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either or in both these instances, in turning to Milton we at once feel that we are approaching a spirit of a higher order. To open one of his pages, is to be dazzled with brightness, to be overwhelmed with energy, to be awed by majesty. Had we known Milton only by his prose-writings, still he would have been a prodigy. We may sometimes wish there had been less shew of strength, less profusion of intellectual opulence. Yet even in his excesses he is noble. It is Milion that speaks ; we only regret that his subject should not have been oftener worthy of his powers.
Such are the three luminaries with whom Bishop Taylor has been associated, even by the severity of modern cri. ticism. Above the two first, we do not hesitate to place him; and we question whether he does not singularly unite the respective excellences of all his colleagues ? In discussion, Hooker himself is not more profluent or more lucid. The moral lessons of Barrow are not more discriminative or more profound. And though the coruscations of Taylor's fancy may be less dazzling than those of Milton's, they shine with as pure a light, and surprize by as rich a variety. The equable flow of Hooker, we have already observed, seldom rises into energy ; and we may no less assert that Milton's habitual energy rarely subsides into plainness. But Taylor is, at pleasure, either plain or energetic ; or rather when his subject requires plainness he can reduce his style to the his own feelings, and has certainly not succeeded in exciting the feelings of his readers. The judgement is convinced, but the affections are not captivated. But we do not admit that a stern adherence to what is here called - solid proof' to the exclusion of figures of rhetoric,' is the most direct method even of convincing the judgement. Let only figurative illustrations be wisely chosen and justly applied, and then, as Bacon observes, they are not allusions but direct communities, the same delights of the mind being to be found not only in music, rhetoric, but in moral philosophy, policy and other knowledges ; and that obscure in the one which is more apparent in the other. And therefore without this intercourse the axioms of sciences will fall out to be neither full nor true ; but will be such opinions as Aristotle in some places doth wisely censure, when he saith these are the opinions of persons that have respect but to a few things.
But let us take from Barrow himself a specimen of what he would have been, had he adhered to the analogical rather than to the mathema. tical method. At a moment when nature resumed her rights he thus beautifully expresses himself : ' Prayers are the bulwarks of piety and good conscience, the which ought to be so placed as to flank and relieve one another, together with the interjacent spaces of our life: that the enemy (the sin which doth so easily beset us) may not come on between, or at any time assault us without a force sufficient to reach and repel him.' Barrow's Works, folio. Vol. 1. p. 56.
Taylor's gebore his fefe, as in his Taylor
most sober temperament, and at the same time preserve a powerful and most impressive energy. Of this his Liberty of Prophesying affords the strongest evidence. Probably no work had then appeared, which gave so perfect a specimen of English prose composition. .
But it is in writing on subjects strictly moral, that Taylor is seen to fullest advantage. It is in these, as in his native element, that he spars far above his fellows; even above Milton himself. Taylor's genius is not that alone, which supports him here. Love of the Supreme Good is the wing on which he rises; and his bright talents are but the decoration of that wing-like the feathered gold with which Milton beautifies his Raphael, As Taylor's thought expands, he, as it were, leaves this earth and sings as he soars. He rejoices in his Aight ; and he makes us participate in his joy. It is a human seraph which moves before us, and gives us the living semblance of what is most truly great and noble andi pure and beatific.
We trust that it is unnecessary to make transcripts from the volumes before us. But we cannot refrain from gratifi. ing ourselves as well as our readers by two short passages from a treatise, which, not making a part of the present republication, is less likely to be met with. Its title is, A Discourse on the Nature and Measures of Friendship. After stating friendship to be the greatest love, and the greatest usefulness, and the most open communication, and the noblest suffering, and the most exemplary faithfulness, and the severest truth, and the earliest counsel, and the greatest union of minds, of which brave men and women are capable :' and after telling us that " Christianity had new christened friend. ship and called it charity,' the author proceeds to expand his meaning in these words :
Christian charity is friendship to all the world ; and when friendships were the noblest things in the world, charity was little ; like the sun drawn in at a chink, or his beams drawn into the centre of a burning glass. But christian charity is friendship expanded ; like the face of the sun when it mounts above the eastern hills.'
Again - Nature and religion are the bands of friendship ; excellency and usefulness are its great endearments, society and neighbourhood (that is, the possibilities and the circumstances of converse) are the determinations and actualities of it. Now when men are either unnatural or irreligious they will not be friends ; when they are neither excel. lent nor useful, they are not worthy to be friends ; when they are strangers and unknown, they cannot be friends actually and practically. But yet as any man hath any thing of the good, contrary to those evils, so he can have and must have his share of friendship.
For thus the sun is the eye of all the world ; and he is indifferent to the negro, and the cold Russian ; to them that dwell under the line, and to them that stand near the tropics : the scalded Indian, or the pi r boy that shakes at the foot of the Riphean hills. But the flexures of the heaven and the earth ; the convenience of abode and the approaches to the north or south respectively change the emanations of his beams. Not that they do not pass always from him ; but that they are not equally received below. But by periods and changes, by little inlets and reflections, they receive what they can. And some have only a dark day and a long night from him ; snows and white cattle ; a miserable life and a perpetual harvest of catarrhs and consumptions, apoplexies and dead patsies. But some have splendid fires, and aromatic spices; rich wines, and well digested fruits ; great wit and great courage ; because they dwell in his eye, and look in his face; and are the courtiers of the sun, and wait upon him in his chambers of the east.
• Just so it is in friendship ; some are worthy and some are necessary ; some dwell hard by, and are fitted for converse ; nature joins some to us, and religion combines us with others; society and accidents, parity of fortune and equal dispositions do actuate our friendships ; which of themselves and in their prime disposition are prepared for all mankind, as any one can receive them.'
But however unfeignedly we do honour to the ụncommon excellence of Bishop Taylor, we remain fully persuaded that not a few serious, readers, on looking into his volumes, will feel themselves disappointed. They will not find doctrines which they regard as ibe primary matter of religious instruction ; they will possibly meet with sentiments, or expressions, which may seem to them to betray an ignorance of the first principles of the gospel of Christ."
Be it, then, remembered, that we do not point out Bishop Taylor as, in the strictest sense of the term, an evangelic teacher. To be intitled to this character, a man must not only understand the excellences which genuine Christianity implies, the heights at: which it aims, and the means by which it advances ; but he must also know in whạt manner first impressions of religion are most likely to manifest themselves, and by what steps those, in whom such impressions are made, may be conducted from that state of moral misery of which they have become conscious, to that spiritual liberty and peace after which they aspire.
We confess we should not send persons labouring under such solicitudes as we have just mentioned, to Bishop Taylor, with any confidence of sensible benefit. Noble as his genius is, and holy as all his purposes are, he does not seem to us, to furnish the medicine necessary to heal such wounded spirits. His ideas of the Cliristian life are as luminous as they are just; but, in our judgement, he is not equally informed respecting the commencements of that life, or the means which God
But, in admittank of a Christian of sin to a states this con.
equihe house of Ct only a reafirst principlesntly qualified us
has devised that his banished be not expelled from Him."
But, in admitting this defect, do we not degrade Bishop Taylor from the rank of a Christian teacher? We should say, Yes; if guiding men from a state of sin to a state of grace were the exclusive purpose of the gospel. But as this constitutes only a part, (though it be a primary part). of the great design ;. as even spiritual life is in order to spiritual growth; and as, consequently, the divine end in giving the one is not answered, if the other does not ensue, we must conclude that the teacher, who appears eminently qualified to lead Christians onward from ' first principles' towards perfection,' holds not only a real, but a most important place in the house of God, even though he should not discover equal skill in what concerns conversion or spiritual initiation.
It may be asked--Is this a case to be supposed? We answer, that considering the variety of methods by which the grace of God acts on the minds of men, unequal competency in that which implies an actual revolution of the mind, and in that which only requires progress in a path already entered upon, seems to us not only a possible but an almost inevitable case. It is allowed by all, that the transition from a state of sin to a state of grace, is as gradual in some as it may be rapid in others; and that if in one it marks an epoch in life, never to be forgotten, in another it seems to be coeval with the dawn of reason, to have grown with-growth and to have been strengthened with strength*. Now, though none will say that this early initiation forebodes a less perfect piety, it must be granted that it of necessity implies less competency for exciting emotions which in such an instance could hardly have been felt, or for guiding through difficulties which the teacher never experienced. It is little less than self evident, that those who have been themselves adult converts, will be best qualified to afford adequate direction and assistance to others in a like situation; while a Christian of highest maturity, who like Obadiah has' feared the Lord from his youth,' will, for this very reason, appear to know less of what concerns adult conversion than many a weaker, but in this single point better instructed brother. ·
If this diversity of fitness in Christian teachers were even less evident in point of fact, we might infer its reality from various intimations of scripture. We are instructed, that as in the human body, so in the church of Christ, all members have not the same office. The eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of thee; nor the head to the feet, I have no
* See the first head of Doddridge's VIIIth sermon on Regeneration, Works, Vol. II. pp. 500-501.
need of you.' But in addition to this general information, we have the two-fold case strictly exemplified in the different functions of St. Paul and of Apollos. 1,' says the apostle,
have planted, and Apollos has watered. That St. Paul was adequate to every office, we know by those treasures of wisdom which he has bequeathed to the church. But 'that Apollos, however fitted for the work actually allotted to him, could not equally have filled the department of St. Paul, will need no proof to any one who considers their different commencements. It will be perceived that no stronger contrast could exist, than between the gentleness with which Apollos was drawn into the Christian Pale, and the whirlwind, the earthquake, and the fire, which first notified to St. Paul his distinguished destiny: and, according to the usual laws of nature, this diversity of first feelings would most probably occasion ever after a correspondent diversity in the minds and habits of these two favoured instruments of heaven.
We conceive that the division of functions thus early recognized and exemplified, may be traced in numberless succeeding instances: and that while many might be produced from almost every age, who efficiently if not excellently filled one or other of the departments, a rare few, one here and one there, could at the most be pointed to, as examples of equal éxcellence in both.
That the fact has been as we state, all who are acquainted with the internal history of the church will readily grant. The question will be, how far such a division of functions is to be regarded as a strictly providential arrangement ? It will not be disputed that they, who have been themselves converted from the error of their ways, will, generally, be the aptest instruments for converting others. But it may not be equally obvious, that the business of after-culture should have required a distinct class of labourers; and still less, that those labourers should be such as through early initiation had comparatively needed no repentance.'
There is, doubtless, no absolute impossibility that persons signally reclaimed should be also distinguished for their progress in Christian virtue. But there are many probable reasons why this should have seldom been the case. Where rooted habits are to be overcome, and the current of nature to be in some sort inverted, means strong in proportion to the work must, ordinarily, be employed. The effect will be produced by propellents rather than by attractives, and love of good will be apt to operate far less sensibly than fear of evil. That divine mercy thus accommodates itself to the low circumstances of mankind, is the justest matter of admiration and praise. But the work thus wrought will be liable to a ma