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at Apothecaries' Hall, “ an ounce or two for years, while keeping up the appearof bismuth.” I requested a medical gen- ance of wealth and gentility, that family tleman, at whose house I was visiting, to knew straits, to which the careful, prudent procure it for me: he smiled, and said, tradesman, or labouring man, is a stran“Why your practice must be very ex- ger. tensive; I do not think I have had as Among the many schemes eagerly much in my shop since I commenced." adopted by this lover of novelty, he was I told him that it was not for my own one of the earliest and most zealous ad. use, but was a commission from a friend, vocates of phrenology. As soon as it and was probably wanted for some expe- was broached, he received it, not with the riment. Indeed it was; a few weeks after- spirit of candid examination and patient wards Mr. Kennedy was alarmingly ill. inquiry, but as a matter of absolute, Happening to meet the surgeon who at- universal, and infallible certainty, and tended him, I inquired after him, and fully expected that this science (for so was told that he had almost brought he boldly denominated it, when at most himself to death, by the ignorant and it could but be regarded, by sober altogether unnecessary, and, therefore, people, as a matter of interesting inimproper use of a powerful drug, called quiry) was to work a most beneficial bismuth.
change on the face of society. He Mr. Kennedy's fickle disposition was gravely said to my uncle that it would exercised on politics. I must confess effectually guard us against imposition, myself so little of a politician, that I and especially against admitting improscarcely know one side from the other; per persons into our houses as domestics and when I knew Mr. Kennedy, I was or friends, or in any family connexion ; too young to enter at all into the mat- and that in all transactions of importance ter. I only know that I have heard he should think himself perfectly justihim talk loudly, by the hour together, fied in claiming to examine the proabout king and parliament, and the tuberances of the person in whom he rights of the people, and the impolicy of was about to confide. He was exceedthe measures adopted ; and the one only ingly anxious to make proselytes to this thing that could save the nation; but of system; and, as he was repeatedly outwhat it was all about, I have no clear voted in his attempt to introduce to the recollection; only I know that I have reading society with which he and my heard my uncle say, that in the course uncle were connected all publications of seven years he had veered to every treating on that subject, he purchased point of the political compass, and, two sets at his own expense, gained over for the time being, was equally zealous the secretary of the institution, and, for each. He was, at one time, ardently through his instrumentality, put them in favourable to the French Revolution, circulation through the society; allowing and at another, as eager an advocate for twice as many days for perusal as would the war commenced by Great Britain have been assigned to any other books of in opposition to it.
the same size. Mr. Kennedy was fond of speculating As to religion, I hope and believe that in money affairs, and was, on several Mr. Kennedy was a good man, but here occasions, duped by persons or compa- his native eccentricity was most unhapnies that professed to have devised some pily displayed. He was one of whom infallible plan for turning every thing to it might justly be said, “ unstable as gold. Mr. Kennedy was not naturally a water, thou shalt not excel." In the mercenary man, but his numerous ex- course of his religious career, he touched pensive whims, during a series of
years, at the various points of pharisaical rihad seriously injured his property, and gidity and antinomian latitudinarianism : led him eagerly to grasp at any thing at one time, he maintained that human that seemed to promise to reinstate him effort was every thing; at another that, in his former comfortable circumstances. by the absolute sovereignty of Divine It will be concluded, by those who know grace, it was rendered absolutely needany thing of life, that the expedient less. At one time, he was the eager parproved worse than the original difficulty. tisan of some one of the various departHappily, the estate could not be alien- ments of pious labour, for the sake of ated from Mrs. Kennedy and her chil- which he neglected and deprecated all dren, but it was clogged and impaired in the rest ; all funds, all exertions, not deevery possible way; and I believe that, voted to his favourite object, he con
sidered misapplied : at another time, he lified all their freeness. At another thought all human efforts presumptuous time, he would speak of the full coninterferences with the Divine purpose : fidence and persuasion he had of his if it pleased God to convert children, He safety, in such a way as, to Christians of could do so without parental instruction more sober views or more humble attain. and discipline; if sinners were elected to ments, seemed at best very questionable. salvation, they would be saved without At one stage of his religious experience, ministers, missionaries, Bible, tracts, and be measured his growth in grace by the schools. It was in vain to argue with him rapidity of his movements from one that God had made it our duty to exer- place of worship to another, and the cise the means, and that, though the effi- quantity of sermons he could contrive to cacious blessing was at His own sovereign cram into a given portion of time; at disposal, it was usually bestowed on a another, he regarded preaching as a car. diligent and humble employment of the nal ordinance, and the separation of men appointed instrumentality; that though, to the work of the ministry as an indoubtless, Omnipotence could carry on fringement on the teaching of the Holy its own work without human effort, yet Spirit, of which all believers partake. He