Page images

danger of finning; as we think is moft remarkably exemplified. in the work before us. Nor does his danger end here. He recollects the mistakes that he imagines he has difcovered in other writers, and they become the fubject of defultory ani-madverfion which has neither the appearance of being manly nor digefted; therefore they fubject the writer of them to accufations which, perhaps, he does not deferve. Thus, after having loofely characterized the paft race of English novel writers, in which lift he has placed Richardfon, (who in our opinion is the firft and moft admirable of them,) below both Fielding and Smollett, and has treated him with a kind of contempt at which our feelings revolt,-he profefles to revere the talents of fome of his contemporaries, and to think it right that they fhould be left for time to decide on their refpective. merits but, forgetful of this opinion, he, in others of these chapters, reviews firft one clafs and then another of them; and each either with fneers or marked difapprobation. He acts thus alfo, though not fo fully, with dramatic writers; and, in an indirect manner, does little lefs than condemn the whole. Yet, fo inconfiftent is he in thefe crude attacks, that, in other parts, he fpeaks with all the liberality and apparent conviction of the merit of his contemporaries, which we think becoming the character of a juft and difcerning critic: for, be their inferiority to their predeceffors what it may, they ftill preferve a relative fcale of merit among themfelves.

No man appears to be a greater friend to religion than the. author of Henry: nor to have a more marked antipathy to infidels and free-thinkers: yet we cannot well imagine how he can conceive it honourable to the Deity to write fuch loofe and undigefted fentiments, on fuch fubjects as we find in this work. After a dialogue between an atheistical terrified doctor, (whom, we fufpect, no infidel would willingly acknowlege as the fac fimile of himfelf,) and his hero, in which Mr. C. feems to treat religion nearly with as much freedom as the most daring fcoffer could defire, the doctor adds, (vol. i. p. 58.) Why, above all things, fhould I be vapouring with this poor lad, and fhewing off my courage at the expence of religion? which is about as wife a thing to do, as it would be to pluck a fleeping, Bear by the beard.' Is here any allufion to the Deity? Is Mr. C. aware of the infinuations and deductions contained in a paffage like this?

Appropriate language, in which each character (peaks not only in the tone of the paffion that he feels, but in the idiom that is characteristic of his habits, manners, and rank in life, is one of the moft captivating charms of good writing. To this, we think, Mr. C. has not been fufficiently attentive. His

low characters have no dialect of their own; or, at leaft, no marked and confiftent one; at which, confidering how frequently the author has written for the stage, we cannot but wonder.

Few novel-writers efcape improbabilities; and many fuck, if our obfervations of men and events be true, may be difcovered in this novel. Among others, the flight of Henry on the death of his protector, the habits to which he had been accuftomed while this protector was living, and the account which he gives of himfelf on his firft appearance, when queftioned by Zachary, are remarkably contradictory; or at least difficult to be reconciled and made confiftent.

Novel writers generally profefs themselves ardent moralifts; yet few of them fcruple to make their virtuous characters prevaricate, and be guilty of indirect falfehood; which we fufpect to be at least as immoral as the lies for which fuch people pretend to feel contempt and abhorrence. Henry evades the truth without difficulty, whenever his convenience feems to require it. From an author who is fo angry, not only with immorality, but with that which he perhaps fuppofes to be ftill worfe, a deviation from that creed which he deems orthodox, we fhould expect purer doctrine, and better examples.

We have already faid that we have not time and opportunity to animadvert on this publication fo fully as a work, coming from an author of eftablished reputation, might feem to demand: but having chiefly hitherto had occafion to blame, we must not pause here; for we would by no means have it imagined that we deem thefe volumes deferving only of cenfure: Of the characters that attract our esteem, intereft our affections, and teach us the vagaries to which the mind of man is fubject, Ezekiel Daw ftands foremost; and we think that Mr. Cumberland deferves great praife for the force and unity with which that portrait is drawn. The hero and heroine have charming traits, and in many parts great beauties, but accompanied with equally great defects. That Henry fhould kill Frenchmen will poffibly accord with the feelings of moft readers; and Mr. C. is not one of thofe "new fangled" philofophers who roundly declare that killing in any cafe is murder:-but that the author fhould make Henry, as we recollect he does all his heroes, confider duelling as one of the requifites for a virtuous man, is, we own, in our apprehenfion, a dangerous circumftance for those who may make his works their moral guide. Of his heroine, the author, in his fingular and contradictory mode, firft tells us, (vol. iv. p. 102.) he will not aim to defcribe what will not bear a description,' but then proceeds to give us as full a picture as his imagination. could fupply; and, among many traits which, we think with him, are truly beautiful, he adds fome at which we confess our REV. JUNE, 1795. furprize.


