Imatges de pÓgina

not despond, but hope. When he surveyed the course of public opinion, he saw the surface only affected; the deep current beneath flowed on, and would flow on for ever. The shocks of tyranny assailed the great cause of freedom, only as a storm shook the mountain tree to make it strike deeper root than ever, and fix it more firmly against future hurricanes. The friends of liberty looked forward with confidence to the issue of their war with ignorance and oppression, because they had knowledge with them, and error could not withstand it. Truth, freedom and piety, shall finally and gloriously and universally and soon prevail. The worthy Secretary then, amidst the loudest and most enthusiastic applause, concluded his able and eloquent address. He had spoken upwards of three hours.

J. H. BROWN, Esq., LL.D, and barrister at law, observed, that as to the question of the legality of rating places of meeting for the poor, he was of opinion, that the proper way for Dissenters to obtain relief was open to them without any new law. Every species of beneficial property was rateable to the poor. Beyond all doubt personal property was rateable, and the sole reason why it had been left altogether unrated, was because it was impossible to estimate its value. The parish officers of Mauchester had never rated places of worship. They had always acted too liberally. At Liverpool, where it was attempted, it was abandoned, because in the next article it was proposed to value all the shipping in the port. That was the manner in which, in all other places, Dissenters should resist such encroachments on their liberties. The gentlemen who filled the benches at quarter sessions were not trained to all the niceties of the profession, and it was not surprising, therefore, that a bench of Welsh justices should have acted as stated by their able and eloquent Secretary. As to out-door preaching, he (Dr. Brown) was satisfied that it was no part of the law that Dissenters should preach at any hour in any place they pleased. Their excellent Secretary had advised them to apply to Parliament for an act for the better explanation of the Toleration Act. Now he, (Dr. Brown,) speaking from his professional experience, was bound, in candour and justice to the Society, to state, that of all acts those which were passed for amending other acts were the most perplexing and unintelligible. There was an act to amend and explain another consisting of only sixteen lines, and yet he knew of five or six cases having gone to the Court of King's Bench as to the meaning of those explanatory lines. The fact was, the ingenuity of a lawyer, he was sorry to say, would easily find, in any sixteen lines of an explanatory act,

at least sixteen doubts. If he appealed to Parliament it should be to do away with toleration altogether. It was impossible, in the 19th century, that men could be punished for exercising the rights of conscience. Nor was it enough not to subject him to punishment. He claimed to be exempted from every kind of penalty and prohibition. Every office should be open to men of talent and integrity, whatever their religious faith. in all cases where Dissenters entertained any doubt as to the feeling likely to prevail at the quarter sessious, he recommended a certiorari to remove the case out of the jurisdiction of the magistrates.

The Rev. M. WILKS, in a brief speech, complimentary to the noble Chairman, moved

"That this meeting cannot separate without expressing their peculiar gratitude to the Right Honourable Lord Dacre, their liberal and much-honoured Chairman, for his long and true attachment to the cause of civil and religious liberty, and for his past and useful efforts to promote permanent peace and constitutional reform, and all those public principles in public men, which will best render their native land admired, beloved and honoured throughout the earth."

This resolution was most enthusiastically applauded, and their unanimous approbation of the conduct of the Chairman was testified by the whole assembly rising from their seats.

The CHAIRMAN, as soon as silence could be obtained, said, that at no time, under no circumstances, was it possible to address such a meeting as that which then presented itself to his view, without considerable anxiety and agitation, which were not a little increased by his dread, that something in his conduct or manner had led to the conclusion that he had felt impatient during the very interesting proceedings of the day. He had experienced, he assured them, nothing but gratification and delight. To his shame he confessed, that a meeting of that important and enlightened character, which in future he should not fail regularly to attend, was unknown to him till he was invited to it by a gentleman who had that day proved himself to be one of the most enlightened, able and eloquent pub. lic orators of the country. He (Lord D.) could not but be most happy in acceding to the invitation, and proud he was that he had attended in pursuance of it. By the kindness of their Secretary he had received a copy of the resolutions then passed. When he received it he felt some difficulty as to the line of conduct he should adopt, not because he hesitated in expressing his concurrence with them in every principle laid down in them, but because he considered them as so many

