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complaining of the heat, and seem- about the taste of the lady, whose ing no less anxious to get away than festivities he is recounting, and the they were a few minutes before to nouvel style in which her house was arrive; yet I am assured that this decorated on the occasion (for some is a particularly select and elegant French word, however insignificant, party; and if I may venture to ask must be used), the rest of his coin what its merits consist, I am lumn is filled with a dull catalogue shewd two'or three cabinet minis- of exalted, names, beginning with ters, sereral members of the corps Royal personages, and descending diplomatique, varions Peers and through all the intermediate de Peeresses, and in their train some grees to Knights and Knightesses; of the minor stars of the fashionable to which is added a short, and only hemisphere, with the addition, per- a very short list of simple Misters haps, of a renowned English or and Mistresses - Indeed, the indeforeign hero, an abdicated sove- cent custom of publishing an acreign, an Otaheite chieftain, a Per- eount of private assemblies seems sian envoy, a Greek, celebrated for to be one of the causes of the abthe tie of his turban, a learned lady, surdity of which I complain; as, in for the brilliancy of her wit, or a order to supply, materials for a traveller, for his recent discove- pompous paragraph, every nerve ries; in short of something extra- is strained and every scruple of beordinary-of some objeet (no mat- coming pride is silenced-to conter what) to which the eye of cu- gregate, no matter by what means, riosity is at that moment directed; the greatest possible quantity of for raok has but one rival in Eng- grandeur and notoriety. land, and that is novelty; and the In short, it appears to me that giver of a fête seems to think that such is the reverenee paid to raok, but three things are necessary to that those who possess that advanensure its success. I mean an ample tage, however deficient in mental or supply of lords, ladies, and lions. moral qualifications, are. in little
When, after having wasted a danger of being banished from the night at one of these parties, I read highest circles of London, unless the description of it in the newspa- the most egregious crimes are prov. pers of the following morning, I ed against them, on clear indispusmile at seeing it decked out in all table evidence; while persons not the colours of lrigh flown pane- so distinguished, thongh eminent gyrie.'
for virtue, talent, knowledge, and When I come, however, to exa- even ancient birth, may pass their mine the particulars of the narra- time very dull in this gay. city ; tion, I find the editor of the Jour- particularly if too proud and too nal appears to think, with the donor independent to propitiate, by preof the establishment, that the charm sents and servile adulation, the very of such a meeting consists in the noble but very vicious leaders of the titles of the company wbo compose fashionable world. it; for, after a few laudatory terms
For the blank leaf in the beginning of a Pocket-Book:
Year rolls on year, like wave on wave,
SKETCHES OF POPULAR PREACHERS.
(Continued from page 530.)
THE VERY REV. ROBERT STEVENS, DEAN OF ROCHESTER.
Dr. Stevens possesses a voice of the large share of popularity he envery great compass, it is more dis- joyed in the Metropolis. As a praca tinguised for this than for sweetness tical preacher he certainly has no and variety, as its faintest tones could superior; his serinons have invariabe distinctly heard at the farthest bly one great end in view, that of extremity of the church of St. Mar- reinedying the morbid morality of garet, Westminster (where he was his congregation. The subjects upon some years lecturer), one of the which he peculiarly excels are varilargest, I believe, in the Metropolis ; In his endeavours to expose and, I should imagine from its con- and confute the Unitarian infidelistruction, peculiarly ill calculated ties, he exhibits acuteness and in= for the conveyance of sound. genuity, an ardent desire to preserve
His voice, however, is not of that unimpaired the purity of our faith; harsher kind which is characterized and, above all, moderation and canby nothing but strength, and is in- dour, while employed in unravelling capable of expressing any but the what he considers to be the delusive more violent emotions ; on the con- sophistries of error. trary, persuasion, pathos, indigna- He never forgets the fallibility of tion, devotion, have cach a corre- reason, the obligation it imposes to sponding tone ; and, though the examine conflicting opinions with variations are slight, they are suf- impartiality, and to discuss them ficiently perceptible.
