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That whatsoe'er our dangers seem-whate'er our strait may be-
How numerous, or great our wants, we may not ask of Thee.
"Not ask of Thee-O! little now, it costs us all to seek
From Thee, whate'er our hearts desire, and with unblushing cheek,
Return, and plead, and plead again—and oh to think that they
Who thus have asked and have received, could ever turn away,
"With cold denial, from a claim that in His name is made,
In whom, in all their suff'rings, they have sought, and found an aid;
Yes, now, indeed mine eyes at length are opened to the line
Of duty-may they never close--Lord! hear this prayer of mine.
"Not ask of Thee!-Ah what were 1, if of this stay bereft,
If to mine hours of misery this refuge were not left-

When that dread moment, once that seem'd to me so near before,
Comes with its terrors-then, the thought, to ask of Thee no more?
Alas! that I could thus forget the Hand, that, full and free,
The very blessing I desired so oft dispensed to me.

O! by those pray'rs in anguish poured, and answered graciously,
Still Lord! accept mine offering, and let me ask of Thee."


Calls.-The Tresbytery of Dumfries met at Terregles, on Friday the 9th ult., to moderate in a call in favour of Mr. James Gibson, probationer, to be minister of the church and parish, the Rev. Mr. Hogg, of Kirkmahoe, was Moderator pro tempore. No objections were offered, and the call having been well signed, was unanimously sustained.

The Presbytery of Paisley met within the Middle Church, on Monday the 12th ult., for the purpose of moderating in a call to the Rev. Robert Kirke, of Newark Chapel, PortGlasgow. The Moderator, the Rev. Mr. Aird, of Neilston, presided and preached an eloquent discourse.

St. Mary's Church, Dumfries.-This church was made vacant, a short time ago, by the translation of the incumbent, the Rev. Mr. Brown, to the charge of Rodney Street Chapel, Liverpool; candidates have since then been heard, by the congregation, and at a meeting held on Monday the 12th ult., the members thereof unanimously agreed to elect the Rev. James Stewart, of Largs, to be their pastor. Kirkmichael.-The concluding steps in the induction and settlement of the Rev. Alexander Mackellar, of the Gaelic Church, Edinburgh, as pastor of this parish, took place here, on the 15th ult. The proceedings of the day were conducted by the Rev. A. R. Irvine, of Blair Atholl. After they were terminated, Mr. Mackellar received the congratulations of his new parishioners, which were accorded to him with an earnestness by old and yourg, which could not fail to be highly gratifying to his feelings.

Degrees of D.D.-The Senatus Academicus of the University of King's College, Aber

deen, at their meeting on Saturday the 10th ult., unanimously conferred the honorary degree of Doctor in Divinity on the Rev. Thomas Barclay, A.M., minister of Currie, and the Rev. Simon Mackintosh, A.M., minister of the East Church, Aberdeen, two distinguished alumni of that University.

We understand that the Senatus of the University and King's College, Aberdeen, have unanimously conferred the honorary degree of Doctor in Divinity on the Rev. A. Macpherson, Minister of Golspie, Sutherlandshire.

Died,-At the manse of Ceres, on the 15th ult., the Rev. Joseph Crichton, in the 96th year of his age. He had been a parish minister for the unusually long period of nearly 54 years, but having officiated, as an assistant for some time before his ordination, he may be said to have been a minister of the Church for nearly 70 years; his first appointment was to the parish of Carstairs, in Lanarkshire, to which he was ordained in 1786. Before his presentation in that parish, he had acted as assistant in the Tron Church of Edinburgh, either to Dr. Wishart or to Dr. Drysdale. From Carstairs he was transferred, in 1792, to Ceres, in the Presbytery of Cupar, through the interest of the Earl of Crawford, and that parish continued to be the scene of his labours for the remainder of his life. The parish of Ceres now falls to the care of the Rev. Robert Cook, the assistant and successor, and the parishioners may be congratulated in having amongst them, in room of the late aged incumbent, a minister so zealous, active, and sincere in the blessed work of his Master.


Dr. Eadie's Biblical Cyclopædia. London and Glasgow: GRIFFIN & Co. Some profound and original thinkers have engaged in works apparently not the most congenial. Instead of addressing themselves to a new investigation and discussion of a grand subject, in which they might display the results of their thoughs, rather than the stores of their information, they have chosen to gather, accummulate, and arrange facts and views concerning a whole catalogue of things. Dr. Samuel Johnson, the powerful Essayist, became a Lexicographer-the author of the English Dictionary. His work in one sense, must have been a recreation, for the large volumes produced, would not tax the exercise of his highest faculties; but in another sense, it was the heaviest toil, requiring the unremitting industry of his inferior faculties, under the unrelaxing yet silent superintendence of some of the highest ones.

Dr. Eadie is an original thinker; yet he too has engaged in compilation. Instead of theological treatises, or a system of Biblical criticism, (for both of which, his various abilities, studies and acquirements have richly qualified him,) he has produced a "Biblical Cyclopædia." Is it, however, a production of such a unique kind, and of such singular merit, that we cannot wish it to have been anything else. It is a vast, yet most orderly storehouse of minute erudition about the Bible. The books, the writers, the heroes, the places, the nations, and the countries of Scripture, are treated of, most fully and graphically. Though Dr. Eadie has adopted an American work as the basis of his, this circumstance does not detract from his reputation in having reared such a massive, complete, and highly elaborate structure. "For brass, he brought gold," he found brick-work, and he has left marble. He was entitled to say, in his Preface, of the American Dietionary:

"In consequence of its brevity, requisite space had not been given to many Articles in proportion to their value. In particular, the most interesting biographies of Scripture were so curt, that they are now presented as fresh compositions. The accounts too, of the various books of the Old and New Testament, were too brief to satisfy the patient inquirer, and needed the fuller critical and historical disquisitions of the present volume. The more recent researches of sacred biography have also supplied the place of older and more inaccurate views. So much is the American copy changed and enlarged in the present work, that our Cyclopædia may almost claim to be a new production. Every article of any importance has either been re-written or altered, retouched or greatly extended, for about two thirds of additional matter has been added. More than one hundred original articles are also interspersed through the work in their appropriate places. "It does not come into competition with any work bearing a similar title. It occupies an independent position, and contains many hermenutical and exegetical notes not found in any existing Dictionary."

Indeed, very many of the articles are elaborate essays, solid with reasoning, and graceful with illustrations. We cannot open a page which is not singularly attractive and new. Who has not heard of the patient man who read a Dictionary straight on from beginning to end? Yet any man might do this with Dr. Eadie's "Biblical Cyclopædia,"-and do it both profitably and pleasurably, for it is not a collection of definitions, but of Essays long and short. The biographies are specially charming. We have been struck with one quality which these pieces eminently possess, viz. that of the purest delicacy,-a quality which has often been wanting in those who abridge or comment upon the biographies of the Bible. Dr. Eadie, when pointing out the cases of licentiousness which stain the lives of some of the greatest of the Hebrew saints, goes up to them, like the good son of Noah, with his face averted in sadness.

Especially to ministers and all religious teachers, would we recommend this first-rate " Biblical Cyclopædia."




APRIL 1849.

Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and other Poems. By W. E. AYTOUN, Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres in the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh and London: Blackwood & Sons.

No sentiment was more frequently expressed, a few years ago, than that the age of poetry was past; and so generally was this believed, that the lovers of poetry had long ceased to look for a coming man, and had turned with new and lingering fondness to the eloquent musings of the men of former generations, who, possessing the "vision and the faculty divine," had given to the world that which posterity can never willingly let die. As advancing civilization, woe betide the day! compelled the deft and light-footed fairies to quit Scottish ground, and to seek a haunt more congenial to the politeness of their nature, and the delicacy of their tastes-so, it was feared, had the tuneful Muses been forced to withdraw before the ungrateful roar of steam, and the rumble of spinning jennies. And as the green-coated chiefs -for so several yet living and veracious witnesses can testify-were so shocked by the sacreligious violation of their haunts, that they agreed to depart in a body, not leaving the meanest retainer of the meanest of their tribes to grace so thankless a nation with his presence; so, it was further believed, that all the muses had acted in concert, and had determined never to permit the modest warblings of song to be coughed down by a locomotive, or to be developed to the accompaniment of a railway whistle. Sometimes, it is true, our hopes were excited, by seeing a wooer of the muses astride his Pegasus, looking unutterable things, and whipping and spurring heroically, but, alas! on closer inspection we always found, that it was not the real Pegasus he had mounted at all, but an animal of much meaner descent, which answered the spur, not by a bound into the highest heaven of invention, but by a patient whisk of the tail, or the utterance of a sound by no means distinguished for melody. What wonder, then, that we did


yield to the apprehension that the high inspiration of the olden time was gone by?

We remember well, with what surprise we listened, when Macaulay took up the ancient harp and struck a bold note, to remind us of "the brave days of old :"

"The land was charmed to list his'lays'

It knew the harp of ancient days."

It began to be bruited widely, that the coy inspirers of song had not bid a final farewell to our coasts, but on the contrary had graciously determined to prove, that not even the din and bustle of this mechani cal, matter-of-fact age can prevail to resist their impulses, when and wheresoever they choose to impart them. This sugh speedily changed to the settled certainty of a received fact, when Lord Robertson was seen paying court to one of the Nymphs, who

"To him the godlike gift assigns

To gird his blest prophetic loins,

And gaze her visions wild, and feel unmix'd her flames."

And as if the gentle dames were bent upon shewing their capricious tyranny, the one that laid siege to his fancy, was not, as all the world had good ground to expect, she who brings with her,

66 Sport that wrinkl'd care derides,

And Laughter holding both his sides."

but one in whose society, he actually constrained his face to a more douce and solemn expression than most people thought it capable of assuming. At the first announcement of his Lordship's poetic offering, and before the character of its contents was known, the public shewed clearly enough what kind of entertainment they expected from him by certain vibrations of the diaphragm in mere anticipation: but when he was found to maintain the most grave and sedate demeanour throughout, some shook their heads sorrowfully, affirming that he was bewitched, and would soon be stricken with leanness, if not removed wholly from among the children of men; while others turned his book over and over, with a comical expression of perplexity, as if they ought, somehow or other, to" see the humour of it." But it was simply the Muses' freak, by which they meant to rebuke the neglect which they had been made, through the mechanical tendencies of the age, to endure, and to show, that they had sufficient authority to command attention by making even the most unlikely subjects to obey their call. If the common opinion be correct, law must be the special object of the Muses' aversion, and yet the capricious despots have not only summoned Lord Robertson to their service, but a goodly company of the same unpoetical calling, who to the great edification of the country are forced to sing by an inspiration not to be resisted.

Professor Ayton has likewise been pressed into the service, and "Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, and other Poems," have been the immediate result. Perhaps this ought to be stated as a further proof at least, if not the greatest, of the freakishness of the Nine, seeing, that besides the hindrances above noted, as common to a class, the Profes

sor laboured under peculiar drawbacks of his own, which seemed to render him inspiration proof. The railway mania, which made so many of our canny Scots to forget their characteristic caution, had set the Professor's mind agog also: and he had scarcely got clear off from "The Great Glenmutchkin" speculation, when the Muses met him. For although his name did not appear in the published list of the directors to whom the management of that interesting and hopeful undertaking was entrusted, it was soon whispered about, that he was more deeply concerned in it than all of them put together; and it might have, therefore, been imagined, that at such a time his imagination would be dwelling less upon images of poetic beauty, and figures of speech, than upon figures of irate " bulls" and "bears," and that his mind would be too much taken up with the variations of the share-market, to be open to poetic exercitation. Yet the divine

afflatus came upon him so mightily, that he withdrew at once from the roughness of these uncongenial pursuits, and set himself to indite the high thoughts and airy fancies with which his mind became unexpectedly fraught.

The "Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers" are offered to the public without preface or introduction; and as neither the one nor the other serves to disarm criticism, we recommend others, in like circumstances, to note the wisdom of such an example as the Professor sets them. Modest prefaces disclaiming all merit, by which some sucking authors seek to propitiate public favour, are impertinent and unnecessary; since, if their own testimony be true, the demerits of their publication will be soon enough discovered by the reader, without a preface; and if a timid modesty is forcing them on to bear a testimony against themselves, which they do not at all wish the public to believe, their apology appears to simple minds like ours little better than a fib. If their book possesses real merit, no apology is needed for publishing it; and if it possesses none, no apology can save it from reprobation, or help even to break the author's fall. If the author believes that his book has merit, as he doubtless does, still we counsel him as a friend, not to tell us the secret, but let us have the satisfaction of making the discovery ourselves for, however "generous" the public may be, we do not like to be approached too cavalierly, and there are few exercises that give us more entire satisfaction than to humble the rash youth who ushers himself into our angust presence with a flourish of trumpets. When the author has established a name, he may then do what he pleases; he may talk or even gossip in prefaces, foot-notes, or appendices, and his friendly public will encourage him with a smile. It is pleasing to have ado, on this occasion, with one who proceeds at once to business, without bows, and smiles and conciliatory addresses. A pertinent explanatory note, and you are at once hurried along by the rushing current of the song, sometimes to a bereaved city, at the moment that the news of a disastrous battle have filled it with the wail of widows and orphans; sometimes to the scene where contending armies await the signal for the onset, or are rushing together with a shock like thunder; and sometimes to the place of execution, to witness the gallant bearing of a brave spirit, when face to face with death.

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