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help observing, that if Dr. Milne sacrificed elegance and neatness for the purpose of securing energy, and producing a better and stronger effect on the Reader, we are sorry his good wishes Thould have so poorly succeeded. We do not so much bewail the sacrifice of the smaller beauties of language, when the defect is supplied by the greater and more fubftantial excellencies of sentiment and argument. But, alas! Dr. Milne's loss of neatness is accompanied with a want of force; and where we miss Hermes, we do not meet with Minerva.

These sermons are very long : and for the reason for which the Author may think them excellent, we think them tedious. The arguments employed in them, so far from being placed in a frong point of view, are weakened by the uncommon length to which they are drawn out : and whatever might be their effect when delivered from the pulpit with the accompaniments of voice and action, we are persuaded they will lose that effect on the sober and more judicious Reader; who, instead of being charmed by the fascination of oratory, will be disgusted to see the simple truths of the gospel gaudily decked out in me. retricious ornaments, and the chafter beauties of language loft amidst a redundancy of tawdry metaphors, and glaring but insipid expletives.

The figure of rhetoric to which Dr. Milne is most indebted for his eloquence, is that which the Greeks called the Periphrafis. It is a very common and commodious figure, and generally makes a great shew in the pulpit. ' It is (as our good old Scriblerus observed long ago) the spinning-wheel of the bathos, which draws out and spreads a thought into the finest thread.' So fine, indeed, that, at times, it is Icarcely discernible by she acuteft eye! We shall produce several examples of Dr. Milne's remarkable dexterity in the working and management of this fame spinning-wheel. No matter where we turn, Every page almoft presents a proof of our Preacher's skill. In the third sermon (viz. On Death) we meet with the following very lamentable description of a very doleful subject. [N. B. We mall cautiously note by a numeral mark every divifion, and sub-division, and sub-subter-division of this curious. pasage, that the Doctor's knack at amplification may be readily observed, and the value of it arithmetically estimated.] « To die :

• To die:— to disappear from all the objects which surround him to be turn from the intimate society in which he had lived with a father-with a familywith friends with congenial souls-with kindred spirits, whose

(2) sentiments and desires, whose hopes and fears wete'the fame :

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to go he knows not where :- to lie in cold obstruction

VI and to rot:'—to be removed from a splendid apartment, furnished with every accommodation and elegance, into the dark,

3 unfurnished, contracted chamber of the grave :—from a bed

3 of softness and luxury, to a dank, loathsome, subterraneous grotto: - to embark on the boundless ocean of eternity :to become from “ fenfible, warm motion,” a motionless, insen

3 fible, “ kneaded clod”-the food of worms--the horror of men

X -the hideous deposit of a tomb :this spectacle alone held up to fancy, disturbs the senses-darkens the imagination-and

3 embitters all the sweets of life.' “I with (says Yorick) that the Preacher had brought it in Judden death." ( I have known a regiment (says Uncle Toby) slaughtered in less time.” “ It is like your Honour's wound (lays Corporal Trim). 'Tis a d-n'd tedious affair. I'd forfeit my Montero cap, if I made half the ado about it that the parfon doth.”

In a sermon on the Consolations of Amiction,' the Author thus expands a common thought beyond all necessary bulk and proportion, by blowing it out with the fwelling blaft of amplification. Virtue, strengthened by Christian faith, and ani. mated by Christian hope, is unchangeable. Like her eternal Fountain, “ the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor fhadow of turning,” she is “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever :" her pleasures, her supports, her consolations the fame. They reft upon a basis which nothing can fubvert. They are established on a rock which the rain may batter, the floods beat upon, and the winds affail ; but shall affail, beat upon, and batter in vain. Free and independent, the rises nobly fuperior to chance and accident; and is equally unaffected by the frowns as by the smiles, by the ebb as by the flow of fortune, Though troubled on every side, she is not dejected; though perplexed, yet not in despair, assured as the is that the Lord of Hofts is with her, that the God of Jacob is her refuge.

Dr. Milne, like most orators of the new school of the BATHOS, frequently runs one metaphor into another, and produces such a crude assemblage of heterogeneous images, that the eye can perceive no diftinct object, or any confiftent relation or fimilitude. In the above passage, virtue is said to issue from a fountain; and yet the stream (for it must be a stream that pro



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ceeds from a fountain) is modified into a solid mass--and that too, for aught we perceive to the contrary, without the help of congelation. This folid mass is erected into some kind of building, and is fixed upon a rock, and though battered by rain, keeps its station,

Another example of mixed metaphors we find in the fame discourse. The recollected pleasures of humanity and virtue Thall maintain their wonted vigour, « flourish in immortal youth,” fupport us in the most critical moments of diftress, like hope, be an anchor to the soul both fure and ftedfast, make infirmity smile, smooth the bed of languishing, and render the evening of life" serene and chcarful.' Now what connection is there in the several images of this gaudy picture? What is it that acts like an anchor and smooths a bed? This combination of inconsistent figures of speech is such a capital fault in language, and withal so common with those orators who are seized with the

rage of eloquence the furor grandisonus — that we think it a duty, which as public Critics we owe to the world, to expose it to the ridicule it deserves, and thus guard, as far as our inAuence extends, the English tongue from every innovation that the vanity of some and the folly of others are so frequently attempting to make on its purity and simplicity.

