« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ling part. He had not the proper labour. It really took a quality onsciousness of power. He was of fertile richness; and the stores if too sensitive à spirit for ex. of his knowledge grew so ample, osure. His station and repute were so constantly amassed, that vere, therefore, always unworthy the greater facility of others was of his capabilities. He, however, more than compensated by his elt it not, and was stranger alike prompt command and graceful dis. to querulousness and disappoint- posal of that intellectual wealth. ment. He looked upon none with He could not boast the mines of envy, nor sought a prouder fame. some, their exhaustless though unA few tried friends were far more assayed ores, their uncounted but to his exquisitely susceptible feel- crude gems; but his were, if more ing than the acclamations of the scanty, still always the most vamultitude ; and the noiseless tenor luable, wrought into the most noof bis way best approved itself to ble shape, and laid open in their his judgment as well as to his sen- fairest brilliance. He was, theresibility. He chose his path, and fore, rarely at a loss for illustration steadily kept it.
or reply; if he besitated at all, the I do not profess to “ tell his delay arose from a fastidious taste, story.” Even a biographical etching discriminating between the treaI cannot attempt to trace. My sures which offered to him so wide acquaintance with bim begun after and various a selection. his academic studies had termi- Fully did he appreciate the benated. What was his attention, nefits of general literature. Perwhat his ardour, what his assiduity, haps this was a more descriptive in that noviciate of mental disci- mark of bis mind than interest in pline, I can only infer from its profounder problems. In this resuccess. The College of Homerton ference the classical writings are had the honour of preparing him particularly intended; he caught for his ministry: He felt and no common portion of their spirit warmly expressed his debt to that and grace. He had a soul formed Institution. Perhaps in none other to be touched by beauty. His exof our ministerial schools is the aminations were not superficial; curriculum more severe and ex- he was the scholar in research : tended. Accurate readings con- but his ambition was not confined stitute its test and law. Patient to the vocabulary or the divaricate; submission to evidence is its dis- he found in those noble tongues tinguishing praise. The demand the elements of philosophy and for proof, the analysis of reasoning, the spells of eloquence. It was are incessant; an unquestioning, a not point and even felicitous phrase chivalrous, allegiance to truth must that he sought in these studies : he be the result.
went in quest of character, of huHow he profited by these ad- man nature, of scattered truth. vantages is the best testimony how The polite letters of the present diligently he improved them. His day are not unworthy of it, but conceptions were finely accurate, this department is so diversified, though many could form them that it is impossible for a person of more readily. The order of his serious habits and urgent duties mind was not that of a rich spon- to gain any but the most cursory taneousness. But the field was acquaintance with it. He would so well cultivated, that the soil be- not have said, Literæ nihil sanantes. came changed by the act of the Much he did towards this purpose :
nor was his range of these authors He would, it is believed, have been confined to those who are strictly amiable without the influence of modern. He was conversant with Christian principle. “ Being evil,” the wits and critics of another era. he would have been esteemed; This embued his mind with a raci- but discipled to the gospel, he was ness, and even piquancy, which“ a man greatly beloved ;" * parlent an indescribable charm to his taker of a divine nature,” you conversation. Quick in the sense could never lose sight of his own. of quiet pleasantry, he was not A true and cheerful devotion was inadept in the adroitness and mas- his element; it seemed to explain, tery of quaint and easy humour. as it tended to dignify, his whole To elicit this feature required the un- character. embarrassed intercourse of friend- By those who only slightly knew ship and confidence, and even then him, he was in danger of being its freest play was as void of all misjudged. So placid, so meek, levity as of unkindness. It was so courteous was he, that they always regulated and chastised. might have suspected that he was He was too kind to deal a wound. incapable of strong resolution. But Had he resolved, he might bave not less firm is the subaqueous been a formidable antagonist; he rock, because of the rippling stream would only use the foil, but his which covers it, and the lilies skill in its management showed which fill that stream.
Let my how he could have lunged with friend have been tried by sycothe rapier.
phant and hypocrite-let quesAn interesting piety endeared tions of truth and justice have him to all who could " love good been submitted to him-bis part men.'
." Genuine religion, it cannot at once was taken, and what could be denied, is not invariably pre- then have diverted him from it? sented with like effect of loveliness. It was always an unostentatious, In the counteraction of natural a vauntless, courage which bore temper it is exhibited by some : the martyr to the stake. Of this through the medium of natural stamp was his courage and his temper it is exemplified by others. constancy. He stood strong in His bonds of religion were “the his purpose, for his purpose always cords of a man." His devotion stood strong in conscious reason was graceful and simple, because and approved right. it was deep: it was beautiful in its I wish that it were my skill to inartificial expressions. Suavity, describe his manners; they blended forbearance, and modesty com- so well with his character. They bined to form his original native were mild, without a mixture of character; and when piety was effeminacy. They seemed to open superinduced on this framework, and shut with his heart. But then when godliness was impressed that heart ! It was so kind, so upon this "inner man of the heart,” soft, so unsuspicious ! Things that which is first and is natural only of vice withered before itonly endeared and adorned that envy, insinuation, impurity, dewhich was afterward and was spi- traction! How candid was he; ritual; that which had never been not confined in his regards to a far from the kingdom of God en- few, but constantly did he “ add tered it with a no less decided trao- to brotherly kindness, charity !"sition than others, but bore itself Even his aspect was an index to with a more royal heirship in it. this. His countenance had an im
press of amenity and benignity. digally consumed on transient moIts air and manner were true to its ments and fitful operations. But feature. With nothing in the ge- who can repress, or scarce disneral outline which would be called courage, ardours of pious diligence bandsome, there was the symbol like these? Nor is the tone of drawn of delicate and noble sen- some of these earlier “ Recollectiment. And what Cicero said of tions” contradicted, since “ to Quintus Hortensius, I will quote spend and to be spent” is the chaof him, than whom I scarcely can racteristic of him who “ worketh hope to find a sweeter, blander spe- the work of the Lord,”-since this cimen of mingled excellencies, – can hardly be adjusted by a scale, • Admodum adolescentis inge- -and since all this may be
pernium, ut Phidiæ signum, simul mitted and made subservient, for adspectum et probatum est." the hastening of a reward and
It might, perhaps, be supposed consummation which, according to that this blandness was incompati- more reserved and stinted labour, ble with that efficiency and zeal must have been delayed. I state which the Nonconformist Ministry but what, to my best judgment, is of this country is expected to dis- the fact: I would not too plaincover. Here would be another tively repine that some, whom I mistake, and another wrong. He might have constrained to linger had no small feeling of religious here, have fearlessly exhausted enterprise. He lived in a sub- themselves, and committed all in urban village, and he considered single struggles more than in the the religious state of the populous general conflict, and in detached town. He determined to attempt encounters more than in the plan something for its benefit.
and system of the entire field. lected its rudest portion of inhabit- I remember more than one tryants. Thither on the Sabbath, ing instance in which his firmness and on other days, he repaired, asserted itself. A lion may be and overstrained a delicate consti- worried to its death, if the assail. tution. His strength was inade- ants be numerous enough, and fix quate, and the seeds of death were on him from bebiod. sown in him. Though he seemed guod, man was attacked, was to be to rally, my impression is, that borne down! How, then, did the a zeal too lavish, too indiscreet, strength of my friend rise with the shortened bis life. He was not wit- occasion, and spurn the enticements tingly imprudent; every noble con- held out to him to join a hunt, struction must be put upon his fer- which certainly led its most eager vent self-denying labour; no strain pursuers to no fame, and, it is to of gentlest reproof is intended; but be hoped, to no self-congratulation. it might still be wished, that more The subject of these reminiscences experienced friends could be found was not the man to fret at a mato restrain the generous impetuosity jesty which he might deem to show of youth, or that youth could be his inferior dimensions. He could persuaded to take the counsel bear it, he could seek it, he could which they give, to wield the welcome it. But all did not like weapon more sparingly, that they a contrast which reduced them to a may strike with it the longer. littleness, sufficiently obvious to Speaking upon the probabilities of others without it, but now forced the case, how many a sustained upon the notice of even their selfeffort might years have witnessed love. The abjects felt his rebuke and honoured, which has been pro- in his disdain of their alliance.
A great, How can Christian ministers mar- hope of its establishment-for a vel that some men love to prey time it flattered us—but it seemed upon them, when they devour one that the original narrowness of the another?
pulmonary region compressed the It is due to the village sphere, lungs, and menaced disease in which my friend occupied for them. Again and again we tried about nine years, to remark that it to think he might be restored, until combines advantages known to his last attack gave most of us few. The kindness that he experi- certainty that it could never be! enced he felt, and was always
“ Death his dart ready to acknowledge. To one Shook, but delayed to strike !” of these hospitable homes he was On his death-bed he seemed invited when it was physically neither inclined nor empowered to certain that there he must breathe say much. The event bad been bis last. Its inmates felt it an the theme of long forewarning and honour to receive that legacy; devout preparation. At his ordiand his affection for this place nation he declared that he aspired seemed never checked by its con- to no happier lot than that of tractedness. His labour for the his predecessor, the Rev. pulpit was honourably ample. Į Jefferson, an admirable young once saw his MS. sermon, preached man, erudite and most amiable, on returning from a long absence who was removed at a still earlier on the Continent—an absence re- period of life. In the pastor of quired by the state of his health. the church in Howard' Street, There was in that composition a Sheffield, he found a companion warmth, a truth of feeling, so spirit. Thomas Rawson Taylor simple, so natural, so far re- was also bis barbinger to the tomb! moved from oppressive epithet and He preached his funeral sermon mawkish sentiment, that the people in the pulpit of the venerable famust have been worthy of his love, ther, in Bradford,- that dear youth and, in some degree at least, have having been obliged to decline his been capable of appreciating his stated ministry, and having filled excellence. They were most com- most honourably, until his lamented mendable in their quiet, cheerful death, the classical Faculty of Airepatience during his long suspen- dale College. How could his sions of labour, and in their prayer- mortality but be familiar to him? ful, affectionate hope of bis re- And one dying sentence was so subcovery. In humbler associations Jime, within even the reach of every he was perhaps occasionally an- lip, yet drawing out feelings known noyed : a sound of rudeness, with- only to minds delicate and meek as out its meaning, may have startled his, that it is worthy of record. It his ear: but though sensitive, and was scripture, beautifully applied. perhaps each beartstring jarred, be' He spoke of Jesus, " tempted in was always ready with excuse, all points like as we are.” He was and was the apologist when he sinking, languishing, expiring, and might have stood the complainant. then dwelt with calm restoration
His bodily weakness had for on this," all points !" is not years excited our apprehensions, this testimony, inly experienced, but seldom were his labours inter- mightily supported, worth the whole rupted. He always wrought when material universe ? Did it not prohis strength could at all sustain claim that what he then suffered, bim, but it was only intermittent. his Saviour had already endured? There sprung up once a reasonable that the tear had traced its channel
down that Awful Countenance ere talent as some. A particular kind, one had stood upon his cheek ? the ready fluency, the variegated that wherever he now set down aptitude of address, is in constant his weary tottering foot, the Fore- requisition: as useful, though not runner had planted his before? so shining, abilities are too com
Literary productions he should monly slighted. Because his was have left behind him. But he did not the popular, the captivating not aim at distinction, nor could art, I know that a few regarded be induced to contemplate this as him as really a secondary man. his proper instrument of usefulness. Might not a larger share of capaNot many would have excelled bility be drawn towards us? at him, if he would have yielded to least might it not be unrepelled? requests importunate and almost There seems too great reason to incessant. i know but of two think that we are continually cast specimens :-his Answers to the ing from us powers of mind, and Questions at his Ordination, and forms of intellectual endowment, a Sermon on Protestant Dissent. merely because unaccompanied In the former he discovered a with certain accidents.
I have no most humble self-estimate, but in wish that our pastors should read a strain so approved to taste and their sermons,-a free enunciation, rich in beauty, that all felt that I cannot doubt, is decidedly prethe lowest seat was his choice, ferable,—but ought it to be that and not his alternative; that the a young man of high attainment last should be first: he has since and powerful understanding shall had bonour of all. In the be almost spurned from us, unless other, the argument is clear and he command powers of delivery ? compact, several of the illustra- The consequence is, that the young tions are novel and very acute,
more respectable but too much of a local tempo- families are driven into the hierarrary excitement was compulsorily chy,—sufficiently seductive withthrown into it.
out this expulsion. Every commuBefore he was thirteen years of nity has its prejudice : this, perage, he had joined a Christian haps, is ours: every consideration, church as a member : at the age of however, renders it desirable that thirty-two he left the Christian we should foster and ply all the church lamenting him as one of its literary advantages and masculine worthiest pastors, and fairest dawn- minds among us, without one rigid ing lights ! In the former instance and arbitrary test, if we would we'are tempted to say,“ O vene- keep our position, and still more rande Puer,"—in the other we may if we would advance it. Our breborrow as our elegy the language thren of the establisbment are now of the Book of Wisdom : “ Ho- employing species of talent which nourable age is not that which once they despised : they have standeth in length of time. He yielded, and suffer each labourer being made perfect in a short time, to take his way: and it will be fulfilled a long time. For his soul folly in us to dismiss contemptupleased the Lord : therefore hasted ously from our portals men of preHe to take him away.”.
eminent worth and masterdom, beOur ministry, speaking of the cause they have not a silvery voice, Independent denomination, has or a well-chimed articulation. perhaps as general efficiency as I must draw my reflections to an any. It does not, however, pro- end. I mourn, with many, one who vide the same encouragement to deserved our love. To my mind