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of industry than of power, and the style of all his compositions, both at this time and for some years later, is cramped by a stiffness and formality alien alike to the homeliness of his first published works and the vigour of his later ones, and strikingly recalling his favourite lines,
“ The old man clogs our earliest years,
And simple childhood comes the last."
But already in the examination of the Oriel Fellowships, Dr. Whately had pointed out to the other electors the great capability of "growth" which he believed to be involved in the crudities of the youthful candidate's exercises, and which, even in points where he was inferior to his competitors, indicated an approaching superiority. And widely different as were his juvenile compositions in many points from those of his after life, yet it is interesting to observe in them the materials which those who knew the pressure of his numerous avocations used to wonder when he could have acquired, and to trace amidst the strangest contrast of his general thoughts and style occasional remarks of a higher strain, which are in striking, though in some instances perhaps accidental, coincidence with some of his later views. He endeavoured in his historical reading to follow the plan which he afterwards recommended in his Lectures, of making himself thoroughly master of some one period, —the 15th century, with Philip de Comines as his text book, seems to have been the chief sphere of his studies,-and the first book after his election which appears in the Oriel library as taken out in his name, is Rymer's Federa. Many of the judgments of his maturer years on Gibbon, Livy, and Thucydides, are to be found in a MS. of 1815, in which, under the name of “Thoughts on History,” he went through the characteristics of the chief ancient and modern historians. And it is almost startling, in the midst of a rhetorical burst of his youthful Toryism in a journal of 1815, to meet with expressions of real feeling about the social state of England such as might have been written in his latest years; or amidst the commonplace remarks which accompany an analysis of St. Paul's Epistles and Chrysostom's Homilies, in 1818, to stumble on a
statement, complete as far as it goes, of his subsequent doctrine of the identity of Church and State.
Meanwhile he had been gradually led to fix upon his future course in life. In December, 1818, he was ordained deacon at Oxford; and on August 11th, 1820, he married Mary, youngest daughter of the Rev. John Penrose, Rector of Fledborough, in Nottinghamshire, and sister of one of his earliest school and college friends, Trevenen Penrose; having previously settled in 1819 at Laleham, near Staines, with his mother, aunt, and sister, where he remained for the next nine years, taking seven or eight young men as private pupils in preparation for the Universities, for a short time in a joint establishment with his brother-in-law, Mr. Buckland, and afterwards independently by himself. Here were born six out of his nine children. The three youngest, besides one which died in infancy in 1832, were born at Rugby.
In the interval which had elapsed between the end of his under-graduate career at Oxford, and his entrance upon life, had taken place the great change from boyhood to manhood, and with it a corresponding change or growth of character, more marked and more important than at any subsequent period of his life. There was indeed another great step to be taken before his mind reached that later stage of development which was coincident with his transition from Laleham to Rugby. The prosaic and matter of fact element which has been described in his early Oxford life still retained its predominance, and to a certain extent dwarfed and narrowed his sphere of thought; the various principles of political and theological science which contained in germ all that was to grow out of them, had not yet assumed their proper harmony and proportions; his feelings of veneration, if less confined than in later years, were also less intense; his hopes and views, if more practicable and more easily restrained by the advice of others, were also less wide in their range, and less lofty in their conception.
But, however great were the modifications which his character subsequently underwent, it is the change of tone at this time, between the earlier letters of this period (such as the one
or two first of the ensuing series) and those which immediately succeed them, that marks the difference between the high spirit and warm feelings of his youth, and the fixed earnestness and devotion which henceforth took possession of his whole heart and will. Whatever may have been the outward circumstances which contributed to this--the choice of a profession-the impression left upon him by the sudden loss of his elder brother —the new and to him elevating influences of married life-the responsibillty of having to act as the guide and teacher of others-it was now for the first time that the principles, which before he had followed rather as a matter of course, and as held and taught by those around him, became emphatically part of his own convictions, to be embraced and carried out for life and for death.
From this time forward such defects as were peculiar to his boyhood and early youth entirely disappear; the indolent habits—the morbid restlessness and occasional weariness of duty—the indulgence of vague schemes without definite purpose—the intellectual doubts which beset the first opening of his mind to the realities of religious belief, when he shared at least in part the state of perplexity which in his later sermons he feelingly describes as the severest of earthly trials, and which so endeared to him throughout life the story of the confession of the Apostle Thomas-all seem to have vanished away and never again to have diverted him from the decisive choice and energetic pursuit of what he set before him as his end and duty. From this time forward no careful observer can fail to trace that deep consciousness of the invisible world, and that power of bringing it before him in the midst and through the means of his most active engagements, which constituted the peculiarity of his religious life, and the moving spring of his whole life. It was not that he frequently introduced sacred names in writing or in conversation, or that he often dwelt on divine interpositions; where many would have done so without scruple, he would shrink from it, and in speaking of his own religious feelings, or in appealing to the religious feelings of others, he was, except to those most intimate with him, exceedingly reserved. But what was true generally of the thorough
interpenetration of the several parts of his character, was peculiarly true of it in its religious aspect: his natural faculties were not unclothed, but clothed upon; they were at once coloured by, and gave a colour to, the belief which they received. It was in his common acts of life, whether public or private, that the depth of his religious convictions most visibly appeared; it was in his manner of dwelling on religious subjects, that the characteristic tendencies of his mind chiefly displayed themselves.
Accordingly, whilst it is impossible, for this reason, to understand his religious belief except through the knowledge of his actual life and his writings on ordinary subjects, it is impossible, on the other hand, to understand his life and writings without bearing in mind how vivid was his realization of those truths of the Christian Revelation on which he most habitually dwelt. It was this which enabled him to undertake labours which without such a power must have crushed or enfeebled the spiritual growth which in him they seemed only to foster. It was the keen sense of thankfulness consciously awakened by every distinct instance of his many blessings, which more than anything else explained his close union of joyousness with seriousness. In his even tenor of life it was difficult for any one who knew him not to imagine “ the golden chain of heavenward thoughts and humble prayers by which, whether standing or sitting, in the intervals of work or of amusement," he “ linked together” his “more special and solemn devotions,” (Serm. vol. iii. p. 277,) or not to trace something of the consciousness of an invisible presence in the collectedness with which, at the call of his common duties, he rose at once from his various occupations: or in the calm repose which, in the midst of his most active labours, took all the disturbing accidents of life as a matter of course, and made toil so real a pleasure, and relaxation so real a refreshment to him. And in his solemn and emphatic expressions on subjects expressly religious; in his manner of awful reverence when speaking of God or of the Scriptures; in his power of realizing the operation of something more than human, whether in his abhorrence of evil, or in his admiration of goodness ;—the impression on those who
heard him was often as though he knew what others only believed, as though he had seen what others only talked about. “ No one could know him even a little,” says one who was himself not amongst his most intimate friends, “and not be struck by his absolute wrestling with evil, so that like St. Paul he seemed to be battling with the wicked one, and yet with the feeling of God's help on his side, scorning as well as hating him."
Abore all, it was necessary for a right understanding, not only of his religious opinions, but of his whole character, to enter into the peculiar feeling of love and adoration which he entertained towards our Lord Jesus Christ, -peculiar in the distinctness and intensity which, as it characterized almost all his common impressions, so in this case gave additional strength and meaning to those feelings with which he regarded not only His work of Redemption but Himself, as a living Friend and Master. “In that unknown world in which our thoughts become instantly lost," it was his real support and delight to remember that “still there is one object on which our thoughts and imaginations may fasten, no less than our affections; that amidst the light, dark from excess of brilliance, which surrounds the throne of God, we may yet discern the gracious form of the Son of Man.” (Serm. vol. ij. p. 90.) In that consciousness which pressed upon him at times even heavily, of the difficulty of considering God in his own nature, believing as he did that “ Providence, the Supreme Being, the Deity, and other such terms repel us to an infinite distance," and that the revelation of the Father, in Himself unapproachable, is to be looked upon rather as the promise of another life, than as the support of this life, it was to him a thought of perhaps more than usual comfort to feel that our God” is “ Jesus Christ our Lord, the image of the invisible God," and that "in Him is represented all the fulness of the Godhead, until we know even as we are known,” (vol. v. p. 222.) And with this full conviction both of his conscience and understanding, that He of whom he spoke was “ still the very selfsame Jesus in all human affections and divine excellences;" there was a vividness and tenderness in his conception of Him, on which, if one may so say, all his feelings