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as the devoting of those attainments which were made, under peculiar advantages in preparing for the ministry, to the instruction of the rising generation?
It has been recommended, indeed, that those clergymen whose circumstances or inclination induces them to undertake the tuition of youth, should relinquish their ministry, and pursue this object exclusively. Some have done so. I neither condemn nor approve their conduct: "let every man be persuaded in his own mind." 1 may, however, be allowed to say, what I suppose many others would also assert for themselves, that I could not abandon my ministry: "A dispensation is laid upon me," &c.; and till it can be shewn that the two offices are incompatible, and that serious evils result from their union, I presume to think that this recommendation is unauthorised and premature.
3. In the discussion of this important subject, we must not overlook the aspect which it bears on true religion and our church establishment. Admit that clergymen cannot conscientiously combine the two offices of minister and tutor, and into whose hands must the religious instruction of youth necessarily devolve? This is a question of no small importance.
sball we find an equal guarantee against either the general neglect (we are speaking of private schools) of a sound, religious education, or the overwhelming influx of Socinian or infidel principles? One of the most encouraging signs in these portentous times is, the increasing attention which is every where paid to the diffusion of knowledge and true religion; and though I should incur the censure of vanity, I will assert it, that this day of better promise has dawned from the labours of pious clergymen in educating youth, as well as preaching the Gospel. I am persuaded that many of my brother tutors will unite with me in ascribing their greatest use fulness (and I humbly hope that we CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 122.
have not fallen greatly short of the success of others in the work of the ministry under similar circumstances) to this department of their labours. The name of every minister or public character whom they have educated is "legion;" and if they have succeeded in imbuing these with true piety and Christian principles, the ultimate advantage of their labours is incalculable.
But view this subject as it stands connected with our church establishment. Are these times when we may repose in security in the ark of the church? Is there nothing to apprehend from the various classes of dissenters? and may we safely leave the field of private education, and the training of our future divines and senators in their hands? Do the hierarchy and the established ministry possess such firm hold on the minds of the community, and command such universal respect, as to leave nothing to fear from the private insinuations, or open ridicule, or hostile attack of the enemies of our church? If the affirmative of these and similar questions will not be advanced, I would ask whether the perpetuity of our tolerant, mild, and scriptural establishment is altogether independent of the labours of pious clergymen in the tuition of youth? For my part, I cannot help connecting the diffusion of sound learning and Christian principles; the safety of our church establishment; and the good of the public at large with the labours of the regular clergy in the education of the rising generation. It is now too late to discuss the question of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of public and private schools; a considerable portion of the community will prefer the lat ter: and, in my humble opinion, those clergymen, who, without neglecting their appropriate duties, devote a considerable portion of their time and talents and spirits to the benefit of youth, act in no way inconsistently with their profession : and that, so far from deserving the
imputation of pride or avarice, or a dereliction of duty, as they are "in labours more abundant," so they are entitled to some degree of public gratitude.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I SEND you the following brief account of the renowned John Fox, the Martyrologist, written by Donald Lupton, and published in the year 1637, if you think it will be acceptable to your readers.
Behold this man, and thou canst not choose but wonder at his extraordinary labour and travaile, to gather together so many of God's servants in a bundle: hee was borne in the county of Lincoln; his young yeares shewed that he was layd out for a scholler, and so he had education accordingly, in a famous schoole. After being ripe, he was sent to Oxford, and was admitted into Magdalen Colledge, where hee gave himselfe strictly to study, and then profest divinity. Hee attained to an excellent skill in the Latine, Greek, and Hebrew tongues, in King Edward Sixth his reigne; and for his better safety and security, left this kingdome in Queen Maries dayes, and lived in the Low Countries. But when the date of that Queene's dayes were expired, hee came backe into England, and proved a famous divine. Hee had an excellent faculty in preaching; and added to painefulnesse, constancy and willingnesse: but that worke of his called The History of the Martyrs,' made his name famous in this kingdome and elsewhere, and will for ever speake his praise. Hee was a man of an humble spirit, and had truely learn'd that doctrine of St. Paul, in what estate soever he was in, therewithall to be content. Hee was one that had, as it seem'd, crueified himselfe to the world and its
vanities, as it may appeare, in a kind and fatherly reprehension of his eldest sonne, who having a great mind to travel into forraigne parts, which when hee had performed, hee came to his father in Oxford, then being old, and hee being attired in a loose out-landish fashion; Who are You?' said his father, not knowing him. To whom his sonne replyed,
I am your sonne:' to whom this Master Fore answered; 'Oh, what enemy of thine hath taught thee so much vanity?' which speeche of his shewed, that his minde was weaned from the love of the world. And, indeed, I cannot conceive how hee could have any liberty to addict. himselfe to follow delights and pleasures, doing so exquisitely such rare pieces of schollership, which tooke up all his time: nay, it is rather to be wondered, how hee performed so great labours in so short a time; which he could not have done without long and tedious watchings and fastings; which three, study, fasting, and watching, will subject the flesh to the spirit; and this course tooke hee.
"This man never sought after, greedily, any promotions or preferments, but held and approved of that estate in which he dyed. Hee departed this life in London, and lyes buried in the church of Saint Giles without Cripplegate, upon whose marble monument his sonne, Samuel Fore, hath caused to be ingraven this inscription:
If ought should tempt my soul to stray
When vexing thoughts within me rise,
And, sore dismay'd, my spirit dies,
The sickening anguish of despair,
When sorrowing o'er some stone I bend,
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste. By ARCHIBALD ALISON, LL. B. F. R. S. London and Edinburgh, Prebendary of Sarum, &c. 2 vols. Edinburgh, Bell and Bradfute; London, Rivingtons. 1811. Price 18s.
Ir any of our readers feel a disposition to complain, that we are in some measure breaking bounds, by entering upon the examination of a work with the title of that, before us, we beg them to suspend their judgment till they understand the system of Mr. Alison, and have done us the favour of considering our poor observations upon it. If a more general objection be urged any
review of a work originally published in 1790, it may be answered, that this publication never met with the attention it appears to us to deserve; that it has been republished with some additions, within a few months; that the public eye has been lately fixed upon it, by a very splendid critique in a periodical work; and that the work itself, whilst it yields some advantage to religion, will derive much by being brought into a closer contact with it. It will be our endeavour, in the following critique, first, to present, as may suit us best, in his words and by his machinery, or in our own, a faithful exhibition of the system of Mr. Alison; and then to carry the
system and the subject of it, from the schools, as it were, to the temple; and, for a moment, examine its bearings upon those grand topics, to which our labours are more especially consecrated.
If the inquiry be made, "what is Taste?" it is frequently answered, "that faculty by which we perceive or appreciate beauty." And if we ask, "what is beauty?" it is answer ed, that quality which gratifies taste." Now, it is obvious, that the inquirer will not be much the wiser for these answers. And, accordingly, minds with any sprinkling of philosophy, or, indeed, of rational cariosity, have seldom stopped at this point of the inquiry.
In repeating the question, "what is taste?" the examiner will find two classes of respondents, each of whoni pretend to satisfy his curiosity by a more philosophical reply. Say the first, Taste is a distinct sense, appropriated to the perception of beauty; beauty consists in certain peculiar lines, forms, colours, motions; and taste, like an eye, discovers and approves them." Such is the theory of most technical writers upon this subject-of most painters, and sculptors, and architects; of Hogarth; of our distinguished countryman, Sir Joshua Reynolds; of the Abbé Winkleman. The second class of theorists, on the contrary, rejecting the idea of a peculiar sense, consider taste as the modification of some other simple emotion. One, for instance, perceiving the mind to be gratified by the perception of utility, resolves taste into a perception of utility. Another, in like manner, calls it the perception of relation; a third, the perception of design; a fourth, the perception of order and fitness.
This last class of theorists are chiefly to be condemned, as taking a part of the truth for the whole, Any one of their systems will solve some of the phenomena involved in the question before us, but no one of them will go near to solve all. We frequently perceive beauty or
sublimity, where we do not perceive utility; or where there are no indications of relation or design; or where, if there be a peculiar fitness for the end proposed, it is concealed from us. The champions of " utility" have often been put to flight by the peacock's tail; those of "design,' silenced by the fact, that a strong perception of "design" in the artist, frequently destroys the beauty or sublimity of the performance; and those of " fitness," have been confounded by the necessity of acknowledging the beauty of many objects, which, as far as we know any thing of them, are fit for nothing in the world but to be looked at. It is perfectly compatible with the theory of Mr. Alison, as will be seen, to allow all the range to these several systems which belongs to them. He distinctly admits, that the perception of utility, design, fitness, may promote the emotion of Taste. If he errs at all upon the point, it is, that in the course of his triumphant career, he sometimes suffers his system to run away with him, and then tramples a little upon that class of perceptions which, in calmer moments, he is disposed to treat-with due reverence.
To the other class of theorists who resolve taste into a distinct sense, and beauty and sublimity into certain material qualities, as lines, colours, motions, &c., it is the peculiar object of the present work to reply; and, in our judgment, the refutation is complete; not, indeed, that this work assumes any thing of a controversial aspect; and this is one of its many merits. The author has felt, that the establishment of bis own system is the best refutation of every other; and, in a work on taste, has proved his own possession of that faculty, by not kindling in his readers those bad passions which so ill harmonize with the exquisite scenes of nature, and productions of art, to which he introduces them. We shall now proceed to develope his system to our readers, reserving to ourselves, however, the liberty of
Passing over what is not material, and of taking any short cut to a point to which the author travels by a circuitous course. We forewarn our readers also, that no analysis of ours can do justice to the merits of the original work. They have here, however, a sort of rude skeleton, and if they wish to see it very beautifully clothed, we beg them to turn from the reviewer to the author.
The theory, then, of Mr. Alison is simply this, that the beauty or sublimity of any object is not to be ascribed to its material qualities, but to certain other qualities of which these are the signs or expressions, and which are fitted by the constitution of our nature, to produce pleasing or interesting emotion; and that beauty or sublimity are not perceived till both such pleasing or interesting emotions are excited, and the imagination is stimulated to conceive a train of ideas corresponding with these emotions.
In the establishment of this theory, the first proposition which the author sets himself to prove is, that where the imagination is not excited or set to work, beauty or sublimity are not perceived, or, in other words, the emotion of taste is not felt. The illustrations of which this admits, are numerous: for instance, if peculiar circumstances, such as grief or sickness, check the workings of the imagination, objects the most admired seem, at once, to be shorn of all their beauty. The beauties of poetry, of painting, and even of nature, fade in the eyes of the traitor who has forfeited his life, or the parent who has lost her child: the imagination is here chained to a point, and all its sensibility exhausted upon one subject. In like manner, certain employments, by fettering the movements of the imagination, destroy the perception of beauty; as the critic, who is employed in detecting the faults of language or of editorship in a poem, almost ceases to discern its beauty; or as the purchaser of any tract of the most picturesque country, in the act of proportioning guineas (if there
were any such thing) to acres, forgets the fairy scenery which, perhaps, had originally seduced him to purchase. In the same way, there is a certain constitution of mind which seems to disenchant all scenes and objects of the beauties which others discern in them: the mere calculator sees nothing in the face of nature, but the value of her productive surface; the philosophizer regards all objects in the dry shape of materials for thinking; in youth, when the imagination is all awake, beauty or sublimity are easily recognized and strongly felt, while the old sit calmly by, and, perhaps, expatiate with wonder upon the enthusiasm of youth But if the beauty or sublimity resided in the scenes or objects themselves, could all this variety exist in the perception of different individuals, or of the same individual at different periods?
There are other instances which tend to the same result. To whom do not his associations with certain scenes and objects enhance their beauty? The scenes of our infancy, the songs of our native country, the residence of those once dear to us, have all a factitious beauty for us. Could an Englishman behold Runnymede, or the fields of Agincourt and Blenheim, without discovering a sort of charm spread over them, which lent the scene new lustre in his eyes? All other beauty may, indeed, be lost in that thus adventitiously communicated. Lisle, in describing Vaucluse: “Mais ces eaux, ce beau ciel, ce vallon enchanteur,
Moins que Petrarque et Laure interessoient
Partout mes yeux cherchoient, voyoient,
But the author here pleads his own cause too eloquently to permit us any longer to speak for him.
"The delight which most men of education receive from the consideration of antiquity, and the beauty that they discover in every object which is connected with ancient times, is in a great measure to be ascribed to