Page images

When holy Dulness, by supreme command,
Scatters Hypocrisy through half the land,
And bids each pious soul his lips prepare
To harass Heaven with unmeaning prayer :
When Pleasure, bound in unrelenting chain,
Appeals to Fashion, but appeals in vain :
When Trade, who neither Saints nor Lent obeys,
Profefling hatred of their holy days,
Curses another, added to the reven;
But, Comb-brush, fure that curse will be forgiven!
-The Doctor talks in vain :-) cannot see
The wisdom of this dull solemnity :
Folly and nonfenfu all it seems to me :
Vapours, and discontent, and spleen it brings,
Though preach'd by Bishops, and ordain'd by Kings.
Bishops, I know them well, if it fhould last
Beyond a day, would ne'er propose a Faft:
Or, should it Item Corruption's rapid food,

Kings would declare it did them too much good.' The writer then subjoins a note, which, fhort as it is, would contain much true moral satire, were it any way applicable to the present times : • A government (says he) supported by corruption, would be guilty of a molt arrant folecism in politics, in recommending fupplications to Heaven, to restore public virtue, if there was the least chance of succeeding. I cannot continues he) conceive any thing more diftrefling to the minister of such a state, than repentance and amendment of life in his chief supporters,' &c. Art. 25. An Epistle from the worshipful Brown Dignum to the

worshipful Mr. Buckhorse : now made public, in consequence of a spurious Letter from the Hon. C. Fox to the Hon. J. Townfhend. To which is prefixed, a Dedication to the Earl of Sandwich,

i s. Millidge. 1779. A facerious parody; but too insignificant to admit of an extract. Art. 26. Unanimity. A Poem. By J. Macaulay. 4to. Is. 6d.

Cadell. 1780. This poem is an allegorical dialogue between the Genius of Bris tain and

• The watchful guardian of the Gallic ftate.' The scene lies in England upon a chalky cliff

• tremendous, fteep, Whose awful front o'erlooks the rolling deep.' The conversation opens with an interrogatory by the Genius of Britain, who for some reason or other is now transformed into a British warrior:

Presumptuous Power (the British warrior cries)!

What cause invites thee to these English skies?' We then learn that

The Gallic Power approaching from afar,

Descended graceful from his splendid car.' Though the writer tells us, but a few lines before, that

• before the gliding chariot Hands The sacred guardian of the British lands.'


So near, indeed, that

• the courfers backward start, Scar'd by the lufre of the glittering dart. But to proceed-- Before his Gallic divinity ship vouchsafes any answer to this and some other questions, he turns his horses to grass; his nags, as this writer perhaps means to infinuate, having bus an indifferent pasture at home :

• The steeds, obedient to their Lord's command,
Wait his return, and graze on hoftile land.
When thus the Power

: “ Nor bent on dark emprize
Nor open wrong, I quit my native skies,
What need for me to thake Britannia's throne ?

Her Sons have done it, and the deed's their own.” After a few more lines in the same strain, he concludes with the fol. lowing counsel :

• Fly then this land : and if to Gaol a friend,
Our ports to thee hall open arms extend,
Or if Iberia's vineyards please thee more,
Or the long windings of th' Atlántic shore,
Timely retreat ; confirm thy doubtful voice,

And lafting glory Mall await thy choice.' This advice, as might be supposed, is rejected with disdain. Bri. tannia fets him and every other enemy at defiance, telling bim,

• Britain united, all your toil shall mock,

And fand unmoved amidst the mighty Thock.' We heartily with the may be as good as her word.

In the contruction of this allegory there appears neither novelty nor invention.

With respect to the mere matter of vergGcation (Poetry is a term no way applicable to this performance), our Bard keeps one even tenor, never rising above mediocrity, and not often finking below it. Art. 27. An Ode to the Memory of the Right Reverend Thomas Wil

fon, late Lord Bilbop of Sodor and Man; by the Rev. W. Taker, A. B. Author of the Ode to the Warlike Genius of Great Britain, &c. 460. 1s. Printed for the Author. Sold by Dodley:

From a sprightly fally or two in Mr. Tasker's first publication, we had formed expectations not unfavourable, with respect to his future performances. Those expectations, sorry are we to say it, have not hitherto been gratified. Whether it be, that Mr. Taker's Pegasus is, as the jockies phrase it, a jade at the bottom, or that he rides him without judgment, the poor beast is become as spiritless as a pofthorse. The ode before us is a very insignificant performance. A Weftminster school-boy, though in a hurry to get his talk over, might forely scribble fuch verses as these :

E'en from his earlier years,

Rifing above the groffer Apheres,
To human science! perishable lore,
He join'd celestial Wisdom's copious store:

Tho' born of high illustrious line,
Descendent of the Palatine,

Tho' Tho' he drew his ancient blood

From the bold undaunted food
That boil'd in Norman William's fiery breast ; &c.

Art. 28. The Artifice; a Comic Opera, in Two Aets. As

performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury-Lane, By William Augustus Miles. 8vo. 1 s. Cadell. 1780.

The Writer of this Comic Opera seems to value himself on the fidelity of his draughts of sea characters. We cannot boalt a sufficient degree of forecastle learning to enable us to discover their excellence. To us they appear much more lifeless and insipid than Congreve's Ben, or even than the “ group of characters in the Fair Quaker of Deal,” which our Author affects to despise. Counterparts of Commodore Flip and Beau Mizen may fill be found in the navy, and are as fair subjects of ridicule as any land characters. The stage generally does justice to “cheir bravery, their honesty, and their contempt of danger;" and even the Captain Ironsides of Cumberland, attacked by our privateer Poet, caits no unworthy reflection on the gentlemen of the navy. How far the Lieutenants of our fleet may be pleased “ to acknowledge Charles as a bro her officer,” we can. not determine. For our parts, we are more delighred with the farcical jargon of Sir Benjamin Brief, and the military rage of Mrs. Bobbin. Art. 29. The Voluntecrs; or, Taylors to Arms! a Comedy, of

One A&; as performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. The Music by Mr. Hook. 8vo.

Almon, &c. 1780.
This.“ Comedy of One Aa” is scarce half an act of a sorry farce!
Art. 30. The Siege of Gibraltar ; a Musical Farce, in Two

Aas. As it is performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.
By F. Pilon. 8vo. I S. Kearly.
Temporary and trilling!

S E R M O N S. 1.---Preached before the House of Lords in the Abbey Church of

Westminster, Jan. 31, 1780, by Thomas Lord Bihop of Lincoln. 4to. IS. Owen.

A great deal of courtly elegance appears in this discourse; the chief object of which is to recommend the duty of obedience to the higher powers. His Lordthip hath drawn a friking picture of that fanaric spirit which occasioned the troubles and confusion that preceded and followed the death of King Charles. The prevalent party, intoxicated with a love of power, no sooner perceived in the King a flexible dispofition, than they began with encreaing vehemence to re. iterate their complaints of cyranny. The republican spirit, which, in conjunction with the spirit of puritanism, had secretly diffused the poison of disaffection to che eltablished government of church and liate, now burst forth. The leaders availing themselves of the efficacy of this levelling principle, so adapted to their purpose, instructed the populace where to direct their seditious invectives; while they themselves ftood prepared to second their endeavours; to tear down every fence which a reverence for Majesty had planted round the throne; to angihilate every branch of the prerogative; and to wrelt by tumul



tuous force out of the hands of royalty, the whole executive power of the ftate. So unexpected a convulsion astonished all ranks of people : those whom a love for their country had at first prompted to join the popular party, found their passions so enfiamed by the ardour of controversy, that they knew not where to draw the boundary, nor how to disengage themselves from councils in which they had takea so considerable a thare. Some few who saw into the fatal tendency of these councils, prelerved their integrity amidst the conflict; and with the bravery of untainted loyalty, defended the cause of injured Majesty by the most weighty arguments drawn from hiitory, and the fundamental laws of the constitution; till overpowered by numbers, and filenced by clamour, they were compelled to consult their personal Safety, and to withdraw from scenes which threatened universal ruin to the kingdom The most atrocious, ftimulated by a reitless ambition, entertained hopes of future greatness in the prospect of impending civil war, and accordingly rendered ineffectual every proposal for an accommodation. Religion in the mean time, that sacred friend to union and peace, was, by a singular perversion, employed to aid the cause of ledition and rebellion. Hypocrisy, arrayed in the robe of piery, became perfect in the habitual exercise of the arts of decepsion. The pulpit, the senate, and even the camp, afforded in succesion a theatre for the display of her powers, and alternately refounded with the declamations of falsehood, impofture, and treason. These in their turn operating on the distempered imaginations of men, produced a gloomy spirit of fanaticiin, which, under the fancied impressions of superior direction, sanctified every deed of wickedness, and served the more effectually to administer the poilozous ingredients which hypocrisy had prepared. To a combiDation of these priociples, however contradictory, may be referred many of the celebrated characters of that age ;-ihe character of one in particular, the magnitude of whose crimes has rendered him conspicuous, and whose elevation on the ruins of liberty, was not less owing to the dark duplicity of his designs, than to the itrong impulse of ce lanatic spirit which so rapidly promoted the execution of them. To a combination of these principles may be referred the precipitate demolition of our religious establiment, which fell the firit facrifice to popular fury. The fathers of the church were faithful to the crown, and zealous supporters of the constitution : hence they were excluded from their share in the public councils, and their order was voted useless. The clergy were in general a learned body, and exempiary in their lives; but they “honoured the king;” and hence they were denominated scandalous ministers, were harassed, ejected from their churches, and imprisoned.'

Some will think, and perhaps not unjustly, that the bishop's zeal hath led him to colour this picture of fanaticism with too bold a pencil; but we cannot avoid remarking, that the circumstance alluded to in the concluding paragraph of our quotation is, on reflection, sufficient to provoke the indignation of every friend of the ettablished church; and we trust that not many, in these more liberal days, will be found amongit the Disfenters, who can, on serious conviction, and without a bluih, vindicate that farce of mockery to God, and insult and tyranny to man, exhibited by a set of gloomy wayward enthu

fiasts and dark defigning hyprocrites, who were deputed by Cromwell to fit in judgment on the ministers of the church of England, and infolently affumed the title of TRYERs. One object of their examination, as specified in their commission, was this ;-Whether such or such ministers had the work of grace in their hearts ?" The names which fhone molt illuttriously in this spiritual committee were those of Ste-, phen Marsall, Philip Nye, Joseph Caryl; and above all Hugh Peters! Their very names carryiog ridicule with them; but at that time of day they were regarded with a reverence that bordered on adoration ; and chose mock discerners of the Spirit were classed in the very first rank of the excellent of the earth. 11.-Preached in the Parish Church of Welseby in Lincolnthire, Oca

tober 3, 1779, by John Whitcombe, A. M. Rector of that Church, and Chaplain to Lord Milford. 4to. is. Crowder.

This is a plain, serious, and well intended discourse on the advantages of the gospel dispensation, and the obligations under which its professors are to exert their influence to promote its propagation. This sermon was preached in consequence of the letters laiely äd. dressed by his Majesty to the Archbithop of Canterbury, and by his Grace to the Diocesan Bishops, &c. &c. for the purpose of supporting, by fresh contributions, the millions of the Protestant clergy into foreign parts, for the propagation of the gospel. The object is of importance, and Mr. Whitcombe is no mean advocate for its success. III.-Preached on the Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's Release from

the Tower, at St. Mildred s, London, where she stopped to hear Divine Service in her Way to the Palace. By the Rev. J. Montgomery, Chaplain to the roth Infantry. 8vo. 6d. Dilly.

A lively, spirited discourse, but a litle too inflated. IV. Universal Toleration recommended. - Preached at St. John's Church

in Hackney, February 13, 1780. By Benjamin Choyce Sowden, 8vo. Is. Cadell.

This fermon truly answers its title; and enforces, with solid arguments, and in good language, the striking expoftulation of St. Paul, Who art theu that judget another man's servant? To his owa mafter he flandeth or faile: h.” The author treats of the late repeal of the penal liatutes against ihe Papilts. On this subject he delivers his opinion with great candour and judgment, and from this part of his discourse we with pleasure present our readers with the following extracts. 'I am willing to hope, that few who now wish to protect against repealing these itarures are acquainted with the severity of the penalties they infiici. were, as an ingenious foreigner obferves, so "rigorous, though not professedly of the fanguinary kind, that they do all the injury that can be done in cold blood.” In mort, they were odicus and deceitable; a disgrace to our stafutes, and a reproach to our nation!

It will perhaps be said, that those statutes, from the moderarion of the times, would never haie been exerted; but if this be true,' why Thould they not be repealed ? It can hardly be supposed that any would be lo entirely inconsittent in their conduct as to petition Government against the abrogation of laws which they intended should never be carried into execution. Besides, until these acts were annulled, it was in the power of any contemptible informer to oblige the


« PreviousContinue »