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Sublimity. His own claim to originality may indeed be received as a proof of its justice. The modesty of his character, the result of the purity of his taste, as well as of his virtue, is an ample security against undue pretensions. “The Characteristics” had indeed been published a very short time before : but the moral colour of that ingenious and often beautiful work, rather rendered it more difficult to distinguish and separate the pleasures of imagination, which were lost in the splendour of a stronger light.

Soon after the time of Mr. Addison, the application of philosophy, to what he called the pleasures of imagination, became a favourite pursuit in the several countries of Europe. In this country, it was cultivated by a long succession of ingenious writers, of whom some, and these the greatest men of their age, are in this province the disciples of Mr. Addison. On a subject of a very different nature, the two hundred and eighty-seventh Number of the “Spectator" may be recommended to the perusal of those who doubt the vigour and the originality of Mr. Addison's understanding. "That form of government,” says he, appears to me the most reasonable which is most conformable to the equality that we find in human nature, provided it be consistent with public peace."-" It is odd to consider the connection between despotic government and barbarity; and how the making of one person more than man makes the rest less. Above nine parts of the world in ten are in the lowest state of slavery, and consequently sunk into the most gross and brutal ignorance. European slavery is indeed a state of liberty

, if compared with that which prevails in the other three divisions of the world; and therefore, it is no wonder that those who grovel under it

, have many tracks of light. Riches and plenty are the natural effects of liberty; and where those abound, learning and all the liberal arts will immediately lift up their heads and flourish. Ease and plenty are the great cherishers of knowledge; and, as most of the despotic governments of the world have neither of them, they are naturally overrun with ignorance and barbarity. The seeds of curiosity scattered abroad by the Essay of Mr. Locke, who had recalled the busy and the lettered to those enquiries, from which they had been scared by the odious opinions and haughty dogmatism of Hobbes, began thus early, in the minds of ingenious men, to produce the fruits of a liberal philosophy on government, as well as of elegant speculation concerning literature and the arts.

“ Among the divines who appeared at this era, it is impossible to pass over in silence the name of Barrow, whose theological works (adorned throughout by classical erudition, and by a vigorous though unpolished eloquence), exhibit in every page marks of the same inventive genius whick

, in mathematics, has secured to him a rank second alone to that of Newton. As a writer, he is equally distinguished by the redundancy of his matter, and by the pregnant brevity of his eti pression ; bat what more peculiarly

characterises his manner, is a certain air of powerful and of conscious facility in the execution of whatever he undertakes.” Disc. 69.

We quote this equally discriminating and beautiful passage, not for the unnecessary purpose of praise, nor assuredly with any view lo dispute it

, nor for the sake of vindicating Barrow from a contradiction imputed to him by Mr. Stewart in the subsequent page, between two passages, in one of which he represents “inordinate sell-love" as the parent of most vices, while in the other he allows, that “a self-love working for what is finally beneficial, will be allowed by common sense,” which, we must fairly own, appears to us to be no contradiction at all, but a just statement of two eyually important and perfectly reconcilable truths. But we take the occasion supplied by this quotation, to express our wonder that we should find no mention of another English divine, who seems to us by his genius

, by

the singularities of his ethical writings, and by the vicissitudes of his reputation, to deserve a place in the history of moral philosophy. We advert to Jeremy Taylor, who, though he survived the restoration, belonged to an older school than Barrow. Of unbounded fame in his own time, his devotional writings, which often possess unparalleled beauty, preserved their popularity for more than a century. But in the age of calm and cool philosophy which prevailed among English divines, we scarcely find more than one or two notices of his name among the writings of the learned ; and it is only within the last twenty years that he has again become known to many general readers. Two of his works give him a more peculiar claim to the attention of the historian of morals. Probably the last English divine who used the scholastic forms, and was deeply imbued with the metaphysics and theology of the schools, he is the only celebrated Englishman (perhaps the only celebrated Protestant of so late a period) who composed a system of casuistry. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of the form, there are few treatises on morals which (if due allowance be made for obsolete modes of speaking, still more than of thinking), are more sober, more practical, and more liberal. Of the numerous learned authorities with which he has sprinkled his margin, the names are now scarcely known to the curious enquirer. He seems to survey the learning of a former world. The Discourse on the Liberty of Prophesying is memorable—as the first treatise prosessedly written in defence of toleration in this country, if not in Europe. Like most divines who have been venerated after their death, he obtained the name of a herelic for his charity, which evidently extended, though he durst not avow it, even to Roman Catholics themselves.* These two works, with his Discourse on Friendship, though they do not contain his most splendid passages, are the most uniformly reasonable, and the most judiciously composed, of his writings. It is, perhaps, peculiar to him, that to the acuteness and subtlety of a schoolman, he added the feeling and fancy of a poet. Had he lived out of the schools, and looked at man and nature instead of scholastic treatises, it seems that he would have wanted no poetical power but the art of versification. As Gray called Froissart "Herodotus without his style," perhaps we may venture to say that Taylor was. Fénélon without his taste. They had the same tender heart, and flowery imagination; the same tolerant spirit; the same proneness to mystical devotion; and, though in an unequal degree, the same disposition to an ascetic morality, of which the austerities almost become amiable, when they are joined to unusual gentleness and humility. Taylor, in his writings, wanted only the great art of rejection to make the parallel more perfect. In his Devotions alone, where his sensibility is restrained, and his fancy overawed by the subject, he is of unequalled excellence. In general, his taste is more impure, his composition more irregular, bis popular discourses more pedantic. and scholastic than those of his great predecessors of Elizabeth's age-of Hooker, of Raleigh, and of Bacon. All those great men, placed near the sources of our written language, in those rare and short intervals, when they resist the allurements of Latin phraseology and arrangement, have a freshness of expression, a choice of picturesque and significant words, very difficult to be attained, after the separate language of books has been long formed. The profuse imagery of Taylor, and his tender sentiments, are sure to catch the eye of the most cursory reader, A careful perusal will also discover, in many quiet and modest passages, chiefly of his argumentative and merely ethical works, an easy and soft flow of native English, not unworthy of the age which produced the prose of Cowley, who, like Taylor, was tender and fertile; but who, happily for his fame, in his prose, and in some of his verse, showed a laste less fatally indulgent to the vices of his genius.

* At the conclusion of the “ Liberty of Prophesying” is a Jewish story, told in the manner of a chapter of Genesis, in which God is represented as rebuking Abraham for having driven an idolator out of his tent. This story, Taylor says, is somewhere io be found in the Jewish writers. Till the original be discovered, in some Rabbinical legend, we may ascribe the beauty of the imitation, if not the invention of the incidents, to Taylor bimself. Franklin gave the same story, with some slight variations, to Lord Kaimes, who published it in his “ Sketches of the History of Man.” But the words of Lord Kaimes do not imply that Franklin gave it as his own, though a charge of plagiarism has been grounded on the coincidence. He probably had never read Taylor. He perhaps found the story without an author's name, in some newspaper or magazine, and sent it as a curiosity to Kaimes. A man so rich as Franklin had no temptation to steal.



We return with singular satisfaction to the continuance of this admirable Discourse, after having bestowed on the First Part a space, less indeed than its importance merited, but more ample than either the busy or the indolent part of our readers would have willingly allotted to the history of speculation. +

The increase of materials has compelled Mr. Stewart, in this continuation, to limit himself to Metaphysical Philosophy, and to reserve the progress of Moral and Political Science in the Eighteenth Century for distinct discourses. He has thus excluded from his present work what formed the most popular, and not the least important part of the former; and, in the opinion of many, he has left himself little more than the history of controversies which will remain for ever undecided, and of revolutions in which the mind necessarily returns to the point from which it set out. They will dispute the propriety of his very litle; and deny that metaphysics have made any progress, though they have undergone many changes. Never, perhaps, since England was a lettered nation, was the disinclination to such enquiries more prevalent than it now is. There is a general disposition to acquiesce, on these subjects, in a sort of practical scepticism, the result of indolence and despondency, rather than to weary the understanding in researches which seem hitherto to have yielded no fruit

. These prejudices will be strengthened in the mind of many English readers, when, on opening this Essay, they see in it the naked and seemingly lifeless trunk of metaphysical speculation, stripped of those branches which display its fruitfulness while they hide ils rugged forms, and not only cover it with some of their own grace and beauty, but exhibit its power of nourishing the most useful sciences, and of affording shelter and security to the most important labours of practical reason.

The study of this beautiful Discourse itself will, indeed, prove the best corrective of those prejudices which its title and outline may have alarmed.

*. A General View of the Progress of Metaphysical, Ethical, and Political Science, since the Revival of Letters. Part II. By Dugald Siewart, Esq. F. R. SS. Lond. and Edin. &c. &c. (Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. V. Part 1.)– Vol. xxxvi. page 220. October, 1821.

† Vol. xxvii. p. 180.

It required the accurate and delicate observation of Mr. Stewart, to exhibit the real, though slow, amendment of opinion, and even accession to knowledge concerning the human mind, in ihe course of the eighteenth century, by distinguishing this true progress of philosophy, in which a single step is of unspeakable importance, from those presumptuous and impotent enquiries, to which the vulgar apply the name of metaphysics, and which, in all ages, have rendered that study unacceptable to many wise men.

It must also be owned, that the former Discourse had the advantage not only of a more comprehensive plan, but of a more splendid subject than the present. The age to which it relates may justly be numbered among the grand epochs in the progress of human knowledge. Of these epochs, four at least are conspicuous.

The first of them is the period of unknown antiquity, when the cultivation of knowledge began to be an exclusive occupation, and a separate profession among those colleges of priests, who, whether established on the banks of the Ganges, the Euphrates, or the Nile, appear to have been the earliest instructors of the human species. These guardians of infant science combined it with religion, and thereby rendered it venerable in the eyes of their uolutored contemporaries; but, at the same time, enslaved it to their own superstition, and for ever stopped its progress at the point where it was bound to opinions held to be sacred and immutable. The useful institution of a distioct body of teachers, thus degenerated into a rigorous exclusion of all other men from learning; and, according to the general system of Eastern society, the first division of mental labour was followed by an hereditary monopoly. Impenetrable barriers on every side surrounded knowledge, which hindered it equally from spreading or advancing.

The second memorable period, is the emancipation of knowledge in Greece. It is now vain lo enquire by what steps the Egyptian and Phænician colonists, who carried the arts of civil life to the Pelasgic savages, were gradually led to forsake the peculiar institutions of their forefathers, while they preserved the inventions and manners by which society had been improved. The great revolution, which gave to civilisation a freer and more flexible form among the llellenic nation, is anterior lo the dawn of authentic history. At the moment of their first appearance to us, the Eastern monopolies were overthrown; philosophy had thrown off the felters of superstition; learning was accessible to all men; there was scarcely any separate, still less any hereditary, priesthood; and knowledge occasionally descended lo some individual among that degraded body of slaves, which by the unhappy coustitution of their society, contained the greater part of mankind. Every faculty of human nature was excited to the most intense avidity; and every part of science presented a boundless prospect of improvement. The progress of knowledge, no longer checked as in Asia by internal causes, was exposed to danger only from the political causes which allected the quiet and safety of the nations by which it was cultivated, and which finally overthrew the rude governments and feeble independence of these splendid, but turbulent and insecure communities. The structure of their society was not sufficiently strong to afford a lasting protection to the cultivation of knowledge. Greece lost both liberty and independence as soon as the Macedonians became civilised enough to learn the art of war. The Roman genius did not long survive the downfall of freedom; and universal despolisin extinguished national emulation, patriotic feeling, and enterprising ambilion, together with talents for literature, skill in arls, and even military spirit,

thronghout the civilised world. All the objects of generous pursuit which excite the activity of reason and genius, were placed at an immeasurable distance from every Roman provincial. The empire was too vast to be the country of any man; and the province in which each individual was born, was too much degraded to be regarded with complacency or pride. Mental refinement, as well as energy, had perished; and nothing but the outward appearance and vulgar enjoyments of civilisation, were left to be swept away by those illustrious barbarians, who were destined to rekindle the higher principles of human nature.

The third period is that known by the name of the middle age, which comprehends the interval between the fall of ancient civilisation and the formation of that system of society which distinguishes Europe in modern times. In the earlier part of this period, the mind seemed once more about to be shackled, and learning was again threatened with Oriental bondage. Law and science were the exclusive possession of the priesthood. The whole of the little knowledge then possessed by mankind was not too much for a single profession. An infallible church had almost imposed her yoke upon science, and seemed once more on the point of arresting its progress, by combining the principles of philosophy with the doctrines of her immutable theology. Had not the celibacy of the clergy prevented the sacerdote office from becoming hereditary, perhaps the Asiatic system might then have been completely re-established. But, on the contrary, as the ecclesiastical profession required labour and study, which the barbarous ignorance of the nobles disdained, the church was the road by which men of the lowest rank rose to the highest station, and thus became one of the democratical principles of sociely during the middle age. A logic, at first allowed only to defend received opinions, at length gave rise to philosophical controversies, which, disguised as they were under a barbarous jargon, contained the seeds of the deepest and boldest speculations concerning the first principles of human knowledge. The revival of the Roman jurisprudence rescued law from absolute dependence on the clergy, and raised up formidable rivals to that body; the cultivation of the vernacular language, and the study of ancient literature, diffused instruction and spirit among the laity; and the mind of man was gradually roused to that revolt against all human authority over reason, which is the grand source of subsequent improvement in science, in art, in government, and in morals.

The fourth epoch is that of the second emancipation of science, armed with belter instruments, supplied with far more abundant materials, and secured from attack or decay by a happier order of society. The reformers, who intended only to arrange the stale of theological opinion, restored man to the free exercise of reason. The innumerable inventions and discoveries which began in the middle of the fifteenth century, promoted equally the increase and the diffusion of knowledge. Civilisation became impregnable ; the ascendant of civilised nations over the other parts of the human species was no longer capable of being shaken ; and from the beginning of this new career of society, it became impossible to arrest its progress, or permanently to enslave the understanding.

In the general history of the human mind, the Verulamian reformation of philosophy may doubtless be regarded as a portion of that great revolution by which the fourth epoch is distinguished. But in the history of science it may, with propriety, be separated from the general movement of society, and considered apart, as forming a fifth epoch in the progress of knowledge.

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