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story of Columbus and the egg. It was no mean genius which enabled the boy of sixteen to attain a perfection in versification which the greatest masters of the English language had failed to reach. Even the verse of Dryden, in the full vigour of his genius, though infinitely more majestic and sonorous, is by no means so melodious or so easy as that of Pope in his nonage. The ease with which such versification is imitated, no more entitles us to look with scorn on the first discoverer of the secret, than the fact that every ordinary mechanic can now apply the centrifugal motion to the steam engine, would justify us in regarding with contempt the genius of Watt.

Mr. Macaulay calls the Rape of the Lock Pope's best poem: high as we are disposed to rank it, we should not give it that place. The Rape of the Lock reminds us of one of Watteau's best pictures, where his belles and beaux, with their short natural faces, and long unnatural stomachers and periwigs, are just as veritable men and women, flirting, making love, quarrelling and making it up again, as if there were no such things as high-heeled shoes, sword-knots, fans, powder, patches, and paint, in the world, true alike to the eternal human heart, and to the evanescent fashion of the day. Restore the costume of Queen Anne, and Kensington Gardens, on a bright warm Sunday in June, is an animated Watteau. But it is on higher grounds than brilliant fancy, smooth versification, and a nice observation of the manners of society, that the claim of Pope to the eternal gratitude of mankind rests. It is upon his Moral Essays, his Satires, and his Epistles; upon his skill as an anatomist of human nature. These were the works which induced Swift to exclaim, "God preserve you for contributing more to mend the world than the whole pack of (modern) parsons in a lump."

We have but a few words to add, and those are with regard to Mr. Macaulay himself. We feel that in expressing our dissent from him on a question of literary history and criticism, we have taken up the gauntlet of a giant. Were the arm by which this blow has been struck at the memory of Pope less powerful, we should have passed the gage by unnoticed; but there are thousands in this and other countries with whom the opinion of Mr. Macaulay is a judgment against which there is no appeal. He has won this confidence well. He exercises the power which it confers upon him nobly. He is ever in the foremost rank wherever the rights of political and religious freedom, education, or humanity demand a champion. When an error is committed by one so respected, and so followed, it is doubly dangerous; and though it is with feelings of unfeigned

diffidence that we have pointed out what we conceive to be an error in his estimate of one whom (to borrow the expression of the greatest genius of our own day) we regard as "the great moral poet of all times, of all climes, of all feelings, and of all stages of existence," we have not shrunk from the discharge of a duty imposed upon us by our loyalty to the mighty dead.

J. P.

ART. II.-LIVES OF EMINENT

UNITARIANS. By Rev. W. TURNER, JUN. 2 vols. 12mo., 1840-3. J. Green, J. Mardon, London.

An apology is due to the respected Author of this instructive work, for our silence on its merits and claims, though so long a period has elapsed since the appearance of the first volume. The truth is, and we know not why we should not plainly tell it, an elaborate notice of it was prepared, and by some inexplicable mishap was lost, and we have ever since been living in the hope that it would make its appearance. This must account for the slowness with which a work once done is undertaken afresh,-and we trust will be some excuse for any thing merely perfunctory that may appear in the manner in which the duty is now discharged.

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Those to whom, provoked or unprovoked, a sneer at Unitarianism is ever welcome, might find some temptation to it, on discovering from these volumes the unexpected number of Eminent men whom this faith has nurtured. Thirty-three Eminent men in little more than a century, for Biddle, with whom these biographies commence, was born in 1615, and Priestley, with whom they close, in 1733, make more than the proportion of greatness that falls to the ordinary associations of mankind. But, in truth, those who look closely into the histories of these men, and are intimately acquainted with the religious temper of their times, will not be disposed to find fault with Mr. Turner's selection of an epithet. He probably styled them eminent, not as claiming for them all a place among great men, but as the distinguished in their own class. Yet when we take into due account the difficulties with which most of them had to contend; the learning with which most of them were graced,acquired in private, under all the disadvantages of solitary study, by outcasts from the National Seminaries; the fidelity in which they gave their affections to God's Truth, and preferred poverty and an honest Confession before riches and Profession; the influence they have exerted on the civil and spiritual liberties of mankind, and the degree in which we may owe it to them that free Inquiry and religious Progress have an existence in the world, we will be constrained to number those men among the most Eminent benefactors of their race.

These biographies are written with exemplary care, and with that minute research which belongs only to labours of love. Everything is told that could be desired of their professional

labours, and of their public relations to the history and progress of religious interests. But at the same time, the narrative is totally without vivacity, domestic incident, and the warmth of life. The thirty-three are presented as impersonal men, without family history or interest, as if they had literally abandoned father and mother, children and wife, brother and sister, for the kingdom of God's sake, and stept out, bodiless and homeless, into the world. Mr. Turner's limits, or some conceived unity of design, along with the absence of materials, may have compelled him to adopt this colourless biography, but we are satisfied that even for the more specific religious objects immediately in his view, it has greatly injured the effectiveness of his faithful and laborious work.

The first Englishman who ever wrote in defence of the Unity of God was JOHN BIDDLE, of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and for some time Master of the Grammar School of Gloucester. He had communicated to a few friends, as the result of long inquiry, some doubts of the Deity of the Holy Spirit. This paper, by treachery or accident, came before the Parliamentary Committee, then sitting at Gloucester, and Biddle was committed to gaol, in 1645, on a charge of heresy. This was the time when the Assembly of Divines, from whom the celebrated Confession proceeded, was holding its sittings in Westminster Abbey. Before this Assembly Biddle had to appear, more than once, but with no result beyond threats and railing,-until wearied out by a seven years' confinement, with the view of making the world acquainted with his case, and of expediting judgment, he at length published the tract against the Deity of the Holy Spirit, which was the cause of this lingering persecution. The House of Commons issued an order, that it should be called in, and burned by the common hangman. But Biddle was not thus to be silenced: other publications followed, and the Assembly of Divines thinking it more effectual to consign Biddle himself, instead of his writings, to the hangman, obtained from Parliament an ordinance, making it felony to controvert the deity of the Son or of the Holy Spirit, and enacting that any one convicted of this offence should be put to death without benefit of clergy. This statute Presbyterian Divines asked and obtained from a Presbyterian Parliament, in the middle of the seventeenth century. The world has made progress in two hundred years, however we may shake our heads over the religious follies of our own days.

There can be no doubt that Biddle, at a later period, would have fallen a victim to this persecuting instrument, had it not been for the high hand and generous policy of Cromwell. Even Cromwell was obliged to yield so far to the persecuting spirit,

as to detain him in prison, and at last banished him to the Scilly Islands in 1655. After three years he was restored to liberty by Cromwell. On the restoration of Charles II. he was dragged before a Magistrate from the privacy of his own house, where he and a few friends had met for religious communion and worship, and after trial, was fined one hundred pounds. He was unable to pay, and cast into prison. There, amid filth and stench, he died in five weeks. Such was the fate of the first man who wrote in support and promulgation of Unitarianism in this Country: but the blood of Martyrs is the seed of the Church.

The year after Biddle's death, was born THOMAS EMLYN, in 1663. Emlyn was educated at Emanuel College, Cambridge, and for a time was Chaplain to the Countess of Donegal, then resident in London, with whom he afterwards removed to Belfast. At this period he was not a Nonconformist; but in 1691 he became one of the Ministers of the Presbyterian Congregation in Wood-street, Dublin, as a colleague to Mr. Joseph Boyse. Emlyn was established in simple Unitarianism by discovering the polytheistic tendency of such writers as Sherlock and Howe, and the rest of the tri-theistical school, and his inability to find a trinity, or indeed anything but logical quibbles and evasions, in the Sabellian scheme. Emlyn's preaching soon exposed him to the suspicions of his hearers and of his colleague, Mr. Boyse. They obtained from him a full confession of faith, and then brought him before the Presbyterian Church Courts. He was silenced by their authority, and obliged to retire for a time into England. On his return to Ireland, to protect himself and his opinions from abuse and misrepresentation, he was induced to publish his "Humble Inquiry into the Scripture Account of Jesus Christ." This tract brought him into the civil Courts. At his trial seven Bishops took their seats upon the Judges' bench.

"If," said Emlyn, "they had used arguments with me, or had informed the Court how unfit a jury of tradesmen were to judge of abstruse points of divinity, or had protested as holy bishops of old did, against that strange and unheard-of impiety, that a spiritual or church affair should come before a secular judicature, I should have thought it would have been to their praise."

Emlyn was found guilty, and, refusing to retract, was sentenced to a year's imprisonment, and to pay a fine of a thousand pounds, and, as a substitute for the pillory, was led round the Four Courts for jeer and insult, with a paper stating his misdemeanours on his breast. After two years' imprisonment his fine was reduced to seventy pounds, and we are informed that

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