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For OCTOBER, 1819.




Oct. 1. resorts of gaiety and fashion, in great I

HAVE within the last few invoths commercial towns, and on our most

travelled over a considerable part public roads, the scene, within that of England and Wales; in some dis- period, has been completely changed, tricts, which I well knew many years

whereas of late on the Continent of since, I was struck with surprize to Europe, Englishmen have becomo find how little alteration was visible, notorious for luxurious accommodaeither in the people or their habita- tions of every description, to the entions;—and I take up my peo, through couragement of viciated habits, and the medium of your Miscellany, to high charges. It seems to be patu. make a few remarks on the general ral to us all, to look back on past Stale of Society at the present time, pleasures and advantages with much as compared with that of former pe- partiality ; and with too little regard riods, and to contradict the falla- do we mark the progress of those cious assertion which some persons

events which promote our present now make, that a great majority of comforts. Make but a fair allowanco the inhabitants of this country are

for this inclination of the buman much more distressed, and less satis. mind, and for the unavoidable and fied with our Constitution and the natural effects of a long War, and you general state of things, than either will find much satisfaction in this during the late War, or previous to Country. its commencement.

I have been employed in active life Any one who will divest himself of for inany years (but never by Governa prejudice, and take the trouble fairly. nient), and have occasionally mixed and impartially to inquire into and with persons of almost every descripconsider the present situations and tion. I have marked with much at. opioions of the inhabitants of this tentioo the bearings and windings of Country generally, will, in my judg. the human mind; and whether I judge ment, determine that such an asser- from my own observations, for near tion is not founded in fact. Many fifty years, or from records of those inland parts of England were but lit- who have bequeathed their sentitle affected by the War, excepting in ments to succeeding generations, it as much as they were borthened with appears to me evident, that the opi. additional taxes (greater than they pion of mankind in general, as well dow pay), and deprived of the means as their disposition, is less altered than of keeping down the price of labour, the generality of men adinit. without any of those advantages which No doubt opinions vary according the War created in other districts ; -80 to the circumstances of the times ; that their condition, during the War, like water, they are agitated and flucwas worse than either before it, or at tuated; but, like the same element, the present time. It appears to me, by degrees they fiod their proper that the inhabitants of some inland level. To form any thing like a cor. towns are as little altered, either in rect judgment of the proportion of their seotiments, their mappers, or the distressed and discontented at this their habits, for the last forty years, time, compared with those of the as it is possible to imagine; and even past, requires not only a general their houses and their furoilure re. knowledge of the present state of the maio nearly the same; although in the Country, but extensive information,


as to former periods. It would fill a and others must accept such situavolume, instead of a short letter, to tions as can be procured, and live acstase the result of such research ; but cordingly. It is not in this Country we should find nothing in the history only that the economy of things has of former reigos, or in the occur- been deranged, nor is the want of rences of the present, to justify an employment for young meo, or disassertion that the people of this king, tress among the lower classes, here doni, as a nation, have been better only to be deplored. off, or much better satisfied, than at To keep in check the present dispresent.

turbers of the public peace, may be There are at this time many excel- easy; to reform the present made lent supporters of our Church and headed Reformers, is impossible: but State to be found among our nobility the wisdom of our wisest Legislators and gentry, who live with content- and our Magistracy, will be most bement, and promote it around them. Deficially directed to the formation lo less cxalted stations of society, of some effectual barrier against the there are many in affluence and inde- diabolical doctrines with which these pendence, others exercising a course rebellious subjects are usiog every of industry, and others in retired or means in their power to poison the social life, living with all the com- minds of the rising generation; they fort and contentment which is com- strike at the root of moral rectitude, mon to the human race; and I trust and of all that is sacred and valuable there is yet a large proportion of well- in society. I much fear (and with disposed mechanics and labourers who reluctance Dame it) that either the enjoy all the comforts which, gene- present system 'of general education, rally speakiog, are attendant on their or our boasted Liberty of the Press, humble stations, and who know no- must be restrained ; and whether I thing of, or despise the refractory consider the welfare of tbis Country spirit which prevails in some of our in a moral, a religious, or a political manufacturiog districts.

point of view, still such unwelcome I give it as iny decided opinion (not restriction appears to be essentially hastily formed), that a great majo- connected with our future prosperity. rity of the inhabitants of this Country The foundation of the Christian Relipartake of as much prosperity, con- gion, I coofidently trust, is too firm tentment, and happiness, as was found to be shaken; but in vain will the in our various situations twenty years laudable intentions of the distributors since, or in those of our predecessors, of the Holy Scriptures be exercised at earlier periods. And I also assert, in the lower classes of society, in vain that a large majority of the popula- will they attempt effectually to astion of England and Wales are friendly suage the mind of the Poor by relito our present Government, and a gious instruction and consolation, unstill larger majority would, on any less it be possible to stop the present trying occasion, firmly support our extensive circulation of irreligious enyied Constitution.

and seditious Publications ;-let them With much regret do I observe remember the parable of the sowerthat discontent is far too prevalent “the weeds sprang up and choaked among our young men. Born in the it ;” and equally in vain will our Naearly part of a long War, they heard tional and our Sunday Schools have of the blessings of Peace, but never been instituted, if deistical men are considered the attendant conse- suffered to mix with the children quences. The difficulty of procuring there taught, and without restraint, desirable employment is certainly under the specious veil of Freedom, much increased; the Navy and Army insidiously to inculcate such evil docare as it were full, the Professions trines as release the mind from all reare crowded, and Mercantile and sponsibility. Thus in vaid would the other situations are at present less principles of our excellent Church, or plentiful, aud less advantageous. But the tenets of the various Sects of These are results which former times Christian Dissenters, be taught to have known ; they are natural and many of those who are now learning unavoidable consequences : those who to read the Bible, if Christianity itself have the means must be coutent to as to be misrepresented with impupass their time in peaceful frugality, pity, and the lower orders are to be




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1819.). Present State of Society.-Christianity and Deism. 293 instructed (as at present in some of CONTRAST BETWEEN Deism AND our populous towns), that all Religion

- CHRISTIANITY. is a political imposition invented to


Blandford, Oct. 14. keep them in subjection and poverty!

ONG had I flattered myself that Io Wales the lower classes, gene

the publication of Thos. Paine's rally speaking, are orderly and well satisfied; the Scriptures have been failing service to the world, by calling

Age of Reason” had done a neverdistributed with good effect, because forth that highly-estimable answer, no seditious, false, and wicked pamphlets have yet been printed in their native the late 'Bishop Watson, an Answer

“ The Apology for the Bible,” by language, and tbe evil consequences which exposed in their proper colours, of their circulation seeins unknown

and as there was reason to believe, or unthought of among the Poor.

The various inconveniences to put to silence many of the bold and which our bodies as well as our cir. unqualified objections of the firstcuinstances are liable in this world, unfortunate revival of the argument

mentioned Writer. The apparently are to our mortal sight inconsistent with the goodness of God, unless we

may, I trust, yet call forth the endea

vours of some other advocate for readmit them ordained by his Almighty vealed Religion, who in the event power to promote our ultimate ad.

may still further prove the accuracy vantage; the hardships which exist in some parts of this country evidently et prevalebit.At any rate, it is to

of the assertion, “Magna est Veritas, are at this time operating to remedy be hoped that a large circulation will evils of an opposite nature. I well be given, at a low price, to the aniremember full iwenty years since that mated Reply of the Bishop: Meanit was a common observation among time it may not be without its use to Manufacturers, Artificers, and Agri- extract that beautiful passage from culturists, that the high price of la- the above Work, wherein the supebour would be the ruin of this Coun.

riority of Christianity to Deism is try; and well might such result be

must forcibly and concisely exhibited. dreaded, when the labourer would work but four days in the week, and

“ There is nothing in Deism but what is spend the remainder of his time in iu Christianity, but there is much in Chrisdrunkenness and dissipated habits

tianity that is not in Deism. The Chris. (was bis family better off than at pre- state; every Deist, from Plato to Thomas

tian bas no doubt concerning a future sent?), and when the husbandman

Paine, is on this subject overwhelmed would quit the farm on which his fa

with doubts insuperable by human reather had spent a peaceful life, unless The Christian bas no misgivings as he received almost a perpetual ad- to the pardoa of sin through the interces. vance of wages. High wages and sion of a Mediator; the Deist is harassed, plenty of work then encouraged early lest the moral justice of God should demarriages, and also the invention of mand, with inexorable rigour, punishment machinery of almost every descrip

for transgression.' The Christian has no tion; the effect of these circumstances

doubt concerning the lawfulness and effiis now in full operation. But I ven

cacy of prayer; the Deişt is disturbed ou ture to assert, that at the above pe

this point by abstract considerations con

cerping the goodness of God, which wants riod, there was not more satisfaction,

not to be entreated, concerning his fore. or more persons (generally speaking)

sight which has no need of our ipforma. who possessed the common comforts tion, concerning his immutability which of life, than at present. The high cannot be changed through our supplicawages then obtained created a desire tion. The Christian has assurance that for unprecedented earnings, and which the Spirit of God will help his infirmities; desire, as well as the mode of living the Deist does not deny that God may then adopted, is not easily forgotten; have access to the human mind, bụt he and until the formation of the human

has no ground to believe the fact of his mind can be amended (as Mr. Owen

either enlightening the understanding, in

fuencing the will, or purifying the heart.” supposes it may be), or rather until it shall please God to alter the course It may appear presumption in me of this world, such causes must and to add to the above any further ela. will produce their corresponding ef. cidation of the subject. Supposing fects. AMICUS. myself, however, to have to do with




those whose minds are impartially certainly live for ever, and that while disposed to weigh the merits of the we live here, it is possible for us to question, I would add,-the Christian's do much towards the rendering that bope of future existence is pot only eleroal life an happy one.” ascertained by the Gospel, but the Yours, &c. M. CHAMBERLIR. nature of bis enjoyments hereafter defioed, as clearly as present circum

Mr. URBAN, Exeter, Oct. 16. stances can permit. Shall any thing OST of your Readers are doubtbe impossible to Him wbo created all things? Shall not He who gave life was a native of Barnstaple. A curiously at first, bave power, when be bas formed Chair has lately been disco taken it away, to restore it? Shall vered there, which appears incónnot He who can controul all Nature, testibly to have been his property: on be able to re-upite those particles of examination of this piece of furniture, matter which may be requisite to å private drawer was found wbich qualify me for the glories of that fu. contained various documents and inture world, where there shall be no teresting papers, some of them in the more sorrow, nor paio, por sin ; but hand-writing of the Poet. The disGod shall wipe away all tears from covery was made by a cabinet-maker my eyes, and make me completely of Barnstaple; the papers are the happy in His presence, where is ful property of Mr. Henry Lee, who in. 'ness of joy, and at His right hand tends publishing some of them, uuder where are pleasures for evermore ? the title of " Gay’s Chair." He can, and will. In that blessed Mr. Lee is already known to the abode, nothing shall be found to burt publick, as author of “ Poetic Imor to destroy. The spirits of the pressions ;” “Dash," a tale; “ Caleb just made perfect shall there unite Quotem,” &c. in services suited to their immortal natures, before the Throne of God and of the Lamb. The wicked, who here so often subvert the laws of or. der, and deface the creation of God by their licentious conduct, shall there at length cease from troubling, and the weary be at rest, I shall behold the Almighty face to face, being presented spotless through tbe merits of my Redeemer, before his presence with exceeding joy, owned, accepled, and blessed by Him who died that I might live again.—Contrast with all this, the highest hope of the Deist, and we shall find it summed up in these few words :-To be we know not what, we know not where, through that mercy of which we have no assurance, unless we find it in the Gos


Under the arms of the Chair are pel *; for, be it remembered, that ibis alone brings life and immortality

drawers, with the necessary impleto light; that this, and this alone

ments for writing ; each drawer turatells us (to use the words of the ing on a pivot, and has attached to it

a brass candlestick. learned Prelate, before referred to), what we are all most concerned

The wooden leaf, at the back, for to know, that we shall certainly be

reading or writing upon, may be raised from the dead, that we shall

raised or depressed, at the student's

pleasure. * How far we may forfeit our claim to

Under the seat in front, is a drawer this mercy, when we refuse to receive it for books or papers ; and behind it is on those terms on which it is offered, let the concealed or private drawer, in the Deist well consider. . The true antient which was found the manuscripts. It Theist would gladly have received and is curiously fastened by a small cherished it.

wooden bolt, connected with a rod

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1819.] Two Original Letters from Thomson the Poet. 295
in front, pot perceivable till the From Mr. Thomson to his Sister
larger drawer is removed. The Chair

is made of dark-coloured mahogany, * My Dear Sister,
and considering its antiquity in pretty

“I received a Letter from Mr. good repair.

E. EDWARDS. Robert Bell, Minister of Strathaven,

in which be asks my consent to his Mr, URBAN,

Oct. 6.

marriage with you. Mr. Gusthart S your pages are occasionally deLetters from eminent men, I send you an answer, which he tells me he has

ago; to whose Letter I have returned copies of two Letters from the author

showed you both. I entirely agree of the “ Seasons" to two of his sis.

to this marriage, as I find it to be a ters. These letters have never, appeared in any edition of his works. marriage of inclination, and founded The original of the first is in my pos

upon long acquaintance and mutual

esteem. Your behaviour hitherto session; the second was copied some

has been such as gives me very great years ago from the original in the satisfaction, in the small assistance I possession of the late Rev. James

bave been able to afford you.

Now Bell, minister of Coldstream, a nephew you are going to enter upon a new of the Poet's. Thomsop had ihree

state of life, charged with higher sisters, viz. Elizabeth, married to the

cares and duties, I need not advise Rev. Mr. Bell, minister of Strathaven;

you how to behave in it, since you Jean, married to Mr. Thoinsop, rec

are so near Mr. Gusthart, who, by: tor of the Grammar School at La

his good counsel and friendly assistnark; and

married to Mr. Craig, father to the ingenious, Archi- apce, has been '80 kind to you all tect, who planned the New Town of along; only I must chiefly recomEdinburgh. (See Boswell's Life of method, that union of hearts, that

mend to you to cultivate, by every Johnson, vol.lll. p.151, 2d edit. 8vo).

agreement and sympathy of tempers, Yours, &c. A CONSTANT READER.

in which coosists the true happiness London, Jan. The “ Dear Sister,

of the marriage state. The economy 12th, 1737.

and gentle management of a family is “ I have been very busy of late in a woinau's natural province, and from finishing a Play*, which will, I be

that her best praise arises. You will lieve, be acted here this season : This apply yourself thereto as it becomes is the reason I have not hitherto an

a good and virtuous wife. I dare say swered your two last. Asto the money I need not put you in mind of having I promised you lately, and which you

a just and grateful sense of, and fusay will enable you to live at Edin

ture confidence in, the goodness of burgh pretty comfortably, you may God, who has been to you a “ father chuse bow, and in what manner you to the fatherless.” Thu' you will will have it paid, which shall be ac- hereafter be more immediately under cordingly done. If Baillie Hamilion the protection of another, yet you will advance you, let me be in

inay always depend upon the sincere formed by your next, and I will iine friendship, ani tenderest good offices mediately write to him for that pur

of your most affectionate brother, pose. What other things you ask, I

“ JAMES THOMSON. will send by the first proper oppisille nity. Assure yourselves that nothing about be affairs she mentioned to me.

By last post I wrole to Jeany in my power to render your lives conii

Remember me kindly to all friends.” fortable, and (if I can) nappy, shall be neglected. Remember me kindly to


Oct. 7. sisters, and all friends. Let me hear

THE froin you upon receipt of this. Be.

acquainted with the objections lieve me to be ever your most affec

which have been urged against Pope's tionate brother, JAMES TAomson. Translation of Homer; and it is much “To Mrs. Jean Thomson, at the Rev. Mr. Gusthart's House in Edinburgh." version greater fidelity to the origi

to be regretted, that in so beauliful a * The play here mentioned was his

nal has not been preserved. For the Agamemnon, which was brought upou elegant turn of some of his periods, the stage in 1733,

and for the insertion of some “Ovidian

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