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That fain would shake the Fabric to its base,
failed to convince, have still left an impression rarely or never to be effaced.
Sir W. Drummond, in furtherance of the “ grand projet,” has printed and circulated, apiongst his friends and others, a work entitled “ Edipus Judaicus,” in which he endeavours to prove, that the histories contained in the sacred writings of the Hebrews are astronomical types, and that the prophecies are merely allusions of the same nature. Unlike most of those, who have, at different times, aimed at subverting the Holy Authorities, he does not, for so he says, wish to disprove them, but to make it appear that they have been handed down to us by our forefathers, not in their primitive signification, but changed in the process of time to the interpretation they now bear! How aptly do the words of Lord Bacon upon the speculative Philosophers of the 16th century, apply to those of the present day: “ Certainly," says he, “ there be that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free will in thinking as well as in acting; and though the sect of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing Wits, which are of the same
Ah! do I feel my pow'rs too weak to rise
veins, though there he not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients."
That Sir W. Drummond has not succeeded, is more to be attributed to the fallibility of his purpose than to the weakness of his endeavours; for in support of his argument, as well as in display of his learning, he has quoted Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Persic, Arabic, Syriac, and the Fathers of the Romish Church, by turns.
- good lost, and evil got,
In one point of view this excess of learning is undoubtedly fortunate, as it cannot now so rapidly “ spargere voces in vulgum ambiguas ;” in another it is bad, as urging those who understand just sufficient of a language to comprehend the sense of a quotation, without examining the strength of the assertion connected with it, to embrace and subscribe to a creed that dazzles by its seeming depth of research, and pleases by its novelty and singularity. The Rev. G. D'Oyley, Christian Advocate in the University
Or must I shrink because the dangerous blow Comes doubly arm'd with Learning's pomp and show?
Shall rank protect, shall elevation skreen,
age step in the crime and me between?
of Cambridge, has replied to it in virtue of his office, but has at times treated his adversary too cavalierly, and his argument too contemptuously. This was not the course adopted by the present excellent Bishop of Llandaff, in his admirable answer to the gross vulgarity and horrid impiety of Paine; and it is to his exercions, rather than to the iron hand of the law, that I attribute the almost total extinction of that man's works.
But Sir W. Drummond is a very different character, and in matters of mere temporal interest, his authority would have the greatest weight. Many there are, who having little to hope, and therefore much to fear, will gladly acquiesce in the accommodating doctrine that renders them independent of beings of a superior order. By then the warning voice should be heard in all its
Hic niger est, hunc tu Romane caveto.
Hor. Sat. 2.
No, surely not; yet ’tis not force will win,
In terrors clad, encompass'd round with fear?
Then, Drummond, pause-while yet the
Think while thou may’st, nor dare again to err.
* In the following note, it must not be supposed there is any allusion to Sir W. Drummond's private character, as I am, upon that point, completely uninformed. It is to his public principles I would object, and their dangerous tendency.
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, as celebrated for his splendid talents as for his abandoned character, perished in the flower of his age; a victim to intemperance and dissipation. A cotemporary of Hobbes, he had early in life been seduced by the per nicious doctrines of that writer. Happily at a later period he became acquainted with Bishop Burnet, by whom an account of his conversion was left behind ; which," as Johnson observes, “ the critic ought to read for its elegance; the philosopher for its argument; and the saint for its piety.” The Earl of Rochester, upon his death-bed, thus concluded his recantation :
.“ For the benefit of those whom I may have drawn into sin by my example, and as the greatest testimony of my charity to them, I warn them in the name of God, as they regard the welfare of their immortal souls, no more to deny his being or his providence, or to despise his goodness; no more to make a mock of sin, or condemn the