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firm and consistent. He conceived them to speak the language of scripture, which, in his view of it, was decidedly adverse to the sentiments of Calvin. Upon this point I wish to be distinctly understood as asserting from my own positive knowledge, that in no one article of faith, as far as they differ from our church, did he sanction the tenets of that school; on the contrary, I have heard him repeatedly, and in the most unqualified terms, espress his astonishment, that any soberminded man, sitting down without prejudice to the study of the sacred writings, should so explain and understand them.'
He was a true friend also to the discipline of the Church, and supported it with firmness on just occasions. In the cant language of the day, he was often styled a methodist: but, as far as disapprobation of wild fanaticism and enthusiastic pretensions to immediate inspiration could exempt a man from this imputation, no one was ever more free from it.On some points connected with the relative state of the church and dissenters, he differed from many of his brethren; particularly in the zealous support which he invariably afforded the British and Foreign Bible Society.' That his views in this were truly benevolent, cannot admit of the slightest doubt; some indeed have questioned whether his conduct was as much guided by sound discretion as it was prompted by real goodness of heart; but this is foreign to our present business.
He was not friendly to the claims of the Irish Catholics, although he never publicly expressed his sentiments on the subject.
The following opinion is produced from his private papers by Mr. Hodgson, p. 200.
• If the petition from the Catholics of Ireland had been for a more complete toleration in matters of religion, though it can hardly, I think, be more complete than it is, there was not an individual in the House who would have given a more cordial assent to the petition, than myself. I am, and ever have been, a decided friend to liberty of conscience. The truth is, it is an application for political power, and that power, I for one, am not disposed to grant them, because I believe it would be difficult to produce a single instance where they have possessed political power in a Protestant country, without using it cruelly and tyrannically.' .
The bishop's reputation as a preacher was deservedly high., Independently of the sterling merit which his discourses possessed, he had the best external qualifications for excellence as a pulpit orator. His voice was clear and sonorous; he had the power of modulating it with good effect: his delivery was correct and chaste; his manner dignified and impressive. Above all, he appeared to feel as he spoke: there was an animation and earnestness about him, without the smallest tincture of art or affectation, which came home to the bosom of his hearers, and gave effect to every word.
Mr. Hodgson does not claim for him the credit of profound crudition or comprehensive research. He appears indeed to have possessed a mind, less forined for a close and patient investigation of any one subject, than for a diffused attention to several. We should characterise him rather as a just thinker, than a deep one. In regard to theological attainments, we should describe him as a clergyman well informed in the studies of his profession. He is said by his biographer to have been, to a certain degree, an Hebrew scholar, well versed in ecclesiastical history, in the evidences of religion, and in the different systems of theology: and we have no doubt that his knowledge in all these was sufficiently respectable. His apprehension seems to have been quick, his taste correct, and his memory retentive. The distinguishing and prominent feature of his mind was a rich and exuberant imagination, which gives a peculiar warmth and colouring to his style. He did not excel in analysis or nice discrimination, nor was he remarkable for a keen penetrating sagacity. As a reasoner, he is not distinguished by a close and logical accuracy: still his arguments are generally so well conceived, and always so dressed out with expression, as forcibly to strike the attention.
As a writer, Bishop Porteus now presents no doubtful claim to distinction; for the public voice long ago pronounced a decisiou in his favour by the most unequivocal of all proofs, the rapid and extensive circulation of his works. In the edition now before us, several of his compositions are mentioned as published for the 11th, 12th, and 13th time. It is creditable to the public taste that his writings should have acquired this high popularity; for their excellencies both as to matter and style, well deserve it. .
His sermons, 35 in number, occupy two volumes of the present edition: and it is on these that his literary reputation will chiefly rest. We consider them amongst the best productions of this kind, which the present times have produced. Without giving him the title of a first-rate master of eloquence, or placing him in the same rank with a Barrow or Jereiny Taylor, for copiousness and -richness of invention, and the subliner Aights of genius, we would claim for him a respectable rank amongst those divines who have composed useful, elegant, and impressive pieces of pulpit oratory. He appears to have written with ease to himself, to have had a ready command of words, and those generally the most proper. There is, on the one hand, a total absence of false glare and inflatiou; and on the other, an elevation of spirit which prevents his sinking into fatness and insipidity. The peculiar charm of his pulpit compositions is undoubtedly that which we mentioned to have characterised his manner of preaching; a degree of glow and animation, which shews him
have had be appears' elegant, and inongst those
to have entered with earnestness into his subject, and to have had all bis feelings interested it it. We see before us not the cool reasoner, but the zealous impassioned orator, who is earnestly bent, not merely on convincing, but on persuading; not merely on presenting the truths of which he treats, to the understandings of his bearers, but on impressing them deeply on their feelings. Accordingly, the department in which he particularly excels, is the application of his subject to the circumstances of those whom he addresses. If we were disposed to find any fault with the composition. of his discourses, it would be, that he is sometimes a little too desultory, there is an occasional tendency to fly off from one topic to another, and to press different views of the subject in a confused mass on the mind.
His lectures on the gospel of St. Matthew, which occupy also two volumes of this collection, have maintained, since their publication, that popularity with which they were received at their first delivery. It need not be said, that they present no claim to originality of research. The author had merely in view to excite the attention of the public to useful and improving topics, by digesting an exposition of the gospel in an alluring form, and in clear intelligible language. He has executed his task with accuracy and judgment. The lectures are not calculated for the learned theologian; but they will always form a useful manual for students and general readers who wish to obtain information on the subjects of which they treat. In these lectures, his bappy talent of inaking a forcible application to the feelings of his hearers, is, we think, more conspicuous, and more skilfully displayed than in his sermons.
Among his tracts, his Essay on the beneficial effects of Christianity displays more extensive research and general acquaintance with authors ancient and modern, than any other of his productions. A singular testimony to the merit of his little tract contain-, ing • A Summary of the Evidences of Christiauity,' is given by Mr. Hodgson (p. 280.). On its being projected to attempt the conversion of the Ceylonese, several tracts on the evidences of Christianity were put into the hands of some intelligent natives, in order to ascertain which was likely to have most effect: they all gave a decided preference to that of the Bishop. Accordingly, this tract was translated into the Cingalese language.
On the whole, Bishop Porteus must be pronounced a distine guished ornament of the English church. This church, if she does not rank him among the greatest and most prominent of her sons, for genius and erudition, will place him at the least, among those who have been most useful in their generation,
among those who have been most remarkable for unfeigned piety and active philanthropy. If she does not raise him to the same station with her Sherlocks, her Warburtons, and her Horsleys, she will delight to add his name to the list of her Tillotsons and her Seckers, of those who, possessing not a soaring genius, but respectable talents, have devoted themselves with unwearied industry to the most beneficial pursuits. Undoubtedly, there have been many English divines of more commanding powers, of more profound erudition, of greater polemical acuteness, than Bishop Porteus; but it might not be easy to name a prelate who has surpassed him in that rectitude of intention, benevolence of heart, and warmth of devotion, which are the brightest graces of the Christian character; or who has laboured with more sincere and earnest zeal, in endeavouring to purify the morals, to elevate the piety, and to promote the eternal welfare, of his fellow-creatures.
Art. III. Travels in the Island of Iceland, during the Summer
of the Year 1810. By Sir George Steuart Mackenzie, Baronet, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, &c. &c. &c. Edinburgh, Constable and Co., London, Longman and Co.; Cadell
and Davies ; Miller; and Murray. 4to. pp. 510. 1811. Journal of a Tour in Iceland, in the Summer of 1809. By
William Jackson Hooker, F. Í.. S. aud Fellow of the Weruerian Society of Edinburgh. London, Vernor and Co.; Miller, Albemarle-street. 8vo. pp. 545. 1811.
• A PART, how small, of this terraqueous globe
Is tenanted by man! the rest a waste,
Such is earth's melancholy map! SUCH, rather, was the gloomy humour in which Young conN templated it; for in reality the map is less dismal than the poet represents it; and if he had remenı bered the triunıphs over natural difficulties which man obtains, not less by the pliability than by the fortitude of his nature, he might have found matter for happier contemplations. The inoral map, indeed, may well make a wise man mournful, but not the physical one. The Arab, amid the sands of the desert, and the Greenlander, amid snows and everlasting ice, are equally contented with their lot: and if we were asked to lay our finger upon that spot of the globe where history affords to the philosopher the least cause for humiliation and sorrow, it would be upon an island in the Northern Ocean, situated upon the very limits of the living world.
Whether Iceland was the Ultima Thule of the ancients, is a question which has been much discussed, and which, were it possible, it would be of little importance to determine. The first person who is known to have seen it, was a northern pirate, by name Naddoc or Naddodr; he was driven thither by a tempest in the year 861, and gave it the appropriate name of Snoeland from its appearance. His report induced Gardar Suaversen, a Swede, to visit it, who, like some of our modern navigators, unnecessarily changed its name for the sake of substituting his own. The third visitor was Flokko: he took with him some ravens, and when he supposed himself near the end of his voyage, let one loose, thinking to be directed by its course ; but the bird, having soared to a great height, turned back toward Norway. After some days a second raven was liberated, which, like his ancestor of the ark, could find no rest for his feet, and returned to the vessel; but on the third and last trial, Ralph snuffed the land, and few straight towards it. Flokko seems to have gone either with the intention of forming a settlement, or of reconnoitering with a view to one; he past one winter at Watusfiordur, in the gulph of Breidafiord, and a second on the southern coast; and from the quantity of ice which, in the intervening spring, filled the gulph, he gave the island its present appellation. Upon his report, a party of Norwegian pobles, who could not brook their subjection to Harold Harfagre, determined to emigrate thither, under the guidance of Ingulf and his kinsman Hiorleif. Their leader took with him the door-posts of his former dwelling, and when he approached the coast, threw them into the sea, meaning to fix his house upon the spot where they should be stranded : this was a customary superstition among ihese northern adventurers ; akin to, and perhaps arising from a feeling still preserved with little diminution in Spain, where the solar or family foor is regarded with a sort of reverence, and gives an honorary title to old families. But Ingulf was borne away in a different direction, while that which should have guided him drifted out of sight. He landed at a promontory in the S. E. · part of the island, called at this day Ingulfshöfdi; the feeling, however, with which he regarded the custom of his country was so strong, that three years afterwards, when the door-posts were discovered, he removed with his family to the auspicious place. It happened, by a singular coincidence, to be the spot where the present capital of the island stands.
Iceland was not in those days the dreadful country which it is now; the climate was far less severe, and its tremendous volcanoes had not yet bruken out. The way once open, adventurers followed in great numbers. Harold encouraged this at first, because it rid him of turbulent spirits, whom it might have been difficult to restrain at home; but the emigration became so great, that YOL. VII. NO. XIII. .