1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Hervey

W., Note on James Hervey; European Magazine 15 (February 1789) 99.



The author of the aforegoing letter was certainly a very worthy man, exemplary divine, and ingenious writer. If, thro' bodily infirmities, he was at times tinctured with a little too much melancholy enthusiasm, yet no one can charge extravagance upon his name or writings. Though he was one of the first Methodists, as they were called, at Oxford, he never gave into the wild follies of those who afterwards engrossed that appellation. The Doctors Blair and Johnson have, in particular, disapproved of his works; but the Public have not regarded their judgment, and I have generally found the Public, after all, to be the best critics. John Wesley and his followers have virulently attacked him with the charge of Antinomianism on account of his controversial writings; but the shame only rebounded upon themselves, and the name of Hervey is still revered, and his works will continue to be read.