« AnteriorContinuar »
gulation of mind, and that no false of many of the promises of Scripor partial habits of thinking or judg. ture. His apprehensions, on the ing, on subjects perhaps intrinsically topic of science, I consider to be of little importance, should betray far from correct. It is implied us into errors in that which is most by him in several places, that imimportant of all.” And would, that mediate utility is the only object of all might comply with his earnest science; that it strengthens none of invitation, and with himself “ shew the faculties except the memory; that they are guided in their that meditation is a stranger to it; thoughts and pursuits by a re- and that we are thereby “ engaged ference to that state in which they in a constant and feverish activity are to exist hereafter, and, in com- of unmeaning exertion.” I regret parison of that end, despise and that such language is frequently contemn all immediate utility and used in this sermon. Such is not present reward.” “When once," he the effect of either of the discourses says, we admit indeed, the ex- which I am about to recommend, istence of a God, and the con- though they are both admirably tinuance of the soul's existence to guarded and cautious. eternity; these two considerations I regret also that Mr. Rose should at once impress a character of com- have said, that " with us the spirit parative insignificance on all that of religious enthusiasm, except in does not concern these great mat- the lowest and most disgusting ters, and on all that can be done in form...is departed.” Most sincerely the way of result attained in this as Mr. Rose may prefer the prinworld.” Such thoughts from time ciples of some, whose zeal may be to time break forth in his sermon; culpably lukewarm, this sentence is and no suggestions could be more still both injudicious and unjust. worthy of the Christian, or more be. In regard to some of the leading neficial to men who, from their edu- remarks on the present overwhelmcation, are supposed to be literary. ing spirit of accumulation, which is
But in regard to the subjects to most bitterly to be lamented, Mr. which study is to be almost entirely Rose must allow, that classical and limited, to the description of the literary attainments are made subvalue of scientific acquirements, servient to the ruling passion for and some other points, I must wealth, not less than scientific ones. candidly express dissent from Mr. No judicious person would speak Rose's positions. Notwithstanding against literary talents, because his assurance, that he does not they may be misapplied; why then, “ desire to check the desires of the because science may in like manhuman mind for improvement," I ner be perverted, is she to be thrust submit that such is the tendency of from her legitimate seat of honour? his discourse. He says, for example, But what I chiefly lament is, that " It is not accurate knowledge of Mr. Rose has not told us plainly facts, it is not knowledge itself, but what he is attacking. In reading the process by which it is attained, his discourse, the question occurs, Is the discipline, the exercise, &c. all this meant against the Cambridge which elevate the mind of man.” system, or the projected London UniIn the paragraph immediately fol. versity? I incline to think the latter; lowing, he adds, “ The only mark and I fatter myself, that the overof progress in the species discover- wrought descants which we hear of able is a gift bestowed;" but this, upon the march of intellect, and the he remarks, “ is wholly unconnected unbounded prospect of intellectual with man's own efforts, and holds improvement to future ages," have out no prospect and no promise to not many supporters in our alma them.” “This is not only discourag- mater; yet surely, it is unworthy the -ing, but amounts, I think, to a denial dignity of Cambridge to express a
jealousy of the endeavours which larly to find out the true sense of have been made to give London a the sacred writings. These are all mode of education for those whose the several varieties of the most means are not equal to the expense useful parts of knowledge; and these of the higher universities; and it is do spread over all the powers of the unwise to inveigh against scientific soul of him that is capable of them, knowledge in general, because it is a sort of nobleness that makes him to be there administered, as we become thereby another kind of conceive in most undue proportions, creature than otherwise he ever and without such accompaniments could have been: he has a larger as we consider necessary to prevent size of soul, and vaster thoughts, its doing harm, and even defeating that can measure the spheres, and its own object.
enter into the theories of the heaWhile, therefore, I would wish to venly bodies ; that can observe the give Mr. Rose the praise which the proportion of lines and numbers, main design of his sermon deserves, the composition and mixtures of the I must be allowed to defend scientific several sorts of beings. This world, knowledge and studies, the value and this life, and the mad scene we are tendencyofwhich he unfairly depreci- in, grow to be but little and inconates; and I beg permission to support siderable things, to one of great myview of the case by the words which views and noble theories." were uttered over one in whom was man feels as sensibly, and distinfound, all that was wise, and lovely, guishes as plainly, an improvement and of good report.“ Knowledge,” of the strength and compass of his says Bishop Burnet in his funeral powers, from the feebleness which sermon for the Hon. Robert Boyle, ignorance and sloth bring upon " is that which opens the mind, and them, as a man in health of body fills it with great notions ; the view- can distinguish between the life and ing the works of God, even in a strength which accompany it, and general survey, gives insensibly a the fatness and languidness that greatness to the soul. But the more diseases bring with them.” extended and exact, the more mi- can easily apprehend the surprising nute and severe, the inquiring be, joy of one born blind, that, after the soul grows, to be thereby the many years of darkness, should be more enlarged by the variety of ob- blest with sight, and the hopes and servation that is made, either on the life of thought, that such a one great orbs and wheels that have should feel upon so ravishing a their first motion, as well as their change; so the new regions into law of moving, from the Author of which a true son of knowledge all; or on the composition of bodies, enters, the new objects, and the or the regularities, as well as the various shapes of them that do daily irregularities of nature; and that present themselves to him, give his mimicry of its heat and motion mind a flight, a raisedness, and a rethat artificial fires do produce and fined joy, that is of another nature shew. This knowledge goes into than all the soft and bewitching the history of past times and re- pleasures of sense. And though mote climates; and, with those the highest reaches of knowledge do livelier observations on art and na- more clearly discover the weakness ture which give a pleasant enter- of our short-sighted powers, and tainment and amusement to the shew us difficulties that gave us no mind, there are joined, in some, the pain before, because we did not severer studies, the more laborious apprehend them; so that, in this as well as the less pleasant study of respect, he that increases knowlanguages, on design to understand ledge, increases sorrow:” yet “it is the sense, as well as the discoveries, a real pleasure to a searcher after of former ages: and more particu- truth, to be undeceived, to see how far he can go, and where he must than at any former period of our make his stops.” “ Yet he has this history, it is lamentable to perceive real satisfaction in himself, that he that, owing to the abstruseness of has greater notions, nobler views, our laws relating to charitable beand finer apprehensions than he quests, and the consequent ignocould have ever fallen upon in any rance of many persons as to their other method of life. This know- meaning and application, the geneledge, though it may seem to be rous intention of benevolent indimerely the effect of thought, of la- viduals is very often rendered void bour, and industry, yet it is really and incapable of taking effect. the gift of God.”
It is tolerably well known, from The only caution necessary, in having been notified in the annual the warmest scientific zeal, is that reports of the various religious and which Boyle himself so wonderfully charitable societies now existing, observed, and with the mention of and which are the glory of our which he concluded that part of beloved country, that, by a statute his will wbich regarded the Royal So. passed in the reign of Geo. II. ciety. “Wishing them," he says, “a called the Mortmain Act, “ all happy success in their laudable at- devises of land, or money charged tempts, to discover the true nature on land, or secured on mortgage of of the works of God; and praying lands or tenements, or to be laid that they, and all other searchers out in lands or tenements, are abinto physical truths, may cordially solutely void ;" although cases do refer their attainments to the glory sometimes occur of devises by perof the great Author of nature, and sons in direct opposition to the aforeto the comfort of mankind."
said act. A remarkable instance This discourse of Bishop Burnet is of this has lately occurred, of a not perhaps within the reach of all gentleman who died and bequeathed my readers; but I strongly recom- 30,0001. to the Chamber of Exeter mend to thein a more recent one, by for the purchase of lands in Devon Mr. Benson, which concludes with a or Cornwall, the rental of which noble view of the range of theological was to be applied to the establishlearning, and the requirements es- ment of a free school in Exeter. sential for a great divine-one which In consequence of the provisions of at once humbles the pride of learn- the Mortmain Act, this large proing, and stimulates the desire of it. . perty reverted to the testator's broThey will find it in the discourses ther as executor.
Scripture Difficulties.” sect. 1. It has however been generally Mr. Rose deserves so well of the considered by the public, that a public and the church, as an elo. bequest of “ money to arise from quent and sound divine, and an the sale of leasehold property, is able champion for the faith, that I not within the statute, and is therehave been the more desirous of fore a good bequest; inasmuch as offering these friendly strictures, the money only is bequeathed to lest his just reputation should seem be paid, after it has been raised by to give new countenance to the sale of the houses; and I confess I often repeated but futile objection, had my own doubts upon the subthat Christianity is hostile to the ject, until a short time since, when enlargement of the human mind. the following case came under' my
C. L. observation. An individual having
only distant relations, by his will
directed his leasehold tenements Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. to be sold, and the money to be
equally divided between the treaAt a time when the streams of be. surers of two charity schools therein nevolence are flowing more rapidly named. The houses were accord
