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that some of them have now and then wandered over the borders, to try if they could find shelter in Scotland. But you have so many universities there, the professors are so learned, the clergy are so zealous, and the laity have all got such a smattering of letters, that these stragglers have been immediately scouted, and so hunted from place to place, that they have been forced to take thelter again in England, where the climate seems to be more congenial to them than any where else; and where the people, having been long accustomed to see them, do not bear such an extreme antipathy to them, as in Scots land. Your brother, who is a philosopher, will probably be able to give me better information on this head than I have yet got. I once heard that there was a creature that is probably a variety of the same genus, but differing in many respects from that a. bove described, which was once very common in Scotland, and there known by the name of LARD, or LAIRD, or. some such name, which is either extirpated, or much degenerated of late. If your brother will oblige me with a genuine account of that creature in return for this, I shall account it a particular favour ; for my ideas, from the imperfect accounts I have heard of it, are very indistinct.'
Here ends the legend of Mrs B. which I took down from her own mouth, who spelled the cramp words for me herself; and with it ends my paper, 20 farewell for the present. Yours, ISABELLA,
OBJECTS OF PURSUIT, COMPATIBLE
WITH THE DUTIES OF A CLERGYMAN.
To the Editor of the Bee. The clergy in general, and I in particular, ought to think ourselves much obliged to you for the opportunity which you give us, by means of your miscel- . -lany, of giving vent to effusions, which would otherwise very probably be as little known as our sermons; and share their ignominious fate at our death. The situation of a clergyman in the country, (to which class I myself belong,) is, like every other situation, in some respects enviable; and in others to be regretted. The leisure and independence which he enjoys, or may enjoy, are advantages which cannot be too highly prized. But, on the other hand, the few spurs which he has to ambition and industry;the difficulties under which he labours, with regard to conversation and other means of improvement,and the impossibility often of making himself known, are disadvantages which he must often feel. Whether the advantages or the disadvantages preponderate, will depend much upon the characters and dispositions of individuals. I, who am fond of retirement, and who mix in society, rather as a philosopher to be informed, than as a man of the world to enjoy, do not hesitate to pronounce in favour of my
situation. The light in which we ought to consider ourselves is a very flattering one : it is that of persons appointed by government, to form, by means of their
instructions and their example, virtuous, and consequently good citizens. In order to give efficacy to our instructions, we are rendered independent : it is our own fault, therefore, if we are not respected and happy
The world, however, seems to require of us something more than a bare attention to the duties of our office. We have many hours not necessarily devoted to them. How ought these hours to be employed? There are many plans which we can adopt. Agriculture is a pursuit in which most of us engage; and I acknowledge myself favourable to it under cer. tain limitations. Our superior education, by enabling us to become acquainted with the theory of the art, may render this pursuit useful to ourselves, and to our parishioners. But if it be engaged in with any other view than as an innocent and profitable amusement ; if buying and selling, and the anxieties of a farm, shall ever take the lead in our character and conversation, then I think we descend below our rank; and justly lose our respectability as clergymen. I think we ought to be farmers therefore on a small scale ;-that our farms ought never to be larger than what we can manage in the course of a morning or an evening walk, which our health would render necessary at any rate. Another pursuit, to which I am still more partial, is gardening, and the ornamenting of our manses and glebes. This has a happy influence on the spirits and the temper. It operates on the imagination and the taste like the view of a fine landscape. A neat and ornamented entry to a manse, by means of shrubbery, and flow
ers, and gravel walks, disposes me to enter it with the pleasing expectation of finding taste and elegant enjoyment within. I am not much acquainted with the private life of Claude de Lorraine ; but I have seen some of his works; and I should be dis.. appointed if I should hear that it was not under the general influence of elegance, and taste, and inno
This is certainly the tendency of that love of rural beauty which characterises his productions ; and it is the tendency of the art which I am recommending. But this also ought to be rather an amusement than a business.
Another pursuit nearly allied to this is botany. All are not equally qualified for its laborious investigations ; but those who are, would find in it an inexhaustible store of improving and elegant enjoyment. A collection of the plants in a parish, accurately made, might throw much light on this branch of natural history. It is by dividing great undertakings into small parts, (when this is practicable,) that their progress is most effectually promoted. The statistical account of Scotland would not have been so full and satisfactory, if this had not been done.
But though these, Sir, be a few of the numerous ways in which a clergyman in the country may pass much of his time, with pleasure to himself, and advantage to others; yet he ought to have other pursuits which he can conduct within doors. In short, a clergyman ought to be a literary character ; and this corresponds best with what ought to be the principal business of his life. Metaphysics, history, classical learning, are so many roads in a most extensive field, where he may gather both flowers and fruits. Perhaps no class of men, who enjoy such favourable opportunities of knowledge, are at less pains to make themselves acquainted with the theory of their profession than clergymen. It is the understanding and the heart, which they are employed in cultivating ; yet psychology is a science which we do not consider as very necessary to study. We receive, to be sure, the rudiments of it at the university; but, as if this were enough, we too often think little about it afterwards. We collect, or we compose, a certain number of sermons, which we seldom change. Thus our labour becomes in some measure mechanical; but public discourses ought surely to be suited to the progress of improvement in a country. At the same time, therefore, that we study life and manners; many of our leisure hours might be usefully employed in the study of this infant science. We may, in deed, succeed tolerably well without it, in the same manner as a practical farmer may succeed, without having read lord' Kaims's gentleman farmer, or attended Dr Coventry's lectures; but an accurate knowledge of the theory of our art would surely be useful, and enable us at once to benefit our hearers, and to promote the progress of the science. Nay, I am convinced, (however strange the observation may appear to many,) that this very study would throw more light on the essentials of Christianity, than all the dry and rigid systems of divinity, in defence of which contending parties have so often anathematized one another. Christianity is founded on the nature and faculties of