페이지 이미지

close application. But do not mistake aversion for incapability. Is disinclination to study a deficiency in an instructor? Is it likely to render him less useful than he might otherwise be? Are the pur'poses of his appointment less likely to be answered through such a deficiency? Then, depend upon it, it is his duty to endeavour to overcome this aversion. I know of nothing more hostile to improvement, than that aptness there is in those who have contracted bad habits, to conclude, that they are invincible defects of nature. They who are fixed in such an opinion make no effort to correct the fault to which they are addicted. But assuredly this is not Christian practice. We are taught by the word of God to struggle with nature; and we ought to consider, that the deeper the root of any fault lies, the more strenuous ought to be our endeavours to eradicate it. But where the fault is of such a nature, that others are likely to be losers by it, even in their most important concerns, "how dwelleth the love of God in us," if we do not strive and pray to get the better of it?

It seems well worthy of your consideration, my dear friend, that many of your hearers are men of education. Since God sends you such hearers, you should endeavour to meet them, like "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" in their presence. But I much question, whether you will be able to appear before them in this respectable light, if the business of preparing for the pulpit be not entered upon until the last day of the week.

I am aware that there are other occupations besides those of readng and writing, to fill up the six days of the week; and that there is more to do in your large parish than one person can discharge. But yet, from the peculiar nature your situation, your preaching



ought to be a main object of your attention. It is the only means by which you can approach the great bulk of the company who resort to With respect to your stated parish concerns, there are many other ways of carrying on the purposes of your ministry. The catechising of children, the distribution of religious tracts, the promotion of family prayer, and the formation of societies for the reformation of manners, are all incumbent duties of a parish minister, and tend so materially to carry his public instructions into effect, that I trust you will make a point of giving much of your attention to these things. It is, I am apt to think, for want of accompanying our discourses with these means of improvement, that the most edifying sermons have often little effect even in some places where they are con stantly delivered.

I have taken so many liberties with you, that I am beginning to fear it is time for me to apologize for them. But I trust you understand me too well to render that necessary. I am greatly indebted to those who have been kind enough to tell me of what was wrong in myself; and I feel bound to follow the example of their fidelity, especially in a case of such importance as yours. Do not think that I have indulged any proud ideas of superiority over you, while writing this letter. Many of the faults on which I have animadverted have been my own: and I feel, that I still have many others, for which it becomes me to be humbled before God, and to blush at being called a minister of Christ. I pray to God, that when you have been a minister as long as I have been, you may be a better example to your younger brethren than I can boast of be ing.—I remain,

Dear Sir, Very affectionately yours,


To the Editor of the Christian Observer. In times like the present, when universal benevolence seems to prevail, and when every Briton appears anxious to do good to his neighbour, I conceive that parents are in some danger of erring, in the portion of time they devote to objects not immediately connected with their families, and the little opportunity they leave themselves of attending to the best interests of their offspring.

In the course of my little experience, I have had the good fortune to enjoy the friendship of some of our most useful public labourers; and while I have admired the patriotism which they have displayed, and their desire to do good abroad, I have, as the father of a family, been shocked to observe the partial attention which their own children and domestics received at home. Those who go out to cultivate coinmon land, should certainly first till their own enclosures ; or I fear they will have to witness the gathering in of wheat from a foreign soil, which they have aided in its growth; while they see thorns from their own ground, destined to be burned.

There are in every season, busy men, who appear dissatisfied, unless engaged in some ostentatious display of zeal for charitable institutions: but it is not to this class I am looking-they have their reward; but to those who really mourn over the depravity of the human heart before God; who pray. fervently for the prosperity of Zion, and the enlargement of a Redeemer's kingdom in the world. To those who know the value of the soul, and feel the worth of salva'tion, and yet too much overlook their own children, I would address a few words, as to the regulation

necessary to be spent in it, to pro
of a Christian family, and the time
duce the results which every good
parent must ardently wish for.→→
. In the morning sow thy seed"
&c. And, first, take pains to in-
form the minds and store the mer
mories of your children:-2dly,
take frequent opportunities of judg
ing how far the seed is thriving
3dly, be very watchful over the
témpers of your children; and--
4thly, be much with your family,
that they may observe in YOUR
temper and disposition, strong
marks of a Christian spirit the
semblance to Him whose follower
you profess to be. I know no
scene so truly heavenly, as a happy,
harmonious family sitting around
its parents, hearing them and ask-
ing them questions relating to Di-
vine subjects; stating their diffi
culties; and receiving encouragé,
ment to go on their way.

[ocr errors]

Children who feel aright, will enjoy such seasons, and anticipate the return of a father, after a short separation-feeling that the circle is incomplete, or the arch insecure, without its key-stone. There are many duties incumbent on him, not immediately ranking under the head of religious instructions, which lead materially to the cultivation of the mind, the softening of the heart, and the improving of the morals; and which tend to prepare the way for Divine subjects; all of which, if properly attended to, will occupy much time. To leave this to an hireling, while we watch and follow the lambs upon the mountains, discovers, in my opinion, a gross error in judgment. In this sense it might be said, "If a man provide not for his own, and espe eially for they of his own house hold," he manifests a want of fidelity.

I acknowledge myself a little selfish; and would first provide for the spiritual wants of the children God has graciously given me; then for my friends; thirdly, for my country; and, lastly, and anxiously too, for the whole human race"May thy kingdom come, O Lord," &t. I feel convinced that one reason why this country is not famed as it should be for real religion and purity, is, because so large a portion of time and attention is devoted to foreign objects, to the partial negleet of home duties. Look into the family of a good man, who, assisted by the leading object of his affections, has not failed to as sociate with his children for the attainment of their instruction; who has attended them while seeking rational amusement; who has guarded them (by his experience) from danger on every side; and led them, by his own presence, in the way in which they should go. And I maintain that, by the blessing of God upon these legitimate means, you will discover, in the female branches, more of delicacy, more virtue and loveliness, and, above all, more of religion, than is to be seen currently in the present day; and, in the young men, more duti fulness, less fashionable indiffe rence, and more regard to invisible realities, than are general in professing circles.

Let those, then, take public duties who are, by the age of their children, in some degree released from private responsibility; or those who, from a want of social feelings in themselves or others, have never thus put on the yoke: while those who stand in the awful and important relation of parents to young people, endeavour, by their time-by their prayers by their abilities-and, last of all, by their presence, to discharge those duties which devolve upon them, and of which they will be expected to give an account.

Col. R- S-, CBarracks, Dec. 17, 1814.

[ocr errors]

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. As my former letter, respecting the necessary expenses of a prudent young man at the University, seems to have been considered somewhat obscure, it may, perhaps, be expected that I should state more particularly what expenses I did, and what I did not, mean to include in that estimate.

In the recurring quarterly bills, I, of course, could not intend to include those which occur but once: and, therefore, furniture, cap and gown, fees for degrees, &c, did not enter into my calculation;-and though clothes are absolutely ne cessary, I did not reckon them in the list of college expenses. Food, however, being not only necessary, but the principal part being usually charged for in the college bills, I certainly did mean to allow for breakfast, dinner, and supper. Books, also, I allowed for; but such, only, as I deemed necessary.

It may be proper to observe, that my estimate was intended for one who wished to pass through the University with the least possi ble expense; and therefore it was made for a sizar, and was founded on facts.

Your former correspondents wrote in such a manner as ap peared to be calculated to mislead those who know but little of the University. Every one who read their accounts would conclude the expenses of a college education were enormous; whereas, there is, perhaps, no station of equal respectability wherein a person may support himself for so small a sum as at the University. Compare the fees for degrees with what a com mon attorney has to pay before he is permitted to practise, and they will be found insignificant;-nay, they are much less than an ap prentice-fee to a respectable shopkeeper. Rent of rooms, is moderate; so, too, is the sum paid for commons; and as for tuition, a sizar pays but fifteen shillings per

quarter; which is less than is often paid at a day-school for learning to write and cypher! A pensioner's tuition is double this; and if we suppose all his expenses increased in the same proportion (which is more than they need be), a pensioner's college bills would, according to my former estimate, be 100l. per annum. Can this, sir, be considered as enormous?

As your last correspondent considers me to have run into an opposite extreme to your former ones, I have only to repeat that my calculation was founded on facts, and therefore was not likely to have been erroneous. I have just now added together the bills of one who has graduated, and find that, inclusive of furniture for rooms, cautionmoney, food, books, laundress, small bills from tailor and shoemaker, with many little et cætera, the whole does not average 471. a-year. I have also minutes of other bills lying by me-some of which are under 107. per quarter.

But I also stated, that in some cases a person might have to receive instead of to pay money. This also I affirmed on the knowledge of the fact. I shall not, of course, be expected to give names in a letter of this kind; but, to shew that I was quite correct in my statements, I shall beg to quote a passage or two from an author, on whose veracity most of your readers will place reliance.

"Thus, my college expenses will not be more than 127. or 157, a-year, at the most...... Mr. whose bills I have borrowed, has been at college three years. He came over from with 107. in his pocket, and has no friends, nor any income nor emolument whatever except what he receives from his sizarship; yet he does support himself, and that, too, very genteelly. It is only men's extravagance that makes college life so expensive." Again: "Mr.

• Remains of Henry Kirke White.Letter, Oct. 26, 1805...

Catton has given me an exhibition, which makes my whole income sixty guineas a year. My last term's bill was 137. 13s., and I had 7. 12s. to receive."

It is not my intention to trouble you with any more letters upon this subject. If you should think proper to insert this, you may add a remark or two on your last corres pondent's observations respecting books and tradesmen's bills.

When a young man comes to college, he generally brings with him the common classics, lexicons, &c. By subscribing to Nicholson's Library (which is a trifling expense), he may procure most of the other books he has occasion for; and if he be studious, his tutor will allow him to obtain books in his own name from the college or public library. By adopting this plan he may procure all books that are necessary to the attainment even of the highest honours in the University, without expending any considerable sum in forming a library of his own; which I do not consider necessary for an undergraduate, especially if it contain many expensive books.

As to the plan he recommends respecting tradesmen's bills, however good it may be, he will find much difficulty in getting it adopted. It is no easy matter, in College, to alter a long-established custom. Let him, therefore, pursue an easy remedy for the evil he complains of;-let him suffer none of his tradesmen's bills to be sent in to the tutor, but pay them all himself. By so doing, he may employ whatever tradesman he pleases; and not only guard against erroneous charges, but gain some other advantages which he is probably not aware of.

I am,
Sir, &c. &c.


[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. Ir is well known that the British Critic now ranks among the most zealous opposers of the Bible Society. To such as are influenced by the authority of that journal it may be instructive, and to others it must be amusing, to learn what were its sentiments last year. This may be done from the enclosed extract.-I am &c.

Hall, Dec. 1814.

J. S.

"If authority could decide a question, perfectly cognizable by common sense, we should be inclined to bow to the authority, which (very unhappily, we think) opposes itself to the Bible Society. Or, if acute and subtle argument could possibly make us believe white to be black, we should doubtless be staggered by the logic which has (with equal unhappiness) been wasted on this subject. But, as it is, we can only lament, and deeply lament, that invincible propensity to take different sides on every question, which breaks out even in the clearest and plainest concerns of human life.

"If it be a clear point that Bibles and Testaments, un-sophisticated and un-commented, cannot possibly do harm

"If it be clear that such a gift cannot be vitiated by the giver

"If it be certain, that a Society selling cheap Bibles and Testaments, and also other excellent works on theology, cannot possibly be hurt by having a great part of its expense voluntarily borne by another Society, it is and must be clear to us,

"1. That the Bible Society is a good thing.

"2. That it tends to assist, rather than to injure, the excellent Society for promoting Christian Knowledge.

"Ten thousand volumes of controversy cannot, in our opinion, invalidate these plain truths, and there

fore of such volumes we take no notice, that we may not perplex our readers and ourselves in vain." -British Critic, March, 1813, pp. 309, 310.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. THE following paper appeared in the Northampton Mercury of the 25th June. I trust you will not deem it unsuitable for insertion in your work, as I am very desirous to introduce the subject again to the notice of your numerous readers.

"Various are the religious and moral institutions in this country: humanity and benevolence have risen to a most unprecedented height. Not only for our own country are the exertions of the good and great employed, but at this time the greatest efforts are making in behalf of the distressed Germans. The hand of charity is open not only to the alienation of present misery, but such an institution as a Bible Society is calculated to excite thousands to seek for future happiness. But, amidst all, one set of people seem to be entirely excluded from participating in any of these blessings-I mean GIPSIES; who are accounted as rogues and vagabonds. When we consider that they, equally with ourselves, are "bought with a price," much more remains to be done. These people, however wretched, wicked, and depraved their condition, certainly demand attention; and their being overlooked with seeming indifference, in this respect, is really much to be regretted. Instead of being the subjects of pity and commisera tion, they are advertised as rogues and vagabonds, and a reward is offered for their apprehension. But no asylum is offered them-nothing is held out to them to encourage a reformation in any that might be disposed to abandon their accustomed vices. The object of this letter is to remind some of those gentlemen in this county who have already so eminently signalized

« 이전계속 »