Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thetext is from Daniel iv. 17. where the prophet fays, "this matter is by the decree of the Watchers, and the demand by the word of the Holy OnEs; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the king'lorn o: men; and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men." The general application is to the providential government of the world, and the instance of the basest of men, set up over its kingdoms, is not difficult to be found. But the great business of the former pan of the sermon is, to find who are the Watchers aud the Holy Ones, mentioned in the text; and to remove errors from that subject. It has been very common to suppose that these were angels; and many unsounded and superstitious notions on the subject of angels and archangels have been resorted to, for accounting for their interference in the affairs of this world. The Bishop of St. Asaph contends, that no dominion in human affairs is any where in scripture ascribed to the angels, nor any office assigned to them, but that of servants or messengers of the Almighty. He finds no archangels, excepting Gabriel. " For Michael," he explains, "is a name for our Lord himself,"—who fights with the old serpent. "Gabriel speaking os him to Daniel," says the Bishop, "calls him Michael your prince, and the great Prince which Jlandeth for the children of thy people—a description," he adds, "which applies particularly to the Son of God, and to none else." From these, and other premises, he arrives at length at the important conclusion that the Watchers and the Holy Ones, mentioned by Daniel, are no other than the persons of the Holy TriNity. Hence it follows, with the utmost consistency, that they make the decree (who alone have power to make one) "that the living may know that The Most High ruleth;" since undoubtedly, lor angels to make the decree would not prove that the Most High ruleth. It would rather seem as if he had delegated his power to other rulers.

Having thus, in the most masterly manner, cleared up the text, the Bilhop proceeds to apply the example of Nebuchadnezzar to the general illustration of the providential government, and to circumstances connected with the occasion of the discourse. As a proof, that "the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men;" and, at the same time, in explanation of it, he writes thus:

"As at this moment the world beholds, with wonder and dismay, the low-born usurper of a great monarch's throne raised, by the hand of Providence unquestionably, to an eminence of

power power and grandeur enjoyed by none since the subversion of the Roman empire: a man, whose undaunted spirit, and success in enterprise, might throw a lustre over the meanest birth; while the profligacy of his private, and the crimes of his public life, would disgrace the noblest. When we see the imperial diadem circling this monster's brows; while we confess the hand of God in his elevation, let us not be tempted to conclude from this, or other similar examples, that he, who ruleth in the kingdom of men, delights in such characters; or that he is even indifferent to the virtues, and to the vices, of men. It is not for his own fake, that such a man is raised from the dunghill, on which he sprang; but for the good of God's faithful servants: who are the objects of his constant care and love, even at the time, when they are suffering under the tyrant's cruelty. For who can doubt, that the seven brethren, and their mother, were the objects of God's love ; and their persecutor, Antiochus Epiphanes, of his hate? But such persons are raised up, and permitted to indulge their ferocious passions, their ambition, their cruelty, and their revenge, as the instruments of God's judgments for the reformation of his people: and, when that purpose is answered, vengeance is executed upon them for their own crimes. Thus it was with the Syrian, we have just mentioned; and with that more ancient persecutor, Sennacherib; and many more. And so, we trust, it shall be with him, who now "smiteth the people in his wrath, and ruleth the nations in his anger." When the nations of Europe (hall break off their sins by righteousness, the Corsican '* shall be persecuted with the fury of our avenging God, and none shall hinder."

"Again, if the thought, that God ruleth the affairs of the world according to his will, were always present to the minds of men; they would never be cast down beyond measure by any successes of an enemy, nor be unduly elated with their own. The will of God is a cause, ever blended with and over-ruling other causes, of which it is impossible from any thing past, to calculate the future operation. What is called the fortune of war, by this unseen and mysterious cause, may be reversed in a moment." P. 21.

With a caution against imagining any particular success to be the reward of our merit, this admirable discourse concludes; and with these emphatic words. "Let us give, therefore, the whole glory to God. In the hour of defeat, let us fay, why Jhould man complain, man, for the punishment if hissms! In the hour of victory, let us not be high-minded, hut fear."

Art.

Art. VIII. A Dissertation on the Failure and Mischiefs of the Disease called the Cow-pox, in which the principal Arguments adduced in Favour if Vaccination by Drs. Jenner, Pearson, JVeodville, Lettsom, Thornton, and Adams, are examined and confuted. By George Lipfcomb, Surgeon. 8vo, 105 pp. 3s. G.Robinson, 1805.

TN a late publication by this gentleman, (fee Brit. Crit. vol. ■*■ xxvii. p. 319,) he only contended for the superiority of variolous over vaccine inoculation. The improvements that had been made in the mode of conducting inoculation for the small-pox, he said, had rendered that disease so safe, that he thought there existed no necessity for trying, by the introduction of another disease, to attempt its extinction. Whatever could be done by the cow-pox might be done by inoculating the small-pox, if parents could be induced, or the legislature would oblige them to inoculate their children early, and to keep them, during the process, out of the way of communicating the disease to others. Certainly the complaint, that the infection of the small-pox was kept alive, and the disease disseminated by the practice of inoculation, so as to occasion, communibus annis, a greater proportion of deaths by the small-pox, than had been used to occur, before inoculation was introduced into the country, was solely owing to the careless manner in which the business was conducted; and to the inoculated patients being allowed to mix with their families and friends, through the whole course of the complaint. In the publication before us, Mr. Lipfcomb appears to have changed his ground; he thinks he has now sufficient documents on which to establish an opinion, that the cow-pox neither affords that complete security, that was promised, against the infection of the small-pox, nor is, of itself, so harmless as the advocates for it contend; or as it ought to be, to justify its being introduced into general practice.

