« PreviousContinue »
fiafts and dark defigning hyprocrites, who were deputed by Cromwell to fit in judgment on the minifters of the church of England, and infolently affumed the title of TRYERS. One object of their examination, as fpecified in their commiffion, was this;-Whether fuch or fuch minifters had the work of grace in their hearts ?" The names which fhone most illuftrioufly in this fpiritual committee were those of Stephen Marshall, Philip Nye, Jofeph Caryl; and above ail Hugh Peters! Their very names carrying ridicule with them; but at that time of day they were regarded with a reverence that bordered on adoration; and thofe mock difcerners of the Spirit were claffed in the very first rank of the excellent of the earth.
II. Preached in the Parish Church of Welfeby in Lincolnshire, October 3, 1779, by John Whitcombe, A. M. Rector of that Church, and Chaplain to Lord Milford. 4to. Is. Crowder.
This is a plain, ferious, and well-intended discourse on the advantages of the gospel difpenfation, and the obligations under which its profeffors are to exert their influence to promote its propagation. This fermon was preached in confequence of the letters lately addreffed by his Majefty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by his Grace to the Diocefan Bishops, &c. &c. for the purpose of fupporting, by fresh contributions, the millions of the Proteftant clergy into foreign parts, for the propagation of the gospel. The object is of importance, and Mr. Whitcombe is no mean advocate for its fuccefs. III.-Preached on the Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's Release from the Tower, at St. Mildreds, London, where fhe ftopped to hear Divine Service in her Way to the Palace. By the Rev. J. Montgomery, Chaplain to the 10th Infantry. 8vo. 6d. Dilly. A lively, fpirited difcourfe, but a little too inflated.
· IV. Univerfal Toleration recommended.-Preached at St. John's Church in Hackney, February 13, 1780. By Benjamin Choyce Sowden, 8vo. Is. Cadell.
This fermon, truly anfwers its title; and enforces, with folid arguments, and in good language, the ftriking expoftulation of St. Paul, "Who art thou that judgeft another man's fervant? To his own mafter he fiandeth or faileth.” The author treats of the late repeal of the penal statutes against the Papists. On this fubject he delivers his opinion with great candour and judgment, and from this part of his difcourfe we with pleasure prefent our readers with the following extracts. I am willing to hope, that few who now wish to protest against repealing thefe ftatures are acquainted with the feverity of the penalties they inflict. Thefe were, as an ingenious foreigner obferves, fo rigorous, though not profeffedly of the fanguinary kind, that they do all the injury that can be done in cold blood." In short, they were odious and deteftable; a difgrace to our ftatutes, and a reproach to our nation!
It will perhaps be faid, that thofe ftatutes, from the moderation of the times, would never have been exerted; but if this be true, why fhould they not be repealed? It can hardly be fuppofed that any would be fo entirely inconfiftent in their conduct as to petition Government against the abrogation of laws which they intended fhould never be carried into execution. Befides, until thefe acts were annulled, it was in the power of any contemptible informer to oblige the
magiftrate to enforce them in all their rigour; and as a late learned writer jully observes, it ought not to be left in the breaft of every merciless bigot, to drag down the vengeance of thofe occafional laws upon inoffenfive, though mistaken fubjects, in oppofition to the lenient inclinations of the magistrate, and to the deftruction of every principle of toleration and religious liberty."
V. Preached in the Church of St. Andrew's, Dublin, on Sunday the 6th of February, 1780, in aid of a charitable Fund for the Support of twelve Boys and cight Girls. By Thomas Campbell, LL.D. Publifhed for the Benefit of the Charity, 410, 1s. Dublin printed.
It appears that, beside the annual collection, the funds for the fup.port of this charity are only an eftate of twenty-four pounds a year, and a leafe of twenty pounds bequeathed by the late Colonel Paul, -which lease is on the eve of expiration; it therefore feems greatly to need the recommendation it receives from Dr. Campbell. His difcourfe from Matt. v. 48, is ingenious and fenable. Towards the close he obferves, a black and gloomy cloud has long hung over this, hitherto, unfortunate island. The numbers of our poor grew greater, as the means of relieving them grew lefs; public confidence failed, and yet our charity was not chilled; but our hands could not obey the warm dictates of our hearts. Thefe collections have of course, been every where fmaller, this feason, than in former years; but, happily, that alarming cloud is now difperfed, a political day-fpring hath vifited this land, public credit is already restored. Your barrel of meal will not walle, neither will your crufe of oil fail.' VI.-Preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, on the 25th of October, 1779; being the Anni erfary of his Ma jelly's Acceffion to the Throne. By James Williamson, A. M. Fellow of Her.ford College. 8vo. 1s. Dodfley.
