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." is no difference at all. It comes to the fame thing in the “ conclufion. God's fimple ordinance levels all distinctions !" -- This is precisely Mr. M.'s argument: and his exposition of this text leads directly to these conclusions; nor is it in his power to avoid them without ruining his own cause.
We observed before, that the law hath made a wise and benevolent provision for virgins, seduced by the treachery of men. .“ The man SHALL surely endow that woman for his wife, whom he hath enticed, because he hath humbled her.” It is not said that by humbling, he HAD actually made her his wife; but it is said, that marriage-a lawful and proper marriage 'SHALL take place, in conlequence of, and as a reparation for, the injury done her. But, if the personal act had of itself been a fufficient marriage (as Mr. M. would have it) an expression would not have been used that denoted same on the one hand, and punishment on the other. The humbling her (as the Scripture delicately expresses it) strongly denotes the dishonour that was brought on her character, by what Mr. M. profanely calls • God's holy and simple ordinance.' • In short, this Writer's whole argument with respect to marriage is founded on a fallacy. He confounds the idea of mara riage itself with the remedy that was ordained by the law of God to prevent the abuse and ruin of the sex. He makes no sort of distinction between what was obligatory to prevent an injurious and disgraceful connection, and that which was the cause of the obligation. He doth not see the difference, which every person not blinded by the prejudices of a system might see, between the man who is compelled to marry the woman whom he hath unlawfully enjoyed, and the man who first marries her, in order that hé may lawfully enjoy her. The confusion of these two diftinct circumstances hath occasioned some of the capital errors of Theo lyphthora.'
We have already taken notice of the confidence with which this Writer lays down his propofitions ; and the air of importance and superiority which he hath assumed through the whole of his former publication. In the present supplemental volume he hath raised bis authoritative tone ftill higher; and hath added the bitterness of malice to the rudeness of insult. With regard to the Jews, says he, the light itself is not more clear and evident; than that, throughout the whole Law of Mores, there is not the least hint or trace of nuptial ceremony of a religious kind, or the interference of any minister of religion in the matter : therefore, the throwing marriage into the hands of Christian Churchmen, and pretending that, a ceremonial to be administered by priests, jure divino, was necessary and cfiential, &c. &c. amounts to a demonstration that Christian Churchmen have been the greatest, and most errant and complete ict of KNAVES that
one pit and amen if ther, Woolhondure of
ever infested the earth. None but such could, for their own profit and interest, have misinterpreted, perplexed, confounded, as they have done, the holy and simple ordinance of God with respect to marriage, and then throw the dust of priestly rites and ceremonies into the eyes of the laity to prevent a discovery of their imposture.'
This Author seems to have copied his abuse of Christian churchmen from the Hickeringills and Woolstons of apostate memory. But those churchmen, if they are really Christian, can well bear contempt and Nander from such a quarter. They can expect nothing better; and with abundant reason every Chris. tian churchman, from the days of good old Clement of apoftolic memory down to the present times, might very properly adopt the language of Pythias in the play, when speaking of a drunk. ard :Utinam fic fient, male qui mihi volunt !
Ter. Eun. “If all were such enemies, Religion hath little to fear.” Mr. Madan's capital object in the present volume is to bring the authority of the ancient Fathers into suspicion ; and, with a view to establish the credit of his own system, he attempts, not only to overthrow their authority, but to make even their tefii. mony problematical. This was necessary for the support of a cause which every precept and doctrine of every Father of the ancient church directly militated against. He was obliged to make reprisals, not on one, but on AlL. He was obliged to advance his single word (unless, indeed, we except the authority of Barnardinus Ochinus and John Lyferus) against the full and united testimony of the most venerable confessors of the Christian faith from the age of the Apostles to the present times. If they stood, he must fall: and therefore, on the true principles of that fpecies of charity which, is vulgarly said, to begin at home, he makes no scruple of attacking them all with indiscriminate fury; and considers them universally as so many Dagons set up in opposition to Jehovah, which every good Ifraelite would allist to demolish, and triumph in their downfall. Mr. M. indeed doth not seem to consider himself as bound, by any principle of duty or love, to throw a mantle over the nakedness of the Fathers. He neither shades their infirmities, nor excuses their defects. He may not, indeed, consider himself as related to them. We think he is not; and therefore can more readily forgive his spite against them. Though, if he were a relation, perhaps he would, in his zeal for a caule for which he can find no patron amongft them, be ready to say with Tristram Shandy's father, in the case of his aunt Dinah, who was humbled by the coachman, “What is the support of a family to the support of an hypothefis ?”.
But if a Writer attempts to support an hypothesis bý pro'ducing false witnesses, he gives so much to the contrar cause as he intended to produce in behalf of his own. Mr. M. is precisely in his predicament, in the very first instance which he quotes from antiquity.
We shall explain ourselves moré largely and particularly in in the next Review :-in which Mr. Madan's ignorance of the Fathers will be amply exposed, and his dilingenuity and false reasoning detected and confuted by a fair and direct appeal to ORIGINAL Authors.
[To be continued.]
Art. XII. Letters berrween two Lovers, and their Friends. By the
Author of Letters supposed to have been written by Yorick, and Eliza. 12mo. 3 Vols. 75. 6 d. Bew: 178 1. VIIHEN we passed oui censure on this Writer's for
V mer publication, we had been fo nauseated with the large quantities of that insipid trash, called Sentimental Letters, Sentimental Effufions, &c. &c. which had been poured upon us; under the sanction of Yorick's name, or by an affectation of his light and desultory manner of writing, without one grain of his wit and acuteness; that we thought it our duty to attempt to check the progress of this new species of dulness, and to restore that esteem for good senses Jearning, and fimplicity; which a fondness for those frivolous and idle productions had a tendency to banish from our country. Every coxcomb who was versed in the small talk of love, and who had acquired the knack of writing without thinking, fancied himself to be another YORICK ! and as it was exceedingly easy to assume the virtue of sentiment, and as easy to adopt its cant, the Elizas too, were very numerous ! Here reclined a swain, so oppressed by his own gentle feelings, that he could only utter the tender tale of his heart in abrupt and broken' fentences. There, on some soft bank, beside the murmuring stream, a nymph, half breachters, melting in her own sensibility, rat drooping-expiring in a soft and pathetic Ol! -Here old lovers conveyed their wishes in groans, and sentimental old maids (for want of better amusement !) echoed them back in fighs! Now palsied passion (feigning itself to be “ tremBlingly alive all o'er !") shook itfelt into ****! Then poot fentiment, frittered by use, dwindled away, and was loft in a
! This was the most compendious method of supplying “ each vacuity of sense;" and stars and dajes, which in reality mean now thing, were supposed to mean too much for language to express; and the Writer, swelling with unutterable feelings, and labouring with those travels of the heart which had no iffue in birth, Rev. July 1781.
was compared to the painter of antiquity, who wisely threw a veil over the subject which he was not able to describe.
Time, however, hath in some measure corrected this folly. Naturam expellas furca licet, tamen ufque recurret. The poor trick amused for a little while: but it was played so frequently, and by many, who, only taking it up at fecondhand, made such bungling work of it, that it became contemptible, and lost all its power of imposicion.
In justice, however, to the volumes before us, we readily acknowledge that they are freer from those objections than the Author's former publication. They are less affected, and much mòre interesting and entertaining. They have a story, or rather two or three stories interwoven very naturally with each other,—which excite curiosity, and keep the attention awake, on objects and events of some interest, both to the affections and understanding. A shade is thrown on the picture, by the melancholy history of Mr. Williams, and Leonora; but the artist bath shewn his skill by this arrangement, and the beauty of the piece is heightened by it. It affords exercise for compassion, and softens and improves the heart, by repressing the gaiety and confidence which prosperity is too apt to inspire.
In short, these Letters have a moral tendency that will make them acceptable to the lovers of virtue; and though they are not enlivened by the brilliance of wit, yet they are supported by good fense, and solid experience, ,
Core inte former owhey are the volumpolicionat it bed
Art. XIII. The Doctrine of philofophical Neceffity briefly invalidated.
in 8vo. 6 d. Richardson and Urquhart. 1781. T HE attempt to invalidate' the Doctrine of philosophi
cal Necessity in a small pamphlet of twenty-four pages, appeared, at first view, enterprising. The Author, however, hath acquitted himself with no small share of skill and dexterity; though he fails of impreffing convidion. His principal argument is briefly this " If the Doctrine of Neceflity be true in itself, and thoroughly believed to be true, there could be no end proposed for our exertions, and consequently all motives would lose their influence.” In order to illustrate this observation, the Author says, Let us take one event in which we are all equally concerned, viz, the time and circumstances of our death. Supposing therefore, that, at or before my entrance into this world, the time of my leaving it was fixed, and that I entirely believed it to be so; no circumstance throughout life, no possible situation in which I could be placed, would operate as a motive, so as to make me use even the lightest endeavour, either to lengthen out, or shorten, the period of my existence. This must be allowed upon the supposition under consideration,
will in this argu meceffity as a gen Did a man by the secret de
And if this be the case with regard to so momentous an event, it will certainly hold true of any other. There is an obvious fallacy in this argument. The Author confounds the belief of the Doctrine of Neceflity as a general principle, with the certain foresight of a particular event. Did a man know infallibly, not only that the period of his life was fixed by the secret decree of God, but that such or such a day would produce it, or such a circumstance would inevitably effect it in spite of all precaution, and every exertion poffible; then we grant, the Au. thor's reasoning would have some weight. But at present it hath none. Though an event be absolutely decreed, and as such totally unavoidable, yet if we are not aware what or when or how it may be, the whole business of ends and motives must in effect be precisely the same to us, as if it was not pre-ordained.
The next observation, the Author ingenuously acknowledges, hath no certain ground of proof; but he hopes, however, that the truth of it will not be denied. ' I suppose then, says he, that in a future state our faculties will be enlarged, our understandings enlightened, and our apprehensions quickened in such a degree that the truths which we now attain to with difficulty, and much study, will then appear as axioms to be classed amongst the first principles of our knowledge, and hence serve as a basis for making further discoveries by reason. This must be the case upon the natural suppofition, that the righteous in another life make a continual progress in knowledge and happiness.
If, therefore, as was supposed before, Philosophical Necesfity be a truth, and likewise discoverable by human reason, in some future period of our existence; liberty, as opposed to this truth, must cease to operate as a practical principle, and give place to ideas of neceflity, which, like all intuitive truths, will ever be present to the mind, and consequently, as hath been proved before, reduce us to a state entirely torpid.'
If we may judge of the future from the present (and the Author, for his own fake, must allow of the analogy) we should by no means adopt this conclufion. We know that the firmest belief of the doctrine of necessity doth not render the mind torpid and inactive. It doth not fupersede the use of means, nor in the least abate the sense of their importance for the attainment of any end, either of knowledge or virtue. This is a fact which cannot be denied ; and as one example of the truth of it, we refer the Author to the gentleman whore writings have occafioned his remarks, viz. Dr. Priestley.
The same general plan and conftitution which is established in the present Itate, may be carried into a future ; and the same provision made against the evil consequences that may be fupe posed to result from an unwavering belief of the doctrine of ne.