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each other off the face of the earth, as Elijah exterminated hundreds; then falling themselves, in turn, and making place for other dominators of the people.”—Vol. i. p. 369, 2nd edit.
This extract may perhaps draw the attention of Christian heads of families to the dangerous tendency of a publication which, besides containing, in other places, many false religious sentiments, would, in the passage quoted, make out the prophets of Israel to have been nothing more than the Hunts and Cobbetts—the Humes and Roebucks and O'Connells of Jewish antiquity.
SIR,—When I quoted Mr. Dowling, in my letter to Mr. Maitland, as saying of Milner, that “at the time he wrote, and for many years after, there was no one in this country who could have written such a history better than he did," I thought the language too plain to be misunderstood; and felt myself authorized to state, that the verdict thus given placed Milner " at the head of his class, as having done that which no one else could have executed better."
Mr. Dowling does me now the favour to say, that I am quite welcome to his “ verdict," but that I must take it with his “ own interpretation.” If this interpretation bad accompanied the verdict, there would have heen reason for requiring them to be taken together. But how could I know Mr. Dowling's sense of the passage, except from its plain grammatical import ? And I hope it will be acknowledged that I have neither changed his words, nor put any force upon their meaning.
It appears, however, to me, that, instead of interpreting, Mr. Ď. wishes to set aside his verdict; and that, under cover of explaining it, he literally explains it away. “A man is not (he says) the less ignorant, because he happens to be ignorant in company.
Certainly not; but when that company includes the ecclesiastical scholars of the whole nation, during half of the last century, and many years of the present, it can scarcely be denied that Mr. Dowling, by saying "no one could have written such a history" better than Milner did, places himself in the dilemma of having libelled the literary capacity of the age, or of having ascribed to Milner higher praise than his friends had ever claimed for him.
Mr. Dowling interprets his verdict thus :—“I said, that it was the best apology for Milner,' that he did but partake of the common ignorance of ecclesiastical subjects." This is not what the writer really said, but what he now wishes he had said. His exact words are those which I have given above; and it is only necessary to glance at the verdict and the interpretation, in order to judge how far it was possible for me to have elicited the new meaning out of the old words.
In further explanation of his “verdict" on Milner, Mr. D. adds, “ It certainly is something to his credit, that he knew more of this branch of literature than a number of men who were in other respects vastly his superiors.” This comment, like the former, looks small enough by the side of the text_" No one in this country could have written such a history better than he did." Yet, with all this softening down of previous testimony, more is said for Milner than the witness desires to say; and the evidence is, in some respects, the more valuable, because of the reluctance with which it is given. I need nothing beyond Mr. Dowling's own illustration to prove the point. “A man may know more about the structure of the human body than all the rest of the people in the parish, and yet be very little qualified to write a treatise on anatomy. Very true; but to make the cases parallel, instead of “parish," read “kingdom," and take the period from the middle of the last century to nearly the present time; and then I should feel no difficulty in contending, that the best anatomist in England, during that term, could not be a weak man; and if he wrote at all, would not have produced an utterly useless and worthless treatise on anatomy. The application of the argument is easily made. I remain, Sir, yours respectfully,
* To the Rev, H. J. Rose. Sir,-Not wishing to take up any unnecessary room in the “British Magazine,” I proceed immediately to notice, as briefly as I can, the two points in my recently published letter to Mr. Maitland, on which you have animadverted.
With regard to the first ; when I said the whole controversy sprung out of Mr. Maitland's work, I had no intention to insinuate either “ that no one but Mr. Maitland has thought ill of Milner,” or “that the subsequent charges against Milner have been made on Mr. Maitland's sole authority.” It never even occurred to me, that my words were liable to such an interpretation; if it had, I would have taken care to express myself with more precision. I assure you, I never had the slightest doubt that your own opinion of Milner was formed independently of all authority; and that, whether right or wrong, it was the result of your own reading. I would, with great pleasure, retract anything I have ever written, which should leave a contrary impression on the reader's mind; but I cannot, even now, when you have directed my attention to the subject, imagine that my words have any such meaning. Surely, it is one thing to suppose that a given controversy sprung from some particular work, and quite another to suppose that the mover in this controversy had derived his own information on the subject from that work. If you (for instance) had made use of that work, and of it only, in a controversy, I cannot think there would be any impropriety in maintaining that the controversy sprung from it. This is precisely the case now between us. I found nothing in the way of evidence referred to by you, except the volume of “ Facts and Documents;" and therefore I inferred that the controversy sprung from this volume. Had I said that the controversy “turned" or “hinged” upon it, I suppose all ambiguity would have been prevented, and the purpose for which I make use of the fact would have been quite as well answered.
As to your second point, I am not sure that I perfectly understand what you mean to assert.
In your letter to the “Christian Observer” you spoke of Mr. Maitland as being both “ ready” and “ able to go fully into this matter ;" and spoke of it in such a way as to leave no doubt that you were entirely in his confidence. You then proceeded immediately to warn Mr. Scott, “from referring to what you had already by you, that a very few weeks of study would ensure a harvest of strange errors in facts in Milner,” &c. Now, I certainly did not suppose that, in these consecutive sentences, you were speaking of two distinct classes of objections, issuing from different quarters, against Milner ; but that, all along, you referred to something which Mr. Maitland was preparing, and the substance of which he had submitted to your inspection.
This I know was Mr. Scott's opinion, when he read your letter; and I have never yet met with a reader who thought otherwise. What makes it difficult for me to understand your present explanation is, that if Mr. Maitland's second letter to you
NOTICES AND REVIEWS.
The Analogy of Faith ; or, an Attempt to shew God's Methods of Grace
with the Church of Christ, as set forth in the Experience of David.
By the Rev. J. T. Holloway, D.D. London: Hatchards. 1836. 8vo. DR. HOLLOWAY will not, it is hoped, be offended, if it is said, that a work like his makes one think that the present attention to the
does not contain the threatened harvest of accusations, that harvest has either prematurely perished, or remains yet to be reaped. Of such an alarming fact 1 had not the faintest conception, till I saw your letter.
You acknowledge these points to be of no great consequence in themselves.” Whether they are, or are not, I can sacrifice them without reluctance, if my view of them is erroneous. The charge against me, of conducting the controversy in an "unusual spirit,” is too vague to be met by explanation, though, perhaps, it might justify or excuse a retort. But I neither desire to judge, nor fear to be judged by those who are committed to the opposite side of the controversy from myself. A more impartial tribunal than either you or I can erect, must decide between us. I make no objection to your pointing out any inaccuracies, great or small, in my pamphlets. I have been as careful as I could to avoid, but I never pretended to be free from them.
I am, Rev. Sir, yours respectfully,
JOHN King. Answer to the foregoing Letter. Sır.-In reply to your letter, I have only to observe, that I hardly think the ob. servant reader will allow you to escape, as you appear to wish, from your own state
I gave an opinion on Milner; some months afterwards I read a book by Mr. Maitland, containing much stronger remarks than mine. It had been published, I think, two or three years. When I was attacked, not for speaking without authorities, but for speaking wrongly and injuriously of Milner, my answer was-It is no new thing for Milner to be thus spoken of; why did you not attack Mr. Maitland two years ago ?
You now state this to the public, as if Mr. Maitland was my authority, and as if I had adduced him as such. The public, at least, will know that I never produced him as authority, but for a different purpose ; and that I never expressed or evinced the slightest intention of appealing to authorities. Allow me then to say, that it appears to me hardly likely to answer even your own object, to endeavour to make a person say for one purpose what he has obviously said for another.
With respect to the second matter, you leave wholly out of the question your own former statement. You said, that I had seen Mr. Maitland's pamphlet; and I answered most truly, not only that it was not written at the time, but that it was not even thought of. Although a detailed proof of Milner's inaccuracy was necessary, Mr. Maitland had not, till long after that period, decided either the part of Milner which he should take, or the mode which he should pursue. I charged you then with making a very unwarranted statement, in saying that I had seen what did not exist for some months after the time alluded to. Your only answer is, that you cannot then understand a particular expression in my letter; that is to say, you cannot understand how I could have in my portfolio many notes on Milner, whether of my own or other people's, at that moment; how I could say, that in a very few weeks I could bring forward plenty more, and yet, how I could not have seen a pamphlet which was not written. What the difficulty is I really am at a loss to know. To the sneer which you make at the loss of the possible collection of details, I shall not reply. I am satisfied that you have already quite enough details to answer, without my troubling myself to increase their number. I can assure you that I claim no sort of respect, or regard, either for judgment or powers; and yet I venture to think, that adding to the list of Mr. Milner's inaccuracies would not be a hopeless task even for
I am, your faithful servant, H. J. Rose. VOL. IX.-March, 1836.
tenets of the papists is to be reckoned a great good, as it will make many churchmen have a clearer view of the object of the articles. Dr. Holloway, in common with many others, evidently thinks that our church gladly took the opportunity of proposing a system relative to those very obscure and difficult points which have ever agitated mankind, the freedom of man's will, the Divine fore-knowledge, and all the questions connected with them. Whereas, there can be little or no doubt that, following the wise plan of former ages, our fathers were rather anxious openly to contradict and gainsay errors which they had found productive of pernicious consequence. On this account they especially contradicted the popish system of justification, in its full extent; and the articles which are now too often a source of dispute among churchmen, holding different opinions on the various points of the quinquaricular controversy, are, in fact, special renunciations of those mischievous errors in opinion which, in practice, led to some of the worst corruptions of popery. When the popish system of justification is more fully weighed by churchmen,-as we may hope it will now be,-it will be found how carefully almost every expression in this part of our article, is framed to contradict it, just as certain phrases in the Nicene creed are to contradict Arian errors.
Avoiding (as is usual in this Magazine) the discussion of the points here referred to, the reviewer of Dr. Holloway may yet venture to say, that the view of Calvinism which is enounced in Dr. H.'s preface, and is a very common one, is, after all, far less calculated to command respect than the open, direct, and unshrinking acceptance of that system in all its fulness. For example, Dr. Holloway says,
that there is a distinction between a natural and moral inability to accept such and such a belief or line of conduct--for it would be unjust to punish a blind man for not seeing, but not unjust if he wilfully shuts his eyes. Now, how does this distinction apply ? Surely Dr. H. must allow, that the whole question turns on this point, whether the moral blindness of our nature is not what he calls a natural blindness also, or, in other words, whether they who are condemned for their unbelief, or their sin, ever had either the power of believing or acting rightly, or ever had such an offer of grace made them as they had the power of accepting. For Calvinism, in its full extent,fearful as to the writer it seems-he is yet aware that much may be said ; nor can any one be inclined to speak lightly or rashly of a system which has been propounded and accepted by such men, and with such power, as Calvinism has been. But for the sort of timid Calvinism (if one may so speak without disrespect) which will accept the system, and yet reject the painful parts of it, because they are painful,—which is common in the present day,—it is difficult to feel the same respect. Men either have or have not the
of cepting or rejecting the offers of mercy in the Gospel: we may take which side we please of this question ; but we cannot choose one side, and then have the benefit of the other.
Lexilogus; or, a Critical Eramination of the Meaning and Etymology of
numerous Greek Words and Passages, intended principally for Homer and Hesiod. By Phil. Buttman, L.L.D. Translated and edited by the Rev. J. R. Fishlake, late Fellow of Wadham.
London : Murray. 1836. 8vo. The English public is really very much indebted to Mr. Fishlake, for giving them the means of access to this charming book. The reviewer, perhaps, may be a little prejudiced, having a very strong (some may think a very strange) love for that kind of discussion of a word which a good lexicon presents. But in this case, each word has an admirable essay on it, in which not only the word itself, but numerous passages bearing on it in the authors who most frequently use it, are illustrated, with a spirit, a taste, an ease, a knowledge of classical antiquity, which make Buttman one (to English tastes especially) of the most delightful of the German scholars of modern days. He does not possess the metaphysical subtlety of Hermann, but, in return, neither is he led away, as that very great scholar occasionally is, into carrying his theory out with that strict and logical severity which the wilfulness of human beings, and the various accidents of human life, forbid. Nor, again, are his works a painful study. Always acute, but always lively and interesting, they shew not only the accurate criticism of a grammatical scholar, but the refined feeling of one had almost said) an amateur of philology. Buttman never wearies, but leads one on to feel the same interest in his subject and his author as he feels himself.
Mr. Fishlake has done his part exceedingly well, both in the translation and the addition of some valuable notes.
A Collection of English Sonnets. By R. F. Housman. London:
Whittaker and Co. MR. HOUSMAN has given us a very agreeable volume, bringing together some of the best specimens of our English sonnets, from various writers, and thus enabling us to compare their merits in this trying and delightful kind of composition. There is a large selection-as there should be from Wordsworth ; and only one or two are omitted, which the reviewer would wish to see in a selection.
The Poetical Works of the Rev. Thomas Dale, M. A. London :
C. Tilt. 1836. pp. 370. This is a collection of Mr. Dale's works, in a very elegant little volume. They are so well known already, and have been so much admired, that it is not necessary to say anything on them here at length. Were it necessary to bespeak the favourable opinion of the public, that should assuredly be done, if anything said here could effect that object. Some of the minor poems have a tenderness and truth of feeling, and a purity of language, of which it would be difficult to speak too highly.