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Mrs. Clifford mildly answered, "I hope I am aware of this plausible deception, but in the present instance I am not conscious of meriting the rebuke. You may remember, my dear Mrs. Hammond, that Martha was not censured for a necessary attention to her ordinary and relative duties; but for an undue anxiety, an ostentatious and ill-timed desire of providing things, more than hospitably good." Perhaps too, I may remind you, that there subsists a visible difference between her neglecting to hear the words of the Redeemer, when he honored her roof with his sacred presence, and my declining to attend the discourse of one of his servants, when such an attendancé would necessarily involve a neglect of duties, more strictly enjoined upon me." "You have always a great deal to say about duties, my dear," resumed the lady; but if I read my bible aright, no duties are so acceptable with God, as an affectionate reception of his gospel, and a desire to see his kingdom advanced in our own hearts, and in the world around us.' She then magnanimously declared her resolution "to persist in her attachment to the 'word preached,' although it continued to expose her to many domestic sacrifices, and involved her in several petty persecutions."
'I believe Mrs. Clifford could have evinced to her fair friend, that she had not " read her bible aright;" but as a spirit of recrimination certainly was not the temper by which she sought to maintain the honor of religion, she thought it better to drop the subject, than to expose her visitor to the imminent risk of losing her temper.
I went to hear Mr.
A short silence therefore ensued, 'till Mr. Clifford inquired of Mrs. Hammond," Whether she had yet had an opportunity of visiting the sick woman, whose case he recommended to her?" "No, really," she replied, "I have not had one moment of leisure since you named her to me. On Monday, I was at a bible society's meeting; Tuesday, preach; Wednesday, I dined at Mrs. Nelson's, where a select number of serious friends were assembled to meet the Rev. Mr. H—; all Thursday I was occupied in endeavouring to procure subscribers to our Dorcas society; and, to-day, I shall hardly have time to swallow my dinner, on my return home, before the arrival of a lady, who has promised to go with me to hear a sermon for the benefit of our Sunday-school."
As Mrs. Hammond paused, I asked my friend, in a low voice, "If it were possible to be religiously dissipated?" "I fear it is a possible, though not, I should hope, a very frequent case," he ob served; then turning to the lady who had given birth to the supposition, he said, "As your engagements are already so numerous, I fear your intended charity will come too late for poor Susan. Our Emma saw her on Wednesday, she was then almost incapable of receiving any nourishment; and I believe, that in a few days, her sufferings and her wants will cease.' "9
If I mistake not, Mr. Clifford designed to convey a practical reproof to this wandering star,' and perhaps for a moment it was felt as such; but soon the salutary effects of her regret evaporated in extravagant expressions of sorrow. "Surely," she exclaimed,
"there never was so unfortunate a being before. I would have made any sacrifices rather than have lost the opportunity of hearing the dying language of this poor but pious creature!" Then addressing Emma, "How I envy you, Miss Clifford; it must be a sweet satisfaction, to reflect on the many hours which, for this year past, you have spent in reading to the aged sufferer. Perhaps, my dear, you will write a short narrative of her; it would be a charming obituary; send it to me when it is drawn up, and I will get it published next month. Don't you think it would be very interesting, Mrs. Clifford?" she continued, turning to her, before she had given Emma time to reply.
Emma bit her lips, to prevent a smile, though the mention of Susan's name at other times, might more easily have drawn a tear to her eyes.' pp. 54-60.
The remarks on Governesses, particularly claim attention. The Author suggests, that they who expect their children to attain any proficiency in any one of the elegant arts, will do well to employ masters who make it the study of their lives, instead of sacrificing more important considerations in the choice of a governess, to their being qualified to teach every thing.
'On this subject the Author is anxious not to be misunderstood.In what is here advanced, she is far from seeking to depreciate the value of female instructors, or from suggesting that they are less capable of imparting knowledge than those of the other sex. But she has often seen and deplored instances, in which young and delicate women, have been required to teach every thing for a small salary, sometimes merely for a home; thus, they are often urged to exertions injurious, if not fatal, to their own health, in order to meet the unreasonable demands of parents; while the less conscientious governess, finding it impossible to excel in every branch of science, is contented to be superficial in all: yet, masters, who profess to teach but one art, are liberally recompensed for a few hours' attendance. Surely, it is neither wise, impartial, or just, to require so much from those, whose minds we deem inferior, and so little of the stronger powers of masculine genius?' p. 71.
The moral danger attendant upon the introduction of gentlemen professors into the library or school-room, may be the ostensible reason for seeking to supersede the necessity of masters; but still, the finishing hand of the master, particularly in regard to music, is almost universally deemed requisite, and that at the very period at which the supposed objection has the greatest force. Not only is the credit of the pupil's proficiency, by this means lost to the governess who has had to endure the vexation and fatigue of drilling the obstinate fingers into obedience, but the saving plan pursued in her appointment is, with aggravated injustice, considered as justifying a lavish remuneration of the first masters.
Art. XI. The Work of Faith, the Labour of Love, and the Patience of Hope, illustrated; in the Life and Death of the Rev. Andrew Fuller, late Pastor of the Baptist Church at Kettering, and Secretary to the Baptist Missionary Society, from its Commencement, in 1792. Second Edition, with Corrections and Additions.* Chiefly extracted from his own Papers, by John Ryland, D.D. 8vo. pp. 400. Price 7s. [A Portrait.] 1818.
THE very strong and, we trust, salutary interest, with which
we have read this highly valuable publication, is of such a nature as to have much indisposed us to resume the volume for the purposes of ordinary criticism. It is not that subjects for criticism are not presented in plenty and variety; but the predominant feeling with which it seems to claim to be perused, is nearly identical with that with which we should wish to read a book of devotions. We should hope that, in the case of a large proportion of its readers, something like this will have been, and will be the prevailing state of mind; and we must confess we should think no little commiseration due in any instance where a very considerable measure of such a sentiment had not accompanied the perusal, whether the preventing cause were religious insensibility, or the prejudices of party and opinion.
Most readers of the book, we think, will be satisfied that the present Biographer was the proper person, and probably the only proper person, for the office which, nevertheless, he would gladly have consigned to any other competent and consenting writer; while he would willingly have subserved the undertaking, without being known to have had a share in the compilation.' The work has remained in the right hands. Dr. Ryland was nearly coeval with Mr. Fuller; became acquainted with him very early in the Christian course and public labours of both; communicated with him on the theological perplexities which exercised and embarrassed his judgement in the first years of his ministry; co-operated with him in public services; witnessed the unfolding of his talents and zeal; gradually grew into a friendship which continued through life, confirmed and perpetually augmented by a kindred zealous interest for the best Cause, by agreement of religious opinions, and by progressive mutual proofs of solid excellence of character; was consulted by him respecting his publications; entered with him into the spirit, and shared with him in the long and encreasing labours, of the
In this new edition,' says Dr. R. I have rectified two or three mistakes which I had inadvertently made in the former; and have. left out a few particulars of less importance to make room for some interesting additions, especially part of a letter to his eldest son, &c, &c. with a letter to a friend respecting impressions of texts of Scripture on the mind. A few paragraphs have also been transposed; and a smaller type has been used, for the sake of reducing the price.'
Missionary enterprise; received from him numberless confidential communications, relative to this and many other concerns, of both a public and personal nature; and finally bas had whatever advantage could be afforded by the discretionary use of all the manuscript papers left at his death, even the most private records of his exercises of piety, speculation, or sorrow.
