Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ne pas jurer à faux ? L'aıritié ou l'inimitié à l'égard du coupable, la compailion vis-à-vis de son prochain en général, l'amour, la haine, ses propres intérêts, &c. Quelle imprudence, ou pour miex dire, quelle cruauté d'exposer les hommes à faire de faux fer- ' ' mens! Pourquoi les condamner ou abloudre à cause d'un témoig: 1 , qui ne nous donne la moindre cidence? O Juges munislez . vrus de preures de témoignages physiques dans vos jugemens, & non pas de merais. Un homnie d'honneur ou un bon Chrétien, doit affirmer ou nier par un ouï ou un non. Ovains & insenses mortels, oferez-vous appeler Dieu à témoin, comme vous appelleriez François & Pierre ? Le prier & le remercier, c'est tout ce qui vous est permis.'

Oaths. An oath is an affirmation in which we call the Supreme Being to witness. The witness of men is understood only by the tense of hearing ; in what manner then do we expect the witness of God to be manifested? or how is a physical truth to be proved to us by something that is invisible. To call upon the Deity to wit. ness a falthood has something in it which makes the greatest villains Bhudder and tremble, and this is the basis upon which we have founded the fanétion of an oath. But are we sure that all men feel this horror for a falfe oath? Are all men just and wise? And if all men were so, how many obstacles would they not have to overcome before they were secured from swearing falfely. Friendship or enmity with regard to the culprit, general compassion towards their fellow citizens, love, hatred, their own interests, &c. What impru. dence, or rather what cruelty is there in thus exposing men to take a false oath? Why will you either condemn or absolve them by an evidence which is totally void of all proof? O ye judges, furnith yourfelves with physical proofs in your verdiets, and not with moral ones! A man of honour, or a good Christian ought to affirm or deny by a yes, or a no. O vain and presumptuous mortals, dare you call upon God to bear witness as you would call upon Francis and Peter? To pray to him and give him thanks is all that is permitted to you.'

The name of Calepin, which serves for the title, is taken from Calepin, an Augustin monk, who wrote a dictionary which he called by his name, as if we were to say a Johnson.

Duties of Man, or Civil Order Public Safcty: being plain

Thoughts of a plain Mind on Things as they are, and what the Well-being of the Community now requires of every good Citizen. By onc of the People. 8vo. 35. Jewed. Richardson.

1793. THE author thus avows his intentions :

· The direct object of this publication is to mitignte or aid in ap

peaming

[ocr errors]

peasing that fastidious and reftive humour, which sometimes accompacies the most unexceptionable measures or government. The great mass of men, as well as individuals, when cross or peevith, may be foothed into good-nature or won by kind usage. It is this liberal, candid, and commanding principle of unanimity, these pages are meant to inculcate. They are messengers of courtesy to all, and of disrepect to none; they fue for peace, and their errand Thould make them welcome; they come to promote harmony, by allaying discord; to prevent discontent, by exciting complacency; and to strengthen the fastenings of general safety, by flewing that it is every's man's interest, as well as his duty, to be quiet. This is their only aim, which, however imperfe&tly prosecuted, augurs so well to the best bleilings of fociety, that he cannot be a good ci. Tizen, who does not with it to succeed.'

We do not exactly discover the pertinency of the title to. the book, which is altogether a derultory performance, shewing a confidence on some topics that but ill-accords with the apparent measure of the author's knowledge ; no inconsiderable shrewdness in the discussion of others, and, on the whole, a capacity equal to a better production. ·

In defence of monarchy, we meet with the following ob.. servations :

. While it is so much the rage to flander and run down kings, let it not, also, be forgotten that the institution is venerable for its antiquity ; that, of all other situations, it gives cmuiest scope for excrc.fing, in their fullest latitude, the beít qualities of our nature; and he, who rites the royal functions to all the lustre and maynaninity of which they are capable, is an object of the higheit ulit this can tread the cheatre of humanity.

• The following picture of this fort is respectfully fubmitted to republican contemplation. It is faid to be a fragment ui one of the Ptolemys, found at Thebes by the best among the Roman emperors, which, for its excellence, he ordered to be placed every night under his head, and which he left, as an inestimable treasure, to his fon Commodus, who made the same miserable use of these divine sayings, as of his father's amiable example.

“ I never exalted the proud rich mani, neither hated the poor just maa."

“ I never denied justice to the poor, for his poverty ; neither pardoned the wealthy for his riches."

“ I never gave reward for atřection, nor punithment upon para Gon."

"I never fuffered evil to escape unpunished, neither goodness unrewarded."

" I never denied justice to him that aikcd it, neither mercy to him that de crved it."

nnever | ܀

“ I never punisied in anger, nor promised in mirth." ... I never did evil upon malice, neither good for covetousness. **

“ I never opened my gate to the flatterer, nor mine ear to the backbiter.”

“ I always fought to be beloved of the good, and feared of the wicked.”

“ I always favoured the poor, that was able to do little; and God, who was able to do much, always favoured me.” -: The view which the author has given of the effects of the

late prosecutions, and the progress of French politics, is amongst the best parts of his work.

,In consequence of the disorder raging in a neighbouring kingdom, of many libellous publications inceilantly degrading the press in this, and of the palpable assiduity adopted for circulating thefe among the lower orders of society, his majesty, from paternal regard for the welfare of the country, and with the concurrence of parliament, several months ago issued his royal proclamation, ftating the illegality and danger of seditious writings, and calling upon magistrates in every part of the country to aid the executive power in supreling their pernicious effects.

• This measure was severely arraigned as superfluous and nugato. ry. It has, nevertheless, been of substantial advantage to our internal tranquillity. It might provoke an idle curiosity after the work it prohibited, but disgraced it, and prepared the public to regard it as inimical to its best interest, chimerical in its principles, calumnious in its spirit, insidious in its tendency, and recommended to general acceptation by nothing but republican dogmas, bitter farcalms, rough language, blunt affertion, invidious statements, and whatever can excite in the vulgar and ignorant discontent with their condition, antipathy to the government under which they live, dislike, abuse, and resistance to their rulers and superiors.

• Government, therefore, have done wisely in following so closely this hostile publication. The best way, it is said, of keeping a mad dog from biting is by running hard after him. The book, which · had done so much mischief, was at last fairly run down, and abfo

lutely overwhelmed in obloguy and contempt. The whole respectability of the nation at the same time boldly stepped forward to counteract its effects; and, by surrounding the throne with a profusion of loyal addretes, Ilood pledged for the safety of our consti, tution both in church and state.

• This hod probably been decisive but for the new and extraordi. nary aspect which Trench aifairs suddenly affumed. All hopes in the combined army, bringing things to an agreeable iffue, quickly failed. They only drilled and united the nation they meant to subdue, and provoked exertions which ultimately covered themselves with difyrace. They wasted, in Roth, the primest months of sum

mer, mer, in the finest country in the world, without striking a blow, and, melted down by thousands, without suffering annoyance. Whle vapouring at the head of the best troops in Europe, and hectoring by their manifestoes, a revolution, very different from what they meditated, actually took place in one day. Monarchy was forthwith annihilated, the royal family imprisoned, and a national convention decreed. The country immediately collected its strength, rose as one man, and flocked to its defence, in such immense num-. bers, and under such impressions of ardour and enthusiasm, as effectually supplied their want of discipline.

• Thus roused and cemented by one spirit and in one system, they drove their invaders beyond the frontiers. Happy for them, and for the tranquillity, perhaps, of Europe, had they pushed the advantage no farther, and, with the moderation of true wisdom, checked their ardour in the moment of victory, stood on their defence, consulted their own interior regulations, and interfered with the policy of no other nation. Here, however, their evil genius still prevailed, and plunged them in a series, of freih enormities, by inducing them to indulge a spirit of foul retaliation and revenge. They rushed like tigers after the confederate forces, overspread their territories with disorder and consternation, and wherever they came were hailed as deliverers and embraced as brothers.

" Why should it not have occurred to these mighty restorers of li. berty and equality, that the miseries of war were likelier to fall on the innocent than the guilty, that the few who raised and conducted the prodigious engine of death, which threatened their extir.ction, would certainly feel little or no personal inconvenience froni all their efforts, and that, in fact, the poor creatures, whose rights they withed to rescue, would be the only sufferers in the contest. And what avails it me, that he who opprefled me is humbled, or hath it no longer in his power, or that the setters custom made easy, are torn from my limbs, while my life is lost in the scuifle ?

• It was this unexpected emergency, however, that gave energy and acceptation to principles perfectly incompatible with every component part of the British constitution. The mob in this country, fired by the example and temerity of the mob in that, instigated by some more wicked and daring than others, might ailail the govern, ment or throw the public into confusion by surprize. This was the less unlikely, from the language so boldly and publicly held by these proud republicans. They denounce courts and vow eternal hofti, lity to kings. They deem liberty and royalty incompatible. They boaft of standing alone against the coalition of kings. They traduce all monarchs as despots. They wage war not against cottages, but palaces; the poor, but the rich ; or thote who obey, but those who command.

• Their politics are inimical to all the orders of society which they wish to extirpate. They fight as insidiously as they govern, by en.

deavouring

deavouring previously to fow fedition in every country they attack. They affect to befriend the people whom they excite and stimulate to insurrection, and then join them in expelling their legitimate rulers. They tempt them to become traitors as an indispenlable requifite to their receiving the privilege of equality, or wearing the cap of liberty.'

Sermons on various Subje£ts. By William Sellon, late Proprietor of, and Preacher at Portman-Chapel; Minister of Saint James, Clerkenwell; and joint-evening Preacher at the Maga dalen-Hofpital. 8vo. Os. Boards. . Rivingtons. 1792. THE late Mr. Sellon was a popular preacher; the best in

our opinion that we ever heard ; but the volume before us affords a proof how much a fermon gains * by that elegant and impressive manner of which he was master. We do not mean to infinuate that these discourses are deitituie of merit; on the contrary, they are, perhaps, more adapted to popular use, than if the subjects were less familiar, or the style more elevated above common language. We have heard most of them from the mouth of the excellent preacher whose name they bear; and if we had then been less charmed, we should now, perhaps, have perused them with superior satisfaction: we then thought them almost perfect compositions : and only regret that they are less so in the closet than they appeared from the pulpit. The subjects are: On the superior Excellency of a Middle Sate -- On Spiritual Pride - On Religious Friendship-On Faith and Obedience-On the Duty of Public Worship-On a Future Siate-On the Crucifixion - On the judicial Appoiutment of Christianity-On the Influences of the Spirit- On the Duty of Self-examination-On the fuperior Excellence of the Gospel-On Meekness-On the Excel. lency of the British Laws-On our Love of Christianity-On the Partiality of Self-judgment-On the Magdalen Chi-tyOn the Joy of Angels over Repentant Sinners-On the Duties of Parents and Children-On the Dangers of a mutable Temper-On the drcadful Consequences of a dilipated Life - On the Conformity of our Lives to the Precepts of the Gospel.

Several of these discourses were preached at the Magdalen Chapel, and are well adapted to the occation. They are plain, pra&ical, and impresive; and the addrefies to the penitents are striking and pathetic.--As a specimen, we shall select a · few paffages from the sermon on the miseries attendant on a

* It must however be remembered, that these Sermons were not intended hy the author for publication. Many trilling inaccuracies would povabiy in that cafe have been corrected, and the language in many imiancis nave been in

proved.

« AnteriorContinuar »