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*' Secondly. Do the banks bind themselves in the body of these notes to pay gold for them?
"They do not. They expressly say, that they will pay one pound one shilling, five pound five shillings, twenty pounds, one hundred pounds, &c. by which is merely to be understood, that they engage to account for that proportion of the standard unit of the country."
But the standard unit, Mr. Smith says, is nothing real; "it can neither be seen nor felt; it is an abstract term, and not applicable to any sensible object." These are his own words, as quoted from Montesquieu. A banker's note, therefore, promises to pay nothing real, nothing which can be either touched or seen; it only promises that the issuers will account for one, five, or twenty, &c. abstract ideas! a comfortable doctrine this for the bankers. There are not wanting bankers who have some experience of this kind of payment.
By a wretched quibble, Mr. Smith, we do not say wittingly, attempts in this answer to obtrude a bareface untruth. The banks do promise to pay gold for their notes, if by gold be meant, as in talking indiscriminately of cash payments always is, coined money of the realm. It is not on the abuse of a term, that a doctrine in political economy can be established. When a bank promises to pay one pound, it promises literally to pay twenty shillings in coined silver of the realm. But the law has rendered it optional for every party owing silver coin, to pay it in gold, at the rate of one guinea for twenty one shillings. Whoever therefore promises to pay pounds, promises to pay either gold or silver coin according to these proportions.
The argument from the bills of exchange is equally applicable to this sapient observation as to the former. Let us take the foregoing case of a bill paid to Mr. Smith, for 50 gallons of brandy. This bill only binds the party to pay pounds. But pounds, according to Mr. Smith, are neither gold nor silver; and assuredly they are not bunker's notes. They are, by our author's doctrine, mere abstract terms. We are pretty sure, however, that he would not like to be paid by mere abstract terms for such bills as he might hold. But we cannot proceed any further with this foolery.
The last great division of the author's subject relates $o th$ theory of exchange. In this part he shews himself accurately acquainted with business, and dexterously unravels some intricacies in the commercial intercourse of different nations, by which authors of reputation are frequently puzzled and misled. We heartily recommend the chapter to all those who desire clear ideas on the subject of exchange; a subject much mieunderstood, but not, after all, rerharkably difficult. The chapter, notwithstanding, ought to be read with much caution ; for some important errors are blended with many, useful and ingenious observations. To separate, however, the wheat from
the cliau, would be a tedious task, and not suited to a Review.
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Art. Xill. Sermons, occasioned by the sudden Death of the Rev. Peter Thomson, late 'minister of the Scotch .Church, Leeds. To which is prefixed, a iViemotr of his Life. By Adam Thomson, Minister of the 'Associate Congregation in Coldstream. Svo. pp. 326. Price 3s. 6d. Leeds, Baines ; Ogle. 1807.
"pROM the different relations which Mr. Peter Thomson sutttmed, as a father, a husband, a pastor; and more especially, from the fidelity with which he discharged the arduous duties of these several relations, which must ensure to him the admiration' and esteem of all observers; his sudden death, at the age of twenty-seven, could not fail to prepare the minds of his destitute flock for a tender reception of those important instructions which are to be found in this interesting volume. ■' :■
After furnishing a short memoir of his brother, equally Honourable to the character of the deceased, and to the affectionate heart of the survivor, Mr T. presents us with four discourses on the three following subjects: " On the distress occasioned by the death of dear friends."—" On the consolations which suppoit believers when their pious friends are removed by death."—'* On the future happiness of the saints in having ail causes of grief removed." These subjects, interesting in themselves, and peculiarly suited to,the situation and feelings of the audience to whom they were addressed, open 'a wide field t. an enlightened, contemplative, affection-. ate mind. They allow the preacher to introduce every moral specuia ion of imp rtam e, and every discovery in Revelation that constitutes its i Laractenstic worth. They permit him to indulge in aii the various feelings of sorrow, resignation, s\ mpathy, and hope. If ever we have an opportunity of penetrant.g into Ins soul, it is when such subjects as these occupy his thoughts. Tiny form a kind ot mental mirror, which accurately reflects his intellectual and moral features; for the. feelings, which such subiects excite in a well organised and regulated mmd,.cannot be mimicked with success.
Mr. T., whose temper of mind seems to qualify him for descanting on themes of this nature, has not failed to take advantage of the unbounded latitude they afford. Well acquainted with the writings of modern moralists, he has empioved with success mai;}' of their finest sentiments to enrich his discourses; and, what was more important, he has adorned them with the more instructive and pathetic language of Prophets and Apostles; who, for vigour of conception, tenderness and beauty of expres&ion, and richness of sentiment, surpass all the boasted remains of Grecian Poesy and Ethics. Almost every tender expression of grief to be found in the sacred records, is brought to aid his general desigu; and in the mournful picture or distress which his pencil nas drawn, we meet in succession with all the sons of affliction described in those records, who, each in their turn, tell us their several griefs. Perhaps he has introduced too many objects of distress, to produce a distinct and well-defined impression of sympathetic sorrow. We look around us, and find no one single individual mourner with whom we may sit down to weep. We attempt to feel for the distresses of each; but we attempt a task too great for the narrow sympathies of humanity. This fault of crowding the'scene with too much incident, is natural to a young mind; and we doubt not but Mr. T. will perceive the justice of our remark, as he becomes accustomed to the art of compositions. Considerable taste, however, combined with native sensibility, is discoverable in the selection and disposition of the several incidents by which he would melt his hearers into grief, soothe them into submission, or animate them into hope. We were much pleased to observe also the strictly evangelical bias which Mr. T. would give to the minds of his audience and his readers, instead of amusing their fancy, and darkening their understanding, with the fanciful dreams of the poet, or the sublime but cold and obscure speculations of the philosopher. Such fictions, and such speculations, are sure to attract the attention of those who prefer elegance to truth; and we are sorry to reflect on that perversion of public taste which the present age so manifestly discovers in their favour. But to these Mr. T. disdains to re. sort, as a trick to win the esteem and countenance of corrupted minds. If he attains to the praise of ingenuity or elegance, it is not by the sacrifice of truth.
