« AnteriorContinuar »
dren of “Ragged Schools.” The subject is worthy | more familiar. We entered a very narrow and filthy wynd. of the most serious attention, and, apart from con. We plunged into a black opening, more like the mouth of a siderations of humanity, which loudly demand inter-coal-pit than the entrance to human habitations; and, after ference, the rapidly increasing rates will soon force and pestilential vapour, we reached the uppermost flat, and
forcing our way up a dark, ruinous staircase, redolent of damp the public mind to look at the question. Dr Begg opened a door. We were nearly knocked down by the horrid does not propose in the present letters to deal with vapour by which we were assailed, and were glad to get a the peculiarly Christian aspect of the question—this bundle of rags torn out of the broken window, to secure a view of it he has already brought before the Presby mouthful of fresh air. We found two mothers and a number tery of Edinburgh in another form; but, taking for weekly was paid. There was one bed of rotten straw in the
of children inhabiting this miserable apartment, for which ls. granted that there are certain material causes and
corner for the whole inmates; and we found that this was processes also by which social evils may be augmented only one of six houses of a similar kind on the same stairor abated, and the way paved for the more effectual head, and that each flat had as many, making the whole popuspread of the gospel, he sets himself to inquire what lation of this wretched and ruinous tenement to be greater these are. We shall give a brief outline of his state. than that of a considerable country village. Besides, this was ments, commending the subject to the serious atten- only one of multitudes of similar receptacles of filth and fever,
crowded and wedged together in the same narrow and dirty tion of our readers.
lane, and that lane only one of many. The state of the dense masses in the centre of our large cities forms undoubtedly one leading cause
Here, then, is undoubtedly the fountain-head or both of physical and moral evil in this land. On “manufactory” of the great mass of the evil. To deal this subject Dr Begg remarks as follows :
with paupers after they have become so, or with
fever patients, or criminals, or even with neglected “ It is a striking fact, that the great seats of poverty, dis- children, is, however important, only to deal with ease, and crime, are precisely the same, viz., the festering and one of the effects of this shocking state of things. If burgh. The following is an extract from the Report of the we could effectually break up and medicate this fesDirectors of the Infirmary, just published:
tering mass, we would reach the cause. Dr Begg "Confining themselves to Edinburgh, they find that the proposes, as essential to this, a thinning out of the total number of fever patients the previous year amounted to old town, and the building of tradesmen's houses in 2,952—that of these there were 2,749 on the south side (or in the suburbs. On this he saysthe Old Town), and only 203 in' the New Town, In the Canongate, and streets and closes adjacent, there were 251 “I do not say that the mere breaking up of these festering In the Cowgate, and closes and wynds adjacent
866 masses will cure the evil, but most assuredly it will greatly In the Grassmarket, West Port, &c.
734 alleviate it, and it is essential to the hopeful application of any And in the High Street, and closes and wynds adjacent 512 probable means of cure. Let large openings be made; let, for
example, the one side of every one of these dense closes, run
Making in all 2,363 ning out of the High Street, Cowgate, Canongate, &c., be and leaving only 386 for the remaining parts of the south side torn down, and in its stead let a decent and comfortable teneof the town.
ment of tradesmen's houses be erected in the suburbs, and an “Let my readers ponder this remarkable extract. Here we immense step in the right direction would be taken. Even have forty-eight more fever patients produced by the Canon- the old tenements that are left would be greatly improved by gate alone than by the whole New Town put together. We this process. But the mere taking down of old buildings have more than four times as many produced by the Cow would make matters worse, without the erection of new and gate, and closes and wynds adjacent,' than by the whole New better ones. The result of demolishing old buildings hitherto Town. We have 2,363 fever patients in the central mass of has just been to crowd and wedge the population into smaller heathenism, and only 589 in all the rest of the city put toge- space, and thus increase the evil; but if new and better houses ther. This not only amply confirms our statement, and ex- were at the same time erected in the pure air of the suburbs, poses the community to great public expense in upholding and if poor men could get good houses at moderate rentsi the Infirmary, but the great mass of these victims of disease character were the test of admission, and not mere money who die leave children or others destitute. This is the fruit- no drunkard or Sabbath-breaker were admitted there would ful source of ragged and
neglected children, and of a rapidly be an opportunity of doing what a shepherd does in a similar increasing pauperism. Hence it is quite certain (although, case, separating the diseased from the sound, as well as holdunfortunately, there are no
exact statistics kept with this view ing out an efficient premium to good behaviour on the part of at the Workhouse), that the great mass of pauperism is gene- the sober, struggling, working man.
We would stud the outrated in the same district. Dr Adams, chief inspector of skirts of the city with such home colonies of working men, the city poor, Glasgow, in a recent pamphlet, says, I was and thus effectually break up the central mass of vice and for many years physician to the Canongate Public Dispensary, crime. Besides, we have on all sides of the city open spaces an extensive medical charity,
having for its field of operation for the health and recreation of such colonies, and for bleachthe foci of Edinburgh pauperism, viz., the Cowgate, Canon- ing their clothes a great desideratum in the present narrow gate, High Street, and Grassmarket. The same results I closes, and the want of which is, no doubt, a cause of increased have discovered in regard to crime. On going to the prison, I disease. We have the Meadows on the south side, which found a map of the city with a black patch over the districts ought assuredly to be thrown open; and Princes Street Garreferred to, like the darkness of Egypt, whilst all the sur- dens on the north, plundered from the poor without compen, rounding districts were light, like the land of Goshen;
and I sation, but which, as the period
of prescription is not expired, from the High Street, Castle Hill
, Lawnmarket, Canongate, We have the Heriot's grounds between Edinburgh and Leith, Netherbow, Cowgate, Grassmarket, West Port, Candlemaker a few acres of which should undoubtedly be set apart for the Row, with the closes adjacent, being more than 60 per cent benefit of the community; and we have the Royal grounds, of the entire criminals. Here, of course, is again an enor- encircling the whole masses of the Canongate and pleasance. mous source of expense and evil of every kind. So that the Let the matter only be vigorously gone about; and as there is same district might be marked upon the map with the yellow no city in the world with a fairer outside and a more loathshade of disease, the gray shade of pauperism, and the black some interior than Edinburgh, so it will be found
that there shade of crime; and to illustrate the expense of this
, it may be is none with more splendid sanatory capabilities. stated, that the Infirmary of Edinburgh costs about £10,000 “I am convinced that, as a mere matter of economy, such a-year, the poor £27,006, the prisoners about £ll each per a process would soon pay itself. When I had to do with the
management of the poor in Liberton, I found that some miser“ Now, let any one go into this region and examine it, and able villages there cost more to the Kirk-session than their he will see what a frightful mass it is
. Let him take any whole rental. It would have been cheaper to have pulled close at random. I went the other day with a friend to re- them down at the expense of the heritors. The case is much fresh my recollection of a scene with which at one time I was stronger here. I am confident it would be cheaper not only
to pull down some of the wretched pest-houses of which I been made by the Financial Association, in regard to the have been writing, but to build others at the public expense. wasteful public expenditure of the country, it will be seen The new houses would pay well as a pecuniary, speculation, that the middle and industrious classes are being rapidly especially if built at present. But suppose they did not, what eaten up both from above and below. A great flight of then ? This is an age of considerable self-conceit; it is con- aristocratic paupers from above, and a growing swarm of tinually lauding its own wisdom and penetration, but its idlers and criminals from below, have gradually placed the actual character will be written by an impartial posterity. It middle classes between two fires, which equally threaten to has one remarkable feature-the greatest amount of its sym- consume them." pathy seems to be reserved for criminals and sturdy beggars,' and it has done almost nothing for industrious honest men.
On the subject of an effectual remedy, the followIt deals but feebly with effects, and not at all with causes. ing statements and proposals are made; and when it It makes splendid hotels at vast expense for criminals in the is remembered that not one half of the arable land most airy situations, and with every appliance for the produc- | in Scotland is cultivated, they are worthy of the tion of comfort. I was told, in a provincial town, that a most immediate and earnest attention:question was raised between the magistrates and one of the government officials, as to whether the prisoners shonld have
“1. It is ruinous in every respect to have men supported one or two pair of slippers! in addition to all their other in idleness; and it may be laid down as a certain fact, that comforts. In your last paper it was stated that the most suc- every human being, not lunatic, or bed-rid with age or discessful specimen of ventilation in the kingdom is in the new ease, can do something, more or less, for his own support. Police Office. The workhouses are splendid, well aired No one, therefore, in such circumstances, ought to receive buildings. We have great masses of idle men also, called either food or money for nothing, as a general rule. The soldiers, kept up with every comfort, at great public expense, wholesale distribution of soup is a mere means of manufacturduring the time of peace. Very little as yet, so far as I ing beggars upon a large scale. The masses of drones baskknow, has been done for the struggling poor and working ing in a summer day.--like plethoric cats round an old maid's classes, except to saddle them with a share of all this expense. parlour fire-round the walls of what is called the charity No, I am wrong. Splendid sepulchres have lately been made work-house, but which should be called the assessment idleto bury them in, all around the city, after they are dead. If house,' is all so much upon a wrong principle, however wellthe dead could breathe fresh air, the object might be gained; meaning: But, but, meantime, masses of the living are crowded into places “2. Whilst all must be made to work in return for charity, little better than sepulchres, and the splendid gardens are re- it will not do to multiply mere ordinary craftsmen. At this served for the dead." What is the practical effect of all this, but stage the real problem of ragged schools, as well as of charity to place a bounty on idleness and crime? I do not say that work-houses, comes in. There are already enough of shoethe filth of our former prisons should not have been done away
makers, and tailors, and basket-makers. A man only needs —that most of these things should not have been done; but two coats or two pairs of shoes in the year for himself. He it is clear that the other must no longer be left undone. The cannot live upon shoes or clothes; and to send a great crowd other, in fact, should have been done first; and if it is not
of additional hands into the trade, is only to destroy the exnow done at all, what is it but to say to the labouring popu- isting handicraftsmen by a ruinous competition, kept up by lation, 'If ye are hard-working, honest men, little or nothing public charity. Instead, therefore, of solving the problem, will be done for you; nay, you will be stified and starved; this plan will only complicate it, and ultimately crush down but if ye are thoroughly indolent, or tear up (as some do) | all, without relieving any effectually. But,. your floors for firewood, and sell the very doors of your houses
63. There are two effectual outlets for our spare labour, for drink, and tear the lath off your walls to make matches- to which this formidable objection does not apply, at least if you are guilty of theft and riot-you shall dwell in a palace with the same force, viz., the supply of two of the chief newith the purest air, and every comfort and convenience ?' cessaries of life--food and furl.
“ Posterity will characterize this folly as it deserves. Sup- "In regard to food-apart from the vast openings for addipose a gardener were to take all the weeds, the docks, net- tional fishermen-so long as we are an importing country, tles, and thistles, of his garden, and place them along the the competition would be chiefly with foreigners. There are warmest wall, and in the finest soil, and surround them with immense tracts of waste land, and there is a great surplus of the richest manure, he would be a fit object of ridicule if he waste labour. The cultivation of the soil was the first emexpressed any astonishment at a rank and luxuriant crop of ployment of man, and is the healthiest employment. The them. And so our empty boasts of intelligence and progress £400,000 of poor's rates—if we must pay it-devoted as a are ludicrous, so long as we merely dabble with the streams capital for bringing in the waste land of the kingdom, would ef evil, without dealing with the fountain-nay, so long as add vastly to the national wealth; and as there is the distant we absolutely foment and increase the evil by partial and sound of war, we know not how soon the ports may be closed, short-sighted legislation, and then wonder at the fruits of our and we may be thrown back for food upon our own resources. own folly."
There would be no great difficulty, if the law of entail were
abolished, of finding land enough for the purpose. Every But even suppose something effectual were done new acre brought into profitable cultivation would be a distinct thus to dry up tho fountain-head of the evil, it still gain; and the national burdens would be lightened by increasappears that there is a growing want of profitable ing the shoulders made to bear them. Paupers forced to employment in this country, which, of course, has a
sustain themselves, and taught to do it, would tire of leaning tendency to produce pauperism; and, at the same
upon others; and men and women accustomed to the healthy
occupations of husbandry might not only become self-sustime, it is plain that the multiplication of mere handi. taining at home, but would make by far the best colonists craftsmen has no tendency to cure the evil. The abroad. evil itself threatens to become very serious. Dr Begg “ No doubt it is alleged that much of the spare land in remarks
Scotland is poor. But, apart from the consideration that
what would be aimed at in the first instance is the growth of " It appears from authentic reports, that, whilst the poor's the plainest food, it is quite certain that the poorest land on rates of Scotland amounted in 1836 to £171,042, in 1846-7 the line of a railway could easily be enriched. There is as they amounted to £435,367. During last year they in- much waste manure in all our cities as waste labour. See creased by the immense sum of £129,323, or £14,493 the barren sands of Craigintinney converted into land more than the whole increase for the previous ten years. worth from £30 to £50 a year for every acre, by the They amount now to nearly £5 per cent on the annual mere flooding of them with the waste manure of Edinvalue of the real property of the kingdom, and are increasing | burgh. It is quite certain that as much more is floated at so rapidly, as to threaten to swallow up, as they have done present into the sea and lost, both from Edinburgh and in some parts of England, the whole property. Meantime, Glasgow, as would enrich like a garden hundreds of thouother burdens are heavy, and especially crime, which is also sands of acres of poor land. Let it be either carried out attended with vast expense, is increasing in the same propor- in pipes, or collected in great tanks and carried off by rail, tion. In 1836, the number of criminals in Scotland was and we should soon make a vast surface of fertile land. 2,922; in 1847, it was 4,635. And if to all this frightfully Thus the refuse of our cities would be turned into vast sources increasing local expense be added the disclosures which have of national wealth. Besides, why should not the Queen's go out.”
Park, the Meadows, and all the crown lands both in England / piety, and love. We should have liked to see a clear and and Scotland, be made available for the production of food ? emphatic warning against that most prevalent vice of German There might be great model farms in every district; the men literature, the exaltation, almost deification, of mere learning, might dig, drain, trench, plough; the boys, women, &c., be apart from the consideration of the judgment, and piety, which employed in weeding, hoeing, managing the dairy, &c.; alone can render it valuable. A giant's weapon is of use only many might be hired out to neighbouring farmers; and, in in the hands of a giant; and we question whether the ponshort, instead of the present plan of sinking under a hopeless derous erudition of many a German critic, which constitutes and ever-increasing pressure of idleness and expense, an effort his only claim to set up as Sir Oracle,' has not, in fact, overmight be made to turn the spare strength of the kingdom burdened and stunted his judgment—if he ever had any; just into really profitable channels.
as the armour of Saul would have been a useless incumbrance, “For, besides the production of food, and the multiplica- when the sling and the stone, in the hand of faith, won a speedy tion of a healthy race of country people, it strikes me that in triumph. We are not for a moment disparaging learning. The the production of fuel many hands might be profitably em- teacher of Divine truth cannot have too much of it, if he has ployed. In America, a vast population is employed in pre- strength and skill to use it; but we do mean to deny that paring wood for fuel to the cities. So long as coals cost 10s. mere learning can fit a man to interpret, criticise, or underand 12s. a ton, it does not appear why peats might not be stand the New Testament. And we should have liked to see prepared in great quantities at a much cheaper rate. There this principle clearly enounced, and boldly applied, in a work are great mosses on the lines of our railways. There is a professing to be an Introduction to the New Testament. Let splendid moss, for example, between Falkirk and Alloa, the sceptical critic be met with learning equal and superior to through which the branch of the Scottish Central passes. his own; but let it be clearly made known, that we do not It covers, besides, a splendid alluvial soil, which, on the re- regard him as standing on equal ground with ourselves; that moval of the moss, would come into profitable cultivation. we deem him deficient in the grand essential qualification for Old men and children could prepare peats for fuel. they forming a right judgment on the character, design, and conwere sold at 6s. a ton, and could be brought to market for tents of the New Testament writings; in a word, that we 23. or 2s. 6d., there would be 3s. 6d. or 4s. of profit on each believe the real source of his scepticism to be not objective ton; and there is no reason why there should not be covered in the writings, but subjective in his own heart; and, theresheds, or even an artificial drying process, as there is abundant fore, do not expect that he will be convinced, however fuel on the spot, so that the operations could be carried on often refuted, till he can be persuaded to descend from his during the whole year. Peats form an admirable and econo- fancied elevation, and, enthroning the apostles, instead of mical fuel, give a powerful heat, do admirably mixed with himself, in the teacher's chair, to sit down at their feet coal, and keep in a poor man's fire when coals would let it as a little child.' A candid examination of such diffi
culties as naturally present themselves to an honest and We are glad to see that the subject is being taken sistent with the truest and most reverent and affectionate
humble student of the Scriptures, is, of course, perfectly conup in certain influential quarters.
