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Perhaps silence, or a good advice couched in the form of a rebuke, would have better beseemed a minister of Christ in dealing with even so wicked a person.

Mr. Hill was a very absent man. Take the following examples of this infirmity :

"On walking out one day after an illness, he received innumerable congratulations from persons he met ; from tradesmen who ran out of their shops, and from the inmates of every house he called at. When he returned, his man inquired, 'Sir, where is your great coat? That's more than I can tell you,' he replied, laughing, but I'll tell you where I have been, and you must go a hunting after it by and bye. The ludicrous occurrences which resulted from his forgetfulness of such matters often afforded considerable merriment, in which no one partook more heartily than himself. If he had not been accompanied by a careful servant, parts of his dress would have been frequently separated in his journeys, by very wide intervals.

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"Before his departure for chapel, he often underwent a complete catechetical exercise. Have you got your spectacles, sir? Yes, Charles.' 'Your white pocket-handkerchief?' 'Yes, Charles.' "Your coloured one? Yes, Charles.' And with an arch look, which few could imitate, would frequently add, And my nose too.' Then it was necessary to keep a sharp look out, or he would decamp without his hat.

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"This absence of mind was often shown. A friend was with him at breakfast during Mrs. Hill's illness, and noticed that he took the egg-boiler from the fire, and replaced it again, but without the egg. He then put water into the tea-pot, but omitted the tea. As soon as he poured it out, he observed, It is very weak, and must stand a little longer.' 'Oh, my egg,' said he, it will be overdone.' He endeavoured to find the egg, but in vain, and smiled on discovering its absence from the boiler. 'Are you sure, sir, that you put the tea into your teapot?' said his friend. He examined and found there was none, and joined in a hearty laugh."

As a sample of his drollery in the pulpit take the following:


"On a wet day a number of persons took shelter in his chapel, during a a heavy shower while he was preaching; he remarked, "Many people are greatly to be blamed for making their religion a cloke, but I do not think those are much better who make it an umbrella."

Mr. Hill was a decided Calvinist, but we consider that he might have done better than act in the following way :—

"During Mr. Hill's second visit to Scotland it was arranged for him to preach in the Methodist chapel of one of the large towns. He had reached the town in due time. One of the managers of the chapel was absent from home when the preaching arrangement was made, and returned only just before the service commenced. He remembered some statements made by Mr. Hill in reference to his Wesleyan friends on a former visit to Scotland, and felt annoyed that the old minister was to preach. He hastened to the place, wishing, if practicable to prevent the service. Just as he entered the chapel Mr. Hill was ascending the pulpit-stairs. The worthy manager followed him, and announced his position in the place. I hear,' said the manager, that you hold the doctrines of Calvin, and if so you can't preach. 'I do not,' said the preacher. The pulpit is yours,' was the reply. The ready preacher added, The doctrines of Calvin hold me.'


We must, in all fairness, say, that Mr. Hill in this instance did "palter in a double sense.” The question was not whether the doctrines of Calvinism held him, or he them; but whether he preached the doctrines usually regarded as Calvinistic. The impugner acted consistently enough, but Mr. Hill did not display the "simplicity of Christ" in the business.

People of course were willing enough to tell stories about their intercourse with Mr. Hill. Mr. Sherman relates of one individual the fol

lowing anecdote:

"At the close of a lecture, lately delivered at the Liverpool Sundayschool Institute, the Rev. Dr. Stowell, late of Rotherham College, and now of Cheshunt, said, speaking of Great George Street Chapel in that town, 'I remember in that dear, old, burnt-up chapel, when meeting my humble class one Sunday morning, that Rowland Hill, who was going to preach the sermons, marched into the school, and coming up to my class, with a most benignant and manly smile, said, " Pray, youngster, would you like to live long?' 'Yes, sir.' From my childhood I always gave a prompt answer in the fewest words I could find. I think he liked the answer. Do you know how? No, sir.' 'Would you wish me to tell you? 'Please, sir.' Sunday-school teachers-the answer which he gave me was in two words, which I would beg to impress on your minds, and with which I shall close this lecture- Work hard.'

The question was a curious one; nor did the informant require to compliment himself by telling his audience that from his childhood he always gave a prompt answer in the fewest words he could find. Sometimes a prompt answer may be a very unsatisfactory one, especially if mannerism condenses it into few words. We are not sure that the Quaker style of colloquy has any merits or any charms to boot. Dr. Stowell, a very good man we daresay, might have added to the "Yes, Sir," which he recollected with so much complacency, the pious qualification suggested by St. James, "If the Lord will," and that without being guilty of loquacity or cant.

Mr. Hill was twice in Scotland; the first time in 1798; the second time when he had reached his eightieth year, a late season of life for making journeys to such a distance. But Mr. Hill was a very zealous man, and never spared his personal exertions in the service of religion. Mr. Sherman's account of his first visit is a very unique chapter of history:

"In the year 1798, Mr. Hill commenced his first tour in Scotland. He had, at first, but small congregations; but, after a few weeks, 15,000 people assembled to hear him on the Calton Hill. The spot was well adapted to such a purpose; the platform was placed in the centre of a sort of natural basin, and the green slopes which surrounded it were covered with innumerable immortal beings, fixed in deep attention to the words that issued from the commanding voice of the speaker, as he delivered his message of mercy to the lost and ruined sinner. The retiring of the multitude was, indeed, a touching sight; every person seemed deep in thought, and numbers were, for the first time, absorbed in the concerns of their souls and of eternity. The old women, as they looked out of their doors at the slowlypassing stream of human beings, observing a party of soldiers among them, exclaimed, Eh, sirs, what will become of us now? what will this turn to? the very sodgers are ganging to hear preaching.'

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"The impression produced by his manner on the minds of the worthy Scotch people, was exceedingly singular. On entering the pulpit, he knelt to pray. "He's a Roman Catholic,' said one. He concluded his public supplications with the Lord's Prayer. 'O, I ken he's of the English kirk,' said another. Beginning to preach, he said, I understand you are fond of lectures in Scotland, and so I shall adopt your favourite plan.' He soon told an amusing anecdote, and at the end of it exclaimed, 'But I've forgotten my lecture,' which produced a general impression that the poor gentleman was a little cracked. These feelings, however, soon passed away, and his pungent and eloquent appeals to the conscience led many to cry 'What shall we do to be saved?' A respectable Scotch minister, now living, has stated that he never heard an anecdote from a pulpit, in his native land, until Mr. Hill began his itinerant labours there.


"These little lively and affecting anecdotes produced a wonderful effect on a people who had only been accustomed to dry logical discourses. met, however, with opposition from some, who complained that he rode upon the back of all order and decorum.

"Mr. Hill after this called one of his carriage-horses Order and the other Decorum, and when asked the reason, he answered, 'Oh, I have given them these names that the people in the north may tell the truth in one way if they do not in another; but happy should I be to ride on the back of such order and decorum as they advocate till I had ridden them to death.'”

Seldom, indeed, does an Englishman understand Scottish matters; and, of course, Mr. Sherman tells the tale as it was told to him. The surprise of the old women at the soldiers going to hear sermon strikes us as somewhat curious, for we apprehend this was no novelty in Scotland. The eccentricities betrayed by Mr. Hill naturally struck with surprise a people accustomed to the utmost sobriety of demeanour in conducting the services of religion, and who would have found such exemplified, not alone in their ordinary pastors, but in the conduct of Wesley, Whitefield, and others, from the sister country. Scotland had had as great humourists in the clerical office as ever was Mr. Hill; but we are not sorry that we have seen the last of them. Mr. Sherman thinks that the Scotch had been accustomed alone to what he terms dry logical discourses." As the opposite of wrong is not always right, so we should not commend this kind of preaching because it eschewed the faults of extravagance, rambling, and garrulity, in discoursing of sacred things. But our author is widely mistaken. Both in the favourite theology of the day, and in the sermons of the most esteemed popular preachers, there was a vast amount of evangelical unction, and of fervent hortatory emotion.

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In private life Mr. Hill was a decidedly pious man, possessed of much that goes to make up the devout and estimable Christian. He possessed also a deal of liberal and generous feeling in dealing with others not of his way of thinking. It has been our aim to supply some sketches of his public conduct, rather than to depict his more private behaviour as a good man. We conclude, however, with a striking and strange passage descriptive of Mr. Hill's departure from London to his country residence, expecting to return no more alive. There is much in his soliloquy, as we may term it, of Christian feeling and expression-a deal of kindly, homely sympathy--but something, too, of sheer nonsense and absurdity.

Mr. Sherman might have omitted several of the details without injury to the respectable memory of his predecessor. They might have amused a circle of private friends, but scarcely comport with the connection in which they are found. We, however, give the passage as a curiosity:

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"On the day he left London for his country residence, in 1832, evidently expecting never to return, his peculiarities were strikingly displayed. The rapid manner in which he passed from the 'grave to the gay' was a strong indication of the excited state of his mind. Having finished his lunch, he called out, Charles, are the horses ready?' 'Not quite, Sir.' 'Horses are good things,' he remarked; 'I had one that carried me many miles to preach the gospel; he was a kind creature; I remember I taught him to dance, and he managed it very well indeed. Oh! me,-I am now leaving this place, never, perhaps, to see it again. Oh! 'tis a solemn thought. Charles, where is the old cat? I've not seen him for a long time; he used to keep my feet warm in the winter, and curl his tail round my legs. How does Doctor

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go on? I don't much like that man. There's something odd about him, and his temper is queer. Charles, are the horses ready?' Nearly so, Sir.' I had a cow once at Wotton, and she was a great favourite. I tried to teach her to dance, but, poor thing! she made a sad out of it. I once permitted her to give me a ride, but I had no sooner got on her back, than away she went, quite delighted with her load, but I was soon upset; so I never gave her another treat.' At this moment the servant entered, and said, The horses are ready, Sir.' 'Oh! dear, must I go?' He rose with difficulty from his chair. He walked to the door, and, turning back, he sighed, and gave a searching look round the room, and then, in a subdued tone, with his eyes raised, he exclaimed, Oh! 'tis a solemn thought,-1 am not likely to see this place again.' He paused, and in a voice little louder than a whisper, added, 'But what a mercy to have lived here fifty years, and by heavenly grace to have been kept unspotted from the world!' He then said to his attendant, I'll go into the kitchen, and see the servants.' He slowly descended the steps, where he found them all waiting to bid him farewell. Standing in the centre of the kitchen with deeply affected feelings, he said, 'You'll not see your old master again.' All present were in tears. Just at this moment the old cat made his appearance. You nasty old creature,' said Mr. Hill; so you have just come to say mew, mew, before I go where have you been? Ah! you may mew! Let me stroke his back, Daniel. The cat was caught, and having patted poor puss several times, Mr. Hill ordered him to be set at liberty. He then proceeded to the coach-yard. He looked for a second or two with deep interest at the chapel. There I have preached for fifty years; but my work is done.' He got into his carriage, and then exclaimed, as he drew up the window-blind, Farewell! till bodies meet to part no more.""


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Plain Discourses on Important Subjects. By JOHN BROWN, D.D.
The Dead in Christ; their State, Present and Future, &c. By JOHN
BROWN, D.D. Edinburgh: Alexander Padon, Hanover Street.

DR. BROWN has now turned out a voluminous writer, or rather, as perhaps we may say, has set himself to bring out old things from the treasures accumulated during many years of study and research. Preserved to a good old age, and still a hale and apparently robust veteran, the reverend gentleman may even yet have a deal of work before him. We

dare say, in many cases, much of the materials of the Doctor's recent volumes were never intended for publication, but there arrived a good time when such things could favourably see the light. The consideration here suggested may have its use in other cases. Able and enlightened men, in the country especially, are strongly tempted to indolenceat least to superficiality in their labours, by the reflection that there is no occasion for cultivating the habitudes of the philosopher or critic, or for going deeply into the lore of theology. It may be presumed that the labour would in some degree be thrown away; that plain people would not relish or profit by learned disquisitions, and that publication is out of the question. But there may be some mistake in thoughts so desponding. Many admirable works in our contemporary literature have proceeded from the distant and rural manse and parsonage. And the labours pursued in such abodes, under present circumstances, where the impulse of immediate encouragement is awanting, may yet in some way be turned to good account. Any how, where at all practicable, even profound study has its uses in the mental economy, and its favourable bearings on the lessons of the teacher, however simple in expression, and arrangement, and illustration, these require to be. In his lectures on Rhetoric, Dr. M'Gill has some striking remarks on this subject, delivered too in the way of admonition and of warning to those subjected to the temptation of laying aside habits of thought and previous regard to intellectual attainment.

The discourses of Dr Brown are designated "plain." In explaining what is implied in this description, our author has the following remarks in his preface, and they are well worthy of attention at the hands of those engaged in public teaching.

"An apophthegm of Luther's-ill understood-has led to somewhat serious mistakes as to what is plain teaching. Led away by the sound of his terse words, Qui trivialiter, pueriliter, vulgariter docet, optime docet,"* while not penetrating their meaning, some have acted as if they held that commonplace, puerility, and vulgarity were its great characteristics. Whether they who clothe Christian truth in the dry lifeless technicalities of an obsolete scholastic theology, or in the strange language of the stranger dogmas of modern transcendentalism and spiritualism, or even in the diction meet for popular science; or they who teach it by expressing what can scarcely be called thought, in what as little deserves to be called style,t-“ trivialiter, pueriliter, et vulgariter,'-which of these classes teaches Christianity worst may be made a question. Neither of them teaches it best: neither of them teaches it well.

"The great German reformer seems merely to have intended to state with his ordinary proverbial exaggeration the important truth, that in teaching Christianity the language must neither be that of the court nor of the school, but of common life, level to the apprehension and fitted to fix the attention of the young, and the great masses of mankind. How can it otherwise serve its purpose?

"But while condemning the pedant who would introduce the forms of logic and the figures of rhetoric into the pulpit, Luther certainly meant to furnish no apology for the loose thinking or slovenly language of the ecclesias

"He who teaches in a homely, childish, vulgar manner, teaches best." + Foster.

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