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discarded the rites of the law. For as the only probability is, that the privileges of the Ælian colony, an hereditary attachment to the soil of Jerusalem, and the inconveniences attendant on emigration, would induce numbers to continue on the site of the old city; the only probability is, that on the appointment of a new bishop, they would abandon their indifferent ceremonies, and conform to the ordinances of the church. But as it is equally probable, that the attachment of many to their paternal customs would prevail even over these considerations; we further conceive it to be a fact, that besides this Church of Gentile and Hebrew converts, there was a Synagogue of Nazarenes, or orthodox Hebrew believers, settled at lia, who, according to Origen's notion, had not discarded the rites of the Mosaic law. This fact we rest on the authority of St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome; the former of whom states that a Synagogue certainly existed at Jerusalem; while the latter evinces that it consisted of Nazarenes, whose places of Worship were, in his own age, prevalent in many parts of the East. Under both these views of the question, as well as that taken by Bishop Bull, the offensive and defensive operations of Dr. Priestley and his advocates seem to be reduced to the same desperate case: and Mr. Belsham's oil and ink expended to po purpose, in vindicating the claims of his departed friend,
(To be concluded in our next.)
are been ung eren
ART. VI. Memoirs of Lady Hamilton, with illustrative Anec
dutes of many of her most particular Friends, and distin.
guished Contemporaries. 1815. We took up the book before us with two impressions on our mind, that we should find it offensive to decency, and injurious to the character of Lord Nelson. In the first we acknowledge that we were in error; the book is as dull and prosing as any that we ever laboured through (a bold word for a committee of reviewers), but it is not immoral or licentious; but we were not deceived by our second impression, and on this account we shall bestow a little time, and space on so wretched. a production.
When will the shade of our great and beloved warrior be allowed to rest in peace? When will a world of malicious writers, and wanton readers suffer his human frailties to be for. golfen amidst the crowd of his overpowering merits ? His fate
has been singular and cruel; in his life-timeuone so high, and
upon reprehend such shameful publications ; in going into ihe following remarks on the question which they involve, we feel that We are liable to some misrepresentation, but it is too important to be declined on any personal considerations. Let it not then be supposed, that we would justify or excuse the errors of Nelşon. Whatever love or veneration we have for his memory (and greates no one can have), we should think it an unwise and unworthy testimony of them to become the apologists of vice. Whenever his noral faults are mentioned, let them be visited with the censure which they deserve, let it distinctly appear, to serve as a guard to youthful and indiscreet admirers, that no talent, quality, or virtue, no success or glory can take away, or at all diminish the iuseparable ugliness of sin. In this point of view, we can conceive it a useful lesson to-shew-how all the und happiness of Nelson's life, and all the tarvish on his posthumous memory have flowed as legitimate consequences froni. the breach of that moral obligation, from which po splendour of exploit, or height of situation had power to release him.
But unless, according to the case supposed, morality enjoined the disclosure, or the important claims of history make it desirable, we can see no reason, why his frailties should ever he at all mentioned. The best, and greatest - heroes, those to
whose wisdom, valour, aud patriotism, as ministers of the mer. cies of Providence, nations owe the chief and the most numerous blessings which they enjoy, are still but men; and of all men, if the liability to fall be estimated by the force of temptation, the most exposed to error.
Placed on high among the people," the rapturous and always excessive people, whirled round and round upon their dizzy eminence, even to giddiness, by indiscreet or designing adulation ; by nature too in general of strong passions and ardent temperament, everything from within and from without conspires to their seduction. If they fall, it behoves mankind in gratitude for what they owe, and out of filial affection, each individual to his own country, (as her character happens to be implicated), not surely to pardon or approve errors so lamentable (for guilt is guilt by whomsoever incurred), but to bury them in oblivion, or at least in silence, wherever no weighty matter summons them up to solemu judg. ment. Perhaps their follies or failings were mixed up with the great scenes of history in which they moved, and were, in some way or other, operative upon the public events in which they were principal agents; perhaps, as we said before, the moralist desires to exhibit to us, as a warning, our weakness even in our strength, our nature's inconsistency, its misty spots even, in its solar effulgence; if so, let the curtain be slowly and reluctantly, yet entirely withdrawn: in the one case important truth, in the other important morality demands the sacrifice. But it should be considered a sacrifice; the task should, and to a generous mind would be a very painful one, not to be performed for any but such weighty motivesmato do so for lucre, for transient currency with the worthless herd of readers, to pamper general curiosity, or private rancour, to do so lightly, or with any but the saddest feelings; this is indeed shocking, and to be compared in point of spirit only to the jesting of an anatomist in his lecture room over the mournful spectacle of inortality before him.
In recommending the distinction, which we have endeavoured to draw, we are not aware, that we plead for the vices of the great, or seduce them with hopes of impunity. We would abolish the libel and the pillory indeed of the literary mob; but it is in the spirit of our excellent laws) to substitute a temperate, and authorized prosecution, a fair examination, a regular trial, and a solemn punishment.
We express ourselves with some earnestness on this subject; but, we hope and trust, with no more than its importance demands. The evil, great and deadly as it is, generated, subsisting, and nourished only in, and by the corruption of all right, decent, or generous feelings, is daily increasing. To this may,
in some measure, though not entirely, be attributed that growing scepticism, which pervades all ages equally with all ranks, as to the goodness and integrity of distinguished publick men. There is not a more fearful sign of these fearful times than this; and it behoves every well-wisher of his country to oppose strenuously whatever in any degree contributes to nourish it. In place of the entire undoubting ardour with which in former times our youth venerated the great names of English history, we have now substituted a cold and measured applause, paid rather to the success, than the motives of their actions. The Earl of Chatham had not so learned ; whenever that great practical phiJosopher spoke of those who were prime agents in the memorable æras of our history, he used no measured language ; not that he knew less of that history, but that he knew more of political wisdom and human nature. If he mentioned the Great Charter, he did not describe its framers as imperious and turbulent barons, selfishly actuated, desirous of preserving their own power from royal encroachment, and doing good to the commonalty only by unintentional consequence; but he spoke of them as men, « Whose virtues were rude and uncultivated, but great and sin
Their understandings,” said he, “ were as little polished as their manners, but they had hearts to distinguish right from wrong, they had heads to distinguish truth from falsehood, they understood the rights of humanity, and they had spirit to maintain them."
There is more of real wisdom in this mode of interpretation, than may at first sight appear (nor does it, if the obvious distinction above laid down be attended to, involve any pious fraud); for it is of the last importance to propose pure models to those who are entering life; at that time imitation is ardent and indiscriminating, minds are fearless and zealous : with pure models before him, the candidate for glory advances upon principle, and consistently; to be great he knows is impossible without being good; he connects the motive inseparably with the action, and bestows neither censure nor blame on the latter (considered on the score of glory), till he has scrutinized the former; all bis progress is then regular and worthy of the end proposed. Prin. ciples in this way become deeply rooted, and judgment at the same time strengthening, and the powers of discrimination im. proving, be may be safely trusted with the information which would probably have disgusted him before; when he examines the inconsistencies of character, which the sober page of history will shew bim, he will now be ready to make allowance for the inseparable frailties of our nature, and to diminish, without wholly denying, applause,
The present system is grounded on opposite principles, and must produce opposite effects ; instead of attempting to carry on the simplicity and ardour of the child into the man, it seems to be our object to dwarf the child with the doubtfulness and timidity of the man. We are to be credulous of evil, incredulous of good : where an action is of an ambiguous nature, it is to be condemmed by presumption; where it is confessedly wise and useful, we are to look for a bad, or unworthy motive; is the unexceptionable motive too strongly marked to admit of imputation, we shall be presented with some degrading inconsistency on a siinilar occasion. In this way we are stripped by degrees of all objects, and almost of all capability of humble and imitative admiration; we grow to be out of charity with our own nature, and out of heart in our pursuit of virtue, for the former seems so corrupt, that the latter may well be considered an unattainable abstraction ; if we pursue our course under all these hindrances, it is rather for worldly honours and profits, or the breath of popularity, than to purchase an enduring name; principle ceases to operate, and the ascent to fame comes to be considered an affair of twists and starts, of shifts and expedients. It is not to be doubted, that the effects of such an education must be visible in the individual character in after life, and, by consequence, in that of the nation.
The pursuit of these thoughts has led us astray from our şubject, nor can we return to it, till we have ventured on a few words to the public, who encourage the trash, which is one mean of producing the bad effects we deplore. It is certainly no apology for a wanton scribbler, that he will never be without readers; but if the public, whose neglect would soon put an end to the race, encourage and maintain them by credulous apo probation, and a willing audience, it must be content to bear an equal share of the guilt
. “There are not only slanderous throats, but slanderous ears also,” says an old and most eloquent Divine, “not only wicked inventions, which ingender and brood lies, but wicked assents, which hatch and foster them."
We have heard of an infamous book, a disgrace indeed to our language, in the last paragraph of which, its author triumphantly congratulates himself on having erected a temple to Virtue and Modesty. In something of the same spirit the author of the work before us " utterly disclaims the malignant intention of draggiug failings to the light," and makes most liberal professions of the purity of his motives. We will not be so rude as to tell him, that we disbelieve these professions, but we will venture to ask him two questions, to which we find no satisfactory answer in his book, what objects important to history or morality could be answered by the biography of such a personage as