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ART. VI. The Blessingi of Polygamy displayed, in an affectionate
Address to the Rev. Martin Madan, occalioned by his late Work entitled Thelyphthora. By Richard Hill, E[q. 8vo. 3 s. Dilly. 1781. THEN Thelyphthora was first published, we were appre
hensive that the Author's name would carry considerable weight with it among a certain class of people, who had long held his abilities and learning in high estimation, and his piety aid orthodoxy in profound reverence. We should have been extremely concerned to have scen those, whose minds had been tinctured with his spiritual maxims, so far perverted by his carnal ones, as to have added libertinism to enthufiafin, under the sanction of his authority. Some of his original admisers have adopted his system; and one clergyman, in particular, hath publicly avowed and vindicated it, in its utmost extent. Nevertheless, we are happy to find, that his proselytes among the profelors of religion have been very few : and with pieafure we inform the Public, that the Methodills in general loudly execrate Mr. Madan's principles, and bitterly lament over his melan. choly defection from the purity of Christian truth.
Among the most respectable opponents of Thelyphthora, in this line, is he ingenious and worthy Author of the present work. We have read this Address with pleasure and satisfaction. The argumentative part is, in general, solid and judicious; and the lighter part is entertaining and sprightly. The language, though not remarkable for its elegance, is easy and peripicuous; and the knowledge displayed in it, though not extensive, is accurate. But its chief praise is found in the spirit with which it is conducted. We see the zeal of the Chriltian embellihed with the politeness of the gentleman; and the poignancy of criticism foftened by the affection of friendship.
Mr. Will having exposed Mr. Madan's perversion of a variety of texts of Scripture, observes, that after much pains, indeed, to ftate a distinction between the husband and wife being locally two, and numerically two, Mr. Madan seems 10 wonder at what he calls "the leger demain of those who suppose that the husband and wife mean only two persons, or two and no more,” Bui, says our Author, the art of legerdemoin is much more to be admired in him who can change or duo, they two, into, they thril, or they four, just as he pleaies; and who, by the same a:t, can reduce Solomon and his leven hundred wives into olovo, they twaini
The Apofle Payl illudes to that original text, Gen. ii. 24. in his Epistle to the Ephcfios, ch.v. 31. where he is treating of that love and union which ought to lubit between the husband and the wife. " For this caute shall a mun leave his father and
mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one Aeth.” And then he adds—“ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." Nothing can be clearer, nothing more restrictive of one man to one woman, and one woman to one man, than these words of the Apostle. But my friend would draw a conclusion in bis favour from this text, by observing that the Church or Spouse of Christ, being made up of many members, and having only one husband, therefore the analogy between Christ and his Church is much better supported by the Polygamist than by the Monogamist. But he should recollect, that though believers, which constitute the spouse of Chrift, are indeed many, when considered individually; yet, when considered colleElively (in which light the Scripture always doch consider them), they are still only ONE BODY. Unless therefore my friend can prove (what the amorous Polygamit would not with him to prove), that a man may have three or four wives, and these wives have but one body among them, the argument on which he hangs his conclusion is no better than a routen rope, which being pulled too tight, snaps in the middle, and down drops Polygamy!'
On that passage in i Cor. 7. “ Defraud ye not one the or her, except it be with consent, for a time.” (i. e. deprive not one another of the folace of the conjugal embrace, unless it be by mutual cone fent, for a limited time, for the sake of some devotional or prudential purpose.] Mr. Hill proposes the following very pertinent queries: 1. • Can more than two persons poflibly be included in those words, “.one the other ?" 2. Is not the consent of the wife as much included as the consent of the husband, in the Apostle's injunction ? 3. Doth not a husband more effectually defraud a wife of the rights of the marriage bed, by taking another woman, than by continence? In the former case, he defrauds her positively; in the latter, only negatively. 4. Was there ever an affectionate wife in the world that would give her free consent to be so defrauded ?'
Mr. Madan's chief objeet is to establish this position_" that the Law of God is unalierable, and that polygamy is a part of that Law.” Mr. Hill hath proved that this pofition is fallacious : and hath Mewn, by several Itriking instances, that alterations have been made in the Law by the express authority of God himself, even in matters that respect not only the policy of the state, but the morality of domestic life. He instances, in the Jaw respecting divorces, a circumstance, which we have heretofore noted as uiterly irreconcileable with Mr. Madan's unqualifed pofition. Another inttance, which we think is adduced with particular propriety, respects the alteration of the Sabbath,
The original law, inserted in the body of the Ten Commandments, iš -" the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, because
Commaticularly deato moral of the the day. now the
that in it the Lord rested from all his works,” &c. In conformity (lays our ingenuous Author) with this early institution of the Sabbath as a day of reft, the ancient people of God, the Jews, observed and hallowed the 7th day with the most rigid severity; and you yourself bring some terrible examples of God's jealousy over this law of the Sabbath, as contained in the 4th Commandment, and of his indignation against the breakers of it: particularly in the fearful cale of the man who was ordered to be stoned to death for gathering a few sticks on the Sabbathday. But he who is Lord of the Sabbath hath thought fit to change his own institution, and the day on which he rose from the dead, viz. the first day of the week, is now the great Christian Sabbath, as the 9th day was that of the Jews. Whether the Jewish Sabbath were or were not typical of the Christian Sabbach,' hath nothing to do with the present question. The Sabbath-day is plainly changed. A poor man may now as lawfully gather his sticks on a Saturday as on any other day; and none but a Jew, or a Sabbatarian, would deny him the privilege. Nay, if he were even to do it on a Sunday, especially for any necessary purpose, I cannot suppose that the rigor of the inftitu. tion of the Sabbath so far sublists, as that he would thereby incur the wrath of God, any more than by kindling a fire for preparing his necessary food on the Sabbath day, which, however, was positively forbidden under the Mosaic dispensation.'
We should be alad to see Mr. Madan's attempt to evade the force of this remark. It would require all his dexterity to avoid a consequence very unfavourable to his position. If he professes himself a Sabbatarian, he will cut the argument short at once : and we have nothing to ask him farther;-unless a question that may be deemed impertinent, because we have nothing to do with à man's private conduct, whether on a Saturday or a Sunday.. If he should not chuse the alternative of Sabbatarianism, we would ask him, if a manifest and direct alteration had not taken place in the order of the Divine Law? And farther, we would ask him, if the reason for keeping holy the seventh day, “ because the Lord refted from all his works” en that day, be not entirely annulled by the Chriftian institution ? If he says “ Yes”-for what else can he say ? -- we would ask him farther-By whom was the alteration made? If he acknowledges any alteration, he must recur to divine authority to establich the proof of it. We would then ask him, where the proof of the interposition of that divine authority which is necessary to credit such an alteration is to be met with? If he appeals to the New Testament, we would ask him, if the alteration is founded on a direct and poli. tive command ? If he fails in producing such a clear and unequivocal evidence from any direct and explicit command, we would finally ask him, if he did not find it absolutely neU4
cessary to rest his proof on the testimony of the ancient Fathers of the Church? -and whether, as that testimony refers to a point of general and common practice, it ought not to be relied, on as perfectly satisfactory?
For our parts, we firmly believe, that an alteration hath' actually taken place :--that the reason alleged for keeping holy the seventh day, is no longer obligatory on mankind ;-ihat ja far the Moral Law itself hath been dispensed with, and a new institution hach taken place in the room of the old. We bea lieve too, that the specific evidence on which the proof of this, alteration is founded, cannot be produced from the New Testament, but must be fought for in the writings of the earlier Fathers of the Christian Church : and that their concurrent and clear testimony is perfectly fufficient to satisfy all candid Christians, of every denomination, through every age of time. But
Art. VIII. The Cobler's Letter to the Author of Thelyphthera. In
tended as a Supplement to Mr. Hill's Address, intitled “The Blesings, &c. [Sec the preceding Article.). 8vo. 1 s. Dily* 1781.
