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at the town of Northumberland in his youngest son, and afterwards of Penosylvania, which he was first in- his excellent wife, together with other duced to visit on account of a settle domestic calamities,
severe ment in that part of the state pro- trials of his fortitude; but his temper jected by his son and some other and principles carried him through gentlemen, but which did not take without any diminution of his habi. place. It was a considerable labour tual serenity and pious resignation. in this remote situation to get about A severe illness which he suffered in him a well-furnished library and a Philadelphia laid the foundation of . chemical laboratory, but this he at debility of his digestive organs, which length effected.27 Having declined gradually brought on a state of boa chemical professorship in Philadel- dily weakness whilst his mind conphia, and being engaged in no pab- tinued in full possession of all its falic duty, he was able to devote his culties. In January, 1804, it became whole time to his accustomed pur- manifest to himself and others that he suits ; and the world was soon in- had not long to live, and this warnformed of his proceedings as an ex- ing operated upon him to lose no time perimental philosopher, and as a in finishing the literary tasks in which writer. Theology continued to be he was engaged, and particularly in the subject nearest to his heart, and putting into a state fit for the press a his sense of its importance increased work in which he was greatly interwith his years, Political animosity ested. He had long been preparing pursued him in some degree to the two considerable publications, which Western world, and during the ad- were, a Church-history, and notes ministration of Mr. Adams he was on all the books of Scripture, and had regarded by the American govern- learned with great satisfaction that ment with suspicion and dislike. That his friends in England had raised a of Mr. Jefferson, however, was friend- subscription to enable him to print ly to him, and he outlived all dis. them without risk. Like a man setquiet on this head. The death of ting his affairs in order previously to
a journey, he continued, to the last tor received a pious and affectionate letter hour of his life, with the utmost from W. Skirving, one of the exiles from calmness and self-collection, giving Scotland, then a prisoner awaiting his de- directions relative to his posthumous portation, to whom he was a personal publication, intermixed with disstranger, and who probably held a differ- courses expressive of the fullest coneyt creed, but who appeared from pas- fidenee in those cheering views of sages in the letter, to have attached him- future existence that his theological self to the study of prophecy, and to have system opened to him ; and on Feb. been strongly attracted to some of Dr. 6, 1804, in the 71st year of his age, Priestley's speculations on that subject. W. Skirviny was not a young man when
he expired so quietly, that they who exiled, and died soon after his arrival in sat beside him did not perceive the New South Wales. One of his letters, in
last struggle. terspersed with scriptural allnsion, was
Dr. Priestley was a man of perread by the prosecutors of Mr. Hardy, and fect simplicity of character, laying came under the observation of Lord Chief open his whole mind and purpose on Justice Eyre, who exclaims, “ What does this mysterious man mean? What is this tabernacle of righteousness to be erected 29 His youngest son, Henry, died in at once without anarchy and confusion ?” 1795. There is an edifying account of the Trial, iv. 426. Gallio cared for none of father's deportment at the grave of this these things.
promising child, by a witness of the scene, 27 In M. Repos. (vi. 72,) are two letters in M. Rep. i. 396. Mrs. Priestley surfrom Dr. Priestley, dated June, 1794, vived her son not many months, leaving soon after his arrival in America. They behind her another son, who describes her serve to shew the difficulties and delays be in the continuation of his father's Memoirs, encountered in resuming his experiments. p. 193, as“ supporting him under all his These leters were addressed to Mr. Parker, trials and sufferings with a constancy and whose father, one of the few survivors perseverance” well deserving her hus. among Dr. Priestley's early benefactors, is band's eulogium, as expressed in his diary, mentioned by him (Mem. p. 93,) as a ge- that she was of a noble and generous nerons contributor to his philosophical pur- mind and cared much for others, and little suits.
for herself through life.”
all occasions, and always pursuing ing classes: General Philosophy; arowed endo by direct means. In Pneumatic Chemistry ; Metaphysics integrity and disinterestedness, in the Civil Liberty; Religious Liberty strict performance of every social Ecclesiastical History ; Evidences of duty, no one could surpass him. His the Christian Revelation ; Defences temper was easy and cheerful, bis af- of Unitarianism; Miscellaneous Theo fections were kind, his dispositions logy ; Miscellaneous Literature. A friendly. Such was the gentleness particular enumeration of them can. and sweetness of his manner in social not here be expected, and in addiintercourse, that some who had en- tion to what has already been noticed, tertained the strongest prejudices it will only be attempted to give a against him on account of his opi. concise view of what he effected in nions, were converted into friends on the three branches of science for a personal acquaintance. Of the which he was most distinguished. warm and lasting attachment of his It is as a chemical philosopher that more intimate friends a most honour- he stands highest in the capacity of able proof was given, which he did an inventor or 'discoverer, and it is not live to know. It being under- in this character that his name will stood in England that he was likely probably be chiefly kuown to posto. to suffer a loss of 2001. in his annual rity.89 The manner in which his income, about forty persons joined in inquiries into the nature of aëriform making up a sum of 450l., which was fluids commenced has already been ineant to be continued annually dur- mentioned. They had conducted him ing life. No man who engaged so before 1792 to the knowledge of the much in controversy, and suffered so nitrous and muriatic airs, the appli. much from malignity, was ever more cation of the former as a test of the void of ill-will towards his opponents. purity of common air, and many facts If he was an eager controversialist, it respecting the processes by which was because he was very much in air is diminished or deteriorated. In earnest on all the subjects into which 1774 he made his fundamental dishe entered, not because he had any covery (which was also made about personalities to gratify. If now and the same time by Scheele) of pure, then he betrayed a little contempt or what he termed dephlogisticated for adversaries whom he thought air. In 1776 he communicated to
equally arrogant and incapable, he the Royal Society some curious re| Dever used the language of animosity. marks on respiration, and the mode
Indeed, his necessarian principles in which the blood acquires its cocoincided with his temper in pro. lour from the air; and in 1778 he ducing a kind of apathy to the ran- discovered the property of vegetacour and abuse of antagonists. In bles growing in the light to correct his intellectual frame were combined impure air. By his subsequent exquickness, activity, acuteness, and periments, a variety of other aëriform that inventive faculty which is the bodies, and new modes of the procharacteristic of genius. These qua- duction of those already known, the lities were less suited to the laborious revivification of metallic calces in ininvestigations of what is termed eru. dition, than to the argumentative deductions of metaphysics, and the
89 If Dr. Priestley, approved himself,
as we believe, an eminent instrument of experimental researches of natural
the Divine Goodness, in displaying the philosophy, Assiduous study had,
simplicity that is in Christ, so long obhowever, given him a familiarity with scured by the forms of man's invention, the learned languages sufficient in
we trust there is a character, far above general to render the sense of authors that of a philosopher, by which he will be clear to him; and he aimed at no- known to late posterity, and with incrensthing more. In his own language he ing veneration. Dr. Priestley, as our was contented with facility and per- friend, whose interesting biography we spicuity of expression, in which he have attempted to illustrate in these notes, remarkably excelled.
will readily admit, appears always to have The writings of Dr. Priestley were esteemed a Christian the highest style of so numerous, that they form a num. man, and to have valued his scientific rem ber of articles in each of the follow. putation chiefly as it might attract atten
tion to his theological pursuits.
Hammable air, and the generation of among a particular class of Christians. air from watcr, were added to the Passing through all the changes from stock of facts in this branch of che- Calvinism to Arianism, Socinianism, mistry. On the whole, it may be af- and finally to an Unitarian system in firmed that to no single inquirer has some measure his own, he remained pneumatic chemistry been judebted through the whole progress a firm so much as to Dr. Priestley, whose believer in the Jewish and Christian discoveries gave it a new form, and revelations, and their zealous dechiefly contributed to make it the fender against all attacks. As it was basis of a system which has super- vot in his temper to be either dubious seded all prior ones, and opens a or inditterent, he entered with greatboundless field for improvement in er earnestness than most of those the knowledge of nature and the called rational dissenters into dispuprocesses of art. It is remarkable tations upon doctrinal points ;30 and, however that he himself remained to the end of his life attached to that
30 Dr. Priestley, in 1772, when he phlogistie theory which he had im- qnitted the congregation at Leeds, appears biber, and which the French che- to have regarded the pulpit as almost enmists had been supposed entirely to tirely sacred to the important business of have overthrown. Some of his latest inculcating just maxims of conduct, and writings of this class were attacks recommending a life and conversation beupon the antiphlogistic theory, of coming the purity of the gospel.” Pref. which he lived to be the sole emi- Farewell Serm. p. 7. This inoffensive, nent opposer. It is proper to observe, though as experience has shewn, inadethat no experimentalist was ever
quate method of Christian teaching, has more free from jealousy, or the petty adopted by some who have not Dr. Priest
been highly approved and is probably still vanity of prior discovery. The pro- ley's opportunities of fully declaring themgress of knowledge was his sole ob- selves on other occasions. Dr. Priestley ject, regardless whether it was pro: himself innst have gradually made his pul. moted by himself or another; and pit-instructions more declaratory of his he made public the results of his ex- opinions, while he so generally preferred periments while they were yet crude the primitive custum of an exposition to and unsystematic, for the purpose of the comparative innovation of a sermon. engaging others in the same track of The Biographer has well reinarked that inquiry.
Dr. Priestley “entered more than rational in the science of metaphysics, Dr. dissenters in general “ into doctriual Priestley distinguished himself as the points.” Ile had indeed reason to complain
of those dissenters who, confining their strenuous advocate of Dr. Hartley's theory of association, upon which he lities, left him to be regarded as almost
published sentiments to Christian generafounded the systems of materialism singular in his heretical aberrations, & and of necessity, as legitiznate inter- very inonster in theology. An excellent ences. No writer has treated these man, whom we had the happiness to knew, abstruse subjects with more acuteness the early and constant friend of Dr. Priest and perspicuity; and notwithstand. ley, fell, we think, under this charge, ing the load of obloquy heaped upon probably from his mildness of disposition, limi on account of the supposed ten- certainly from no sordid motive. Dr. Kipdencies of his doctrines (obloquy pis, in his Live of Lardner, 1788 (p. 61),
when certain pressing engagewhich he disregarded, and teusdencies which he deniedj, he established public a few candid reflections on some
ments are discharged, to impart to the a high reputation in this branch of late, and indeed still subsisting theological philosophy, and elected a great disputes." Yet it was left to his friend change in the mass of public opinion. who preached the sermon on bis justly laIndifference may hereafter prevail mented death to inform the congregation l'especting these topics; but as long whose Christian instruction and devotion as they remain subjects of discussion, Dr. K. bad promoted for many years, that his writings will probably be consi. he was an Unitariar. The present writer dered as the ablest elucidations and well knew a lady, who had been long of
his defenses of the theories proposed in
congregation, and his intimate friend, them.
who expressed surprise and disapprobaIn theology, Dr. Priestley, if not bin. It must, we think, be admitted,
tion when once Dr. Priestley preached for absolutely the founder of a sect, is that neither this excellent man, nor Lardyet to be regarded as a great leader ner, not to mention Locke and Newton,
be finally happy : this was an infle MEGARNHAM was horn at
a has been already observed, car- Of his other writings, the most ried further than they did, his no- important have been mentioned in tions of religious discipline. In short, the narrative of his life. Among religion was to him the most impor- these, his Histories of Electricity, tant of all concerns, and that which and of Vision, are perhaps the only chiefly excited the ardour of bis ones by which his name would have mind. The essentials of the system been perpetuated, had it been dein which he finally settled were, void of so many other passports to the proper humanity of Christ, in- immortality. 32 cluding the rejection of his miraculous conception, and of the doctrine
A Short Memoir of the Rev. Robert of atonement; and a future state, in
Edward Garnham, which punishment is to be only emen- (Printed but not published.] datory, and all rational beings are to R.
Bury St. Edmunds1st rence from the doctrine of necessity 1753, and was the only surviving combined with that of the benevo. child of the Rev. Robert Garnham, lence of the Deity. He rejected an many years master of the Free Gramintermediate state of existence, and mar School at Bury, and rector of founded all his expectations of a future Nowton and Hargrave, in Suffolk. life upon revelation alone. Of the His mother was Mary, daughter of very numerous publications in which Mr. Benton, and sister of the late he proposed and defended his theo. Edward Benton, Esq. secondary in logical opinions, a great part were the Court of King's Bench. Mr. temporary and occasional. Those Garnham received his school-educawhich may be deemed most durable tion under the tuition of his father. and important are, his “ Institutes of who justly supported a considerable Natural and Revealed Religion,” his reputation for classical learning. He “ Letters to a philosophical Unbe- was removed from Bury school, and liever," his explanations of Scripture, admitted of Trinity College, Camand his inquiries into the faith of the bridge, in 1770, and the following early Christians, which he endeavoured to prove to have been conformable to the Unitarian system. longa, rita brevis. We trust that a plan To the study of scripture he was ex
now in contemplation, for publishing by tremely attached, and be paid a re
subscription, the whole of Priestley's works, verent respect to its historical and communicated to the public.
except the scientific, will very soon be prophetic authority. He published 3: Besides various particulars respecting several works in practical divinity, the character and opinions of Priestley,
of which, two sermons, on Habitual interspersed through successive volumes of • Devotion, and on the Duty of not the M. Repos., we may refer especially to
living to ourselves, are of singular his“ llistorical Eulogy,” by Cuvier, Se. excellence.si
cretary to the National Institute of France, i. 216, 328, to an account of him in his
residence at Northumberland, America, by did justice to their opinions or their cha- Mr. Wm. Bakewell, of Melbourn, i. 393, racters in their faint and tarıly declara- 505, 564, 622, to his eulogium by the tions against generally received and esta- vencrable Christian Patriot, and Philanblished errors. It is painful to those who thropist, Wyvill, ii. 464, to the character revere the memory of the latter, to find of Priestley by his successor at Leeds, the ibem praised as enlightened believers, hy late Mr. Wood, iii. 401, and to V. F's. a Wilberforce or a More, in the same interesting sketch of that part of his life, work where they censure Unitarians as, in which he was connected with the Waraceording to Baxter, scarce Christians. rington Academy, viii. 226--231. R.
31 These Discourses have been largely * He was formerly Fellow of Trinity circulated among the tracts of the Unita- College, Cambridge, and took the degree rian Society. For a complete enumeration of B. A. 1737, and M. A. 1747. After of Priestley's works we must refer to a having retired some years from his school, Catalogue annexed to his Mem. Vol. ii.- he died at Bury, Nov. 8th, 1798, aged Their number (108) and their variety serve 82. His widow survived him little more to shew how constantly the author bore in than twelve months, dying at Bury, Dec. mind the sentiment which he adopted from 6th, 1799, aged 79. They were buried in Hippocrates, as a motto to his seal, Ars the chancel of the parish church of Nowton.
year was elected scholar. In 1774, rate letter, to the writer of this short he was admitted to his degree of memoir." I shall never again (said B. A. which he obtained with credit he) be able to read through an octavo to his College and himself, and was volume; and I have several times the elected Fellow in 1775, and proceed- last winter seriously thought my ed M. A. in 1777. In 1799, he was death was not far distant. Perhaps, elected college-preacher, and, in No. if the ensuing summer be a favouravember, 1797, was advanced into the ble one, 1 may rally a little; if not, Seniority. He was ordained deacon, } shall despair, and expect to depart, March 3d, 1776, in Park-street Cha- without either feeling or occasioning pel, Westminster, by Dr Philip a prodigious quantity of regret.” For Young, then Bishop of Norwich ; some short time he had complained and afterwards entered on the cura- of an asthma, and on the Saturday cies of Nowton and Great Welna- preceding his death, was attacktham, in the neighbourhood of Bu- ed with an inflammation on the ry. On June 15th, 1777, he was lungs and breast. He continued till ordained priest in Trinity College the morning of the following ThureChapel, by Dr. Hinchliffe, then day, June 24th, 1802, when he deBishop of Peterborough and Master parted this life, in the 50th year of of the College. But in the course of his age, and was buried in the chanhis studying the scriptures, he was cel of Nowton Church, on Tuesday led to distinguish between the re- the 29th, with all the privacy conpealed word of God, and the accu- sistent with customary decency, mulated and heterogeneous doctrines which he enjoined his executors to and commandments of men. He se- observe. riously considered and weighed the Mr. Garnham was well qualified, respect which was severally due to from his store of general learning, divine and human authority; and the and from his excellent judgment, to unqualified assent which every offi- bave shone in the most distinguished cial repetition of the public service society; but his natural temper disof the church not only implied, but posed him to retirement from the bywas understood to express. It was sy hum of men. He was, therefore, not, however, till after the coolest generally reserved in mixed and nudeliberation, and most entire con- merous companies ; but he greatly viction, that he determined never to enjoyed the social intercourse of rarepeat his subscription to the thirty- tional and liberal minds. With his nine articles for any preferment which select and confidential friends, he was he might become entitled to from the unrestrained in his communications; college patronage, or which might nor was he less confidential in any be offered to him from any other trust reposed in him, than he was quarter. Agreeably to and consis- devoted to support every profession tently with this state of mind, he re- of friendship. His attainments, taste, signed, at Midsummer, 1789, the and success in biblical criticism, and curacies in which he was then en generally in classical literature, as gaged, and resolved thenceforward also his acumen in theological conto decline officiating in the ministry. troversy, may be satisfactorily ascerMr. Garnham's health was never ro- tained by a reference to his writingi. bust, and during the last five or six These were, indeed, anonymous ; years of his life he suffered much but the means of access to them will from sickness, which prevented his be made easy by the subjoined caresiding at Cambridge, after the death talogue: and, if an ardour for truth, of his father, in 1798, and indisposed acuteness of discernment, soundness and disqualified him from pursuing of judgment, and clearness of reason. his former application to his studies. ing-iffreedom of inquiry,conducted His indisposition and infirmities con- with a happy mixture of wit and tinued to increase, and, in the sum- argument, where the subject or ocmer of 1801, he evidently appeared casion admitted, can recommend to be much broken. He was long theological literature, his writings sensible of his generally declining will be read and respected wherever health ; and so lately as the 4th of they are known. His private corres. May, a few weeks before his death, pondence was peculiarly marked by he expressed this sentiment, in a pri- accurate observations on the signs of