Imágenes de páginas

gland. On the whole, their appear- Almost immediately on our arrival ance and behaviour made a favourable on the estate, care was taken to inform impression on our minds, while, at the the slaves, that they were all at full same time, we could not help seeing liberty to ask me any questions they much about them calculated to excite pleased, on subjects of a religious nathe deepest commiseration. We ques- ture, and to form themselves into a tioned them respecting their families, society under my directions, as soon their ages, their knowledge of good as they felt disposed to do so. Acand evil, of God, of Jesus Christ, and cordingly, about eighty of them came of a life to come; but most of their to our house one Sunday morning for answers were of a very unsatisfactory the purpose, as they said, of hearing and ambiguous nature. Their igno- me preach. They were all invited to rance on points of this kind, as may come in; and I concluded that I could easily be imagined, is, certainly, very not do better, on such an occasion, deplorable ; yet by no means so pro- than explain to them, in the fullest found as they endeavoured to make manner, the object I had in view in us believe. One young woman, on taking up my abode amongst them; being asked a few questions by Mrs. and, at the same time, state a few C. about the Supreme Being, humour- particulars respecting the being and ously replied that her mother had perfections of the Deity. They lisbeen christened, and, therefore, she tened to me with more attention than left such matters to her, and did not I expected; yet they could not forego trouble her head about them. Before the temptation of, every now and then, they left us, they generally took care stopping me to ask some question, or to drop a number of complaints, with to make some observation on what respect to their temporal affairs, and was said. Those of them who had to insinuate that they had a very hard been baptized, or, as they always term overseer. But in all this there was it, christened, appeared to take a great art and much hypocrisy. We deeper interest in the service than the soon discovered, that on subjects of rest : they were observed to kneel this description they endeavoured to during the time of prayer, and they mislead us, in order that it might evidently felt their imagined superioafterwards be in their power to make rity to the uninitiated. The whole tools of us. They tried us, in every company, indeed, expressed a willingpossible manner, and although we had ness to attend on my instructions in a been forewarned of their arts and in- regular manner; and much anxiety tentions, I must own that they did to obtain information on a subject of succeed in getting us to believe, for such vital importance as that of relia considerable time, that they were gion : but they declared, in the most really exposed to a number of unne- positive and clamorous manner, that cessary hardships and much wanton their master (meaning the agent for cruelty. We, however, clearly saw, the estate) must allow them time for long before we returned to this coun- these things. They begged me to intry, that their testimony against per- tercede for them, alleging that it was sons employed to superintend them not, and never would be, in their at their work is not to be relied on in power to attend in what is termed ninety-nine cases out of a hundred; their own time. I did what I could and that nothing short of the strictest to pacify them, and gave them to undiscipline can ever keep them within derstand that I wished them to depart, any thing like due bounds. At the and reflect on what they had heard ; same time, it is not to be denied that but before they went out, they could their case is an extremely hard one; not forbear uttering a variety of comperhaps much inore so than is gene- plaints against individuals, and seemed rally imagined. Where there is sla- strongly inclined to insist on the invery there must be fear and force, in dispensable necessity of a redress of spite of a thousand laws and regula- grievances. At length the house was tions to the contrary; or even the cleared, but immediately filled again, most ardent wishes of the best mas- with a second congregation of preters and overseers. This will be more cisely the same description with the apparent in the sequel.

first. I repeated the service I had

just performed, and the requests and constitute the subject of my letter for complaints, stated above, were again your next Number. urged upon my attention, with great

T. COOPER. emphasis and apparent sincerity; and here ended my labours for this day. The scene was novel and tumultuous;

Norrrich, yet I could not help thinking that it

March 22, 1822. portended well. Out of so many who AM indebted for the inclosed to professed a regard for religion, I I Mr. Clifford, of the Theatre-Royal thonght I might reasonably hope to

to in this city. It is a copy of an adfind a few sincere ; but I was disap- ditional letter from Mr. Fox to pointed. For even those who laid Secker, (then Bishop of Bristol,) which claim to the Christian name were after completes the correspondence with wards found to be persons totally void them at that period. of religious feelings, and absolutely From Mr. Fox to the Bishop of Bristol. given up to the practice of the grossest

Plymouth, vices. Discoveries of this sort were MY LORD, May 4, 1736. inexpressibly painful; yet they could only be regarded as so many reasons this kind to one in your Lordship's situa

I am very sensible that an address of for persevering in our experiment. As tid

15 tion, ought to be attended with some to the unbaptized, they turned out, reasonable apology; especially as it comes as your readers will see hereafter, to from a person of low rank in life, probabe equally depraved, and, to a slave, bly not thought of for many years past, wholly destitute of what might be and perhaps not suspected to be in the termed a steady desire to attend to land of the living. All I can say for this things of a spiritual nature. They liberty with your Lordship is, that I bewere all perfectly aware that I held lieve the same goodness and generosity myself in readiness to serve them at which I kuew to hare guided your all times, and that nothing was ex

thoughts and actions eighteen or twenty pected, or would be received of them, years ago: do stail prevail; and that but their attendance; their master

cannot think your Lordship will be offendhaving undertaken to bear all the ex- be called your friend, for doing that now,

ed with me, who had once the honour to penses of the mission : yet they never which I had the pleasure of doing then came to me in their own time, for very often. many months together, with that de Providence hath continued me in the gree of regularity which was abso- same solitude and obscurity in which I lutely requisite to ensure their per was when your Lordship left England: inanent improvement. At one period suffer me to assure you, my Lord, and in a few of them did, indeed, appear to the sincerity of my heart I say it, that take real pleasure in hearing me read the different dispositions of it in your and illustrate, in a familiar manner,

or favour hath given me unspeakable satis. some of the most striking parts of the

faction. The same sentiments of friendhistorical Scriptures. But what took

ship which you have often kindled in me

are alive and warm; and I rejoice to see their attention above all things, was

once in my life a lover of virtue and of the sight of some of those large plates

mankind called forth to a station in which which are bound up in Goadby's Bible. he can so well promote the interests of Upon these I have seen them gaze both. with delight and astonishment, and I have long intended to indulge myself doubt not that in some instances in making your Lordship some humble they afforded them a degree of infor- but sincere congratulations of this sort ; mation.

but the belief that your Lordship’s time By these methods alone we endea- and thoughts being employed in things of voured to turn their thoughts to sub. consequence hath made me afraid of be

ing troublesome. I hope, my Lord, you jects of a spiritual kind for the first ?

will accept this as it is meant, and not imsix or seven months we were in Ja

pute it to the low vanity of making mymaica, when it was resolved to allow

self known ; with which (if anything them half a day in a fortnight, out of can be remembered of me) you never Crop, for the purpose of attending on knew me tainted. me. The manner in which this time I heartily wish your Lordship a long was employed, together with the rela- and happy coutinuance in your station ; tion of some other particulars, will and beg leave, with all becoming deferenco

and respect, to conclude this in your own In the other passage he keenly rewords to me in 1717, that I am, and bukes Mr. Clayton for having intihope ever shall be,

mated to his congregation that the Yours and virtue's Friend, Birmingham Riots were a judgment,


and advises him not to suffer this itch Then follows his Lordship's answer, for interpreting the counsels of HeaMay 8th, 1736. •

ven to grow upon him, and concludes Mr. Clifford has in his possession thus : some other memoirs by Mr. Fox, of the times in which he lived. +

“ The best use he could make of his G. SOTHERN. mantle would be to bequeath it to the

use of posterity, as for the want of it I Leicester,

am afraid they will be in danger of fallSIR,

April 3, 1822.

ing into some very unhappy mistakes.

To their unenlightened eyes it will appear THE angry feeling which your cor

a reproach, that in the eighteenth cenI respondent Homo has manifested in towards Mr. Hall in your last Reposi- improvement, the first philosopher in Eu

tury, an age that boasts its science and tory, (p. 168,) appears to me to be rope, of a character unblemished, and of entirely groundless, for I cannot find manners the most mild and gentle, should a single word in the original edition of be torn from his family, and obliged to the « Apology” concerning Dr. Priest- flee, an outcast and a fugitive, from the ley, that is omitted in the last edition. murderous hands of a frantic rabble; but I think he must have had in his me- when they learn that there were not mory two passages contained in Mr. wanting teachers of religion who secretly Hall's publication entitled “ Christia. triumphed in these barbarities, they will

pause for a moment, and imagine they nity consistent with a Love of Freedom,” I and have forgotten the work

are reading the history of Goths or of

Vandals. Erroneous as such a judgment in which they appeared. The first of

must appear in the eyes of Mr. Clayton, the passages I refer to runs thus : nothing but a ray of his supernatural

« The religious tenets of Dr. Priestley light could enable us to form a juster deappear to me erroneous in the extreme,

cision. Dr. Priestley and his friends are but I should be sorry to suffer any differ

not the first that have suffered in a pubence of sentiment to diminish my sensi- lic cause ; and when we recollect, that bility to virtue. or my admiration of ge- those who have sustained similar disasnius. From him the poisoned arrow will ters have been generally conspicuous for fall pointless. His enlightened and ac- a superior sanctity of character, what but tive mind, his unwearied assiduity, the an acquaintance with the counsels of extent of his researches, the light he has

Heaven can enable us to distinguish bepoured into almost every department of

tween these two classes of sufferers, and science, will be the admiration of that

whilst one are the favourites of God, period when the greater part of those

to discern in the other the objects of his who have favoured, or those who have

vengeance. When we contemplate this opposed him, will be alike forgotten.

extraordinary endowment, we are no Distinguished merit will ever rise supe

longer surprised at the superiority he asrior to oppression, and will draw lustre

sumes through the whole of his discourse, from reproach. The vapours which

nor at that air of confusion and disorder gather round the rising sun, and follow

which appears in it, both of which we it in its course, seldom fail at the close

impute to his dwelling so much in the of it to form a maguificent theatre for

insufferable light, and amidst the corrusits reception, and to invest with varie

cations and flashes of the divine glory; gated tints and with a softened efful. à sublime but perilous situation, described gence the luminary which they cannot

'which they cannot with great force and beauty by Mr. hide.”


“He pass'd the flaming bounds of place . . For which see Vol. XVI. p. 634, and time: Ev.

The living throne, the sapphire blaze, + We should be still further obliged Where angels tremble, while they gaze, to our correspondent could he procure He saw; but, blasted with excess of for us a sight of these Memoirs, with the light, liberty of using any part of them which Closed his eyes in endless night.'” may suit our purpose. ED.

On occasion of a Serinon published To these glowing eulogies on the by the Rev. John Clayton, 1791. Ev. illustrious Priestley, may be added

those contained in the “Apology" fective. The heavens are not clean in and in the passage from the « Reply” his sight, and he chargeth even his angels quoted in your last Number, (p. 183.) with folly. Even the Man Christ Jesus and I should be glad to learn, Sir,


shall for ever fall

shall for ever fall short of the perfection what stronger evidence can be given of

of of the Divine Nature to which he is

united, and, in this sense, will be imperreverence for living or departed genius

fect for ever."-Watts's:Death and Heaven, and moral excellence? I yield not to

1722. Homo, or to any man, in admiration « Even the human nature of Christ or affectionate remembrance of the cannot comprehend God; for Christ's splendid character and exalted virtues human nature, being but a creature, thereof Dr. Priestley, and no difference in fore his human understanding, though our religious creeds can lessen my enlarged beyond that of any mere creareverence for the transcendant abili. ture, yet, absolutely considered, is but of ties, fervent piety and exemplary and a finite capacity, and so bears no proporuseful life of Mr. Hall.

tion to the infinite majesty of God. TM. Though his human nature, being straitly

united to the Divine Nature in his person,

doth behold the essence of God, yet it Sir,

March 21, 1822. cannot comprehend it: Vidit Deum, ROM the very liberal, candid and ónov arx' ovn oras.' Christ, as man, sees T explicit letter of Dr.J. P. Smith, whole God, but he doth not see him lately inserted in your Repository, (p.

wholly and fully."Wisheart's Theologia, 37,] we may draw this important con


“Some have fancied that Christ was clusion, viz., That the modern reason

pleased to take something from every ing orthodox are to be considered as

condition of man; taking immunity from utterly renouncing and diselaiming that sini, from Adam's state of innocence : strange and unintelligible phraseology punishment and misery from the state of adopted by some pious writers and di- Adam fallen; the fulness of grace from vines in their representations of the the state of renoration; and perfect conAthanasian doctrine, in terms, accordtemplation of the Divinity and beatific ing to the worthy Doctor, “ of delibe- joys, from the state of comprehension rate and studied confusion ; laboured and the blessedness of heaven; meaning antithesis and extravagant hyperbole;"


that the

that the humanity of our Lord did, in the that is, in plainer terms, in language

sharpest extremities of his passion, behold both absurd and mischievous : for

the face of God, and communicate in

glory. But I consider, that, although the every thing that is extravagant in reli.

two natures of Christ were knit by a gion, and urged with a grave face,

mysterious union into one person ; yet, must be of mischievous tendency. It

the natures still retain their incommunicais in this view, as I conceive, that Mr. ble properties. And, therefore, though Belsham has considered the subject ; the human nature was united to the Diand, indeed, it is only on the supposi vine, it does not infer, that it must in tion, that these writers thought no all instances partake of the Divine felici. reader of common sense would take ties, which in God are essential; to man them literally, that we can possibly

communicated without necessity, and by vindicate their integrity.

an arbitrary dispensation. Add to this,

that many excellencies and virtues were But, without entering into the main

in the soul of Christ, which could not question, which is continually before

consist with the state of glorified and you; my chief design at present is to

beatified persons : such as poverty of request your insertion of a few pas- spirit, hope, &c., which suppose a state sages from some eminent orthodox of pilgrimage ; that is, a condition imperdivines, respecting the human nature fect, and in order to something better, of our Lord, which, in addition to the Thus, his present life was a state of mequotation by Dr. Smith, will serve to rit and work, and, as a reward of it, he shew, that, in their serious moments was crowned with glory and immortality; and when not disposed to play the

he was made Lord of all creatures, the orator, they could speak very ration

first-fruits of the resurrection, and the

priuce and head of the universal church; ally upon this important subject.

and because this was his recompence, and “ Nothing is absolutely perfect but the fruits of his humility and obedience, God; in comparison of whom, the high- it is certain it was not a necessary conseest and most exalted of all creatures is quence, and a natural efflux of the perand will be eternally imperfect and de- sonal union, This, I have said, that we

may not in our esteem lessen the suffer- and decisive terms in the room of those ing of our Lord, by thinking he had the which are obscure and equivocal ? supports of actual glory in the midst of The “ Trinity," and the “ divinity of his sufferings. For there is no one mi. Christ.” are of this latter class. When nute or ray of this, but its fruition must

st it is said a man rejects the doctrine

it is outweigh the greatest calamities and the spirit of pain from all the infelicities in

of the Trinity, an ignorant, but wellthe world : and it was not possible that mea

e that meaning Churchman, immediately conthe soul of Jesus should at once be ra- cludes, that he rejects the Christian vished with glory, and abated with pains religion altogether ; but when you grievous and afflictive.

explain, that he only does not hold On the other hand, some say that the the Athanasian doctrine, the other soul of Jesus on the cross suffered the replies—No more do I, for I never pains of hell, and all the torments of could understand it! It was said in the damned ; and that without such suf- public company, that a worthy Alderferings he could not pay the price which man, lately deceased. “ neither beGod's wrath should demand of us. lieved in God nor devil :” but all the But the same argument which re

argument produced on the occasion proves the one, doth also reprehend the other. For the hope that was the

was, that he attended at a chapel not support of Jesus, as it confesses an im- a hundred miles from Temple Bar : perfection not consistent with the state and, probably, with such profound of glory, so it excludes the despair of tor- disciples, the whole congregation and ment proper to accursed souls. Our Lord its worthy pastor were included in suffered the whole condition of humanity, the same predicament. sin only excepted, and freed us from hell, The Trinity of Dr. Clarke, Whichwith suffering those sad pains : and me- cote, Salter, Courayer and others, is rited heaven for his own humanity as the “ that doctrine which was revealed by head, and all faithful people as the mem- God the Father, preached by his Son bers of his mystical body; and, therefore, Jesus Christ and confirmed by the his life here was only a state of pilgrimage, not at all trimmed with beatific

gifts of the Holy Spirit ; and the diri. glories. Much less was he ever in the

nity of Christ, as implying his divine state of hell, or upon the cross felt the mission, and all that the New Testatorment and formal misery of damped ment hath clearly and unequivocally spirits; because it is impossible that declared concerning him, is the belief Christ should despair, and without de- of all Christians. Even Archbishop Til.spair it is impossible there should be a lotson, though perhaps more orthodox hell.-- Bishop Taylor's Life of Christ. on this point than these great men,

From these and similar passages heartily wished “ a riddance" of the which might be produced, it should Athanasian Creed; and it is eminently seem that “The Man Christ Jesus” disgraceful, in the present state of reof these writers, is the same indivi- ligious knowledge, that the damnatory dual being that is received and ac- clauses, at least, of this Creed, should knowledged by their opponents; even be suffered in a Protestant Church to “a prophet, mighty in word and deed remain on the rubrick, for “the curse before God and all the people ;" and causeless shall not come.” J.L. they are well calculated to bring serious persons of different sentiments

Chichester, nearer together; and, perhaps, to in- Sir,

February 4, 1822. quire, what they are disputing about. I INITARIANS, as a body, do not, And let none of your eagle-eyed cor- U I think, patronize Bible Socierespondents think that I am an advo. ties; and it may be presumed, from cate for Latitudinarianism in the con. the extract from the Report of the cerns of religion, or an amalgamation Parent Institution, given in your last of opinions utterly discordant : I only Repository, (pp. 30, 31,] that it is at say, with Dr. Whichcote, that “ reli- length determined that their co-operagious disputes would much sooner tion in circulating the Scriptures is not come to an end, if none but wise and agreeable to their orthodox brethren : good men had the management of if not, it was surely ill-judged to inthem."

troduce into that report a tenet By the way, would it not tend much which really, it might be imagined, to the promotion of amicable contro- every reasonable man would scout, as versy, if we were to substitute plain being a foul libel on the benevolent

« AnteriorContinuar »