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RELIGIOUS and CONTROVERSIAL. ' Art. 25. A copious Comment on Psalm LXVIII. In which Sali varion by David, the Type of Mefliah, is preached to all Nations,
Tongues, and Tribes, and Peoples. With Stridores on Ains, worth, Calmet, Vitringa, Bythner, Bishop Lowth, Professor Michaelis, De Mais, Merrick, and other Writers on this Pralm. Svo. 4 s. 6 d. Boards. Wilkie, &c.
A very mystical performance, tending, in our opinion, rather to obscure chan explain the psalm on which it is written. Far be it from us to say, that there is nothing typical of the Christian scheme in the ancient Jewish ceremonial, &c. but this learned writer would bewilder us in a perplexing, endless labyrinth, where truth may be fought without attaining any certainty or satisfaction. But we will dismiss the subject, left we expole ourselves farther to the censures of this Author, who says concerning Calmet, that he “ has learn• ing enough for an hundred scholars, without one glimpse of spiritual knowledge." Art. 26. A Calm Reply to the First Part of Mr. De Courcy's Re
joinder, as far as it relates to the Scriptural Mode of Baptism. By Toseph Jenkins, A. M. 12mo. Is. Wrexham printed, and sold by Keith, &c. in London. 1778.
A short account of the Rejoinder is to be found in the fifty-eighth volume of our Review, p. 321, The different antagoniles which have appeared against Mr. De Courcy, seem to give some import. ance to his work. Mr. Jenkins, who here enters the lifts, may be fometimes a little warm, but he is not chargeable with that fcurrility which writers on this subject have too often discovered. Mr. De Courcy has no doubt been provoked; yet his own manner of writing kas sometimes afforded an unhappy advantage to his opponents. The author of the Reply is not destitute of sense or learning ; but the fame observations which are offered on each side have been frequently repeated. The principal inference from the controversy, is, that each party Mould cultivate moderation and candour, and endeavour to regard one another as good chriitians, though they do not exactly agree concerning the mode of baptifm. Art. 27. A Letter to the Rev. Benjamin Fawcett, M. A. Oc
cafioned by his Pamphlet, intitled, “ Candid Reflections on the different Manner in which the Learned and Pious have expressed their Concepcions concerning the Doctrine of the Trinity." 8vo; 6 d. Buckland. 1779.
The intention of Mr. Fawcett's pamphlet appeared to have been very worthy of a christian minister. We should have hoped, that all confiderate persons would agree in the neceflity of exercifing moderation and charity on a subject, concerning which, the wife and vir. tuous in every age have entertained a variety of opinions. We do nor recollect that Mr. Faweéte writes with severity. When, indeed, he cenfures a bigotted, uncharitable spirit, it may excite a degree of warmth nor wholly improper; or he may poflibly be fometimes off bis guard; but we apprehend, he is far from condemping any for the lentiment they embrace on the topic in question. The pamphlet before us, charges him with the waot of that candour for which he scems to plead, and produces passages which are supposed to prove it: but it is to be observed, that sentences, or parts of sentences, detached from a work, and intermingled with reflections by another writer, may assume a very different air, and appear to imply what was far from the author's defign. It is not, however, our business to enter into the dispuce. Thus much seemed due to justice; and we will add, that persons engaged in religious controversy are apt to forget that diftinction, which ought to be always kept in view, between forms and phrases of man's device, and the declarations of Scripture. We have not seen any thing in this performance, that should induce us to alter our judgment of Mr. Fawcete's defigo and prevailing sentiment; and surely the confideration of that uncertainty, perplexity, and variety, in which the pious and the learned, as well as the bigosted and the weak, have been involved, on the point immediately alluded to, is sufficient to teach us, that we ought to be humble, diffident, and candid, in this as well as in all other instances,
For Mr. Fawcett's “ Candid Reflections, &c.” See Review, vol. lvij. p. 333. Also vol. lix. p. 234. Art. 28. Three Sermons, entitled, I. Liberty, when used as a
Cloke of Maliciousness, the worit of Evils. II, The Evil of Rebellion, as applicable to American Corduct, considered. III. Great Britain oppresling America, a groundless Charge. Preached on the Three preceding Fast Days, appointed to be observed on account of the American Rebellion ; in the Parish Churches of Twyford and Ouzlebury, Hamp hire. By Cornelius Murdin, M. A. Vicar. 4to. 13. Baker. 1779.
Mr. Murdin very justly observes, that a minister of the gospel has much better fubjects to employ his time about than those above mentioned, and acknowledges, it is with some reluctance that he has deviated into the thorny path of politics. Possibly the cime allotted to this deviation, might have been more userully employed in persuading his hearers to repentance of their fins, and the teady practice of piety and virtue. Many objections may be made to his political creed and discussions : if he allows himself to read and think on the other fide, he may perhaps find it difficult to defend all his afsersions : but however that is, Mr. Murdin appears to be an honest, well meaning writer, who, ' if he errs, does not do it wilfully, or to serve a private purpose.' We could beartily join with him in the with, • that the cruel messenger of war fent against the Americans, may be fpeedily changed into a messenger of peace and reconciliation,' and that harmony and concord may be speedily restored to these divided nations. Art. 29. A Charge, delivered in the Lodge of True Friend
Thip, in Bulwark-Street, Dover, on the Festival of St. John the Evangelift, December 27, 1778, and publithed at the Defire of the faid Lodge. By the Reverend Brother James Smith, Vicar of Alkham, in Kent, and Author of “ The Errors of the Church of Rome detected.” 410. I's. Canterbury, printed; London, sold by G. Robinson. 1779.
As we have not the honour to belong to the fraternity of FreeMasons, we can say little or nothing concerning the royal craft. A brother, a reverend brother, here appears to extol the inftitution,
which wbich he does with great zeal, and, for aught we know, with troch and justice. But we, who are uniritiaied, can say nothing concerning • those folemn, awful, and instructive scenes, where : *. * * at wbich only the faithful brother can be present,' and which, it is added, “ raise in our minds the moft useful and sublime ideas, mixed with the purest delight.' • While cbis reverend brother speaks moft highly of the dignity and prility of the order into which he has been admitted, he at the same zime, delivers much good advice concerning the spirit and behaviour which every member of this body should endeavour to preserve and cherish.
For our account of Mr. Smith's book, entitled, Tbe Errors of the Cburcb of Rome detected, see Review for December 1777, p. 472.
S E R M O N S. J. Preached in the Church of St. Michael, Cornbill, Feb. 10, 1779.
Being the Day appointed for a General Fait. By Robert Pool • Finch, D.D. Rector of that Parish. 4to. is. Rivington. • In this sensible discourse, the preacher laments the degeneracy of the times; and earnestly exhorts his bearers to repentance and reformation. The Doctor writes well; but when he talks of eftablib. ments granting and extending toleration at difcretion, and as circumStances require ;' and of “ authority relaxing or tightening the reins, as its own discerning eye fees fit ;'-we think he is rather fond of mani. feling his zeal for political orthodoxy, and high-flown ecclefiaftical claims. Il. At the primary Vifitation of the Right Reverend Beilby Lord · Bishop of Chester, in the Cathedral Church, Aug. 13, 1778. By
Thomas Townson, B. D. Rector of the Lower Mediety of Mala pas. 4to. 15. Chester, printed, and sold by Bachurst in
London. · The text of this discourse is Luke iv. 32. And they were afforifbed at bis doétrine, for his word was with power. The reflections which are here made on the matter and manner of our Lord's preaching, are sensible and judicious, ingenious and edifying; and the ftyle is easy and agreeable. - III. The Coming and Enlargement of the Kingdom of God: At Salter's
Hall, April 28, 1779, before the Correspondent Board of the Society in Scotland (incorporated by Royal Charter) for propagating Christian Knowledge in the Highlands and Islands, and
for Spreading the Gospel among the Indians in America. By · Thomas Toller. Published at the Request of the Society, &c.
8vo. 6d. Buckland. 1779.
Pious, sensible, and well composed, , The text, Thy kingdom comse. The preacher brings convincing proof of the importance and utility of that inftitution, which he recommends to charitable regard. He pleads for the free exercise of religion, and manifests a liberality and
candor of sentiment becoming a christian minifter. At the same · time, he shews, that the extensive diffemination of popery, and the
alarming influence of popish emissaries, are objects worthy the serious attention of this society.
IV. Preached IV. Preached at Truro, before a Provincial Grand Lodge of Free
Accepted Masons, on the Festival of St. John the Baptift. By the Rev. Cornelius Cardew, M. A. Master of the Grammar School, Truro. 8vo. 6 d. Richardson, &c.
