« AnteriorContinua »
'cause he knows they cannot fail. In this innocent way of liv. ing, he grows old with such delight, that he numbers his days with the utmost fatisfaction, waiting for the moment of his departure without impatience ; and as he takes leave of the world every minute, by breaking those ties which might detain him either in thought or will, he discovers by degrees that desirable haven, whither time is to convey him to an eternity of inconceivable joy and bliss.'
A translation of this book was published about the year 1708. The language is corrected and improved in this edition.
48. The Srage the high Road to Hell : being an Ejay on the pernicious
Nature of Theatrical Entertainments ; Thewing them to be at once inconfifent with Religion, and subversive of Morality, &c. 8vo. Pr. 15.
Nicoll. The author of this effay is a most violent adversary to the ftage. The theatre is, in his opinion, a school of debauchery and vice ; dramatic writers and players, the corrupters of mankind, and the instruinents of Satan. În confirma:ion of this opinion he alleges, tliat many of our popular dramatic pieces abound with the most flagrant instances of imınorality; that in the tragedy of Hamlet, the hero of the piece is represented as having formed a resolution to revenge the murther of his father, by killing his uncle, contrary to the dictates of religion ; that in the tragedy of Venice Preserved, the horrid and barbarous design to set fire to a city, and massacre all the inhabitants, is represented as glorious and heroic; that in the Orphan, the scene in which Polydore goes to the chamber of Monimia, and some of the scenes that follow, are flagrantly indecent; that nothing can, for obscenity, exceed that scene in the tragedy of the Fair Penitent, in which Lothario relates to Rossano the manner in which he triumphed over the virtue of Califta; and that, in the tragedy of Jane Shore, the prostitute is represented as apologizing for her ill conduct, in terms which seem calculated to encourage women in vice.
From these instances of immorality in the productions of our tragic writers, the author proceeds to expose the licentiousnefs and impiety which appear in fome of our comic pieces. He then considers the diffolute lives of several theatrical performers; and shews, that some of the wifest of men, in ancient and modern times, have held the theatre in abhorrence.
Many of his observations on these topics are unquestionably just ; but his zeal is precipitate. The title of his book is the language of fanaticism. No sensible man will pretend to affert that the stage is a diabolical institution, Under proper regula
tions it might be made, as Mr. Addison has observed, “ a perpetual source of the most noble and useful entertainments."
49. Mofes's Petition to be blotted out of the Book of God, explained
and vindicated from Mifconstruction; and the Excellence of his Character displayed. In three Discourses. By Bartholomew Keel ing, M. d. & C. 8vo. Pr. Is. 6d. Fletcher.
This learned writer having already attempted to explain and vindicate the propriety of St. Paul's wish to be accursed for his brethren *, in these discourses proceeds to illustrate a remarkable passage of the same kind in the thirty-second chapter of Exodus, where Moses prays that God would blot him out of his book.
This fupplication of Mofes, says Mr. Keeling, is not to be understood as a request that God, if he would destroy the ICraelites, would also blot him out of the book of life : this construction, he tells us, is altogether destitute of any countenance - from the terms and the context of this passage, as well as from
the character and temper of Moses, or of any faithful servant of God; but, he says, it is to be understood in a temporal sense only, as a modeft petition (proceeding from the same humility and lowliness of difpofition as another request in the 13th verse of the fourth chapter of the fame book) that God would reverse his purpose or decree (ver. 10.) to make of him a great nation instead of the idolatrous and apostate Ifraelites. For this purpose or decree of God, as well as the original decree in favour of Abraham and his feed, Moses, he thinks, might very properly denominate and speak of as the book of God, or consider it, after the manner of men, as written in a book, in which the divine counsels are recorded, and so might pray that this designation of himjelf in particular, to raise up a great people, in completion of the promise to Abraham and his feed, might be blotted out.
By this ingenious interpretation Mr. Keeling has attempted to vindicate the conduct of Moses on this occasion against all exception.
50. A Sermon occafioned by the Death of the most Honourable Francis
Marquis of Tavistock. By the Reverend Thomas Bedford,
This may be stiled a pretty, sentimental sermon. We do not suppose that it was ever intended for the pulpit, as it is einbellished with illustrations from Homer and Virgil, but not the least quotation from the New Testament.
See Critical Review, vol. xxii. p. 158.
and construction of the stove seem to have very good proportions, and the contrivance of the -nursery pit is commendable; but the method of raising and managing the melon plants is
51. A Sermon preached before the Univerfity of Cambridge, in St.
Mary's Church, at the Commencement in the rear 1763 -
In this discourse Dr. Swinney considers and accounts for the prejudices of Jews and Gentiles against a crucified Saviour ; and endeavours to thew in what respect the power and wisdom of God were manifested in the sufferings of Christ.
We do not find any thing remarkable in what the author has advanced upon these topics. 52. An Introduction to Geometry, containing the moft useful Propos.
tions in Euclid, and other Authors; demonstrated in a clear and easy Method, for the Use of Learners. By Willam Payne.
4.10. Pr. sewed 6s. Vound 7s. 6d. T. Payne.
After having carefully perused and confidered this treatise, we will venture to pronounce it elegant, fhort, easy, learned. It contains every useful proposition of Euclid's Elements of Geometry (and many others discovered since his time) demonfrated in the most concise and plain manner without any of those fuperfluous abitruse propofitions, which are sometimes to be found in Euclid.
In short, we think it will prove extremely useful to tyros, and all who desire to · learn geometry without a master. 53. Ananas; or a Treatise on the Pine-Apple: in which the whole
Culture, Management and perfecting this most excellent Fruit, is laid down in a clear and explicit Manner. To which is added, the true Method of raising the finest Melons with the greatest Success ; fhewing the whole Process of their Management, from foruing the Seeds to ripening the Fruit. Illustrated with a Copper-plate, in tyhich is exhibited, at one View, a Slove, peculiarly adapted for raising the Pine. Apple Plant. Giles, Gardener, at Lewisham, Kent. 8vo. Pr. 25. Bladon.
The preface to this work, informs us, that it is not a production, but the result of many years real practice and observarions; an allertion we believe not altogether destitute of truth, fince a considerable part of the treatise appears to be original, differing considerably from the directionis given by authors on the same subject; but time and experience must determine whose instructions are most judicious. The dimenfions
Gr. By John
trifling, and seems rather calculated to fwell the book than to -exhibit any new improvements in this valuable branch of gare dening.
Τ Η Ε
For, the Month of May, 1767.
an the Science of Domestic Policy in Fres Nations. By Sir James
HIS intelligent author adapts the principles of true phi
but leaves his readers to form their own conclusions, from a train of scientific experiments, which he has made in various parts of the globe, and under different constitutions of government. His plan is extensive, and the execution laborious; but so little have the principles of political æconomy been investigated, that the grounds he works upon require to be cleared, before they can be cultivated. Few books therefore are more difficult to review than that before us, on account of the variety and intricacy, as well as the novelty, of the matter it contains. We shall, however, endeavour to do the author justice, by stating his arguments with precision and perfpicuity, after observing, that his progressions from the moit simple principles are such, that the most intelligent reader, if dropt into the labyrinth of the propositions which they indice, would find it difficult to extricate himself without the thread which is to conduct him through the maze, and which is fastened to the original datum.
In a work of this kind, population and agriculture naturally take the lead. According to our author, government, which is the power to command, must be distinguished from political ceconomy, which is the talent to execute, while the combining principle in the subjects is felf-interest. The providing food and other necessaries for society, and giving individuals employinent according to their spirit, so as to answer this great end, falls next under this writer's consideration. He supposes the governing statesinan to be possessed of all the civil virtues, and, Vol. XXIII, May, 1767.
consequently, that he consults the interest of no individual, where such regard may be inconsistent with the general welfare.
Upon this footing our author considers that species of civil and domestic liberty which is founded upon the ruins of the feudal forms of government ; a liberty which has improved the world into an almost new system, fince debts and taxes are the concomitants of wealth and credit. He then recurs to the permanent topics of cultivation and agriculture, and shews, that the numbers of mankind must ever have been in proportion to the produce of the earth; and this produce must constantly be in the compound ratið of the fertility of the soil and labour of the inhabitants. He next examines the different wants of mankind, their relations, their correspondencies, their reciprocations, and all the other circumstances that induce one part of a free people to labour that the other may be fed : this, according to our au. thor, divides fociety into two claffes, farmers, and free hands. He afterwards investigates the rise and progress of luxury, which, he says, means no more than the consumption of superfluity, or the supplying wants not neceffary to life. He shews how luxury introduces the use of money, which becomes a universal paffion, increases industry among the free hands, augments their number, and consequently promotes agriculture for their fubsistence. He obferves, that it is not in the finest countries of the world, but in the most industrious, that we are to expect the greatest number of inhabitants.
Our athor here breaks off his subject to answer an objection : How could the fimplicity of the ancients be compatible with their great multiplication. The substance of his answer is, * In ancient times men were forced to labour the ground, because they were slaves to others. In modern times the operation is more complex, and as a statesman cannot make slaves of his subjects, he must engage them to become flaves to their own passions and desires ; this is the only method to make them làbour the ground, and provided this be accomplished, by whatever means it is brought about, mankind will encrease.'
The regard we have for the abilities of this author, ought not to preclude us from offering a few seeming difficulties upon this head. The first arises from a retrospect to population, as represented by history, which may imply a doubt, whether agriculture has promoted population. Mention is made in history of millions of barbarians (in ages modern when compared to that of Xerxes) who struck the Roman empire from its roots, and peopled France, Italy, Spain, and great part of Greece.
These and many other instances which may be brought from antient writers, would bear hard upon this author's principles, were the credibility of those accounts as well established as theis