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ART. II. The Jewis Bard. In Four Odes, to the Holy Mountains.
By John Wheeldon, A. M. Rector of Wheathamstead, Herts, and
L ERE, with no common Alighi, Urania foars .
It may be fo-but what can mortals know?
But hark! she sings! From Horeb bursts the mighty found!
• Jehovah reigns! awake my harp of Salem !
• So slept the prophets of Dodona's grove,
" While their lighi’ning eyeballs sleep
* • Hom. Il. Lib. xvi. 289.' I'Shakespeare.'
t' Homer and Pindar.' 1. Milion.'
Now my harp of Elohim !
i Praise to Jehovah in the fires ! in thine
• Cease ye from man--a cherub's tongue hath saia
- Wrach is paft--the welcome dove
* " Shusbannim-The Lillies. See Title of Psalm 45. « To the Giver of the Vi&tory, concerning the Lillies.” The emblematic cal white and pure Believers. The Title of the both Psalm is in the fingular : “ Ol Shushen, concerning the Lilly:" i. e. the pure Anointed. Parkhurst's Heb. Lexic, on the Word Sheh~
t. Chemoth and Gebor-Hebrew names, expresling the different powers of the Sun. See 2 Kings, xxiii. 13. and Psalm xix. 5:'
Moses Hoating on the Nile,
'Tis done-serirem" This is no mortal business,
ART. III. The Dialogues of Eumenes ; or the Religion of the Heart,
dijlinguined from that Attachment to mere l.lodis, which too fre. quently de forms the Chrition Timsir. Small Zvo. 3 s. sewed.
Eriitol printed, and sold by Dilly, &c. London. 1779. M HE celebrated Mr. Hervey fucceeded so well in his at
tempts to unite the flowers of poctry with the thift'es of theological controversy, in his Dialogues between Theron and Apasio, as to introduce among the modern puritans a taste for the gaudy and brilliant in writing, and a fondness for religious books of entertainment, which was unknown to their ancestors. In conformity to this taste, the Author of this work conveys his opinions and ideas respecting religion in the vehicle of fiction; sometimes relating his tale in language exceedingly familiar and colloquial; and at other times rifing, on a sudden, into a kind of flowery and measured prose, which, to give it more completely the air of poetry, the printer has disposed in lines of different lengths.
In the course of these Dialogues, we find a great variety of subjects occasionally touched upon, in a manner which proves the Writer, notwithstanding his occasional ccnsures of Willey, to be in reality no enemy to the leading tenets, or stranger to the characteristic spirit, of Methodism. The religion of the heart, which it is the professed intention of the work to recommend, in contradistinction to the mere observance of external forms, doth not, according to our Author, confit in those fixed prina ciples and settled habits of piety and virtue, which are the foundation of a valuable moral character, but in certain ardent emotions and passions, perpetually excited in the mind by acts of devotion, in the continual exercise of humiliation and penitence for fin, and of reliance on the merits of Christ for salvation. A view of religion, which at the same time that it encourages every folly of enthusiasm, is unfavourable to the interefts of genuine virtue, by leading men to substitute affection for principle, and emotion for action. Of the general strain and spirit of this work, the following dialogue between Eugenius and Dame Jenkins, will give our Readers some idea :
“ Dear Sir, why you seem to think that my religion, after all, is doubtful! O, Sir, do speak out! What is your real opinion ?".
" Really, Dame, I fear it is."
“ Dear Sir! What do you think then that poor folks can do! How is it possible that we can be saved ?”
“ As easy,” said Eugenius, “ perhaps more easy, for the poor than the rich."
" But, Sir, how can that be? The rich may not only go to church to hear the sermon on Sundays; but they may have time to go to prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, and indeed every saints-day in the year if they will. And besides, you know, Sir, they may be very charitable, as Sophron is, and do a great deal of good to all about them. And therefore, rich folks have greatly the advantage of the poor, in religion as well as in every thing else."
“ They have indeed, said Eugenius, in many outward things, at leaft; bui, in religion, there is only one foundation for the rich and the poor
« But," said the old Lady, interruping Eugenius, “ you seem to be for destroying the very foundation itself! And what then can any of us do!"
“ By no means, Dame Jenkins. Other foundation can no man lay, than that which is laid, which is Jesus CHRIST. And to him I would direct you, and all others, rich and poor, bond and free, young and old; for, in this respect, there is no difference. Nor is there any other name by which any of us can be saved.”
“ Yes, Sir, to be sure Christ is our only Saviour. And was I noe baptized into his name, and grafted into the body of his church? You don't suppose surely that I think there is any other Saviour ! No, no, Sir, then I mould not be a Christian !"
“ But yet I am really afraid,” said Eugenius, “ that you may have too great a dependence on the mere forms of religion ; and I could wish you to attend more to the true spirit and power of it. The religion of Jesus is a living principle in the soul ; it takes hold on the heart; it subdues every high and vain thought, and brings it into subjection to the law of God, and the law of faith; it is the kingdom of God within us; nay, it is CHRIST himself in us the hope of glory.'
“ Indeed, Sir, I don't know what to say to this hidden religion you talk of. It may do weil enough, perhaps, for rich folks, and scolards and minifters; but I don't think that we poor folks know much about it."
“ I am sorry for that, indeed,” said Eugenius, “ for I cannot but think this part of religion much adapted to the circumstances of the poor,' It is that part in which they may, and do often, excel. They have it not in their power, as you juftly observe, to recommend their religion by so constant an attendance on the outward forms of it; and Atill less to exemplify it in works of charity and benevolence. But in the devotion of their hearts to God, and in the exercises of repentance and faith, they may be as eminent as any of their rich peighbours. This, Dame Jenkins, is the religion of the heart, and without this, whatever you may think of it, you cannot be a real Chriftian."
• Re« Repentance ! surely, Sir, you can't suppose that we, who never committed fin, are to exemplify or recommend our religion by re. pentance ? No, no, CHRIST came, you know, not to call the just and the righteous, such as we who have no need of it, but finners to repentance !"
"'And do you really think,” said Eugenius, " that you never committed any fin! Pray think a little before you give me a positive answer."
“ Dear Sir, my neighbours will all answer for me. I was never accounced a sinner, I believe, by any of them; and why should you, think me so ?”
“ I have all the reason in the world,” said Eugenius, “ to think you a finner; for there is no man that liveth, and finneth not. Wc are indeed all of us finners; and except we'repent we must all
“ Yes, if I had committed any great fin, it would be my duty to '. repent ; but, as that is not the case, I don't see the neceflity of repentance.”
" You seem to allow then," said Eugenius, “ that you may have committed some little fins."
“ Yes," says the old lady,“ poflibly I may, however I cannot recolle&t any just now; and I think I am as free from fin ás any one I know."
“ That may be,” said Eugenius, " and yet were you to die in your present state, I am much afraid, all your religion, and all your goodness would leave you far short of the kingdom of heaven!”
“ Pray, Sir," said the old lady, with some degree of asperity, “ What reason have you to think so hard of me;"
“ My dear Dame Jenkins," said Eugenius, “ it appears to me that you never yet experienced a real change of heart,-ihat you were never yet convinced of lin,-never yet truly sorry for its that you never yet saw your need of CHRIST, -never yet closed in with that way of salvation which God hath graciously revealed in the gospel ; and therefore I tell you, for I see I must be plain with you, chat, notwithstanding all your strictness in attending to the forms of religion, you have indeed lived without God in the world ; and I mult add, should you die in such a late, you cannot escape the jutt judge ment of hell!"
“ Dear Sir," said the old lady, “ Your words make me tremble! -If it be fo, what can I do!”
If the Author had intended to place the whole doctrine of heart-experience, so much in fisted upon by writers of this stamp, in the light of ridicule, he could not have done it more effecrually than in the following conversation between Susanna and Margaret :
"Well,” says Susanna,“ pray what is the matter?-I have always thought you to be a very good sort of a woman, and that you had got above all these scruples long before now!"
" No, indeed, I have noi,” replied Margaret, “ I am as much, if not more discouraged than ever."
Bev, Aug. 1779.