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fore it passed into a settled conviction in the minds of many, that he was hostile to that hierarchy and parochial clergy, which it was his single object to render the blessing and glory of the land. But if they had been called upon to state the grounds of their suspicion and mistrust, strong as they were, they must have been content to rest them upon his occasional advocacy of the cause of the dissenters, though he never upheld it in such a manner as to impeach the rectitude of his doings, as an ecclesiastical ruler; for I am not prepared to allow this invidious remark of Noble, "that he was in profession a prelate, in sentiment a dissenter." Now why he should have rendered himself obnoxious to those with whom, upon all questions of great public importance he generally sided, may certainly be thought a strange and almost incredible anomaly in politics. The explanation of this phenomenon is to be found in certain peculiarities in the character of Burnett.

Holding the same language with the Whigs respecting the British constitution, and by no means averse to the name and functions of a party-man, his mind was of too firm, uncompromising, and conscientious a cast, to make that sacrifice of private judgment, which the principle of party requires. Upon points where the object evidently sought was not so much the general good, as the gratification of private views, passions, and resentments, he was bold to shake off this thraldom,-to call things and persons by their right names-and to show himself as honest in the practice as in the theory of his politics, by speaking as vehemently and bluntly to his friends, as to his antagonists. Fearing the face of no man, he scorned to bend to their prejudices, or to lean to their particular interests or considerations. There was a magnanimity of principle which made knaves feel as knaves-and fools as fools.— Here, then, shone forth, in Burnett, the primitive simplicity of the christian minister. And this it was which caused so many of his political associates to be backward in their commendation of his high moral and intellectual endowments. In this way only, can the two foregoing questions admit of an easy and ready solution. This will afford the clue to the labyrinth in which he fell short of popularity with that party, with whom it was reasonable to conclude, that he would have been most popular.

All this being thus explained,-for without the foregoing com

ment, the sentiments expressed towards him by many of the Whigs, both in church and state, would be wholly unaccountable-it will be matter of astonishment to none of my readers, that some of that party should be forward in their attacks upon his History. Cunningham, as well as Lord Dartmouth, in his personal aversion to the author, is even disposed to rank his occasional egotism among the cardinal offences of this performance : when others, whose judgments are unwarped, will be almost inclined to regard his being so full of self-importance, as a circumstance rather pleasing than otherwise, to consider it as the natural and becoming egotism of a man who hopes to give a proof of his sincerity, when he talks as familiarly about himself as about other men. Self-love, perhaps, is never less unamiable and useless to society, than where it shews itself with frankness and good-nature; and it is only intolerable when it is displayed under affectation of concealment. The Bishop's egotism is, therefore, agreeable, as being without affectation. He does not write of himself for want of other materials for writing, but because some circumstance that has happened to himself is the best possible illustration of the subject; and he is not the man, through fastidious delicacy, to shrink from giving this best possible illustration. He likes himself and his subject too well. Those, however, who are "made of sterner stuff," will turn, with a sort of inward disdain, from these self-references, and regard them as the folly of a diseased and egotistic mind. But in the severity of their censures against Burnett, for always talking of himself, they quite overlook the value of the lesson which, in so doing, he imparts to his readers. They do not feel that, in making us intimate with himself, he, also, makes us intimate with ourselves; that, in this exposure of his own weaknesses, he teaches us to observe those by which we are ourselves enfeebled; and thus unmasks, as it were, for examination, the secret infirmity of our own bosoms. Those, therefore, who follow the courses of his mind, like the courses of his upright life, with sympathy and approbation, can read, with a good-natured smile, his recountings of his early importance in the world-can regard, as pardonable vanity, his self-commendations-his depicturings of his influence, talents, and celebrity-nay, can even go the length of thinking that the following remarks upon being called, when a stripling, to act a conspicuous part on the the

atre of public fame, not only contributes to render his book more instructive, but more interesting. "They (alluding to the ministers who tyrannized over Scotland, in the reign of strumpets and Charles II.), had such an imagination of some service I might do them, that they treated me with a very particular freedom and confidence. But I had drunk in the principles of moderation so early, that though I was entirely episcopal, yet I would not engage with a body of men that seemed to have the principles and tempers of inquisitors in them, and to have no regard to religion in any of their proceedings."

Two years afterwards, "it was thought," he says, that Lord Lauderdale was preparing me, as one who was known to have been always episcopal, to be set up against Sharp (the Archbishop) and his set of men, who were much hated by one side, and not loved nor trusted by the other."


In 1762, he describes himself as eager to forsake the court altogether, yet suffering himself to be wrought on by the persuasions of others who remained there. "Many found I did good offices.I got some to be considered and advanced that had no other way access. But that which made it more necessary was, that I saw Sharp and his creatures were making their court with the most abiect flattery. Leighton went seldom to them, though he was always treated by them with great indulgence; so it was necessary for me to be about them and keep them right, otherwise all our designs were lost without recovery."

The next instance of self idolatry is still perhaps more amusing and more characteristic of the man and of his book. "While I was at the court, (of France) which was only for four or five days, one of the king's coaches was sent to wait on me, and the king ordered me to be well-treated by all about him; which, upon that, was done with a great profusion of extraordinary respects: at which all people stood amazed. Some thought it was to encourage the side against the court, by this treatment of one then in disgrace; others, more probably, thought that the king, hearing I was a writer of history, had a mind to engage me to write on his side. I was told a pension would be offered me: but I made no steps towards it; for though I was offered an audience with the king, I excused it. After a few months' stay, I returned, and found both

the king and the duke were highly offended with the reception I met with in France. They did not know what to make of it, and fancied there was something hid under it.”

If we are to be influenced by the vulgar sneers at Burnett's patriotism, we are to convert his honesty in telling the nation all its faults, into a secret pleasure in railing against its most revered institutions. Undoubtedly, he who should expose these faults, runs the risk of being treated as the enemy of his country, by those whose national partialities are so excessive that they will even magnify defects into excellences. Is it not, however, unreasonable to suppose, that a man can pour forth the most virtuous anxieties for the public good, and not at the same time be warmly attached to the constitution? It is impossible, indeed, I think, for any unprejudiced person to read the memorable address that concludes the Bishop's posthumous labours, without perceiving, that upon no human heart did the claims of his country ever fall more deep and irresistible. To the very last, he never slumbered nor slept upon his post; but laboured to improve mankind, by teaching and declaring what he deemed to be the truth. The warm, the ennobling strain of patriotism which breathes throughout this appeal, the artless but solemn pathos which marks some of its passages, the unworldly purity and simplicity, the strength of reason, the ardent love of religious liberty and justice which pervade its pages, should have taught his enemies to respect a name which all upright men must revere. As the flowers send up their sweetest odours at the close of day, as the sun appears with the greatest beauty at its going down, all the virtues and graces of this excellent prelate come before us in this final address with the most pleasing remembrance. The most careless of readers will peruse it with the deepest conviction of all the sentiments having proceeded from the author's heart; while written, as it is, at an advanced period of life, it has all the determination of age and decision of principle; and I am bold enough to add, that if all which Burnett had given to the public, were comprised in this brief paper-such are the lights which shine unclouded in it,—such are the pearls of rare price to be picked out of it,-it alone would have entitled his memory to be contemplated with the highest veneration. His statesman-like remarks upon episcopal, ecclesiastical, parliamentary, and aristo

cratical abuses,-upon a radical reformation of the people by education and a good judicature,-his further observations upon the employment of able men in diplomacy,-and of the best means of a sovereign's obtaining the noblest reward of his labours, the love and esteem of his subjects,-have been the themes of panegyric among all competent judges. At a period, too, when the science of political economy was little known or attended to, the suggestions of Burnett, respecting that most important branch-the bettering the condition of the poor,-evince a sagacity and sound sense very surprising in their start before the public mind, if we consider the direct contrary notions so current with the best and wisest statesmen of his day: "The other matter that must take its rise in the House of Commons is about the poor, and should be much laid to heart. It may be thought a strange notion from a bishop to wish that the act for charging every parish to maintain their own poor, were well reviewed, if not quite taken away; this seems to encourage idle and lazy people in their sloth, when they know they must be maintained. I know no other place in the world, where such a law was ever made. Scotland is much the poorest part of the island; yet the poor there are maintained by the voluntary charities of the people."

Strong claims, however, as the History of his own Time possesses to our attention, from having been written, according to a former observation, at a most interesting period, in which the author was not merely a spectator, but often an actor in some of the most im. portant and striking scenes described in it; yet, as a piece of composition, it must be confessed, that it will stand very low in the estimation of those who are fond of pretty conceits and laborious efforts after fine writing. Swift, who hated Burnett, if it were only because the consistency of his political attachment reminded him of the baseness and profligacy of his own apostacy, has been scurrilous to the last degree respecting the style of his performance. Unquestionably, it has too great a profusion of low, familiar and colloquial forms of expression,-though graphic and acute, the manner is too often garrulous and vulgar. The sterling weight, however, of most of his observations, and the masterly boldness which often sketches a portrait in a single line, will more than compen sate for the want of polished sentences and figurative modes of speech. Things, not words-the matter, not the manner of the

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