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that, considered as the production whatsoever things are venerable, of boys, which it exclusively was, it whatsoever things are just, whatsois a striking evidence of early genius ever things are pure, whatsoever and acquirements; and that the things are lovely, whatsoever things papers in particular, which the let- are of good report, if there be any ter affixed to them marks as Ren- 'virtue, and if there be any praise, nell's, exbibit a strength of intel- in these things' it was his habit and lect, and an elevation of thought, delight to think upon' and pursue. far beyond his years. It was in. In 1808 Sir William Browne's andeed the manliness of his under nual medal for the best Greek ode standing and taste by which, at this was adjudged to Mr. Rennell's period of his life, he was chiefly beautiful composition on · Veris characterized, In this respect it Comites:' in which he has touched, may be said of him, that he was with exquisite simplicity and panever a boy. His views and po. thos, upou man's mortal and uncertions, whether intellectual or moral, tain state, in allusion to the recent were not boyish; the authors who and untimely death of Lord Trafalwere his chosen favourites and mo. gar, the heir of the family of Nel. dels, were not those whom boys in son, a student in the same Uvivergeveral most admire and imitate: sity with himself. In himself alas! every thing, in short, indicated that
the passage has now been most afearly ripeness which too often, as in fectingly verified. During the period his case, is found to be the fore- of his residence at Cambridge, and runner, and as it were the compen. occasionally afterwards, he was also sation, of early decay. Nor was he a contributor to the Museum Cri. less exemplary in conduct than emi. ticum, published at irregular internent for talents and proticiency in vals by some eminent scholars of learning. Deeply impressed from the University. He was, in a word, his very childhood with sentiments unceasingly active, always engaged of genuine and practical piety, he in honourable and useful pursuits. was habitually virtuous upon religi. But all bis studies had a tendency ous principles, and exhibited in his to that sacred profession for which life lucid proof that power of mind he ever entertained a strong predifinds its best ally in purity of heart, lection, and to which, from a welland that genius and licentiousness grounded conviction of his fitness have no natural union with each for it, he had long determined to other.
devote himself. In 1806 Mr. Rennell was remov- Accordingly, soon after taking ed, in the regular course of succes- his Bachelor of Arts degree, he ension, from Eton, to King's College, 'tered into holy orders, under a deep Cambridge ; and here the excellent sense of the heavy responsibility gifts and qualities which had al- which he was incurring; and firmly ready more than begun to open resolved, by the Divine Grace, to themselves, found ampler space for do the full work of an Evangelist, expansion and luxuriance.
He and give up his time and talents brought with him indeed from school unreservedly to the ministry-a re. the somewhat questionable advan- solution which God enabled him tage of a very high reputation : but strictly to fulfil. He was then imhis course in the University only mediately appointed by his father to proved how well he had earned his the office of Assistant Preacher at title to it.
the Temple, for which he was sin. Αίεν αριστεύειν, και υπείροχον έμμεναι gularly quathed, and in which he άλλων,
acquitted himselt in a manner altoΜηδε γένος πατέρων αισχυνόμεν, , gether equal to the expectations was still his motto and his practice: which had been formed of him, and still whatsoever things are true, worthy of the eloquence which his
father had for a long series of years the British Critic,' a work which displayed in the same place. Nor has long stood forward in support was it long before an opportunity of religion and virtue ; and prewas afforded him of manifesting, in sented a steady and successful reanother way, his professional zeal sistance to infidelity on the one and ability. A bold attempt to wrest hand, and fanaticism on the other. Scripture to their purpose was made He was himself also a frequent conby those the tendency of whose tributor to its pages. Thus was he creed is to divest the Gospel of at once, both in the pulpit and by Christ of its most distinguishing and his pen, actively engaged in provital doctrines, and reduce it to a moting the glory of God, and the
corpus sine pectores,' in the public well being of his fellow-creatures. cation of " An Improved Version of It was not likely that merit thus the New Testament,” accompanied pre-eminent would escape the notice with an introduction and notes. of so vigilant a guardian of religion, The principles of its authors are and so conscientious a patron of thus summed up by Mr. Rennell— those who distinguished themselves “ No Redeemer nor Intercessor, in its support, as the then and preno Incarnation nor Atonement, no sent Bishop of London. Accordsanctifying nor comforting Spirit is ingly in 1816 he called Mr. Rennell to be found in their creed ; both from the Temple to a station of no heaven and hell, angels and devils, ordinary consequence, the vicarage are equally banished from their con- of Kensington. Hitherto his public sideration *.". But of this new at. ministry had been confined to the tack upon “ the faith once delivered preacher's office: the care of a poto the saints” he was not content to be pulous and important parish was an inactive witness. In 1811, under now added; and bigh as was the the modest title of " A Student in reputation which in the former Divinity,” he put forth Animad- capacity he had acquired, it was yet versions on the Unitarian Transla- to receive a great accession from tion or Improved Version of the the exemplary diligence and powerNew Testament.' In this acute and ful effect with which he discharged learned tract he exposed in a con- the arduous and manifold duties cise, but remarkably clear and sa- that now devolved upon him. It tisfactory manner, the principal of must suffice, however, at present to those “ unwarrantable interpreta- say, that in this discharge he was tions, artful sophisms, and palpable unwearied and unremitting; till it contradictions,” with which both pleased that Providence which gives text and comment of the improving and takes away for reasons equally translators abounded. Had the wise, to deny to his flock the longer even then respectable name of Mr. continuance of services, which, both Rennell been prefixed to this publi- temporally and spiritually, were incation, it would probably have had deed a blessing. a more extensive circulation. But In the same year Mr. Rennell was the author was not concealed from elected Christian Advocate in the those who took a particular interest University of Cambridge, a choice in such matters: and their attention for which the world owes a debt of and hopes were in consequence ear- gratitude to those who made it, nestly directed to one, who, in such since it gave occasion to two of his early youth, had shewn himself so most valuable productions; which, able a champion for the truth as however, are too well known, to it is iu Jesus.'--About this time too, require that a particular account he undertook the important and la- should be given of them here. borious charge of the Editorship of The first was entitled Remarks on
Scepticism, especially as it is con* Pre face to · Animadversions.'
nected with the Subjects of Organi
zation and Life; being an answer “ It may be hoped, indeed, (to to the Views of M. Bichat, Sir T. adopt bis own eulogy of another), C. Morgan, and Mr. Lawrence, that his voice will yet be heard in upon those points.' To the studies those quarters where libertine prin. of anatomy and medicine Mr. Ren- ciples, infidel opinions, and vicious nell had always been attached. He practices prevail ; and that this never indeed suffered them to inter. voice may awaken, convince, and fere with matters which more pro
It is thus that, even in his perly belonged to him; but he de- grave, the servant of the Gospel is lighted to turn to them at intervals daily increasing his account for as sources of rational amusement good in the Book of God *." and useful knowledge, and above all A remarkable proof of the im. as auxiliaries to piety: and had at. pression which this publication protended a regular course of anato- duced, was afforded by the fact mical lectures, under an eminent that an attempt was made by cersurgeon of the metropolis. When tain persons, whose principles were therefore he saw, in the schools exposed in it, to exclude Mr. Renboth of Paris and London, medical nell from the Royal Society, for science made the handmaid of irre. admission into which he was about ligion, and observed in particular that time proposed. This attempt, “a considerable advance of scepti. however, as might have been ercal principle upon the subjects of pected, only served to shew the organization and life," the doctrine impotent hostility of its authors, of materialism paving the way for and more fully to set off the triumph infidelity and atheism, he thought of religion. that he could not better discharge The other work which Mr. Renthe duty which from " the office nell sent forth into the world, in his he 'held in the University," he capacity of Christian Advocate, was owed to it and the world, than entitled “Proofs of Inspiration, or “ to call the attention of the public the Grounds of Distinction between to the mischievous tendency of such the New Testament, and the Apoopinions.”_" To detect, therefore, cryphal Volume : occasioned by the the fallacies, and expose the mis- recent publication of the Apocryphal representations” by which“ both at New Testament by Hone. In this home and abroad, those opinions work, the first edition of which apwere advocated, and to reconcile peared in 1822, he has exposed and the views of the philosopher and repelled, in a very luminous and the Christian,” was the design of decisive manner, the insidious at: his Remarks. Of all his works this tack made upon the authority of is the most wasterly, and the most the New Testament itself, througti popular. It is a work " which (as the medium of the unauthorized Johnson said of Burnet's account contents of the Apocryphal volume. of the conversion of Rochester), the He bas clearly pointed out the critic ought to read for its elegance, broad line of everlasting distinction the philosopher for its arguments, between the two volumes, proving, and the saint for its piety." It foils both from external and internal evithe sceptic at bis own weapons, and dence, the inspiration of the one, makes him feel that reason and phi- and the want of all just pretensions losophy are not for him, but against to it in the other. He has thus bim, in the great question of natu- provided a very valuable manual for ral and revealed Religion.
