Billeder på siden

numents of antiquity scattered over this immense surface have been again recalled to our attention; and the prodigics of nature and art, from the cave of Fingal to the wall of China, have once more been brought within the scope of our observation.

The traveller who delineates manners is still new, and still interesting. “ The proper study of mankind is Man," and the incessant fluctuation of character originating in political institutions, and displayed in social habits, affords a perpetually renovating source of entertainment to a contemplative mind. Not so the measurer of arches, and the enumerator of columns. When an edifice has once been perspicuously described, the succeeding traveller can only repeat, or describe it perhaps worse ; and although the Venus dei Medici will continue to be viewed with rapture, while beauty and symmetry excite admiration, we really hope that none of her adorers will again take the trouble of exposing her charms to the public with all the minuteness of mensuration! But has the delineator of manners nothing to avoid ? yes; let him especially beware of telling us that the French are lively and ingenious, the Spaniards grave and indolent, the Dutch phlegmatic, and the Italians jealous. Such information, in the year 1799, is insupportable.

It is time that we should return to the publication before us. Thirty-one letters relate to Europe ; and in these, although we meet with nothing new, we find little to correct. The traveller informs us of no incidents occurring in his journey, and we ate led through no determinate route; the principal rivers, mountains, and cities, are mentioned according to their relative importance. It were uncandid to doubt that he had actually visited many of the countries described; yet of Smyrna, which is expressly included by our traveller among the cities which he had seen, he tells us that it contains several thousand inhabitants : while Mr. Dallaway * says that the population of Smyrna is computed to exceed 100,000 persons.-. By the most moderate computation,' says Dr. Thomson, Constantinople is supposed to contain about 600,oco inhabitants ;' yet the intelligent writer whom we have just quored states its population at only 400,000, inclusive of the extensive and populous suburbs, Galata, Pera, Tophana, and Scutari. --The description of the isles of the Archipelago, and of the majestic ruins scattered over the western borders of Asia, is the portion of this work which will afford most pleasure in the perusal,

Nine letters are devoted to Asia. Our orientalists will be qualified to appreciate the author's knowlege of that country,

* In his work entitled “ Constantinople, antieat and modern." Sec Rev. N. S. vol. XXV. p. 121.



when they are informed that he describes the Persians as differing from the Turks,by adhering to the comments of Hali;' and that the Mahrattas are said to be a Tartar tribe, and a kind of mercenaries, who live on the mountains between Hindustan and Persia : though originally Gentoos, they are of bold active spirits, and pay no great respect to the principles of their religion.'

The remaining letters relate to the countries of Africa which border on the Mediterranean; and, as this subject is less exhausted than others, and the author appears to have visited these parts himself, we have perused his remarks with satisfaction.

It now becomes necessary to advert to the original pieces of poetry mentioned in the They consist of two impromptus, an ode on leaving Greece, and an address to the Knights of Malta ; the latter of which we subjoin :

• I had the honour,' says the author, of receiving an invitation to their entertainment, and having got a hint that a poetical complia ment from a British traveller would be aceeptable to the Knights, I wrote the following lines on the occasion :

• Hail! Malta's valiant sons, a glorious band !
Fam'd for great deeds o’er earth's remotest land;
While papal states their annual tribute pay,
Albion presents you with a votive lay:
Herself a power whom gen'rous passions rouse,
She loves your valor, though she hates your vows;
Hates a restraint that violates nature's laws,
And dreads the prospect of a perjur'd cause.
Long may your isle thro' prosp?rous years endure,
In virtue great, from Turkish rage secure;
Long may the Christian faith your zeal inspire,

And ancient glory fan the sacred fire.'
The generosity of Albion, contrasted with the conduct of
the papal states, in the 3d and 4th lines; the modesty of the
author when he mentions his own country, in the 5th; and the
elegant compliment conveyed to the Knights in the 8th ; cannot
escape the reader's penetration. Dixin' ego in koc esse vobis
Atticam elegantiam ?" Ter.


ART. VI. Sermons : chiefly upon practical Subjects, by the Rer.

Samuel Bishop, A. M. late Chaplain to the Bishop of Bangor, and Head Master of Merchant- Taylors' School. Published by Thomas Clare, A. M. 8vo.

I'P. 364. 6s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1798. THE

"He deceased author of this volume has already appeared

before us in the character of a poet, (Rev. vol. xxii. N.S.) and although we could not bestow on his effusions of fancy,


all that praise to which his editor conceived they were entitled, we discovered in them a flow of moral sentiment, many indications of a benevolent disposition, and a mind imbued with the importance of religious truth. This favourable opinion of Dr. B.'s character is fully confirmed by the present publication, The sermons treat on interesting and important subjects: but they are recommended rather by an impressive statement of those truths which carry conviction along with them, than embellished by any uncommon powers of eloquence, depth of research, or novelty of opinion.

One of the best sermons is the seventh, on the text, Foots make a mock at sin :- à subject which has employed many able pens, but is still not exhausted : for what understanding, however enlarged, can fielly comprehend the fatal effects of folly, wickedness, and impiety? The sermon of Atterbury on the Scorner is well known: it is quoted by Addison in one of his Speecators, and is honoured by him with the appellation of admirable. Although Mr. Bishop may not equal that great writer in eloquence, he does not seem to be much inferior to hiin in good sense; as the reader may judge by the following ex, tract:

• And I affirm, in the first place, that to mock at sin, to make the detestation of it in others a subject of ridicule, or the indulgence of it in ourselves a matter of indifference, is to affront the majesty, to depreciate the wisdom, and to impeach the justice of the Most High. The Lord God Almighty hath thought proper to set before us in his laws the distinction between right and wrong,

between good and evil: he hath thought it worthy his care for us, his bounty towards us, and his sovereignty over us, to give us those laws; that in learning what is good we might follow it, and in knowing what is evil we might avoid it. He hath beca pleased to enforce our ob. servance of the good we should follow, and our abhorrence of the evil we should avoid, by sanctions which he deemed it neither beneath his greatness nor his wisdom to establish--by rewards promised to our obedience, and by punishments denounced against our transgressions. To mock at sin, therefore, is to make a jest of those trangressions which the God of heaven and earth hath taken all these methods to prevent and to discourage; it is to make a jest of the commands and instructions which he hath given ; it is to set at nought Him who can punish, and to challenge the eternal truth of Hiin who hath declared that he will punish wilful and avowed disobedience.

• Whoever mocka at sin may justly be esteemed so far criminal, when seen in the first and most obvious relation in which we can regard him—as a creature dependent on the Power by which he was created. Let us observe him next as a rational being, that we may collect what it is for him to mock at sin when he appears in that light. Is it not to undervalue and misapply, with respect to his


duty, that very faculty which he employs and listens to, with respect to every other concern that interests him? Is it not to turn the sery characteristic advantage with which he in preference to other creatures is blessed, against the munificent and awful giver of this glorious distinction? Is it not to set vanity above reflection, presumption above conscience, and conceit above deliberate judgipcnt? Is it not to degrade a faculty designed to render men more worthy of God, by enabling them to distinguish, and therefore to prefer to things of a base and criminal nature, the best, the most holy, the most becoming things? And does not the mocking at sin, the treating it as a triling or laughable object, wliile it stands condemned upon these principles, does it not (exclusively of its guilt with regard to Go:l) imply the most abject abasement to which a reasoning creature can possibly reduce itself?

• Proceed we to another character which all men bear alike, and with respect to which the mocking at sin carries a new face of guilt. Men are not only endued with reason, but prepared to give and reeeire confort as social beings. Considering them in this view, conceive only what it is for them to mock at sin. It is to make light of that which most immediately and most fatally strikes at the

very foundation and security of all connected happiness upon earth. Are not by far the greater part, "are uot, strictly speaking, all the niseries which we suffer in our social and relative capacities the consequences, in some view or other, of the neglect or transgression (either in the sufferers themselves, or in those through whom they suffer) of the laws of God? What else is it that interrupts the tranquillity of con: munities, and introduces the confusions which rend and dissipate them? What else is it that intercepts private joy, that undermines private confidence, and inyades private property? Is not its baneful influence upon society but too visible in all the vile machinations of malice?-in all the mean condescensions of fraud!~in all strifts and envyings in all the revengeful, avaricious, oppressive sentiments, purposes, and actions, whose effects we so often lament among aur brethren in the world, and so juştly complain of as obstacles to our own peace and enjoyment? If sin be so fatally de. structive of the happiness of men, is not the making it a subject of mockery an insult upon society? Is it not more? Is it not an actual injury to mankind ?- For a man, a member of society, to mock at sin, to laugh at that which renders his brethren miserable, to endeavour to make the abhorrence of it contemptible, and to pretend that there is a superiority of sense and spirit in committing it without restraint or reluctance, is a degree of baseness and barbarity which language cannot easily express.'

We think that this sermon is deserving of particular attention in the present age, when a passion for burlesque and ridicule has infected most orders of society, and has contributed to debase our taste, if not to corrupt our morals.

The eighth sermon we also recommend, as containing some excellent observations on the nature and end of Prayer. The *7



author's sentiments on praying with the spirit and understand: ing are so judicious, that we shall lay them before our readers;

• How then shall we pray with the spirit ?- In one instance, doubtless, by collecting all the strength of our faith at the time of presenting ourselves before our God; by keeping constantly in memory while we pray, the great properties which we adore in him his mercy, his truth, his holiness, his justice, his power ; by our full reliance upon him, considered as possessed of such attributes as these ; and by our hearty desire to pray, as we ought also to desire always so to live, that our service may be acceptable to a being whom we know to be most merciful, and true, and holy, and just, and powerful.

• Our fervency and zealous attention must discover itself also in our prayers, and testify the spirituality of them. We are not to think that the cold languid reading of a petition, or the sitting van cantly quiet while it is read, with the thoughts perhaps wandering and the heart unaffected,.--we are not to think such a performance has the qualities which it ought to possess, or will produce the effect which we wish it should. Our God who tries the hearts of men will not be satisfied with so lifeless a sacrifice. It is absurd to expect that a God of infinite purity, knowledge, and majesty, will vouchsafe to take notice, or at least such notice as we wish, of an address in which we do not think it worth our while to be serious. The power, not the form only, of godliness must evidence our sincerity; and our be, ing sincere in asking for what we deem good for us, is surely the least thing which we can do in order to obtain it.'

The other sermons, though not all of equal merit, are replete with valuable instruction, conveyed in concise and energetic language ; and they seem calculated to convince the understanding, to meliorate the heart, and to regulate the affections.

Ban. ART. VII, Practical Observations on the Diseases of the Army ix

Jamaica, as they occurred between the Ycars 1792 and 1797 ; 04the Situation, Climate, and Diseases of that Island ; and on the most probable Means of lessening Mortality among the Troops, and among Europeans in tropical Climates. By William Lempriere, Apothecary to his Majesty's Forces. 2 Vols. &vo, 138. Boards,

Longman and Rees. 1799. THE HE unprecedented mortality among our troops serving in

the West-Indies, during the present war, renders every man anxious to discover the causes which haye berest this country of so many valuable lives. It will therefore be accept able information to our readers, that we have here the observ, ations of a sensible and candid writer, drawn from his owu experience, during a considerable number of years, and delivered in unafected and perspicuoys (though not always corject) language.


« ForrigeFortsæt »