Page images

Writer, we read with some pleasure, the account he gives of the harmony which fubfiits not merely in his own immediate flock, but in the town of Huil; and 'which,' he says, ' I trust, is more than the shadow of ceremony, or the sound of report.'

SCHOOL-BOOK. Art. 44. A complete System of Practical Arithmetic, and Three

Forms of Book-keeping : The Two first of which are opoo a more useful Plan for Retail Trade than any extant, and the last by Double Entry. By William Hedley, Mathematician. i zmo, 2 s. 6 d. Newcastle upon Tyne printed, by Saint. Sold by Macgowan ia Paternoster. Row, London. 1779.

We recollect to have heard it repeatedly asserted by a Master Reviewer (not our own), that he' never met with a mathematician who knew any thing of fine language.” To the same purport, though not in such direct terms, we recollect an expression of the famous john James Rouleau: his words, as near as we can remember, are, none but blockheads and geometricians write without epit bets." To convince the latter, if he had fortunately been living to be convinced, that there are mathematicians (for all geometers are mathematicians) who do not write without epithets; and to ftrike the former gentleman dumb for ever (on this subject), we bring forward into public view Mr. William Hedley, of Cambo, mathematician ; who, in the preface to this COMPLETE System of Praétical Arithmetic, thus writeth ;

• Apologies for fwelling the number of such publications are per culiar to the generality of authors, both ancient and modern; and conformable to the prevalence of custom, it will be natural from fo imdibed a fahion, to expect, and even be deemed necessary, that this treatise Thould be ushered into the world in the same hackney'd fere pentine alleys of its predecessors.

But from what source ariseth apologizing inevitable, when conscious the undertaking rests upon the basis of public weal, unprejudiced by principle or pecuniary expectations ?

Such is the motive of my inducement ; yet notwithstanding the jullness of the persuasion, I am well aware that it will sink far beneath the fummit of perfection (an elevated precipice the most ambitious cannot attain) in the eyes of the judicious; but particularly fo to those whose misfortune it is to be the possessors of a lens incapable of displaying the objects of their fellow-labourers in any other light but deformity.'

I', after reading this extract, there remain any Reviewers (maffers or men, no matter which) who yet doubt that mathematicians use epithets, and can, when occafions require it, write fine language, may they be obliged to read not only Mr. Hedley's preface, but also his Complete Syltem of Praclical Arithmetic, and Three Forms of Book-keeping, Walte. Book, Journal, &c. quite through, even to the last page of his Ledger by Double Entry; where they will find • Balance D to spontaneous Farm for value remaining 18.01.'

The Complete System of Practical Arithmetic is chiefly made up of the “ Threds and clippings" of other completa syftems which have been formerly ushered in, in the same hackney'd ferpentine alleys' with itself. We speak not this out of any disrespect to the modern method of making books with scissars and palte, initead of pens and ink: very good books may have been made by this method ; and fo, perhaps, might a very good book of arithmetic, provided the clippings were done with frill, and the shreds collected with judgment: but we are sorry to add, Mr. Hedley mut neither clip nor select

for us.

As to his three forms of book-keeping, it will be suficient to ob. ferve, that sometime ago the author of a book of arithmetic, for the use of schools, wanting a pretence for adding fix-pence to the price of his book, bethought him of putting a form of book-keeping at the end of it; foon after another author adds two to his publication : and Mr. Hedley, that he might exceed all who have gone before him, has added three.

SERMONS on the late GENERAL FAST, Feb. 4, 1780. I. Preached before the University of Cambridge. By Richard

Watson, D. D. F.R.S. Regius Professor of Divinity in that Univerlity. 4to. is. Rivington, &c.

We give the precedence to this discourse, because, from the peculiar excellence of the Author's sentiments, and the force and elegance of his language, we think it intitled to this diftinction.- We here behold che manly freedom and resolution of the honest Briton, fo admirably blended with the moderation and piety of the good Chriftian, that while we are animated by the spirit of the one, we are improved by the principles of the other. The learned and ingenious Professor deals not in that strain of loose and empty declamation, so common on such occasions. He does not facrifice ienfe to found; nor fupply the want of argument by the abundance of metaphor. He delivers his opinion with a decency which does credit to his manners, and with a firmness which is confiftent wiih integrity. An ancient Roman would have applauded his zeal; and a primitive Christian would have acknowledged the juftness of it. He haih not funk religion into politics : he hath founded politics on religion. In a word, for dignity and liberality of sentiment-for energy and perspicuity of language-and for an unaffected spirit of honesty and plain-heartedness, which inspires the whole, we, without hesitation, rank this discourse in the first clafs of pulpit productions,

We think the following quotations will please all but the slaves of a corrupt state, who, under the pretence of national glory, will fa. crifice every duty of common justice and general benevolence; though, indeed, national good is only the pretence, the real motive is private interest.

The councils of princes are usually governed, either by the princes themselves, or by a few individuals of their own appointment, who being in most countries free from human animadversion, and the fear of punilhment, too frequently suppose themselves superior to all controul. Men of this itamp, if they do not look upon religion as a human contrivance, invented by ftatesmen to keep the ignorant in awe, are apt to consider its influence as limited by the concerns of private life, The prosperity of the state, or, which is with them, the same thing, the gratification of their ambition, or any other passion, they think, may be prosecuted by all possible means. In public transactions they acknowledge no justice but what Springs from utility, and is regulated thereby. The fanctity of treaties is despised: guaranties are broken as soon as made: and they consider him as a sorry politician indeed, who expects that any nation will adhere to its engagements longer than while it is their interest not to break them. There can be no doubt, that individuals profelling principles such as these are not Christians. They may be potent princes; experienced statesmen; able generals :--but they are not Christians. Chriftianity, in its regards, Iteps beyond the narrow bounds of national advantage in queit of universal good. It doth not encourage particular patriotism in opposition to general benignity; or prompt us to love our country at the expence of our integrity; or allow us to indulge our pagions to the detriment of thousands. It looks upon all the human race as children of the same father, and wishes them equal bleflings :-in ordering us to do good; to love as brethren; to forgive injuries; and to itudy peace. It quite annihilates the disposition for martial glory, and utterly debases the pomp of war.


It is not here in Gouated, that a nation of Chriftians is bound to give way to the depredations of an unjust invader. That would not be doing good, but harm. It would be encouraging the wicked to oppress che innocent. But though the right of just defence be certainly allowed us, upon the principles of Christianity, yet woe be to that man who puts us to the necesity of using ic!-who, from motives of pride, ambition, interest, or resentment, commences, or carries on an unjust war! He may chance to meet with the favour of bis prince; be extolled by his fellow.citizens; admired by surrounding nations; yet muft he answer for his conduct at a tribunal, where princes cannot protect him, nor the praises of the people follow him; por reasons and necellities of state, much less prejudices and pasions, be urged in his defence. Divested of the pride of office, and the insolence of power, he must there stand a desolated, unprotected in. dividual. The tears of the widow and the orphan will be produced againit him, and the blood of thousands will cry aloud for vengeance.

• There is scarcely a court or council in Europe, in which private interest has not made shipwreck of men's consciences. This is a fore evil every where, beyond the example of former times. It is said to be a national evil amongst ourselves: and on a day, such as this, when we confess a nation's fins, want of political principles should not be overlooked. I mean not to offend any party : but if truth can be offensive, I fear not in speaking truth to offend them all. He, who from apprehension or expectation, from gratitude or resentment, or from any other worldly motive, speaks or acts contrary to his decided judgment, in supporting or oppoäng any particular system of politics, is guilty of a great fin, the consequences of which no worldly interest can compenlate.'- Probity is a uniform principle: it cannot be put on in our private closet, and put off in the councilchamber, or the senate. And it is no inconfiderable part of probity to speak, as occasion offers, with boldness, and to act with firmness, according to che dictates of conscience. Did all men do chis, which it is unquestionably each man’s especial duty to do, and which, but for some dirty prospect of intereit, every man would do, the world would be much better than it is. He who acts contrary to convic

tion as a public man, let him boast what he will of his integrity as a private man, fill he is not the honest man he ought to be if he doubts the assertion let him lay his hand on his heart :- it will throb with conscious Thame, and tell him it is true.'

We have made larger extracts from this sermon, than we are accustomed to do from a single discourse. Their excellence and pro. priety will be our best apology. il. Preached before the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the Abbey

Church, Westminster, By John Lord Bishop of St. David's. 4to. 1S. Davis,

This sermon bears few traces of profound judgment, and discovers very little skill in composition. It is calculated to flatter the haughtiness of authority. The rest is nought but what might have been the production of any Curate in his Lorathip's diocese-a loose, general, and indefinite harangue on the trite topics of fin and reformation : -rebellion and loyalty ! III. Preached before the Honourable House of Commons, at the

Church of St. Margaret's, Weftminster. By George Horne, D.D. President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majelty. 4to. is. Rivington.

Dr. Horne is an ingenious writer ; and his sermons abound with the beauties of sentiment and language. He is, however, too much inclined to a mystic method of interpretation ; and he frequently pays bis orthodoxy a very poor compliment, by seeking a refuge for it in allegory, when it loses its support in plain scripture, and common sense. If we had not known Dr. Horne to be a church man at all points, we should have suspected that he had been indebted for many of his Scripture allusions to the Presbyterian sermons preached before the Parliament, in the last century. Their political principles, indeed, are quite at variance with each other : but their theological sentiments have a very near affinity: and references to the Old Tettament-to Lot and Affur; to Israel and Reuben; are as common with the one as with the other.

Bus Dr. Horne might have dealt in mystery and metaphor, if his fancy had led him to an amusement of that sort. We mighc have smiled at seeing a grave divine playing with texts of Scripture before the House of Commons. But we think the Doctor had something worse than a play toy in his head, when he penned and delivered the following paragraph.

• He (viz. Jehovah] looketh on all the inhabitants of this land, and considereth all THEIR works. And when he chus lookech, what doch he behold! He beholdeth

the faith once des livered to the saints, deserted for the dregs of Socinianism ;-a set of men, ftyling themselves philosophers, wantoning in all the paradoxical absurdities of scepticism, leaving us, between them, neither matter nor Spirit, neither body nor soul, and doing their beit en deavours in their lives, and after their deaths, to render us a nation literally " without God in the world.”

This jingling and affected allufion to Dr. Priestley is equally uncandid and unjuft. Styling themselves philosophers!' No, Mr. President! the Doctor never assumed the title. All Europe bath given it to bim. Leaying neither matter nor spirit !' He bath left what will effe&tually answer every purpose of the Gospel. He hath left man, whatever he may be composed of, in the hands of the God who created him out of Bothing :-he bath left him to be judged by the everlaliing Gospel at the Great Day, when his “ corruprible Thall put on incorruption, and his mortal be clothed with immortality.” IV. Preached in the Cathedral, Canterbury. By the Honourable


and Rev. James Cornwallis, LL. D. Dean of Canterbury. 4to. 6d. Robion.

A serious and candid discourse, containing many just and pious reflections on the interpofition of divine Providence, in the various revolucions of states and empires. The text, as well as the occasion, led immediately to such reflections. Job xii. ver. 23. "He encreatech the nations and destroyeth them : be enlargesh the nations and Itraiteneth them again." The following remarks are ingenious and pertinenc. " Amudit the universal centures upon our enemies, we are not to forget our own situation, or be blind to our own failings: and peiher the fiagrancy of their public offences, for the Atriking licentiousness of their manners, ought, in the smallest degree, to thake our belief in the Supreme Governor of the world. These, their in quities, do not at all lefsen the probability of their being ernployed as instruments to humble us. The Babylonians, at the time of the Jewish captivity, were inferior to the Jews in morality; and the most horrid and unparalleled crimes ftain the annals of the Romans, about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem But as these events had been foretold, there can be no room for thinking that they were not directed by the immediate hand of God. They evidently were so. To the Jews much had been given, and of them, therefore, the more was required. The application of these refiections to our own country, privileged to fo high a degree, is obvious and striking V. National Dipravity, obe Cause and Mark of Divine Judgment apor

a Land, &c. from Luke xiii. 3. By Benjamin Dawfon, LL. D. Rector of Burgh, in Suffolk. 4to. 6 d, Wilkie.

Contains some good observations on the propensity, too common with mankind, to conclude from particular events, that great fufferings are the immediate coniequences of divine judgments. The conclusion, when it relates to individuals, is generally the effect of ignorance, bigotry, and personal hatred. After guarding his hearers, according to the example of our Saviour, in the verses which precede the text, against rash and uncharitable judgment, the Doce for observes, that though we have no righc to pronounce whet, and on wkom, the judgments of God are brought from any calamities that beral others, yet that fin and wickedness tend to bring them upon a land and nation, and that the text shews us, io a very awful declaration, how afiliative vilitations of heaven thould aflect us, and be improved by us.—". Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perith.”

The concluding part of this discourse is less of a pratical, and more of a political nature. Neither the church nor ihe state (i. e. as they nozu are) will conclude much on the Doctor's orthodoxy. In a note, he makes an apology for the freedom he hath taken with the latter in this discoufe. The persons the most ready to make a com

« PreviousContinue »