Abbildungen der Seite

sion of all reasonings a priori. Ges- tions to its leading arguments; but ner, to be sure,—but Gesner was not whatever may be thought of it, now much of a poet, though he could pas- that the controversy is almost at rest, toralize prettily enough—moreover he it certainly had at the time of its pubcannot properly be called a Swiss. lication a powerful effect in checking But as for the divines of Scotland, the wild spirit of infidelity which had there is not one who could be classed gone increasingly abroad, and in this among the Barrows and the Clarkes view it is above all praise, and claiins and the Butlers of England. We our highest regard, though we may can proudly boast, indeed, of philoso- not go quite so far as to say with a phers, and historians, and poets, of pigmy champion in the same cause, high and deathless fame ; and, in cri- that Hume appeared before the divine ticism, we stand unrivalled, and, per- “ like a withe of straw.” His works haps, beyond the reach of rivalship; on Pulpit Eloquence and Ecclesiastiin theology alone, though its practical cal History are very useful books to spirit is every where abounding in the tyros in the study'; but upon the land, we are far outdone, and miser- whole, as a divine, he cannot be ably deficient. We have, no doubt, a ranked much above mediocrity, and few names somewhat respectable, such must take his place with Fawkes, as Boston, Campbell, Blair, Mac- and Henry, and Matthew Poole; knight, and a few others ; but even yet he is perhaps the brightest star they are of minor note, and sink into in our theological hemisphere. It is insignificance when put in comparison as a belles-lettres critic and philologist with the master spirits of other coun- that Campbell stands on conspicuous tries. But let us consider their claims ground, equalling, if not surpassing, to distinction a little more closely, his distinguished contemporaries, both that we may not be accused of misre- in his own country and abroad. presenting the matter.

Blair was an eminent man in his Boston was a pious man, and gave day, though as a divine he is even inhimself industriously to the perusal of ferior to Campbell. He was less of a his Bible; and, if a memory stored scholar, and he possessed little shrewdwith biblical phraseology, and scrip- ness of rensark or stretch of thinking. ture texts, could constitute a great di- The popularity of his sermons is now vine, Boston must stand in the highest slowly, but surely on the decline, and ranks. But the consequence of his with justice ; they are cold, dull, laabsurd plan ot' study was, that his boured essays, much better fitted for works are literally crammed with appearing in the sleepy pages of Johntexts, and have the appearance of a son's Rambler, than for stirring up very ill arranged common-place book, and animating the glow of religious exhibiting, in their unreadable pages, feeling. There are, indeed, occasional a marked picture of the confused touches in them of something like a and labouring jumble going on in warmer eloquence, yet these but seldom the good man's mind when he wrote break in upon his monotonous chant them,

and his regularly balanced periods, Campbell, no doubt, was a man of and many even of these glittering no ordinary powers. He had some patches are borrowed, without acscholarship, though he was not quite knowledgment, from the French. It à Warburton or a Cudworth. He was would, to be sure, have been rather rather acute and critical in his percep- scandalous to acknowledge pilfering tions; and he had a large share of from such a book as Rousseau's Nouwhat may be called good sense. His velle Heloise a splendid paragraph to fame, however, will ultimately rest on ornament a sermon on the crucifixion ; his Philosophy of Rhetoric, rather yet such is the case, however much than on his Four Gospels, and the long the statement of it may offend his cumbering dissertations witb, which admirers. He was also inferior to he has prefaced them. As to the Campbell in belles-lettres, though his merits of his metaphysical talents dis- lectures on that subject have furnishplayed in his Essay on Miracles, phi- ed our youth with a very popular textlosophers are not quite agreed ; and book, displaying, indeed, no great we perceive that Professor Brown, in depth or originality, and particularly his late masterly work on Cause and deficient in the accounts given of the Effect, has made some shrewd objec- great works of the Grecian school

but with all its want of crudition, heritage of glory from an interminable and its defects of style, the book af- line of ancestors, and even the minor fords an introduction to the study, dignities of the church are looked up well adapted to the capacities of the to as worth coveting, both from their mass of our college youths.

liberal emoluments and the rank and Machnight was a sounder divine respect which they confer on those than either Campbell or Blair, and his who fill them. Many of the younger Epistles will always be esteemed among sons of noble families are in consebiblical critics; for though he had not quence designed for the church from much profundity nor much taste, he infancy and educated accordingly. In was possessed of a good understanding, Scotland, the case is very different. and was a laborious, pains-taking man. The church here is not considered as But even Macknight is far from being conferring rank, and no man of birth eminent, and very far from rivalling is now-a-days educated as a clergythe great divines of Germany and man. Our ministers, indeed, are a England.

