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DIRECTIONS TO THE BINDER. The Portrait of Dr. Priestley to face the Title-page. The Portrait of Servetus to face the Number for July.
Memoir of the late Rev. Joseph Joseph was in his youth adopted by
Priestley, LL. D. F.R.S. ke. an aunt, a woman of exemplary piety [With the Portrait, we think it and benevolence,? who sent him for may be useful and agreeable to many education to several schools in the of our readers to give a Memoir, of neighbourhood, where he acquired a Dr. Priestley. We have taken the respectable degree of knowledge of liberty, to cupy the life published in the learned languages, including He. the Eighth Volume of the General brew. He was originally destined Biography, 4to., and drawn up, as for the ministry; but weak health appears from the signature, by the 'causing his views to be turned towards able and elegant pen of. Dr. Aikin, trade, he learned some of the modern and to adapt it more particularly to this work by the addition of notes: for which we are indebted to a friend, piety, careful to teach” him religion acto whom the commencement and the cording to her own convictions, and taking continuance of the Monthly Reposi- a particular occasion to inculcate moral tory are chiefly owing, whose com
principle by impressing his mind“ with a
clear idea of the distinction of property, munications form a rich portion of the and the importance of attending to it." past volumes, and to whom the read. Priestley's Mem. pp. 2, 3, 5. ers may still, it is hoped, look for: • She was his father's sister, “ married entertainment and instruction. The to a Mr. Keighley, a man who had diswhole of the notes are original and tinguisbed himself for his zeal for religion, by the same friendly hand.
aud for his public spirit.” She died in
EpitoR.) 1764, having survived her husband many TOSEPH PRIESTLEY, LL.D.
years. Her nephew, from whom she deUF.R.S., &c. a very eminent phi
served and received the grateful rememlosopher and divine, was born in
brance of a son, characterizes this “ truly
pious and excellent woman" as one who March, 1773, at Field-head, near
knew no other use of wealth, or of talents Leeds. His father was engaged in
of any kind, than to do good, and who the clothing manufacture, and was a never spared herself for this purpose ; dissenter of the Calvinistic persuasion.' truly Calvinistic in principle, but far from
confining salvation to those who thought 1 " Jonas Priestley, the youngest son as she did ou religious subjects.” He adds, of Joseph Priestley, a maker aud dresser that being left in good circumstances, of woollen cloth." His son describes him her home was the resort of all the dissent as discovering “ a strong sense of religion, ing ministers in the neighbourbood without praying with his family morning and even- distinction, and those who were the most ing, and carefully teaching his children obnoxious on account of their beresy were and servants the Assembly's Catechism, almost as welcome to her, if she thought which was all the system of wbich he had them honest and good men (which she was any knowledge," never “ giving much at- not nnwilling to do) as any other." ID, tention to matters of speculation, and en. pp. 3 and 6. tertaining no bigoted aversion to those 3 In this language be made himself " a who differed from him," Dr. Priestley's considerable proficient," during “ the inmother, who died in 1740, when her son terval between leaving the grammar-school, was in his seventh year, “ was the only and going to the academy," by instructing child of Joseph Swift, a farmer of Shafton, a minister in his neighbourhood " who had a village about six miles south-east of bad no learned education." He also Wakefield.” She was gratefully recollected “learned Chaldee and Syriac, and just by her son as "a woman of exemplary began to read Arabic.” Id. p. 10, - VOL. X.
languages with that intention. At opinions from the orthodox system in length, however, his constitution which he had been brought up, tostrengthened ; and resuming his first wards the doctrine usually termed purpose, he went in 1752 to the dis- heretical, which had already comsenting academy at Daventry, kept menced, here made a further proby Dr. Ashworth. He had already gress, though it still rested within the imbibed such an attachment to study, limits of Arianism. Here he was ' and had employed his researches upon so many important topics, that he was regarded on admission as considerably the orthodox side of every question, and advanced in the academical course. Mr. Clark, the sub-tutor, that of heresy, He had also, from his family connex. though always with the greatest modesty. ions among the strictest sect of dis
We were permitted to ask whatever ques. senters, acquired those religious ha
tions, and to make whatever remarks we bits, and that vital spirit of piety,
pleased ; and we did it with the greatest, which ever in some degree assimila
but without any offensive, freedom.-We
de were referred to authors on both sides of ted him to that class of Christians,
hristians, every question, and were even required to when in doctrine no one more widely give an account of them.” Id. p. 17. deviated from them. At Daventry for an account of Mr. Clark see M. Repos. he spent three years, during which Vol. i. p. 617. j. 68. and for an account his acute and vigorous mind was ex-, of Dr. Ashworth, Vol. viii. 562 (note) panding in free inquiry and diversi- and 693. and ix. 10, 78 and 242. fied pursuit. The change of his 7 In the family of his excellent aunt he
became confirmed " in the principles of 4 Those which he acquired, and with. Calvinism, all the books he met with “ havout a master, were « French, Ítalian, and ing that tendency.” Yet two ministers, High Dutch.” He translated and wrote the most heretical in the neighbourhood, letters in the first and last for an uncle, a were frequently his aunt's guests.” With merchant, who intended” him for ás a one of these, “ Mr. Graham, of Halifax,” counting-house in Lisbon.” Id. p. 5. to whom he afterwards dedicated his Dis
$ He was first destined by his relations quisitions on Matter and Spirit, he now to the Calvinistic-lodependent “ Academy
became intimate. In paying an carly and at Mile-end, then under the care of Dr. serious attention to religion, as he then Conder. But being at that time an Ar- understood it, he had waited with painful minian, he resolutely opposed it," espe. anxiety for the experience “ of a new-birth cially declining to subscribe an assent produced by the immediate agency of the to ten printed articles of Calvinistic faith, spirit of God," and had been “ much disand repeat it every six months." A neighé tressed” because he 6 could not feel a bouring minister, Mr. Kirkby, who had proper repentance for the sin of Adam." been one of his instructors in the classics Yet he had so far altered his views when “ interposed and strongly recommended he offered bimself “ to be admitted a conthe academy of Dr. Doddridge." The municant," where he and his auut attended, “ Aunt, not being a bigoted Calvinist, that the examining “ elders of the church" entered into his views, and Dr. Doddridgé rejected him as not " quite orthodox on being dead he was sent to Daventry and the subject of the sin of Adam,” because was the first pupil that entered there." Id. he could not believe " that all the human p. 16, 17.
race (supposing them not to have any sin O “ Three years, viz. from Sept. 1752 of their own) were liable to the wrath of to 1755, I spent at Daventry with that pe- God and the pains of hell for ever on acculiar satisfaction with which young per. count of that sin only." About this time sons of generous minds usually go through he came into the society of two preachers a course of liberal study, in the society of who qualified Calvinism and were called others engaged in the same pursuits, and Baxterian. “ Thinking farther on these free from the cares and anxieties which subjects," he had become, when he enseldom fail to lay hold on them when they tered the academy “an Arminian, but come out into the world. In my time, the bad by no means rejected the doctrine of the academy was in a state peculiarly favour. Trinity or that of Atonement." Id. p.7--12, able to the serious pursuit of truth, as the “ Notwithstanding the great freedom students were about equally divided upon of our speculations and debates, the ex. every question of much importauce, such treme of heresy among us was Arianism; as Liberty and Necessity, the Sleep of the and all of ns, I believe, left the academy Soul, and all the articles of theological with a belief, more or less qualified of the orthodoxy and heresy; in consequence of doctrine of Atonement." Id.p. 20. The felwhich all these topics were the subject of low-student with whom Priestley had the continual discussion. Our tutors also were most frequent communications and formed of different opinions ; Dr. Ashworth taking themost intimate friendship was "Mr, Alexalso introduced to an acquaintance jection of the doctrine of atonement.o with the writings of Dr. Hartley, After a residence of three years at which exerted a powerful and lasting Needham, he undertook the charge influence over his whole train of of a congregation at Namptwich, in thinking. On quitting the academy, Cheshire, to which he joined a school. he accepted an invitation to officiate In the business of education he was as minister to a small congregation at indefatigable ; and he added to the Needham-market in Suttolk. Not common objects of instruction, expehaving the talents of a popular preach riments in natural philosophy, which er, and becoming suspected of here were the means of fostering in himtical opinions, he passed his time self a taste for pursuits of that kind.11 at this place in discountenance and His first publication was an English obscurity ; but he was assiduously Grammar on a new plan, for the use employed in theological and scriptu- of his scholars, printed in 1791. His ral studier, of which the result was a reputation as a man of various knowfarther departure from the received ledge and active inquiry now began systems, and particularly a total re to extend itself, and in 1761 he was
invited by the trustees of the dissent
ing academy at Warrington to occupy ander, of Birmingham," about three years
the post of tutor in the languages. 12 younger than himself, who died suddenly Not long after his acceptance of this in 1765, before he had completed his 30th office, he married the daughter of year. He is mentioned in the Memoir with Mr. Wilkinson, an iron-master, near great regard. Of Mr, Alexander there is Wrexham, a lady of an excellent unao interesting account, by Dr. Kippis, in derstanding, and great strength of a note to the life of his uncle, Dr. Benson mind, who proved his faithful partner (B. Biog. ö. 206). He is also known by a
in all the vicissitudes of life. posthumous publication, entitled, “A
At Warrington Dr. Priestley began Paraphrase upon the 15th Chapter of the Ist Epistle to the Corinthians ; with Cri.
to distinguish himself as a writer in tical Notes, &e. &c. to which is added a
various branches of science and liteSermon on Eecles. ix. 10, composed by
rature. Several of these had a rela. the aatbor the day preceding his death.
tion to his department in the academy, By John Alexander." 4to. 1766.
which, besides philology, included Priestley (Mem. p. 15) ascribes his first acquaintance with Hartley's Obser- 19 In M. Repos. Vol. ii. p. 638, &c. vations on Man," to a reference made by see an interesting communication respectthe lecturer to that work, “which,” he ing Dr. Priestley's explicit conduct at this adds, á inmediately engaged my closest period, occasioned by some misrepresentaattention, and produced the greatest and, tious in a serinon preached by his brother in my opinion, the most favourable effect on the occasion of his death. ta my general turn of thinking through 11 Here he assiduously pursued bis theo. life. Indeed I do not know whether the logical inquiries and adopted some of those consideration of Dr. Hartley's Theory con opinions respecting the apostle Paul's redtributes more to enlighten the mind, or sonings, which he afterwards published, improve the heart; it effects both in so to the alarm of not a few serious Christians, super-eminent a degree." The name of who had hastily supposed that divine truth Hartley is in Priestley's Chart of Biography, could be impaired by any logical inaccufirst published in 1765, and there can be racy of those who were appointed to de. no doubt that he is designed in the follow- clare it. Dr. Priestley (Mem. p. 34) reing passage of the Description :
lates how at this time he had committed to 51 recollect only one instance in the the press a book which contained his free class of divines, moralists and metaphysi- thoughts on this subject. The work when cians) in which I have departed from my partly printed he suppressed, at the ingeneral rule of giving place to present fame stance of his friend, Dr. Kippis, till he ia farour of extraordinary merit, and what should be more known, and his characI presume will be great future reputation. ter better established.” 1 be writer of these If I be mistaken in my presumption I hope notes had the same account many years ago, I shall be indulged a little partiality for one from Dr. Kippis, who mentioned the readifavourite name." Description, 1785, p. 17. ness with which' Priestley attended 10 bis
The subjects, on which reference is made suggestion and that of Dr. Furneaux, from to Hartley in the Lectures of Doddridge, which they justly argued his future emiare the intermediate state, the final resto- nence. ration, and the renovation of the earth. See 12 See M. Repos. Vol. viii. pp. 226– Lest. 4to. 1763. pp. 561, 2, 574, 5, 581. 231.