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This is a ridiculous Hotch potch, mixed up by fome miserable Compiler, who has ftrangely jumbled together, Minorca, Gibraltar, the (intended) Briage at Black-fryers, and the converfion of the ancient Weft-Saxons to Christianity.
XIV. Six Letters from A-d B-r to Father Sheldon, Provincial of the Jefuits in England; illuftrated with feveral remarkable Facts, tending to afcertain the Authenticity of the faid Letters, and the true Character of the Writer. 8vo. s. 6d. Morgan,
Though we ought, unquestionably, to be very tender, in general, of the character and reputation of our neighbour, yet we fhould be as careful that this tenderness be not carried too far, left it betray us into fuch a conduct as, inftead of being ferviceable to the interefts of fociety, may frequently produce a quite contrary effect. It is certainly matter of confequence to the public, that the characters of bad as well as of good men, fhould fometimes be made known; and it is highly neceffary, that those should be undeceived, who repose a confidence in one who may bear a fair character, which, in reality, he by no means deferves. To remove the veil of hypocrify, and to expose the fpecious villain to public view, in his genuine deformity, in his native colours of infamy and guilt, is, undoubtedly, a meritorious action; tends greatly to the difcouragement of vice; and muft neceffarily be attended with beneficial confequences to fociety. Whoever, therefore, unmafks an impoftor, a fraudulent ufurper of distinction, deferves the thanks of every friend to Truth, of every friend to Virtue.
We were naturally led into these reflections by the performance now before us, which is written in a fenfible, fpirited, and mafterly manner. The Author lays before his Readers, a variety of facts, which throw a full and ftrong light upon the private character of Mr. B, the celebrated Hiftorian of the Popes From the time that this B published his proposals and preface to his Hiftory of the Popes, which was in the year 1747, he has been looked upon, in general, as a worthy Champion of the Reformed Church; has met with great encouragement from many well-meaning Proteftants; has received very large profits from his Hiftory; and been honoured with the friendship of perfons of great diftinction. Notwithstanding all this, and tho' he has gained the rewards of Virtue, we here find him expofed to the infamy of vice. It feems to appear, from what is now laid before the public, that the account he gave to many unexceptionable witneffes, of the motives that induced him to change his religion, and of his escape from the Inquifition of Macerata, is, to fay no worse, a very improbable and inconfiftent tale. Notwithstanding what he fays in the preface to his Hiftory, of his having become a Profelyte to the opinion which he had propofed to confute, when he was employed in the Vatican, to write in defence of the Pope's Supremacy, and of his having fincerely abjured in his heart
the religion of Rome, it is here maintained, that after he had been near twenty years in England, he ftill kept up an intimacy and correfpondence with his brethren the Jefuits: a correfpondence of fuch a nature too, as muft give the unprejudiced Reader but too much reafon to look upon him as a difguiled Papift.
As a proof of this, we are told, that there are now in the poffeffion of Sir Henry Bedingfield, of Norfolk, fix Letters written by Mr. B. to Father Sheldon, Provincial of the Jefuits in England, who entered upon his office in 1745; and at the end of the year having a warrant iffued out against him, took the name of Elliot Brown. Copies of thefe Letters are here laid before the public; the originals, it is faid, have, with the utmost care and attention, been compared with many undoubted fpecimens of Mr. B's writing, and that they bear the most striking resemblance.The writer of the Letters aims at one fingle object, of which he never loses fight, viz. the recovery of a fum of money which B. had put into the hands of Father Shirburn, (Sheldon's predeceffor) upon condition of being paid for it, during his life, an annuity at the rate of feven per Cent. To place the certainty of this money-transaction, which runs through all the fix Letters, beyond all poffibility of doubt, receipts are produced given by B. for his annuity, to Father Hill, Procurator of the Jefuits in England; alfo entries in the books of Mr. Wright, a banker in Henrietta-ftreet, Covent-Garden, who paid the annuity by Hill's order to B. Thefe Letters, however, B. has denied upon oath: But whoever impartially confiders the many ftriking facts and circumstances adduced by the writer of this pamphlet to prove their genuineness, will be little difpofed, we apprehend, to give entire credit to any fuch declarations, on fuch an occafion. To attempt to give our Readers a diftinct view of what is advanced, by way of narrative, to throw light upon the Letters, would carry us beyond our bounds; we muft, therefore refer those who are defirous of farther fatisfaction, to the pamphlet itself; wherein, independent of the authority of the Letters, they will meet with other express and striking charges, that Mr. B. has had connexions of fuch a nature with Roman Catholics, fince his coming to England, as will go near to render it a matter of indifference whether the Letters are genuine or not, fince thofe connexions feem to afford as much evidence as the Letters, if not more.
