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cept and refort to it, as their guide to a competent knowledge of the present ftate of the British empire, there is no doubt but that the main defign of the induftrious compilers will be fully answered.
ART. VII. A Defence of the "Confiderations on the Propriety of requiring a Subscription to Articles of Faith." In Reply to a late Anfwer from the Clarendon Prefs. By a Friend of religious Liberty. 8vo. I S. Wilkie. 1774.
HIS Defence is manly, fpirited, and judicious; and the fuperiority, in point of argument, is fo evidently on the fide of the FRIEND OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, that he must be a prejudiced Reader indeed who does not clearly difcern it.
The fair way of conducting a difpute, fays our Author, is to exhibit one by one the arguments of your opponent, and with each argument the precife and fpecific anfwer you are able to give it. If this method be not so common, nor found fo convenient as might be expected, the reafon is, because it fuits not always with the defigns of a writer, which are no more perhaps than to make a Book; to confound fome arguments, and keep others out of fight; to leave what is called an Impreffion upon the Reader, without any care to inform him of the proofs or principles by which his opinion fhould be governed. With fuch views, it may be confiftent to difpatch objections, by obferving of fome that they are old, and therefore like certain drugs have loft, we may fuppofe, their ftrength; of others, that they have long fince received an answer; which implies, to be fure, a confutation; to attack traggling remarks, and decline the main reasoning, as mere declamation; to país by one pafiage because it is long-winded, another because the Anfwerer has neither leisure nor inclination to enter into the difcuffion of it; to produce exrtacts and quo tations, which taken alone, imperfectly if at all exprefs their Author's meaning; to dismiss a stubborn difficulty with a reference, which ten to one the Reader never looks at: and lafly, in order to give the whole a certain fashionable air of candour and moderation, to make a conceffion + or two which nobody thanks him for, or yield up a few points which it is no longer any credit to maintain.'
Leaving his Readers to judge how far the Anfwerer from the Clarendon Prefs is concerned in this defcription, he proceeds to ftate and examine his arguments fully and diftinctly.
After complaining, as is utual on fuch occafions, of disappointment and diffatisfaction, the Anfwerer fet out with an argument, which, according to him, comprifes, in a narrow compass, the whole merits of the question; and which is neither more nor lefs than this, that it is neceffary that those who are to be ordained
For an account of the Confiderations, fee Review vol. 50, confult the Table of Contents, under the letter C, viz. "Carlisle, Bp. of." Such as, that if people keep their opinions to themselves, no man will burt them, and the like. Anfwer, p. 45. See Review for July, 1774, P. 77. Art. 46.
teachers in the church fhould be found in the faith, and confequently that they should give to thofe who ordain them fome proof and offurance that they are fo, and that the method of this proof should be fettled by public authority.
Now the perfection, fays our Author, of this fort of reasoning is, that it comes as well from the mouth of the Pope's profeffor of divinity in the university of Bologna, as from the Clarendon prefs. A church has only with our Author to call her creed the faithful word, and it follows from fcripture that awe must hold it faft. Her diffatisfied fons, let her only denominate, as he does, vain talkers and deceivers, and St. Paul himself commands us to flop their mouths. Every one that questions or oppofes her decifions the pronounces, with him, a heretic, and a man that is an heretic after the firft and second admonition rejet. In like manner, calling her tenets found doctrine, or taking it for granted that they are fo (which the conclave at Rome can do as well as the convocation at London) and foundness in the faith being a neceffary qualification in a Chriftian teacher, there is no avoiding the conclufion, that every Chriftian teacher (in, and out of the church too, if you can catch him, foundness in the faith being alike neceffary in all) must have these tenets ftrapped about his neck by oaths and fubfcriptions. An argument which thus fights in any cause, or on either fide, deferves no quarter.-I have faid that this reafoning, and thefe applications of fcripture are equally competent to the defenders of popery-they are more fo. The Popes, when they affumed the power of the Apoftles, laid claim alfo to their infallibility; and in this they were confiftent. Proteftant churches renounce with all their might this infallibility, whilft they apply to themselves every expreffion that defcribes it, and will not part with a jot of the authority which is built upon it.
The Author of the Confiderations contends, and very properly too, that it is one of the first duties a Chriftian owes to his Mafter to keep his mind open and unbiaffed in religious enquiries.
Can a man, fays our Author, be faid to do this, who must bring himfelf to affent to opinions, propofed by another? Who enters into a profeffion where both his fubfiftence and fuccefs depend upon his continuance in a particular perfuafion? In anfwer to this we are informed, that these articles are no rule of faith (what not to those who fubfcribe them?) that the church deprives no man of his right of private judgment (fhe cannot the hangs however a dead weight upon it); that it is a very unfair state of the cafe to call fubfcription a declaration of our full and final perfuafion in matters of faith; though if it be not a full perfuafion, what is it? and ten to one it will be final, when fuch confequences attend a change.-That no man is hereby tied up from impartially examining the word of God, i. e. with the impartiality of a man who must eat or farve, according as the examination turns out; an impartiality fo fufpected, that a court of juftice would not receive his evidence under half the fame influence;-nor from altering bis opinion if he finds reafon fo to do; which few, I conceive, will find, when the alteration must cost them fo dear. If one could give credit to our Author in what he fays here, and in fome other paffages of his Answer, one would fuppofe that, in his judgment at leaft,
fubfcription reftrained no man from adopting what opinion he pleased, provided he does not think himself bound openly to maintain it ; that men may retain their preferments, if they will but keep their opinions to themselves. If this be what the church of England means, let her fay fo. This is indeed what our Author admits here, and yet from the outcry he has afterwards raifed against all who continue in the church whilst they diffent from her articles, one would not fuppofe - there was a pardon left for thofe, who keep even to themselves an opinion inconfiftent with any one propofition they have fubfcribed. The fact is, the gentleman has either fhifted his opinion in the course of writing the Anfwer, or had put down these affertions, not expecting that he fhould have occafion afterwards to contradict them.
It seemed to add ftrength to this objection that the judgment of moft thinking men being in a progreflive ftate, their opinions of courfe muft many of them change; the evil and iniquity of which the Answerer fets forth with great pleafantry, but has forgot at the fame time to give us any remedy for the misfortune; except the old woman's receipt, to leave off thinking, for fear of thinking wrong.'
This may ferve as a fpecimen of our Author's manner of writing, and the fpirit of his Defence.- We hall finish this article with a very juft and pertinent obfervation, wherewith he concludes his Defence: his words are as follows:
At the conclufion of his Pamphlet our Author is pleased to acknowledge, what few, I find, care any longer to deny, that there are Some things in our articles and liturgy which he should be glad to fee amended, many which he fhould be willing to give up to the fcruples of others, but that the heat and violence with which redrefs has been purfued, preclude all hope of accommodation and tranquillity--that ve had better wait therefore for more peaceable times, and be contented with our prefent conftitution as it is, until a fairer profpect fhall appear of changing it for the better.-After returning thanks, in the name of the fraternity, to him and to all who touch the burden of fubfcription with but one of their fingers, I would wish to leave with them this observation, that as the man who attacks a flourishing establishment writes with a halter round his neck, few ever will be found to attempt alterations but men of more spirit than prudence, of more fincerity than caution, of warm, eager, and impetuous tempers; that, confequently, if we are to wait for improvement till the cool, the calm, the difcreet part of mankind begin it, till church governors folicit, or minifters of State propofe it-I will venture to pronounce, that (without his interpofition with whom nothing is impotfible) we may remain as we are, till the renovation of all things.
ART. VIII. The Maid of the Oaks: a new Dramatic Entertainment. As it is performed at the Theatre-royal, in Drury-lane. 8vo. 1 s, 6 d. Becket, 1774.
HIS Dramatic Entertainment is prefaced with fome fenfible obfervations on the prefent ftate of our drama, and the reigning taste of theatrical fpectators; and we truft that the Author jufly determines that "the middle clafs and bulk of the affembly, like that of the kingdom at large, will ever be on
the fide of nature, truth, and fenfe." We are not difpleafed neither at an attempt to give " a fpecies of entertainment new to this country," and we think that the Author might, without impropriety, have vindicated himself by the practice of antiquity, as well as by the example of the French theatre; for if the productions of the Haymarket are referred to the model of Ariftophanes, the fatirick drama of the ancients (which was avowedly a pastoral entertainment) might furely ferve to countenance a féle champétre.
We agree with the Writer" that to blend ftrength and delicacy (not refinement but delicacy,) would be to attain perfection" in the drama. There is however more of ease than nerve in this little piece, which is the lefs to be wondered at, as we find from the hiftory of the undertaking that the original outline was confined to two acts, but that the candour of Mr. Garrick encouraged the Author to extend his plan; and perhaps the readers of the following fcene will concur with us, in applauding the critical difcernment of the manager, who, we are told, gave particular encouragement to the Writer, thinking "he difcovered in him fome talents for the higher fpecies of comedy," while the character of Hurry ferves as a specimen of his abilities in the lower.
Enter Lady Bab Lardoon.
Lady Bab. Dear Maria, I am happy to be the firft of your company to congratulate you-Well, Mr. Oldworth, I am delighted with the idea of your Fête; it is fo novel, fo French, fo expreffive of what every body underftands, and nobody can explain; then there is fomething fo fpirited in an undertaking of expence, where a fhower of rain will spoil it all.
Oldworth. I did not expect to escape from fo fine a lady, but you and the world have free leave to comment upon all you see here. Laagh where you must, be candid where you can.
I only hope that to celebrate a joyful event upon any plan, that neither hurts the morals, nor politeness of the company, and at the fame time fets thoufands of the industrious to work, cannot be thought blame-worthy.
Lady Bab. Oh, quite the contrary, and I am fure it will have a run; a force upon the feafons and the manners, is the true teft of a refined tafte, and it holds good from a cucumber at Christmas, to an Italian opera.
Maria. Is the rule the fame among the ladies, lady Bab; is it alfo a definition of their refinement to act in all things contrary to nature ?
Lady Bab. Not abfolutely in all things, though more fo than people are apt to imagine; for even in circumstances that feem moft natural, fashion prompts ten times, where inclination prompts once; and there would be an end of gallantry in this country, if it was not for the fake of reputation.
Oldworth. What do you mean?
Lady Bab. Why, that a woman without a connection, grows every day a more awkward perfonage; one might as well go into company without powder-if one does not really defpife old vulgar prejudices, it is abfolutely neceffary to affect it, or one must fit at
Lady Bab. Yes, like lady Sprofe, and talk morals to the parrot.
Maria. This is new, indeed; I always fuppofed that in places where freedom of manners was most countenanced, a woman of unimpeachable conduct carried a certain respect.
Lady Bab. Only fit for fheep-walks and Oakeries!-I beg your pardon, Mr. Oldworth-in town it would just raise you to the whiftparty of old lady Cypher, Mrs. Squabble, and lord Flimzey; and at every public place, you would ftand among the footmen to call your own chair, while all the maccaronies paffed by, whittling a fong through their tooth-picks, and giving a thrug-dem it, 'tis pity fo fine a woman fou'd be loft to all common decency.
Maria (fmiling). I believe I had better stay in the Oakery, as you call it; for i am afraid I fhall never procure any civility in town, upon the terms required.
Lady Eab. Oh, my dear, you have chofe a horrid word to exprefs the intercourfe of the bon ton; civility may be very proper in a mercer, when one is chufing a tilk, but familiarity is the life of good company. I believe this is quite fince your time, Mr. Oldworth, but 'tis by far the greatest improvement the beau monde ever made.
Olarworth. A certain eafe was always an effential part of good breeding, but lady Bab muft explain her meaning a little further, before we can decide upon the improvement.
Lady Bab. I mean that participation of fociety, in which the French ufed to excel, and we have now fo much outdone our models. —I maintain, that among the Superior fet-mind, I only speak of them-our men and women are put more upon a footing together in London, than they ever were before in any age or country.
Old-worth. And pray how has this happy revolution been
Lady Bab. By the most charming of all inftitutions, wherein we fhew the world, that liberty is as well underfood by our women as by our men; we have our bill of rights and our confiitution too, as well as they-we drop in at all hours, play at all hours, play at all parties, pay our own reckonings, and in every circumftance (petticoats excepted) are true lively jolly fellows.
Maria. But does not this give occafion to a thousand malicious infinuations?
Lady Bab. Ten thousand, my dear,-but no great measures can be effected without a contempt of popular clamour.
Oldworth. Paying of reckonings is I confefs new fince my time; and I should be afraid it might fometimes be a little heavy upon a lady's pocket.
Lady Bab. A mere trifle-one generally wins them-Jack Saunter of the guards, loft a hundred and thirty to me upon score at one time; I have not eat him half out yet he will keep me best part of