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terial defect from the nature of the prevalent motive. Fear of evil must grow weaker in proportion as we conceive ourselves in a state of safety; and when danger is clearly over, fear actuates no longer. It seems too natural, therefore, that adult converts, who generally owe so much in the first instance to an awakened dread of divine vengeance, should manifest more earnestness to escape condemnation, than they shew afterwards in pursuing Christian holiness. Equal zeal in this latter instance, would require that the love of good should increase in exact proportion as the fear of evil decreases; that is, that the habit of mind, whose prevalence was necessary in conversion* should merge in a new habit equally necessary to continued progression: a case how seldom realized tbey know best, who look most narrowly on what is called the religious world.
Had, then, the interests of Christian holiness no other maintainers than adult converts, the provision would have been precarious, and might top probably have proved inadequate. It was, therefore, naturally to he expected that other instruments should be resorted to; and that they should be sought among those, if any such were to be found, in whom love of good, rather than fear of evil, had from first to last been predominant. In these instances progress would be morally certain; it being the nature of the attractive motive to increase in its effect, as much as it is of the propellent motive to decrease. Their path would be most strictly * as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.' •
As reclaimed prodigals, then, would above all others seem the fittest for bringing back to their father's house those who had wandered like themselves, so it should seem no less rea-. sonable that they, who in some sense had never wandered, would prove the best guides to higher degrees of love, and more perfect habits of virtue. But of this an inevitable consequence must be, that those higher teachers will appear deficient when tried by the lower standard. While, perhaps, they are glowing with an almost seraphic flame, and aspiring to victory, not only over the gross evils of their fallen nature, but over every lurking obliquity and scarcely perceptible weakness, they may seem to know less of first principles than a convert of a month's standing. Thus when almost in contact with heaven they may possibly be despised as of. no value by men, whose happiness it would be to sit as pupils at their feet.
We have made these observations, in order to elucidate what we deem the true practical use of such writings as those now before qs. We fear that nothing is more usual than tq depreciate and even reject the entire class of authors, because, on being slightly looked into, they do not appear to be in the usual sense evangelical, that is, do not treat of or dwell upon * the first principles of the doctrine of Christ.' Admitting this as a fact, we wish it to be felt, that even they who are best qualified to detect such a want, may themselves want much, which the author now before us, and those who write like him, might assist them in attaining. Such readers might hence derive invaluable good, while they would be in no danger of being either perplexed or misled by the less digested notions, which the deficiency that has been acknowledged must occasionally imply.
With respect to this deficiency, we see a remarkable resemblance between Bishop Taylor, and the far greater number of the Greek fathers. One only occurs to our recollection, after the commencement of the second century, who could be deemed an exception: Macarius dwells upon conversion, and describes the particulars of a spiritual change. But of Clemens Alexandrinus, of Chrysostom, and even of Basil (who is the most explicit of them all upon the doctrines of grace)' we must say, as we have said of Taylor, that a mind in conflict with its own. corruptions and panting after inward rest, might consult those venerable volumes one after another, without finding that species of instruction which would be exactly suitable to its exigence.
But let a person in the circumstances which we suppose, happen only on the few first paragraphs of Cyprian's Epistle to Donatus, or on that part of Augustine's Confessions in which this father relates his own wonderful emancipation from moral thraldom, and we conceive it would at once be felt, that as, in both these cases, such a reader would find his malady exactly described, so nothing could afford him more apposite encouragement, than two such instances (so decisive in themselves, and so authenticated as to the fact) of timely and effectual deliverance.
We cannot wonder that a variety which began so early, which extended so widely, and which bears such feyujent marks of providential adjustment, should still meet our view? It will doubtless, then, be our wisdom to avail ourselves of' this remarkable provision, so far, at least, as to make trial, whether we may not gain an advantage, perhaps scarcely otherwise to be acquired, by adding those special teachers of advanced and matured religion, to our favourite instructors on the points of repentance and faith: in a word, whether the more learned class, who have derived instruction and conflation from the experimental records of a Cyprian and
an Augustine, may not gain fresh benefit and blessing from a Clemens Alexandrihus and a Chrysostom; and whether those who cannot enjoy this mental luxury may not make the nearest possible approximation to it, by associating, with those popular authors whom they value, such spiritual moralists as Lucas, Scougal, Smith, Worthington, More, and Taylor*.
The blemishes of Bishop Taylor are in a great measure those of his day. The English language was not sufficiently advanced, to answer all the demands of a writer at once so copious, energetic, and profound. He, therefore, like his great contemporary Milton, makes, a language for himself. We have, by this, means, grand conceptions in their utmost fulness and strength; but while we uniformly feel that the thoughts are noble, we are compelled to acknowledge t,hatj the expressions do not always preserve the simplicity of nature. There is too often an exuberance of imagery, which makes the subject indistinctly bright, rather than vividly im~ pressive; and sometimes particular metaphors are so expanded, as to have lost the character of perfect beauty. We are still struck with admiration; but had there been a little less display, our delight had been more exquisite.
A more serious fault "in Bishop Taylor is, that on some occasions he is coarse even to indelicacy. We are sorry to say that expressions sometimes occur, which could not be read aloud in any well bred company. This, also, is to be charged upon the times in which Bishop Taylor lived, and the writers with whom he was most conversant, rather than to be regarded as the symptom of an ill regulated mind. The Greek fathers, with like unconsciousness, fall too often into exactly the same impropriety. It is, indeed, a common fault of those moralists, whose hostility to vice has not been aided by a competent acquaintance with the minuter decencies of life. Taylor's indecorums, perhaps, strike us more than those of others, because his imagination gave greater force to his expressions.
Bufc it is most gratifying to observe, that, whatever may be tbe.imperfections of Bishop Taylor as a writer, our censure rndslc in a great measure be limited to his earlier compositions. As he advances in life his taste becomes evidently more correct, and his imagination submits, beyond what could have been expected, to the rule of his judgement. We may in
* For the two first named see Dr. Doddridge's Lectures on Preaching, Lee. iv. § 8. and 15. John Smith of Queen's College, Cambridge, is known by his Select Discourses (an inestimable volume); John Worthington, D. D. by his Treatise of Self Resignation, and Henry More, D. D. by various works in prose and verse, but especially by his Mystery of Godliness.
part ascribe this improvement, to the advancing habits of the English nation during the latter part of Bishop Taylor's life. But we conceive a more intimate cause was the growth of Christian piety in his own heart and mind. This gradually softened and mellowed his whole mental character, without abating its strength or obscuring its brightness. On this account, we venture to pronounce the third volume of sermons, in the present edition, the most interesting part of Bishop Taylor's writings. We do not mean to say that there are, in this volume, greater beauties, or more frequent bursts of eloquence; these are, perhaps, less frequently indulged in. But, in our judgement, there is in it a depth of piety and a sublimity of Christian virtue, as unequivocal and impressive as could be conveyed in human language. For proof of this assertion, we refer our readers to the sermon preached before the university of Dublin.
We make this remark with the more pleasure, because, were this evidence of improvement wanting, sonie passages in Bishop Taylor's earlier writings would compel us to bring against him a still heavier charge than any we have yet intimated. We should be obliged to state, that in his polemical works we had discovered some tendencies to that simplifying of fundamental truths, which Arminius had introduced about the end of the preceding century, and which Taylor's contemporaries, Chillingworth and Hales of Eton, were zealous in maintaining. Had Taylor's affections been less ardent, his imagination less vivid, and his veneration for Christian antiquity less profound, we do not see how he could have escaped that plausible but frigid scheme. That he did escape it, we have evidence, in that warmth which is now reflected upon us by the unclouded radiance of his setting sun.
We could with pleasure extend our observations on this most interesting author. We might call attention to his continual accommodation of passages from the Greek and Latin classics to the holiest and happiest purposes; and we might hence shew the substantial value rand genuine use of this department of learning. We might illustrate the exquisite agreement of every kind of mental brilliancy with the best and greatest of subjects, by countless examples from these inestimable volumes. But we have already carried this article to too great a length. We only add, therefore, that we feel regret as well as surprize, at not finding in the present republication Bishop Rust's sermon on Bishop Taylor's death; nor (what is yet more extraordinary) the Bishop's own most interesting Rules and Advices to his Clergy. A new edition of an old author is worse than none, if it b« not complete.
Art. IV. The Works of James Barry, Esq. Historical Painter; formerly Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy; Member of the Clementine Academy at Bologna, &c.—To which is prefixed some Account of the Life and Writings of the Author. 2 Vols. 4to. pp. 560, 670. Price 51. Ss. bds. Cadell and Davies. 1809.
TN noticing this voluminous publication, it is not our principal object to delineate the character and habits of a man so well known to the public as James Barry, nor to deduce any of those moral lessons from the history of his brilliant but eccentric career, which it must so forcibly impress on the most thoughtless and inattentive observer. But a few observations, we think, are imperiously called for, on the appearance of a work so important in size and pretension, by the prejudices, of the? artist and the deficiencies of the editor.
James Barry was born at Coifk, October il> 17,4|1. He was designed for a coasting trader, and actually made several voyages. But his inclination to the profession of an artist was so decided, that his father's determination was compelled to give way; he was accordingly sent to school, and his editor pays him the usual compliment of describing him as 'above his schoolfellows,' and 'his habits' as far superior to those of * ordinary boys.' A singular circumstance is mentioned as occurring to him in his youthful days, which could scarcely fail of producing a strong impression on his imagination. In one of his moments of juvenile frolic, i^ is, said, ■-'
* he entered in the midst of a winter's evening, an old, and as he thought, uninhabited house, situated in a narrow bye lane in the city of Cork. The house was without doors or windows, but curiosity impelled him to enter, and after mounting a rotten staircase, which conducted to empty rooms on different -floors, he arrived at the garret, where he could just discern, by the glimmering light of a few embers, two old and emaciated figures, broken by age, disease and want, sitting beside each other, in the act, as far as their palsied efforts would permit, of tearing each others faces, not a word being uttered by either, but with the most horrible grimaces that malice could cast on malice.*
Barry was educated in the Catholic persuasion. 'There is a report that he was destined for the priesthood; but from enquiries made of his relations, no authority appears for the assertion.' A subsequent tendency to infidelity is said to have been corrected, by the perusal of Butler's Analogy at the recommendation of Mr. Burke.
At the age of 19, he exhibited in Dublin, for the first time, a picture, of which the subject is thus described.
♦ The picture was founded on an old tradition relating to the first arrival of St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, on the sea coast of Cache!,