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adopted the religion of their conquered enemies, and the habits of civilised life. In no country did civilisation appear with the lustre that had adorned Athens or ancient Rome; but it. was diffused over a wider surface. Thus the irruption of the northern nations proved, in the sequel, favourable to civilisation,
The example of. France, which Mr. Browne has adduced, is not favourable to his argument. If science suffered under the tyranny of Robespierre, a repentant nation has made am-; ple amends. Science has little to dread from revolutionary exceffes ; for, if the period of revolution should arrive in other countries, France will prove 'a warning as well as an example. Neither is this the danger. The spirit that prohibits inquiry, that forbids reading societies in Germany, and inspects all books and coat-capes at Petersburg—this is the spirit that would again barbarise Europe. A severe attack is made by our author upon
the character of Dr. Johnson, who is faid to
come forth from Mr. Boswell's press in religion a bigot, in politics a tyrant, and in manners a barbarian.' Let us examine his spirit, his opinions, bis consistency : his fpirit appears to me alternately insolent and servile, according as his commerce was with the great or with the humble : his opinions never free from the most inveterate and narrow prejudices : his consistency ready at any time to submit to his love of contradiction and affectation of fuperiority : unfair and uncandid in controversy, ridiculously partial to his friends and absurdly detracting from his enemies. Vol. i. P. 69.
This is a harsh attack; and, though it may be said to be justly founded in general, there is sometimes a want of candour in the instances adduced. It is, perhaps, no proof of Dr. Johnson's bigotry, that he did not disbelieve the existence of witches and apparitions, or that he examined in person whether the Cock-lane ghost was an imposition. Most of Mr. Browne's readers, however, will probably agree with him even in this point; and the other circumstances for which he condemns Dr. Johnson cannot be palliated or excusel.
It is more pleasant to see the critic attacked than the man; and, in the next essay, we find some of the doctor's canons of criticism ably controverted.
• Johnson seems to imagine that every image must be diftinét; perfectly contoured like a fenfible object, otherwise that it is ab surd; he seems to think no image correct that conld not be represented in painting; no idea can be more falle. Images, as I have said, must not be absurd, but they may be indistinct ; they may change their Ihapes and yet not be repugnant; like aerial beings,
half seen behind a fleeting, yet beauteous cloud. As imagination bodies forth the forms of things unseen, one person may be able to reduce them to shape, another not, or in a less degree; but this hinders not that he may have a beautiful though an indiftin& vifion. Give me leave to mention a few instances of Johnson's cri. tiçisins from his Lives of the Poets, and then try whether by like canons of criticism, any the most beautiful poetic passages may not seem to be rendered ridiculous. I will (not to tire the reader) felect two remarkable criricisms, the first on Addison, the latter on Pope. Addison fays, in the letter from Italy :
Fir'd with that name,
That longs to launch into a nobler strain. ! I see nothing ridiculous in these lines, the words bridle and launch have by common and frequent use lost their figurative mean. ing, and mean no more than controul and enter upon. Perhaps their figurative sense does not occur to one man in a hundred that uses them. Yet see how ridiculous the critic makes this passage, “ To bridle a goddess is, says he, rather a ridiculous idea, but why nuít she be bridled? Because she longs to launch, an act which never was hindered by a bridle; and whither will she launch? Into a nobler strain : me is in the first line a horse, in the fecond a boat, and the care of the poet is, to keep his horse and his boat from finging." Now, I ask the candid reader, whether this cris lique be fair, or whether he believes that the idea of a boat or a horfe, were ever in Mr. Addison's mi. on this occasion. Vol. i. P. 84.
! The truth is, Johnson had not poetic enthusiasm, which the : poet has a right to expect from his reader, and which would hurry him away too much into the vortex of general effect, to suffer him to stay and analize each petiy mole; it is like anatomizing a beauty with a surgeon's knife, and then saying she is very ugly when she has been fayed.' Vol. i. p. 87.
In the paper entitled Religion, we were, pleased with the picture of the effects which would follow, if Christianity were nationally practised as well as profeffed.
« Could we imagine a world in which religion universally prevailed, and Christianity was universally practised; what health, what happiness, what peace would reign in such a scene! Wars must ceafe-disease would be almost unknown, for temperance and tranquillity of mind would banisi most of those maladies which affliét mankind. Extreme old age sinking in gradual decay without pain, without forrow, would be the termination of the life of man. The spirits of youth without alloy; the enjoyments of manhood without care; the approach of death beheld without terror or anx
jety. When we turn back from such a vision to what the world really is, does it not seem almost the abode of dæmons ? It might be a paradise ftill. Nature and Providence infliet comparatively few evils; we ourselves are the cause of our own niisery.' Vol. ii, P. 246.
After reading in this paragraph, that, if Christianity were pra&tised, wars must cease, we did not expect to find even defensive war justified ; still less, after another paragraph, did we expect to find the author captain commandant of the university corps.
• Suppose a man were to threaten the defenders of the Christian religion, or to endeavour to prevent their speaking its truths, by the fword, might they not repel such violence ?
* Your last instance is really too ludicrous ; that a man Mould think himself justified in defending the Christian religion, by a direct breach of it, you cannot seriously maintain. Vol. i. P. 136.
As a military man, Mr. Browne has been studying tactics; and he has given copious extracts from Guibert. However inconsistent we may deemn this with his religious principles, we perfectly approve what he recommends to military men. The whole paragraph deserves to be quoted.
The soldier's life is always supposed and represented to be a life of gaiety; few opinions are more common or more false ; the glare of arms, the pomp of dress, the spirit of music, impose on the young, the frivolous and giddy ; but let the decayed captain, or old broken-hearted lieutenant fairly tell, what has been the gaiety of this captivating life to them. Look not to the little temporary parade in towns, but pursue the solitary officer to his seven years quarters at Niagara, or two years fojournment at Fort Augustus, or view even the melancholy life which I have seen led by many a cavalier in remote villages of Ireland, with not a creature to speak to for twelve months but his dog, and such a prospect would foon cure youthful folly of the deception which encompafles the fancy of the adopters of this profession, with nothing but scenes of mirth and vivacity. Perhaps in the course of 30 years in the regular army, not fix of them, amidst its perpetual rotations, would be spent in agreeable quariers; I have known a youth who went abroad at 16, employ his time from thence to 40, in broiling on the rock of Gibraltar, in pining on the banks of Lake Erie, and in drinking fangre at St. Vincent's, and then return to his own country, almost an old man, after spending a very merry life of it truly. Perhaps the deception is useful.--The army is necessary, and how else could it be recruited ? One thing however is to be lamented, that in this solitary life, for such it really is, with so much leisure, so little knowledge is acquired. How ufefully might time be diverted by the acquisition of languages, the Nudy of fortificas
tion and tactics--the praliice, of drawing; yet in what regiment, will be found, perhaps more than two officers who understand any thing even of their own profession. Some excellent plans have been thought of by able men of late, to make commissions the reward of literary merit. I wish they may succeed, and we should no longer have the least informed though the most gallant army in Europe.'. Vol. ii. P. 224.
The humourous effays form the worst part of these volumes. That which is entitled Malheureusement, unhappily reminds us of Marmontel.
Upon the whole, we have derived much pleasure from Mr. Browne's Sketches; and we should not have furmised, had not the preface so informed us, that they were the result of thoughts which occurred in a long and fólitary journey into a: remote and unfrequented quarter of Ireland where converfation was not to be expected, and the mind was left to itselfput together as evening amusements in melancholy inns.'
The Sentiments of Philo Judeus concerning the Aoyos, or Word
of God; together with large Extracts from his Writings, compared with the Scriptures, on many other particular and effential Doctrines of the Christian Religion. By Jacob Bryant. 8vo. 35, 6d. sewed. Cadell and Davies. 1797.
THE principal object of this publication is to prove, that, Philo Judæus (not Judeus, which is a diffyllable) borrowed his fentiinents and expressions, relative to the second person of the Trinity, from the conversation or writings of the apofties, , Mr. Bryant thinks that he has proved this, and that it affords a striking argument in favour of the truth of Christianity. It is asserted in the Preface, " That Philo was conversant with many of our Saviour's disciples, and, as we are informed, with some of the apostles.' We cannot discover any satisfactory evidence in support of this assertion ; and we are dif-. posed to think that the probabilities arising from conjecture are adverse to it.
Among the expressions which lead Mr. Bryant to suppose that Philo derived his information from the doctrines of the New Testament (though it is admitted, that he probably held the great author of them in contempt,) are, Acutecos Osos, Λογος Εικων Θεο - Πρωτογενης and uios: but our author fhall speak for himfelf.
• The chief proof, that Philo had perused some of the books of the New Testament, or at least had conversed with some of the first converts to Chriftianity, is to be drawn from his writings; in
which, as I have fewn, are many articles of great consequence to be found. A person, who speaks of the Word of God, as the Son of God, his First-begotten, the Shepherd of his Flock, the second Great Cause, the Image of God, the Mediator between God and Man, the Great High Priest mentioned by the prophets, the Creator of all that was created; who speaks also of Redemption, and AUTP& xxl owotea - the Price of Redemption, and of the person, by whom it was to be procured, and by whom we are finally to, attain to (swmv aidov) everlasting life: I say, whoever was acquaint-, ed with these doctrines, could be no stranger to Christ and Chriftianity. Eusebius therefore very juftly observes, that Philo must have had in idea fome of the first preachers of the gospel, and the doctrines transmitted by the apostles themselves, when he wrote these things. But this is not sufficiently precise : for he had not these truths transmitted, He lived in the time of the evangelists and apostles : and obtained his knowledge from them, the fountain head. And that he entertained a favourable opinion of the gospel, we may judge from his filence ; for though a Jew, and, as one in consequence of it would suppose, not a friend to Christianity; yet, when there are many opportunities afforded, he never speaks again
And we have seen, that he borrows many essential truths, which could not have been obtained from any unconverted people of his own nation. At the same time it is to be observed, that, though he lived among Christians, and was acquainted with their doctrines, yet he never mentions them; nor does he ever take notice of Saint Mark, who presided in his time over the church at Alexandria,
• Yet so much was Philo beholden to them, that we may read in him the opinion of the apostles, and the doctrines of Christ himself, about this.essential article of our belief. And that he had opportunities of information is plain. For if he were, as the editor thinks, antecedent to Christ in respect to his birth, it is very manifest from his own evidence, that he survived him : for in his treatise, about which we are concerned, he mentions, as I have thewn, the death of Claudius. He was therefore alive through the whole course of our Saviour's residence upon earth; and survived him several years. This shews, what room there was for intelligence; of which, it is plain, he availed himself. He was a Jew, and a follower of Plato. But what he says of the first-born son of God, the creator of all things, the image of God, the mediator, &c. was past the apprehension of man. Neither Plato, nor the stoicks, had any thing fimilar; and even the Jews had nothing adequate to the precife truths, which he discloses. He certainly has adopted so much from Christianity, that Photius supposes, that he was a profelyte, but relapsed. For this however we have no evidence : on the contrary, Philo intimates through all his works, that he continued in the religion of his fathers.'