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morable hour became one of his humble and impassioned admirers. When she heard that a chapel was to be erected, she expressed great pleasure, and very generously promised to contribute her mite, on the express condition that the doctrines of grace should be preached in it. She attended the morning service when it was opened; but as the preacher did not please her, she withheld her contribution, and said, she would wait to see what sort of a man was to be appointed as the settled minister.
“ On Mr. — 's arrival she called to see him, invited him to her house, told him, that though there were several in the village, who made a profession of religion, yet no one understood the doctrines of grace but herself; and urged him to preach them, without courting the smiles, or fearing the frowns of men. She was, of course, one of his most attentive hearers during the first few Sabbaths of his labours; but as he neglected to introduce her favourite doctrines into every discourse, and chose, when he did introduce them, to state them in his own phraseology of speech, she became rather remiss in her attendance; and eventually staid at home on the Sabbath, rather than hear such a stripling mutilate the word of God. She withdrew also from the Sunday School, about the same time, because the teachers were not enlightened ; and she could not expect to derive any spiritual benefit to her soul, from associating with them. Indeed she told me, that she thought it sinful, to stand connected with such worldly professors; and had no doubt, but the persecution which was raised against the minister and the people, was a judgment from the Almighty for their presumption in laying hold of the ark with their unhallowed hands. She says, she has no doubt, but we mean well, and act according to the light that is in us; but says, that as the light is not of the Lord's kindling, it will never lead us into the paths of peace. At first she shook the faith of some, which gave our minister great uneasiness; but when she withdrew from amongst us, and breathed such a censorious and bitter spirit against him, and his preaching, they were disgusted, and now she is left as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
“ In contemplating the great variety of human cha-. racter, which may be found within the visible church,
one is sometimes tempted to believe that there must be some essential defect in the Christian scheme of salvation, when we find that they all claim its sanction in support of their diverse opinions; but on mature deliberation, we shall be disposed to attribute the evil to the weakness of the understanding, or perversity of the heart of man. Christianity is a pure, perfect, and changeless system of grace, which is revealed for the express purpose of correcting the moral disorders of our nature, and promoting our present and final happiness: and if, in this imperfect state, we cannot see every part of it as with the same power of vision, and conform ourselves to the same exact model of practical obedience in all the minor branches of ceremonial obligation, yet, if we feel its transforming power on the soul, we shall hold the unity of the faith in the bond of peace. But if we bring the modern Antinomian to this test, what sentence shall we pronounce, if we give a righteous judgment? He is the same proud, self-conceited, censorious, wrangling truce-breaker, wherever he is found; and such is the unhallowed influence he throws around him, that he is no less an object of offence to the men of the world, than to the spiritual members of the Church. This dogmatic belief in a few doctrines of the Scriptures, which he separates from their connection and bearing in the sacred scheme of mercy, exonerates him, at least in his own opinion, from all obligation to practice the private and relative virtues of the gospel, and he prudently avows, that the law is no rule of life to him, because it is only by incorporating that monstrous opinion with his dogmatic faith, that he can speak with confidence of his future happiness. And though some, who imbibe the speculative errors of this anti-christian sect, do not live in an open violation of the statute laws of the Scripture, which relate to the government of our conduct towards each other, yet the same elementary, principles of evil may be discovered in their spirit and tempers; and we cannot pay a greater tribute of respect to our own reputation, or to the purity of the faith which we profess, than by avoiding all intimacy of religious converse with them, as we may suppose an angel of light would shun the company of an angel of darkness.
“ After a short pause, I took hold of the hand of the youngest girl, when the rest very cheerfully followed her, and I introduced them to Mrs. Stevens, who smiled on recognizing some of her Sunday scholars. Their bonnets and cloaks were taken off; and after they had warmed themselves by the fire, Mr. Lle: wellin consented to play on the piano, and we all joined the youthful choristers in singing the praises of the Redeemer. Thus pleasantly passed away the hours of the evening, without entailing guilt or reproach on our conscience; and having rewarded those who came to afford us gratification, we dismissed them, and closed the day in serenity and peace.” Page 11...
London: PRINTED FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, 10, STATIONERS: COURT, AND AVE-MARIA-LANE.
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY.
« The services of the Church about this season are extremely tender and inspiring. They dwell on the beautiful story of the origin of our faith, and the pastoral scenes that accompanied its announcement. They gradually increase in fervour and pathos during the season of Advent, until the morning that brought peace and good will to men. I do not know a grander effect of music on the moral feelings, than to hear the full choir and the pealing organ performing a Christmas anthem in a cathedral, and filling every part of the vast pile with triumphant harmony.”
This season of the year, which leads us back to the origin of our faith, and associates the mind with all the wonderous events which are connected with it, has been made the season, to quote the language of an elegant writer, “ for gathering together family connexions, and drawing close those bands of kindred hearts, which the cares, and pleasures, and sorrows of the world are continually operating to cast loose; of calling back the children of a family who have launched forth in life, and wandered widely asunder, once more to assemble around the paternal hearth, that rallying place of the affections, there to grow young again among the endearing mementos of childhood.” And though the gay and the thoughtless, devote its sacred hours to scenes of mirth and dissipation, and thus turn away from the merciful design of the Redeemer's incarnation, to accumulate still higher degrees of personal guilt; yet that circumstance should not deter the pious Christian from availing himself of the opportunity which national custom affords of mingling in the friendly circle, and partaking of its innocent gratifications. The spirit of our religion does not require us to shut ourselves up in a monastery, nor does it enjoin on us the monkish austerities of the recluse; but while it purifies the affections, and throws a salutary restraint upon the appetites and passions, it permits us to enjoy the comforts and the felicity of social intercourse. It teaches us moderation, but it does not prohibit indulgence; it condemns levity, but sanctions cheerfulness; and, like its illustrious Author, does not object to attend the feast of friendship, unless the sons of rioting and of violence are present to defile it.
* As Mr. Llewellin had resolved on spending his holidays at the Villa, and Mr. Stevens had sent a pressing invitation to accompany him, we left London on the 23rd, and arrived there early the next morning. We had the pleasure of travelling the greater part of the journey with two young gentlemen who were going to spend the vacation at home. They were brothers of nearly the same age, both preparing for Cambridge: the eldest was designed for the law, and the youngest for the Church. The senior boy was the most sprightly, the younger the most grave; but both were intelligent, and conducted themselves with so much propriety, that we admired them no less for the dignity of their manners than the affability of their disposition. Like all others entering into life, they were captivated by the brilliancy of the scene which was opening before them, and had already sketched the plan of their future operations, of which they spoke with enthusiastic rapture. The embrio lawyer talked of pleadings and debates, of cross-examinations and of eloquent appeals, as one whose mind was devoted to the profession; and the youthful divine amused us with a long detailed account of his projected advancement from the curacy of - , to which he was to be presented as soon as he had taken his degrees, till, through the influence of Lord , who was an intimate friend of his maternal uncle, he expected to have the rich living of on the death of the present incumbent. But though they were thus sanguine in their anticipations, and spoke of their future eminence in their professions with all the confidence and ardour of youthful animation and inexperience, they possessed too much good sense to suppose that distinction could be acquired without industry, or honour obtained without being deserved.
“I suppose, young gentlemen,” said Mr: Llewellin, " you intend to devote your holidays to recreation.”
“ Not entirely,” they replied. « I intend,” said the young lawyer, “to read history at least two hours every morning ;” “ and I intend,” said the young divine,“ to con over the classics as long, and then, Sir, to play."
“ I am happy to hear,” added Mr. Llewellin, “ that you have come to such a decision, because while your recreations will unbend your minds from the severity of elose application, you will, by the adoption of such a babit, keep them in tune for future service."...