« 前へ次へ »
farther than as he in common with other able men might give publicity to their sentiments in that neighbourhood. The slave trade had excited a good deal of agitation in Carlisle and its vicinity, as it did in other places, partly from the talents and abilities that were roused throughout the kingdom in favour of the Africans, and partly from its being a common subject of interest in that neighbourhood, probably from the connection between Carlisle, Lancaster, and Liverpool. That silly project of breaking the neck of the trade, by lessening the consumption of sugar was rigorously and resolutely tried in many families, and, but for the sweetness of heroism, which made both young and old vie with each other in bearing with tasteless potions, would have spoiled many a cup of teaa. Even nurses were then taught to renew the old artifice of burning sugar in the candle, to show their wondering children how drops of blood distilled from the melting mass. To those who loved their own gratification better than more refined feeling, it was a hardship which made an impression, and to some others it may serve as a date for having frugally abolished the custom altogether. So active were the exertions of the people of Cumberland in favour of the abolition.—Mr. Paley, from having a relation at Lancaster who had amassed a considerable fortune in the West Indies as a planter, had an opportunity of making himself well acquainted with the mysteries of cruelty which lurked there ; and neither his feeling of humanity, nor his common sense of morality, allowed him to hesitate on the subject.
The third occasion on which he interfered publickly was at a period when every adherent to any form of regular government might well exert himself to stem the torrent of popular commotion and frenzy at the French Revolution. Debating clubs and corresponding societies were said to be formed in Cumberland; but their influence did not extend much farther than to those who were just learned enough to be taken with Tom Paine's Rights of Man. It was on a general search being made by masters of families through their houses, and on finding that such cheap publications were much in circulation, that Dr. Paley sent out his “ Reasons for Contentment,” and a single cheap impression of his Chapter on the British Constitution. Though he found one or two copies of Paine's Rights of Man in his own family, and threw them into the fire, he was not led to have any
respondence on the subject, which by the favour of Mr. Meadley's friends had been made known to me, seems only to authorize the mention of some hints, which Mr. Clarkson, in making up one of his reports or pamphlets, wished to avail him. self of, but had mislaid them amongst his other papers. Mr. Paley's name appears on the books of the committee as a correspondent.--Ed.
* That “ entire abstinence from the sugar of the West Indian islands is the only instrument in our power of bringing the patrons of this horrid traffic to a sense of duty,” is amongst the dogmas of Wakefield: who however clears the question of much entanglement when he says, “that conviction is the last thing wanted upon the subject, otherwise he would give two unequivocal universal maxims, one Christian and one heathen, applicable to this as well as every other subject. Ist. Evil is not to be committed that good may come, because the evil is certain and the good hypothetical. No political expediency whose basis is evil can terminate in national utility. 2. Fiat justitia- ruat cælum."
desponding views of the general disaffection of the people, but thought it a great deal exaggerated by circumstances. This, as far as it may form a characteristic of his politics, was generally the complexion of his sentiments. His reasons for contentment are neither more nor less than the copy of a sermon, the original of which is marked as having been preached at Dalston, 1790. In one of these pamphlets, which were found on his bookshelves, was written in his own hand—“ the best thing I ever wrote ;” and as if to add one more instance to the common fatality in the character of authors, it is observed in the Public Characters, that “this pamphlet, notwithstanding the universal interest of the subject, was not very generally read, and by those who read it was not very generally admired. The side he took was unpopular."
Such was he in public; and so little did he think himself a public character, that it may be doubted, whether during a residence of thirteen or fourteen years at Carlisle he ever stepped out of his private circle into public and national concerns, except on these few occasions; and it is perhaps as distinctive a mark as can be given to him, to say, that with a great natural inclination for bustle and activity, he decidedly preferred, from a conviction of its superior importance, the quiet orderly discharge of regular duties to the popular and more assuming line of conduct, which yet he was never forward to blame.
He interested himself very much in the establishment of a dispensary, which was at that time a new thing there ; and in the promoting of Sunday schools, it is well known, he encountered the grave charge of plagiarism. Of his spelling book, which it is well to notice amongst his public works, for a reason that will presently be obvious, nothing is to be said but what he himself was called upon to say, viz. " that the Sunday schools in Carlisle, at their establishment, were in want of some cheap and easy form of instruction ; that he and the printer laid their heads together to cull from all such books, without fear of the imputation of plagiarists; that it was sent out in London by his permission, but with the condition of applying to Mr. Robinson, who, as he had learned since, was the author of the book from which he had stolen the first part of it, the book itself having been given to his children.” In answer to Mr. R.'s angry insinuation that he intended it as a matter of gain and embezzlement, he candidly tells him “ that he never made a penny by it, but he is at any moment willing to make over to Mr. Robinson all his right and title in the work; that such a shabby, mean, publication is not likely to compete in the market with Mr. R.'s beautiful type and fine paper ; that the reputation for authorship was really no motive for the theft ; and that he had already made known to Mr. R. in a way that seemed to him to become both the subject and parties, that he was sincerely sorry for having unknowingly offended one, with whose literary merits and bad fortune he had, in common with every other scholar, often sympathised.” The only observation necessary to be made in addition to this good-humoured and almost benevolent apology for it is, that on a future occasion, when he was asked to allow an impression of it to be printed at Newcastle, he replied, “Ay, you may do what you like with it, only take care; I got myself into a sad scrape about it.” Mr.. Robinson's character as a writer of some repute, and as a relation of Bishop Law, which, according to a note in the life prefixed to Chalmers's edition, that gentleman appears to have been, does not seem to have been known to him at the time, but it was perhaps suggested to him afterwards.
For the appearance of this little work his bookseller is answerable. Those interested in the memory and reputation of Dr. Paley find that appearance best accounted for by the general disregard paid to the fame of an author, when put in competition with any private interest or speculation. It may not be for the edification of readers in general, nor much for the interest of those whose pen moves by interest, to open the secrets of book-making. But the facts of the case are these, and they speak for themselves. A volume published after his death by his own bookseller consists of something more than 519 pages, 342 of which are taken up with the valuable information for the nursery, of a dog, a hog, a cat, a rat; and the Clergyman's Companion for Visiting the Sick; neither of which are Dr. Paley's, or can pretend to a place amongst Paley's sermons and
tracts. This useful compilation of sermons and tracts was to be published just at the same time that another volume of his posthumous sermons was purchased and published by another bookseller, who was resorted to only after a comparatively low offer made by this his former bookseller ; and after an injunction obtained from the Court of Chancery to restrain his attempts at sending out an impression already printed, without the consent of those immediately concerned.
As far as this same spelling-book is indebted for its existence to the mind, and not to the circumstances of the author, (though little more than circumstances seem to have suggested the compilation,) it may be observed, that it was almost the natural turn of his leisure thoughts to observe the importance of little things of life. He was particularly fond of composing little prayers for his children or his own private use, many of which are to be found in his various commonplace-books, and by their very composition show no aim at publicity. In speaking of this spelling-book it ought not to be omitted, that the only part which bears the stamp of originality in the first portion is in a list of directions for reading ; and so peculiarly are they constructed, that it may perhaps satisfy rather than displease Mr. Robinson's friends, if they be mistaken for Dr. Paley's a—“ Do not stop abruptly, avoid a whining cadence, support your voice firmly, mind your stops, let your tone be natural, and with vivacity.” At least they were so completely engrafted on Dr. Paley's instructions to his family, that if they were not his own, it shows how much he valued Mr. Robinson's work.
In 1790 he published his Horæ Paulinæ. This, though perhaps the most original of his works, and containing as much accuracy of investigation, as much shrewdness in eliciting probable motives, is not calculated so well for general reading as his other works. It never met with a demand at all equal to the rest. Whether it be that the subject is more confined, that it has too distant a bearing upon general information, that it contains only a part of the evidences of Christianity, that it is a repetition of the same proof, that the mind of the reader is satisfied with proof long before the writer
a The particularity of such directions as these is not unlike what may be found in “ Additional Rules and Cautions," appended to Izaac Walton and Charles Cotton's " Complete Angler ;” and who can be offended with the comparison ?Ed.
leaves his subject, it has never been much noticed in comparison with other writings of the same author. It is a fair specimen, however, of original criticism, and proves him to have been thoroughly versed in St. Paul's writings. That part, indeed, of his Greek Testament appears to have been his favourite reading, as there are in the epistolary part a great many more curious and critical notes than are to be found in the Gospels. The originality of the design may be questioned in this, as well as in the rest of his writings ; and therefore it will be well to show, as far as any thing amongst his own papers will show, how much of the present work is original, that is, planned and executed without any previous application to lectures or other works.
In the lectures from which his Evidences are taken, is to be found the following paper, which seems to have given rise to this work; since it contains more than he has given in his Chapter of Undesigned Coincidences a, and is only not inserted there as his other papers were, because, as he tells his reader, on trying he found himself unable to abridge what he had stated in this volume, so that he himself partly connects the two writings. Besides, it contains a great many of the passages from St. Paul's Epistles which are noticed in his Horæ Paulinæ, and which seem to be of the same kind with those that suggested the abridgement.
“ St. Paul's Epistles genuine, from the earnestness of affection and passionate zeal which appear in them, and which nothing but reality could inspire: e. g. Rom. viii. 35, 39; 2 Cor. xi. 21. ad fin. ; 2 Tim. iv. 8. Could any man who was not in earnest write Phil. iii. 5, 14; 1 Cor. xiii. ? could any man who did not look for the resurrection of the dead write the 15th chap. of 1 Cor.; as well as from the very obscurity and irregularity of them, which a forger would have to take care to avoid ? Moreover the Epistle to the Colossians directs in the body of it, that it should be read amongst them ; consequently could not be forged after Paul's death, as the very Epistle implied that, upon the receipt of it, it had been publicly read, whereas no such Epistle had before been heard of.
“ The 1st Epistle to the Corinthians is an answer to a letter they had sent him, and on that account impossible to be forged, because it must have come to hand soon after they had sent their letter, and have been written also by a person acquainted with the contents
See Evidences of Christianity, Pt. II. C. VII.