Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

12 mo.

who seems aware of this objection, has, in the latter end of his 3d volume, entered into the common question, whether a reformed raka will make a good husband? This question he canvasses with a degree of humour which would have pleased us, had the illustration been less licentious.

The characters in this work, though not new, are distinctly pour. trayed; and the buffoon and the punster (Symms and Wiffle) are well contrasted with the manly sense and clegant manners of Smith and his friend Lord Edward. In short, novel-readers will not be disappointed if they look for entertainment in these volumes. We can announce to them a ruined castle and a ghost ; and we can add, with pleasure, that the castle is at last restored to its pristine splendor, and that the midnight visitor, “ this airy nothing," regains “ a local ha. bitation and a name," and is again introduced to the enjoyment of his friends and the world. Art. 30. The Castle of Beeston ; or, Randolph Earl of Chester : an Historical Romance.

2 Vols. Faulder. An attempt to mix historical facts with the inventions of fancy generally proves unsuccessful, for two classes of readers are most probably disappointed:—the lovers of romance deem such stories not sufficiently amusing ; and the adherents to historical accuracy accuse the motley writer of inconsistency and falsehood.-In the volumes before us, the plot exhibits little ingenuity ; the observations and sen. timents manifest no unusual sagacity; and the diction is frequently rendered tumid by affectation, and obscure by grammatical inaccuracies. Art. 31. Human Vicissitudes ; or, Travels into unexplored Regions. 2 Vols.

6s. sewed. Robinsons. 1798. We

may venture to predict that these regions will not often be ex. plored twice by the same traveller. To contrast the moral and poli. tical state of England with those of an imaginary people, of innocent manners and acute understandings, seems to have been the design of the writer : but the pen of Gulliver has long been missing; and cer. tainly the author of this jejune performance has not found it. Art. 32. A Tale of the Times. By the Author of “ A Gossip's

Story.” 12mo.3 Vols. 129. sewed. Longman. 1799. This work is interesting, though too diffuse in its narration, and though it is rendered too prolix by the multiplicity of its reflections. A novel is indebted for its historical merit, to the liveliness and perspicuity of the manner in which it is told; and to endeavour to aid the narra. tion, by explaining the progress of the plot, proclaims barrenness of invention. The characters are well drawn; and the lesson to married ladies, warning them against male confidants, is important and well urged. The delineation of Fitzosborne, an unprincipled soi-disant philosophe, shews at least an honourable wish in the author to expose the selfish and dangerous principles of some modern ethics.

We cannot but think that distributive justice might have dispensed with the death of the lovely Lady Monteith, as her misfortunes and misbehaviour were occasioned by the infamous plots and diabolical conduct of the ravisher Fitzosborne. Her repentance and reformation

I 2 mo.

might have reconciled her to her husband ; and the story, without being less instructive, would have been more in upison with the feel. ings of a candid and humane reader. The language is uniformly correct; and the moral sentiments do honour to the writer's heart and understanding. Art. 33. The Libertines. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6s. sewed. Robinsons.

The purport of these volumes is to expose the viccs and enormities' committed in the intercourse between male and female convents. The author (as he intimates in his preface) has availed himself of the various accounts which he has perused of the private lives of monks aņd nuns; and of the judicial proceedings of the “holy" inquisition : but such accounts, if authentic, would be more interesting and instructive in historical narration, than in tales of professed fiction.-The work is full of convent intrigues and diabolical anecdotes of inquisitorial tyranny :-but, regarding novels chiefly as books of amusement, we cannot recommend the present volumes to our readers, as the story does not appear to be conducted by a writer who is possessed of powers, sufficient to render gloomy stories agreeable to the imagination, or to seize on it forcibly by the magic of the pen. The plot is intricate ; and the poetry interspersed is too flimsy to relieve the irksomeness of the general plan.

IRELAND, Art. 34. Considerations on National Independence, suggested by Mr.

Pite's Speech on the Irish Union. By a Member of the Hon. Society of Lincoln's Inn. 8vo. 15. 6d. Robinsons.

These suggestions are written in favour of the independence of Ireland, and in course against an union : but the author seems to lean towards an independence too much separated and too distinct from this country; and he is at the trouble of advancing proofs of the ability of Ireland to maintain herself as an independent state. Great Britain and Ireland are not, nor can the sober friends of cither country desire that they should be, independent of each other. The first and great end of government is security. Security against foreign atz. tempts is most necessary to national independence; and on the justness, and goodness of the government, rests the security of that iudividual independence, the enjoyment and preservation of which constitutes, the character of a free people. With respect to national independence, the two kingdoms, if united, would become one nation. As such, the national independence of the whole would not be less secure than it is in the present not independent connection of the parts.

