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diance is still with us, and in memory's chastened hues it glows on with a less vivid, but with a more hallowed and religious light. Hope can follow it into the skies. Faith can rekindle the quenched flame; and to the Christian's eye it is a living light in the heavenly temple. And yet it is distressing to witness how rapidly the memory of the good can fade away from the human heart. The lights and shades of character are, perhaps, the most delicate perceptions of which the soul is capable, and if not frequently retouched, they are soon lost for ever. That immortality which heathen ambition aspired after, to have a place in the successive memory, as it were, in the soul of the world, is but a poor and shadowy distinction. The human heart is written upon by the finger of present time, until the impressions of the past are almost obliterated. The chosen friend of the soul fades daily from its remembrances. The image that was most cherished is every hour retiring into deeper shade, until at last nothing remains but a hallowed and impalpable presence, like the thought of God in the soul, or as the fine odour that seems to baunt the vase where gathered perfumes had once distilled their richest sweets. It is only one illustration, though a sad one, of how very little our nature is inclined to be contemplative, and how sternly man must retire within himself, if he would live in the secure enjoyment of his best and most sanctifying affections, and keep his heart, as a guarded temple, for holy, and tender, and spiritual thoughts. Perhaps nothing could contribute more to the preservation of the sacredness of our feelings and characters, than the power, confirmed by habit, of retaining the tender and hallowed recollections of departed happiness and virtue. There is nothing more painfully destructive of our self-respect, or that gives a more humili. ating consciousness of how little we are true to all that is sacred in our souls, than the wearing away of our very holiest impressions, and the rapid death of friendships, influences and mental joys, which we once believed would be a part of our immortality. There is nothing that a soul which is apxious for its

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independence, and its spiritual life, needs more steadily and loftily to resist. It must resolutely and even indignantly oppose itself to the effacing power of time, which passes over the soul as a destroying angel, and sweeps away the traces of the past. We ought to retain the dignity of our former impressions. What are we better than the things that but flutter and die, if our mental states and feelings are as ephemeral as their physical existence ? We ought to cling more faithfully to what we have felt to be elevating and purifying in those experiences which death and change bave interrupted. We ought to paint upon the future the brightest and holiest visions of the past, or, rather, we ought to bring all the fairest colourings of heaven and earth, of memory and of hope, to gild and to hallow the present hour.

Those to whom the subject of this memoir was not unknown, will perhaps more fully understand these imperfectly expressed thoughts. Bearing evidence, not so much in his constitutional appearance as in a singleness and purity of mind which made itself felt, that he was not designed to continue long in this world, he was singularly fitted to associate himself with, and to suggest serene and happy thoughts of, that better state to which he was so evidently passing. A more striking character, and more dazzling qualities, it would be easy to conceive; but one possessed of greater power to leave a deep and durable impression of himself upon society, and, as it were, to weave his influences into the feelings and thoughts of those who knew the intimacies of his mind, is seldom to be found in this forgetful world, where the example and the memory, even of the good, are amongst the most perishable of all its perishing things.

If we should be in danger of sinning, and the heart felt that temptations were gathering close around it, and that it must needs resort to some saving influence to uphold it in purity and strength, we know of nothing that could exert a holier power over its wavering or erring purposes than the solemn and tender recollections of such a character. They would mingle themselves with even loftier impulses, and conduct us in

awful thought into the sanctifying presence of God and Christ. His early death, when viewed in connection with his remarkable attainments in all the Christian virtues of a deeper growth, has given a peculiar cast of persuasive sacredness to the recollections of his character and life. The soft and mild light which his friends so loved to contemplate, though now darkened to their sight, by that very darkness will make itself remembered, and suggest to them that immortal brightness in which its earthly lustre has been lost. God has his own great purposes to serve, when he shows to us a character being perfected almost without the discipline, and pure through constant contact with the corruptions of the world, as though the conception of the painter or the sculptor had sprung into instant life, without the labour and the toils of art. The removal of such a character may convey more of a religious blessing to the circle in which his influence was felt, than even his more lengthened stay in this world.

Mr. Hincks was born in Cork, February 24th, 1804. His venerable father, now venerable by age, as well as by virtue and wisdom, was at that time the minister of the Presbyterian Congregation of that city, assembling in Prince's-street. Of one so eminently meek and gentle, and so surrounded by that milder light which is the most delightful, though, perhaps, the most neglected part of Christian virtue, it is singularly pleasing to be able to record that his early education was entirely a mother's task, and that his prevailing character, with a beautiful congruity, was thus fitly

framed under those soft, but constraining influences, which are the deepest and most lasting, because the most tender and affectionate, to which our nature can be subjected. His feelings and character, as is perhaps always the case with those who are endowed with superior minds, very early assumed the peculiar bent by which they were afterwards distinguished. His virtues seemed to be the native and unforced growth of his own pure and right spirit. There was in him a rectitude of feeling and of

sympathy, or, if the expression may be permitted, a rightmindedness, which, as it were, determined his character, The gentleness, the purity, and the remarkable self-respect, which sat so becomingly on the man and the minister of Christ, were the marked features of his earliest years. “As long as I can remember him," writes one of his friends, who knew him best and longest, “ he was always the same. His temper was ever distinguished by gentleness and forbearance, and his mind by talents of no ordinary kind, which he wore with singular unambitiousness, although with meek dignity." This simple sentence is strikingly characteristic of his maturer years, and it is beautiful to observe how a well adjusted mind ever moves steadily along its course, with nothing fitful in its progress, and, though brightening and strengthening, yet wearing one aspect, and pursuing one path. Unhappily, however, his physical character was as early indicated, with a too unerring accuracy. He possessed that peculiar tenderness of the bodily organs which would almost seem to be a mysterious attendant upon more refined natures. Though not habitually an invalid, and naturally of a joyous and cheerful spirit, there was yet that evident weakness of frame which has sunk thus soon into the grave.

The early part of his professional education was conducted in Trinity College, Dublin, but in consequence of his father's appointment, in 1821, to the mastership of the classical school in the Belfast Academical Institution, and the great advantages which are there afforded for the education of a dissenting minister, he was induced to connect himself with that seminary, of which he continued a distinguished student until his appearance in public life. There is no part of his brief career which those who knew him best more love to contemplate, than the few years of his college course. The affection, mingled with an extraordinary degree of respect, which he had the power of inspiring, was always a peculiar property of his mind. That refinement of character, so rare a possession, though so eminently Christian, which wins esteem for itself by the uniform regard which it renders to the feelings of others, gained for him a more than ordinary measure of blended attachment and respect. As a student, he was distinguished by that first requisite of every noble mind, a deep and fervid love of truth. This impression of his character he never failed to convey even to those who differed from him most widely; and in a seminary where he was one of a very small minority, which was openly attached to more generous views of Christianity, those of his fellow-students who most disliked and even dreaded his opinions, yet accorded their willing reverence to the integrity and conscientiousness of a mind with whose sentiments they had no sympathy. There never was a more intrepid inquirer after truth, or one who more thoroughly understood the lofty duty of adhering proudly and calmly to his own convictions. The feelings with which he is associated are altogether of too sacred a character to allow of our dwelling with any pleasure, in so brief a notice as this, on the distinctions and honours of his academic course. His favourite pursuit was the study of the human mind. The laws of thought and the moral part of our nature; the foundations laid in our constitution for religion and virtue, and those finer perceptions of the grand and beautiful, in nature and in the soul, which ally us to something nobler and lovelier than the earth; these, with the generous views to which they lead of the character, and progress, and destinies of our race, were always the chosen subjects to which his powers were directed ; and in these pursuits he found among his fellow-students no superior. From these his prevailing tastes, it may readily be supposed that he was naturally eloquent. The human mind was what he understood best, and he understood it from its regular and beautiful movements in himself. His eloquence was therefore distinguished by its chasteness, and by a perfect freedom from all extravagance either of expression or of feeling, as though Truth itself, in its simple power and gracefulness, were taking its natural place in the convictions of the heart. And yet nothing could be farther removed from coldness or tameness. There was no warmth or heated

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