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RELIGIOUS CIRCULATING LIBRARIES. MR. EDITOR,
cal works, voyages, and travels In reading that most useful part (especially to the East and the of your work the Review, I am Holy Land), which either directly often tempted to feel some little or indirectly throw light on the discontent with my lot, which will Scriptures, together with the prinonly allow me to purchase a very cipal theological publications of the few of the books you recommend, day, and some of the standard works the extracts from which only height- of former days, histories and reports en my desire to see the whole, and of the several religious and philaneven raise some degree of envy to- thropical societies, it is obvious that wards my richer neighbours, who a very respectable library might be have it in their power to become easily formed; and by keeping possessors of all they wish. Think, down the subscribing price to one ing the other day over this subject, guinea per annum (which the bookit struck me as surprising, that nu- seller could afford to do, as books merous as the readers of religious of the above description are not publications now are, there is not (I depreciated in value by time, as believe) in this Christian country a novels and romances are), I have single “religious circulating libra- no doubt that it would answer exry;" and while almost every town ceedingly well, be of very great contains circulating libraries for no-' use to both clergy and laity, and be vels and romances, the Christian a great means, under God, of dif(if not wealthy) is obliged to be fusing right ideas of vital Chriscontent with the few religious works tianity, not only in London but he can purchase, or borrow from throughout the empire. By either his friends. At first sight, per- inserting this letter or any part of it, haps, it might be thought difficult or by making the proposition known to collect a sufficient number of in any way you think best, you religious works suited to the pur- will oblige pose; but when you take into con
Your constant reader, sideration the numerous biographi
ON READING DIVINE SERVICE. SIR,
found, upon the whole, but little if WITHIN a very extensive range at all inferior in point of importance of observation, I have seldom no- to preaching ticed, among the clergy of the Several prayers in the Liturry of Established Church, that critical the Established Church are disattention to the reading of the se- tinguished by a peculiarly fervid, veral parts of the service, which, , and, I will add, pure spirit of deupon very sufficient grounds, Icon- votion. Others contain a truly ad, sider as both becoming and requi- mirable statement of momentous site. Many of them have appeared evangelical doctrines. To these, to me to regard the manner of read- and various other particularities, ing the prayers and lessons not which it seems superfluous to spemerely as a matter of secondary cify, the mode of reading should consideration, but as one of trivial unquestionably be carefully adaptconsequence; and yet there is cer- ed. They cannot otherwise be tainly not wanting sufficient reason reasonably expected to produce for affirming, that, if viewed with their natural effects. And I feel reference to effects, it would be but little hesitation in adding, that
by reading them in such a manner in the same unvarying, spiritless as is calculated to render them tone of voice, it is certain that no abortive, something very like the inconsiderable portion of the conguilt of mocking the Most High is gregation will be disposed to draw incurred. As for the Scriptural leg- very unfavourable inferences with sons which for the most part com- regard to the reader, in more reprise much diversified matter, read spects than one : while, on the ing them in a drawling, monoto- other hand, it is certain that correct nous, unsuitable manner, has really reading, especially when accoma tendency to deprive them, in panied by well-managed psalmomany instances, of their wonted dy, will always have the effect of efficacy. The sword of the Spirit rendering a large portion of the will seldom cut deeply when feebly congregation much more suscepand upskilfully wielded.
tible than would otherwise be the If the exhortative, supplicative, case, of those salutary impressions denunciatory, narrative, impera- which the clergyman's subsequent tive, and other essentially dissi- discourse from the pulpit may be milar parts of the service be read calculated to make.
BALAK AND BALAAM..NumberS, XXII. XXIV. Upon the hill the Prophet stood,
He lingered, till on Israel stole King Balak in the rocky vale;
The night: again the curse be tried.' Around bim, like a fiery food,
A whirlwind from the desert rushed, Flashed to the sun his men of mail.
Deep thunder pealed around the bill; 'T was morn-the guilty sacrifice
King, Prophet, multitude were hushed, Sent up its ruddy flame to Heaven ;
The thunder paused, the blast was still. Still on the Prophet turned their eyes,
Broad in the east, a new-born Star, Nor yet the fatal curse was given,
On cloud, hill, desert, poured its blaze; 'T was noon—the flame was feeble now, The Prophet knew the sign afar, Was dried the seven-fold altar's blood;
And on it fixed his sbuddering gaze. And wratb was gathering fierce below
“ I shall behold Him, but not now! Among the baughty multitude.
I shall behold Him, but not nigb ! 'Twas eve—again the flame arose,
He comes to lay th' oppressor low,
To triumph, weep, forgive, and die. He listened where the mighty foes
“ All power is in bis glance; the world To beaven their evening anthem sung.
Is dust beneath his trampling heel; He saw their camp like endless clouds
The thunder from his lips is hurled, Mixed with th' horizon's distant blue;
The heavens before his presence reel. Saw on the plain their marshall’d crowds,
“ He comes, a stranger to his own, Heard the high strain their trumpets blew.
With the wild bird and fox be lies, A sudden spirit on him came,
Is taunted, fettered, scourged, undone,
A wanderer lives, an outcast dies!
What blood shall for his blood be poured! « How shall I curse whom God hath blest, Until tbat orb again shall beam, Witb whom he dw
th wbom sball
Again Jehovah be thy Lord!" dwell?"
The Prophet ceased in awe, the Star He smote his pale bands on bis breast;
Rosc broader on the boundless plain, “ Then, be tbou blest, O Israel !”
Flashing on Balak's marsballed war, o Come down, deceiver,” cried the King; On mighty Israel's farthest vane; “ I bade thee curse, not bless my foes :"
And sounds along the midnight flowed A shaft was laid upon the string;
From lips of more than mortals giren; The Prophet from the dust arose.
Till in the central cope it glowed, * Be Israel cursed,” was in his soul,
Then vanished in the heights of beaven. But on his lip the wild words died;
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE LATE REV. JOHN
ESCREET, M. A. “ The way,” says the Psalmist, 1, 1796. When only three years “ is in the sea, and thy path in the old, he was deprived of his mogreat waters, and thy footsteps are ther; but that loss was eventually not known.” But amidst the va- supplied by the kind and tender atrious dispensations of Almighty tentions of his mother-in-law, who, God, few appear more mysterious with his affectionate father, still than the removal of so many of his survives to lament his loss. Young faithful Ministers, at the very mo- Escreet was observed, till he was ment when they appear most pre- about seven years of age, to be pared for extensive usefulness, and somewhat hasty in his temper; but when, according to the usual course this irritability of disposition was of nature, it might reasonably be about that time removed, and duexpected that they should long ring the whole succeeding period continue to instruct and edify the of his life he was distinguished church. Such removals are ac- for his mildness and gentleness. companied, indeed, with the most When eight years old, he was salutary lessons; they teach us the placed under the care of the vanity and the uncertainty of life; Rev. John Scott, then master of they warn all, however eminent the grammar-school in Hull, with their talents, important their sta- whom he continued till prepared tion, and extensive their prospects for college. He was early intended of usefulness, to cultivate habi- for the ministry; and though the tual preparation for the coming subject was rarely mentioned to of their Lord; and they often im him, he seemed not to have the press more strongly upon the minds least interest for any other pursuit. of a bereaved and afficted family His studies were prosecuted with and people, those lessons which diligence and alacrity, though occahad previously been regarded with sionally interrupted by the delicate comparative indifference. But the state of his health, while his amifull explication of these dispensa- able disposition and deportment tions must be left to that world, exited the admiration and affection where we shall no longer see of his superiors. When eleven through a glass darkly, but shall years of age, the attention of the know even as we are known. family was attracted to his regular
Remarks of this nature are ob- and uninterrupted retirement for viously suggested by the case be- devotional purposes. This, indeed, fore us. It has pleased God to re- had been his practice from the time move the subject of this memoir at he was seven ; but he was now obthe early age of twenty-six, when served to retire to a room which he he had only just as it were entered considered out of the hearing of the upon the ministry, and been em- family, and to employ in general ployed so long as to see some fruit nearly two hours in an evening in of his labours, and excite in the fervent prayer, reading the Scripminds of those connected with him tures, and meditation. “ There,” the hope of great and lasting useful- says his sister, “ have I heard him, ness. On what solid grounds such and my own heart has been much hopes were founded, the following affected. O how sweetly he combrief narration will, we trust, muned with his God! how fervently abundantly testify.
be breathed out his soul! how earJohn Escreet was the fifth son of nestly he prayed for each by name!" Thomas and Sarah Escreet, and was It is impossible to pass over this born at Kingston upon Hull, Aug. circumstance without observing, how strikingly the promise was years; a course which, while it fulfilled in his case, “ they that leaves little to record, afforded an seek me early shall find me.” His important and salutary example to early devotion was accompanied those who had the opportunity of with eminent meekness and piety; observing it, and well deserves was the means, under God, of pre- the imitation of others. His soserving him from dangers and ciety was very limited. Those, temptations in succeeding years ; indeed, who apply themselves was followed by an early ripeness diligently to study in our uniin Christian graces and heavenly versities, have no time for idle dispositions; and terminated by an calls and a numerous acquaintance, early removal to heaven; which, and nothing is more dangerous to however we may lament as our the young student than the claims loss, is his exceeding gain.
of former school-fellows and comHe was at this period in a very panions. Reading men have seldelicate state of health, and found dom much time to bestow upon a an affectionate and constant at- new comer; non-reading men are tendant in his mother-in-law. When a disgrace to themselves and a pest she was attacked by the scarlet to others. fever, he in return became a fre- In the absence, however, of quent and unwearied visitor to her other information, a few testimosick chamber. On one of these oc- nies from those who were favoured casions she said to him, “I never with his intimate acquaintance may see any of that temper now, John,” not be inexpedient. alluding to his former irritability. “I met with him,” says the Rev. He replied, “ No; but you don't E. White of Gosfield, “ accidenknow how much it costs me to sub- tally at Mr. C.'s rooms at breakdue it.”
fast, and was much struck with He regularly attended the mi- the piety I perceived in him, connistry of the Rev. T. Dikes and the nected with so much amiableness, Rev. J. Scott, and received great solidity, and judgment.” A friendbenefit from their faithful instruc- ship then commenced which contitions. So diligent was his atten- nued until death; and in a funeral tion, and retentive his memory, sermon, preached at Stisted, March that he used to bring home the di- 23, 1823, Mr. White remarks, “ All visions and subdivisions of the ser- the nine years I have known him mons, even when they were nu- I never heard him speak an idle merous, without noting any thing word. In College he was my down at the time. After, however, · counsellor, my friend. His prayers retiring for prayer, he frequently often animated me. My loss is alwrote what occurred; to his recol. most irreparable.” lection; a practice strongly recom- A similar unreserved testimony mended by his affectionate tutor. is given by another of his intimate
In this regular course of study and valuable friends, who dwells and devotion he persevered, with particularly on the advantages de occasional interruptions from the rived from his religious conversadelicate state of his health, which tion. A few of these young friends often compelled him to retire to his were in the habit of meeting togeuncle's in the country, until he was ther on the Sunday afternoon, to entered, at the age of seventeen, read the scriptures and converse at Trinity College, Cambridge, and upon them, to the no small benefit commenced his residence in the and edification of each other. year 1813. Here he pursued the Mr. E.'s progress in his studies, same regular, studious, quiet course and his consequent success in the which had distinguished his earlier University, were very materially im
peded by a complaint with which sionally recorded the feelings of his his eyes were affected. He was mind for his own private edificaentirely disabled for ten weeks in tion. A few fragments of this nature his first year ; but, notwithstand- were found among his papers, which ing, he appeared in the second were evidently not intended for any class at the Trinity examination, eye but his own. The following The next year he succeeded to the extracts will doubtless be read first class, but was obliged to ab- with interest, and, we trust, with sent himself from college the en- edification also. suing year, three months of which « Jan. 13, 1819.-WEAKNESS he spent at Leeds, under the care OF MY NATURE.-I feel my own of the late distinguished and excel- weakness more and more. I can lent William Hey, Esq. from whose do nothing without God's help. If kind and skilful attention he re- he leave me to myself, I must cerceived material benefit. Instead, tainly perish. I would, however, however, of making this complaint lie a suppliant at his feet and iman excuse, as many would have plore his grace. done, for relinquishing his studies, “Jan. 17.--1Sam. ii. 30. · Those we find him embracing the earliest who honour God he will honour.' opportunity of resuming them; and My sabbath has been not near so accordingly, on his return to Cam- profitable as the last. I feel a bridge, he was elected Scholar, strange distance from God. Why? obtained rooms in college, and On the preceding Saturday night, was found in the list of Wranglers instead of reading, I devoted more at the time of taking his degree in time to devotion, which I negJan. 1818.
lected to do last night. In the After commencing B. A. Mr. E. former case, I was richly repaid; remained at college to prepare for for the latter I suffer loss. examination as candidate for a fel- “ I have just parted from White lowship. During this period va- and Bull. God bless them in the rious proposals of a highly advan- matter of the senate-house, and ditageous kind were made to hin. rect all their goings. He was offered an appointment as “ Nov. 4. — SINGLENESS OF tutor in a nobleman's family; or EYE DESIRED.-We have this day to undertake the care of a church formed a small committee for colin Switzerland; or to be nominated lecting subscriptions among the as principal of a college in Nova members of the University for the Scotia; or to go out as chaplain to Bible Society, of which I am SeIndia. He was rather inclined to cretary. May the Lord prosper us accept of the latter proposal; but in our work, and give me a single a deference to the wishes of his fa- eye to his glory! How difficult is ther, who had watched his pro- this attainment! Self cleaves to gress at the university with delight every thing. and satisfaction, and who stated “ Nov. 6.-OUR WEAKNESS, that he would rather his son had God's STRENGTH. - When we one hundred a year in England feel an indisposition to prayer, than a thousand in India, induced arising from a sense of our own him to decline the proposal. The weakness, we should be the more propriety of this decision was con- encouraged to go, trusting in God; firmed by the opinion of his medi- agreeably to what the Apostle cal advisers, who considered it says, "When I am weak, then highly improbable that he should am I strong.' long survive if exposed to an East “Nov.7.--RESOLUTION.--I have Indian climate.
this day attended the sacrament, During this period, Mr. E. occa- and resolved again to devote myself