Imágenes de página

the ritual of Roman Catholics, on the one hand, and their equitable claim to the full privileges of the British Constitution, on the other. This want of discrimination is observable both in the senate and among the people : we have to lament it, as it appears in numerous productions of the press and in the familiar conversations of society. Of the individuals whose signatures are affixed to petitions against the Catholic claims, most have subscribed their names only by way of declaration that they are unfriendly to the doctrines and ceremonies of the Church of Rome; and they have not once considered the subject on the principles of substantial justice, of public, comprehensive, and enlightened policy. Let such petitions be weighed, instead of being counted : let the appeal be made not to the prejudices, but to the sober and well-informed judgment, of the nation. The controversy between Protestants and Romanists, in respect of the soundness of their several tenets, will be pursued with little advantage, so long as the members of these two communions are not on the same footing, in point of civil and political eligibility. There always exists a syinpathy, of some degree and kind, in favour of a proscribed class of men : and this sympathy will perhaps be found to have gained converts to the see of Rome. The inquiry is natural enough, “Why visit with civil exclusion and disabilities those whom you might refute by argument or conciliate by kindness ?"

To the Catholics this exclusion is ignominious, depressing, hurtful, and revolting. It is punishment, without crime; a violation of that golden, Christian rule of eqnal justice, which, practically regarded, upholds the welfare of societies and of private men. Happily for our erring race, there exists a volume which some of them hear read at church, and perhaps occasionally at home; and it contains this sentence, All things, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them;" a sentence which ought to be the immoveable basis of legislation, Let us conceive that the situation of Protestants and of Roman Catholics in the united kingdom were mutually reversed, that the Protestant Episcopalian, in particular, attached by birth, by education, by inquiry, by habit, to liis religious creed and discipline, were, in consequence of that very attachment, proscribed from all civil and political eligibility; would he be insensible to the wrong? Would not all the other members of the excluded class feel

[ocr errors]

the wrong to be their own? Would they, in these circumstances, say that disabilities for religious faith are not, punishments? “Is it nothing," they would then ask, is that we and our children are placed by the State below the level of the rest of its subjects, forbidden to serve our country in some of the highest and most honourable departments of service, and debarred from opportunities of advancing, as we might otherwise advance, the credit and interest of our families? Why are we doomed to this painful condition? Are we to remain for ever under the ban of partial attainder and outlawry; the Gibeonites of the camp, the Helots of Lacedæmon ?"

Travellers in the East inform us, that in some Mahommedan cities Christians are not permitted to ride on horseback, but must content themselves with mounting an animal of qualities certainly inferior to those of an Arabian courser.* In other spots, Cyprus, for example, they are forbidden to ride at all through the bastion-gate, where they must dismount, and make their entrance on foot. Every thing of this sort is, no doubt, extremely ridiculous ; at the same time, it is very galling and unjust; being designed as a mark of ignominy and degradation for a class of 9nen who hold not that Mahomet is the prophet of the Most High. Different nations seem to take different methods of stigmatizing religious dissidents; while they agree sufficiently well with each other in endeavouring to tix a stigma !

N. [To be continued.]


A LITTLE volume containing three discourses, translated fron Nicole by John Locke, has just been published by Dr. Hancock, for the first time, from an autograph of the celebrated translator. From the peculiarity of style and thinking, it was at first supposed that the essays were written by Locke, but the originals have lately been discovered in an old French collection. Locke, however, has made considerable additions, and has clothed them with his own characteristic manner. They have all his usual force, perspicuity, and gravity, with less prolixity and somewhat more of feeling than ordinarily characterizes bis writings. The titles of the three discourses are, « On the Existence of a God;" “ On the Weakness of Man ;" “On the Way of preserving Peace.” * Hasselquist's Voyages, &c., p. 52.

† Ibid., p. 172. 2 E


[ocr errors]


Dalston, July 21. EVERY Christian who enters into the spirit of his sys• tem, as well as every friend to the civil and religious liberties of his country, must exult at the triumph achieved by the recent repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, which had so long disgraced our statute-books. By that repeal one great national crime, the profanation of the most solemn and affecting Christian institution, and which was made the means of many thousands eating and drinking unworthily, is at length blotted out. But I cannot help suggesting to your readers, and the Christian world in general, the necessity of increased attention to the grand principles of Nonconformity, which may at least be endangered by the acquirement of civil offices, whether lucrative or merely honourable, to which consistent Dissenters have for more than a century and a half past been inaccessible. In proportion, therefore, as Christians are tempted by worldly considerations, is the need of stirring up their pure minds by way of remembrance of the principles and example of their heroic forefathers ; and I can scarcely conceive of a more effectual way of accomplishing the desired purpose, than by annually solemnizing that day on which two thousand of the best ministers of the Established Church (acknowledged to be so by Locke, and by many other illustrious members, ministers and laymen of that church) were cast out, and subjected to privations and persecutions the most severe, because they dared not prostitute their consciences by lying to God, declaring their unfeigned assent and consent to all and every thing contained in tlie creeds, articles, and liturgy of the Church-a declaration which, be it carefully remembered, is to this day imposed on its ministers, although it is notorious that numbers have openly professed their disbelief of, and preached and written against, the very doctrines to which they themselves had subscribed. How any man can make, as required, ex animo, such subscription, must be left to his conscience and his God to determine.

The anniversary of the day alluded to, will, I perceive, fall on the fourth Sunday of the ensuing month, on which day I beg leave earnestly to recommend to Disseuting ministers of all denominations to follow the example of that excellent divine, Dr. Samuel Wiltou, the immediate predecessor of the Rev. Jolin Cay:on, Sen., who considered that day as sacred to the cause of religious liberty and nonconformity. His most impressive discourses on these subjects were in my younger years the means of confirming me in those principles which for the succeeding fifty-five years of my life I have endeavoured to hold fast without wavering, and which, I trust, will support me in my dying hour: principles held to the death by the martyrs to truth, not only in the profligate reign of the second Charles, but in almost all ages ;- of whom the world was not worthy!

It was Dr. W.'s custom to give notice to his audience on the preceding Sunday of his design. May every Dissenting minister go and do likewise !

A STEADY NONCONFORMIST. P.S. I have been lately informed that some most respectable Dissenting ministers who have occasionally preached ou the day mentioned, mean to continue the practice.


1828, June 6, died at Tattershall, Lincolnshire, of an apo. plexy, aged 73 years, Mrs. Wright, wife of Mr. Richard Wright, late Unitarian Missionary. About six weeks before her death, she fell down stairs in a fit, and was dreadfully bruised with the fall, which occasioned her several weeks' confinement to her bed, and severe suffering. About a fortnight after the fall she had a second fit; but so far recovered, that the day before her death she sat up most of the day, and we fondly hoped we should be favoured with the society of so dear a relative and friend, perhaps, for yet a few years : but on the morning of June 6 she had another fit, which terminated her life in less than half an hour. She was sensible to the last, and fell asleep in the faith of Jesus Christ, without a groan or struggle. Her faith and hope as an Unitarian Christian had long disarmed death of its terrors, and for some considerable time past she had, with much composure, expressed her full expectation of being very soon removed from these inortal scenes. She had long given the best kind of proof of the sincerity of her Christian faith, by the steady performance of all the social and relative duties of life, by the delight she took in public and family worship, by the pleasure she manifested in reading the Scriptures, and other practical and devotional religious books, and by her benevolence to the poor and to objects in distress.

The writer of these lines deeply feels the painfulness of a separation from one with whom he was so closely united in the bonds of mutual affection for more than forty years, and which bonds continued to strengthen and be more closely entwined to the last ; one who heartily participated in all his joys, sorrows, and cares, and who ever stimulated and encouraged his zeal and all his exertions in the cause of God and truth, and felt great joy in the success of his labours; but while he mourns this painful bereavement, he bows submissively to the will of God, as wise and good, and rejoices in the immortal hope which the gospel gives, in the prospect of a happy reunion at the resurrection of the just, when painful separations, and sorrow and crying and death shall be no more. Tattershall, July 9, 1828.

R. W.

June 18, at Ainslie Place, in Scotland, DUGALD STEWART, Esq., late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, leaving a name respected ihroughout the civilized world for fine talents usefully employed, and for public and private virtue. As a metaphysician, some deny that he was proc. found, but all adınit that he was acute. None can deny that he had devoted himself with great success to the “proper study of mankind-man.” His speculations, like Mr. Addison's, are all tinctured with a delightful spirit of humanity. He was the friend and ornament of his species, and few philosophers have done more for the improvement of mankind. It is his least praise that he was an elegant and beautiful writer. To him is owing the more liberal spirit that now pervades our northern schools. He possessed in an eminent degree, and by the mild influence of his character he diffused amongst his pupils and associates, the love of rational liberty. Scotland, rich in her biography, boasts of no purer or better name.

July 21, at the Palace at Lambeth, Dr. Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury. His Grace was brother to Lord Manners, the late Irish Chancellor. His father, George Sutton, was the third son of John, the third Duke of Rutland, and he was uncle to the last and great uncle to the present Duke. The name of Sutton, in addition to that of Manners, was taken on succeeding to an estate, bequeathed to his uncle Robert by Lord Lexington, his maternal uncle, which on the death of Robert devolved to George, the father of his Grace.-His Grace was early destined to the Church, and completed his clerical education in Emanuel College, Cambridge, where he took his degree of A. B. in 1777, when he was about 22. In 1791, he became Dean of Peterborough, and in the following year Bishop of Norwich, when he relinquished other preferments for the Deanery of Windsor, which led to the intimacy with their late Majesties, that secured for him the Metropolitan See.Dr. Sution bad not the reputation of a deep theologian, but was distinguished for the decorum, grace and dignity with

« AnteriorContinuar »