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ent war against the French. I am endeavouring to settle my opinion of the most probable interpretations of the principal prophecies in Daniel and the Revelation, and when I have done it, shall write to you more fully on the subject. I have no satisfaction like that which attends the study of the Scriptures. Since I wrote last, I have a prospect of being employed as a preacher here. I have a service every Lord's day at my son's house; and several persons, the most respectable in the place, have desired to attend, and even, I hear, talk of building a place of worship for me. To this I shall contribute pretty largely myself, and shall feel most happy in being so employed, and in instructing such young persons as will attend me.” In February, 1796, he visited Philadelphia, and delivered a course of Lectures on the Evidences of Revealed Religion. The congregation that attended, says a lady who was present, were so numerous that the house could not contain them, so that as many were obliged to stand as sit, and even the doorways were crowded with people. During this visit he attended the debates of Congress, on the ratification of Jay's treaty. The passage in which he speaks of them in writing to Mr. Lindsey is not without interest. “After a long discussion, the House of Representatives have voted, by a majority of three, for carrying the treaty with England into execution. Having much leisure, I have attended to hear much of the debate, and have heard as good speaking as in your House of Commons, and much more decorum. A Mr. Ames speaks as well as Mr. Burke; but, in general, the speakers are more argumentative, and less rhetorical. And whereas there are not with you more than ten or a dozen tolerable speakers, here every member is capable of speaking, which makes interesting debates tedious. A good account of the speeches is taken by short-hand writers, who have a desk for the purpose, and, I believe, many of the speakers correct them afterwards. As the speeches on this occasion are printed, I will send them to you. The members for the northern states are in general in favor of the treaty, and those from the southern, against it. I am well acquainted with both, and they do not avoid one another, as the heads of parties do in England; and when once any thing is decided by fair voting, all contention ceases.” In the course of the next year Dr. Priestley's situation was rendered yet more solitary by the death of his youngest son and of his wife. These were severe trials, and he often pathetically alludes to them in his letters, showing how deeply he was afflicted. and how a Christian faith and hope sustained him. “The time is fast approaching with respect to me,” he says, in a letter to Mrs. Barbauld, “when our intercourse from which I have derived so much satisfaction, will be renewed with advantage, and to this future scene late events have drawn my attention in a more particular manner than ever. How much to be pitied are they who are not Christians! What consolation can they have in their sorrows 7 Mine have sometimes such a mixture of Joy, as hardly to deserve the name.” “The death of my wife,” he says some months afterward, “has made a great change in my feelings; though I never felt so sensibly the happy effects of religion.” In 1797 he again passed some time in Philadelphia, preaching on the Evidences of Christianity, and publishing remarks on the infidel writings of Wolney, who was then in that city. The subject of infidelity was that which now supremely interested him. He took little notice of those who were disposed to treat him as a heretic. “Except avowing my sentiments, which I thought it necessary to do, in a single discourse last year, I pay no attention whatever to the Orthodox, and confine myself to the unbelievers, as by much the more formidable enemy of the two.” “While I am preaching and writing against the common enemy, they are preaching and writing against me.” That any unbeliever can be pious and habitually devout (without which every charac

ter must be very imperfect) is what I have not yet seen any appearance of.” “How insignificant,” he exclaims, “are all subjects, compared to those which relate to religion' And yet I am persuaded I have more pleasure in my philosophical pursuits than any of my unchristian brethren. My views of these subjects give a dignity and importance to them, which, in the eye of the unbeliever, it is impossible they should have.” In a similar strain he writes, on hearing of the death of Mrs. Lindsey. “The loss of near friends and the society to which we have been long accustomed, weans us from the world. I have hardly a wish to stay behind, already. When a few more of my friends are gone, I shall wish to go too; and I think of our meeting in another state much more than ever. What an unspeakable blessing is the knowledge of Christianity. What a pearl of great price do unbelievers reject' I have now very little real satisfaction in any studies that are foreign to this. I think I should even drop my philosophical pursuits, but that I consider them as that study of the works of the great Creator, which I shall resume with more advantage hereafter.” In January, 1800, he wrote thus to Mr. Lindsey. “Your account of my daughter's illness affects me much. So few recover from consumptions, that I have no expectation of it in her case. She will, however, be freed from much trouble in this life, and be well prepared for another; and such is my situation here, and so near am I to the same catastrophe, that such an event affects me much less than it would otherwise do. The removal of a very few more would make me wish to follow them. I have no desire to live on account of any enjoyment that I can reasonably expect in this life; but while I am capable of doing any good, I wish to have the opportunity. From how much trouble has my wife been relieved She had a great mind; but the events that have taken place since her death would have affected her deeply. My trials, now towards the close of life, are as great as I can bear; though I doubt not that a wise and good Providence overrules all events, and I have daily a more habitual respect to it. Nothing else could support me. I have often said, and I see more reason for it continually, and in my own case, that many events are more to be lamented than the death of children and friends. In that case the mind is relieved from farther anxiety; and though we have reason to be satisfied when we have done what we think to be our duty, it is not such a satisfaction as leaves the mind fully at ease. We are frail, imperfect beings, and our faith is at best but weak, and requires to be strengthened by reading and reflection. I never omit reading, and I do it with more satisfaction than ever, a considerable portion of Scripture every day, and by this means my mind is much relieved ; and having good health, my spirits are naturally good. Besides, I often think how small a proportion my afflictions bear to those of many others, and to the great mass of distress that I cannot help thinking is coming on a great part of the world, in which many of the worthiest persons must be involved. Notwithstanding all my troubles, I have much to be thankful for, especially the means of study, in a valuable library and apparatus, of both which I endeavour to make the best use that I can. I sometimes flatter myself that I could be of some use to the cause of Christianity in France; and with any reasonable prospect of that, I would cheerfully abandon every thing here, and devote myself wholly to it, whatever I might suffer in consequence of it; but I must wait the call of God, in the course of his providence. Here I hope I have done some good, and have laid the foundation for more; but it is not what we expected. We must not, however, despair of the cause. It is advancing, like the planets, when they seem to be stationary, or even retrograde.” The calm and happy state of mind in which this good man approached old age, is rendered evident from the passages how cited. He was in trouble, and in comparative solitude;

but his faith cheered him ; his interest in high thoughts made him happy. His friends sometimes urged his return to Europe, but he preferred to retain his retirement and repose. “Another removal,” he said, “would be the termination of all my labors and pursuits in this world; and these I will not give up, while I am capable of doing any thing. And I thank God, I never had better health; though I am not strong, or capable of bearing much bodily exercise, and cannot keep to one thing so long as I used to do. By great regularity in the distribution of my time, and having few avocations, I do almost as much business of one kind or another as I ever did, and I read very little for amusement.” His state of feeling is further depicted in a letter to Mrs. Lindsey, May 8, 1802, after hearing of the illness of her husband. “I cannot express how much I was affected on reading your letter, though I was apprized of the situation of my best friend by the letters of Mr. Belsham, so that I had no reason to expect any different account. But the few lines he added, with his own hand, quite overcame me; and if I read them, as I shall do, a hundred times, I shall have the same emotions. Such friendship as his and yours has been to me, can never be exceeded on this side the grave, and, independent of the real emolument, has been a source of such satisfaction to me as I have not derived from any other quarter. And yet what I feel is not properly grief, for, considering how near we both must be to the close of life, in which we could not promise ourselves much more enjoyment, or be of much more use, what remains cannot, according to the common course of nature, be of much value; and therefore the privation of it is no great loss; and considering how soon we may expect, and I hope without much presumption, to meet again in more favorable circumstances, the causes of joy may almost be allowed to balance those of grief. If you saw me now, you would not flatter me with the

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