Gambar halaman

profesion of it, this is one,--that as members of the Chriftian church, we are all independent of each other in point of authority; that we are to call no man Master on earth ; but that every individual member is to examine, try, and judge for himself, and to be fully persuaded in his own mind with regard to all his religious funtiments, and practices :- and this has been juftly esteemed, by all that have rightly considered it, as a glorious privilege of the Christan religion.—The Gor. pel, in this view of it, may be regarded as a special interposal of the ever-bletled God, in bchalf of the most facred rights and liberties of mankind; in opposition to the haughty and impious claims of covetous and proud men, that would lord it over God's heritage, and assume to themselves to be Governors and Judges in affairs that are too important to be referred to such weak arbitrators.

“ It Nould be further observed, that notwithstanding the religious liberties of mankind have been thus folemnly ratified and confirmed by a divine revelation ; yet under cover of this very revelation, and a pretence of patronizing and defending *it, men have established a worse usurpation over the consciences of their fellow subjects, than perhaps ever prevailed in the world before. Thus the Priesthood first of all assumed, and afterwards seized upon, what is called ecclesiastical authority in the Christian church; in consequence of which, civil establishments of religion have taken place in all the kingdoms of Europe; in which it is particularly defined by human laws, in what manner Christians shall profess their religion, and in what terms, and with what ceremonies, they shall publicly worship God.

“'Against these impositions of human authority, some have arisen in almost all ages, and borne their public testimony, by ftanding fast in that liberty wherewith Christ made them free: and, in confequence, have been obliged to submit, fome to cruel tortures and deaths, others to penalties and discouragements, greater or less, according to the severity of the respective governments under which they lived, but universally they have been branded with the names of Heretics, and Schismatics, by those established churches from which they have taken the liberty to dissent.–And as they constantly have, and probably always will have, a majority against them, who, in appearance at least, do submit to human authority in religious matters, so their hardships must be the greater in proportion to the smallness of their number.

-Now among those who publicly conform to civil establishments of religion,


and join in public worship with those who take upon them to appoint new terms of communion, or such as were not appointed by our Lord and his Apostles, it is certain there are many who in their hearts approve of that Christian liberty, which, in appearance, they desert ;-who openly avow, and contribute to countenance and support that authority which, in their real sentiments, and their private conversation, they give up as an usurpation not to bo justified upon the principles of Christianity, which they allow to be clearly on the side of liberty, and opposite to all human authority in matters that are purely religious. The conduct of such as these looks too much like being ashamed of our Lord and his words, as they have not the resolution to act openly upon the Gospel plan, when they fee great numbers and powers appearing against it and that which greatly aggravates this unjustifiable behaviour is, that the peace and well-being of mankind are so nearly affected by it.

í That the rights of conscience, or of private judgment in religion, should be preserved in their utmost extent, is a matter of the greatest importance to mankind, since this is the only cffectual bar against persecution, which has introduced so much disorder and confusion into the world, and made fuch havock among the sons of men, as it is very, shocking to reflect upon, much more to those that have severely felt the effects of it. It is true, the spirit of persecution does not run so high at present as it has in former ages; but if the principes from which it received strength and encouragement are still espoused, and vindicated, it is certainly the duty of all Christian Professors especially, to give their public testimony against them, that, if posible, there may not be the leatt foundation left to raife any future persecution upon; that no disturbance may evermore be given to the peace of those who are determined to abide by their Gospel privileges, and to maintain their right of diffenting from human authority, and judging for themselves in all religious


" That this is really a privilege, and an essential part of the Go pel ditpenfation, has not been so generally and fully confidered as it ought to have been. The Gospel, instead of supporting the claims of human authority, advanced by covetous and ambitious men, is directly leveiled against them, and tends, in the Strongest manner, to disappoint and defcat them. So much the more shameíul and dishonourable then: is the conduct of those why are femible of this, and yet meanly


desert- those principles of the Gospel, which have so generous and friendly an aspect upon the liberties of mankind;which were intended to rescue men out of the hands of their religious oppressors, to discountenance the views of worldly ambition, and to establish the spirit of independency and freedom, which is the life and soul of religion. In what light then can we regard those who are ashamed of our Lord and his words, when we consider him as asserting, in the stronge eft terms, the principles of religious liberty ? - Is it not an inexcusable cowardice, to disown so worthy and important a cause, and which, from the great original of it, we are alsured must finally prevail ?”

Our Author enlarges a good deal on this subjeét; but such Readers as are desirous of seeing what he has farther advanced upon it, we refer to the Sermons themselves.


Van Swieten's Commentaries abridged. By Dr. Schomberg of

Bath, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. 8vo. 6$. Johnson.

HE fort preface to this abridgment observes, “ That

the prolixity of Van Swieten's Commentaries upon the Aphorisms of Boerhaave may be tedious to the experienced Practitioner, and frequently disgusting to the young Student, who is eafily frightened at the sight of voluminous writings ; adding, “ that instruction is most impressive, where it is least incumbered.” This, indeed, is the sense of the following apposite motto to this abridgment,

Quicquid præcipies, esto brevis; ut citò diéta

Percipiant animi dociles, teneantque fideles. Our medical Epitomiser, however, might have attempered this precept, by remembering, the same excellent Critic also. says-Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fiomand have farther confidered, that, especially in didactic treatises, obscurity is by all means to be avoided. In this single volume Dr. Schomberg had proposed to abridge the three of Van Swieten already published in Latin, which we find were translated and printed here at different times, from the year 1744 to 1758, in eleven volumes 8vo. This at first may suppose the different extent of the original and the abridgment to be as one to eleven ; but on a much better calculation of their conRev. Nov. 1762.


tents, bert

tents, the former is above thirty times as much as the latter. Now, as the reafon for Van Swieten's Commentaries on Boerhaave's Aphorisms, was the great conciseness of that close and pregnant work, (whence, perhaps, some unavoidable obscurity) we should not expect the Abridgment of fuch a Commentary to be reduced to little more than the size of the Apho. risms themselves, which are also contained in the Commentary, as far as it is pablished

.. The general heads or titles of the Commentary are eightythree ; those of the Aphorisms thirty-seven. Dr. Schombery, however, has contrived to begin with Diseases of a simple solid, Fibre, and to end with the Empyema, which make the initial article of the first, and the final one of the eleventh volume. But it must be ob/erved, that the translation at large fometimes treats of one disease under as many titles as there are species of that generical disease, for instance, of the Quincy particularly. Nevertheless, if- the Baron has not been greatly, and very unnecessarily, prolix, Dr. Schomberg must have been too concise and laconic. If the latter has retained all that is eflentially material, it must imply the original to be much more generally diffuse than pertinent.

It fhould have been considered, however, for whose fervice these Commentaries were principally calculated ? The obvious antiver to this seems to be, — for those capacities, to which the Aphorisms seemed too obscure, too much compressed, as it wcie. This would consequently incline Baron Van Swieten rather to expatiate, than to be too concife and aphoristical himself: and supposing this the case, Dr. Schomberg's very brief epitome has interfered with his Author's capital intention. If the Doctor designed it for Physicians of experience and erudition, doubtless there are many fuch, who need no explanation of, no Commentary on, the Aphorisms. Such, therefore, may be willing, at their leisure, rather to perule the Commentaries in the original; as the inany cases, the physical experiments, the physiological reasonings and fuggestions, which he has interspersed throughout them, and embellished with his general erudition, prevent him from appearing often dry or tedious.

It seems, nevertheless, upon the whole, as if some happy medium might be found between Van Swieten's voluminous, extent, and Dr. Schomberg's diminutive, not to say, disparaging, brevity: and doubtless, in general, if a good Author had equal leisure and disposition for it, he must prove the

best Abbreviater of his own work, of which the literary world has feen fome acceptable inftances. The production of the present book needed little more trouble than to mark in the margin the paragraphs which the Printer should compose ; and here and there to change a word or particle, in order to connect them.

Dr. Schomberg, however, having been modest enough on this atchievement of his Synopsis, with his—non laudem merui, it were scarcely liberal criticism to extend these ftritures farther. As he promises to abridge the part yet unpublished by Van Swieten, soon after it appears, it will give him an opportunity of re-considering what he has already done. On comparing some part of his Abridgment with the English TranAation, we find it verbally the same, except the difference already mentioned. Hence it is manifeft, we have nothing to remark on the style or manner of this performance, which are not Dr. Schomberg's, but are taken from the Translator of Van Swieten, whose performance does not lie properly before us. All that is strictly the Abridger's, is his Preface, which is short and decent. As he must be supposed to have perused this valuable and learned Author with more than ordinary artention, in order to this Abstract of his Commentaries, it was certainly a very pertinent employment for a practical Physician; of which, we hope, his Patients and himself will perceive the good consequences.

The Doctrine of Grace : Or, the office and operations of the Holy

Spirit vindicated from the infults of infidelity, and the abuses of fanaticism : Concluding with some tboughts (humbly offered to the confideration of the ESTABLISHED CLERGY) with regard to the right method of defending religion against the attacks of either party, By William Lord Bishop of Gloucester. Small 8vo. 2 vols. 3 s. 6 d. in boards. Millar, &c. UCH Readers as are acquainted with the writings of the

expect to find many fhrewd and pertinent observations, an original and lively turn of thought, and a considerable portion of critical fagacity, in whatever comes from his pen : nor will they be disappointed in the work now before us. It abounds in digressions, according to the new-fashioned mode of writing ; many important and curious subjects are touched Aa 2


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »