Immagini della pagina

lizing too much with the Papifts, had they affected that fpecies of fuperftition which they are here charged with. Those who kept Saints-days, and made their pictures the companions of their Prayer-books, were perfons the moft likely to have dedicated their fermons, by a fuperftitious divifion of their subjects, to the HONOUR of the four Evangelifts and the twelve Apoftles. A furly Puritan, with his face full fet against every fpecies of willworship, would have fcented the Whore of Babylon in fuch a childith, High-church device!

Dr. H. attempts to vindicate Dr. O. from fome other cenfures paffed on his Sermons by the learned Differtator :-time will determine with what fuccefs.

This Poftfcript is, we think, well-written. It is genteel; though, in one or two places, the reflections are fharp and poignant. The Author's zeal for his deceafed friend might, in the opinion of many, have excused a keener severity of expoftulation. It certainly does honour to his heart; and the Author feems to enter very cordially into what Horace delivers as his opinion of the man who feels no refentment, and offers no apology, when the merit of an abfent friend is leffened by cenfure, or obfcured by fufpicion.

ART. VI. Remarks on the Poftfcript of Dr. Hallifax's Preface to the Sermons of the Rev. Dr. Ogden. 8vo. 6d. Dodfley. 1780.


HE Author of thefe fpirited Remarks approves of Dr. Hallifax's zeal for his deceafed friend, but diflikes the tendency of his Poftfcript, and dreads the ufe that may be made of it.

Mr. Mainwaring had cenfured Dr. Ogden for a frequent, and, in fome cafes, unneceffary, and even fanciful introduction of texts of Scripture into his fermons. When thofe texts have no immediate reference to the argument, either as proofs or illuftrations, they fadden and folemnify (as Mr. M. fays) the subject, without giving it either beauty or force. Dr. Hallifax vindicates Dr. Ogden from the charge of an improper and ufeless introduction of Scripture paffages, and feems to think, that they gave an additional weight, as well as elegance, to his difcourfes. His Remarker vindicates Mr. M.'s reflections on this head; and thinks, that nothing is more unfuitable to a Univerfity audience than vague and arbitrary quotations from Scripture. For inftances (fays he) of the beft manner of introducing and applying Scripture on the whole, I would refer the young Student in divinity to the writings of Dr. Secker and Dr. Hurd. But as other Authors of great merit have fo often failed in this particular; and as young minds are so very fufceptible of tender impreffions, whether true or falfe, I would warn him to be ever on

H 3

[ocr errors]


his guard against the forcery of founds.' The ingenious Remarker refers to the conduct of the old Non-conformifts, and to the modern Methodists, as affording an example of the ill influence of a prepofterous ufe of Scripture phrafes, and their perverfion of particular theological terms, in order to ferve the purposes of folly and fanaticifm with a furer effect.

Speaking of the Christian doctrine of Redemption, and the duties arifing from it, the Author obferves, that it is much to be Jamented, that the frequent, though neceffary introduction of fuch topics, has betrayed many refpectable writers into the cant and jargon of Methodism. Now, when we reflect, that fuch able and excellent men as Pafcal and Fenelon became such zealpus profelytes to the most foolish of all fanatical orders ;—that, in our own country and times, the feeds of Hutchinfonianifm have been fown fo plentifully, and have thriven fo largely in a foil which was affigned to the Mufes to cultivate ;-when we reflect, that feveral perfons of the firft fortune, and fome too of the first diftinction, are the declared patrons of the most despicable caft that ever difgraced a civilized nation ;-is there not fome caufe to be alarmed at any difpofition to favour the tenets, or humour the temper of fuch vifionaries?'... Perhaps there is no great choice between falfe tenets and falfe taftes in whatever communion. But I own the enthufiafm of Popery would be more to my mind than that of Methodifm. Bold falfehoods and avowed abfurdities, fplendidly dreffed and fpeciously recommended, have a more majeftic appearance in my eye, than propofitions devoid of all fenfe and meaning, clothed in language too low for criticifm.2

This honeft conceffion in favour of Popery, reminds us of Queen Elizabeth's declaration refpecting her religious tafteviz. That he would rather be a Papift than a Puritan." Popery is certainly more fpecious and attractive to minds that are accustomed to affix the ideas of dignity to fplendor and fhew. Reafoning on fuch delufive and flattering principles made that merry monarch Charles II. bluntly fay That it was a matter of perfect indifference to him what divines had so learnedly advanced against Presbyterianifm: he had a reason againft it much more fatisfactory to his mind:-it was not a religion fit for a GENTLEMAN !"

[ocr errors]

ART. VII. Ode infcribed to John Howard, Efq; F. R. S. Author of The State of English and Foreign Prifons." 4to. 1 s. 6 d. Dodfley. 1780.

HE earlieft odes now extant are, perhaps, thofe of Pindar. If we may judge of the origin of this fpecies of compofition from what he has left us, it is no improbable conjecture,





jecture, that it was originally invented in honour of the gods, and made a part of religious worship. Afterwards, by a very natural transition, it was employed in the celebration of human excellence, viz, to record the memory of heroes and conquerors. Pindar, in more inftances than one, feems to allude to its application in the order which is here pointed out : Αναξίφορμιγίες ὑμνοι Τινα Θεόν τιν ἥρωα

Τινα δ' ανδρα κελαδήσομεν ;

Indeed, even fo late as Pindar's time, it appears not to have deviated very far from its primary intention. His Odes, though written profeffedly in praife of those who had conquered in the Olympic and other Games of Greece, abound with fo many mythological allufions, and fuch animated and continued apoftrophes to the gods, as can scarcely be reconciled upon any other idea than that they were fung, fome of them at least, at the altars of thofe deities who either were fuppofed more particularly to patronize and prefide over the facred Games, or who were the protectors of the particular city that had given birth to the conqueror whofe victory he is recording.

But whether this opinion be generally acceded to or not, we are certain, however, that to celebrate the actions of illuftrious men has been confidered, not only by Pindar, but by his fucceffors, as one of the nobleft employments of the Lyric Mufe. In conformity with this fentiment, we prefume, Mr. Hayley has felected, as the fubject of the prefent Ode, one of the firft and moft meritorious characters of the age. Mr. Howard's fervices to mankind are of that peculiar fort, which will not only excite admiration from his cotemporaries, but must endear him to pofterity. May his benevolent and patriotic exertions be as beneficial to thofe helpless and neglected objects of his philanthropy, whom he has taken under his protection, as the difinterested motives of his very fingular conduct are glorious to himself * !


*It is with peculiar pleasure that we here quote the elegant encomium paffed on Mr. Howard's benevolent labours by Mr. Burke, in his excellent fpeech at the Guildhall, Briftol; of which we gave some account in our Catalogue for November laft. The paffage is as follows:

"I cannot name this gentleman without remarking, that his labours and writings have done much to open the eyes and hearts of mankind. He has vifited all Europe,-not to furvey the fumptuouf◄ nefs of palaces, or the ftateliness of temples; not to make accurate measurements of the remains of ancient grandeur; not to form a fcale of the curiofity of modern art; not to collect medals, or collate manufcripts; but to dive into the depths of dungeons; to plunge into the infection of hofpitals; to furvey the manfions of forrow and

H 4

pain ¿

Mr. Hayley's merit, as a Poet, in one fpecies of compofition at leaft, is fufficiently known and admired. He will lofe nothing of that reputation, which he has acquired by his former writings, by the prefent performance; which is, indeed, every way worthy of his inimitable pen. It is-but why fhould we fay what it is-let the noble flanzas that follow convey the information we were meaning to give.

Sweet is the joy when Science flings
Her light on philofophic thought;
When Genius, with keen ardor, fprings
To clafp the lovely truth he fought:
Sweet is the joy, when Rapture's fire
Flows from the fpirit of the lyre;
When Liberty and Virtue roll

Spring-tides of fancy o'er the poet's foul,

That waft his flying bark through feas above the pole.

Sweet the delight, when the gall'd heart

Feels Confolation's lenient hand

Bind up the wound from Fortune's dart
With Friendship's life-fupporting band!
And fweeter ftill, and far above
Thefe fainter joys, when pureft Love
The foul his willing captive keeps!

When he in blifs the melting fpirit fleeps,

Who drops delicious tears, and wonders that he weeps!

But not the brighteft joy, which Arts,

In floods of mental light, beftow;

Nor what firm Friendship's zeal imparts,
Bleft antidote of bittereft woe!

Nor those that Love's fweet hours difpenfe,

Can equal the ecftatic fenfe,

When, fwelling to a fond excefs,

The grateful praifes of reliev'd diftrefs,

Re-echoed thro' the heart, the foul of Bounty blefs.

Thefe tranfports, in no common state,

Supremely pure, fublimely ftrong,
Above the reach of envious fate,

Bleft HOWARD! thefe to thee belong:

pain; to take the gauge and dimenfions of mifery, depreffion, and contempt; to remember the forgotten, to attend to the neglected, to vifit the forfaken, and to compare and collate the diftreffes of all men in all countries. His plan is original; and it is as full of genius as it is of humanity. It was a voyage of difcovery; a circumnavigation of charity. Already the benefit of his labour is felt more or less in every country. I hope he will anticipate his final reward, by feeing all its effects fully realized in his own. He will receive, not by retail, but in grofs, the reward of those who vifit the prifoner; and he has fo foreftalled and monopolized this branch of charity, that there will be, I truft, little room to merit by fuch acts of benevolence hereafter."

While years encrcafing o'er thee roll,
Long may this funfhine of the foul
New vigour to thy frame convey!

Its radiance thro' thy noon of life difplay,
And with fereneft light adorn thy clofing day!

And when the Power, who joys to fave,
Proclaims the guilt of earth forgiven;
And calls the prifoners of the grave
To all the liberty of Heaven:

In that bright day, whofe wonders blind
The eye of the aftonish'd mind;

When life's glad angel fhall refume

His ancient fway, announce to Death his doom,
And from existence drive that tyrant of the tomb;

In that bleft hour, when Seraphs fing
The triumphs gain'd in human strife;
And to their new affociates bring
The wreaths of everlasting life:
May't thou, in Glory's hallow'd blaze,
Approach the Eternal Fount of Praife,
With thofe who lead the angelic van,
Thofe pure adherents to their Saviour's plan,
Who liv'd but to relieve the Miferies of Man!

We obferve, not without pleafure, that Mr. Hayley has preferred ftanzas, to the fafhionable, though affected, divifion of the ode into ftrophe, antiftrophe, and epode, which a pedantic veneration for the Grecian model, without any correfpondent propriety, was bringing into general ufe. In this, as in his other writings, Mr. Hayley feems ftudiously to avoid the meretricious ornaments of phantaftic and far-fetched epithets: his ideas, though conceived in the fineft phrenzy of imagination, are, on every occafion, expreffed with perfpicuity, elegance, and the chafteft fimplicity. It may be remarked of this Writer, that he is almoft the only Poet, of the prefent day at leaft, who has had the courage (for fuch is the libertinifm of the world' that it must be called fo) to avow, in his poetical capacity, a belief in Revelation. His example is a fufficient proof, notwithstanding a refpectable opinion to the contrary, that the great truths of religion, though incapable of embellishment, will admit of poetical application, and may be introduced both with force and propriety.


« IndietroContinua »