« НазадПродовжити »
was of opinion that every animal mediate relief. By an effort of faith he might be immortal. “ I will not,” could rid himself of the toothache : and he said, “ quarrel with any of you more than once, when his horse fell lame, about any opinion; only see that your and
Talv that your and there was no other remedy, the same heart be right towards God." "He
application was found effectual. • Some,' was subject to an excessive credulity;
he observes, will esteem this a most not
able instance of enthusiasm : be it so or many instances of which are recorded not
are recorded not, I aver the plain fact.''' by his biographers.
Vol. II. pp. 413, 414. " He accredited and repeated stories of Wesley left no property but the apparitions, and witchcraft, and possession, current editions and the copyright of so silly, as well as monstrous, that they his works, (we wish Mr Southey had might have nauseated the coarsest appetite furnished a list of thcm,) and this he for wonder; this, too, when the belief on
bequeathed to the use of the connechis part was purely gratuitous, and no mo.
tion, after his debts were paid. At tive can be assigned for it, except the plea
his death, his preachers in the British sure of believing. The state of mind is more intelligible, which made him ascribe
dominions amounted to 313—in the a supernatural importance to the incidents
United States to 198-the number of that befel him, whether merely accidental, members in the former was 76,968, or produced by any effort of his own. and in the latter 57,621. Strong fancy, and strong prepossession, may “ Such was the life, and such the explain this, without ascribing too much to labours, of John Wesley, a man of the sense of his own importance. If he great views, great energy, and great escaped from storms at sea, it appeared to virtues,” but obviously beset by some him that the tempest abated, and the
weaknesses, and studious of much waves fell, because his prayers were heard.
singularity. We have already expresIf he was endangered in travelling, he was
sed our opinion respecting the manpersuaded that angels, both evil and good, had a large share in the transaction. The
ner in which the worthy laureate has old murderer,' he says, “is restrained from
executed his task; and we do not hurting me, but he has power over my
choose to risk one respecting the horses. A panic seized the people, in a
effects of Methodism upon the estacrowded meeting, while he was preaching blished church, or society at large. upon the slave trade: it could not be ac. We think it enough to have given a counted for, he thought, without suppos- fair representation of the volumes ing some preternatural influence : Satan which record the history of its “ rise fought, lest his kingdom should be deliver and progress," leaving our readers ed up. If, in riding over the mountains
wholly at liberty to espouse whatever in Westmorland, he sees rain behind him
side they please of the controversy, and before, and yet escapes between the
which we observe they have already showers, the natural circumstance appears to him to be an especial interference in his provoked ; or, like ourselves, to stand favour. . Preaching in the open air, he is by as spectators of the combat. chilled, and the sun suddenly comes forth to warm him : the heat becomes too powerful, and forthwith a cloud is interposed.
A RHAPSODY. So, too, at Durham, when the sun shone Rhymes the rudder are of verses,
With which, like ships, they steer their courses. with such force upon his head, that he was
Hudibras. scarcely able to speak, - I paused a little," he says, and desired God would provide O THERE are thoughts that sweep along me a covering, if it was for his glory. In the mind a moment it was done ; a cloud covered Like shadows flying o'er a field of corn, the sun, which troubled me no more. Like lights and shades before the drivOught voluntary humility to conceal this
ing wind palpable proof, that God still heareth the O'er the broad bosom of the Ochills prayer ?' At another time the sun, while
borne : he was officiating, shone full in his face, These are the robes Poetic souls have but it was no inconvenience ; nor were his
worn, eyes more dazzled, than if it had been un. Shifting their drapery, ever wild and der the earth. Labouring under indispo
newsition, when he was about to administer the Nor reck they how the world may hold sacrament, the thought, he says, came in.
in scorn to his niind, ' why should he not apply to Those fantasies of every form and hue God at the beginning, rather than the end with which they garlands weave, far from of an illness ? He did so, and found im
the vulgar crew.
These be it mine to follow like the bee On which, beneath the wild asha waving
Above, whoso sought shelter from the Where'er the wings of love do carry me,
heat O'er hill, o'er dale, through sunshine, Might there find solace and a calm re
and through shower- . Where rolls the ocean, where the storm. From the cave's mouth an old man isbeat tower
sued slow, Frowns on the cliff, or where the rivu. And sate him down, and of the herbs let's maze
did eat, Melodiously encircles grove and bower; Which from his stores he brought, nor No matter where my roving spirit
needed go strays,
For drink, for at his feet the stream did If Nature still be there, and Fancy's living freshly flow.
Vanish at one quick twinkling, wood
and stream, : my flight
For that old man has waved his magic Abroad I launch into the boundless air,
wand, I feel my pinions shivering with delight,
(His white beard shines and passes in the Moved by the Zephyrs bland that win
gleam :) now there
Now, on an open plain I seem to stand, Heaven all serene above, Larth bright Where a fair castle rules the subject and fair
land Below; under mine eye a dazzling
Built on the height down falls its passtream
sage bridge Ripples around its dry white stones, to
For sounds a horn, and lo! its gates exwhere
pand . A wood enfolds it from the noon-day Ladies and knights wind down the moun
beam I follow its sunk course, and lay me down And champions pricking forth with knight
tain ridge, and dream.
·ly privilege, Green is the fairy turf on which I rest, And oak trees wave their chequering Meet on the field of arms—the shivered
light around Forth from the depth of shades, a maid Clashing against the shields--the 'men en drest
unhorsed, In huntress guise, steps out, with bus
The horses running wild, a thousand kins bound,
fears Her laughing face somewhat with toil In tender bosoms beating-thus they embrown'd.
coursed Say, have you seen (quoth she) the deer And tourneyed, till who plainly had the I chased,
worst For this way fled he from my questing Are borne away unhonoured, and one hound?
youth, Scarce waiting my reply, she onward
The chosen champion, who the rest has paced,
forced And darker gloomed the wood which late To yield the palın of beauty and of truth her path had graced. .
To his bright maid, kneels down, and dear
her smile, in sooth.
O poets old forgive, if from your lays
* These scattered snatches my preluding • notes, And sunbeams bursting in awoke their
Have formed, how weak and barren of joys, That one wide melody around me floats,
. all praise, The mingled concord of a thousand
Compared with your immortal things, throats :'.
I strive to imitate-and so profane
The glories of your verse, with creeping
That feebly labours your height to atbreast
tain, Of precipice that o'er that forest reared its
Upon that summit bright ye sit, and crest.
smile, · A cave in that rock opened, with a stone At my poor tottering pace, so lame, and low,
Smooth worn beside it, as an ancient seat, and vile!
Yet often on my soul, in life's long day, As on one greater day will yet befall, Have flashed the glorious gleams of When all that ever breathed shall, at the poesy,
sound Tho clouds have intercepted quick their Of trumpet, gather the high seat around, ray,
Where judgment will be given ;- not And wrapt me in thick gloom, from alone which to flee,
Would evil from its folds and hidden My spirit scarce availed me. Could I bound see
Break forth, but things more glorious That light for ever, it would guide me than have known
The light of day, or in the world's proud Through this vain' mask of life, where front have shone : scarce for me
Dreams of poetic skyey grain, which Is left a part to act, till all is gone
words For ever from my eyes, and action there is none.
Could ne'er embody thoughts of moral
good, This world how full of beauty, where
Of holiness, to which no form affords the heart
Expression-howe'er loftily endued · May find a resting, place, and it may
By school or church with title, oftener
feud rest Without a pang or care, like bird whose Than faith administering)---love, and art
peace, Has, amid leaves sweet gleaming, form'd And joy, tricked out in gracious beams, a nest!
bedewed O could my spirit, ever on the breast
With all the beauty which doth never Of Nature, fix its dwelling, as a child
cease Clings to its mother's bosom, all that's To rise from earth to heaven, Eke steaming - best On earth were then my portion, and ex. . iled For ever from my soul, whatever has de
ON THE OPINION OF THE LATE MR filed !
PLAYFAIR RESPECTING THE PROOF Innocence, Nature, Poesy--ye are
OF MIRACLES. The graces of man's spirit, led by you
We have been led into this subject It rises above every inward jar, And prunes its wings delighted, by the
the by the following paragraphs, which dew
we quote from the letter of a very able Of love refreshed, which doth its thoughts correspondent: imbue
“MR EDITOR,I have just read What is this world of toil, through the paper of Philotheus On the which we drive,
Proof of Miracles,'-which does equal Imperious passions, fantasies untrue ? honour to his talents and principles. Could we possess our souls, how much His views of this important fundaalive
mental argument are stated with very Were then our better life, how little should
considerable terseness and precision, we strive !
and indicate a mind superior to slavo what minds have appeared and pas
ish imitation, and very capable of sed along
forming its own determinations on This theatre of earth-what thoughts grounds and for reasons peculiar to itdivine
self. My present object is not to It has awakened-thoughts that glow in controvert a single position of Philosong,
theus. With an exception or two of Or haply that could never cross the line a trifling nature, regarding rather the Of the pure soul that formed them—its form than the substance of lris stateconfine
ment, I coincide entirely with all he Girdling them in, as all unfit to meet
has said on the subject. But differThe ruffian air, or in the glare to shine
ent minds view the same argument or Of wit or verse, however smooth and sweet
proposition through different media. The secret things of heaven have in the
What appears conclusive to one man's heart their seat !
understanding may assume a very
different aspect when subjected to the Were the true revelation made of all scrutiny of another mind familiarized That men have thought since they have with different trains of association, skimmed the ground,
and habituated to other forms of reac VOL. VII.
soning and demonstration. The sub- events, this book revived the controject of Miracles, notwithstanding all versy. In what I have to subjoin, I that Campbell, Douglas, Farmer, and shali speak, in the first place, with others, have so well and ably written reference to the pretended irrefragable concerning it, is by no means exhausi- argument of Hume; and, in the next ed. Campbell's answer to Hume was, place, I shall endeavour to show, that indeed, regarded, at the time of its the argument drawn from the docfirst appearance, and even subsequent- trine of Probabilities is utterly hostile ly, as an unanswerable refutation of to the sceptical hypothesis, and apthe Essay on Miracles; and it has, plies, with singular felicity, to the accordingly, formed the nucleus of numerical expression of the value of a every work into which I have looked given aggregate of human testimony." on the subject, and which has been
We would have continued here the given to the public posteriorly to the date of that elaborate, ingenious, and
nd argument of our ingenious correspondadınirable piece of reasoning. But
ent, did we not feel it to be a more error, it seems, never dies. The
immediate duty to vindicate the neboasted argument of Hume. with mory of a great and good man from which Campbell haul grappled
an aspersion which has been heedlessso
To ly thrown upon him, and which, arisfiercely, appeared to be completely
i demolished, and no one thought of
ing at first from indiscreet zeal, has the matter farther than merely to
been continued of late in a much more mention, as a thing of course, about
violent form, from motives which we which there could be no controversy,
do not pretend to investigate. We that the syphism which had 'gra
mean the late Me PLAYFAIL, to whom velleď a miracle-mongering Jesuit # our correspondent evidently alludes. • of some parts and learning,' among
as the paper in the Edinburgh Review the cloisters of the Abbey of La Flêche,
to which he refers has always been had been torn to shreds, and scattered,
ascribed to him. We have just lookin derision, to the winds, by the un
ed into the passage in that paper upsparing hand of the merciless Aber..
on which all the outcry was raised, donian. Yet, mirabile dictu ! and
on and—instead of being an insidious at.
in just to prove that sophistry possesses
tack upon miracles as the foundation a sort of immortality, forth issues the
hie of religious belief-we find it to be a redoubted tome of La Place on the
the very sage exposition of Mr Hume's Doctrine of Probability, which, indi
doctrine limited to the subjects of rectly, but mischievously, affected to pre
in philosophy and of common life, in its prove, by demonstration, that the
T he application to which alone it is stated truth of a miracle is a mathematical to be a sound
natical to be a sound doctrine. impossibility. We all remember the " The first author, (says the reelaborate, profound, and truly scienti- viewer,) we believe, who stated fairly fic account given of that work in the the connection between the evidence Edinburgh Review, and we also re- of testimony, and the evidence of exmember, with sorrow, the observations perience, was Hume, in his Essay on with which it concluiles. But death Miracles, a work full of deep thought has consecrated the fame of its amia- and enlarged views, and, if we do not ble, and, in this instance at least, we stretch the principles so far as to inhope mistaken, author ; and, recol- terfere with the truths of religion, de lecting the many virtues that adorned bounding in maxims of great use in his private character, and the great the conduct of life, as well as in the name which he has bequeathed as a speculations of philosophy. legacy to his country, to be enrolled "Conformably to the principles conin the proudest page of her literary tained in it, and also to those in the and scientific annals, I cannot find in essay now before us, if we would form my heart to speak of that ill-starred some general rules for comparing the admission of his faith in those terms evidence derived from our experience which I would otherwise, without of the course of nature with the eviscruple, have applied to it. At all dence of testimony, we may consider
physical phenomena as divided into * See Hume's Letter to Dr Campbell, two classes, the one comprehending on the publication of his book on Miracles, all those, of which the course is known prefixed to that work.
from experience, to be perfectly unis
form; and the other comprehending of the earth's axis had suddenly chanthose of which the course, though no ged; or the atinospherical refraction doubt regulated by general laws, is had been increased to an extent that not perfectly conformable to any law was never known. Any of all these with which we are acquainted ; so events must have afiected such a vast that the most general rule that we are number of others, that as no such thing enabled to give, admits of many ex- was perceived, an incredible body of ceptions. The violation of the order evidence is brought to ascertain the of events among the phenomena of continuance of the moon in her reguthe former class, the suspension of lar course. The barrier that genergravity for example, the deviation alization, and the explanation of cauof any of the stars from their places, ses thus raises against credulity and or their courses in the heavens, &c. superstition, the way in which it these are facts, of which the impro- multiplies the evidence of experience, bability is so strong, that no testi- is highly deserving of attention, and mony can prevail against it. It will is likely to have a great influence on always be more wonderful that the the future fortunes of the human violation of such order should have race. taken place, than that any number of " Against the uniformity, therewitnesses should be deceived them- fore, of such laws, it is impossible for selves, or should be disposed to de- testimony to prevail. But with those ceive others.
laws that are imperfectly known, and “ It is here very well worth attend that admit of many exceptions, the ing to, how much the extension of violations are not so improbable, but our knowledge tends to give us con- that testimony may be sufficient to fidence in the continuance of the ge- establish them. In our own time it neral laws of nature, and to increase has happened, that the testimony prothe improbability of their violation. duced in support of a set of extraorSuppose a man not at all versed in dinary facts, has been confirmed by a astronomy, who considers the moon scrupulous examination into the namerely as a luminous circle, that, with tural history of the facts themselves. certain irregularities, goes round the When the stones, which were said to earth from east to west nearly in twen- have fallen from the heavens, came to ty-four hours, rising once and setting he chemically analyzed, they were once in that interval. Let this man found to have the same characters, be told, from some authority that he and to consist of the same ingredients, is accustomed to respect, that on a nearly in the same proportions,” &c. certain day it had been observed at “Here, therefore, we have a testimony London, that the moon did not set at confirmed, and rendered quite indeall, but was visible above the horizcn pendent of our previous knowledge of for twenty-four hours; there is little the veracity of the witnesses. The doubt that, after making some diffi- truth of the descent of these stones on culty about it, he would come at last the evidence of testimony alone, would to be convinced of the truth of the have been long before it gained entire assertion. In this he could not be credit, and scepticism with respect to accused of any extraordinary and ir- it would have been just anal philosorational credulity. The experience phical. In certain states of their inhe had of the uniform setting and formation, men may, on good grounds, rising of the moon was very limited, reject the truth altogether."--Edin. and the fact alleged might not appear Rev. Vol. xxiii. pp. 328-331. to him more extraordinary, than me. We have no hesitation in saying, ny of the irregularities to which that that all this admirable and luminous luminary was subject. Let the same statement, in as far as religion is out thing be told to an astronomer, in of the question, (and the exception is whose mind the rising and setting of distinctly made,) is perfectly correct, the moon were necessarily connected and coincides very nearly with the with a vast number of other appearopinion of Philotheus, as it is detailed ances; who knew, for example, that in our last number. We imagine that the supposed fact could not have hap- inquirer has got to the bottom of the pened, unless the moon had deviated question more completely than either exceedingly from that orbit in which Mr Hume or Mr Playfair,.but he it has always moved; or the position practically coincides with the latter,