Images de page

purposes for which they were formed. In Gloucester, as soon as a bezgar is seen publicly alking charity in the streets, he is that instant taken up, and carried before a magistrate ; if an object, he is relieved and sent home; if not, he is asked, whether he will be whipped out of the north, the south, east, or west gate ; and the punishment is immediately inflicted. By this summary mode of proceeding, all beggars are banished from Gloucester.

• Whether this system is worthy of your notice, I am not able to determine; but it seems to me so replete with good sense, that I should be happy to fee it adopted in every part of the kingdom. And as Westminster has more rogues in it than any other place, I see no reason way you should not make it a part of your plan. It is a wellknown faat, that begging is reduced to a system, and become as much a trade, as any other carried on in London and Westminster. I believe, too, it is a very profitable one ; for, if I am not misinformed, there are many common beggars, in this metropolis, who get four or five shillings a day. And is not this a great reproach to the English nation, where so many honest and useful means may be found to employ those idle people? There are many, very inany, hard-working, industrious, fober persons in London, who do not live half so comfortably as these dissolute wretches. The common beggars of this great town have their walks and stands as regular as the day ; and are as sure to be found in them, at particular hours, days, and weeks, as the most regular merchant upon Change. To these places they punctually resort, to attract your notice, excite your pity, and impofe upon your understanding. Tabernacles and preachinghouses are admirable stands; and happy is that man who can fix himself there first; he is sure to live well. Many of them, like Shakespeare's justice, look peek, and as if their bellies were with good capon lined. There is no set of these common beggars who hurt me more than those, who, having any bodily infirmity, expose it to awaken your feelings. Is it not shocking, in a cold frosty day, to see a great strapping fellow with a fore leg, without a plaister or any thing upon it, lying down upon the ground, and making wry faces for hours together to gain a livelihood? If you were to send, or propose to fend, one of these people to an hospital, he might thank you, but he would not accept your offer. He looks upon his fore leg as an estate for life -- the rent--the hap of the day.'

In the same lively manner our author displays the bad consequences of idleness, and the wise policy of employing the poor, and enforcing, rather than multiplying the laws.


Art. 28. Sermons by D. Grant. Angus, Newcattle. Mr. David Grant is what, by the courtely of Scotland, is called

a gospel-preacher," that is, he delivers doctrines, of which there is not the smallest trace or vestage to be found in the four gospels, He is indeed a little more cantious and guarded than many of the


P 4.

orthodox brethren, with regard to the eternal reprobation, a parte ante, and eternal damnation, a parte post, of nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand * of the human race, from adorable sovereignty and mere good pleasure ; in ascribing to the Deity all posible imper. feftions, and in triumphing over the irrationality of reason and the nothingness of good works. Still however the root of the matter is in him ; and he has fire and brimstone, blood and thunder, fufficient to gratify the maw of an ordinary fanatic. The following quotation will serve as a specimen.

• God, when the time was come that Christ' must suffer, did, as it were, say, “O! all ye waves of my incensed justice, now swell as high as heaven, and go over his soul and body; fonk him to the bottom ; · let him go like fonab into the belly of bell

. Come all ye forms that I have reserved for this day of wrath, beat upon him. Go juflice, put him

upon the rack ; torment him in every part, till all his bones be out of joint, and his heart be mehed as wax, in the midst of his bowels."

Our armies swore terribly in Flanders," said uncle Toby, on a fimilar occasion, “ but not at all like this.” Would the author with for a brother or a father of such a fanguinary temper?

In page 97, we have a specimen of a different kind.

• The blood of Christ is like the sea; as it covers with its waves the greatest as well as smalleit vessels; so the blood of Christ can drown the greatest as well as finallest fins. Caft your eyes upwards, and survey the retinue of the lamb! Among the vast multitudes which follow him, are there not those, who were once in the gall of bitterness, who were fornicators, idolators, adulterers, drunkards, revilers, extortioners."

This comfortable view of the kingdom of heaven reminds us, that the author, when in Edinburgh, was a correspondent of Lord George Gordon. ART. 29. The Harmony of Law and Gospel, in the Method of Grace,

demonftrated; in several Sermons. By Willian Arnot, Minister of the Gospel at Kénnoway. Published by particular defire. 8vo. Printed for Robert Jameson, London, 178;.

