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farea, the miracles it performed, &c. &c. From the manner of expression in the above quotation, it might be thought that St. Luke had told us of some image which had been formed in honour of his Divine Master; but as the keenest penetration cannot possibly perceive the smallest resemblance to any such thing in the place alluded to, we will suppose that the word whereof refers to the lady. However, if Mr. Hutchinson is a Protestant writer, we could have wished that he had added some reflections to have guarded his readers from being mised by these old tales of images, paintings, miracles, &c. of which the Roman Catholics are fond, and which they often apply to very ill purposes.
Our Author appears to have visited these ancient places, especially those of the religious kind, whose state and history he lo particularly describes, with much feeling and sensibility. In his account of Alnwick abbey, ' a sweet, though deep retirement, he says, on the banks of the Aln,' it is added, Solemn situations like this, and the ruins of religious houses, always affect my mind with a degree of languishment. Such a seclufion, such a retirement, would have filled my with. The life of the ecclefiaftic is most desirable, and seems calculated to be the happiest. No natural tendency to indolence and ease prompts this determination ; but the serenity of a churchman's life, under the entire preclusion of all worldly concerns, affords that tranquillity of mind, so necessary to contemplation and study, to philosophic researches, and divine meditation. Without the poison of ambition, fome minds can enjoy a mediocrity with content ;-without an impertinent with to intermeddle with public affairs, fome men can fit within the little manfion, bufied only in pious duties and contemplations; and amidit domestic peace, living each day, in gratitude for the enjoyment of the rural beauties of some sylvan scene, the plain, the mead, the grotto, and the stream.--Call it luxury; but the busy world inceflantly rolls the heavy wheels of care too near my threshold. -I am frequently induced to adopt Horace's description :
so Agricolam laudat juris legumque peritus,
Sub galli cantum, consultar ubi oftia pulsat.” We shall not stay to make any reflections on this Writer's reveries, or enquire how far his sentiments may be juft; but proceed to observe, that the account of the town of Newcastle employs upwards of fixty pages towards the end of the volume, which is finished by some remarks to thew, in a collected and clear point of view, the importance of Northumberland--together with an account of some ancient customs which prevail in this county, with suitable conjectures, &c.
We shall conclude the article by adding, that some additional theets are delivered with the second volume, to be bound up
with the first; in which the Author acknowledges the affiftance he has received in this compilation ; and gives the state of the churches under the Archdeaconry of Northumberland, and in Hexham peculiar jurisdiction, with the succession of incumbents.
ART. XIV. Deism not consistent with the Religion of Reason and Nature.
By Capel Berrow, A. M. 4to. 45. Dodíley. 1780.
neft intention to serve the cause of Christianity. But while charity is ready to give the design every praise it merits, impártial justice hath no praise to bestow on iis execution.
Mr. Capel Berrow addresseth this performance to a friend,
who, in his wonted zeal for the cause of Deism, had put into our Author's hands a treatise, entitled, Deism fairly stated and fully vindicated. The result of his observations on this deistical tract is now presented to the public. According to Mr. Bero' row's own idea of the importance and merit of his work, his • Remarks afford answers to a supposed non- necefity, and in confequence the incredibility of a revealed religion. To the authenticity, therefore (says our Author), and, of course, the authority of that repository of the gospel dispensation, the facred pages, I will, in order to avoid trespassing upon your time and patience, take upon me to shew how incompatible the Deist's principles are with the boasted design of Deism, as stated by its formidable patron and defender, compared with that promised plan of redemption, a future universal reftitution.'
The most judicious remark (though it is a very old and common one) in this performance, is the following: It does not appear that life and iinmortality were ever clearly brought to light but by the gospel : no, not by the all-penetrating Socrates, or even the divine Plato himself. The nature and terms, however, of the redemption, the person by whom it was to be effected, and by whom the world is at last to be judged, were circumstances of information in their nature not capable of being derived to men, but through the channel of revelation.
But if Socrates was confirmed in the belief of some of these truths, yet could he make them equally apparent to others ? Could he publish them to the world with that degree of confidence and AUTHORITY as did our Saviour, who, by a series of miracles, prophecies, and an unspotted conduct in life, gave sufficient evidence to the impartial, of a commission derived from Heaven, to declare, confirm, and establish them?'
The superior advantage which the Christian insti:ution hath over Deism, chiefly consists in the authoritative fanction which establishes and supports its doctrines and precepts. What is
called the law of nature, is vague and indeterminate in many: points of duty, because by it each man is allowed to be a fufficient judge of its dietates ; and in general, men will judge, chiefiy according to inclination and habit. It is not only defective in respect to the clear discovery of duty, but it wants power to inforce, and motives to recommend it. The divine law is positive and unequivocal in its declarations. Its duties cannot be evaded by the cafuiftry of a corrupt heart. They muft be i obeyed; for they are enforced by an authority that cannot be
flighted with impunity. Will the Deist say, that the law by which he professes to be governed hath any fanction equal to that which enforces the Christian law? Will he not candidly confess, that with respect to the clear and precise delineation of moral and religious duty, the latter hath greatly the advantage of the former? Is it not for the interest of mankind that a revealed law should be established ; that the line of duty should be marked out for every man, and that all to whom it is communicated may feel their present and future interest in it so strongly as to be habitually aware of the consequence of violating it?
We give Mr. Berrow (we have faid) ample credit for the goodness of his intentions ! Here our praise unfortunately must. cease! His performance is diffuse, tedious, and uninteresting. It wants force; it wants argument; it wants perspicuity. It is dry without reasoning, and solemn without dignity. When the Author cannot answer, he declaims; and where he would be fpirited, he is pert.
In a word, as the book to which he replies yielded but'a, feeble succour to a bad cause, to his own will add little credit or support to a good one: and as the former hath been long fince forgotten, the latter will not long be remembered.
Art. XV. Miscellaneous Obfervations on fome Points of the Contro
versy between the Materialists and their opponents. 8vo. 2 s. 6 d. Payne. 1780.
HIS curious controversy, at the head of which stands the
very distinguished name of Dr. Priestley, hath brought forward to the notice of the Public, the metaphysical talents of many threwd and ingenious fpeculatifts; while at the fame time (and what else could be expected?) it hath generated a swarm of idle and Aimfy disputants, whose light and feeble powers, which fitted them tolerably well for the surface of popular declamation, totally forfook them when, in a moment of vain confidence, these superficial beings dared to plunge into the depth of metaphysical argument. We recollect the names of several of these adventurers, whose precipitance was the effect
of their blindness. We have reviewed the writings of feveral, who, without even a knowledge of the common elements of the subject, have had the temerity to undertake a difcuffion of its abftrufer points !-But they rest in peace'; and the world hath forgotten where they sleep.
Among those whose learning, judgment, and ingenuity have added grace to a controversy that, in itself, hath little of that quality to recommend it, we here meet with an Author who is entitled to a very distinguished poft. His observations are in general profound, without obscurity; and free, without scepticism. His language is manly and perspicuous; and in several places animated and elegant.
" It was far (lays the Author) from my intention to deliver a connected feries of arguments, or to give any thing like a gem neral view of the controversy; this. having been done by other and abler hands.' His object is to offer miscellaneous observa tions on the capital points in debate between the Materialists and Spiritualists, and to remove those prejudices which have arifen in the minds of fuperficial inquirers against the moral tendency of Dr. Hartley's system ; or, in other words, the abi folute mechanism of the human frame, and all its faculties and affections.' . An unprejudiced inquirer (says he) will recollect, that the moral qualities of man are estimated not from their fupposed origin, but from their known effects; which effects are the fame, whether we attribute the qualities producing them to corporeal organization ; to the use or abuse of free-will, or to any other cause.'
Whatever our sentiments may be respecting the doctrine of materialism, we are perfectly of the opinion of our Author, that it is illiberal to charge it with confequences pregnant with danger to religion and morality. These consequences are often nothing more than the chimeras of fancy; and fometimes they are fabricated by art and coloured by paflion, in order to supply the want of argument, and make horror take the place of con, viction.
Our Author observes, that the consequences of materialism, at least that species of it which reafonable people contend for, are of a very innocent, and, in some cafes, of a very falutary nature, and accordingly stand recommended in the writings of many learned and pious men.'. He pays his particular respects to the Bishop of Carlifle, Archdeacon Blackburne, Dr. Priestley, and the anonymous author of the “ Slight Sketch of the Controverfy,” for their vindication of the doctrine: from the reproach-of infidelity; and concludes with them, that it is the Gospel alone that inspires us with just and consistent hopes of immortality.
Impartiality, nevertheless, obliges us to remark, that however well these gentlemen may have succeeded in their attempts to rescue materialism from the invidious charges which some of its adversaries have, in their folly or, spite, alleged against it, yet we much doubt whether the old mode of treating the doctrine of a future state, first as a principle founded on natural religion, and afterwards as an article of faith more clearly illustrated and confirmed by divine revelation, was not the safest and most useful method of representing this important subject. “ A Christian (it hath been said) stands in no need of what are called rational arguments to establish his belief of it.” We grant, he may not; though every accessional evidence of so momentous a doc. trine is highly grateful to the mind of one who wishes it to be true. But when we speak of the UTILITY of those natural and moral evidences of a future state, which the writers above mentioned have rejected as insufficient proofs, we had our eye on those gentlemen who prefer reason to revelation, and consequently would find no resource in the latter, if they were abandoned by the former, in their inquiries about futurity. We should be sorry to see the Deist, whose reason had taught him to believe in a future state of rewards and punishments, robbed of a conviction fo beneficial to all the purposes of moral and civil life. Natural religion is his God: and if that be taken away, what hath he more? Dr. Priestley will say—" Revealed religion is at hand, to make ample recompense for the loss.”- True, but-Dr. Priestley knows what we mean. This kind of reasoning may indeed be thought to savour more of policy than of truth. But is it not a strong presumption in favour of the natural evidences of a future state, that they are all confirmed by Revelation? “Nature (says the religious Deist) convinces me of this
truth." “ But (says Dr. Priestley) you are convinced of it on insufficient evidence.” 66 But is the thing itself true?” “ Yes."-" Then (replies the Deist). Nature doch not deceive me."
The second section of the work before us enters very deeply into the subject of materialism : but it is treated fo accurately, that it soon becomes easy to the attentive Reader. His obfervations on abstract and general ideas are correct, though not new. He is not sufficiently explicit in what he advances concerning the common sensory. We may afirm (says he), that to the fimplest case of sensation a certain condition or modification of the sensory is necessary.' This position is too vague and indecisive. 'A certain condition and modification of the sensory, or the brain, is a previous requisite to sensation, and consequently of all ideas simple and complex. But sensation, as an effect of certain objects acting on the different organs of the human frame, seems to induce some change on those parts of the brain 3