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profession of it, this is one,—that as members of the Christian church, we are all independent of each other in point of authority; that we are to call no man Master on earth ; but that every individual member is to examine, try, and judge for himself, and to be fully persuaded in his own mind with regard to all his religious sentiments, and practices :-- and this has been juftly esteemed, by all that have rightly considered it, as a glorious privilege of the Christan religion. --The Gor. pel, in this view of it, may be regarded as a special interposal of the ever-blelled God, in behalf of the most sacred rights and liberties of mankind; in opposition to the haughty and impious claims of covetous and proud men, that would lord it over God's heritage, and assume to themselves to be Governors and Judges in affairs that are too important to be referred to such weak arbitrators. . « It should be further observed, that notwithstanding the religious liberties of mankind have been thus solemnly ratified and confirmed by a divine revelation ; yet under cover of this very revelation, and a pretence of patronizing and defending it, men have established a worse usurpation over the consciences of their fellow subjects, than perhaps ever prevailed in the world before. Thus the Priesthood first of all assumed, and afterwards seized upon, what is called ecclesiastical authority in the Christian church; in consequence of which, civil establishments of religion have taken place in all the kingdoms of Europe ; in which it is particularly defined by human laws, in what manner Christians shall profess their religion, and in what terms, and with what ceremonies, they shall publicly worship God.
«' Against these impositions of human authority, some have arisen in almost all ages, and borne their public testimony, by ftanding fast in that liberty wherewith Christ made them free': and, in consequence, have been obliged to submit, fome to cruel tortures and deaths, others to penalties and discouragements, greater or less, according to the severity of the respective governments under which they lived, - but universally they have been branded with the names of Heretics, and Schismatics, by those established churches from which they have taken the liberty to dissent.–And as they constantly have, and probably always will have, a majority against them, who, in appearance at least, do submit to human authority in religious matters, so their hardships must be the greater in proportion to the smallness of their number. Now among those who publicly conform to civil establishments of religion,
and join in public worship with those who take upon them to appoint new terms of communion, or such as were not appointed by our Lord and his Apostles, it is certain there are many who in their hearts approve of that Christian liberty, which, in appearance, they desert ;-—who openly avow, and contribute to countenance and support that authority which, in their real sentiments, and their private conversation, they give up as an usurpation not to by justified upon the principles cf Christianity, which they allow to be clearly on the side of liberty, and opposite to all human authority in matters that are purely religious.—The conduct of such as these looks too much like being ashamed of our Lord and his words, as they have not the resolution to act openly upon the Gospel plan, when they fee great numbers and powers appearing against it and that which greatly aggravates this unjustifiable behaviour is, that the peace and well-being of nrankind are so nearly affected by it.
« That the rights of conscience, or of private judgment in religion, should be preserved in their utmost extent, is a matter of the greatest importance to mankind, since this is the only cffe&tual bar against persecution, which has introduced so much disorder and confusion into the world, and made such havock among the sons of men, as it is very shocking to reflect upon, much more to those that have feverely felt the effects of it. It is true, the spirit of persecution does not run so high at present as it has in former ages; but if the principles from which it received strength and encouragement are still espoused, and vindicated, it is certainly the duty of all Christian Professors especially, to give their public testimony against them, that, if poflible, there may not be the least foundation left to raise any future persecution upon; that no disturbance may evermore be given to the peace of those who are determined to abide by their Gospel privileges, and to maintain their right of diffenting from hu- · man authority, and judging for themselves in all religious inatters. .
" That this is really a privilege, and an essential part of the Gospel dilpenfation, has not been so generally and fully considered as it ought to have been. The Gospel, instead of supporting the claims of human authority, advanced by coi vetous and ambicious men, is directly leveiled against them, and tends, in the itrongest manner, to disappoint and defcat them. So much the more shameful and dishonourable then. is the conduct of those why are fenfible of this, and yet meanly
desert- those principles of the Gospel, which have so generous and friendly an aspect upon the liberties of mankind;which were intended to rescue men out of the hands of their religious oppressors, to discountenance the views of worldly ambition, and to establish the spirit of independency and freedom, which is the life and soul of religion. In what light then can we regard those who are ashamed of our Lord and his words, when we consider him as asserting, in the stronge est terms, the principles of religious liberty ? - Is it not an inexcufable cowardice, to disown fo worthy and important a cause, and which, from the great original of it, we are assured must finally prevail ?”
Our Author enlarges a good deal on this subject; but such Readers as are desirous of seeing what he has farther advanced upon it, we refer to the Sermons themselves.
Van Swieten's Commentaries abridged. By Dr. Schamberg of * Bath, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. 8vo. 6s.
orisms of and freque at the fight impreflaves of
Percipien Fritomile bering?. fiomanorises, o Dr.
