Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

which was thicker and blacker on the back than the belly, ad-
hered only to the head, to the anus and to the feet. Within
this fkin, particularly about the back, were disposed a prodi-
gious number of little cells, contiguous to each other, and
about half an inch deep; being feparated only by a fine
membrane. On the back of the creature opened by our Au-
thor, and now preserved in his cabinet of infects, were no less
than 120 of thefe cells, or repofitories for the eggs of this pro-
lific animal. He makes not the least doubt that each of them
is a real matrix, in which its egg is lodged and fecundated; af-
furing us that he discovered in one of these cells an embrio com-
pleatly formed, inveloped in a kind of placenta, accompanied
by two thin tranfparent membranes apparently analogous to the
Chorion and Amnios in other animals. The manner, in
which this creature was delivered of her young, was also the
fame as the former; so that, on the credit of our Author, there
remains not the leaft doubt that the young Pipas come fully
formed out of their mother's back, where they are inclosed in
feparate eggs, each in a cell or matrix, with which nature
hath furnished the females, in great numbers.

As to the manner in which the eggs fo fituated are fecundated, Mr. Fermin does not appear to have obtained any satisfactory information. He diffected, indeed, feveral of thefe animals of both fexes; but without being able to trace any certain marks of the generative parts in either. He gives us an ingenious conjecture on the fubject; but, as conjectures are by no means admiffible in phyfics, they afford but little fatisfaction in matters of Natural Hiftory. The account here given of this animal is nevertheless extremely wonderful and curious; and may poffibly excite our induftrious enquirers into the fecrets of nature, to folve, by future difcoveries, thofe difficulties which our Author found inexplicable. It has been long admitted as a fact, that the male, of the common fpecies of landtoads, is always the accoucheur to the female; delivering her of a long string of eggs with a furprifing dexterity: but we do not know that any of our Naturalifts has fully determined in what manner they are fecundated.

It is currently fuppofed at Surinam, that the Pipa, when burnt to afhes, is a mortal poifon: our Author, however, hath undeceived the inhabitants in this particular. To this end, he took three of thefe animals, and putting them alive into a receiver, hermetically fealed, calcined them. Then, pulverifing the calcination, he gave it in various dofes to feveral kinds of animals; none of which betrayed any of thofe fymptoms, ufually imputed to this powder.

Mm 2

Inftruc

[ocr errors]

Inftruction Paflorale de Monfeigneur L'Eveque du Puy, fur la pretendue philofophie des Incredules Modernes.

A Paftoral Inftruction from the Bishop du Puy, concerning the pretended philofophy of Modern fcepticks. 12mo. Amfterdam, 1765.

WE should have permitted this paftoral inftruction, of the

good Bifhop have paffed unnoticed, among the number of unaffecting remonstrances which are occafionally made to the public even on the moft important fubjects, did we not find it already taken too much notice of in thofe countries where it is likely to do more harm than good †. Rank as the growth of infidelity is confeffed to be in the prefent age, there are few Proteftant governments, we prefume, that would chufe to eradicate the doubts of Pyrrhonilm in order to implant the errours of Popery. The labourers in the vineyard of infidelity are in general too idle, too contemptible, and too ill paid, to reap any great harvest from the ftraggling weeds that are found to shoot up, even in the best foil. The dignitaries and emiffaries of the Church of Rome are, on the other hand, too well rewarded, too ingenious, and too affiduous, not to embrace every opportunity of enlarging their sphere of credit and action; and thus to indemnify themselves by gaining that ground in one country which they lofe in another. Hence it is that we are furprised to find that many advocates for the caufe of Christianity, have fo little regard for Proteftantifm as to recommend this work as a falutary antidote againft incredulity. Have we no Proteftant Writers on thefe fubjects? Or are their arguments lefs powerful and convincing than thofe of our infinuating Bishop? There is furely no need to import those Popif giants Infallibility and Superftition, to quell the puny dwarf of Scepticifin, that labours in vain amongst us. Infidelity gains proportionably much greater ground in the Roman Catholic countries than in the Proteftant; and hence the Bishop of Puy had but acted confiftent with his function in addreffing this paftoral charge to his diocefans. It appears to us however, not to I have been written folely for their ufe, being artfully calculated as well to remove the objections which Proteflants have made to the authority and difcipline of the Church of Rome, as those which pretended philofophers or modern Free-thinkers have made to Christianity, Infidious defigns of this nature are the

;

A new Edition of it being juft published in Holland, whence it hath been imported into England, and recommended by fome incon. iderate Pictedant divines.

more

more to be avoided, as in general we perceive their effects before we are fenfible of the danger: thus, a man may be eafily ftabbed to the vitals by a fuppofed friend, who might encounter fafely, by keeping at a distance, a known enemy. The alarm, which hath lately been raifed, on the progrefs of Popery in thefe kingdoms, is by no means fo deftitute of foundation as fome people would have it thought; and we are forry to fay that we conceive it, in fome meafure owing to that unguarded and indifcreet zeal with which the Proteftants have recommended the Writings of the Romish Clergy and others of that religion, against thofe fuppofed Infidels. It is well known that the Clergy of the Church of Rome make no fcruple of fiding with any party to make converts, or indeed to attain any point they have a mind to carry. The readiness, however, which they have ever fhewn to forfake and even opprefs thofe, by whofe affiftance they have crept into power, fhould be a fuffcient warning to Proteftants, always to fufpect their most plaufible offers of fervice, especially when they are not wanted. We do not pretend to fay that it is neceffary for Proteftants to entertain, now, fo terrible an idea of Papifts, as they very justly did foon after the time of the reformation; as we believe the prefent profeffors of the Popish Religion (except perhaps those in the interior parts of France, Spain, and Portugal) are much lefs perfecuting, and more humanized, than their forefathers. But to what hath this been owing? To the lofs of temporal power in their fuperiors, and that general diffufion of good-fenfe and benevolence, which hath fpread itfelf, with the improvement of commerce and the fciences, over the face of Europe. It does not hence follow, however, that the tenets of their religion are become less erroneous, or even lefs dangerous with regard to civil policy, if they were encouraged to kindle the fame zeal. Hence, though it may be no longer neceflary to excite in Proteftants a deteftation of thofe enormities of which the Roman Catholics are no longer guilty, we cannot be too much on our guard against thofe fallacious reprefentations which their Priefts are labouring to fpread abroad, of the candour, humanity and truly Chriftian fpirit of their mother Church. It is in their difputes with fuppofed Infidels that thefe mifreprefentations are artfully introduced; to which is ever added, by way of fupplement, fome reflection on the truth of its dogmas or fome argument refpecting its authenticity and authority. They well know that a book, written profefledly in the defence of the Church of Rome and its doctrines, would ftand little chance to be read in a Proteftant country; therefore, inftead of Effays on tranfubftantiation, on the immaculate conception, and other abfurdities, they amufe us with refutations upon refutations of Mm 3 Free

[ocr errors]

Free-thinkers or Efprits-forts as they are called; who, it must be owned give them many fine opportunities of preaching up Popery under the fpecious pretence of defending Chriftianity. We have known, ere now, a diffenting party entirely reconciled to their ancient modes of thinking, from judging themselves under a kind of neceffity to join with their old antagonists against a third fect of opponents, that started up a-new. And indeed, what can tend more to reconcile Proteftants to the errours of the Church of Rome *, than the plausible manner in which its clergy unite their friendly labours to ours, against the common enemy to religion in general? But fatal experience, as we before obferved, fhould teach us Timere Danaos et dona ferentes.

Should we undertake to display the juftice or propriety of thefe reflections, as we might eafily do, from the work before us, we should in fome measure fall into the errour we have cenfured. We therefore difmifs it, as an infinuating and dangerous performance, better calculated to convert Proteftants to Popery than to make Chriftians of Infidels.

If any kind of reconciliation between the Reformed Churches and that of Rome fhould by these means take place, it must be by the converfion of Proteftants to Popery; for, however ready we are to perufe the works of Popish Writers or adopt their arguments against infidelity, the Roman Catholic Governments take pretty good care that their fubjects fhall perufe none of ours. We dare fay the Romish Clergy would as foon recommend Hobbes or Spinofa as Leland; for, whatever they may pretend in their fervency of zeal for Chriftianity in general, or with a view to cloak their infidious defigns, it is notorious that an Heretic has ever been accounted by them as bad, if not worse than an Infidel.

L'Efpion Chinois, &c. The Chinese Spy, or fecret envoy from the court of Pekin, to examine into the prefent State of Europe. Tranflated from the Chinese. 6 vol. 8vo *. Becket and De Hondt.

A

MONG all the nominal Afiatics, who have occafionally taken upon them the profeffion of fpies in the feveral Countries of Europe, we know of none that hath more miftaken his own affumed character, as well as the national characteristics of the people he hath attempted to defcribe, than the Author of the letters before us. We fhall fay nothing of the

Intimated, in the title page, to have been printed abroad. Instead of A Culogne, however, the printer fhould have inferted A Londres.

impro

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

impropriety of a spy's blabbing his own fecrets, and telling all he knows, like a town-cryer; this being an abfurdity common to most productions of the kind! it argues, however, in our opinion, great barrennefs of invention in their Editors that they cannot devife, a more plaufible method of becoming poffeffed of fuch curious information. On fecond thoughts, indeed, this appears to be a matter of little confequence; as it is ten to one but the correfpondence itself would give the lie to fuch pretenfions; for, it is certain that the best of these Writings too plainly appear to be, what they really are, more immediately calculated for the ufe of European than Afiatic Readers. The vanity of the Writer alfo to be thought an univerfal obferver, leads him not unfrequently to defcribe scenes and objects, which can by no means be fuppofed to come within the bounds of his nominal commiffion, nor to prove interefting, or afford any kind of fatisfactory information, to those who are sup posed to have fent him. We will admit, however, all this to be mere matter of form, and that it is very excufable for a Chinese Spy to think and write exactly in the manner and stile of an European; he ought not surely to be fo very a Frenchman as to talk eternally in the paultry strain of a Parifian petitmaitre; by which means his defcriptions are ten times more unintelligible than it is poffible for them to be rendered by the most turgid rant of an Eaftern Mandarin. An Englishman, who knows all the circumftances hinted at in the following letter, might poffibly be able to decypher it; but we will venture to fay that all the decypherers of the Eaft would not be able to explain it to the court of Pekin.

The Mandarin Cham-pi pi, to the Mandarin Kie-tou-na, at Pekin.
London.

"Since I have been in England, the attention of this fpeculative nation hath been mightily engaged by three confiderable perfonages; the Cock-lane Ghoft t, the Queen's Afs, and Mr. Wilkes a Member of Parliament.

The Ghoft amufed the court and city for a long while; a great number of people of both fexes going to vifit and converfe with it. It is true it did not expreís itfelf very diftinétly; but it gave fome founds, which were fufficient for it to make a great noife.

The Queen's Afs had no little to do, on her arrival, to receive the vifits of thofe whom curiofity led to fee her, At the fame time fhe was allowed a Guard, and fentinels were poited

Very intelligibly rendered by this Writer Le Spectre de Cokelin.
M m 4

at

« PreviousContinue »