After fpeaking of the advantages which he fuppofes attend hereditary fucceffion, the preacher proceeds to consider an objection which has been fometimes advanced, that the chritian religion is at variance with those principles by which human focieties are improved and brought to perfection.' The objection is ftated at length, in the words of Monf. Bayle; the answer is neceffarily more prolix, and after other remarks, fummed up in the following terms: On the whole it appears, that thofe who adopt Bayle's notion of our religion, have never attended to Our Saviour's prophetic character, and the circumftances and expectations of the Jews; and are moreover misled by not diftinguishing between the orders and directions given for propagating the Chritian religion, and the Chriftian religion itself, than which no two things can be more diftinct; for the visible kingdom of Satan muft - be abolished in any nation, before it can have the leaft pretenfions to call itfelf Chriftian and while this work was carrying on, the moft effectual aid which the pious Chriftian could lend must be derived from his prayers and works of charity. The strong holds of Satan were 100 well fortified to yield to the carnal weapons of human warfare. And the first chriftians were not nations of chriftians, but as fheep among wolves; and therefore a more than ordinary circumfpection would be - neceffary and as human focieties would not protect them, it was also neceffary that they should be conftantly looking for fupernatural pro
tection from God. But after this vifible kingdom of Satan was abolifhed by the extirpation of idol worship, human affairs, we may fuppofe, returned into their natural channel; and it is agreeable to the general plan of God's dealings with mankind, to lend them no farther fupernatural aid than what their circumstances abfolutely require. Other confiderations are added to remove the difficulty, of which our limits will not allow a particular notice. In the close of the discourse it is obferved, what great advantage Chriftianity affords for rendering government eafy and beneficial to mankind. One remark we cannot avoid inferting; It is impoffible, fays he, that a Christian King could employ any other than pious chriftians in places of trus and confequence.' If this be true, what opinion must we form of kings and courts, almoft if not entirely, throughout Christendom! VII. A Vifitation Sermon.-Preached at Truro, Cornwall, May 18th,
1779; with a PREFACE PREFIXED, and a Dedication to the Earl of Dartmouth. By Samuel Furly, B. A. late of Queen's College, Cambridge, 4to. Is. Dilly, &c.
This difcourfe will be highly acceptable to those who have learned to defpife the beggarly elements of human reason, and to value the doctrines of religion in proportion to the degree in which they are myfterious and incomprehenfible. By fuch readers the following paffage, though to the unenlightened it may appear little better than errant nonfenfe, will be thought peculiarly fublime and edifying:
The word of God, we are by no means backward to affert, is replete with myfteries fo exceeding high, fo very abftrufe, fo fuperlatively ftrange, that could the veil which now in part covers them be wholly removed, their extreme fplendour might be infupportable to the foul with its prefent faculties, imprisoned in thefe tenements of clay. If excefs of joy, if height of furprize has been found to overpower, even to inftant diffolution, fome perfons, it cannot be thought impoffible, but that man in this life may be under an incapacity to endure fuch an extacy, in which all the thoughts would be abfolutely abforbed.'
It would be very kind, if these favourites of heaven, who are permitted to take a peep behind the veil of myfteries, would, in condefcenfion to the common herd of ignorant mortals, more plainly declare the wonderful things they have feen; or that, in compaffion to our blindness, they would fay nothing of things which we cannot comprehend. VIII. The Example of Jefus in his Youth, recommended to Imitation.At St. Thomas's, January 1, 1780, for the Benefit of the CharitySchool in Gravel-lane, Southwark. By Andrew Kippis, D. Ď. F. R. S. and S. A. Printed at the Requeft of the Managers. 8vo. 6d. Goldney.
A plain, ferious, practical difcourfe, recommending the early cultivation of piety and virtue, from the acount which is given of Our Saviour's childhood by St. Luke, ii. 52.
