Imatges de pàgina


tations have you confirmed the unstable—by what admonitions reclaimed the reprobate'?-Have you the comfort of knowing that any single soul has been the better for all your ministrations in the diocese committed to you?

Surely the sect is not extinct who were wont to lay op men's shoulders burthens too heavy to be borne, while they themselves would not touch them with a finger!

But to return.-His reason for abandoning all study for the future is thus expressed :

· Had my health been better, I should have had little reason for persevering in my studies as I had done. I could not bring myself to vote as a minister bade me on all occasions, and I perceived that, such was the temper of the times, or such the temper of the man, thing less than that could secure his attention.'

Next follows an account of a personal insult offered to his sovereign at the levee:

"The king gave me a blow about a republic; I answered that I could not live under a republic. His majesty still pursued the subject. I thought myself insulted, and firmly said, “ Sir, I look upon the tyranny of any one man to be an intolerable evil, and on the tyranny of a hundred to be a hundred times as bad."'!

Yet notwithstanding this did the modest rejoiner continue to expect a translation !

After the debate on the regency, “the queen imprudently distinguished by different degrees of courtesy, on the one hand, and meditated affronts on the other, those who bad voted with and against the minister.-She received me with a degree of coldness wbich would have appeared to herself ridiculous, could she bave imagined how a mind such as mine' (looking down on kings and queens as from an bigher sphere) * regarded, in its honourable proceedings, the displeasure of a woman, though that woman happened to be a queen.'

• I advised him' (the Prince of Wales)' to bear with his mother's ill-humour.'

This is very much in the coarse style of Burnet. Next appears the Lord Chancellor:

I neither thought so highly of the chancellor's talents, nor so meanly of my own, on the subject of an ecclesiastical reform, as to judge that it became me to overlook his discourtesy in not answering iny letter.'

Perhaps the most exceptionable passage in the whole volume is the following:

• The ministers refused to cover themselves with the infamy which would justly have attended their submission to such a demand. They refused and were dismissed. Such ministers at Constantinople would have lost their heads : at London, they as yet (in italics) 'only lost their places. Whilst there remained a competitor of the Stuart family to the throne of Great Britain, the kings of the House of Brunswick



any nation

were perhaps afraid of that competition, and were satisfied with having been elevated from an arbitrori; dominion over a petty principality in Germany to the possession of a limited monarchy over the most enlightened and most commercial nation in the world. That competition being now extinguished, it could not be thought unnatural were they to indulge a desire of emancipating themselves from the restraints of parliament; but there is no way of effecting this so secret, safe, and obvious, as by corrupting it.'

Twice in the present volume has this bold politician asserted the advantage of a surviving competitor to the throne of these realms in a rival of the House of Stuart; but the expression of the House of Brunswick having been elevated from an arbitrary dominion over a petty principality to govern England, is not only conceived in the spirit but almost couched in the words of Paine, of whom it may be remembered, that he talked of 'sending for a man out of Germany to govern us.' This, however, is nothing to what follows---in which the present representatives of that august house, which, for more than a century, has governed this country more mildly and equitably than


earth ever was governed, are personally accused of wishing to emancipate themselves from all restraints of parliament, and of desiring to take the safest and most secret, that is, the wickedest and most insidious way to that end-by corruption. It has been whispered that the prudence of the publisher subjected the present work to some severe castrations; how this offensive and impudent paragraph came to escape the knife we do not pretend to guess. There have been times in which the printer would not have escaped another operation: late examples may perchance have taught such despisers of truth and shame, what may now be done with impunity; yet these are days of persecution.

The subject of disappointed ambition, as it had poisoned his mind with rancour and tinctured all his conversation, is widely diffused over the volume before us. It is astonishing that a man of Dr. Watson's understanding should not have known, that the greates: triumph which can be given to an enemy, is to shew that he has galled the object of his enmity. How dignified, how honourable, might his retirement have been, had he had the fortitude to look down with indifference on rewards abich he no longer wanted! If he were not mortified to the world as a Christian, he might have contemned it as a philosopher; but he clung to it with a grasp no less eager on the verge of fourscore, than at the period and in the vigour of legitimate ambition. A single instance of this spirit, in which he submitted himself to the miserable degradation of being pitied by a stranger, we shall give in his own words:

• I was, while at Merthyr, most hospitably entertained by Mr. Crawshay an iron-master.) This gentleman, in common with many


others, expressed his astonishment at the manner with which I had been neglected by the court, and, making an apology for his frankness, told me, with evident concern, that he was sure I should never be translated. He also said, that I was considered as a man of far too independent a spirit for them, and had long been put down in the queen's black book. I was more delighted with this disinterested approbation of an iron-master' (by the way, he had offered his diocesan a loan of five or ten thousand pounds) .than by the possession of an archbishopric acquired by a selfish subserviency to the despotic principles of a court. -Still, however, the primacy was uppermost in his mind.

An inquiry into the religion of a mind thus worldly and ambitious thus wayward and fretful, can neither be very interesting nor very pleasing ; but we are invited to it by many passages in the present volume, and should scarcely satisfy the expectations of the public were we wholly to omit it. We begin then with a very remarkable passage, which strikingly corroborates an observation of Warburton, that long addiction to mathematical pursuits incapacitates the mind from weighing the various degrees of moral evidence.

• I was early in life accustomed to mathematical discussion and the certainty attending it, and not meeting with that certainty in the science of metaphysics, of natural and revealed religion, I have an habitual tendency to hesitation of judgment, rather than to a peremptory judgment on many points. But I pray God to pardon this my wavering in less essential points, since it proceeds not from any immoral tendency,' (certainly it did not, at any period of his life,) and is attended by a firm belief of a resurrection, and a future state of retribulion as described in the Gospels.'

From the silence of this passage on other doctrines of revelation, it might have been inferred that he was a Socinian, but from that imputation he has sufficiently redeemed himself in other parts of the

present volume. His religion, according to himself, was that of the New Testament, as distinct from all commentaries, systems, or articles of human invention, and thence alone be appears to have discovered the divinity of the second and third persons of the Holy Trinity. On the subject of the Atonement, even when it might seem most naturally to have presented itself, he observes a deep and awful silence. * Impregnated as was his ample and expansive understanding with the sublime philosophy of Newton, he seems to have contemplated the Deity, together with eternity and infinite space, something in the spirit of that mighty master-Non est eternitas et infinitas, sed Eternus et Infinitus--- Non est duratio et spatium, sed durat et adest---durat semper et adest ubique, durat ab eterno in eternum, ab infinito in infinitum.'+ Still it was the science of

* It is but justice to his memory to add, that in one of bis Discourses, published in 1815, he determines, though with some hesitation, in favour of a proper satisfaction for sin in the sufferings of Christ. † Præf. ad Principia.


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religion'---still his feelings were rather those of an excursive curiosity wandering over the imagined improvements of intellect in eternity, and an endless supply of objects for it to grasp, than what may properly be called Christian faith or hope. A passage, written almost at the close of his life, confirms our opinion on this subject.

Though the light of Revelation hath not, perhaps cannot make it appear what we shall be, yet a due reflexion on the necessity of dying, accompanied with the blessed hope of being raised from the dead, and of ascending a step higher in the gradation of intellectual existence, may make us expect with composure and comfort the inevitable change, when we shall become, like the angels of God, immortal, placed, it may be, among the lowest ranks of angelic beings, but neither debarred the means nor deprived of the hope of “rising to the bighest.”'

Of this opinion, neither irrational nor unpleasing, yet still grounded on the principles of analogical probability rather than of any distinct revelation, we may say, in the author's own words, and in their intended application to himself— Ingruit senectus, appropinquat mors, et melioris ævi dies, cum hæc clarius elucebunt,'*

The prelates of the English church, notwithstanding the great disadvantages under which, as married men, they are usually placed in comparison of their catholic predecessors, have been distinguished from the Reformation downward for works of munificence.Much indeed cannot be expected from the bishops of Landaff as such, but we have to commend the subject of this Article, together with Dr. Preston, bishop of Fernes, his school-fellow and friend, for having bestowed a thorough reparation on Heversham School, the place of their early education. Our prelate's account of some intended charities will excite a sinile. After the outrages at Birmningham he had intended to bestow a hundred pounds on Dr. Priestley, but his intrepidity was overcome by an apprehension of the clamour it might occasion.—Could it not have been conveyed in an anonymous envelope, or with an injunction of secrecy ?--The intention we suspect to have been defeated by another principle.The profits arising from the Apology for the Bible (viz. one thousand pounds) he had intended to consecrate to some work of charity, and had proceeded so far with the work as to write an inscription for the front of his intended edifice-' 'Tis in capitals already.'

The general style of this volume, and of all the bishop's Eng. lish works, is such as nearly to place them above the petty cavils of criticism-clear and energetic, with occasional strokes of coarseness, and a general air of bravura, which exactly accorded with the tone of his conversation and the expression of his countenance. The great and only considerable defect of it is a perpetual tenAdvertisement to the bishop's

Miscellaneous Tracts, published A. D. 1815. This is probably the last sentence which he erer wrote on any religious or literary subject.



dency to scraps of Latin, which were meant to pass for proofs of erudition among his admirers, though they are generally taken from very ordinary and trivial sources. To know how to quote well from the writers of antiquity is one of the greatest artifices of literature; whereas to court vulgar applause by vulgar citations, is a mark at once of bad taste and of low ambition in a scholar.

One other trait of character in this bishop, which had its origin in constitutional intrepidity, we cannot but notice with regretnamely, a total want of delicacy, which led him to neglect the feelings of the living for themselves or their departed friends. In whatever terms he may animadvert upon a character, the naine is given at length. The most exalted personages of the kingdom are treated with the same coarse freedom as the meanest, without circumlocution or disguise, while bis communications with correspondents of high rank, on matters of conscience, and of a nature purely professional, are marked by the same unseemly disclosure of names and titles :-on such. subjects he ought to have remembered and imitated the impenetrable secrecy of the cburch of Rome. There is a single expression so gross that, during the life-time of one person, we could neither quote nor distinctly refer to it without a degree of indelicacy approaching to that of the writer.

On the portrait bere exhibited of this perfectly original character the following reflexions naturally arise. He was governed through life by the two leading principles of interest and ambition, both of wbich were thwarted in his political conduct by a temper so wayward, and a presumption so overweening, that the disappointment produced by their collision embittered his mind, and exasperated his latter days to a very high degree of malignity. Accomplished as he was in academical learning, he had no ingenuous and disinterested love of knowledge: he read only that he might teach, and he taught only that he might rise. After he became a bishop,

Et spes et ratio studiorum in Cæsare tantum; and when he felt himself neglected, he avowedly and professedly abandoned all study, because (says he) eagerness in the pursuit of knowledge was a part of my temper, till' (and only till) the acquisition of knowledge was attended with nothing but the neglect of the king and his ministers.' Disgusted therefore and disappointed, as much as broken in constitution, he withdrew into the wilds of Westmoreland without a library, and to this privation he voluntarily submitted almost thirty years. Lord Falkland was wont to commiserate the situation of country gentlemen in rainy weather; but who can pity a bishop, wealthy enough to purchase a magnificent library, and with a vigorous and excursive understanding to make use of it, who spontaneously abandoned himself to oblivion of all his former pursuits of literature during those long periods

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