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equally copies from nature. Nay, perhaps, the fictitious character is the more natural one. The deep repentance of Lord Rochester, and the ingenuous mind of Naimbama, which these pages present, are cir. cumstances full as much, I fear, out of the common road of nature, as any which occur in the two foriner of ihese memoirs. Art. 48. The Insufficiency of the Light of Nuture : exemplified in the
Vices and Depravity of the Heathen World. Including some · Strictures on Paine's “ Age of Reason.” 8vo. pp. 85. Is. 6d.
Though Nature, or, to speak more properly, the Visible Creation, is a book of knowlege, it must be conceded by the ingenuous deist, that the entire evidence of artient history proves that mankind did not, in any age or country, ever make any proficiency in religious knowlege, while they enjoyed no higher source of information. Whenever, therefore, popular declamation on the all-sufficiency of the light of nature subsides, and the appeal shall be fairly made to matter of fact, the Christian will be found to have the best side of the argument. Dr. Liland, and many others, have adduced a mass of evidence in confirmation of this position ; and the judicious author of the pamphlet before us, pursuing the same plan, has brought together and condensed, for the information and conviction of the general reader, a variety of extracts and observations which shew the real state of the Heathen world. When revelation is discarded as an unnecessary intruder, it is but fair to ask what religious or moral .system can be traced, in all the admired writings of antiquity, which is comparable to that which the New Testament exhibits ? Did the wise men of Chaldea and Egypt, or the sages of Greece and Rome, deliver such just sentiments of God, or inculcate so pure a morality? Did not the little nation of the Jews, previously to the Christian æra, stand single in the acknowlegement of the Unity of God, and in the renunciation of idol worship? On a fair comparison of the world without revelation, with the world with it, as to the state of religious knowlege subsisting in each, the Christian may venture to rest the important question at issue between him and the unbeliever. The present pamphlet is valuable, as it will assist those, who have neither leisure nor learning to consult original authors, in making the comparison ; and surely no man of “a sound mind” can wish for the return of such an age of reason as existed before the birth of Christ,
May it not be also presumed that the knowlege of the Deity, by means of his revelation, has been instrumental to the introduction of a purer and nobler philosophy than existed in antecedent periods ? Mr. Paine, however, tells us that he does not recollect a single passage in the books of the N. T. which conveys an idea of what God is. The author of this pamphlet properly remarks that laine must have read thein very superficially, and only in order to cavil at them, since he does not recollect Paul's excellent address to the Athenian philosophera. After having compared this address with the universal language of the Fleathens respecting the gods, Mr. P.'s assertion in the “ Age of Reason” falls to the ground when he says that “ The age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system.” It is conFary to the FACT.
This pamphlet contains, in addition to its view of the Heathen world, some observations on the fullilıient of the Scripture prophe. cies, which are well worthy of attention. We have perused the whole, indeed, with pleasure : but it would have been more valuable, had the author marked in the margin the places whence, he made his quotations.
RELIGIOUS and POLEMICAL. Art. 49.' A Defence of the late National Fast, on Principles of true
Religion and sound Policy. By Thomas Wood. 8vo. 15. Law. 1798.
A former work by this author was noticed in our Review for March 1798, p. 353. In the present performance, he writes in a manner becoming a man of sense, and of classical and biblical knowlege. We will not dispute with him the lawfulness of defensive war : under this head he notices the respectful manner in which some soldiers are mentioned in the scriptures, whence he proceeds to relate an instance or two of Englishmen who, animated by religion, behaved with uncommon bravery and intrepidity. Certainly, no consideration is so well fitted to sustain and inspire a man, in the season of danger, as a consciousness that he is in the path of his duty: but, respecting common soldiers, it is not generally supposed that they are much acquainted with the rcctitude or justice of the cause in which they figir; their business is obedience to orders. Those who are here specified appear to have been of the methodistical cast.
The arguments here offered in support of seasons for public hu. miliation are of the usual kind, but pertinent and forcible; without inquiring into the political views with which they may be appointed. Art. 50. An Answer to some Passages in a Letter from the Bishop of
Rochester to the Clergy, upon the Lawfulness of Defensive War. By a Clergyman of the Church of England. Svo. 6d. Darton and Harvey.
Mr. J. Bradley Rhys, whose name appears at the close of this pamphlet, considers the encouragement given to those clergymen who have taken up arms, by the Bishop of Rochester, in his pastoral letter, as an offence against the spirit of Christianity. The Bishop asserts, “as a notorious fact,” that some of the early Christians were soldiers : but against the authenticity of this fact Mr. R. strenuously contends. He says that it might be maintained, with equal appearance of truth, that St. Matthew continued to be a publican and Mary Magdalene a harlot, as that Cornelius pursued his profession as a soldier, after having been severally converted to the Christian faith. Mr. R. is frequently vehement in his language ; and he urges, as decisive proofs of the decline of Christianity,
• That, in a Christian senate one voice, (eternal Author of Peace!) and more than one, was heard to approve the damnable traffic in the human species, and, where Christian bishops sat, men unreproved declared their sentiments against the deeds of mercy, pleading for the Piecessity of trepanning the injured negro from his quiet home ; that Christian senators, men high in the estimation of their country, met each other for the direct purpose of assassination, in defiance of I 2
every law, divine or human, eren on the Sabbath day; that a Christian bishop exhorted his clergy to “ gird themselves without 'scruple for the battle!” that gospel ministers, men who publicly pray for “ unity, peace, and concord to all nations," mounted their pul. pits, sounded the alarm of war, and in the name of the Lord and bis Christ, consecrated the banners of the martial host.' Art. 51. The Integrity and Excellence of Srripture. A Vindication of
the much-controverted Passages, Deut. vii. 2. 5. and xx. 16, 17. whereby the Jusiness of the Commands they enjoin are incontrovertibly proved, and, consequently, the Objections of Thomas Paine and Dr. Geddes convpletely refuted. By George Benjoin, of Jesus College, Cambridge. 8vo. 29. Rivingtons, &c.
We recollect to have somewhere seen, in proof of the consequence which every man assumes to himself, among other instanees, that of a fooiman meeting another and aceosting him with, “ What does the world say about my intention to marry our Betty?" and Dean Swift's cook-maid telling her cousin : “ It is all over Dublin that I am going to leave my master.” In like manner, Mr. Benjoin in. forms is that he presents the world with this pamphlet, to rectify the notions that have been in circulation for several ages past, respecting those passages of scripture of which he treats. We can only say, with a sigh, that the world must be in a desperate state indeed, if it can relish such a crude morsel as this, snch a compound of vanity, sophistry, misrepresentation, ignorance, and impertinence. Of the first of these several ingredients, no particular instance needs to be cited : it forms a scum on the whole surface. In p. 10, 11. is one of the vilest sophisms that ever was made, and in p. 16, another as bad. In p. 17. Mr. B. seems to forget that Solomon disobeyed the law of Moses in more respects than one. This is moreover a curious argument: the Israelites did not execute the command ; therefore it was not given! P. 26. " the text,' says. Mr. B. · has one 047177 097777 of 0917, to degrade, dispel, accurse, doom tu niisery, &c.--not to murder.' Surely, to accurse, to doom to misery, &c. must be worse than murder. P. 27. he says:
Now as there is no intermediate way of acting between sbewing mrcy, and not 10 show mercy, the circumstances on which such an in. termediate moderation depends being too numerous for the legislator to cnumerato, and for the people to observe them; a general comIyand was absolutely necessary : but that, like all other laws, depends. on circumstances and bye-laws.'-- Bye-laws indeed !-Profound expounder!
Having thus put to fight all these difficulties, he comes now to enlighten the world on Deut. XX. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. which, it must be confessed, he does as far as can be done by a paragraph of as pure virgia nonsense, unadulterated by a spice of intelligence, as ever was exhibited to public view.
" Now the distinctions which are here made are very remarkable : first, God commands the Jeuve to proclaim peace to all other cities before they go to war with them ; but 1:01 to the seven nations. Secondly, God enjuins to suve alive the women and children and cattle of the other cities ; but as to the seven nations, not a living crea
ture is to be saved there, that is, to be kept in the city and suffered to live among them ; for they were all, even the children were, and the catile also), objects or instruments of idolatry. God therefore commands not to save ANY ONE, but utterly to destroy " them;". 229779 not every one that breatheth, but THEM, the whole nation, There'is not a word in the command that forbids to let any one escape, no : but the command is expressive in enjoining that no living creature should be saved, kept alive, and remain among the Israelites. It is a negative command ; not to support, not to assist, not to shelter any one of them.' · The command has no relation to the cities of the Canaanites till we come to ver. 16. which is visibly an exception to the general mode of carrying on war; and all the glossing of all the apologists in the world will never make out of ver. 16, 17, any thing but uiter extirpation. Mr. B. says, on ver. 16. ' thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, the commentators interpret this word, thou shalt not give them to eat and to drink. His note on ver.. 17. is absolutely unintelligible. He quotes assertions from Dr. Geddes which we cannot find in any of his writings, and indulges himself in declamations and hypothetical arguments against a man of straw whom he calls Thomas Paine. In p. 40. lie says: “if ihis be proved, no one can reasonably say that the events related in scripture happened promiso cuously, or by chance, like those related of the times of Constantine, Theodosius, and Charlemagne, or like those enumerated in Voltaire's Chaine des événemens.' Why did they happen by chance any more than all other events ?-The note that begins at p. 53. is one tissue of gross misrepresentation mixed with illiberal abuse, falsehood, and Xurrility. Art. 52. The Resurrection of our Saviour asserted, from an Examina. ·sion of the Proofs of the Identity of his Character after that
Event, in a Letter to the Rev. L. R. 8vo. 19. Dilly.
In these days, when scoffers at revelation pride themselves chiefly on the supposed contradiction in the accounts given by the Evangelists of the miracles exhibited in the person of our Saviour, the sincere believer will avow obligation to those who confirm, by sound argument, the harmony of the gospels.
This anonymous epistle discovers industry and candour, and can. not fail to produce conviction in unprejudiced minds; and, we hope, in the minds, of many honestly doubting inquirers. Art. 53. An Appeal to the Nation, on the subject of Mr. Gilbert Wicke
field's Latier to Il'illion Il'ilberforce, Esq; M. P. To which are
subjoined Four Sermons on important Subjects, connected with . the Appeal. By the Rev. George Hutton, B. D. Curate of
Plumbtree near Nottingham, and late Feilor of St. Mary Magé dalene College, Oxford. 8vo. Pp. 162. 35. Cadell jun. and Da. vies. 1798.
Though we are fully persuaded of the excellency of the motive that prompted Mr. Wilberforce to deliver his religious sentiinents to lhe public, we could not feel that universal admiration of the which Mr. Hutton expresses in this appeal. We think them, if not
absolutely puerile, with Mr. Wakefield, at least not deeply cote sidered, and expressed in language more methodistic than scriptural. Mr. Wakefield, in the painphlet to which this is designed as a reply, justly oliserved that “ feelings and visions, and experiences, and inexplicable grace, unaccompanied by services to men, and unauthenticated by such services, is a vile jargon, unknown to the Saviour of mankind, and unrecorded in the oracles of truth. The gospel abhors appearances without realities ; it knows no faith as a meritorious operation of the heart or intellect, but the faith exemplified and substantiatcd by the vitality of works.” On the whole, Mr. Wakefield's view of Christianity, in our opinion, more nearly resembles the divine original as exhibited in the life and lectures of Christ, than that of Mr. Wilberforce : but we do not entirely agree with Mr. Wakefield ; nor do we admire his blending the irritations of politics with an inquiry about the nature and essence of the Christian religion, which ought to be calm and dispassionate. Yet we still less approve this attack on him ; which, with professions of moderation and Christian charity, is not remarkable for the display of these virtues, and is as disgustingly flattering to Mr. Wilberforce as it is severe on his commentator. Mr. Hutton pronounces Mr. Wilberforce's book to be ' the best exposition of the Old and New Testament, which he has of late years inet with :' if this be really the case, Mr. H. has been unfortunate. In the very outset, Mr. Wilberforce is greatly deficient as an expositor, in not distinguishing between a natural depravity, and a vitiated or diseased state of nature. Our Saviour uniformly speaks of us in the latter condition, and as such applies to us liis moral remedies. He does not speak of himself as a physician to the dead but to the sick.
Though Mr. Hutton be extremely diffuse, his object in this appeal is not (it should seem) so much to depreciate Mr. Wakefield or to praise Mr. Wilberforce, as to comment on the fashionable doctrines of the day, both civil and religious, and to recommend them to the nation at large as the best of all possible doctrines. Those who are dissatisfied with the present system of things, so happily adjust. ed in spirituals and temporals, he advises 'to follow the example of that arch-disturber of society, Dr. Priestley; and to seek in other climes a Constitution more congenial to their sentiments.' Had Mr. Hutton been an advocate for protestantism at the time of the Reformation, and received such a kind of reply from a papistical oppo. nent, would he have allowed it to be sound Christian reasoning? --He requests that those who notice this appeal may do it with temper and desency. Is his own example a specimen of what we are to understand by temper and decency?
Of Mr. H.'s abilities we have sufficient evidence: but they are not, in this argument with Mr. Wakefield, always most happily employed. When, for instance, he notices a remark in Mr. Wakefield's letter respecting the simple acknowlegement of Jesus as the Christ of God, as the badge of Christian fellowship and communion, at the establishment of the Christian church by Christ himself, he cavils at the word badge; distinguishes between badges of Gospel Communion and badges of Ecclesiastical Unity; and, flying from