Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

displayed the power of religion over the heart and conduct. It was in him a governing and a ruling principle. It was the main spring, which constantly and uniformly regulated his thoughts and actions. He had indeed, and who has not, his foibles and infirmities. They were however few, and venial, and almost unavoidable. For instance, amidst the toil and hurry of a laborious station, and from great anxiety in what he was engaged in, he sometimes betrayed, in the latter part of his life, a slight impatience of manner. But he instantly checked it, and no one more lamented it than himself. His disposition indeed, with the exception of such occasional, transient interruptions, arising from the causes I have mentioned, was one of the mildest and the sweetest that can be imagined. It was the index of a heart warmed with all the charities and sympathies of our nature, and under the constant influence of a meek, a benevolent, and a kind religion. In all the offices of devotion, private and public, he was unfailing and exemplary. Firm in his belief of Christianity, every thing connected with it engaged his attention. It was his great end and aim to defend, to cherish, to promote it. The predominant object of all his wishes and desires, was, “in every thing he did, to do it to the glory of God.” Yet, amidst a conduct so holy and so pure, he had no melancholy, no austerity, no gloom. In him were never seen the sanctified look, the depressed brow, the sullen spirit, the dismal and desponding countenance. Piety, as he felt and understood it, was best exemplified by cheerfulness. He saw no incompatibility in the innocent pleasures of life with the most unfeigned devotion. He wished to render Religion

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

as amiable, as she is venerable; to place her before the eyes of men in her most alluring and attracting form—bright, serene, unclouded and benign; in a word, to represent her, not as the enemy and the bane of happiness, but as the guide, the companion, the solace, the delight of man. His own character was framed on this principle. He was cheerful without levity, serious and devout without moroseness. He lived, in short, as he taught others to live; and this it was which, far beyond any other e€use, gave such power, such weight, such efficacy to his preaching. "An orator," said the great Roman Philosopher, "if he would persuade, must be a good man;" and still more must the Christian Preacher be himself the Christian. Otherwise, though he should even speak as an Angel of Light, he will speak in vain: his eloquence will be fruitless,- and his advice will be forgotten.

Upon the whole, the Bishop was, and so at least Posterity will consider him, a light in his generation—an ornament to the times in which he lived. Firm and fixed in his own principles; candid and liberal in his sentiments of others; unalterable in his attachments; unbounded in his acts of charity; meek and humble in his disposition; affable and courteous in his manner and deportment; ardent in his piety; devoted to his God ;—surely, such a man well maintained the Christian character. That all men indeed should think of him as I do, is hardly to be expected. When the heart overflows with gratitude, such, I trust, as I shall ever feel, for a long course of uninterrupted kindness, friendship and protection, it is perhaps impossible to divest the mind altogether of partiality. I am not however aware, that I have overstated any single fact, or ascribed to

him

him a single quality, which he did not possess. All therefore I can say, is, and they are his own words,, as applied to Archbishop Secker, that, " if he really so lived and acted, that the most faithful delineation of his conduct must necessarily have the air of panegyric, the fault is not in the copy, but in the original."

Luke Hansard & Sons,
near Lincoln's Inn Fields, London.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »