Imágenes de páginas

place of the fracture: and in this cafe the use of the mercurial ointment was equally fuccefsful.

ART. III. Letters concerning the prefent State of England, particularly refpelling Politics, Arts, Manners, and Literature of the Times,


N a former number of our Review, we gave a general ac None of the prefent publication; and while we cenfured it

as defective on topics which have a relation to taste; we could not but exprefs our approbation of what the author has offered on politics and government. It remains, that we now lay before our readers what we have farther to observe concerning it :

On the subjects of trade, agriculture, and manufactures, this writer has hazarded various oberfvations, which are fingular and lively; but, in general, they are little fupported by expe rience or argument. Take for example the following position, which he delivers with a moft dogmatical air: The very ex iftence of a people proves, that they have agriculture." Our author has furely never enquired into the earlier history of nations; if he had, he would have obferved, that men in the form of communities and tribes have actually fubfifted during ages, without being acquainted with any thing that deferves the name of agriculture. Even at this day fome tribes in America fubfift folely by hunting and fishing; and the ancient hiftorians, when they treat of the original inhabitants of Gaul and Germany, uniformly maintain, that they fupported themfelves by the fame methods. The age of agriculture is in every country preceded by the age of hunters and fifhers, and is fucceeded by what philofophers denominate the age of civilization and refinement. A multitude of fimilar inaccuracies occur in this performance, and render the perufal of it dangerous to the generality of readers.

The following extract, added to our former fpecimens, will give our Readers a fufficient idea of this Author's manner:

How, fays he, are we fo to harmonize agriculture, manufactures, commerce and population, as to make them most beneficial to the collective interefts of the ftate? This I think is the question, and it appears clearly enough from thefe difquifitions, that the national good requires that conduct which will bring, not the greatest and quickeft degree of what is commonly called profperity, but the greatest durability of the prefent advantages enjoyed by a people: but remember that I keep clear in this enquiry of the revolutions of the conftitution, because good government is a bleffing, greater than that of all others; but we very well know, that great riches are better formed to deftroy than improve a conftitution.

April, p. 438.


Here then the just conduct is explained: give whatever encouragement you please to agriculture, you will never thereby make the kingdom too rich; nor occafion too quick a rise; and all the population you create is independant on the changes of trade or foreign affairs, and can in no refpect prove burthenfome to the community. Confine manufactures to the fatisfying that confumption which is certain, which is your own; but the moment you become manufacturers of foreign commodities, and for foreign markets, you lay the foundations of that quick rife and wealth, which is fure foon to come tumbling down. Trade fhould grow out of agriculture and manufactures, and be regulated by them; it will then never become fo great and infecure as that of Holland has proved. Population depends on the three preceding; the people bred by fuch regulated interests, will be in proportion to their certain employment; induftry can never decline, nor population be burthenfome.-No fchemes or plans of conduct fhould be adopted for increafing the people, which are always pernicious; that increase fhould grow out of their employment naturally and regularly nothing but the height of folly could produce the idea of forcing thefe matters by naturalization bills: no country fhould have more people than is found in it: because more not being found, is proof fufficient that the number is proportioned to the food, wealth, induftry, and other circumstances. When the population of a country declines, it ought to decline, and bringing over foreigners only accelerates the evil; nothing can poffioly increase it but an increase of industry; but while that is falling, to think of making population rife, is to fight against nature.

The true harmony is to make agriculture flourishing enough to fupport your own people: to make manufactures fubfervient to the demand of your own people: and commerce proportioned to agriculture and manufactures: thefe, fo provided, population to be left to itself.

'A conduct very contrary to this has been the fashion of late years throughout all Europe; and the quick progress of the power of England has been chiefly owing to a different fyftem: this forms no found reafon against the preceding ideas; for I have admitted, that the plan here laid down is not formed for a quick progrefs in power, but for a durability of profperity. As the practice of the age is fo very different, it will not be improper to enquire into the probable confequences on the affairs of Great Britain.

We have attained to an amazing height of wealth and power, and with it have burthened the kingdom with a population much greater than we fhould know what to do with, in cafe of a reverse of fortune; and we have not only run in debt to an amazing degree, but also fet an example of profusion to


all future adminiftrations, which will in all probability have moft speedy and wonderful effects in increafing fuch incumbrances; which, however rich the kingdom is, muft undoubtedly end in Bankruptcy: I have in a former letter fhewed, that the kingdom may fupport, this debt vaftly increased, and even rife like a phoenix out of the ruins of it: no one can say that this is not poffible, but at the fame time it depends on a fortunate conjuncture, and various advantages centering in one point. So that there is no reason to wish for the experiment.

Whatever may be the event, the plain fact is, that the great fyftem of trade and manufacture have carried the kingdom to a height, in which they cannot probably support it; or, in one word, have rendered our ftate great, but extremely pracarious. And this is fo ftrongly the cafe, that the nation has perhaps, of all others in the universe, the least reason to congratulate herself on her fudden rife to fuch boundless power.

For it is not the poffeffion of great riches and formidable power that conftitutes the real profperity of this kingdom; but on the contrary, the mere durability of her profperity; and it would not be a difficult tafk to prove, that this durability leffens almost in proportion to the magnitude of the wealth and power. We have had great fuccefs in arms, but unfortunately, our most brilliant wars (to reason for a moment on the principles of those whofe doctrines I am at prefent oppofing) are merely the means of exhaufting us, but never thofe of repairing or adding to our ftrength.

