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tives and habits, into which he found the clerical character fallen, he was earnest to display, in the person of the ablest defender of religion, a striking pattern of that moral separation, that refined sanctity, and that superiority even to all suspicion of acceding and adhering to the ecclesiastioal profession on any terms involving the sacrifice of conscientious principles to worldly interests, without which the clerical character never will or can be revered by the people. We lament to feel that we are not contemplating a character, which we dare hold up for such a pattern, in a memoir which represents Dr. Paley's habits as very much assimilated to those of what may be called respectable men of the world; which condescends to tell that he 'frequently mixed in card-parties, and was considered a skilful player at whist;' which informs us, that even when approaching near to old age, he still retained his predilection for theatrical amusements, especially when any eminent performer from the metropolis appeared upon a neighbouring stage,' and that in a provincial theatre he always seated himself as near as possible to the front of the centre box ;' none of which circumstances are adapted to allay the disapprobation and disgust with which we see him surrendering his integrity, according to our judgement of the case, in the affair of subscription. Nor does it give us all the pleasing images which poets, and indeed much more sober men, have associated with the character of a Christian pastor, when we see a clergyman, much after the manner of an exciseman, removed from living to living, in a long succession of still advancing emoluments, and without any mention, as far as we remember, that either the minister or the people suffered much from regret in these separations. We are very far from regarding him as a hunter of preferment, or as capable of practising any degree of sycophancy to what are called great men, either in the church or the state. He was most honourably superior to those vile arts of servility and flattery which have so often been rewarded with titles and emoluments; and he signally proved his independence, by publishing, at a time when he must have regarded his advancement in the church as depending, such opinions on religious liberty and the principles of political science, as could not fail to be very offensive to that class of persons, whom the aspirants to preferment find it their interest, and therefore their duty to please. But though his successive augmenta tions of emolument, obtained by means of pluralities and of changes of situation, were conferred without being solicited, and conferred on eminent desert, yet the whole course of these successes carries, in our view, a strange resemblance to a trading concern. It looks just as if cures of souls were
things measured and proportioned out, on an ascending scale of pecuniary value, for the purpose of handsome emolument to men, who have happened to apply talents to the service of the church, which might fairly have been expected to make a fortune if exerted in some other department. The consideration of the spiritual welfare of these successive allotments of souls, and the beneficent effect that would result from that affectionate attachment which might grow between the minister and his people, if he did not officiate among them just as a man who is obliged to stop a while in his journey toward some richer parish, appear really as but very secondary matters.
In reverting to all we have said in dissatisfaction with the religious character of Dr. Paley, it is right to observe, that we cannot know precisely how much of the blame is due to his biographer. Certainly, the specific fact of his setting his people the example of pushing into a theatre, which every body that has been there knows to be a school of profaneness and immorality, will, alone, perfectly warrant a large and sweeping conclusion as to the defectiveness of his religious feelings and habits, and as to the strange laxity of his conception of the proprieties of consistency for a distinguished advocate of the religion of Christ; yet there might, at times, be better aspects of the character, and his posthumous Sermoas lead us to believe there certainly were. A biographer, who had felt that religion is the most important thing which can prevail or be wanting in any human being, would have been eager to bring these aspects fully into view. But we are not permitted to know whether this writer regards religion, Christianity, or whatever we may call it, as any thing more than one of the many uncertain and unimportant subjects of human speculation. He judges it, indeed, a very proper professional ground of clerical exertion; an ecclesiastic should be clever in his own business; Dr. Paley proved himself eminently so in his Evidences of Christianity; and therefore he deserved well of the church as an institution that has honours and emoluments to confer. This is about the amount of what we are enabled to collect of the present biographer's estimate of religion. And therefore we regard him as totally unqualified to mark the points of religious excellence or defect in any character. If to those, who had the privilege of acquaintance and friendship, Dr. Paley did sometimes disclose a considerable degree of devotional feeling, a writer like the present would probably be unwilling to display the philo sopher verging toward the fanatic.' Or it, toward the close of his life, he had been heard to express bitter regret, for not having lived more in the spirit of that religion which he had
defended, (not that we ever heard he did this)—our author would have carefully concealed a weakness so symptomatic of decaying understanding.
The religious character, therefore, of this eminent man, remaining a subject for the discernment and justice of some other biographer, we recommend the volume before us, as a sensible, well written account of the chief occurrences in his life, and of the prominent distinctions of his talents and social habits. It has the particular value of giving a larger portion of characteristic anecdotes, than is usually afforded in the memoirs of a scholar and author. These anecdotes shew a striking identity of character in all the stages of Paley's life. In the school-boy and in the archdeacon, we have the same gay humour, logical shrewdness, attention to matters of fact, preference of practical to theoretical principles, moderate but constant regard to worldly interest, and perfect exemption from the perturbations of romantic sentiment. His father early entertained a high estimate of his faculties, and was much nearer the truth in his predictions than usually happens in matters of parental prophecy. My son is now gone to college, he'll turn out a great man-very great indeed,I'm certain of it: for he has by far the clearest head I ever met with in my life.' (p. 7.) At school he was
More attentive to things than words, and ardent in the pursuit of knowledge of every kind. He was curious in making inquiries about mechanism, whenever he had an opportunity of conversing with any workmen, or others capable of affording him satisfactory information. In his mind he was uncommonly active; in his body quite the reverse. He was a bad horseman, and incapable of those exertions which required adroitness in the use of the hands or feet. He consequently never engaged in the ordinary sports of school-boys; but he was fond of angling, an amusement in which he did not then excel, though his attachment to it seems to have continued through life. He was much esteemed by his schoolfellows, as possessing many good qualities, and being at all times a pleasant and lively companion. He frequently amused the young circle by the successful mimicking of a mountebank quack-doctor, in vending his powders. Having one year attended the assizes at Lancaster, he was so much taken with the procceedings of the criminal court, that on his return to school, he used to preside there as a judge, and to have the other boys brought up before him as prisoners for trial. This circumstance, trifling as it may appear to the superficial observer, is not unimportant, as it marks his earliest attention to the practice of courts of justice, and to criminal law.' p. 3.
His mind seems to have possessed a natural conformity to those rigid laws of thought, to which the greatest number of thinking men can but imperfectly subject themselves by the severest discipline; and we predict the envy of nineteen students in twenty, and confess our own, in reading part of the following paragraph.
Being thus left to himself (at college) he applied however most assiduously to those studies required by the university; in the pursuit of which he had frequent opportunity to shew the concentration of mind which he possessed in an extraordinay degree. His room (for he seldom locked his door by night or day) used to be the common rendezvous of the idle young men of his college; yet, notwithstanding all their noise and nonsense, he might be often seen in one corner, as composed and attentive to what he was reading as if he had been alone. But as, besides the interruption which such loungers must at times have given him, he was remarkable for indulging himself in bed till a very late hour in the morning, and for being much in company after dinner, at tea, and at a coffee-house at nine o'clock in the evening, it is probable that he was more indebted to observation and reflection than to books for the general improvement of his mind.' p. 9.
We should not be quite so much pleased as the biographer seems to be, to acknowledge that perhaps we owe Dr. Paley's great works to a particular incident that decided him to a more studious course; though we would infinitely rather be indebted for them to that, or even any meaner cause, than not possess them at all.
In the year 1795, during one of his visits to Cambridge, Dr. P. in the course of a conversation on the subject, gave the following account of the early part of his academical life; and it is here given on the authority, and in the very words, of a gentleman who was present at the time, as a striking instance of the peculiar frankness with which he was in the habit of relating the adventures of his youth.
"I spent the first two years of my undergraduateship happily, but unprofitably. I was constantly in society, where we were not immoral, but idle and rather expensive. At the commencement of my third year, how ever, after having left the usual party at rather a late hour in the evening, I was awaked at five in the morning by one of my companions, who stood at my bed-side, and said-" Paley, I have been thinking what a d***'d fool you are. I could do nothing, probably, were I to try, and can afford the life I lead: you could do every thing, and cannot afford it. I have had no sleep during the whole night on account of these reflections, and I am now come solemnly to inform you, that if you persist your indolence, I must renounce your society."
"I was so struck," Dr. Paley continued, "with the visit and visitor, that I lay in bed great part of the day, and formed my plan. I ordered my bed maker to prepare my fire every evening, in order that it might be lighted by myself I rose at five, read during the whole of the day, and just before the closing of gates (nine o'clock) I went to a neighbouring coffee-house, where I constantly regaled upon a mutton chop and a dose of milk-punch. And thus, on taking my bachelor's degree, I became senior wrangler."
Thus fortunately was Dr. P. roused to a full exertion of his faculties before his habits were completely formed; and to this singular adventure may, perhaps, be attributed, not only his successful labours, as a college tutor, but the invaluable productions of his pen. p. 193.
A very entertaining account is given of his college disputations, of his becoming an assistant in an academy at Greenwich, of his gaining an university prize by the best dissertation on the comparative merits of the Stoic and Epicurean philosophy, in which he was the advocate of the latter, of his entering on the clerical office, and of his tutorship, of several years' duration, in his college, in which he was associated with Mr. Law, son of the bishop of Carlisle, with whom, and with Dr. Jebb, and other distinguished persons, he maintained a lasting friendship. There is an interesting description of his manner of lecturing, on metaphysics, morals, the Greek Testament, and divinity. We sincerely join in the writer's regret, that some of these lectures, especially the illustrations of Locke, Clarke, and Butler, and of the New Testament, had not been preserved. They were all given without any set formality or previous arrangement of words; he adopted much of a conversational manner, asked questions, and permitted and induced, by his shrewdness and humour, occasional short intervals of hilarity, and employed, with the utmost success, every expedient for precluding the dullness and inattention usually incident to such exercises. We must transcribe the conclusion of the account of the lectures on the Greek Testament.
But he carefully avoided all sectarian disputes, taking for his model, Locke on the Reasonableness of Christianity, and On the Epistles, works which he frequently recommended. The 39 Articles of Religion he treated of as mere articles of peace, the whole of which it was impossible the framers could expect any one person to believe, as upon dissection they would be found to contain about two hundred and forty distinct and independent propositions, many of them inconsistent with each other. They must therefore, he said, be considered as propositions, which, for the sake of keeping peace among the different sects of reformers, who originally united in composing the church of England, it was agreed should not be impugned or preached against. The chief points insisted on by Mr. Paley to his pupils were, that they should listen to God, and not to man; that they should exert their faculties in understanding the language of holy men of old; that they should free themselves, as much as possible, from all prejudices of birth, education and country; and that they should not call any one their master in religion but Jesus Christ."
This last sentence the author quotes (with a reference) from the Universal Magazine for 1895.-The opinion advanced in the above extract was afterwards matured into a short and well known chapter on Subscription, in the Moral and Political Philosophy; where it is stated that,
They who contend, that nothing less can justify subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, than the actual belief of each and every separate