ingly sold by the executor, who, I may also be permitted to allude being convinced of the testator's to another circumstance of some intention to benefit the schools, moment, connected with the above which was clearly manifested in the subject. Among the numerous rewill, and acknowledged by all the ligious and charitable institutions parties, was ready and willing to of the present day, there are many pay the produce (upwards of 10001.) which in name and description as directed by the testator ; bear a great similarity to each when, to the surprise of all the other; and in consequence of the parties interested, it was declared incorrectness with which they are by an eminent barrister, that mentioned in the wills of many although the houses themselves persons, great difficulties have frewere not bequeathed, but directed quently arisen in determining the to be sold and turned into money, precise charity intended to be beand the money paid to the schools, nefited by the donors, and the bethe bequest was void, and the quests from the uncertainty have whole amount became the property often been declared void. I would of the next of kin to the deceased. therefore strongly recommend all
I may also add, in corroboration donors by will for charitable purof the above remarks, that, being poses, to be particular in giving a lately in the Vice-Chancellor’s court correct description of the object of during an argument in a cause, their beneficence, if possible in the “ British Museum, v. the Devisees words of the form pointed out in of White,” I heard his Honour de- the Report of such society, and clare, that an interest in land is also to direct that the legacy be within the statute of Mortmain, paid duty free. and that leaseholds directed to be I beg to subjoin an amended sold, and the money paid to a cha- form of a bequest, and notice aprity, are the same, and therefore void. pended thereto, as substitutes for
You will unquestionably agree with those in general use, which, if me, sir, in thinking it to be of great adopted, will, I trust, prevent a reimportance, that the above point currence of the errors I have enshould be explained and notified to deavoured to point out and elucithe public without delay, in order that date. they may prevent their benevolent Proper Form of a Donation to thc intentions from being frustrated;
Society by Wil. as I am confident has often oc- “I give and bequeath the sum of curred, having myself observed pre
unto the treasurer for the cisely similar bequests in other wills, time being, of besides the one to which I have the same to be paid within already alluded. I would caution months next after my decease, out persons from bequeathing any thing of such part only of my personal whatever to or for charitable pur- estate, as shall not consist of mortposes, except money, or stock in gages or chattels real; in trust to the public funds *; at the same be applied to the uses and purposes time being careful not to direct the of that society, and for which the money to be paid out of mortgage receipt of such treasurer shall be money, or money to arise from the a sufficient discharge." sale of houses, as in either case the Devises of land, or of money bequest would be void.
charged on land, or secured on • Another legal correspondent, W. H. M. mortgage of lands or tenements, or who has addressed us on the same sub.. to be laid out in lands or tenements, ject, thinks that by the Mortmain Act be- or to arise from the sale of land or quests of stock also are illegal; but, from tenements, are void : but money or that his construction of the act is incor- stock may be given by will, if not rect.-Editor.
directed to be paid out of the prosey, 1826;
duce of the sale of land or tene. met with, in one of the public libraries ments, or to be laid out in land. there, a printed correspondence in ATTORNATUS. Latin, between Calvin and Cran
mer, &c. ; in which Calvin, with a sort of prophetic discernment, tells
the Archbishop, that though he well Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. understood his meaning in declaring,
in the office of baptism, the infant | REQUEST your insertion of an
to be regenerate, he might be asextract from a recently published sured that the time would come work, entitled “ An affectionate when that expression would be misAddress to the Members of the conceived, and received as implying Church of England, in which the that baptism absolutely conveyed most popular Arguments for. Sepa. regeneration. Cranmer replies, that ration are considered and refuted; it is not possible such a construcby the Rev. Thomas
Brock, A. M. tion can be put upon the passage, Rector of St. Peter Dubois, Guern- the church having sufficiently ex
hoping that some of plained her meaning in the Articles your readers may have literary and elsewhere. I give the purport friends at Geneva who will be able of what was told me; without bindand willing to investigate the libra- ing myself to the very expressions. ries there, in order to discover the I build no argument upon this: I correspondence between Cranmer merely state the fact as I received and Calvin alluded to in the ex- it, with a vietu to inquiry being tract. The value of this corres- made into the subject. The discovery pondence will be manifest to every of such a correspondence, of the Christian, and more especially to existence of which I entertain no the members of the Church of doubt, would at once settle all England. The subject of baptismal controversies upon this point, by regeneration has occasioned many enabling us to come at the very disputes and perplexities. It is mind of the framers of our Liturgy." probable that a reference to the
L. R. above-named
documents would throw much light upon the real opinions of our reformers, and the Tothe EditoroftheChristian Observer, compilers of our Liturgy on this controverted and important ques. You mention that a sub-committee tion. Possibly some clergyman or of the venerable Society for prointelligent layman may visit Ge- moting Christian Knowledge, is ac, neva, from England, in the course tively engaged in the reformation of the ensuing spring or summer, of the society's list of publications; who would be willing to direct þis a fact which I find announced in attention to the subject, and com- the last two or three Reports of municate the result of his inquiry the society. Perhaps some of your through the medium of your pages. readers who are members of the Speaking of the objection, "that our institution, and resident in London, church, in the baptismal service, pro- would be kind enough to inform its nounces every baptised child rege- friends in the country, what is the nerate, as if it implied that baptism extent of these revisions, and upon virtually conferred regeneration,” what principle they are conducted. Mr. Brock says,
“ Whilst on this The subject is of considerable insubject, it may be right to state, terest and importance; and I trust that an eminent scholar of Geneva, will excite the attention of the now a pious minister in our church, members at large.
The society's assured me not long since, that, when publications are so numerous, and pursuing his studies in that city, he of such various degrees of merit,