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a moral agent, accountable not merely for the direct effects^ but also for the remotest influence of bis actions, while we execrate the names, we cannot but shudder at the state of those, who have opened fountains of impurity, at which fashion leads its successive generations,- greedily to drink* Nor shall we cease, as long as bur voices can be heard; from, warning our countrymen against tasting the deadly stream of theatrical pleasure, or inhaling the pestiferous vapours which infest its borders.
Of our author we feelingly take our leave; regretting the misapplication of that talent of patient and persevering industry, which, in a better pursuit, might have entitled him to the lasting esteem of his country. We would recall to his attention, the expression ascribed to the dying Grotius, one of the most pungent, considering who he was that uttered it, which ever fell from the lips of man,—" * Vitam perdidi, operose nihil agendo."
Art. XVI. The Trial of Henry Lord Viscount Melville, before the Right Honourable the House of Peers, in Westminster Hall, in full Parliament, for High Crimes and Misdemeanors upon an Impeachment by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament, assembled, in the name of themselves, and of all the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Begun the 29th Day of April, and thence continued by several adjournments to the 12th Day of June, 1806. Published by order of the House of Peers, folio pp. 420. Price 11. Is. Gurney. 1806.
npiiE public curiosity, which was so remarkably excited by the various proceedings of the House of Commons in crimination of Lord Viscount Melville, has nearly subsided. .And after a large expenditure of time, talent, and mopey, we believe the verdict of the public is by no means Unanimous. Some stiil refer to the proceedings in the Commons, regard* ing the manner in which the noble Lord's acquittal was obtained as a private juggle ; others abide literally by the decision of the Lords, and are willing to consider it as proving the injustice, as well as wiping off the stain, of the accusation. But, whatever unjust reproach may pursue either party in this contest, the interest which posterity will take in this trial will be little diminished. The nobleman who was impeached will be remembered among the most remarkable statesmen of his time, from the talents he has displayed, the offices he has held, and the influence he has wielded; and the attention of general readers will frequently be roused by the dexterity of attack and defence, which has been exerted through every stage of the proceedings, and the eminent abilities of the principal Manager as well as of the Counsel on this occasion.
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, The volume now before us is an entire and authentic record of the proceedings on the impeachment, beginping 6imply with the first day of sitting at Westminster Hall, without any narrative of previous events. This plan, as well as the folio size, was necessarily adopted in order to entitle the publication to rank with the 'State Trials.' On its accuracy, we need offer no opinion; for this essential requisite, the public has an unquestionable pledge in the acknowledged talents of Messrs. Gurneys, and in their unsullied reputation. The work is handsomely printed in double columns, with a laudable attention to persnicuity of appearance and literal correctness. It concludes with a tabular list of the votes on each article of impeachment, and a distinct and minute table of contents.
Art. XVII. The encouraging Asfiect of the Times ; or the Christian's Duty to study the Prophecies of Revelation in Connection with the Events of of Providence ; a Sermon preached in Orange-street Chapel, iJortaea, February 26, 1806. By John Griffin, pp. 74. Price Is. WilHams. 1806.
17AST Day Sermons have of late years been a fashionable species of composition; and they have served to display, in some instances, the feeling of the public- mind, and in others, the sentiments and wishes of the preacher. Among wise and good ministers, two classes have distinguished themselves on these occasions, by the different views they hare given us of the state of the country, and their different prognostications as to its future destinies. They appear to stand back to back, and to be looking at different objects; or shall we rather say, that their eyes are of a different conformation, so that in viewing the ancient and venerable fabric in which the sons of Britain dwell, one class can see scarcely any thing but faults, and the other perceives only excellences and beauties. But there is a third class of preachers who see things with other eyes. That there are evils among us, and great and numerous evils, they frankly acknowledge, and bitterly lament; but they conceive that there is much good in the land too, that the good preponderates, and therefore that we shall yet see good days. Among these, Mr. Griffin ranks, whose discourse is very superior indeed to the common mass of fast day sermons. He enumerates the many and heinous national sins which we have reason to deplore with sorrow and regret. But he likewise holds up the fair side of the picture, and with skill and accuracy points out the excellences of the English constitution; the spirit of liberty in the people; the numerous institutions reared by the hands of humanity and philanthropy; the extensive charities for the instruction of the ignorant, and the diffusion of useful knowledge ; the multitude of religious people among the different denominations in the country; and the methods which they are adopting for the propagation of the gospel at home, in Europe, and throughout the world; he then displays the beneficial influence which these are calculated to produce on the destinies of every nation under Heaven. Hence he concludes, that the degradation of England would be an injury to the whole human race: and therefore, that there is reason to be ieve God will defend and protect the British Isles, and not suffer our enemies to triumph, ever us.
In the course of the sermon, Mr. G. introduces a considerable numbed of fine sentiments, and admirable general principles, which it will be difficult for any person to read without receiving instruction and benefit- The thoughts are clothed in bold and forcible language. We are happy to see that a second edition is already called for.
Art. XVIII. A Sermon preached on the 26th of Fehuary, 1806, appointed by Hoyal Authority, a Day of general Fasting and Humiliation. By the Rev. David Brichan, Minister of the Scots Church, Artillery1 Street. 4to. pp. 27. Price 2s'. Ogle. 1806.
"pKOM the exordium of this sermon, we did not argue very much in favour of its general character; for a sermon that begins with flowers is very rarely found to afford much fruit as it proceeds. But Mr. B. lays aside ail his useless, we will say trifling, ornaments, when he grows warm with his subject, and feels its important relation to his hearers, and to his country at large. The verse, which he has chosen, Prov. xxxi. 31. is suitably explained, established, and improved, with much seriousness and ability; and under these divisions, many useful sentiments are introduceJ, and several common objections satisfactorily surmounted. The conclusion is ingenious and highly impressive. The language is generally pure and appropriate; but is not wholly free from unauthorised idioms. "An hero," (p. 14.) is doubtless an oversight. The pronoun vie, applied to the preacher alone, is offensively frequent; it is a veiy common error, but its prevalence is no excuse. A person who stands alone in the presence of a congregation, can have no pretence to use it of himself; in almost every case, it may be employed in such a manner as to connect the preacher with his hearers, or with his brethren in the clerical office; when this is impracticable, the phrase may be inverted, or even the singular pronoun may be preferably substituted. We therefore warn all preachers against encroaching on our prerogative.
Art. XIX. The Circle of the Sciences consecrated by the Cross: A brief Attempt to exhibit the first Elements of Science, and to shew how every Branch of useful Knowledge may be made subservient to the best Purposes. Second Edition,greatly enlarged, 8vo. pp. 200. Price 3s. 6d. Williams and Co. 1806. H^HE design of this little book is entitled to the highest praise; and we could wish that the sciences were always taught and cultivated with »uch views as it recommends. The execution also is generally accurate; « the first elements of Science' in every department are exhibited. But we think the plan should have been more comprehensive, and that more information on eveiy subject should have been admitted. On this account the moral reflections at the close of some of the sections are out of proportion to the scientific explanations; and the reader often seems to be admonished how to improve what he has learnt, without having learrit any thing to improve. Yet it is certainly a useful performance, and may with great propriety be committed into the hands of children.
The frontispiece is no recommendation to the work, and indeed should be torn out of it; as one part is liable to a ludicrous and profane perversion.
Art. XX. Female Compassion illustrated and exemplified in the establishment and superi'ntendencvof" A charitable institution for the relief of necessitous families," &c. A Sermon, preached in the parish church of St. Nicholas, Rochester; Aug. 17, 1806. By the Rev. Charleg Moore, M. A. Vicar. 44.0, pp.21. Price Is. 6d. Hatchard. 1806; XAl E could wish there were any thing worthy of praise, in this sermon, beside the good intention of the preacher; but unhappily its theology is no less lean and lifeless than its style; and while it extorts a yawn from the critic, it-must draw a sigh from the Christian. Mr. M. talks of the kingdom of heaven being the reward for relieving our brethren in distress; should he not have considered that the good works in his te xt ^Matt. xxv. 34", &c.) are specified as the evidences of love to the Redeemer and consequently of faith and holiness, certainly not as the purchase of heavenly felicity; they are accepted as "done unto him;" not as the effusions of benevolence, tut as the homage" of piety. The greatest possible sacrifices, disinterested as they may seerri, are only acceptable as expressions of love to God (1 Cor. xiii. 3.); the promised reward is not of debt, but of grace; and we are enjoined, after all we can do is done, to confess ourselves unprofitable servants.
