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On Mr. West's Pictures.
of Pope, speaks of the poet thus :- in itself does not thereby lose any of “ That he was not scrupulously pious its enormity; and I cannot prevail in some parts of his life, is known by with myself to believe, that it was many idle and indecent applications originally introduced by Christians, of sentences taken from the Scrip- but, rather, has been by them borrowed tures; a mode of merriment which a from unbelievers, and the avowed a good man dreads for its profane- enemies to religion; and that nothing
a witty man disdains for but its gradual advances could bide its easiness and vulgarity.” (Lives of its real odiousness, and create an inPoets, vol. 4, p. 93. Edin. 1815.) And difference to a practice so shocking Dr. Dick, in his admirable treatise and irreverent. on the inspiration of the New Testament, referring, as I suppose, to Dr. ON MR. west's PICTURES. Johnson's remarks, observes, “Such witticisms, it bath been well said, a
By S. Hughes. man of taste will despise for their vulgarity, and a good man will abhor for At the time my late friend, Mr. West, their profaneness.” (See Sec. 4. for was gratuitously exhibiting his Death other excellent remarks on the same of Nelson, for many weeks at his own subject.)
house, I, after viewing it with great 4. The practice wounds the minds of satisfaction, was informed by himself many. This may be inferred from the that it was the work of less than five citations introduced into the last par- months. I then inquired for the Deticular. Consider also the situation | luge, a picture, of which I had seen of young converts. Consider, too, the the finished sketch at the exhibition nature, craft, and vigilance, of the several years before, and which bad old serpent; and you will soon disco- made so deep an impression on my ver the interest he must feel in lessen- mind and memory, that to this hour í ing the value and importance of the recollect the awe and astonishment it Bible, and in representing those who inspired. “ I will shew it you,” he trifle with its contents as insincere, replied, with his usual politeness; and and religion itself a farce; and thus led me into the ante-room, where it he may shake their faith, and by de- stood beside the Death of Wolfe, of grees influence them to slight the which I shall first speak. word, and at length to treat it as a “This picture,” said Mr. W. “is cunningly devised fable. But we ap- the property of Lord Grosvenor, and peal to facts ; and the hearts of num- the original. I painted five; the King bers, now established with, or fallen has the second, and the third is my from grace, will testify their abhor- own, and in the next room by the side rence of the practice in question, when of Nelson. I was a young painter they first embraced the truth. What- (continued he) when I executed this; ever tends to weaken or destroy the the date (pointing to it) is 1766.” I design of God in the gift of his holy remarked I had seen a picture on the word, must give pain to seriously same subject about three years before disposed persons, whose minds are that date, with very few figures in it. alive to the injury produced ; and -He replied, “ Yes, that was painted nothing can exonerate those Christ- by Penny, and is a plain matter-ofians from blame, whose minds are fact history; but I deemed it insuffinot wounded, except inconsideration, cient to convey to posterity the death which may, and does arise in most of so great a man. I therefore proinstances, from local causes, such, posed to several of the first artists, an for instance, as early impressions and epic delineation of that event, as education.
worthy their pencil; but not finding io conclude : Until I am convinced any one inclined to undertake it, I that it is possible to entertain too high resolved to attempt it myself.”—And a reverence for the word of God, I if I recollect right, he then added, shall not easily be persuaded that the “it was in the first exhibition at above remarks are too severe ; for, Somerset House.” Mr. West must though I am ever so willing to allow have been then in the thirtieth year of that many trifle with and profane the his age, as he was born in 1738. sacred Scriptures for want of thought, After pointing out the vivid beauty yet I must maintain, that the practice of the colours, mellowed by time, which was truly admirable, I recurred the great man, and express all the to the Deluge, which possessed no baneful passions raging in his breast, attraction on account of its fine than any other individual in that colours. “This picture," said Mr. group. West, “ that so much engages your I remember once, when the Deluge attention, is one of a series of scripture was the subject of our conversation, history, which I painted by desire of Mr. West said, “I painted that picthe King, and is, with all these you ture in Windsor Castle twenty years see four deep, the property of the ago; and as the King frequently King ;” adding, “I never pleased visited me when at work, he was myself better than in the execution of pleased to say, when it was in a state this picture. I had seen all the De- of forwardness, that he would bring luges in Europe, done by painters of the Queen to see it; which he did.eminence, but none pleased me, as The windows of the painting room they all were descriptive of the begin- commanded a most extensive prosning of the calamity, and only pro- pect, and the rain was falling in torduced a consternation, such as a village rents, which augmented the awfulness on fire would. I therefore chose a of the picture so much, that the Queen point of time when the awful judg- was struck with a feeling that would ment had taken place, and the waters not permit ber staying to contemplate were subsiding ;” adding, “I did not it; she apologized, and withdrew, intend to have parted with the sketch, saying she would view it some future but I yielded it to much solicita- day.” tion.”
