Imatges de pàgina

became considerable, and it was growing yearly until the time of his decease. This was without any contrivance or scheme of his own, and wholly owing to his character, his talents and his manners. He was averse to the usual, and in most cases necessary measures for advancing his professional career. He was once an unsuccessful, and, the writer suspects, an unwilling candidate for the office of physician to the Charter-House, and he allowed himself to be proposed as a candidate for the same office to the London Hospital, but shrunk back in the midst of his canvass from the toilsome drudgery which such a pursuit imposes, and from which it is strange that some means should not be adopted by the public, or at least by the directors of charitable institutions, to save the members of a profession, whose education and social habits may be expected to train them to delicacy of feeling. Dr. Pett cheerfully accepted and conscientiously fulfiled the duty of Physician to the Refuge for the Destitute in Hackney Road: he was also Physician to the Albion Fire and Life Insurance Office, which appointment he held from the time of the institution of the Society. In the regular and unambitious practice of his profession, Dr. Pett's life was varied by few incidents. His studies of later years were chiefly medical, and few persons in the profession were better acquainted with the history of disease and with the discoveries made in the healing art. His leisure from his increasing medical duties was devoted to general literature and science, and to the enjoyments of social intercourse, in which he took lively plea sure and to which he largely contributed. By a liberal education he had acquired a great mass of general knowledge, and no small share of elegant learning; and by a judicious disposition of his acquirements, appeared competent to the discussion of any subject, whether scientific or literary. He read all new works of merit with avidity, and was rarely seen in his walks or rides without a book in his hand. His diffidence restrained him from employing his pen for the public benefit. His stand ard of literary excellence was very high, and he seemed to feel that he could not write to his own satisfaction. When urged to publish cases that occurred in his own practice, he was accustomed to disparage his own opinion and to remark that the publication of medical cases had grown into an evil. It is to be regretted that an unjust estimate of his own powers kept him from the exercise of literary composition, since the few specimens of his writing that are given to the public, evince remarkable soundness of judgment,

delicacy of feeling and simplicity and perspicuity of style. The earliest of these, known to the present writer, is a short account of the late Rev. Henry Moore, of Liskeard, [Mon. Repos. XVII. 163,] inserted in Dr. Aikin's elegant memoir of that amiable man, prefixed to "Poems Lyrical and Miscellaneous," in quarto, which Dr. A. edited for the Author, and which appeared as a posthumous publication in 1803. Dr. Pett was connected by his family with the Presbyterian congregation at Liskeard; and Mr. Moore's character and taste were too congenial with his own not to attract his cordial esteem.

It may be here added, that Dr. P. was one of the Trustees of the Meeting-House in that place, and that upon the extinction of the old congregation he consented, with his usual liberality, that the building should be occupied by another denomination, rising into importance, but unprovided with a suitable chapel. The next occasion on which he employed his pen for the public information, was on the death of Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, for whom as a scholar, a Christian, a patriot and a friend, he felt the highest admiration. In conjunction with other medical men, Dr. Pett attended this truly eminent man in his last illness, and at the instance of his biographer, Mr. Rutt, he contributed a letter containing a well-drawn up and very interesting detail of the malady that deprived the world of so distinguished an ornament. This is inserted in Vol. II. of the Memoirs, pp. 289-295, and will be read with eager, but melancholy interest by the friends of Dr. Pett, as it has long been by those of Mr. Wakefield.-The only fruit of Dr. Pett's pen, besides these, was also produced at the call of friendship, in the case of the late much-lamented Mr. Dewhurst. In a letter to Mr. Rutt, who compiled the account of this distinguished scholar, so prematurely taken away from the world, printed in our VIIth volume, pp. 729-749, Dr. Pett both related with great succinctness the progress of his rapidly-fatal disease, and sketched with great felicity his general character. (Pp. 741–743.) frequent and familiar intercourse, he knew well the powers of Mr. Dewhurst's mind and the rich acquisitions of knowledge which he had stored up, and no one more deeply and permanently lamented his loss. The readers of this work may remember that it was not long ago proposed to publish a collection of Mr. Dewhurst's papers: for the success of this project Dr. Pett was very anxious, and the last letter that he ever wrote, penued after the insidious disease that terminated his valuable life was at work, contained a reference to the favourite


scheme. In the exercise of his profession, Dr. Pett always appeared in his own character, disinterested, condescending, liberal and generous. After the first visit, he was no where a stranger. His patients were his friends. This was the case no less with the poor than with persons in good circumstances. The poor knew and felt this, and hence he was always denominated by them "The Poor Man's Friend." The blessing of them that were ready to perish came upon him. A great number of individuals in humble life, to whom he had been a beDefactor, bewailed his death, and still lament bitterly their own loss. No man, perhaps, in his station, was ever followed to the grave by more or deeper mourners; consisting too of that class of persons whose mourning is the dictate not of fashion but of the heart. He was, indeed, "worthy, for whom" they "should do this." He took real pleasure in being serviceable to his poor neighbours. Frequently, after a fatiguing day, and when he was beginning to enjoy the comforts of his fireside, he has called to mind some patient of this class who expected his visit, and regardless of weather and every other inconvenience, has proceeded to the abode of want and disease, at a considerable distance from his own habitation. One of the last efforts of his failing speech, (as it is stated in a note to the Funeral Sermon, p. 44,) was an explanation to his servant of the residences of some poor patients, whom he was anxious to inform of his illness, lest they should suffer in mind or body from his non-attendance. Nothing can more strongly illustrate the power of Dr. Pett's excellent character than the degree of respect and esteem which he enjoyed amongst the members of his own profession, whom he conciliated, amidst differences of opinion and interest, by his frank conduct and amiable manners. He was a boud of union to such of them as were in his own peighbourhood: those that were at a distance put confidence in him, on account of his wide-spread moral repu tation. In general society, Dr. Pett was an universal favourite. His manners were easy but dignified, indicating all that is intended by the word gentleman. He was diffident, but not reserved. As occasion offered, he took his share in conversation, and his remarks displayed a highly-cultivated and well-stored mind. His countenance bespoke his character; it was manly, ingenuous and benignant. He had a peculiarly benevolent smile, which was irresistibly fascinating. Be yond the circle of his profession, his charities were very great. He had, in

fact, a deep sense of the obligation that lies upon a Christian to do good; and such was his humility that he frequently lamented the small amount of his usefulness. There was scarcely a public object dependent upon private liberality for support, within his own religious denomination, to which he was not a subscriber; and many were his contributions to distressed individuals and decayed families, known to few besides the recipients of his bounty and Him who seeth in secret. To improvements in the condition of his fellow-creatures he was eagerly devoted, especially such as came within the scope of his profession. Having thoroughly studied from the beginning, and watched the operation of Dr. Jen. ner's discovery, he was a zealous advocate for vaccination, which he believed would finally exterminate the small-pox, or at least take away the malignity of the disease. He therefore discouraged the variolus inoculation, and partly as a trustee of the parish of Hackney, and partly as a physician, he procured the disuse of the practice amongst the parochial dependents. He drew up a paper on the comparative advantages of the two inoculations, to which he gained the signatures of the medical practitioners at Hackney, and this determined the resolution of the guardians of the poor.Without any ostentation of profession, Dr. Pett was a decided Christian. He had little relish for theological and me. taphysical niceties, but he entered with his heart and soul into those great views of religion which regard the perfection of the Divine character, and the improvement and happiness of the human race. He despised the mummery of superstition, and shrunk with abhorrence from the appearance of bigotry. He was a Protestant Dissenter, because he believed that the principles of Protestant Dissent lie at the foundation of truth aid liberty; he was an Unitarian, because he viewed Unitarianism as the only scheme of Christianity that represents it to be wor thy of a Divine author. His connexion with the Gravel-Pit congregation at Hackney was, it is believed, a source of satisfaction to himself; it was, certainly, a matter of rejoicing to his Christian brethren. Many instances were there in his conduct, of the interest which he took in the diffusion of scriptural truth : it deserves to be mentioned that he was one of a small number of liberal and enlightened individuals who, both to express their cordial friendship for Mr. Belsham, and to promote the knowledge of the Scriptures, which Mr. Belsham's life has been spent in advancing, formed the plan for bringing out the "Com

