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The Scripture Account of Prayer, in an Address to the Dissenters
in Lancajhire ; occasioned by a new Liturgy fome Ministers in that County are composing for the Use of a Congregation at Lia verpool. By John Taylor, D.D. late Professor of Divinity and Morality at the Academy in Warrington. The second Edition. To which is added, an Appendix, containing Remarks on the Christian Common Prayer Book *, or Universal Liturgy, and its Preface., 8vo. is. 6 d. Waugh. SUR Readers were apprized of the Publication of the
e first Edition of this Address to the Dissenters in Lancashire, in the Review for August, 1761, p. 124.
We mention the second Edition on account of the Appendix, wherein the Editor of Dr. Taylor's Tract has thrown out some Remarks on the Christian Common Prayer Book, which may deserve the attention of the Compiler of that wellintended, thougir not faultless performance. That Gentleman would do well to attend to every hint, which may affist him to render any future impression of his work more perfect, and unexceptionable Fas est et ab hofte doceri : at the same time we wilh him a mind superior to that unmerited rudeness and indecency, with which his opponents seem too much disposed to treat himn. These are marks of an illiberal and unchristian spirit, and thould be always treated with the disregard they deserve.
Devotional compositions are, of all others, the most difficult; not only on account of the propriety of the sentiments, but the manner in which they are to be expressed. To support that gravity and dignity which should always appear in the ofices of religion, and at the farne time to retain that plainness and fimplicity, which are necessary to render them easy to the understandings of mankind; (and which, after all, will be acknowleged the best proofs of a good taste, and the most natural expressions of a devout heart) will be found upon trial to be a task which requires very sound judgment and attentive consideration : and therefore every attempt of this kind should at least be received with candor and good manners, though it may not arrive at the perfection which is to be wished. But our Remarker, not contented with his strictures on the Universal Liturgy, discovers a strange and unaccountable impatience to be exercising his critical acumen
• for an Account of this work, fee Review, Vol. XXV. p. 285.
upon a work of the same kind, said to be drawing up at the request, and intended only for the use, of a private congregation in Liverpool ; a work, as we are informed, yet unfinished, and never intended to be made public. What the Remarker has to do with a design of this kind, or how he can possibly be interested in it, we are at a loss to conceive. He surely does not mean to dictate to a free society in what manner they shall worship the Deity! A Deacon of one Church seems to have no more right to interfere in the butiness of another Church, than the Constable of one 'Township has to act within the limits of another.
Upon the whole, we by no means approve the acrimonious : Spirit of opposition, which, on this occasion, manifests itself amongst some Dissenters; and are surprized, and concerned too, that they, who are so happily tolerated by the present Establishment, should be preparing weapons of war, and eagerly waiting to animadvert upon the expected Liturgy, with so much severity: this is unmanly, ungenerous, and unchristian. - In what consistency of character inust that set of men appear, who enjoying the great blessing of Toleration themselves, are unwilling to allow the same to their fellow Nonconformists? How much better would it become them to exercise the benevolent disposition of the Gospel ; to follow the milder example of our wife and happy governinent; and permit their brethren to worship God in their own way, without attempting to deprive them of their liberty, or casting reproach and calumny upon them for that use of it, which they have the justest title to? Better, far better were it, to acquiesce in what God permits, and continue, as he commands, in a course of friendly forbearance, and charitable disposition towards all our fellow Christians.
Dissenters should, of all men, be attentive to the great first principles, on which, not only their Diffent, but the Reform, ation itself was founded, and on which alone either of them can be supported. If they have forgotten what these are, let them again turn to Mr. Locke's excellent Letters upon Toleration, in which they are represented with the greateft clearness, and supported with the strongest arguments. And let them recollect, that they are not now debating the lawfulness or unlawfulnels of Havits, Modes, and Forms, which are inferior circumstances le't in a fuite of indifference; but ought at least to appear in the more respectable light of friends to the liberties of mankind at large: and, as such, asserting the right of every man to judge for ninfelf; and that not only
in speculative principles and doctrines, but in regard to the methods of conducting the solemn services of Divine Worlhip, in which, it is apprehended, Christians are left equally at li. berty by the firft founder of our holy religion.
