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This is a ridiculous Hotch-potch, mixed up by some 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 AdB-to Father Sheldon, Provincial of the Jesuits in England; illustrated with several remarkable Facts, tending to ascertain the Authenticity of the said Letters, and the true Character of the Writer. Svo. I s. 6d. Morgan, Though we ought, unquestionably, to be very tender, in
general, of the character and reputation of our neighbour, yet we should be as careful that this tenderness be not carried too fas, left it beiray us into such a conduct as, instead of being serviceable to the interests of society, may frequently produce a quite contrary effect. It is certainly matter of consequence to the public, that the characters of bad as well as of good men, should sometimes be made known; and it is highly necessary, 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 hypocrisy, 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 discouragement of vice; and must necessarily be attended with beneficial consequences to society. Whoever, therefore, unmasks an impostor, a fraudulent usurper of distinction, deserves the thanks of every friend to Trath, of every friend to Virtue.
We were naturally led into these reflections by the performance now before us, which is written in a fenfible, spirited, and masterly manner. The Author lays before his Readers, a variety of facts, which throw a full and strong light upon the private chara&ter of Mr. B, the celebrated Hittorian of the Popes. From the time that this published his proposals and preface to his History of the Popes, which was in the year 1747, he has been looked upon, in general, as a worthy Champion of the Reformed Church's has met with great encouragement from many well-meaning Proteftants; has received very large profits from his History; and been honoured with the friendship of persons of great distinction. Notwithstanding all this, and tho' he has gained the rewards of Virtue, we bere find him exposed to the infamy of vice. It seems to appear, from what is now laid before the public, that the account he gave to many unexceptionable witnesses, of che motives that induced him to change his religion, and of his escape from the Inquisition of Macerata, is, to say no worse, a very improbable and inconsistent tale. Notwithitanding what he fays in the preface to his History, of his having beFotne a Profelyte to the opinion which he had proposed 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 ap an intimacy and correspondence with his brethren the Jesuits : a correspon
dence of such a nature too, as must give the unprejudiced Reader but too much reason to look upon him as a disguiled Papift.
As a proof of this, we are told, that there are now in the poffeffion of Sir Henry Bedingfield, of Norfolk, 1x Letters written by Mr. B. to Father Sheldon, Provincial of the Jesuits in Eng. land, who entered upon his office in 1945; and at the end of the year having a warrant issued out against him, took the name of Elliot Brown. Copies of these Letters are here laid before the public; the originals, it is said, have, with the utmost care and attention, been compared with many undoubted specimens of Mr. B's writing, and that they bear the moft Atriking resemblance. The writer of the Letters aims at one fingle object, of which he never loses fight, viz. the recovery of a sum 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 seven per Cent.--To place the certainty of this money-transaction, which runs through all the fix Letters, beyond all possibility of doubt,' receipts are produced given by B. for his annuity, to Father Hill, Procurator of the Jesuits in England ; also entries in the books of Mr. Wright, a banker in Henrietta-street, Covent-Garden, who paid the annuity by Hill's order to B. These 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 disposed, we apprehend, to give entire credit to any such declarations, on such an occasion. To attempt to give our Readers a distinct view of what is advanced, by way of narrative, to throw light apon the Letters, would carry us beyond our bounds; we muft, therefore refer those who are desirous of farther satisfaction, to the pamphlet itself; where. in, independent of the authority of the Letters, they will meet with other express and striking charges, that Mr. B. has had connexions of such a nature with Roman Catholics, since his coming to England, as will go near to render it a matter of indifference whether che Letters are genuine or not, fince those connexions seem 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 thew, that Mr. B. was re-admitted, in a formal manner, into the order of Jesuits, fometime before the battle of Fontenoy. The evidence in fupport of this faet, is that of Father Carteret, who re-admitted him, and mentioned the fact to several 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 Jesuits, 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 said to be a woman of good character, and respected in her neighbourhood. Her testimony 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 Jesuits, long after his coming into England, as seem to carry but too much conviction along with them; and he who has laid these facts before the public, whoever he is, appears to us to have acted, 'in this respect, the part of a good citizen, of a friend to truth, and of a fincere Protestant.*
* Since our writing the above, a pamphlet came to hand, entitled, “Mr. Archbibald Bower's Affidavit, in answer to the false
Accusation brought against him by Papists. To which are • added, 1. A circumftantial Narrative of what hath fince passed • between Mr. Bower and Sir Henry Bedingfield, in relation thereto.
2. Copies of the said pretended Letters, sent him by Sir Henry Bedingfield, and of a subsequent Affidavit made by Mr. Bower,
of their not being wrote by him, or with his privity. With some • Observations on those pretended Letters, proving them to be spuo 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 last Age. Never before printed. 12mo. 35. Buckland.
To these Discourses the ensuing Advertisement is prefixed. • The following Discourses were preached by chat truly vener.. able Divine in the last century, Dr. John Owen: and in or
der to be fully satisfied 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 Mort
hand from the Doctor's own mouth; and then took the pains to • transcribe them into long. hand; as thinking them worthy of
being transmitted down to pofterity. It is from his manuscripts • this collection is now made public.
In the two first, of the thirteen Sermons, the Doctor, from 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. treats of the Everlasting Covenant, under this consideration, that it is the Believer's support under distress: the third, fourth, and fifth, are Ordination Sermons; the fixth, se. venth, eighth, and ninth, shew the excellency of Christ, from Psalm xlv. 1, 2, 3. and the four last creat of the uses and advantages of Faith, from Habak. ii, 4.--All that is necessary to
be said by us in regard to them, is this, that they are writtet pretty much in the itile and manner of the Doctor's other works, and they are sufficiently known.
XVI. The Universality 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, Eleft, and Reprobate. By Jofeph Besse. 8vo. 6 d. Hinde.
The principal design of this piece, is to combat the doctrines of Absolute Election and Reprobation. It consists, in a great meafure, of texts of Scripture, produced in order to establish the truth of these propositions, 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 sufficiency of his light, grace, and good fpirit, to give him the knowlege of his daty, and ability or power to perform the same; That life and immortality are the proposed rewards of Faith and Obedience ; That the mercy and long suffering of God, is in order to lead finners to repentance and amendment of life ; That death came by fin and disobedience, and that deliverance from the dominion of fin is through Jesus Christ ; That men influenced by the holy-spirit, to the practice of Christian virtues, may make their calling and election fure ; That God is no respecter of persons ; That Faith and Obedience are the ground of Election ; That Election, according to the doctrine of holy writ, is conditional; That man's destruction is of himself, through his own wilful disobedience ; That the words Election and Elect, in the sense of holy Scrip. ture, 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 disobedient 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 Dispensations; and a philosophical Answer to all the Objections that ever were, or can be, made to Divine Revelation. Addressed to Mankind in general. 8vo. 2 s. Crowder.
A very short view of this performance, will be sufficient to convey to our Readers a just idea of it.
The Author sets out with proving the existence of a first cause from the existence of man. Now every thing that relates to man, he says, may be divided into, or brought under, three general heads, each of which is expressive of something different in its nature from the other ; these are, Being, Senfe, Power. There are in God likewise three qualities, which are the three fountains (we use the Author's own words) from which all his attributes are derived ; these are as different from each other in their naturés in
the Divine Being, as they are in the human, and may be distinguished by the following appellations, Supreme Elence, Supreme Wisdom, Supreme Power, which are all co-equal in excellence, co-eternal in duration, and yet subordinate in dependance. A just parallel, the Author apprehends, may be drawn between what is here faid of one God and three perfections, and what St. Athanasius has said of one God and three Persons, or the Trinity in Unity, and the Unity in Trinity: the Supreme Elence 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 asked out of what was Matter made ? the answer, he says, that would most generally be given to this question is the following :-It was made by the Creator of all things out of nothing. But to this answer, he tells us, two objections arise, which Teem to him to be attended with insurmountable difficulties. The first is, How can some. thing be made out of nothing? The next, Where was there a nothing to make so large a something out of? of these two points he enters into a discussion, and supposes that the Deity, at the creation of the present system of worlds, first withdrew the in. telligent quality from such a portion or quantity of his own divine essence, as was sufficient for the purpose, and thereof made insensible matter which first became that chaos spoken of by Mofes, out of which the present created system of worlds, and variety of beings pertaining thereto, were formed, In doing this, we are told, the three divine perfections equally contributed a share; the Divine Elence furnished the matter of which the creation was made, the Divine Wisdom directed the harmony and order, and the Divine Power executed the same.This specimen, we apprehend, will be fully fufficient for the generality of our readers ; if there are any who desire a farther acquaintance with our Author, they must have recourse to the performance itself.
XVIII. A Minister's Infructions to such 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 2 s. 6d. a Dozen. Millar.
This little tract contains a brief summary 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 eltablished church; but not unworthy the perusal of every Christian, of every age and denomination.
fore the University of Oxford, 20 St. Mary's, June 8, 1756. By Thomas Griffith, M. A. Fellow of Pembroke College.