T HE 'short preface to this abridgment observes, “ That
1 the prolixity of Van Swieten's Commentaries upon the Aphorisms of Boerhaave may be tedious to the experienced Practitioner, and frequently disgusting to the young Student, who is eafily frightened at the sight of voluminous writings ;' adding, “ that instruction is most impressive, where it is leaft incumbered.” This, indeed, is the sense of the following apposite motto to this abridgment,
Quicquid præcipies, esto brevis; ut citò difta . '
Percipiant animi dociles, teneantque fideles. Qur medical Epitomiser, however, might have attempered this precept, by remembering, the same excellent Critic also. fays-Brevis effe laboro, obscurus fio--and have farther confidered, that, especially in didactic treatises, obscurity is by all means to be avoided. In this single volume Dr. Schomberg had proposed to abridge the three of Van Swieten already published in Latin, which we find were translated and printed here at different times, from the year 1744 to 1758, in eleven volumes 8vo. This at first may suppose the different extent of the original and the abridgment to be as one to eleven ; but on a much better calculation of their conRev. Nov. 1762.
tents, the former is above thirty times as much as the latter. Now, as the reafon for Van Swieten’s Commentaries on Boerhaave's Aphorisms, was the great conciseness of that close and pregnant work, (whence, perhaps, some unavoidable obfcurity) we should not expect the Abridgment of fuch a Commentary to be reduced to little more than the size of the Aphorisms themselves, which are also contained in the Commentary, as far as it is pablished.
The general heads or titles of the Commentary are eightythree ; those of the Aphorisms thirty-seven. Dr. Schombery, however, has contrived to begin with Diseases of a simple folie Fibre, and to end with the Empyema, which make the initial article of the first, and the final one of the eleventh volume, But it must be observed, that the translation at large fometimes treats of one disease under as many titles as there are species of that generical disease, for instance, of the Quincy particularly. Nevertheless, if- the Baron has not been greatly, and very unnecessarily, prolix, Dr. Schomberg must have been too concise and laconic. If the latter has retained all that is essentially material, it must imply the original to be much more generally diffuse than pertinent.
It fhould have been considered, howeyer, for whose fervice these Commentaries were principally calculated? The obvious anfier to this seems to be, - for those capacities, to which the Aphorisins seemed too obscure, too much compressed, as it were. This would consequently incline Baron Van Swieten rather to expatiate; than to be too concife and aphoristical himself: and supposing this the case, Dr. Schomberg's very brief epitome has interfered with his Author's capital intention. If the Doctor designed it for Phyficians of experience and erudition, doubtless there are many fuch, who need no explanation of, no Commentary on, the Aphorisms. Such, therefore, may be willing, at their leisure, rather to perule the Commentaries in the original; as the many cases, the physical experiments, the physiological reasonings and suggestions, which he has interspersed througbout them, and embellished with his general erudition, prevent kim from appearing often dry or tedious.
It seems, nevertheless, upon the whole, as if fome happy medium might be found between Van Swieten's voluminous. extent, and Dr. Schomberg's diminutive, not to say, disparaging, brevity: and doubtless, in general, if a good Author had equal leisure and disposition for it, he must prove the
best Abbreviater of his own work, of which the literary world has feen fome acceptable instances. The production of the present book necded little more trouble than to mark in the margin ihe paragraphs which the Printer should compose ; and here and there to change a word or particle, in order to connect them.
Dr. Schomberg, however, having been modest enough on this atchievement of his Synopsis, with his non laudem merui, it were fcarcely liberal criticism to extend these strictures farther. As he promifes to abridge the part yet unpublished by Van Swieten, soon after it appears, it will give him an opportunity of re-considering what he has already done. On comparing some part of his Abridgment with the English Tranfation, we find it verbally the same, except the difference already mentioned. Hence it is manifest, we have nothing to remark on the style or manner of this performance, which are not Dr. Schomberg's, but are taken from the Translator of Van Swieten, whose performance does not lie properly before us. All that is strictly the Abridger's, is his Preface, which is short and decent. As he must be supposed to have perused this valuable and learned Author with more than ordinary attention, in order to this Abstract of his Commentaries, it was certainly a very pertinent employment for a practical Physician ; of which, we hope, his Patients and himself will perceive the good consequences.
The Doctrine of Grace : Or, the office and operations of the Holy
Spirit vindicated from the infults of infidelity, and the abuses of fanaticism : Concluding with some thoughts (humbly offered to the confideration of the ESTABLISHED CLERGY) with regard . 10 the right method of defending religion against the attacks of either party. By William Lord Bishop of Gloucester. Small 8vo. 2 vols. . 35. 6 d. in boards. Millar, &c.
QUCH Readers as aré acquainted with the writings of the
ingenious and learned Author of this performance, will expect to find many threwd and pertinent observations, an original and lively turn of thought, and a considerable portion of critical fagacity, in whatever comes from his pen : nor will they be disappointed in the work now before us. It abounds in digressions, according to the new-fashioned mode of writing; many important and curious subjects are touched A a 2