[ocr errors]

axiomatic propositions, as a continued succession of identical, self-evident truths. He expected, therefore, to have been called upon only to join in gratulation at the triumph of that great cause which he valued and esteemed. Nor had that impression been removed by the extraordinarily able, the transcendently eloquent speech, which they had all heard that day. He agreed with the learned gentleman (Dr. B.) in rejecting the use of the word toleration; but still the state of the law did not warrant the oppressions practised

on the Dissenters. He had watched with anxiety the progress of the statement that day, and he felt that if they attempted to analyse and discriminate what was the law from the abuses of the law, they would find to the honour of the Legislature, that those oppressions were not consonant to the law of the land, but infractions of it. He did not stand there as the apologist of prejudiced men, of unrighteous magistrates, or of ignorant sessions, but as condemning the absence of toleration wherever he found it wanting. He wished, before the meeting broke up, to point out the great distinction that existed in the cases, and which of them it was of importance to mark, observe and recollect. The worthy Secretary had divided the subject of his report into measures of the past and of the present year. One case of the last year had come before him as Chairman of sessions. In both the cases the law was in favour of toleration. It was clearly criminal to interrupt service in a meetinghouse. There was no doubt as to the law among the magistrates. The law seemed clear, the proceedings were rapid, and he determined consistently with toleration and the law. He now blushed to hear that doing his duty had turned out to be in vain. The object for which he contended was equality of rights. Civil disqualifications for religious opinions was what he abhorred. Equal laws and equal rights were what he sought for, and what only he would be satisfied with. In other words, he advocated civil and religious liberty. The refusal of parochial relief to Protestant Dissenters was not allowed by the law of England. No words that he was acquainted with could convey the impression which such conduct made upon his mind. There the law was equal, and it was only by abusing the law that the Dissenter could be injured. As to friendly societies, it was completely out of the question that there should be any legal distinction as to religious opinions. The subject of out-door preaching had been ably discussed both by the eloquent Secretary (Mr. Wilks) and the learned barrister (Dr. Brown). Abuses of the law could hardly be prevented wholly, but it was clear that the law itself favoured

the practice of toleration. When he considered the other points, viz. as to the right of marriage, and the validity of the registration of births by the Dissenting ministers, he thought them matters for future consideration, and he hoped for future legislation. He trusted that he should see all civil disabilities for religious opinions abolished in this country, and that, following the words of the poet, "One circle formed, another straight Another still, and still another spreads." succeeds, From this country the generous principles of civil and religious liberty would spread, until they covered the entire face of the inhabited world. The main hinge of the whole question was the state of the toleration laws. By annual acts of indemnity, Government covertly continued that system of penalties which they ought to repeal gallantly. If he were asked whether Parliament ought to amend the Toleration Act, he would answer, no; repeal it, and expunge the word from the Statute-book for ever. Though he was educated abroad, yet, since he had known England, he had always professed, followed and acted upon, the principles he then avowed. Some measures, he understood, were in progress, respecting the questions of marriages and registrations. He most 'decidedly declared his intention to support and forward them in that branch of the Legislature to which he belonged. He hoped they would continue to co-operate in the sacred cause which brought them together. Though he had endeavoured to defend the laws and institutions of the country, and throw off the obloquy to the unworthy persons who abused them, he had yet seen enough that day to satisfy him as to the propriety of ameliorating those laws and institutions. By their excellent addresses, they would obtain continued accessions to their power. Against the strength of opinion nothing could stand, nor could they have a more powerful, cogent, able, liberal and persuasive advocate, than their Secretary. He (Lord D.) feared nothing so long as literature and the liberty of the press existed. To them we owed all that had raised us above other nations, and from their progress must the future happiness, freedom and greatness of the country ultimately emanate. His Lordship then retired from the Chair amidst the acclamations of the meeting, which immediately began to separate.

On Friday, March 28, the first stone of a new Chapel, to the worship of One God in One Person, was laid at Willington, Delamere Forest, Cheshire, and an address delivered. The building is intended to be of stone, with a burying

ground attached to it. The neighbourhood is populous, and the prospects of Unitarianism are very pleasing.

Glasgow Prizes.

Glasgow College, May 1, 1823.

THIS day the annual distribution of Prizes was made in the Common Hall by the Principal and Professors, in presence of a numerous meeting of the University, and of many reverend and respectable gentlemen of this city and neighbourhood.

On Mr. Coulton's Donation for the best Translation of the Oration of Demosthenes De Corona, George Lewis, B.A., London.

Prize given by the Jurisdictio Ordinaria for a Latin Oration delivered in the Common Hall; Samuel Craig Neilson, A.M., Downpatrick.

Prize in the Mathematical Class for exemplary propriety, diligence and ability, and for excelling in the exercises prescribed during the session; Junior Division, Thomas Ainsworth, B.A., Preston.

Prize in the Natural Philosophy Class, Samuel Craig Neilson, A. M., Downpatrick.

Prize in the Ethic Class; Senior, George Lewis, B. A., London. Junior, Thomas Ainsworth, B.A., Preston.

For the best Theme executed in Latin Verse; Alfred Pett, B.A., Clapton.

For an Essay on the difference betwixt Poetry and Prose; George Lewis, B.A., London.

For a Poetical Essay on the Pleasures of the Country, and of Study during the Vacation; Henry Green, Maidstone.

For general eminence to advanced Students, during the Session, in the Logic Class; Samuel Allard, Bury, Lancashire; Henry Green, Maidstone.

For the best Poetical Version of Cho

ruses in the Frogs of Aristophanes ;
Joseph Wicksteed, M.A., Shrewsbury.

For the best Translation of Extracts
from Xenophon's Cyropædia; William
Ainsworth, Preston.

For eminence at the Black-stone Examination in Greek; Non-competitor, William Gaskell, Warrington.

For emimence throughout the Session in the Humanity or Latin Class; William Ainsworth, Preston.


THE Annual Examination of Students
in Manchester College, York, will take
place in the Common Hall of the Col-
lege, on the evening of Monday, the
23rd of June instant, and on the three
following days, on the latter of which the
prizes will be awarded by the Visitor. On
the Suuday preceding the examination, a
Sermon will be preached to the Students
by the Rev. Lant Carpenter, LL.D., in
the St. Saviour's Gate Chapel, York.

The York Annual Meeting of Trustees
will be held in the afternoon of Thursday
the 27th of June, and, by adjournment,
on the following morning; and the friends
of the institution will dine together on
the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,
at Etridge's Hotel, at 5 o'clock.

Manchester, May 22, 1823.

THE Yearly Meeting of the Eastern Unitarian Society, will be held at Bury St. Edmunds, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 25th and 26th of June. Mr. Valentine, of Diss, will preach on the Wednesday evening, and Mr. Selby, of Lynn, on the Thursday morning. The members and friends of the Society will dine together at the Six Bells Inn. EDWARD TAYLOR, Sec.


We have received W. W.'s Nonconformist paper; the printed Letter by Mendelsohn, circulated by the Jews; Te Tace; T. F. B.; M.; and the Letter of Tillotson, transcribed from the Original in the British Museum by Mr. Rutt.

Having admitted S.'s free remarks upon Mr. Erskine's Essay, we deem ourselves bound to insert any fair and reasonable reply, but it is too much for T. to put upon us 13 folio pages of MS. consisting wholly of irony and sarcasm. Both S. and T. are unknown to us, and we know no more of Mr. Erskine's book than we have learned from them. Our insertion of S.'s paper does not pledge us to an approbation of its entire contents, nor, we hope, will our rejection of T.'s be deemed an act of partiality. T. can defend the Essay in a much better manner, and though a direct defence might be an attack upon Unitarianism, we can venture to promise him that it would not on that account be less likely to find its way into the Monthly Repository. T.'s paper is left for him at the Publishers'.

If our stock will allow of it, we have no objection to the proposed exchange of volumes with Mr. Daniel.

We have received with sorrow the intelligence of the death, at Fersfield, near Diss, in Norfolk, of the Rev. JAMES LAMBERT, Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, in the 83rd year of his age. Some account of this truly excellent man is promised for our next number.

[ocr errors]



Monthly Repository.

No. CCX.]

JUNE, 1823.

[Vol. XVIII.

Letters from the Earl (afterwards Duke) of Lauderdale to R. Baxter.


"Windsor Castle,
"4th November, 1658.

"Reverend and much-honoured,

ACCORDING to my promise be heartily undertaken by


this day se'nnight, (not having heard from you since I sent my last three letters to you,) you shall here receive the contents of P. Moulin's book: not all the contents, but all that relates to antiquity, or might, in my opinion, be for your purpose. By this you can better judge of the book comparatively with Blondel than I can, seeing you have a table of the contents of both; yet you shall have my opinion also on a cursory view. Both of them answer one book of Card. Perron, but Moulin handles most of the controversies with the Papists, and Blondel that only concerning the Pope's pretended primacy, wherein he is so large that Blondel's book is twice as big (though but on that one point) as Moulin's. And, indeed, Blondel in that book shews himself to have been versed in antiquity, even to admiration, which makes me regret that he should have misspent so much precious time in his latter days as to write two great volumes on a subject so below a dream, even on the genealogies of the Kings of France. I never saw those volumes, but by the title I conjecture they were a work fitter for a herald or a lawyer than a divine. And now that misspent time is irrecoverable, for he is now with God; and before the Lord called him he lost his eyes, as he tells us in his preface before Dallei Apologia. One work of his I have now by me in French, concerning the Sybils, wherein he accurately confutes from antiquity the popish prayer for the dead and purgatory. Also, I have lately got out of Holland most of Amyrault's works; amongst the rest one treatise concerning Church-Government, and an Apology for the Reformed Religion, both in French. I have not yet seen them, for they are at London binding.