Among several defects in this work, prolixity is the most obvious. Brevity, if it does not render our meaning obscure, will always add strength and vigour to the sentiment we intend to convey. We may spin it so fine, that at length it becomes weak as a spider's web. This effect is sometimes observable in the sermons before us. Excess in quotation is another fault worthy of remark. The reader is almost led to suppose, that Mr. Thomson must have had his common place book continually before him, while he was composing these dicourses. When we have stated our own sentiments with all the perspicuity and force , we can command, a passage from scripture, or even from the writings of some uninspired sage, may illustrate and con>^ firm them. But a perpetual recurrence to the bare phraseology of scripture, merely for the sake of quoting it, and the accumulation of such quotations one upon another, will produce a very contrary effect; the majesty of scripture is degraded, and the unityand force of the author's composition is destro)'ed. The passages which Mr. T. has selected are in general highly appropriate; we only regret that they are too numerous. The last fault we shall notice is a little degree of affected sensibility. Silence, and not loquacity, is the natural effect of genuine sorrow; nor do we feel disposed to ascribe more tenderness of heart, or more real pungency of grief to any one, because he explains to us how acute are his sorrows. Perhaps, the author might have been deceived by the false taste of Sterne, and others of the same school. The following expression seems to indicate that he has made them his model. "The very thought fills my heart with intolerable anguish, and "p. 290. Such expressions are unnatural. A man oppressed with intolerable av'gidsh would not find language come' »0 easily to his relief. If Mr. T. would study the models of true t;;ste, we are persuaded he would not find them guilty of this outrage on the laws of human nature. A phrase immediately precedes this intimation, which ill-prepared us to sympathize in the author's anguish: " a helpless family have been bereft of a kind and dutiful husband, father and protector/'
As a specimen of the author's style, which is not wholly free from Scotticism, we select the following passage. . .
> Hitherto, my brethren, we have looked only at the dark side of our ■subject. We have been visiting " the land of darkness and the shadow of death; a land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness."* Let us now, by faith, take our station on the top of Pisgah. Here a bright prospect opens. From this sacred eminence, let us delight our eyes, with such a View, as we are able to tike, of the promised land—" the goodly heritage" provided for the people of God,'—" the land flowing with milk and honey." Let us behold the mountains of mynh, and the hills of frankincense, Let us survey " the valleys covered over" with all manner of precious fruits. Let us look at " the fountains of living waters, clear as crystal," and " the rivers of pleasures," by which the fruitful fields are so beautifully intersected. Let us view " the city of the great King, of which such glorious things are spoken."—It is "beautiful for-situation! and the joy of the whole land." " Its light is like unto a stone most precious,—'« for the glory of God doth lighten it." Its wall, great and high, is of jasper ; the foundations of it' are garnished with all manner of precious stones. The gates are of pearl ; and the street of the city is pure gold, as it were transparent glass.f Let us behold the numerous, the beautiful, the magnificent mansions\ reared by the hands of the diA
•Job x. 20, 21. + Rev. xxi. $ John xiv. 2, 3. T^
vine Redeemer, for the reception of his people, Let us meditate on the honours and the happiness of the glorified inhabitants of this " better country." Let us suppose, that we see our near departed friend* adding 10 their numbers, and rejoicing in their joy. Let us imagine, that we hear them uniting their accents of praise with those of other glorified spirits, singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." After this, let us exult in the hope, that we shall shortly join their company; that we shall partake of their enjoyments; and that we shall engage in their exercises, " serving God day and night in hi* temple ;"* and singing, with unceasing wonder and heart-felt gratitude, the praise of the glorious Redeemer, in that enraptured language, which, even in "the house of our pilgrimage," we are permitted to employ: "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for and ever. Amen."f pp. 170—172.
The volume is in general deserving of our warm recommendation; and we agree with the author in hoping it may prove a balm of consolation to many a wounded heart.
Art. XIV. The Resurrection, a Poem. By John Stewart, Esq. Author of " The Pleasures of Love," 8vo. pp. 253. Price 7s. Longman and" Co. 1808.
THE nature of Mr. Stewart's former work, was not so incongruous, as its title would seem to indicate, with the solemn subject of the poem now before us. If its poetical merit could claim but little praise, its moral tendency deserved but little censure. We have no reason from either work to think harshly of the author's designs or disposition; we ascribe his errors as a moralist to do other cause than his defects as a poet, and cannot indeed avoid recognizing the orthodoxy of his professed creed, and the tone of devotion that prevails in this Poem. But in all parts of it, there is unquestionable evidence, of a inind unusually perplexed; a mind possessing a variety of heterogeneous and disorderly ideas, with as little power to manage them, as a chairman in a riotous debating club, where every one is eager to speak, where some, are choaked with vehemeitce and some stifled with pressure, where all are faint, yet impetuous, and the result of the universal struggle is unintelligible clamour and ludicrous confusion. His sentiments have not time to develope; his phrases have not room to make sense. One would think on some occasions that his memory is the only faculty in exercise; and that every thought which occurs is immediately ushered into public, with little other order than that of a surprised garrison who rush forth into the uproar as fast a's they wake. If Mr. S. had taste and force of intellect enough to keep order in his head,
* Rev. vii. 15. | &**• »• 5< *•