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he neither writes for fame nor emolument. The purity of his motives, therefore, would claim for him far more indulgence, if he needed it, than is due to the common run of book makers. Whether he feel chiefly inclined to give the gospel to the poor, because they most require his benevolent de attention or despair of being heard by the rich and fashion- den ablemor, in the honest simplicity of his heart, imagine that none who need instruction, will reject it on account of the form in which it is conveyed,-are questions we do not presume to answer : but we know that volumes like this are always understood to be meant for the poor. Far, however, as we are, and ever shall be from encouraging a splendid, costly mode of publication, we must be allowed to remark, that matter truly valuable should not be presented under an appearance so mean, as to create a prejudice against it. Est inter Tanaim quiddam, socerumque Viselli. There would be a certain incongruity, we grant, in printing such discourses as these on fine hot pressed paper, with wide lines and two inches of margin,-not, perhaps, very unlike dressing a reverend bishop in the style of a French dancing master : Yet, to appear in the shape of an octavo, for instance, on a good paper, and with a legible type, would be no way in. consistent with the Doctor's plainness and gravity ; and we really wish that he would not always come before the public, as a person who avoids genteel company from a consciousness of his own low breeding.
We have, on more occasions than one, given a pretty full account of this author's general merits, and need neither repeat what we formerly said, nor add much at this time, He appears here with the same marked peculiarities as before, and with no diminution of those useful qualities for which we gave him due commendation. In some respects, we think this volume is rather superior to those which we formerly noticed: it possesses greater variety, and both matter and style discover, in various instances, greater signs of care or of practice in composition. Perhaps, indeed, any difference that may appear, is entirely owing to the latter circumstance; for no author ever seemed more free from every care, except that of communicating useful sentiment, and in such a manner as to be understood.
The volume before us contains fifteen discourses ;-the first of which was preached on occasion of the death of the Rev. William Kidston,' a minister for whom the author appears to have entertained a cordial esteem, and whose loss he very impressively teaches the people both to appreciate and improve.
Several of the brethren,' he says, “who were nearly of the same standing with our departed friend, have been, within these not many years, removed from this world, and have left a pleasant memorial behind them. We often heard them with pleasure publish the praises of the Saviour. We will hear their voices no more till we are fitted to join in their celestial songs of peace to the Lamb that was slain for their salvation. But we must not forget to imitate them if we desire to be again joined to their society. Remember your rulers who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. You will have the opportunity of hearing, it is to be hoped, the truth from the mouths of other servants of Christ that you have already from your late pastor. Yet boast not of tomorrow. Who knows what a day may bring forth ? God will require an account of what is past. If we defer the improvement of what we have already heard, in the hope of having our privileges continued with us till we find a more convenient season for hearkening to the word of God, we should do well to consider what Felix gained by a like conduct. His impressions were erased. He lived, as far as we hear of him, till he died under the power of his covetousness and lust. The earth that receiveth the rain, which cometh oft upon it, and beareth fruits worthy of the dresser, receives blessings from God; but that which bears nothing but thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.
The next three sermons, on the divine agency in war and revolutions, must be perused by all serious Christians with considerable interest. The subjects are not only out of the common road, but of great importance ; and are treated by Dr. Lawson, in a manner peculiarly calculated to please and edify the pious mind. The divine agency' in war and revolutions,' would have furnished, to another sort of author, a favourable opportunity to say many very deep things,-to amuse his hearers with now and then a little of politics, --with something of Bonaparte and the French-of the Spaniards of the Portuguese, &c. It would have led him, very naturally, to display his learning by many references to ancient history, his sagacity by many a shrewd conjecture about the future, and his philosophical acuteness by solving sundry difficult problems, which have been proposed on the subject of providence. This author has done none of these, how ever-except by such short allusions as serve to illustrate and enforce his practical lessons. His great objects are to prove, from the authority of scripture, that wars and revo. lutions are to be regarded as proceeding from God, and to teach the proper improvement which is to be made of that doctrine; and in both these objects, he has done what cannot fail to please all who can be pleased with sound sense and genuine piety. If any person, indeed, can read these ser
mons attentirely, especially the third, and doubt whether the hand of God is concerned in the revolutions of empires, we are satisfied that the authority of scripture, at least, has little weight with him.--We would advise those, who think ignorance a sufficient excuse for opposing the divine will, to read with attention what the author says on that point, particularly at pages 104 and 105.--At p. 50, Dr. L. thus instructs us what estimate to form of these destroyers of mankind who have been called heroes.
.We see in what estimation those heroes are to be held, who have been the authors of all those revolutions of nations which are the subjects of history. They are men furnished with brilliant talents by the great dispenser of gifts to men. They have nothing but what they have received, and nothing but what is always under the controul of the giver. Their valour, their knowledge, their enterprising spirit, their presence of mind in dangers and deaths, their dexterity in finding resources in emergencies, which would have suok other men into despondency, may deserve high admiration. Let their noble endowments have their share of praise :--but let it be remembered, that the praise is very scanty which belongs to the richest endowments of mind or body, where justice does not direct their application. It has been justly observed, even by a heathen philosopher, that such men as Alexander the Great, deserve only such admiration as we would bestow, on a destructive tempest or earth. quake. But no tempests or earthquakes were ever so pernicious to man. kind as those conquerors, who have employed a great part of their lives in the destruction of the creatures of that God who gave them their lives, and who girded them with strength.
