Imágenes de página

ciples, furnish every needful ingredient in preparing such forms of useful instruction as particular situations may require. I hope the method I have employed to render them essentially serviceable will be approved ; and the sublime truths, and brilliant thoughts, so well calculated to convince and captivate, will be found powerful in promoting the beneficial effects which they were originally intended to produce, though now presented in a homely dress than their intrinsic excellence might justly entitle them to wear; it being absolutely necessary that the utmost perspicuity and simplicity of style should be observed in such a form of instruction.

I shall quote two authorities, my Lord, as to the general plan of my work, which I trust will render any further apology needless for my engaging in it. The one is of ancient, the other, of modern date.

“ CATECHIZING (says the judicious Hooker) may be in schools; it may be in private families ; but when we make it a kind of preaching, we mean always the public performance thereof, in the open hearing of men.” And Archbishop

[ocr errors]

Secker, who certainly merited a far more dignified description of character, than the flimsy praise bestowed upon him by Pope*, speaks on the same subject to this purpose : “ Sometimes, a continued discourse of suitable length may be requisite, as it will lay before the adult part of your parishioners, a methodical summary of Christian doctrine, which they often want very much for themselves, and will then be enabled to teach something of it to their children after they have heard it together from you.” In short, the design, my Lord, in the construction of this undertaking, has been so to bring this select society together, and to introduce them, speaking on the several subjects that ocour in the order of the work, as should instil and strengthen that degree of knowledge I judged most profitable for the uneducated hearer or reader to acquire. As to my own particular part in the performance, and the various remarks and additions I have thought it necessary to intersperse, they must speak for themselves; I assume no claim to commendation beyond good intention : in proportion, however, to the nature and extent of the commission, each individual, in every de. partment (civil and religious), incurs a share of final responsibility. Under the impression of this serious truth, I have endeavoured to render this humble labour as serviceable to the peculiar portion of the community appointed to my charge, as my talents would possibly admit. A visible success in our bounden service towards our divine Master, by the improvement of those consigned to our care, is the highest gratification that the most diligent pastor can desire; but neither in this is the race always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The deplorable depravity of human nature, nevertheless, prescribes perseverance in the task, and humility as to the result; and it is matter of supreme and sufficient consolation, that they who endure to the end, in faithful discharge of the peculiar work allotted them (however arduous the engagement, or severe the warfare), shall be sure of an eternal reward.

* Secker is DECENT.

I fear I have encroached upon Your Lord

ship's leisure; but as this will probably be the last of my feeble efforts in the cause, I am anxious to leave a full and permanent evidence of my sentiments ;-to record my sincere attachment to the Church of which I have the honour to be a minister,-and to specify the grievous apprehensions I entertain of what must inevitably ensue, unless timely and vigorous opposition is made to the progress of our unwearied adversaries, and some salutary preventive afforded to frustrate the subtle and alarming attacks, long meditated by the united foe, against that pillar of the state, which in its downfall will involve the whole fabric in ruins. It is for this reason that I have affixed to these Lectures my original Address to the inhabitants of the parish for whose instruction they were composed and preached, with a view of convincing them of the injurious consequence to the community, in adopting unsettled principles, and encouraging dissent from the Church in which they were born, and to which they strictly belong.

I beg Your Lordship’s pardon for the length of this intrusion ; and with the most cordial

wishes for the continuance of health, and every happiness to Your Lordship, and that the utmost success may attend the several arduous labours of your high and sacred function,

I remain,
With all due respect,

Your Lordship's
Obliged, faithful, and obedient

Humble Servant,


West Tilbury,

March, 1817.

« AnteriorContinuar »