In speaking of the effects of union, the writer asks • whether Scotland produces such high-spirited and intrepid characters as of old?' we see not the smallest reason for questioning the spirit of the present race of North Britons.

The rights of sovereignty in the people, which the author conceives, to have been attacked in Mr. Pitt's speech, are here defended; and in answer to the assertion, that such a principle can make no part of any system of jurisprudence, the authorquotes, among other instances, the preamble to the constitution of Pennsylvania. - Several late writers

have expressed apprehensions that an union between Great Britain and Ireland would so much increase the influence of patronage, as wholly to undermine the freedom of the constitution ; and this seems to be the greatest danger attendant on such an union. If provision were made against this consequence, we believe that, in most other respects; an union would promote the respective interests of each country, and consequently the general interest of the whole. Art. 35. A Letter addressed to the Gentlemen of England and Ireland,

on the Inexpediency of a Federal Union between the Two Kingdoms. By Sir John J. W. Jervis, Bart. 8vo. is, 6d. Printed at Dublin, London reprinted for Debrett. 1798.

This Letter was written before the plan of a legislative union was debated in the parliament of either kingdom. The writer condemns the projected union as a phenomenon of hideous aspect'--in its nature, he says, so destructive, that I would wish fondly to believe even the present times, so creative of novelty and reproach, could not form or bring forth a more frightful monster.' Notwithstanding this warmth of declamation, there is reason in some of the author's remarks. He argues that an union would greatly increase ministerial infuence, and enable the executive branch to command at all times a majority. He apprehends likewise that great injury would be sustained by Íreland, in the administration of justice, from a removal of the appellant jurisdiction of the peers : for the great' expence would render a reference to the supreme jurisdiction in England a thing alınost unattain. able ;'—and the restraint and control over the courts of law being so removed, the great Sanctuary' against partiality or caprice in the judges would be lost. These, certainly, are considerations worthy of serious attention.

RELIGIOUS and POLEMICAL. Art. 36. Prospectus, with Specimens, of an Octavo Polyglott-Bible. By

Josiah Pratt, M. A. Svo. is. Rivingtons. 1799. This is Mr. Pratt's second Prospectus of a Polyglott-Bible. It is a trite saying that “ second thoughts are best,” and we are much inclined to think that the saying holds good here. In the autumn of 1797, the author published a Prospectus of a Quarto Polyglott Bible, (see our Review for May 1798, p.78,] in which he requested the communication of any hints that might'tend to improve his plan; and a great variety of suggestions having since reached him, he has adopted some of them, and wrought them into a neto plan ; to which he is determined to adhere. The work, as it is now finally offered to the public, 'differs from that proposed in the forner Prospectus, chiefly, in the following particulars.'s. The size is changed from quarto to a large.octavo.-2. The price is lowered from ten guineas to seven pounds.-3. The mode of publication is altered from ten parts, at considerable intervals, to twenty quarterly numbers : i. e. (as we understand it) a number will be published at the end of every quarter of a year.–4. The prolegomena are omitted ; except so far as they concern the necessary catalogues of codices, &c.-5. The same texts are preserved: but most of the types are somewhat smaller, though

srill (says Mr. P.) easy and pleasant to the eye.'_This we deem true with regard to the types of the Hebrew text, and the English version : but the types used to express the Samaritan text, the Septungint, the Syriac, and the Vulgate, are, in our opinion, too small. -6. The Mascretic vowel points are introduced into the Hebrew text.-7. The English punctuation is omitted in the Samaritan, Chaldee, and Syriac.--8. The accents and spirits are omitted in all the Greek, but the aspirate and iala subscriptum are retained.' These are Mr. P.'s own words: but is not the aspirate a spirit ? - 9. In the notes of various readings, the editor pledges himself for nothing beyond an arrangement and abridgment of those of De Rossi on the Old Testament, and of those of Griesbach on the New.-10. The Prolegomena and notes will be given in Latin, instead of English, to accommodate the work to more general use.

In the specimen of this octavo Polyglott, the text stands thus in the 0. T.–Firs“, on the left hand page, the Hebrew, with the English by its side : on the right hand page, the Septuagint, Onkelos, and the Latin Vulgate, in three collateral columns. At the bottom of both pages is the Samaritan text, in lines equal to the breadth of the whole

page.

