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ceived the intelligence of Conchini's death as if it had been a quick exit of the sun's eclipse, when under a prediction of some fearful darkness *,' Now under the uncertaintywhether the exit of an eclipse is to produce light or darkness, we can only receive it as darkness visible. One of these elves of fortune ti'• Placed much of his safety in expiscating the clandestine pure poses of his adversaries (:' It was generally apprehended, that fome contest would enfue between them, when confronted in the fame place $.- The princess, his widow, who likewise had a son in tutory, poffeffed of uncommon abilities, and of courage above her fex, did not refile from the alliance of France li'
These instances of unclaffical terms, and stiff, affected modes of expression, might be greatly multiplied; but we deet the Specimens sufficient : and though we often feel fincere regret to see labour and abilities fruitlessly exerted ; yet the duty required from us by the Public, must ever take place of our sympathy with unsuccessful and disappointed writers. • Vol. IV. + Id. p. 161.
Id. p. 257 § Vol. V. p.40.
|| Id. p. 117
Art. XI. Farther Thoughts on the Nature of the Grand Aportacy of
the Christian Churches, foretold by the Apofiles : with Observations on the Laws ag ins Heresy, the Subscription to Articles of Human Composition, and other Subjects of the utmost Importance to the Religion of Protestants, and to Chritianity in General. By Henry Taylor, A.M. Rector of Crawley, and Vicar of Portsmouth, in Haats; Author of Ben Mordecai's Apology for embracing Christianity. 8vo. 35. Jobpson. 1783. UR Readers are no strangers to our sentiments concerning
this learned, acute, and able Writer; and the pamphlet now before us affords no reason to alter them. He has one great and important truth in view through the whole of it, viz. That there can be no CENTRE OF UNITY among Christians or Christian churches, but the Scripture only.
He clearly thews, that all the churches, both in the East and in the West, have been corrupted; and that the genuine faith which was built upon TRUTH, the testimony of Jerus, the commandments of God, the Apostles and Prophets, has suffered an apostacy from its original and divine standard, by joining to them the commandments of men. The whole difference between the Christian churches, he observes, is entirely of their own mkin, is derived from articles of human composition ; if they' would leave these, and return to the original rule of faith before they were composed, that is, the Scripture, their docrences would all ruolide, ingether with all uncharitableness. ?ucir 'name's of diftinction would be lost in the name of
Christ, the head of all; and the whole church together (we use the Author's own words) would be Catholic and at unity. To do this, every church, he says, must give up something ; but that something is only human, and of the same nature in them all, and is the only part of their establishments which was never worth the keeping. This puts Mr. Taylor in mind of a saying of General Wurts, reported by Mr. de St. Evremond (Vol. II. p. 168 ) : 'When men have once taken out of Christianity what they have foisted into it, there will be but one religion, as plain in its doctrine as pure in its morals.'
Whoever reads this pamphlet with attention, and reflects seriously upon what is advanced in it, will, we are persuaded, be convinced with us, that much of the infidelity of the present age, and much of the growing contempt of the clergy, which every discerning person clearly perceives, and which every good citizen sincerely laments, are owing to creeds and articles compored by fallible men, and containing absurd and unintelligible doctrines, with which neither the faith nor the practice of a Christian have any concern. The evils , occasioned by such compofitions are well known to all those who are acquainted with ecclefiaftical history; and it would puzzle the ableft de-' fenders of them to point out any real advantages that were ever derived from them.
ART, XII. A View of the Laf Judgment. By John Smith, One
of the Minifters of Campbletowa. 8vo. ; s. bound. Cadell. 1783.
E have here another Boanerges, who affects to ' grafo
Audax Japeti genus,
Hor. The principles on which we founded our chief objections to Mr. Whitaker's Sermons (Vid. last Month's Review], operate with equal force against the present performance. A prolix and studied declamation on subjects that are inexpreslible; a scenical representation of events which are inconceivable, generally fatigue, and frequently diigult, the mind. Description enervates a magnificent object when it attempts to delineate its component and minuter parts; and though when contemplated in a general view, and left in the majesty of its own incomprehensibility, it would probably make a very forcible impresion on the imagination, yet when it is broken into' minute divisions, and particularized by familiar circumstances, under the pretence of accommodating it to the conceptions of the multitude, it loses its folemn Author of the Galic Antiquities, &c. &c.
dignity, and the end designed by such a representation is defeated and loft.
