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the whole, however, these passages tend to confirm the general idea entertained of Mr. Grattan's eloquence, as distinguished by fire, sublimity, and an immense reach of thought. A following chapter is chiefly composed of similar extracts from Mr. Curran's speeches ; in most of which the conceptions are expressed with more lucidness and precision than in the passages from Grattan. These specimens did not surprize; though they delighted us. We have long considered this distinguished counsellor as possessed of a higher genius than any one in his profession within the British empire. --The most obvious difference between these two great orators is, that Curran is more versatile, rising often to sublimity, and often descending to pleasantry, and even drollery ; whereas Grattan is always grave and austere. They both possess that order of intellectual powers, of which the limits cannot be assigned. No conception could be so brilliant or original, that we should confidently pronounce that neither of these men could have uttered it. We regret to imagine how many admirable thoughts, which such men must have expressed in the lapse of many years, have been unrecorded, and are lost for ever.
We think of these with the same fcelings, with which we have often read of the beautiful or sublime occasional phænomena of nature, in past times, or remote regions, which amazed and delighted the beholders, but which we were destined never to see.
After various statements respecting Dublin, the customs, the courts of law, and other matters, which we need not enumerate or analyse, our traveller takes leave of the country, highly gratified, except in never having heard a bull, a whole herd of which he expected to have met in every town and village, and expressing the most friendly wishes for Ireland, in which we cordially join him.
Mr. Carr has admitted several errors into this book, which we could not have expected ; such as colla, for colles, in a distich from Prudentius ; and ascribing to Pope a line which almost every one knows where to find in Johnson, “ And Swift expires” &c. The error of calling that poetry good, which is only indifferent, we were more prepared to expect, and indeed to excuse.
The book is decorated, rather than illustrated, with almost twenty plates, from Mr. Carr's drawings; these are chiefly landscapes, interesting in point of scenery, and elegantly engraved in aqua tinta, by Medland. We willingly acknowledge that we have received very much entertainment, and not a Tittle information, from this volume ; and if the traveller will but adopt a little more dignity of deportment, and require a
less exorbirant premium for the privilege of hearing his ad. venues, we shall be glad to meet him again, at his retura from any other country, to which his genius may lead him to wander.
Art. IV. Meusers of Dr. Joseph Priestley, to the Tear (795; written by
Himself; with a Coptimization, to the Time of his Decease, by his Son, Joseph Priestley; and Observations on his Writings, by Thomas Cooper, President Jadge of the fourth District of Peansylvania; and the Rev. Willian Christie. Sva pp. 475. Price 10s. 6d. Johnson. 1806. MANY years ago, Dr. Priestley determined to write some
account of his friends and benefactors, which might be a posthumous memorial of his esteem and gratitude. All who can reckon themselves of that number, have ample reason to be satisfied with the manner in which he fous discharged this voluutary obligation. In connecting these notices of the characters and conduct of others, with a simple narrative of his own life, he has produced a work in a high degree pleasing, instructive, and adınonitory. The events of his early life exhibit a striking instance of the gradual and unsought progress of a modest and unambitious man, from a los beginuing, and through many discouraging circumstances, tu eminent consideration and comfort, His career, as a philosopher and a general scholar, affords an exemplary instance of invincible perseverance and vigorous exertion, of the wise economy of time and resources, and the happy direction of talents and genius. The iutercourse which, through a large part of his life, he maintained with many distinguished characters, literary, scientific, and political, and the relation which he personally bore to the state and adrancement of science during the last thirty years, confer a peculiar interest on any meinoirs from his own pen, however brief and even scanty they may be. To the man who studies the philosophy of human nature with the eye and the heart of a scriptural Christian, these pages will appear with an importance far exceeding the mere gratification of liberal curiosity. We are much mistaken if the germ of Dr. P.'s gradual alienation from the faith once delivered to the saints," be not here unfolded by himself, in the manifest want of a broken and contrite heart, and in the uncontrouled dominion of a self-dependent spirit. It is a solemn and affecting warning, which arises from beholding a man of the first intellectual order, of natural dispositions truly amiable, of high acquirements in human knowjedge, and possessing a " zeal for God;" yet “ stumbling at that stumbling stone,” and “ going about to establish his own rigblepusness, tot submitting to the righteousness of God."
From this voinme such a lesson is to be deduced.May its exhibition to the world, under the conduct of almighty grace, answer a purpose infinitely greater than any that its author ever cortemplated !
Dr. Joseph Priestley was born at Fieldlead near Leeds, March 13, 1733, 0. s. His early education was conducted by a neighbouring clergyman of the establishment, and by several dissenting inimsters; but lris greatest proficiency, at that period, seems to have been the effect of his own ardoor and diligence. Being intemleri for the profession of a dissent. ing minister, he was placed in the academy at Daventry, under the gorerninent of Dr. Caleb Ashworth, the snccessor of Dr. Dodelridge. In this seminary, young Priestley consolidated and greatly enlarged bis elementary stores; but his religious principles received a fatal shock. Those principles had been what is called orthodox, rather from the intuence of his education and connections, than from any just acquaintance with their trne nature and evideners. This also appears to bave been deplorably the case with those among his first religious connections who, in the old phrase, dealt with him on the state of his soul. The injudicious and 113scriptural question, which was proposed by some who examined him with a view to his admission to the Lord's supper, could not but produce a most pernicious effect on a mind, not established in the truth of God, anıl, (as Dr. P. informs us bis mental constitution was), “ wanting a sufhcient coherence in the association of ideas formerly impressed, and more favourable to new associations.” p. 105. The highly reprehensible procedure of those persons, reminds us of a story that was current, many years ago, in the academical institution before mentioned. A young man, proposing to his father a query relative to some história cal difficulty in the Old Testament, received the compendious reply of being instantly knocked down. The consequence was, what might have been without much hazard predicted; the youth became an avowed infidel, and a profligate blas.. phemer.
In a state of mind, favourable for the reception of those religions errors which are ever congenial to the habits of an unrenewed heart, the subject of these memoirs went to the academy. There, in the strony language of the apostle, he " made shipwreck of the faith.” Hiş bark was leaky and sinking before : -now the catastrophe was fatally consumimated. “ In my time,” says Dr. P. . 17) “ the academy was in a state peculiarly favourable to the scrious pursuit of truth, as the students were about equally divided upon--all the articles of theological orthodoxy and heresy; in consequence of which, all these topics were the subjects of continual dis
cussion. Our tutors also were of different opinions; Dr. Ashworth taking the orthodox side of every question, and Mr. Clark *, the sub-tutor, that of heresy, though always with the greatest modesty.” pp. 17, 18.
Truth, and religious truth above all, loves the light. It has nothing to fear, but every advantage to expect, from free inquiry; if the inquiry be indeed Free. But such a state of things as is described in the passage just quoted, may be called any thing more justly than free inquiry, or “ favourable to the serious pursuit of truth. We speak from EXPERIENCE. Such disputations as took place at Daventry have a tendency diametrically opposite to the serious pursuit of truth.” The spirit of party, the ambition of superiority, the ostentation of talent, the arts of evasion, the disgrace of defeat, the insolence of conquest, the laugh of the scorner, and the sneer of folly and pride, are the rank weeds of this rotten bed. In such a polluted soil, and amidst its mephitic exhalations, no HOLY DISPOSITION can possibly flourish.: but by none except holy dispositions will the knowledge of DIVINE TRUTH be even desired; much less will its beauty be discerned, or its pursuit be seriously instituted. This is an axiom which should ever stand first and highest in the elements of sacred erudition. Its neglect is fatal. Its practical possession will lead to the heaven from whence it descended. The Scriptures ever assume it as a postulatum summi juris ; and Reason must become a prostitute to Guilt, before she can be brought to doubt its reality or its importance.
On leaving Dr. Ashworth and his Arian colleague, Mr. P. settled in an humble situation, and under soine depressing circumstances, as a dissenting minister, at Needham Market in Suffolk. In 1758 be removed to Nantwich in Cheshire ; and, after residing three years at that town, to Warrington; in the academy at which place he was appointed Tutor in the Languages and Belles Lettres. This academy was the pride and boast of the beterodox dissenters, and the basis of many an airy expectation t. It crumbled into nibility, about the year 1783, in consequence of dissentions and secessions among it supporters, and the want of wholesome discipline to repress the licentious ebullitions of the students. Thus ended the nursery of men for future years.'
* This was the Rev. Samuel Clark, afterwards of Birmingham, who died, in consequence of being thrown from his horse, Dec. 6, 1769. See Orton's Letters to Dissenting Ministers, published by the Rev. S. Palmer, Vol. I. p. 14.-Rev.
+ See Mrs. Barbauld's beautiful poem, Warrington Academy. But, alas! the muse was not a prophetess.
Here, as in all situations, Mr. P. was distinguished for his indefatigable activity in professional duties and literary pursuits. Here he composed several of his works, and received from the university of Edinburgh the title of LL.D. “From academic shades and learned halls,” however, he sagaciously retreated in 1767, on being invited to the charge of a congregation at Leeds. This was a propitious removal. At Leeds Dr. P. commenced his long pursued and splendidly successful experiments on aëriform fuids. But philosophical pursuits did not absorb his versatile and active powers. In this situation,” he says," I naturally resumed my application to speculative theology.“ Alas! it was speculative throughout. The sad source of its radical and numerous errors, was the notion that divine truths, and their opposites, are only hypothetical theories, ingenious speculations. The scriptures inculcate a different lesson, when they insist on the necessity of “ receiving the love of the truth,” and of " having the heart established with grace.” At Daventry Dr. P. was a high Arian, in the beretical nomenclature. At Needham he sunk in the scale. He discarded the doctrine of atonement, in the lowest
Emboldened by the ardour of discovery, he fancied himself wiser than an apostle, and “ saw much reason to be dissatisfied with the apostle Paul as a reasoner.” p. 33. After this, we are not surprized that at Leeds he became a Socinian, and that he still continued to move along the line of indefinite progress in the same direction. We are painfully excited to recollect the memorable and scriptural monition of our amiable Cowper :
“ Hear the just law, the judgement of the skies!
Delusions, strong as hell, shall hold him fast.” Dr. P.'s next removal was to Calne in Wiltshire, where he lived for six years as a literary companion to the late Marquis of Lansdowne, on a plan equally honourable to the liberality of the nobleman, and to the integrity of the philosopher. The dissolution of this connection led to his settlement at Birmingham: with the detail of which event, and reflections upon his then agreeable situation, the first and most valuable part of these Memoirs is concluded. It bears the date Birmingham, 1787.
A few pages of brief narrative bring down Dr. P.'s account of himself to March 24, 1795 ; at which time he was comfortably settled in his last residence, Northumberland in America.
The Continuation of the Memoirs, by Mr. Joseph Priestley, though including a period of less than nine years, is extended