Page images
[ocr errors]


I beg

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of being charitable. The motives, ' PROPOSED ADDRESS FROM THE

SÓLICIA by which the choice of the institution on which to bestow benevolence • Before I proceed to exécute is influenced, are so various that it your instructions, it is my duty re is not possible to enumerate them, spectfully to remind you not only Whatever these be, they operate of the importance of making choice with equal force when the question of able, active, and conscientious arises how the surplus of property persons to be your executors, but of shall be disposed of after death. If ihé necessity of abstracting your men are inclined to contribute to mind from all hastý prejudices and the support of an institution during undue partialities, in the directions their lives, that same inclination yoo are going to give for the distrishould induce them to provide for its bution of your property. continued support after their death ; Teave also to remind you, that the and a sum, sufficient to produce at following persons (if there be such), Jeast an equivalent to the annual do appear 10 have a just claim on your nation which they have been accus- deliberate consideration, tomed to beslow, may be spared, in First, your wife. most instances, without interfering Secondly, your children ; with with the just claims of relations, be their wives and children ; and those they ever so near; and when these of your wife by a former husband, if are far removed, the claims of she have any. public charities become so much the “ Thirdly, your parents. stronger, and a greater or smaller "Fourthly, your brothers and sissum may be devoted to their sér- ters; whether of whole blood or vice, according to the views which half blood; whether legitimate or the testator has of the utiliy and illegitimate. claims of the respective institutions. “Fifthly, your nephews and

Having thus finished the hints nieces, with their children. which I purposed to offer on this “Sixthly, your cousins, with the interesting subject, I conclude with greater or smaller claim that they two remarks. The first I would have, in consequence of their attengladly address to the solicitor em- tions and kindness to yourself, or ployed to assist a testator in drawing their own individual necessities. up his will, if I were not conscious * Seventhly, your servants and that the delicacy of his situation dependants. will not allow him to interfere on “ Eighthly, your benefactors and such a subject without the sanction friends. of higher authority. I therefore “Ninthly your professional con. beg leave to put it in the form of a nections; and such institutions as question to the members of the are formed for the relief of those British legislature; and it is as folo who have been less fortunate in lows :-" Would it not be bene- your own line of life than yourself. ficial to the community at large, not Tenthly, public charities, para only to authorise every legal man ticularly those which have been the to read to bis client, before he pro- objects of your more immediate at. ceed to draw up his will (unless the tention.” extreme illoess of the client render I am aware that this precaution this inexpedient) an address some- would not be of any avail in the far what similar to íhat which follows; greater number of mstances in which but also to impose au obligation upon it might be employed; but if a few him to certity, at the close of every only were influenced by it to make will to which he is a witness, that he a more just distribution of their prohas done it; under a penalty, on periy than would otherwise take the part of the solicitor, of tweary place, the labour would not be in pounds for every omission ?". vain.


My last remark I also put in the importance of making their wills, form of a question; and I beg leave but to offer a few hints relative to to address it to clergymen, and to the mode in which this duty may ministers of religion of every deno- most reasonably and justly be permination.

formed ?" A judicious discourse of “ Would it pot be beneficial, occa- this kind was published in the year sionally, and perhaps at stated times, 1802, by Samuel Charters, D. D. not only to urge on the individuals of miuister of Wilton, in North Bris your respective congregations the tain.


The Select Remains of Mr. JAMES and character of opposite sentiments,

Meikle, late Surgeon in Carn- That the daily instances of men's wath: or Ertructs from Manuscripts dying around us give us daily a found among his Papers, entitled, less sensible passive feeling, or ap1. The Monthly Memorial, or a prehension of our own mortality, periodical Interview with the King yet greatly contribute to the strengthof Terrors. 2. A Secret Survey ening of a "practical” regard to it into the State of the Soul. 3. The in serious men, is the bishop's own House of Mourning, or Poems on remark. But let it be observed, Melancholy Subjects.