faith in them. But it cannot be the duty of the Christian scholar to cool down his own mind to the frigid and sus
picious tone of the infidel critic's. Nor ought he to be reGERMAN CRITICISM— DR DAVIDSON'S IN. quired to discuss the false or frivolous aspersions cast upon
the inspired writers with the same stoical indifference with TRODUCTION TO TIIE NEW TESTAMENT. which they are advanced by the sceptic, as if the genuineness
and integrity of a Gospel were a purely literary question, In a recent Number we reviewed this work some- like those of a book of Livy, or a novel of Cervantes. The what unfavourably, on grounds which we fully whom we revere and love as our masters in sacred wisdom
cool balancing of probabilities, whether or not the men stated. Our contemporary, the United Presbyterian were a set of blunderers or impostors, affects us, we confess, Magazine, with characteristic officiousness, assails somewhat as if we witnessed the application of the surgeon's our review as incorrect in its statements and as dic
knife to the person of a beloved friend. The operation may tated by jealousy and spleen. We think it right to
be necessary, but it is a painful and revolting necessity.
We do not wish to be able to view it with philosophic in. insert, partly for his benefit, a portion of a review of difference. We do not desire to feel an atom of sympathy the same work which has since appeared in the
with the mere critic, for whom the Scripture is not a living
word, but a dead ancient document, which he dissects and London Patriot—the chief newspaper of the denomi- analyzes with the scientific coolness of a surgeon conductins nation with which Dr Davidson is connected. And a post-mortem examination. we do so the more readily, because, apart from all re
'At the risk, then, of being thought bigoted, uarrow
minded, old-fashioned, or what not, we must beg to enter a ference to that gentleman, it contains a number of demur against treating New Testament criticism as a purely statements and considerations which at the present literary process. We cannot consent that the Christian should time are of special importance, and may render spe- public of letters. We do not see why the most scrutinizini cial service:
inquiry into the credentials of Scripture may not be conducted “With the section on the Gospel of St John Dr Davidson ap
with the same reverence and earnestness with which a man pears to have taken very great pains, especially in the examina
would trace the evidence necessary to rebut a calumny on the tion of the numerous capricious and heterogeneous objections descent. And the inquiry forced on a thoughtful mind in
character of his father, or to vindicate the purity of his own which German criticism bas levelled against it. Yet, it is on this point of the work, we must confess, that we have most
connexion with this topic is, Will not the absence of this repainfully felt the misgivings already alluded to. Dr David
ligious and reverent spirit in the German criticism be likely son's refutations, so far as they go, may be pronounced both
to do immeasurably more harm than all the stores of its learning able and successful. But we deeply regret that they do not
can compensate? go farther. When we have taken as proved all that Dr Davidson argues for, we feel that something more is wanting to make the Gospels what the heart desires to find in them
Calls Moderated. the infallible guide of our intellect, and the resting-place of our faith. The author seems to have felt that he was writing, Barrhead.- Rev. Robert Philip of Ellon, January 11. not merely for inquirers or believers, but for sceptics and Kennoway.—Rev. John Lister, South Shields, January 17. cavillers. And it was, perhaps, unavoidable, that this idea should operate so as to chill the tone and temperature of his work. Still, we cannot but deeply lament this result. Printed by JOHNSTONE, BALLANTYNE, & Co., 104 High Street ; and In a work which will find its place, and that igh one,
published by John JOHNSTONE, 15 Princes Street, Edinburgh, in the libraries of hundreds of our youthful ministers, we
and 26 Paternoster Row, London. And sold by the Booksellers should have desired a pervading spirit of deep reverence, throughout the kingdom.
FREE CHURCH MAGAZINE.
HORSLEY AS A SACRED CRITIC AND specimen of his powers. His mind, whether from EXPOSITOR.
habits of study, or from original constitution, was The name of Horsley is one of which the Church of much more fitted to deal with the things of sense England may well be proud. Though his faculties and reason, than with those belonging to the inward appear to have been rather slow in developing them- consciousness and the pure intellect. He is at home selves, and he seems to have left the University with and in his strength when handling historical data, few honours, without even the usual degree of discussing the essential laws of evidence, evolving Master of Arts, yet, when at length he reached his the great truths and principles of Christianity, and full intellectual stature, it was found to be that of a estimating the relative worth and natural tendencies giant, and as such, during the latter part of his of things; but by no means so when attempting to career, he stands pre-eminent for the lustre of his grapple with philosophical abstractions, or pursuing a genius, the force and energy of his character, as well metaphysical analysis. For such work his fingers as his devotion to the interests of literature and seem to possess too much of iron force and hardness, science. It was chiefly in the scientific world that and to want that fineness of perception, that delicacy he first distinguished himself, having not only been of touch, and flexibility of movement, which thesubject at the University an ardent student of mathematics, requires. It is to this we ascribe it, that when seeking, but also becoming, after he had left it, one of the in the discourse referred to, to bear down“ the Calmost active members of the Royal Society. In 1773, vinistic divines with their hard doctrine of arbitrary when forty years old, he was appointed secretary to predestination," he so entirely misses the point at the society, his charge as rector of Newington, in issue as to give a representation--a counter reprewhich he had succeeded his father, admitting of his sentation, as he regards it-of man's agency, to which being regularly present at the meetings. His first we are persuaded Calvin himself, and his great productions were also of an entirely scientific kind, successor in this department, Jonathan Edwards, and were the means of procuring for him not a few would most heartily have subscribed. The
sermon, preferments in the Church; yet it was not properly however, as a whole, exhibits some of the characteby these that he raised the monumentum perennius aere, ristic qualities of the author's mind, and is not defiwhich now adorns his name. Some of them drew cient in that lofty bearing, and magisterial authority, forth severe animadversions at the time; and the which so often remind us of the ecclesiastical dig. greatest of them, his elaborate edition of the works nitary in his subsequent productions. of Newton, was characterized by a most competent A few years after the publication of this sermon, judge, the late Professor Playfair, as altogether be an occasion presented itself for the exercise of hind the age-great and important advances having Horsley's theological and literary attainments, such previously been made, especially by the French as had not hitherto occurred, and of which he was philosophers, in the exact sciences, of which the not backward to avail himself. This was furnished editor of Newton appeared to be ignorant.
by the publication, in 1782, of a work by Dr Priestley, It was in a quite different field that Horsley was which he called, A History of the Corruptions of Christo acquire his renown, and one that it more became tianity; among which corruptions he had the audahim to be at pains to cultivate the field of theology. city to include the doctrine of Christ's divine nature. The first production in this department which he The eminence of Dr Priestley as a philosopher, and appears to have given to the public was the Sermon his plausible and confident tone as a writer, were on Providence and Free Agency, founded on the text justly regarded by Dr Horsley, then Archdeacon of Matt. xvi. 21 : “From that time forth began Jesus St Albans, as fitted to give a currency to this dangerto show unto his disciples how that he must go unto ous error with many, who had neither learning nor Jerusalem and suffer many things," &c. It was in leisure sufficient to test its accuracy by the original 1778, when he was already forty-five years old, that sources, which it became him, if possible, to check, he put forth this first effort as a theologian-led to do by exposing the ignorance, the rashness, and incomso, apparently, by the controversy which at the time petence of the pretended historian. This he did in a was being carried on between Priestley, Price, and very able and masterly style, in a charge to the several others of inferior note, on the question of clergy of the Archdeaconry of St Albans, delivered liberty and nccessity. The sermon of Horsley, which in 1783, which was afterwards followed up first by professes to settle the subject within the compass of one, then by another series of letters, together with a few pages, could not wc expected to tell very several disquisitions, called forth by a succession of materially on the controversy; nor does it form, letters addressed by Dr Priestley to his opponent. philosophically considered, a particularly favourable Our principal object on the present occasion does No. LXIII.
not lead us to enter into the details of this celebrated There was evidently a strong predilection in controversy, or to do more than characterize in the Bishop Horsley's mind for sacred criticism. A conmost general terms, the parts respectively played insiderable portion of the sermons that have been it by the two great combatants. That in point of printed from his papers, amounting, with those occaaccuracy of learning, fidelity in respect to historical sionally published in his lifetime, to upwards of fifty, representation, conclusiveness of reasoning, in short, have the critical and expository character preall the essential elements of victory, the Archdeacon dominant in them. They display a laudable anxiety had immensely the advantage over his opponent, it to have his hearers, even those of the more common is scarcely possible for any one to doubt, who peruses order, made acquainted with the meaning of Scripthe productions on both sides in a spirit of candour ture; and he doubtless contributed not a little to and impartiality. In truth, the combatants were not recommend by his example, as in his charges properly on a footing. Priestley, though a man of (especially in that admirable one, the first) he most genius and of varied acquirements, was not possessed strenuously enforced, the preaching of a full gospel of any peculiar qualifications for conducting a con- froin the pure fountain-head of divine truth, in optroversy on matters connected with ecclesiastical position to the cold moralizing, “the aping of Epicuantiquity; and his original work was only a sort of rus,” or “the preaching only of Seneca and Socrates," side-piece to the leading drama of his life, thrown as he fitly terms it, which had so long borne sway in off in the midst of other employments, which were the pulpits of England. The sermons which partake more congenial to his taste, and which received most of this character, are also for the most part the much more of his attention. Horsley, on the other best in the collection, and contain many able expohand, came fresh to the task, with the full bent and sitions of interesting and important passages of the vigour of his mind directed to the points at issue; Word of God, characterized by a freshness and vigour and in the subject itself found a theme, which, more of thought, a boldness of illustration, and raciness of perhaps than any other that could be named, ad- style, peculiar to themselves. They all deserve a mitted of his turning to account his highest gifts careful perusal, though, it is necessary to note, they and most valuable acquirements; so that his produc- are by no means destitute of questionable and even tions here formed by much the greatest literary plainly objectionable matter. Sometimes, as in the achievement of his life. He, therefore, easily peers sermon on Matt. xvi. 28, an arbitrary interpretation above his rival; while yet it must be admitted-if of a text is assumed as the basis of a discourse; and, respect be had to the absolute, rather than the rela
scattered throughout the sermons, one not unfretive value of this portion of his writings-that his queutly meets with statements most oracularly made, own acquaintance with the ecclesiastical writers of which rest on no solid foundation, and attempted the first centuries was but barely adequate to the explanations of what is difficult or peculiar, whicle occasion—that on some of the subordinate points, he seem more like the sportive creations of a vigorous advanced positions that were partly doubtful and fancy, than the results of a cautious and sober partly indefensible—and that, while he successfully inquiry into the truth of God. repelled the assailant, he can scarcely be said to We shall produce a few examples by way of specihave done any thing more: he has settled no question men. Thus, in the sermon on 1 John v. 6, he throws previously involved in doubt, nor thrown any new out the following explanation of two titles of Carist: light on the state of primitive Christianity. At the -“Son of God is a title that belongs to our Lord in same time, it is not to be denied, that, entering the his human character, describing him as that man field simply as a controversialist, he did not properly who became the Son of God by union with the Godundertake to do this, and that what he has done is head; as Son of Man, on the contrary, is a title which amply sufficient to secure him a distinguished place belongs to the Eternal Word, describing that person among those who, in times of backsliding and rebuke, of the Godhead who was made man by uniting himhave nobly contended for the faith once delivered to self to the man Jesus.” What could be conceived the saints.
more fanciful in itself? And if applied to the various The service rendered to the creed of the Church passages where the expressions occur, how utterly of England, and to the cause of Christianity itself, by would such an explanation defy all consistent and the part which Horsley took in this controversy, rational interpretation! Again, in the sermons on brought its due recompense in the way of ecclesiasti- Mal. iii. 1-2, he most positively affirms, and at lengths cal promotion. Besides other lucrative appoint- illustrates the point, that in the phrase, “ The messenments, he was raised, in 1788, to the see of St David's, ger (angel) of the covenant,” there mentioned, the from which, in 1751, he was transferred to the covenant in question is the new covenant in contrabishopric of Rochester and the deanery of West- distinction to the old-an assumption not peculiar to minster. A still further promotion awaited him, for, him, indeed, though seldom so dogmatically affirmed, in 1802, he was translated to the see of St Asaph. but still one perfectly gratuitous, and entirely opAs a bishop he was reputed, as things went in those posed to the connexion; for the persons addressed days, to be more than usually active in the reforma
are represented as desiring and asking for this cove. tion of abuses, and exemplary in the discharge of nant-angel. But these persons were self-righteous his public duties; yet it is painful to think, that murmurers, complaining of the treatment they were there were marked imperfections of a private kind, receiving, as not what they were entitled to expect which must also have formed considerable abate by the covenant they were actually living under; ments to his usefulness-imperfections which drew and therefore, in demanding the appearance v from Robert Hall the pungent remark, “ that in the the covenant-angel, they must be understood to virtues of private life, Dr Priestley was as much refer to what then existed; or, met properly, superior to his antagonist, as he was inferior in the the angel of the covenant must he ne representative correctness of his speculative theology." After a
and ambassador of God is the covenant generally, short ss, he died in the October of 1906, in the without rospect to its being old or new. There are seventy-third year of his age.
other things in the
same sermons on Malachi which