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253 Original Letter of Robert Burns.-Mungo Park. 254 mansion in his kingdom, the loss to For my own affairs, I am in a fair your friends will be your unspeakable way of becoming as eminent as Thogain. I pray, threefore, that his name mas a Kempis, or John Bunyan; and may be glorified in you, whether by you may expect, henceforth, to see my life or by death; that you may be sup-birth-day inserted among the wonderported, while here, by the sweet con- ful events in the Poor Robin's and solations of his Spirit; be enabled to Aberdeen Almanacks, along with the commit all your concerns into his faith- Black Monday, and the Battle of Bothful hands; and that, when the hour of well Bridge. My Lord Glencairn, and dismission shall arrive, you may de- the Dean of Faculty, Mr. H. Erskine, part, like Simeon, rejoicing in his sal- have taken me under their wing ; and, vation; and that the present dispensa- in all probability, I shall soon be the tion, whatever may be the event, may tenth worthy, and the eighth wise be sanctified to all your family. man of the world. Through my Lord's
Mrs. Newton presents her affection- influence, it is inserted in the records ate respects to you and Mrs. We of the Caledonian Hunt, that they sympathize with her, and with all your universally, one and all, subscribe friends, and beg to be remembered for the second edition. My subscripsuitably to them. I shall hope to tion-bills come out to-morrow, and hear from, or of, you soon. May the you shall have some of them next Lord Jesus, the good Shepherd, be post.—I have met in Mr. Dalrymple, with you. We are still favoured with of Orangefield, what Solomon emphahealth and peace; and find Olney in tically calls, a friend that sticketh all respects a comfortable settlement. closer than a brother.” The warmth - Believe me to be, dear Sir, your with which he interests himself in my affectionate and obliged friend and affairs, is of the same enthusiastic servant,
kind, which you, Mr. Aiken, and the JOHN NEWTON. few patrons that took notice of my Olney, the 31st August, 1769.
earlier poetic days, showed for the poor unlucky devil of a poet.
I always remember Mrs. Hamilton and Miss Kennedy in my poetic pray
ers; but you both in prose and verse. Sir,
May cauld ne'er catch you, but a-hap; The following letter of Burns, the
Nor hunger, but in Plenty's lap. illustrious Scottish bard, has recently
Amen! come into my possession. It has
Robert Burns. never been printed ; and if you think
Edinbro. 7th Dec. 1786. it will at all amuse the readers of the Imperial Magazine, it is at your ser
Your's, &c. Liverpool, May 12th, 1819. G. B.
With the exception of such as fill To Colonel Montgomery, Coilsfield, by exalted stations on the great theatre Kilmarnock.
of the world, there are few names beHONORED SIR,
fore the public, which have excited a I have paid every attention to your more general interest, than that of commands, but can only say that, this extraordinary, but we fear, unforwhich perhaps you will have heard tunate traveller. During a long seabefore this reach you, that Muirkirk son, although no accounts had been lands were bought by a John Gordon, transmitted from him, some faint hopes W. S. but for whom I know not; were cherished of his safety, even Mauchlands, Haugh Miln, &c. by a while serious doubts were occasionally Frederick Fotheringham, supposed entertained of his being no more. Into be for Ballochmyle Laird; and formation at length communicated Adamhill and Shawood were bought tidings of his death; accompanied for Oswald's folks. This is so imper- with circumstances, which gave to the fect an account, and will be so late melancholy event the fullest confirmaere it reach you, that were it not to tion. Subsequent accounts have tenddischarge my conscience, I would not ed to corroborate the report, which we trouble you with this ; but after all think, every one would rejoice in findmy diligence, I could make it no sooner ing a satisfactory reason to disbeliev nor better.
How far the following particulars
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL
be deserving of credit, we take not bouring under a severe indisposition. upon us to state. They seem better He had, however, formed a resolution calculated to awaken our hopes, than to make his way to Tombuctoo. If he to suppress our fears ; and rather give should determine to persevere, and us an opportunity of believing it pos- should finally succeed in his attempt, sible that he may be still alive, than we may hereafter expect some further furnishing any convincing evidence in accounts, which will either confirm his favour of the fact.
present statement, respecting Mungo A gentleman of Liverpool, who has Park, or again throw us back on that a brother residing at Juddah, on the destiny which, we have too much reaRed Sea, has lately received from him son to fear, has overtaken this entera letter, dated December 13th, 1818, prising traveller. in which, on the authority of another, it is asserted that Mungo Park is still
A NOBLE INSTANCE OF DIGNIFIED alive.
“ On my landing at Juddah,” he observes, a place where I did not Fermanagh Assizes, Ireland. expect to bear an English word, I was The only trial that excited much of accosted by a man in the complete the public attention, at these assizes, costume of the country, with, Are was that of Patrick Durnim, who stood you an Englishman, Sir?' My answer indicted for the murder of Andrew being of course in the affirmative, ap- Somerville, in July last. This trial peared to give him pleasure beyond acquired much interest, from a most expression. Thanks and praises to atrocious effort to deprive the prisoner God,' he exclaimed, 'I once more of his right to a fair and impartial hear an English tongue, which I have trial. The prisoner was a Catholic, not done for fourteen years before.'' the deceased an Orangeman. To sus
It appears, that the name of this tain the indictment, the prosecutor stranger is Nathaniel Pearce, a native had entirely failed to make out a case of this country, who was left behind amounting even to manslaughter. In by Lord Valentia, and who has been point of law, it was clearly a case of mentioned by Mr. Salt, in the account justifiable homicide; and when the of his travels in Abyssinia. Pearce, counsel for the crown were about to it seems, has spent the fourteen years close, a person named Alex. Aiken, a of his singular exile in Abyssinia, dur- yeomanry officer, and master of an ing which period he has been princi- Orange lodge, stepped upon the table, pally in the service of the various to offer testimony of what he was chiefs of the country. His own ac- pleased to call the prisoner's confescount is stated to be both amusing and sion, saying, that he had told him deeply interesting. According to his that he (the prisoner) “ had murdered declaration, Mungo Park is still in ex- the deceased.” istence; and actually resides in the The learned Judge (Mr. Serjeant city of Tombuctoo, where he is de- Joy) here interposed. He first comtained by the chief. He is not, how- manded the witness to be silent. He ever, kept in custody from any princi- then rose from his seat on the bench, ple of hostility, but from their know- and warmly addressed Mr. Aiken to ledge of his value for his skill in sur- the following effect:gery and astronomy. By the people, “ Sir,- In the evidence you have Pearce says, he is almost idolized. given on this trial, you have solemnly They view him as an angel sent down sworn that you are a perfectly disinfrom heaven to administer to their terested witness; whereas to my wants. He is anxious to make his es- knowledge, both your words and accape, but finds it impossible. “What” tions have evinced the contrary. On say the people, “ do you think we are my coming into Court this morning, so foolish, as to part with so invaluable you, well knowing that the prisoner a treasure? If you go away, where was to take his trial at its sitting, for are we to find another, possessing so a capital offence, and that the penalty much knowledge, or who will do us of his conviction would be the forfeitso much good?"
ure of his life: you Sir, fully apprised Pearce, at the time when he com- of this, in a manner perfectly intellimunicated this information, was un-gible to me, and for an object which well, and had for some time been la-\ could not misunderstand, endea257
Essay on Primeval Light.
voured to prejudice my mind against | impression, he observes, I should an unfortunate prisoner, whom the be- be glad to meet, in your Miscellany, nignity of our laws required me to with a satisfactory exposition of this hold guiltless, till the contrary ap- interesting part of the Scriptures.' peared. In language evidently in- In this request we most cordially unite tended for my ear, I heard you then with the writer. We shall be glad to declare, “ That the prisoner ought to receive any communications on the be hanged without Judge or Jury." I subject.” then felt it my duty to suppress my Encouraged by your invitation, how indignation at your foul attempt incompetent soever I may be to the to influence the administration of task, I beg leave to present you with justice; but I cannot now sufficiently the following observations. These I express my abhorrence of conduct so have thrown into the form of an Essay, highly reprehensible, because I con- which you are at liberty to dispose of sider it as a base effort to poison the as you may think proper. Should the very source of justice. And I trust remarks I have made, tend in any in God, I have the approbation of the degree either to elucidate the imporjury, of the counsel, and of every one tant question, or to call into exercise that hears me, for now ordering you the abilities of one more competent to off the table.”
the undertaking, I shall be amply It is impossible to describe the recompensed for the attempt which I effect that this address had on all pre- thus presume to make. sent.
It appears from the account given The counsel for the prosecution by Moses respecting Creation, that closed their case. The counsel for Light existed on the first day; but the prisoner declined calling any wit- that the Sun was not called into ex
istence till the fourth. This statement The learned Judge then recapitu- has been represented as including an lated the evidence with great preci- absurdity; since it is said to make the sion, and explained the law to the effect exist several days before the Jury; who, without any hesitation, re- cause was created. I am ready to adturned a verdict of Not Guilty. mit, that, to give a solution to this
apparent difficulty, much learning has
been displayed, and many theories Essay on Primeval Light.
have been invented. It is not, however, altogether clear, that even the
question itself, and also that several Sir, Liverpool, May 12, 1819. of the opinions to which it has given In perusing the second number of birth, are not wholly founded on an your new and interesting Miscellany, erroneous principle. I observed, in page 190, a request to According to the manner in which correspondents, soliciting their obser- many inquiries have been urged, the vations on an important question re- actual existence of the Sun seems to specting the primary production of be considered, not merely necessary Light. I do not know by whom the to enlighten our system, agreeably to difficulty proposed for solution was the present constitution of things, as started; but as it involves in its con- appointed by God, but as so essensequences the truth or falsehood of the tially necessary in itself, that without philosophy of Moses, it cannot but be the Sun, the creation of Light would deeply interesting to every friend of have been absolutely impossible, even Revelation.
to omnipotent power.
Upon what The paragraph to which I allude, strange principle this singular assumpruns as follows:-“ It has frequently tion is founded, it will perhaps be difbeen asked, “How could Light be pro- ficult to say, so as to reconcile it with duced on the first day, when the Sun, the decisions of philosophical investiwhich is its fountain, was not created gation. until the fourth ? To give a solution There can be little doubt, if the to this difficulty, various theories have Almighty had been so pleased, that he been invented; but our correspondent might have omitted the creation of the is not satisfied with any of the expe- Sun altogether, even to the present dients to which ingenuity and learning hour: yet few, we conceive, would have hitherto resorted. Under this have the presumption to assert, the
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL
if this had actually been the case, he periods, does not seem to involve any must therefore necessarily have been kind of absurdity to us; and certainly compelled to leave creation involved it could not have involved any kind of in total darkness. The Sun is but difficulty to him. an instrument in the Divine hands. By what primordial laws, the periIt has no primitive agency; and, con- odical appearance and disappearance sequently, it can never be considered of Light were regulated, none, we may as so essentially necessary to the ope- presume, but the inhabitants of eterrations of God, as to justify us in nity can inform us. There can be asserting, that he could not have com- little doubt, that, when creation took municated light without its aid. To place, those laws by which creation is suppose the Sun to be thus essentially regulated were called into being, and necessary to the communication of established by infinite power, wisdom, Light, is to make the operations of and goodness. The laws of nature infinite power dependent upon the ex- belong to nature, under the appointistence or nonexistence of a passive ment of the Almighty; and may be instrument, which depends upon Om- included under the most comprehennipotence for its being.
sive import of the term Creation. The It will readily be admitted, that we laws, therefore, by which matter is can form no just conception how Light governed, can only be said to have a could have been communicated to the relative existence; and before matter planetary system, if the Sun had not began to exist, these laws could, as been created, and placed in the centre laws, have had no being; and whenas its common fountain; but our in- ever matter shall cease to be, these ability to comprehend the manner, laws will be reduced to nonentities. can never be urged as an argument From these considerations it follows, against the fact. Weknow scarcely any that when God called creation into more how Light is generated or trans- existence, instead of acting by those mitted to us, now the Sun is in actual laws, to which he then imparted priexistence, than we could have known, mitive being, his actions must be upon a supposition, that some other resolved into some unknown primeval instrument or medium had been ap- principles, which perhaps will never pointed by infinite wisdom.
be fully unfolded to finite beings in To make the Sun antecedently ne- eternity. It was by these incomprecessary to the existence of Light, is, hensible principles that he gave existin effect, to assert, that even God ence to matter and spirit; that he himself could not render any object gave to Light its periodical visibility visible, in case the Sun were to be and concealment; and finally emboannihilated; and, consequently, when- died it in the centre of our system, ever that awful period shall arrive, where it must remain, until his infinite that the Sun shall cease to shine, an wisdom and power shall sweep this eternity of darkness must immediately universe aside. succeed it. And if we look backward, Viewed in relation to these princiand contemplate that incomprehensi- ples, the great objection which bas ble infinity duration, which pre- been urged against the philosophy of ceded the existence of the Sun, we Moses, I conceive, wholly disappears; must suppose, that
no Light could enli- and the questions which remain, take ven what may perhaps be called the their stand on a more subordinate gloom of eternal glory. But as these ground. Whether we can or cannot are suppositions which cannot be ad comprehend how Light could have been mitted, we must conclude, that Light in existence before the formation of is not primitively dependent upon the the Sun, is a point in which we have Sun, but upon the eternal God alone; little interest. "And I am inclined to and is only to be viewed as connected think, that we can no more account or identified with the Sun, because for its visibility, from its being emboGod has appointed this for its embo- died in the Sun, than if it had been died medium.
wholly destitute of such a central Under these circumstances, as Light source. must have been at the disposal of God, The same power and wisdom which wholly independent of the Sun, the formed the Sun, must have formed all supposition that he should have caused the constituent properties of which it it to appear and disappear, at stated / is composed. It is therefore absurd
THE REV. MR. MASON
SINGULAR PREDICTION OF AN ALGE
261 Essay on Light.-An Epitaph.-Singular Prediction. 262 to imagine, that a being possessed of
AN EPITAPH ON MRS. MASON. absolute perfection, could only give Take, holy Earth! all that my soul holds dear; visibility to Light through the associa- Take that best gift which Heav'n so lately gave: tion of properties, which depend upon To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care his power, both for their arrangement Her faded form ; she bow'd to taste the wave, and their primary existence.
And died.--Does youth, does beauty read the As the real essence of light is un- line? known to mortals, we can only reason Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm ? respecting it from general principles, Speak, dead Maria! breathe the strain dior prosecute our inquiries on hypothe- vine, tical grounds. Now, every man, whe- Ev’n from the grave thou shalt have pow'r to ther he admits or rejects the philoso
charm. phy of Moses, must allow, since Light is Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee ; in existence, that it is either the effect Bid them in duty’s sphere as meekly move'; of creative energy, or that it has ex
And if so fair, from vanity as free, isted from eternity. If it be the for- Tell them, tho' 'tis an awful thing to die,
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love : mer, it can be nothing but a bright ('Twas ev'n to thee,) yet the dread path once emanation from the Father of Lights, trod, and can know no other primary foun- Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high, tain. And if it be the latter, it will And bids “the pure in heart behold their God." be absurd to suppose, that God did not possess the same power throughout his
[Bristol Cathedral.] infinite duration, that he possessed when he called creation into being. Admitting, therefore, his power to be essential to his nature, it would be absurd to suppose, that its operations It has been observed by Salamé, in primitively depended upon the exist- his narrative of the English expedience of mediums, which he has sub- tion to Algiers in 1816, that when the sequently been pleased to appoint, as people beheld the destructive effects instruments in his hands.
of the British cannon, they described I am not disposed to think, that their calamity, by saying, that “ Hell there is any thing extravagant in sup- had opened its mouth
them posing, that the Almighty might, if he through the English ships." The achad been so pleased, have dispensed tion continued about nine hours ; durwith many of the instruments he uses, ing which time, the squadron under the without being compelled to withhold command of Lord Exmouth expended those multiplied effects which now re- nearly 118 tons of gunpowder, and upsult from him, through their subordi- wards of 500 tons of shot. The damage nate agency. But this I conceive to sustained by the Algerines, he estimates be widely different from the reveries at about a million sterling. The Briof Dean Berkeley; for I have not yet tish, during this tremendous conflict, learnt, because any thing is simply had 160 men killed, and 692 wounded. possible, that therefore it actually is. Of the Algerines, the loss could not be How, or in what manner, Light is em- ascertained with precision. Accordbodied in the Sun,-how it inheres in ing to some reports, their total in that luminary, flows from it, or is ge- killed and wounded amounted to 8000; nerated,—I take not upon me to deter- others, however, reduce the number to mine; nor do I conceive, that the dif- 6000, to 5000, and the lowest to 4000. ficulty proposed for solution can be With them, the register of death is materially affected by any theory augmented, by the manner in which which may
be adopted to explain these their wounded are abandoned, and left phenomena.
to perish. “ They have no surgeons If the observations I have made, are to dress the wounded men directly. sufficient to prove, that omnipotent They never use the operations of takenergy never has been dependent; ing off arms or legs, to save the life of and that the inherent resources of an a person; but, on the contrary, they infinite being are inexhaustible ; I have put all their wounded people into a advanced enough to rescue the philo- large stable, till the day after the battle, sophy of Moses from the sneers of by which, many who might have been Infidelity.-I am, Sir, your's, most re- saved by the immediate amputation of spectfully,
Delta. an arm or a leg, are left to perish,”