After authentically confirming the principal transaction treated of in the Letters, our Author proceeds to fhew, that Mr. B. was re-admitted, in a formal manner, into the order of Jefuits, fometime before the battle of Fontenoy. The evidence in fupport of this fact, is that of Father Carteret, who re-admitted him, and mentioned the fact to feveral of his acquaintances, not long before his death. This Father Carteret, we are told, was a man of family, learning, and abilities; of an irreproachable private character; and, tho' Provincial of the Jefuits, admitted to the acquaintance of Proteftants of the highest rank.
It is further charged, that Mr. B. perverted Mr. and Mrs. Hoyles from the Proteftant religion. In confirmation of this, we have a curious narrative taken from Mrs. Hoyles's own mouth. She is widow of Mr. Hoyles, a printer; lives in Great Wyld street, Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, and is faid to be a woman of good character, and refpected in her neighbourhood. Her teftimony is confirmed by that of Mr. Faden, printer, in Wineoffice-court, Fleet-ftreet, a Proteftant. In a word, the pamphlet contains fuch inftances of B's zeal for Popery, and his connexions with Jefuits, long after his coming into England, as feem to carry but too much conviction along with them; and he who has laid thefe facts before the public, whoever he is, appears to us to have acted, in this refpect, the part of a good citizen, of a friend to truth, and of a fincere Proteftant.*
* Since our writing the above, a pamphlet came to hand, entitled, Mr. Archbibald Bower's Affidavit, in anfwer to the false Accufation brought against him by PAPISTS. To which are added, 1. A circumftantial Narrative of what hath fince paffed ⚫ between Mr. Bower and Sir Henry Bedingfield, in relation thereto. 2. Copies of the faid pretended Letters, fent him by Sir Henry Bedingfield, and of a fubfequent Affidavit made by Mr. Bower, ' of their not being wrote by him, or with his privity. With fome • Obfervations on those pretended Letters, proving them to be fpu'rious.' This Pamphlet we have neither had time to confider, nor room to mention, in this Month's Review; but a due regard will be paid to it in our next.
RELIGIOUS and CONTROVERSIAL.
XV. Thirteen Sermons preached on various Occafions. By the Reverend and Learned John Owen, D. D. of the laft Age. Never before printed. 12mo. 3s. Buckland.
To thefe Difcourfes the enfuing Advertisement is prefixed.The following Difcourfes were preached by that truly venerable Divine in the laft century, Dr. JOHN OWEN: and in order to be fully fatisfied they are genuine, Mrs. Cooke, of Stoke-Newington, by this means informs the reader, that her pious grandfather, Sir John Hartopp, Bart. wrote them in fhort⚫ hand from the Doctor's own mouth; and then took the pains to ⚫ tranfcribe them into long-hand; as thinking them worthy of ⚫ being tranfmitted down to pofterity. It is from his manufcripts this collection is now made public.'
In the two firft, of the thirteen Sermons, the Doctor, from 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. treats of the Everlasting Covenant, under this confideration, that it is the Believer's fupport under diftrefs: the third, fourth, and fifth, are Ordination Sermons; the fixth, feventh, eighth, and ninth, fhew the excellency of Chrift, from Pfalm xlv. 1, 2, 3. and the four last treat of the uses and advantages of Faith, from Habak. ii. 4.-All that is neceffary to
be faid by us in regard to them, is this, that they are written pretty much in the tile and manner of the Doctor's other works, and they are fufficiently known.
XVI. The Univerfality of the Love of God to Mankind, proved by express teftimonies of the Holy Scriptures. Also, an Enquiry into the Scriptural Significations of the Words Election, Elect, and Reprobate. By Jofeph Beffe. 8vo. 6d. Hinde.
