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Monmouth made a descent bere his addressing my father thusin the West, our grandfather (who " cousin, our family were formerly was a man of an excellent charac. remarkable for their stature and ter, of which I have been assured strength, but (continued he) the by several who remembered him) race is dwindled by their taking from a belief, that James II. was wives who were little of stature." breaking in upon the constitution And that at my return home I and introducing popery and arbi. made my mother (who you know trary power, with a great nuinber is an undersized woman) smile on of sober, serious persons took up telling her, that she must need be arms under that unfortunate no. unacceptable to the gentleman we bleman ; and, after his defeat, to had been visiting, as being of the avoid the effects which the en- size that had reduced the stature gaging in that inauspicious enier- of his family. But alas! How prize produced, he retired to Lon. few of the patriots, or heroes, don, ull the Revolution put an end which two or three centuries ago to the danger : but being of a distinguished themselves by a love weak constitution he died not for, or defence of their country many years after of a gradual de- have we transmitted down to us : cay and left a wife and two child. three or four of the most illustrious ren, a girl about three years of perhaps we may meet with in the age, and our father near eighteen annals of those times! the rest are all months; and dying intestate, the overwhelmed by the stream of time mother became administatrix ; and sunk into oblivion beyond all and soon after intermarried with a recovery!--As to the bearing of the second husband, who spent all he family, I can say nothing to any could possibly lay hold of, of our purpose ; this however at the time grandfather's substance: the ef- of my recollecting the foregoing fects of which our father and we particulars, I remember my uncle have very sensibly felt. But a to have mentioned; and, I be. wrong step in marriage, as well as lieve, specified whai it was, but as in death is not to be corrected : I knew nothing of the science of however, I have heard, that my heraldry, I cannot recollect it: grandmother lamented it to the but I well call to mind, that his last hour of her life. As to those haughty wife at one time in parti. commissions which any of the fa. cular scornfully smiled at his mily at any time bore in the army, mentioning it, and said her family or what place they filled up in had a coat of arms also, but she the government, I cannot say. was not so vain as to make thąt But I remember the old gentle- the subject of her conversation. said particularly, that they con. And I have heard my father more tinued about London and left some than once relate that a silver seal, descendants; that they had dis. which was his grandfather's, on tinguished themselves by their which was engraven the family martial deeds; and that they were arms, was laid up by his mother men of great stature and strength as a thing of value; and that of body. For in relating this of when he grew towards the state of them I recollect an oddity in my manhood, he surreptitiously took uncle's conversation which was it away and soon after lost it ; that on his mother's missing it she which I then understood so little, made inquiry about it, and on that I did not attend thereto, as I his acknowledging his taking it, might have done when those op. she gave him repeated charges not portunities offered, which now to embezzle or lose it on any ac- are lost for ever. All here are count; that she often interrogated much as usual as to health : they him about it, even to the end of join me in my affliction on your her life; but that he never ac- account. Pray write to me soon, knowledged bis having lost it to for I shall expect your answer her, well knowing it would give with an in patience equal to that her much concern, and bring on regard, wherewith I am, himself her just reproaches. But
Dear Brother, still as I said above, what the Your most affectionate and anxious figure on the coat armour was, I Brother,
B. H. know nothing of; it being a thing Musbury, Jan. 10, 1757.
EXTRACTS FROM NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Two Letters from Mr. Henderson. When I lived at Calne, and pre.
to Dr. Priestley, communicated sently after the publication of my by Dr. P. to the Gentleman's Disquisitions relating to Matter
Magazine, April, 1789. and Spirit, I received an anony. (From “ A Selection of Curious Articles mous letter from Bristol about
from the G. M.” In 4 volumes, svo. some intercourse with spirits; and 1811. Vol. III. PP. 167–171.]
hearing that Miss Hannah More Dr. Priestley's Introductory had said, that the letter probably Letter.
came from Mr. Henderson, I MR. URBAN,
wrote to him about it; and as the As one of your correspondents letter was carried by a friend who has expressed a desire of having was going to Oxford, I told Mr. some information concerning the Henderson, that, if he could call late Mr. Henderson's pretension up any spirit, my friend was wil. to intercourse with spirits, &c. I ling to be disposed of as he should send you two of his letters to me, think proper for the purpose. In which are curious in themselves, what manner I expressed myself and may throw some light on the I do not now recollect; but it is subject. They will likewise give a evident that Mr. Henderson did better idea of the man than any not consider me as very credulous thing written by another person on the subject. concerning him can do. Also,
J. PRIESTLEY. as I imagine it is generally supposed that I am the person in. Mr. Henderson's First Letter. tended by the Doctor, whom the Hanham, Aug. 29, 1774. writer of Mr. Henderson's life re. Sir, presents as believing he had this I hope your goodness will parpower, the reader may be able to don this presumption from a stranjudge from the second letter of the ger unworthy your notice; and probability of this circumstance. likewise my not franking this letter, as I have no franks and can get cord with the speeches of Christ none. If you can, condescend therein recorded. I believe the thus much, I have one request doctrine of original sin to be ab. more, that you would answer me. surd. I believe the spirit of God
I was brought up with some only assists our apprehension. I prejudices of education, which I believe the foreknowledge of God, hope I have now got over. This held by the Arminians, to be I owe in no small measure to the equal to the decree of God, held candour of my father, who, though by the Calvinists; that they are he inculcated his own principles both wrong; and the truth is, on me, left me to my own judge the pains of hell are purga. ment. At first I received these tory. These I believe; and have principles without hesitation, and reasons which I think substantial soon became acquainted with the for them. Many things I yet best arguments for them. I had doubt of; amoug these are ihe no opportunity for a long time to Trinity, and the mediation of converse with judicious men of Christ. contrary sentiments, so that I I am in such a state of mind easily vanquished those who con. as to be shocked at no assertion, tradicted me. But yet my mind and to submit to any argument suggested many difficulties which which I cannot answer. I could not solve. Hence I began I beg that you would be to doubt. Imparting my doubts pleased to assist me in the mediato some friends, I was told there tion of Christ; for I own I do not were mysteries in religion; that I like the doctrine of his being a should take God's word for them, sacrifice; yet he is so represented and pry no further.' This satisfied by Paul and John. And, though me for a while, but not long; for I am not certain of the infallibility I considered, let a mystery be of the Epistles, yet I do not chuse what it may, God would not de. to contradict them, lest they inay liver absurdities. Again, it does be true. not follow that all our bible is
John HENDERSON. divine because some is. And if P. S. Please to direct for me, any port of our Bible contain ab. at Mr. Wait's, grocer, in Castle. surdities, &c. that part is not street, Bristol. divine. I could not get books on any subject. I wanted instruction on predestination, remission of Mr. Henderson's Second Letter. ' sins, assistance of the spirit, eter. SIR, nity of hell torments, and various I hope you will not take it other points. My friends could ill, when your friend informs not satisfy me. At length I sur. you that I have not seen him. I mounted these difficulties, wading was from my rooms (for a few through many doubts, and little hours) when he came to seek me. less than infidelity. I now be. I staid at home all the following Jieve that the prophecies in our day, but found no more of him. Bible were given by God; that Had I known where he lodged in the Gospels are true ; that Oxford, I should have visited him. whatever we believe should ac. Excuse me then that I must take
the other communication you pro. unwilling to change; 3, Nor a posed, and send this by post. despiser of those who thought
Of the anonymous letter from otherwise than 1. I mention my Bristol, which you mention, I being very doubtful, the rather know nothing. It was, probably, because you will agree with me, written by some one, I hope well. that, when one thinks no certainty meaning, who wished to check is to be found, one will be less your philosophic Disquisitions of nice in assenting to insufficient Matter and Spirit. That such evidence. Perhaps I am av in. information should excite the cu• Stance, I have nothing to add of riosity, especially of one so incre. myself, but to thank you for your dulous, I cannot wonder. But kind attention to letters of mine such curiosity I neither blame nor (some years ago), for your hints, neglect.
and the books you lent and gave That I may satisfy you, I lo me. Do not you recollect it? will tell you, 1. Who I am; 2. II. Do I believe those things ? Whether I believe those things; 1, I have no reason to think them 3. Whether I be willing to de. absurd or impossible; 2, Thiey monstrate their truth sensibly; 4. are commonly asserted in all ages; What good ground that informa- 3, Aud generally believed; 4, tion had.
I find myself more at ease in be. 1. As to myself, I shall only lieving them; my notions are suit. write what I think pertinent io able. 'Tbence, it may be on bad this purpose. I had a small proof, I assert that there are such school education. I loved read. Things. You will the less wonder ing and thought from my earliest at such a belief, when I add, that years. Peculiarly I was attached I not only assent to spirits, appa. to religious, and, though at first ritions, magic and witchcraft, I knew not the term, metaphysic but that I allow Belmen's pbilo. studies. These (both in the au- sopliy and Swedenborg's visions. thors and systems, or courses of Yea, I deny hardly any thing of learning), baving no teacher, that sort. So you will perceive meeting with none but such as that I easily believe, and require slighted, blamed, pitied my turn not too much demonstration. of thinking, or only wondered at III. Whether I be willing to it- these I pursued not regularly, demonstrate their truth sensibiy ? but as they occurred to a boy 1, I do not know that I can give. discountenanced, uninformed, with any such exhibition. 2, The faith scattered intervals of scanty lei. itself is not interesting, nor have sure, and a very few unselect, out. I the least wish to convince any. of-the-way books. As one thought 3, My conscience is not clear that introduces another, so does a book. such acts are innocent. 4, I bey Both increased to me in time. So would not be, at least may not, did some kind and degree of seem. demonstrations. A sensible man, ing knowledge. Opinions multi. when I had asked, “Would you plied and varied; but doubts ex- be convinced if I shewed you a ceeded. Sceptical as those made spirit ? answered, No; I should me, they did me good ; i. In grant any thing at the time, but making me never positive; 2, Nor afterwards I should think you had
frighted me out of my senses, and apprehensions for your philosophy, then you could make me believe on account of any experimental any nonsense.'
knowledge of mine. If I can say IV. What good ground had any thing more that is worth the that information? I will tell you while on this subject, or a better, all I know. I have asked Miss I shall be glad of an epistle from More. She says, bad you asked you. her, she would have told you that Farewel, I esteem you; and she knew noibing of the matter, opinions I regard little. I am Many people have known that obliged by your friendly expres. I studied astrology, geoinancy, sions in the letter. I wish you and magic, and was of an ab. all good and success in doing it. stract mind. They surmised. I should have answered sooner, Common things looked extraordi. but for bad eyes, and the comnary. Little things were greater. pany of strangers. I was reported a conjuror. I was
John HENDERSON. teazed to tell fortunes, raise spirits, Pembroke College, Oxford; or at and sometimes to cast out a devil. Hanham, near Bristol, when in Some pretended to a graver curi. that Country. osity, and asked me for a positive answer to, ‘Have you not seen Anecdotes of Mr. Henderson, of and raised a spirit ? I always re- Pembroke College, Oxford. plied, “I will tell you any thing (From the same. Vol. IV. pp. 221--224.] about them out of books, but as
April 3, 1789.. to my own experience I will not MR. URBAN, say.' Can you deny it?' I said, Much has been said in your
I will not deny it.' Thence, they Miscellany, respecting the late affirmed it abroad. To suin up Mr. Henderson, of Pembroke all : 1, I believe. 2. I think I College, Oxford, * whose extraor. bave reason. 3, No one was ever dinary abilities, and eccentricity witness to any appearance with of character, justly rendered him me. 4, I never told any one that during his life, an object of gene. ever I raised a spirit. 5, I will ral curiosity, and will continue not deny it; I have said some. to stamp an adscititious value on times, that I thought I had seen a any authentic particulars that may spirit.
be recorded of him. As I take it, your main wish A correspondent in your last is to know, 1, if I believe such an Magazine requests Mr. Agutter exhibition possible ? I do. 2, If to favour the world with an ac. I have done it? I never did say, count of " the literary courses nor mean to say, that I have ; Mr. Henderson took, and the va. (but for some reason) I will not rious authors he conversed with, deny it. 3, If I can do it? I do in his penetrations of the obscure not know that I can. 4, If I be regions of magic, divinity, and willing to try? I had rather be physic.” As Mr, Agutter will excused,
in all probability return a copious I have now answered your letter as satisfactorily as I can. He died Nov. 2, 1788, in the 328 You see you need not be in any year of his age. TOL, VIT,