Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

in itself • a meanness, which a philosophy far inferior to that of our DIVINE MASTER might have taught us to conquer,' yet he acknowledges that ' to be esteemed by eminently great and good men' is one of our « most valuable rewards.' It would be inexcusable on the part of the Author of the Pulpit, therefore, were he to dissemble that he has been gratified in finding that his labours, however thwarted, have obtained for him something superior to mere popular applause; that his writings have, in short, acquired him the esteem of persons to whom he remains otherwise unknown *, as well as the friendship of

[ocr errors]

* To your future volumes,' declares a gentleman who adopts the signature of Clericus, 6 the clerical world will naturally look with the eagerness of hope, and the impatience of desire. The times justify your strictures: it is not, therefore, your fault that your strictures are a severe satire on the times. From one anonymous man to another, the frivolity of exagge rated compliment would prove worse than puerile: I

others to whom they have incidentally introduced him.

Having completed another series of these clerical strictures, fearless of the terror of

mus.

believe, you will never know me. My praise is honest, , and springs from the heart.'

Onesimus here suppresses the honest praise' of his anonymous friend Clericus.

Influenced by the same feeling as to the praises of Philonesis, the present writer must likewise suppress some parts of a Letter, addressed to the publisher of his former volume, and dated November the 14th, 1809. Philonesis states his having read, with considerable pleasure, a publication, called The Pulpit, by Onesi

It is a work,' continues Philonesis, characteristic of the title he has assumed, and tends to edify as well as to entertain; since it may stimulate some to emulation in their high calling, and banish from the pulpits of others fooleries and eccentricities which de. base them. The undertaking of this work was bold and arduous, in itself-bold, since the author knew, that in speaking the truth, he could not fail to excite the indignation of some; on the other hand, if he dealt too much in flattery or indiscriminate praise, he was sure to receive, as a just reward, the censure and contempt of the public. He appears, fortunately, by observing a due medium, to have escaped this danger; at least,

any puisné critics,' whilst cheered by the impartial approbation of some abler minds *,

in the instances of which I am capable of judging by experience-as, Porteus, Andrewes, Jay, Woodd, Jackman, he has manifested a sound judgment, an acute discrimination, and a strict impartiality.

'I hope the encouragement given to this Author,' concludes Philonesis, ' will produce a second and even third volume-in spite of the terror of any Puisné Critics. But I observed, in the beginning, that his undertaking was arduous as well as bold; and, in truth, how much industry as well as ingenuity must it require ---- to diversify Portraits in many respects bearing a close resemblance to each other, so as not to offend with repetition and sameness: I trust, however, that this is an obstacle which the talents and perseverance of Onesimus will enable him to overcome; and that he will renew his efforts, on many more of our Divines, with a success equal to what he has already displayed.'

* Though he (Onesimus) may occasionally offend, we are disposed to think, on the whole, that he may do some good; and that his hints may effect some reform in the pulpit. He certainly has not been an inattentive hearer, and he writes with spirit and force. Strong attachment to the Established Church is confessed: but objections to certain parts of her offices are broadly stated; and the practice of her Clergy in “ reading sermons," instead of cultivating the more engaging

the Author of the Pulpit trusts—that he has pursued his design, although · bold and

talent of extemporaneous eloquence, is censured as injurious to her interest. We quote the passage in which the writer offers his opinion on this subject; being inclined to suspect that his view of the matter, how much soever it may be resisted, is not far from the truth.'— MONTHLY REVIEW, for November, 1810.

In delineating the Subjects of this volume (Volume Ist of The Pulpit), their respective merits are, in general, judiciously exhibited ; and their few defects pointed out with sufficient delicacy. Not being in the habit of wandering to and fro, after strange doctrines, we are not capable of judging, from personal acquaintance, of the verisimilitude of the portraits of many of the Popular Preachers here described. But, if we may be allowed to form an opinion of those we do not knowby those we do, the artist may plume himself on accu. rate delineation.'-GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, for September, 1809.

"An eminent public character once said in company : I have not a real friend in the world !” “ You have not a real friend?” was the reply. “No, Sir,” answered the complainant; “ I have not one, who will come to my face, and tell me my faults.” Now, we have before us a shrewd and sensible writer; many of whose remarks do honour to his judgment. He com. mits his observations to paper, as a scholar and a gen

arduous,' with constancy, integrity, and fortitude; and that, accordingly, this se

tleman. As far as we have knowledge of the persons he pourtrays, with the exception of one or two, he rather extenuates their faults than exaggerates, and yet retains the individual likeness. He is certainly a friend to the group he brings before us, and, in our opinion, deserves the hearty thanks of the several characters whom ·hé paints, such as he finds them; insomuch, that nothing but extravagant self-love can oppose his decision.'

As this work, upon the whole, contains great merit, and displays considerable acumen, and cannot but be particularly useful to those who stand up as public teachers, we shall defer our concluding extracts to another opportunity.'

We must, in this number, close our extracts from this singular production, which certainly contains several observations, and remarks, instructive and attractively interesting. We would style this work a literal, rather than a religious, view of characters; for it is certainly inconsistent with itself, upon the vital principles of Christianity: however, better the writer would give us—if better he had. It is but justice to say, that, in his delineations, he appears to write impartially ; nor have we met with one line bordering on acrimony.'-GOSPEL MAGAZINE, for February, May, and September, 1810.

· The Pulpit is a fair object of criticism, and Onesimus is not wholly unqualified for the office of a Censor.

« ZurückWeiter »