Skip to main content

Full text of "The Records of a Good Man's Life"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

Alirali;im ll^aniiii 

-vn I-: i7V''Si.\.v. 






^I'tt^ Xi/4^ 







R 1910 L 

O Almighty God, who hait knit tookthkr -^ 
thine elect in one communion and fellow- 
ship, in the mystical body of thy son 
Christ our Lord ; grant us grace so to 



• • . wbw-toek: 

'-* V . - J^^33 Ann-itreet. 

\^^^tf=^^^^r~T O EVERY PER SO 





Z})1» Volume. 









<* I hare no other word, nor other ■acramenti to recommend to 700, than 
tbeie that yon have used so long to nopurpoie ; only I would call yon fiomtlM 
dead forma, to leek the living power of them, that you periah not." 


I HAVE been attendmg a funeral and a death-bed. 
My revered and long-loved friend is gone. I am not 
sad and wretched, though I have lost so much in los- 
ino^ him. I feel now the truth of those blessed words 
of the Psalmist, " Mark the perfect man and behold 
the upright, for the end of that man is peace." The 
events of the last fe^ weeks have not shocked me, 
they have rather spread a solemn, soothing cahn over 
my spirit, and, as I sit here alone, and thoughtful, I 
can look forward without terror to the breaking up of 
my own mortal frame, for, I thank God, the hope 
that cheered his departure is mine also. There is to 
us, " one Lord, and one Faith," tind he would have 
added, " one baptism !" 

The papers of my departed friend are lying before 
me. On one packet is written, in his handwriting, 


« I had thought of destrojring the mclosed manu- 
scripts, but should my friend survive me, they may 
possess some interest with him. I once thought to 
please and perhaps edify my son by leaving these re- 
cords of his father's life, but I am childless now. My 
beloved friend will do what he pleases with them." 
I have read the papers of Mr. Singleton, and I will 
not destroy them. I may value them perhaps too 
highly, but surely he did not value them sufficiently. 
Having his permission to do with them as I please, I 
shall lay before the public the records of this good 
man's life. Many readers, I am well aware, will 
close the book after perusing a few pages, for it is a 
parson's bbbk ; but thete are some who may think 
the life of a good country parsofi is ndt altogether 
withoiit interest. 

Let me give one or two of my reasons for making 
these pages public. 

The narrative exhibits the chamctier of a man who 
was distinguished, not for talent, not for learning, but 
for manly sincerity, or, to express myself plainly, for 
being in earnest, and heartily endeavoring to live up 
to his Christian profession. The narrative contains 
the memoir of one with whom baptism was not a form, 
but the commencement of a life of Christian faith. 
Too many, indeed, regard the sacred ordinance as a 
mere unprofitable observance, with no spiritual benefit 
or privileges attached to it, while others seem to con- 
sider that the ordmance, however unimproved, must 
of itself work like a charm upon the character t)f the 
baptized person ; and diey take it for granted^ that 

A GOOD man's lite. 7 

although he may possess no higher claim to Chris- 
tianity than the name of Christian, ho' is a disciple of 
Christ. During the whole course of his earthly 
pilgrimage, the thoughts of Mr. Singleton seemed to 
have turned at all times to the promise and vow made 
at the commencement of the life of faith. The ques- 
tion seemed to be continually asked, Is this consistent 
with the holy engagement and obligation I am under ? 
Can I do this and be faithful to my vow to renounce 
worldly sins, sensual sins, and the author and mover 
of all sin ? Can I be this, and at the same time be, 
in spirit as well as profession, " a member of Curist, 
the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of 
Heaven ?" Such a rule, and such a course of life is 
undoubtedly peculiar, and in many ways contrary to 
the fashions of the day ; on that account it may be 
as well to make these papers public ; for in the 
Bible, Christians are spoken of as a peculiar people, 
and it is said of them, that they are not conformed to 
this world. Many, calling themselves Christians, 
would do well to inquire if they are not committing a 
grand and fearful mistake in the lives they lead. The 
real Christian is one who is gradually transformed by 
the renewing of his own fallen nature, and conformed 
to the image of Him who did no sin, neither was 
guile found in his mouth. 

I may be thought in these pages to call the atten- 
tion of the reader too often to baptism. I am well 
aware also, that many excellent Dissenters are likely 
to disapprove my opinions on the disputed point of in- 
fant baptism, but I am not so anxious to prove that 


the Church of England is right in baptizing infants, as 
to show what might be the effects of infant baptism if 
followed up, according to the watchful discipline and 
the holy Liturgy of the Church of England. 

We all know that there would not be so many 
objectors to infant baptism, and many other usages of 
our venerable Church, if there were not so many 
traitors within the camp, utterly insensible and care- 
less as to the effect of their conduct upon those who 
differ from them. 

Would that all, who are such vehement advo- 
cates for infant baptism, though not only so much of 
the outward and visible sign or form in baptism, but 
prayed without ceasing, watched without ceasing, and 
diligently used all the means in their power in order that 
the inward and spiritual grace of baptism might be seen 
in their lives by all men, namely, a death unto sin, a new 
birth unto righteousness ; for without the evidence of 
that death unto sin, that new and heavenly birth of the 
soul, how can it be known by any human creature 
whether the child be not still, as it was at its natural 
birth, the child of wrath ? 'Tis the most manly way 
to say at once, that I am a decided advocate for in- 
fant baptism ; though I respect the opinions of those 
good men who are not : — ^nor do I bring forward the 
subject to dispute with objectors, but rather to rouse 
and exhort, and, if possible, to warn those who are 
the promoters and defenders of the ordinance, and 
yet unfaithful to their profession. The Church of 
England will not fall from the attacks of its opposers ; 
but if it fall, the blame and the guilt will rest with 

A GOOD man's life. 

those who have worn the uniform, but forsaken and 
neglected the wise and holy discipline, of their party, 
who have been perhaps men of loud and boasting 
speech, but of a cold, unfruitful, faithless spirit, hav- 
ing the form, but not the power of godliness. 

A few words, however, I must speak for infant 

Consider the tender affection of our blessed 
Lord to the little children that were brought unto 
EGm ; how He blamed His disciples that would have 
kept them from Him ; how He took them in His arms 
and blessed them. Consider how He said, " Of such 
is the kingdom of Heaven," and do not let us doubt, 
but rather earnestly l)elieve that He favorably alloweth 
the charitable work of ours in bringing our young 
children to Him ; that He will embrace them in His 
arms, the arms of His mercy ; that He will give unto 
them the blessing of eternal life, and make them par- 
takers of His everlasting kingdom. Let us in this 
faith bring our children to the holy baptism of our 
Lord ; let us not forget that in so domg we also en- 
gage, as in the presence of God, that those infants 
shall be taught, so soon as they are able to learn, 
what a solemn vow, promise, and profession they have 
made. Baptism does indeed represent unto us our 
profession, which is to die from sin and to rise again 
unto righteousness ; continually mortifying all our evil 
and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all vir- 
tue and godliness of living. Thus also the cross is 
made upon the forehead of the feeble infant, in token 
that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the 


faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under 
His banner against sin, the world, and the devil ; and 
to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto 
his life's end. 

The sacrament of baptism is neither an empty- 
sign to them that believe, nor an effectual cause of 
grace to them that believe not. Many years are pass- 
ed since this remark was made, yet men have paid 
but little heed to it, or to the words that follow — ^both 
fi*om the pen of one of the best and holiest of our di- 
vines, Archbishop Leighton. Baptism is very seldom 
and slightly considered by many, even real Christians. 
And so we are at a loss in that profit and comfort, 
that increase of both holiness and faith,that the fi*equent 
recollecting of it, after a spiritual manner, would no 
doubt advance us to. 

When I first came into this neighborhood, as curate 
of Sandon, the adjoining parish of Kirkstone, Mr. Sin- 
gleton was no longer a young man. I learnt that he 
had known my father at college during the first visit 
he was so kind as to make me ; indeed, he made the 
discovery when he fixed his eyes upon a portrait of 
my father, painted in his youth, which hung m my 
study. From that first visit a friendship commenced 
between us, ceasing only with his death. I preferred 
his society to that of any firiend I ever knew, and he 
became my counsellor and guide, and very often per- 
mitted me to be his companion. I loved and ad- 
mired Mr. Singleton with all my heart, for I never 

A GOOD ^AS*9 Lirp. 11 

met with a human being so full of charity towards bis 
fellow-creatures. He bad generally something kind to 
say of every one. I should say of him, that I have 
met with many men more tolerant, but with none so 
charitable. My reader will understand, I hope, that 
I speak of charity, not in the limited worldly sense of 
charity, but according to the meaning of the word in 
Scripture — ^holy love. We are all apt to find out 
what we cannot approve and agree with in another. 
Mr. Singleton's first inquiry seemed to be, " How far 
, can I agree with this man ? What is there I can ap- 
prove and love in this my brother?" He had ene- 
mies — ^who has jiot ?- — ^but he was the enemy of no 
man, and those who hated or disliked him, mostly 
came to love and respect him, when they knew him 
well ; some of them indeed confessed, that the only 
objection they ever had to him was on account of his 
religion, and the manly, yet unobtruding way in 
which that religion stood out at all times, and among 
all persons. 

The evenmg after the funeral of my revered 
friend was over, I observed a person walking up and 
down the broad walk which crosses the churchyard 
of Kirkstone. He continued there for some time, and 
firequently when he approached the spot where the 
body of Mr. Singleton had been buried, he stopped, 
and seemed to stand in thoughtful silence. I joined 
him there with a sort of listless curiosity, feeling dis- 
posed at that moment to love any one who had loved 


my venerable friend. I went forth from the now 
desolate study which overlooks the churchyard, and 
spoke with the man. 

" You were acquainted with the good old minister, 
who is no longer among us?" I said. The man 
touched his hat respectfully. 

"I was, indeed, sir," he replied. "I learned 
from him what Christian forgiveness really is. I was 
at one time his most insulting and bitter enemy. I 
wish I could have told him before he died how very 
sorry I have long felt for my wickedness, but I put it 
off from time to time, from false shame, and the kind, 
good old gentleman cannot hear me now." 

When I learned the man's name, I remembered 
that I had heard him mentioned several times by Mr. 
Singleton, but always in terms of peculiar kindness. 
This was ever his way : there seemed to be a watch- 
ful anxiety about him to feel kindly toward those 
persons who had displayed any thing like ill-will 
toward him. He never lost an opportunity of doing 
them a good turn, and with so sweet a grace, that 
you could see no resentment found harbor in his 

It was the constant habit of Mr. Singleton to 
look upon this mortal life as a journey — ^mysterious, 
and full of awful events, it doubtless was, but still it 
was a journey, and the end of it home ! That home 
was unseen, and the entrance into it would be at- 
tended by a struggle, perhaps a conflict ; but he felt 

A GOOD man's life. 13 

no distrust towards his Master, the Lord of life and 
death. He was assured that He who permitted the 
trial, would give him a double portion of grace to 
sustain it and to triumph over it. " The children of 
this worid," he would say, "can go forth to the 
deadly strife of the battle-field with powers of bold 
and manly energy, with a stem, smiling aspect, witlj 
an arm of new-strung vigor, all gathered firom their 
own resources ; and shall the child of God tremble, 
and wish to draw back from any conflict which his 
Father has ordained, when his strength and his con- 
fidence are given by the great God of heaven and 
earth, the Almighty God of power ; when his very 
armor and all his weapons are all provided and tem- 
pered in the spiritual armory of heaven ; when the 
sword of the Spirit is given, and the shield of faith, 
the breastplate of righteousness, and for an helmet, 
the hope of salvation? Besides, all through the 
course of my journey, I have been clad as an armed 
knight in the same panoply ; for an adversary has 
been ever at my side, ready to profit by any lack of 
watchfulness on my part ; and though I have sought 
to walk in converse and fellowship with Him who 
is my heavenly guide, 'my spiritual comforter and 
firiend, yet often has that unresting, guilefiil enemy 
dragged me away, or held me, alas! too willingly 
yielding to his miserable flatteries. Shall I dread, 
then, the last struggle, when in that struggle his 
attacks will cease for ever ? His certainty of then 
losing his victim for ever may increase his fury, but 
my certainty of then escaping his snares for ever. 


will surely revive and invigorate my spirit under 
every assault." 

'^ I think," he said to me one afternoon in last 
October, when I called upon him, " I think, my dear 
friend, that my journey is drawing towards its close." 
We had been so used to converse together on the 
subject, that I heard what he said with little aston- 
ishment, though with a heavy heart. " I am very 
weak and feeble," he continued, "and I feel this 
weakness, this utter feebleness of bodily power, come 
on more rapidly every day. It might be almost in- 
credible to any one but myself," he said, smiling, 
" who experience it, for I believe I do not look much 
changed, and the powers of my mind are, blessed be 
God! as vigorous as I ever knew them." As he 
spoke thus, there came into his eyes, and over his 
whole countenance, that expression of intellectual 
ardor which I have often noticed ; that slight knitting 
of the brows, that quick glancing of the eyes, with 
that smile of peculiar sweetness on the lips, that I 
have seen so admirably represented in some of the 
angelic heads of Guido. 

I shall not at present give any details of the last 
hours of Mr. Singleton ; I will only say, that his pre- 
paration, his waiting for death, (and the end of that 
week cut short his earthly course,) Was as remarkable 
as the rest of his life, for the absence of all aim at 
display ; then, as ever till then, the reality and ear- 
nestness of his conduct must have struck every 
beholder — quiet manliness and good sense bearing 
fellowship with faith, and a hope full of immortality. 


A GOOD man's life. 15 

I thought at one time, as the papers of my friend 
in their present unconnected form are evidently unfit 
for publication, that I would not let them appear, but 
write from them myself the narrative of his life. I 
have changed my plan ; he shall speak for himself, 
that is, where he has written of himself, and I will, 
as far as I am able, supply any incidents that the 
story of his life may require, and that he has left 
untold. I shall not, therefore, in this, the beginning 
of the narrative, mention many circumstances which 
happened after I became acquainted with Mr. Single- 
ton, but introduce them according to the time and 
place of theu: occurrence. 





Religion does not suffer so much fix>m the at- 
tacks of its avowed and open enemies, as fix)m the 
hypocrisies and treacheries of those who profess to be 
its friends, and are enlisted in the ranks of its defend- 
ers. This fact has passed for a proverb. My father 
felt this, and he determined, with the help of Him 
who giveth wisdom and strength, that he would bring 
up his children from their earliest years, in the love 
of sincerity and truth ; that he would teach them to 
be in earnest about whatsoever they undertook. 

I have heard many parents say, " I can forgive 
my boy any thing but a lie. I cannot excuse a lie ; 
I beat him severely if he dare to tell me a lie." 

My father took a more enlarged view of sincerity 
and truth. He did not attend merely to a single 
branch of Christian morality, he gave his unremitting 
culture to the whole fair and spreading tree. He 
would have said, " My son is called a Christian, he 
has been admitted into a solemn covenant with God 

A GOOD man's UFB. 17 

at baptism. That sacred ordinance must not be 
slighted, must not be left as if the mere form would 
work of itself to cleanse the heart ; it must be im- 
proved by watchfiihiess, and prayer, and exertion. 
My son must learn, with God's help, to be true and 
faithful to his solemn vow, or he will grow up, in 
one awful sense, a hypocrite, an untrue and faithless 
disciple to the kindest of Beings." 

What cause have I to be grateful to such a fa- 
ther ! 

Long years have passed away since my stream- 
ing eyes took their last look of his calm, smiling coun- 
tenance, calm and smiling in death ; but with every 
thought of him blessings rise from my heart. 

Both my parents were religious persons, but they, 
and all their household, were remarkably cheerful; 
the source of that cheerfulness was a spirit at peace 
with God and with all mankind. From my earliest 
childhood I saw religion and cheerfulness united. 
My father and mother sought to adorn the doctrine of 
Gori our Saviour, and to show that the obedience they 
paid to their Lord was that of love and delight. I 
have noticed in too many pious families an injudi- 
cious, and I may almost say indecent familiarity with 
divine things. My father guarded against this. He 
led his children early to think of Him, and to seek 
His presence, who hath made Himself known as the 
shepherd of the lambs of His flock. Often would he 
call upon me to repeat to him that short and simple 
story, where with so much gentle condescension He 
exclaims, " Suffer the little children to come unto me, 


and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of 
God." Yet we were not taught to spell over the 
sacred pages of the New Testament till the letters 
swam before bur eyes, and all our faculties were dead- 
ened, and the leaves of the holy volume dirtied and 
dog's-eared by our little heedless fingers. We were 
not carried to church before we knew to what pur- 
pose the holy building was dedicated, and made to 
stand up on the seats of the pew and allowed to stare 
about us, till the habit of staring about and amusing 
ourselves idly and irreverently, with observing the 
dress and behavior of the congregation, had rooted 
itself among those deadly habits, which, when once 
planted in childhood, are seldom totally eradicated 
irom the human heart. 

No, it was a day never to be forgotten, when my 
father and mother first led us to church. I remember 
walking, hand-in-hand, between them both, and en- 
tering the sacred edifice with a heart fiiU of deep and 
solemn emotions. I began at that early period to 
feel that it was an honor and a privilege to be allowed 
to kneel among the disciples of my God, and thus I 
went to church with one simple purpose, to worship 
God in the great congregation. The Bible was con- 
stantly open before us, but it was never taken down 
or opened as if it were a common book. "Let us 
see what the message of God declares on this point," 
my father would say, when he had occasion to ad- 
monish us, " for this Bible is the rule of life which 
God hath given us ;" and thus was it with the doc- 
trines, the promises, and the beautifiil narrations of 

A 00<M> man's HI'S. 19 

the inspked Volume : the pearls in that precbus cask- 
et were always set before us as gems of rarest lustre, 
and of inestimable value. My mother had a charm- 
ing way with her : she had won my love long before 
I was conscious of what she had dcme to possess it ; 
but there was a grace (I csmnot find a better term) 
about her, which made her not only the dearest, but 
the most lovely and amiable of human beings in her 
children's eyes. I can remember nothing beyond the 
time when in my early childhood I lay a sickly help- 
less child in her dear arms. She would sit perfectly 
still for hours, watching every expression of my 
wasted features, and sometimes she would lay her 
soft cool cheek to mine, or whisper some little assur- 
ance of a tenderness that spoke in every look and 
action towards me. She was not an indulgent, fond- 
ling mother ; there was a mixture of good sense and 
judicious delicacy belonging to her character, which 
showed itself in her behavior towards her children. 
I began to understand this for the first time clearly, 
when a relation of my father's was staying with us. 
She was a mother with two children, and she was ac- 
customed to fold them to her bosom several times in 
the day, and to lavish a whole vocabulary of honied 
epithets upon her darlings. Yet I saw that her chil- 
dren did not love her as I loved my mother, and I, 
felt that 1 should have been cloyed, as they were, 
with so many sweetnesses. 

I remember, when I was a very little fellow, sitting 
on my father's knee in his §tudy, with my arm thrown 


fondly round his neck. He was very busy that morn- 
ing, and I had interrupted him ; but he was always 
kind and gentle, and willing to listen to me^ and an- 
swer my questions. 

" Father," I said, " will you tell me about a god- 
father ; for Lisa tells me we are to have a visit fix>m 
my godfather to-morrow? Now I know that my 
uncle is coming here to-morrow, and so I told Lisa ; 
but she said he is my godfather too, and that you will 
teU me better than she can what a godfather is." 

" I wished to hear you ask this question, my dear 
Ernest," replied my father ; " for if I tell you what 
you are curious to hear, I think my little thoughtless 
boy is more likely to remember what I say than if I 
speak of somethmg you are not curious about. Though 
you love me, my dear child, by nature you do not 
love God, who loves you, and sent his blessed Son to 
die for you ; and if you were to grow up, and at last 
die without loving God, you would not enter into 
that beautiful and happy place, which is the home of 
all who love Him. We have often spoken together 
of that blessed home which is called Heaven. 

" There God lives, and we shall see His face and 
share His enjoyments ; no sorrow will be there, no 
death, but joy and peace for ever and ever. Here 
we are but travellers on our journey, and we must not 
expect to have every thing just as we please, — just as 
we should choose, on the way ; we must put up with 
many unpleasant trials, and we must not be^ displeas- 
ed with those trials, for we shall, if we simply take 

A GOOD man's life. 21 

God at his word,* get safely to that happy home at 
last. Nay, we ought to be thankful for those unplea- 
sant trials, for if we met them not, we might be drawn 
to love this world too well, and believe it to be our 
home, and make it so." 

As my father spoke thus, I could not help some- 
times turning my eyes from his fine countenance, so 
expressive of tender affection, toward a large paint- 
ing which hung upon the walls of his library. It was 
by some unknown German painter, evidently a mas- 
ter in his ait, though the character was in many re- 
spects quaint and strange. The chief portion of the 
canvass was occupied by a mass of pale rocks thrown 
boldly together, and deepened in places by broad and 
murky shadows ; almost at the base of them a spa- 
cious cavern opened back into the very heart of the 
rock, and by a troubled light many groups of gayly 
dressed revellers were shown, drinking and rioting in 
a wild intemperate manner. In the foreground was a 
single figure, a tall and armed knight he seemeci, 
though the gleam of his armor was almost hidden by 
a pilgrim's cloak. He was evidently half spent by 
fatigue, for he leaned against an ancient cross by the 
wayside, and having filled his casque with water fixjm 
a little crystal spring which gushed forth at the foot of 
the cross, was raising the cool draught to his lips. 
Beyond the summit of the rocks the painter had man- 
aged an effect of light really extraordinary. It seem- 
ed as if clear and golden day had risen there upon 

* I think it was the written reply of a deaf and dumh hoy, when 
asked, * What is it to believe in God?' — * To take God at his word. 


regions receding mto a far, faint horizon, and beautiful 
as the garden of Eden. Although the rest of the pio 
ture lay in the duskiness of a dark twilight, one beam 
of soft lustrous light fell from these radiant heights 
full upon the head of the pilgrim knight, whose eyes 
and whole countenance (and it was full of the noblest 
expression') were raised towards the heights above 
him, with the look of one whose home was there. 
On the old dark frame were the following words in 
quaint Saxon characters. 

{iflatfrn of tte faftf) tu llmn€ti itxt 
WCf fi TyfnteH mafl ztCn russet toeelis f' clatitr, 
3D}e tuvnetjj) fcom loose mCrt]) \^l» Ustless ear> 
2nti Iranetf) on t^e ctosse toCtj) aspect sati. 
SSlusseli Itrs pnX% anti nartoto, anti beset 
Wltl) pevfl, sorroto, anti temptatCon stronfl, 
3Sut nrCt|)ec gentle lure» not Hfveful tfireat 
Can taofn i)(m>to tbe baCne anil toanton ttronfl, 
4^r totce ^(s teet from t^at strafgf^t patj) asDie 
j^oUotoCnfl X1)z footsteps of ti)e crucCfieH. 

«< Well, Ernest," he said, after watcKlng my attenv 
tion to the picture for some minutes, " never mind tb^ 
picture now, but let me answer your question in ^, 
very few words." 

<* You have two names, Ernest" 

« Yes, father."* 

" And one is called your Christian name : do you 
know why ?" 

I could not tell why ; at least I felt that I could 
not explain why. 

A GOOD man's life. 23 

^^ When that name was given you, a solemn promise 
was made for you, and made in your name, that you 
should live (God being your helper) an obedient and 
loving child to your Heavenly Father. This promise 
was made for you because you were then too young 
to understand or speak any thing about it for yourself, 
and it was made in the hope and in the trust, that 
when you were old enough to know what had been 
done (or you, you would be very glad; and you 
would endeavor yourself to perform and keep it. 

" Your godfathers and godmother are the friends 
who went with us when w& took you to church, and 
offered you up to the Lord, our Heavenly Father, 
and they promised to see that you were brought up 
to love and serve him." — He said more that I forget 
now, and scarcely attended to then, for my eyes re-^ 
tumed again to the picture, which he explained to 
me ; and though it tumed the subject of his conversa- 
tion, it helped him out in fixing the subject of that 
conversation on my mind, for the Christian course is 
as the pilgrimage of an armed knight through the 

^This conversation took place soon after the birth 
of my brother Charles, or, as he was called from his 
cradle, Charley. A name of endearment it was m- 
deed, for he was ever the most endearing creature to 
us all. Charley ! (I feel my heart glow within me 
as I write the name,) was the delight of our eyes, the 
joy of every heart. I don't think I ever saw a coun- 
tenance so beautiful, or heard so clear, so melodious 
a laugh as that of my darling Charley. Every move- 



ment of his elegant figure had an easy natural grace 
about it. His manners had an untaught courteous- 
ness and winningness that seldom failed to render him 
a favorite with all who met him. I am wandering 
away, however, firom Charley, a fair and dimpled 
baby, to hb boyhood and manhood. My mother left 
her room and came down among us with her new- 
bom infant the day after my uncle arrived at South- 
brook. He was very kind to me, and so was my 
aunt Lucy, who came with him, though she was not 
my godmother. 

I might have forgotten mere words, but I could 
scarcely fail to remember the parables my father 
made use of (for parables they were) to fix on my 
mind whatever he wished me to learn ; and after all 
his anxious prayers, after owning in the humblest 
manner, that except the grace and the blessing of the 
Lord God were given, all would be fiiiitless, he 
would put forth as cheerful and determined a vigor 
to the work as if every thing depended on his own 
exertions. I have already touched on the subject of 
baptism. The vow^ and promises made by his chil- 
dren at baptism seemed never absent fix>m his 
thoughts, for he felt that the current of the world, 
and its maxims, and its society, went onward in a di- 
rection contrary to that pointed out by the Christian's 
early vow. 

I had a beautiftil little garden of my own ; at least 
it seemed beautiful to me, for it was full of gay and 
sweet-smelling flowers, and there was an arbor at one 
end, m which my father and mother sometimes did 

A GOOD man's life. 25 

me the honor (for a high honor it was thought by me) 
of sitting down while I worked there. 

There were several fruit-trees in my garden, but, 
among them, one which was a chief favorite with me 
— a young apple-tree, which I was constantly watch- 
ing over. 

Another tree stood next it, and wfts equally tall 
and vigorous. In the spring they had both been cov- 
ered with blossoms, and my father desired me to make 
both the trees my peculiar care, and when the apples 
were ripe, to taste the firuit of both trees, and to bring 
him as many apples as my basket would hold. 

At length the time arrived. I ran with my basket 
to one of the trees, and gathered the apples, and then 
carried them in triumph to my father. 

" They are fine, and as red as Jrour cheeks after 
running, Ernest,*' he said, " but I see only one kind 
of apple. Go back to your garden, and bring me 
some from the other tree." 

" I did not like to bring them father," I replied ; 
" for I have tasted the finit of both the trees, and the 
other apples are too sour to be eaten. You could not 
eat them, father." 

He took the basket of apples in one hand, and led 
me by the other to the garden. We were soon stand- 
ing before the two apple-trees : he pointed out a ridge 
in the bark of the tree fix)m which I had gathered the 
fine sweet fiiiit. " What is this ?" he said. 

" Indeed, father, I do not know : I could only tejl 
you that it is, what it appears to be, a mark, like a 
scar on the bark of the tree, which looks as if the 


Stem bad been broken or cut asunder, and had grown 

" Is the fruit of this tree, Ernest, the same as the 
fruit of the other ?" 

" No, father, we know it is not : it is large, sweet, 
and juicy ; but the fruit of the other tree is small, and 
green, and very sour." 

" But are the trees of the same nature ?" 

" Surely, father, they cannot be." 

" Be certain, before you reply," said my father. 

I stood thinking for a moment, and then went up to 
the sour apple-tree. "There is no mark or ridge 
upon the bark of this tree, father." 

" Very weU, Ernest. Now can you tell me how 
that ridge was made, and whether it has any thmg to 
do with the difference between the two fruits ?" 

Again I looked at the fruit, and at the trees, and 
in my father's face, and knit my brows with thought ; 
but no, I could not tell any thing about the reason of 
the difference in the two apple-trees. 

" WeU then, my little Ernest," he said, " I will 
do my best to make all this plain to you ;" and then 
he led me to another part of the garden, where there 
was a plantation of young trees, some of tbem wer 
mere saplings. 

"Look at this treie, Earnest," he said, and he 
showed me an upright stem, the top of which was ^ 
covered entirely with a lump of yellowish clay, out of 
which a slight slip or twig seemed to be growing, for 
a few delicate leaves had come forth, and looked green 
and fresh. 

A eooo man's lifb. 27 

** Does this little branch," I said (after examining 
the tree attentively for some time), "grow out of the* 
clay ?" My father did not answer, but turned to an- 
other tree, with the same sort of stem and the same 
ball of clay round the top, and the same little slip^ 
sticking up fiom the clay, only there were no green 
leaves upon it, the little branch was bare and wither- 
ed, and had no life in it. My father broke off the 
hard crackling clay which hid the top of the tree, and 
the lower end of the little dried-up branch, and I then 
saw that a. notch had been made in the tree, and that 
the little slip had been placed in that notch. " Now 
I will explain all this to you," said my father, as I 
turned my wondering eyes towards him with a stare, 
as much as to say. What does all this mean ? — *« That 
stem," he said, " nay, both these stems, and the stem 
of your sweet apple-tree in your garden, are, in their 
own nature, and would be, if they were left to them- 
selves, the same as the other tree in your garden, with 
the small, green, sour apples upon it. This little slip 
is taken from a tree bearing large sweet apples, and 
the top of th^ sour apple-tree being cut off, and a 
notch made, the slip is placed in it, and then, to keep 
them close and undisturbed, the clay is moistened and 
stuck round the place where the stem and the branch 
are joined, that they may grow together into one tree ; 
and here is the fruit of such a tree, my dear Ernest." 
My father pointed to the large rosy apples in the bas- 
ket. " Had not the new graft been fixed upon the old 
stock, the fiiiit would have been as green and sour as 
that on the other tree ; the wild crab-tree it is called." 


Lake the good and wise Philip Henry, my father 
had drawn up a few lines, as a solemn renewal of the 
vow and promise of baptism, which he wished his 
children to read over at stated times every yekr. So 
anxious was he that I should be able to read it for 
myself, that he wrote the words in letters like those of a 
printed book, and long before I could read writing, I 
read my baptismal engagement with ease. Four 
times in the year, in my dear father's study, the en- 
gagement was renewed, and prayer was offered up 
for the help of that Holt Spirit, without .whom we 
can do nothing, that I might have the will and the 
. power to keep it. This was the form of the engage- 

" I am bound by my solemn promise, if I would 
prove myself a member of Christ, the child of God, 
and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, to watch 
every first-rising of sin in my heart, and to pray for 
the special grace of God to enable me to have the 
wDl and the power to forsake and give up the sin of 
the world, the sin of my own nature, and Satan, or 
the devil, who is the cause and the spring of all sin 
and wickedness. I do offer up my prayers also omly 
in the name of Jesus Christ, my blessed Saviour, 
for there is no other way to my Heavenly Father. 
He is the way, and the truth, and the life ; and no 
man cometh unto the Father but by him." 

I would here remark, that it was the practical 
effects of the baptismal promise upon which my fa- 
ther dwelt so much. Thus, whatever might have 
been his opinion on the point which has been often 


discussed, whether the inward and spiritual grace in- 
variably accompanies the outward and visible sign, he 
£d not express it to me ; but^he dwelt much on the 
evidence we have, that Christ Himself will do all on 
His part to bless the hearty endeavors of His disciples, 
that he will never fail to assist those who seek Him 
and His gracious help. 

"Christ has died for you,'* he would say, "and 
you are bound by a holy vow to die unto sin ; you 
must strive to grow in grace." I understood these 
things still better when my father took me to church 
with him, at the christening of my brother Charley. 

" I wish you to attend to this sacred service, my 
dear boy," he said to me, as he led me apart for a lit- 
tle while, leaving the rest of the company in the 
vestry. He led me to the baptismal font, and said. 
You cannot remember, Ernest, but, as I told you be- 
fore, at the age of your little brother you were also 
brought to this font, and solemnly dedi<:ated, or, to 
use words that you can better understand, given up 
to the care and service of your God. You shall join 
with us in our prayers and praises to-day, when we 
humbly offer your brother to the Lord our God, and 
enter into a covenant for him, as we have already 
done for you. There will be much that you cannot 
understand in the service, but try to understand it ; 
ask in prayer that you may be able to understand, and 
I will endeavor to explain to you all you do not." 

My father was one of a family high in earthly 
rank and station, and I have heard him spoken of, by 
some who were excellent judges, as one of the most 


elegant men of his day. However, there was that 
about him far above the poor earthly distinction of 
rank and station. He was a Christian, a humble, 
pious, straightforward man ; unaffectedly kind and 
obliging to all around him. How well those beautiful 
lines of Wordsworth apply to his character : — 

" Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart : 
Pure as the n^ed heavens, majestic, free, 


So didst thou travel on life's common way, 
In cheerful godliness ; and yet thy heart 
The lowliest duties on itself did lay." 

My father was a courtier, at least he was frequent- 
ly about the person of our good king ; but it might 
have been said of him also, that he was a nobleman 
of a higher court — one who lived as constantly in the 
high and holy presence of the King immortal, invisi- 
ble, whose throne is in heaven. 

Iii the year 17 — my father was appointed Eng- 
lish ambassador to D n, and we were obliged to 

leave our beautiful and quiet home at Southbrdok. I 
was then about eight years of age, and I well remem- 
ber the preparation made for our departure, and the 
marriage of my orphan cousin Ellinor, to the Hon. 
Mr. Hamilton, which took place the week before we 
set out. She had lived with my father and mother 
since her childhood. She regarded and loved them 
as if they had been her own parents, and the parting 
from us all was very trying to her. It was as trying 
to us to go without her. We had scarcely resided 

A GOOD man's LIFB. Zl 

two years at D ^n, when alarming accounts were 

brought us of EUmor's health. There seemed little 
hopes of her recovering, and such an affecting de- 
scription was given of her state, and of the anxiety 
he expressed to see my father and my mother, particu- 
larly the latter, before she died, and so tenderly was 
she beloved by them both, that after some consulta- 
tion on the subject, it was agreed that my mother 
should set out to England at once, making one of a 
party of some friends of ours then returning through 

D-; n to England. I think nothing short of the 

dangerous illness of their child EUinor would have 
brought my mother and my father to consent to this 
separation. How well I remember my mother turn- 
ing to me the very morning of her departure, and look- 
ing as she spoke on my dear father, who sat writing 
at a table covered with paper. " Mind, Ernest, you 
take great care of dear papa till I come back. I leave 
him under your charge." She smiled, as she said 
this, and held up her finger, but I considered her words 
with a feeling of grave importance, not the less deep 
for being in a child's bosom ; for on some occasions 
children feel and think deeply. 

When my mother had been gone about three 
weeks there was a grand funeral of one of the royal 
family, and my father was of course invited to attend-— 
the ceremony was tediously long, and a heavy rain 
poured the whole time. On coming home, my father 
complained of sudden chills, and of pains in all his 
limbs. He ought to have gone to bed, but the unex- 
pected visit of the first minister of state, who was clos- 


eted with him for two hours on some secret consulta- 
tion, prevented his even changbg his dress. At night 
he was in a high fever, and his life in danger. His 
sudden attack was inflammation on the chest. After 
many hours of doubt and wretchedness to his whole 
household, my beloved father was pronounced out of 
danger. My sister and I went about the house sing- 
ing and dancing for joy, till we were told, what we 
had thoughtlessly forgotten, that any noise might dis- 
turb our father, and make him very ill again. In a 
week he left his chamber, and we thought him well. 
He was far from well. A slight cold was again caught 
and it hung upon him. However, he thought little of 
it ; and seeing him cheerful, and no longer confined 
to his chamber, we believed him almost, if not quite 
well. He was in a rapid consumption, and did not 
live to see my mother. She wrote in joyful spirits to 
say that Ellinor was recovering, and would with her 

husband accompany her back to D- ^n, and go 

from thence through the Tyrol to Florence. They 
arrived the day after my father's death. 

I can never forget the last evening in which I 
saw my father — ^I never wish to forget it. He sent 
for me to his chamber. His words, his appearance, 
the very chamber and its furniture, as it then appear- 
ed m the mellow lamp-light, have all associated them- 
selves together in the impression fixed upon' my 
heart. How pale he was ! the red light of the fire 
threw a glow over his face, but it did not deceive me. 

A GOOD man's life. 33 

His eyes were fixed upon a miniature portrait of my 
mother, which lay upon the table before him. This 
table had usually been covered with books and paper. 
They were now all piled up and pushed aside, and 
bis old quarto Bible (the same that always lies on the 
desk in my study) lay open beside the miniature of 
my mother. I sat down very quietly on the low stool 
at his feet, fearful lest I should disturb the sweet peace 
of his meditation. I say peace, for though the tears 
were stealing down his cheeks, I never beheld such an 
expression of holy peace on any countenance. 

He placed his h^d fondly upon my head, as he 
bad been wont to do when I was a little child, and 
repeatedly stroked down my hair without speaking a 
word, and then he bent his face and kissed my fore- 
head — " Ernest," he said at length, as I looked up in 
his face, " we must part for a little time." " Not part, 
dear father," I replied, " for if you are obliged to 
go away, may I not go with you, to wait upon you, 
and do your biddbg, whatever it may be ?" " My 
poor boy," he said, again placing his hand upon my 
head with the same affectionate manner, '^ you do not 
understand me. I am not going to travel in other 
countries, nor to leave this chamber, till I am called 
away by One, whose summons cannot be disobeyed. 
I did not wish to grieve your young heart before, but 
the time is come for you to be prepared. In all hu- 
man probability I shall be called upon to leave this 
infirm and wasted body, to die, not many days hence — 
don't give way to such immoderate grief, my dear 


Ernest," he continued, having in vain endeavored to 
soothe me. 

" See how calm I am ! It is not so dreadfiil to die 
as you may suppose. Our Heavenly Father will not 
call me before His own good time, and then I shall 
not murmur ; for I am quite convinced that His will is 
the best. Liook at this emaciated frame, think of the 
pains it has lately suffered, and tell me what reason I 
have to love it." 

Here, however, my father broke off from a subject 
that made me so very wretched ; for I could not help 
laying my head on his knee, and sobbing with a feel- 
ing that my heart would break if I lost him. And 
yet I look back now to those moments when I felt so 
perfectly miserable, a^ to positive happiness, for his 
hand was fondly placed on my head, I could feel its 
gentle pressure, hear his voices and be certain that he 
was with me. 

" My dear Ernest," he said, when I had become 
calmer, but still remained sitting on the low stool at 
his feet, my face, however, partly raised ; for though 
my cheek was still pressed to his knee, my eyes were 
fixed on his countenance, and his dear hand clasped 
between both of mine : 

" My dear Ernest, promise me solemnly, that in 
every trial, in every temptation, you will not look to 
yourself, or to the world, for the help or comfort you 
require, but that you will pray to your Heavenly Fa- 
ther in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. First 
of all promise me this, and think of what you are 

A GOOD man's life. 35 

about, when you promise." — ^I did think in silence for 
some minutes, and then I said, kissing hb hand as I 
spoke, << Father, I do promise, and I hope I shall 
never forget my promise." 

" My dear, very dear child," contmued my father, 
" the thought of leaving your dear mother, and all of 
you, makes my heart very heavy ; but at the same 
time I am so well assured, that our Father in Hea* 
ven loves us so much better than we love one 
another, that I feel it would be sinful in me to com- 
plain of the way in which it pleases Him to make us 
happy! Yes, happy!" he repeated, while a faint 
smile played over his features, - for I had looked up 
witli astonishment as he pronounced the word — " hap- 
py was what I meant to say — ^but I have more to say 
to you, Ernest. You are my eldest son, my first- 
bom child. You are very young and inexperienced ; 
but I know that while you keep your promise, and 
look above for help, you will never fail to receive it. 
Young as you are, you must become the support and 
protector, in my place, to your dearest mother and to 
Lisa and Charley. What I say to you now you must 
never forget. Wherever you are, in whatever place, 
in whatever company, you must remember the last 
words of your father. I have often reminded you of 
the solemn promise and engagement made at your 
baptism, I do so now for the last time. Listen to me 
once more attentively. 

" By the good providence of our blessed Lord, 
you were bom in a Christian country — you were bom 
of parents professing the Christian religion. In the 


midst of a Christian congregation the minister of 
Christ took you in his arms, and after many prayers, 
in which he and those aromid hkn joined, he solemn- 
ly dedicated you to the Lord your God, he sprinkled 
upon you the pure and cleansing element of water, 
thus figuring the mystical washing away of sin, and 
we all prayed that you might at the same time be 
washed by the blood of Christ from erery stain and 
spot of sin, or in other words, might be cleansed by 
the inward and spiritual grace of baptism, of which 
the water is the outward and visible sign. Baptism by 
water being ordained, not by man, but by Christ him- 
self, as a means whereby we receive the inward and 
spiritual grace, and a pledge to assure us thereof. 
Now this inward and sjnritual grace is thus described ; 
it is a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteous- 
ness ; and, although we are by nature bom in sin and 
the children of wrath, it is by this inward and spirit- 
ual grace that we are made the children of grace. 

" My dear Earnest," he continued, after pausing 
a little to take breath, and then speaking m a voice 
scarcely louder than a whisper — " I am the more anx- 
ious for you to attend to me, and to remember, if possi- 
ble, every word I say to you, because, as you grow up, 
you will find, as I have often told you, that the world 
in general think carelessly, if at all, of the engage- 
ments made by them, at what they profess to be the 
beginning of their life as Christians, and (what makes 
the case more dangerous) you will find your own 
heart, whenever you neglect to watch and to pray, 
taking part with the world against your best interests. 

A GOOD man's life. 37 

I leave you, therefore, hoping — spraying — ^I might 
abo say (nay, I will humbly say it) believing, that 
you will grow up a Christian gentleman, that you 
will remember that all the day an4 all the night God 
is present with you, though you cannot see Him; 
and that in calling yourself a Christian, you do in 
fact say, that you are a member of Christ, and 
therefore as much with Him as this arm, or member 
of yours, is with your head ; for Christians are called 
in the Bible members of that body of which Chbist 
is the head. Now he who feels and believes this, 
must know that his religion is a reality : — ^but beware, 
for it is possible to be for a time a member of Christ, 
and to be a dead and withered member. You may 
remember noticing a poor beggar at the great gates 
of this house the last time we walked out together : 
he had, to all appearance, two arms, but he told us 
that the life of one of his arms was gone, and that it 
was of no use to him. We soon witnessed the truth 
of what he said, for while he was talking with much 
animation to me, and did not see that you were offer- 
ing money to him, yoU put the money into the hand 
of the palsied arm ; and the fingers having no power 
to close on it, or even to feel it, the coin fell at once 
to the ground. Our Saviour himself speaks of this 
sort of dead-membership with Him, when He says 
at the 15th of St. John's Gospel, ' I am the vine and 
my father is the husbandman ; every branch in me 
(remark, in Him) that beareth not fruit he taketh 
away.' " My dear father here looked very faint and 
ill, and stopped again — ^when he recovered himself. 


he said, << I must cut short what I had to say, Ernest ; 
— ^Tell your mamma all that I have been saying to 
you, all about this conversation, when she returns 
home, and ask your mamma to teach you ; ask also 
your godfathers and godmother. Above all, go to 
the Book of God for instruction ; in it your Heaveiily 
Father speaks His will to you. I need not tell you 
to love your dearest mother; but you must try to 
prove your love, by obeying her faithfully, and 
gladly. Be a kind and true friend to Losa and 
Charley : again \ ask you to try and supply my place 
to them : and now go for them both and bring them 
to me— I dare say they are not m bed yet; and 
mind, Ernest," he added, calling me back before I 
reached the door, " not a word to either of the chil- 
dren to make them sad ; not a word of my going — 
you know what I mean. I confide m you as my 
fnend, for you are the eldest, and old enough to be 
treated as my friend." In a few minutes I came 
back to the room, leading in each hand my brother 
and sister. Lisa was always gentle, and she knew 
her father was very ill ; therefore she walked softly, 
and without speaking, and when she came near to 
my father, gently put her hand in his and stood beside 
him smiling, but still not speaking. Charley, being 
then almost an infant, was at first neither quiet nor 
silent ; he soon espied a doll of Lisa's lying under one 
of the chairs, where she had left it that morning, and 
disengagmg his hand from mine, he ran to the prize 
and seized upon it, and began to amuse himself by 
bumping its wooden head upon the floor, singing and 

A GOOD man's lifs. 39 

shouting all the while. However, he was soon 
quieted, for Lisa took a bunch of grapes from a bas- 
ket near my father, and offering it in exchange for 
the noisy doll, brought the merry little fellow to my 
father, and he then sat down on the carpet, and 
employed himself with perfect content in picking 
grape after grape from the bunch till they all were 
eaten. While Charley sat at his feet, and Lisa stood 
beside him, my father desired me to take the written 
form of our baptismal engagement from between the 
leaves of his Bible, where he had placed it. He 
desired me also to read it. I did so, and both Lisa 
and I understood it. We then kneeled down before 
him, first I, then Lisa, then Charley, at least we 
showed him how to do so, and my father placed his 
thin hands upon our heads and blessed us with a 
faint voice, in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holt Spirit. I led my brother 
and sister away again, and * * * * that night, just 
after midnight, my father departed this life. 

I cannot describe the state of my poor mother 

when she returned to D n. Her agony of 

mind was very quiet, but deep, and it appeared set- 
tled — so it conl^^i^ some days after her return. 
The shock had b^n^almost too much for her intellect, 
and she remained so long in one unchanging mood of 
quiet stupefactbn, that we began to fear she would 
never be herself again. 

*' I don't know when I shall be able to repeat to 
my mother all that my father desired me to t^ll her," 


I said one morning to my cousin Ellinor ; *^ she will 
never be able to bear it." 

Mr. Hamilton was in the room when I spoke, 
and he said immediately, *^ I think, Ellinor, that Er- 
nest ought to go to his dear mother, and tell her all, 
her husband said at once. It might agitate her to 
tears, and then rouse her to exertion." 

At their desire I went at once to my mother. I 
found her sitting, as usual, in the room that had been 
my father's study, in the old arm-chair where he had 
sat. Her arms were folded, and her eyes fixed in a 
sort of dreamy gaze. I took my seat, as I had done 
on that memorable evening, at the foot of that very 
chair in which she was now sitting, and I began de- 
scribing and narrating to her, with the most minute 
exactness (as Mr. Hamilton and Ellinor had desired 
me to do), every particular of my last interview and 
conversation with him. I had spoken but a few 
words, when she raised her head, and fixed on me a 
look of the deepest attention ; her arms still remain- 
ing folded, and her position otherwise unaltered. As 
I continued speaking, she unfolded her arms, and 
resting one elbow on the arm of the chair, she 
clasped her forehead with her hkikdB and closed her 

I had all Ve while been lookmg up in her face, 
and when L spoke of my bringing Lisa and Charley 
to my father for the last time, I saw with delight the 
bright quick tears suddenly pour fix)m her eyes. In 
another moment I was in her arms — ^both my arms 

A GOOD mam's LIFK. 41 

thrown around her neck, and she was weeping with- 
out restraint. When a little composed, she said, 
" My dear Ernest, you must leave me alone for some 
time. Go into the anteroom, and remain there, and 
do not let any one disturb me. I am weak, wretch- 
edly weak, as to spiritual strength, and I have been 
very wrong to think so mifch of myself, and my own 
loss. I must be alone with God, and ask for pardon 
and for strength. Leave me, dear child, and shut the 
door — ^I will call you when I wish you to come to 
me again." 

The time seemed very long in the anteroom, and 
at last I began to think my mother had forgotten me, 
when she opened the door of the inner room, and ap- 
peared with a calm and almost smiling countenance. 
I sprang towards her. and she returned into the room 
with me. Again she made me narrate all that had 
taken place during my last interview with my father, 
and she listened attentively, and without agitation. 
When I had done speaking, she said, '^ I feel the use 
and b^iefit of prayer, Ernest. . There is but one Being 
who could help and comfort me, and at length I have 
sought Him. Remember, Ernest, what I tell you from 
my experience of the benefit of prayer ; given, not 
for my sake, but for the sake of Him in whose name 
we pray. He is touched with the feeing of our in- 
firmities, and always more ready to hear than we are 
to pray. Promis0 me, as you did your father, that 
you will seek your God with prayer in all your diffi- 

From this time ray dear mother began to devote 


herself to her children, and to employ her time in 
giving a diligent attention to all the duties of her 
widowed state. She retired at times j6x)m us, but 
never, I believe, to give way to selfish grief or la- 
mentation, for she always came forth from the soli- 
tude of her closet with the aspect of one who had 
been listening to glad tiditfgs and receiving comfort. 

We soon after left D n for England, and 

Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton went with us to Calais, where 
we found my mother's brother and my godfather, 
Colonel Nugent, waiting our arrival. He was rather 
rough in his manners, and very downright and «blunt 
in all his ways ; but with all his outside roughness, 
he was full of kindly feelings, and gentle-hearted as a 

On our return to England, we went to reside with 
my mother's parents at Overton Hall, in Hampshire. 
I thought my mother began to look happier, and that 
the tone of her voice became more cheerful from^he 
time the heavy old coach turned off the high road, 
and entered the wide avenue leading to her father's 
house. She took Charley on her knee, and pointed 
out to him an old white pony she had been accus- 
tomed to ride when a girl, and that stood with his 
neck thrust over a gate, staring at the coach as it 
passed along; and she spoke, and smiled as she 
spoke, to the old servant, who opened the gate of the 
garden-court before the house. My grandfather was 
standing in the hall, evidently determined to receive 
my dear mother cheerfully ; yet after he had held her 
in his arms and kissed her, and she had passed him 

A «ooD man's life. 43 

and my dear aunt, going to the library, where my 
grandmother was waiting her appearance, I saw him 
take out his handkerchief and wipe away the tears 
that filled his eyes. 

My mother's conduct had all that sweet and dute- 
ous reverence about it, that a daughter's should have 
in her father's house. A stranger, seeing her with 
either of her parents, would have told you at oncb in 
what relation she stood to them. She was disposed 
enough to have been silent and melancholy, for she had 
lost a husband whom she loved as her own life ; but she 
was graciously enabled to keep up a quiet happiness 
of look and manner at all times. She felt that it 
would have been cruel to have brought the gloom of 
her grief into the dear and hospitable home of her 
childhood, now again thrown opep to her. She gave 
way to no selfish indulgence, but thought so much of 
others, of her children, her parents, her brother, and 
indeed of her poor neighbors, more especially the 
widows and orphans among them, that little time was 
left to thmk of herself, or, I should say, of self. 

A few years passed away of calm, peacefiil enjoy- 
ment, in that quiet, hospitable mansion. My grand- 
father and grandmother seemed the kindest and hap- 
piest old persons I ever met with. My uncle and 
his sister, though utterly unlike, were equally beloved 
by us. My mother lived the life of a modest Chris- 
tian widow, retu-ed fix>m the world, devoted to her 
children, as unforgetful of my father as in her early 
widowhood, but meekly, nay, thankfully, resigned to 
her separation from him ; for, walking by faith, and 


not by sight, she looked forward to the blessed period 
when she might be again united to him, in that home 
of the Christian where there is neither marrying nor 
parting, but where the pure and holy, who have 
loved as she loved on earth, are as the angels of God 
in heaven. 

About a year after our return to England, I was 
sent to school, and I believe no schoolboy ever suf- 
fered more at leaving home than I did. What a mis- 
take, what a downright untruth it is, ta say thatachool 
days are the happiest period of a person's life ! My 
tutor was a kind and truly excellent man ; I liked 
my schoolfellows very well ; but when the day of my 
leaving home drew nigh, then I began to be miser- 
able. At times, notwithstanding all my endeavors 
to forget, the subject was forced into my notice. 
Some one would ask, in a pleasant way, *' Well, 
Ernest, when do you go back to school ? the holi- 
days are almost over, are they not?" The very or- 
dering of the cake which I was to carry with me, and 
which was intended to prove a sweet soother of my 
troubles, put me in a tremble ; and when the house- 
keeper turned to my mother for instruction as to the 
size and richness of the cake, and whep my mother 
looked at me, and smiled as she replied, the imagin- 
ative powers of my appetite had sickened and died 
within me. I could not smile. What made me still 
more wretched, was the consciousness that I ought to 
be ashamed, or rather that I was ashamed of being 
so very, very sorry, and of weeping like a girl. The 
morning of my departure brought with it fresh striv- 

A QOOD ikAS'M Lirjc. 45 

ings between misery and shame, and the feel of a 
lump within my throat, that took away all my appe* 
tite at breakfast, and seemed to choke me when I en- 
deavored to speak. I can now hardly persuade my- 
self that childhood was capable of feeling such intense 
misery as I then suffered. 

A circumstance occurred while I was at this 
school, which I will not pass unnoticed, as it proved 
to me the truth of that divine proverb ; ** A word 
spoken in season, how good it is 1" I was one day 
playing at some game or other, I forget what, in the 
old walnut-close, which was our pky-ground. A 
very warm discussion took place between another 
boy and myself. "Upon my soul it was so !" he 
cried out. I had often heard the same words ; nay, 
once or twice, in my unguarded thoughtlessness, I 
bad also used them. I heard them now with utter 
unconcern ; but on another person they had a very 
different effect. Oinr old master was sitting in a little 
summer-house, not far from the spot where we stood. 
We had not observed him, but suddenly calling us to 
him, he said to my companion, " Are you aware, my 
dear boy, about what you have been speaking in so 
sinfully light and careless a manner ? Is your soul of 
so little consequence — ^that part which raises you so 
infinitely above the beasts that perish — ^that part of 
you which cannot cease to exist for ever — ^that for 
which your Saviour and your God poured out His 
most precious blood in heart-broken agonies upon the 
cross ? For His blessed sake, and for the sake of 
that very soul of yours, let this be the last, quite the 


last time, when out of mere trifling wantonness such 
an expression shall ever come from your mouth !" The 
awfiil, I may almost say holy, seriousness of his voice 
and manner, and the grave, nay, sorrowfiil expression 
of his countenance^ as the good man spoke, I have 
never forgotten; from that moment, the expression 
stood forth as a sin, a daring impiety, before me. I 
have never spoken the forbidden words myself; I 
have never heard another speak them without shud- 

When I had been about three years at school, the 
small-pox suddenly broke out there, and appeared to 
spread so rapidly that most of the boys, at the desire 
of the medical men, were sent home. One of my 
grandfather's servants came for me, and brought me 
back to Overton Hall, apparently in high health. At 
the end of a week, however, I began to feel veiy un- 
well, and it was soon evident that I was sickening 
with the dreaded disease. Those who only know 
the small-pox as it now commonly appears — a disease 
of rare occurrence, and generally much mitigated, 
where it is not wholly prevented, by the mild influence 
of vaccination, or by a proper mode of treatment, 
would scarcely believe the panic that seized on every 
one in those days, when the disorder made its appear- 
ance in a neighborhood. 

My sister and brother were sent away at once 
with my aunt Lucy, to a small farm of my grandfa- 
ther's near the sea, and my mother was my constant 
nurse. For days and nights she did not leave me. 
No one foresaw any danger to her, except from fa- 

A GOOD man'i life. 47 

tigue and anxiety, for she had had the disorder when 
a child. Oh, how kind and tender she was to me ! 
I was very ill indeed, and the disease seemed to 
lengthen [and increase instead of leaving me, so that 
ray life was considered in great danger ; but, notwith- 
standing all my suffering, I felt soothed and happy 
when I could open my heavy eyes, and see before 
me my mother's sweet face, or hear the sound of her 
gentle voice. 

She had so many ways of showing her affection 
which none but a mother, and such a mother ! could 
have devised. At length, however, I ceased to notice 
her or any one. I became delirious, or rather quietly 
insensible, and continued so for many days. When I 
began to wake up from this stupor (for the turn of the 
disease was over, and my recovery was deemed high- 
ly probable) I saw that my dear mother no longer 
attended me. Some one was sitting near the fire- 
place, and when I called out, " Are you there, dear 
mother ?" the face that was turned to me was not my 
mother's. "Bently," I said (for I saw that my 
grandmother's maid was with me), "will you go to 
my mother, and tell her I am awake, and should like 
so very much to see her?" Bently left the room as if 
to seek my mother, and returning soon after, told me 
that my mother had not felt herself well, and had 
gone to lie down : she added, that she was then 
asleep, and that it would be cruel to disturb her after 
she had been almost worn out with fatigue ; — " My 
lady will come and see you, master Ernest," she said, 
" when she wakes." However, my mother did not 


come. Day after day passed, and she came not. 
Sometimes my grandmother^ or my uncle, and at all 
other times Mrs. Bently came to sit with me, bring- 
ing very often messages from my mother. They told 
me she was ill, and that the doctors thought she 
ought not in her weak state to leave her chamber, 
and that Charley and Lisa were ill with the small- 
pox, and that the former was very fretful, and had 
begged that my mother would go to him ; and they 
told me that it was her wish, and her request to me, 
that I should be patient, and wait without repining 
till she could see me again. This last message had 
great weight with me ;' it was so delightful to me to 
obey any desire of hers, that I determined to watch 
and pray against the impatient yeammg of my heart 
toward her. One more question I asked of my grand- 
mother, and that I believe was the last. As she was 
leaving the room one evening, I said, " Is my mother 
ill, grandmother ?" The old lady stood without seem- 
ing to observe me for a little time, and then said 
quietly, " Your dear mother, Ernest, cannot be bet- 
ter than she now is." 

I suppose that my illness in a manner stupified me, 
for I have often wondered since, how I could remain 
so long without a suspicion of the real reason why I 
did not see my mother ; at last the truth burst upon 
me. Mrs. Bently had been sitting with me all the 
morning, and as I was better than usual, though still 
confined to my bed, she had consented to read part 
of the Pilgrim's Progress (a favorite book of mine) to 
me. She had read but a few pages, when some one 

A GOOD man's life. 49 

tapped softly at the door of the chamber. Mrs. Bent- 
ly opened the door and spoke in a whisper, and was 
answered in a whisper. The door was then closed, 
and she and her companion went down the stairs to- 
gether. More than an hour seemed to pass away, 
and no one came near me ; the whole house seemed 
silent as at midnight ; then I thought I could hear an 
indistinct sound of footsteps, — footsteps below, and no 
other sound, not one voice. Again, a dead silence 
continued for a time, broken at last by the sound of a 
carriage moving slowly underneath the window ; it 
seemed to pass on toward the firont of the house, and 
then another slow-moving carriage seemed to pass 
along in the same direction. I could not resist at- 
tempting to discover what was going on. I rose out 
of bed, but found qjyself so weak that I at once fell 
back again. I tried again ; dragging a blanket from 
the bed, and throwing it round me, I staggered to the 
window — ^I looked down, and saw nothing but the old 
white pony, my mother's pony, rolling over and over 
again m the fresh springmg grass of the paddock. I 
remained at the window some little time, and felt re- 
vived and better. The lime trees that skirted the 
lawn had burst in leaf since I last looked from that 
window, and the blue-bells beneath them were in fall 
flower. There was a soft quick rain falling, but fall- 
ing through a golden blaze of sunshine, and making 
every thing look fresh as well as bright. I had half 
forgotten what brought me to the window, when sud- 
denly a man ran quickly across the grass-plot immedi- 
ately beneath me. He was in deep mourning, and 



as he ran, a long hatband of black crape streamed 
'upon the air. I cannot describe the effect the sight 
of that man in black then had upon me. Something 
is going on below, I thought to myself; something 
that it will break my heart to know, but I must know 
it. I went to the door of my room, unclosed it softly, 
and looked down the passage — ^no one was in sight — 
I listened, but heard nothmg. A door nearly oppo- 
site me stood partly open ; it was the door of Bently's 
room. From the window of that little chamber, 
which was in a turret jutting out fix)m the fix)nt of the 
house, I knew I could see if what I had guessed was 
indeed taking place. I saw every thing — a hearse 
with nodding plumes, and a cofSn brought out, and 
lifted into the hearse. I saw the door of the mourn- 
ing-coach opened, and two gentlemen in long black 
cloaks come forth and enter it. The cof&n was not 
that of a child ; whose could it be ? not that of my 
grandmother, I had seen her the night before ; not that 
of my grandfather, or of my uncle ; I had seen them 
enter the mourning-coach. I felt certain whose fune- 
ral was passing before me, but as if I was not to have 
the wretched happiness of a doubt on the subject, my 
eyes fell upon a small packet of black silk gloves 
upon the window seat ; the packet was lying open, 
but the white threads were still in the gloves — the bill 
was with them. 

" John Nugent, Esq., 

" To Christopher Simpson. 
" To one dozen pair of black silk gloves for the fe- 


male servants at the Hall, at the funeral of the Lady 
Charles Singleton." 

They found me in bed ; but I know not how I 
got there. One or two persons entered the room, but 
I shut my eyes as the door opened, and I turned my 
face to the wall. I had no questions to ask — 1 wish- 
ed to be alone and unnoticed, and after a while I was 
left alone. 

Then it was for the first time that I was taught 
really to lean upon God, and to look to him as my 
only unfailing friend and helper. I had believed in 
Him, loved Him, sought Him before, but now I felt, 
for the first time, that I was lost without Him. As I 
lay in such utter wretchedness in that quiet chamber, 
thinking that the world had become a dreary wilder- 
ness to me, and feeling as if the strings of my heart 
that held me to life were breaking, I recollected, some- 
thing seemed to remind me, of my promise to my fa- 
ther — a promise made so solemnly to him, and repeat- 
ed so often to my dear, dear mother. Ill and weak 
as I was, I rose up, and kneeled upon my knees on 
the bed, and poured forth my very soul in prayer ! 
He is my Father, I thought within myself, and as a 
child pours into a tender father's ear all his wishes 
and complaints, as I had often done to my father and 
my mother when they were with me, so I prayed un- 
to my God. Will He hear me ? I thought in the 
midst of my supplication ; I, who am so insignificant, 
and so utterly unworthy ! and then a sudden thought 
brought a flow of comfort over my heart ; my tears felt 


sweet as they flowed more softly over my cheeks. 
For the sake of Jesus Christ, the Son of man who 
had been also a child, and is touched with the feeling 
of a child's sorrows and infirmities, for His gentle sake, 
in His prevailing and most powerful name, I entreat- 
ed my Father to hear me. I prayed to that kind and 
compassionate Saviour also, and humbly begged them, 
the Father and the Saviour, to send the Holt Spirit 
to support, to teach, to comfort me. I remembered 
also the conduct of my mother when she rose up fix)m 
her torpid grief, and cried to God to help her ; the 
good example she then set had its full effect upon me. 
When I had done praying I smoothed the bed- 
clothes as well as I could, and lay down again. Great 
as the exertion had been to my body, it had a blessed 
effect on my mind. In the midst of sweet and sooth- 
ing thoughts I gently fell asleep, and slept for seven 
or eight hours I believe without stirring, for on awak- 
ing, I found myself in the same place and position as 
when I dropped asleep. 

I do not dwell upon the death of my mother. I 
will merely mention, that, feeling I should give unne- 
cessary pain if I allowed any of my family to break 
to me what I already knew, I quietly told Bently 
that I was well aware of my mother's death, and that 
I had seen her funeral leave the house. 

I found that she had died of the small-pox, having 
caught it the second time, the disease being, as it gen- 
erally is, when taken the second time, very virulent. 

A GOOD man's life. 53 

and attended with great danger. The sight of ray 
orphan sister and brother affected me very much at 
first. They had also been ill with the sam^ fearful 
disease, but havmg been attacked less violently, the 
day I went down stairs they came home from the 
farm with aunt Lucy. My aunt had always seemed 
to me a little like my mother, but now, some tones of 
her voice, some expressions of her countenance, seem- 
ed to me amazingly like^ perhaps this was owing to 
my having unconsciously dismissed firom my mind all 
hope that I should ever see any one that could be the 
same as my mother to me on this side the grave. 
What, therefore, was my delight to be able to account 
for this strong likeness, by feeling that it was not a 
mere chance resemblance, but produced by nearness 
of relationship — ^that, in the likeness of my mother, I 
saw her own sister, the child of my mother's own pa- 
rents. The pure blood that glowed in her gentle 
lips was the same that had given color to lips often 
pressed to my cheek, often breathing forth a mother's 
sweet instruction, a mother's pious, tender blessings. 

The same likeness in a stranger could. not have 
thus affected me. 

One of the most firequent visitors at Overton was 
Mr. Lovel, the minister of the parish, who was after- 
wards the husband of my aunt Lucy. He had attend- 
ed my dear mother during her short and sudden ill- 
ness ; indeed she sent for him, hearing that he had 
expressed a great desire to visit her. She had spoken 
to him of her children, and appointed him as guardian 
in her stead, for my father had left her the option of 


appomting a guardian in case of her death. Mr. Le- 
vel had always been kind to me, but I began to look 
upon him, from this time, as one of the best and dear- 
est friends I had in the world ; and Lisa and Charley 
were very fond of him: they could not indeed be 
otherwise, for he was a remarkably pleasing person, 
and very kmd to them. 

. Mr. Lovel allowed me to be his constant com- 
panion ; and I may date my first preference to the holy 
profession I afterwards entered upon, to my inter- 
course with him. 

It was in his society that I began to love and ad- 
mire the life of a country parson before any other. 
There I learned the ambition of being a lowly minis- 
ter in the highest service ; and I may say from my 
heart, after many years passed in that service, there is 
none like it. I had rather be an unnoticed door- 
keeper to the house of God, than be honored and 
distinguished among the wisest and noblest of this 
world. In the society of Mr. Lovel, also, I was won 
from my deep sorrow by being drawn away from my- 
sejf, from brooding over * self.' I soon discovered, 
by my own close observation, that I was not the only 
miserable being in the world. I had thought, as a 
child might think, that no being was so wretched as 
myself when I first accepted the kind invitation of 
Mr. Lovel, and went with him a round of visits among 
his parishioners. I felt interested by many families 
whom we visited, but I was most interested, nay, I 
was deeply aflFected, by a circumstance that occurred 
while I was waiting for Mr. Lovel at the garden-gate 

'A GOOD man's life. 55 

of one of his cottages. He did not wish me to enter 
with him, because the woman of the house was too ill 
to bear the disturbance of my presence. Exactly op- 
posite the place where I stood was a small white cot- 
tage which had been evidently shut up for some little 
time. Boards had been nailed over the casements, 
and the unpruned shoots of the .vine had fallen in 
places from the wall, for want of proper traming. 
There were no crops coming up in the garden ; but 
the dark mould of the beds, and the well-gravelled 
walks were overgrown with rank weeds. At the end 
of one of the walks, beside which many flowers were 
slill m bright bloom, was an arbor formed entirely of 
willow-branches, meeting and twining above a bank 
of turf, shaped like a high step, with a board on the 
lower shelf of it for a seat. But what gave such an 
interest to this little desolate spot was the presence of 
one who seemed to have a great love for every thing 
about the house and garden : a little boy, perhaps a 
year older than my brother Charley. He had a pleas- 
ant open countenance, though I thought at first he 
looked very sorrowful when he tried the latch of the 
door and found it would not open, and peeped be- 
tween the crevices of the boards that covered the win- 
dows, as if he hoped to gain a view of the darkened 
chambers within. He turned, however, to the garden, 
and as he sauntered up and down the walks, and 
gathered now and then some of the long-neglected 
flowers, he began singing to himself with pleasure, 
almost without knowing that he was pleased. 

At length he entered the arbor, and laying down 


his nosegay on the upper ledge of the bank, he threw 
himself at full length on the seat, and there he re- 
mained still humming to himself with his clear voice, 
till his careless song grew more and more faint, and 
he dropped fast asleep. I wondered who this little 
boy could be, and what his story was ; and longed 
for Mr. Lovel to come out of the sick woman's room, 
and tell me all I wished to know. The dress of the 
little boy was ill made, and too large for him, and of 
a dark heavy serge ; his hair was cut (I suppose I 
may use a vulgar word, and say hogged) close to 
his head, except that a fringe of bright curls were left 
by the tasteless barber close round his face. 

My attention, however, was soon turned to a stem- 
looking man that had entered the garden from behind 
the cottage. He looked about him on all sides, as if 
searching for some one ; and when his eyes turned^ 
upon the arbor, he hastened toward it. In a moment 
I heard the quick falling strokes of the cane, and the 
loud cries of the little boy. I rushed into the garden, 
leaping over the gate, and was soon at the arbor. Mr. 
Lovel, who then appeared, followed me, and we were 
in time to save the boy from receiving any more 
blows. Mr: Lovel called the man to him, and they 
turned down the walk together, while I remained in 
the arbor with the little boy. When the man came 
back he said to the little fellow, " Well, my man, I 
suppose I must forgive you this time, but you know 
it's against all rule to leave the poor-house, and to leave 
work without leave." 

"But I had done my work," said the boy, " and 

A GOOD man's life. 57 

you were not in the way, sir, and the afternoon was 
so fine ! and the door was wide opeft, and I thought 
I'd just come and 'take a peep at poor father and 
mother's old place, and carry back a nosegay out of 
the garden for Missis." " Ah, well, poor boy !" said 
the man, and he looked very good-tempered, " 'tis 
very natural — ^take your flowers to my wife ; only re- 
member the next time to ask leave." 

" That little boy," said Mr. Level, as we resumed 
our walk, " is an orphan, without a friend in the world. 
His father and mother were respectable hard-working 
persons, but at their death (and they died of a fever 
in a few days the one after the other) their only 
child was obliged to be sent to the workhouse. You 
see, Ernest, there are persons in the world, even chil- 
dren, more afflicted and unhappy than yourself." 

This remark set me thinking, and good Mr. Level 
improved the opportunity thus given him, to point out 
to me, that in all our troubles we have much to be 
thankfiil for ; and he told me that even the case of 
that little fnendless orphan was less wretched than 
that of another person in the parish — a kind, tender 
mother, whose son had despised all her advice, and 
was then under sentence of death for a capital of- 
- fence. The mother, he said, was at that time ahnost 
broken-hearted, and must have altogether sunk under 
her grief, had it not been that she was supported by 
a hope above this world. And last of all he turned 
all that he had said to real profit, by reminding me 
of one who had suffered a weight of heart-breaking 
anguish beyond all our conception, but who had been, 


as no other sufferer ever was, all the while perfectly- 
good, and innocent, and undeserving of one slightest 
sorrow ; but who suffered for our iniquities, and the 
chastisement oT our peace was upon Him : who was 
satisfied to suffer for His enemies, for the guilty, the 
miserable, and the lost. 

A few days afterwards I went with Mr, Lovel to 
the workhouse, and there we heard a very good char- 
acter of Martin Wheeler, the little boy for whom I 
had begun to feel such an interest, because he was an 
orphan like myself, but far more destitute and friend- 
less than I had ever been. I had soon after an op- 
portunity of serving my poor little fiiend. The boy 

at Overton, who went to F n for letters on the 

pony, and was a sort of errand-boy to the house- 
keeper and the gardener, outgrew his place both by- 
age and self-importance, and I went to my grandfather 
and begged him to take Martin Wheeler in his stead. 
" But first tell me," said my grandfather, " who is 
this Martin Wheeler ?" " O, he is very poor, and 
in the workhouse ; his father and mother are both dead. 
He has no grandfather, no relations, no friends !" 
*< Bless you, my dear boy," he replied, with some 
agitation, " I can feel with you for the poor orphan 
child ; but perhaps you can tell us, Jones ?" he said, 
turning to his old butler, who was waiting some orders 
in the room. " Wheeler ! Wheeler ! I ought to 
know the name !" " I should not wonder, sir, if he 
is the grandson of Jonathan Wheeler," replied Jones, 
" the steward at Overton some years back. I know 
his son died some months ago in the village." " The 

A GOOD man's life. 59 

grandson of the man who deceived and ill-treated me 
— and in distress ? Well then, that is an additional 
reason for befriending the poor child. Love your 
enemies ; that's the right maxim. Jones ! go down 
to the workhouse and see about hiring the boy at 
once," added my grandfather. " And in your way," 
I said, " pray call upon Mr. Lovel, Jones, and ask 
him about Martin, for he likes him as well as I do ; 
and, grandfather, when I'm a man, and can have a 
servant, I'll take Martin off your hands, and thank 
you, thank you, for being so kind and so good!" 
" Very well, my little man," he replied, " Martm shall 
be your servant, and you may give up half an hour 
every day in teaching him to read his Bible ; but now 
suppose you order the pony and my mare, and we'll 

ride over to F n." 

I give this little narrative because it contains an 
account of my first meeting with my faithful servant, 
Martin, now, like his master, a gray-headed, aged 
man. He is an invaluable servant! I have every 
reason to be grateful for his long-tried fidelity and at- 
tachment. I know that, during his long residence in 
my family, he has received frequent offers to live in 
families of wealth and distinction, where his wages 
would have been double what I paid him ; but he is 
not one of the new sort of gentry who are always 
seeking to better themselves, as they term it. He 
never told me of these offers and his refusals, but the 
report of them has always got round to me, sometimes 
years after they were made. 

The gladness and fresh beauty of that spring, 


when all nature seemed to wake up mto smiles and 
songs of delight, seemed to conspire together against 
my grief. Perhaps hope was never so brightly pic- 
tured as m the sights and sounds of a beautiful day 
in spring, or rather when spring is changing hourly into 
summer. In the day-time floods of sunshine, from a 
deep blue sky, steepmg the vivid and feathery foliage 
of the trees, the whole earth one carpet of bright em- 
broidery, its glorious freshness still unsullied. The 
air scented with balmy fragrance, and musical with 
the warblings of the gay and sportive birds, and all 
night the nightingale pouring forth her clear loud 
melodies, as if the day was not long enough, or calm 
enough, or solemn enough, for her deep joy ; and the 
air smelling of lilacs and honeysuckles, the sweeter 
for not being seen. 

The gradual return of health to my enfeebled 
firame, at that gracious season of the year, that season 
of returning vigor and freshness to the earth, brought 
with it a struggle after cheerfulness, that I should not 
have felt, I think, had my recovery taken place at a 
less joyful season of the year, in the autumn for in- 
stance ; and though I could not at the time have said 
that I enjoyed any thing, I look back to that period 
as to a season of enjoyment^ The griefs I then experi- 
enced were among those that are so finely described 
by a poet of the present day,* as 

" Griefs that lie in the heart like treasures, 
Till time hath turned them to solemn pleasures." 

* Sidney Walker, late Fellow of Trinity College. 

A GOOD man's life. 61 

Sometimes I accompanied my grandfather in his 
slow and quiet rides upon the greensward by the 
skirts of the old pine woods at Overton, or through 
the sandy lanes, whose banks rose as high as those of 
the Devonshire lanes on either side, in some places 
sloping and green, and thickly set with blue-bell and 
wood-anemonies, and more flowers than I have time 
to enumerate ; in others, abrupt and cavemed, and 
spread over with the old gnarled roots of the trees 
that met above our heads. 

Sometimes I joined my uncle in his delightful 
gallop over the Southdowns, and received a lesson 
from him how to sit gracefully and firmly on horse- 
back ; and not unfirequently I remained at home as 
the companion of my dear venerable grandmother, 
reading to her and my aunt Lucy, in their favorite 
room at the end of the long conservatory at Overton. 
The entrance to this room was from the conservatory 
itself, a hall of glass enclosing a little grove of myrtles 
and orange-trees, and other flowering exotics of lofty 
growth, down the whole length of which extended 
a broad walk. At one end were the folding-doors of 
this pleasant sitting-room, at the other a fountain of 
limpid water, playing in front of a closely clipped 
hedge of flowering myrtles, as high and almost as 
solid as a wall. At the end of the summer I was 
sent to Eton. My uncle Nugent, who was one of 
my guardians, had been at Eton himself, and he 
thought there was no school to be compared with it. 
Mr. Lovel had been at Eton also, and he rather 
opposed my going ; but my other guardian. Lord 


Eresby, was appealed to ; he decided at once in 
favor of Eton, and to Eton I was sent. 

I must always look back with sorrow to the day 
I was sent to school. Words and things which I 
had never heard of m my father's house were brought 
into dangerous familiarity with me ; words and things 
deeply corrupting to the manly, no less than to the 
Christian character. Such was the case also at Eton. 
I was niade, as schoolboys generally are, wise in what 
ought to be forbidden knowledge to a child. I can- 
not say I was disgusted as I ought to have been. 
My curiosity was awakened, and many seeds of 
wickedness, that might have been destroyed in the 
germ, were then drawn forth from my heart, and 
fostered into fatal life. 

The very studies of the place (I do not mean 
of Eton alone, but of any school where the classics 
are taught) have a degrading and debasing tendency, 
and always will have, unless the master is decidedly 
and avowedly a Christian teacher. All call them- 
selves Christian teachers, but how few show the 
spirit of a Christian in pointing out what is to be 
condemned as pernicious in almost every sense ! 
The Christian youth is left to draw his own conclu- 
sion. The indecent and even monstrous histories of 
those who are the only gods of the profane world, 
have a sort of charm with them from the deep 
interest of the narrative, or the bright and glowing 
language in which they are set before him. Thus 
notions and ideas decidedly injurious to the Christian 
mind, and to true manliness of character, are insen- 

A GOOD man's life. 63 

sibly acquired, and the mind is led to associate las- 
civiousness and impurity with heroic virtue. It is 
better to have a manly than a classic tone of mind, 
if the one is to be acquired at the risk of the other. 
Often and often, before I could read Latin and Greek, 
have I turned over page after page of the dictionary 
of classical biography that lay on my desk, or of the 
English translation, (a copy lent me by one of my 
schoolfellows,) that had its hiding place within the 
desk, and found much pleasant amusement from 
histories that never ought to have met the eyes of a 
Christian boy. 

I have naturally a high and impetuous spirit, and 
no lack of false shame, and I met with many trials 
and many lessons at Eton. I had so much to do, 
and so much amusement, that I began to shorten the 
time I had been accustomed to set apart for prayer, 
and consequently I began to lose many of the sup- 
ports and comforts of our holy religion. Oh ! if we 
did but feel that when we neglect prayer — ^if we did 
but feel that the injury to ourselves is far greater 
than the dishonor done to God! We are not re- 
quired to pray merely because prayer is God's 
appointed means by which we are to receive His 
blessings; but because by prayer a wise and holy 
sense of our dependence on the Lord is kept up, in 
hearts naturally disposed to assert a senseless and 
most fatal independence of Him ; and because prayer, 
or communion with God, is the season when man is 
admitted to an interview with God, and converses * 
with God } when the child returns to his Father's arms. 


and speaks to his Father's ear the wants and sorrows 
of his heavy heart ; when the lost, wretched sinner 
sees, with the eye of faith, the clouds and thick dark- 
ness pass away fix>m the home he seek^ in vain with 
the eye of mortal sight ; when he sees that home in 
Heaven, and in the midst, as his blessed and holy 
assurance, a Lamb as it had been slam. 

Alas ! alas ! notwithstanding all the mstruction I 
received, it was long before I could comprehend the 
real use and comfort of prayer and other blessed 
means of grace. It was not the teaching of man, 
but of the Spirit, through the experience of my own 
heart, that made these things plain to me, that brought 
home and, as it were, applied the holy instruction of 
my human teacher in religion, and made me exclaim, 
as I do now, when I neglect prayer — " O Lord ! I 
am the loser when I seek thee not. Thou losest 
only the homage of a wretched sinner, but I am 
losing the light of Heaven, the glory of Heavenly 
converse, the most blessed privilege of the Christian's 
life on earth." 

My thoughts of Eton are always associated with 
a scene or two that happened soon after my first 
entrance there. 

Among the boys on the foundation was one very 
unlike the others, named Eden. He was very quiet 
and humble, and seemed to possess an uncommon 
share of sweetness of temper, at least whenever any 
thing occurred to provoke his temper, for he was 
extremely silent and reserved. Often, when he had 
been teased and bantered till one would have thought 

A GOOD mam's life. 65 

his patience must have been worn out, he would 
raise his mild gray eyes, and with a smile that was 
evidently genuine, he would make some remark 
which showed almost as much of " the wisdom of the 
serpent, as of the harmlessness of the dove." One 
afternoon, when I was leaning out an open window, 
at my dame's, several of the boys came under the 
window, and Pendarvis, who was one of them, called 
out in a loud yet listless voice, " I say, old fellow ! 
old Singleton ! we are all tired of doing nothing, and 
we want to go on the water, and we want you to 
steer, for we are one too little. Will you come ?" 
" I don't thmk I can," I replied, " I have so much 
to prepare for to-morrow, and I have been leaning 
here I know not how long in as lazy a humor as 
yourselves. I dare say the water is delicious to day, 
and I have half a mind to go, if I might have an 
oar instead of being steersman." " You shall have 
my oar if you'll come," said a good-humored smiling 
boy of the name of Smith. " Only come down at 
once," cried a great sleepy fellow called Bolter, who 
stood leaning against the opposite wall, yawning 
with his hands in his pockets ; ^^ come at once, and 
don't stand boring there, for here comes Carter's boy 
about the boat." "Can't have the boat! all the 
boats are out!" said Bolter in reply to the boy, 
(repeating the words of the message ;) " you be 
hanged, sir ! but I will have the boat : tell your 
father that." " But the boat, and all the boats are 
out of sight by this time, and father can't make a 
boat, sir." " Father shall, you dolt !" said the lazy 


Bolter. " Come— off with you, you young dog, and 
see that I have a boat ready in* ten minutes. I give 
you ten minutes — d'ye hear? Don't stand staring 
there, and be hanged te you ;" and the lad ran off, 
for Bolter here threw his hat with great violence at 
him. " No boat to-day," said Smith, laughing, and 
giving Bolter his hat ; " we may go to the river, but 
no boat." " I told you so," said Pendarvis, " but it's 
Bolter's own fault ; he would stop cramming at the 
new pastry-cook's." " Till he made himself sick with 
stuffing," said Dampier, " and us sick with looking 
on." " Come, come, Dampier ! don't you speak ! you 
got through three sausage rolls, hot, reeking, greasy 
sausage rolls, in no time," said the merry Smith. 
" And you look sick, and are sick, you brute," said 
Bolter, in a coarse, brutal voice. Bolter was the 
biggest of the party, and the bully of the party ; of 
course not the bravest, for bullies are never brave. 
He had plenty of money, and was always willing to 
pay more than any one else, so that he could lay 
down the law on all occasions. " Ho ! Ho !" he 
cried suddenly. "Now for %ome sport. Here 
comes the man of meekness ! A rare animal, is he 
not ?" As he spoke, Eden turned the comer, and 
appeared in sight. " Ah ! my little Puritan, my real 
Simon Pure ! my Longface ! can't you look up ?" and 
he clapped his hand flat on the crown of Eden's 
haj, and forced it down over his face. " I can look up 
if you wish it," said the boy, pushing back his hat, 
and looking good-humoredly at Bolter, " and I can 
walk on if you'll let me, for I'm rather in a hurry." 

A GOUD man's life. 67 

" Singleton," said Bolter to me, "FU show you some 
rare fun. You- have never seen the little Puritan 
baited. Eden !" he cried out, (vulgariy winking his 
eye at me as he spoke,) " what do you call yourself?" 
Eden still smiled good-humoredly. " You know my 
name, Bolter." " Yes, but another name ! Are you 
a sinner, or a saint ?" " More of the first than the 
last I fear." " You fear !" said Bolter, in his brutal 
voice : ** you like to be called both. Now listen to 
me, my friend, I say positively that I will thrash you ! 
— Now for the sport, Singleton." Here all the party 
laughed aloud. " Eden, I have said FU thrash you," 
continued Bolter, in a voice of mock kindness and 
smoothness ; " What am I to do ? — Am I to break my 
word, and sin ? My word is pledged, and if I do not 
thrash you, there will be a lie upon my soul. Well, 
Mr. Cantwell, what am I to do?" 

A glow of deep crimson dyed for a moment the 
pale meek face of Eden, and he looked perplexed and 
troubled : but in a short time, he replied gravely and 
firmly, yet rather timidly, "I would rather bear 
your thrashing than be the cause of your telling a 
lie !" Here another shout of laughter burst from the 
party, at least irom all but Pendarvis, who had seated 
himself on a bench at some distance, and seemed en- 
tirely occupied in reading a novel. " Well then, as 
I must not break my word," said the bully ; " how 
shall I begin ? I beg your pardon, Eden !" but he 
spoke in a tone of the most heartless taunting. He 
clutched the shoulder of the quiet little fellow with 
his large coarse hand, and tripping him up, Eden fell 


to the ground. " This by way of beginning. We 
don't call this thrashing, but flooring," said the brute, 
and again he laid his hand upon the boy. ^^ You 
great cowardly brute !" I shouted from the window, 
" touch him again at your peril ; at any rate you 
shall first prove yourself my master." I dropped 
firom the window in a moment, it was not more than 
six feet from the ground. " Now, sir !" I cried, 
hoarse I believe with passion, " touch him, touch but 
a hair of his head, at your peril !" and I stood before 
Bolter in an attitude of defiance. With a sneer of pity- 
ing scorn the bully surveyed me from head to foot, 
and then aimed a blow with all his force. I warded 
off the blow, and rushed in upon him, but he was 
large and strong, and I weak and in a passion. The 
fight, however, was stopped in less than a minute. 
Pendarvis, with his book in his hand, calmly stepped 
between us. " Hands off that boy, sir! at once," he 
said. " What a mean bullying fellow you are. Bolter ! 
How can you attack a boy so much younger and 
smaller than yourself ? O, don't look so grand, sir !" 
he added, shooting out his under lip, and doubling his 
fist. *' You know, sir, what this is ! Though I am 
not quite so tall, or quite so old, or quite so bulky as 
yourself, you have felt the force of this argument 
more than once." 

Biit here, to my astonishment, the quiet little 
Eden came forward. " Come, come !" he said, in a 
manly, cheerfiil voice, and his manliness surprised 
me, *^ really I am punished now ! A thrashing would 
have been better for me than all this angry quarrelling 


among friends ! Really, Singleton — ^Pendarvis — I'm 
very sorry to see this, and I was not hurt, and if I am 
so positive and strange in my ways, I must leam to 
put up with many more troubles than I have met with 
in my own person to-day. Come, Bolter, shake 
bands with me, and Singleton and Pendarvis shake 
hands with Bolter. Really he did not hurt me much. 
This is such an old joke. Bolter, that I niust outwit 
you the next time you say you'll thrash me. I sup- 
pose it does look odd, and I do look very like a fool, 
to stand still and be beaten ! Let me see ? I have 
thought of a way. I now declare before all, and 
make my promise first of all, that I will never stand 
still to be beaten again. I say this before any one 
has pledged his word to thrash me; and the next 
time, as I don't fight, (I give out that I don't fight,) 
the next time I shall do as I do now — ^be off as fast 
as I can." 

" That's a fine little fellow ! with all his religion," 
said Pendarvis. " One must respect him. I only 
wish he was not so over-religious. Why could he 
not stand out and fight as another would have done ? 
I cannot endure a Methodist !" 

" He is religious !" I replied ; " and he desired to 
prevent Bolter from telling a lie on Christian princi- 
ples ; but the world might also impute his conduct to 
mere morality, or to a high sense of honor ; for it was 
not for any religious observance that he stood so 
meekly and so bravely ; but simply for truth, simply 
to prevent a lie being told. A mere man of honor 
might have done the same, (so on your own principles 


of honor he acted nobly,) but none but a Christian 
could have shown so lowly a spirit, and so sweet a tem- 
per." " Well, I wish he would fight when necessary," 
said Pendarvis ; " I don't want him to be a boaster 
or a forward fighter, but merely to stand his ground, 
and show some spirit." " He thinks it wrong to do 
so," I replied ; " and though we may not imitate his 
conduct, we must feel some respect to his principles." 

Some days after, Pendarvis came to me, and 
said, " Well, Singleton ! I've changed my mind about 
Eden ; queer as he is, and mistaken as I still tliink 
him in some points, he is no coward. I was coming 
down the town to-day ,*liaving been all the morning 
in the Park, when, at the top of a narrow lane, I saw 
the end of a desperate fight between a gown-boy and 
a town-boy ; I could not think who the gown-boy was, 
his face being literally disguised with blood and 
bruises : the little fellow, however, was the conqueror, 
and as I ran down the lane, I saw, that utterly regard- 
less of himself, he had turned round to bestow his 
care and attention, on — what do you think ?— on the 
little boy at my dame's, and on my dog ; the latter 
was almost as disfigured with mud as his defender. 

" The story, I found out, was this : a common one 
enough, but 'uncommon as having such a meek fel- 
low for its hero as Eden. He found the little foot- 
boy at my dame's vainly pursuing a troop of town- 
boys that had tied an old saucepan to poor Rover's 
tail, and almost driven him mad. Eden met the 
whole party, and he knew the dog, and caught him 
up ; and Rover, though inclined to bite at first, soon 

A GOOD man's life. 71 

knew him. With some difficulty, he cut or untied 
(no matter which he did) the string at Rover's tail. 
He had scarcely done so, when some one from behind 
pushed him over as he stooped, and another made a 
dart to seize poor Rover. Eden, however, held the 
dog fast, and rising up, he threw his gown over the 
dog. ' Come,' he cried out, ' the dog can't help him- 
self, and it's a shame to touch him : let hun alone, 
there's good fellows !' He put his hand in his pocket, 
and threw down all the money he had. There was 
a scramble for the money, about two shillings ; but 
when the scramble was over several came up, saying, 
* Some money for us too, young gown, or we'll have 
the dog.' ' I've given all I have,' said Eden, but he 
searched his pocket again. Here one of the town- 
boys pushed those that were nearest Eden, and they 
came with some violence upon him, and Rover growl- 
ed and got his head from under the gown, and began 
to bark. ' It's no use going on this way any longer,' 
said Eden, and (as the little foot-boy described it) he 
stood as stout and as bold as a lion. * That dog shall 
not be touched, while I can stand up to defend him. 
I have done what I can by fair means ; if you want 
to strike, strike me.' Several sprang forw ard. ' No, 
no,' said Eden, calmly, * one at a time ; fair play, if 
you please !' and, * Very well ! fair play ! one at a 
time !' was the general cry. Eden gave Rover to 
the foot-boy ; he stood prepared for the attack, but de- 
termined not to give the first blow. However, the 
fight began, and the brave little fellow, as I told you 
before, was the conqueror. There was some more 



fighting when I came up, but G , (one of the 

masters,) passing at that time, peace was restored. 

G is a fine fellow, for though he set us both a 

long imposition as soon as he spoke to us, when he 
came to hear the rights of the story fix)m a woman that 
stood there, he changed his mind, and he has invited 
us both to bis house this evening." 

Notwithstanding the account of Eden's valor, I 
cannot say that I quite made up my mind to like his 
standing still to be beaten, but 1 have been relating a 
simple fact,* and now I am an old man, and have 
seen through the whole course of Eden's useful, hum- 
ble, holy life, from the time I became his schoolfellow 
until the day I followed his corpse to the grave, and I 
can bear my testimony to the consistent and manly 
character he bore among all who knew him. He was 
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. 
He had been the object of her prayers, and her anx- 
ious, watchful care, from his birth. It might- have 
been said of him as it was of the youthful Timothy — 
" The unfeigned faith that is in thee, dwelt first in thy 
mother Eunice," and " from a child thou hast known 
the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise 
unto salvation, through faith which is in Chrkt 

I must here insert a letter I received from my 
other godfather, Mr. Shirley, while at Eton, and I 
may £ts well put before it a former letter written to 

* The fact was related of the late Rev. A a G ^n when at 


A GOOD man's life, 73 

me not long before my mother's death. I have not 
yet spoken of Mr. Shirley, for I had not seen him since 
I was an unconscious infant. He had not forgotten, 
however, tq think of me and to pmy for me. 

My dear LlTTLfi FlUEND I 

I call you my friend, because I was the friend of 
your dear father and mother before you were bom, and 
because I have loved you from my heart ever since 
your birth. I must, however, tell you another reason 
why I look upon you as my beloved friend, a reason 
you are as well acquainted with. You are my god- 
son ; you have been the child of my prayers since I 
began to look upon myself as your godfather. I hope 
very often to write fo you, and to receive letters from 
you ; but I cannot better begin my conversations with 
you by letter, than by explaining to you what is 
meant by being a godson or goddaughter, and a god- 
father. I hope you will pay attention to what I am 
going to say, because I don't wish to write any thin^ 
dull. Still serious subjects are not play, and we 
ought to attend quietly and seriously 16 them without 
gloom ; , besides, our common sense will tell us that it 
is silly to talk of names (such, for instance, as god- 
father and godson), without knowing the meaning of 
those names. A child loves by nature to have his 
own will, yet that will is not God's will, btit inclined 
to what is bad ; that is, " we are by nature bom in 
sin." If this natural will be not changed and cor- 
rected it will make us very unhappy, and bring down 
upon qs the anger of God, therefore we are also call- 




ed by nature, " the children of wrath." This being 
the case, Gon wishes to make us good and happy 
and to save us from punishment, and He expects pa- 
rents to bring their Uttie children to Him to be bap- ' 
tized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holt Ghost. At this baptism. He en- 
ters into a covenant or sacred agreement with them, 
and promises to give them help in their hearts to con- 
quer their infill and stubborn will, and to be as dear 
children to Him. 

The Lord also requires the little child to enter 
into this covenant, and to promise to renounce or give 
up every kind of wickedness ; and to believe God's 
holy and beautiful book, the Bible, which is full of 
sweet instruction, and to keep God's holy will and 
commandments, and to live accordmg to the same all 
the days of his life. Now you must be convinced 
that no little baby can make all these promises, for a 
baby cannot speak or scarcely notice any thing. 
What is to be done then? for the child is to be 
brought to God, and made good and happy, and to 
be saved from punishment. The baby is brought — 
you were brought to God— offered up to Him by 
your father and your mother in God's sacred house, 
and your godfathers and godmothers (as you were a 
little helpless baby) took upon themselves to make 
these promises for you, not doubting, but when you 
were able to understand what they had done for you, 
you would seek to be no longer the child of sin and 
wrath, but thexjhild of God, a member of Christ, 
and an inheritor of the kingdom of Heaven, 

A €OOD man's life. 75 

However, I have written enough for one letter. 
I will tell you in my next what I mean by that last 
sentence, which you will find in the Church Cate- 
chism, particularly what I mean by the words, " a 
member of Christ." 

Don't rub your eyes, dear little Ernest, and say 
" Oh, how very serious my godfather is." No, no, 
you shall often find me very gay ; but this is a seri- 
ous letter ; it comes also fix)m a heart that loves you 
too well not to try to seek your real happiness ; be- 
sides the letter is over at last. May God bless His 
child, and my godchild. 

Your afiectionate godfather, 

William Shirley. 

The next letter and one or two others are not 
published, because the subject of them would be a 
needless repetition of what has been already given in 
the papers of Mr. Singleton. — Ed. 

Mr. Shirley was a clergyman. He had been 
tutor to my father, and to my uncle and other god- 
father. Colonel Nugent, when at college, and was 
married rather late in life to a cousin of my father's, 
not many years younger than himself. Mrs. Shirley 
was my godmother, and had been much respected 
and beloved by my mother, though after the Shirleys' 
marriage and removal to their parsonage in Suflfolk 
they had seldom met. 

The Christian instruction I received fit)m Colonel 
Nugent was chiefly in conversation, and fit>m books 


that be lent me to read : from Mr. and Mrs. Shirley 
I received many letters at different times. Here is 
another of them. 

Mt 0KAR Ernest : 

If a large estate had been left you. and cofl^rs fiill 
of gold and jewels ; and if your father^ who left them^ 
had been a nobleman of die highest rank, whose titles 
descended on his death to his son ; and if I had been 
left his executor^ and your guardian — ^what would 
you expect of me ? Should you diink me justified in 
keeping back fiom you the knowledge of your de- 
scent and calling, and reftising to employ so much of 
your property as the law might allow and deem suffi- 
cient for your education, in order that you might be 
enabled to move with crecfit in that sphere to which 
you belonged ? What would your feelings be, when 
on coming to years of discretion you began to reflect 
on my unwarranted conduct towards you, when you 
saw before you the splendid assemblage of riches and 
honors, your high inheritance, and felt yourself by 
education and habit totally unfit to take possession 
of them? 

But what are earthly titles, or riches, or any such 
extinction among men ? They are but for a time,' 
the short time of a human life ; they enter not the 
invisible and eternal world with the departing spirit ; 
they enter not the coffin with the stark corrupting 
corpse. There is a higher inheritance than that of 
any earthly kingdom for the toiling laborer, nay, even 

A «ooD man's life. 77 

for the wayside beggar, if they are the children of 
God. My, claim, therefcMre, upon you, my dear 
Ernest, is of so far higher importance than that of 
any guardian to an earthly great man, for your in^ 
heritance is described in God's holy Scriptures, as 
(me that is '^ incorruptible, and undefiled, and that 
fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."* 

The earthly father takes it lor granted that his 
child would wish to inherit his titles and his property. 
He has not a doubt an the subject, and it fcdlows as 
a thing of course that his child is brou^t up to enter 
upon the possession of the inheritance by the ap- 
pomted guardians of that child. "We never heard of 
a young nobleman who had become during his 
minority well-bred, ,well-educated, and highly ac- 
complished, tummg upon his guardian, and saying, 
'^ I did not need the care that you have taken of me, 
nor the education you have given me "«^nor does he 
refuse to receive all that he considers he has a just 
claim to on his fiither's account. 

I take it for granted, my Ernest, that if you pos- 
sess a just sense of the high importance of the great 
and glorious things that are m reserve for such as love 
Jesus Christ in sincerity, you will heartily thank 
me for using all means in my power to induce you to 
enjoy them. There is, alas ! this difference between 
the heir of an earthly and a heavenly inheritance : 
the former is naturally disposed to claim, to delight 
in, and to secure his inheritance ; the latter is naturally 

• IPeteri. 4. 


indisposed to claim, to delight in, and to secure his 
inheritance. The interest b the same in both cases, 
but the heir sees his interest in one case, and in the 
other case the heir is blind, careless, and insensible. 
Here it is that, finding our own want of will and 
power, we need the grace, or favor and help of Goi>, 
firom whom all holy desires, and all just works do 
proceed, to supply our need. Pray to Him, my 
Ernest, pray fiom your heart, pray in the name of 
the only living " Way " to the Father, and I do not 
fear your prayers will be answered by His blessing. 
Your affectionate friend and godfather, 

William Shirlkt. 

I have but a poor account to give of myself about 
the time I went up to the University. As I began 
to neglect walking near my God, religion began to 
lose its charms to me. I never openly forsook the 
faith I professed, but I began to know it rather by 
its restraints, and consequently the temptations of the 
world, of sight, and sense, began to be looked upon 
and listened to. When self also was more frequently 
studied, and the means of gratifying self without risk, 
the object of my highest love was in a manner de- 
throned from my heart. My inquiry too often was, 
'^ How far can I indulge m this or that selfish and 
earthly gratification without offending God, and dis- 
gracing the profession I make ?" instead of seeking 
with all my heart to know His pleasure, and find all 
true delight in Him ; and while I continued in this 

A GOOD man's life. 79 

state, some dark and fearful temptation to ungodliness 
of living and unbelief of heart would contmually arise 
within me. All this time did I give dp the show of 
religion ? — quite the contrary. I was at times shocked 
and displeased at the want of religion in others. Lisa 
I could not find fault with, but I used to lecture Char- 
ley, and became remarkably quicksighted to the faults of 
olliers, m proportion as I neglected to look into my own. 

The renewal of my baptismal engagement I did 
not neglect, but it became, alas ! little better than a 
mere form at that time with me. While at school, I 
was seldom able to read the words of the engagement 
with my brother and sister, according to my promise ; 
but I generally wrote to Lisa on the sulgect, and 
sometimes added a few lines to Charley. I knew 
also that my aunt Lucy, who was Lisa's godmother, 
was accustomed to observe the stated times of con- 
sidering and renewing their baptismal promises with 
them. Alas ! I well know by experience what a 
dangerous state we are in when we are well satisfied 
with ourselves, and have an observant eye for the im- 
perfections of others. 

Sometimes I received a letter firom Mr. Shirley, 
full of advice and holy instruction, or containmg a 
string of catechetical questions. I did not find much 
difficulty m writing to film on these questions, which 
were remarkably plain and simple. 

I was not, however, inclined to be benefited by the 
remonstrances and counsels of my revered and Chris- 
tian firiend ; and if I gave heed to him for a time, I soon 
turned again to my foolish ways. I have since thought 


that it might have been said of me at that time, ^ He 
that observes lying vanities forsaketh his own mercy.' 

The following is an extract from a letter I re^ 
ceived from him just before I attended at the sacred 
ordinance of Confirmation. I was not confirmed till 
I was eighteen years of age. 

" Consider very seriously in what you ar^ about 
to be confirmed, my dear &nest. 

" Are you making a lukewarm, formal, self-satis- 
fied profession ? and do you go to confirm yourself as 
in the presence of God, and the Church of Christ 
in such a profession ? Are you as on^ that hath put 
his hand to the plough, and turned back, apd 4o you 
go to confirm youn^lf 'm so wretched 4 service ? In 
short, do you wish tp be confiornjed in any vaiA, fool- 
ish, or sinfiil way ? Wqw is the ^w^ to think upon 
these things. 

" Do you, on th^ other hand, gp to confirm and 
strengthen a sincere, but feeble faith ; to confirm your 
own utter weakness, in the strength of Qop ? He 
assures us it is made perfect in our weakness. When 
we feel that weakness, when we feel assured that 
without Christ we can do nothing^ then we ' can do 
all things through Christ which itrengthenetfa ' us. 
If it be thus with you, go, and 'lift up th^ hands 
which hang down, and the feeble knees.' 

" The promises made for you, by your sponsors, 
you have been bound to observe ever since you have 
been enabled to know right firom wrong. It is not 
attending the rite of confirmation that fiist imposes 
them on yo^, nor are your sins in any way laid 

A GOOD man's life. 81 

upon your sponsors. There is a deep responsibility 
attached to their office ; but if their counsels are af- 
fectionately given to you, and their prayers heartily 
and constantly offered for you, they have perhaps 
done their part in a sincere, though imperfect way. 
Ck>nsider those promises, ^ Dost thou renounce the 
devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of 
this world, with all covetous desires of the same, and 
the carnal desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not fol- 
low, nor be led by them ? Dost thou steadfastly be- 
lieve all the articles of the Christian faith, and if thou 
dost believe, wilt thou then obediently keep God's 
holy will and commandments, and walk in the same 
all the days of thy life 7' The sponsor makes these 
promises, but only in the name q]f the child. They 
are really questions put to you. I'll tell you what I 
feel whenever I see these solemn questions : I feel I 
have no power to answer them satbfact(^y. Who 
is sufficient for these things ? I am sure I am not. 
I need the Holt Spirit to work in me both to will 
and to do, according to God's good pleasure. Have 
I received that Holt Spirit ? I know this, that if I 
have not I have never been enabled to keep those 
promises. Has baptism been to me the sign and seal 
of that power, that new, supernatural, spiritual power 
m the heart ? I trust it has ; for if I have in any 
way kept my engagements^! have done so by no' 
natural powers of my own. I would have you ask 
yourself these questions, and find out what reply you 
can make to them. If you put in any claim to the 
benefits and privileges of the covenant, you must be 


bound by the holy vows of the covenant. Are you 
a perjured person with respect to those vows ; the 
vows of a humble, holy, confiding faith ? You must 
answer to this." 

Agam, he says, " Give much holy meditation to 
these words, which you have no doubt often heard in 
the fine form of prayer that we offered for you, 
when you were brought a little wailing baby to be 
baptized : ' O merciful God, grant that the old Adam 
in this child may be so buried, that the new man may 
be raised up in him. Grant that all carnal affections 
may die in him, and that all things belonging to the 
Spirit may live and grow in him. Grant that he 
may have power and strength to have victory, and to 
triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh. 
Grant that whosoever is here dedicated to thee by our 
office and ministry, may also be endued with heavenly 
yirtues, and everlastingly rewarded, through thy mer- 
cy, O blessed Lord God, who dost live and govern 
ail things, world without end.' ^ Common-place ex- 
pressions !' you may say, if you are well acquainted 
with the Baptismal Service. * Inspiriting ! glorious 
expressions!' I call them. Examine yourself by 
them. Do they describe, do they apply to the life 
you have been leading ? * No,' you will answer, 
* they humble, they abash me.' 'Tis fit they should 
abash and confound every son of man. But do you 
aim, strive, pray, that the prayer may be accomplish- 
ed in you, if but in some faint degree ? May I not 
thank God that * to will is present with you?' " 

In another letter he says, " Confirmation is the 

▲ GOOD man's life. ' 83 

solemn ratification, by the understanding youth, of the 
vows and the professions made by the unconscious 
infant. If the Christian hopes that he is receiving 
any benefit fi'om the covenant of infant baptism, or, if 
you please, firom being dedicated to the Lord fix)m 
his earliest years, before his faculties were capable of 
knowing the privileges of that divine ordinance, it is 
indispensably to be required, that he should, so soon 
as he has come to years of discretion, declare,^before ^ 
his God and his fellow-men, that his infant profession 
has his full consent, his hearty approval ; and, indeed, 
that he does acknowledge it with gratitude. He 
comes forward, therefore, in public, to make his public 
profession (fiiUy understanding what he is about) of 
that engagement made by him when he was too young 
to comprehend it. He comes not to any new pro- 
fession, but to confirm the profession madQ before, in 
one sense, without his consent ; not because he would 
not, but only because he could not, by reason of his 
tender age, declare it then. You are about to pre- 
sent yourself before the Lord, making this glorious 
claim upon him, — * Lord, I am Thine 1 Thine, not be- 
cause I have sought Thee, not because I am worthy, 
but because Thou hast sought me, died for me, freely 
and graciously invited me by Thy Gospel, and called 
me to a state of salvation. Thme, because Thy 
vows are upon me ; because from my early childhood 
I have been dedicated to Thee, and though already a 
deserter from thy service, already a prodigal, a traitor 
and abuser of Thy gifts, I would return with the help of 
Thy Spirit, and renew the vows 1 have so little heeded. 

84 TBS Hecords or 

" < I am Thinel can I dare to say so much ? Ah 
LoBD ! I speak it with trembling ; when I look to 
myself, with trembling, laint, feeble, dismayed — when 
I look to thee, with boldness ; for He b faithfiil that 
hath promised. It b His gracious privilege to pardon 
abundantly, to save to the uttermost. Not in fear, 
but in fiiith, will I approach thee«' " 

I had been advised by my kind friend and coun- 
sellor, Mr. Lovel, to keep one object m view during 
the whole of my residence at the university, namely, 
that I went there to prepare myself, with God's grace, 
for the humble office of a country clergyman. ^^ I 
would have you,'' he said to me, '^ pay all due atten-^ 
tion to the studies of the place, and endeavor to pass 
through the examinations there with credit ; and, 
were you to aim at becoming a Tutor, or merely a 
Fellow of any college, it might be desirable for you to 
seek the highest honors of the place, for Tutors and 
Fellows are generally required to direct the studies 
and discipline of the university. But your future 
sphere of action is to be perhaps in some quiet un- 
known country parish, among busy, hard-^working, 
worldly men — you are, as God's minister, to show 
unto them the corruption of their hearts, the smiulness 
of their lives, the value of their immortal souls — the 
deep and awful responsibility of all men, more espe-* 
cially of professed Christians — ^the fearful condemna-> 
tion hangbg over them ; and above all, the free grace 
and tender mercy of the eternal Godhead in the Gos- 

▲ GOOD man's life. 65 

pel — a Father waiting to be gracious, a Saviour and 
Mediator dymg on the earth for the ungodly, and 
ever living in Heaven to make intercession ; and a 
sanctifier and comforter in the Holy Spirit, the great 
gift to man in the New Covenant of grace. In short, 
you are to preach * a full Gospel to empty sinners,' 
you are to preach, ' as a dying man to dying men.* 
—Alas," he continued, " when we think of this, 
must we not regret, with a celebrated writer,* * that so 
many men become preachers before they are Chris- 
tians, who are sanctified by dedication to the altar as 
the priests of God, before they are sanctified by hearty 
dedication as the disciples of Christ ; and so they 
worship an unknown God, and preach an unknown 
Christ, and pray through an unknown Spirit, and 
recommend a state of holiness and communion with 
God, and a glory and happiness that are all unknown^ 
He is like to be but a heartless preacher, that hath 
not the Christ and grace that he preacheth in his 
heartj;' and he continues, ' O that our students in our 
universities would well consider this ! What a poor 
business it is to themselves to spend their time in 
acquiring some little knowledge of the works of God, 
and of some of those names which the divided tongues 
of the nations have imposed on them, and not to know 
God himself, nor to be acquainted with that one re- 
newing work that should make them happy ! They 
do but walk in a vain show, and spend their lives like 
dreaming men, while they busy their wits and tongues 

* See • Baxter*!* Reformed Pastor.' 

88 THB rkcords of 

about abundance of names and notions, and are stran- 
gers to God and the life of saints.' " 

Alas ! it grieves me to consider how much ad- 
vice I received during my youth, given in the very 
spirit of holy wisdom and holy love, and to look back 
and observe how little has been like good seed in an 
honest heart. I see but the gleanings of the vintage. 

I received a lesson which I could never, never 
forget, firom attending, while at college, the close of 
the life of one of the finest scholars there. How I 
bless God that he has enabled me sometimes to profit 
by such lessons, and not suffered me to harden my 
heart against them ; for I have often seen that, if a 
warning is neglected or unimproved, the next and the 
next that come find the heart less and less disposed to 
profit by them. When the gracious rain falls upon a 
rock but thinly covered over with earth, the effect of 
every successive shower is, not to fertilize, but to 
harden ; for every shower that falls with a blessed in- 
fluence upon a soft and genial soil, is only received to 
wash away the thin surface of mould, till at last that 
slight surface is quite gone and the rain falls upon the 
bare hard rock ? or, according to the apostle's awfiiUy 
striking remark, " The earth which drinketh in the 
rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs 
meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth bless- 
ing from God ; but that which beareth thorns and 
briers (after the same sweet showers of rain) is reject- 
ed, and is nigh unto cursing ; whose end is to be 

Sutherland was in point of intellect one of the 

A GOOD man's life. 87 

most superior bemgs I have ever met with. His whole 
career at college was one of splendid success. He had 
given himself with the ardor of youthful genius to the 
studies of the place, and with eager delight his mind 
seemed to banquet on the accumulated stores of ages. 
With all the quiet unwearied devotion of a real enthu- 
siast, he said little, but scarcely ever turned away 
from his beloved pursuit. 

Now and then, for an hour or two, yet very sel- 
dom, he would leave his books and come among the 
few he distinguished with his friendship, with the fresh 
simple manners of a child. Sutherland was indeed 
a rare instance of genius and application united. 
Young as he was in years, he had discovered that 
nothmg is to be done to any good purpose without 
trouble and exertion. He seemed to remember at all 
times the saying of Newton, " that he owed almost 
every thing to quiet, patient thought, antl unwearied 

The second year of my residence at Cambridge I 
staid in college during the Christmas vacation. Suth- 
erland was also in college preparatory to the examin- 
ation for degrees, which takes place at the latter end 
of that vacation. Our rooms were on the same stair- 
case, and we met every evening as the clock struck 
nine, generally in my rooms, to drink tea together : 
sometimes he would linger a little while after the 
time that he allowed himself, but generally at half- 
past ten he started up and returned to his books. I 
must own that at first I made u|^ of every mnocent 
stratagem to cheat him of a longer time, not merely 



for the sake of hb delightful conversation, but because 
I saw, with deep concern, that his health was secretly- 
giving way beneath his severe and constant studies. 
I often left a volume of poetry open upon the table, 
for I knew that he would seize upon it ; or I pro- 
duced a portfolio of engravings, or I turned at times to 
any subject that I thought likely to interest him. 
Once I even put back the hands of the little clock 
that stood on my book-case. However, I soon gave 
up endeavoring to detain him beyond his allotted time, 
for I dbcovered that he was regularly accustomed to 
pay back the portion of time I had caused him to 
lose, by taking it out of the few hours he gave to 

There are always several private examinations at 
Trinity College, before the under-graduates go into 
the Senate House to be examined for their degrees. 
At one of these, Sutherland fell from his seat in a kind 
of fainting-fit, and was carried senseless to his rooms. 
I was crossing Neville's Court as they bore him along, 
and went with them to his rooms. I determined at 
once to remain with him as his nurse, and was not a 
little gratified when I saw the smile with which he 
looked on me when he unclosed his eyes. Some 
medical men of eminence had been summoned. 
They held a consultation on his case, and it was at 
once agreed that he must give up all idea of entering 
the Senate House, or undergoing any examination 

" I suppose," he said, smiling, " I should at once 
forfeit all claim to good sense were I to dispute your ' 


orders ; and I will therefore submit with as good a 
grace as^possible, if I must submit. Only just till the 
Senate House week is over," he continued, implor- 
ingly turning to Dr. P , who was looking down 

on hira with a countenance fall of compassion ; " will 
you not give me leave till then ?" " Not a day, not an 
hour longer,'' said the old physician. << I tell you what, 
my dear fellow, I dare not give you leave, unless you 
would have me huny you to your grave." " Well, 
then, I will say no more about it," he replied, " and I 
wilt try to forget mathematics altogether for the pres- 
ent. I have had no rest fix)m them all night long for 
many nights. Instead of sinking to sleep I have gen- 
erally found myself wide awake, and deep in the 
mazes of some problem or other." " You must not 

talk now," said Dr. P ; "but to get rid of the 

haunting presence of which you complain we shall 
send you a composing draught for to-night. You are 
Mr. Sutherland's friend, sir," he said with alow voice, 
turning to me ; " will you see that he has a nurse to 
sit up with him to-night ?" I sat up with Sutherland 
myself, and he did not wake during the whole night ; 
his sleep, however, was heavy and troubled, and he 
awoke but little refreshed. He continued in a doubt- 
ful ystate of health far many days, and his case seemed 
to perplex the doctors. 

At last, when I followed Dr. P out, after 

(me of his visits, he said to me, " I am afraid, Mr. 
Smgleton, that your friend is in a very dangerous 
state. Yoii see his amendment makes no progress, 
and all the while he is losing strength. I suspect 


that the disorder is gaining secretly upon us, and 
whatever it may be, will come on speedily in a short 
time, and then he will sink under it. I frankly con- 
fess to you that we are much perplexed, for his symp- 
toms are at times most contradictory. The only 
conclusion we have come to is, that the disease is 
some internal derangement of the vital organs, brought 
on by confinement and very sedentary habits. Still 
this is, after all, but a mere supposition. I would 
have you write to some of his relations, for really, sir, 
we may have but little time to spare." 

"What can make you look so grave, my dear 
Singleton ?" said Sutherland. " I have been watch- 
ing your countenance for the last five minutes. You 
have heard some bad news, I fear." 

Sutherland was lying on the sofa, and I thought 
had been asleep when I returned to the room, his 
eyes being then closed. " Has any thing happened 
to you ?" he continued. I was still silent. " No, in- 
deed, nothing," I replied, scarcely knowing what I 
said, for I was very wretched. " Ah, it is about me 
that you look so mberable, is it not. Singleton ? And 

now I remember, you went out with Dr. P , 

Come, my kind fiiend, (and he held out his hand to 
me,) what is the matter ? tell me what he said of me 
— or shall I tell you what he said ? I can guess per- 
haps ; indeed, I am even a better judge than himself 
in this case, for, to tell you the truth, the agonies that 
I suffer at times are indescribable. He thinks I may 
recover, but that in all human probability I shall die. 
Now I hope I may recover, I long to live, but though 

A GOOD man's life. Ol 

I cannot give myself up, I feel convinced, in the judg- 
ment of my sober sense, I shall not live many 

I felt consoled as he went on speaking in so calm 
and resigned a manner, but his words pierced to my 
heart as he looked me in the face and said, m a voice 
of deep melancholy, " Singleton, I am not prepared 
to die. It is not the death of this body of mine I am 
thinking about. I am not frightened about any thing 
that can happen to it ; nothing can be much worse 
than the pain I suffer in it. But I have been wasting 
youth, strength, and time, for what ? for that which 
appears to me now only too like the fruit of the tree 
of knowledge— as wretchedly unsatisfying. God 
grant it may not prove as fatal, as deadly to me — or 
I should say, God grant in His infinite mercy, for the 
sake of One whose amazing love, whose inestimable 
sacrifice I have never valued till now, God grant that 
I may have time." 

I was deligl^ted to hear Sutherland speak in this 
manner, for only the day before a kind-hearted man, 
but one of mere worldly views, had been talking to 
him in a very difierent strain. I was still more de- 
lighted when he added, " I think I can depend on 
you. Singleton, to help me to make the best use of 
the time that is left. You will not speak to me as 

Mr. D did yesterday. I do not want to be 

complimented on the proper use I have made of time, 
for I have not been wise for eternity." 

There had not been a doubt that Sutherland 
would have been Senior Wrangler had his health per- 


mined him to undergo the examinadon; and Mr. 

D 9 who was one of the moderators^ had called 

upon him to say so, thinking that praise and commen- 
dation would cheer him on his Sick bed. 

*^ Perhaps I had better not talk any more at pres- 
ent/' he said soon after, ^^ but you will read to me." 
I rose up at once, and went to the book-case. What 
book ? I asked, turning towards him. " The Bible/* 
he replied at once, '^ no other book. I've had enough 
of other books. I never knew the worth of that bless- 
ed volume till now." I read to him at his desire, 

and was reading when Mr. N entered the room : 

he was a fellow of our college, and a man well in- 
structed in Scripture. He was a very holy person, 
and full of love to the souls of men. He had heard 
of Sutherland's illness. Though slightly acquainted 
with him he came to his sick-room. ^' I am very ill, 
sir," said Sutherland, "and deplorably ignorant." 
As he spoke, the crimson color mounted even to his 
forehead. " Will you speak to me, my dear sir, as 
you would speak to an ignorant child and to an un- 
happy sinner. Deal faithfiilly with me, probe deeply. 
You shall see how gratefully and how anxiously I 
will receive your instructions." The healthful spirit 
of God's grace and the continual dew of His blessing 
seemed to go along with every word he uttered, and 
in a short time the progress of my friend in the know- 
ledge and love of Ae divine life was astonishing. 

One Saturday, when I had quitted his rooms for a 
few minutes, I found Sutherland on my return, not 
■ where I had left him, lying as usual on the sofa, but 


standing against one of the muUioned windows, and 
gazing upon the troops of students in their white sur- 
plices, who were flocking across the court in their 
way to the chapel. To my astonishment, Sutherland 
was also in his surplice, but before I could speak, he 
said, with a quiet smile, " Now, I dare say you have 
a host of objections to urge ; but mdulge me, and let 
me go to chapel to-night. I know I am very ill, apd 
I know you might say I am not strong enough to go, 
but I have set my heart on gomg : the night is mild 
and pleasant, and I feel I shall be all the better for 
going. How often have I hurried thither half unwill- 
ingly as a task ; but since I have been confined to 
these rooms- and unable to go, I have learned to feel 
that I have been all the while slighting a high privi- 
lege. It is, perhaps, the last time," he continued, 
**and I wish once more to be with my fellow-students, 
and to pray for them and for myself in the house of 
prayer, and in the house of God." " Listen," he 
said; and he threw open the casement: "what a 
grand, solemn swell fix>m that magnificent organ. 
Come, Smgleton ; we shall be too late if we do not 
go immediately." He took my arm, and I did not 
oppose his wishes. Once or twice, during divine 
service, when I looked round at him, I saw the large 
tears stealing down his face. He was unable to kneel, 
but his thin hands were clasped together. Even in 
every pause of the service, he seemed intently occu- 
pied in prayer. 

We lingered in the antechapel till the crowd was 


gone, and while the chapel-clerk was putting out the 
tapers in the chapel, Sutherland went and sat at a. 
little distance firom the splendid statue of Sir Isaac 
Newton. The ghost-like whiteness of the statue 
stood out clear and distinct in the moonlight, and the 
same soft light fell partially on the upraised counte- 
nance of Sutherland, and the loose and flowing folds of 
his surplice. His shining eyes were turned towards the 
statue, and he seemed in deep thought. " I have been 
thinking," he said, " that this (pointing to the statue) 
" has been rather the god of my devotion, or I may say 
of my idolatry, since my coming hither, than the eter- 
nal Being to whom this house of prayer is consecrated." 
Then, after a pause, he continued ; " The spirit that 
possessed me lately would have made me lament, when 
takmg my last look of this glorious statue, that sickness 
was carrying me to an untimely grave, and that I should 
die unknown and unnoticed, and be soon forgotten ; 
but God has been very mercifiil, and given me a 
better spirit, a spirit of content — ^may I not hope, that 
sweet spirit of adoption of which you say the old 
fathers of the Church of England often speak. I have 
no such desponding feelings now. I lament no long- 
er that I am forbidden to be distinguished, m this 
world. There was not in me the humble mind of 
the good and great man whose statue is before us. 
Do not think, dear Singleton, that I would depreci- 
ate the mighty efforts of genius, that I underrate the 
wisdom of man ; but I had long forgotten the foun- 
tain of all true wisdom. I had been satisfied with 

A GOOD uan'h lifs. 95 

the streams. Now, my friend, I thirst for that foun- 
tain, the spring-head not only of wisdom^ but of hap- 
pmess and life." 

" My friend," he said that night, drawing aside 
the curtain of his bed, an4 looking me in the face, 
" I see clearly how the vilest sinner may be forgiv- 
en !" I had been reading aloud to him the fifth of 
Romans, that chapter in the glorious Epistle where 
the remarkable assurance recurs so forcibly, ' when 
we were yet without strength, in due time Christ 
died for the ungodly.' Again, *God commendeth 
his love towards us, in that while we were yet sin- 
ners Christ died for us ;' and yet again, * If when 
we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the 
death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we 
shall be saved by his life.' 

" He will not surely turn from any one who is wil- 
ling," said Sutherland ; " our utter destitution with- 
out Christ, is a moving claim : 1l)ut am I willing ? 
If I might trust to my feelings I should say, * As the 
hart panteth for the water-brooks, so longeth my 
soul after God— my soul is athirst for God ;' but is 
this feeling of willingness to be depended on ?" he 
added, for he was ever ready to question his own 
heart, and to go deep into himself. 

I only answered, ^^I think God has given you 
the willingness in the day of his power." " Still," 
he added, with the simple look and manner of a 
child, "I will not cease to pray that I may not build 


on any false confidence, that the word of 6oi>, and 
not any frames and feelings of my own, may be my 
support." " And remember this, dear Sutheriand," I 
continued, " that although we are expressly told — r 
< No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the 
Holt Ghost,' and that ^no man can come unto 
Christ except the Father draw him,' yet the power 
and sovereignty of God to save sinners never inter- 
feres with His willingness. * What man is there 
among you,' are the gracious words of Jesus himself, 
' whom, if las son ask bread, will he give him a stone ? 
and if men, being evil, know how to give good gifts 
unto their children, how much more will my Heav- 
enly Father give his Holy Spirit unto them that ask 

The mother of Sutherland and his only brother 
arrived at Cambridge about a week before be depart- 
ed. They had a long journey to make to the west- 
em highlands of Scotland, and the heavy snow of that 
winter, 17**, detained them several days on the road. 
I was with them all at the last. " Walter," he said, 
turning to his brother, who was a lad of fifteen at the 
time, ** you are very fond of books ; almost as fond as I 
have been ; but my dear Walter, don't follow my exam- 
ple in opening all other books but the Bible. I put it 
off for a long while ; and it is only through the amazing 
love of Him who so loved the world that He gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him 
should not perish but have everlasting life — ^it is only 
on that account I am now able to rejoice. Take 
that Bible, my Walter, as my last gift ; make it your 

A <}eoD man's li^. 97 

chief study, nay, < Let the word of Ci^MsiiuiaBttfiHdi 
you richly in all wisdom.' — Mother, dear, dear mo- 
ther,^' he said, '< may I rest my head on your bosom, 
and there fall asdeep— not to sleep either,'' he added 
with a iaint smile, *^ but to wake up in light and life. 
I entreat you," he said, fixing his dim eyes on her 
face, ^' not to mourn over me as dead, but as gone 
a little before yourself to join our dear father. You 
both took such care to teach me when a child, and 
the seed has sprung up within the last week or two." 
He diut his eyes, and r^nained irilent a short time. 
Then again he spoke, " * Peace I leave with you ; 
my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth 
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, 
neither let it be afraid!' My own mother, I feel 
the truth of this. The divine C<»nforter is with me 
now. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ — " he 
paused, and seemed to answer to himself — ^^ Yes ! — 
the love of God— -God my Heavenly Father ? — Yes ! 
The fellowship of the Holt Spirit ? — Yes ! God 
also will comfort you, my mother, my brother, my 
friend ;" and he put out his hand to me— ^'my kind 
and faithful friend ! Mother," and he gently turned 
his head as a child when going to sleep, *' he fulfils 
to me that promise—^ As one whom his mother com- 
fortetfa, so will I comfort you.' " He did not speak 

The departure of Sutherland to the unseen wwld 

had, as I have said, some effect on me. I should 

have been strangely insensible had it not. It spoke 

to my feelings, to my senses, to my imagination. I 



^as deeply impressed for a time. Still I do not 
know that the Spirit of God spoke to me in that 
event, more than m the ordinary mercies and warn- 
ings of my life. I often see that the case of Elijah 
is illustrated in God's dealings with the professors of 
His religion. God is not in the whirlwind, nor in the 
flame of fire, ncnr in the earthquake. He comes in 
the still small voice. I do not date the change that 
took place in my views, and, I trust, in myself, to 
the time I sat by the bed-side of my dying fiiend, or 
stood over Ins open grave at the foot of that statue 
where he had spoken to me of the vanity of earthly 
wisdom* I was becoming as cold and callous as 
ever, with the same outward reverence for the faith I 
profei^ed, when one evening, at a late hour, I knelt 
down to my evening prayers in d small inner cham- 
ber which I used as a study, beyond my sitting-room. 
All the doors around me were closed, and a profound 
stillness prevailed on every side. Nothing unusual 
had occurred for several weeks. I was, as I had 
been for a length of time before, rather careless and 
unconcerned when kneeling down ; still I was kneel- 
ing, with my Bible open before me, and I was seek- 
mg with words and thoughts, though not with the 
desire of a broken and a contrite heart, to be heard. 
After a little while, my thoughts took a different di- 
rection from my words. I was not praying with a 
written form, but according to an arranged form, 
which I had gradually made a dead form. I soon 
discovered that my heart was occupied with a mere 
worldly subject, and, vexed and displeased with my- 

A GOOD man's life. 09 

6elf> I endeavored to address myself in truth to the 
Lord. This had often happened to me before, but I 
had so often gone back to my usual state of self-ap- 
proval. This evenbg I could not. I burst into 
tears : a deep sense of the forbearance and love of 
Him whom I had so often slighted, rushed over my 
whole soul. I felt hopelessly wretched, and without 
comfort, yet in a more softened state. I did not rise 
from my knees; but I found neither thoughts nor 
words for prayer ; I could only lay my head on my 
clasped hands and weep. Gradually, one event after 
another, in the whole course of what seemed to me a 
long life, rose up tO my recollection and considera- 
tion. I was again with my father and my mother, 
lookbg up in their faces, listenmg to their words. I 
remembered, particularly, one evening when I had 
been spoken to seriously by my dear mother, after 
behaving very ill : I had made many promises and 
professions that same morning. ^^ This is the fiiiit," 
she said, " of your ready promises, of your boastftil 
resolutions this mommg. I warned you, Ernest, but 
I saw that you thought yourself very wise and very- 
safe. You seemed to thmk that you had only to declare 
your intention of amendment, and that your amendment 
would follow of course. You have yet to learn, that of 
yourself you can do nothing. How often have you 
heard this fix)m your father and from myself: and now 
again you come to me with promises ! You tell me 
so solemnly that you will become good. Indeed, my 
child, I have no power to make you good : I can punish 
you forbad conduct, but God alone can make you good." 



As it had been with the child, so it had become 
with the man. I had acted in the spirit that mj 
mother condemned, ever since, without exactly know- 
mg that I did so. I had indeed yet to learn, that of 
myself I could do nothing 1 I had sometimes thought^ 
that because I had made some advance in the know- 
ledge of spiritual things, I was become spiritually- 
minded, and should remain so, resting safe in the 
progress I had made. Alas ! as well might to-day 
depend upon the light of yesterday, and say to the 
sun, * I shall not need thy fresh beams every morning.*. 
I had unconsciously trusted to the often repeated re- 
newal of my baptismal engagement. In short, in 
many ways I had been resting out of Christ, who 
tells His disciples so plainly, John xv. — ^'Without 
me, or, apart fix)m me, ye can do nothmg.' 

I felt now suddenly driven out of all my strong- 
holds, or I should say, those strongholds seemed all 
to fall in ruins around me^ and t6 leave me defence- 
less and unsheltered. In short, I felt more helpless 
and more wretched than when I was first left a weep- 
ing orphan in my childhood. The more I thought, 
the more utterly wretched I became : but, blessed be 
God ! I did not endeavor to escape from thought ; I 
did not rise from my knees; and after some little 
time I drew my open Bible near to me. " I won- 
der what passage will meet my eyes ?'* I said to my- 
self, for I had opened the Bible carelessly ; when I 
knelt down I had not turned to any particular part 
of the holy volume. However, I checked myself, 
saying, " This is making God*s book a mere book of 

A GOOD man's UFE. 101 

fate/' I turned at once to a very searching and con- 
victing page, to the Parable of the Taints ; and 
considered it deeply ; and theu I hastened with fear- 
fill eagerness to that of the Prodigal Son« Ajs I 
knelt, passage after passage of Scripture came be- 
fore me : well known they were in one sense, for I 
had been instructed in the letter of the Bible» I 
thought of the son who received his father's com- 
mand to work in 'his vineyard^ and who answered so 
readily, makbg the show and profession of obedience, 
* I go, sir,' but went not — and fdt how infinitely pre- 
ferable was the conduct of the other son, who refiised 
at first to obey his father, but afii^n^ards repented^ 
and went. " Have I not been early called ?" I said 
to myself: ^^but, O Lord! mightest not thou say to 
me, ^ If then I be a father, where is my honor? and if 
I be a master, where is my fear ?' " 

I felt that I had begun to build a tower, without 
counting the cost, without being aware that in myself 
I had no resources to finish the edifice, and that it 
was likely to turn out a Babel to me, a building of 
confusion — ^I felt that I was going to war against a 
powerful enemy, but that I was gobg forth as (me 
against an army ; and yet there was a supernatural 
power ofifered to me, whereby one might chase a 
thousand and cast down Satan and his armies ; and 
there was the whole armor of God to ffxd on over ray 
exposed and defenceless person — the sword of the 
Spirit for my right hand, the shield of faith 6x my 
left — and, notwithstanding, I had been presumptu- 
ously trustmg to an arm of flesh, ta that wtnch had 


never yet been known to prevail against the adversa^ 
ries of man. The weapons of our warfare njust not 
be carnal, simply because our adversary is the prince 
of the powers of darkness, the chief of all spiritual 
wickedness. It b altogether absurd for man to meet 
him and his hosts in any strength buj that of the Lokd 
of all power and might, before whom Satan has no 
power but that which he is permitted to have, and 
which is only for a season. I may date the com- 
mencement of a Kfe of holy liberty, fix)m that night of 
deep and solemn consideration, that night of heart- 
broken grief and agony of spirit. Without any super- 
stition or enthusiasm, but in my sober judgment, I 
look upon that night as the time when God began to 
take me in hand. I must attribute all to Him. I do 
not mean to make myself out a saint fix>m that night 
— ^far from it : I never felt so deeply impressed with 
the fact that I was a smner. I do not say I became 
all at once better — but my aim was at once higher — 
my natural independence at once more cut down and 
rooted out — a new dependence upon supernatural 
help deeply implanted. , The end and object of my 
future life seemed suddenly simplified. I felt in one 
sense like the rumed man, who, sitting down upon a 
hill from whence he could behold, on every side, the 
rich and fertile fields that had once been the portion 
of his forefathers and of himself, at once, but most de- 
liberately, resolved that he would have but one ob- 
ject in view for the rest of his life — ^that he would 
never rest till he had regained the whole of those im- 
mense possessions ; and who, accordingly, fix>m that 

A QOOD man's life. 103 

moment, left no means tmtried, stopped at notbmg, 
till he had actually regained to himself the whole. 
The man was a bad maU) but his singleness of object, 
his unwearied perseverance is a fine rebuke to the 
children of light. 

Thus it was that I was enabled to awake out of 
sleep, and indeed it was high time for me to do so. 
As I say this, I cannot help remembering Leighton's 
glorious address, — "Arise betimes, and being risen, 
put on your beautifiil garments. Draw towards you, 
with the hand of faith, the rich mantle of Christ's 
righteousness. It is time to wake, ssjs the apostle ; 
and presently after, 'Put ye on the Lobb Jesus 
Christ.' And it is a wonder how a smner can rest 
while he is out of this garment ; for there is none 
other in heaven or in earth can make him shine to 
God, and so shelter him fix)m the stroke of justice. 
Put him on, then, and so shme ; being thus clothed, 
thou shalt shine in justification, and likewise in sanc- 
tity." — " In this state," I said, " let me put my hand 
to the plough ;" and I rose the next morning with a 
sense of liberty and cheerfulness, such as I had never 
experienced before ; my dull duties seemed suddenly 
steeped in light, and turned to privileges. I took out 
the Uttle form of dedication to God which my father 
had written for me, and in which I had been so long 
accustomed to renew the solemn and holy engage- 
ments of my baptism ; and I prayed most earnestly, 
that those things which should have been for my 
peace and safety, might be made no longer an occa- 
sion of my fallinjg. " Baptism should indeed be," as 


Archbishop Usher has well said, ^ of ccmdnnal use 
through a Christian's whcde life : it is administered but 
once, but is always lastmg m the Tirtoe and ^cacy 
of it. Baptism loseth not its strength by time. Li 
all thy fears and doubts," he c(mtinuea, *^ look back 
to thy baptism, and the promiseB of God sealed up 
unto thee there ; lay hold on diem by fitith, and thou 
shalt have the actual ccmfast of dvy baptism, and feel 
the elSect of it, though thou nerw saw it. la thy 
failings, slips, and revolts, to recover Myself, have ie* 
codrse to thy baptism. The oorrenant and seal of 
Gob stands finn. He changeth not; oidy renew thy 
repmtanee, renew thy iaith in those blessed premisee 
of grac^ which weie sealed up uato ihee in thy bap* 

I have said bm little of my &tber^s brothmr^ Lerd 
Eresby* I had seen but Ut^ of him^ w of my aunt ; 
stiU less of my cousins, till the year beibre I went up 
to college. I was at that time invited to pass some 
weeks at Fonlaaaore, my unele^s seal in W*-«— . I 
went ; but during the whqle of my stay the bouse 
was full of company, and they were aU engaged about 
the election of ray eldest couson, Lord Harold, for 
the county. I was very ^d to get away 6om the 
company and the bustle and to pass my time in the 
library, a long old gallery, where every window down 
the whole length of the room was in a recess, and 
each recess furnished like a little chamber, with a 
table and reading desk, and high-backed chairs. 

A GOOD man's UFE. 105 

There, more than once have I heard my name called 
at the end of the library, and not wishmg to answer 
the call} have remained undiscovered in one of those 
receding window-chambers, intently occupied with 
some delightful volume, I remember being found 
there not long after my arrival at Fontmore, reading 
at the top of the library-steps, exactly opposite the 
lofty shelf from which I had taken the book that in- 
terested me so deeply. I did not see my uncle and a 
party of gentlemen, till they were standing just below , 
me. << And pray what book has such a charm about 
it,'' said a venerable looking man, who had been con- 
versing with Lord Eresby, <^ that you could not wait 
till you came down the steps to read it ?" " The 
Memoirs of Monsieur de St* Cyran," I replied, com- 
ing down the steps, and presenting the book to the 
stranger. "Ah! very good! very good!" he re- 
plied, turning to my uncle, scarcely looking at the 
volume ; " one of the worthies of Port Royal, and 
the intimate friend and associate of Jansenius ; have 
you more of those edifying memoirs ?" <^ I dare say 
Ernest can tell you better than I, my lord," replied 
my uncle ; and he introduced me at the same time 

to the Bishop of N . " The eldest son of my 

poor brother Charles," he said ; " you remember my 
brother ?— quite an orphan !" " And what, my 
lord," said the bishop, " is to be your nephew's pro- 
fession?" "Oh! I suppose the Church," replied 
my uncle ; " at least Ernest tells me so, and I see no 
objection." During my stay at Fontmore the subject 
was often mentioned ; indeed, before my departure 


my uncle spoke to me in private, and told me that he 
highly approved my predilection for the sacred pro- 
fession ; and said that he should make all the interest 
he could to obtain a living for me from the Lord 
Chancellor. "We were at Westminster together," 

he added ; " and so indeed were the Bishop of N 

and myself. The family, living will of course go to 
your cousin StralSbrd." 

I thanked my uncle, but I could not help adding, 
" I am sure I don't want a livbg. I ought not to 
go into the Church for the sake of advancing myself 
in this world." " I am sure you do not know what 
you are talking about," he replied. 

During the period of my college life, I sometimes 
passed a few weeks with the Eresbys. I cannot say 
that I ever came away the better for my visits. I 
saw nothing grossly bad ; on the contrary, the whole 
family were amiable, kind-heaited, liberal, and in the 
worldly sense of the words, perfectly moral and virtu- 
ous ; but had I never heard of religion, I certainly 
should not have made the discovery that such a thing 
existed there. I have the less scruple in saying this, 
since the family at Fontmore have now been for 
many years distinguished for th'feir unaffected piety. 
Nothing can, perhaps, better justify the condemnation 
of what they then were, than the contrast exhibited 
in what they now are. 

My aunt was a remarkably lovely person, ^ery 

A GOOD man's life. 107 

gentle and fascmating in her manners, but at the 
same tune exceedingly proud. She was not haughty, 
nor overbearing, nor unbending ; but, on the contrary, 
ready to notice every body, and with a voice and look of 
peculiar courteousness ; but if one whom the world 
might have called an inferior presumed the least upon 
this condescension, then there were looks and words too 
palpable to be misunderstood, to throw the presuming 
individual into the frigid zone of society, and to show 
the immeasurable distance which in reality, in her 
reality I should say, existed between them. Oh the 
folly of pride ! the littleness of mind ! the most absurd 
silliness of pride of rank ! how commonly is it con- 
demned in words, yet in how few families will you 
find the pitiful monster entirely banished ! It is aw- 
fully sinfiil in persons who profess to separate them- 
selves firom the sins and follies of mankind — ^yet what 
is more conmion ? I know they give it other names : 
He, who " resisteth the proud, and giveth grace unto 
the humble," is not to be mocked by the apology of 
a name. How often, in her later years, have I heard 
Lady Eresby confess and lament that pride of hers ! 
I have seldom seen a more lovely character than she 
became when her pride had been converted into low- 
liness of spirit, and all that was before fair and gentle, 
had been made far more fair and gentle, by the spirit 
of Him who had no proud looks, who was altogether 
lovely. Alas ! if we have not the spirit of Christ, 
we are none of his. We shall be found not only 
without a legal right, but without a personal fitness 
for the kbgdom which the poor in spirit and the pure 


m heart inherit, m right of the meekest Son of man, 
the gh)rious and coyenant Head of HSa monben. 

The time for faking my degree drew nbar. I 
bad been all the we^ half stapled by poring oyer 
mathematical books, and I hailed with delight a clear - 
Sabbath morning, a» I crossed the great court of my 
college fhxn chapd. *< This shall be a day of rest," 
I said to myself; ^^all books but one shall be forgot- 
ten. Not many years hence, if it please God to 
spare me so long, at this hour, on this day, I shall be 
in the quiet study of a parsonage4iottse— of my par- 
sonage house !" 

When I entered my rooms, and was* sitting down 
to Inreakfast, I saw a letter lying on the table. My 
uncle's coronet and arms were on the seal. Alas ! I 
found it yery difficult, after reading his letter, to keep 
that day as a season of holy rest. He meant kindly 
toward me, but he set a sharp trial before me. 

Mt deab Erkest : 

I'm hurried to day, but I write by this pest my 
good news, that you may haye as much time as pos*- 
sible befi»re you. Tou need feel no more anxiety 
about the Church, fcnr eyery thing is settled in a much 
better way for you. Lord Vallerton takes you as his 
priyate secretary to Berlin, and he sets off in a fort- 
night, so you see there is no time to be lost. He 
had a great regard for your poor father, and has giyen 
you the preference to the Duke of D 's nephew, 

I y 

A GOOD MAN'i UFE. 109 

Mr. Bellask* I think you aiust. refo^nber meeting 
Bellasis at my table last year. Really, Ernest, you 
are a very lucky fellow ! As to the Church, I found 
there was nothing to be done in that quarter,, among 
fri^ids of my own, and I am not intimate with the new 
Chancellor. You may draw on me for what money 
you want above the check I send you, but do not 
draw for more than a hundred pounds, without letting 
me know, as I keep but little money at my banker's. 
You had better devote the rest of this week to wind- 
ing up all your college affairs, &c. ; but I beg you 
will be in Grosvenor Square before next Tuesday, as 
Lord and Lady Vallerton, and several of the embassy 
dine here on that day. Juliana says she wants you 
to go to the Opera on Saturday, with your aunt and 
herself, as GabrieUi sings oa Uiat night for the first 
time this season ; therefore you can come if you will. 
For my part I do not care for the Opera smce Millico 
has left it. 'Tis an odd circumstance, that your fa- 
ther was attached to the English embassy at Berlin 
at the time ypu were bom, and I have often heard 

him speak of a Prince and Princess Ernest R ^1, 

after wh(Hn you and Lisa were named, at their par- 
ticular desire. The prince you will not see, for he 
has been dead, Lc^d Vallerton tells me, some years ; 
but the Princess, who has married again, is a great 
favorite at court, and a very pleasant, agreeable wo- 
man. Farewell, dear Ernest. 

Your affectionate uncle, 



P. S. Your German letter is admirably writ- 
ten. It decided Lord Vallerton to take you as his 

I saw at once the decbion my own judgment 
would prompt me to make^ but I determined not 
to write without serious consideration. And I pray- 
ed to be guided to a right judgment. I did not ex- 
pect or pray for any sign or omen, as one is too often 
tempted to do, but simply for the right and healthfiil 
use of those faculties which are given by the Foun- 
tam of wisdom to His children ; faculties which He 
dfiers not to set aside nor to supersede, but to quicken 
with new life and to sanctify. 

I wrote to say, that after a deep and serious con- 
sideration, I declined relinquishbg diat holy profession 
to which, with the consent of my guardians, I had 
long dedicated myself. I endeavored to show much 
respect and gratitude in my letter, and expressed my 
willingness to receive the advice of all who were so 
kind as to offer it, declaring, at the same time, that I 
felt I ought to reserve to myself the privilege of decid- 
ing according to my own judgment. I dwelt chiefly, 
however, on this point, that, as I did not seek any 
temporal advantage in becoming a minister of Christ, 
so I could not see that I ought to give up holy orders 
only because temporal advantage was now offered 

I received this reply from Lord Eresby : 

^' Really, my dear Ernest, your letter b as pleasant 

A GOOD man's UFE. Ill 

a piece of absurdity as I ever remember to have met 
with. No doubt you would call it respectfiil, and so 
it is, as to words ; but it breathes the very spirit of 
disrespect and disobedience. You tell me most de- 
cidedly that you cannot avail yourself of the highly 
advantageous appointment I have obtained for you ; 
for * cannot ' I substitute * mU not J What on earth 
makes you so wilfully positive in declaring that you 
will have your own way ? 

" Do you think yourself a saint, and too good for 
fellowship with the common herd of us human crea- 
tures ? I must o^ivn I do not clearly comprehend the 
merit of disobedience to your elders and guardians. 
You taunt me with having all along agreed to your 
being brought up for the Church, but do you not see 
that circumstances are changed now that I see no 
prospect of Church preferment ? My friend, Lord 

B , is no longer Chancellor, and the poor bishop 

from whom I expected so much has had a fit of the 
palsy ; his family are said to give away the livings as 
they please ; this, however, in confidence, for ' on 
dits' are not to be depended on. Who, in your 
station, would think of going into the Church without 
some reasonable prospect of obtaining a comfortable 
living ? I think it best to be candid with you, and 
to say very plainly, that the sooner you give up all 
hopes in a certain quarter, the better. What I mean, 
is this. I very much fear and suspect that, knowmg 
the predilection of your cousin Strafford for the army, 
you look forward to my offering the family living* of 
Hatton and Barrowmere to yourself* Now this I 


most decidedly declare shall neyer be. Lord Straf- 
lord SingletOQ, and no other person, shaU be rector of 
the afi}ff^iamed places, on dread of my unalterable dis- 
pleasure ; indeed, were he to re&se them, you would 
not be solicited to accept them ; there are others — 
quite as deserving perhaps, though with less preten* 
sions to sanctity. 

<^ Lastly, Ernest, let me tell you, I give you a day 
longer to consider. Write by the next day's post 
after you receive this, and write like a s^isiUe young 
man. If you do not decide as I wbh, and desire you 
to do, pray let me have no more of your reasons. Do 
as you please, but remember I wash my hands of you 
and your affiurs altogether, if you give up this ap- 
pdntment. At any rate, as the head of the family I 
shall have done my duty by you. If you refuse my 
fav(^ and set yourself up against me, the blame rests 
with you. I should very much like to know the use 
of writing so humbly, and acting with such determined 
and rebellious obstmacy. Farewell. 

" Yours, &c. 

" Erbsby." 

I remained at Cambridge and took my degree, 
but for years I was out of favor with my uncle. The 
mvitations which had been generally sent to me, were 
suddenly transferred to my brother, who was then at 
Eton. Lisa was also in disgrace at Fontmore, be- 
cause she had expressed her intention of remaining 
with her other guardian's family, the Lovels, (my 

A GOOD man's life. 113 

aunt Lucy was now the wife of Mr. Lovel.) Her 
chief reason for not leaving the Lovels was, that her 
grandmother was then in a declining state ; and i^he 
and her aunt Lucy were anxious to be as much at 
Overton as possible. 

Charles was at first a little indignant that no in- 
vitation came to ipe, but it was soon very evident that 
he preferred the gayety and splendor in which the 
Eresbys lived to the sober ways at Overton. We first 
discovered thb fix>m a note in the same envelope with 
one firom Lady Eresby, both to Lisa. Her aunt sent 
her a pressdng invitation to Grosvenor Square, wish- 
ing Ldsa to be presented at the drawmg-room with 
her eldest daughter, and setting before her, at the 
same time, the dazzling offer of a season in Londoii. 

Charles wrote to his sister in rather a dictatorial 
tone, and with expostulations and reasonmgs that were 
evidently second-hand. 

Three years have passed away since I took my 
first degree at Cambridge. I have met with many 
impediments to my entering the ministerial office, but 
it has {leased the Disposer of all human affairs to 
permit me to become a servant in His holy temple ; 
at least I hope so ; for the time approaches when I 
am to offer myself as a candidate for holy orders. I 
have passed most of my time with the Lovels, or at 
Overton with my venerable grandfather and grand- 
mother, both of whom are enjoying, at this time, ex- 
cellent health for their advanced age ; the latter hav- 


ing wonderfully revived during the last year. My 
darling Lba has promised to reside with me at the 
parsonage when I am settled as a parish priest. 

And now the anxieties of my examinations and 
ordination are past. With what a rejoicing spirit did 
I quit the smoke, and the gloom, and the bustle of 

the town of C , and the inn, where I remained 

durmg the week, and tpok my way through scenes of 
pastoral loveliness at the sweetest season of the year. 
I threw down the windows of the chaise and leaned 
forward, that the fresh and balmy breath of morning 
might blow over my yet heated face and brow. The 
trees were fully clothed with their light but luxuriant 
foliage, then steeped with crystal dew. The fields 
on either side were spread with verdure of the deepest 
emerald green. Roses and all the common garden 
flowers of early summer were blowing in the cottage 
gardens by the road-side, and the doors and windows 
of every humble dwelling were standing open, all 
open, it seemed, to admit as much of the soft air and 
pleasant sunshine as possible. In one place the road 

crossed over the shallow ford of the river A , 

where little shoals of minnows fled merrily away in 
every direction as we passed, while further down the 
river, where the azure of the sky was calmly mirrored 
in the stream, a herd of cows stood motionless in the 
middle of the clear cold water. 1!*hese are but trifling 
observations, but I love to pause among them and to 
return to that happy, cheerful morning. During my 

A GOOD man's life. 115 


long and pleasant drive, I bad leisure to reflect upon 
the happiness, and upon the goodness of Him, who 
had so graciously heard my prayers and accepted me 
as His minister. 

I dined at a little country inn, for my journey was 
chiefly across a part of the country where there is no 
high road. At the beginning of a fine glowing even- 
ing I reached my secluded village, then seen for the 
first time. I cannot say with what a deep and tender 
emotion I looked round upon the cottages of my flock, 
and felt an i^terest rise in my heart for them. All 
unknown as they then were, I came to pass, perhaps, 
many years among them, to bring the message of 
their Saviour's love and firee salvation to them, to 
share in their troubles and their joys, to present their 
young and helpless infants at the baptismal font, 
praying there that a death unto sm, a new birth unto 
righteousness might be accomplished m them, to pro- 
nounce the blessing of the eternal Godhead over the 
bride and bridegroom, to kneel beside the bed of the 
dying, to visit the fatherless and widows in their 
affliction, and (ah ! how* fervently I prayed that I 
might be enabled to do so) to keep myself unspotted 
fix>m the world. 

I soon beheld the gray tower of my church, then 
gilded with a broad flood of sunshine ; and farther on, 
half-I^idden by the fine old trees which form so useful a 
skreen fix)m the north-east winds, a low and venera- 
ble dwelling, built, perchance, when those ancient 
trees were planted. A slight female form was stand- 
ing near the porch, busily employed in bmding up 


the waving tassels of z luxuriant honeysuckle whicli 
spread half over the projecting gable of the house. 
As the chaise stopped at the gate, a dear and well- 
known face was turned towards me, and in a moment 
my darling sister was in my arms. 

How sweetly my beloved Lisa had anticipated 
all my wishes in the arrangement of every thmg about 
our new residence. Much of the well-known iiirni- 
ture of our paternal dweUing which had not been 
parted with met my view, and brought a thousand 
old associations with it into our new residence. The 
pcNiraits of my father and moth^ smiled upon me 
from* the walls. The large Bible lay in its old place, 
upon the study table, the two vases of Sevre porce- 
lain, which I had remembered as long as I could re- 
member any thing, were, as I had often seen them, 
filled with roses, and stood on the same low ebony 
cabinet where I had ever seen them, and beneath it 
I perceived the little embroidered stool cm which I 
had sat so often at my mother's feet. 

I trembled with a deep and thrilling dehgbt, as, 
for the first time in my new character, I opened the 
book of God, to read fix)m it at our &mily devoticnis. 
When I was alone that evening, alone in my own 
chamber, my very happiness made me weep, and I 
let my tears flow fireely. But how few will imder- 
stand my feelings! only those who have struggled 
through difficulties and opposition, led on by an ardent 
desire to become a humble unnoticed parish priest, 
even with that ardent desire in the heart which the 
Psalmbt has so finely expressed, — ^^ I had rather be 

A QOOD man's life. 117 

a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell 
in the tents of the ungodly." 

I had retired at an early hour to my chamber, 
but not to bed. I put out my light, and throwing 
opek the window, I looked out upon the quiet land- 
scape beneath. 

As I stood there,"! thought of Luther at his devo- 
tions. I wondered not that he had loved to stand 
at his devotions by an open window, as if, it seemed 
to me, he could not bear to turn fixHn the pure light 
and the free air of heaven — as if 'his eyes loved to 
lock beyond the earth, over its distant horizons, and 
upwards, upwards, into the clear unfathomable depths 
of the mysterious sky. 

The whole earth around me was hushed, and sleep- 
ing in the quiet night ; no sound but that of the ever- 
flowing river fell upon the ear ; but the wide dome of 
the heavens was one glitter of radiant stars, so bright 
and brilliant, that the earth seemed to have dwindled 
down, or the sky to have descended lower ; and every 
star seemed burning and glowing as intensfely as if 
just lighted with new foes. As I stood there, I felt 
the utter insignificance of all earthly concerns, as com- 
pared with that eternal world in which the child of 
eternity measures his existence; and there, on my 
knees, I turned again to the renewal of my early 
promises and engagements in my baptism. I hope the 
form was then a true means of grace to my believing 

My sister and I were very well pleased with many 
of our neighbors, especially with the chief family 


among them. We found unaffected good sense, and 
unobtrusive piety in the kind-hearted domestic circle 
of the Wentworths. Mr. Wentworth had several 
daughters about Lisa's age, and they were continu- 
ally endeavoring to draw Lisa away from her broth- 
er's quiet parsonage. I must, however, do her the 
justice to own, that she did refiise more than half 
their invitations, and, pleased as she was with her 
new associates, seemed always delighted to return to 
me. At last there came a brother, and he — but 
Lisa shall speak for herself. It was about a month 
after this brother's arrival at Wentworth Hall, and a 
few hours after he and I had met one another in our 
morning ride, and that he had turned his horse's head 
in the same direction with mine, and began a con- 
versation which lasted more than an hour — ^it was on 
the evening of that very day — ^I was sitting in the 
little summer-house in the hanging wood behind my 
garden, a book was in my hand, ' Herbert's Country 
Parson :' I had scarcely turned over a single page, 
my thoaghts were for ever idly wandering ; and yet 
they carried away my senses with them, for I heard 
not a light foot-fall on the steps of the summer house, I 
saw not a slender form glide iil through the open door- 
way. I did start, however, as a soft hand was placed 
in mine. " Ah, Lisa ! is it you ? I thought I left you 
writing in the house." " Yes, I have been, writing," 
she said, " but I could not please myself, so I tore 
up my letter, and — " " Are you looking at my book ?" 
I asked, observing that she did not well know how 
to finish her sentence ; "/your eyes are fixed upon it. 

A GOOD man's life. IIU 

You knaw the litde volume, Lisa ? — ^ HeAert^s 
Country Parson ?' I was beginning to ^read this 
chapter. — ^By the by, my love," I said, laying down 
the book, and smiling as I took her hand and looked 
stead&stly in her face, " do you remember a half- 
formed agreement made between you and me not 
very long ago? — ^that we should never marry, but 
continue to live together in our quiet parsonage, so 
long as it might please God to let us continue on 
earth ?" Lisa looked very grave, and blushing deeply, 
confessed that she perfectly recollected the half-form- 
ed agreement of which I spoke. " And who made 
the first proposition, Lisa ?" " I did, dear Ernest," 
she replied, looking not only grave, but thoughtfiil. 
" Well, my dear Lisa," I continued, " I have been 
considering your proposition ; I find you a charming 
housekeeper ! what if we were to ratify this agree- 
ment ?" Lisa threw her arms around my neck, and 
kissed me, but said nothing. " O yes ! I understand 
you, my dearest girl, but I must have words, as well 
as kisses fix)m your lips." Lisa blushed again, began 
to speak, and hesitated : " You know how dearly I love 
you, my darling^ brother ; I wished to speak to you ; 
I came hither on purpose to do so. I could not say 
what I wished in the letter I was trying to write." 
" Answer me one question, Lisa," I said, interrupting 
her ; " Do you still wish to live and die an old maid 
in this old parsonage-house before us ?" She sat in 
silence for some mmutes, becoming more and more 
confused. At last her half-raised glances met mine. 
A suspicion darted across her mind ; I could see it 


did, for suddenly hear brow was slightly contracted, 
and her eye spaikled, as a smile played round her 
lips. " Suppose I should answer, ^ No, sir,' " she re- 
plied, very archly ; ^< suppose I use my woman's 
privilege and change my mmd, and " — ^^ Marry, Lisa," 
I said yeiy spitefully ; << that's the word which follows ; 
aye, and I'll finish the sentence for you — ^ marry John 
Wentworth.' " Fot an instant the color forsoc^ even 
her cheek, and then back came a flood of the richest 
crimson, sufiiismg her whole face with its glow, while 
tears rose as suddenly into her eyes. ^< Forgive me, 
my own Lisa," I said tenderly, " I have been too 
abrupt." " Oh no, no ! Ernest," she replied, " what 
must you think of me ? Forgive me — ^forgive me" 
— and her head drooped on her bosom. She could 
not speak for weeping. I was silly enough to weep 
too, as I drew her nearer to my heart. " And now 
Lisa," I said, as we wiped our eyes — and I laughed 
to think what simpletons we both had been to cry — 
" tell me, Lisa, was it not well done to bring out his 
name at once, and put an end to all yoiir hesitations 
and perplexities ? To be sure we have not escaped 
a scene ; but that is nearly over now ; is it not ? you 
have only to stop that tear which is stealing so slyly 
over your cheek. I will confess to you, dearest girl, 
that I was prepared to hear all about this affair from 
yourself, having already listened patiently and atten- 
tively to what Mr. Wentworth had to say on the 
subject this morning. I assure you he talked, for 
more than an hour !" " And you never told me till 
now^ that you had met ""him, Ernest !" *^And you 

A oooD man's life. 121 

never told me till now, that he loved you, Lisa ; and 
yoii have not yet told me what reply you have given 
to his proposals." " Indeed, Ernest, I scarcely know 
what I said to him." '^ But at least, you can answer 
this question, Do you know whether you like him ?" 
" I do not like to leave you,"she replied. " Thit is 
no answer; what objections can you bring, firsts 
against John Wentworth himself, secondly, against 
your marriage with John Wentworth ? I suppose I 
ought to say^ Major Wentworth." 

. "Why certainly," she replied, with a gravity 
highly amusing to me, " I see nothing objectionable 
in Major Wentworth himself; but the idea of leaving 
you, my best and kindest brother !" and here the eyes 
of the silly, girl were again swimming with tears, and 
her voice began to falter. " The idea of leavmg me ! 
suppose I should be pleased to fall in love, and to 
marry also ? more improbable thmgs have come to 
pass. And how do you know, Miss Lisa, but that I 
am at this very time as great a simpleton as yourself 
in some affair de coeur ?" " Ah ! I know what I 
wish," said Lba, and a sigh escaped her lips with her 
words. " Is your wish so very unattainable," I asked, 
" that it brings a sigh with it ?" " Oh no, not by 
any means unattainable," she cried, with much live* 
liness ; " I only fear lest it should never occur to 
either of you, how suited you are to each other." 
" Either of you ! and pray. Miss Lisa, who may this 
lady be with whose name you take such unwarranta- 
ble liberty as to join it with minfe ? I am really as- 
tonished at the progress you have made in these sub« 



jmlB. But no I do not tell me, for you know what 
you wish, and could tell me the person to whom you 
would fain see me united — ^I do not quite know what 
I wish at present, and will choose, as you have done, 
without consultmg any one. I only hope, my own 
dearest Lasa, that I may choose as well — ^that is, if I 
were ever to marry." 

" If I were ever to manry, she is the, wife I would 
choose !" These words I repeated to myself one 
evening after a long fit of musmg. I might call it a 
brown study, for my desolate feelings plunged me 
into it ; but its deep and dismal brown melted away 
through many a gradual hue as one fair 'vision rose in 
light upon me. I began also to think seriously of a 
wife. I summoned iny counsellors — ^not my Lisa* 
Oh no ! she had been married, and gone for ages-^ 
weeks, I should say. I called my counsellors from 
my head and my heart. First came inclination from 
my heart, pushing himself forward before all the others. 
No, no ! I said, and shook my head. Stand back, 
my friend, I must not hear you yet. So I beckoned 
to an ugly fellow, who spoke very bluntly, but to my 
surprise, he said, *< You might as well marry. You 
have nnmey enough to support a wife. What's to 
become of the school which Miss Lisa took such 
pains with ? We want some one to go among the 
poor wom^3 in the parish, and lend out the sets of 
baby linen, and attend to many duties which a man 
is not fitted for — ^I would have you propose for her ; 

A «ooD man's life. 193 

you will not easily find another so pious, so humble, 
and so modest. Marry her, and let us hear you speak 
again, and see you smile as when Miss Lisa ^as at 
home. Marry her, and have done with your deep 
sighs, and your long faces!" Here, however, the 
consultation was broken up by the sudden entrance of 
Mr. Wentworth and two-t)f his daughters. They 
came to bid me join their evening walk, and to tell 
me that if I would return to Wentworth Hall with 
them that evening, I might perhaps find Lisa and her 
husband there. They had announced, quite unex- 
pectedly, that they were coming to the W^ntworths 
on their way to London. 

As I walked home in the quiet moonlight, think- 
ing of the happy faces of my Lisa and her husband, 
I held another consultation, in which inclination 
spoke so very reasonably, that I found myself fully 
disposed to trust him for once. 

And now you may suppose very wisely, that I 
am about to make my proposals to one of the fair 
sisters-in-law of my Lisa. To say the truth, I rather 
guessed that Lis^ wished me to do so, and therefore I 
begged her not to name the object of her choice to 
me. The daughters of Mr. Wentworth were very 
charming, and would have made far better men than 
me excellent wives ; but I had thought of another 

An Irish lady and her two daughters resided m a 


« \ 

large farm-house, situated among the hills about two 
miles bom my own village. They were, it was 
thought, very poor ; but no one except the cottagers 
seemed to know much about them. My acquaintance 
with them began through my sister Lisa, who had met 
them several times before she had an opportunity of 
introducing me to them. 

Mrs. Sulivan was, I soon discovered, quite as poor 
as report had made her. She had barely sufficient to 
hire a few rooms at the old farm-house, and to live in 
the most frugal manner. I have no romantic account 
to give of the first visit which Lisa and I paid to the 
Sulivans. It was in the depth of winter ; a fire of turf 
and heath was blazing on the hearth, and they were 
busily employed at the poarsest plain work. The fur- 
niture of the room was of the commonest description, 
with the exception of a plain bookcase, in which were 
a few volumes, and a portrait very finely painted, of 
a young man whose expressive countenance bore a 
striking resemblance to the youngest Miss Sulivan. 
I soon found that I was in the company of no com- 
mon-place persons. I do not mean that the Sulivans 
were very superior in point of intellect ; but there was 
jhat perfect sweetness and delicacy of manner about 
the mother and daughters which can alone be called 
lady-like, and which is the fair fiiiit of a humble Chris- 
tian spirit. Mrs. Sulivan and her eldest daughter 
were apparently as much alike in disposition as in 
person ; they were quiet, and rather grave, but emi- 
nently pleasing. Una Sulivan, the younger daughter, 
was the most innocent, cheeriiil person I ever beheld. 

A GOOD han's life. 125 

The instant I saw her I thought of those two lines of 
Ben Jonson : 

*' Give me an air, give me a fiice, 
That makes simplicity a grace." 

But I may almost say, that humility was the peculiar 
grace of her character ; perhaps no grace is more 
lovely. There was about her a willingness to bear a 
rebuke even from the unjust, a desire to learn even 
from the most ignorant, to see in the kindest, the most 
charitable pomt of view, the failings of others. I 
always think that real humility is a proof of real wis- 
dom. We generally find that where true wisdom is 
in the mind, deep humility is in the heart. Thus 
St. James speaks of ^' the meekness of wisdom," in 
the person who is " wise and endued with know- 

Not long after I became first acquainted with 
Mrs. Sulivan and her daughters, the elder Miss Suli- 
van married a gentleman of considerable property, a 
merchant. Una and her mother removed to London, 
and we heard nothing of them for some years. 

I often looked with regret on the little lattice 
window of the room which had belonged to M^. 
Sulivan and daughter, as I passed the solitary farm- 
house. The shutters were generally closed, and the 
little flower-beds beneath the window overgrown with 
weeds. How was I astonished, then, on turning my 
accustomed wistfiil look over the low wall which 
divided the garden from the lane, to observe a young 
female cleaning away the weeds firom the neglected 


flower-beds. I had stood silently regarding her for 
some minutes, guessmg and doubting whether Una 
Sulivan was really there, when a face of extreme 
paleness was turned towards me. Had I not seen 
her on the very spot to which my associations had 
linked her image, I might not have recognized the 
once blooming girl. She knew me instantly, and 
came f(»ward at once with all her former frankness and 
warmth of manner, smilmg as she held out her hand. 
" Mamma will be so very happy to see you." They 
were come down to the farm for a few weeks, and then 
intended to go to Ireland and settle there. The hus- 
band of the elder daughter had met with some heavy 
losses, and had gone with his wife to Spain, where 
the chief part of his property lay. 

«' Shall I ask this delightful Una to be my wife ?" 
was a question I soon put to myself. << She is the 
one whom I have long loved» How often have I re* 
gretted that she was gone, and that I could not ask 
her? Shall I let her go agam without at least know- 
ing that, if she is lost to me, it is not because I have 
neglected to seek her love ?" 

" She is mdeed the very wife I would have," I 
sidd, as I turned over the leaves of a book lying upon 
my study-table ; it was *Beveridge's Private Thoughts.' 
I found the pagfe I looked for very soon, perhaps be- 
cause I had so often found it -before when thinking of 
gentle Una Sulivan. 

A QOOD man's life. 127 

*< I shall always endeavor to make choice of a 
woman for my wife, who hath first' made choice ot 
Christ as a spouse for herself; that none may be 
made one flesh with me, who is not also made one 
spirit with Christ my Saviour* For I look upon the 
image of Christ as the best mai^ of beauty I can 
behold in her, and the grace of God the best portion 
I can receive with her. These are excellencies, 
which, though not visible to carnal eyes, are neverthe- 
less agreeable to a spiritual heart, and such as all 
wise and good men cannot but be enamored with. 
For my own part, they seem to me such necessary 
qualifications that my heart trembles at the thought of 
ever having a wife without them. 

^'That this, therefore, may be my portion and 
felicity, I firmly resolve, never to set upon a design, 
before I have first solicited the Throne of Grace, and 
begged of my Heavenly Father to honor me with the 
partnership of one of his beloved children ; and shall 
afterwards be as carefiil and cautious as I can, never 
to fix my affections on any woman foca wife, till I am 
thoroughly persuaded of the grounds I have to love 
her as a true Christian. 

*^ As, therefore, I desire to be happy, I must per- 
form my duty b thb particular, and never aim at 
any other end in the choice of a wife, nor expect 
any other happiness in the enjoyment of her, but 
what is founded in the principle of pure and inviolable 
love. If I should court and marry a woman for 
riches, then, whensoever they fail, or take their flight, 
my love and my happiness must drop and vanish to- 


gether with them. If I choose her for beauty only, I 
shall love her no longer than while that continues, 
which is only till age or sickness blasts it ; and then 
farewell at once both duty and delight. 

" But, Oh ! the happiness of that couple, whose 
inclmations to each other are as ihutual as their duties, 
whose affections as well as persons are linked togeth- 
er with the same tie." * * * *. 

I was reading on, when I heard a loud cough 
close to me. I looked round, and saw my servant 
standing close by me. '^ I beg pardon, sir," be said, 
"but I have knocked once or twice and you didn*t 
hear me — there's a poor person waiting to speak to 
you, but may be you would have him wait a bit, for 
you seem deep in your books just now." 

I could not help smiling, for my elbows were on 
the table, and both my hands supporting my head, 
which was bent over my book, and my eyes intently 
fixed upon the open volume. I had sunk, I suppose, 
into a very deep reverie, but certainly I was not deep 
m such dry studies as he might have supposed. I 
shut up my book and shook off my pleasant dream 
and went to speak to the man. 

Afterwards, as there was no time to be lost, I 
sauntered away to the hills where the dd farm-house 
stood. Una Sulivan was not at homei, but her mother 
was alone, and I took the opportunity to declare my 
hopes to her. 

"You may go and seek Una," said her mo- 
ther ; " I promised to meet her at the end of the lane, 
where the heath begins, and this is about the time 

A GOOD man's life, 129 

when I promised to set out. , You may tell her, if 
you please, that you have my consent ; but I shall 
leave my dear child to decide for herself." — I was 
not rejected. 

Una Sulivan soon recovered her cheerfulness in 
the bracing air of our healthy country. I saw her often 
in the cottage of the poor, often in her mother's society, 
for I had now no idea of shunning one so charming, 
one whom I began to look upon as my own wife, my 
friend and cqmpanion also, not merely for time, but 
for eternity. I loved her for being so perfectly wo- 
manly. With all her Irish energy of character, her 
enthusiasm, her glowing warmth of heart, she was 
humble, meek, and without a thought of display. I 
knew, fix>m almost every conversation with her, that 
her chief anxiety was for the spiritual wants of the 
poor she visited, but I generally found her attending 
with the most delicate and gentle care to their bodily 
complaints ; and she always reminded me of some 
humble Soeur de la Charite. In fact, she never came 
out of her sweet and lovely sphere, as a Christian 
woman. She did not usurp the authority of the other 
sex ; she [did not set herself up as, a dictator and 
censor of ministers and all, but ever remembered that, 
as Christ is the head of the man, so is the man the 
head of the woman. How charming she was : I once 
met her carrying a heavy pail of water for a very old 
and feeble woman, whom she had found half sinking 
under the burden ; her face was covered with blushes 
when she saw me, and as she sJ:opped to speak to me, 
and to rest, and push back the rich dishevelled ring- 



lets that half hid her smiling eyes, and stood with 
her delicate hand upon her hip, I thought her the most' 
graceful creature I had ever seen. 

I generally visited the village poor-house at stated 
hours in the week ; but one morning, hearing sudden- 
ly that one of the old women there was taken very 
ill, I set off for the poor-house. I found Una there, 
and I cannot resist describing the scene that I wit- 

By the side of the wide kitchen fire-place the 
old woman was sitting, supported in a large arm-chair 
by pillows ; she looked very ill, and very irritable ; 
her voice was raised in a sort of scolding, wailing 
tone, and all her scolding was then falling upon the 
meek head of one who knelt before her : this was 
Una, ray own gentle Una. She had taken off her 
bonnet and cloak, and borrowed a large coarse apron 
from the mistress of the poor-house : her sleeves were 
tucked up far above her elbows, and she was in the 
act of detaching a large plaster from a frightfully dis- 
gusting sore on the leg of the sick woman. Oh, with 
what tenderness did those small and delicate fingers 
perform their loathsome office ! How sweetly, and 
how soothingly did she speak and smile, and assure 
the impatient woman that she would be very careful 
and tender with her not to hurt her ! and how did 
she^hrink, and seem to sufer herself, when obliged 
to give pain ! and then she would stop, and say coax- 
ingly, " Well, well, Mary ! I will wait a little while ; 
I am not in a hurry. You must pray, my poor 
Mary, for patience : I know you are very, very ill. 

A GOOD man's life. tSl 

and suffer su^ great pain, for your poor leg is 
dreadfully mflamed, red, and boming with heat ; but I 
have the sweet eool omtment spread and ready, and 
when I have cleaned the wounds, I will put on the 
fresh plaster sd very carefully •" More than once, as 
she went on ibesskig the ulcerated woimds and look* 
ed Up in the face of the suffering woman, the tean 
stole down her own angelic £ice. ^^ After all, dear 
Mary,'^ she said, when she had bound up the leg of 
the poor old woman, and she stood beside her and 
spoke very softly — " after all, the only way to bear 
pain, or any trouble^ is to pray for the gentle and 
heavenly patience ofour blessed Lord Jesus Christ ; 
to pray that we may be partakers of His Spirit, and 
follow His example ; for surely, * He hath borne our 
griefi, and carried our sorrows ; He was wounded for 
our transgressions. He was bruised for our ini^ities : 
the chastisement of our peace was upon Him ; and 
with His stripes we are healed.' " — She did not see 
me tSl she turned to wash her hands ; but at my re- 
quest she waited till I had read to pocn* Mary and 
prayed with her. 

" My Una," I said, as we left the house, " you 
remind me of the words of my favorite, George Her- 
bert, when he speaks of Uie wife fit for a country 
parson. He says, ^ Instead of the qualities of the 
world, he^requires only three in her ;' one of which I 
see you possess already, — * a curing and healing of 
all wounds and sores with her own hands :' tell me, 
however, to-day, what made you undertake so dis- 

m TBB mscoEOs or 

gusting an office ?" << You do not think I liked it," 
she said artlessly ; '^once or twice I felt so ill, that I 
thought I must have given it up, but the old nurse 
has grown so blind that she hurts poor Mary ; and 
the other w(»nan, Jane Matthews, who generally 
takes nurse's place about Mary, was out for the day ; 
and Mary herself, who is so very ill, had been^very 
cross to me for not sending her a composing draught 
last night, which she was sure I forgot, because she 
sent a message to me, though I am quite sure I had 
never received her message. In the midst of nurse's 
bungling, and Mary's impatient scolding, the latter 
looked up to me, and said, ^ Do, there's a darling lady, 
dress that poor leg yourself; I see you know how it 
ought to be done, by the directions you give to nurse 
— Cleave me alone, nurse. I am sure she will do it 
for me.' 

^^ As she said this, and turned her pale wasted 
face to me, her eyes sunk, and yet heavy for want of 
sleep, and her cheek flushed in one burning spot with 
pain and fever, I could not, with any thing like 
common feeling, refuse her entreaties. 

" What a proof it is, my dear Earnest, of the 
corruption of our nature," continued Una, (as, lean- 
ing on my arm, we conversed together of poor Mary,) 
" that while the disease and corruption of the mor- 
tal body is so offensive, so utterly loathsome to us, 
sin in the immortal soul is so far from being naturally 
offensive that it is often pleasing to us, oflen cherish- 
ed and delighted m by us. Nay, we cannot loathe 

A GOOD man's life. 133 

and abhor it as we ought^ till we have been made 
partakers of a new and holy nature. Let us con- 
stantly seek to be renewed unto this new nature !" 

We were married. My dear relations, the Lovels, 
came to the wedding, and Mr. Lovel performed the 
ceremony. My brother Charles^ and Lisa and her 
husband, and the Wentworths, were present also. 
Mr. Wentworth gave away the bride, and his daugh- 
ters were the bridemaids. 

I soon found that I had indeed a treasure in my 
lovely wife. She won the love and admiration of all, 
wherever she appeared. ' 

" Well, sij !" said my servant Martin to me, " we 
begin to get more reconciled to parting with Miss 
Lisa, smce you have brought our new mistress home. 
We servants love her as if we had known her for 
years ; and the poor people in the village say that they 
never saw any one to compare with her but Miss Lisa. 
She has such a kind humble way of speaking, that 
many say they would rather have her find fault with 
them than be praised by others." I soon met with 
an instance in which the happy effect of her visits 
among my poor parishioners was very apparent. 
One evening, when I had been called to visit a dying 
person at the extremity of my parish, a poor half-na- 
ked woman opened the little garden-gate, and came up 
to the wmdow where my wife was sitting at work ; 


she said nothing, but fixed her latge sunken eyes on a 
great loaf of bread which had be^i placed with the 
tea-things on the table beside which Una was sitting. 
The poor creature was half-starved. Her brutal hus- 
band had gone away and left her with two little sickly 
children. Una put into her hand the very loaf which 
she had eyed so greedily ; and, not kmg aft^ h^ de- 
parture, ^e followed the woman to her wretched 
lodging, to judge for herself as to the extent of h^: 
distress, and, if necessary, to relieve it. She found the 
mother and her children in the most deplorable state, 
and on her return home she took care to send them the 
relief they were in need of. But on her next visit, 
and after some inquiries which she made, Una discov- 
ered that it was not merely bodily succor that we 
were called upon to supply. The wretched crea- 
ture had been brought to such extreme distress by a 
life of abandoned profligacy, and was in a fearful 
state of ignorance and sin. My kind-hearted wife, on 
hearing this, felt only more deeply interested in the 
situation of the wretched woman. With my hearty 
concurrence, she placed the two sickly children under 
the care of a respectable widow woman, for their 
mother was now confined to her bed, and quite una- 
ble to attend to them. She hired a nurse to wait 
upon her, and not a day passed in which she did not 
herself administer to the wants of the dying woman. 
I say * d3ring,' for our medical attendant had given no 
hopes of her recovery. It was by the bedside of this 
lost and wretched female that I first saw the real su- 
periority of my wife's character. I had been occu- 

A GOOD man's life. 136 

^ pied during the chief part of the morning in visiting 
, among the cottages at the uppet end of the village, 
and in my way home I determined to call on the 
dying woman of whom I have been speaking. The 
room in which she lodged was one among many in a 
large building, vperhaps some hundred years ago the 
mansion of a person of some importance in our vil- 
lage, but they were now let out in separate tene- 
ments to the poor. As I waited slowly down the 
long passage leading to the room I was about to en- 
ter, I was surprised to perceive a young woman stand- 
ing not far firom the door, apparently listening to what 
passed within. She was leaning her head against the 
wall. As I drew nearer, I heard the deep hollow 
cough of the sick woman, but the young female in 
the passage stirred not. Eith^ the cough was louder 
thtin the sound of my footsteps, or (which I believe 
was the fact) she was too deeply absorbed by her 
own thoughts to notice my approach. 1 also paused, 
and as the coughing ceased I also stood still to listen, 
for I recognized the sweet tones of my wife's voiee. I 
was astonished at the clear and simple wisdom with 
which she spoke. I had oflen listened with delight 
to the soft and winning sweetness in which she spoke 
to the poor and sick of their bodily ailments in my 
presence ; but she was now discoursing of the mes- 
sage of the Redeemer to the lost and hopeless sinner, 
and surely faithfiilness and truth were scarcely ever 
tempered with so much of the tenderness of love. 
The girl who stood before me seemed to listen with 
serious and profound attention to every word, till at 


kst she covered her eyes with her hand, and her 
whole frame shook with a sudden burst of grief and 
the endeavors she made to restrain it. I thought it 
best to offer no interruption to what was passing, and 
withdrew very silently, that the poor girl might not 
know herself observed. About a fomight after, Una 
was a little later than usual in her return home to 
dinner ; she had been sent for in haste to the dying 
woman of whom I have spoken. When she entered 
the room she looked very pale and grave, and I could 
see that she had been weeping. "It is all over,** 
she replied to the inquiry which I made ; " the poor 
creature is at last gone. 

"The judgments of God are unsearchable and 
His ways past finding out, and it is not for me to 
declare that her death was without hope ; but, alas ! 
there was a deadness, a want of anxiety as to all but 
her bodily comforts, about this wretched woman, that 
has deeply shocked me. From the time that we first 
visited her to the moment of her departure, she has 
seemed utterly careless and unconcerned about her 
eternal interest. Yet all is — ^must be right," she added 
very meekly, after a short pause, in which she seem- 
ed to be deep in thought. " God is always wisest 
and kindest. Perhaps I was too confident that suc- 
cess must attend my daily pleadings with the poor 
woman, and that I should see the firuits of my prayers. 
May it not be so, dear Ernest ?" she said, gently 
clasping my hand and bending down her face, over 
which the tears had begun again to flow. "The 
ways of our God are indeed above our ways," I re- 

A GOOD man's lifb. 137 

plied; "and perhaps you litde think, my bumble, 
pious love, bow much encouragement accompanies 
the humbling lesson of which you speak ; for you 
know not that while your exertions were unheeded by 
her for whom you designed them, every little word 
fell with the dew of God's blessing into the heart of 
one who stood as it were by the way-side, unnoticed 
and unknown by you. A young woman of abandon- 
ed character, also a lodger in the house where your 
poor charge has just expired, was drawn first of all 
by impertinent curiosity to steal to the door of the 
chamber which you visited, that she might amuse her- 
self by listening to what passed within. She heard 
you speak of sins, which she had committed ; of a 
Saviour, whom she had rejected ; of that change of 
heart of which she deeply felt her need. Every thing 
that you said touched her to the quick, and whenever 
you entered the chamber of that dying woman she 
softly took her place by the door, with the faith and 
repentance of the Magdalene of old, to listen for her 
Saviour's words. One day I found her weeping, as 
she listened before that door ; and this morning she 
has sought me out, half broken-hearted, to ask for our 
advice and assistance ; to entreat that we will befriend 
her, and, if possible, find some way of enabling her to 
remove firom this neighborhood, where she has little 
hope of standing firm and faithful among^ her vile as- 
sociates. Many of them begin already to jeer at her 
new habits ; and she wisely dreads lest their taunts or 
their flatteries should join with her own weak heart 
to drive her back to the ways of sin and misery." 


Many will understand what my feelings were 
when the birth of my first child was expected, many 
husbands and fathers will understand the trembling 
fearfulness with which I longed for the news that my 
darling wife was safe. Vainly did I reason with my- 
self, vainly did I strive to re-assure myself, that there 
was no wisdom or love equal to His ip whose hands 
my Una was at that very time. Prayers came nat- 
urally to my lips as I slowly paced my study, or 
sometimes stood still, breathless, to catch every least 
sound from the chamber above. At last the intelli- 
gence was brought that my wife was the mother of a 
boy. I locked the door to cbmmune with my own 
heart, and to pour out the acknowledgment of my 
gratitude to Him to whom I had prayed before witfi 
such a weak and drooping faith. 

From this moment, I said to myself, this infant 
shall be the child of prayer and watchfulness. I will 
not fear that God will turn from my prayers for him, 
or refiise to bless the watchful exertions that I 
make. I receive him as a child of promise. He is 
to be nursed and brought up by us for the Lord his 
Heavenly Father, and for a heavenly inheritance. 
" Are you not full of anxiety and fear, now you are a 
father?" I once said to a friend whom I value very 
highly. He looked at me with an expression of bright 
. cheerfulness on his countenance : " I am lull of faith 
and hope," he replied ; " I will not doubt that the 
grace and the blessing of God will be with me, if I 
neglect neither prayer nor active exertion for my dar- 
Img child. I trust I shall not cease to pray for him 

A GOOD man's lifb. 139 

as eamesdy-as if he needed only my prayers, and I 

could do nothing for him, and to be as active in the 

use of all human means as if all depended on what I 

myself could do." I recalled the wise but simple 

remark of my friend, now that I also was become 

a father; and I det^mined with God's help to act 

upon it. 

" On parent's knee, a naked, new-born child. 
Weeping thou sat'st, while All around thee smil'd : 
So lire, that, sinking to thy last long sleep^ 
Calm thou ma3r*8t smile* while all aromid thee weep." 

I know not the author of these lines, but I am 
continually reminded of them whon I look upon my 
little wailing infant. 

Having found among the papers of my venerable 
friend many detached remarks on various subjects, I 
may occasionally lay them before the reader, some- 
times many of them together, sometimes here and 
there one. — Editor. 

You area father— let me put a case before you. 
Suppose you had given your child, at an age when he 
was too young to remember you, to a person in whom 
you hoped you could repose an entire trust. If, for 
reasons best known to yourself, you had determmed 
to leave your child under that person's care fer many 
years, how would you feel, if, when the appointed 
time came for you to receive back your child, to re- 
ceive him to your own cheerful and beautiftil abode, 


you found him utterly without any desire to behold 
you ; his conduct plainly declaring, that your very 
name was strange to him, that he had never been 
taught to think of you, or to love you ; that he had 
grown up among ignorant and prejudiced persons ; 
had been the bosom friend and companion of the 
drunkard, the profligate, and the criminal ; that his 
mind had been so neglected, his heart so corrupted, 
as to give him no taste for your own intellectual so- 
ciety, your own pure and honest pleasures ? Beware, 
cruel parent ! all this may be the case between your 
God, yourself, and your child. God is the rightful 
Father — ^your child. His child — ^yourself, the guard- 
ian of that child. Your responsibility is great, for 
you now stand in God's stead to the child he has 
given you. 

My child, my first-bom son ! helpless and uncon- 
scious as thou art, innocent as thou art, the most in- 
nocent of all human beings in their natural state, 
seeking nothing but the sweet food from thy mother's 
gentle breast, thou art yet the child of wratb. 
Thou wert bom in sin. Thou art a sinner. " How V^ 
some might exclaim, ^^ thisis a monstrous apd hor- 
rid doctrine !" It is the doctrine of God's Holy Bi- 
ble, and it is home out by the fact. What makes a 
man a smner ? Is it the tongue that utters lies ? the 
hand that steals ? is it not the heart within that 
prompts the members to sin ? and is the child without 
this heart ? Could we follow too much the devices 
and desires of our own hearts, if those hearts were nat- 
urally pure and holy ? My own child ! thou art not 

A GOOD man's life. 141 

only the child of wrath^ thou art the child of promise 
also. What are sorrow and dbease, but the proof of 
the ravages of sin upon that fair creation which was 
once pronounced to be very good, by the lips of God 
himself? My child, what must I do- with thee? 
Jxsus answers, ^^ Suffer the little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not." The Church answers, 
" There is Holy Baptism,'* — ^Thou must be bnried 
by baptism m Christ. Thou must die in thine old 
nature sacramentally, be buried sacramentally, rise 
again sacramentally, and all with Christ ; and we 
must see, we thy parents and sponsors, we the Church 
of Christ, we must see to it, as Davenant says, that 
what is done once sacramentally in thy baptism, be 
always done really in thy life— for, as it is written, 
Galatians iii. 27, "As many of you as have been 
baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." 

My child ! it is a melancholy thought to me that, 
even if thy parents have received any supernatural 
grace, they cannot impart it to thee. Thou receives^ 
our natural corruption, and if thy parents are believ- 
ing parents, thou art, as far as the covenant goes, 
sanctified ; thou wert at thy birth looked upon as in 
some sort in covenant with God ; but the new birth 
is the sole work of God : it b communicated from the 
very sanctuary of God.* 

Yet I carry thee in hope to the waters of baptism. 

I am taught to look for a blessing on the most 
simple observance of the ordinances of my holy reli- 

* Much of thia is taken from > Matthew Henry on Baptism.' 


gion. I will follow the holy directions of the Apostle 
Peter, when speaking by the Spirit of God, he said, 
^' Repent and be baptized eveiy one of you, in the 
name of Jisus Christ, for the remission of sins, and 
ye shall receiye the gift of the Holt Ghost." Here 
the promise of the Spirit b promised to all who 
obey the command and receive the ordinance in godly 
sincerity, and I trust thou wilt evidence and follow 
up thine infantine profession by repentance fix>m dead 
works to serve the living God— -my Baptist ; for so I 
name thee. I will bring thee constantly to God in 
prayer. I will pray for the Holt Spirit for thee, 
and teach thy lisping lips to do the same. The pro- 
mise, I know, is to as many as the Lord shall call ; 
and why should I not hope and believe, that by thee 
the call may be heard ; for, if I live, I will bring thee 
up in the use of all the means of grace, and in obedi- 
ence to all the holy ordinances of God. May God 
quicken them and tliee*-*tbem on thee, and thee by 

I had not seen my brother Charles for a veiy long 
period. At the time of my ordmation he was still at 
Eton; but he left school a few months after, and 
wrote to me from Lord Eresby's, that his uncle had 
given him a commission in the same regiment with 
his cousin Strafford Singleton, and that they were un- 
der marching orders for Ireland. I did not see this 
beloved brother till my marriage was announced to 
him. He came to Kirkstone about a week before ^e 
wedding. Lisa and her husband were staying with 
me to meet him. He was so altered, we should 

▲ GOOD man's ufe. 143 

scarcely have known him ; I think I never saw a 
handsomer creature than he was at that time ; we 
had feared> from the brevity and altered tone of his 
letters, that he had become strangely altered, but we 
were forced' to confess he was not. For a moment 
we had doubted, just as he entered the room. There 
was so much of the fine gentleman about his dress ; 
his voice, figure, and face, were so unlike the Charley 
we had last seen ! but when he rushed up to us, and 
tenderly embraced his sister, and flung his arms round 
my neck, as he had often done when quite a little fel- 
low, and wept like a child not caring to hide his emo- 
tion, we said to ourselves, '^ He is still all that he ever 
was to us." He charmed every one that met him. 
His winning courteousness of manners was quite unal- 
tered, and there was now the high-bred finish and 
ease which is seldom found out of the highest circles 
— a finish and ease of Uttle worth, except when join- 
ed to humility and sweetness of temper, but very 
irresistible when found in such conjunction. My bro- 
ther fell m at once with all those habits which many 
fine gentlemen would have winced under: habits 
which are, or ought to be, pecuUar, (I was going to 
say, to every clergyman's family,) I ought to say, to 
the family of every professed Christian ; habits which 
are not found, however, in the generaUty of families 
calling themselves Christians. 

Lisa and I managed to be alone with him several 
times, though we both thought he wished to avoid 
being alone with either of us. We spoke to him with 
much seriousness, and I believe .with as much afiec- 


tion. We questioned him about his habits of life ; 
we confessed to him our doubts and fears about him. 
He owned at once, that he was no longer what he 
had once been ; that he was careless and unccmcemed 
about the one thing of real importance ; that he was 
worldly-minded, attached to worldly society, guided 
by worldly maxims ; that he seldom prayed ; that he 
had long neglected the study, or even the perusal, of 
the Holy Scriptures ; but he made not one excuse ! 
He agreed to all we said, agreed even with tears, 
thanked us with tears ; made inany promises, before 
we had asked him to make one ; and when we told 
him, as we both did, that we dreaded the stability of 
resolutions and promises made so readily, he assured 
us earnestly, that he knew he could not keep them in 
his own strength. He agreed, in short, to every 
thing we said. After one of these interviews with me, 
he left me, as I thought, seriously impressed. He had 
confessed having lost, long before^ the little form of 
baptismal renewal, which we had promised our beloved 
parents to consider, at least four times in every year. 
In the excitement of the moment I could not resist 
giving him a copy that I always carried with me. It 
was in the hand-writing of my mother, and since she 
had written it for me, it had been constantly carried 
about my person, fixed in some small ivory tablets that 
I valued very highly, for they had been the gift of my 
father to his wife when she was yet a bride. Charles 
refused to take these tablets for some time ; at last, 
with much emotioo, he thrust them into his waistcoat 
pocket, and we separated. I went to a poor man's 

A QooD man's lifb. 145 

house, and he turned down a path that led through a 
dark copse in the direction of the neighboring village 

of '. '. — . The man whom I had expected to find 

at home and ill, was gone, his wife told me, to work, 
much better. After conversmg with her a few min- 
utes, I left the cottage, and recollecting that my bro- 
ther had taken the path through the copse, I thought 
that hj walking fast I should overtake him, and we 
might finish our walk together. As I entered the vil- 
lage, however, hearing the sounds of laughter and 
loud voices, and ill-played music, it suddenly occur- 
red to me, that a fair was held that day on the village 
green. " Poor Charles !" I said to myself, " I ought 
to have warned him of this. How annoyed he would 
feel in that state of sorrow and thoughtfiilness in which 
he left me, to come at once upon this scene of pro- 
line levity and folly ! Perhaps he has turned back 
again, but I should have met or seen him," (for. I had 
stood opposite the window of the cottage I had just 
quitted.) When I came to the stile at the end of the 
copse, and was about to descend the steep hill, at the 
foot of which lay the green where the fair was held, 
I paused for a moment- — ^in another moment I drew 
back. In the firont of the village alehouse, five or six 
bold young women were running a race, for the usual 
prize on such occasions, in vulgar language, a smock. 
In the midst of the spectators of the immodest sport, 
laughing as -loudly as any, and shouting at .the top of 
his voice, stood the very person who had just left one 
in such an agitated state. 

The race was just concluded, and as soon as it 


was over, one of the girls, rubbing her heated iace 
with her aim, and glancing with a bold and sidelong 
look at die men breti&d her, came up to my brother, 
and said something to him. I saw that he nodded 
assent, and I understood to what, for I saw the young 
woman cross the grtoD> to a booth, and another priae 
purchased at that booth was soon after eleTated, and 
another race was about to begm ; but heSate the race, 
a scramble took place, Charles having flung down 
the change that he received when the master of the 
booth came to be paid after he had hung up the shift* 
In this iscramblis the yoiinger people of the crowd, 
uid indeed many of the elder ones, were seen tum- 
bling and sprawling about, one over the other, the 
tacing gills of Course among them. So well }deased, 
however, was Charies, that I saw his hand again 
thrust into his pocket, and another handful of silver 
scattered before him. I sprung over the stile, but 
reflecting before I {mceeded, I determined' to return 
home at cmce. His back had been turned to me; 
indeed, I had chiefly seen what passed finom the dark- 
ened pathway of the copse-wood. At any other 
time, I should have been heartily vexed to have seen 
the son of my wise and holy parents the promoter of 
such immodest and senseless levity. Now I was 
deeply grieved. 

That evening, as we were assemUing to fionily 
prayer, the ringing of the bell called one of the 
servants out. He came back with the little book of 
ivory tablets in his hand, and handed it to me, saying 
that my name was in the book ( I colored deeply ; 

A QOOD man's upe. 147 

but my brother came forward, and said careless- 
ly, ''It ii mine! I did not know I had lost it. 
You may give this to the person who found it," he 
said, putting some money in the servant's hand; 
then looking to me, he added, '' I am very glad we 
have found it, Ernest ! ar'nt you ? I suppose I drop* 
ped it oa Milford Green : there was a fiiir on the 
Green to-day .'' 

After Charles left us, I had heard nothing of the 
Efesby fiunily for a considerable time, when a short, 
but rather pompous letter was brought me from my 
uncle Eresby, announcing the approaching union of 
bis bouse with the Lorimer fiimilyv4)y the marriage of 
his third daughter, the Lady Helen Singleton, to the 
Eail of Larimer. I knew that Lord Lorimer was 
one of the highest and richest peers in the realm, so 
I had no doubt that Lord and Lady Eresby were well 
pleased with their daughter's prospects. 

Una and I were sitting together some evenings 
after I had received Lord Eresby's letter. I was 
rea^g aloud while she worked at her needlework. I 
laid down my book, for a carriage driving at a fiirious 
rate stopped at the gate of the parsonage, and in a 
few moments after, a gentleman, whom I soon dis- 
covered to be my brother Charles, was seen leading a 
young and very beautifol wtunan, almost as tall as him- 
self, along the path that leads to ^e door. I went 
out to meet them ; and hastening with me at once to 
ibt room where I had left my dear wife, Charies 


closed the door, and presented to us his bride, Lady 
Helen Singleton, our cousin Helen, who was to have 
been married on that very day to Lord Lorimer. I 
was, of course, not a litde vexed and astonished at 
what had happened ; but when Charles said, '^ We 
come to you for shelter : however you may condemn 
us, I know that we are sure to meet with kindness and 
protection here/' I felt that I could not refuse to be 
kind to them, and to receive them. Charles left the 
room to discharge the post-boys, and Una and I turned 
at once to the young bride. She was standing just in the 
place and position as when she entered, looking mel- 
ancholy and pale, and quite worn out with fatigue— 
a large cloak, and several long shawls hanging firom 
her shoulders almost to her feet, but hanging so loose- 
ly, that a dress of blue velvet deeply bordered with 
silver flowers was seen beneath. The only covering 
on her head was a large black veil, under which her 
shinmg hair fell m long loose clusters, half uncurled 
and tangled. Her grace even ipirpassed her beauty. 
She sighed deeply, as Una tenderly took her hand, 
and said very gravely, ^^ You are both ashamed of 
me, and displeased with me ; and you are right to be 
so. I am ashamed of myself. I have long wished 
to know you both, but I little thought to make my 
first appearance as I do now. StiU I must entreat 
you," she added m a trembling voice, the tears trick- 
ling down her &ce, ^< not to say much to me to-night. I 
will go up stairs with you at once, my sister," she said 
to Una, if you will permit me. ^^ I can sit in your 
dressing-room till my chamber is ready for me ; and 

A GOOD man's life. 149 

you wfll tell Charley," she said to me, ^^ that I hope to 
meet him much refreshed and recovered to-morrow." 

Lady Helen had been brought up in the common, 
worldly way of many worldly families. She had 
received what the world would call all sorts of ad- 
vantages: they might have been termed disadvan- 
tages, to a young Christian female. But she had 
naturally a fine mind, and a purity of tastQ superior 
to those around her. We found an unworldly sim- 
plicity m her quite astonishing ; and as this was united 
to great propriety of manners, and to a remarkable 
sweetness of temper, she became at once a favorite 
with my wife and myself. She had been for some 
years sincerely attached to my brother Charles : in- 
deed, the attachment had been mutual. They had 
made no secret of their preference the one for the 
other. Helen had been always looked upon as her 
cousin's favorite of the three sisters. He had always 
sought her society, from the time he became an in- 
mate of her father's house. They had never talked 
about love till Lord Lorimer became avowedly the suitor 
of Helen. He had been equally attentive to one of 
her elder sisters, and Lady Mary supposed herself the 
object of hi3 affections, when suddenly he proposed for 
her sister. Lord Eresby, who prided himself on his 
despotic rule over his whole household, and who 
managed to inspire all of them with fear, if not with 
awe, desired his daujghter Helen to accept the offer,^ 
and when she would have expostulated with him, po- 


fiitively refioed to hear any reasonings or objections 
on the subject. She was simply told a few days 
after, that consent had been given in her name, and 
that she was to look upon Lord Lorimer as her fu- 
ture husband. Her fiither himself assured Lord Lori- 
mer in her presence (when he introduced him as h^ 
lorer), that he might consider his daughter's consent 
as already given ; and Hden, timid and almost reck- 
less, fix>m seeing no means of escape, betrayed 
her dtsapi»obation rather by her manner, than her 
words. Still she knew her sister's pr^rence for the 
man who had declared himsdf her suitor ; and she 
detemuned, if possible, to break off the ^[i^gement. 
She went to her mother, and was in the midst of a 
serious appeal to her, when Lord Eresiiy entered. 
Her modier coldly referred to him. He sat down, 
and listened to her objections, and overruled them 
all, telling her that Ae was highly honored in b^g 
the object of Lord Lorimer's preference ; that the less 
said of her sister's attachment the better, as it was not 
usual fin: young ladies to declare their choice ; and he 
left her, desiring her mother to settie with her one 
day in tiie course of the next month fix: her wed- 
ding day. 

Soon after this, Charles, who had been absent in 
Ireland, came to Fontmore ; he had heard his couan's 
intended marriage spcdcen of. He went straight to 
Helen, and questioned her as to all that had passed, 
and then declared his attachment to her. He then 
went to her &ther, and many high words passed be- 
tween tiiem. In shcnrt, Lord Eresby acted with great 

A GOOD man's ufb. 151 

severity, and forbade, as he had doae from the first, all 
discussion on die proposed marriage in his presence, 
saymg that there neither could, nor should be any ap- 
peal from his deci^on. Charles and Helep sought, and 
at length found an opportunity, after a splendid eot&t- 
tainment in the neighborhood, of setting off tog^tber for 
Scotland. Lady Helen was not missed till the bi»ak^t 
hour the next morning, when she had been some f^purs 
the wife of Charles Singleton, and was oa h^r way, 
with all pos^ble speed, to our quiet parsonage. 
Helen had written a letter, with a fijdl explanation 
of her conduct, to Lord Lorimer, before die left her 
father's house, and the day after her nmv^i at Kiik- 
stone, she wrote to her father and to her mother; but 
both her letters were returned unopened by returp of 
post. In the envelope was written in her father's hand, 
<^ The writer of the enclosed letters is no longer knpwn 
at Fontmore." 

Helen looked very wretched, bul said she had 
written widi little or no hopes to be forgiven isq soon. 
For several months they remidned witii us; jand then 
(finding himself and his wife still neglected and dis- 
owned, and partly at Helen's mtreaiy, that he y^oijdd 
leave the army altogether) Charles sold his commis- 
sion. With the money he thus obtained, and with 
the little property that he ii^erited from his parents, 
they were enabled to take a large and v^y comfort- 
able cottage in the village not far firom the parsonage. 
It was so(m fitted up with pliun but elegant fiimiture, 
and Charles and bis servant set to work, and BOOn 
iirougfat the garden into good ordier. jBvery day 


added to our aflkction for Lady Helen, and our ad- 
miration of her conduct. She gradually settled down 
mto the most domestic and industrious wife. I say 
industrious, for she was never unemployed ; attend- 
ing to her little dury, feeding ^er poultry, woiking 
in the flower-beds in fix>nt of her cottage, or sitting at 
her needlework, with a large basket of coarse linen 
before her. 

On (me subject I began to feel deeply interested 
about her; during all the time she had been at Kirk- 
stone, I had never heard her make a remark on re- 
ligion. She had been a regular attendant at church ; 
she had never omitted, while at the parsonage, at- 
tending with great devoutness of manner, our family 
devotions ; she had gone with us occasionally to the 
' cottages of some of our poor and pious neighbors : 
still she had not made a smgle remark that showed 
approval or dislike about that subject to which alone 
Una and I attached any pre-eminent importance. 
At last, her unaccountable reserve and silence gave 
way., I found Lady Helen alone in our library : she 
looked up fix>m the book she was reading, and begged 
me to read aloud a passage there. It was this. 

" I prefer an erroneous honest man before the 
most orthodox knave in the world; and I would 
rather convince a man that he has a soul to save, 
and induce him to live up to that belief, than bring 
him over to my opinion in whatever else beside. 
^ Would to God that men were but as holy as they 
might be in the worst of forms among us." 

"And b this your opinion, Ernest, as well as the 

A GOOD man's LIPE. 153 

opinion of your fiivorite Leighton ?" she inquired. I 
had left a volume of Leighton's works on the table. 
<< This is indeed my opinion, dear Helen," I replied 
at once, ^^ though that slightly incredulous look would 
say, you doubt it." " Forgive the look," she said, 
<< forgive it as freely as I would banish it. I begin 
to understand your religion in a very difl^nt way 
from what I did. I had imagined that you were dog- 
matical and unnecessariiy strict; I did expect to 
find you and my sweet sister Una kind, but very 
gloomy, and I looked forward to a very dull, though 
hospitable retreat in your family. I must own that 
many of the doctrines I have heard from your pulpit 
were long unpalatable to me, nay, utterly incompre- 
hensible." " And are they so at present ?" I asked. 
" No, dear Ernest," she replied. " At least I begin 
to comprehend them, since I went with Una to a cot- 
tage a few days ago ; that cottage at the end of the 
village where the old man lives, who told you he had 
been a fine scholar in his youth, and who had so much 
to say about religion, while he had evidently never 
known what, you described to him to be the real, 
vital spirit of ^religion, and you referred him to the 
secoad chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Corin- 
thians, at the fourteenth verse, and bade him read 
how ' the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God,' and how a spiritual discernment is 
needed in all who would rightly apprehend spiritual 
things. I had often heard you urge the absdute ne- 
cessity of seeking this spiritual discernment from your 
pulpit, but I can scarcely tell why I had never given 


the snfayect any coosidemtian before* I was thiaidiig 
deeply on yrrbBt you hmd said, wheo we enteied 
another cottage, and theie I saw, in a poor unl^tered 
cteatuie, the blessed effect, of seeking and possessing 
that spiritual discernment* There I began to feel for 
the first time what an ignorant, wretched, sinful cfea- 
tore I was, and am, with all my advantages of station 
and education. 

*^ I saw then the firuit of earnestness and prayer^ 
and I resolved to follow so holy, so blessed an exam- 
^ple. I have begun lUt last (I hope I do not deceive 
myself) to be in earnest. I have begun also to pray^ 
for I discover, that { have never prayed till now* 
And you, Earnest, are after all, no bigot, I find. You 
are not so very anxious to draw every one over to 
holding your own opinions." " I wish to see every 
one," i replied, ^< humble, and pure in heart, and up- 
right in principle, and spiritually minded, and full of 
holy love towards hir fellow-creatures ; and those 
doctrines, which I wish to be the peculiar doctrines of 
my preaching, simply because they are the peculiar 
doctrines of the Gospel of Christ, nay, of the whole 
sacred volume, are the means app(»ifted by God to 
produce in the heart and conduct of man, the t^B^t 
of which I speak; that is, to make man humble, 
pure in heart, and thoroughly fumi^ed unto aH good 
works ; in short, to make man happy." " But," said 
Helen, gravely, "is such the effect? Surely experi- 
ence does not always favor such a conclusion. How 
many sects and parties there are, all differing one 
from the other, and yet all declarbg that they take 

A aoop man's ufe. 15& 

their opinioBsfipiQ die Bible!" '^Xq thecfirstjplace/' 
I replied, ^^ fhe doctrines ei which I spea(c as pro- 
ducing such fiuit ;are xvot built up from ,the perveac^iion 
of paitscular tiexls, or ev^ chapters^ ^ jtbe Sib|e. 
The xf^qel deluded iaoibU^, the meanest wsorldiwig} nu^ 
twist and Koan^e the blessed words ,of life pQ &vor 
^eir own unscripfiural views. Others noiy in ^ less 
^eg[»e fisn^e the parts of truljbi to cpunien^oe heresy 
jaAd ^xor, iMit the Scripture doctrines that I speak of, 
aj:e those of the text and context. They are not the 
opinions of man interpreting Scripture, but of Scripture 
interpredng Scripture. They rise not ,hi spme obscure 
comer of the sacred territory ajs a n^crow ill-built hov^el 
of wood a«d stubble, or at best^ Babel, fix>m the 
confused imagination of man. They rise a, broad and 
glorious edifice of gold and silver and precious gems 
upon the whole broad surfa^ of thfit holy ground ; 
and as the magnificent temple of Gbn^ aod^it peo- 
ple was built under die inspired direction of God 
himself^ so are diey built up under the same guidance 
of the same God, .even the Holt Spirtt ; and Jkho- 
VAH himself dwelleth in them as m Ifis holy ten^eof 
.old. In short, you recognize in those doctrines, which 
alone I would preach, not the narrowness of a party, 
but the compr^ensiveness of Scripture — no^ the gar- 
bled and formal arrangement of ,a human system, but 
sometiung iar above any human system, bearing the 
outward impression and the internal evidence of the 
holy and eternal Godhead." 


<<Here/' said Lady Helen, entering my stady 
with an open letter in her hand, her countenance ra- 
diant with smiles, ''here, my kind brother and sister," 
(Una was sitting at her needlework in the window of 
my study,) '^ here, my beloved friends, is news that 
will rejoice yon. My fiither and mother are at length 
reconciled to us. That darling brother Harold said 
he would never rest till he had prevailed on them to 
forgive me, and here b a long letter from him, en- 
closing a few lines, a very few lines, full of affection, 
from my father. He desires us to meet him and the 
whole family party at Fontmore next week, and he 
invites dear Una and yourself to accompany us. His 
invitation is so pressing, that I hope you will not re- 
fuse to go. It would be so kind to me,'' she said, 
taking Una's little hand in hers, and coverin'g it with 
kisses. We all went to Lord Eresby's, and were re- 
ceived with much kindness. It was soon after settled, 
that Charles and Helen should reside entirely for 
some years with their parents, and suits of rooms stt 
Fontmore, and in the spacious town-house, were given 

The evening before the departure of Una and my- 
self from Fontmore, I found Helen in my wife's dress- 
ing-room. She was in tears, and had come, as she 
told us, to ask my advice. " I have returned," were 
her words, " to my father's house, with very different 
sentiments from tliose with which I left it. I tremble 
to think how soon I may be led into worldHness and 
folly. Tell me what I am to do when 1 am away 
from you both, for I fear I shall soon fall back." 

A GOOD MAN*8 UFH. 167 

<< That fear,'' I replied, '^ is m itself a preservative. 
May He whom you will not fail to seek, keep alive 
in you a holy fear, a childlike, not a slavish fear. 
Neither of us, nor any human friend can after all be 
of much essential service to you. If Jesus Christ 
Himself, when in the flesh, said to his disciples, * It 
is expedient for you that I go away, that the Com- 
forter may come junto you,* are we not expressly 
taught that it is not human support, or teaching, or 
guidance, that we need, but spiritual support, spirituaL 
teaching, spiritual guiding ? Not that man should say 
unto us, < Know ye the Lord,' but that the will of 
God may be put into our minds and written in the 
heart. This is, in fact, the privilege of those who 
live under the New and Christian Covenant. There 
fore, my dear sister, strive to walk by faith, and not 
by sight ; attend to personal religion, to the state of 
your heart, and don't be dismayed if you find none 
who love the Lord as you do, to whom you may 
speak often. Who is sufficient for the things I am 
expected to accomplish ? you may ask. Not yourself, 
I answer, but God in you. Your sufficiency is of 
God — ^we. are not sufficient of ourselves, to think any 
thing as of ourselves." 

We returned home, happy to leave Charles and 
Helen restored to their parents' love. I cannot help 
hoping that they will both live as the disciples of Him 
whose name they bear. I have more fears for Charies 
than for Helen. Yet how delightftil his society has 


lately beeo ; sdll I fear, fhmi what I have seen at 
Fontmore, that lie is too apt to be wfaat bis asso- 
ciates aie. 

lajnagvna&tfaer. Mjr^weet Una has presented 
me with a little girL I tnist we shall be enabled in 
recttving these children, to nurse and tram them up 
for God. 

"The wind bloweth where it Usteth, and thou 
hearest the sound thereof; but canst not tell whence 
it Cometh, or whither it goeth : so is every ooe that 
is bom of the Spirit." It is no argument for our 
breathing the fresh, free air, that we cannot trace it 
back to the place whence it ccnneth ; we shoujid faint 
and die, our lungs would be useless witihout its ciicu- 

What a happy, quiet life we lived for several 
years ! so happy, so quiet, that the tempti^tion was 
often present with us to forget that we were pilgrims, 
and that we bad, perhaps, many a weary mile to 
travel before we entered into our rest Blessed be 
God ! though often tried by thb temptation, we were 
enabled to resist, satisfied with daily suppcxrt, and 
content to leave the foture to Him who maketh all 
things to work together for good to them that love 

My two children, Baptbt and Lisa, were with me 
in the summer-house at the end of the garden. I had 
turned from my books to converse with Baptist. 
" What is the meaning of the word ^ Baptisin ?' " be 

A eooD ham's life. 159 

Asked, for oar conrersation had turned to that subject. 
^< Washing is the sob]^ meaning of the word/' I re- 
plied. << And why was I baptised ?" he said* ^^ Why 
are you washed ?" '' To make me clean." ^' Sup- 
pose you were never washed, you would be in a very 
dirty state ; bat is Imptism the same as washing ?" I 
said. Baptist looked very thoughtfiil: <'I don't 
know," he answered, " but you said it meant wash- 
ing." <' So it does, but first tell me, who washes you 
every morning ?" ^'I wash myself: Susan used to 
wash me two years ago." :^' And did she wash your 
body, or that part of you with which you think and 
hope and rememb^ — ^the part you cannot see, but 
which is your very self — can that part of you be 
washed by water ? For instance, were you never 
out of temper, when washed by Susan ? and do you 
ever remember that the fair, firesh water with which 
she bathed your skin, wa^d away that temper firom 
your inward self? Have I not seen you come down 
-stairs after that washing, without a speck of unclean- 
ness on your fiice, with your hair in smooth and 
isfaining order, and yet your spirit full of unkindness 
and ill t^nper ? would that kind of washing with ' 
water ^deanse you inwardly?" ^'No, indeed it 
-would not," he replied. " And now, my children," 
I said, for my little Lisa had risen from her stool, and 
laid down her knitting,* and stood on the opposite side 
of the table, leaning her cheek on h&t hand, and look- 
ing earnestly in my face, ^^ we will try to understand 
dearly about this washing, by taking the right way of 
doing so ; that is, we wiU read together what God 


has siud b the Holy Bible." But fiist of all we 
knelt down together, and asked our Hearenlj Father, 
ht the sake of our Lord Jssus Chbist, to send down 
the Holt Spirit to teach us in reading the word of 
God. I always accustomed myself and my children 
to this habit, for we must not read the Bible as we 
read other books. We read together the first part of 
the stoiy of Jesus and f the woman of Samaria at the 
well of Jacob ; where it is written, that Jesus asked 
the woman who came to draw water at the well; to 
give him water to drink : and then we dwelt upon 
those verses, ^' Jesus answered and said unto her. If 
thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to 
thee, * Give me to drink,' thou wouldst have asked of 
Him, and He would have given thee living water. 
The woman saith unto him, < Sir, thou hast nothing 
to draw with, and the well is deep ; from whence 
then hast thou that living water? art thou greats 
than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and 
drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cat- 
tle ?' Jesus answered, and said unto her, < Whosoever 
drinketh of this water, shall thirst again ; but whoso- 
ever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall 
never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall 
be in him a well of water springing up into everlast- 
ing life.' " Here, though drinking, and not washings 
is spoken of, the same element, water, is the subject 
of discourse. The woman did not understand what 
He meant by this water: she [thought of nothbg but 
quenching the thirst felt in the throat and mouth of 
the body, and her thoughts were at the bottom of the 

A oooo man's life. 161 

wen of water, beside which she was then standing* 
Some other water was spoken of by our Lord ; 
water to be drank by the spiritual part of man, and 
to wash clean the spiritual part of man. Now let us 
see if the meanmg of this water is told us in the Bi- 
ble. We then turned to the thirty-nmth verse of 
the ninth chapter of John, where, after speaking of 
the same living water, St. John says, ^^ This spake 
He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him 
should receive." Now, if you look to the third 
chapter of St. John, you will see that our Saviour says 
in the plamest words, at the third verse, ^^ Elxcept a 
man be bom again^ he cannot see the kingdom of 
God." " You have been bom once, my children, 
but what does this verse say ?" Baptist answered, 
^^ That we must be born again." << But how ? read 
— ^the fifth verse tells us that we must be bom of wa- 
ter, and of the Spirit ; that is, of earthly water ; 
and of the spiritual water. God bids us make use of 
the water-washing which we can see with our eyes, 
to show us that there must be a washing or cleansing 
by the Spirit, whom we cannot see with our eyes ; 
but who is this Spirit ? I will tell you : < God is a 
Spirit, and they that worship Him must w(M:ship Him 
in Spirit and in tmth.' What I wish you to under- 
stand, then, is this : God tells us in the Bible that we 
must be changed by the Hoi»t Spirit, and what He 
tells us must be done, if we would be His children 
here and in heaven, He offers to do. If then we 
must be changed to what is good by being bora 
again of the Hoi»t Spirit, what does that prove ua to 


hRve been before that change takes place? Tell 
me, Lisa 1" Lisa only stared. ^^ What is the hand 
that needs to be made clean hy washing, before it is 
washed ?" *^ It b unclean," replied Lisa. ^< And if 
we must be changed to what is good, we must have 
been before, or by nature, bad. Of this change or 
washing by the Spirit, washing by water is the sign. 
CrOD tells us to be baptized, and He promises ^ His 
Holt Spirit to all who ask hinti.'* We did ask Uk 
Holt Spirit for you when we brought you to God 
in baptism, and now I expect you both to pray con- 
stantly for the Spirit." 

Ldsa seemed as if she could not keep her attention 
<Hi the stretch all the time. She looked rather wist- 
fully toward the garden. <^ Dear Lisa," I said, <^go 
to die window, and lo6k out over the flowers ; we can 
smell their sweetness here as the soft pleasant air 
comes flowing in : but do not forget, Lisa, what we 
have been talking about." 

<' Here b my mother coming," cried the meiry 
child soon after, clapping her hands ; '^ she is com- 
ing down the broad walk, but very slowly, because 
every now and then she is gathering flowers, and fill- 
ing the basket on her arm." We all went to the 
window, and my gentle Una saw us, and beckoned, 
as she looked up, holding up her basket of roses, and 
saymg, ^^ My little merry girl may come to me if she 
will." Lisa laughed with delight at the call, and was 
off in a moment. Baptist and I still remained at the 

» Luke », 13. - 

A «ooD man's lifk. 163 

I could have stood a long while there, gazing up- 
on her who was always lovely to my heart and to 
my eyes ; but she passed under the window, and 
disappeared through the gate in the wall opening to 
the wood. She looked up again and smiled, but did 
not speak. We turned to another window. Una 
was seated under the tali trees, and when she saw us 
again, she said, <^ I am waitmg here while lisa car* 
ries my roses mto the house, and brings my bonnet, 
for I have promised to take her to the school, and we 
are gomg the long way through the wood. As she 
sat there, m the dark soft gloom of the trees, in her 
snow-white dress, her hair gathered up and knotted 
with such (Tareless grace, a few of its silken waves 
hanging lower than the rest, over h&t fair temples, I 
remarked to myself that expression of modesty and 
goodness which makes the plainest features pleasing, 
and which gave perfect loveliness to her sweet fiijce ; 
and I thought ol her whom she resembled m name, 
the meek and heavenly Una of the poet Spencer. 
Perhaps he took the name of his ' Holy Liadye ' fiom 
the native country of my gentle wife; where he resided 
so long, and where Unah or Una is still a common 

Baptist was probably struck, as I had been, with 
the expression of goodness in his mother's lovely fece. 

^^ My mother is always good, father," be said ; 
" I wish I could be like her." " I hope she is good," 
I replied ; '< I think she is, as far as human and sinful 
beings can be called good ; for there is none good 
but one, that is God !" " And you are good too," 


he continued ; ^' and so is my aunt Lisa.'' i< Only 
in the way that I tell you, Bapdst. We are all by 
nature sinfiil, and we have all constant and difficult 
trouble with our own hearts, and we have nothing in 
us or fipom ourselves to make or keep us good. The 
Holt Spirit can alone make us good." That he 
might understand me more clearly, I led him back 
again to the window looking over the flower garden. 
There was a large bed immediately beneath, filled 
with roses and white lilies, and many other beautiful 
and firagrant flowers, then in full bloom. The gar- 
dener had been weedmg that bed, and putting it in the 
neatest order the evening before. Not a dead leaf, 
not a stone was to be seen. " Look at that flower- 
bed," I said to Baptist. ^^How did it become so 
bright with colors ? what made it smell so sweet ? the 
little stems and branches of every plant, the very 
earth beneath them, all are in such order and beauty, 
that perhaps a bank of flowery in the Garden of Eden, 
the paradise of our first parents when innocent, was 
not more lovely% But what is the reason you behold 
it as it now is ? has it been always thus ? has it been 
left to cultivate itself. No, the flowers have been 
brought from afar ; the barren soil has been enriched 
till it became the dark and fertile mould we see ; and 
even now watchfulness and care are constandy at 
work, (X weeds would choke the ground, and outgrow 
the flowers ; were it left to itself, all would be with- 
out order or beauty." 

My children left me, for Baptist begged that he 
might accompany his mother and sister. I was left 
alone to think of them, and to pray for them. The 
thought of them was continually coming before me ; 
and as I turned to the volume I had been reading 
when Baptist began conversing with me, I found my- 
self continually looking for what might bear some re- 
ference to them. My book was Archbishop Usher's 
" Body of Divinity," and I could not resist writmg 
out these two passages that I met with there : 

^^ When God affi>rdeth means, we must wait upon 
Him for a blessing in them, and by them ; when He 
doth not aflbrd means, we must not tie the working 
of His grace to them. Some have the outward sign, 
and not the inward grace, some have the inward grace, 
but not the outward sign ; we must not commit idola- 
try by deifying the outward element. 

'^ Infants are brought to the sacrament of baptism 
in their infancy, but are never by their parents taught 
the doctrine of baptism when they come to years of 
understanding : baptism is not made use of as it ought, 
in the whole course of men's lives." 

My one grand object m the educating of my two 
children is to make them (God helpmg me) think it 
a sort of impossibility to be otherwise tihan worthless, 
unless their life and conduct agree with their profes- 
sion. Half the evil in what is called the Christian 
world, is caused by its being not only possible but 
c(»nmon, for vast numbers to go on in a profession, to 


the principle laid practice of which they sddom give 
a thought. 

Into what a lamentable state the tradesmen of this 
country would soon be thrown, if it w^re equally 
common jfor them to have their callings written orer 
their shop doors, and supposed nothmg more was re- 
quired of them. Sitting down c(»itented with such a 
state of things, is like sittmg down to the dmnet of the 
Barmecide, who led his guest to a bare table and in- 
vited him to taste of many rich and rare viands, about 
which he spoke as if the table had been groaning be- 
neath their weight. But, to effect this, they must be 
brought to God continually ; not only brought to Gon 
at baptism, not only brought to God as soon as they 
are able to know the meaning of baptism, not only in 
every ordinance of our holy religion, but the counsel, 
the example of all who have any thing to do with 
them, should also breathe of this principle, and the 
prayers of all who love them should, as it were, con- 
stantly bring them before God. 

Alas ! how easy it is to say all thi^-^-those are 
truly blessed who not only know these things, but do 

Bradford, the Reformer, says, in one of Ms letters, 
<' A man that is regenerate is bom of God, (and 
that every one of us be so, our baptism, the sacra- 
ment of regeneratbn, requires under pain of damna- 
tion.") I like the expression-^^^the sacrament of 

A oooi> man's ufb. 167 

regeneration.'^ It so plamly points out what ought 
to be in the baptized man if he is a sound professor. 

Is it strange that so much should be required of 
the baptized person after receiving the sacrament of 
baptism, when ordinances which are not sacraments 
are not the less worthy in themselves, because they 
who are bound by them, and might be benefited by 
them, neglect the bond and despise the privilege ? Is 
the ordinance of marriage, for instance, the less holy 
because too many married persons are faithless to 
their engagements ? Are the ordination vows of a 
minister of Christ the less sacred in themselves, be- 
cause they are kept so pro&nely by many ? There- 
fore I agree with Bishop Hopkins, that " so long as 
we live in a state of sin, we who have received bap- 
tism live in peijury." 

Mr. Singleton was the most uniformly cheerful 
person I ever met with. His motto, like that of 
Kishop Hackett, might have been, ^' Serve Gdn, and 
be cheerful." Those who saw his calm, pleasant 
countenance, which, though not handsome in the ac- 
tual sense of the word, was made so by its happy ex- 
pression, would have said that he had no iritds. 

They little knew what deep and inward struggles 
he was exjposed to. ^< I am very much of the opinion 
of the venerable Bede," he <Mice said to me. " This 
inward warfare, of which we have been speaking, 
must last through life. In the resurrection every 
thing shall be perfected. Jn the mean time it b a 


great thmg to keep the field, and remain unconquei^d, 
though not discharged from war." He was a man 
much given to quiet musings, and deep searchings of 
heart. He would be away for hours in the woods 
and fields, and among the heathy hills, with the 
small Bible that was his constant companion, and 
come back reinvigorated and refreshed for more ac- 
tive occupations and duties. The eye of faith might 
have seen that he had been in the armory of the sanc- 
tuary, buckling on the whole armor of God. 

He would have agreed vnth the truly philosophi- 
cal Coleridge, that " an hour of solitude passed in 
sincere and earnest prayer, or the conflict with, and 
the conquest over, a single passion and subtle bosom 
sin, will teach us more of thought, will more effectu- 
ally awaken the faculty, and form the habit of reflec- 
tion, than a year's study in the schools (of the 
learned) without them." — Editor* 

The chief of sinners — ^yes. Lord, I am the chief 
of sinners. I cannot accuse others, but this I must 
say of myself. I judge of others by the outward ap- 
pearance; I judge of myself by looking into the 
depth of my own heart. I would not be always de- 
claring my smfiilness to the careless world who would 
not understand me: the silly and irreverent world 
are sure to accuse those who make such confessions, 
of committing gross and sinful actions, or of indulging 
a morbid tone of feeling. The world is apt to prove 
itself made up of blockheads when such points are 

A GOOD bian's life. 169 

touched upon. Where was the gross sinfulness q{ 
Job, one of the excellent among the moral and world- 
ly, and yet what was the confession of his deeply 
impressed spirit ? "I have heard of Thee with the 
hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee, 
wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and 

It is the sight of Gtod that brings the man who 
strictly searches his heart to confess that he is 
^^ wretched, and miserable, and poor,, and blind,, and 
naked." Rev. iii. 17. 

As a minister, Mr. Smgleton was often deeply 
tried by a sense of sin. Gregory die first, an enlight- 
ened and holy man, has left this striking remark: 
" Generally, those who most excel in divine ccmtem- 
platicm are most oppressed with temptation." We 
need not wonder, then, to find Mr. Singleton exclaim- 
ing, " Alas ! alas ! I cannot pray. I can only lie 
prostrate on the ground before thee. Why cannot I 
quit this body of sense, and sin, and selfishness ? I am 
tied and bound by the chain of my sm. The heavy ^ 
links hang, clogging every limb, the galling yoke 
presses heavily upon my neck ; I wince under it, but 
I cannot get firee. I will use a form, as I have no 
words of my own. 

" I know my Bin that locks thine ears. 

And binds thy hands ; 
Out-crymg my requests, drowning my tears. 
Or else the chilliness of my faint demands. 
But as cold hands are angry with the fire 

And mind it still, 
So I do lay the want of my desire 
Not on my sins or coldness, but thy will 


Yet htar, O God ! only for His blood ttker 

Which pleads for me." 

" Luther left a blessed consolation to the minister 
of Christ, when he said, ^Prayer, meditation, and 
temptatbn, make a minister/ 

*' It is mdeed a great consolatbn to me under 
temptation, that I could not speak effectually of 
temptation to my flock, had I not been deeply tried 
myself. I now speak of temptation from my own 
experience. Blessed be God for his mfinite Iove» 
Jecus himself suffered, being tempted, and was tempt- 
ed in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He 
also, as the great Captain of our salvation, was made 
perfect through sufferings. But how may I meet 
temptation ? There is a way to be * more than a 
conqueror, and it is through Him that loved us,'' 
through Him that said, * Without me ye can do 
nothing!' Yes, Lord! but ^I can do all things 
through Christ, that strengtheneth me.' What tru& 
and rare beauty in these lines of the godly George 
Herbert. I may echo them fjx)m the deep recesses of 
my own breast. 

'♦ * Ifoliness on the head. 

Light and perfection on the breast. 
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead. 
To lead them unto life and rest ; 
Thus are true Aarons drest 

Profaneness in my head : 

Defects and darkness in my breast ; 
A noise of passions ringing me, for dead. 

Unto a place where is no rest ; 

foot Priest ! thus am I drest. 

A GOOD man's life. 171 

Only another head 

I have ; another heart and hreast ; 
Another music, making *live, not dead ; * 

Without whom I could have no rest ; 

In him I am well drest. 

So, holy in my head ; 

Perfect and light in my dear breast ; 
My doctrine tun'd by Christ, who is not dead, ^ 

But lives in me, while I do rest. 

Come people ; Aaron's drest.'" 

A Prayer. 

Blessed Lord ! I know, I confess, that my heart 
consents to sin ; if it were not so, I should not need 
Thy help.; but while I own my love to sin, I pray 
from my heart that Thou wilt deliver me from the 
slightest preference to it. While I own that I love 
sin, I pray for pardon — ^for the cleansing blood of 
Christ my Saviour — for the pure, strong, forceful 
sword of the Spirit to strike, cut sharply and closely 
off the sms that beset and would ruin me. If I per- 
ish, let it not be in yielding, but in struggling. If I 
am dragged down away from thy presence, let it be 
with cries and strong agonies of prayer pouring from 
my lips. But no— Thou art too gracious. Thou 
lovest those who seek to be sincere. Thou despisest 
not the broken heart — and there is one for whose 
most gracious sake Thou wilt make me, who am in 
myself a lost and miserable offender, a rich and joyful 
heir of the inheritance of the saints in light. O grant 
that He may be made of God unto me, wisdom and 
righteousaess, and sanctification, and redemption. 


Sin comes to the heart — ^but I must not give way 
to any thmg like a morbid feeling of misery ; if sin be 
not encouraged or listened to, but resisted instantly hy 
my being strong in the Lord and the power of his 
might, it is still sin, but not my sin. It is temptation^ 
and I suffer being tempted, but I am rather to count 
it all joy, being past, than to make myself miserable. 
If the fiery darts meet the burnished surface of the 
shield of faith, a shield of adamant, they fall bluntecl 
and powerless. 

Tnie and false Light. 

There are many false lights in the world. There 
is but one true light. 'Tis our nature to be drawn 
forth and dazzled by those false lights, by worldly 
ambition, carnal pleasure, uncertain riches. We seek 
the sparkling but fatal deceit, we ^encircle it, hover 
nearer and nearer. Wammgs are to stop us in our 
deluded course. A kind hand would there often stop 
us, often it is thrust between us aud the scorching 
glare, too often with too many, in vain. They reach 
the object of their desire, but it becomes their destruc- 
tion. The true light, the source of life, and cheer- 
fulness and peace, has shined in vain for them ; has 
been shunned as if it were some horrible and pestilen- 
tial meteor. Would you see the parable of this in 
nature's volume ? See the moth drawn forth by the 
glare of a mean and rank^smelling candle. Its red 
and glowing flame proves only too attractive ; the 
insect hovers neai^r and nearer, and the hand of the 

A 600D man's UIFE. 173 

observer is often thrust before the treacherous light : 
how very often is the warning ofiered in vain, the 
flame is reached, but with it, death. For the same 
insect, the bright and glorious sun, the source of health 
and life, has shined in vain ; the moth has shunned 
it ; we seldom see it on the wing till the bright and 
beautiful sun has come to its setting. 

Christ's Merits and ours. 

Christ died for us, not merely to supply by his 
merits what is wanting in ours, not merely to patch 
up a sort of righteousness for us. This is not only 
mean, but an unscriptural view of the subject ; it not 
only wants nobleness but truth to support it, though 
man naturally loves and approves a system which as- 
cribes as much merit and righteousness as possible to 
himself. The Gospel plan is imperfect on such a 
system. Such might have been the case had the plan 
of our redemption stopped at the Cross. At least it 
might have been a matter of opinion. Even then, 
methinks, he who had any noble idea of the nature of 
his God would not have been contented with so low 
and poor an estimate of the great atonement. But 
the plan of our redemption did not stop at the Cross. 
Christ himself has shown us how his sufferings and 
his departure in the body were to open upon us a 
new part of th^ Gospel dispensation. The atone- 
ment had been made for man on God's part. It had 
not been applied to man. Man needed to be made 
fit on his part to receive it, for the preparation of 


heart required is also from the Lord. '^ We have no 
power of ourselves to help ourselves." Christ's 
own words will best declare what I mean. " Marvel 
not that I say unto you, ye must be bom again." 
Be bom again. Surely this implies not partial work, 
but something altogether new. We did not merely 
need some new desires, but a renewed nature — ^not to 
be set right in some points, but a new principle. We 
are not told that our own righteousness will serve to 
cover us. It is called " filthy rags," by which is 
meant that it is, however pure among men, altogether 
defiled before God. We are told that we must put 
on the white robe of Christ's righteousness, and 
robes that have been washed white in the blood <^ 
the Saints. In this view it seems clear and plain to 
me, that Christ came not merely to supply what 
was wanting in our merits, but wholly to substitute his 
merits ; and then by the in-dwelling and in-working 
presence of the Holt Spirit, wholly to change or 
convert his children from their natural and sinful 
state to the image of Christ. 

Daily Light and Strength, 

, In my blindness to have the light which I receive 
sent from the very presence of God in the glorious 
courts of Heaven ; in my weakness to think that the 
strength I receive is the very strength of the great 
God. This very morning, the instant before I re- 
ceived it, it was with God in Heaven. Day by day 
he gives it, as it were, fresh and firesh. Oh, who 

A GOOD man's life. 175 

would mourn, because only for the one day before U9 
^8 receive the grace sufficient? 

* I cannot help thinking, that many of the most 
pious and holy of the present day want one lovely 
grace to their edified and edifying characters. They 
cannot, or do not, make allowance for the slow growth 
of others. They do not see how impossible it is for 
an individual, who has been brought up among per- 
sons of worldly views, and yet of moral and honor- 
able principles, to discover very quickly the radical 
error of all that is merely moral, merely honorable, in 
the professed disciples of Jesus Christ ; and How 
very possible it is for such an individual to have made 
great advancement, at least in sincerity of purpose 
and spirituality of mind, without having gained any 
acquaintance with the conventional terms and usages 
of the religious world. It is at the same time fear- 
fully easy for one brought up in a religious sect to ac- 
quire the language, and indeed all that may be taught 
by man of the religion he professes ; and the natural 
effect and consequence of all such acquirement, with- 
out the Spirit, is to create a feeling of self-approval ^ 
and of imaginary superiority over more spiritual but 
less fluent professors. 

Some of the most interesting characters I have 
ever known, have been those that were brought up 
away from a religious party ; and I have heard a very 
holy man declare, that he ever felt deeply interested 
in such persons, in assisting the formation and de« 


vjelopment of their characters, in remomg the awk* 
wardness of their spiritual gait, and correcting the 
blunders of their mode of expressing themselves. 
Besides, after all, nothing is more charming than ta 
find a very holy and spiritual person without the cant 
of conventional expressions. 

I wish I could see in religious professors more of 
the wionixig kindness that distinguished our only per- 
fect exemplar. How constrained has many an in- 
genuous and well-disposed person been made to feel, 
by the manner which can speak as plainly as words, 
in saying, you are not to be admitted to familiar in- 
teccQurse with us, for you are not an initiated person ! 
Where is the love and condescension of our blessed 
Lcx'd, who loved the young ruler, although he could 
not consent to make the sacrifice that Christ re- 
quired, and follow Him. « 

How ought we to esteem those who have all the 
amiable qualities of that young man, and are also 
ready to give up all for their Lord, but who are, 
alas 1 ignorant or inexperienced in the outward ex- 
pression of the faith of Christ. 

A sure proof that the religion of Jesus Christ is 
in the heart, is not only to see a pure, holy, denying 
spirit where self is concerned, not <Mily to find new 
views, and new life, and new works ; but to find, also, 
a lovely," never-failing charity toward others, toward 


A GOOD man's life. 177 

those even whom we think mistaken in doctrine, or 
worse than mistaken in practice; to see that their 
errors and transgressions are used tenderly and com- 
passionately, rather than bitterly, so that by the com- 
parison, if any be unconsciously made, self-approving 
opinion is never generated, as that of the Pharisee ; 
^^ Lord, I thank thee that I am not as other men 
are, or even as this publican." O Lord ! enable 
me to dread a notional religion. We know by many 
fearful instances it is possible to hold the truth, or 
something very like the truth, in ungodliness. What, 
however, is unsanctified knowledge or unsanctified 
wisdom ? The most distinguished among men either 
in the one or in the other, stands like a babe, nay, a 
very fool, beside him, who, though fallen, is an angel 
fallen, who hath visited the secret chamber of every 
human heart that ever existed ; through whose in- 
fernal wiles it was, that the world by wisdom knew 
not God. 

I have often observed the transforming effect of 
vital religion on a common-place character. It imr 
parts at once a sort of intellectual originality, as well 
as a moral superiority. M aily persons have I met 
become, by the grace of God, holy believers and 
faithful disciples of our Lord, persons whom I re- 
membered as barely endurable in society, talking of 
the weather, or politics, or the usages of society, or on 
literary subjects, in a trite and even tamely wearying 
manner ; the same persons whom I could sit and listen 


to in delighted silence. Even humanly speaking, the 
cause of this change may be easily traced : the intel- 
lect has been expanded, the feelings simplified in the 
man, by the grandeur and simplicity of the new ob- 
ject to which the intellect afid the feelings have been 
directed. — ^Lord ! I would be really wise, rouse me 
from* my lukewarmness, and enable me to seek this 
w'lsdom as silver, to search for her as for treasures ; for 
then only shall I understand the fear of the Lord, and 
find the knowledge of God. It is indeed by praying 
and supplicating with diligence and perseverance, that 
w^e attain this wisdom and abide in it, or all other at- 
tempts will prove vain. How many poor souls, other- 
wise weak and simple, hav^e by this means grown 
exceedingly wise in the mystery of godliness ! 

To be humble before my God is, comparatively 
speakmg, easy ; nay, it seems almost the natural im- 
pulse of the heart for the worm, man, to bow down 
humbly and with lowly* reverence before the great 
Creator of the heavens and the earth. Alas, how 
many of us are contented to be humble in this way, 
to say to ourselves and to the world, " Yes, I will al- 
low the great God to be more glorious and exalted 
than myself; I will consent to confess myself inferior 
to the Majesty of heaven, (for that is the humility of 
too many.) I will be as humble as you please before 
God, but here I stop ; I do not see why I am to hum- 
ble myself before the apostate and insignificant pride 
of my fellow-man." Here begins the difficult task, 

A GOOD man's life. 179 

at least I own, the task difficult to me. O Lord, 
give me a bumble, lowly, patient spirit, teach me to 
be bumbled in the dust, not only before Thy great 
and glorious Majesty, but before and among my fel- 
low-creatures ; let me be lowly and meek toward all, 
make me to bow before all ; no, let there be not one 
I exception of the vilest and most despicable. When I 
could Jift up my head with conscious superiority; 
when I feel that I could shoot out arrows of keen and 
piercing sarcasm ; when I could merely by words, 
pierce my insulting adversary through and through ; 
when I am unjustly attacked ; when, having studied 
not to give ofience, I am met with cool and system- 
atic impertinence, the cowardly insolence of the low- 
minded ; then. Lord, stand by my side and help me ; 
let me not merely conceal my feelings, for that would 
be but a refined hypocrisy ; let me, with Thy grace, 
stifle them by prayer, till they fall down with all their 
wicked vitality departed, and in their place, kind, 
gracious, forgiving, gentle love, sit smiling. Silence 
not merely my tongue, but destroy the evil spirit at 
the root of that unruly member, and do not merely 
confine in my throbbing, bursting heart, as in a prison- 
house, the struggling fiend, but bind and bear a\isay 
that furious inmate ; and may Thy dove-like Spirit 
take its place ! Lord, in these times of trial lead me 
forth far from my sinful self. If it be Thy blessed 
will, lead me in spirit to the mountam where these 
words were heard from Thine own gracious lips : 
" Blessed are the poor m spirit, for theirs is the king- 
dom of heaven;" or lead me in the spirit to that 


common hall where Thou wert bound, and scouiged, 
and blindfolded, and buffeted, and spit upon. Let 
me see Thee in the trappings of the purple robe, and 
the crown of thorns, and the fnul, bending reed as 
the sceptre of Thy right hand ; let me see Thee with 
the cup of gall and vinegar at Thy parched lips, and 
let me see Thy meek, forgiving eyes, Thy sil^at lips. 
Thy sweet, but sorrowful countenance ; let me see 
Thee fainting beneath the ponderous cross, yet un- 
complaining — ^transfixed and bleeding on the cross — 
mocked and insulted there, yet uncomplaining ; let 
me bear it ever in mind that when Thy cry of agony 
burst, forth, it rose not against Thy persecutors ; the 
horrible burden of our sins, the hidings of Thy Fa- 
ther's countenance forced it from .Thee. The only 
words that rose from Thy breast in answer to the 
tauntmg and insulting cruelties of man, wei», " Fa- 
ther, forgive them.'' Sin drew forth Thy complaints, 
suffering drew forth Thy prayers and blessmgs. O, 
Son of man ! lead me to Thy cross, and shame me 
there, shame me for daring to complain under my 
light burden. Wherefore should a living man com- 
plain, a man for the punishment of his sins ? who is it 
that has added, ^^ a sinner has no right, a sinner has 
no reason ?" 

Persons (some persons, I should say) wonder 
that we can be so happy in our little unknown village : 
they tell me that even a few months spent in such 
a dull retirement, would make them melancholy. I 

A GOOD man's life. 181 

cannot help sndlmg at their wonder. I see nothing 
to make me melancholy in waving woods, and green 
pastures, and fields all golden with the ripening grain, 
rejoicing with one consent in the favor of Him who giv- 
eth the sweet rain and the warm and genial sunshine, 
and all the blessed influences of regular and revolving 
seasons. I see much to make any thinking man 
melancholy when I enter the streets of a large city. 
The profligacy of the rich, the vices of the poor, are 
there continually forced upon otor notice : but melan- 
choly in my little, happy village ! At least I cannot 
feel so from any thing in the place itself. Every cot- 
tage, every lane, every narrow field-path, has to me 
some association dear to my heart, or pleasurable to 
my feelings, for I have seen them under many aspects. 

Among Mr. Singleton's papers there are many re- 
lating merely to circumstances of too common-place a 
character to be worth recording. There is, however, 
an account of a poor woman, which may be thought 
to possess a more than ordinary interest. 

A fimeral came forth from the poor-house. The 
sexton's man, a poor, lame, wretched-looking crea- 
ture, limped before^ leading the mean procession; 
then came four lazy listless men, idle inhabitants of 
the poor-house, bearing on their strong shoulders a 
rude shell. Two or three women, slatterns in their 
dress and carriage, followed after, arm in arm, gos- 
sipping in whispers together. The bearers put down 
the coffin with a jerk, and so carelessly that, from the 

182 THE RBC0R08 OP 

inequality of the ground on which it rested, it nearly 
turned over. The coffin was smeared with a dark 
lead-colored water paint : there was no handle ; nor 
even two of those poor little leaden letters which are 
generally affixed to the coffins of the poor, just the bi- 
tial letters ef the humble name. The men who stood 
beside the grave, stretched themselves, gaped, or stared 
about. The women looked on with vacant, heed- 
less faces, silent only fix)m reverence to their minis- 
ter. I could not help feeling deeply, nor could I 
restrain a sigh as they let down the coffin into the 
grave. The group separated, and left the sexton 
flinging the earth into the grave. I never felt a deep- 
'er and drearier sorrow for one whom I did not love, 
than at the funeral of the poor woman whose, corpse 
I had just buried. She was, by nature, one of those 
dull, common-place creatures, whom no relative cir- 
cumstances could have improved. At least, such 
she seemed. She had no relations, no friends, not 
an acquaintance who will miss her. I know not her 
early history. I never felt a sufficient interest in her 
to inquire into it. I have often spoke to her, but she 
never seemed to trouble herself with taking much 
heed of my words. She would sit with her arms 
folded together, and her head and bosom huddled up 
over her knees, staring with a look of perfect uncon- 
cern, while I have been reading the fine affecting 
stories of the New Testament. To my questions, 
when I appealed to the truth and natural descriptions 
of those stories, she would assent, but with careless 
undistinguishable sounds ; they were scarcely words. 

A GOOD man's life. 183 

Her feelings and sympathies seemed confined within 
a narrow circle of petty selfishness. The only time 
I ever saw any thing like expression upon her coun- 
tenance, was when she stopped me in the village 
street, and asked me for a few halfpence to buy some 
snuff with. She died suddenly, dropped bom her 
chair seemingly half asleep, after having eaten a 
hearty supper. 

The grass will soon be green on the little mound 
which covers her body. None will care to remember 
the spot. She will be forgotten. I was joined by 
Lady Helen and hiy wife, while standing in the 
church porch, looking at the sexton, as he carelessly 
threw in the earth to close the grave, and thinking all 
the while of the wretched old creature whose body 
had been laid in the grave. \ told them how 
deeply I had been shocked. As I spoke about the 
poor woman, " There, is one," said Helen, point- 
ing to an elderly woman, who was sitting down on a 
low tombstone, — " there is a woman who might sit for 
the portrait of her whom you have described. Might 
she not ? Did you ever see such a stupid, heartless- 
looking being ?" " That woman !" said Una, " why 
she is my curate. She is really one of the most 
active and intelligent creatures in the parish !" 

Lady Helen was indeed mistaken. Martha Fir- 
man was a real heroine. I have seldom seen a per- 
son whose appearance was not disgustingly ugly, so 
extremely plain : her features were coarse, her eyes 
dull and gray, her hair cut short upon^ her forehead, 
her figure of rude proportions, her manner rough, her 


voice loud and coarse as that of a man. Such was 
the impression of her appearance at first upon the 
mind ; but the respect her conduct inspired, soon as- 
sociated her character and appearance together, and 
the eye took a liking to the latter, fix>m the respect 
which the heart bore to the former. In all she said 
and did, she was in earnest. She took the plain, 
straight-forward way of truth, and she did so with 
an unaffected lowliness of spirit and a tenderness of 
Christian love really extraordinary in one of her rank 
in life. In her religion she evidently proved that she 
knew nothing of the way of the world. She seemed 
to keep the world in its proper place — out of her 
heart. She did not forget that she had promised and 
vowed, when early dedicated to God, to renounce the 
world, because it is written,* that " the friendship of 
the world is enmity with God." Her bodily strength 
was as surprising as her mental courage and decision. 
Once, in a fight, she threw herself between the two 
combatants, and, with, astonishing dexterity and 
strength, kept her ground till she forced them to listen 
to her, and then she spoke to them with such artless 
and energetic feeling, now touching on domestic cir- 
cumstances, well known to each of them ; how bring- 
ing before them the awful rebukes, and the affecting 
appeals of the word of God with such eloquence, (a 
^ by-stander declared, * a preacher could not have done 
it better,') that her interference, and perhaps the ac- 
knowledged influence of her character, prevailed ; one 

* James iv. 4. 

A GOOD man's life. 185 

of the men half sullenly and half willingly held out 
his hand to his antagonist, and the fight was nded. 
She had sat by the bed-side of one of these men, and 
constantly attended to his family, at a time when he 
was supposed to be dying with a malignant fever, 
and his house was shunned by every one. 

Martha was sometimes of great use to me. She 
would go quietly with her JBible to those who could 
not read, and take a great deal of pains with them ; 
indeed, where any office of kindness and assistance 
was needed, there Martha .was sure to be. One day 
as 1 was passing a cottage, the owners of which 
were persons of notoriously bad character, I saw 
Martha, to my astonishment, sitting on a rude, low 
bench, near the open door, and a pretty looking girl 
beside her. I had frequently called on the inhabit- 
ants of that cottage, and met with as many rebufifs ; 
still I had determined to go there again and again, 
for we should never give up the most erring sheep in 
our flock. A good opportunity now occurred for 
another trial. 

" How are you employing yourself, here ?" I said 
to Martha. She answered immediately, " I am giv- 
ing a look to my godchild, Susan. She has been 
reading to me, and now I was questioning her a bit, 
which is no more than my duty." The Word god- 
child at once interested my heart. 

"I have known Sarah Wickham, this child's 
mother," she said, " since we were girls together ; and 
when this child was born,, nothing would do but I 
must stand godmother. I refused at first," she added 


looking expressively at me : "I had my reason ; but 
Sarah said so much about it, that at last I consented, 
on condition that I should speak both to child and 
parents, when and as it pleased me. It did my 
heart good, sir," she said, " to hear you go on as you 
did last Sunday, about the way in which the duties of 
the godfather and godmother are neglected now-a- 
days : and your words came home to me, for I was 
beginning to give it up as a bad job, coming here to 
tell this child what a solemn promise and profession 
she has made by me. But after all, sir," she added, 
** the duty that God requires is generally plainly set 
before us, and we have just to obey it, and leave the 
event with God." 

Martha's godchild grew up a sensible, modest 
young woman, to the astonishment of every one who 
knew her parents' characters, and the hat^its of her 
family. Her sisters and brothers were bold and law- 
less ; but Martha prevailed on a sister of hers, who 
kept a little shop in the next village, to take Susan, 
when about fourteen, to help in the house, and some- 
times in the shop, and the customers and all the 
neighbors soon gave the young girl an excellent 
character. Martha would have taken Susan to live 
with her, but she had brought up an orphan boy, the 
son of another sister, and he was the last person she 
wished Susan to see much of. This lad, James 
Baker, had been long a source of great grief to her. 
He had begun to neglect work and go out with the 
game-keeper in the neighborhood, and from that time 
(for this game-keeper was a man of very bad char- 

A GOOD man's life. 187 

acter) James Baker was rather a suspected person. 
The game-keeper was turned away by his master 
for dishonesty, and it was whispered about, that his 
friend, James Baker, had been his accomplice in 
many of his 4ransactions, particularly in carrying a 
large basket weekly, to meet a London wagon at 
the end of a lane which leads to the high road. The 
wagon had been searcheS, and the basket, when 
opened, was found to contain eight or more brace of 
pheasants. Baker, after this discovery, became a 
sort of careless idler, pretending that he could not get 
work, though he had been known more than once to 
refuse work when it was offered to him. He left his 
aunt's house in a fit of sullen ill-humor, because she 
objected to his being often out all night, and to his 
keeping, almost in a secret way, a lurcher, which his 
friend, the game-keeper, had given him ; this dog being 
tied up all day in a shed behind the house, and, as 
Martha suspected, taken out by his master at night. 
He took a lodgbg with the Wickhams. Susan had 
left home before he went to lodge at her father's 
bouse ; but Baker had often seen her before with his 
aunt, and had long thought of making her his wife ; 
and one afternoon, when Susan came to see her 
parents, he walked back with her to the shop, and 
proposed to marry her. To hb astonishment, (for he 
was a fine looking man, much admired by the dam- 
sels of the neighborhood, and much more admired by 
himself,) Susan refused him at once. He was not 
to be easily repulsed ; but Susan, though kind and 
gentle in her refusal, was very decided. She told 

188 THE RB00RD8 OF 

him frankly, that she never would have married so 
idle a character as himself, or one so ungrateful as he 
had proved to his aunt, and she added, that even bad 
he been a steady person, he was not the man she 
should have chosen for her husband. James Baker, 
though deeply mortified, was not to be discouraged. 
His pride and vanity were piqued by her refusal, and 
he determined to obtain ber if possible. The first 
thing he did was to go at once to bis aunt, ask 
pardon for his ungrateful conduct, and beg to be 
received into her house again. Martha forgave him 
gladly, and received him as a son. She was the 
better pleased, as nothing was said of the lurcher 
but that he was given away. He said, as he had 
often said before, that, as soon as he could get work, 
he. should be very steady ; and to prove his anxiety 
to be industrious, he set to work that very evening 
in his aunt's garden, and in a few _days put every 
part of it in order. He made Martha the confidant 
of his attachment to her godchild, and earnestly 
begged her to use her influence with Susan to 
induce her to accept him. Martha told him at once, 
that she saw no prospect of success for him with 
Susan. It had been once, she said, the first wish of 
her heart, to see the two beings she loved best in the 
world united in marriage, but she had been forced to 
confess, that he would not be a good husband to her 
beloved Susan ; and she added, that she had even 
given her advice to Susan to marry another man, who 
had asked her to become his wife. This accepted 
«uitor was George Woodman, the son of the new 

A GOOD man's life. 189 

game-keeper. Martha perceived that her nephew 
was very angry when she' made this communication to 
him, but they were sitting in the dull twilight of a 
cloudy evening, over the embers of the fire, and she 
did not see the look of deep and deadly rage that 
came over his countenance. " I thought it best to 
tell you this about young Woodman," she said, " be- . 
cause, much as I have wished to see you Susan's hus- 
band, I know 'tis no use your thinking of the young 
woman^any longer." James made no answer, and soon 
after Martha went up stairs to bed. She had been in 
bed neariy an hour, when she heard James come up 
the stairs and ^ter his bedroom. He was whistling 
a merry tune. The next morning he was unusually 
cheerful and good-humored. He told his aunt he was 
going to try for some employment ; and when he 
came in^ at night, for he did not return before, he 
smiled and said, " You'll be surprised to hear who 
has given me work for some weeks to come ? who do 
you think, but Mr. Woodman, the new game-keeper 
at the Priory, for I find he is steward as well as game- 
keeper, having his two sons under him. Which is it 
of the two brothers," he said in a tone of affected 
carelessness, ^^ that is to have Susan for his wife, the 
light or the dark man ? they are both fine young fel- 
lows, only not over strong, I should think." " Susan 
is to marry the light-haired one," said Martha, 
"George Woodman." "And however steady the 
light-haired one may be now," he muttered to him- 
self, as he walked away, " I'll wager my life but mis- 
tress Susan shall have as" bad a one in George Wood- 


man, as she would have had in James Baker." 
From this time, James Baker was to all appearance 
very steady and diligent : he was constantly at his 
work, and Martha began to think, (so indeed did 
others,) that he was becoming a reformed character. 
She spoke to me about him with much satisfaction, 
saying, the only thing she did not like, was his con- 
stant visits to a near neighbor of hers, named Willis. 
He often passed his evenings with this man, and once 
or twice had spent the night in his house. " Well," 
I replied, when I heard it, " I don't like your nephew 
the worse for that ; no doubt he had been sitting up 
with poor Willis, who we all know s^dom quits his 
bed, for he has lost the use of his limbs." " Not of 
his limbs," said Martha, bluntly, " for I've seen him 
walking m his garden this very day, and on other 
days too." *' But any one may see in what a deplo- 
rable state the man is," I replied ; " his fingers are 
like those of a dead hand, and were turned the wrong 
way by his disease." " I know it, sir," said Martha, 
" and no one felt for the poor creature more than I 
did ; but I begin to suspect all is not right there. I 
don't want to speak ill of him or any one, but- his 
character is well known to you, sir ; and, though ever 
since he came out of prison last time, he has 'K^om- 
plained of his limbs, ^nd though his hands are in such 
a state he cannot button a button of his clothes, or 
even lift a spoon to his mouth, I fear all is not right 
there." Martha had more reasons than she gave me 
for speaking thus. I thought her (though usually re- 
markably charitable in her opinbn of others) very 

A GOOD man's life. 191 

UDJust and harsh in her judgment of Willis. " It is 
awful, sir," she continued, " if that poor, wretched 
creature has not left off his bad practices. Pray speak 
to him closely, sir, when you visit him, for I know 
you are often with him. I often hear your voice of 
prayer from the open window of his room." " And 
he always seems very attentive and penitent," I re- 
plied ; " still nothmg very satisfactory has taken place 
during one of my visits. His wife generally holds 
him up in bed, and he joins in a low voice in my 
prayers, and thanks me over and over again for my 

" His wife is a cousin of Susan Wickham's," said 
Martha, ^^ and both Susan and I have offered scores 
of times to sit up with Willis, but though they have 
told me very often they would rather have me than 
any one to be with them at their death-bed, to close 
their eyes, they wont let me sit up one night with 
him. I wonder at their preferring a young man in a 
sick-chamber ! Other young men, too, and those not 
improving ones, (as I hope my nephew now is,) are 
often there, there at all hours, — ^bad company, sir, for 
James, just as he's leaving off his idle habits." 

A few weeks after this conversation George 
Woodman and Susan were married; and Martha 
and James her nephew went with the party to 
church, and afterwards to dine at the steward's. 
Susan and her husband went to live in a small but 
pretty lodge at the end of a large wood foil of pheas- 
ants, which being in rather a desolate part of our 
neighborhood was often visited by poachers. James 

102 TBB RB00RD8 OF 

contmued constant to his work, still more frequently, 
however, passing the evening with Willis, and often 
sitting up all night with the sick man. 

A circumstance happened about this time, which 
I did not hear of till afterwards. Martha Firman had 
received a message from her sister, to beg that she 
would come and take charge of her shop for a few 
days, as she was obliged to be absent ; and as Martha 
had often done so before, she promised to be with 
her sister that afternoon. It happened after Martha's 
arrival, that her sister put aS her leavmg home for a 
few days. 

She pressed Martha, however, to stay a short time 
with her, but, always wishing to be as much at home 
as possible to attend to her nephew's comforts, Mar- 
tha declined the invitation ; saying at the same time, 
that she would spend the evening with them, and 
walk home at night. The family were brewing that 
evening, and Martha, who was famous for her skill in 
brewing, insisted on lending a helping hand. '^It 
matters not," she said, " at what hour I get home to- 
night, though I should wish to be ready to get James 
his breakfast to-morrow." " Shall one of the lads 
walk with you ?" asked her sister, as Martha shut the 
little gate in front of her sister's house. " O dear ! 
no," she replied, " I need no guard, for you know, 
Mary, 1 have walked this way at all hours. Well, 
God bless you all." " God bless you, kind, good 
sister," said Mary. " I am sure," turning into the 
house, and speaking to her husband, ** with all her 
rough ways, there i9 no one like sister M^rtba^,. so 

A eooD man's life, 193 

kind and tbougfatful-like for every one ! How well 
she thinks of that scape-grace James! I wish I 
could think as well of him. I only know I am glad 
he doesn't take to our lads. I saw him only yester^ 

day as drunk as ever, about the streets at F , 

though I did not like to tell Martha about him ; and 
Mr. Coates told me those two villains, Clarke and- 
CoUier, had been drinking with him all the morning 
at the Dragon tap. Poor Martha thinks he was at 
his work yesterday at the Priory." *^ Martha is a 
downright good woman," replied the husbanid, " and 
she loves the book of God, and strives to live to it. 
How well she put in a word or two when we were 
reading our chapter to-night ! I don't know that the 
parson could have made better sense of it." " Ah, 
well ! she has the holy angels to bear her company 
of a dark night, and the Holt Spirit in her heart, I 
trust, for to tell you the truth, master, I did not like 
her going alone that dreary way to-night. If I mis- 
take not, there's a tempest coming up from the south, 
it looks so black there." " Bless you, child," said 
the husband, ^^ Martha will be home before the tem- 
pest ; but, if you please, William and I can go after 
her." " No, no," said Mary, after standing in silence 
some minutes, ^^ I think the storm is blowing over to 
the other side, and if it reaches her at all it will be as 
she enters her own door." 

The storm, however, did overtake Martha, but 
just as a shelter was nigh : she was crossing over the 
hill on which Milsey church stands, and she quick- 
ened her pace and reached the old wooden poreh just 


before the violeiice of the storm came on. There 
Martha remained, while the blast roared and the rain 
rushed down in torrents, and peal after peal of thun- 
der seemed to rend the heavens above her. Deeply 
impressed, yet, in the midst of her awe, and perhaps 
dread, wondering at the sublimity of His power who 
rules the storm, there she contmued during a con- 
siderable time, for the storm seemed to increase in 
fury. Once or twice, as she sat calm and yet almost 
breathless, she heard the shrill sound of a whistle in 
the pause of the storm. She might have been mis^ 
taken, but she was not mistaken when, guided by a 
broad and vivid flash of lightning, her eye fell on 
several dark forms, all huddled together under the 
thick boughs of the yew-trees opposite. The ^torm 
abated, and as it abated two <^ three persons rushed 
across fiom the yew-trees and entered the porch, 
stamping with wet boots on the pavement, as if to 
shake out some of the water, and then calling, ^^ Come 
over to the porch, there's a better shelter here, and a 
bench to sit down on." 

The rest of the party came ; one of them, a large 
heavy man, limping slowly along, and as he entered 
crying in a drawling whining, voice, " Let me rest 
myself, pray let me sit down, this will be the death 
of me ; you said the night would be fine." A hoarse 
and brutal laugh burst fit)m the rest of the party. 
*« Come, sit down, old palsy," said one ; " but down 
at once on the floor, if you will, only don't bundle 
your fat carcass on me." While another slapped 
him with no little force on^e back, and said, mimick- 

A GOOD man's life. 195 

ing the drawl of the man's voice, " Game to the last, 
old buck ! the game bird does not fear a wetting." 
" Very true, very true," he replied with a chuckling 
laugh, " the game bird, as you say, does not fear a 
sousing ! Well, well ! this is a comfortable place ! 
We'll muster here another night instead of meeting in 
the open air. I find it cold enough, I can tell you, 
sometimes, boys !" " No, no, the yard, not the 
porch," said another in a loud whisper, " for who is 
to see from the porch if any one is coming ? now in 
the yard you may tell a hundred yards off." " I say 
the porch," cried the old man in his whming voice ; 
" but now, boys ! what has been done to-night ? How 
did you get on at the green ? — at the white house 
there ? they say the old man's warm ! and the cheese- 
room window ! — ^you said there was no bar there !" 
He had not said more, when voices were heard on 
the hill. Several of the party hurried out of the 
p(»:ch, and returned saying, " There are a party of 
men with lanterns, shouting at the top of their voices." 
The whole party stole out of the porch, the heavy, 
limping man managing to get out as soon as any, 
groaning as he went, for which he got a blow from 
one of his comrades, and an oath. They crept silent- 
ly round to the other side of the church, and in a few 
minutes two men, each bearing a lantern, climbed 
over the rails of the churchyard. Martha, by an ex- 
traordinary providence, had either not been seen, or 
in the darkness she had been mistaken for one of the 
party, most of whom were in dark smock frocks. 
Her presence of mind had not forsaken her icff a mo- 


rnent) and now, as she saw the men advance with the 
lanterns, and heard the voices of her brother-in-law 
and nephew, she ran to meet them as fast but as 
cautiously as she could ; ^< I am here,'' she whispered 
to both of them, ^^ only don't speak now, and get 
back into the lane. Never mind me, I will be over 
the railings as quickly as you can be." When they 
were over she said, (taking the arm of her brother- 
in-law, who had come with his son to seek her,) 
" Walk on fast, walk back to your house, but ask 
me nothing now, and, if you please, put out your lan- 
terns ; I'm sure we aU know the way, and the darker 
it is the better." There was indeed no danger to be 
feared that night; all the party that she had seen 
enter the porch, after crawling round the church, had 
hastened instieintly to a little dell in a field not far 
from the churchyard, where they had often fled for 
safety before. One person only beheld the meeting 
of Martha with her two relations ; the limping, heavy 
man had fallen over the graves, and he lay weeping 
like an infant there till his attention was roused by the 
gleam of the lanterns. He saw, instead of a party of 
pursuers, two men only, who seemed to know nothing 
of the gang. He checked his lamentation, and lis- 
tened with bis chin raised above the mound, to catch, 
if possible, some sound of words. As he looked and 
listened, some one passed close to him, and he saw 
distinctly three forms where two had been. He trem- 
bled with fear long after they were gone, till life 
almost forsook his diseased frame. Martha had made, 
that night, a discovery that almost broke her heart, but 

A GOOD man's uf%. 197 

she was silent. They all walked slowly ^bg w^bottt- 
speaking till they reached her sister's^ where she re- 
mained all night. She had time to recover fix)m the 
fear that she had felt on being so suddenly surrounded 
by daring and wicked men. 

" The white house on the green," she said to her- 
self, " and the old man who is warm, or, as they 
mean, rich. It is farmer Hotbam they meant, on 
Stoke Green." His house had been entered that 
night, and some property had been stolen, but no life 
taken ; this was the news that Martha heard in the 

There had been many robberies in the neighbor- 
hood, and the existence of a desperate gang was 
known. A few days afterward, a reward of some 
hundred pounds was offered by the county to any one 
who would bring the party of robbers to justice. Mar- 
tha Firman knew that it was in her power to claim 
the reward, but the mere thought of money obtained 
at such a price was sickening to her. Still she might 
not have hesitated to make a disclosure of all she had 
witnessed in the porch of Milsey church, refusing at 
the same time any reward, but one circumstance 
sealed up her lips. 

Martha knew not whether she had been discover- 
ed or not as she left the churchyard ; but she had so 
firm a trust in God, and so much personal courage, 
that, after laying all her perplexities before the only 
wise God, our Saviour, she determined to make the 
best use of her own good sense. After some consid- 
eration, it occurred to her that she ought to have seen 


before the only mse and right way of acting. She 
saw her nephew go as usual that evening to Willis, 
soon after the hours of work were over in the village. 
She soon followed him into the cottage and up stairs 
into the sick man's room : she walked up to the win- 
dow, which was open, and takmg her station there, 
she turned and looked calmly and gravely at the two 
men. They had evidently expected no visitor. 
Willis was sitting up in bed intently occupied in 
showing her nephew how to make what Martha saw 
instantly was a gin for taking game ; an air-gun was 
lying on the bed, and in a comer of the room, with a 
ballad on the chair before her, and a pheasant which 
she was quietly picking for her husband's supper, sat 
Mrs. Willis, alternately looking over the ballad before 
her and giving an eye to the pheasant. "I am 
come," said Martha, looking Willis m the face, " as 
a friend. I shan't mince matters, but tell you at 
once, and in a plain, downright way, what Fm come 
for. lam not the least afraid," she said, for she 
saw that Willis's eyes, which were always very wink- 
ing and restless in their glances, fell on the gun ; " I 
am come without fear ; one scream of mine would 
call John Mason, the constable over the way, and 
Dick Truman next door, and a whole possy of neigh- 
bors to my help. Remember that while I speak, and 
remember I'm no coward, and could master you, and 
your wife too, and perhaps Mister James also, if he 
was to meddle with me." " I thought it best to be 
resolute," she said, " not that I could have touched a 
hair of Jem's head to hurt him," and, as Martha 

A «ooD man's ufe. 19 

spoke, for I heard part of this from her own lips, the 
tears streamed down her brown cheeks. " I'm not 
afraid of you, or any man or men I ever met with ; 
but what I have to say is this ; I have known 
a long while that you were poachers ; but a few 
nights ago I was m the porch in Milsey church dur- 
ing the storm, and I found out that you, both of you, 
and some others, I knew you all, were robbers also, 
part of the gang that has been fer the last few years 
about these parts. I might have gone to the magis- 
trate the next mommg (for I got safe home) and 
^ven in the names of you all, and had every one of 
you taken up, and claimed the reward that is offered 
for you, or I might have kept my secret safe, for I 
don't know that any of you saw me quit the porch." 
Here Willis made an exclamation that betrayed him, 
though he checked himself immediately. " You need 
not check yourself," said Martha ; " you saw me, did 
you ? Well, it matters not ; there I was, and could 
swear to any and all of you ; and here I now aiiQ, 
ready to promise, that if you will, with God's help, 
leave off your bad practices, and break up your gang, 
and try to get your bread in an honest way, nothing 
shall ever force me to say a word to any creature of 
what I saw or heard." 

During the time that Martha was speaking, her 
nephew looked very fierce and gloomy, and Mrs. Willis 
seemed very uncomfortable ; but Willis composed 
his face, and said, in a demure voice, yet with a man- 
ner that was meant to look frank, " My good Mrs. 
Firman, I see 'tis useless to have any concealments 


fifom you, or, as you say, to mmce matters ; and we 
might make it worth your while, my good fiiend, to 
hold your tongue ; and as you are, like me, Mrs. Fir- 
man, not so young as you once were, there are many 
little comforts — many a bit of game—" 

" I had no patience to bear the old villain speak," 
said Martha ; " I could not help crying out. Get thee 
hence, Satan !" ^' Don't pretend to misunderstand 
and wheedle me, you bad old man," she cried out. 
" You it is, who have been the misery of half the 
young men in these parts, and a black account you 
will have to give after death, unless you pray God to 
change your heart. But answer me at once, both of 
you — ^Do you promise ? or do you not ? that's what 
I am come to ask." The promise was made. 

One evening, Martha, having waited some time for 
her nephew to return home, was rakmg out her fire 
and gobg to bed, when a quick knocking sounded on 
the door. She opened it immediately, and George 
Woodman came in. He had been running, and was 
breathless, and he said, " I am so very sorry to disturb 
you, Mrs. Firman, but my poor wife is monstrous bad 
to-night — ^taken with such a faintness and a trembling- 
like, and I'm afraid she may be put to bed before any 
one can get to her. There b nobody at home but 
my little sister Jane, and so I promised to come for 
you ; indeed, she has often told me you were so good 
as to say, that should she be taken bad, you would 
come to her at any hour in the night." '^ Of course 
I would," replied Martha, putting on her bonnet and 
shawl as she spoke, and in a few minutes they were 

A GOOD man's life. 201 

on their way to the lodge m the wood. The path 
"was narrow through the fields, and they walked 
quickly forward one after the other. Martha asked 
one or two questions, to which the replies of George 
were short and vague, and she thought he had not 
clearly understood what she said. At length they en- 
tered a lane which wound by the side of a steep hill, 
and here George offered his arm to Martha, and they 
began to converse. "And how was she taken, 
George ?" said his companion ; " about what hour ?" 
"I really cannot exactly say.'' "Cannot exactly 
say !" replied Martha ; " and yet you tell me you 
came fix)m her !" George did not like to own that 
he had not been at home since he left off work, but 
had been sitting with a set of very bad and idle fel- 
lows, over their cups, at the alehouse. " To tell you 
the truth," he said, at last, with some hesitation, " I 
have not seen Susan since the morning, when she was 
pretty well ; but my little sister, it seems, met your 
nephew, James Baker, as she was on her way to you, 
(this is what James tells me,) and he sent Jane back 
at once to her sister, and very good-naturedly he 
came to me himself — nay, he would have gone on to 
you with the message, only he had an engagement 
just at that time, and he said that I should be sure to 
find you at home, and ready to go with me to the 
lodge." Martha was silent for a short time ; then she 
clasped George's arm tightly, and said, " George, I 
don't know what to make of this. I don't think Su- 
san is ill — are you telling the truth ?" " I am, in- 
deed," he answered very simply, " for what I know 


to the contrary. You have been the kindest 6f 
fi^ends, Mrs. Firman, to my wife and me, and I would 
not deceive you for any one. I'll own to you, I am 
not so steady as I was. I have got into bad company, 
and I have had something to do with the poachers m 
our woods and elsewhere. I feel that I have been led, 
step by step, into what is wrong, and they are still 
leading me, for I am very weak.'* " George," said 
Martha agam, " is there nothing else to tell me ? Have 
you nothing worse than this to say of yourself ?" " I 
have," said he ; "I sold a sack of com, that father 
sent me down from the granaries for the pheasants 
only yesterday, to your nephew, who found that I was 
out of money, and over-persuaded me." " And is 
that all ?" still inquired Martha. '^ Is it not bad 
enough ?" he answered. " Yes, it is bad enough, but 
b there worse to tell ?" " No, not worse,'' he added ; 
" and now that I have told you this " — " You will 
confess to God, and ask pardon," said Martha, ^^ and 
I will help you to pay back all the com to man. 
George, I tremble for you, if you do not ask God's 
help, and stop at once. You are in slippery ways. 
But again I ask you — ^have you told me the worst ? 
are you in a gang with others ?" " I am in no gang 
— ^I don't know what you mean!" — "And Susan!" 
continued Martha, " my Susan, does she know of your 
keeping bad company, and of your bad ways ?" 
" She knows little, but she fears a great deal, and she 
has spoken to me more than once, and warned me 
in her sweet, mild way." Martha sighed deeply, 
and then she stopped, and 'turning to George, (the 

A «ooD man's life. t03 

oigbt was not dark^ but dull, and gray, and cloiidy,) 
she said, " Listen ! surely I hear voices, George !" 
and then after a pause, in which they both listened, 
she said, " They are on the opposite hill behind us, 
and that's the reason I hear them so plainly. They 
are not so near as I thought ; they have the meadow 
in the bottom and the copse to cross before they 
come into this lane ; and now, one word more : 
George !" she said, as they again went forward, and 
she spoke almost in a whisper, ^^ did James Baker 
say any thing about the path you should bring me ?" 
" He did," said George, " and I wondered he should 
tell me about the path to my own house : but he is 
always fond of laying down the law, and having every 
thmg done in his way. He said, ^ If you follow my 
advice, you will take my aunt through the lane and 
the farm-yard. She prefers that way, and you will 
have her as cross as may be, if you take her straight 
across the downs with the wind iu her face.' " «' I 
had rather go over the downs," said Martha, in a faint 
voice, ^' and xthere is no wmd to-night." " But we 
have passed the turning," said George, " and there 
.are persons behind us whom you seem to fear." " I 
do fear them," she whispered. " My he^ misgives 
me about thosfe voices, and about James Baker, and 
his telling you that he wished you to take this path." 
" Why should you fear any thing ?" he repKed, for he 
felt her hand shaking on his arm. ^^ You don't know 
all — you don't know what cause I have to fear," she 
said in a low voice; but soon after she added, 
^VGeorge, I was foolish to shake as I did just now, 


and be so fearful. Run on as fast as you can to Su- 
san ; if she is reaUy ill, and perhaps she is, come 
back to meet me. If she is not, and we have been 
told a lie, take her and your sister that instant with 
you, and leave them at your father's ; and then come 
back into this path where we now are, with your fa- 
ther, and your brother, and anyone else you like, and 
see after me. 60 now, for Susan is of the first con- 
sequence in her state, and I shall only flurry and 
frighten her if she sees me, and has not sent for me ; 
besides, in that case, I would not have any of us 
found at that lode lodge to-night." ^< But all this is 
so strange!'' said George. ^^I know what I am 
about," she said sharply ; << I know what I fear ; go 
at once, if you love your wife ; I can take care of 
myself." George obeyed her. All this Martha had 
spoken m a whisper, or in an under-tone, and she had 
walked at a brisk rate. She now went on even faster, 
till she reached the farm-yard just spoken of. It was 
merely a bam and some^ hay-stacks, and stood far 
away' fix)m any house ; the lodge where George 
Woodman lived being the nearest habitation, and 
nearly a mile further. She stood still and listened. 
The air was perfectly still, and the same gray dusky 
light still prevailed. Again she heard voices and even 
footsteps sounding on the dry clay of the lane. 
Scarcely knowing why, she looked around her, deter- 
mined to find some hiding-place if possible. She hur- 
ried to the hay-stacks, thinking sh_e might stand unob- 
served in the dark shadow close under one of them ; 
but when she reached it and stood in the shadow, and 

A GOOD man's life. 205 

saw eveiy thing so plamly> she felt that she might be 
discovered there, and crept quietly round to the other 
side. It happened that a short ladder had been left 
against this side of the stack, great part of which had 
been cut away. A sort of little platform was left on 
the top of the side against which the ladder was 
placed. Martha did not hesitate a moment. She 
climbed up the ladder to this little platform, and then 
drew the ladder up after her. Then quickly, and 
without any nobe, she managed to hide herself and 
the ladder under the loose hay. " They are gone on 
quicker than I thought,^' were the first words Martha 
distmguished, as the persons whose vcnces she had 
heard entered the farm-yard. " It's owing to you, 
you palsied fool ! You must always force yourself 
along with us." "Not always; but to-night I am 
wanted," said Willis, puffing and speaking with diffi- 
culty ; *' 'tis but a little way to-night, and you want 
an old hand among you, boys ! — Here's a comfortable 
place," he said, "I shall sit down here;" and he 
seated himself under the hay-stack, pulling out some 
of the hay to sit upon, and resting his back against 
the stack. "Well! what is to be done, since we 
have missed them ? Let me see," continued Wil- 
lis. "Two of you must go straight towards the 
lodge, and two must go back, and take the turning, 
and cross the downs to the lodge, and you may meet 
them there, and let my fiiend James and another stay 
with me." " And leave the young woman," cried a 
voice, which Martha knew to be the voice of her 
nephew. " Leave her," he said, in a careless tonew 


<^ Tie her hand and foot, if you choose. I'll go and 
see about her afterwards ; but don't let the other two 
slip." " And now," said Willis, " let us consider how 
the thing may be best hid. One tongue must be si- 
lenced to-night, or 'tis all over with us. We have no 
time to lose, eh, James ! — ^Do as I tell you ; the 
others will give you a helping hand when ' they come 
back. I wish I could handle a mattock or a spade, I 
would soon show you. Get the water out of part of 
that pool — you said you found it shallow near the 
bam — some of the clay will do it, with a few stones, 
and here and there a bit of hay — don't forget to slope 
the ground, and then set to work and dig as dei^p as 
you can." There was a silence of perhaps a quarter 
of an hour, broken only by the sound of the pickaxe 
and spade, which were in the hands of the two men. 
All this time Martha lay in a state of intense 
anxiety and dread. Her own situation was trying 
enough, but her chief fears were for Susan and her 
husband. Had George disregarded h^r, or had Susan 
hesitated to leave the lodge, or had they in any way 
been delayed in their departure ? She trembled to 
think what might have beenthe event when they 
were in the midst of such lawless wretches ! Martha, 
as Ibave said, possessed extraordinary courage — ^the 
determined energy of a brave man, combined with 
the calm enduring patience of a courageous woman. 
She knew herself to be ahnost within the grasp of 
wretches who, it was very evident, thirsted for h^ 
blood. She had not a doubt that the pit then dig- 
ging was btended for the grave of herself, and per- 

A €K>0!D man's lips. 207 

iiaps of another. She was aware how soon the 
horrible woric of death might be done, and even the 
spot where her body was buried might be undiscov- 
ered till generations had passed away. But in the 
midst of her gloom, the sudden thought came like 
light, she said, into her spirit : " My heavenly Father 
is looking on all this dreary while, and without his 
permission they cannot touch a hair of our heads. I 
am called upon to walk by faith, and not by sight : 
to mere sight nothmg can be more alarming than the 
prospect around me ; but faith sees holy angels near 
at hand, and Him, by whom the lions' mouths were 
shut, and whose presence in the fiery iuroace pre- 
vented even the smell of fire fi^om coming upon those 
who put their trust in him." And thus, with her 
eyes upturned every now and then to the heavens 
above, where, a few pale stars began to appear as 
the clouds cleared away, and with deep forcefiil 
strivings in prayer, Martha became composed and 
prepared with all her faculties and powers of mind 
and body, for whatever might come to pass. " Praise 
the Lord, O my soul !" she said to herself, " and 
forget not, at this time, forget not all his benefits ! 
There are streams in the wilderness for the parched 
with thirst — ^there is the shadow of a great rock iti 
the scorching heat — ^there is a shelter and a refuge 
fix>m the storm !"— Footsteps at length were heard, 
and two of the men that had gone to the lodge re- 
turned. " The old jade," said one of them, " has 
been too deep for us, and for once has given us the 
start ; and her blabbing tongue, instead of being at 

908 TBB EBCOSD8 €¥ 

rest for ever, is, no doubt, giving its information 
somewhere at this moment. There's not a soul in 
the lodge. Nothmg but the old h6und that goes 
about with George Woodman ; and when we burst 
open the door I thought he would have torn us to 
pieces ; but Collier has a way of coaxing dogs, and 
we left the brute quiet enough." " I tell you what," 
said James Baker, throwmg down his spade, and 
hunymg on hb coat which he had thrown off, ^< I 
have no objection to a scuffle if you have all a mind 
to stay, for I am no coward ; at the same time, I'd 
have you remember, that the old dame may have found 
out that we are a strong party, and she wont send one 
or two after us. We run a fair chance of being taken, 
if more than our number should come ; and, there- 
fore, I think our best plan to-night would be to get 
quietly, one by one, to our own homes. If they find 
us at home, and a-bed, they'll have a hard matter to 
prove we have been out to-night — and as for that old 
blabbing wench ! there are ways nearer home of 
stopping her tongue." As he said this, two other 
men rushed into the farm-yard. Willis cried out in 
a fiight, and the others were about to run, fancying 
at first that their pursuers were near. The men, 
however, were the other two of the party. " We 
stole along toward old Woodman, the steward's 
house," said one, gasping for breath as he spoke fiom 
the swiftness with which he had been running ; 
" there were lights moving about, and the door open- 
ed and shut, and several men seemed }o be coming.'^ 
" Home, then, at once," said Collier ; and they were 

A «ooi> man's life, 209 

hastenbg away, when Wfllb cried — ^* Stop one mo- 
ment, and hear what I have to say." Several stop- 
ped, but with impatience. ^' What I have to say is 
this — ^wait for me — help me up, or I am a. lost man.** 
"What! is that all?" said Clarke; "do you stop 
us for that ? Why, you managed to get as far as 
this place, and you must get back again." " To be 
sure," said Baker, " we are not going to hazard our 
lives for you ; you wotdd come, you old villain ; and 
'twas your halting and dawdling that has thrown us 
out to-night. Get up yourself," and off he hurried* 
" Only help me up, help me up," he roared out, 
" for my limbs seem stiff; the hay was damp— I 
can't stir— only just help me up, and I shall do well 

One of them came back, and, with some diffi- 
culty, assisted the man to rise. " I can't walk," he 
cried, holding the arm of his companion ; "my limbs 
are quite gone : help me on, for mercy's sake I" and 
he grasped the arm of the man as well as he could, 
making a violent effort to do so. The man tried to 
shake him off, but Willis still held him, and then they 
fell together. " You shall not leave me," he said ; 
and dartmg forward his head, he caught the man's 
clothes with his teeth, and, for almost a minute, held 
him fast. In a fury of passion, the man at last 
struck him down and rushed away. Willis began 
to moan and sob ; but his grief was soon turned into 
muttered curses of revenge. For a considerable time 
Martha heard him endeavoring to rise up, but his 
effi)rts were all in vain ; and now other perscms ap- 


proached. Willb uttered a low moan, and Martha 
ventured to lift up her head. She saw three men, 
only three— Woodman and his two sons; and she 
blessed God, that in his providence, the six ruf- 
fians had been led to hasten away, for had they 
stayed they would have been more than a match for 
the Woodmans. Martha heard them speak ; but it 
was evident they saw no one, for after looking about 
(or a few minutes they were passing on. Willis sat 
all the while under the stack perfectly motionless, 
for though the sky was now clear and star-lit, the 
shadow thrown by the hay-stack was even deeper 
than it had been. Martha rose up, and let the lad- 
der &11 heavily. The Woodmans came back from 
the gate, against which they had been leaning, to 
listen ; they had heard the sound df the ladder in the 
dead stillness of the air. One of them walked round 
the stack. " Holloa ! — ^who are you ?" he said, as 
he nearly stumbled over Willis. He opened a dark 
lantern that he had in his hand, and turning the light 
fall in the man's face, "What! old Willis?" he 
cried; "why, I thought you were too ill even to 
leave your bed-^your wife came to the parish officers 
only yesterday for relief for you, and told a miser- 
able tale about your helpless state." Martha was 
astonished at the readiness with which the man re- 
plied, in a whining voice, " Yes, indeed, sir, indeed, 
Mr. Woodman, I am very ill ! very helpless ! I can- 
not even raise myself, for the life of me. I was just 
going a little way to see a friend, a dear sister, on 
the heath, over the downs, and we got a lift in a 

A 600D man's life. 211 

neighbor's cart, you see, at this early hour — ^this late 
hour, I mean. The cart, you see — ^the cart came 
up for some sacks of com in the barn, here. Farmer 
King's an early man ! not like one of the new school, 
Mr. Woodman ! always manages to be early with his 
com in the market ; and we — ^that is, my wife and I, 
thought I might crawl, with her help, the rest of the 
way ; but I found I could not. I found how wrong 
it was to leave a comfortable bed, even to see a 
dying sister — a dying sister, Mr. Woodman ! and as 
they set me down here — the carter did — and as I 
found I could not stir — she, that's my wife, hastened 
back to get another cart to carry me hom^ again, if 
not to my sister's. I hope she'll be here soon, for 
I'm suffering fearfully from the damp; the hay is 
damp, you see, Mr. Woodman ! and I've been asleep 
I suppose. Well ! I hope — ^Mrs. Willis has been 
long enough ! I hope she'll come, for I shall perish 
here if she does not. Perhaps, however, one of you 
gentlemen would call and tell her how you found 
me ; and that I'm waiting for her to bring some cart 
or other— or perhaps," he said, with a wheedling 
tone, *^ perhaps one, or both of you younger men, 
would give me an arm, and help me to get home, for 
I can't tell what is come to my mistress." . 

" Strange, indeed !" said George Woodman, (his 
brother and father were at the same time helping the 
wretched Willis to rise ;) " have you seen nothing of 
Martha Fimian ? — of Mrs. Firman ?" he inquired. 
"I? O no!" replied Willis instantly, in a lively 
voice. " What ! have not you seen her ?" " She 


b here, safe and well," said Martha, who bad softly- 
descended the ladder on the other side, and now 
came forward. '^ I am, blessed be God ! unharmed ; 
and you are preserved also, my dear friends. Had 
you been here half an hour ago, the number might 
have been too much for you." — ^At this moment 
George Woodman was struck to the earth with a 
bludgeon, and a voice exclaimed, ^^ Not so safe 
either !" while two men, James Baker and Collier, 
rushed upon the elder Woodman and his son. They ' 
had stolen back to see if they could manage to get 
Willis home m safety, for they dreaded his tongue, 
and then they found the mistake made by their party 
in separating. At first they had thought of going 
back to their comrades, but they were strong and fiiU 
of animal courage, and they dreaded losing the 
opportunity which now ofiFered, in which they had 
at least a chance of getUng the mastery, as they 
could rush upon the Woodmans unsuspected and un- 
seen. Martha stopped for a few seccHids and looked 
around her. With her usual presence of mind, she 
saw at once that only two of the ruffians had come 
back. Hastenmg to George Woodman, she lifted 
him away m her arms, chafed his temples, loosened 
his neckcloth, and all this in less than a minute. 
<« Come, if possible," she said, and flew back to the 
encounter herself. She found the contest still doubt- 
ful : but soon the elder Woodman fell, and Collier 
(she knew him by his height, as bebg a remarkably 
short, thick set man) rushed down upon him. She 
hesitated no longer. Her strength was, perhaps. 

A GOOD man's life. 210 

little inferior to that of any one present. By main 
force she dragged back the murderous man, and the 
elder Woodman being released, they succeeded, after 
a severe struggle, in mastering, and even binding 
Collier. In the mean time George had come to his 
brother's assistance, who had already proved an over- 
match for Baker, and the two brothers secured the 
violent man. Leaving Willis in the farm-yard, the 
Woodmans and Martha set ofiF instantly with their 
prisoners to Mr. Wentworth, who is a magistrate, 
and, notwithstanding the difficulty they had with 
them, they at last brought Baker and Collier to the 
Hall. A cart was then sent instantly for Willis. 
The instant he arrived, he entreated hard to have a 
private interview with the magistrate before any ex- 
aminations were entered upon. The request was 
complied with. Soon after, the other four men were 
seized and brought to Wentworth Hall, but they 
had arrived there some little time before the confer- 
ence between Willis and Mr. Wentworth was over. 

When the six prisoners were summoned to ap- 
pear, the evidence against them was of course call- 
ed. George Woodman bore witness to all he knew 
of the events of the night, so did his father and 
brother ; but even to the astonishment of the pris- 
oners, nothing could be proved against them but a 
violent assault, (and that not on the king's highway,) 
on the part of Baker and Collier, against the three 
Woodmans. There was abundant room for suspi- 
cion, but no evidence in law against the other five> 
« I fear," said the magistrate, « though suspicion is 


very strong as to what was intended to have been 
done last night, if only from the half-dug open grave 
which still remains in the farm-yard, with the water 
of the pool there dammed up, that, had I no Airther 
accusation against those four prisoners, I should be 
obliged to let them be held to bail and dismissed." 
He stopped a moment, and looked toward Martha. 
The countenance of the poor woman, which is usual-* 
ly without any expression, was now marked with such 
strong workings, that Mr. Wentworth said he had sel- 
dom seen deep grief more expressive, particularly 
when she began to speak. Her rough voice, tremur- 
lous at first, but very slow, gradually became firm, 
and then its solemn slowness was almost awful. ^' I 
dare not trust myself," she said, ^^ to look round upon 
one whose wickedness has almost broken my heart. 
No woman in her worst agonies of labor has suffered, 
I thmk, even in bodily writhings, what I have suf- 
fered this last night ; but were the sufferings of my 
body, or I may say, of my soul, to be endured again 
— aye, again and again, so that I might save that 
young man, even from the eyes of men, I would re- 
joice to bear them. But I am not to be led astray 
by any such weakness as mine would be were I to 
screen him. I would rather see him punished by the 
severe hand of the law here, even if mine were the 
only voice to witness against him, and to condenm 
him. I see that his heart is set upon one dreadful 
crime ; nay, more perhaps than one, though one is 
enough to name. I speak, therefore, without reserve. 
I speak to save him fix>m the crime of murder— -the 

A «ooi> man's life. 215 

murder of one who has been almost as a mother to 
him, for he was brought to me when a babe, from 
his dead mother's breast ; and he used to say his lit* 
tie prayer at my knee, and he ha9 fondled me as a 
child does his mother, with his baby-arms around my 
neck, and his mouth corering my lips with kisses. I 
have worked, slaved for him, hungered for him, passed 
many, many a sleepless night, with him wailing in my 
arms. I have prayed for him. Blessed be God !'' 
and here, as she spoke, her eyes and all her face 
were lighted up^^^ I can still pray for him, do still 
poray for him ; and yet I stand here to accuse him. 
I have yet hope for him ; could I hope as I do now^ 
had that murder been committed ?'' Here she stopped, 
and seemed to shudder, as if at the recollection of 
some dreadful things that she had lately witnessed. 
Some one came forward to support her. " No,'* she 
said calmly, ^^I am not used to fits or faintings. I 
shall be able to give my evidence presently, but I 
beg for a little water. first, for my throat is dry, and 
my words seem stopped and dry in my throat.'* 
Some water was brought her, but, as she was about 
to speak, Mr. Wentworth stopped her. " My good 
fiiend," he said, " I have been considering deeply 
upon all I know, as to the evidence you can give. I 
thmk I am well aware how far it goes ; and I relin- 
quish it the more readily because, though it goes 
to criminate deeply all the prisoners now present, lit- 
tle has been carried into effect that was evidently 
proposed against you, and I fear against Mr. George 
Woodman. However, I have full evidence that, will 


coniict and condemn all. Isaac Willis, at his own 
anxious demand, has given me that proof. I warned 
him as to what might possibly make his evidence 
useless to himself; in fact, I set before him the law 
on the subject. He still insisted on making a fiill 
confession of the doings of the present gang ; and I 
have been for two hours, nay, more, employed in 
writing down his confession, to which his marie, as 
he cannot write, has been affixed in the presence of 
proper witnesses. In this written account, three of 
the prisoners — not James Baker among them,'' he 
said, turning his eye towards Martha Firman — ^^ are 
accused of a murder committed lately on an old man 
of large property at Haterleigh, in this county ; and 
all are accused of housebreaking on several occasions 
in the neighborhood, within the last few months." 

Willis, with all his cunning, had over-reached 
himself, and given evidence against his party. They 
could not otherwise have received the sentence after- 
ward pronounced agamst them. He had been as 
deeply implicated as any one else; but though it 
was evident to common sense, ^at he had been the 
prime plotter and contriver of every offence, he had 
managed, when ^e circumstances were related, to 
save himself fiom the last punishment of the law. It 
happened, however, ^at the wretched man was soon 
cut off, for he died in the car that was bearing him 
and several other prisoners to the transport-ship, in 
which he was to have been taken to New South 
Wales, his sentence being transportation for life. 

A GOOD man's life. 217 

I had been for some years a n^inister in the 
Church of England. I was reading in an old copy 
of " Baxter's Reformed Pastor," when I found these 
words written in pencil on the margin of the book. 
The volunifc had been taken, with several others, 
from a trunk that was lying at a farm-house near 
Southbrook, left there on the last visit of my father 
to the Continent. The words were very feWj, but 
they were full of delightful assurance and comfort to 
me, after the opposition that had been made to my 
becoming a minister of Christ. 

"It was ever my first wish and choice to take 
holy orders ; but my honored father did not consent 
to my doing so. Still my heart often yearns to that 
holy and honorable profession. I do not like to put 
any constraint upon the wishes of my son Ernest, but 
were I to point out a path of happiness to him, I 
should say, ^Be a shepherd, even in the most se- 
cluded valley, to guide the sheep of the great Shep- 
herd to the green pastures and 'still waters of spiritual 
peace. Seek not great things in a little and despicable 
world : they are but vanity and vexation of spirit. 
Do you consult my experience ? Do you ask my ad-^ 
vice ? Lay^side the occupations of worldly ambition, 
and desire rather to be made the pastor of a few sheep 
in the wilderness.' " 

I did not look for this ; I could not have supposed 
that I should ever have received the approval of my 
departed father ; but iiow, after years had passed 
away, his counsel, his recommendation, his approval, 
suddenly met my sight. 

218 TBB EB€0&D8 OF 

I kndt dowB with the book in my bands, to thanl 
Go0 that he had pennitted me to be a servant in the 
sanctuary. I kissed the well-known handwriting of 
my honored &lher, and have idnce gone fiurward re- 
joicing with new joy. # 

Doubtless we may hope that our pray^s, when 
offered Arongh the only way, Jesus the Mediator, 
will have their weight with our heavenly Father; 
but we have the comfort of knowing, that the strong* 
est appeal which can be made, is made by our lost 
and wretched state, our exceeding sinfulness, our in- 
ability to feel and know our need of His mercies, or 
to ask finr His favor. Man had not offered a single 
prayer, when die tender love of God moved the God* 
head to unite in their counsel and in their perform* 
ances. The same power which said, ^^ Let us make 
man," die same wisdom which foresaw diat man 
would be a sinner, the same love which said, ^^ Liot 
us save man,'' is now watching over us, and caring 
for us. And though prayer is the appointed means 
of man's obtainbg the favor of his God, yet the same 
mercy which saved before prayar was appointed, is 
ready to supply out of its own iiilness, all that is m^ 
perfect in our prayers. 

O LoBD, teach me to remember with a serious 
and lowly spirit, that I am come even into Thy 
presence, and let there be no thoughtlessness, qq 

A 6O0]>. man's UF£» 319 

levity, no hardness. o£ heart, no self-<;onceit within 
me, now that I kneel down to pray. Fill my whole 
sout with a holy reverence of Thy presence, and re- 
strain me in* every natural inclmation which is con* 
tnury to 'Eby will, tkat I may not be such a fool or 
such a wretch, as to come before Thee only to mock 
Thee by my careless words. Lord, while I kneel 
before Thee, during that short season, make me in 
thought, iob word, and in spirit, Thine. How awfiil, 
that, event when I seek Thee, I pray as one that 
prayeth notr--praise Thee as one that praiseth not ! 

O blessediLoBD I hear me now when sin is hateful, 
to me, when I feel that I am thine m every desire ; 
when Thy servant is l^ly in heart and purpose. 
Hear me now, and grant that the prayers which I 
now humbly oj&r up, which are the ardent and sin- 
cere breathings of a contrite soul, of a spirit which is 
covered 'with shame and confusion at its past wicked- 
ness, and seems almost too weighed down by its 
shame and ks pollution, to dare to rise and worship, 
to dare to hope. Let these prayers still linger in 
Thine ears, still remain in Thy presence, when I am 
not, as now, prostrate at Thy feet, in all the anguish 
of a contrite spirit. Hear these prayers when my own 
natural infirmities, when the vain and sinful world, 
have lifted me up to presumption and forgetfiilness of 
Thee. When I join in the laughter of fools, and 
stand up in the insolence of self-conceit, or when 
Satan hath ftimg a girdle of winning loveliness over 



the loathsome fonn of vice ; when the mask is on her 
hideous features, and I am listening to her syren 
voice, hear the prayers I now offer. Hear me then, 
when I have neither the wish nor the power to help 
myself. Hear me, for my Saviour's sake, who hath 
been tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

In my prayers I would simply speak to (jod. I 
remember how easily my words flow when I speak 
to man, and I would speak to God : making that dif- 
ference, I hope, that I ought, between God and man. 
How often have I wearied myself, and wondered at 
my weariness in prayer! I do think, because my 
thoughts and words have always had to undergo a 
sort of double process to become prayers, instead of 
using my common sense, and plainly speaking my 
natural feelings to the Lord. How often have I 
given advice to others, saying, " You have no diffi- 
culty in finding words when you speak to a fellow- 
creature ; think of your wants, and simply lay them 
before God, and in that manner pray." But it is one 
thing to know this, and to feel it, and apply it, as, 
God be praised, I have at last -been taught. I feel 
that no power but the Spirit Himself could so have 
cleared my perception, and enlightened my under- 
standing, and so sanctified tny natural faculties, as to 
make me practice, as I have done, this simple speak- 
ing to God. Who would understand this that had 
not been taught to feel it? Persons would say, 
« Why, all this is plain, any one could understand 

A oooD man's life. 221 

it.*' They litde know that the difficulty lies in the 
simplicity, in the very plainness of the duty. 

In praying for others, I have often found the 
enumerating so many names with thoughtful remem- 
brance wearying, till I thought within ' myself, what 
a comfort it was ev^ to be able to call around me, by 
the power of thought and memory, the absent objects 
of my love, many of whom I may not meet for many 
long, long years. What a delight to know, that I can 
follow them even to the most remote comers of the 
world, with a daily remembrance, with an unforget- 
ting affection, and that, whatever they may be em- 
ployed about at that time when they are summoned 
by memory before me, I am on my knees, praying 
to our heavenly and common Father for them all. 
Every day I see their dear faces as they rise before 
me, and one after one, I beg the blessing of God 
upon their heads. What can I do to serve them so 
well as every day to add a humble claim to the many 
which every human being has upon the Father of 
Mercies, the blessed Mediator, the Sancti6er and 
Comforter — ^to add a humble claim for more mercy, 
and more pardon, and more holiness and peace to 
rest upon them ? 

Do I go on! 

O Lord, teach me to ask myself, " Do I go on 
daily in the paths of holiness and peace ?" Where 
am I m the course of this earthly pilgrimage ? Can 


I'belieye myself humbler, and holier, and happier^ 

to-^y than I was ytsterdayl shall I ha^e made any 

improvement to-morrow? will any fruit on the tree 

of my faith have been ripened with a ray of Thy 

glorious light? Has any bud become a blossom? 

has any blossom turned to fruit ? I can only tremble 

and weep as I inquire. Ah, Lobd ! it is not for me 

to say Aat I have advanced in holiness. It is only 

for me to seek to do so, to press forward. O Lorb ! 

I count not myself to have apprehended. O teach 

me to reach forth to those things which are before 

me ; to press toward the maik for the:prize of the high 

calling of God in Chust Jesus. My sinfolness is my 

oum and his who is the enemy to all human souk. 

My righteousness ! I would not have it my own, even 

if that were possible. O let it be felt deeply by me, 

that it is " of Thee," my Saviour. (Isaiah Uv. 17.) 

O bring me more and more entirely under'the guidance 

of that power which'worketh in Thy children, both (to 

will and to do, of Thy :good pleasure. O let me never 

strive to work out that work which thou hast given 

unto all of us to be employed about/ even to work 

out our own salvation, without feeling that fear and 

trembling which is with me my great safeguard 

against temptation. Every day teach me to pray for 

a clean heart. Oh, how natural is it, if we did but 

consider, that a clean heart should daily be required, 

and daily sought ! Our outward man requires daily 

washings, or it becomes unclean and offensive even to 

ourselves; and can the inward man go on from day 

to day, without needing aJso its daily oleansings? 


Alas 1 the carnal and deceitful mind can perceive the 
one, and forget to notice the other. The outside of 
the cup and platter must be cleansed, but the vessel 
may daily become more defiled within, and man 
heedech it not. O wash and cleanse me with Thy 
Spirit ! Sprinkle ^me daily with Thy hyssop, and I 
shall be whiter than snow. Let me feel restless and 
polluted daily, till on my knees I have sought to be 
made " all glorious within," by Thy Spibit. O my 
Saviour, I come unto Thee ; leave me not comfort- 
less ; sanctify me, purify me wholly, in body, soul, 
and spirit. 

One of my flock has spoken against me ; how 
must I reconcile tmy spirit to what I would bin be* 
lieve an undeserved reproach? perhaps I. do not de- 
serve it: deserve reproach I certainly do. Could he 
but see my sinfulness, as thou, God, seest me, the 
reproaches of my enemy might thai indeed be heavy. 

tO LoBD, there is good in this, both to myself and 
him who b an enemy to me. It has brought me on 
my knees the oftener, to pray for him ; it has added 
the prayers of another mdividual to those prayers 
which are, I hope, offered up by bis own friends for 
him. O my God, if my conduct has justly offdnded 
him in any pomt, pardon me, and do Thou change 
me in that point. If his malice or unkindness are 
chiefly at fault, change that disposition in him. If 
he has mistaken me in any thing, clear Thy minis- 
ter, hb shepherd, in his sight. Let not this be laid to 


his charge. Bless him with a softer heart, and a more 
kind and Christian spirit. 

UnwillingnesB to pray. 

The carnal mind is at enmity with God. Carnal 
and worldly thoughts came crowding thick upon me, 
and I could not pray. Oh ! if this were tlie begin- 
ning of the last hour I should live in time. Would 
not my fearful spirit sweep away at once the multi- 
tude of vain imaginations which now cumber my soul ? 
Should I not perforce be fixed in every thought to one 
absorbing thought of judgment to come ? Why should 
it not be so now ? Why should this not be my last 
hour ? O Lord, let it be as my last hour to me. Let 
me not quench the little light of Thy Spirit which 
has struggled through my foolish thoughts to whisper 
what I now feel to my bewildered soul. O let my 
heart be ready. O let my heart be fixed. Awake 
up in Thy splendor before me, my glory. Fill all my 
soul with thy grace. Spirit of Heavenly love ! Brood 
over the dark chaos of my soul. Spirit of peacQ ! Say, 
Let there be light, and all will be light. Make my 
heart and mine eye single. Send Thy glory to this 
polluted temple. Come, O blessed Jesus, even with 
thy scourge, and drive away the thoughts of money- 
changers, and worldliness, and sin : and teach in the 
temple of my body : I am too unworthy to ask this, 
but through Thy merits. But Thou dost never turn 
from the prayer of the poor destitute. Be in me, and 
let me be in Thee. Ah ! Lord God, if I might but 
touch the hem of Thy garment, I should be whole. 

— 1 

A GOOD man's life. 225 

Thy servant is not worthy that Thou shouldst enter 
into his house. Speak but the word, and I shall be 

I am very de6cient in the arrangement of my 
time, and I have not sufficiently considered the right 
employment of it as a religious duty. " Let every 
thing be done decently and in order." I must remem- 
ber to make this a subject of daily prayer, and vigor- 
ous exertion. I am naturally averse to regular em- 
ployment ; my constitution seems to me lethargic and 
indisposed to constant active occupation. 

Thy glorious face is never turned from thy poor 
child : some grief may intervene and seem to hide it, 
even as some passing cloud will, for a little time, veil 
from our sight the radiant moon ; yet still upon the 
heavens the orb is shining as before, and it never 
hides itself, the cloud alone is the cause of the dark- 
ness, and the cloud rises from the earth. 

Walking in the country on an autumnal day is 
like conversing with a friend whom we are about to 
lose, whose death we know to be near. Every fall- 
ing leaf is like the last words of those who will soon 
speak to us no more. 



<^ This feeling of his own weakness was not weak- 
ness, but strength. For it comes not from our cor- 
ruption that we feel our corruption, but from God-s 
grace. Though God doth find many things in us 
that he likes not, yet He even loves and likes this 
thing in us, that we do dislike and loathe that in our- 
selves, which God dislikes." — From the-Funeral Ser- 
man on Lord WUUafn Russell. 

The sin of Adam in stealing die ap|de, se^ns to 
me a picture to us of the small beginnmg by which 
sin works in my heart. That act of disobedience, 
which many look upon as a trifle, opened the gate by 
which the enemy came in like a flood upon the world. 
The temptation was slight, but principle to God was 
concerned. Ah ! could we but remember this in our 
daily thoughts and doings. By what a trifle (as men 
deem it) sin entered the world ; by what a dight be- 
ginning sin also liters the heart! 


O ! Lord, shut out the world from me, so that no 
thoughts may rise in my heart which are not a subject 
for prayer. 

Give me grace to remember, bring now to my 
mind all those Scriptures which are suited to my wants 
and temptations. 

Let me be assured not only of Thy power, but of 
Thy willingness to grant what I pray for, but let the 

A GOOD bian's life. 227 

purport of my prayer be, " Thy will be done." O 
make that will my law m thought and word and deed. 

O Holt Spibit ! take of the things of God, and 
apply them to my soul. 

O Holy Spibit ! accept my prayers and thanks- 
givings, and apply to them the purifying blood of 
Christ, and so washed and purified from the stains 
and defilements of my sinful lips, and of my corrupt 
heart, present them at the mercy-seat of my Heavenly 
Father, the Lord God Almightt. 

Should you rejoice to be rich in this way ? Sup- 
pose if for an hour, nay, I will say a day, riches of 
every sort were to be poured down around you, the 
crown of a mighty monarchy placed upon your brow, 
the sceptre of dominion given to your grasp, and 
every pomp and pleasure, all that could gratify the 
sense and kindle the imagbation of the natural man, 
were spread in lavish profusion about you— -but only 
for a day— only one single day. 

Yet what on earth is ours by a more sure and cer- 
tain right of tenure ? Who that holds such possession 
of the things of time and sense can prove and keep 
them hb ? perhaps the moment he deems himself most 
possessed oi them, they slip for ever away, and he 
finds the truth, though he chooses to despise the 
warning of that sentence, ^^ Thou fool, this night 
thy soul shall be required of thee !" 

It is a well-known fact, that the pagan system of 
religion, among the wisest heathens, was to leave th» 


fables of the gods and goddesses for the poor and ig- 
norant, while the higher classes deemed their religion 
as merely of political importance, and looked upon it 
with scorn. 

It seems to me that our holy Gospel is considered 
in the same light by many who are reckoned wise 
men, and that they tolerate the Christian religion as 
being of some political use, but fit only to be despised 
by themselves. 

Some characters are mere walking dictionaries, 

they know nothing but words. Such is L ; what 

does he not know? but can he apply or make use of 
what he knows ? No, his knowledge stands in his 
mind as the words do m a dictionary, in regular rows 
of letters and words, useful as reference, nonsense if 

read one after the other ; L is a dull companion ; 

for who sits down to read a dictionary ? we use it as 
a book of reference, and then throw it aside. The 
dullest book which is not a dictionary is preferable. 

" But, surely, B is no human dictionary. He is 

full of quotation and anecdote !" Have you never 
seen the quarto edition of Johnson's Dictionary, with 
the quotations given after every word ? And is there 
nothing of the dictionary, with the quotations given, 
about B ? 

The lowliness of the Christian is utterly different 
from the mean and grdVelling lowliness of those who 
live in the indulgence of any base or sordid grati6ca- 
tion. It is a lowliness bom of glorious parentage. 

A GOOD man's life. 229 

growing, not like a sickly weed, at the bottom of 
some dark and filthy dungeon, but rather like some 
fresh, unnoticed herb upon a mountain's brow, cher- 
ished by the sunbeams and the firee airs of heaven, 
and the pure and shining dew. It has no enjoyment 
in low and degrading attachments, but it delights to lean 
meekly and confidingly upon His love, who " dwell- 
eth not only in the high and holy place, but with him 
also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive 
the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the 
contrite ones." 

I love sometimes, in prayer, to remember even 
the meanest stranger I have met on the public road, 
with whom, perhaps, I have not exchanged a word ; 
or to be urgent in my intercessions for some common 
acquaintance, for whom I have otherwise never felt 
any interest.' 

It is delightful to remain longer upon my bended 
knees, and to recall every individual to my thoughts, 
every individual, without exception, seen during the 
past day, and to pray for them, then to go still far- 
ther, and pray for all connected with them, but 
unknown to me. It seems to me, that our love ought 
sometimes to take such extended sweeps as these, or 
rather such extended embracings. Is there one we 
would wish unsaved ? How can we tell, but some 
for whom we prayed were in a state to need the 
anxious prayers of all their brethren ? What a safe 
act it is ! Who is there that our prayers can injure ? 


What a blessed act! Who is there our prayers 
may not benefit? I know there is no merit in a. sin- 
ner's prayers ; but I am sure my Heavenly Father 
will look down with tender, forgiving approval upcm 
those who love to bring him, as it were, many needy 
creatures like themselves, asking no blessings, no 
notice even, but for the sake of Him who died for 
the finendless and the vile, as much as for the happy 
and the holy. 

Baptist had a favorite dog that used to follow 
him every where, and was one of the most faithful 
and sagacious creatures I ever met with. He usually 

accompanied us to S , and though the town is 

large, and was often crowded, we never felt any fear 
of losing poor Sweetheart. At last, however, we 
lost him. His fidelity was not in fault,, but we had 
every reason to believe he had been stolen. 

The streets were unusually crowded on one of 

our walks to S , and we did not miss the dog till 

after our return home. It was then too late to 
recover him, but I heard that he had been seen 
dragged along by some tramping beggars, with a 
muzzle on his mouth, and his poor tail between hb 
legs. Of course I gave him up for lost. Two or 
three years passed away, yet Sweetheart was not 
forgotten by either of my children. I often heard 
conversations between them, at which I could not 
resist smiling ; for, in the simplicity of their hearts, 
they always spoke of the. great probability of recov- 

A GOOD man's life. 281 

ering poor Sweetheart, and of bringing the thieves to 

During a yisit that we paid to my brother and 
the Eresby family in London, Baptist and I were 
walking in one of the streets near Soho, when our 
path was stopped for a while by one of those crowds 
often collected in the streets when any thing is to be 
seen or heard. I was pushing my way forward, but 
as I found Baptist was in no hurry I also stopped. 
A man was turning the handle of an organ, and puff- 
ing and blowing with a rapidly moving chin at the 
pan-pipes that were stuck just below within his 
waistcoat, and in the midst of a circle that had been 
cleared by the mob were two dogs dancing. One 
was attired as a lady, in a petticoat of scarlet cloth 
ornamented with tarnished spangles, and a cap and 
feather ; the other as a soldier, with a cocked bat, 
and a very short-waisted jacket of blue cloth faced 
with red, and a pair of pantaloons, through the back 
of which his tail turned up. While the organ was 
playing the dance continued, but when it stopped, 
the dog in the soldier's dress took what seemed to be 
the crown of an old beaver hat cut into a sort of 
shallow dish from the organ-man, and, holding it in 
his mouth, went round the crowd to beg. A few 
halfpence were thrown into it. The dog came up 
to Baptbt, who had managed to get among the fore- 
most within the circle. He also put some halfpence 
mto the hat, and as he did so said. Poor fellow ! poor 
fellow ! The first sound of his voice had a magical 
effect <m the dog : the hat and its contents dropped at 


once, and, with a short joyful bark, the poor little 
disguised dog leaped upon him and licked his hand, 
'and seemed unable to express with sufficient liveli- 
ness the joy he felt. " Father," cried the boy, in a 
loud voice, " it is my dog, my own lost, faithful 
Sweetheart, and he knows me ; 'tis my dog that was 

stolen by the trampers at S ." The organ-man 

came forward to seize the dog,, but Sweetheart — for 
it was indeed the very lost Sweetheart — snarled and 
growled, and even snapped at the man. '^ He is my 
own dog," said Baptist, stooping down and caressing 
poor Sweetheart, ^^ indeed he is, and no one shall 
take him away from me. Judge between us," said 
the boy, with an energy that surprised me, turning 
and appealing to the mob, but holding Sweetheart 
fast under his arm all the while. The by-standers 
seemed almost as much interested as we were in all 
that passed, and many of them came between the 
angiy man (who seemed still determined to seize the 
dog) and Baptist. Indeed, the fellow had slung his 
organ behind him, and was coming forward with a 
small whip, that he produced from his pocket, the 
sight of which seemed to dash at once all the spirit 
of poor Sweetheart. After much expostulation and 
some threats, and at last on the offer of a piece of 
gold, the man seemed to think that his best plan was 
to give up the dog, and the whip was pocketed 
again, while Baptist released his old favorite from his 
military attire. 

Once, several years after, Sweetheart was mbsed 
by his young master at Oxford, and on turning the 

A oooD man's life. 233 

corner of the street to seek him, (which he did in- 
stantly,) he found the dog on his hind legs, turning 
round and round, and making a sort of slow pirouette 
before an old man, who was very slowly grinding an 

Baptist is ill — very ill. He came home from 
Oxford with a cold, at least we thought it no more. 
1 find that on his journey he was put in a damp bed 

at W , and that he rose with aches and stiffness 

in all his limbs the next morning. However, he en- 
deavored to shake off the illness that seemed to have 
seized him, and did not like, in his joy at seeing us 
all and returning to Kirkstone, to say much about 
what he felt. Martin Wheler, my excellent servant, 
first suspected how ill he was, on going to his chamber 
the morning after his return home. 

I cannot say the state of stupefied agony in 
which I first heard the opinion of the medical man 
who came to visit Baptist. He begged that he 

might call in a physician, and Dr. L , whom we 

were slightly acquainted with, came with him the 
next day. They soothed and pleased me, by the 
deep interest they seemed to take in my poor boy ; 
but after asking him a few questions, they begged to 
be allowed to retire into an adjoining room, that they 
might consult together. They remained away a 
long time, so long a time that at last I determined to 
go to them to see if any thing had happened to detain 
them. When I reached the door, I stopped a mo- 

334 TBB mscQUM or 

ment; they were speakhig in tones of deep, load 
earoestness! — they were evidently not agreed. 1 
thought it better to wait, as my appearance just theo 
might be unpleasant. I did not wish to let them 
see me a witness of their not agreeing. 

" I am convinced there can be but one safe way,'* 
said the apothecary ; — ^I listened more attentively — 
'< such corruptions must be cut off," (his phraseology 
might be accounted for by his profesaon.) ^'Cut 
off!" — ^'^ corruptions !" I said to myself, with honor. 
I knew not of any such disease about my darling boy. 
What horrid operation do they meditate ? The phy- 
sician continued — '^ I tell you, my good sir, I de- 
cidedly differ from you ; the mimsters are very right. 
I had a letter the other day fiom my friend, Mr. 
Shorter ; he is at the chancery bar, and he tells me 
that the king will certainly give up the point — that 
Mr. P was with him three hours and ** * * 

<' This, then," said I to myself, *^ is the anxiety 
of these gentlemen ! this is the deep consideration of 
my poor son's case !" I withdrew softly and instant- 
ly, sick at heart at what some might call very nat- 
ural, but what seemed very heartless to me. They 
soon after entered, with the same long faces they 
wore on leaving the room. " Your son, my dear 
sir," said the physician, (Baptist and his mother had 
left the room,) " your son is, I am grieved to say, in 
a state of great danger ; we have considered his case 
long and attentively, and I heartily wish we bad bet- 
ter news to give you. My dear sir, you must pre- 
pare to lose him."— 


After years of calm domestic happiness, the storm 
has burst upon us. Ah ! now I find it is one thing to 
talk of sorrow, and another thing to be almost over- 
'whelmed by it. Still I am not to walk by sight, but 
by faith. I am to look with the adoring gaze of faith 
upon things not seen, and not upon things that are 
seen ; for the things that are seen are temporal, but 
the things that are tnot seen are eternal. It hath 
pleased Thee, Lord, to take from me my first-bom 
child, my son. 'Tis no dream : he, that for the last 
twenty years was my companion, my sweet familiar 
firiend, is departed. Well ! my answer should be-—" It 
is well !" I know it is ; and by and by I shall be 
enabled to feel it. I must not repine. Are others to 
be sufferers by death and grief, and am I to be ex- 
empt? Are the sheep of the flock to suffer, and 
shall not their shepherd suffer also ? I will rather re- 
joice that he was so long lent to me ; and thank God, 
thank God, I have :retumed him. — ^To God alone be 
the: glory! — ^I have returned him, as &r as human 
knowledge can say, ^ washed, sanctified, justified.' 
The thought of his child-like love to me and to his 
mother, even to the last, how "exquisitely tender, but 
how agonizing, it is ! His arms around my neck ; his 
blessed, patient head on my bosom : the smile irom 
under those heavy eyelids, so languidly fixed upon 
my face ; and then***** Why do I talk of him as 
dead ? I might write on his tomb — " Gone before." 
He departed : He did not die. The second death 
hath no power over him. He is gone to live and reign 
m glory. I remember a letter of Jeremy Taylor's, in 



>vbich, when speaking consolation to a fHend, he asks 
him, if he would have been very moumfiil had his 
child been called to reign as a great prince in some 
foreign land on earth ? Shall we grieve when the in- 
heritance and the kingdom are not earthly, but heav- 
enly ? 

While we sat in the chamber of death, and the 
sound of weeping was heard on every side, I could 
not help thinking of those lines that occurred to me 
when my child sat wailing on his mother's knee. 

Then I little thought that I should survive him, to 
see them again exemplified in the same beloved child. 

" On parent's knee, a naked, new-bom child, 
Weeping thou aat'st, while all around thee smil'd : 
So live, that, sinking to thy last long sleep. 
Calm thou may'st smile, while all around thee weep." 

To my astonishment, she, who I thought would 
have sunk at once under the blow, rose up from her 
grief to comfort me. She pointed to the expression 
of beautiful and almost holy peace which remained 
upon the lifeless face ; the same thought had risen in 
her mind : '* Calm thou may'st smile," she said, 
" while all around thee weep." " How much have we 
to bless God for ! If it were possible to receive him 
back to that pallid form, after God has declared his 
will in taking him ; if he is with the Saviour whom he 
loved on earth, I am sure you think, as I do, it would 
be wrong to murmur, wrong to wish him even in our 
arms again. He will not return to us, but we shall 
go to him." 

Her wretchedness during the illness of her son, 

A GOOD man's life. 237 

and the* trembling anxiety with which she watched 
every look of his, and started at the sound of his deep 
hollow cough, led me to expect that she would have 
been even worse after his departure. 

How well I remember one night, not long before 
he was called away : I was sitting up with Baptist, 
and she had left the room some time before, at his de- 
sire ; he had entreated her to take a few hours'. rest, 
and she was obliged to retire to please and quiet him. 
Not a sound was to be heard in the perfect stillness 
of the house, and I began to hope that my poor Una 
was in a quiet sleep. 

About three o'clock in the morning, the door of 
the room, which was not shut, opened more widely, 
and Una glided into the room — ^glided, I may well say, 
for the noiseless footfall with which she entered was 
not heard by the quick ear of my suffering child, who 
was at that time disturbed by the faintest sound. My 
first impulse was to rise and go to her, and entreat 
her to retire to rest ; but I had not the heart to do so, 
when I saw her raise her hands as if in prayer to me, 
and beheld, by the lamp-light, a look of such meek 
and piteous wretchedness appealing to me, and im- 
ploring me to let her remain. Pale and thin, and 
changed she was indeed, in the short time that had 
passed since the return of Baptist, and though I was 
miserable at permitting her to stay, looking so ill and 
worn out as she did, it would almost have broken my 
heart to have prevented her from remaining. 

She sat motionless, with neither grief nor hope, 
nor any other expression but that of lost thought and 


lost feeling od her &ce ; and whm dayEgfat had fiillf 
dawnedy she rose up and departed as DCMselessIy as 
she had entered. I feUowed her to her chamber, and 
there I found her in the same lost state, sitting near 
the door, on the first chur she found, the door open, 
and when I spoke to her, and drew her to my bosom, 
she shivered, and her hands and cheek were very 
cold. However, she awoke up at the soond of my 
voice, and threw her arms around me, and wept long 
on my bosom, and blessed me, and said, << Oh ! you 
are indeed kind, my Ernest ! so very kind ! How 
happy you have made me ! Perhaps another night, 
and there will be only a cold, cold corpse in my 
child's chamber : — but then," she added, seeing how 
sorrowfiil I was, ^ then Ins spirit — ^himself, my Ernest 
— ^he will be in those blessed abodes, where the wea- 
ry are at rest." 

We prayed together, and I returned to Baptist. 
My poor wife consented to go to bed. 

My sweet Una soon recovered her che^rfolness, 
at least, a resignation so foil of hope, that it might be 
called cheerfolness. She was always making some 
exertion to win me from my deep sorrow ; and she 
neglected no employment, no effort, to folfil as before 
all the duties of her calling. I thought her resigna- 
tion extraordinary ; and bad I not seen that every 
thought and feeling was evidently referred to the only 
spring of peace and happiness, I should have been 
almost displeased to see her so soon reconciled to our 

A CMDOD man's LIFE. 230 

loss. How little' did I know the straggle that went 
on within,, or the sacrifice that was so soon to be paid 
for such extraordinary exertion ! The slight and deli« 
cate frame was gradually sinking, and it gaye way at 
last. Yet to the last, the^pirit was at peace, resign- 
ed, eheeidiil, nay, rejoicing through faith and in hope. 
" We shall meet again,'* she said, as, placing her 
little wasted Band in mine, she closed her eyes, I 
thought, even then, only in sleep, and a smile played 
round h» lips. "You have always taught me, Ern- 
est, that we nwist walk by faith, and not by sight. I 
have learnt the sweet but once difficult lesson. I see 
that path of faith opening up to glory now — ^now it is 
like the shining Hght that shineth on toward the per- 
fect day." 

I cannot write more about this. — O Lord ! Thy 
will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. I cannot 
write more. I would rather lie prostrate and silent in 
the dust. Thou hast cut off the desire of mine eyes 
with a stroke. Thy rod, as well as thy staff, it com- 
jEbrteth me — I will kiss it. I am sure that Thou art 

This morning, the first after my loss, when kneel- 
ing at my regular morning prayers, I was surprised 
into a burst of agony by the simplest occurrence. 
Among the names of many loved ones, and among 
the foremost of those names, my thoughts and lips, 
fix)m a long, sweet usage, rested on two names, belong- 
ingnow not to disembodied spirits^ but to the realm of 


memory. I rose from my knees comforted and re- 
signed, for I do not sorrow, blessed be Goo ! as one 
without hope. 

There is no inscription but thb on the one grave- 
stone which marks the spot where tlie bodies of the 
two beloved rest in hope. It was written under their 
names, and the date of their departure : 

" They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, 
and in their death they were not divided." 

Mr. Singleton's narrative breaks off here. 

" My mistress will be glad to see you in her dress- 
ing-room." Mr. Singleton was shown into a small 
sitting-room, very plainly furnished, so plainly, that 
he was struck with the absence of all those ornaments 
which are so common in a lady's boudoir. Helen 
sprung up to meet him with eager and affectionate 
delight : she had become extremely thin and delicate, 
and was evidently much affected. He could not then 
guess on what account. She was sitting on a low sofa, 
and her little girl was with her. " I wished so very 
much to see you, dear Ernest," said she, " and almost 
at the wish you appear." " Mother," whispered her 
littJe girl, " may I stay up a little longer to-night ?" 
and then she looked round and smiled on him. " Not 
to-night," replied Helen, stroking down the bright 

A GOOD man's life. 5241 

hair of the little girl, and kbsing her clear, open fore- 
head. "You may kneel down to your evening 
prayer, Fanny. Do not go, Ernest," she said, as he 
rose up. " We need not ask your uncle to leave us 
while you pray, as he is a minister of God.*' How- 
ever, he took up a little Bible which lay open on the 
table, for Fanny had been reading it to her mother, 
and retired to another end of the room. He. was 
much gratified by the way in which the little girl 
prayed ; according to a plan he had recommended to 
Helen, he heard her say, " Well, my Fanny, what 
particular grace do you feel your need of to-day ?" 

" Humility, mother." " Well, then, will you not 
ask for the meek and lowly spirit of our blessed 
Lord ?" She did not pray by rote, or according to 
any set form; she tried to recollect the particular 
faults, as well as the general faultiness of the day, and 
then the confession of that faultiness, in untutored 
words, followed ; prayer and praise were preceded by 
the same quiet self-recollection, so that the child, on 
rising up, found that she had not been performing a 
dull, unsatisfymg duty. When she came to words 
that were, however, often repeated, and never by rote 
— " Pray, bless my dear father — " Helen gently and 
quietly knelt beside her — 

" Now, Ernest," said Lady Helen, after the door 
had closed upon the child, and she spoke in a voice 
faint firom agitation and alarm, " read this note" — (she 
had kept it in her hand all the time.) " Here is the en- 
velope," (she took it firom the table,) " directed and 



meant for me, but the note intaaded for me has been 
sent, as I conclude, by a most providential mistake, in 
the other envelope, while this was intended for I 
know not whom. Still you see its fearfiil purport, and 
you will tell me what we can do." How wretched 
she looked ! Mr. Singleton had thought her looking 
pale and unwell as he entered, and he found after- 
wards that she had long been so ; but now, the state 
of nervous alarm in which she was, the expression of 
wildness that he had observed, was accounted for. 
The note was this : the acceptance of a challenge to 
fight a duel on the following morning, In the hand- 
writing of her husband ; iEind it concluded with these 
words, << according to the time and place appoint- 
ed — ^" not statbg particulars, name, or date, but 
referring to the note before received. 

" Do you know where this note was written ?'^ he 
inquired. " In his dressing-room, not an hour ago," 
she said. " I am told that he wrote two letters, one 
of which he took with him, telling his servant to join 
him as usual-f-but I know not where-— unless at — ^^ 
here she hesitftted ; " the other he left fw me." « I 
should like to go to his dressing-room," he said ; "on 
such an occasion as the present, I should not scruple 
to search for that other note." 

The contrast of Colonel Singleton's dressing-room 
to that of Lady Helen's was striking. Poor Charles 
had indeed thought too much of himself. 

The toilet was covered with the ornaments and 
baubles of a dressing-case ; some of silver, not a few 

A GOOD man's life. 5248 

of gold. On the table was a row of superb snuff* 
boxes, all indicating no common extravagance and 
profusion of expense. 

Charles and Hel^i were not then residing in 
Grosvenor Square ; the former having quarrelled with 
the Marquis of Eresby, they were living in a small 
house of their own in Spring-gardens. 

The room may be seen to this day, in which Mr. 
Singleton found his brother. Colonel Singleton, bet- 
ter known in these pages as Charley, showed that 
room, or I may say, the suite of rooms, to me, not 
many months ago. The door of a small private 
house in Pall Mall was the entrance to these halls of 
spl^did wretchedness, and beyond them two passa- 
ges communicated widi several houses in some of the 
back streets, now pulled down, but then leading into 
the Haymarket. The rooms were then magnificently 
fitted up, the fiimiture was very costly, and every 
thing seemed cakidated to hide, even from the con- 
stant inmates of those rooms, the purpose to which 
they were devoted. The walls were covered with 
mirrors and paintmgs. One thing alone was remark- 
able ; there were no windows, except in the ceiling, 
and those of ground glass. We could not ima- 
gine how Mr. Smgleton gained an entrance into a 
gambling-house. He told me once, when describing 
a gambling-house that he had been in, (he made no 
allusion to his brother,) that he was most struck with 
finding that the men whom he saw had so little the 
look of gamblers, that many of them were high-bred 


young men, with a careless, unconcerned manner, ut- 
terly at variance with their real feelings within. 

Mr. Singleton, on entering, went up straight to 
his brother, who was engaged in play, and requested 
a private interview with him. '^ It is not possible," 
exclaimed a young man, who was sittmg at the same 
table with him. '^ It must be possible," he replied 
calmly, and soon after the brothers retired. '< I come," 
said Mr. Singleton, '< to stop, if possible, a duel which 
you mean to fight to-morrow morning." His brother 
was thrown off his guard. '^ It cannot be stopped," 
he said, and then recovering himself, he said, with a 
careless look, and even with a smile, " hut, my good 
fellow, who in the world told you any thing about a 
duel?" '^Circumstances sometimes occur in real 
day life," replied Mr. Singleton, ^^ that would seem 
improbable in a novel. One of such circumstances 
has happened to-day. You wrote two notes in your 
dressing-room, and perhaps, Charles ! though you may 
not like to confess it now, perhaps you were agitated 
and confused when writmg them. But true enough it 
is, that the note to your antagonist has been sent by 
you m an envelope to your wife, and the former has 
doubtless received the note intended for Lady Helen. 
I found her this evening in a state of terror and anx- 
iety that I cannot describe to you. She will not only 
have to receive perhaps a corpse, perhaps a murderer, 
to-morrow morning, but all this dreary night she is 
suffering agonies, the agonies of doubt, suspense, and, 
of what is far worse, a deep conviction that guilt and 


blood will be on the head of her beloved husband, or 
that he will be hurried away to the judgment-bar of 
One whose mercy he has disregarded and despised." 
Charles answered nothing, but felt quite confounded, 
and smitmg his forehead, muttered to himself, ^< Dolt, 
fool that I was, not to avoid such a mistake !" *^ I 
entreat you," said his brother, '^ to endeavor to see all 
this in its proper light. The mistake is to be blessed, 
instead of cursed. It is the means used by the wise 
and merciful One, to save you from guilt and misery. 
You might have perished without again seeing your 
wife, your children, and me, the friend of your whole 
life." He did not reply at once, but after a long 
pause, he came up to his brother — (he had been pacing 
the room in silence and thoughtfulness)— " My own 
kind Ernest," be said, and the tears were in his eyes, 
** I see at once that you are right ; I have known all 
the time that I am wrong. I have been rushing into 
sin with my eyes wide open ; but, I am sorry to say, 
the thing cannot be avoided : the duel must be 
fought." "What is it grounded on?" asked his 
brother. " Insults and insolence most insufferable." 
" Must blood be paid as the price of the mere inso- 
lence of man to man ?" " No, no," replied Charles ; 
"we all know that we would willbgly not have 
blood : but society could not exist in the right state, 
if men were not obliged to be guarded in their words, 
if such impertinence as that I complain of were to pass 
unnoticed." " Society," said Mr. Singleton, " whkt 
society do you speak of, Charles ?" " The society of 
gentlemen." " The gentlemen, then," said the odier> 


wery gravdyy '^ set aside the higher calling of Chris- 
tians !" '^ My dear brother/' said Charles, laying his 
hand on the arm of his brother, << I am no hand at 
arguing. I have no reasons and words to match you 
parsons with, I am well aware of that ; 'tis all very 
right in you to cry shame, and sin, too, upon duek 
and duellists : you ought to do so. But we men of 
the world, we must foUow other rules ; and as I told 
you, he that moves in the society of gentlemen and 
soldiers, is disgraced if he refiises to fight a duel. Now, 
I own to you, I decidedly disapprove of duels when I 
think upon you and my father, and your odd, but 
right noti<His ; but I tell you very plainly, I should be 
set down and scouted as a coward, if I were to hang 
back in this instance." <' And you are afiraid of being 
set down as a coward ?" ^'I am !" "And so you 
yield to one kind of fear, to avoid another. Do not 
mistake me. I do not wish to use the common cant 
of those who attack duellists, and say, that the man 
who fights a duel is a greater coward than he who 
fears to fight* I think and allow that the man who 
fights a duel is, in one sense, very brave, horribly brave; 
brave passively, and brave in daring action. He bears 
all the inward tumults, and all the heart -sicknesses of 
waiting hour after hour, with one thought lying like a 
lump of lead upon his heart. I am p^aps looking 
for the last time (he thmks to himself) on all this 
busy w(Nrld-— on the faces of those I love. His mem- 
ory runs back with him during the whole course of a 
life marked with many delights, many calls for thank- 
(ulness, many, many mercieSi which are, perhaps, to 

A GOOD man's lifb. 347 

be blotted out in blood, at least till he wakes in that 
place, which, if he thinks at all, he must also fear to 
visit, the place where the worm dieth not, and the fire 
is not quenched. He braves, also, all the active pre- 
paration for the encounter; he composes a counte- 
nance paled by reflection, into a sort of stem cheer- 
fulness ; he calls up all the mere physical man within 
him, and steadies limbs and a frame that are, at least, 
naturally disposed to tremble. He takes in a hand so 
steadied the murderous pistol, and opposes a breast so*^ 
stea4ied to a murderous fire. All this calls for cour- 
age, and a sort of courage is found for it ; and not 
merely physical courage, but mental also ; for, after 
all, if only the pain pf the wound was to be encoun- 
tered, I don't see what there would be so very dread- 
ful to the physical man in a duel. I dare say it is 
more pamful to the bodily senses, tp baye a double 
tooth wrenched out." - 

Here he paused, and then taking the hand of his 
brother, and looking in his face with a look grave, 
and yet affectionate beyond all description, he said, 
" My own brother, my younger brother, it is not by 
the cant of any of those arguments that are commonly 
brought forward against duelling, that I entreat you 
to stop. We must not talk of the constituticm of so- 
ciety ; we must not stumble at any notions of expedi- 
ency. Are we professed Christians, or are we not ? 
that is the simple question. We must give up every 
claim, even to the mere name of Christian, or to any, 
the least outward privileges of a Christian, if we 
openly and daringly set ourselves against one of the 


plainest of God's laws. And as for the constitution 
of society, or any notion whatever of expediency, 
they all fall at once to the ground. Men in this 
Christian country are professed Christians, or they 
are not. If they are not professed Christians, they 
may defend duelling; if they are professed Chris- 
tians, there is notlimg to be said, they cannot defend 
dueUing according to the plain rules of common sense 
and common honesty ; but habit and the foolish laws 
of society are apt to set aside and supersede both 
honesty and common sense." 

*^It is all true," said Charies, who had listened 
attentively to every word his brother spoke. " And 
you will give up this senseless duel, Charley ! You 
will dare to be called a coward, rather than break 
Helen's heart and mine, and destroy your own soul." 

" It is all true, and yet I must and will fight," 
said Charies, bursting into loud and convulsive weep- 
bg as he spoke. " I wish to die — ^to be cut off firom 
thb hatefiil life. I would rather be brought home a 
corpse to my Helen, and give her a burst of grief at 
once, than go on as I do, making her daily more 
miserable, and becoming daily more guilty. I shall 
break your hearts at last, I know. I shall destroy 
my own soul at last. I'd better die now before I get 
worse, for worse I must get." " You may live to re- 
pent, my brother," said Ernest. ^^ You might be cut 
off to perish eternally." 

At last the entreaties of Ernest prevailed : Charles 
made the promise his brother required. " Go to my 
wife," he said, ^^ and tell her not to fear ; I will be 

A cooD man's life. 340 

at home m an hour." Ernest, however, determbed 
not to leave his brother till he had seen him with 
Lady Helen. " I will sit down to write to the man 
I was to meet," said Charles. " I will explain all 

the mistake about the notes, and " " And you 

will tell him that you decline fighting, and wish to be 
bis firiend." Charles hesitated, but, at last, he ^said, 
" I will. I have said I would ; indeed, I will." 
Ernest was, after all, still uneasy, for he found that 
bis brother still made several propositions to persuade 
him to go first to Lady Helen. All these were over- 
ruled ; Charles wrote his note, and as they went 
down stairs, he said to one of the waiters, '^ Is my 
servant here ?" " He is, sir." " I want him to take 
a note for me ;" he added, *' you may call him, or, 
no— -I will go with you, and speak to him myself: he 
is m the farther lobby, I suppose ?" " He is, sir." 
'* Wait a minute, iknest. Step mto this room, near 
the door ; I will be with you directly." Ernest wait- 
ed several minutes — ^half an hour — an hour. Charles 
did not return. He rang violently. The same waiter 
came. " Where is Colonel Singleton ?" " Colonel 
Singleton, sir : is he not here ? I will go and inquire." 
He returned ; '^ Colonel Singleton, sir, is not within." 
** Not withm ! why, I have been standing here, before 
the open door of this room the last hour, and he has 
not passed ; I am quite certain he is within ; I insist 
on seeing him." " You can look for him yourself, sir, 
if you please," said the waiter coolly ; ** but I am sure 
be is not in this house. One of the servants saw him 
speaking to a gentleman, who came in about an hour 


and a half ago, and tbej went out ann m ami to- 
gether by one of the other entrances. You did not 
knowy perhaps, that there were other entrances." 
Charles did not return. Ernest and Lady Helen 
passed the night in a state of agonizbg suspense, the 
burden of which they could only remove by continual 
prayer. They were watching together when the gray 
morning began to dawn, and one hour, two hours 
after. At last a carriage drove up furiously, and a 
loud knocking was heard at the door. Charles ap- 
peared, gay, laughing, springbg forward to meet them. 
They forgot 'they strangeness and levity of his man- 
ner at first in the joy of meeting him. ^^ WeU," said 
Earnest, at length, *^ this duel ! You have got rid of 
it altogether." Helen raised her head fix)m her hus- 
band's shoulder, and looked with tender earnestness 
in his face. ** I have indeed got rid of it altogether," 
and he laughed. ** We fought this morning, and by 
a strange good-luck, we were both untouched, and 
are now as good friends as evior" . Helen withdrew 
her hands and covered her face with them both. 
^' Dear Helen, what's the matter ; are you not glad 
to see me safe ?" " I am indeed ; a whole life de- 
voted to God could not tell him half my gratitude." 
^< But what if the matter, and with you, too, Ernest ; 
you look as grave as you did last night ?'^ '< Because," 
said Ernest, ^^ though your life is safe, your sin is the 
same. As far as you are concerned, all is as bad as 
if blood was on that hand, at that now healthy frame 
had been brought in lifeless. Our hearts may over- 
A>w with gratitude, as watets act 6ae bom ihe ice of 

A GOOD man's ufx. 461 

winter, but we must mourn and lament the sin of one 
who is, I fear, not only unstable as water, but who 
has joined himself to those whose feet are swift to 
shed blood." '^And my brother was very right in 
his judgment of me," said Colonel Singleton. " I 
was never more careless, nor more full of levity than 
on that morning — ^for months, nay, years, that levity 
continued. It is now, I hope, put to shame, and 
my whole soul has been humbled and sobered with- 
in me." 

Many parts of Mr. Smgleton's histoiy, which re- 
flected the greatest credit on his character, or, he 
would have said, showed the effects of God's grace in 
his unworthy creature, are scarcely glanced at m the 
papers before me. It would not be possible, indeed, 
for me to give a detailed history of his life. 

Indeed, I became acquainted with him at a late 
period, and knew little of his early history, beyond 
what he has written in these papers. One circum- 
stance, however, is so much a part of his history, that 
if I do not give some explanation, the memoir of his 
life, imperfect as it must still remain, would be unin- 
telligible. The only account he gives of this portion 
of his life, is a careless mention of a change of cir- 

And here I might as well mention, that he came, 
first of all, a curate to the parish of Kirkstone ; but 
the incumbent, a son-in-law of Mr. Wentworth's, 
coming into the possession of a large fortune, gave up 


the living, and then Mr. Wentworth, in whose gift it , 
was, presented it to my venerable friend. This took 
pkce a few years after the marriage of his sister Lisa 
to Mr. Wentworth's son. Not long after the death 
of the two bemgs so tenderly beloved by Mr. Single- 
ton, his daughter Lisa received a message from him, 
as she was waiting his appearance in the breakfast- 
room. He sent Martin to request that she would as- 
semble the servants to family prayers, and read and 
pray that morning in his place. He begged also that 
she would breakfast for once without him, and come 
to him as soon after as she pleased. '' He desired 
me to tell you," contmued Martin, '< that he is not ill, 
but finds it necessary to be alone with his God for a 
short time." ^' Has any one been with him this 
morning ? has any thing happened ?" inquired Lisa. 
" Has he received any letter ?" " He had a letter 
brought him by the post," replied Martin; "nay, 
there were several letters, but I was not with my 
master at the time he opened them. When he sent 
that message, he was standmg with his back towards 
me, tummg over the leaves of his large Bible, and I 
thought his hand seemed to shake a little, and to 
make a rustling with the book, but his voice, though 
low, was very calm." 

Lisa obeyed her father's request ; she did not go 
up'to him till after the breakfast things were removed. 
She found that the door of his study was bolted f]x>m 
within when she was about to enter, but at the sound 
of her voice, he opened it immediately. She guessed, 
from a slight mark of dust upon his knees, that he had 

A GOOD man's life. 253 

been kneeling in prayer ; and his countenance, calm 
as it then was, betrayed that he had been suffering 
from some deep and recent trial. 

"I have often suffered, and suffered very lately," 
he said, at length, '^ and perhaps on that account I 
feel a little broken now. My heart is very heavy, 
dear child, for I think I can bear any thing better 
than sin in those I love, and that, alas ! that," he ex- 
claimed solemnly, yet with a look of vacancy, " I 
have been called upon to suffer very lately, and must 
suffer now, though not without strong cries for par- 
don and grace for my dear and guilty one." He put 
a packet of letters into her hands. " Poor Charles," 
he said, " how I pity him ; after all his promises, still 
to go on in this wicked infatuation. I see how it is ; 
he has returned to his habits of gambling." The let- 
ters were from the lawyer of a man — another gambler, 
I believe— to whom Colonel Singleton had lost a large 
sum of money. The bills were drawn on Mr. Sin- 
gleton, and they were little short of fraudulent. In- 
deed, it was^evident that the claim must be acknow- 
ledged and satisfied, or the character of his brother 

By the next post, came a letter fix>m Colonel 
Singleton, full of self-accusation, but giving a misera- 
ble account of his affairs. An execution was in his 
house, and he was in the King's Bench. 

Mr. Singleton had no disposable fortune but the 
proceeds of his livmg, for the little property he inher- 
ited from his parents had been settled at his marriage 
upon his wife, to revert after her death to his children. 


Lisa, who was now the sole inheritor, offered to give 
up the whole towards discharging the claim, but this 
Mr. Singleton positively forbade. The Eresby fam- 
ily had already advanced large sums, but were no 
longw on terms with Colonel Smgleton. It was 
found, also, that he had a second time sold hb com- 
mission. His brother saw but CHie way of assisting 
him ; and silently and secretly he set to work to do 
so. He at once made arrangements {(St giving up the 
income of his living into the hands of trustees, reserv- 
ing for himself only the salary of a curate. The 
whole of what remained was to be paid towards dis- 
chargbg the debt of Colonel Singleton. 

It was soon known in the neighborhood that a 
change was about to take place in the establishment of 
Mr. Singleton. The dismissal of several servants, and 
the printed bilb and catalogues of the furniture, books, 
and live and dead stock, at Kirkstone Rectory, affixed 
to the doors of the principal inns of the neighborhood, 
and on the walls and palings, set the whole neighbor- 
hood wondering to what cause such events were at- 
tributed. Many of the friends of Mr. Singleton call- 
ed on him to ask for some explanation, and to offer 
to assist him in his difficulties. He be;gged to be ex- 
cused, declaring the cause of his difficulties ; and said, 
that he believed he was adopting the only practicable 
way of removing them. He declined receiving as- 
sistance in money, which he should not be able to re- 
pay ; and he told them, that after the inconvenience, 
and the little unplejasantness of the sale, &c., were 
pv^y he had qp doubt that Lisa wd Umself would be 


as happy as ever. ^< And we are as happy, nay, much 
happier than before," said Ldsa. ^'He had been 
always kind, bis society always delightful to me, but 
at times, after the death of my mother and Baptist, I 
had seen him lay down his book, or his pen, and sink 
into a fit of melancholy abstraction ; or I had heard a 
very deep sigh steal unconsciously fix>m his lips ; but 
when our days of privation began, he became cheer- 
ful, and even gay. He would often rise up to per- 
form some little attention to me, with such an elegant 
courteousness, that I could hardly believe I was his 
daughter, and accustomed, when we had many serv- 
ants, to wait upon him." He even gave up the con- 
stant habit of retiring to bis study, except when his 
daughter could spend her morning with him there. 
Li short, he not only did every thing in hb power to 
prevent her feeling their change of circumstances, but 
be endeavored to prove to her, that he himself was 
not affected by the change. 

There was a sale at the rectory. Every thing 
that could be spared was sold : the carriage and 
horses, the fiimiture of the chief rooms, the valuable 
library of books — all was sold, but a few volumes 
which, as a minister of religion, Mr. Singleton could 
not well do without, and even these he had decided 
to part with. He said that if they went, he should 
never look into any book but the Bible, and that a 
necessity of opening no other book would be both 
sweet and blessed to him. lisa knew, however, that 
he had long laid aside the study of any book but the 
Bible^ and her playful threat to be fi>r pace di$pbe- 


dient, and spend all her pocket-money in buying his 
favorite works, induced him to consent that they 
should not be put into the sale. Several of his 
friends, however, who attended the sale for that pur- 
pose, bought all the books he valued most, and those 
pictures and pieces of furniture which they said it 
would grieve them to see taken away from the rec- 
* tory in his lifetime. On his return home, after the 
sale, having passed the week at Wentworth Hall, he 
found hb study almost as he left it; and all the 
furniture that was really needed for the comfort of 
his daughter and himself — ^much more than they had 
thought necessary. '< We have much to be grateful 
for," he said : " I did not expect — ^I did not wish to 
find all this. However, I will receive the bounty of 
my kind, my indulgent friends, and with as much 
gladness as they have given." There was, mdeed, 
no gloom about the rectory. It seemed with Mr. 
Singleton, throughout the whole course of his life, as 
if no earthly troubles could ever keep down, for more 
than a sbort time, his determination to be happy — 
but he possessed that peace which the world cannot 
give, that hope which maketh not ashamed, that joy 
with which the stranger intermeddleth not. 

Some years after Mr. Singleton had given up the 
proceeds of his living to pay the claim of his brother, 
his cousin, the Marquis of Eresby, having succeeded 
his father, who died at an advanced age, offered him 
the two family livmgs which his uncle had accused 
him of looking forward to. With little or no hesita- 
tion, he declined them. ** I wish to end my days," 

A GOOD man's life. 257 

he said, ^^ in this beloved spot. I wish to finish my 
course among my children," for so he often called 
his parishioners. " It has taken many years for us 
to understand one another. Many of my plans for 
their true happiness are now taking effect. When 
Gop, who has graciously blessed me in them, and 
perhaps I may say, them in me ; when God calls 
me to another place, (I do not mean to another 
earthly parish), I must depart ; but not, I trust, till 
then." It was against his principles, also, to hold 
two livings, or, indeed, to hold any, (when health 
permitted a residence,) where he should not reside. 
The instructions of the good pastor became more 
valuable to his flock, as he advanced in years. It is 
a homely comparison, but as it is said that all the 
cream is in the last drops that are pressed in milking 
firom the udder of the cow, so it might have been 
said of him, that the sincere milk of the word which 
flowed f]x>m his lips, was blessed with an increasing 
richness of spiritual unction, as he drew near the 
finishing of his course, and the time of his departure 
was at hand. 

Soon after he had declined accepting the two 
livings I spoke of, I find among his papers these 
remarks: "We must not trust to uncertain riches. 
If I had accepted those livings, I could have done so 
only to improve my worldly riches ; I might have 
been trifling with the spiritual interests of my chil- 
dren and myself. How I love that fine passage in 
Baxter's Reformed Pastor : 


<< ^ I seldom see ministers strive so furiously who 
shall go first to a poor man's cottage, to teach him 
and his family the way to heaven ; or who shall first 
endeavor the conversion of a sinner, or first become 
the servant of all ! Strange, that notwithstanding all 
the plain expressions of Christ, men wiU not under* 
stand the nature of their office ! If they did, would 
they strive who should be the pastor of a whole 
county and more, when there are so many thousand 
poor sinners in it that cry for help; and they are 
neither able nor willbg to engage for their relief? 
Nay, when they can patiently live in the house with 
profane persons, and not foUow them seriously and 
incessantly for their conversion! And that they 
would have the name and honor of the work of a 
county, who are unable to do all the work of a parish, 
when the honor is but the appendage of the work ! 
Is it names and honor, or the work and end, that they 
desire ? Oh ! if they would faithfiilly, humbly, and 
self-denyingly, lay out themselves for Christ and 
His Church, and never think of titles and reputations, 
they should then have honor whether they would or 
not ; but by gaping after it they lose it : for this is 
the case of virtue's shadow ! ' Quod sequitur fugio, 
quod fugit ipse sequor.' 

- " * What an excellent privilege is it, to live in 
studying and preaching Christ ! — to be continually 
searching into his mysteries, or feeding on them ! — to 
be daily employed in the consideration of the blessed 
nature, works, and ways of God ! Others are glad 
of the leisure of the Lord's day, and now and thpn of 

A GOOD man's life. 259 

an hour besides, i^hen they can lay hold upon it. 
But we may keep a continual sabbath. We may do 
almost nothing else, but study and talk of God and 
glory, and engage in acts of prayer and praise, and 
drink in his sacred saving truths. Our employment 
is all high and spiritual. Whether we be alone or 
in company, our business is for another world. O 
that our hearts were more turned to this work ! 
What a 1)lessed, joyiiil life, should we then live! 
How pleasant the pulpit ! and what delight would 
our conference about spiritual and eternal things 
afford us ! To live among such excellent helps as 
our libraries afibrd — to have so many silent, wise 
companions, whenever we please — all these, and 
many other similar privileges of the ministry, bespeak 
our unwearied diligence in the work.' " 

Often in my seasons of deep dbtress have I com- 
forted myself with these words : " If there be, there- 
fore, any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of 
love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any bowels and 
mercies." (PhiL ii. 1.) O blessed words ! If there 
be any consolation ! Can I dare doubt the word of 
Truth? RebeUious, presumptuous, thankless crea- 
ture that I am ! If there be any ! 

Oh! what a tender strain of most persuasive 

Look to Chiust, O my soul ! to the inexhausti- 
ble riches of glory in Christ Jssus ! I mourn ; I 
can scarce hold up my head. It is thy privilege, O 


foolish soul ! O thou of little faith ! look again to 
that lovely passage of Scripture. A few verses be- 
fore, the holy apostle assures his beloved Philippians 
that '^ unto them is given, in behalf of Christ, not 
only to believe m Him, but also to suffer for His 
sake." And is it a privilege, you ask, to suffer for 
Him, and with Him ? Judge for yourself. Suppose 
you were to find your own mother in some foreign 
land sittmg, a wretched, houseless creature, by the 
way-side, forbidden to quit the miserable spot, would * 
you not count it a privilege to sit down beside her, 
and to support her droopmg head, and wipe away 
her fast-falling tears; and when you find Christ 
despised, Christ rejected, by bad and shameless 
men, will you not deem it a privilege gladly to suifer 
here with Christ? His love exceedeth even the 
affection of a tender mother. The mother may for- 
get the sucking child, that she should not have com- 
passion on the son of her womb; yea, they may 
forget ; yet will not I forget thee. Let me seek, 
therefore, not merely to know Him, and the power 
of His resurrection, but the fellowship of fiBs suffer- 
bgs ; and this is our consolation, that ^' if we suffer 
with Him, we shall also reign with Him." 

What a cold, dull, senseless heart is mine, what 
a dishonoring faith, what a mocking profession. I do 
not boldly, joyfully, confess Christ. Do I dread to 
be called Puritan, Methodist, Calvinist ? The world's 
Christ must not do for me. The world's Christ is an 

A «ooD man's lipb, 261 

Antichrist. Christ must "be the sun of the system 
to me, or I bad better deny him at once. To make 
Him other than what He is, — ^'tis insulting Him ; 'tis lit- 
tle less than askmg the world to say how much of the 
work of salvation may be given up to Christ, how 
much reverence may be shown to Him by man. 

Thy mU be done. 

We should learn to make our prayer, not that our 
own desires may be granted, but that God's will may 
be done. It is very difficult to push aside all our 
own thick-coming hopes, all our own whispering and 
restless fears, and to feel that God is sure to arrange 
every event in the best and happiest way. No chas- 
tening for the present time seemeth joyous, but griev- 
ous. A man who is submitting to some painful ope- 
ration, cannot feel the ^rial, while it continues, to be 
pleasant : but he is assured that the rest of his life ^ 
will be gladdened by it, and in faith he endures the 
unjoyous chastening, * rejoicing m hope.' 

For thus saith the Lord, " Like as I have brought 
all this great evil upon this people, so will T bring 
upon them all the good I have promised them." 
(Jerem. xxxii. 42.) 

The testimony of the Lord is sure. 

And we may know the truth of that word by our 
own experience of it in part. The old man, for in- 
stance, feels that thb word is truth. " .Yet is their 
strength then but labor and sorrow ;" and having felt 
that painful part of God's will and word to be true, 
has he not a sure evidence that its joyous promises 


are tko troth ? for as the predictions of what old age 
is are fulfilled m this life, so will the promises of what 
the peace and the glory of Heaven are be fulfilled in 
another world. 

We begin to lore the Bible, and know its value, 
when we find we cannot do without it. When under 
temptation firom any or either of our great adversaries, 
we hasten to look into the annory of our spiritual 
weapons for some sword of the Spirit, in and firom that 
word of God, which may be found all-powerfiil 
though in our feeble grasp. We know its value, 
when, at the sight of some blessed assurance, or rich 
promise, till then unheeded, if not unknown, our heart 
leaps withb us, or is deeply melted with subduing 
comfort : and tears of gratitude rise mto our eyes. 
We know its value, when our path appears in its 
pages plain and straight before us, after many doubts 
and difficulties m ourselves. 

It is not enough to talk in general terms of re- 
nouncing the world. We must go into particulars, 
and then inquire, Do I, as I have engaged and vowed 
at my baptism, do I renounce the world ? Do I re- 
nounce worldly honms and distinctions and worldly 
riches ? woridly, wbdom — ^worldly society, if not alto- 
gether, yet as much as possible, and always enter and 
leave it with thoughts and feelings in a higher, holier, 

A cooD man's lipb. 263 

and yet humbler frame? Do I strive to live and 
move in a higher atmosphere ? 

Our WeaJcness — Our Help. 

Is it true that all my exertions are useless, unless 
I have assistance from above, for of myself I can do 
nothbg ? I will answer that question, not by a posi- 
tive yes or no, which I might do, but I will put the 
case to you thus : — ^you have a great work to do, an 
important end to attain — ^to work out your own salva- 
tion, to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. That 
blessed and mercifiil Being who gave I£s life to re- 
deem your soul and body from the power of Satan, 
sees your weakness ; sees that with the legal right 
through His blood, you would be left desolate and 
cheerless, with that right in your hand — ^the kingdom 
of Heaven opened — ^but you, a poor, frail, hopeless 
wanderer on earth; He pities your condition, and 
feeling that your happiness must be but half gained, 
if you are left to your own strength. He offers you the 
all-powerfrd help of his Holy Spirit : seek that help 
freely, use it largely, never consent to let it go ; he 
gives, as it were, such counsel. The fellowship of the 
Holt Spirit comes to your heart. Your fellowship 
or union with your idols, is broken assunder. Ephraim 
is no more joined to his idols, but you are joined to 
Christ, as a living branch to a life-giving stem. 

Must I turn to God if I would be saved ? Yes. 
Can I turn to God by my own strength ? No. 

Why, then, you leave me in a sad condition, in- 
deed. I must turn or die ; but I have no power to turn. 


Far fix>in it ; the teacher who tells you you must 
turn or die, and that in yourself you have the power-^— 
he leaves you in a sad condition. 

He who informs you fix)m God's word of this 
want of power in yourself, is your true friend ; be- 
cause, first, he shows you your real state, and would 
have you sit down and weigh the cost before you 
attempt to build your tower ; because, secondly, he 
will not fail to add that though God forewarns jou, 
the power to turn is not in yourself. He does not 
leave you despairing or deluded, but teaches you 
where to seek and find all the help you need. More 
than even you desire or deserve is to be obtained 
from the fiilness of Christ: grace for grace ; grace 
fireely offered and given, as fast as grace may be 

To a Minister 0/ Christ in the Church ofEng" 

Think that, while you pray — ^while you read the 
Scriptures — while you preach — ^your Saviour Jesus 
Christ stands beside you, and that he locks even 
into your heart. 

Imagine that in the midst of your coldness and 
carelessness, you see his face turned upon you, even 
with such a look as that which he turned upon Peter, 
when his confident disciple denied him. 

Before every prayer in the rubric, before every 
chapter you read, before the delivering of your text 
and sermon, offer up a short and silent prayer, that 
you may not wander in attention or spirit. 

A GOOD man's live. QM 

It is not enough to attend to every word in 
prayers, nor to feel every word, but you must offer 
up every word as a prayer. 

Again, think upon your selfas the mouth of the 
whole assembly around you, and remember that the 
cause of every one with God is given into your hands 
to plead, that when you are cold, your thoughts dis- 
tracted, then their cause is neglected. 

The great secret of pulpit eloquence is, to be 
thoroughly in earnest, and to be sincere according to 
the truth. When you enter the pulpit and look 
around you, think within yourself, ^' Am I, are they 
all, come hither, as a solemn mockery of God ? But 
if they are not come to worship in spirit and truth| 
their worship is mockery." Pray, also, that no feel- 
ing of display, no affectation, no fear of man, no love 
of praise, no temptation of any kind ; nothbg but the' 
love of Chiust, and the love of the best int^ests of 
your flock, may move you. 

Look to the common sense of every thing — ^to 
the meaning of every word. Do nothing, " of 
course/^ or " by roteJ^ 

In worldly affairs, you cannot think of two things 
at the same time, and pay a proper attention to one 
of them. Remember this in the church, and do not 
get into a habit of thinking of two things there. Be 
assured that there, of all places, God will not consent 
to share the heart, the thoughts, with Mammon. 

It is often a good plan, from the moment you 
enter the reading'^deskf to seal up your eyes to every 


object but the books before you — ^not to look, once 
upon the congregation. 

The Mediator. 

On my knees it is that I so greatly feel the ne- 
cessity and the blessmg of the Mediator. Remem- 
bering there all my provocations, my repeated, daily 
repeated, sins against my God, how should I have 
the face to msult him by prayers against sins into 
which I am again and again falling, did I not know 
and feel that there is one who is touched with the 
feelmgs of my infirmities, who has been tempted in 
all points like as I am, yet without sin. My great 
wotk and struggle is within. There it is that I am 
ever, with God's grace, at work to keep innocence, 
purity, love, faith — and, as temptations are constantly 
arising against me on all these points, there it is that 
I feel my need of one, who is man to feel for me, 
and with me, and God, to help, and forgive, and re- 
assure me. 

Lord ! Lord ! Physician ! Shepherd ! Take me 
as I am. I cannot wait till I get better — till I am 
healed. Thou art the physician — ^there is none but 
Thee. Whom have I but Thee ? whom can I desire 
in preference to Thee ? I am a wandering sheep ; 
Thou art the good Shepherd : seek me when I stray 
—gently lead' me back. I cannot doubt Thy wil- 
lingness to seek and save: Thou hast given thy life 
for the sheep. I have hitherto takep, shsdl I hot cs^I 

A BOOD man's life. 267 

It, a wrong way for a minister of "the glad tidings of 
great joy," when visiting the cottages of my parish- 
ioners. I have talked to them of duties; I have 
made every thing seem a duty. Ah ! how natural 
it was for me to do so ; religion has seemed to me 
too much a dry, a solemn, and a yet a glorious weight 
of duties, I now see it in a far lovelier light. I now 
see that I should have used a far holier, sweeter, 
far more winning way. I should have spoken of 
privileges, and shown that every Christian's duty is a 
happy privilege. There is weariness and heaviness 
in every earthly yoke ; sm is a hard master. 

There seems to be an error in the faith of some. 
I speak of it not as a mere point of doctrine, but as a 
point that concerns their spiritual and practical ad- 
vancement, their vital comfort and joy. They believe 
it expedient for them, that the Holt Spirit should 
come unto them, and dwell in theib, but there they 
rest, and, as it were, lose Christ. They have as 
indefinite an apprehension and view of God the 
Spirit, as of God the Father, out of Christ. He 
applies Christ, brings Christ into the soul. Of 
Him, Christ is made unto us wisdom, and righteous- 
ness, and sanctification, and redemption. They that 
are temples of the Holt Spirit, are also members of 
that body of which Christ is the head, branches of 
that vine, which is Christ, living stones of that 
buildmg of which Christ is the foundation and chief 
comer-stone. Christ indeed is in us, or we are re- 


probates. Christ is the Alpha and Omega; the 
Author and Finisher of our faith. O Lobd ! giye us 
grace to receive the truth in the love of the truth — 
in no other way. 

^< Suffer the little children to come unto me." O 
yes, it is my firm belief, if little children were brought 
to Him early, if prayed over, watched over, mstructed 
by degrees, as they are able to bear it, before the 
seeds of sin in the heart have sprouted and blossomed, 
and the fruit has been formed in the plant ; if sin was 
pointed out to the child in its proper character, as a 
noxious weed to be rooted up and cast away ; if the 
rising and perplexing visions of this world were thrust 
afar on this side, and on that ; and the Saviour was 
shown in His real form and character, as altogether 
lovely ; then, I cannot help believing, that our chil- 
dren would grow up as olive branches, and be fair 
and graceful (with Christian graces) as the polished 
comers of the temple. - 

Why is the gate straight ? Why is the path nar- 
row 7 It is not that the fault, the unpleasantness lies 
m the gate, or in the way. By the holy, humble, 
upright man the straightness, the narrowness are not 
noticed; but we are so cumbered with vanities, so 
puffed up with self and with sin, that there is no room 
for us to enter fiiU swing. Goo does not ask me to 
repent in my strength, to find out a way of escape by 

A GOOD man's life. 269 

my own wisdom. " Without me you can do nothing," 
is His positive assurance. '' I can do all things through 
Christ that strengtheneth me," was the experience 
of Paul, who had proved and tried the experience of 
that weakness without Christ. 

Lord ! I do not say, draw mine enemies to love 
me — ^let there be no presumption, no self-seeking in 
any of my prayers ; but draw them to love Thee, 
firsts above all^ and then they will not fail to feel 
kindness and love to all their brethren, and to me 
amongst them. 

Lord ! I feel that it is of thy free grace, not on 
account of any desert of mine, that I am brought to 
Thee ; that I now lie at the foot of Thy cross in 
tears. I know not if this be what men call Calvin- 
ism, but I know that it is the experience of my heart, 
and I find that experience borne out by the Holy 
Scriptures. I know this also, I feel it, that if Thou 
shouldst leave me for a moment, I must fall away 
firom Thee. I cannot first be raised to stand with- 
out Thee. Is there presumption in saying, that I 
feel this, when I feel also that I cannot continue 
standing without Thine arms are around me and sup- 
porting me? Man, since the fall, is like a statue 
thrown from its base, the balance of which has been 
destroyed. He must lie in the dust till One (a mighty 
One) raise him. He cannot stand, (his balance be- 

370 Tus AXcoaiHi or 

ing lost,) unless One (a never-forsaking One, One, 
never quitting his hold) uphold and support him up- 

Jesus Christ came to seek and to save, to seek^ 
as well as to save. This I simply believe, that God 
first called me, or I should not have sought Him: 
that He keeps me faithful to Him, or I should yet 
forsake Him. 

We do not look upon temptation as we ought ; 
it b not a sign and proof that God is displeased with 
us, and would forsake us; but that God loves us, 
and would suffer us to be tried, that we may know 
more clearly the insufficiency of our own strength, 
the msecurity of our strong holds, and more clearly, 
also, the source of all power and might ; He would 
weary us with temptation, to lead us to drink, like 
one exhausted, at the crystal fountain-head of living 
water. He would cut away every human support, 
that the soul may cling for life to Him. 

I do not wish to puzzle myself or others with my 
opinions of predestination and election. I have been 
a sinner from my earliest mfancy : (who has not ?) — 
there is no health in me. ' My heart has been opened 
to religious impressions. Christ is my only hope 
of salvation. I pray without ceasing, for an interest 
in His atonement — ^for a renewed nature, by the m- 
dwellmg grace of the Holt Spirit, that I may walk 


religiously in good works, through a union with 
Christ : thus, as a branch in the vine, the believer 
lives, and grows, and bears fruit. In this faith, this 
life, this gradual sanctification, I find my happiness. 
Now to whom do I owe this change in my views, 
my heart, my action, my own very self? — to myself? 
—Oh no, — ^not to myself, to no power of man. 
What says the Scripture ? let it answer, — " Without 
me (Christ) ye can do nothing." The change, 
then, is God's effecting ; and if God worked it, was 
it at my seeking ? Let me look back ! no, — His 
warnings, promises, and encouragements, (insensibly, 
if you will, though I could almost say sensibly^ fell 
so powerfully upon me, that I am sure He might say 
of me, "I was found of one who sought me not." 
And not only while yet a sinner, Christ died for 
me, but while yet careless, Christ revealed this to 
my heart so impressively, that His love constrained 
me to love him. Thus, I cannot dare to glory in 
myself, or my happy, though too imperfect, change, 
— ^the praise, the glory, is His, — and His let it be ; the 
exceeding happiness and privilege is mine. Nay, 
were the glory mine, I could not be so happy ; for 
the sweet spring of gratitude to Him, who came to 
seek and save me, would then be sealed. Are these 
doctrines dangerous ? I would say with the holy 
Bradford, ^' There is no reprobation but in sin. 
There is no election but in Christ. Sanctification 
is the seal of election." 


Give me grace. Blessed, Enlightening, and Assist- 
ing God 1 to live in one way out of the world, to 
have part of myself ever in Thy presence, ever in 
such communication with Thee, that I may live to 
Thee, and with Thee, as if every worldly^ business 
or amusement was an interruption to me ; an intemip* 
tion cheerfiilly and sweetly borne with, and scarcely 
perceived to be so by those around me ; but felt by 
myself, and seen to be such by Thee. I, as tliy 
mmister, must minister or wait upon Thee with more 
readiness than any priest in a Heathen temple. Let 
me be ever ready to attend to others, to those in the 
world, but ever as if listening for a call to my service, 
to the immediate presence. 

May I come before thee, daily, as a pilgrim ! 
Lord ! for such I am, who, every mommg before he 
girds himself up for his journey through the wilder- 
ness, turns aside into some little, quiet valley, and 
there thinks of his father's house to which he jour- 
neys, there strengthens his resolutions agamst ev&rj 
false and detaining pleasure on the way, by bringing 
full before his view the joys, the blessings that await 
him ; there opens his heart to the full tide of pure 
and sacred affections towards his dear, dear home. 

Thou that wakenest morning by mommg, waken 
mme ear to hear as one learned in thy testimonies. 

Oh ! for an IthuriePs spear, that I might touch 

A GOOD BfAN's LIFE. 273 

with it all my best and holiest virtues, and motives, 
and endeavors, and see them, not as I do too often 
with self-approval, not as they seem to me, but as 
they are, that in every one the thought, the mixed 
up, polluting, thought of sin might start forth and 
shame me, and humble me before Him, who is alto- 
gether lovely, pure, and holy. Blessed be God ! 
that weapon is mine ; the sword of the Spirit can 
match with an Ithuriel's spear, piercing even to the 
dividing asunder of the joints and the marrow, and 
showing the exceeding sinfulness of sin ; and, blessed 
be God ! He not only discovers the presence of sin ; 
but, taking another form, He descends like a dove 
into the heart, to bring purity and peace from the 
sanctuary, where He dwells in glory. 

When I have given license, or hearing, to an 
evil thought or feeling, then would the tempter clothe 
himself as an honest scruple, and say, '^ You must 
not seek God ;- you cannot be easy in His presence ' 
after yielding to sin." It is true — and there' is no 
grief or heaviness of heart like that felt after having 
yielded even to the power of sin : but I would guard 
against weak scruples, indeed, against any thing, as 
seen and coming from the great author of sin, that 
might keep me from my Father's presence and the 
foot of my Saviour's cross. I would seek Thee, 
Lord! even then, with my forehead in the dust, 
with my heart broken by my own ingratitude and 
Thy melting ccKnpassion ! O Thou friend of smners ! 



The great misery of sin is, that it is the only tiling 
that can keep me fix>m seeking communion with my 
God* But, no— no, it must not do so— it must cast 
me at His feet ; or rather. I must implore my Saviour 
to empty me of self, and lay me there. 

The man who deems sorrow for past sin, without 
a newness of life following, to be repentance, is like 
one who takes medicine for a disease without caring 
to be restored to new health by it. 

There may be a cloud witliout a rambow, but 
but there cannot be a rainbow without a cloud. 

Though deeply impressed with the awilil respon- 
sibility of the holy office of a minister of Christ 
fix>m the hour that I entered upon it, I had been- 
many years in holy orders before I was enabled to 
discover, what no clergyman can learn too early, that 
the only way to bring my flock to Christian morality, 
was to preach Christ in the simplest, plamest, most 
scriptural manner. 

The reason for this appears to me, not because 
we may think it the wisest or best way ; but because 
it is the way that God blesses ; for it b also the way 
that God has appointed. And the most simple, and 
what the world may deem the most foolish way, must 
be better than what man may look upon as the wisest, 

A GOOD man's life. ' 275 

if unattended by God's blessing. Indeed tbe great 
proof of the wisdom of this simple way is, the success 
that invariably bears witness to tbe blessing. It is 
Cecil's fine remark, that " Christ is God's Grand 

Corrupt Nature. 

I need no stronger proof of the corruption of my 
nature than the consideration of the privileges that I 
have despised, that I am still neglecting. I may 
hold communion with the Lord of life and death, and 
am often utterly unconcerned to do so. I may be 
saved from sin here, and hell hereafter, through the 
death of God's dear Son ! and I hesitate ! — ^Where is 
the hindrance to all that is best and most blessed for 
me ? — where ? — ^in myself. 

Every grace of the Christian character, every 
right and holy temper, is supernatural, and must be 
sought by humble prayer. I must not look to my 
natural self, for one inherent virtue or one good dis- 
position. I must pray to Him " from whom all holy 
desires, all good counsels, and all just works do pro- 
ceed." I would forgive an unkind, unjust person, and 
be at peace in myself under a continuance of evident 
unkindness and dislike. I wish to do so. I think I 
do so ; but some little soreness, some disposition to 
resent, or at least to show I despise such conduct, 
rankles in my heart and disquiets me. I bring that 
person before my God in prayer, beg for blessings and 


naeieies on that person. While I kneel, my disqui- 
etude passes away, I can forgive irom my heart, and 
bear the coDtinued annoyance cheerfully and kindly, 
without the little pitiable feeling of resentment. 

A Prayer. 

Blessed Lobd, I know, I confess, that my heart 
consents to sin. If it were not so, I should not need 
thy help. 

But while I own my love to sin, I pray from my 
heart that Thou wilt deliver me from the slightest pre- 
ference to it. 

While I own that I love it, I pray for pardon, for 
the cleansing blood of Christ my Saviour, for the 
pure, strong, forcefiil sword of the Spirit to strike, 
cut sharply and clearly off, the sin that besets and 
would ruin me. 

If I perish let it not be in yielding, but in strug- 
gling. If I am dragged down, away from Thee, let 
it be with prayer, and strong agonies of prayer, pour- 
ing from my lips. 

But no ! Thou art too gracious. Thou lovest 
those who seek to be sincere. Thou despisest not 
the broken and contrite spirit. And there is One for 
whose sake Thou will make me who am in myself a 
poor sinner, a rich and joyful heir of the inheritance 
of Thy saints in light. May He be indeed made 
" of God," to me and not to me alone, " wisdom, 
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemp- 

A QOOD man's lifb. 377 

You say that it b bard you should suffer for Ad- 
am's sin ; now in one sense, as far as the condemna- 
tion of God is concerned, Adam and Eve, the then 
actual sinners, were the only sufferers ; and only for 
a few moments condemnation hung over them, for 
'twas only while God was pronouncing their sentence 
that they could sink utterly hopeless under their con- 
demnation; the next words that flowed from ths 
Almighty's lips, were curses on their worst enemy, 
and a prophecy, which, coming as it did fix)m God's 
mouth, was also a promise : (** The seed of the wo- 
man shall bruise the serpent's head.") Thus it was 
plainly declared that the condemnation is, in one 
sense, taken away, even before any of that seed is 
bom into the world — taken from any who will seek 
salvation in God's way. Thus the only hindrance 
to our seeking salvation, is not m God's curse and 
condemnation, but in the corruption of man's nature, 
the corruption of which was not according to God's 
will, but owing to man's wilfulness. Therefore, the 
origin of evil to man and in man, was not from God's^ 
design, but irom man's thwarting the will of God. 
Of course, God being omniscient, foreknew what 
would happen, that man would sin ; and in case of 
that sin, He declared that he was at once ready to 
secure his salvation by a holier way, through humility, 
and repentance, and faith. No sooner was one way 
of happiness closed by man, than God opened an- 
other, wiser and better and happier. 

278 THB RBC0R08 OF 

Lord, I thank Thee, not that I am better, holier, 
than others. Alas ! alas ! Thou knowest all my 
heart, and J, (from what I knoWy which is more thaa 
any of my fellows know of this heart of mine,) I can 
only smite upon my breast and confess, that I am less 
than the least of Thy saints, less than the least of 
Thy mercies, a worm and no man, that of myself 
am not worthy to be called Thy son ! I may well 
say with the apostle, "I am the chief of sinners ;" 
for of others I know the outward character ; of my- 
self I know my heart ; I know its corruption, its wil- 
fulness, its heedlessness to light and teachmg, to op- 
portunities and warnings, its ever-occurring and ag- 
gravated offences under the pure eye of the heart- 
searching God : but I thank Thee that I am happier 
than so many, happier in the enjoyment of high at- 
tachments and holy communings. I see so many 
whose smiles spring only bom worldly amusement, at 
least, in whose eye the dancing beam of joy is not 
lighted from the brightness of Heaven. . They are 
contented, pleased, delighted with the world, and the 
things of the world ; and, perhaps, deem my hours 
lonely and cheerless. Lord, I thank Thee that the 
light that gladdens me is from above. ^ Lord, I thank 
Thee that the fountams from which I draw are of 
living water springing up into everlasting life. 

The ark saved eight persons when the myriads of 
a vast world were overwhelmed by the flood ; but 
did the ark save Ham ? 

A GOOD man's life. 279 

Men will say, of what use is all this moral ma- 
chinery in the mind, and in the heart, (for simple as 
the Christian system is, those who know nothing 
about its doctrines, will often look upon them as per- 
plexing ;) of what use is all this, if we cai^ attain the 
same ends without it. Let it be seen, then, that when 
you insist on clear views of Christian doctrine, 'tis 
only that Christian practice may be made tlie more 
holy and excellent. 

I have no power of myself against a sinful nature, 
but the whole tenor of Scripture is to make me aware 
of that sinful nature, and my own want of power, that 
I may feel the positive, absolute need of seeking that 
power which can assist me, which is freely ofiered, 
and which would fain press Itself upon my accept- 


The minister of Christ will do little by preach- 
mg, to change the hearts of hb flock under God's 
blessing, till he has learned to preach to himself at the 
same time. He will not feel the need in others, of 
the things he reconmiends, till he has first learned hb 
own need. Blessed, blessed be my God ! that now 
I do not, as in old times, give advice, or admonition 
to others, and there stop. He has taught me in some 
secret, convincing way, which I perceived not till I 
found the habit wake into consciousness within me, 
not to stop, but having warned others, to go on with 


the admonition, and apply it to mjrself, to take it home 
afterwards, as it were, to my own heart, and say, << My 
heart! how does this suit thee? Mine eye ! b there 
no beam to be removed in thee, as well as the little 
mote in my brother's eye ?'' This habit, I am con- 
vinced, can alone make a really effective, affectionate 
preacher, for without it, he scarcely will be humbled, 
and then he will be preaching with the passion and 
temper of a proud man, one, at least, raised above his 
hearers, by some feeling of superiority, or tempted to 
feel so ; in the other case he will speak as one equally 
sinfiil, as one weak in himself, as one who fears lest, 
after all his preaching, he himself should be a cast- 

Mr. Singleton and I were sittbg one afternoon in 
the summer-house at the end of the broad walk in the 
rectory garden. The morning had been rainy, and the 
sun came out from time to time, between heavy and 
and fast-falling showers, making a day of true April 
weather. The summer-house was at such times a 
delightful retreat. I found the rector with his writing- 
table and his books before him ; but as he smiled, and 
held out his hand to me, he said, " I came here to de- 
vote a few hours to quiet study, and I find that, in 
spite of myself, I have been cheated into idleness by 
the day-dreams of this lovely spring-tide. Like your 
favorite poet, Coleridge, I may say^ 

' In this bower haye I not mark'd 
Mtfek that haa lootk'd me— pale, beaaath tka blace. 

A GOOD man'8 life. 281 . 

Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watch'd 

Some broad and sunny leaf, and look'd to see 

The shadow of the leaf and stem above, 

Dappling its sunshine ! and that walnut-tree 

Was riclily tinged, 4yd a deep radiance lay 

Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps 

Those fronting elms, and now with blackest mass 

Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue 

Through the late twilight : and though now the bat 

Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters. 

Yet still the solitary humble-bee 

Sings in the bean-flower ! Henceforth I shall know 

That nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure : 

No plot so narrow, be but nature there. 

No waste so vacant, but may well employ 

Each faculty of sense, and keep the breast 

Awake to love and beauty. ' " 

There was something inexpressibly delightful in 
the way that he repeated poetry or Scripture ; the ear 
hung upon the last words as if music had ceased to 
sound. The charm lay chiefly in his plain, clear ar- 
ticulation, and in the absence of all effort to give 
effect by laying a stress on particular words. 

" By the way," he continued, " those Imes do not 
exactly suit the hour of the day, at present, but the 
spirit of them was very applicable to the mood in 
which I have been indulging. Sit down at once, my 
friend," he said, " or you will scare away the night- 
ingales that have been singing to me. Talk as loud 
as you will, they will remain, but moving about sends 
them away at once : they have been fluttering among 
the lower branches of those elms, almost as bold in 
their approaches as the robins are m winter. Two of 
them have been sbging at the same time, with such a 


wild, rich, varied flow of song, that they brought be- 
fore me Crawshaw's inimitable description of the con- 
test between the nightingale and the lute-player. Then 
this hedge of sweetbriar, now the wind blows over it, 
and brings such fitful tides of refreshing fragrance, sent 
me away to Chaucer's romance of the ' Flower and 
the Leaf,' to the ^ Grasse so fresh of hew,' under the 
* okes lade with leves new,' and to the pleasant ^ ar- 
bor closed in with sicamour and eglantier,' and to the 
exqubite lines, describing the rare scene of the eglan- 
tier or sweetbriar. — 

' And I that all this pleaaaunt sight see. 
Thought sodainly I felt so sweet an aire 
Of the eglantier, that certainely 
There is no herte I deme in sach diq)aire, 
Ne with thoughts froward and contraire. 
So ouer laid, but it should soon haue bote 
If it had ones felt this sauour sote/ " 

" I have been studying the composition of a pic- 
ture to be continued, or rather, settling within myself 
that a fine painter is almost always the most faithful 
copyist of nature. Just look at the picture," he con- 
tinued, '^ set in the frame of that open window. How 
few are the objects and the colors ! The stem of a 
large oak standing out from the mass of soft, shadowy 
foliage behind, the lower portion of it grown over by 
the greenest moss, as close and glossy as rich velvet ; 
a few long, slender shoots of ivy, dark, but delicately 
veined, clinging and winding gracefully over the ash- 
colored and rugged bark. Then the low-drooping 

A GOOD man's life. 283 

boughs of the old cedars, hanging like a pall before a 
fairy bower : for the oak foliage and the light hazel 
copse, and the grassy banks beyond, have made the 
little nook like a bower. The very light is like the 
glow of emeralds, except when the sunbeams shoot 
like a star of gold through the leaves. And to com- 
plete the picture, in that upper comer tl»ere is a patch 
of the intense blue sky, bordered by a cloud, like 
heaped-up fleecy snow. — ^But who have we here ?" 
he said, interrupting himself. A beggar made his ap- 
pearance from amongst the trees. 

The man was evidently half-naked, and part of 
the slight clothing he had oji was thrown aside, 
that he might exhibit the most frightful sores. He 
seemed to have a sort of gratification in making such 
an exposure, notwithstanding our entreaties that he 
would not, and the disgust expressed in our counte- 

" This might be applied as a seasonable reproof 
to some professors of the present day," said Mr. Sm- 
gleton, when the man was gone. " It is a subject of 
great rejoicing, nay, of daily thanksgiving with me, 
that there should have been of late years such a re- 
vival of the pure evangelical religion of Jesus Christ 
throughout the kingdom. It passes, however, with 
many, for a proof of genuine religion, if a person is 
ready to make, what I might also call rather a pro- 
fesaion, than a confession of great sinfulness. There 
can be no vital religion, I allow, in that heart where 
there is not also a deep consciousness of inbred and 
indwelling sin; but that consciousness of which I 


speak, never serves the convicted sinner to make a 
display with : he goes quietly with it, he retires into 
himself, and his chief confession b made when alone 
with his Saviour and his God. Such a profession of 
sm resembles the uncovering the loathsome sores of 
that filthy beggar, who did not seem so anxious for 
the removal of his disease, as to attract our attention, 
and so make the most of his veiy loathsomeness.'' 

If our flock would but come to our preachmg, as 
they come for food, in order that they might grow 
thereby, how different would preachmg be even to us, 
preachers ! What life and liberty we should find ! 
And to them, even the poorest fare we could set be- 
fore them, would be like angels' meat. 

We have a man in Heaven at the right hand of 
the Father, to plead for us. 

We have a God, who hath come down to earth to 
pour out His own blood for us. 

If any man eat of thb bread, he shall live for ever. 
This does not mean that merely once eating it shall 
save him, (though were it God's ordinance that once 
eating were sufficient, it would be ;) it seems to me 
that in this the analogy between the appointed means 
of natural and of spiritual liie holds good. It is not 
one meal that will keep the body in life and health ; 

▲ GOOD man's £irB. 285 

were one meal eaten at the beginning of the year, and 
only one, the body would soon perish. 

Those who live by Chbist must also walk in' 
Him ; they must not only be rooted, but built up in 
Him : the perfect work must not only be begun, but 
continued in them. 

What a wretched mistake to imagine that the re- 
ligion of the Gospel can drive any person into a state 
of insanity. 

Among those whom Jesus Christ restored to 
health, lunatics are frequently mentioned. 

Can he who casts out the spirit and plague of lu- 
nacy, ever make his disciples mad ? And yet, too 
much religion is dreaded as a sort of insanity. In- 
deed, till Jesus has commanded the unclean spirit of 
our sinful nature to depart, a man is not found clothed 
in the only garment that his spirit needs, i. e. the 
righteousness of Cheist, and in his right mmd, sitting 
at the feet of Jesus. 

Mr. Singleton may be said to have been evidently 
much attached to forms : he certainly was ; but how 
safely, in what a holy manner, did he use them ! he 
never rested in them. 

" After all," I have heard him say, " the holy Bible 
is to many a mere form of words. If those words are 
only words to us, and we rest in them, we shall be 
tather the worse than otherwise, for readmg them ; 

888 THE RBC0RD8 OT ' 

but if they lead us to the spiritual things which they 
express, they stand forth as the visible shadows of 
God's invisible perfections." 

Some very unkind remarks had been made in the 
presence of Mr. Singleton, about a Roman Catholic. 
*^ I must own/' he said to me, '< that I do not agree 
with these bitter censurers, who do not seem to un- 
derstand very well what they are talking of. A deter- 
mined, yet holy defence of the citadel is far before 
those outcries about the mere outworks of the reform- 
ed, yet ancient faith. And I find too often," he con- 
tbued, " that many who are such eager and fiery 
opposers of the mere pageantries and idle shows of 
popery, are, in fact, papists themselves in the very 
heart of the question. They hold very confiised and 
unscriptural notions on the grand doctrine of justifi- 
cation by faith, if they do not deny the doctrine alto- 
gether. It was this that our great reformer, Luther, 
stood forth to defend so manfully." He took down 
Luther's commentary on the Galatians, and pointed 
to the following passage : " This is the sink of all 
evil, and the sin of sins, of the whole world, for gross 
. sms and vices may be known, and so amended, or 
else repressed, by the punishment of the magistrate ; 
but this sin, to wit, man's opinion concerning his own 
righteousness, will not only be counted no sin, but 
also will be esteemed for an high religion and righte- 
ousness. This pestilent sin, therefore, is the mighty 
power of the devil over the whole world, the very head 

-A GOOD man's life. S^7 

of the serpent, and the snare whereby the devil en- 
tangleth and holdeth all men captive." This is very- 
strong language, I allow, but there is much truth in it, 
and it applies, alas ! not only to the Church of Rome, 
but to many in the Church of England. Thb is the 
citadel to be attacked all over the world : it is the 
popery of human nature. 

" For our God is a consuming fire." Yes ; but 
only out of Christ ; and we ought not to know him 
but in Christ. How sweetly His anxiety to save ; 
His delight in saving ; His invitation to salvation, is set 
forth in the very Scripture that is thus summed up. 

'Tis pleasant to look down the vista of a long life, 
spent in Thy service. Lord ! It fills my heart with 
adoring gratitude to mark the providential mercies, 
the mercies of grace rising on every side like goodly 
towers, and almost at the end, the gate of baptism. I 
may say with George Herbert, 

Since, Lokd, to Thee 
A narrow way and little gate 
Is all my passage ; on my infanqr 
Thou did'st lay hold, and antedate 

My faith in me. 

Oh! let me still 
Write Thee, great God, and me a child. 
Let me be soft and supple to thy will. 

Small to myself, to others mild. 


How many love to reduce the Bible to a system 1 
I would wish to know nothmg of systems, if they are 
to teach me to look upon God as the author of sin, or 
as a respecter of persons, or as one whose ways are 
unequal, or as a bemg to whom any human creature 
is hateful ; oh ! what a perversion of the high mys- 
teries of the Christian faith, to make them the subject 
of carnal disputation. How impious, when justice 
and mercy have been reconciled in the person of 
Christ crucified, to preach a system, and call it the 
Gospel, in which mercy is assured only to a few, and 
offered to that few. 

It has at length pleased God to call hence my 
beloved and venerable fiiend. Without any illness, 
without any apparent pain, he fell asleep. 

His daughter waited for his appearance in the 
breakfast room one morning, but after waiting some 
time in vain, she questioned Martin about her father. 
The old man-servant told her that he had taken some 
warm water to his master at six o'clock, and had 
found him already risen and partly dressed. He had 
desired Martin to open the window, saying, that he 
wanted air. Lisa went up to her father's study ; he 
was dressed and sitting before the open wmdow. He 
was unusually pale, and tears were stredming down 
his face. " It is not sorrow, my child," he said, " and 
yet it b. I have been looking back and considering 
all benefits I have received, and the poor use I have 
made of them, the poor return I have made* I am 

▲ oooB man's life. 

90 veiy weak, too, thb morning. I am glad td have 
you with me now. This is what I wished" — he spoke 
in a v(Mce low and faint as a whisper. << Come close 
to me, my blessed child !" She came near to himi 
and placing his hands upon her head, he blessed her. 
<< And now sit down to the organ," he said, ^^ and 
sing to me^-HSMig the morning hymn." 

Trembling, but scarcely knowing why she trem- 
bled, she obeyed him ; she began to smg, accom- 
panyhig herself only with the softest notes of the 
organ. Once or twice she heard her father's roiee 
joimng with hei^. She beard it distkictly at those 
beautiful Words, 

'* Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart, 
And with the angete bear thy part." 

But not once agun did she hear it— the pauses- 
there was a dead silence. She turned hear head, h€ir 
fingers still on the keys. Her father's head had sunk 
upon the side of the high arm*chair. Ste did not see 
his face, but he seemed like one asleep. She beard 
a faint sigh. Soon after the bell of the study rung 
violently ; Martin hastened up. He found his young 
mistress, he said, upon her knees, chafing the cold 
white hands of her father, and lookiilg like one be- 
wildered. His mastet was quite dead; and though 
bis aged cheeks were wet with tears, smiles and sweet- 
ness Were spread over the eyelids and Ifps, and tbi 
whole countenance. 



I had ohea observed the quiet, and at times lat- 
tertyy the abstracted manner of Mr. Singleton* With- 
out showing any thbg like a severe, melancholy spirit, 
his thoughts seemed to flow calmly in their own pure 
channel, and never to mingle in the stream of vain or 
fix>Ush conversation. If ever a man was prepared for 
a sudden call to eternity, I should have said he was. 
He had learnt to die daily unto sin. 

At the fiineral of my holy JGriend and master in 
Chbist, I could not help remarking what he had 
often pointed out in other funerals. I saw the corpse 
brought in at the door, passing the font at the entrance, 
carried up to the marriage altar, and there turned and 
brought back to the centre of the church, where the 
noble service for the burial of the dead was read over 
it; at last, committed to the dust whence it was 
taken. And I thought of his holy and consistent course 
from his birth to the grave ; entering the church by 
baptism, and going through all its holy ordinances, 
even till the last affecting, closing service, which an- 
nounces that the dead which die in the Lobd are 
blessed, and depart in sure and certain hope of the 
resurrection to eternal life. 

His was a sudden death, but it had not that aw- 
ful character about it that the sudden deaths of many 
individuals have. The news did not strike the hear- 
er dumb with horror, while the conviction arose in his 
inmost heart : It is thus a long-provoked and long- 
suffering God at last cuts short the day of life and 
grace together. The effect produced was not — ^^ Ah ! 
let me bethink myself, for vengeance may thus svid-* 

A GOOD man's LIFE. 291 

denly overtake me at an hour I know not of.'* No ; 
those who stood around the' revered body of that low- 
ly-minded and excellent man, who gazed upon that 
countenance, calmed into the rigid composure of death, 
so soon after they had beheld it beaming with light 
and love in the midst of the great congregation — ^those 
persons felt within themselves, "it is thus that God is 
sometimes pleased to show to an ungodly world what 
the nature and character of true religion is," 

The image presented to the mind when I heard 
of his sudden dpath, was that of the faithful servant 
found watching at the most unexpected time ; that of 
the wise virgin hearing the cry at midnight : " Be- 
hold, the bridegroom cometh ! go ye out to meet 
him ;" and rising up at once, and trimming her lamp, 
and so going forth to meet the bridegroom with a 
bright and steady flame. 

He walked by faith, and not by sight ; he walk- 
ed with God, and was not, for God took him. " Let 
me die the death of the righteous, and let my latter 
end be like his." I saw in him the reality of the 
Christian faith. 

Among the very last of his papers, written in a 
hand as clear and firm as ever, but dated only a day 
or two before his departure, was the following : — 

" * And now, remembering the vows and promises 
of thy baptism, I exhort you, in the name of God, to 
remember the profession which you made unto God 
in your baptism.'* 

* See Service for the Visitation of the Sick, in the Church of 
England Liturgy. 


** Answer me this, D my soul I or rather answer 
to the great Ifigh Priest and ^epherd of that flock of 
which thou art, after all, an erring and straying sheep ! 
What can I answer ? Lobd, I have erred and stray- 
ed from Thy way like a lost sheep. I am unwcnrthy 
to be called Thy son." 

On this paper the little form of dedication to God, 
renewed so regularly by him since the day he receiv- 
ed it from his dying father, is copied out ; and it is 
signed with his name ; the date is also affixed, and 
immediately beneath is written : — " God^ be mercifiil 
to me a sinner." I bless God, with the holy Rich- 
ard Baxter, that ^^ such a form of words was left by 
Chbist himself for the use and comfort of poor sin- 


And now, neither as Mr. Singleton, nor as his 
friend, the editor of these records of his life, do I come 
forward ; but in my own character a» the author of 
the whole, — and I might as well say, that my object 
has been, even by so slight a work, to rouse the pro- 
fessing members of our blessed and beautiful Church 
of England, to the consideration at least of the mean- 
ing of the profession made by them, as members of 
that Church. 

The inimitable Pascal has said, " II y a plaisir 
d'estre dans un vaisseau battu de I'orage lorsqu'on est 
assure qu'il ne p6rira point. Les persecutions qui 
travaillent I'Eglise sont de cette nature." This ap- 
plies first and foremost to the Holy and Universal 
Church of Christ. But without any sectarian spirit, 
I would go on to say, that I think the fine image of 
Pascal may suit the Church of England also. 

I do not write in a spirit of controversy, not even 
to assert my preference to the system of my Church, 
but to show, if possible, what that system is, when 
carried bto practice. How hard it is upon our 
Church, that we, her professing members, will not do 


994 l'entot. 

her the common justice of acting out her holy injunc- 
tions. Of what use are works of controversy in her 
defence, compared with the silent argument of a life 
built up under the holy influence of her spiritual dis- 
cipline, and her sound and simple ordinances. Let 
Dissenters at least see us true to our callmg, and let 
us not lead them, as we do, to make the common mis- 
take of supposing that she is in fault, when her children 
are false and treacherous to their common mother. 
Among the many fair daughters of the Church of 
Christ, there is none breathing a more pure and spirit- 
ual mind — ^nonfe bearing herself with a more chaste and 
dignified grace of demeanor, than the holy Church of 
England, and if she falls, it will not be the attacks of 
her avowed enemies that have brought her queen-like 
'glories to the dust, but the lalse, false ways of her 
avowed admirers and her professed defenders. 

And now, what am I to say for having come for- 
ward to defend her in a work of fiction ? 

I am aware that this volume may be called a 
novel, and I wish to say a word or two about novels. 
I am ready to join with many Christian moralists in 
their disapprobation of novels, for this reason, — many 
of the best-written novels, and those abounding in the 
bright display and high commendation of virtue, 
ought to be objectionable in that which professes to 
be the society of Christians, for they are almost cer- 
tain to mislead, in a way not the less dangerous, be- 
cause it wears all the specious show and coloring of 
the firuits of holy principle. They describe persons 
and characters^ who become more and more faultless. 

l'entot. 295 • 

and more and more happy as the history advances, 
no one knows why, but because the author chooses 
to make them so. They speak of positive and prac- 
tical effects, as proceeding fix>m the motive of a mere 
wish, or the principle of an idly-formed resolution, 
made and kept in the might and constancy of man's 
own strength, — or, I should say, they describe effects, 
without showing the only spring of such effects. 
They dress out a bramble with the rich and cluster- 
ing fruit of the vine. 

Dr. Chalmers has well said, ^^ So much for the 
dream of fancy. Let us compare it with the walk- 
ing images of truth. Walk from Dan to Beersheba, 
and tell us, if without and beyond the operatTon of 
Gospel motives, and Gospel principle, the reality of 
life ever furnished you with a picture that is at all 
like the elegance and perfection of this fictitious histo- 
ry. Go to the finest specimen of such a family : take 
your secret stand, and observe them in their more re- 
tired and invisible movements. It is not enough to 
pay them a ceremonious visit, and observe them in 
the put-on manners and holiday dress of general com- 
pany ; look at them when all this disguise and finery 
are thrown aside. Yes, we have no doubt that you 
will perceive some love, some tenderness, some vir- 
tue ; but the rough and untutored honesty of truth 
compels us to say, that along with all this, there are 
at times mingled the bitterness of invective, the 
growlings of discontent, the harpings of peevishness 
and animosity, and all that train of angry, suspicious, 
and discordant feelings, which embitter the heart of 

' 396 l'bntot. 

man, and make the reality of human life a very sober 
afiir indeed, when compared with the high coloring 
of romance, and the sentimental extravagance of po- 
etry. Now what do we make of all this ? We infer, 
that however much we may love perfection, and as- 
pire after it, yet there is some want, some disease in 
the constitution of man, which prevents his attainment 
to it — ^that there is a feebleness of principle about him 
— that the energy of his practice does not correspond 
to the fair promises of his fancy — and however much 
he may delight in an ideal scene of virtue and moral 
excellence, there is some lurking malignity in his con- 
stitution, which, without the operation of that mighty 
power revealed to us in the Gospel, makes it vain to 
wish, and hopeless to aspire after." 

Thus, I may add, the reader is. misled. He 
thinks a wish can make him happy, a resolution 
virtuous. He is, perhaps, lull of the lively admira- 
tion of virtue and excellence, but his admiration 
evaporates with the mere glow of fine feeling. The 
effect of this unsoundness in principle, is unsoundness 
in practice. He is neither strengUiened, established, 
nor settled, in what is right and good, but is (as 
almost a sure consequence) inconsistent, and acquires 
the reputation of being romantic and visionary, and 
perhaps unfit for common life. — Either make the tree 
sound and the fiiiit sweet, or the tree corrupt and 
its fruit corrupt. 

Now let an author show thing3 as they really 
are — expose the flimsy character of such surface- 
virtue ; let him allude continually to the exbtence of 

l'entoy. \ ^ 297 

principles. Let him show that there is Mlib pfeptan t^ 
that can bear the fruit which he describes. It is, 
indeed, the luxuriant garlands of the vine alone, that 
are hung with the beautiful and gladdening grape. 
The temper and habits of the Christian are all from 
one plant, and whatever the Father hath not planted 
shall be rooted up. 

Whatsoever thbgs.are. pure, whatsoever things 
are honest, lovely, true, or of good report, all are 
from one principle alone. What ! cannot we have 
virtue, you say, lauded, and impressed, and recom- 
mended, without religious principle always being 
brought forward ? Yes, if you choose to give up 
your profession of Christianity; but to Christian 
readers, in a professed Christian world, surely never 
such principles can be acknowledged. Let an author 
remember this, and his readers will never be misled ; 
and though I am by no means an advocate for the 
too common practice of the present day, the very 
frequent reading of works of fiction, even those works 
which, without doing any moral injury to the heart, 
must enervate the powers of the mind, and create a 
distaste for deep and more manly reading — ^let an 
author remember this, and, though a writer of poetry 
or fiction, he may take his place with- humble confi- 
dence among the real advocates of sound righteousness, 
among the true benefactors of mankind. 

Lastly, is there a human being who will say, 

when reading any part of this volume, ^^ I have felt 

thus !" Let him be assured that I have written, not 

. for idle readers, but for him, and such as he, — that 

296 l'bnvoy. 

my heart claims a fellowship with his. I beseech 
him to feel for me as for a dear and intimate friend ! 
to believe that I can prize deeply his friendship. I 
know that many will thmk of me as one anxious to 
catch the public eye, and hold the public feeling, as 
an author. Let me be known in another character 
to some few. A printed book is the only medium 
by which we can meet. I shall indeed be blessed, 
if a word that I have written may have a serious 
impression, or be the means of awakening the 
conscience of any man, and leading from sin to 
repentance through Christ ; from repentance to holi- 
ness through Christ ; from holiness to happiness 
through Christ; and so on to eternal life. Nay, 
turn away if you will, yet, at least, I will have tfiis 
consolation, that my voice has been raised, even if in 
vab, to warn my fellow-sinners ; to cry out to them 
in the midst of their course. Stop, think, repent — 
be holy, be happy. They talk of religious books, 
our common-place, worldly people. They do not 
approve the sort of thing! Is not this cant? the 
cant of a silly and miserably diluted religion ? 

Here is, I acknowledge, m appearance, a trifling 
volume. It has no trifling end in view. May the 
grace and the blessing of God go with it ! or may it 
die at once !