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tranquillity of pastoral life. I believe it (the at Northumberland, Pennsylvania, in 1804.
As an Scottish music) took its rise among men who were experimental philosopher, Priestley was of a supereal shepherds, and who actually felt the sentiments rior class; but as a metaphysical or ethical writer, and affections whereof it is so very expressive. he can only be considered subordinate. He was a
man of intrepid spirit and of unceasing industry. DR RICHARD PRICE-ABRAHAM TUCKER-DR JOSEPH One of his critics (in the Edinburgh Review) draws PRIESTLEY.
from his writings a lively picture of that inde
fatigable activity, that bigotted vanity, that preDe RICHARD PRICE (1723-1791), a nonconfor- cipitation, cheerfulness, and sincerity, which made mist divine, published, in 1758, A Review of the up the character of this restless philosopher.' Principal Questions and Difficulties in Morals, which Robert Hall, whose feelings as a dissenter, and attracted attention as an attempt to revive the in- an enemy to all religious intolerance and persecution, tellectual theory of moral obligation, which seemed to were enlisted on the side of Priestley, has thus eulohave fallen under the attacks of Butler, Hutcheson, gised him in one of his most eloquent sentences :-and Hume, even before Smith. Price, after Cud- * The religious tenets of Dr Priestley appear to me worth, supports the doctrine that moral distinctions erroneous in the extreme; but I should be sorry to being perceived by reason, or the understanding, suffer any difference of sentiment to diminish my are equally immutable with all other kinds of truth. sensibility to virtue, or my admiration of genius. On the other side, it is argued that reason is but a His enlightened and active mind, his unwearied principle of our mental frame, like the principle assiduity, the extent of his researches, the light he which is the source of moral emotion, and has no has poured into almost every department of science, peculiar claim to remain unaltered in the supposed will be the admiration of that period, when the general alteration of our mental constitution. Price greater part of those who have favoured, or those was an able writer on finance and political economy, who have opposed him, will be alike forgotten. and took an active part in the political questions Distinguished merit will ever rise superior to opof the day at the time of the French Revolution: he pression, and will draw lustre from reproach. The was a republican in principle, and is attacked by vapours which gather round the rising sun, and Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution.
follow in its course, seldom fail at the close of it to ABRAHAM TUCKER (1705-1774) was an English form a magnificent theatre for its reception, and to squire, who, instead of pursuing the pleasures of the invest with variegated tints, and with a softened chase, studied metaphysics at his country-seat, and effulgence, the luminary which they cannot hide. published, under the fictitious name of Edward Search, a work, entitled The Light of Nature Pur
WRITERS IN DIVINITY. sued, which Paley said contained more original thinking and observation than any other work of the kind. Without much originality (excepting in one meTucker
, like Adam Smith, excelled in illustration, morable instance), there was great acuteness, conand he did not disdain the most homely subjects for troversial ability, and learning displayed in the deexamples. Mackintosh says he excels in mixed, not partment of theology. The higher dignitaries of in pure philosophy, and that his intellectual views the church of England are generally well fitted, by are of the Hartleian school. How truly, and at the education, talents, and the leisure they enjoy, for same time how beautifully, has Tucker characterised vindicating revealed religion from the attacks of all in one short sentence his own favourite metaphysical assailants; and even when the standard of duty was studies! “The science of abstruse learning,' he low among the inferior clergy, there has seldom been says, 'when completely attained, is like Achilles's any want of sound polemical divines. It seems to spear, that healed the wounds it had made before. be admitted that there was a decay of piety and zeal It casts no additional light upon the paths of life, in the church at the time of which we are now treatbut disperses the clouds with which it had over- ing. To animate this drooping spirit, and to place spread them ; it advances not the traveller one step revelation upon the imperishable foundations of true on his journey, but conducts him back again to the philosophy, DR JOSEPH BUTLER publish ed his great spot from whence he had wandered.'
work on the Analogy of Religion to the Course of In 1775 DR JOSEPH PRIESTLEY published an ex- Nature, which appeared in 1736. Withont entering amination of the principles of Dr Reid and others, on the question of the miracles and prophecies, Dr designed as a refutation of the doctrine of common Butler rested his evidence on the analogies of nature : sense, said to be employed as the test of truth by he reasons from that part of the divine proceedings the Scottish metaphysicians. The doctrines of which comes under our view in the daily business Priestley are of the school of Hartley. In 1777 of life, to that larger and more comprehensive part he published a series of disquisitions on Matter of these proceedings which is beyond our view, and and Spirit
, in which he openly supported the mate- which religion reveals.' His argument for a future rial system. He also wrote in support of another life, from the changes which the human body underunpopular doctrine—that of necessity. He settled goes at birth, and in its different stages of maturity; in Birmingham in 1780, and officiated as minister and from the instances of the same law of nature, of a dissenting congregation. His religious opinions in the change of worms into butterflies, and birds were originally Calvinistic, but afterwards became and insects bursting the shell
, and entering into a decidedly anti-Trinitarian. His works excited so new world, furnished with new powers, is one of much opposition, that he ever after found it necessary, the most conclusive pieces of reasoning in the lanas he states, to write a pamphlet annually in their guage. The same train of argument, in support of defence! Priestley was also an active and distin- the immortality of the soul, has been followed up in guished chemist, and wrote history of discoveries two admirable lectures in Dr T. Brown's Philosophy. relative to light and colours, a history of electricity, The work of Butler, however, extends over a wide &c. At the period of the French Revolution in field-over the whole of the leading points, both in 1791, a mob of outrageous and brutal loyalists set natural and revealed religion. The germ of his fire to his house in Birmingham, and destroyed his treatise is contained in a passage in Origen (one of library, apparatus, and specimens. Three years the most eminent of the fathers, who died at Tyre afterwards he emigrated to America, where he con- in the year 254), which Butler quotes in his introtinued his studies in science and theology, and died duction. It is to the effect that he who believes the Scripture to have proceeded from the author of profession, and at the same town, but soon saw fit nature, may well believe that the same difficulties to abandon a pursuit in which it was evident he exist in it as in the constitution of nature. Hence, could have no success. A passion for reading led Butler infers that he who denies the Scripture to Warburton in his twenty-fifth year to adopt the have come from God, on account of difficulties found in it, may, for the same reason, deny the world to have been formed by Him. Inexplicable difficulties are found in the course of nature; no sound theist can therefore be surprised to find similar difficulties in the Christian religion. If both proceed from the same author, the wonder would rather be, that, even on this inferior ground of difficulty and adaptation to the comprehension of man, there should not be found the impress of the same hand, whose works we can trace but a very little way, and whose word equally transcends on some points the feeble efforts of unassisted reason. All Butler's arguments on natural and revealed religion are marked by profound thought and sagacity. In a volume of sermons published by him, he shines equally as an ethical philosopher. In the three first, on human nature, he has laid the science of morals on a surer foundation than any previous writer. After showing that our social affections are disinterested, he proceeds to vindicate the supremacy of the moral sentiments. Man is, in his view, a law to himself; but the intimations of this law are not to be deduced from the strength or temporary predominance of any single appetite or passion. They are to be deduced from the dictates of one principle, which is evidently intended to rule over the other parts of our nature, and which issues its mandates with authority. This master principle is conscience,
Bishop Warburton. which rests upon rectitude as its object, as disinte clerical profession. He took deacon's orders, and by restedly as the social affections rest upon their ap- a dedication to a small and obscure volume of transpropriate objects, and as naturally as the appetite of lations published in 1723, obtained a presentation to hunger is satisfied with food. The ethical system a small vicarage. He now threw himself amidst the of Butler has been adopted by Reid, Stewart, and inferior literary society of the metropolis, and sought Brown. Sir James Mackintosh (who acknowledged for subsistence and advancement by his pen. On that Bishop Butler was his father in philosophy) obtaining from a patron the rectory of Brand made an addition to it: he took the principle of Broughton, in Lincolnshire, he retired thither, and utility as a test or criterion of the rectitude or vir- devoted himself for a long series of years to reading. tue which, with Butler, he maintained to be the pro- His first work of any note was published in 1736, per object of our moral affections. The life of this under the title of Alliance between Church and State, eminent prelate affords a pleasing instance of talent which, though scarcely calculated to please either winning its way to distinction in the midst of diffi- party in the church, was extensively read, and culties. He was born in 1692, the son of a shop- brought the author into notice. In the next, The keeper at Wantage, in Berkshire. His father was Divine Legation of Moses, of which the first volume a Presbyterian, and intended his son to be a minister appeared in 1738, and the remaining four in the of the same persuasion, but the latter conformed to course of several years thereafter, the gigantic the establishment, took orders, and was successively scholarship of Warburton shone out in all its vastpreacher at the Rolls chapel, prebendary of Ro- ness. It had often been objected to the pretensions chester, clerk of the closet to the queen, bishop of of the Jewish religion, that it presented nowhere Bristol, and bishop of Durham. He owed much to any acknowledgment of the principle of a future Queen Caroline, who had a philosophical taste, and state of rewards and punishments. Warburton, who valued his talents and virtues. Butler died on the delighted in paradox, instead of attempting to deny 16th of June 1752.
this or explain it away, at once acknowledged it, but
asserted that therein lay the strongest argument for BISHOP WARBURTON.
the divine mission of Moses. To establish this point,
he ransacked the whole domains of pagan antiquity, No literary man of this period engrossed in his and reared such a mass of curious and confounding own time a larger share of the attention of the argument, that mankind might be said to be awed learned world, not to speak of the public at large, by it into a partial concession to the author's views. than did WILLIAM WARBURTON, bishop of Glou- He never completed the work; he became, indeed, cester (1698-1779). Prodigious powers of study weary of it; and perhaps the fallacy of the hypo. and of expression, a bold and original way of think thesis was first secretly acknowledged by himself
. ing, and indomitable self-will and arrogance, were If it had been consecrated to truth, instead of parathe leading characteristics of this extraordinary dox, it would have been by far the most illustrious man, who unfortunately was too eager to astonish book of its age. As it is, we only look into it to and arrest the attention of mankind, to care for any wonder at its endless learning and misspent ingemore beneficial result from his literary exertions; nuity. and whose writings have, accordingly, after passing The merits of the author, or his worldly wisdom, like a splendid meteor across the horizon of his own brought him preferment in the church: be rose age, sunk into all but oblivion. He was the son of through the grades of prebend of Gloucester, prean attorney at Newark, and entered life in the same bend of Durham, and dean of Bristol, to be (1659) bishop of Gloucester—a remarkable transition for gods were dead men deified, preserved in their sacred the Newark attorney.
writings, and confirmed by monumental records inIt would be tedious to detail the other literary scribed to the gods themselves, who were there said to adventures of this arrogant prelate. The only one be interred.' So far was not amiss ; but then, in the which falls particularly in our way is his edition of genuine spirit of his class, who never cultivate a truth Pope's works, for the publication of which he had but in order to graft a lie upon it, he pretended that obtained a patent right in consequence of the poet's dead mortals were the first gods, and that an imabequest. The annotations of Warburton upon Pope, ginary divinity in these early heroes and conquerors perverting the author's meaning in numberless in- created the idea of a superior power, and introduced stances, and full of malignity against half the learned the practice of religious worship amongst men.' The men of the age, were a disgrace to contemporary learned reader sees below (note in Greek omitted] literature. Yet for many years the works of Pope that our freethinker is true to his cause, and encould not be possessed without this monstrous in-deavours to verify the fundamental principle of his cumbrance. The latter years of Warburton were sect, that fear first made gods, even in that very inspent in a melancholy state of mental weakness, stance where the contrary passion seems to have been partly occasioned by grief for the loss of a son ; for, at its height, the time when men made gods of their like the butcher animals, this man, ruthless to all deceased benefactors. A little matter of address hides others, had kind feelings towards his own kindred the shame of so perverse a piece of malice. He repreTen years after his death, his great work is spoken sents those founders of society and fathers of their of by Gibbon as already a brilliant ruin. It is now country under the idea of destructive conquerors, who rarely referred to, its learning being felt as no at- by mere force and fear had brought men into subjectraction where the solid qualities of truth are want- tion and slavery. On this account it was that indiging. Warburton is indeed as perfect a proof of the nant antiquity concurred in giving Euhemerus the futility of talent without moral direction, as could proper name of atheist, which, however, he would be produced from the meanest walks of literature. hardly have escaped, though he had done no more He gave all to a bad ambition, in which the chief than divulge the secret of the mysteries, and had not object seems to have been to make his fellow crea- poisoned his discovery with this impious and foreign tures wonder at and stand in awe of him. Such addition, so contrary to the true spirit of that secret. feelings as he excited are doomed to be transient. This detection had been long dreaded by the They have passed away; and Warburton, having orthodox protectors of pagan worship; and they were never conferred any solid benefit on his kind, is provided of a temporary defence in their intricate and already little else than a name.
properly perplexed system of symbolic adoration. But this would do only to stop a breach for the pre
sent, till a better could be provided, and was too (The Grecian Mythology—The Various Lights in which weak to stand alone against so violent an attack. it was regarded.]
The philosophers, therefore, now took up the defence [From the Divine Legation.']
of paganism where the priests had left it, and to the
others' symbols added their own allegories, for a Here matters rested: and the vulgar faith seems to second cover to the absurdities of the ancient mythobare remained a long time undisturbed. But as the logy; for all the genuine sects of philosophy, as we age grew refined, and the Greeks became inquisitive have observed, were steady patriots, legislation making and learned, the common mythology began to give one essential part of their philosophy ; and to legisoffence. The speculative and more delicate were late without the foundation of a national religion, shocked at the absurd and immoral stories of their was, in their opinion, building castles in the air. So gods, and scandalised to find such things make an that we are not to wonder they took the alarm, and authentic part of their story. It may, indeed, be opposed these insulters of the public worship with all thought matter of wonder how such tales, taken up in their vigour. But as they never lost sight of their a barbarous age, came not to sink into oblivion as the proper character, they so contrived that the defence age grew more knowing, from mere abhorrence of their of the national religion should terminate in a recomindecencies and shame of their absurdities. Without mendation of their philosophic speculations. Hence, doubt this had been their fortune, but for an unlucky their support of the public worship, and their evasion circumstance. The great poets of Greece, who had of Euhemerus's charge, turned upon this proposition, most contributed to refine the public taste and man- That the whole ancient mythology was no other ners, and were now grown into a kind of sacred than the vehicle of physical, moral, and divine knowauthority, had sanctified these silly legends by their ledge.' And to this it is that the learned Eusebius writings, which time had now consigned to immor- refers, where he says, “That a new race of men refined tality.
their old gross theology, and gave it an honester look, Vulgar paganism, therefore, in such an age as this, and brought it nearer to the truth of things.' lying open to the attacks of curious and inquisitive However, this proved a troublesome work, and, Inen, would not, we may well think, be long at rest. after all, ineffectual for the securit of men's private It is true, freethinking then lay under great difficul- morals, which the example of the licentious story ties and discouragements. To insult the religion of according to the letter would not fail to influence, one's country, which is now the mark of learned dis- how well soever the allegoric interpretation was caltinction, was branded in the ancient world with public culated to cover the public honour of religion ; 80 infamy. Yet freethinkers there were, who, as is their that the more ethical of the philosophers grew peevish wont, together with the public worship of their country, with what gave them so much trouble, and answered threw off all reverence for religion in general. Amongst so little to the interior of religious practice. This these was Euhemerus, the Messenian, and, by what we made them break out, from time to time, into hasty can learn, the most distinguished of this tribe. This resentments against their capital poets; unsuitable, man, in mere wantonness of heart, began his attacks one would think, to the dignity of the authors of such on religion by divulging the secret of the mysteries. noble recondite truths as they would persuade us to But as it was capital to do this directly and pro- believe were treasured up in their writings. Hence fessedly, he contrived to cover his perfidy and malice it was that Plato banished Homer from his republic, by the intervention of a kind of Utopian romance. and that Pythagoras, in one of his extramundane adHe pretended, that in a certain city, which he came ventures, saw both Homer and Hesiod doing penance to in his travels, he found this grand secret, that the l in hell, and hung up there for examples, to be bleached
DR ROBERT LOWTH-DR C. MIDDLETON-REV. W. LAW
HORNE-DR JOHN JORTIN.
and purified from the grossness and pollution of their to the former), were both designed to advance the ideas.
interests of religion, and are well adapted to the The first of these allegorisers, as we learn from purpose. Various theological treatises were also Laertius, was Anaxagoras, who, with his friend Me-written by Watts. trodorus, turned Homer's mythology into a system of Dr RICHARD HURD (1720–1808), a friend and ethics. Next came Hereclides Ponticus, and of the disciple of Warburton, was author of an Introduction same fables made as good a system of physics ; which, to the Study of the Prophecies, being the substance of to show us with what kind of spirit it was composed, twelve discourses delivered at Cambridge. Hurd he entitled Antirresis ton kat autou [Homerou] Ulas- was a man of taste and learning, author of a comphemesanton. And last of all, when the necessity mentary on Horace, and editor of Cowley's works. became more pressing, Proclus undertook to show that He rose to enjoy high church preferment, and died all Homer's fables were no other than physical, ethical, bishop of Worcester, after having declined the archiand moral allegories.
episcopal see of Canterbury.
Dr George HORNE (1730-1792) was another divine whose talents and learning raised him to the bench of bishops. He wrote various works, the most important of which is a Commentary on the
Book of Psalms, which appeared in 1776 in two Dr ROBERT LOWTH, second son of Dr William volumes quarto. It is still a text-book with theoloLowth, was born at Buriton, in Hampshire, in 1710. gical students and divines, and unites extensive He entered the church, and became successively erudition with fervent piety. bishop of St David's, Oxford, and London ; he died DR JOHN JORTIN (1698-1770), a prebendary of in 1787. The works of Lowth display both genius St Paul's and archdeacon of London, was an eminent and learning. They consist of Prelections on Hebrew scholar, and an independent theologian. He wrote Poetry, a Life of William of Wykeham, a Short In- various dissertations, Remarks on Ecclesiastical Histroduction to English Grammar, and a Translation of tory, a Life of Erasmus, &c. The freedom of some Isaiah. The last is the greatest of his productions of his strictures gave offence to the high church The spirit of eastern poetry is rendered with fidelity, clergy. Of a similar character, but less orthodox in elegance, and sublimity; and the work is an ines- his tenets, was Dr John Jebb, who obtained contimable contribution to biblical criticism and learn- siderable preferment in the church, which he reing, as well as to the exalted strains of the divine signed on imbibing Socinian opinions. On quitting
the church, Jebb studied and practised as a physiDR CONYERS MIDDLETON, distinguished for his cian: he died in 1786, aged fifty. His works on admirable Life of Cicero, mixed freely and eagerly in theology and other subjects form three volumes. the religious controversies of the times. One writer, Of the other theological and devotional produce Dr Matthew Tindal, served as a firebrand to the tions of the established clergy of this age, there is clergy. Tindal had embraced popery in the reign only room to notice a few of the best. The disserof James II., but afterwards renounced it. Being tations of Bishop Newton on various parts of the thus, as Drummond the poet said of Ben Johnson, Bible; the Lectures on the English Church Catechism, of either religion, as versed in both,' he set himself by Archbishop Secker ; Bishop Law's Considerations to write on theology, and published The Rights of the on the Theory of Religion, and his Reflections on the Christian Church Asserted, and Christianity as old as Life and Character of Christ, are all works of stan. the Creation. The latter had a decided deistical dard excellence. The labours of Dr Kennicot, in tendency, and was answered by several divines, as the collection of various manuscripts of the Hebrew Dr Cony beare, Dr Foster, and Dr Waterland. Bible, are also worthy of being here mentioned as Middleton now joined in the argument, and wrote an eminent service to sacred literature. remarks on Dr Waterland's manner of vindicating Scripture against Tindal, which only increased the
GEORGE WHITEFIELD-JOHN WESLEY. confusion by adding to the elements of discord. He also published A Free Inquiry into the Miraculous Connected with the English establishment, yet Powers of the Church, which was answered by seve- ultimately separating from it, were those two reral of the high church clergy. These treatises have markable men, Whitefield and Wesley. Both were now fallen into oblivion. They were perhaps useful highly useful in their day and generation, and they in preventing religious truths from stagnating in enjoyed a popularity rarely attained by divines. that lukewarm age; but in adverting to them, we GEORGE WHITEFIELD was born in Gloucester in are reminded of the fine saying of Hall— While 1714. He took orders, and preached in London with Protestants attended more to the points on which astonishing success. He made several voyages to they differed than those on which they agreed, while America, where he was equally popular. Whitefield more zeal was employed in settling ceremonies and adopted the Calvinistic doctrines, and preached defending subtleties than in enforcing plain revealed them with incessant activity, and an eloquence untruths, the lovely fruits of peace and charity perished paralleled in its effects. As a popular orator he under the storms of controversy.'
was passionate and vehement, wielding his audiences A permanent service was rendered to the cause of almost at will, and so fascinating in his style and Christianity by the writings of the Rev. WILLIAM manner, that Ilume the historian said he was worth LAW (1686-1761), author of a still popular work, travelling twenty miles to hear. He died in NewA Serious Call to a Holy Life, which, happening to bury, New England, in 1770. His writings are tame fall into the hands of Dr Johnson at college, gave and commonplace, and his admirers regretted that that eminent person the first occasion of thinking he should have injured his fame by resorting to in earnest of religion after he became capable of publication. rational inquiry.' Law was a Jacobite nonconfor- John WESLEY was more learned, and in all remist : he was tutor to the father of Gibbon the spects better fitted to become the leader and founder historian.
of a sect. His father was rector of Epworth, in LinThe two elementary works of Dr Isaac WATTS- colnshire, where John was born in 1703. He was his Logic, or the Right Use of Reason, published in educated at Oxford, where he and his brother Charles, 1724, and his Improvement of the Mind (a supplement and a few other students, lived in a regular system of
DR HUGH BLAIR,
pious study and discipline, whence they were deno- tice among the dissenting divines, as having obtained minated Methodists. After officiating a short time the poetical praise of Pope. He was originally an as curate to his father, the young enthusiast set Independent, but afterwards joined the Baptists, and off as a missionary to Georgia, where he remained was one of the most popular preachers in London. about two years. Shortly after his return in 1738, He wrote Tracts on Heresy, Discourses on Natural he commenced field-preaching, occasionally travel. Religion and Social Virtue, and other theological ling thrcugh every part of Great Britain and Ireland, works. where he established congregations of Methodists. JOHN LELAND (1691-1766) was pastor of a conThousands flocked to his standard. The grand doc- gregation of Protestant dissenters in Dublin. He trine of Wesley was universal redemption, as con- wrote A View of the Deistical Writers in England, tradistinguished from the Calvinistic doctrine of and an elaborate work on the Advantage and Necesparticular redemption, and his proselytes were, by sity of the Christian Revelation. The former is a solid the act of conversion, made regenerate men. The and valuable treatise, and is still regarded as one of Methodists also received lay converts as preachers, the best confutations of infidelity. who, by their itinerant ministrations and unquenchable enthusiasm, contributed materially to the extension of their societies. Wesley continued writing, preaching, and travelling, till he was eighty. The Scottish church at this time also contained eight years of age; his apostolic earnestness and some able and accomplished divines. The equality venerable appearance procured for him everywhere of livings in the northern establishment, and the profound respect. He had preached about forty greater amount of pastoral labour devolved upon its thousand sermons, and travelled three hundred ministers, are unfavourable for studious research or thousand miles. His highly useful and laborious profound erudition. The Edinburgh clergy, howcareer was terminated on the 2d of March 1791. ever, are generally men of talents and attainments, His body lay in a kind of state in his chapel at and the universities occasionally receive some of the London the day previous to his interment, dressed best divines as professors. One of the most popular in bis clerical habit, with gown, cassock, and band; and influential of the Scottish clergy was Dr HUGH the old clerical cap on his head, a Bible in one hand, BLAIR, born in Edinburgh in 1718. He was at first and a white handkerchief in the other. The funeral minister of a country church in Fifeshire, but, being service was read by one of his old preachers. “When celebrated for his pulpit eloquence, he was succeshe came to that part of the service, “ forasmuch as sively preferred to the Canongate, Lady Yester's, it hath pleased God to take unto himself the soul of and the High Church in Edinburgh. In 1759 he our dear brother," his voice changed, and he substi- commenced a course of lectures on rhetoric and tuted the word father; and the feeling with which belles lettres, which extended his literary reputation; he did this was such, that the congregation, who and in 1763 he published his Dissertation on the were shedding silent tears, burst at once into loud | Poems of Ossian, a production evincing both critical weeping.' At the time of Wesley's death, the taste and learning. In 1777 appeared the first vonumber of Methodists in Europe, America, and the lume of his Sermons, which was so well received that West India islands, was 80,000: they are now above the author published three other volumes, and a a million—three hundred thousand of which are in fifth which he had prepared, was printed after his Great Britain and Ireland. The writings and jour- death. A royal pension of £200 per annum further nals of Wesley are very voluminous, but he cannot rewarded its author. Blair next published his Rhebe said to have produced any one valuable work in torical Lectures, and they also met with a favourable divinity or general literature.
reception. Though somewhat hard and dry in style and manner, this work forms a useful guide to the
young student: it is carefully arranged, contains SATHANIEL LARDNER-HUGH FARMER-DR JAMES
abundance of examples in every department of lite
rary composition, and has also detailed criticisms on The English dissenters now began to evince their ancient and modern authors. The sermons, howregard for learning and their ardour in study. Dr ever, are the most valuable of Blair's works. They NATHANIEL LARDNER (1684-1768) produced some
are written with taste and elegance, and by incul. treatises of the highest importance to the theological cating Christian morality without any allusion to student. His works fill eleven octavo volumes. controversial topics, are suited to all classes of ChrisThe chief is his Credibility of the Gospel History, tians. Profound thought, or reasoning, or impaspublished between 1730 and 1757, in fifteen volumes, sioned eloquence, they certainly do not possess, and and in which proofs are brought from innumerable in this respect they must be considered inferior to sources in the religious history and literature of the the posthumous sermons of Logan the poet, which, first five centuries in favour of the truth of Chris- | if occasionally irregular, or faulty in style, have tianity. Another voluminous work, entitled A Large more of devotional ardour and vivid description. In Collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies society Dr Blair was cheerful and polite, the friend to the Truth of the Christian Religion, appeared near of literature as well as of virtue. His predominant the close of the author's life, and completed a design, weakness seems to have been vanity, which was which, making allowance for the interruptions occa
soon discovered by Burns, in his memorable resisioned by other studies and writings of less impor-dence in Edinburgh in 1787. Blair died on the 27th tance, occupied his attention for forty-three years.
of December 1800. Hugu FARMER (1714-1787), a pupil of Dr Doddridge, was author of several religious treatises, the
[On the Cultivation of Taste.] most important of which is his Dissertation on
[From Blair's Lectures.'] Miracles, a work of close reasoning and profound thought. This dissertation was published in 1771,
Such studies have this peculiar advantage, that they and still maintains its place as one of the bulwarks exercise our reason without fatiguing it. They lead of revealed religion.
to inquiries acute, but not painful; profound, but not DR JAMES FOSTER (1697-1752) is worthy of no-dry or abstruse, They strew flowers in the path of
science, and while they keep the mind bent in some * Southey's Life of Wesley. degree and active, they relieve it at the same time