The principal defign of this piece, is to combat the doctrines of Abfolute Election and Reprobation. It confifts, in a great meafure, of texts of Scripture, produced in order to establish the truth of these propofitions, viz. That the purpose, will, and pleasure of God, is the Salvation of all Mankind; that the call of God, and offers of his Salvation, are extended to all men; That God hath afforded to every man a fufficiency of his light, grace, and good fpirit, to give him the knowlege of his duty, and ability or power to perform the fame; That life and immortality are the propofed rewards of Faith and Obedience; That the mercy and long fuffering of God, is in order to lead finners to repentance and amendment of life; That death came by fin and difobedience, and that deliverance from the dominion of fin is through Jefus Chrift; That men influenced by the holy-spirit, to the practice of Chriftian virtues, may make their calling and election fure; That God is no refpecter of perfons; That Faith and Obedience are the ground of Election; That Election, according to the doctrine of holy writ, is conditional; That man's deftruction is of himself, through his own wilful disobedience; That the words Election and Elect, in the fenfe of holy Scripture, fignify a choice, or acceptance of the faithful and obedient in their well doing; and, That the word Reprobate, fignifies a rejection of the unfaithful and difobedient in their evil doing.
XVII. Thoughts on the Being of a God, the Nature of Man, and the Relation of Man to his Maker; or a Vindication of the Supreme Being in all his Difpenfations; and a philofophical Answer to all the Objections that ever were, or can be, made to Divine Revelation. Addreffed to Mankind in general. 8vo. 2s. Crowder.
A very fhort view of this performance, will be fufficient to convey to our Readers a juft idea of it.
The Author fets out with proving the existence of a first cause from the existence of man. Now every thing that relates to man, he fays, may be divided into, or brought under, three general heads, each of which is expreffive of fomething different in its nature from the other; these are, Being, Senfe, Power. There are in God likewife three qualities, which are the three fountains (we ufe the Author's own words) from which all his attributes are derived; thefe are as different from each other in their naturés in
the Divine Being, as they are in the human, and may be distinguifhed by the following appellations, Supreme Effence, Supreme Wisdom, Supreme Power, which are all co-equal in excellence, co-eternal in duration, and yet fubordinate in dependance. A juft parallel, the Author apprehends, may be drawn between what is here faid of one God and three perfections, and what St. Athanafius has faid of one God and three Perfons, or the Trinity in Unity, and the Unity in Trinity: the Supreme Effence he calls the Father, the Supreme Wisdom the Son, and the Supreme Power the Holy Ghost.
Having proved the Being of a God, his next enquiry is concerning the creation of Matter. If it is afked out of what was Matter made? the answer, he says, that would moft generally be given to this queftion is the following:-It was made by the Creator of all things out of nothing. But to this anfwer, he tells us, two objections arife, which feem to him to be attended with infurmountable difficulties. The firft is, How can fomething be made out of nothing? The next, Where was there a nothing to make fo large a fomething out of? of these two points he enters into a difcuffion, and fuppofes that the Deity, at the creation of the prefent fyftem of worlds, firft withdrew the intelligent quality from fuch a portion or quantity of his own divine effence, as was fufficient for the purpose, and thereof made insensible matter '-which first became that chaos fpoken of by Mofes, out of which the prefent created fyftem of worlds, and variety of beings pertaining thereto, were formed. In doing this, we are told, the three divine perfections equally contributed a fhare; the Divine Effence furnished the matter of which the creation was made, the Divine Wisdom directed the harmony and order, and the Divine Power executed the fame.
This fpecimen, we apprehend, will be fully fufficient for the generality of our readers; if there are any who defire a farther acquaintance with our Author, they must have recourse to the performance itself.
XVIII. A Minifter's Inftructions to fuch as offer themselves to be prepared for Confirmation. In two Parts. The one before, the other after, the Examination of the Persons offering themselves for that purpose. A very small Pamphlet in 248. Price 3d. or 2s. 6d. a Dozen. Millar.
This little tract contains a brief fummary of Religion, natural and revealed, with proper arguments in defence of both, fuited to the capacities of young people educated in the principles of the established church; but not unworthy the perusal of every Christian, of every age and denomination.
HE Ufe and Extent of Reafon in Matters of Religion. Before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, June 8, 1756. By Thomas Griffith, M. A. Fellow of Pembroke College.