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gentlemen were capable." Yet it might have been fairly presumed that a love of literature would, at least, have moderated the present hostility. Nor could it have been previously apprehended that in an English university any hindrance should have been opposed to the publication of a work so classical, in its design and execution, as the Silva Critica."
m See “Account of the Proceedings against W. Frend, fel. low of Jesus College," &c.
" Mr. Wakefield thus expresses his surprise and disappointment at this unexpected failure of academical support:
“ Mirari quidem subit, et lectorem porrò mirari forsitàn subibit, istos fortunæ filios, bonis omnibus diffluentes, mihi favorem Academicum, rem tantillam invidere; mihi, quo. cunque demum successu, improbo saltèm studio, dies ac noctes, mente imperterrita, tot inter tantasque asperitates rerum versato et molestias circumcursantium negotiorum, laboriosissimè ingenuas literas secuto; mibi, inquam, per leges iniquissimas ab omnibus Ecclesiæ reipublicæque emolumentis dudum excluso, et jam tandem Academicis, quales quales erant, ut videtur, in posterum excludendo! An verd melius aliquid et benignius de Alma Matre, quondam meâ, sperare concedetur; nec apud syndicos, ut olim Persis Medisque se res habebat, legibus stari immutabilibus ? Utinam veniret illud tempus, utinam ille dies illucesceret, cùm spatia nostræ Academiæ (quam nemo vel eorum omnium, quos in sinu suo fovet atque indulgentia, votis magis benevolis solet prosequi) sine jusjurandoruin religione aliisque fidei scilicèt munimentis et ædificii Christiani tibicinibus, patebunt unicuique, commendato moribus et doctrinæ cupido! cùm non ampliùs ore impudentissimo coram Deo
The friendly aid which the university no longer bestowed, Mr. Wakefield had the satisfaction of receiving from a member of that body, to whose highly respectable character and talents he had already offered a willing testimony,' and whose prompt assistance upon this emergency he has recorded in terms of grateful affection.”
The Rey. Robert Tyrwhitt of Jesus College, well known to the religious world by his very distinguished Biblical attainments, generously undertook to defray the expence of printing this fourth part of the “ Silva Critica, which was at length published in the middle of the year 1793.
In 1795 appeared the fifth, and concluding, part of this work, in the preface to which the author acknowledges the renewed liberality of his former friend, 9 whose patronage still attended him.
et hominibus mentietur Gloriæ statua, in comitio Cantabrigiensi posita, dùm proloquitur Virgilianum illud petitorum invitamentum; “ Cuncti adsint, meritæque expectent præmia palmæ."
Silv. Crit. Pars Quarta, p. vi.
o Dedication to Translation of New Test.
p Sily. Crit. Pars Quarta, Pref. v and vii.
9 Silv. Crit. Pars Quinta et Ultima, Pref. iii.
If the expressions of that gentleman's attachment were entirely withheld amidst the various fortunes of Mr. Wakefield's latter years, considering the circumstances connected with that period, we are in some danger of attributing this decline of friendship to the baneful influence of political timidity ; perhaps to an apprehension of encountering the slights or censures of old connexions. Such “ fears of the brave and follies of the wise" the history of human imperfection has too often exhibited.
Had Mr. Wakefield survived to touch upon this delicate subject, we are persuaded that he would have been disposed to repeat the sentiments which he had expressed on another occasion. He would surely have said concerning this inattention of his venerable friend, which his situation made him feel with peculiar regret, as he frequently acknowledged, that “his uniform life of benevolence and purity, an ornament to the gospel, demanded a candid interpretation of his conduct.”
In the month of February 1794, a short time before the commencement of the second campaign of the late disastrous war, Mr. Wakefield published “ The Spirit of Christianity compared with the Spirit of the Times in Great Britain;" a pamphlet possessing considerable merit as a literary composition, and which was so favorably received as to pass, in a short time, to a third edition,
This tract was designed to demonstrate and enforce a truth of no common moment to a nation calling itself Christian; for the author undertakes to shew that the precepts and spirit of the gospel are incompatible with those maxims of worldly policy which are so generally applauded : yet upon such authorities churchmen and statesmen are too often disposed to give the specious denomination of “ just and necessary
every war in which ambition or interest may tempt them to engage.
As this was the first publication in which Mr. Wakefield animadverted on the late war, and the measures of the ministry who conducted it, we shall quote the author's own account of the motives that induced him occasionally to quit his favourite walks of literature for the thorny road of political contention.
“ Those who know me personally will be very ready to bear testimony to the privacy and seclusion of my life; and the last leaf' of this little pamphlet will abundantly ascertain to those who do not know me, that of late, at least, my days must have been honestly laborious, and my nights intensely studious,' in a manner utterly inconsistent with clandestine plots against government, and all associations with republicans and levellers for the overthrow of our constitution: but the circumstances of the times impressed my mind with such force, as to impel me with reluctance to interrupt the course of my studies for a few hours, to deliver to the public these cursory
reflections arising from some palpable specimens of what appears to me an antichristian spirit.' It is
s “ For the mere support of life, and as a refuge from famine and distress, manufacturers necessarily become soldiers; and from no predilection for the cause. They are led into the field to the deliberate destruction of men, against whoin they have not conceived the least emotion of resentment; and whom they hew in pieces without one impulse of private animosity, at the mere instigation of their superiors. Is it possible to devise a case more wretchedly abandoned, more degraded even below brutality itself, than this; if humanity be a virtue, if love and good will the characteristics of revelation?"
Spirit of Christianity, p. 13,