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mane landlord—a character unfortunately not very common in Ireland! Seduced, b'ke some other men of benevolent hearts, by the fallacious hope that such a revolution might be effected in Ireland by a popular insurrection, as would cure the defects of the political system, and prodigiously augment the prosperity of the island, he had entered into the united conspiracy; but soon convinced, after the insurrection had taken place, of the utter impracticability of such a revolution by such instruments, and of the certain destruction of himcelf and other protectant chiefs, in case of success on the side of the rebels, he would most gladly have renounced all connection with them ; but, as no alternative was allowed, he was obliged to remain among them while they were able to retain the post of Wexford.
* Harvey and Grogan suffered execution together on the 28th; Colclough alone in the evening ot the same day. Colclough was a man of very amiable character, of a naturally good understanding, enlarged by cuhure, and of engaging manners. By education and profession a Romanist, he was a protestant in principle *. Influenced in his matrimonial speculation solely hy the personal merit of the object, he man ltd a lady of a congenial soul, whose endowments of mind and amiable qualities fully justified the wisdom of his choice. So void was he of religious bigotry, that he recommended to his wife not to conform to his mode of worship, since to follow the dictates cf her conscience in adhering to the protestant religion (in which she had been educated) would be more pleasing to him. This will be attributed to a deistical indifference in religious matters, by those who allow liberality to deism and deny it to Chtistian charity, of which I cannot suppose any Romanist of a cultivated and discerning mind to be divested, be the adventitious tules of his religion what they may. Seduced by the like fallacious idea as Harvey, he had embarked on that tempestuous ocean, whence was so seldom permitted a return; and made too late the horrible discovery, that the instruments of political reform were an ungovernable mob of outrageous bigots, among whom none, except the instigators of sanguinary violence, could have effective influence.'—
* In the flight of the chiefs from the unbridled host which they had vainly hoped to command, he retired with his wife ar.d child to one of the Saltee islands, of which he was landlord, nine miles from the foast of the county of Wexford, and chose for his temporary abode a cave, which he furnished with provisions, and where he hoped to remain concealed until the fervor of prosecution :-hould abate. But Harvey, knowing his place of retreat, and wishing to avail himself of the same opportunity of concealment, embarked so incautiously to follow him, as to afford a foundation for conjecture and discovery.
* * I mean not to say that he preferred the forms and ceremonies of the prot''ot.mt to those of the Romish religion, to which he had been habituated. I believe tiie contrary to have been the case. But he was so lur a protestant aa to reject all those persecuting doctrines uf the Romish church, adverse alike to reason and Christianity, wliwli have caused so much bloodshed and calamity among mankind.'
He He and Harvey surrendered without resistance; though from the nature of the place they might have made for some time a defence.— At his trial and execution he displayed a calm intrepidity of spirit, and a dignity of deportment attempered with mildness, which commanded the admiration and esteem of the spectators; and died so strongly impressed with the horror of atrocities attendant on revolutionary attempts in Ireland, that doubtless, if he had been pardoned, he would have become as loyal a subject as, with exception of hu political conduct, he had always been an excellent member of society.'
In the remainder of this volume, the author partakes too much of the temper and views of the excellent narrator of KilJala *, to differ materially from him in statements.
Mr. Gordon estimates the losses occasioned to Ireland by the rebellion at about two millions. Great as these are, yet we firmly believe that the grand measure which has been adopted since they took place, if it be properly followed up, will more than repair them; and that it will raise that suffering country to the state of opulence and prosperity, of which her-soil and position render her so eminently capable. Nothing has for age* stood in the way of this important event, but a nominal independance,infact a most injuriousdependance,now happily exchanged for the substantial blessings of the British constitution. The administration of this great and powerful empire needs not regard with a jealous eye the Irish catholics, if they experience from it a magnanimous, generous, and paternal treatment;—a seminary has been erected for them nr home ;—let salaries be allowed to their ministers at the public expence j—and then nothing can be dreaded from their emancipation. T_ _
Art. VI. Sermons ivr le Cube Public, Sec. i. e. Sermons on Public
'tthe first of these volumes contains nine discourses in de-
See M. R. vol. xxxi. N. S. p. 309.
the first, to the present times and circumstances. Here he proposes the following questions: 1. Was the sabbatical instbtution abrogated by the Gospel? 2. What day ought to be sanctified under the Gospel dispensation? 3. What is forbidden ami what is permitted on that day? 4. What pretexts arc alleged for dispensing with this law ?—It will readilv be conceived in what manner these questions are here answered; and we doubt not that the generality of Christians will be satisfied with the solutions, although they m ly perhaps have little effect on the minds of the author's polemical antagonists. On the first question, indeed, his arguments appear to be infirm. If the observation of the Jewish sabbath be obligatory on us Christians, we can see no substantial reason for dispensing with the other parti of the Hebrew ceremonial law. We would advise thos-*, who have any doubt on this subject, to read Cappellus, a Protestant divine of the 17th century, who has fairly exhausted the subject in his tract De Sabbato, published with his other excellent works, in folio, at Amsterdam, 1680.
The third and fourth sermons consider the niture of public worship in two principal points of view, viz. adoration and inttruction. The former is called by the author « a want of the heart («» besoin du cceur); since every man, who feels his own dependence, acknowleges the hand of his benefactor, and is sorry for having offended him;' and the latter is termed * the true nourishment of the soul.' Both these discourses contain many good remarks, which we recommend to the serious perusal of those who are inclined to despise and neglect public worship.
