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[Here follows, in the original, an account of books perused ; being in all about 460 volumes, including 16 volumes in French.]
« Lord Bacon says, youth ought to travel, and read men as well as books; my travels however, have been sufficiently contracted in their plan, as I have seen but few places.”
66 Sunday, October 8th, 1815.-A truly interesting day, such as I have spent few in iny life; nothing new distinguished it till near the time that the meeting eniled, when ----, with his two boys, came in ; I felt little love towards him, but invited him home with me, where he stayed dinner and tea. Dar discussion of religious and metaphysical questions, was uninterrupted for five hours; with this was included some desuitory talk on miscellaneous subjects, some critical remarks on the origin of language &c., and a sort of lecture on the solar system. - is verging rapidly towards deism; nay, I should have said, universal scepticism; he is a shrewd, unaccountable sort of man: I can come to no conclusion concerning him. Had he received an education, he might have been a Spinoza, a Hobbes, or a Paine. It would be useless as well as impossible, to preserve any thing like an adequate idea of our multifarious converse."
• Monday, Oct. 16, 1815.–Attended an annual meeting of the Warrington Auxiliary Bible Society. I have anticipated this day's enjoyment with the most lively emotions, nor am I disappointed. The meeting consisted of about three hundred persons: amongst the speakers were the secretaries Hughes and Steinkopff, Dr. Adam Clarke, the poet Montgomery, &c. &c."
In the spring of 1815, his school attained its greatest magnitude: he had, at that period, fiftysix scholars during the day, and he taught in the evening a number of pupils of more advanced age. The evening school he was soon obliged to relinquish, finding the very close confinement injurious to his health; and symptoms of returning lameness also began to appear. Still engaged with his studies, and the concerns of his school, he wrote but few letters. From amongst them the following are selected.
..70 M. A.
. “ Penketh, June 6th, 1815. ...---- The business of education, indeed, is so complicated in its relations, and so tardy in its process, that nothing but the most unrernitted exertion can ensure its proper execution. It were to be wished that more enlightened notions on this subject generally prevailed; I mean as regards the importance and infinite value of learning.
~ When to furnish the mind with useful ideas and virtuous principles, will be considered of greater inowient than the attainment of riches or personal anggrandisement--then, and not until ihen, may the instructors of youth hope for liberal encouragement.
« Those who smooth the way to the entrance of the temple of literature, seldom enjoy its triunplis, or partake largely of its rewards. More than civic honours are due to him who has turned the barren wilderness of a single human intellect into a fruitful field.
. “ W. T."
• To G. C.
“ Penketh, July 8th, 1815. 6 Removed far from the hurry and business of the great world, there are few variations in the even tenor of my life; few occurrences of peculiar interest come across my way. Books of one description or other, serve for both study and recreation, and as in greatest excursion consists in passing from one book to another, I have nothing new to describe, except an occasi. onal discovery in the regions of intellect, or the results of an attack on some difficult branch of science. I often have to curb my imagination, in fancying the benefits that would accrue, from a more enlarged acquaintance with mankind; and from the pleasure I should derive, from an actual inspection of those curiosities of art and nature, now only known to me through the medium of reading. At the same time, I am satisfied with my allotment, and am sensible that whilst it renders me liable to few dangers and disappointments, it is perhaps most conducive to my solid growth in every needful, natural, or spiritual acquirement.
“ The secret of being always satisfied, always resigned, is what I anxiously covet; it is an attainment perfectly compatible with the most active disposition, and the most unremitted attention tu duty. But as it is one of the higher rewards, which Virtue confers on her disciples, it iş but seldom we find ourselves sufficiently humble to deserve it. Christ has promised to come and make his abode with us; but this gracious promise is only fulfilled, on condition that we banish every other guest. Oh! that this was
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constantly my happy experience, and that of those dear to my affections ! *.66 That beautiful simile of the enjoyment of peace flowing as a river, has always commanded my admiration; but the actual attainment of it demands greater requisitions and greater selfdenial, than has hitherto been the sacrifice of my stubborn heart. Sometimes, when deploring the slow progress I appear to make, my attention bas been strongly called to pursuits of a literary kind, and an anxious wish has arisen, that too ar. dent a thirst for, and too constant an employment in, treasuring up the materials of learning, might not obscure that evidence for truth which has been mercifully attorded to me. Notwithstanding, I am persuaded that a tender conscience, and a studious mind, are compatible with true religion; with this difference however, that it will cause all our studies to verge as to one common centre, and a reference in all things to the glory of God, will take the place of vanity and inflation.
“I lately ready a small volume of Essays on the Nature of the Passions, &c. by David Hume. I found them very alluring, by their exceeding elegance of diction, and highly polished style, and they also contain many pertinent classical allusions and correct sentiments : yet their general tendency verges rapidly towards complete scepticism, and after having insidiously undermined the fair fabric of Christianity, they leave no other asylum for the wretched and tried, among the sons and daughters of mortality. As far as I have seen of the philosophical works of Hume, I do not know a more dangerous writer; he was well acquainted with the principal labyrinths of the human heart, and had narrowly
watched the developement and connexion of the passions : yet it was his misfortune to get entangled in attempting to solve the mysteries of religion by the saine process of reasoning with which we examine things. belonging to the material world: and all his refinement of manner is not sufficient to expiate for the perplexity and doubt in which he leaves the minds of his readers. In every species of knowledge, it is much easier to puzzle than instruct, to start a controversy, than to conduct it with ability. This method, so unfavourable to the cominon stoek of intellect, has been much practised by writers on theology, particularly since the French revolution, which event has not less influenced the opinions and creeds, than the politieal state of Europe. Thus we have had ephemeral productions without number, on the inost sacred doctrines of Christianity, and writings of various constructions calculated to mislead, from the universal pyrrhonism of Bayle, to the scurrility and abuse of Paine, and the Abbé Barruel.
“Indeed, such is the corrupt taste prevalent amongst all ranks, that all good men have need to throw their full weight into the scale of Virtue, and discountenance by every means in their power, the growth and influence of error. Those who are embarking on the wide sea of human opinions, flushed with the expectations of youth, and unsuspecting of danger, have great need to be advised which are the books that will accelerate or retard their progress to. truth. Such a variety of cases may occur from peculiarity of temperament, or situation in life, that no general rule can be admitted for regulating the exact standard or quantity of literary food. The same