4. The that it is “ serious” men who are Tomb. 4th Edition. Edinburgh, thus benefited : others by these very Ogle; London, Ogle. 1810. events become more and more harPrice 8s. pp. 488.

dened and insensible. How far the

consideration of this state of things We greatly doubt whether the dif- might tend to check a disposition ference between active and passive towards a religion centering in the habits so ably pointed out by Bishop feelings merely: how far it might Butler in his Analogy, is as much conduce towards consoling the minds attended to, or

as much under- of those sincere persons, who fear stood, as its importance demands. they have gone back in religion, That habits thus distinguished bear when in fact they have advanced, the an inverse ratio to each other, these first blaze of the passive affections increasing whilst those decrease, is having been mistaken for the pure a simple fact, discoverable by ex- and steady flame of genuine piety; perience Level, bowever, as the how far, above all, it ought to lead knowledge of this appears to the to a constant dependance on divine most ordinary intellect, to notice grace, without which the word may and sift it out of the dust is the ef- be heard with joy, and yet no divine fort of no common understanding. principle take root, is a field of very But what ought to raise that coolness wide and interesting inquiry. But of curiosity with which merely ab- we cannot enlarge upon these topics stract questions may be viewed into without overlooking the volume a warmth of anxious self-examina- which has suggested them. tion is this, that the passive habit The work entitled “ Select Remay decay whilst the active habit mains of Mr. James Meikle, does not strengthen : the conse- geon in Carnwath,” is thus divided : quence of wbich is, that the heart

– Ist, a Monthly Memorial, - or becomes callous to good impressions, periodical Interview with the King and receives more and more the stamp of Terrors; 2dly, a Secret Surrey


[ocr errors]


into the State of the Soul; 3dly, we are not mistaken, as intended
Poems on Melancholy Subjects; by the author himself to have been
ending, 4thly, with some Verses on given at some time to the public;
the Tomb. We are not surprised whilst it is evident, we think, that
to find that it has passed into a the Secret Survey was never design-
fourth edition, and very much re- ed to be other than secret.
joice at it, though it conveys a tacit The circumstance, however, that
reproach to us for having so long such a private examination as the
delayed to place its merits before Monthly Memorial is intended to
our readers.

be made public (if we are right in But let us not raise expectations this conjecture), and that such an which will not be realized. The one as the Secret Survey " may evenwork is that of a pious man with a tuallybe sent abroad for general good understanding. It abounds with inspection, has ever presented itself solemn sentences and nervous ex- us as one main consideration pressions, nor is there a total de- with respect to the question of their ficiency of elegant diction. But utility. That there are persons who whoever thirsts after pure writing, can address a large audience with principally, will not be satisfied the same simplicity with which with the plain and humble surgeon they would speak to a dying man, of Carnwath.

we have no difficulty in acknowOf the poetry we will only say, ledging: nor do we deny that a that it abounds with excellent senti- Monthly Memorial, or Secret Survey ments; but it is unquestionably more may be instituted; the one designallied to prose than almost any edly for public perusal, the other thing of the sort we ever read. It under a knowledge of the possibility would be difficult to produce six of such a contingency, without any lines together which tower up to violation of Christian integrity, or mediocrity. It might, perhaps, be any deviation from that lowliness of necessary to justify this sweep- mind which becomes the follower ing condemnation, by some speci. of Christ. But we must ever mainmens—but the case is clear-it is tain, that the danger arising from conceded by the editor; and we are, this quarter ought to be distinctly besides all this, far from wishing to seen, and deeply felt, in order to be expose to ridicule any thing so well- avoided. It has been a matter of meant and breathing so much of a objection with some against all Christian spirit.

things of the kind, that to commit Having thus disposed of that part every secret thought to paper is of the work which we wonder the placing the mind upon a stretch of revising judgment of surviving sincerity from which it may frefriends could term poetical, we quently recoil, and thus a habit of turn to the two other divisions of it. dissembling be introduced. We Here we find many expressions think there is weight in this sentiwhich sound discordantly upon our ment. But if allowed to the utmost

southern ears," some which do not extent, it does not proceed the length implicitly obey the rules of English of discrediting entirely the adopgrammar, and others which we ap- tion of these modes of self-examinaprehend are nova vocabula even to tion : it goes rather to the regulathe Scotch themselves. But suffice tion of them when adopted. But it to say, on this head, that we wish upon this question we mean not to nothing of a more pernicious quality pronounce an opinion , like that had ever reached us from that quare concerning a common-place book ter of Great Britain.