In the remaining five sermons of vol. 1. the author examines and appreciates the various pretexts which are urged against frequenting places of public worship -, of which the first is that it is sufficient to lead a life morally good, justified by a text of Scripture, "obedience is better than sacrifice:" •true, (says this animated preacher)—but because obedience is better than sacrifice, does it follow that sacrifice is nothing worth; and because exterior worship is useless, if unaccompanied by obedience, may we safely conclude that this dispenses us from attending public worship ?*—Here the warm imagination of M. Mercier carries him rather too far: since he doubts whether a person can be a moral honest man, without attending public worship,—or, at least, whether he can long remain so,— or, in fine, whether, if he have ceased to be an honest moral man, he will, without the aid of public worship^ regain that character. — Another pretext for not attending public worship is, that it hast in general, but little influence on the 15 morals. morals. To this the author replies, * that, if it should not always make us better, it may prevent our becoming worse -,' which he endeavours to prove both by reasoning and by experience.—A third pretext is drawn from the conduct of preachers; "who say, but do not." Here M. Merrier takes into consideration the following queries: 1st. How far the accusation is grounded? 2d. If it be partly true, where lies the blame ? 3d. What conclusion can be drawn from it, against public worship? All these queries he anbwers in a very satisfactory manner.—A fourth pretext is founded on the assumption that we learn nothing from sermons that we did not know before. To such as hold this language, the author observes: 1st. «I doubt whether you have studied the truths of religion and moral duties, so fully as you imagine. 2dly. If you have learnt all these, is there no danger of your forgetting them?. 3dly. If they be still present to your mind, do you apply them to practice? 4thly. Supposing that you can answer these questions in the affirmative, this would be no sufficient reason for negiecting public worship.' Each of these propositions is ex- plained at some length in this discourse.—A fifth pretext is couched in the form of a query: // not domestic worship sufficient ?—and here M. Merrier labours to prove the negative.
These sermons are written in a clear, easy style, and occasionally rise to a species of eloquence which borders on declamation. We quote, for an example, the following address to the philosophers:
• Let men call you the benefactors of humanity, all ye who, by extending the sphere of our ideas and our knovvlege, by inventing and perfecting the arts, labour every day to rectify our errors, or multiply our enjoyments—ye merit the appellation, and with respect 1 pay you the tribute of my thanks : - but, after all, on viewing only the fair side of the picture, and making the most advantageous suppositions in favour of human wisdom,—how pitiable were the case of man, possessing a soul of fire and desires which eternity alone can satisfy, - how pitiable, I say, would be his case, if he had no knowlege of another sort! There are, then, other problems, other mysteries, of which my heart loudly demands the solution. Who am I ? Whence came I i For what purpose was I created? How can I render propitious to me the Being who was pleased to form me out of nothing? How shall I regain his favour, if I have had the unhappiness of offending him ? What shall 1 one day be ? Am I, in my apprenticeship of felicity, only to see it slip from me, at the moment at which I thought to lay hold on it? Why this interminable combat between my reason and my passion..? Why, &c. &c.'
The second volume contains nine sermons: in the first of which, M. Merrier answers the frivolous objections of those who neglect public worship on account of their domestic circum
Rev. April, I8o». Cc stances,
'Yt r i
stances. The second is a resumption, or recapitulation, ofthe eight pTf ceding sermons. Sermon m. is thus in tit led: 'The culpable absurdity of public worship, if it have no influence on msiol/fy.' 'To imagine (says the author) that the most assiduous attendance on pubiic worship can supply the plice of goci-morals, or compensate for bad morals, is the most absurd anifd.tngerous of superstitions. —In vain you are the most scrupulous observer of all the parts of public worship, if it tend not to influence your conduct, and to direct your steps in the paths of virtue.' All tliis is perfectly just: but was it requisite laboriously to establish so acknowleged a truism :— In sermon the fourth, the preacher descants on the various causes which prevent the good effects of pubiic wors'iip. These, he thinks, are chiefly four; doubts about the truths of religion, ignorance, pride, and dissipation.
The five remaining discourses are called * sermons dts eiremstances,' or occasional sermons; which the author has classed with those on public worship, because the first four have a sort of general relation to that subject, and the last has been published at the desire of his auditory.
The subject of the first occasional sermon is: what is to be dint in the time of Calamity, whether public or private: considered from Acts, ii. 37. "Men, brethren! What must we do:** A Fast-day sermon, full of good remarks. The second is a discourse pronounced on the Thanksgiving-day, Dec. 19th 1797. in which the preacher attempts to shew, 1st. That the favorsof Goil do not authorise us to believe that he will not punish us, if we deserve punishment. 2cily. That on the contrary, those very favors furnish a proof that he will punish us moie severely, if we hasten not to disarm his just wrath.—Sermon III. was a thanksgiving discourse preached November 2o.th 1798, on the victory of Admiral f* elson.—The fourth is a fastday sermon, for Feb. 27th 1799, 011 the influence of good- or bad tntrals on the prosperity of nations.—The concluding sermon was preached on the Anniversary of the Swiss Society, on the love of one's country preserved even aihotig foreigners.
The Teader will not discover in these volumes the close audi copious reasonings ot Bourdaloue, nor the affecting pathos of Massillon, nor the neat elegance of Sauriu: but he will find religion without superstition, zeal without rancour, and maxims of the best morality. The author everywhere speaks the langtv.ige of a piius, enlightened, and liberal theologian; and rnai'V of his arguments in favour of public worship are, in our apprehension, conclusive. Without some sort of public worship, religion, social religion, can scarcely subsist; a few philosophic minds may proudly fancy that it is not requisite: but the bulk of mankind are not philosopher*.
1 G-cd. A".