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man try to cure himself of this vice; he will find this not to be the work of a day: in spite of all his efforts and resolutions, it will frequently betray its meanness, and very often its injustice; and I believe the instances are few, wherein you have seen a perfect cure.' pp. 82, 83.
The Author differs here as much from himself as from most moralists. For upon liis own principles men are not naturally depraved at all; and we would ask him how that can be a vice, according to his theory, which 'mingles with the blood and
• vital parts,' which is ' hereditary, and flows in the veins of
• families ?' We have generally been accustomed, however, to consider covelousness as much a vice formed by habit, as drunkenness and gluttony. We must confess, we have never yet seen any vices which were incurable, and very few that bad been long indulged in, from which it was ea*y to escape, but certainly none that the power of the Gospel could not overcome. But the object for which the Author made the above remarks, was to shew that sudden conversions could never subdue such ' natural 'vices' as covetousness, lying, &o. At page 81, he says,
* The doctrine of sudden and instantaneous conversions is another of the popular and fashionable doctrines of the present day; and may be set down as one of those very common, but gross impositions, that ensnare the credulous, and deceive the ignorant; but, in general, procures great credit to those who have the audacity to pass such off upon the world.'
Now, though we are far from maintaining that all conversions are sudden, we should be glad to know what there is either in philosophy or in Scripture, to discredit the belief that a wicked man may receive an effectual conviction of truth, as sudden as the lightning's flash, and as powerful as the voice of thunder? What is then to prevent that'Almighty Agent, who says, " The "wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound "thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometb, and whither it "goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit)" from effecting those moral changes which are pre-eminently the result of his own power, as suddenly as those physical changes which we continually witness and experience? Has Mr. Watson never met with such conversions? Has he never read, or if he has read, does he mean to deny, narratives so well authenticated, as those of Colonel Gardiner, and the Earl of Rochester?
We shall detain our readers only a little longer with a specimen of Mr. Watson's doctrine upon worldly amusements.
'From the preceding part of our Lord's history, and indeed, from his history in general, we may infer that our Lord was no enemy to the innocent recreations of society, and that he does not debar his diiciples from such enjoyment*. Recreations properly chosen, excite
Vol. X. N. 8. 2 P
Cheerfulness; and cheerfulness is favourable to health, arid to Book, also, of the most amiable virtues.
'My reason for taking up the subject of recreations, is, in th* first place, to contribute what I can, to the removal of that gloom, whicn some professors throw over religion; and, in the second place, to combat those illiberal prejudices, which suppose that men an guilty of the greatest sin, who countenance the common amusements of society, although among that number, are found many men of the greatest worth, who are not only firm believers in Christianity, but scrupulously exact in the performance of its duties: and thirdly, to point out the unhappy consequences of such gloomy principles, thus operating as a discouragement to real religion.
'With respect to music, there is no occasion to say much ; for tha is the least exceptionable of all amusements. This is a delightful exercise and entertainment to many; it enters into the solemn services of religion, and contributes there to exalt our devotion.
'But dancing is cried down violently. Indecent dances cannot be censured too severely; and those stage dances have brought the exercise itself under this disgrace. But these are neither encouraged nor practised in our common assemblies, nor in private parties. Ib inch places, all these things are conducted agreeable to the strictest rules of decency; and perhaps there are few entertainments more pure, more chaste and correct in every moral point of view.—Some alledge that this exercise excites bad passions; but those must hare very impure hearts, who can find such incitements in the common dances. And nothing can be better calculated to produce innocent cheerfulness, particularly in an assembly of young people; and nothing can be more wisely contrived to dissipate melancholy, illtemper, and dissatisfaction, than to witness the grace and elegance of this exercise; and thus you share in the innocent joys of the rising generation. That mind must be of a very stubborn sulkiness, and of a texture not very favourable to virtue, which refuses its assent to the general harmony of such company. This exercise has been countenanced by many wise men, and even rigid moralists. Musk and dancing, entered occasionally, into the solemn services of the Jews. David danced before the ark of God, with all his might. V find dancing recommended in the Psalm cxlix. 3.—Let ut praite kit name in the dance." It was practised by the Jews on occasions of re* joicing. The prophet Jeremiah, xxxi. 13, foretelling the restoration of tin; Jews, and the approach of happier days, says—" Then thall t/ie virgins rejoice in the dance." Socrates mentions it often with approbation. The present morose and gloomy temper which hangs over religion, should be counteracted by directing the amusements or young people to what is different from sulkiness, t* excite cheerfulness, which may be maintained in perfect consistency with purity and the most correct morals.