Of the institution we freely express our warm approbation; adding also our wish, that its cause may be pleaded, and its funds maintained, on those principles alone, which the Gospel exclusively reveals. ..'
Art. XXI. Aplain and affectionate Address to the Parishionen(of St. Martin's and All Saint's, tn Leicester. By the Rev. Edward Thomas Vaughan, A. M. Vicar. l2mo. pp. 81. Price Is. 6d. Hatchard, &c. 1806. rrHIS little piece breathes the spirit of a zealous pastor, who f travails in birth until Christ be formed in the hearts" of his hearers. It consists of an appeal to the consciences of the ignorant and indiffer_ ent, and of admonitions to use those means by which they may attain eter_ rial life. We congratulate any church which enjoys the enlightened mi •nistry of a pastor, who is actuated by the principles which this "Address', discloses and recommends. ;.
Art. XXII. A Narrative of the premature and much lamented Death of Col. Villey of Bath, tuho tuas idled at Reading, June 1 Stk, 1806. by fracturing his Skull in leaping out of one of the Bath Coaches, in consequence
- of the Horses running away. With the substance of a conversation1 (just before the melancholy event took place,) between him and J. Bain, Protestant Dissenting Minister, Potter-Street, Harlow, Essex. Second Edition enlarged, 12mo. pp. 39. Price 6d. fine 9d. Williams. 1806.
TTROM the serious conversation, and the singularly excellent general conduct of Col. Villey, Mr. Bain infers that he was not unprepared for a happier world at that awful moment which terminated his consciousness, and shdrtly after his life. It will be well if all who read this narrative are properly impressed with the reflection, that diera may be " but a step betwixt them and death." "'
Vol. Ill, G,
Art. XXIII. Mental Rtcreations. Four Danish and German Tale*, . entitled Henry and Amelia, The Noble Suitor, Paladin, The Young
Dane. By the Author of a Tour in Zealand, 12mo. pp. 158.
Price 3s. 6d. bds. Baldwin.
rpHESE Tales are said to be from the Danish and German; it i« their only recommendation.
AMERICAN LITERATURE. Art. XXIV. A Compendious Dictionary of the EngTish Language, in which five Thousand Words are added to the number found in the best English Compends;'the Orthography is in some Instances corrected; the Pronunciation marked by an Accent or other suitable Direction; and the Definitions of many Words amended and improved, &c. by Noah Webster, Esq. 8vo. pp. 432. Hartford and Newhaven (America) 1806.
'"THE heterogeneous materials of which the English language is com■* posed had scarcely acquired consistence and regularity of form, when the maritime spirit and growing commerce of our nation began to diffuse its speech to the most distant parts of the world. Within two centuries, it has become prevalent in the West and the East Indies, and. has spread from Hudson's Bay to Van Diemen's land. It is possible, that, in the lapse of ages, every colony formed by Britons may, like tho^e of North America, assume independence of the Mother Country: and if
.they do so, we hope that it will be readily acceded to them. But English, however reluctantly, they must remain. The bonds of customs and language cannot be broken like those of political authority. It gives us pleasure to observe, that, notwithstanding the violent prejudices against us, which are absurdly cherished by our fellow countrymen beyond
• the Atlantic, they are wise enough to aim at preserving the use of our Ian-' guage with correctness and propriety. Whether they are likely to succeed in amending and improving it, the present article affords us occasion to examine.
Mr.' Webster, more than twenty years ago, published " Institutes of the English language." With that work, the present is proposed to "complete a 6ystem of elementary principles, for the instruction of youth in the English language." After this intimation, our readers will perhaps be surprised to find that the etymologies of words are not included in Mr. W''8 plan. These, indeed, were hardly to be expected in a comfiend: but then, we should as little have expected that the system could be com
, pleted by a compend. The author, nevertheless, founds his orthographical corrections on the etymology of terms: and in a preface of twenty* three pages, too mjnutejy printed, he enables us to judge of his qualifications for the undertaking.
Since the publication of his former work Mr. W. has laudably applied
'himself to the study of the Anglo-Saxon, which he terms "the mother,tongueof the English." That our language derives its principal grammatical inflections, and a great proportion of its terms, from the Saxon dialect of the Teutonic language, is certain: but it is equally certain, tha£
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