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many respects must be tolerated amongst them, as it was on a larger scale in what I consider the boyhood of the human race. But I believe that a great deal may be done, and I should be most unwilling to undertake the business, if I did not trust that much might be done. Our impressions of the exterior of every thing that we saw during our visit to Dr. Wooll in January, were very favourable; at the same time that I anticipate a great many difficulties in the management of affairs, before they can be brought into good train. But both M. and myself, I think, are well inclined to commence our work, and if my health and strength be spared me, I certainly feel that in no situation could I have the prospect of employment so congenial to my taste and qualifications; that is, supposing always that I find that I can manage the change from older pupils to a school. Your account of yourself was most delightful: my life for some years has been one of great happiness, but I fear not of happiness so safe and permitted.
I am hurried on too fast in the round of duties and of domestic enjoyments, and I greatly feel the need, and shall do so even more at Rugby, unless I take heed in time, of stopping to consider my ways, and to recognise my own infinite weakness and unworthiness. I have read the “ Letters on the Church,” and reviewed them in the Edinburgh Review for September 1826, if you care to know what I think of them. I think that any discussion on church matters must do good, if it is likely to lead to any reform; for any change, such as is within any human calculation, would be an improvement. What might not ----- do, if he would set himself to work in the House of Lords, not to patch up this hole or that, but to recast the whole corrupt system, which in many points stands just as it did in the worst times of popery, only reading “King” or “Aristocracy, " in the place of “Pope."
TO REV. F. C. BLACKSTONE.
Laleham, March 14, 1828. We are resigning private pupils, I imagine, with very different feelings; you looking forward to a life of less distraction, and I to one of far greater, insomuch that all here seems quietness itself in comparison with what I shall ineet with at Rugby. .. There will be a great deal to do, I suspect, in every way, when I first enter on my situation; but still, if my health continues, I do not at all dread it, but on the contrary look forward to it with much pleasure. I have long since looked upon education as my business in life; and just before I stood for Rugby, I had offered myself as a candidate for the historical professorship at the London University; and had indulged in various dreams of attaching myself to that institution, and trying as far as possible to influence it. In Rugby there is a fairer field, because I start with greater advantages. You know that I never ran down public schools in the lump, but grieved that their exceeding capabilities were not turned to better account; and if I find myself unable in time to mend what I consider faulty in them, it will at any rate be a practical lesson to teach me to judge charitably of others who do not reform public institutions as much as is desirable. I suppose that
you have not regarded all the public events of the last few months without some interest. My views of things certainly become daily more reforming; and what I above all other things wish to see is, a close union between Christian reformers and those who are often, as I think, falsely charged with being enemies of Christianity. It is a part of the perfection of the Gospel that it is attractive to all those who love truth and goodness, as soon as it is known in its true nature, whilst it tends to clear away those erroneous views and evil passions with which philanthropy and philosophy, so long as they stand aloof from it, are ever in some degree corrupted. My feeling towards men whom I believe to be sincere lovers of truth and the happiness of their fellow creatures, while they seek these ends otherwise than through the medium of the Gospel, is rather that they are not far from the kingdom of God, and might be brought into it altogether, than that they are enemies whose views are directly opposed to our own. That they are not brought into it is, I think, to a considerable degree, chargeable upon the professors of Christianity; the high Church party seeming to think that the establishment in Church and State is all in all, and that the Gospel principles must be accommodated to our existing institutions, instead of offering a pattern by which those institutions should be purified; and the Evangelicals by their ignorance and narrowmindedness, and their seeming wish to keep the world and the Church ever distinct, instead of labouring to destroy the one by increasing the influence of the other, and making the kingdoms of the world indeed the kingdoms of Christ.
TO AUGUSTUS HARE, ESQ.
Laleham, March 7, 1828. I trust that you have recovered your accident at Perugia, and that you are enabled to enjoy your stay at that glorious Rome. I think that I have never written to you since my return from it last spring, when I was so completely overpowered with admiration and delight at the matchless beauty and solemnity of Rome and its neighbourhood. But I think my greatest delight after all was in the society of Bunsen, the Prussian minister at Rome.
. . He reminded me continually of you more than of any other man whom I know, and chiefly by his entire and enthusiastic admiration of every thing great and excellent and beautiful, not stopping to see or care for minute faults; and though I cannot rid myself of that critical propensity, yet I can heartily admire and almost envy those who are without it. . . . I have derived great benefit from sources of information, that your brother has at different times recommended to me, and the perusal of some of his articles in the “Guesses at Truth” has made me exceedingly desirous of becoming better acquainted with him, as I am sure that his conversation would be really profitable to me in the highest sense of the word, as well as delightful. And I have a double pleasure in saying this, because I did not do him justice formerly in my estimate of him, and am anxious to do myself justice now by saying that I have learnt to judge more truly. You will have heard of my changed prospects in consequence of my election at Rugby. It will be a severe pang to me to leave Laleham; but otherwise I rejoice in my appointment, and hope to be useful, if life and health are spared me. ... I think of going to Leipsic, Dresden, and Prague, to worship the Elbe and the country of John Huss and Zisca. All here unite in kindest remembrances to you, and I wish you could convey to the very stones and air of Rome the expression of my fond recollection for them.
TO REV. JOHN TUCKER.
Laleham, May 25, 1828. (After speaking of Mr. Tucker's proposed intention of going as a missionary to India.) If you should go to India before we have an opportunity of meeting again, I would earnestly beg of you not to go away with the notion, which I sometimes fear that my oldest friends are getting of me, that I am become a hard man, given up to literary and scholastic pursuits, and full of worldly and political views of things. It has given me very great pain to think that some of those whom I most love, and with whom I would most fain be one in spirit, regard my views of things as jarring with their own, and are losing towards me that feeling of Christian brotherhood which I think they once entertained. I am not in the slightest degree speaking of any offence given or received, or any personal decay of regard; but I fancy they look upon me as not quite one with themselves, and as having my affections fixed upon lower objects. Assuredly I have no right to regret that I should be thought deficient in points in which I know I am deficient; but I would most earnestly protest against being thought wilfully and contentedly deficient in them, and not caring to be otherwise. And I cannot help fearing that my conversation with you last winter twelvemonth led you to something, at least, of a similar impression.
TO J. T. COLERIDGE, ESQ.
Laleham, April 24, 1828. It seems an age since I have seen you or written to you.
.. I could really be half romantic, yet I do not know that I ought to use any such equivocal epithet. When I think how little intercourse I hold with my most valued friends, it is almost awful to feel the tendencies of life to pare down one's affections and feelings to the minimum compatible with any thing like humanity. There is one's trade and one's family, and beyond it seems as if the great demon of worldly-mindedness would hardly allow one to bestow a thought or care.
But, if it please God, I will not sink into this state without some struggles, at least, against it. I saw Dyson the other day in Oxford, where I went to take my degree of B.D., and he and his wife were enough to freshen one's spirit for some time to come. I wish that you and I could meet oftener, and, instead of that, I fear that when I am at Rugby we shall meet even seldomer; but I trust that we shall meet sometimes still. . . The coming parting is a sad cloud both to them and to us. Still, without any affectation, I believe that John Keble is right, and that it is good for us to leave Laleham, because I feel that we are daily getting to regard it as too much of a home. I can