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false.“ .

as Pope says of the old copies of Shakespear, " their very Welch is

• The second folio contained the firft complete collection of the Works of Beaumont and Fletcher. Concerning that edition we have nothing to add to what hath been said by other editors, whose prefaces we have annexed to our own.

• The O&avo editors of 1711 seemed to aim at little more than seprinting oor Author's plays, and giving a collection of thein more portable and convenient ihan the folios. Their text, however, is more corrupt than that of either the quartos or folios ; the errors of which they religiously preserved, adding many vicious readings of their own, some of which have been combated in very long notes by their succeflors.

In the year 1742, Theobald, on the success and reputation of his Shakespear, projected an edition of Ben Jonson. What he had executed of it fell into the hands of Mr. Whalley, and is inserted in that learned and ingenious gentleman's edition. At the same time he exhibited proposals for a publication of the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, in wbich he was afterwards allifted by Mr. Seward and Mr. Sympson: but Theobald dying before he had committed more than the first and about half she second volume to the press, the undertaking was continued by the two laft mentioned gentlemen; and the edition thus jointly, or rather severally, executed by Theobald, Seward and Sympfon, at length appeared in the year 1750. These gentlemen were the firft editors of our poets who professed to collate the old copies, to reform the punctuation, and to amend the corruptions of the text. Some arcempts were also made to elucidate the obfcurities and enforce the excellencies of their authors. How far we disagree or coincide with them, will appear on inspection of the particular passages to which their several observations refer. -Such of their potes as appeared incontestible, or even plausible, we have adopted without remark: to those more' dubious we have subjoined additional annotations, those of less consequence we have abridged, and' those of no importance we have omitted.'

'? In the present edition, it hath been our chief aim to give the old text as it lies in the old books, with no other variations, but such as the writers themselves, had they superintended an impression of their works, or even a corrector of the press, would have made. Yet even these variations, if at all important, have not been made in filence. Notes, however, have been subjoined to the text as briefly and sparingly as possible; but the lapse of time, the fluctuation of language, have rendered some notes necessary for the purpose of explaining obsolete words, unusual phrases, old customs, and obscure or distant allusions. Critical remarks and conjectural emendations have been feldom bazärded, nor has any ridicule been wantonly thrown on former editors, 'who have only sometimes been reprehended for pompous affectation *, and more frequently for want of care and fidelity. Every material comment on these plays hath been retained in

* Of which Mr. Seward is often guilty to a degree chat must naufeate and disguft every Reader of taste and judgment.

this edition, though often without the long and oftentatious notes that first introduced those comments to the Public. At the same time, we have religiously attributed every observation critical or phi. lological to its due Author, not wishing to claim any praise as Ediq tors, but by industriously endeavouring, as an act of duty, to collect from all quarters every thing that might contribute to illustrate the Works of Beaumont and Fletcher.'

The Editors of these works have, we think, discharged their duty with great fidelity and exacness in the volumes now before us. The old Bards never appeared to fo gréat an advantage, nor were they ever introduced to the Public in so elegant a dress. The cuts, which are happily designed and well executed, will undoubtedly be deemed a very agreeable addition to the work : and to use the words of the Editors, we may with truth assert, that no authors in the English language, published at the same price, have so many and so valuable engravings.'

Art. II. Four Sermons on the Divinity of Christ. By the late Rer.

James Hervey, A M. Rector of Weiton Favell and Collingtree, in the County of Northampton, and Author of Medications To which are added, Four other Sermons, faithfully tranfcribed from the original Short-hand of the Author. Smail 8vo. ? Is. 6d Printed for the Editor, and fold by Keith, &c. 1779.

HE Preface informs us, that these Sermons were tran

scribed from the short-hand MS. of the Rev. Mr. J. Hervey, by the desire of his brother, the late Mr. William Hervey, Wine-merchant in London. That they are the genuine productions of the Author of the Meditations among the Tombs, and the Contemplations, Dialogues, and Letters, no man of sense and taste (when he hath read them) can possibly doubt.'

We think these posthumous Sermons little calculated to make their way to the closets of men of sense and taste-who, after all, would think it a point of the utmost insignificance whether they were the genuine productions of Mr. Hervey or the impofition of some catchpenny editor.

From strong internal evidence, however, we are led to give some credit to the declaration of the Prefacer. There Serpions abound with many of the peculiarities of Mr. Hervey's stile and sentiment. A profusion of metaphors was the chief characteristic of his language ; and the Shibboleth of Puritanism was the capital distinction of his theology. His object was to foften the harth features of a Calvinistic creed, by mixing it with the gay, and splendid colours of eloquence. This he effected in a very high degree among persons who were no great cri:ics, nor profound judges of sense and eloquence. The middle class of readers, who had a sufficient share of understanding to revolt at naked absurdities, were not proof against them when decked out

in

in a specious attire. The fancy was charmed : and reason was not strong enough to break the delufion.

These discourses are introduced to the world by a preface from an anonymous writer, who hath thrown together a heap of fulfome declamatory nonsense on the excellence, importance, and comfort, of the doctrine of Christ's divinity.

The fermons which succeed it on the same subject are pretty much in the fame diffuse, unmeaning, illogical strain. They have not the flightest pretension to argument, and they will rather weaken than confirm the cause they profess to support. They are full of dismal interjections, or impertinent interrogations : and their chief strength is concentred in a plaintive ah! or an emphatic oh!

One argument (if it may be so called) on which the Preacher lays stress, in proving the doctrine of Christ's divinity, is drawn from his knowledge of the human heart. This point he illustrates by a remarkable instance from the Evangelifts. Did not a look from our Lord's eye renew the heart of Zaccheus. The holy scriptures represent him as an oppreffor and extortioner : one who made it his business to grind the faces of the poor, and raise himself a fortune by all manner of unjust practices. One would almost despair of recalling fo egregious'a finner :-a finner that was hardened in villany, and a veteran in iniquity. But, behold !--a glance from Chrift's eye converts bim! He climbed the tree a linner! and came down the tree a new creature!'

