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been improved in wisdom and virtue. Can we therefore be sure prised that many hould defire a life of this excellent writer for to whom among the moderns is the Christian world under greater obligations ? But against undertaking a talk of this kind it has been objected, that the lives of scholars, paffcd for the most part in their libraries, can furnith few incidents de serving the biographer's attention; and that the works of such men as Lardner contain by much the most valuable and amusing part of their memoirs. This, in general, is true; and yet the Lives of the learned, if faithfully written, will always be coveted. Little perhaps is to be known, but there is a pleasure in knowing thac little. Add to this, that an acquaintance with their hiftory and character often aslifts us in understanding their writings, and in ascertaining the degree of credit to which they are entitled. For these realons, the life of Lardner ought to be held up to view. His industry, integrity, candour, and gentleness, should be made known, as they serve to increase the value of his works, as well as to reflect a lustre on human nature. Why the relations of such a man should object to his life being published, we cannot divine; but we think Dr. Kippis is to be applauded for perfisting, notwithstanding their objections, in his resolution. He well knew that no disgrace could accrue to him from the narrative with which he has enriched the present edition. The Doctor has made a good use of those materials, which he appears to bave collected with diligence; bas drawn up the memoir in an easy and agreeable manner, and taken frequent opportunities of enlivening the narrative with those ingenious strictures and observations, in making which he is peculiarly happy.
The particulars of Dr. Lardner's life, independently of his being an author, lie in a very narrow compass. He was born at Hawkhurst, in Kent, June 6, 1684. After a grammatical education, to which great attention must have been given, and in which a no less rapid progress must have been made, he was sent first to a diffenting academy in London, which was under the care of the Rev. Dr. Jofhua Oldfield; and thence, in his 16th year, to prosecute his studies at Utrecht, under the celebrated profeffors D'Uries, Grævius, and Burman. Here he remained somewhat more than three years, and then removed for a short space to Leyden. In 1703 he returned to England, continuing, at his father's house, to employ himself by close and diligent preparation for the facred profeMion which he had 'in view. Qualified as he was, it was not till 1709 that he preached his first fermon, from Románs, i. 16.-'a text (his biographer remarks) than which there could not have been a more proper one for a man, who was destined in the order of Divine Providence to be one of the ableft advocates for the authenticity and tra:h of the Christian revelation, that ever exifted.' Rev. Jan. 1789.
A few years after this, Lardner was received into Lady Treby's family, as domestic chaplain and tutor to her son, and con. tinued in this comfortable situation till her Ladyship's death, in 1721. This event threw him into circumstances of some perplexity, having preached to several congregations during his refidence with Lady Treby, without the approbation or choice of any one congregation. Here we are told, that it reflects no honour on the Diflenters, that a man of such merit should lo long have been neglected.' But surely it cafts no dishonour, when all circumstances are confidered. The pulpit was not the place in which Mr. L. was calculated either to convey improvement, or acquire reputation. Dr. Kippis afterward informs us, that his mode of elocution was very unpleasant; that from his early and extreme deafness he could have no such command of his voice, as to give it a due modulation; and that he greatly dropped his words.' It cannot then, as his biographer adds, be matter of surprise that he was not popular; and we may add to this, it cannot then be any reflection on the congregations to which he occasionally preached, that they did not choose for their minister a man, who, not withstanding his great learning and amiable virtues, was so deficient as a public speaker, that it was impoffible to hear him with any pleasure, and scarcely without pain.
Though Mr. Lardner had no church at which he officiated as Minifter, he was engaged, with some of his diffenting brethren, in preaching a Tuesday-evening lecture at the Old Jewry. Acquainted probably with the direction of his studies, they appointed him to preach on the proof of the Credibility of the Gospel History. This he discussed, we are told, in three sermons (p. 84, they are called two fermons, which we believe to be right, as we find two fermons with nearly this title in vol. x.), and prosecuting the fubject which he had taken up in these discourses, in Feb. 1727, he publi med, in two volumes octavo, the first Part of “ The Credibility of the Gospel History, or the Facts occaSIONALLY mentioned in the New Testament confirmed by Palsages of ancient Authors who were contemporary with our Saviour, or his Apoftles, or lived near their Time.” An Appendix was futjoined, relating to the time of Herod's death.
Thus Mr. L. commenced author, and began his literary career with fingular reputation.
• It is scarcely necessary to say. (observes Dr. K.) how well this work was received by the learned world. Not only was it highly approved by the Protestant Diflenters, with whom the author was more immediately connected, but by the clergy in general of the established church; and its reputation gradually extended into fo. reign countries. It is indeed an invaluable performance, and hath rendered the most effential service to the cause of Christianity. Whoever peruses this work (and to him that does not peruse it, it will be
to his own lofs) will find it replete with admirable inftruction, found learning, and just and candid criticism'
These two, with the subsequent fifteen, volumes octavo, and the four thin quartos, entieled Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, occupied him, with the interruption arising from some fmailer productions, during the space of forty-three years.
Dr. Kippis gives us a particular account of the time when each volume was publied, and of the subjects discussed in each, interspersing bis narrative with many pertinent and useful hints and observations; but our limits will not allow us to follow him through this detail. We agree with him in his remarks concerning academical honours, occasioned by Mr. Lardner's receive ing a diploma from the Marischal College of Aberdeen, conferring on him the degree of Doctor in Divinity, but we must not extract them. We are resolved however to make room, whatever matter we may thrust by, for that useful information which Dr. K. introduces, in speaking of the Supplement to the Ciedibility.
• I cannot avoid strongly recommending the Supplement t to the Credibility to the attention of all young divines. Indeed, I think that it ought to be read by every theological student before he quits the university or academy in which he is educated. There are three other works which will be found of eminent advantage to those who are intended for, or beginning to engage in, the Chriftian ministry. These are, Butler's Analogy, Bishop Law's Confiderations on the Theory of Religion, and Dr. Taylor's Key to the Apoftolical Writings, prefixed to his paraphrase on the Epistle to the Romans. Without agreeing with every circumstance advanced in these works, it may be said of them, with the greatest truth, that they tend to open and enlarge the mind; that they give important views of the evidence, nature, and design of revelation, and that they display a vein of reasoning and enquiry which may be extended to other objects besides those immediately considered in the books themselves.
" It must not be forgotten, that the Supplement to the Credibility has a place in the excellent collection of treatises in divinity which has lately been published by Dr. Watson Bishop of Landaff. For a collection which cannot fail of being eminently conducive to the inftruction and improvement of younger clergymen, and for the noble, Danly, and truly evangelical preface by which it is preceded, this great Prelate is entitled to the gratitude of the Chriftian world.
• May I not be permitted to add, that there is another collection which is still wanted; and that is, of curious and valuable small tracts, relative to the evidences of our holy religion, or to fcriptural dificulties, which, by length of time, and in consequence of having
* Hereby (says Mr. Radcliffe, in his affixed Eulogium on Dr. L.) he has erected a monument to his great master and himself, which must last as long as the world endures.
† N.B. This, some years ago, was published separately by the booksellers, under she tisle of The Hißory of the Gospels and Epistles. E 2
been separately printed, are almost funk into oblivion, or, if remem. bered, can scarcely at any rate be procured? The recovery of such pieces, and the communication of them to the public, in a few vo. lumes, and at a reasonable price, would be an acceptable, as well as an useful service, to men of enquiry and literature.
Applauded as Dr. Lardner's works were, he received little recompence for them. Some of the latter volumes of the Credibility were published at a loss, and at last he sold the copy-right and all the remaining printed copies, to the booksellers, for the triAing sum of 1501. Laudatur et alget.
His object, however, was not private emolument, but to serve the interests of truth and virtue; and it pleased Divine Providence to spare his life, both to complete his extensive plan, and to see the last volume, the 4th of the Testimonies, published. This was in 1767. He was seized with a decline in the summer following, and was carried off in a few days at Hawkhurst, the place of his nativity, where he had a small paternal estate, in the 8 sth year of his age. At his particular request, no sermon was preached on occasion of his death. Thus (says his biographer) did his modesty and humility accompany him to the last moment of his earthly existence.'
Some pofthumous works were published, particularly his Hiftory of Heretics, by the Rev. Mr. Hogg of Exeter ; to our account of which we have already referred.
We should be happy to extract the conclusion of the Memoir, in which is given at length, from various testimonies, the character of this great and amiable * man; this, however, may be unnecessary, as the candid of all parties must agree in allowing, that few names are more truly entitled to be remembered with veneration and applause.
Subjoined to the narrative, is an Appendix containing letters which passed between Dr. Lardner and Dr. Waddington Bilhop of Chichester, Dr. Secker then Bishop of Oxford and afterward Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Barrington, Dr. Morgan, Dr. Chandler, and Dr. Doddridge, together with some valuable papers, particularly one, communicated by the Rev. Mr. Henley to Dr. Kippis, on the disputed passage in Josephus. Here we are entirely of opinion with Dr. K. that this paffage ought to be for ever discarded from any place among the evidence of Chriftianity, though it may continue to exercise the ingenuity and critical skill of scholars and divines.'
Before we dismiss this article, it should be remarked, that Mr. Baxter Cole merits our commendation, for the fidelity, care, and
The candour and moderation with which Dr. L. maintained his own sentiments, constituted a prominent feature in his character. These virtues were so eminent as even to excite the commendation of Dr. Morgan, the author of the Moral Philosopher.
judgment which he has displayed in the department of Editor: Dr. Lardner's fingular mode of spelling many words is very properly rejected, and he has adopted the orthography now most in use; but what is of more consequence to the learned reader (and we Reviewers particularly thank him for it), he has paid great attention to Lardner's works, as books of reference. To facilitate our turning to any quotation, he has inserted at the top of the pages the voluine and page of the original edition; by means of which, the present edition may in all cases be consulted with nearly the same ease as any of the former. We highly applaud this method, and recommend it to the imitation of all those who collect and give new editions of the works of valuable authors.
For the copious Indices, Mr. Cole likewise deserves .our thanks.
Moo-y. Art. XI. Thoughts on the Divine Goodness, relative to Moral
Agents, particularly displayed in future Rewards and Punishments. Translated from the French of Ferdinand Olivier Petitpierre. 8vo. 58. 3d. Boards. Robinsons, &c. 1788. "HE ingenious, and pious author of this interesting book is
well known, by the talents which he discovered during the course of bis mioistry in Switzerland, and the virtues he displayed under the persecution wbich he suffered for his particular opinions. · Some mention was made of this when we announced the original French work, with the high commendations which it deserves *. It is our business, at present, to speak of it.e translation, which, like the good copy of an excellent picture, is every way worthy to attract the attention of those, who cannot study the original. The gentleman, or lady, who has favoured the Public with this translation, has done justice to the author, by entering deeply into the benevolent feelings of bis excellent heart, and often expressing them happily. The reader will find in some places, indeed, phrases that seem to be cast in a Gallic mould, and that deviate more or less from the established mode of English diction: he will also find, here and there, epithets more pompous than those that are usually bestowed by English writers on the objects which they are intended to characterize: but these phrases, and thefe epithets, were designedly employed by the translator, though as seldom as possible, with a view to preserve the spirit and energy of the original, and we think this view does not stand in need of the apology that is made for it in the Preface to this translation. We wish that the punctuation of the work had been more correct, as accurate pointing makes the sense of a period enter with fulness and facility into the conception of the reader.