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RELIGIOUS. Art. 25. A Word to Mr. Madan; or, Free Thoughts on his late celebrated Defence of Polygamy. In a Letter to a Friend. 8vo. 1 s. Buckland. 1781.
"This Letter,' we are informed, ' was written by a Gentleman of Devon shire, to a friend in Bristol, and was intended to afford a little private amusement. It is now presented to the public, in compli. ance with the united requests of many respectable persons who have perused it, and who are of opinion, that it may operate as a pleasing antidote to the concealed but deadly poison of Mr. Madan's performance.'
• The object of this little piece is not formally to confute Mr. Madan's folemn fophiftry and grimace, but merely, by a little wellpoinred ridicule, as well as argument, to expose his lascivious system.'
An agreeable vein of pleasantry runs through this performance : but we are suspicious, from a quotation in p. 11, that the ingenious Author never read the treatise which he hath written against, and that he hath borrowed his account of it from the Reviews and Ma. gazines.
B....ke Art. 26. Remarks on Thelyphthora, with a Dedication to the
King and Queen, and an Address to the Author. By James Penn,
All that is good in this performance is borrowed. The greatest part of what is original, is either prophane, triling, or captious. The Author is sometimes threwd; at other times sprightly; but selo dom pleasing, and always pert.
• If, says the Author, from the sale of the publication, not for its fingular merit, but the friendlhip and good opinion of the Public, it may be thought necessary to proceed, the style, pleasing at the first, Thall be continued to the end. If the Public is dissatished, for whom I write, and whose approbation in writing hath ever been the princi. pal object, I shall drop che pen.'
If the Author will take a hint from us, we would advise him to leave the thorny pirth of polemical divinity ; and retire within the quiet walls of his “ Surry Cottage *.”. Art. 27. An Essay on the Character of Methodism; in which
the leading Piinciples of that Sect, the Aids it borrowed from the Writings of the Clergy, and the Influence it hath communicated to them, are coridered and stated. By the Author of Remarks on Dr. Hallifax's Preface to the Sermons of the late Dr. Ogden, 8vo. I s. 6 d. Cadell. 1781.
The picture of Methodism is here drawn with a free and animated pencil. The Author makes some just observations on the diftinguish. ing principles of that sect; particularly, the doctrine of Original finwhich may be considered as the chief corner-stope of Methodisn.
[p the conclusion, he belows some ftri&tures on the Sermons of Archbishop Secker and Dr. Ogden : and points out some passages
• A novel of the Author's, so entitled, lately mentioned in our Review. See vol. Ixvii. p. 467.
which an enthusiastic fancy would apply to a very absurd and dangerous purpose ; and particularly remarks, that the sanction given by some very eminent divines to the frequency and looseness of Scripture quotations, bath afforded a handle for those wild applications of Scripture on which the whole system of Methodism is built and efta. blished.' The Author may be thought too severe in his reflections, and too barih in his epithets : but, on the whole, his reinarks are ju. dicious, and his language is forcible. Art. 28. The divine Visions of John Engelbrecht, a Lutheran
Proteitant, whom God sent from the Dead to be a Preacher of Repentance and Faith to the Christian world. To the whole is prefixed, the Translator's Prefatory Address, &c. and a prelimi. nary View of the Author's Life and Writings. Translated from the original German. By Francis Okely, formerly of St. John's College, Cambridge. 2 Vols. small 8vo. 3 s. sewed. Lackington. 1781.
The beft account we can give of the Author, and his Divine Vifrons, is the following, in his own words : • God the Holy Ghost raised me, John Engelbrecht, up again from the dead, after that my body had been dead, stiff and cold, which many persons in Brunswic are privy. to add acquainted with ; insomuch that my body returned in a short time to its vigour and vivacity, without the help of any sort of earthly meat, drink, and doctoring. But in the interval-time, whilst my body was dead, the Holy Ghost transported and conveyed my soul before Hell; and there made it smell the stench of Hell; and allo hear the howlings of the damned in hell, amidst the darkness, and midst the thick smoke and fog; intended for a warning to the wicked. Afterwards, be also transported and conveyed my soul co Heaven, and thewed the glory thereof unto it, intended for comfort to the afflicted. Moreover, the commission, charge, or message, which was there given unto me, every one will by means of this piece, communicated unto them, have an opportunity of understanding in all its circum. Itances. Also how God confirmed and ratified my special call and commission by marvellous signs and wonders presented to the eyes and ears of men, as the people of Brunswic are privy to and acquainted with.-Now, these marvellous things happened in the year 1622, about the time when, in the second Sunday in Advent, we have the Gospel read~" And there shall be figns in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the stars," &c. &c. At that very juncture, this fign also passed upon me.' What fign? Nor the sign of the Sun ;-unless in an eclipse. Nor of the stars :-unless of the raging Dog-star. It was the figo of the Moon-where we leave John Engelbrecht, with his Divine Vifons; and only with the worthy and learned Translator, would look out for better quarters,
To the MONTHLY REVIE W E RS. GENTLEMEN, YOUR account of Abbé Raynal's Revolution of America,' which exhibits an infingation 006 much in favour of its authenticity,
nor, fupposing it to be genuine, to the fame of the Abbé, thus concludes :-"We shall therefore content ourselves with this general notice of the publication, at least till the Abbé Raynal shall think fit to give it the protection of his celebrated name.”