R . Madan, in a letter addressed to Mr. Hill, at the conIVI clusion of his 3d volume of Thelyphthors, affects to treat his friend's learning, particularly in the Hebrew Scrip. tures, with contempt, and insolently applies to him the old adage, ne futor ultra crepi lain—" let not the cobler go beyond his last,” Hence Mr. Hill, in a vein of millgled humour and condescenfion, hath adopted the character bestowed on him in a moment of mingled chagrin and disdain. In this little pamphlet, our lively and sensible Author hath renewed his attack with frefly spirit; detected the fophiftry of Mr. Madan with great aculeneis; answered the objections with much folidity; and exposed the licentiouiness and folly of his fyftem of marriage and polygamy with the united force of ridicule and argument, He hach our chanks : and will have the thanks of every one who vzducs truth ir.ore than chicane; and thinks the partialities of private friendihip ought to yield to the general interests of fociety, and the particular obligations of that doctrine which is according to goulliriefs.
Akr. IX. Sole Dil stations from the Amenitaies Academiræ, A
fappleruent to Adr. Stirling fleet's Traits relating to Natural History: pia llared by the Rev. F. J. Brand, M A. In I'wo Volumes. Vol. I. 8vo. 55. 3 d. Boards. Robinson. 1781. ' THE Public are vell acquainted with the Miscellaneous
Truets, formerly selected, from the volumes of the imao nilates Acadence which had chen been published, by che late in
genious Mr. Suillingfeet. The limits imposed upon him by his plan, which was chiefy confined to berany, husbandry, and medicine, prevented him from enlarging and enriching his collection by the admiffion of several curious papers relative to Zoology, as weil as to other subjects of a general nature. This omission has been supplied by the Author of the prelent Collection ; whose undertaking is the more acceptable, as the first volumes of the original work are said to be out of print; and as an additional volume has come out since Mr. Stillingfieet's publication.
The present Translator, who is likewise occasionally an An. notator, has divided the differtations that are 'contained in this first volume into two clasies; the first of which comprehends three papers on subjects of a general nature; and the second includes nine differtations on zoological subjects. He has frequently exercised his discretion in omitting the fiorid introduce tions which the original authors have sometimes prefixed to their differtations; as well as in abridging other passages, and in diEelting some comparative descriptions and collections of remarks into a tabular form. To enable the lovers of natural history to form some judgment of the contents of this compilation, we th all transcribe the title of each dissertation, and occasionally select a few observations from them. DISSERTATION I. . On the Use of Natural History, by Matthew
Aphonin, a Nu cua af Malcony. In this differtation the noble Author has collected a variety of select exa'uples, to thew the great utility that may be derived from the study of natural history, in its various branches; particularly with respect to agriculture, gardening, the raising of woods, the searing of cattle, che destruction of infects and noxious animals, and other parts of rural economics. In treating of the introduction of exotic plants into Rullia, and other northern climates, the Author takes notice of the many abortive attempts that had been made to procure the tea fhrub, and of the final success of Linnæus; for that we may now promise ourselves,' says the Author, that the tea plant will be in a little time as common in Europe as the Syring?, a native of the same country.' 1 In a note, the Trandator adds, that no true tea plant had been introduced into Furope before the year 1963; that the oil with which the leeds abound becomes rancid, in their paslage hiiber, and deftroys their vegetating power; that the plant which genesally go s under the name of the Tea plant, in botanical garden, is the Care ; that Linnæus had regularly, for 20 years, fowed the reco's without fuccess: hut, by his inflruétion, Charles Guitavus, Ekeberg, Captain of a Swedili veffel trading to China, lowed the fresh seeds in a garden-pot, before he left