most respectable body, but among the Except these, and one or two secta great they are looked upon only as a ries, such as Brown of Haddington, superior class of farmers or school. the Erskines, and others of similar masters, according to the cast of their distinction, we do not recollect a sin- pursuits, with something more of pogle name in the annals of the Scottish lish than the one, and a little more Church which we can record as emi- learning than the other: most comnent in theology. Reid, and Robert- monly, indeed, they retain more than son, and Ferguson, and Murray, were enough of rusticity or pedantry to jusmen of unrivalled eminence in the de- tify the comparison. Nor is this at partments of history and philosophy, all wonderful ; it would be much more and any one of those illustrious per- , strange if it were otherwise, as will be sons would have reflected imperisha- obvious when we follow a Scottish ble glory on the country he belonged clergyman from the commencement of to. But why did none of these great bis education to his settlement in his men direct their talents to theology, manse. which was the immediate line of their We believe we are correct when we profession ?-why have the superior say, that not one in a hundred of our powers of our Scottish clergymen so ministers is even from the middle evident a bias to deviate from the path ranks of society. They are chiefly the of divinity, and wander into the bye- sons of our less opulent farmers, inroads of literature and science ?-and dustrious mechanics, or small village wby can we not catalogue such men shopkeepers. The richer class of faras Colin Maclaurin and Adam Smith mers have become too calculating to among our ministers? Because, we an- think the church a sufficiently lucraswer, they have no adequate excite- tive speculation for their sons, and ments to spur them on,-no goal of small proprietors of land have a simidistinction to call forth exertion or lar objection. To the more respectaemulation, - no places of honour and ble of the ranks immediately below rank, nor livings that bring in a rich these, the church is the highest object overflowing harvest of tithes, to awak- of ambition, and every nerve is strainen them to aspirings after opulence and ed and every scheme of thrift and save power. We do not say that this is ing is put in practice to obtain and wrong,—that the system of keeping husband money sufficient to put the our clergy poor, or at best with their hope of the family forward to the pulheads just above poverty, is not the pit. A considerable number of our parent of many beneficial results ; we ministers also have been previously merely state this as a leading cause taught some meehanic employment, why we have had so few eminent and have wrought as journeymen, till, theologians in our church; and we by their own industry, they saved shall try to make good our position. money enough to pay their college

In England, and in the Catholic expences during the first winter sescountries of Europe, situations in the sion, in some cases returning to their church are aspired to even by men of manual toil again during the sumhigh birth. An Archbishop or a Car- mer vacation. Nay, even those dinal is accounted nothing inferior to who are in the earlier stages of a nobleman or a prince, who derives their course maintained by their pauntainted blood and the legitimate rents, are almost universally com

pelled during their studies to have of maintaining a family, and then recourse to the drudgery of teaching there is scarcely a single point of eleschools or families to increase their vation to which their ainbition can scanty pittance; for low as the price look up; for the chairs in the univerof education is in our Universities, sities are of very limited number, and the expence of living in such cities even they are not open to clergyAs Edinburgh and Glasgow becomes men exclusively, while town livings, heavy to a young man, who, though though of higher nominal value, ore poor, is obliged to live and appear seldom so good as those in the counsomewhat like a gentleman.

try, in consequence of the greater exThe consequence of all this is, that pence of living. our clergymen are by no means such The great body of our clergy are, | accomplished scholars as in coun- therefore, deprived of adequate motries where the whole circumstances tives to cultivate their acquirements, and system are different. So far it is which are commonly slender enough, honourable to our country to afford from the difficulties they had, in their such facilities for instruction, that early studies, to grapple with. They even our peasants may rise to distinc- consequently allow mental inclolence tion,-not by a fortunate run of ex to grow upon them, wbile they are traordinary chances, but in the usual immoveably fixed stagnant and staand regular course of things. Of this tionary in their mauses. The easier we can exultingly boast, and challenge and more popular branches of theoa comparison with nations the proud- logy are enough, and more than eest of their erudition and learning. nough, for their simple and pious paIt is a system of things altogether un rishioners, and they seldom advance known at Oxford, and Cambridge, beyond these. For why should they and Dublin, where aspiring students, dive into the profundities of Greek destitute of money, must submit to and Hebrew criticism, and puzzle perform the most inean and degrading themselves with subtle casuistry and offices for the haughty gentlemen points of doctrine, and make themcommoners, and be content to dine on selves learned in controversy and the scraps and_fragments of their church history, when there may not lordly feasts. To do this a Scotch occur a single occasion during their man would disdain, and would rather, lives when their knowledge of such with true independence of soul, bor- things might be called forth ? And, row hours from his sleep and his stu- though such occasions were, and dies to ply his mechanic task, and though they might carry the palm of earn a humble meal. All this is done superiority,

- to what would it lead ? here every day, and persevered in with A professor's chair, perhaps, or one of enthusiasm ; it is not an extreme case the Edinburgh churches ; but the got up for illustration ; it is frequent, chances are a thousand to one that it very frequent, and again we say, that would not be so efficient, even in this it is a thing we can proudly exult in; respect, as superiority in philosophy, but, at the same time, it clearly ac- philology, or civil history. counts for the want of great divines A Scottish clergyman has little in our church.

chance of excelling as a linguist, unIt is utterly impossible, from the less, like the late Dr Murray, he have constitution of human nature, that, an irresistible enthusiasm and untireunder such circumstances, our church able perseverance. The foundation can ever be fertile in profound and which is laid at our universities for erudite scholars. For this, an un this department of knowledge is mi. interrupted leisure of many years, serable indeed. We are almost ashamduring the progress of college studies, ed to state, that it is with much diffiis quite indispensable, together with culty the great body of our young some grand and bestirring motive to men can hammer out a chapter of the rouse and urge on the mind in its Greek Testament when they apply task. We want both. The early for licence at the presbyteries ; and studies of our clergymen are broken Hebrew, till within these very few in upon by their exertions to obtain a years, was almost totally neglected. subsistence, chiefly by teaching; and, We think we have now made out when they have completed their our position most satisfactorily, that course, the livings are barely capable our Scottish divines neither are nor

with payne ;


rie yee.


can be great theologians. We reserve Lo! in the welkin bryghte a bickeryng our farther remarks till another Num

cloud; ber, when we shall advert to some of Joyaunce aye linckt with bale, pleasaunce the living ornaments of our church.

Musyc mote han its notes both lowe and


And lyfe is an excheat ; and death to all TO A LADY, REQUESTING SOME VERSES

give shrowd.” ON THE BIRTH OF HER SISTER'S Tho louting revrendly with matron grace, FIRST-BORN CHILD, BY G. DYER,

Shee took the gentle parent by the hond; POETICS," &c.

And castyng with prophetic eyne her face, DAMZELL, right weel ye wot, that I of Sain'd mystic meanings, but in language yore

blond :Forlorne the hilles, and plaines, and sil. “ Thilke impe ben true-love's gage, if ver springes,

ryghte I trace: And oaten pipe, a fon at tuneful lere, Heart linckt with heart, and mind with And now am close ypent o'er auncient

mind agree ;thinges ;

Lyfe is a traveil; keepe peregall pace ; (Eld that mought michel muse, is slowe to Thus your true-lover's knott entrayled sing,)

bee, Stil ye, as in dispite, persyste to saie, Wyles I a priestesse stond, and againe mare, My sister's newe-born sonne fit sub

ject bringes : Colin, be once againe, as whilome gaie,

“And take this ring, fro faerie lond The litell frenne is come, and claymes

ybrought; your roundelaie.

And it so charmed been, as fewe may Heare tho my roundelaie; or rather heare Your finger ring with ilk, ne less your What youthly I heard by browne Sibyl

thought; sung Beside an impe, y-rock'd by moder deare; Heales deadly bale, I weet, and sooth can

Use it ne wrong, and ilk wil use ye wel: Whyles I, as fix'd by spel, y-wondring

quel hung,

That inborn feend ; sprights itt can putt To weet what wysdome flowed from Bel.

to flyghte, dame's tongue.

The caytiffs of this world, and broode of The powers of hearbes shee couth, als

hell; fortunes told :

Y-spredds in dungeon dark a cheary And nowe fro meddled hearbes shee juices

lyght; prest

And into distant dayes deigns straunge In mazer mirke and brade; and eke

seraphic sight. shee rollid Upwardes her blacke bold eyen, as with “ I drem'd a dreme-oh! sweete dame, Heaven's counsels blest.

what a dreme ! The juices meynt, she ever and anon

Beares, gryfons, tygers, lyons, rampano

soche Into hem dipt her finger, and, eche time With fixt arch eie prophetic gazing on,

In forme ; with foregn blood yet swelt, Touch'd that Impe's face, redding a

they seme charmed rimer

Bursting amaine, and I ywonder'd * With Genius rath, but ne too hie to

moche; climbe

Yet moe to see them live, as by some With so moche richesse, as a wight

touch mought crave

Of Demogorgon, and for fyghte upWith wizzards Lear, but moe of motherr

spring ; Sense

And they wil fyghten ; wo worth each one's With so much beautie, as a man neede

clutch ! have

Ne heede hem, dame; I plyghte mee And witt, that ne can give no honest heart

by thilke ring, offence.

Soche fyghtes shall ne'er your impe into

no daunger bring. A warrfare brave, but ne in bloodie fielde

“ On a blacke mountain's side a Dragon (la vallie lowlie lyves lyfe's lustie tree,) drere Caution to warre with daunger, dreed to His long long length yspredd; dreadful yielde

to see! In Love's sweet Faerie-Lond awhyle to To warre no needes beseme him to requere; bee

Yet cause and umpire of that warre was Tho gang to Hymen's court with buxom glee:

And he itt kent, I wot, with ravenous glee,





And held in clutch a globe, ywrought rious causes have contributed to this. with gold,

The scenes of many of its interesting Which salvage beastes eied mochil greedi- narratives are laid within our district,

and their localities are so picturesqueThere the world's valour, sweet dame, ly described, that they can easily be

ye behold: That prize been theirs ; long live your

determined, though the names of the Impe for virtue bold."

more remarkable are in general, and Lady, yť my song flows not as of yere,

often without any apparent good cause, Know, Colin now nis Colin never more;

studiously suppresseil, or altogether He mote ne, con ne, pipe, as heretofore:

altered. The inhabitants of LanerkWeleaway! leave seely olde man, to shire, without possessing any great muse on auncient lore.

share of poetic feeling, for which our philosophers thank or curse, according as their sentiments run, the commer

cializing neighbourhood of Glasgow, TALE OF OLD MORTALITY.

are justly proud of the delightful and

varied scenery of their county, and MR EDITOR,

those whose minds, whether from The high excellence of our modern taste or education, feel pleasure in the national novels, the fidelity with contemplation of such objects, áre which they describe manners pecu

grateful to the

great unknown," liarly Scottish, the excellent speci- for having rendered classical, by his mens of our native language which descriptive pen, the romantic beauties they contain, with the mysterious anil of their district. We could hardly impenetrable veil thrown around their forgive him,

however, for having taken author, have excited a degree of at

no notice of Cartlane Craigs, or the tention to these interesting works, famed Lins of Clyde, and our partialiwhich never has been paralleled. ties were again nettled when we beTheir popularity has become unis held Francis Osbaldiston, and the saversal; all ranks, from the peasant to pient Fairservice, brought in four or the prince, read and admire, and each five words from Clyde's Eye * to district is anxious to appropriate to it- Glasgow, while whole pages had been self as many as possible of the scenes expended in describing their journey in which the narratives are laid through the southern shires, and over None of those novels has more inter

scenes in which the names of every ested the passions, and let me say the hillock and mountain brook are quite prejudices of men, than the tale of familiar all over Scotland. Old Mortality, one party holding it

But there was another cause to be up as a perfect portraiture of the Co-found in what I may call the spirit venanting times, while the other, with of the tale, which at first contributed great apparent justice, regards it as more powerfully than the former to unjust to departed merit, partial and

rouse the attention of the upper disbigoted to the cause of the vilest and tricts of Clydesdale to the Tales of most atrocious oppression. All how. My Landlord, and which still opeever willingly allow it the palm of ex

rates to keep it awake. quisite writing, vivid description, and

The general character of our indi. the most lively delineation of charac- genous peasantry is that of a sedate, ter.

unromantic, and moral people, strong• Nowhere in Scotland, not even ly attached to civil and religious liberwithin the Good Town itself, has this ty, and, therefore, necessarily having tale excited more attention than in the their minds thoroughly imbued with Upper Ward of Lanerkshire. * Va

a deep veneration for the martyrs of

the covenant, who fought and fell in • Such is the invariable orthography of

the cause of freedom, from whom ma. our earliest writers, and this spelling is a

ny of our most respectable families greeable to the derivation of the name from

claim the honour of being descended, Welch, Llannerch, a lawn in a wood, a

an honour which brings but few helittle yard. See Chalmers's Caled. Vol. I. raldic distinctions indeed, but which, p. 54. Lanark is a modern corruption, I believe, they would not relinquish and has given rise to the strange but popu

to be cnabled to reckon among their lar etymon of lanae arca, by which means it has been discovered, that Lanark was an A name sometimes given to the founciently a great depot of wool.

tain of Clyde.

« ZurückWeiter »