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"To say, as this author does, that the Vltli Article, in pronouncing that nothing is to be received as an article of faith, which is not founded in holy writ, supplies 1 dispensation from the obligation of the rest, is to make as short work with the Articles of the Church, as he has already made with the canon of Scripture."—" But, to a person not desirous of escaping from the obligations of a solemn engagement, it would uatu rally occur, that the Church, in propounding certain articles of belief, could never have acted so absurdly, as to superadd to these one paramount article, which was to do away the obligation of all the rest. On the contrary, he would necessarily reason thus: that, whilst certain doctrines are proposed as articles of faith, and itis at the same time declared, thai none are to be received as such, which are not founded on die authority of Scripture, it is clearly intended to be conveyed, that the articles proposed are founded upon that authority, and to be received as articles of faith, by those nth/, who conceive them to be so founded."—" Juravi lingua, mentem injuratam gei'o," adds the Professor, " is a sentiment which has seldom been so openly avowed as by this gentleman;"—and yet, "thisis the gentleman who resolves the whole of Christianity into morality."
This is far from saying too much upon a point which has lately been forced upon our attention by the strange conduct of others besides Mr. F., few indeed in number, but those supported by many partisans out of the Church; who, if they can reconcile their opinions in any manner to the strict laws of honour, plaindealing, and integrity, it must unquestionably be by some such erroneous reasoning as is above described; reasoning, however, so glaringly erroneous, as to be scarcely distinguishable from the most inveterate perverseness. We shall not pursue the Professor's remarks upon Mr. F. further, for this particular reason, that what we have said above, we had introduced because it happened to express the exact sentiments of our minds; and we had written it before we ,were aware that we were ourselves to be brought in as parties to the cause. We are proud and happy to find, that our own strictures upon Mr. F. in times past, have appeared highly justifiable in the eyes of the learned Professor; and have even induced him to take our part against a champion in the cause, whose general fame and celebrity is such, that whatever he may lose in this particular contest, he will retain enough to command the admiration of every scholar, and the good will and good wishes of every private friend and acquaintance. The motive of the Professor's hostility and attack, is set forth in the following dignified and feeling terms.
"In truth, mischievous as are the publications of Mr. Fellowes, I should not have thought it necessary to animadvert upon them in this place, but that the eloquent eulogies of Dr. Parr, joined to the writers presenting him to the publics as a clergyman of the establishment, might, by thi-owing young readers off their guard as to the true character and object of his w orks, expose them to be misled, by the fal«e lights of a treacherous guide. To such readers, the satis eloquentix topientite parum of the author, is imposing; the specious gloss of liberality and beorvclence, which his writings wear, is attractive; the classick authority of his splendid panegyrist, is commanding: and as it was for readers of this description, especially for students of divinity intended for holy orders, that the present work was originally designed, it naturally falls within its province to endeavour to secure them against such snares, when calculated to entrap them into false notions of their duties as professors of a Christian faith, or of their engagements as members of a national Clcr
We have now touched upon some of the principal additions t« the notes and disquisitions in the second edition; but much remains, of which it has been quite out of eur power to take any netwe: and we cannot but feel dissatisfied at the scanty account we have been able to give of the Professor's labours. We trust, however, that our readers will examine matters for themselves, it being far from our intention to give such an account of the work, if it were possible, as should in any degree prevent, or render superfluous, the perusal of the book itself.
In regard to the second edition then, we have little further to remark, except that the Appendix also has been considerably enriched with additional notes, in some of which the learned Professor indulges himself in a strain of pleasantry and humour on Mr. Belsham's Metafihynicks, which is highly amusing. There is a very important note also added on "Ti:e Improved Version of the New Testament," put forth by the Unitarians, a short time only before the publication of this edition; but as more is said upon it in the third edition, we shall reserve our notice of this part of the work, till we meet with it there: and shall immediately proceed to give a general account, as far as we are able, of the latest improvements of this valuable work.
In the case of the third edition, the author has himself pointed out the most material and considerable improvements, in an auvertisement prefixed, which is to the following effect.
"In the edition now given to the publick, additional matter, which, it is hoped, may bestow some additional value, has been introduced; and u lew changes, (conceived to be improvements,) in form and arrangement, have been adopted. The principal additions will be found in Numbers vn, Viii, xn, xiv, xvu, xxvu, xxx, xu, XLH, mi, Lxv, Lxix, and its Postscript, and in the lust forty pages of the Appendix. The index of matters, and list of books, are likewise enlarged, and a new index'of texts is introduced. The Syriack quotations are printed in their proper character, which could not be done in the former editions for want of a Syriuck type."
The advertisement notices also the alterations of arrangement, &c.; but the above is sufficient to give a general view of the principal improvements of the third edition: of which improvements, it will not be in our power to notice many. We must still refer our readers to the work itself: we shall only seek to give such a bill of fare as may serve to quicken the appetite of every scholar and theologian. In the notes to No. xn, we have much that is new, and of great importance at this period, on the tenets of the Methodists, as they are to be collected from the writings and conduct of Mr. Wesley. The general subject of the notes, and drift of the Professor's remarks, may be collected from the title of the Number, viz. " On the Corruption of Man's Natural State." It is highly fit that the precise tenets of these Separatists should be well known and understood, more especially as they profess to adopt the established Liturgy, while they countenance such changes and mutilations, both of that and the articles, that the pretence deserves to be exposed and made known. We cannot here transcribe the exact amount of these alterations, or state their necessary effect upon the doctrinal parts of the creed of these teachers, but must refer to the book in this as in most other instances. The following is the conclusion, however, of Dr. M's inquiries.
Vol. L—No. I. v
«• Theie extracts, from the writings of the Father of Methodism, [Wesley] fairly open up to us the two great fundamental doctrines of his sect: viz. 1st, That the assurances of forgiveness, and of salvation, arise from a sudden infusion of divine feeling, conveyed by some sensible and miraculous manifestation of the Spirit; and 2dly, That the true'believer attains in this life such perfection, as to be altogether free from sin, and even from the possibility of sin. Holding such doctrines," add» the Professor, K it is not « all wonderful that the Westeian Methodist is indifferent about every other. Mr. Wesley fairly says, upon the subject of doctrines, "1 will not quarrel with you about any opinion: believe them true or false.'" (Third appeal, p. 135.) In another place he confesses, "The points we chiefly insisted upon were, that orthodoxy, or right opinions, is at best a very slender part of religion, if it can be allowed to be any part of it at all!!"—This, it must be admitted, is an excellent expedient for adding to the numbers of the sect: a perfect indifference about doctrines, and a strong persuasion, that the divine favour is secured, while the fancy of each individual is counted to him for faith, are such recommendations of any form of religion, as can scarcely be resisted: but what can be more mischievous than all this? what more destructive of true Religion?"'
A long note, added to No. xxvn, is highly creditable to the feelings of the worthy author. He espouses the cause, and supports the merit and fame of his countryman, Dr. Iceland, against his two rnitred antagonists, Warburton and Hurd, with becoming zeal; and we must say, that we sincerely regret that there should be so tnuch reason for the interference. At the end of the note, Dr. Magee notices a singular circumstance.
"In concluding this long note, which has been almost exclusively dedicated t« Dr. Leland, I cannot forbear asking the question, whether it is to be ascribed to ignorance or fraud, that in a recent edition of his Translation of the Orations of Demosthenes, (viz. 1808,) his designation in the title is that of Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. Was the translation of the Greek oratour supposed too go«d to have come from Ireland? or was it imagined, that the knowledge of its true origin would diminish the profits of the circulation?"
We cannot answer the Doctor's inquiries, as from authority, but in our regard and respect for the University of Oxford, we shall venture to observe, that she might well betray a jealousy of such scholars as Dr. Leland and Dr. Magee, and claim them as her children, if she could: but any deceit for this purpose, we are ceri tain she would disdain; and would acknowledge, as fully and as freely as we are ready to do, that the addition of Trinity ColLege, Dublin, ought to be as sure a passport to fame in the literary world, as any title or designation that could possibly be affixed to the name of any author, or scholar, in the whole compass of the globe.
FKOJtt TBI CIUlISTIAir OBSBRTXfl.
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. A Romaunt. By Lord Byron. The second Edition. Londoni Murray, Fleet-street. 1812. 8vo. pp. 300. Price 12s.
IF the object of poetry is to instruct by pleasing, then every poetical effort has a double claim upon the attention of the Christian observer. For we are anxious that the world should be instrutted at all rates, and that they should be pleased where they innocently may. We are, therefore, by no means among those spectators who view the occasional ascent of a poetick luminary upon the horizon of literature, as a meteorick flash which has no relation to ourselves; but we feel instantly an eager desire to find its altitude, to take its bearings, to trace its course, and to caleulate its influence upon surrounding bodies. When, especially, it is. no more an " oaten reed" that is blown; or a " simple shepherd" who blows it; but when the song involves many high and solemn feelings, and a man of" rank and notoriety strikes his golden harp, we feel, at once, that the increased influence of the song demands the more rigid scrutiny of the critick.
Lord Byron is the author, beside the book before us, of a small volume of poems, which gave little promise, we think, of the present work; and of a satirical poem, which, as far as temper is concerned, did give some promise of it. It had pleased more than one critick to treat his Lordship's first work in no very courtier-like manner; and especially the Lion of the north had let him feel the lashing of his angry tail. Not of a temperament to bear calmly even a " look that threatened him with insult," his lordship seized the tomahawk of satire, mounted the fiery .uings of his muse, and, like Bonaparte, spared neither rank, nor sex, nor age, but converted the republick of letters into one universal field of carnage. The volume called English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, is, in short, to be considered, among other works, as one of those playful vessels which are said to have accompanied the Spanish armada, manned by executioners, and loaded with nothing but instruments of torture.
This second work was of too sanguinary a com plexion to beget a rery pleasant impression upon the publick mind; and all men, who wished well to peace, politeness, and literature, joined in the paean lung by the immediate victims of his lordship's wrath, when he embarked to soften his manners, and, as it were, oil his tempers, imidst the gentler spirits of more southern climes. Travelling, indeed, through any climes, may be expected to exert this mitigating influence upon the mind. Nature is so truly gentle, or, to speak more justly, the God of nature displays so expansive a belevolence in all his works; so prodigally sheds his blessings 'upon the evil and the good;" builds up so many exquisite fairicks to delight the eyes of his creatures; tinges the flowers rhh such colours, and fills the grove with such musick; that any me who becomes familiar with nature, can scarcely remain angry rith man. With what mitigating touches the scenery of Europe as visited our author, remains to be seen. That he did not distal it of its force by regarding it with a cold or contemptuous
t, he himself teaches us—
"Dear Nature is the kindest mother still,
Though always changing, in Iter aspect mild;
O she is fairest in her features wild,
Where nothing polished dares pollute her path;
To me by day or night she ever smiled,
Though I have marked her where none other hath,
And sought her more and more, and loved her most in wrath." p. 79.
Our author having re-landed upon his native shores, his first deed is to present to his country the work before us, as the fruits of his travels. It is a kind of poetical journal of journeys and voyages through Spain and Portugal, along the shores of the Mediterranean and Archipelago, and through the states of ancient Greece. When we speak of journal, we mean rather to designate the topicks of the work than the manner of its execution; for this is highly poetical. Most contrary to the spirit of those less fanciful records, his lordship sublimely discaids all frets and histories; all incidents; A. M. and P. M.; and bad inns and worse winds; and battles and feasts. Seizing merely upon the picturesque features in every object and event before him, he paints and records them with such reflections, moral or immoral, as arise in his ardent mind.
The "- Chikle Harold" is the traveller; and as he is a mighty surly fellow, neither loves nor is loved by any one; " through sin's long labyrinth had run, nor made atonement when he did amiss;" as, moreover, he is licentious and skeptical; Lord Byron very naturally, and creditably to himself, sets out in his preface with disclaiming all connexion with this imaginary personage. It is somewhat singular, however, that most of the offensive reflections in tiie poem are made, not by the " Chiide," but the poet.
The poem begins by describing the " Chiide;" and though not a very favourable specimen of Lord Byron's powers, we shall extract the stanza, in order, though we feel the acquaintance is no honour to them or us, to introduce the unhappy creature to our readers.
"Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Who ne in virtue's ways did take delight; But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
And vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of night. Ah me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee.—
'^Chiide Harold basked him in the noon-tide sun.
Disporting there like any other fly;
One blast might chill him into misery.
Worse than adversity the Gliilde befell; He felt the fulness of satiety:
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seemed to him more lone than eremite's sad cell." pp. 4, f.
"Yet oft times, in hts maddest mirthful mood,
Strange pangs would flash along Chiide Harold's brow,
As if the memory of some deadly feud,
But this none knew, or haply cared to know;
That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow)