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Art. XIII. The English Liturgy, a " Form of sound Words." A sermon delivered in the Parish Churches of St. Bene't Gracechurch, St. Mary, Stoke-Newington, and St. Mary, Islington. By George Gaskin. D. D. Rector of St. Bene't's, and Stoke-Newington; and Lecturer of Islington. 8vo. pp. 24. Price 1s. Rivington. 1806.
R. Gaskin proposes to prove the Liturgy of the Church of England to be "a form of sound words,"
In virtue of its being constructed, according to the best models of christian antiquity, and as it includes all things requisite to the orderly administration of the Sacraments, and the reverent and edifying public performance of other divine services in virtue of its implying, that the Church, whose Liturgy it is, is of an apostolical constitution :-and in consideration that it asserts and inculcates the pure and genuine fundamental doctrines of Christianity. p. 7.
The consideration which closes this argument, might alone be sufficient to vindicate the character here claimed for the English Liturgy and we imagine that few of our readers would be disposed to controvert it. The first position here laid down, also, may be admitted by those, who doubt, nevertheless, whether "precomposed devotional forms were used in the very first age of the Christian Chuch." p.8. The chief opposition to our author's argument, is likely to be directed against his second proposition; if its obscurity does not preclude refutation. Dr. G. has not clearly explained how "the liturgical offices of the Church imply her having an apostolical constitution." p. 10. He seems to lay the principal stress on her episcopal government: as he remarks that
The first officers were denominated Apostles; but that name extended to few, if any, but the persons, to whom the commission was primarily granted. Their immediate successors were termed Bishops, and this appellation has prevailed in the succession, to our day.' p. 12.
It might be supposed, from this mode of expression, that there were not bishops during the apostolic age: but as they are often mentioned in the New Testament, they might more justly have been called contemporaries, than successors, of the apostles. It is indeed evident, that, so early as between the dates of Clement's and Ignatius's epistles, the title of Bishop acquired a different sense from that in which the inspired writers used it. They called the same persons bishops and elders; that is, presbyters: but Ignatius plainly distinguishes the bishop from the presbyters, as presiding over them, and the church to which they ministered. We do not think either that Episcopalians can prove, or that Anti-episcopalians can disprove, this change to have occurred during the lives of the Apostles: but we are decidedly of opinion, that it is unsafe ground for any protest
unt to take, in proof of the Apostolical constitution of the church to which he belongs; for if it becomes of any vantage to his communion, it must be doubly serviceable to the Church
The regard which Dr. G. expresses for the leading doctrines of the Gospel, and for a practice suited to their holy tendency, as well as the conscientious piety indicated by the tenour of his discourse, merit our cordial commendation." Art. XIV. A Defence of the Established Protestant Faith. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of St. Mary, Newington Butts, Oct 19. 1806; being the Sunday following the Interment of the late Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of St Asaph: with an Appendix, containing a Sketch of the Life of the Bishop. By Robert Dickinson, Curate and Lecturer. 8vo. pp. 38. Price 2s. Rivingtons, Hatchard. 1806. THIS discourse, which is founded on Jude, v. 3, appears in
a very short time to have reached a fourth edition. After an attentive perusal of it, we cannot but ascribe so rapid a sale, rather to its professed allusion to Bishop Horsley, than to its intrinsic merit. Its design, however, merits higher praise than its execution. The author introduces his eulogium on the celebrated prelate abovementioned, by seconding his Lordship's formidable attack on the modern Unitarians: but it is-haud passibus equis!! Mr. D. does not seem, indeed, to have much knowledge of the adversaries with whom he has ventured to skirmish. It will, perhaps, be acceptable information, if we apprise him, that a very numerous body of Dissenters, whom he supposes to be a branch of the Unitarians, are, and always have been, their stedfast opponents. The following passage of his sermon, p. 11, will explain our meaning.
The Unitarians who form one class, consisting of Arians, Socinians, Independants, and the like, argued and still continue to do so, that the "Doctrine of the Trinity is an absurd system; that the Worship of Jesus Christ is downright Idolatry, and even high Treason against the one Supreme God."
We hope that the author will be gratified to learn, that the Independents, in general, are as firm Trinitarians as himself.
A similar deficiency, either of information or of precision, occurs, p. 15, where Mr. D. tells us, that "Saint Paul and Saint Peter contended against Jews, Pagans, and other descriptions of Sectarists, whom they call Heretics." A note refers to 2 Peter ii. 1: but we cannot learn from it, that Jews and Pagans were ever called either Sectarists or Heretics, by any body before Mr. D.
We have the pleasure most heartily to approve of the following brief admonition, which stands (oddly) between the Sermon and the Appendix.
Clergymen who live by the Church, and preach against it, may be considered as Enemies to the Ecclesiastical and Civil State, and Rebels to their God. The late Edward Evanson was turned out of the Church by the inhabitants of Tewkesbury for a less offence than what was lately committed in a sermon preached at an Archdeacon's Visitation.' p. 26.
What the author terms an Appendix is really a heterogeneous assemblage of notes. A few of these contain some anecdotes of the late Bishop. He was born at Thorley in Essex, in October, 1732; became curate to his father at Newington Butts, to the rectory of which he succeeded, together with other benefices; was made chaplain to Bishop Lowth, and archdeacon of St. Alban's. By Lord Thurlow he was recommended to the bishopric of St. David's, and thence translated to that of Rochester, and the deanery of Westminster. He publicly opposed Lord Sidmouth's peace with France, yet was soon after promoted, by that upright and candid minister, to the see of St. Asaph. His second wife died, 2d April, 1805, aged 54; and the Bishop, who appears to have tenderly loved her, dying eighteen months after, at the age of 73, was reunited with her in the same grave. Of his Lordship's talents, more than one opinion can hardly be formed: in doctrine, he was a zealous, as well as able defender of the articles to which he had subscribed; it is deeply to be regretted, however, that his writings, of which alone we presume to speak, did not breathe a spirit equally conformable to the Gospel. Art. XV. The Poetical Works of Hector Macneill, Esq. A new Edition, corrected and enlarged. 2 Vols. foolscap 8vo. pp. 370. Price 12s. bds. Edinburgh. Mundell & Co. London. Longman & Co. 1806. THE limits to which our notice of New Editions, especially
of popular works, is necessarily confined, forbids our examining at length the merits of these handsome little volumes. Most of the poems, which they comprise, were published together in 1801, and many of them have appeared separately in various fugitive publications. Some of the songs are well known in connection with favourite Scottish airs, but the most important poem which has been circulated separately, is "Scotland's Scaith, or the History of Will and Jean." This interesting poem, on which the author's reputation in his native land has chiefly rested, was written with a noble and patriotic motive-that of warning his countrymen against the evils of drunkenness; and from its immense sale and universal popularity, we should hope that his benevolent views were not wholly disappointed. It relates the progress of two virtuous and happy cottiers in Scotland, from comfort and prosperity to utter wretchedness; the husband wasting his time, money, health, and good humour, at a club, and the
wife being driven to intoxication at home, to alleviate her solitude and anxiety, and stupify her feelings under the pressure of distress.
This poem furnished the subject for Wilkie's celebrated painting, the Alehouse Politicians, exhibited last year at Somerset House; in which this young Scotsman displayed abilities so remarkably eminent, as well as premature, that his admirers have even termed him the British Teniers.
With regard to the poems in general, they are not without merit; to some readers this will appear greater than it is, and to others less, from the dialect in which they are mostly arrayed. On the aptness of this dialect to humorous, pastoral, and lyric poetry, the author has some very sensible remarks; but the manner in which his compositions remind us of Burns's, renews a standard of excellence in our minds, by which they cannot be favourably estimated. He succeeds best in ballads; and some pretty specimens of this kind of writing are to be found in the present work. Some of the longer pieces, however, are very deficient, both of poetry and interest.
Among the few poems which are added in this edition, we select the following:-written during the prospect of invasion.
Wha smiles to banish fear?
Wha remains to stop the tear?
J. Faithful love, and heaven's kind care,
My Annie's peace will save!
Then banish dread tear ne'er shed!
A. Gang-gang! then, dearest Johnnie!
This warm kiss before you start!
Dear freedom's cause to save!
Blest freedom! or-the Grave!
Wi' trembling hand, and heart sair knockin,
Heaven shield the brave!
The trumpet blew! the warrior flew ;
Cried, Victory, or the Grave!
Then, Tyrant, dread! to conquest led
Blest Freedom! shield the brave!
We are sorry that there should be any thing in these poems deserving of reprobation in a moral view; but many of them are speckled with a profaneness, and a sort of licentious jollity, which are disgraceful to the author, and must be disagreeable, though not, we think, pernicious, to any sensible reader.
The work is ornamented with some pleasing engraving from designs by Stothard, and has a Glossary subjoined to the second volume.
Art. XVI. The Primitives of the Greek Tongue, in Five Languages, viz. Greek, Latin, English, Italian, and French; in verse. By J. F. Alphonse Roullier. 8vo. pp. 120. Price 3s. 6d. Longman and Co. 1806.
THAT great advantages may be derived from committing to memory the primitives of the Greek, or Oriental languages, we have not the smallest doubt; and daily experience renders it equally certain, that the memory seizes and retains any metrical composition with far more facility than the same quantity of prose. On these principles Mr. Roullier has undertaken the task of preparing the Greek primitives, for the use of schools, in hexameter verses, explaining them by the Latin, English, Italian, and French synonymes, and professing to pay strict attention to the quantity of the Greek, Latin, and Italian words. It is obvious that this would be