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Thus these two people gradually advanced by the same steps; to the same point of excellence. At Athens, our author says, this was the pure result of good sense and observation which corrected or improved establilbed fashions. At Rome, the effect was partly produced by an imitation of Grecian models. But these models were not imitated merely becaufe they were Grecian, because they had been admired by others, or had once been fashionable in the country of eloquence. Nor were forther or present fashions ever regarded as the standard of eloquence. Even in the periods of refinement, the great Roman speakers formed higher ideas of this accomplishment than had ever been suggested by their own observation. It was the faying of Antonius the orator,--difertes fe vidife multos, loquentem omnino neminem. And Cicero thus addresses himself to his friend, --- Invefligemus hunc igitur, Brute, fi polumus, quem nunquam vidit Antonius, aut qui omnino nullus unquam
fuit. · These Romans then, continues the Doctor, ftudied and admired the fame general excellencies of speech which had been studied and admired in Greece, but not blindly or implicitly, but with a just regard to their own national character, their own occasions, and the temper of their hearers. They discovered the imperfections both of their co-temporaries and their predecessors; whether in Greece or Rome, through all the mists which prejudice or fashion could oppose to their penetration. They were not, then, entirely guided by imitation, as, in general, they pursued the fame means of influencing their hearers; and as the lame means are still approved by all polished and lettered nations, as moft fit and proper, it follows, that this fitness and propriety cannot be merely nominal and local.'
After giving, in the fourteenth, a summary view of what is contained in the preceding chapters, our Author proceeds, in the three remaining ones, to an important part of his Lordship's disquisition, vizo his character of an inspired language. -The enemics of our faith, as well as fomc imprudent friends, have some times asserted, that an inspired language should be a language of perfect cloquence. With regard to this proposition, his LordIhip affirms on the contrary, that rudeness and barbarousness form the character of an inspired language : and that, supposing the style of the New Testament to abound in every fault that can poffibly deforni a language, this is one certain mark of its divine original. The arguments brought by his Lordship in support of this
bold asertion are as follow :-Language, says he, consists of two parts: 1. Single terms, which are arbitrary. 2. l'hrases and idioms, which arise insensibly from the manners, customs, and tempers of thoro to whom the language is vernacular. When illiterate men would acquire the knowledge of a foreign tongue, they make it at first their only study to treasure up in their memory the fignification of the terms : and when they come to talk or write in the speech thus acquired, their language is full of their own native idioms. If we suppose this foreign tongue to be instantaneously infused, the effect must be the fame. Divine inspiration can only convey the terms and fingle words of one language corresponding to those of another. For, an impression of phraseology or idiom, requires a previous one of the tempers, fathions and opinions of the people to whom the language is native, upon the minds of them to whom it is imparted. But this would be a waste of miracles without sufficient cause. For, the terms of one language adapted to the idiom of another, abundantly serve the purpose of giving clear intelligence; Doll.of Grace, Ch. 8. p. 42, 43, 44.
There are some things assumed here, our Author obferves, as evident and incontestible, which yet may be controverted without any breach of candor. The bishop tells us, that in order to convey clear intelligence to a foreigner, nothing more is necessary, than to use the words of his language, adapted to the idiom of our own.
• But shall we always find, says our author, correspondent words in his language? It is a point well known to philologers and critics, that every language hath not only its own idiom, but also many terms peculiar to itself. It is equally well known, and generally acknowledged, that the real purport of almost every sentence, in every language, is not to be learned from the signification of detached words, and their grammatical congruity, even where their fignification may be expressed by corresponding words in another language. Cicero writes thus to Cato.- Quem ego currum aut quam lauream cum tua-laudatis nie conferam?--Adapt English words to this phraseology, and say whether the fentiment will be conveyed to a mere unlettered English reader.'
Instead, therefore, of accepting that proof of the divine inspiration of the apostolical writings, the utmost rudeness and barbarousness of ityle, which the most exaggerated accounts can represent;' a proof deduced from principles at least precarious and controvertible, if not abfolutely erroneous; a proof which these writings do not need, and which, if rejected, cannot in the least impair their authority; it seems more prudent, our Author juftly observes, to confine ourselves to a propofition, which ad
mits of the clearest evidence ;-chat all the rudeness of style · which the most accurate critic can discover in the writings of Rev. Aug. 1764. K
the New Testament, affords neither proof nor presumption, that the authors were not divinely inspired.
What the Doctor advances in support of this proposition is candid and sensible. He concludes his Dissertation with some very pertinent observations on the eloquence of the apostle Paul. His fpecch before the Roman governor, we are told, had powers and excellencies, compared with which, purity, politeness, and elegance, are less than nothing. It displayed that character which God hath plainly impressed upon the word, whether preached or written by his inspired teachers. It is lively and mighty in operation, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and entereth thorough, even unto the dividing alunder of the loul and ipirit, and of the joints and the marrow, and is a disa cerner of the thoughts, and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4. 21.
· He who canno: feel this wonderful power, says the Doctor, in the apostolical writings, is fit for the piddling employment of culing rhetorical flowers, weighing words, and rounding periods. He may call this literature; but while the pious Chriftian pities his folly, the critic of true taste and fenfibility must despite his mean notions of perfect eloquence.?
To conclude our account of this Dissertation, we cannot help faying, that the author of it appears to have the advantage of his learned opponcnt, not only in point of argument, but in regard to his manner of writing, which is candid, liberal, and manly, and thews not only the scholar, but the gentleman. Few of his observations, indeed, are new; but he appears, throughout, to be master of his subject; discovers nothing of a dictatorial spirit; but delivers his sentiments with a becoming modefty, and deference to the opinions of others, which are sure marks of good sense and found judgment.
The History of the Life of Reginald Pole. Part 1. By Thomas
Philips. 4to. 104. 6d. few'd. Payne, &c.
IRITICS have been often ridiculed for an affectation of
extraordinary sagacity, in endeavouring to discover latent meanings, which never were within the view of the authors themfelves. Perhaps in the course of our animadversions on the work before Us, we may fall under this predicament. But be - that as it may, we are not afraid to premise, that we more than luspect this Biographer to have had some other design than that of placing Cardinal Pole's History in a true, distinct, and con
friclious spicuous light.' Notwithstanding his professions to the contrary, it seems manifest that his real intentions are rather to give a falle representation of the times in which Pole lived, than a true picture of Pole himself. With regard to the Cardinal, the incia dents of his life are too few and inconsiderable to furnish matter for two biographical quartos. All that we learn of him is, that he was a man of good parts ; that in his youth he ivas sober and studious ; that he made a proficiency in the learning of those days, and as he grew up lived in a degree of intimacy with the Literati of those times. In his public character, he was chiefly distinguished by his opposition to Henry the Lighth, against whom he wrote an abusive book, which recommended him to the favour of the Pope, who employed him in several idle commillions, in which he did no service ; and at last sent him hither, in Queen Mary's time, on a ridiculous errand, which was attended with a great deal of mischief.
This is the sum of Pole's character. But Pole was an enemy to the REFORMATION, and this circumstance gives the writer an opportunity of displaying his malicious zeal against that glorious event, which, in a great drgrie, rescued a brave and intelligent people from the shackles of religious bigotry and superstition. In vain does our Author attempt to blacken the character of the royal Reformer; .we may admit it to have been, as in truth it was, odious and deteitable: but this does no prejudice to the Reformation. We can now, thank heaven, judge of it from its effects. We know the connection there is between religious and civil liberty : And there cannot be a stronger instance of the advantages of the Reformation, than the publication of this book. The writer, ungrateful as he is, would not have dared to have attacked the established religion, did not the mild and tolerating principles of the Reformation affure him of impunity.
We are at a loss however to conceive what could encourage this Author, in such an enlightened age and country, to write in defence of the Pope's supremacy and infallibility, with other nonsenfical tenets of the Romish church. While the rest of Europe are wisely withdrawing themselves from the influence of the Whore of Babylon, does he hope to persuade the people of England to give thé scarlet jilt a welcome reception? Is he enthufiaft enough to imagine that this is a favourable opportunity to graft religious on the stock of polisical innovations? Does he conclude that Toryism, Jacobitism, and Popery, are so closely interwoved, as never to be feparable ?
Whatever his inducements may have been, we trust that his ends will fail of success. At the same time we must confess,
that he is not deftitute of those talents which are calculated to impofe on credulity and inatiention. His stile is florid, clear, and animated : his observations, tho' seldom juft, are generally specious and artful; yet he wants that consummate art, which Horace speaks of, the ars celare artem; as we shall have occasion to exemplify hereafter. It is with reluctance, however, that we enter into any particular criticism on the works of an author, whom, notwithstanding his abilities, we consider as an object of contempt : an author, who writes in defence of the groileft of all impofitions, and the basest of all servility; and who consequently is a stranger to manly sense and dignity of thought, which are the issue of a liberal mind, polished by the hand of freedom. Such abject writers should be treated as the Romans used their rebellious slaves, who, though they had often bravely withstood the edge of their masters swords, were nevertheless subdued by the fight of the scourge.
It may be necessary to premise, that this fame Mr. Thomas Philips has the presumption to require his readers to take all be says upon the credit of his bare asertion : for we do not remember that he condescends to quote any authority throughout, except a treatise penned by Cardinal Pole, under the title of his Apology. "These memoirs, says Mr. Thomas Philips, the faithful messengers of his heart, afford an opportunity of making the most intimate acquaintance with him, and knowing him from himself.' It remains however to prove that these memoirs are the faithful messengers of his heart; till that is ascertained, we may be allowed to doubt whether a man's own account of himself is the best opportunity by which we can become intimately acquainted with him. But should even this be granted, we might ftill reasonably distrust his representation of others, against whom he stood in open opposition; and yet Mr. Philips does not scruple to quote this treatise of the Cardinal's, as the fole authority from whence he draws not only the most interefting transactions of the Reign of Henry the Eighth, but likewise his character of that Prince.
Mr. Philips could not even get through the preface without discovering his principles. After premising that there is an imperfect sketch of Pole's life, drawn by one Beccatelli, who was his secretary; and then paying some flattering compliments to the English nation, in order to put his readers here into good humour, he presumes to conclude with saying, ' He makes no doubt but they will discover in the Cardinal's history, not only every qualification of an all-accomplished churchman, but also, in the most exalted sense, the character of a nobleman of Great Britain.'