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“ This, you see, is the unhappy impression which Priestley has made, and which, if you proceed as you have so nobly begun, you will assuredly efface. But you will never do all the good which it is in your power to do, unless you assert your own importance, and call to mind that, as the Dissenters have no man comparable to you, it is your province to guide them, and not to be guided by their ignorance and bigotry. I am almost sorry you thought any apology due to those senseless bigots who blamed you for compassion [towards] the clergy of France,* as innocent sufferers and as martyrs of the Christian faith during the most barbarous persecution that has fallen upon Christianity, perhaps since its origin, but certainly since its establishment by Constantine.

* I own I thought well of Horsley when I found him, in his charge, call these unhappy men 'our Christian Brethren :' the bishops and clergy of the persecuted church of France ! This is the language of truth. This is the spirit of Christianity.

“I met with a combination in Ovid, the other day, which would have suited your sermon. Speaking of the human descendants of the giants, he says

“Sed et illa propago
“ Contemptrix superûm, sævæque avidissima cædis

“Et violenta fuit. Scires è sanguine notos.” Met. I. 160. “ The union of ferocity with irreligion is agreeable to your reasoning.

"I am going to send copies of my third edition † to Paley and Watson, to Fox and the Lord Chancellor. I should like to send copies of your sermon with them. If you will direct six copies to be sent here, I shall distribute them in such a manner as will, I think, not be hurtful.

“Mrs. Mackintosh joins me in the most kind and respectful remembrance. Believe me ever,

“ Dear Hall,
“Your affectionate friend,

“James Mackintosh." Mr. Mackintosh continued to evince both the steadiness of his friendship for Mr. Hall, and the high value which he set upon this Sermon, by frequently quoting it and applying it to the elucidation of the Lectures which he was then delivering in Lincoln's-Inn. Several of his auditors were, in consequence, induced sometimes to spend their Sundays at Cambridge, that

• See Vol. J. p. 79.
7 of the Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations.

The Earl of Rosslyn.

they might listen to the pulpit instructions of the individual of whom they had heard so much. Many also of the members of the University, including not merely under-graduates, but college fellows and tutors, were often seen at the Baptist place of worship. These sometimes amounted to fifty or sixty: and a few of them attended so constantly upon the afternoon services that they became almost regarded as regular hearers. Among the latter, some have since become distinguished men, and occupy important stations either in the church or in the public service, as statesmen or senators.

The attendance of so many university students upon the services of a Dissenting Minister, at length began to excite alarm among the “Heads of Houses;" of whom a meeting was summoned to consider the expediency of interposing some authoritative measure to prevent this irregularity. But Dr. Mansel, then master of the largest college, Trinity, and afterwards Bishop of Bristol, “ declared that he could not be a party in such a measure: he admired and revered Mr. Hall, both for his talents and for his genuine liberality; he had ascertained that his preaching was not that of a partisan, but of an enlightened minister of Christ; and that therefore if he were not the Master of Trinity he should certainly often attend himself; and that even now he had experienced a severe struggle before he could make up his mind to relinquish so great a benefit.” Shortly after this he personally thanked Mr. Hall, not only for his sermon, but for his general efforts in the christian cause; and, through the medium of a common friend, endeavoured to induce him to enter the established church. This, I believe, was the only direct attempt to persuade Mr. Hall to conform.

None of these circumstances were permitted to draw Mr. Hall aside from his ordinary course. Iis studies, his public duties, his pastoral visits, were each assigned their natural place, as before. If there were any change, it was manifest in his increased watchfulness over himself, and, perhaps, in giving a rather more critical complexion than before, to certain portions of his morning expositions, and in always concluding them with such strong practical appeals as might be suited to a congregation of mixed character.

If I do not greatly mistake, however, his sentiments with regard to controversy in general were considerably modified, from this period. The language of the preface to his sermon, on the

advantages of union, became the language of his heart and conduct; so that he abstained from public discussions except on questions that seemed of vital importance, either in regard to fundamental truth, or the essential privileges of christians. Having learnt that one of the severest trials of human virtue is the trial of controversy, he resolved, on occasions when silence became inexpedient or censurable, not to repel even injustice and misrepresentation in an angry spirit. Thus when he undertook the refutation of Bishop Horsley's charge, that village preachers among methodists and dissenters were teachers of insubordination and sedition, indignant as he doubtless felt at so unjust an insinuation, he opposed it in a manner as remarkable for the conciliatory spirit which it exhibits, as for the singular train of original thought, and cogent argument, which runs through that interesting fragment.*

In little more than two years after the publication of the sermon on Modern Infidelity, Mr. Hall again appeared before the public as an author. The transient peace of Amiens was celebrated by a general thanksgiving throughout England on the 1st of June, 1802. In the sermon preached by Mr. Hall on that occasion, he endeavoured first to awaken the gratitude of bis auditors by a most touching picture of the horrors of war, from which Europe had just escaped; and then to apply the gratitude so excited, to acts of benevolence. I have already advertedt to Mr. Hall's reasons for preaching that sermon memoriter, without deviation, from his own written copy. I recur to it for a moment, merely to state that though it was delivered with a most impressive dignity, and with less rapidity than that to which he usually yielded himself, yet, in one or two parts, he obviously felt great difficulty in checking his inclination either to modify his language, or to expatiate more at large. This was especially observable at the passage commencing with “ Conceive but for a moment the consternation which the ap

proach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful “ villages in this neighbourhood." He mentioned afterwards, that the struggle between his desire to correct what he, just then, saw was “a confusion in the grouping,” and his determination not to deviate from his lesson,” was such as rendered * That on Village Preaching commenced in 1801. See Vol. III. pp. 333—406. + Vol. I. p. 9.

Vol. I p. 91.

it almost impossible for him to proceed. To this kind of perplexity he never again exposed himself.

The nation had scarcely tasted the blessings of peace, when a dispute on one of the articles of the treaty of Amiens involved us in a fresh war with the French. Buonaparte, then First Consul, aware of the British ascendency at sea, resolved first to attack our continental dominions. He, also, seized on the persons and property of the numerous English who had visited France during the brief interval of peace, detaining them as prisoners of war; and then menaced this country with invasion. So strange, and in some respects, so atrocious a commencement of hostilities, had a singular effect in melting down dissension, and diffusing a spirit of almost unexampled unanimity, among all ranks and classes of the community. To adopt Mr. Hall's emphatic language : “ It was a strugg

“ It was a struggle for exist“ence, not for empire. It must surely be regarded as a happy “circumstance that the contest did not take this shape at an "earlier period, while many were deceived by certain specious “pretences of liberty into a favourable opinion of our enemy's “ designs. The popular delusion had passed; the most unex"ampled prodigies of guilt had dispelled it; and, after a series “ of rapine and cruelty, had torn from every heart the last fibres of mistaken partiality."* At this momentous period Mr. Hall's love of his country was again signally evinced. On the fast day, 19th October, 1803, he preached at Bristol, where he was then on a visit, a sermon afterwards published,“ The Sentiments proper to the Present Crisis," which had the happiest effect in enkindling the flame of generous, active patriotism.

This sermon, perhaps, excited more general admiration than any of the author's former productions; on account of its masterly exposure of prevailing errors, its original and philosophical defence of some momentous truths, and its remarkable appropriateness to the exigencies of the crisis. The last ten pages were thought by many (and by Mr. Pitt, among the number) to be fully equal in genuine eloquence to any passage of the same length that can be selected from either ancient or modern orators. They were re-printed in various periodical publications, and widely circulated in every direction; and they evidently suggested some of the finest thoughts in Sir James

# Sec Vol. I. p. 184.

any of them

6

Mackintosh's splendid defence of Peltier, the Editor of L'Ambigu, who was tried in London for a libel on Buonaparte.

In an old manuscript of Mr. Hall's, containing outline notes of sermons preached by him in 1801, 1802, and 1803, scarcely

occupying more than two pages, there are inserted the first rude sketch of this valuable sermon, and, at the distance of several pages, a few hints of thoughts and sentences designed to be introduced near the close.

“ I. Particulars in which our notions are wrong, or we speak not aright,' with regard to national judgments.

“1. Political speculations on the secondary causes of our calamities, exclusive of a regard to the hand of God.

“2. Wanton and indiscriminate censure of the conduct of our rulers.

“ We are permitted within ..... limits to animadvert on the measures of government.

“3. A confidence in an arm of flesh.
“ Cursed is man, &c.
" 4. A reliance on our supposed superior virtue.
* 5. General lamentations on the corruptions of the age.

Right sentiments. An acknowledgement of the justice and dominion of God.

“ Sincere confession of our sins. Dan. ix. 8. Zech. x. 11, &c."

Such was the original synopsis. The hints intended to be worked in towards the close of the sermon, are as below.

“ Eternal God! (O thou,) who hast at once declared thyself the God of Peace and the Lord of Hosts, go forth with our armies, and shelter (shield) their heads in the day of battle : give them (endow them with) that undaunted courage, that from trouble which springs from a sense of thy presence.

“Under thy conduct, and fighting under thy banners, we will employ all the resources which lie within our reach, ... without trusting in an arm of flesh ..... while we behold with the

eye

of faith, what thy prophet discerned in ancient times, the plains filled with horses of fire and chariots of fire.

“ There is surely not one person here who will tempt himself to .... by the fear of death, when he reflects that, in the failure of this great enterprise, should the crisis arrive, he must feel a thousand deaths in the extinction of religion, in the spoliation of property, in the violation of chastity, in the confusion of all orders ..... when all that is noble or holy will be trampled upon ..... when death

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