Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

as well as of an active and manual employment. If a clergyman will farm, he should not be a common farmer; if he will garden, he should not be a mere delver-let him philosophize his occupation, let him mix science with work. If he draw from his farm or garden any improvement in the knowledge of nature, he draws from it the greatest, in many cases the only, profit he will receive.

Beside natural history, or rather together with it several branches of natural philosophy, especially those which consist in experiment and observation, are within the reach of a country clergyman's means and opportunities, and will contribute greatly to fill his time with satisfactory and useful engagement. Electrical experiments are of this kind. These I have seen executed in the greatest perfection in the back shop of a linen-draper, with an apparatus which did not cost forty shillings. The use of the microscope is also another endless source of novelty, and by consequence, of entertainment and instruction. More and more beautiful discoveries of this kind I have seen made by a private clergyman in Wales, who fabricated all his own apparatus, than by any other person whom I have known or heard of in these times. Those who display philosophical experiments to the public are wont to gratify the eyes of the spectators with the show of a costly apparatus; but a philosopher knows that almost the whole of this is embellishment; that the real effects are produced, the real instruction is

gained, with a few simple instruments in a closet as completely as at a dressed-up lecture.

Astronomy, at least so much of it (and that is a great deal) as requires only a telescope and a quadrant, is a proper, I had almost said the most proper, of all possible recreations to a clergyman. The heavens declare the glory of God to all but to the astronomer they point it out by proofs and significations most powerful, convincing, and infinitely sublime. In common with all science, and more so, I think, than any one branch of it, the contemplation of the heavenly bodies tends to lift up the spirit of man above those entanglements of cares and difficulties with which we are all of us more than enough encumbered and weighed down. Chemistry, however, the popular part of it, may be pursued at very moderate expense, and with great advantage.

It is not my intention to run round the Encyclopædia in order to show the subjects of engagement, and the sources of information which almost every branch of natural philosophy may afford to an active, intelligent, and inquisitive mind, furnished with the leisure which our profession naturally supplies to us. I will rather content myself with briefly pointing out two articles-not so much of science, strictly so called, as of useful investigation, and suggested to our attention by the natural circumstances of the country in which we live :-the admeasurement of the height of mountains, by the application of the

barometer and thermometer, is very practicable in the operation, unexpensive in the apparatus; and in no part of the island do more, or more curious, subjects for trial offer themselves than in ours. Meteorological observations-that is, observations upon, the phenomena of the atmosphere; such as the quantity of rain which falls in a year, the course of the winds, the dependency of the rain upon the state of the barometer, or upon other appearances and prognostics, which in mountainous countries are always irregular are very deserving of being known, and can only be known by a long-continued and attentive course of observation. This is more particularly true in this very neighbourhood; in which great singularities of the kind I am speaking of are said to exist, of which neither the cause has been explained, nor even the appearances themselves sufficiently ascertained.

I will beg leave to conclude with two short reflections. First; that the various sources of intellectual and active occupation which have been pointed out, prove that there is no man of liberal education who need be at a loss to know what to do with his time; that leisure need never be a burthen; that if we sink into sloth, it is our fault, and not that of our situation: and secondly, that whatever direction we give to our studies-I mean those collateral and adscititious studies which have been described-we are contributing our proportion to that which is of great importance

[ocr errors]

to the general diffusion of knowledge, and thereby to the interest of religion, and the credit and usefulness of our order-the furnishing of every portion of the country, as well as of every class of the community, with the presence and society of a well in

formed clergy.

....

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

31

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

‛1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

1 "

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

97678

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

REVEREND BRETHREN,

THE late archbishop Secker, whose memory is entitled to public respect, as on many accounts, so especially for the judgement with which he described, and the affecting seriousness with which he recommended the duties of his profession, in one of his charges to the clergy of his diocese*, exhorts them "to make their sermons local." I have always considered this advice as founded in a knowledge of human life, but as requiring, in its application, a more than ordinary exercise of Christian prudence. Whilst I repeat therefore the rule itself, with great veneration for the authority by which it was delivered, I think it no unfit employment of the present opportunity, to enlarge so far upon its use and meaning, as to point out some of the instances in which it may be adopted, with a probability of making salutary impressions upon the minds of our hearers.

But, before I proceed, I would warn you, and that with all the solemnity that can belong to any admo

*Archbishop of Canterbury's Third Charge to his Clergy. Abp. Secker's Works, vol. iv.

« VorigeDoorgaan »