Page images
PDF
EPUB

a book profeffedly published for schools, should contain nothing contrary to the doctrines of the national religion.'

This expression might lead us to suppose, that the Author condemns the principles of the reformation; but from what follows, it is plain the means nothing more than this,-chat children should not be troubled with religious controversies. Art. 43. A Letter to the Rev. William Bell, D D. Prebendary

of St. Peter's Weltmintter, on the Subject u! his late Publications upon the Authority, Nature, and Design of the Lord's Supper. By Lewis Bagot *, LL. D. Dean of Christ Church. 8vo. I S. Rivington. 1781.

It was not to be expected that so plain and rational an account of the Lord's Supper, as that given by Dr. Bell in his late publications t on the subject, should pass uncensored by those whose inciination or interest attaches them to obscurity and mystery. That no immediate attempt has been made to fubvert his doctrine, or confute his reasoning, my be juftiy inputed to the truth of his positions, and the force of his argument. The present is an attack upon the author, sacher than pon his doctrine. "The Prebendary of St. Peter's is accused of advancing principles 'inconsistent with the Public Doctrines and Service of che esablished Church.'

According to D. Bagot, to endeavour to undeceive the unlearned belie:er with respect to any mistake into wbich his Prayer Book may have led him, is "jo trifle with the consciences of men, and can only tend to weaken the influence of religious principle.' The unlearned who wants initruction on any religious subject ought to apply to the minister of his parish ; and that minifler, on such applicating ought to refer him,' not to the bible, but to his catechism and to be church service, as mof competent to determine his judgment.'

Such are the principles, and such is the spirit of this publication ; and in our opinion, they are as inconfiltent vith those of proiettanuilm, as any thing in Dr. Bell's Tract can be wich the doctrines and services of the eltablimed church

Near the close of his Letter, the Dean has infinuated a charge of disingenuity again! Dr. Bell, because in his Practical Enquiry, p. 19. n.j. he has mentioned a passage in S: John's goipel, and another in it. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians, as having been falsely supposed to relate to the Lord's supper; for the proof of which be seters to the ppendix and noies of his vittempt to ascertain, &c. ibe Nature of that Inititution; whereas in tha: larger work no notice at all is taken of the pasi ige in Si John's gospel. Candour would have imputed this to inadvertence. The charge may be easily obviaced whenever another edition of either of Dr. Bell's publications is called for. Surely, even Dr. Bagot himself cannot believe, that any part of the vi. chap. of St. John's gospel has a reference to the Lord's fupper. In our opinion, it requires but a litile more credulity to under. ftand the expresions, as che Papilts do, in their literal sense.

• Promoted to a seat in the Episcopal Bench, since the publication of this Letter.

+ See a large account of Dr. Bell's “ Attempt to ascertain, &c." in our Review for Decernber, 1780. p. 448.

Art.

Art. 44. An Authentic Narrative of the Life and Conversion of

1. C. Leberecht, a Jew, who died in the Faith of the Son of God, November 13th, 1976, at Konincsberg, in Prussia. To which is added, a remarkable Account of ihree Jewith Children of Berlin. Founded on Fact, 12mo. 3 d. Wallis.

The Editor of this account professes his hope that it may obviate what he terms, a rash and urjust prejudice which has been formed, viz. ' That a les can never become a Christian, and that all baptized Jews return to Judaism belore their duath.' The narrative may posibly be true; but it cortains nothing that will greatly excite attention. Ii is however very happy when any person, who has been under miliakes of an important kind, is convinced of his error, embraces truth, and acts under its influence. Art. 45. Evangelical Sermons. By Thomas Adam, Rector

of Wintriogham, Lincolnshire. 8vo. 6 s. bound. Buckland. 1781.

The number of these Sermons is eleven : they are somewhat long, and several of them are divided into two parts. They are stiled, Evangelical, a term which certain writers are very fond of assuming, and confining to themielves, but which muit, nevertheless, belong to others who incerely endeavour to make divine revelation their fudy and guide

Thele Discourses are in the calvinistical strain, of the declamatory kind, very warm ard urgent, and appear to proceed from a heart fervently defirous of doing good to mankind. We are informed, that the Author, being incapacitated through age and infirmities from appearing in the pulpit, is desirous of contributing to the benefit of his fellow-creatures by such means as are yet in his power. Art. 46. A New Transation, with a Paraphrase of some Parts of

Ecclefiafles. 12mo. id. Leicester, printed. Lowndes. 1781. This, though indeed a little performance, deserves some attention, especially as it may be designed as a specimen of a larger work. It was intended, we are told, to print only a few copies of this paper, to be given to the Translator's particular friends; but on conlideration, that the more it is dispersed, the better the sentiments of the Public in general concerning it must be known, the Translator has ordered a number to be printed, and sold.' To give our Readers some view of this Translation, we shall select two or three verses from the account of old age, or of sickness and disorders to which the human constitution is liable, in the twelfth chapter.

