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and man, of which the equitable condition, he said, was repentance and fincere, although imperfect obedience, which God, he added, was too just, and too good, not to accept. As he read the fermon, and repeated every passage of the smallett importance, it was impoflible for us to mistake the meaning of any of them."“ When the established church was dismissed in the evening, we went to the top of a walled stair in the market-place, which the congregation had to pass, and immediately began, as usual, by finging. There might, probably, be near icoo people who fopped. Preached to them from Mark xvi. 15, 16. Explained to them the gospel, and the circumstances which rendered it glad tidings to every creature ; shewed that it was a difpenfation wholly of grace, and that it stas completely contradictory, both to firipture and to fakt, to represent man as capable of doing any thing, in order to render himself acceptable to God. The pride of man indeed, rejected this doctrine. He withed to recommend himself to God by his sepentance, which he confidered, and was taught to confider, as we had heard from their minifter, as the equitable condition upon which God would be reconciled to him. Endeavoured to thew the inconfiftency of this doctrine with the scripture-account of man's being naturally dead in trespasses and fins, and the vanity of all those hopes vi hich were not founded upon the complete alonement of ihe Lord Jesus Christ. Told the people plainly, that what thry kad keard was not the gospel, and urged them to search the scriptures for themselves, mentioning, at the same time, that our only motive in making these observations, was love to their immortal souls, whose final state, we were convinced, depended upon their belief or rejection of the gospel. As to their minifter, we could have no ill will at him, but, on the contrary, sincerely prayed to God, that he might give him repentance to the acknowledgement of the truth.” Pp. 38–10.
They give a similar account of the established minister, and of their own conduct in almost every parish which they visited ; and in their introduction, (P. 24,) “they hesitate not to say, that it would give them pleasure to learn, that the hearers of every minifter, whose sermons they condemned as unfcriptural, had left him. They had much better stay at home chan go to church and hear error."
That men, who collected the mob, by the beat of drum, to hear such inflammatory do&trines as these ; and who published, on their return, an account of their proceedings, in which they thus plainly attack the government, dilcipline, and doctrine, of the eftablished church, together with the mode in which the clergy are supported; that such men both preached and published, for the avoued pur. pose of fapping the foundation of the church,” it is impossible for us to doubt, And till Mefirs. Ja. Haldane, Aikman, and Rate, shall be censured for their conduct by the fociety for propagating ibe gospel at home, we cannot contradict the first of the three assertions in which Mr. Robert Haldane considers his character as implicated.
When we asserted, that he is at the head of this society, we did not mean, and we could not be supposed to mean, that he either poffeffes or claims any epifcopal authority over his brethren; for every one knows that such authority is incompatible with the confti. tution of congregational churches, in which no distinction is allowed between clergy and laity. But we considered him, and we still consider him, as a leading man in the society, as, perhaps, primus in paribus, To this rank he is weli entitled for his zeal in the cause ; for he has purchafed what was the Circus, in Glasgow, and converted it into a theological school, for the education of miffionaries, to propagate the gospel at home and abroad ; and of these missionaries, when students, we are allured that he supports annually twenty or thirty at his own
expence. If to such a man the members of the society do not look up as to their head, (in the sense in which that word was used by us,) they are certainly ftrangers to the sentiment of gratitude.
The motive which prompted Mr. Haldane to fell his estate can be certainly known only by 'God and himself; and, therefore, with respect to this part of the obnoxious paragraph, we can have no con. troversy with him. . To faiisfy our readers, however, that our third assertion was not made at random, it may be proper to inform them, that the respectable correspondeni, from whom we received Mr. Ranken's essay, assured us, that the motive which he assigned for the "sale of Mr. H.'s estate, was, in the metropolis of Scotland, univer. sally believed to be the true motive; and that this belief was founded on language used by Mr. H. himself some years ago, when he talked of going to India, with three companions, to propagate the gospel among the worshippers of Brahma. At any rate, if the education of preachers to propagate the gospel at home be meritorious, Mr. H. cannot accuse either our correspondent' or as of having afligned for his conduct an unworthy motive, however far that motive may be froin truth.
It is not, indeed, safe to talk with too much confidence, either of men's motives or their intentions, except when their actions are such as to leave no room for doubt respecting the fource from which they spring. That many of the independents, who, in the laft century, propagated the gospel at home by the sword, meant well, it would be rath to deny ; and that the designs of Meunier, and some other Members of the Constituent Assembly of France, were good, seems incontrovertible. Yet in both these cases, from good intentions, flowed the most dreadful consequences--even the inurder of two virtuous Monarchs, and the overthrew of all authority, civil and ecclefiaftical, in two great kingdoms. In like manner, there may be, and we doubt not but there are, in the fociety for propagating the 8ppel at home, various members of upright views; but we must take the liberty to add, that these men fee not the consequences of their conduct; for that conduct is fraught with danger to true religior, civil society, and domestic peace. With this conviction deeply ir.. pressed on our minds, we consider it as our duty, whatever Mr. H. may think, to beg the good people of Scotland, when these itinerants vifix them, and abuse their parochial clergy, to remember the words of Jesus -" to the multitude, and to his disciples. The Scribes and Pharisees, (the established teachers among the Jews,) fit in Moles feat. All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that overve and do.” And again, “ Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye hall know them by their fruits." We are not ourselves Presbyterians, and we think our religious establishment greatly preferable to that of Scotland; but the worst of the two is, perhaps, berter
any other in Europe ; and, inost unquestionably, any estabaha ment of Christianity, whatever, if Diflenters be tolerated, is infi. pitely preferable to none,
TO THE EDITOR. DEAR SIR, THE HE conversations I had with Mr. Wilkes, on the subject of
Junius's Letters, took place from 1776 to about 1784, during which time I lived with him in great intimacy; he even en: ruited me with the manuscript Memoirs of his life. In his public or political parties I never mixed, but I lived much with him in private ; ihere he appeared to the greatest advantage ; he was highly respected and loved by those who lived with him on that footing, and I think, with great pleasure, that I was one of them,
Far from giving the least hint that he was the author of Junius's Letters, he always explicitly difclaimed it, and treated it as a ridicu. Jous fupposition. No one acquainted with his style càn suspect, for a moment, that he was the author of them ; the merit of his style was fimplicity; he had both gaiety and strength, but to the rancorous farcasms, the lofty contempt, with which Junius's Letters abound, no one was a greater itranger than Mr. Wilkes. To this may be aveled the very nighting manner in which Junius expresses himself of Mr. Wilkes. I am willing to admit, that if Mr. Wilkes had 'writien Junius's Letters, he would have created Mr. Wilkes un civilly, for the sake of disguising himself. But sneer, and particu. larly that kind of sneer, which Mr. Wilkes occasionally receives from Junius, you may be assured, Mr. Wilkes would never hare used in speaking of himself. With respect, therefore, to his having faid to your friend that, “at his ascension, the author of Junies would be known,” I am confident he never used those words, or any words like them. You mention to me your having heard that Junius's Litters were printed off before they were delivered to the printer. This was not the fact; if it had been true, it would have put Mr. Wilkes's authorship wholly out of the question, as he had no convenience whatever for printing. I once procured a copy to be made for him of some very private papers, and he then greatly lainected to ine his want of a private press.
Our conversations on Junius's Leiters began from a whimsical circumítance, Business haring carried me to Ireland in 1776, I vosote to Mr. Wilkes from Holyhead ; on my retorn, lie intormed me that my letter had been stopt at the post office, from the fimi. larity of the hand writing to that of Junius. This made me with to fee the original of Junius's Letters, and he produced them to me. Wie :nore than cree examined them iogeiher viith great atteniici.
All of them, except the letter to the King, are, if I remember sightly, in the same hand writing. It is like that which well educated ladies wrote about the beginning of the century; a large open hand ; regular, approaching to the Italian. Mr. Wilkes had a card of invitation to dinner from old Lady Temple, written in her own hand ; on comparing it with Junius's Letters, we thought there was fome resemblance between them, The letter to the King was in a hand writing perfectly different; a very ręgular, Ataid hand; no difference between the fair stroke and the body of the letters ; when I see you I will shew you some writing very similar to it. As to my own hand writing, it has not now the fightest resemblance to it, nor do I think it ever had any,
The letters, generally, if not always, were sent in an envelope, (which was then by no means so general as it now is,) and in the folding up, and the direction of the letter, we thought we could see marks of the writers habit of folding and directing official letters. The lines were very even; very few blots, erasures, or marks of hurry: Mr. Wilkes received many letters from Junius, which never were published; one, in particular, on the subject of improving the representation of the people. Their opinions were different. I remember Junius's Letter began by his saying, “ he was treated as a Pagan idol, with much incense, but with no attention to his oracles.”
We thought his high-wrought panegyric of Lord Chatham was ironical.
Mr. Wilkes scouted the notion of Mr. Burke's being the author of the letters. His suspicions fell on Dr. B*****, Bishop of H*******, but I don't recollect more than two reasons assigned by him for fulpecting his Lordship ; one, that he had published a ser. mon, before Junius's Letters appeared, the style of which was very like that of the letters ; another after the letters appeared, in a style wholly unlike. These fermons, I think, I have seen, and that they did not appear to me to warrant Mr. Wilkes's observations. The other reason was, that the references to the Letters in the Bible werc not to the received tranllation, but to the Vulgate, which, he said, the Bishop always used, and which, (by the way,) Mr. Wilkes greatly admired. He described the Bishop to be a faturnine, obferving, profound, and filent man, such a one as, a priori, we thould suppose Junius. But it was a mere suspicion, and we frequently amused ourselves with endeavouring to find a more likely person,
Arguing synthentically, we determined that Junius muti be a refident in London, or its environs, from the immediate answers which be generally gave his adversaries; that he was not an author by profeffion, from the visible improvement which, from time to time, ivas discernible in his style ; that he was a man of high rank, from The tone of equality which he seemed to use quite naturally in his addresses to persons of rank and in his expreflions respecting them; that he was not a profound lawyer, from the gross inaccuracy of fome of his legal exprellions; that he had a personal animosity againit the
King, the Duke of Bedford, and Lord Mansfield, from the bitterness of his expressions respecting them; that he had lived with military. men, from the propriety of his language on military fubjects; and that he was a great reader of novels, from his frequent allusions to them. The general idea, that the Letters were the compofition of more than one person, we always rejected. The ftory, that Single. fpeech Hamilton informed one of his friends that the Junius of the Thorning contained such and such passages, and that, till the fubfequent day, no such Junius made his appearance, we thought fufficiently authenticated; and we also thought it satisfactorily accounted for, by the supposition that Woodfall had shewn the letter to Mr. Hamilton on the preceding day, and mentioned his intention of inferting it, but had been unexpectedly prevented; we also believed in the ttory that, while Garrick was writing a note to Mr. Ramus, or some other of the pages, Wcolfall, or some one from him, came in and informed him, that Junius intended writing no more ; that Garrick mentioned this circumliance in the note; and that, almost instantly after the note was sent, a thundering letter came from Junius to Garrick, abusing him for making free with his name. It was also mentioned to us froin very good authority, that Lord North had declared that governinent had traced the porterage of the letter to an obfcure person in Staples Inn, but could never trace them farther.
This is all I can collect of the conversations which pafled between Mr. Wilkes and myself on the subject in question ; I have endeapoured to be accurate in my recollection of them : but you will Temember it verges towards twenty years fince they took place. I apprehend the original Letters are in the custody of Mifs Wilkes.
Edmund Burke spoke to me about Junius in terms of disgust; Mr. Gibbon appeared to me not to admire his style, as much as it was ad. mired by the public in general ; and he told me that Mr. Fox thought flightingly of it.
Some letters, under the signature of Julian, were attributed to Junius ; 'but, to my certain knowledge, they were written by one Pillon, the author of fonie dramatic pieces of no great merit. Some respectable persons say that Mr. Forth, who attended Lord Stormont's embally, knows something of the author.
The last anecdote I have heard on the subject is, that an old man, feemingly poverty-ftricken, came in the Bath coach to the Devizes, or one of the next stages, and fell fick at the inn; that decent gentleman came to him from London ; that the old man died; that He was buried in the church-yard ; that over his tomb his friend caused a stone to be raised with Junius's motto, “Stat nominis umbra;". and that Mr. Fox, travelling that road, stopt at the inn, and desired to be directed to the stone. This story is confidentially circulated, but I certainly do not vouch for the truth of it.
As for Macaulay Boyd's being the author of Junius's Letters, it is a perfect joke ; no two characters can be more perfectly unlike than Boyd's and Junius's. Boyd was a good natured lively man, famous for repeating Lord Chathani's and Burke's speeches, and always