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ART. I.—The Works of Samuel Parr, LL.D., Prebendary of St. Paul's, Curate of Hatton, &c.; with Memoirs of his Life and Writings, and a Selection from his Correspondence. By John Johnstone, M.D., Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal College of Physicians of London, &c. In 8 vols. London. 1828.



E have seldom seen a character more difficult to decypher than that of Dr. Parr. There is so much in him to admire, and so much to reprobate; so much to reverence, and so much to ridicule; so much wisdom, and so much prejudice ;—the rosity of a man conscious of merit indisputable, mixed with the jealousy of a man of mere pretensions that his image is only the antitype of that in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, of which the head was of fine gold and the feet of clay. It was unfortunate for Parr, and for the world too, that his great powers (for none can deny that great powers he had) were never directed to one great object. He had vast strength, but never seems to have discovered wherein it lay. How many a fine mind has been lost to mankind by the want of some propitious accident, to lead it to a proper channel; to prevent its current from turning awry and losing the name of action!' We know not whether the story of Newton's apple be true, but it may serve for an illustration, and if that apple had not fallen, where would have been his Principia? If the Lady Egerton had not missed her way in a wood, Milton might have spent the time in which he wrote Comus,' in writing Accidence of Grammar;' and if Ellwood, the quaker, had not asked him what he could say on Paradise Regained,' that beautiful poem (so greatly underrated) would have been lost to us. Parr had a mass of raw material in his mind, which he never found the means of properly working up; excellent in itself, but often not to the purpose for which he used it. His bells are continually jingling out of tune. His politics intrude on his theology, his learning on his politics, his metaphysics on both. The good people at Hatton are lectured on the critical meaning of a Hebrew word ;* the Lord Mayor of London, on the metaphysics of benevolence ;+ Mr. Coke, of Norfolk, on Regeneration and the danger of fanaticism. Now all this was a misapplication of power.

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Vol. iv. pp. 547,548.


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