in literature, it will always have adThe Monthly Memorial is distin- vocates on each side. That there guished from the Secret Survey, not have been many good men who only as being less diffusive, but, if have not pursued this precise me

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

P. 24.

[ocr errors]

thod, no one doubis for a moment- may remind me of that tremendous and who will refuse to admit the day when nations, tongues, and great value of such confessions as tribes, shall be convened before the those of Corbet, Adam, and Milner ; bar. O to be at peace wiih the or those, of a more ancient date, Thunderer !” But we must not pass from Ephraim the Syrian, St. Au- by tiro or three affecting instances gustine, and St. Ambrose.

of mortality given in some of the But it is time 10 furnish our read- preceding pages. ers with some extracts, to prove that we have not entertained an unfound

“ This day a parent is carried to his long ed opinion of this publication. It hended decease of a child; but little thought

bome, who not long ago deplored the apprewill appear, we are persuaded, that lie that death's suspended scythe should, although the author was profes- passing the child, sweep himself away! The sionally placed amidst scenes cal- tragedy is continued, but the persons culated to deaden the passive habits, changed. The tears still trickle, but are the active ones of seriousness and turned from the parent's eye, that being shut watchfulness progressively acquired in death, and pour down the children's strength and vigour.

chzeks." The following reflection from the This day I at tended the funeral of one Monthly Memorial, p. 9, is not re

who, returning from a visit ina'le to his fierds, commended by novelty in a theo- espires in the open air

, falls tron his horse, retical sense; but it indicates a state

and embraces the cold ground. Little did the of mind by no means common in fainily think that morning, when both the

heads set out, that one of thein had a very the midst of health and worldly avo- long journey before him, even to the invisi. cations.

ble world of spirits! Had an angel whispered “ This night I confess before Thee, who

in this person's ear at bis friend's table, only hast inmortality, that I believe myself his soul must have felt an anxious confu

• Thou hast but four or five hours to live,' mortal. Soon the eye that guides, and the hand that holds this pen, shall crumble into sion, which neither the entertainment nor dust in the cold grave, and my soul shall

the company could remove! The married

go to dwell in the world of spirits

. O solemn pair on whom torty-four annual suns had removal! awful change! eternal state! Is shone, are separated for ever without a there not a friend to attend and comfort me

farewell. Though all alone together on the through all? Ah! no; my friends, the

way, the dying person speaks not a word, nearest and dearest, are at best but com.

nor utters a groan." p. 34. passionate spectators: they may weep at

* This day bas brought me the heavy my bed-side, but cannot take one blow for tidings of a dear, a beloved acquaintance me in the hottest battle. Yea the angels (C. B.) being hurried into the world of spimay minister to me on this side ihe river, rits. Indeed he was ready, which makes all and on that side the river, but not one of other circumstances smile, though awful, thear can descend with me into the swellings The high fever was but the fiery chariot 19 of Jordan. But, O mercisul High Priest! who convey him home; the fall that fractured in my nature hast tasted of dealli, to sof his skull was but hastening his soul to be len nine, thou shalt go down with me into crowned with glory. Here I see that no the flowing stream; and at thy presence the

man knoweth love or hatred by all that is raging torrent shall divide, and I shall have before bim in this life." pp. 38, 39. a pleasant entrance into Emanuel's land. That Mr. Meikle was more disWoe to him that is alone in the hour of posed to condemn himself than exdeath! When I figlit my last enenıy, be Thou uit over others--that he was bummy shield; when I walk in deatli's dark ble as well as watchful- let this revale, he Thou my sun; and then foes and flection testify: “ How apt am I fears shall distress me no niorc."

to forget that I must die! and how Many a thunder-storm is heard seldom do my thoughts dwell on without rousing the serious spirit that momentous change that must manifested, p. 42., " What awful pass upon me!" Who would have thunders in the natural heavens expected to have heard this lan. have I heard this day! O that they guage from one who devoted so

[ocr errors]

P. 58.

much time to self-examination on this good man esemplifying the the subject of death. But vigilance character of a Christian, in prayand abasement are always found to- ing for his personal enemy. gether. What a sense of the real

This Jay, the man that was once bitterly ity of invisible things is here!

mine enemy is in trouble ; but i behave as “'How are my departed acquaint- he were my brother; and before Ilin who ances this night employed? Just as searches the heart, I desire to send my they were employed below, heaven prayers to the throne of grace for bim. He and hell are begun in time. If, that rejoices at the calamity of his enemy, then, I have not my conversation has a disease in his own soul that may more or less in heaven, I may be

cause him to mourn." assured that I shall never personally A very common and most melan. be there: he that ripenis not for choly case immediately follows. glory, must be fitted for destruction;

Whether shall I be most astonished at and to such, death is death indeed!” the stupidity of the dying sinner, or of his

Strikingly just are also the surviving friends. Flere an in'inate acquainobservations, p. 63.

tance of mine expires, and his relations end

liim straight to heaven; and yet, О strange! “ Thouglı death is of great moment to a

and yet, though convinced that his death person's self, yei, a few friends excepled, what a trifle is it to the rest of mankind !

was at hand, he drops not a single word in

commendation of religiun; he has nothing what a faint impression will it make, and how soon will the event be forgoi! for how

to say in praise of tree grace. Though the

"Brethren, should those remember that monitor of great apostle Paul could say, mortality, the death of their acquaintance, pray for us, yet he asks not one petition to who forget that they themselves 'shall die be addressed to the throne of grace for him, And it is nothing to the other parts of creation

either by ministers or Christians that come though all the human race should fall into the

to see him. . He has no coniplaint of in. grave, as the leaves fall thick on the field in dwelling sin, or the errors of his lite. He

has not a word of advice to give to any autumn. I lovk through the window, and see

around him. The best of saints have had that the lilies in the garden hang not their head, though their master is no more; nor &

their lears at death; but this man has 110 the tulips lose their sparkling variety of co

fear, and yet no exercise of grace, or actings

of faith. He is never observed to have lour, though their proprietor is pale in death. And yet, surprising to tell, precious in God's prayer or ejaculation. Jacob on his deathé sight is the death of his servants, his saints."

bed could cry, I have wai ed for thy sal

valiun, O Lord;' and Paul, • I know in We quote the following alarming whom I have believed ;' but he says noremarks, from a conviction of the thing, and yet fears nothing!" pp. 80, 81. sad prevalency of infidelity respect

With the short account of the ing eternal punishment.

death of a minister of the Gospel, « How miserable would our life be, if

we were much pleased. often visited with sickness, or allacked with such acute pain as I felt last night! a pain

A minister of the Gospel, an eloquent so intense, ihat I cannot have a full idea of preacher, is called home. In prospect of his it, now that it is gone. What language, approaching change, he built nothing on then, can describe, or what thought compre

what he had taught to others, on his bigh hend, the wretched state of those who feel

attainments, on his sweet experience; but pains infinitely niore excruciating, and tor- quitting with all, be came as a needy sinner tures infinitely more agonizing, than any

to an all-sufficient Saviour, held forth in the thing in time ! while the soul, in every power Gospel of free grace; and thus chose to take and faculty, feels anguish and distres, lor.

his last hold for eternity." p. 96. ment, and despair, in a superior degree to We add another striking instance the body! And, alas ! how many are on the of mortality. gallop to this dreadful state! O for gratitude

“ Some weeks ago, the mother of a large to my kind Deliverer; and 0 to improve the rosy hours of ease and health in preparing of lite were lost. A son arrived at man

family lay so ill of a fever, that all hopes for the world to come.” pp. 74, 75.

hood, distant almost fuurscore miles, hastens In the eightieth page, we find to see bis dying parent, but expects, ere he

« PreviousContinue »