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bound closely under. Every body-maids, children, poor and rich, call Mr. Oberlin their 'cher papa,' and never was there a more complete father of a large family. We breakfast at seven; the family upon potatoes boiled with milk and water-a little coffee is provided for us. We dine at twelve, and sup at half-past seven. Every thing is in the most primitive style. I never saw such people for not taking money. It is almost impossible to pay any body for any service they do for you. In our visits to the poor we have been afraid of offering them money; but we feel anxious to throw in some assistance towards the many important objects which Mr. Oberlin is carrying on amongst his people. It is almost past belief what he has done, and with very limited means. Three poor dear women are noted for their benevolence; one especially, who is a widow herself with several children, has taken to support and bring up three orphan children; and she has lately taken another from no other principle than abounding Christian charity. One seldom meets with such shining characters. Mr. O. told Mr. Cunningham the other day he did not know how to pay Louise, for nothing hurt her so much as offering her money. Nothing can be more devoted to his service, and in the most disinterested Her character has impressed me very much. We had a delightful walk to a church about two miles distant, on Sunday morning; the numbers of poor, flocking from the distant villages, dressed in their simple and neat costume, formed a striking object in the scene. It happened to be the Sunday Mr. O. goes to the next parish, where his son has him to assist in giving prizes to the school children.

manner.

"Wednesday evening. The poor charm me. I never met with any like them; so much spirituality, humility, and cultivation of mind, with manners that would do honour to a court; yet the homely dress and the simplicity of the peasant are not lost. The state of the schools, the children, and the poor in general, is quite extraordinary, and as much exceeds our parish as ours does the most neglected.

"We have spent our time in the following manner: Since Sunday the mornings have been very wet; we have therefore been chiefly shut up in our own room, reading, writing, and drawing; the eldest of the Graffs, (Marie) a sweet girl, is a good deal with me, to read and to talk to me. The children and young people in the house are becoming fond of me; our being here is quite a gaiety and amusement to them. About three o'clock Mr. Legrand comes for us, to take us different excursions, &c. He seems to us one of the kindest persons we ever met with, full of conversation; nothing can exceed the torrent of words they all have. The old gentleman delights in talking to F,

and tells him every thing about himself, his family, his parishes, &c. Our room joins his library, and all the family are free to enter whenever they like. The whole system is most amusing, interesting and useful. It is a capital example, and instructive for the minister of a parish. I have felt it very enlarging and good for us to be here. There is a spirit of good fel. lowship and kindness amongst all the people that is quite delightful. The longer we have been here, the more we have been struck with the uncommon degree of virtue which exists amongst them. On Monday evening,after sketching Legrand's house, we were taken to the cottage of Sophie Bernard, where we found the table spread in the most complete manner for our tea, a luxury we had not enjoyed since we left England. Here we passed some time, eating, talking, and reading the Bible; and it ended with prayer, by Sophie Bernard, in a sweet and feeling manner. We then had a charming walk through the valley home.

"Tuesday. In the afternoon we as cended towards the very top of the mountains, to another of his villages, where we again found some delightful women, and a capital school. This afternoon we have been drinking tea with the Legrands; so comfortable and complete a house and family is rarely to be met with in any country. The three pairs have each the most complete little dwelling, but in the same house. Our intercourse with them has been truly pleasant; they have treated us with real Christian kindness. Farewell, for to-night, my dearest sisters, may every blessing be with you!

"Colmar, Friday evening.-Our scene is again quite changed :-we are returned to the common world; and I now find myself over a comfortable fire at a good hotel, which is quite a luxury after the primitive fare of the Ban de la Roche. I believe Mr. Cunningham would have suffered, if we had continued to live much longer upon pottage and potatoes. There was but little indulgence for the body, though we were treated with genuine hos pitality. They live sadly in the clouds. The sun does not appear very often to shine upon them. However, they are happy and contented, and highly blessed; and it is a great privilege to have passed this time with them; an event which must always be valuable through life. We parted from the excellent old man with many kisses, in the full spirit of Christian love; and the same with the rest of the family. We left them very early, accompanied by many of the family." pp. 286298.

The Portraiture of a Christian Gentleman. By A BARRISTER. 6s. London. 1829.

OUR Christian barrister, Mr. Roberts, has many claims on the public attention, for his valuable professional works, for his laborious reports as one of the commissioners for investigating the public charities connected with education, and for other publications connected with morals, literature, and politics; particularly the British Review, which for several years he edited, and which deserved a larger measure of patronage than it received; and the failure of which proved either that the religious world were too little literary, or the literary too little religious, to tolerate the union of their respective topics. He now comes forward with a Portraiture of a Christian Gentleman-a character which he has evidently sketched with great delight, as its varied lineaments presented themselves before his observation; and he dedicates his performance to a Christian lady, Mrs. H. More,-wishing, he says, as far as possible, "to keep close to her views of moral and spiritual excellence."

The author's object in these pages is not to exhibit an analysis of Christian doctrine, or a code of Christian duties; these, he observes, are to be found in innumerable other quarters, and where so fully and clearly as in the Scriptures themselves? But he wishes to illustrate the operation of these principles in one particular department of human life. The principles which are to regulate the conduct of the Christian vary not; they are the same as applied to all ranks, ages, and professions: but the details of their application are diversely modified; and we see not, therefore, why it may not be as legitimate an office to point out the duties of the Christian gentleman, as of the Christian pastor, or any other class of the community. The

only objection we can conceive to be urged is, that the office of a gentleman is not a regularly defined class of human character, especially viewed in a religious aspect. Certainly a gentleman-Christian would not be a very satisfactory epithet; nor would even the juxta-position of the epithet Christian with gentleman, in our respected author's own collocation, be correct, if we were to include, in our idea of the character of a gentleman, the high bearing, the proud self-respect, the worldly honour, and the latent feeling of superiority to others, which are often associated with the term. But, when connected not with pride, but with duty; not with self-estimation, but with responsibility; it becomes a word fairly admissible even into a treatise on Christian ethics. There is a class of persons, whom, from the circumstances of their birth, station, education, and property, the world agree to call gentlemen; with a strong feeling that there is a certain well-understood line of conduct which becomes the legitimate owners of the appellation. Now Mr. Roberts goes farther; adding religious duty to conventional propriety; estimating the obligations of a gentleman who professes to be a Christian, not by the standard of the "broad stone of honour," but by the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and shewing him, that what, in the world's estimation, was but a title of courtesy and honour, was, in a higher view, a talent for which he is accountable, in proportion to the powerful influence which it involves.

Mr. Roberts first introduces to us his Christian gentleman conducting religious worship in his family; nor would he have him shrink from this important duty, because at first he may feel some embarrassment in the discharge of it.

"Where prayer is a novel exercise, it may, perhaps, exhibit itself in a family with a certain degree of awkwardness. On our first essay to proceed in untried arconstrained; and a consciousness or apmour, our gait may be ungraceful and prehension of this will be apt to embar

rass the beginner. This inaptitude may remain for some time after the false shame above alluded to has ceased to operate; but none have passed their first month of initiation in this good work with his family, without experiencing an internal sense of security that invigorates his hopes and cheers his prospects: his house seems more his castle; and an invisible guard encamps about his bed.

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Prayer flourishes and grows in beauty like a flower in a state of domestic culture. It has a small beginning, but a bright consummation; it is cradled in the clod, but crowned in the sunbeam. To accomplish it well, we have often to begin it ill, that is, as we can, in the midst of retardments and avocations; if not holily, yet humbly; if not with the unction of Divine grace, at least with a full feeling of human depravity; if not with assurance of success, at least with the conviction of need; finding the strongest motive to prayer in the weakness of our efforts to pray. Prayer thrives with repetition. All can try; all can ask; all can kneel." pp. 12, 13.

On this subject of family prayer, our barrister offers the following excellent practical observations:

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"In the exhibition of domestic worship the Christian head of a family has a charge of great importance, and a task which calls for discretion. His primary object should be, as I reason from personal experience, to keep his own mind in an honest state, really occupied with that in which he professes to be engaged. In the style of our prayers, public and private, our language is usually suited to the urgency and solemnity of their objects; but often, while the lips are importunate, the heart is cold and unconscious; while the organs are busy, the thoughts are rambling over the fields of illusory hope and turbid anxiety. To keep the thoughts at home, and the sympathies alert; to sustain in the little circle assembled around him, an attention to the thing they are doing and the Majesty they are addressing, is the difficult task of the domestic officiator. Prayer should, on these considerations, have the precedence in the day's arrangements. The sacred duty should open freshly with the dawn, and drink in the dewy ray of the morning; it should meet the orient sun when he comes as a bridegroom out of his chamber, to refresh all things (and why not man's heart?) with new life and motion. Every day opens a scene of cares which surcharge and secularize the soul; so that, if the daily duties or pleasures, or even the first meal is begun before prayer, God takes only a share with the idols of the world in the mixed service of the heart.

"The great effort of the Christian master of a family should be to bring his little congregation together with minds so far vacant from business, and other disturbing influences, as to be the proper recipients CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 331.

of scriptural impressions, and sufficiently disencumbered for spiritual exercise.

"To preface prayer with a chapter of the Bible, or a psalm, judiciously selected, is much to be recommended, as the mind is thereby settled into a frame suited to the office which is to follow, of addressing the Divine Majesty through the Saviour; which is, of course, a duty to be performed on the knees; but which for its vital quality must depend, in no small measure, upon the devout carriage of him who, as the priest of the family, impresses his own character upon the performance." pp. 13 -15.

The whole of the directions in this chapter are equally interesting and excellent. We shall quote one or two illustrations.

"Family prayer should be preceded and succeeded by some moments of silence. It should have a character of distinction and separation; it should dissolve the continuity of earthly interests and engagements, and elevate the thoughts into a higher element. That confluence so apt to take place between the interests of the different worlds should be avoided as much as may be let prayer then have its proper and exclusive course; its own deep bed, and gentle current, bearing on its bosom the commerce of mind with eternity, and carrying refreshment to those whose souls are 'athirst for God.'

"The utterance of prayer is also a matter of great practical importance. It is not the less a rational, because it is a spiritual act: neither inflated nor familiar; neither rapid nor creeping; neither vapouring nor hallucinating; neither declamatory nor dull, it should indicate the predicament of a being in abject need before the throne of Omnipotent Goodness; of a being, however, who comes accredited by invitation, assured by promise, and having a privilege of access purchased for him by blood-the blood of incarnate Deity.

"The prayers of our church service are in general admirably adapted to the wants of the soul and body; and there are few of them that may not by slight additions, omissions, and alterations, be rendered sufficiently pointed and appropriate to suit the temporary and accidental circumstances of every family. They have besides the advantage of being familiar to the hearers, and consequently of being easily followed and participated by those in attendance. But a prayer selected from a spiritual collection is sometimes more profitably impressive, not only from its infrequency and freshness, but from a certain character of affinity which it holds with present feelings and things. They give a sort of spiritual poignancy to what might otherwise lose somewhat of its awakening influence by repetition, they open, as it were, fresh avenues of persuasion, capti 3 L

vate by a gentle surprise, and besiege the heart with a new and effectual artillery." Pp. 16-18.

"With respect to the attendance on this great family transaction, I doubt not that every good householder and amiable Christian must desire to make the circle as wide as convenience and opportunity will permit; for prayer is that transaction in which all have an equal concern. Nothing is so social, because nothing is of such common interest: it is the right of all, but it is the privilege of the poor. The servants, therefore, within the house should be expected, and the servants out of the house, whether their service be occasional or constant, should be invited to

attend. It is not a complete congregation without them. When accompanied by them we are united in a common bond of spiritual equality, courtesy, and charity, without the smallest disturbance of the principle of subordination by which society is organised and sustained....The master, kneeling beside his servant, is on the same floor with him as a sinner; the servant, kneeling with his master, is on the same eminence with him as a Christian.' 19-22.

pp.

Our author's general views of prayer are thus beautifully expressed :

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"What the man of prayer wants, is to come so near the seraphic centre as to catch the cheering glimpse of God's infinite plan of reconciliation, its mysterious operation, its mighty work of love, its singularity of contrivance, its specific holiness. These are the characteristics of divine truth, which the man of prayer must incorporate in his petitions, or he does not pray to Christianity's God. If he not through the great Propitiator and Intercessor, he prays to an unknown God, to the phantom of a vain imagination, or to the spectre of a terrified conscience. Never, for a moment, can the Christian with safety depart in his devotional exercises from the great lines of Gospel divinity. The holy exigence of the Divine law, the desolation of a criminal world, the prevailing virtue of a vicarious atonement, in opening a new access to God, these teach us how to pray; the riches of Divine mercy, the regenerative power of Divine grace, the privileges of the Divine communion, and the promises of the Divine covenant, these teach us for what to pray; but these are not to the taste of an unspiritual nature: the intellect refuses the yoke of these disparaging thoughts, proud morality prefers a claim to what is freely proffered to conscious indesert. Man, the relic of a ruined world; man, under sentence from the decree of infallible Justice, claims to judge himself and others by his own variable and vicious standard. With the collar and decorations which belong to the fra

ternity of the good, so called upon earth, he challenges an equal distinction in heaven. He strengthens himself in a corporate resistance of opinion to the humbling decrees of Omnipotence. Our unhappy propensity to weigh our own actions without regard to the balance of the sanctuary, extends itself through every grade of social life; its rank luxuriance casts an unholy shade between man and his Maker, deeper indeed and darker, as moral character descends, but more or less hiding from some of the best and wisest, the pure irradiations of Divine goodness." pp. 34-36.

From prayer our author proceeds to thanksgiving; in the course of the general heartless and indecent his remarks on which, he notices manner of what is called " grace." "saying

terance, the dispatchful haste, the frigid "The reluctant rising, the stifled utlevity, the heartless indifference, the alacrity in sinking back into the half-relinquished seat, the anxiety to avoid the suspicion of being in earnest, are all sure to characterise this ceremony when perecclesiastic or laic. formed by the mere man of the world, The bounties of the Great Giver are to him δωρα αδωρα, giftless gifts, and his return is thankless thanks. Let the Christian gentleman well consider that Jehovah is insulted by unmeaning compliment; that his titles are not words of course; and that to mention him, much more to address him, without real homage, is constructively to blaspheme." p. 28.

The Christian Gentleman does not banish poetry and music from his family; but he watches with no unjealous eye over these powerful sources of good or evil.

"The Bible is replete with poetry and depth, breadth, and altitude; the Man song. The plan of redemption, in all its of Sorrows, the King of Glory, stricken, pierced, exalted; the Bridegroom of the church, the Warrior of salvation, the Conqueror of the last enemy, appear in their genuine colours and characters in the poetry of inspiration." p. 29.

acts

Mr. Roberts is very anxious to guard his Christian Gentleman against the idea of religion being little more than decorum ; dent of principles. without sentiments, duties indepen the foundation of all, be, he says, There must, as "faith which worketh by love."

"The right estimation of ourselves is and saving knowledge. We cannot love at the bottom of all religious discipline God until we know what he has done for done for us until we know what we are, us, and we cannot know what he has

1829.]

