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made master of Trinity College. His mind was most comprehensive, his industry indefatigable; and no stronger proof can be adduced of his various powers, than the fact of his having filled with reputation the mathematical chairs both ac Gresham college and Cambridge, and also the Greek profelforship at the latter place. Before the end of his life he resigned the mathematical chair at Cambridge to the justly celebrated Newton, and there is a tradition in the university, that he did it on conscientious motives; and that he was na fooner acquainted with Newton's merits (who was then a very young man) than, with a modesty which is rarely to be found, he pronounced himself unworthy any longer to preside in that department of science. This excellent and extraordinary man died at the early age of forty-seven.
Though he excelled in so many branches of learning, yet theology and ethics were the favourite fciences with Barrow, Yet; he has left but few entire treatises on these subjects, unless we consider his treatise on the pope's fupremacy, an unanswerable work, as belonging to this department, though it is rather to be claffed under that of ecclefiaftical history. His fermons on the articles of the Christian faich may however be considered as a complete treatise, or rather a body of divinity; and indeed, according to the remark of Le Clerc, every fermon is a treatise or differtation, complete in all its parts, rather than an oration. Charles II. who was more deticient in principle than in talents, remarked of Barrow," that he was an unfair preacher, because he exhausted every subject, and left no room for others to come after him.” His sermons were in fact not less remarkable for their length than for their excellence. He was once requested by the dean of Westminster to preach at the abbey. He divided his fermon into two parts, and at the entreaty of the dean consented to preach only half of it, but after having proceeded a full hour, the populace, who waited without to see the tombs, became impatient, and struck up the full organ to filence him. He preached once for three hours and a half before the lord-mayor and aldermen, and when asked if he was not tired, he replied, “I began to be a little weary with standing."
The style of Barrow is clear, uniform, and chaste, He never rises to what may be termed the sublime, and his productions are not orations, but essays or differtations, as has been already remarked. They are a treasure of religious and moral learning, nor are there any productions in the language, which may be read with more profit by students in theology
The pious and excellent bishop Fell is better known as the publisher of the Whole Duty of Man, and some other short and practical treatifes by the same acthor, than by any works which bear his own name. There are perhaps few phænomena in our literary annals more extraordinary than the mystery in which the name of the author of these treatifes is involved; the style is not that of bishop Fell, nor is there any good reason to be assigned why he should be studious of concealment. The most probable conjecture is, that these works were the production of fome pious and modest layman, perhaps of superior rank, who might conceive that if he were known as the writer, his own life and conduct might be drawn into a comparison with his precepts, or that their utility might be lefsened by some circumstance connected with the author. Ken, bishop of Bath and Wells, was more of a poet than a divine, though most of his compositions were in a religious strain, fome of which are still popular. This prelate attended affiduously the dying moments of Charles II. but his exhortations had but little effect on the dying profligare, who ordered the room to be cleared of the protestant prelates, and took refuge finally in the delusions of the church of Rome.
“ It was in the licentious reign of Charles II. (says Mrs. Macaulay) that writings were first publicly broached, which called in question the divine authority of Christ's million, and all those glorious promises of the gospel,, which, if firmly believed, muft in a great measure prevail over human vice and infirmity. It was in this licentious age that those baneful systems of philofophy were revived, which, by calling in question the future existence of man, itrip the deity of the
attributes of justice and goodness ; destroy every benevoient end in the creation, render it the splendid work of an ingenious and all powerful artist, devoid of every principle of true wisdom and greatness ; fet loose the vicious and inordinate affections of the artful and the powerful to prey on the weak, the simple, and the injudicious; and by adding the infupportable horrors of despair to the affictions of the unfortunate, increase the evils of human existence beyond the posiibility of human bearing: hence proceed the numerous suicides, and all those acts of violence and desperation, which help to ladden the annals of English history.” Against these infamous productions, the wit and acuteness of South, the labour of Bramhall, and the unmeasureable erudition and unanswerable argument of Cudworth were directed, and not in vain : for not an objection was left unanswered, not a cavil unexposed. Unfortunately, speculative wickedness has ever a powerful ally in the natural depravity of the human heart, and men will commonly attend to what flatters their paslions in preference to a system which restrains them. If there were no wicked men there would be no unbelievers.; and, as bishop Atterbury somewhere remark3-— It is not a freedom of thinking for which these men contend, but a freedom of acting and living as they please. To the young and unlearned, for it is only the unlearned, or the half-learned, that can be assailed by the miserable sophistry of modern infidels, we may recommend the serious perusal of bishop Burnétt's account of the life and death of the witty and profligate earl of Rochester, a man of great talents, whom a perverted education, vicious associates, and ungovernable paflions, had made an unbeliever; but who was no sooner made acquainted with the proofs of Christianity than he yielded to them his entire conviction, and found, in those truths which he had before rejected, the only consolation during his expiring moments.
The truths of religion were not only defended ably and with success by the divines of the established church at this period, but by some of the non-conformist ministers, who were not inferior to their brethren of the establishment either
xxvii in erudition or ability. Among the first of these we may consider the venerable Richard Baxter, whose “Unreafon. ableness of Infidelity,” and “Catholic Theology,” may be ftill read with infinite advantage. Of this able and laborious writer, the saying of Dr. Barrow is, on the whole, a just character—" That his practical writings were never mended, his controversial feldom confuted;” and the candid and liberal Burnett remarks of him, he “was a man of great piety ; and if he had not meddled in too many things, would have been esteemed one of the most learned men of the age. He wrote near 200 books, of these three are large folios. He had a very moving and pathetical way of writing, and was his whole life a man of great zeal and much fimplicity ; but was most unhappily subtle and metaphysical in every ching." Mr. Baxter was one of the most unhappy examples of the black ingratitude of the British Tiberius. On the restoration, for his zeal and loyalty he was made chaplain to the king; and the discerning Clarendon laboured hard to remove his fcruples, and reconcile hiin to the church. After the disgrace of that minister his whole life was a continued scene of persecution, and he was an inhabitant succeslively of most of the prisons in the metropolis. Towards the end of his life he had the misfortune to be tried for a libel before the execrable Jefferies, who wrested lome passages in his annotations on the New Testament from their legitimate meaning into a censure on episcopacy in general, and a compliant and das. tardly jury found him guilty. The trial is upon record, in which the greatness of mind displayed by the accused forms a singular contrast to the low and vulgar abuse of the illiterarç Jefferies; and he appears a Socrates before a contemptible tribunal. He however lived to see the downfall of his persecutors, and to partake of the blessings of liberty which were the effects of the glorious revolution of 1688 ; an æra now equally abused by the extravagant democrats, and by the wretched and misguided tories, but which will ever be held in just estimation by every man who possesses the genuine fenti, ments that become an Englishman.
Of the celebrated Edmund Calamy we had occasion to
speak in our last volume: his writings are more controverfial than those of Baxter. Dr. William Bates, the friend and coadjutor of Mr. Baxter in the Savoy conference, was also a man of considerable erudition.
" He is universally understood (says the late editor of the Biographia Britannica) to have been the politest writer among the non-conformists of the last century.” To these we may add the names of Howe, Jacombe, and Wilde, all of them eminent as preachers, and useful as writers. The former of these divines is characterised by Anthony Wood, who is not very favourable to the presbyterian party, as “ a person of neat and polite parts, and not of that sour and unpleasant converse, as moft of his persuasion were; so moderate also and calm in those smaller matters under debate between the church and 'his party, tha: he had not fo much as once interested himself in quarrels of this kind, but hath applied himself to more beneficial and useful discoveries on practical subjects.”
Of the theological writings of the other sectaries but few are at present held in much esteem; but Barclay's Apology for the Quakers will be read as long as found learning, acute reasoning, and animation and correctness of style continue to be admired. The preface, addressed to Charles II. is a model of crue eloquence, and the scriptural arguments of the author against war will never be refuted.
After this hasty sketch of the state of learning and science in the theological department during this period, we find ourselves reluctantly obliged to break off with some abruptness. In the other sciences a wide field lies still before us, and the political occurrences of this eventful year are so many, and so important, that to extend this dissertation further, would either abridge the reader of what is more immediately interesting, or extend the volume to an unmanageable size *.
* Burnett, -- Macaulay, - Hume, - Anthony Wood, Britannica, — Biographical Dictionary, &c. &c.