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On the Marriages of Freethinking Christians. [Feb. Mr. URBAN,
Jan. 20. or for any purpose, deny the Godhead THE THE Unitarians, or at least that of his Redeemer, or the personality of
portion of the sect who term the Holy Spirit; namely, that his pretheinselves Freethinkers, appear to be tensions to particular tenderness of congetting weary of that quiet obscurity science was base hypocrisy, that he into which they have hitherto been possessed one of those placid consciences involved, and to have become very which never do their possessors any anxious to attract public attention to harm, and that, consequently, he was themselves and their doctrines, and in far, very far from being entitled to repursuit of that loudable object (the at- spect or even compassion. tainment of notoriety), having lately Let these people be treated with the taken to protesting against the injury contempt they merit, if they should done to their consciences by being again present themselves to libel the compelled to acquiesce in the Mar- ordivancy, and vilify the belief of the riage ceremony of the Established Church of England. Let them be Church, and on two late occasions, told that the fathers of that Church have caused considerable delay and were inen who despised and forsook confusion in the performance of Di- all worldly advantages, honours, or vine service in consequence. It is to possessions, rather than act contrary to be hoped, however, that if such kind the dictates of their consciences—ihat of protests be again offered, that no ill. they were content to be driven froni founded pity for their supposed scruples their families, exiled from their counof conscience will be suffered to pre- try, nay even to lay down their lives at vail, or rather to avert that just con- the stake, rather than offend the motempt and indignation which such nitor within, rather than to acquiesce conduct is calculated to excite, when in tenets they denied, or submit to ordia viewed in its proper light. It is but nances they disallowed. And let them justice however to say, that on both be told, that the Church of England, the late occasions of protests being at the present day and not inerely the offered against the performance of the Church of England, but all classes of Marriage Ceremony, the officiating Christians), refuses and rejects the clergyman (but especially the Rev. Dr. claims of any man to peculiar tenderRice) displayed a proper sense of the ness of conscience, who will not do indecency, and a fixed determination likewise ; that it considers their proto resist it as far as possible.
tests in the light of deliberate insults, These Freethinkers, it appears, en- not however worthy of being resented tertain very strong objections against otherwise than by reminding them the Marriage Ritual of the Church of how little they resembled the founders England; they consider that the invo- of the Protestant faith, to whom they cation of the Trinity is impiety of the affect to compare themselves. most dreadful kind, as elevating to the Let it not be forgotten, by the rank of Deity a mere human being, Freethinkers, or any other persons who and paying divine honours to this hu- may affect to entertain conscientious man being, and to a third personage, scruples in regard to the Marriage whom they conceive to be the creature Ritual of the Church of England, that of fancy or mistake. Now even upon if they chose to take a trip to Scoiland, this objection, withont taking into ac- or even to cross the British Channel, count those of a minor description, can they might be united in matrimony we suppose that these men really do without giving their assent to the obhold this opinion? or if they do, what noxious doctrines they complain of, idea can we form of their consciences, as marriage may be niiw contracted as if they will, to secure any advantages a civil contract, without any profession whatever, deliberately and publicly re- of religious belief; and that the law of padiate this doctrine; nay, according England recognises the validity of such io their view of the subject, commit marriages to the fullest extent. If, positive and direct blasphemy. We therefore, the Freethinkers choose 10 must entertain the same opinion of sacrifice their consciences rather than them that we should of a professed be- a few pounds, let them do so in silence, liever in the divinity of our Saviour lest they provoke contempt rather than who should, under any circunstances, sympathy.
MEMOIR OF WILLIAM GIFFORD, Esq.
(With a Porlrait.) On the last day of the departed year, house of a person named Carlisle, died, at his house in James-sireet, Buck- who, for money advanced to his moingham.gate, aged 70, William Gifford, ther, had taken possession of all her efesq. author of the Baviad and Mæviad, fects, and who was also his godfather. translator of Juvenal and Persius, and William Gifford had in his father's Editor of the Quarterly Review from life-time, though to little profit, spen: its commencement to the beginning of three years at the free-school, and his 1826.
godfather, from “respect for the opiTo those who have seen the Juvenal nion of the town,” now sent him again, of this highly-gifted man, the captivat- and he studied with greater diligence, ing piece of autobiography prefixed 10 With the expense of this, however, that work must nece
ecessarily be familiar; Carlisle was soon tired, and after three and indeed on its first appearance in months he remored his godson, and 1802, we gave a short epitome of it in began to look round for some opportuvol. Lxxx11. ii. 897. Ai the same time nity of ridding himself of a useless we think no apology necessary for our charge. Having been unsuccessful in making, on this appropriate occasion, persuading the boy to follow the plough, some more extensive extracts. In pe, he appears to have determined on some rusing that exceedingly interesting nar, maritime employment for bion, An rative, it is difficult to say which is arrangement was made that he should most entitled to our admiration, the be fitied out to assist in a Newfoundwriter's manly candour in unfolding land store house, but the merchant on his humble origin, or his genuine ino- seeing him, pronounced him to be “too desty in veiling his acquired eminence, small;" and so humbled were his pros
Nir. Gifford was of a Devonshire fac pecls after this, that his godfather next mily, and was born al Ashburton in proposed to apprentice him in one of the that county in April 1756. His ances- Torbay fishing-boats. The inatter was, try he could trace no further than to however, compromised by his consenthis great-grand-father, who resided at ing to go on board a small coaster beHalsbury near that town, and was pos- longing to Brixham, and thither he sessed of considerable property. This, went when little more than thirteen. however, his son and grandson entirely “In this vessel,” he says, “I condissipated, and, at the period when tinued nearly a twelvemonth; and here Mr. Gifford entered the world, his mo- I got acquainted with nautical terms, ther was living alone on very scanty and contracted a love for the sea which resources, his father having lately gone a lapse of thirty years has but little dito sea as second in command of the minished. It will be easily conceived Lyon transport. He did not return till that my life was a life of hardship... ! 1764; and ihen, after having for about was not only a ship-boy on the high three years unprofitably carried on his and giddy mast,' but also in the cabin, business as a painter and glazier, sunk where every menial office fell to my from intemperance into the grave, whi- lot: yet if I was restless and discon. ther his widow followed hiin within a tented, I can safely say it was not so iwelvemonth. “She was,” says her much on account of this, as of my son, “an excellent woman, böre my being precluded from all possibility of father's infirmities with patience and reading; as my master did not possess, good huniour, loved her children dearly, nor do I recollect secing during the and died at last, exhausted with anxiety whole time of my abode with him, a and grief, more on their account than single book of any description, except her own.”
the Coasting Pilot. Mr. Gifford was thus left an orphan “As my lot seemed to be cast, howwhen not quite thirteen, with a bro. ever, I was not negligeni in seeking ther hardly iwo, “and we had not,". such information as promised to be be says, “a relation or friend in the useful; and I therefore frequenteil, at world." His brother was consigned to my leisure hours, such vessels as dropt the alms-house, and after a shore life of inio Torbay On attempting to get on hardship and suffering, died a youth. board one of these, which I did at midHe was himself at first taken io the night, I missed my footing, and fell
, Gent. Mag. r liruary, 1827.
into the sea. The fouting away of the
“As Bohated my new profession membering nothing but the horror I with a perfect haired, I made no felt, when I first found inyself unable to progress in it; and was consequently cry out for assistance. This was not my lille regarded in the family, of which only escape, but I forbear to speak of I sunk by degrees into the common them. An escape of another kind was drudge: ihis did not inuch disquiet preparing for me
me, for my spirits were now humbled. This was an alteration in the con- I did not, however, quite resign the duct of bis godfather, who, to allay a hope of one day succeeding to Mr. murmuring which liad arisen amongst Hugh Smerdon, and therefore secretly the townspeople, had now determined prosecuted my favourite study, at every to recal him from his degraded situa- interval of leisure. These intervals tion, and restore him to school. This, were not very frequent; and when the as he wanted some months or fourteen, use I made of them was found oui, and was not yet bound apprentice, was they were rendered still less so. 1 easily affected; and my heart," he could not guess the motives for this at continues, "which had been cruelly first ; but at lengih I discovered ihat shut up, now opened !o kinder semi
Master destined his youngest son ments, and fairer views."
for the situation to which I aspired. “ After the holidays I returned to “I possessed at this time but one my darling pursuil, arithmetic: my book in the world: it was a treatise progress was now so rapid, that in a on Algebra, given to me by a young few mouths I was at the head of the woman, who had found it in a lodgschool, and qualified to assist my mas- ing-house. I considered it as a treater, Mr. E. Fouiong, on any extraor- sure; but it was a treasure locked up; dinary emergency. As he usually gave for it supposed the reader to be well me a irifle on those occasions, it raised acquainted with simple equation, and a thought in me, that, by engaging I knew nothing of the matter. My with him as a regular assistant, and master's son had purchased Fenning's undertaking the instruction of a few Introduction : this was precisely what evening scholars, I wigit, with a lile I wanted; but he carefully concealed tle additional aid, le enabled to sup- it from me, and I was indebied to por myself. God knows, ny ideas of chance alone for stumbling upon his support at this time were of no very hiding place. I sat up for the greatest extravagant nalure. I had, besides, part of several nights successively, and another object in view. Mr. Hugh before he suspected that his treatise Smerdon, mny first Alaster, was now was discovered, had completely masgrown old aud infirm; it seemed im- tered it. I could now enter upon my likely that he should hold out above own; and that carried me pretty far three or four years; and I lovely Hals into the science. This was not done tered myself that, notwithstanding my without difficulty. I had not a faryouth, I miglit possibly be appointed thing on earth, nor a friend 10 give io succeed him. I was in my fifteenth nic one ; pen, ink, and paper, thereyear, when I built these castles. A fore, (in despite of the flippant remark storm, however, was collecuing, which of Loril Orford,) were, for the most unexpectedly burst upon me, and part, as completely out of my reach as swept them all away.
a crown and sceptre. There was, in"On mentioning my little plan to deed, a resource; but the utmost cauCarlisle, he treated it with the utmost tion aud secrecy were necessary in apcontempt; and told me, that, as I had plying to it. I beat out pieces of lealearned enough at school, he must be iher as smooth as possible, and wrought considered as having fairly discharged my problems on ihem with a blunted his duty; he added, that he had been awl; for the rest, my memory was te