Mr. Arnot, we imagine, is a seceder, or diflenter from the church of Scotland. The Sermons, we dare say, met with the approbation of his hearers, as they are said to be “ published by particular defire." They may perhaps be read by a certain class in this metro. polis, but they are calculated for the perusal, neither of the reader of taste, nor of the rational Christian. As a specimen of the composition, we give the following short extract.

• It is not enough to preach Jesus, unlefs his suitableness to the needy condition of finners be pointed out, which cannot be done, without taking particular notice of the iniseries of sinners, and leading their eye to each par.icular benefit in Christ, which is calculated to

* One out of a thousand, i. e. cutting off the cyphers, and retaining the unit, is the exact calculation of the elea, according to a celebrated doctor of the Geneva school.

supply Supply each correspondent want about themselves. Counselling them, as poor, to buy of Christ gold tried in the fire, that they may be rich. As blind, to buy eye-salve, that they may fee. As naked, to buy white raiment, that they may be clothed, and the shame of their nakedness may not appear

As far from righteous. ness, to embrace Christ's righteousness, brought near in the gospel. As ignorant, guilty, vile, and enslaved, to receive Christ, as made of God unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. As thirsty, to come to him and drink. As having no money, to buy without money and without price. As hungry, to eat that which is good. As being heavy laden with the misery of a natural ftate, to come to him for rett; ever to let all their wants be upon him, and all their breaches under his hand. As one beautifully remarks,

“ Christ is a path, if any be misled,
" He is a robe if


naked be,
If any chance to hunger, he is bread,
“ If any be a bondman, he is free.
" If any be but weak, how strong is he !
• To dead men life he is, to sick men health,
“ To blind men fight, and to the needy wealth,

" A pleasure without loss, a treasure without stealth." Mr. Arnot seems to spurn at the very idea of elegance ; “ If the reader,” says he, in the preface, “ be fond of the wisdom of “ man's words, he will, no doubt, be disappointed.” Yet, though the author be not fond of choice words, and phrases, he more than makes up in quantity, for the deficiency of the quality ; fix fermons form a volume of 400 pages? Art. 30. A Legal Attempt to enforce the Practice of Infant Baptilm:

being a genuine Copy of a Petition to Parliament, by the Nurles and Chambermaids of the Cities of London, Wesiminster, and the Borough of Southwark, against the Anabaptists. To which is added, a Counter-Petition by the M'ives of the Anabaptifs ; and a Letter ta the Rev. John Horsley, by Amy Caudie. 12mo. Is. Buckland, 1786.

The petition from the nurses and chambermaids, who are alarmed at the disrepute into which certain publications have brought infant baptism, which has almost destroyed the perquisites connected with their employment, is figned, on behalf of the whole meeting, by their secretary, Amy Caudle. The counter petition again, from the wives of the baptists, who consider the petition intended to be presented to parliament by the nurses and chambermaids as an attempt to deprive them of their religious liberty, is figned, in name of the meeting, by their secretary, Isabel Dipper. An ironical letter of thanks, also, is sent by Amy CAUDLE to John HORSEY, in the name of the society of nurses and chambermaids, for the seasonable attempt he made to support the caule in which they and he were murually embarked.

One Emma Dry, who has lived in friendship with both the secretaries, Amy CAUDLE and IsaBEL DIPPER, for many years, in a preface, assures the public, “ that there is not a fingle word added, and in this lies the wit) to either the petitions or the letter, but what they have themselves respectively supplied.”

a pre.

It might appear, at first fight, that this strange publication is written by some common enemy, who means to turn all religion into ridicule. But we are so well acquainted, by means of the numerous religious disputations which we have occafion to inspect, with the various disguises assumed by controversial zeal, that we have not a doubt but this is, in reality, the production of fome zealous baptist, who has learnt the common arguments in favour of his religious system

Art. 31. Free Access to God by a Mediator. A Sermon preached at

Beljels-Green, near Sevenoaks, in Kent. By John Strange. 8vo. 16d. Mathews, London, 1785.

