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polish, was perspicuous and precise in the expression of his thoughts.
All our readers, no doubt, will recollect the eloquent delineation and eulogy exhibited in Mr. Hall's funeral sermon for Dr. Ryland. Very just in the main, it has been thought liable to correction in one particular. The description of Dr. Ryland's passive meekness, his want of all power of re-action and contest, is such as to give almost the impression, that he was helplessly and without remedy at the mercy of any who could be hardhearted enough to assail or trample on him. It is true, that he had a painful sensitiveness to opposition, and an extreme horror of harsh, unsparing conflict; and would, before a bold opponent, shrink and be subdued into silence. But, for this weakness, he was by no means destitute of a compensation,—a compensation in his own competence, independently of that forbearance which the knowledge of his amiable character, and of this weakness in it, obtained for him froin all persons of kind and considerate temper. He had, for one thing, great tenacity both of opinion and purpose. And for another, he had a great power of persuasion in communicating, in a quiet, amicable, and somewhat confidential manner, with individuals ; so that he could do much to disarm, one by one, a number of persons who might otherwise have been disposed to join in opposition to him. He had, also, a very great facility in writing, and could by letters give effect to opinions and arguments, with persons with whom he might not have had spirit and nerve enough to maintain them in stout personal encounter. In consequence, he not seldom carried his point, when it might have seemed that he could not do otherwise than surrender it. And this proceeding was not to be denominated artful, in any culpable sense; for no man could be more upright in his intentions, or more sincere in the
arguments and pleadings by which he endeavoured to give them effect.
But we are conscious of having departed too far from the proper business of our profession, in dilating so much in general observations, and on the character of the revered author of these volumes ; and have reduced ourselves to the necessity of being very brief in the notice of their contents.
The Memoir, written with exemplary modesty, presents an amiable picture of Dr. Ryland's very early piety, and a short account of the stages, the few remarkable events and movements, and the several and busy occupations, of his long life, which began with the year 1753, and closed in 1825; more than thirty years of it being spent, in the capacity of pastor and tutor, at Bristol. The Writer, aware how much partiality is apt to be imputed to encomiums proceeding from a near relation, has drawn the tribute to his father's merits from the testimony of other men, some of them of high estimation in the Christian Church.
The substance of the book is a selection of short sermons to the number of one hundred and fifty, printed from Dr. Ryland's notes. We should guess that each of them, on the average, might be deliberately read in about a quarter of an hour, and is less, probably, than one third the length of the discourse as delivered by the preacher. But they are different from papers of broken hints and mere suggestions, to help the memory, or prompt the invention, in the course of speaking. They are digested schemes, adjusted with care to put the topics in good order, with a due proportion, under each head, of the essence of the matter to be amplified in the delivery. And the thoughts are in such regular and related series, as to have nearly the effect of continuous composition. When they have not that effect, the printer has very judiciously left small blank spaces between the sentences. There is often an ingenious turn, sometimes in the way of taking advantage of the form of expression in the text; sometimes in the peculiar and pointed manner in which one part of the subject is made to reflect on another. The Preacher very rarely, we believe, failed to provide himself with these attentively studied schemes, throughout his ministrations. He uniformly had them before him in the pulpit, written sometimes in a hand almost microscopically small; and he as constantly made the written sketch the basis of his dis-, course. But this produced no cramped formality; his extemporary enlargements, when he was in the favourable state of feeling, were in a strain of perfect freedom and facility, and in just the same diction as the written sentences. It was, indeed, in these enlargements that the force and peculiarity of the illustration, and the energy of feeling, often displayed by him, came forth. So that those readers of these printed sketches who never heard the preacher, or too seldom to have witnessed the most animated of his public exercises, can have no adequate idea of the spirit, and force, and compulsion on the hearers' attention, with which the sermons were delivered.
They are on a wide diversity of subjects, doctrinal, devotional, and practical, far too many to admit of a list being given of them here: none of them are short enough to be given entire as an extract; and at the same time, to show a part of what is itself but a compendium, would not exemplify their character.
An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians ;
written in Egypt during the Years 1833, 4, and 5; partly from Notes made during a former Visit to that Country in the Years 1825, 6, 7, and 8. By EDWARD WILLIAM LANE. 2 vols. 12mo.
A CURIOUS and reflective mind will not fall on many subjects more attractive than the relation of ancient regions, such as history and monuments have recorded them, to the same regions viewed in their modern and present state. It is striking to consider how widely they are, as it were, estranged from their primitive selves; insomuch that the mere local and nominal identity has less power to retain them before us under the original idea fixed on the place and name, than their actual condition has to present them as domains of a foreign and alien character. They are seen divested to so great a degree, of that which had created a deep interest in contemplating them, that we consign them to a distant province of our imagination, where they are the objects of a reversed order of feelings. We regard them as having disowned themselves, while retaining their ancient names, and their position on the earth.
“divested to so great a degree;" for if the regions be eminently remarkable for natural featuresmountains, rivers, defiles, and peculiar productions these do, indeed, continue to tell something of ancient times. In keeping under our view a groundwork of the scenes we had meditated on, they recall to us by association what once was there, and is there no longer. But they do so to excite a disturbance by incongruity. What is there now, rises in the imagination to confound or overpower the images of what was there then. So that, till we can clear away this intrusion, we have an un
couth blending of the venerable ancient and the vulgar modern.
Again; there are seen in those territo ries striking relics of the human labours of the remote ages; which are thus brought back more impressively to the imagination than by the most prominent features of nature. But these disclaim more decidedly still, in the name of that departed world to which they entirely belong, all relationship with the existing economy of man and his concerns. They are emphatically solitary and estranged amidst that economy. Their aspect, in their gloom and ruin, is wholly to the past, as if signifying a disdain of all that later times have brought around them. And if, in some instances, man is trying to avail himself of some parts or appendages of them for his ordinary uses of resort or dwelling, we may, by a poetical license of thought, imagine them loathing the desecration. Still, as the vulgarities do obtrude themselves in contiguity, the contemplatist cannot wholly abstract himself from the annoyance.
Some of those scenes of ruin, indeed, and especially and pre-eminently the tract and vast remaining masses of Babylon, are placed apart by their awful doom, as suffering no encroachment and incongruous association of human occupancy or vicinity. There is no modern Babylon. It is secluded and alone in its desolation; clear of all interference with its one character as monumental of ancient time and existence. If the contemplative spectator could sojourn there alone and with a sense of safety, his mind would be taken out of the actual world, and carried away to the period of Babylon's magnificence, its multitudes, its triumphs, and the divine denunciations of its catastrophe.
Egypt has monuments of antiquity surpassing all others on the globe. History cannot tell when the most stupendous of them were constructed; and it would be no improbable prophecy that they are destined to remain to the end of time. Those enormous constructions, assuming to rank with nature's ancient works on the planet, and raised, as if to defy the powers of man and