mentators and critics have more widely differed. His Lordship rejects all their various expositions, even that of his favourite fcripture critic, Dr. Samuel Clarke. In order to ascertain and clear


the true sense of this famous partage, 'our Noble Dir. sertator takes in every aid which the compass of his extenfive reading and reflection afforded him; but he more particularly insists on the connexion which it has with the foregoing part of the epistle. ? The immediate connexion, says he, of those four verses, is evidently with the four verses that immediately precede them; namely, the 18—22: but to see how all the eight verses, from the 18th to the 2;th, fand immediately connected with what goes before, we must look as far back as the xth chapter ; otherwife we shall be apt to think, that this portion of fcrip. ture comes in altogether abruptly, and that it is a part of the epistle detached from the rest. It may at the same time be of use to fhew, how all thele verses, together with that part of the epistle with which they are immediately connected, stand related to the whole. Those commentators, who have confidered :his text apart from its true connexion, have left great scope to their own fancies and imaginations in interpreting it. But a just regard to the connexion will in all probability tie us down to its precise meaning.'

His Lordship then proceeds with his learned investigation of this connexion ; in which he endeavours to establish the doctrine of a future paradifaical fate in “ the thousand years reign,” to which he supposes the apostle to have referred: when God will dwell again with men.—That we shall come to the Mediator of the new covenant, in the paradifaical state of the thousand years, he thinks is plain ; since, says he, “it is the illustrious and happy state of the Mediator's kingdom, Dan. ii. 44, 45. vii. 13, 14. And Jefus promises to him that overcometh, that " he will grant to him to sit down on his throne, as he overcame, and sat down on his Father's throne,” Rev. iii. 21. And this promise must relate to the paradilaical ftate. For in the truly celestial state, at the confummation of all things, Christ is to“ give up all power to God, even the Father, that lo he may be all in all,” i Cor. xv. 28.'

Although his Lordihip writes in a manner which shews that he is himfclf perfectly convinced of the validity of his hypothefis, he, nevertheless, expresses himself in the most unafluming and becoming terms. in a paragraph, p. 301, where he recapitulates the substance and purport of his whole chain of arguments on this subject of the millennium, he modestly says, I fatter myself, from what has been said under several of the particulars of the text, which have been here explained, that the Reader is by this time almost ready to concur in opinion with me, that the state described by them, is neither the present state


of the gospel, which obtained when this epiftle was written, nor yet that in which it will be wound up at the consummation of all things; but a paradifaical state (at the restitution of all things to their original state“ in the new heavens and the new carth)," which will take place between the two other.'

This doctrine, in the several views of it which have been given by expositors and divines, is generally looked upon as extremely' indeterminate and visionary. We have no where seen it maintained more consistently than in the present differtation, nor treated in a manner more ftri&ly conformable to the whole tenor of the scriptures, so far as they may be supposed to relate to this mysterious and much contraverted point.

As all the other contents of these volumes have been long before the public, any particular account of them will not be expected from us ; we shall therefore only observe, in brief, that Vol. I. contains, beside a very large introductory Preface, and a Postscript to the Preface, first, An accurate and wellconnected Abstract of the Scripture History of the Apostles, in a Tabular Scheme representing their Commissions, Travels, and Transadions, in one view; especially with regard to what peculiarly belonged to the Apostolical Office, and the Method in which they propagated the Christian Religion. . Secondly, to Essay on the Teaching and Witness of the Holy Spirit; in which the Author shews the Holy Spirit to have been the greatest WitNESS to the Truth of the Christian Religion.

Vol. II. contains, first, the Essay on the Distinction between Apostles, Elders, and Brethren. Secondly, An Elay on the Time when Paul and Barnabas became, and were known to be, APOSTLES. Thirdly, An Essay on the unanimous Judgment, or Epiftle, of tbe Apostles, Elders, and Brethren at Jerusalem, to the Brethren of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia; about their abstaining from Things offered

to Idols, from Blood, from Things strangled, and from Fornication : With an Appendix, being a Paraphrase and Notes on the xviith Chapter of Leviticus.

In the third volume, we have, first, The Esay on the feveral Dispensations of God to Mankind, as revealed in Scripture ; which hath gone through two, or more, editions. Secondly, Notes on the foregoing Ejjay; which, in themselves, form a large and considerable tract, fraught with that sound and critical biblical learning, for which the Author is justly distinguished : his grand view is to answer the objections raised by Deists, &c. The Notes are followed by seven papers; some of which are entitled Dillertations, and others Expositions : and all relating to various Şcripture doctrines, in connexion with the principal tract,—the Efiay on the Dispensations. The Author is, in general, very ftrictly attached to the literal sense of the more mysterious and miraculous parts of the sacred Writings; as, for instance, in

his account of the Fall, he is not, in any measure, inclined to admit the allegorical interpretation. « For Moses to have inserted a parable, says he, in the middle of an history, 'without giving us any notice of its being a parable, would not have been by any means, worthy of 10, accurate an historian as the Writer * of this history will, upo. strict examination appear to be.' And in the conclusion of his dissertation on this sulject he draws this inference, that the account which Moses gives us of the temptation and fall, considered as a literal history, was as likely and as narural a way for the great cncmy of God and man to . have seduced the first man and woman by, as any we can now poffibly devise.'--Some of the most celebrated critics and commentators have, however, decided on this point, very differently; and seem, in our opinion, to have cast the greatest weight into the allegorical scale.

But the most shining part of Lord Barrington's character, 25 we apprehend, was his exemplary candour toward those who differed from him, in regard to religious sentiments; and, above all, his steady attachment to the principles of liberty, both in ftate and church. To this respect, indeed, his memory carries with it its own encomium; yet as accident has thrown in our way an extract from this Nobleman's funeral sermon, preached by his chaplain, it will not be thought impertinent, Mould we conclude this article with a few passages from that part of the discourse which contains the encomiums on his Lordship's abilities and virtues.

Speaking of Lord B.'s “ principles of Christian and Civil Libesty," the preacher observes, that they “ were rational, demonstrative, and immoveable ;” adding, that “ his happy faculty of communicating his thoughts upon any subject, made his conversation extremely agreeable and instructive to men of sense and taste."-" He had the uimost abhorrence to all kinds of persecution, as being perfe&tly Antichristian."-" He owned no master but Chriit in his church and kingdom; and main, tained that REVEALED religion did not subvert but affift NATURAL.” . For these and the like sentiments, we are told, “ he was calumniated by the crafty, the ignorant, the envious, and the bigotted ;” but that his patience and fortitude sura mounted every obstacle of this kind.

“ His first and feady view was always truth and right; and his fine genius, and just sentiments, gave him that distinguished share in the esteem of the greatest and best men t this nation ever knew; whiclı, together with his vindications of revelation,

* He here considers Mofes as the Author of the book of Genefis ; but in a subsequen: elay le, on farther examination, ascribes that book 10 Samuel, + Somers, King, Cowper, Nevil, Locke, Clarks, Newton, &c.


Rev. Dec. 1772.

will make his name immortal.”—“ In a word, be was a stria observer of the laws of God and his country; a shining example of fobriety, regularity, and justice; a terror to evil doers, and a most asiduous and able patron of amicted virtue, and the ju and natural rights of mankind: religious without enthusiasm, zealous without bigotry, learned without pedantry.--Such was the Lord Viscount Barrington; and such, too, is the undoubted merit of his writings, that we can readily subscribe to the very

brief encomium bestowed on them in the fame discourse, where the preacher obferves that they will " not fail to convince posterity of the foundness of his head, and the integrity * of his heart.”

*.* We do not observe that any account is given of this Noele AUTHOR, in Mr. Walpole's CATALOGUE.

ART. VIII. Letters concerning the present State of Poland. Together

with the Manifesto of the Courts of Vienna, Petersburgh, and Berlin. And the Letters Patent of the King of Prussia. 8vo. 15. Payne, 1773.

S confiftent friends to the common rights of mankind,

our generous countrymen cannot, surely, with indifference, see a brave and numerous people falt a prey to their encroaching and rapacious neighbours; for, though the reigning policy of our present government, co-operating with the necelfities of the times, may render peace the molt defirable object of our public views, yet our attention will naturally be engaged, and our commiseration excited, by the diftreffes of PoJand: and we must feel ourselves highly interested in the fate of a once great and independent, but now ruined nation. If there be any among us, who seem to pay but little regard to the dreadful accumulated misfortunes which, within a few years past, have befallen that miserable country,-rent by a civil war, depopulated by the plague, and subjected to foreign invasion,this inattention must have proceeded from our general ignorance of the circumstances, and the want of true information with respect to the views and proceedings of those neighbouring powers who, fatally for her, have interfered in her inteftine commotions, and under the specious pretence of restoring her peace, have robbed her not only of her national independence, but even of the best part of her territories. This information, however, with respect to the last-mentioned extraordinary procedure of the three ufurping courts, may, in a great measure, be obtained from the sensible, intelligent, and spirited Author of the publication before us ; who appears to be master of his subject, and to have written from a personal knowledge of those facis on which his Atrong and lively representations are founded.


These Letters are four in number, as we learn from the Edia tor's advertisement, prefixed to the present publication, which contains only the firt of įhe feries ; together with the Manifefto delivered in September last, at the court of Warsaw, by the respective ministers of the three courts inentioned in the titlepage.

The Editor informs the public, that these Letters would have been published sooner, if he could have obtained the permission of his Correspondent, their Author; but that the Writer would not grant it till he had quitied Dantzig, from whence they are dated. · The rights of nations, says the Editor, have been so grossly and openly violated in Poland, that he (the Leiter-writer) did not chuse to expose himself to the resentment of princes who know no other law than that of their own interests or passions. “ I leave you entirely at Jiberty, says he, to make what use you please of my letters, provided you conceal my name, and wait till I am out of the reach of Collacks, Calmoucks, and Huffards. I have no mind to till the ungrateful soil of Siberia, or breathe the baleful air of Spandaw."

It is of little consequence to the public, continues the Advertiser, who is the writer of the Letters, or to whom he addressed them. His situation was such as qualified him to inyestigate the truth of the facts he relates : whether his reasoning upon them be juft or not, every one will judge for himself.'

The Letters Patent of the King of Prussia, we are told, will be prefixed to the fourth Letier; in which the justice of that prince's claim is particularly examined. It is added, that the second and third Letters are ready for the press; and that the Editor is employed in revising the last. The originals are written in German.

In the Manifesto of the courts of Petersburgh, Vienna, and Berlin, these confederate powers set out with profefling the most benevolent regard for the welfare of Poland, and that to prevent the dreadful effects of those diffentions which, as in former instances, might be expected to arise on the death of the late King Augustus III. they had been happily instrumental in procuring “ the free and legal election of Stanislaus, the reigning King, and in the forming of many useful and salutary establishments;" so that “ every thing seemed to promise to Poland and her neighbours, a firm and lasting tranquillity.” So far there was certainly great merit in the conduct of Ruffia, in pare ticular. But this artful state-paper goes on to observe, that

unhappily, in the midst of these promising appearances, the spirit of discord seized upon one part of the nation : citizen armed against citizen ; the sons of faction reized the reins of authority; and laws, and order, and public safety, and justice, and police, and commerce, and agriculture; all are either gone

« VorigeDoorgaan »