mentary on the Epistles of Paul," in the very handsome form which the first or 4to edition, lately published, exhibits.In his political sentiments, Dr. Pett was, as might have been expected from his family and his education, a Whig, and friendly to every real and salutary reform. He rarely expressed strong indignation, except when the arrogant assumptions of oppressors, and the invasion of the independence of nations, and of the rights of man were the topics of conversation. His best affections were with the nations now struggling on the continent of Europe for their liberties, and he expressed to the writer, not long before his death, that he felt too keenly on this subject for his own comfort. The opinions, both political and religious, of Dr. Pett, had their root in benevolence, and hence they produced no unpleasant feelings towards such of his acquaintances and friends as differed widely from himself in both. No one could be more remote in belief from the Roman Catholic religion yet he sympathized with the Roman Catholics as far as they were oppressed for couscience' sake, and would have scrupled no exertion within his power on their behalf. When the absurd and hypocritical cry of "No Popery" prevailed in 1813 and 1814, and a petition echoing it was got up in the parish of Hackney, he associated with a few neighbours to ascertain the practicability of a parochial meeting in order to protest against the measure: through the prejudice of the many, and the timidity of the better-informed, it was found that public opposition would be fruitless or rather injurious to the cause of liberality; but Dr. Pett was not satisfied without making some attempt to stem the torrent of bigotry, and accordingly, having obtained permission of the author, he was chiefly instrumental to the reprinting of a considerable impression of Mr. Charles Butler's admirable "Address to Protestants," (inserted in our VIIIth volume, pp. 149, &c.), and to the circulation of it, by leaving a copy at every respectable house in the parish. In the same liberal spirit, he was a subscriber to the Roman Catholic School at Somer's Town, where he also sometimes attended gratuitously in the exercise of his profession; induced to this partly, no doubt, by his friendship for the excellent patroness, Miss Trelawney, daughter of Sir Harry Trelawney, with whom in earlier life he was very intimate, and for whom, amidst all the Baronet's vicissitudes of faith, he entertained sincere respect.-This brief memoir will appear to strangers to be a panegyric; the writer can only say that he could not trace the life of Dr. Pett

without falling into this strain. He had, doubtless, his defects; but they derogate little from his worth. He was, as has been said, very diffident, and his diffidence might sometimes resemble weakness. Akin to this failing, was occasional indecision of mind, leading to procrastination. Judging favourably of human nature, and warm in his affections, he reposed too large a confidence in some whom he admitted to his friendship. By constitution he was extremely irritable, and this temperament might, though of late years more rarely, be occasionally seen in his language and manners: this natural disposition being considered, it is wonderful that he should have obtained such a command over himself, and acquired such an habitual kindliness of demeanour the fact shews the power of his benevolent principles and feelings, and deserves to be recorded in recommendation of the rare, because difficult, and therefore meritorious virtue of selfgovernment. On the whole, Dr. Pett was an extraordinary instance of moral goodness. In any one good quality he might have many equals, though few superiors, but in the aggregate of his character he excelled most persons. He had his peculiar place in society, in which his death has created a total blank. No one can be expected to be to his friends and neighbours exactly what he was. By all that knew him, it will be long before he is thought of without pungent regret, or spoken of without strong emotion.

Dr. T. F. Middleton.

(See Vol. XVII. p. 772.)


1822. July 8, at the Presidency of Calcutta, after a short but severe illness, in the 53d year of his age, the Rev. THOMAS FANSHAW Middleton, D. D., F.R.S. His Lordship was in the full possession of his health on the preceding Tuesday, when he visited the college. On the day of his death, he was considered to have passed the crisis of his disorder, and to be out of danger; at half-past seven he was thought much better than before, but at eight he was seized with a violent paroxysm of fever, and at eleven o'clock he expired, to the great grief of all who had the honour of his acquaintance.

Dr. Middleton was born in Jan. 1769, at Kedleston, in Derbyshire, and was the only child of the Rev. Thomas Middleton of that place. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, under the rigid discipline of the Rev. James Bowyer, who has been not inaptly termed the Busby of

that establishment.

Here he was contemporary with Sir Edward Thornton, our present ambassador to the court of Sweden; the Rev. George Richards, D.D. F.R.S., author of the Aboriginal Britons, and Bampton Lectures; and Mr. Coleridge the poet, from whose fertile pen has issued a just tribute of gratitude to the zeal and ability of their tutor.

From Christ's Hospital he proceeded, upon one of the school exhibitions, to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he took the degrees of B.A. 1792; M.A. 1795; and B. and D.D. iu 1808.

In March 1792, after taking the degree of B.A. and being ordained Deacon, by the then Bishop of Lincolu (Dr. Prettyman), he entered upon his clerical duties at Gainsborough. In 1794, he was selected by Dr. John Prettyman, Archdeacon of Lincoln, and brother of the Bishop, to be tutor to his two sons; and it was probably to this circumstance that he was indebted for the future patronage of the Bishop, who presented him, in 1795, to the rectory of Tansor in Northamptonshire, vacant by the promotion of Dr. John Potter to the see of Killala, in Ireland. About this time he published a periodical essay without his name, entitled "The Country Spectator."

In 1797, Dr. Middleton married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Maddison, Esq., of Gainsborough, and of Alvingham, in Lincolnshire.

In 1798, he published "The Blessing and the Curse; a Thanksgiving on occasion of Lord Nelson's and other Victories;" and in 1802, obtained from his former patron the consolidated rectory of Little Bytham, with Castle Bytham annexed, which he held with Tansor, by dispensation.

In 1808, Dr. Middleton established his reputation as a scholar by the publication of his celebrated "Treatise on the Doctrine of the Greek Article, applied to the Criticism and the Illustration of the New Testament;" and the following year," Christ divided; a Sermon preached at the Visitation of the Lord Bishop of Lincoln."

In 1810, he began to act as a magistrate for the county of Northampton; but in 1811, resigned his livings in that county, upon being presented, by the same generous patron, to the vicarage of St. Pancras, Middlesex, and Puttenham, Herts; and shortly after took up his residence at the Vicarage-house, Kentish Town.

In April 1812, he was collated by the Bishop of Lincoln, to the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon; and in the autumn of the same year, he directed his attention to the deplorable condition of the parish VOL. XVIII.

of St. Pancras, in which he found a population of upwards of 50,000 persons, with only the ancient very small village church, which could not accommodate a congregation of more than 300. On this occasion he published "An Address to the Parishioners of St. Pancras, Middlesex, on the intended Application to' Parliament for a New Church." Dr. Middleton's influence and perseverance caused a Bill to be brought into Parliament, for powers to erect a New Church; but the Bill was lost in the debate upon the second reading.

In 1813, the Rev. C. A. Jacobi, a German divine, having been appointed one of the missionaries to India, Dr. Middleton was requested to deliver, before a special meeting of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, a charge to the new missionary, previous to his departure.


About this time the friends of the establishment of Christianity in our Eastern dominions, were very active in prevailing upon Government to establish an episcopacy in those vast regions; and Lord Castlereagh, in a debate on the renewal of the East India Company's Charter, adverted to the expediency of such an establishment. It was subsequently enacted, that the Company should be chargeable with certain salaries, to be paid to a bishop and three archdeacons, if it should please His Majesty, by his letters patent, to constitute and appoint the same. the autumn of 1813, Dr. Middleton received an order to wait upon the Earl of Buckinghamshire, President of the Board of Controul, by whom he was recommended to His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, as the new Bishop of Calcutta. He was consecrated on the 8th of May, 1814, at Lambeth Palace, the Archdeacon of Winchester having preached the consecration sermon. On the 17th of the same month, he attended a special meeting of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, to receive their valedictory address, delivered by the Bishop of Chester; on the 19th, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society; and on the 8th of June, took his departure for Bengal.

