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Sufficiency, intended as an Assistant to the Reader of that Sacred Volume. By the Rev. Thomas Webster.
8vo. pp. 83. 45. Boards. Baynes. 1813.
Mr. Webster has here undertaken to set' many difficult questions 6 at rest :' but we soon began to suspect that this confident writer had aimed at much more than he could accomplish, since, among various addresses at the head of the work, we found one to the world at large ; but to the snarling critic in particular. Now this dread of the snarling critic led us to suppose that, probably, the critic who was not snarling would be found to stand in Mr. W's way. So it turned out. Such an explanation of Scripture as this Anagogue presents was never before offered to the public; and, if the author can find any individual in his Majesty's dominions, whether critic or not critic, who will adopt it, he must be in great luck. Before he comes to the body of the work, he adduces an argument, which he conceives to be sufficient to arrest the whole phalanx of Socinian dissent : viz.
• The hen will lay an egg without the male ; but, be it remembered, it is also without life. This, however, proves the body to proceed from the female, but the soul from the male : and here is the rock upon which these have split. Not deigning to stoop thus low, they have, in support of this, their favorite system, attempted to soar even to the summits of the highest mountains : and it is very apparent from the injury sustained by religion, on account of their publications, that Satan for this purpose has generously been pleased to lend them his wings, readily enough, no doubt, as we can by no means suppose him willing to forward the cause of Christ. Now, Christ being without the human father, was necessarily also without the human soul.'
This is not crowing over the poor vanquished Unitarians : but it is ben-pecking them with a vengeance. After such a plain and convincing argument, the question must certainly be set at rest' for ever! With similar success, Mr. W. proceeds to prove that the world was created and inhabited 12,000 years before Adam; that the flood did not cover the whole earth; that the Chinese were not descended from Adam, and were not flesh but spirit ; and that the process of taking Eve out of Adam's side was necessary to qualify the woman for producing the promised seed, since Christ being without the human father could not, in any sense of the word, have, been denominated the son of man.'. Other demonstrations equally satisfactory occur in this complete Anagogue. Complete, indeed !!
In a note at p. 22., Mr. W. ventures an odd conceit, that, while any moisture remains in the dead body, the soul does not leave it. He thinks, therefore, that the burning of the dead by the antients was an act of kindness. Why did he not, then, in his address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, recommend the practice of cremation in preference to that of interment ?
POLITICS. Art. 32. A Letter to Mons. L.N. M. Carnot, Lieut.-General, &c. By an Englishman 8vo. 1S. Baldwin. 1814.
If we may rely on this Englishman's assertion, we must regard him as a Republican:' but his zeal in the cause of royalty, and his partial view of the case of the unfortunate Louis XVI., are little in unison with the sentiments of a true democrat. His letter, indeed, is rather a snappish and rude reply to M. Carnot than a calm examination of that officer's pamphlet ; as will be evident from the conclusion, which we shall transcribe. · Thou base betrayer of the principles of true liberty, where was thy love of republicanism when joined with Barras and the rest in the exercise of the supreme power? Where was thy stern simplicity when tricked out in the Aowing robes of a Director, and crowned with plumes of feathers ? What single act was passed under thy government from 1795 to 1797, favourable to the liberties of France? If there was one, make it. public, and be saved from lasting infamy. If there was not, it is well to pass the rest of life in silence and retirement. If monuments are to record only the truth, posterity may read, “ Here lies Carnot the Ex-Director of France, Carnot the murderer," but never “ Carnot the Republican.”'
It is unnecessary to add that no person who is acquainted with the principles of republicanism could have thus vomited his spleen against M. Carnot; who, with all his faults, has been a more steady character than most of his countrymen. Art. 33. Outlines of the Science of Politics, for the Use of Univer.'
sities in the States of Western Europe. 8vo. PP. 30. Is. 6d. Highley and Co. 1814.
According to this writer, who sets up for an instructor of Universities, we have misunderstood those Greeks and Romans who have discussed the subject of politics, and consequently have deduced from them erroneous inferences. Even Montesquieu is accused of considerable mistakes in this respect; and the object of these Outlines is to put our ideas into a right train : but the author is too concise to be satisfactory. His leading complaint is that the moderns have not sufficiently adverted to the actual state of society in what are termed the antient republics ; which, particularly Athens and Sparta, consigned the great mass of the people to a state of slavery which precluded the enjoyment of property and civil privileges. It is contended, therefore, that we misconceive the true meaning of the Greek and Latin terms employed by Aristotle and Cicero on the subject of politics; and that the word, for instance, which we translate democracy does not signify “ the sovereign power in the hands of the people at large,” who never in fact possessed it, but denotes what we should term an aristocracy, or the government of the privileged citizens, who were the absolute masters of the slaves. Seven different systems of civilization are enumerated, and remarks are offered on each : but the author seems to occupy himself most to his satisfaction in specifying capital errors and mistakes which he attributes to Mon. tesquieu ; who, we are told, must not henceforth be complimented with the title of the legislator of nations. We shall not here discuss these points, but wait for the enlarged work which is promised in the preface, before we decide on the merits of this gentleman's political lucubrations.
MISCELLANEOUS. Art. 34. Secret Memoirs of Napoleon Buonaparte, written by One
who never quitted him for Fifteen Years. Translated from the French. 12mo. 2 Vols. Colburn. 1815.
Now that the Lion is dead, many will shew their courage by giving him a kick. The veil is here pretended to be withdrawn, and the fallen Napoleon exhibited in his true colours, by a person who asserts that he was privy to his most secret transactions for the space of fifteen years; and who, if any such person exists, must apparently have been his aide-de-camp. The author, however, is not only anonymous, but, like our Junius, plumes himself on the impossibility of his being discovered ; yet, on the very face of the narrative, supposing it to be correct, it is impossible that he should be concealed, because he relates many circumstances in which others besides himself were concerned, and who consequently must recollect them and him * Besides this ground of doubt as to the reality of the writer, the work, in its whole contents, wears a very dubious aspect, and in its paucity of new information, weakly supports its pretensions to peculiar sources and opportunities. Many of the anecdotes, if not absolutely incredible, are highly improbable. To give the appearance of fairness to the narrative, Bonaparte is exonerated from the charge of ordering his own troops in Egypt to be poisoned; and reference is not only made to the report of the physician Desgenettes, (here called Mons. C-,) who originally resisted the accusation, but it is asked, as Bonaparte could not himself have administered the poison, who were the infamous agents employed? Could they be Frenchmen? Remains of the heroes who followed the Corsican to the soil on which your God was immolated, answer me!' This story answered its purpose for the time, but it may now be safely contradicted. The whole relation respecting Pichegru, in the beginning of Vol. ii., has also the appearance of a fabrication. It is in the highest degree improbable that Bonaparte should send, by a stranger, the paper said to be presented to Pichegru for signature ; it is still more improbable that this General should have been strangled by four Mamelukes, who, on the succeeding night, were shot on the plains of Grenoble; and that, eight days after
* To specify a strong instance, at Vol. i. p. 36. he speaks of a person called M. d'Harved the Elder, as having first introduced him to Bonaparte, and gives a long account of the conversation which passed on the occasion. Now this M. d'Harved, if there be such a person, must remember the circumstance, and thus easily identify the author ;
M. d'Harved exists, the whole story may be regarded as a forgery. Again, at p. 226. of the same volume, mention is made of an emotion into which Bonaparte was thrown at St. Cloud;
which occasion, the author says, 'M. De whispered me, “ There is something amiss, we shall know it from you."! Now M. Dmust recollect the person into
whose ear he thus whispered. According to the report at p. 208. M. Fourcroy also must know the writer.
ward, seven out of the eight men who shot the Mamelukes should be missing : about the survivor, nothing is known.
