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changeless Truth; from the perishable dispensations of worldly polities to the constitutions of the everlasting Gospel; from the condemning sentence of frail and mistaken men, to the irrevocable decision of an absolving and applauding God.
FIRST SATIRE OF JUVENAL
Still, still shall struggling Spleen repress her hand,
How plotting Priestley's grains of powder lie
. During the debate in the House of Commons in 1787, on the Repeal of the Test Act, one of the present writers heard Sir William Dolben, Member of Parliament for the University of Oxford, quote the following passage, to which Mr. Wakefield alludes, from Dr. Priestley. “ -the silent propagation of the truth will in the end prove efficacious. We are placing, as it were, grain by grain, a train of gunpowder, to which the match will one day be laid to blow up the fabric of error, which can never be again raised upon the same foundation.”
The worthy Baronet now displayed his sagacity in detecting the design of the Philosopher, and, as in duty bound, alarmed the House by laying no common emphasis on every grain of the metaphorical combustible. Mr. Courtenay, whose pleasantry has so often relieved the tædium of parliamentary business, undertook to calm the apprehensions of the Representative of the University of Oxford, and reminded him that the deep design, whatever it might be, was only against “ the fabric of error," and therefore Sir William must be satisfied that the Church of England could be in no danger.
Each yelping cur of lurcher placemen barks,
I too was form’d by pædagogic rules,
o “ You must permit me, sir, to say, that I consider the Dedication of a Work designed to promote the knowledge of the Sacred SCRIPTURES as peculiarly appropriate to you, who have evinced yourself the zealous FRIEND OF RELIGION. But above all, I may state with inexpressible satisfaction, that under the influence of Religious Princirle, your conduct has afforded an eminent example of private as well as of public virtue."!!
See Dedication of the “ ELEMENTS OF Christian Theology." "To the Right Honourable Wiliam Pitt, First Lord Commissioner of his Majesty's Treasury, &c. &c, * c.” 1799.
• Mr. Wilberforce, having lamented the notorious contempt of national
But, why the Muse her Pegasus should guide
When triumphs Sin, by impious laws sustain'd,
Fasts, especially among the higher ranks, “ thinks it necessary to declare, that the account, which appeared in some of the news-papers, of an entertainment having been given by Mr. Pitt on the Fast Day, is untrue; and he is glad of the opportunity, which the mention of this subject affords him, of contradicting a statement which he can positively affirm to have been false.” “ Practical Views,” &c. 2d ed. p. 378. Having never seen the later editions of this work, we are unable to say, whether the worthy Author has been equally successful in proving that the celebrated Duel by his Friend was not fought on a Sunday. The common notion of the day of the week, on which this event happened, must surely be erroneous, as a Right Rev. Prelate, very soon after the transaction, hesitates not to declare to his patron, Mr. Pitt, his “ inexpressible satisfaction" in the contemplation of the character of that gentleman—" the zealous Friend of Religion, and the firm supporter of our Ecclesiastical Establishment;" regulating his conduct “ under the influence of religious principle.” [Sec the preceding Note.] Are not these strong presumptions, that the Duel was not fought on a SUNDAY? and, unless Mr. Wilberforce has already considered the subject, might he not make an interesting enlargement of his note, in his next edition, by an examination of this question, important at all times, and especially now, his Friend has resumed his high station ?