This remark is peculiarly applicable to the subject before us. The Last JUDGMENT must be considered as a scene of such ineffable grandeur and folemnity, that it will not admit of particudar delineation. Comparisons fall infinitely short of illustration; and allu Gons, inftead of affisting our conceptions, will only weaken the impresion of the main object. If the great be mixed with the familiar, the preacher will burlesque what he attempted to exomplify. If he descends to the minute, and attempts to exalt it by the glitter and pomp of language, he will, in all probability, run into the bombast: at the utmost he cannot avoid a motley jargon, if he is violently bent on being circumftantial in his representations. Contrary images will blend; and the affociation will shock us as unnatural, or be laughed at as ridiculous.
Mr. Smith, we acknowledge, poflefleth a vigor and fertility of fancy; but his descriptions are too luxuriant and fantastic for the awful and fublime objects which he undertakes to delineate. He gives scope to his imagination with too uncontrouled a licence, and doth not always perceive how far it rambles beyond the bounds of lense, modesty, and decorum. There are undoubtedly very Atriking and affecting passages in the fe discourses. The images are sometimes very beautiful, and the language, in many places, is remarkably elegant and forcible, Sometimes it is over-ornamented--its luxuriance palls : its glare wearies the eye; and the cant of enthusiasm intermixed with it, too frequently nauseates the reader, whose tasle is formed on the chafter models of eloquence. But in general the language is easy, flowing, and perspicuous. The Author's theological lyttem is composed out of what Mr. Whitaker calls the Herely of Cal. vinism' and on the dreadful theme of damnation he is as terrible as Mr. Whitaker himself,
This work is divided into five chapters. 1. Of the circumstances that fall precede the Last Judgment. "2. Of the Procedure of the Judgment. 3. A View of the Blefled; with fome Observations on the Economy of Grace, and the Dispensation of Providence. 4. A View of the Wicked, and of the Iffues of Judgment. 5. A Review of the Last Judgment; or fome Redections on the preceding Chapters.
In the fourth chapter Mr. Smith not only delineates the lead. ing features of the damned, and describes their characters; but he calls many of them by their names. There is Lot's wife-and Esau, and Pharaoh, and Zimri, and Colbi, and Balaam, and Saul, and Nabal, and the fons of Eli, and Ahab, and Jezebel, and Herod, and Caiphas, and Pilate, and Judas, and the Nine Lepers, and the Hopeful Youth. They all pass in re. view before this second fighted man of the North Countrie-surrounded with the dark and livid flames of burning sulphur, emitted from the bottomless pit.'- The following is a specimen of the Author's ideas of some part of the dread process of the final Judgment.
• To make their aggravated guilt the more apparent, every person of the Sacred Trinity shows what he had done for them. Angels declare their miniftrations in their favour. Minifters tell how often they exhorted and warned them. Conscience approves its fidelity : and all other creatures atteft that they were not wanting in their services." For thee, did not I give my beloved and only Son :"" I lay down my life on the cross ?"_" and I unweariedly offer to apply all the benefits of redemption, and to give all my helps and all my confolations,”-“ Did not I,” saith one angel, “ againitt evil : spirits fight thy battles :"_". And I,” saith another, “ frequently delivered thee when deaths and dangers were nigh thee."_“spread my pinions o'er thee while asleep:"_" And I ftood at thy right hand while thou wert awake."--" In thy fickness, I was sent to thee a thousand times with comfort:"-" And I, in thy health, was bid'den to ward off a multitude of evils which fought to assail thee."-In a word " A thousand times have I descended from heaven to mi. 'pifter unto thee,” is the voice of each of ten thousand angels.
