By Robert J. Barth
"Father Barth's extraordinary and individual learn provides considerably to our knowing and appreciation of the variety and acuity of Coleridge's mind... The energy of research, the character and types of writings surveyed, in addition to the scrupulously documented bibliographic info make this a necessary paintings for the intense (and formidable) starting pupil of Colerdige and a beneficial source for the pro pupil who has been looking ahead to a accomplished synthesis of Coleridge's spiritual views." -Criticism
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I am particularly grateful to one of my students, Donna M. Smith, for her exceptionally capable assistance in the work of proofreading and indexing. Kristin M. Brady, John A. , and Dr. Richard J. Thompson also gave welcome help with mechanical details. And I was fortunate to have the services of a very able typist, Mrs. Martha Robinson. Finally, it is a very special pleasure to acknowledge my large indebtedness to two Professors of English at Harvard University whose substantial work with Coleridge has so much influenced my own: David Perkins, in whose exciting Coleridge seminar the seed of this work was planted, and whose advice and encouragement at many stages has meant much to me; and Walter Jackson Bate, whose own recent book on Coleridge is by far the best general critical study of Coleridge yet to appear, the work of a true Coleridgean writing in the spirit of Coleridge.
Frend was a Fellow of Jesus College at the time of Coleridge's arrival there, and Coleridge was soon under his spell. Frend was a Unitarian in religion, a radical democrat in politics, and it was not long before Coleridge too was, as Thomas Poole wrote of him in 1794, "in religion . . "6 Unitarianism, with its belief in the merely adoptive sonship of Christ, was in Coleridge's day a fairly acceptable form of dissent from the Established Church. The simplicity of its creed relieved one of the burden of a systematic theology and accorded well with the rationalistic kind of natural theology that was still in its heyday.
9 Appleyard's summary of the ultimate Hartleyan influence on Coleridge's religious thought is admirable. Appleyard finds the source of this influence particularly in "the moral and religious principles 7 Chambers, Coleridge, pp. 20-21. 8CL, I, 236 (September 24, 1796). 9 On all this, as well as on the possible influences on Coleridge of Hartley's follower, Joseph Priestley, see Appleyard, pp. 20-29. " These principles are summarized as: "the theistic conception that underlies the work, the idea of the perfectibility of man, the mechanism of necessity by which this process toward happiness is accomplished, and the confidence in rational analysis which pervades the study.