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Edmonton he was born, lived and died in the reigne of Henry the Seventh.'*
"In the dispersed library of the late Mr. Wm. Collins, I saw,' says Warton, 'a thin folio of two sheets in the black letter, containing a poem in the octave stanza, entitled, Fabyl's Ghoste, printed by John Rastal, in 1553. This piece has no merit; but the subject throws some light on our early drama. Peter Fabell, whose apparition speaks in this poem, was called the Merrie Devil of Edmonton, near London.’
"This story was worked up into a play, which was also called The Merry Devil of Edmonton ;' and has been falsely attributed to Shakespeare; + but generally supposed to have been written by Michael Drayton. There are five editions of it, the first came out in 1608; the second in
"From a curious Tract in the black letter, 1631, in the possession of J. Perry,
esq. and which has been lately reprinted
in the Roman letter, preserving the original character, with the wood cut on the titlepage."
+ "One Kirkman, a bookseller, who, in
the sixteenth century, made diligent inquiry after old plays, ascribed this play to Shakespeare. If a judgment may be formed of the author from internal evidence, it certainly will not be assigned to our great dramatic Bard, being in every respect unworthy his genius. There are many other circumstances from which it may be collected, that some other writer must take the merit or dishonour of the performance. Coxeter (in his Companion to the Playhouse,) says, that, in an old MS of this play, he, had seen it assigned to Michael Drayton: and Oldys, in his MS notes to Langbaine, speaks to the same effect. But some other author must yet be sought for; as from the entry in the books of the Stationers' Company, in the year 1608, when it was first published, it appears that the initial letters of the author's name were T. B. [Probably Thomas Brewer-the initials T. B. being on the title-page of the Tract mentioned in note 198, and the last page is signed "Tho. Brewer."] It had been acted before that time, being mentioned in the Blacke Booke by T. M. 1604, Give him leave to see the Merry Devil of Edmonton ; or, a Woman Killed with Kindness:' and that it was a favourite performance, may be concluded from the following lines in Ben. Jonson's prologue to "The Devil is an Ass" :
If you'll come To see new plays, pray you afford us room, And shew this but the same face you have done
Your dear delight-the Merry Devil of Edmonton!'
1617; the third in 1626; the fourth in 1631; and the fifth in 1655. * The scene is laid at Edmonton and Enfield; and it was reprinted in the Ancient British Drama by Miller, in 1810."
Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical, preached in King-street, Brompton, Quebec, and Fitzroy Chapels. By the Rev. T. F. Dibdin. 8vo. pp. 515, Longman and Co.
CONSIDERING the quarter from which it comes, this book may be pronounced a sort of miracle in its way. Here is a plain, substantial octavo volume,published by the Rev.Mr.Dibdin, without head-piece, middle-piece, or tail-piece. Not one single embellishment, upon copper or upon wood, meets the inquisitive eye-as in the other multifarious productions of the all pure, solid text; with scarcely the Author. From beginning to end it is
semblance of a note-a circumstance also not less extraordinary, considering the quarter whence it proceeds! We are very glad to see such a performance from the pen of its reverend Author. It is right and proper that Clergymen of the Church of England -especially those, who, as in the present instance, have a literary reputation to support-should leave behind them testimonies of the faith which they have preached, and thus disseminate more widely those principles which result from the propagation of such a faith. Mr. Dibdin has, moreover, been the joint Spiritual Pastor of four several flocks; and we are perfectly persuaded that these flocks, to whom he has dedicated his labours, will unite hand and heart in attesting the integrity and ability of their Shep
We are not sure, however, whether, at the very outset of our examination, we are not disposed to pick a bone of contention with Mr. Dibdin. His preface, which he modestly calls an Advertisement,' is undoubtedly both short and sweet: but why should he apologize for a publication, which it is clear that he considers as a duty to bring forward? Certainly any thing is better than arrogance and insolence; but we must say that the reverend Author has been unnecessarily, and
*This edition of 1655 is of little or no value from the number of errors it contains."