(-And how often, add many ministers of the gospel, have we of. fered thee mercy, and warned thee of thy impending danger! The times, the places, the occasions, the expreffions, we well remember, The very duft of our feet we call to witness, and heaven and earth; for they heard as, when we called them to record against thee.-" I (faith one) alarmed thee with Sinai's terrors :"-" And I (saith another) Itrove to captivate thee with the love of Jesus.”—“ L offered to thee all the riches of Christ freely; and besought thee, with tears, to accept of salvation."'-'' And I (adds another) showed thee heaven open to the chief of finners; whilft I used the utmost earneftness to persuade thee to enter into it. I showed thee the open wounds in the side of the Saviour, and in his hands extended to receive thee ; and besought thee, with intreaties and tears, to fly to them, as a dove to the clefts of her rock.-Seemingly chou didit affent. I thought thou hadit been sincerely resolved, and I administered to thee che sealing ordinances of the gospel."-" And all of us (say they with one voice), hoping thou could it not regst the amazing efforts of the love of God, expected we should on this day, with rejoicing angels, congratulate thee on thy felicicy. - But, alas! we can only wash our hands from the blood of thy soul, of which we are clear; and take, as we do our raiment, every imputation of thy destruction from us. On us no - part of the blame can be fastened ; in our skirts thy blood cannot be found. For, although we have laboured in vain, and spent our Arengib for nought, jet furely our judgment is with the Lord, and our work with our God."
• And hear further how Conscience, God's vicegerent in the soul, approves in the like manner its fidelity. What warnings to avoid fin, and to repent of it! What admonitions to the practice of duey ! what checks before, and what' rebukes after, the commillion of evil! --Alt of these, though once fifed, will now obtain a hearing. In
spite of a thousand arts, first to drown and silence this monitor with- in, and then to kupify and fear it; yot it ftill perfifted in its office,
till at length, like God and angels, it was induced, relu&antly, to give the hardened finner over.-Nor will the boysand thousand mer. cies of the inferior and inanimare creation fail, on this day, to bring their accusations against the wicked, and to aggravate their condemnation. If the earth bore and fed them; if the sun eolightened aod warmed them; if other creatures ministered to them, and yielded them food and rainent; if comforts, without intermillion, flowed apon tbem ; or if Providence, at times, exercised ihem with fore trials and troubles ;-all was meant to lead their fouls to God, and all will serve now to witness againit them, and to justify the severity of their sentence.
• After all this evidence, will any one deny a title of the charge! After all this aggravation, will any one plead that he is not guilty? To attempt the first, in the face of such a cloud of swift witnefes, were impoflible; and to think of the second were as idle.- Will any one plead that he used the means of salvation to the belt of his power; or that there was any insuperable bar of fate, or secret decree of heaven, in force against him? It is imposible. For, this day Shows, what indeed was fufficiendly plain before, that for such excuses there is no manner of foundation :- that God was wanting to none but such as were woefully wanting to them felves : -- and ibat every lost finner is the author of his own ruin; which God, confiently with the eternal roles of his government, could not possibly have done any more to avert than what he did. Indeed the thoughts of men and of angels are lot in altonisment at his having done fo much. Imputations, it is true, have been liberally call upon his mercy: but on this day it will be cleared of them, and will vindicace itself to the satisfaction of the universe, even in she awful article of this multitude's eternal condemnation.'
From a review of the discourses of Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Smith, we have been led into a variety of reflections concerning the best and fittest methods of impresling the minds of men with the great truths of Christianity, lo as to produce their pra&tical effect. We are persuaded that a preacher must rather apply to the feelings than to the understandings of his audience; or if he reasons with them, it must be from principles that are obvious and common, and rather in a rhetorical than a logical mode. They are loon confounded by subtle distinctions, and are utterly incapable of perceiving the force of the Atrictet demonftration, if drawn out in the fornis of art to any considerable length. On dry and barren speculations, they must of neceflity Itarve; and as to those which are most interesting, they must be rendered, in some degree, amufing to engage their attention, and affect their hearts. Thus it may seem, that a Jively imagination, and warm and vigorous affections, are of more use in the pulpit than ftrength of reasoning, or accuracy of judgment; and that those talents which form the orator and the poet, are more needful to constitute a good preacher than those which qualify a man to become a profound metaphysician, philosopher, or divine. But whatever may be laid of the com