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astonished," " ridicule and mockery," controuled or chastened," &c.
In speaking of Duming he is not equally happy. He says of him, " that lie neither delighted nor entertained his hearers, but subdued them by his powers of argumentative ratiocination." Now if “combinations of apparent dissimilarities” be a good definition of wit, never man had it in more perfection than Dunning. His manner indeed was against him. He spoke with a hectic, asthmatic, stammering tone of voice, like a boy who bad bis lesson ill by heart. But such were the charms of his matter, that he who heard him speak for two hours, only lamented that he could not continue to hear him for two more. But with whatever felicity Sir N. inay have touched the character of his ministers, ke has by no means done justice to that of the sovereign. We do not indeed know any part of this faulty work with which we were more displeased than with his character of our virtuous but unhappy king. For although he generally deals in the language of panegyric, yet it is given in so cold and constrained a manner, that it seerns rather to have been extorted by compulsion, than to have flowed from affection. He at one tine so qualifies his exprèssions as to leave the reader at a loss to know whether his object be censure or commendation; and at another, under the appearance of panegyric conveys the severest sarcasms. The latter offence however we attribute to inadvertency. We acquit Sir Nathaniel of all intentional sarcasın. But in fact he has more than counterbalanced every paragraph enumerative of the King's virtues by quoting some galling invectives from Junius, forgetting that the last words of a sentence are best remembered by the generality of readers: and that such is the effect of prejudice and received opinions, that the words of Juniùs inake a more lasting impression than two whole pages of the languid imbecillity of Sir Nathaniel Wraxall.
It is not however thus that the crafty Baronet has treated those in the possession of present power. It was not because he knew not how to use with effect the language of panegyric that he las withheld it from the father. He calculated it would bring better interest if bestowed on the son. It was not because he reckoned that the car of the former was dead to praise, but because the sceptre of reward had dropped from his hands. And with indecent prematurity he speaks throughout his book of him as already defunct, who yet lives enthroned in his subjects hearts, whose very life is the palladium of our soil, and who yet effectually reigns in the memory of his virtues. We know that we are paying a more grateful and refined compliment than any contained in the pages of Sir W. Wraxall, in saying, that we are sure that there is one who will reject this unhallowed offering
with indignation_who will receive with contempt the gross flattery of the man, who could think so meanly of ihe sou as to expect that he would submit to be praised at the expence of the father.
As we were turning over the last volume for the last time, and were just about to conclude our task, we stumbled upon one more subject which we should be sorry to have forgotten; for it sets our author's credulous absurdity in a stronger light than any thing we have yet adduced. Will it be believed that he seriously asserts " that one Robests, Mr. Pelham's private secretary, used to take his stand at the door of the House of Commons on the day of prorogation, and as the members passed to and fro, conveyed them their payment or stipend in a squeeze of the hand.” It is so written in Vol. ii. p. 496. We suppose this novel mode of conveying bribes was adopted to prevent discovery, as the conspirators in “the Rovers” sing in full chorus, to prevent their being discovered. This anecdote however, he says, he Irad from a man of rank anıl high character, whom he does not Hame, because being still alive, he does not think himself at liberty to divulge his authority. Vastly convincing indeed!
His authority however for another story of the like kind affords a still better specimen of our Baronet's powers of belief.
“ A gentleman of high professional rank and of unimpeached veracity, told me that dining at the late Earl of Besborough's, in Cavendish-square, in the year 1790, where only four persons were present, including himself, Ross. Mackay, who was one of the nume ber, gave them most ample information on this subject (i. e. bribery of the H. of C.) Lord Besborough, having called for a bottle of excellent Champaigne, of which Mackay was FOND, and the conversation turning on the means of governing the House of Commons, Mackay said that with my own hand I secured one hundred and twenty votes on that vital question to ministers : 80,000 pounds were set apart for the purpose. Forty members received of me a thousand pounds each. To eighty others I paid five hundred pounds each. Vol. ii.
Vol. ii. p.510. And this is the foundation on which most of his stories rest. On the authority of a dinner conversation, after the Champaigne has circulated briskly; when a man's vanity stimulates him to appear wiser than his companions, and wine has got the better of his prudence and love of strict veracity. Aware, as we ourselves are, of the incorrectness of all common conversation, we are not inclined to think well of the judgment of a man who even speaks of what he has heard in talk as matter of authority : but when such materials are passed oft as fit for the authentie narrative of
being once established, he reads in confidence, since of the goods
history, tre can designate the fact by no other name than downright folly.
Upon the whole, we are not inclined to retract our opinion that the great mistake committed by Sir Nathaniel, lies in the title of his wurk. Had he published it under the name of Anecdotes, the public would have expected nothing more than mere amusement, and it would not have been disappointed. But as it is, they are led to expect authentic information, and are disappointed at every page. In fact, Sir W. Wraxall is not qualified as the author of Historical Memoirs of iny own Time. It was to illustrate principally this position, that we gave a short chart of his life. He has not been behind the curtain, and seen the wires of the puppets 'worked. To write “ Memoirs," so that they may form legitimate materials for history, it is necessary for men to be able to say “ Quorum pars magna fui.”—The reader has nothing then to do but to enquire into the author's credibility : and that
ness of his information he has no doubt. But in the case of the present book, we have not only to weigh the writer's veracity, but bis information; and not only his, but the veracity and information of every person from whom he gathers materials. So that the reader is treading on treacherous ground, with continual ansiety and suspicion. But if notwithstanding Sir W. W. is determined to retain the title of liis book, we will advise him how to make it more worthy. He may, probably, at the beginning of term, have a little more leisure time then he will know how to dispose of. Solitude is irksome. Let us, therefore, council him to employ it in revising his present work, before he publishes his third part.--Let him strike out all the indecent passages, curtail the first volume of its absurdities, and erase all those anec. dotes which he has gleaned upon hearsay authority: in short, let him leave nothing but what, from the evidence of his own senses, he knows to be true. It may reduce, perhaps, the size of his jvork, but we do not think that it will lessen its value,
Art. III. Sermons, for Parochial and Domestic Use; designed
to illustrate and enforce in a connected View, the most important Articles of Christian Faith and Practice. By · Richard Mant, M. A. Vicar of Great Coggeshall, Essex" ; and Domestic Chaplain to his Grace the Archbishop of
Sermons, for Parochial and Domestic Use; chiefly adapted to
the Service of particular Sundays in the Year. By Richurd Mant, M. A. Vicar of Great Coggeshull, Essex. Second
Edition. S vols. 8vo. Rivingtons. 1815. THE Members of the Church of England may truly be congratulated on having received from their lawful Pastors, at dif. ferent periods since the Reformation, a faithful display of Gospel truth in the form of Sermons. They have thus, in a compendious way, been reminded of all that is necessary, not only for their belief, but also for their practice. So faithfully, indeed, and so repeatedly has the good service been performed, that, within the last century, many clergymen who, by talent and piety, have been competent to have instructed the Chris. tian world, both by the composition and the publication of Sermons, have withholden their services, because they have thought that this department was already amply supplied. It would, however, have been advantageous to the best interests of the Gospel, in this country, if many of this description had not suffered their modesty to have so far prevailed with them, as to throw a damp upon their exertions in promulgating, proprio marte, the word of truth. We might be thought too severe were we to trace, in too inany cases, this feeling to its junction with a far more degrading motive, and to point out the union which often exists between modesty and indolence. Nomine magnifico segne otium relaturi. But let this be as it may, 100 many of those who are fully capable even of higher exertions, have been deterred from this executing the command of their Divine Master, “Go ye, and teach all nations," promising them in this their laborious undertaking, “And lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
This promise of our Blessed Master, that he would be with his lawful Ministers even unto the end of the world, grounded on his own commission to them, that they would go and teach all nations, which plainly implies that this important work of teaching was, without interruption, to be conmued, by his successors, to the end of the world. And truly, however excellent may be the discourses or teachings of any set of Ministers in any one period of the world, they do not supersede the necessity of teaching in any subsequent period. As the prevailing passions of men, or the fashions of the age vary, so also must the doctrines and the admonitions of the Ministers of the Gospel vary with them. They must be peculiarly adapted to the necessities of each succeeding age, and faithfully applied to existing necessity. But in addition to this, it is well kuowu by every earnest Minister, that the great truths of Christi
anity must be conveyed to his people often, earnestly, and by frequent repetitions, line npon line, and precept upon precept, that so they may be gradually engrafted upon their understanda ings, and be nurtured in their affections.
In these reflections may be found a sufficient answer to those who object that in Sermons is to be found nothing new. If the same truths frequently repeated, become the more likely to Convey their requisite impression, that alone is ample ground for their repetition, in a world wherein temptations of all kinds abound to seduce the Christian from a practical, adherence to that which he knows to be true. But, beyond this, it is, indeed, the best recommendation that Sermons can have, that they contain not novelties. The proper subject of a Minister of the Gospel composing Sermons, is, “ Jesus Christ the saine yesterday, to-day, and for ever." On inspired authority, the peo. ple are exhorted to “ Stand fast, and hold the traditions which they have been taught." “ To hold fast that which is good.” • To hold fast the form of sound words.” And we are re. peatedly admonished “ To hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." The commendation of those who were saved through the preaching of St. Peter was, that “ They continued steadfastly in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Novelties, then, should have no place in Sermons, which are intended to conVeỳ Christian truths, the same now as they ever were, and ever will be, and to impress Christian practice, the great priuciples of which must ever also remain the same. The only point therefore in which novelty can bé beneficial, is in the minor departments of language and style; and in the more important task of adapting the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel to meet the ever varying errors and immoralities of the age.
With these impressions on our minds, we have perused the Sermons of Mr. Mant, and we have perused them with satis-faction, having found ourselves reminded of the great Christian truths in language plain and scriptural. In a preface, the author modestly limits his object to the purpose of instructing ordinary Christians in the way of salvation, by a collectioni of plain Discourses on some of the most important Articles of Christian Faith and Practice. This observation, he observes, will explain the general character and pretensions of these vo lumes, and prepare the reader for what he is to expect from them. “ Originally composed for the instruction of my own parishioners, they are offered to the public, with the view, not in any degree of assisting the researches of the theological student, but of promoting the advancement of ordinary Christians in the “ Wisdom," which is, “unto Salvation." D
Thr VOL. IV. JULY, 1815.