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ADVENTURES OF A SCOTCH CAMERONIAN IN
enough to observe, that pious as his parents and their party
might be, their religious system tended to contract the mind, and SEARCH OF A UNIVERSAL CHURCH.
tinge it with gloom-and as he approached manhood he felt an The Cameronians are so called after the Rev. Richard Came. irresistible desire to walk abroad, and view that world of which ron, who was killed in a conflict at Airdsmoss, in Ayrshire, on he had hitherto only heard as it were by the hearing of the ear the 20th of July, 1680. They are also called " M'Millans," or ---so, like most Scotchmen, prudently and judiciously revolving "M.Millanites, from the name of the first minister who espoused | the idea, that though his own country was a very good country, their cause after the revolution ; and also sometimes “Cove- he might do better in another, he gathered up all he had, and nanters," from their adherence to the national covenant of Scotdeparted to what he considered, in his simplicity, a comparatively land, and the solemn league and covenant of the three kingdoms. distant land, carrying with him the prayers and the counsels But their proper designation is that of "Reformed Presbyterians," of his father and mother, and the kind wishes of his friends. or, in Scotland, where they had their origin, "Old Presbyterian Amicus arrived in London, with all that peculiar aversion to Dissenters." There are upwards of thirty churches of Came the Establishment which his education might be supposed calcuronians in Scotland, and a few in Ireland, besides a considerable lated to inspire. He had never been trained to entertain any number in America,
great reverence for popery or prelacy; and though ignorant of The Cameronians are noted as being the straitest and sternest the Articles, Liturgy, and form of worship of the established of the Presbyterians, in their adherence to practice as well as church, and that from the best of all reasons, having never read doctrine, as handed down to them by their forefathers from the the one nor seen the other, he yet regarded her as a daughter of i times of persecution.' Until recently there were considerable the "mother of harlots," decked and adorned with her trimmings, numbers of the old people amongst them, who presented fine and pitching her tent in the immediate vicinity of Babylon. But specimens of what the old Covenanters were, when they met to being now free from observation and control, he thought he might worship on the hill-side, armed with Bible and sword. "But the do worse than enter an episcopal church. He gazed around with modern Cameronians are becoming fast modernised, and do not a mingled feeling of curiosity and admiration ; but when the first present many noticeable peculiarities to distinguish them particu- tones of the organ pealed upon his ears, all his antipathies rushed larly from their other Presbyterian brethren.
to their citadel, and a cold shuddering sensation crept through The parents of Amicus Veritatis (the " friend of truth,") were his veins. He ventured, however, to stand it out; and as the Scotch Cameronians, staunch, stern, and sturdy, possessing all service proceeded, he listened with more composure and less conthe peculiarities of their peculiar party, with no small share of its tempt, until at last his taste (for he had taste) was so gained piety and devotedness. They carefully trained up their children upon by the beauty and sublimity of the prayers, as almost invo. in the way they wished them to go-set before their eyes a fair luntarily, at one time, to bend his knee, though he could not example of the power even of gloomy Calvinism, in teaching to bring it to the ground. The prayers and responses were read and deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, mingled at the same time given with that solemnity and emphasis of accent and manner, so with a cordial affection for four-hour sermons, and a patient zeal much desired by those who combine correct taste with deep devo. in undertaking ten and twenty mile walks on sacramental occa- tion; and even though Amicus shrunk a little at the bowing of sions. They plumed themselves highly on their complete and the head at the name of Jesus, because he fancied it was so total separation from Antichrist, both in word and deed, and yet popish-like, he began to admit the thought, that a read prayer all the while were fast fettered by one of his chains. Deeming might be sincere, and that many bowed not merely their heads, themselves to be walking in the light of Scripture purity, they but their hearts. The sermon, however, crowned the measure of disdained to listen to any preacher of another sect--and set down his astonishment. A man who was "sae daft as to change his those of their own communion who did so, as having "itching goon,” actually preached an excellent sermon-and Amicus deears." If their own worthy minister (and he was a worthy and parted, surprised and pleased that any good could come out of a good man) happened to be prevented, by any circumstance, from Nazareth. He repeated his visits, and each visit found him "holding forth the word,” in their own place of worship, they better pleased ; there fell from his eyes as it had been scales, never dreamed of going anywhere else, but stayed at home, and and he looked up, determining no longer to walk in darkness, or, carefully read “ the Buke." The sacred volume was not to them mole-like, to bide himself from the light of day. Just about this "a spring shut up, and a fountain sealed ;" for by the law and time he came in contact with the Roman Catholic objection to the testimony did they strive to measure both doctrines and deeds Protestantism-its want of unity. The objection is good, thought —and duly morn and even were the family gathered together to Amicus ; it must do nothing for that church which, in spite of attend the reading, as it is emphatically called. The shortness all its infallibility, has been torn by divisions : yet it comes powerof the breakfast hour shortened their morning devotions—but in fully upon Protestants who claim the right of judging for themthe evening the psalm was regularly sung, or rather crooned, to selves, and appeal to the Bible as their only rule of faith. Surely the same tune which had been regularly used for a long series of if there be but one God, and one Bible, there can be, or ought to years—and then the patriarch of the family, after reading the be, but one church : and how does it come that there are such a chapter in his own quiet and monotonous tone, would accompany vast variety of sects in the Christian world? The idea was it with remarks not inappropriate; and afterwards kneeling down, startling, and he determined to pursue it to the uttermost. To breathe a heart-felt prayer to the Father of the spirits of all flesh, find out the sect nearest the purity of the truth, became the imploring for his household mercy and grace, that they might be absorbing desire of his soul, and to it every other consideration kept from falling, and guided all their journey through, until was compelled to yield. But notwithstanding his new-formed they arrived at the Canaan above. Ah! their worship was indeed admiration of the establishment, his prejudices were too strong "worship in spirit and in truth.” Though the services were for him to consider it as the purest; and so out he went a sect. occasionally prolonged until the junior portion of the family were hunting—though it might truly be said, he went out not knowing asleep-stiil the prayer ascended from sincere lips, and faith whither he went. unfeigned.
