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Northington. Published by Request. Colchester, 1781.
8vo. pp. 21. 4. Evil providentially Good: A Sermon, preached at the Pa
rish-Church of All Saints in Colchester, Essex, on Wednesday, Febr. 21, 1781. being a Day appointed for a General Fast. By Nath. Forster, D. D. Rector of the said Parish, and Chaplain to the Countess Dowager of Northinglon. Colchester, 1781. 4to. pr. 17.
“This is a valuable collection, as it contains the famous controversy between Stebbing and his victorious opponent, Forster.” E. H. B.)
*[In p. 11, Dr. Forster writes thus:-"I shall be excused, in throwing out here an idea or two, to be pursued by the philosophical reader. As we are not conscious of the influence of God's spirit upon our minds, such divine agency is perfectly consistent with our own moral or free agency. No objection, therefore, to this doctrine can be drawn from that quarter. In the case of the Apostles, where the divine inspiration and interposition were direct and perceptible, free agency was necessarily at an end: as far, I mean, as such interposition was direct and perceptible. "Take no thought,' saith our Saviour, “how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that hour, what
shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, ' but the Spirit of your Father, which speaketh in you.” (Matth. 10, 19.) The supernatural gifts and powers, imparted to the first Christians, did not, therefore, neither could they, convey any moral goodness to the heart of those, who possessed them. They were not the proper subjects of moral reward. And they are accordingly represented by the Apostles themselves, as liable to great abuse. Every moral or free agent, as far as we have any conception of such agency, is, and must be, determined by motives, and by motives only. Here, then, is a wide field for the divine agency and interposition, without the least infringe
5. A Discourse on the Utility of Sunday Schools, being the
Substance of two Sermons, preached in the Parish-Church of All Saints, Colchester, on Sunday, the 25th of June, the Day on which the Schools for that Town were opened, and on Sunday, the 9th of July, 1786. By Nath. Forster, D.D. Rector of the said Parish, and Chaplain to the Countess Dowager of Northington. Published for the Benefit of the
ment of human liberty. The Almighty, having the absolute controul of all nature, must have the absolute direction of every motive in nature ; that is, of every thing, that can possibly influence or affect the human mind. The manner of the divine agency, with respect to God, the invisible agent, is, in all instances, quite beyond our comprehension. Each particular and successive act of his whole providential government may be the necessary result of one great, original plan, established by him, before the foundation of the world; and, in this view, executed as soon as formed, Or, they may be so many distinct and continual exertions of his power, at the very time. As such they must ever appear to our conceptions, from their distinct and successive effects.”
I have already remarked that the spirit of philosophical investigation, and the freedom of conversation, in which Dr. Forster indulged, might very naturally lead Mr. Bentham to form the conclusion, however mistaken, which he has stated in the Memoir of Mr. Lind. A very intelligent friend of Dr. F. favoured me with the following remarks:—“Dec. 28, 1827.“ Forster's philosophy, if you are to call it by that name, was that mankind are influenced by motives, which is what every body will allow ; but some, and perhaps Mr. Bentham, might suppose that this influence is to be considered as irresistible, which would lead to atheism, and overthrow the doctrine of a future judgment; for no man can be accountable for what he cannot but do. But, independently of revelation, reason is given us to control and balance motives.” E. H. B.]
said Charity. Colchester, 1786. 8vo. pp. 33.* Dr. Parr, in the Bibl. Parr. 634, speaks of this an excellent Dis
course by the learned Dr. N. F.” 6. An Enquiry into the Cause of the present High Price of
Provisions : containing Essays on Riches, Luxury, Taxes, Corn-Exportation and Importation, Ingrossing, Inclosures, Bread, Cattle, and Horses.'Non la Mesure des Choses, mais la Mesure de ma Vủe.' MONTAIGNE. London, 1767.
Price 3s. 7. Answer to Sir John Dalrymple's Pamphlet upon the Expor
tation of Wool. Colchester, 1782. 8vo. Price 1s. 8. An Answer to' The Question Stated :' with a P.S. to Junius.
Price ls. 6d. 9. A Letter to Junius. Price 6d. 10. A Defence of the Proceedings of the House of Commons in
the Middlesex-Election, etc. Price 2s. 6d. 11. A Letter to the Author of ' An Essay on the Middlesex
Election.' Price ls.
[In p. 20, there is a mention of Dr. Parr's Sermon on the subject of education : “ The summary explanations, which follow the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, in our Catechism, are of quite another sort. Nothing can be more simple and clear, and at the same time more full and comprehensive, than these explanations. Including every thing, that is important or necessary, whether to belief or practice, without anything either superfluous or trifling. The account there given of our duty to God and our neighbour is adapted to all ranks, and to all
should be encouraged to learn it with the most serious attention; and happy is it for the man of hoary hairs, if he continues to read it with growing conviction, growing delight, and growing improvement.' See Dr. Parr's admirable Discourse on Education." E. H. B.
The four last-mentioned pamphlets are advertised at the end of the Visitation-Sermon, published in 1770, which sufficiently fixes the date. In the Bibliotheca Parriana p. 400, a volume of tracts is mentioned, which contains the following articles :
“ Forster (Dr. Nath.) on the Middlesex-Election, in Answer to Sir Wm. Meredith, 1769.'-—' Answer to Junius on the above Subject, 1769.'—' The Sentiments of an English Freeholder on the late Decision of the Election, 1769. (supposed to be written by Mr. Downley and Mr. Dunning.)— Forster's * Answer to the same, 1770.'—' A Letter to the Author of an Essay on the Middlesex-Election, 1770. 4.' (supposed to be Mr. Rous.) Dr. Forster's pamphlets are very able indeed. S. P.”
The four pamphlets of Dr. Forster in this volume of tracts seem to be all the same as those mentioned by me in the articles numbered 8, 9, 10, 11 ; but Dr. Parr has not given the exact titles. The late Rev. Edward Forster * was the son of Dr. Nathaniel Forster, and in reply to a communication from myself respecting his father, he wrote to me thus :
• [“ March 18, at Paris, after a lingering illness of many months, the Rev. Edward Forster, M. A. F. R. and A. S. Chaplain to the British Embassy at Paris, Rector of Somerville-Aston in Gloucestershire, and Chaplain to the Duke of Newcastle, and to the Earl of Bridgewater. He was of St. Mary-Hall, Oxford, M. A. 1797; and was editor of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, translated, embellished with Engravings from Pictures by Smirke, 1802. 5 vols. 8vo.; Anacreontis Opera, 1802. 8vo.; the British Gallery of Engravings, with Descriptions, super-royal-folio, published in Nos. in 1808, and the following years; also of Jarvis's Quixote, Hamilton's Tales, and other works.” The Gent's. Mag. June 1828, p. 566.
The Anacreon is mentioned in the Bibl. Parr. 135. as gift of the editor." E. H. B.]
Paris, Oct. 22, 1827. My father knew Dr. Parr from the time he was elected to the Colchester Grammar-School. He soon was very intimate with him, and continued his intimacy during his, (Dr. P's.) residence at Norwich, and at Hatton, till his own death. At this period, (about 37 years ago,) I was at College, and out of kindness to me, he would not have me sent for merely to witness the last struggles of departing life. I returned home in the long vacation, to assist my mother in removing, and on looking over his papers we found no lellers of any sort whatsoever. My father, therefore, must have destroyed them himself; for I know he had been in the habit of an extensive literary correspondence. Whether any of his letters were found on Dr. Parr's death, I know not. I soon after married, and resided in London. Dr. Parr and myself never corresponded, except when we resided for a few months in the same village; when we had a long dispute in consequence of his erroneously supposing that Mrs. F. and myself had been instrumental in the breaking off a match between the Rev. Charles Barker, of Ch. Ch. Oxford, and his eldest daughter, upon which he had set his heart, but which in fact was broken by the gentleman's mother. These Letters, however, relate only to the conduct of Mrs. and Miss Parr, and the other parties, and being merely upon family-affairs, can be of no use to you. We were never after this upon intimate terms.
“With respect to my father, I can tell you but little or nothing, that can be interesting to the public, now nearly 40 years after his death. He published a few Sermons, two or three anonymous Pamphlets, chiefly on Political Economy, and one larger one upon the High Price of Provisions. The boldness and novelty of the principles there advanced made considerable noise. He also wrote a detailed Plan for an Index to the Journals of the House of Commons, on which laborious work he was engaged many years.
He left some few philosophical papers behind him, and that is all. In the Preface to