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ing Mr. Hume's book; which gave so much offence to the author animadverted upon, that he thought it of importance enough to deserve particular mention in the short account of his own life.
On the 11th of October 1757, Dr. Warburton was promoted to the Deanry of Bristol *; and in 1758 he published a third Edition of the Second Part of “The Divine Legation, corrected and enlarged f," divided into Two Parts, with a dedication follows it here against the same sort of writer, inculcating the same impiety, naturalism, and employing the same kind of arguments. The address will remove it from me: the author, A Gentleman of Cambridge, from you; and the secrecy in printing, from us both."
* The following note, literally transcribed from the MSS. of the Rev. John Jones of Welwyn, is given merely to shew how absent this great Genius was in matters of ceremony:
“Dr. Warburton being appointed Dean of Bristol, when he came to read in (as they call it), having fixed upon a Saint's-day for this purpose which happened to be a day (though I suppose unknown to him) on which the Rubric orders the Athanasian Creed to be read, omitted it. Some of the chief men in the congregation took offence, and insisted upon his reading it, and going through the whole ceremony, on the next Sunday following: which
he did. [By the way, Q. whether he ever was, in this respect, a precisely legal Dean of Bristol ? His omission makes this questionable; and so does his reading that Creed at a time when it was not appointed to be read. See the Effects of strictly Rubrical Impositions, &c.] MS Note of Mr. Jones.
+ This edition produced, 1. “A Letter to the Dean of Bristol, by Henry Stebbing, D.D." (of which see Monthly Review, vol. XX. p. 93). 2. “Remarks on some Passages in a Dedication to the Jews;" (Ibid. vol. XXI. p. 221). 3. “A Letter to the Right Rev. Dr. Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester ; (Ibid. vol. XXII. p. 350.) 4. “An Appendix to the Critical Dissertation on the Book of Job; giving a further Account of the Book of Ecclesiastes. To which is added a Reply to some Notes of the late Dean of Bristol in his new Edition of the Divine Legation, vol. II. Part II. By the Author of the Critical Disquisitions, &c.” (Ibid. vol. XXII. p. 174.) 5. “A Review of some Passages in the Divine Legation, &c, relative to the Sentiments of the early Jews concerning the Soul, &c." (Ibid. p. 256.)
In 1758, Dr. Warburton was thus complimented:
“ In Learning's maze low Criticks stray,
Then consecrate their own mistake,
to the Earl of Mansfield, which deserves to be read by every person who esteems the well-being of so
Till, by their notes with learning fraught,
Thus Medicine, Quacks presume to give,
Such, Virgil, such, for many an age,
Sure, in that Hell which you design'd,
But see! again the heav'n-born Maid
And worthy he in those s blest plains
As the fam'd Chief | could ne'er have seen
Translators of Virgil. $ See Divine Legation, Book VI. | A most excellent Translator of Virgil's Æneid.
FÆneas. ** Of knowledge, alluding above.
ciety as a concern of any importance. In this edition the Dedication to the Jews is also considerably
And truth from error could not see,
The Mysteriest themselves were none." On the subject of this famous Dissertation Mr. Gibbon, in the Account of his own Life and Writings,” pp. 136—139, says, “My next publication was an accidental sally of love and resentment; of my reverence for modest genius, and my aversion for insolent pedantry. The sixth book of the Æneid is the most pleasing and perfect composition of Latin poetry. The descent of Æneas and the Sibyl to the Infernal Regions, to the world of spirits, expands an awful and boundless prospect from the nocturnal gloom of the Cimmeræan grot:
“ Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram," to the meridian brightness of the Elysian fields;
“Largior hic campos æther et lumine vestit
Purpureo"from the dreams of simple Nature, to the dreams, alas ! of, Egyptian theology, and the philosophy of the Greeks. But the final dismission of the hero through the ivory gate, whence
Falsa ad cælum mittunt insomnia manes,' seems to dissolve the whole enchantment, and leaves the reader in a state of cold and anxious scepticism. This most lame and impotent conclusion has been variously imputed to the taste or irreligion of Virgil; but, according to the more elaborate interpretation of Bishop Warburton, the descent to Hell is not a false but a mimic scene, which represents the initiation of Æneas, in the character of a lawgiver, to the Eleusinian mysteries. This hypothesis, a singular chapter in the Divine Legation of Moses, had been admitted by many as true; it was praised by all as ingenious; nor had it been exposed, in a space of thirty years, to a fair and critical discussion. The learning and the abilities of the author had raised him to a just eminence; but he reigned the dictator and tyrant of the world of Literature. The real merit of Warburton was degraded by the pride and presumption with which he pronounced his infallible decrees. In his polemic writings he lashed his antagonists without mercy or moderation; and his servile flatterers exalted the Master-critic far above Ari. stotle and Longinus, assaulted every modest dissenter who refused to consult the oracle, and to adore the idol. In a land of liberty, such despotism must provoke a general opposition, and the zeal of opposition is seldom candid or impartial. A late Professor of Oxford (Dr. Lowth) in a pointed and polished epistle (August 31, 1765), defended himself, and attacked the Bishop; and, whatsoever might be the merits of an insignificant controversy, his victory was clearly established by the silent confession of Warburton and his slaves. I too, without any pri
of See the Dissertation. RR2
enlarged ; and the second part is introduced with a new preface, of 40 pages, wherein Dr. Taylor, chanvate offence, was ambitious of breaking a lance against the giant's shield; and, in the beginning of the year 1770, my Critical Observations on the Sixth Book of the Æneid were sent, without my name, to the press. In this short Essay, my first English publication, I aimed my strokes against the person and the hypothesis of Bishop Warburton. I proved, at least to my own satisfaction, that the antient Lawgivers did not invent the Mysteries, and that Æneas was never invested with the office of Lawgiver; that there is not any argument, any circumstance, which can melt a fable into allegory, or remove the scene from the Lake Avernus to the Temple of Ceres; that such a wild supposition is equally injurious to the poet and the man; that if Virgil was not initiated he could not, if he were he would not, reveal the secrets of initiation; that the anathema of Horace (vetabo qui Cereris sacrum vulgarit, &c.) at once attests his own ignorance and the innocence of his friend. As the Bishop of Gloucester and his party maintained a discreet silence, my critical Disquisition was soon lost among the pamphlets of the day ; but the publie coldness was overbalanced to my feelings by the weighty approbation of the last and best Editor of Virgil
, Professor Heyne of Gottingen, who acquiesces in my confutation, and styles the unknown author, doctus ... et elegantissimus Britunnus. But I cannot resist the temptation of transcribing the favourable judgment of Mr. Hayley, himself a poet, and a scholar: “An intricate hypothesis, twisted into a long and laboured chain of quotation and argument, the Dissertation on the Sixth Book of Virgil, remained some time unrefuted. At length, a superior, but anonymous, Critic arose, who, in one of the most judicious and spirited Essays that our Nation has produced, on a point of classical literature, completely overturned this illfounded edifice, and exposed the arrogance and futility of its assuming architect.” He even condescends to justify an acrimony of style, which has been gently blamed by the more unbiassed German ; • Paullo acrius quam velis .... perstrinxit 1: But I cannot forgive myself the contemptuous treatment of a man who, with all his faults, was entitled to my esteem; and I can less forgive, in a personal attack, the cowardly concealment of my name and character.-The Divine Legation of Moses is a monument, already crumbling in the dust, of the vigour and weakness of the human mind. If Warburton's new argument proved any thing, it would be a demonstration against the Legislator, who left his people without the knowledge of a future state. But some episodes of the work, on the Greek philosophy, the hieroglyphics of Egypt, &c. are entitled to the praise of learning, imagination, and discernment."
The Editor of the Warburtonian Tracts, Dr. Parr (f. 192), considers the allegorical interpretation“ as completely refuted, in a most clear, elegant, and decisive work of criticism; which could not, indeed, derive authority from the greatest name; but to which the greatest name might with propriety have been affixed."
cellor of Lincoln, the learned editor of Demosthenes (whom he characterizes as “a Doctor of Laws, a Minister of the Gospel, and a Judge Ecclesiastical") is treated with much severity *.
* This attack has been briefly hinted at in vol. II. p. 292.
Mr. Hurd, who had been consulted on the subject, says, “ I cannot easily bring myself to give up the old Preface. Otherwise, this has the advantage greatly in many respects. Taylor is a more creditable Dunce than Webster; and the subject is not so personal as the other. As to the manner of introducing it, I can trust your judgment to choose the best. 1 cannot but think what you mention an extremely proper one. But of this I cannot determine so well, as I have not seen the Discourse itself. But, by the way, what do you think to do with the Appendix to this volume against Tillard and Sykes ? I would not lose them on any account. And why might not Taylor rank with them? After all, keep me but the old Preface in some shape of other, and I will have no dispute with you about the place.” Dec. 30, 1756.
“ The real offence said to have been given was, an opinion which Taylor had thrown out in company derogatory to the character of Warburton as a scholar. This reached the ears of the other; who, with a frankness peculiar to himself, interrogated our Critick on the subject. Dr. Taylor is reported to have replied, that he did not recollect ever saying that Dr. Warburton was no scholar, but that indeed he had always thought so.
“The learned world at Cambridge was at that time divided into two parties; the polite scholars and the philologists. The former, at the head of which were Gray, Mason, &c. superciliously confined all merit to their own circle, and looked down with fastidious contempt on the rest of the world. It is needless · to observe that Dr. Taylor belonged to the latter class. A member of the former, a writer of celebrity, and eminent for his attachment to Warburton, of whose school he was a distinguished disciple, in a most unjustifiable pamphlet, published the same year, and directed against the amiable and modest Jortin [whose offence was similar to that of Taylor - he had dared to dissent from Warburton's strange, and now exploded hypothesis, on the descent of Æneas in the sixth Æneid), steps out of his way to express his contempt of Taylor. There are several ways,' says he, of a writer's expressing his devotion to his patron, without observing the ordinary forms of dedication : of which, to note it by the way, the latest and best instance I have met with is, 'A certain thing prefatory to a learned work entitled the Elements of Civil Law. This was but the prelude to a more severe attack from the master' himself; who, with learning much inferior, but talents much greater than those of Taylor, exercised an insolent despotism over the republick of letters. Our Author, in his Elements, had expressed his opinion, that the persecutions which the first Christians experienced