Page images

were out of repair. Of the whole, there were one of 110 guns, seven of 80, twenty-two of seventy-four, and six of 64. In addition to these, they had two 50 gun ships, and a superiority in frigates and light vessels. With respect to signals, it is not, we imagine, usual or expedient to multiply them during battle, excepting in the event of some unexpected circumstance, or in the necessity for some important evolution of the whole line. In the bustle and confusion of a naval conflict, signals are so little likely to be observed, and the necessity for making then is so liable to be overlooked or mistaken, that it is, at the present moment, a doubtful question, whether an admiral should actually mingle in the fight, or take his station in a frigate aloof, for the advantage of more accurate inspection.

• The English,' proceeds Paul Jones, are very deficient in signals, as well as in naval tactics. This I know, having in my possession their present fighting and sailing instructions, which comprehend all their signals and evolutions. Lord Howe has, indeed, made some improvements by borrowing from the French. But Kempenfelt, who seems to have been a more promising officer, had made a still greater improvement by the same means. It was said of Kempenfelt, when he was drowned in the Royal George, England has lost her du Pavillion. That great man, the Chevalier du Pavillion, commanded the Triumphant, and was killed in the last battle of Count de Grasse. France lost in him one of her greatest naval tacticians, and a man who had, besides, the honour (in 1773) to invent the new system of naval signals, by which, sixteen hundred orders, questions, answers, and informations can, without confusion or misconstruction and with the greatest celerity, be communicated through a great fleet. It was his fixed opinion, that a smaller number of signals would be in.. sufficient. A captain of the line at this day must be a tactician. A captain of a cruising frigate may make shift without ever having heard of naval tactics. Until I arrived in France, and became acquainted with that great tactician Count D'Orvilliers, and his judicious assistant the Chevalier du Pavillion, who, each of them, honoured me with instructions respecting the science of governing the operations, &c. of a fleet, I confess I was not sensible how ignorapt I had been, before that time, of naval tactics. .

It is singular enough, that English seamen, with all their pride of superiority, should be receiving lessons from their contemned enemy; and that the main end to which the greater learning of the French bad almost invariably been directed, should be the avoidance of close and decisive contest. Nor is it less remarkable, that the defect should have been specifically pointed out, nearly at the same time, by Paul Jones, a practised seaman, and by John Clerk, of Eldin, a Scottish gentle. man, with little knowledge of naval movements but such'as he had obtained from models and diagrams. When Rodney went

diency system prorexperimea

into battle on the 12th of April, 1782, he was in possession of the entire results of Mr. Clerk's experiments, demonstrating the inefficacy of the system prevailing in the British navy, and the expediency of separating a portion of the enemy's fleet by the manceuvre of breaking the line; and yet, though his first signal seemed to indicate the intention of acting upon the new plan, his second prescribed a strict conformity to the old method. And when, at last, he carried his flag-ship through the French line, throwing it, by that movement, into complete disorder, he seems to have followed the impulse of the moment, rather than to have carried into effect a premeditated scheme.

The peace with England put an end to Jones's services afloat, and he was appointed American ' agent for European

prize-money,' in which capacity he returned to France in 1783, and visited Denmark in 1788. In June of the latter year, this active man was in the Euxine, commanding a Russian man-ofwar, with the rank of rear-admiral. He had obtained permission to enter the service of Catharine, without giving up his connexion with the American marine. The coinmander of the Russian fleet in the Liman sea, was the prince of Nassau Siegen, who seems to have been better suited to the manæuyres of a court than to the management of a squadron. On one occasion, Jones saved him from inevitable destruction; and in another instance, when the fleet under the direction of the former had taken nine sail of the Turkish squadron, the prince, without any conceivable motive, set them on fire, and claimed the victory as due to his own exertions. Jones remonstrated, and his claim was admitted ; but his dauntless and uncompromising spirit was not suited to the acquiescing system of the court, and he was recommended to travel, retaining all his appointments.

Jones was not, after this, engaged in active service. His health seems to have failed early, probably in consequence of premature exhaustion, induced by sensual indulgence. He died at Paris, in June 1792. His character is thus summed up by the Writer of the present work. .

• Paul Jones was short in stature and slenderly made. He was authoritative in his manner, with a very determined air.

That by law he was a pirate and a rebel, I shall not deny ; since, by the same law, Washington would have been drawn and quartered, and Franklin had already been denounced as “a hoary-beaded traitor.” But we have seen, that nothing can be more erroneous than the prevalent history of his character and fortunes. As to his moral conduct, it would seem, that few characters have been more subject to scrutiny, and less to condemnation. His very faults were

the consequence of feelings which possess our admiration, and his weaknesses were allied to a kindly nature. He was courageous, gene. rous, and humane ;-and he appears to have been the only one in this age of revolutions, whose profession of philanthropy was not disgraced by his practice. As to his mental capacity, it cannot be denied that his was a most ardent and extraordinary genius. Born in the lowest rank of life, and deprived by his mode of existence from even the common education which every Scotchman inherits, Paul Jones was an enthusiastic student, and succeeded in forming a style which cannot, be sufficiently admired for its pure and strenuous eloquence. His plans also were not the crude conceptions of a vigorous but untutored intellect, but the matured systems which could only have been generated by calm observation and patient study. His plan for attacking the coast of England was most successful in execution, though conceived on the banks of the Delaware ; and we cannot but perceive a schooled and philosophic intellect in bis hints for the formation of the navy of a new pation. Accident had made him a republican, but the cold spirit of republicanism had not tainted his chivalric soul, and his political principles were not the offspring of the specious theories of a dangerous age. There was nothing in the nature of his mind, which would have prevented him from being the commander, instead of the conqueror of the Serapis. He delighted in the pomp and circumstance of royalty, and we scarcely know when to deem him happiest—when the venerable Franklin congratulated him for having freed all his suffering countrymen from the dungeons of Great Britain, or when he received a golden-hilted sword from the « protector of the rights of human nature." Although he died in his forty-fifth year, his public life was not a short one, and by his exertions at the different courts of Europe, he mainly contributed to the success of the American cause.

Now that the fever of party prejudice has subsided, England wishes not to withhold from him the tribute of her admiration. America, “ the country of his fond election,” must ever rank him not only among the firmest, but among the ablest of her patriots.'

Paul Jones has been recently selected by Mr. Allan Cun. nigham as the hero of a romance, which the celebrity of the Writer tempted us to inspect. It seems an unequal produce tion; displaying frequent evidences of powerful talent, but deficient in that coherence of narrative and unity of subject, without which it is so difficult to produce and to maintain a strong interest in fictitious story.

Art. VI. Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacræ, being a Critical

Digest and Synoptical Arrangement of the most important Anno. tations on the New Testament, Exegetical, Philological, and Doctrinal. By the Rev. S. T. Bloomfield, Vicar of Bisbrooke in

Rutland, and Curate of Tilton and Tugby in Leicestershire. In : Two Parts, 3 vols. each. Part I. 3 vols. 8vo. pp. 1972. Price

21. 2s. Rivingtons, 1826. THE Church of Rome denies its members the free use of the

Bible, and provides for them an exposition of its doctrines which they are not permitted to question, and which they are bound to receive, discharged of all right and privilege of comparing them with the inspired records of salvation, and instructed to believe that the uncontrolled examination of the Scriptures is an indication of heretical pravity. In such a Church, the easy credence which assents without inquiry and without evidence, is a primary qualification for communion, and the understanding of the Scriptures is an affair of but little moment. But the Protestant maxim, that. The Bible is the • Religion of Protestants,' as it secures for them the high right and privilege of deriving from the Bible the principles of their religious faith, imports their obligation to study its contents, and to understand its meaning. In their profession, conviction precedes obedience, and an imposed interpretation of Scripture is inadmissible. By them, the correct apprehension of truth is regarded as a benefit resulting from Scriptural knowledge, and to be acquired by means of devout application to the writings in which God makes known his will to mankind, and which is valuable only as it is thus obtained. Hence the importance of the means of Biblical interpretation

No correct use can be made of the communications which the Bible comprises, before the language in which they are conveyed is understood. Before the Scriptures can be interpreted, their grammatical constructions and their literal sense must be ascertained. A sufficient acquaintance with these is necessary for every competent expositor ; and, as they are tbe very elementary principles of all correct interpretation, they should be diligently studied by every intelligent reader. There may be ultimate references of a moral or doctrinal kind, or a spiritual and mystical sense may be intended; but these, though they may sometimes be of the first importance, are only, in order, secondary objects of attention in the interpretation of the Scriptures. In every case, the literal, grammatical sense is of primary consideration. And hence the importance of those works which, as aiding in the understanding of the Scriptures, are devoted to grammatical and philological dis. cussion and illustration. Of this class, the volumes now before

us are the most extensive contribution which has been made to Biblical literature by any of our contemporaries.

We are indebted for the valuable body of sacred criticism comprised in Dr. Campbell's work on the Gospels, to the practice commenced by him on his being settled as the minister of a country parish, and steadily pursued by him in subsequent years, of collecting such useful criticisms on the text of the New Testament as were suggested by his own observations, or as occurred to him in the course of his reading. The volumes now before us derive their origin from the similar attention of their Author to the illustration of the Scriptures. Possessing the requisite qualifications for availing himself of the assistance to be obtained from the various existing materials of elucidation, by his proficiency in classical and oriental studies, and constantly adhering to a rule which he had prescribed to himself, of immediately recording the observations which he found supplied or suggested, as they arose, he obtained a copious collection of such exegetical remarks as he considered most useful and important, and likely to be serviceable to him in his private study or public exposition of the Sacred Scriptures. In his researches, he was aided by the advantages of an extensive and choice collection of the best classical and theological writers, which he employed under the perpetual advice of the late celebrated Dr. Parr, with whom he was in frequent and familiar intercourse, and by whom he was urged to digest and arrange his Biblical collections for publication. Engaged still more closely in the studies to which he had been for a considerable number of years unremittingly devoted, by the resolution which pledged him to the execution of such a purpose, and by the collation of the annotatory matter of the principal commentators, for the purpose of appreciating the value of his own miscellaneous notes, he was induced to enlarge his plan, and to engraft upon his original design, another of still greater importance; to bring together within a moderate compass, and in a convenient fora), the disjecta membra Exegeseos, .. the most important materials for the right interpretation of Scrip

ture, hitherto dispersed amidst numerous bulky and expensive vo* lumes; carefully digesting, condensing, simplifying, and moulding those heterogeneous materials, including his own original notes, into one connected and consistent body of erudite and accurate annotation, and, at the same time, intermixing with the whole a series of critical remarks, which might serve to guide the judgement of the student, or junior minister, amidst the contrarieties of jarring interpretations ; and, finally, in order to more effectually adapt the work to general use, clothing the foreign matter in a vernacular dress, and expressing the sense in simple and perspicuous phraseology.' Preface.

« PreviousContinue »