Page images

occafion, exhibited to his delighted obfervation: a humorous print of
"The Enraged POET" will, doubtlefs, appear in confequence.
Art. 48. A Poetical and Complimentary Epiftle to Richard Brothers the
Prophet; and Nathaniel Braffey Halhed, Efq. M. P. 4to.
Vernor and Co.

Specimen. Make them believe (if fuch a thing can be)
Thou art the fifth that makes the Trinity;
There's advocates enough to take it in,
And fond Credulity is no great fin.

Since Cock-lane ghoft turn'd London topsy-turvy,
And Doctor Johnfon thought it true before ye.-'


In the name of common fenfe and decency, how could any man— woman-or child-ever think of offering fuch fuff to the public! Art. 49. The Age, a Satire, in Six Cantos. By C. I. Pitt. 12mo. IS. Harrifon and Co.

Sorry are we, on any occafion, to obftruct the endeavours of literary candidates, for a niche in the temple of FAME; and most ready are we by our commendations to lend the adventurers a lift towards the lofty dome of their ambition: but non cuivis contingit adire Corinthum. The poem before us has fuch a mediocrity, that, if the author has paffed his fifteenth year, we seriously advife him to relinquish the company of the mufes, who seem to be no wellwifhers to his defired immortality. Rhime is not POETRY, nor is pertness VIVACITY; though they are often fatally mistaken for each other. As for the fentiment of the poem, much of it is beyond the flight of our comprehenfion. Grammar and measure are often violated; and what should have been poetry is languid and foporific profe. The attempts at wit are frequent, and as frequently unfuccefsful. Pope and Butler feem, at times, the objects of the author's imitation, and prove that the club of Hercules is not to be wielded by a stripling.

That the author may not think we deal unfairly with him, let the world judge from a fpecimen taken from the beginning of the poem, where it may be prefumed he exerts fome of his principal strength.


Through virtuous zeal, not rank ill-nature,

The Mufe refolves to deal in fatire:

The Bard expoftulates thereon,

And much they argue pro and con.

Which way they end the wordy fight

You'll find below-in black and white.

P.--The Times, my Mufe? good Heav'ns! you can but joke; Think what we dare, and who we may provoke.

M. Truth's not a libel now-in Mansfield's fpite;
Cowards fly the cur who, barking, dares not bite.
P. But in an age, when Virtue lives incog,
While fophift Folly warps the decalogue;
When leering Modefty removes her veil,
And even prudent Decency turns tail;

Mr. Halhed.


When, fcar'd by Fashion, Reason stands aloof,
And barefac'd Impudence out-ftares Reproof;
Or, firft bewailing Chaftity's decline,
Gravely invites him an intrigue to join!
Mufe, when our labours to the world we lend,
What foul will read; or, reading, will amend?

• M. Read, or read not, to teach reform be ours.'

The last line is a most uncommon declaration for an author in his fenfes-for, if the world refufes peremptorily to read, of what importance is it to write? how can reformation be produced? but perhaps he will quote Horace in his defence against our criticism, and claim the quidlibet audendi, the grand perquifite of the Bard. We might felect a variety of fpecimens from this poem in confirmation of the juftice of our remarks: but, as it is a work that feems written for OBLIVION, we forbear any farther quotation, and fuffer the old quiet gulph to enjoy the remainder of the poem.

[blocks in formation]


Art. 50. The Ferv's Appeal on the Divine Miffion of Richard Brothers and N. B. Halbed, Efq. to reflore Ifrael, and rebuild Jerusalem : with a Differtation on the Fitnefs, Utility, and Beauty of applying ancient Predictions and Allegories to modern Events: and a fingu lar Prophecy relative to the prefent and enfuing Century. By Mofes Gomez Pereira. 8vo. pp. 67. Bell, Oxford-street. 1795. This amufing pamphlet, which is written with learning and urbanity, is principally intended to parody the extravagant fyftem of expofition adopted by the abettors of the modern prophets, by means of which the horofcope of any impending event can be found out in the bible, whenever it fuits our great reformers

"to ufe

A Sidrophel to forebode news."



Art. 51. The Universal Reftoration of Mankind, examined, and proved to be a Doctrine inconfiftent with itfe'f, contrary to the Scriptures, and fubverfive of the Gofpel of Jefus Chrift; in Anfwer to Dr. Chauncy of New England, and Mr. Winchester's Dialogues. By John Marfom. 12mo. 2 Vols. 4s. fewed. Marfom.

Christian benevolence cannot fail to excite the wish that all the human race might finally be happy; and it is natural for the thoughtful mind to inquire what grounds are furnished for fuch a hope by Divine revelation The work before us rejects and labours to refute the apprehenfion of an univerfal restoration; and the writer does not seem deftitute of ability, nor of critical knowlege, for the fupport of his argument. Dr. Chauncy and Mr. Winchefter have appeared as men of fincerity and worth, whatever might be their mistakes. Nor do we find that they vary fo confiderably from this author as a first glance might lead us to fuppofe; fince they all alike plead for a time when harmony and happiness fhall prevail throughout the creation of God: to effect which the writer before us infilts on the complete perdition or deftruction of the wicked at the time of the refurrection and final


judgment; which, he is perfuaded, is meant by eternal death and other phrafes.

For fome account of Mr. Winchester, we refer the reader to Rev. for Feb. 1784, vol. lxx. p. 165, and for Dr. Chauncy, to ditto for Jan. 1786, vol. lxxiv. p. 75, 76; alfo for Sept. 1784, vol. lxxi. p. 204.

Hi. Art. 52. The Pfalms of David. A new and improved Verfion. Svo. PP. 342. 5s. 6d. Boards. Matthews. 1794.

This profe verfion of the Pfalms is tranflated from the Swedish of John Adam Tingstadius, D. D. Profeffor of the Oriental languages at the University of Upfal. The original work not having fallen in Our way, we can give no opinion concerning the accuracy with which this tranflation is made. We can only remark that it talls far fhort of that dignified fimplicity and harmonious flow of language, which have been fo juftly admired in both the verfions of the pfalms at prefent in ufe among us; especially in the bible tranflation. It is urged, in favour of the verfion here offered to the public, that it was the plan of the Profeffor Tingitadius to adhere as clofely as poffible both to the words and the ideas of the original: but we doubt whether even this point has been more fuccefsfully attained than in the common English verfions. Every new verfion, however, of particular parts of the fcriptures, has its value; not only as it may affift the private studies of the Hebrew language, but as it may prepare the way for the long defired introduction of a new general tranflation of the Old Tefta


Art. 53. A Propofal refpecting the Athanafian Creed. 8vo. 6d. Deighton.

The Athanafian Creed having been of late very generally difufed in churches, the author of this fmall publication propofes, in order to reftore its credit, that its damnatory claufes fhould be omitted.-How much more would it be for the credit of the Church of England, if this whole mafs of incomprehenfibles, of which the wife and good Archbishop Tillotson, a century ago, wished her well rid,-were cancelled altogether!

Art. 54. Six Sermons. By the Rev. E. W. Whitaker, Rector of
St. Mildred's and All Saints, Canterbury. 8vo. 2s. Riving-



The public tafte, with refpect to the compofition of fermons, has of late fo ftrongly inclined towards a preference of elegance to plainnefs-of showy difcourfes, adapted to amufe the fancy, to folid addreffes to the understanding-that it affords us particular fatisfaction when we meet with any fermons in which manly argument is more the object than puerile ornament, and in which the preacher is evidently more defirous to convince than to pleafe. This is the general character of the fmall volume of fermons now before us.

In the first four difcourfes, the author appears to have had in view one leading object,-that of impreffing on the minds of his hearers a ftrong conviction of the indifpenfable obligation of religious obedience. For this purpose, he firft eftablishes the immutable connection between guilt and punishment, and fhews that, in the prefent life, men com REV. AUG. 1795.





moly fuffer the evil confequences of their vices, even after they have reformed; and therefore that, in cafe of impenitence, they can have no reafon to hope that they fhall efcape the threatened punithment in the life to come. What is offered on this topic appears to us, in the main, rational and fatisfactory: but we acknowlege that we cannot follow our author in his affertion of the eternity of future punishment; a doctrine which we have always confidered as wholly inconfiftent with man's first conceptions of divine equity and goodness.-The obligations of religion are next powerfully enforced, by reprefenting the evidence which the natural and moral ftate of the world affords of the providence and government of God.-Here the preacher, instead of declaiming in general terms, judiciously enumerates feveral particular inftances of wife defign and moral agency, well adapted to impress a ftrong conviction of the fundamental principles of religion. The importance of human life, as connected with a future ftate, is forcibly argued from the confideration that time, faculties, power, and property, are given us by our Maker as trufts for which we are hereafter to be accountable. Farther to establish the obligation of religion, it is fhewn, from the faculties and principles of human nature, that men ftand in the relation of fervants to God, and that the practice of virtue, in this life, is a fervice for which a recompence may be expected here. after. Thus far we can with pleafure accompany our author, and can recommend his difcourfes to the ferious attention of those who are difpofed to read fermons for the purpose of practical edification.

