« AnteriorContinuar »
WRITTEN ON MR. KEMBLE'S DOUBLE WINDOW ON
Rheumatic pains make Kemble halt,
He, fretting in amazement,
Erects a double casement.
With added ills he's troubled,
He finds his panes are doubled.
LANT CARPENTER, 1781—1840.
Of the early life of this most estimable minister, I can find no account. He completed his professional studies at the University of Glasgow, where he acquitted himself with so much credit that the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him at an unusually early period of life. After leaving Glasgow, he was for a time librarian of the Liverpool Athenæum; but he soon settled as a minister over a congregation in Exeter, and after being there some years, he removed to Bristol, and took charge of the Unitarian Church there, in which connection he continued till his death, which occurred on the 5th of May, 1840.
Dr. Carpenter was distinguished by the possession of great benevolence and warm piety. He entered with a peculiar zeal into every thing which he undertook, and his labors were always in the line of what is favorable to the best interests of man. He was held in affectionate esteem by his congregation, and was regarded with respect by all who knew him. While engaged in his professional duties as a minister, he was for many years at the head of a school which ho established, and employed himself in delivering lectures on various subjects in different towns, and in writing for the press. Besides a number of sermons and works connected with the Unitarian controversy, he published " An Introduction to the Geography of the New Testament," “ Plain Rules and Catalogue of a Library for Young Persons,” “Dissertations on the Duration of our Saviour's Ministry, and the Chronological Arrangement of the Gospel Records.” But the work by which he is most known--and a most admirable work it is—is that entitled Principles of Education, Intellectual, Moral, and Physical.”! He also wrote, in conjunction with the Rev. W. Shepherd and the Rev. J. Joyce, a work entitled, “Systematic Education, or Elementary Instruction in the Various Departments of Literature and Science.” From this I have selected the following most excellent remarks upon
I know of no work more excellent or complete on the subject of education, in all its parts,
It is a monument to the sound, practical, good sense, the enlarged views, the erudition, and the piety of the author.
THE REGULATION OF THE SENSIBLE PLEASURES. Suppose that any one endeavored to gratify the impulse of his bodily appetites, without any restraint from the virtues of temperance and chastity—he would soon destroy his bodily faculties, thus rendering the objects of the sensible pleasures useless, and he would precipitate himself into pain, diseases, and death. “ This is a plain matter of observation, verified every day by the sad example of loathsome, tortured wretches, that occur, which way soever we turn our eyes, in the streets, in private families, in hospitals, in palaces." Positive misery, and the loss even of sensible pleasure, are too inseparably connected with intemperance and every kind of impurity, to leave room for doubt, even to the most skeptical. The sensual appetites must, therefore, be regulated by, and made subservient to, some other part of our natures; otherwise we shall miss even the sensible pleasures which we might have enjoyed, and shall fall into the opposite pains, which are, in general, far greater and more exquisite than the sensible pleasures.
The same conclusion also follows from the fact that inordinate indulgence in sensual gratification destroys the mental faculties, exposes to external inconveniences and pains, is totally inconsistent with the duties and pleasures of benevolence and piety, and is all along attended with the secret reproaches of the moral sense, and the horrors of a guilty mind. Such is the constitution of our frame, that the formation of mental feelings and affections cannot be altogether prevented; but an inordinate pursuit of sensible pleasures converts the mental affections into a source of pain, and impairs and cuts off the intellectual pleasures.
Upon the lowest principles of self-interest, therefore, the pleasures of sensation ought not to be made the primary pursuit of life. Even a mere prudential regard to our own present happiness requires that they should be submitted to the precepts of benevolence, piety, and the moral sense.
By this steady adherence to moderation, we are no losers even with respect to sensible pleasures themselves; for by these means our senses and bodily powers are preserved in their best state, and as long as is consistent with the necessary decay of the body; and this moderation, and its beneficial consequences, directly tend to inspire the mind with perpetual serenity, cheerfulness, and good-will, and with gratitude to the Giver of all good.
We are, then, great gainers, on the whole, by religious moderation as to sensible pleasure; still more so as to the sensible pains and sufferings which the intemperate bring on themselves. These are of the most exquisite kind, and often of long duration, especially when they give intervals of respite; they impair the bodily and mental powers, so as to render most other enjoyments insipid and imperfect; they dispose to peevishness, passion, and murmuring against Providence; and they are attended with the pangs of a guilty mind.
On the whole, the proper method of avoiding the sensible pains, whether the result of excess, or such as occur in the daily discharge of the duties of life, and of obtaining the sensible pleasures in their best and most lasting state, is not to aim at either directly, but in every thing to be guided by the dictates of benevolence, piety, and the moral sense.
“ The only rule with respect to our diet,” says Dr. Priestley, in his “Institutes,” “is to prefer those kinds and that quantity of food which most conduce to the health and vigor of our bodies. Whatever in eating or drinking is inconsistent with, and obstructs this end, is wrong, and should carefully be avoided ; and every man's own experience, assisted with a little information from others, will be sufficient to inform him what is nearly the best for himself in both these respects, so that no person is likely to injure himself through mere mistake.”
It is sufficiently obvious that it is the benevolent affections which give the chief value and highest interest to the sensible pleasures arising from the intercourse of the sexes; and it also appears that these pleasures were designed by the great Author of our frame to be one chief means of transferring our affection and concern from ourselves to others. If, therefore, this great source of benevolence be corrupted or perverted, the social affections depending on it will also be perverted, and degenerate into selfishness or malevolence. It is more or less corrupted or perverted by every indulgence of the passions out of those limits which reason and sound and comprehensive experience prescribe, equally with the revealed laws of God, as best promoting the great ends for which they were implanted in our frame.
These limits are fixed by the marriage institutions, which philosophy, as well as religion, cannot fail to acknowledge as of the utmost importance to the happiness and improvement of mankind. The direct tendency of these institutions is to promote the comfort and moral elevation of that sex to whom Providence has, in a peculiar degree, intrusted the physical care of infancy and early childhood, and the commencement of the habits on which the welfare of to the affections of picty. And the moral union which they produce between those who form the conjugal relation has a direct and efficacious tendency to promote in them the great ends of life, as well as to refine and dignify its present satisfactions and endearments.
To produce the best effects, this union must be inviolable and for life; and it should ever be attended with mutual esteem and tenderness, with mutual deference, forbearance, confidence, aid, and sympathy.
The laws of our frame, the plain dictates of experience and observation, and the express and authoritative precepts of the Scriptures, all concur in pointing to steady self-control as the safest, the wisest, and the happiest course, and in directing to avoid, with strict caution, every violation of purity and chastity. Ogden well observes, on this subject, “Irregularity has naturally no limits; one excess draws on another;" “the most easy, therefore, as well as the most excellent way of being virtuous, is to be so entirely.” The laws of the gospel enjoin that we avoid the indulgence even of impure desires. It is a strict, but it is also a benevolent morality. It checks the evil where it is easiest, where almost alone it is possible effectually to check it, at the source.
Leaving out of view the mischievous and commonly irremediable effects of impurity of every kind on the health of the bodily system, it is a weighty consideration that licentiousness corrupts and depraves the mind and moral character more than any single species of vice whatsoever. That ready perception of guilt, that prompt and decisive resolution against it, which forms one grand feature in a virtuous character, is seldom found in persons addicted to these indulgences. They prepare an easy admission for every sin that seeks it: they are, in low life, usually the first stage in men's progress to the most desperate wickedness; and, in high life, to that lamented dissoluteness of principle which manifests itself in a profligacy of public conduct, and a contempt of the obligations of religion and moral probity. Add to this, that habits of libertinism incapacitate and indispose the mind for all intellectual, moral, and religious pleasures, which is a great loss to any man's happiness.
The moral instructor, who is anxious for the welfare of the young, must feel solicitous to induce them to shun the beginning of evils
they require us to avoid all “ corrupt communication;" and they point to a future account of our words, as well as of our actions.
In innumerable instances, the first step to ruin has been indulging in impure conversation.
To give the dictates of reason, religion, and conscience their due influence, the disposition to self-restraint should be early and steadily cherished by those who have the care of the young; and after they arrive at that period in which the passions too often acquire the ascendency, it should be carefully exercised by themselves. Next to the direct culture and exercise of religious principle, nothing can be more effectual than a full and judicious employment of their time in the various engagements of their station, in the occupations to which benevolence prompts, in the acquisition of useful knowledge, and in cheerful and active, but innocent recreation. If habits are formed of indolence, and of unrestrained indulgence in sleep, in diet, and in mere amusement, it is in vain to look for that self-control which was declared to be “wisdom's root,” by one who, through the want of it, blighted his fairest prospects and sunk into an untimely grave.
If we are asked by any of our young readers how they may pass through the present period of their lives with most of honor and of solid enjoyment, and at the same time make the best preparation for future respectabilty, usefulness, and happiness, we should unhesitatingly answer- - Think nothing allowable, in word or action, which you feel your conscience condemn, and of which you could not speak 19 a respected friend—cherish an habitual and operative sense of the Dicine presence
and your own accountableness, and remember that "he who despiseth small things shall fall by little and little.”
JOHN IRELAND, 1761—1842.
Joax IRELAND, a distinguished dignitary in the English Church, was born at Ashburton, in Devonshire, on the 8th of September, 1761. He matriculated at Oxford in 1780, and, after receiving various ecclesiastical preferments, he was installed Dean of Westminster in 1816. In conjunction with his friend, Mr. Canning, he was one of the principal writers who assisted Mr. Gifford in the early volumes of the “Quarterly Review.” He was the author of a number of valuable theological works; but that by which he is most known is his work entitled “Paganism and Christianity Compared, in a course of lectures to the king's scholars at Westminster.” It is a most learned and eloquent exposition of the sufferings of the early Christians, and of the comparativo claims of Paganism and Christianity upon their followers, both as respects the life that now is, and that which is