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of his doctrines, (his mode of teaching) was accommodated to their untutored understandings. When Miracles were thus the only species of evidence, by which the assent of a rude and unscientific age could be won, and are therefore to be viewed with a particular reference to the period of the world in which they were performed, we are not to imagine that the belief of them is a matter of indifference, in an age of knowledge and philosophical observation. It may, on the contrary, be shewn, that credible accounts of such events, independently of the evidence which they afford of any revelation which is founded upon them, are of the greatest moment in counteracting a prejudice, which the enquiries of science some times produce. When it is believed that the laws of nature have ever been constant and invariable, without suffering the slightest suspension, the prejudice is apt to insinuate itself into our minds, that their operation depends not on the will of the Creator, but upon some inherent necessity; and the very circumstances upon which the proofs of design in nature are founded, are thus by some minds interpreted into proofs of the total absence of design. Now, it affords an important remedy against this prejudice, to have good grounds for believing, that in certain periods of the world, when occasional suspensions of natural laws were of peculiar importance, such suspensions did in fact take place."
These remarks are at once sensible and ingenious, and afford a pretty fair specimen of the kind of thinking which pervades these discourses. We now select a quotation of what nray be regarded as Mr. Morehead's animated or eloquent style, which at the same time exhibits both the beauties and the blemishes of the school to which he belongs. The second Sunday after the battle of Waterloo, the author preaclied to his congregation on the following words, taken from the book of Ecclesiastes, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth." Towards the conclusion of bis sermon, he thus addresses his auditory:
“ Weep not for the dead, then, my brethren, if the light of virtue has followed them to the tomb if the memory of their good pame lives sacred in the heart of man. O weep not for themweep for yourselves and your children! Weep over the stains which continue to defile your nature, and over all the trials and dangers through which the steps of the living are destined to go; but wish not to recall the virtuous dead, whose good name is for ever sealed; seek not to recall them again into the midst of these trials and defilements; wish not, for any happiness which you might derive from their virtues, to break the hallowed security of their repose; and if their last hour hath been their most glorious,if it hath called down upon their heads the tears and blessings of their country, no less than of their friends-what more could life have offered them, and what have they lost that was valuable in
existence, existence, even although they may have fallen in the prime of their years. These are the lofty considerations which in every age have presented themselves to the contemplative and wise, They brightened even the darkness of heathen times, and they formed the noblest examples of heroism and of patriotism even among those whose eyes scarcely penetrated beyond the barriers of the grave. In those illustrious ages, amidst all the obscurity which surrounded them, death was felt to be beautiful when earned by virtue; and the parent would resign his son almost without a sigh, when he fell a sacrifice upon the altar of his country. The milder genius of the gospel, my brethren, checks not the feelings of human nature : Jesus wept, and the sacred fountains of sorrow flow-for the purification of the soul. But that gospel which represses not the tears of humanity, lights up the radiance of hope in the eyes from which they fall; it draws the veil of mortality aside, and points to the glory of that region into which the immortal spirit enters. Standing on the holy elevation of the cross of Christ, we now behold the clouds roll away from the valley of the shadow of death ; we see opening beyond the innumerable mansions of the virtuous, and, washed from all their earthly stains, in the blood which streamed for their redemption, we see them prepared to enter into the joy of their Lord. In my Father's house, said our Saviour, are many mansions -mansions, we may dare to interpret, in which the innocent buds of childhood will open beneath the beams of angel love; mansions in which the zeal and affection of youth will be associated with those ministering spirits, who carry through unnumbered worlds, the messages of mercy; mansions in which the pious wisdom of age will meditate, by the still waters of immortal bliss, on all the gracious plans of Almighty Beneficence. And are there no mansions of glory allotted to the generous lovers and brave defenders of their country! Will the blood which flowed for the liberties of the world, sink into the ground without its reward? Has Heaven no offices in store which heroic spirits will delight to exercise? And may it not still be their lofty department to fạn the fires of patriot daring, or to hurl the unseen bolts of vengeance at the heads of the impious opprèssors of mankind? The simplicity of the gospel checks, indeed, upon this, as upon all religious enquiries, the wanderings of imagination ; but it is enough that the mighty prospect is revealed, and revealed in all the limited grandeur of the conception,-free from the littleness of human distinctions. • How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished !' Yet blessed was the cause in which they fell, and proud and permanent the triumph which their dauntless bravery has won! They fell in the greatest, and, I trust, the last conflict for the independence of the civilized world ; and God hath granted to their heroic toils, a far more splendid issue than even the warmest hopes of patriotism had dared to presage. Their names will ever remain inscribed on the pillar
of their country's renown; the eyes of devoted Europe will long turn with tears of gratitude to the field on which they bled; and the father in many a distant land will speak to his children of their deeds and of their fame, as the noblest example and incitement of virtue.”
The extracts we have given afford ample means for judging of the whole volume. The morality is pure, and the spirit is charitable; the reasoning is logical and conclusive; the style is easy and flowing, generally free from bad taste and grammatical in accuracy; and to sum up all, we bave no hesitation in saying, that Mr. Morehead holds a high place among the sermon-writers of the day.
Aer. V. The Life of Michael Angelo Buonarroti, &c.
(Concluded from p. 371.) ART. VI. The Life and Studies of Benjamin West, Esg. Pre
sident of the Royal Academy of London, prior to his Arrival in England; compiled from Materials furnished by Himself.
By John Galt. 8vo. pp. 160. Cadell and Davies. 1816. WITH the life of Michael Angelo, by Duppa, we are happy to couple the biographical sketch of the first British painter now in existence, as we are hereby enabled to trace the progress of the art from its most recondite sources in antient days, through the schools of modern Europe, down to the very day in which we live. We ibink it necessary, liowever, even in our very first page, to guard against any misapprehension on the part of our readers, as to the union of the names of Michael Angelo and West. Of the latter we know and we respect the value, but we would not so far caricature the reputation which he has so justly acquired, as to place it for one moment on the same basis with that of Michael Angelo. The lustre even of the brightest planet is extinguished as it approaches the sun. It is in an historical point of view alone ihat we wish their union to be considered.
The fragments which we have received from antiquity are so very few, that we cannot judge of the merit of the antient painters. We cannot even ascertain the degree of perfection which the art itself had acquired when they were executed, nor the opinion in which the antients themselves held these very productions. The injuries of time, and the ravages of men, still more barbarous ihan tiine, lave annihilated all the paintings with which the Greeks had decorated their country; of those found in Rome
and its environs, under the ruins of the palaces of Mæcenas, Titus, Trajan, and the Antonines, only eight are entire. Of these some are in Mosaic, but they all unquestionably are the productions of Grecian painters, who had been employed to embellish the capital of the world. The account, however, which writers give of the prodigious effect produced by the paintings of their best masters, must inspire us with the greatest idea of the perfection which they had given to the art. But are we certain that novelty did not contribute its share to produce these effects} Indeed, the first paintings that were ever made, must have appeared sublime to the ignorant nation who beheld them. Admiration for a new art is apt to produce exaggeration in those who speak of it, and an historian who collects his materials from tradition, sees them always through a magnifying glass, of which his imagination can generally adjust the power. But ad.. initting all their recitals as established truths, yet even then, before we judge of the merit of the Grecian painters, we ought to ascertain the effect which many productions of Raphael and Caracci would have made on the contemporaries of Zeuxis, Par. rhasius and Apelles. Notwithstanding all these considerations, we are forced to own, that the antients must have excelled in the poetical composition of their paintings. The picture of Aristides, it is generally allowed, spoke to the eye. The authors who describe this wonderful production, express themselves with so much taste and so much feeling, that they could hardly have been mistaken. Every scholar knows the beautiful description of the painting by Ætion, which represented the marriage of Alexander and Roxana, and that by Zeusis, which represented the family of the Centaur; nor can the reader of taste bave forgotten the praises of Ausonius on the picture of Medea by Timomachus, nor the eulogium of Pliny on the sacrifice of Iphigenia.
What we have said of composition, must also be applied to perspective, to chiaroscuro, and even to colours. In all these branches it may be inferred, that the antients did certainly excel. For notwithstanding the want of specimens, which might enable us to judge of the actual powers of the Grecian painters, we are to consider from the fragments we have, that Rome began to cultivate the arts after the lapse of many centuries, and that the Roman painters were never compared to the Grecian, as long as remained there any production of the best masters of the latter, Hence we may reasonably admit the opinion, which establishes the perfection to which painting had arrived amongst the Greeks; especially if we consider that all writers agree in producing examples which must undoubtedly belong to first rate artists. They admired Apelles for the delicacy and grace of his pencil, Asclepiodorus for the disposition of bis figures, and the general harmony of his paintings, Protogenes for his exactness of design, Pamphilus and Melaythius for composition and invention, Antiphiles for facility, Ætion for imagination.
But though we find recorded the several degrees of perfection which belonged to the most celebrated artists, the origin of the art itself is eu veloped in the utmost obscurity, whether we regard the place where it was first cultivated, the name of the person who first invented it, or the means which were first employed. According to some writers, painting had its origin at Sicyon, whilst according to others, it was first invented at Corinth. In the former age, they regard Philocles of Egypt as the inventor of the art, and in the latter they consider the Corithian Cleanthes as the first of all painters. Be it as it will, they all allow that the first attempt was but a contour of the human figure, drawn round the shade, which was cast on an opaque body. But this assertion seems rather a supposition than a fact, and its only merit consists in being probable. To this delineation succeeded a more perfect attempt, which by means of lines, but without any colour, they distinguished the liveaments of the face. Aidicas of Corinth, and Telephanus of Sicyon were its inventors; but they always wrote on their figures the name of the person whom they meant to represent. This seems to have been the state of the art before the Trojan war. In process of time, Cleophantes of Corinth invented the use of colouring the figure all over with one colour, for which reason the painting was called monochrome. But in so doing, he coloured the lineaments or traces of the face with diluted earth, and it is supposed that he used red, as the most approaching to the carnation of human complexion. But as inventions spring from each other, Bularchus very soon introduced the custom of of employing many colours, and thus the art, which till then had been too uniform, began to admit of light and shade, and this seems to have been the first step towards the chiaroscuro. By these means Panemus was enabled to represent in the painting of the battle of Marathon, the likeness of the chiefs of the two armies, and Polygnotes of Thasos to give a light vest as a drapery to his figures of women. But it was not before the XCIV th Olympiad, that Apollodorus of Athens commenced what may with more propriety be ternied the age of painting. Then appeared Zeuxis, Parrhasius, Timanthes, Eupompus, and soon after the croud of the celebrated painters, who end with Apelles and Protogenes.
All these artists owed their celebrity to the schools of painting which had beeu established in Greece, and to which, as to