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neighbourhood, sensible that that is the theatre upon which alone his good name can assist him in the discharge of his duty.

It may be necessary likewise to caution you against some awkward endeavours to lift themselves into importance which young clergymen not unfrequently fall upon ; such as a conceited way of speaking, new airs and gestures, affected manners, a mimicry of the fashions, language, and diversions, or even of the follies and vices, of higher life ; a hunting after the acquaintance of the great, a cold and distant behaviour towards their former equals, and a contemptuous neglect of their society. Nothing was ever gained by these arts, if they deserve the name of arts, but derision and dislike. Possibly they may not offend against any rule of moral probity ; but if they disgust those with whom you are to live, and upon whom the good you do must be done, they defeat not only their own end, but, in a great measure, the very design and use of

your vocation.

Having premised these few observations, I proceed to describe the qualities which principally conduce to the end we have at present in view,—the possession of a fair and respected character.

And the first virtue (for so I will call it) which appears to me of importance for this purpose, is frugality. If there be a situation in the world in which profusion is without excuse, it is in that of a young clergyman who has little beside his profession to depend upon for his support. It is folly—it is ruin.Folly; for, whether it aim at luxury or show, it must fall miserably short of its design. In these competitions we are outdone by every rival. The provision which clergymen meet with upon their entrance into the church is adequate, in most cases, to the wants and decencies of their situation, but to nothing more.

To pretend to more is to set up our poverty not only as the subject of constant observation, but as a laughing-stock to every observer. Profusion is ruin; for it ends, and soon too, in debt, in injustice, and insolvency. You well know how meanly, in the country more especially, every man is thought of who cannot pay his credit; in what terms he is spoken of-in what light he is viewed—what a deduction this is from his good qualities—what an aggravation of his bad ones—what insults he is exposed to from his creditors, what contempt from all. Nor is this judgment far amiss. Let him not speak of honesty who is daily practising deceit; for every man who is not paid is deceived. Let him not talk of liberality who puts it out of his power to perform one act of it. Let him not boast of spirit, of honour, of independence, who fears the face of his creditors, and who meets a creditor in every street.

There is no meanness in frugality: the meanness is in those shifts and expedients to which extravagance is sure to bring men. Profusion is a very equivocal proof of generosity. The proper distinction is not between him who spends and him who saves; for they may be equally selfish ; but between him who spends upon himself, and him who spends upon others.

others. When I extol frugality, it is not to praise that minute parsimony which serves for little but to vex ourselves and teaze those about us, but to persuade you to economy upon a plan, and that plan deliberately adjusted to your circumstances and expectations. Set out with it, and it is easy; to retrieve, out of a small income, is not impossible. Frugality, in this sense, we preach not only as an article of prudence, but as a lesson of virtue. Of this frugality, it has been truly said, that it is the parent of liberty, of independence, of generosity.

A second essential part of a clergyman's character


is sobriety. In the scale of human vices there may be some more criminal than drunkenness, but none so humiliating.

A clergyman cannot, without infinite confusion, produce himself in the pulpit before those who have been witnesses to his intemperance. The folly and extravagance, the rage and ribaldry, the boasts and quarrels, the idiotism and brutality of that condition will rise up in their imaginations in full colours. To discourse of temperance, to touch in the remotest degree upon the subject, is but to revive his own shame. For you will soon have occasion to observe that those who are the slowest in taking any part of a sermon to themselves, are surprisingly acute in applying it to the preacher.

Another vice, which there is the same, together with many additional, reasons for guarding you against, is dissoluteness. In my judgment, the crying sin and calamity of this country, at present, is licentiousness in the intercourse of the sexes. It is a vice which hardly admits of argument or dissuasion. It can only be encountered by the censures of the good, and the discouragement it receives from the most respected orders of the community. What then shall we say, when they who ought to cure the malady propagate the contagion? Upon this subject bear away one observation, that when you suffer yourselves to be engaged in any unchaste connexion, you not only corrupt an individual by your solicitations, but debauch a whole neighbourhood by the profligacy


your example. The habit I will next recommend, as the foundation of almost all other good ones, is retirement. Were I required to comprise my advice to young clergymen in one sentence, it should be in this, Learn to live alone. Half of your faults originate from the want of this faculty. It is impatience of solitude which

carries you continually from your parishes, your home, and your duty; makes you foremost in every party of pleasure and place of diversion ; dissipates your thoughts, distracts your studies, leads you into expense, keeps you in distress, puts you out of humour with your profession, causes you to place yourselves at the head of some low company, or to fasten yourselves as despicable retainers to the houses and society of the rich. Whatever may be the case with those, whose fortunes and opportunities can command a constant snccession of company; in situations like ours, to be able to pass our time with satisfaction alone, and at home, is not only a preservative of character, but the very secret of happiness. Do what we will, we must be much and often by ourselves; if this be irksome, the main portions of life will be unhappy. Besides which, we are not the less qualified for society because we are able to live without it. Our company will be the more welcome for being never obtruded. It is with this as with many pleasures : he meets with it the oftenest, and enjoys it the best, who can most easily dispense with the want of it.

But what, you say, shall I do alone? reading is my proper occupation and my pleasure, but books are out of my reach, and beyond my purchase. They who make this complaint are such as seek nothing from books but amusement, and find amusement in none but works of narrative or imaginetion. This taste, I allow, cannot be supplied by any moderate expense or ordinary opportunities : but apply yourselves to study; take in hand any branch of useful science, especially of those parts of it which are subsidiary to the knowledge of religion, and a few books will suffice; for instance, a commentary upon the 'New Tes. tament, read so as to be remembered, will employ a great deal of leisure very profitably. There is like

wise another resource which


have forgot, I mean the composition of sermons. I am far from refusing you the benefit of other men's labours ; only require that they be called in not to flatter laziness, but to assist industry. You find yourself unable to furnish a sermon every week; try to compose one every month : depend upon it you will consult your own satisfaction, as well as the edification of your hearers; and that however inferior your compositions may be to those of others in some respects, they will be better delivered and better received; they will compensate for many defects by a closer application to the ways and manners, the actual thoughts, reasoning, and language, the errors, doubts, prejudices, and vices, the

, habits, characters, and propensities of your congregation, than can be expected from borrowed discourses —at any rate, you are passing your time virtuously and honourably.

With retirement, I connect reserve ; by which I mean, in the first place, some degree of delicacy in the choice of your company, and of refinement in your pleasures. Above all things, keep out of public houses—you have no business there— your being seen to go in and out of them is disgraceful-your presence in these places entitles every man who meets you there to affront you by coarse jests, by indecent or opprobrious topics of conversation ; neither be seen at drunken feasts, boisterous sports, late hours, or barbarous diversions—let your amusements, like every

— thing about you, be still and quiet and unoffending. Carry the same reserve into your correspondence with your superiors. Pursue preferment, if any prospects of it present themselves, not only by honourable means, but with moderate anxiety. It is not essential to happiness, perhaps not very conducive ; were it of greater importance than it is, no more successful rule could

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