« AnteriorContinuar »
or things abstruse they reason'd high,
as a classical teacher, with advantage both Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fateFix'd fate ; free will, foreknowledge absolute; to himself and others. In answer to this, it And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.
is sufficient to observe, that the institutica Mr. Fletcher's warm and benevolent at Trevecca was founded in intolerance, spirit rejected a system which exalts the and that, like the synod of Dordi, it made terrible majesty of the Deity, at the expense no distinction between old and young, but of all that is consolatory to humanity. He exacted implicit subscription to the whole could not reconcile the hard doctrine of of its articles, without the least exceptias, predestination, which takes from man his John Henderson, though green in years moral power,---with the parting command was not so in judgment. He read muek, of Christ to bis disciples, that they should thought deeply, and at that this very time go into all the world, and preach the gospel was far better acquainted with the agitared to every creature.”
questions, than many of those persons whe The whole tenor of Christianity is of a took the lead in this controversy. A practical description, comprehending love therefore, he had no respect for the oper and obedience; but if man is not a free nions professed in the society with which agent, the very motives by which he is be was connected, separation became actuated are not his own, so that he can- unavoidable. It was, in fact, a great mis not be said either to love or obey; but is fortune to him, that he should have been as much an instrument as the tool in the thrown into this situation ; and that, too, hands of the mechanic. At the time of
an age when he required the associatios which we are speaking, a controversy arose equals, and the guidance of superiors. LA wherein some of Mr. Fletcher's principal now, through parental indulgence, to put friends took a decided part, on the Calvin- sue his own course without any director, istic side, against Mr. Wesley, who had he wandered from one branch of science long before espoused the moderate Armi- another, as chance occurred or fancy indi. niau system. Theological disputes have cated, always busy, but never truly em seldom been conducted in a religious ployed; accumulating knowledge in abusspirit; and the present contest might truly dance, but making no application of what be called polemical, for never was a war- he acquired, either for present benefit ar fare distinguished by more disgusting vio- future enjoyment. His greatest delight was lence. Mr. Wesley was assailed by a pha- in reading, for study it could not be called, lanx of zealots, most, if not all, of whom such books as were little known, or which were comparatively children in point of the voice of the learned had agreed in age, and far from his equals in regard to consigning to oblivion. Among there knowledge. What, however, they wanted obsolete productions were the recondite in experience and wisdom, was more than disquisitions of Picus Mirandola, Robert made up in confidence and intemperance. Fludd, and Jacob Behmen. His favourite Grieved' at this usage of one whom he divine was Dr. Henry More, upon whose loved, and still more concerned for the catechetical expositions of the Scriptures the cause which suffered through this unna- set a very high value, as he also did upon tural hostility, Mr. Fletcher generously, and the writers of the Hutchinsonian school, against his own private interest, came for- particularly Bate and Catcott. ward to the assistance of his venerable But amidst all this lumber of rusty and friend. The enmity of the whole Calvin- abstruse reading, the stores of real and ele. istic host was now turned, with tenfold fury, gant learning were not altogether neglecied. from the principal to the auxiliary. Mr. Henderson had a correct taste for the Gæsk Fletcher being no longer regarded as “an and Latin poets ; and though he wasted angel of God;" or worthy of christian 100 much precious time on what has been intercourse, was considered an improper called occult philosophy, he could converse person to be entrusted with the important well upon subjects of polite literature, the charge of instructing persons who were useful arts of life, and the discoveries of destined to the ministry. He, in conse- modern science. His familiar acquaintquence quitted the connexion, went to
ance with the mystical writers did not reside at his living in Shropshire, and John make him an enthusiast ; nor was he in the Henderson returned home to assist his least affected by the consciousness of supefather in the school at Hanham. It may riority over others, in this variety of extrabe thought, perhaps, that a youth, of his neous learning. The prominent feature of standing, could have nothing to do with his character was humility, of, more prothe perplexities of the Quinquarticular perly speaking, a child-like simpliciy: controversy; and that, therefore, he might This endeared him to his friends, and have continued in his useful employment excited their anxious desire to have him
ed in a line where his talents might expressed his admiration. At one period ear to public advantage, and turned to this eccentric scholar devoted himself with own personal benefit. Among those so much ardour to medical science, that ) esteemed him for his virtues, and many of his acquaintance at Bristol thought nired him for his rare attainments, there he would make a distinguished figure in
not one who felt a greater desire to do that profession, and wished him to pursue | service than Hannah More. This his studies with a view to that practice. ard she carried beyond the mere expres- But his proficiency either in this or any 1 of good-will and kind wishes. She other line was never made with an idea of oduced Henderson to Dr. Tucker, dean personal advantage. His system of physic Gloucester, and she also recommended was wholly empirical ; notwithstanding
young friend to Dr. Adams, master of which, it is certain that he performed many mbroke College, Oxford. Upon this, surprising cures, both before and after his 1 with other help procured by the same
seulement at Oxford. It was, I believe, ellent woman, John Henderson was this extraordinary skill of his son, which bled to enter his name, at the age of induced old Mr. Henderson to give up the enty-three, as a scholar, on the books of school at Hanham, and open an asylum mbroke College. At his first admission for lunatic patients at the Fishponds ; o the University, the singularity of his thinking that with such a coadjutor he b, and the formal gravity of his manner, should be able to render essential service de him an object of curiosity bordering to that unfortunate class of sufferers. But on ridicule. At length, however, the here also he experienced a sad disappoint. cidity of his temper, and his uncommon ment; for the habitual indolence of John res of knowledge, removed whatever Henderson proved too obstinate to be overjudices had been conceived against come, even by the love of his favourite n; and many courted his acquaintance, science, and the incitement of benevolence. 10 had before looked upon him with Among the cases at the Fishponds was that ntempt.
very extraordinary one of '“ Louisa, the Of his academical pursuits little can be lady at the haystack;" whose history, as d; for much of what others go to college far as could ever be ascertained, is narrated learn, he carried with him. He might, in the notices of Mrs. Hannah More. But deed, and beyond all question did make to return to our immediate subject,—which ditions there, to wirat he had previously is hardly less affecting than that of the quired, but the fundamental principles of unhappy maniac. rning were already laid, and that at a The patrons of John Henderson, in prone of life when the generality are study- curing him the advantages of a residence at g the elements for future application. Oxford, were led to believe that he would To John Henderson, who had no ambi- enter into holy orders as n, and loved learned ease, the Univer- should have taken his degree. But when y was now a retreat from the world, that time came, he turned a deaf ear to stead of being, what his friends intended, every proposal made by those who were
preparatory stage for a sphere of useful well disposed, and fully able, to provide tivity. After taking his first degree with handsomely for him in the church. That edit, he sat down contented, and, though he was thoroughly qualified for the minisresident of the college full seven years, try by his abilities, could not be questhing could stimulate him to make any tioned ; and the soundness of his faith ther addition to his academical honours; appears in the following extract from one
to exert his interest for endowments, to of his letters to Mr. Wesley :nich abilities like his might have justly “I have considered," he says, “what is pired. Thus he led the life of a monk, urged against our Saviour, but I still firmly en he should have been exercising his believe that Jesus is very
God, most supernatural talents for the good of is my God as much as the Father, and I ankind. But though studious, as it were, adore him and pray to him as such. I be
concealment, the light which he endea- lieve that He, as God, in his divine nature, ured to hide was seen from afar, and the took upon him human nature, that is, the me of his genius attracted the notice of soul and body of man. I believe that the e good and great.
godhead was fully and wholly in his Dr. Johnson, a short time before his humanity; and that the Father, whom no eath, visited Pembroke College, of which man hath seen or can see in his own per
bad himself been a member; and here son, became visible in the person of Jesus. entered into a familiar conversation with And, therefore, whoever beholds Jesus as enderson, of whose extent of reading he his Lord and his God, need (in order to 2D. SERIES, NO. 43.--VOL. IV.
his peace) look no farther, nor puzzle him- pleases him, but afterwards the eri ra self in the disputes of men concerning their disgusts him.” Maker. I do not boast that I have escaped Astrology was not without its des the Arian or Socinian pollutions, of myself
. allure the attention of Henderson I do not pretend that I am a match for the where is the wonder, when Dryden subtlety of these men, unassisted. If I lated the nativities of his children have discerned the truth from falsehood, it Newton and Flamstead constructa 21 was not by my own light : I always beg scopes to estimate by the configuratin understanding of the Spirit of the Holy the stars the events of human life! One. I pray that he may lead me into all That a reciprocal intercourse L? truth.”
kept up between bodied and disenota This was written when the controversy spirits, was the fixed persuasion of ... between Dr. Priestley and his antagonists Henderson, who, had be lived before produced a great sensation in the public eighteenth century, would have been mind, and occasioned not a little alarm enrolled by Naudæus in his catalar among the members of the church of Eng- magicians. Upon this subject the iter land. It seems, from hence, that John of Pembroke College delighted to con Henderson's principles had been sus
and in the third volume of papers pected; but if so, he fully cleared himself lished by the Philosophical Socer not only in this letter, but in some commu. Manchester, some of his speculatius nications to the Gentleman's Magazine, on magical practices may be found. the dogmatic presumptions of Priestley and Such were the vagaries of a young 2 his Socinian colleagues. There was one possessed of an enlightened understand point, indeed, on which he entertained an and qualified to shine among the brzo opinion varying in appearance from the esta- luminaries of the first seat of lears blished faith ; and this was, in the extent of England, or perhaps in the world. ) redemption. Henderson conceived that a were bis habits and appearance les em period will arrive when corruption shall be vagant than his studies. Fashion bel completely destroyed in the objects of the in such contempt, that he seemed to FF Divine justice, and that they shall then be it an object to differ as much as poset rendered capable of moral improvement. from all other people. The cap and . Many eminent divines have cherished the indeed he could not alter, and probaby i same sentiment, and Dr. Adams, the vene. esteemed them only on account of Ox? rable head of Pembroke College, once being relics of the olden time. Ha defended the doctrine of universal restitu- garments were preposterously large ; * tion, in the presence of Henderson, and in shirt-collar had only one button, and opposition to Dr. Johnson.
never wore either stock or crarat, baina Among the peculiarities of the singular sometimes tied round his neck a blas character we are describing, his study of riband. His shoe-buckles were a the human countenance was one of the as those commonly worn at the knees. I most remarkable.
That he possessed a hair-dressing he was a great enemy, < very happy talent in reading the mind by never could endure curling-irons or parte the index of the face, has been attested by der, which last he called white dust
. many persons who were far from being He was fond of sitting up till the ot! superstitious or credulous. One of his ing was far advanced, and then he was Oxonian intimates, in noticing this faculty lie in bed till the evening. He wa of John Henderson, says, “Self-knowledge great a friend to the pipe as Dr. Parr
, enabled him wonderfully to penetrate into it is to be lamented that this habit of sati the characters and motives of others. The ing brought on the love of wine and face, the voice, and the air disclosed the strong liquors. Of these he could ? moving principle within. And it is much considerable libations without being inte to be questioned whether he was cated; a failing which he sometimes id deceived in the judgment he formed of into, but of which he at last sietett others.” But he was very much against repented. So little regard did he pay reducing this kind of study to a system, or the duty of self - preservation, that is be recommending it to practice.
principles had not been known, it material “Physiognomy,” said he to a friend, have been supposed he was a determined “may increase a man's knowledge, but not fatalist and predestinarian. Thus, by his happiness : the physiognomist first dis- of experiment, he would swallow vezi covers the evil in another, and afterwards drugs, particularly quicksilver and spica
. the good; but the man unskilled in the in quantities enough to kill ordinary Diet science first discovers the good which One of his customs was to strip hits
ON CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.
d to the waist, undergo a thorough The shock produced by this loss had tion at the pump, and, having rinsed such an effect upon the father, that his intelhirt all over, put it on, and go to bed. lects became disordered. He would not he used to call an admirable cold believe that his son was dead, and actually
and conducive to the preservation of had the grave re-opened, to be assured wheth: but what is most extraordinary, ther such was the case or not. From that gh he practised it often, he never hour he fell into a gloomy state of melan
eared to suffer any ill effects from it. choly, and in a short time the same tomb 'here is reason to believe, however, that enclosed both their remains. death, at the age of thirty-one, was ened by these and other excesses. He a presentiment of his approaching disition some months before it happened ; when no symptoms of disease appeared The question of punishments, a question rim, he said to a person whom he had at all times important, seems at present eved under a dangerous complaint by more especially to call for some measure of prescriptions, “My young and beloved public attention ; from the alterations which nd, your cure, in all human probability, from time to time are being made or sugnow certain, and you will live; but I gested; which have been made or attemptIl die. Remember, to be pious is to be ed, and which seem yet to be required, in py; and to practise the moral virtues, is our criminal code. These alterations apbecome respectable.”
pear to render necessary the recognition, Under the influence of this prospect, he by thinking men, of the fundamental prinstracted himself more and more from the ciples upon which they should proceed, rld, avoided: company, and declined and the general diffusion of an acquaintance aversation. He seemed to retire within with such as may be satisfactorily estabnself, and to be making preparation for lished. If in concordance with such at great journey which he anticipated. established principles, these alterations Of his conduct when entering the valley may be hailed with satisfaction as amend
the shadow of death, a friend who ments, having a direct and powerful beartended him in all his sickness gave this ing on the moral character, and the highest count: “ He was a meek sufferer through and dearest interests of society : if in disis world of misery ; a sincere and con- cordance with them, they can only be te penitent for time misspent and talents viewed with distrust and regret. By some isapplied ; a humble believer in Christ it may be thought that a subject associated s Saviour. I saw him in his last suffer- with painful reflections, and in itself so dry gs; I heard his last words; he languished and uninteresting as this, might well have der weakness extreme; he laboured given place to some other of a lighter and oder most grievous pains. He was won- more agreeable character. But though dry erfully patient and resigned ; for he knew and uninteresting in itself, it is the moral whom he believed, and his hope was full medicine with which the ills of humanity
immortality. He prayed with uncom- are in part to be remedied; its importance on fervour to his good God, even to can never admit of question, and must jusesus Christ,' in whom all his hopes were tify the withdrawal of our attention for a aced, and without whom,” says he, while from topics which, though more heaven would be no heaven to me.' agreeable, are not, perhaps, more useful. eath was the wished-for messenger, whom The consideration of the appropriate e earnestly expected. Three days before punishments of crimes involves the ques. at awful event, his pulse ceased to beat, tions of the right of the magistrate or nd the sight of his eyes went from him,- society to inflict punishments; the desired e last struggle is over; the bitterness of end of their infliction, their measure, and eath is past. There was a humble dignity their mode. We shall not, on the present nd composure in that hour of trial, wor- occasion, formally discuss each of these -y of the man and the Christian.”
separate topics in the order here set down, He left this world for a better, on the yet they should be borne in mind as having nd of November, 1788, and on the 18th an immediate reference to our subject. the same month his body was interred in Archdeacon Paley says,
“ The fear lest . George's church, Kingswood, where the escape of the criminal should encourage Ir. Agutter, of "Magdalen College, who him, or others by his example, to repeat ad accompanied the remains of his friend the same crime, or to commit different om Oxford, preached an excellent sermon crimes, is the sole consideration which aun the occasion.
thorizes the infliction of punishment by human laws." But, with all deference to right which one man acquires to en such authority, it is impossible to admit the actions of another man, equal a this imperfect view of the case.
with himself; by which, at times, iki The right to inflict punishment may be the freedom, and the property of the clearly deduced from the duty which is placed under his jurisdiction, and ste imposed on an intelligent and responsible to his disposal, and this without askie pa being, of fulfilling the ends for which he mission, but altogether independent de was endowed with moral, intellectual, and consent. The right and title which is physical powers, and placed on this stage holds to freedom, is to be found in the of action. His duty is, to use his active lation of his conduct by the rules of reze. faculties to sustain existence, and procure An incapacity for the observance of a those comforts and enjoyments for himself, rules, or the wilful violation of them, and for others who are dependent on him, stitutes the forfeiture of freedom, the e which a bountiful Providence has placed demnation to slavery, and the degrada within his reach, and wills that he should of the individual to the conditico of a ca attain; to extend his benevolent attention, a madman, or a brute, which it is te as far as his means permit, 10 others be- trust without control. yond the circle of his own immediate con- But, from the infirmities of love nexions, and labour in the advancement of nature, and the bias which interest games the interests of humanity at large. In the the mind, the exercise, by his own han. performance of these duties, labours are to of this right, which an injured man 2ement be undertaken, obstructions and impedie over the offender from whom this use ments are to be removed, and difficulties has proceeded, would be attended to be overcome. Their successful perform- inconvenience. The injured man saat ance calls for freedom of action, the pos. magnify the mischief which has been session of property, the inviolability of him beyond its real measure, while
, te ir reputation, with that order, and all those other hand, the offender is ready to dez advantages and facilities, which the organi- ciate it as much below its real max zation of civil society confers. These labours, Hence the danger, that in the hani a these obstructions and difficulties, are some such interested persons the determinar of them of a physical and others of a moral of innocence or guilt, and the ancut character ; they are equally to be over- injury, would lead to disputes between come; of these last are—the moral ills parties ; the punishment would sometis which afflict society, and the remedy of be more severe than the occasion called is, which are to be sought for through human and resistance be offered by the crimes laws and punishments-the subject of our when, if in other hands, the award present discussion—and which are necessary punishment would both be quiet's * io us to maintain the power to perform our mitted to. On this ground, society accura duties, and enjoy those gifts which God has the right to deprive the parties to the given for our happiness, and the fulfilment retribution is due, of the exercise with these of his purposes.
own hands of the right of punishment, te From the unity of that Being from whom to place it in the hands of the magistrate, our duties proceed, and to whom their per- other disinterested parties, capable et és formance is due, and from the oneness of passionately judging of the real mama His will, it follows, that no action can be a of the offence, and of overpowering duty to be performed by one individual, resistance to its enforcement. But
, in to which it is not at the same time the duty case, the right remains the same ; it is et of every other individual, at least to abstain the party who shall exercise it that from obstructing the execution of, if not to changed. aid in its accomplishment.
We proceed to consider the ends An injury done to the person, property, object of the infliction of punishmert or reputation of any man, or an action “ The
proper end of human punishme which occasions mischief to society, or is not the satisfaction of justice'
; by us! obstructs the attainment of the objects of its mean, the retribution of so much paio ba organization ; such an action, as it detracts so much guilt; which is the dispensa.se from the enjoyment which it is the will of the we expect at the hand of God, and mbet Almighty to diffuse amongst his intelligent we are accustomed to consider as the content creatures, it is the duty of men to remedy, of things that perfect justice dictades en as far as possible, the evil it occasions, and requires.” To dispense this perfect penting prevent a repetition of similarly injurious would be wholly beyond the power acts. And hence, as duty and right are finite being ; for it would be necessary to correlative, we deduce the origin of that the secret motives of the heart of the oriete