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liverance of the blacks. However, we have every reason to believe, that all the efforts of Spain in most of its colonies will be unavailing but apprehensions are entertained for the safety of Mina, so that the deliverance of Mexico from the Spanish yoke may still be a work of time.

The speech of the President of the United States is filled with the good news of their prosperity, in which every lover of freedom will rejoice. In that part of the world is an asylum for the oppressed of Europe, and it is to be hoped, that these states will continue to cherish the sentiments of freedom and independence. They have enough to do in their own immense territory, which is improving every day; and if they can but abstain from the sin that has so grievously afflicted the old world, the love of war, this country will be far more distinguished for all the arts that improve and embellish life, than any of the boasted nations of the civilized world.

The readers of this Survey may have, perhaps, looked for an answer from the writer of it to the letter of our friend Bel

sham in the last Magazine. But enough has been said, and many perhaps will say, and with reason, more than enough on the subject in discussion. It may well drop. The writer of this Survey does not feel his personal regard for our friend Belsham diminish, though he entertains the same opinion that he has already advanced, namely, that the custom of babe-sprinkling has no foundation whatsoever in Scripture, is not a Christian rite, and is used chiefly by persons who wish to assimilate the kingdom of God to the kingdoms of this world. It is in vain that our friend Belsham attempts to prop up his rotten fabric.

"Non tali auxilio, non defensoribus istis, Tempus eget."

It must be added, that the signature of Ignotus was taken without recollection that it had been previously assumed. Should the writer think it necessary to write again under this title, he will add to it Secundus, by which he will be sufficiently desiguated from his predecessors.

NEW PUBLICATIONS IN THEOLOGY
AND GENERAL LITERATURE.

The Theological and Miscellaneous Works of Joseph Priestley, LL. D. F. R. S. &c., with Notes by the Editor. Vols. II. and III. [Vol. I. containing the Life and Correspondence of the Author, to be published hereafter.]

Illustrations of the Divine Government. By T. S. Smith, M. D. second edition, enlarged. 8vo. 9s. boards.

Narrative of Proceedings in a late Prosecution against John Wright, on a Charge of Blasphemy. By F. B. Wright. 9d.

Observations on the Expediency of pub. lishing only Improved Versions of the Bible, for the Continent. By Theoph. Abauzit, D. D.

The Evidences of Revealed Religion, on a new and original plan; being an Appeal to Deists on their own principles of Argument. By S. Thomson. Second edition. 28.

An Examination of the Various Texts of Scripture, adduced by the Rev. Thomas White, to prove the Doctrines of the Trinity and Atonement. By a Member of the Church, Jewin-Street Crescent.

Sermons on the Death of the Princess Charlotte. (From Vol. XII. pp. 696 and 746.)

The Transitory Glory of the World: at Mill Hill Chapel, Leeds, Nov. 19. By the Rev. Thomas Jervis. 2s.

In the Tron Church, Glasgow, Nov. 19. By Thomas Chalmers, D D. 1s. 6d.

At the Unitarian Chapel, Sheffield, Nov. 19. By Nathaniel Philipps, D. D. 8vo. 1s.

At the Old Chapel, Mansfield, Nov. 19. By John Williams. 8vo. 9d.

At the Baptist Meeting-House, Shrewsbury, Nov. 20. By John Palmer, 1s.

At the Baptist Meeting-House, Leicester. By Robert Hall, M. A. 2s.

The British Empire in Tears; at the Baptist Meeting-House in Bow, Middlesex. By William Newman, D. D.

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Athanasia a Discourse, inscribed to the Memory, &c. By an Under Graduate of the University of Oxford. 8vo. 2s. 6d.

ERRATUM.

In the title of the Biographical Article, p. 1, the date of Mr. Belsham's Funeral Sermon is wrong; for Nov. 9th, read Nov. 22nd.

Monthly Repository.

No. CXLVI.]

TH

FEBRUARY, 1818.

BIOGRAPHY.

Memoir of the late Rev. Thomas Astley.

THE REV. THOMAS ASTLEY, Whose decease was noticed in a former Number of the Monthly Repository, [XII. 688,] was born at Whitehaven, in Cumberland, September 5th, 1738, O. S. His father, the Rev. Ralph Astley, was a native of Chowbent, in Laucashire; in which county his family had resided during several generations, respectable by their stations in society, and especially by their pious and estimable characters. Mr. Ralph Astley was born in the year 1697, and, after pursuing his studies, with a view to the christian ministry, he settled with a congregation of Protestant Dissenters at Whitehaven, in which situation he remained till his death, which took place March 30th, 1756. He married, June 10th, 1731, Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Whalley, whose wife, Mary Chorley, was a descendant of Richard Chorley, of Walton, near Preston, in Lancashire, the great grand-father of the Josiah Chorley whose name occurs in the Monthly Repository, Vol. VI. pp. 592 and 593.

The subject of the present memoir was the sixth in a family of eleven children. The early part of his education he received in the grammarschool of his native place, then under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Hugglestone, a respectable clergyman in the Established Church. Here he continued six years, and at the age of 15, September 1755, he was placed under the care of the Rev. James Daye, a "learned and amiable" dissenting minister at Lancaster; with whom he remained three years. Of his amiable dispositions and excellent capacities at this period, a high testimony is borne in the following extracts out of a letter to his father from Mr. Daye, dated "Lancaster, March 18th, 1755

"REV. and Dear Sir,

"I can write to you with greater pleasure at this time than I could after the winter of the former year; and

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[Vol. XIII.

you will rejoice with me in the goodness of God to us, that your dear son, whom I must respect as if he were my own, (for he deserves it by his good qualities,) has been free from all complaints. His improvements much please me. In Greek he is a great proficient, &c. I am glad you encourage us to expect you here with Mrs. Astley this spring. I hope the journey will confirm your health, the continuance of which we all sincerely wish, and that your useful life may be spared for all the pleasure that may be expected from such a son."

During the last year of his residence with Mr. Daye, he sustained a heavy affliction in the loss of his father: This event caused his mother to remove with her family from Whitehaven to Preston, where she passed the remainder of her life. After the death of his father, the direction of his future studies appears to have devolved principally upon the excellent Dr. Benson of London. By his advice he was entered, in 1756, as a divinity student in the academy at Daventry, then under the direction of Mr. afterwards Dr. C. Ashworth, and Mr. Samuel Clark. Soon after his removal to Daventry, he commenced a correspondence with his revered friend and relative, Dr. John Leland of Dublin, between whom and his father a friendship and intimacy had subsisted during many years. The following letter, independently of its connexion with the subject of this communication, can hardly fail to be interesting to many of the readers of the Monthly Repository, as being an original letter of one whose character and works have rendered his name so highly and justly esteemed by the advocates of Christianity, especially amongst the Protestant Dissenters. It is addressed to Mr. Astley, at the academy, Daventry, and is dated: "Dublin, October 27th, 1756:→ "DEAR COUSIN,

"I had no account that could be

I

depended upon of your dear father's death, till I received your letter, though it was what I expected. He was a person whom I really valued, and for whom I had a true affection and friendship; and it is a great pleasure to me to find he has left a son who, I hope, will be useful in the world. I am pleased with the account you gave me of the progress of your studies under Mr. Daye, and of your further intentions. I find, by a letter from Mr. Pilkington, that you are now at the academy at Daventry, under the care of Messrs. Clark and Ashworth. I have heard so good an account of those gentlemen, and of that academy, that I doubt not the time you spend there will be much to your advantage. You tell me you intend, if God spares your life, to finish your studies with Dr. Leechman or Dr. Benson. should prefer the former, not only because Dr. Leechman is a person of great merit, as Dr. Benson also is, but because it may be an advantage to spend one season at least at an University. You are under so good a direction, that I need not give you my advice as to the order of your studies; only there is one thing which I would particularly recommend to you, and which is too much neglected by students in divinity; and that is, that you would read and consider some of the best books that have been written in the practical way: for want of this, many that have been well yersed in speculative and controversial divinity, as well as in the languages, mathematics and other brauches of literature, have been little qualified to discourse to the people in a plain, useful and edifying manner, which will always be most acceptable to the generality of hearers. I need not tell you that Archbishop Tillotson's Sermons are excellent in that way, as are many others that might be mentioned, belonging to the Established Church. And there are several authors among the Dissenters, that might be of great use, but are too generally neglected. The works of Dr. Bates and Mr. Howe are truly valuable, and se are many of those of Mr. Baxter, which have a pathos in them, and a spirit of piety running through them, which it were to be wished were more common among the preachers of this age. I shall be glad to have

an account now and then of the progress you are making and the method you are pursuing. May God bless you in your studies, and fit you for being, in due time, an useful instrument in his church.

66

“I am, your affectionate cousin,
"and humble servant,

"JOHN LELAND."

How successful Mr. Astley was in conducting himself at Daventry, so as his tutors, and especially in acquiring to secure the respect and affection of the mind and heart which rendered or improving those qualifications of him the enlightened, useful and faithful minister of the gospel, and gained him the love and esteem of all with whom he afterwards intimately associated; together with the sincere respect and veneration of all who knew him, his character; will appear from the though less familiarly acquainted with his quitting Daventry, by his tutor, following letter addressed to him on Mr. Ashworth.

"Daventry, Aug. 18, 1758. "DEAR SIR,

"I cannot dissemble the great concern I feel on the thoughts of losing you so much sooner than I expected. Your letter grieved me. 1 have observed your diligence and improvement with delight; besides that, your steady, obliging and serious conduct has excited my highest esteem and warmest love. It was an useful example in the family, and contributed much to the good order of it, and I bave often looked forward to future life with joyful expectation of your doing a credit to this academy and great service in the world. On these accounts, if it had been proposed to me as an alternative, I confess I would rather have given you your education for two more years, than parted with you now. But since your trustees are determined, and you think it your duty to acquiesce in their resolution, 1 submit the matter. Wherever you go, my prayers shall follow you, that your improvement may be great and your future usefulness extensive and loug. 1 thank you, dear Sir, for the pleasure your company has given us, and for your candid and kind deportment towards us, and I hope that I and my family shall still enjoy your affectionate and devout remembrance.

May the blessing of Almighty God attend you! Be assured, you have a large share in the heart and prayers of

“Dear Sir,

"Your affectionate friend and "servant,

"C. ASHWORTH." When the writer of this biographical sketch calls to his recollection the great modesty and retiring diffidence, which were so remarkably evinced in the deportment of its sub jeet, and which occasioned his being much less known in the world, and even in the narrow circle of society in which it is the usual lot of dissenting ministers to move, than many whose attainments and capacities of usefulness have, perhaps, been much inferior, he feels some degree of hesitation in giving to the public letters which bear such distinguished testimony to great excellence as a man, a Christian and a scholar. He almost feels a consciousness, that could the deceased have contemplated this application of them, he would have wished for their destruction. But such eminent worth of character may not pass unrecorded. So amiable an example ought to be held forth for the imitation of others. May God grant that it may be thus useful!

Of Mr. Astley's situation at Daventry, the only particulars that have hitherto been discovered, by the writer of this article, are contained in the following extracts, from a copy of a letter written by him to Dr. Benson, dated "Daventry, Oct. 20th, 1757. "I spend my time at Daventry with great pleasure: every thing is conducted in a very friendly and agreeable manner. I am now studying the Evidences of Christianity, which, on account of a change made lately in the course of our lectures by Mr. Ashworth, we are to go through before we proceed to Ethics. Along with the Evidences I am engaged with the Jewish Antiquities. These form properly part of the business of the last year. The reason of the alteration is this. We had begun Natural and Experimental Philosophy with Mr. Clark, the last year, and had gone through Mechanics, Pneumatics and Hydrostatics with him; but as Mr. Taylor, who succeeded Mr. Clark, did not wish to engage with Natural

Philosophy this year, and Mr. Ash-
worth could not conveniently, we
exchanged it for the Jewish Anti-
quities, and shall conclude the course
of Natural Philosophy the next year.
Mr. Taylor is universally respected
in the academy. He is a gentleman
of great modesty and affability. We
are under no restraints here as to our
sentiments, have liberty to read any
books, make any objections, and talk
freely upon any subject. How Mr.
Ashworth may be affected to the gen-
tlemen who agree or differ with him,
I do not know; but his outward beha-
viour is friendly to all, and with the
rest I have great reason to honour
and esteem him. Mr. Taylor is very
good in taking notice of the students,
He is
and conversing with them.
very communicative, and his beha-
viour amongst us speaks his desire of
making up the loss of Mr. Clark to
this academy. Both our tutors are
very candid hearers of any of our per-
formances, which are, praying in the
family in the evening, and two orations
every session; in the last year but one,
praying in public in the meeting at
the evening lecture; and, in the last
year, preaching."

Of his fellow students at Daventry,
the one with whom he formed the
strictest friendship and intimacy, and
with whom he kept up a constant
intercourse aud correspondence, was
the Rev. Thomas Threlkeld, of whom
a biographical memoir was given in
Vol. II. of the Monthly Repository,
communicated by the late Rev. Dr.
Barnes. With him, both at Daventry,
and afterwards at Warrington, Mr.
Astley was in the habit of spending
two hours, three evenings in every
week, in mutual studies of the He-
brew and Greek Scriptures. In July,
1758, Mr. Astley was removed, with
his friend Threlkeld, to the academy
recently established at Warrington,
by the advice of Dr. Benson. What
particular reasons might lead to this
change, the writer is unacquainted
with; but he has frequently heard
the subject of this memoir express the
great satisfaction he felt on becoming
a student in the Warrington Aca-
demy, and the uniform pleasure he
experienced during a three years' resi-
dence in it. The full and very in-
teresting history of this academy, with
the list of its students, communicated

to the Monthly Repository, for the years 1813 and 1814, by V. F., would render any account of it, as connected with the biographical memoir of Mr. Astley, (if any particulars could be given,) altogether superfluous. It is, however, worthy of record, as evincing the ardour and industry with which he pursued his studies, both at Daventry and Warrington, that amongst his MS. volumes, there are several containing either the entire lectures, or very full abstracts of the several courses of lectures which he attended. Among others is a course of lectures delivered by Dr. Taylor, upon all the parts of speech in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, illustrated by many quotations from the Old and New Testaments, and by many from the Greek and Latin classics. These criticisms were partly collected from different critics, and partly the Doctor's own. A very complete index of the texts explained in these lectures, made by Mr. Astley, is appended to his M. copy.

In a letter from Mr. Daye, dated Lancaster, November 28th, 1760, it appears that Mr. Astley had received an invitation from the congregation at Stockport to become their minister. Whether the invitation was that he should become their resident minister upon his quitting the academy, and in the meau time should supply their vacant pulpit by going from Warring ton to Stockport for the Sunday, does not appear. But this latter plan was adopted for some months at least. In the beginning of April, 1761, he received an invitation from the congregation at Congleton to become their pastor, in the room of his highly esteemed friend and relative, the late Rev. W. Turner, who had accepted an invitation to settle as minister at Wakefield. This invitation he accepted, but, during the first three months he supplied there, he continued to pursue his studies at Warrington. In July, 1761, he settled at Congleton, with no other view than of continuing there for a much longer t me than he did; but receiving many invitations and earnest solicitations to succeed his mother's uncle, the Rev. Mr. Pilkington, who had resigned the pastoral office at Preston, through the growing infirmities of age, he was induced to remove to a situation pe

culiarly pleasing to him, as being the residence of many of his friends and nearest relations. During his short stay at Congleton, (Aug. 26th, 1761,) he received from the congregation at Yarmouth, in Norfolk, through the medium of the Rev. T. Whiteside, one of the pastors of that society, an invitation (given upon the recommendation of Dr. Benson), to spend some weeks amongst them, with a view to his permanent settlement as co-pastor with Mr. Whiteside, there and at Filby, a village about six miles distant.

This invitation, occasioned by the death of the Rev. Mr. Milner, and communicated in the most gratifying terms, was declined, not without considerable reluctance. Probably the

solicitations of his friends that he would settle at Preston, might determine him to this step, as he settled at Preston on the 4th of October following.

On the 18th May, 1762, a meeting of ministers was held at Warrington, when Mr. Astley, together with Mr. John Holland, Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Priestley, and Mr. Wilding, were ordained to the christian ministry. On this occasion Mr. Daye asked the questions, Mr. Mottershead prayed over the candidates, and Mr. Braddock gave the exhortation, and concluded with prayer. At this meeting it appears, that the proposal was first made to establish among the Protestant Dissenting Ministers of the counties of Lancaster and Chester, a fund for the relief of their widows and children. Of this excellent institution Mr. Astley was one of the earliest members and most zealous advocates. Preston, Mr. Astley continued to purWhile at industry, applying himself particularly sue his theological studies with great to biblical criticism, but without suffering himself to lose sight of the to the character of a minister of rehimportant practical duties belonging gion.

How faithfully those duties tinued at Preston, there are few, perwere discharged by him while he conhaps, if any now living who could bear their testimony; but the writer can never forget the sincere and very affectionate respect with which Mr. Astley's character and services were aged members of that congregation, remembered and spoken of by some

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