A Treatise on the Art of Dancing. By Giovanni-Andrea Gallini, Director of the Dances at the Royal Theatre in the Hay-Market. 6s. bound. Dodfley and Becket,
A S Logic is termed the Art of Thinking, so Dancing may
A be called the Art of Gesture; and Burgurdiscius's defia nition of a syllogisin may well be applied to a Step, in qua quibufdam pofitis, diversum quid à positis, propter ea quæ pofita funt, necessariò fequitur. Logic teaches us so to order and arrange our thoughts, as to give them perspicuity and propriety of connection, and by Dancing we are taught to direct our motions in such a manner, as to give them gracefulness, hara. mony and ease. But the art of Dancing is even more nea cessary to Gesticulation, than the art of Logic is to Thinking. To think elegantly and sublimely is the effect of genius alone, and the art of Thinking clearly and justly, may be attained by habit and observation; but it is questionable whether an elegant and graceful carriage was ever obtained without the aid of Dancing. Mechanical, however, as this art may seem, genius is far from being out of the question. We have elsewhere observed that the imitative arts were alone the province of genius, and no art can with more propriety be called imitative than Dancing. It is a copying of those ideas of gracefulness and harmony, which we borrow from nature, and in this, as in the other imitative arts, the closest imitation' of graceful nature is the happiest execution. But it may then be asked, if Dancing be nothing more than copying the native beauties of motion, why is not nature left to itself?. The reason is, that art hath borrowed various graces from vașious forms ; and in this, as in other cases, by combination, hath reduced them to a systematic fcience.
Could any art or science derive importance from its antiquity, Dancing might stand in the firlt rank for this claim. The accounts of it run almost as high as any thịng we find upon authentic record. Nothing particular, indeed, concerning this art hach descended to us, except the tracts of Lucian and Athenæus. But Plato and Xenophon have made honourable mention of it; and no wonder, since their master Socrates
of gracipitative this and not the imitati
and normal contenied thamutical importures hem
thought it worth his while to learn it at an advanced time of life. It was probably on account of its being a religious ceremony that this wise and pious philosopher applied himfeir to it; but however that might be, it is a proof of the great esteem in which it was held in the inost enlightened age of Greece.
Whether Dancing owed its origin to military or religious ceremonies, will admit of a dispute, in which great erudition might be displayed on both sides of the question, and nothing determined. We look upon it to have been a natural confequence of the invention of music ; for it has been observed that the Indian Savages, upon hearing the found of any musical instrument, could not forbear throwing themselves into antic postures and capers, rapid or flow, in proportion to the time of the music. Thus, as · Dancing was originally the effect of mufic, it continued to accompany that art, on all occasions, whether in religious ceremonies, festivals, or public rejoicings upon the acquisition of victory.
Nunc eft faltaridum, nunc pede libera . . Pulsanda tell:45.-
From being used in the religious ceremonies of Pagans, Dancing, like many other of their customs, was retained in the Christian church, during its infancy. Hence the space before the altar came to be called the choir, being originally appropriated to the Dancers. It would have been impolitic, and perhaps impossible, in the first promoters of Christianity, to have stripped Pagan idolatry of all its ceremonies at once. By only changing the object of adoration, and by leaving the peoplc in pofleflion of their superstitious customs, they were more easily drawn over to a new system of faith, and were weaned, by degrees, from the absurd rites of their antient worship.
But though Dancing, considered as a religious ceremony, appears extremely ridiculous; yet, applied to harmonize the motions of the body, to teach an easy gesture, and a graceful attitude, it is highly useful. A Dancing-Master, in this refpect, should have the genius of a statuary, and know exacủly the proper attitudes of every sentiment and paflion.
Mr. Gallini has formed a right judgment of his art, and is well apprized in what its chief excellence confifts. He has not puffed it with the vanity of a Dancing-Master, but has treated it with the candour of good sense, and the acutenets of good taste. Page 72, he gives us an account of the different styles of dancing. « There are, (says he) properly speaking, four divisions of the characters of Dances ; the Sea rious, the Half-ferious, the Comic, and the Grotesque: but for executing any of them with grace, the artist should be well grounded in the principles of the serious Dance, which will give him, what may be called, a delicacy of manner in all the rest.
“ But as one of these divisions may be more adapted to the humour, genius, or powers of an artist, than another, he should, if he aims at excellence, examine carefully for which it is that he is the most fit.
" After determining which, whatever imperfections he may have from nature, he must set about correcting, as well as he can, by art. Nothing will hardly be found impossible for him to subdue, by an unshaken resolution, and an intense application.
“ Happy indeed is that artist, in whom both the requifites of nature and art are united; but where the first is not grossly deficient, it may be supplemented by the second. However well a beginner may be qualified for this profeffion by nature, if he does not cultivate the talent duly, he will be furpaffed by another, inferior to him in natural endowments, but who shall have taken pains to acquire what was wanting to him, or to improve where deficient. The experience of all ages attests this.
« The helps of a lively imagination, joined to great and asliduous practice, carry the art to the ' highest perfection. But practice will give no eminent distinction without study. Whoever shall Aatter himself with forming himself by practice alone, without the true principles and fufficient grounds of the art, can only proceed upon a rote of tradition, which may appear infallible to him. But this adoption of unexamined rules, and this plodding on in a beaten track, will never lead to any thing great or eminent. It carries with it always something of the fiffness of a copy, without any thing of the graceful boldnefs of originality, or of the strokes of genius.
" I have before observed that the grave, or serious style of Dancing, is the great ground-work of the art. It is also the most difficult. Firmness of step, a graceful and regular motion of all the parts, fuppleness, eafy bendings and risings, the whole accompanied with a good air, and managed with