with charity; at the same time he His deportment throughout the never compromises his cause by lukewhole period of the service is per- warmness or timidity. His sermons fectly unexceptionable, calm, digni- on the mercy of God to man, in fied, and pious, without languor, creating, preserving, and redeeming Jiaughtiness, or ostentation. him, are replete with representations
Dr. Stevens's unaffected earnest- which have a tendency to lead the ness of manner induces the conclu- soul to love and reverence its Maker. sion, that he is actuated by a sincere His discourses inculcate the nécesdesire to strengthen the faith, and sity of fervent and rational gratiimprove the morality of his hearers; tude for the benefits we have reand that, experimentally sensible ceived, and that the most conclusive himself of the benefits which accrue demonstration of it is a pure and from religion, he is deeply anxious holy life. When advocating the exthat others should participate in its cellence of Christianity, his elo. blessings.
quence can command admiration for Considered as an orator, he has what is sublime and pure in our remany deficiences. His language is ligion, excite respect and reverence unmarked by that felicitous luxuri- for what is awful and terrific in her ance, which astonishes by its co- denunciations, create attachment for piousness, and clothes every idea in her consolations, her hopes, her the most appropriate dress; it like- promises, and convince bis' hearers wise frequently wants the polish and that mental peace is the consequence elegance which evince the presence of her adoption into the heart. When of a correct aud cultivated taste. he describes her power in alleviating
The graces of action he either adversity, her efficacy in re-awakendespises or neglects. His irony is ing the mind to consciousness, after not sufficiently pointed, while his ar- being stunned by the blow of unexguments are sometimes defective in pected calamity, he can reconcile it strength, and consequently enfeeble, to misfortune, by gradually withinstead of supporting his positions. drawing its contemplations from the
I now turn to the more grateful surrounding evils, and fixing them task of describing those qualifica- upon that hope, which shines the tions, which procured for Dr. Stevens most brightly for the unhappy-the
hope of immortality. To win the and enforees the necessity of re: soul to resignation, he represents higious principles as the best springs the inutility of grief, its corroding for moral actions. tendency, the torpor and apathy His system of ethics is unincumit occasions, and the despair with bered by the fanatical interdictions which it bounds every prospect in and superstitous observances, which, futurity. The sufferer, who has be- having their origin in a diseased held the last flower of earthly bap- imagination, tend to retard whatpiness wither and decay, may listen ever is good in conduct, or sound in to his delineations of the calm sere, principle. His eloquence, though nity which gilds the hours of the defective in many of those qualities virtuous, and expect for an instant which indicate the presence of exa resurrection of the blossoms of alted genius, is admirably adapted gladness and delight; anticipating to establish faith, when doubt has the moment, when time shall have begun to poison her convictions, to brought the olive branch to distress, confirm virtue when temptation has when fortitude shall have subdued succeeded in weakening the fortifithe warring passions to repose.
cations that intrench it, to mature The Sacrament of the Lord's Sup the first germ of penitence into fruit, per is another subject upon which when remorse has fertilized with the Dean of Rochester is invariably her tears the soil which had hitherto heard with pleasure; lis views of it produced noxious weeds in unare scriptural, his explanations of it limited profusion. satisfactory, his exhortations to par To conclude. The characteristics ticipate in it frequently almost ir- of the Dean of Rochester's preachresistible. The character of Dr. ing may be defined in two words, Stevens's mind is more solid than good sense and usefulness. What brilliant ; it is good sense which
be the sphere which has gives the colour to his intellect. his exertions for a centre, that sphere When he considers a subject, he does, will experience their salutary influnot view it with reference to some ence, in the gradual but perceptible preconceived theory of his own, dis- declension of evil, in the benefits actorting facts and torturing argu- cruing from the dissemination of a Inents that they may appear to con- code, imposed by Heaven for the mofirm it, but, divesting the subject of ral and intellectual improvement of its relative dependencies, he con- man; explained and enforced by a siders it with as much impartiality mind which has imbibed from that as the mind of man is capable of code its purest essence. Whether exercising
the sequestered yillage, fenced by its His opinions are moderate and loneliness from the seductions of the charitable; he never condemns those world, or the populous city, where to whom truth appears in a garb innocence is aạnihilated by its colunlike that which she assumes to lision with crime, shall be the scene him; but, firm in his own convictions, of his ministerial labours; his active he pities their defection from what rational piety, his unwearied enhe conceives to be the truth, and deavours to promulgate our divine laments the differences which divide religion, will always produce results them. Dr. Stevens inculcates pure that will entitle his name to be enmorality as the most decisive mani- rolled among the most respected festation of religious principles; and honoured of mankind.
THE REV. G. MATHEW, A.M.
TRE Rev. George Mathew, A.M., monizes well with the solemnity of is the Vicar of Greenwich, and al- his manners. He delivers his serternate morning preacher at Saint mon as if he was conscious of the James's, Westminster. His manner dignity and authority of his office, is serious and energetic; his voice, and impressively inculcates those though deficient in variety of tone, truths, of whose importance to the is full and powerful, and, if not happiness of man, he himself apremarkable for its sweetness, har pears entirely, convinced. Though
his reading is not disfigured by that they shroud them in terror from drawling monotony of voice and the violence of the whirlwind and manner which weary the attention, the storm. yet the obstacles interposed by na- Mr. Mathew's defects, as a serture in the construction of his voice mon-writer, are the frequent want will always prevent him from being of methodical arrangement, not adconsidered a beautiful reader. His hering to the plan which he lays emphasis is judicious and correct: down at the commencement of his -the language of his discourse is discourse, and sometimes wandering rather forcible than harmonious,- so far from his text, that he appears more frequently convincing than entirely to have forgotten it. 'I by persuasive. His views of the de- no means recommend the divisions, pravity of our nature, of the perti- and sub-divisions, which formerly naciousness with which man clings disfigured some of the productions to vice, of the corruption that min. of our English divines, but I think gles with his best resolves and his that arranging a sermon in such a most virtuous actions, are mourn- manner as to render the heads of fully correct. He is, perhaps, dis- it more easily retainable by the me: posed to expatiate upon these sub- mory is well worth the sacrifice of jects too frequently, for he should a little oratorical beauty. remember, that, however useful it The defects I have mentioned may be to tear away the veil with Mr. Mathew abundantly atones for which self-love conceals guilt from by his excellencies. Well-informed, conscience, and compel her to con- sensible, and judicious, his sermons fess that she has erred, yet descrip- are fraught with solid instruction tions of the encouraging promises and improvement. The sioner, who of the Gospel, of the facilities it listens to his denunciations of divine affords to eradicate evil propensi- vengeance without dismay, must be ties and implant virtuous disposi- nearly beyond the reach of human tions, of its tranquillizing influence eloquence; and his addresses to the in the hour of adversity, and of the penitents at the Magdalen Hospital brightness which it diffuses over the where he was formerly a preacher, variegated path of mortality, will were simple, pathetic, and admirably sometimes succeed in humbling a adapted to soften guilt to contrition spirit, which would have repelled and repentance. As a theologian, remonstrance with disdain, as some the principles of Mr. Mathew are in flowers display their beanties and strict conformity with the doctrines dispense their sweets to the soft of the Church of England. balmy influence of nature, while
THE REV. EDWARD REPTON, A. M.
The Rev. E. Repton is the minis- in vain for spirited reprehension or ter of St. Philip's Chapel, Water- fearless reproof. If he attempts loo-place, and alternate evening either of these, we immediately dis preacher at the Magdalen Hospital. cover that he is on foreign ground;
Endowed by nature with a pecu- that he has passed the boundary liarly.sweet-toned voice, the minds of erected by nature, which declares, Mr. Repton's congregation are pre- thus far shalt thou come but no pared to receive with pleasure the farther. To originality of thought instruction conveyed through so and language the subject of this attractive a medium; but, long be- article has no claim ; they are fore the conclusion of his discourse, trite and common-place; destitute they experience a feeling nearly al indeed of flagrant absurdities, or lied to satiety, by attending to an glaring faults, but unadorned by undeviating uniformity of voice and the eloquence of genius, which fas manner, which fatigue from their cinates while it convinces. Mr. want of variety, and are apt to pro- Repton is a preacher who may be duce listlessness and apathy: "He well described by negatives ; his appears competent to persuade, to manner, is not animated, his voice is soothe, and to soften;. but we looks not harsh, his rhythm is not rugged, kis language is not valgar, nor, in lic instructor ; or if the delusions correct, nor yet beautiful nor ele- of self-love, and the flatteries of gant; in one word, he is medi friends, have unfortunateiy placed ocrity personified. Taken in the him in it, he should be content to best point of view, Mr. Repton is execute the subordinate duties of mild and serious in his deportment, the establishment; and remember a derout reader, and a preacher that the unnoticed materials of the whose excellence consists in de foundation are more essential to scribing well the mercy and bene- the building than the ornaments fieence of the Almighty, the plea- which adorn the pillar and the ca. sares of religion and virtue, and the pital. advantages of penitence; he pre- But to return to Mr. Repton, sents Christianity as the soother of The faults in his mode of delivery afiliction, the encourager of repen. be certainly, may correct if he tance, and the promoter of all the pleases; as they are, principally, mild endearing charities of life, and, tameness and monotony. His voice consequently, disposes the mind to I think must be capable of a much love and venerate it.
greater variety of intonation than Considered in the most unfavour- he generally displays; the improable light; his mode of delivery is piety of reproving sin and encou: inanimate, his language insipid, raging virtue in the same tone is and his ideas neither beautiful nor obvious. Energy of manner is likenovel. He appears to have prescrib- wise easily acquired; the advantaed for himself a certain path,,out of ges of it are weighty and numerous, which he is afraid to deviate for A truth which may be heard and fear he should encounter any thing forgotten, if delivered in an inani. bearing the form of talent. It may mate manner, may sink into the be considered unfair to censure a mind never to be effaced, if uttered preacher on account of natural in- by a preacher who appears deeply capacity; I shall be told, perhaps, interested in his subject. Mr. Rep. that men are not the architects of ton's deportment in the reading their own minds. But if this plea desk and puļpit is exactly what was allowed, there would be an end that of a clergyman ought to beto all criticism, since the same prin serious, but entirely exempt from ciple is applicable to all subjects; ostentatious display of piety. With or if it was conceded to the critic, respect to his sermons, he is pos, that he might praise if he pleased, sessed of sufficient taste to reject provided he refrained from censure, every thing incongruous or ridicuthen silence would be construed lous; whatever he attempts, he into an infraction of his compact, appears to execute in the best inanA man may be competent to fill, with ner be is able, and therefore, though honour to himself and advantage he may never delight, he will never to the community, many situations disgust, but, pursuing the even te. in the scale of social existence, who nour of his way, will probably alonly pablishes his own weaknesses ways continue to hover between the by assuming the high office of pub, extremes of imbecility and talent,
THE REV, J. A. BUSFIELD, D.D,
The Rev. Johnson Atkinson Bus- is very ungraceful. His sermons field is the Rector of St. Michael's, are characterized by an entire desti, Wood-street, and Evening Lecturer tation of originality of thought and of St. Mary-le-bone Church. This language. The latter frequently de. gentleman's voice, though pleasing generates into colloquial familiarity, in its tone, is extremely feeble; and and is as far removed from the cor, but for the assistance of a very deli. rect, the elegant, and the ornamenberate enunciation, would be fre, tal, as the ill-constructed cottage is quently inaudible. The mildness remote from the polished propor, and solemnity of his deportment tions of Grecian architecture, As are appropriate and pleasing ; his vanity is, perhaps, one of the most action, when he does indulge in it, indubitable manifestations of the
Eur, Mag, Jan. 1823.