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the great importance of the doctrine; and you will esteem it an objec-
'tion of little weight, that the modern advocates of the unitarian tenets
cannot otherwise give a colour to their wretched cause, than by de-
nying she inspiration of the sacred historians, that they may seem to
them unes at liberty to reject their testimony. You will remember,
that pe doctrines of the Christian revelation were not originally de.
livered in a system, but interwoven in the history of our Saviour's
life. To say, therefore, that the first preachers were not inspired
in the composition of the narratives in which their doctrine is con-
veyed, is nearly the same thing as to deny their inspiration in the
general.

• You will perhaps think it incredible, that they who were affifted
by the divine fpirit, when they preached, should be deserted by that
spirit, when they committed what they preached to writing. You
will think it improbable, that they who were endowed with the gift
of discerning spirits, should be endowed with no gift of discerning
the truth of facts. You will recollect one instance upon record, in
which St. Peter detected a falsehood by the light of inspiration ;
and you will, perhaps, be inclined to think, that it could be of no
less importance to the church, that the apostles and evangelists
should be enabled to detect falsehoods in the history of our Sa-
viour's life, than that St. Peter should be enabled to detect Ananias's
lie, after the sale of his estates. You will think it unlikely, that
they who were led by the spirit into all truth, should be permitted
to lead the whole church into error for many ages; that they should
hei permitted to leave behind them, as authentic memoirs of their
master's life, narratives compiled with little judgment or selection
from the stories of the day; from facts and fictions in promiscuous
circulation.

• The credulity that swallows these contradictions, while it strains at mysteries, is not the faith which will remove mountains.

· The Ebionices of antiquiry, little as they were famed for penetration and discernment, managed, however, the affairs of the feet, with more discretion than our modern Unitarians. They questioned pot the inspiration of the books which they received: but they received only one book, a spurious copy of St. Matthew's gospel, curtailed of the two first chapters.

• You will think it no inconfiderable confirmation of the doctrine in question, that the feet which first denied it, to palliate their infidelity, found it necessary to rejee three of the gospels, and to mutilate the fourth!'

The controversy between the Archdeacon of St. Alban's and Dr. Priestley, seems verging apace toward the issue that we expected, and tively to watch, and candidly to report, its further progress

. sudah II. The Character of Jejus Chrift; a Sermon. By George Skene

Keith, M. A. Minister of Keith-Hall, Aberdeenshire. 8vo.
Evans. 1785.

This sermon has some marks of a fertile and lively imagination :
but the marks of puerility and inexperience are more deeply im-
pressed in it. Age, we hope, will mature the Author's judgment,
and chaften bis fancy. The glare of falle eloquence will be softened

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into a milder and steadier light; and the tinsel trappings of decla. mation will be exchanged for ornaments less captivating to vulgar minds, but more folid and more graceful: such as become the simple dignity of religion, and are molt acceptable to men of sound judgment, and a cultivated taste.

When this period arrives, the Author will be ashamed of fuch passages as perhaps he now regards, with fond complacency, as the peculiar beauties of his sermon; and will then number them, as we do, among those pulpit-tricks to which the religion of Chrif fcorns to be indebted for support or recommendation.-From several other instances of false and affected oratory, we will select the fol. lowing passage, as a specimen, (p. 13.)

· Where ihall we begin our enquiry into the chara&er of Jesus Chrift? Go to Bethlehem.-Pass by the inn.--Turn aside hither to this ftable. Look into the manger: and you shall see a poor babe wrapt in swaddling-clothes. Beside him leans his mother, weak and languid. Here are the wise men from the East: there a few shepherds from Bethlehem. A ftar in the firmament directed the wise men to this place. They worship the infant. A company of angels lately informed those shepherds, that this child was the fou of the most high God, and the promised Saviour of men.- What an amazing stoop from the heavenly glory! What an immense tranfi. tion from the throne of God! Aftonishing humility, generosity, and condescension in the Son of the Highest, to assume human nature, and assume it in so mean a condition ! - In the character of the child Jesus, how many virtues are united !!

It is well that the History of the Birth of Christ was not penned in a style like this. Such a mode of relation would have funk its credit, and we should have been rather disposed to smile than to believe.

The Author informs us that this sermon is published as a specimen of a volume of sermons now in the press.-Had he no judicious and faithful friend to whisper in his ear

Nonum prematur in annum ? or did he turn a deaf ear to good counsel?

B-d-th III. Preached at the Magdalen-hospital, on the Anniversary Meet

ing of the President and Governors of that Charity, May 11, 0786. By John, Lord Bishop of Oxford. 4to. Printed for the Benefit of the Charity. Rivington. 1786.

No quotation could more exactly correspond with the occasion, than that which is felected as the text of this discourse, Galat. vi. 1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken, ge, which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, left thou also be tempted. The sentiments here implied, are illustrated and recommended by his Lordship, in a sensible and serious manner. Thus, in a plain and practical way, he enforces, in the general, this branch of a Christian spirit, and properly applies the whole to the purpose which more directly claimed his attention. iv. An Attention to outward Cleanliness recommended as a Virtue.

Preached in the Parish Church of Blackburn, July the 17th, 1785. By Borlase Willock, M. A. with a View toward preventing the Progress of an alarming epidemical Fever, which raged in that Town and Neighbourhood. 8vo. 6d. Richardson.

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If the fubject of this Discourse is at all unusual, its propriety and importance are nevertheless self-evident; and the particular circumftances of the time and place of its delivery, render any apology for the Author wholly unnecessary. It is a well-composed Difcourse, worthy the attention, not only of the very poor, for whose difficulties fome little allowance might be made, but of others, who would not chose to be classed in ebat number.. The text is Levit. viii. 6.

H. V. Preached at the Anniversary Meeting of the Sons of the Clergy,

at St. Paul's, May 12, 1785, By Thomas Jackson, D.D. Prebendary of Weftminster, and Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty. 400. Is. Rivington.

This discourse is entirely employed in stating the grounds of the charitable inftitution for the Sons of the Clergy, and in enforcing, with plain and manly eloquence, the arguments which recommend the establishment to the countenance and support of the Public.--To the sermon are subjoined, Lifts of the Stewards for the feasts of the Sons of the Clergy, together with the names of the Preachers, and their texts; and the sums collected at the anniversary meetings, lince the year 1721.

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Notes to CORRESPONDENTS. * We have received C. C.'s remarks.--The opinion we delivered respecting the “ excision of the part bitten by a mad dog being the only efficacious prophylactic," was the result of the most minute investigation, and the most impartial enquiry; and therefore (notwithstanding the authority of Dr. Hillary) we cannot posibly retract it. To flatter people with security from other more gentle me thods would be to deceive them in a matter of the utmost conse. quence, and might, in the end, prove no less prejudicial to them, than unworchy of us.

M. 151 “A Conftant Reader," who enquires concerning Dr. Jones's book on the state of Medicine, which he supposes we overlooked, is referred to the 67th volume of our Review, p. 170. If he will likewise turn to p. 383. vol. i. of our General Index, under the name of Jones, in the Medical class, he will find it inserted there allo.

llfll The article to which Mr. Graham refers, though not yet in ferted in the Review, was written some months before we were fa. voured with his very sensible letter. What we had, with equal freedom and impartiality, remarked, at the time when we perused the book, could receive no alteration, in consequence of the particulars communicated by this Correspondent.

