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Signature, to indulge in a style of cen- great length” to which I have already sure to which he might, very reasona- carried what, to speak commercially, bly, be unwilling to aftis his name. cannot fail to be a losing concern. · : Of my conduct respecting the ill- But “An Original Subscriber," in starred, or rather the ill-patronized, whatever style of language le inay edition of " Dr. Priestley's Works," allow himself to require the informathis “ Original Subscribers thus com- tion, has, unquestionably, a right to plains : “I must suppose there are be informed how far I expect yet to many like myself worn out by the very travel in this pursuit, should life and great length to which the Editor is ability be continued, that he may decarrying it, and which, I fear, las in termine whether he is not too irrecosome measure defeated the ends in- verably “ worn out” to accompany tended by its publication.” Now, a me any further. The Theological principal end was to do honour to Dr. Works, (including Vol. I., reserved for Priestley, by leaving in the world, as the Life and Correspondence,) have an appropriate, and, perhaps, the most extended to XXI. instead of the produrable memorial of his talents, and posed XVIII. Volumes. Tae Miscelhis worthy occupation of them, a laneous Works will occupy Tivo Vocomplete and correct edition of his lumes beyond the Twenty-third, just Theological and Miscellaneous Works, now issuing from the press. For these with such Notes by the Editor as works I hastily and very erroncously might connect and illustrate them. I appropriated about two volumes only, have not designedly added a single having never seen several of the artipage to serve any other purpose ; and cles. To the whole I propose to add I can assure “ An Original Subscri- a volume containing various Indexes, ber," that had I consulted only my any additions or corrections which pecuniary interest, not one of those may have occurred to me, or which notes, by “ the very great length" of any friend may supply, and, perhaps, which he has been "worn out,” would a few short biographical notices of have accompanied the text of Dr. authors mentioned, but not described Priestley. I am, indeed, aware, though in the Works. Thus the volumes will too late, that, neglecting to consult unavoidably amount to twenty-six inthe experienced, I greatly erred as to stead of the proposed twenty. After the extent of the works, and the una- receiving such an unsatisfactory statetoidable exposure to pecuniary loss, ment as to the “ very great length,” in editing, on the terms proposed, and no assurance as to time, except such large and closely-printed volumes, that of a determination to devote to an especially when from the very marked object, the accomplishment of which iodifference to the object, generally, would yield a gratification such as though, from my inexperience, very wealth is too poor to purchase, all the unexpectedly, discovered by the more leisure which very uncertain health, ceropulent Unitarians, I could not ven- tain "cares of this world,” and highly tare beyond an impression of 250 co- incumbent duties will allow, “An Ori. pies. Nor could I have ventured so ginal Subscriber” may probably refar, but for an additional subscription tract his courteous hint of encouragefor a number of copies, freely proffered ment to “ the Editor," that by giving to me by another “ Original Subscri- the required information he will, ber," "a Friend of Dr. Priestley," who perhaps, succeed in getting soine of would admit of no other designation. the volumes taken off the bookseller's
“ An Original Subscriber” may “shop-floor.” probably by this time be satisfied that, Leaving, however, “An Original were I not still determined to expend Subscriber" either quite “worn out,” something besides time and attention, or, more happily, convalescent, I would and the exertion of any suitable ta- respectfully address myself to the sublent with which Providence has in- scribers at large, all of whom are protrusted ine, and to “ bear up, and bably to be found among your readers. steer right onward” towards the ac- The works, in their completion, will complishment of a very favourite pro- extend, as now ascertained, so far ject, I also should be ready to com- beyond the original proposals, that plain of being " worn out by the very any subscriber, to whom such an ex
tension may, from any cause, be in. tions," describes himself as attached convenient, has an undoubted right, to her more upon the account of not, indeed, to retain the volumes he esteem and gratitude, than of nature has received, without applying for the itself.” Bishop Burnet, in his sermon rest, and thus to leave imperfect sets on the Death of the great Philosopher, in the hands of the Editor ; but to in 1691, remarks, that “ his sister return those volumes, claiming from and he were pleasant in their lives, the Editor the return of the first sub- and in their deaths they were not scription, and the price paid for each divided; for as he had lived with her volume. To such equitable claims I above forty years, so he did not outshall pay an immediate attention, live her above a week.” After den
As to others, who are sufficiently scribing Lady Ranelagh as applying satisfied with the progress of the un- the influence of her rank and property dertaking, or disposed to make allow to the most benevolent purposes, the ance for unavoidable delays, and have Bishop appears to represent her as no other reason for ceasing to be sub- belonging to some sect of Nonconfora scribers, they will, I hope, allow me mists, yet in the exercise of the most to urge upon their consideration, the catholic spirit. Though some para very great inconvenience and embar- ticular opinions,” says "he, "might rassments to which an Editor is una- shut her up in a divided communion, voidably exposed, by not having an yet her soul was never of a party. opportunity of receiving payment for She divided her charities and friendthe volumes as soon as they are printed. ships, both her esteem, as well as her Those subscribers who are not already bounty, with the truest regard to mein correspondence with me, will, I rit, and her own obligations, without trust, immediately send their direc- any difference made upon the account tions accordingly. I beg leave here of opinion." to repeat my request to any of your Of “ Dr. Worsley," mentioned by readers, who can oblige me with any Lady Ranelagh, I can find no account. letters to or from Dr. Priestley, or "Mr. Oldenburgh” is well known as any information which may assist me the correspondent of Mr. Ray and the in arranging materials for the Life, principal philosophers of his time. illustrating
the remainder of the works According to Dr. Birch, (Life of Boyle, preparing for the press, or correcting p. 114,) he was " a native of Bremen," any errors in the works already print- and "agent for that city in England.”. ed.
He was appointed “ Secretary to the I ought to apologize for occupying Royal Society, and died suddenly in any of your pages with a subject so. September 1677, which ascertains the personal, and which can interest only date of the letter. It appears that a sinall proportion of your readers. Mr. Boyle took the charge of Mr. To make the amends just now in my Oldenburgh's two orphans. power, I offer you a letter, which you Countess and our youths” were, I supwill, I think, deem sufficiently inte- pose, the daughter-in-law and grandresting to be worthy of your preserva- sons of Lady Ranelagh, who had been tion. I copied it, some time since, from for some years a widow. the valuable papers of Dr. Birch, in “Mr. Wood,” concerning whom the British Museum, and have no rea- Dr. Evans inquires, (XVIII. 690, and son to suppose it was ever printed. At of whom
see XII. 385,) is mentioned least he has not given it, where it by Dr. Priestley in a note to the semight have been expected, in his Lifecond of his Familiar Letters, as “the of Boyle, Probably, when Dr. Birch Dissenting Minister at Chowbent, in published that Life in 1744, the letter Lancashire,” who,“ in the first Rewas not in his possession.
bellion, took the field himself at the The writer, Lady Caroline Boyle, head of his congregation." In Mr. who married Viscount Ranelagh, is H. Toulmin's Account of Mr. Mort, less distinguished as the wife or mother published in 1793, pp. 4-9, Dr. of a peer, thau as the sister and friend Evans will also find some interesting of Robert Boyle, who, dedicating to particulars of General Woods, who Lady Ranelagh, under the name of was the son of an ejected minister, and Sophronia, his “ Occasional Reflec- died in 1759. J. T. RUTT.
The Countess of Ranelagh's Letter be brought in as a consolation to her
to her Brother Mr. Robert Boyle that is (Ayscough, 4292, 81).
Your own affectionately. I can't, my brother, but condole The Countess and our with you the removal of our true, Youths are your servants, honest and ingenious friends, in their the 11th 7ber, [1677). several ways, Dr. Worsley and Mr. Oldenburg, since it has pleased God to call them hence so soon one after
Jan. 9, 1824. another. Yet I am not without my THE
THE Editors of the British Cri. fears that my mentioning of them may tic, in their Review for October revive to your good nature the sorrow last, confess that the Genealogies of that I assure myself you received the Christ given by Matthew and Luke, news of their deaths with. But my is a subject encumbered with many experience (though I put but an is difficulties ; and observe, it is best compliment upon you, by measuring reconciled by supposing, thạt Matyou by myself) has taught ine, that thew traces Christ's legal descent from it's safer to have these uneasy things David through Joseph, and that Luke to us, so far touched upon, as to beget traces Christ's real descent from Dasome vent for such sorrows, rather vid through his maternal line, than by smothering them within our- Permit me, therefore, through the selres, continue to us a longer exer- medium of your valuable Miscellany, cise under them. They, each of them to recommend to these gentlemen, in their way, diligently served their the perusal of Mr. Gorton's Solution generation, and were friends to us. of the Grand Scriptural Puzzle, the They have left no blot upon their me. Genealogy of Jesus ; Mr. Wright's mories, (unless their not not having Essay on the Miraculous Conception; died rich may go for one,) and I hope and likewise the work of Rammohun they have carried consciences of up Roy, lately published by the Unitarightness with them, and have made rian Society. For should the explatheir great change to their everlasting nation of the genealogies given by advantage; and if they be possessed Mr. Gorton be correct, there is at of what we but hope for, and what we once an end of every difficulty on the should press after, we need not la- subject. And with respect to Mr. ment for them; and for ourselves Wright's Essay, I apprehend, that such losses, by the blessing of God should his reasoning not convince the are made to assist us, in