Page images

Page. 229. To the Rev. Josiah Hill. State of the Nation-Anti-Corn-Law League

277 230. To Mrs. Halbrooke

278 231. To the Rev. Josiah Hill. Agitation

281 232. To the Rev. Josiah Hill. Petition from the Methodists in behalf of the Scotch Church

282 233. To Joseph Cottle, Esq.

284 234. To the Rev. Josiah Hill. Wilberforce's “ Practical View. Disturbances in Wales

284 235. To Sir John Easthope, Bart., M.P.

286 236. To Sir John Easthope, Bart., M.P. (Mr. Foster's last letter; written ten days before his death.)


[ocr errors]


Miscellaneous Observations on Mr. Foster's Character


[ocr errors]

Notices of Mr. Foster as a Preacher and a Companion, by John

Sheppard, Esq.
Nine Letters to Miss Saunders, with a Memoir
Three Letters on the Established Church and Dissent
Five Letters on the Ballot
List of Mr. Foster's Contributions to the Eclectic Review

299 333 389 423 462

[ocr errors]










MR. FOSTER's mental structure and habits obviously led him rather to be a meditative observer of human life and character, than to engage with ardour in practical con

Technical punctilios, and formalities were his aversion; and it costs no effort to believe, that "he never had the least curiosity to inquire into the official affairs of societies and committees."'* In one important instance, however, he was not satisfied with being a “quiet lookeron," but maintained a course of strenuous exertion on behalf of what he deemed to be a meritorious cause, when he saw it exposed to desertion and obloquy. “I am afraid,” he said to a friend in 1826,"we most amiable and liberalminded Baptists shall be getting into something like war about the matters relating to Serampore.” To persons familiar with the proceedings of religious institutions in the present day, an allusion will readily be understood to be here made to the differences that arose after Mr.

* Missionary Discourse, p. 499. 's




Fuller's death in 1815), between the Serampore missionaries (Carey, Marshman, and Ward), and the committee of the Baptist Missionary Society, and issued in their acting for some time as separate bodies. It was not till Dr. Marshman's arrival in England (in 1826), that Mr. Foster took a particular interest in the business. Previously,* according to his own candid avowal, he had shared in the prejudices that had been gradually prevailing against this member of the Serampore fraternity, and which had implicated, also, the character of the whole union. But the statements and explanations made by Dr. Marshman, convinced him that these prejudices were mostly founded on gross misrepresentations. This conviction was subsequently corroborated during Dr. M.'s sojourn under Mr. Foster's roof, which afforded ample opportunity for estimating his character, and of acquiring by the most free and unceremonious canvassing, a clear understanding of the facts (both leading and subordinate) of the case. Besides writing an introduction of seventy pages to Dr. Marshman's “ Statement,” Foster maintained an extensive correspondence on the subject, for the purpose of correcting erroneous impressions, or soliciting pecuniary aid.t In private intercourse with his friends, Serampore formed the principal topic of conversation, and with those of them whose views differed from his own, he held frequent and protracted debates.

If any explanation be thought necessary for thus noticing an occurrence on every account so much to be regretted, it may be observed, that the part taken by Mr, Foster was too decided and prominent to be passed over

Introductory Observations to Dr. Marshman's Statement, p. viii. + “ About the Serampore business I have elaborately written, chiefly for private communication and representation, east, west, north, and south, as much as would I am sure, make a large quarto volume in the modern style of printing.”- To the Editor, July 18, 1832.

in silence; and there is good reason for believing, that he would have deemed it simply an act of justice to record in this memoir, his deliberate judgment in favour of men, whom he regarded (and whom posterity will regard) as among the most illustrious examples of Christian selfdevotement. In writing to his early associate and friend, Mr. Fawcett, he says, “I must think I am tolerably

I informed on that matter,-for Dr. M. has been five or six weeks under this roof, as the most quiet seclusion he could find, while preparing for the press a work in explanation and vindication. I had seen a great deal of him before the daily communications of these recent weeks, during which I have become acquainted, I think, with all that is material in the state of the case. I have heard, I believe, from one quarter and another, including the papers in the magazines, most of what is said, or can be said, on the other side. All manner of questions, hundreds of them, have been put to him, without the least reserve, down to the most minute circumstances, and he is quite freely communicative in all things whatever. After this I should not think it worth while to answer any one who should tell me that I am imposed on by Dr. M.'s artifice, evasion, &c. But, he has no such quality about him,—and he needs no craft or concealment; for I believe there is not in Christendom & man more highly and uniformly conscientious, a man more anxiously and scrupulously solicitous to do right in all things. I have no doubt that you will be in a great degree of the same opinion after you shall have read his next publication; but no representations in writing, in which a vast number of illustrative and confirmatory small particulars must necessarily be left out, can give the impression so completely as the intimate personal intercourse during many scores of hours, in which all the characteristic minutiæ, down to the very smallest details of the course

« PreviousContinue »