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A Popular History of Priestcraft in all Ages and Nations. By William Howitt. MR. EFFINGHAM WILsoN, of the Royal Exchange, and his respectable authors, are not wanting in perseverance in pouring out volume after volume of attacks on all that is sacred, venerable, and respected in the civil and religious system of society. This work, though small in compass, is full of meaning. Mr. Howitt boasts that he is a sturdy dissenter; one of the ceremony-dispensing class; who, having deserted the beggarly elements of State creeds, is extremely anxious (good man () to release his fellow men (as if they could not release themselves) from the thraldom of State priests Noble, disinterested patriot! mild, gentle reformer sincere and excellent Christian | What a spirit of philanthropy He sees the inhabitants of Nottingham going peaceably and cheerfully to their parish churches, and he immediately warns them of their danger and misery. “Come to the chapel, my dear brothers and sisters . This is the way ! There; that neat, square, comfortable-looking house. You will pay nothing; no Tithes, no Easter offerings, no fees. You will have your (religion at prime cost, and at very reduced prices. This is a great bargain lose no time. The Church has robbed you more than enough. From Aaron to the Bishop of Durham, they are all knaves and cheats. Aaron made a calf of gold; and the Bishop has made a golden plum out of Mrs. Beaumont's lead mine.” Poor Aaron he little thought, when wandering in the Arabian wilderness, that he was to be reserved for the scalping knife of a Nottingham Radical ; and the Bishop, when he nobly lanned and munificently endowed his Northern University, little thought that he should be accused of rapacity and greediness. It used to be the fashion to talk of the Church's hatred of Dissenters; we think now that the case is somewhat reversed, and that this precious volume is a pretty decisive proof of the Dissenters' feeling GENT. MAG. Vol. J.

towards the Church. We really feet some pity, mingled with our disgust, for this poor man, who has vomited out his malice and envy and hatred, and every unchristian and uncharitable feeling, mixed up with the basest calumnies and the most barefaced falsehoods and garbled statements, all overlaid with a huge uninformed mass of stuff, that he is pleased to call the History of Priestcraft. The gall and copperas, of which his ink was composed, were not more bitter than the spite and rancour that were eating into his heart, as with many convulsive throes and groans he brought his little, wicked, impish fiend of an offspring into light. “The Old Man of the Church, like the Old Man of the Sea in the Tale of Sinbad, from age to age, has ridden (says our author) on the shoulders of humanity, and set at defiance all schemes to dislodge him ; from the days of the Flood, to those of William the Fourth, he has ridden on exultingly, the everlasting incubus of the groaning world” (1 The precision of this passage is equal to the feeling which inspired it. Again: “If God himself were to descend from Heaven, and charge the Priestly hierarchy (i. e. the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Chester, &c.) with corruption, they would tell him to his face that he lied.” Verily, we adwise the Dissenters to select some other champion than this gentleman; whose body may be assisted by due cupping, bleeding, and salivating, but the diseases of whose infatuated and polluted mind seem utterly incurable. Plutarch says somewhere, that the est musical instruments were made from the bones of an Ass; by which he means, that cant and falsehood are always in greatest perfection when proceeding from ignorance. Nothing will benefit this author so much as letting him peruse the productions of his own pen; as the Dog returns to his vomit, so we shall favour him with the following passage : “While the whole civilized world [including the Nottingham Dissenters] has been moving about * (i. e. the Church

of England), she has lain coiled up in the bright face of advancing day, like some huge slimy dragon (fine writing this ') cast up by the sea of ages (what sea is this 3) in the midst of a stirring and refined city, (we do not at present recollect any large city with a sea in the midst of it; but we take this to be a concealed joke or witticism, and that the sea means the see of Canterbury), and has only exhibited signs of life, by waving her huge scaled tail in menace of her foes (this is a second joke, meaning the os sacrum !), and by stretching out her ten-talented (mark, reader, the pun talented, as Liston would say, ‘I say," looking down to the pit, “talented '') paws to devour a tenth of the land; not of the produce of the land, but the land itself. Oh, poor England how I mourn for thy rapid diminution and decay. The Church is eating up thy rich clay lands, thy mixed soil, thy pastures and woods ; all go down her throat; as we read in Humboldt's Travels, of a certain people in South America who appease their hunger by swallowing balls of clay. Can such a monster longer incumber the soil of England? (But there will be no soil to incumber.) As soon might we expect St. George to come leading his dragon into London (here is a second dragon introduced), or Dunstan present the Devil, pincered in his fiery tongs, at the door of Lambeth Palace.” It cannot be expected that our amiable author can long soar in such a high airy region of sublimity as this; so we soon find him dismounting from his dragon, like Mr. Waterton from his alligator, and coming to more familiar expressions of abuse. He now wishes that “some one may be found to launch a three-legged stool (as Jack Fuller did at the Speaker's head) at the head of a clergyman when he begins the State Liturgy.” This he considers would teach “kings and priests to respect the invaluable rights of conscience.” Our author’s zeal, now getting warmer and warmer, expands like an omelet souflée, and embraces not only the destruction of the Church, but that of the Universities. He exposes the gross abuses that exist in them; the chief of which are, that “they possess noble halls, galleries, libraries, churches for their use and delight, with gardens, groves, and pleasure grounds; plate, pictures, and marbles; a countless store of books and manuscripts, as well as more vulgar wealth.” Infamous abuse ! the University absolutely possesses books and

manuscripts // Pity they were not all sent down to Nottingham ; no doubt Mr. Howitt could decypher the Codex of Plato better than Professor Gaisford, and the Greek Fathers find more learned editors than the venerable President of Magdalen. But, gentle Radical—Yahoo! whoever you may be ; whether you build your obscure and foul nest at Nottingham, or Leeds, or in Mr. Attwood's metropolis; do not be alarmed ! envy not the Universities their possessions; their death-blow is given; their warrant is signed by Mr. Howitt's hand. Listen! while the ass's lyre brays forth the following sounds: “The University of Oxford has ceased to erist.” Surely Lord Grenville should be informed of this, that he may not fancy himself Chancellor any longer. “Except for the purpose of vain pageants (such, we suppose, as the triumphs on pulling down Nottingham Castle, and plundering Mr. Musters’ house, and murdering the lady of the mansion) designed to aucupate benefices, by cajoling the Patrons, the University of Oxford has ceased to exist. It has been annihilated, dissolved, destroyed;” but again, its destruction does not seem at present quite completed, for “the best apartments of every College are set apart for a PR1Est, who enjoys, at the erpense of the public, every lurury that the most sensual can desire,” i. e. foreign wines, delicious viands, and beautiful damsels. “Thus pampered in idleness this Priest feels no decorous shame, is not civil or unpresuming, but abounds in a deportment of contumelious insolence.” What a pity that the Priest does not take a lesson of gentleness, meekness, sweetness of disposition, and humbleness of mind, from the Nottingham Radical—Yahoo!! Having now swept away our Universities, our Reformer goes slap-dash at the Parochial Clergy, who are described as “desperate handlers of God's sacred things; who would make St. Paul's hair stand on end." Clerical spiders, who weave their webs over the bodies and souls of men; consisting of horse-jockeys, gamblers, fellows whose lives are a continual pestilence and crime; who, if he had been a poor man, would long since have been hanged; but being rich, he is the choice son and purveyor of Satan. Ignorant. brutal, and debauched. They live without shame, and tyrannize without mercy.” These general observations are soon fortified with examples. Derbyshire is the county selected for the place where our Yahoo discharges his chief filth and venom. There you may see clergymen in the villages brutally drunk, raving, and swearing (p. 255), following the girls into the houses; and it is one of the commonest sights of the town to see the clergyman thus drunk and thus employed. At a neighbouring village (still in Derbyshire) was to be seen another clergyman in a state of utter intoxication upheld over a grave by two men, while he vainly endeavours to read the burial sermon; saying, “there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the sun,” till they led him away. p. 256. Then there is another who puts on his skates, and so takes the canal in his way to church ; who advises his congregation not to drink much of the sacramental wine, lest it should increase their fever, but he would drink it for them, and it would do as well. A fourth who borrows money, persuades the attorney to give a receipt without a stamp, and then lays an information against him in the Exchequer. So much for the Derbyshire clergy Now lastly, our Yahoo-author attacks the manner in which the Rite of Confirmation is administered. The Bishop and the clergy all go away to good dinners; and Confirmation therefore becomes the fruitful source of licentiousness and crime. Instead of a Confirmation in Christianity, it becomes the Confirmation of the Devil; and this the clergymen know. What we have given are but small extracts from a book of near 300 pages. We have no doubt but it will make the author's fortune. In the first place, as a matter of course, one copy of this work will be bought at the public charge, or out of the parish rates, for every parish church in the three kingdoms; that will ensure the sale of fifteen thousand copies. Then every family, who has at heart their own happiness, or that of their fellowcreatures, and who can command an income of 10l. per annum, even though retrenched from necessary expences, will subscribe for one copy; so that

the fortune of the author may be considered as absolutely made, and his laborious exertions in the cause of virtue, good order, peace, and religion, crowned with success. We sincerely rejoice that our patriot set up the trade of Yahoo-Reformer in England and not at Crotona, for we are informed by Diodorus (an author familiarly known to Mr. Howitt, and the scholars of Nottingham) that one Charondas, their lawgiver, in order to prevent wicked, hungry, malicious, and designing people from disturbing the constitution by advancing their own selfish schemes, provided a statute, that whoever proposed an alteration should step out and do it with a rope about his neck, for if the matter went in the negative the proposer should immediately be hanged. We believe that we can conjecture what would be the termination of our author’s proposals; and as the Nottingham reformer ascended the ladder, the just reward of his blasphemy and sedition, we fancy we could hear the united voices of the populace of Crotona crying out, “In the place to which you are going, take care of yourself, gentle Ya

hoo!” —O— The Testimony of Nature and Revelation to the Being, Perfections, and Government of God. By Rev. Henry Fergus. THE design of this work, similar to those of Derham, Ray, and Paley, is meant to show within narrow limits the contrivance, wisdom, and goodness that appears in every department of the universe; and the proofs which they afford of the being, perfections, and government of God. The author has collected his examples from every part of nature with great industry and research ; and has arranged them in a clear and luminous point of view; so that we may say the purpose he proposed has been fully attained. We only object to this, as we have always done to the works of Derham and others, that the argument is overloaded with eramples. When some well-selected evidences of design are brought forward, and skilfully arranged, we

feel great delight in having for the

first time a settled plan, and deliberate and well-contrived means exhibited to

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