To the affectation of a pompous, high-sounding, figurative style, we may add another that is equally disgusting to persons of a chaste and well-regulated taste : and that is, the affectation of introducing scraps of plays in the very body of a sentence which treats of some grave or awful point of religion. These dramatic fragments are generally gathered from Shakespear : but however excellent they may be in their place, we think they look a little oddly by the side of a text of scripture. Take the following example of this absurd and conceited mixture of scripture and plays, &c. &c. • hope of immortality! thou art indeed our early, our anticipated heaven. Without thee we can do nothing : and with thee animating, supporting, strengthening us, we are enabled to do and to suffer all things. good distrest”-I address you in the beautiful language of the moralist; “ Ye noble few who here unbending stand beneath life's pressure, yet bear up awhile.” Dispute it bravely. Quit yourselves like men: “ yet bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,” . and “lash "the faucy waves" of discontent and murmuring, “ which throng and press to rob you of your prize." “ The ftorms of wintry time shall quickly pass, and one unbounded spring encircle all.” – -St. Paul, Shakespear and Thomson ! Dulce fodalitium ! But Dr. Milne hath the art of joining together what good fense, decorum, and Christian reverence would always keep asunder ;-at least in the pulpit !


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Dr. Milne was not content with Job's own account of at. felf-an account sufficiently large and particular ; but he muft needs make an addition to it by foisting in a quotation from a play. The patriarch describing his former prosperity makes use of the following beautiful and simple allufion ; “ My root was {pread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.” Dr. Milne spreads out this branch only for the pur. pose of blasting it in the end. In fine, says he, Job diffused his branches like Lebanon ; and the shade of him filled the land : yet in one night “ a storm, a robbery shook down his mellow hangings, stript him of his leaves, and left him bare to weather.”

We are the more severe on this puerile affectation of introducing hackneyed passages from plays, &c. into fermons, as the evil is become a growing one-especially among the younger part of the clergy. The gayer tribe amongst the Diflenters too are running very fast into this absurdity: and as we consider it as a certain mark of a vicious taste, and a great abuse, not to say a desecration, of the pulpit, we shall make no apology for che freedom with which we have censured it; and thall be happy if any, warned by the example of Dr. Milne, attend more seriously to a maxim of the highest authority, viz-" Not to put a piece of new cloth upon an old garment; for that which is put to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse!"

It is seldom that a pompous diction can be uniformly supported even by the greatest masters. Though it sometimes Twells as if it was ready to burst into blank verse, and may perhaps take its vent and go off this way; yet we as frequently find an intermixture of low, flat words, which finks the majesty of the sentence, and represseth the burning ardour with which it set out.

For example: Prosperous hitherto (says Dr. Milne), we entertain few apprehensions that the tide of prosperity can ever be changed. We atrach ourselves to second causes. The great First Cause of all we discern not, We see not the Sovereign Wisdom which rules among the inhabitants of the earth and sports itself with the affairs of mortals by subjecting them to perpetual vicissitudes.'

We have heard of an impudent fellow's Sporting a face upon an occasion at a table to which he had no invitation. We have heard also of a knavish inn-keeper's sporting off cyder for champaign on his guests when they have been half-drunk. But never, till Dr. Milne informed us of it, did we either read or hear of Infinite Wisdom's Sporting itself on any occafion whatsoever.

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One low word spoils all the dignity and beauty of the following description of our Saviour's sufferings. Jesus wept : but when? Was it when he endured the contradiction of sinners against himself? Was it when he was betrayed by one dis. ciple, denied by another, and abandoned by all ? Was it, &c. &c. &c. &c. His soul disdains the meanness. He dropt not a tear. He uttered not a groan. He spoke not a word. Was it then when scourged, when buffeted, when crowned with thorns, when arrayed in a ludicrous robe, when spit upon, when boodwinked, when addressed with the mock honours of royalty, or when struck by the very servants with the palms of their hands?

In a discourse on the deceitfulness of fin' (for the beginning of which he is indebted, though he doth not acknowledge the obligation, to Yorick's sermon on Conscience), we are presented with the following cluster of incompatible images. He fosters a viper which eats into his bowels. He drinks of a cup, which though sweet as honey, like the prophet's roll, yet like the book devoured by St. John, is bitter in the belly, nay stings as a serpent, and bites as an adder.' Here vipers, serpents, adders, honey, prophets, apostles, books, rolls, bowels and bellies, “ dance (as Junius observes of a similar mixture of strange figutes) through all the mazes of metaphorical confusion !”

Dr. Milne sometimes condescends to foften the high tone of Ciceronian eloquence, and plays with pretty points and antitheses. • Is it (he asks) so difficult for a man to cross himself, as to take up the cross and follow the Saviour - through the rugged roads of adversity, as through the “primrose path” of affluence and Splendor ? Take another example of the preacher's delectable manner of sporting with words. • Tell me when he began to love you, and I will tell you to what age you are permited to offend him. He loved you before vou had an existence, and thall you not love him whilft you exist? It was in the flower of his years that the Saviour died for you: and in the flower of your years fall you disdain to live for him ?' Old puritanical “ Dyer's Golden Chain”--to be worn about the necks of the babes in Christ, is not ornamented with a prettier toy!

One would imagine that Dr. Milne had been conversant with the writings of Dr. Everard and the myftic preachers of the last century, by the propensity which he discovers of turning to allegory, what is related as a fact. Hence he calls our Saviour the " invincible Sampson, who, if he had pleat. d, could have thivered the nails and ine chains to atoms.'- By the fame licence of departing from the letter, he talks of ':19htering, like Judith, our spiritual Hoioferneshe masterit, which, though but one in ipecies, produces, chcuihes, and tusa tifies many more.' Rev. May, 1780.



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