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and valleys, it will confine its views to the garden border, where the lily on its graceful stalk exposes its petals to the sun, and to the hills, where the cedar throws around its lofty shade.
That the Christian loses nothing by being a gentleman, and that the gentleman gains greatly by being a Christian, may be gathered from the history of our own country. In various proportions, and in various degrees, the union has probably subsisted in the lives of many eminent persons who have flourished in remote periods; but time has cast into the shade the delicate traces of character in which this coalescence of the Christian with the gentleman is principally manifested. We catch eagerly at every anecdote which can bring us into familiarity with those distant characters, of whom every domestic record affects us with a sort of picturesque interest, and are delighted with any partial or petty occurrence in their biography which can help the fancy in its efforts to complete the model. But it is often the fate of researches into the characters of our ancient ancestry, to find that the nearer we approach the reality, the less we perceive of that union in which our fancies have indulged, of Christian graces with chivalrous breeding. As the light of the Reformation increased, the characters of
English story acquired greater distinctness, by exhibiting more of their domestic lineaments, and presenting themselves in scenes of greater moral interest and importance. The province of history at this period became graver and more careful to record the share of each personage in the changes produced in society. From the commencement of Elizabeth's reign, many considerable men came forward to view in vivacious relief; and it may do no harm to hold them out as objects of general praise and partial imitation: but with the Gospel before us, understood as it happily is by our church and all orthodox Christians, it would be impossible, apart from enthusiasm, to admit that the age of Elizabeth, or of her immediate successor, presents us with a model of a Christian gentleman, composed of the constituents which really belong to that character. Two men indeed there were of Elizabeth's court, Sir Philip Sidney and the Earl of Sussex, in whom Englishmen delight to trace the lineaments of this graceful conformity and happy combination. But in Sir Philip Sidney the ingredients were disproportionately mixed. The flavour of the gentleman predominated: he was a gentleman rather after the prescription of the world than after the Christian exemplar. Yet such was the beauty of his life,
and the heroism of his death, that, if the gentlemanly half of him was not sufficiently under the control of his other and better half, yet the grand total and sum of his perfections were such that the heart fondly declines to dwell upon the corrections and distinctions which the judgment suggests.
The Earl of Sussex was still nearer the fulfilment of the true requisites of the Christian gentleman. History records nothing of him that is not in agreement with that character: and such we might probably have pronounced him to have been had he stood nearer to our own times, so as to exhibit himself under a greater variety of aspects, and especially in one more natural and ordinary; but we see him only through the vaporous atmosphere of a court, and know him only in his great concerns. all that we do see of him, the gentleman and Christian appear to have been combined; and upon the whole it may be said with some assurance, upon the strength both of what he did and what he did not in the midst of intrigue, detraction, adulation, and ambition, that English history has hardly proposed to imitation a better
Our frame of polity, which has been moulded with a singular suitableness to the nature, wants,
and passions of the beings to whose use it is devoted-the product not of convention or contrivance, but of causes beyond human forecast or control, and balanced like nature herself on a grand economy of compensations, interior springs of action, reciprocal checks, and silent securities-is indented with the marks and impressions of the virtuous and vigorous minds which in the various periods of its development have modified its character or accelerated its progress. After the reign of Elizabeth commenced what may be called the formative periods of our history; during which, by a succession of crises and struggles, our destiny has been matured. The order of things has been driven onwards by an irregular impulse and vacillating progression, actuated by vigorous intelligences and a manly aspiration towards moral and equitable freedom; nor can we won ́der that a country proceeding in such a career of advancement, should have produced a succession of great and accomplished persons. But such times and circumstances were not the best for the production of that harmonious assemblage of qualities which must meet in the structure of the Christian gentleman. We shall borrow, therefore, but little illustration from examples; and the few that will be cited will
be taken from recent times. Historical examples are variously appreciated; and as it is the design of this little book to maintain a consistent and uniform tenor in its conception and exhibition of the character it delineates, it will be better to trust to the authority of Scripture and the suggestions of experience than to circumscribe the character within the bounds of any particular specimen.
We will forthwith, therefore, present the picture of the Christian gentleman as it has been traced in the thoughts of one who has frequently amused a pensive hour with this sober exercise of his fancy sober, indeed, will the reader exclaim, when he finds it begin with a scene of family worship. But we see not where we can assume a more regular and rational commence