The Methodists——the bustling, laborious, indefatigable Method. Amicus was a favourite from his birth ; and as he was a “douce ists—first attracted his attention. Their zeal was manifest, auld-farrent chap," the favouritism was not thrown away. One their activity was pleasing, and their piety truly persuasive. thing, however, vexed his parents—as he grew up, he manifested Amicus walked over to them at once, and felt for a while pleased symptoms of what they termed “a new-fangled disposition ; and happy. Their prayer meetings, class-meetings, band-meetand this was first observable by sundry objections to the lengthy ings; their love-feasts, their sermons, their exhortations, from sermons he was accustomed to hear, and occasional scruples to house to house; their teaching of the young, their kindness to commit to memory the huge portions of Scripture assigned him the old, and their visits to the sick, all indicated a people whose on Sunday afternoons. As he got older, be manifested still more hearts were warm in a good cause, and zealously affected in a of it- endeavoured to break through the regular mill-horse round good thing. Moreover, they were under active discipline, pro. of duties, which were scrupulously and unswervingly observed in viding their own spiritual officers, building their own places of the domestic course of instruction and devotion—and at times worship, raising their own funds, divided into rank and file, ready absented himself from the meeting-house, if any popular preacher to assail the foe, wheresoever he might entrench himself; and happened to be near at hand. The truth was, that Amicus, fearless of peril by land or sea, proclaiming the glad tidings of though an obedient and obliging son, was labouring to follow in salvation to the perishing sons of Adam. Surely, thought Amicus, the wake of the “march of intellect," and the light was pouring of a truth God is with them : the good they have done, proclaims i. through the crevices of the Cameronian shutters with which that his blessing is upon them; their increasing numbers testify his mind bad been darkened. He had sense and penetration their success, and if any marks can identify a Christian people, it must be such as these. But, alas ! in the very midst of his plea- became a Quaker, he must emphatically become a "new man." sure and satisfaction, he was cruelly disturbed. The doctrine of All his religious doctrines, taught him from the time he could sit election met him fair in the face, and like the angel with his fiery round the fire, must be torn up by the roots. His practice, too, sword, that stopped the progress of the covetous soothsayer, must be changed; he must doff his old hat, and make a wig of prevented him from turning to the right hand or the left. He his new, remould bis speech, and submit to a renovation, unhad never considered it before, having taken it upon trust, like equivocal and complete. The perfection doctrine also met him many more of his opinions. Now, justice and impartiality de- here, and he concluded that if he could not be a perfect Metho. manded a fair examination ; and as his puny intellect approached dist, he could as little be a perfect Quaker ; and so away he the subject, it seemed like a pigmy attempting to unseat the walked, fretted and annoyed that as yet he had made no progress Andes. There it lay, a gulf, deep, dark, and unfathomable ; it in his discovery of a perfect sect framed upon a primitive model. seemed like the Deity himself, veiled in clouds, while darkness He was in that happy state of mind, which some affirm is was under his feet. The more he read, and the more he thought, requisite for the “calm inquiry" after truth-indifferent to every it became more dark and obscure—“My sheep shall never perish” | thing. One day he would be in raptures with the glorious birth—“I myself might be a castaway ”-“No man can come unto right of Protestants—freedom of inquiry. Mind-immortal mind, me except the Father draw him "-"Give diligence to make your was never intended by its Creator to be controlled, except by Him. calling and election sure." “Oh, where am I?" cried Amicus ; | SELF-good, great, everlasting good, has been the result of its free, and he turned his feeble brain away from a contemplation so unfettered exercise-it ought never to bow beneath the yoke of profound.
mortal man, or submit to the impositions of priestcraft. Next Another doctrine now presented itself, and renewed his vexation day all would be changed. He could find no rest for the sole of and disappointinent. What! do the Methodists teach the possi- his foot amid the flood of opinions that covers the face of bility of attaining perfection in this life ? Amicus looked inward Christendom. He wished for some standard, some infallible and sighed. He opened his Bible, and could find nothing to bear standard, forgetting that there was the Bible, and here was his it out, though one or two passages were strained to prove the mind. In this state of doubt and indecision, he became alarmed doctrine. "I will never be a perfect Methodist !” he exclaimed; at an idea he had met with, that men might go down to bell with a and just at this unfavourable moment he detected some incon- lantern in their hand. " True, true, it is an appalling truth-che sistencies in the conduct of one of the most vehement of his new light which is in me may be darkness, thick palpable darkness friends. “Oh, I see it all—they screw up their feelings so bigh, I may walk for a time in the light of my own fire, and the sparks that they lose their elasticity; they climb their devotional ladder which I have kindled, and then lie down in remediless sorrow !” with such rapidity that they lose their balance, and down they He had latterly been disposed to admire the hackneyed couplet of tumble to mother earth, with a velocity which astonishes the by: Pope, but now he began to weigh its value ;-"graceless zealots standers." He now began to scrutinise everything connected may fight for “ modes of faith,” and equally graceless liberals may with Methodism with severity. “I am sadly afraid," said he, think that his “cannot be wrong whose life is in the right "-but " that they sometimes substitute their own feelings for that com- there is one mode of faith, for which his servants do not fight, and plete and full salvation they so freely preach ; and becoming the only one which produces the right sort of life. Atraid of more and more dissatisfied because he could not immediately being found among the despisers of God and his unspeakable gift, find the perfection that he wished, away he walked, just as he Amicus, without much consideration, joined a body of laue. came, and holted not till he landed right among the Quakers. pendents, and was again restored to happiness and self-satisfaction.
What a total transition ! from the land of bustle to the region Amongst these good people he concluded himself settled for lise. of repose. The very atmosphere seemed charged with stillness, So much plainness and simplicity—so much scriptural purity, and and the world shut out, with the hum and din of its perplexing so much love for one another-they seemed to hold the commandand petty affairs. Novel as it was, the spirit of Amicus was ments of the Redeemer with a single eye. Besides, though they charmed and captivated; the entire absence of pomp and parade believed in election, they told him not to trouble his head about it, won upon his mountaineer prejudices ; and though the silence for it was among the secret things of the Almighty. “This is was broken by a female voice, a strange sight to one who had just what I want,” said he, and congratulated himself on having never heard the weaker vessel admonishing publicly the lords of arrived at ne plus ultra. He was invited one Sunday to dinner, creation, yet the feeling it excited was anything but one of con. and another Sunday to tea-he was cordially shaken by the hand tempt. He cast his eye over the whole assembly; the gravity of when met upon the street-a smile of good-humoured content sat the men, not a muscle discomposed, but every feature apparently upon many of their countenances—they were so strict, and yet so indicative of peace within ; the modest attire, the shamefacedness liberal—their faith seemed to purify their hearts, and to work by and sobriety of the females—it was irresistible. “ Here are the love-and all apparently were so desirous of walking in all the fruits of Christianity,—what more can I want? what more do I commandments of the Lord blameless—that Amicus marvelled seek ?” And withal there sprang up along with the wheat a tare how he had shut his eyes so long, and overlooked such a truly in the mind of Amicus. “They are all well-to-do in the world ; excellent body of Christian people. He attended their private people say, they are very kind to each other—they seem to enjoy meetings, and was called upon to pray occasionally; the fervour this life, and to be sure of the next.” He saw this, but passed it of his prayers gained him a high reputation ; and the one thought by; for corrupt motives surely could not influence him in seeking he was where he ought to be, and the others concluded that they after truth. He thought, too, that (but reader, this thought was had added to their number a pious and a devoted young man. at the very bottom of his heart—he could hardly see it himself) The novelty passed away, and Amicus began to imagine that every he might want a wife, and there seemed some very excellent young thing was not so pleasant and delightful as at first. His mind ladies in the connexion. Let that pass, however; it is hardly required more than ordinary excitement; and, as all went on worth mentioning. He began to examine their principles, and quietly and smoothly, he began to feel restless. They seemed to wanted to know how he would acquire them. Barclay's Apology be overlooking him, and there appeared to be some among them was put into his band. " What a thick volume! it will take me who made themselves of more consequence than the rest. His a long time to read that." He turned over the leaves, and read pride was touched, and he ventured, during