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“ exercise, will do them comparatively little injury; “but to young persons it may be of fatal conse
quence, by preventing them from forming a devout “ habit of mind, and thus leaving it to be exposed, "untinctured with religion, to the corrupting influ“ence of the world. Be constant and punctual, “ therefore, in observing the exercises of devotion. “ Avoid the practice of attending public worship
one part of the day only, and, still more, the per“ nicious custom of spending the whole of the “Lord's-day at home, in idleness or amusement; a “ custom which, if it were to become general, “ would do much towards banishing all serious
piety from the kingdom. You have need of all “ the assistance which you can obtain, and cannot
neglect any, without losing an important be“ nefit."
Equally pertinent are his remarks upon
the study of the scriptures*:
" what dignity and perfection, what consola. “ tion and joy, the pure religion of Jesus is capable " of communicating to mankind, has hardly yet 6 been ascertained; for no sooner did the Christian « doctrine proceed from the first teachers, than it “ was debased by error and superstition-nor can
we expect to feel its full and genuine effects upon “ the heart, until it shall be purified from every corrupt mixture. mixture. Let it be
Let it be your endeavour to
pp. 10, 11, 12.
“ obtain the divine will, in the purest state, from “ the only authentic records of it, contained in the « bible.”
_"Some men, of a speculative turn, are pleased “ with what is new and uncommon in opinions, and, “ from this cause, are always inclined to change: « but this weakness is confined to a few persons,
of an unusual turn of mind. The error into “ which men are most apt to fall, is that of being
prejudiced in favour of whatever doctrines have “ received the sanction of past ages, or of what
they have been accustomed to believe.—While you are studying the scriptures, be careful to avoid “ both these extremes.--If you read this book with
a resolution to part with nothing you already be“ lieve, and only to find out better arguments in “ support of your present opinion; if you can bear “no interpretation of the language which gives a “ different sense from what you have been used to “ annex to the words, and reject it without ex“ amination, you discover a want of impartiality, « and have great reason to suspect your love of “ truth.”
In the year 1799 Mr. Kenrick printed a sermon which has for its title, “ The future existence of « infants asserted:” the immediate design of it was to offer consolation to an afflicted family; and, being now published *, it may serve to communi,
* Discourses, No. xxxvi.
cate the same comforts and hopes to Christian parents in a similar situation.
About this time he entertained the serious wish of again undertaking the office of a tutor. To instruct the young, was an einployment congenial to his mind; and his delight in it, added to his conviction of the urgent necessity of such exertions in the cause of learning and religion, now induced him to project the re-establishment of an academical institution at Exeter, principally with the view of providing for a succession of Dissenting ministers. In the summer of 1799 he opened his house for this purpose; having obtained the able co-operation of the Rev. Joseph Bretland in the classical and mathematical departments. Some of the students were designed for commercial and civil life; and all were under the immediate superintendance of Mr. Kenrick, in whose family most of them resided, and from whom they received lectures in logic, the theory of the human mind, and the evidences, doctrines and history of natural and revealed religion. In general, the course of instruction and discipline pursued in this seminary resembled that which had been followed with success at Daventry. By the assistance of some of Mr. Kenrick's friends, in his immediate neighbourhood, and of others at a distance, exhibitions were given to a few students in divinity; and to the same liberality he was indebted for a small but elegant set of philosophical instruments, and for some valuable books, in addition to the use of an excellent library with which he was obligingly accommodated by the trustees of the former academy at Exeter.
Most of the young men who were placed under his care are now filling respectable and useful stations; and the cordial regard which they express for his memory is a sufficient indication of the merits of the tutor and the
gratitude of the pupils.
Considerable and various sacrifices were made by Mr. Kenrick, with a view to the effectual discharge of the duties of this relation. Nor should the obligation which he thus conferred on the friends of learning, religion and free inquiry be lightly estimated. Had his seminary been situated in the centre of the kingdom, it would probably have attracted greater attention, and been more extensively advantageous. Such, however, was the reputation of its tutors, that it obtained increasing patronage. Mr. Kenrick, who was disinterestedly concerned to provide a succession of ministers properly qualified for their work, and who wished to see others feel an interest in the support of theological students rather than of an academy, had the satisfaction to perceive the growing credit and utility of his undertaking: he witnessed with delight the improvement of his pupils; and there is reason to believe that, had Providence lengthened his life, the academical institution at Exeter, humble and domestic as it was, would have rendered signal
service to the cause of sacred literature and truth, liberty and virtue.
A short time before his own seminary was set on foot, Mr. Kenrick had been strongly invited to be lecturer in divinity and presiding tutor in the New College at Manchester: the situation was honourable and important; but, upon mature reflection, he declined the offer of it, from a persuasion that the success of his labours, in the joint characters of pastor and tutor, was, on the whole, more likely to be promoted by his continuance at Exeter.
There, among friends who were able to discern his worth, and eager to acknowledge it, and whose attachment to him was, in the highest degree, affectionate and respectful, he passed the short remainder of his days. This happy connection was, alas! soon to be dissolved ;-not indeed by the removal of Mr. Kenrick to a spot which appeared to present even fairer prospects of usefulness and comfort_but by the event which is hastening to dissolve all human ties!
In the summer of 1804 he paid a visit to his friends in Denbighshire : his health was apparently as strong as ever, and his spirits remarkably vigorous and cheerful. From a short excursion to Chester and Liverpool he returned, August 22, to Wrexham; and, during his walk, on the same evening,