Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

preaching from home, his eloquence in describing the sufferings of tbe Redeemer, or the doom of the ungodly, has thrown the whole congregation into tears, and sometimes into actual weeping. This bright luminary of the Church in South Wales was promoted by his own Diocesan, the late Dr. Burgess, to the Vicarage of Mathry; but he survived his promotion only a few years. His strength had been exhausted, and his constitution worn out by his too frequent preaching, in consequence

of which he sunk rapidly to a premature grave. The vacancy created by his death, in the ranks of the Clergy in that part of the principality, has not yet been filled up. May a double portion of his spirit rest on those who are annually sent forth, by the Church, to the great work of the ministry!

The Rev. David Griffiths Vicar of Nevern, in the same county, who died in the year 1834, claims a distinguished place among the eminent characters of the present age. The subject of the preceding article was taken away from the Church, before he had reached the prime of life, and in the midst of his great usefulness, but Mr. Griffiths was spared until he had arrived at a good old age. He was one of the connecting links that joined the times of Rowlands of Llangeitho with the present period. In the early part of his ministry he was a fellow-labourer of that great man, and it is said he

very much resembled him in many of his qualities. This was the opinion of the Rev. Thomas Jones of Creaton, who was much struck with the resemblance, when he heard Mr. Griffiths, some years ago, at Llanddewibrevi in Cardiganshire. From all I have been able to learn respecting him, as a public character, my impression is, that he possessed extraordinary greatness, combined with perfect propriety. A gentleman, who cherished no partiality, either to Mr. Griffiths, or the Church of which he was a minister, told me that in his opinion, Wales never produced so great a man. vivid description of a sermon of his, which he had heard at St. Dogmells near Cardigan, the effects of which, on the

He gave a

congregation, were most overpowering. Another person, an aged Christian in humble circumstances of life, belonging to a dissenting community, but who had often heard Mr. Griffiths preach, gave me, very pithily, his opinion of him, by saying, that " a better man never stood up to address an audience.

The mental powers of this gentleman were of the highest order. He was designed by providence to take the lead, and would have excelled in any profession whatever to which his mind might have been directed. Having closely studied human nature, he could penetrate most keenly into men's character. His fine powers had also been well cultivated by education, and his mind was stored with every information requisite to make him a man of God, thoroughly furnished for his work. His appearance in the pulpit was imposing, his voice clear and commanding. The matter of his sermons was always sound and scriptural. He seemed to delight in illustrating his subjects by making use of some incident or character, recorded in the sacred volume, around which he would throw a brilliant flood of light, and apply it to explain the subject under discussion. Though he used all the action of an impassioned orator, it was never offensive, but came so naturally that a deficiency would have been perceived if it had not been used. He frequently dramatized the characters described in the Scriptures, but never introduced anything low or humorous. In this he very much excelled the late Mr. Christmas Evans. When Mr. Griffiths described the pharisee going to the temple to pray, the people entertained the idea that they saw him proceeding to a conspicuous place in the temple, and that they heard him lauding himself before the God of heaven, and were filled with horror at his presumption and self-righteousness. The poor, contrite publican, was placed, in a humble attitude, by one of the large pillars of the temple, almost out of sight. The afflicted state of his mind, his short, expressive, penitential prayer, were depicted with

I

such effect, that each one of the hearers seemed to feel the necessity of saying, “O God be merciful to me a sinner.” But what distinguished him, in a remarkable manner, were, the overwhelming bursts of eloquence which he poured forth upon the people, insomuch that every opposing thought and feeling were swept away by their power. These were made

repeatedly, in the course of a sermon, and came after clear, Soeralis deliberate, and sound reasoning, in the Socrating mode, by

which he enlightened the minds and convinced the judgment of his hearers. His eloquence, was distinguished for its unction, pathos, and force, which overpowered the heart, and his preaching was like the attacks of an army on a fortified place, which, after battering down the walls, rushes in through the breach and takes possession of the citadel.

In medicine there is a good deal of quackery encouraged, still the profession, throughout the principality, may be considered respectable. Occasionally there are men to be found whose labours are attended with much success,

which seems to indicate that they are masters of their profession. I have known some men of most excellent character, in different parts of Wales, belonging to this class of society. A general charge, however, is made against them, that they are very much given to intemperance, and I am sorry to say not without some foundation.

Wales, like other parts of the kingdom, has a larger number of men, connected with the legal profession, than is desirable or necessary. Owing to the depravity and ignorance of mankind, this class of people are reaping a very abundant harvest, and many of them are making large fortunes. They are by far the most thriving part of the community. It does not appear that lawyers must necessarily be devoid of integrity, because they are not bound to take a bad cause in hand. It is their duty to see that their clients have good reasons for commencing a lawsuit, and if not, to dissuade them from it. But an opinion unfavourable to their character prevails in the country, and it is to be lamented that there are abundant

men.

reasons for such an opinion. Many a poor man has been reduced to beggary by the unrighteous dealings of these gentle

Many a widow has been deprived of all the means of subsistence, which she supposed had been provided for her by the natural protector to whom she had united herself, but alas ! when her affairs have been settled, after the decease of her husband, she has found herself penniless. What misery has been entailed on orphans through the unfeeling and unprincipled rapacity of these monsters of the law, who, under the pretence of protecting, have effected the ruin of their clients, reminding one of a certain representation of death, with smiles on his countenance, embracing a man with so much eagerness as to squeeze the breath out of his body. The following anecdote, which I have seen in print, and headed * Land Sharks,' is very characteristic. “Sergeant D was once accused of having disgraced the bar by taking silver from a client. I took silver, he replied, because I could not get gold; but I took every farthing which the fellow had in the world; and I hope you do not call that disgracing the profession." I have been informed that some of the fagend of the profession, in Wales, go to fairs and markets, for the purpose of exciting feuds, and fomenting discords, among the simple peasantry, that they themselves may come into requisition, to settle their differences, and relieve them of a portion of their

money. Whilst the foregoing is, I fear, the general character, it is but justice to state that some have been known to act with considerable disinterestedness and feeling, advising persons not to proceed in lawsuits, when it appeared that they would be the sufferers. It is remarkable how great a contrast the legal profession presents to the medical, in regard to tempe

Many persons, belonging to the latter, as was before observed, are given to intemperate habits, whereas very few instances have come to my knowledge, of lawyers who have been under the dominion of that vice. The reason may be,

rance.

that they find it necessary to preserve a clear intellect, in order to dive into the complexities and glorious uncertainties of the law.

All must have observed that every country, and it may be every village, has one or more persons, noted for singularities. There is a great number of such characters in the principality. Singularities being deviations from the general habits which regulate society, it is not often that a singular person, in a virtuous age, is himself virtuous. Such a being may appear, in enlightened times, as a man of singular probity, or a man of extraordinary liberality, displayed in an extraordinary way. Sometimes a singular mode of proceeding may be observed, which cannot be regarded as being either excellent, ingenious, or virtuous; at other times we witness eccentricities of very reprehensible character. The following anecdotes, though in themselves of no value, will exhibit some of the peculiar habits of our countrymen; and they are selected as showing a state of feeling and conduct of no uncommon occurrence. Not many months ago a commercial gentleman accidentally dropped a pocket-book, containing a large sum of money, in or near the shop of a man who bears an irreproachable character for honesty. The accident was witnessed by the shopkeeper, who took up the pocket-book, and put it aside in a place of safety. Very shortly after, the gentleman discovered his loss, and made inquiries of all around him, concerning his property, but to no purpose. He was left in a state of anxiety and suspense for a day or two, and then the shopkeeper, with considerable glee, produced the pocket-book, and delivered it to its owner, who very naturally complained of this unkind treatment, and blamed the good man for occasioning him so much uneasiness. But the man defended himself by stating the reasons on which he had acted. One was, that it might act as a warning to the gentleman in future, lest he should drop his property where it might fall into dishonest hands and disappear for ever. Another was, that he

« AnteriorContinuar »