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HI. In the Church of St. Anne, Dublin, on the 10th of February, 1779; being the Day appointed for a General Fait, &c. By Thomas Leland, D. D. 4to. I S. Conant.
This discourse contains much seasonable and important instruction, expreffed with great energy. The following extract will give our Readers an idea of the Doctor's ftyle and manner:
⚫ Britain was the joy of the whole earth. People the most diftant bowed before her: nations the most opulent did her fervice. She was "replenished and made glorious." But thou, O Lord, haft again hidden thy face, and we are troubled! The arm of the child is lifted against the parent, and they of our own kindred and lane guage have turned their eyes from "the rock whence" they are, hewn." War, and clamour, and animofity, are our portion: in our councils divifion, in our streets complaint, in our houses mourning; hunger and nakedness (here more especially in our own af. Aicted borders) clamouring for relief; poverty and calamity uttering their piercing cries; hideous impatience for rapine and bloodshed; the cruelty of despair, the blind rage of envy; the melancholy neceffity of public jutlice, the outrageous defiance of its utmost feverity; the perpetual dread of violence, and life of terror and fufpicion and anxious precaution, as if we had no civil union, no laws for cur protection, as if this country were driven back by her diftreffes to the barbarity of ancient times, and the impatience of her children were ready to renew the days of outrage and desolation.
But not to dwell on the peculiar vifitations of our own unhappy land, let us extend our views, as our affections should be extended, to our fellow-fubjects.-We know, and it is not the voice of faction which now calls us to acknowledge, with what confidence in the arm of flesh, we scoffed at the first appearance of hoftility in the revolting colonies. Too nearly refembling the great city defcribed by the Prophet, we feemed to "fet our hearts as the heart of God." Who could refift our might, or who could queftion our jurifdiction? The fpirits of the rebellious were to melt as wax, and the prefumption of the gainfayers, at our approach, was to die within them. We called them weak; we felt them powerful: we talked of subduing; we found refiftance and defiance. In our pride we dictated fubmifiion; with equal and perhaps no lefs dangerous pride, they renounced all connexion. Here, our mighty men could boast but of fome imperfect advantages; there, our menaces were confounded, and our vaunting turned to difgrace. We looked for fuccefs, and behold a fnare; for victory, and the mercy of our adverfaries was our refuge. Another enemy watched the moment of our distress, des vised how we might be brought low, prepared, avowed her hoftilities, iffued to the conteft, fhrunk from our affault, and boafted of victory. While our foes exulted, we were troubled: our painful anxiety could not be concealed. And if our native coafts have not been invaded, we have dreadful and devouring enemies in the midst of us; diffention, and clamour, and jealoufy, and mutual accufation; corruption and profligacy beyond the example of former days; obftinacy and indifference, and unrelenting defiance of God's righteous judgments.-Such are "the figns of the times."
The words, from which the Doctor difcourfes, are thefe: Thine heart was lifted up, because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wif
dom, by reason of thy brightness. I will caft thee to the ground; I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Ezek. xxviii. 17. IV. At one of the Parish Churches in Northampton, on the 10th of February, 1779; being the Day appointed by royal Authority, for a Faft, and for imploring God's Bleffing on his Majesty's Arms. Addreffed to the Officers of the Troops then quartered at Northampton. 8vo. 6d. Dicey.
A plain, ferious difcourfe from Jerem. v. 3.
V. To a Congregation of Proteftant Diffenters, at Hackney. By Richard Price, D. D. F. R. S. 8vo. I S. Cadell.
In a short advertisement prefixed to this fermon, the Doctor tells us that it was compofed in fome hafte, and without any particular attention to the ftyle; that it is published partly in compliance with the request of fome who heard it; and, partly, because it has been mifrepresented. The notice which he has taken of public measures, is fuch, he fays, as came neceffarily in his way in difcuffing the fubject he had chofen, and in confidering the prefent state of the kingdom. This, however, is the first time, we are told, in which he has entered into politics, in a fermon, and, perhaps, it may be the laft.
In the latter part of his sermon, the Doctor draws a very dark and difmal picture of the fituation of public affairs, which, though bad enough, is, we truft, not fo bad as he reprefents it. He tells us that our ftrength is Spent; but, we hope, he is mistaken. It is difficult, indeed, to conceive how any perfon, who is at all converfant with public affairs, can fay, that our ftrength is yet fpent. There is no doubt that this country will yet bear a great deal of ruining.
Since we wrote the above, we have feen a fecond edition of Dr. Price's fermon, with a poftfcript, containing remarks on a paffage in the Bishop of London's fermon preached at the Chapel Royal on Afh-Wednesday laft. See p. 244, of this Review.
In this paffage, his Lordship talks of vifionary and impracticable principles being affumed as the only true foundations of a free government; and, in a note, quotes two paffages from Dr. Frice's tracts, in order to prove his doctrine concerning government vifionary and dangerous. The Doctor, with great fpirit, endeavours to vindicate his character, and support his opinion. Nay, he tells us that the language which he has employed, and which has given moft offence, has been hitherto the common language of all the friends of civil liberty, Montesquieu, Mr. Justice Blackstone, many of the reverend clergy themselves in their fermons on public occafions, and, particularly, of the excellent Dr. Lowth, in a fermon preached at the affizes at Durham in 1764.-It does not appear to us, after confidering, with the most accurate attention, the paffage, in the Bishop of London's fermon, to which Dr. Price refers, that his Lordship meant to point the Doctor out as a perfon, whofe ftudy it had long been to introduce diforder, encourage fedition, &c. but that he only meant to mention his principles of government. It is impoffible, indeed, in our opinion, to confider the paffage in any other light.
*Said to have been preached in the church of All Saints, by the Rev. Mr. Hughes.
VI. The delufive and perfecuting Spirit of Popery-Preached in Monkwell-ftreet. By James Fordyce, D. D. 8vo. I S. Cadell. This difcourfe, we are toki, in the advertisement prefixed, is pub lished at the affectionate request of many who heard it, for whom the Preacher entertains a juft refpect, and whofe approbation he esteems a pleafing fanction to his well-meant attempt, at a crifis when this country feems to be in growing danger from Popery. It contains the greater part of a fermon on Popery, which the Doctor preached 25 years ago, in the prefence, and by the appointment, of a numerous and refpectable body of the Scotch clergy, with whom he was then nearly connected.
Many of his readers will, no doubt, differ widely from him in regard to the danger at prefent to be apprehended from Roman Catholics; be this, however, as it may, his zeal in a caufe fo intimately connected with the interets of truth, virtue, and religion, does him honour; and his fermon, we doubt not, will be confidered by every impartial reader, as manly, fpirited, and fenfible.
F the Gentleman who fent a pamphlet under the fignature of an Old Acquaintance *,' apprehends that fome regard is due to what is commonly understood by that defignation, he will, at the fame time, allow the fuperior claim of an OLD FRIEND; efpecially a friend who no longer furvives to defend his own fame: fuch was ROSCIUS. But, be it obferved, that neither civility to acquaintance, nor affection to friends, ought to prevail on a Reviewer to abuse the public confidence, by a partial representation of the merits or defects of the publications that fall under his notice. We have, accordingly, fpoken what we really think, of the piece to which this note bears fome degree of reference.
Obfervator propofes, as an extenfion of our plan, that we fhould criticife the periodical publications of the times, including even the Magazines. If this Gentleman had been aware of the great additional trouble we should bring upon ourselves by adopting his hint, and of the invidious appearance of fo novel a procedure, we, probably, had not been favoured with his letter. We are fatisfied, however, that his propofal is founded in a laudable concern for those readers whofe time and money are (particularly in the inftance which he points out) fpent upon the moft worthless productions of the prefs.
tit We are much concerned to hear fo bad an account of the health of our old Correfpondent J. B. He has our very fincere wishes for his fpeedy and complete recovery.
Capt. Carver's Travels in America will be continued in our next Review.
Though the hand-writing is not recognised, we have no fufpicion of false pretences: notwithstanding what Justice Burdus used fagaciously to remark, in regard to anonymous letters: "I always, faid he, look upon that Mr. Anonymous to be a very fufpicious fellow."
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ART. I. MARSHALL'S Minutes of Agriculture (concluded). See laft Month's Review.
(By a CORRESPONDENT.)