In the farther illuftration of the subject, the Preacher defcants on the figns and wonders which attended the crucifixion of our Saviour, and then gives the Arians a home-thrust by the sharp two-edged sword of interrogation and interjection.

The fun withdraws at the horror of his agonies, and leaves the astonished world in darkness ! And is not this the great God! Did ever the whole face of nature go into mourning for any but its Creator? The centurion, before an infidel, now becomes a believer! He is now convinced of the divinity of the BLESSED Jesus: these astonishing, unheard-of events overcome his prejudices.'-Oh! Priestley, art thou yet, in the pride of reason, hardened against orthodoxy ?

Can such things be
And overcome us like a summer's cloud

Without our special wonder? To give a death-wound to Socinianism, the Preacher afures us in the most peremptory language of absolute certainty (p. 35.), that the satisfaction of Christ must be more than infinite, fince it made us ample reparation to the Uncreated Holiness as if the whole race of finners had been eternally destroyed.' Some of the duller class of our Readers may be unable to comprehend

the

the force and extent of this argument: and others, whose heads run on nothing but mathematics, may laugh at it as a palpable absurdity.. But there is a profound meaning in it, whether it be perceived or not. We will draw it out of its deep and dark abyfs, and pretent it to our Readers in open day-light, in all the dress of mood and figure; viz. As fin is in itself an infinite evil, it could not be atoned for by a satisfaction that was barely infinite, since in that case the matter would only have been upon an even poise. But the satisfaction of Christ did actually atone for the infinite evil of fin. THEREFORE, the fatisfaction of Cbrist must have been more than infinite., Q.E.D.!

In a fermon on the duty of reading the scriptures, the Preacher hath almost exhaufted the very fountain of invention for similies, metaphors, and all poslible figures of speech, to display the excellence of the word of God..

Ó blessed book! (fays he) our better, our spiritual sun, that sheddeft thy bright beams upon our souls, and furnisheft us with the light of life! Thou sovereign antidote against the delusions of the devil, the treachery of our fallen nature, and the darkness of the world! Thou guide to lead us fafely from the mazes of this miserable life unto our heavenly and everlasting relt. No wonder that David, counted his kingdom as nothing, and called thee his heritage and portion for ever. 'Tis rather to be wondered at, that all mankind do not prize thee as their richest jewel ; converse with thee as their sweetest companion, and talk of thee as the deareft object of their love all the day long. What a rapid fucceffion of metaphors! So quick and fuddenly do they follow, that (as Shakespear fays) they gall each other's heels ! The blessed book is a fun, and the next instant this fun is converted into an antidote :but indeed it is an antidote against darkness. From hence it takes the hape of a guide, and from a guide it is transformed into a heritage. The heritage : becomes a jewel, and the jewel (by a process as extraordinary as that wbich the teeth of Cadmus underwent) ends in a companion, to whom one might be making love all day long!

But the Preacher hath not half done with his subject : for as Martinus Scriblerus hath long since observed of Sir Richard Blackmore (Vid. Iepr Babus, cap. v.), “There is nothing so great which a marvellous genius, prompted by the laudable zeal of finking, is not able to lessen! Hear how the most sublime of all books is represented in the following images.'

First, it is likened to a Trumpet. “When our hands have hung down, and our knees grown feeble in our holy warfare, hath not a chapter, and sometimes a fingle verse called up our courage as a trumpet, and inspired the foldier of Christ with new recruited vigour?"

Now

Now it is a HAMMER. + Let us put ourselves under the discipline of this heavenly word.-It is likened to a hammer that breaketh the obdurate heart, that rock in the breast, in pieces.'

Now it is a good BREAST of Milk. The babes in Christ may fuck at this breast, and grow thereby.'

It is a LANTERN. • The scriptures are hung out by the Lord himself on purpose to be a light unto our feet and a lantern to our path.'

It is an APOTHECARY'S Shop. • In this store-house of precious things there is medicine for every sickness and balm for every wound.'

It is a ButterY. In it we have a supply for every want. It is plenteousness stocked with all that can be cheering to us in our pilgrimage.'

It sometimes acts like FIRE. • There are such promises from one end to the other such precious promises to set on fire all our hopes."

At other times it acts like Waters • The fcriptures are wells of consolation as well as wells of salvation, and we may draw from them the water of joy in such abundance as will drown all our troubles.'

vana

; Fingentar Species, ut nec pes, nec caput, &c.

ART. III. Sermons by Colin Milne, LL.D. Rector of North Chapel

in Sussex, Lecturer of St. Paul's Deptford, and one of the Preach. ers at the City of London Lying-in-Hospital. 8vo. 6 s. bound. Cadell. 1780.

HE Author informs his Readers, in the Advertisement

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exactly in the same form in which they are now offered to the Publič. The time usually allotted for instructions from the pulpit feldom permitted the Author to exhaust his subject in a single discourfe. When the intreaties therefore of some partial friends had persuaded him to submit the least incorrect of his compofitions to the inspection of the Public, he judged that he Thould be guilty of no great impropriety by incorporating several discourses upon the same subject into one or two, which, though thereby necessarily rendered longer than sermons generally are, might yet, he imagined, by conjoining the several arguments employed, and placing them before the Reader in one strong point of view, gain, perhaps in point of energy and effect, what they lost in elegance and neatness. What degree of elegance or neatness those fermons might possess in their original and unincorporated state, it is not our business to determine. We take the matter as it lies before us; and in this view cannot

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