'The amusement of the theatre has certainly subjected itself to much censure, by countenancing immorality. Severn old plays arc highly censurable, on account of the looseness of their morals; and this poison is often conveyed in much wit, which causes the venom to pierce deeper. But to toe honour of the present age, and for the Interest of morality, we seldom find any thing of this nature in modern plays. They are, in general, chaste and correct in these points: and the morals which some of them inculcate, are excellent, and calculated to do much more good, and much less harm than many of those declamations which are called sermons, where morality is abused, and the Christian virtues treated with contempt.—Amusements regulated by virtuous principles are rational and instructive. The present theatrical representations are, however, in some cases, highly censurable, not for immorality; but for a great deal of nonsense, and sometimes buffoonery, introduced upon the stage.' pp. 174—177.
This will let most of our readers into the- secrets of Die Rev. Mr. Watson's theology, which to us has a much greater resemblance to those loose, superficial, and contradictory opinions of modern philosophers, which are made ap, partly of the affected sensibility of deism, and partly of the maxims of carnal and worldly men, with some slight assistance from the New Testament, than to that sound and sober theory which is the result of a diligent and laborious investigation into the Scriptures. In short, the whale of his system seems to be exactly that which is to be met with in fashionable novels and piays. It affects great respect to the Divine character, and great admiration of the moral precepts of Christ, while its utmost aim is to prune off a few of the most unsocial aud gross vices, without knowing any thing of the measure of human guilt on the one hand, or of the vastness of Divine love on the other. By divesting Christianity of the doctrines of grace, it becomes a tame, useless, uninteresting system, alike cold and fruitless. It is the grace of the Gospel that makes it a Gospel. The testimony of Christ is, that he came "to call sinners to repentance." And never •will mankind at large receive the faithful saying, and find it worthy their acceptation, but as it discloses to them the grace of that Saviour, who " came into the world to save sinners." It is evidently very easy for a writer or a preacher, when he hag formed a sort of partial survey of the Gospel, and seen much in it about love, and meekness, and forgiveness of injuries, to imagine that in forming a strong conception of the amiable and moral spirit of Christianity, he has in fact seized upon its most prominent feature, or that by which the whole may be fairly epitomized. But We must be allowed to remind such persons, that in selecting out of a complex object, that one feature or quality, which, on account of its pre-eminence, may be used to designate the whole, we must take heed that our partiaiitiea for some one of its qualities, do not betray us into an oversight of its most essential and prominent parts. The Apostles of Christ have, we admit, designated the whole of thnt assemblage of truths, the Gospel, by one principal fact, and on« principal doctrine,- but then it was on account of the supreme and 'overwhelming importance of that one fact and that ooc doctrine. It is the cross of Christ which, with them, forms at once the distinguishing glory and the appropriate designation of the whole Gospel. It was the doctrine of the cross, which they held up above all others; this was first, and last, and all in all, in their discourses. It was a view of this doctrine of atonement and salvation by the sacrifice of Christ alone, as being of somewhat more importance for all mankind to know and believe, than this Author appears to think, That made one of them say, "1 determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus "Christ, and him crucified." We recommend to Mr. Watson a little closer attention to the writings of that Apostle, before he ushers his next volume of Dissertations into the world; and we can assure him that he will appear to us, and we think we may say to the religious puhlic in general, much more in character, when he invests his theological productions with a larger portion of the glory of the cross, the doctrine of which at present appears to him to be foolishness, but which, he must be aware, will be the master-theme of those ransomed spirits who are represented as exclaiming, " Thou art worthy, for thou wast "slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood."
Art. V. A Short Introduction to the Greek L&neuage; containing Greek Precepts; a Speech of Clearchus, from Xenopbon's Anabasis; and the Shield of Achilles, from Homer's Iliad. Translated into English. 8vo. pp. 178. Price 8s. 6d.
small volume was originally composed for the early instruction of the present Lord Viscount Falkland, and originated in the Editor's apprehension that a child in his first efforts to learn Greek, has sufficient difficulty to contend with. without being embarrassed with Latin as an intermediate guide. The selection is made with judgement. The Greek precepts, aod the extracts from Homer and Xenophon, are accompanied each with a liberal version, and with an exact verbal translation. As examples of the proper mode of proceeding in the lessons, the first ten precepts are grammatically analyzed; and so much of the Eton Greek grammar is given in English, as relates to the article and nouns substantive, for the sake of a more convenient reference in parsing. Concise but valuable notes are occasionally added by the Editor.
This short Introduction may be recommended to the very. young Greek student, as a useful manual to facilitate his acquaintance witli a language in which are preserved the noblest productions of human genius, and the roost interesting portion* «f the inspired Volume; hut let him learn the time when jt is proper.that'he should lay aside such aids as are here provided for him, and proceed, without verhal, or any other translations, to read the works whicli have immortalized the Greek authors as poets, historians, and philosophers.
Art. VI. A Lexicon of the Primitive Word* of the Greek Language, inclusive of several leading Derivatives, upon a new plan of arrangement: for the use of Schools and Private Persons. By the Rev. John Booth, Curate of Kirkby MalzeardV near Ripon, Yorkshire. 8vo. pp. 306. Price 9s. J817.
A Compendious etymological Greek Lexicon is a desideratum '"• in our literature. The materials tor such a work have been abundantly provided by the labours of numerous distinguished Scholars, whose researches and criticisms have done so much in preparing the way for a philosophical arrangement of the words of that exquisite language. It is full time that the Lexicons of Schrevelius and Ilederic were superseded at our classical seminaries, by a work more correspondihg to the present improved state of philological learning. • Such a desideratum is not supplied by Mr. Booth's publication. His plan is professedly a new one. Novelty of plan, however, is in itself a circumstance of no importance to any work; and we observe, that the Author is as sensible of the truth of this remark, as we ourselves are, since in looking for the approbation and support of the public <mi his labours, he describes them as designed ' to assist and en* courage in the study of the Greek tongue,' and expresses his hope, that 'this Lexicon will be found of peculiar service to 'learners, and of some utility to proficients in the language.1 It is, then, on the ground of utility that the claims of the present volume to patronage, are to be examined. If it be more simple and comprehensive in its arrangement, more luminous and nice in its definitions, and superior in the facilities which it may afford for ready consultation, than its predecessors, it will deserve our commendation. We must, however, confess, that its merits in these respects are too doubtful to receive our praise.
Facility of reference is unquestionably necessary to the excellence of a Lexicon, and this, we apprehend, is best provided for by classing the whole of the vocabules of a language, under one alphabet. Mr. Booth's Lexicon is *he very reverse of simple in this respect: it is, indeed, most complex, having as many separate alphabets as there are distinctions in grammar, and even more than these. Thus we have two alphabets to nouns of the first declension: Class 1. D.oqdb ia 0,«, n;> Class 2. nouns in • pure, i», 04. Nouns of the second declension have their distinct alphabet; and so of the others. The verbs are, in like nutnncr, arranged according to their characteristic letters, and a