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gulation of mind, and that no false or partial habits of thinking or judging, on subjects perhaps intrinsically of little importance, should betray us into errors in that which is most important of all." And would, that all might comply with his earnest invitation, and with himself" shew that they are guided in their thoughts and pursuits by a reference to that state in which they are to exist hereafter, and, in comparison of that end, despise and contemn all immediate utility and present reward." "When once," he says, we admit indeed, the existence of a God, and the continuance of the soul's existence to eternity; these two considerations at once impress a character of comparative insignificance on all that does not concern these great matters, and on all that can be done in the way of result attained in this world." Such thoughts from time to time break forth in his sermon; and no suggestions could be more worthy of the Christian, or more beneficial to men who, from their education, are supposed to be literary.
But in regard to the subjects to which study is to be almost entirely limited, to the description of the value of scientific acquirements, and some other points, I must candidly express dissent from Mr. Rose's positions. Notwithstanding his assurance, that he does not "desire to check the desires of the human mind for improvement," I submit that such is the tendency of his discourse. He says, for example, "It is not accurate knowledge of facts, it is not knowledge itself, but the process by which it is attained, the discipline, the exercise, &c. which elevate the mind of man." In the paragraph immediately following, he adds, "The only mark of progress in the species discoverable is a gift bestowed;" but this, he remarks, "is wholly unconnected with man's own efforts, and holds out no prospect and no promise to them." This is not only discouraging, but amounts, I think, to a denial
of many of the promises of Scripture. His apprehensions, on the topic of science, I consider to be far from correct. It is implied by him in several places, that immediate utility is the only object of science; that it strengthens none of the faculties except the memory; that meditation is a stranger to it; and that we are thereby "engaged in a constant and feverish activity of unmeaning exertion." I regret that such language is frequently used in this sermon. Such is not the effect of either of the discourses which I am about to recommend, though they are both admirably guarded and cautious.
I regret also that Mr. Rose should have said, that "with us the spirit of religious enthusiasm, except in the lowest and most disgusting form...is departed." Most sincerely as Mr. Rose may prefer the principles of some, whose zeal may be culpably lukewarm, this sentence is still both injudicious and unjust.
In regard to some of the leading remarks on the present overwhelming spirit of accumulation, which is most bitterly to be lamented, Mr. Rose must allow, that classical and literary attainments are made subservient to the ruling passion for wealth, not less than scientific ones. No judicious person would speak against literary talents, because they may be misapplied; why then, because science may in like manner be perverted, is she to be thrust from her legitimate seat of honour? But what I chiefly lament is, that Mr. Rose has not told us plainly what he is attacking. In reading his discourse, the question occurs, Is all this meant against the Cambridge system, or the projected London University? I incline to think the latter; and I flatter myself, that the overwrought descants which we hear of upon the march of intellect, and "the unbounded prospect of intellectual improvement to future ages," have not many supporters in our alma mater; yet surely, it is unworthy the dignity of Cambridge to express a
jealousy of the endeavours which have been made to give London a mode of education for those whose means are not equal to the expense of the higher universities; and it is unwise to inveigh against scientific knowledge in general, because it is to be there administered, as we conceive in most undue proportions, and without such accompaniments as we consider necessary to prevent its doing harm, and even defeating its own object.
While, therefore, I would wish to give Mr. Rose the praise which the main design of his sermon deserves, I must be allowed to defend scientific knowledge and studies, the value and tendency of which he unfairly depreciates; and I beg permission to support myview of the case by the words which were uttered over one in whom was found, all that was wise, and lovely, and of good report. "Knowledge,' Knowledge," says Bishop Burnet in his funeral sermon for the Hon. Robert Boyle, "is that which opens the mind, and fills it with great notions; the viewing the works of God, even in a general survey, gives insensibly a greatness to the soul. But the more extended and exact, the more minute and severe, the inquiring be, the soul grows to be thereby the more enlarged by the variety of observation that is made, either on the great orbs and wheels that have their first motion, as well as their law of moving, from the Author of all; or on the composition of bodies, or the regularities, as well as the irregularities of nature; and that mimicry of its heat and motion that artificial fires do produce and shew. This knowledge goes into the history of past times and remote climates; and, with those livelier observations on art and nature which give a pleasant entertainment and amusement to the mind, there are joined, in some, the severer studies, the more laborious as well as the less pleasant study of languages, on design to understand the sense, as well as the discoveries, of former ages: and more particu
larly to find out the true sense of the sacred writings. These are all the several varieties of the most useful parts of knowledge; and these do spread over all the powers of the soul of him that is capable of them, a sort of nobleness that makes him become thereby another kind of creature than otherwise he ever could have been: he has a larger size of soul, and vaster thoughts, that can measure the spheres, and enter into the theories of the heavenly bodies; that can observe the proportion of lines and numbers, the composition and mixtures of the several sorts of beings. This world, this life, and the mad scene we are in, grow to be but little and inconsiderable things, to one of great views and noble theories." "A man feels as sensibly, and distinguishes as plainly, an improvement of the strength and compass of his powers, from the feebleness which ignorance and sloth bring upon. them, as a man in health of body can distinguish between the life and strength which accompany it, and the flatness and languidness that diseases bring with them." "We can easily apprehend the surprising joy of one born blind, that, after many years of darkness, should be blest with sight, and the hopes and life of thought, that such a one should feel upon so ravishing a change; so the new regions into which a true son of knowledge enters, the new objects, and the various shapes of them that do daily present themselves to him, give his mind a flight, a raisedness, and a refined joy, that is of another nature than all the soft and bewitching pleasures of sense- And though the highest reaches of knowledge do more clearly discover the weakness of our short-sighted powers, and shew us difficulties that gave us no pain before, because we did not apprehend them; so that, in this respect, he that increases knowledge, increases sorrow:" yet "it is a real pleasure to a searcher after truth, to be undeceived, to see how
far he can go, and where he must make his stops." "Yet he has this real satisfaction in himself, that he has greater notions, nobler views, and finer apprehensions than he could have ever fallen upon in any other method of life. This know-, ledge, though it may seem to be merely the effect of thought, of labour, and industry, yet it is really the gift of God."
The only caution necessary, in the warmest scientific zeal, is that which Boyle himself so wonderfully observed, and with the mention of which he concluded that part of his will which regarded the Royal Society. "Wishing them," he says, "a happy success in their laudable attempts, to discover the true nature of the works of God; and praying that they, and all other searchers into physical truths, may cordially refer their attainments to the glory of the great Author of nature, and to the comfort of mankind."
This discourse of Bishop Burnet is not perhaps within the reach of all my readers; but I strongly recommend to them a more recent one, by Mr. Benson, which concludes with a noble view of the range of theological learning, and the requirements essential for a great divine-one which at once humbles the pride of learning, and stimulates the desire of it. They will find it in the discourses Scripture Difficulties." sect. 1. Mr. Rose deserves so well of the public and the church, as an eloquent and sound divine, and an able champion for the faith, that I have been the more desirous of offering these friendly strictures, lest his just reputation should seem to give new countenance to the often repeated but futile objection, that Christianity is hostile to the enlargement of the human mind.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
Ar a time when the streams of be nevolence are flowing more rapidly
than at any former period of our history, it is lamentable to perceive that, owing to the abstruseness of our laws relating to charitable bequests, and the consequent ignorance of many persons as to their meaning and application, the generous intention of benevolent individuals is very often rendered void and incapable of taking effect.
It is tolerably well known, from having been notified in the annual reports of the various religious and charitable societies now existing, and which are the glory of our beloved country, that, by a statute passed in the reign of Geo. II. called the Mortmain Act, "all devises of land, or money charged on land, or secured on mortgage of lands or tenements, or to be laid out in lands or tenements, are absolutely void;" although cases do sometimes occur of devises by persons in direct opposition to the aforesaid act. A remarkable instance of this has lately occurred, of a gentleman who died and bequeathed 30,000l. to the Chamber of Exeter for the purchase of lands in Devon or Cornwall, the rental of which was to be applied to the establishment of a free school in Exeter. In consequence of the provisions of the Mortmain Act, this large property reverted to the testator's brother as executor.
It has however been generally considered by the public, that a bequest of "money to arise from the sale of leasehold property, is not within the statute, and is therefore a good bequest; inasmuch as the money only is bequeathed to be paid, after it has been raised by sale of the houses; and I confess I had my own doubts upon the subject, until a short time since, when the following case came under my observation. An individual having only distant relations, by his will directed his leasehold tenements to be sold, and the money to be equally divided between the treasurers of two charity schools therein named. The houses were accord
ingly sold by the executor, who, being convinced of the testator's intention to benefit the schools, which was clearly manifested in the will, and acknowledged by all the parties, was ready and willing to pay the produce (upwards of 1000.) as directed by the testator; when, to the surprise of all the parties interested, it was declared by an eminent barrister, that although the houses themselves were not bequeathed, but directed to be sold and turned into money, and the money paid to the schools, the bequest was void, and the whole amount became the property of the next of kin to the deceased. I may also add, in corroboration of the above remarks, that, being lately in the Vice-Chancellor's court during an argument in a cause, "British Museum, v. the Devisees of White," I heard his Honour declare, that an interest in land is within the statute of Mortmain, and that leaseholds directed to be sold, and the money paid to a charity, are the same, and therefore void. You will unquestionably agree with me, sir, in thinking it to be of great importance, that the above point should be explained and notified to the public without delay, in order that they may prevent their benevolent intentions from being frustrated; as I am confident has often occurred, having myself observed precisely similar bequests in other wills, besides the one to which I have already alluded. I would caution persons from bequeathing any thing whatever to or for charitable purposes, except money, or stock in the public funds *; at the same time being careful not to direct the money to be paid out of mortgage money, or money to arise from the sale of houses, as in either case the bequest would be void.
Another legal correspondent, W. H. M. who has addressed us on the same subject, thinks that by the Mortmain Act bequests of stock also are illegal; but, from inquiries which we have made, we believe that his construction of the act is incorreet.-EDITOR.
I may also be permitted to allude to another circumstance of some moment, connected with the above subject. Among the numerous religious and charitable institutions of the present day, there are many which in name and description bear a great similarity to other; and in consequence of the incorrectness with which they are mentioned in the wills of many persons, great difficulties have frequently arisen in determining the precise charity intended to be benefited by the donors, and the bequests from the uncertainty have often been declared void. I would therefore strongly recommend all donors by will for charitable purposes, to be particular in giving a correct description of the object of their beneficence, if possible in the words of the form pointed out in the Report of such society, and also to direct that the legacy be paid duty free.
I beg to subjoin an amended form of a bequest, and notice appended thereto, as substitutes for those in general use, which, if adopted, will, I trust, prevent a recurrence of the errors I have endeavoured to point out and elucidate.
Proper Form of a Donation to the Society by Will.
"I give and bequeath the sum of unto the treasurer for the
time being, of
the same to be paid within months next after my decease, out of such part only of my personal estate, as shall not consist of mortgages or chattels real; in trust to be applied to the uses and purposes of that society, and for which the receipt of such treasurer shall be a sufficient discharge."
Devises of land, or of money charged on land, or secured on mortgage of lands or tenements, or to be laid out in lands or tenements, or to arise from the sale of land or tenements, are void: but money or stock may be given by will, if not directed to be paid out of the pro
duce of the sale of land or tenements, or to be laid out in land.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
I REQUEST your insertion of an
throw much light upon the real
met with, in one of the public libraries there, a printed correspondence in Latin, between Calvin and Cranmer, &c.; in which Calvin, with a sort of prophetic discernment, tells the Archbishop, that though he well understood his meaning in declaring, in the office of baptism, the infant to be regenerate, he might be assured that the time would come when that expression would be misconceived, and received as implying that baptism absolutely conveyed regeneration. Cranmer replies, that it is not possible such a construction can be put upon the passage, the church having sufficiently explained her meaning in the Articles and elsewhere. I give the purport of what was told me; without binding myself to the very expressions. I build no argument upon this: I merely state the fact as I received it, with a view to inquiry being made into the subject. The discovery of such a correspondence, of the existence of which I entertain no doubt, would at once settle all controversies upon this point, by enabling us to come at the very mind of the framers of our Liturgy."
Tothe Editor ofthe Christian Observer.
You mention that a sub-committee of the venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, is ac-, tively engaged in the reformation of the society's list of publications; a fact which I find announced in the last two or three Reports of the society. Perhaps some of your readers who are members of the institution, and resident in London, would be kind enough to inform its friends in the country, what is the extent of these revisions, and upon what principle they are conducted.. The subject is of considerable interest and importance; and I trust, will excite the attention of the members at large. The society's publications are so numerous, and of such various degrees of merit,