a case of discipline, to the contents. “ Universal light-immediate revelation — the express what he thought. “Young men are exhorted to be soberinfluence of the Spirit-election - Tut ! there is election again. I minded," was the pastor's reply, -and vexed and chagrined, tremble when so much is said about it—WAR—what about war? | Amicus sat down. His love was cooled, and he did not much care Yes, war is a most unchristian practice—the fruit of evil passions if he was away—but decency required bim to suppress his feelings. -but, what! no fighting at all, not eren in self-defence?” All A new subject, however, started before him and diverted his the covenanter rose within his soul. He recollected with what attention. The millennium absorbed his every thought, and he emotion his good old father used to tell of the time, when upon a was in raptures with the glorious scheme. The personal reign, hill-side, the tender female with her child in her lap, and the the resurrection of the saints, the restoration of the Jews, and the stern husband and son, girded with belt and bàndoleer, would Redeemer presiding in grace and grandeur over the nations of the listen to some venerable Poundtext, a Bible in one hand, and a earth, filled his heart and elevated his soul. He could scarcely sword in the other, and all the while a scout on some neighbouring endure a contradiction of his new opinions; it must be so - see height to give notice of the approach of the enemy. "No, no, how many good Christians believe it—the idea is rich-it is a he would mutter again, “war is detestable, but it is necessary wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort. He now exhorted sometimes.” And just at the back of this idea came in another. his friends to prepare for the coming of their Lord ; and if any "I wonder how I would look in a Quaker garb?” And then to one ventured to hint that he did not believe he would come, learn the dialect of the men of Ephraim! He saw that if he | Amicus could scarcely be restrained from counting him as worse than an infidel. One discovery led on to another. Europe could Amicus cried, “I have circumscribed thy salvation and thy grace not have been more amazed at the discovery of America, or filled -I have doubted thy free love and thy free favour—and been with more valorous adventurers, than the mind of Amicus with aiming to walk by sight, and not by faith.” He now began to lofty and daring imaginations. Truth must be followed whitherso. suspect that all was wrong in his religious system that he must ever she will lead, became his motlo and his motive. He descried have built upon a wrong foundation, that he had mistaken the new land again, and made right for it. Christ died for all men- great end of religion—and that he had been substituting HIMSELF for ALL-yes, for all; “not for ours only, but also for the sins for the truth which he had been seeking. Gradually, peace and of the whole world.” It was perfectly plain-nothing could be composure regained possession of his mind, and the troubled plainer ; and Amicus set about with zeal and assiduity to pro- waters of a morbid imagination subdued to a calm, which was the pagate his new doctrines. Another and another imagination more pleasing and delightful after the storm. crowded in upon his mind; he embraced the idea that it was Amicus now resolved to reject all his fancies and his whims, and likely the saints would eat and drink after the general resurrec- walk quietly in the old way and beaten path of righteousness ; contion, and began to contend for it. Wherever he went he could cluding it better to leave it to others to hunt for truth, than to not rest, until, like some gallant cavalier, he would lay down his break his own head and heart in the chase. Alas! it is said there new opinions, glove-like, upon the table, and challenge the whole is no peace to the wicked—and poor Amicus, though striving to company round. He had no time to talk about any thing but the walk in the narrow road, concluded there was to be no peace for millennium, the personal reign, and the universality of Christ's him. A new dilemma awaited him-in the present state of the death. The drivelling preachers of a drivelling generation kept Christian world, divided into sects and parties, he could not hold the people in bondage ; and one day he attacked his pastor, for communion with all, and he could not stand aloof from all. He presuming to preach a sermon on the subject, in which not a was just where he was when he began the search-with this differsingle new idea was contained. Now came the tug of war; and ence, that he was quite indisposed to begin it over again. He Amicus silenced, but not convinced, determined to leave men sighed for primitive simplicity, but it was gone with the years whose minds were so contracted, and who only seemed to sleep before the food! He looked at the aspect of the Christian world, the sounder as the coming of our Lord drew near. A deputation and it seemed broken into segments—diversified by many-coloured was appointed to wait upon him, and inquire his reasons for with-strata—but which, instead of running in parallel lines, intersected drawing. This only increased his self-importance, and he would each other at angles of all sorts and sizes. "The Church, instead of listen to no terms of accommodation, unless his new doctrines looking forth, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an were received and embraced. His zeal swallowed up his common army with banners, resembled a scattered and a divided host, sense; and be seemed utterly unaware that, while ranting about the "faint, yet pursuing." He sighed, and almost sickened at the downfall of Antichrist, he was doing his best to uphold him. He sight. On, that she would fling away those petty differences which was now left to himself, and for a season disdained to enter within weaken her strength and impede her powers-gather herself up the walls of a church. A friend met him and hinted, “Forsake like a giant refreshed with wine-and go forth to the help of the not the assembling of yourselves together.” He started; the Lord against the mighty! A gleam of hope dawned upon Amicus. cold waters of amazement flowed in upon his soul. A cloud, A single individual, v:hen his heart is right, may do a great deal of dark and heavy, gathered round his mind : the Christian world good. What could or would hinder Amicus from calling the assumed the appearance of a stage, and all the men and women attention of Christians to the duty and expediency of a catholic merely players. Time and eternity, heaven and hell, salvation union? The very idea was charming. He felt his heart beat with and damnation, appeared as figures of speech, to which nothing joy at the prospect having his talents usefully employed ; and he definite could be assigned. The pearl of great price was an lifted up his eyes to heaven, and breathed a hasty prayer that he ingenious device, a crafty invention to gain to a number a portion might be the humble and the honoured instrument of effecting a of this world's goods; and the wicked one, with all his hosts, change so great, so glorious, and so good. Down he sat, to draw were dramatis persone, introduced to overawe the timid, and keep out a plan for a grand combination. The state digoity of the them in subjection to the clergy. This cloud passed away, and Establishment was to be lowered—the vulgarity of the Methodists Amicus feared exceedingly as he entered into another. " Ah, an was to be improved—the sternness of the Presbyterian was to be angry God has given me over to a reprobate mind! The evil softened-the rough garmentof John the Dipper was to be smoothed spirit once cast out, has returned, and finding his former habita- down-the pride of the Independent was to be laid low-and all tion swept and garnished, has taken with him seven other spirits the fry of small sects were to be charmed out of their holes and more wicked than himself, and they have entered in and taken corners at the sound of the music, and the blast of the union possession ! Oh! it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the trumpet—while last, though not least, the tribes of Ephraim, and living God—to count the blood of the covenant an upholy thing, the half tribe of Manasseh, abstracted from their spiritual abstracand to do despite to the Spirit of his grace !” The mind of Amicus tions, were to be seen slowly and deliberately moving up to join was now in a state pitiably dreary. His morbid imagination and the camp, their coats angled, and their broad brims cut-and the fanatic feelings pictured himself as a withered thing upon the surety and the certainty of their allegiance to the cause certified face of the earth-withered for a time, and lost for eternity. by a yea, yea. Nothing could be finer than such an idea. When it was evening he wished it were morning, and when it was Amicus saw the whole scene before him-he saw the Macedonian morning, he wished for the evening. Without God, and without | phalanx drawn up in battle array; and as the sun of righteousness hope in the world, there seemed to remain nothing else for him shone upon its burnished armour, the brilliant reflection scared but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. the infidel birds of prey, that were hovering around, and sent them He trembled lest death would soon come, and gibbet his soul for screeching, hooting, and flapping their wings, into the den of ever, a spectacle to angels and to men. He regarded himself as darkness from which they sprung. a vessel of wrath, fitted for destruction, and waiting to be filled No time was to be lost, for every moment was precious. with the lava of the wrath of a holy God. He looked around him Amicus wrote letters-copied out his plans-and strove by every and about him, to see where the thunderbolt would issue that was figure of speech to rouse and alarm the sons of Zion to the guilt to level him with the earth. But time passed on, and nothing of disunion, and the immediate necessity for a general effort. He strange appeared. The blue heavens were still over his head, and showed how Antichrist could not stand such a sight—that the very the ground still firm beneath his feet. Hope, which appeared to thought would paralyse his frame, preparatory to his giving up the have bid him farewell, now unveiled her calm, benignant face, and ghost—the angel was about to fling the mill-stone into the sea, and smiled again upon him. He looked into his Bible, which had the other angel was stretching his wings, to take his wondrous been neglected, and there he found the same promises, the same flight in the midst of heaven, and proclaim the everlasting Gospel exhortations, the same threatenings, as he had seen before. No round the globe. No man could resist such reasoning ; and alteration had taken place in the text of the Sacred Volume. The accordingly, Amicus carried his papers and his plans to a friend, waters of salvation were as clear and sweet as ever they were- and to take his advice as to the first things to be done, or the first perthe invitation was still, “Whosoever will, let him take of it sons addressed. The papers were read, and the plans detailed ; freely.” What is wrong with me? said Amicus, and he rubbed but his friend was silent, or evidently endeavouring to suppress a his eyes. He had cried out, “Oh, that I may know where to smile. " What do you think?" asked Amicus. “Nothing." find him ! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth · Nothing! what makes you smile ?” “I was reading a book with arguments.” But here he was still, sitting where he had called the Spiritual Quixote, the other day, and—” Amicus ever been, on a throne of grace and love, extending the regal gathered up his papers, and rushing out of the house, scampered sceptre to all who came within his courts, and granting peace, and off like a hare before the wind. He tumbled into bed—wondered light, and joy, to those who craved his favour. “Oh! my God," I that he had never before found out that he had but one eye-and,
after calling himself an ass and a fool, fell asleep. Next morning sublimity. have superseded Chalmers—annihilated Wardlar he awoke, and was astonished at the view bis pillow had enabled and extinguished all and every of the lights that adorn the Estab, him to take of the subject. “I see it all,” said Amicus, “and lishment or the dissenters. Nay, with less excuse and more I might have seen it before. We might as well try to kick the impudence than Saul, I have resuscitated the Samuels of all mountains into the sea, as attempt, instantaneously, to lop off the
former ages, just to make them die again of mortification, or to prejudices of men in religious matters. Time will work it, the diffusion of knowledge will work it-co-operation will work it jump into their graves, in order to hide their diminished heads. -and men will yet become as united together as the nature Now, I am not, properly speaking, an absent man. Let reality of the human mind will permit. But what am I to do? I am lay her cold hand upon me, and all my visions vanish. Let me neither a churchman nor a dissenter;"'-and, had Amicus not been be addressed by any one, and in a moment the drop-scene falls, taught by experience, he might have fallen into another fit of which veils my glories, and no mortal man or woman would ever amazement. But something seemed to whisper what he ought to do. Decide for yourself, instead of trying also to decide for suspect that I had been up in my own third heavens, and had
come down like a flash of lightning. But let me be left again in other people ; act upon your own convictions of what is Truth, and give a similar liberty to all who claim it. Perhaps all these silence, either in company or in solitude, and up I go, like a various sects may one day be fused into a homogeneous mass, as feather on the wind. Oh, what labours I go through without Man ascends to that higher platform of JUDGMENT which he is fatigue or flinching! However incredible it may seem, I have yet destined to reach. Meantime, wait in PATIENCE, and wait in preached fifty powerful sermons in a day to overflowing and
You, yourself, a mere particle of humanity, may be dead, delighted audiences, whose admiration of my amazing abilities and in your quiet grave, long before that time arrives, when Roman could only be matched by my meek and humble spirit, smiling Catholicism, and Church-of-Englandism, and Presbyterianism, and Independentism, and all the host of them, are fused down, good-naturedly at the foolishness of the people in running after and compounded into one vast and compact frame of Christianity. me. And I might long have enjoyed my popularity. I might But do your duty. Assist in sowing the seed, from which is to long have trudged like the ploughboy, not whistling, but preaching spring that great tree, the leaves of which are to be fair, and the as I went, had not a piercing, probing, dissecting philosopher, fruit thereof much, and in it food for all; under whose shadow cruelly unseated my happiness, and disturbed my sweet, dreamy, the beasts of the field are to abide, and the fowls of heaven to
preaching repose. dwell in its boughs; and all flesh are *c te fed by it.
This man has succeeded in convincing me, that to allow my
imagination to absorb and monopolise my waking moments is CONFESSIONS OF AN IDEAL ORATOR.
absurd, and selfish, and unchristian, He says that it is absurd, From the earliest moment that my hearing could appreciate because all creation becomes to me a sealed book, and that, sound, and the heart be moved at the music of speech, oratory in new ideas from the light and loveliness that surrounds me, I
instead of looking abroad upon the earth's surface, and drinking has been the darling passion of my soul. Not that I ever set my desires upon being an orator myself—not that I ever actually creep like a snail into my own shell, or like a land-crab into its wanted or wished personally to command the applause of a listen hole, or rather like a solitary cormorant preying upon putrid ing senate, or move an outrageous mob at my will. Nowl am an
matter, when fresh fish might be had for the diving; or like the
sloth on its tree, stripping it bare, and then dropping down on the ideal orator--a dreamy preacher-and my audiences are all men
ground of real life with a heart-rending cry. Moreover, he says it of straw. When but an urchin, the carelessness of my guardians is selfish, for nobody shares with me my mental feasts. I hide my permitted nie to attend the theatre, and even at that early age, spoil, and then turn inward, the moment I am left alone, to gorwhether walking or sitting, in the silent field or the crowded mandize, like the grave, never saying, “It is enough." The street, amid the chorus of nature's aviary, or the rumbling of the horse-leech hath two daughters, crying, “ Give, give !" but my carts and the rattling of the coaches--all was alike to me.
imagination has a hundred mouths, or rather like a whirlpool that nothing, I heard nothing, I knew nothing, but a crowded amphi- sucks in everything—like " loud Loffodon,” that theatre of human faces, rising, as it were, from earth to heaven,
“ Whirls to death the roaring whale!" spotted with eyes like a peacock's tail, or sparkling like diamonds and draws in corks and weed with the same ease and facility, and on a dowager's ball head—then the slow music of the orchestra- without either rhyme or reason. But further, the deponent said then, anon, your humble servant would make his appearance, it was UNCHRISTIAN ; for the domineering influence of imaginaeither as a crooked little man, or a tall majestic Roman-of tion was a vice requiring to be mortified as much as any other vice course, either a “ laughing devil” in my sneer, or a dark frown making the powers of my mind dance round, or nod perpetually,
of mind or body, and that I planted my shadow on a throne, of vengeance” on my knitted brow-while the hitherto calm, but like a Chinese mandarin, or like a notable Scotch baronet, always expectant audience, rolled a thunder of applause, which came as
boo, boo, booing :" and thus, after ransacking his imagination sweet upon the soul as the south wind from the spice gardens for figures to show me the folly of mine, he, with a smile, conupon the grateful sense, Often have I stood on the street with cluded the lecture by assuring me that I would make a wretched my arms folded, until the “ three times three” had evaporated, bad Quaker ; for at the silent meetings I would be up perfectly indifferent either to applause or censure, and possessing
over mountains and rivers, or else pouring out an impassioned no feeling but the consciousness of my powers. Delivered from strain, petrifying, if not electrifying, the children of gravity. the peril of theatrical contamination, I had my mind more imme- imagination played vagrant, and ran away with me again, I would
I heard all, and was astonished. I vowed that, if ever my diately directed towards religion ; and during the course of a scourge it to the Mendicity, or lock it up in the House of Correcshort life I have preached perhaps as many sermons as all the tion; nay, I determined to break its impudent spirit, and give it ministers of the British islands have done, put together. The hard labour and dry food : but it grins at me. Just when I think royal circle have again and again been melted into tears by the I have it, like the boy with the butterfly-away-whiz !-up it overflowing tenderness and faithful expostulation of my discourses ; goes, mounts the pulpit, opens the Bible, gives out the text, and I, I have enchanted both houses of parliament into a silence so
with open mouth, look till my own eloquence carries me away, profound, that the falling of a pin would have sounded like the it-1 have put drags on its feet-I have loaded its body with
not in a fainting fit, but in a fit of sublimity. I have handcuffed tinkling of a cymbal—while my versatile humility and versatile chains; but it slips the handcuffs, kicks the drags at my head, talents can at once fly from the chapel royal to Salisbury plain, puts the chains in its pocket, and then off it flies, not to the tombs, appear clad in all the gorgeousness of sacerdotal dignity, address- but to the pulpit, and there labours mightily in its Focation. ing the nobles of the land, or in primitive simplicity, and with old frigid mathematician told me, the other day, that, like foolish stentorian lungs, alarm ten thousand case-hardened colliers. I parents, I must eat the fruit of my folly; for I had indulged my have disembodied every popular preacher of the present day, and, spoiled child would play freaks! What consolation is this for me,
bantling to such a pernicious extent, that it was no wonder the while their audiences never perceived the transmigration, have carried their several styles and manners to the loftiest pitch of man! So indiguant am I, at times, that, if scourging my poor
that wishes, above all things, to be a decent, jogging Christian
WAR ABOUT WORDS.
flesh would frighten the tormentor of my existence, I would imi- thorns and nettles and briars of the wilderness, and the rose smiled tate the monks of La Trappe, and “not spare." But permit me in their stead, and the wild beast vanished, and the vine and the to detail a few of the inconveniences I have suffered in consequence fig-tree yielded their fruit, and old men came from the chimneyof the exercise of my talents.
corner to sit in the evening breeze, and multitudes of little children 1. I could not sleep one night, and getting up, walked about the sported in the beams of the setting sun, and the lowing of the room. My mind was disposed to be solemn, and I thought of the cattle broke upon the ear, and the fields waved their peaceful bantime when the heavens would depart as a scroll, and the millions ners, and nodded to mother earth, chanting Plenty, plenty, of the human race, from Adam to his youngest born, should meet plenty !”—THEN--and I took the Bible in my transport, and held at the close of time's chronicle ; and my heart sunk at the indit- it up to the view of my audience-THEN !—and the Bible flew out ference of men to the awful truth. The voice of the watchmen of my hand, and I strained to catch it, and flew out of the pulpit spoke of hours, and days, and years, rushing past like a flood. An myself, and came down with a tremendous crash on the head of immense auditory was round me in a moment, and I carried them the clerk below, whose neck was nearly broken, and 1-looked up, beyond the boundaries of visible, and scaled the heights of the and found myself lying at the bottom of the pew, with several books everlasting hills; yea, I bore them aloft into regions " forsaken of on the top of me, and some young ladies tittering, while a kind the foot," and skirted, with untiring pinion, the gulf that sepa- matron raised me up, whisperingly hoped I was not hurt, bade mo rates heaven and hell : when, lo! a sharp jingling sound scattered remember the young man in the Acts, and never sleep during my audience, and comfortably assured me that I had shattered the sermon again! looking-glass into a hundred fragments. I was not long out of These are but a specimen of the miseries I endure ; and being bed.
naturally sensitive and bashful, I dread the idea of ridicule and 2. Once, when on a very pleasant excursion with a few friends, eccentricity, and yet I am continually making myself ridiculous among whom was a young lady in whose good graces I wished to stand and eccentric. What concerns me most is, that these dreamings rather favourably, we spent an hour or two at a well-kno . water- | do actually incrust a coat of selfishness about the spirit, and shut fall. Silence reigned among the company, as if all wished to enjoy up the natural flow of the charities of the heart. It incloses the the turbulence of the waters. An inciucntal observation was made | dreamer in a world of his own, to which he retires on every poson how fine and forcible a figure a cati act supplies to the orator. sible opportunity. Every attempt to coerce my oratorical powers Gradually a film passed over my eyes,--rocks, trees, and water, is just attempting to bind Samson in his strength, or to tie an eagle receded from my sight-a copious perspiration broke upon my with a rope of sand. I preach daily, hourly, without ceasing, but body—I was literally bathed in dew; and no wonder, for I was I preach without profit. I can scarcely read more than a verse of pouring cut a torrent of eloquence to as crowded and respectable the Bible without preaching, or follow a sentence of a prayer withan auditory as ever surrounded a pulpit. My theme was the out preaching, or hear a few animating expressions without progress and the triumph of eternal truth. I compared it to a preaching. I have heard of a disease which turns all aliment into food rolling majestically on, and that over all opposition it would water. My mind turns everything into preaching; and it will dash, like the cataract in its course. Ay, the powers of darkness soon be as porous as a sponge, unless some benevolent friend can might combine, but as soon could they blot out the sun or dry up suggest a cure for me. the ocean! Yes!—A shock paralysed my powers. I have no distinct recollection of my situation, till I was drawn out of the water, shaking my shaggy locks, and looking foolishly forlorn. We had been standing on the bank, and, just as I reached the In most of the domestic broils which have agitated civilised climax of my oration, I clasped the young lady, and both went into communities, the result has been determined, or seriously affected, the stream. After we had all recovered our“ propriety," and were by the nature of the prevalent talk,-by the nature of the topics put to rights, a sharp investigation was made into my motives, or phrases which have figured in the war of words. These topics which ended in a hearty laugh, and we drove merrily home; but, or phrases have been more than pretexts; more than varnish; alas! the young lady has ever since regarded me as a sort of inno- more than distinguishing cockades mounted by the opposite cent musing idiot, very fit to laugh at, but very unfit for being her parties. proper lord and master,
For example. If the bulk of the people of England had thought 3. At an anniversary meeting, one of the speakers did not and reasoned with Mr. Burke,—had been imbued with the spirit, particularly attract my attention : in truth, he was a dull, plodding and had seized the scope, of his arguments,-her needless and fellow, rather injuring his cause, than serving it. After a few disastrous war with her American colonies would have been stifled minutes' reverie, by a sort of light-footed, fairy magic, I exchanged at the birth. The stupid and infuriate majority, who rushed into situations with him, and produced such an effect that many thou- that odious war, could perceive and discourse of nothing but the sand pounds were instantly collected. The president proposed a sovereignty of the mother-country, and her so-called right to tax special vote of thanks, but I started up and declared that I would her colonial subjects. not permit it, as it was invidious. A faint scream made me open But, granting that the mother-country was properly the sovemy eyes : in my gesticulations, I had struck a respectable lady on reign of the colonies,-granting that the fact of her sovereignty the face ; everybody was staring, some whispering that I was mad, was proved by invariable practice, -and granting her so-called and others that I should be handed over to the police; when my right to tax her colonial subjects, this was hardly a topic to move own indescribable ludicrously-looking embarrassment saved me. an enlightened people.
4. Having gone to church one Sabbath in rather a high state of Is it the interest of England to insist upon her sovereignty? Is excitement, from the expectation of hearing a splendid and popular it her interest to exercise her right without the approbation of the preacher, and feeling annoyed at seeing a reverend Dry-as-dust in colonists? For the chance of a slight revenue, to be wrung from his place, I crept, as usual, into myself. On this occasion I was her American subjects, and of a trifling relief from the taxation so gloriously sublime, that I was very nearly confounded. My which now oppresses herself, shall she drive those reluctant subtheme was the Bible. What a range did I take, in tracing the jects to assert their alleged independence,—visit her own children past, the present, and the probable progress of the blessed with the evil of war, -squander her treasures and soldiers in & Book!"
I beheld it emerging at the Reformation, and gather- trying to keep them down, and desolate the very region from ing itself up in its strength, like a giant refreshed with sleep, which the revenue must be drawn?
But arguments arousing the human mind from its lethargy, and shaking Europe to drawn from utility were not to the dull taste of the stupid and its centre--I saw it now knocking at the palace-gates of Eastern infuriate majority. The rabble, great and small, would hear of monarchs, wrestling with superstition, and smiting the hydra to nothing but their right. • They'd a right to tax the colonists, the earth - I saw it now touching the chains of the slave, and they and tax 'em they would—ay, that they would.” Just as it a right dropped from his arm—I saw it now breathing upon the mists that were worth a rush of itself, or a something to be cherished and overhung the earth, and they rolled up the mountains' sides-I saw asserted independently of the good that it may bring. it kindling a fire in the frigid zone, and the ice melted away— I saw Mr. Burke would have taught them better,--would have purged it pouring oil upon the tempestuous waves of this world's affairs, their muddled brains, and “ laid the fever in their souls” with the and, as far as the eye could reach, billow after billow sunk down healing principle of utility. He asked them what they would get, into a sea of glass—I saw it stretching its wand over contending if the project of coercion should succeed ; and implored them to hosts, and the warriors dashed their weapons on the ground, and compare the advantage with the hazard and the cost.
But the rushed into each other's embrace-I saw it standing with one foot sound practical men still insisted on their right, and sagaciously on the land, and another in the sea, and stretching a canopy of shook their heads at him, as a retiner and a theorist. - Austen's light and love over and around the globe-I saw it rooting up the Province of Jurisprudence determined,