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land beauties of the other. In short, nity and seriousness of my duties, I entered into all the simple concerns was more than ordinarily grave and of these simple rustics, and I was austere. I was struck also with the then as much impressed as they were peculiar expression of our old serthemselves with their interest and vant John's countenance, as he ocimportance. The minister of a parish casionally came into the room. He in Scotland, at that time, did not oc- had known me from my infancy, and cupy a station which, in point of it was but as yesterday that he had wealth, could entitle him to put him- seen me a “hafflins callan," running self above the sphere of the humblest wild about the braes. There was an cottager. Enjoying, as my father odd mixture of mirth and melanchodid, the respect and attachment of ly, a repressed smile, and an assumed all his flock, he was at the same time gravity, which, if I had been in other admitted more as an equal than as a mood, or in other circumstances, superior ; and the minister's son was would have afforded me some pleasure not treated with more respect. From to analyse. But notwithstanding the indulgent course of studies which every effort, I could not free myself my father had prescribed, I was sent from something like a feeling of anto college, and to severer masters, in xiety or apprehension. I succeeded, the town of —, where I remained however, in bringing myself into a for ten years, without having visited state of calmness and self-command ; my native village. I went through and after conning over my sermon my trials and public examinations for the sixtieth time, I took the road with what my friends were pleased to the church. My spirits were cool, to term considerable éclat, and I had and though I felt a slight tremor in been licensed to preach at the neigh- my frame, I was firm and collected. bouring Presbytery, before I made I was accompanied by my good old my appearance at the manse. I came father. The neighbouring roads were home the night before, and was to crowded with people cleanly and debegin my public ministry by preach- cently dressed, proceeding on their ing my first sermon in my father's way to church, to hear their former pulpit.
companion deliver his maiden serWhat a change was here effected mon, and there was something exin a few years ! From the wild, re- tremely interesting in the sight of gardless youngster, I had become people gathering from all parts
of the the staid, sober, religious instructor. country, to the house of God. It is Instead of associating familiarly, and here that the powerful influence of reentering heartily into their little ligion is felt much more universally, schemes of adventure and of mirth, and is displayed much more unequiI was to address them and rule them vocally, than in the artificial societies in the character of teacher and mas- of towns or cities. The glens, and ter. After a sleepless night, I was hills, and dales, speak in the native indulging in these reflections, which language of religion, and their inhapartook as much of a melancholy as bitants yield to the divine influence a pleasurable colouring, when I was which is impressed upon every thing reminded by my father that the reli. around them, and lead their views gious duties of the morning were from “ Nature's works to Nature's about to be performed. These were God." Their contemplation is not gone through with that piety and obscured, or their attention distractpeace which are exclusively the cha, ed, by the forms of art or the disracteristics of God's people. When tortions of fashion ; and they join seated at the breakfast-table, I could in the simple worship of their foreperceive the varied aspect and de- fathers with a simplicity and singlemeanour of the domestic circle ; my ness of heart which is not to be found another was pale and agitated, and I amidst the refined and artificial vosaw her tremble as she handed me taries of fashion and folly. On my the cup. My lovely sister was flush- entering the church, I saw many ed with hope, and anxiety, and pride, faces of old acquaintances, whose and joy, -and my father, as if strive eyes were directed towards me with ing with similar feelings, or as if friendly and anxious interest ; and wishing to impress me with the dig- when I entered the pulpit along with
their own revered and ancient Pas- oratory; and it runs, counter to the tor, I could easily perceive emotions laws of Nature, to expect that he will of pride and exultation mantling their repress these powers, or sacrifice this homely but kind countenances. My opportunity of shewing them, for the father's prayer was extremely affect- bare performance of his cold and abing. He besought a blessing on our stract duty. The mistake is, that he present meeting, and he prayed ear- looks upon his duties as too much of nestly and pathetically for strength a profession. I feel ashamed now, and understanding to the speaker of the exuberant ornaments of this who was to address them in the my first Discourse, but then I felt holy character of His Messenger. satisfied and proud of them. At I was nearly overcome, and I rose some of these artificial pauses, I to commence my labours with some thought I perceived a slight movedegree of trepidation. The church ment of applause amongst my homewas hushed, the most profound sic ly friends, and I was gratified with lence prevailed, and all eyes were the supposed force of my preaching. intensely and earnestly fixed upon I was excited to still greater exerthe pulpit. I was calmed by this uni- tions, and was delivering, with enversal acquiescence-I experienced creased energy, one of my most lathe indescribable influence of an at- boured passages, when I was sudtentive audience, and I felt all my denly laid hold of by my arm, which energies roused. My text was that was extended, to add force to my most beautiful verse in Ecclesiastes, exhortations. My father, assuming and which I never repeat but with my place in the pulpit, addressed the a thrill of delight, “Remember thy audience, “ My friends, our young Creator in the days of thy youth, friend John seems to ha’e forgot while the evil days come not, nor where he is, and who he is speaking the years draw nigh, when thou shalt to. We are not in a theatre, nor are say, I have no pleasure in them.” I we come here to listen to theatrical cannot speak of the merits of the ser. airs. He is young, and will learn
In these my riper days, it ay, and he maun learn before he appears, upon cooler consideration, to again preaches here. We are ower have been too flowery and poetical— auld to be led away by sound, in too much regard being paid to the place of sense, and we are engaged language and the periods, and too in too important a work to be dis little to the substance and the sense. verted from the execution of it by Like the greater part of young preach. mere poetry and noise." I learnt a ers' sermons, it sacrificed too much lesson from this severe rebuke, of to the graces of oratory, and could which I was the better all the rest of suffer, with much probable advan- my days, and I never again offended tage, to be pruned and weeded. I the ears or hearts of my unsophistihave the sermon yet beside me, and, cated congregation, by theatrical airs, on perusing it yesterday, for the first or theatrical composition. It was not time these twenty years, I felt my long ere I recovered my character cheek burn, and my pulse beat quick, with my father, and the most soberat the thought of having once coolly minded of his congregation, and I and warmly applauded the prurient was soon set down as being one of and extravagant effusion. Let no the soundest and plainest preachers one talk to a young man of the im- in that neighbourhood. portance and seriousness of his pas With the encreased experience of toral duties, or of the necessity of a long life, and varied observation, being plain and practical in his week. I have become more and more conly addresses to his fellow-men. There vinced, that themore nearly a preachnever was a young preacher who did er approaches to simplicity in his sernot look upon the pulpit merely as a mons, the more nearly does he applace adapted for the display of his proximate to that standard of extalents. He views it as the public cellence held out to us in the Holy arena, where he enjoys the only op- Scriptures. It is very evident, that portunity afforded to his profession religion, in all its views, and in all of putting forth his strength and its bearings, embraces elements of mind, and exhibiting his powers of thought, capable of engaging the
most powerful energies of the most the plainest language. It is unquesgigantic mind and extensive imagi- tionable, too, that in this way he will nation. But it ought never to be reach the bosom of the learned in a forgot, that the world does not whole much more effectual manner than ly consist of philosophers or of poets, by imitating them in their scholastic and that, on the contrary, the great and metaphysical disquisitions. But majority are humble, sober-minded this is too important a point to be followers of the Cross, who have an entered upon at present. With your equally important interest at stake permission, I shall resume the subin the discussion of this most import- ject at some future period, and I ant of all subjects. It is to them chief. shall then take an opportunity of ly that the preacher ought to address suggesting a few hints to young himself, and in doing so, he ought preachers, both as to the composition to choose the simplest method and and delivery of their sermons.
A SLAP AT PUBLIC CONVERSATIONS, BY A PEDANT. MR EDITOR,
I am, Sir, what some persons three orders of mankind to a cask of would denominate a good-tempered fine old October, in which the top is quiz, because I very often amuse all froth, the bottom dregs, but the myself with the eccentricities, and middle wholesome, enlivening, exsometimes laugh at the expense of cellent beverage. My situation in life my neighbours. Give me leave to gives me an opportunity of mixing tell you, that a great deal of valuable with all sorts and conditions of men; information may be acquired by ob- I am one evening with a noble lord; serving the world as it rolls uniform- another at the house of a bishop of ly forward,-by noticing the order my acquaintance; another at the viand disorder, the agreements and the carage. I sometimes spend my time squabbles, the hugs and josllings, at an inn or an hotel, and the next with the various contentions and day you find me at a tavern. Somea strifes, of the mixed multitude, as it times I go for a fortnight into the is urged onwards; that is, as the whole country, and hunt with the bume mass of the people are hurried on in kins, yclept the gentry; and not untheir several vocations, either as im- frequently I may be met with at the mersed in business, or absorbed in theatre, or amid parties of theatrical pleasure. While thus employed, in heroes and heroines, the kings and the society of mechanics you are some queens, lords and ladies, and gentletimes disgusted with vulgarity ; but men commoners of the little stage then you have, generally, nature be- by whom the vices and follies of fore your eyes ; candour shines in al. the actors on the great stage of the most every face; every one utters his world are said to be held up in mithoughts as they arise; there is little mic ridicule, to the few who attend or no dissimulation, nor any cloak- such exhibitions, and who can, moreing of sentiments. Among the flute over, afford to pay for such instructerers in high life, you are fatigued tive entertainments. with the flat, dull monotony of never My friend Batty is at this time a varying pride and nonsense; here first-rate actor,-a good comic perfor. every thing is governed by fashion mer,--an excellent Monsieur Tonson, and etiquette ; the features must be good, in short, at any thing. We screwed up into gravity ; you must drove, a few days ago, into the counsmile by rule, and to laugh is vulgar; try, to dine with our common friend the conversation is restrained and Pearson, who is a great man also in his artificial ; every one acts his part; way; very pompous, quite rich, and, in spontaneous thoughts are concealed, his own opinion, exceedingly learned. and the mind is constantly bewilder- After dinner, the following edifying ed in the labyrinths of form and and instructive dialogue took place. ceremony. The middling class of “ Yours," said Pearson to Batty; every community is, in my opinion, " is a fagging sort of life; a great deal much the best. I often compare thé of drudgery, and not well rewarded
for your labour.” “ True, Sir, very ceive four pounds ten a-week; I true ; but, however, nine pounds a- think it a good week if I act four week, and a benefit of two hundred nights, but the average is three only; pounds once a-year, is not to be and then, you know, there are the snuffed at. I acknowledge that such summer months, that produce little wages, for men of high talents, are ra- or nothing, and our benefits are very ther scrubby, but we make shift to precarious-yes, Sir, very fluctuating exist." “ To cxist, indeed !” replied and uncertain.' “ That certainly Pearson: “ why, Sir, nine pounds ac alters the case, Mr Batty; however, week, with a benefit of two hundred as you have no family-no mouths pounds, is six hundred and fifty that want bread, nor feet that want pounds a-year; and this, I can as- shoes, I still think that" " That sure you, is a very handsome income. I shall soon be rich by my savings Let me see-our Vicar has two hun
out of my earnings ? But I,” said dred and fifty pounds, and the Batty, “ think quite the contrary: Teacher one hundred pounds a-year; and now, if you please, we will sink now you make twice as much as both, the shop altogether; give me leave and they are both men of consider- to inform you, Mr Pearson, that I able talents, and great inforınation. detest it. This is,” he continued, You are well rewarded indeed : why, very good whisky; there is no you cannot lay up less than three liquor I like so much as whisky ; it hundred a-year, Mr Batty ; so that, makes heavenly punch! and what a in a short time, you will accumulate charming dram after dinner, or when an independent fortune. I suppose, one is ready to faint, after great extoo, from long practice, that you ertion on the stage ! But I can tell commit to memory very quick?” you an excellent story about whisky. “Very rapidly, Sir,” said "Batty; Several years ago, I became acquaint“I have, on a push, got by rote two ed with an officer in the Excise ; he hundred lines, in an hour and twenty did then, and still continues to do, a minutes, and performed them in high little in the smuggling line: he is style, the same evening, on the from Ireland, you see, and he supe boards of Drury Lane.” “ And you plies me with some of the very best are frequently invited to great men's Irishone-prime stuff, as ever touchtables ?" “Oh yes, very often; I dine ed a lip-real mountain dew-I never not a month ago with Lord G- get any thing like it. This, however, and a fortnight back with Sir A. (sipping at his glass, this is not C, and I am hand and glove very bad, but it is nothing like mine, with the Lord Mayor-mostly sup as I am sure you will say when you with him twice a week, and when he taste it. Gentlemen, you will dine is at the theatre, he always takes me with me on Monday week-aye, let home with him in his coach. I knew
me see, on Monday, I think I have him, you see, Sir, when we were no engagement for that day—and boys, and Tom Batty was then, let then you will say, you have tasted me tell you, the richest and best whisky, such whisky as you had fellow of the two.” “I am glad,” never before tasted-Oh! what a fiasaid Pearson, “ that you have such vour! but shall I have the felicity of respectable connections ; and when entertaining you, in my poor way, in you get rich—” “Rich! yes, a fine my little cottage at Lambeth ?" We thing that,” replied the Thespian ; all promised. “ Then,” said he,“ I “ but when will that come to pass ?" am a lucky fellow in two things, as "Why, from your income, Sir, it is you shall hear ; first, because I shall impossible but that you must in a be honoured with your good comshort time be in very easy circum- pany; with respect to the next, why, stances.” “ Ah ! Mr Pearson, you gentlemen, you must know that, two are not aware of our immense er. days ago, I received a note from the penses,
and know nothing about our Lord Mayor; ' Batty,' said he, ‘send heavy mulctures. I have, as I said, me all the whisky you have got in nominally nine pounds a-week; that your cellar, and remember you dine is, when I perform every night; but with me on the tenth instant, and sometimes I only get three nights." let me have none of your silly ex« Well, but-" Why, then, I re- cuses, but come without farther ce
remony;' and he concluded with, Sir," replied the doctor, " for discip
dear Batty,' I am yours, &c. &c.' line makes a scholar, and discipline Now, what do you think I did ? why inakes a gentleman; and the want of I sent his lordship twenty dozen, discipline has made you what you leaving only five bottles behind; but are.' Now, my friends," said that will serve us for Monday, and Batty, “ this was throwing the sledgeperhaps before that time I shall ob- hammer with a vengeance; no periain a fresh supply."
son is, in my opinion, proof against You may think, perhaps, Mr Edi- such unwieldy weapons, nor deserves tor, that my friend Batty has made a to be smitten in such a manner. The tolerable swell; and I think myself doctor, however, is a great man, and that his conversation smells very may sometimes presume upon his strongly of egotism ; but I assure you greatness, to assist his arguments. I bave softened it down very consi. Believe me, gentlemen, I do not like derably; and believe me, Sir, I hear any great men, except those upon every day similar bragging from the stage; and we never rely upon braggadocios similarly situated to my our greatness, to beat down an antafriend Batty; and, what is still worse, gonist, nor do we ever attempt to as you may perceive, all is not truth brow-beat an inferior,--no ! which they utter-I seldom quote should scorn such a subterfuge. them as authority. But, without fur- Well, I was just about to answer ther comment, let us proceed. Dr Strap in his own way, but I was
Monday at length arrived, and prevented by my friend Mr FieldBatty's dinner was served up in ing, who sat on my right. This gengrand style, in his neat little cottage tleman is, you know, an author, a at Lambeth: no ox's cheek, no liver poet, a reviewer, and a great classic and bacon, no! every thing was withal; but he is a peaceable man, good, and of the right kind. The and he begged me to refrain, 'for, soles, our host assured us, were fried said he, it is well known that Dr in oil fresh from Italy, a present from Strap has a mind truly gigantic, and his friend General B-, who had his learning is perfectly colossal; just arrived in England-the turkey we little stars must hide our diwas from Kent-the ham from Wes- minished heads.' I had, however, phalia—the oysters from Melton- never a better mind in all my life to the mutton from the Welch moun- eat my dinner, than I now had to tains—the wines from France-and trounce the Doctor. But, gentlethe whisky, as the reader already men,” said he, looking round the knows, was from Irishone. Suppose table, “ you forget the whisky,--how now, Sir, that the dinner is over, the do you like my whisky ?-is it not ladies withdrawn, the King's health the most delicious of all delights ? having already been drunk, and all wine of every description is, in my, the company in high glee ; Mr Batty opinion, mere slip-slop to it. Yes, proceeded to inform us, that, on the said he, sipping at his glass, “it is tenth, as per invitation, he dined nectar, and the gods must at this with the Lord Mayor; but that he was moment envy us our bliss !” We far from being comfortable—no! he assured him that his panegyric was was vexed, confoundedly vexed ; and not too lavish in its praise, for that he proceeded to vent his complaints. it was certainly above all commenda“ The great Dr Strap,” said he, tion. “Well, as I was saying," he there, and he seemed determined continued, “ I had great difficulty in rather to dispute every thing, than to restraining my anger; it was so rude, acquiesce in any assertion that ap- you know,-it was so ungentlemanly, peared the least doubtful. A friend you know,-upon my word, if I had of mine,” continued he, “ Mr Gawe been the object of his ridicule, I think ky-you know him very well, he is I should have called him out. Oh! I a porter-brewer in the borough, very cannot bear ridicule, of all things ; a rich, and very respectable. This gen- joke may be borne with, or a rap on tleinan wishing to pay him a com- the knuckles, but my friend's rebuke pliment, observed to this Dr Strap, was the severest of any ever given; that he had no doubt he was a great hang me if I could have forgiven disciplinarian.” “ You are right, him. No! I would rather have been