If trade and manufacture are made our grand fupports, we are inconfiftent, if we do not pufh our advantages by enlarging both; or at least of making fuch acquifitions, as fhall repay us fome of that immense waste of wealth which atchieved the conqueft. On the contrary, we conquer at the expence of hundreds of millions, only to fhew our generofity in giving back to our enemies. I need not obferve, that this has ever been the fatality of this country, and is a strong proof of how little avail our riches and our power are, if they only enable us to make conquefts, which we are neceflitated to restore. I fay neceffitated; it is our conftitution, that a pack of rascals, who have been idle thro' a war, fhould riggle themselves into power, and to preferve it, patch up our peace; this has been the cale ever fince king William's reign; and I fhall venture to prophesy, that it ever will be the cafe, till we have a king on the throne, who enters as much into the spirit of a war as that prince did.

For what should we be fo eager to gain immenfe wealth and power, which, from their quick rife and magnitude, cannot be permanent? All that Britain can fairly affert to have gained by them, has been the entertainment during the period of a war, of half a score extraordinary Gazettees: this is the real fact;


and every Gazette, at a moderate computation, adding five millions fterling to her national debt. If thefe effects of her greatness are more desirable than that more modest state, but durability of national advantages, which I have mentioned as the effect of a very different conduct-of harmonizing agriculture, manufactures, commerce and population; I muft confefs myfelf utterly mistaken.'

Although this Writer feems rather fond of dogmatizing than of reafoning, yet there is good fenfe in fome of his obfervations; and, on the whole, his ftyle might have appeared with lefs difadvantage, had his book been more correctly printed.-There is a mistake in the last page, which must be owing to misinfor mation.-Arthur Young, Efq; the writer on Hufbandry, &c. is not the fon of Dr. Young, author of the Night Thoughts.

ART. IV. An Inquiry into the Scripture Meaning of the Word Satan, and its fynonimous Terms, the Devil, or the Adverfary, and the Wicked One. Wherein also the Notions concerning Devils, or Demons, are brought down to the Standard of Scripture. 8vo. 2 s. 6 d.

Wheble. 1772.


O those who are acquainted with the writings of Archbishop Tillotson, and of Mr. Whifton, against the eternity of hell torments; of Sykes, Lardner, and others, against the reality of dæmoniacal poffeffions; and with the ftill more recent publications of Mr. Farmer, on certain fubjects of the fame general tendency and nature, this performance will not feem to have any thing particularly novel or furprizing in it. For ourselves, we acknowledge, that having, more efpecially of late, seen various publications, all of which tended, though in fomewhat different ways, to lower our ideas of the once very formidable power, and moft extenfive dominion, and influence, of Satan, we have thought it very probable that, fooner or later, fome bold adventrous reafoner of the prefent age would be tempted to go a step beyond any of thefe celebrated, writers, and even call the very being of Satan into question. Such a genius we have now, as we think, for the first time before us and though his fcheme will doubtlefs appear, to fome, to be romantic, and to others dangerous; yet, for the fake of fuch as are lefs offended with free and independent opinions, we think it our duty to give an account of the manner in which this daring Writer has ventured to deal with the Devil.

His defign is to fhew, by a regular and particular induction of all the texts in both Teftaments, which have been generally supposed to relate to Satan and his kingdom, that no fuch doctrine as that of a fall of angels is taught in any of them; and that no fuch being as Satan is mentioned in them, in the sense in which that term is now generally taken. But before he enters upon this his immediate defign, he has thought proper to



prepare his way by an introduction of some length; in which, amongst other preliminary obfervations, he undertakes to account for the original of the prefent prevailing opinion. And as this part of his undertaking is by no means the least interesting and curious, though we fear but of doubtful merit, we fhall lay before our Readers the fubftance of what he has faid upon it.

According to this Author, then, the notion of a fall of angels, which has fo long prevailed in the Christian church, with all the authority of doctrine, is grounded on two texts in the New Teftament, which do really refer to a very different event. These texts are, 2 Pet. ii. 4; and Jude 6. And the following is his tranflation and interpretation of the former of them.

But there were alfo falfe prophets among the people, as among you there will be falfe teachers, who will introduce deftructive herefies, and denying the Lord that bought them, do bring upon themselves fwift deftruction. And many fhall follow their deftructive herefies, through whom the way of truth fhall be blafphemed, and in covetousness with feigned words they will make merchandize of you: to whom the judgment of ald lingereth not, and the deftruction of them (of old) flumbereth not. For if God fpared not the meffengers that finned, but having tartarized them with chains of darkness, delivered them, thus referved, unto judgment; and fpared not the old world, but preferved Noe the Eighth, a preacher of righteoufnefs, having brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and did reduce the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into afhes, condemned to that catastrophe, being made an enfample to those who should after live ungodly; and delivered juft Lot, offended with the filthy conver fation of the wicked-the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."

This tranflation, fays the Author, may be compared with our English verfion of the New Teftament, and both of them with the original. The moft material alteration is in verse 4, where, instead of the angels, 1 have put the messengers, that finned. These meffengers, I apprehend, are no other than the men who were fent from the wilderness of Paran to fearch the land of Canaan, which the Lord had promifed to the children of Ifrael. They were meffengers that finned; for when they returned they laid before the people an evil and exaggerated report, which caufed the heart of the people to faint, and difcouraged them from following the Lord who had promifed. It moreover appears that they were tartarized with chains of darknefs; for notwithstanding all that the Lord had done before their eyes in the land of Egypt, and at the Red Sea-notwithftanding he had given them bread from heaven, and waters out


« AnteriorContinuar »