My dear friend,-Bishop Horne of Norwich somewhere blesses God that he had always lived where it was his duty and privilege daily to attend the full choral service of our church as solemnized at some of our colleges, and in our cathedrals. I do not concur with the good bishop; not, however, because I do not enjoy choral worship, if not with as much taste, yet at least with as much ardour as he could do; but because I enjoy it so much that I should be vexed, if by constant iteration it should pall upon my senses and fail to melt my heart, till at length I cared as little for it as the singing man who comes to his task with no better zest or feeling than the school-boy to his grammar, or the weaver to his loom. For I fear it cannot be denied that the daily recurrence of the whole of our church service, morning and evening, whether it be sung or said, is not favourable to continued and intense devotion; at least, in minds no better constituted than mine, which I own and lament is a very bad specimen. But even in men of far more elevated emotions of piety, if I may judge by what many such have told me in respect of themselves, the effect of the constant twice-a-day recurrence of the same forms and words, is apt to generate a formal, listless, and perfunctory spirit. I speak not of what ought to be, but of what is; and every such fact is calculated to keep the Christian humble before his God. The frailty even of those whose weakness is most sustained by strength from above, shews that man at his best estate is vanity. Not one, I suppose, in a thousand of the monks or nuns who whirl through their incessant routine of forms in the Roman-Catholic church, comes to each renewed service with due energy, and leaves it with painful reluctance. Our own weekly Sunday repetition is not too often; nor do I think that Wednesday and Friday prayers at church, with the intervening use of portions of the CHLIST, OBSERV. No. 355.

public services in the family and the closet, are too much; far from it; but judging from actual facts, from what we are, and not what we should be, I doubt whether nine tenths of mankind can use the same forms much oftener than this, and for years together, without some loss of edification, if not with an approach to a dull monotony of feeling, which it requires a little variety to stimulate to warmth and vigour. Possibly I am wrong, and glad shall I be to find I am so; indeed, I have myself known some few persons who, unless unavoidably prevented, have regularly attended the full service of our church twice three hundred and sixty-five times in the year, and this for years together, with constant, nay, increasing interest and delight. I envy such persons their enjoyment; I envy them their anticipation of that better world, where the heavenly choristers day without night circle the Eternal Throne, and are never wearied with their anthems and adorations. But in legislating for the mass of mankind, I doubt whether, even if the ordinary business of life allowed of it, this constant twice-a-day and always continued repetition would be desirable. Go to our colleges and cathedrals; and, avoiding the indecorum of putting an unseemly question to a provost or fellow or master of arts, much less to a dean or canon or a prebendary, just ask some yawning undergraduate or Bible-clerk, or chorister or verger, whether upon the whole he finds that his regular twice-a-day attendance is an edifying service; whether he ever wishes to miss it; whether he always returns to it with renewed interest; and whether, if it were less long and frequent, or somewhat more varied, he might not find his devotion more stimulated to action. I fear that his answer, if honest, would prove the frailty of our nature, and the coldness of our hearts; and shew how little many of us who call ourselves Christians, and perhaps are so, partake of the spirit of holy men of old; of the 3 F

spiritual ardour of David and Isaiah and Jeremiah and St. Paul and St. John. Did the sweet Psalmist of Israel, suppose you, ever tire of the daily recurring melodies and sacrifices of Jewish worship?

Now, my dear friend, do not jump to the conclusion, from the foregoing remarks, that I would, if I had it in my power, put a stop to our daily cathedral and similar services. So far from it, I was debating with myself whether, notwithstanding all the apathy I have stated— not, mark me, apologized for,-it would not be a right and good ordinance to revive daily prayers in all our churches, rather than set them aside where they are now customary. The danger in the present day is not on the side of excess, but of defect; but in legislating either way, the point I have mentioned is an essential element in the calculation: and I am not sure that in the Church of England we have not found the true mean, as nearly as may be, between the formal routine of the Papal ritual and the restless variety-if varied it is-of Dissenting worship. All I meant to say at the commencement of my letter, not intending this digression, was, that the solemnity of cathedral service is a gratification so delightful, and I hope I may say from experience a means of grace so edifying, that I should dread losing the zest with which at present I always thirst for it and enjoy it. To the utmost limit of repetition not leading to this dreaded result, I concur with Bishop Horne; and if I was as sure of my feelings under constant recurrence, as I am of their present intensity, I should echo his words to the letter, were it only in the humble capacity of a singing man or a verger. Some of my happiest recollections in this chequered world are derived from a cloistered precinct; the halcyon days of my early ministry were passed in a church and a parish abutting on a venerable close, where, as often as leisure permitted, or pensive or devout feeling suggested, I might obey the silvery

bell that summoned me to the choral symphonies of the neighbouring cathedral, whose lofty vaults for ages had reechoed the melodies of prayer and praise to the King of kings and Lord of lords. If ever I should turn Papist, and my confessor should condemn me to multiform penances, I would implore him to send me in pilgrimages to all the cathedrals in Christendom. It would, at least, be a pleasant penance; and if it became as fraught with holy thoughts and heavenly aspirings as some which I have enjoyed in my visits to certain of these venerable edifices in my native land, I trust that superstition would not be the only feeling which the most strenuous Protestant would predicate of my emotions.

You will wonder, my dear friend, what this long proemium can augur; or what means a dissertation on the merits of chanting and cloisters. The truth is, I have just returned from one of my occasional Protestant pilgrimages; and a delightful, and, I would hope, not unprofitable, pilgrimage it was. It was not, indeed, a monkish pilgrimage, since it was enlivened by sundry domestic appendages which Popery did not allow to her clergy, but which I cannot believe have rendered the Protestant parsonage less a scene of happiness or usefulness. I will not trouble you with any of my rural wanderings, except that to which I have alluded—namely, to the purlieus of a venerable cathedral, to me till then unknown, to you well known; and if my young freshness of feeling were matured by your better knowledge, I doubt not I could sketch a scene on which even you would not disdain to gaze.

It was a lovely June morning, soft and balmy, cool and pensive, rather than glaring and fervid, when I opened my casement, as the cathedral clock, and I know not how many consenting parish chimes, struck three. throbbing brow and feverish couch had drawn me, not wont to such ante-matin progresses, to taste the fresh breeze of approaching day.


Day already, in truth, it was, for night there had been none; the twilight of evening had softened into the twilight of dawn, and the moon, not unwilling, had lent her aid to assist both. It was also the day of holy rest; and it might be that the tranquil and heavenly associations, which ever to the Chrisian's mind usher in that blessed day, cast a wreath of peace and solemnity around every image that met the eye, or floated in the imagination. I wish I could tell you all I saw and all I felt; but the recital were too long-and the emotions perhaps too evanescent to embody. I hope that much that past in my inmost soul was not unmeet for such a day and such a place; for if there be any spectacle that can overpower the heart with emotion, and teach lessons of heavenly wisdom, it is surely that of an ancient and much-dilapidated city, the scene of events memorable in history, the birth-place and once crowded haunt of prelates and statesmen and philosophers, of warriors and of kings, who have ages since gone to their account, and where every stone is impressed with vestiges of mortality and decay. When one feels most strongly the mutability of short-lived man, and the heart is desolated with images of war and rapine, of priestcraft and tyranny, of all that agitates and appals the spirit, of the strange mixture of good and evil in every age, and the vicissitudes by which nations and empires rise and fall, flourish and decay, one learns better to estimate the value of Him who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and of those joys which are unchangeable and eternal. At least, if our meditations do not tend to this, they lose their best direction.

I must not chide the feverish throb that sent me to my matin casement; both because of the salutary reflections which I hope the scene before me furnished, and, if I may believe one of the chroniclers of your famed city, because a little -feverishness on entering its walls is

a most hopeful symptom. For thus writes old Trussell: "Few persons came from other places to plant here, no, not one among forty, but at their first coming are entertained with a sharp but short fever, which so cleanseth them from all peccant humours, that after their full recovery, their health, being for the most part uninterrupted, hath no need to challenge any help from Esculapius or his followers. I affirm it boldly, and truly experience doth approve it, that the purity of the air is such, that neither physician, apothecary, or surgeon, did ever grow rich by his practice in that place." I copy this passage, my good friend, for your comfort, whose duty calls you to make periodical sojourns in a spot so favoured. And that I may not discredit venerable Mr. Trussell, I shall now, on my return to the fumum strepitumque Roma, courteously attribute all nervous and feverish sensations which may visit me for months to come; not to the cares and anxieties of life, or to those overworkings of mind and body which are incident to an exhausting metropolis, till one learns to dream of fields and cottages and solitude as an earthly elysium; but to that salutary sharp, but short fever," which, had I been a settler instead of a pilgrim in Trussell's paradise, was to end in the cleansing of all peccant humours, and that full recovery of health which of all earthly boons I least ever expect to enjoy. I wish that you, or some other philosopher and divine equal to the task, would issue a caution and point out a remedy in reference to that habitual over-excitement which, rather perhaps than climate or any other cir cumstance, so often renders a metropolis a deathful residence. If a man thinks, and speaks, and walks, and reads, and does every thing else just twice as hard in London as he does in the country, is he to wonder that he lives only half as long? He may say, that in the result he lives as usefully; but surely there is a just medium, though

mons. Our forefathers did better: they did not travel on the journey of life so fast; they took more hours for their task; their pace was composed and their minds more calm; but they did not arrive less surely at their journey's end; and when they came to it they were less heated and more able to recruit themselves by moderate repose.-What all this has to do with the subject of my letter, if subject it have, I know not; but it has trickled from my pen, and I will let it remain, less however for your edification, than for the edification of any of your acquaintance who may need the lesson; not by any means excluding your female friends, some of whom, it may hap, are as prone to kill themselves by alternate over-excitement and sinful idleness, as any of their lords who should set them a better pattern. I wish we better studied the example of Christ in the mild lustre of his character, and more implored the influences of the Holy Spirit as a God of peace and consolation. This would tend to give us a serenity of mind, and a patient diligence in well doing, which would greatly check the excesses to which I allude; and we might perhaps find time to breathe a prayer and still our heart beatings between one distraction and another.

few persons discover it. Some waste life in doing nothing; others exhaust it with doing too much. I fear you, my friend, are of the latter order. But beware; the church cannot spare, the world ought not to be deprived of one hour of so valued a life. Why will men breathe oxygen all the year? Many of our statesmen, and busy lawyers and merchants, would kill themselves sooner than they do if they did not devote a few weeks now and then to loading guns and holding dialogues with pointers. They might, however, manage much better than this; for in the first place they might without reproach habitually work six days instead of seven, giving God his own day, and finding repose in its delightful yet tranquil duties; and this alone would add years to their life; and when they occasionally wished for a cushion for their minds, they might find rural occupations quite as soothing, quite as healthful, and to the full as useful as the slaying of birds and the pursuit of hares. Mr. Fox, after his threefold toils of drinking, gambling, and legislating, would lie for hours under a tree at St. Ann's hill, till he exulted that the blackbirds were not afraid of him. Thus stretching his listless length, he recovered the tone of his mind; but the excess and the vacuity were both blameworthy; for human life was not meant to be passed between inordinate excitement and indolent repose. With a well-regulated mind and self-denying habits, a man may work fairly and work long; but the mischief to persons of ill-judged ardour is, that they over-work themselves till they are obliged to make holiday; and then lose in necessary indolence more than the time they saved by impatience. Look at the habits of our men of business: London is a distracting whirl from ten till four; during the other eighteen hours it is a comparative solitude, nobody working that can eat or play. Look again at our statesmen, our divines, our students; and look at the nocturnal excesses of our house of com

My casement opened upon a city of ancient days, interesting even now; nay, far more interesting to a thoughtful mind than when its massy walls encircled it, its embattled gates were standing, its proud castles were mantled, its prelatical and royal palaces were in their glory, and its fifty churches, of which only six or eight remain, and princely monastic foundations, now for the most part obliterated, filled up the valley which opens before my eye. Just listen to the glowing words of an old writer:

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shines the stars, so did she all her contemporary cities in Britain. For now she was defended by a stately castle, high and strong walls, with gates and towers; and was ornamented with a multitude of very magnificent structures, the dwellinghouses of the royal family, knights, merchants, and gentlemen, besides those great and magnificent buildings of the king's and bishop's palaces, and of so many monasteries, convents, nunneries, and houses of other religious societies, with such a great number and variety of churches, as could be no where equalled throughout the kingdom. It was not only enriched by the presence of so many noble inhabitants, but carried on a clothing manufactory, which almost supplied the whole realm, as well as several foreign countries. It was the principal key and thoroughfare into all the eastern and western parts of the kingdom; frequented by all families of note, and visited by many great powers from abroad. Its bishop being generally one of the royal family, ensured it the particular marks of the royal favour; whereby it was distinguished with the first free charter granted to any city in the kingdom, which permitted all its goods, wares, and merchandizes to be negociated free of any toll or tax whatsoever, throughout his majesty's dominions; and is well known to have been the place of birth, education, baptism, marriage, and coronation of many kings, princes, and noble personages. It was honoured with a mayor twenty-two years before London, or any other city, and its charter of incorporation has been a standard for incorporating several cities and towns in this kingdom. In this magnificent state was the ancient city of Winchester, when King Henry died; who left his succession to be disputed by his daughter Maud the empress, and Stephen Blois, son of the Earl of Blois, by Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror."

I must have a word with you, my dear friend, about some of these illustrious persons and localities. Yet

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why at this moment should I be more interested about them than I was a month ago? What more to me are the names, infamous or illustrious, connected with the objects before me, than they were when I have read them a hundred times in the records of history? Cicero asked the same question, and could only reply that it is so, because it is so. Naturâne nobis hoc datum dicam, an errore quodam, ut cum ea loca videamus in quibus memorià dignos viros acceperimus multum esse versatos, magis moveamur quum si quando eorum ipsorum aut facta audiamus, aut scriptum aliquod legamus." (De Fin. 5.) And the same truly philosophical writer elsewhere shews (De Leg. ii. 2) how forcibly each minute feature of local scenery comes home to the heart in connexion with such associations. "Me quidem ipsæ illæ nostræ Athenæ, non tam operibus magnificis et exquisitissimis antiquorum delectant,quam recordatione summorum virorum, ubi quisque habitare, ubi sedere, ubi disputare sit solitus; studiose eorum etiam sepulchra contemplor." This is why every person that treads the deck of the Victory, pauses to survey the plate that points out the place where Nelson fell: he would not feel satisfied in after life if he had failed to mark that particular spot. And what a field for such affecting reminiscenses, is that now in sombre grandeur before me, and almost every stone of which has left its traces upon my memory and imagination! Just begin with yonder massy and magnificent edifice, identified with the first entrance of Christianity into this favoured land, the scene of some of the most remarkable passages of English history, in church and state, and every pillar and corbel of which awakens mingled recollections of pain and pleasure,-alas! too much of pain. Look, I say, my friend, at that now Protestant Cathedral, once,— but we must visit it apart, and trace it on the spot; it may not be clustered in the vulgar heap of memorables. Pass it by then for the pre

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