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cation of the same liberal principle to the duties still subfisting upon various branches of the manufactures and commerce of Great Britain."
The principle of the commutation tax may certainly be applied with great success to various other articles besides tea; and the beneficial operation of it in one instance or experiment, will no doubt lead to others. Many vexatious taxes might be annhilated in the revival of hearth-money.
ART. VIII. The net Astrology; or, the Art of predikting or foretelling future Events, by the Aspects, Positions, and Influences, of the Heavenir Bodies; founded on Scripture, Experience, and Reafon: the Whole be. ing a Result of many years intense Study and Labour ; now first made familiar and easy to any Person of ordinary Talents. In two Parts, By C. Heydon, jun. Astro-Philo. 12 mo. 25. Lovewell, London,
1786. THE HE professors of astrology, in former ages of the world,
have published treatises on this celestial science. Most of them, however, are written in to mysterious a manner, and so learned a stile, as to transcend the capacity of ordinary readers; so that dangerous mistakes prevail concerning the nature of this sublime science, the vulgar reckoning the whole an impofture, and the learned attributing the knowledge of futurity, which it reveals, to a compact with the devil. In this age of improvement in all the arts and sciences, the celebrated Mr. Heydon, well known in the firmament, and an intimate friend of the stars, attempts to restore the true astrology of the ancients, to vindicate it from the false aspersions of the moderns, and to bring the whole of this occult philosophy within the compass of a neat pocket volume. The science of astrology, which is nothing more than the study of nature, and the knowledge of the secret virtues of the heavens, is founded on scripture, and confirmed by reason and experience. Accordingly Moses tells us, that the sun, moon, and stars, were placed in the firmament, to be for signs as well as for seasons. In like manner he introduces the Deity, thus addressing Job, “ Can'st thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion.” To the same purpose we are taught in the book of Judges, “ They fought from Heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sifera.” The ancient philofophers were unanimous in the same opinion, as well as Lord Bacon among the moderns. Hear how fublimely the learned Milton talks,
Of planetary motions and aspects
It is well known that inferior animals, and even birds, and reptiles, have a fore-knowledge of futurity. And can we think that Nature has withheld from man those favours which the hath so liberally bestowed on the raven, the cat, and the fow? No, the aches in your limbs, and the shootings of your corns before a tempest or a shower, will tell you the contrary. Man, who is a microcosm, or world in miniature, unites in himself all those powers and qualities which are scattered throughout nature, discerns from certain figns the future contingencies of his being; and, finding his way through the palpable obfcure to the visible diurnal and nocturnal Sphere, marks the prefages and predictions of his happiness or mifery. The mysterious and recondite doctrine of fympathies in nature, is admirably illustrated from the fympathy between the moon and the sea, by which the waters of the ocean are, in a certain though incon. ceivable manner, drawn after that luminary. In thete celestial and terrestrial fympathies, there can be no doubt but that the vegetative foul of the world transfers a specific virtue from the heavens to the elements, to animals and man. If the moon alone rules the world of waters, what effects must the combination of solar, Atellar, and lunar influences operate upon the land ? Q.E.D.
It is universally confeffed, that astrology is the mother of astronomy; and though the daughter hath rebelled against the mother, like our colonies in America, it hath been long predicted and expected, that the venerable authority of the parent will prevail in the end. Aftronomy for some time paft hath been on the decline; the secretary of the Royal Society hath formally renounced fome of the fundamental principles of the Newtonian philofophy t; but astrology ftill keeps its ground, and gains converts. Founded on a rock which cannot fail, the ignorance, curiosity, and credulity of mankind, it bids de fiance to the blafts of pretended knowledge, and the malignant mist of scepticism. Profane persons, indeed, in all ages, have derided these heavenly mysteries, but babes and nurses have still believed ; and among the list of real or pretended infidels, there are multitudes who have only exchanged one kind of faith for another. Has not Count Cagliostro, the famous antediluvian patriarch, who instructs his pupils in the mysteries of Hermes Trismegistus, believers and followers without numbér, and among other celebrated names the Cardinal de Rohan? Has not Baron Swedenbourgh, who was accustoined to converse with the dead, and to visit paradise, purgatory, and hell, made thousands of profelytes and converts ? or did any person
+ Vid. Ancient Metaphysics, Voll. II.
ever disbelieve the doctrines of astrology, who did not believe something fully as marvellous and miraculous ? Buffon be. lieves that the earth, and all the planets of the solar systems were produced by the percussion of the tail of a comet on the fun; David Hume believed, that though no person can affent to the truth of Christianity, without having all the principle, of his understanding subverted, yet, it is highly probable that the heathen religion may be true ; Dr. Beattie believes that the philosophers in Aberdeen have common sense, and the dogs inspiration ; Dr. Robertson believes that it was a great mark of policy and humanity in the Spanish court to improve and civilize America by exterminating the Americans, and that it was very youthful and imprudent in Las Casas, to dissuade the soldiers of Cortes from cutting the throats of twelve Americans every day, in honour of the twelve apostles ; Lord Monbodda believes in mermaids, and men with tails, and that there are deposited in the French King's cabinet the bones of a giant, who was ninety-fix feet in height; Mr. Gibbon believes, that in the fourth century, (the æra of Offian's poems) the common food of the Scotch highlanders was the buttocks of men, and the bubbies of women. From these, and other articles as mysterious in the philosophical creed of the eighteenth century, authors should learn to speak with extreme modesty of other centuries, and never to call the present age an age of unbelief.
Art. IX. A Circumstancial Narrative of the Loss of the Halefwell
(East-Indiaman) Captain Richard Pierce, which was unfortunately wrecked at Seacombe in the Ife of Purbeck, on the coast of Dorsetshire, on the Morning of Friday the 6th of January, 1786. Compiled from the Communications and under the Authorities of Mr. Henry Meriton, and Mr. John Rogers, the two chief Officers, who happily escaped the
dreadful Catastrophe. 12mo. Is. Lane, London, 1786. THE loss of the Halsewell, and the miserable catastrophe of
Captain Pierce and the passengers on board, have already excited the general compassion, and melted the bosom of humanity. This narrative of that disaster is circumftantial and exact, but disfigured with rhetorical embellishments, and all the artifices of the false pathetic. The story needs only to be told to interest the heart of sensibility ; turgid declamation and frigid reflections interrupt our sympathy, and make us pity the writer. . Hear how the catastrophe is unfolded.
They, i. e. Mr. Rogers and Mr. Brimer, now found that a very considerable number of the crew, seamen, foldiers, and some petty officers were in the same situation with themselves, though many who ENG.Rey. Vol. VI. Feb. 1786.
had reached the rocks below had perished, in attempting to ascend what that situation was, they were still to learn ; at present they had escaped immediate death, but they were yet to encounter cold, nakeda ness, wind, rain', and the perpetual beating of the spray of the sea, for a difficult, precarious, and doubtful chance of escape.
• They could yet discern some part of the ship, and solaced them. felves, in their dreary stations, with the hope of its remaining entire till day break; for, in the midst of their own misfortunes, the fuffer ings of the females affected them with the most acute anguish, and every sea that broke brought with it: terror, for the fate of those amiable, and helpless beings.
• But, alas! their apprehenfions were too soon realized. In a very fem minutes after Mr. Rogers had gained the rock, an universal shriek, which ftill vibrates in their ears, and in which the voice of female distress was lamentably distinguishable, announced the dreadful catastrophe ; in a few moments all was hushed, except the warfing winds, and beating waves ; the wreck was buried in the remorseless deep, and not an atom of her was ever after discoverable.
• Thus perished the Halfewell, and with her worth, honour, fkill, beauty, amiability, and bright accomplishments; never did the angry clements combat with more elegance ; never was a watery grave filled with such precious remains. Great God, how infcrutable, are thy judgments ! yet we know them to be just ; nor will, we arraign thy mercy, who haft transferred virtue and purity, from imperfect, and mutáble happiness, to bliss eternal !'.
To tell us at the close of this tremendous scene that the “ angry elements never combated with more elegance," betrays such infenfibility and affectation as fills us with difguft.
While we lament the fate of the unhappy sufferers, we are delighted with the zealous and active humanity of the inhabitants of Eastington to rescue those who escaped from the wreck, from the new dangers to which they were exposed. One circumstance contained in this narrative, and generally believed, is truly surprising. That the loss of the Halsewell was very much owing to the inattention, remifiness and obftinacy of the sailors; who, during great part of the storm, deserted their duty, fkulked in their hammocks, and were only roused to a fenfe of their danger, when their endeavours could be of no avail. It is to be feared, that the trial of some late commanders for enforcing duty, by neceffary discipline, has encouraged the turbulent and refractory spirit of failors, and weakened the hands of authority.
ART. X. Discourses an various Subjects, Evangelical and Practical, by
the Rev. Hugh Worthington, A. M. of Leicester. 8vo. 55. Buck. land, London, 1785.. THE HE modeft and worthy' author of these sermons tells us,
in the preface, that he has publithed them at the defire of a respectable society, to whom he has statedly ministered above
forty years, and by whom he was often folicited to leave behind him fome fruits of his labours. As they were composed for an ordinary audience, and without any intention of publication, he makes an apology for their want of those graces and embellishments, which are to be found in some modern fermons. But, in reality, they stand in need of no apology whatever. In other departments of literature, the entreaty of friends has often been ridiculoufly urged as a plea for publicae tion, but the folicitation of a respectable society to have some memorials of a venerable paftor, by which, though dead, he may speak to them, is too strong to be denied, and too serious to be ridiculed. The fubjects of these discourses are of the most interesting and useful kind; and the serious unaffected manner in which they are treated, will recommend them to every pious reader. Not influenced by the spirit of party, nor attentive to popular applause, the author endeavours to establish revealed religion on the basis of natural, and to re present the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, in a light conso nant to reason, and worthy of the moral attributes of the Deity. On fubjects that have been controverted, he writes from an unfeigned love of the truth, and a regard to the best interests of men, and to every doctrine of the gospel which he explains, he gives a practical and moral turn. if he does not affect novelty or ornament, he appears to have thought on what he wrote, and to have felt what he spoke ; and the plain language of a serious mind, and a feeling heart, is of more avail to turn many to righteousness, than all the refinements of philosophy and embellishments of eloquence.
The couclusion of the first sermon, (a vindication of diving providence) gives a very favourabie idea of the author.
• These confiderations abundantly justify the providence of God, respecting the sufferings of righteous men, and the prosperity of some that are ungodly ;-refpecting likewise the early death of some good perfons, and the wicked man's sometimes prolonging his life in hie wickedness.
• It also appears from what has been said, that the caufe of righteousness is not injured by any of these events :--but that goodness and piety have in general greatly the advantage over wickedness even in this life.
• In the course of nature and providence, there is evidently fuch a prevalence of enjoyment, when compared with mifery amongst man. kind, as afford; an incontestable proof of the perfect wisdom and goodness of the great Creator and Ruler of the world.---And in the general state of mankind, the balance of enjoyment is so much in favour of the righteous, rather than of the wicked, as fully to vindi. cate the moral attributes of the Deity, and at the same time the caufo of righteousness and religion, as far preferable to that of fin and impiety, alchoagh we confine our views to the present life.