« PreviousContinue »
Art. 48. The Clerical Barometer. Canto I. A Poetical Epiftle, addreffed with all Refpect to the Honourable and Right Reverend James, Lord Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry; and dedicated to all the Curates of that Diocefe (who are Graduates of either of the Univerfities), to whom it is delivered gratis. 4to. Is. 6d. Bew. 1788.
This epiftle feems to be a violent ebullition of fplenetic difappointment. It ftates, indeed, real caufes of complaint; but in a ftyle, which will do little credit to the writer, or fervice to the refpectable body of men, whofe grievances he reprefents.
Art. 49. Egerton's Theatrical Remembrancer; containing a complete Lift of all the Dramatic Performances in the English Language, &c. &c. 8vo. 3s. 6d. Boards. Egerton. 1788.
Of a publication like the prefent, which is fimply a catalogue of plays, we can have nothing more to fay, than that it appears to be correct, and that it may be useful to lovers of the Drama.
Art. 50. Anti-Drama, Part the Firft; or, some very serious Thoughts, and interesting Reflections, refpecting Theatres, and Theatrical Exhibitions, &c. 8vo. Is. Evans. 1788.
This rhapfodical invective against plays and players is dedicated, with the highest adoration, to the Lord Jefus Chrift.' It is evidently the production of some fanatic, who has been taught to confider the theatre as the Devil's house. Hear him! hear him! The appellation of Chriftian (which evidently implies the TEMPLE of the thrice HOLY LIVING GOD, the LORD of SABAOTH whofe holy refidence is deep within) must be entirely given up by the lovers, the admirers, the votaries of DRAMA.'. . . The foul that wishes to retain and deserve that appellation, that NEW NAME, that WHITE STONE, that SHINING GARMENT, must give up going to plays, and all fuch vitiating entertainments. There is no alternative-they are inconfiftent, incongruous things.' Let Jeremy Collier, the heretofore renowned Jeremy Collier, " hide his diminished head."
Art. 51. An Attempt to illuftrate various important Passages in the Epistles, &c. of the New Teftament, from our Lord's Prophecies of the Destruction of Jerufalem, and from fome Prophecies of the Old Teftament. To which is added, An Appendix, containing Remarks upon Dr. Macknight's Commentary and Notes on the Two Epifles to the Theffalonians. By N. Nisbett, M. A. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Johnfon, &c. 1787.
The point which Mr. Nifbett here maintains, is, that the expreffions in the Gospels and Epiftles concerning the coming of Chrift, do not refer to the final judgment, but to the deftruction of Jerufalem. He examines the phrafeology in the 24th chapter of Matthew, and compares it with the prophecies of the Old Teftament, from which our Saviour appears to have borrowed his highly figurative language, to prove that both in the original prophecy, and in the application, temporal calamities alone are defcribed. He then fhews, that the
fame language was adopted by the Apoftles, probably in reference to the fame event. The argument is fupported with much ingenuity, and merits the attention of thofe who are engaged in the critical study of the scriptures.
Art. 52. The Converfion, the Practice of St. Paul, and the Prayer of Jabez, confidered: with Devotional Exercifes; Two for each Day of the Week. To which is added, a Sermon preached before the Society of Antient Free-mafons; and an Ode to Masonry. By the Reverend Daniel Turner, A. M. 12mo. 2s. 6d. Cadell. 1788.
The three fermons in this volume are ferious, fenfible, and practical. A little farther correction from the hand of the Author might have improved them, both as to ftyle and matter: but their tendency is good, and the ability of the Writer is confpicuous. If he is orthodox, he is candid; or if in fome refpects he is negligent, he appears faithfully attentive to the interefts of truth and goodnefs. As to mafonry, we have not the honour of being initiated, but Mr. Turner tells us, that no truly fenfible man will ever speak against what he doth not understand.-And he asks, of what use is it, to reafon with bigots, whether in religion, morals, or politics? They are in fact fo many hedge-hogs; and therefore, the best way is to let them and their prickles lay in the ditch together.' Art. 53. Obfervations on the Rev. Andrew Fuller's Reply to Philanthrophos. In Thirteen Letters to a Friend. By Dan. Taylor. 12mo. I S. Buckland. 1788.
This Writer appears to be a good man, and he engages in a worthy caufe, to vindicate the ways of God. We agree with him entirely when he fays, I confefs, it appears to me as equitable to condemn a porter because he does not calculate the eclipfes by the ftrength of his body, or a philofopher because he does not perform the business of a porter by his refined understanding, as to condemn a man who has only natural ability, and never had, nor ever could have any other, because he does not perform moral and Spiritual duties, and therefore I am perfuaded that this is inconfiftent with the perfections and proceedings of the holy, righteous, and gracious God.' Here is a diftinction between what is called a moral, and a natural power, with which thefe writers perplex themselves; perhaps, if they introduced the term rational, which feparates man from the brute, it might affift them a little in the conteft.
Art. 54. Difcourfes on the Parable of the Sower. By Samuel Stennett, D. D. 12mo. 3s. Buckland.
Thefe difcourfes are all founded on one paffage of Scripture, viz. Matth. xiii. 39; though each diftinct fermon may be confined to a particular claufe. Their number is fix, each confifting of two parts. I. Of Parables in general, and the leading Ideas of this in particular. II. The Character of inattentive Hearers confidered. 1II. Enthufiattic Hearers. IV. Worldly-minded Hearers. V. Sincere Hearers. VI. The Duty of Confideration: who hath ears to bear, let him bear.
Publications by this Author have at different times fallen under our notice; one of the laft, or most confiderable, is that on Domeftic Duties,
Duties, which forms the hinth article of the Review for December 1783, p. 488. and the account there given will very well accord with the imaller volume now before us. Thefe difcourfes are adapted to general ufe, and fitted to affiit perfons in a proper attention on, and improvement of, thofe public inftitutions which are defigned to promote their virtue and piety. We are particularly pleafed with what Dr. Stennett fays in the former part of his first difcourfe concerning the intemperate ufe of figure and allegory in difcourfes on moral and religious fubjects.' It is very true, as this pious and fenfible Writer obferves, that The pulpit is too often difgraced with a kind of language, action, and manner of addrefs, better fuited to the familiarity of the market or the fire-fide, yea, in fome inftances, to the drollery of the ftage, than the gravity of a Chriftian affembly'. And again, fpeaking of the abufe of metaphors and fimilitudes, he remarks, It is lamentable to think, what numbers of weak people are impofed on in this way. Their imagination is amufed, and their paffions excited at the expence of their understanding and judgment.-Figures we fhall hear applied to what they bear no refemblance to:-The dottrine of types fhall be treated with the greatest freedom, as if no bounds were to be fixed to a wild imagination :the very outlines of a fhadow fhall become the foundation of fome important doctrine. Scripture hiftories fhall be converted into allegories, the common actions and intercourfes of the patriarchs and others affume the air of mystery ;-and thus the Bible fhall be made to fay, in an infinite variety of forms, what no man of common fense can believe it ever meant to fay.'-To us this feems very just reafoning.
Art. 55. A candid and friendly Reply to Mr. Dan. Taylor's Differtation on Singing in the Worship of God. By Gilbert Boyce. Small 8vo. Is. Buckland. 1787.
Two well-meaning men feem here engaged in a difpute, the refult of which will probably be, not to convince, but merely to confufe and puzzle each other. Mr. Boyce addreffes not only his immediate antagonist, but also the great community of Chriftians, under every denomination, throughout the world. He profeffes a high refpect for Mr. Taylor, and great folicitude to manage his caufe with temper and Chriftian charity in all which we doubt not he is fincere, though at the fame time, we apprehend, there is, poffibly unknown to himself, fome appearance of warmth, and eagerneis, in his performances.
Farther to demolish the prefent mode and practice of finging in public worship, a letter is added from Philologus to Theophilus, intended ftill more to explain the controverfy. Mr. Boyce, arguing from the practice of the Jewish church, feems to fuppofe, that if vocal mufic is employed, inftrumental ought to be united with it: and fhould the Jewish ritual alone be confulted, or could that be fuppofed at prefent to have any authority, it is probable there might be fome weight in his argument. But we leave to others the difcuffion of the fubject.-The Writer appears to lament that for the fake of pleafure and profit it has never been contrived that preachers fhould fing their fermons.'-It is not impoffible, however, but that fome time or other he may be an advocate for filent meetings, fome of
his arguments may perhaps incline that way.- -For our account of Mr. Taylor's Differtation, fee Review for December 1787, P. 509.
Art. 56. Sermons and Difcourfes on feveral Occafions. By George Skene Keith, M. A. Minifter of Keith-Hall, Aberdeenshire. 8vo. 5s. Boards. Evans. 1785.
Moft of thefe fermons are in two parts, fome in three, and one in four. The fubjects are the following: 1. Character of Jefus Chrift: John i. 14. II. Religious Inquiry; Luke vii. 35. III. Greatnefs of Mind; Exod. xxxiii. 32. IV. True Eloquence; A&s xxiv. 25. V. Falfe Eloquence; Acts xii. 21, 22, 23. VI. Progress of Virtue and Happiness; Proverbs iv. 18. VII. Progrefs of Vice and Mifery; Proverbs iv. 19. VIII. Union of Prudence and Innocence; Matth. x. 16, IX. Abraham offering up Ifaac; Genefis xxii. 1-14. X. The Parable of the Prodigal Son; Luke xv. 11-end. It would not be difficult to make fome extracts from thefe difcourfes which would be acceptable to many of our Readers, but brevity obliges us to be fatisfied with a general account. They are rational, fenfible, and useful; partly of a declamatory, partly of an argumentative kind. On the whole, they are well calculated to advance thofe great and good ends, which whatever is delivered from the pulpit ought always to fubferve.
Art, 57. Evangelical Truth defended: or, a Reply to a Letter containing Strictures on a Sermon preached at Lancaster, by the Rev. Mr. Houfman; in which the principal Doctrines of the Gospel are enumerated and enforced. By George Burder. 8vo. 6d. Evans. 1788.
The letter to which Mr. Burder's tract is oppofed, was noticed, together with Mr. Houfman's difcourfe, in our 76th Vol. p. 544We take no part in this controverfy; but any one may obferve the advantage which our Author poffeffes over his antagonist, by having on his fide the articles, homilies, and liturgy of the church; to which he can, at pleasure, add quotations from Archbishop Secker, &c.-Separately from this connexion, every man has, certainly, a right to judge for himself concerning religious truth. And Chriftian charity, together with common obfervation and experience, will teach us, that there are wife, learned, pious, and worthy perfons, under every denomination, and every peculiarity of opinion and fentiment. Why, then, will good people continue to keep alive difputes which anfwer no truly valuable end, and only ferve to fet neighbours at variance with each other?
Art. 58. The Influence of Piety in promoting the perfonal Happiness of Man and the Peace of Society, illuftrated in a Series of Sermons. By William Lamport. Vol. I. 12mo. 3s. Buckland. 1787. Of thefe eight difcourfes, the fubjects are as follow; I. General Defcription of Piety; Gen. v. 24. II. Profperity; Job xxix. 14. III. Adverfity; Job xiii. 15. IV. Foundation of Piety; 1 Peter ì. 16. .V. Influence of Piety on the Paflions; Gen. xxxix. 9. VI, VII. Nature, Defign, and Tendency of Chriftianity; Titus ii. 11-14. VIII. Enlarged Views, Purpofes, and Conduct of a Chriftian; Phil. i. 21. The fermons have a connection with each
other, and bear the marks of the Preacher's good heart, as well as of his refpectable ability; they are compofed with fome attention, and directed folely to a practical purpose. The first five discourses are taken principally from the general character of God, as our Creator and Governor; thofe which follow are derived chiefly from Christianity; the effential principles of which, obferves the Preacher, have the most powerfully pleafing influence on the heart. Whether another volume will follow, feems uncertain, on account of the ill ftate of the author's health.
Art. 59. An Appeal to the Scriptures in general, on the Univerfality of Divine Love to Man, and the univerfal Extent of our Saviour's Death. By William Kingsford. 8vo. 5s. Boards. Buckland. 1788.
This volume owes its rife to a pamphlet published by W. Button, fee Review for July 1786, p. 79.-Nothing can be more inconfiftent with the ideas of wisdom, juftice, and rectitude, not to speak of goodnefs, than the fuppofition that the Almighty Creator dooms any of his creatures, without any fault of theirs, to unavoidable mifery, or places them in circumstances of which this must be the neceffary confequence.-Excited by fome fuch thought, this writer tells us, that he fearched the Bible from the beginning to the end: and,' he fays, on fumming up the evidence of the paffages, I found those which fpake of the univerfal extent of the death of Chrift, and of the free, gracious, and generous intentions of God towards all men, to be numerous, clear, and undeniable, and fo very full and expreffive, that a wayfaring man, though a fool in the eyes of the great and wife, may understand them: and on the contrary, I could find none that confined the extent of the death of Chrift to only a number, or part of the whole; and but very few that feemed to favour the doctrines of perfonal, unconditional election and reprobation, and thefe few were fo far from being plain, and exprefs to that purpose,' that they might, without any perverfion, be understood in a different fenfe.' Mr. Kingsford has ufed great attention and diligence in his inquiry. The work confifts of three parts, or, as the Author terms them, Scales: the first of which contains explications, remarks, &c. very pertinent to the defign; the fecond is a numerous collection of paffages to fhew that Calvinistic notions are unfcriptural, and to prove that the Christian falvation is offered to and defigned for all, without exception; and the third part examines paffages which have been fuppofed to favour election and reprobation. Our prefent limits forbid any extracts; but we cannot refrain from inferting the following fhort paffage relative to reprobation: I know that fome of them are afhamed to own this horrible doctrine, and well they may. But it is not fo with all. The late Dr. Gill, in his answer to the Birmingham Dialogue, p. 28, fays, "That, as infants come into the world children of wrath, he fees no injuftice in it, if they fhould be taken out of the world under wrath." O rare doctrines! that paint the God of love, the Father of mercies, as others would paint Herod and the devil.' The ftyle of this work might admit of fome correction and improvement, yet it is on the whole a fenfible and useful performance: it manifefts thought and study, with the ufe of proper helps on the fubject. Without entering into verbal