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has endeavoured to prove, on the testimony of a manuscript note of Huygens, but tressed by various collateral facts, that Sir Isaac Newton became deranged in mind in consequence of the destruction of his manuscripts by his dog Diamond; and that he never recovered his mental powers sufficiently to produce any great work after this epoch, though he was only fortyfive years old at the time. M. de la Place exultingly adds, that this accounts for the author of the Principia turning his thoughts to theology, and writing on prophecy and biblical criticism, which Voltaire sneeringly urged as a proof that the most exalted mind is not always free from superstitious credulity. Till the publication of M. Biot's memoir, these alleged facts were wholly unknown in England or elsewhere, either from writing or tradition; but they have been lately extensively circulated under high auspices in this country, in the Life of Newton by" the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge;" who, to their disgrace be it spoken, have not only adopted M. Biot's statement, but also the infidel sneers grounded upon it. Most happy, therefore, are we in being able to inform our readers, that Dr. Brewster, in his Life of Newton, just published in Murray's Family Library, has collected a number of interesting facts, bearing upon the point, from which, though it certainly appears that Newton laboured under a temporary nervous irritability, caused by fever and want of rest, yet that it was only temporary; that his exertions, mathematical, theological, and critical, bear powerful testimony to his vigorous powers of mind at the very period of his alleged incompetency; and that all his theological publications were composed in the vigour of life before the illness which is said to have affected his reason. We may take an opportunity of detailing the facts more fully, as well as some other interesting particulars in Dr. Brewster's valuable narrative; but in the mean time our readers may procure the book for themselves. It does great honour both to Dr. Brewster and Mr. Murray's popular series; and particularly for the praise-worthy anxiety with which the deeply scientific writer rebuts the insinuations of sceptics against Christianity.
It is consoling to us that the publications which are so much displeased at us are obliged to find fault-not with what we have said, but with what we have not said. This we shewed last month, of the Record newspaper. We had remarked that intemperate language on the part of those who profess to be anxious for the cause of God is injurious to religion; this the Record found it convenient to turn into the extraordinary proposition that we were afraid of the fair fame of the Christian Observer with Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Wellesley, and his Majesty's
Ministers. And thus the Morning Watch, published this month, which highly eulogizes the Record for its line of politics, and its attacks upon the Bible Society and the Christian Observer, finds it necessary to resort to palpable fabrications, in order to lay something to our charge. If the new sect who are striving to subvert our religious societies, and whose bitterest object of vituperation (we quote their own words in the Dialogues on Prophecy) is "the Evangelicals, through whom, the English being a phlegmatic people, the devil has introduced infidelity under the mask of sanctimoniousness," "the men who talk about Christian experience, humility, piety, and brotherly love," "the men who cant about Bibles, tracts, and missions;" if the new sect who thus write, could have discovered solid ground for their displeasure against the Christian Observer, they needed not to have resorted to the fabrications in the Morning Watch, the absurdity of which is their best answer. The Morning Watch says, that "the Evangelical clergymen who have been for many years the principal writers in the Christian Observer have become deeply imbued with.....modified infidelity;" they are "willing to keep the peculiarities and the essentials of Christianity out of sight," in order “to procure prebendaries [prebends], archdeaconries, and chancellorships;" a charge not only wholly unfounded, for God is our witness, that knowingly we have never kept "the peculiarities and essentials" of Christianity out of sight; but most unkind and ungrateful, since whatever faults the Christian Observer may have, its friends have certainly never consulted timeserving doctrines, or sought favour either from cabinets, Whig or Tory, or from benches of bishops, or from" the religious world." We had counted the cost, and were willing, God being our helper, to bear the penalty of the doctrines we have ever advocated; but we little thought, and have as little found, that the course we have taken was the way to favour with Episcopal benches, cabinet ministers, or "the religious world," all of whom we thought we had in turn displeased by the sentiments which we have honestly avowed on not a few questions. As little truth is there in the surmise of our wishing to raise Papists, or any one Papist, to " posts of honour and authority." If a law were proposed that all persons connected with the Morning Watch should pay taxes and be subject to the laws like others, but be excluded from civil privileges, we should think such a law unjust; but does it follow that we have any wish to see these writers occupying " posts of honour and authority?" We assure them that we have not. Nor have we wished, as they assert, to "delude our readers into the belief;" that "religion will be promoted" by giving "increased power
to the rabble ;" so far from it, we have expressed our belief on the Reform Bill, that it may be a desirable measure, so far as religion is concerned, expressly because it takes away power from such a pot-walloping "rabble" as sent Mr. Hunt to Parliament to oppose it; and, also, prevents boroughs being bartered, as hitherto, for bishopricks and votes for livings; and adds to the influence of the great mass of moral, religious, loyal,substantial, and well-informed householders; thus taking both church and state equally out of the hands of a corrupt "rabble," and an interested oligarchy, and placing them under the protecting auspices of the vast bulk of the property, the intelligence, and the religion of the country. The Christian Observer only echoed the Record itself, which says, "It is a fact upon which our readers may depend, that some of the most intelligent radicals in the country are in the last degree desirous that the Peers should throw out the Bill. Their idea is, that if passed, it will effectually prevent that more sweeping Reform to which their principles and longings impel them." Why did not the Morning Watch animadvert upon the Record?
But if one fabrication can be more unfounded than another, the most baseless of all the fabrications of the Morning Watch, is that "the Christian Observer has ever been the most active defender of that creature of Lord Brougham, the London University, and patron of a system of education from which God was professedly and explicitly rejected." By this one declaration, may the whole question of the moral honesty of the Morning Watch, and of the new sect who wish to bring into odium "the evangelicals who cant about Bibles, and tracts, and missions," be tried. Let them point out in the Christian Observer any one paragraph or sentence, in which we have defended either the London University, or a system of education from which God was rejected." We need not say to our own readers, that no such passage is to be found; that the whole charge is a fabrication, intended to bring the Christian Observer into disrepute with those who, knowing nothing of it, take the averments of the Record or the Morning Watch for facts. We can only conceive that the Morning Watch may have actually transferred what we said of King's College, to the London University. On the latter, (be its system good or bad,) they certainly will not find one line or syllable of panegyric in our pages. How, therefore, they can have ventured to state, without a tittle of evidence, that we are not only "defenders," but actually "the most active" of all the defenders of this University, we leave to their own consciences to settle. We have said thus much for once, in jusCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 357.
tice to ourselves; but having done so, we shall in future leave the Morning Watch and the Record to publish their inventions as they see fit; and if they shall add "O'Connell," "Wellesley," "the London University," and "the rabble,” Hunt, Taylor, and Carlile, we shall not be careful to answer them, however much we may deplore that writers professing to stand up in the cause of God and truth can resort to such weapons.
Before, however, we quit the Record, we shall just advert to one charge, because it is true; namely, that in describing the conduct of some of those who are opposing the Bible Society, we have used hard words hitherto unknown in the "exemplary decorum " of our pages; such as "expediency," "time-serving," "worldly policy "&c. But was
not the Record aware that we only borrowed them from its own columns, and the writings and speeches of the Morning Watch, and the Sackville-Street Committee, and ought in fact to have marked them as quotations with inverted commas ? Curiously enough does it happen, that some of these very terms are copied from Mr. Washington Phillips's own eulogized letter, inserted in the Record close to the extract from the Christian Observer; yet the editor of the Record discovered them in the one, and not in the other. The Christian Observer's argument was: You say that the friends of the Bible Society bend to "worldly policy," "expediency," and "time-serving," in not enforcing a test; but we reply, that it is you who thus act, professing the necessity for a test, but adopting one which practically does not exclude even the Socinian, and does not so much as profess to exclude the Neologian, the Idolater, the Antinomian, the drunkard, and other known heretics and gross offenders, and in not acting even upon your test when you have propounded it.
How is it that the Record, which is so much grieved that the Christian Observer should think these expressions may be applied to their inventors, was not displeased with the inventors themselves? Why allow hard words on your own side, and be wrathful when it is attempted to be shewn that they might be as fairly applied by the other. The Record mentions the names of several good men to whom the terms quoted by the Christian Observer cannot apply (nor did the Christian Observer apply them to them, but only to the principle they have adopted); but it forgets to how many thousands of wise and holy men, to how many servants of Christ departed in the Lord, these terms, and much stronger terms too-witness the charge of Satanic possession are applied by the Record and its friends. However, we were wrong to adopt such terms, even as quotations; and in future shall endeavour to leave them to those who supplied them and still continue to use 4 E
them. We have now done with the subject.
We are delighted at witnessing the rapid progress of Temperance Societies. Nothing but want of funds, and these, we trust, will be liberally supplied, prevents the central Society formed at Exeter Hall from branching out its important labours to all parts of the kingdom. We have not space at present to notice the numerous facts and publications which multiply around us, but we recommend the whole subject to the renewed consideration of our readers; and earnestly do we pray that the plague-a plague far more destructive to mankind than war or pestilence-may be stayed among us. What we said in our last Number of the use of wine was, not that it is un
lawful, used, like other blessings of Providence, in moderation; but that this moderation is much overstepped by many who are not by any means addicted to intemperance; and that the fair test of moderation is, not what the palate approves, or what raises false spirits, but what health requires, or at least what an intelligent physician would say is not ultimately detrimental to it. If the inquirer is really honest in his wish to learn what is right, and to practise it, let him have the courage to ask an honest medical practitioner, How many glasses of the highly alcoholized wines ordinarily used in this country ought I to drink daily, all the year round, for my health's sake? All beyond this, we scruple not to say, is intemperate.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
THE Reform Bill has passed the Commons by a large majority, and the public attention is anxiously directed to the reception which it may meet with from the House of Lords. We sincerely think, that on every ground it will be the wisdom of that illustrious assembly to receive it favourably. If the Sybil leaves are sent back, they are likely to return again, less in bulk, but stronger in meaning, and with fewer of those guards which render the present Bill any thing rather than a democratical-it may be, and is, an antioligarchical-measure. Most earnestly do we pray in this eventful moment, that it may please God in his infinite mercy to guide our rulers and give our senators wisdom, as shall be most for his glory and the best welfare of our long-favoured, but, alas! ungrateful, land.
This engrossing subject has prevented the discussion of many other important topics in Parliament. We unfeignedly rejoice that the Game Bill has passed the House of Commons; and if the Lords pass it in its integrity, it will be a most beneficial measure. We will give its details when it has gone through the Lords' Committee. Our existing Game Laws fill our prisons, demoralize our peasantry, and are a disgrace to the humanity and intelligence of the nation.-The Church Bills before adverted to are in progress; but we defer our notice of them till the discussions on them in the House of Commons. The Church-building Bill we have already spoken of: the bill for the restraint of pluralities will, we trust, do good, but it does not appear to us by any means adequate to the exigencies of the case. In the mean time, new pluralities are growing up. The churches, for example, under the Church-building Bill, if they have cure of souls, are tenable with other preferment having cure of souls. The axe is not yet laid to the root of the evil, nor will it be till a bill
passes, rendering it illegal to hold two benefices with cure of souls; only allowing dispensations, if necessary, in those particular cases which may be thought to require it; and this only for a time, till, by the augmentation of some small livings and the union of others, there shall not be a shadow of excuse for the continuance of the system.
Great complaints having been made by clergymen and others of evils resulting from the late Beer Bill, Government have brought in a bill for better regulating the beer houses; but we doubt whether the measure will pass the House of Commons, as there seems to be a strong feeling that the plan has not had a fair trial, and that interfering further with the beer shops would encourage the spirit shops and public houses. We, however, mention the subject at present chiefly for the purpose of noticing one point connected with the Beer Bill, on which some discussion has taken place in the House of Lords; namely, the grievous addition to the violation of the Lord'sday, by means of these houses. tion on this subject was presented, and its prayer supported by the Bishop of London, who has done himself much honour, and the cause of religion much service, by the part he has taken in the great question of the Lord's-day. We insert a passage from an excellent paper issued by the Society for promoting the due Observance of the Lord's Day, to the statements of which we are anxious to invite the attention of our readers. The Society strongly recommend petitions to Parliament on the subject.
"The Sabbath was made for man — for man universally-and therefore in a peculiar sense for the poor, who compose the vast majority of mankind. In a peculiar manner it is the poor man's day. It is designed to refresh his weary body; to relieve his mind from excessive care; to
give him time for reflection and the concerns of his soul; to restore him to his family and domestic affections, after the toil of the week; to call him off from secular and earthly pursuits to spiritual and heavenly ones; and to interpose one day in seven for his intellectual, moral, and spiritual improvement. The Christian Sabbath is a badge and sign of Revealed Religion. It openly distinguishes the believer in the Bible from the unbeliever; and forms the ground and platform for the application of every part of Christianity. It is the season for celebrating the praises of God in creation, for commemorating the triumph of our Divine Redeemer in his resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Ghost at the first establishment of the Christian dispensation. It is the day for the public worship of God, for the preaching of the Gospel, the administration of the sacraments, the instruction of children and servants, the visiting of the sick and distressed. The Sabbath is the day for humanizing man, softening his passions, teaching him his accountableness, placing him in the immediate presence of his God, setting before him the means of salvation, and inspiring
him with the hopes of glory. It is the cement of civil society, the link and bond of moral obligation, the foundation of law and conscientious obedience to human government, the spring of contentment, industry, and peace."
We have not space for the details of the Coronation; but we must not pass it by without recording an earnest prayer, that it may please God to bless our sovereign lord the king, and his illustrious house, and to make him a blessing to his people. Much of that solemn service is of a religious character, according to the pious usage of our forefathers, now too rapidly sliding into desuetude. Oh may his majesty and his people be led to feel it in this sacred aspect!
We have no room for foreign details. Warsaw, we lament to say, has fallen; and the unhappy Polanders, we fear, are at the mercy of their conqueror, unless other nations interpose for their aid. The affairs of Belgium and Holland, we trust, will be amicably arranged; nor do we see any reason to expect disturbance on the side of France. We would hope generally that continental affairs are taking a pacific turn.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
R.; A. C.; R. B.; A TEACHER; E. M. B.; H. J. H.; H. A.; G. W.; T.; VIATOR ECCLES.; M. D.; Q.; A. H.; C. J. P.; IGNOTUS; and A CONSTANT READER; are under consideration.
We assure J. M. that we did not quote the extracts in our July Number approvingly, as respects the question between the Church and the Dissenters: quite the contrary: we stated that they were easily confuted; so easily indeed, that we did not think it necessary to trouble our readers with the argument; but they bore strongly upon the particular point which they were adduced to illustrate. Socinians may come to our altars; but the Church knows nothing of them in that capacity; they do not come as Socinians: neither does the Bible Society recognise them in that capacity, any more than it acknowledges any other heretics, but only as persons professing to believe the inspired word of God, and wishing to assist in distributing it. What their private sentiments may be the Society does not undertake to investigate, any more than their private life. We did not say that the persons who have proposed to exclude Socinians from the Bible Society have “multiplied' their numbers; but that they have "magnified" them; that is, exaggerated them, and given them a prominence and importance they could not before assume. And is not this the fact? We shall rejoice if it be not found in the end that they have multiplied them also, by that natural re-action which gives new vigour to all sects claiming the honour of persecution.
We cannot think, with SURRIENSIS, that we have spoken too highly of the Churchbuilding Bill. It is, as we said, "an admirable bill;" and it is the more gratifying to every friend to the Church from the auspicious circumstances under which it has been brought into Parliament. We, indeed, still think that it might be desirable that a Bishop should state his reasons for a refusal to open a new church, and that an appeal should lie to the Archbishop upon that statement; but, as we remarked last May, in our observations upon the former Bill, there must, in an Established Church, be some jurisdiction, to prevent the obvious evils that would arise from our correspondent's plan of every man his own church-builder: and, jurisdiction being necessary, what jurisdiction so proper as that of the Bishop of the diocese? Our only difficulty is, as to his assigning no reason for his veto. In ninety-nine cases his reasons would probably be solid, and he would for his own sake state them, and all parties would thus see that he had acted conscientiously; and should there be a hundredth case, which under a system of secrecy might have proved an exception, publicity and an appeal would prevent the evil; and the whole bench of bishops would not suffer in the national opinion for the isolated act of an individual. Be this, however, as it may, it is only a secondary point; and if practical evil arises, the
matter may be amended; but the plan of Surriensis, of throwing every thing open in the same manner as Dissenting chapels, would be fraught with evils: indeed, it is utterly inconsistent with parochial divisions, pastoral functions, primitive order, and an established church.
Let BIBLICUS calmly answer the following question. He says, that the Bible Society's rule already excludes Socinians, as "not being Christians;" and he agrees with the Sackville-Street Committee that "no questions ought to be asked;" but that all persons, knowing the rules of a society, ought to be left to their own conscience as to joining it. Why, then, have a new rule; or a new society? What could he do more, if his own construction be correct, than is done already? The moment the Sackville-Street Committee found it "expedient" to avoid asking questions, many, even of those who at first went with them, saw that they might now just as well return to the old society. The enforcement of the test being dropped, the only difference between the two plans is, whether to keep the word "Christian," or to adopt Captain Gordon's synonime. If "Christians" already mean Christians, why alter the word? Besides, does not Biblicus see, what we have remarked over and over again, and what neither Record nor Sackville-Street Committee has attempted to answer, that the exclusion of one sect is virtually saying that all other persons are Christians? By excluding one class on the ground that the union is to be spiritual, you admit all other classes to spiritual union; many of whom are not fit subjects for it.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
We rejoice to see the long list on the first page of the Society's Extracts, as it shews us on how strong a basis of Christian principle and warm affection, the Society stands among the great mass of religious and conscientious persons in this country; a sentiment which we also find every where echoed among our transatlantic brethren, in their lamentations at the efforts which have been made to rend it asunder. The MorningWatch sect tell us, that the Society was never intended by the Almighty as a minister of mercy, but only of wrath; to assist in filling up the measure of the iniquities of a guilty world, and hastening on forthcoming doom. Let the friends of the Society take heed that they suffer not the prediction to make its own fulfilment, by allowing discord and every evil work to mar their union.
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY (87 and 88).
We are much concerned to find that the Society is burdened with a debt of eighteen hundred pounds, and that its expenditure is quite unequal to the magnitude of the work which lies before it. The West-India interest have a large fund of secret-service money; the popular press is won over to its cause; and the efforts of the Anti-Slavery Society, and its friends, are all that humanity and religion have to oppose to whatever falsehood and interested opposition can devise, to keep parliament and the public in ignorance on the subject of our colonial slavery, and to perpetuate its enormities. The peculiar occurrences of the last year have demanded extraordinary efforts from the Society; their publications are a heavy, though necessary, expence; and grievous would it be if they were obliged to suspend or curtail them at this pressing moment, this crisis of the anti-slavery question, when the West-India interest are using every effort to avert the impending downfall of slavery; and Parliament and Government, as we trust, are about before long to seal its doom. We do earnestly press upon our readers to answer liberally and zealously the appeal which is most conscientiously urged upon them; and with the greater promptitude and largeness of heart in proportion to the importance of the juncture, and the hope that, by the blessing of Him who hears the sorrowful sighing of the prisoner, their efforts will not long be required in this work of Christian mercy. If any thing would make us press this appeal with the more confidence, it is the truly religious and Scriptural character of the instructions lately issued by the Society to its agents. We strongly recommend the perusal of that valuable document to any person who may wish for information on this question. If our readers are not already long ago convinced of the horrors of colonial slavery, and their own duty in regard to it, let them peruse No. 87 of the Reporter, affixed to our present Number. One of the worst of the cases is that of a clergyman; for the Mauritius, it seems, has a Jones, as Jamaica has a Bridges; a fact which deserves serious consideration by the clerical advocates, if any such remain, for the perpetuation of slavery. Lord Goderich has a humiliating office, in regulating stripes and defining the legal limits of brutality. It will be some relief, after these horrors in a British colony, to read the peaceful, rural, details in No. 88, from the emancipated colony of Hayti. BRITISH AND FOREIGN SCHOOL SOCIETY.
We append with much pleasure the interesting speeches at the last anniversary of this Society, which appears to be doing much good in promoting Scriptural education throughout the world."