In this pious and practical discourse, the author fhews, that fin hath set us all at an awful distance from God; that without being restored and brought near to him, we cannot be happy; and that, unless we enjoy a present nearness to him, by faith in the great Mediator, we cannot hope for the future fruition of him in heaven.

ART. 32. The Charaéter of Jesus Chrift: a Sermon, by George Skene

Keith, M. A, Minister of Keith-Hall, Aberdeenshire. 8vo. is. Evans. 1785. Mr. Keith very justly observes, that, if he were to give a detail of all the virtues which adorn human nature, and tell us, in gene: ral, that all of them were possessed by our Lord in the highest degree, he might be able to give, in a few sentences, a true and pleasant, though a very superficial account of his character. But general declamation, even on the virtues of our blessed Saviour, he also observes, could neither inform the understanding, nor warm the heart: on the other hand, were he to be minute in his inquiries, he could not, in many discourses, exhaust the subject. Therefore, pura, suing a middle course, he selects such particulars of the life of Christ, as may give a just and affecting, though imperfeet view of his character. The particulars he selects are, indeed, affecting, and he arranges them in a natural order. He writes with elegarce and vivacity ; but this file does not suit his theme. His breaks and starts fuit not the majeslic fimplicity of his great subject. We recommend to his imitation the death of Socrates, recorded in his Crito, by Plato.

Art. 33, Esays on Scripture Metaphors ; Divine Juflice, Divine

Mercy, and the Doctrine of Satisfaction. By W. Ludiam, B.D. Rector of Cockfield, in Suffolk; and formerly Felloro of St. John's College, Cambridge. 8vo. 2s. 6d.. Davis, London, 1785.

Of these, which are all of them excellent, and contain a very able detence of the principal do&rines of the Christian faith, what we most efteem is the Essay on Scripture Metaphors, from which the following is an extract.


as it

• When the scriptures teach us the things of God and of another world, they use, and must use metaphors. A literal account, in many cases*, cannot be given. Men, in their present itate, have not, and cannot have the ideas peculiar to another state; no words can convey such ideas. When St. Paul was caught up into paradise, he heard unspeakable words, such as were imposible to be uttered. He received new ideas, which it was not possible for him, by any words, to communicate to others. When the scriptures, then, teach us the things of another world, it must be by resemblances taken from the things of this world. By metaphors, by enigmatical descriptions so that we see now only through a glass darkly, and, were, in an enigma; and it must ever be remembered, that while this is the case, we fee in part only.

• Metaphors, at belt, are only resemblances ; and we mult noe expect to find the resemblance hold in every circumstance. The purpose of the metaphor is fully answered, if the resemblance holds in Tome one capital point ; in that point which is intended to be taught. The.very fame capital doctrine may also be illustrated and explained by different metaphors, according to the different light in which it is placed ; or, as different parts of that doctrine are intended to be conveyed to us.

• It will be asked, how shall we know in what parts of a metaphor the resemblance holds ? Will not doctrines thus conveyed be vague, and of doubtsul interpretation ?--Not at all ; all language abounds with metaphors; we can scarce speak without using a variety of allufions, yet no uncertainty follows from it. The boldeft figures of speech seldom render our meaning uncertain, yet add a great force to what is delivered. Much less Thall we be at a loss to know what is literal, and what is metaphorical. Let us try in an instance or two.

• It is said of the damned in hell, that their worm dieth not, and that the fire of bell Mall never be quenched. Every one sees that the expression, their worm dieth not, cannot be understood literally of a worm creeping on the earth, but is a metaphor. The incessant up. braidings of a guilty conscience, are very aptly, as well as forcibly, represented by the gnawings of a worm, which does not quickly devour the substance on which it feeds, but preys on it continuaily. When it is said, this worm dieth not, every one will understand by it, that the guilt of the damned ever remains unattoned for, and the upbraidings never cease. Again, if we take the fire of hell in a metaphórical sense, it is plainly put to fignify the greatest possible torment. Burning alive is, with men, accounted the greatest torture posible. Whether we have precise ideas of the torments of hell, or not, the words are awful enough, and their meaning past a doubt. But, if any should say, the words may be understood as well in a literal

[merged small][ocr errors]

We say, in many cases ; for in fome a literal account could be given. Thus, were we told the particular time of the day of judgment, we could undertand it. But the cases are but few.


[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »