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Memoir of the late Dr. Cogan.
3 his will he bequeathed to bis favourite choose such objects as were useful to institution the sum of one hundred mankind. Of farming, as a business, pounds. The Society, as has been he used to say that “it is never profijustly remarked, will be a standing table, except the farmer drive the monument of what may be accomo plough, his wife be dairy-maid and the plished by individual persevering ex- children scarecrows." ertions in the cause of humanity; and Whilst he lived at Bath, Dr. Cogan vill transmit the names of Hawes and published, under the name of " A Cogan to posterity as benefactors to Layman," the well-known Letters to the human race.
Mr. Wilberforce on Hereditary DeIn 1780, Dr. Cogan again retired to pravity, in which he combats with Holland, where he continued, enjoying complete success this favourite tenet of himself in literary and philosophical the pious senator. This pamphlet has pursuits, and contributing to the en- passed through several editions and joyment of others by his amiable man- has, perhaps, contributed more than ners and pleasant and instructive dis- any work ever published to correct course, until the storm of the French dark views of human nature, aud conRevolution drove him back, for shel- sequent despondency with regard to ter, to England. During this last re- the plans of Providence. It merits the sidence on the Continent, he had praise bestowed by Johnson ou Bur. visited Germany, and on bis return to net's Life of Rochester: “the critic this country he collected and revised may read it for its elegance, the philothe notes which he made on his tour, sopher for its arguments, and the saint and published them in two Volumes for its piety.* 8vo., under the title of “ The Rbine." During his residence at Bath, he There are few more interesting books published, also, first the Philosophical of travels than this. The charm of the and then the Ethical Treatise on the work is, that the reader feels himself Passions, which were followed at long to be a companion of the author's, and intervals by three other volumes of enters into his whole character; aud moral and theological Disquisitions; Dr. Cogan's was a character that forming together the complete system could not be knowu without being of the author with regard to the chahighly esteemed.
racter of the Creator, and the moral On his final settlement in England, constitution, duties and expectations Dr. Cogan made Bath his first resi- of man. Ju the philosophical part of dence. Here he indulged his taste this extended work the arrangement for agriculture. He was an active is clear, the definitions correct and the member of the West-of-England Agri- illustrations happy; in the ethical it is cultural Society, and followed expe- proved that virtue and happiness are rimental farming with so much suc- identical; and in the theological the cess on some land which he occupied Jewish and Christian revelations are in the neighbourhood of Bath, that fully vindicated, and are shewn to be he obtained several of the Society's means by which the universal Father premiums. He continued this pursuit is educating his children for final hapin his subsequent removals to Clapton piness and glory. But excellent as and Woodford, and at the time of his these volumes are, they would probadecease held a small farm in the vici- bly have been more useful if they had nity of Southampton, to which he been pubļished as distinct works, and used to retire occasionally from his lodgings in London. His inclination towards agriculture was not prompted
The writer once heard Dr. Cogan reby the hope of gain; it was matter late that a popular and eloquent Calvinistic of taste; perhaps it was something minister, on being asked his opinion of the higher, for he had so active a mind Layman's Letters, made this declaration :that he could not be content without “I would not undertake to refute all the some object before him, and his prin author's arguments, but I have this one if the latest of them had been an. which I mean the last few days of nounced under somewhat ditferent his illness, exhibited a spectacle such titles. But an author must be allowed as las not often been witnessed. The to choose his own plan of writing; vigour of mind which he displayed and in Dr. Cogan's mind all truth in his reflections on any subject that resolved itself into one idea, the moral came before him, the vivacity with perfection of God, including by ne'- which he made his renjarks on the cessary consequence the happiness of occurrences of the moment, and the all his creatures. He had once pro. dignified composure with which he posed to himself to enlarge and repub. looked forward to the change which Jish his letters to Mr. Wilberforce as he pronounced to be approaching, a part of the series; with which he de. excited the wonder of all who saw clared that liis design would be com- him, and frequently prompted tho pletc. The last work that he actu- involuntary exclamation, What an exally published, the Ethical Questions, traordinary man! which made its appearance in 1817, is “When he first gave up all expecevidently a continuation of his sub. tation of a recovery, he said with joct; and though he seems to soar into animation, Why should I wish to the region of metaphysics, he never recover? I should only have all this leaves in reality his favourite province to endure again. I bave had a long of morals.*
answer to inake to them all, God ouins our ciples and feelings induced him to
way of preaching." Is not this equal to
saying, that the preacher who has she Annual Report of the Royal Humane largest auditory has the surest evidence of Society, 1818, p. 5.
being in the right?
and a happy life, and I ought to deThus employed, Dr. Cogan scarcely part contented. And I have many felt the advances of old age. Dis reasons for considering this as the friends found him the same instructive fittest time for me to die, though I and pleasing companion that he had cannot look forward to death altoever been, and indulged themselves gether without a feeling of awe. I have with the hope of enjoying his valuable a firm confidence in the goodness of society for years to come. But there God; and though I may deserve more is an “ appointed time for man upon of chastisement than I have had in the earth." On the last day of the this life, I have no fear whatever for year 1817, he had walked in a very the final result.' thick fog from his lodgings in Den- “ On one occasion he said, I shall rietta Street, Covent Garden, to visit not die triumphantly, but I shall die a friend in St. Mary Axe, which happily ;' on another, • The nearer I brought on a cough more than usually advance to the grave, the brighter are troublesome; indisposition ensued; and my prospects.' with a presentiment that he should " When speaking on the subject not recover, he went on Saturday, of religion, he dwelt chiefly on the January 24th, to his brother's, the benevolence of the Deity, expressing Rev. E. Cogan, at Walthamstow, his persuasion of the final happiness where he expired on Monday, the of all mankind, and his decided con2d of February, in the 820 year of viction of the falsehood of the Cal
vinistic system. One of the last things The following account of bis death that be said to me (after having com. was drawn up by one best fitted by mented at some length on a part of situation and character to describe the 15th chapter of the first epistle justly the dignified scene :
to the Corinthians) was verbatim as “ Many know how he lived, and follows: • When I could not sleep some may wish to know how he died. last night, I was reflecting on the For the gratification of such a wish, affecting parable of the prodigal son, the following brief sketch is intended: which is so beautifully, so beautifully, “ The closing scene of his life, by told. Where is your vindictive justice
here? Where is your personal reThe Ethical Questions are reviewed in
sentment?' He probably would have our XIIth Vol. pp. 226-236; and in Vol. XIII. pp. 18—20, there is a letter of Dr. proceeded, but was fatigued with Cogan's upon the subject of the review. speaking. About twelve hours before By a melancholy coincidence, the number bis decease, he dictated three letters containing this letter did not appear till the with a solemnity and dignity of manday of his death. See the obituary of the
ner which none who were present next No., XIII. p. 142.
will ever forget. A short paragraph
Tribute to the Memory of the late Mr. G. W. Meadley.
from one of them will well depict already recorded; and many equally the general frame of his mind on the decisive proofs might be adduced from prospect of dissolution.
his private life. He professed to love ** The solemn moment is at length his species, and knew it to be the first arrived. I look forward to it with ambition of his life to promote their awe, but by no means without hope. welfare." To his latest moment he The views of Christianity which ! was emyloyed in a scheme for the behave long entertained have afforded nefit of one of his relatives, concernthe rule of my life, and will be my ing which he said with great emphasis ; consolation in the hour of death.' that, if he succeeded, he should finish
“ He had for some years expressed well. his wish that his dismission might be As a writer Dr. Cogau occupies a easy, or in his own words, that he middle, but truly respectable rapk. might be let gently down. His wish His style is unpretending ; sometimes was granted. After living taken it is adorned with the simple graces; some refreshment with counsiderable and examples might be pointed out of relish, he caught hold of the servant's passages where the fervor of his mind arm, and closed a long, honourable has raised him to a strain of rich and and useful life, without a struggle or powerful eloquence. a groan."
His frequent residence on the Con. Dr. Cogau's “mental coustitution tinent, where the French is a sort of was singularly happy. He viewed universal language, led him into a every thing in the most favourable familiarity with all the more eminent light, and contrived to extract some. writers of that tongue. The celething of satisfaction from those little brated French preachers were his favexations which discompose and irri- vourite authors : their onction was tate ordinary minds. Qualities were congenial with his own taste. combined in him which do not often He seems not to have consulted exist in union. Though his vivacity profit in liis publications. He has enlivened all who enjoyed his society, allowed more than one cheap edition he invariably pronounced gravity to of his most popular work, the Letters be his character, saying, that through to Wilberforce, to be printed for the life he had been grave for himself, and use of the Unitarian Book Societies. cheerful for his friends. His wit, (The Editor regrets that the remainder which remained with him to the last, of this Memoir must be deferred till was so chastened by a natural sweet- the next Number.] ness of temper, that it was never exercised to give pain to any human Tribute to the Memory of the late creature, and his playfulness, which
Mr. G. W. Meadley. might have appeared inconsistent with Sir,
N the lition of the moment, which immediately left his mind at liberty to have noticed the death of your late collect its energies for serious reflec- occasional Correspondent, my very tion. Reflection indeed was his fa. worthy friend, Mr. G. W. Meadleij. vourite occupation, as his writings It will, probably, be interesting to seem sufficiently to testify. And the many of your readers to peruse, in the subjects on which he reflected most, mean time, the following tribute to because they appeared to him to be his memory, delivered on the Sunday most closely connected with human evening after his funeral, by the rehappiness, were morals and religion. spectable person who usually conAnd the moral principles which it was the chief object of his literary * These are his own words, in the Prelabours to inculcate, had a constant face, p. xxiii. of the 2nd Volume on the
Passions. influence on his own mind, and in
† Mr. Thomas Graham, shoemaker. their practical effect pervaded the
We copy', for the sake as well of example general tenor of his life.'
as of information, the short account of this It may be truly said that benevo- society, inserted in a “ Historical and Delence was the habitual affection of his scriptive View of Sunderland and the Two mind. Of this a signal proof has been Wearmouths,” now publishing in numbers, ducts the worship of a small society of and by whose permission I transmit Unitarian Christians in Sunderland; it to you.
and the rather, as it was furnished to the
After the usual services of the even• work by Mr. Meadley. " In an age of ing, December 6, 1818. free inquiry, when the legislature has jadiciously repealed those intolerant laws, My friends, permit me to address by which Unitarians were exposed to pains you on a mouruful subject, in which and penalties for exercising the inalienable I have no doubt but you will, equally right of private judgment in the interpre. with myself, feel interested. The tation of the Scriptures, it might naturally death of our friend George Wilson be expected that some progress would be Meadley has filled us with sorrow: made among the inhabitants of this neigbe let us bope, however, that our loss in bourhood, to ascertain the proper object of such a friend is his gain. religious worship, and the unequivocal doctrines of divine revelation. Accord
“ It would be waiting in us, who ingly several persons who, in the course of had opportunities of knowing his sentheir inquiries, had successively inhibed timents of Christianity, and were eyethose views of Christianity which, though witnesses of his conduct, were we to sanctioned by the authority of Lardner, be silent, when so many of his highly Jebh and Priestley, have frequently been respectable friends have so bandconfounded with an express denial of the somely expressed their respect for his authority of Scripture, began to meet in their own houses for religious worship and public and private worth: more espe.
memory, and borne testimony to his discussion. they, in the autunin of 1814, took and cially as there are not wanting those, registered for public service, at the Micba. who, although they give him credit elmas Quarter Sessions, a large room in for his general knowledge and literary Maling's Rigg, formerly occupied as a
attainments, more than call in ques. Freemasons' Lodge.
tiou his religious opivions. “ They believe in the sole Deity and “ To such I say, judge nothing Supremacy of God the Father, whom alone before the time ;' and for my owu they regard as the proper object of reli- part, having had an intimate acquaingious worship, to the exclusion of every tance with hin for upwards of five other person, being, mode or distinction
years, during which time I freely whatsoever. Confessing Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the world, they consider cipal religious opinions which I now
acknowledge that, although the prinhim to be the messenger, son and servant of God, acting by Divine appointment, hold were formed previous to our but essentially inferior to the Father, and acquaintance, yet to him I am deeply as such, not entitled to religious worship. indebted for my more extended reliAgreeing in these fundamnental principles gious knowledge; and shall (while I respecting God and Christ, they allow no thank my heavenly Father for the minor difference of opinion, in matters not helps I have received from him) cherish essential to Christian love and morality, to to the latest period of my mortal exdisturb their union. They believe also iu istence, that regard for his memory the duty and efficacy of repentance to ob- which, as a truly amiable man and tain the forgiveness of sins from the free
sincere Christian, I think it deserves. and unpurchased grace of God; and incul. cate a constant obedience to the precepts stances, it may naturally be supposed
Although, under such circumiof the gospel, as indispensable to insure a good conscience, and a well-grounded I am partial to my religious friend, hope in the Divine mercy. And in common yet upon the present occasion I shall with their fellow.christians of every deno- endeavour to divest myself of it; and mination, they believe in the resurrection give you a faithful account of his
of the dead and in a future judgment, leading views on the doctrives of • when all men will be rewarded or punished Christianity, in connexion with his
according to their deeds. The govern- conduct and general Christian cha-
“ I have no certain data as to his
about ten or twelve years ago; prin
Tribute to the Memory of the late Mr. G. W. Meadley.
7 cipally on account of the doctrine and general of our proceedings, and did worship of the Trinity. As he with- not give his countenance to any other drew peaceably, and perhaps without society in these towns. publicly, at that time, giving his rea- “ It may be expected that I should sons, this excited suspicion in the candidly state the reasons (that have religions world, and he was considered come within my knowledge) why his by many as verging towards Déism; attendance in this place was not more than which nothing could be more constant. Whether he was correct false. For, though he seceded from or not in this point of deviation, I the Church, it was with deep regret, hold it proper that cvery man's reliand in despair of any sufficient refor: giuus liberty should be respected, and mation in these important points being that he should be fully persuaded in effected. His secession was strictly his own mind,' for 'to his own Master conseientious and decided ; for he he standeth or falleth ;' and I trust could no longer allow himself to coun- that we are the last people in the tenance, even by his presence, what world to advance the claim of infalliin his conscience he thought wrong. bility. After his secession from the
" Yet he alsays spoke respectfully Church, he, with such persons of the of Church-people; and not only lived family as were at home, attended on terms of intimacy with many of to religious worship, and I believe them, but seemed to cherish towards used the Reformed Book of Common them, and especially towards many of Prayer. While this practice shews a their worthy and enlightened ministers, mind imbued with a just sense of the sincerest esteem; and often re. religion, it forcibly reminds me of the gretted that the bill of the Petitioning similar course we chose on our own Clergy in 1772 had been rejected by first departure from the popular Disthe then Parliament; which, by this senters: and such of us as have entime, he considered would have pro- joyed the satisfaction arising from such duced the best effects.
a practice, will know that it is not “ Having commenced Dissenter easily foregone, even for the sake of opon principle, he appears to have be- the more public services of religion. come ibe friend and correspondent of In this practice, I have reason to bemany eminent characters among them: lieve, he continued to persevere to not to mention others, the late Dr. the last. Disney, the present Mr. Belsham, of “ Another reason existed, which, Essex Street, and Mr. Turner, of New. in our circumstances, was insurmouncastle, by whom he was recommended table. I believe his mind was not to, and became acquainted with our fully made up as to the propriety of society in its infancy. He immedi- uneducated persons, and persons in ately introduced himself to us, and, business, conducting public worship, with his usual frankness, avowed his and the services of religion; which, sentiments. Such of you as were considering his own attainments, and then united with me in our present allowing a little for the prejudices of views, will recollect the valuable and others, was natural: but in this he useful religious books wbich he gene- was not tenacious. As to ourselves, rously gave for the use of the society, we are friendly to education, and have besides making us welcome to the use no objection to the ministry of eduof any books in his own valuable cated men, when and where it can be library.
afforded: yet we by no means cou" From our first religious acquain- sider their services as indispensable ; tance be took a decided part and as it is notorious that such men were interest in this society: he appeared not solely, not generally, employed to enjoy the satisfaction of having a by the highest authority, to call men few with whom he could freely con- at first to embrace and obey the verse and cordially unite, on that im- Christian religion: why, then, shonll portant subject. And although, since they be considered as indispensable our public meeting, we cannot say now, when it is firmly founded in the more than that he was an occasional world ? attendant, yet we have the satisfae- “ Having stated the only point of lion to know that he approved in deviation with our friend, which, per