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otator; he wishes to persuade soundly, | caring no more for the public than for nothing more. We enjoy this clear- himself; so that or ce, when he had ness, this naturalness, this preciseness, spoken for three hours and a half bethis entire loyalty. In one of his ser- fore the Lord Mayor, he replied to mois he says: those who asked him if he was not tired, "I did, in fact, begin to be weary of standing so long." But the heart and mind were so full and so rich, that his faults became a power. He had a geometrical method and clearness, * an inexhaustible fertility, extraordinary impetuosity and tenacity of logic, wri ting the same sermon three or four
"Truth and reality have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the show of anything be good for anything, I am sure sincerity is better; for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have such a quality as he pretends to? For to counterfeit and dissemble, is to put on the appearance of some real excellency. Now, the best way in the world for a man to seem to be anything, is really to be what he would seem to be. Be-times over, insatiable in his craving to sidrs, that it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality, as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is ten to one but he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labour to seem to have it are lost. There is something unnatural in painting, which a skilful eye will easily discern from native beauty and complexion.
"It is hard to personate and act a part long; for where truth is not at the bottom, nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will peep out and betray herself one time or other. Therefore, if any man think it convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed, and then his goodness will appear to everybody's satisfaction; ... so that, upon all accounts, sincerity is true wisdom."
We are led to believe a man who speaks thus; we say to ourselves, "This is true, he is right, we must do as he says." The impression received is moral, not literary; the sermon is efficacious, not rhetorical; it does not please, it leads to action.
In this great manufactory of morality, where every loom goes on as regularly as its neighbor, with a monotonous noise, we distinguish two which sound louder and better than the rest-Barrow and
South. Not that they were free from dulness. Barrow had all the air of a college pedant, and dressed so badly, that one day in Lor.don, before an audience who did not know him, he saw almost the whole congregation at once leave the church. He explained the word xaptoreiv in the pulpit with all the charm of a dictionary, commenting, translating, dividing, subdividing like the most formidable of scholiasts, t
explain and prove, obstinately confined to his already overflowing thoughts with a minuteness of division, an ex actness of connection, a superfluity of explanations, so astonishing that the attention of the hearer at last gives way; and yet the mind turns with the vast engine, carried away and doubled up as by the rolling weight of a flatten. ing machine.
Let us listen to his sermon, " Of the Love of God." Never was a more copious and forcible analysis seen in England, so penetrating, and unweary. ing a decomposition of an idea into all its parts, a more powerful logic, more rigorously collecting into one network all the threads of a subject:
"Although no such benefit or advantage can accrue to God, which may increase his essential and indefectible happiness; no harm or damage can arrive that may impair it (for he glorious, or joyful than he is; neither have can be neither really more or less rich, or our desire or our fear, our delight or our grief, our designs or our endeavours any object, any
doth immediately discover) they bear a relation to, and have a fit coherence with, those that precede, may yet (especially considering St. Paul's style and manner of expression in the tles), without any violence or prejudice or preceptive and exhortative parts of his Epis either hand, be severed from the context, and considered distinctly by themselves. . . . First, then, concerning the duty itself, to give thanks, not only signify gratias agere, reddere, dicere, or rather to be thankful for evxapioreiv doth to give, render, or declare thanks, but also gratias habere, grate affectum esse, to be thankfully disposed, to entertain a grateful affection, sense, or memory.... I say, con cerring this duty itself (abstractedly considered), as it involves a respect to benefits or good things received; so in its employment about them it imports, requires, or suppose these following particulars.'
He was a mathematician of the highest or der, and had resigned his chair to Newton.
end, the most obliging manner of whose benefi "To him, the excellent quality, the noble cence doth surpass the matter thereof and
ground in those respects); yet hath he de-There is here a sort of effusion of grat clared, that there be certain interests and con-itude; and at the end of the sermon, cernments, which, out of his abundant goodness and condescension, he doth tender and when we think him exhausted, the exprosecute as his own; as if he did really re- pansion becomes more copious by the ceive advantage by the good, and prejudice by enumeration of the unlimited blessings the bad success, respectively belonging to amidst which we move like fishes in them; that he earnestly desires and is greatly delighted with some things, very much dis- the sea, not perceiving them, because likes and is grievously displeased with other we are surrounded and submerged by things: for instance, that he bears a fatherly them. During ten pages the idea affection towards his creatures, and earnestly desires their welfare; and delights to see them overflows in a continuous and similar enjoy the good he designed them; as also dis- phrase, without fear of crowding o likes the contrary events; doth commiserate monotony, in spite of all rules, so and condole their misery; that he is conse- loaded are the heart and imagination, quently well pleased when piety and justice, and so satisfied are they to bring and peace and order (the chief means conducing to our welfare) do flourish; and displeased, when collect all nature as a single offering: impiety and iniquity, dissension and disorder (those certain sources of mischief to us) do prevail; that he is well satisfied with our rendering to him that obedience, honour, and respect, which are due to him; and highly of hugely augment the benefits: who, not com fended with our injurious and disrespectful be-pelled by any necessity, not obliged by any law haviour toward him, in the commission of sin (or previous compact), not induced by any ex and violation of his most just and holy comtrinsic arguments, not inclined by our merits, mandments; so that there wants not sufficient not wearied with our importunities, not inmatter of our exercising good-will both in af- shame, or fear (as we are wont to be), not flatstigated by troublesome passions of pity, fection and action toward God; we are capa- tered with promises of recompense, nor bribed ble both of wishing and (in a manner, as he with expectation of emolument, thence to acwill interpret and accept it) of doing good to him, by our concurrence with him in promo of his own actions, only both lawgiver and crue unto himself; but being absolute master ting those things which he approves and de- counsellor to himself, all-sufficient, and incapalights in, and in removing the contrary." * ble of admitting any accession to his perfect This entanglement wearies us, but blissfulness; most willingly and freely, out of what a force and dash is there in this pure bounty and good-will, is our Friend and well considered and complete thought! but our knowledge; surpassing not our deserts Benefactor; preventing not only our desires, Truth thus supported on all its founda- only, but our wishes, yea, even our conceits, in tions can never be shaken. Rhetoric is the dispensation of his inestimable and unreabsent. There is no art here; the quitable benefits; having no other drift in the collation of them, beside our real good and whole oratorical art consists in the de- welfare, our profit and advantage, our pleasure sire thoroughly to explain and prove and content." * what he has to say. He is even unstudied and artless; and it is just this ingenuousness which raises him to the antique level. We may meet with an image in his writings which seems to belong to the finest period of Latin simplicity and dignity:
"The middle, we may observe, and the safest, and the fairest, and the most conspicuous places in cities are usually deputed for the erections of statues and monuments dedicated to the memory of worthy men, who have nobly
deserved of their countries. In like manner should we in the heart and centre of our soul, in the best and highest apartments thereof, in he places most exposed to ordinary observation, and most secure from the invasions of worldly care, erect lively representations of, and lasting memorials unto, the divine bounty." †
Barrow's Theological Works, i., Sermon
† Ibid. 1. 145; Sermon viii., "The Duty of Thanksgiving," Eph. v. 20.
Zealous energy and lack of taste; such are the features common to all this eloquence. Let us leave this mathematician, this man of the closet, this antique man, who proves too much and is too eager, and let us look out amongst the men of the world him who was called the wittiest of ecclesiastics, Robert South, as different from Bar row in his character and life as in his works and his mind; armed for war, an impassioned royalist, a partisan of divine right and passive obedience, an acrimonious controversialist, a defamer of the dissenters, a foe to the Act of Toleration, who never avoided in his enmities the license of an insult or a foul word. By his side Father Bri daine,† who seems so coarse to the *Barrow's Theological Works, i. 159-160, Se mon viii.
Jacques Bidaine (1761-1767), a celebrater
"Again, there are some, who have a certain ill-natured stiffness (forsooth) in their tongue, so as not to be able to applaud and keep pace with this or that self-admiring, vain-gloric as self, and telling fulsome stories in his own com Thraso, while he is pluming and praising tim mendation for three or four hours by the clock, and at the same time reviling and throwing dirt upon
French, was polished. His sermons | Wycherley. T. e pulpit had the plain are like a conversation of that time; dealing and coarseness of the stage and we know in what style they con- and in this picture of forcible, honest versed then in England. South is not men, whom the world considers as bad afraid to use any popular and impas- characters, we find the pungent famil sioned image. He sets forth little vul- iarity of the Plain Dealer: gar facts, with their low and striking details. He never shrinks, he never minces matters; he speaks the language of the people. His style is anecdotic, striking, abrupt, with change of tone, forcible and clownish gestures, with every species of originality, vehemence, and boldness. He sneers in the pulpit, he rails, he plays the mimic and comedian. He paints his characters as if he had them before his eyes. The audience will recognize the originals again in the streets; they could put the names to his portraits. Read this bit on hypocrites:
"Suppose a man infinitely ambitious, and equally spiteful and malicious; one who poisons the ears of great men by venomous whispers, and rises by the fall of better men than himself; yet if he steps forth with a Friday look and a Lenten face, with a blessed Jesu! and a mournful ditty for the vices of the times; oh! then he is a saint upon earth: an Ambrose or an Augustine (I mean not for that earthly trash of book-learning; for, alas! such are above that, or at least that's above them), but for zeal and for fasting, for a devout elevation of the eyes, and a holy rage against other men's sins. And happy those ladies and religious dames, characterized in the 2d of Timothy, ch. iii. 6, who can have such selfdenying, thriving, able men for their confessors! and thrice happy those families where they vouchsafe to take their Friday night's refreshments! and thereby demonstrate to the world what Christian abstinence, and what primitive, self-mortifying rigor there is in forbearing a dinner, that they may have the better stomach to their supper. In fine, the whole world stands in admiration of them; fools are fond of them, and wise men are afraid of them; they are talked of, they are pointed at; and, as they order the matter, they draw the eyes of all men after them, and generally someth ng alse."
A man so frank of speech was sure to commend frankness; he has done so with the bitter irony the brutality of a and zealous French preacher, whose sermons were always extempore, and hence not very cultivated and refined in style.-TR.
South's Sermons, 1715, 11 vols., vi. 110. The fourth and last discourse from those words in Isaiah v. 20, "Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and ligh: for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bicer'
all mankind besides.
"There is also a sort of odd ill-natured men, whom neither hopes nor fears, frowns or fa vours, can prevail upon, to have any of he cast, beggarly, forlorn nieces or kinswomen of any lord or grandee, spiritual or emporal, trumped upon them.
"To which we may add another sort of ob stinate ill-natured persons, who are not to be speak or write, or to swear or lie, as they are brought by any one's guilt or greatness, to
bidden, or to give up their own consciences in a compliment to those, who have none themselves.
"And lastly, there are some, so extremely ill-natured, as to think it very lawful and allowable for them to be sensible when they are injured or oppressed, when they are slandered in their good names, and wronged in their just find, and feel without being such beasts of interests; and withal, to dare to own what they burden as to bear tamely whatsoever is cast upon them; or such spaniels as to lick the foot which kicks them, or to thank the goodly great one for doing them all these back favours." In this eccentric style all blows tell; we might call it a boxing-match in which sneers inflict bruises. But see the effect of these churls' vulgarities. We issue thence with a soul full of energetic feeling; we have seen the very objects, as they are, without disguise; we find ourselves battered, but seized by a vigorous hand. This pulpit is effective; and indeed, as compared with the French pulpit, this is its characteristic. These sermons have not the art and artifice, the propriety and moderation of French sermons; they are not, like the latter, monu. ments of style, composition, harmony, veiled science, tempered imagination, disguised logic, sustained good taste, exquisite proportion, equal to the harangues of the Roman forum and the Athenian agora. They are not classical. No, they are practical. A big workman-like shovel, roughly handled, and encrusted with pedantic rust, was
* South's Sermons, vi. 118.
necessary to dig in this coarse civiliza- | principle, throwing up all around a tion. The delicate French gardening breastwork of arguments, covering would have done nothing with it. If every thing with texts, marching calm Barrow is redundant, Tillotson heavy, South vulgar, the rest unreadable, they are all convincing; their sermons are not models of elegance, but instruments of edification. Their glory is not in their books, but in their works. They have framed morals, not literary productions
To form mora s is not all; there are seds to be defended. We must combat doubt as well as vice, and theology goes side by side with preaching. It abounds at this moment in England. Anglicans, Presbyterians, Independents, Quakers, Baptists, Antitrinitarians, wrangle with each other, heartily as a Jansenist damns a Jesuit," and are never tired of forging weapons. What is there to take hold of and preserve in all this arsenal? In France at least theology is lofty; the fairest flowers of mind and genius have there grown over the briars of scholastics; if the subject repels, the dress attracts. Pascal and Bossuet, Fénelon and La Bruyère, Voltaire, Diderot and Montesquieu, friends and enemies, all have scattered their wealth of pearls and gold. Over the threadbare woof of barren doctrines the seven
teenth century has embroidered a majestic stole of purple and silk; and the eighteenth century, crumpling and tearing it, scatters it in a thousand golden threads which sparkle like a ball-dress. But in England all is dull, dry, and gloomy; the great men themselves, Addison and Locke, when they meddle in the defence of Christianity, become flat and wearisome. From Chillingworth to Paley, apologies, refutations, expositions, discussions, multiply and make us yawn; they reason well and that is all. The theologian enters on a campaign against the Papists of the seventeenth century and the Deists of the eighteenth,* like a tactician by rule, taking a positior on a
* I thought it necessary to look into the Socinian pamphlets, which have swarmed so much among us within a few years.-Stillingfleet In Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity, 1697.
ly underground in the long shafts which he has dug; we approach and see a sallow-faced pioneer creep out, with frowning brow, stiff hands, dirty clothes; he thinks he is protected from all attacks; his eyes, glued to the ground, have not seen the broad level road beside his bastion, by which the enemy will outflank and surprise him. A sort of incurable mediocrity keeps men like him, mattock in hand, in their trenches, where no one is likely to pass. They understand neither their texts nor their formulas. They are impotent in criticism and philosophy. They treat the poetic figures of Scripture, the bold style, the approximations to improvisation, the mystical Hebrew emotion, the subtilties and abstractions of Alexandrian metaphysics, with the precision of a jurist and a psychologist. They wish actually to make of Scripture an exact code of prescriptions and definitions, drawn up by a convention of legislators. Open the first that comes to hand, one of the oldest―John Hales. He comments on a passage of St. Matthew, where a question arises on a matter forbidden What was this? on the Sabbath. "The disciples plucked the ears of corn and did eat them."* Then follow divisions and arguments raining down by myriads. † Take the most celebrated: Sherlock, applying the new psychology, invents an explanation of the Trinity, and imagines three divine souls, each knowing what passes in the others. Stillingfleet refutes Locke, who
John Hales of Eaton, Works, 3 vols, 12m0, 1765, i. 4.
t He examines, amongst other things, sin against the Holy Ghost." They would very much like to know in what this consists. But nothing is more obscure. Calvin and other theologians each gave a different definition. After a minute dissertation, Hales conck.der thus: "And though negative proofs from Scrip ture are not demonstrative, yet the general silence of the apostles may at least help to infer a probability that the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not committable by any Chris tian who lived not in the time of our Saviour" (1636). This is a training for argument. So in Italy, the discussion about giving drawers to or withholding them from the Capuchins, devel oped political and diplomatic ability.—Ibid i. 36.
thought that the soul in the resurec- | They would have scruples of con tion, though having a body, would not perhaps have exactly the same one in which it had lived. Let us look at the most illustrious of all, the learned Clarke, a mathematician, philosopher, scholar, theologian; he is busy patching up Arianism. The great Newton himself comments on the Apocalypse, and proves that the Pope is Antichrist. In vain have these men genius; as soon as they touch religion, they become antiquated, narrow-minded; they make no way; they are stubborn, and obstinately knock their heads against the same obstacle. They bury themselves generation after generation, in the heriditary hole with English patience and conscientiousness, whilst the enemy marches by, a league off. Yet in the hole they argue; they square it, round it, face it with stones, then with bricks, and wonder that, notwithstanding all these expedients, the enemy marches on. I have read a host of these treatises, and I have not gleaned a single idea. We are annoyed to see so much lost labor, and amazed that, during so many generations, people so virtuous, zealous, thoughtful, loyal, well read, well trained in discussion, have only succeeded in filling the lower shelves of libraries. We muse sadly on this second scholastic theology, and end by perceiving that if it was without effect in the kingdom of science, it was because it only strove to bear fruit in the kingdom of action.
science if they indulged in free inquiry without limitation. In reality there is a sort of sin in truly free inquiry, be cause it presupposes skepticism, aban dons reverence, weighs good and evil in the same balance, and equally receives all doctrines, scandalous or edifying, as soon as they are proved They banish these dissolving specu lations; they look on them as occupa tions of the slothful; they seek from argument only motives and means for right conduct. They do not love it for itself; they repress it as soon as it strives to become independent; they demand that reason shall be Christian and Protestant; they would give it the lie under any other form: they reduce it to the humble position of a handmaid, and set over it their own inner biblical and utilitarian sense. In vain did freethinkers arise in the beginning of the. century; forty years later they were drowned in forgetfulness.* Deism and atheism were in England only a transient eruption developed on the surface of the social body, in the bad air of the great world and the plethora of native energy. Professed irreligious men, Toland, Tindal, Mandeville, Bolingbroke, met foes stronger than themselves. The leaders of experimental philosophy,t the most learned and accredited of the scholars of the age, the most witty authors, the most beloved and able,§ all the authority of science and genius was employed in putting them down. Refutations abound. All these speculative minds were so Every year, on the foundation of Robert in appearance only. They were apolo- Boyle, men noted for their talent or gists, and not inquirers. They busy knowledge come to London to preach themselves with morality, not with eight sermons, for proving the Christruth.* They would shrink from treat- tian religion against notorious infidels, ing God as a hypothesis, and the Bible viz., atheists, deists, pagans, Moham as a document. They would see a medans, and Jews. And these apolo vicious tendency in the broad impar-gies are solid, able to convince a liberal tiality of criticism and philosophy.
"The Scripture is a book of morality, and mot of philosophy. Everything there relates to practice. It is evident, from a cursory view of the Old and New Testament, that they are miscellaneous books, some parts of which are history, others writ in a poetical style, and others prophetical; but the design of them all, is professedly to recommend the practice of true religion and virtue."-John Clarke, Chaplain of the King, 1721. [I have not been able to find these exact words in the edition of Clarke Rccessible to me.-T.]
mind, infallible for the conviction of a
Bentley, Clarke, Warbarton, Berkeley.