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mitted, as soon as any one can be found, who is impadest, et ignorant enough, to teach it; and, being once admitted, it process too strong an effect upon the passions, to be easily relinquisset. The case is the same with the doctrine of inward impulse, , 3 they term it, experience ;--if you preach up to ploughonos artizans, that every singular feeling which comes actes there visitation of the Divine Spirit-can there be any difficults, 13 the influence of this nonsense, in converting these simolestesa into active and mysterious fools, and making them your stro ne: It is not possible to raise up any dangerous editi o telling men to be just, and good, and charitable ; bet, keep us part of christianity out of sight --and talk long, and enthusiaste cally, before ignorant people, of the mysteries of or region, and you will not fail to attract a crowd of followers on the Tabernacle loveth not that which is simple, intelligibie se les èth to good sound practice..
Having endeavoured to point out the spirit so these people, we shall say a few words upon the fects, and the cure of this calamity.-The fanatics lent in the present day, is one of those evils from is never wholly exempt ; but which
somnf : but which bursts ont, 2 se Tods, with deculiar violence, and sometimes to thing in its course. The last eruption took place at and a half ago, and destroyed both Church and I tremendous force. Though irresistible, it was siasm spent its force—the usual reaction took place land was deluged with ribaldry and indecenc, been worried with fanatical restrictions.
with fanatical restrictions. By degre "Mund out, that orthodoxy and loyalty Durgut Dea
Too borgere it
. ther methods than licentious conduct and immodes The public morals improved; and there appeared sense and moderation upon the subject of religiga be expected from mankind in large masses. Still met which the Puritans had done was not a
suspicion prevailed of the dangers of religio
of the last century, however, the character
conduct and immodes Ortetsston. 1. and there app. 6 25 much zood the subject of renn , 25 eres can Large masses. Su, boweres, the
Forgotten ; 2 80dangers of religious enthusiasm; sored his accustomed power among ed from a religious war, and guarded or
es, and the general tide of humour cesses of that nature. About the
wever, the character of the genus Si forgotten, and the memory of the
feid was clear for extravagance is must always produce an immens
and opinion, a middle cf the 1 ine fanatic vos civil Vs WO piy ; and calls
influence upon t peder Operations.
**ts worn way; the field was clear for
and cause, which must always produce DCA upon the nind of man, were left to the
Operations. Religion is so noble and powe
deration, it is so buoyant and so insubmergible—that it may be made, by fanatics to carry with it any degree of error and of perilous absurdity. In this instance Messrs Whitfield & Wess ley happened to begin. They were men of considerable talents ; they observed the common decorums of life; they did not run naked into the streets, or pretend to the prophetical character ; and therefore, they were not committed to Newgate. They preached with great energy to weak people ; who first stared then listenedthen believed—then felt the inward feeling of grace, and became as foolish as their teachers could possibly. wish them to be : in short folly ran its ancient course, and human nature evinced itself to be, what it always has been, una der similar circumstances. The great and permanent cause, therefore, of the increase of Methodism, is the cause which has given birth to fanaticism in all ages,-the facility of mingling hue man errors with the fundamental truths of religion. The formerly iniperfect residence of the clergy may perhaps, in some trifling degree, have aided this source of Methodism. But unless a man of education, and a gentleman, could stoop to such disingenuous arts as the Methodist preachers,-unless he hears heavenly music all of a sudden, and enjoys sweet experiences,-it is quite impossible that he can contend against such artists as these. More active, than they are at present, the clergy might perhaps be ; but the calmness and moderation of an Establishment can never possibly be a match for sectarian activity:-If the common people are ennui'd with the fine acting of Mrs Siddons, they go to Saddlers Wells. The subject is too serious for ludicrous comparisons; but the Tabernacle really is to the Church, what Saddlers Wells is to the Drama.-There, popularity is gained by vaulting and tumbling,—by low arts, which the regular clergy are not too idle to have recourse to, but too dignified: their institutions are chaste and severe,—they endeavour to do that which, upon the whole, and for a greut number of years, will be found to be the most admirable and the most useful : it is no part of their plan, to descend to small artifices, for the sake of present popularity and effect. The religion of the common people under the government of the Church, may remain as it is for ever enthusiasm must be progressive, or it will expire.
It is probable that the dreadful scenes which have lately been acted in the world, and the dangers to which we are exposed, have increased the numbers of the Methodists.
To what degree will Methodism extend in this country? This question it is not easy to answer. That it has rapidly increased within these few years, we have no manner of doubt; and we consess we cannot see what is likely to impede its pro
Wells is but the Tabernsubject is too serious Siddo
they are ad the End subtesmall sck religion
gress. The party which it has formed in the Legislature, and the artful neutrality with which they give respectability to their small numbers,—the talents of some of this party, and the uns impeached excellence of their characters, all make it probable that fanaticism will increase, rather than diminish. The Methodists have made an alarming inroad into the Church, and they are attacking the Army and Navy. The principality of Wales, and the East India Company, they have already acquired. All mines and subterraneous places belong to them; they creep into hospitals and small schools, and so work their way upwards. It is the custom of the religious neutrals to beg all the little livings, particularly in the north of England, from the minister for the time being; and from these fixed points they make incursions upon the happiness and common sense of the vicinage. We most sincerely deprecate such an event; but it will excite in us no manner of surprise, if a period arrives when the churches of the sober and orthodox part of the English clergy, are completely deserted by the middling and lower classes of the community. We do not prophecy any such event; but we contend, that it is not impossible, -hardly improbable. If such, in future, should be the situation of this country, it is impossible to say what political animosities may not be ingrafted upon this marked and dangerous division of mankind into the godly, and the ungodly. At all events, we are quite sure that happiness will be destroyed, reason degraded, sound religion banished from the world ; and that when fanaticism becomes too foolish and too prurient to be endured, (as is at last sure to be the case), it will be succeeded by a long period of the grossest immorality, atheism, and debauchery.
We are not sure that this evil admits of any cure, or of any considerable palliation. . We most sincerely hope that the Government of this country will never be guilty of such indiscretion as to tamper with the toleration act, or to attempt to put down these follies by the intervention of the law. If experience has taught us any thing, it is the absurdity of controuling men's notions of eternity by acts of Parliament. Something may perhaps be done, in the way of ridicule, towards turning the popular opinion. It may be as well to extend the privileges of the dis, senters to the members of the Church of England; for, as the law now stands, any man who dissents from the established church may open a place of worship where he pleases. No orthodox clergyman can do so, without the consent of the parson of the parish, who always refuses, because he does not chuse to have his inonopoly disturbed ; and refuses, in parishes where there are not accommodations for one half of the persons who wish VOL. XI. NO. 22.
to frequent the Church of England, and in instances where he knows that the chapels from which he excludes the established worship, will be immediately occupied by sectaries. It may be as well to encourage in the early education of the clergy, as Mr Ingram recommends, a better and more animated method of preaching; and it may be necessary, hereafter, if the evil gets to a great height, to relax the articles of the English church, and to admit a greater variety of Christians within the pale. The greatest and best of all remedies, is perhaps the education of the poor ; we are astonished, that the established church in England is not awake to this mean of arresting the progress of methodism. Of cour:c, none of these things will be done; nor is it clear if they were done, that they would do much good. Whatever happens, we are for common sense and orthodoxy. Insolence, servile politics, and the spirit of persecution, we condemn and attack, whenever we observe them ;-but to the learning, the moderation, and the rational piety of the Establishment, we most earnestly wish 2 decided victory over the nonsense, the melancholy, and the madness of the tabernacle. *
God send that our wishes be not in vain.
ART. VI. Exodus : an Epic Poem, in Thirteen Books. By Charles
Hoyle of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Domestic Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Marlborough. J. Hatchard, London.
CORRESPONDENT wrote us lately an account of a tea-drinking n in the west of England, at which there assisted no fewer than six epic poets--a host of Parnassian strengtii, certainly equal to six-and-thirty ordinary bards; and Mr Hoyle, we believe, was not of the party. How unreasonable then is it to complain, that poetry is on the decline amorg us! We ought, on the contrary, to rejoice, that so precious (however ungainful) an article of our staple manufactures is the only one which, in these disastrous times, our inveterate enemy is either unable, or unambitious, to diminish.
In addition to this, we have the pleasure to remark, that our measure and numbers seem, from the specimen before us, to be
# Tacre is one circumitance to which we have neglected to advert in the proper place, -ihe dreadful pillage of the earnings of the poor which is made by the Methodi'ts. A cafe is mentioned in one of the numbers of these two magazines for 1807, of a poor man with a family, earning only twenty-cight thillings a week, who has made to donations of tes guineus caib lo ile sizlenurg fund!
improving. In the number of books in an epic poem, varying from six to two dozen, an odd number has been hitherto little known. It comes, therefore, as a gratuity in the present instance; and Mr Hoyle, surpassing Virgil himself in generosity, gives us thirteen books, as the conscientious buker gives thirteen rolls to the dozen.
Yet this generous profusion of an author in multiplying his pages, though it may please the purchaser who loves to have bulk of volume for his money, and may read as much or as little as he pleases, is sometimes rather troublesome to peevish critics: and we must honestly confess, that on the first perusal of this importa ant article, our fortitude forsook us at the prospect of thirteen books, on which no ray of interest or entertainment appeared to dawn. Returning, however, to a sense of the duty and dignity of our profession, we resolved to scorn the trifling allurement of mere amusement, and apply our aged eyes to the task of measuring Mr Hoyle's poetical altitude, not by the random guess of our own calculation, but by the quadrant and plummet of Aristotelian criticism. After applying this suret test to the performance, our veneration for the poem has considerably increased.
Aristotle hath remarked, that the epic poem should be distinguished from history, by its poetical form, and by the liberty of fiction which it assumes. Whether the reverend author before us has sufficiently fulfilled this ordonnance with regard to fiction, we do not feel bold enough in so important a question to decide ; but certain it is, that his poem will never be mistaken for the book of Exodus in scripture. In the first place, Exodus of the Pentateuch, is known to be an history; but the Exodiade is expressly named an epic poem in the title-page. In the next place, Exodus is divided into chapters of prose; Mr Hoyle's performance is divided into books of blank verse. In the third place, the bible Exodus is inspired; whereas the Exodiade of Mr Hoyle bears evident marks of human achievement.
Instead of failing in attention to the rule above-mentioned, it gives us pain to remark, that our author has gone a little too far in establishing the distinction between his work and holy writing. It behoved him, we think, as a grave divine, to have stuck closely, in all the important facts, to the text and order of Scripture. Every one knows how much of our interest in the original story of Exodus depends upon the ten plagues of Egypt. Of these, the stagnant and bloody waters were the first; and immediately after these, came the plague of lice; a visitation which, as coining home to the business and bosoms of men,' we have no doubt tora mented the court of Pharaoh, more than all the nine other plagues put together. Where so much depended on the agency of those heaven-commissioned vermin, much ought to have been described
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