The last two fermons are political. Subjects of this kind are, in general, according to our taste and apprehenfion, better treated by the Hon. Laymen in St. Stephen's Chapel, than by the Rev, Gentle men who difcufs them in the pulpit.



Art. 55. Three Letters to the Right Hon. W. Pitt, on the Subject of the Statutes of Mortmain: Containing an Inquiry into the Origin and -prefent State of the Poffeffions of the Clergy under that Tenure. 8vo. Is. 6d. Robinfons. 1795.

Thefe letters contain fome curious Antiquarian researches concerning the ftatutes of mortmain: but they have the demerit of taking too readily for granted the injurious tendency of fuch tenure. Long leafes have been found materially to contribute towards the improvement of agriculture. A quantity of capital has in confequence been expended on the fertilization of foil, which it would not be worth the farmer's while fo to apply, under the risk of annual difmiffion. May not the like be prefumed of long proprietor hips? Will buildings of brick and tile, plantations of timber, and other improvements, which yield a flow return, be readily undertaken on eftates liable, at every accident of death or caprice, at every rife or fall of stock, to be transferred and fubdivided? Are not mortmains on these grounds defenfible? The pamphlet, however, well deferves an attentive perufal; and we look forwards with intereft to the fpecific plan, announced by the author, for the abolition of a fpecies of property, the multitudinous inconveniences of which poffibly outweigh its utility.




Art. 56. Authentic and interefting Letters from Paris, refpecting the Deceafe of the Dauphin, otherwife Louis the XVIIth.

Owen, &c.

[ocr errors]

8vo. IS.

The letter-writer gives the public to understand that he received information relative to many circumftances, from a long and clofe attendant on the unfortunate young Prifoner in the Temple. He was alfo favoured with the fentiments of another acquaintance, who was a furgeon of fome eminence; and whofe opinion concurred with other circumstances to convince the author of this pamphlet, that the Dauphin died, not by the dagger, nor by poifon, but in confequence of ftudied ill treatment, by clofe and folitary confinement, unwhole fome food, deprivation of exercife-and exhibition of medicines of qualities oppofite to the intention of cure'-(of the diforders thus fuperinduced) in short, every kind of neglect;' which [he adds] comprehends a fpecies of aafination infinitely more cruel than that of the most fummary kind.

[ocr errors]

To countenance and fupport this account, the pamphleteer enters into a pretty long inveftigation of the queftion-whether the ruling. powers did, or did not, deem it for their intereft that the days of the ill-fated royal youth fhould be shortened?-which queftion he decides in the affirmative; contrary to the opinion of thole who think, with great appearance of reafon, that the convention could not but be confidered as lofers by a transfer of the claim of fovereignty from a helplefs child, to his uncle.-a man at full liberty to alert that claim, at the head of thousands of zealous adherents to what yet remains of the royal houfe of Bourbon.

Art. 57. Tales of Inftruction and Amusement: Written for the Ufe of Izmo. By Mifs Mitchell. young Perfons. 2 Vols. 6s. bound. Newbery. 1795. The method of conveying moral inftruction by means of tales has been always found fo acceptable, as well as beneficial, that it is not at all furprising that books of this fort fhould multiply without end; and when it is confidered how powerful are the charms of novelty, efpecially to young minds, variety of this kind will rather be regarded as a public benefit than a burthen. Though much has been done in this way, much yet remains to be done; and the young people of this generation are under great obligations to thofe who, in this manner, exercise their talents for their improvement. The tales here prefented to young perfons may fairly be placed among the more fuccefsful attempts in this way. The fubjects of them are, for the most part, thofe moral and prudential maxims which cannot be too early impreffed on young minds. The ftories have a fufficient variety of incident to render them interefting: they are related in correct language; and particular care is taken to imprefs the leffon of each tale on the mind of the reader by fuitable reflections interfperfed in the course of the story,

* All this is easily faid, and concluded, by a nameless writer: but we should have been glad to have known a little more concerning his two trufty friends, the Attendant at the Temple, and the eminent Surgeon.

Kk 2


« EelmineJätka »