the use of those who may have need Nor was its success dispropora of compendious, yet satisfactory intionate to its merit. First publish- formation, as to the grounds on ed in 1819, it is now passing through which the Canon of the New Tesits sixth edition; and by it its au
Renneil's Introduction to Munter's thor, though“ dead, yet speaketh.” Conversion of Struensee.
tament was framed; and furnished the eldest daughter of the late John a simple yet sure test for the sepa- Delafield, Esq. of Kensington. At ration of the human " reveries and this period, indeed, his cup of impostures” of the earlier ages of blessings was full to the very brim. Christianity from the genuine pro- Surrounded “ by troops of friends,” ductions of divine truth.
bound to him by the strongest ties In 1823 he was promoted by the of esteem and gratitude; honoured Bishop of Salisbury, to whom he for his talents, and learning, and had been for many years Examin- virtue, by those even who were pering Chaplain, to the Mastership of sonally unacquainted with him ; St. Nicholas's Hospital, and the possessing, in a singular degree, the Prebend of South Grantham, in the respect and affection of his parishChurch of Salisbury. And in the ioners; placed in circumstances of same year he shewed how well he affluence sufficient for the induldeserved such promotion, by a gence of every reasonable desire ; most able and seasonable defence and having before him the certain of the Church and Clergy against a prospect of rising to the highest resystematic series of attacks directed wards and distinctions of his proagainst their property and charac- fession to this rare assemblage ter, by enemies of 'no inconside- of felicities he now added the invarable importance. This was done luable jewel of domestic affection. in the form of A Letter to Henry But the seeds of decay and dissoluBrougham, Esq. M.P. upon his tion were at this very time rapidly Durham Speech, and the three Ar- working within him. “O fallacem ticles in the last Edinburgh Review, hominum spem, fragilemque fortuupon the subject of the Clergy. And pam, et inanes nostras contennever was a more triumphant ap. tiones : quæ in medio spatio sæpe peal made to the wisdom and jus- franguntur et corruunt, et antè in tice of mankind. But great as was ipso cursu obruuntur quàm portum the effect of this excellent pamphlet, conspicere
potuerunt * !” Not it is certainly to be regretted that many weeks after his marriage, Mr. the author was not induced to pre. Rennell was attacked by a fever, fix his name to it, at least in the from which he was for some time in second edition, since it could not imminent danger. Nothing could have failed to have been thereby exceed the earnest and affectionate more generally known, and more ex- solicitude which on this occasion tensively circulated.
was manifested by persons of all Besides the publications already ranks, particularly by his parish, noticed, Mr. Rennell sent to the ioners, whose attachmeut had so press two excellent sermons, one in lately displayed itself, in a very dif, 1820, entitled The Value of Human ferent manner, by a public enter. Life under the Gospel, and preach- tainment given in honour of bis ed before the Corporation of the happy marriage. From the immeTrinity-House ; the other in 1822, diate attack of the disease he recoentitled, The Unambitious Views of vered ; but the utmost efforts of his the Church of Christ, and preached medical attendants, who joined the at the Anniversary of the Sons of most zealous assiduity of friendship the Clergy. He also preached, but to the highest professional skill, did not publish, the Warburtonian were unavailing to counteract the Lectures at Lincolo's-inn.
fatal effects which were left behind. But the course of this admirable A gradual decline ensued, interman was now fast drawing to its rupted indeed by occasional rallyclose, and that too at a time when ings of his constitution ; which, the full blaze of prosperity had just added to the vivacity of spirits, and opened upon it. In the autumn of vigour of intellect still exhibited by 1823, he was united by marriage to a very amiable and excellent lady,
* Cic. de Orat.
him, served to keep alive in his tremity of bodily weakness and exfamily and friends hopes, which, haustion, he said, I am supported alas ! were soon to be dashed to the by Christ.' And so he departed ground for ever. But while his • to be with Christ;' to have his body languished, his mind still was portion with the good and faithful active; and anxious that no part of servants' of the Lord; to shine his life should be without its fruits, with the wise, 'as the brightness of he employed the intervals of ease the firmament, and with them that which were afforded him, in prepar- have turned many to righteousuess, ing a last tribute to the holy cause as the stars for ever and ever.'” which he had so earnestly embrac- He was buried, with the greatest ed, and so effectually supported. privacy, in Winchester Cathedral, a Munter's Narrative of the Convera place to which from his earliest sion and Death of Struensee, first years he was singularly attached; a translated from the German into few only of his nearest relations and English, in 1774, was a book upon most intimate friends attending his which he had long and justly set a remains to the grave. The shops very high value, as admirably cal- were shut in Kensington on the day culated for the counteraction of ir-, of his funeral: on the preceding religious and licentious principles. evening a meeting of the inhabitants As therefore it had become scarce, was held, at which it was resolved to and was but little known, he thought erect a monument, in memory of his that he should render good ser- worth, and of their sense of the loss vice to the world, by introducing it which they had sustained : and anew to public notice. This he ac- mourning was put on by the prin. cordingly did, by putting forth a cipal parishioners. On the Sunday new edition of it, (which he only following a funeral sermon just lived long enough to complete), preached in the parish church by with notes, substituting English his successor in the Vicarage, Archbooks for the German ones, recom- deacon Potta successor such as mended by the original, and with a he himself would have chosen, and short, but useful, and very impres- for whom he entertained the most sive introduction, breathing the pure sincere respect and regard.-It deest spirit of piety and benevolence.
serves to be mentioned, that he de. “Illa tanquam cycnea fuit divini
rived peculiar comfort and satisfachominis vox The time of his tion from having it in his power, not departure was at hand : “ He had
many days before his death, to refought the good fight, he had finish
ward the long and faithful services ed his course; he had kept the of his curate, Mr. Taylor, by a faith.” Henceforth there was laid living attached to his prebend of up for him " a crown of righteous- Salisbury: and he heartily thanked ness." He had now fallen into a Providence for having prolonged his confirmed and hopeless atrophy; life till he had performed this act of and having vainly tried the effects gratitude and justice. of sea air, had retired into the bo- Of his character there is now little som of his family at Winchester, need to speak ; since it may be colwhere at length he expired in peace, lected from what has been already on the last day of June, 1824. said. But a short notice of some of “The close of his life (they are the its most prominent points may not words of a suffering witness, who, be deemed altogether superfluous. it is hoped, will pardon their intro
His piety was sincere, fervent, duction here) was in perfect unison and rational; equally removed from with the whole preceding tenor of it; lukewarmness on the one hand, and and his pious serenity, resignation enthusiasm on the other. No man and benevolence in his last moments, had a deeper or more awful sense of were vever surpassed. In the ex- the vital truths of the Gospel; no * Cic. de Orat.
man relied with humbler confidence