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with those who at that time claimed the denomination of orthodox, and he appears to have been an adept in that kind of divinity : but, which is far more important, he also appears carnestly folicitous to advance the true interest of his hearers. Learned and skilful he certainly was ; and we apprehend he acted con: formably to the noble dictates of virtue, integrity, and goodness.
We meet with one long letter on the subject of the Trinity, in which are a few singular things : but we particularly remark his declaration, that they, who believe the scriptures, agree, that, if it be not impossible, it is sufficiently revealed. Now the great stress of the objection, as to the present day at least, feems to rest here, that the scriptures, when fairly examined and candidly explained, contain no such revelation.
In another letter relative to diffenters from the church of England, we find a liberality of sentiment; and some intimations, if we mistake not, that established forms and customs might be considerably amended :--but who pleads for the infallibility of human ordinances ?
The editor of this volume concludes the account of his ancestor in this manner :
· Thus I have endeavoured to draw a likeness of the Doctor ja miniature ; nay, indeed, I have ftudied to make him his own biographer; thougb I know many people do not approve this method of writing lives, as not being sufficienıly didactic, oor admitting that favourable point of view in which most readers expect an editor to place his subject; yet, on the other hand, if it does not give a flattering likeness, it is more likely to give an exact one, as be. ing drawn from the original. But whether it be to or not, I leave to the connoiffeur to determine.'
We muft now take some notice of the sermons ; concerning which, however, we have not much to offer. They are of the old paritanical kind; they have an air of feriousness and earneftnefs adapted to engage attention and to accomplish good purpofes; they wear the marks of fenfe and.ingenuity in the author, and of his powers of persuasion; they prefent pertinent and useful observations, and fome that will not fail to strike the reader's mind with confiderable force: but the divisions are tedious, and at times obfcure; and the distinctions are nice, if not unfatisfactory or unintelligible, perplexed with schoJastic terms, and tindured with those notions of religion, and of the divine government, which, in these days, would be thought more likely to turn men from all care and concern about their duty to God, and their own safety, than to lead them to a wife and due degree of thougbtfulness and diligent endeavour to work out their own salvation,
It is rather curious, (how far it is instructive, let the reader determine,) to observe our author addreffing his audience in this manner :
• In a synthetical way, I might recommend to you in order subje&um, principia, et affeElus: but, to avoid the confufion of too many subdivisions, you may briefly observe these particulars in their order; Motor, Motio, Mobile, Motus, Via, et Terminus, (p. 85.) which agree exactly with the order of nature and the conftru&tion of words in the text.'
The text is, Draw me, we will run after thee *. There are other specimens of a like kind in the volume, (and which are also fpecimens of the fashion of preaching in those days,) but we think none so remarkable as this. Left we lould be deemed partial, we will here add a few lines which may be thought more worthy of a preacher, when he says,
• To profess religion towards God, and at the same time to walk dihonestly towards man, is to give ourselves the lie : " He that saith he loves God, and yet at the same time hateth his brother, is a liar.” It is a shame for men; while they would seem re. ligious, to fail in morality-while they would be thought eminent in grace, to come short of what even nature would teach them. To make great profession of religion, without producing fruit answerable thereunto, is much like the tree which Pliny ipeaks of, that had leaves as broad as a fhield, but fruit scarcely lo large as peas.'
Little narrations and allufions are occasionally and pertinently introduced: but though we meet with such practical remarks and exhortations as that which we have just given, the sermons, for the chief part, are rather of that fort which is termed doctrinal.
We agree with Mr. De Coetlogon, who writes a recommendatcry preface to this volume, that it contains the fentiments espoused by many, not all, of the Reformers; and that it certainly accords with that code of doctrine prescribed, by act of parliament, for teachers in the church of England: but when he declares his apprehension, that ignorance and absurdity alone can deny their concurrence with the Holy Scriptures, we cannot but withhold our affent, submit to Mr. De Coetlogon's censure, and rank with the ignorant and absurd, rather than subscribe to those representations of the Supreme administration, which appear to us, though not so intended, liable to the charge of profaneness.
We have already paid our willing tribute of respect and applause to the memory of Dr. Wallis : but though we esteem him, as wise and good, and respect him as an eminent, nay, a great mathematician, we must regard him as an indifferent logician in divinity, as far as any judgment can be formed * Canticles, chap. i. 4.
from these sermons; and for this defect we can easily account, from his being tied down to a system, the system of Calvinism, considered by numbers as the voice of Scripture and of God; and by which, therefore, they interpret the Bible.
The discourses, however, will prove acceptable to many readers; and from respect to the editor, as a descendant of Dr. Wallis, though unknown to us, we wish they may meet with a liberal reception from the public. It has been intimated to us, that he is in narrow circumstances, owing to his father having been difinherited from the Pynfent estate. This fact, when made known to the great family now in poffeffion of that estate, may possibly meet with attention :-may the result prove advantageous to him!
ART. XIX. Sketches and Hints of Church History, and Theological
Controversy, chiefly translated and abridged from modern foreign Writers. By John Erskine, D. D. one of the Ministers of
Edinburgh. 12mo. pp. 307. 35. Boards. Veroor. 1790. IN 'n Dr. Erskine's own words, the chief design of the fol
lowing sheets is to impart to others the entertainment and instruction which I have received from foreign writers, as to the history of the earliest ages of Christianity, and the prefent state of religion and theological controversy.' We approve the Doctor's design, and we commend his work; though we cannot compliment him on bis zeal for ecclefiaftical efta. blishments; nor conclude, as he in effect seems to do, that opinions must be right, because they have received the fanction of human authority. Neither can we perceive any real, nor probable, connection between some part of what is termed Armi. nian doctrine, or indeed Unitarian and Socinian principles, and the return and prevalence of Popery. We can more easily allow a danger of this kind, if a total want of real principle and piety Thould be prevalent, or when a spirit of mere dislipation, or ignorant zeal for what bears the name, though not the nature, of religion, are encouraged; and yet more if governors and statesmen are inclined to despotism ; when this is the case, they can find no engine better fitted to the purpose, than that which is furnilhed by superstitious tenets.
Among the extracts from German writers, (and German writers are principally quoted,) we find some accounts of the Ex-Jesuits, as they are called; particularly those who are said to be settled in great numbers under the protection of the Empress, in White Rusia: many connected with them, we are here informed, are spred under different characters, in all countries; and, in a variety of forms, inlinuate themselves into
and intermix with every class of society. If there be truth in this, it behoves the people to be on their guard.
To a mind of any difcernment, if not overwhelmed by bigotry and superstition, it must be astonishing to observe, (as we may in some parts of this volume,) the nonsense, folly, and blasphemy, which the priests of Popery have vended, even in later years, and it is yet more astonishing that such absurdities thould be received with any kind of patience : at the same time it may also occasion surprize, but of an agreeable and pleasing nature, to learn that many publications have appeared favour able to reason, truth, religion, and liberty; and that some of these have Roman Catholic authors. One memorable instance of the latter kind is afforded by Koltner, a Franciscan, who published a sermon at Vienna, replete with virtuous truth :-but, it is added, Koltner's honeft zeal has been rewarded with the Joss of his office as teacher of ecclesiastical law, and with perfecution.' Several of these relations are given, in a chapter of selections from Dr. Seiler's German Literary Journals, 1776 +1778.
Though this work is composed principally from foreign materials, yet to make extracts from a book of extraits, does not well accord with the nature of our Review ; beside which, some account of the originals have, in different ways, been offered to the public. We cannot, however, refrain from taking some notice of a translation from the Spanish, of GARCIAS's Guide to eternal happiness, concerning which we are gravely and wisely informed, that eight days religious recirement, and following the exercises here prescribed, will procure eight thousand degrees of grace and glory.'-Farther, among the pious emotions recommended, are thanks to God for damning Julian, Mabomet, Luther, and Calvin.'-An anonymous piece, by a Roman Catholic, printed at Francfort in 1784, contains many sensible remarks on ecclefiaftical imposition and craft :-among others, we notice the following short sentence: • Good fenfe has forced itself into palaces, and monarchs entertain just and liberal sentiments of the rights of mankind, and of the limits of religious zeal. But how long will this light thine ?'-If the remark be true, as we heartily wish it may be, we rejoice; we wish alto, and we would willingly hope, that it may long continue, and greatly in prove !-- We will just add to the above, a few lines of a remarkable passage from Helvetius de l'Homme, fect. 4. c. 21.- There is one only case, where toleration may be highly hurtful to a nation. Thác case is, when a nation tolerates an intolerant religion; and fuch a religion is the Catholic. When their religion becomes powertul, it will fned the blood of its thoughtlefs protectors, and as a
ferpent, poison the bofom which cherished it. The interest of German princes tempts them to Popery, as affording benencial offices to their families and friends. When they embrace Popery, they will constrain their subjects to embrace it also; and if for this purpose they must Thed human blood, human blood they will fhed.'
This little volume is chiefly confined to observations on the ancient and modern state of Christianity, &c. : but we meet with one short chapter on the poems of fian; in which the author infifts on a remarkable resemblance that the Song of the Bards over Cuchullin bears to the Lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan. The book concludes with an account of some different denominations of Christians in North America.
Art. XX. A Reply to the Rev. Dr. Prieftley's A; peal to the Public,
on the Subject of the late Riots at Birmingham, in Vindication of the Clergy and other respectable Inhabitants of the Towe. By the Rev. Edward Burn, M. A. 8vo. Pp. 125. 28. Baldwin.
1792. Audi vor alteram partem is the motto that Mr. Burn has chosen;
and to all controverfies, in which the pasions of men, as in the present instance, are excited into violent action, it may with the utmost propriety be prefixed. When our readers.confider how easily facts, or parts of facts, may be omitted, overlooked, or mil-ftated; and how differently different men, furveying the fame occurrences through media varioully coloured by their respective interests, habits, or prejudices, will describe and argue on them; they will perceive the neceflity of hearing oppofite ftatements, if they wish to acquire any accuracy of knowlege. Dr. Priestley, whose “ Appeal to the Public" we have already noticed *, and which, on the whole, must be allowed to do him credit, has been too great a fufferer by the Birmingham riots to be admitted as a calm and dispassionate historian. “Some natural tears," he may be supposed to have dropped on the recording page, and some portion of regret and resentment must have clung about his mind, which, in spite of all his philosophy and religious principles, may probably, at times, have seduced him from the path of folid evidence, found reasoning, and Christian çandour. With respect to the clergy, we apprehended that this was indeed the case, as we intimated in our Review of the “ Appeal ;" nor could we imagine that the party accurad would remain filent under the several charges
• See Monthly Review, Now Series, vol. vii. p. 286.