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State of Public Affairs.
503 food earnest into the consideration of a terest is very much misunderstood with us. constitution, fitted for their present wants, In conversing with the people, who are The deliberation of their diets have always fond of using this term, it is easily discobeen noted for their slowness; and the va- vered that they mean only the interest of riety of interests to be consulted will pro- the land owners, not of the cultivators of bably make their present a work of great the land: but the latter are the true agridifficulty. The King of Wurtemburgh, culturists, and the land owner stands to one of Buonaparte's kings, still keeps at them exactly in the same situation, as variance with his subjects. Their dissent- wbat is called the monied does to the merions tend however to promote a spirit of cantile interest. The report, wbich is now inquiry among the neighbouring states; in circulation, proceeding from the board and it is evident that they will no longerof agriculture, must be read therefore with be governed in their former despotic man- great caution. It is under the direction
Their nobility must consent to con- pot of agriculturists, but of land owners; sider themselves men, and their distinc- and the latter are little calculated to untions, which have long beeo beld in con- 'derstand the complicated interests of such tempt, will no longer serve to separate a kingdom as ours. A land owner talks of them from the great body of their country- ruin when bis rents are lowered, not remen. Prussia has not yet obtained a con- collecting that during the late war those stitution, but the courage of their Landwehr rents had been raised out of all proportion will in due time procure it.
to the profits of the other classes of society; The legislature of the Netherlands is and if he has derived for many years a very employed on a very importaut object, great advantage over his countrymen, it namely, to reconcile together the interests does not become him to grumble when the of commerce,' manufactures and finance. change of the times reduces him nearer to As the greater part of this nation was at his pristine situation.
How many are one time cominercial in a very high degrec, there in this class of life, who, by prudently it may be supposed to be well acquainted applying the inordinate profits of the late with every circumstance relative to trade; years, have so increased their estates, that, and thence we may derire lessons by which if they were now let at the rate they went this country may be much benefited. at before the war, still from the accumulaHere we have an interest, lately much tion of land their yearly income will be intalked of, namely, the agricultural interest, creased doubly, trebly and more.
But we and its policy has been seen in that very shall be curious to see in what manner the injudicious measure, the Coro Bill. With great question is settled by the legislature a view to bolster up its own interest, the of the Netherlands. We may persist, if landholders forgot their real situation, the land owners please, for they are the namely, that their wealth and importance legislators of this country, in pursuing depend on the flourishing state of our com- their misunderstood interest. merce and manufactures, and that cheap- keep up the price of bread, but it must be ness of provisions is essential to their recollected that other nations are not bound success. A landholder from a false view by our decisions. The road to commerce of bis own interest looks to the dearness and manufactures is open to them, and of provisions as his summum bonum; they will not fail to avail themselves of it. thence he conceives that his rents will be Providence has supplied checks to impruincreased, and that he will enjoy increasing dent and inordinate desires. We have prosperity: but his view of the subject is been highly favoured. If we give up the fallacious : all the advantages of commerce advantages which industry will procure us, and inanufactures ultimately tend to the we sball only afford to the world another profit of the land owner; his lands are example, that riches make to themselves better tilled, and are thence capable of pro- wings and fly away. Commerce and maducing him a greater rent. If he is con- nufactures dwell only in those countries, tent to derive this advantage in the proper where they are duly protected and held in manner, then all parties tlourish; but if he honour. looks to his owo aggrandizement merely, The Americans are making claims on he injures himself and all parties. With the Court of Naples for property which out commerce and manufactures the land bad been seized under the late regime, and will fall to what it was a few centuries back, it is said that they will be content, by way to ten or twelve years purchase, the roads of compensation, with some island, which will be unfrequented, the canals dry: every will afford them a secure harbour for their thing will stagnate. A few landholders ships and a good depot for their commuodimay consume in sullen luxury the produce ties. This may occasion a new era in the of their estates on their own backs and cominerce of the Mediterranean. We hare bellies and those of needy dependents, but the island of Malta, which is highly bene. all spur to industry and improvement will ficial to us, and the Americans will look to be lost. 'Besides, the term agricultural in. similar advantages from a port of the sanno
nature. In what manner this matter is been produced on the licensing of public considered by the Court of Naples and the houses. The matter will probably engage other European powers time will sbew. the attention of parliament at its next ses
Spain bas pronulgated its successes in' sion, for when a grievance is universally the new world, but we may be allowed to felt and very generally understood and doubt whether they will be permanent. It complained of, a change in the system is will take time before the natives are assisted not far distant. This is a great advantage by arms and ammunition, and a sufficient of our country, that by the free circulation number of French military can make head of opinions, every matter is brought under against the discipline of European troops; general inspection. but the experiment will shortly be tried, A temporary alarm has been excited onand no one except a Spaniard can contem- the subject of the silver coinage, but it plate the independence of the Spanish colo- soon subsided. Its defects bave been long nies in any other light than as a gain to known, and in due time a new coinage will the world at large. An English ship has sweep before it the miserable pieces which been carried it is said into Spain, which are now in circulation. It is to be hoped had a cargo from Bucnos Ayres. This that the nation will learn from the expemay occasion a correspondence between rience of the past, and never suffer their the two courts, and settle the question re- coin to fall again into so miserable a state. latire to the true situation of the inhabitants The tinte must come wben a bad coinage on the Southern banks of La Plata. must give place to a good one ; but in the
A considerable sensation has been ex- change many will be the sufferers. How perienced by the publication and general much better would it not be to prevent circulation of a report of the House of the recurrence of such an evil, by never Commons relative to the police of this permittivg a piece of coin to pass, which country, and many extraordinary facts have has not upon its face the legal stamp.
We are requested by the Treasurer of the Unitarian Fund to say that in the published list of Subscribers, the name of Mrs. Severn, of Broughton, Notts, has been by mistake omitted; and that the notification of any other errors in the list, will be esteemed a favour.
In our next Number we shall be able to give a Memoir of the late Mr. William Matthews, of Bath.
We bave received a variety of interesting communications from America, of wbich we sball make an early use.
A Correspondent, familiar with Spanish literature, has furnished us with a curious account of an Auto de Fé, compiled from official documents.
“ Recent Case of Bigotry in Private Life.”—The reader probably recollects a letter under this title in the Monthly Repository for June, p. 320. The persons who suppose that they are referred to by our Correspondent, J. W. have shewn a very laudable anxiety to clear themselves of the suspicion of bigotry; but we are sorry to say that their defence leares the principal part of the charge in its full force. The only part of their correspondence with us wbich is to the point is the following paragraph, which we print as we received it : “ but it is due to the publie weal that we sboud [should) answer the imputation of crime :-One branch of our family has for these fourteen years past attended a chapel : a present inmate in our service has long been and now is a regular attendant at a chapel." The facts are now before the public: we anticipate the result.” We are enjoined, indeed, to publish the whole of the letter from which this extract is made, and in spite of the manner in which the injunction is laid upon us, we should bare inserted it if, with the exception of the part already copied, it were not wbolle irrelevant and scarcely intelligible; not to mention that it contains insinuations of a dark and serious nature. A plain fact is plainly stated by J. W. and that fact is not disproved but confirmed by the correspondence. We have said thius much to shew that we have not been inattentive to the subject, though we might have fairly stood excused for passing by a correspondent who concludes à letter with the threat “ that if there is any reply or further notice of this transaction,” the persons referred to “ will seek redress in another form.
A Correspondent wishes us to insert the following notice : “ If the person who in the July Repository subscribed himself J. H. will please to inquire at the shop of Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, in Paternoster Row, he will find a sinall parcel directed for Mr. f. H. containing some small sets of sermons, such as he is desirous of seeing."
Memoir of Mr. Wiliam Malhews. He paid close attention to business IN N the Obituary of the Monthly and was careful to procure for a numeMagazine for May last, p. 383, a
rous family of children, as good an brief account is given of Mr. Ma- education as his circumstances and thews, "for many years the much the village where he lived afforded. distinguished and enlightened Secre- He also from an earnest wish to protary of the Bath and West of England mote their welfare, encouraged their Agricultural Society ;" with an inti- attendance of such meetings for wormation from a Correspondent “ that ship and discipline, as lay within a their next volume will contain a cor- convenient distance. The principles rect memoir of his life and useful and economy of the Society became labours." His publications in the the early objects of his son William's volumes of the transactions of the serious consideration, who soon discoSociety, are said to “ manifest his yered an inclination and capacity for various useful attainments," and that learning; and when about' fourteen in the station of Secretary, “ he con- years of age, he was sent to London, tributed in no small degree, to raise where he remained in an exemplary that excellent institution to the
Friend's family several years, and during
preeminence it has attained.” The an
that time became still farther improved nounced memoir will, it
in learning, and deeply impressed with sumed, relate principally to these com
the love of virtue and religion.* mendable efforts. Yet as he was well In consequence of a severe illness known to many of its members, and he returned home, and soon after jastly, esteemed by them as a worthy, became a tutor in a Mr. Huntley's upright and actively benevolent man, school, at Burford, where he remainand a warm friend to the great cause ed some years, and acquitted himself of civil and religious liberty, it may much to the satisfaction of his emnalso advert to these features of his ployer. In the year 1768, he opened mind. My · object is to give your
à boarding school at Coggeshall, in readers some just ideas of my friend Essex, in a large house which was as a religious character.
soon quite filled. He was assiduous WILLIAM Mathews was borp at and successful in the education of his Milton, near Burford, in Oxfordshire, pupils, and their moral improvement November 1, 1747. His father, Mr. lay very near to his heart. He often John Mathews, was a man of strict addressed them in pathetic and affecpiety, and much esteemed as a mi- tionate language, in order to establish nister in the Society of Friends. He in their minds religious and moral was of a benevolent disposition, and principles for their future benefit : seems to have possessed something and some of his pupils who are yet of the same spirit of freedom in his living still retain a lively and grateful religious inquiries, by which his son William was so much distinguished.
* This happy bent of his mind in early Some of the publications of the Rev. life be partly attributed to the eloquent Theophilus Lindsey fell into his and impressive preaching of a Mr. Letchhands, and were not only perused by talents, a uniform advocate for civil and
worth, who was a man of distinguished him, but approved and recommended religious freedom, yet a much esteemed to at least one of his children, as a minister among the Quakers, of whose plain assertion and Scriptural defence life and character, in 1786, Mr. Mathews of the Christian doctrine of the Unity published a brief but very interesting of God.
remembrance of those labours of love. the secret. But my growing dissatisHis school was continued with in- faction with some articles in the dise creasing reputation and sticcess about cipline of Friends, induced me shortly eight years.
after' to take such steps in my owo In the same year in which he person, as led to the conclusion, that fémoved to Coggeskall, he married if I was not the author, I was com, Miss Mary Huntley, of Burford, a pletely of his school; and as the event member of the Society of Friends, and soon prored, was no longer to be sister to the Mr. Huntley before men- tolerated as a member of the So. tioned ; and while he "resided here ciety.". formed an intimate acquaintance with How justly thc disownment of Mr. several persons of superior intellect, Mathews, which took place in 1783, and particularly with the late Mr. was attributed by him to the ruling Edmundi Rack, then of Bardfield, in individuals in the district of his resi1.ssex, but who removed to Bath dence, and how much he was preabout the year 1975, and Mr. Ma- viously esteemed as a minister, may be thew's soon after; the close confine- inferred from the following anecdote. ment of his school proving injurious “I was not hasty," says he, “in the to his health. Both of them lived at discontinuance of my public ministry "Bath the remainder of their lives. at Bath, where I reside, even after a Another of Mr. Mathews's most inti- minute of rejection from membership wate friends at this time was the late had been recorded in the morithly Mr. Portsmouth, of Basingstoke, in meeting book ; both because I found llanıpshire, "a man of great respecta- the spring of love frequently flow in bility as a practitioner in medicine, my mind towards my little audience, as a scholar, and as a gospel minister and because the far greater pårt of among Friends." He was much older them had signed and sent me a writthan Mr. Mathews, and had, like ten testimony of their regard for me Alr. Letchworth, “ suffered much in that character, with hopes that it pain of mind from what he had might continue.' But my knowledge of observed of the narrow and intolerant the consequences to them, of expo 'spirit;" which prevailed among the sing, determined me to conceal theis ruling disciplinarians in the Suciety. names. Many of them are now In we hope it might do 'something dead [in 1802) or removed to other “towards the removal of so great an situations. The constitutional irreguevil," this worthy' man wrote “ An farity of continuing my public appearEssay on the Simplicity of Truth," ances (as a minister) was a sufficient and the Use and Extent' of Discipline inducéinent to ine soon to desist: and in the Church of Christ, particularly it was not long before I found myself addressed to the People called Quae inost disposed to discontinue also á rekers," and confided the perusal of his gular attendance of Friends' meetings." MS. to Mr. Mathews, desiring his Nearly twenty years after, Mr. M. opinion as to the propriety of its described his feelings towards the publication. Mr. Mathews not only Society, and his attachment to' the approved publishing the tract, but simplicity of their peculiar form of undertook to superintend the press at public worship, in the following Bath on the author's behalf, and with terms. It is then no matter for sure his free consent annexed a P.S. to it, “prise that he continued an occasional on Tithes, and the practice of disown- attendant on their meetings for wor. ing those members of the Society of ship for the remainder of his life. "A Friends who paid them.
man educated, habitúated, and prinThis temperate work was no sooner cipled as I was, is very unfit to find published, under the signature of satisfaction in the communion of any * Catholicus," than it caused much other religious Society; and I have inquiry in the Society after the author. hitherto found more content in re Mr. Mathews was of course suspected, maining a solitary retired character, “ and though I was," says he, not than in resuming religious attendances - Jestrained by fear, from avowing the among those whom (though I very • facts as they stood, I thought it unne- affectionately regard them) I cannot cessary to do so, and hoped the attempt have full unity with as a body. Mere to diffuse liberality of sentiment; might external appearances of fellowship • be soniewhat increased by proserving produce but little satisfaction on
Memoir of Mr. If'illiam Matheus.
507 either side. And there are situations many a poor innocent and mourniul in which I might find more freedom African, violently dragged on board than where I now reside, in associ- from his native fields and every tender ating for the purpose of public wor- connexion! Who, without blushing ship, under the form peculiar to our for his country, and for human inFriends and to which I am strongly famy, can survey the splendid engine attached on account of its simplicity, of rapacious power without shuddering and the solemnity of its design." to the heart, at the thought of the
In 1786, Mr. Mathews published pangs, the sorrows, and the sufluca“ The Miscellaneous Companions." tions which have existed beneath its The first volume consists of " a short gaudy ensigns ! Who, that is worn Tour of Observation and Sentiment ihy ihe name of man, but must dethrough a part of South Wales." But plore that the best principles of wawre even this part of his work, evinces and all that is benevolent in the his benevolent and virtuous disposi- human heart should be so wantonly rion. Most of his remarks on the violated! That any calling himselia, incidents of the journey, or on the Christian, should commence the tre objects that attracted his attention, rant, and become the murderer, cf are calculated to guard against some distant unoflending fellow-creatures, moral evil, or to promote some prac. whom he never saw, merely to have zical good. Thus, in passing through a chance of augmenting wealth, Bristol, at a time when the merchants which, when gotten, must prove a, of that city were deeply engaged in shame, if not a curse to his generathe Africaa, slave-trade, before the tion !" public minds was awakened to its In the course of this journey. Mr. enormity; more than twenty years Mathews availed himself of a Indibefore the act passed for iis abolition; crous misapplication of a common and previous to the first efforts of the word, by a genteel young man of philanthropic Clarkson in this great good natural talents and disposition, cause of humanity ;-Mr. Mathews, who rode with him several miles, after some interesting remarks on the to give his readers some useful arts of ship-building and navigation, " thoughts on education." From observes, The evidences of superior these I shall select a passage or two skill and elegance, in the construc- hefore I quit this volume. “ The tion of shipping which so strongly division of einpires and provinces,". mark the present days, however flat- says, he, “the general principles of tering to the pride of modern inge- the laws of nations the rise, progress nuity, and however ornamental to our and importance of discoveries in arts trading cities, like many other boasted and sciences, as well as the general improvements and embellishments, history of mankind :--these, or at are far from being evidences of supe- least the elements of these should unrior virtue: and wbere virtue and doubtedly form parts of a liberal edumoral usefulness are wanting, in the cation. These, inculcated with a ingenuity of contrivance, or the appli- view to store the mind with imporcations and uses of art, much is tant subjects for future reflection, wanting to charm the mind of a will have the most enlarging and, dispassionate and virtuous man. beneficial tendency, especially as they Thus, while we survey with astonish- may powerfully come in aid of a fre ment and delight, those productions quent and serious contemplation of of mechanic genius, which we have the great Governor of all things, and of been treating of; and consider their all events ; which in proportion as adaption to carry on an intercourse the heavens are higher than the earth, with foreign and remote countries, is the supreme good of a right educa. which, under virtuous regulations, tion, and the sacred pre-eaninence of might be at once pleasant and bene all knowledge. ficial, who but must lament their . With respect to religion, without subserviency also to slavery and dis- an inward experience of the power of tress! Who, without horror, can which no man can be happy, the behold the clean, gilded, and oma- simple and unchangeable doctrines of niented vessel, riling at her anchors, the New Testainent can never be too and reflect that her hold has been strongly enforced, . This observation made the dungeon, and the grave, of holds irực with regard to youth of: