1771, may be seen in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. XLI. p. 405; and continued to March 1772 in

from him in some particular points, which he thought, as stated by Mr. Lindsey and his friends, could receive no countenance from Scripture, but by a licentiousness of interpretation that could not be justified,-It was not consistent with Mr. Blackburne's friendship for Mr. Lindsey, to enter into a formal controversy with him on these particular points; and if they could have been got over, it was not consistent with a resolution Mr. Blackburne had taken early in life, to have as little to do with the Trinitarian controversy as possible. But Dr. Priestley and some of his friends having carried the obligation to secede from the Church of England farther than Mr. Blackburne thought was either sufficiently candid, charitable, or modest, and had thereby given countenance to the reproach thrown upon many moderate and worthy men by hot and violent Conformists, for continuing to minister in the Church while they disapproved many things in her doctrine and discipline; he thought it expedient, in justice to himself and others of the same sentiments, to give some check to the crude censures that had been passed upon them. And, accordingly, intending to publish "Four Discourses delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Cleveland in 1767, 1769, 1771, and 1773,' he took that opportunity to explain himself on this subject in a Preface, as well on the behalf of the seceders, as of those whose Christian principles admitted of their remaining in the Church without offering violence to their consciences."-Another secession from the Church in the Archdeacon's family is thus related by his son: "The separation from the Church of England of his son-in-law Dr. Disney (1782), for whom to the moment of his death he entertained and expressed the warmest cordiality of friendship, was an event to his mind peculiarly affecting. That secession, it is true, was the natural and honourable consequence of a settled conviction (for which the worthy seceder, with a truly Christian candour, soon after delivered his reasons to the publick), that he could no longer conscientiously minister in the form of worship prescribed by the Church of England. Mr. Blackburne too had his objections to the Liturgy and Articles of the Church; but he was far from going the length of dissent which his friend Mr. Lindsey had avowed in the year 1774, and which Dr. Disney now came forward to profess. On a subject so delicate, and on occasion of such serious difference with a person most eminently beloved and honoured by him, we might have been at a loss for language sufficiently proper and correct to express the feelings of Mr. Blackburne, had he not himself at the time committed to paper his motives for so differing, with the design of immediate publication; a design suspended indeed during his life, from considerations of tenderness and affection, and which is now only executed in compliance with one of his latest requests

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vol. XLII. p. 263; in which lists will be found, on both sides of the question, the names of men, whose

quests before his death. The fact was, that, in strict agreement with his early resolution not to meddle with the Trinitarian controversy, Mr. Blackburne had never been forward to introduce his own speculations on that topic to the publick, or even among his private friends. But, conscious that the world had been civil enough to impute to him and his principles the step which Mr. Lindsey had taken some years before, and now, on the secession of another near and dear relative, making no doubt but the same world would add the step then taken by him to the same account, Mr. Blackburne did not choose to lie under this redoubled imputation; and, with a view therefore to exculpate himself, drew up the short paper referred to, under the title of An Answer to the Question, Why are you not a Socinian ?"

The good Archdeacon published, in 1768, "Considerations on the present State of the Controversy between the Protestants and Papists of Great Britain and Ireland." And his literary labours were closed, in 1780, by a very important addition to our National Biography: "Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq." the munificent Patron of Literature; a work which is thus characterized by a gentleman in every respect well qualified to appreciate its merits : "On the death of Mr. Hollis, several persons who were attached to his principles, and greatly respected his known worth, spontaneously bore each their honourable testimony to his character, in the fugitive productions of the day. But it was not till the year 1780, that the publick were possessed of the Memoirs of this extraordinary man, in two volumes quarto. The publication of this Work did honour to Mr. Brand Hollis its patron, and to Mr. Archdeacon Blackburne, the learned and nervous writer who compiled it. A copy was presented to all the more respectable Libraries at home and abroad, and gratuitously deposited on the shelves of a very great number of individual friends-the friends of Liberty. It is needless now to speak in praise of these Volumes. But it may be lamented, without being thought too fastidious, that the Writer was not earlier furnished with all the materials that formed the basis of his Work, in order the better to dispose of them in the arrangement. The Memoirs, however, form an honourable and lasting monument of one who was 'nobly and ingenuously devoted to the service of his country by deeds of peace.'-The suspicious eye with which both Mr. Thomas Hollis and his Biographer beheld the Roman Catholicks, and the restrictions under which they contended that Roman Catholicks should continue to be bound, constitute the only error of importance in the Book. And this was more the error of the times in which they lived, than of the men ;-men who, had they lived some few years later, would have survived these prejudices (for such I must call them), and, consistently with the privileges which each of them claimed for himself, and indeed


rank in literature, and in private life, would reflect honour on any cause they thought it right or prudent to advocate.


for all other Religionists, would have been the advocates of full, equal, and perfect religious liberty, and for extending the participation of all civil rights to the subjects of civil government.— Mr. Brand Hollis, in writing to Mr. Blackburne (Oct. 5, 1779), when the manuscript of these Memoirs was brought to a conclusion, emphatically says, 'You may, with Milton, survey the progress of your Works, and mark their reputation, making their way like a rapid torrent over malignity and envy, calm and confident, relying on your own merit with steady consciousness; and waiting, without impatience, the vicissitudes of opinion, and the impartiality of a future generation.'-On printing the Remarks on Johnson's Life of Milton,' which were included in the Memoirs (pp. 533-583), and were also separately printed, in duodecimo, the size of the first edition of Johnson's Lives of the Poets,' Mr. Brand Hollis observes, in a letter to the Author, dated November 1779, The Remarks are finished, and are a severe lesson for the abandoned Pensioner. He is let down in his own way, but with severity and decorum, though without much hopes of reformation in him. [See vol. II. p. 551.] But they may deter others from following his prostitution, lest they should be delivered down to posterity in their true colours. I think this Work is a noble sacrifice to the manes of Milton, and a Painting which will live through succeeding generations, and be an antidote to the poison of the malicious Balance-master; for which reason we have cast off an impression of the Remarks in duodecimo, the same size with his Lives of the Poets,' to accompany them.'- The Memoirs, which abound with various valuable materials and communications, were published without that very useful appendage, an index. A certain friend, then personally unknown to Mr. Brand Hollis, voluntarily supplied this deficiency, and sent a copy of it in manuscript, formed in the course of his second reading, as a present to the Patron of the Work, in return for the copy of the Memoirs which he had received from him. Concerning these Papers Mr. Brand Hollis wrote to Mr. Blackburne (October 1, 1781): I have received a most interesting present from the Index to which you allude. It is drawn up with judgment, it is very full and accurate, and will be of great use. If you approve, it may be printed with a few corrections for the present.'-The printing of this Index, however, was by some oversight, or involuntary delay, postponed till after Mr. Brand Hollis's decease; since which it has been printed, and distributed wherever it was known to be wanted. When the Memoirs of Mr. Thomas Hollis were undertaken, the Writer entertained no thoughts of any remuneration, beyond the satisfaction of paying a faithful and honourable tribute to the exemplary virtues of the deceased; and, by so doing,


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"The Second Part of a Literary Correspondence, between the Bishop of Gloucester and a late Pro

of making some grateful return for that Gentleman's liberal and marked remembrance of himself, by bequeathing to Mr. Blackburne a legacy of 500l. But Mr. Brand Hollis, considering the extent of the Work,—the time and attention which it had taken,

that it had defeated the prosecution of another roble literary design (the projected Life of Martin Luther),-and that the Work had been accomplished with all the propriety, dignity, and masterly spirit, which the warmest friend to our Hero could have desired, and far beyond any thought which he himself ever harboured, presented the Writer with the sum of 1000l.; hoping,' as he expressed himself, that in what he might be deficient, the Writer would sacrifice to friendship and posterity. The baseness of the times,' he adds, traduces the most worthy characters; but when there is a head and a hand to delineate them with truth and force, such a portrait is not easily disfigured without others being able to trace out the imposture."

Dr. Disney's Life of Thomas Brand Hollis, Esq. p. 9, 10. Full of years and honours, the good Archdeacon left the world, without a struggle or a sigh, in his chair, at Richmond, Aug. 7, 1787, æt. 83; and was buried on the 10th in his parish church. "The late Archdeacon Blackburne (with his judgment and powers of mind in extraordinary vigour, his eye-sight only much impaired, though not wholly gone) had been for a long time laying-in various materials from books and other sources, and had attended much to the Works of this Reformer [Luther], with a view to have given his Life in English; in which he had made some small beginnings. But he was diverted from it at first by another work; and afterwards, by the shock he received from the loss of his second son, Dr. Thomas Blackburne, who was cut-off by a fever, in his 31st year; and the more, as he depended upon him to complete whatever he might leave imperfect: to which however he was fully equal, being a scholar of fine parts, improved by classical and all other knowledge, besides his eminence in his profession." Vindicia Priestleianæ, p. 280.

In November 1799 I received a letter for the Gentleman's Magazine, from Mr. William Comber, to vindicate the Archdeacon from a misrepresentation which had been made of him (in another publication) as a Puritan, and an Arian or Socinian. Mr. Comber observes, "that the reasons suggested do not prove him a Fauritan; but that, on the contrary, his not preventing his son from taking orders, his having promoted my entering into that profession, when I am sure he had too great a regard for me to promote what he thought I should be wrong in doing; his having executed in person till his death the duties of his office as Archdeacon, as well as another judicial ecclesiastical office; and his not having resigned his preferment, although I knew him to be of a generous and disinterested disposition, having been his first cousin, and in habits of intimacy with him from


fessor of Oxford: Accurately printed from an authentic Copy. To which are added the Notes of

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my youth till his death: all these circumstances, I say, I have argued, are sufficient proofs that he did not think an Episcopal form of Church-government unlawful, and, consequently, was not Puritanical; especially as he many years ago assured me that, if he found he could not exercise his functions with perfect sa❤ tisfaction, he had made up his mind to resign them, and retire; and I gave him full credit for integrity and honour.- Having thus, I hope, exculpated him from the charge of Puritanism, I also subjoin a letter, which I wrote some years ago to a friend, and which, I hope, will evidently acquit him of Arianism or Socinianism; and which I now send, being desirous to shew a grateful respect for his memory; wherein I hope you will assist me, by circulating the contents. W. COMBER.

"To the Rev. Francis Blackburne. "DEAR SIR, Kirbymoorside, Sept. 11, 1793. "Understanding that attempts are made to propagate an idea, that the late Archdeacon Blackburne's (your worthy father's) sentiments corresponded with the modern Unitarians (as they call themselves), my respect for the memory of so near and valuable a Relation, as well as my regard for the interests of true Religion, urge me to furnish you with a proof of his latest opinion on the nature of our Saviour Jesus Christ; which I hope will, with any ingenuous mind, irrefragably refute any such idea. And, as I take it for granted you must wish to rescue your father's character from such an extraordinary misrepresentation, you are perfectly at liberty to make this information as public as you choose, as I should be glad, by my testimony, to be instrumental in proving the falsehood of the report. -You know, Sir, your father honoured me with a considerable degree of his esteem and confidence to the very conclusion of his life. It is not, therefore, surprizing that he should communicate to me his sentiments, especially when he was certain the knowledge of them would give me satisfaction.-To the best of my memory, he more than once, in some of the latest conversations I had with him, and, I believe, at the distance of a year or two from each other, expressed himself as follows, as nearly as I can recollect: Cousin Comber, I firmly believe the Divinity of Christ. My answer, I think, was, 'I am very glad of it, Sir." He added, at the same time, What Dr. Priestley believes concerning Jesus Christ, I do not know, as I never could get an answer to that question either from himself or any of his connexions; or words to that effect. This declaration was not made accidentally. but with an evident design, as appeared to me (and, I think, a positive request), that I would take particular notice of it; which I therefore did; for I felt great joy in hearing it. And, as it was made with much energy, and repeatedly, and, as far as I can recollect, at the very last interviews I had with him, one of which (as you must recollect) was a few weeks only before his death, I have no


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