Sidor som bilder

patience in suffering? No imprudence and no petulance in converse ? No base self-interest and no vanity in my dealings? No indifference and insensibility respecting God and religion?

Have I erred to-day: in what circumstances did it happen? What gave occasion and inducement to it? In what frame of mind was I? What preceded this fault? What attended it ? Of what must I in future most assiduously beware? How must I avoid that offence, or surmount this obstacle ?

• Have I done any good to-day: what gave me inclination and ability to it? What thoughts, what sentiments, what maxims, what precepts of religion urged and led me to it? What must Í therefore imprint most deeply in my memory and oftenest call to mind? And what outward circumstances lent facilities to this good act, or to this victory over myself? How can I best avail myself of the same resource for the time to come?

Have I to-day done that, have I to-day been that, have I today afforded that, which in my station and calling, in my place, agreeably to the will of God I ought to do and to be and to afford ? Am I therefore advanced more nearly to the proper end of my being, or have I receded farther from it? Will this day have to me and to others good, or bad consequences in futurity?

· Have 'I performed the works and businesses of this day with a calm, unruffled mind, with reference to God and from obedience to his wise constitutions and settlements ; have I performed them with conscientious punctuality ? Have I been actuated therein by aniversal charity and officiousness? Have I dignified and alle viated them to myself, by considering them as the work, 'that the Father in heaven has given me to do for the benefit of his family upon earth? Have I willingly and cheerfully applied my capacities and abilities to them, and not been alarmed at any unavoidable pains and exertion ?

· Have I executed that, which I had to do, with success ? Or have my undertakings miscarried, and my honest designs been frustrated ? Whom have I to thank for that success? To what was this miscarriage owing? Was it to myself? Was it to the want of attention, of prudence, of industry, of method? Or is it Providence that does not approve of my purpose, that determined I should not accomplish it? How must I in the former case act otherwise and better? How console myself in the other?

• What observations may I have made to-day, on myself and my moral condition, or on what I have seen and heard in converse with others? What experiments have I made? What particular accidents have perhaps occurred to me? What may I learn from both the one and the other? How apply the one and the other to my own improvement.'

Some well-written forms of prayer then follow, which are applicable both to the Sabbath and to the other days of the week, and adapted to the necessities and conditions of every class of persons. Under the head of · Daily Devotions, the author has drawn up a set of essays on the different duties of life; together with a course of reflections not only on the obligations of Christianity, but on the hopes and the happiness arising from it. The clear and methodical arrangement, which is particularly visible in this portion of the volume, merits our warmest approbation. The evening-reflections are usually either a continuation or the application of those of the morning; and both are equally calculated not only to make the reader acquainted with the general principles of moral good and evil, but to teach him to investigate the several minutiæ of his own private character and conduct. Whether the public will be of opinion that the merits of this work are so particularly pre-eminent as to rank it above all others 'of a similar nature, and especially that old standardbook, “ The Whole Duty of Man,” we know not : but we might venture to anticipate that all readers will feel particular satisfaction in that irresistibly convincing manner, in which M. Zollikofer brings facts and statements to their notice. He does not leave us to form vague speculations on the moral fitness of things, or on the opposite tendency of virtue and vice; every thing is correctly defined; the scope and intent of every argument are accurately and specifically stated; every illustration is brought to bear on the main object in view; and every inference is deduced from the premises in the simplest and most natural form of reasoning.

life; dom,

Sect. III. contains · Exercises of Devotion and Prayer, on the most important Points of Religion :' subdivided into exercises of faith, of repentance, of virtue, and of consolation. We shall make one extract, as a characteristic specimen of the author's animated style.

• EXERCISE OF Faith in God. · Where is the eternal, inexhaustible fountain of light, whence light and life stream forth upon all worlds and beings, and also

* Where is the all-embracing, all-animating, ever active primordial energy, from which all energies proceed, and by which they are all preserved ?

• Where is the principle, the cause of all that I perceive and feel ? All around me I see only effects that originate in other effects. One constantly following the other, one existing always for the sake of the other, all mutually depending upon one another. Does not this conduct me to a first, eternal cause, which depends upon nothing, which is self-subsistent, which has for ever been and will for ever be?

Where is the first link of the inimense chain of things which I behold, and the almighty hand by which it is upheld?

And must not that first cause be consummately intelligent, consummately wise, consummately benevolent? Do I not per: ceive on all sides clear, infallible vestiges of intelligence, of wisT3

upon me?

dom, of kindness? Do I not every where see beauty, order, harmony, ends, and means for attaining those ends? Who assigned to the sun, to the moon, to the stars, who to the countless host of worlds that surround me, their place, their situation, their course, and stationed all in that relative position to each other in which they can move and act in the most complex and diversified manner, in the most opposite directions, and yet entirely free and unimpeded? Who so magnificently adorned the earth the place of my abode, and distributed so much life and gladness among its inhabitants ? What a multitude and variety of plants, of insects, of animals, I perceive upon it, whose structure, whose instincts, whose mode of life and occupations, whose relations and connexions attest the most admirable ingenuity and wisdom, and which constantly are propagated and preserved and maintain their nature and station from age to age, by the same unvarying laws of order! What violence must I do to my own feelings, were I to account all this the effect of hazard or a blind unintelligent agent!

