Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

ercised in endeavouring to arrive at that excellency, than in affigning the causes for which all the industry of fucceeding ages has hitherto attempted it in vain. In the treatise now before us, a great variety of these causes is enumerated: amongst others, that which is principally infifted upon, is the great efteem in which the arts were held throughout Greece, and the honours conferred by the public upon those who had eminently cultivated them. On this fubject the author has the following paragraph.

It is obferved, to the honour of the English nation, by foreigners, that we mix the ashes and monuments of our men of letters with thofe of our princes, and that there has been an example or two of literary merit raising perfons of obfcure beginnings, to fome of the first offices of the ftate. But inftances fo rare, give no great encouragement either to parents and guardians, or the youths under their care. What can be the avail of the remote inftances of the extraordinary advancement of a poet or two, opposed to the innumerable ones of amazing fuccefs in profeffions and trades, of which they must be eye-witneffes? As to the matter of public emoluments, it is too near a literal truth, that we first starved half those poets whofe ashes we afterwards honoured with them.'

The Greek fuperftition, and the cuftom of dedicating a tenth, or at least a large proportion of the spoils of war, to the building and ornamenting of temples, and other religious uses, were likewife favourable to the arts; as they furnished frequent employment to the architect, the painter, and the fculptor. But one of the most powerful caufes of the fuccessful cultivation and advancement of the imitative arts in Greece, and which is overlooked by our author, was, no doubt, the opportunities that were almoft conftantly enjoyed, of viewing the youth of both fexes naked, at dancing, and the gymnastic exercifes; and of copying, from nature, the most beautiful and perfect models of fynmetry, grace, and form. As to the opinion that a republican government is the moft aufpicious to the polite arts, in general; we think it has no juft foundation, except with regard to the literary; fuch as hiftory, poetry, and oratory; which require as much freedom of fentiment, as force of imagination.

28. Confiderations on the propofed Application to his Majesty and to Parliament, for the Eflablishment of a Licenfed Theatre in Edinburgh. 8vo. Pr. 3d. Dilly.

These fenfible well-intended confiderations come too late; for, if we mistake not, the application which they oppofe, has actually taken place. We cannot, however, help thinking, that

there

there is a wide difference between London and Edinburgh. The former, with its environs, do not, at prefent, contain fo few as a million of inhabitants; a number that may spare fix or feven hundred madmen for a playhouse-riot conveniently enough, without being greatly miffed from the bulk of the whole; but the cafe is very different with Edinburgh; for if Mr, Maitland's calculation is juft, it does not contain above fifty-four or fifty-fix thousand inhabitants, and fix or feven hundred madmen must cut deep into fuch a number,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The above reflection arofe from the accounts we have had in the papers of the progrefs which the Edinburgh bucks and bloods have made in play-house rioting, even to the equalling, if not exceeding, thofe of London. A great part of this pious author's purpose may be answered by the vigilance and vigour of the civil magistrates, whose powers, we understand, are far greater there, than they are in London. Upon the whole, we fee no reason for a total and indiscriminate prohibition of play-houses even in Edinburgh; but what was urged by Mahomet in pro- hibiting his followers from tafting wine, because there may be very bad confequences from intoxication, tho' there can be none in abstinence,

29. Short Animadverfions. Addreffed to the Reverend Author of a late Pamphlet, intitled, the Practice of Inoculation juftified. 8vo, Pr. Is. Bladon.

The writer to whom thefe Animadverfions are addreffed is the Rev. Mr. Hn, lately known by his publications, his advertifements, and his connections. No one that has feen his dif courfe in defence of inoculation, with its curious appendages, will be furprized to find that his malapertnefs is chaftifed. These remarks are fevere, but not more fo than he had reason, to expect. They are chiefly intended to anfwer his letter to Mr. Pine, which, it must be confeffed, is fuch a piece of spleen and petulance, even fuppofing it to be due, as ought not to have been published with a discourse from the pulpit, but configned to everlasting oblivion, for the fake of that character which it is incumbent on the author to fupport.

30. An Appendix to the Hiftory of the Life of Cardinal Pole: ruith Some Remarks on the chief Objections which have been made to it. 4to. Pr. 21. Dodsley.

[ocr errors]

We can confider this publication in no other light than as an infult, as well as impofition, upon the people of England. It is ushered in by a kind of differtation upon the fenfe in which the council of Trent has declared the

[ocr errors]

Latin Vulgate edition of the Scripture to be authentic. This piece contains nothing but vague encomiums upon the council of Trent and its members, who must be equally def picable and detestable to every man who dares to think for himfelf in matters, we will not fay of religion, but, of learning. The ftale apology which the author makes for that pack'd affembly having declared the Vulgate edition of the Scriptures to be authentic, is, because the Greek and Hebrew originals required no fuch declaration.

As to the additions to the Hiftory of cardinal Pole, they confift only of two pages and a half, and contain nothing new, or indeed of the fmalleft importance to the fubject, being extracts from well known books; and therefore are evidently intended to ferve the purposes of a catchpenny.

The remarks on the principal objections which have been' made to the life of cardinal Pole, deferve the fame character, fince not a fingle objection against that performance is attempted to be answered; and the author has been reduced to meer declamation, as well as to justify himself by fcriptural authorities which have been repeatedly refuted, when brought as arguments for papists refiding in this proteftant country.

The last number of this Appendix contains corrections of the errors of the Prefs, and other mistakes, the greater part of which the editor acknowledges have been already rectified in a fecond edition. What pity it is that fuch literary impofitions are not punishable by law, without infringing the liberty of the prefs! 31. An Addrefs to the Thoughtless, the Careless, and the profane Natives of Great-Britain; more efpecially thofe of this City and Neighbour bood. 8vo. Pr. Three Half-pence. Printed at Edinburgh, and fold by Dilly.

Not

This addrefs, we are told, is extracted from a fermon preached by the Rev. Mr. Samuel Walker, of Truro, in Cornwall, on occafion of the death of a young man, who was drowned in bathing; and that it is deemed no improper prefent for those whofe eyes are blinded by the fascinations of fin and Satan. withstanding this declaration, we cannot think that the reverend author's eloquence is powerful enough to break the enchantment. 32. A Second Part of Annotations, Critical and Grammatical, on St. John's Gospel, reaching to the End of the third Chapter. By James Merrick, M. A. late Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. 8vo. Pr. 25. Newbery.

It is the opinion of this ingenious and judicious writer, that the most eafy and agreeable method of learning the phrases and idioms of the Greek language is, by comparing the lefs com

mon

món conftructions and expreffions of the New Testament with the parallel forms of speech that occur in the heathen writers.

[ocr errors]

He has therefore endeavoured to supply the young student with a confiderable stock of materials for this purpofe; to take notice of the forms o conftruction in St. John's Gospel. that are likely to appear difficult to the learner; and to offer fuch explanations as the remarks of preceding commentators and his own obfervations have enabled him to make.

Hitherto he has only proceeded to the end of the third chapter; but we hope he will continue this useful work, as he seems to execute it with great accuracy and judgment *.

33. The Paftor's Sentiments of Heart laid before bis Flock. Being the Subftance of a Confeffion of Faith publickly delivered on Thurfday, September 18, 1766, at the Meeting-Houfe in Black'sField's, Southwark. By John Langford. 8vo. Pr. 6d. Cooke, In this publication the pious author informs us, how the good people belonging to the Meeting-Houfe in Black's-Fields fought the direction of the Lord in the choice of a paftor; how the Lord answered the cries of his pleading faints; how the faid John Langford was invited to undertake the care of their fouls; how he was ftaggered when he confidered that he was but a babe in grace; how the Lord led him on, enabled him to be faithful by a conftant fupply of his fpirit, and remarkably blessed his attempts for the comfort and establishment of the faints.

This account he has prefixed to his confeffion, in hopes, he fays, that it may prove a means to lead the dear flock, committed to his charge, to review the Lord's dealings with them, as likewise to cause them to cry out with admiration, What bath God wrought!A glorious difpenfation, without doubt, in the call of John Langford !

*See a farther account of this work, Vol. xviii. p. 462. Mr. Merrick has taken notice of our remarks, but he feems to have placed one of them in a light fomething different from what we intended: He intimates that we have said, ' that, as it was necessary to exprefs new ideas by new language, the truths revealed in the Gospel have been delivered in terms not to be fought for in heathen writers;' whereas our obfervation is as follows. The Scriptures are books of a fingular kind, containing a system of doctrines and fentiments which never entered into the imagination of any heathen writer. Many important terms and phrases are therefore used by the Evangelifts and 'Apostles, in a fense which is very remote from the purpose to which they are applied by the claffic authors; and their meaning is only to be ascertained by confidering the context, and those paffages in Scripture in which the fame expreffions occur.' The truth of this obfervation to us appears inconteftible.

In his principles Mr. Langford is a Calvinift; his confeffion is accompanied with an abundance of citations from the Old and New Teftament; and the propriety of their application we cannot dispute without impiety, if we really believe what he fays, that the hand of the Lord evidently fuperintended this important affair from first to laft.'

34. A brief Summary of what we ought to believe and practise, in order to our everlafling Salvation and Happiness. By Way of Question and Anfwer. By John Wigmore, Vicar of Farnham, in Surry. 12mo. Pr. 6d. Sold by S. Crowder, in London aud J. Cook, at Farnham.

This little work is very properly calculated for children. It is concife, clear, and fenfible. Every article is explained and proved by the principles of reason, and not from Scripture only,

as is ufual in other books of this nature.

35. A Catechifm of the Church of England briefly explained. By John Wigmore, Vicar of Farnham, in Surry. 12mo. Pr. 6d. Sold by S. Crowder, in London; and J. Cook, at Farnham. For the character of this performance fee the foregoing article.

36. An Apology for the Church of England; in a Discourse delivered in the Abbey Church at Bath, on Trinity Sunday, May 25, 1766. By Jofeph Parfons, M. A. 410. Pr. 15. Rivington. In this discourse the author very feasonably and properly reprefents the excellency of our ecclefiaftical conftitution and mode of worship; and the abfurdity of deferting the church, undeṛ pretence of reformation and purer godliness.

His arguments are chiefly levelled against the Methodists..

37. A Sermon preached at Stockton upon Tees, on Sunday, September 14, 1766, for the Benefit of the poor Children belonging to that Parish, by William Cooper, M. A. Rector of KirbyWifke, in Yorkshire. 410. Pr. 15. Becket.

In this difcourfe Mr. Cooper has treated his fubject in a very agreeable manner. His fentiments are rational ; his language pure and perfpicuous.

38. Dorando. A Spanish Tale. 8vo. Pr. Is.

Wilkie.

This is a most contemptible pamphlet, and alludes, though in a very imperfect and unfair manner, to the great caufe about the fucceffion of the Douglas eftate, which has been fo long the object of public expectation. Contemptible, however, as it may feem, it has been rendered of importance by the judicatory which decided the cause having taken into custody the publishers, which is all the merit we think it poffeffed of.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »