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rich and productive state, the discovery of the ten tribes which have been lost to the world for more than two thousand years, the separation of them from the people with whom they have been mingling for most of that time, the actual desiccation of the Euphrates, the appearance of the fiery pillar over Jeru salem, the personal manifestation of Christ, and the literal healing of the sick, the blind, the deaf, and dumb, with many other marvellous occurrences, are all necessary to the accomplishment of our author's system.
The principal features of Dr. F.'s previous works on prophecy are very prominent in this: he every where finds the infidel King, meaning the French government; for though, according to his system, the reign of this King cannot, at farthest, last much more than sixty years, yet he is made the subject of the prophecies through the far greater part of Scripture, He is Isaiah's Leviathan and Bird of prey; he is Jeremiah's Lion of the thicket and Dry Wind of the plain; he is the Infidel King of Daniel, the Northern Tyrant of Joel, and the Antichrist of the New Testament. Nothing tends more to convince us that the prophets were inspired men, than the comprehensive scheme of providence which their predictions embrace; and nothing more strongly proves that the commentators are not prophets, than the narrow systems of explanation, by which they limit many of the greatest transactions to the times in which they live.
Several parts of Scripture, which a host of learned writers, both foreign and domestic, have agreed should be understood only in a literal sense, are here explained mystically; and others, which have by the same writers been explained to bear a mystical import, are now said to require a literal interpretation. Indeed our author makes the Prophecies respecting the restoration of the Jews assume so much the appearance of a temporal, local, political, and exclusive character, that, with our views of the spirituality, unity, extent, and simplicity of Christ's kingdom, we must demand much stronger arguments, and a train of reasoning much richer in proofs and purer from assumptions and hypotheses, than we find in these volumes, before we can number ourselves among the admirers of the system which they unfold. But though we cannot agree with him on the subject of Prophecy, it is no more than an act of justice which we gladly perform, to express our high approbation of his theological sentiments, and of the spirit which is generally manifested in his work. We therefore see no urgent reason to deprecate that extensive circulation, which, from the importance and novelty of the subject, and the writer's celebrity, these volumes will probably obtain.
Art. III. Collections for the History of the Town and Soke of Grantham : containing authentic Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton, now first published from the original MSS. in the Possession of the Earl of Portsmouth. By Edmund Turnor, F.R.S. F.S.A. 4to. pp. 200. price 11.5s. Miller. LOCAL histories in general possess only a local interest.
Of the public at large they seldom gratify the taste of any except a few antiquaries, to whom every plank rescued from the wreck of ages is more precious, than the whole vessel to which it belonged would have been, if it were of contemporary construction. We have no intention to depreciate the worth of antiquarian researches ; for to these, next to recorded history itself, we are indebted for our multifarious knowledge of man through all stages of his social existence. But though Great Britain, for more than eighteen centuries, has been the thronged and restless theatre of several astonishing revolutions, and innumerable heroic events, of which every province has been occasionally the scene;-and though on almost every spot of ground over the face of our island may still be discerned the obliterating footsteps of time, leaving behind only contemptible fragments of the mightiest labours of man, to shew that they have been, that they are destroyed, and that the puny piles erected on their foundations in like manner will be trodden down ;-yet few places have been so frequently and eminently distinguished, as to possess universal attraction, and abiding renown. None, however, are so forlorn and delightless as to be unendeared to their humble inhabitants; and few are so little in their own esteem as not to boast of one family whose ancestors have been great on their native soil from time immemorial: nay, in no village that we remember are all the families so equal in poverty and wretchedness, that there cannot be found among them some traces of the different gradations of rank and respectability that obtain in society at large, from his Majesty, the 'Squire, down to "the slave that grindeth behind the mill," the parish apprentice. Every district therefore, however comparatively insignificant on the scale of the empire, if it has the good fortune to give birth to a historian, will furnish him with materials sufficiently curious, splendid, and venerable, to please the local prejudices of its people, to soothe and delight the amiable passion which the cottager feels toward the house of his fathers, and above all to gratify the pride of the gentry, by displaying on quarto pages, and in tawdry engravings, the riches and glory of their ancestors, their trees of genealogy, the tables of their charity, the trophies of their atchievements, and the funeral monuments that distinguish them as much in death from the crowd that lie, according to their various degrees, in the church
yard, some with and some without sepulchral stones, as in life they were exalted above their tenants and neighbours, by their fine houses, their glaring equipages, and their liveried lacquies.
In this view, these 'Collections,' as they are modestly styled, for a history of the town and soke of Grantham, are well calculated to interest the inhabitants of that vicinity. But at the same time they afford one article of inestimable and imperishable value to the nation at large, and not only to the people of England, but to the whole globe, not only to the present but to every future generation; for wherever a ray of light shines, or an atom moves toward the centre, shall NEWTON'S "honour, name, and praise" extend. To this article we shall pay particular attention, after having, in as few words as may be indispensable, informed our readers, that the volume, containing this rare and unexpected treasure, gives a learned, faithful, and sufficiently detailed account of whatever is most worthy of observation in the town and district, called the Soke, of Grantham, containing eighteen villages and hamlets. In works of this kind, we look for nothing but plain truth in the simplest language; and their principal merit consists in assembling as many circumstances as may be worth preserving, in the smallest possible compass. But topographers in general are exceedingly garrulous; and the reader must frequently winnow a bushel of words for a grain of fact. Mr. Turnor, however, is honourably exempt from this prevailing fault of his fraternity; for he is minute in enumerating objects, but not diffuse in describing them; and as the bulk of local memorabilia deserve no ampler notice, than would be given of chairs and tables, in an inventory of household goods, the less that is said of them, after they have been barely mentioned, the better. This book may therefore be recommended as a faithful register of the district which it describes, by a gentleman born and long resident on the spot, and familiarly acquainted with the scenes and the subjects which he displays. We shall give a few short extracts, containing such passages as may be read with interest beyond the neighbourhood of Grantham.
Among the benevolent bequests we find the following curious
Michael Coleman, gent. gave out of the Angel Inn, Grantham, in the year 1706, 40s. per annum for ever, for a sermon to be preached against Drunkenness, the Sunday next after the Alderman's choice, in the afternoon.' p. 15.
In the account of this town being taken by the king's forces in the civil wars (1642), we find a remarkable quotation from
De Foe, (the author of Robinson Crusoe) which deserves attention.
About this time it was that we began to hear of the name of Oliver Cromwell, who, like a little cloud, rose out of the east, and spread first into the north, till it shed down a flood that overwhelmed the three kingdoms. When the war first broke out he was a private captain of horse, but now commanded a regiment; and joining with the earl of Manchester, the first action that we heard of him, which emblazoned his character, was at Grantham, where, with only his own regiment, he defeated twentyfour troops of horse and dragoons of the King's forces.' p. 62.
This volume contains more than a hundred sepulchral inscriptions. After reading things of this kind, we have sometimes exclaimed with a sigh, Oh how pious are the dead! Were the living like them none would be afraid, none would be unfit, to die! We shudder to think that marble may be made to speak, in the name of the dust which it hides, a language that never fell from the lips nor rose from the heart of the poor inhabitant below,' while he sojourned above. Specimens of this religion among the dead, this righteousness imputed to them by the living, abound not only in the volume before us, but may be read beneath our feet in every churchyard, graved upon those volumes of mortality the tombs of our forefathers,-those books which shall be opened at the general judgement; of which these pious epitaphs are only the superscriptions, but whose darkest secrets shall be revealed in that great and terrible day of the Lord.' These remarks, of course, are not aimed at any thing in the volume whose funereal pages have occcasioned them to be made in this place; they are thrown out like 'bread upon the waters,' in the hope of exciting the attention of at least one of our readers to a preparation for eternity, that no surviving friend may put a lie into his mouth when it is closed for ever. The piety of our Roman Catholic progenitors sought every opportunity to display itself in memorials and mottoes wherever they could be introduced. Some relics of this amiable, if not praise-worthy, zeal for the honour of the Christian faith, are preserved among us to this day,—ashamed as we protestants are of appearing over-righteous. Among these popish relics (which we hold in greater veneration than the bones of all the saints in the calendar, and which are far more likely than these to work miracles, by striking home to the hearts of sinners while carelessly reading them,) we may rank religious inscriptions, not only on grave-stones, but those on bells also, of which many examples may be found in this kingdom. We shall here only quote a brief and affecting specimen of each kind. On the tomb of Edward Saul, formerly prebendary of Lincoln, is the following sentence:
O that through this grave and gate of Death we may finally passe to our joyful resurrexion to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.' p. 108.-On the second bell in Harlaxton steeple are cast these words; J. H. S. Nazarenus rex Judeorum, fili Dei, miserere mei. 1635.'
In the description of the village of Harlaburton, we find the following enlivening anecdote of an honest man, who on a certain occasion almost jumped out of his skin for joy.
About 50 yards to the SW. of the mansion-house are two stones about 7 yards apart. On one of them is engraved, " Bill's Leap, 1633." Tradition says, that King Charles I. when on a visit to Belvoir, passed by Harlaxton, and that the person whose name is recorded on the stone, made this astonishing leap for joy.' p. 112.
In a note respecting the church at Great Paunton, this story is recorded.
Mr. Ellys, the builder, is reported to have sent his wife a cask, inscribed Calais Sand, without any further mention of its contents. At his return to Paunton, he asked what she had done with it, and found she had put it in the cellar; he then acquainted her that it contained the bulk of his riches; with which (being issueless) they mutually agreed to build a church, in thanksgiving to God for having prospered them in trade. Communicated by a Catholic Priest.' pp. 127, 128.
The author justly celebrates the munificence of one of his ancestors Sir E. Turnor, whose motto, "Dona Dei Deo," shews that he was charitable on religious principles.
We shall now make ample amends to our readers for the frivolity of some of the foregoing observations, and the seriousness of others, by two or three extracts from the authentic Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton,' contained in this volume. If we were called upon to say who was the greatest man uninspired that ever lived, we believe that we should answer, Sir Isaac Newton. On that name it were useless to pronounce panegyric here. It would be equally unnecessary to attempt to measure his genius, or characterize his labours. The one seemed to know no limits but those of the visible universe; the other were all that an immortal spirit in a mortal body, during an earthly existence, could perform; for Sir Isaac Newton was the greatest of men, not so much because he was more splendidly gifted than others, but because he improved the powers which he possessed to the highest degree of profit, and employed his time,-that most precious, and most abused of all the talents committed to our charge,as if the fruit of every moment were to be eternal. What his contemporaries thought of him, we learn from Pope's hyperbolical couplet;
• Nature and Nature's laws lay wrapt in night;