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fund of information, from which a judicious Reader can so well form
: K-nek Art. 15. A familiar Explanation of the Poetical Works of Milton.
To which is prefixed, Mr. Addison's Criticism on Paradise Loft. With a Preface, by the Rev. Mr. Dodd. 12mo, 25. 6d.. Tonson.
May do well enough for children! Alas! poor Milton! Who knows but thou mayelt yet be transformed into a Spelling-book ?
Religion, from Miracles ard Prophecies. In which the prin-
The Additions to this well-known and justly-approved Work, are very considerable; and we cannot too earnestly recommend it to che consideration of those who have any scruples concerning the Evidence
of the Christian Religion, which may be drawn from the Prophecies and Miracles. Art. 17. An Account of the Conversion of a Deift. With an Apo
pendix, containing Reflections on Deism and Christianity. By E. Harwood. 8vo. Is. 6d. Griffiths.
The moderate and ingenious Writer of the Pamphlet now before us, publishes it with a solemn affirmation of its being a true narrative: whatever opinion therefore, may be formed of the hero of the piece, affects not the Editor; who is only answerable in point of veracity. Matter of fact is to be related, not contrived.
This Deist was born in a remote country place, of fanatical parents, in whose narrow tenets he was assiduously educated; and he was particularly grounded in the doctrines of election, reprobation, jultification by imputed righteousness, fanctification, &c. It must be owned, that in the various particulars related concerning this family, a very just picture is drawn of those narrow-minded, gloomy christians, who too much abound in country places, where knowledge cannot penetrate to correct the prejudices of education : as the peafants are wise in their ignorance; and like the deaf adder that poppeth her ear; will not bearken to the voice of charmers, charming ever fo uifely.
One incident in this narrative is so humorous, and withal fo na. tural, that we are induced to treat our Readers with it, as well as ourselves.
• The following incident may lead the Reader to judge of the strange temper of this man, and into what monsters of ferocity and uncharitableness, an itch for controversy, and a passionate zeal for some opinions, that are once thought fundamental, are capable of transforming men. A neighbour, with whom the old man* had held many a long and warm conference, and who, as it always happens in disputes, could neither convince nor be convinced, was desirous to fee Dr. TAYLOR's Book on Original Sin, which then made a a great noise in that country, in order to furnish him with some heavy artillery against the strong-holds of his opponents. A gentle. man in the town had purchased this Book, and the young Man + was desired by his neighbour to borrow it of him, and bring it home in his pocket, but not to acquaint his father. He accordingly spoke to the gentleman, received the Book, brought it home, and being tired, laid it carelesly upon a table, and went to Bed. The old man opened it-It was the book, he had heard so much of--He knew not whether to read it, or to burn it Down he sat, at eleven at night, and read, and fumed, and raged, in all the Variety of Pasfions, that bigotted fury can throw a Person into. He read and read, till he actually thought, as he said afterwards, that the earth would open under his feet, and sink him to hell. His principles, he said, were so unsettled, and such blasphemous thoughts suggested
• The Deift's Father,
+ The future Deift,
themselves to his debauched wind, as he phrased it, that he was forced to fetch his beloved Owen on in-dwelling Sin, to restore Peace and comfort to his soul. But what should he do with this heretical, foul-deluding book ? He durft not let it stay in his house 'till the morning, for fear of fetting it on fire. He took it up in a violent rag, uttering execrations upon it, as he went, laid it at the foot of an oak that grew before the door, and thought he did a wonderful act of Christian charity, in laying a cold stone upon it, to save it from the rain and dew of heaven. The night he spent without closing his eyes, full of racking cares, and most tormenting inquietude, leit his fon should have been infected with its principles; but was comforted in the morning, when he was assured, that the youth had never opened it, nor read a line in it.'
This young man, in process of time came to London ; where, by conversation with persons of different persuasions, his principles began to waver; and by frequenting the Robin Hood Society, became entirely changed : in brief, he grew an infidel with respect to Revelation, and a votary to fensual pleasures. Excesses destroyed his health, to recover which, he seturned to the place of his nativity, Here one of his filter's children coming from school, and being questioned concerning her proficiency in reading, the opened her teftainent at random, and happened to read Heb. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4. the words ftruck him, and occafioned a serious recollection ; when a reperusal of the scriptures, and Dr. BENSON's vindication of the Christian Religion, made a sound believer of him.
It is impoflible to avoid remarking in general, that this instance is not perhaps so happy a one in all its circumstances, as were to be wilhed, for the credit of the worthy cause it is published to serve People frequently rush from one extreme to the opposite; there is nothing therefore extraordinary, that a youth of vivacity, bred in fanatical principles, should be argued into scepticism, by the licentious discourses in a mug-house, where all religious topics are so fa. miliarly debated. As little is it to be wondered at, that a person enfeebled with disorder, and returned to the place where he received his first impressions, Thould, by an accidental impulse, find a returning propentity towards the principles he there imbibed in his youth.
To conclude our observations on this story, the conversion of an infidel member of any of the disputing societies, however much to be wished, is undeserving the triumph of a public declaration ; un: Icss the motive to conversion had been more worthy insisting on, and likely to be generally useful in the conversion of others.
lo che Appendix containing Reflections on Deism and Christianity, which, in our estimation, is by far the best portion of the Pamphlet, Mr. Harwood appears as a rational and candid advocate for the Christian fystem. These Reflections we wbuld serioully recommend, on the one hand, to the perulal of all arbitrary bigoes to an establishment and religion they evidently do not understand ; and on the other, to all ignorant bigots to scepticism and opposition ; who, if they are but disposed to read, will assuredly profit by them. : N
** The Remainder of the Catilogue will be inserted in our Appen
The Quarto and Oitavo Editions of the Works of Henry Fielda
ing, Esq; with the Life of the Author, by Mr. Murphy, continued.
geniuand genius of a Biographer, puoblerves
the leading en
TTAVING, in our Review for May, recited the most
H material circumstances in the earliest part of Mr. Fielding's life, mentioned some of his dramatic writings, and given an abstract of Mr. Murphy's disquisition concerning genius, we shall here resume this entertaining essay on the life and genius of Mr. Fielding.
Our entertaining Biographer, pursuing his enquiry into the nature and properties of genius, observes, “ That he may be truly said to be a GENIUS, who possesses the leading faa culties of the mind in their vigour, and can exercise them with warmth and spirit upon whatever subject he chuses; that the imagination must be very quick and fusceptible, in order to receive the strongest impreflions either from the objects of nature, the works of art, or the actions and manners' of men ; that the judgment also must be clear and strong, to select the proper parts of a story or description, to dispose the various members of a work, so as to give a lucid order to the whole, and to use such expression as fhall not only serve to convey the intended ideas, but to convey them forcibly, and with that decorum of stile, which the art of composition requires; that invention must also concur, that new scenery may be opened to the fancy, new lights thrown upon the prospects of nature, and the sphere of our ideas be enlarged,
or a new assemblage be formed of them, either in the way of fable or illustration. The power of the mind, adds he, which exerts itself in what Mr. Locke calls the association of ideas, must be quick, vigorous, and warm, because it is from thence that language receives its animated figures, its bold translation of phrases from one idea to ano her, the Verbum ardens, the glowing metaphorical expression, which constitutes the richness and boldness of his imagery; and from thence likewise springs the readiness of ennobling a sentiment or description with the pomp of sublime comparison, or striking it deeper on the mind by the aptness of witty allusion. Mr. Murphy supposes, that what we call genius, might be fti!l more minutely analysed; but there, he concludes, are its principal efficient qualities; and in proportion as these, or any of these, shall be found deficient in an author, lo miny degrees shall he be removed from the first rank and character of a Writer.
To bring these remarks home to the late Mr. Fielding, an estimate of him, says our Biographer, may be justly formed, “ by enquiring how far these various talents may be attributed to him; or if he failed in any, what that faculty was, and what discount he must suffer for it. But though it will appear, perhaps, that when he attained that period of life, in which his mind was come to its full growth, he enjoyed every one of these qualifications, in great strength and vigour; yet in order to give the true character of his talents, to mark the distinguishing specific qualities of his genius, we must look into the temper of the man, and see what byas it gave to his understanding; for when abilities are poffeffed in an eminent degree by several men, it is the peculiarity of habit that must discriminate them from each other.
- A Love of imitation, continues our Author, very soon prevailed in Mr. Fielding's mind. By imitation the reader will not understand that illegitimate kind, which consists in mimicking singularities of person, feature, voice, or manner; but that higher species of representation, which delights in just and faithful copies of human life. So early as when he was at Leyden, a propensity this way began to exert its emotions, and even made some efforts towards a comedy in the sketch of Don Quixote in England. When he left that place, and settled in London, a variety of characters could not fail to attract his notice, and of course to strengthen his favourite inclination. It has been already observed, that distress and disappointinents betrayed him into occasional fits