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But few can sway the boundless field of art; To few will Genius all her gifts impart.* 272 One, she enables on the winds to soar, And higher regions of the air explore.
• The instances are innumerable which confirm this assertion. I shall notice some, which are the most striking....Cicero, the first name on the page of antiquity, failed in his attempts at poetry..... Archimedes, whose name may stand for a large class devoted to maihematics, had little taste for any other branch of literature, than geometry. There are not a few, who would prefer the investigation of the legs and wings of the most tiny insect, to the contemplation of the brightest planet that rolls through the worlds of space! Berkeley, to the exclusion of most other employments, was forever attempting to dig in a well without a bottom....while Gray, who at his time, was pronounced to be the first scholar in Europe, had no taste either for mathematics or metaphysics; in a letter to his friend are contained the following sentences, “ Must I plunge into metaphysics? Alas! I cannot see in the dark; Nature has not furnished me with the optics of a cat. Must I pore upon mathematics? Alas! I cannot see in too much light; I am no eagle. It is very possible that two and two make four, but I would not give four farthings to demonstrate this ever so clearly; and if these be the profits of life, give me the amusements of it.” Perhaps the three modern writers who possessed the most universal genius were Leibnitz, Milton, and Haller.
To one she gives the sov'reign power to trace
* Literature is much indebted to the author of the Pursuits of Literature, and to Mr. Gifford, the author of the Baviad and Mæviad, for their poems and criticisms. The Pursuits of Literature is a work which discovers genius, correctness of mind and great extent of information, and is calculated to restore true taste and true learning. While its author liberally approves the works of the true philosopher and the true poet, he points his overcoming satire against all those who would propagate false principles and false taste. Some of his opinions on subjects of religion and criticism I deem erroneous and unfounded.
While some she gives the orator's controul,
As a minister of the Gospel I cannot, however, restrain my admiration of this author for the morality of his strains, for his defence of religion against the attacks of impiety and a new and dangerous philosophy.
• Eloquence as well as poetry has been the inexhausti. hle subject of investigation. Which is the most proper mode of pulpit-eloquence? is a question which has been often asked, and differently answered. The Abbe Maury, in his lively and entertaining treatise, has denied their due merits to the English divines; and the English divines, on the other hand, do not sufficiently infuse into their dis„courses the fire and passion of the French manner. Theology has been reduced to a perfect science; there are no new truths in religion to be explored; he, therefore, who, with an accurate investigation of these truths, connects a cultivated taste and exercised imagination, and subjects these powers under the guidance of reason, will be a more agreeable and persuasive combatant for divine truth than the preacher, who, though skilled in theology, has no perception of beauty and sublimity; but who delivers trite truths in triter forms. To the pulpit, the close and indis. soluble reasoning of a Locke is not adapted; were preachers to reason like him, their hearers would return from church as edified as they came there ; the mind must be aided by the silence and solitude of the closet, to comprehend the chain of such arguments.
The preacher must employ other weapons than syHo. zism; he must observe a medium between argument and
To some she spreads a world's unbounded view,
declamation; the passions, as well as the understanding, must be addressed. Declamation, without a due proportion of argument, would have no effect upon the understanding; and argument, without declamation, would have no force upon the passions; therefore, to address the souls of men with power, and justly to accommodate the discourse to the prevailing taste, declamation and argument should be united. A forcible illustration, a forcible ap. peal to the heart, and a forcible question, will oftentimes conyince, when many pages of the most masterly reasoning would fail. In proof of this, I appeal to the figurative expressions of our Saviour, and to some of the discourses of St. Paul.... I appeal to some of the most eminent divines in the Christian church....I appeal, particularly, to Massillon, one of the most eloquent of men; read his discourses; you find Genius breathing in almost every sentence. You discover in his works, reason which, while it convinces the understanding, at the same time impresses the heart. What did he say when he drew the whole audience, by an instantaneous impulse, upon their feet? Did he prove, by mathematical deductions that small were the number which should be saved ? No.... he told them the plain truth from the scriptures; and presented that truth in the most striking colours. Notwithstanding the eulogy I have pas. sed upon Massillon and his unrivalled excellence in his addresses to the heart, I am far from thinking him a perfect model for the preacher. He indulges, perhaps, too much in declamation. To arouse, to terrify, to melt into tears, appears generally to be more his aim than to in.
And gives the pencil with which Raphael* drew.
struct. In making this remark I except several of his discourses, particularly his wonderful discourse on the divinity of our Saviour. He, in my conception, would be a finished model of pulpit eloquence, who united the erudi. tion and sublimity of Barrow, the warmth and pathos of Massillon, the acuteness and ingenuity of Sherlock, the condensity of Ogden, with Witherspoon's method of discussing theological doctrines.
* At Greece, painting was first brought to perfection, The most famous schools in Greece were opened at Athens, Corinth and Rhodes. Rome afterwards cultivated this art ; but, at the overthrow of that empire, it was swallowed up in the same grave with literature and science. In the year 1450, it again revived in Italy, and was advanced to an eminence, perhaps equal to that which it held in either Greece or Rome. Raphael Santio was born in the year 1483. He died in his thirty-eighth year. He surpassed all modern painters. His invention was unbounded. He possessed all the graces; and in the disposition of his pieces, he has left Michael Angelo, Titian and Corregio far behind him. Du Fresnoy, in his Art of Painting, and in his observations connected with that poem, considers him as the prince of modern painters, and characterizes him in these lines:
Hos apud invenit Raphael miraculo summo