IX. The Perfection of the Chriftian's Character,-Confifting particu. larly in Sincerity, Uniformity, Progreffion, Comfort, Agreement and Peace. Preached at the Meeting-houfe in Barbican, May the 6th, 1779, before the Affembly of Proteftant Denters of the
General Baptift Denomination. By James Walder. Svo. 6d. Buckland, 1779.
There is a pleafing fimplicity and plainnefs of fpeech in this dif courfe. The truths it recommends are of the greatest importance, and they are recommended in a manner which appears to indicate the integrity, piety, and benevolence, of the man who pleads in their favour. His text is 2 Cor. xiii. 11. In his advertisement prefixed, he afferts the right which every man has to make choice of and profess what religion he pleafes, and to worship the fupreme Father Almighty in what way and manner he thinks most acceptable to him, without the controul or interruption of any civil power whatever. Yet, fays he, I cannot omit this opportunity of expreffing my fincere gratitude and thanks to the worthy members of the British Parliament, for the relief granted to Diffenting Minifters by the late act, which I rejoice in as a great enlargement of religious liberty. The declaration, annexed to the bill, I can readily fubfcribe, not as believing or acknowledging the magiftrate's right to demand it, but as believing the matter and fubflance of the declaration to be true.'
X. Preached in the Parish Church of Richmond in Surrey, Feb. 4,
1780, being the Day appointed for a General Faft. By Thomas Wakefield, A. B. Minister of Richmond. 4to. Is. Davenhill. This is tolerably well written, and appears to be the production of a mind that is impreffed with pious and patriotic principles, and wishes to extend the good influence of them amongst his parishioners, to whom this difcourfe is infcribed, and who honoured it with their approbation.
The letter from Mr. C. G. of Penrith is acknowledged. We would not have the Writer give himself the trouble to fend the book mentioned in his letter; when we fee it advertised for fale, it will fall into our hands in course.
++ The Gentleman who fent his Proposals for printing by Subfcription, a volume of Efays, Letters, &c. did not, perhaps, know, that all advertisements printed on the Covers of the Review, are to be paid for; and that they are fubjected to the duty, in the fame manner with those that are inferted in the news-papers.
ttt We are obliged to G. H. for his information concerning the first edition of the "Effay towards attaining a true Idea of the Character, &c. of King Charles I." of which an account was given in our last. We had recollected the original publication, in 1748, before the receipt of our Correfpondent's letter; and we can, in return for his favour, inform G. H. that the Eay, &c. is generally supposed to have been the work of a celebrated writer among the Diffenters at Exeter.
ART. I. The Dramatic Works of Beaumont and Fletcher; collated with all the former Editions, and corrected, with Notes critical and explanatory, by various Commentators and adorned with Fifty-four original Engravings. In Ten Volumes. 8vo. 31. in Boards. Printed by Sherlock, and fold by Evans.
N our remarks on the tragedy of Bonduca, we hinted our approbation of the prefent edition of Beaumont and Fletcher. On a more particular examination of its merit, we are by no means dispos ed, either from a fenfe of juftice, or from a lefs worthy motive, to retract the opinion we have formerly given of it. That opinion, indeed, was only delivered in a tranfient way, and in very general terms. We shall now attempt to justify it by a more particular inveftigation of the genius and writings of the Authors, and of the refpective merits of their several Editors.
The rank which Beaumont and Fletcher ought to hold in the dramatic line hath been long adjusted. The decifion hath been made by time itself, which never fails to fettle all claims, by an impartiality which cannot be queftioned, and by an authority from which there lies no appeal. Friendship that was unwilling, or ignorance that was unable, to fee objects in their true light, exalted thefe bards to the very fummit of poetic excellence, and, by a partiality that was equally abfurd and invidious, placed even Shakefpear himself below them. Their poetical encomiafts lavished on them more applause than the fublimeft genius ever merited: and, in the rage of panegy. ric, exhausted their invention for hyperbole.
One of Fletcher's panegyrifts fays, that
His fcenes were acts, and every act a play.'
If this hyperbole had been carried as far as it would go, the author might with equal propriety have faid, that each fentence was a scene, and every word a sentence!
Beaumont and Fletcher, though reduced from the rank to which they had been exalted by the partiality of their injudicious friends, or the envy of Shakespear's enemies, must be confidered as writers