Soon after the appearance of your • Review,' we were informed by public advertisement, that those egregious judges of ftile, who had ven. tured to pronounce on the Spuriousness of the book, with as much confi. dence as if they had been able to prove it, were referred to the author's now edition of his History of the Indies, in 5 vols, quarto, in which they might find the Revolution of America,' verbatim et literatim.
Imagining that for your own satisfaction you would have had immediate recourse to this new edition, I had flattered myself in the hope of finding in the 'Review' for July, your second thoughts on a publication that has excited so much attention and conversation.
A DISAPPOINTED READER. 5th Aug. 1781. ... We have not yet met with the new edition of the AEBE' Rayo Nal's History, here referred to. When we have an opportunity of look. ing into it, we shall, with pleasure, pay due attention to the evidence aliuded to by our “ Disappointed Reader," in support of the ingenious Abbé's claim to “ The Revolution of America :' which claim ( in the mean time) we are by no means disposed to contest.
offt In answer to our Correspondent Y. Z. who hath made some 1 inquiries respecting the beautiful Ode on Ofan, of which mention was made in our last, we have been informed, that the Author of it is the Rev. Mr. Hole, a clergyman of Devonshire, whose translation of the Hymn to Ceres is respectfully noticed in this month's Review.
The second part of the criticism on the 3d volume of Thelyph. shora moft neceffarily be postponed till the following month, on account of its very extraordinary leng:h:-the other articles in this Review having been, for the greater part, arranged before the Editor jeceived it from the Author, who lives at a considerable distance from the capital.-We wish to remind our Readers of the hint given at the conclusion of the Introduktory Remarks in the last Review, viz. That the main object of the succeeding criticism is, to overthrow the very foundation of Mr. Madan's leading pofitions respecting the opinions and practices of the first and second centuries of the Christian church ; to expose his ignorance of the Fathers, and detect the fallacy of his conclufions, by a direct and fair appeal to authentic teftimonies and ORIGINAL writers.
Mr. Hill's Controversy with Mr. Madan is insended for our next.
Art. I. THELYPHTHORA. Vol. III. concluded. Vid. Review for
July. It was an observation of the celebrated philosopher of Malmfo
I bury, that “when reason is against a man, a man will be against reason.” It is for the interest of such a man to difcredit a principle which tends to discredit him.
We may carry this observation still farther, and apply it with great justice to Mr. Madan's contempt and hatred of the primitive Fathers. Their united opposition to the cause of Thelyphthora hath provoked oppofition on his part; and as he could not find one of them in the class of Polygamifts, he boldly rutheth forward to take the field against all.
For so formidable an enterprise, he is more indebted to his confidence than his abilities; and, when he feels his weakness in the moment of combat, he flies--we will not be so uncere. monious as to say, that he hath recourse to the refuge of lies; but we think, even courtesy itself would aver, that he frequently betakes himself to a covere in the neighbourhood.
Sometimes, indeed, his caution forsakes him ; and even his craft yields to his ardor. Hence, in a furious onset on the Fathers, he forgets how nearly they are connected with the Apostles ; for, in Thooting indiscriminately among the former, his arrow frequently glances on the latter. But, to cover Moses, a zealous Polygamist would inake no scruple of leaving St. Paul exposed : and, to enjoy a laugh at the expence of primitive virginity, would not be solicitous to keep a chapter in the Epistle to the Corinthians clear of the jest.
The Author profeffeth, in the present volume, to trace out by what means, and by what degrees the laws of Jehovah conVol. LXV,
cerning marriage were opposed and abrogated, and a new lyftem invented and establithed by Christian churchmen.' .
He begins with the first century, and pursues his inquiry through the successions of Fathers, Councils, Synods, Popes, and the rabble of the schoolmen' (as he calls them) down to the æra of the Reformation.
The writer whom Mr. Madan almost wholly copies from is Dupin, the French ecclesiastical historian. With such copious materials before him, his work became exceedingly easy; for all he had to do, was, to select and transcribe. Mr. M.'s acquaintance with the Fathers seems indeed to be entirely of the secondary kind: but he knew enough of their character to convince him, that his acquaintance would never ripen into friendship. His object is totally to discard their authority; though, if their authority were discarded, he would not be advanced one step in the proof of his system, as long as he admits the authority of the New Testament.
The principal design of the present volume is to prove, that the Fathers, by favouring celibacy, became, of consequence, enemies to polygamy; but that, as Protestants contest their authority in one relpeet, they ought, consistently with their own principles, to discard it in another.
In supporting this leading position, which we have endeavoured to place in the clearest light, the Author begins with producing the testimony of St. Clement of Rome, the associate of the Apostles, in favour of virginity.
" At the end of Wetstein's New Testament (says Mr. M.) are to be found “two Epistles of St. Clement, the Roman, disciple of St. Peter, taken from the Book of the Syriac MS. of the N. Telt.” Weiftein, in order to prove that they are genuine, cites two testimonies, one of St. Jerome, the other of Epiphanius.
The Epistles themselves appear in Syriac, with a Latin translation ; by which it seems evident, that this faint was as great an advocate for virginity as Jerome was himself.
• Clement says-" Whosoever profeffeth before the Lord, " that he will preserve his chastity, ought to be girt with every “ holy virtue ; and, if indeed he hath crucified his body for the “ sake of piety, he prays against the Word, which says-Ino crease and multiply."
"A deal more of this impious piety (says Mr. M.) is to be found in other parts of these Epifties; bui this quotation may serve to shew, how very early it became a fashion in the Christian church to put imagination in the place of Scripture, and to invent schemes of sanctity, which directly militated against the the 'will and word of God, as revealed in the Holy Scripture.