Page images
PDF
EPUB

RICHARDSON.

527

en and an unlimited command over the tender passions; yet, owing to

d bis productions and the porerty of his style, bis works are
-2.1 decreasing in popularity. How few now read Ciari-sa,' op
Cze Grandison! How important, then, is style to the preservaims

Si vas published a carious volume with the following title A et la tae Moral and Instructive Sentiments. Maxims, Cautions, and sous contained in the Histories of Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles no frm it we make the following extracts

markably partial to letter-writing, and to the company of his young female friends, with whom he maintained a constant correspondence, and even ventured, though only in his eleventh year, to become their occasional monitor and adviser. “ As a bashful and not forward boy," he relates, "I was an early favorite with all the young women of taste and reading in the neigh. borhood. Half a dozen of them, when met to work with their needles, used, when they got a book they liked, and thought I should, to borrow me to read to them; their mothers sometimes with them; and both mothers and daugh. ters used to be pleased with the observations they put me upon making." In this exercise, doubtless, we may see the germ of the future novelist.

At the age of sixteen he was put to the printer's trade, which he chose because it would give him an opportunity for reading. At the termination of his apprenticeship, he became a compositor and corrector of the press, and continued in this office for nearly six years, when he entered into business for himself. By his industry, punctuality, and integrity, he became more and more known, and his business rapidly increased; so that in a few years be obtained the lucrative situation of printer to the House of Commons. He did not, however, neglect to use his pen, and frequently composed prefaces and dedications for the booksellers. He also published a volume of " Familiar Letters," which might serve as models for persons of limited education.

In 1740 he published his first novel, « Pamela," which immediately attracted an extraordinary degree of attention. “It requires a reader," says Sir Walter Scott, “ to be in some degree acquainted with the huge folios of inanity over which our ancestors yawned themselves to sleep, ere he can estimate the delight they must have experienced from this unexpected return to truth and nature.” Truly original in its plan, it united the interest arising from well-combined incident with the moral purposes of a sermon. Pope praised it as likely to do more good than twenty volumes of sermons; and Dr. Sherlock recommended it from the pulpit.

In 1749 appeared Richardson's second and greatest work, " The History of Clarissa Harlowe,” which raised his reputation at once, as a master of fictitious narrative, to the highest point. Dr. Drake calls it “ perhaps the most pathetic tale ever published." The admiration it excited was not confined 10 his own country. It was honored with two versions in French, and Rousseau declared that nothing ever equal, or approaching to it, had been produced in any country.

As, in the character of Clarissa, Richardson had presented a picture of female virtue and honor nearly perfect, so in 1753, in the « History of Sir Charles Grandison,” he designed to give a character which should combine the elegance of the gentleman with the faith and virtues of the Christian. « This, though not indeed so pathetic as his former work, discovers mere knowledge of life and manners, and is perfectly free from that indelicacy and high coloring which occasionally render the scenery of Clarissa danger. ous to young minds."1

In 1754 he was elected to the post of master to the Stationers' Company, a situation as lucrative as it was honorable. For some years previous to his death he had suffered much from nervous attacks, which at length terminated in an apoplectic stroke, which proved fatal on the 4th of July, 1761.

No character could be freer from vice of every sort, or more perfectly irre proachable, than Richardson. In all the duties of morality and piety he was the most regular and exemplary of men. As a writer, he possessed original

MORAL SENTIMENTS
Pastricence. The power of doing good to worthy objects,
arer enviable circumstance in the lives of people of fortune.

irit is in the power of the wealthy to give themselves,
"Sater they please, by comforting those who struggle with
Despred distress.
Seng in human nature is so God-like as the disposition to do

stiellow-creatures.
sech is the blessing of a benevolent heart, that, let the world
i TT as it will, it cannot possibly bereave it of all happiness;

can rejoice in the prosperity of others.
Calcyst, Censtre. No one is exempt from calumny. Words

24 de occasion of saying them not known, however justly re-
The may bear a very different construction from what they

mve done had the occasion been told.
Wat evil actions to pass uncensured, good ones would lose
terard; and vice, by being put on a foot with virtue in this

meet with general countenance.
a pod person will rather choose to be censured for doing his
at han for a defect in it
CHLPRES. There is such a natural connection and progression

then the infantile and more adult state of children's minds,
on those who would know how to account for their inclinations,
hoc be wholly inattentive to them in the former state.

for three years old, or before the buds of children's
De pill begin to open, a watchful parent will then be em-
*d, like a skilful gardener, in defending the flower from

, and assisting it ihrough its several stages to perfection.
Lorcation. Tutors should treat their pupils, with regard to
* Å their faulty habits as cannot easily be eradicated, as pru-
brecians do their patients in chronical cases ; rather with

palliatives than harsh extirpatives; which, by means of
at resistance given to them by the habit, may create such fer-

as may utterly defeat their intention
Seilaer a learned nor a fine education is of any oths

1 Drake's Essays, vol. v. p. 53.

genius, and an unlimited command over the tender passions; yet, owing to the prolixity of his productions and the poverty of his style, his works are continually decreasing in popularity. How few now read - Clarissa," or « Sir Charles Grandison!” How important, then, is style to the preservation of literary labor!

In 1755 was published a curious volume with the following title :—"A - Collection of the Moral and Instructive Sentiments, Maxims, Cautions, and Reflections, contained in the Histories of Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles Grandison.” From it we make the following extracts :

MORAL SEXTIMENTS, BENEFICENCE. The power of doing good to worthy objects, is the only enviable circumstance in the lives of people of fortune.

What joy it is in the power of the wealthy to give themselves, whenever they please, by comforting those who struggle with undeserved distress.

Nothing in human nature is so God-like as the disposition to do good to our fellow-creatures.

Such is the blessing of a benevolent heart, that, let the world frown as it will, it cannot possibly bereave it of all happiness; since it can rejoice in the prosperity of others.

CALUMNY, Censure. No one is exempt from calumny. Words said, the occasion of saying them not known, however justly reported, may bear a very different construction from what they would have done had the occasion been told.

Were evil actions to pass uncensured, good ones would lose their reward; and vice, by being put on a foot with virtue in this life, would meet with general countenance.

A good person will rather choose to be censured for doing his duty than for a defect in it.

Children. There is such a natural connection and progression between the infantile and more adult state of children's minds, that those who would know how to account for their inclinations, should not be wholly inattentive to them in the former state.

At two or three years old, or before the buds of children's minds will begin to open, a watchful parent will then be employed, like a skilful gardener, in defending the flower from blights, and assisting it through its several stages to perfection.

Education. Tutors should treat their pupils, with regard to such of their faulty habits as cannot easily be eradicated, as prudent physicians do their patients in chronical cases; rather with gentle palliatives than harsh extirpatives ; which, by means of che resistance given to them by the habit, may create such feraents as may utterly defeat their intention.

Neither a learned nor a fine education is of any other value SHERLOCK.

529

the heart of a worthy man is ever on his lips; he will be
and then be cannot speak all that is in it.

di mpartial spirit will admire goodness or greatness wherever
is it, and whether it makes for or against him.
Te Good Woman. A good woman is one of the greatest
Ies of the creation,
E.s do the duties of a good wise, a good mother, and a worthy
14 wel performed, dignify a woman!
A good roman reflects honor on all those who had any hand in
e kalocation, and on the company she has kept.
A woman of virtue and of good understanding, skilled in, and

string to perform the duties of domestic life, needs not fortune
a escanend her to the choice of the greatest and richest man,

ET NO.

than as it tends to improve the morals of men, and to make them wise and good.1

A generous mind will choose to win youth to its duty by mildness and good usage, rather than by severity.

The Almighty, by rewards and punishments, makes it our interest, as well as our duty, to obey Him; and can we propose to ourselves, for the government of our children, a better example ?

FRIENDSHIP. The more durable ties of friendship are those which result from a union of minds formed upon religious principles.

An open and generous heart will not permit a cloud to hang long upon the brow of a friend, without inquiring into the reason of it, in hopes to be able to dispel it.

Freely to give reproof, and thankfully to receive it, is an indispensable condition of true friendship.

One day, profligate men will be convinced that what they call friendship is chaff and stubble, and that nothing is worthy of that sacred name that has not virtue for its base.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. The man or woman who will obstinately vindicate a faulty step in another, seems to indicate that, in like circumstances, he or she would have been guilty of the same fault.

All our pursuits, from childhood to manhood, are only trifles of different sorts and sizes, proportioned to our years and views

We must not expect that our roses will grow without thorns ; but then they are useful and instructive thorns, which, by pricking the fingers of the too hasty plucker, teach future caution.

THE Good Man. A good man lives to his own heart. He thinks it not good manners to slight the world's opinion ; though he will regard it only in the second place.

A good man will look upon every accession of power to do good as a new trial to the integrity of his heart.

A good man, though he will value his own countrymen, yet will think as highly of the worthy men of every nation under the sun.

A good man is a prince of the Almighty's creation.

A good man will not engage even in a national cause, without examining the justice of it.

How much more glorious a character is that of the friend of mankind, than that of the conqueror of nations ?

vä mishes his own happiness.

lortu. It is a great virtue in good-natured youth to be able
Those who respect age deserve to live to be old, and to be re-
nyered themselves.

Trang people set out with false notions of happiness; with
At, fairy-land imaginations.
bis a most improving exercise, as well with regard to style as
i necals, to accustom ourselves early to write down every thing
inment that befalls us.

There is a docile season, a learning-time in youth, which, suf-
inted to elapse, and no foundation laid, seldom returns.

Isang folks are sometimes very cunning in finding out con

trantes to cheat themselves.

THOMAS SHERLOCK. 16781761,

Tus learned prelate of the Church of England was born in London, 1678. e nas educated at Catherine Hall, Cambridge, of which he became master, da lilt was vice-chancellor of the University. In the controversies Pasha amse at that period respecting the proofs of the divine origin of Chris fan, Sherlock distinguished himself, particularly in his « Use and Intent of upancy, and bis Trial of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus." In res he was made Bishop of Bangor, in 1734 was translated to Salisbury, and a 148 n London. In 1755 and 1756 he revised and corrected a large body this sermons, which were published in four volumes. He died in 1701, at the advanced age of eighty-three. Verlaek's sermons are among the best specimens of English pulpit elom

[graphic]

genta extant. His style, though possessing but little ornament, is clear and | porus, and a few passages may be selected from his writings, such as the

osaparison between Christ and Mahomet, that are truly sublime.

L and surely happiness, duty, faith, truth, and final blessedness, are matters of deeper apk dica
Interest for all men, than circles to the geometrician, or the characters of plants to the bulan *
the affinities and combining principle of the elements of bodies to the chemist, or even than the
mechanism (fearful and wonderful though it be) or the perishable Tabernacle of the Soul
whe anatomist."--Coleridge.

The heart of a worthy man is ever on his lips; he will be pained when he cannot speak all that is in it.

An impartial spirit will admire goodness or greatness wherever he meets it, and whether it makes for or against him.

The Good Woman. A good woman is one of the greatest glories of the creation.

How do the duties of a good wife, a good mother, and a worthy matron, well performed, dignisy a woman !

A good woman reflects honor on all those who had any hand in her education, and on the company she has kept.

A woman of virtue and of good understanding, skilled in, and delighting to perform the duties of domestic life, needs not fortune to recommend her to the choice of the greatest and richest man, who wishes his own happiness.

Youth. It is a great virtue in good-natured youth to be able to say NO.

Those who respect age deserve to live to be old, and to be respected themselves.

Young people set out with false notions of happiness; with gay, fairy-land imaginations.

It is a most improving exercise, as well with regard to style as to morals, to accustom ourselves early to write down every thing of moment that befalls us.

There is a docile season, a learning-time in youth, which, suffered to elapse, and no foundation laid, seldom returns.

Young folks are sometimes very cunning in finding out contrivances to cheat themselves.

THOMAS SHERLOCK. 1678–1761.

Tuis learned prelate of the Church of England was born in London, 1678. He was educated at Catherine Hall, Cambridge, of which he became master, and in 1714 was vice-chancellor of the University. In the controversies which arose at that period respecting the proofs of the divine origin of Christianity, Sherlock distinguished himself, particularly in his “Use and Intent of Prophecy," and bis « Trial of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus." In 1728 he was made Bishop of Bangor, in 1734 was translated to Salisbury, and in 1748 to London. In 1755 and 1756 he revised and corrected a large body of his sermons, which were published in four volumes. He died in 1761, at the advanced age of eighty-three.

Sherlock's sermons are among the best specimens of English pulpit eloquence extant. His style, though possessing but little ornament, is clear and vigorous, and a few passages may be selected from his writings, such as the comparison between Christ and Mahomet, that are truly sublime.

