Barrow - BX1805 .B3 1852

XXXVI INTRODUCTORY ESSAY. which many others have handled before, but he has exhausted it, insomuch that no argument of moment, nay, hardly any consideration properly belonging to it, has escaped his large and comprehensive mind. He has said enough to silence the controversy for ever, and to deter all wise men, of both sides, from meddling any farther with it." The archbishop's anticipation has been fulfilled. Barrow's Treatise has never been answered, and subsequent writers on the Protestant side have generally contented themselves with borrowing from the ample stores of this redoubtable controvertist. So far as the materials are concerned, he may be truly said to have exhausted the subject; in the matter of authorities he has almost overlaid it. In the words of a modern critic, " We can imagine nothing where- unto to liken the glorious work of Barrowbut the mighty telescope of Herschel; an instrument which brings up from the abyss of space a countless multitude of luminaries, which hid themselves from the search of unassisted vision. Even so does the gigantic labour of Barrow call up from the depths of antiquity a galaxy of witnesses, which pass over our field of view in perfect order and distinctness, and shed a broad and steady illumination over the path of the in- quirer. " While Barrow's Treatise will always form a standard work on the question of which it treats, it is deeply to be regretted that the author did not live to superintend its publication. It bears evidence through- out of having been a first draught; the materials, so laboriously collected, have been hastily arranged; many gaps have been left, with' the intention of being filled up afterwards; repetitions frequently occur; and in the whole style there is a carelessness and disregard to the ordinary graces of composition not to be found in any of the other writings of the author. Aswe approach the close of the Treatise, these defects become still more painfully apparent. The division, too, of the arguments into so many separate parts, though it serves to exhaust the question, as it were squeezing the life out of every limb of the dissevered monster, deprives the work of that condensa- tion and continuity so essential to a popular treatise. The conse- quence has been, that this mighty emporium of facts, arguments, and authorities on the papal question, has shared the fate of Barrow's Sermons, it has been more prized by the judiciousfew than read by the many. It is a work which few would wish to want in their lib- rary, but which, like some piece of heavy ordnance, is seldom used but on occasions of great emergency. With all these disadvantages, however, fewwill deny that it is en- * British Critic, vol. ii. p. 149.