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only in polished society, it is of the utmost conséquence to their welfare, if not to their very existence, that their professors demonstrate, by their personal conduct, the compatibility of genius with virtue.
At the same time we must deeply regret, that the taste of any amateur should lead him to degrade the very art which he patronizes; and we cannot but think that many of Mr. Morland's bad habits became rivetted beyond removal, by the misfortune, in early life, of meeting with a noble patron, in whose commissions decency and modesty had no share.
A considerable portion of the volume before us, is occupied with an account of Morland's performances; and especially of those which compose the "Gallery," now exhibiting under this artist's name. These are conveyed in a lively style, and whatever else they may be, they are not tedious. They are too superficial to appear before our readers; though some of their principles are evidently drawn from nature. Nor could they be of advantage to those who have not inspected the pictures, or the engraved copies: and perhaps when they have drawn sufficient attention to the "complete collection of Morland's works on sale at Mr. Cundee's," they have answered the principal purpose of the writer and publisher.
In pp. 166–177. we have a list of this painter's productions, so far as they are known to Mr. H., distinguishing their forms and sizes, and those which have been engraved. It is supposed that his whole works amount to 4000.
We acknowledge that we have received entertainment from Mr. Hassell's work. He delights in a little bit of foreign language, and must have been conscious of the dashing style in which he writes. His prudence therefore should have submitted his manuscript to some friendly monitor, whose remarks might have reduced those passages which need it, within the limits of common sense, and the apprehension of ordinary intellects. Will he do us the favour of translating the following paragraph of his preface into English?
"The writer, therefore, respectfully submits his work to the attention of an impartial public, and rests upon their candour for a patronage he has sedulously endeavoured to obtain, and in which, in producing a small portion of entertainment, and some instruction, should he have been so fortunate as to succeed, cannot fail of being held in grateful remembrance of having his highest wishes accomplished." P. vii.
In p. 4. 1. 2. he has characterized Mr. Morland, the elder, as an artist of some respectability, or secondary importance. In 1. 9. he is justly considered as an artist of repute, and his works were much admired.
We advise Mr. H. that "Ne suitor ultra crepidam," p. 103. is
hot Latin; and that "Ed lo (io) anche son il pittere," p. 109. is not Italian.
He has adopted the vulgar account of the death of Corregio, p. 59. It is founded in error; that painter lived in reputation, and died no such sudden death.
The plates have inerit, but the chalk engravings do not equal Morland's sketches.
Art. XII. Letters to Dissenting Ministers, and to Students for the Ministry, from the Rev. Job Orton, with notes explanatory and biographical; to which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life. By S. Palmer. Longman and Co. London. pp. 8vo. price Ss. 1806.
T is not difficult to discover the reasons why the epistolary writings of eminent men have been preserved with care, and are perused with avidity. While a petty curiosity takes pleasure in detecting the secrets of private life, true friendship wishes to become familiar with departed merit; and the general respect entertained for a person of solid sense, and excellent character, is for the most part felt toward the productions of his pen. Such too is the detached nature of letter writing, that every one may find something in it which interests and amuses him. The detail of trivial incidents will gratify the superficial reader, and the display of original thought will recreate the mind of the severer student.
The advantage, however, which arises from an extensive va riety of topics, is not to be expected in the volumes before us, as the letters were addressed exclusively to "dissenting ministers and students," on subjects which chiefly relate to the circumscribed sphere of their engagements. To give them greater interest, the Editor has prefixed an account of Mr. Orton's life, and interspersed explanatory notes throughout the work, at the close of which there is an appendix, containing accounts of three distinguished divines.*
The correspondence of our deceased author abounds with much excellent advice, the result of long experience; and the cautions and directions it offers, may be eminently serviceable to that class of persons, whose temptations, defects, and duties. are minutely detailed. There are some disclosures of private character which ought to have been suppressed.
Highly appreciating that candour which christian principles inspire, we think nevertheless that Mr. O. has occasionally ventured into an extreme, and led his correspondents to conclude, that his charity toward the persons of those who were hostile to
*Dr. Wilton, Rev. B. Fawcett, and Rev. Hugh Farmer.
the peculiarities of evangelical doctrine, was blended with a degree of attachment to their sentiments. To this cause, we fear, is also to be ascribed that equivocal statement of religious opinions, which some of us have heard from his pulpit, and that want of decision which in a few instances blemished his conduct. It is with pleasure, however, that we find him (in the 13th letter of the 1st. vol.) giving scope to better feelings, and speaking with that freedom which usually accompanies firm conviction. "I see no necessary connexion between calvinistical sentiments, and zealous useful labours: but I have long observed, with great surprize, that our orthodox brethren in the church, and among the Dissenters, are in general most serious and active in their ministry; and those of freer principles more indolent and languid. I have met with few exceptions in the compass of my acquaintance. I do deliberately think, that the more persons enter into the peculiarities of the gospel, and the greater regard they pay to the sacrifice of Christ and the influences of the Spirit, the more their own piety will increase, and the more zealous they will be to do good to the souls of others."
It is not an easy task fully to reconcile this paragraph with part of leiter 63. vol. 2. We respect' the learning and the integrity of a Socinian, but cannot view his renunciation of emolument for the sake of his principles, as a sufficient reason for holding him in equal veneration with the persecuted and martyred confessors of purer doctrines. The justice of the sentiment which Mr. Orton expresses at the close of the quotation we have given, is confirmed by observation. On a survey of the most laborious Divines, from the earliest ages of the church to the present period, it appears that by far the greatest share of success has been allotted to those who have addressed their audiences in clear and intelligible terms on the peculiar truths of the gospel. But when the statement of these has been dark and dubious, the sphere of usefulness has gradually contracted, and the degree of it diminished. Nor can this want of effect be attributed to a deficiency of talent or exertion, in many who have trodden the middle path, but it amounts, at least, to a presumptive proof, that such indecision is not calculated to accomplish the great end of their sacred office, which is (in the words of inspiration) to win souls to Christ.
We have esteemed it our duty to guard our readers against this aurea mediocritas in matters of religion, which the respectable editor of these volumes too strongly recommends; yet. we' hesitate not to say, that serious collegians and preachers may reap valuable instruction from the letters of Orton; and if they reflect how much mischief has arisen to the religious world from a false and excessive candour, which he and many of his
worthy contemporaries indulged, they will be likely to derive wisdom not merely from his excellences, but from his defects.The attempt to uite error and truth in mutual friendship, has been made under the most favourable circumstances; the latter, we believe, has always been a sufferer, and frequently a sacrifice. It is this theoretical lukewarmness that has proved a more successful enemy to the church, than all the fury of tyranny and persecution.
Art. XIII. Letters from Paraguay: describing the Settlements of Monte Video and Buenos Ayres; the Presidencies of Rioja Minor, Nombre de Dios, St. Mary, and St. John, &c. &c. By John Constanse Davie, Esq. 8vo. pp. 292. Price 5s. Robinson, London,
HETHER these letters were dictated in Paraguay, or manufactured nearer home, we shall leave our readers to decide. We are expected to speak of their merits, and these we must confess it requires some perspicacity to discover. Paraguay would, indeed, be an interesting theme in the hands of some men, who would examine with the keen and discriminating eye of science, its vegetable, mineral, and moral features; but it signifies little whence the ignorant and the superficial date their letters. The mere scum of any man's mind is unworthy of preservation; neither should we expect from the quintessence of the present writer's knowledge a very high intellectual treat; for in spite of the pains taken to convince us that he has drawn from the first classical sources of this country, we are persuaded neither Oxford nor Westminster would feel compelled by his testimonials to own the kindred he claims. Wholly ignorant of every science that might be useful in such a situation, he furnishes no gratification to curiosity or research, and no graces of language to repay the postage of his letters. The six former bear the date of New York, whence the writer says he sailed for Botany Bay, but was compelled by a violent storm to put into Buenos Ayres, where he was taken ill of a fever, which for a time deprived him of his reason. May we give this as a charitable apology for the profaneness which sometimes pollutes his pages? Left at Buenos Ayres, and confined by the jealousy with which the Spanish government views an Englishman, the letter-writer is said to have found it convenient to assume the habit of a noviciate of the order of St. Dominic, in whose convent he was lodged. Thus we are taught to account for the opportunity which he enjoyed of attending the fathers of the mission to the settlement of Rioja Minor, on the River Plata. Much designed prominence is given to an account of a revolution, which was effected at this place, by the influence of French principles upon the discontented minds of the much-injured Indians, and which succeeded in establishing,
at least for a time, a kind of jesuitical republic independent of Spain.
We shall make our extract from the description of this place, as it contains some notices of the Jesuits, and their empire in Paraguay, which has excited much interest in those who read with discernment the history of man.
This is to me another proof of the great policy and depth of thought of those ecclesiastical monarchs; for I cannot consider them in any other light. Their plans were laid with amazing judgment and attended with unexampled success; and as Moses led the Israelites for forty years through the wilderness of Canaan to conquest and the utter abolition of surrounding nations, so would the Jesuits, as soon as they had found the youths of the tribe they governed were thoroughly initiated in the discipline of war, and those of maturer years as well grounded in the theory of governing and preserving those arts they had so carefully been taught. The holy fathers would, like the law giver of old, have conducted them to triumph over their proud oppressors, and the dissolute invaders of their native plains. An ecclesiastical heptarchy! [hierarchy] would then have been established, and a pope elected to superintend the whole. I hazard this conjecture from concurring circumstances which I daily hear of, notwithstanding every tongue is enjoined in silence as to those particulars; but things will out at times, in spite of prohibitions.
"We continued sailing about three leagues to the south-west, when we were agreeably surprised by the sound of martial music, which drew nearer as we advanced; when our balsa taking a sharp turn round a point of land thick set with trees of the most enlivening verdure, we were presented with a scene the most pleasing and romantic that can well be imagined. The presidency opened to our sight, and presented at once a view truly grand and picturesque. The shore was lined with people, the bells were ringing, and the military band, assisted by a troop of choristers, welcomed our arrival. We immediately landed, and were received with tears of joy by our venerable superior, father Pablo, who had remained here for the sole purpose of personally resigning the power to father Hernandez. We then proceeded to the church, where we had holy water presented to us by the good pastor. The major general of the little army trained in this neighbourhood came with the corrigidore, the fiscal, and his fenientes, to pay their compliments of congratulation: indeed the whole community appeared, from their numbers, to be collected together for the same reason. The prayers of the church were sung in a most inchanting manner by the young Indians, who still retain the same mode of performing divine service as that established by the Jesuits. They were all very neatly dressed in white surplices, and the church with its ornaments was neat in the extreme. It is a large but not lofty building, of beautiful white stone, with a centre and two aisles, rather tastefully fitted up. ̈
The public storehouse is in the centre of the town; it is one story high, very long and wide, divided into several apartments, so contrived as to receive every different article for use or barter. Formerly this storehouse was under the sole regulation of the rector, and by him only was the produce portioned out to the different families; but now the Spanish comniandant claims a share in the distribution. How far this may be productive of good I will not take upon me to say; but I will just give you