This fermon treats of the excellencies of love and free masonry: the former, as the apofle says in the text,' is the fulfilling of the law,' and the latter, as Mr. Cornelius Cardew says, is a' moral science :' and that one principal end of the institution, is the culti. vation and improvement of the polite arts and sciences.' 'Indeed," fays he, we boast, and I apprehend on good grounds, that it has, through a long series of ages, contributed to dispel the gloom of ignorance and barbarism.' But though free masonry hath taught Mr. Cardew to talk about those teffere, or waich-words, which con: stitute a kind of universal language, by which he can distinguish a brocher in any part of the world ;' yet it hath not instructed him in making choice of the best language for the pulpit: and though order and proportion are pretended to be the alpha and omega of this moral frierte; yet there is a sentence in Mr. Cardew's fermon, which is out of all order, and can only be reduced to regularity, by beginning where he hath, like a bungling mason, ended it. • Love beginning, lay's he, • with the nearer relations of parent, brother, friend, and neighbour, and all the tender charities of domestic life, as it goes on to enlarge it's circle, embraceth by degrees, within its comprehensive grafp, not only the whole human race, and every order of spiritual intelligence, but takes every creature in of every kind, and at lal centers in the great Author of all existence.' So this circle, as it enlarges, comes at laft to a centre! We thought free masonry taught, at least, reo metry among the other arts and sciences, of which, the preacher tells us, it may make so confident a boast.' But we will charitably help him to a very great authority to countenance his error in mathema tics. It is no less than that of Dr. Sacheveret himself, who, in his famous fermop at St. Paul's, makes two parallel lines incet in a centre ! Q. E. D. V. The Doctrine of Divine Influence on the Human Mind. Considered
in a Sermon, pablished at the Request of many Persons who have occasionally heard it. By Joseph Priestley, LL.D. F. R. S. 8vo. I S. Johnson. 1779.
In this difcoarse, the Author opposes the doctrine of fovereign and irresistible grace, the new and miraculous birth, or the poflibility of inftantaneous conversion, as being 'altogether unscriptural and deceitful. He founds his opposition to the pretensions of those empirics in religion, who maintain the immediate agency of the Deity on the minds of men, on the parable of the fower ; which may be considered as a prophecy, verified by all history, as well as by daily observation; and in which our Lord compares himself and his apostles to persons who'merely scatter good feed promiscuously, or without distinction of places or soils; that is, whether they be well or ill adapted to receive it and bring it forth ; and who do not alter the previous quality or condition of the soil itself.
This parable accordingly inculcates this important truth ;-'That all the benefit we are au horised to expect from the gospel, arises from the natural effect that the great truths and motives of it are calculated to produce upon the mind; tha: che interpofusion of the
Divine Divine Being, in the dispensation of the gospel, confits folety in imparting these truths, and suggesting those motives, and not at all in giving any supernatural efficacy to the truths or motives after they are presented.'
"To what end has been the whole apparatus of revealed religion,' fays the Author, ' if moral impressions were made upon men's minds by an immediate divine agency?'Why were the miracles of Moses and Christ performed, by which a sancion was given to their characters and doctrines; if the Divine Being still fouad it necessary, after all this, to produce the effeats intended by these miracles, through his own immediate agency on the minds of those who had been witnefles 'to, and spectators of, these miracles? This last miraculous and immediate interposition of the Divine Being, must make che former miracles unnecessary and superfluous.
• We read,' says the Author, of our Lord's giving light to the blind, limbs to the maimed, and the use of reason to those who were deprived of it; but never of his giving a found mind, in a moral seose, to those who were destitute of that. For this, though the greatest of all purposes, he made use of nothing but inffruction and admonition. He used no other means, either to disarm the malice of his enemies, or to correct ihe imperfections of his best friends. Other wise Judas would never have betrayed him, nor would Peter have denied him.'
The Author enforces this doctrine by the parable of the fig-tru; to which our Lord likewise compares human nature. Ia chis parable, the quality of the tree is not represented as liable to be altered, otherwise than by the natural effects expected to be produced, by digging round it, and dunging it. In both these cases, the improve. meni of man is not described as effected by the divine power immcdi. ately acting on his mind; but through the medium of certain natural means, external to the mind, and adapted to produce that end, according to the ufual and uniform course of nature; that is, by the natural influence of motives operating upon it. "
Such is the do&rine intended to be inculcated in this discogrle; in which the general agency of the Divine Being on the minds of men is maintained to be real and conitant; but not immediate, chat is, miraculous. To encourage the latter opinion, or that of a super. natural influence on the mind, is to encourage an enihusiasm, and, in some cases, a dangerous delusion,-' leading men co negle& the natural and only efficacious means of improving their characters, and to depend on certain Supernatural impulies and feelings, of vague and uncertain description, and that cannot have any relation to moral virtue. VI. Preached at the Chapel in Deal, on the Festival of St. John the
Baptift, June 24, 1779, before the Provincial Grand Lodge of Kent, and published at their Requeit. By ihe Reverend Brocher, James Smith, Vicar of Alkham in Kent, and Author of The
Errors of the Church of Rome detected, &c. 8vo. 6 d. Wilkie.
We fincerely congratulated and honoured Mr. Smith, when, under the power of full conviction, le separated himself from the church of
• Vide Rev, for Dec. 1777. p. 472.