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another cause of animosity was added was not long after chosen to succeed by the different feelings concerning his deceased friend, Dr. Price, as mithat great event, the French Revo- nister to a congregation at Hackney; lution. It is scarcely necessary here and he joined to it a counexion with to observe, that in its early periods, the new dissenting college established whilst it was hailed by the warm in that place. Resuming his usual friends of liberty and reform in Eng- occupations of every kind, he passed land, as a noble assertion of the na- some time in comfort and tranquillity, tural rights of man, it was viewed for no man was ever blessed with a with apprehension and dislike by mind more disposed to view every those attached to the existing order event in life on the favourable side, of things. In every considerable or less clouded by care and anxiety. town divisions took place on this sub- But party dissension still retaining all ject, which became the more ranco- its malignity, he found himself and rous, as the events attending the re- his family so much molested by its volution were more awful and inte- assaults, that he' resolved finally to resting. The anniversary of the cap- quit a country so hostile to his person ture of the Bastille, July 14, had been and principles. kept as a festival by the friends of the He chose for his retreat the United cause, and its celebration was pre- States of America, induced partly by pared at Birmingham in 1791. Dr. family reasons, and partly by the civil Priestley declined being present; but and religious liberty which so emiin the popular tumult which ensued, nently prevails under their constituhe was particularly the mark of party tion. He embarked for that country fury. His house, with his library, in 1794,26 and took up his residence manuscripts, and apparatus, made a prey to the Alames; he was
26 The friends of Dr. Priestley were by obliged to fly for his life, and with
no means equally convinced of the necessity some difficulty made his escape to a of bis emigration, and he might, perhaps, place of safety, while he was hunted have abandoned the design had he remained like a proclaimed criminal. That this in England a few months longer, till the scene of outrage, attended with the administration of Pitt, foiled in their atconflagration of many other houses tempt to destroy Mr. Hardy and his assoand places of Worship, was rather fa- ciates, by the forms of law, had lost much Foured than controuled by
of its imposing influence on popular opiwhose duty ought to have led them nion. That Dr. Priestley for some time to active interference for the preser hensive as to himself, we can state from
after he resided at Clapton was unapprevation of the public peace, is undoubt. the most intimate knowledge of the fact. ed; at the same time it is not sur. He was prevented only by the very natural prising that the rage of party was es fears of Mrs. Priestley, and the opinion of pecially directed against one who had some of his more tiinid friends from attendso much distinguished himself as a ing the Anniversary of the Revolution Sochampion on the adverse side, and ciety, in 1792, and moving the address who had made his attacks without then voted to the National Convention of any regard to caution or policy. The France. During the next year, Mr. Burke legal compensation which he obtained appeared foremost in the attempt to excite for this cruel injury was far short of a popular odium against his quondam aethe amount of his losses. There were, that purpose Dr. Priestley's election to the
quaintance, employing most illiberally for however, many admirers of his virtues National Convention from several depart. and talents, who, regarding him as a ments, while the same compliment was paid sufferer for his principles, and a man to Mr. Wilberforce. Family reasons, at deeply injured, exerted themselves to length, such as Dr. Priestley has explained support him under this calamity.25 He in the Preface to his Fast Sermon for 1794,
and his Memoirs, p. 125, determined his 25 In his Appeals, published soon after resolution. happened that at the same the Riots, Dr. Priestley has described the period his friend Mr. Palmer, with Mr. alarms andinjuries which he suffered,andac- Muir, &c. were exiled to New South Wales. knowledged the respectful attentions which The present writer, who has never ceased he received from societies of various de- to regret the late commencement of his scriptions. His letter on receiving an ad- personal acquaintance with Dr. Priestley, dress from a society which was not formed was taking leave of him at the house of bis till the following year will be found in M. friend, Mr. W. Vaughan, the day before Repos. ii. 6, 7.
his departure from London, when the DocFOL. Z.
at the town of Northumberland in his youngest son, and afterwards of Pennsylvania, which he was first in- his excellent wife, together with other duced to visit on account of a settle domestic calamities,
severe ment in that part of the state pro- trials of his fortitude ; but his temper jected by his son and some other and principles carried him through gentlemen, but which did not take without any diminution of his habiplace. It was a considerable labour tual serenity and pious resignation.29 in this remote situation to get about A severc illness which he suffered in him a well-furnished library and a Philadelphia laid the foundation of a chemical laboratory, but this he at debility of his digestive organs, which length effected.27 Having declined gradually brought on a state of boa chemical professorship in Philadel. dily weakness whilst his mind conphia, and being engaged in no pub- tinued in full possession of all its falic duty, he was able to devote his culties. In January, 1804, it became whole time to his accustomed pur- manifest to himself and others that he suits; and the world was soon in- had. not long to live, and this warnformed of his proceedings as an ex- ing operated upon him to lose no time perimental philosopher, and as a in finishing the literary tasks in which writer. Theology continued to be he was engaged, and particularly in the subject nearest to lis heart, and putting into a state fit for the press a his sense of its importance increased work in which he was greatly interwith his years, Political animosity ested. He had long been preparing pursued him in some degree to the two considerable publications, which Western world, and during the ad- were, a Church-history, and notes ministration of Mr. Adams he was on all the books of Scripture, and had regarded by the American govern- learned with great satisfaction that ment with suspicion and dislike. That his friends in England had raised a of Mr. Jefferson, however, was friend- subscription to enable him to print ly to him, and he outlived all dis. them without risk. Like a man setquiet on this head. The death of ting his affairs in order previously to
a journey, he continued, to the last
hour of his life, with the utmost tor received a pious and affectionate letter from W. Skirving, one of the exiles from
calmness and self-collection, giving Scotland, then a prisoner awaiting his de- directions relative to his posthumous portation, to whom he was a personal publication, intermixed with disstranger, and who probably held a differ- courses expressive of the fullest conent creed, but who appeared from pas- fidence in those cheering views of sages in the letter, to have attached him- future existence that his theological self to the study of prophecy, and to have system opened to him ; and on Feb. been strongly attracted to some of Dr. 6, 1804, in the 71st year of his age, Priestley's speculations on that subject. W. Skirving was not a young man
he expired so quietly, that they who exiled, and died soon after his arrival in sat beside him did not perceive the New South Wales. One of his letters, in
last struggle. terspersed with scriptural allusion, was
Dr. Priestley was a man of perread by the prosecutors of Mr. Hardy, and fect simplicity of character, laying came under the observation of Lord Chief open his whole mind and purpose on Justice Eyre, who exclaims, “What does this mysterious man mean? What is this tabernacle of righteousness to be erected 39 His youngest son, Henry, died in at once without anarchy and confusion ?" 1795. There is an edifying account of the Trial, iv. 426. Gallio cared for none of father's deportinent at the grave of this these things.
promising child, by a witness of the scene, 27 In M. Repos. (vi. 72,) are two letters in M. Rep. i. 396. Mrs. Priestley surfrom Dr. Priestley, dated June, 1794, vived her son not many months, leaving soon after his arrival in America. They behind her another son, who describes her serve to shew the difficulties and delays he in the continuation of his father's Memoirs, encountered in resuming his experiments. p. 193, as“ supporting him under all his These leters were addressed to Mr. Parker, trials and sufferings with a constancy and whose father, one the few survivors perseverance” well deserving her husamong Dr. Priestley's early benefactors, is band's eulogium, as expressed in his diary, mentioned by him (Mem. p. 93,) as a ge. that she “ was of a noble and generous nerons contributor to lis philosophical pur- mind and cared much for others, and little suits.
for herself through life.”
all occasions, and always pursuing ing classes : General Philosophy; avowed ends by direct means. In Pneumatic Chemistry ; Metaphysics; integrity and disinterestedness, in the Civil Liberty; Religious Liberty ; strict performance of every social Ecclesiastical History; Evidences of duty, no one could surpass him. His the Christian Revelation; Defences temper was easy and cheerful, his af- of Unitarianism; Miscellaneous Theo. fections were kind, his dispositions "logy; Miscellaneous Literature. A friendly. Such was the gentleness particular enumeration of them canand sweetness of his manner in social not here be expected ; and in addiintercourse, that some who had en- tion to what has already been noticed, tertained the strongest prejudices it will only be attempted to give a against him on account of his opi- concise view of what he effected in nions, were converted into friends on the three branches of science for a personal acquaintance. Of the which he was most distinguished. warm and lasting attachment of bis It is as a chemical philosopher that more intimate friends a most honour- he stands highest in the capacity of able proof was given, which he did an inventor or discoverer, and it is not live to know. It being under in this character that his name will stood in England that he was likely probably
be chiefly known to poste. to suffer a loss of 2001. in his annual rity.29 The manner in which his income, about forty persons joined in inquiries into the nature of aëriform making up a sum of 450l., which was fluids commenced has already been meant to he continued annually dur- meutioned. They had conducted him ing life. No man who engaged so before 1772 to the knowledge of the much in controversy, and suffered so nitrous and muriatic airs, the appli. much from malignity, was ever more cation of the former as a test of the void of ill-will towards his opponents. purity of common air, and many facts If he was an eager controversialist, it respecting the processes by which was because he was very much in air is diminished or deteriorated. In earnest on all the subjects into which 1774 he made his fundamental dig. he entered, not because he had any covery (which was also made about personalities to gratify. If now and the same time by Scheele) of pure, then he betrayed a little contempt or what he termed dephlogisticated for adversaries whom he thought air. In 1776 he commuvicated to equally arrogant and incapable, he the Royal Society some curious renever used the language of animosity. marks on respiration, and the mode Indeed, his necessarian principles in which the blood acquires its cocoincided with his temper in pro- lour from the air; and in 1778 he ducing a kind of apathy to the ran. discovered the property of vegetacour and abuse of antagonists. In bles growing in the light to correct his intellectual frame were combined impure air. By his subsequent exquickness, activity, acuteness, and periments, a variety of other aëriform that inventive faculty which is the bodies, and new modes of the procharacteristic of genius. These qua- duction of those already known, the Kities were less suited to the laborious revivification of metallic calces in in. investigations of what is termed eru. dition, than to the argumentative deductions of metaphysics, and the
29 If Dr. Priestley, approved himself,
as we believe, an eminent instrument of experimental researches of natural philosophy. Assiduous study had, simplicity that is in 'Christ, so long ob
the Divine Goodness, in displaying the however, given him a familiarity with scured by the forms of inan's inventiou, the learned languages sufficient in
we trust there is a character, far above general to render the sense of authors that of a philosopher, by which he will be clear to him; and he aimed at no- known to late posterity, and with increasthing more. In his own language he ing veneration. Dr. Priestley, as our was contented with facility and per- friend, whose interesting biography we spicuity of expression, in which he have attempted to illustrate in these notes, remarkably excelled.
will readily admit, appears always to have
esteemed a Christian the highest style of The writings of Dr. Priestley were so numerous, that they form a num- man, and to have valued bis scientific reber of articles in each of the follow. putation chiefly as it might attract atten
tion to his theological pursuits.
flammable air, and the generation of among a particular class of Christians.
30 Dr. Priestley, in 1772, when be phlogistic theory which he had im- quitted the congregation at Leeds, appears Lilied, and which the French che
to have regarded the pulpit as “almost en. mists had been supposed entirely to tirely sacred to the important business of have overthrown. Some of his latest inculcating just maxims of conduct, and writings of this class were attacks recommending a life and conversation beupon the antiphlogistic theory, of coming the purity of the gospel.” Pref. which he lived to be the sole emi- Farewell Serm. p. 7. This inoffensive, nent opposer. It is proper to observe, though as experience has shewn, inade that no experimentalist was ever
quate method of Christian teaching, has more free from jealousy, or the petty adopted by some who have not Dr. Priest
been highly approved and is probably still vanity of prior discovery; The pro- ley's opportunities of fully declaring themgress of knowledge was his sole ob- selves on other occasions. Dr. Priestley ject, regardless whether it was prohimself inust have gradually made his pulmoted by himself or another; and pit-instructions more declaratory of his he made public the results of his ex- opinions, while he so generally preferred periments while they were yet crude the primitive custom of an exposition to and unsystematic, for the purpose of the comparative innovation of a sermon. engaging others in the same track of The Biographer bas well remarked that inquiry.
Dr. Priestley “ entered more than rational in the science of metaphysics, Dr. dissenters” in general “ into doctrinal Priestley distinguished bimself as the points." He had indeed reason to complain strenuous advocate of Dr. Hartley's published sentiments to Christian genera
of those dissenters who, confining their theory of association, upon which he lities, left him to be regarded as almost founded the systems of materialism singular in his heretical aberrations, a and of pecessity, as legitimate infer- very monster in theology. An excellent ences. No writer has treated these man, whom we had the happiness to know, abstruse subjects with more acuteness the early and constant friend of Dr. Priestand perspicuity; and notwithstand. ley, fell, we think, under this charge, ing the load of obloquy heaped upon probably from his mildness of disposition, him on account of the supposed ten- certainly from no sordid motive. Dr. Kipdencies of his doctrines (obloquy pis, in his Life of Lardner, 1788 (p. 61), which he disregarded, and tenden. proposes, “ when certain pressing engagecies which he denied), he established public a few candid reflections on some
ments are discharged, to impart to the a high reputation in this branch of late, and indeed still subsisting theological philosophy, and effected a great disputes." Yet it was left to his friend change in the mass of public opinion. who preached the sermon on his justly laIndifference may hereafter prevail mented death to inform the congregation respecting these topics ; but as long whose Christian instruction and devotion as they remain subjects of discussion, Dr. K. had promoted for many years, that his writings will probably be consi- he was an Unitarian. The present writer dered as the ablest elucidations and well knew a lady, who had been long of
bis defences of the theories proposed in
congregation, and his intimate friend, them.
who expressed surprise and disapprobaIn theology, Dr. Priestley, if not him. It must, we think, be admitted,
tion when once Dr. Priestley preached for absolutely the founder of a sect, is that neither this excellent man, nor Lardyet to be regarded as a great leader ner, not to mention Locke and Newton,
a has been already observed, car
Of his other writings, the most ried further than they did, his no- important have been mentioned in tions of religious discipline. In short, the narrative of his life. Among religion was to him the most impor- these, his Histories of Electricity, tant of all concerns, and that which and of Vision, are perhaps the only chiefly excited the ardour of his ones by which his name would have mind. The essentials of the system been perpetuated, had it been dein which he finally settled were, void of so many other passports to the proper humanity of Christ, in- immortality.3a cluding the rejection of his miraculous conception, and of the doctrine
A Short Memoir of the Rev. Robert of atonement; and a future state, in
Edward Garnham. which punishment is to be only emen- (Printed but not publisherl.] datory, and all rational beings are to be finally happy: this was an infe
MBurg St. Edmunds, May ist, rence from the doctrine of necessity 1753, and was the only surviving combined with that of the beuevo. child of the Rev. Robert Garnham, lence of the Deity. He rejected an many years master of the Free Gramintermediate state of existence, and mar School at Bury, and rector of founded all his expectations of a future Nowton and Hargrave, in Suffolk.* life upon revelation alone. Of the His mother was Mary, daughter of very numerous publications in which Mr. Benton, and sister of the late he proposed and defended his theo- Edward Benton, Esq. secondary in logical opinions, a great part were the Court of King's Bench. Mr. temporary and occasional. Those Garnham received his school-educawhich may be deemed most durable tion under the tuition of his father. and important are, bis “ Institutes of who justly supported a considerable Natural and Revealed Religion," his reputation for classical learning. He · Letters to a philosophical Unbe- was removed from Bury school, and liever," his explanations of Scripture, admitted of Trinity College, Camand his inquiries into the faith of the bridge, in 1770, and the following early Christians, which he endeavoured to prove to have been conformable to the Unitarian system. longa, vita brevis... We trust that a plan To the study of scripture he was ex
now in contemplation, for publishing by
subscription, the whole of Priestley's works, tremely attached, and he paid a reverent respect to its historical and communicated to the public.
except the scientific, will very soon be prophetic authority. He published 3. Besides various particulars respecting several works in practical divinity, the character and opinions of Priestley, of which, two sermons, on Habitual interspersed through successive volumes of Devotion, and on the Duty of not the M. Repos., we may refer especially to living to ourselves, are of singular his “ Historical Eulogy,” by Cnvier, Se. excellence."
cretary to the National Institute of France, i. 216, 328, to an account of him in his
residence at Northumberland, America, by did justice to their opinions or their cha- Mr. Wm. Bakewell, of Melbourn, i. 393, racters in their faint and tardy declara- 505, 564, 622, to his eulogium by the tions against generally received and esta- venerable Christian Patriot, and Philan, blished errors. It is painful to those who thropist, Wyvill, ii. 464, to the characier revere the memory of the latter, to find of Priestley by his successor at Leeds, the them praised as enlightened believers, by late Mr. Wood, iii. 401, and to V. F's. a Wilberforce or a More, in the same interesting sketch of that part of his life, work where they censure Unitarians as, in which he was connected with the Wala according to Baxter, scarce Christians. rington Academy, viii. 226_-231. R.
31 These Discourses have been largely * He was formerly Fellow of Trinity circulated among the tracts of the Unita- College, Cambridge, and took the degree rian Society. For a complete enumeration of B. A. 1737, and M. A. 1747. After of Priestley's works we must refer to a having retired some years from his school, catalogue annexed to his Mem. Vol. ii.- he died at Bury, Nov. 8th, 1798, aged Their number (108) and their variety serve 82. His widow survived him littlé more to shew how constantly the author bore in than twelve months, dying at Bury, Dec. nind the sentiment which he adopted from 6th, 1799, aged 79. They were buried in Hippocrates, as a motto to his seal, Ars the chancel of the parish church of Nowtop.