works have been popular, and have each
not much more than half the first volume; while the second part,
including the history of four years only, from 1780 to 1784, forms the body of the work. This disproportion between the number of pages, and the respective portions of time therein described, is accounted for by the difference of materials, of which the two parts are composed. The latter division of his work contains a narrative of what the worthy Baronet saw and heard while in Parliament, between the conclusion of the American war and the establishment of Mr. Pitt in office. The first part is a mere collection of scattered anecdotes, picked up by the au
thor while travelling as a young man through Portugal, France,
and Naples; and which could not possibly involve a longer space of time than three years. But as he visited the former country in 1772, and as his Parliamentary Journal did not begin till 1780, he seems to have thought it adviseable, to avoid an awkward hiatus, to give to this first part of his work also the title of Historical Memoirs of my own Time between 1772 and 1780.
Now a fastidious reader, on taking up a book with so grave a title as “Historical Memoirs of my own Time:” and after reading the following sentence, with which it opens:—“Having long meditated to compose some account of the national events which I have witnessed during part of my life, &c.”—the fastidi
ous reader,...we say, may be somewhat surprised, perhaps dis
gusted when he finds himself transported to Portugal or Naples,