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• Degenerate as these days were, compared with those of the apostles, they were golden ages in comparison with the times that followed. Some taught what they called positive theology, that is co fay, compilations of theological opinions, collected from scripture, and fathers, and councils. Others went into scholaftical divinity, that is, confused and metaphysical reasonings, by which they pretended to explain the doctrines of religion. A third sort were all taken up with contemplations and inward feelings, and their divinity was myfticism. Even these were preferable to others, who read the categories of Aristotle, or the life of a saint, in the church, in. ftead of a sermon, and who turned the church, I will not say into a theatre, but into a booth at a country fair. The pulpit became a stage, where ludicrous priests obtained the vulgar laugh by the lowest kind of dirty wit, especially at the festivals of Christmas and Easter. One of our old historians says, The devil was so pleased wirb the preachers of the eleventh century, that he fent them a letter of banks from hell for the advantages which bis kingdom derived from their pulpits.'
In describing the state of preaching in reformed countries, after pafling high encomiums on the first reformers, and on many Puritan and Nonconformist preachers (overlooking however many great names which have adorned the English church, and greatly contributed to the improvement of preaching], our Author thus laments the influence of civil authority on the eloquence of the pulpit :
• In all reformed countries the pulpit was taken into the service of the late, and became a kind of attorney or solicitor-general retained to plead for the crown. The proof of this lies in the articles, canons, and injunctions, which were girded on the clergy of those times; and how thoroughly the state clergy have understood this to be the true condition of the pulpit, their sermons will abundantly prove. The beit fate inftructions to preachers were given in the DIRECTORY by the assembly of divines : but even these include the great, the fatal error, che subjection of God's word to human law. If, when all other inditutes were taken into the service of the state, the pulpit nad escaped, it would have been wonderful indeed: but, if the pulpit be a place, and the preacher a pensioner, in the pame of common sensi, what are we to expe&t from both!
• From this fad constitution we derive the lifelessness of later preaching. The ill-fated youih before he is aware finds himself bound to teach the opinions of a set of ministers, who lived two hun. dred years before he was born. His masters believed their own arti. cles, and therefore preached them with zeal: but it would be onreasonable to expect a like zeal in him for the fame do&trines, for he does not know what they are, or, having examined them, he does not think them true, and thus subscription to other men's creeds be. comes the death of good preaching.'
After perusing these specimens of our Author's style and spirit, many of our Readers will, we apprehend, agree with us in regretting that, while in fo good a cause he discovers such a laudable portion of the fortiter in re, he has not been able to
blend blend with it a little more of the leniter in modo. But we must not expect inconsistencies; and perhaps gentleness is a quality inconsistent with the active and daring spirit of a reformer.
Dainions, as the fimiliter he paras it goes: Friendihi
ART. V. The World as it goes; a Poem. By the Author of the
Diaboliad. Dedicated to one of the best Men in his Majesty's Do.
minions, &c. 4to. 2 s. 6 d. Bew. 1779. UNDER the fimilitude of a dream this manly satirist describes
the Muse, to whom he particularly devotes himself, as exhibiting a picture of the world as it goes. The more prominent parts of the piece are, The Temple of Friendship, the Palace of Self-intereft, The Den of Adultery, and the Castle of Freedom. As a specimen of this Writer's powers of description, we fall present our Readers with a view of the Den of Adultery.
• Methought, in one short moment there arose
Their banefal cendrils round the dismal Cave.'
in loathsome fate The luffal Regent of the dungeon fate, is drawn with great vigour and spirit, and the colours are laid on with a strength and boldness that evidently speak the hand of a master.
The attendants at the Palace of Self interest are of equal merit, and are equally numerous. Not so, alas, the votaries of Friendship! Into HER temple one only demands admittance :
• Deep in the lady bosom of a wood,
-Its ancient form remain'd ;-but ev'ry grace, :
But now no more on Friendihip’s altars blaze
PORTLAND alone demands admittance there.' The complement at the close is well introduced, and, if public fame, which seldom errs on the favourable side, may be credited, it has the additional merit of being just.
Success is too apt to beget indolence and inattention : this, however, is not the case with our present Author. The poem before us is certainly equal, if not superior, to any thing he has hitherto published.
In the structure of his verse there is a blemish which we wish could have been avoided. It seems to have arisen from his taking Churchill's manner, which undoubtedly was not a good one, for his model: we mean the running one couplet into the other, which, except in occasional instances, is feldom done but at the expence of either strength or harmony.
ART. VI. Sketches from Nature ; taken, and coloured, in a journey to
Margate. Published from the original Designs. By George
Keate, Esq. 2 Vols. Small 8vo. 5 s. sewed. Dodley. 1775.. V ORICK left many natural children, or, in more familiar,
phrase, bye-blows, but Mr. Keate is the legitimate offspring of that singular and celebrated writer; and it is with peculiar satisfa&tion we recognise the father's features in the son.
In this pleasing sentimental journey, many things occur to entertain us, and nothing that will offend either our taste or our judgment; we are, in fine, presented with a variety of scenes that interest our affections, and none that can any way tend to injure our morals:-on tre contrary, we may affirm, that the reader, who can peruse these pages, without feeling himself the better for it, must be poflefied of a mind either too exalted, or too much depraved for improvement by this mode of instruction,
lir. Keate is not one of your geographical travellers, nor is be a hunter after antiquities or pictures. His airn is not to gratify the inquisitive with the descriptions of rare things; his business is rather with the HEART; and your feelings will be touched, though your curiosity be unsatisfied.
Readers in general, as well as Reviewers by profession, are ready enough to give their opinion of every book they perusc, It is but fair, that Authors should be allowed the same freedom with their Readers. Mr. Keate has, accordingly, taken leave to indulge in a pleasant description of the various characters and complexions of Readers *, dividing them into the following claffes :
The Superficial Reader, 1 The Peevith Reader,
The Candid Reader, The Sleepy Reader, The Conjectural Reader. "I may possibly,' says he, 'nor escape centure for baving omitted the LEARNED reader, to whom so many prefaces and dedications have formerly been addressed, --but this was in the times when learning was posseiled by few.--In this age, so enriched by the inundations of the press, every author is to prelume that all his readers are learned, -no one being willing to difpuie a cicle which may call in quero tion the validity of his ovn.
• The SUPERFICIAL reader is one who finds not leisure, or incli. nation, for more literature than he can take in over a loitering break: faft, or whilit his hair dress is adjusting his person. He contents himself with extracts from new-papers, magazines, and reviews kims over title-pages and indexes, and adding to them the smuggled opinions of those who look deeper into books, pailes at routs and tea tables for a well-read gentleman.-
* In a chapter which he entitles - The Reader's Looking-glass.'
• The Idle reader is the reverse of the former.--He is a great per user of little volumes, but reads without mechod, or pursuit, not making knowledge, but amusement, his object.
.--He is in one sense of the happiest clais, for he is in no danger of ever reading himself out; so many persons being daily employed to perpetuate his pleasures, by seducing novels-little histories, which familiarize the arts of intriguing-Memoirs of Prostitutes-Anecdotes of Women of Quality-and Lives of Highwaymen.“
• The SLEEPY Reader is ever a man of a dull languid temperament, both of body and mind.-He takes up a book when he can do nothing else, and pores over it, till it drops from his hand;-or if by repeated attacks he fairly arrives at the Finis of a volume, be has waded through it so between sleeping and waking, that it is often a doubt with himself whether he has read it at all.
• No works of genius are ever seen on his shelves, they are of too fiimulating a nature, and would defeat his purpose, but a plenty of Soporific treatises, under the varied titles of Journals, Annotations, Books of Controversy, and Metaphysical Dissertations.
• An old relation of mine, who died a martyr to the gout, used, as he fat in his study, to estimate his books not from the pleasure, but from the good naps they had afforded him.-This, cousin, said he(pointing round the room with his crutch)--this is a composer-this a dozer-every twenty pages of this excellent author is as comfortable as a glass of poppy water.- I believe I was near three months Reeping through yonder large volume ;-and to this worthy little gentleman on the middle shelf, I was indebted for two admirable nights reft, when a chalk lone was forming in my toe.-- But my most valuable friend is this set of books by the side of my couch.-1 call them my grand opiate, and as a mark of distinction, my Aannel night.cap generally lies upon them.
• Now I am well aware that when these Sketches from Nature shall appear, half my readers will be on the tiptoe of curiosity to know how the last mentioned books were lettered ; but as I have not I hope a spice of ill-nature in my composition, I publicly declare che secret Thall die with me.
"The PeeVISH reader is made up of conceit and ill-bumour - He cavils with the defign, the colouring, or the finishing, of every piece that comes before him.-Few have sufficient merit to extort his approbarion--he had rather even be filent, than commend, and finds his highest satisfaction in discovering faults.
• A man of this cast is an object of compassion; for in the im. perfect state of human labours, he must pals his time very miserably!
.-But let us leave him to the severe deftiny of never being plealed: -To counterpoise his spleen, behold the CANDID reader appears. Amiable spirit!-in thee I contemplate the gentleman-the scholar,
the true critic— how to cenfure-eager to applaud !-convinced by what arduous steps fuperior excellence is .attained, thy liberal mind cherisheth every effort of genius, and unwillingly condemns what thy correct judgment cannot approve.
. But CANDID reader! thy character bath been more happily de. lineaied by a long-admired writer ; in quoring whose lines I cannot