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"but the public welfare, ought to be the guide of the rcprescnt'ative's conduct.'* And for this obvious reason; that the people of Liverpool can have no right to legislate in questions affecting the property of the people of Birmingham; the inhabitants of Yorkshire can have no right to impose laws upon those of Devonshire; nor can the expressed will or known wishes of one class, overrule the will and wishes of another. All that constituents have a right to exact from their representative, is, that he will act as their attorney in protecting their own property; as their delegate, in representing their own grievances. But, as the proxy cannot exceed the powers of the principal, it is evident, that, in sitting as a legislator, he ceases to be a mere proxy, and exercises a higher trust than any body of electors can convey. In one character, he is the real representative of his constituents, and of them only: in the other, he is the virtual representative of public opinion, the guardian of the national interests, or of the common rights of the people.
Among the other terms, the use and abuse of which are illustrated in the present volume are, Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy, Oligarchy, Tyranny, Balance of Powers, Estate, Rich and Poor, People and Community, Power, Authority, and Force. Other terms will occur to reflective readers, some belonging to political science, some to jurisprudence, which equally require to be rescued from fallacious ambiguity. If it be true, that 'every 'improper term contains the germ of fallacious propositions', (of which the instances we have given may be considered as affording sufficient evidence,) if 'improper terms are', as Bentham has remarked, 'the chains which bind men to unreasonable practices', the inquiries of Mr. Lewis will not be deemed of small value or slight importance. We cordially thank him for the very useful volume which he has furnished, the utility of which will greatly consist in its leading the reader to follow out the hints which the Author has suggested, and, by a similar process of examination extended to other terms, to detect the fallacies which are thickly scattered over the whole field of inquiry.
Art. III.—1. Works of Robert Hall, A.M. With a brief Memoir of his Life by Dr. Gregory, and Observations on his Character as a Preacher,'by John Foster. Published under the Superintendence of Olinthus Gregory, LL.D., F.ll.A.S., &c. Vol. VI. 8vo. London, 1832.
2. The British Critic, Quarterly Theological Review, and Ecclesiastical Record. No. xxvi. April. Art. Works Of Robert Hall.
1 N preceding articles, it has been attempted to delineate Mr. Hall's intellectual character, and to furnish an estimate of his
* See Eclectic Review, Third Series, Vol. VII. pp. 491, 2.
genius and attainments, both as a pulpit orator and a writer. We have reserved for our concluding notice of these volumes, a more special consideration of his character as a preacher, as analysed, we might almost say dissected, by his friend Mr. Foster, whose disquisition, the Reviewer in the British Critic remarks, 'like every thing which issues from the mind of that distinguished 'writer, is singularly acute and powerful, and, withal, tremendously 'elaborate.' It is, indeed, a most valuable dissertation upon the art and business of preaching, touching upon a variety of topics connected with the proper discharge of pulpit ministrations.
The graphic powers of the Writer's pen are displayed with admirable success in the exact portrait of Mr. Hall as he appeared in the pulpit.
'As a preacher, none of those contemporaries who have not seen him in the pulpit, or of his readers in another age, will be able to conceive an adequate idea of Mr. Hall. His personal appearance was in striking conformity to the structure and temper of his mind. A large-built, robust figure was in perfect keeping with a countenance formed as if on purpose for the most declared manifestation of internal power; a power impregnable in its own strength, as in a fortress, and constantly, without an effort, in a state for action. That countenance was usually of a cool, unmoved mien at the beginning of the public service; and sometimes, when he was not greatly excited by his subject, or was repressed by pain, would not acquire a great degree of temporary expression during the whole discourse. At other times, it would kindle into an ardent aspect as he went on, and toward the conclusion become lighted up almost into a glare. But for myself, I doubt whether I was not quite as much arrested by his appearance in the interval while a short part of the service, performed without his assistance, immediately before the sermon ', allowed him to sit in silence. With his eyes closed, his features as still as death, and bis head sinking down almost on his chest, he presented an image of entire abstraction. For a moment, perhaps, he would seem to awake to a perception of the scene before him, but instantly relapse into the same state. It was interesting to imagine the strong internal agency which it was certain was then employed on the yet unknown subject about to be unfolded to the auditory.'
Mr. Foster proceeds to describe his manner of public prayer,
* Persons unacquainted with the Dissenting order of service may, perhaps, wonder in what this part consisted. It is usually called the singing, and this term too often describes all that it is, but not all that it ought to be. If it were worship, there would be a manifest impropriety in the minister's taking no part in it. If it be only an interval intended for the relief and repose of the minister, it were earnestly to be desired that some more seemly expedient were adopted; such as the reading of a scripture lesson, or some performance that did not affect to be devotion.
which, 'considered as an exercise of thought, was not exactly 'what would have been expected from a mind constituted like his.'
'As to the devotional spirit, there could be but one impression. There was the greatest seriousness and simplicity, the plainest character of genuine piety, humble and prostrate before the Almighty. Both solemnity and good taste forbade indulgence in any thing showy or elaborately ingenious in such an employment. But there might have been, without any approach to any such impropriety, and, as it always appeared to me, with great advantage, what I may venture to call a more thinking performance of the exercise; a series of ideas more reflectively conceived, and more connected and classed, if I may so
express it, in their order The succession of sentences appeared
almost casual, or in a connexion too slight to hold the hearer's mind distinctly, for a time, to a certain object. A very large proportion of the series consisted of texts of Scripture; and as many of these were figurative, often requiring, in order to apprehend their plain sense, an act of thought for which there was not time, the mind was led on with a very defective conception of the exact import of the phraseology. He did not avail himself of the portion of Scripture he had just read, as a guiding suggestion of subjects for the prayer; and very seldom made it bear any particular relation to what was to follow as the subject of the discourse.'