• V. 4. When the gates of discourse shall be kept shut because the voice is low and defiitute of grace, and jounds like the voice of a little bird, and all relish for mufik shall be loft.

Then hills in the way shall frighten, and waters terrify bim, and be shall grow negligent of business, and feasting foall be troublesome to him, and the love of quiet shall grow on bim, as the man draws towards his long home, and his friends come about bim in the street with condolence.

51.6 Before the schemes of getting money are laid afide, and the pleasure of [potfelling] gold be weakened, and instead of Springing hope, he shall have (only) a prospect of disolution, and tbe wheel be rolled into the pit.' 6

To

، \. .

To each of the verses is added a kind of paraphrase, but the Adthor does not furnish his readers with particular criticisms, or allign his reasons for the several and greai alicrations which he makes in the text. We must leave this for the contemplation of Habricians, and shall finish our article by adding the following paisage from this petit publication. • The Translator considers the Hebrew text as it appears in our printed Bibles, merely as a translation: the origical text being the letters without vowel points, without profes, and even without any divifion into words. He therefore thinks himself at lis berty, whenever the context requires ii, either to read with different points, or to divide ilie letters differently into words or fentences, He fupposes himsel? 100 at liberty to read some forts of words either with or without a vazu, with or without a yed For all readers have feen and allowed the necesity of doing this in many intances, ard theref re it my be neceflary in other, which they are not aware of. He has too, iow and then, taken the liberty of applying that common rule, Litræ komegeret, five unius e gani facile inter permantur ; where no application of it has been mauc before. and there are all the liberties he has presumed to tike, except he has in a single infance supposed a word thould be road with an Aleph epentheticum, as is done in the present way of reading the text in mny places.'

N. B. A second, a much larger, part of this work is publithed; which we shall duly notice.

S E R Μ Ο Ν S. I. Grace without Enthufia,'.. Preached at All Saints, Colches

ter, on Trinity Sunday, 1781. By Nathaniel Foriler, D). D. Re:tor of the said Parish, and Chaplain to the Countess Donager of Northington. 8vo. 6d. Robinson, &c.

The extravagant ideas that have been entertained by ancient ard modern enthusiatts, respecting the influence and operation of ite hoiy fpirit on the human mind, are well known, and cannot but be fircerely lamented by every fober minded Chrian. It is the profeffid design of Dr. Foriter, in this Discourte, 10 to explain the doctrine as to guard against the abuse of it, and to reconcile his explanation to the articles and litu gy of the Church oi England.

* Now there is one obvious way' says he, in which the holy Spisit may very prope:ly be said to atlist all Chritians, as well in the knowledge, as in the practice of their duty; and that without any in. fringement upon the fieedom of our rational powers (for it is by the free exercise of these powers that such a lidarce can alone bi obtained), and this is, by tha: plain rule of life, which is laid before us in the Gospe!, and the powesful molives held out by the same Gofpel, co the o' fisvance of is. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” When therefore we are taught, are converted, are comforted, by those Scriptures, we may very properly be said to be taught, to be converied, to be comforted, by God, the Author of them. When we are tous led into the paths of truth, of virtue, and happiness, by the word of God, it is God himself who is our reacher, our leader, and our guide. He haih revealed his will to us, by the mouth of his inspired Apostles and Prophets, which have been since the world began. He hath opened life and inmortality to our view,

as the great reward of all our labours, by the Gospel of his Son. He hath moreover given us reason and understanding (without which every other bleling would have been loft to us) to know his will, as thus sevealed, and to weigh the force of those motives which are fet before us in this revelation. All therefore that we know, all that we think, and all that we do, in consequence of thele lights, whether froin without or within us, whatever virtue, whatever praise there may be, in our own endeavours, and in our own improvements under them, is, in this view, ultimately and solely to be referred to Ged: is to be ascribed to his unbounded benevolence, thus plainly the wing us what is good, and what he requireth; and attording u. the mott powerful inocives to perfcvere in that path of duty, which he hath prefcribed.'

