Imágenes de páginas

from one of them will well depict already recorded; and many equally the general frame of his mind on the decisive proofs might be adduced from prospect of dissolution.

bis private life. He professed to love «• The solemo moment is at length his species, and knew it to be the first arrived. I look forward to it with ambition of his life to promote their awe, but by no means without hope. welfare.' To his latest moment he The views of Christianity which I was emyloyed in a scheme for the behave long entertained have afforded nefit of one of his relatives, concernthe rule of my life, and will be my ing which he said with great emphasis ; consolation in the hour of death.' that, if he succeeded, he should finish

“ He had for some years expressed well. his wish that his dismission might be As a writer Dr. Cogan occupies a easy, or in bis own words, that he middle, but truly respectable rank. might be let gently down. His wish His style is unpretending; sometimes was granted. After having taken it is adorned with the simple graces ; some refreshment with considerable and examples might be pointed out of relish, he caught hold of the servant's passages where the fervor of his mind arm, and closed a long, honourable has raised him to a strain of rich and and useful life, without a struggle or powerful eloquence. a groan."

His frequent residence on the ConDr. Cogau's “mental constitution tinent, where the French is a sort of was singularly happy. He viewed universal language, led bim into a every thing in the most favourable familiarity with all the more eminent light, and contrived to extract some- writers of that tongue. The celething of satisfaction from those little brated French preachers were his favexations which discompose and irri- vourite authors : their onction was tate ordinary minds. Qualities were congenial with his own taste. combined in him which do not often He seems not to have consulted exist in union. Though his vivacity profit in his publications. He has eplivened all who enjoyed his society, allowed more than one cheap edition he invariably pronounced gravity to of his most popular work, the Letters be his character, saying, that through to Wilberforce, to be printed for the life he had been grave for himself, and use of the Unitarian Book Societies. cheerful for his friends. His wit, [The Editor regrets that the remainder which remained with him to the last, of this Memoir must be deferred till was so chastened by a natural sweet. the next Number.] ness of temper, that it was never exercised to give pain to any human Tribute to the Memory of the late creature, and his playfulness, which

Mr. G. W. Meadley. might have appeared inconsistent with habits of sober thought, was the ebul- N the concluding Number of your

former Volume, (XIII. 772,] you diately left his mind at liberty to have noticed the death of your late collect its energies for serious reflec- occasional Correspondent, my very tion. Reflection indeed was his fa. worthy friend, Mr. G. W. Meadley. vourite occupation, as his writings It will, probably, be interesting to seem sufficiently to testify. And the many of your readers to peruse, in the subjects on which he reflected most, mean time, the following tribute to because they appeared to him to be his memory, delivered on the Sunday most closely connected with human evening after his funeral, by the rehappiness, were morals and religion. spectable person who usually conAnd the moral principles which it was the chief object of his literary

* These are his own words, in the Prelabours to inculcate, had a constant face, p. xxiii. of the 2nd Volume on the influence on his own mind, and in

Passions. their practical effect pervaded the

+ Mr. THOMAS GRAHAM, shoemaker. general tenor of his life.'

We copy, for the sake as well of example It may be truly said that benevo- society, inserted in a “ Historical and De

as of information, the short account of this lence was the habitual affection of his scriptive View of Sunderland and the Two mind. Of this a signal proof has been Wearmouths," now publishing in numbers,


[ocr errors]

ducts the worship of a small society of and by whose permission I transmit Unitarian Christians in Sunderland; it to you.

V. F.

[ocr errors]

and the rather, as it was furnished to the
work by Mr. 'Meadley: “ In an age of ing, December 6, 1818.

After the usual services of the evenfree inquiry, when the legislature bas judiciously repealed those intolerant laws, · My friends, permit me to address by which Unitarians were exposed to pains you on a mournful subject, in which and penalties for exercising the inalienable I have no doubt but you will, equally right of private judgment in the interpre. with myself, feel interested. The tation of the Scriptures, it might naturally death of our friend George Wilson be expected that some progress would be Meadleg has filled us with sorrow : made among tbe inhabitants of this neigh; let us hope, however, that our loss in bourhood, to ascertain the proper object of such a friend is his gain. religious worship, and the uncquivocal doctrines of divine revelation. Accord.

“ It would be wanting in us, who ingly several persons who, in the course of had opportunities of knowing his sentheir inquiries, had successively imbibed timents of Christianity, and were eyethose views of Christianity which, though witnesses of his conduct, were we to sanctioned by the authority of Lardner, be silent, when so many of his highly Jebh and Priestley, bave frequently been respectable friends have so handconfounded with an express denial of the somely expressed their respect for his authority of Scripture, began to meet in their own houses for religious worship and public and private worth: more espe

memory, and borne testimony to his discussion. they, in the autunn of 1814, took and cially as there are not wanting those, registered for public service, al'the Micha- who, although they give him credit elmas Quarter Sessions, a large room in

for his general knowledge and literary Maling's Rigg, formerly occupied as a

attainments, more than call in quesFreemasons' Lodge.

tion bis religious opinions. “ They believe in the sole Deity and “ To such I say, “ judge nothing Supremacy of God the Father, whom alone before the time;' and for my own they regard as the proper object of reli- part, having had an intimate acquaingious worship, to the exclusion of every tance with him for upwards of five other person, being, mode or distinction years, during which time I freely whatsoever. Confessing Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the world, they consider cipal religious opinions which I now

acknowledge that, although the prinhim to be the messenger, son and servant of God, acting by Divine appointment

, hold were formed previous to our but essentially inferior to the Father, and acquaintance, yet to him I am deeply as such, not entitled to religious worship. indebted for my more extended reliAgreeing in these fundamental principles gious knowledge; and shall (while I respecting God and Christ, they allow no thank my heavenly Father for the minor difference of opinion, in matters not helps I have received from him) cherish essential to Christian love and morality, to to the latest period of my mortal exdisturb their union. They believe also iu istence, that regard for his memory the duty and efficacy of repentance to ob- which, as a truly amiable man and tain the forgiveness of sins from the free sincere Christian, I think it deserves. and unpurchased grace of God; and incul.

“ Although, under such circunicate a constant obedience to the

precepts of the gospel, as indispensable to insure a

stances, it may naturally be supposed good conscience, and a well-grounded I am partial to my religious friend, hope in the Divine mercy. And in common yet upon the present occasion I shall with their fellow-christians of every deno- endeavour to divest myself of it; and mination, they believe in the resurrection give you a faithful account of his of the dead and in a future judgment, leading views on the doctrines of when all men will be rewarded or punished Christianity, in connexion with his according to their deeds. The govern- conduct and general Christian cha. ment of this small society is independent; racter. and not having at present a regular mi

“ I have no certain data as to his nister, the members condnct the worship entire secession from the Established among themselves. communion, and cultivate charity with all Church; I suppose it might take place Pp. 256—8.

about ten or twelve years ago; principally on account of the doctrine and general of our proceedings, and did worship of the Trinity. As he with- not give his countenance to any other drew peaceably, and perhaps without society in these towns. publicly, at that time, giving his rea- It may be expected that I should sons, this excited suspicion in the candidly state the reasons (that have religions world, and he was considered come within my knowledge) why his by many as verging towards Deism; attendance in this place was not more than which nothing could be more constant. Whether he was correct false. For, though he seceded from or not in this point of deviation, I the Church, it was with deep regret, hold it proper that every man's reliand in despair of any sufficient refor: gious liberty should be respected, and mation in these important points being that he should be fully persuaded in effected. His secession was strictly his own mind,' for 'to his own Master conscientious and decided; for he he standeth or falleth ;' and I trust could no longer allow himself to coun. that we are the last people in the tenance, even by his presence, what world to advance the claim of infalliin his conscience he thought wrong. bility. After his secession from the


Yet he always spoke respectfully Church, he, with such persons of the of Church-people; and not only lived family as were at home, attended on terms of intimacy with many of to religious worship, and I believe them, but seemed to cherish towards used the Reformed Book of Common them, and especially towards many of Prayer. While this practice shews a their worthy and enlightened ministers, mind imbued with a just sense of the sincerest esteem; and often re- religion, it forcibly reminds me of the gretted that the bill of the Petitioning similar course we chose on our own Clergy in 1772 had been rejected by first departure from the popular Disthe then Parliament; which, by this senters: and such of us as hare entime, he considered would have pro- joyed the satisfaction arising from such duced the best effects.

a practice, will know that it is not “ Having commenced Dissenter easily foregone, even for the sake of upon principle, he appears to have be- the more public services of religion. come the friend and correspondent of In this practice, I have reason to bemany eminent characters among them: lieve, he continued to persevere to not to mention others, the late Dr. the last. Disney, the present Mr. Belsham, of “ Another reason existed, which, Essex Street, and Mr. Turner, of New- in our circumstances, was insurmouncastle, by whom he was recommended table. I believe his mind was not to, and became acquainted with our fully made up as to the propriety of society in its infancy. He immedi- uneducated persons, and persons in ately introduced himself to us, and, business, conducting public worship, with his usual frankness, avowed his and the services of religion ; which, sentiments. Such of you as were considering his own attainments, and then united with me in our present allowing a little for the prejudices of views, will recollect the valuable and others, was natural: but in this he useful religious books which he gene was not tenacious. As to ourselves, rously gave for the use of the society, we are friendly to education, and have besides making us welcome to the use no objection to the ministry of eduof any books in his own valuable cated men, when and where it can be library.

afforded : yet we by no means con“ From our first religious acquain- sider their services as indispensable ; tance he took a decided part and as it is notorious that such men were interest in this society: be appeared not solely, not generally, employed to enjoy the satisfaction of having a by the highest authority, to call men few with whom he could freely con- at first to embrace and obey the verse and cordially unite, on that im- Christian religion: why, then, should portant subject. And although, since they be considered as indispensable our public meeting, we cannot say now, when it is firmly founded in the more than that he was an occasional world? attendant, yet we have the satisfac- “ Having stated the only point of tion to know that he approved in deviation with our friend, which, perhaps, is but an act of justice to his baneful influence of vulgar errors. character, I shall now proceed to state His ideas of the Divine character in what we were agreed :-generally and government were most extensive speaking, in all the fundamental doc- and exalted; and while he was neitrines and essential principles of the ther enthusiast nor fanatic, yet his gospel of Christ. To use his words, religious views were to him a fund of in his excellent Letters to the Bishop happiness and pleasure, which, added of St. David's, wherein he not only to the natural cheerfulness of his defends his secession, but contends temper, gave a cheerful and agreeable with his usual ability for the right (as turn to his conversation, a quality selhe considered it the duty) of every dom combined with the character of Christian, to inquire freely and fully studious men. joto the meaning of the Scriptures, “To these remarks I shall only add and remonstrates with his Lordship his golden rule in ascertaining reli. on the impropriety of persons being gious truth : • What is clearly and exexposed to those penalties and disa- plicitly taught in the Scriptures, or is bilities, the loss of which, by the re- the plain and undoubted inference peal of the persecuting laws respecting therefrom, ought to be considered as Unitarians, his Lordship deplored, the fundamental principle and ground and contended ought to be revived. of interpretation for that which is less • The existence of one God, by whom explicit or more difficult.' For, as he all things were created; the divine used to say, no religious opinion mission, death and consequent resur- should contradict the general current rection of Christ; the divine autho. of the Scriptures.' rity of his precepts, revealed in the “ With respect to the social and gospel; and the hope of immortality relative duties, the public respect, in in the resurrection of the dead.' These addition to what I have stated, bears opinions, together with considering ample testimony to the one, and his the Father as the sole object of reli- attention to bis mother and sisters, gious worship, and his free, unpur- their union and felicity, sufficiently chased grace to the penitent, and the speak the other. They will severely necessity of personal obedience to the feel his loss. We can only offer our precepts of the gospel, as indispen- sincere condolence, and pray the God sable to insure a good conscience, and of all consolation to support them a well-grounded hope in the Divine under this bereavement.

And we mercy; and a future state of rewards hope it will be no small alleviation and punishments according to the of their affliction, that his mortal deeds of men in the present life.! career, though short, was with credit

“While he defended these opinions, and honour. with a demonstration seldom equalled, “ I have thus stated a few partihe could also offer the best reasons culars respecting the religious course why men should live in charity aud of this excellent man. It remains for good-will. for, not to mention his us to shew the same manly and depolitical opinions, he had the most cided character. Let our minds be enlarged views of religious liberty; free to the impressions of truth, and and, from the increasing liberality of eagerly seek for it. When found, let the times, confidently anticipated the us honestly confess it, and dissent upon destruction of every species of into principle: at the same time forgetting lerance and persecution; for, as he not to cultivate Christian charity toused to say, what has genuine Chris- wards those who differ from us, as tianity to fear from its enemies? And well as amongst ourselves. Pursuing if it had, the means taken to support this path, let us strive to perfect the it are by no means suitable to its Christian character, and cherish the spirit and character, which enjoins hope that, at another day, according upon its followers, to do unto all men to the promises of the gospel, all the as they wish others should do towards good and virtuous of every nation and them.

sect shall be re-united in a holy, happy “ These enlightened views of the and immortal state, where separation Christian religion saved him from the will be no more."




[ocr errors]



stead of controverting, in the Intro. SIR,

January 10, 1819. duction, the vulgar notion of Original translation of Locke and Lim- touched, or at least not made it so borch's letters. Some of those which prominent, in his Treatise. For now will probably appear in your present many who are strongly attached to Volume, contain profound discussions that doctrine, stumble at the threshof metaphysical questions ; ou which hold, before they reach the main ar. a translator is in no small danger of gument of the book. They, indeed, sometimes misunderstanding his ori. entertain such prejudices against the ginal. Should any of your Corre- Author: that they cannot read, with spondents detect such mistakes, I the calm consideration required, his shall be obliged by their sending you further arguments, and thus become their corrections,

hostile. Their good-will should rather

J. T. RUTT. have been conciliated, that they might The Correspondence between Locke and

have come with an unbiassed judgment

to consider an opinion, which, however Limborch, 1685—1704.

true, yet little accords with the sen(Continned from p. 675, Vol. XIII.) timents of most theologians. These No. 34.

generally desire to add something of Amsterdam, Oct, 8, 1697. their own to the Christian faith, which Philip à Limborch to John Locke. they regard as the exclusive property MY WORTHY FRIEND,

of their party. To disabuse them of WROTE you, in March last, a this error, it is necessary to allure

very long letter. During the them, instead of alienating their minds summer I have conversed with some by at once proposing some dogma, of our principal literati, on various which they regard as highly disputopics. Among these the conver- table. I freely tell you what passed sation turned on the Treatise, * of on this subject. which you have already received my

Our discourse, as frequently hapopinion. They all highly commended pens, turned on other topics ; among it

. One, indeed, was dissatisfied with the rest, by what arguments the unity the title, as not commensurate to the of God could be most satisfactorily dignity of the subject. He said, that established.

That eminent person, the Author bad pursued a different whom I last mentioned, declared that course to that of most writers, who he wished to see some irrefragable gave magnificent names to works of arguments, by which it might be little importance. He, on the con- proved that an eternal, self-existent trary, bad prefixed a very unassuming and all-perfect Being, can be only one. title to a book of weighty argument. He wished to see something in the Yet, surely, the title should rather manner of Hugo Grotius, in his first correspond to the importance of the book * on the T'rutb of the Christian work, that it may invite a perusa). Religion ; adding, that he had heard

Another person (the same who for- of a French translation † of your merly introduced to you, our Slade, Essay on the Human Understanding, this I bint only to yourself) said that which he wished very much to see, he bad read that Treatise twice. He as he had a great opinion of your praised it highly, and declared that judgment. He inquired of me, whethe Author had satisfactorily proved, ther in that Essay you had established what was the principal argument of his book-the design of the Christian . Sect. iii. Deum esse unum. Revelation. He only wished, that in- + This was afterwards executed, wder

the Author's inspection, by Coste, and Reasonableness of Christianity. See will be further noticed in this corresponVol. XIII. pp. 610, 613.



« AnteriorContinuar »