* And where is the first, the sovereign mind, the Father of all spirits, from whom I and all that thinks and is conscious of thinking, proceed? For I have not always, have only a few days since first thought; I feel that I am and think not of myself; that my being and my thinking has its origin without me; that I owe them not to the immediate authors or causers of my terrestrial life, who understand as little of it as myself, and no more subsist of themselves than I do. All nature tells me, that my being and thinking cannot be the work of chance, not the effect of the visible objects around me, not the dull mass of earth with which I am connected; for in my being and my thinking, order, design, harmony preside. No; I am sensible that that which thinks within me, that my understanding is of a superior origin, of a nobler nature and frame, than the body with which it is clothed, and the earth which bears and feeds it ; that it must be the creature of a superterrestrial, of a celestial Father, of a first all-perfect mind, by whom it is and lives and thinks, and with whom it is intimately connected at every moment of its existence!'

The fourth division bears the title of Devotional Exercises and Prayers, respecting the several relative Situations of Mankind,' the enumeration of which is thus given ; Married persons, - Parents, --- Children, -the Youth, - the Man, the Old Man, - the Minister of State, - the Judge, -- the Magistrate, - the Advocate, - the Subject, - the great Man, de the mean Man, - the rich Man, the

the learned Man, the unlearned Man.' The relative duties attached to these stations are discussed at some length, enforced with every power of coquent language, and displayed in a most exalted strain of piety. We may indeed safely affirm that all, who are really and earnestly in search of selfimprovement, and not afraid of weighing their characters in


poor Man,

the accurate and impartial scale of truth, will find in these admonitions a most powerful source of assistance to their meritorious endeavours.

In the conclusion of the volume, the author supplies us with reflections on the sacrament of the Lord's supper, or. • Devotions proper to the Communion. Although M. Zollikofer does not consider a circumstantial preparation for the holy table as absolutely necessary for all persons, but for thosc only who • by continued avocations and distractions, by successive errors and deviations, are grown cold towards religion and Christianity,' he does not omit to state his views of that previous discipline of self-examination, which in the case of such persons he readily admits to be an essential introductory step. • How must I prepare myself for it?' is the main question, which he proposes to the consideration of those who design to become communicants. The reply is thus stated:

• ist, I must ascertain the views, and reflect upon the views, in which I intend to celebrate this solemnity. 2dly, I must examine, whether I am in such a frame and temper of mind, as qualifies me for performing this solemn act in a rational manner, profitable to myself, and well pleasing to its founder. 3dly, I must make my, self thoroughly acquainted and conversant with the ideas and thoughts, which should principally occupy my mind during the celebration of the sacred supper. 4thly, I must awaken and strengthen within me those godly, Christian sentiments, and emotions, which are suited to this sacred act. 5thly, I must well consider, what I profess at the sacred supper, what I there declare myself to be, and to what I there bind myself, that my professions may be the more sincere, and my obligations the more sacred and inviolable to me.'

To the preceding analysis of this volume, it would be superfluous to make farther additions. We can safely recommend it to be put into the hands of all who, with the best intentions and the most upright dispositions, may yet occasionally find themselves in need both of a monitor to remind them of duty, and of a guide to direct them in its paths. Even those who are of opinion that the religion of the heart is alone sufficient for the Christian, and who may be unwilling to fetter their devotions by the limited prescription of established formularies, would not derive any disadvantage from a work which blends useful instruction with fervent piety, and deduces the necessity and benefits of public and private worship from the most rational principles of sound philosophy. The persons, however, for whose use it is principally intended, reflecting and sincere Christians,' - those whose main object in life is the attainment of true perfection and happiness, and only as


elementary elementary to a state of farther perfection and unlimited erjoyment, — will be the most likely to consider it as intitled to their encouragement and favour.

Of the translation, we shall only observe that the occasional stiffness of expression, which we have at times perceived in the body of the work, does not greatly diminish our sense of gratitude to the person who has presented this, as well as similar publications, to the perusal and attention of his countrymen.

ART. VII. Report, together with the Minutes of Evidence, and ar

Appendix of Papers, from the Committee appointed to consider og Provision being made for the better Regulation of Mad-Houses in England. (Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 11th July 1815.). Arranged by J. B. Sharpe, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. Svo. pp. 400.

Baldwin and

Co. 1815.

ART. VIII. The first Annual Report on Mad-Houses, made in the

Year 1816, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed,

April 26. 1816, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 158. 75. Clement. Art. IX. Observations on the Laws relating to private Lunatic

Asylums, and particularly on a Bill for their Alteration, which passed the House of Commons in the Year 1814. 8vo. pp. 112.

Conder. 1816. ART. X. Practical Hints on the Construction and Economy of Pauper

Lunatic Asylums ; including Instructions to the Architects who offered Plans for the Wakefield Asylum, and a Sketch of the most approved Design. By Sam. Tuke. 8vo. 18. Darton

and Co. ART. XI. A Letter to Sir R. C. Glynn, Bart., President of the

Royal Hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlein, on the Treatment and Dismissal of the late Medical Officers of those Establishments. By James Upton, Esq. 8vo. pp. 16. Rivingtons. 1816. W

È place these five publications in the same article be

cause they refer to the same question, and are, in several respects, connected with each other. The subject is indeed highly interesting, and addresses itself most warmly both to the feelings and to the understanding of every person. The evidence laid before the House of Commons must carry full conviction to the mind, that a necessity exists for the enactment of some more powerful laws for the better regulation of mad-houses; and we feel a sanguine hope that the disclosure of the facts, which are thus brought into view, will


« FöregåendeFortsätt »