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tion originated mainly in religious ment of politics and he will see principle; and that nothing except the people, who, till now, bad rankreligion can work any great revolu- ed with the beasts around them, tion in the minds of men ;-but raised, wherever pure Protestantism they seem disposed to deny any prevails, to the rank of immortal such extensive benefits, as its ad- creatures; of creatures who can vocates pretend, to have resulted judge, and have a right to judge, from Protestantism. Few works of their rights and of their interests. could be more interesting than one Let him survey them not as once which should trace the Reforma- enlisted under the secret banner of tion into all its consequences. We a foreign potentate to thwart the shall not, however, attempt to con- designs of their lawful suvereign, dense that into a few obscure or as exposed to the combined crupages which would easily occupy elty and extortion of both their several volumes. At the same time, own monarch and the pope—but as we cannot forbear to warn our confederated with their sovereign readers against that limited view for their common interest, and for of the benefits of this great revo- the national good. Let the exalution which many modern writers miner remember, moreover, that are pleased to take of it. Let these political benefits have not them first, for instance, survey its been confined to a change of prininfluence upon religion—in ridding ciples, but to a change of political us of idolatry, of Ave Marias, of circumstances, in the nations of masses, of auricular confession, of Europe, inferior in importance holy water, of saints and saintesses, only to the former change. It was of racks, and screws, and faggots, the Reformation, for instance, that and Jesuits, and inquisitions, and reduced the enormous power of works of supererogation, and pen- Austria, and created, and to a cerances, and flagellations, and works tain extent perpetuated,' a balance which justify us, and angels who of power amongst the various pray for us—and in presenting us, kingdoms of Europe. Since that instead of these, with a simple period also, through every Proritual, with the doctrine of justifi- testant nation, sound principles of dation by faith alone, and with the legislation, of commerce, of governfountain of all true doctrine, the ment, have begun rapidly to diffuse library of Heaven, the grand de- themselves; and a guarantee is obpository of truth and wisdom, tained, under the blessing of God, mercy and boliness, the charter of for the future happiness of the world, our hopes and joys, the Book by the wider extension of those prinwhich the Lamb died to unseal, ciples on which its happiness dethe very mind of God himself, the pends. Let our examiner, after this, pure, the unsopbisticated, the unr- trace the effects of the Reformation commented word of God-and, in on knowledge. Let him listen at one it, with all that teaches the igno- period, to the faculty of theology rant, cheers the miserable, strength- at Paris, declaring " that religion ens the weak, and saves the guilty. was undone if the study of Greek
Let the examiner next survey and Latin were permitted;" to Conthe regions of philosophy, and be. rad of Heresbach recording the hold the Reformation carrying to declaration of a monk, “ that the their funeral pile all the musty, new language, called “Greek,' is foggy, immeasurable, innumerable the mother of all heresy—and that folios of the schools, and substi- all who learn Hebrew instantly tuting for them Bacon, and Locke, become Jews"--and contrast with and their distinguished disciples. this the many splendid gifts laid on Let him
next measure the influence the altars of literature by our Engof the Reformation in the depart- lish divines. Let him contrast with
Galileo in prison, our Newton and Vatican, may be found among ourBarrow, and Cotes, and Maclaurin, selves to dig up from its grave and and Kepler, and Haller, and Mil- restore to its lost honours a single
Let him call to mind that papistical error--and that, if such even the Jesuits, in their splendid should be found, there never may edition of Newton, dared not assert be wanting Luthers and Methe truth of propositions, the truth Jancthons, to huddle these ghosts of wbich they themselves had un. of Popery into their graves again, answerably demonstrated, because to exalt the standard of the Re. the Pope denied them, and could formation, which is the banner of only maintain that such would be the Cross; and to perpetuate, hy the demonstrations if the Pope their courage, and faith, and love, could possibly be mistaken ; and and zeal, those principles for which compare with this the tolerant, our ancestors burnt on the funeral generous, and most free spirit of pile, or bled under the axe of the Protestantism, the full and glorious executioner. To all this what true immunities enjoyed by the meanest Protestant will not say~Amen ? subject in the empire of science. Let him consider the almost uni- An Essay on the Existence of a versal proscription of the best books Supreme Creator, possessed of by papal interdicts—bat Leo X. infinite Power, Wisdoon, and for example, prohibited all books Goodness, containing also the translated from the Greek, Hebrew, Refutation, from Reason and or Arabic, whilst he threatened Revelation of the Objections any one who should impugn the urged against his Wisdom and blasphemous poems of Ariosto ; Goodness, and deducing from that even within a short time, and the whole Subject the most impossibly up to the present inoment, portant practical Inferences. By Robertson's Charles the Fifth,'
LAURENCE BROWN, and “ Smith's Wealth of Nations," D. D. Principal of Marischal bave been interdicted in Spain College and University of Aberand contrast with this the freedom deen, &c. &c. 2 vols. 8vo. Aberof the press in our own country,
deen : Chalmers and Co. Lon. Tbese, and to these a thousand don: Hamilton. 1816. pp. iv. such instances might be added, xvii. 342 and 383. may serve to convince a candid in- A Treatise on the Records of the quirer that it is difficult to exceed Creation, and on the Moral Atthe proper limits in displaying the tributes of the Creator, with benefits of the Reformation.
particular Reference to the JewBut we feel ourselves compelled ish History, and to the Consisto stop, and will only venture to tency of the Principle of Popustate, in addition, our anxious hope lation with the Wisdom and and prayer, that the Reformation Goodness of the Deity. By John may not exist in name only among BIRD SUMNER, M. A. 2 vols. ourselves-that the great master 8vo. London: Hatchard. 1816. principles of this mighty revolution pp. xxvi. 326 and 392, may be steadily kept in view-that THERE are two opposite errors, whilst we regard the Papists them- into wbich the world is prone to selves with the eye of tolerance fall, in regard to the evidences of and charity, we may preserve the religion. Some persons are apt most unabated detestation of many to rest upon them, as though they of their tenets--that the spirit of constituted the religion, which they religion may more and more ani- only prove ; while others, who know mate and vivify our otherwise dead more of religion, who have been and useless forms—that no vagrant educated in its principles and feel Papist, no hooded nuncio from the its practical importance, are liable to undervalúe the evidences of an account. The proposal of a those truths which form the basis prize for such undertakings would of their dependence and hope. Yet seem to be particularly judicious ; no reflecting person can doubt the because few persons, and especially infinite value of settling clearly the few of those who are most comevidences on which his faith and petent to the task, would naturally his hope are founded. It was the be led to such a work without a confession of the pious and excel- stimulus. Men's minds are more lent Baxter, at the close of a long naturally occupied with those parts life, devoted sincerely and zealous- of a subject on which opinion is ly to the service of God, that, while not settled, than with those on he had never felt much inclination which their judgment has been to those sensual enjoyments which formed. In proportion, therefore, are the snare of thousands, he had as men have penetrated deeper sometimes been tempted to a total into the heart of Christianity, they relinquishment of his faith, and to are less concerned with its evi. utter apostacy: and this he attri- dences, and seem to be withdrawn buted to a deficiency of funda. from the consideration of them in mental instruction in the plain the same degree in which they evidences of Christianity. The ne- are competent to discuss them. cessity for such instruction seems Happy it is indeed, when a man, to bave been overlooked in his re- wbo, like Dr. Watts, has acquainted ligious education; and the danger, himself with every part of the to which so eminent a servant of Gospel, directs bis talents to the our common Master was exposed assistance of tender youth in its in consequence of that omission, first essays on the same journey. though happily he was preserved But the number of such men is so from its effects, ought to be a warn- scanty, that we rejoice to see any ing to all parents and guardians to means adopted which promise to lay the foundations of religion deep augment it, but more especially in the hearts of the rising genera- when two such productions as those tion, and to secure them well, lest now before us are the result. the whole building should here- These valuable publications were after form a universal wreck written in consequence of the will through the intemperate baste of of Mr. Burnett, who left a sum of the builders.
money in the hands of trustees for the Nor is it to be doubted, that purpose of instituting two prizes ; other highly important advantages the one of twelve hundred pounds, arise from a frequent study of the the other of four hundred ; for the evidences of Christianity, provided best essays on the evidences of a we do not rest there. It is im- Deity, and the refutation of objecpossible to have the mind intently tions to his wisdom and goodnessengaged in that occupation without as often as the funds, bequeathed enlarging its view of the wonders for that purpose, should accumulate of creation and the beneficence of to a sufficient amount for the paythe Creator; wbich must necessa- ment of the sums required. rily be productive of some degree As a Memoir of that extraorof awe and love, and tend to che- dinary and benevolent character rish those right affections in the is prefixed to one of these publiheart which the business and bus. cations, we hasten, in the first intle of the world, even of the reli- stance, to give our readers an ingious world, are too apt to exclude sight into it; and in doing this we or impair.
shall avail ourselves of the sensible For these reasons, we gladly hail and interesting language of Dr. the appearance of the two works Brown. of which we intend now to give 66 John Burnett, of Dens, Esq. was born in Aberdeen, in the year 1729. The tained, in more advanced years, certain month and day of his birth have not doubts and scruples ; nor could he fully been ascertained. His father was an assent to the public standards of any eminent merchant of that city, and gave particular communion. For this reason, his son a liberal education, in the place during many years before his death, he of his nativity. In the year 1750, the ceased to attend public worship, beson entered into business, on his own cause he supposed that such attendance account, without any other fortune but implied an unqualified and complete that which, though a young man, he assent to every tenet which was proseems to have possessed in a distinguish- fessed by the religious community in ed degree-the esteem, confidence, and whose worship he joined ; and he could support of friends. For about that time never bear the idea of assaming the his father had failed in his circum- appearance of a profession, the reality of stances; not from any imprudence or which was not sanctioned by his undermisconduct on his part, but from a standing and his heart. In this notion, sudden, unusual, and, to him, most un- he seems to have resembled Milton, who fortunate decline in the prices of the abstained from public worship on acarticles of merchandise in which he count of his conceptions of Christianity, dealt, while he himself was obliged, by which he found realized in no Christian contract, for a number of years, to pur-community or church existing in his days. .chase these articles from others at fixed Perhaps pure, primitive, vital Christianand higher rates.
ity is to be found only in the sacred “ This circumstance principally arose Scriptures; and no small degree of pufrom the war in which this country had rification must probably take place, bebeen engaged. It is, hence, evident fore its genuine form, with all its celesthat, if war produces, to some,temporary tial features, can be restored to this advantages, it is, at last, productive of earth. equal evils, even to that class who have " Although this circumstance does profited by it. Let our own times pro- infinite credit to Mr. Burnett's integrity, claim this awful truth. It is just, it is bis understanding seems, on this point, to salutary, that this should be the case, in have been misinformed. He appears order to impress, even on those whose not, at this period of his life, to have object is gain, a detestation of war, reflected on the general obligation, restone of the greatest scourges of huma- ing upon all men, to worship their Creanity.
tor, both in public and in private, nor to 16 The business of the younger Bur- have rightly distinguished between the nett was that of a general merchant; fundamental articles of Christianity, and but he was chiefly engaged in fisheries those points which are of subordinate imand manufactures. În the former of porlance." pp. x-xiv. these, his father had also been much 6. While he entertained this erroneous concerned, and from this circumstance opinion, which was certainly, on his his misfortunes chiefly arose.
part, most sincere, he seems to have profited by the experience which he fallen into one of those inconsistencies had acquired from his father's case. His incident to the human character, even success in business was certainly con- in its most amiable forms. He would siderable, but exceeded not those ex. not allow his servants to be absent from pectations which might have been pa- church on any occasion, although he turally entertained, when his applicaó interfered not with their general adtion, prudence, and caution, in the con- herence to any religious profession. duct of his affairs, were considered. Now, while he himself abstained from
“ His parents were of the episcopal attendance on public worship, because communion, in which it is most probable he could not assent to all the tenets of that he was educated, as far as related any church or sect whatever, it seems to his religious instruction. In his not to have occurred to him that any younger days, it is certain that he at. of his servants might, on the ground of tended Divine worship in St. Paul's conscientious scruples, have urged the Chapel, of Aberdeen, which is connect- same plea for his nonattendance. The ed with the Church of England, and celebrated Mr. Howard was a strict whose clergymen are in the orders of Predestinarian. He had been threatenthat church. On some religious points, ed with the Bastille, if he ever ventured however, as commonly professed by again to pass through France. He had most Christian communities, he enter. resolved, for a certain object, which he
judged to be of the first importance, to rity which his father had experienced traverse the whole extent of that coun- was brought to his recollection ; bis retry. When I strongly urged on him ply uniformly was— With the conduct the danger to which he exposed himself, of others I have nothing to do. It is my he asserted his firm belief in Predestina- duty to regulate my own by the rules tion, as a ground for his proceeding. He of equity, as they appear to me.'” pp. said, however, that he would not
xxi. xxii. his servant to the same danger; sent him “ His affection for his relatives was round by Italy; and, as he himself was also warm and constant. His humanity resolved to go to Toulon, ordered him to was expansive and vigorous, and parmeet his master at Nice. The servant ticularly interested in the wants of the was just as much secured by Predes. poor. During many years, he approtination as his master ; yet Mr. Howard priated one or two hours, every day, to would not venture to apply the doctrine the hearing of their cases, and to their to the poor fellow. The master, never- relief. In this manner, he applied more theless, escaped all danger, accomplish- than 3001. yearly. ed the object of his journey, and after- “. On the return of his brother, James, wards related to me the wonderful from India, about the year 1773, they particulars of his perilous adventure. resolved to discharge their father's debts, Such are the inconsistencies to which each of them paying one half. The only the most vigorous and noblest minds are exceptions which they made were in sometimes liable.
the case of one or two creditors, who " Mr. Burnett called his servants to- bad been, in the first instance, chiefly gether, regularly, every Sunday evening, instrumental in ruining their father's and read prayers to them. Although, credit, and then, after his failure was on some points, he had peculiar doubts, accomplished, treated him with the he was far from being a skeptic, in regard greatest harshness and severity. This to the grand doctrines of the Christian re- important fact, so honourable both to ligion. By diligent reading, accurate the subject of this memoir and to his examination, and serious reflection, he brother, proves that strict integrity and endeavoured to acquire that informa- honour were inherent in the family. As tion which he deemed to be of the high- family likenesses are exbibited in the est importance to his present comfort, countenance, so we often find them in and to his eternal happiness. Nor were the moral and intellectual character. his pains unsuccessful. Some time be- Those two brothers thus paid, on their fore his death, he had obtained clearer father's account, about 70001. or 80001. and more satisfactory views of those This sum, which, compared with modern doctrines, in regard to which he had failures, may appear insignificant, was, experienced the greatest difficulties. when the failure of Mr. Burnett, senior, If his life had been prolonged, he would happened, and even at the time his in all probability, have again joined in debts were paid by his conscientious public worship. He was remarkable sons, considered as of no trivial mage for his scrupulous observance of the nitude. Lord's day." pp. xviii--xxi.
“ The younger Burnett was never “ Punctuality and integrity, in all his married, and, at the age of 55 years, died dealings, were prominent features of on the 9th of November, 1784. his character. He was, indeed, consi- “ He possessed a small landed estate, dered as difficult and hard in making lying in Buchan, in Aberdeenshire, and bargains. When, however, they produ- situated about 25 miles northward of ced greater advantage than he expected, Aberdeen, which he inherited from his or than he deemed to be fair and just mother. In this property, he was sucprofit, he returned to his correspond- ceeded by a brother, a clergyman in the ents, as a gratuity, the surplusage of his Church of England, who died without honest computation.
In this manner,
issue. It devolved to a nephew, son of during the course of his mercantile ca- another brother of Mr. Burnett, who reer, some thousand pounds were re- now possesses it. With the exception stored. When the question was put to of this property, and of moderate legahim, if he thought that his correspond- cies and annuities to various relatives, ents would have treated him in the the residue of his fortune was appointsame manner, had the bargain been ed by him to be applied to charitable equally unfavourable as it had been
purposes. favourable to him; and when the seve. " Since his death, these charitable