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is said than that it was under the auspices of Dr. Wolcot!' We have heard strange stories of those auspices, which it is perhaps better not to retail. By the patronage of Peter Pindar, such a man as Opi: was very far from being exalted; and there is good reason to doubt if the profit also, as well as the honour, did not lie on the side of the patron.
Mr. Opie expired on Thursday, April 9, 1807. He had been attended by Dr. Ash, Dr. Vaughan and Mr. Carlisle, with the addition, during the latter stage of his illness, of Dr. Pitcairn, and Dr. Baillie. The symptoms of his disorder were extraordinary. On dissection, the lower portion of the spidal marrow, and its investing membrane, were found slightly inflamed, and the brain 'surcharged with blood ; with other accordant appearances, constituting a case of most rare occurrence in the records of medicine. On Monday, the 20th inst. his remains were irterred in St. Paul's Cathedral, near to those of Sir Joshua Reynolds.' .
The private character of Opie appears to have been excellent. His manners, indeed, were negligent and careless; but under this coarse exterior he concealed the most benevolent affections, and the kindest heart. When roused by any adequate excitement his conversational powers were forcible and varied, and have received the applause of several distin: guished contemporaries.
Mr. Tooke, while Mr. Opie was painting him, had not only the opportunity, but the power of « sounding him from his lowest pote to the top of his compass”-and he said a short time afterwards, to one of his most distinguished friends, “Mr. Opie crowds more wisdom into a few words than almost any man I ever knew; he speaks, as it were, in axioms, and what he observes, is worthy to be remembered.”—“Where is Mr. Opie,” said Mrs. Siddons, one evening at a party in B-k Street. “ He is gone,” was the answer. “ I am sorry for it,” she replied, “ for I meant to have sought him, as when I am with him I am always 'sure to hear him say something which I cannot forget, or at least which ought never to be forgotten.'
Mr. Opie’s merits as an author are not quite so conspicuous; but the imputation of his baving been assisted in the composition of his lectures, Mrs. 0,, with a very amiable anxiety for his reputation, has explicitly denied.
The professional character of Opie stands deservedly high. Perhaps no artist ever excited more universal admiration ; for the style of painting which he had adopted, was level to the apprehension of all. His pictures were admired by the connoisseur for their nature and truth; and by their interesting choice, their strength of character, and their powerful effect, they united the favourable suffrages of the multitude. His line was intrepid, though incorrect; his expression true and strong, though destitute of dignity ; his chiaro scuro broad
and impressive, though unscientific; his colouring the bold and accurate copy of the object before him. His female portraits are deficient in ease and elegance, and his lighter draperies injured by the coarseness of his handling. But the defects of this eminent painter were well compensated by his excellences. Truth was his object, and he pursued it with a ' firm, untired, undeviating step.' of the productions of his pencil, tameness and insipidity were never the characteristics, nor did he ever debase the manly character of his style, by stooping to affectation.
As to the lectures, we fear they are not much calculated to enhance bis fame. They say little that has not been said be. fore, and said better. Indeed it does not seem to us, that Opie had the necessary qualifications for the office of lecturer to the Royal Academy. Destitute of the nice perception and luminous eleganee of Sir Joshua, the originality of Barry, or Fuseli's learning, felicity of illustration, and glowing energy of description, he appears, after these illustrious men, under peculiar disadvantages, and with decided inferiority: Opie had never travelled. He had not imbibed the enthusiasm of art at the source of inspiration ; he had either not endeavoured, or was unable to attain, the higher principles of his profession; and hence we find, in his lectures, little of that mastery of the subject, that versatility and distinctness of description, that dignity and impressiveness of instruction, of which he had a living example in his immediate predecessor. There are, however, a few passages, which seem to prove that if the subject had not been previously occupied, and nearly exhausted by men of rare ability, Opie might have been an able and effective lecturer. In the following extract there is considerable power of language and description.
• In the famous picture of the crucifixion, by Tintoretto, the ominous, ter. rific, and ensanguined hue of the whole, THE DISASTROUS TWILIGHT, that indicates some more than mortal suffering, electrifies the spectator at the first glance, and is such an instance of the powerful application of colouring to expression, as has probably never been exceeded, except by Rembrandt, in the bloodless heart-appalling hue, spread over his Bel. shazzar's vision of the hand-writing on the wall.'
We shall conclude with the following sarcastic condemna. tion of the French school; in which, he observes,
• The mischievous effects of an inordinate rage for copying the antique, are too notorious for the blindest prejudice to overlook or tolerate. It seems, indeed, to be the fate of this school to be ever in extremes. Formerly they were tawdry coxcombs; now they affect to be the plainest quakers in art : formerly they absurdly endeavoured to invest sculpture in VOL. VI.
all the rich ornaments of painting ; now they are for shearing painting of her own appropriate beams, and reducing her to the hard and dry monotou:y of sculpture :--formerly their figures were obscured by splendid colours, buried under huge masses of gorgeous drapery flying in all di. rections, and lost amid columns, arcades, and all kinds of pompous and misplaced magnificence ; now they glue their draperies to the figure, paste the hair to the head in all the lumpish opacity of coloured plaster: nail their figures to a hard, unbroken ground, and avoiding every thing like effect and picturesque composition, often place them in a tedious row from end to end of the picture, as nearly like an antique bas-relief as pos. sible. In short it seems to be the principal aim of a French artist to rival Medusa’s head, and turn every thing into stone.; and so far it must be confessed to their credit, that however they may have failed to equal the beauties of the antique, they have certainly copied, day even improved on, its defects, with uncommon success.' Art. IV. Lectures on the Prophecies of Isaiah, by Robert Macculloch,
Minister of the Gospel at Dairsie. 4 vols. 8vo. pp. 2695. price 11. &s.
Turnbull, Ogle, Edinburgh ; Johnson. THIS, in truth, is a most operose performance; and, in
point of magnitude at least, bears a much greater resemblance to the colossal structures of the Baxters and the Henrys, than to the diminutive cottage-building of modern theologues. Nor has Mr. Macculloch performed his undertaking with ordinary hasté; an interval of nearly fourteen years having elapsed between the appearance of tbe first and last volumes of bis lectures: His design in the publication is thus modestly, expressed in the preliminary discourse to the first volumc, published in 1791.
. These Lectures were delivered to a small congregation in the country, with the design of promoting their acquaintance with the sacred oracles, of impressing their minds with the great truths they contain, and of directing them to the proper improvement they ought to make of their knowledge. I now present them to the inspection of the Public, with no self-interest in view, with no spleen to gratify, with no sinister purposes to serve, but with a sincere love of truth, apd an affectionate desire of advancing the study of the scriptures, and she salvation of men.'
xvi. The custom of expounding some book of scripture every Sunday morning, which prevails in Scotland under the pame of lecturing, appears, upon the whole, a practice well calculated to communicate instruction, and cherish piety. But it is only a Musaus among expositors-humeris e.rstans altis--who can hope to do justice to the prophecies of Isajah; and Mr. Macculloch, we fear, although standing on four very sizeable volumes, must be content, after all, to take a station aniong the plur inia turba. His persevesauce however is unwearied, and his diligence exemplary.
Availing himself of the previous labours of critics and commentators, he has conveyed his erudition in the plainest Janguage and the most inartificial method. Usefulness in the pulpit has evidently been his constant aim; and accord? ingly his lectures abound in practical and devotional remarks, Our duty to the public, however, compels us to observe, that from a cause, so creditable to the preacher and so profitable to his hearers, arises, in a great measure, the inferiority of this work as it issues froin the press. The çritical investigation of Isaiah's language, which forms one of the chief difficulties of his prophecies, however unsuitable to a promiscuous auditory, would, nevertheless, if well performed, have afforded much instruction to the reader, and have intitled Mr. M.'s work to more unequivocal approbatiou than we are at present authorized to bestow upon it, We readily acknowledge that to be able to make serious and sensible remarks on verse, or chapter, is no inferior qualification of an expositor; but a profound knowledge of Hebrew is essential to a writer on Isaiah. Mr. M, it is true, has consulted Bishop Lowth ; but he has done this rather with the docility of a learner, than the discernment of a critic. He has also shewn bis wisdom in the use he has made of Vitringa, the most celebrated and laborious of all the commentators on Isaiah. The analysis which that learned foreigner has given of the whole book, his interpretation of the several predictions, and, in many instances, a translation of his sentences, are judiciously given by our author, though not without due acknowledgement. The translations, however, might have been more numerous without disadvantage.
As a specimen of the author's manner we present our readers with the following extract. It is taken from the fourth volume.
6 Isaiah LIII. 12. “ Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong = because he hath poured out his soul unto death : and he was mumbered with the transgressors, and he barè tbe sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
• These words contain a beautiful description of the glorious reward to be conferred on the Messiah, on, account of the profound abasement to which he submitted, and the perfect sacrifice he presented to God in behalf of transgressors. Therefore will I (saith Jehovah) divide him a portion, &c. In these expressions, there seems to be an allusion to the signal advantages which result to, a mighty conqueror from the victory. he hath obtained over his Jenemies, in consequence whereof he lays hold on their spoils, as a recompence for the toils and dangers he hath experienced, and divides it with those who have shared with
him in the fatigues and hardships of war. The Messiah, the captain of salvation, having completely vanquished all his and our powerful adver. saries, shall enjoy many rich trophies of his glorious success — extensive advantages shall arise to him and his followers from his illustrious triumphs. Or, as the Hebrew words intimate, The Lord God shall divide him many for his portion. He will give him the heathen . for his inheritance, and the utmost ends of the earth for his possession. He will set his band in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers; his empire shall be universal over all the carth. By the rod of his strength he shall rule in the midst of his enemies ; and as for his people, made willing in a day of his power, they shall exceed, in number, as well as beauty and brilliancy, the sparkles of dew which the morning discloseth to the eye of the beholder.
He shall divide the spoil with the strong. 'Learned men have differ. ed widely in their sentiments respecting the strong that are here men. tioned, which I shall not occupy your time in reciting. This elegant expression plainly imports, that Jesus Christ shall not appropriate to himself all the benefit flowing from his humiliation and obedience unto death, but admit his faithful servants to participate with him ; 80 that as he overcame and is set down with the Father on his throne, so to them that overcome will be grant to sit with him on his throne*. It may also signify, that he shall distribute, with exultation and joy, among his followers, the blessed fruits accruing from his sufferings and sacrifice, and victory over their enemies. The strong may denote the peculiar people belonging to Jesus Christ, who are celebrated among the nations for strength, valour, and fortitude ; those who, though weak in themselves, are strong in the Lord and the power of his might, and who, in the strength of the Lord God, vanquish all the opposi. tion raised against them. It may farther denote, ihat the Lord Jesus Christ shall rescue many powerful nations from under the empire of Satan, that, by his word, accompanied with his Spirit of might, he shall cast out the strong man that occupied their hearts, destroy his strong holds, deprive him of his armour, and spoil his goods ; and thus acquire net triumphs over the powers of darkness, and large accessions to the number of his subjects. Such, my brethren, are the happy effects of the redemption and conquest obtained by Messiah the Prince, which shall extend throughout all ages, and be for ever celebrated by all the ransomed of the Lord, in the kingdom of their Father. May I indulge the pleasing hope, that some who now hear me, shall share in the pre. çious spoils which our gracious Lord shall distribute to his good solo diers, and that, in this prospect, they will readily endure hardness, and be faithful unto death.
Because he hath poured out his soul unto death. Four reasons arts here assigned for the Messiah's triumph, the first of which I have
The 'metaphor is taken from the blood of the animals that were offered in sacrifice to God, under the Mosaic economy, which, by Divine appointment, was poured out upon the altart. The expression applied to Jesus Christ, intimates the readiness and alacrity with which Rev. üi, 21.
+ Deut, xii, 27.