2 s

"But I shall trouble you no further at this time; once you shall have a short letter from me. I shall long till, by hearing from you, I shall be put on more work for you, which will

"Your real friend and servant,

"Mr. Richard Baxter."


"Reverend and much-honoured Sir,

"Yours of the 5th and of the 9th of this month came to me much about a time. The reason of my delay of the answer hath proceeded from my desire to clear you from those prejudices which the reading of great Usher De primordiis Eccles. Britan. hath (as I do humbly conceive) cast you into. Your letter hath made me go over that book, and my desire to have my country stand right in your esteem, (which I more value than I will tell you,) hath made me bestow some time to let you see that the more I search the more I am convinced that I was not mistaken as to the soil. But my scribblings on that subject shall be with you in a week; and till then I pray you keep one ear open.

"As to your desires, seeing my translations can be of no more use to you, I shall forbear. Yet I shall take that walk through all Blondel's book which you appoint, and pick what flowers I can find fit for your purpose, to make you a posy. Pardon me if it take some time, I am a slow student, and before I received yours was engaged in a task which will take me to the end of next week. Thereafter I do promise you the half of my time of reading every day, except the Lord's day, till it be done; and I hope to send the account of my labour about the beginning of January, for a new year's gift. I am glad Moulin's book is so far advanced. By the Index I guess what is for your purpose is in those

first quires which you say are done, so you may send for them. And on this purpose give me leave to beg, that as you are charitable to English scholars, in labouring to get the best French books translated, so you would be as charitable in getting your book of Rest put into Latin for the good of Protestants beyond the seas, who, I dare say, would quickly put it into all their vulgar languages. In the mean time, a friend of yours hath sent a copy of it to one of the best quality that understands the language over the water; and I have sent almost all your works to a dear friend and kinsman of mine in Holland, who lends me other books in exchange; and if you desire any book which is not to be found here, send me word, and I shall answer to get you a quick account if it be in Paris or Holland. For though I am wiser than to keep the least dangerous correspondence, yet I have some scholar acquaintance with whom I correspond sometimes beyond the sea. But it is only of books and not of news, which I leave to the news-books, as being none of my business.

Your short and pathetic regret for the condition of Protestants is too true. Oh! how dangerous are the beginnings of war! I have great obligation to the King of Sweden, yet truth forces me to say, what a sea of blood hath his invasion of Poland been the occasion, if not the cause of, in Europe! And now it is like to put England and Holland by the ears, for I hear an English fleet, under ViceAdmiral Goodsone, of 20 sail, parted on Friday toward the Sound, and more are following under Sir Geo. Ascew. But you conclude well, Where is our strength but in heaven? And a great comfort to us is wrapt up in 93 Ps. The Lord reigns, &c. To his rich grace I recommend you and your labours and Rest.

[blocks in formation]


"Reverend and much-honoured friend, "Though upon the receipt of your letters of the 5th and 14th November, I did run over the Primate's book, and wrote what is here enclosed, yet I did not transcribe it till yours of the 29th gave me the confidence; and now I cannot send so long a scribble without first craving your pardon, and intreating you to read it, as you would do a news-book, when you have no great business. I made it as short as could, and have forborne all national reflections which history gave me ground enough for (seeing Ireland was not owned for a kingdom till Henry VIII. his days, the English being styled only Lords of Ireland since their conquest; and before, divers great men, in every province, called themselves kings, none else called them so). What I have said will, I hope, let you see that I had more ground in history for my assertion than the Irish have for their fancy, and, indeed, I was sorry to find such contradictions in that good man's book, which an adversary would make strange work of, if any Popish priest shall take it to task. But my end was only to satisfy you in private, and I thought it a duty to set that poor nation right in your eyes, who have been pleased to do it so much right in its distressed condition, in many passages of your works which I shall never forget.

In my last I told you that I could not immediately fall about Blondel, (for I had a little work to do, which I have ended; this was only a parergon,) and I met with four days' diversion, which was lost work (and I warn you of it, lest you should fall into the like, though I think you employ your time better than to be taken with titles). There is lately come out a book in folio, of Dr. Dee his Actions with Spirits. The book was recommended to me by a man of pretty parts, and I had heard of Dr. Dee for his mathematics; the subject seemed strange, and some invitation I had from the name of the publisher, Dr. Casaubon, for his father's sake. But all I found was a poor ambitious man pitifully abused with devils pretending to be angels of light; some things they say not inconsiderable, but for the most part their divinity is perfectly like the

« AnteriorContinua »