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fury of religious hatred, Dr. Rennel is, as might be expected, a very strenuous antagonist. Time, which lifts up the veil of political mystery, will inform us if the Doctor has taken that side of the question which may be as lucrative to himself as it is inimical to human happiness and repugnant to enlightened policy.
of Dr. Rennel's talents as a reasoner, we certainly have formed no very high opinion. Unless dogmatical assertion, and the practice (but too com mon among theological writers) of taking the thing to be proved, for part of the proof, can be considered as evidence of a logical understanding, the spe. cimens of argument Dr. Rennel has afforded us are very insignificant. For putting obvious truths into vehement language ; for expanding and adorning moral instruction, this gentleman certainly possesses considerable talents : and if he will moderate his insolence, steer clear of theological metaphysics, and consider rather those great laws of Christian practice, which must interest mankind through all ages, than the petty questions which are important to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the time being, he may live beyond his own days, and become a star of the third or fourth magnitude in the English Church
BOWLES ON THE PEACE. (E. REVIEW, October, 1802.) Reflections at the Conclusion of the War: Being a Sequel to Reflections on the Political
and Moral State of Society at the Close of the Eighteenth Century. The Third Edition,
with Additions. By John Bowles, Esq. If this peace be, as Mr. Bowles asserts, the death-warrant of the liberty and power of Great Britain, we will venture to assert that it also the deathwarrant of Mr. Bowles's literary reputation ; and that the people of this island, if they verify his predictions, and cease to read his books, whatever they may lose in political greatness, will evince no small improvement in critical acumen. There is a political as well as a bodily hypochondriasis ; and there are empirics always on the watch to make their prey, either of the one or of the other. Dr. Solomon, Dr. Brodum, and Mr. Bowles, have all commanded their share of the public attention : but the two former gentlemen continue to flourish with undiminished splendour; while the patients of the latter are fast dwindling away, and his drugs falling into disuse and con. tempt.
The truth is, if Mr. Bowles had begun his literary career at a period when superior discrimination and profound thought, not vulgar violence and the eternal repetition of rabble-rousing words, were necessary to literary repu. tation, he would never have emerged from that obscurity to which he will soon return. The intemperate passions of the public, not his own talents, have given him some temporary reputation ; and now, when men hope and fear with less eagerness than they have been lately accustomed to do, Mr. Bowles will be compelled to descend from that moderate eminence, where no man of real genius would ever have condescended to remain.
The pamphlet is written in the genuine spirit of the Windham and Burke School; though Mr. Bowles cannot be called a servile copyist of either of these gentlemen, as he has rejected the logic of the one and the eloquence of the other, and imitated them only in their headstrong violence and exag. gerated abuse. There are some men who continue to astonish and please the world, even in the support of a bad cause. They are mighty in their fallacies and beautiful in their errors. Mr. Bowles sees only one-half of the prece. dent; and thinks, in order to be famous, that he has nothing to do but to be in the wrong.
War, eternal war, till the wrongs of Europe are avenged, and the Bourbons restored, is the master-principle of Mr. Bowles's political opinions, and the object for which he declaims through the whole of the present pamphlet.
The first apprehensions which Mr. Bowles seems to entertain are of the boundless ambition and perfidious character of the First Consul, and of that military despotism he has established, which is not only impelled by the love of conquest, but interested, for its own preservation, to desire the overthrow of other states. Yet the author informs us immediately after, that the life of Buonaparte is exposed to more dangers than that of any other individual in Europe, who is not actually in the last stage of an incurable disease; and that his death, whenever it happens, must involve the dissolution of that machine of government, of wbich he must be considered not only as the sole director, but the main spring. Confusion of thought, we are told, is one of the truest indications of terror; and the panic of this alarmist is so very great, that he cannot listen to the consolation which he himself affords : for it appears, upon summing up these perils, that we are in the utmost danger of being destroyed by a despot, whose system of government, as dreadful as himself, cannot survive him, and who, in all human probability, will be shot or hanged, before he can execute any one of his projects against us.
We have a good deal of flourishing, in the beginning of the pamphlet, about the effect of the moral sense upon the stability of governments : that is, as Mr. Bowles explains it, the power which all old governments derive from the opinion entertained by the people of the justice of their rights. If this sense of ancient right be (as is here confidently asserted) strong enough ultimately to restore the Bourbons, why are we to fight for that which will be done without any fighting at all ? And, if it be strong enough to restore, why was it weak enough to render restoration necessary ? . To notice every singular train of reasoning into which Mr. Bowles falls, is not possible; and, in the copious choice of evils, we shall, from feelings of mercy, take the least.
It must not be forgotten, he observes, that “those rights of government, which because they are ancient, are recognised by the moral sense as lawful, are the only ones which are compatible with civil liberty.” So that all questions of right and wrong, between the governors and the governed, are determinable by chronology alone. Every political institution is favourable to liberty, not according to its spirit, but in proportion to the antiquity of its date ; and the slaves of Great Britain are groaning under the trial by jury, while the freemen of Asia exult in the bold privilege transmitted to them by their fathers, of being trampled to death by elephants.
In the 8th page Mr. Bowles thinks that France, if she remain without a king, will conquer all Europe ; and in the 19th page, that she will be an object of Divine vengeance till she takes one. In the same page, all the miseries of France are stated to be a judgment of heaven for their cruelty to the king; and, in the 33rd page, they are discovered to proceed from the perfidy of the same king to this country in the American contest. So that certain misfortunes proceed from the maltreatment of a person who had himself occasioned these identical misfortunes before he was maltreated ; and while Providence is compelling the French, by every species of afflic. tion, to resume monarchical government, they are to acquire such extraordinary vigour, from not acting as Providence would wish, that they are to trample on every nation which co-operates with the Divine intention.
In the both page, Mr. Bowles explains what is meant by Jacobinism ; and as a concluding proof of the justice with which the character is drawn, triumphantly quotes the case of a certain R. Mountain, who was tried for
damning all kings and all governments upon earth ; for, adds R. Mountain, “I am a Jacobin.” Nobody can more thoroughly detest and despise that restless spirit of political innovation, which, we suppose, is meant by the name of jacobinism, than we ourselves do; but we were highly amused with this proof, ab ebriïs sutoribus, of the prostration of Europe, the last hour of human felicity, the perdition of man, discovered in the crapulous eructations of a drunken cobbler.
This species of evidence might certainly have escaped a common observer : But this is not all; there are other proofs of treason and sedition, equally remote, sagacious, and profound. Many good subjects are not very much pleased with the idea of the Whig Club dining together; but Mr. Bowles has the merit of first calling the public attention to the alarming practice of sing. ing after dinner at these political meetings. He speaks with a proper horror of tavern dinners,
11_where conviviality is made'a stimulus to disaffection-where wine serves only to inflame disloyalty-where toasts were converted into a vehicle of sedition-and where the powers of harmony are called forth in the cause of Discord by those hireling singers, who are equally ready to invoke the Divine favour on the head of their King, or to strain their venal throats in chanting the triumphs of his bitterest enemies.”
All complaint is futile which is not followed up by appropriate remedies. If Parliament, or Catarrh, do not save us, Dignum and Sedgwick will quaver away the King, shake down the House of Lords, and warble us into all the horrors of republican government. When, in addition to these dangers, we reflect also upon those with which our national happiness is menaced, by the present thinness of ladies' petticoats (p. 78) temerity may hope our salvation, but how can reason promise it?
One solitary gleam of comfort, indeed, beams upon us in reading the solemn devotion of this modern Curtius to the cause of his King and country:
“My attachment to the British monarchy, and to the reigning family, is rooted in my • heart's core.'--My anxiety for the British throne, pending the dangers to which, in common with every other throne, it has lately been exposed, has embittered my choicest comforts. And I most solemnly vow, before Imighty God, to devote myself, to the end of iny days, to the maintenance of that throne.”
Whether this patriotism be original, or whether it be copied from the Upholsterer in Foote's Farces, who sits up whole nights watching over the British Constitution, we shall not stop to inquire ; because when the practi. cal effect of sentiments is good, we would not diminish their merits by investigating their origin. We seriously commend in Mr. Bowles this future dedication of his life to the service or his King and country; and consider it as a virtual promise that he will write no more in their defence. No wise or good man has ever thought of either, but with admiration and respect. That they should be exposed to that ridicule, by the forward imbecility of friendship, from which they appear to be protected by intrinsic worth, is so painful a consideration, that the very thought of it, we are persuaded, will induce Mr. Bowles to desist from writing on political subjects.
DR. LANGFORD'S SERMON. (E. REVIEW, October, 1802.) Anniversary Sermon of the Royal Humane Society. By W. LANGFORD, D.D. Printed for
F. and' c. Rivington. 1801. 8vo. 40 pages. An accident, which happened to the gentleman engaged in reviewing this sermon, proves, in the most striking manner, the importance of this charity for restoring to life persons in whom the vital power is suspended, He was discovered, with Dr. Langford's discourse lying open before him, in a state of the most profound sleep; from which he could not, by any means, be awakened for a great length of time. By attending, however, to the rules prescribed by the Humane Society, flinging in the smoke of tobacco, apply. ing hot flannels, and carefully removing the discourse itself to a great distance, the critic was restored to his disconsolate brothers.
The only account he could give of himself was, that he remembers read. ing on, regularly, till he came to the following pathetic description of a drowned tradesman; beyond which, he recollects nothing :
“But to the individual himself, as a man, let us add the interruption to all the temporal business in which his interest was engaged. To him, indeed, now apparently lost, the world is as nothing; but it seldom happens that man can live for himself alone : Society parcels out its concerns in various connections; and from one head issues waters which run down in many channels. The spring being suddenly cut off, what confusion must follow in the streams which have flowed from its source? It may be, that all the expectations reasonably raised of approaching prosperity, to those who have embarked in the same occupation, may at once disappear, and the important interchange of commercial faith be broken off, before it could be brought to any advantageous conclusion."
This extract will suffice for the style of the sermon. The charity itself is above all praise.
PUBLIC CHARACTERS OF 1801, 1802. (E. REVIEW, October, 1802.)
Public Characters of 1801, 1802. Richard Phillips, St. Paul's. I vol. 8vo. The design of this book appeared to us so extremely reprehensible, and so capable, even in the hands of a blockhead, of giving pain to families and individuals, that we considered it as a fair object of literary police, and had prepared for it a very severe chastisement. Upon the perusal of the book, however, we'were entirely disarmed. It appears to have been written by some very innocent scribbler, who feels himself under the necessity of dining, and who preserves throughout the whole of the work that degree of good humour which the terror of indictment by our Lord the King is so well calculated to inspire. It is of some importance, too, that grown-up country gentlemen should be habituated to read printed books; and such may read a story about their living friends, who would read nothing else.
We suppose the booksellers have authors at two different prices. Those who do write grammatically, and those who do not; and that they have not thought fit to put any of their best hands upon this work. Whether or not there may be any improvement on this point in the next volume, we request the biographer will at least give us some means of ascertaining when he is comical, and when serious. In the life of Dr. Rennel we find this passage
“Dr. Rennel might look forward to the highest dignities in the establishment ; but, if our information be right, and we have no reason to question it, this is what he by no means either expects or courts. There is a primitive simplicity in this excellent man, which much resembles that of the first prelates of the Christian church, who were with great difficulty prevailed upon to undertake the episcopal office.”
NARES'S SERMON. (E. REVIEW, October, 1802.) A Thanksgiving for Plenty, and Warning against Avarice. A Sermon. By the Reverend ROBERT NARES, Archdeacon of Stafford, and Canon Residentiary of Lichfield. London: Printed for the Author, and sold by Rivingtons, St. Paul's Churchyard. 8vo. 24 pages. 1801. For the swarm of ephemeral sermons which issue from the press, we are principally indebted to the vanity of popular preachers, who are puffed up by female praises into a belief that what may be delivered, with great propriety, in a chapel full of visitors and friends, is fit for the deliberate attention of the public, who cannot be influenced by the decency of a clergyman's private life, fattered by the sedulous politeness of his manners, or misled by the fallacious circumstances of voice and action. A clergyman cannot be always considered as reprehensible for preaching an indifferent sermon; because to the active piety, and correct life, which the profession requires, many an excellent man may not unite talents for that species of composition : But every man who prints, imagines he gives to the world something which they had not before, either in matter or style ; that he has brought forth new truths, or adorned old ones; and when in lieu of novelty and ornament, we can discover nothing but trite imbecility, the law must take its course, and the delinquent suffer that mortification from which vanity can rarely be expected to escape, when it chooses dulness for the minister of its gratifications.
The learned author, after observing that a large army praying would be a much finer spectacle than a large army fighting, and after entertaining us with the old anecdote of Xerxes and the flood of tears, proceeds to express his sentiments on the late scarcity, and the present abundance : then, stating the manner in which the Jews were governed by the immediate interference of God, and informing us that other people expect not, nor are taught to look for, miraculous interference to punish or reward them, he proceeds to talk of the visitation of Providence, for the purposes of trial, warning, and correction, as if it were a truth of which he had never doubted.
Still, however, he contends, though the Deity does interfere, it would be presumptuous and impious to pronounce the purposes for which he interferes ; and then adds, that it has pleased God, within these few years, to give us a most awful lesson of the vanity of agriculture and importation without piety, and that he has proved this to the conviction of every thinking mind.
“Though he interposes not (says Mr. Nares) by positive miracle, he influ. ences by means unknown to all but himself, and directs the winds, the rain, and glorious beams of heaven to execute his judgment, or fulfil his merciful designs."—Now, either the wind, the rain, and the beams, are here represented to act as they do in the ordinary course of nature, or they are not. If they are, how can their operations be considered as a judgment on sins : and if they are not, what are their extraordinary operations, but positive miracles ? So that the Archdeacon, after denying that anybody knows when, how, and why the Creator works a miracle, proceeds to specify the time, instrument, and object of a miraculous scarcity; and then, assuring us that the elements were employed to execute the judgments of Providence, denies that this is any proof of a positive miracle.
Having given us this specimen of his talents for theological metaphysics, Mr. Nares commences his attack upon the farmers ; accuses them of cruelty and avarice ; raises the old cry of monopoly; and expresses some doubts, in a note, whether the better way would not be to subject their granaries to the control of an exciseman; and to levy heavy penalties upon those in whose possession corn, beyond a certain quantity to be fixed by law, should be found.—This style of reasoning is pardonable enough in those who argue from the belly rather than the brains; but in a well fed and well educated clergyman, who has never been disturbed by hunger from the free exercise of cultivated talents, it merits the severest reprehension. The farmer has it not in his power to raise the price of corn; he never has fixed, and never can fix it. He is unquestionably justified in receiving any price he can obtain : for it happens very beautifully that the effect of his efforts to better his fortune is as beneficial to the public as if their motive had not been selfish. The poor