Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the expeâation of the public. Besides, though folly might be safely left to perish by its own inanity, literary poison will frequently deniand an antidote; and there are many questions, against which a conscientious Critic could not satisfy himself with giving a mere filent vote. Our monthly Criticisms will therefore continue to flow, like those of our predeceffors, and our rivals, through all the wilds of literature ; but of our prefaces, as we ourselves first opened the springs, we shall continue to conduct the course through laughing meads, and between gay banks of violets,

fealing and giving odours.

DIVINITY.

We cannot open this part of our account, so properly with the mention of any work, as of Archdeacoa Paley's evidences of Christianity*. The appearance of so clear, so able, fo conclusive a book on this most important subject, is a great event. Hofts of powerful writers were not wanting, it is true, in defence of the christian faith, and they who were disposed to enquire could not easily be at a loss, to find the proofs by which it is established. But every age has its peculiar mode of reasoning; ohjections and arguments thought strong at one time, at another are despised, while new difficulties are liarted, and new replies deinanded. Mr. Paley aims his force against the sceptics of the present hour, and with such success, that were their oracles of the French and English school now living, we might defy their utmost subtlety to write a refutation. He takes advantage of all that has been done, of late years, to elucidate the evidences of our faith; and digests the labours of voluminous writers into a convenient yet efficacious form. From the stores of his own acute observation he brings forward some new argu. ments, and presents the whole in such a manner,

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

that while it satisfies the profound, it cannot fatigue éven the superficial reader. At such a period as the present, when, from dire example, impiety has risen to more than common insolence; and the danger left those who hesitate should be hurried into unbelief, is increased beyond example, we cannot sufficiently congratulate the public on the publication of this excellent work. It is addressed, in its style, exactly to the class of people who are likely to be affected by the objections of Gibbon, Hume, &c. that is, to perfons moderately well educated; but if this class be kept firm to their duty, their influence, efforts, and example, will always spread instruction to the lower orders. Very far below this for general utility, though not without its merit, to those who have skill to select the valuable ore from inferior metals, is Mr. Wakefield's volume with a similar title; not first published now, but enlarged and improvedt. To divines we may safely recommend it, not to ordinary readers. With learning and ingenuity' worthy of himself, the celebrated Mr. Bryant has written on the Plagues of Egypti. Yet has not even he entirely escaped the common fate of discoverers in theology, that of treading on a ground in part pre-occupied, unknown to himself, by a former writer. What Dr. Owen, howa ever, had but slightly, though learnedly and ably, sketched, Mr. Bryant has completed in a masterly manner, and his publication will always be esteemed by those who are capable of appreciating the researches of fo profound a

scholar. Mr. Travis's much augmented third edition of his Letters to Gibbon, is allo a work which addresses itself only to the learned, and indeed, to a still smaller class, the controversialists. Of these undoubtedly none will think ic unimportant to read and weigh with aitention, what further arguments, an acute and aclive disputart has been able to adduce in favour of a contested verfe of (cripture. He will wait also with some eagerne s of

+ No. I. p. 27. I No. I. p. 33. No. IV. p. 396.
a 2

curiosity

curiofity to know what rejoinder similar acuteness and 1 energy, can bring forward on the other side. While

these heroes of theological literature contend, the troops on either part remain in mute suspence. Happily the object of conteft is not the citadel of faith, but only a single out-work; and we, though not entirely of neutral feelings, shall readily proclaim victo, ry to either party, according to the real merits of the issue. Still keeping in the track of learned publications, the Corrections of various palages, * &c. by the late Dr. Roberts of Eton, justly claim the attention of the public. Candour, modelty, and ingenuity, will be found in them adorning learning, as might be ex, pected from the name of the author. Nor has the period lately passed been undistinguished by theological works of a more popular nature.

Among those which we bave had an opportunity of noticing, Dr. Blair's fourth volume of Sermons,t appears with hopour as the produâion of an admired teacher, and as a proof that he is still able to support, and to extend, the fame he has acquired. A volume of Sermons, I by Mr. Nares puts in a contrary claim. They are the first specimen of his publication in that species of writing, and must form the basis of future expectation, This at least is true of them, that they have been commended by critics unconnected with the author. Marsh's Translation of Michaelis on the New Testament, we dismissed in our last Preface, as having concluded our remarks upon it. Our opinion in its favour was then given ; but, having extended our observations further than we at that time designed, we must now mention that two articles upon it will be found in this volume: § A new edition of Mr. Gilpin's valuable Exposition of the New Testament, i drew our'attention to it, not so much by any considerable additions it contained, as by the intrinfic merit of the book. An excellent sermon fubjoined

* No. VI. p. 648. + No. V. p. 534. I No, VI. p. 611

No. I. p. 47. IL p. 170. 1 No. II. p. 121.

was its only plea of novelty, to attract our notice. We again recommend it to public esteem. Among smaller works in divinity, two answers to Paine's book of impiety, appeared to us to have peculiar merit. The one as an answer adapted to the taste and ufe of persons well educated, and the other as formed with singular skill, to act as an antidote wherever the poison should happen to have spread among the common people. The former of these was entitled, The Age of Infidelity," the latter, a Country Carpenter's Confefron of faith. † Among productions of the nature of fermons, the Bishop of Lincoln's Charge, I ftands honourably forward; nor can we forbear, though without any intention to flight many that we omit, to mention Dr. Valpy's Alize Sermons, $ Mr. Hurdis's Allize Sermon on Equality, || and that of Mr. Owen, on Subordination 1. Of the high and peculiar excellence of those by Dr. Valpy, we have already spoken strongly, and we could not speak too strongly. The others are also above the ordinary class. On the whole we may certainly congratulate our readers, on obtaining intelligence of no small accession of valuable divinity, in this volume of our periodical labours. A Public, happily as yet attentive to good productions of this nature, will not despise or neglect the information.

MetaPIIYSICS.

To those who study Locke, the chief of English Metaphysicians, we recommend to take with them the Annotations of the late Dr. Morell, upon his famous Elay on Human Understanding.** They will at least lead the student to think with a more extensive range than otherwise he might allow himself; and not to place a reliance too implicit on a name which at this day might haye sufficient authority to overawe

him.

* No. V. p. 551. + Ibid. # No, VI. p. 655: No. III. P. 307. | No. vi. p. 676. I No. VI. p. 677. ** No. 1. p. 54.

To turn such questions on every fide is the exercise the mind with full advantage.

way to

HISTORY.

A conspicuous part in our account of the last fix months is occupied by History, and historical disquisitions. Among the productions of his nature, for the importance of its topic, none certainly can contend with the History of the American War*; and the historian, Mr. Stedman, appears to have executed the task with diligence and ability. A well written and well digested history of that period, drawn up with as much impartiality as the recentness of the transactions would allow was surely much to be desired; and Mr. Stedman's seems to answer that description. Next to this, in point of dignity, we may place Mr. Andrews's Hiftory of Great Britaint, a work rather of chronology and anecdote than strictly a history, but replete with utility and entertainment. They whose curiosity is on the search respecting our late war in India, and extends itself also to the knowledge of places and customs in that country, will be much gratified with a book by Lieut. Edward Moor, entitled A Narrative of the Cperations of Capt. Little's Detachment, and the Mahratia Army under i'urferam Bhow I. It is written with spirit and intelligence, and conveys much novel information. The History of the Reign of George 111. by an anonymous writer, may be mentioned among work's of merit. Only the third volume of it fell under our notice S, and to that we gave a character, mixed indeed, but wherein the good predominated. We should be glad to say no worse of any books, or men, French History, of the present period, will make a formidable and disgusting volume whenever it shall be completed : among the materials for it, M. Peltier's late Picture of Paris ll, will supply some of the

• No. VI. p. 581. + No. IV. p. 417. V. p. 514. I No. 'III, p. 221. IV.p: 381. No. II. p. 179. # No. ív, p. 436

most

« AnteriorContinuar »