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a history of our Saviour. He was present at most of the things related by him in his Gospel. He was an eye and ear-witness of our Lord's labours, journeyings, discourses, miracles, his low abasement, even to an ignominious death, and his being alive again, and then ascending into heaven. Our Author vindicates the story of St. John's being banished to Patmos by Domitian, against Grotius, who places that event under Claudius; and against Sir Isaac Newton, who contends for its having happened in the reign of Nero. In regard to the time when his Gospel was wrote, it must have been before the dea struction of Jerusalem. This is proved from the probability that he would write foon after the other Evangelists, and from the suitableness of his history to the circumstances of things just before the overthrow of the Jews. If it should be the design of St. John in his Gospel, to represent how inexcuseable the Jews were in not receiving Jesus as the Christ, and to vindicate the providence of God in the calamities already befallen, or now coming upon them, it will very much strengthen the supposition, that it was writ before the destruction of Jerusalem was completed. That such was his design, the Doctor has shewn in a very curious manner; and the whole passage, which throws light on many texts, deserves an attentive perusal. In answering objections to his scheme, our Author takes occasion to consider the ancient notion that St. John wrote with a view to confute certain Heretics. Against this he argues, first, that to write against Heretics, in a history of his Lord and Master, was below an Evangelist; and, fecondly, that he fees nothing of this kind in St. John's Gospel. He is hereby led into a criticism on the celebrated Introduction to it, which he explains as the eternal reason, wisdon, and power of the Supreme God; but how far he is in the right, in this respect, we leave his readers to determine. Towards the close of the chapter it is observed, that St. John has omitted the greatest part of those things which are recorded by the other Evangelists. Which much confirms the testi'mony of ancient writers,' says the Doctor, that the three ! first Gospels were written, and published among the faith(ful, before St. John wrote: that they were brought to him,
and that he affirmed the truth of their relations; but said, « that some discourses and miracles of our Saviour were omita <ted by them, which might be usefully recorded. Indeed, • there is little or nothing in his Gospel, which is not new. 6 and additional, except the account of our Saviour's profecution, death, and resurrection, where all four coincide in
ļ many particulars: though even here also St. John has divers
things peculiar to himself.'
The present volume is concluded by an examination of the question, Whether any one of the three first Evangelists had seen the Gospels of the others before he wrote. After ftating the opinions of the learned on this important affair, the Doctor proceeds more distinctly to the merits of the cause, and shews that the ancients had no suspicion that the sacred Historians had consulted each other's accounts. It is not suitable to the character of an Evangelist to abridge another; and they were well qualified to write without doing it. Indeed the nature and design of the first three Gospels makes it evident that the authors of them had not seen any authentic written history of Jesus Christ. The Doctor observes, that the writings of all, and each of these Evangelists, contain a complete view of our Saviour's ministry. After enumerating particulars, ? Here,' says he, ' are all the integrals of a Gospel. And
they are properly filled up. And all these things are in all ç and every one of the first three Evangelists. Which shews, that they did not know of each others writings.
For it & cannot be thought, that they should be disposed to say the ç same things over and over, or to repeat what had been well
faid already, St. John, who had seen the other three Gofį pels, has little in common with them. Almost every thing ? in his Gospel is new and additional. So it would have been
with every other writer in the like circumstance. And if “-St. Matthew's Gospel had been writ at about eight, or fif
teen, or twenty years after our Lord's afcenfion, and had ? become generally known among the faithful: (as it certain
ly would, soon after it was writ:) it is not improbable, that ( we should have had but two Gospels, his and St. John's. ? Or if there had been several, they would all, except the
firft, have been in the manner of Supplements, like St. ♡ John's, not entire Gospels, like those of the first three . Evangelists. This confideration appears to me of great
moment, for shewing that our first three Evangelifts are all & independent witnesses. Indeed, it seems to me to be quite 1 fatisfactory and decisive.!
The same truth is farther evident from the seeming contradictions, and small varieties and differences, which appear in the Evangelists accounts of the same things; from the remarkable circumstances in Matthew, not taken notice of by Mark or Luke ; and from the many incidents, which each tas peculiar to himself. I have,' says our Author, infifted the more upon this point, because I think, that to say, that
the Evangelists abridged and transcribed each other, with, < out giving any hint of their so doing, is a great disparage
ment to them. And it likewise diminisheth the value and ç importance of their testimony: This is not a new opinis
on lately thought of, nor has it been taken up by me, out of & opposition to any. I have all my days read and admired the « first three Evangelists, as independent and harmonious wit
nesses. And I know not how to forbear ranking the other opinion among those bold, as well as groundless assertions, in which Critics too often indulge themselves, without con fidering the consequences.'
LEUCOTHOE. A Dramatic Poem. 8vo. Is. 6d. Cooper,
HIS dramatic Poem, (a) as the Author properly calls
it, we have perused with some fatisfaction; as it is certainly more of a piece, than most of those motley Operas which of late have been represented on our theatres : And though we cannot say, with our Author, that every
one who is endued with the smallest spark of taste, must immediately be struck with the ridiculousnefs, not to say barbarity, of turning Shakespear's Plays into Operas, and
of larding them with songs from quite different authors;' as we know fome, of undisputed taste, who have encouraged our late performances in this way; yet have we always thought that Operas more susceptible of musical accompaniment, as well as more uniform in their structure, might be produced in English, without emafculating that Prince of the Drama, The Poem under our confideration has, in a great measure, answered our idea ; the numbers are, in general, not only smooth, with the addition of rhyme, and happily varied to express the different passions, but nature, in describing those pailions, is not violated, and the sentiments generally rise from the subject. But tho', on the whole, we think thus favourably of this piece, yet is it not free from inaccuracies and defects : Some of these we shall notice, as they fall in our way.
• Leucothoe, daughter of Orchamus, King of Persia, is ? beloved, and secretly enjoyed, by the fun; when Clytie, a
(a) He jully observes, that as it ends unhappily, it cannot be called an Opera, neither can it come under the denomination of Tragedy, as it exhibits objects and actions out of he course of nagure, and is divided into Recitative and Song.
« former mistress of his, becomes acquainted with their amour, 6 and, in the rage of jealousy, makes a full discovery of it to <the Lady's father. Orchamus, as a punishment for his daughter's crime, orders her to be buried alive,' &c.
Scene Persia. • In the first scene, the theatre represents a plain, bordered o with wood; several mountains, rising one above another,
till the highest seem lost in the clouds, making the point 6 of view at the farther end. Clytie is discovered in a melancholy posture :' at last she breaks out,
Oh! jealousy, thy torments who can bear ?
Give, give me ease, ye Gods, or let me die! Then bidding adieu, in a soft pleasing air, to the streams and groves, to peace of mind, and all the tender train of happy love; "the Sun appears in the midst of the sky,(b) moving
slowly towards the summit of the mountains; where, openSing by degrees, it shews Phoebus in his chariot.'
Clytie foon perceives her former lover, and in the transport of her jealousy, wishing that all her woes may be doubled on her rival's head, she retires among the trees.
In the second scene Phoebus descends the mountain, a symphony playing.
The Air, Hail to love,(c) &c. which Apollo first fings, is beautifully expressive of the lover. We cannot, however, think the Recitative that follows so consistent with this character; for, what right had a happy lover, like Apollo, to exclaim(d) against beauty ?
(6) Does the Author mean to represent Sun-set ? that certainly is the
proper time. At the beginning of the scene, should not the sky have been obscured with clouds ? and should not the fun gradually break through them, and appear as setting ?
(6) “ Hail ! to Love, delicious boy,
“ Hail! to Love, and welcome Joy:".
Love, that laughs at proud degree,
And by enslaving makes us free,
And ere we dread the danger, we're undone. Had Apollo lamented the omnipotence of beauty, as obliging him to desert his former attachments, we should have thought better of his godship.
In the third scene Clytie discovers herself; Phoebus in anger, asks, who dares intrude upon his privacy? Clytie, kneeling, intreats him to compassionate her miseries, as he was the author of them. Nor let, while my
see, What's warmth(e) and life to all beside,
Be coldness, and be death, to me. It is no easy matter for one who has lost all relish for a miltress, to preserve decorun, when the taxes him with infidelity, especially if at that instant he is upon another scent; but, could decency be maintained, where love is expected, it would not, certainly, satisfy the longing complainant. Hence we are not to be surprised, that Apollo peremptorily bids Clytie be gone; that the plainly tells him, the kn.ws Lucothoe is her rival; that he raps out a good round oath, threatens her with immediate death, if ever the breathed again what (f) she had presumed to speak, and again bids her be gone. Nor is Phoebus content with that; he addresses himself to his new fame, and passionately asks, what detains her from tuning his jarring foul to love? This rouses poor Clytie's indignation.
Confusion! madness! (g)Hell! or yet what's (5) warfe,
What! boast your falfhood, own it to my face ! She should rather have cursed Apollo, who had been so ungallant as to boast of his infidelity, to her face. A natural fentiment, indeed, follows;
Go, tyrant, seek the idol you adore,
(e) A far fetched conceit, and no ways consistent with the ex. pressions of abandoned fupplicating love, (f) By the eternal gloomy flood, if e'er
You breath again, what you've prefum'd to speak,
This * inftant life shall expiate the offence. (8) This exclamation is not in the spirit of antiquity. (5) This seems to be tacked to it for the sake of the rhyme.
(i) We can see no reason in the world for this ; Clytie was the daughter of Oceanus. • Read, That,