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Secession from the Church.- Sir I. Newton's MSS. 145 went into the jail to give him ghostly Christian country; that he never exadvice, and endeavoured to bring him amined it; and that he left behind to a confession of his other sins, with- him a cart-load of papers on religious out which they told him he could not subjects, which Dr. Horsley examined hope for redemption--for besides this and declared unfit for publication. murder, he was strongly suspected, These gentlemen do not perceive that &c. &c. * But when the minis- their declarations are inconsistent with ters had said all that was customary each other. Nobody who has ever concerning the merit of confession, he read a page of Newtor's works could abruptly asked them, if either or all believe that he could write a cart-load of them could pardon him in case he of papers on a subject which he nemade a confession : and when they ver examined. Newton's religious had answered • No; not absolutely, opinions were not orthodox ; for ex. he said, “You have told me, God ample, he did not believe in the Trican forgive me?' They said it was nity. This gives us the reason why true. Then said he, “As you cannot Horsley, the Champion of the Tripardon me I have nothing to do with nity, found Newton's papers unfit for you, but will confess to him that publication. But it is much to be can.'
regretted that they have never seen There are other curious matters re- the light." lated in the author's account of this In the regret expressed by the extraordinary Highlander, but not of biographer, I presume all your readsufficient interest for your pages.
ers will participate; and my reason I remain, Sir,
for copying the note is a hope that, Yours respectfully,
by being republished in your MiscelS. C. lany it may meet the eye of some of
your numerous readers, who may be London, Feb, 28, 1816. able, through the same channel, to SIR,
communicate information as to the Baring has lately resigned the vi- papers in question. I am, Sir, carage of Winterbourne Stoke, Wilts,
Your constant reader, and seceded from the Church of Eng
A. F. land, and that several other clergymen of the same neighbourhood have
Plymouth, Dec. 25, 1815. also left the Establishment. But the
SIR, grounds of their secession have not, I believe, been made public. e 106 g I HAVE lately had the pleasure of
perusing a work which I suspect leave therefore to request of some one is not so much known as it deserves of your correspondents in the West to be; nor do I recollect to have an explanation of this curious piece seen the name of its author amongst of news. Have the seceders been ac- those of the champions of the proper tuated by love of orthodoxy or love of unity and supremacy of God the Fakeresy?
ther, although he well deserves to NONCON have been placed in the very first
rank of them. The copy I have beH, Jan, 18, 1816, fore me is stated to have been pubN
of Philosophy," by Dr. Thomas fifth edition enlarged; from which Thomson, (p. 247,) the editor has circumstance, and from the rank of reprinted from his “ History of the the author, and the style of the work, Royal Society," a" Biographical Ac- I presume it has moved chiefly in the count of Sir Isaac Newton,” and to very highest circles, where I cannot that part of the Memoir which touch- but hope and believe it has produced es upon Sir Isaac's religious senti- a strong effect, although at present ments, has subjoined the following we have seen no better proof of it note (page 322).
than the facility with which the per“ I have heard it affirmed by some secuting laws relative to Anti-Trinitaof the self-constituted philosophers of rians were repealed in the last session the present day, that Sir Isaac New- of our parliament. Indeed the way ton believed the Christian religion in which Mr. Smith's bill was carried merely because he was born in a after the bishops had been assembled
to consider the expediency of it, and find it necessary, in order to contemthe very liberal views which are now plate with any accuracy, to confine generally entertained by the Lords of ourselves to one and drop all the rest. the Upper and the Gentlemen of the A consequence ever unavoidable while Lower House of Parliament, are con- the thinking principle is closely envincing proofs that a very different gaged. And hence it happens, that manner of thinking prevails in the the Unity of God forces itself upon higher circles upon religious subjects us in the act of devotion, from the than that which induced our wary indivisibility of thought. For we may ancestors to furnish religion with observe that, when we address ourprops and shores, which, while they selves intently in prayer, we find it are no support, are an enfeeblement impossible to fix our meditation aband a disgrace to it.
solutely on more than one object of The book to which I refer is called worship at the same moment. “ An Illucidation of the Unity of God others are neglected in the instant, deduced from Scripture and Reason." and cannot enter the mind without It is dedicated to the Society of Uni- confusing and dissipating the atten. tarian Christians at Montrose, in North tion. This alone plainly shews, that Britain, by James Gifford ; who re- the mental faculties are not calculated sided at Girton, in Cambridgeshire; to attend fixedly to more than ono and was, I am informed, a Lieutenant object, We may indeed associate Colonel in the Line, and an intimate three or more different things or. perfriend of Mr. Lindsey. The dedica- sons in idea, and then consider them tion is dated July 25, 1787. It is ac- in one collective view, but this does companied by a letter to the Arch- not destroy their individuality, and bishop of Canterbury; and the whole when we would contemplate any one of the performance exhibits a deep of these objects with precision we research into the sacred volume, and must dismiss the combination. Or serious inquiry into the meaning of its we may blend three or more distinct declarations, with an uncommon de- things or subjects together in idea, gree of firmness of manner, yet mild- and then consider them in the aggreness of expression, a fortiter in re with gate as one; but, besides that this a suaviter in mudo, scarcely ever to is the mere work of the imagination, be found united in a case of such in. it would be held both dissatisfactory calculable importance. The work is and dangerous with respect to the published for Rowland Hunter, (late Trinity; because we are expressly Johnson) St. Paul's Church Yard. enjoined in our present received doc.
I am desirous of calling the atten- trines to preserve the distinction of the tion of your readers to this very inte. three persons, and acknowledge them resting work ; and especially to an to be, not only separate but also equal illustration ofthe Divine Unity, which objects of prayer and thanksgiving. I conceive, to many, will be new. Notwithstanding this in the solemn After speaking of the grand unity of acts of devotion, the mind betrays ar design which all nature exhibits, and election for the one or the other; and which points our intellectual powers this preference, we find, is generally distinctly to a unity of the Divine given to God the Father Almighty Nature, he adds,
himself, and every other object is ex« God has taken care that we should cluded from the mind at the time. have more reasons than one to believe For He incessantly rises in the colthat all things were formed by one lected soul, and fills it. Thus the Great Mind,
that all are the effects great truth of the unity of the Deity of the same Great Cause; and I think seems to have been implanted by him he has interwoven the truth of his in our nature; and the mind of man, Unity in our very nature, if we would with which it is in perfect concord, attend to its operations. I shall en- in its most serious and attentive modeavour to give proof of this by a fa- ments, is necessarily led to acknowmiliar instance; but I beg leave to ledge it.* In praying to or glorifying introduce it rather as an accessory circumstance than as a fundamental
* Notwithstanding the polytheism of the argument.
Heathen, it is certain from their own wri. « Whenever a multiplicity of ob- tings and monuments, that the belief of a jects are presented to the mind, we Supreme God naturally prerailed among
New Jury Court of Scotland.
145 • the Trinity in their turns, we still P.S. Since writing the above, I give the precedence to the Father, but have little doubt that the former ediby a positive distinction in their per- tions of this work were of the size of sons, and in our worship, we una- a pretty large pamphlet, and that the voidably destroy the very notion of present edition was published after one only God, and, as I appreheul, Mr. G's. death, by his son, a gentleoverthrow the great basis of revealed man also in his Majesty's service, enreligion.
larged into an octavo volume by nu. “ What will naturally follow from merous valuable notes, and other adthese observations is this : that, as ditions. Mr. Gifford had three sons, the indivisibility of thought will not two in the army, the other in the permit us to pray fixedly to more navy. than one object at the same time, for the very attempt to divide the attention New Jury Court of Scotland. confuses it ; therefore we are com- N Monday, the 22d instant, the pelled, if we hold to the Athanasian system, to invoke and worship the first time. three persons in a separate manner, The Right Hon. William Adam, as we find is done in the Litany and Lord Chief Commissioner ; Allan in many of the Collects. Thus when Maconochie, Lord Meadowbank; and we worship the Father, we adore a David Monypenny, Lord Pitmilly, person different from the Son and the the two other Coinmissioners, being Holy Ghost ; and when we worship assembled; and the names of the thirTHESE, we adore tuo persons different ty-six Jurymen returned to try the from the Father and from each other. issues, being called over, and having For, howsoever they may be connect answered to their names, the Lord ed, their persons are to be preserved Chief Commisioner opened the busidistinctly in the mind, and their wor- ness of the Court in a speech to the ship of course to be distinct also. following effect :
“Now, under these circumstances, My Lords—Before we proceed to it appears impossible, from the very the cause appointed for trial this day, nature of thought, to free ourselves I wish to say a few words to the from the idea of their being three dis- Court. I believe I am justified, actinct Gods. For since we cannot di- cording to immemorial precedent, as vide our attention, which if we could a newly appointed presiding Judge of would be the highest disrespect to a supreme tribunal in this country, the person meant to be adored, it must in addressing the Court. This has be always changed with the object of been the uniform practice of all Presiour worship; and then it inevitably dents on their appointment. follows, that every other must be I believe I am justified in this Court neglected at the time; and these are which is to administer justice by a exactly the consequences with all jury, as in the Criminal Courts of polytheism whatsover; from which ihis country, according to the practherefore I humbly apprehend it is tice of those courts on their circuits, extremely difficult to distinguish the in saying something to you, Gentlepresent system. But, on the other men of the Jury, upon your being band, if we blend the three persons assembled here; and I think I should together, and consider them as one not be justified at the opening of this and the same intelligent being, then new court for the first time, if I did the Athanasian hypothesis is destroy- not state what has occurred to me on ed, and any distinct or discriminating this occasion ; exhibiting a new and worship appears totally superfluous an important feature in the judicial and contradictory." I am, Sir, system of Scotland.
It may not be unfit, recent as it is
J. W. since the Act of Parliament passed them, and was sometimes openly testified: creating this court, shortly to retrace See Acts xvii. 22, 23. Most of them, in
the circumstances which have given deed, conceived that he was too great or rise to the institution of this tribunal. mo far removed to attend to men or their
lu the year 1808, an Act of Par. applications. We are obliged to revela. liament passed for improving the jution for the complete care of this most dis- dicatures of this country. It empowcouraging apprehension.
ered and required that his Majesty VOL. XI.
should appoint commissioners to ex. for this purpose in all the countries amire into that grave and weighty, which speak the language we speak. subject, and to report to the King It is of a tradition so high that noand the two Houses of Parliament. thing is known of its origin.” It is of Among other things, the commis- a perfection so great for its object and sioners were to be called upon by the purpose, that it has remained in unAct of Parliament to inquire into the abated vigour and parity from its fitness of introducing trial by jury in commencement to the present time. civil causes iuto the Scotchi judicial It is the character of all other inestablishment. In the month of May, stitutions for the investigation of facts 1810, the commissioners reported on to have become inadequate to their that subject, stating, that if care was' end.' It is the character of this mixed taken “ that no alteration of our mu- tribunal, where a jury decide on the nicipal law was made by suclı institu- facts under the direction of a court, tion, the enabling the Court of Ses to have preserved its original perfecsion to direct issues of fact to be tried tion unabated. These extraordinary by jury, might afford a safe founda- and important features of durability lion on which importaut experiments and perfection seem to arise out of might be made."
causes which it may not be unfit to This Report lay untouched for sé. state upon the occasion of introducing veral
years. But in the interval be- it into the administration of civil justween making this Report in May, tice in Scotland. They are the natu1810, and the close of the session of ral results of its modes of acting. Parliament, 1814, many cases had oc- ft is to be observed, first, that it curred in the House of Lords, moving can only proceed by settling of a clear entirely on matter of fact, accompa distinct issue to be tried. The advannied with long printed proofs, calling tage of this is manifest, it obliges the upon the Supreme Court of Appeal, directing Court to compel the parties which should only be required to de: to precision, and relieves the causes cide matters of law, to perform a duty at the commencement of litigation not properly belonging to it, by de from all dispute as to what the quesciding cases resting upon intricate,' tions are between the parties. "It enadifficult, and ill-proved facts. This bles the proof to be made clearly as created observation in the House of applicable to those questions. Lords, out of which the statute grew,, It requires no more enlarged stateunder which this Court 'sits, and from ment to enforce the advantages of this which it derives its authority and con- effect of the trial by jury. stitution.
Secondly. It adds a casual to a perIt is to be observed then, that the manent tribunal ; and, by their acting great distinguishing feature of this, and re-acting on each other, the natribuual is, that it is the first duty of tural qualifications of both are imits Judges so to act, as not to disturb' proved, and their defects amended. in any respect that ancient and admi
The great feature of the casual part rable system of the municipal law of of the tribunal, The Jury, is its being Scotland, handed down to us by our constituted aud assembled, in a man. ancestors, and secured to us by the ner (as far as human wisdom cáň acAct of Union, coustituting, as it were,' complish any end) to secure impar. a charter for the preservation of the tiality and perfect'indifference in the jurisprudential system of Scotland. causes to be tried by it." It shall be my peculiar care, as it
It is chosen from among the people, is my, duty, to walk in this course;' at large, according to a certain
qua. and however I may distrust my own lification, insuring the education and ability, I feel assured I shall be able understanding necessary for the duty, to do it with the assistance of your A certain number are returned, greatLordships.
er than the number required to try, The object then, of the law under as you thirty-six Gentlemen are now which we sit, is to receive and try returned here, to try the appointed issues directed by the decisions of the issues. The return is made toy the Court of Session, wherein matters of sheriff, a magistrate of high rank,'unfact are to be proved by the interven- acquainted with; and uninterested in sion of a jury.
the parties, having ao connexion with This institution bas been long used them; and when returned, the twelve
Nero Jury Court of Scotland.
149 jurors to try the cause are selected by thority has its effect in producing corballot, their names being to be drawn rectness of deportment, and his evi. by a sworn officer of the court, from dence being sabmitted to the judgthe box into which they are put fair ment of his fellow-subjects, the jury, ly, under the sanctioa of a solemn he must have that circumspect attenobligation.
tion to truth which such a situation This is doing all that human con- natụrally creates. Besides, in case of trivance can accomplish towards the prevarication, the authority of a court, attaining a tribunal free from all pre. with sufficient power to commit, is possession.
held over him, to have an instantaneBut the grand and important fea. ous operation. ture of this tribunal for the examina- Secondly. The effect of publicity tion of fact, is, $dly, Publicity, or the is equally important in regard to the public and open manner in which its jury. business is conducted.
Their exposure to public view and Every thing is transacted with open observation, secures, in that respectadoors- everything, from the com- ble body, the casual tribunal, that mencement of the trial to its close, steady attention, which is not only except when the Jury retire for de essential to the appearance, but to the liberation, is done before an inquisi. reality of justice ; and it is not unimtive and observing public, who, hear- portant to remark, that this solemnity ing the evidence, form their judgments of conduct reflects again on the surof the correctness of the Court and rounding audience, and secures in Jury in drawing, their conclusions those who compose it, the same at. so that they are secured by the respon- tentiou and decorum when they come sibility of character, thus openly ex- to be jurymen. posed to criticism, to form a correct The justice which they do, as I and honest opinion in every case. have already observed, is the subject This is aided by the constant presence of consideration by as many as the of an enlightened Bar, whose learn- court will admit; the report of those ing and talents and practice in judi- present at a trial goes forth to the cial concerns, are thus made subser- public at large, and the verdicts of vient to the ends of substantial justice. jurymen are secured to be just, by Io this way, and before such an au- the certainty that they must undergo dience, the case is sifted to the very the scrutiny of the whole extended bottom, and every part of the tribu- and watchful community. nal is always subject to the most rigid The evidence of which they have observation, and so called to the most to judge is, owing to this publicity, correct attention to do justice. and to the formation of the court, go
This important feature of jury trial verned by rules which are calculated is remarkable for its happy influence to exclude falsehood, and to secure on all those who administer to justice the testimony of truth. through the medium of that insti- The introduction of a well-regulated tion.
law of evidence is a most important First. As to its influence on the result of trial by jury. In order to witnesses. By public examination exclude all evidence from the hearing they are open to the observation of of the jury, which, from its nature, the tribunal who is to judge of their may be false, and make an undue imtestimony, and of the value to be as- pression, the judges are called upon cribed to it—as it respects their de- publicly to decide upon the admissimeanour, their capacity and intelli- 'bility of witnesses, and of questions, gence and the manner of testifying. upon all objects of competency, as Every witness in an open court, risks contradistinguished from those of créhis character with the public and dibility. This they do publicly upon with bis neighbours, and is kept cor- the argument of counsel; and, here rect by that influence. The witnesses again, the subject is secured in a due are fully examined by counsel in chief, and certain administration of justice then cross-examined by adverse coun- in matter of fact. sel; and, lastly, subject to the exa- This is a result only attaioable by mination of the Jury and the Bench. this institution, where there is authoBy being examined before a supreme rity and learning to decide, and a tribunal, the influence of judicial au- cause for decision. It is this which