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• pressions of throws, breathes, and browner horror, are,
I « believe, the boldest and strongest in the English language.'
He thinks the description of high mass, which came from the poet's soul, is sublime, and very striking. I believe, adds he, 'few persons have ever been present at the celebrating • mass in a good choir, but have been extremely affected with ! awe, if not with devotion : which ought put us on our
guard against the insinuating nature of so pompous and al• luring a religion as popery. Lord Bolingbroke being one
day present at this folemnity, in the chapel of Versailles, and
seeing the Archbishop of Paris elevate the hoft, whispered « his companion, the Marquis de ***, If I were King of « France, I would always perform this ceremony myself.”
The following lines the Author recommends as a subject for the pencil of a capital painter. Eloisa represents herself as lying on a tomb, and thinking the heard some spirit calling to her, in every low wind.
Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps around,
Love's victim then, thu' now a sainted maid • The painter,' says he, "might place Eloisa in the long <ifle of a great Gothic church. A lamp should hang over
her head, whose dim and dismal ray should afford only light enough to make darkness vilible. She herself should be represented in the instant when she first hears this aerial voice,
and in the attitude of starting round with astonishment and • fear. And this was the method a very great master took to • paint a found, if I may be allowed the expreffion.'—
• Eloisa, at the conclusion of the epistle, is judiciously re
presented as gradually settling into a tranquility of mind. • She can bear to speak of their being buried together, with
out violent emotions. Two lovers are introduced as visiting their tombs, and the behaviour of the strangers is finely įnagined.'
From the full choir, when loud Hosannas rise,
One human tear thali drop, and be forgiv’n. With this line, the Criticthinks, the poem should have ended, for that the eight additional lines concerning some poet that
kaply might arise to sing their misfortunes, are languid and flat, and diminish the pathos of the foregoing sentiments.
Nor are these the only lines our Author has found faule with. He thinks it improper for a person in the circumstances of Eloisa to mention Cupid. Mythology is here out of its place.
Love free as air, at fight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies. And he is of opinion, that the Vision, which is partly from Dido's dream, tho' picturesque, is not appropriated, nor descriptive enough of that distress which could only happen to Eloisa, and which should be drawn from objects which have a reference only to her story,
Methinks we wand'ring go Thro' dreary wastes, and weep each others woe. In the notes he justly praises a poem of Catullus's, inscribed Atys. But we cannot subscribe to his opinion, that it is of a strain superior to any thing in the Roman poesy, and more passionate and sublime than any part of Virgil. And tho' it is much above any other of Catullus's pieces, yet do we see no reason for its being thought a translation from some Greek writer. Might it not be the work of the Author of the Pervigilium Veneris ? He was equal to the task. As we have no old Dithyrambics, we cannot say whether the Atys is an exact model of that compofition. It is, however, very animated, and the changes are sudden, and well supported.
The epistle of Eloisa to Abelard is, on the whole, says our Author, one of the most highly finished, and certainly < the most interesting, of all Mr. Pope's pieces; and, to
gether with the elegy to the memory of an unfortunate lady, is the only instance of the pathetic he has given us. I think one may venture to remark, that the reputation of Pope as a poet, among posterity, will be principally owing to his
Windsor-Foreft, his Rape of the Lock, and his Eloisa to Abeolard; whilst the facts and characters alluded to in his later
writings, 'will be forgotten and unknown, and their poignancy
and propriety little relish'd. For wit and satyr are transitory, s and perishable, but nature and passion are eternal.'
These are, indeed, Omnium Ætatum poemata ; yet are we of opinion, that even without these, the Veries to the Me. mory of an unfortunate Lady, and the Messiah, not to mintion the Ode to St. Cecilia, would, with posterity,, have lecured to Pope the character of a Sublime and Pathetic Poet.
Upon the whole, altho' we judge that this Eslay is partly calculated to fink Mr.Pope's reputation to a lower degree in the
poetical scale than he has hitherto been stationed at, yet do we hope, that the ingenious Author will continue his Observations. A Gentleman of fo fine a taste, and master of so much learning, cannot fail of throwing out many beautiful and interesting particulars. But we could with, that in his future volumes he would be more sparing in the use of synonimous terms *, where one word fully expresses the idea. Verbosity is a fault in every species of writing, but more especially in works of Criticism.
* A few of these we have taken the liberty to omit, in some of our extracts.
The Use of Reason asserted in Matters of Religion : or Natural Religion the Foundation of Revealed. In Answer to a Sermon preached before the University of Oxford on A&t-Sunday, July 13, 1755, and lately published at the Request of the Vice Chancellor, and other Heads of houses : by Thomas Patten, D. D. Fellow of Corpus Christi College. By Ralph Heathcote, A. M. Preacher- Afiftant at Lincoln's Inn. '8vo. the second Edition corrected. is. 6d. Payne.
late Defences of it, by men who have infifted upon the use of Reason in Religious Matters; and who have shewn, that the superstructure of revealed, is properly raised on the foundation of natural, Religion. In times of greater superftition than the present, the adversaries of Revelation attacked it, or rather the advocates of it, because the system then adhered to, was not to be supported by Reason and Argument: we fay the system, because we think, that true Christianity is the same, tho' systems vary; and if Infidels have refuted fyftems, they have not refuted Christianity. The mistakes and errors of Christians have often been attacked, and thro' them the Christian Religion has as often been misrepresented and abused;
but are the character of our blessed Lord and his doce trines ever censured but by the most profligate of men ? St. Paul, indeed, has been very ill treated by a late unbeliever, but it was for asserting opinions no where to be found in St. Paul's writings.
As nothing tends more to the honour of Christianity, next to the good lives of its professors, than the proving it to be a reasonable service, so nothing, on the other hand, can dis8
grace it more than to affert, with certain modern Infidels, that Christianity is not founded on Argument. Whilft Chriftians feemed to depreciate Human Reason as a dim light, and a carnal weapon, their adverfaries cried it up as the only light, and an all-sufficient guide; but when Christians, equally averse to Superftition and Impiety, defended Christianity by "Reason and Argument, the Infidel joined the Bigot, and denied the use of Reafon in Religion : Surely, therefore, he is fairly beat out of the field! and we believe the world will have nothing more of any consequence from that quarter, until the enemies of Human Reason, amongst Chriftians, prevail over the Rationalifts.
From a due fenfe of the vast importance of Reason to the Protestant Religion, Mr. Heathcote has undertaken the Defence of it against certain men, who having opposed Reason, will find it very difficult to answer him; for Reason will never concur to dethrone herself.
That our readers may form a true judgment of the real merits of this performance, we shall lay before him the following extracts.
Dr. Patten's Sermon, when cleared from that perplexity s and disorder in which he has delivered it, amounts to the
following particulars : first, that Christianity cannot be found
ed upon Argument, because Reason is blind, and all her de• ductions precarious and vain ; and, consequently, that Na• tural Religion neither is, nor can be
any criterion of Re« vealed. Secondly, that the true and proper foundation of - the Gospel is the miracles it records, because miracles are
facts, and facts the only ground of all our reasonings; upon s which account we should always, in our disputes with Un• believers, content ourselves with insisting upon the miracles • alone. But for fear a speculative alent of Reason to these « miracles, even if we could gain it, should not be sufficient * for the Conversion of Unbelievers, he recommends, in the • third place, an active, lively, and energetic Faith, from which
we may learn, what no human instručtions, no admonitions of
Reafon, can teach us; that victorious principle, he says, which, o by the grace of God, is made to grow and spring up one know
eth not how, in every soul, which turneth itself to him with an . awakened earnestness of desire, &c. This, I say, is the fub
stance of his Sermon; through which there runs also such ' a bitterness of spirit, as perhaps never animated any Sermon
before it : a spirit, which, under the mask of piety, dil• charges itself against all orders of men, but with peculiar
malice and rancour against the Clergy. And for the doctri
• nal part, it is delivered with so much spiritual pride, and in • fo contemptuous and dogmatical a strain, as is hardly to be
excused in a creature, who is fallible. I fhall venture, how
ever, to withstand this Doctor to his face, and will under• take to thew, that this new scheme of Defence, which he
has offered us, is very absurd and irrational; that it is grounded upon principles, which are contrary not only to the express declarations, but even to the whole tenor of the Gospel; and that, instead of supporting this Gospel, it would actually overturn it.
But, because it will illustrate and confirm my argument not a little, give me leave, before I proceed any further, just to take notice, that the ableft and most consistent adver• saries of the Gospel have pursued the fame plan in under• mining its foundation, which this Doctor recommends in
order to establish it; that they have usually employed the
very fame topics, and frequently expressed themselves in • much the same language. . They have represented Reason
as weak, and utterly incapable of judging at all about it: they have advised men, not to examine into its original,
but to adhere to it, as a Fact already established : and they « have cried up and exalted Faith, as the only means, by which it can gain admission into the heart.
« If a Revelation treateth of matters which relate to the · Being of a God, and to his Justice and Goodness, I must
previously know, that such a Being exists, and have ideas also of the Attributes of Just and Good, or else I can by
no means comprehend the Revelation. If a Revelation " layeth down a System of Morality, which dependeth on the - Notions of Right and Wrong, I must have, antecedently
within myself, Tome general notions of Right and Wrong, or I am perfe&ly incapable of understanding the Revela· The late Lord Bolingbroke, whose aim, as well as this Doctor's, was to destroy Natural Religion, but for pur• poses, as we shall see, much more conlistent, maintained,
that the mind has no power of framing such general notions ; that it neither does nor can frame any ideas of Moral or Immoral in general; no, nor any general idea of these particular kinds, Just or Unjust.“
• Plato and Ariitotle have been our Guides in Divinity : • and this may explain the reason, why Christianity has al
ways been corrupted with bafe and foreign mixtures; why
it itill wants reforming in so many countries; and why it • is profetied in its original and genuine purity, perhaps, in