Imágenes de páginas

• Ere we proceed in the inquiry where this son of wisdom is to be found, it will be neceffary to consider, that, generally speaking, the same causes in human life produce like effects : that the same conditions and circumstances form similar characters. For instance-Riches and honours are generally accompanied with pride, disdain, arrogance and conceit.--I say generally, because there are exceptions to this rule.— There are some to whom these things do not prove curses by their abuse, but blessings, as they are made the means of blessing others : but for the most part, we are justified when we say, that in such and such conditions and circumstances, men will fo act, and be so affected,

• Where then shall the man of wisdom be found ? • I. Not in the cell of the visionary and recluse. ---Not that religion flies retirement-No!--here all its divine consolations are found, and its best comforts relished.---Nor does it disdain the world as if it were not made for enjoyment. ---Let others seclude themselves from the world, and dream over all its joys, till they fancy all is delusion and unsubstantial appearance of good, and reject the various favours of heaven with a sullen disdain, and counterfeit fuperiority; the son of wisdom takes his portion of blessing with a joyful heart, and an easy gratitude: he does not caft such a reflection upon the design of his benevolent Creator, as to suppose snares to his virtue are concealed in every blessing; or that this world will infallibly prevent him · from practising those virtues, that will fit him for the enjoyments of the future state.--How can religion, that delights to take up its abode in the expanded breast of benevolence, find room for its reception in the contracted bosom of self-love ?. What! are we to live for, and to ourselves alone? Are the sacred ties of humanity nothing? -Have our fellow-creatures no claim upon our example, no demand upon our virtues ? --It is the part of cowardice to retire intirely from the world, for fear our virtue should be overcome.- Virtue is not virtue, unless it be tried. It is only the insubstantial shadow of it, that is found within the walls of convents, and religious houses, as they are falsely called — bring forth virtue and religion to the light-they will bear the penetrating beam of heaven itself-they fear no discovery, for none can be made to their disadvantage.

< Go thou pufillanimous wretch ! hide thy dejected head in some gloomy sequeftered cell, and say the world is too broad a theatre, that the spectators are too numerous before whom thou art, by the appointment of heaven, to perform thy allotted part --- say that it is ornamented with such pleasing scenes that virtue cannot resist its sollicitations keep all thy folitary virtues, if such there be, to thyself—deny mankind all thine aid-punish thy body, instead of subduing the irregular affections of thy


soul ; and see if all this 'will fit thee for the assembly of saints, the company of angels, the social joys and friendship of happy fpirits, who unite in these solemn religious employments in heaven. Let us quit the cell of the visionary and recluse, fince: here the man of wisdom is not to be found : And, • II. Seek for him abroad in the world.

Perhaps we shall scarcely find him, where his example would be of the most sovereign advantage; I mean in the courts of princes, and palaces of kings.--Religion has feldom found an hearty welcome, or kind reception here.---Where is its intraducer HUMILITY !--Where its attendants INNOCENCE, and. SIMPLICITY ?--All here is pageantry and Thew.-Men are. taken up with ambitious views; and their minds are distracted by emulation and pride. The baselt designs, the most .contemptible hypocrisy, possess their hearts, and cover over the most fraudulent intentions. This world is all that is, earnestly defired, and therefore it is pursued at the expence of innocence, fidelity, honour, and integrity.-Men here engage in those vain amusements that unfit them for any exalted virtue.-Men who. live upon the smiles of princes, have but little ambition ta deserve the approbation of God. Let us not seek for divine wife dom, where vice and folly range it at large, and in an air infectious to virtue, probity and honour.

The subjects of Mr. Webb's sermons are,-Man and the providence of God.--The state of man in this world.The Christian course. --No fecurity against greater, if we have yielded to less temptations.-Dilinterested and universal charity..

Conscience.—The story of Naaman the leper.-The keepes of the prison, converted by Paul and Silas.– Acquaintance with God.---The character of Jesus as the Messiah --God manifefted in the flesh. The propriety of the humble state in which the Messiah appeared. The hope and salvation of true Chris.. tians.-Indifference in religion.-The importance and duty of public worship.-- Zeal. Our Lord's rebuke of his disciples James and John, for their unjustifiable zeal.Enquiry after wisdoin.


A Letter to the Reverend Doe or Lowth, occafioned by his late * Let

ter to the Right Reverend Author of the Divine Legation of Mofes. By the Author of Essays on the Characteristics. 8vo.

Davis and Reymers.

[ocr errors]


HIS letter does not refer to the literary part of the con

troversy between the Bishop of Gloucester and Dr.' Lowih; the Letter-Writer only endeavours to vindicate his own cburacter from the injuricus infinuations which, he tells us, Dr.

Lowth * See Review for November 1765.

Lowth has clearly though indire&tly thrown out against him, in his late. Letter to the Author of the Divine Legation of Moses.

Dr. Brown complains loudly of the injustice done him in publickly representing him, as a man ready to sacrifice the interests of truth to the opinions of a master, and is at great pains to thew that he is not a servile follower, or obsequious deputy, of the Bishop of Gloucester. He lays before his Readers the chief passages in his writings, on which such accusations can possibly be founded, together with thofe in Dr. Lowth's letter, wherein he imagines he is pointed out as one of the honourable tribe of the Bithop's beadles and footmen, and then labours to vindicate himself from such groundless imputations. He acknowleges that he has expressed himself warmly in regard to the Bishop's character in several parts of his Writings, and tells us that his expreffions flowed from his heart, and were dictated by. friendship and gratitude. Dr. Warburton's generous-zeal, he lays, affifted in introducing him to the world, and the only return of gratitude he was capable of making, was to vindicate his [Dr. W's.] fame from the scurrilous insults of his enemies, by all the warmth of public and sincere approbation that hecould bestow. Nor had he the least suspicion, at that time, he says, that this zeal (even supposing it to have arisen into an ill-judged prodigality of praise) could possibly be construed by honest men, into any thing else than the overdowings of gratitude and friendship.

Conscious that he has strong prejudices to contend with, which he thinks it incumbent on him to remove, the Doctor proceeds to give, what he calls the most ample and unanswerable testimony, that he is neither beadle, bravo, nor minifter to any Mock-Monarch in literature upon earth. "I will now produce, says he, a variety of incontestible- vouchers ; which will demonstrate, that while I was thus publicly vindicating the injured character of my friend, I was in fact disputing his' particular opinions; and firmly refusmg my assent, and declaring my right to diffent, in the most unreferved manner.

• The first of these evidences I shall draw from my own writings already published : and particularly from the Esays on the Characteristics. On the fubject of the first efjay, that " on ridicule considered as a test of truth," Dr. Warburton had pub• lished his thoughts, long before mine were written. Yet, whoever shall take the trouble of comparing my thoughts with His, will find them not only often different, but sometimes incompaa tible. Again, on the subject of moral obligation, whoever shall compare our sentiments, will find mine not only written in a train of thought entirely independent of His, but in some material points diametrically opposite. And thus, so far have I been


from referring all mankind to the Divine Legation, “'as to an infallible oracle, for the resolution of every question in literature ;" that I have written and published my sentiments in full and clear contradiction to some of its principles.

"Let me add, that Dr. Warburton well knew, from the time of the first publication of these Elays, that I had thus publicly disfented from bim in opinion : nor did this known opposition of sentinent ever occasion any breach of friendship between us.

· The next vouchers I shall produce, are my own letters, written several years ago to some of my friends on subjects of literature: did I think myself privileged to publish without leave, the letters of my correspondents, written to me on these occasions in confidence of fecresy, I could give additional proofs of the wrong you have done me: and such proofs, as would be far from difisonouring either my friends or Me. There are certain facts referred to even in these my own letters, relative to other subjects, which I do not think myself at liberty to divulge; and thall therefore only publish, what can essentially affect the present point in question. Nor should I have taken even this llep, had not the publication of these paragraphs been of the last consequence to the full vindication of my moral cbaracter : which I regard as an extreme neceffity, equal to That, when life or liberty are at stake,

« The first of these evidences is the substance of a letter containing some general thoughts on what I judged to be the true. medium, in departing or not departing PUBLICLY' from the opirions of a friend, in literary researches. It was communicated by me to several of my friends, in the year 1759. It runs thus.

“ Horkelly (in Efex) October 30, 1759. Dear Sir, “ There is a kind of petulance, founded in selfith vanity, which consists in picking quarrels, searching out small and incidental mistakes, either in reasoning, philology, or facts. I know of nothing more contemptible than this, in the whole tour of literary folly, which (between friends) is a very large

This filly and ungenerous conduct we saw an instance of in a certain ***, with respect to one of our Friends. The circumstances of the fact were somewhat notorious in that inftance : but the thing itself is common; and makes the chief employment of that dirty modern tribe, who call themselves critics. Of this folly, if I know myself aright, I am incapable.

“ But with regard to the investigation of truth in a more inlarged lense; here, I confess, I see no room for favour or friendfhip:

" I have

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

“ I have so entirely gained this habit of thought; that, I hope, this principle will direct me in all my inquiries. And though I am but a mean workman in the Temple of truth, I will at least be an honest one. My own errors I will always be glad not only to acknowlege, but proclaim : and upon a like principle, though I may not fludiously proclaim the errors of a friend, yet I certainly will neither palliate nor hide them.

“ In short, it is making an ungenerous use of any degree of superiority which men may be poffeffed of, if they become the ministers to each other's vanity, instead of being the impartial ministers of truth. When once they are arrived at this point, I think the mind must be shaken from the foundations of all true integrity. For myself, I should think I deserved to be ftruck blind from heaven, not only in body but in soul too, hould I make so ungrateful an use of that portion of light which God has lent me.

" As I think there is great immorality and guilt in any palliation of error on account of friendship; lo, on the other part, I can see no shadow of reason against a free discussion of any question, among fons, fathers, friends, or brothers. If I am wrong, my friends are best able to let me right: If my. friend is wrong, the truest friendship I can shew him is, to let him fee his error.

I am, &c. -J. B.” The Doctor goes on to produce other letters and scraps of letters in order to thew the independence of his mind, and concludes with declaring, in the triumphant language of self-importance, that he Mould long ago have set his foot upon the neck of Nander, had the not skulked among the garrets of Grub, street.


Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LIV. Continued *.

Art. 2. The Sequel of the Case of Mr. Butler of Moscow, printed in

the Phil sophical Iransactions, Vol. L. p. 19. Communicated by
Mr. Henry Baker, F. R. S.
HE case of Mr. Butler was briefly ibis : Soon after pre-

paring a mixture of verdegris, falie gold-leaf, with aquafortis, he was suddenly seized with a burning pain, first in one finger, then in his whole hand; afterwards in the other hand, legs, toes, shoulders, back, belly, and, in short, in every part of his body by turns, together with many extraordinary symptoms,

See Review for lant Month,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »