« EelmineJätka »
BISHOP KEN'S "CHRISTIAN YEAR."
borders, is a fitting memorial of one of the laft worthies of the English Church whofe name is likely to be added at fome future day to the Kalendar of her Saints. There is always thought in the good Bishop's lines; and befides their unfailing devoutness, they often have a beauty of their own which cultivated readers will not fail to appreciate. One of the best examples of this quiet grace will be found in the paraphrase of the Beatititudes given under the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity. He is not a poet from whom we can felect a separate paffage and hold it up as a good example of his best style, because the train of meditation is fo clofely carried on, and its diffuseness is so great that a brief quotation would give no more idea of his real merits than a fingle brick fuggefts of the plan of the building whence it is taken. We must rather, then, refer our readers to the book itself, which deferves their attention for various reafons, literary and religious."
The Church News.
"The publication of thefe poems of Bishop Ken is exceedingly opportune. His writings poffefs at the present time a value and importance greater than they have ever yet pofleffed, for his loyalty to the Church of England cannot be queftioned by the most captious. He was one of the feven bishops committed to the Tower by King James the Second for refufing to read The Declaration.' And he was most active in his endeavours to combat the defign of the fame monarch to establish the Roman Church in England. Added to this, he was an immediate fucceffor of those who reconstructed the Book of Common Prayer in 1662, and cannot but have been acquainted with what they understood to be included and expreffed by thofe formularies. . . . Bishop Ken's Hymns have been used by thofe even who are outfide the pale of the Church. Two at least, the Morning and Evening Hymns, have been for a century past included with Tate and Brady in the fame cover with our Prayer Books. The prefent publication is the handsomest gift book of the season, and is fuitable alfo as a marriage or confirmation gift book; each page is ornamented by a very elegant arabesque woodcut border, in the style of Geoffrey Tory."
"We therefore have great pleasure in commending to our readers' notice the handfome edition of this first Chriftian Year,' juft published, as a fuitable marriage or confirmation gift-book, by Mr. Pickering, to whofe father we owe fo many valuable reprints. The hymns, or poems, as fome of them would be more properly ftyled, are full of that devotion to a holy life which was one of the most striking features in the Bishop's character, while his words on the many important subjects on which he treats will be received with ftill deeper intereft at the prefent time when it is remembered that he was one of the feven bishops who refufed to read the famous 'Declaration' of James II.
"The book is very handfomely printed, each page having a border in
BISHOP KEN'S "CHRISTIAN YEAR."
the ftyle of Geoffrey Tory; while for the benefit of thofe readers who merely wish for the text without the ornament, a fmaller and cheaper edition has been iffued. The language, as might be expected, is quaint, but this only makes it more attractive, and we are confident that all who poffefs the works of George Herbert and John Keble will be glad to add to their ftore the 'Chriftian Year' of Bishop Ken."
"It is well worthy to be one of the devotional books of every churchman-and we would engage that any one who adds it to his or her tray of fuch books, will find after a year or fo, that it has won a claim to be very near and dear as a companion through the Chriftian feafons."
The Birmingham Journal.
"Not only his immortal Morning and Evening Hymns, but all the others fo fweetly affociated with the Church feafons of the year, and which fuggefted to Keble his univerfally popular Chriftian Year,' are carefully and taftefully reproduced. To fome modern taftes, fpoiled by the smooth, effeminate lines of modern days, fome of the good Bishop's verfes may seem harsh and rude; but as examples of mafculine English, of lofty Chriftian feeling, of great poetic power, thefe hymns of Bishop Ken well deferve all praife. . . . Mr. Pickering, the publisher, has fhown himfelf worthy of the Aldine laurels which his father won, by producing a neglected Church claffic in fo appropriate and admirable a form."
The late JOHN KEBLE on Ken's Poetical Works
in the "Quarterly Review."
"The fimple and touching devoutnefs of many of Bishop Ken's lyrical effufions has been unregarded. Whoever in earneft loves his three well-known hymns, and knows how to value fuch unaffected strains of poetical devotion, will find his account in turning over his four volumes, half narrative and half lyric, and all avowedly on facred fubjects. . . All breathing fuch an angelic fpirit, interfperfed with fuch pure and bright touches of poetry, that fuch a reader as we have fuppofed will fcarcely find in his heart to criticife them.
"We shall hardly find, in all ecclefiaftical hiftory, a greener fpot than the later years of this courageous and affectionate paftor; perfecuted alternately by both parties, and driven from his ftation in his declining age, yet finging on, with unabated cheerfulness, to the laft."