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The Christian, Church still survives; a review of the past invigorates our confidence in the predictions of Revelation. We anticipate the overthrow, or the submission, of every enemy to Christianity; and look forward to a period, when, after reiterated conflicts with Infidelity, it shall receive the homage of every heart; when Pagan devotees shall cast their idols to the moles and to the bats, and acknowledge the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent; when the disciples of Mahomet shall renounce his Koran, and embrace the Gospel; when the corruptions of Christianity shall be purged away, and the "truth as it is in Jesus" be universally received, and cordially obeyed.

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The second volume is argumentative, and treats of the principles and evidences of the Christian faith; under the former head are considered-the inability of man to frame a Religion for himself;—the insufficiency of Philosophy, natural, moral, and metaphysical, to guide us to religious truth; -the reasonableness and necessity of taking faith for our guide, in subjects inscrutable to our rational faculties; the limits which ought to be prescribed to human reason, in exercising its judgement on any supposed Revelation from God, and the preparatory, dispositions requisite for enabling us to form a correct judgement of the evidences on which it depends under the latter the comparative force of human and divine testimony, and the concurrence of both, to establish the facts of holy writ;-the great general argument for the truth of the Christian Religion, from its accomplishment, propagation, and success; and the more positive proofs, from miracles, prophecy, and inspiration. On each of these important topics, the reader will meet with luminous statement, correct argument, legitimate deduction, and impressive reflection..

The following extract from the 14th Sermon, on the inability of man to frame a religion for himself, will, on account of its excellence, be acceptable to our readers, and require no apology for its insertion.

St. Paul's description of the spiritual condition of the Heathens, is generally allowed to be a faithful representation: and it exhibits in such striking colours, their ignorance of the fundamental truths of Religion, and the insufficiency of their notions of moral good and evil, to prevent them from practising, and even deliberately approving, the grossest vices and enormities, that, to plead, with such an example before us, for the ability of human Reason, without the help of Revelation, to make men "wise unto salvation," appears to be a vain and extravagant undertaking.

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Now, this (let it be remembered) was intended as a portraiture of the Heathen world in general, not merely of the ignorant vulgar, but also of the most learned and accomplished characters of Greece and Rome. It was a picture, drawn at a period of great refinement in human knowledge; after the talents of such men as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, had been constantly exercised, in endeavouring to enlighten and improve mankind. Here, then, all appears to have been done, which could be done, by the natural powers of man, (understanding, by that expression, the powers of man unaided by Revelation) towards the acquisition of moral and religious truth and the result, not only according to the Apostle's representation, but according to the repeated confessions of the greatest Philosophers, was plainly this :-that the utmost stretch of their researches terminated in mere opinion and conjecture; that for these they were more indebted to obscure and uncertain traditions, than to any clear deductions from principles of their own discovery; that their labours were insufficient even to preserve themselves from doubt and error, much less to recover others from idolatry and corruption; and that nothing further was to be expected, nothing further was attainable, but by a Revelation from Heaven.'


To those who are open to conviction, and are willing to take facts for the basis of their reasoning, this statement of the case of the Heathen world will appear decisive of the controversy. But, there are some, who in their zeal to magnify man's natural resources, and to disparage the blessing of Revelation,. will hardly admit the confessions of Heathens themselves, as evidence to this point; nor will they allow, that the defects of these ancient Philosophers (supposing them to be as great as they are here represented to be) afford satisfactory proof that the powers of the human understanding are not now improvable, to a much greater extent than they were in ancient times. They contend, that the world was then in the infancy of knowledge; and argue, as if the illustrious sages of old, (whom they nevertheless sometimes extol, in terms of extravagant panegyric) babes in Philosophy, such as wise ones of later ages regard with a sort of contemptuous commiseration.'

