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tle interested by the perusal of it. Mr. Barker appears to have been at no loss for materials; but he has put them together in a manner the most disjointed and irregular. He seems to have exercised no principle of selection, but to have inserted whatever came to hand-good, bad, and indifferent-appropriate or inappropriate-in one chaotic mass of confusion. Had one half of the volume been cancelled, its intrinsic value would have been not merely left undiminished, but even greatly increased. One biographical sketch of the Doctor's life, for instance, might surely have been quite sufficient; instead of which, not fewer than ten such sketches are introduced, all relating the same things in nearly the same words. This is an effort of bookmaking, which much exceeds anything we have yet met with, even in this bookmaking age. But-seniores priores—we shall return to Mr. Barker, after we have said a few words respecting the life and character of his illustrious friend.
Dr. Samuel Parr was born at Harrow-on-the-Hill about the beginning of 1747. His father practised as a surgeon and apothecary in that place, and is described by his son, as having been a man of a very robust and vigorous intellect. In 1752, young Samuel was admitted on the foundation of the free school at Harrow, at that time under the superintendence of Dr. Thackeray, where he soon distinguished himself by his talents and application. Among his schoolfellows were Dr. Bennet, late Bishop of Cloyne, and Sir William Jones, with whom he seems to have formed a close and enduring intimacy. On the demise of Dr. Thackeray, the head-mastership devolved upon Dr. Sumner, a man of large attainments and excellent abilities, and whose appointment could not fail to have been very beneficial to all who were connected with the school. The advantages of this change, however, were enjoyed by Parr only for a few months, as he was called away from school to assist his father in the discharge of his professional duties. But what he had attained, was not forgotten amidst the calls of bis new situation : on the contrary, all his leisure hours were steadily devoted to the ardent pursuit of those studies in which he had been engaged previously to his leaving school. At length, his father finding him possessed of talents and desires which qualified him to fill a more important station than he had at first designed him to occupy, was prevailed upon to send him to the University. . , Parr was, accordingly, entered at Emanuel College, Cambridge, in the summer of 1765.
Whilst at the University, Parr's conduct seems to have been exceedingly laudable. Ardent in the prosecution of knowledge, conscientious in the discharge of his duties, careful in
the choice of his friends, and moderate in the enjoyment of relaxation, he had every prospect of rising to a high eminence in those departments of study to which his attention was directed. But his hopes, whatever they may have been, were doomed to be frustrated. In 1767, he was reduced to the necessity of leaving the University, and of accepting the office of assistant to his late master, Dr. Sumner, at Harrow. In this situation he continued till his patron's death ; after which event, having been disappointed in his expectations of becoming his successor, he resigned his office, and retired to Stanmore, where he opened a private school in Oct. 1771. Here he entered into the married state with a lady of an ancient family in Yorkshire, who seems to have been endowed with qualities that rendered her a not unsuitable partner for such a man. From Stanmore, Parr removed to Colchester, of which school he had obtained the mastership; and in two years after (1778), to Norwich, as head master of that shoool. Here his fame, as • an instructor, rose high, and he brought up many scholars, who attained considerable eminence in the literary world.' Zealous and enthusiastic in the work of tuition, he seems to have laboured with the utmost assiduity to render his pupils proficients; and exact, and even severe in discipline, as he was, he seems, nevertheless, by his condescending manners and general attention, as well as by his deep erudition, to have secured, in no small degree, the respect and affection of all who were committed to his charge. In the volume before us, several of his old pupils speak of him in terms of the highest respect.
While a candidate for the head-mastership of Harrow, Mr. Parr, through the influence of the Duke of Grafton, obtained the degree of M.A. (per regias literas), without which he could not, by the decree of the founder, have filled that situation; and in a few years afterwards, while at Norwich, he proceeded to the degree of LL.D., with considerable éclat. His theses on that occasion, were characterized by much of that vigour and elegance of style, felicity of reasoning, acuteness of discrimination, and copiousness of information, by which his maturer productions were distinguished. Though earnestly requested . by the Professor of Law to commit them to the press, he, from some private reason, refused to do so.
In 1768, while assistant at Harrow, Mr. Parr had been ordained by the Bishop of London upon the small curacies of Willsden and Kingsbury, in Middlesex. These, however, he shortly afterwards resigned. At Colchester, he entered upon the curacies of Hythe and Trinity; and at Norwich, he served the churches of St. George Colgate and St. Saviour. In 1780,
he was preferred to the rectory of Asterby, in the diacese of Lincoln; which, however, he soon after exchanged for the perpetual curacy of Hatton, in Warwickshire. In addition to this, he obtained from Bishop Lowth, a prebend in St. Paul's, and the wealthy living of Graffham, in Huntingdonshire, from his friend, Sir F. Burdett. This sums up all the church preferments of this celebrated individual. At Hątton, wbither Parr removed in 1785, he spent the remainder of his days, in the laborious discharge of his parochial duties, in directing the studies of a few pupils, and in amassing those vast stores of kpowledge and erudition which placed him beyond all competition in the course of scholarship. He had been favoured with excellent health and strength, till towards the close of the year 1824, when his bodily frame began to give way. . On the 14th of March, 1825, he breathed his last with great composure and resignation. He had previously given minute directions regarding his funeral; in accordance with which, his remains were laid beside those of his first wife and her daughters, in his own parish church.
In the character of Dr. Parr, there were many amiable traits. His extensive benevolence, his generous friendships, his uncompromising honesty, and his unwavering attachment to truth and justice, command our respect. His regard for honour and veracity was very marked ;
Civis erat, qui libera posset Verba animi proferre, et vitam impendere vero.' Unlike many great scholars, his affections were not limited by the walls of bis library, but extended to all who had any claim upon his friendship. His hospitality was unbounded; and the stores of his niind, the resources of his purse, and the wealth of his library, were alike open to all whom he called his friends. As a scholar, Dr. P. stood unrivalled for the extent and variety of his learning, and the facility and eloquence with which he could pour forth his knowledge. Endued with a strong natural capacity, and possessing a bodily, frame which enabled him to prosecute his researches, unoppressed with languor and uninterrupted by disease, having, moreover, within his power the means of satisfying his literary appetites, he had amassed a quantity of information which seldom falls to the lot of any single individual. Not only was he intimately acquainted with every classic author and reputable critic; he had also perused and digested in his own mind the best works on metaphysics, belles letters, theology, history, politics, and political economy; and few questions could be started, on which he was not prepared to give a full and explicit opinion. We are aware that some have pronounced his mind deficient in original power; and have averred, that his ponderous erudition crushed and overwhelmed, rather than supported and adorned his genius. A perusal of the Doctor's writings, however, will shew, that he could originate and pursue trains of thought in a manner peculiarly his own. Of him, his friends might say, as he himself said of Dr. Bentley; that he was one of those rare and exalted
personages who always send away their readers with enlarged • knowledge, with animated curiosity, and with wholesome ex. ercise to those general habits of thinking, which enable them, ' on maturer. reflection and after more extensive inquiry, to discover and avoid the errors of their illustrious guides.
In politics, Parr was a liberal and a friend to free inquiry, without roving into the dreary and pathless wilds of latitudinarianism.? He was a whig, but not a radical; a reformer, but not a revolutionist. Recoiling from the licentiousness of democracy, on the one hand, and from corruption and despotism, on the other, he admired and loved the constitution of his country. Towards high church politics, he had a strong aversion. Though sincerely attached to the Church of which he was a minister, his regard extended to all who had worth to recommend them, whether Churchmen or Dissenters.
With regard to Parr's theological sentiments, we are willing to believe the best; but we must say, that the orthodoxy of one who could call Dr. Priestley a man of pure, benevolent, and
holy principles,' and who could applaud his sincerity as an ex-, pounder of the Scriptures, cannot but be regarded as very questionable. This surely is not the language in which a Christian minister ought to have spoken of one, who, whatever may have been his private virtues, was guilty of seeking to reduce bim who is “the effulgence of Jehovah's glory, and the express image of his person,” to the level of fallible and fallen man ;of the champion and high priest of a system which, to adopt the energetic language of Dr. Wardlaw upon this subject *, 'se• lects for denial and proscription, every thing which is distinc
tive of Christianity, which divests it of all its principles of . moral and spiritual influence, which destroys the hopes of a 'guilty world, by subverting and sweeping with the besom of destruction their only foundation,-which in a word, anni• hilates the gospel.' With what other sentiments than those of grief and horror,' can a devout Christian possibly contemplate such a system? We are then reduced to the necessity of supposing, either that Parr was a secret favourer of the doctrines of Priestley, or that he was occasionally, by his excessive
* Discourses on the Soc. Cont. Pref. to 4th Edit.
love of liberality, betrayed into the use of expressions which his more deliberate judgement would have led him to retract. But, whatever may have been the real nature of his theological sentiments, they did not interrupt or obstruct him in the exemplary discharge of his duties as a parish priest. The friend, and almost the father of all his parishioners, he exerted himself to the utmost to promote their comfort and well-being, and his memory is endeared to them by the remembrance of many be nevolent actions. During the first year of my visit to him (1820),' says Mr. Stewart in the volume before us, he had ad* vanced to his poorer parishioners, and most likely to other • indigent and meritorious objects, considerable sums in the way of loan, to help them to meet the casualties of an unfavourable
season.' (p. 66.) And the same gentleman adds, that in the course of twelve months, he had lent in this way no less than 700l. Such a man required no mitre to distinguish him. He was also most regular in the performance of all his public duties.
* The morning of the sabbath at Hatton, was invariably sacred to Parr's privacy, until the hour for divine service was near. He usually breakfasted alone in his library about 7 o'clock. A little before 11, he proceeded with his family and visitors to church. .... The first time I saw him officiate, he very much astonished me by his oc. casional pauses, as he went through the lesson, in order to explain to the congregation the correct meaning of any ambiguous passage, or make critical comments on any faulty translations. But the in. terruption was far from agreeable, and its effect far from devotional. When ascending the pulpit, he carried in his hand a small printed octavo, in brown binding, from which he pronounced a discourse. His delivery was always animated ; at times somewhat fierce. In early life he had been admired as an energetic preacher; and I have no doubt, justly. Throughout the entire service, his face beamed with an ardent piety; and while he subsequently administered the sacrament, it assumed an intenseness of devotion_even a sacred sublimity of expression.' p. 66.
But we must now turn from this literary Nestor, to his friend and chronicler, Mr. Barker. Of the manner in which this gentleman has discharged his duty, we have already expressed our opinion; but it will be necessary to give a few examples, in order to convey any adequate idea of the slovenliness and confusion which pervade and disfigure the whole volume. Mr. B. is undoubtedly a man of varied learning and much information; but did we know nothing of him but what may be gleaned from bis present work, we should almost feel disposed to apply to him the character of Margites.
"Ος μεν επιστατο πολλά, κακώς δ' ήπιστατο πάντα.We are amazed that so much pedantry, egotism, and indis