the earth.” The Bishop, in the exposition of this text is naturally led to consider the state of that country of feriptural fools, which maintain the converse of the propofition, and, rejecting the only true God, have substituted a base idol, of human creation, in his place :

“ The imagi:nary subftitute which takes the place of God hath been called pittue: hath been called reason: but, whatever be the name, the idea is substituted as the true object of worship.

“ Let us not be deceived by a name, or be told that this is less than the groffert atheism, becaute virtue is set up, and men are at liberty to celebrate feasts, and dedicate temples, to glory, patriotism, and philosophy; for these are also princi. ples of human origin, and which, if dignified by our adoption of them under religion, as useful incitements to human excellence, yet shock us in the character of {an&tified objects of worship, which having nothing of the spirit of true religion about them, may be the ornaments of the hero, the patriot, and the moralift ; but as substitutes for religious duty nor one of them will reach the conscience-not one of them will, in a spiritual sense, meliorate and improve the man, which is the object of true religion, and the purpose of a beneficent God.

“ It is obvious that the system of this new worship, with virtue at its head, with glory, patriotism, and philosophy in its train, is the self-fame spirit with that of heathenism itself; branching out into a variety of fanciful names, endued with inaginary excellence, with which its votaries alone invested them, but framed, in fact, to accommodate and Hatter the passions and propensities of men. It is the seiigion of those who, living before the coming of Chrift; knew not God; and to the level of whom the enemies of revelation would now again reduce us." Pp. 19. 20.

The weak and impious assertions of those vain and presumptuous men, who impute to Christianity itself “the great troubles and sanguinary wars which have distracted the Chriftian world,” are next considered and confuted, and the conduct of chat naiion, which has openly abjured Christianity, is properly opposed to the licentious ad. vocates of this blafphemous doctrine :-

" In what part of the history of mankind, either before or since the coming of Chrift, hath there been a scene of violence, and excess of abomination in war, to compare with that which has been exhibited by those who profess the unchriftian principles of this day?

“ This one truth is above all others, obvious for our improvement in religion, that of all the disturbances and wars which have taken place since the coming of Chrift, there hath not been one so odious in its circumstances, so fatal in its effects, : as that which has raged under this new kingdom of virtue ; nor hath any mischief affailed mankind so great as that which takes for its particular character an attack upon the christian religion." P. 24.

In shewing the different effects produced by the different systems of Christianity and Atheism, the Bishop is peculiarly successful :

« Here I might enter into a large field of description, too wide for the purpose of this discourfe ; but the scene is odious and disgusting ; and I shall only remark, for the honour of chriftian truth, that false morality will be the necessary result of false religion, from which evil only can proceed; and to this only can we impute it, that violence, rapine, and the Medding of innocent blood, ihe violation of public and private contraits of marriage, filial duty, and all social covenants, are justified by the votaries of false divinity; who, together with religious truth, discard, because of their mutual connexion, all moral obligaiion, and look to con. (ution, disorder, and discontent, as desirable fubftitutus for order, good government, and peace.

1 Happily

“ Happily for us, everlafting truth must in the end prevail. Believers once, and enlightened by revelation, we are no longer constituted to exist under the iron sceptre of infidelity, under the government of which there is ncither ipiritual hope nor moral comfort for bewildered man; who ever, in the milder ages of i norance, diffatisfied, and unable to abide by the expectation of eternal death, or sigorous punishment, caft about precisely for that confolation which christianity did, and could alone confer, that covenant of pardon of which man was conscious he had need; that mean of grace supplying ihe defect of his own virtue ; that hope of glory in the room of endlets sleep, or of ftill more dreaded punishment; and whole morality establishes, beyond a doubt, those truths immediately applicable here, that in the conduct of human affairs the sacrifice of principle can be in no case justified ; that while there is a God that judgeth the earth, no human goyemment ever has been framed, or ever can be conducted without reference to the superintending powers of Providence; that he ein presitely confifts (confiji) the conscientious obligation of civil dury, and the inseparable connection between Seligion, and law; that necessary connection which human policy hath not created, as some have pretended to tay, but of which it hath availed ittelt as it pught to do. Pp. 27, 28.

Most cordially do we agree with this respectable prelate, that the relative situation of England and France should form the subject of our humble and grateful acknowledgements to that Being, from whom all human happiness, all human blessings, are derived; that “ we have much to correct amongit us, both in private manners, and in public decorum ;" and that it is our bounden duty not to trifle with serious things ;” not (to acquiesce in those things which wound the moral sense of man;" and not to contemplate with pleasure,” (nor even to tolerate,) "those baneful productions which diffemináte even spiricual mischiefs among us."

Copious as our extracts from these sermons have already been, we cannot refrain from quoting the concluding observations, exprefling, at the same time, our fervent hope, that they will make a deep and lasting impreilion on the hearts of all who knowledge the truths of Christianity, and appreciate the bleslings of good government :

“ If they who have banished the love of Brethren from their hearts, and buried all moral and Chriftian virtues under the ruins of their churches and governments, now remain a melancholy picture of distraction, disorder, and misfor. tune; if we, who, by the blessing of God, have held fait to the profetion of our Laith without wavering, are ftill blessed with that government which is the envy of mankind, and with the free exercise of our holy religion, in the purity and fimplicity for which it is distinguiined, then is it certain, that, should we facri. fioe thele advantages, thould we renounce this merciful favour of God, and be. come the vile accomplices of his foes; if, when he hath been with us, we shall be againft him, and against his Anointed, then are we not hasty and inconsiderate, but determined and incorrigible offenders. No! rather let us do all that in us lies, to fhow ourselves more dclerving of his valuable diftinétions, more worthy to bear that part afligned us, in the general good purposes of his Providence.

“ Good Christians, good citizens, and good men, lerving our God, our community, and our neigiibour, let us put away from us the enemies of the cross of Chrift; let the friends of riigion be our friends; let the fupporters of law and government be our counsellors; let the disciples of moral truth and excellence be our companions ; let us embrace, with joy, the hope which is held out to us; that to long as the duties attached to these valuable characters are upheld and respected amongst us, so long thall we be yet allowed to worship our God in peace and truth, to live under the happy influence of his grace through the gorpet, to be directed in all our ways by law, by honefty, and by charity; in a word, the comprehensive word of an apostle, to love the brutherliood, fear God, Honour the King." Pg. 62, 33,


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

It only remains for us ftrenuously to recommend these sermons to our readers, as the most chaste compositions, and the most impressive discourses, which have come under our cognizance for a considerable time. They breathe the pure spirit of the Christian faith, and have a strong and manifest tendency to make good men and faithful sub. jects.

Art. XXIII. The Days of Vifitation. A Sermon, preached in

the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, the Aldermen, Sheriffs, the Common Council of the City of London, the Honourable the Artillery Company, and che Temple Bar and St. Paul's Diftriet Military Affociation, or Wednesday the 27th of February, 1799, being the Day ap. pointed by His Majesty to be observed as a General Faft. By Thomas Bowen, M. A. Chaplain of Bridewell Hospital, and Minister of Bridewell Precinct; Chaplain to the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor. 4to. Pp. 24. Price 15. Rivingtons. White. London. 1799

IN a very early part of our Review* we had occasion to speak, in terms of merited commendation, of a discourse by the author of ike sermon before us. And we are truly happy to have it in our power to extend our praite to his subsequent productions.

The subject of this sermon, “ The Days of Visitation are come, is admirably adapted to the occasion on which it was preached ; and the similarity of circumstances between the subversion of the Israelite government, by the Assyrian Monarch, to which the predictions of the prophet Hofea evidently referred, and the recent overthrow of the French Monarchy, could not escape the attention of so obfervant and judicious a divine as Mr. Bowen.

« The floor and the wine press,' faith he, shall not feed them; and the new wine shall fail in her.' . He threatens that want and distress should succeed in the place of that affluence of the good things of this world, which they had used without due acknowledgement to the hand that gave them. To poverty he adds banishment from their native country. • They shall not dwell in the Lord's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Affyria. The unavoidable consequence of exile would be the abolition of their religious Tor.

ship. They shall not offer wine offerings unto the Lord, neither shall they be pleasing unto him :-their sacrifices shall be unto them, as the bread of mourn. ers: all that eat of them shall be polluted. What will ye do on the folemn day, and on the day of the feast of the Lord?' To these evils which they would suffer from the destructive ravages of their foes, he adds the sum and close of all death in a foreign land. “Lo they are gone because of destruction : Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them.'

. Those, who might escape the Navery and opprefiion of the Aflyrians, should be compelled to take refuge in the adjacent country, to abandon their own pļeasant and magnificent abodes, and seek in Egypt a precarious fubfiftence." P. 10.

