« FöregåendeFortsätt »
the waters. And, perhaps, after he has been in his grave twenty years, his son remembers what his father told him.
Besides, Parental Influence must be great, because God has said that it shall be so. The parent is not to stand reasoning and calculating. God has said that his character shall have influence.
And this appointment of Providence, becomes often the punishment of a wicked man. Such a man is a complete SELFIST. I am weary of hearing such men talk about their “ family”—and their
family"—they “must provide for their family.” Their family has no place in their REAL REGARD. They push for themselves. But God says —“No! You think your children shall be so and so. But they shall be rods for your own backs. They shall be your curse. They shall rise up against you.” The most common of all human complaints is-Parents groaning under the vices of their children! This is all the effect of Parental Influence.
In the exercise of this influence there are two leading dangers to be avoided.
Excess of SEVERITY is one danger. My Mother, on the contrary, would talk to me, and weep as she talked. I flung out of the house with an oath -but wept too when I got into the street. Sympathy is the powerful engine of a mother. I was desperate: I would go on board a privateer. But there are soft moments to such desperadoes. God does not, at once, abandon them to themselves. There are times when the man says-“ I should be glad to return: but I should not like to meet that face!" if he has been treated with severity.
Yet excess of LAXITY is another danger. The case of Eli affords a serious warning on this subject. Instead of his mild expostulation on the flagrant wickedness of his sons--Nay, my sons, it is no good report that I hear-he ought to have exercised his authority as a parent and magistrate in punishing and restraining their crimes.
REMARKS ON AUTHORS.
HEN I look at the mind of LORD BACONit seems vast, original, penetrating, analogical, beyond all competition. When I look at his character-it is wavering, shuffling, mean. In the closing scene, and in that only, he appears in true dignity, as a man of profound contrition.
BAXTER surpasses, perhaps, all others, in the grand, impressive, and persuasive style. But he is not to be named with Owen as to furnishing the student's mind. He is, however, multifarious, complex, practical.
CLARKE has, above all other men, the faculty of lowering the life and spiritual sense of Scripture to such perfection, as to leave it like dry bones, divested of every particle of marrow or oil. South is nearer the truth. He tells more of it: but he tells it with the tongue of a viper, for he was most bitterly set against the Puritans. But there is a spirit and life about him. He must and will be heard. And, now and then, he darts on us with an unexpected and imcomparable stroke.
THE MODERN GERMAN WRITERS, and the whole school formed after them, systematically and intentionally confound vice and virtue, and argue for the passions against the morals and institutions of society. There never was a more dangerous book written, than one that Mrs. WOLSTONCROFT left imperfect, but which GODWIN published after her death. Her“ Wrongs of Women” is an artful apology for adultery: she labours to interest the feelings in favour of an adultress, by making her crime the consequence of the barbarous conduct of a despicable husband, while she is painted all softness and sensibility. Nothing like this was ever attempted before the modern school.
“ Some men,” said Dr. Patten to me,“ are always crying Fire! Fire !" To be sure—where there is danger, there ought to be affectionate earnestness. Who would remonstrate, coldly and with indifference, with a man about to precipitate himself from Dover Cliff, and not rather snatch him forcibly from destruction? Truth, in its living influence on the heart, will shew itself in consecratedness and holy zeal. When teachers of religion are destitute of these qualities, the world readily infers that religion itself is a farce. Let us do the world justice. It has very seldom found a considerate, accommodating, and gentle, but withal earnest, heavenly, and enlightened teacher. When it has found such, Truth has received a very general attention. Such a man was HERVEY, and his works have met their reward.
Homer approaches nearest of all the heathen poets to the grandeur of Hebrew Poetry. With the theological light of Scripture, he would have wonderfully resembled it.
Hooker is incomparable in strength and sanctity. His first books are wonderful. I do not so perfectly meet him, as he advances toward the close.
LOSKIEL's “ Account of the Moravian Missions among the North American Indians” has taught me two things. I have found in it a striking illustration of the uniformity with which the grace of God operates on men. Crantz, in his “ Account of the Missions in Greenland," had shewn the grace of God working on a Man-Fish : on a stupid