Imágenes de página

produced much secret infidelity seems, I think, scarcely to admit of a doubt. So enormous indeed is the disproportion between any crimes that the worst of sinners can commit, and an infinite punish. ment, that no one, whatever his life may have been, imagines he can have incurred so great a penalty. Every natural principle of justice and equity seems to revolt against such a supposition : the voice of Nature becomes too strong for that of imposed Faith ; and every man whose conduct has been tolerably free from glaring enormities, is irresistibly led to suppose that a just and merciful Deity cannot infiet on him an infinite and eternal punishment; he therefore concludes (since he perceives no medium) that he shall escape all the evils of a future state, and enter upon a state of bliss, which, if we believe Revelation, is promised on very different conditions. To this cause we may trace that absurd and mischievous notion, that the belief of certain tenets, independant of their practical effects on the moral sentiments of the believer, can be in itself acceptable to the Deity: and that universal inclination to suppose that he will accept the easy terms of faith and adoration, instead of good works and moral obedience. Men who have unfortunately adopted the notion that their Creator has sentenced the greater part of his creatures to eternal perdition, have yet, from the secret illusions of self-love, ima. gined that their peculiar system of belief contained some magical talisman of sufficient power to protect them from that wrath to which they devoted without hesitation the rest of mankind. Thus the sanctions of a future state were lost or perverted; Religion was separated from morality; and the attainment of future happiness was made to depend on the implicit belief of certain doctrines, in the per. formance of unimportant ceremonies, or in the reveries of a heated and enthusiatic imagination.' Art. 25. Remarks on the Signs of the Times. By Edward King

Esg. F.R.S. A. S. 4to. pp. 40. 25. 64. Nicol. 1798. Most readers will agree with Mr. King, that the conclusion of the present century is marked by distinguishing and striking characters : but to what result they tend is wrapt in the appointment and direction of Divine Providence. With becoming awe and timidity, but with conviction, Mr. K. points out some parts of Scripture-prophecy, of which, he conjectures, recent events are an accomplishment. Some years ago, he expressed a persuasion * that the pouring out of the seventh vial, mentioned in the book of the Revelation, ch, 16. was just at hand;' and he now informs us, that the woe is indeed come to pass, almost in it's full plenitude. As he had remarked concerning the vials said to be poured on the sea and the sun, some connections of an inferior kind between these great bodies, and the discoveries or improvements made by men during the periods here supposed to be represented, he now also observes concerning the air, on, or into which this seventh vial is said to be discharged, surely our atten. tion may well be awakened by the singular circumstance of many new discoveries with regard to Fixed Air, and by the strange and novel in.

* Morsels of Criticism, 4to. See M. Rev. for February 1789, Tol. Ixxx. p. 110.


vention of the Air Balloon, which took place at a time perfectly coinciding with the very first outline of the emblematical description."

Mr. K. proceeds to examine other features of this divine pro. phetical declaration and warning, which must be done with great caution, and cannot be done without horror.'-The better to effect his purpose, five verses of the chapter, from 17 to 21 each inclusive, are carefully exhibited in the original Greek. He insists that voices, thunders, and lightnings seem, in the prophetical language of all the prophets, to denote informations of new things ; doctrines and teaching of new opinions good or bad; convictions of truth and bringing divine truth to light ;' under this persuasion, he says, We cannot but acknowledge with astonishment, that no period like that commencing about 1788, did ever so much abound with all sorts of new inform. ations and discoveries ; concerning remote countries, and concerning natural history ; concerning new philosophical discoveries ; and concerning both antient and modern history :-no period did ever so much abound with new opinions, and new doctrines ;—and at the same time it must be acknowledged, that about this period, and since it's commencement, many elucidations of real truth, both abroad and in this country, have come forth with convincing light.

Concerning the earthquake in the next verse, it is remarked that the Greek word CEUCH s properly signifies a tremendous shaking of all things ; and if such a shaking of empires and of the state of civil government is the emblematical import of these words of prophecy, to what period of the world whatever can they be deemed so appli. cable, as to the present ; or to what state of things whatever, as to the present state of Europe ?

The verse which follows attracts peculiar notice; of which we shall give a short abstract.

Ver. 19. “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the ..eities of the nations fell:thus translated, Mr. King regards this verse, commonly referred to Rome, as almost unintelligible : he remarks that 'móno, in it's truest import, does not merely signify a city with it's walls and buildings, but rather the civil constitution of a country, or indeed a free state as distinguished from a kingdom,' and he accord. ingly translates in this manner ;- A state which was a great one, be. came divided into three portions, (or lots) and the states of the nations (or the states among the nations, as distinguishing them from the ai Bagiasiai, the kingdoms) fell.'-

If this translation be just, with what awful astonishment must we behold the events of the present day! Was not Poland a state, rather than a kingdom ? it's king being merely elective. Was it not a great one? being one of the largest, in extent of land, and in it's produce, from the fertility of it's soil, of any of Europe.-And is not Poland actually become divided into three portions, or lots ?- One to Russia, one to Germany, one to Prussia. And is not this an unparalleled event! an event unlike any one that ever before happened in the world. And an event, to which alone of all others, these words of prophecy could ever with any propriety be applied? And if the next words, The states among the nations fell; signify states, as distinguished from kingdoms, were


not the Netherlands a state? -and is not that fallen? - Was not Hole land a state ?-and is not that fallen ?--Was, not Genoa a state ?-and is not that fallen ?-Was not Venice a state ?--and is not that fallen? -Were not the dominions of the house of Austria, in Italy, states ? and are they not fallen ?- Was not Switzerland a state ?-and is it not fallen?..In short, are not all the states in Europe fallen -all the states in what constituted the Western empire,-and belonged to the Westerst church, on which this last and tremendous woe has been poured out ?--And was there ever a period of the world, when these words of prophecy could be properly and in every sense applied before?

We must not dismiss this 19th verse of the chapter without allowing a little attention to its last clause; - and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.-Mr.K. has the concurrence of the ablest interpreters in concluding that, by Babylon, Rome is intended; ' And is not Rome (he asks) indeed now filled with the effects of wrath and ven. geance; and torn to pieces by the scourge? are not its boasted trea. sures of art and antiquity, removed to another place ?-are not its palaces stripped, and spoiled ?-are not all her pleasant and precious things departed from her? Is she not consumed with the fire of the fierceness of anger and violence? Is not the papal power at Rome, which was once so terrible, and so domineering, at an end? —Was not this end, in other parts of the holy prophecies, foretold to be at the end of 1260 years ? —And now let us see ;-hear ;-and understand. THIS IS THE YEAR 1798.–And just 1260 years ago, in the very beginning of the year 538, Belisarius put an end to the empire and dominion of the Goths at Rome :--leaving thenceforward from A. D. 538, NO POWER in Rome, that could be said to rule over the earil, excepting the Ecclesiastical Pontifical Power. And if these things are so--then truly that great city Babylon is fallen,-is fallen : -is thrown down; and shall be found no more at all.'

We venture not to controvert this gentleman's exposition of the signs of “ the times.They are singularly striking, and wear some features which may have a resemblance to what has been for ages obscurely and emblematically foretold: it seems, however, probable that Mr. King is rather too precipitate in his conclusions, and that he vaults over much time and ground which must be sedulously traversed before that End, on which he has so confidently pronounced, is fully and effectually ascertained :- but he thinks himself sufficiently guarded. ....We approach (he says) unto the latter days! I tremble whilst I write! God forbid I should mislead any.-But if I do apprehend aright ; I must-I ought to speak, and write with circumspec. tion that which I apprehend.--I am no rash enthusiast.--I desire to be exceedingly guarded against error : and I have not the least presumptuous idea of intending to prophecy.-The word of prophecy is sealed for ever.' - His concluding words are,— These are not days to compliment away the truth, or to be timid in declaring it. Truth is awfully great. Let it ever fairly be brought to light, and left to its own energetic strength to prevail.'


Art. 26. La Liturgia, ovvero formola delle Preghiere publiche secondo

l'uso della Chiesa Anglicana, col Salterio di Davide. Nuovamente tradotta dall' Inglese nel Tosco Idioma. 'Da A. Montucci e L. Van letti, Professori di Lingua Italiana. 12mo. 6s. Vernor and Hood, London. 1796 *.

Of the necessity for this new Italian translation of our Book of Common Prayer, we have nothing to say ; and on the motive for undertaking it the translators are silent. It is elegantly printed: but, owing to the translators in some instances, and to the printers pere haps in others, it is incorrect. In the Gospel taken from Matthew, xxi. at the beginning, we thus read in this version --- Gesù mandò due discepoli, dicendo loro : andate nel castello' t. Would not villagio have been a more proper word, as translating from the English ?

In the Collect for the 2d Sunday in Advent, Osservarle is written Osservale. I

In the title of the first Psalm, impiorum is printed impiocum.

The words wanting in the original Hebrew are printed in Italics, . in the translation of 1684; (see note :) here they are not discriminated by any difference of type. In short, sufficient attention does nat seem to have been paid to this work, which has more crrors than we can be expected to specify. Art. 27. Observations on the Evidence of Christ's Resurrection ; the

principal Objections answered, and the divine Origin of the Christian Religion clearly proved. Two Sermons preached at the Octagon Chapel in Norwich, April 8th, 1798. "By J. Houghton. 8vo. 28. Johnson. We decidedly object to a classical motto being prefixed to sermons, such as “ Fungar vice cotis," which is adopted by Mr. Houghton; and we are almost tempted to apply the hemistich of the next line, exors ipse secandi.We remember another motto, taken likewise from Horace, proposed to a clergyman who had preached an occasional sermon which he had borrowed, and was unluckily desired to print, “ Non Sermo hic meus est.The merit of Mr. H.'s discourses, however, must be allowed. It is mentioned in the preface that, for the use chiefly of young persons, the author epitonized the evidence of the resurrection of Christ; and that, on a subject which has been in dis. cussion near eighteen hundred years, little altogether new can be expected. The intention is highly important, and the performance is respectable. Art. 28. Six Sermons preached before the Right Honourable Brook

Watson, Lord Mayor of the City of London. By George Stepney

* This little volume has for some time lain on our shelves, and been overlooked.

of In an old translation of the Common Prayer into Italian, printed at London in the year 1684, castello is here used : but in this new translation we expected to see a new word. The Vulgate indeed render the Greek sis Thy xulem in castellum ; yet the words in our Book of Common Prayer are not into a little town, but into a village. Rev. Nov. 1798.

A a


· Townley, M. A. &c. &c. Chaplain to his Lordship. 8vo.

35. Boards. Rivingtons.

These Serinons are written in an unaffected and perspicuous style, and may be read with pleasure and advantage. The first discourse, on the Advent of Christ, contains a summary of the prophecies in the Old Testament, relating to the coming of the Messiah, together with the general expectation of mankind, both Jews and heathens, of some great deliverer about the time of his appearance on earth : the author enlarges on the great importance of Christ's divine mission, and concludes with practical inferences. The second Sermon was preached on the General Fast-day. On this occasion, Mr. Townley expatiates on what he deems the national vices ; in the first rank of which he places infidelity. The manner in which he expresses himself on this subject, we imagine, will be pleasing to every friend of religion and virtue.

Among the many deviations from religious wisdom, which in de. fiance of common sense, and of all laws human and divine, disgrace this age and nation, foremost stands the spirit of Infidelity: by which numbers are prevailed on to account it a matter of indifference, whether the mind be impressed with any religious principles, and unbecoming man's dignity and independence to acknowledge that liomage and obedience are due to a Supreme Being. This spirit of infidelity, wholly unfavourable to the attainment of religious wisdom, is cherished by the sophistry of some modern philosophers, who rob the heart of its truest happiness, and most glorious expectations, by deny. ing the evidences of natural and revealed religion, and by infecting the minds of parents with these dangerous positions that children are not to be predisposed to any mode of thought or action—and that they should not be instructed in the elements of moral duty, or of Christian knowledge. From this pernicious system, it is not to be expected (for by many it is not so much as desired) that the rising generation shall shew any regard for truths, not fairly presented to their minds; or any reverence for the Christian dispensation, known to them principally through the misrepresentations of its avowed enemies. To the same spirit of infidelity are likewise to be ascribed that avidity, with which profane and atheistical works are perused; and that mischievous industry, by which, under every possible form and artifice, they are recommended to universal notice."

The object of the third Sermon is to prove that God is no respecter of persons ; and that the gates of Mercy are open to all mankiud, without distinction, if they lead a virtuous and religious life; but that, in proportion to the knowlege imparted to us, a more strict obedience to the laws of God may reasonably be expected. Truthis of this nature can never be too much maintained ; and it is but justice to say that Mr. T. places them in a striking light.

In the 4th Sermon, the author endeavours to set forth, from the imperfection of the systems of ethics among the most enlightened philosophers of antiquity, together with their inadequate conceptions of the aitributes of the Deity, the immortality of the soul, and the future state of rewards and punishments, – the necessity of a divine revelation, for the communication of doctrines so great and


« AnteriorContinuar »