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ance to the stronger charm of that indulgent philanthropy-of that warm sensibility to goodness and beauty-that amiable sympathy with youth, and innocence, and enjoyment-and that holy hope and cheerful confidence in the ultimate and universal happiness of a creation proceeding from omnipotent love-which form the grand characteristics of these eloquent discourses.

Their faults-since there must be faults in every thing that passes through our hands-are, in the first place, a little mannerism and monotony-arising from the too uniform melody of the composition, and from that emphatic tone which prevails too universally, not to become, on some occasions, both wearisome and ineffective. The necessity which the author seems to have imposed on himself, of always filling and satisfying the ear, sometimes leaves the mind unsatisfied; and an harmonious close now and then conducts us to a weak or ordinary meaning. Another, and something of a kindred fault, may perhaps be ascribed to the necessary brevity of a modern sermon. Large and comprehensive views are sometimes just opened, and then deserted, or dismissed with very slight considerations-a sort of philosophical grandeur and majestic wisdom in the beginning of a discourse now and then holds out a promise, where there is no space left for the performance. We have scarcely admired the stateliness of the vestibule, when the door of the temple itself is closed against us:--and the lofty prelude has but just summoned us to attention, when the music is broken off, or passes to a differing measure. It is quite time, however, that we should permit our readers to judge of these defects and excellences for themselves.

The sermons are mostly of an occasional nature. There is one on each of the four seasons; one on the century; one on scarcity; and six or seven on the national fasts. There are four or five without any such appropriate application. Those who have the good fortune to be familiar with the beautiful Es says in which this author has unfolded the true theory of material beauty and sublimity, by resolving them into symbols of mental loveliness or grandeur, will naturally turn with eagerness to the sermons on the Seasons, for the farther elucidation of this interesting doctrine; and they will be fully gratified ;though we can afford to make but a few extracts from this portion of the volume. We begin with the sermon on Autumn, which was preached from the text of Isaac meditating at eventide in the fields. After some introductory remarks, the preacher proceeds

There is an even-tide in the day,-an hour when the sun retires, and the shadows fall, and when nature assumes the appearances of

soberness and silence. It is an hour from which everywhere the thoughtless fly, as peopled only in their imagination with images of gloom-it is the hour, on the other hand, which, in every age, the wise have loved, as bringing with it sentiments and affections more valuable than all the splendours of the day.

Its first impression is to still all the turbulence of thought or passion which the day may have brought forth. We follow, with our eye, the descending sun,- we listen to the decaying sounds of labour and of toil,- and, when all the fields are silent around us, we feel a kindred stillness to breathe upon our souls, and to calm them from the agitations of society. From this first impression, there is a second which naturally follows it ;-in the day we are living with men,-in the even-tide we begin to live with nature; we see the world withdrawn from us,-the shades of night darken over the habitations of men, and we feel ourselves alone. It is an hour, fitted, as it would seem, by Him who made us, to still, but with gentle hand, the throb of every unruly passion, and the ardour of every impure desire; and, while it veils for a time the world that misleads us, to awaken in our hearts those legitimate affections which the heat of the day may have dissolved. There is yet a farther scene it presents to us-While the world withdraws from us, and while the shades of the evening darken upon our dwellings, the splendours of the firmament come forward to our view. In the moments when earth is overshadowed. Heaven opens to our eyes the radiance of a sublimer being; our hearts follow the successive splendours of the scene; and while we forget, for a time, the obscurity of earthly concerns, we feel that there are " yet greater things than these.

There is, in the second place, an "even-tide" in the year,-a season, as we now witness, when the sun withdraws his propitious light, when the winds arise, and the leaves fall, and nature around us seems to sink into decay. It is said, in general, to be the season of melancholy; and if, by this word be meant that it is the time of solemn and of serious thought, it is undoubtedly the season of melancholy;-yet, it is a melancholy so soothing, so gentle in its approach, and so prophetic in its influence, that they who have known it feel, as instinctively, that it is the doing of God, and that the heart of man is not thus finely touched, but to fine issues.

When we go out into the fields in the evening of the year, a different voice approaches us. We regard, even in spite of ourselves, the still but steady advances of time. A few days ago, and the sum mer of the year was grateful, and every element was filled with life, and the sun of Heaven seemed to glory in his ascendant. He is now enfeebled in his power; the desert no more "blossoms like the rose; "the song of joy is no more heard among the branches; and the earth is strewed with that foliage which once bespoke the magnificence of summer. Whatever may be the passions which society has awakened, we pause amid this apparent desolation of nature. We sit down in the lodge " of the way-faring man in the wilderness,

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and we feel that all we witness is the emblem of our own fate. Such also, in a few years, will be our own condition. The blossoms of our spring, the pride of our summer will also fade into decay; -and the pulse that now beats high with virtuous or with vicious desire, will gradually sink, and then must stop for ever. We rise from our meditations with hearts softened and subdued, and we return into life as into a shadowy scene, where we have "disquieted ourselves in vain. "

Yet a few years, we think, and all that now bless, or all that now convulse humanity will also have perished. The mightiest pageantry of life will pass,-the loudest notes of triumph or of conquest will be silent in the grave;-the wicked, wherever active, "will cease from troubling, "and the weary, wherever suffering, "will be at rest." Under an impression so profound, we feel our own hearts better. The cares, the animosities, the hatreds which society may have engendered, sink unperceived from our bosoms. In the general desolation of nature, we feel the littleness of our own passions; we look forward to that kindred evening which time must bring to all-we anticipate the graves of those we hate, as of those we love. Every unkind passion falls, with the leaves that fall around us; and we return slowly to our homes, and to the society which surrounds us, with the wish only to enlighten or to bless them.

