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found it necessary to measure their lawful or indefensible on this lower strength with each other by means ground, I am far from considering of a numerical division. They have it a desirable practice, and would uniformly found, that mutual ex- strongly caution parents against enplanation and Christian concession couraging, in their families, any of have been amply sufficient to carry the little expedients of sortilege so on the business of the Society, common among children. Let it be without the painful alternative of laid down as a daily maxim, that a ballot.
every thing is to be settled upon I tbink then I have proved, that principle, and nothing by caprice. drawing lots is not, any more than The litigated picture above mencasting dice, or dissecting piacular tioned might very properly have victims, a justifiable mode of ap- been suffered to follow its legal despealing directly to the decision of tination; or the matter might have the Almighty: and that there is no been referred to the arbitration of warrant to expect that the Divine a common friend, who should be Will will be revealed by such a empowered to decide, after weighprocedure, and that, consequently, ing the arguments in favour of each there is no sufficient ground for party. In a family, cbildren should the adoption of the practice in any be taught to view the decision of a case of importance; such as a debate parent as a perfectly satisfactory in parliament, or the deliberations mode of adjudication, from a full of a public body; or a point of conviction, grounded ou constant faith, or morals, or duty: in all experience, that the paternal allotwhich instances our conscience and ment is uniformly founded on wise, ratioual powers, under the guidance and equitable priuciples. This of Scripture, and with prayer to implicit contidence is one of the God, are the proper directory of greatest sources of peace and ore conduct. Bui in trifling points, der and contentment in a family; such as those mentioned by your and woe to the parent who disturbs correspondent, I cannot think it it by any decision of an unjust or absolutely unlawful or sinful to partial character ! A child should use any fair and simple mode of feel persectly confident, even where settling a difference which may his allotment happens to be the have the concurrence of both par. least enviable, that his parent was ties. If two brothers, for instance, guided by wise reasons of right, or see fit to draw lots for a family pic- seniority, or qualification, or some ture, which each wishes to obtain, other just principle which, on the but which cannot be the property of next occasion, would probably reboth; they merely adopt this method store the balance, and make the to prevent dispute or partiality, good of one the good of all. and are bound by the issue, not in I quite concur with your corres. consequence of any express appeal popdent in his third argument, that either to the Almighty or to chance, every practice should be discoubut by the faith of their mutual raged wbich appears to countecompact. I cannot see any thing un- pance the principle of raffles, lotlawful in such a case, any more than teries, and games of hazard ; and if a child, asking his father which though I think some considerable sweetmeat he was to take out of distinctions exist between the two a dish, were directed to take the cases, I will not weaken the force one that happened to be nearest of his precaution by any qualifying hia ; and which might turn out to remarks. I would only observe, og be ihe best or tbe worst in the a general view of the subject, that Jot.
in all quesțions of this nature, the But while I think that drawing lots, particulars of each individual case jn such unimportant cases, is not un- must determine its merits; for
what, under certain circumstances, occupied. Thus, wherever the use
ferred to by your correspondent,
that the use of the lot in determining According to the best judgment any point is in no higher sense de which I am able to form upon this appeal to God than the casual resubject, the use of the lot is to be ference of it to a byestander regarded solely as one of those as if, for example, I should be various means which the Divine hesitating which of two walks or Being bas been pleased to employ, rides to take, and, for want of any on different occasions, for specific sufficient reason to influence my and determinate objects, and which decision, were to leave the selecwere constituted religious acts, only tion to a friend upacquainted with as opnnected with those objects ; either. being otherwise left on the same If the casting of the lot be confooting which they had previously sidered in itself a religious act,
why should not dancing, the setting it in a matter light aud. insigniup of a pillar, the washing of hands, ficant," is a virtual breach of the the slaying of a lamb, ibe eating Third Commandment. of bread, with various other cir- Much injury has, I fear, been cumstances recorded in Scripture, done to the cause of religion by be deemed religious acts also ? the zealous attempts of her friends Surely it must be evident that the to support unimportant, and perhaps solemnity consists solely in the Di: untenable, positions. The exposivine purposes of their application ; tion of their failure has often been and that, if the acts themselves be held up by her enemies as a boastconnected with other objects, they ed proof of the general weakness must be judged of by the merits of of her cause ; but “ her foundations those objects alone.
are upon the holy bills,” and those If I object to the modern use of bulwarks which are raised upon the dancing, it is not, on the one hand, basis of Prophets and Apostles, that dancing is represented in the Jesus Christ himself being the chief Scriptures as having formed a part corner-stone, shall abide for ever. of the religious worship of the How judicious, and how forcible, Jews; nor, on the other, ibat there are the addresses of St. Paul to the is any thing criminal in the act of Christian converts at Corinth! how dancing ; but because, in the exer- admirably adapted to silence those cise of Christian judgment, I be- who obstinately refused to be conlieve the practice, under its existing vinced! And wbo can read the circumstances, greatly tends to bistory of our Saviour's life without dissipate the mind, and to destroy being charmed by the wisdom with those pure and holy affections which wbich He ever spake? His enemies it is our bounden duty to cultivate could gaio no advantage over Him, and cherish. Upon this principle, and every attempt to entangle Him so far as the use of the lot may ended in their own confusion. bear with injurious effect upon the It is a subject for congratulation morals or piety of mankind, it to the Christian world, that many cangot be too strongly reprobated. writers of our own day bave evinced But here, as in a multitude of other great solicitude to tread in the same cases, I feel anxious that the ques. path. Their works will remain motion should be fairly met, and that numents of successful attempts to acts wbich are criminal only in exbibit truth in its native energy, their abuse or misapplication, should and will continue to advance the not be confounded with such as are cause of that pure and undefiled positively forbidden: I use this religion which shall eventually term, because, if the lot be, as triumph over all the opposition of your correspondent argues, " a so- its enemies. lema appeal” to God, the use of
E. P. S.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
The Pirate, by the Author of the inquiry. Our protracted silence
will have shewn that we 'are not Warerley, Kenilworth, &c." In-3 vols. small 8vo. Edinburgh. very vehement admirers either of
novels or novel reading; and, as 1822.
Christian observers, we do not hold Why does not the Christian Ob- ourselves obliged very frequently server review the Waverley Novels ? to notice works like the present. has been so often repeated, that we There are, however, cogent reathink it time at length to attend to sons for at length adverting to the subject. The Waverley Novels al- side in the recesses of an American ready amount to no less than thirty- forest. nine volumes : their multifarious ; Scandit eodem quo dominus ; neque contents, good, bad, and indif.
- Decedit ærarâ triremi, et ferent, are eagerly swallowed (for Post equitem sedit. novel readers do not wait to mas- Works, thus numerous and poticale, much less digest, their re- pular--and which, both from these past) by innumerable readers in circumstances, and from the high every corner of the empire: the degree of talent that pervades them; book shops are crouded with can- must have no inconsiderable effect didates for Ibe first reeking copies upon the public taste and sentithe moment a new tale is announced; ments-undoubtedly claim some atlong before which auspicious event, tention in a miscellany like ours; from the wholesale vender to the nor shall we shrink from putting our itinerant book stall, the wary biblio- readers in full possession of our pole placards his window and coun- sentiments
them. ier with the intelligence : edition There are also other reasons after edition is bespoken before it which bave determined us to enter can be printed; the humblest cir- on the present subject; not the culating library must have its du- least of which is, that the modia plicate and triplicate copies ; the fied character of the Waverley parlour, the drawing-room, and it Novels has gained access for them is well if not the kitcben and ser. into many families in which general vants' hall and pursery also, become novel-reading had been strictly in. possessed of this indispensable piece terdicted. Even religious families, of furniture: the young and old, in numerous instances, have sufferthe gay and the grave, all sit down ed these specious works to become with avidity to the perusal ; and the means of breaking down the more time and energy are perhaps barrier which had been hitherto employed in settling who among maintained between the habits of so many anxious expectants shall bona fide Christians, and the habits first have the precious volume, than of worldly society; and an openwould almost suffice for reading it; ing for injurious or trifling reading the lady's maid and footman quar- being once admitted, it is not easy rel for the prior claim to purloin a to anticipate where the evil may sight of the parlour copy; while stop. A single novel, if not more the very cook and her scullion ex- exceptionable iban are the genepedite their operations to have a rality of the Waverley Tales, would snug hour for the borrowed trea- scarcely have induced us to go far sure from the circulating library. out of our path to notice it: we Go where you will, a Waverley should have calculated on its dying Novel peeps forib: you find it on away without producing any very the breakfast table, and under the considerable effects on society, and pillow; concealed in the desk of certainly without causing any mathe clerk, and the till of the shop.'
, terial innovation in the babits of man; in the sleeve of the gowns- those persons to whom novel-readman, and the pocket of the squire; ing was a very rare or unknown on the barouche-box, and in the practice. But such a constant repe sword-case; by day-light, by lamp- jition of the draught, even though light, by moon-light, by rush-light; its composition be but partially deaye, even among the Creek Indians leterious, may be highly dangerous. bas been seen a volume of these The volumes in question already far-famed tales beguiling the tedious amount, as we have slated, to the hours of the daughter of an Ala- number of our Articles of Religion; bama planter, as she sat down with and it will be well if they do not her coffee-pot by the evening fire. prove " forty stripes save que" for
their readers and the public. Each poses.' The perversion is not in stroke may be gentle, and yet the ihe faculty, but in its application; united effect of the whole severe; and the object of a Christian should especially should the act of novel- be, not to extirpate it, but wisely reading, being thus frequently re- to control its unlawful tendencies, peated, become a habit, and find and to dispose it to virtuous and ins way permavently into families heavenly objects. To abandon it hitherto inaccessible to its baneful to the service of “the world, the influence.
flesh, and the devil,” is both unThe Waverley Novels, however, necessary and most inexpedient. must not be the whole of our theme; It ought rather to be rescued from for they are but a part, though, for this degradation, and employed, one 'writer, a very considerable as the sacred writers and our part, of the mass of works of en- Blessed Lord himself employed it iertainment and imagination which in their figures, and parables, and now so profusely issue from the apologues, and allegories, for the presses of England and Scotland, glory of God and the good of man. aud which are eagerly perused by To this we might add, that its oc. thousands and tens of thousands casional exercise furnishes a powerof our countrymen and country- ful relief to the man of business women of all ranks, ages, and ca- or study; and may even be of
fuse, pacities. Poetry, in particular, has, in some cases, to the clergy themof lale years, maile most prolific selves; at least to those of them shoots; and we wish we could add whose leaden pivions require such with truth, that “its leaves are for an aid, or whose soporific habits the healing of the pations." To all of thought and language might be this, we must append, as a part sublimed, to the great satisfaction of our general indictment, the mass of their auditories, by the due use of tales, poems, dramas, and other of this valuable, though often daneffusions which float, "Trifles light gerous, faculty. as air," over the streain of our But the subject strikes us in diurnal, and weekly, and monthly another aspect. We live in a someliterature ; and all of whiclı go into what unkindly climate : a large the vast aggregate of the national portion also of our population are reading, and tend strongly to in- cooped up in towns and cities : we fluence the public taste, sentiments, are proverbially subject to rains and conduct.
and fogs and chills, to dark days It seems to us a question of de and long evenings ; and the habits licate casuistry to what extent re- of the people, concurring with these ligious families. may lawfully in- natural causes, render in-door ocdulge in the perusal of works of cupations and amusements essenmere taste and imagination. As tial to British ideas of comfort. a general principle, it is easy to say Every parent who wishes to dis“ The less the beller;" bui sucb a courage in his children the inordisweeping denunciation, however nate love of visiting, gossiping, and 'convenient to the casuist, is not pleasure-taking, and at thesame time likely to convince or reform those not to allow the domestic fireside who require conviction or refor. to become the scene of listlessness, mation; nor is it, in fact, altogether indolence, or ivanity, perhaps of well-founded. The imagination is fretfulness or quarrelling, must not necessarily an enemy: like feel the great importance of light other faculties of the mind indeed, (we do not say trifling) reading it is depraved by the Fall; but, like as one of the best resources for them also, it may be employed, his purpose. Young persons canunder the guidance of the Holy not be every moment employed Spirit, for the most valuable pur- either in their studies or in active