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very to which the examination led. In the account of the Lover's Melancholy, to be sure, there is nothing but what has been an hundred times repeated and refuted; but, on the Ladies Tryal,' Mr. Jones, a very unusual matter with him, ventures a remark, which is not found in the
of his precursor. "The Ladies Trial, tragic comedy, by John Ford. Acted at Drury Lane, 4to. 1639. The scene lies in Genoa, and the prologue is subscribed by Mr. Bird; but whether it was written or only spoken by him, is not absolutely apparent. Ben Jonson, a bitter enemy of Ford's, (“O viper vile!") charges the latter with having stolen a character in this play from him :
* Playwright (i. e. Ford) by chance, hearing some toys I had writ,
Cry'd to my face, they were th'elixir of wit,
Five of my jests, then stolen, pass'd him a play.' And so, the play which five of Ben's jests secured from damnation, was the Lady's Trial. The Lady's Trial was performed for the first time at the Cockpit Theatre in May, 1638, on the 3d of which month it was licensed by the master of the revels: the epigram on Playwright was printed in Jonson's works, published in 3616, and was probably written some years earlier: all this Mr. Jones might have found, and all this Mr. Jones did find in Reed's edition of Shakspeare, which he has quoted in his article on the Lover's Melancholy. But where he discovered the charge he must have discerned its refutation :-all the falsehood and nonsense, therefore, which he has endeavoured to perpetuate respecting Jonson and Ford, he would have erased from his pages if he were not as deficient in candour as he is in industry and knowledge.
Why the acknowledgment of all printed assistance is suppressed, and why the editor has thought fit silently to apply to his own use, what he might openly, and without discredit, have borrowed froni others, he can best explain ; but the confession of aid, from whatever quarter derived, has always been held the right in perpetuity of literature; and this claim is not to be alienated in compliment to the editor of the Biographia Dramatica. Mr. Malone and Mr. Chalmers would most probably have felt no disinclination to afford Mr. Jones the assistance of which he stood in such evident need; but in return they migiit reasonably demand some acknowledgment of their liberality. We fear, however, the cause of this silence must be sought in the desire of the editor to exalt his own industry, at the expense of more learned and industrious authors; and the following passage in his advertisement tends in no small degree to confirm our suspicions. “The editor,' it says, 'brought to this laborious undertaking (over which, -from its execution, we should think
bis coffee could not have cooled) the result of thirty years' acquaintance with the early British dramatists.'
The titles of some old plays, and the dates of others, supplied by sale catalogues, and the communications of persons better instructed in these matters than the editor, comprehend the improvements made in the portion of the work which had been before printed,' while the minuteness with which Mr. Cobb’s farces and Mr. Cross's pantomimes are detailed, in that part which may more legitimately claim to be considered as new,' is such as to repress any doubt that might arise as to the accuracy of Mr. Jones's catalogue, or the authenticity of his memoirs.
We have only to add, that the indifference with which Mr. Jones passes over the names of many of our oldest and best dramatic writers, forms a singular contrast with the attention paid to the ornaments of the present stage, Pillon and Morton, and Reynolds, and Cherry, and we know not who: their talents and virtues are the theme of many a delightful page, and the meanest of their labours is followed with the most respectful notice. A living writer for the theatre, seems, in Mr. Jones's estimation to be a kind of sacro-sanct creature that, like Sejanus, 'requires our salutations twelve-score off.' Sir Pertinax, of booing memory, was an oak, a granite column to this writer, who never appears to have stood upright, we will not say in the presence of a manager, but, of any one who had interest enough to bring a play on the stage. One, and only one exception has occurred to us, and this we could well have spared. Mr. Skeffington, the admired author of the Sleeping Beauty, is a gentleman of humble pretensions and unobtrusive manners, yet Mr. Jones has upaccountably selected him for the exercise of his wit, and made his social and literary talents the subject of a most bitter and revolting irony. A proceeding so contrary to his usual practice, almost justifies us in doubting whether the article in question was really written by hin, or the malicious purport of it seen.-llis predecessor seems to have been made the dupe of a similar imposition in an 'eloge,' at once insidious and hyperbolical, on the simple and simpering Mr. Aaron Hill. But it is more than time to give Mr. Jones his dismission, and we care not if it be a fival ove in this department of literature, for which we regret to say, he :p cais to have neither taste nor talents. We add the solemnu decision of a great casuist :
• Publica les hominum, naturaque continet hoc fas,
Ut teneat velitos inscitia debilis actus.
Art. IV.-Sermons on various Subjects, Doctrinal and Practical,
preached before the University of Oxford. By John Eveleigh, D. D. Provost of Oriel College and Prebendary of Rochester.
8vo. pp. 441. Oxford; Cooke and Parker. THE 'HE sermons usually published may be divided into two kinds ;
those which are intended for the use of ordinary readers, which treat of practical duties and explain the principles of religion in a clear and familiar manner; and those which are suited to persons of stronger digestion, containing learned disquisitions, and discussing abstruser points of theology. The volume before us comes, for the most part, under the latter description. Discourses to an academical audience ought undoubtedly to be of a more learned and recondite class than those which are addressed to ordinary congregations. They should be mostly of the argumentative cast; rather adapted to inform the understandings and exercise the reasoning faculties of the hearers, than to awaken the affections or work upon the passions. They will thus fix the attention of the niore learned portion of the audience, supply matter of improvement and reflection for the students in theology, and preserve for an university pulpit that superior character by which it ought always to be marked.