the work he Reviewers of the error of their hiycalls us to, of getting ourselves weaned pothesis, they will, at least, acknowfrom this world, out of which, if the ledge, that it is very forcible and few pious and ingenious persons that argumentative. And with regard to make it tolerable, were once taken, the work of Rammohun Roy, I think what would be left in it but rattles, every unprejudiced and dispassionate and fools to play and make a noise person, on a perusal thereof, must with them; or instruments of cruelty be convinced, that the Prophecy of and knaves to use them in doing misa Isaiah, expressed in the 14th verse chief? Therefore, let me beg you to of the viith chapter, had no reference banish melancholy thoughts upon whatever to the birth of Christ, but these sad occasions; and instead of to that of Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz. recommending serious ones to you,
I have been informed that the parlet me beg you to enjoy the blessing ticular attention of the Reviewers was God has bestowed upon you, in an called to Mr. Gorton's work in July ability of knowing how to entertain last, and I must confess, I am rather yourself, and converse with him in the surprised, that they have not taken absence of all other company, and in any notice of it; although a very so doing to find that which may not favourable opportunity presented itonly render that absence tolerable, self, when they reviewed the seventh but welcome. I am loth to conclude article contained in their Number for after that, with threatening you with October last. Is it, therefore, to be my return to you; but the hopes of it concluded, that Mr. Gorton's Solumay, at the end of a condoling letter, tion is incontrovertible, and that they
preserve silence from a desire 'not that hereby he may promote the hap. to give publicity to a publication that piness of others, who are or shall be, at once overturns this portion of the irresistibly determined to virtue, in like fabric of Orthodoxy!
inander, is, of all incredible things, AN OLD SUBSCRIBER. to me the most incredible!”
To shew the Rev. Mr. Irving that
Islington, I am not one of those unregenerate Sir,
Jan. 1, 1824. critics who delight only in finding YHOUGH the Rev. Edward Ir. fault with his work, I will conclude
ving in the Preface to the Third with an extract, which, amidst the mulEdition of his “Oracles of God and tiplicity of quotations, has never yet Judgment to come,” says he prays for made its appearance in any periodical
unregenerate critics in the gall publication. It is on a future sitate. of bitterness and in the bonds of ini. Had Mr. Irving always written thus, quity,” yet I am not sorry for the his volume would have been eminently notice I took of his work, in a former useful and encountered no opposition Number of your Miscellany. (XVIII. throughout the religious world. . It 458.) Indeed, his admirers have takes the Unitarian ground of incal. thanked me for it. My only wish cating the resurrection of the human was that he would review the heart. race from the resurrection of the withering doctrine of eternal torments, Man Christ Jesus, agreeably to the which he himself confesses “shocks words of the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. xv. the faculties of reason and distresses 21: Since by man came death, by man, the powers of belief.” However, I came also the resurrection of the deadl; must do him the justice to declare, and yet by this Reverend Dwine from that he does not couple along with it, the pulpit are UNITARIANS frequently like many of his orthodox brethren, unchristianized. The extract is the the horrible decree of “ election and best part of the volume: it is addressreprobation.” He again and again ed to Unbelievers, and written in the insists on the possibility of the sinner spirit of unadulterated and 'scripturah escaping eternal torment, and an ex. theology. Nor is it an improper topic clusion from heaven is the result of of meditation at the commencement his own incurable depravity. One pa- of the new year. ragraph on the subject is too remark- “Seeing we have ALL to pass through able to be omitted.
the same ocean of death which our “ All a man's life-time is the reign Saviour passed, and to explore the of grace. Till he closes his eyes, mer- unknown land beyond it from which CY weeps over him to melt his stony he alone returned, it behoves us to heart. God's own Son, whose daugh- apply to him for advice upon the best ter mercy is, weeps over him to melt outfit for the journey. He alone doth his stony heart; he shews to him his know, for he alone hath seen. Our wounds and his cross, telling him he own fancies are dubious, and may hath died once and could die again to prove as wide of the truth when we save him! Surely God is slower to awaken upon the long day of eternity, judgment than man is ; surely unto the as our visions upon our pillow do last he putteth off; surely there is not seem in the morning. Neither let us any thing he would not do sooner than be directed by the fancies of other bring it to the grand and finishing stroke men who see no further beyond death of everlasting doom!" So far so well; than we do. The land is a new land, for as Dr. Doddridge in his Theologi- to the nature of which you and I and cal Lectures justly remarks, " That all men are strangers.' It lies like a a Being who is said not to tempt any wide dark ocean spread around the one, and even swears that he desires little island of life whereon we sonot the death of a sinner, should irre- journ! A dark impenetrable curtain sistibly determine millions to the shrouds us in, of which the sight is commission of every sinful action of fearful and the neighbourhood aptheir lives, and then with all the palling. All men are moving towards pomp and pageantry of an universal this dark verge with ceaseless and judgment condemn them to eternal anxious motion, which sometimes apmisery, on account of these actions, proacheth and shroudeth up multi
tudes prematurely in its invisible He came not for his own sake but for womb, and all trace of them is for ours, to give us note and warning of ever gone: it flits and shifts before what was doing upon the other side, us with fearful incertitude, and no and of what fare we were to expect man laying himself down at night is for ever! And he hath laid down the sure that he will rise again in the simplest rules to guide us to happiness morning among his friends and in his and honour, and the amplest warning native land. But though it shifts to keep us from degradation and ruin. awhile, this gloomy bourne of our in the name of reason and consistency, pilgrimage hath an unshifting limit then, to whom should we apply but behind which it never recedes. And unto him who knows so well, and was soon the extreme angle of that limit never known in all he said to deceive, is reached by all ! On they move in all he did to injure? To him, then, in endless succession, helpless as the let us go fortuition. And most sheep to the slaughter, and the mo- surely he is the kindest, most affecment they touch the dark confine they tionate, most considerate Teacher, disappear, and all clue of them is that ever breathed the breath of lost! You may cry aloud, but they knowledge over helpless ignorance. hear and answer not; you may give Away, then, with our own conjecthem any signal, but they see and tures, away with the conjectures of return it not. No voice cometh from other men who, however wise in this within the curtain where all is silent life, know nothing of the life within and unknown. How it fares with the veil which shrouds us in. Up, them, whether they merge at once then, go to the SCRIPTURES which into another country, whether they he uttered of himself or by the inspiare out at sea, by what compass and ration of his spirit; there let us be map they steer, or whether they are stripped of all our fancied knowledge lost in that gulf and abyss of being of things which we know not in the for evermore, no man for thousands least. Under them let us commence and thousands of years had the sha- a new childhood, a new scholarship dow of an imagination. It was very for eternity, and we shall arrive at mysterious ; each man as he passed length at that manhood of strength • shuffled off his mortal coil,' left us and knowledge, which will never fall his slough, but nothing of himself. away into the dotage or sereness of His reason, his feeling, his society, age, and shall survive death and conhis love, all went with him: here with rey us safe through the unknown to us was left all of him that we were the mansion of our heavenly Father, wont to see and touch and handle. which our great Fore-runner hath gone How he could exist apart from these, to prepare for our reception." the helps and instruments of being, I close by remarking, that in this was all a phantom and a dream. The great doctrine of a future state, the existence, if existence there was, no Christian world, however crumbled human faculties could fix a thought down respecting inferior articles of upon. His spirit, if spirit there were, faith, are united. The Catholic, the takes its fate in cold nakedness; but Churchman and Dissenter, are here how it dwells or feels or suffers or agreed. That Jesus hath brought enjoys, when thus divested, was alto- life and immortality to light, is the gether incomprehensible. Why, then, prime doctrine of the Christian revein this midnight ignorance, should we lation in which both Trinitarians and apply to any man to guide us, or to Unitarians have uniformly acquiesced. ourselves ? 'It is vanity. Quit, then, “ There is a something in our comwith such presumptuous trust, and mon faith,” (says Dr. Watson, the late be not duped with their blind direc- Bishop of Llandaff,) “ in which all tions.
are agreed, and that somewhat is in "Only ONE MAN of the myriads who my opinion a circumstance of such passed the darksome veil returned; ineffable importance that I will never he passed into the obscure, in the refuse the right hand of fellowship to obscure be tarried, and like the rest him who acknowledges its truth, never was given up for lost. But forth he think or speak of him with disrespect, eame in the greatness of his strength, nor with true pharisaical pride esteem: having conquered the powers beyond. myself more orthodox, more accepta