All this, indeed, is obviously telling how decidedly and deeply in the spirit of friendship the Biographer must have delineated his subject. And it were useless to deny that had it been possible for any man, of judgement and honesty equal to those of the excellent Author of this volume, to have possessed, without any personal friendship for Mr. Fuller, all that knowledge of his character and proceedings which it was so much through the medium of friendship that Dr. Ryland acquired, he must, as being a more cool and rigorous, have been a somewhat more accurate, estimator of the man. But it is plain that, on the one hand, it is impossible that any one but a friend could have acquired that intimate knowledge, that vivid idea of the character, under the influence of which the present Biographer writes; and that, on the other, no man that should have become an intimate friend of Fuller, could have failed to receive so strong an impression of his powers and his principles, as to reduce in the estimate, his imperfections to a diminutive amount of deduction from so much excellence: they would not have appeared in any proportion authorising the name of contrast.
For ourselves, we are most willing to receive the delineation from the hand of conscientious and judicious friendship,-epithets, we believe, never more applicable than in the instance before us. If there be any who are much more solicitous for a severe and punctilious justice, than for the benefit to be derived from contemplating a high Christian character, and a life of extraordinary and memorable usefulness, they doubtless may with due industry come at the means of detecting whatever spots there were on so bright an object. We may, however, be permitted to question, whether an earnest industry is ever exerted for such a purpose without some promptings from a disposition which will be willing to magnify those spots when descried.
These remarks, however, are by no means to be mistaken as implying that Fulier's oldest and most intimate friend has in this Memoir attempted an exhibition of a perfect character. It is acknowledged in the work, repeatedly, that this eminent and most genuine servant of Christ and religion, had in his temperament some share of that moral condition which all the servants of Christ deem it is well worth dying to escape from; while yet it is shewn, with the most ample evidence, that if his character was marked by a certain rigour, by an excessive pertinacity of the importance of whatever he held as truth, by a too little qua
lified tone of condemnatory judgement, by some deficiency of what may justly be denominated liberality, as well of feeling as of opinion, and by a want of the conciliatory manner, the suuviter in modo, which is compatible with the greatest firmness of principle and purpose,--he was at the same time in all things solicitously conscientious, was beyond comparison a more rigid judge and censor of himself than of his fellow-mortals, and was habitually and profoundly abased in the presence of the Divine Judge.
It may well be supposed that his present Biographer had less personul cause to be made sensible of such defects, than most other men that came within Fuller's acquaintance, while his own exemplary candour would also make the greatest allowance for them. But with whatever clearness he discerned the imperfections of his justly admired friend, what reader can refuse to acknowledge the benevolent wisdom of the latter portion of the following passage?
Doubtless he had his faults; for in many things we all offend.' I might be blind to some of them, although I thought I watched him more carefully than I did any other friend; as being more anxious that he should be right in all points, and more at liberty to speak my mind, if ever I thought him wrong: but whatever they were, he has done with them, and I have done with them. I will deny none that I ever knew; but, if I had known more than I ever did, I would not needlessly expose them. I am fully satisfied that he is now without fault before the throne. His just spirit is made perfect. I long to be as he is. I wish I now were as he was, in all things except those bonds.
If I knew of his making a golden calf, or in any degree countenancing idolatry, I would acknowledge and reprobate his conduct; or, if I knew of his denying his Lord three times over, or even once only, I would own and lament it. But the sacred writers, while they recorded every material fact impartially, yet did not needlessly re peat and exaggerate the imperfections of upright men, nor aim to shew their own acumen in nicely criticising their characters: their impartiality was real, but not ostentatious. Luke entered into no discussion of the controversy between Paul and Barnabas, though he had full opportunity of knowing one side of the story, and that from far the greatest man of the two. and as I am not divinely inspired to distinguish accurately who was right and who was wrong, wherein Mr. Fuller was separated from some who once had a share in his friendship, and from whom he thought it his duty to withdraw it; I shall leave them to write of his faults, who refused to acknowledge any of their own. Though I may have strong grounds for an opinion on that subject, yet I am not eager to shew them. I leave such things to an infallible Judge.' The whole of this volume will sufficiently shew that I wished to write the actual life of my dearly beloved friend, and not his panegyric. By the grace of God he was what he was; and now the work of grace is perfected.' p. 364.