perhaps unusually, diffident in an account of the motives which have led to this publication. Perhaps he thought that the world was well nigh deluged and surfeited with such performances. Whether he did, or did not, we can conscientiously assure him that there will be always a snug corner, in this wide world, for a volume which breathes so pure a spirit of Christiau benevolence,and of orthodox doctrine, as that which he has just produced. This Advertisement shall now speak for itself:
"It has been chiefly in consequence of the solicitations of many Individuals of those Congregations, to whom the present Volume is inscribed, that these Sermons now see the light. The Author is, however, abundantly sensible that a compliance with such solications may be considered rather as an apology than a justification for subunitting them to the attention of the Public; nor is he less impressed with
a conviction that these Discourses are sufficiently brief, plain, and unpretending. They aspire indeed to no praise beyond that of sincerity and soundness of doctrine; and as bearing testimony of the Author's affectionate veneration for THAT CHURCH, in the principles of which he has been educated, and in the faith of which he hopes to live and to die."
These Sermons are XXXVI in number, under the following titles:
"1. The Preaching of Christ Jesus the Lord.-2. Doers of the Word, and not Hearers only.-3. The Christian Pastor and his Flock.-4. Observance of the Sabbath-day-5. On the same Subject.-6. Awake from Sleep, and Christ shall give Light.-7. On the Sacrament.-8. On Christmas Day.-9. Pure and Undefiled Religion.-10. Good and True of Heart. -11. Right Use of Riches.-12. The Wedding Garment.-13. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.-14. The Death of Israel.15. The Love of many shall wax Cold.— 16. The ten Lepers-Gratitude to God.17. Holy Conversation and Godliness.-18. The Death of Absalom.-19. The Truth shall make you Free.-20. It is good to be Afflicted.-21. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.-22. Deliverance from the Body of this Death.-23. The Force of Truth.-24. Parable of the Ten Virgins.-25. Our Saviour and Nicodemus.-26. Be not conformed to this World.-27. Rest to the Heavy Laden.38. As we sow we shall reap.-22. Blessed are they that Mourn.-30. On Prayer.31. We must wait till our Change come.32. Proper Influence of the Resurrection of Christ.-33. Leptosy of Naaman.—
34. Character of Barzillai-Of Old Age. -35. Character of Youth.-36. Charity Sermon for the Infirmary at Brighton."
As the Author has called his Discourses "doctrinal and practical," we shall keep this definition in view in our examination of them. The first three Sermons are exclusively doctrinal; and relate to the Preaching of Christ Jesus the Lord: Doers respective situations and duties of the and not Hearers of the Word, and the Christian Pastor and his Flock. These are very properly, we conceive, brought forward as fundamental points of doctrine; and are each of infinite importance in the scale of morality and religion. The first Sermon, however-which appears to be written with great care and consideration, is almost provokingly short. could have wished at least for another half sheet upon this interesting topic; and are quite sure that Mr. M'Creery, the printer, would have united his wishes to our own. However, as far as it goes, we heartily say Amen' to the doctrine contained in it; and hasten to lay before our readers a specimen of the tone of sentiment which it breathes.
"If, however, the anxious believer, or the curious observer, demand an explanation of the proper preaching of Christ Jesus, I reply with beseeching him to estimate every thing by the good or evil fruit produced. That doctrine must be inculcated which CHRIST, and not his Apostles only, inculcated: that conduct must be the result of such doctrine, which is assimilated in some degree to the conduct of Christ. Fervent professions, and rapturous exclamations are, alone, the mere ebullitions of a discomposed state of intellect: they sig. nify nothing, unless they are influenced and supported by an irreproachable life. We must repent of our sins: and the sincerity of that repentance can only be proved by the leaving of our sins, and turning our hearts and souls unto God and his laws.' If the wicked will turn from all the sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die said the Almighty by the lips of his prophet Ezekiel! And what does Christ himself observe? Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.' Can language be stronger, or precept more commanding than this? In Christ Jesus,' says St. Paul, neither circumcision
cumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.' Again; 'if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: that is, not his opinions only, but bis conduct also is wholly altered;-he goes about doing good; he is meek, patient in tribulation, yet confident and undaunted in his course of action; he renders to temporal powers the things which are due to temporal powers, and unto God the things that exclusively belong to Him. He does not unrelentingly consign to damnation those who may be guilty of venial errors, but he gives hopes to the despondent and energy to the weak. He is not the first to throw the stone at a delinquent; nor does he, when prostrate in prayer, thank his Maker for not being like 'adulterers or extortioners,' but, smiting upon his breast, he exclaims, God be merciful to me a sinner!'"
The thirteenth Sermon, which is also exclusively doctrinal, and relates to the Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, contains a passage which may be well connected with the preceding; and from which, we clearly perceive, that the Author is a decidedly AntiEvangelical.
"The ministers of Christ's Gospel importune you with the same earnestness to lay aside the carnal appetites, and to be anxious only for spiritual comforts. This doctrine must ever be inculcated by those, who properly appreciate the force and tendency of the Gospel, and to whom the everlasting happiness of a Christian's soul is dear, Let me, therefore, at the out-et of these remarks, beseech you to believe, that those to whom the functions of the church, as by the laws of this country es tablished, are entrusted, shew an equal earnestness, have an equal interest, an equal glory, in the propagation of gospel and apostolical doctrines, as any religious sect upon the face of the globe-however that seet may assume to itself an affected holiness, or win upon the minds of uninstructed hearers by the felicities which, it holds out to the elect, and by the speciousness of its opinions upon faith, unsupported by works!
"We call upon you, equally with any sect or profession, to put on Christ Jesus the Lord. We preach not ourselves, but the same heavenly preceptor. Yet, my brethren, we should be ashamed to address our flock every revolving sabbath, if our Lives did not, to the best of frail human nature's exertions, correspond with our professions, and our doctrine here delivered. Never fail to consider that it was by the exhibition of practical virtues, by the constant, daily manifestation of all those delightful accomplishments, and still more delightful principles, which render man
a being worthy of the God who created him, that our blessed Saviour shone para, mount to every preceding and every suc ceeding human character. It was not, with him, a perpetually recurring maxim or speech-only want or wish, and the thing shall be granted you. It was, ou the contrary, act as well as profess; put your hand to the plough, and do not look backwards: do not behold a wounded fel. low creature, and pass by him on the other side; but come and relieve him; pour oil into his wounds, and wine into his body; sustain, uprear, comfort, attend him; put him upon his beast in short, take care of him. And, my brethren, we best evince the care we have for your soul's welfare, when we not only pray and preach, but act well; when we carry the ark of the Lord with us whithersoever we go-when we forgive our brethren, and assist in the conversion of infidels and sceptics. be only one sect who preach the Gospel, what do the others preach ?-If we are said not to be preachers of the word, what is it that we do preach; and from what sources are our texts and observations taken?The BIBLE is, I thank God, in this place of worship, as honestly opened, and as honestly expounded, as in any to which Christians resort; and whatever be the deficiencies of these my exhortations, they are abundantly supplied by the discourses of my Associates in the same career.
"These remarks will not be considered irrelative by those, who know how much opinions of a certain complexion are apt to warp the judgment of hearers, and to counteract the influence which they should feel; for no discerning and reflecting mind will tolerate the supposition, that the ministers of the church of this country cannot be the minister of the church planted by GoD and his SON JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD."
Indeed, in his first Sermon upon the Observance of the Sabbath-Day-for he has two upon this subject—he enters fairly and fully into the meaning, scope, and tendency of the word Evangelical; and we think our readers will thank us for laying the passage before them.
"But while you are thus determined to build on the rock of Christianity, and zealously to imitate those exemplary instances of piety and holiness, take care, my beloved brethren, not to be carried about with diverse and strange doctrines. We are cautioned not to be agitated by every breath that disturbs the intellectual world. Keep your feelings under the guidance of reason and sound judgment. Direct your pursuits to sober and attainable ends: nor mistake every blind impulse for partial inspiration. This it is my duty particularly to enforce, because we live in times
when religion assumes very many forms; and when the pure, practical precepts of our blessed Saviour are frequently ex-, changed for those fanciful and chimerical notions which now assume the exclusive and imposing title of EVANGELICAL doctrine. Nothing is so apt to mislead as new and extraordinary names which perhaps are not sufficiently considered or understood. The term evangelical, to one who has any knowledge of the Greek language, (the word being purely Greek), signifies well-declared, well-sent, or male known. It may be also called glad dings, or joyful news. St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Johu, are called EVANGELISTS; because they are supposed to have been especially appointed, or inspired by heaven, to make known the glad tidings of the Gospel, or the doc. trine of Christ. Why, therefore, has not the doctrine of the Church of England, as by law established, as full and strong a right to be termed evangelical, as that of the seceders from our forms of worship, and our notions of Gospel revelation? Whence take we our texts?-from the book of man, or the book of God? From the latter most assuredly-for the Bible, as comprehending the Old and the New Testament, we solemnly believe, at our ordination, and at all times, to be the Statute book of beaven! We endeavour, to the best of our talents, to explain, to illustrate, and to enforce this sacred gift of God to man; and even aver that good works form the test of a right faith in Christ; for he 'went about doing good.' No one, in our humble apprehension, can be supposed to have learnt Christ properly, who does not shew the fruits of his learning by a virtuous and religious life. At the latter day we shall be known by our fruits, as well as by our faith-and not simply by our cjaculations of Lord, Lord!`"`
Mr. Dibdin's decided partiality to that Church, which he has so manfully declared to be at once the object of his attachment, and the rule of his faith-(in the Advertisement) is more particularly avowed in his secoud Sermon-upon Doers of the Word, and not Hearers only-with the following passage from which we shall conclude our present extracts: except that we are half tempted to subjoin the conclusion of his third Sermon upon the Christian Pastor and his Flock. How ever we fear our limits will compel us to be contented with the former only. "There is a notion which very generally but unjustly prevails, that the Discourse from the Pulpit, and not the previous Church Service, is to be the principal obGENT. MAG. January, 1820,
ject of attention. But this opinion is palpably fallacious on the two following grounds only: 1st, do we suppose that these prayers were composed as a mere matter of form?-that they contain in them nothing which affects our condition, increases our faith, and promotes our spiritual welfare? Have these prayers no connexion with heavenly truths? Is the BIBLS never opened in the course of their perusal? Is the GOSPEL never read during their performance? Are they expla natory of no doctrine as revealed in the written word of God? On the contrary, they abound in sacred matter, and a very material part of them is closely connected with scriptural truths. But yet, exclusive of this consideration, and admitting that it is perfectly a human composition, what sort of language, and what sort of doctrine, does this composition convey? Read those excellent writers who have treated on our liturgy; and if you cannot be convinced by the force of the liturgy itself, but are nevertheless still open to conviction, let them convince you of the purity and excellence of our Church Service. And it would be well, if, on the Sabbath, and on other days, we devoted only a small portion of our many unprofitable leisure hours, in perusing and meditating upon works of this nature; for let it not be supposed that our duty to God ceases when we· quit this place of worship.
"So much for the first ground, in refutation of the opinion we form of the insufficiency of the liturgy. On the second ground let me ask you, supposing that these prayers do not contain in them one sentence immediately from the Bible, let me ask if they are in consequence necessarily iuferior to the discourse, or sermon, delivered? If you are willing to be pleased only with human composition, surely there can be nothing delivered in this particular place, to be put in competition with what you hear before you are addressed by
None of us can be so vain and presumptious to suppose that any, the most
successful of our efforts, deserve the name
of comparison with those rational, pure, pious, and truly religious effusions, which give as it were the sanction of the Deity to those prayers constituting the service of the ENGLISH CHURCH. These latter are, in truth, so happily arranged, and so happily expressed, that it is barely possible to conceive a case of human accident to which they do not apply, or of human infirmity for which they do not administer consolaneral unfeigned confession of our sins; and tion. They call upon us to make a gethey implore, in consequence, the mercy of heaven to absolve us from their intolerable burden. And are these things, my brethren, not worth attending to? Cau
we be listless hearers of these things, and not strenuous doers of the virtues they inculcate? Is it possible that such appropriate exhortation, such pious entreaty, and such benevolent effusions, should be considered as mere words of course only, and to have no sort of influence upon our lives? Do we imagine that these prayers are read only to fill the vacuum of a stated hour? It is in truth much to be feared that this impression has of late somewhat too generally obtained, or why that remissness in a proper attention to the precise time when the Service begins? Are we so remiss in our attendance upon other public places? Do we shew the same indifference to attend early, or the same inattention when we are seated, as we are sometimes wont to do in coming to, and conducting ourselves in, this solemn place of Christian worship and adoration ?—where, when two or three are gathered together in their Redeemer's name,' Christ himself has promised to be in the midst of them, and to fulfil their desires and petitions'!"
The foregoing may suffice as a specimen of the Doctrinal part of these Sermons; although that upon the Sucrument well merits particular notice and approbation.
Thus we perceive that, in the midst of all his Bibliography, or rather Archæological researches connected with literature and the fine arts-while half the more eminent engravers at home, and several of the first celebrityabroad, are occupied in the two great works*, so long and so anxiously in progress and which the public may expect at the conclusion of the present year Mr. Dibdin bas found time, as well as inclination, to present the several Flocks which he has addressed, for the Jast twelve yearst from the pulpit, with a printed manual of his profes. sional labours: that they may see with their eyes, and examine by their unbiassed judgments, what has been delivered to them by the more captivating, yet more treacherous, channel of the ear. We are quite sure, however some of our severer Brethren may carp at what they may conceive to be grammatical slips and unmusical periods that the Author will fully bear the test of the examination alJuded to; aud that if he hold not up
A Prospectus of these two Works, with a list of Mr. Dibdin's previous publications, are printed at the end of the Ser
Each Sermon has the earliest date of its being preached. Some are as uld
his head as high, in this his new career as in that wherein he has been long considered triumphant-his step will nevertheless be as firm, and the result of his exertions as useful.
In p. 272, last line but 9, we suspect the words "afflictions," is an error of the press, for " fellow-crea tures."
5. Three Sermons on Infidelity, preached at St. Mary's, Shrewsbury, and at Kenil worth, Warwickshire, in the months of November and December, 1819, and January, 1820: By the Rev. S. Butler, D. D. F. S. A. Prebendary of Lichfield and Coventry, Vicar of Kenilworth, and Head Master of the Royal Free Grammar School of Shrewsbury. 8vo. pp. 48. Longman and Co.
THESE Discourses (from John, vi. 68, 69) are admirably well-calculated to counteract the mischievous doctrines now in circulation. They are not ouly learned and argumentative, but so elegantly plain as to be adapted to every capacity; and are introduced by an affectionate address from Dr. Butler to his Pupils, in which be judiciously says,
From me you will be removed into a wider sphere of society, and will gradually that you should now be trained as useful mix with that world of which I am anxious and virtuous members. If, among the various dangers and temptations it presents, your minds should be assailed by those who would shake your faith, and teach you that the restraints of Christianity are grievous and its evidences imperfect, the warning voice of one whom you have known in early years, and who trusts that you will then reflect on his cares for your welfare with some warmth of affection,
may, perhaps, for these reasons, still have
weight; and if it can contribute to preserve any of you firm in those principles of religion in which you have been educated, he will reap his exceeding great reward."
A cheap Edition of these Sermons is announced; and we doubt not that they will be widely circulated.
6. Obedience to the Government a Religious Duly. A Sermon, preached in the Parish Church of Frome, County of Somerset, on Sunday, September 19, 1819. By the Rev. Stephen Hyde Cassan, M. A. Chaplain to the Earl of Caledon, and Curate of Frome. Svo. pp. 23. Lougman and Co.
FROM Romans, xiii. 2, "Let
as the year 1807. The more recent ap- every soul be subject to the higher
pear to be of the date of 18147