« AnteriorContinuar »
We beg leave to recommend these two volumes, as A FAMILY Book, formed on sound and orthodor principles; whose tendency is to instruot its readers in the doctrines of the Gospel and the Church; to guard them against the pernicious insinuations of the seducing spirits of the age ; whether self-constituted teachers, or 'sos disant philosophers; and at the same time to establish the hearts of Churchmen in the practice of true religion and virtue. There is no Church, nor any pretended Church, upon earth, which has sent out into the world such sermons as the Clergy of the Church of England have written and published; so judicious in their cast, forin, and composition; so replete with pure theology, and with primitive doctrine; so empassioned in the appeals they make to the best feelings of the affections, so convincing in the arguments they offer to the understanding. The collection which is here offered to the public, forms a most useful assemblage both of doctrinal and practical divinity; and proves the utility of the observation of consecrated times and holy seasons, which, in a manner, compel the Clergy to discuss, systemátically, the whole circle of Christian doctrine,
Mr. Clapham possesses in great perfection the faculty of abridging the works of others, without depriving them either of their substance or their spirit. We know not whether he has read a little work, which we once stur died with some attention, the Abbé Gualtier's Method of Abridging ; but whether he has or no, he has very happily exemplified some of the Abbé's best rules, of this
be assured, however, that no man can shine as an abridger of other men's works, who has not a very clear head. But we have other testimonies to Mr. Clapham’d superior understanding, beside the skill he has shown in abridging the discourses of others; the volume under consideration gives us several of his original compositions: The Sermon on Methodism, is entitled to particular attention'; it extends to thirty pages, and has a very interesting appendage of notes. We shall perhaps in a subsequent number enrich our pages with some copious extracts from it. That on “ Pastoral Visits".Text xx. Acts 20, “ I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house;"---We take the liberty of recommending to the notice of the Clergy in a particular man, Qer. There an experienced Parish Priest enters into de
tails which cannot but be of service to that very useful
year to Mr. Clapham; and to add, as we did in the former instance, that he deserves the thanks of every orthodox Churchman, 1
VERULAMIANA; or Opinions on Men, Manners, Literature, Politics and Theology. By Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, &c. &c. To which is prefixed the Life of the Author. By the Editor. 12mo, pp. 329
in the world of letters, on account of the deep learu. ing, the extensive knowledge of men and manners, and the judicious reflections which they contain, that a selection from them could hardly fail of conveying both instruction and amusement. The editor of the work before us appears to have had regard to each of these points, and has brought within a small compass much entertain. ing anecdote, and much sound and solid inforınation. But when he professes to have brought “ within a desire able compass, all that could be considered generally and eminently interesting throughout his Lordship’s volumi. nous works, and to have collected, as it were at one view, the opinions of that illustrious writer,” we cannot but think that he has either underrated Lord Bacon's writings, or has estimated too highly his own powers of abridgment and concentration,
.“ Memoirs of Lord Bacon" are prefixed to this seleetion, which, as we have heard, are to be considered as merely the rough sketeh of a more extended and copious life of that great man, on which the Editor is now en, gaged; a task to which, from the specimen before us, he appears to be perfectly competent. We beg leave to recommend to his potice, if he should not be already acquainted with it, the short character which Ben Jonson, a cotemporary with Lord Bacon, gives of his writings and life, in his. " Discoveries," p.701. fol. 1692.
- This selection is divided into three parts: the 1st. con, .tains the opinions of Lord Bacon on " Men, Manners, " and Literature."--The 2d. on Politics.”_The sd. on “ Theology.”-in each of these divisions, the remarks brought forward are generally very excellent: in the third, they are particularly good; while under the first, some are trifling; as the article of Aviaries, Houses, ke. and one, at least, immoral, as Cunning.
We shall select some articles from each of the three parts of this agreeable compilation.
DUELS." It is a miserable effect, when young men full of towardness and hope, such as the poets call auroræ filii, sons of the morning, in whom the expectation and comfort of their friends consisteth, shall be cast away and destroyed in sạch a vain manner: but much more it is to be deplored when so much noble and genteel blood shall be spilt upon such follies, as, if adventured in the field, in service of the king and realm, were able to make the fortune of a day, and to change the fortune of a kingdom. Men bave almost lost the truë notion and understanding of fortitude and valour. For fortitude distinguisheth of the grounds of quarrels, whether they be just; and not only so, bit whether they be worthy; and seiteth a better price upon lives than to bestow them idly. A man's life-is not to be trified away: it is to he offered up and sacrificed to honourable services, publię merits, good causes, and noble adventures.
." Gierce and Rome were the most valiant and generous nations of the world; and yet they bad not this practice of duels, nor any thing that bare the shew thereof: and surely they would have bad it, if there had been any virtue in it. It is also me, morable, that it is reported touching the censure of the Turks of these duels. There was a combat of this kind performed by two persons of quality of the Turks, wherein one of them was slain; the other party being brought before the counsels of Bashaus, the reprehension was in these words.-.-" How durst you undertake to fight one with the other? Are there not Christians enough to kill?- Did yon not know that which soever of you should be slain, the loss would be the Great Seignior's?" So as
ve may see that the most warliķe nations, whether generous or barbarous, have ever despised this wherein men now glory.
“ I should think, that men of birth and quality will leave the practice when it begins to be vilified; and comes so low as to barber-surgeons and butchers, and sạch base mechanical persons. Lastly, I have a petition to the nobles and gentlemen of England; that they would learn to esteem themselves at a just price. Their blood is not to be spilled like water, or a vile thing: therefore they should rest persuaded that there cannot be a form of honour, except it be upon a worthy matter.”
JESTING,---- As for jest, there be certain things that ought to be .privileged from it; n.mely, religion, matters of state, and any man's present business of importance, and any case that deservetia. pity. And, gencrally, men ought to find the difference between şaltness and bitterness. Certainly he that hath a satirical vein, as be maketh others afraid of his, wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory.”
RESTORATION OF LITERATURF.--'. It was the Christian church, which, amidst the inundations of the Scythiaŋs from the north west, and the Saracens from the east, did preserve, in the sacied lap, and bosom tereot, the precious relics even, of heathen learạiug, that had otherwise been extinguished, as if no such thing had ever been.”
PHILOSOPHICAL SCEPTICISM.---" When a doubt is once received, men labour rather how to keep it a doubt still, than how to solve it, and accordingly bend their wits. But that use of wit and knowledge is to be allowed, which laboureth to make doubtful things.certain; and not those who labour to make cers: tain things doubtful." į INNOVATIONS.---" It is true, that what is settled by custom, though it be not good, yet at least it is fit. And those things which have long gone together, are, as it were, confederate within themselves: whereas new things piece not so well; but though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity. Besides, they are like strangers, more admired and less favoured. All this is true, if time stood still; which, contrạriwise, moyeth so round, that a froward retention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an innovation: and they that reverence too much old times, are but a scorn to the new. It were good therefore, that men, in their innovations, would follow the example of time itself, which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly, and, by degrees scarce to be perceived: for, otherwise, whatsoever is new is unlooked for; and even it mends some, and impairs others. It is good also not to try experiments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to be aware, that it be the reformation that draweth on the change; and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation. And lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected,
yet yet be held for a suspect : and, as the Scripture saith, that we make a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about us, and discover what is the strait and right way, and so to walk in it."
PREROGATIVE AND LAW.---" The king's prerogative and the law are not two things; but the king's prerogative is law, and the principal part of the law, the first-born or pars prima of the law: and therefore in conserving or maintaining that, we can serve and maintain the law. There is not in the body of man one law of the head, and another of the body, but all is one entire law.”
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.---- For the Discipline, by Bishops, &c. I will not positively say, as some do, that it is jure divino : but this I say and think ex animo, that it is the nearest to Apostolical truth, and confidently, it is fittest for monarchy of all others. If any attempt be made to alter the discipline of the Church, although it is not an essential part of our religion, yet the very substance of religion will be interested in it. It is dangerous to give the least ear to such innovators; but it is desperate to be misled by them: mark but the admonition of the wisest of men---My son, fear God and the King'; and meddle not with those who are given to change. Prov. ch. 24, v. 21. Order and decent ceremonies in the church are not only comely, but commendable. The true Protestant Religion is seated in the golden mean; the enemies unto her are the extremes on either hand.”
OF UNITY.--" Heresies and schisms are of all others the greatest scandals; yea, more than corruption of manners. For as in the natural body, a wound, or solution of continuity, is worse than a corrupt humour; so in the spiritual. So that nothing doth so much keep men out of the church, and drive men out of the church, as breach of unity: and therefore, whensoever it cometh to pass that one saith- -ecce in deserto ; and another saith---eece in penetralibus : that is, when some men seek Christ in the conventicles of heretics, and others in an outward face of a church, that voice had need continually to sound in mens' ears, nolite exire---go not out. It is but a light thing to be vouched in so serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity :--- There is a master of scoffing, who, in his catalogue of books of a feigned library, sets down this title of a book, “ The Morris-dance of Heretiques." For, indeed, every sect of them hath a diverse posture or cringe by themselves; which cannot but move derision in worldling and depraved politicians, who are apt to contemn holy things.
“ As for the fruit of unity towards those that are within, it is peace; which containeth infinite blessings: It establisheth faith, it kindleth charity; the outward peace of the church distilleth into peace of conscience; and it turneth the labours of writing