UR Author declares himself at open war with CUSTOM, unless when founded in reason; and we think it right to examine with attention, in all cafes, whether received customs, when hurtful, are founded on reafon or not. Many readers, nevertheless, will be apt to pronounce him a daring innovator, when they hear that he ftrenuoufly contends for introducing the fashion of working on Sundays during feed-time and harvest. We are aware that many good men, and even fome fenfible perfons, may, at first, be ftartled at this propofal, because they have been accustomed, from their infancy, to view fuch freedom in a criminal light. For our own part, we cannot help regretting that the uneffentials of religion should, in any case, be confounded with its effentials; for nothing, we are certain, has so much hurt the caufe of religion. From this circumftance it happens, that the belief of many, in the genuine principles of religion, is un dermined; for when they find themselves baffled in fupporting a tenet that has infenfibly been adopted without fufficient foundation, but which they have been accuftomed to think of equal authority with all the other tenets of their religion, they naturally conclude, that, as this cannot be defended when strictly examined, all the others, if duly inveftigated, would be found to reft upon as unftable foundations. On these principles we must applaud every attempt to diftinguifh, with accuracy, between the effential tenets of religion, and those which come to be accounted fuch merely from accident. This example was fet by our Saviour himfelf, who, with that benignity fo peculiarly his own, condefcended to moderate the rigid aufterity of
Our Readers will confider the opinion here delivered as fimply that of our ingenious Correfpondent, the writer of this Article.
REV. Apr. 1779.
the obfervance of the Sabbath among the Jews; and his dif ciples and followers, for feveral hundred years, never thought that the Jewish obfervance of the Sabbath conftituted any part of the duty of a Chriftian. A well-written hiftorical account of the introduction of this practice into the Chriftian Church, and its progrefs, with the motives that contributed to render it pretty univerfally adopted, would form an useful book. Our Author does not enter into this difcuffion, but merely inquires into its political expediency, as follows:
The Author did not commence Farming with a premeditated intent on Sabbath-breaking: he reveres the LAWS OF MEN, whether they are Religious, or profefedly Political, when the LAWS OF MEN are founded on the LAW OF NATURE: nay, he can allow for the mifconceptions of human frailty, and venerate the inoffenfive Law OF CUSTOM, though established in ERROR. But when the LAW OF MAN is evidently fubverfive of the LAW OF GOD, what unprejudiced man can hefitate to condemn it ?-at leaft in his own mind.
Nor did the Writer begin the practice of Working on Sundays precipitately; but was deliberately convinced of its propriety, by a feries of circumftances, and a long train of reafoning.
The first year, he faw his Hay lofe its effence, and his Corn its wholesomeness, with passive obedience to the Laws and Religion of his Country.
The Second year, perceiving more evidently the mischievousness and abfurdity of a Custom which counteracts the bounteous intentions of Providence, he began to reflect on the confequences which would refult from a non-compliance; and fifted, particularly, into the Sabbath-day employment of his weekly Servants.
One, he found digging in his garden :-another, quarrelling with his neighbour:-a third, gambling-a fourth, bl-g himfelf and blafpheming his Maker, by way of amufing the hour of indolence: the reft at the alehoufe, fquandering thofe wages which ought to have administered comfort to themfelves, their wives, and their children, through the enfuing week.
The wane of the Harvest 1775 was uncommonly precarious, and the impropriety (not to fay the impioufnefs) of neglecting any opportunity which might preferve the gifts of Nature from actual wafte, was painted in fuch ftriking colours, that the Author no longer hefitated to listen to the dictates of NATURE, REASON, and COMMON-SENSE.
See the MINUTES of the 11th SEPT. and 8th OCT. 1775.
The more the Author practifed the WORKING ON SUNDAYS in HAY-TIME and HARVEST, the more clearly he faw its PROPRIETY: he eagerly wished to fee it the common Practice of this country; and was ambitious of fetting the PATRIOTIC EXAMPLE.
His Patriotifm, however, was not feen fo clearly by his Neighbours as by himself; and he incurred the cenfure of many, whose good opinion he wished not to have forfeited.
The circumstance which gave the greateft offence, happened Fince the clofe of the foregoing MINUTES; the Author, nevertheless, in fupport of his conduct, will here infert, though out of form, Ab