صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

sation of Moses doth indeed in his pretensions besiride the narrow tuorld of Literature, and hath cast out his shoe over all the regions of Science. He puts me mightily in mind of King Pie CROCHOLE, when he had taken the castle of Clermauld; by af. fault indeed, and in all the forms, but without resistance ; for the place was open and defenceless. Upon this foundation he sets up for Universal Monarchy; he makes an imaginary expedition through Europe, Africa, and Asia; his three Ministers, the Duc de Menüail, Count Spadaffin, and Captain Merdaille, persuade him, that he is the most puissant and chivalrous Prince that ever appeared since Alexander the Great, and that he has actually conquered all the world : and behold, he frightens the poor Pope out of his wits, and seizes his dominions; he vanquishes and baptizes Barbarossa ; he kills and says all the dog Turks and Mahometans; he gives away countries, and disposes of kingdoms; and bounces, blusters, and swaggers, as if he were really sovereign Lord, and sole Master of the Universe.' · Having thus settled preliminaries with his antagonist; the Doctor proceeds directly to the matter in debate between them. In examining his Lordship’s answer, he takes his Lordship for his guide, and tries it by those rules, which he has laid down, in order to fix, with certainty, the character of an Answerer. In the preface to the Doctrine of Grace, his Lordship speaks of a mode of answering which consists in Sophiftry, Buffoonery, and Scurrility. This judicious distribution of the subject fuits Dr. Lowth's purpose lo exaclly, that he begs leave to borrow it, and treats of the Bishop's answer to him under these three heads; which, with some animadversions on the critical part, towards the conclusion, which is of a character somewhat different, compleatly takes in the whole of his Lordship’s Appendix. · Dr. Lowth begins with the argumentative, or rather the foa phiftical part of the Appendix, and considers the question, whe. ther, under the Patriarchal Government, idolatry was punithed by the Magistrate ?-We are sorry we cannot, within the limits assigned to this article, give our Readers a competent idea of what the Doctor has advanced on this subject. . .

He concludes this part of his Letter, in the following manner: “ So much for the principal and argumentative part of the Appendix. When I called it Sophiftry; I paid a compliment to much the greatest part of it, which it by no means deserved. Sophiftry implies address, and management, and artifice; something specious, plaufible, and impofing ; some semblance, colour, or shadow of argument: even to this paltry merit Your argumentation has not the least pretensions ; it is fuch argumentation, as never was produced by any one bred up in the principles of Logic

The Doctor now proceeds to the Buffoonery' of his Lordship’s Appendix, displayed in two curious paragraphs, (see Review

for

for September last) in which he is disposed to be very witty and ludicrous. He tells his Readers, that Dr. Lowth 'fails in his first point, which is, finding out civil magistrates to do his hierare chical drudgery.'

Your argument, says our Author, is really a pleasant one ; in proper form it ftands 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 Magisa 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 should 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 Worshipful 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 pamp, 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 Teltament under the title of the HEBREW VERITY, 6 characteristic phrase with an Ironical Emphasis, which is your constant formula," when you speak of the Hebrew Scriptures; your infinuation, that even the fimple terms used in the Hebrew Verity are ambiguous and contradi&tory: all this has nothing to do with me, nor has it the least relation to the subject. It is all fár-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 see 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 Boling broke. But when we see You, my Lord, à 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 Grace ; p. 309. : Rev. Nov. 1765.

Dd

From

From Buffoonery to Scurrility is an easy transition; whielt brings our Author to the scurrilous part of his Lordship’s Appendix.

You are pleased, say's he, to represent me as a Zealot and. a Bigot, a Propagator of the doctrine of Restraint and Persecution in Matters of Religion, and one that has not been bred up in the Principles of Toleration. Pray, my Lord, unde petitum Hoc in me jacis? You infer it as the consequence of an argument which I have occasionally used. Is this a candid, or a fair inference? If, even upon your own principle, that the groflest act of Idolatrous Worship is no more than a mere speculative Opinion, I had held, that it was nevertheless the Duty of the Patriarchs, a Duty arising from their peculiar engagements with God, and from their particular fituation and circumstances, which I expressly insisted on, to restrain Idolatry; would it fairly be in ferred, that I am an enemy to Toleration in general, and by habit and principle of an inquisitorial and persecucing spirit? "Even in this case, the inference would have been ungererous and invidious : but as it is, it arises from your own Sophiftry, and not from my Argument; from which, however you might press and torture it for bad consequences, you might as well have concluded, 'that I was a Jew, or a Mahometan, as an Intolerant and a Persecutor. Or have you any other reasons for fixing these principles upon me? Have you observed any thing in my actions, or converfation, that warrants the imputation? As it happens, I have never omitted any opportunity, that fairly offered itself, of bearing my testimony against these very principles; and of expressing my abhorrence of them, both in private and in public. Tho' I cannot suppose, that your Lordship ever condescended to look into what I have published ; except that once you dipped up and down in my Lectures for offensive passages, which you could neither find nor make : yet methinks you might have recollected, what I had written to your elf in private. Why then am I branded as an intolerant Zealot? And You, my Lord, is it You of all men living, that stand forth to accuse another of Intolerance of Opinions !

. But the Abuse is not merely Personal: it goes further ; it extends even to the Place of my Education. " But the learned Profilir, who has been hardily brought up in the keen Atmo. Iphere (f WHOLESOME SEVERITIES, and early taught to diflinguish between de facto and de jure- ” Pray, my Lord, what is it to the purpose, where I have been brought up ? You charge me with Principles of Intolerance, adding a gentle infinuation also of Disaffection to the Prefent Royal Family and Government: you infer thcfe Principles, it seems, froin the Place of my Education. Is this a neceíTary consequence? Is it even a fair conclusion ? May not one have had the good sense, or

the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the good fortunes, to have avoided, or to have gotten the better of, the ordinary prejudices of Education? Why then should you think, that I must still necessarily labour under the bad influence of an Atmosphere, which I happened to breathe in my youth? If I am not actually chargeable with such Principles now ; surely it is rather matter of commendation to have escaped, or to have shaken off, a vice, to which you think I was unhappily exposed. To have made a proper use of the advantages of a good education, is a just praise; but to have overcome the disadvantages of a bad one, is a much greater. In short, my Lord, I cannot but think, that this inquisition concerning my Education is quite beside the purpose. Had I not your Lordship’s example to justify me, I should think it a piece of extreme impertinence to enquire, where You were bred; though one might justly plead, in excuse for it, a natural curio. fity to know where and how such a Phenomenon was produced. It is commonly said, that your Lordship's Education was of that particular kind, concerning which it is a remark of that great judge of men and manners, Lord CLARENDON, (on whom You have therefore with a wonderful happiness of allusion, juftness of application, and elegance of expression, conferred the unrivaled title of the Chancellor of Human Nature,') that it pecu. liarly disposes men to be Proud, Infolent, and Pragmatical *. Now, my Lord, as You have in your whole behaviour, and in all your writings, remarkably distinguished yourself by your hu: mility, lenity, meekness, for bearance, candour, humanity, civility, decency, good manners, good temper, moderation with regard to the opinions of others, and a modest diffidence of your own; this unpromising circumstance of your Education is fo far from being a disgrace to You, that it highly redounds to your praise.

But, I am wholly precluded from all claim to such merit : on the contrary, it is well for me, if I can acquit myself of a charge that lies hard upon me; the burthen of being responsible for the great advantages, which I enjoyed. For, my Lord, I was educated in THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. I enjoyed all the advantages both public and private, which that famous Seat of Learning so largely affords. I spent many happy years in that Illustrious Society, in a well-regulated course of useful discipline

* Colonel Harrison was the son of a butcher near Nantwich in CheThire, and had been bred up in the place of Clerk under a Liwyer of good account in those parts; which kind of Education introduces men. into the language and practice of business; and, if it be noi refilled by the great agenuity of the person, inclines young men to more Pride, . than any other kind of breeding; and disposes them to be Pragmatical and Infolent,' Clarendon's Hiftory; Vol. iii, p. 246: 8vo.

Dd2

and

and studies, and in the agreeable and improving commerce of Gentlemen and of Scholars : in a Society, where emulation without envy, ambition without jealousy, contention without animosity, incited industry, and awakened genius ; where a liberal pursuit of knowledge, and a generous freedom of thought, was raised, encouraged, and pushed forward, by example, by commendation, and by authority. I breathed the same Atmosphere, that the Hookers, the CHILLINGWORTHs, and the LOCKES, had breathed before : whose benevolence and humanity were as extensive as their vast genius and their comprehensive knowledge; who always treated their adversaries with civility and respect ; who made candour, moderation, and liberal judgment, as much the rule and law, as the subject of their discourse ; who did not amuse their Readers with empty declamations and finespun theories of Toleration, while they were themselves agitated with a furious Inquisitorial spirit, seizing every one they could Jay hold on, for presuming to diflent from them in matters the most indifferent, and dragging them through the fiery Ordeal of abusive Controversy. And do you reproach ine with my education in This Place, and with my relation to This most respectable Body; which I will always esteem my greatest -advantage, and my highest honour ?

This, my Lord, could not be your design. The stroke was not principally aimed at me; your design was, by a far-fetched conceit, to strike through me at The University of OXFORD; and to reflect on that eminent Seat of Learning, as a Nursery of bigotry, intolerance, persecution, and disloyalty. I shall not trouble mylelf to enquire into the grounds and reasons, which you may pretend for this iniquitous and scurrilous Reflection on so illustrious a Body :' the real motives of your Panegyric and Satire are not to be sought in the merits or demerits of the particular subjects of them; but in times, 'circumstances, and private history; by which, it is well known, they are constantly regulated, and with which they always vary. ... .

The Doctor goes on to account for the different manner in which his Lordship has expressed himself at different times, in regard to the University of Oxford. 'This part of the Letter will appear very curious, and in:eresting to the discerning Reader : but we must not enlarge. The extracts we have given are sufficient specimens of the manly, spirited, elegant, and judicious manner in which the Doctor treats his adversary; and may serve to shew in some measure, how far he is a match for his Lordship, either as a Writer, or a Scholar.

R .

MONTHLY

« السابقةمتابعة »