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experienced philanthropist , associated with More , Raleigh , Bacon , Hampden , Sydney , Miltou , Fox and Franklin . ¦ ¦ , ** Of the folly and wickedness of that usurpation which attempts to hold in bondage the understanding and the conscience , and with bold and
impious intrusion to interpose between the mind of man and its Creator , lie was deeply sensible . His views of religious liberty were the enlarged and enlightened principles of the Christian philosopher . Those principles * who could illustrate or defend
like him ! How often , while dwelling on this theme , has he filled our hearts with admiration , and poured light and conviction on minds , the profoundness of whose ignorance , and the inveteracy of whose prejudices , have served but to brighten the glory of his
victory ! How often has his mild and dignified rebuke shamed the political religionist , and the religious bigot , from their unhallowed purposes , and taught the friends of the abolition of all pains and penalties inflicted on account of religion , that in enlisting
him in their cause , they engaged not an advocate merely , but a man—acquainted with the principles of his own nature , honouring and . fearing his God , and , therefore , respecting and holding sacred the rights of his creatures .
" After the slumber of years , the monster Persecution , as if roused by the strange sounds which were at tliat time heard in a neighbouring coantry 9 started from its lair , and issued forth ,
with fangs already died in blood , to its wonted work . Its first step ( for it never moves but to destroy ) was death ; but that first step caught the eye of Rom illy , watchful from his elevated station for the welfare of his
race , and the cry of its first victim reached across the ocean to his ear . It was as if , in reward for his unexampled efforts in the cause of benevolence , the God of mercy had armed that man with a portion of his own power . He spake—the monster paused : —he stretched out his hand to crush it—it was no more .
" Ami now he himself is silent in the dust * His purposes and his works * are brought to a sudden and mournful termination . That he whose reason
was so clear and strong ; whose views were ko enlarged ; whose feelings were ao generous ; whose passions were so well controlled ; whose heart , the discipline of so many years of joy and sorrow and vicissitude and privation should seem to have trained to
endurance , should have been unable to sustain the calamity with which he was visited , terrible as it was , may appear inexplicable . But if we do not know from experience , we may learn sufficiently from example , the utter impotence of philosophy when the bitterness of sorrow invades the
heart , and especially when it is made to see and feel and . dwell upon that desolation , which the withering hand of death can produce , and near winch no hope of earthly origin can take root and blossom . And religion , where was thy sustaining energy ;
where were thy divine consolations ? Was he a stranger to thy nature ? Did be not know thy sweetness and thy power ? He did . At the throne of his heavenly Father he was a secret , and there is every reason to believe , a devout worshiper ; and in his closet ,
when no earthly eye was on him , his thoughts ascended above the things of earth , and dwelt on immortality . * This we know . But why that fever of the brain should have been permitted to assail htm , arid suddenly and
completely to obliterate from his mind all memory that he was a father , a patriot and a Christian , we do not know . It becomes us to be still , and to remember that there is One who knoweth the end from the beginning .
" And we need all the consolation which this truth is capable of imparting . We were looking forward with delight to the exertions of this highlygifted individual , in the approaching meeting of the legislators of our
coun-* There were found among * the private papers of this admirable man several prayers in his own hand-writing-, which appear to have been composed by himself , and to have been used by him in his private devotions , together with some papers
containing his reflections on various religious topics , so as to place , beyond all question , the fact , that his mind , wonderfully as it was occupied , was not inattentive to subjects of this nature . This I have learnt from authority , upon the correctness , of which I can depend , "
Conclusion of a Sermon on the Death of Sir Samuel JRomilly . \ 5
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1819, page 15, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1768/page/15/