This opinion, however, is taken up, and rests only on the credit of the reports of Drs. Rowley, Moseley, Squirrel, and Mr. Birch, whose prejudices this author has adopted so far, as even to fancy, that he has seen two of those extraordinary cases, soeloquently depicted byDr. Rowley, in which the faces of tke children were metamorphosed into those of oxen. As the imaginations of these gentlemen are so fertile, we shall not be surprised to hear a story of some good woman being delivered of a calf; the resemblance of some foetuses, to a calf, being full as near as the resemblance of the faces of these children to oxen. But this author has not only implicitly

followed

[ocr errors]

28* Lipscomb on the Cow-pax}followed the opinions of the writers against v?xcination, as to the mischievous tendency of the process, but he has also adopted the rude and illiberal mode of treating those whom he considers as opponents to his new opinions, which forms the most objectionable and offensive part of the conduct of those whom he imitates. Thus while his new-adopted friends, even down to Dr. Squirrel, are all learned, witty, and ingenious, those who have the unhappiness to offend him, by writing in favour of vaccination, are scarcely allowed to have common sense, or common honesty. A passage or two from the pamphlet will (how the justice of this observation, and may be the means also of restraining other writers on the subject, from writing in a manner so very offensive.

"Paracelsus, and some of the writers on vaccination," Mr. Lipscomb says, note, p. 91, " may not very improperly be mentioned together. As a writer the former was so unequal, that in one page were seen discoveries indicating a wonderful superiority of genius, and amazing penetration; and in the next, the dialect of Bedlam. The latter have often deserved the censure, but seldom, if ever, the applause; there is frequently the dialect of Bedlam, but almost never the indication of great genius, or deep research." In the following, without any reason, or provocation, as we should think, Mr. L. chooses to level his censure against an individual. "Some doubt, the Rev. Mr. Warner has said, in a sermon, the security of vaccine inoculation. They have fears that it is not the right sort; and some few stories have been told, of persons inoculated with the cow-pax, who afterwards caught the small-pox. Neighbours, depend upon it, that these stories are in some degree, or altogether untrue."

Mr. Warner had been informed, by those whom he had a right to look up to, and to trust (or at the least he ought not to be censured for trusting in them) that the cow-pox was a mild and safe disease, and a perfect security against the infection of the small-pox. He had thence been induced to inoculate a great many of his parishioners, and had experienced that one part of the information, namely, that it was a safe and innocent disease was true. He had seen ne ox-faced boys, or any of those new, and before unheard-of diseases, which the illuminated, copying after one another, " Servum pecus imitatorum" fancy they have seen. Reports, however, were in circulation, that the cow-pox had failed in giving the promised security against the infection of the small-pox. These he did not, and probably does not now believe, for certainly the manner in which these stories have been propagated, is not well calculated to add to their credibility; he

therefore therefore says, "Depend upon it neighbours, that these stories, are in some degree, or altogether untrue." "Nothing ever equalled," Mr. Lipscomb says, p. 6C, this conclusion; but " the ribaldry and malicious falsehoods, -which lately appeared in the Monthly Magazine." We have not seen the Monthly Magazine, but certainly there is nothing in the passage here quoted from Mr. Warner's sermon, that could, in the mind of any cool, and temperate person, subject him to so coarse a censure.

The author will not suspect from the observations here made, that we wish to stifle all inquiry into the real mer't of vaccination, nothing can be farther from our intention; but such an examination, to be useful, or to be depended on, must be undertaken with a spirit very different from that which appears to pervade this, and several other works we have lately seen on 'he subject; which are so far from giving credit to the pretended results, that they rather tend to make the motives of the enquirers suspicious. We have said, in our examination of the former works by this writer, that if the vaccinators had not been so assiduous in depreciating inoculation with the m itter of the small-pox, he would probably have had no objection to com promsing the business with them; though we cannot vouch that this would have been the case, yet certainly Mr. L. appears to be so sore on the subject, as to give some probability to the conjecture.

Art. IX Serious Reasons for uniformly objecting ti the Practice of Vaccination; in Answer to the Report of the Jennerian Society. By John Birch, Surgeon to St. Thomas's Hospital, bV. 8vo. 74 p. as. Callow. 1805.

[ocr errors]

rE have more than once had occasion to notice the acrimony with which the writers on the subject of vaccination treat their opponents, and the exultation which those who write against the practice show, on hearing any instances of failure, which they collect with astonishing avidity; forgetting that fliould they have a real subject tor triumph, it would be a triumph at the expence of humanity.

The writer of the article before us, having early declaimed against the practice of vaccination, seems to think himself obliged to proceed in the same strain, and favours the world with this production, to show them that he has not altered his opinion upon the subject. Something indeed he says about calming the minds of some worthy persons "who are in

the

« PreviousContinue »