Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

to throw them into the very awkward and disadvanta geous form of Dialogues*, and this was carried on for three years. years. Since that period, they have gradually fubfided into a method greatly more convenient to the Reader; and have attempted, though never with complete fuccefs, to embrace the whole Hiftory of British Literature, as it has arisen: with more or less notice of foreign works, which, by the increased importation of French and German Journals, has been gradually becoming almoft unneceffary. In the mean time, thefe periodical reports have been fo established in favour as to rank among the "articles of prime neceffity," as the modern phrafe is, to h terary life; and the public at large has become fo literary, that almost every man and every woman, in competent circumftances, wishes to know what is published, what is fit to be read, or what is most entertaining. Where purchasers abound, the market is always readily fupplied, and of late there has been a particularly zealous competition to ferve the public with goods of this kind. We have had Epitomes, Journals, and even a Panorama of Literature. They have made their appearance at weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual periods. They have taken magnificent or fcientific names; they have been analytical, critical, eclectic, imperial, and what not. We have feen them appear and disappear with various claims and pretenfions; while we have maintained our steady course, in which we mean to perfevere; affuming nothing but British principles, in Church and State, fupported by fuch Criticifm as our two English Universities can fupply, For both these parents of Learning we feel a filial af

* The title was, "Cenfura Temporum: The good or ill tendencies of Books, Sermons, Pamphlets, &c. impartially confi. dered. In a Dialogue between Eubulus and Sophronius," 4to. 1708. From 1699, when the "Hiftory of the Works of the Learned" began, which was continued to 1712, fomething like a feries might be formed of English Reviews, by means of dif ferent Works,

fection;

fection; and with both we have always been, not occafionally only, but regularly connected. Thefe principles, and these connections, united with conftant care and real impartiality, have been our fupport; and they have been, as they ought to be, fufficient. When we condefcend to other means, either by flattering falfe tafte, encouraging falfe opinions, or miniftring to the vitiated appetite of malignity, may we lofe the favour, as we must lofe the efteem, of those who know us.

But to come to the business of our Preface, where we are to give, what few others have attempted, (and none, that we recollect, before us) the marrow of recent Literature.

DIVINITY.

After the approved and admirable work of Bishop Lowth on Isaiah, it was not to be expected that another English Tranflation fhould very fpeedily appear. But without any attempt at rivalry, the Bishop of Killala has produced another, which has also strong and peculiar claims on the attention of the Divine. It has especially the advantage of prefenting the original Hebrew, in parallel columns with the English. On the comparative characters of the two Verfions, we fpeak more particularly, when we close our account of the Book, which we shall do in the enfuing month. After which we fhall take up the Book of Job, as rendered and illuftrated by the fame Right Reverend Commentator. Nor does the venerable fucceffor of Lowth, in the See of London, after fo many eminent fervices rendered to religion, yet think it time to retire from literary labour. His tract On the beneficial Effects of Chriftianity †, proves an unabated activity of mind; and is calculated to convince many, by a

No. V. p. 455. VI. p. 608.,

A 3

+ No. IV. p. 417. collection

collection of ftriking facts and arguments oppofed to their most dangerous prejudices.

Our notice has been again attracted to the Bamptonian Lectures, by thofe of Mr. E. Nares*, who with much ability, and very laudable diligence, has repelled at once all the more recent attacks of Socinianifm, Sceptifm, and, the almoft peculiar produce of modern times, Atheism. The Sermons of Sir H. M. Wellwood, are not devoted to any particular clafs of topics, but, in the general mode of inftruction employed in our churches, have much vigour, and no fmall fhare of original thought. Mr. Biddulph having extended his Practical Effays on the Liturgy to five volumes, we have again noticed, and again commended a work of merit and utility. In the Elementary Evidences, or feries of Catechifms, published by Bishop Burgess §, we fee, with delight, learning ftooping to enlighten the unlearned; and the talents of a mafter in Ifrael employed to preach the Gospel to the poor. Subfervient to Chriftian Education also, and in a way very analogous, are the Dialogues on the Doctrines and Duties of Christianity, publifhed by Mrs. 7. Jackson. If this Lady has not ftudied to make her dialogues dramatic, or fuitable to the critical laws of that fpecies of compofition, fhe has conveyed in them abundant inftruction, on points of great moment. A fmall volume of Effays, by Mr. Apperley **, were drawn up for domestic inftruction, and are well formed to inftil at once the habitual reverence for religion, and the practical rules of Chriftian Morality. One or two tracts, directed against Sectaries +t; are by no means devoid of merit; and the republifhed Arguments of Dr. Comber against the Romish

Of Biddenden, in Kent; fee No. IV. p. 389. V. p. 548. + No. II. p. 158. No. VI. p. 689. See alfo vol. xii. p. 582. No. IV. p. 451. || No. IV. P. 411. ** No. I. p. 92. ++ Cockburn's Addrefs to Methodists, No. IV. p. 457, and A Letter on Methodism, No. V. p. 575.

Church,

Church*, are ftill as likely to be useful as when they were originally written.

Before we enter upon the fubject of feparate Sermons and Charges, we muft paufe to make a folemn and affectionate mention of a Prelate, who, in that and many other modes of compofition, and in various branches of profound learning was eminently diftinguished. We speak of the late Bishop of St. Asaph, a man whofe fagacity feldom investigated without making discoveries, and whofe vigour of understanding seldom argued without producing conviction. More learned than artful, and more original than polished; if he fometimes ftartled the reader by his boldness, he always gave him fomething to meditate, and fomething well worthy to be remembered. What he faid precipitately, inferior minds might fometimes correct; but what he delivered on mature reflection, he alone could have communicated. By the labours of his pen the volumes of the BRITISH CRITIC have occafionally been enlightened; and other communications were promifed, had Providence extended his life. Our regret therefore is, on many accounts, natural, when we have occafion to speak of his last published Sermon, entitled the Watchers and the Holy Onest; a difcourfe as full of original matter as any that even his reflections had produced. A fingle tract of his remains before us unnoticed, full of elegant, united with fcientific knowledge, which we will take an early opportunity to difcufs. We proceed at present to other fubjects.

Some difcourfes of very diftinguished excellence have certainly paffed under our revifion in the present Volume. Not to give apparent preference, where little, if any, is due, we fhall take them as they occur in our pages. We begin therefore with Mr. Walker's Confecration Sermon §, in which he treats on the

No. III. p. 331. + No. III. p. 280. "On Virgil's two Seasons of Honey."

A 4

No. II. p. 182. condition

condition and duties of a tolerated Church, with a particular and interefting application to the state of the Epifcopal Church in Scotland. Mr. Barker's difcourfe before the Sons of the Clergy* occurs next, and is well worthy of recollection, from an eloquence by no means common, and an originality of thought as well as language. The Affize Sermon, preached by Dr. Zoucht, in July laft, gave us a pleafing opportunity of adverting to the merits of the author, and to the judicious patronage which had raised him to a stall at Durham. The fame author, whofe Bampton Lectures we commended in the beginning of this Preface, Mr. E. Nares, demands alfo our thanks, and those of the public, for a Sermon delivered at the primary Vifitation § of the Archbishop of Canterbury; in which he has clearly shown why the prefent defenders of our Holy Religion, in contending with infidels, and various kinds of fectaries, fhould not have "the fpirit of fear, but that of power, of love, and of a found mind." The Sermon of Mr. Grant, before the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge and Church Union in the Diocefe of St. David's, gave us an opportunity not only to commend the author, but to praife and make more known the excellent Society itself and its defigns.

HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES.

With Original History our prefent Volume is not fupplied, but tranflated Hiftories have, in two diftinguished inftances, been noticed in it. We allude to Mr. Beloe's Tranflation of the Father of Hiftory,

No. V. P. 571. + No. V. p. 572. ‡ A kind friend informs us by Letter, that the appointment came from Mr. Pitt. Our fentence is still true, but we certainly had another Patron in our thoughts. No. VI. p. 6go. No. VI. p. 691. Herodotus,

3

« AnteriorContinuar »