since that was, in mercy and condescen- was the ready disciple of every new and sion, employed, the honour ought to be visionary teacher. He listened with earnestly desired, and the opp nity eagerness to explanations of unrevealed thankfully embraced, of being workers mysteries, and detailed expositions of together with God. I cannot recollect unfulfilled prophecy. He was certain his answers to these and similar argu- that this and that would take place ments; but I know that, somehow or exactly as Mr. Somebody had described other, he contrived to reject them all. it; and, not content with his own full Of several popular preachers, very dif- assurance on the subject, he was ready ferent in their scale of theological senti- to denounce all who did not receive ments and in their method of preaching, his views or go all his lengths. it might be said in succession, that at time he was the zealous advocate of unione time he would have plucked out his formity in order to Christian communion; eyes for them ; at another, that he re- at another, he maintained such a univer: garded them as ignorant misguided men, sal liberality of sentiment and practice as blind leaders of the blind. He read a would speedily amalgamate the church popular and able work on the covetous- and the world. ness and worldly-mindedness of Chris. But it is needless to extend the sketch, tian professors. He pronounced it the especially as I wish to add a few saybest book that ever was written ; that it ings of my uncle, called forth at difought to be circulated universally, and ferent times by the opposite errors its principles carried out to their widest and absurdities of antiquity and noextent, and minutest details. In less velty. I will only add, that when in than a year another book came out on declining health, Mr. Kennedy was the the opposite side of the question ; then subject of gloom, distress, and uncer. that book was the very best, and the tainty, it was extremely hard for him former was grossly erroneous. Equally to shake off his vain speculations, and versatile were his religious feelings; come with humble and unprejudiced sometimes he laboured under most dis- mind to the pure fountain of truth and tressing apprehensions about his eternal consolation. It was there, however, that salvation, lest he should not be among he was at last brought, through many the elect. In vain was he urged to lay painful and perplexing exercises of hold on the express and general invita- mind, and there alone he found rest and tions and promises of the gospel, “ Come satisfaction. With no common emphasis unto me,
all that labour and are heavy his feeble lips pressed on those around laden, and I will give you rest”—“ Look him the apostolic exhortations, s. Be ye unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of henceforth no more children, tossed to the earth"-"Believe on the Lord Jesus and fro, and carried about with every Christ, and thou shalt be saved”—“Him wind of doctrine,” Eph. iv. 14; “ Be that cometh to me I will in no wise cast not carried about with divers and strange out”- -“Whosoever will, let him take doctrines. For it is a good thing that the the water of life freely.” No; to all heart be established with grace,” Heb. these he contrived to attach some re- xiii. 9; Be ye stedfast and unmovestrictive meaning that completely nul. "able, i Cor. xy, 58; " Hold fast the
form of sound words," 2 Tim. i. 13; | better. He who devotes himself to grasp1 Tim. vi. 20; “Nevertheless, whereto ing after something that he does not poswe have already attained, let us walk by sess, is very likely to lose what he has. the same rule, let us mind the same Truth is immutable. It is neither old thing,” Phil. iii. 16.
nor new. It cannot change with the little I close with my uncle's remarks. changing circumstances by which we are
It indicates a weak mind to estimate surrounded. If therefore we take our things merely as they are new or old. stand by truth and excellence, we join all
The proper question is, Are they true the wise and good among the ancients ; and good ?
and we shall be joined by all the wise and Those who attach great importance to good of the present and future generations. the date of things, are taken up with tri- The Bible is a blessed book. It teaches fling circumstances, and overlook matters us to set a due value upon every thing, of real importance connected even with to judge of things by their real importthe things they admire. They pride ance, to choose or reject them as they are themselves on possessing a rare piece of suitable or otherwise to our character, antiquity, or in outstripping others in circumstances, and duties; and amidst all adopting the newest inventions; but are the changing opinions and customs of strangers to the solid satisfaction which men, it gives us something to direct our belongs to the possession of what is truly steps, to satisfy our souls, and to sustain valuable and the adoption of something our expectations, that can neither be worn really useful. “I have a sampler of my out by antiquity nor superseded by great-grandmother's,” says one ; “it is novelty.
C. ugly and moth-eaten, but I value it for its antiquity; it must have been in the family more than a hundred years.” “I
A DIALOGUE ON OLD TIMES AND NEW have some letters of my great-grand
Between Robert Arnold and Henry Milman. mother's,” says a sister of the first-mentioned young lady, “which indicate that Robert. Well, Henry! Here we are she was an excellent woman. She evi- again on the eve of another Christmas ; dently possessed sound judgment, high- it seems but as yesterday since this time toned principle, and generous magnan- last year. Do you remember that you imity and genuine piety. I often read and I met in a party last Christmas eve ? her letters with deep interest, I sympa- Henry. Oh yes, I remember it well. thize in her trials, and derive instruction There is much that is pleasant in Christfrom her example for my own guidance mas parties, when children, and paand support."
rents, and friends assemble together with The idolaters either of antiquity or thankfulness to God, and good will and novelty continually expose themselves to affection towards one another; and yet petty vexations. One possesses some trifle there is something solemn in them, too; of which he boasts as being the most an- for we are travellers to another world, tique in existence and altogether unique: and these meetings are like so many another values himself on an article of milestones that tell us we are getting dress or furniture because it is the very nearer and nearer to our journey's end. first of the kind, nobody else has one Robert. Ay! Time flies apace. like it; but the former finds out that one Henry. It does fly apace, and, what antiquarian has a gem exactly like his is still more important, we are flying own, and another has one some years apace with it. If we are going in a
the latter finds himself outstripped wrong direction, it is a fearful thing; but in the chase of fashion by some one per- if we are going right, it does not much haps whom he considers his inferior, and signify. immediately the things in question have Robert. Well! From what I have lost all their value. What wise man heard, things are not now what they had would place any portion of his happiness used to be. New times are not to be on such trifles ?
compared with old times. The slave of antiquity bars the door Henry. In what respect do you mean, against improvement. The hunter after Robert > novelty opens it to ruin.
Robert. Why, I mean that in many He who spends all his attention and respects things have got worse instead energies on securing and admiring what of better. he has, is not likely to gain more or Henry. That may be, but it does not
nity than I ever was, and less prepared and at once rise to light and holiness, to enter on it. I have made progress and bliss, and join the ransomed throng to judgment, but have increased my ac- in singing the “new song” before the count. When_the year commenced, throne of God, ascribing all the praise mercy cried, “Lord, let him alone this of salvation to the Lamb that was slain ? year also :—if he bear fruit, well : and if What answer does my heart give to this not, then after that thou shalt cut him inquiry ? “Search me, O God, and try down.". The year is gone, and I am me; and see if there be any wicked way found the same fruitless tree, yea, with in me;" save me from deceiving my own less prospect of ever bearing fruit. Pro- most precious soul. mises were made, and good intentions The last day of the year seems proformed; but I have lived only to give phetic of the last day of the world. another proof, that “the heart is de- Every day, as it is added to the thouceitful above all things, and desperately sands that are past, is bringing on that wicked.”
day, of which “Enoch, the seventh from But the last day of the year reminds Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the me of two solemn periods—the last day Lord cometh with ten thousands of bis of my life, and the last day of the world. saints, to execute judgment upon all,”. The last day of my life will surely Jude 14, 15, when “the heavens shall
How fast is it hastening on! pass away, with a great noise, and the Who can tell me how near I am to the elements shall melt with fervent heat, grave ? I look back on the years already the earth also and the works that are gone; they appear but a handbreadth : therein shall be burned up,” 2 Pet. how few to me remain ! it may be, not iii
. 10; and though scoffers, who walk There may literally now be but a after their own lusts, ask, “Where is the step between me and death. Could some promise of his coming ?” yet it will come celestial messenger speak to me on the as a thief in the night.” Oh, that morrow, he might say, “This year thou day! who shall abide its coming ? I shalt die.” On my coffin lid may be in- shall be a party to its solemn transacscribed, “Who departed this life, tions, though thousands of years should 1841, aged
Oh, how many intervene, and this body pass into the solemn thoughts are associated with the finest dust, until not a vestige is left last day of my earthly probation ! to denote that it once formed a part
Think of the last day of the sinner. of a human being ; yet I shall be there, What anguish rends his heart! So un- not as a spectator, but as one deeply expectedly called to die ! He had hoped interested in the sentences that shall that many years were yet in reserve ; then be passed. Then the year that is but now he is told he must die. He now departing, will be brought into relooks back in anguish of spirit; he looks view, with all its mercies and privileges, forward, and all is dark and hopeless. its misimproved hours and accumulated “Farewell all my gains and projects, guilt. On, where shall I stand ? on the my merriments and thoughtless com- right hand, or on the left hand of the panions, my abused sabbaths and sea- Judge ? Is He that shall be the Judge, sons of grace, my murdered hours,' now my Saviour and Friend ? my promises of amendment! Before Thus, from this point of time, I look me is nothing but misery, and the black- forward to the last day of my life, and ness of darkness for ever!"
the end of the world; and with the How different the last day of the be- solemn realities connected with those liever! Hear the dying saint exclaim, days crowding on my mind, I seriously “Welcome death, welcome glory! The resolve, God's grace assisting me, to set time of my departure is at hand. I have out anew, or at once for heaven. fought a good fight, I have finished my
J. H. C. course, I have kept the faith : henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,' 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7. . 'Though after my skin worms destroy this body, THE PRAISE OF THE ENVIOUS. yet in my flesh I shall see God,'
The praise of the envious is far less xix. 26. When the hour comes that creditable than their censures; they praise shall end my pilgrimage below, will it be only that which they surpass; but that my happiness to take my farewell, for which surpasses them, they censure.ever, of sin and sorrow, pain and death, Austin.
W. Tyler, Printer, 5, Bolt Court, London.'