Edinburgh Review,  1 (1802–03), 128–30.

Art. XX. [Review of A Thanksgiving for Plenty, by Robert Nares]

[Sydney Smith] *



Publications reviewed:

Nares 1801


Providence, Piety, Agriculture, Miracle, Meteorology, Natural Law, Political Economy

    The reviewer points to inconsistencies in this sermon. Robert Nares writes of visitations of providence 'for the purposes of trial, warning, and correction'. He contends that 'it would be presumptuous and impious to pronounce the purposes' for which God interferes, but adds that 'it has pleased God, within these few years, to give us a most awful lesson of the vanity of agriculture and importation without piety'. (128) Nares writes that God does not interpose by 'positive miracle' but 'influences by means unknown to all but himself, and directs the winds, the rain, and glorious beams of heaven to execute his judgements, or fulfil his merciful designs' (128–29). The reviewer observes: 'Now, either the wind, the rain, and the beams, are here represented to act as they do in the ordinary course of nature, or they are not: If they are, how can their operations be considered as a judgment [sic] on sins? and if they are not, what are their extraordinary operations but positive miracles' (129). Rejects Nares's charge of monopoly against the farmers.

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