furprize. He tells us, vol. iv. p. 103, fhe loved mufic, but was no performer; and had an eye for nature, but never libelled a fingle feature of it, by pen or pencil.' Is it his opinion, then, that it is beneath the dignity of a Baronet's daughter to play excellently on the harp, piano forte, or any other mufical inftrument; to paint like Madame le Brun, or Angelica Kauffman; or to write like the authorefs of Cecilia? Should fuch be his fentiments, we confess that they are not ours; and had his Ifabella Manftock poffeffed all thefe degrading qualities,-degrading, it feems, in his eyes,-fhe would in ours have been much more lovely. Deprived of them as he is, by the creator of her imaginary exiftence, we own that we think her, on the whole, but an infipid young lady; and, though we might be contented to take tea with her, we should never wish to pafs many evenings in her company.

What fhocking propenfities we critics have! we are again falling into our old habit of finding fault. Let us, however, conclude by doing the author the juftice to fay that, while perufing his work, we have frequently both laughed and shed tears; and that, as we cannot afford time to point out all its defects, we have still much less the means of noticing all its merits. On the former we dwell moft, invidious as it may appear, because, in order that any fault fhould be corrected, it muft neceffarily be fpecified: while, with respect to the latter, a general but fincere acknowlegement may afford the author fufficient encouragement to attempt more unalloyed excellence. Hok.

ART. IV. Obfervations on a controverted Passage in Juftin Martyr, P. 47. Edit. Benedict. Hage Comit. 1742. Alfo upon the Worship of Angels. 4to. pp. 32. Is. 6d. Richardfon.

THE paffage to which this author refers is in Juftin's firft Apology, c. 6. No. 49. of the Benedictine edition, and is fuppofed by the editor (Martianay) to authorise angel-worship. The writer before us is of a different opinion, and endeavours to fupport Grabe's tranflation, which the Benedictine had deemed abfurd.We will fubjoin the original, with Martianay's Latin verfion, and our author's English translation, that the learned reader may judge which of the two has best rendered his text:

• Ενθένδε και Αθεοι κεκλήμεθα· καὶ ὁμολογέμεν των τοιείων νομιζομένων θεω Αθεοι είναι, αλλ' εχι το αληθέςατο, και παῖρος δικαιοσυνης και σωφροσύνης, και των άλλων αρείων, ανεπιμικλεί τε κακίας Θεο Αλλ' εκείνον τε, και τον παρ αυτα υιον ελθόνία, και διδαξαλα μας ταύα, καὶ τον των άλλων ἑπομένων και εξομοιωμένων αγαθών Αγγέλων τραίοι, Πνεύμα τε το προφήτικον σεβόμεθα, και προσκυνούμεν, λόγῳ και αληθεια τιμωλίες, και παλι βουλομένω μαθεῖν, ὡς εδί δάχθημεν, αφθόνως παραδιδοντες.

· Atque

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Atque Atheos quidem nos effe confitemur, fi de opinatis ejufmodi Diis agatur: fecus vero, fi de veriffimo illo, et juftitiæ, ac temperantiæ, ac cæterarum virtutum, patre, nullâ admixto vitiofitate, Deo. Sed eum et Filium, qui ab eo venit, ac nos ifta docuit; et cæterorum, qui illum affectantur, eique affimilati funt, bonorum Angelorum exercitum, et Spiritum propheticum colimus et adoramus, ratione et veritate venerantes, et ut quifque difcere voluerit, citra invidiam ut edocti fumus, impertientes.'

In confequence of this, we are called Atheifts: and we fairly confefs that we are fo, in refpect to thofe pretended divinities: but far otherwife, in respect to that most true God, the Father of all righteousness and wifdom, and of every other virtue, without the leaft mixture of depravity. For, we reverence and worship both Him and his Son, who proceeded from him; and who afforded us this knowledge (of God and Chrift); and afforded the fame to the whole host of his other excellent Meflengers, the good Angels, who minifter to him, and are made like him. We likewife reverence and adore that Spirit, from whence proceedeth all prophecy, affording towards it a true and rational worship: and we are ready to impart freely to all, who are willing to be inftructed, the fame information that we have received.'

We have, fomewhere, feen an obfervation of Archbishop Secker, that feems here applicable. That good man remarks that our tranflators of the Bible were fo much afraid of what they termed Popish idolatry, that they avoided rendering the Hebrew word, and the Greek word рonviw, by the English word worship, as often as it is applied to any other Being than God. This, fays he, was being too scrupulous: worship is a relative term, and may denote either that fupreme honor which we pay to the Supreme Being, or an inferior honour which we may pay to other Beings, particularly to God's meffengers or angels.


Nothing can be more judicious than this remark. worship man or angel as God, would be idolatry: but to worship either of them as the fervant of God may be perfectly innocent, and confonant with fcripture. Abraham worshipped the angels that were fent to deftroy Sodom, even before he knew that they were angels *. Nay, he worshipped those Hittite chiefs who offered him a burying-place t. Jacob, seven times at once, worshipped Efau t. In fhort, every fort of refpe or veneration is in the Hebrew fcriptures exprefled by the fame word; and do not our bridegrooms at this day worship their brides, according to the ritual of our eftablished church?

Had our obferver attended to all this, he would not, we prefume, have fo rafhly concluded that the fenfe of Juftin is not very properly given in Martianay's tranflation. That of Grabe appears to us forced and unnatural, and we are perfuaded that Gen. xxxiii. 3.

Gen. xviii. 2.

[ocr errors]

+ Gen. xxiii. 7.


it would never occur to any one who had not a fyftem to fupport, or a formidable objection to repel.

We truft we are not idolaters, nor abettors of popery: but we cannot fee any harm in angel-worship, if, as Origen obferves, the term be used in a limited fenfe, and rife not to fupreme adoration.

We fhall conclude this article with the words of Grotius, fo much the rather, as they obviate our author's general arguments from fcripture, and in particular that drawn from Revel. xix. 10.

"Non poteft idem dici de angelis; (quod de idolis,) qui et intelligere preces poffunt et beneficia ex animi quadam libertate preftare. Hos ergo qui honore profequitur aliquo, qui etiam aliquid eorum beneficio fe fperat poffe confequi, non peccat in hanc legem; fed is demum, qui eis ea tribuit, quæ fummo DEO funt propria: nam vox DEI, in hoc præcepto, in fummitatis fenfu fumenda eft... Nam quod, in apocalypfi, angelus eum honorem a fe amovet, non inde venit, quod in eo effet quid illiciti; fed apoftolum fibi æquat angelus, quod ambo Chrifti angelorum capitis miniftri effent.". -i. e. in fubftance: Not fo with refpect to the angels, who can both hear our prayers, and confer on us favours. He then who gives to them a certain degree of honour fins not against this law; but he only who afcribes to them what is peculiarly due to God.... For the angel's refufing fuch honour, in the Revelation, did not arife from there being any thing unlawful in it; but becaufe he confidered the apoftle as his equal; fince they were both minifters of Chrift, the head of the angels."

[ocr errors]

Indeed, if this were not the true ftate of the queftion, the apostle must have been extremely ignorant of his duty, as well as prone to idolatry: for after this warning he again commits the fame fault, (chap. xxii. 8.) and again receives the fame rebuke, if rebuke it be; or interdict; as our author calls it.

The obferver having had occafion to quote a paffage of S. Paul, (Col. ii. 18.) he has, in an additional obfervation, proposed a conjectural emendation: he would read x0wv for ex; and he renders, or rather paraphrafes, the paffage thus: Let no man deprive you of the reward of your faith, by coming to you with an affected fhew of humility; and by the doctrine of angel-worship, &c.' The conjecture is ingenious: but the text has nothing to do with the prefent queftion. The scope of the apoftle is to warn the Coloffians against thofe who would fubmit to the ceremonial of the Jewish law; which was given by the miniftry of angels, or messengers, it is true, but of mesfengers far inferior to Jefus Chrift, who is the head of all the members of the church of God. For the reft, there is in the Greek quotation a capital error of the prefs; namely alwv, intead of ou polwv. Ged..s


« EelmineJätka »