• Great misery to mankind has resulted from the false opinions, which have been so commonly entertained, of the admiration due to men, for great talents employed for purposes of mischief. If men acquire immortal reputation by spreading slaughter to aggrandize themselves, other men of like talents will seek to acquire glory by wicked works of the same kind. Why do we not (if we are Christians) form our judgments of men and of their actions, by the doctrines of that book which we acknowledge to be the oracles of God ? Surely his judgment of men and things is always according to truth, and our judgment must be sound only as far as it agrees with his.'
The world has sometimes been visited by events of so calamitous a nature, that men are tenipted to question the wisdom and goodness which could permit them to take place. The author reminds us that the greatest evils may be productive of important good.
There is mercy to mankind,' he says, p. 95, even in those terrible calamities which bear hardest on our spirits, when worse evils are prevented, and when we have reason to hope that good will result from them. What would have been the consequence, if God had suffered wicked nations to walk age after age in their own ways, without sending some of his terrible judgments to check the progress of sin? The world would
scarcely have been habitable, through that excess of wickedness which would have overspread the nations. If men are not generally reformed by the judgments of God, they are at least incapacitated to be so wicked as they might otherwise be, and some of the most dangerous incitements to wickedness are withdrawn. And if only a few are made better, those few are blessings to mankind. What would be the state of any nation, if there were no magistrates to punish vice? And would the state of the earth, in general, be what it is, if there were not a king of nations, or if the king of nations suffered their wickedness always to remain unpunished? And how shall we suficiently admire that wisdom and good. Dess, which turns to the advantage of men those evils that are the just punishments of their wickedness ? Mercy and truth meet together in the divine dispensations, righteousness and peace kiss each other. The casting away of the Jews was the enriching of the Gentiles. The desolation of the land of promise was one of the means by which the church of God was greatly enlarged, through the accession of Gentile converts. May we not apply to many other occasions the holy exclamation of Paul, when he was contemplating the use that divine wisdom made of an event which filled his heart with sorrow? « O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” The glory of the divine sovereignty ought likewise to be acknowledged in the destruction of kingdoms and the desolation of countries. If God should be pleased to inflict his tremendous judgments upon all sinning nations, the sons of men would soon be utterly consumed.'
The following short paragraph, on the sovereign manner in which God ivflicts his judgments, we quote for the sake of the short, but happy illustration which the author employs.
• The sovereign ruler of the earth,' he serves, gives no account of his matters, and we can claim no right to call him to account. He has reasops worthy of himself for his conduct, when he extends his long suffering to some persons or nations to a greater degree than he does to others less wicked. But whilst we give him the glory of his sovereignty, we ought not to hide our eyes from the plain proofs which he is pleased to give us of his hatred to sin, The old lying prophet who deceived the man of God from Judah, and tempted him to eat bread when God had forbidden him to eat, was undoubtedly a greater sinner than the prophet whom he deceived. Yet the long suffering of God to that offender, should not hinder us from admiring the wisdom and justice of God in punishing a good prophet for his disobedience.
Having dwelt so long on the first part of the volume, we are compelled to notice the remainder very slightly. We must not, however, be supposed, from this circumstance, to consider the discourses to the aged as less worthy of attention. They are uniformly marked by' the same 'good sense-the same abundance of practical instruction--and by a certaju affectionate concern in the preacher for those whom he addresses, which gives a peculiar value to his counsels. He speaks as a partaker of all their wants and cares; his ad. munitions and advices, therefore, are heard with respect, because they seem to be the fruit of experience and sympathy. We had noted several passages for quotation in this part of the volume; but must satisfy ourselves with strongly recommending it to our aged readers to peruse the whole. If they have been much in the habit of reading and reflecting, they may not, indeed, meet with a great deal absolutely new; but we are exceedingly mistaken, if they will not meet with many things stated in such a manner as to cherish the best impressions. By listening to the advices which are here given them, and cultivating those feelings which are so well recommended, they will greatly increase that respect to which they are naturally intitled; and, if they properly apply the consolations to which the author directs them, they will find their infirmities sit light, and the cheerless period of age become the gayest and happiest of their earthly ex
We are happy to state, that, since we last noticed any of Dr. Lawson's works, he has published, in a neat small volume,-the sermons on parental duties, which we mentioned with much approbation in our review of his · Lectures on Esther,-a sermon, originally printed by itself, intitled the joy of parents in wise children,-two excellent sermons on the reciprocal duties of husbands and wives -and one on the help which hearers of the gospel ought to give to ministers. We cannot help thinking, that, where the rich feel disposed to bestow a book on their poor neighbours, the little volume now mentioned, and the one which is the subject of this article, are extremely well suited for the purpose ; and, while we recommend them in this view, we are sure we do what will be very pleasing to the benevolent author, and very useful to those who may profit by our advice. " Art. V. Elements of Art, a Poem ; in six Cantos, with Notes
aud a Preface; including Strictures on the State of the Arts, Criticisni, Patronage, and Public Taste. By Martin Archer Shee, R. A,
8vo. pp. 400, price 13s. Miller. 1809. W HEN Mr. Shee first made his appearance before the
" public, he came forward with so much timidity and he. sitation, that we were highly prepossessed in his favour; and while we paid our sincere tribute of applause to his merits as a writer, were induced to give our praise a warmer colouring, by our synipathy with the ainiable qualities of his mind. But Mr. Shee seems to have presumed upon success. He now presents himself with confidence; stands upon the strong ground of popular admiration; and ex.