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to a Country Congregation. Crown Svo. pp. 246. 58. Boards.
'These sermons are very short, extremely serious, and minutely
The volume contains 18 Sermons-On the Revelations of God in
plicity of their Christian Principles and Church Discipline; and
It appears from this publieation that the Society of Friends, com-
Long extracts are also made from the works of Penn and Barclay, to shew the sentiments of the early Friends respecting the insufi. ciency of the written Scriptures; and great stress is laid on an ob
servation of the former, “ thai Christ left nothing in writing :" . which it is contended he would certainly have doire, had he designed
that the rule of his followers should have been a written rule. If this be the general sentiment of the Quakers, however they may believe in the inspiration of the primitive Apostles of Christ, they do not admit the inspiration of those writings which have come down to us under their names. They regard them only as antient writings, possessing all the imperfections of other compositions under similar circumstances. Christians in general will not be satisfied with so low an estimate of the Scriptures : but this author may plead that he did not write for Christians in general, having expressed a wish that the circulation of his pamphlet might be principally confined to the members of his own sect. The Friends will certainly respect him, 'if they be not convinced by his arguments.
Mo. Art. 22. The Revelation of St. John the Divine, compared with
itself, and with the rest of Scripture; with occasional Corrections of the Translation. 8vo. 28. Hurst. 1801. Also an Appendix. Price 6d.
From the motio to this pamphlet,-" It is vain to argue about the superstructure, so long as the foundation is disputed, either through ignorance or disaffection,”—we might be led to conclude that the authority of the book oi Revelation had been questioned, as it undoubtedly has, and that it was this writer's design co appear in its support: - but he has no such intention; and, judging from the tract alone, it must be difficult to determine what is his purpose. The corrections, or amendments, if they may be called such, are not generally new, nor of great moment; nor are they supported by criticism : but a note on the 15th verse of the eleventh chapter is somewhat peculiar, and perhaps worthy of attention :-“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. The author remarks,–. It is not said that the kingdoms of the world are become Christian, but the property of Christ, to be broken in pieces as potters' vessels, the tenth part of the city excepted.' Many references, interlined with the text, are made to different passages of the Scriptures, which may prove of use to attentive readers.—The mysterious book is divided into eight visions : but we apprehend that general readers will find little here to elucidate the subject, whatever may be the effect of a more laborious perusal.
In the appendix, conclusions are drawn from comparing the Reve. lation with the rest of Scripture ;-one is, that all the visions of the book may conveniently fall within five periods which are mentioned ;'-ihe other, that by this mode a key has been formed to the symbolical language, and the meaning of the symbols ascertained.' If this be satisfactorily accomplished, an advantage is no doubt gained. The writer, however, adds a few and brief remarks on the subject, followed by a short symbolical dictionary. It is very de. birable that some explication of the hieroglyphics should attend the treatises on this subject, and by the best writers this is done with care ;---the present author proceeds to inform us that he should have added remarks on the completion of the predictions, had he pot been convinced that little is to be effected for this purpose, after the discoveries of a Mede, a More, and a Juriệu : to which are united,
particularly in respect to fixing the epoch of the 1260 prophetical years of the Romish apostacy, the names of Sir Isaac Newton, and Mr. Whiston.
On the whole, these pamphlets teach us that the writer is not unacquainted with the subjects on which he treats, and with the accounts ghat have been given by others; while his industry appears in refer. ring to a variety of texts ;-a comparison with which may prove very useful ; for, he observes, “the very events foretold in the Revelation. are enlarged on, and even often interpreted by the old prophets, which is another advantage in the comparison of the Revelation with the rest of Scripture.'
Hi. Art. 23. A Charge to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Bedford, de
livered at the Easter Visitation, 180v. By the Rev. R. Shepherd, D.D. Archdeacon of Bedford. 4to. Mawman.
The topic principally introduced in this discourse is an inquiry whether the revolutions and confusion, which have been lately witnessed in a neighbouring kingdom, ' were directed by unerring wisdom against Christianity, or against a mass of errors grafted on Christianity, which have sadly deformed and disgraced it.'--Doth it result, Dr. Shepherd asks, from the French disavowal and rejection of revelation, that God no longer willeth that worship of himself which he once ordained ?' or does it not rather follow, that the worship which he hath permitted to be abolished, is not the worship which he originally willed, and by revelation ordained ?- There can be no doubt, as to modes of worship, that, though others much more consonant to divine revelation than that of France should be subverted, Christian truth would still remain on the same stable foundation which it had before, and will ever have.-- The subject is here discussed in a plain and sensible manner, and is very pertinently at the present time offered to consideration. The author mentions (but does not enlarge on several of the principles, which, to a person willing to be guided by the Scriptures, most clearly evince that popery camot be the religion of Christ : a distinction to which the French, unhappily, did not advert; and therefore they appear, for the greater part, to have rushed heedlessly into infidelity: on which side, indeed, many or most of the principal people are, with just reason, thought to have been engaged long before. Such is likely to be the effect, when superstition, imposition, and human policy, are made to pass for religion.
It might, perhaps, have been wiser if English declaimers had sometimes allowed greater attention to the distinction mentioned above. Consistent protestants must rejoice at the decline of popery, and of the arbitrary power which is its concomitant, wherever they find it take place ; while, at the same time, they cannot fail to lament those atrocities and miseries with which, from different causes, such an event may be or has been accompanied. Notwithstanding, however, the assertion of the respectable Mr. King here quoted, or the assertions of any others, it does not yet, strictly speaking, seem to be a truth that Babylon is utterly fallen ;-she still raises her head, -fecbly indeed, -but it may revive, and perhaps for a season prevail; since there is little reason to doubt her having some dextrous
and artful supporters. However this may be, the present author
Commercial Interests of Great Britain : being a brief Examination
The lines, which formerly stood at the head of Vincent Wing's Almanack, asserted that “ War begets Poverty--Poverty Peace and Peace makes riches flow :" but some persons now seem to be of opinion that the maxim ought to be reversed. We, however, refuse to belong to this new sect, and must adhere to the old orthodox doctrine. That country must be in a hopeless state, and its politics must have been conducted on a very mistaken system, if its well being should demand perpetual war with its neighbours. Whatever errors may have marked our conduct, we have no reason for believing ourselves to be in so disgraceful and so deplorable a situation. Some changes will take place on the succession of water to province : but, on the whole, hea the reign of the latter must be more advantageous than that of the former. Even supposing that which may not actually happen, (since our enemies will become our customers as well as our rivals,) viz.; that our commerce may in some respects decline, it will increase in others; and our expences will certainly be diminished. The author of the pamphlet before us, in reply to various queries, assigns grounds for concluding that our trade will not suffer by the peace, though he is aware that we are about to encounter a general competition. He is persuaded that our artificers will not emigrate to France in any injuri. ous degree ; that the want of fuel in that country must prevent its rivalling usin several of our manufactures; and that its unsettled governa ment, as well as the very genius and habits of the French people, will operate as serious impediments agaiust their becoming a trading nation. We know not whether much stress ought to be laid on the last of these remarks: but the Englishman may say to the Frenchman, as Uncle Toby said to the fly when he turned it out at the window, . Go and seek thy fortune, the world is large enough for thee and me.”
Moy Art. 25. Further Observations on the Improvements in the Maintenance
of the Poor, in the town of Kingston upon Hull. 8vo. 18. Robinsons, &c.
No name is affixed to this little tract, but the writer of it cath never blush on being known, since his remarks are not only prompted by genume benevolence and a regard to the best interests of society, but discover an Antimate acquaintance with the state and present treatment of the poor. We admire his principles, and have no hesitation in recommending his hints to general attention. He lays down this indisputable maxim, that the labourer ought to live by his work, and to be paid for doing his work by the person who employs him, and not by the parish.' The contrary practice is a double injustice; in the first place, it forces the labourer to ask that as charity to which he is intitled in equity; and, in the second place, it obliges those to contribute to his relief, who have not been benefited by his labour. Having on former occasions stated our
opinion of the bad effects of this custom on the morals of the lower i classes, we shall not repeat it here. If the poor must be forced into
general receptacles, too much attention cannot be given to their su. perintendance ; and perhaps it is a bad plan to change the overseers annually, as is the usual mode in most parishes.
We highly approve what this writer has suggested on the subject of placing out poor children, especially girls ; as well as his strictures on the cruelty to the pauper, and the expence to the community, which often attend the removals of poor, on their becoming chargeable, to their own parishes. It was a wise regulation which prohibited the use of cheese in the diet of the poor house at Kingston upon Hull, particularly when bread was dear, because cheese is one of the greatest consumers of bread; as private families have found in the late scarcity. We have not rooin to state farther particulars, though the subject is of great importance. The condition of the poor requires much serious thought; and it can only be amended by the persevering labours of respectable persons.
Moy Art. 26. An Appeal to Experience and Good Sense, by a Comparison
of the present with former Periods. 8vo. 1 s. 60. Hatchard.
This very sensible pamphlet appears to have been composed within the period which occurred between the publica:ion of the late Preli. minaries of Peace, and ihe signature of the Definitive Treaty: a period of disagreeable suspence to many individuals among us, and in which not a few were led by their prejudices, or by political despondency, to spread unfavourable prognostics with regard to our national pro. spects. To dispel every idea of this unpleasant kind appears to be the laudable motive of the present writer; and we really think that he deserves well of his country for the prompt exertion of his respectable talents, on this interesting occasion. He observes that, at the conclusion of every Peace, we meet with 'a plentiful effusion of prophetic despondency, which, if not checked by the good sense of the Government of the country, or the, people, would often bring on the evils it prosesses to deplore. p. 12.
To produce so desirable an effect was the intention of this author: who, in every point, endeavours to shew that we have long been in such a state of progressive improvement, as leaves no room for the fears and apprehensions of gloomy politicians.