Sidor som bilder

home, the diligentest preacher in all the realm; he is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering can hinder him; he is ever applying his business ; ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of popery. He is ready as can be wished for to set forth his plough, to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. Where the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there away with books and up with candles; away with bibles and up with beads; away with the light of the gospel, and up with the light of candles, yea, at noondays. Where the devil is resident, that he may prevail, up with all superstition and idolatry, -censing, painting of images, candles, palms, ashes, holy water, and new service of men's inventing; as though man could invent a better way to honor God with, than God himself hath appointed. Down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pickpurse, up with him, the popish purgatory, I mean. Away with clothing the naked, the poor, and impotent, up with decking of images, and gay garnishing of stocks and stones: up with man's traditions and his laws, down with God's traditions and his most holy word. Down with the old honor due to God, and up with the new god's honor. Let all things be done in Latin : there must be nothing but Latin, not so much as “ Memento, homo, quod cinis es, et in cinerem reverteris.” Remember man, that thou art ashes, and into ashes shalt thou return: which be the words that the minister speaketh unto the ignorant people, when he giveth them ashes upon Ashwednesday ; but it must be spoken in Latin. God's word may in no wise be translated into English.” — pp. 22-24.

That is the way bishop Latimer used to preach, and it is not strange that in Mary's reign he was brought to the stake, or that while at the stake, he should have said to his companion in suffering, Ridley, “Be of good comfort, master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

We congratulate the public that the health of the editor of this series is restored, and that he is about to resume the work by publishing selections from the writings of Jeremy Taylor.

Amendment of the Constitution of Massachusetts. — Our readers may recollect two essays, which appeared in our Number for January, 1833, on the subject of the proposed amendment of the Third Article of our Bill of Rights. That amendment, having been adopted by a majority of the Senate, and two thirds of the House of Representatives, and afterwards approved and ratified by a majority of the people, is now declared to be a part of the Constitution by a proclamation of the Governor, dated the 13th of February, 1834. We refer our readers to the first of the two essays above mentioned, for copies of the original Third Article, and the amendment, which has lately been substituted for it. — We do not believe that the alteration now effected, will produce any change in the habits of our people, or be followed by any important practical results, either good or bad, as some have hoped and others have feared. There will, at least, be now no occasion for the “ signing off," dissatisfaction, and subterfuge, which were formerly more common than pleasant to witness. We are glad that religion now stands in our state, as it does in other states, free from all alliance with the civil power, and depending only on itself, on God, and on the nature, wants, and affections of men.

State Lunatic Hospital at Worcester.- From the first annual report of the trustees of this Institution, and the documents appended, we learn that the whole number of patients admitted, to January 1, 1834, was one hundred and sixtythree, of whom thirty-two have been restored to reason, and several others have been materially improved. Forty-one of the cases of insanity here mentioned are ascribed to the single cause of intemperance, and sixteen to religious excitement and fanaticism. It will be recollected that this asylum owes its existence to a humane regard, on the part of the State, for such lunatics as would otherwise be confined in jails and houses of correction as dangerous members of society, and for lunatic paupers. Of the whole number of patients one hundred and twelve are of the former description, and thirteen of the latter. The Hospital is a noble monument of Christian philanthropy, and considering the time it has been in operation, and the character and condition of most of its inmates, the results hitherto, as appears from the report, surpass the expectations of its projectors and friends.

Professor Robinson, of Andover, announces as in press a new edition of his Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament. It is almost wholly re-written, and will appear as a new and independent work. The same gentleman is translating for publication Neander's History of the Planting and Progress of the Christian Church under the Apostles. The Andover publishers announce also, as in preparation, Hug's Introduction to the Study of the New Testament, Translated by D. Fosdick, Jr., with Notes by Professor Stuart.

We understand that a translation of Hengstenberg's Christologie, by a Clergyman at the South, is in the University Press at Cambridge.





MAY, 1834.

Art. I.— Life and Correspondence of Joseph PRIESTLEY,

LL. D., F. R. S., &c. By John Towill Rutt. In 2 volumes. Vol. II. London. 1832. 8vo. pp. 552.

It may be remembered, that we noticed the first volume of this Life of Priestley in a former number,* intending to continue the notice on receiving the second volume, which was not then published. It has now been in our hands some time ; and we confess we should have been more prompt in noticing it, had it contained more new or varied materials, from which we could hope to furnish an interesting article. In this respect it has disappointed us, though not in all respects. We have read it with strong and growing interest in the character of Dr. Priestley, particularly as an uncomplaining sufferer, an indefatigable laborer, and a trusting, placid, immovable Christian. Of these features we have abundant evidence, and the best evidence that can be had, in his private letters, which, to the number of about three hundred and fifty, constitute nearly the whole of this volume. The remainder is occupied with the conclusion of his own Memoirs, and his son's Continuation, with some of the letters addressed to him by religious and scientific societies, expressive of their sense of his worth and their sympathy in his troubles. Of the letters of his private correspondents very few are given, many of them having been purposely destroyed by him or his family, and the rest withheld from

* See Christian Examiner for May, 1832, p. 257. VOL. XVI. — N. S. VOL. XI. NO. II. ' 18

publication by his surviving son, from respect to what he supposed would have been his father's feelings.

It will be seen, therefore, that the volume before us is almost entirely epistolary, and that the additional information and interest it contains, relate to the private mind of Priestley, and the manner in which he was affected by the varied events of his life, raiher than the events themselves. To all who wish to see this eminent man as he truly was, to enter into the deep but quiet springs of his character, and trace the influence of his opinions and fortunes on his own heart, ample opportunity is here given ; and all such will thank Mr. Rutt for the pleasure he has afforded, and the service he has rendered, by this compilation. But those who take up the book merely for information or entertainment, or with the expectation of understanding better Priestley's character as a writer, and the value of his contributions to the cause of theology and science, may not be satisfied. His own letters probably will not satisfy them. For they are remarkably plain, uniform, and, as some would say, egotistical to a childish degree. They show not the slightest attempt, on the part of the writer, even to give them interest or variety. They contain no discussion of subjects or principles, no labored statement of reasons for this opinion or that course of conduct. Every thing is simple, concise, candid, unconstrained, and, in a good sense, childish. Priestley was a child in artlessness and honesty to the end of life. He always writes with childlike simplicity, saying just what he has to say, and all he has to say, in the fewest and plainest words possible. It may be seen in all his writings, and most of all, as is natural, in his letters; with this added trait of simplicity, that these letters are full of himself. He seems to have regarded it as the sole object of friendly correspondence, to make known exactly the situation, occupation, thoughts, and feelings of the writer. This therefore he did at once, and nothing else. His letters seem to us to be precisely what, it is so often said, letters should be, - easy, natural talk. He knew that his friends wished to hear what he was doing ; he told them what he was doing, without preface or comment. He knew how pleasant it would be to him to bear what they were doing, and how far they approved of what he was doing, and he plainly asked them. Scarcely a letter does he write, especially to his most fre

copinion of inciples, niety., 7

[ocr errors]

Je, We indica as apbought

quent correspondent and closest friend, Lindsey, without asking him what he thinks of this or that book or pamphlet which he himself has just published, telling him of its popularity here and its unpopularity there, and going into the minute details of his own labor, plans, and prospects ; sometimes in a way which, to an indifferent reader, still more to an ignorant or ill-natured critic, might seem to savour of vanity. It is in truth just what we have said, simplicity; for which, we venture to affirm, no man of Priestley's talents and attainments was ever more remarkable. We have certainly read no letters so strongly expressive of it. And we have thought it well to make these introductory remarks, as applicable to the whole volume now before us, and indicative of its character. '

We resume the outline that we were giving of Dr. Priestley's life and labors. We left him at Birmingham, 1787, the date at which his Memoirs conclude, as written by himself in England, although, after he came to America, he continued them in a very general way to the time of his leaving England. We derive more full information of the manner in which his mind and time were occupied, from the letters that Mr. Rutt has thrown in at these periods. Priestley went to Birmingham in 1780, and remained there till 1791, in the care of a parish devoted to him, endeavouring to deserve their attachment and advance their best interests, in all the usual and some unusual ways. One of his chief . objects seems to have been, as it always was with him, to secure the interest and improvement of young men and women. In this difficult part of ministerial duty, he evidently took great delight and must have possessed uncommon powers. He enjoyed in his present situation more facilities for the prosecution both of his religious and philosopbical pursuits, than perhaps in any previous situation. He continued his experiments in chemistry, in illustration of his favorite doctrine of phlogiston, and published his results in several papers in the “ Philosophical Transactions," much to the dissatisfaction, on this particular point, of his friends at home and the most eminent chemists in France and Scotland. He continued also to publish “ Defences of Unitarianism," as long as he thought there was any thing that • called for defence or attack. His investigations and thoughts on the whole subject of Christian doctrine, led him to una

« FöregåendeFortsätt »