« AnteriorContinuar »
HI. In the Church of St. Anne, Dublin, on the roth of February,
1779.; being the Day appointed for a General Falt, &c. By Thomas Leland, D.D. 400. Conant,
This discourse contains much reasonable and important inftruction, expressed with great energy. The following extract will give our Readers an idea of the Doctor's style and manner :
• Britain was the joy of the whole earth. People the most distant bowed before her: nasions the most opulent did her fervice. She was “ replenished and made glorious.' But thou, O Lord, haft again hidden thy face, and we are troubled! The arm of the child is lifted against the parent, and they of our own kindred and lans, guage have turned their eyes from “ the rock whence” they hewn.” War, and clamour, and animosity, are our portion : in our councils division, in our streets complaint, in our houses mourning; hunger and nakedness (here more especially in our own af. ficted borders) clamouring for relicf; poverty and calamity uttering their piercing cries ; hideous impatience for rapine and bloodthed; the cruelty of despair, the blind rage of envy ; the melancholy neceflity of public jutlice, the outrageous defiance of its utmost sevę. rity; the perpetual dread of violence, and life of terror and suspicion and anxious precaution, as if we had no civil union, no laws for cur protection, as if this country were driven back by her distresses to the barbarity of ancient times, and the impacience of her children were ready to renew the days of outrage and desolation.
• But not to dwell on the peculiar vifitations of our own unbappy land, let us extend our views, as our affections should be extended, to our fellow-subjects. We know, and it is not the voice of faction which now calls us to acknowledge, with what confidence in the arm of flesh, we scoffed at the first appearance of hostility in the revolting colonies. Too nearly resembling the great city described by the Prophet, we seemed to " set our hearts as the heart of God." Who could refilt our might, or who could question our jurisdiction? The spirits of the rebellious were to melt as wax, and the presumpo tion of the gainsayers, at our approach, was to die within them. We called them weak; we felt them powerful: we talked of sub-, duing; we found resistance and defiance. In our pride we dictated fubinifiion ; with equal and perhaps no less dangerous pride, they renounced all connexion. Here, our mighty men could boast but of some imperfect advartages; there, our menaces were confounded, and our vaunting turned to disgrace. We looked for success, and behold a snare ; for victorý, and the mercy of our adversaries was our refuge. Another enemy watched the moment of our distress, des vised how we might be brought low, prepared, avowed her hoftilities, issued to the contest, shrunk from our assault, and boasted of victory. While our foes exulted, we were troubled : our painful anxiety could not be concealed. And if our native coasts have not been invaded, we have dreadful and devouring enemies in the midst of us; diffention, and clamour, and jealousy, and muiual accusaticn; corruption and profligacy beyond the example of former days ; obfinacy and indifference, and unrelenting defiance of God's righteous judgments. Such are “ the signs of the times.”
The words, from which the Doctor discourses, are these: Thiné heart was lifted up, because of thy beauty ; thou hast corrupted thy wif
dom, by reason of thy brightness. I will cast thee to the ground; I will lay thee before kings, that they may beheld thee. Ezek. xxviii. 17. IV. At one of the Parish Churches in Northampton, on the roth
of February, 1779; being the Day appointed by royal Authority, for a Fast, and for imploring God's Blesling on his Majesty's Arms*. Addressed to the Officers of the Troops then quartered at Northampton. 8vo. 6 d. Dicey.
A plain, ferious discourse from Jerem. v. 3. V. To a Congregation of Proteitant Dissenters, at Hackney. By
Richard Price, D. D. F.R.S. 8vo. Cadell.
In a short advertisement prefixed to this sermon, the Doctor tells us that it was composed in some hafte, and without any particular attention to the style; that it is published partly in compliance with the request of some who heard it; and, partly, because it has been misrepresented. The notice which he has taken of public measures, is such, he says, as came necessarily in his way in discusling the subject he had chofen, and in considering the present state of the kingdom. This, however, is the first time, we are told, in which he has entered into politics, in a sermon, and, perhaps, it may be the last.
In the latter part of his sermon, the Doctor draws a very dark and dismal picture of the situation of public affairs, which, though bad enough, is, we trust, not so bad as he represents it. He tells us that our strength is spent ; but, we hope, he is mistaken. It is difficult, indeed, to conceive how any person, who is at all converfant with public affairs, can say, that our strength is yet spent. There is no doubt that this country will yet bear a great deal of ruining.
Since we wrote the above, we have seen a second edition of Dr. Price's sermon, with a poftfcript, containing remarks on a passage in the Bishop of London's sermon preached at the Chapel Royal on Ath-Wednesday laft. See p. 244, of this Review.
In this passage, his Lordship talks of visionary and impracticable principles being assumed as the only true foundations of a free go. vernment; and, in a note, quotes two passages from Dr. Price's tracts, in order to prove his doctrine concerning government vifionary and dangerous. The Doctor, with great spirit, endeavours to vindi. cate his character, and support his opinion. Nay, he tells us that the language which he has employed, and which has given most offence, has been hitherto the common language of all the friends of civil liberty, Montesquieu, Mr. Juflice Blackstone, many of the reverend clergy themselves in their fermons on public occasions, and, particularly, of the excellent Dr. Lowth, in a sermon preached at the asfizes at Durham in 1764.-It does not appear to us, after considering, with the most accurate attention, the passage, in the Bishop of London's sermon, to which Dr. Price refers, that his Lordship meant to point the Doctor out as a person, whose study it had long been to introduce disorder, encourage fedition, &c. but that he only meant to mention his principles of government. It is impoflible, indeed, in our opinion, to consider the passage in any other light.
* Said to have been preached in the church of All Saints, by the Rev. Mr. Hughes.
VI. The delusive and perfecuting Spirit of Popery-Preached in Monk.
well-ftreet. By James Fordyce, D. D. 8vo. 18. Cadell. This discourse, we are toki, in the advertisement prefixed, is pabe lihed at the affectionate requel of many who heard it, for whom the Preacher entertains a juft respect, and whose approbation he efeems a pleasing fanction to his well-meant attempt, at a crisis when this country seems to be in growing danger from Popery. It contains the greater part of a sermon on Popery, which the Doctor preached 25 years ago, in the presence, and by the appointment, of a numerous and respectable body of the Scotch clergy, with whom he was then nearly connected.
Many of his readers will, no doubt, differ widely from him in regard to the danger at present to be apprehended from Roman Cathelics ; be this, however, as it may, his zeal in a cause fo intimately connected with che interelis of truth, virtue, and religion, does him honour ; and his fermon, we doubt not, will be considered by every impartial reader, as manly, spirited, and fengible.
CORRESPONDENCE. F the Gentleman who fent a pamphlet under the fignature of
an Old Acquaintance *,' apprehends that some regard is due to what is commonly understood by that designation, he will, at the fame time, allow the superior claim of an OLD FRIEND; especially a friend who no longer survives to defend his own fame : fuch was Roscius. Bat, be it obferved, that neither civility to acquaintance, nor affection to friends, ought to prevail on a Reviewer to abuse the public confidence, by a partial representation of the merits or defects of the publications that fall under his notice. We have, accordingly, spoken what we really think, of the piece to which this note bears some degree of reference.
Observator proposes, as an extension of our plan, that we should criticise the perioaical publications of the times, including even the Magazines. If this Gentleman had been aware of the great additional trouble we should bring upon ourselves by adopting his hint, and of the in-vidious appearance of fo novel a procedure, we, probably, had not been favoured with his letter. We are satisfied, however, that his proposal is founded in a laudable concern for those seaders whose time and money are (particularly in the initance which che points out) fpent upon the most worthless productions of the prefs.
tit We are much concerned to hear so bad an account of the health of our old Correspondent J. B. He has our very sincere wilhes for his speedy and complete recovery.
Capr. Carver's Travels in America will be continued in cur next Review.
* Though the hand-writing is not recognised, we have no sufpion of false pretences: notwithstanding what Justicc Burdus uled fagaciously to remark, in regard to anonymous letters: “I always, said he, look upon that Mr. Anonymous to be a very luspicious fellow."
Τ Η Ε Е
A P R I L, 1779.
ART. I. MARSHALL's Minutes of Agriculture (concluded). See
laft Month's Review.
(By a CORRESPONDENT.) UR Author declares himself at open war with CUSTOM,
unless when founded in reason; and we think it right to examine with attention, in all cases, whether received customs, when hurtful, are founded on reason or not. Many readers, nevertheless, will be apt to pronounce him a daring innovator, when they hear that he ftrenuously contends for introducing the fashion of working on Sundays during seed-time and harveft, We are aware that many good men, and even some fenfible perfons, may, at first, be startled at this proposal, because they have been accustomed, from their infancy, to view such freedom in a criminal light. For our own part *, we cannot help regretting that the unessentials of religion should, in any case, be confounded with its effentials ; for nothing, we are certain, has so much hurt the cause of religion. From this circumstance it happens, that the belief of many, in the genuine principles of religion, is una dermined'; for when they find themselves baffled in supporting a tenet that has insensibly been adopted without sufficient foundation, but which they have been accustomed to think of equal authority with all the other tenets of their religion, they naturally conclude, that, as this cannot be defended when strictly examined, all the others, if duly investigated, would be found to reft upon as unstable foundations. On these principles we must applaud every attempt to distinguish, with accuracy, between the effential tenets of religion, and those which come to be accounted such merely from accident. This example was fet by our Saviour himself, who, with that benignity fo peculiarly his own, condescended to moderate the rigid austerity of
* Our Readers will consider the opinion here delivered as simply that of our ingenious Correspondent, the writer of this Article. RÈV. Apr. 1779
the observance of the Sabbath among the Jews; and his dif ciples and followers, for several hundred years, never thought that the Jewish observance of the Sabbath conftituted any part of the duty of a Christian. A well-written historical account of the introduction of this practice into the Chriftiary Church, and its progress, with the motives that contributed to render it pretty universally adopted, would form an useful book. Our Author does not enter into this discussion, but merely inquires into its political expediency, as follows:
• The Author did not commence Farming with a premeditated intent on Sabbath-breaking: he reveres the Laws of Men, whether they are Religious, or profejedly Political, when the Laws of MEN are founded on the Law of Nature: nay, he can allow for the misconceptions of human frailty, and venerate the inoffensive Law of Custom, though eltablished in_ERROR. But when the Law of Man is evidently fubversive of the Law of God, what unprejudiced man can hefitate to condemn it-at least in his own mind.
• Nor did the Writer begin the practice of Working on Sundays precipitately; but was deliberately convinced of its propriety, by a series of circumstances, and a long train of reasoning.
The first year, he saw his Hay lose its effence, and his Corn its wholesomeness, with passive obedience to the Laws and Religion of his Country.
• The second year, perceiving more evidently the mischievousness and absurdity of a Custom which counteracts the bounteous intentions of Providence, he began to reflect on the consequences which would result from a non-compliance; and fifted, particularly, into the Sabbath-day employment of his weekly Servants.
• One, he found digging in his garden :-another, quarrelling with his neighbour :-a third, gambling :-a fourth, bl-g himfelf and blaspheming his Maker, by way of amusing the hour of indolence: the rest at the alehouse, squandering those wages which ought to have adminiftered comfort to themselves, their wives, and their children, through the ensuing week.
• The wane of the Harvest 1775 was uncommonly precarious, and the impropriety (not to say the impiousness) of neglecting any op, portunity which might preserve the gifts of Nature from actual walte, was painted in such striking colours, that the Author no longer hesitated to listen to the dictates of Nature, Reason, and COMMON-SENSE.
See the Minutes of the Irth SEPT. and 8th Oct. 1775. • The more the Author practised the WORKING ON SUNDAYS in HAY-TIME and Harvest, the more clearly he saw its PROPRIETY: he eagerly wished to see it the common Practice of this country ; and was ambitious of setting the PATRIOT IC EXAMPLE.
• His Patriotism, however, was not seen so clearly by his Neighbours as by himself; and he incurred the censure of many, whose good opinion he wished not to have forfeited.
• The circumstance which gave the greatest offence, happened Since the close of the foregoing Minutes; the Author, nevertheless, in support of his conduci, will here infert, though out of form, Ab