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Grave divines have been as idly employed, without having had the grace to make so modelt an apology.
Among a number of other dialogues of less note, the following compose the principal part of the present volume, viz. Mercury, Vulcan, and Prometheus.-The judgment of the goddesles.-Menippus and Philonides ; or a Consultation in the shades.- Jupiter confuted.- Jupiter in Tragedy. -- T'he Parasite. - The Liar.
To these Dialogues are subjoined the Address to the illiterate Buyer of Books; and the Triumphs of the Gout, translated into blank verle, by the late Mr. Gilbert West.
Many who have a relih for the wit of Lucian will be pleased with
It is not, to us, a very clear point who is the Verres of this fu.
4to. Cambridge, printed for Hodson. 1786.
It was impoflible to read the verses before us, without recollect-
• Ab! filly I! more filly than my sheep,
of Mr. Howard. 410. 13. 6. Cadell. 1787.
rious Publications. 4to. is. Turpin. 1787.
THEOLOGY. Art. 49. Remarks upon Dr. Priestley's Second Letters to the Archdeacon
of St. Albans, with Proofs of certain Facts asserted by the Arch. deacon. 8vo. Robson. 1786.
The Archdeacon, in the outset of this pamphlet, considers Dr. Priestley as an insufficient antagonist;' and viewing him in that hamble light, the ecclefiaftical dignitary seems ashamed of engaging in a conceit where even victory would add nothing to his fame.
I was well satisfied, says the Archdeacon, that in any contest with Dr. Priestley, I was at liberty to indulge my indolence, without feeming to defert my cause: that his bcok, abounding with new Specimens of confident ignorance (which in those subjects is the most prominent feature in his writings), and in expresions of fery resensment and virulent invective, carried with it, as I thought, its own confutation to unprejudiced readers of all descriptions: to the learned reader, by the proof which it furnishes of ihe author's incompetency in the subject : to the unlearned reader, by the confciousness which the fierceness of his wrath betrays of a defect of argument.'
Having produced a few instances to prove Dr. Priesley's incompetency to write on such' subjects as fall within the present controversy, our Author says, these and many other glaring instances of adfinished criticism, weak argument, and unjustifiable art, to cover the weakness and supply the want of argument, which must strike every one who takes the trouble to lock through those second letters, put me quite at ease with respect to the judgment which the public would be apt to form between my antagonit and me, and confirmed me in the resolution of making no reply to him, and of troubling the public no more upon the subject, except fo far as might be necessary to establish some facts, which he hath somewhat too peremp: torily denied, and to vindicate my character from aspersions which he hath too inconsiderately thrown out.
• The matters of fact which I mean to prove, are these ; • I. Origen's want of veracity in difputation. • II. The existence of orthodox Hebrew Christians at Jerufalem, after the time of Adrian.
* III. The decline of Calvinism, amounting almost to a total extinction of it, amongst the English Diflenters.'
It would afford little instruction, and still less entertainment, to our readers, if we were to detail the arguments and authorities by which the learned Archdeacon endeavours to establish his theory. The subject is hackneyed on both fides, and the curiosity of the public hath been completely exhausted.
Bh Art. 50. Letters to Dr. Horsley. Part III. Containing an Answer
to his Remarks and Letters, Part II. To which are added, Strictures on Mr. Howes's ninth Number of Observations on Books ancient and modern. By Joseph Priestley, LL. D. F. R. S. 8vo. is. 6d. Johnson. 1787.
Dr. Priesley pursues the Archdeacon step by step, and in his gurn freers likewise, though the mode of sneering is different. Dr. Horsley's sneer lurks in his eye-brows. Ds. Priellley's sneer is perched
upon his nose. They little consider, all the while, where is the (neer of the bystanders!
O Jane! a tergo quem nulla Ciconia pinfit. " I am endeavouring, by all the means in my power (says our Author), to rouse the attention of thinking men in this country to the corrupt state of religion that is established in it; and especially to convince them of the mischievous tendency of worshipping Chrif as God, when Christianity disclaims all knowledge of any other God than one, and that the God and Father of Chrift: being cou. fident, that when this is effected (and towards this considerable pro gress is making visibly every day, and it hath met with no obftruc. tion since the commencement of this controverfy) not only will the present forms of Trinitarian worship be abolished, but my countrymen will then thank me and my friends for what we have contributed towards so glorious a revolution. And I trust that a fire, still more destructive to error and superstition, and consequently to all ecclesiastical establishments in the world, which are built upon, and promote them, will be raised by the concurrence of your seasonable pains in blowing up the Aame of this controversy, which will not, I trust, be extinguished, till its end be effectually answered. You will never, then, in this very critical fituation, when the enemy is at the very gate, and scaling every rampart of your old and ruinous fortress, indulge yourself in your soft couch of preferment, but, together with your brethren, e ert yourself pro aris et focis.'
The broad cathedral sneer will be the staunch churchman's comment on the foregoing passage ; while the exulting Non. Con, will be ready to cry out, “Oh! for a pluck at the wh- of Babylon's “ red petticoat!"
Brk Art. 51. An Abstract of the Gospel-hiftory, in Scripture Language,
6d. Johnson. 1786. • The narrative style of the Gospel,' says this writer, is peculiarly well suited to display the evidence, purity, and perfection of the character and religion of Jesus, and the excellencies of his man. ner of teaching; as well as to enforce the Christian motives to the practice of piety and virtue.' He therefore concludes, that an abridge ment of the history, retaining the scripture language, is adapted to comprise in a Imall compass an higher degree of the fe several advan, tages than any other method will admit. The service of Sunday Schools seems to be chiefly attended to in this little publication.
11. Art. 52. Thoughts on the Progress of Socinianism, in a Letter addressed
to learned, orthodox, and candid Minilters, of all Denominations; with a particular View to the Writings of Dr. Priestley, To which is added, a Letter to Dr. Price, on his late Sermons. 8vo. Buckland. 1787.
We are told, in a prefixed advertisement, that though the fol. lowing letter be chiefly the composition of one person, the thoughts it contains are those of several, with whore united approbation they are published.' Accordingly the plural number is used throughout,
The writer acknowledges, and laments, the rapid progress of Socinianism, which is not here attributed to the superior learning and abilities of the Socinians, but to their abundant zeal, and to a want
1 2 mo.
of it in the most able and judicious of the orthodox. The bulk of those who espouse the orthodox cause are charged with want of candour toward their opponents, and an injudicious manner of ftating and defending the doctrines which they maintain.
The letter then calls on the learned and candid minifters to whom it is addressed, co ftand forth, and defend the injured cause of genuine orthodoxy, by sewing plainly what it is, and by using such arguments only in its support, as will stand the test of rational investigation. Some strictures are passed on subscriptions to articles of faith, as tending to promote the cause of herely rather than of truth.
Such is the outline of this well written pamphlet; is commendation of which we shall briefiy remark, that we have seldom, if ever, met with a publication, written on what are usually termed orthodox principles, lo well calculated as the present to recommend itself by the good temper, moderation, and truly Christian spirit by which it has been dictated. We have perused it with pleasure, and we recommend it with cordiality.
The additional letter to Dr. Price censures him (with what degree of justice we leave others to determine) for the want of impartiality in stating the sentiments of the Trinitarians; and it also charges him with inaccuracy in representing the peculiar opinions of Dr. Watts. This seeming inaccuracy, however, arose from a very material typographical error in that patage of Dr. Price's sermons on which our Author animadverts. The passage criticised is, “It * agrees with Arianism in the frange doctrine (as Dr. Watts calls it) of a THREE-FOLD Deity.' Our Author justly remarks, entirely new. that Arianism maintains a THREE-FOLD Deity.' The passage in Dr. Price's sermons should be read thus : • It agrees with Arianism in REJECTING the strange doctrine, &c.' The word rejetting being supplied makes the sense clear. Our Author has properly apologized for this criticism, in a poffcript which came to our hands a few days after we had perused his pamphlet.
N. B. Our account of Dr. Price's Sermons will appear in the next Review.
• It appears
S E R M O N S. 1. Preaching Christ crucified, the most useful Metbod of preaching : il.
lustrated in two Discourses, the Substance of which was preached before an Assembly of Protestant Diffenting Ministers at Exeter, on Sept. 6, 1786. By William Lamport. 8vo. Is. 6d. Buckland.
The Author is not one of the cold, dry, didactic race of preachers. He glows with his subject ; and the subject expands as he pursues it.
Mr. Lamport observes, in a note, that the text which Mr. Bret. land chose to preach from at a preceding assembly, affords not the least encouragement to any of the Apostle's successors to imagine, that they should be guilty of the blood of their hearers, unless they are discussing in the pulpit every thing which they conceive to be contained in the Scriptures. Boan signifies advice given for
* i. e. An opinion which Dr. Watts maintained in the latter part of his life,
the regulation of conduet. . . . The Apostle did not “ shun to declare
Mr. Bretland hath confidered this note as a challenge, and hath
of the Most Rev. John Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, July 1,
It is much to be lamented, that religious controverfialists, on every
common falvation" depended upon their being universally received. Hence it is that Unitarians are so zealous in establishing the doctrine of the proper Humanity of Christ, and Athanasians, in maintaining his proper Divinity. -Our Author ranks himself in the latter class; and, though he wisely disclaims all coercive measures, considers it as the business and bounden duty of the clergy to employ their learning and abilities in defence of the Athanasian System.
Ever fince the days when, as our Author says (how far consistently with historical truth we shall not stay to enquire), Athanafius food fingle against the world and prevailed, the conteft has been kept up on both sides with great perseverance and spirit. With what effect? Each party, still complains of the other as corrupters of Christianity, and appeals to the same authority to decide the dispute : yet the difpute remains undecided. What is the natural conclufion from this faat, but that the whole question is (what our Author acknowledges one part of it to be) • a disputation without ideas, in which, after a long, tedious, intricate, and perplexed controversy, we find ourfelves-juft where we were-totally in the dark. Why, then, Mould the world be longer troubled with the fruitless contest, when the contending parties might so easily meet on the ground of their common principles, expressed in the language of the New Testament? But if • it must needs be that these disputes continue, there is one thing in which we heartily concur with the respectable Author of these Discourses, namely, in recommending to writers on both fides, Brevity,
• A great