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his will he bequeathed to his favourite institution the sum of one hundred pounds. The Society, as has been justly remarked, will be a standing monument of what may be accomplished by individual persevering exertions in the cause of humanity; and will transmit the names of Hawes and Cogan to posterity as benefactors to the human race.*

In 1780, Dr. Cogan again retired to Holland, where he continued, enjoying himself in literary and philosophical pursuits, and contributing to the enjoyment of others by his amiable manners and pleasant and instructive discourse, until the storm of the French Revolution drove him back, for shelter, to England. During this last residence on the Continent, he had visited Germany, and on his return to this country he collected and revised the notes which he made on his tour, and published them in two Volumes Svo., under the title of "The Rhine." There are few more interesting books of travels than this. The charm of the work is, that the reader feels himself to be a companion of the author's, and enters into his whole character; and Dr. Cogan's was a character that could not be known without being highly esteemed.

On his final settlement in England, Dr. Cogan made Bath his first residence. Here he indulged his taste for agriculture. He was an active member of the West-of-England Agricultural Society, and followed experimental farming with so much success on some land which he occupied in the neighbourhood of Bath, that he obtained several of the Society's premiums. He continued this pursuit in his subsequent removals to Clapton and Woodford, and at the time of his decease held a small farm in the vicinity of Southampton, to which he used to retire occasionally from his lodgings in London. His inclination towards agriculture was not prompted by the hope of gain; it was matter of taste; perhaps it was something higher, for he had so active a mind that he could not be content without some object before him, and his principles and feelings induced him to

Annual Report of the Royal Humane Society, 1818, p. 5.

choose such objects as were useful to mankind. Of farming, as a business, he used to say that "it is never profitable, except the farmer drive the plough, his wife be dairy-maid and the children scarecrows."

Whilst he lived at Bath, Dr. Cogan published, under the name of "A Layman," the well-known Letters to Mr. Wilberforce on Hereditary Depravity, in which he combats with complete success this favourite tenet of the pious senator. This pamphlet has passed through several editions and has, perhaps, contributed more than any work ever published to correct dark views of human nature, and consequent despondency with regard to the plans of Providence. It merits the praise bestowed by Johnson on Bur. net's Life of Rochester: "the critic may read it for its elegance, the philosopher for its arguments, and the saint for its piety.*

During his residence at Bath, he published, also, first the Philosophical and then the Ethical Treatise on the Passions, which were followed at long intervals by three other volumes of moral and theological Disquisitions; forming together the complete system of the author with regard to the character of the Creator, and the moral constitution, duties and expectations of man. In the philosophical part of this extended work the arrangement is clear, the definitions correct and the illustrations happy; in the ethical it is proved that virtue and happiness are identical; and in the theological the Jewish and Christian revelations are fully vindicated, and are shewn to be means by which the universal Father is educating his children for final happiness and glory. But excellent as these volumes are, they would probably have been more useful if they had been published as distinct works, and

The writer once heard Dr. Cogan relate that a popular and eloquent Calvinistic minister, ou being asked his opinion of the Layman's Letters, made this declaration:— "I would not undertake to refute all the

author's arguments, but I have this one answer to make to them all, God owns our way of preaching." Is not this equal to saying, that the preacher who has the largest auditory has the surest evidence of being in the right?

if the latest of them had been announced under somewhat different titles. But an author must be allowed to choose his own plan of writing; and in Dr. Cogan's mind all truth resolved itself into one idea, the moral perfection of God, including by necessary consequence the happiness of all his creatures. He had once proposed to himself to enlarge and repubTish his letters to Mr. Wilberforce as a part of the series; with which he declared that his design would be complete. The last work that he actually published, the Ethical Questions, which made its appearance in 1817, is evidently a continuation of his subject; and though he seems to soar into the region of metaphysics, he never leaves in reality his favourite province of morals.*

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Thus employed, Dr. Cogan scarcely felt the advances of old age. His friends found him the same instructive and pleasing companion that he had ever becu, and indulged themselves with the hope of enjoying his valuable society for years to come. But there appointed time for man upon the earth." On the last day of the year 1817, he had walked in a very thick fog from his lodgings in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, to visit a friend in St. Mary Axe, which brought on a cough more than usually troublesome; indisposition ensued; and with a presentiment that he should not recover, he went on Saturday, January 24th, to his brother's, the Rev. E. Cogan, at Walthamstow, where he expired on Monday, the 2d of February, in the 82d year of

his age.

The following account of his death was drawn up by one best fitted by situation and character to describe justly the dignified scene :


Many know how he lived, and some may wish to know how he died. For the gratification of such a wish, the following brief sketch is intended: "The closing scene of his life, by

The Ethical Questions are reviewed in our XIIth Vol. pp. 226-236; and in Vol. XIII. pp. 18-20, there is a letter of Dr. Cogan's upon the subject of the review, By a melancholy coincidence, the number containing this letter did not appear till the day of his death. See the obituary of the next No., XIII. p. 142.

which I mean the last few days of his illness, exhibited a spectacle such as has not often been witnessed. The vigour of mind which he displayed in his reflections on any subject that came before him, the vivacity with which he made his remarks on the occurrences of the moment, and the dignified composure with which he looked forward to the change which he pronounced to be approaching, excited the wonder of all who saw him, and frequently prompted the involuntary exclamation, What an extraordinary man!

"When he first gave up all expectation of a recovery, he said with animation, Why should I wish to recover? I should only have all this to endure again. I have had a long and a happy life, and I ought to depart contented. And I have many reasons for considering this as the fittest time for me to die, though I cannot look forward to death altogether without a feeling of awe. I have a firm confidence in the goodness of God; and though I may deserve more of chastisement than I have had in this life, I have no fear whatever for the final result.'

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"On one occasion he said, 'I shall not die triumphantly, but I shall die happily;' on another, The nearer I advance to the grave, the brighter are my prospects.'

"When speaking on the subject of religion, he dwelt chiefly on the benevolence of the Deity, expressing his persuasion of the final happiness of all mankind, and his decided conviction of the falsehood of the Calvinistic system. One of the last things that he said to me (after having commented at some length on a part of the 15th chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians) was verbatim as follows: When I could not sleep last night, I was reflecting on the affecting parable of the prodigal son, which is so beautifully, so beautifully, told. Where is your vindictive justice here? Where is your personal resentment?' He probably would have proceeded, but was fatigued with speaking. About twelve hours before his decease, he dictated three letters with a solemnity and dignity of manner which none who were present will ever forget. A short paragraph

from one of them will well depict the general frame of his mind on the prospect of dissolution.

"The solemn moment is at length arrived. I look forward to it with awe, but by no means without hope. The views of Christianity which I have long entertained have afforded the rule of my life, and will be my consolation in the hour of death.'

"He had for some years expressed his wish that his dismission might be easy, or in his own words, that he might be let gently down. His wish was granted. After having taken some refreshment with considerable relish, he caught hold of the servant's arm, and closed a long, honourable and useful life, without a struggle or a groan."

Dr. Cogan's "mental constitution was singularly happy. He viewed every thing in the most favourable light, and contrived to extract something of satisfaction from those little vexations which discompose and irritate ordinary minds. Qualities were combined in him which do not often exist in union. Though his vivacity enlivened all who enjoyed his society, he invariably pronounced gravity to be his character, saying, that through life he had been grave for himself, and cheerful for his friends. His wit, which remained with him to the last, was so chastened by a natural sweetness of temper, that it was never exercised to give pain to any human creature, and his playfulness, which might have appeared inconsistent with habits of sober thought, was the ebullition of the moment, which immediately left his mind at liberty to collect its energies for serious reflection. Reflection indeed was his favourite occupation, as his writings seem sufficiently to testify. And the subjects on which he reflected most, because they appeared to him to be most closely connected with human happiness, were morals and religion. And the moral principles which it was the chief object of his literary labours to inculcate, had a constant influence on his own mind, and in their practical effect pervaded the general tenor of his life.'

It may be truly said that benevolence was the habitual affection of his mind. Of this a signal proof has been

already recorded; and many equally decisive proofs might be adduced from his private life. He professed to love his species, and knew it to be the first ambition of his life to promote their welfare. To his latest moment be was emyloyed in a scheme for the benefit of one of his relatives, conceruing which he said with great emphasis; that, if he succeeded, he should finish well.

As a writer Dr. Cogan occupies a middle, but truly respectable rank. His style is unpretending; sometimes it is adorned with the simple graces; and examples might be pointed out of passages where the fervor of his mind has raised him to a strain of rich and powerful eloquence.

His frequent residence on the Continent, where the French is a sort of universal language, led him into a familiarity with all the more eminent writers of that tongue. The celebrated French preachers were his favourite authors: their onction was congenial with his own taste.

He seems not to have consulted profit in his publications. He has allowed more than one cheap edition of his most popular work, the Letters. to Wilberforce, to be printed for the use of the Unitarian Book Societies. [The Editor regrets that the remainder of this Memoir must be deferred till the next Number.]

Tribute to the Memory of the late Mr. G. W. Meadley.


N the concluding Number of your

former Volume, [XIII. 772,] you have noticed the death of your late occasional Correspondent, my very worthy friend, Mr. G. W. Meadley. It will, probably, be interesting to many of your readers to peruse, in the mean time, the following tribute to his memory, delivered on the Sunday evening after his funeral, by the respectable person who usually con

These are his own words, in the Preface, p. xxiii. of the 2nd Volume on the


Mr. THOMAS GRAHAM, shoemaker. We copy, for the sake as well of example as of information, the short account of this society, inserted in a "Historical and Descriptive View of Sunderland and the Two Wearmouths," now publishing in numbers,

ducts the worship of a small society of Unitarian Christians in Sunderland;

and the rather, as it was furnished to the work by Mr. Meadley. "In an age of free inquiry, when the legislature has judiciously repealed those intolerant laws, by which Unitarians were exposed to pains and penalties for exercising the inalienable right of private judgment in the interpretation of the Scriptures, it might naturally be expected that some progress would be made among the inhabitants of this neighbourhood, to ascertain the proper object of religious worship, and the unequivocal doctrines of divine revelation. Accord

ingly several persons who, in the course of their inquiries, had successively imbibed those views of Christianity which, though sanctioned by the authority of Lardner, Jebb and Priestley, have frequently been confounded with an express denial of the authority of Scripture, began to meet in their own houses for religious worship and discussion. Their numbers increasing, they, in the autumn of 1814, took and registered for public service, at the Micha

elmas Quarter Sessions, a large room in Maling's Rigg, formerly occupied as a Freemasons' Lodge.

"They believe in the sole Deity and Supremacy of God the Father, whom alone they regard as the proper object of religious worship, to the exclusion of every other person, being, mode or distinction whatsoever. Confessing Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the world, they consider him to be the messenger, son and servant of God, acting by Divine appointment, but essentially inferior to the Father, and as such, not entitled to religious worship. Agreeing in these fundamental principles respecting God and Christ, they allow no minor difference of opinion, in matters not essential to Christian love and morality, to disturb their union. They believe also in the duty and efficacy of repentance to obtain the forgiveness of sins from the free and unpurchased grace of God; and inculcate a constant obedience to the precepts of the gospel, as indispensable to insure a good conscience, and a well-grounded hope in the Divine mercy. And in common with their fellow-christians of every denomination, they believe in the resurrection of the dead and in a future judgment, ⚫when all men will be rewarded or punished according to their deeds. The govern ment of this small society is independent; and not having at present a regular minister, the members conduct the worship among themselves. They profess open communion, and cultivate charity with all men." Pp. 256-8.

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After the usual services of the evening, December 6, 1818.

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My friends, permit me to address you on a mouruful subject, in which I have no doubt but you will, equally The with myself, feel interested. death of our friend George Wilson Meadley has filled us with sorrow: let us hope, however, that our loss in such a friend is his gain.

"It would be wanting in us, who had opportunities of knowing his sentiments of Christianity, and were eyewitnesses of his conduct, were we to be silent, when so many of his highly respectable friends have so handsomely expressed their respect for his memory, and borne testimony to his public and private worth: more espe cially as there are not wanting those, who, although they give him credit for his general knowledge and literary attainments, more than call in question his religious opinions.

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To such I say, judge nothing before the time;' and for my own part, having had an intimate acquaintance with him for upwards of five years, during which time I freely acknowledge that, although the principal religious opinions which I now hold were formed previous to our acquaintance, yet to him I am deeply indebted for my more extended religious knowledge; and shall (while I thank my heavenly Father for the helps I have received from him) cherish to the latest period of my mortal existence, that regard for his memory which, as a truly amiable man and sincere Christian, I think it deserves.

"Although, under such circumstances, it may naturally be supposed I am partial to my religious friend, yet upon the present occasion I shall endeavour to divest myself of it; aud give you a faithful account of his leading views on the doctrines of Christianity, in connexion with his conduct and general Christian character.

"I have no certain data as to his

entire secession from the Established Church; I suppose it might take place about ten or twelve years ago; prin

cipally on account of the doctrine and worship of the Trinity. As he with drew peaceably, and perhaps without publicly, at that time, giving his reasons, this excited suspicion in the religious world, and he was considered by many as verging towards Deism; than which nothing could be more false. For, though he seceded from the Church, it was with deep regret, and in despair of any sufficient reformation in these important points being effected. His secession was strictly conscientious and decided; for he could no longer allow himself to countenance, even by his presence, what in his conscience he thought wrong. "Yet he always spoke respectfully of Church-people; and not only lived on terms of intimacy with many of them, but seemed to cherish towards them, and especially towards many of their worthy and enlightened ministers, the sincerest esteem; and often regretted that the bill of the Petitioning Clergy in 1772 had been rejected by the then Parliament; which, by this time, he considered would have produced the best effects.

"Having commenced Dissenter upon principle, he appears to have become the friend and correspondent of many eminent characters among them: not to mention others, the late Dr. Disney, the present Mr. Belsham, of Essex Street, and Mr. Turner, of Newcastle, by whom he was recommended to, and became acquainted with our society in its infancy. He immediately introduced himself to us, and, with his usual frankness, avowed his sentiments. Such of you as were then united with me in our present views, will recollect the valuable and useful religious books which he generously gave for the use of the society, besides making us welcome to the use of any books in his own valuable library.

"From our first religious acquaintance he took a decided part and interest in this society: he appeared to enjoy the satisfaction of having a few with whom he could freely converse and cordially unite, on that important subject. And although, since our public meeting, we cannot say more than that he was an occasional attendant, yet we have the satisfaction to know that he approved in

general of our proceedings, and did not give his countenance to any other society in these towns.

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"It may be expected that I should candidly state the reasons (that have come within my knowledge) why his attendance in this place was not more constant. Whether he was correct or not in this point of deviation, I hold it proper that every man's religious liberty should be respected, and that he should be fully persuaded in his own mind,' for 'to his own Master he standeth or falleth;' and I trust that we are the last people in the world to advance the claim of infallibility. After his secession from the Church, he, with such persons of the family as were at home, attended to religious worship, and I believe used the Reformed Book of Common Prayer. While this practice shews a mind imbued with a just sense of religion, it forcibly reminds me of the similar course we chose on our own first departure from the popular Dissenters: and such of us as have enjoyed the satisfaction arising from such a practice, will know that it is not easily foregone, even for the sake of the more public services of religion. In this practice, I have reason to believe, he continued to persevere to the last.

"Another reason existed, which, in our circumstances, was insurmountable. I believe his mind was not fully made up as to the propriety of uneducated persons, and persons in business, conducting public worship, and the services of religion; which, considering his own attainments, and allowing a little for the prejudices of others, was natural: but in this he was not tenacious. As to ourselves, we are friendly to education, and have no objection to the ministry of educated men, when and where it can be afforded: yet we by no means cousider their services as indispensable; as it is notorious that such men were not solely, not generally, employed by the highest authority, to call men at first to embrace and obey the Christian religion: why, then, should they be considered as indispensable now, when it is firmly founded in the world?

"Having stated the only point of deviation with our friend, which, per

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