« AnteriorContinuar »
next to that, the salvation of the souls of others.. Temperate in all things, though mean in nothing, he made provision for doing good with his opulence: and seemed to be most in his element when appropriating a considerable part of his large income to the necessities of others.
“ But Mr. Thornton possessed that discrimination in his attempts to serve his fellow-creatures, which distine guishes an enlightened mind: he habitually contemplated man, as one who has not only a body, subject to want, affliction, and death, but also a spirit, which is immortal, and must be happy or miserable for ever.. He, therefore, felt that the noblest exertions of charity are those which are directed to the relief of the noblest part of our species. Accordingly he left no mode of exertion untried to relieve man under his natural igno. rance and depravity. To this end, he purchased ad- . vowsons and presentations, with a view to place in parishes. the most enlightened, active, and useful ministers. He employed the extensive commerce in which he was engaged, as a powerful instrument for conveying immense quantities of Bibles, Prayer Books, and the most useful publications, to every place visited by our trade. He printed at his own sole expense, large editions of the latter for that purpose ; and it may safely be affirmed that there is scarcely a part of the known world, where such books could be introduced, which did not feel the salutary influence of this single individual.
“ Nor was Mr. Thornton limited in his views of promoting the interests of real religion, with what sect soever it was connected. He stood ready to assist a beneficial design in every party, but would be the creature of none. General good was his object, and wherever or however it made its way, his maxim seemed constantly to be, valeat quantum valere potest.
“ But the nature and extent of his liberality will be greatly misconceived, if any one should suppose it confined to moral and religious objects, though the grandest and most comprehensive exertions of it. Mr. Thornton. was a philanthropist on the largest scale--the friend of man under all his wants. His manner of relieving his. fellow men was princely; instances might be mentioned of it, were it proper to particularize, which would surprise those who did not know Mr. Thornton. They were so much out of ordinary course and expectations.
that I know some, who felt it their duty to inquire of him, whether the sum they had received was sent by his intention or by mistake? To this may be added, that the manner of presenting his gifts was as delicate and concealed, as the measure was large.
“Beside this constant course of private donations, there was scarcely a public charity, or occasion of relief to the indigent or necessitous, which did not meet with his disa tinguished support. His only question was, “ May the miseries of man in any measure be removed or allevi. ated ?" Nor was he merely distinguished by stretching out a liberal hand : his benevolent heart was so intent on doing good, that he was ever inventing and promoting plans for its diffusion at home or abroad.
" He that wisely desires any end will as wisely regard the means; in this Mr. Thornton was perfectly consistent, In order to execute his beneficent designs, he observed frugality and exactress in his personal expences. By such prospective methods he was able to extend the influence of his fortune far beyond those who, in still more ele. vated stations, are slaves to expensive habits. Such men meanly pace in trammels of the tyrant custom till it leaves them scarcely enough to preserve their conscience, or even their credit, much less to employ their talents in Mr. Thornton's nobler pursuits. He, however, could afford to he generous; and while he was generous, did not forget his duty in being just. He made ample provision for his children; and though, while they are living, it would be indelicate to say more, I am sure of speaking truth when I say, they are so far from thinking themselves impoverished by the bounty of their father, that they contemplate with the highest satisfaction the fruit of those benefits to society which he planted—which, it may be trusted, will extend with time itself and which, after his example, they still labour to extend.
“But, with all the piety and liberality of this honoured character, no man had deeper views of his own unworthiness before his God'; to the Redeemer's work alone he booked for acceptance of his person and services; he felt that all he did, or could do, was infinitely short of that which had been done for him, and of the obligations that were thereby laid upon him. It was this abasedness of heart towards God, combined with the most singular
largeness of heart toward his fellow-creatures, which diso tinguished John Thornton among men.”
Mr. Cecil has executed his duty as a biographer, ably and impartially.
The Causes of the increase of Methodism and Dissention,
and of the popularity of what is called Evangelical Preaching, and the meavs of obviating them, considered in a Sermon, preached at the visitation of the Rev. the Archdeacon of Leieester, held at Melton Mowbray, June 20th 1805, and subjoined appendixes, 8c. &c.
By Robert Acklom Ingram, B. D. Rector of Segrave, - Leicestershire. 8vo. 45. Hatchard. 1807.
It is a general opinion that the established church is in more danger from the prevalence of methodism, than it would be subject to if the Catholic claims were admitted in their full extent. Without at all. contesting this point, we concur with Mr. Ingram in attributing the increase of methodism in a great degree, to the indolence or want of talent in the clergy ; who satisfied with their benefices and livings, doze over their own printed sermons, and encourage their SMALL congregations to 'take a comfortable nap with the preacher. The neglect of the clergy at large, (numerous exceptions there are no doubt,) both as to the duties of the pulpit and the parish, is notorious ; and hence arises the vast influence which men of ability and perseverence, in what is called the methodistical persuasion, over the minds and affections of their hearers. If this evil be not reformned, methodism will continue to increase, and deservedly so continue, for attention to the mere form of devotion, without its enlivening spirit, will neither attract a congregation or be of any benefit to when assembled.
Rays of Genius, collected to enlighten the Rising Gene· ration. By Thomas Tomkins. 2 vols. 12mo. 158.
A compilation of essays in which the author has shewn inuch taste and judgment. The subjects are interesting and iinportant, and the author has not forgotten that ““ brevity is the soul of wit.”
Conversation : a Didactic Poem, in Three Parts. By
William Cooke, Esq. large 8vo. 45. Phillips. 1807.
Sensible and correct, but tedious and too often prosaic. Didactic poetry need not be brilliant, but it should be sufficiently animated. Many of the passages, however, are forcible as well as elegant, and the thoughts are in general just, and often striking.
Letters on the subject of the Duties on Coffee. By Ed.
gar Corrie, Esq. 8vo. Cadell and Davies. 1808. The letters are addressed to the Chancellor of the Er. chequer and the author repels all the objections which have been, or may be urged, against the measure he proposes; he wishes the duty to be reduced to 2d per pound, a reduction which will tend to suppress smuggling, add to the comfort and nourishment of the people, relieve the growers of coffee, and diminish the hopes of the enemy to obtain great and future durable advantages, by impairing the colonial commerce and resources of this kingdom. As to the East India company who would probably resist the desired reduction. Mr. C. contends that “ the commerce of the East India company to China, will comparatively suffer little diminution from the most full effect of the measure purposed, which would, besides, essentially promote the shipping interest of the kingdom.” And with respect to the tea brokers, supposing that their interest would suffer by such a reduction of the duties on coffee, he urges, that the health and comfort of the people of this country, ought not to be sacrificed to the profit of these dealers.
That the reduction of these duties so low as 2d per pound, and Mr. Corrie thinks that nothing higher would be an effectual reduction, would be in every point of view expedient, we are not prepared to assert; but as lovers of coffee, we for our own parts wish that it will be found right to adopt his suggestion, and that, in future we may be enabled to taste the real beverage at a cheap rate, instead of brown water made of burnt crust, for which we are now obliged to pay so dear at the coffeehouses.
ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE..--Shakspeare.
ORIGINAL CHARACTER OF FOOTE.
BY MR. GAHAGAN. FOOTE was a very extraordinary man, and had talents wbich he abused. He abounded in wit, humour, and sense ; but he was so fond of detraction and mimicing, that he might be properly called a buffoon; and they were a great blemish in his conversation, though he entertained you. He was generally civil to your face, and seldom put you out of humour with yourself; but you paid for his civility the moment you turned your back, and were sure of being made ridiculous. He was not so malignant as some I have known, but his excessive vanity led him into satire and ridicule. He was vain of his classical knowledge (which was but superficial) and of his family, and used to boast of his numerous relations in the West of England. He was inost extravagant and baubling, but not generous. He delighted in buying rings, snuffboxes, and toys, which were a great expence to him; and he lost money at play, and was a dupe with all his parts. He loved wine and good living, and was a mighty pretender to skill in cookery, though he did not understand a table as well as he thought; he affected to like distinguished dishes and ragouts, and could not bear to eat plain beef or mutton, which shewed he had a depraved appetite; he spared no expence in his dinners, and his wine was good. He was very disgusting in his manner of eating, and not clean in his person'; but he was so pleasant, and had such a flow of spirits, that his faults and foibles were overlooked. He always took the tead in company, and was the chief or sole performer. He had such a rage for shining, and such an itch for applause, that he often brought to my mind Pope's lines on the Duke of Wharton :
" Though senates hung on all he spoke
« The inob must hail him master of the joke." ; He loved lords' company, though he gave himself airs of despising them, and treating them cavalierly. He was