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As Sixtus, when he liv'd, mock'd God, rious departments of general literature,
history and science. Ev'n at his death, believ'd no God to be ; Besides the above there are dispersa version as inaccurate, as to a modern ed over the kingdom some other liear its sound is prosaic,
braries founded for public use, though OTIOSUS. none perhaps (those of the universities
and other national establishments exSir, Newbury, Sept. 20, 1813. cepted) so completely endowed with
BEG leave to avail myself, if the revenues for their maintenance as these your plan, of a page of your useful of any of your intelligent corresponRepository, to sliggest some remarks dents to afford the intelligence, I shall and make one or two inquiries, on feel particular obligation for the supthe existing state of endowed libraries ply of a list of such institutions, the in England which have been at any origin of their endowment, and if postime founded for the express use of sible, the extent of the resources for the public, in contradistinction to such their maintenance and improvement, as are restricted to the use of particu
SCRUTATOR. lar establishments; such as those of
P.S. Of the state of those endowed collegiate, cathedral or other eccle- libraries that are attached to the vasiastical corporations. Few of your rious national and collegiate establishreaders, I should apprehend, can be ments, it is almost unnecessary I ignorant that there is one very valua- should conceive to remark, that Mr. ble one of the description to which Dyer has been loug assiduously ocI allude, at Manchester, founded dur. cupied in the preparation from actual ing the Usurpation by the munificence survey, of a laborious and extensive of a Mr. Cheetham, for the public be- history. nefit of the inhabitants at large of that populous town. Its excellent
SIR, founder left an 'ample estate to provide
NOME years have now elapsed for the support of a regular librarian, since several Clergymen of the for the annual augmentation as well Established Church petitioned paras constant care of the Library itself, liament to be relieved from siguing and for the comfortable accommoda- Articles of Religion. I have for some tion, besides all, of the inhabitants of time been desirous to meet with the bis native town in their use of his petition and the names of the petibeneficent bequest to them.
tioners, but have not been successful. There is likewise a library in some I should be obliged therefore if any degree similar in its object to this in- of your correspondents could, through stitution attached to St. Nicholas' the medium of your publication, give Church, at Newcastle, founded by it to the world; for I think that the Sir Walter Blackitt (a gentleman names of the petitioners ought to be whose memory is gratefully preserved remembered. If some biographical in many valuable benefits done to that notices could be prefixed to the names place by his liberal munificence). But the communication would be more whether it be from an inadequacy of interesting, and as I have been inits existing revenue to admit of the formed that they were for the most sufficient attendance of a librarian, part men of considerable learning, it and a due attention to its preserva- might recall their remembrance, and tion and improvement, or whether it stimulate others to attempt something may be owing to the superior extent of a similar pature at present. and more unrestricted access to the valuable and yearly improving library of the Literary and Philosophical So. On Natural Religion. ciety in the same town, it is much to
SIR, August 29, 1815. be regretted that his institution is (as (T must have afforded great plçaat present conducted) but little calcu- sure and satisfaction to many of lated to ensure the original intention your readers of the Old School, to find of its founder, notwithstanding it com- that you have lately admitted some prises a very large collection of scarce valuable Essays on Natural Theology: and many very valuable works in vz. one in particular, on the matural a
guments for a future state, worthy their teachers cause them to ery!" Even the peo of a Steele, an Addison, à Calvin himself, were he to arise from Watts, or a Young. This is not only the dead, would shake his hoary locks, a proof of your impartiality, and that at the sentiments uttered by some of you are free from the trammels of a his zealous adherents. When we hear sect; but also, in their idea, eminent- a popular divine of this class, after ly conducive to the interests of true stating his own notions of the death religion: especially, as there is an of Christ, tell the congregation, that evident tendency, at present, in the “if these notions are not the true ones, writings and sermons of some able, the death of Christ is an event of no learned and strenuous advocates of importance in the scheme of ChristianChristianity, (no doubt, from the best ity;" wescarcely know whether more intentions,) to depreciate natural re. to admire the modesty and judgment ligion, and the evidences opon which of the preacher, or the sagacity of it is founded. Wherefore, it is in his auditors, wou eagerly imbibe this cumbent upon those who think other. luminous and salutary doctrine, and wise, “ to strengthen,” in this view, call it, “ Gospel !" Why-good peo“ the things that remain," and which, ple, if you are now to be informed, in the opinion of some, may be “ ready that the death of Christ, as to its real to die,” by studying these principles nature and efficacy in the scheme of more and more, both to improve, ex- redemption, remains just as it is in alt and consolidate their own faith, itself, notwithstanding all your disand promote the knowledge of them putes concerning it, and the authoriamong others.
Nor, as it should tative decisions of your spiritual leadseem, is this a very difficult task. . We er-you are as yet, but “ babes in may entertain different sentiments on religion, needing milk and not strong this subject, as well as others; but it meat, and to be taught the first prin. must be an Herculean labour indeed, ciples of the oracles of God." Again, to endeavour to prove, that all which when a sober rationalist would perthe ancient and modern advocates of suade us, that “ the wretched savage natural religion, both Heathen and commits his departed relatives and Christian, have urged in its behalf – friends to the silent mansions of the men, who in the opinion of most, tomb, without any hope of restitution have“ written for immortality"-is of and recovery"—instead of reasoning little use or importance: and what with bim upon the subject, we are ever we may think of the reasonings inclined to refer him to any common of the“ masters in Israel" on the op- book of travels, or elementary treatise posite side of this question, we must of geography, to prove the rashness be sensible that their humble follow- of his assertious. Another candidate ers often commit grievous errors and for pulpit fame, under an idea of ex. mistakes, both in the parlour and in alting the gospel morality, gravely inthe pulpit. Mankind are too apt to forms us, that “the polished Ronians, pay au undue deference to great had no word to express the virtue of names, in religion and in the sciences; humility; or, if they had, it signified and it is truly lamentable, in a eneral something very different from what view, to witness the extremes into Christiaus mean by that term." Perwhich the partisans of discordant haps, this sapient divine hd just be. sects are apt to run, upon particular fore turned over bis Latin Dictionary, occasions. We do not expect perfece where we find, that iu Ciceronian tion, even from a minister of long es- language, “Humilitas" signifies“ lowtablished reputation, any more than ness, pooruess, meanness, baseness." from his people ; still less from one, -A goodly and decisive argument, just energed from the walls of an truly? Cicero, gentle reader, hath academy, whether commonly determined the matter for the whole deemed orthodox or heretical : but Roman commonwealth, and you are we do expect, in those who are set to inquire no farther. They had no apart for public instruction, a freedom humility.. We may help on this sort from manifest and glaring absurdities, of logie, by observing, that neither contrary to the analogy of the faiih, did the word Papyrus, with the Roto the general opinions of thinking mans, siguify paper, bor penna, a men, and even to matter of fact and handy instrument, now-a days made experience. “Woe unto them, when from the wing of a goose ; ergo, they
knew nothing of the art of writing. 'proportions and means towards the But what then ? If they had not the consummation of man's last end, wbich word, does it follow that they had was first intended, and is always the not the thing? But they had terms of same. For though the instances may equal force and precision, both for vary, there can be no niew justice, no humility and its contraries, viz. Ar- new temperavce, no new relations, rogantia, Contumacia, Superbia, Su- proper and natural relations and inpercilium, Fastus, &c. Patientia, tercourses between God and us, but Æquanimitas, Submissio, Modestia, what always were in prayers and è quâ, Moderatio,—a virtue by all praises, in adoration and honour, and zealots of all sorts, scouted and fleered in the symbolical expressions of God's at ;* and
Verecundia — diffidence, glory and our needs."+ lowliness of mind, self-annihilation ; If you think the following attempt, expressed upon particular occasions, which the writer drew up some years by a graceful blush; as, in the pre- ago, chiefly to methodize his own sence of seniors or superiors, or thoughts, and assist his recollection of a mixed - assembly, or at the idea upon this important subject, worthy or apprehension of evil-qualities, as of a place in your valuable miscellany, near to the virtue of humility as can it is at your service. well be imagined, and to higher de
An Occasional Reader. grees of which, many among us, both
On Natural Religion. Cleric and Laic, rational and irration
that there is no natural real, would do well to aspire. In truth, ligion, is to say that there is no rethese verbal criticisms are perfectly ligion, where there is no express reridiculous; for, all the virtues and velation of the Divine will. 'It is to vices, that is, a capacity for them, represent a great part of mankind, as are coeval with human nature: where- sent into a fatherless world, and all ever there is man, there are piety and who have not been favoured with the prophaneness; pride and humility; dispensations of Noah or of Abraham, benevolence and selfishness ; malice of Moses or of Christ, as atheists or and forgiveness ; envy and compla- reprobates, or both. It is to banish cency; moderation and excess : for though the gospel hath distinct and moral creation; and to deny him the
as it were the Deity from his own independent evidences; though it fur
power or the will, of communicat. nishes us with new revelations, ar. ing himself to the minds of his raguments and motives to obedience ; tional offspring, by any other means yet it bath given us, properly, speaks than those of delegation—by subordiing, “no new moral precepts."
nate and visible messengers, by letters is not imaginable,” says the profound and syllables. It is to say, that though Bishop Taylor, “ that the body of He hath given to all men all things any law should make a new morality, necessary for life ; le hath given to new rules and general proportions, many of them none for yodliness. To either of justice, or religion, or tem- allow that nature doth indeed lead us perance, or felicity; the essential to the knowledge of God, of our duty parts of all these consisting in natural to Him, and to one another, but can
furnish no valid or sufficient argu. * Even the ashes of the dead must be ments for a future state; is to say, raked into, and men of the sublimest cha- that religion may subsist in such a racters held up to public obloquy, as hav- creature as man, without a regard to ing been too tanie and “ tardy” in their a future state. Against these posiprofession of religious truth! What! must tions we have not only the writings we all turn not only polemics, but party of the wiser heathens, and the “ conheralds in religion ? Perhaps, our lungs sensus bonorum omnium"—the sufwill not admit of it; or perhaps, on all frage of good men in all ages; but points, we have not " made up our last understandings : or perhaps, we may Jewish and Christian scriptures; par.
also the express testimony of the be ambitious, with St. Paul, that“ moderation should be known unto all men."
ticularly the 19th Psalm, many pas. To confound moderation in religion with sages of the Book of Job, and the trimming, is just as candid and as wise beginning of the Epistle to the Roas to call “ reformation, innovation." But mans. truly they are a goodly company! " Sit anima mea, cum illis!"
+ Pref, to Life of Christ.
It is obvious, that in considering beings around me? That golden sun, the disciple of nature, we are not to this azure sky, this rich bespangled regard him as a solitary individual, firmanent! The species to which I placed either in a paradise or a desert; belong is evidently superior to all for we do not now come into the these, animate or inanimate : the lat. world in this manner : and yet Milton, ter appear to be governed by fixed whose great work is justly extolled laws; the former, though more diby Mr. Aldison, as furnishing an ad- versified in their forms and operamirable clue to unravel many knotty tions, yet seldom deviate from their points in divinity, has described the usual track; they live and sport head of our race, in the first of these awhile, fully occupied by the preseut views, and duly represented him, moment, but incapable of auticipating previous to any direct converse with the future, and then they die, and rehis Maker, as a subject of religion. turn not again.f I have many necesB. viii. v. 250, &c. But man, in ge- sities and enjoyments in common with neral is to be regarded in his relative these, but I have more. I have bigher capacity, as born in a state of society, pleasures, and I have also greater more or less civilized, and with great. cares! I am obliged to provide for er or lesser advantages. In this view futurity, by the very conditiou of my it has been generally allowed that his being; else I should quickly be de. original powers and faculties, gra- stroyed by the ravages of the elemerits, dually unfolded and duly exercised, and, as far as relates to the body, sink will lead him to the knowledge of a into my original nothing: nay, withSupreme Power ; of his duty to him, out the instrumentality of mun, even and to his fellow-creatures, and to nature herself would partially fail; the hopes and fears of futurity. He the great machine indeed would go may be “born," indeed, “like a wild on, but the subordinate parts would ass's colt," and without culture, may coalesce or be destroyed." Without a remain so; but this is as true under fostering hand to place it in the ground, the gospel as under the law, cither of the seed of the field would be lost, Moses, or of nature. But we need and both men and animals perish with not go far to derive the obligations hunger. But I have still higher powof religion and morality. That which ers and capacities : I can reason, comis fit and necessary for all, the Deity pare, discriminate and judge. I have hath been pleased to render obvious a conscience, a sense of right and of to all. When one rational being was wrong, of good and of evil; and excreated, the obligation of piety com- perience tells me, that in proportion menced; when two were created, the as I attend to these distinctions, I am obligations of justice and benevolence generally happy or unhappy. I am commenced. This is “ the law of naturally inclined to associate with first inscription, the principles of those of my own species, and to do which are natural to man, and ob- them all the good in my power; and vious to his reason, and which are, I perceive that “ the world would be especially as to their first and more poor, notwithstanding the bounties of immediate emanations, the same in all nature, without mutual communicamen in the world, and in all times tion, and the kind offices of social and places; not deriving their au- life ;"I and I feel sentiments of reve. thority from any arbitrary constitu- rence and gratitude to some unknown tions, but from the moral and intrin- and invisible power ; who must have sic nature of the things themselves,"• created me, and every thing that I unchangeable as the attributes of behold, and whose favour is essential Deity, and stable as his everlasting to my happiness. “O that I knew throne.
where I might find him, that I might Hence, in all ages, we may con- approach even to his seat !" But this ceive the pious and inquiring disciple is impossible, at least for the present, of nature, as reasoning with bimself, except by humble prayer and devout in some such language as this- adoration-a dark valley is before me;
What am I ? wlience this wondrous frame of nature, of thiugs and
+ Some animals and insects by natural
instinct, provide for, but cannot properly Cave's Apparatus to Taylor's Life of be said, to anticipate the future. Christ,
| Huoter's “ Good-man."
both men and animals alike “ lie “ justify the ways of God to man !" down in the grave and the worms cover But again—what is this future state? them :" and as if this were not enough, Is it to continue only for a few years the former accelerate their mutual or ages, and then to terminate in disdestructior. by intemperance and op- solution ? Surely this can never be! pression, by war and bloodshed. But The Creator of the Universe must Sis this all ? - Is death the final ex- needs be immortal in his very nature tinction of man? Do the countless and essence; why may not I become myriads of his race fade away from immortal by favour and by gift? If before our eyes as leaves in autumn, He shall indeed raise me from the to return no more for ever? In this clods of the valley, it cannot be thought life all things frequently come alike that it will be only to tantalize me; to all;" there is indeed a natural ten- or that He will cause me once more dency of virtue to happiness, and of to see the light, only to plunge me vice to misery, which bespeaks a wise into an abyss of eternal darkness! I and gracious administration ; yet in will therefore believe in a future state, many instances these are awfully and hope for its eternal duration : that counteracted, which denotes an unfin- wben the angel of death shall cover ished and imperfect system. Here, me with the veil of mortality, and notwithstanding all the bounties of loose the mysterious cord, which Providence, I find no absolute rest, unites my unseen spirit with this no satisfying felicity! I feel an im- earthly tabernacle, I may have my mense void in my mind, a desire and part avd portion, through the rich a hope of something greater and bet- bounty of my Creator and Judge, in ter! And are this desire and this hope the possession of ineffable and neverimpressed upon me in vain? Is the ending felicities. mind of man no better than a quality : (To be concluded in our next.) a jumble of atoms, or an organized machine, which perishes with its
Glasgow, Oct. 6, 1815.
S a friend to Unitarian Chrisages of bliss, which are perpetually floating in our imaginations, prove at exertion which professes to have its the last but ideal phantoms, and never support in view; and nothing could be realized in substantial forms? Is give me more pleasure than to see all there no reward for the righteous, no the members of our faith strenuously punishment for the wicked beyond engaged in “ every honourable me. the grave? This cannot be, whether thod," to encourage a dissent from esI consider the nature of God, or the tablished error. But in our zeal for nature of man: the Deity I must re- the good cause, we may occasionally gard as a moral governor ; man, as act without due thought and reflecan accountable being : there is, there- tion; we may even betray some de. fore, a future state, in which the pre- gree of ignorance while we are insent inequalities of the Divine plan fluenced by the best motives. The shall be fully adjusted. But,—what is truth of this sentiment was strongly this future state ? l anticipate it with impressed on my mind, by the peredelight, but it eludes my researches ! sal of a letter in the number of your I aspire to rise above this sublunary Monthly Repository for May last, sphere; beyoud that 'Aaming orb; (page 286) entitled the “ Necessity this azure sky; these glitterivg stars! of a Dissenting Education for Lay But do not I aspire too high? Is it not Dissenters." The author of that let. enough to have been once introduced ter is highly praise-worthy for the to this goodly scene, to have bebeld lively interest be feels in the cause of the fair face of nature, and enjoyed the civil liberties of his country and so large a share of the Divine benefi- of true religion ; but I am unwilling cence ? Or, 'can the Almighty be in- to believe that he has recommended debted to his frail, erring and sinful the only or the best method for precreatures ?-By no meaus. But may serving and increasing these blessings. I not consider him with reverence, I admit “ that a parent infringes no as being just to his own perfections? right of conscience iu his child when Is there not a harmony of the divine he endeavours to subject bis mind to attributes, necessary to complete the those impressions which will batumoral character of the Deity, and to rally dispose bim to continue a Diss.
mortal companion Shall those im; A tianity, I feel grateful for every