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Ar other pretences ; in the course of which, destruction dire falls on cheir respective countries, their people, and a large portion of their Sellows of the brute creation; and famine and pestilence, not an uncommon consequence! The religious worship established in each of the kingdoms of these belligerent powers fupplicates the Deity to sančtion, aslilt, and support their infernal operations, and Te Deum on each side is sung for their various successes and triumphs in the glorious and prous thirst and pursuit of blood and desolation. Can the peculiar providence of a benevolent God be possibly conceived to act or interfere in such icenes of horror
This argument might be readily answered, if it was our province to contradict and confute; but, as we profess only to give our, readers a fair account of publications, we shall leave the talk of commenting to them. ,;
Tog t over ibe objections that may be started against his hypothes, from the existence of prophets, priests, &c. he argues thus.
| he fallen ipirits animating this tribe (stiled by themselves the men of God) we may, with the highest certainty, conclude, were the very prime projectors, leaders, and mo't active abettors of the revolt in heaven; and sailing in their attempt against their God and Creator, but still infiuen ed by the same principles, namely, an insatiable thirst for ponci and dominion, they meditated how they should subject their flow.sebels to their sway and government here below: This they did hy ming an external fanctity of manners, pretending frequent and fonlar intercoui fe with the Deity, “ inculcating the principle of God's peculiar and partial providence, perpetually interfering in the transactions of individuals, and that their daily interposition was essentially pecefiary to foften and deprecate his wrath and vengeance. Thus, by slow but sure degrees, they reached the summit of their wishes, and retain their dominion until this hour over ninety-nine hundredth parts of this habitable globe.'
• Permit us' says he in another place, “to expatiate on the various miseries, persecutions, and crue ties, excited and perpetrated by the malignant leaders of the Christian church op every opposer of the various charges they have rung on the pure, plain, simple dictates and doctrine of Christ, for the space of teventcen centuries back. The recol. lection pains the imagination; humanity starts at the idea of the numerous massacres aud ruin poured on the heads of societies and individuals; insomuch that a benevolent mind cannot avoid execrating the fatal distinction of Catholic and Protestant, with their mischievous tribe of diffenters under every denomination. The subject is too serious and important to provoke to mirth; but philanthropy may without offence bellow a pi.ying smile on the early division and later subdivision of the Christian church, and its professors, into Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, independent, puritan, presbyterian, anabaptist, quaker, methodist, Moravian, Sandimonian, with a long'et cætera ;. all harbouring bitter rancour in their hearts against each other; each of this motley tribe claiming infallibility from scraps taken from the same fcriptures, variously interpreted by the vain, dark, designing, felf-interested,
malignant spirit at their head, as the different genius of each pointed out to their enthusiastic and crafty brain, finking the others to everlasting perdition.'
In order to stimulate, according to our author, the genius, study and abilities of men to more worthy pursuits, he arraigns the folly and inutility of all arts and sciences. Astronomy, says he, has done more harm than good; “ of what réal use or imó portance is it to mankind in general, to know whether the sun moves round the planets, or the planets round the sun, &c?” Astronomy.introduced astrology, and astrology has injured thousands. What has navigation done? little but counteract the designs of tủe deity," which were to plant the different regions of this globe with the fallen spirits :” and that they should have no communication with each other, he placed the great and tempestuous ocean as a barrier between them. Of what use has been the art of printing ; but to sow diffentions, civil and religious, moral and divine, in the bosoms of contending mortals, and to fill the world with cruelty, blood-thed and murder? Music, says he, and poetry, lead'astray the minds of youth from more useful and essential applications. Politics are the dirty arts of legerdemain, circumvention and fraud; tactics the art of war and murder ; and painting was conceived by indolence, brought forth by vanity, is nursed by affectation, and supported by pride, oftentation, and prodigality. In this manner he proceeds with the rest.
Having thus found fault with the present state of things, he goes on to recommend a reform, but this seems to be confined chiefly to the church. He would have all distinctions in the professors of religion, save that of Doctor in Divinity, abolished, and all their temporalities vested in the state. He would put an end to subscription, degrees, and episcopal ordination, and have the ministers appointed by the crown as head of the church, with a salary of 500l. a year to each married priest, and a house well furnished, and 3001. a year to each unmarried one; and advises that the number of churches be reduced, and each made independent; that there should be but one incumbent to each church; and that the reduced dignitaries should be appointed in preference to others, according to their present rank; and that such clergy, as would in this cafe have no preferment, should have a pension of one hundred pounds a year.
He next proceeds to reform the national worship, by a total alteration, and has annexed a liturgy (founded upon the present one) in conformity to his plan, which is as follows: That the bible should not be read in divine fervice; that no adoration should be paid to the second person in the trinity ; that the doctrine of mediation and atonement should be abolished; that the services for the fifth of November, the thirtieth of 23
January, and the twenty-ninth of May, should be expunged; that the facrament of the Lord's fupper and baptism should undergo an alteration ; that the ceremony of matrimony should not be a religious one; that the churching of women should be private ; and that the other forms of the church should be altered, so as to correspond with the doctrines he has advanced.
These are the heads of the tract now before us; and though, with fenfible men, a perufal may do no great harm, with weak and unfettled minds it may occasion an irreparable injury: It is such works that thew the utility of an imprimatur, and the disadvantage of a universal freedom of the press.
ART. X. Inferior Politics: or, Confiderations on the Wretchedness and
Profligacy of the Poor in London and its Vicinity: On the Defects in the present System of Parochial and Penal Laws: On the consequent Increase of Robbery and other Crimes: And on the Means of redresing these public Grievances. With an Appendix, containing a Plan for the Reduction of the National Debt. By Hewling Lujon, of the Navy-Office. 8vo. 1s. 6d. Bladon.
ONE would think that the author of this tract was a lawyer,
from his circumlocution, and the declamation he displays throughout. There is, notwithstanding, a good deal of found reasoning in it, some judicious improvements pointed out, and the language is flowery and pleasing.
After speaking bigbly of the conftitution of this country, and lamenting how greatly it is abused by the present mode of electing its representatives, and the venality of parliament in: consequence of it, he enters into the depravity of the times, launches out in praise of rustic innocence, and gives us a picture of London in its brightest scenes of festivity among the wealthy, and then contrasts it with the distressed situation of its poorer inhabitants. This part, as a specimen of the author's language, we will transcribe.
• Such are the brilliant scenes, says he, we may suppose to behold in London, at a season when the ocean whitens with the furious storm; when the driving snow and rattling hail . beat dark December,' and the gloom of night adds horror to the black inclement nights of winter.o. But let us quit the house of joy and festivity for the street, and we shall meet with objects to excite far different ideas.
• There stand the pallid, emaciated children of poverty, shivering at the wintery blast, many of whom feel the complicated evils of hunger, cold, and pain, and whose appearance too plainly indicates this • sad variety of wretchedness.' In this deplorable community of human misery,
; many of all ages, from the tendereft infancy to that enfeebled decrepitude which approaches the second childishness,' are to be found. Here the hardy veteran or mutilated seaman becomes the
melancholy associate of those, who, by accidents or natural defects, are afflicted with similar calamities, or deprived of the light of heaven!
• Look down upon these thy children with an eye of mercy, O Being of beings! and if, in thy unfathomable wisdom, thou seeft fit to afflict them bere, may they be amply recompensed in some kingdom of reason to come!'
Speaking of those unfortunate women who traverse the ftreets by night, he says,
« There also is that numerous tribe of wretched females who sublift by common prostitution; who experience by turns the extremes of Juxury and poverty, and whose bosoms alternately heave with the tu., multuous transports of pleasure, or the agonizing throbs of guilt and despair ! Ill-fated votaries of delusive vice ! Perhaps, from your earliest infancy, by parental vanity or folly, seduced by flattery, or deceived by falsehood, you might, with proper education and timely warning, have escaped the fatal snare! May the virtuous fair, who are the brightest ornaments of the human race, and heaven's last. best gift to man,' while they are admonished by your fall, spare their too rigid censures ; let them rather regard you with an eye of pity than disdain ; they may be happy they escaped the severe conflict, but let them not exult in an imaginary triumph, fince, though exempt from your guilt, they escaped your trials.'
Having laid before us the miseries attending the poor in general, and the insufficiency and abuse of the laws respecting them, he recommends a reform of those laws, and points out fome judicious amendments, not only to the benefit of the poor, but to that of the community. Inftead of pafling a vagrant to his own parish, as is now done, let that parish be as distant as it may, he would have every parish obliged to maintain the poor that live in it; or, he would have the sums annually collected, which amount to near three millions, lodged in the hands of government, and proper perfons appointed by the ftate to take care of the poor. By this means they would not be at the disposal of unfeeling parish officers, and mercenary governors of workhouses. He is of opinion, and we think justly so, that, if each parish was obliged to support the poor that are there refident, when they become chargeable, whether they belong to that parish or not, all the complicated hardships resulting from vexatious removals, all the trouble and expence attending litigated settlements and riding paffes, would be avoided, and the public would be relieved from beggars, who now wander about for alms, because they cannot apply to the parish where they are, for relief. Were even the laws of settlement to continue as they are, it would be better to call on the parish to whom a pauper belongs, for a reimbursement
of the expence of maintenance, than remove him to any considerable distance.
From the subject of paupers he proceeds to that of criminals, shews the inconvenience and absurdity of the penal laws, and urges a revisal and amendment, in which the prevention of crimes Mould be more attended to than their punishment. To effect this, he would have our streets patrolled, at night, by the inhabitants, in rotation. The Dutch do this, and find their account in it. He would make no offences capital but murder, rebellion, burglary, setting fire to houses, forgeries, robberies attended with wanton cruelty, robbing of mails, coining, and those crimes now deemed capital, in which nature and decency are equally violated. In cafes of murder and wanton barbarity, he would introduce the law of retaliation. Transportation he would have abolished, and the convicts employed so as to be useful to the state. For this purpose, fays he, penitentiary houses should be erected, where criminals might be confined, for certain periods, according to their crimes, and made to work; and the produce of their labours, after defraying the expences attending them, should be appropriated to the maintenance of their families. And to prevent these families being further corrupted, or forming ruinous connections, he would have them provided for by the state..
His mode of paying off the national debt, is by paying.a greater interest during the lives of such holders as approve of it, according to their age, and, the capital to be sunk at their decease; twenty millions fo purchased, at seventy per cent. and nine per cent. interest paid for it, on an average, would, in the space of twenty years, be thus paid off. The extra interest would be 660,000l. which he would have paid 'out of the sinking fund. This, he asserts, would be a speedier way of liquidating the debt, than buying in the stock wholly.
Art. XI. The History of Ancient Greece, its Colonies, and Conquests;
from the earliest Accounts till the Division of the Macedonian Empire in the East. Including the History of Literature, Philosophy, and the fine Arts. By John Gillies, L. L. D. 460, 2 vols. 21. 2s. boards. Cadell, 1786.
(Continued.) THE political principles which Dr. Gillies has adopted, and
of which he is so ostentatious in the course of his work, appear very singular and extraordinary in a historian of Greece, He seems to have imbibed the same aversion to liberty and free governments, which the Greeks had conceived for tyrants. The once celebrated, but now forgotten, Mr. Hobbes, advises