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reading it, without perceiving our felt his own danger, before he will selves the better for it. O ye mi- urge home with the energy of selfnisters of that Gospel which it con- conviction, and the eloquence of lains, give yourselves less trouble to truth, their danger upon others; he instruct me in so many useless must first feel his own weakoess and tbings. Throw aside all those learn- corruption, before he can forcibly ed volumes, which can neither con- state the value of that Saviour who vince nor affect me. Prostrate supplies in his own person a remedy yourselves at the feet of that God for both; he must first be bimself a of mercy whom you undertake to partaker of that change of heart make me know and love; ask of which the Gospel is intended to prohim for yourselves that profound duce, before he can either fully exhumility which you ought to preach plain its nature, or suitably enforce to me. Display not to me that va- its necessity. riety of science, that indecent pomp What our author has said to shew of learning, which dishonours you, that Christianity is the dispensation and disgusts me. Be you affected of the Spirit (p. 34–41) is so able yourselves, if you would have me and so wise, so far removed from the so; and, above all, give me a proof wildness of enthusiastic conjecture, in your conduct, of your practising and so satisfactory as a vindication that law in which you pretend to of the Divine agency, that we could instruct me. You have no need of wish to have given it entire: but we any other learning, either for your- have already exceeded the limits selves, or to instruct us. Do this, usually allotied to a single sermon, and your ministry is aocomplished ; and therefore must confine ourselves and that, without even the mention to a part of it, in which the author, of the belles lettres, or of philoso after having asserted the freedom of phy. It is thus you ought to prac. the Spirit's operations, even though tise and to preach the Gospel, and confined within the completed canon it was thus its first defenders of Scripture; and the sufficiency of caused it to triumph over all na- revelation, even though requiring tions ; not Aristotelico more, as the the superadded influence of the Spifathers said, but piscatorio more*. rit to make it effectual on the hearts
On the part of the philosopher, of men ; subjoins the following obthis complaint was doubtless made servations : because it suited his purpose, and furnished him with an argument in
• Let me earnestly entreat you, by keepfavour of his strange position, that ing close to the fountain of grace, to secure the sciences had been injurious 10
a large measure of its influence. In yout the happiness of man. It is equally private studies, and in your public performcertain, also, that the want of learn- on superior aid ; let your conviction of this
ances, remember your absolute dependance ing in the ministers of Christ, could dependance become so deep and practical it have been detected, and had it as to prevent your attempting any thing in equally suited bis purpose to expose your own strength, after the example of St. it, would have been a more certain Paul, who, when he had occasion to advert cause of joy to his mind ;-but, still, tu his labours in the Gospel
, checks himself there must have been something in by adding, with ineffable modesty, yet not I, their addresses which gave plausibi- but the grace of God that was with má lity to this charge. 'The truth, in fact, From that vivid perception of truth, that of that common quotation, « Si vis fall assurance of faith, which is its inseparame flere, dolendum est primum tibi," ble attendant, you will derive unspeakable is. no where more strikingly illus- advantage in addressing your hearers ; a se
riousness, tenderness, and majesty, will pertrated than in the case of the Chris- vade your discourses, beyond what the tian minister. He must first have greatest unassisted talent can command.
In the choice of your subjects it will lead Miscellaneous Works. Vol. i. p. 65. you to what is most solid and useful, while CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 130.
it enables you to handle them in a manner taphysics. Like other frontiers, it is the most efficacious and impressive. Pos: certainly debatable ground; and şessed of this celestial unction, you will not some of our readers may, perhaps, Þe under the temptation of neglecting a plain think it nearly as barren as such Gospel in quest of amusing speculations, of territories are apt to be. We will uuprofitable novellies; the most ordir.ary 10pics will open theinselves with a fresliness not dispute about this. The journey, and interest, as though you had vever con
whether tedious or agreeable, is sidered them before ; and the things of the ended. Those who thought it weariSpirit will display their inexhaustible variety some, should be pleased to find them. and depth. You wilt pietce the invisible selves entering upon a new country; world; you will look, so to speak, into eter- and if any have passed through it nity, and present the essence and core of without fatigue, they will be the less religion, while too many preachers, for want indisposed to attempt a new excurof spiritual discernment, rest satisfied with sion. For ourselves, we confess that the surface and the shell. It will not allow us to throw one, grain of incense on the
we are well pleased that Mr. Stewaltar of vanity; it will make us forget our.
art has confined his remarks on the selves so completely, as to convince our
origin of our knowledge to the first hearers we do so; and, displacing every
balf of his volume. A mind so ferthing else from the attention, leave nothing tile and so highly cultivated as his, is to be felt, or thought of, but the majesty of able, undoubtedly, to lend a charm truth, and the realities of eternity."'pp. to every subject; and those who 38, 39.;
peruse these essays will find (what It is tardly necessary for us to
we fear our critique would little lead add, after what we have already said, them to suppose) that even the obthat the author has maintained scure and thorny path through throughout the character of those which we have accompanied him, great talents by which his former js, in his society, really cheerful. writings have been so eminently
But then it is a little mortifying to distinguished : and in descending
discover, that with all its intricale from the description of abstract to meanderings it leads absolutely nothat of more obvious truths, he has where. The exercise, to be sure, is shewn that he can be both profound refreshing; but if only exercise is to and practical in his reasoning, elo- be found, common sense will tell us quent and yet plain in his style, to stop when we begin to grow faoriginal and orthodox in his senti- tigued. ments. We observe with sincere sa
The subjects on which Mr. Stew. tisfaction bis powerful mind employ
art has entered in the latter part of ed in the defence of the peculiar doc his, volume, are of a description trines of Christianity, now indeed which few will think uninteresting, more the objects of autack than its whatever other objections may be evidences; and we indulge a sanguine
made to them. The first of these hope of seeing him frequently en- essays is on the Beautiful, and the gaged in the same sacred warfare.
second on the Sublime.
It is now somewhat more than half a century since Mr. Burke at
tempted to explain, on philosophical Philosophical Essays. By DugaLD principles, the causes of that pleaSTEWART, Esq. F.R.S. Edin. &c. sure which every person of sensi(Continued from p. 606.)
bility feels in the perusal of the
finest writers, and in the contemMR. STEWART's work is divided into plation of animate or inanimate natwo parts. Of the first we have ture. Lord Kames preceded him given some account in our preceding (we believe) a short time, with his number, in which our readers were • Elements of Criticism;" but from conducted rapidly through a con- these Mr. Burke appears to hare siderable part of the frontier of me. borrowed little, if any thing; and, in this country at least, he may be obliged to find some probable reaconsidered as quite original." "His son for the neglect of philosophical followers have not been very nume- criticism among the ancients, we fous, but, for the most part, they should suggest, as one of the chief have been select : Sir Joshua Rey. causes,'that peculiar delicacy of or. nolds, Mr. Price, Mr. Payne Knight; ganization and fineness of natural and Mr. Alison, are all writers of taste with which they were geneconsiderable eminence.
rally gifted, aud which would cerIt would be an interesting sub- tainly be sought in vain among ject of inquiry, whence it happens our own countrymen. Theophrasthat certain researches, both literary tus was discovered, at Athens, to be and philosophical, happen to be a foreigner by speaking the dialect omitted (if we may use the expres- too correctly. Demosthenes was sion) for a long series of years- hissed in one of his earliest speeches though of a nature, when once in- for a false accent. Euripides shared vestigated, to become exceedingly the same fate at the theatre because popular. Both the science of poli- he had crowded too many sigmas (6) Lical economy and the science of into a verse; and the effect was philosophical criticism had their thought so comical, that Aristobirth in the last century; yet poets phanes more than once made his had sung and commercial inter- countrymen merry by mimicking course existed from the earliest ages. this unhappy line. But the story The ancients were passionately fond told of Crassus the orator is the most of eloquence, poetry, music, sculp- singular: He was stopped by thunlute, painting; of all the arts for ders of applause on pronouncing the the enjoyment and the perfecting of following passage :-“ Ubi lubido, which a cultivated taste is peculiare ibi innocentiæ leve præsidium est :" ly requisite. Nay, taste is exactly a sentence, the music of which was the particular in which their superi. thought overpowering; though, proority over the moderns is the least bably, the most delicate modern ear disputable.
Yet their most cele cannot catch single tone of its brated critics (and the race was nu- harmony. Where the taste was namerous and of high reputation) turally so fine, it is not very extraorrarely attempt any thing beyond a dinary that the principles on which it delineation of the rules which are may be cultivated and improved to be observed in all just compos were not aoxiously studied ; just as sitions. The principles into which very rich soils are those where agrithese rules may be resolved, they culture is generally most neglected. rarely mention, and never investi. The conimon opposition of nature to gate. They resemble the precep- art, is at least ihus far founded in lop of young Cyrus in the art of war, truth, that where the former has who taught him the whole system been remarkably bountiful the seof mancurring, but neglected to in- cond is apt to be inactive. struct him in the method of study- Perhaps, too, some additional light ing the characters of his soldiers, will be thrown upon the fact aland acquiring an ascendeacy over ready noticed, if we consider the extheir minds.
quisite feeling which was common It is not very easy to account sa- in the ancient world for whatever is tisfactorily for this phenomenon. great or affecting. Of this, abundant Perbaps the course of sciences which evidence is afforded by the classical different nations pursue, and the bistorians, to which it would be diffiorder in which they arise out of each cult to find any thing parallel in mo. other, depend more upon accidental dern writers. When Manlius was arcircumstances, than ordinarily is raigned for high treason, though the supposed. If, however, we were indignation of the people was ex' treme, they refused to judge him The writers who flourished in this within sight of the Capitol which he island from the middle of the sixhad defended. When Scipio ap- . teenth to the middle of the sevenpeared to answer a charge of em- teenth century are distinguished by bezzling the public money, he held au originalny and extent of imagiup to the people the articles of ac- nation, a copiousness of ideas, a cusation, and, tearing them in pieces, strength of colouring, and an eager, said :-"Romans, on this day I van, vigorous, untaught eloquence, which quished Hannibal: let us go and re- we now contemplate with amazeturn thanks to the immortal gods;" ment. In respect of correctoess and they followed him to the Capitol. both of thought and expression, acThe Greek annals are not less rich curale logic, and that orderly sythan the Latin in anecdotes of a like stem of discussion which conducts us character; and the prodigious power to truth by the shortest process, they of the orators, as well as the almost are far interior to their successors of divine honours paid to the poets and the eighteenth century. artists, lestify to the same truth. Essays would probably surprise BarWe suspect that a people capable of row almost as much as Barrow's Sersuch lively emotions would not ge- mons ought tohave astonished Hume, nerally be found very patient audi- The passions wbich were formerly lors of a philosophical lecture upon felt and delineated, have since been their feelings. Mr. Burke doubtless surveyed and analysed. Men do not, is a strong example to the contrary, perhaps, think more intensely in the but Mr. Burke is an exception io present age, but they watch their all rules. Unless we have mis-read thoughts more closely; they are more human nature, there is a certain re aware of the false colours which a luctance, almost instinctive, in per- subject may present ; they are more sons of great sensibility, to the nice in the habit of generalising; and dissection of their feelings. The have, upon the whole, a far better inpart is too tender to be touchech sight into the philosophical princiThere are pleasures, the analysis ples of things. Of course, we must of which is a sort of sacrilege; and not be understood to say that there paios, on which it would be quite was mo philosophy in the sixteenth brutal to philosophise. Even where century, or shat there was an absothe imagination only is affected, it Jute dearth of imagination in the would be rather mortifying, in the eighteenth. We speak of the genemidst of a glow of enthusiasm, to be ral character of eacb, without atinformed that nothing could be more tempting a nice statement of projust than the emotion, a great part portions; and whoever will be at of it being manifestly resolvable the pains to consider the difference into a perception of fitness, or of the between English and Irish eloqu suficient reason.
in the present day, will see someThese last ideas, which, to avoid thing like a living illustration and prolixity, we have hinted rather evidence of the theory wbich we than developed, open to us the have thus sligbily sketched. The glimpse of a theory not wholly un- principles which explain why alt worthy of a more steady attention, inis takes place, it would not be and which tends to explain why difficult to assign; but we have alphilosophical criticism arose so late ready wandered too far from the among our own countrymen. We work before as. can but just touch it, being pressed The different writers who have by other topics.
preceded Mr. Stewart in their inIt is with nations as with indi- quiries into the sublime and beautividuals; they feel before they think. ful, have, with the exception atThe progress of society is from fancy least of Mr. Alison, proceeded, pretto reason, from sensibility to truth. ty generally, on the supposition that
some common quality, or qualities, taken view of the nature of the might be detected in all the various problem to be solved.” The words subjects to which the characters of beautiful and sublime he considers beauty and sublimity are ordinarily as applied in fact, and capable of attributed. Thus Mr. Burke thinks being applied with perfect propriesmoothness an essential property of ty, to a great number of subjects, beauty; and insists that all sublime physical, intellectual, and moral, objects will be found to carry with which are essentially different from them comething of the impression each other, which have no certain of terror. Mr. Price, who is a zea- quality or set of qualities in comJous ad vocate for Mr. Burke's theory, mon, nor, indeed, any general confinding that many rough and angu- nection whatsoever; except, perlar objects were ordinarily counted haps, that all beautiful things are beautiful, bothought himself of a agreeable, and that all subliine things distinction which might save the are striking. His theory on this infallibility of his great master; and question is of a very general nature, he constantly describes those things and cannot so well be illustrated in which, like the moss rose, fine chrys- any language as his own. tals, and the like, are any ibing but “The speculations which have given occasmooth, though universally admired, sion to the foregoing remarks, have evidentas properly picturesque ;-a word so ly originated in a prejudice, which has dedistinctive, in his opinion, of a par- scended to modern times from the scholastic ricular class of objects, that he con- ages ;-that when a word admits of a variety siders the common expression pictue of significations, these different significations resque beauty as a solecism. Mr.
must all be species of the same genus; and Payne Knight is of opinion, that the
must consequently include some essential
idea common to every individual to which true characteristic of sublimity is not terror, but mental energy. Sir Joshua article just quoted,” (an article on the word
the generic term can be applied. In the Reynolds taught, “ that the effect of beau, by Monsieur Diderot, in the French beauty depends on habit only, the Encyclopedie), “ this prejudice is assumed as most customary form in each species an indisputable maxim. • Beautiful is a of things being invariably the most term which we apply to an infinite variety of beautiful.” This last writer, as he things; but by whatever circumstances these denies that there is any such thing may be distinguished from each other, it is as essential beauty, cannot be said certain either that we make a false applicato have sought for its metaphysical tion of the word, or that there exists in all of principle; but then be assumes,
them a common quality, of which the term more confidently than any of the beautiful is the sign." writers above named, that there is a supposition, which is founded, as I shall
“ The passage quoted above proceeds on one master key which commands endeavour to sbew, upon a total misconcepthe whole subject.
tion of the nature of the circumstances Mr. Stewart's two essays on the which in the history of language attach difbeautiful and sublime are of rather' ferent meanings to the same words; and a loose texture, and by no means which often, by slow and insensible gradaembrace, or profess to embrace, the tions, remove them to such a distance from whole of the subject on which they their primitive or radical sense that no ingetreat. It was the object of the wri- nuity can trace the successive steps of their ter to furnisb only such a series of progress. The variety of these circumstances observations, ilustrated in examples, is, in fact, so great that it is impossible to as should be sufficient to develope and I shall therefore select a few of the cases
attempt a complete enumeration of them : the principle which he apprehends to in which
the principle now in question ap afford the real explanation of the pears the most obviously and indisputably difficulties that have bitherto embar. to fail." rassed this question. Mr. Stewart “I shall begin with supposing that the . insists, tbat the writers already men- letters, A, B, C, D, E, denote a series of obsioned bave proceeded "on'a mis- jects : that A possesses some one quality in