531

23

u i martyrs and confessors ; its doctrines are pure and holy;
septs just and righteous; its worship is a reasonable ser-
a. tired from the errors of idolatry and superstition, and spi-
2. be the God who is the object of it: it offers the aid and
y esistance of heaven to the weakness of nature, which makes
un or of the Gospel to be as practicable as it is reasonable :
i premises infinite rewards to obedience, and threatens eternal

dent to obstinate offenders, which makes it of the utmost
byence to us soberly to consider it, since every one who re.
| aji makes his own soul against the truth of it. Look into the
spel; there you will find every reasonable hope of nature, nay,
21 reasonable suspicion of nature cleared up and confirmed,
Tüficulty answered and removed. Do the present circum-
cerca dd the world lead you to suspect that God could never be
a podle of such corrupt and wretched creatures as men now
ar! Your suspicions are just and well founded. “God made
san pright;" but through the temptation of the devil, sin en-

DIFFERENT ENDS OF RELIGION AND INFIDELITY. Should the punishments of another life be what we have but too much reason to fear they will be, what words can then express the folly of sin ? Short are our days in this world, and soon they shall expire: and should religion at last prove a mere deceit, we know the worst of it; it is an error for which we cannot suffer after death: nor will the infidels there have the pleasure to reproach us with our mistake; they and we, in equal rest, shall sleep the sleep of death. But should our hopes, and their fears, prove true; should they be so unhappy as not to die for ever-which miserable hope is the only comfort that infidelity affords--what pains and torments must they then undergo ? Could I represent to you the different states of good and bad men; could I give you the prospect which the blessed martyr Stephen had, and show you the blessed Jesus at the right hand of God surrounded with angels, and the spirits of just men made porfect ; could I open your ears to hear the never-ceasing hymns of praise which the blessed above sing to him that was, and is, and is to come; to the Lamb thal was slain, but liveth for ever; could I lead you through the unbounded regions of eternal day, and show you the mutual and ever-blooming joys of saints who are at rest from their labor, and live for ever in the presence of God; or, could I change the scene, and unbar the iron gates of hell, and carry you, through solid darkness, to the fire that never goes out, and to the worm that never dies; could I show you the apostate angels fast bound in eternal chains, or the souls of wicked men overwhelmed with torment and despair; could I open your ears to hear the deep itself groan with the continual cries of misery-cries which can never reach the throne of mercy, but return in sad echoes, and add even to the very horrors of hell ; could I thus set before you the differ. ent ends of religion and infidelity, you would want no other proof to convince you that nothing can recompense the hazard men run of being for ever miserable through unbelief. But, though neither the tongues of men nor of angels can express the joys of heaven, or describe the pains of hell; yet, if there be any truth in religion, these things are certain and near at hand.

hand death and destruction followed after.
I ran sospect, from the success of virtue and vice in this
to bathe providence of God does not interpose to protect the
intens from violence, or to punish the wicked? The suspicion
2 ba sythout ground. God leaves his best servants here to be

ketentimes with affliction and sorrow, and permits the wicked
i borish and abound. The call of the Gospel is not to honor

nebes here, but to take up our cross and follow Christ,
De pau judge from comparing the present state of the world
Ta the natural notion you have of God, and of his justice and

stress, that there must needs be another state in which justice
tested take place! You reason right, and the Gospel confirms the
1 heuenitGod has appointed a day to judge the world in right-

: then those who mourn shall rejoice, those who weep
2. augh, and the persecuted and afflicted servants of God shall

THE INFORMATION THE GOSPEL GIVES, MOST DESIRABLE. The Christian revelation has such pretences, at least, as may make it worthy of a particular consideration. It pretends to come from heaven; to have been delivered by the Son of God; to bave been confirmed by undeniable miracles and prophecies; to have been ratified by the blood of Christ and his apostles, who died in asserting its truth: it can show, likewise, an innumerable como

les of his kingdom.
Hate you sometimes misgivings of mind? Are you tempted

this judgment when you see the difficulties which
brand it on every side; some which affect the soul in its sepan
e ate, some which affect the body in its state of corruption
a dissolution! Look to the Gospel : there these difficulties are
trainted for; and you need no longer puzzle yourself with dark
pastorns concerning the state, condition, and nature of separate
Pants, of concerning the body, however to appearance lost or
destroyed; for the body and soul shall once more meet to part in
Matre, but to be happy for ever. In this case the learned cannou
balit, and the ignorant may be sure that 'tis the man, the very
Man himself, who shall rise again ; for a union of the same soul

boy is as certainly the restoration of the man, as the divid

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »