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whole such a mere fraction in a lady's personal expences, that were the rate at which we pay for it doubled, it would make a scarcely perceptible difference in her yearly account. To reduce this poor item, which the cost of some single one of our superfluities would overpay, we become accessary to wretchedness which we must not speak of, and cannot bear to think upon.
Is there no remedy? It is the will of God, and his most beneficent appointment, that the greater part of mankind should labour for their subsistence. But I believe it is not his will, nor of his appointing, that by labouring they should not be able to earn that subsistence. If I were to ask you in the next number of your Magazine, to persuade your readers, when they go to buy a ribbon, instead of insisting on a bargain by which the mercer, or the weaver, or the spinner, or some one else must be abridged of their small earnings, to offer twice the price that is demanded, you would think me the most cbimerical of all reformers, trying to stem an eddy with a straw. And I confess I am not bold enough to meet the anger of the notables, by proposing that all who can afford it, shall give to the starving poor the needlework they at present do themselves. But if your influence, madam, could persuade the Christian ladies of every neighbourhood, by a trades' union of their own, to raise the price of needle-work, so as to afford a sufficient subsistence to an industrious woman, I believe their force would be sufficient to compel those whom they could not persuade to follow the example, if any such there were ; and thus a weight of sin and misery would be removed.
G. E. M.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN
MADAM, You must be aware that those who assume the position of public instructors lay themselves open to public animadversion.
The charge of inconsistency is one to which they especially stand exposed; such a charge, I am sorry to say, I must bring against you. In your notice of Bedell's memoirs, last month, you gave expression to feelings in which I, for one, heartily concur. You denounced as dishonorable and unjustifiable, the custom of publishing communications made in the confidence of private friendship; or records of Christian experience kept for the individual's secret reference, and never by him intended for other eyes.
How comes it then, Madam, that in your number for September you mentioned with unqualified praise a book tarnished by as gross and palpable a breach of Christian delicacy as ever kindled the blush of shame on the cheek of an impartial observer, or extorted the sigh of regret from bis bosom?
I allude to the volumes containing the sermons of that truly good man Mr. Gauntlett, with a memoir prefixed by his daughter. You commend the sketch of his life ; you do justice to his pastoral discourses ; and is both instances I agree with you: but how
could you, alluding as you do to the endeared name of William Cowper, overlook the cruel exposure of that afflicted Christian's mental aberration contained in the Appendix ?
I happen to know from unquestionable authority, that the most diligent search was made for those letters, with the avowed object of precluding the possibility of such publication ; and that with much trouble the originals were recovered by one who regarded Cowper with a kinsman's love, heightened and refined by a Christian's delicacy. I happen to know that the copies which the Editor assures us were taken “ verbatim, literatim, et punctuatim” from those originals, were surreptitiously retained, by what, to say the least of it, was a breach of good faith, and a violation of Christian candour. But on this private knowledge I will not ground my complaint against you. I appeal to the contents of the pages forming the appendix to Miss Gauntlett's otherwise commendable volumes; and I leave you to exonerate yourself as you may' from one or the other of these charges : either you have been guilty of glaring inconsistency, or of flagrant neglect. Either you have glossed over a proceeding directly opposed to your avowed principles, or you have reviewed and recommended a book without reading it.
In the first case you forfeit our respect for your character; in the latter our confidence in your judgment. On which horn of the dilemma will it please you to be impaled ?
I mean not to be harsh : but my indignation and disgust are incessantly called forth by the cruelly indecent return now made by the so-called religious world, for the raluable boon conferred on it in the writings of Cowper, pablished under his own sanetion, and containing the effusions of his sane, bis tranquil hoars. Do not these soffice ? Mest the ravings of his delirious moments be raked out from the letter books of trusted friends, to whom he occasionally disburdened his thoughts when pressed above measure! Must memoranda made to be destroyed, but secured for the private gratification of unhallowed curiosity, now be openly spread before the public eye? Is it a characteristic of brotherly love, or a sample of Christian refinement, thas to expose the occasional nakedness of a distempered mind? Rest not, I beseech you, madam, under the stigma of wilful participation in the mania of the day, which I would fain believe your better feelings mast repudiate. Explain, in your own way, and at your own time, this lamentable discrepancy between your sayings and doings; or the measure of confidence already earned by your apparent straightforwardness of thought and expression, will be forfeited-deservedly forfeited, and for ever.
I am, madam,
[We hope, by inserting the foregoing letter, to show that we are disposed to take in good part whatever rebukes are given, by those who seem conscientiously to desire our well-doing. This Reprover uses strong expressions, but we are not surprised at his so doing : the subject is indeed a painful, and almost an irritating one, to those who, loving the
memory of the gentle and sensitive Cowper, would fain assist to draw closely the veil of delicacy over what it is now the unseemly fashion to exhibit.
For ourselves, we plead guilty to a measure of neglect, though not, perhaps, so considerable as the Reprover seems to infer. We read the memoir, and remarked that such documents were referred to, as being appended to the volumes: but the fact stated by the biographer, that her father had frequently expressed an intention of publishing those papers, did really seem to hold out so satisfactory a guarantee for their character, that, with a multitude of other engagements pressing on us, it cannot be wondered at if, having perused the Memoir and the Sermons, we laid down the book, reserving the Appendix for a more convenient season. It is a fact that the leaves of the latter were never cut, until our Reprover had startled us by the foregoing charge. It is also a fact that we recoiled with horror and disgust from that most unadvised and unfeeling exposure of Cowper's mental malady : and though late, and under somewhat mortifying circumstances, we do now record our solemn protest against that exposure ; assuring our readers that, had it met our eye at the proper season, we would not have failed to notice it, in language expressive of our feelings.
There is at least one consideration that ought sufficiently to counterbalance any temptation of catering to the perverted taste which our Reprover justly designates the mania of the day. Were such documents to meet the eyes only of those who can estimate the beauty of Cowper's spirituality, we should still hold their publication as indefensible : but they take a wider range-the formalist, the un