The effect intended by the author of this publication would have been incomplete, had he not, in addition to this hateful picture of Napoleon, subjoined the following doctrine in favour of the royal houses of Europe : viz. . It is necessary to be born a prince in order to sit gracefully on a throne. - It is not in the nature of man, whoever he may be, not to be dazzled with the splendour of a crown, unless he has been cradled on a throne.' Art. 35. The Causes of the present high Price of Coals, in the
Port of London, explained ; in a Letter to the Editor of the Times. By Robert Hills, Coal-merchant. 8vo. IS, 6d. Richardson. 1814. A little information, like a little learning, is a dangerous thing, especially when a person undertakes to discuss questions of an exten. sive nature ; such, for instance, as relate to the causes of high and low market-prices of articles of general consumption. To obtain accurate results, data which affect the whole matter issue must be brought together and compared ; and it is in this way that Mr. Hills endeavours to assist the readers of his pamphlet in ascertaining the actual state of the coal-market, and the true cause of the late high price of coals. It is a principle admitted as a sort of axiom by all political economists, that, in all cases, when the supply of any article exceeds the demand, its price must fall, and vice versa ; and it is on the basis of this maxim that Mr. Hills regulates his conclusion: 80 that, if his statements be correct, he has established the point for which he contends. By an average of the actual importation of coals into the port of London, in the years 1810, 11, 12, and 13, it appears that the quantity registered for consumption amounts to 1,071,014 chaldrons per annum ; and, in the beginning of the last stock on hand was 80 far exhausted that 739,251 chaldrons were necessary to meet the consumption from April to October inclusive : but the actual supply amounted in those months to only 682,375 : so that a deficiency remained of 56,876 chaldrons. Should these facts not sufficiently speak for themselves, let us advert to the argument of those who contend for the existence of monopoly in the coal. market. This point Mr. Hills proposes to examine under the three following heads, which must embrace, as far as the general argument is concerned, the whole of the case. 1. The mine-owner.
2. The ship-owner ; and, 3. The coal-merchant. From the incessant works at the mines, and the clashing interests of the proprietors of at least an hundred collieries, he infers the impossibility of combination in the first instance ; and, from taking a view of the state of the carrying trade, he infers an equal impossibility of the existence of any important monopoly among the ship-owners. As to the poor coalmerchant, Mr. Hills exonerates him from the charge of keeping up the price of the article in which he deals, by the simple circumstance of its bulkiness ; since he rarely has convenient space for stowing away two or three thousand chaldrons.
Mr. H. does not advert to the question which has been often put : Do the mines at Newcastle continue to be as productive as usual i
and have not steam-engines, gas-lights, &c. increased the demand? but, if his facts be accurate, he has at least given a powerful reason for the recent high price of coals, and has afforded good grounds for believing that measures will be taken to equalize the supply to the demand, when, in course, prices will fall, Art. 36. Tales for Cottagers, accommodated to the present Condition
of the Irish Peasantry. By Mary Leadbetter and Elizabeth Shakleton.
38. 6d. Boards. Gale and Co. 1814. These tales display the character and phraseology of the poorer Irish, and the lessons which they convey may be useful to readers of both nations. The story intitled Temper is particularly well imagined, and The Scotch Ploughman has several touches of real humour and feeling : but our approbation of this volume extends not to the drama with which it closes, called Honesty the best Policy, since this composition is strained and confused; though it contains one striking conversation, namely, that in which the dishonest family lament their disgrace, and reproach each other as having caused it.
We noticed a few verbal errors, such as, (p. 64.) The best of all calculation is to live as to have a well grounded hope of more permanent felicity ;' (p. 92.) industry and economy leads to wealth; rough and common industry produce rough plenty,' &c.
SINGLE SERMONS. Art. 37. A Thanksgiving Sermon preached August 1. 1813, at the New
Meeting House in Birmingham, on Occasion of the Act exempting the Impugners of the Doctrine of the Trinity from certain Dis
abilities and Penalties. By John Kentish. 8vo. 18. Johnson and Co. Art. 38. The Exercise of the Social Principle in Religion : preached at
the Unitarian Chapel, in Artillery-lane, London, June 1. 1814, before the Members and Supporters of the Unitarian Fund. By John Kentish. 8vo. Johnson and Co.
In the first of these discourses, the preacher very neatly traces the progress of religious liberty since the Reformation, notices with sentiments of loyalty the extension of the tolerant principle during the reign of our present venerable sovereign; and, as an Unitarian, warmly rejoices with his brethren on the late act of the legislature which assigns, to those who believe in the absolute unity of God, and deny a trinity of persons in the Godhead, equal privileges with other Protestant Dissenters. After having expressed his grateful feelings, and complimented his country on its growing liberality, Mr. Kentish concludes with some sensible reflections, which we have read with pleasure, but which we have not room to transcribe.
In the second discourse, Mr. K. makes some just remarks on the union of the social with the religious principle. . If,' says he,
religion consists in love to God and love to man, it consists in the cultivation and exercise of social feelings ; and the doctrine of Christ is especially calculated to aid every innocent and useful purpose for which human beings come together in society. It even requires its 'friends to associate in order to present the homage it enjoins, to avow the truths it teaches, to instruct others in its principles, and to