Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

apprehensive of the fame policy now? It is furely a very ftrained compliment that has been made from a free Proteftant ftate to the intolerant fuperftition of the fee of Rome.

Are they all dead,' exclaims the honest Archdeacon in another place, whofe remembrance might carry them back to the dangers, which themfelves or their ancestors have formerly escaped, of Popish tyranny? He takes particular notice of what certainly is very notorious, that a petition from the Diffenters, conftitutional friends, as he terms them, of this free ftate, fhould be rejected, while the Papifts obtain unafked for favour and indulgence. He candidly offers fome reasons why he imagines the Diffenters have avoided taking any great notice of this, adding, Surely they have a right to claim, at least the fame indulgence which the Papifts have.' He recommends it to his brethren to withstand the progress of Popery; at the fame time that he exprefies an earnest with that it could be fafe to tolerate them, who will not tolerate us.'

C

Art. 47. The Revelation of St. John historically explained; not compiled from Commentators and other Authors, but an OR GINAL, written by John James Bachmair, M. A. 8vo. 5. S. bound. Dodley, &c. 1778.

**

Many have expofed their weaknefs, in attempting to explain the revelation of St. John, but good Mr. John James Bachmair, M. A. has done it to all intents and purpofes. After ten years clofe application, he has been lucky enough to find out what is meant by the feven feals, the feven trumpets, the feven thunders, and the feven vials. The beaft, with feven heads and ten horns, has very much been tortured by Proteftant and Roman Catholic commentators, who, hitherto, have never agreed what to make of it, or where to place it; but our Author is fo fure of his explanation that' to ufe his own expreffions, if the pope himfelf reads these words, he cannot but confefs, that the great city is Rome, and that we know now where the beast is, and where the whore is carried to by the beaft."

·

3 131

As well-wishers to rational religion and divine revelation, we are forry to think that the true intereft of Chriftianity may suffer by fuch commentators, though they themselves mean no harm; but our comfort is, that books of this kind will foon be forgotten.

We should have fomething to do, if we were to point out all the marks of originality which diftinguish this commentary. We shall only acquaint our readers, that, according to the prophecies of Mr. B. great revolutions will foon take place: the Turkish empire will be at an end in the year 1803; the great whore of Babylon will have a fhameful exit, as the deferves; the millenium in which we actually now live, and which began in the year 1120, will be at an end in 2120 and then farewel all the glory of this world, which will diffolve and be no more; the leafes of all empires and all commonwealths will expire within three hundred and forty-one years.Before this fhort period is elapfed, however, all the Jews will be affembled as a nation, in the holy land, and not a Jew-broker fhall be left upon the Royal-exchange to negotiate bills, nor an Ifraelite be heard in the streets of London to cry old clothes, or to buy stolen goods. Alas! poor posterity.

Art.

Art. 48. A New Defence of the Holy Roman Church, against Heretics and Schifmatics. 8vo. Is. Fielding and Walker. 1779.

This is not a wolf in sheep's cloathing, but a fox in the wolf's cloathing; a wicked heretic, who, inftead of vindicating the Holy Roman Church, expofes the Old Lady to fcoffs and ridicule. Art. 49. Serious Reflections on the late Faft; with a brief Estimate of the Manners of the Times. 8vo. 6d. Fielding and Walker.

A feasonable and well-meant attempt to awaken the inhabitants of this country to a ferious examination of the probable causes of the declenfion of our national profperity.-The Author is at pains to eftablish the doctrine of a particular Providence; he takes a fhort review of the state of religion and virtue amongst us, and he writes like a man of fenfe and obfervation.

Art. 50. A Letter to Dr. Fordyce, in Answer to his Sermon on the delufive and perfecuting Spirit of Popery. 8vo. Robinson.

I s. 6d.

A feeble attempt to wash the Blackamoor white. Our Readers may form an idea of this fly Roman Catholic by the concluding fentence of his letter, wherein he tells the Doctor that, from the first to the laft page of his fermon, there is not, in all his charges against the Roman Catholics, A SINGLE WORD OF TRUTH. Naughty Dr. Fordyce !

SERMONS preached on the late GENERAL FAST, Feb. 10, continued: See our laft Month's Review.

VII. Preached at the Parish Church of Woodford in Effex. By the Rev. T. Maurice, A. B. of Univerfity College, Oxford. 8vo. 1 s. Kearfly.

A very candid and moderate discourse, from Jeremiah xviii. 8. VIII. The Spoilers Spoiled; or, Retaliation denounced against the Enemies of this Church and Nation. By the Rev. Peter Petit, A. M. Vicar of Wymondham, and Commissary of Norfolk. 4to. 6d. Baldwin.

Mr. Petit is zealously affected in what, we doubt not, he thinks a good caufe; but, it were to be wished that his zeal were tempered with more candour and moderation.-He difcourfes from Ifaiah xxxiii. 1.

CORRESPONDENCE.

WE are obliged to M. B. for his Verses in praise of our periodical lucubrations; but we hope the Gentleman has a better opinion of our modefty, than to imagine that we could, in any way, be concerned in handing to the PUBLIC the compliment which he has, with too much partiality, lavished upon

MARTINUS SCRIBLERUS and Co.

* Cantabrigienfis will fee, in our next Number, the ufe made of his obliging communication.

+++ • One of the Unlearned,' wishes' to cut us out more work.— We have already enough on our hands."

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ART. L. A Treatise on Government. Translated from the Greek

of Ariftotle, by William Ellis, A. M, 4to. 13 S. Boards.
Payne, &c. 1778.
HE classical remains of the ancient Greeks and Romans

are chiefly valuable in three respects; as patterns of fine writing; as records of important facts ; and as treasuries of science and wisdom.

On the first of these grounds, it appears to us that they best deserve the admiration which has been so liberally bestowed upon them by the moderns. Perhaps almost all our ideas of correctness, strength, and elegance in writing, are derived from the ancients : at least, it may, without hesitation, be afferted, that the most certain way to become acquainted with the principles of just criticism, and to form a true taste in composition, is to converse familiarly with their writings. But to do this with success, it is necessary to study them in the original; for it is extremely difficult, perhaps impoffible, for the most judia cious and able translator of the classics to convey a perfect idea of their beauties in any modern language.

As records of facts, the value of the writings of the ancients, though on the whole very great, must be acknowledged to be materially diminilhed, by the uncertainty which hangs upon the narrative, especially in the more remote periods, and perhaps not a little by the disguise which the ornaments of diction have cast over historical truth. Whatever be the real value of these records, it may however be preserved, with little or no diminution, in correct and faithful translations.

The third ground on which the ancients claim attention and veneration from the moderns, as teachers of science and wisdom, is of a more dubious nature than the two former, and will, perhaps, be found, upon examination, of less value than has commonly been supposed. In all the branches of natural knowledge, the moderns have left them so far behind, as scarcely VOL. LX.

z

to

to find it worth the labour to retrace their infant fteps. And in fpeculative science, all inquiries which are truly valuable, that is, which have for their object the difcovery of important truth on topics which lie within the reach of the human intellect, have been pursued much farther, and more fuccefsfully, by modern philofophers, than by the fages of Greece and Rome.

The writings of Ariftotle, though exceedingly various, belonging in general to this latter class, are, in our judgment, fo far from being entitled to that enthusiastic veneration which was univerfally paid them for many centuries-during which, reading Aristotle was learning, and adopting his opinions with implicit deference was wisdom-that their utility is in a great meafure fuperfeded by the more fuccefsful labours of the moderns. It will, perhaps, be readily admitted that natural history and philofophy may be ftudied more fuccefsfully in the writings of a Linnæus or Buffon, a Boyle or Newton, than in the pages of Ariftotle. And we apprehend there would be little difficulty in proving, that the sciences of Metaphyfics, Morals, or Policy, are investigated with more profound penetration, and taught in greater perfection, by our modern Lockes and Huchefons, than by the mighty Stagyrite."

We are confirmed in this opinion by the work, of which a tranflation is here offered to the Public, which appears to us extremely deficient in that connected train of thinking, and those enlarged and comprehenfive views, which diftinguish many of the writings of the moderns. We would not, however, be understood to infinuate that the works of this great philofopher are unworthy of being read or tranflated. His Treatise on Government, doubtlefs, contains many juft obfervations, records fome curious facts, and abounds with ingenious distinctions and accurate definitions. The Public is therefore much indebted to his Tranflator for giving them an opportunity of perufing it in an English verfion, which, though it does not merit the appellation of elegant, is faithful and perfpicuous.

may

The following rules for preferving a tyrannical government ferve as a specimen of the tranflation, and at the fame time will place, in the strongest point of light, the pernicious nature and destructive tendency of tyranny.

The following things are conducive to preferve tyranny: To keep down those who are of an aspiring difpofition, to take off those who will not fubmit, to allow no public meals, no clubs, no education, nothing at all, but to guard against every thing that gives rife to high fpirits, or mutual confidence; nor to fuffer the learned meetings of those who are at leisure to hold converfation with each other; and to endeavour by every means poffible to keep all the people ftrangers to each other; for knowledge increases mutual confidence; and to oblige all

Strangers,

Strangers to appear in public, and to live near the city-gate, that all their actions may be fufficiently feen; for those who are kept like Slaves feldom entertain any noble thoughts: in fhort, to imitate every thing which the Pertians, and Barbarians do, for they all contribute to fupport flavery; and to endeavour to know what every one, who is under their power does, and fays; and for this purpose to employ fpies: fuch were those women whom the Syracufians, called Пoraywyides. Hiero alfo used to fend out lifteners, where-ever there was any meeting or conver→ sation; for the People dare not fpeak with freedom for fear of such persons; and if any one does, there is the less chance of its being concealed; and to endeavour that the whole Community should mutually accuse and come to blows with each other; Friend with Friend, the Commons with the Nobles, and the Rich with each other. It is alfo advantageous for a Tyranny that all those who are under it fhould be oppreffed with poverty, that they may not be able to compofe a guard; and that, being employed in procuring their daily bread, they may have no leifure to conspire against their Tyrants. The Pyramids of Egypt are a proof of this, and the Votive Edifices of the Cypoclidæ, and the Temple of Jupiter Olympus, built by the Pyfiftratidæ, and the Works of Polycrates at Samos; for all thefe produced one end, the keeping the People poor. It is neceffary alfo to multiply taxes, as at Syracufe; where Dionyfius in the fpace of five years collected all the private property of his fubjects into his own coffers. A Tyrant also should endeavour to engage his fubjects in a war, that they may have employment, and continually depend upon their General. A King is preferved by his friends, but a Tyrant is of all perfons the man who can place no confidence in friends, as every one has it in his defire, and these chiefly in their power to destroy him. All these things alfo which are done in an extreme Democracy should be done in a Tyranny, as permitting great licentioufnefs to the Women in the house, that they may reveal their husbands fecrets; and fhewing great indulgence to Slaves alfo, for the same reason; for Slaves and Women confpire not against Tyrants: but when they are treated with kindness, both of them are abettors of Tyrants, and extreme Democracies alfo ; and the People too in fuch a State defire to be defpotic. For which reason flatterers are in repute in both thefe: the Demagogue in the Democracy, for he is the proper flatterer of the People; among Tyrants, he who will fervilely adapt himself to their humours; for this is the business of flatterers. And for this reafon Tyrants always love the worst of wretches, for they rejoice in being flattered, which no man of a liberal fpirit will fubmit to; for they love the Virtuous, but flatter none. Bad

Z 2

men

« VorigeDoorgaan »