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shabby black, dingy stocks, and pale faces, setting he was surrounded with a deadening heterodoxy, out to visit these tens of thousands ? A dirty pale he says :face is the symbol of masses of dirty pale faces- "My opinions are more Calvinistic than when I and all the victims of " vicious institutions,” and first came here; so much so as to be in direct hosevidences of " wicked government!” A clean pale tility with the leading principles of belief in this face is only a clean pale face! nevertheless, if the society. The greatest part of my views are, I bewearer of it be the martyr of Christian benevolence, lieve, accurately Calvinistic. My opinion respecte and if, moreover, he be salaried by Christian ing future punishments is an exception."-Vol. i., wealth, then, surely the pale clean face might just p. 99. be named, when the dirty pale face is made the Similar professions occur elsewhere, and they text of a sweeping commination, thundered against are entitled to the most entire confidence. Minds * the diabolical satyrs of power, wealth, and pride!" of less compass, clearness, and depth than his, and
The editor, we ihink, might very well have sup- equally addicted to meditation, very usually run pressed more than a few pages of this sort of pue- off into mysticism, gnosticism, pantheism, as their rile sophistry. Finding them where they are, we place of repose. Foster's was too profound not to are free to refer to them as furnishing proof that know well that these several illusions serve to allethe preponderance of certain unhappy elements in viate nothing, to solve nothing, to illuminate pohis constitution was such as should be held to thing ;-—that they are vapors which may indeed screen his opinions from any severe treatment, as show bright and gaudy colors when seen at a great if they had been the products of reason. The ad-distance, but in the bosom of which, if one enters herents of such opinions will, we think, be wise if them, there is nothing but chill and gloom. By they abstain from boasting of Foster as a champion the aid of those moral instiocts which attach to a of " sound principles," and of “great truths ;" great mind, he kept himself anear to the effulgent while, on the other hand, those of the contrary source of light and heat, although “ clouds and part, will show right feeling, and good taste, if darkness are round about it." they deny themselves the spiteful gratification, His letters to his “honored parents" exhibit, which these volumes would supply, of bringing with a sort of boyish simplicity, and continue to do Samson forth “ to make them sport." As to those so even after he had passed the meridian of life, who will do so, we stigmatize them, beforehand, the interior of his soul, as a devout Christian. as men of an ill temper, and of narrow intellect. Those addressed to his early and most congenial John Foster belongs to us all, as a writer who, be- friend, the late accomplished Joseph Hughes, take, yond any other, within the compass of a century, as might be supposed, a higher tone, and they has enriched our English literature with full-toned beautifully develope that which the former only in and impassioned eloquence-has gone deeper, than dicate, namely, the deepest reverence toward God, any other of our times, into the deep waters of re- the most ardent desires for Christian advancement ligious and ethical meditation-shedding upon such and usefulness, and a readiness, the very opposite themes the splendor of an imagination of high or of the skeptical feeling, to bow to the undoubted der, and who, in a word, has, on lofty ground, oc- testimony of Scripture when once it is ascertained. cupied an ample space, quite his own, and where His friend had, as it seems, with a faithful but he is little likely soon to find his superior.
overdone severity, called him to account on the Foster's proper sphere was that vast region question of evangelic piety ; in reply, and with a wherein there is neither pathway nor rest for the child-like bumility, he pleads his own cause, (Letfoot of man—a region into which every serious and ter XXIX.,) and makes an ample profession of reflective mind makes an excursion early in its sufficient orthodoxy-a profession, we confidently course, and from which calm and well-ordered think, which, although Dr. Gill might perhaps minds presently retire trembling, and forbidding have sporned it, St. Paul would have accepted with themselves any renewed endeavors to penetrate its tears of love. To the same purpose we need not awful gloom.
cite it is a letter to his tutor, Dr. Fawcett, “I sometimes fall into profound musings on the (XXXIII.,) breathing a tender conscientiousness, state of this great world--on the nature and the and an ingenuous warmth. But at this period, and destinies of man, on the subject of the question, just before his reputation had set him safe from
What is truth?' The whole hemisphere of con- such annoyances, he was paying the penalty, or templation appears inexpressibly strange and mys- was expecting every moment to be called upon to terious. It is cloud pursuing cloud, forest after pay it, which is exacted always, by narrow sects, forest, and alps apon alps! It is in vain to declaim from an individual, beneath their sway, who is against skepticism. I feel with an emphasis of suspected of daring to keep a soul and mind of his conviction, and wonder, and regret, that almost all own. things are involved in shade, that many things are It is a vexation to find, and we must infer it, covered with thickest darkness, that the number to from the tone of Foster's expostulations, that his which certainty belongs is small. • * • I hope friend Hughes, candid and kind-hearted as he was, to enjoy the sunshine of the other world.' One had given in to this prejudice of the sect, and, while of the very few things that appear to me not doubt-much bis inferior intellectually, was treating him in ful, is the truth of Christianity in general ; some of something like a supercilious manner, as a man the evidences of which I have lately seen most ably compromised by suspicion of the plague, and who stated by Archdeacon Paley in his book on the sub- should, therefore, keep himself off from clean folks. ject."-Vol. i., p. 89.
Foster does not resent this unworthy treatment; he Not merely did he hold fast his profession as a only says, “ You do not understand me." Hughes Christian, amid these cheerless musings, but, even could not fully-although somewhat more than did while indulging them without restraint, he became the good folks assembling in the vestry of Battermore and more decisive in his adoption of the most sea Meeting House on "a week evening," unserious form of theological belief. Writing from derstand the man who, with a discriminating sense Chichester to his parents, March 25, 1799, where of his individual character, and without arrogance, notes it of himself, that he holds easier correspond- | lence; perhaps in part to his dread of encountering ence with God, than with his fellows."
on the way—just at the corner of a street, or, " (In the vestry of Battersea Meeting, during worse still, midway on a field path, where a turn evening service.) Most emphatic feeling of my off could not be effected—some worthy biped with individuality—my insulated existence-except that whom he must have exchanged (terrible annoyclose and interminable connexion, from the very ance) a few phrases of civility! But besides; as necessity of existence, with the Deity. To the Foster shunned common society because his concontinent of human nature, I am a small island near verse with himself afforded him a higher enjoyment its coast; to the Divine existence, I am a small than he could derive from intercourse with others, peninsula.”—P. 183, Journal, (434.)
so he shut himself in his attic, even during the At a prayer-meeting the " peninsular” relation- most splendid seasons, because the luxuries of the ship is naturally uppermost in his thoughts :-in a imagination-luxuries purely intellectual-were party, the “insular.".
more exquisite than the primary, or elementary “How often I have entered a room with the em- gratifications, which the mind admits direct from barrassment of feeling that all my motions, ges. the eye. The sight of beautiful objects affords, intures, postures, dress, &c., &c., &c., were criti- deed, a vivid pleasure; yet it is a crude pleasure. cally appreciated and self-complacently condemned, But while the eye-balls glare vacantly upon a but, at the same time, with the bold consciousness stained and cobwebbed wall, the mind revels in that the inquisition could reach no further. I have some bower or glade of its own paradise. Will a said with myself, . My character, that is the man, man put on a hat, to walk as far as Longleat, laughs at you behind this veil; I may be the devil who can, at his ease, perambulate Elysian fields, for what you can tell, and you would not perceive where neither if I were an angel of light."-Vol. i., p.
- lawns, or level downs, and flocks 206.
Grazing the tender herb, are interposed, What was needed (early discipline and inter- |
Or palmy hillock; or the flowing lap course with persons of highly.cultured minds, might
Of some irriguous valley spreads her store; perhaps have supplied the deficiency) was such a
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose. rectification of his piety as would have rendered it less imaginative, and such an invigoration of the Or shall he risk the hearing of a factory's din, who social affections as would have brought his piety can listen while into combination with benevolence : too far the one
- murmuring waters fall overlaid and stified the other. Nevertheless the
Down the sloped hills ; yearnings of the social affections, intense and tender, meet the eye everywhere in Foster's jour- and where nal.
The birds their quire apply ; airs, vernal airs, " Why is this being, that looks at me and talks,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune whose bosom is warın, and whose nature and wants
The trembling leaves. resemble my own, necessary to me? This kindred being whom I love, is more to me than all His attic window, he tells us, commanded a yonder stars of heaven, and than all the inanimate peep at the green fields ; but we doubt if he actoobjects on earth. Delightful necessity of my na-ally availed himself much of this advantage. He ture! But to what a world of disappointments and who could stand at an attic window, looking at vexations is this social feeling liable, and how few the fields, would assuredly, unless lame or imprisare made happy by it in any such degree as I pic- oned, walk forth to look at them. ture to myself and long for!”—Vol. i., p. 228. “ I am still all alone here, and since I wrote to
Foster felt himself insulated in general society you, have lived a more solitary life than ever in from a cause analogous to that which insulates a my life before. This last six months I have lived man in a foreign land; for there was no medium a little way out of the town, in a house amidst the between himself and the beings around him; and fields. However, I hardly ever go out, because I the forced endeavors made to break through the can see them so well through my window, the obstruction serve only to confirm his resolution not window of an upper room. I hardly ever what can to repeat the attempt. "Spent part of an hour in be called take a walk, except merely in the garden company with a handsome young woman and a adjoining the house. The beauties of nature are friendly little cat. The young woman was igno- brought so directly under my eyes and to my feet, rant and unsocial. I felt as if I could more easily that I am rarely prompted to go in quest of them, make society of the cat." The inference that he even as far as from your house to the top of Wick was not social, because his behavior and habits Lane. Excepting my journey to Bristol, I have were those of a recluse, would have been as erro- hardly ever taken a good long walk for the last neous as the supposition that he had no sense of nine months. If this rigid limitation were imposed the beautiful in nature, because his practice was— upon me by some external authority, by the will even when residing in the midst of scenery the of somebody else than myself, what a wretched most agreeable-to shut himself up for weeks, nay prisoner I should think myself, and should watch months, treading the boards of a dingy and dusty day and night for an opportunity to make my esatric, to and fro, many miles every day. In the cape. I almost decline all visiting, and have not enjoyment of abundant animal energy--with the dined from home, I believe, six times these last most absolute command of his time-unquestioned seven months."-Vol. i., p. 288. by any one, the very man who, when abroad, Happily, the social element-in few bosoms of would stand an hour fixedly gazing at a tree, and greater intensity than in his-was at length resto whom a tour in Wales afforded unutterable de- cued from extinction by the opening of the conjelight, freely imprisoned himself in a garret through gal and parental affections. Had it not been so, a large portion of his best years! An inconsisten- the writer of passages such as the following might .cy seemingly so strange may, no doubt, in good have ended in actually becoming-what he had long part be attributed to constitutional animal indo-) been erroneously calling himself-amisanthrope."
Let those take a warning who indulge sentiments, do not know whether I told you how much I nauat first for the mere sake of intellectual excite- seate it; but no length of time would ever cure my ment, but by which, at length, they are mastered. loathing of it. But sweet nature! I have conThis sort of moody luxury is, in truth, always a versed with her with inexpressible luxury; I have perilous sporting with the demon—it is a tempting almost worshipped her. Å flower, a tree, a bird, a of Satan :
fily, has been enough to kindle a delightful train " I should nauseate the place (Frome) if I had of ideas and emotions, and sometimes to elevate been habituated to it a century. At first I felt an the mind to sublime conceptions. When the intense loathing; I hated every house, timber, autumn stole on, I observed it with the most vigistone, and brick in the town, and almost the very lant attention, and felt a pensive regret to see those trees, fields, and flowers in the country round. I forms of beauty, which iell that all the beauty is have indeed long since lost all attachment to this going soon to depart. One autumnal flower (the world as a locality, and shall never regain it. white convolvulus) excited very great interest, by Neither, indeed, for this do I care ; we shall soon recalling the season I spent at Chichester, where I leave it forever. * I now seldom, com- happened to be very attentive to this flower, and paratively, think of politics ; when I do, it is with once or twice, if you recollect, endeavored to draw a hatred of the prevailing system, which becomes it with the pencil. I have at this moment the but more intense by time."-Vol. i., p. 304. most lively image of my doing this, and of the de
" When I see people good and sensible, I am light I used to feel in looking at this beautiful glad of it for their sake, not for my own." This flower in the hedges of those paths and fields with is precisely the indication of a mind's having which both you and I are so well acquainted.”— reached the line of demarcation between the Vol. i., p. 333. world of love and the world of unlove, or hatred. This returning converse with nature was a sort He who has actually passed that border-in the of anastomosing in his moral constitution ; for it wrong direction, is not " glad,” even for “ their maintained a vital connection with his social syssakes,” when he encounters those who are distin- tem, after the trunk arteries of love and fellowship guished by wisdom and goodness ;-not glad, for had been, or seemed to be, severed. Whoever, he writhes, stung with his own venom. He who with a genuine delight, still relishes green fields lives on the bright side of the border is glad, not and flowers, should be treated as recoverable to severally, as if first for his own sake, and then for humanity. So important, therefore, in education theirs, but with a suffused, indiscriminating joy is the culture of tastes which, among the ill influonsness, the same in element as that of a brighter ences of after life, may, when themselves refreshworld, where there is a “fulness of joy," in which ed, become the channels for conveying refreshall that is restrictive is drowned. Foster's charac-ment to the better affections of the soul. ter was in very great danger at this period ; yet a Al length, however, those channels of the heart hopeful revulsion seems to have commenced a through which life's blood had flowed feebly to symptom, or an incidental cause of which was a re- sustain the social sentiments, became invigorated turning converse with nature.
by a thorough reanimation of the loving faculty. “I have done more justice to the beautiful Foster was soon to be united to the woman of his season this year than in many former ones ; for I choice-a companion “mete for him”-an intelhave taken many solitary walks, and, with a book lectualist, and one, we should presume, very much and pencil in my hand, have done my best to catch of his own order-even the 's Friend" to whom all the ideas, images, objects, and reflections that the Essays were addressed. It is curious to hear the most beautiful aspects and scenes of nature him, a few weeks previous to his marriage, greetcould supply. I have felt it of some consequence / ing the spring in new strains of pleasure. Hereto me, if I am to write again, to assemble as many tofore, it was not the verdant glories of June that natural facts and images as possible, to supply could avail to entice him from his lumber room; what may be called colors to writing. I must in- but now, behold him ! within a mile of the "naucrease the stock, or else I shall soon be out, as I seated" Frome, thus revelling amid the beauties, have expended a great deal of material on what is not of June, not of May, not of April, but of already written.
March, and even of the first week in March ;" Into company I cannot actually take this book and pencil, but I endeavor to seize fast every re
“Frome, March 3, 1808. markable circumstance, and each disclosure of | “Yes! the spring does open upon me with a character that I witness, and then, when I return fascination which I have not felt before, notwithto my room, they go by dozens into my book. I standing that I have often felt a kind of worship keep to my text on the subject of forming new of nature on the return of that delightful season, friendships; I am quite too old for it. When I with its flowers, birds, and genial gales. This see people good and sensible, I am glad of it for once I certainly do feel in its first indications a their sake, not for my own."-Vol. i., p. 324. deeper charm than I did even in my youth, when I
"I never have been more enchanted with a sum- was as full of fancy and sentiment as any poet. mer since I left whatever part of creation or chaos | For several years I have been much less susceptiI lived in in former ages, and came to this our ble of the vernal impressions, and have considered green orb. I took frequent solitary walks ; even myself as advancing fast towards the state of feelas matter of daty, I did it sometimes, when the ing which I recollect P- , a few years since, attraction of pleasure might have failed to over- described himself to me as having reached-the come my great indisposition to move. Those state of feeling no impression at all. And no walks were commonly in the retired fields and doubt it is from the new and adventitious cause, woody lanes, of which I found a number this last that I have felt such luxury in the beantiful days summer in this neighborhood, some of them very which we have had for a week past."'-Vol. i., p. beautiful, as well as extremely quiet. There are, 352. besides, two or three extremely beautiful valleys This marriage-he was then in his thirty-seventh not far from this town. As to the town itself, I year-appears to have been thoroughly a happy one ; nor was it rendered otherwise by the person- reached its maturity; he had firmly taken his al sufferings and the domestic sorrows that al- place, too, in literature, and those depths of tended the lapse of years. It occurred just time thought he had plunged into, (enriching his writenough in his history to save Foster from the mis- ings) which a man with a wife at his side-Dot erable fate which had seemed to threaten him that being a Xantippe-is little likely to attempt; and, of being eaten alive by his own cyclopean and moreover, the moody recluse was still in a state to pampered imagination. Far more happy now than be recoverable as a man. heretofore, he could, and did, without effort, pat The very same sort of feeling that is inspired, himself in the way of those kindly sentiments to at the moment while we write, by the sudden fallwards himself, of which, spite of himself, his ing of a plentiful rain after a long and ominous amiable qualities and real worth had made him drought, is awakened by the altered tone of Fosthe object. Some months after his marriage he ter's Memoirs, from the period of his marriage. visited Frome, and thus reports his reception : During the arid, scorching time of his solitary
“At Frome I was received with the most ani- existence—when the heavens over him were brass, mated kindness, both among the richer and poorer and the earth under his feet iron—the fields did class of my acquaintance-a kindness to which I not seem worth walking in. Frome was “ nausecould not make an adequate return in the way of ated," and the good folks in it were shunned, if giving much of my company, as I had determined not abominated. But now, a while after, when not to stay more than three days. I felt the pro- reporting a visit to Frome, “ accompanied by Mrs. priety, even as a matter of appearance, of not Foster"--oh! what miracles of moral cure are being like a rambler from home, besides the im- latent in those three consonants !-he says:-*I patience of affection to be again with my dear, revisited, at their houses, a number of the good domestic associate. I returned to her at the time people I had once preached to, especially the poor I had determined, found her well, and was wel- people, who manifested a lively pleasure in seeing comed with inexpressible tenderness. The felicity me again." No doubt of it: they had probably of thus rejoining her seemed to me to exceed even been used to think Mr. Foster " rather a particular the joy of being first united to her. Nearly four man in his ways-wonderful shy, and not everymonths have now elapsed since that time, and on body's liking in the pulpit ;' but they had always both sides the affectionate complacency has very felt sure that “the root of the matter was in him,** sensibly increased. We both every day express and that he had a kind heart too; but now, who our gratitude to Heaven for having given us to could help loving him, and “Mrs. Foster as each other, and we hope that it will continue a well." cause of the most lively gratitude as long as we A beautiful feature of Foster's personal characlive, and also in a state after death. I most en- ter, and a very prominent one too, as well as an tirely believe that no man on earth has a wife more infallible criterion of the genuineness of his moral fondly affectionate, more anxious to promote his sentiments, is his filial piety. From the first to happiness, or more dependent for her own on his the last, and long after he had begun to call himtenderness for her. In the greatest number of self an old man, his letters to his “ honored paopinions, feelings, and concerns, we find ourselves rents," if they do not conspicuously exhibit his perfectly agreed ; and when anything occurs on intellect, yet are such as prove theirs to have been which our judgments and dispositions differ, we -their rank and education considered, of an ungfind we can discuss the subject without violating sual sort. What must that old woman have been, tenderness, or in the least losing each other's es- if indeed letters, such as some of those addressed teem, even for a moment. Greater trials of our by Foster to his then very aged mother, could have mutual affection and respect than any that have been intended by him to meet her level of thought! yet occurred, will undoubtedly arise in the course These letters, conjoined with the pertinent fact of life, if it is considerably protracted; but the that to the last, and through years when his inexperiment thus far has given us a stronger confi- come was narrow and precarious, he " contributed dence in the perpetuity of tenderness and harmony liberally to the support of his parents," exhibit than it was possible for us to have previously to him in a light which sheds a steady effulgence upon any experiment at all."-Vol. i., p. 373.
his character as a great writer and a man of genius. What would the now-vaunted "holy celibacy" "My wife and the brats are still well," he says: have done for Foster? Had he lived in the times and " papa,” having in his nature all the needful of its influence, he would doubtless have plunged elements of paternal philosophy, early learned to into that horrible pit, and would there have be- adjust his habits to his new position. come a monster--not indeed of wickedness, but « Those brats are just now making a great noise, of misery. None but those who have dipped into and running about io make themselves warm, in the memoirs of monkery can understand, just in a the house under me. I have noticed the curious case like Foster's, what is the infinite moral value fact of the difference of the effect of what other of ordinary expressions such as these that follow. people's children do and one's own. In the situs- Writing soon after the birth of a son, he says : tions I have formerly been in, any great noise and -"* Physically, the chap is deemed, I understand, racket of children would have extremely incom as promising as his neighbors. My wife is still moded me if I wanted to read, think, or write. Bat extremely well for the time, and I hope will soon I never mind as to any such matter of convenience be restored to her full health and strength. It is how much din is made by these brats, if it is pot she that I care fifty times more about than I should absolutely in the room where I am at work. When about any infant." Nevertheless, he was not the I am with them, I am apt to make them, and join abstracted, or the indifferent father which literature in making them, make a still bigger tumult and sometimes renders a man. Let the reader look to noise, so that their mother sometimes complains the Letters, which we cannot cile, relative to the that we all want whipping together. As to liking illness and death of this son. Married life was a freaks and vivacity, I do not feel myself much older new birth to Foster, and it overtook him precisely than I was twenty years since. I have a great at the right moment ; for at length his mind had dislike to all stiff, and formal, and unnecessary gravity. If it were not so, I should be to children one whose violences of opinion did not spring from quite an old man, and could have no easy compan- rancor of the heart, but from the ungoverned veheionship with them. It must be a great evil for mence of his indignation against wrong, and from parents to have with their children an immovable, the undisciplined turbulence of his imagination. puritanical solemnity, especially when the dispro- Such opinions, therefore, while they are not worth portion in age is so unusually great as in my case. anybody's picking up and boasting of, cannot, conBut I feel no tendency to this, of course, to avoid sistently with candor or fairness, be cited in eviit is no matter of effort or self-denial."-Vol. i., dence against either himself or his party. p. 387.
The editor, we think, might well have gratified Foster's correspondence, as presented in these the curiosity of the reader, by supplying a few volumes—and it is not for us to conjecture why the characteristic notices of Foster's correspondents, list does not include names which we had presumed at least of such of them as do not now survive. we should meet with—does not boast the recom- We must not attempt to supply this deficiency, mendation of having been carried on with the chief unless it were in relation to one, the letters to spirits of the age. But, and incidentally from this whom bring Foster out as a social being, and as a very cause, it is of a sort that sheds upon his per- Christian, and as an intellectualist, more fully, sonal character a peculiar grace. The one quality perhaps, than any other parcel of the (published) that pervades these letters—shining full in a large correspondence. We mean Josiah Hill. Josiah proportion of them—is the beautiful simplicity, the Hill, whom, in due deference to the statistics of artlessness, the humility, of a man who never “ Conference, we must consent to designate as thought of himself as a great writers” and “great " a preacher in the Wesleyan connexion," might, men” are too apt to do. Not by any means com- seeing him only in the street (we mean thirty years parable to Cowper's, Foster's letters are neverthe-ago) or meeting him in a select party, have passed less equal to them on the one ground of their for anything as soon as for a Methodist minister. thorough genuineness, and in the total absence of He became such, in fact, we rather think, because egotism and consequence. A large proportion of a calculus of Arminianism, too deep-seated within them turn upon personal or domestic matters-his his ample brain to be extracted, conjoined with a own feelings, his habits, his engagements, (as do severe conscientiousness, forbade his exercising the Cowper's ;) but not one of them betrays the dis- functions of the Christian ministry within any guised selfist ;-not one indicates the anxiety of a Evangelic communion holding a Calvinistic creed; man who is tormented with the apprehension that and the seventeenth article, as he read it, must his friends are underrating his importance, or do have kept him out of the Established Church. not yield him, in their thoughts, the place which Richard Baxter, much rather than John Wesley, he thinks due to him, as a public personage. (we hope no offence,) was his Rabbi. But it was
Foster's correspondents were, for the most part, delightful to hear in what way, and with what fine his early personal friends, and most, or all of them, tact, he would bring Christianity clear and clean were, more or less decisively his inferiors, intellect- out of Wesleyanism, and present it, intelligibly ually. Nevertheless, in not one of these letters is and attractively, to a congregation of Cornish minthere any note of arrogance; not a line is there, ers. Even the old women liked, and, if we should the plain English of which would be-"I hope credit their audible "amens," understood Josiah you know who I am; don't be too familiar; don't Hill, little suspecting the largeness of the soul that presume upon the accident of our early acquaint- lodged itself, and that sported, unbeknown to them, ance. I am John Foster, the Essayist.” The within the walls of that ample forehead !-woe to very same quality-the same indication of real him, if aged class-readers could have looked in at greatness-shows itself, though under a varied the large windows of his blue eyes, and read the condition, in those of the letters that are addressed unuttered mind of their teacher! and yet, even to men of intelligence and accomplishments—that such would have found there no just ground of is to say, to his quasi equals, such as Joseph offence, could they have deciphered the entire Hughes, W. Anderson, Josiah Hill, and Daniel man. He was “theirs" in truth and sincerity, Parken.* No asserting of himself, no elbowing although not theirs after the fashion, and accordfor his seat at the head of the table, shows itself ing to the notions, of a customary Wesleyan superin these letters. In truth, and still more strikingly intendant and preacher. The sage wearers of than his letters to his early friends, they serve to those portentous Cornish broad brims, some of show that Foster's habitual converse with his own whom, thirty years ago, still remembered “ good heart had been such as to bring him into a mood John's" preaching in the hollow near Gulval, or utterly abhorrent of all pretension and self-com- Huel Abraham, and who admired “ Josiah Hill," placency; while his communion with infinite wis- knowing not a thousand th part of him, would per. dom, and his daily meditation of things “unseen haps have denounced him to “ Conference" had and eternal," suffused through his moral nature they known a little more; and yet these, even much of that “humbleness of mind” which we are these, would again have loved him, and listened to wont to attribute to the beings of a higher sphere. him as an angel, had it been possible to them to
Such was Foster! We say, such was Foster, know the whole. thinking, as we do, of those who will be snatching But how agreeable, how tranquillizing, and, at some paltry controversial advantages--some occa- limes, how elevating, were the hours he gave to sions of ranting, from these volumes. He was those who, as he thought, could understand him, *We do not know why we should conceal an expres
and whom he could trust! Well fitted was he, we sion of disappointment in not finding the name of Josiah should think, to be Foster's companion and correConder in these volumes. Unless we are quite in error, spondent. The many domestic afflictions which he Foster's letters to the then Editor of the Eclectic were of passed through, after the time of his intimacy with a kind to be eagerly read by the public, and for which Foster, seem-so we should suppose, judging from room might, with manifest advantage, have been made, the
: the tone and topics of the letters in these volumes, by the exclusion of some pages that are puerile in the first volume, or of passages that are sophistical and
to have abated very much of the spring and energy unseemly in the second,
of his understanding, such as it was at the period