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transmissions of their splendour through the thicker and denser atmosphere of inferior minds, or the occasional coruscations of a few individuals of somewhat assimilating genius. One department of knowledge we are happy to believe has excited an increased degree of attention, and is more duly appreciated than formerly; we refer to theology, and especially that species of it which is termed Biblical criticism. It is not that works of imposing superiority have been presented to us, but in the favourable reception of a few, and in the general tone of feeling which is prevalent, we have discovered cause for thankfulness that our common Christianity is advancing to that plenitude of power, that universality of influence, which every wellwisher to mankind must desire. Proceed we now to occupy a few pages with some passages from

writers who belong to the class indicated by our title:–

1.—Substance of Lectures on the ancient Greeks, and on the Revival of Greek Learning in Europe. By the late Andrew Dalzel, A.M. F.R.S.E., Professor of Greek in the University of Edinburgh. This posthumous publication of the Greek Professor, at the University of Edinburgh, is not very eminently calculated to enhance his otherwise well-earned reputation. We notice it chiefly to insert an impressive exhortation to the assiduous study of the Greek language, contained in the fifteenth lecture, which was well calculated to excite his pupils, and may now stimulate others to assiduity in the cultivation of this important department of literature. “No man can possibly obtain the praise of erudition, who is ignorant of the Greeks and their language, because this is the source from which learning flows. In whatever rank of life above the vulgar any person is to appear, some knowledge of the language of ancient Greece is not only ornamental, but almost absolutely necessary. In the three literary professions of theology, law, and medicine, any person who is des

titute of some acquaintance with this language, must be considered as a novice or smatterer among all men of real learning. To a divine it is a sufficient reason for his applying to the Greek, that the New Testament of our Saviour is written in that language. But here he cannot be supposed to be a true critic, unless he have a considerable acquaintance with the Greek authors. The fathers of the church also wrote, many of them very elegantly, in this language, At any rate, a divine ought to aspire at the praise of learning. An illiterate person of this character is always con

sidered as contemptible. “ Nor ought the student of law to be ignorant of Greek. The Roman or civil law, which makes a great part of his study, although it was delivered in Latin, is still intermingled with a great many Greek words. The emperor Justinian, who collected it, reigned at Constantinople, at a period when the Greek language was much more spoken than the Latin, and many of the commentaries upon the civil law were written in Greek. The modern writers and commentators on the civil law, suppose suppose the student moderately skilled in Greek. Heineccius upon the Institutes of Justinian, as well as the Pandects, every now and then introduces Greek words, which must puzzle and disconcert a student who is totally ignorant of that language. When we reflect, farther, that lawyers are considered universally as men of learning, and that they ought to be also men of eloquence and taste, it must be allowed, that at least a moderate knowledge of the Greek tongue is absolutely necessary for them. “The vast utility of Greek in a medical education is so obvious, that it was never called in question. Almost all the terms of art are derived from that quarter, and Greek words are made use of in every prescription. This, of itself, is sufficient to recommend some acquaintance with that language to every student of medicine. But he who aspires at real eminence in his profession, will not be contented with such a skill in the language as will only enable him to consult his lexicon; he will also endeavour to read Hippocrates, Arataeus Cappadox, and Galen, in the original tongue. And he will emulate that learning, particularly in the Greek and Roman authors, for which emiment physicians have always been remarkable. “No gentleman, indeed, ought to be without a moderate skill in this sort of literature. Whether he be called to act a part in the supreme council of the nation, or lead a life of rural retirement, some knowledge of the Greeks and their language, will enable him to embellish his harangues if he speaks in public, and to

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amuse his solitary hours in his rural retreat. If classical taste be suffered to decline among the youth who are to be the future supports of the state, it is to be feared that real eloquence will also decline, and incorrectness and inelegance succeed. If gentlemen who retire to the country would be at more pains to cultivate their minds with classic elegance, we should not behold so many of them spending one half of the day at the chase, and besotting themselves in the evening over their bottle. With what superior lustre do we behold to arise the example of a Granville, of a Lyttleton, of a Shenstone, who have paid the debt of nature, celebrated and honoured by all men of real taste . “It must be confessed, that to be real adepts in the language of ancient Greece, is attended with considerable difficulty and pains, but this ought not to hinder any scholar from endeavouring to acquire a moderate skill in it. Although the pursuits in after life leave but little time for the prosecution of such a study, yet no person will ever repent the pains he has taken, although he should but retain through life the meaning of the ordinary vocables in the language, without which, indeed, he must meet with repeated mortifications. Allow me to conclude what I have to say at present, in the words of the elegant author already quoted. “It were to be wished,' says he, ‘ that those amongst us, who either write or read with a view to employ their liberal leisure, would inspect the finished models of Grecian literature.” – To be completely skilled in ancient learning, adds he, he, “is by no means a work of such insuperable pains. The very progress itself is attended with delight, and resembles a journey through some pleasant country, where every mile we advance new charms arise. It is certainly as easy to be a scholar as a gamester, or many other characters equally illiberal and low. The same application, the same quantity of habit, will fit us for one as completely as for the other. And as to those who tell us, with an air of seeming wisdom, that it is men and not books we must study to become wise and knowing; this, I have always remarked, from repeated experience, to be the common consolation and language of dunces. They shelter their ignorance under a few bright examples, whose transcendent

abilities, without the common

helps, have been sufficient of themselves to great and important ends.”

2.—An Essay on the History of the English Government and Constitution, from the reign of Henry PII. to the present time. By Ilord John Russell. This work contains many principles worthy of the illustrious house to which its author belongs; unfolding in its successive chapters the progress and excellence of British Institutions, and elucidating the importance and the genuine basis of civil and religious liberty. He observes:— “The outset of the reformation in England was marked by a more cruel and insupportable religious tyranny than had ever subsisted under the Papal dominion. In

the times of popery, the articles of faith were placed in the custody of the priest, and the people received from him some knowledge of the doctrines of christianity, somewhat more of the duties of morality, and an unbounded reverence for the authority and magnificence of the church. But Henry VIII. after partly removing the veil of ignorance from the eyes of his people, required them not to go a single step farther than he himself did, and the nation was commanded by Act of Parliament, to believe six articles of faith therein laid down, and whatever else the king might choose to ordain. “To punish men for their opinions in speculative articles of belief, is one of the luxuries which tyranny has invented in modern times. Dionysius and Domitian knew nothing of it. It was enjoyed by Henry to its full extent. He was not, like Philip II. or Charles IX. merely the minister of bigotry, of which he was himself the disciple. . He taught from his own mouth the opinions which were to regulate his subjects; he contained in his own breast the rule of orthodoxy; and he had the triumph of confuting the heretic whom he afterwards had the gratification to burn. “The religion established by Henry VIII. was so far from being the reformed church of Luther or of Calvin, that he prided himself in maintaining the Roman Catholic faith after he had shaken off the supremacy of the Pope. His ordinances, indeed, vibrated for a short time between the old and the new religion, as he listened more to Cranmer or to Gardiner; but the law of the six articles,

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his own destruction. “In a contest between a king who refuses any limitation of his prerogative, and a people who require it, there can be no equitable agreement. The ordinary authority of a limited king, the power of calling out an armed force, of proroguing and dissolving Parliament, cannot be entrusted to a sovereign whose main object it is to destroy, by means of a party, all limitation. William III. Anne and the first sovereigns of the house of Brunswick, might be safely entrusted with the prerogative, because no party in the nation wished to see arbitrary power in their hands; but Charles I. could not, because the Cavaliers would have been unanimous in repealing the restrictions imposed by Parliament. Hence, when the popular party had provided sufficient checks for the people against a king, they were obliged to devise fresh ones against king Charles. After the plot in the army in favour of the king, they were obliged to put part of the executive power in the hands of trustees, and still more when war had actually commenced, till the proprietor of the crown should have discretion to use it. This forms the only justification of the law respecting the militia, the bill for continuing the Parliament, and the articles of Uxbridge. It was too much to expect, that the

victorious party should lay down their arms, without securities, quietly permitting the liberties they had wrested from the crown to be again surrendered by a packed Parliament; and their own lives to be at the mercy of a king to whom the power of the sword had been again entrusted. The difficulty was inseparable from the case. The king's prerogative is so great, that nothing but the established opinion of the whole nation can prevent his absorbing every other authority in the state.” Again,_ “Charles fell a sacrifice at last, because Cromwell had lost his popularity by negociating with him, and wished to regain his credit with his army. He had found reason to suspect, in the course of the negociation, that Charles had no real intention of being reconciled with him, and that the democratic troops whom he commanded were ready to break out into mutiny in consequence of his supposed apostacy. His reconciliation was written in the king's blood. Machiavel, in a chapter in which he shows, ‘that a people accustomed to live under a prince, if by any accident it becomes free, with difficulty preserves its liberty,’ says, that “for the difficulties and evils which

must be encountered, there is no

more powerful, or more effectual, or more salutary, or more necessary remedy than to put to death the sons of Brutus,' that is to say, to give a striking example of severity against those who would be the chiefs of a counter-revolu

tion. “By the nation at large, the capital punishment of the king was not demanded, and very soon lamented.


lamented. When living, he was a baffled tyrant; when dead, he was a royal martyr. “Charles was an obstinate, prejudiced, and foolish man, exempt from most vices, and possessing but few virtues. In politics he was a spoiled child, and lost his temper when he was contradicted. Hence, his conduct respecting the five members, and his early appeal to arms." The following observations merit attention:“The policy pursued by the governments of Europe, in later times, has been extremely various. Austria and Spain have assumed, as a principle, that as general freedom of discussion must produce much calumny on private persons, much seditious writing against the state, and much matter offensive to morality and religion, it is prudent to the country, and humane to the writers, to place the press under the guardianship of censors appointed by the government. By this method, it is asserted, all fair and temperate discussion may be allowed; libels are stifled in the egg, before they have worked mischief; and publicjustice is spared the necessity of inflicting severe punishment. The government of France, without sanctioning so strict a system of ignorance as that of Spain, refused to allow publication without restraint. But the mitigated prohibitions of the French censors, in some degree contributed to spread the false notions which obtained vogue at the beginning of their revolution. Everything might be attacked by an equivocaljest, although nothing could be combated by direct reasoning; and the able writers of

the last century soon found that the best institutions were as open to a sneer as the grossest abuses. General declamation, and affected sentiment, were allowed, till the opinions of men fell into general confusion. At length the throne was shaken, the altar sapped, and the mine ready to burst under their foundations, before any one had had a fair opportunity of urging an argument in their behalf. The policy of England has been, since the revolution, completely the reverse both of the Spanish and the French. During the reign of Elizabeth, as we have seen, the most severe punishments were awarded to libellers. During the reign of James, and the early part of Charles I. a censorship was established by means of a licence act. Cromwell adopted the same policy, which was continued by Charles and James. The licence act of the latter expired in 1694, and has never been renewed. The constitution of England thus deliberately, not in the heat of the revolution itself, but without clamour, without affectation, without fear and at once, adopted a free press. The principle then sanctioned is, that, as speaking and writing and printing, are things of themselves indifferent, every person may do as he pleases, till by writing what is calumnious or seditious, he offends the laws. That a great advantage is afforded to personal liberty by the permission of a free press, is what no man can doubt. Reflection may convince us, that this liberty is also beneficial to the community at large. Genius can never exert its powers to their full extent, when its flight is limited and its direction prescribed. Truth can

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