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years, found a retreat from clamour and contest. “ It stands in a very romantic situation, in a fine fruitful vale, richly wooded with a variety of trees and shrubs on either side the slopes which bound its extent, and patched with huge rocks, which project through the foliage from the lofty brow of the cliffs. In the garden is an old summer-bouse, almost covered with ivy, in which he studied. A small stone, placed therein, is inscribed to his memory in the following words : Sacred to the memory of the celebrated James Foster, D.D. who, in this humble and retired mansion, secluded from the fury of bigots and the cares of a busy world, spent several years, and composed many of those excellent Discourses on Natural Religion and Social Virtue (with the annexed Offices of Devotion) which have been read with universal admiration during the last and present ages; and which, while they exhibit to posterity the most beautiful display of the divine attributes, and important duties of human life, will immortalize the name and memory of their learned and piqus author *.?"
MEMOIRS” OF DR, PRIESTLEY--BEATTIE-TOPLADY.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository.
From the regard which I have always borne to the character and writings of Dr. Priestley, I never could look into his “ Examination of. Reid, Beattie, and Oswald,” especially the Dedication of that work, without regret. The Scotch Doctors are there arraigned with a solemnity rather ludicrous, considering that they are only charged with metaphysical deline quency. In justice to the author, it should be added, that in his Memoirs (p. 78) he speaks of the “ Examination” as “ written in a inannér he did not entirely approve." I wish he had expressed in still stronger terms his disapprobation of a style of writing from which he was, I think, in general, remarkably free, for an author so often involved in controversy.
I was led to these observations by reading the interesting yolume of Dr. Priestley's Memoirs, &c. where his learned
* Collinson's “ History of Somerset hire," Vol. II. p. 449, 450, N.B.—The preceding Memoir, where other authorities are not quoted, is drawn up from the materials furnished by Dr. Flening's and Mr. Bulkley's Sermons on the Death of Dr. Foster,
annotator, Mr. Cooper, has brought a charge against cne of
Kind Nature the embryo blossom shall save:
0! when shall it dawn on the night of the grave!”. I can sce nothing here to justify the annotator's censure ; and I am persuaded that Mr. Cooper, in his judicial capacity, would at once dismiss from his court a charge supported by such insufficient evidence. It would be trifling to remark, that the word “ Nature," especially in the licence of poetic diction, commonly designs the Author of nature: and wbat are the lines quoted, connected with those which precede them, but, like Young's “ True Estimate of Human Life,” (the second part of which never appeared,) a statement of one, and that the inelancholy view of man's condition. The whole of those stanzas reminds me of a passage in the book of Job (xiv. 7-10.) which probably our Poet had in recollection, where a beautiful description of the annual revivals of the vegetable world is closed by this affecting inquiry : “ But man dieth, and wasteth away : yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?" ,
The original edition of the “ Hermit,” the only part which has been set to music, and the only one, I am persuaded, which Mr. Cooper had seen, ended with the stanza to which he has attributed an “ atheistical complexion," of which I much doubt whether you or your readers will be “ aware,' any more than was Dr. Beattie himself. The poet, however, was not satisfied with having left man in " the night of the grave," that ne plus ultra of rational philosophy. I have before me an edition of his poems, in 1780, where the following stanzas. are added, not, I believe, for the first time :-'.
'Twas thus, by the glare of false science betray'd,
That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind,
Destruction before me, and sorrow behind ::
O, pity, great Father of Light! then I cryd,
Thy creature who fain would not wander from thee :
From doubt and from darkness thou only can'st free.
No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn :
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
And Nature all glowing, in Eden's first bloom!
And Beauty immortal awakes from the tomb!”
These lines will be allowed to appear consistent with the author's “ professions of Christianity,” and to express very happily the sentiments of those who, « depending on the truth of the Christian Scriptures, look forward with anxious hope to a continued and more perfect state of existence after death." Mr. Cooper could not possibly know, that before his insinuations against Dr. Beattie could be read in Britain, the subject of them would be " out of hearing, far away in the land where all things are forgotten.” Should this letter come under the eye of the learned annotator, I doubt not but he will do ample justice to the author of the “ Hermit," whose Poetry, unless the feelings of youth and manhood have both deceived me, will be read and admired, when his Metaphysics may have been long and deservedly forgotten."
Before I quit the “ Memoirs," give me leave to add, concerning Toplady, that “ fierce polemic issuing from his den,” who is justly represented (in p. 321) as having a connected the doctrine of necessity with all the bigotry of Calvinism,” that he occasionally corresponded with Dr. Priestley, who wished to make him a philosophical necessarian, and whom he appears to have treated with great respect, though he assailed his Arminian antagonists, Sellon, Wesley, &c. with more than Varburtonian insolence. Soon after Toplady's death, in 1775, his posthumous works were published. They are a strange medley, brought together by a needy relation, who emptied his escrutoire to Gll a volume. There are two letters to Dr. Priestley, one of which has the following passage, the only one I remeinber, and which exbibits a curious contrast of images. “Let a' mar's principles be black as hell, it is nothing to me if he has the courage to avow them. I love a man whom I can hold up as a piece of chrystal, and look through him : for this I have alwavs admired Dr. Priestley.” Toplady was a democratic politician, and a determined foe of the American war. He ap
pears from his letters to have been well acquainted with Mr. Burgh, the author of « Political Disquisitions,” and Mrs. Macaulay: in a letter to her he gives a particular account of the sudden death of Mr. Thomas Hollis, with whom he also seems to have been in habits of intercourse.
.. . I remain, Şir, your's, Jan. 7, 1807.
THE REV. S. CLARK ECLECTIC REVIEW.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. Sir, I was glad to see in your number for December*, the memoirs of the Rev. Mr. Clark, of Birmingham. I believe all who knew him will assent to the justice of the character there given him. The writer, 1 presume, will not be offended if, tó the account of his few publications, you should add that he was the editor of Dr. Doddridge's Lectures, and that he executed that important office with great industry and judgment, as his own modest advertisement prefixed will sufficiently show, lt is dated January 31, 1763.
But I should not have troubled you with this note, had it not been for an uncandid and unjust reflection upon Mr. Clark, as well as upon the Academy of which he was a tutor, in a late number of the Eclectic Review, in the article on the Life of Dr. Priestley, p. 934. I shall not think it worth my while to animadvert upon the whole passage respecting the Daventry Academy, nor shall I attempt a vindication of the method of education there pursued, according to Dr. Doddridge's plan. Such expressions as," the rank weeds of that rotten bed" - 55 in such a polluted soil, and amidst the mephytic exhalations, no holy dispositions can possibly flourish,” &c. deserve nothing but contempt. The passage I meant particularly to notice is what relates to Mr. Clark, which contains, however, no friendly insinuation respecting the other worthy tutor, It is this: “ On leaving Dr. Ashworth and his Arian colleague, Mr. Priestley settled,” &c. For what purpose was this frightful name, Arian, applied to Mr. Clark, but to fix a stigma upon his character, and upon that of his worthy colleague? So, other excellent and candid men have been stigmatized by bigots, among whom may be mentioned the amiable Dr. Watts, and with equally just reason. Give me leave to tell this illiberal Reviewer. through your channel, that Mr. Clark was no Arian. This
might, indeed, be presumed from Dr. Doddridge's high esteem for him : but I had the pleasure of knowing him personally, being partly under his tuition; and I have sufficient evidence, that though Mr. Clark did not profess to believe the Athanasian creed, he was no more an Arian than the compiler of it. Let this Eclectic Reviewer then take care for the future, when he gives opprobrious names to any, that they be founded in
REMARKS ON stone's VISITATION SERMON.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, The following remarks were found written on the front page and margins of a copy of Mr. Stone's sermon belonging to a friend of mine, by a clergyman who has lately written largely on the subject of prophecy. I offer no observation on the place and manner of inserting them (entirely without my friend's consent, or even knowledge, till the pamphlet was returned to him by another clergyman to whom it had been lent, with permission indeed to show it), except that it seems to give the proprietor of the book, so spoiled, a perfect liberty to make what use of them he pleases. He therefore desires that they may be sent to your useful Miscellany ; in order that Mr. Stone, or any other person, may have the opportunity to notice and answer them; which, perhaps, would not be difficult. At least, a public discussion cannot fail to be ultimately beneficial to the cause of truth. An early insertion will oblige your humble servant,
V. F. “ Mr. Stone must have read the ancient prophets in a most curs sory manner, to hazard the strange assertions which the reader will find in the following discourse. The prediction contained in Plicah 1. 2. is expressly applied by the Chaldee paraphrast to the Messiah, just as the chief priests (Matt. ii. 6.) rightly interpreted it to Herod : * Et tu, Bethlehem Ephrata, -ex te coram me prodibit Christus." It is one of the many passages under the Law, wherein the divinity of our blessed Saviour is unequivocally declared. He, wbom David styles “God”-whom Isaiah styles * the mighty God, the Father of Eternity? whom Zechariah dignities with the incommunicable name of " Jehovah," representing him, nevertheless, as sent by Jew horah: he it is whose goings forth are declared by Micah to have been from of old, from everlasting, although in his human capacity he should be bora at Bethlehem ; he it is, whom the writers of the New Testament assert to be God, manifest in the flesh-God, who