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and colloquial phrases; but these are such as will scarcely be observed by any bút critical judges of composition:
Our readers will form a proper notion of his manner of writing and reasoning, from the following extract.
· That Jesus should melt into tears for his dead friend at the time when he was immediately about to bring him to life again, is such an absurdity in the opinion of those who improperly call themselves free-thinkers, as destroys the credit of the whole story. But it is the misfortune of sceptics, in general, to look no further than the face of things; to judge according to their first appearance. Of such there are finall hopes. To others who are not quite so superficial, but are willing to search a little deeper into the matter, it may be proper and pollible to give fome fatisfaction, at leait if their doubts are fincere and conscientious.
• Now the objection before-mentioned, where it is real, and comes from the heart, proceeds from not attending duly to human nature, but confounding, reaton and constitution together; or giving the former such a power and authority over che latter, as the hath no right to, neither doth claim. The office of reason is not to root out, but to regulate the passions, and affe&ions-not to destroy their being, but to restrain their excels; and to direct and govern them, both as to the object and the degree. Sorrow and sympathy are as natural to the human mind as cold and hunger to the body; and to prevent them, belongs neither to the province nor power of reason. In this respect the mind is merely paffive, and no other than what wax is to the imprellion fiampt upon it. This internal sense is a thing quite diltinct from reason, and hath no connection with it; depends not upon argoments or choice, but is derived from nature, and acts, and is acted upon by neceffity. We see it in many instances; we observe men surprisingly affected by the light of a picture, or the combination of lounds, before they have examined, or even without being able to examine them by the rules of painting or music, or without the leatt skill in the laws of symmetry and harmony. Just so it is with specta'cles of dittreis. We are stricken at the first view. We do not ak reason whether, or no, we thall be moved, but readily obey the great and alarming fummons. In theatrical performances, does not the thrilling tear burft from the eyes of an audience upon imaginary scenes of horror and diftres, though at the same time they are well aware that such scenes are merely fi&itious, the effect of art and fancy, and often void of truth, or even probability itself? Do they consult their season, and inquire into the grounds of their forrow? or rather do they nog weep, as it were, againit reason: Nacure pleads and the tears flow..
• The question should be, therefore, whether Jesus's weeping over Lazarus was natural; whether he did more than would be
expected from any other person, of a kind and compasionate temper, in the like circumstances ? And if (as we have just now observed) nature claims it as a debt to imaginary scenes, how much rather to real sufferings. For such were those which now moved our Saviour's concern, and bade the silent tear be witness of it.
. It is true he was sensible that those sufferings would be fhort; that he had the cure along with him ; that he was come on purpose to apply it ; that the dead man should be immediately raised, and all their forrows sublide--but what then? Was not the object which he then beheld, were not the lamentations which he then heard, affecting? If so that was enough.
• When Pharaoh's daughter opened the ark of balrushes, and faw the child Moses, who had been therein exposed to the rude mercy of the winds and waves, we read, the babe wept. It is not said, but it would be an injustice to her character not to suppose, that the wept also, provoked by lo piteous a fight. And though she knew that it was in her power to save and protect the poor, helpless, devoted infant; yea though she resolved to take him under her royal protection, and to adopt him for her son, yet it is not likely that such her humane refolution at once stopped the flow of her tears, or restrained her tenderness, but so long at least as the same moving object continued in her fight, the same emotions of pity worked in her breast, notwithftanding the happy change deligned for him. In like manner our Saviour beheld things as they then appeared, viewed them in their prefent situation-Lazarus entombed beneath his feet a weeping crowd before his eyes--a scene furely very proper to meve the human heart, and call forth the sympathetic tear. And therefore, since our blessed Lord in all things became like unto us, fin only excepted, can we wonder to find him warmed with those kind and generous affections which are juitly efteemed the most amiable part of our nature? Or must we not have wondered if he had not been susceptible of those impressions which the best of men feel the most sensibly; and which are one true criterion of their excellency."
The following are the principal subjects, which the author has explained and illustrated in these two volumes. The weeping of Jesus at the Tomb of Lazarus, the Righteousness which exalteth a nation, the real and pretended Christians Pride, Envy, Slander, the whole Duty of Man, true Zeal, the Sacrament, Jephtha's Vow, Church Music, worldly and religious Pursuits, the Punishment of Haman, Contentment, the proper Use of temporal Bleflings, Faith without Works, Christ's Victory over the World, a good Name, Repentance, and the Care of the Soul.
In the sermon on Jephtha's Vow, Mr. Downes translate's the Hebrew particle 4, Jud. xi. 31, or ; and supposes that Jephtha's daughter was not sacrificed. This opinion is now
generally adopted; but the best interpretation is proposed by a late writer *, who translates the latter part of the verse in this manner : ' And I will offer to him a burnt offering ;' which entirely acquits the father from any obligation to perform the eruel and unwarrantable act of facrificing his daughter.
MONTHL Y CATALOGUE.
N O V E L 9. Modern Times, or the Adventures of Gabriel Outcast ; fuppofed
to be written by himself. In Imitation of Gil Blas. 3 V'ala 1 2mo. gs.
Walter. THI *HERE is an agreeable pleasantry in' Gil Blas, which
renders his adventures in the palace of Philip, or the tower of Segovia, equally interesting. We seldom approve of his conduct, yet his success pleases, and his misfortunes distress us.
