« PreviousContinue »
feel myself much honoured by the expression of your kind regard, and beg leave to assure you that I am, with the truest esteem,
Your sincere Friend,
TO THE REV. W. CHAPLIN, BISHOP STORTFORD.
My dear Sir, Leicester, Monday, Sept. 22, 1815.
I hope you will excuse my neglect in not replying to your very kind invitation. I designed fully to reply to it without delay; but one circumstance occurred after another, in that busy scene, to occasion delay until it was too late. It would have given me, I flatter myself, at least as much pleasure as to yourself, to have proceeded to Stortford, and spent a day or two there. I shall ever retain a lively and grateful impression of the happy hours I have passed at Stortford, and of the distinguished politeness and attention on your part, which have chiefly contributed to render them so. But the fact is, while I am at Cambridge, the present claimants upon my time are so numerous, that, unless I could considerably protract my stay, I find it next to impossible to make excursions to any considerable distance.
Providence has so disposed the bounds of our habitation, as to preclude that intercourse which I
can truly say I frequently recall, but never without emotions of warm affection and gratitude. Nothing but death will efface from my recollection and heart the manly sense, the dignified politeness, and christian piety, which have so frequently rendered your conversation so delightful. I rejoice to hear of your health, and prosperity, and usefulness; and that dear Mrs. Chaplin is spared to you. I bless God, that though we are separate for a time in the flesh, we are, I trust, joined in the Spirit, and permitted to make mention of each other in our prayers; and shall shortly, I humbly hope, be allowed to spend an eternity together. I often think, with much emotion, of our dear and venerable friend and father, Mr. Palmer. I feel that I have lost a rock in him : the loss of no man in that period of life would have affected me in any proportionable degree. But, alas ! I shall probably soon follow him; and it becomes us, it becomes me at least, at my age, to make it my great concern that my own death may be holy. Inter nos, I could have wished the character of our dear friend, by Mr. Toller, had been a little heightened and warmer coloured. It is like a portrait that is not very defective in likeness, but has lain long in a damp place. There is one thing in your letter which gives me sincere pleasure, which is, that you have sometimes thought of favouring me with a visit at Leicester. Let it not be one of those schemes that die in thinking of. We have a spare bed, and such accommodations as are indeed very inadequate to what you are accustomed to, but such as I flatter myself you will put up with. Be assured, there is no person it would give me more pleasure to see under my roof, than Mr. Chaplin, accompanied with Mrs. C. We will divide the labour of the sabbath. I am, my dear Sir, with high esteem, Yours most affectionately,
TO DR. RYLAND.
My dear Sir,
Leicester, Oct. 25, 1815. I have availed myself of the opportunity of returning your manuscript, by Mr. James. I am much pleased with it, as far as it has proceeded, and, judging from this specimen, have no doubt it will give satisfaction to the friends of our invaluable deceased brother, as well as the religious public at large. I found the whole narrative, respecting his child and his first wife, exceedingly affecting and interesting. I think you have done right in retaining it, as it sets his domestic character in a most pleasing light. It shews how perfectly compatible is great tenderness of heart, and an attention to minuter duties, with great powers of intellect, and an ardent pursuit of great objects. Biographers have usually been too sparing of such details. How delighted should we have
been with such an exhibition of the characters of Edwards, Howe, and other illustrious christian heroes!
has written to Mrs. B., earnestly importuning me to review his Life of Mr. Fuller, which is completed to the last chapter. I need scarcely say that I absolutely declined, informing him that it was impossible for me to do it, without a violation of honour and consistency. I suppose his book will be out shortly. I hope and believe, however, it will not prevent your work from obtaining a considerable circulation. Though I highly disapprove of 's publication, it is not impossible that posterity may obtain a juster idea of the character of our excellent friend, by comparing them, than by either of them separately. I am afraid my dear brother will be as sparing of his shades as he of his lights. Though his [Mr. Fuller's] faults were trivial indeed, compared to his excellencies, yet they were in my view very apparent; and, as is generally the case in very forcible characters, they possessed a certain prominence: on the whole, however, it will be long before we look on such a man.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER TO THE
Leicester, Jan. 1816.
be so good as to give my kind respects to him, and thanks to him for his kind attention, and that of his felloweditors. Tell him I shall take his suggestion into serious consideration; but whether I shall contribute to the [magazine), or not, I cannot say.
I never yet felt the smallest inclination to read or to write in these sorts of miscellanies. With respect to the widows, anxious as I should be to promote their welfare, I have not the presumption to imagine my writing would be of any material benefit. To the whole class of publications, reviews, magazines, &c., I avow myself a total alien and a stranger.
TO THE REV. THOMAS GRINFIELD, CLIFTON.
Rev. and Dear Sir,
Leicester, Feb. 5, 1816. With respect to the salvability of socinians, for myself, I feel no hesitation. Their state appears to be clearly decided by such Scriptures as these : “ He that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, shall have everlasting life;" “ He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” How can they be said to have the Son, who reject him in his distinguishing, his essential character, as the Saviour of the world ; and how can he be a propitiation for sin to them who have no faith in his blood ? When it is asserted that we are justified by faith, I can understand it in no other sense than