The discourses of Dr. Eveleigh form no unfavourable specimen of sermons adapted to such an audience. There is no particular novelty in the topics which he selects: indeed, novelty, in the proper sense of the word, is out of the question : but he treats them with a degree of weight and solidity, which shews that what he writes is the fruit of deep reflection, and which arrests the attention of the considering reader. There is a character of sound reasoning, a manner of sober discussion, which never quits the author. He has evidently paid considerable attention to his professional studies, and his learning appears to be accompanied with much well-judging good sense. One of his recommendations is the total absence of all ostentatious display of erudition. The reader must not come to these sermons with the expectation of having his passions worked upon or his imagination enlivened: he will find no attempts at splendid oratory or brilliant imagery; and he will be visited by no false glare of ornament: but if he opens them with the wish to find solid argumentative matter presented in a proper form to his understanding, he will, we venture to affirm, meet with no disappointment. The language is plain and unaffected; there is, however, one defect of which we must forewarn the reader, for it will visit him in almost every part. Dr.
Eveleigh's style, though sufficiently clear and perspicuous, is deficient in spirit and animation: and there is not unfrequently a flatness in his mode of expressing himself, in consequence of which less advantage is given to his matter than it really deserves.
The sermons are eighteen in number, on subjects of a mixed nature, doctrinal and practical. We were particularly pleased with the third sermon, on the inspiration of the Scriptures, in which we met with some observations which were new to us.
The author's general idea is to furnish an indirect and accessory proof of the inspiration of the books of the New Testament in this manner:--We have the authority of our Saviour and his Apostles for the divine inspiration of the Old Testament; for all Scripture' of the Old Testament ' was given by inspiration of God. Now the general proofs of the inspiration both of the Old and of the New Testament are the same in kind, and the general objections to it are, in both cases, precisely similar. But we have divine authority for affirming that the proofs are valid and the objections nugatory, as to the Old Testament; we may therefore infer, with probability, that, with regard to the New Testament, the proofs are equally good, and the objections unworthy of regard.
· I am well aware,' (he says, p. 51,)' that to endeavour thus to prove the inspiration of the New Testament from that of the Old, is to reverse the ordinary method of proof on this subject. But, however unusual or new the present attempt may be deemed, it will not be without its use, if it tend to satisfy our minds with regard to the divine origin in general of all those writings which are classed by our church among the Holy Scriptures.'
In shewing that the general proofs of both Testaments are the sane, he says
• The Old and New Testaments, as we may observe in general, are cvidently parts of the same great plan, and designed to form one allgracious and stupendous whole. The same authority therefore, and protection from error, which were necessary to the one must also bave been necessary to the other. If divine inspiration were necessary to assure men of their origin, fall, corruption, and destined redemption; the same must have been as necessary also to assure them of the completion of this redemption, and of the means by which their corruption may be done away, their restoration to divine favour secured, and their present state made to terminate in eternal happiness.
'Various also and prominent are the particular resemblances, which appear to result from an equally divine origin in both these sacred volumes.
• If the writers of the Old Testament, speaking in the name of Jehovah, introduce their declarations with these commanding words, “ Thus saith Jehovah;” “ Thus saith the Lord of - Hosts, the God of Israel;" those of the New Testament are not less remarkable for deriving, as
*" Ambassadors for Christ,” their commission from this their divine master, who also is †“God over all, blessed for evermore.” Throughout the Gospels they make him the principal and almost the sole speaker. And besides, they make him in those Gospels expressly promise assistance through the Holy Spirit to his Apostles, (without excluding others from the same assistance,)“ which should teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever he had said unto them;" and, consequently, which should secure from error all the important parts, at least, of their writings.'-pp. 51, 52.
He then proceeds to shew that the general objections to the inspiration of both are the same in kind, and of equal apparent weight.
• Few are the objections also to which the inspiration of the New Testament is exposed, which may not with as great force be urged against that of the Old: and this observation is equally just, whether the objections be urged against the inspiration in general, or against that of particular parts, of the New Testament.
. Among the objections against the divine inspiration in general of the New Testament, it has been I insisted, that the writers never declare that they are thus inspired, and that no promise of divine assistance is given to any among them, except to the Apostles.
• But, allowing this to be true, we may reply, that nothing is admitted in this case with regard to the New Testament, which is not equally true also with regard to parts of the Jewish Scriptures. No declaration or promise of the kind, here supposed to be necessary, is made with regard to certain parts of the Old Testament. And yet we not only learn from our blessed § Saviour and his Apostles, that the writings of Moses and of the Prophets, who assure us that they spake from God, were given by divine inspiration; but also we learn from the same || authority, that the other parts also of the Old Testament, concerning which no such assurance is afforded by the writers themselves, were notwithstanding given by the same divine inspiration.'
• In like manner, if, to abate of our confidence in the general inspiration of the New Testament, it should be urged, that it is uncertain when the books of it were so collected as to exclude all spurious and apocryphal writings from their number; that it is uncertain when the Canon of these Scriptures was settled, whether at the Council of Laodicea, or at some preceding or even subsequent period;--the same uncertainty, we have above intimated, attends also the settlement of that of the Old Testament. And as this uncertainty did not in the least preclude the unqualified approbation, given by our blessed Saviour and his Apostles to the law, the prophetical books, and the Psalms, so neither ought it to diminish our confidence in the infallibility of all the rea ceived writings of the Christian Covenant.'—pp. 61 to 63.
..2 Cor. v. 20.
+ Rom. ix. 5. This objection is considered and answered by Michaelis in the first edition of his introductory lectures, p. 8. It is however again urged in Geddes's preface to vol. ii. • St. Luke xvi. 17. Matt. v. 18. y St. Mark xvije 36. Heb. iü. 7, 8.