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when you will feel yourself benefited think me harsh and insensible for by everything you have gone saying this; but consider with yourthrough. It is very true, advice is self; supposing all the parents and easy, and practice difficult; but no children in the world were—as would difficulty is too great for the con- to God they were indeed!—such as tinued efforts of a religious mind. Mrs. Meynell and you : ought the All this, madam, is only saying to consequence of this to be universal you what you know already. But misery, from one generation to anoif bringing it before your thoughts ther, from the time of their parting can be of any service in circum- through the rest of their days? How, stances where you have need of all then, could religion and virtue have that can be done, it will be a very the promise of this life, as well as great satisfaction to me; who am, that wa.ch is to come ? You think with the sincerest regard, madam, it would be ingratitude to attempt your most obedient humble servant, conquering your grief. But how “ Thomas Oxford." can this possibly be, when undoubt
edly that excellent woman would Cuddesden, Sept. 22, 1740.- have wished, and entreated you— Madam, Your letter, as it hath raised and you ought to consider her as to the highest degree my esteem and entreating you now~by all the graconcern for you, so it hath given me, titude you ever owed her, that, for I hope I may say, an assurance that her sake, for your own, and that of such an understanding and such a the nearer friends to you both, heart, enlightened and supported by you would conquer it as much and such principles, cannot fail of bring- as soon as you could ? If any thing ing you soon into a state of more here below can give the saints in comfort, provided only that you will heaven concern, must it not be, that not turn them against yourself. You those whom they loved, and have think it, I perceive, your duty to left behind them, are destroying the suffer what you do : and they are enjoyment and usefulness of their always the best of persons that are lives, and lessening one of the great most in danger of this mistake ; but recommendations of religion, by an a mistake it is notwithstanding. You excess of sorrow? Suppose you had would, indeed, be very blameable if left the world instead of Mrs. Meyyou were not sensible of your loss; nell, and deserved as high esteem and the greater the loss is, the from her as she doth from
would deeper the sense of it both must and it have been her duty to have afflicted ought to be. But, still, as we can
herself without bounds? If not, not lose our infinitely best friend, how can it be yours ? Was not a we ought to have infinitely more joy composed, and cheerful as well as duin him, than affliction from any thing tiful, submission to Providence, one else ; and we do really, though of the lessons which both her conundesignedly, prefer his creatures to versation and her example taught him, when we suffer ourselves to be you? Surely, then, it is the true affected otherwise. So far as our gratitude to practise what she taught, sorrow tends to make us serious and endeavour to become what she and humble, and dependent on our
would rejoice to see you.
Think Maker, so far only it is good. Many often of these things, good madam; degrees beyond this, especially for a and get but over this one mistake, of time, may be very pardonable weak- the duty of being miserable, and I ness; but in proportion as it brings have no fear of your falling into any us in danger of sinking, or of losing other. To hear of the progress of the sight and the feeling of Divine your recovery to an easy state of Goodness, it is as real a temptation mind, and, if there be occasion, to as any other, and as carefully to be give you the best poor assistance I resisted. Do not, I beg you, madam, can, will always be the highest
pleasure to, madam, your most faith- sensible even of the least of those ful humble servant,
which Providence continues to place “ Thomas Orford." before you. The degree of goodness
which you have seen in one person, St. James's, Westminster, Nov. you will perhaps never see equalled, 25,1740.–Madam, if I had not been or approached to, in another ; but hindered by a great deal of business, the lowest degrees, that are real, will upon my leaving the country and always deserve that you should atfirst coming to town, I should have tend to them, and take pleasure in taken the liberty before now of say- them. The warning which you
have ing a few things to you on the sub- had, that this is not your rest, is a ject of
last letter. I am heartily peculiarly strong one; but, yet, the
you have some prospect of pilgrim neither can nor ought to be more composure of mind than you entirely unmindful even of the counonce hoped for, and as heartily ap- try he travels through. We are to prove of, what I never doubted, your think of our home, not so as to negintention to employ it to the best lect the place of our sojourning, but purposes. But forgive me for being to excite ourselves to behave rightly afraid, though I may very possibly in it; and, instead of dedicating our mistake, that you still want some- lives to any one regard, we must thing of being in the right way. divide them between all the several You speak of abstracting every regards which our Maker, by placing thought and inclination from this us here, hath directed us to attend world, and dedicating the remainder to. No single duty ought to be the of your life to one single regard. whole employment of our days—u
-unNow, undoubtedly, such words as less we mean that general one of these, taken in a qualified and mo- serving God, which branches itself derate sense, express the justest and out into all the commands which best state of mind; and the great he hath given us, by reason or revefault of persons, and the great cause lation. Honouring the memory of of their misery, is, that they are so persons eminent in virtue and piety, far from it. But yet, to speak in especially such as have been nearly strictness, whilst God continues us related and greatly beneficial to us, in this world he certainly designs is undoubtedly one of these comthat we should consider ourselves as mands : but we
are commanded continuing in it, and not endeavour also to pay every due we owe to to extirpate any of the affections or
every one of our fellow-creatures inclinations which he hath made amongst whom we live, and be as natural to us, during the time of our extensively useful to them as we can. passage through it, but only regulate If we omit this, we do not imitate and exercise them virtuously. He those we honour; and therefore do will separate us from them when the not honour them aright. It may be reproper time comes; but we are not plied, indeed, that setting the example to do it ourselves before the time, of living to another world, is being but to aim at being such as he in- useful to our fellow-creatures in the tended us to be here, not altogether highest degree: but, then, this exsuch as he intends us to be here. ample must appear easy and inafter. We must comply with the viting; it must be brought down to seasons, which Heaven hath appoint- their capacity aud abilities; and we ed for the growth of our minds to- must become all things to all men, wards their perfection, and attempt in order to save some.
Else we nothing prematurely. Your satis- shall terrify, instead of encourage, factions in life, madam, must needs such as would willingly be religious, have been lessened to a degree not and give advantages to others of casy to express; but, still, grati- misrepresenting the Christian life; tude requires you not to be in- whereas, by mixing with those about us, and condescending to be like ations, and suffer ourselves to be them in some innocent trifles, we called off sometimes even to trifles ; may engage them to be like us in or we shall be overwhelmed, and matters of consequence. I am sen- perhaps before we suspect it, by sible that persons may lose them- taking upon us a weight as yet too selves by carrying this too far ; but heavy for us. This, I acknowledge, they may also fail of benefiting others is the way of talking by which the by not carrying it far enough ; and lovers of this world endeavour to though the first extreme is the worse, excuse themselves from minding the both ought to be avoided. But, be. things of another at all. But the sides, it is not only in their most plea is still reasonable, and necesimportant concerns that we should sary to be observed in some degree, endeavour to be of service to our though they abuse it by carrying it fellow-creatures, but in their inferior to an excessive degree : and what are ones also, their health or their the proper limits, how far we should affairs, as we have opportunity. And, go, and were we should stop, perindeed, spending part of our time in sons in a composed state of mind, if making their common conversation they will be faithful to themselves, more improving, and their cheerful- may tolerably well determine. But ness more harmless, will be spending during any great agitation, or deep it well, and by no means unsuitably concern, it is usually requisite to to the great example of our Lord join the opinion of a serious and juand Master. It ought likewise to dicious friend with our own, if we be considered further, that, though have such a one near us; and often making it our business, on any oc- to prefer it before our own; much casion, to turn our thoughts from in the same manner as the best physerious objects, and fix them chiefly sicians, when they are sick, permit on others, is a great and unhappy others of the profession to direct meanness of mind *, yet we must and prescribe to them. I am, indeed, content ourselves to be what God at a great distance from the case to hath made us; and he hath not, I which I have called myself in, and apprehend, made the highest of us, for that, as well as other reasons, far in this life, capable of attending from being sufficiently qualified to always to things of importance give advice. But one who deserves without intermission. We must friends so well, cannot surely be therefore either intermix due relax- destitute of them. Or if you will
but please to consider, madam, what
counsel This perplexed sentence is accurately
you would give another percopied. Its writer evidently felt himself son that should be in your case; or on dangerous ground_giving advice which what counsel that excellent woman might easily be abused. Throughout the whom you lament would give you, letters there is a painful deficiency; as
were there any communication with the subject of condolence is no where referred to Him who bore our griefs and the dead; your own mind will, I carried our sorrows. They contain some doubt not, supply you with all the good remarks, but in general they are too directions you need; ever supposing, coldly philosophical to heal a wounded what I am sure you never forget, heart. Sometimes, however, they touch on a right string, and then sweetly does that you ask wisdom of God, who it begin to vibrate, as where the writer giveth to all men liberally. And says, We cannot lose our intinitely þest that he may give you abundantly Friend;" but almost instantly is its melody instruction, comfort, and happiness, checked by some frigid ethical aphorism. How
difficult is it to administer really is the sincere prayer of, madam, your affectionate spiritual consolation after the faithful humble servant, manner of Him whose office it was to
“ Thomas Oxford.” bind up the broken hearted, and to comfort them that mourn, and who promised his Holy Spirit to his disciples under the
To these papers I shall now apname of the Comforter!
pend the transcript of a most extra
ordinary letter, addressed to Miss intimates who purchased Miss MeyMeynell by her father, during, ac. nell's friendship by malevolence to cording to the direction, her visit her father, is a question which at with a family in Hertfordshire.- once thrusts out its own reply. “Nov.7, 1741.-I am sorry for you, ceived a copy of the edition of Bos
So far I had written, when I rechild, but I cannot forgive you: I now see plainly how basely I have been lished under the superintendence of
pubalways used, by all those you most the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker. regarded. The using me ill, I cannot doubt, was always the best title Lord St. Helens to state, that in
This gentleman is authorized by to your friendship ; nay, the condition of it. I ever suspected this ; members of the Tissington family,
the Spiritual Quixote the several but my affection drove away my and their visitors, are described with suspicions. Insincerity, base arts,
On referring, acingratitude, cannot be the faults of great accuracy *.
cordingly, to Mr. Graves's romance, your age, but of your disposition
the account of Mrs. Fitzherbert's and education. I must now endea
father is found to be as follows: vour to find a worthy object of my affection ; and I have the anguish to who was a professed infidel, and ab
"She was the daughter of Lord say, I can never have worse success than I have had. Do not desire to his children to instil any religious
solutely forbid those who were about see me; for my resentment is so strong, I do not believe it possible their tender minds, by teaching them
prejudices (as he called them) into for me to treat you with decency. “ L. P. Meyneil."
their Catechism, and by suffering
them to read any books on religious And this was addressed to a subjects. Nay, he severely punished woman who, even in the early his favourite child, of ten years old, bloom of life, was venerated by for presuming to look into a Bible... Miss Hill Boothby and the Countess He was frequently guilty of the most of Huntingdon, by Secker and John- flagrant instances of vice and immoson! To those, however, who con- rality. Lady Forester's mother, howtemplate such things in the mirror ever (who was a very pious and a of the Gospel, the whole mystery very sensible woman), had taken care vanishes. Suppose ye that I am to instil some short principles of recome to give peace on earth? Iligion into her daughter; but, dying tell you, Nay; but rather division... while Lady Forester was very young, The father shall be divided against she underwent a trial of a different the son, and the son against the kind from the capricious indulgence father.” The vehemence of crimi- of her father, who settled her, when pation uttered against Mrs. Fitz- she was just sixteen, in a house in herbert is one of those examples in town, with an equipage, and suitwhich the world annihilates its own able domestics and attendants, enpurposes. The worst which could tirely at her own command. Her have been said of this lady, most
Vol. iv. p. 525.—Lord St. Helens probably, was, that-like almost all
has furnished a key to the characters ; by persons of similar principles-she which it appears that the
Miss Forester had been sometimes duped by hypo- was not, as stated in my former paper, crites. There is internal evidence Miss J. Beresford, but Miss Catherine that her unhappy parent not merely Fitzherbert, afterwards Mrs. Bateman ;
Mrs. F.'s father; and George, made the exception into the rule, John Latham, who was honoured by Miss but said, emphatically, all manner Boothby's correspondence. Mr. Croker of evil against her falsely for His has inserted thirty-one original letters sake!
from Miss Boothby to Dr. Johnson; Whether the excellent Miss
which, I now find, were previously pub
lished in an obscure and scarce volume in Boothby herself was one of those 1805.
ladyship's good sense, however, sup- men of humility and self-abnegation. ported her, without the least censure, But "all is not gold that glitters ;" in this critical situation *.”. After and I wish that we were all less this statement, it will be unneces- disposed to admire things upon trust, sary, I conceive, to add any further and to examine before we praise. explanation of the estrangement of Very far am I from affirming that Mr. Meynell from his daughter. the speech just recorded may not From the date mentioned by Mr. have proceeded from the lips of sinGraves, it also appears that Miss cerity. The circumstance is more Meynell could be barely but sixteen than possible; as well-meaning men years of age when she was the cor- frequently copy each other in misrespondent of Archbishop Secker. takes, as well as in what is really It was only about five years after- good. My own hesitation on the wards that she was addressed by point arises from a conviction, that Miss Boothby in the letter inserted not only is false humility among our in your January Number, and which many dangers, but that a faithful one might have previously supposed minister of Christ and of such exmust have been written to a person clusively would I write-is, to this of mature years and long experi- hour, interested in the promise made ence.
by Jesus to his first Apostles, “ I will I have pleasure in again subjoin- give you a mouth and wisdom : for ing the initials and residence of the it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit friend who has furnished materials of your Father which speaketh in for this further insight into the cha- you.” And in this my conviction racter of Dr. Johnson's religious i entirely disavow all approach to associates ; and doubt not, sir, that the sentiment that at this period of you and your readers will second the the church any gift of the Holy motion I now offer to public accept- Ghost is vouchsafed beyond His ordiance,—That he be requested to make nary operations, as those operations renewed search into the archives of have in all ages, since the Apostolic his family, with a view to discover times, been dispensed to the servants similar manuscripts, and to forward of God. My feeling rather is, that them for insertion in the Christian we do not sufficiently
estimate our acObserver.
knowledged, our ordinary blessings. Derby, July 18, 1831. J. L.
In this view, a minister seems to me to be in peril of grieving or checking the Holy Spirit; of offending the Source whence he derives his ability to preach the Gospel. With the
imperfection, weakness, and positive To the Editor of theChristian Olserver. evil, which he may himself mingle
with such ability, I do not immediThere is a story current in reli- ately interfere—that is another part gious circles, which has been told of of the subject;---but the question is, many persons, and is, perhaps, true whether he ought not, instead of of none. The anecdote, however, is repelling even a flatterer by someto this effect :-A clergyman hav- thing like a coarse jest, to refer the ing been complimented, at the foot matter, with all seriousness, to the of the pulpit stairs, by a flatterer, Lord and Giver of Life.who talked much about his excellent
“ Thou the anointing Spirit art, sermon, “ The devil,” said he, “told
That dost thy sevenfold gifts impart; me all this, before I left the pulpit.” Thy blessed unction from above And this tale has gone the usual
Is comfort, light, and fire of love!" round of applause, as a fine speci. If this be true of the mystical
church generally, how peculiarly • Vol. iii. p. 99.
true must it be of such as instruct
ON UNDERVALUING THE GIFTS OF
THE HOLY SPIRIT.