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Memoir of George Birkbeck, M.D.


very favourable terms to his first exer- ' “ VI. That the draft of an address, to be tions, and to the effects they had pro- presented to Dr. Birkbeck, be drawn up by duced. But if this letter destroyed bis

ihe committee, submitted to the class for its

approval, and wbich, after receiving the signasuspicions, another from Dr. Ure, early

tures of the members, is to be forwarded to in the following year, was calculated Dr. Birkbeck. to furnish unexpected gratification. "VII. That Dr. Birkbeck's portrait shall be This letter announced. in the most suspended either in the mechanics' library flattering terms, the following resolu

room, or hall of Anderson's Institution, as shalt

afterwards be determined by the class. tions, which had been agreed to at a

" VIII. That these resolutions shall be enmeeting of the mechanics attending tered in the minute-book of the class." his lectures :

The acknowledgment by Dr. B. of " At the meeting of the Mechanics' Class, Anderson's Institution, on Saturday, the 8th

this communication, and his grateful of February, 1823, and immediately after the acquiescence with the proposition it conclusion of the lecture, a proposal was contained, was followed by a letter, brought forward by Mr. Alexander Robertson which, being still more explanatory of and Mr. David Black, two of the oldest mem- the feelings of the mechanics towards bers of the class, that, in order to commemo

an unknown, and, as he once thought, rate the advantages which the operatives of this city bave enjoyed for so many years, from a forgotten benefactor--feelings, honthe establishment of the Mechanics' Class, ourable to their character, even by some memorial should be obtained by the class, the manner in which they are expressof its liberal-minded projector and founder,

ed-our readers, we doubt not, will Dr. George Birkbeck. The proposal was cor

to be gratified by perusing. dially and ananiinously approved of by the class, and a committee was accordingly ap

“ 65, Wilson-street, Glasgow, pointed, with instructions to draw op resola

May 31, 1823. tions for the adoption of the class; of which “ DR. GEORGE Birkbeck. committee Dr. Ure was appointed' convener. On Saturday, the 22d of February, thereafter,

“SIR,_Your kind answer to the unanimous the committee brought forward the following

request of the Mechanics' Class, was duly reresolutions, wbich, with a few additions, were

ceived by Dr. Ure, and communicated by hiin unanimously agreed to by the class :

to the class on the 10th of May last. "1. That the first formation of a course of

“Agreeably to their instructions, the comlectures, for instructing the operative classes

mittee have now forwarded the resolutions, of the community in the scientific principles of

address, and signatures of the class, and which the arts and manufactures, is a remarkable

will be presented to you by Mr. Patrick era in the history of Glasgow, deeply interest

Thomson, one of the present members. The ing to its artisans, and which deserves to be

class bas likewise, at the recommendation of celebrated by a public memorial.

B. R. Haydon, Esq. historical painter, ap“ II. That it appears, from the records of

pointed Mr. Bewick to paint the portrait, who Anderson's Institution, that the plan and exe.

will wait upon you when it will be convenient cution of such a course of lectures originated

for you to sit for that purpose. with Dr. George Birkbeck, then professor of

"We, the committee of the Mechanics' tbat establishment, now physician in London ;

Class, beg leave to express its sentiments on and that the first course of lectures was deli

| the present interesting occasion. Deeply sen

sible of the obligations conferred by you on vered in 1800, to a small number of mechanics, but that in the following session the benefits

the operatives of Glasgow, and the permanent of the lectares were so generally felt and ac

effects, moral and intellectaal, which your knowledged, tbat about 500 individuals attend.

method of instruction is calculated to elicit, ed them with exemplary decorum.

have gnanimously resolved, in addition to the "JII. That the advantages of Dr. Birk

honour of soliciting your portrait, to embrace beck's scheme have, since that time, been very

the present opportunity of communicating to widely diffused, not only by the continuance

you their respectful admiration of your chaand extension of such lectures in Anderson's

racter as a gentleman, a:d ability as a teacher. Institution, but also by the establishment of

"Perhaps wben your philanthropic mind first

suggested the idea of diffusing useful knowsimilar courses of instruction in several cities of the British empire, and in foreign nations.

| ledge among mechanics, it did not occur to « IV. That the members of this class, there-you, that your benevolent scheme would be fore. desirous of commemorating at once their | crowned with such eminent success as subsegratitade to Dr. Birkbeck, and the undoubted

obted quent events have proved. But the oak springs

quente claim of their native city to the bonour of un- "T

| from the acorn ;-ibe triumphs of truth over folding, first of all, with the commencement of | prejudice, though slow, are nevertheless certhe nineteenth century, the temple of science

tain, and, if properly directed, permanently

beneficial to mankind. to the artisan, do agree to make a voluntary

You formed your contribution, for the purpose of procuring a

scheme of improvement from an intimate acportrait of Dr. Birkbeck. .« V. That after the contributions are re

The address to Dr. B. above alluded to, ceived, the committee shall communicate the may be found in the 8th number of the Mecharesolutions of the class to Dr. Birkbeck, ac nic's Magazine : it was signed by opwards of companied with a request that he will be

est that he will be four hundred mechanics, principally in the pleased to sit for a portrait.

workshops of the city.

quaintance with human nature ; and it must be derstand, is proceeding with regulagratifying to you to learn, that your pbiloso - rity, according to its original and wellphic foresigbi has not been disappointed. You

digested plans, and tlourishing in prosjudged that the apparent mental lethargy of the operatives towards science arose from no perous independence. infirmity of their mental powers; and you At the commencement of 1823, Dr. judged rightly. You traced it either to a total | B. was preparing for the Annals of neglect, or an improper direction of their fa- | Philosophy, conducted by his friend culties to objects unworthy of their notice.

| Mr. Ricbard Phillips, an essay on the You undertook the generous task of giving

| scientific education of the operatives; the first impulse, and of directing their attention to studies worthy of their pursuit; and in which he intended to offer a course the experience of twenty years has proved be- of lectures to the London artisans, yond a doubt, the beneficial effects resulting similar to those which had been acfrom your system of education. Let others knowledged to have been productive boast of their triumph over suffering humanity, and of the successful inroads they have made of so much benefit in Glasgow : but opon the liberties and happiness of their fel- | this essay, various occupations prelow-creatures ; your's is the pure and unal- | vented him from completing. Joyed satisfaction of having done your daty, Scarcely, however, had this been and the bonour of being the founder of a school, I relinquished, before his attention was whose method of instruction other countries

again called to the subject by a very are now proud to imitate. Unassisted by public funds, save that noble legacy you left them, powerful appeal to the mechanics, in viz, a thirst for knowledge, and an ardent de the seventh number of a miscellany, sire of improving their condition,the mecha which had recently appeared, under nics of Glasgow are an example of the ease

the title of the Mechanics' Magazine, with which scientific knowledge might be disseminated through every branch of the com

It so happened, that in this able munity, did they on whom Providence has exposition, an erroneous remark was bestowed wealth or eminent abilities conde-contained, respecting Dr. B. which scend to imitate your disinterested example. he called upon the editors, then Aware that the improvement of the operative | unknown to him. through the proclasses in tbis city was the sole motive wbich induced you to found the Mechanics' Class,

prietors, to correct; and also to offer and judging from their own experience, it has them information respecting the Mebeen the study of former committees, and it chanics' Class in Glasgow, with which must ever be the daty and interest of future they then seemed but little acquaintcommittees of the Mechanics' Class, to render | ed: assuring them, at the same time. of efficient, and to disseminate as widely as pos- | sible, the benefits arising from the plan, first

his'readiness to co-operate in forming a introduced by you, of educating mechanics in

cs in similar institution in London. In conthe scientific principles of the various arts. sequence of this interview, and these

“ That you, sir, may still enjoy many happy observations, he was soon called on days, and many opportanities of exercising

by one of the 'editors; and subsequentyour amiable spirit in ameliorating the condi

ly with him and his colleague, Mr. tion of mankind; that the grateful acknowledgments wbich man owes to his benefactor

Place, of Charing-Cross, and Dr. may on other occasions be awarded to you, to Birkbeck, arranged the several public whom science and our country are so much meetings which led to the establishindebted; and that your generous example

ment of the London Mechanics' Instimay stir other noble spirits to vindicate the

tution. At these preliminary public honour of science, and emancipate their fellow-creatures from the chilling grasp of igno

meetings Dr. B. was uniformly called rance, are the sincere wishes of the Mechanics' upon to take the chair; and when, subClass. I remain, sir, your yery humble ser sequently, the officers were elected, vant, « Álex. MARSHALL,

he was appointed president. In this “ Secretary to the Committee.”

situation he has made considerable Before the picture, to which the pre- exertion to promote the objects of the ceding letter alludes, reached Glas- institution, and, we are happy to add, gow, some disagreement unhappily that these exertions have been crownoccurred between the “Mechanics' ed with almost unexampled success. Class” and the trustees of Professor This method of imparting scientific inAnderson's institution. Much deli- formation to the artisan, is now rapidly beration followed; the result of which spreading through England and Scotwas, that a separation took place, and land. In addition to the above, Dr. B. in a short time an independent Me- has recently been engaged in aiding the chanics’ Institution was formed, and formation of the Meteorological SocieDr. B. had the unexpected, but well-ty, and the London Chemical Society, merited honour, of being nominated in both of which he has had the honour, their patron. This institution, we un- of being appointed president.

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Sixty-six Errors of the Church of Rome.

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acrossworeca SIXTY-SIX ERRORS OF THE CHURCH | useful, but a nuisance to the peace of OF ROME.

families, which has produced the un

chaste laxity of morals in the women The time is near at hand, when the of Spain and Italy. important subject of Catholic eman 5. The use of little crosses in praycipation will, in all probability, again er, tending to attach the mind to the undergo legislative investigation.— sign instead of the thing signified in Aware of this, its advocates are un- | the redemption of the world. remitting in their exertions to com- 6. Paintings of the crucifixion, prepass tbeir favourite object,—that of ferred to the history of the crucifixion obtaining political power under ec- by the inspired evangelists, substiclesiastical pretences.

tuting for the word of God, the work That their claims are, in many re- of man. spects, plausible, cannot be denied ; 7. Pilgrimages to certain places, but it is a fact of which Protestants not sanctioned by the precept or exshould never lose sight, that Popery ample of the apostles, who perfected is still the same that it ever was. Its the visible churches and communion torch is indeed concealed in a dark of Christians both in doctrine and lantern, but it is not extinguished; its discipline. tomahawk, instead of being buried, is 8. Calling the blessed Virgin the only covered with flowers. All its mother of God; by not distinguishing sanguinary laws remain still unre the deity from the humanity, the infipealed, and the immutability of its nite from the finite, through an errocharacter is avowed without disguise neous argument: viz. 1, Christ is by all its votaries.

God; 2, Christ was born of the VirIt will be readily allowed, that the gin; ergo, God was born of the VirPapists of the present day utterly gin. The titles and names of the disclaim those deeds of horror which blessed mother of the humanity of the bave disgraced their ancestors, and we Lord Jesus Christ, who is God and give them credit for their sincerity. man, ought to be taken from the holy This candour will be extended to the word of God, and not increased or system itself, when its bloody laws diminished by the word of man. are repealed by the same authority 9. Praying to the Virgin. The picthat enacted them; but until the ture of God as an old man, and of Jehyena has lost its ferocity, self-pre- sus as a child, have become the geneservation dictates that it should wear ral custom of painters; and, therea chain.

EDITOR. fore, the Virgin as a sweet looking

young woman nursing a baby, seems 1. Schism, from the Eastern or Greek more accessible. Hence she is praychurch, on a point not essential, ex ed to more than God, or Christ the cept to her assumption of power by only mediator appointed between God unchristian usurpation, contrary to and man. The reading of the holy the doctrine, precept, and example scriptures would remedy this ignorant of the apostles.

idolatry. 2. Persecutions, contrary to the | 10. The power of the priest to pray word of Christ, by deliberate decrees souls out of purgatory for money, is and permanent doctrine for that pur one of the strongest chains that bind

the ignorant to the priest, and there3. Forbidding flesh, and ordering fore makes it necessary for the priest fish to be eaten, contrary to the ex- to use all his influence to perpetuate press warning of scripture.

ignorance. The prostitutes in Rome, 4. Forbidding to marry. The rule who are prohibited from appearing as to admit no person to be an ecclesias- such in the streets, address strangers tic who did not make a vow of celi- by the well-known watchword, “ Pray, bacy, left no alternative. Hence, the sir, will you give me some money, voluntary celibacy allowed in scrip- that I may get my mother's soul prayture, became a coercive influence, ofed out of purgatory:" if the stranger which the apostle warns the church, does not comprehend what is meant, as one of the signs of false religion. they tell it with their eyes, and suffis The object once in view was universal cient bints to prevent a doubt. power; that day is gone by; and the 11. Grand processions cause the celibacy of the clergy is no longer corrupt populace to form an attach

73.-VOL, VII.

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ment to the church by its serving to and editions of the word of God, their amusement. They are become which would have prevented the erashamed of it, and it declines. rors, ignorance, and tyranny of the

12. Indulgences sold for money, Church of Rome over men's con1, a proportion of past sins; 2, pro-sciences. portion of sins to come ; 3, proportion 23. The pope's throne, called the of the period of punishment for sin in chair of St. Peter, though it is no purgatory, according to a scale of more derived from him than the triple time, from one year to 12,000. This crown. St. Peter held no supremacy confused and equivocal doctrine of over the apostles during his life, and indulgences has nearly ceased, since bequeathed none. it produced a reformation in Germa 24. The mass book, or missal, was ny, Poland, Prussia, England, Scot-composed without a due regard to the land, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, warrant of scripture. The gaudy coat and Holland. There is, however, still of the priest, who turns his back on so much of it left as may ensnare the the people, mattering sounds which ignorant in devotion to certain places he does not intend they should underand relics.

stand, while he addresses a baby13. The titles of the pope are not house altar, fitting only for the amuseonly contrary to the example of the ment of childish admiration, and then, apostles, but evidently full of human after a dumb show, which has the pride and arrogance. .

same relation to the public under14. The unlimited authority given standing as a pantomime to a dramato those writers now called the fa- tic dialogue, he holds up the fruit of thers of the church, though they were his prestigious juggling,-a wafer! fallible uninspired men. Their vo- The people fall down on their knees, luminous doctrines are in some places and adore it; the priest swallows a contrary to the New Testament, and sup of wine, from which the lay comin many instances their new invented municant is excluded, contrary to the doctrines and practices are totally institution of Christ, and the wafer is without foundation in the bible. now, by the most unparalleled impu

15. Tradition equalling holy scrip-dence of absurdity, called literally, ture, was a natural consequence of and without equivocation, the body the 14th error.

| and blood of Christ. However, such 16. Certain churches and places is the fatality, that not one but the were appointed as sanctuaries to ignorant believe it; for, in proportion shelter murderers from justice. as the communicant is intelligent

17. Making Friday a day of serious and well informed, he absolves himdevotion, and Sunday of revelling, self from this blasphemy by admitting with open theatres and licensed gam- that in the accident of external ciring-houses, contrary to the divine or- cumstance the wafer is a wafer still. dinance of the sabbath. .

25. The canonization of saints, by 18. The numerous holidays to ab- a form in law in open court argued stain from work: this pleases idlers, by lawyers, has no countenance in and keeps them dependent on church scripture. authority, contrary to the command, 26. The transferring of the merit of Six days shalt thou labour, and keep works from one person to another, or holy the seventh.

from one religious community to any, 19. Sculptures of the crucifixion led to the pope's title of Holiness by substituted for the gospel.

the merits of St. Peter, although the 20. The obedience of monks, je word of God declares that even Noah suits, friars, and nuns, of every na- and Daniel could only be saved indition, to the pope, established an em- vidually; and that there is not even pire independent of the government hereditary righteousness transferred in each nation.

from father to children, but each must 21. Kissing the pope's toe, an un- be holy for himself. due extension of Christian civility. I 27. The experiment of excommu

22. The worship of the images of nicating princes, and absolving subsaints and martyrs tended to with-jects from their allegiance, was tried draw people from the worship of God when the pope was blind with pride in spirit and in truth. These helps and intoxicated with power. It failed, to the illiterate cost more than schools, excepting with Philip of France and

Sixty-six Errors of the Church of Rome.

38 the Emperor Frederick, but had the 35. The grant of privileges to good effect of making kings careful to churches, some having the power of clip the wings of the pope. Since giving plenary indulgence for a year that time, the pope stirs up sedition or two, others perpetually. only in secret, by means of the jesuits, 36. Popish subjects are not bound monks, and friars. These were sup- to keep the oath of allegiance to a pressed and banished, sometimes by Protestant prince; the pupe may lithe government, for their infidelity to cense men to perjure and forswear the country in which they lived, and themselves. (Council of Constance, sometimes by the pope, for their de- session 35.) ceiving him, and seeking their ag- 37. It is a mortal sin to keep faith grapdisement elsewhere, without shar- with heretics.-(See Martin V.'s Let. ing the profits with the successor of ter to the Duke of Lithuania.) The St. Peter,

common sense and humanity of Ro. 28. Self-flagellation was invented, manists have made these two errors to give power to the governors of abortive, monks and puns, over their persons 38. Tribunal of the inquisition, imand purses, by ordering penance or prisonment in the most dreadful dun. granting indulgence,

geons, and burning to death at the 29. One person to do penance for stake for conscience sake, and no mo, another, transferred the indulgence ral or political crime. from a poor person to one who was 39. The pompous dresses, decoraable to pay for it.

tions, and ceremonies, which are to 30. Mass for the dead restricted to impose on the vulgar, are evidently one mass a day, serves to disguise ridiculous to the wearers, though their the object of emolument. A sick man vanity is gratified. The superfluity making his will, left one pound a year of priests, friars, monks, and jesuits, to be paid to the priest of the parish, found employment by inventing and for twenty years, to pray his soul out practising whatever produced awe of purgatory. A Protestant physician and subjection, and attachment in the standing by, advised him to have it people, and they have made considerpaid in one year, that he might avoid able use of the Pagan and Jewish the nineteen years detention in pur- precedents for their exbibitions. gatory.

40. The sanction of masquerading 31. The two institutes of Christ, I in the streets for six days, and carnibaptism and the eucharist, have pla- val for six weeks after Christmas, is ced along with them, as of equal au- | to supply the people with amusement thority, five circumstances, that may suited to the vitiated taste of their be found in the life of a heathen as antichristian minds. Thus this holy well as of a Christian.

religion embraces the most unholy 32. The withholding of the word of children, if they remain in her bosom God from the perusal of the people in by a few formal habits, easily acquir. the vulgar tongue, is the safeguard of ed, as the price of every sin that may that corrupt venal natural religion be committed with safety. which has been insinuated among the 41. Saying prayers on a string of doctrines of Christianity by Popery. beads. Ten small to one large makes Providence has broken the snare, and ten prayers to the Virgin for one to the people may pow obtain the scrip- God. The whole system of repetition, tures, unless they love darkness ra- to gain by quantity or number, is conther than light, because their deeds trary to our Lord's precepts, and not are evil,

agreeable to the importunity he re33. That the sacrifice of the mass commends in prayer; for a repetition is a propitiation, is, like transubstan- is mechanical, and implies false relitiation, taking the sign for the thing I gion, as if God was to obey a mechasignified. It should be considered an nical impulse. emblem of the atonement by the death 42. The rosary teaches the fifteen of Christ, and of redemption through principal events of the gospel on faith in his blood.

beads; five joyful, five grievous, and 34. The apostles particularly for five glorious. This is to serve instead bade prayer and exhortation in an of reading the whole, gospel as inunknown tongue, as deliberately / spired by the Holy Ghost. established by the Romanists.

43. The invocation of angels re

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