Review of the Portraiture and what we have forfeited. It is thus that faith lays the foundation of love. When we see the Deity only in his power and holiness, and clothed in majesty and honour, the terrors of his righteous anger overwhelm us, and fear casteth out loveBut the fear of the Judge and castigator. when we see the door of heaven opened, and the stupendous miracle of his mercy administering to his justice by a sacrifice as costly as even that justice could exact, and ponder that act of unutterable tenderness by which our ransom has been effected, love finds its argument in our nature, in so far, at least, as gratitude is a part of our nature. By this process, and to this extent, we may proceed somewhat in the work of spiritual improvement, and render ourselves, so to speak, more genial recipients of Divine grace. But the love that casteth out fear, that reacts upon our faith, and gives us peace in believing, is the proper conquest of prayer, and the gift only of the Holy Ghost." pp. 38, 39.

Our Christian Gentleman is not ashamed to say, that he does not augur well from the changes which are very widely taking place in the system of popular education.

"The Christian philanthropist can prognosticate success from no plan of public instruction which cannot claim God for its patron. To him it will seem to be a sound principle, that man must be dealt with, not merely as a religious being, but as belonging to a peculiar dispensation, from which must flow all his maxims of moral truth; that the purposes of universal education can never be accomplished without a specific and perpetual reference to the one, supreme, authentic model; that as the best learning for the rich, is that which best qualifies them to be guides to the poor; so for the poor, that which soonest carries them to the sources of comfort and contentment, duty and peace; which asks for few intermissions of labour, but makes its pauses refreshing and improving; in short, that the wisdom for the multitude is not the wisdom of the porch or the academy, but that which' uttereth her voice in the streets,' and opens her school to every variety of condition, without interruption, without disturbance, without excess; that the only proper impelling power for giving motion and effect to all the new machinery of public instruction must be,-if any good is to come from it, the genuine purpose of educating the soul for another state, and widening the foundations of human hope." pp. 56, 57.

As little is he satisfied with the aspect of what is called "the religious world."

"The atmosphere of religion itself is full of vapours and false fires. However strong and steady its proper light, many

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of a Christian Gentleman. meteors gather round it and disturb its influence. In the midst of much activity, much moral ebullition, a singleness and integrity of purpose may be wanting. The mass and momentum of the public mind may be parcelled out till its force is frittered away. Societies, schemes, and institutions; committees and sub-committees may teem and swarm upon the floor of the religious world; charities may jostle and cross each other; there may be the dust and smoke and din of philanthropy: school may rival school, and teachers canvass for scholars; there may be the bazaar and the ball; much female commotion and fair impertinence; the daughters of Zion in all their bravery of attire, sitting at their stands and stalls, and forgetting to blush in their pious work of traffic and exposure: but still the crowning end and proper design of all this stir and agitation may be lost sight of, or scarcely mentioned, or faintly avowed. Talk of the soul's concern, and God's glory; of making the Saviour known; of sending through a world of sin the healing proclamation of the Gospel; of giving to poor the learning that belongs to them the by the charter of their spiritual destination, and you may find that you have touched upon a theme to which all this loquacious activity has little distinct reference: a theme it is that comprises all that is valuable and sound in any religious or charitable undertaking; but it leaves out the picturesque and captivating part, and administers nothing to a mere negotiating and intermeddling egotism." pp. 61–63.

We have not space to follow our Christian Gentleman through his politics, his literature, his family government, his exterior intercourse, his familiar talk, his worldly dealings, his education, his example, and various other appropriate topics; on all which our author pours forth the overflowings of his vigorous and high-principled mind, in the same chaste and nervous diction of which we have given our readers the above specimens. His censures are sometimes reasonably caustic; but even this is better than the smile of a flatterer; and we fear he has usually too much truth as the substratum of his strictures, even where they may be overcharged. His object is to make a keen impression on the heart, the conscience, the intellect, and the imagination; and this impression he is not willing to sacrifice to the love of honeyed cadences and dimpled

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