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sages, in which the idea of a divine impulse, in one way or other, is not evidently connected with the words prophet, or prophecying; except where false prophets are evidently intended.'
Art. 28. Observations on the Signs and Duties of the present Times: with some Account of a Society of Clergymen in London, who have agreed to preach in Rotation weekly Lectures in each other's Churches and Chapels, on this important Subject: and a Summary of their Views and Endeavours to excite a Spirit of Prayer, and of Exertion to promote vital Godliness at this alarming Period. Drawn up by the Desire of the Society, and published with their Approbation. By Thomas Scott, Chaplain to the Lock Hospital. Svo. 6d. Matthews, &c. 1799.
Of Mr. Scott's zeal and Christian piety, the public have had many specimens. In this addition to them, the object proposed by him and his brethren of the Society, mentioned in the title, is highly laudable; though there are some expressions in the account before us which do not seem to be the most happily calculated generally to diffuse the spirit of piety.
Mr. S. begins with observing that an understanding of the times (he does not mean political understanding) is peculiarly necessary to ministers, and to private Christians; since every man's duty varies, in some respect, according to circumstances, and it cannot be properly performed if he remains entirely uninformed of these matters; and he farther remarks, when he comes to the signs of the times, as they concern Great Britain, that no one who compares facts with the Bible will be sanguine respecting ourselves.'
Such observations seem preparatory to a statement of the necessity of general repentance and piety to avert national judgments, and to make what the Lord is about (to use Mr. S.'s familiar expression) issue in blessings to our country-but this is not the case; for, though the sin and departure of all from God have made the danger of all, the universal seeking of God in prayer is not necessary to remove it. Our hope rests (Mr. S. tells us) on the remnant of real Christians scattered through the land;-they are the chariots and horsemen of the nation ;-they are the only persons whose intercessions for the land can be properly considered as effectual; and therefore we ought to enquire what should be done to stir them up to attend to the alarming signs and important duties of the times.'
The mode recommended for stirring up this remnant of believers is a weekly lecture; and the clergymen composing this Society propose to the candid attention of this remnant of this pious and noble army of national deliverers, their sentiments on the following subjects:
1. The duty of intercession for the nation and for the church, in seasons of danger and distress.
2. The nature and special objects of those supposed to be availing on such occasions.
prayers which may be
3. The prevalence of acceptable prayer according to the Scrip
4. The other duties which are incumbent on us, along with our prayers, in the present emergency.
Much of what Mr. S. advances under these heads, with the prayer at the end, deserves our approbation, and will be perused with satisfaction by all serious Christians. We have only to lament that, to eminent goodness of heart, Mr. Scott docs not yet add a greater expansion of sentiment :-but the time may come.
Art. 29. Speech of the Right Hon. John Foster, Speaker of the House
Mr. Foster's elaborate investigation of a very nice and difficult
Allowing this able statesman to make the most of the ground on which he has chosen to take his stand, and to exert the full force of his eloquence against the proposed measure, it seems to be the general opinion that he has powerfully attacked the principal arguments which have been advanced by Mr. Pitt, in his celebrated speech, Jan. 31*; when he offered to the British House of Commons the resolutions which he proposed as the basis of an union between Great Britain and Ireland. The Right Hon. Speaker of the Hibernian House of Commons, however, in discussing those resolutions, and weighing in the political balance the importance of this great national question, takes a wide compass indeed, beyond the range of the English Minister's oration. He considers every political and commercial branch of the subject, that has been agitated by the principal advocates for the great expedient, on either side of the water; and he proceeds, with manly confidence in the ample extent of his information and undoubted ability, to make the best use of it, in support of his decided opposition to a plan which he deems pregnant with the most fatal consequences to his country.
In regard to the state of religion in Ireland, Mr. Foster has, very prudently, chosen to avoid rather than to meet the difficulties which certainly attend that most momentous part of the subject, acknowleging that it is a topic too delicate for unnecessary discussion: at the same time condemning the imprudence which had brought it forwards, as if the object were, by rousing animosities, and setting the nation by the cars, to make any change, even that of surrendering its liberty and independence, worth consideration, if not worth trial, I will only observe on it, that Mr. Pitt's language † is of such a nature, that one would imagine he had the two religions on either side
*See M. R. March last, p. 342.
This distinguished champion of the independence of the Irish, such as they now actually possess and enjoy it, is not only occasionally sarcastic, but even severe, in his glances towards the British Premier. We might have quoted some striking passages: but we would rather use oil than vinegar on the present occasion,
of him, and one was not to hear what he said to the other. He tells the Catholics, in his speech, that it is not easy to say what should be the church-establishment in this kingdom, and in his 5th resolution states that the present church-establishment is to be preserved.'
We presume that the Irish opponents of the projected union will, generally, consider this famous production, (the argumentive parts of which we are obliged to pass over without extracts, for want of room,) as comprehending their great POLITICAL CREED:-from their faith in which, we fear, it will not prove an easy matter to convert them. Be that as it may, the speech reflects high honour on the ABILITIES, and [we doubt not] on the INTEGRITY, of the Right Honourable Speaker.
Art. 30. Substance of the Speech of Lord Auckland, in the (British) House of Peers, April 11, 1799, on the proposed Address to his Majesty, respecting the Resolutions adopted by the two Houses of Parliament as the Basis of an Union between Great Britain and Ireland. 8vo. 18. Wright.
Union is a charming word, and the true advocate for it is entitled to esteem. The union which this speech endeavours to promote is honourable to Great Britain: but the great question is, how it can be carried into effect without its appearance in a different light to the sister kingdom? Few,' says Lord Auckland, at the commencement of his speech, can deny the necessity of some great change being made in the system of Irish government.' The independence with which Ireland has flattered herself has been more imaginary than real; while this imaginary independence has been in a great measure the cause of depriving her of the tranquillity, the civilization, and the prosperity, enjoyed by us.
As the object of all the European powers, especially those of the first order, is consolidation, for the purpose of united and powerful operations both of attack and defence, policy calls on us to give an oneness to the British empire, and to consider it no longer as made up of parts, but as a firm, compact, homogeneous whole.
Lord Auckland endeavours to remove the fears and prejudices of the Irish, and to place the subject before them in its true light; per-. suaded, as he says, that the present resistance to it will give way to the commanding voice of reason and truth.'
Lord A.'s remarks are full of just observation and sound reason. Is it not true, he asks, that, whilst Great Britain has gradually advanced in civilization of manners, and in every art, science, and improvement, which can give happiness, honour, and security to nations and to individuals; Ireland, possessing the same climate, a fruitful soil, excellent ports, and a numerous people, to whom the Common Parent of all gave great acuteness and ingenuity, has nevertheless, been at all times involved in comparative disorder, poverty, turbulence, and wretchedness? I might add, without exaggeration, that in the 600 years since the reign of Henry II. there has been more un
What in point of fact is the independence of a country which has no means of defence, or security, or self-preservation, but through the aid and protection of its more powerful neighbour?"
happiness in Ireland, than in any other civilized nation, not actually under the visitation of pestilence or of internal war. And all these evils may be traced to the disjointed and jarring action of two unequal powers, closely adjacent to each other, possessing the same interests, and subject to the same crown, but with separate legislatures.'
The noble speaker enters into a variety of statements respecting commerce, which we cannot detail, but which serve to prove the advantages held out to Ireland, and the importance of realizing one constitution, having incorporated interests directed by one legis
Art. 31. The Speech of Lord Minto in the House of Peers, April 11, 1799, on a Motion for an Address to his Majesty to communicate the Resolutions of the two Houses of Parliament respecting an Union between Great Britain and Ireland. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Stockdale.
This noble orator, who is also a strong and warm advocate for the union, discusses the subject at great length,-his elaborate and energetic discourse occupying not fewer than 155 very full pages. His reasoning, and his arrangement of the copious materials collected for this attentive and close investigation, are much to be commended ; and his language is well suited to the immense consequence and dignity of the occasion. We are particularly pleased with his manly avowal of his political principles. I like,' says he, to see on my own and my country's liberty the seal of the old Whigs; and am apt enough to think that counterfeit which does not bear this mark.'
With respect to the highly important measure which produced the debate, his Lordship thus concludes his judicious and pertinent observations: I have satisfied my mind, on the whole matter, that this measure is expedient in itself, and that Parliament is competent to execute it. I have expressed a strong opinion, that the union of the two nations, already united by nature in their interests, must, in the order of human events, necessarily come to pass; and I shall conclude by a sincere and fervent prayer, dictated by the purest and the most ardent desire for the happiness of both kingdoms, that the blessings sure to flow from a consummation so devoutly to be wished, may not be long delayed.'
Like the author of the
Demonstration," &c. hereafter men. tioned, Lord Minto has, in one of the various lights in which he has considered the subject of a legislative union between the two islands, treated the general question PHILOSOPHICALLY. His Lordship, like that ingenious author, thus expresses his persuasion of the necessary event (p. 29): I cannot help looking to the union not merely as in advantageous and desirable event, and on that account likely to bring itself about, but as certain and unavoidable, although I shall take care not to commit my philosophy too rashly, by assigning any particular period, whether long or short, for the accomplishment of its predictions.'
Art. 32. Three Letters to a Noble Lord, on the projected Legislative
REV. JUNE, 1799.
This author vindicates and recommends the proposed union, with most commendable calmness and judgment. We do not remember ever to have perused a more temperate discussion of so important a subject. The able writer circumstantially enters, like Mr. Foster, into the three principal divisions of the question,-viz. the influence of this great measure on the Legislation, the Commerce, and the Religion of the sister country; and his arguments certainly merit the attention of all parties. He differs, totally, on many of the leading points and conelusions, from Mr. Foster; whom, however, he names but once; and then he proves his candor, by the respect with which he mentions that great leader of the Anti-Unionists.
Whether the author of these letters really belongs to that superior class of our fellow-subjects in which he has ranked himself in his title-page, it is impossible for us to say we have therefore only to add, that he writes in the character of a native of Ireland.
Art. 33. Union or Separation. By R. Farrell. 8vo. IS. Dublin. 1798.
This sensible and seasonable pamphlet seems to have been wellcalculated to remove the prejudices of those of the Irish people, who are averse from the projected union: a measure, the absolute necessity of which he plainly deduces, in a style of reasoning and language happily adapted to common understandings, from the wretched condition of the country under the present system.'-The terms of the union, he conceives, may hurt the pride and feelings of his countrymen, and prove especially repugnant to their ideas (delusive ideas!) of independency: but, argues he, let us, of two evils, "chuse the least." This is his MOTTO; and we think that, concise as it is, it powerfully aids his reasoning. With equal decision and brevity, he adds, in his conclusion, we may be better, we cannot be worse.
Art. 34. Essays on the political Circumstances of Ireland. Written during the Administration of Earl Camden. With an Appendix, containing Thoughts on the Will of the People. And a Postscript, now first published. By Alexander Knox, Esq. 8vo. Pp. 240. 55. Boards. Chapple.
The author professes to have used, in these essays, dispassionate. argument; and that it was by no means his wish to indulge in unqualified censure or acrimonious severity towards political agitators.
I would (says he) much rather convince than exasperate them; and I should be sorry to excite the detestation of others against them, if I could only hope that they themselves would be led to regret their misconduct, and to open their bosoms to "the compunctious visitings of nature." Notwithstanding these expressions of forbearance, the author, in the very same paragraph, accuses them of being guilty beyond what words can express; and, instead of the temperance and spirit of conciliation of which he had taught us to expect an appearance at least, we meet with a continued series of acrimonious and exulting reproach. The position principally maintained is, that, notwithstanding all that may be alledged by men lost alike to truth and to humanity, no fact can be more established than that the society of United Irishmen, from the first moment of