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Rev. John Hatchard, M. A. to the Vi- Rev. J. Ball, B.D. Canon Resid, of carage of St. Andrew's, Plymouth.
Exeter. Rev. Rich. Jenkyns, D.D. Dinder Pre- Rev. Edward Fane, Lime, &c. Prebend bend, at Wells.
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NOVEMBER, 1824. [No. 11. Vol. XXIV.
For the Christian Observer. his majesty, and appointed to at
tend him during his tour through CONVERSION AND DEATH OF COUNT
some of the courts of Europe. STRUENSEE *.
Struensee accordingly accompanied COUNT STRUENSEE was the Christian on his travels ; and, while
a , an eminence, who, among other pre- friendship and connexion with a ferments, was Professor of Theology Dane of good family, Brandt, the at Halle, 'in Saxony. His mother subsequent associate of his crimes also was descended from a respect- and of their punishment. During able family. They were both per- his stay in France, Struensee had sons of the most simple and fervent insinuated himself into the good piety, as appears both from their graces of the King; and, to so high Jetters, and from the account which a degree of favour did he eventually Struensee himself gives of their rise, that soon after the King's reanxiety with respect to his religious turn to Copenhagen he was raised principles during his youth. The to the rank of a privy councillor, Count was born, Aug. 5, 1737: and was presented to the Queen, he was educated first in the cele- the sister of our late monarch, with. brated Orphan House of Dr. Franke, whom he soon became as great a, and subsequently at the University favourite as with her husband. He of Halle,' where he devoted his received every day from both of mind to physic, and is supposed to them fresh and valuable marks have then first imbibed, from the of their consideration and regard. companions of his studies, those Brandt, who had been for some little infidel opinions which distinguished 'time in disgrace, was recalled from him through life. He then went Paris, and reinstated in his office with his father to Altona, where at court, through the intervention of he settled, and entered into the Struensee; and they were both shortpractice of his profession both ly after, at the same time, raised to with reputation and success. By the rank of Count. Struensee was what means he was first intro- now the declared and confidential duced to the notice of Christian favourite of the King, and in a very VII., the King of Denmark, does short space of time was appointed not appear : we find him in 1768 prime minister, with almost unlimited raised to the rank of physician to political powers.
Meanwhile, the attachment of The following relation is abridged "the Queen to Struensee exceeded, from Mr. Rennell's edition of the Narra-' in appearance at least, the bounds tive written in German, by Dr. Munter, of all moderation. Of all this the and translated into English by the Rev. King was a quiet and an indifMr. Wendeborn in 1774. This work was rarely to be met with, and was scarcely in mind and body by every species
ferent spectator. Weakened both known even by name, when it was recently reprinted, with an introduction and notes, of excess, he had sunk into a state by the late Mr. Renrell.
of total apathy and imbecility. He CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 275.
was quite disqualified for taking any fer, and appeared peculiarly anxious part in the management of public that his opinions upon these subaffairs : the administration therefore jects should be disseminated and of the state devolved entirely upon adopted. Masked balls and other the Queen, Struensee, and their kinds of foreign amusements, espeadherents, who ruled without re- cially calculated to foster profligacy sponsibility or control.
and intrigue, were introduced for Had Struensee confined himself the first time at the Danish Court. to politics, he might perhaps have Of all these amusements Struensee escaped the weight of general indig- was the indefatigable leader, and the nation which at last overwhelmed devoted partaker; and be unhappily him. His abilities were command- found but too many of the Danish ing, his powers of application great, nobility, who, either in the spirit of his views enlarged, his resolutions adulation, or from the love of indulwere both rapidly taken and decisive. gence, became his associates. In ly carried into effect. Many of his most capitals these scenes of dissipublic measures were calculated to pation and vice would have had
a improve and to aggrandize the state. most injurious effect upon the geYet even in this department he ex- neral morality of the country, and posed himself to much unpopularity would gradually have corrupted by measures equally odious and un- the middle and lower orders by a advised; and by none more than by descending contagion : but the pribanishing from court Count Bern- mitive and sturdy principles of the storff, an old and favourite mini- Danes, aided by the purity of their ster of the crown, a man of un- national religion, withstood the infecimpeached integrity and character. tion; and, instead of the popularity This was a transaction which gave which Struensee probably expected him much uneasiness at the close to reap from his relaxation of ancient of his life.
discipline, he excited rather a feeling Profligacy was the rock upon of disgust and abhorrence. One of which Count Struensee split. He the boldest of his acts was to repeal was generous, open, and without a very old and severe law against hypocrisy; but his moral principle adultery. This measure was consiwas corrupt, and his life a tissue of dered as no less than holding out licentiousness, which the extraor- a reward for the commission of the dinary powers of his mind enabled crime, and was received accordingly him for some time to reconcile with with strong marks of national inthe discharge of his political duties. dignation. Towards the close of his administra- But it pleased God soon to arrest tion, however, he seemed to have this infatuated man in his vicious partly lost his strength of under
While Struensee was lulled standing, and, amidst the difficulties by the indulgence of his passions which were increasing upon him on into a fatal security, his enemies every side, to have acted without were active in preparing for his deany sort of foresight or vigour. But struction. The Queen dowager and the profligacy of Struensee was not her son were at the head of the confined to himself alone. It was the hostile party; but from their general object of his perverted ambition to want of political talent, they created corrupt the purity and to undermine little apprehension. They were jointhe principles of the whole court ed by some of the ancient nobility, and capital, to remove the land- who were indignant at seeing the marks of right and wrong, to hold Danish Monarchy under the com. out every' incentive to iniquity, and mand of a foreigner, to the excluto create every facility for its indul- sion of themselves and others who gence. Upon all points of religion had juster claims to public rank and and morals he was a professed scof authority. In one plan to seize the persons of the Queen and the Count, changing his infidel opinions before they were disconcerted; but shortly he should be called out of the world, after, a more favourable opportunity appointed Dr. Munter, the minister presented itself. They had already of a German church in Copenhagen, gained over to their party a suffi- to visit him in prison, and to admicient number of the soldiery, with nister such spiritual advice and conwhom Struensee was no favourite; solation as might be best adapted to and all other circumstances were the Count's unhappy situation. Dr. arranged with admirable dexterity Munter's Narrative contains an acfor the execution of their purpose. count of the process by which the Accordingly, at the conclusion of Count was led, from the grossest a masked ball, which was given infidelity, to a steady conviction at the Royal Palace, on the 15th of the great truths of the Gospel, of of January, 1772, Koller Banner, the difficulties which impeded his after the whole party had retired progress, and of the arguments and and all was quiet, entered the bed- books which were used to remove chamber of Christian, and informed them. Appended to the Narrative him that there was a conspiracy is an interesting letter written by against his person and dignity, at Struensee to Dr. Munter before his the head of which were his wife, exe ion, and which he composed Count Struensee, and their asso- for the express purpose of shewing ciates. He urged the King to sign that his conversion was sincere. He an order for their immediate arrest. remarked to Dr. Munter, when he Christian however at first, whether put into his hands this letter,— I from affection for the Count, or am pretty well acquainted with the from that obstinacy which is the turn of thinking of sceptics and natural consequence of imbecility, unbelievers, and will prevent them steadily refused. The Queen dow- from saying that I turned Christian ager and Prince Frederic were then from fear and weakness of undercalled in to enforce the requisition; standing. I must endeavour to conand at last, by means of absolute vince them, that I have examined threats, they obtained his reluctant the subject, and reasoned upon.it; signature. Not a moment was lost: to shew them, for instance, what is Koller Banner made his way in- my opinion of the mysteries of relistantly to the chamber of Struensee, gion, and why I do not think them forced open the door, and found him contradictory to reason. If such of asleep in his bed. The Count made my readers as are Christians should no resistance to the order, but suf- find my ideas not altogether as they fered himself to be quietly conveyed should be, or my expressions somein a coach to the citadel. Count times improper, I hope they will not Brandt, having made some shew be surprised, considering how new of resistance, was at last forced to these truths are to me, and how surrender himself, and was lodged little I am qualified to speak or to in the same prison. Their adherents write about them.
You know, my also shared a similar fate. Early dear friend, how I now believe, with the next morning, the Queen was out any further reasoning or explahurried away to Cronsburg, a for- nation or insight into the connexion tress about twenty-four miles from of the whole system, every thing Copenhagen, in which she was for that Christ has taught, because his some time confined.
word is sufficient for me." After Count Struensee had been The following extracts to this in close confinement for nearly six auto-biographical detail will shew weeks, the Government of the coun- the state of mind of this unhappy try, well knowing the fate which must man at the period of his first interultimately await him, and desirous view with Dr. Munter. It contains of affording him an opportunity of a most affecting graphical description of the heart of a philosophical teenth year, all my time was taken unbeliever, whose inordinate love up in studying physic. . Though I of the world, its sins and its vani- afterwards spent much time in readties, and a fixed hatred of the re- ing other books, it was only to distraints of religion, had been the real vert myself
, and to extend my knowsource of those baleful opinions ledge of those sciences by means which self-love proudly attributed of which I hoped to make my forto the free exercise of the rational tune. The violence of my passions powers. Let the modern sceptic which made me abandon myself in interrogate his own heart whether my youth to all sensual pleasures his principles also do not result from and extravagancies, left me scarcethe operation of similar causes; and ly time to think of morality, much let him seriously reflect upon the less of religion. infinite folly of committing bis high- “ When experience afterwards, est, his eternal welfare, to a mere taught me how little satisfaction hypothesis utterly vague and un- was to be found in the irregular enfounded, and which every page of joyment of such pleasures, and rethe history before us proves to have flection convinced me that a certain been as incapable of affording re- inward satisfaction was requisite for pose to the mind, as of standing the my happiness, such as cannot be test of deliberate investigation. attained either by the observance of “ To Dr. Munter.
particular duties, or by the omis“ You desire, my dear friend, that I sion of scandalous excesses; I enshould leave behind me my thoughts, deavoured to imprint in my mind in what manner I have been in such principles as I judged proper duced to alter my sentiments with to govern my actions, and which I regard to religion. You have been thought would answer the end I had witness of the change. You have in view. But how did I undertake been my guide, and therefore I am this task? My memory was filled infinitely indebted to you; and I with moral principles, but, at the satisfy your desire with so much the same time, I had various excuses greater pleasure, as it will afford me to reconcile a complying reason with an opportunity of recollecting the the weaknesses and the infirmities train of ideas and impressions of of the human heart. My undermind which have produced my pre- standing was prepossessed with sent sentiments, and confirm my doubts and difficulties against the present conviction.
infallibility of those means by which My unbelief and my aversion we arrive at truth and certainty. to religion were founded neither My will was, if not fully determinupon an accurate inquiry into its ed, yet secretly much inclined to truth, nor upon a critical examina- comply only with such duties as tion of those doubts that are gene- did not lay me under the necessity rally urged against it. They arose, of sacrificing my favourite inclinaas is usual in such cases, from a tions. These were my guides in very general and superficial know- my researches. ledge of religion on one side, and a “ I took it for granted, that in powerful inclination to disobey its matters merely relative to the happrecepts on the other, together with piness of man, neither a deep una readiness to entertain every objec- derstanding, nor wit nor learning, tion which I discovered against it was required ; but that our own exYou know how indifferent is that perience and ideas only, of which common instruction in religion which every one must be conscious, were is given in public schools ; yet I was sufficient to find out the truth. The to blame in not having made use of necessity of avoiding all disagreethe private instructions and example able sensations of pain, of sickness, of my parents. Froin my foure of reproach, as well self-reproach'as,