Page images
PDF
EPUB

drudge could look around him, he would see the half of his audience dozing over his dull repetition ; 'not a soul affected, unless perhaps an old beggar gives a groan from a dark corner when he hears the sound. An honelt countryman happening to hear one of these paper-geniuses preach, was asked by his wife, when he went home, how he liked the preacher : " Aias! said he, he was a poor preacher, as ever I saw, woman: he was just like a crow picking the corn; for he always put down his head for a pick, and then looked about to see if any person was coming near bim."

Let our clergy, who ought not to think contemptuously of the common people, take the same pains to qualify themselves for public orators, which the gentlemen at the bar appear to do; and it is more than probable that they would soon acquire that self possession and that prompt elocution which are so much admired in our courts of law. Art. 48. Accounts of the Ten Tribes of Israel being in America;

originally published by Manaffeh Ben Israel. With Observations thereon, and Extracts from Sacred and Prophane, Ancient and Modern History, confirming the fame; and their Return from thence about the Time of the Return of the Jews. By Robert Ingram, A. M. Vicar of Wormingford and Boxted, Eflex. 8vo. pp. 56.

Robinsons, &c. 1792. Mr. Ingram is strongly persuaded that great numbers of the Ifraelites, after their dispersion, in consequence of the Babylonih Captivity, &c. retired into a remote and uninhabited country, where their descendants, a numerous and distinct race, remain to this day; and that this (to us unknown) country, is a portion of North Ame. rica, somewhere in the vicinity of a part of California, to the south of Hudson's Bay, and from 530 to 600 N. Lat. where they still are, unconnected with the rest of mankind. How these wanderers ori. ginally made their way from Asia into those remote regions, must be matter of surprize to many readers : but the rev. author of this tract easily removes all the difficulties by the aid of miracles ; by means of which, the greatest rivers, the Euphrates, for instance, and even the Sea, are divided, or dried up, to facilitate the paisage of the emigrants. The author has thewn great diligence in search. ing and applying the Jewith prophecies, and other authorities, in fupport of his opinion, and of the evidence of Rabbi Manasseh. Art. 49. A Sketch of the Life and Projets of John Law of Lauriston,

Comptroller General of the l'inances in France. 4:0. PP. 48. 35. Kearsley. 1791. In our Review, vol. Ixv. p. 183, may be found a brief account of the principal events in the life of Mr. Law, extracted from the Private Life of Louis XV. translated by Mr. Ju tamnond. The

IS.

* It was once remarked, (in a private conversation, at which the writer of this article was present,) by the lace Dr. Gregory Sharpe, master of the Temple, that " with some people, and in some couatries, miracles were not miraculous, since they were as common with them, as mackrel are with us, in gooseberry time.” 5

ketch

sketch now before us being materially the same, in a detached form, there is no reason for our enlarging on the subject at this time. Art. 50. The History of the Royal Circus, introductory to the Cafe

of Mr. Read, late Stage Manager of that Theatre. In a Letter to a Friend. 8vo.

pp. 138.

19. 6d. Parsons, &c. 1791. Nothing will probably tempt any uninterested person to peruse a narrative of this nature, but a curiosity to step behind the curtain, to see how matters are managed there. That person must be ftrangely at a loss for objects of attention, who can rake a part in the private disputes of proprietors and managers, quarrelling about the public as their property. The lawyers are busy among them, and will not leave them till they have exhausted the subject, and have reduced the contending parties to a state of quietism.

THEOLOGY and POLEMICAL. Art. 51. The Aged Chriftian's final Farewell to the World and its

Vanities. A pious Meditation, composed in the last Century, by that truly benevolent Patriot, and Compassionate Friend to the Poor Citizens of Bristol, John Whitson, Esq. Alderman of the said City, and Member in several Parliaments. Collected from the Author's Manuscripts. To which is prefixed, some Account of the Author, collected from authentic Records, by George Symes Catcott. 8vo. pp. 62. is. 60. Palmer, &c. in Brilol.

Though this be only the republication of a very old tract, and though, from its not appearing in London, it has for some time escaped our attention, yet it deserves notice, as well for the sake of the worthy writer, a distinguished merchant of Bristol, in the reign of James I. and a great benefactor to that city, as for the found sense and unaffected piety of his sentiments at the close of a well spent life, untainted with the growing fanaticism of that age. Art. 52. A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Landaff,

containing Remarks on his Lordship’s Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Landaff. 4to. Debrett.

1792. This letter-writer, who subscribes himself a Country Curate, expreffes his disapprobation of the opinions advanced by the Bishop of Landaff in his admirable Charge, and thinks that the oppor. tunity which his Lord ship took for conveying his opinions was an improper one. We, on the other hand, regard the sentiments ad. vanced by Dr. Watson as so just, liberal, and politic, that we are disposed to applaud him for embracing the earliest opportunity of inculcating them on his clergy. The Country Curate writes with the same good wishes toward the Establishment that actuated the Bifhop: but he does not seem to us to possess his Lord ship’s en. larged and penetrating mind.

For our account of the Bishop's Charge, to which this letter relates, fee Review for March last, p. 293. Art. 53. The Religious Principles of a Presbyterian, founded on his Knowledge of Nature, and prescribed Authorities.

6d. Robinson. 1792

There

IS.

There is an oddity of manner in this petit performance, united with good sense and liberality of sentiment. How far the account of Presbyterian principles will accord with those of our fellowsubjects of Scotland, and with their religious practices, we shall not pretend to determine. The author's ideas do not wholly correspond with their oftenfible creed, or, rather, perhaps, with their. confeffion. Meffrs, Pitt and Dundas, to whom this little morsel of divinity is immediately addressed, will, no doubt, peruse it with, edification and comfort ! Art. 54. Lectures on the Lord's Prager; with an Introductory Dir

course. By the Rev. Richard Taprell, of South Molton. 8vo.. pp. 373. gs. Boards. Dilly. 1792.

A courie of plain, serious, and affectionate, discourses, on those importanti fubjects which the Lord's Prayer fuggests, is here provided for the use of religious families. They appear to be composed with a strong sense of piety, and with a fincere defire of impressing on the minds of men 'the truths which concern their everlasting salvation. They are written on the orthodox system, and in a style which will afford little entertainment to the eleganc scholar : but they may be of use in impressing less cultivated minds with a convidion of the importance of religion. The work is introduced by a very singular dedication, : To the Father of Angels and men, the God of Universal Nature, Author of Grace and Giver of Glory.' Art. 55. A Liß of Books intended for the Use of the younger Clergy,

and other Students in Divinity, within the Diocese of Chelter. 8vo. PP. 51.

19. Rivingtons. 1791. The design of this publication will be best explained in the Right Reverend Editor's own words:

With regard to the distinguishing character of these books, my principal object has been in the two first classes to select such only as are most obviously employed in maintaining the fundamental do&rines of our faith, and in vindicating and illustrating the articles, rites, and ceremonies of the Church of England, avoiding carefully such as avowedly controvert those doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, or indire&tly oppose them.

• If to the philosophers of the present day, it should seem, that I with to narrow the grounds of liberal inquiry, and to prejudicare questions of imporcance, I beg it may be observed, that this list is intended for their use chiefly, who, upon a conviction already formed, have engaged, or are desirous to engage themselves " to preach the faith and discipline of the Church of England against all opposers."

I am not, it will be remembered, giving my directions or ad. vice upon the means and mode of acquiring this conviction, nor am I laying down the first principles and institutes of Divinity. They, who have been educated in an University, have neither wanted the means of information, nor the allítance requisite; and literate per

Wotton on the Method of ftudying Divinity, p. 14.' Rey. MAY 1792.

1

fons,

sons, who have not had these advantages, yet if they have any degree of attention to their duty, and any ability for the profession they are to undertake, cannot fail to have ftudied and compared with the doctrines of our creeds and articles, the Scriptures themselves.'

From this account of the list of books here recommended to the attention of young divines, it is pretty plain, that it can be of little service except to those who have made up their minds on matters of controversy; in doing which, surely, young divines ought not to be too hafty-for, why Thould we close up the inlets to knowlegelThe heads, under which the books are claffed, are, Practical and Pastoral Duties; Books of Devotion ; Religion in general; Reveal. ed Religion ;, the Scriptures; Comments on the Scriptures; Concordances, &c.; Doctrines; Creeds, Articles, Catechisms, Liturgy, and Sermons ; Sacraments and Rires ; Church of England; Eccle. fiaftical History and Law; the Chriftian Fathers, &c. Art. 56. A Letter to the Students in Divinity in the Diocese of Chester:

Occasioned by a late Publication of " A List of Books," with “ A Preface,” by the Bishop of Chester; and intended as a Suppiement to that Work. 8vo. pp. 23. 60. Johnson. 1792.

How Itrange is it, that a zealous Diocesan may not be permitted to provide his younger clergy with weapons for the defence of the orthodox faith, without being interrupted by the impertinent intrusion of a fe&tary, who lays open a new armory, plentifully furnished for its adversaries! Why should they be obliged, after hav. ing settled their creed, to hear of such names as Law, Jortio, and Watson, Lardner, Leland, Foster, Lindsey, and Priestley? Yet this self-instituted preceptor has the presumption to advise the younger clergy and other pudents in divinity within the diocese of Chelter, to do justice to themselves, and not to suffer their guides to take advantage of an early and premature determination. Art. 57. Concio ad Clerum in Synodo Provinciali Cantuarienfis Provinciæ,'

ad D. Pauli, Die 26° Novembris, A. D. 1790. Habita à Johanne Randolph, S.T.P. Ædis Chrifti Canonico, et S. Theologiæ apud Oxon. Profesore Regio. 4to. 15. Rivingtons. 1790.

The learned reader will meet, in this address to the clergy, or Latin fermon, from 2 Tim. iv. 5. with some admirable observations to which he will yield an immediate affent, and with others from which he will be disposed to with-hold boch his admiration and his acquiescence. Profeffor Randolph judicioully accounts for the corruptions of Christianity; and thews how, in different ages, it received a different complexion, from the taste and philosophical principles which happened to prevail. Every person, who is acquainted with the nature of the human mind, must accede to the remarks here offered respecting the difficulty of emancipating ourselves entirely from the influence of deeply rooted habits, and of long-cherished opinions, notwithstanding we discover them to be foolish and ab. sürd; and will perceive how satisfactorily they account for the errors of the first Christian converts. Qui eam si. e. Christianam fidem) excipiebant manifeftis divina authoritatis indiciis perculfi, ex priftinis erroribus et inveteratis opinionibus haud ftatim fefe expediebant. Erenim

difficile dificile eft, etiam tum cum maxime velis, et impenfiffimo Audio tentaveris, affuetam vitæ normam deponere, et novos habitus inducere : ipfi vite conversioni hæret aliqua antiga labis nuta.' P. 2. The difficulty of changing our habits of thinking, and the involuntary retrospect of the mind ro principles which we profess to renounce and strive to forget, are here exemplified in the case of Justin Martyr; who, though he rejected the philofophy which he once admired, and became a fincere and zealous Chriftian, could not emancipate him. self from the dominion of his former pursuits ; fo that Philosopbiam quam ultro reliquerat, oculo baud prorfus irretorto respexit,' P. 10. Hence we may account for Justin Martyr's passion for myr. ceries, and for his searching out meanings in texts remote from the literal interpretation; and hence from his Platonizing Christianity, (if we may be allowed the expression,) we may trace the origin of certain words and doctrines admitted into our creeds : but, to our astonishment, when Dr. Randolph was on the brink of this conclusion, he stops short, hangs back, and excepts from the force of his observations the only doctrine to which they most pertinently apply. His reason is curious : Juftin flourished fo near to the apoftolic age, that he scarcely could err : but if in one instance he could mistake the geouine sense of Scripture, and diverge into strange whims and fancies, why not in others? If he be admitted to have turned the tream of Platonism over the pages of the Gospel,'traces of its effects may be discoverable in various doctrines.

Professor Randolph compliments the present age on its philo. sophical discoveries, and on the diffofion of knowlege among all sanks of society: but he is apprehensive that the true doctrines of religion will suffer by it. He fears, we think, where no fear is. He offers it as his opinion, that there are some among us, the burthen of whose fong is destruction to church and flate. Eandem (Independentium) tamen nunc cantilenam canunt nonnulli, quibus omnis authoritas invifa eft, et quibus cordi eft bumi fernere et civilis et ecclefiaftica poteftatis fabricam.' P. 23. If this be true, we may well be alarmed ; and every clergy man and layman should say to his fel. Jow, Lù de sne: but does not Professor R. misrepresent the advocates for improving our system in church and itate as enemies to both ?-To improve is not to destroy, but to itrengthen. Art. 58. Sermons on Important Subjeets. With some Essays in

Poetry. By Niel Douglas, Minister of the Gospel at Cupar in Fife. 8vo.

PP. 508.

38.

Boards. Batton, Newington Causeway.

Though these sermons are not formed after the modern plan, they discover a considerable share of ability; and will doubtless be read with pleasure by those who approve the author's system. We trust, however, that among these not many will be found, who will not agree with us in thinking that his zeal for what he judges to be gospel cruth, has carried him beyond the bounds not only of propriery but of charity. Not contented with forcing the doctrine of the divinity of Christ into a sermon on numbering our days, and with declaiming against those who call in queition the truth of this doce

trine,

I 2

« PreviousContinue »