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Lond., 1835-39, 5 vols. p. 8vo. Paley's Entire Works, with an Account of his Life and Writings, by his son, Lond., 1825, 7 vols. 8vo.
"All the theological works of all the numerous bishops whom he [Pitt] made and translated are not, when put together, worth fifty pages of the Hora Paulinæ, of the Natural Philosophy, or of the View of the Evidences of Christianity. But on Paley this all-powerful minister never bestowed the smallest benefice."-LORD MACAULAY: Life of Pitt, in Encyc. Brit., 8th edit., xvii., 1859.
THE DIVINE BENEVOLENCE.
When God created the human species, either he wished their happiness, or he wished their misery, or he was indifferent and unconcerned about both.
If he had wished our misery, he might have made sure of his purpose by forming our senses to be so many sores and pains to us, as they are now instruments of gratification and enjoyment, or by placing us amidst objects so ill suited to our perceptions as to have continually offended us, instead of ministering to our refreshment and delight. He might have made, for example, every thing we tasted bitter; every thing we saw loathsome; every thing we touched a sting; every smell a stench; and every sound a discord.
If he had been indifferent about our happiness or misery, we must impute to our good fortune (as all design is by this supposition excluded) both the capacity of our senses to receive pleasure, and the supply of external objects fitted to produce it. But either of these (and still more both of them) being too much to be attributed to accident, nothing remains but the first supposition, that God, when he created the human species, wished their happiness; and made for them the provision which he has made, with that view, and for that purpose.
The same argument may be proposed in different terms, thus: Contrivance proves design: and the predominant tendency of the contrivance indicates the disposition of the designer. The world abounds with contrivances; and all the contrivances which we are acquainted with are directed to beneficial purposes. Evil, no doubt, exists; but is never, that we can perceive, the object of contrivance. Teeth are contrived to eat, not to ache; their aching now and then is incidental to the contrivance, perhaps inseparable from it; or even, if you will, let it be called a defect in the contrivance; but it is not the object of it. This is a distinction which well deserves to be attended to. In describing instruments of husbandry you would hardly say of the sickle that it is made to cut the reaper's fingers, though,
from the construction of the instrument, and the manner of using it, this mischief often happens.
But if you had occasion to describe instruments of torture or execution, This engine, you would say, is to extend the sinews; this to dislocate the joints; this to break the bones; this to scorch the soles of the feet. Here, pain and misery are the very objects of the contrivance. Now, nothing of this Sort is to be found in the works of nature. We never discover a train of contrivance to bring about an evil purpose. No anatomist ever discovered a system of organization calculated to produce pain and disease; or, in explaining the parts of the human body, ever said: This is to irritate, this to inflame; this duct is to convey the gravel to the kidneys; this gland to secrete the humour which forms the gout: if by chance he come at a part of which he knows not the use, the most that he can say is, that it is useless: no one ever suspects that it is put there to incommode, to annoy, or to torment. Since then God hath called forth his consummate wisdom to contrive and provide for our happiness, and the world appears to have been constituted with this design at first; so long as this constitution is upholden by him, we must in reason suppose the same design to continue.
The contemplation of universal nature rather bewilders the mind than affects it. There is always a bright spot in the prospect upon which the eye rests; a single example, perhaps, by which each man finds himself more convinced than by all others put together. I seem, for my own part, to see the benevolence of the Deity more clearly in the pleasures of very young children than in any thing in the world. The pleasures of grown persons may be reckoned partly of their own procuring; especially if there has been any industry or contrivance, or pursuit, to come at them; or if they are founded, like music, painting, &c., upon any qualification of their own acquiring. But the pleasures of a healthy infant are so manifestly provided for it by another, and the benevolence of the provision is so unquestionable, that every child I see at its sports affords to my mind a kind of sensible evidence of the finger of God, and of the disposition which directs it.
But the example which strikes each man most strongly is the true example for him : and hardly two minds hit upon the same: which shows the abundance of such examples about us.
We conclude, therefore, that God wills and wishes the happiness of his creatures. And this conclusion being once established, we are at liberty to go on with the rule
HENRY MACKENZIE, born in Edinburgh, 1745, Comptroller of Taxes for Scotland from 1804 until his death, in 1831, was author of The Man of Feeling, a Novel, 1771, 8vo, anonymous, and claimed by Mr. Eccles, of Bath; The Man of the World, a Novel, 1773, 2 vols. 12mo; The Prince of Tunis, a Tragedy, 1773, 8vo; Julia de Roubigné, a Tale, 1777, 2 vols. 8vo; Translations from the German of Lessing's Set of Horses, and some other dramatic pieces, 1791, 12mo; also, minor publications. Works, Edin., 1808, 8 vols.
"The principal object of Mackenzie, in all his novels, has been to reach and sustain a tone of moral pathos, by representing the effect of incidents, whether important or trifling, upon the human mind, and especially on those which are not only just, honourable, and intelligent, but so framed as to be responsive to those finer feelings to which ordinary hearts are callous."-SIR WALTER SCOTT: Life of Mackenzie.
claim." She begged him to resume his seat,
The subject began to overpower her. Harley lifted his eyes from the ground: "There are," said he, in a very low voice, "there are attachments, Miss Walton." His glance met hers. They both betrayed a confusion, and were both instantly withdrawn. He paused some moments: "I am in such a state as calls for sincerity, let that also excuse it, it is perhaps the last time we shall ever meet. I feel something particularly solemn in the acknowledgment, yet my heart swells to make it, awed as it is by a sense of my presumption, by a sense of your perfections." He paused again. "Let it not offend you to know their power over one so unworthy. It will, I believe, soon cease to beat, even with that feeling which it shall lose the latest. To love Miss Walton could not be a crime; if to declare it is one, the expiation will be made." Her tears were now flowing with
THE DEATH OF HARLEY. "There are some remembrances," said Harley, "which rise involuntarily on my heart, and make me almost wish to live. I have been blessed with a few friends who redeem my opinion of mankind. I recollect with the tenderest emotion the scenes of pleasure I have passed among them; but we shall meet again, my friend, never to be separated. There are some feelings which perhaps are too tender to be suffered by the world. The world is in general selfish, interested, and unthinking, and throws the imputation of romance or melancholy on every temper more susceptible than its own. I cannot think but in those regions which I contemplate, if there is anything of mortality left about us, that these feelings will subsist; they are called-perhaps they are-weak-out nesses here; but there may be some better modifications of them in heaven, which may deserve the name of virtues." He sighed as he spoke these last words. He had scarcely finished them when the door opened, and his aunt appeared, leading in Miss Walton. "My dear," says she, "here is Miss Walton, who has been so kind as to come and inquire for you herself." I could observe a transient glow upon his face. He rose from his seat. If to know Miss Walton's goodness," said he, "be a title to deserve it, I have some
control. "Let me entreat you," said she, "to have better hopes. Let not life be so indifferent to you, if my wishes can put any value on it. I will not pretend to misunderstand you,-I know your worth,
I have known it long,-I have esteemed it. What would you have me say? I have loved it as it deserved." He seized her hand, a languid colour reddened his cheek, a smile brightened faintly in his eye. he gazed on her it grew dim, it fixed, it closed. He sighed, and fell back on his seat. Miss Walton screamed at the sight.
His aunt and the servants rushed into the
SIR WILLIAM JONES,
born in 1746, was admitted to the bar in 1774, and appointed a Commissioner of Bankrupts, 1776; Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal from 1783 (when he was knighted) until his death at Calcutta, April 27, 1794. He was more or less familiar with twenty-eight languages. A collective edition of his Works-philological, legal, poetical, translations, etc. was published, London, 1799, 6 vols. 4to, Supplement, 1801, 2 vols. 4to, Life by Lord Teignmouth, 1804, 4to: in all 9 vols. 4to: reprinted (without the Supplement, which were not written by Sir William, but are the contributions of others to the Asiatic Researches), Lond., 1807, 13 vols. 8vo.
"William Jones has as yet had no rivals in the department which he selected; no one appears to have comprehended as he did the antiquities of Asia, and, above all, of India, with the acuteness of a philosopher, or to have seen the mode of reconciling every thing with the doctrine and history of the Scriptures."-FRED. VON SCHLEGEL: Lects. on the Hist. of Lit., Ancient and Modern, Lect. xiv. See also Lect. v.
Of the inspired volume this great master of Oriental learning thus writes:
"I have regularly and attentively read the Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that this volume, independent of its divine origin, contains more sublimity and beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever language or age they may have been composed."
To which we may appropriately add the following:
"I find more sure marks of the authenticity of the Bible than in any profane history whatever." -SIR ISAAC NEWTON.
and both of these great men illustrated by their lives the beneficial influence of the ligion in which they thus placed their trust.
MILTON'S COUNTRY RETREAT.
TO LADY SPEncer.
September 7, 1769.
Thamas-Kouli-Kan, traduit d'un MS. Persan, avec un Traité sur la Poésie Orientale, Londres, 1770, 2 vols. in 1, large 4to, in English, Lond., 1773, 8vo] prevented me to-day from paying a proper respect to the memory of Shakspeare, by attending his jubilee. But I was resolved to do all the honour in my power to as great a poet, and set out in the morning, in company with a friend, to visit a place where Milton spent some part of his life, and where, in all probability, he composed several of his earliest productions. It is a small village, situated on a pleasant hill, about three miles from Oxford, and called Forest Hill, because it formerly lay contiguous to a forest, which has since been cut down. The poet chose this place of retirement after his first marriage, and he describes the beauties of his retreat in that fine passage of his L'Allegro,— "Sometime walking, not unseen,
By hedge-row elms, or hillocks green
While the ploughman near at hand,
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes,
It was neither the proper season of the year, nor time of the day, to hear all the rural sounds, and see all the objects mentioned in this description; but by a pleasing concurrence of circumstances, we were sa luted, on our approach to the village, with the music of the mower and his scythe; we saw the ploughinan intent upon his labour, and the milkmaid returning from her country employment.
As we ascended the hill, the variety of beautiful objects, the agreeable stillness and us the highest pleasure. natural simplicity of the whole scene, gave We at length re-reached the spot whence Milton undoubtedly took most of his images: it is on the top of the hill, from which there is a most extensive prospect on all sides: the distant mountains, that seemed to support the clouds, the villages and turrets, partly shaded with trees of the finest verdure, and partly raised above the groves that surrounded them, the dark plains and meadows of a greyish colour.
The necessary trouble of correcting the first printed sheets of my history [Histoire de Nader-Chan, connu sous le nom de
where the sheep were feeding at large; invidual, an honour which heretofore has only short, the view of the streams and rivers, convinced us that there was not a single useless or idle word in the above-mentioned description, but that it was a most exact and lively representation of nature. Thus will this fine passage, which has always been admired for its elegance, receive an additional beauty from its exactness. After we had walked, with a kind of poetical enthusiasm, over this enchanted ground, we returned to the village.
The poet's house was close to the church; the greatest part of it has been pulled down, and what remains belongs to an adjacent farm. I am informed that several papers in Milton's own hand were found by the gentleman who was last in possession of the estate. The tradition of his having lived there is current among the villagers: one of them showed us a ruinous wall that made part of his chamber; and I was much pleased with another, who had forgotten the name of Milton, but recollected him by the title of The Poet.
It must not be omitted, that the groves near this village are famous for nightingales, which are so elegantly described in the Penseroso. Most of the cottage windows are overgrown with sweet-briars, vines, and honeysuckles; and that Milton's habitation had the same rustic ornament, we may conclude from his description of the lark bidding him good-morrow,
"Thro' the sweet-briar, or the vine,
for it is evident that he meant a sort of honeysuckle by the eglantine, though that word is commonly used for the sweet-briar, which he could not mention twice in the same couplet.
If I ever pass a month or six weeks at Oxford in the summer, I shall be inclined to hire and repair this venerable mansion, and to make a festival for a circle of friends, in honour of Milton, the most perfect scholar, as well as the sublimest poet, that our country ever produced. Such an honour will be less splendid, but more sincere and respectful, than all the pomp and ceremony on the banks of the Avon. I have, &c.
ON SALLUST AND CICERO.
Oct. 4, 1774. To F. P. BAYER, PRECEPTOR TO DON GABRIEL, INFANT OF SPAIN.
I can scarcely find words to express my thanks for your obliging present of a most beautiful and splendid copy of Sallust, with an elegant Spanish translation. You have bestowed upon me, a private, untitled indi
been conferred upon great monarchs and illustrious universities. I really was at loss to decide whether I should begin my letter by congratulating you on having so excellent a translator, or by thanking you for this agreeable proof of your remembrance. I look forward to the increasing splendour which the arts and sciences must attain in a country where the son of the king possesses genius and erudition capable of translating and illustrating with learned notes the first of the Roman historians. How few youths amongst the nobility in other countries pos sess the requisite ability or inclination for such a task! The history of Sallust is a performance of great depth, wisdom, and dignity to understand it well is no small praise; to explain it properly is still more commendable; but to translate it elegantly, excites admiration. If all this had been accomplished by a private individual, he would have merited applause; if by a youth, he would have had a claim to literary honours; but when to the title of youth that of Prince [Don Gabriel, Madrid, 1772, fol.] is added, we cannot too highly extol, or too highly applaud, his distinguished merit.
Many years are elapsed since I applied myself to the study of your learned language, but I well remember to have read in it, with great delight, the heroic poem of Alonzo, the odes of Garcilasso, and the humorous stories of Cervantes: but I most sincerely declare that I never perused a more elegant or polished composition than the translation of Sallust; and I readily subscribe to the opinion of the learned author in his preface, that the Spanish language approaches very nearly to the dignity of the Latin.
May the accomplished youth continue to deserve well of his country and mankind, and establish his claim to distinction above all the princes of his age! If I may be allowed to offer my sentiments, I would advise him to study most diligently the divine works of Cicero, which no man, in my opinion, ever perused without improving in eloquence and wisdom. The epistle which he wrote to his brother Quintus, on the government of a province, deserves to be daily repeated by every sovereign in the world; his books on offices, on moral ends, and the Tusculan question, merit a hundred perusals; and his orations, nearly sixty in number, deserve to be translated into every European language; nor do I scruple to affirm that his sixteen books of letters to Atticus are superior to almost all histories, that of Sallust excepted. With respect to your own compositions, I have read with great attention, and will again read, your most agree
able book. I am informed that you propose giving a Latin translation of it, and I hope you will do it for the benefit of foreigners. see nothing in it which requires alteration, -nothing which is not entitled to praise. I much wish that you would publish more of your treatises on the antiquities of Asia and Africa. I am confident they would be most acceptable to such as study those subjects. I have only for the present to conclude by bidding you farewell in my own name and that of the republic of letters. Farewell.
JOSEPH WHITE, D.D., an eminent Orientalist, the son of a weaver, and born 1746, Laudian Professor of Arabic, Oxford, 1774, Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford, 1802, died 1814, gained great celebrity by Sermons Preached, 1784, at the Lecture founded by the Rev. John Bampton, containing a View of Christianity and Ma hometanism, in their History, their Evidence, and their Effects, Oxford, 1784, 8vo, London, 1785, 8vo: unfortunately, however, for Dr. White's reputation, it was discovered that the discourses owed much of their merit to the Rev. Samuel Badcock and the Rev. Samuel Parr. Dr. White also published a number of learned Latin treatises. The Bampton Lectures are commended by a great authority as
"Elegant and ingenious. . . . His observations on the character and religion of Mahomet are always adapted to his argument, and generally founded in truth and reason. He sustains the part of a lively and eloquent advocate, and sonetimes rises to the merit of an historian and philosopher."-GIBBON: Decline and Fall, ch. iii., n.
See also 1., n.
CHRIST AND SOCRATES.
I beg your permission to introduce some interesting and, I hope, not impertinent reflections on the nature of that historical form in which the Christian Revelation has been transmitted to us.
This form involves the correctness of system without its abstruseness, and the energy of eloquence without its ostentation. It happily unites the brightness of example with the precision and perspicuity of precept. To the minuteness of detail which belongs to biography, it adds much of that regular arrangement, and of that vivid colouring by which the more eminent writers of poetry have endeavoured to mark the distinguishing and appropriate qualities of their favourite heroes. Instead of sometimes amusing, and sometimes astonishing, us with those brilliant but indistinct and fleeting impressions which are excited by
general descriptions, or elaborate panegyric, it leads us through a series of uniform and characteristic actions into a clear and full knowledge of the agent. It enables and gently impels the mind to combine, by its own operation, all the detached instances of virtue into one bright assemblage. It transports the imagination, as it were, into the presence of the person whose excellences are recorded, and gives all the sensibilities of the soul an immediate and warm interest in every word and every action. Hence the manner in which the sacred writers have described the actions of Christ not only increases the efficacy of His instructions, but constitutes a new, a striking, and peculiar species of evidence for the truth of His religion.
This position it may be of use to illustrate yet further. To compare the character of Socrates with that of Christ is foreign to our present purpose: but of the manner in which their lives have been respectively written we may properly take some notice. On the history of Socrates, then, have been employed the exquisite taste of Xenophon and the sublime genius of Plato. The virtues of this extraordinary man are selected by them as the noblest subject for the fullest display, and most active exertions of their talents and they have brought to the task not merely the sagacity of philosophers, but the affection of friends and the zeal of enthusiasts.
Now the different style of their writings, ties of the writers themselves, have produced and the different tempers as well as capacisome variety both in the scenes in which they have exhibited their master and in the opinions which they have ascribed to him. But, in the composition of each, Socrates is distinguished by a noble contempt of popular prejudice and perverted science; by an ardent admiration and steady pursuit of virtue; by an anxious concern for the moral improvement of his hearers; and by an heroic superiority to the pleasures of life, and to the terrors of impending death. What his illustrious biographers have performed in such a manner as to engage the attention and excite the admiration of successive ages, has been accomplished with yet greater success by the sacred writers. They have attained the same end under heavier difficulties, and by the aid of means which, if they are considered as merely human, must surely be deemed inadequate to the task which they undertook. They were by no means distinguished by literary attainments, or by intellectual powers. Their education could not bestow on them very exalted or correct ideas of morality; and their writings were destitute of every recommendation from