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pily lived too well lo acquire , a complaisant courtly reserve on the weak or wicked eccentricities of despotic power . * R . L . C .
they will be sought with an avidity proportioned to their inestimable importance . They gave an impulse to the human mind on subjects of the the highest interest , and produced astonishing effects in giving a new current to public opinion .
These reflections have been sri £ - gested by a recent conversation with an old and esteemed friend , ivhow name has often appeared in your pages , upon the neglect or indiffeN ence , with which many of our young men seem to regard the exertions and
writing's of such men as Sir George Saville , Dr . John Jebb , Priestley , Price , Wakefield and others of that period . * Whatever may be their reasons for indulging such a feeling it may not be easy to ascertain ; but the loss to themselves is undoubtedly
great . The advantages to be derived from the examples and writings of these men are so extensive , that , perhaps , it is not possible to furnish any that can be compared with them , for
their acquirements were as various as their views were enlarged and laudable . But they considered the pursuit of truth as an indispensable obligation , and , consequently , deemed no topic so sacred as to be exempt from
* Where is the number of volumes that contain an equal portion of useful and iuterestiiig information as well as fine writing , as those three comprising the Life and Writings of Dx . John Jebb ?
His strenuous efforts to improve the discipline , and to effect a reformation in tic University of Cambridge , entitle him to the gratitude of his country , had he done nothing more .
Is not the small degree of encouragement afforded to Mr . Butt for his high y valuable exertions in the publication of a complete collection of the Theological and Miscellaneous Works of Dr . Priestley , a reflection upon those who are desirous oi being deemed the friends of rational
religion , and freedom of philosophical aod political investigation ? To what other man are they ao much indebted for improvement , and for exciting attention u > and elucidating these important subjects ? But the writings of the above gw ? at men
are not novelties , and therefore unworthy of the attention of the idlers of this age , who arc satisfied with amusing their fapcy , and , perhaps consider the esera * of their rechmn a * too grefct ah eflfart—•» not a degrading labour !
348 Eminent Men of the last Generation .
Eminent Men of the last Generation . —— " Studious let me sit , And hold high converse with the mighty dead , Who blessed mankind and humanized a world . "
Thomson . City Road , Sir , j 4 pril 19 , 1826 . THE latter years of the last century formed an era that has never
perhaps been equalled for the theological and political discussious which distinguished it ; nor , indeed , can any age or country be compared with our own for the number , the talents , and the intrepidity of its advocates of
political , civil and religious liberty . Those who can remember the concluding years of that period , must have associations and feel emotions of the most pleasing kind , because they must forcibly recall such instances of
moral and intellectual dignity , as have probably never before or since been exhibited to the world . The sacred aarnes of the individuals who displayed such superior virtue , will stand conspicuously eminent in the records of our history ; they were then familiar to every lover of free inquiry ; and the recollection of them must be
endearing to every friend to truth and to the happiness of man . Great , indeed , were their exertions in this benevolent and honourable vocation : and the disquisitions then published
relating to the political , civil and religious condition and improvement of society , produced effects so extensive , that they are still felt by a considerable portion of the community . Many of them seem now either to be
forgotten , or deemed unworthy of attention ; but if any value be attached to clear and luminous statements of the points in discussion , cog-eat argumentation with striking aud apposite illustrations , and a style at once perspicuous , forcible and impressive , for such are the characteristic * of many af the production * of tbeae writers , the time vyill probably arrive when
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1826, page 348, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2549/page/32/