In one word, the public prayers of Mr. Hall were singularly and strikingly inartificial. In illustrating this characteristic, Mr. Foster must be considered as bearing testimony to the singleness of purpose, the entire sincerity, and the heart-felt devotion which those who heard Mr. Hall engage in any devotional exercise, could not but ascribe to him. By some persons, the very excellence of his prayers may be thought to have consisted in what Mr. Foster describes as their deficiencies. That they should have consisted of a succession of spontaneous expressions of devout feeling, rather than of' trains of petitionary thought', or of 'ac'cumulated sentiments' on any specific topic,—that they should have savoured so much more of the closet than of the pulpit,— that there should have been uniformly observable so entire an avoidance of intellectual effort, such an abeyance of the imagination, such a prostration of soul before the footstool of the Divine Majesty,—will be regarded by many as constituting the true beauty and moral sublimity of Mr. Hall's devotional exercises. Upon our own minds, we must confess, the governing impression which they produced was, This is prayer; this is worship. And the almost irresistible result of such an impression is, to join in the act, and, instead of a listener, to become a worshipper.
We are extremely anxious to do justice to Mr. Foster's sentiments upon this important topic. The opinions of such a writer are entitled to deferential attention; and something maybe learned from them, even when we are compelled to question their entire soundness. We must concede that Mr. Hall's public prayers might have been all that we have described them, in point of spirit, and yet their structure have been different. The feeling might have been perfectly inartificial, even if the composition had not been so. The most natural feelings of sincere devotion are continually being expressed in the highly artificial form of verse. There can be no reason, then, why premeditated trains of thought and precomposed forms or modes of expression should not be rendered subservient to the pouring forth of the most unaffected feelings of penitence, holy aspiration, and humble intercession. Had Mr. Hall studied his expressions or the order of his thoughts in prayer, we feel persuaded that the result of his highest elaboration would only have been, a more perfect simplicity of phraseology, a rejection of figurative language, and a studious accommodation of the style of thought to the humblest capacity.
There is also a very important distinction between precomposing prayers for public delivery, and studying the best method and models of devotional exercises. Admitting prayer to be a gift, (as is every qualification,) it is a gift that requires cultivation; and the unpremeditated effusions of the heart will take their character from the pains bestowed upon preparatory acquisitions. "To him that hath, shall be given." The spirit of prayer is most likely to be imparted to him who has honoured the Author of that spirit, by applying the best faculties of his mind to the consideration of the most appropriate method of conducting this solemn part of our religious services. In rejecting forms of prayer, there is some danger, perhaps, of running to the opposite extreme of undervaluing models of devotion: a study of these might correct the taste, enrich the barrenness, and elevate the feelings of many who, from mistaken notions, have been led to inflict upon their congregations the vapid production of customary occasion.
But we are apprehensive lest Mr. Foster's remarks should be understood as countenancing, not merely 'a more thinking per'formance of the exercise', but a style of thinking or of performance which we should earnestly deprecate. No one, he hopes, will mistake his meaning so far as to imagine, that he is recommending the introduction of 'pieces of discussion, formal deve'lopments of doctrine, nice casuistical distinctions, like sections 'of a theological essay.' But his disclaiming such a meaning seems to intimate, that the style he is recommending might run into that most unhappy species of impropriety. Mr. Foster must have heard such specimens of preaching prayers, to a devotional mind most distressing. It has happened to us to attend at places of worship where the whole service has seemed to us to consist of sermon. The minister has first prayed a sermon, then the congregation have sung a short sermon, and thirdly, has come the regular discourse. We cannot conceal our extreme jealousy lest, in objecting against Mr. Hall's prayers, which were at the furthest remove from a sermonizing cast, Mr. Foster should be thought to favour the practice of praying to a congregation, or at them, instead of conducting a common act of devotion. In recommending a selection of topic, with a view to variety and impression, he says:
'I might ask, why should sermons be constructed to fix the attention of a mixed congregation on distinct parts of religion, instead of being, each in succession, vaguely discursive over the whole field? / mould not say that the two exercises are under the same law; but still, is there a propriety, that, in a discourse for religious instruction, some selected topics should stand forth in marked designation, to work one certain effect on the understanding or the feelings, and no propriety that any corresponding principle should be observed in those prayers which may he supposed to request, and with much more than a passing momentary interest, such things as that instruction would indicate as most important to be obtained?'
If Mr. Foster means only to recommend, in public prayer, a definiteness of object and language, as opposed to a vague generality of expression which is comprehensive of nothing, and which is unaffecting because it is unmeaning;—if he intends only to suggest the desirableness of a specific adaptation in the matter of supplication to the occasion and the other parts of the service,— of a detcrminateness in the general direction of the thoughts, so that prayer shall seem, what it always ought to be, the fruit of meditation, and the expression of deliberate desire;—then, we must say, that we entirely agree with him, and should be happy to believe that his remarks will gain attention where they are likely to be most useful. 'Distinct and somewhat prolonged 'petition' on different topics, would give not only variety, but greater propriety to our public prayers. Only let it be petition, not description; let it be the iteration of desire, not the mere amplification of sentiment. In a word, let it be prayer. Whatever deficiency there might be in the structure of Mr. Hall's public devotional exercises, considered as a model, (on which our limited opportunities of hearing him prevent us from pronouncing a decided opinion,) the fervour, simplicity, and reality of his prayers rendered them, as regarded their spirit, most impressive and worthy of imitation.
The very reverse of this 'defect of concentration' or inde'terminateness in the direction of thought,' imputed to Mr. Hall's public prayers, was conspicuous in his preaching.
'He surpassed perhaps all preachers of recent times, in the capital excellence of having a definite purpose, a distinct assignable subject, in each sermon. Sometimes, indeed, as when intruders had robbed him