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Art. I. Dr. Reid's Elays on the Intelle&ual Powers of Man,

continued. See our last.
HE second essay contains an amazing quantity of valuable

,
gation, and constitutes almost a third part of the whole volume.
Its title is, “ Of the powers we have by means of our external
fenses.” It consists of twenty-two chapters. A considerable
portion of it is taken up in giving a clear and accurate account
of the theories and opinions that have been embraced and main.'
tained by philosophers, both ancient and modern, with regard
to the senses, and the knowledge derived from their operations.
The doctrines of the most eminent leaders of feets, from the
days of Pythagoras to those of Mr. Hume, pass fùcceffively una
der review; and every class of tenets upon the subject is traced
from its origin through its subsequent changes. The historical
deduction is every where accompanied with judicious observa-
tions and acute discussions. Of this, and of many other parts of
the work, no tolerable notion could be communicated to our
readers by means of an abftract. The matter treated of, from
the nature of it, requires the full illuftration which the Au-
thor has bestowed upon it, to convey a competent knowledge of
it. We muft therefore satisfy ourselves with mentioning, in ge-
neral, the topics that are discussed, referring the inquisitive reader
to the book itself, which, we can assure him, will not only furd'
nish him with rational amusement and valuable information,
but will also present him with more diftinct and accurate views
of the fubjects treated, than are to be met with in preceding
authors.

The firft four chapters treat of the organs of perception, and of the impreffions that are made upon the nerves and brain. The substance of the dodrine contained in them is thus summed up by the Author himself :

• It is a law of our nature, established by the will of the Supreme Being, that we perceive no exterpal object but by means of the ora gans given us for that purpose. But these organs do not perceive. The eye is the organ of fight, but it sees not. A telescope is an are Vol. LXXV.

R

tificial

tificial organ of sight. The eye is a natural organ of fight, but it sees as little as the telescope. We know how the eye forms a picture of the visible object upon the retina ; but how this picture makes us fee the object, we know not; and if experience had not informed us that such a picture is necessary to vision, we should never have known it. We can give no reason why the picture on the retina should be followed by vision, while a like picture on any other part of the body produces nothing like vifion.

• It is likewise a law of our nature, that we perceiye not external objects unless certain impressions be made by the objects upon the or gan, and by means of the organ upon the nerves and brain. But of the nature of those impresions we are perfectly ignorant; and though they are conjoined with perception by the will of our Maker, yet it does not appear that they have any neceffary connection with it in their own nature, far less that they can be the proper efficient cause of it, We perceive, because God has given us the power of perceiving, and not because we have impreslions from objects. We perceive nothing without those impressions, because our Maker has limited and circumscribed our powers of perception, by such laws of Nature as to his wisdom seemed meet, and such as suited our rank in his creation.'

In establishing these general conclusions, Dr. Reid has occafion to consider several hypotheses, that have been invented by philosophers, to explain the manner in which the nerves and brain are instrumental in furnishing us with sensations and ideas, The ancients conjectured that the nerves are tubes filled with animal spirits secreted from the brain, and Des Cartes endeavoured to thew that muscular motion, perception, memory, and imagination are effected by means of the motions of these animal spirits. But neither the tubular structure of the nerves, nor the subtile vapour supposed to be contained in them, were ever discovered by any ancient anatomitt. Dr. Briggs conceived the nerves to be solid filaments, which, like musical cords, have via brations differing according to their length and tension. We remember that this hypothesis was formerly mentioned by Dr. Reid in his Inquiry. Dr. Priestley, on the other hand, in his examination of Dr. Reid's Inquiry, denied that any such opinion was ever .entertained. He must have forgot that he himself had alluded to this theory in his History of discoveries relata ing to vision (p. 663.), in the following words : “ Dr. Briggs supposed that single vision was owing to the equal tenhon of the corresponding parts of the optic nerves, whereby they vibrated in a synchronous manner.' Dr. Hartley has likewise attempted to explain sensation by a theory of nervous vibrations, though of a different fort from those that were supposed by Dr. Briggs, External objects, according to him, occalion in the nerves vibrations of the small, and as one may fay, infinitesimal me. dullary parts. He borrowed the hint from a query subjoined to Sir Isaac Newton's Optics, though that eminent and accurate

philosopher

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