« السابقةمتابعة »
Reader is more, and better pleased with what he finds out him. self, than with what the moit sagacious fcholiast can point out to him. But this plea, if admitted, would of course be urged too far, and even supersede the task of any commentator at all. Indeed Dr. Johnson feems full as little solicitous about the fuccess of his annotations, as he could poffibly be about the composing them; it is to be wished, however, for the sake of his own reputation, that he had always treated the poet with the fame candour as he profelles to have observed toward his brother commentators.
A Letter to the Right Reverend Author of the Divine Legation of
Mofes demonstrated; in Answer to the Appendix to the fifth Vlume of that IVork : with an Appendix, containing a former literary Correspondence. By a late Professor in the University of Oxford. Octavo. Iš 6 d. Millar and Dodsey.
HEN a person of gentle and amiable manners, of un
blemished character, and eminent abilities, 'is caluinniated, and treated in the most injurious manner by a haughty and over-bearing Colossus, it must give pleasure to every genes rous mind, to see such a person vindicating himfelf with manly freedom, resenting the insult with proper spirit, attacking the imperious aggressor in his turn, and taking ample vengeance for the injury done him. Such is the pleasure which every impartial Reader, every true republican in Literature, will receive from the perusal of the Letter now before us. .
It can be no secret to any of our Readers, that the Author of the Divine Legation of Moses has, for many years, treated men of the most respectable character, in the most illiberal and contemptuous manner; nay, often, with the most wanton infoJence; that he has (to borrow the language of the elegant and fpirited Author of this Letter) aflumed the high office of Inquisitor General and Supreme Judge of the opinions of the Learned, and exercised it with a ferocity and a despotism without example in the republic of letters, and hardly to be paralelled among the disciples of Dominic; exacting their opinions to the itandard of his infallibility, and prosecuting with implacable hatred every one that presumes to differ from him.
In the appendix to the fifth volume of the Divine Legation *, the Bishop of Glocester severely attacked the learned and ingenious Dr. Lowth; who now steps forth to do himself juftice, to defend bis opinions and his character, and to expose the • fophiftry, buffoonry and scurrility' of his antagonist. How far
See Review for Sept. last.
he hath succeeded in this attempt, under all these heads, it is not for us to determine; but, on the whole, he hath acquitted himself in so masterly and satisfactory a manner, that we do not remember ever to have received equal entertainment from the perufal of any work of this kind. But to the Letter itself:
I cannot but think myself, says the Doctor, much obliged to your Lordship, for the distinguished honour which you have done me, in making me the subject of an APPENDIX to your great work of The Divine Legation of Moses Démonstrated: an honour, which you have hitherto conferred on no one, except a late noble lord and myself. I heard indeed from every quarter, that you had taken it into your head, that I had affronted you; and that this imagined affront lay rankling at your heart. You expressed your indignation, with much vehemence and loud menaces, to almost every one whom you met : except to myself; whom you, at the same time, received with fair words and a smooth countenance : insomuch that I was then really persuaded, that what I had heard of your resentment was all an idle and groundless report. However. I did not imagine, either that the subject on which we differed was so important in itfelf
, or the person who differed from you fo considerable in your eftimation, as to merit fo formal a process, and fo folemn a chastifement. I thought you might possibly whip me at the cart's tail in a Note to Divine Legation, the ordinary place of your literary executions : or pillory me in the Dunciad, another engine, which, as legal proprietor, you have very ingeniously and judiciously applied to the same purpofe : or perhaps have ordered me a kind of Bridewell correction by one of your Beadles, in a pamphlet. I never fattered myself with the expectation of being exhibited on a scaffold, érected on purpose for me, and in so conspicuous a place. I can do no less therefore than make my acknowledgments to your Lordship upon the occafion; as Sir John Owen did to my Lord President Bradshaw, of insolent and brutal memory : having, together with several peers, received sentence of condemnation in the High Court of Justice, the honest Knight made a low reverence to his mock Lordship, and gave him humble thanks for the great honour done him in being condemned to lose his head like a noble Lord; for, being but a poor Gentleman of Wales, he swore he was afraid he should have been hanged.'
Having thus paid his respects and due acknowledgments to his Lordship, our Author proceeds, without farther compliments, and with all proper freedom, to enquire into the grounds of his refentment, and the merits of the question in dispute. He states the case, with great clearness and openness, as it lies before the Public; and reminds his Lordship of what formerly pafled between them in private, in regard to the book of Job. According to
the Doctor's account, the truth of which we are not to question, there seems great want of fairness and openness in his Lordihip’s condu&t: it appears that he drew the Doctor into a conference, a pretended treaty of peace ; while he knew that his • Cherokees and Iroquois, (aś our Author styles the Bishop's under-writers) were falling at that very time upon his back.' But for the particulars of this affair, we must refer our Readers to the pamphlet.
• This, says Dr. Lowth, is a true state of my particular case. But indeed, my Lord, it is matter of common complaint, and a real hardfhip upon us free subjects of the Republic of Letters in general ; that we cannot go on quietly and peaceably in the public road, upon the ordinary butiness of our calling, without meeting at every turn a sturdy bravo, who disputes our paffage, claims the highway as his own, and falls upon us with his cudgel, if we do not keep just to the track in which he orders us to walk. You give yourself out as Dcmonftrator of the Divine Legation of Moses: this subject you Icok upon as your exclusive property; by what title, I cannot say: surely not as first Occupier ; for the Divine Legation of Moses had been often demonftrated before ; and it would be no presumption even in a young Student in Theology to undertake to give a better, that is, a more satisfactory and irrefragable Demonstration of it in five pages, than you have done in five volumes. However, in quality of Demonstrator General of the Divine Legation of Moses, you lay in a further claim as Lord Paramount in all the realms of science. For the Divine Lem gation of Moses, it seems, contains in it all knowledge divine and human, antient and modern: it treats, as of its proper subjeet, de omni scibili, & de quolibet ente; it is a perfest Encyclopedia; it includes in itself all History, Chronology, Criticism, Divinity, Law, Politics, from the Law of Mofes down to the late Jew-Bill, and from Egyptian Hier glyphics to modern Rebus-writing, and to it we are to have recourse, as to an infallible oracle, for the resolution of every question in Literature. It is like Lord Peter's brown loaf: it is mutton, and it is beef ; it is fith, and it is Aeth ; it is meat, and it is drink : in it are contained inclusive all the necessaries of life, and a dreadful anathema hangs over the head of the unbeliever and gainsayer. For whatever it may pretend in theory; it admits in fact of no toJerance, no intercommunity of various sentiinents, not the least difference of opinion: to diflent, is a capital offence; to be filent, is a criminal reserve ; even to praise, unless in such high ' ftrains of Panegyric as fhall come up to the full standard of the great Proprietor's extravagant self-cftimation, argues a malignant parfimony, a disrespect, and an indignity: the charge has been openly avowed, and a smart correction has been publicly indicted on the ofrender. The Domonftrator of the Divine Les gation of Moses doth indeed in his world of Literature, and hath cal gions of Science. He puts me m CROCHOLE, when he had taken th fault indeed, and in all the for for the place was open and defenc he fets up for Universal Monarchy pedition through Europe, Africa, the Duc de Menüail, Count Spa persuade him, that he is the most that ever appeared fince Alexande actually conquered all the world: poor Pope out of his wits, and quishes and baptizes Barbaroffa ; Turks and Mahometans; he give of kingdoms; and bounces, blu were really sovereign Lord, and I
Having thus settled preliminaries for proceeds directly to the matter examining his Lordship’s answer, guide, and tries it by those rules order to fix, with certainty, the the preface to the Doctrine of G: mode of answering which confifts Scurrility. This judicious diftribu Lowth's purpose fo exaélly, that 'and treats of the Bishop's answer t which, with some animadversions the conclusion, which is of a chara pleatly takes in the whole of his L
Dr. Lowth begins with the arg phistical part of the Appendix, an cher, under the Patriarchal Gove ed by the Magiftrate ?--We are fc mits assigned to this article, give of what the Doctor has advanced
He concludes this part of his L ner: • So much for the principa the Appendix. When I called i nient to much the greatest part of served. Sophistry implies address, fice ; something specious, plausibl blance, colour, or shadow of ar merit Your argumentation has no such argumentation, as never was in the principles of Logic.'
The Doctor now proceeds to the Appendix, displayed in two curi
for September last) in which he is disposed to be very 'witty and Judicrous. He tells his Readers, that Dr. Lowth fails in his first point, which is, finding out civil magistrates to do his hierar, chical drudgery.
• Your argument, says our Author, is really a pleasant one ; in proper form it stards thus: - All Civil Magistrates are Kings; but the Patriarchs were not Kings; therefore the Patriarchs were not Civil Magistrates. The proof of the Major, I prefume, can be no other than this : All Kings are Civil Magis. trates ; therefore all Civil Magistrates are Kings : which, according to the Old Canons of Logick, is what, I think, we used to call a False Conversion. But, my Lord, though one thould grant, that real power necessarily depended on nominal title, and was always exactly proportionable to it; will not the title itself of Patriarch be sufficient for my purpose ? Though Job and Abraham were not Kings ; yet might they not be really and effectually Rulers of Tribes ? And though the celebrated Mr. Shinkin was not King, nor so much as Prince of Wales ; yet might he not be the Worfhipful Davyth ap Shinkin, Esq; one of the Justices of the Quorum for the County of Montgomery:
* You think you are mighty witty upon me with King Melchisedec, and King Shinkin. On me your jeer glances aflope; but it lights full upon Moses and St. Paul. Your Monarch, though dropt from the clouds, yet not of the true stamp, by hereditary right; your ludicrous interpretation, of the Tythes taken from Abraham into fines for Nonconformity, and the Blessing into a Spiritual-Court Abfolution; your sneer upon the original Scriptures of the Old Testament under the title of the HebrEW VERITY, " characteristic phrase with an Ironical Emphasis, which is your conftant formula,” when you speak of the Hebrew Scriptures ; your infinuation, that even the simple terms used in the Hebrew Verity are ambiguous and contradictory: all this has nothing to do with me, nor has it the least relation to the subject. It is all far-fetched conceit, and forced pleasantry; void of wit, of meaning, of common decency, of common sense : it is low banter, and illiberal burlesque, upon the Prophet, the Apostle, and the Holy Scriptures. It is really to be lamented *, when we fee a Gentleman and a Scholar join the small-dealers in secondhand Ridicule, and with affected wit and real profaneness, merely for the sake of exerting his little talent of drollery, treat the Holy Scripture as cavalierly, as ever did Collins or Tindal, Lords Shaftsbury or Bolingbroke.' But when we see You, my Lord, a Clergyman, and
but I forbear, in regard to your rank and character : it were well, if You had a proper regard to them Yourself.'
See Doctrine of Cracc : p. 309: Rev. Nov. 1765.