To each state. also his manners and his conversa. tion are so nicely adapted, that he seems fitted only for it ; and the changes in his situation are produced by causes ap
parently so natural, that the mind with ease paffes from the · robbers' cavern to all the elegancies of the hotel garni. On
these accounts, Le Sage's hero pleases readers of every defcription, and each joins in the applause, frequently without a moment's enquiry into its foundation. We think that our author has acted injudiciously, in obtruding this excellent work on our notice; and, by that means, saggesting a com. parison very unfavourable to his own. Several of the fitu. ations are indeed servilely copied from Gil Blas. Our hero is connected with robbers of a less atrocious kind ! and, while he fails in villainy, exceeds his prototype in dignity, for Gabriel is actually prime minister : he is also a fervant, a stage-player, and, to finish the climax, a doctor, and a reviewer ; belides many subordinate characters, and fome more exalted ones, already mentioned.
As our experience is by no means equally extensive, we cannot judge of all his representations : but his portraits are often distorted likenesses; and, though we perceive fome ori, ginal traits, the colouring frequently disguises the resemblance. He seems to have observed, and copied the picture in the worst light; and to have described the characters of pro. feflions from the lowest of its professors. Of the conduct of Reviewers, and of their usual proceedings, he is entirely
See Crit. Rev, vol siii. p. 63. Vol. LIX. Jan. 1784.
ignorant; indeed it often amuses, rather than displeases us, to see such different defcriptions of our characters and connexions, while all are distant from the truth :--but • Let the gulled jade wince, cur withers are unwrung.'
In the change of lituations, probability is not very often preserved; and some of the adventures border too much on the marvellous. But, before we can itrike the balance, we must survey the opposite side. Many of the characters introduced into these volumes are drawn with spirit, and preserved with confiitency; though, when we çatch a living likeness, we think the pi&ture, as usual, is overcharged. The different situations are described with pleasantry, and we are led through the train of adventures without languor or listlessness. The author is generally in good humour himself, except where he speaks of booksellers or reviewers; and his ftrokes of ridicule are sometimes so poignant, and generally so transitory, that we forget our own lathes, to contemplate the punishment of our neighbours, who feldom fare better. The anecdotes, as our author allows, are sometimes copied : indeed a little examination might detect his plagiarisms more frequently ; but, as he observes, a well-timed ftory may often be introduced into company with propriety, though some of them have already heard it.-This is, in our opinion, an impartial review of he merits and faults of these volumes, which the Literary Society have thought worthy their protection, and dignified with the advantages of the Logogropiii Preis. But, whatever advantages may result from this mode of printing, we think, even from the specimen before us, they are compenfated at least by equal inconveniences. As to the great object of the society, viz. to publish works of merit, which booksellers will not undertake, we shall make few observations, till we find that important publications are refused by the latter, and in danger of oblivion, unless supported by the former. The Myrtle; or, the Efeits of Love. A Novel. In a Series of
Letters, by a Lady. 3 Vols. We peruse lo many trifling performances of this kind, that we want a variety of language to characterise them; but, in future, when we meet with any thing unusually trilling, we may fay, that it is as trite as insignificant, and as unintereiting as the Myrtle. The Casket; or, Double Difiovery. A Novel. In Two Volumes,
6s. Lowndes. We meet with the hackneyed adventures, and the usual catatrophes, of novels in these volumes, without an uncommon incident, a peculiar character, or new language. The work is one of those equivocal beings, without the ipirit and dignity
of man ; yet not fo far debased by triling effeminacy, as to belong to the other sex. It is a milk and water production ; and we shall leave it to the babes and sucklings, for whose weak organs it is peculiarly adapted. — Peace to its manes.' The Young Widow ; or, the
History of Mrs. Ledwich. Written by herself. In a Series of Letters to James Lewis, Esq. 2 Vols. 1 2mo. 65. Noble.
The editor wishes for the character of a moralis, at least in. directly, for he endeavours to show, that beauty and fortune are not able to procure happiness, when they are not accompanied by virtue. In pursuit of this plan, he has given vice no seductive colouring, nor decorated her with allurements, which will continue long after the moral is forgotten. But, on the other hand, the tale is trite, uninteresting, and in lipid : the young widow's virtues and frailties, her pleasares and remorse, are buried in a country retirement: we wilh not to disturb her repose, nor to rouse her from the oblivion in which she will soon be involved.
PO E T RY. Poems. By the Rev. William Linfcomb, A. M. 4to. 35. 6d.
Walter, In this publication we have the following original poems : 1. Ode to Midnight. 2. Beneficial Effects of Inoculation. 3. Elegy on the Death of Lord Lyttelton. 4. The Powers of Sympathy. 5. Ode to the Genius of Bath-Easton. 6. Verses on Lord North's public Reception at Oxford, : 7. To á Sister, on her Birth-Day. 8. To a Young Lady. These compositions feldom rise beyond mediocrity, and to do justice to the author, less frequently fink beneath it: though we are rather furprised how such a line as
• Th' Almighty's fovereign Deity,' crept into a performance in general correct, and free from glar. ing improprieties. We wish the fixth poem had been omitted, when we are told that the honourable lord there introduced under the name of Britain's Genius,'
. - chac'd to climes remote the blood-stain'd foe,'that he was
* Born both to grace. his country and defend
-- Britannia's guardian and the Muse's friend.' Do not such encomiums too forcibly recall Pope's well-known line ?
• Praise undeservd is censure in disguise.': 'All that we can allege in the author's favour is, that as the poem was written in 1773, the American war was not at that time commenced, nor Mr. Warton probably known to the noble lord he has so injudiciously celebrated. The performance which pleafes us most is that on inoculation, and which we are told, obtained one of the chancellor's prizes at the university