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great and awful doctrine inculcated upon the initiated was the proper unity of the Godhead, and a future state of rewards and punishments, is the great position which, in this part of his work, the author of the Divine Legation has endeavoured to establishi, and not without some success. Particular citations may, indeed, be cavilled at as irrelevant, and particular inferences may be objected to as proving more than their premises will warrant; but after the fashion
suspecting Warburton when he meant well, and of contradicting him when he reasoned right, has disappeared, like other personal prejudices, the general effect of the evidence and of the argument must be allowed to make an approach towards conviction.
On this great argument, however, Warburton, in the true spirit of refining where all was obvious, and bestowing upon an author second senses which he never dreamed of, bas engrafted a most ingenious and amusing dissertation, in which he contends that the descent of Æneas into the shades, as related in the sixth book of the Æneid, is a correct account of the ceremonies of initiation! In this scene, Warburton plays the hierophant with wonderful dexterity; while types and shadows, and double senses, appear and disappear in quick succession, like the wild exhibitions of his own mys. teries, so bewildering to the understanding and so bewitching to the imagination, that the mind, without waiting or wishing for conviction, surrenders itself as to a tale of acknowledged invention, careļess of truth, while it is secure of delight. But there are some heads not to be bewildered, and some imaginations not to be enchanted. -Among these was the future historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, then a young man, and for his years a still younger scholar, excepting in the school of Voltaire; but he was acute and petulant, with much of that oblique and insinuating manner of hinting objections, which he continued to employ in the place of fair and legitimate reasoning through the whole of his literary
Thus armed and accoutered however, the stripling sallied forth, vanquished and slew the champion of the Philistines in a combat of which the consequences were singular, inasmuch as the only victory which the conqueror obtained, was in his first attempt, and against the ablest of his adversaries. So powerful a weapon is plain truth even in the hands of plain advocates, and such the disadvantages under which the ablest commander labours, when froin whim or contempt of his adversary, he has voluntarily departed from his ground!
Amidst the general outcry excited by the Divine Legation at its first appearance,
it was Warburton's misfortune that the cause was never tried upon its merits, that he had never to encounter upon the great question an equal, scarcely a competent antagonist. Alarm was indeed taken in both universities, and the theological schools of DP 4
each were long employed in hurling the weapons of thesis and syllogism at the head of the hardy innovator. Meanwhile, among the rest of his clerical brethren, the author of the Divine Legation, had by degrees the fortune to enlist no small portion under his own banner, while of those who wholly or in part dissented from his opinions, many, perhaps, were silent from the dread of provoking so terrible an adversary, and the remainder, among whom are to be numbered several of his episcopal brethren, forgave bis paradoxes, and endured his dogmatism, for the openness of his temper, the warmth of his friendship, and the unrivalled powers of his conversation. Prejudice and partiality, however, are now alike extinct the survivor of the Warburtonian school is gathered to his fathers, its antagonists were gone long before him, and the Divine Legation (weighed down as it is by faults which would have sunk any other work) has, by the irresistible buoyancy of original genius, found its own level at the summit of English literature..
Of the minor works of Warburton, perhaps the most useful, at this time unquestionably the most important and interesting, is the * Alliance between Church and State. The obligation which lies upon every Christian community to tolerate the sentiments, and even the religious exercises of those who, in the incurable diversity of human opinion, dissent from her doctrines, and the duty which she owes to herself, of prohibiting by some test the intrusion into civil offices of men who would otherwise endanger her existence by open hostility, or by secret treachery, is the subject of this acute and comprehensive work.
The Test and Corporation Acts had always been endured with extreme ill will by the excluded parties, and more especially by the Protestant dissenters. But the contest at that time was conducted with some degree of modesty; the complainants were conscious of their own weakness, and not insensible of the general obligations under which they lay to the best constitution in the world. Under these circumstances the powers of Warburton were exerted too early: a powerful medicine is thrown away at the first access of a complaint, which at the crisis might have saved the patient's life: that crisis is now arrived, and happy had it been for this country if the universal interest which must have been excited by the first appearance of such a work could have been reserved for a moment, when, in the demand, not of emancipation from restraints, but of equal and universal power, all remains of decency are lost on the one hand, and all prudential regards to the great securities of the constitution are in danger of being swallowed up in timid and helpless acquiescence on the other. Awful, however, as the present crisis is, and far as mens' minds are now gone in the lethargy of religion and political indifference, we cannot but per
suade ourselves that a republication and industrious circulation of the Alliance, would even yet have a powerful effect on the minds of all who have not ceased either to reason for themselves or to feel for their country,
The sermons of Bishop Warburton, which have been waccountably neglected, are indeed very eminent performances.
As we have not been liberal in our citations from his other works, we shall select, as a specimen, the following passage on the subject of the slave-trade, which was written long before the commencemeut of the inquiry which put an end to that abominable traffic. • From the free, I come now to the barbarians in bonds.
By these I mean the vast multitudes stolen yearly from the opposite continent and sacrificed by the colonists to the god of gain. But what then? (say these zealous worshippers of Mammon ;) it is our own property we offer up. What! property in your brethren, as in herds of cattle? Your brethren both by nature and grace, creatures endued with all our faculties, possessing all our qualities but that of colour? Does not this equally shock the feelings of humanity and the dictates of common sense? But, alas! what is there in the infinite abuses of society, which does not shock them? In excuse of this violation of all things civil and sacred, (for nature created man free, and grace invites him to assert his freedom,) it hath been pretended, that though indeed these miserable outcasts of the race of Adam be torn from their homes and native holds by force and fraud, yet this violation of the rights of humanity improves their condition, and renders them less unhappy. But who are you who pretend to judge of another man's happiness ? that state which each man under the instinctive guidance of his Creator forms for himself, and not one man for another? 'To know what constitutes mine or your happiness, is the sole prerogative of him who made us and cast us in so various and different moulds. Did these slaves ever complain to you of their unhappiness, amidst their native woods and deserts, or rather did they ever cease complaining of their condition under you their lordly masters ? —where they see indeed the accommodations of civil life, but, the more to embitter their miseries, see them all pass by to others, themselves unbenefited by them. Be so gracious then, ye petty tyrants over human freedom, io let your slaves judge for themselves, what it is which makes their own happiness: and then see whether they do not rather place it in a return to their own country, than in the contemplation of your grandeur, of which their distresses make so large a part. A return so passionately longed for, that despairing of happiness, amidst the chains of their cruel taskmasters, they console themselves in the fancy that their future state will be a return to their own country, where the equal lord of all things will recompense their sufferings here. And I do not find their haughty masters have yet concerned themselves to invade this last refuge of the miserable. The less hardy of them indeed wait for this consolation, till overwearied nature sets them free; but more resolved tempers have recourse even to self
violence to force a speedier passage. But it may be still urged, that although what is called human happiness be of 'so fantastic a nature, that each man creates it for himself; yet human misery is more substantial and uniform throughout all the tribes of men. Now from the worst of real miseries, the savage Africans (say their more savage masters) are entirely secured by these forced emigrations; such as the being perpetually hunted down like beasts of prey or profit by their more fierce and powerful neighbours. In truth a blessed change! From the being hunted to the being caught. But who are they that have set on foot this general hunting? Are they not these very civilized violators of humanity themselves; who tempt the weak appetites and provoke the wild passions of the fiercer savages to prey upon the rest? However in favour of an established enormity, it is fit that all that can be urged should be enforced. Something, I own, indeed not much, may be said in favour of this traffic. The trading in men was the staple commodity of the most early times, for, as the poet observes,
• Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man.' These are noble sentiments, nobly expressed, and the more valuable, because they were uttered at a time when the voice of reason and humanity had scarcely been lifted up on the subject.
The gravest, the least excentric, the most convincing of Warburton's works, is the Julian, or a Discourse concerning the Earthquake and Fiery Eruption, which defeated that Emperor's attempt to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem, in which the reality of a Divine Interposition is shewn, and the Objections to it are answered.' The selection of this subject was peculiarly happy, inasmuch as this astonishing fact, buried in the ponderous volumes of the original reporters, was either little considered by an upinquisitive age, or confounded with the crude mass of false, ridiculous, or ill attested miracles, which with no friendly voice,' had been recently exposed by Middleton. But in this instance the occasion was important; the honour of the deity was concerned; his power had been defied, and his word insulted. For the avowed purpose of defeating a well known prophecy, and of giving to the world a practical demonstration that the christian scriptures contained a lying prediction, the Emperor Julian undertook to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem; when, to the astonishment and confusion of the builders, terrible flames bursting from the foundations, scorched and repelled the workmen till they found themselves compelled to desist. Now this phenomenon was not the casual eruption of a volcano, for it had none of the concomitants of those awful visitations; it may even be doubted whether it were accompanied by an earthquake: but the marks of intention and specific direction were incontrovertible.- The workmen desisted, the flames retired,
- they returned to the work, when the flames again burst forth, and that as often as the experiment was repeated.
But what it may be asked, is the evidence by which a fact so astonishing is supported ? Not the triumphant declamations of christian, even of contemporary christian writers, who, after all, with one voice and with little variety of circumstances, bear witness to the truth of it, but that of a friend of Julian bimself, a soldier of rank, an heathen though candid and unprejudiced; iu one word, the inquisitive, the honest, the judging Am. Marcellinus. The story is told by that writer, though in his own awkward latinity, very expressively and distinctly.
Cum itaque rei idem fortiter instaret Alypius, juvaretque provinciæ rector, metuendi globi flammarum prope fundamenta crebris assultibus erumpentes, fecere locum exustis aliquoties operantibus inaccessum; hocque modo elemento destinatius repellente cessavit inceptum.
To this we will add, as a specimen of our author's power, both in conception and language, the following rules for the qualification of an unexceptionable witness.
• Were infidelity itself, when it would evade the force of testimony, to prescribe what qualities it expected in a faultless testimony, it could invent none, but what might be found in the historian here produced. He was a pagan, and so not prejudiced in favour of christianity: he was a dependent, follower and profound admirer of Julian, and so not inclined to report any thing to his dishonour. He was a lover of truth, and so would not relate what he knew or but suspected to be false. He had great sense, improved by the study of philosophy, and so would not suffer himself to be deceived: he was not only contemporary to the fact, but at the time it happened, resident near the place. He related it not as an uncertain hearsay, with diffidence, but as a notorious fact; at that time no more questioned in Asia than the project of the Persian expedition: he inserted it not for any partial purpose in support or confutation of any system, in defence or discredit of any character; he delivered it in no cursory or transient manner, nor in a loose or private memoir, but gravely and deliberately as the natural and necessary part of a composition the most useful and important, a general History of the Empire, on the complete performance of which the author was so intent, that he exchanged a court life for one of study and contemplation, and chose Rome, the great repository of the proper materials, for the place of his retirement.
To a portrait so finished, is it possible for the greatest judge of evidence to add a feature; to such freedom, fertility, and felicity of language, is it possible for the united powers of taste and genius to add a grace? In the story of the crosses said to have been impressed at the same time on the persons of many beholders, there was probably a mixture of imagination, though the cause might be electric. This amusing part of the work we merely hint at, in