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the friendship of some of the best and wisest men of the age, and the satisfaction he derived from having led a useful as well as a happy life. He gave directions about printing the remainder of his Notes on Scripture; and having looked over the first sheet of the third volume, he expressed his approbation of the manner in which it was corrected, by the friend who was to attend to its completion.
“On Sunday the 5th he was much weaker, but sat up in an arm chair for a few minutes. He desired that John chapter x. 1. might be read to him, and stopped the reader at the twenty-fifth verse,” dwelt for some time on the advantage he had derived from reading the scriptures daily, and recommended this practice, saying that it would prove asource of the purest pleasure. “We shall all,” said he, “meet finally; we only require different degrees of discipline suited to our different tempers, to prepare us for final happiness.” Mr. coming into his room, he said, “ you see, Sir,
+ “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in-me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
I am still living.” Mr. — observed “ that he would always live”—“Yes, I believe I shall; we shall meet again in another and a better world.” He said this with great animation, laying hold of Mr. ’s hands in both
his own. After evening prayers, when his grand-children were brought to his bedside, he spoke to them separately, and exhorted them to continue to love each other, &c. “I am going” added he, “to sleep as well as you; for deathis only a good long sound sleep in the grave; and we shall meet again.”
• On Monday morning, the 6th of February, on being asked how he did, he answered in a faint voice, that he had no pain, but appeared fainting away gradually. About eight o'clock he desired to have three pamphlets which had been looked out by his directions the evening before. He then dictated as clearly and distinctly as he had ever done in his life, the additions and alterations which he wished to have made in each. Mr. took down the substance of what he said, which was read to him. He observed, “Sir, you have put in your own language; I wish it to be mine: he then repeated over again, nearly word for word, what he had before said, and when it was transcribed and read over to him, he said “that is right, I have now done.”
“ About half an hour after he desired that he might be removed to a cot. About ten minutes after he was removed to it he died; but breathed his last so easily, that those who were sitting close to him did not immediately perceive it. He had put his hand to his face which prevented them from observing it.” /
The behaviour of this great man at the hour of death corresponded with the philosophic serenity which he had evinced on the most trying occasions. It reminds us of the expiration of Addison, and is an additional proofof the triumph of christian fortitude, over the king of terrors. “See in what peace a christian can die!” A christian? yes, undoubtedly our philosopher was a believer in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of man1:ind; and whatever difference there might be in his speculative opinions from that doctrine which the majority of christians think it their indispensable duty to embrace, no man who is
# The last words of Addison.
influenced by that charity which “hopeth all things,” will hesitate to believe, that a man whose life was devoted to the pursuit of truth, is now in Paradise.
The chamber where the good man meets his fate,
Mr. Cooper of Northumberland Town, in a letter to Mr. Woodhouse, Professor, of Chemistry in the University of Philadelphia; says, “Your old friend, Dr. Priestley, died this morning without pain at eleven o'clock. He would have been seventy-one, had he lived till the 24th of next month. He continued chearful and composed to the end. He had been apprised of his dissolution for some days.”
With respect to Dr. Priestley’s pecuniary concerns, he enjoyed a decent competency to the last, for having sustained a loss of £200, it was immediately made up by the liberality of his friends, and a short time before the news of his death reached Europe, a particular friend
wrote to him from England, to draw upon him for £400. per annum, which he might rely upon for the remainder of his life. His son treated him with filial reverence and affection, and his amiable daughter-in-law continued her kind attentions to him to the last moment of his life.
The most unequivocal testimonies of respect and sorrow were given by Dr. Priestley’s former hearers of the New Meeting society in Birmingham. At a general meeting, held on Sunday, April 15, 1804, they unanimously resolved, “That the society shall appear in mourning on the 22d of April, and wear it for two months, and, that a tablet of white marble with a suitable inscription expressing the sense entertained by this society of the late Dr. Priestley's character and services, be placed within the Meeting-house.”
Dr. Priestley was about the middle stature, or five feet eight inches high. He was slender and well proportioned; his complexion was . fair, his eyes grey and sparkling with intelligence, and his whole countenance was expressive of the benignity of his heart. He often smiled, but seldom laughed. He was: extremely active and agile in his motions, he