On this page
- Text (2)
to the feelings of others , either in word or deed , which too frequently blemish the intercourse of society . The moral ^ xcellericies now mentioned were the result of a benevolent heart and a well-disciplined mind , * but they rested on that basis which was deemed by their
possessor the surest foundation of virtue - *—a principle of religion . The Christian dispensation he regarded as a beautiful and salutary code of laws and scheme of moral govern meat , admirably adapted to the wants and character of man in his passage through this world , but that dispensation was received with peculiar joy ,
as bringing life sind immortality to light by the resurrection of Christ , which wa » considered as affording the sole ground for hope to mankind of a future exist * ence . The leading feature of his religious character was a desire to inculcate mutual charity and forbearance among the professors of Christianity . He was the
firm opponent of theological rancour , whether manifesting itself in those who wear the sacerdotal robe or in the breasts of laymen . He did not , with the mistaken disciples , imprecate the fire of heaven on those who differed from him in religious principle , or ask , with Othello , whether there are no stones but such as
serve for thunder . Being a Dissenter himself ; and , therefore , differing from the majority of his countrymen , he thought that sectarians in particular should allow to each other the same privilege Which they themselves claim by separating from the established hierarchy , Religious persecution for conscience' sake , was , in Mr . Butler ' s opinion , the deepest of moral iniquities .
Mr . Butler , in October 1821 , reached his 74 th year . His labours had continued more than half a century , and during that long period he had enjoyed , with a brief exception , an unclouded day of health . His constitution , which was among the choicest gifts of nature , had been improved by exercise , by temperate habits , and by " that souVs refreshing
green , " a cheerful and good temper . The apparently unimpaired state of his health during the last year , justified the expectation that he would be yet spared many years to the world , and that death would arrive at last , not through any specific malady , but by the springs of life being gradually worn out . But He who wisely as well as benevolently determines the bounds of mortal habitation and existence
decreed otherwise . On the 13 th of May , after having in the morning attended a school in which he had taught forty-nine years , Mr . Butler was attacked by a painful disorder incident to age , and which finally terminated his existence , August
1 , 1822 . If his days of activity had been eminently bright and useful , hia last hours gave a new lustre and efficacy to bis character . The severity of his complaint was borne with fortitude , composure and exemplary patience . Folly aware throughout of the approach of dissolution , he
looked forward to that awful event with tranquil acquiescence : the moments that were spared from suffering were anxiously employed in affectionate concern for the Interest of others , and more especially in those serious contemplations and religious
exercises which became his situation * His two favourite portions of Scripture * the 1 lth of John , and that sublime and consolatory chapter , the 15 th of Coritu thians , were frequently read to him ;—their promises cheered the valley of the shadow of death .
In estimating the value of such a man as Mr . Butler , it will appear from what has been said that we should combine his moral priuciple with kis literary employ * ments ; these were formed by him into duties , which he most conscientiously discharged : and though he did not create new systems of science , he wUl long be
remembered in a large and respectable circle of pupils , to whom he communi * cated solid information , examples of virtue , aud the means of happiness , and who , in an age fruitful of knowledge , has by his writings instructed , and will still continue to instruct , the rising generation , and benefit mankind . He was one of
those men the remembrance of whom will be always agreeable , and whose virtues will live and have a force beyond the grave , " It will be an interesting occupation of the pensive hour to recount the advantages Which we have received from beings who have left the world , and to reinforce our virtues from the dust ot those who first taught them . " *
574 Obituary * ~~ Mias Maria Marg&r&ta Parker .
On July the 16 th were corn in } t ted to " the house appointed for all ' the living , " the remains of Maria Margaretta Parker , eldest daughter of the Rev . Samuel Parker , of Stockport , Cheshire . Could a Christian mind admit
any thing to be premature which takes place under the direction of an infinitely wise and just Being , or suppose death not to be the appointment of that gracious Power who gave Hfe- —Purely it
must be at a time like the present , when called upon to weep over the grave of otic so young , so affectionate , so reflective and so pious \ But the beams ox divine truth at once dispel the mist of scepticism . Its celestial light penetrating —— ; •¦¦ ; ¦ /" ¦ f ; ¦¦¦ r •¦ - ; ' \ -- " * ' ~" » F 9 &ter ' & Essays .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Sept. 2, 1822, page 574, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2516/page/54/