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Family Sermons. By the Rev. E. W. Whitaker. Vol. III. Svo.
. 6s. Boards. Rivingtons. THESE are plain moral discourses; but the preacher unfortunately introduces the mention of the events that have lately taken place in France, and thus frequently weakens those arguments which, sanctioned by examples from the scripture, would have made a forcible impression on every mind. The controversy on the future punilhment of the wicked meets with little quarter; and the grounds of this controversy seem to have been very little studied by this preacher, who hazards an observation that must not pass unnoticed.
To avoid the force of this last text, and others of like meaning, we are sometimes boldly assured, that the word rendered everlasting, should not be so understood. Yet is the same term used to express the never-failing existence of God himself, as in the fisteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, “ according to the commandment of the everlasting God.” And this very evasion seems to be guarded against in the scriptures, not only by the circumlocutions employed on this head, when the place of torment is described, as that where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched: but by its having been specifically declared, that the bodies of the dead Mall be raised incorruptible; and each of the future: ftates shall be unchangeable. In the former of these points, we are instructed by St. Paul, in the fifteenth chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians; and the last our Lord hath taught us in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Now surely, if the subjects of punishment be to exist for ever, and yet, when once placed in the torments to which they are condemned, never change their state, it must be something more than folly to deny, that their punishment Mall be everlasting.' P. 212.
The question is, whether the state is unchangeable? The fire not quenching, or the worm not dying, may not imply that the perforis fhould remain subject to an endless torment of fire, or the eternal gnawings of the worm. To attribute something more than folly to those who deny the punishments of the wicked to be endless, is an .unjustifiable sentiment, since many pious and learned men have entertained the opinion which this writer withes to confute; and he
has by no means brought convincing arguments in favour of his own position. He attempts also to increase the horror of the future state of the wicked by exhorting us to picture to ourselves a vast abyss, whose utter darkness will be interrupted, not relieved, by the blue glare of sulphureous flames; whose unmeasured concave will resound with ceaseless cries of misery, cries not of a nature to excite compassion, but to raise horror.' But surely this is a vain attempt. The joys of the future life are not to be described to human conceptions, even by the testimony and language of an apostle; and to paint the woes of the condemned without sufficient grounds from scripture, is more likely to excite a smile at the painter, than true feelings of the misery of vice. The writer does not often offend in this manner. He is, in general, plain, rational, pious. He does not aim at any elegance of style, or beauty of composition. We observe in his discourses no grandeur of expression, no novelty of sentiment. Our views of scripture are not enlarged, nor are any difficulties in the interpretation of it folved. Yet to those who are fond of moral essays, and plain descriptions of nature, when they are animated by a few scriptural observations, these sermons may afford both entertainment and improvement. . A Disputation in Logic, arguing the moral and religious Uses of a
Devil. Book the First. By George Hanmer Leycester, A. M.
8vo. 15. 6d. Egerton. On the political and moral Uses of an Evil Spirit. By George Han
mer Leycester, A. M. Svo. 15. 6d. Egerton. When the schoolmen were in falhion, and no one was esteemed a scholar who was not perfe&tly acquainted with all the barbarous terms of their logic, this work would have afforded great amusement to the younger disputants. But times are altered ; and pompous words are no longer considered as proofs of learning, wit, or sense. The greater part of our readers will not understand what is meaned by the following passage; and such as understand it will be satisfied with such a specimen of the work, and leave the writer to his own conceits.
• Now, reader, if you have any thing to object to this, pluck out the spiggot of taciturnity from thy fofset dialectical, to speak with the orators, and into my vessel auricular tun me thine opinion through the funnel of sermocination.' Book ïi. P. 62.
In this style the whole work is written. It abounds with proofs of the author's reading and learning in the groves of Academus: it may excite occasional laughter, aud may be thought excellent by fome logical students; but the writer must content himself with the admiration of the select few, and the pleasure which he enjoyed in this mode of compofition,
Sermons, for the Use of Schools and Families. By John Napleión,
D. D. &c. 8vo. 6s. Boards. Sael and Co. 1800. These are plain discourses, suited to the end which the writer had in view. The subjects are taken from the creed, the com. mandments, the Lord's prayer, the facraments; and some discourses on detached topics are added. The families which follow the good old custom of reading a sermon every Sunday evening may derive from this work an useful fund for meditation and instruction. A brief View of the Neceffity and Truth of the Christian Revela.
tion. By Thomas Hartwell Horne. Svo. 25. 6d. Boards. Sael and Co. 1800.
This is, as the title intimates, a brief view of Christianity; but its brevity is a recommendation; and it may be made very useful in the hands of a judicious person to counteract the effects on young minds of the feeble and superficial arguments of modern infidels. We were sorry to see the work injured by a reference to the supposed • miracles performed after the apostolical ages; particularly, the casting out of dæmons or evil spirits by Christians. The reality of these miracles being much questioned, it was unnecessary to of. fer this opportunity of cavil to the unbeliever, as the truth of the gospel does not stand in need of such fragile supporters.
L A w.
Equity, upon the Suits therein adjudged, and of the High Court of
The author of this work begins his preface with remarks on the utility of such compilations, and supports his opinion by citing the authority of some learned lawyers. There can be no doubt of the abstract truth of the propofition; but, since the times of Hale and Jenkins, the deficiency of which they complained has, in a great measure, been supplied by Viner's elaborate Abridgement, the Digest of lord chief baron Comyns, the Abridgement of Bacon, the subsequent additions to those voluminous repertories, and the accurate labours of various modern reporters, and editors of reports. Mr. Bridgman, however, has supposed that his work will be acceptable to the members of the profeffion; and we shall inerefore extract the outline of his plan, as given in some passages of the preface.
• The compiler has opened the reporters at the period of our great and glorious revolution; and confining himself in the first instance to the decisions in equity, he has abstracted the several cases, and
CRIT. Rev. VOL. XXX. Orober, 1800. a
placed them under such heads or titles as a profeffor would moft na: turally consult for information, and to uihich they particularly belong, so as to form a general and copious index, exhibiting at one view the fubftance of the several cases, and the judgınents of the courts thereon, omitting only the argumentative parts; for this com. pilation is not intended as a copy of the several books of reports, but as a key or guide to those authors to whom we are indebted for handing down to us this portion of useful knowledge, and from whose writings fuller information may be obtained, whenever the fubject of inquiry is sufficiently interesting to invite a more profound research into the reasoning of the matter.
• Having digested the several cases, and placed them under their respective titles, the compiler's attention was in the next place paid to the order of time by which the progress of the courts in the gradual adminiftration of justice most regularly appears.
• The compiler is aware, that by preserving the order of time all the cases upon the same points do not always immediately follow each other, yet as they are all comprehended under the same title, are so shortly stated, and for the most part are connected by references, the reader's attention (it is presumed) will not be so materially diverted from his object by the intervening cases, as to render it eflential to interfere with the progressive order of the adjudi. cations.
The system of arrangement pursued in this compilation is that which was recommended and adopted by the great English philosopher Mr. Locke, which regards the initial letter of each title as the first object, and the vowel immediately following as the conductor to the point in question, (ex gr.) to search for Abatement fee A-a, for Bond see B-0, for Charity fee C-a, &c. &c. &c. In the margins are placed the names of the principal cases, with those of the authors by whom they are reported, (printed in italics by way of diftin&tion,) the periods of adjudication; the synoninous cases, and sizch as are referred to, not in argument but for the most part in the determinations only; and especial care has been taken to notice particularly in their places all such cases as have been questioned, doubted, denied, or controverted; but inasmuch as some determina: tions among the multitude (though not absolutely denied) may appear not consonant with the living law, the compiler has pointed out the distinctions drawn by the most judicious and intelligent editors in their annotations. .The appendix is so disposed as to be not only an index to the following Meets, but a general repertorium. The cases are arranged in double order, baih by the name of the plaintiff and defendant, unless where the king or his attorney-general is plaintiff; and in such cases the defendant's name only is used. The appendix will point out the names of all the authors by whom each case is reported, the period of adjudication, and the title, fection, and placitum under which is hands in this compilation.
To most of the principal cases the compiler has annexed (in the margin) the names of all the authors by whom they are respectively reported, for the convenience of those gentlemen who may have only a partial collection of books, and may live at a distance from any public library; but as in some instances (among the references) he may have omitted to notice by whom cafes are reported, he begs leave to refer the reader to the appendix, where he will find the information desired, if the cafes sought for have been reported at any time since the revolution.' P.üi.
• The arrangement of this particular department of the Thesaurus Juridicus in which the latest editions of the several reporters have been consulted, including the abridgment of cases in equity fince the revolution comprehends the determinations as well in the high court of parliament upon petitions and appeals, before the king in council, in the court of delegates, and in the duchy chamber, as in chancery and exchequer ; such cases as have been adjudged in para }iament, and in the exchequer chamber upon writs of error, are re served for the department of the common law.
• It was not the compiler's original intention to have introduced into the equity division of this work such cases as have been deter: mined in the court of exchequer touching the revenues of the crown, but to have reserved them also for the common law division. Those cases however are so intermixed by the exchequer reporters with the decisions on the equity lide of the same court, that he was induced to open a head of revenue, for the reception of the several resolutions on that subject, with a hope at the same time materially to ease the common law department, which will unavoidably become very com pious from the abundance of matter which it must necessarily embrace.' P. v.
To the compiler's plan we perceive no objection; and where the talk is so mechanical, there seems no impediment to its being corre&tly performed; but Mr. Bridgman and his publither ought to have considered how far, even under these circumstances, the prelent is calculated for competition with the prescriptive authority of the other compilations to which we have alluded.
MEDICINE On Madness. By 9. Johnstone, M. D. 8vo. is. Johnsou. • Our author has collected a valuable and useful compendium of The do&trines of insanity,' or perhaps, in more strict language, has ably described the symptoms of the disorder, particularly as it is con- nected with jurisprudence and the criminal actions which madness may fuggeit. We have read his little work with great pleasure, and can recommend it as containing, in a plain, judicious, unobtrusive form, much useful information.