Bruckner, John

, a Lutheran divine, settled in England, was born in the small island of Cadsand, near the Belgic frontier, Dec. 31, 1726, and was educated with a view to the theological profession, chiefly at the | university of Franeker, whence he passed to Leyden, There he obtained a pastorship, and profited by the society of Hemsterhuis, of Valkenäer, and especially of the elder Schultens. His literary acquirements were eminent; he read the Hebrew and the Greek; he composed correctly; and has preached with applause in four languages, Latin, Butch, French, and English. In 1752, Mr. Columbine, of a French refugee family, which had contributed to found, and habitually attended, the Walloon church at Norwich, was intrusted by that congregation, when he was on a journey into Holland, to seek out a fit successor to their late pastor, Mr. Valloton, and applied, after due inquiry, to Mr. Bruckner, who accepted the invitation, and early in 1753 settled as French preacher at Norwich, where he officiated during fifty-one years, with undiminished approbation. About the year 1766, Mr. Bruckner succeeded also to Dr. Van Sarn, as minister of the Dutch church, of which the duties gradually became rather nominal than real, in proportion as the Dutch families died oft', and as the cultivation of their language was neglected by the trading world for the French. The French tongue Mr. Bruckner was assiduous to diffuse, and gave public and private lessons of it for many years. His income was now convenient and progressive. He kept a horse and a pointer, for he took great pleasure in shooting. He drew occasionally, and has left a good portrait of his favourite dog. He cultivated music, and practised much on the organ. In 1767 was printed at Leyden his “Theorie du Systme Animal,” in the seventh and tenth chapters of which there is much anticipation of the sentiments lately evolved in the writings of Mr. Mai thus. This work was well translated into English, under the title “A Philosophical Survey of the Animal Creation,” published for Johnson and Payne in 1768. Mr. Bruckner was married in 1782, to Miss Cooper, of Guist, formerly his pupil. In 1790, he published under the name Cassander, from his birth-place, those “Criticisms on the Diversions of Purley,” which attracted some hostile flashes from Mr. Home Tooke, in his subsequent quarto edition. This pamphlet displays a profound and extensive knowledge of the various Gothic dialects, and states that the same theory of prepositions and conjunctions, so convincingly applied in the “Epea pteroenta” to the northern languages, had also been taught concerning the Hebrew and other dead languages by | Schultens. Mr. Wakefield’s pamphlet against Social Worship drew from Mr. Bruckner, in 1792, a learned reply. In the preface to these “Thoughts on Public Worship,” hopes are given of a continuation still desiderated by the friends of religion. Mr. Bruckner began a didactic poem in French verse, which had for its object to popularize in another form, the principles laid down in. his Theory of the Aoimal System. A gradual failure rather of spirits than of health, seems often to have suspended or delayed the enterprise; to have brought on a restless and fastidious vigilance; and to have prepared that termination of his life, which took place on the morning of Saturday, May 12, 1804. He was buried, according to his own desire, at Guist, near the kindred of his respected widow. His society was courted to the last; as his conversation was always distinguished for good sense, for argument, and for humour. He was beloved for his attentions and affability; esteemed for his probity and prudence; and admired for his understanding and learning. 1


Gent. Mag. 1804.