Having produced some other strong traits of refemblance, from the circumstances attending the final destruction of Jerusalem, the

[blocks in formation]

preacher proceeds to consider the causes of these calamities, inflicted on the Ifraelites-impiety and the corruption of their faith; and he contends that they were the same causes 'which produced similar effects in France. On this topic Mr. Bowen makes many appropriate and judicious observations, but he certainly goes too far in his assertion “ that every member of their (the French) national Academy of science was either an Infidel or an Atheist.”. In support of his position, indeed, he quotes the Abbé Baruel, but the Abbé's affirmations on these topics must not always be taken à la lettre. This unguarded expression, however, which it was our duty, as critics, to correct, by no means affects the justice of Mr. B.'s general positions, nor the validity of his conclufions; and his fermon certainly does credit to his zeal, his talents, and his principles.


Art. XXIV. Letters on Subjitts of Importance to the Happiness of

Young Females, addressed by a Governess to her Pupils, ibiefly while they were under ber immediate Tuition. To which is (are) added, a (fome) few pratical Lesions on the Improprieties of Language and Errors of Pronunciation, wbicb frequently occur in common Conversation. By Helena Wells. 12mo. Pp. 179. Peacock. London.

[ocr errors]

"HE subjects treated in these letters are, indeed, of importance very much, of their present, and even future happinets, depends. The admonitions of Mrs. Wells to her pupils reflect great credit on her head and heart. They prove her ability to dilcharge, in the most essential parts of education, the serious and arduous duties of an instructress of youth; they diiplay an earnest defire, a wellregulated zeal, to fow, in their infant minds, the feeds of virtue; to inspire a due veneration for the great truths of rJigion; to impart a just sense of morality; and to impress a full conviction of the necetlity of reverence for their parents, and of love for each other. The defects and vices to which females, in their early years, are more particularly exposed, are clearly pointed out, the nicans of avoiding them függetted, and the danger of encouraging thein. explained. The deportment to be observed, on entering into life, in order to conciliate the esteem and atection of others, and, confequently, to facilitate the acquisition of happiness, is judiciously displayed. And, upon the whole, we can recommend the book, as containing much useful inftruction for that amiable part of society for whole use it has, avowedly, been compofed.

Having done justice to the work, as far as refpects its fubfiance, it behores us, as critics, to notice fome defects in point of execution,


very title

[ocr errors]

which, though they call for correction, detract but little from its merit or utility, As the author dwells so much, and with so much propriety," on the improprieties of language,” The should have taken special care to avoid all similar improprieties herself. But this, unfortunately, has not been the cafe. She frequently fubftitutes the Gerund and the Participle for the Substantive, and betrays great inattention to rammatical accuracy. Belides the two instances of this latter defect which occur in the

page, numerous other violations of grammatical rules appear in different parts of the book. Some few of these we shall select to prove the accuracy of our statement. " What may be appointed ye (you) to perform.” (p.45.)—" Are fond of sporting high sounding sentiments." (p. 50.) The verb to sport has no such signification as is here assigned to it. To sport a sentiment is a cant expression, indeed, to which fafhionable folly has given currency, but which is as repugnant to all the rules of language, as the grois vulgarisms of St. Giles's or Billingsgate are. “ I should be happy to see that diffidence, and retiredness of manner, which is (are) reprehensible in you, only as it is (they are) carried to excess." (P. 116.) “Which may be productive of happiness, to those who unfortunately may conceive it of confequence to their individual comfort, your wearing the smile of complacency." (P. 121.) “ Meekness of disposition, and mildness of manners, is (are) so truly desirable in wonian.” (p. 128.) “ That patronage and countenance which alone is (are) wanting." (P. 138.) Her (she) who finds happiness in the bofoin of her family, will ever feel independent." (P. 141.) “ Those who give ear to the tale of scandal should recollect that they are in some degree implicated with its authors in the mischief which the propagation of it may occafion, for no person would take the trouble of fabricating them, (it) if they (he) were not sure of finding those who would be gratified at the recital.” (p. 145.)—“Les maitres du (de la) danse." (P. 109.)

At the end of the volame the author gives a list of several “ grammatical errors of language and false pronunciations, that occur in common conversation," and indicates the means of correction. But even here, where accuracy was so peculiarly necessary, she is sometimes inaccurate. Ex gra : I wrote to my brother some time ago," thus corrected, “ some weeks have elapsed since I bave written to my brother.” Here the pupil is correct and the governess incorrect. Since I bave written is a Gallicism not allowable in the Englith language. Again “ I with the Easter hollidays was come, torrected." I wish the Easter hollidays were began," (begun.) Here the governess in correcting one grammatical error falls into another. “I am ten years old next June,"--corrected, I was nine years old last June.” . Here the error is not pointed out to the pupil, for it consists merely in the improper substitution of the present tense for the future. The correction, therefore, should have been, I shall be ten years old.”


« ForrigeFortsett »