This is rational and judicious. By flopping here, Dr. Forster would, in our opinion, have much more effectually guarded his pa. sithioners againit' enthutialiic delusions,' than by talking, as hę afterwards doe:, of a communication, influence, and operation of the spirit, of which we have no confcicufness, or perception; the effects of which cannot be distinguished from the natural suggellions of our own minds; from which 'no human being can ever say, that any thought, any word, any work of his, immediately, much less exclufively, proceeds ;' and which no morral can ever know, without a mis racle, that he is favoured with. But perhaps the sentinents contained in the former paragraph, however consonant to reason or Scripture, might not have been so easily reconciled to the articles or liturgy of the church of England.

In a note, profesiedly designed for the philosophical reader', Dr. F. has suggested, that every moral and free agent being determined by motives, and the Almighty having the absolute direction of every motive in nature, a wide field is opened for the divine agency, and interpolition, without the lealt infringement of human liberty. But he had previously asserted in the Discourse itself, that the itrongeft motives are no motives, to those whose hearts are insensible to their impreslion.' So that in order to give efficacy to motives, there must be fome operation upon the mind itself; which, though according to the Doctor's supposition, we be not conscious of it, it will be difficult to prove entirely confiilent with moral and free

agency. PREVIOUS TO THE GENERAL FAST, February 28, 1782. 1. A Short Alarm before the Fuff, in 1,82; and, to be seriously

considered after. By a Friend !o his Country. 8vo. I s. Dilly.

A warm advocate for America, makes no fcruple, in this liitle piece, to arraign the conduct of government in the moit bitter language, and to load even royalty with opprobrium. Amidst the marks of degeneracy which appear with such aggravated colours on the face of our country, we may rack, as one of the most alarming, that contempt of legal autbority, which this pamphlet is evidently calculated to promote amidit the lower ranks of people : it is one of the last fymptoms of a falling ftare ! II. A Faithful Picture of the Times; being a Sermon for the Year

1782, addressed to the King, N-bility, Clergy, and Laity of this profligate and perithing Kingdom. By a Believer of the exploded 3

and

and almost antiquated Doctrines of Christianity. 12mo. 2 d. Bladon.

A frightful caricatura ! - not a Faithful Piðure :---at least it is overcharged, if not distorted.

1 S.

FAST-DAY SERMONS, III. A Sermon preached before Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in

the Abbey Church of Weitasinler, on the lare Fift. By Samuel, Lord Bishop of Glouceiter. 40. Cadell

This is a very elegant and senible Discourse. The object of it is to prove that war cannot be the naturni ftate of man :-that one great cause of the Ruin of public communities, is the power of internal corruption; which corruviion, arising from infidelity and an indif. ference to all religion, manifests itself in all the forms of vice and immorality; and that the only probable means of averting impending judgments, and recovering the peace and prosperity of this country, congist in what ought to be the ruling principles of a Fast - humility, repentance, and reformation.

lowing reflections, which seem principally levelled at the infinuating and pernicious fyltem of education inculcated by Lord Chetterfeld, are as just as they are elegant. • The time was, when a serious regard to the commands of God was thought to be the surest foundation on which to erect the structure of virtue; when impresling maxims of probity on the young and yielding mind was judged to be the best security from the dominion of inward paffion, or the sudden violence of outward temptation. But a servile respect to the will of a superior, we are told, would destroy the merit of obedience; and insuling early habits of self-governmeot, would cramp the efforts of natural genius. An easier discipline hath been invented, in which the severe and antiquated rules of morality are dif carded, and other regulations introduced, better suited to the capricious delicacy of modern manners. In this school of polite instruction, a prudent accomodation to the modes of thinking and acting, which prevail in fashionable lise, is inculcated as the great leflon to be learnt by every aspirant to worldly distinctions, the cardinal excellence which is to lead to certain honour and fortune. An oblequious and unmeaning civility, in which the affections have no concern, is caught to assume the air and usurp the place of benevolence; and a ftudied attention to exterior accomplishments, serves as a decent veil to hide the hollowness and corruption of the heart.' IV.-Before the House of Commons. By Thomas Dampier, D. D.

Prebendary of Durham. 4to. 15. Payne. A plain and practical Discourse on Ezek. xviii. 30. “ Repent and turn yourselves from your iniquities, and so fin shall not be yous ruin.” V.-Preached in the Parish Church of Swinderby, in the County of

Lincoln. By John Disney, D. D. F. A. S. 8vo. 6 d. Johnson.

Spirited and free: perhaps it will be thought too much so for the occafion : for the idea of a fait implies modelty and meekness. But the wound is deep and dangerous; and the Doctor thinks it bis duty to probe it to the quick.

« PreviousContinue »