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congregational form of church government. In the prosecution of his studies, he very soon began to doubt the validity of presbyterian ordination, avowed his perfect conversion to episcopacy, and declared that he could find no way of reconciling his conscience, while he neglected the practices of the ancient church. He accordingly took an affectionate farewel of his people at West-Haven, and proceeded to Boston, in company with Messrs. Cutler and Brown, the former president, and the latter tutor, of New-Haven college ; both of whom had also been converted to episcopacy, proposing to embark for England to obtain holy orders in the church, where they arrived on the 15th of December, 1722 ; whence they immediately proceeded to London, and were politely received by Dr. Robinson, the bishop of London, and the society for propagating the gospel. Mr. Cutler was ordained to take charge of the new church in Boston, and Mr. Johnson to take care of the church at Stratford in Connecticut. The former also received from the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge the honours of a degree of Dr. in divinity, and Mr. Johnson of master of arts. Having taken leave of their friends, they embarked for America in July, 1723, and Mr. Johnson arrived at Stratford to take charge of his little flock, consisting of about twenty families, by whom he was joyfully received. Mr. Johnson's conversion to the episcopal church ; the particular books which he read, which assisted to promote that conversion ; the commotion that in consequence was excited in the colony of Connecticut; the conference with the trustees of the college, and Govornour Saltonstall, &c, &c. are all
amply detailed by Dr. Chandler, and include many traits, which must afford interest and amusement to the lovers of ecclesiastical history. In the month of February, 1729, Dr. Berkeley, then dean of Derry in Ireland, arrived in America, and resided two years and an half in Rhode-Island. “As his coming to America, (says Dr. Chandler) had an important effect upon the religion and learning of the country ; and as Dr. Johnson always considered the period in which bishop Berkeley resided in this country as one of the most interesting periods of his life, it may not be amiss to give a more particular account of that extraordinary person, and of the business that brought him hither, than has probably been laid before the Mmerican reader in one view.” On comparing the sketch of the life of Bishop Berkeley in the work before us, with the life in Dr. Aikin's general biography, we find it to be generally correct, though the latter is more full and satisfactory; but wherever we are made acquainted with the life of this celebrated gentleman and scholar, we are most profoundly impressed with the highest admiration of the disinterestedness of his character, of his learning, his christian charity,his discernment, and patriotism. At the period of Mr. Johnson's conversion to episcopacy, the church of England had scarcely any existence in Connecticut.There were thirty families at Stratford, chiefly from England, under the care of Mr. Pigot, the intimate friend of Dr. Johnson, and who no doubt was very instrumental in producing his conversion. Mr. Johnson, while minister at Stratford, frequently made excursions into the neighboring towns, and preached with peculiar success ; the episcopal church making very visible progress in Connecticut ; and in the year 1736, upon inquiry, there were found to be no less than seven hundred families in the colony. Great acquisitions were afterwards made to the church by the wild enthusiasm introduced by Mr. Whitfield, and propagated by his followers. Mr. Johnson published tracts, in defence of the church, which involved him in much controversy, particularly with Mr. Dickenson of Elizabethtown, in New-Jersey, and Mr. Foxcroft of Boston. These controversies reach down to 1736, and are detailed at much length by Dr. Chandler. These publications were much approved of in England, and obtained, for Mr. Johnson, in 1743, from the university of O.ford a degree of Doctor in divinity. Dr. Johnson had two sons, who were educated at Yale college, for whom he composed a compendium of logick, including metaphysicks, and another of ethicks, for their better instruction in these studies ; which were printed together, in an octavo volume by Dr. Franklin, for the use of the college in that city, then about to be erected, and of which Mr. Franklin was one of the most active promoters. In 1754 the trustees of NewYork college unanimously elected Dr. Johnson president, who accepted, but with great reluctance. For the history of the establishment of the college, in the city of NewYork, whose charter was granted in October, 1754 ; the violent opposition which arose among the trustees, respecting what denomination of christians should predominate in the government and immediate direction of the college; the violent clamour in consequence
excited in the province and legislature of New-York; the vigorous exertions made by Mr. Johnson to promote the interests of the seminary; the benefactions it received, &c. &c. we refer our readers to the work itself. In 1763 Dr. Johnson resigned the office of president, and went to his peaceful retreat at Stratford, where he passed the remainder of his days ; not however in inglorious ease. He resumed the charge of his old mission, and was again kindly received by the people of Stratford in character of their minister, in 1764, upwards of forty years after he had first entered into this relation with them. He entered into the controversy between the Rev. Mr. Apthorp and Dr. Mayhew, on the subject of an American episcopate, and wrote a short vindication of the society for propagating the gospel. “On the morning of January 6, 1722, the most glorious epiphany he ever beheld, he conversed with his family on the subject of his own death, with the greatest cheerfulness and serenity. He expressed his wishes that he might resemble, in the manner of his death, his good friend the bishop Berkeley, whom he had greatly loved, and whose exit he had ever esteemed happy. Heaven granted his wish; for soon after he had uttered these words, like the good bishop, he instantaneously expired in his chair,without the least struggle or groan ; so that he may rather be said to have been changed or translated, than to have died.” Two days after, his remains were interred in the chancel of Christ church, Stratford, where a handsome monument has been erected to his memory. Thus lived, and thus died, a man, the narrative of whose life involves much interesting anec:
dote; who was respectable for his understanding and his learning, and still more pre-eminent for su
avity of manners, and the benevo
lence of his heart. The great Racine, the father of the French drama, after having exalted the glory of his genius to the utmost limits allótted to humanity, regretted, at the age of thirty-eight years, that he had done every thing for the world, and nothing for his God. Cesar, at the same age, lamented, on the tomb of Alexander, that he had yet done nothing to secure to himself durable renown. This passion for human glory conducted the conqueror of Pompey to actions which should be disdained by a noble heart, and it was, on the contrary, at an advanced age, by contempt of glory, that the author of Andromaque elevated Racine above himself. Very different from these men was the character of Dr. Johnson. His whole life was active, vigilant, and efficient in the service of his Maker; in magnifying the holy office of a clergyman; in reclaiming the vicious ; in quickening, to a sense of their duty, the negligent and careless ; in influencing the ignorant; in strengthening and confirming the *erious and religious; in visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, and cloathing the naked. Private virtues are the more sublime, as they do not aspire to the approbation of others, but only to the testimony of one's own conscience; and the conscience of a good man is of more value to himself, than the Praises of the universe.
As we have already protracted our review to an immoderate length, we will only give the following extract from our author as *favourable specimen of his style and manner.
Vol. III. No. 9. N
Nov ELs, which are founded on historical incidents, are little adapted to interest the attention and affect the imagination, from the recollection, which will intrude into the mind, of the real extent of the facts, and the consequent conviction, which will be induced, that the rest is fiction. But any one, who is acquainted with the early history of Virginia, will not only feel this embarrassment, while reading the novel before us, but will often be disappointed by the recollection of having before read the same events, narrated in precisely the same language.
In a historical novel we look for historical facts, as the basis of the story; but we know not by what right an author avails himself of the labours of others in this more than in any other kind of composition, without acknowledging his obligations. Near the close of his
* we learn the name of the author from the, extracts from reviews, and from thc letters Profixed to the novsk.
But excepting the sentiments excited by observing so many unaccountable instances of unacknowledged transcription, we confess that we have perused this novel with pleasure. Many parts of it, for which we are exclusively indebted to Mr. Davis, are highly ingenious ; and if he had added a few prefatory remarks expressing his frequent obligations to others, not only for incidents, but for many of the paragraphs, in which they are narrated, we might, with the exception of a few passages, have given it our entire approbation.
To the novel is affixed a pompous “memoir of the author,” the perusal of which has probably furnished to him far higher gratification, than it will give to any of its readers.
We cannot quote any part of the story, but in justice to Mr. Davis, and to give our readers a specimen of his style, we will subjoin a few extracts, which will lose nothing in being detached from the work.
The party encamped at evening, round a cypress, which invited them to