Upon his arrival in India, Dr. Middleton was mainly instrumental in founding' the Mission College at Calcutta, for the following purposes: 1. For instructing Native and other Christian youth in the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, in order to their becoming preachers, catechists, or school-masters; 2. For teaching the elements of useful knowledge, and the English language, to Mussulmans and Hindoos, having no ob

ject in such attainments beyond secular advantage; 3. For translating the Scriptures, the Liturgy and Moral and Religious Tracts; 4. For the reception of English missionaries on their first arrival in India, for the purpose of acquiring the languages. Toward the erection and endowment of this college, the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, the Society for the Propagation of the Gos

1823. Jan. 21, at Chichester, in his 72d year, Mr. STREET, surgeon. Mr. S. was one of the oldest members of the Unitarian Chapel in that city, and the event of his death was improved, on the Sunday following, the day of his funeral, by Mr. Fullagar, in a discourse, founded on the remark of Jesus, recorded John xvi. 32: "Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered every man to his own; and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, be eause the Father is with me."

After enumerating the comforts arising from a sense of the Divine presence and favour, amidst the loss of friends, the decay of nature, the vacancies occasioned by death in our religious assemblies, and in the prospect of dissolution; the habitual piety of our Lord, his frequent communion with his God, his imitation of the Divine Being in acts of kindness and benevolence, and his uniformly bearing witness to the truth, were stated as the probable grounds, on which he could assure himself that the Father was ever with him. "Many," then continued the preacher, actuated by such feelings, have on their death-bed, invited spectators practically, if not verbally, to see how a Christian can die. And the thoughts of those before me have, I doubt not, coincided with my own, in tracing a similarity between these principles and those of that old member of this religious assembly, on whom the grave, has this week been closed. Flattery becomes not this place; but there are characters to whose goodness, silence is injustice; in respect of whom, silence is injustice towards survivors; in respect of whom, silence is injustice towards the Unitarian faith; which is sometimes declared by those who reject it, to have in it nothing capable of supporting us in the prospect of dissolution. If the memory of the just be blessed, to trace the actions of the just is a respect due to their memory. If there be an undecaying nature in virtue, it is necessary to perpetuate the remembrance of that virtue, that by imitation it may itself be perpetuated. This must plead my excuse, if I call to your minds

pel in Foreign Parts, and the Society for Missions to Africa and the East, have each contributed 50007,

Under any circumstances, the death of such a man as Dr. Middleton would be a great loss to the profession of which he was so distinguished an ornament, and has caused a chasm that will with great difficulty be filled up worthily.

The Inquirer, No. III,


one who, of unobtrusive habits, wished
in the most unobtrusive and unostenta
tious mauner, to be carried to the land
of his fathers. He rests in peace: but
while the virtues mourn, Friend, Parent,
Pattern,' it may be allowable for a few
moments to consider his excellence.
Belonging to a profession in which, it is
notorious, many holding Deistical opi-
nions are found, but from which remark,
generally speaking true, there have been,
among the worshipers in this house, many
honourable exceptions, our deceased
friend was not tainted with the too much
prevailing moral disease of his brethren >
he was not tainted with that religious
indifference, too common among them,
and among us all; his general conversa
tion and demeanour, his regularity in
attending the public services of religion,
demonstrated that devotion had taken
possession of bis soul. Nor was he merely
devotional, as far as correct views of the
greatness of the Almighty, and of the
insignificance of man, are calculated to
inspire awe and veneration for the Deity;
he was ready to endure difficulty, and in
the course of his professional labours he
experienced some slights and inconveni-
ence on account of his steady attachment
to what he deemed Christian truth. It
was not merely in the sanctuary of his
God that our deceased friend took his
constaut seat; but he worshiped from
conviction with those who are more or
less contemned by the ignorant and in-
terested in what is called the religious
world, especially in the vicinity of aspir-
ing cathedrals. A hope of professional
lucre did not tempt him to make ship-
wreck of faith, nor could faction draw
him, as it sometimes does those who are
only or chiefly anxious to appear unto
men to fast, from what he believed to be
the path of Christian duty, the asylum
of Christian truth. He drank deeply of
the benevolent spirit of Jesus; this made
him, while following a profession in which
there is great opportunity either of im-
posing on the credulity of man, or
of being his friend and helper, pre-emi-
nently attentive to all the sons and dangh-
ters of suffering, whatever the ranks of

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