If there were no other effects, my brethren, of such appearan.. ces of nature upon our minds, they would still be valuable,-they would teach us humility,—and with it they would teach us charity.' p. 323-331.

The final application of this great moral of nature is as follows:

There is an even-tide in human life; a season when the eye be comes dim, and the strength decays, and when the winter of age. begins to shed upon the human head its prophetic snow. It is the season of life to which the present is most analogous; and much it becomes, and much it would profit you, my elder brethren, to mark the instructions which the season brings. The spring and the sum. mer of your days are gone, and, with them, not only the joys they knew, but many of the friends who gave them. You have entered upon the autumn of your being; and whatever may have been the profusion of your spring, or the warm intemperance of your summer, there is yet a season of stillness and of solitude which the beneficence of Heaven affords you, in which you may meditate upon the past and the future, and prepare yourselves for the mighty change which you are soon to undergo.

In the long retrospect of your journey, you have seen every day the shades of the evening fall, and every year the clouds of winter gather. But you have seen also, every succeeding day, the morning arise in its brightness, and in every succes ding year the spring return to renovate the winter of nature. It is now you may understand the magnificent language of Heaven,-it mingles its

voice with that of revelation,-it summons you, in these hours when the leaves fall, and the winter is gathering, to that evening study which the mercy of Heaven has provided in the book of salvation: And, while the shadowy valley opens which leads to the abode of death, it speaks of that hand which can comfort and can save, and which can conduct to those "green pastures, and those still waters, " where there is an eternal spring for the children of God.' p. 338-340. In the discourse on Summer, there is more of practical admonition. After mentioning it as the season when the great and wealthy retire from the business and the dissipations of the town to their possessions in the country, he takes occasion to make some admirable observations on the peculiar advantages and duties of great landed proprietors in a country like ours.

Other men,' he observes, must struggle with the world, before they can raise themselves into distinction and influence. He, on the contrary, is born a ruler of the people; and the same laws which convey to him the title to his lands, convey to him the welfare or the wretchedness of the men who inhabit them. His opinions, in many Ways, become the model of theirs ;-his example is able, either to strengthen or to shake their most important principles of morality;and his power can make itself felt, even within the walls of the lowest cottage, either in disseminating joy, or diffusing sorrow. From the agitations of the great world, the obscurity of the poor renders them happily free; and, amid the calm occupations of sequestered industry, even the influence of legislature is but distantly felt. But the influence of their landlord is felt in every day and in every occupation of their lives; and he alone, of all the various members of society, has the power of realizing the beautiful description of the Patriarch of old: "When I went out of the gate, the young men saw me, and hid themselves; and the aged arose, and stood up. "When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw "me, it gave witness unto me. I delivered the poor and the father"less, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that "was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart "to sing for joy." p. 200-202.

And a little after, he breaks out into the following touching and persuasive appeal


Seated in the midst of an obedient and humble people, how many are the blessings which even common kindness may diffuse! If it be the young who are wandering into error or folly, it is your advice which best can restrain, and most effectually warn them. If it be talents and genius which are struggling in obscurity, it is your hand which can raise them up, and lead them into the road of honour and independence. If it be misfortune which bows down the poor man's' head, and makes him look to futurity with tears, it is your pity and forbearance which can give him more than wealth, and rekindle anew the spirit of industry, and the hope of better days. If it be the grey

hairs of the decayed labourer which bend before you, it is you who can give them shelter, and, in some little corner of your land, let them fall to the grave in peace.

How well, too, is this situation suited to the exercise of female humanity! and, in the scenes far from the turbulent pleasures of fashionable life, how well may female virtue exert its noblest powers! To be the patterns and the protectors of their sex, -to cherish the purity of domestic virtue,-to guide the mother's hand in the rearing of her children, and teach to them the important lessons of religious education and domestic economy,―to awaken, by kind praise, the ambition of the young, and to sooth, with lenient hand, the sorrows of the old,-these are the opportunities which such situations afford to female benevolence; the means by which they may exalt the character, and extend the virtues of their sex; and shed upon the lowly cottage of the peasant, blessings which can compensate for all its wants, and all its poverty.

Nor think, my brethren, that, in this detail of beneficence, there is little use, or that these simple virtues perish with the day that gives them birth. It is they, in fact, which have given its character to our land, and which, knitting by insensible means the affections of the people to their masters, have maintained, in many an hour of danger, the rights and the liberties of all, and spread the riches of cultivation which distinguish our country. And even now the traveller, as he passes, can mark, both on the face of nature and on the face of man, whether it is by wisdom or folly,-by benevolence or by cruelty, that the district he surveys is governed;-and, while he sighs at the sterility which folly causes, and the misery which oppression has produced, he leaves his blessing on those fields which the wisdom of the landlord has made fertile, and on those men whom his beneficence has made happy.' p. 208-210.

He afterwards points out the infinite importance of the promotion of general instruction, among the duties which are enjoined by such a situation; and replies, in the following impressive passage, to the tyrannical and degrading doctrines, over which we rejoice to think that reason and humanity seem at length to have established their triumph.

There is, indeed, a doctrine of another kind,-a doctrine which would teach us that the tranquillity of society is only to be maintained by the ignorance of the people,-which, for the sake of the few, would consign all the rest of mankind to barbarity and gloom-and which would purchase the gross repose of rank and affluence by the sacrifice of all the qualities of immortal men. To such a doctrine I need not reply. It is replied to by the indignation of every heart that is akin to humanity. It is replied to, in deeper tones, by the history of the world, and by those terrific scenes which our sister island has lately presented to our view. It is in the annals of her late sanguinary story, that you will see what are the fruits of igno

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