were very

But, may we not be permitted so ask, whence this assumed superiority of modern over ancient Philosophers has arisen? and whence the extraordinary influx of light upon these latter times has been derived? Is there any one so infatuated by his admiration of the present age, as seriously to think that the intellectual powers of man are stronger and more perfect now, than they were wont to be; or that the particular talents of himself, or any of his contemporaries, are superior to those which shone forth in the luminaries of the Gentile worl.? Do the names even of Locke, Cudworth, Cumberland, Clarke, Wilkins, or Wollaston, (men so justly eminent in modern times, and who laboured so indefatigably to perfect the theory of Natural Religion) convey to us an idea of greater intellectual ability, than those of the consummate Masters of the Portico, the Grove, or the Lyceum? How is it, then, that the advocates for the natural perfection, or perfectibility, of human Reason, do not perceive, that, for all the superiority of the present over former times, with respect to Religious Knowledge we must be indebted to some intervening cause, and not to any actual enlargement of the human faculties? Is it to believed, that any man of the present age, of whatever natural talents he may be possessed, could have advanced one step beyond the Heathen Philosophers, in his pursuit VOL. III. Ꮮ

of Divine Truth, had he lived in their times, and enjoyed only the light which was bestowed upon them? Or can it fairly be proved, that merely by the light of Nature, or by reasoning upon such data only, as men possess who never heard of Revealed Religion, any moral or religious truth has been discovered, since the days when Athens and Rome affected to give laws to the intellectual, as well as to the political, world? That great improvements have since been made, in framing systems of Ethics, of Metaphysics, and of what is called Natural Theology, need not be denied.· But these improvements may easily be traced to one obvious cause, the widely-diffused light of the Gospel, which, having shone, with more or less lustre, on all nations, has imparted, even to the most simple and illiterate of the sons of men, such a degree of knowledge on these subjects, as, without it, would be unattainable by the most learned and profound.' Vol. II. pp. 41-46.

To this Revelation we are indebted for our best consolations in the present, and for every solid hope of a future life; for that light which guides us safely through this stage of our being, and conducts us with unerring steps to immortality. It assures us of acceptance with God, "through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus," gives repose to the soul, and alone ministers to the moral necessities of the human race. We gladly aid the diffusion of the solemn admonitions addressed to Unbelievers, with which we close our extracts.

'Well, indeed, would it be for every one who takes upon him to censure the Gospel Dispensation, if he would seriously consider, with what confidence he may produce hereafter, at the tribunal of God, those reasonings which he now holds out as sufficient to justify him in treating it with contempt. Let him ask himself, what answer he will be prepared to give, when brought to the bar of the Almighty, and when the question is put to him, why he rejected the system of mercy and redemption offered to him in the Gospel of Christ? Will he then presume to arraign the expediency, the goodness, or the justice of the Divine dispensations? Will he venture to plead, that, notwithstanding all the proofs of Divine power, which stamped its heavenly original, its wisdom was yet questionable? Will he hazard the assertion that an offer proposed by God himself, was unnecessary, and unworthy of acceptance? Or will he venture to excuse himself, by charging God with not having vouchsafed him sufficient evidence to warrant his belief, in a concern of such unspeakable importance? Will any, or all of these pleas, avail him, if, after all, the Gospel be really the work of God? Alas! well would it be for him to consider, (as says a late venerable Writer of our Church) that "if Christianity be true, it is tremendously true*:"--and better will it be "not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."

It may be, however, that we only waste our time, in pressing such considerations as these, on the avowed and determined Unbeliever. Yet most true it is, that, whether he will hear or whether he will forbear, the time is fast approaching, when to such questions as these he must render

* Jones's Preface to Leslie's Short Method, &c.

+2 Peter H. 21.

an answer, and when upon the answer which he can give will depend his everlasting sentence. From the awful apprehension of that sentence, every one who knows what is the threatened portion of Unbelievers, will shrink with horror.' pp. 462-464.

The subjects discussed in these volumes have been so often and profoundly investigated, and so ably treated by preceding writers, as almost to preclude original thought or novel argument. Mr. Van Mildert, however, is an able advocate of Revealed Religion. He is eminently entitled to the praise of patient and laborious industry. His stile is plain, perspicuous, and generally correct. His work unites, in an interesting manner, the history and the proof of Revelation, though a little more detail might sometimes have been beneficial. We wish it may obtain very extensive circulation, and cordially recommend it to our readers and the public.

To each Volume an Appendix is added, containing notes, authorities, and a list of writers, which the Student will find useful. The work is dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Art. IV. An Essay on the Elements, Accents, and Prosody, of the English Language. By J. Odell, M. A. 12mo. pp. 212. Price 3s. 6d. Lackington and Co. 1806.

THE earnestness with which we have recommended the

study of our vernacular language to general attention, and the pain we have expressed at repeated disappointments from recent works on the subject, were the strongest pledges we could give to the public, of that pleasure which a welldigested grammatical treatise on English speech would afford



We rise, therefore, considerably gratified, from a perusal of Mr. Odell's Essay. The three subjects of which it treats have indeed so little natural connection, that they might have been discussed more advantageously in separate Essays. In every instance, also, so much depends on the ear, that some readers will comprehend with difficulty, and others probably be disposed to reject, a part of our author's decisions. Mr. O. usually writes with so much good sense and modesty, has paid such close attention to the minute and latent properties of our language, and often displays so correct a taste in developing them, that when a difference of opinion may arise, it is likely to be tempered with respect for the talents and the disposition of the author.

By the Eleements of the language, Mr. O. means those distinct sounds of which it is composed, as represented by vowels, diphthongs, and consonants. These terms, indeed, he

uses, not of the letters, but of the sounds, of the language; and certainly with advantage for the ease and perspicuity of his discussions; although, if they were invariably restricted to this sense, we should be at a loss for titles of the respective divisions of letters that correspond with those sounds.

Beginning his analysis of these elements with an account of the VOWEL sounds used by our nation, he enumerates six that are sometimes short and sometimes long; and a seventh, which, he says, is always short. The former, he names aw, ah, a, e, o, and oo. The other, which is the sound of our short u, he calls ut, on account of the difficulty of pronouncing it without a consonant annexed. He expresses these sounds, for the sake of distinction, by the single letters, a, a, e, i, o, w, and u; placing over each, when long, the mark which, in prosody, denotes a long syllable. To these distinctions, we have no other objection, than that the Black letter a appears more aukward, among Roman characters, than an Italic a; which, therefore, we should prefer. But we conceive that his second vowel, ah, as expressed by a, and a, and sounded in the syllables ban, and balm, denotes two vowels, as distinct from each other as the different sounds of a in balm, and in ball and we suspect that his third and fourth vowels, when long, have also a natural distinction from what he calls their short sounds. We think that pane is not merely the sound of pen produced, nor teen, that of tin. The great deficiency of vowel characters in our language strongly tempts grammarians to diminish the real number of our vowel sounds. Perhaps Mr. O., on revising this part of his work, will discover that he has fallen under such a temptation; and that our sounds of e in pen, and i in tin, are really never lengthened in our speech.

We object, however, more confidently to his assertion, that this list furnishes "examples of every vowel that can be distinctly uttered by the human voice, excepting the French u." (p. 7.) If the author had never heard the sound of the French u, he probably would have supposed his list to be complete without it. He justly observes, that his seventh vowel does not sensibly differ from the French e, in je, me, &c. in opposition to some who, he says, have thought that vowel " peculiar to the English tongue." Such an opinion intimates that the knowledge of those who maintained it, must have been

wonderfully circumscribed. There is not, we believe, a sound that is common to more languages, or more common in any, than this. We are surprised to find Mr. O. representing it as incapable of being prolonged, or forming a long syllable." (p. 4.) It does this in almost every French word that has eu followed by a consonant; and whoever has heard

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