I relate this, Mr. Editor, as a proof In short, Mr. Editor, I was so of the striking awfulness, and sublime deeply impressed with the contempla- grandeur, of the work. Such was the tion of this awful and sublime picture, impression on her Majesty, Qaeen and the conversation of the great art-Charlotte, and not much less on myist thereon, that my little muse haunt- self; and if you will accept my deed me, till I wrote a description, not scription, it shall be transcribed and of the deluge, but of the picture, and transmitted to you for publication, it was honoured by Mr. West's warm if you approve it-it is only fifty-two approbation, who assured me, that as lines in blank verse. a short historical notice or description would be annexed to each of the scripture pieces, my lines should be attached to the Deluge, as, he was BE DERIVED FROM THE STUDY OF pleased to say, a better could not be
NATURE, FORMING A PRINCIPAL PART given. I revised, and made a trifling
IN THE SYSTEM OF POLITE EDUCAalteration in the poem afterwards, by TION. the advice of my friend Mr. Cumberland, who honoured me with his pa
“ The heavens declare the glory of God, tronage, and permitted me to inscribe And the firmament sheweth his handy work.” a small volume with his honoured name.—“Too early lost, tho' bless'd WhetHER our attention is attracted with length of days.”
by a survey of that beautiful canopy I frequently saw the Healing the which is suspended over us,-whether Sick in the Temple while it was in our thoughts are directed to the conprogress, and observed that the artist templation of ourselves,—whether we changed a beautiful child, presented reflect upon the harmony which preby its mother, to a sick child : for this vails throughout all animated nature, change, I felt some regret, as the first-or, whether we observe the exquiwas admirable, and, as I thought, site beauty discernible in the form required a superior exertion of talent, and variety of numberless hidden to delineate ; but I doubt not he had a gems,—yet all conspire to prove the good reason for so doing.
greatness, the goodness, and the Referring to the picture of “Christ mercy, of that Supreme Being, by Rejected,” on which we had a long whom we were created. The contemconversation, and which to me was very interesting, he said, the High
* We shall be glad to receive the above Priest cost him more care, pains, and lines as soon as convenient to the writer. exertion, to preserve the character of
ON THE ADVANTAGES WHICH MIGHT
1046 plation of the sun, the moon, and the from their parents, or instructors, not stars, imperceptibly elevates our taking the trouble of studying their thoughts to that Deity, by whose vivi- natural propensities.-Geography, it fying hand they were formed out of must be allowed, now composes an chaos; and we require neither the essential part of polished education; comprehensive mind of a Newton or yet it is of too circumscribed a dea Herschell, to convince us they were scription to extend to the reasoning created by Omnipotence.
faculties; and, instead of the pupils
being taught to study the causes, which -“ These are thy glorious works, Parent produced a distinction of character in of Good !
the inhabitants of different countries, Almighty!—Thine, this universal frame ! Thus wondrous fair,_Thyself, how wondrous their attention is chiefly directed to then !”
some skining edifice. Alike incomprehensible to our finite
“ The proper study of mankind, is man;" capacities, is the blazing meteor, which and can any rational cause be assignexcites apprehension in the minds of ed, why the same kind of study should the superstitious; and the humble not be equally beneficial to the female flower, that is born to blush unseen, sex? for though their sphere of action in the environs of their cottages ! - is much more circumscribed, yet a Though the contemplation of the earth, knowledge of human nature must its animals, vegetables, and minerals, eventually prove instructive to females is too much neglected in the system of in general. education, what an extensive scope Where children are taught every would such a study afford to the rea- thing by lessons,' observes Miss soning faculties ! And even allowing, Hammilton, “where the perceptive for a moment, that no instructive know- powers are never exercised, and their ledge could be obtained from it, yet it conceptions never cultivated, all their must evidently tend to exalt our con- judgments are received from authoceptions of the Omnipotent. When rity," or, in other words, the child we reflect that the earth, that great acquires no new ideas, but embraces magazine of wealth, which affords those of its parent, or its governess. sustenance to man and animals, suc- To impress the heart with virtuous cessively moves round that orb by principles, and to call the reasoning which it is illuminated, without being faculties into action, are, or certainly in the slightest degree sensible of mo- ought to be, the prime objects in edution or movement, even the puerility cation; but mere lessons, unexemplified of childhood may be made sensible of by existing circumstances, will never the wonder-working hand of Provi- obtain these desirable acquisitions. dence.
Where then, it may be asked, shall “ Let us make man in our we find objects so completely calcuimage,” said the Creator, “and let lated to call forth the reasoning faculhim bave dominion over the fish of the ties, and to inspire the youthful breast sea, and over the fowls of the air, and with the most refined sentiments of over the cattle, and over all the morality and religion, as in contemearth, and over every creeping thing plating the works of nature, and tracthat creepeth on the earth;' thus ing the hand of Omnipotence in all giving him a superiority over the ani- her productions ? mate and inanimate creation. Even
In contemplating a bold and extenthe vegetable world offers, to the con- sive prospect, where every, object templative mind, a never-failing which surrounds us proclaims the source of beauty, wonder, and devo- greatness of that Being by whom tion ; and in the sublime language of they were called into existence;mor scripture, we are informed, that even if the eye at once embraces all those Solomon, in all his glory, was not picturesque beauties, which harmoarrayed like one of its modest lilies. nize with our ideas of order and per
With the abstruse sciences, of fection ;-do not our thoughts ascend, course, females can have only a partial and intuitively seem to penetrate into connection; yet how many children, those realms of immortal felicity, who have neither taste nor ear for which are to become the habitation of music, are compelled to make a per- the righteous ? fect drudgery of that accomplishment, Let the most stedfast unbe
liever,” says the enlightened author of | -Could a reflecting mind survey the the Guardian, “ open his eyes, and order and utility of the smallest bodies take a survey of the sensible world, which are created, and entertain a and then say, if there be not a con- doubt of the immortality of the soul ? nection, an adjustment, an exact Shall all animated nature be suffered and constant order, discoverable in to fulfil its designs and purposes, yet all its parts ?-Look into the animal man be cut off in the very midst of system, the passions, senses, and lo- his pursuits? “Shall creation be all comotive powers; are not the like con- order," observes Sir Richard Steele, trivance and propriety equally obser- “ and yet the spirits or souls of men vable? are they not fitted to certain be neglected, or managed by such ends? and are they not by nature ad- rules, as fall short even of finite undermirably directed to their different ob- standing? Shall every other passion jects and pursuits ?”
be rightly placed by nature, and shall Merely to perceive, without reflect that appetite of immortality natural to ing upon the beauty and uniformity of all. mankind, be misplaced or frusnature, somewhat resembles the folly | trated ? Shall the industrious appliof a youthful artist, who gazes upon cation of the inferior animal powers a picture drawn by the pencil of a in the meanest vocations, be answered proficient, who professes to admire, by the ends we purpose? and shall not without taking the trouble of studying the generous efforts of a virtuous. the exactitude of its proportions. In- mind meet with a just reward? In a sensible must be the heart, which word, shall the corporeal world be all never experienced a sublimity of sen- order and harmony, and the intellectiment, when the luxuriant charms tual,--discord and confusion ?" To beof nature were presented to the view ; | lieve this possible, would be to doubt -yet there are characters in the the evidence of our own conscience, world, who would be alike insensible and to discredit the most decided testo the bold scenes in Switzerland, and timonies of revelation ; it would be to the picturesque prospect from the Vale doubt the assurance of Him, who is of Arno.
the fountain of all knowledge, and Nature, when cither viewed from from whose lips flowed the language the most majestic mountain, or sar- of truth and eloquence. veyed in the minuter eminence raised “If Christ be not risen, then is our by the industrious ant, is equally an faith vain;” said that Apostle, whose object worthy the attention of the conversion was one of most convincignorant and the enlightened; for the ing proofs of the Godhead of our Resmallest insect that creeps or llies was deemer; for this man, who was in the formed by that Omnipotent Being, very act of persecuting the believers in who created the great Leviathan and Christianity, became one of its sinthe ponderous elephant !
cerest advocates, by the merciful Not a sparrow falls to the ground, interposition of our Saviour.--He it or a hair of the head becomes disco- was, who bore record of the soul's loured, without the knowledge and immortality, and who beheld the Son permission of the omniscient Parent of God after he had risen from the of the Universe; and this we are dead. assured of in that sacred volume, I have, however, rather deviated written by the pen of inspiration. from the subject of this paper; yet it “If God clothes the grass of the field, is scarcely possible to reflect upon the which to-day is, and to-morrow is beauty and order of creation, without cast into the oven, shall he not much finding the heart spontaneously directed more clothe you, O ye of little faith ?” to nature's God! This direction is It is by studying nature, connected both to be wished, and hoped for, in with piety of principle, that the study those who are principally intended to will not only become interesting, but benefit by these remarks; for it is to beneficial ; for surely nothing can more the young, the unenlightened, and the completely tend to elevate our feel- affluent, that I would peculiarly reings, than contemplating the Deity, commend the study of nature. Let it in the order and perfection of his not be supposed I wish the more abworks. This study I am persuaded struse parts of the study to occupy would of itself be sufficient to inspire their attention; the most enlightened unbelief with the conviction of a God. I philosophy cannot satisfactorily ac
1050 count for the formation of a blade of I do not mention this circumstance grass; yet the range is wide which for the purpose of offering any adulalies before them, and equally full of tory incense to the memory of our entertainment and instruction.
deceased Princess, but for the pur“ The spacious firmament on bigh, pose of convincing those who are And all the blue ethereal sky,
interested in the welfare of the rising And spangled heav'n, a shining frame, generation, how much may be exTheir Great Original proclaim.'
pected from the study recommend. Whether we behold the works of l :-An innate principle of piety marked
the actions of Her Royal Highness, that Great Original in the creature formed after his own image, or whe- from the very moment ber superior ther we trace him in the minutest of understanding began to be unfolded; all created things; when we reflect mented by the precepts of the Bishop
a piety, which, no doubt, was augthat the sands upon the sea shore, of Salisbury and the departed Counand the very hairs upon our head, are
tess. Let it not be supposed I mean numbered, we can scarcely avoid exclaiming,
to infer, that the partiality the princess
testified for the study of nature, was “ How complicate-how wonderful is man! the means of calling into exercise the How passing wonder He, who made him practice of various duties; yet, had such !”
she derived gratification from more Whilst the sublimity of the study | frivolous accomplishments, I am inI an desirous of recommending clined to believe a less admirable exexpands the faculties, it tends, if I ample of benevolence would have been may be allowed the expression, to set; for the very instance of the sun's humanize the character ; teaching the shining with equal lustre upon the observer to know, that the prince and prince and the peasant, proved that the peasant alike derive benefit from the reflections excited by that study the bounteous hand of nature ; and that had produced a most desirable effect. the sun shines with equal lustre upon the lofty and the humble!
That consciousness of superiority; Review.-The Life of John Goodwin, arising from the pride of birth, and pomp of riches, which sycophantine
4. M. comprising an Account of the
Controversies in which he was engaged dependants are too prone to excite and cherish in the youthful breast, by
in Defence of Religious Liberty, and the adulatory expressions in which
of General Redemption. By Thomas
Jackson. In 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 459. young persons are addressed, would, if the study of nature were accompa
With a fine Portrait. London: 1822. nied by admonitory instruction, be considerably diminished in its effect. To No one who attaches importance to the extreme pleasure, which the first the question, Whether the salvation youthful female in this country derived of all mankind, or or only a part of from this interesting study, even in them, be possible ? can look upon the the earlier stage of her existence, is in subject litigated between the adhesome measure to be ascribed that rents of Calvin, and the followers of compassionating sympathy, which was Arminius, with indifference. When so invariably displayed towards all persons whose names rank high for her grandfather's suffering subjects ; learning and religion, are seen to have for in one of her morning excursions enlisted themselves under the banners with the Countess of Elgin, after hav- of their respective leaders, and the ing stopped the carriage for the pur- contest has been continued through a pose of relieving an aged mendicant, long succession of years, it is desirashe exclaimed, (as he walked away, ble to mark the progress of the controanimated by her munificence,) “You versy, and to ascertain whether the see, Ma'am, the sun does not shine question at issue is any thing nearer warmer upon me, than upon that poor decision, or whether it must always old man!" then with a sigh, which remain interminable; whether reflection had excited, she added, sions on either side have been made, - but what a difference in the future and to what extent; whether the resistworld was there between Dives and ance offered on the one part has Lazarus !”
been so far subdued by the other, as No. 46.-VOL. IV.