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590 Projected Edition of Dr. Priestley's Theological Works.
The appeal to “ the sons of respect- will eventually prevail, and scatter all able and wealthy laymen” so suitably the clouds of darkness. The labours made, and so forcibly urged, will not of Priestley have contributed in no small fail, it may humbly be presumed, to degree to enlighten mankind : it reineet with immediate and deserved at. mains only that those who know their tention on their part: and I am sure value, and are disposed to encourage your worthy Correspondent will forgive the proposed undertaking, should withme for extending that appeal to " Jay- out delay signify their intention, and men of easy fortunes who have families thus contribute to perpetuate those to provide for, and whose benevolent Works, which will be a lasting monuhearts deeply conimiserate the sad con ment to the name of their author. dition of the poor around them;" and
J. CORDELL. even to those who, “ amid the daily toils for their subsistence, find time to Sir, Hackney, Sept. 18, 1816. ruminate on the grand truths of reli
REGRET in common with other gion, and whose minds are often more admirers of the Theological Works enlightened on these subjects than of Dr. Priestley, that so little en. many of those who are favoured with couragement has been given to the a higher place in the scale of so- proposed re-publication of them by ciety.”
ihe very able and respectable Editor, It is most probable the number of who has announced his readiness to volumes printed in a year will not ex- devote his best care to the work, if ceed three; upon which calculation indemnified against the cost of pubthe expense of taking in the Works lishing: at the same time I am not (after the first subscription) will not ex- disposed to consider the want of ceed seven-pence balfpenny per week, numbers to the list of subscribers as a a sum which few individuals or families proof of indifference to the writings of desirous of possessing them, might not Dr. Priestley, or as shewing that a spare by a little attention to economy, re-publication is not wanted : many which would be abundantly compen- ' persons are in my situation, they have sated by the acquisition of 'so great a already several of the books and wish treasure. lnstances are not rare among to have others (now out of print) but the more popular sects, in which per- cannot afford to purchase the whole, sons of very limited circumstances and consequently do not subscribe to contrive to take in Commentaries, a complete edition ; I wish therefore, Histories, Magazines, &c. by such through the medium of the Reposi. means, and thus set an example well tory, to submit to the Editor the prov worthy of imitation in the present in- priety of either receiving subscriptions stance.
for the work separately, or binding I gladly take occasion in this place subscribers of two guineas each, to to express my warm concurrence with take such only of the books as they your worthy Correspondent in his eu- may want, and shall make choice of logy on Dr. Priesiley's excellencies, at the time of subscribing. If this and “ the effect that would arise from plan be adopted, I have hope it will be a perusal of his Works.". The remarks found that one subscriber will take in the quotation at the bottom of page one half, and another the other half
, 523, will not surprise any persons who and that by this means the required have observed the air of superiority so sum for defraying the charges of pub frequently assumed by orthodor writers lishing will be obtained. Should over their heretical opponents, and the this suggestion be acted upon, I think disingenuous mode of crying down the it would be useful to publish a list of reputation of Unitarians as men and as the Works, with their respective prices Christians, to prevent their works from affixed.
T. H. being read—whether from a pious alarm at the danger that might accrue SIR,
Sept 21, 1816. to their cause I shall not presume to de- A accountry congregation are en
FEW individuals belonging to termine.
Involved as the Christian world has deavouring to raise among themselves been in error for ages, it is a subject for and their friends, the subscription congratulation that a spirit of inquiry price of a copy of Mr. Rutt's intended has gone forth, and the work of refos- edition of Dr. Priestley's Works. mation is gradually advancing. Truth Their plan is, to circulate the Work
Baptism requisite to Marriage.
591 among themselves, in the first in- from each other for ever? Or, if firm stance, and afterwards make a present both in love and religious principles, of it to their minister. If a scheme of rather than separate, or submit to a this sort were generally adapted by ceremony which one of them conUnitarian congregations, they would sidered as improper, they had chosen have the perusal of the Work at a very to live together; is any one, the most trifling individual expense, do a real squeamishly delicate, prepared to say service to their ministers, who cannot, that they ought to be shunned by in general, afford to purchase large society for persevering in an improper Works, and, also, effectually assist Mr. connexion, or that their issue could Rutt in the prosecution of his lauda- by any probable law of equity be subble undertaking.
X. jected to the evils of illegitimacy? If
this is the case, if these evils would SIR, Palgrave, Oct. 7, 1816. ensue on a refusal to be buptized, it be
THE Morning Herald Newspaper comes a matter of necessity that the the following article : “ Married at curtailed, and furnishes an additional Deene, near Wansford, Lincolnshire, reason for Unitarians exerting themyesterday se'n night, Mr. Williain Gid- selves to get relieved from our present dings, aged 36, to Miss Hannah marriage service, to those which have Spendilo, aged 16. When the pair already been suggested by some of first appeared at the altar, the clergy- your Correspondents in the early part man asked the young woman whether of the present year. Unless I greatly she was a Christian. Her answer mistake, an opinicn is certainly gainconvinced him that she had not been ing ground among the Unitarians that baptized, and therefore he refused to baptism was a ceremony intended only perform the marriage ceremony: the for converts, and that it does not recouple thus left the church, but re- late to the children: of Christian turned shortly afterwards with god. parents. I am not now discussing fathers and godmothers, when the in- the propriety of this opinion, but tended bride was christened and mar- though I hare not a very large acried.”
quaintance, I could mention several Before I read this curious article, families in which this opinion preI was not aware that a clergyman vails. The children in these families could refuse to marry persons who are not christened or baptized - the had not been baptized, or, as it is parents considering that if they see the vulgarly and erroneously called, christ- propriety of baptism when they ened : and I should be glad to learn arrive at years of discretion, they can from some of your Correspondents by submit to the ceremony and join the what law, civil or canonical, this community of Baptists. But supposé refusal is justified: for I cannot dis- these children should be of the same cover in the prayer book, where the opinions as their parents, are they to marriage service is recorded, any di- be prohibited from enjoying the blesse rections on this head; neither does ings of domestic harmony, unless they Blackstone mention the not being bap- submit to a cereinony which with tized as a disability against entering their views is nothing short of downinto the holy state.' In regard to the right mummery? provision in the buriul service, while The prohibition, if it really exists, we may regret that any relic of super- must be founded on either a human stition should be suffered to remain, or divine law. If it rest upon a huof which nature this prohibition cer man law, it is a flagrant persecution, tainly partakes; still it is, compara- infinitely worse than that of making sively speaking, of little consequence, the participating in the Lord's Supper for it concerns the deceased not at all a test for the occupation of an office; whether consecrated or unconsecrated for if a man refuses to take the Sacraground receives the mouldering body. ment, as it is commonly and absurdly But in respect of the marriage cere- stated, though he cannot accept of mony the case is very different: for certain civil offices, he feels no incona what was the above pair to hare done, venience from not accepting them, had the lady from principle refused to except as far as he is deprived of being, be baptized? Were the two lovers as he might wish to be publicly driven to the cruel necessity of Aying honoured and useful. He still enjoy's
Dr. Priestley's Treatment at Warwick. private life quietly and respectably.
July 19, 1816. But by making baptism a test of the
Sir, 'we farthier , for the party muse e hersuche IN the Curiosities of Literature, 179),
is an article on the Destruction of mit, or for ever be denied the enjoy- Books, in which it is remarked that ment of the “
only bliss of paradise " the greater part of the books of which has survived the fall," or be Origen and the other Heretics, were continually exposed to the taunts and continually burnt by the Orthodox scorn of society, for permitting affec- party.” On this passage some former tion to triunph over the injustice of possessor of my cupy has written the the law. If it rests upon the divine following note. law, surely it should for the benefit of “ The illustrious heretic of our the ignorant be pointed out; or how times has met with a similar treatare the parties wishing to be married ment at Biriningham, in 1791, and to confess the existing impediments was personally ill-used at Warwick to their marriage, which very early in Assizes in 1792." the service they are charged to do? In a passage of Dr. Priestley's Fast Moreover, does it rest with the clergy- Sermon, for 1794, quoted in his Me. inan whether he makes these inquiries moirs (12mo. p. 131,) there is a refeor not? Because if so, it is making rence to some unkind treatment “at the law the creature of caprice. the Assizes at Warwick," I suppose ask this, knowing that unbaptized when he sued the county for his loss persons have been married without of property at Birmingham. questions being asked. Now was the I have a particular reason for Lincolnshire clergyman righteous over wishing to ascertain what was the much, or was the other clergyman personal ill-usage to which the manuto whom I allude negligent of his script note refers, and shall thank'any duty ?
of your readers for information. But what an apparently shameful
BREVIS. prostitution of an ordinance of Christ was exhihited in Lincolnshire on the
July 19, 1816. abore occasion-I mean on the bap SIR, dison of the lady. Baptisın is, at least I Michael Hoster, by his nephew,
VERY lately met with the Life of according to the Church service, a Christian ordinance: and if so should the late Mr. Dodson, which was not be resorted to without due reflec- published in 1811, from a copy detion and consideration. Yet it is signed for Dr. Kippis's Biographia scarcely to be supposed that the lady Britannica. in this case cou d have duly consi I know not that a general reader dered the subject. If she had never has any right to complain of such a thought about it, she was not a fit Life as containing scarcely a page intesubject to subinit to it, in an hour or resting to any but the learned profes. two; if she had considered it, and sion, to whom the justly reverenced approved it, why had she not pre- dicta of a great lawyer must be highly viously been baptized ? If she disap- valuable. Yet I doubt whether the proved it, her religious principle was Life of a dignitary of the long role ever sacrificed for the sake of her spouse. exhibited a reputation more excluBut if in the above case, notwithstand- sively legal than that of Judge Foster, ing, appearances, due consideration who appears never to have recreated had been exercised, and every thing himsell," like Sir Edmund Coke, in was as it ought to be, it is manifest, his Forest Laws, by a rainble among that the tendency of the anecdote is Dido's deer. 'to make the public believe that a But I am rainbling from my purperson unbaptized is nò Christian, and pose, which was to propose to animadthat therefore baptism is a most im- version a sentiment of the Biographer portant ordinance; though it may be which follows his notice of the performed nevertheless, without previous opinion maintained by Judge Foster thought, in order to remove an ob- in his famous Argument " that the struction to the performance of what right of impressing mariners for the the law positively enjoins on all as a public service is a prerogative inhetent Decessary civil compact. J. F. in the crown, grounded upon com
Mr. Dodson on Impressing Seamen.
mon law, and recognized by many sician, and now for many years a acts of parliament.”—P. 12.
judge in the United States. In this .. On this passage Mr. Dodson re- Reply, the war is carried with no small marks, “ the question touching the success, into the enemy's country. legality of pressing mariners for the Mr. Burke's Invective having been public service, is a point of the great- uttered in a debate on Parliumentary est importance; and wise and good reform, Mr. Cooper shews, in various men still entertain different sentiments instances, “how little the interests of on the subject." I cannot help re- the poor are taken care of, and how gretting that so excellent a inan as necessary it is that the voice of the Mr. Dodson, whoin I describe from poor man should be heard with atten. personal knowledge, should have been tion and respect ' in the Ilouse of content to treat so mildly this moral Commons." He then adds, enormity. One who has been taught still more flagrant instance of cruelty to consider himself as a free citizen of and injustice towards the poor, is the a free country, whatever be his out- practice of impressing. The labour of ward condition, is yet dragged from ihe poor man constitutes the whole his home as a criminal, without the of his wealth, and his domestic conpretence of any crime, because he nexions almost the whole of his haponce pursued an industrious life as a piness. But on a sudden, under the mariner, and instead of having ac- dubious authority of a press warrant, quired property is still dependant on he is cut off from his peaceful habitahis personal labour for his own, and tion and domestic society, and forcibly probably, a family's support; for a dragged on board the Hoating prison regulating officer will scarcely venture of a tender: he is compelled to labour 10° detain a man of property, should in the dreadful service of murdering such an one be accidentally, kidnapped his fellow-creatures at the command by a pressgang. Such then is the man of his superiors, and paid such scanty convicted only of poverty whose case wages, not as he can earn or deserves, a benevolent Christian, writing more but as the niggardly system of governlike a lawyer than a gospeller, can ment finance thinks fit to allow. His treat as a question of mere legal uncer- family meanwhile, who look up to tainty, on each side of which wisdom him for comfort and subsistence, ignoand virtue inight be equally divided. rant of his misfortune, are anxiously Mr. Dodson had the honour to be a expecting his wonted return; perhaps Heretic, and, in the contemplation their homely, repast for the night of law, was liable to punishment. depended on his earnings for the day; What would he have said to a com- but his usual hour of return to his mentator on penal statutes, who had family is gone by, each passing foot coolly written that “the question touch- step, each noise of distant similarity, ing the prosecution of those who impugn is eagerly listened to in vain. Hope the established creeds, is a point of the still draws out the lengthened evening, greatest importance, and wise and till a sleepless night of lamentation good men sull entertain different senti- and despair succeeds the creary elan. ments on the subject."
choly hours of successive disappointEveryone has read Franklin's ment and fruitless expectation." Notes on Judge Foster's Argument,
After reading this description, and most I believe have adınired the which must have been ofteu realized, deserved satire they convey on the what a sound of unmeaning rant or
idolaters of forms and precedents.” rather of cruel mockery is the followBut the unjust principle which sup- ing burst of oratory by Lord Chathai ports the practice of impressing, and its on the equal liberty enjoyed in frequent melancholy consequences, can England: “ Every Englishman's scarcely be represented with more house is his castle.' Not that it is truth and propriety than in the follow- surrounded by walls and battlements, - ing passage from a “ Reply to Mr. it may be only a straw buil shed. Burke's Injective against Mr. Cooper" All the winds of heaven inay whistle and Mr. Watt, in the House of through it, every element of nature Commons, April 30, 1792," by Mr. may enter it, but the king cannot, Cooper, forinerly of Manchester, the king dare not." distinguished as an acute metaphy
Dr. Bekker.-Letter from the late Rev. W. Vidler to Mr. Rutt. SIR.
August 26, 1816. mony to his continued desire of morál N the Miscellaneous Works of and intellectual improvement, and his the following passage occurs at page which both should be conscientiously 79, Vol. I. Remarks on Deism. “The applied. learned and pious Dr. Bekker, one of It may, perhaps, be regretted, with the pastors of Amsterdam, renounced reference to his personal gratification, the popular opinion of the power of that Mr. Vidler, in earlier life, had · the devil, and published a book against not been introduced' to those literary it. He seemed to doubt also of the advantages which he could have so eternity of hell torments. He was well improved. Yet I confess, that, reputed a Deist, and the consistory, for the sake of the cause, of which he the classes and the synods, proceeded was an able advocate, I feel no such against him, suspended him at first regret. He would probably have been from the communion, and deposed a profoundly learned divine, and in that him at last from the office of a character, deservedly esteemed, yet he minister."
might never have become the instruct. Will some Correspondent of the ive and impressive preacher, such as I Monthly Repository, have the good- have often listened to him. Nor would ness to point out where a more par- he then have left to his contemporaries, ticular account of Dr. Bekker, of his and, as I trust, to other generations, book, and of the proceedings instituted that valuable bequest, an encouraging against him, may be met with ? This example of what may be attained by will much oblige an Inquirer, greal good will to man's highest in
terests, actuating a vigorous mind to an P.S. Perhaps some of the readers unceasing occupation of common adof the Monthly Repository who have vantages. I remain, Sir,
Your's, visited the Netherlands and Germany
J. T. RUTT. since the peace, may be able to give
" DEAR SIR, an account of Unitarianism in those “ I very gratefully thank you for the offer countries. The Menonite Baptists, a of the use of any books which you bare in large and increasing sect, are strictly yourown library, or the Westminster Library Unitarians, with the addition of (what to which, you say, you have access. You to British Unitarians would appear) an could not perform a more pleasant or useful austere system of church discipline service for me. If you have a catalogue of An account of the present state of the your own, or of the Westminster Collection,
or both, that you would indulge me with, it Menonite Baptists could not fail to interest the readers of your Miscellany. Meanwhile I will mention some :
would greatly assist me in my choice,
Hartley on Man. SIR, Clapton, August 28, 1816.
Bayle's Dictionary, English. HAVE found unexpectedly the fol « Modern Universal History. lowing letter, written by a friend
“ Priestley's History of Vision. whom I have just seen committed to
-Electricity his grave, waiting, I doubt not, the
-Lectures on Oratory and resurrection of the just, after having Criticism. eminently served his generation, in the “ Belshani's Philosophy of the Human vigour of his life, and endured with Mind. Christian fortitude the sufferings which
“ Robinson's Ecclesiastical Researebes. were allotted to its decline. I read
“ Lardner's History of Heretics. the letter, as you will suppose, with
“ Chandler's History of the loquisition. those sensations, which can be well “A good Latin Grammar.
“ Latin Dictionary. understood by all who had oppor
Bible. tunities of appreciating the character
“ And any other Latin books fit for a young of the late Mr. Vidler.
student in that language. I am persuaded that I shall bring no bably smile, but I really do not think discredit
on my friend's memory, by myself too old to learn any thing that requesting you to preserve his letter. - depends on meutal applicatica. You koow Though scarcely more than a written I cannot afford to buy books : I have more message and little designed by him for leisure than I ever had in my life, and wish to the public eye, I cannot allow myself use it so, as to give a good account of it, both to conceal this truly honourable testi- to God and the congregation that I serve.
You will pro