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of losing of the peopof course, and there
natural procedure of Coeso in quitting Rome when the charge was brought against him. The love of life, and the certainty of losing it from the violence of the tribune Virginius, and the fury of the people, have not the slightest weight with this historian. He is of counsel for the populace, and of course every argument must vanish, and the illustrious character of Cincinnatus sink into infamy, before the irresponsibility of the plebeian Volscius. After all, we do not think that this last part of the transaction ever took place, though we are inclined to believe, on the authority of Cicero, that Cæso was recalled. If any one wish to see how history ought, and how it ought not to be written, he may contrast Mr. Brodie's weak and partial speculations on this subject, with Hooke's masterly note. In fact, we suspect that, if Hooke had never written the history of Rome, Nr. Brodie would have found it rather more than difficult to write the history of its government.
So resolute a republican is Mr. B. that we find him asserting the wildest doctrines of democracy. On a particular occur. rence, into the real character of which it is not important to enquire, he has the following aukwardly written comment.
• On this occasion it will be seen, that the jealousy of parties has not a less powerful influence over men of high rank, than over the meanest of the rabble, nor is it" (the state we presume] “ conducted with greater wisdom by a national council or senate, than by the great body of the people!' p. 425.
The Roman constitution, by its very elements, provided for faction. Party spirit held the place of patriotism. Bold and enterprizing mep came forward in succession, veiling their personal ambition under the pretence of zeal for the people's rights. A very few of these were no doubt sincere in their professions, and their names deserve to be recorded with those of genuine patriots; but their efforts were not seconded ; a clamorous but dastardly populace abandoned them to Patrician vengeance, and proved themselves unworthy of freedom by their desertion of its defenders. By degrees, the people became corrupt and abject, the military institutions absorbed the political, and the few remaining liberties of Rome were crushed by a standing army. The best, the most clement and accomplished of usurpers assumed the power, and a nation of slaves, instead of rising as one man to reclaim their freedom at his death, were taught by the wide-wasting miseries of civil war and, by the proscriptions of the triumvirate, to lament the assassination of Julius.
Art. VII. The Truth and Consistency of Divine Revelation ; with some
Remarks on the contrary extremes of Infidelity and Enthusiasm, in Eight Discourses, delivered before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's (Church), in the year 1811. At the Lecture founded by the late Rev. John Bampton, Canon of Salisbury. By John Bidlake, D. D. of Christ Church, Oxford ; Chaplain to their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duke of Clarence, 8vo. pp. xx. 250. Price 98. boards. Longman and Co. 1811. THE Bampton Lectures, as a very few of our readers, perhaps,
- need to be told, were instituted in the year 1780, pursuant to the will of the Rev. John Bampton, who left his lands and estates to the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford for ever,' for that purpose. The objects of these lectures are defined in the following clause of Mr. Bampton's, will:
"I direct and appoint that the eight Divinity lecture ser'mons shall be preached upon either of the following subjects, '-to confirm and establish the Christian faith, and to confute 'all heretics and schismatics,--spon the authority of the writ“ings of the primitive fathers, as to the faith and practice of the primitive church, -upon the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, upon the Divinity of the Holy Ghost -- upon the articles of the Christian faith, as comprehended in the ' Apostles and Nicene cree is.'
In conseqrience of this bequest, several valuable courses of sermons have been preached and published, by some of the most learned and excellent men in the University of Oxford. Of these the most noted, probably because the most deserying of notice, are the Lectures delivered by Dr. White, in 1784, on the Comparison of Mahometanism and Christianity in their history, their evidence and their effects;' those of Dr. Tatham, in 1788, intitled, the Chart and Scale of Truth;' those of Mr. Kett, in 1790, to · rectify the misrepresentations of Mr. Gibbon and Dr. Priestly, with respect to the History of the primitive Church;' those of Mr. Veysie, in 1795, in which the Doctrine of Atonement is illustrated and defended ;' and those of Mr. Faber, in 1801, well known under the title of Horæ Mosaicæ.'
Dr. Bidlake, of whose talents as a sermoniser and a theolo. gician we have formerly had occasion to speak,* was chosen by the proper electors to deliver these important lectures for the year 1811. His first lecture, the texi Hebrews iii. 12, is introductory, on infidelity in general. The second lecture, the text Romans i. 20, is on a particular providence in the natural
world, and the perpetual agency of a first cause. The third lecture, founded on John 1. 17, relates to the Mosaic dispensation: the fourth, on the same text, to the Christian dispensation: the fifth, the text Acts ii. 22, to some of the evidences of Christianity: he sixth, from James jii. 17, to the errors of fanaticism. In the 7th and 8th lectures, having the same motto, he presents us with observations on some of the articles of our church which are misrepresented by mistaken zeal, and additional remarks on some prevailing errors.'
So far as we are enabled to judge, from comparing the present with Dr. Bidlake's former volume, in 1808, we do not find that either his literary taste or his theological knowledge, have been any way impruved in the course of the last three years. In point of style he would succeed much better, if he did not seem actuated by a notion that he has a knack at writing uncommonly well. The consequence of this is, that he is always aiming at something more than he can accomplish. He communicates his thoughts in language that
“ Hangs loose about them, like a giant's robe • “Upon a dwarfish thief.” His antitheses, of which there is no trifling number, osten totally miscarry by reason of “a certain muddy-headedness," which causes him to confound things that are distinct, and distinguish things and propositions that are identical. It would be unjust to this author to affirm that he has inserted nothing, in the present volume, that is useful, or important, or instructive: but it would be equally unjust towards the public, did we not say that his reasonings are often inconclusive, his taste usually bad, and that he writes neither like a divine who has studied the Bible successfully, nor like a philosopher who has examined human nature attentively, • It will be expected that we should establish the correctness of our strictures by a few specimens, and this, unfortunately, is a matter of no great difficulty. The following occurs cowards the commencement of the first lecture in the series.
• Of Atheists we need not treat, since it may reasonably be doubted whe ther such really exist; for the impious often confess by their fears the weakness of their boast. Pretensions to such disgusting impiety are the effects of mental derangement, and are always accompanied with a total de. pravity of morals. It is the madness of wickedness, and the last state of corruptiod. But the manners of the Deist are most insinuating and plau. sible, and by such the unsuspicious are too easily deluded. The one immediately alarms a good mind, and he carries in his defiance the same ex. ternal signs of ferocity, which characterize animals of prey: the other is at once fair and venomous; mild and subtle ; gentle and treacherous : his words are enticing, but infuse a slow and a secret poison, which saps the moral constitution, and vitiates the soul. Scepticism is fond of admiration, and no zealot is more earnest to make proselytes than the Deist: he must be gratified with his circle of hearers and admirers. The Infidel never retires to the desert for silent meditation.' p. 13, 14.
We do not stop here to expose the incorrectness, and the perpicious tendency of the doubts expressed relative to the existence of atheists, having spoken to that point in our review of Professor Vince's Confutation of Atheisin.* But our attention is irresistibly drawn to admire the singular mental structure of a writer, who can commence a sentence with declaring his intention, to say nothing of atheists because their existence may reasonably be questioned, and then immediately proceed to describe an atheist as a real being, and contrast him with another being, viz. a deist.-.-Again :
There is a most remarkable instance of the constant superintendance of the Deity in the balance which is ever preseryed between the sexes of ani. mals, but especially of the human race. It has been determined from many accurate registers, that the proportion of male and female, born in given periods of years, is nearly the same. Here there is a proportion continually observable, and never so far deviating but that the proportion is the same in a given number of years. To account for this on any known principle is impossible. It cannot be the result of what we call accident. The law is invariable, it is beyond human control. What then can we say? Is there a mind so lost even to common sense, as not to be convinced by this unknown but astonishing influence; this regulation of events, far beyond our limited comprehension ?' p. 69.
Now it is easy to imagine what an infidel, or even a rational Christian' (as some call themselves) might urge in reply to this argument of the Doctor's. “ Your instauce (they would say,) stunds for just nothing; because, for aught you have yet told us co the contrary, this constant prevention of deviation from a cer. tain proportion, may be the necessary result of primordial arrangement, and not an effect of incessant intervention. To make this argument convincing, you must prove that the proportion between the sexes depends upon the volitions of the respective parents; and if in addition to that you can demonstrate that these volitions are directed in a certain channel by divine operation, you will have effected something: but as the matter now stands, you have simply brought an argument in favour of a designing First Cause.”—Once more.
• The divine grace is to be our aid, and the Holy Spirit our comforter.' p. 115.
In this passage, what is the difference between divine grace and the Holy Spirit? Or if they are distinguished, how, in that case, will grace aid? But our learned author puits forth the entire strength of his
* Ecl. Rev. vol. iii. p. 897. Vol. VIII.
mind, in contending against a horrid being ycleped enthusiasm, a monster, however, which, in some way or other, strangely eludes his most laudable endeavours, and causes him often, when aiming at the substance, to waste the full force of his blow upon the shadow. We are in duty bound to attend the doctor in his pursuit of this Proteus.
• While the present generation, in common with all that have preceded it, is too prolific of infidelity; while there are many who will not labour to study the principles of Christianity ; while others treat it with open contempt, or cold indifference; a description of character abounds diametri. cally opposite. As some are disposed to believe nothing, these latter profess implicitly to receive every thing, and are believers by intuition. They ask for no evidence; they reject reason as useless, and even profane ; and trust only to certain inward and equivocal feelings. They pretend not to be as other men are, but to have received assurance of justification. They act only from an internal, though imaginary impulse, while the Holy Spirit is supposed partially to descend with irresistible influence on their minds. Thus wrapt in visionary possession, they conceive themselves raised above ordinary men, and to require none of those aids which are indispensable to common mortals. Such irresistible influence would, indeed, render not only evidence and argument superfluous, but even religious practice. For of what avail are ordinances, if men can be saved by instantaneous conversion ?' p. 153–154.
This is a singular picture: but the being must be shewn" in another and another shape," before the likeness can be reckoned complete.
The disputer presumes to exalt reason on the ruins of religion, and to give laws to Omniscience. The enthusiast, while he also dictates to man, Aspires to familiar intercourse with the Sovereign of the universe. The one, in the vain consciousness of his own strength, contemns a Saviour : the other, in the same spirit of presumption, claims salvation as his right; since he imagines it to have been his inheritance before the world began. In this parallel the claims of the infidel sink into comparative INSIGNIFICANCE. He asserts pre-eminence only over the present world. But the imaginary favourite of Heaven claims a present and an anticipated distinction, and
considers himself to have been a chosen vessel before worlds were created, · or salvation proclaimed. Fanaticism is the offspring of mental gloom ; : but pride is the spark which kindles it into flame, and produces the pestilential dispersion of the noxious vapour.' p. 155-156.
A reader who has not examined minutely into the nature and · attributes of this singular order of existences, may be apt to
conclude, from the preceding description, that enthusiasm and fanaticism are different names for the same thing. Not so our learned author. Enthusiasm, it may be thought from what has already been said about it, is bad enough; but it rises into
excellence' itself, when compared with fanaticism. **** Enthusiasm is often a laudable ardour, which elevates the soul, and serves to raise it to excellence. It is dignified, sentimental, generous, and