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he had any great pretensions to eloquence. Eloquence they imagined was the art of fine speaking-of loading every sentence with gaudy epithets and inflated terms; sustained by a delivery the most precise and studied.
"At least, I suppose this is the general opinion, from the remarks of Mr. Jones, whom I met last evening. We were speaking of Dr. Mills, and I expressed warm admiration of his sermon. Yes," said Jones, "the sermon was excellent, and produced a great effect, but I can hardly agree with you in calling it eloquent. Dr. Mills is no orator."" "No orator?" said I, "pray what is an orator?" "An orator-an orator," said he, "is a good speaker," looking disconcerted as though he wished for a better answer. "There we are agreed," I replied, "and is not Dr. Mills a good speaker ?" "In one sense perhaps he is," returned Jones; "but I think not in the higher sense. His language is not so beautiful and figurative as our best speakers-it is too familiar. Then, his manner is not studied and gracefulhe is carried away by his subject and totally forgets himself." This was spoken with so much self satisfaction, that I waved reply."
The friend to whom this account is given replies as follows: "Thanks for your eloquent account of Dr. Mills' eloquence. He is a man quite to my heart's delight. Would that every church possessed such a one! It is by such men, and by such men almost exclusively, that the word of God must finally prevail.
"I need not say I wish it had been my privilege to have heard him. I have long thought, that no object in the whole earth is half so grand and interesting as a minister of the gospel, who careless of his own fame, with a heart full of sacred jealousy for the honour of his Saviour, and a countenance beaming with tender benevolence for his hearers, pours forth, from an overflowing soul, the words of eternal life. On the contrary, I know of nothing more contemptible, or monstrous, than a man who, professing to plead for the authority and and honours of Almighty God in a rebellious world, is in reality, courting applause, and offering incense to the vanity of his depraved heart! And, as far as eloquence is concerned, the advan tage lies just where we wish to find it. The one must be eloquent; the other never can. He may figure, and dazzle, and be very rhetorical and majestic; and he may raise to his talents the extolling applause of the multitude; but nothing can be farther from true eloquence. Eloquence is the language of the heart; eloquence carries the mind from the speaker to the subject; eloquence raises us from words to things. The man who is false
to his subject, cannot produce this effect; nor does he wish it. He would deprecate a mode of thinking and speaking, that should teach his hearers to forget him in the greatness of his subject. How can that paltry being be expected to rise to the grandeur of real eloquence, who is wooing a smile, rounding a period, or deciding on a gesture, when the whole soul should be absorbed by the sublime object of saving an immortal spirit from destruction?
"I am not, however, greatly surprised at the bad taste of your townsmen. A false taste is natural to us, and only yields to cultivation. The human mind too often despises the simplicity of real oratory, and applauds the mysterious and flowery pomp of that which is false; like the silly child, which carelessly tramples down the corn, in its eager admiration of the poppy."
FROM BISHOP WATSON.
WHEN I was young, I learned my catechism as other boys do; but I had never thought either of the truth of the christian religion or of the nature of the doctrines it contained. Afterwards I thought freely on religious subjects, and I found nothing in revealed religion which in any degree lessened the natural notion 1 had formed respecting the divine goodness, but many things to confirm and enlarge it. I found in truth, and lamented to find in all christian churches a tendency to become wise above what was written, to require certain assent to doubtful propositions, to explain modes of being which cannot be explained to beings with our faculties, and to mould the ineffable attributes of God according to the model of human imperfections."
As to the mysteries of the christian religion, it is neither your concern nor mine to explain them; for if they are mysteries, they cannot be explained. But our time may be properly employed in enquiring whether there are so many mysteries in christianity as the Deists say there are. Many doctrines have been imposed on the christian world as doctrines of the gospel, which have no foundation whatever in scripture. Instead of defending these doctrines, it is the duty of a real disciple of Jesus Christ to reprobate them as gangrenous excrescences, corrupting the fair form of genuine christianity.
DR. EAST APTHORP.
In our last number we invited the attention of our readers to the character and works of Dr. Mayhew. The following notice of Rev. Dr. East Apthorp, with whom Dr. Mayhew engaged in
the well known controversy on the subject of sending Bishops to this country, may not be unacceptable. We extract it from "Literary Anecdotes of the eighteenth century," published in London, 1812.
THIS eminent and respectable divine was the son of a merchant at Boston, in New-England. Having been sent to this country (England) to complete his studies, he was entered as a student of Jesus College, Cambridge; took the degree of A. B. in 1755, and proceeded A. M. in 1758. He obtained the Chancellor's prize medal for eminence in classical learning in 1755; and was elected a Fellow of his college in 1757: so that his academical honours were complete before he undertook the office of a Missionary to America; where at Cambridge he founded and built a church, and married a lady of the country, Elizabeth, daughter of E. Hutchinson. At that time he was spoken of as a very amiable young man, of shining abilities, of great learning, pure and engaging manners. While resident in New-England he wrote several tracts against the Bostonian Independents; and on his return to England, under the immediate sanction of Arch-, bishop Secker, (who himself addressed a long letter on the same subject) continued the controversy with Dr. Mayhew on the subject of sending Bishops to that country; and in 1764 published without his name, an answer to Dr. Mayhew's observations on the character and conduct of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in foreign parts; and again in 1765, a Review of Dr. Mayhew's Remarks, to which he affixed his name. The following passage does credit to Dr. Apthorp's candour: Having cited Hooker's noted observation on the Anabaptists, he adds from himself a general remark on the difference of behaviour in common and social life, between the members of the Establishment and some of the Dissenters, more applicable perhaps to the period, at which he wrote, than at the present, and to the state of things in England than this country, he adds, "God forbid, that by expression or example, I should seem to countenance levity or licentiousness in any; to which I fear we are all too much inclined; and it were well, if our accusers would abate something of their stiffness, and our own people of their freedom of behavour, and meet our dissenting brethren half-way. To express my impartial judgment, if the one excel in the religious, the other no less excel in the social virtues, which ought never to be separated; and I most heartily wish, that the reproaches of our friends in that communion may animate our zeal to adorn our own; and that we may henceforth quit every emulation, but that of excelling in virtue, piety, and benevolence."
In 1765 Dr. Apthorp was collated by Archbishop Secker to the vicarage of Croydon; a preferment, particularly acceptable to him, as he found in that neighbourhood a most valuable society; to the agreeableness of which he was himself a principal contributor. Here he continued diligently to pursue the duties of a parish priest, very much to the satisfaction of the inhabitants, by whom he was very justly revered, and who demonstrated their regard for him after he had lost his sight, by a noble present of nearly £2000. In 1778, he was collated by Archbishop Cornwallis to the Rectory of St. Mary Le-Bow, in London; and in that same year published his "Letters on the prevalence of christianity before its civil establishment." Immediately after this publication the Archbishop conferred on him the degree of D. D. and appointed him to preach the Lecture in Bow-Church, of which he was Rector, by Hon. Robert Boyle.
In 1786, Dr. A. published "Discourses on the Prophecies," read at the Chapel of Lincoln's Inn, at the Lecture founded by Bishop Warburton; and in 1793, on the death of the Bishop of Bristol obtained by the recommendation of Archbishop Moore, the valuable prebend of Hinsbury; for which he relinquished all his other preferments. After which he retired wholly to Cambridge, where he resided greatly venerated and beloved, in the circle of his affectionate family and friends, until his death, at an advanced period, in 1816.
I wish, says the friend, who communicated to the Editor some notices of his life, "I wish you may find something worthy the memory of this very learned and estimable man, whose instructive conversation was a great enjoyment to me during the years I lived in his parish; but soon after my very pleasing acquaintance with him, his sight began to fail, and he told me with regret, 'That there was an end of all his studies.' But notwithstanding his infirmity, with wonderful facility, he preached extempore, when he could no longer read his sermons; and even more to the satisfaction of a numerous audience; as by not stooping, as he used to do, he was better heard.”
Many of our countrymen, in their visits to Cambridge, have been welcomed by the hospitality and been charmed with the benignant and attractive virtues of this venerable man. Before his death, he was afflicted with almost total blindness; but the vigour of his mind, his memory, richly stored with learning, and all his kind affections, seemed unimpaired.
New Series-vol. III.
The Duties of Christians towards Deists: a Sermon, preached at the Unitarian Chapel, Parliament Court, Artillery Lane, Bishopsgate street, on Sunday, October 24, 1819, on occasion of the recent Prosecution of Mr. Carlile, for the re-publication of Paine's Age of Reason. By W. J. Fox. London, 1819.
THIS sermon attracted our attention, not only by its title, and the occasion upon which it was delivered, but by our previous acquaintance with the author, who enjoys no small reputation among his brethren, and whose writings, as far as we have seen them, are characterised by a bold and masculine eloquence both of thought and of language. The present discourse is one of uncommon power; and as we presume few of our readers have met with it, or will have another opportunity of being acquainted with it, we propose to give some account of it, with such extracts as may enable them to judge of its design and merits. It is possible that they may not agree with all the sentiments it contains, nor hold all the reasoning to be sound; but they certainly will not fail to admire the independent manner in which the preacher asserts and maintains his opinions, and the abundant good feeling and sincerity of christian charity which are manifested throughout.
The object of the discourse and the impressions und, which it was written, are thus stated in the preface.
"The conviction of Mr. Carlile I had anticipated; but I had not anticipated the legal doctrines which were advanced to aid in procuring that conviction; and still more was I surprised and grieved at the feeling manifested by that part of the public which was allowed to be present during the trial, and by religious people generally. The decorous silence of a Court of Justice has sometimes given way to sympathy with the accused, but rarely indeed has there been a disposition to violate that decorum by audible expressions of disapprobation, during a defence, or of applause at a verdict of guilty. The common language of Christians after the trial, as far as I could observe and ascertain, and with the exception of a liberal minority, was that of joyous congratulation, as if a Waterloo victory had been gained over Infidelity. To correct, as far as I can, this improper and unchristian feeling, as it appears to me, and inculcate the du ties of Christians towards Deists,' as those duties are taught in the New Testament, is the design of the following Sermon ; to which