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thence we proceeded, July 16th, | dle of January, 1804, his comto the Texel, in the very en- plaint grew more serious ; yet trance of which we were exam- by judicious medical treatment, ined by an English Cruiser. I and strict attention to diet, he, committed myself to Him, who after some time, seemed, if not never failed to be a refuge for gaining strength, at least not getme in the day of trouble, and ting worse ; and his friends fondhe delivered us ; for though the ly hoped that his health would captain of the vessel examined continue to improve as the seaour papers, which certainly pro- son advanced. He, however, conved us the fairest prize imagina- sidered his life as very precarible, he suffered us to proceed. ous. Even at this time, besides We knew not how to account his miscellaneoủs reading, which for his generosity, as every fish- was at all times very extensive, ing boat was taken by the Brit- he read through all the works ish : however, we were thankful quoted in his “ Comparison of to the Lord who had brought us the different Systems of the Gres safely to the place of our desti- cian Philosophers with Christination, we being the only ship of | anity;" composed that work, and all those which left the Cape | transcribed the whole of it, in with us, that reached the Mother less than three months ; so that Country.
he has left it ready for the press. During this period he composed, in one clay, his Second Re
ply to Dr. Linn. Death of Dr. Priestly. f “ In the last fortnight of Jan
uary, his fits of indigestion beThe following account of the came more alarming, his legs death of this well known char-swelled and his weakness increasacter, has been inserted in the ed. Within two days of his Philadelphia Gazette. I death, he became so weak that
he could walk but a little way, « CINCE his illness at Phila- I and that with great difficulty :
delphia, in the year 1801, for some time he found himself Dr. Priestly never regained his unable to speak ; but, on recovformer state of health. His com- | ering a little, he told his friends plaint was constant indigestion, that he had never felt more pleaand a difficulty of swallowing santly during his whole life-time, food of any kind. But during than during the time he was unthis period of general debility, he able to speak. He was fully was busily employed in printing sensible that he had not long to his Church History, and the first live, yet talked with cheerfulness volume of his notes on the scrip- to all who called on him. In the tures, and in making new and course of the day, he expressed original experiments. During his thankfulness at being perthis period, likewise, he wrote mitted to die quietly in his famhis pamphlet of Jesus and Soc. ily without pain, and with every rates compared, and reprinted convenience and comfort that he his Essay on Phlogiston.
could wish for. He dwelt upon “ From about the beginning the peculiarly happy situation of November, 1803, to the mid-1 in which it had pleased the Di
vine Being to place him in life, f the grave, and we shall meet aand the great advantage he had | gain.” enjoyed in the acquaintance and « On Monday morning, the friendship of some of the best 9th of February, on being asked and wisest of men of the age in how he did, he answered in a which he lived, and the satisfac-| faint voice, that he had no pain, tion he derived from having led but appeared fainting away gradan useful as well as happy life. ually. About eight o'clock he He this day gave directions a- desired to have three pamphlets bout printing the remainder of which had been looked out by his notes on the Scriptures (a his directions the evening bework, in the completion of which fore. He then dictated as clearhe was much interested, and ly and distinctly as he had ever looked over the first sheet of the done in his life, the additions third volume, after it was cor- and alterations which he wished rected by those who were to at- to have done in each. Mtend to its completion, and ex-took down the substance of what pressed his satisfaction at the he said, which was read to him. manner of its being executed. He observed, “Sir, you have
« On Sunday the 5th he was put in your own language ; I much weaker, but sat up in an wish it to be mine." He then arm chair for a few minutes. He repeated over again, nearly word desired that John, ch. xi. might for word, what he had before be read to him ; he stopped the said, and when it was transcribreader at the forty-fifth verse, ed, and read over to him, he said, dwelt for some time on the ad-1" That is right ; I have now vantage he had derived from done." reading the scriptures daily, and “ About half an hour after he recommended this practice. desired that he might be remov“ We shall all (said he) meeted to a cot. About ten minutes finally; we only require differ- after he was removed to it, he ent degrees of discipline suited died ; but breathed his last so to our different tempers, to pre- easily that those who were sitpare us for final happiness.”- ting close to him did not immeMr. coming into his room, diately perceive it. He had put he said, “ You see, Sir, I am his hand to his face, which prestill living." Mr. observed, vented them from observing it. " that he would always live.-1 « He was born March 24, « Yes, I believe I shall ; we shall | 1733. meet again in another and a better world.” He said this with The following remarks on the pregreat animation, laying hold of ceding account of Dr. Priestly, Mr. 's hand in both his own. are extracted from the ChrisAfter evening prayers, when his tian Observer. grand-children were brought to Such is the account inserted, his bed-side, he spake to them as it should seem, by the Doctor's separately, and exhorted them to friends, of his las moments. It continue to love each other, &c. evinces great composure and “ I am going (added he) to sleep tranquillity, a vigor of mind and as well as you ; for death is on- | industry unabated by disease, ly a good long sound sleep in, and a confidence in the truth of the religious principles he pro- tion with pleasure. It is remark." fessed. We think it our duty, | able, that the scripture no where however, to caution the younger | lays any stress upon the feel-part of our readers against con- ings which distinguish the hour founding the soundness of prin- of death, or holds up any remarciples with the sincerity with kable example of a death-bed which they are believed, or con- scene, as a model for imitation, sidering the composure which or a proof of true religion. In any principles inspire as a proof fact, its great aim is to direct of their truth. Too much stress the attention to a proof far less has, we apprehend, been laid by equivocal than feelings dependail parties on the firmness with ent upon circumstances; the which their respective adherents tenor of a holy life spent in conhave met their last hour. Com-formity to the word of God. An posure in that awful moment erroneous idea is also frequentmay arise from various and even ly entertained concerning the opposite causes. Natural forti- true nature of a Christian detude, a habit of great submission parture. Mere tranquillity, nay, to what is inevitable, a morbid | abounding hope and triumphant insensibility, a regard to deco- | assurance, form, of themselves,
rum, and even to posthumous no just and clear indication of · character, will produce it. Still the right state of the sou). A
more frequently will it originate different standard of excellence, in ignorance of the guilt of sin, or proof of the reality of reliand of the purity of the divine gion, must not be assumed for nature, in habitual insensibility the hour of death from that of conscience, or in a self-right- which was justly laid down for eous confidence. In a word, let the vigor of health. In both seaa high idea of the mercy of God, sons it is not the excellence of without regard to his justice, be one grace or virtue, which stamps combined with a low standard the character, but rather the posof morals, and the result, in al- session of all, the uniform and most every case, will be an ex-complete conformity of the tememption from uneasiness res- 1 pers and conduct to the delinepecting a future state. Hence ation of them exhibited in the we may account for the similar scripture. Upon a death-bed, indifference which persons of therefore, no peculiar or new very different religious systems have exhibited at the prospect blackest vice, says, in that very work of death. The soldier braves its which contains a confession of his approach, the savage exults in crimes, that no man can come to the its tortures, the enthusiast greets
throne of God, and say, I am a better it with rapture. Hume was spor
I man than Rousseau, And just before
he expired, he observed to his mistive in his last hours, and Rous
| tress, “ Ah ! my dear, how happy a seau* contemplated his dissolu- thing it is to die when one has no
reason for remorse or self-reproach !" . * Rousseau, the hardened villany | Then addressing himself to the Al.. of whose life is almost without par- mighty, he said, “ Eternal Being ! allel in modern times, and who seems the soul that I am going to give thee to have assumed the mask of virtue | back, is a's pure, at this moment, as for no other purpose, than that of pro. it was when it proceeded from thee ; pagaring, with more success, the I render it partaker of thy felicity."
graces are called into action; but, and best of men. It would have the solemnity of the circum-given us pleasure also to have stances, and the greatness of the heard the promises of the gos-, occasion, will heighten and ex- pel urged to cheer the fainting alt them all. Not only should spirits, to confirm the doubting faith be more lively than usual, mind, and to encourage the wellor hope be elevated to assurance, founded expectations of penibut repentance ought to be deep- tence and faith. Above all, we er, humility more profound, looked with earnest desire (and charity more fervent and exten, we deeply regret our disappointsive, resignation more perfect, ment) to have seen the mention love to God of a purer kind, and of that adorable name, which, obedience to his will more con- unto all who believe, is precious spicuous. Judging by this rule, we confess that we are not en tirely satisfied with the frame of
require his present thoughts ; to which
he replied, " That he was meditating mind the Doctor appeared to the number and nature of angels, and possess as far as we can judge of their blessed obedience and order, without it from the narrative of his which peace could not be in beaven ; and, friends. We could wish to have oh ! that it might be so on earth.' After heard the language of humilia
which words, he said, : I have lived
to see this world is made up of perturtion, and should have been glad
bations, and I have been long preparing to perceive the traces of a rever: to leave it, and giatbering comfort for the ential awe at the prospect of ap: dreadful bour of making my account with pearing before the judge of the God, which I now apprebend to be near : earth. Such just and suitable
and though I have by, his grace, loved feelings have marked, and we
bim in my youth, and feared him in
mine age, 'and labored to have a conmay truly add, adorned the clos
science void of offence to him and to all ing scene of some of the wisest* | men ; yet if thou, O Lord, be extremne
to mark what I have done amiss who * The dying expressions of Hook-can abide it; and, therefore, where I er occurring to us while we were wri- bave failed, Lord, shew mercy to me, ting this paragraph, we insert them for I plead' not my righteousness but the in this note, not as exhibiting the best forgiveness of my unrighteousness, for his illustration which might be found of merits who died to purchase a pardon for the last moments of an excellent man, penitent sinners : and since I owe thee a but as sufficiently expressing that deatb, Lord let it not be terrible, and general assemblage of Christian dis- then take thine own time. I submit to positions on which we have insisted. it. Let not mine, O Lord, but let thy
« After receiving the blessed sạc- will be done.' With which expression rament of the body and blood of our he fell into a dangerous slumber, danLord, his friend Dr. Saravia, who at. | gerous as to his recovery ; yet recovtended him, thought he saw a vever- | er he did, but it was to speak only end gaiety and joy in his face ; but it these few words-" Good Doctor, God lasted not long, for his bodily infirm- | bath beard my daily petitions, for I am itics did return suddenly, and became at peace with all men, and he is at peace more visible, insomuch that the Doc- with me, and from which blessed assurtor apprehended death ready to seize ance I feel that inward joy which this him. Yet after some amendment, world can neither give nor take from me.' he left him at night with a promise More he would have spoken, but his to return early the day following, spirits failed him ; and after a short which he did, and then found him conflict betwixt nature and death, a better in appearance, deep in contem- quiet sigh put a period to his last plation, and not inclinable to discourse, breath, and so he fell asleep."—Walwhich gave the Doctor occasion to l ton's Life of Hooker.
above every name that is named those holy volumes much diminin heaven or in earth. It could ished, by reflecting on the un. not, indeed, have been introdu- warrantable liberties he was acced, according to the Doctor's customed to take with them, on system, as the foundation of hope, his rejection of the authority of but it might, one would conceive, an evangelist, on his denial of according to any system which the conclusiveness of the argue professes to be built upon the ments of an apostle, on the ingescriptures, have been mentioned nuity exercised to explain away with that affection, veneration, the obvious, sense, or the bold, and gratitude with which the in ness with which he refused to spired writers, as well as good submit to the plain declarations men in every age, have uniform of scripture. The mere study ly spoken of it.
of scripture is of little moment As a substitute for that an- compared with the humility with cient foundation of hope, faith in which its dictates are received, the atonement of the Son of God, and the ready submission of the the Doctor rests upon the ex-mind to its authority. pectation of universal salvation. Indeed we conceive, that the This is well calculated, we ac- | leading defect in the Doctor's knowledge, to allay apprehen- mind, from the first, was a want sion. Indeed, there cannot be of humility. He formed his sysmuch ground for alarm, when | tem from his own reasoning, it is believed that there is no and then endeavored to accom. worm which dieth not, and no modate the scripture to it, infire that is not quenched. It is stead of humbly receiving his very consoling to look upon God creed from scripture and casting as only preparing all his crea- down every imagination of his tures for final happiness, by dif- mind which opposed it. This ferent degrees of discipline suit- was his fundamental error, and ed to their different tempers. it naturally led him to cherish a The encouragement this idea spirit of rash innovation, inconholds out is of a very gen- sistent with cool deliberation or eral and extensive kind ; for it sound judgment. Yielding himaffords hope alike to all, and self to the influence of this spirit, nearly annihilates all distinction he trampled with disdain upon of character. But our readers the bounds which the wisdom will, probably, agree with us that and piety of former ages had it is a ground of hope never men- | fixed. tioned by the inspired writers ; That the Doctor was sincere that the great founder of our re- in the principles he held we ligion evidently directed the doubt not, and that his princi. weight of his influence to estab- ples were calculated to free his lish a contrary belief, and that mind from alarming apprehenwhoever rests upon it, must de- sions, and produce tranquillity at ny or explain away the obvious the hour of death, we readily declarations of scripture. We allow. But God forbid we are told, indeed, that the Doctor should consider this as any evi. diligently perused the sacred dence of their truth. By their writings ; but we feel our confi- conformity to scripture, and by dence in this mark of regard for I the fruits they produce, they