We think that these are too long for the eye to run over, and would have been better in two columns :-the Samaritan text was never so properly arranged as in Kennicott's edition, and we wish that Mr. Pratt had followed that arrangement.-Below the Samaritan text, lie the various readings from Kennicott and De Rossi.

In the New Testament, the Syriac and English versions stand on the left-hand page, and the Greek and Latin Vulgate on the right ; in four columns. The various readings are below, in four columns also.

The type in which the Hebrew is printed is very neat, and of a proper size ; and the same, without points, ought, in our opinion, to have been employed for the Samaritan and Onkelos :

:- or at least a type of a better body and more pleasant form. As the editor tells us, however, that new types are to be cast on purpose, he will doubtless make the best choice in his power. Perhaps, the Greek type of the New Testament specimen should be used for the Septuagint: it is clear and elegant.

In his appendix, Mr. P. combats objections urged by some periodical critics against his former Prospectus. Art. 37. Two Letters addressed to the Lord Bishop of Landal, oc

casioned by the Distinction his Lordship hath made between the Operation of the Holy Spirit in the Primitive Ministers of Christ, and its Operation in Men at this Day, contained in an Address to Young Persons after Confirmation; which Distinction is shewn not to have any Foundation in the New Testament. Also that the Promises of the Spirit to Christ's Disciples extend to the Days of the Apostles only. By William Ashdowne. 8vo. Pp. 39. 18. Johnson. 1798. With great plainness, but with high respect for the learned Bishop, Mr. A. here discusses the difficult questions concerning the gifts and operations of the Spirit. While the Bishop of Landal maintains,

in his " Address to Young Persons,” that “ the manner in which the Holy Spirit now gives his assistance is not attended with any certain signs, but is secret and unknown, and cannot now be distinguished from the ordinary operations of the mind;” Mr. A. asserts that the distinction made by divines between the extraordinary and ordinary gifts and operations of the spirit is a mere modern distinction, unsupported by the Scriptures; and that every text on this subject clearly shews that its effects were manifest and evident to the person under its holy influence. For this purpose, he adduces passages contair ing the word Spirit, without appearing to consider that this term is employed in various senses in the N, T.-He contends that, in the Apostolic days, sinners were converted to God without the operaLion of the Spirit ;' and when John, iii. 5. seems to oppose his hypo'thesis, he explains the word Spirit here to mean the revolution of the Spirit in the word of God.' Why may it not mean this in other places? Is there not a distinction made in the N. T. between miraculous gifts, for which Simon offered money, and the fruits of the spirit, holiness, goodness, and truth?

How far the promise of the spirit extends to the present times, is a question which admits of dispute. It must be confessed that the secret of unknown influence or effect, for which the learned Bishop contends, is very like no influence at all; and yet it cannot be denied that it is possible for the eternal Spirit to operate on the mind in a silent and imperceptible manner. We should consider, at the same time, what is gained to religious pleasure and conscious satisfaction by this admission. Does the mention of " giving the Spirit” always imply the peculiar presence of the Spirit of God to the mind, or is it not a strong Orientalism? The Gospels teach us, by their parallel places, that “ giving the Spirit” is synonimous with "giving good things.' When the doctrine of divine influences is maintained, it should be done with great caution; for, in the hands of enthusiasts, it has been the source of the most extravagant follies that have ever disgraced religion.

The substance of this pamphlet was published many years ago, in 2 tract noticed in our lxiiid vol. p. 555. Art. 38. Thoughts on Christian Communion, addressed to Professors

of Religion of every Denomination. 2d Edition enlarged. By John Fawcett, jun. 12mo. 61. Wills. 1798.

Beaevolence, brotherly-love, or, as this writer seenis to choose, Christian communion, (though he does not particularly explain the terin,) are certainly excellent qualities; and to promote them is the design and tendency of this pamphlet. We conclude from its title, and from the remarks towards its end, that Christians of all sentiments and opinions are here included. Christianity forms itself on an exteqsive scale; and happy will it be when it's multifarious divisions concur in the common cause of advancing practical truth, piety, charity, and all virtue ! Art. 39. An Apology for Brotherly Love, and for the Doctrines of the

Church of England, in a Series of Letters to 'the Rev. Charles Daubenys with a Vindication of such Parts of Mr. Wilberforce's

• Practical

14

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »