Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

the horrors of his miserably ill-spent life, as to produce a temporary derangement, and hurry him on to thoughts of suicide. He had experienced a slight attack of apoplexy before his confinement, and was warned by his medical at- , ttndants of the danger of his situation. It Was then, however, too late for him to aher the course of life which had occasioned it; and the most melancholy circumstance attending his condition was the consciousness of his own worthlessness and depravity, which made him continually break out into weak and wretched lamentations over his* misery, without giving him the strength to make a single good or strenuous effort. His professional talents were, of course, degraded with his mental abilities; and the excessive tremor of debility, and latterly the more destructive consequences of palsy, rendered him incapable of painting as he had been accustomed, or indeed of painting at ail but with the assistance of strong doses of spirits and temporary cordials. Yet his industry never diminished, and the rapidity of his execution increased with the decay of his genius and power. During the last eight years of his life, he executed nearly a thousand pictures, and at least an equal number of drawings, but all in a style very inferior to that of his more vigorous performances.

The shocking catastrophe of this most humiliating drama we shall leave our readers to collect from the table of contents to the thirteenth chapter of Mr. Dawe's work:

'He retums-to London, and is confined in the King's Bench—Is allowed the Rules, and takes a House—Paints an immense number t»f Pictures—His Extravagancies and Intemperance —Is liberated by an Act of Insolvency—An Apoplectic Fit occasions him to remove to Highgate—Quarrels with his Landlord, and goes again to Town —Is employed to paint by the day—Becomes a Hypochondriac— Loses the use of his left Hand by Palsy—Description of his Dress and Appearance—Is arrested, and dies in a Spunging-House.'

This last mentioned event took place on the 29th of October 1804, in the 43d year of his age, and it was the immediate Consequence of a fit of desperate intoxication.

We have now to mention a circumstance which appears from the tissue of this melancholy narrative to be almost inoredible; and, if true, it would persuade us that there must have existed in the character of this miserable man, even to the latest moments, a greater proportion of good than the narration itself enables us to collect. Mr. Dawe records, indeed, one or two instances of generosity of disposition which are yet perfectly consistent with the general deformity of his picture; and he uniformly represents the person and manners of Morland, when not too far sunken in debauchery, to have been

Rev. Aug. I8c8. B b very very agreeable, and even engaging: but be no where affords us any traces of real goodness of heart, which (however strange) we must suppose to have existed in him, in order to account for the singular anecdote to which we are coming.—It can hardly be supposed that Morland's union was ** a happy marriage and, when to the circumstances of his own misconduct is added a defect of temper of which Mr. Da we more than once accuses his wife, it will seem sufficiently wonderful that only for one or two very short periods during the whole of their connection, they were separated from each other in consequence of disagreement, while at all other times she was the companion of his retreats and flights, and finally of his prison. All this, however, is nothing to the extraordinary fact recorded in the following paragraph: in which we are confined would permit ua to indulge in profuse transcription.

1 Notwithstanding their domestic difference* and separations, Morland and his wife appear to have been sincerely attached to each other; insomuch that the one was extremely alarmed and affected, whenever the other happened to be indisposed. It is also remarkable, that in their interviews, the principal topic of their conversation was constantly a presentiment that neither would long survive the other, and thus it proved ; for although it was intended to keep the death of Morland a secret from his wife, she could not be induced to credit the assertion of those who affirmed that this event had not taken place : she incessantly expressed her consciousness that he was no more. At last, having obtained an assurance of her fears from the servant, she gave a shriek, fell into convulsive fits, in which she continued for three days, and expiied on the 2d of November, in her 37th year. Their remains were interred together, in the burial ground of St. James's Chapel.'

It is needless to extend our remarks, by drawing a moral from this most instructive though distressing narrative; nor do we conceive it to be a part of our duty to follow Mr. Dawe through his criticisms on Morland's works. Those productions are so numerous and so common, that scarcely any of our readers can Tail to be well acquainted with the meiits and defects of his style; and it still remains for posterity to appreciate the rank which he is intitled to hold in the scale of his profession.

Art. VI. Lectures on Sytttmatic Theology and Pulpit Eloquence. By the la'.e George Campbell, D.D. F.R.S. Ed., Principal of Man'schal College, Aberdeen. 8vo. pp. 542. 9s. Boards. Cadell and Davics.

ACombination of rare qualities and attainments is peculiarly requisite in the theological professor, whose path is embarrassed at almost every step by the briars and thorns of controversy.

tfoversy. He is obliged to exercUe all the vigour of a perspicacious judgment, td endure all the toils of perseverance, and to display ali the caution of prudence, united with the chafms of modesty and candour, in otder to win his way through the difficulties that beset him, and to unfold the science of religion to the listening pupil, with grace, impartiality, and effect. No man seems to have possessed these mental endowments in i more eminent degreee, or was more sensible of their importance in a lecturer from the divinity-chair of an university, than the lale Dr. Campbell; and gentlemen in similar stations of honour and responsibility may profit by his sage and sober example. His knowlege is exhibited without parade, his instructions are given without arrogance and dogmatism, his expostulations are offered with mildness, and he disclaims all Usurpation on the score of authority, 4 demanding-no attention from his students, but such as an experienced mariner would be intitled to from those who are setting out on their first voyage.'

On former occasions*, we have testified our approbation of Dr. C.'s ingenuity and candour as an expositor of scripture-; and in the prelections now before us, he offers an additional claim to our esteem and veneration. Seldom indeed ate we gratified, especially in the line of theological discussion, by the perusal of a work which manifests such critical skill and cool discrimination;—such a solicitude to counteract the early bias of system and prejudice, and to secure for the student the largest draughts of genuine scripture knowlege at the divine fountainhead. His object is to impress on his heaters the importance of studious and calm inquiry, and to induce them to become accomplished and liberaJ divines, instead of narrow-minded bigots. The theologians whom he would prepare will not be shallow, noisy, confident, "disputers of this world," but enlightened, solid, and useful christians; men whose faith is founded on a rock, whose lives are a commentary on their doctrines, and whose arguments are such as may honourably be used by and addressed to the wise. Had it always been the object of divinity-lecturers to form pastors and teachers in the church of such a stamp and character, how happy would it have been for the christian world! High as this commendation is, we are able to justify it to an iota; and though the extracts which we shall give will be sufficiently' ample to make out our case, they will bear a small proportion to those which we could with pleasure have produced, if the boundaries with

[ocr errors]

Dr. C.'s prelections are distributed into three classes : the first consisting of four introductory discourses; the second, of six lecturrs on systematic theology; and the last, of twelve lectures on pulpit eloquence. As they were delivered in a Scotch university, to theological students belonging to the Scottish communion, it may be supposed that they are more immediately calculated for the meridian of the presbytery, and advert to ihe circumstances and situation of ministers in the northern part of pur island: but, though they bear evident marks of their locality and original object, they are replete with matter whi- h refers to the duty of clergymen in every protestant church, and which must be pronounced to be of the greatest importance, if it be of any moment to understand '* the truth as it is in Jesus." Dr. CampbeH explains the science of theology in its several departments,and the manner in which its different branches ought to be treated; then offering his advice on the conduct which students ef divinity ought to pursue, and on the discharge of their duty in the pastoral office.]

Great stress is laid by this lecturer on the state and disposition of mind in which the student commences his theological career, and on his manner of prosecuting it. A patient, unprejudiced, and candid inquiry into the real sense of scripture is uniformly recommended; and the pupil is cautioned against dogmatism, presumption, and uncharitable judgments, even in cases which may appear to be clear:

'I am satisfied (says he) that such judgments on our part are unwarrantable in every caae. Of the truth of any tenet said to be revealed, we must judge according to our abilities, before we can believe; but as to the motives by which the opinions of others are influenced, or of their state in God's account, that is no concern ot ours. Our Lord Jesus alone is appointed of God the judge of all men, and are we presumptuous enough to think ourselves equal to the office, and to anticipate his sentence? '* Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth." When Peter obtruded upon his master a question of mere curiosity, and said concerning his fellow disciple, " What shall become of this man V he was aptly checked by his lord, and made to attend to what nearly concerned himself, " What is that to thte? Follow thou me."

Nothing can exceed the solicitude of the Professor for the right conduct of. his pupils, nor his amiable ingenuousness in Stating the consequences of neglect:

«1 would have you to remember, gentlemen, that it is little, extremely little, that I, or any professor of divinity, can contribute to your instruction, if you yourselves do not strenuously co-operate to promote tin's end. The most that we have to do, is to serve as monitors to you, to suggest those things which may be helpful for bringing and keeping you in the right track of study, and thus far preventing you as much as possible, from bestowing your time and pains improperly. Your advancement will, under God, be chiefly imputable to yourown diligence and application. Students of divinity are commonly, against the time they enter the theological school, arrived at those years of maturity, when cool reflection begins to operate, when a sense of duty, a regard to character, and an attention to interest rightly understood, prove the most powerful motives. And if there be any here, with whom the«e motives have no weight, it is a misfortune we cannot remedy. We can only say to such and we do it most sincerely, that their attendance in this place will he to little purpose, that it were much better for themselves, and probably for the public, that they would employ themselves somewhere else. Ye cannot here be considered as school-boys. We claim no coercive power over you of any kind. Our only hold of you is by persuasion. And for attaining this hold, our only dependance is on your own discernment and discretion. We proceed 011 the supposition, that ye are not only willing, but even anxious, to learn something every day, by which ye may advance in fitness for the gieat end in view.'

In the lectures on systematic theology, Dr. Campbell commences by recommending the examination .of natur al religion, aa well as of the evidences of Christianity, and ably illustrates die utility of connecting these studies; though the former, as he remarks, do not essentially belong to christian theology:

'It is however necessary, in order both to prevent mistakes and to obviate objections, to observe, that 1 do by no means intend to insinuate, that these studies are unconnected with the Christian system, and therefore unnecessary. On the contrary I think them of the utmost consequence. As it is the same God (for there is no other) who is the author of nature and the author of revelation, w ho speaks to us in the one by his works, and in the other by his spirit, it becomes his creatures reverently to hearken to his voice, in whatever manner he is pleased to addict.* them. Now the philosopher is by profession the interpreter of nature, that is of the language of God's works, as the christian divine is the interpreter of scripture, that is of the language of God's spirit. Nor do I mean to signify, that there is not in many things a coincidence in the discoveries made in these two different way6. The conclusions may be the same, though deduced, and justly deduced, from different'premises The result may be one, when the methods of investigation are widely different Tl ere is even a considerable utility in pursuing both method*, as what is clear in the one may serve to enlighten what is obscure in the other. And both have their difficulties and their obscurities. The most profound philosopher will be the rnost ready to acknowledge that there are phenomena in nature fur which he cannot account; and that divine, you may depend upon it, whatever be his attainments, hath more arrogance, than either knowledge or wisdom, who will not admit, that there are many texts in scripture which he cannot explain. Nor does

B b 3 thia

« ПредишнаНапред »