Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

we doubt not, a pious and worthy man) that his performance is altogether undeserving of the public attention; it is a crude and irregular production, neither to be commended for its matter or its Xyle. The allegations from scripture are weak and uncritical ; the argumen s, drawn from the depravity of the mind, are declamatory and false, and several of the authorities are misrepresented, and at belt nothing to the purpose.

If Mr. Berrow had, in the first place, fat down closely and impar. tially to examine whether the ltate of human nature be so bad and so difficult to account tor, as he has reprefented it, and whecher some of the docsines he is solicitoas to explain are really to be met with in

the scriptures, he would have had no occasion to fly to the hypothesis of a pre-exittence, and would have avoided the error of taking opinions for granted, without a previous enquiry; an error, which has contributed to load the world with a multitude of useiers and insignificant writings. Another great faule he has fallen into, is his imagining that Chriltianity is inexplicable, and that it cannot dtand against the attacks of Infidelity, unless bis scheme be admitted. But we will venture to tell chis doughty champion, that the cau e of our holy religion doth not reft upon the prowels of his arın ; and that it -js capable of being defended by much beter weapons than thote with which he hath thought proper to furnish himself.

The Author promises a second volume upon the subject ; but we heartily with he may defer the publication of it, till he has made soate confiderable improvements in reasoning, method, and language.

Art. 21. A second Letter to the Rev. Dr. Kennicott. In which

his Defence of his second Differtation is examined. By T. Rutherforth, D. D. F. R. S. the King's Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, and Chaplain to her Royal Highness the Princess Dowager of Wales. 8vo. Is. Millar, &c.

As the controversy between the Doctors Rutherfo:th and Kenni. cott, cannot be be supposed to be interesting to the generali:y of

Readers, it will not be expected that we should be particular in our · accounts of what is advanced upon it. In regard to this second let

ter, therefore, we shall only say, that we are sorry to oblerve more marks of that illiberai spirit, which we had occasion to complain of in the firit. See our la Volume, P 395.

[ocr errors]

Art. 22. Olfervations on the Credilility and Importance of Scrip

ture-History; the Subllance whereof was delivered in a Difcourse at the Opening of the Synod of Perth and Stirling, at Perth, Oct. 20, 1761, which they desireil to be published. By John Gibson, Minister of St. Ninians. Svo. Edinburgh. Sold by Millar in London.

We have here a Mort and comprehensive account of the evidence, and chiefly of the external evidence of revealed religion. The Au

25.

thor,

thor, with great perspicuity, both of style and realoning, has brought together under one point of view, the principal arguments that christians have to urge in defence of their faith; and the summary he has offered to the public may be very useful to those who have peither leisure nor opportunity for perusing larger works.

Art. 23. The religious Government of a Family; particularly the

Obligation and Importance of Family-worship. In three Difcourses. Preached at Carter-Lane. By Edward Pickard. 8vo. is. Buckland, &c.

We have here three very useful and judicious discoprses upon a duty of great importance, tho' generally disregarded. The worthy Author treats his subject with great plainness, perspicuity, and piety.

Art. 24. Fifteen Sermons, by the late Rev. Tobias Coyte,

B. D. Rector of Stratford, in Suffolk. Published for the Benefit of his Widow. 12mo. 2 Vols. 55. Brotherton.

These Sermons were not originally designed for public view: the benevolent design of affifting a clergyman's widow is the best reafon that can be given for printing them.

Art. 25. The Necessity of IVater-Baptism : Dicafioned by a Pam

phlet lately publijhed by Mr. S. Fothergill of Warrington, in Defence of the Quaker's Notion of Baptism. 8vo. Is. Field.

As we wish to see an end of this debate, we must not give it consequence, by entering into particulars concerning the present article,

1.

T'derson, &c.

SINGLE SERMON S.
HE Christian Evangelift. By Robert Henry, A, M. Her-

derson, &c. 2. The Sins of Jews and Christians under the Law, and under the Gospel, confidered. --At Bexley in Kent, March 12, 1762 ; on the General Faft. By Henry Piers, M. A. Vicar. Lewis.

3. The Use and Authority of the palloral Office, and the Rite of In. vestiture with it, confidered.-In his Majesty's Chapel at Whitehall, at the Consecration of the Bishop of Carlisle. By William Parker, D. D. Chaplain in ordinary to his Majetty. Baldwin.

4. Before the Son's of the Clergy, at St. Paul's, May 6, 1761. By George Horne, B. D. Fellow of Magdalen-College, Oxon. Bathurit.

5. On the Death of the Rev. Mr. Thomas Hall, June 13, 1762. By Richard Winter. . Buckland.

6. A remarkable Accomplishment of a nored Scripture Prophect, as applied to the Hillory of England during the laft and present Centuries, in a Thanksgiving Sermon By Richard Dobbs, D.D. of Life burn in Ireland, Nov. 29, 1759. Wilcox.

[blocks in formation]

W

HILE the generality of writers are ca

writers are . ing in the track of their predecesors, without daring to think for themselves, and to venture far from the beaten paths, the ingenious author of these Letters, trusting to his own powers, opens a new vein of criticism, and entertains his readers, in a most agreeable manner, with a variety of remarks on a very curious subject. The ORTHODOX in Poes, try will, no doubt, look upon him as a daring HERETIC, and, as such, thunder out their excommunications against him; be this, however, as it may, he will, we are perfuaded, meet with a favourable reception from every reader of taste.

He sets out with observing, that the ages which we call barbarous, present us with many a subject of curious specularion ; that nothing in human nature is without its reasons ; and that, though the modes and fashions of different times may appear, at first sight, fantastic and unaccountable, yet some latent cause of their production may be discovered by those who look nearly into them. Sometimes, we are told, a close attention to the workings of the human mind, is fufficient to lead us to this knowlege ; and sometimes the diligent observation of what passes without us, is necessary.

Would we know, from what causes the institution of Chivalry was derived ? the time of its birth, the situation of the Barbarians amongst whom it arose, must be considered : their wants, designs, and policies must be explored : we must VOL. XXVII.

F

enquire

enquire when, and where, and how, it came to pass, that the western world became familiarized to this prodigy, which we now start at.

“ Another thing, says our author, is full as remarkable, and concerns us more nearly. The spirit of Chivalry, was a fire which foon spent itself: but that of Romance, which was kindled at it, burnt long, and continued its light and heat even to the politer ages.

“ The greatest geniuses of our own and foreign countries, such as Ariosto and Taffo in Italy, and Spenser and Milton in England, were seduced by these barbarities of their forefathers; were even charmed by the Gothic Romances. Was this caprice and absurdity in them? or, may there not be something in the Gothic Romance peculiarly suited to the views of a Genius, and to the ends of poetry? And may may not the philofophic Moderns have gone too far, in their perpetual ridicule and contempt of it?

" To form a judgment in the case, the risc, progress, and genius of Gothic Chivalry must be explained. The circumItances in the Gothic fictions and manners, which are proper to the ends of poetry, (if any such there be) must be pointed out. Reasons for the decline and rejection of the Gothic taste in later times must be given."

CHIVALRY, properly so called, and under the idea of a distinct military order, conferred in the way of investiture, and accompanied with the folemnity of an oath and other ceremonies, as described in the old Historians and Romancers, sprung, our author thinks, imniediately out of the FEUDAL CONSTITUTION.

The first and most sensible effect of this constitution, which brought about so mighty a change in the policies of Europe, was the erection of a prodigious number of petty tyrannies. For, though the great Barons were closely tied to the service of their prince by the conditions of their tenure, yet the power which was given them by it over their own numerous vassals

great, that, in effect, they all set up for themselves; affected an independancy, and were, in truth, a sort of abfolute sovereigns, at leaft with regard to one another. Hence their mutual aims and interests often interfering, the feudal state was, in a good degree, a state of war: the feudal Chiefs were in frequent enmity with each other : the several combinations of feudal tenants were so many feparate armies under their Head or Chief: and their castles were so many fortresses, as well as palaces, of these puny princes.

was so

In this state of things, all imaginable encouragement was to be given to the use of arms, under every different form of attack and defence, according as the safety of these different communities, or the ambition of their leaders, might require. And this condition of the times, our author imagines, gave rise to that military institution which we know by the name of CHIVALRY.

He observes farther, that there being little or no security to be had amidit so many restless fpirits, and the clashing views of a neighbouring numerous and independent nobility, the military discipline of their followers, even in the intervals of peace, was not to be relaxed, or their ardour suffered to grow cool by a total disuse of martial exercises. And hence the proper origin of Justs and Tournaments ; those images of war, which were kept up in the castles of the Barons, and, by an useful policy, converted into the amusement of the Knights, when their arms were employed on no ferious occasion. Our author calls this the proper origin of Jufts and Tournaments; for the date of them, he says, is carried no higher, even in France, (where unquestionably they made their first appearance) than the year 1066; which was not till after the introduction of the feudal government into that country.

Thus we see that Chivalry, in our Letter-writer's opinion, was no absurd and freakish institution, but the natural and even sober effect of the feudal 'policy; whose turbulent genius breathed nothing but war, and which was fierce and military even in its amusements.

If our Author's conjecture concerning the rise of Chivalry be thought reasonable, it will be cafy, he says, to account for the several characteristics of this fingular profession. The passion for arms; the spirit of enterprize; the honour of knighthood; the rewards of valour ; the splendor of equipages; in short, every thing that raises our ideas of the prowess, gallantry, and magnificence of these sons of Mars, is naturally and easily explained on this supposition. Ambition, interest, glory, all concurred, under such circumstances, to produce these effects. The feudal principles could terminate in nothing else. And when, by the necessary operation of that policy, this turn was given to the thoughts and parfions of men, use and fashion would do the rest; and carry

F 2

them

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »