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heart, than what we knew might be found in other writers. I was myself reading Bishop Hopkins's Works with much care, and found in them the solid and experimental matter which I longed for; though my friend would sometimes not spare a smile at the ingenious divisions and subdivisions, with which that writer abounds. We both of us greatly regretted the want, at that time, of regularly-systematised books upon
Theology, and of college lectures upon the Greek Testament. Horne's Introduction to the Scriptures, which came out several years after, would have been to us most acceptable. It seemed to him strange, that on science we should have so many lectures, syllabuses, manuscript-helps, tutors, acts, examinations, and prizes; while a person wishing to reading theology would scarcely know how to supply himself with books or a tutor.
An instance of deep sensibility in him I well remember, in his second year; and it was augmented, doubtless, by religious considerations. One of the men of that year, an individual of humbler circumstances, to whom success was necessary for his maintenance and advancement in life, overdid his studies, took a fever, and, in a very few days, died. Such events were rare to
We used to say, “ Nobody at college seems to die;" and, to a youthful mind, this sudden change from the vigorous pursuits of health to the total close of all by death, is, in general, very affecting. I accompanied my dear friend to see the laid-out corpse of this young man. silently, but deeply, affected; he could say
nothing. After the ensuing college examination at Midsummer, he declared to me his opinion that it had been the worst gone through by the men of his year of any they had passed; and he imputed it to the death of their fellow-student. He repeatedly and very earnestly affirmed this to me: he said that it had damped all the reading men,—that all saw and felt the vanity of reading for honours. He may have been mistaken in this judgment so far as it refers to others, but he was evidently himself sick at heart.
While yet at college, and long before he made that alone profitable use of the Scriptures to which he was afterwards led by God's good Spirit, this dear friend was well read (perhaps I should not be going too far were I even to say, thoroughly well read) in the Bible. He deeply entered into the profound logic of St. Paul's Epistles. His mind was also keenly sensible of whatever is tender, or beautiful, or majestic, in the different sacred writers. There was, in his imagination, a readiness truly poetic to catch at those particular incidents in a narrative which render it striking. Such a one occurs to my memory,—that, namely, in 2 Kings vi. 30; which I seem even now to see him reading, as he did to me when at college, with a pathos and horror truly expressive of the tragic. Eye, countenance, and voice, all gave out the spirit of the last clause of that verse.
This bent of his mind for the tragic will appear in a subsequent part of my account.
Thus the materials of divine knowledge were abundantly treasured up in his mind; but that the word was not, as yet, mixed with faith, he came afterwards, with the deepest humbling of soul, to acknowledge; and he desired that all his friends likewise should know the awful reality. Yet, not only during all this time was his outward conduct blameless and exemplary, but his moral taste was peculiarly correct and pure. Very early evidence of this came before my notice, both from his remarks while reading, and from the observations which he made on living characters. He did not give himself to much company at any time: a knot of chosen, habitual friends, was what he most delighted in.
When I look back on that period of time, so interesting and important to him and to myself, I cannot help feeling how differently I view it now that he is no more on earth, than I should be able to do were he yet with us in this present scene. The awful consideration that, whereas I am relating the incidents of that time, HE HAS GIVEN IN HIS ACCOUNT—(an account, oh! how true, how self-abasing, how overflowing with thankful and adoring thoughts !)- this consideration, I say, almost restrains me from attempting to commit a single reflection to paper. Yet, thus much I will venture to affirm; that while we were at college together, the God of mercy was certainly directing us in such a way, as to be a means of grace to each other. I cannot feel a doubt of this; although I am very sensible that I was such, to him, far less than I ought to have been : while his brief career of usefulness during
his last three years, and his honoured death, are calculated to be a far more quickening excitement to me, than I am conscious of ever having been to him, when I knew him.
It is very worthy the consideration of young persons, who have enjoyed the benefit of early religious training, that from them a greater degree of friendly feeling towards religion may justly be expected. But in college, young and buoyant spirits often carry even those, of whom good may be hoped, into excessive mental gaiety. Not but that the leisure of a studious mind may show itself, innocently enough, in the out-burst of the animal spirits; but there is a propensity to indulge in jest and satire and censure, which not seldom amounts to what is sinful. Of
dear friend I can testify, that his wit was, simply considered in its social tendencies, harmless: none feared him: a favourite saying with him (whether it were originally his own I do not know) was the true rule of his own humour,“ Have your jest, and lose your friend.” Certainly he never lost a friend by an ill-natured witticism, or pertinacious retort; though he won not a few by his gentle and varied powers of pleasantry, which were well known to those with whom he could shake off reserve. But there is an evil against which (from our mutual experience) a protest must be made. When those who have been religiously trained are not truly living up to the light of conscience, their playful satire, glancing at well-known pious characters, may, indeed, be utterly unlike that scurrilous vein with which a
worldling vituperates the godly: still there is a venom in the humour of such satirists peculiarly subtle and pernicious to themselves. They know what is good; but they have seen, long and closely, the frailties of good men. To find these out, and to scan them in the spirit of ridicule, is too congenial to the heart's natural enmity against God. Young critics of this kind imagine so much good of themselves, as that they mean no harm : but the injury which they suffer, and which they inflict, by jesting upon religious characters, is exceedingly great; and the practice is felt by them to be pernicious, when, being changed in their hearts, and cleared in their judgments, they afterwards desire to cultivate holy communion with the very men, who formerly provoked in their thoughts some sally of wit and raillery.
During this time I was introduced to my friend's family at St. Paul's Church Yard. His father had become infirm ; but his mother, a grave and venerable Christian, of remarkably firm step and piercing eye, received her son's friend with much kindness; with a very encouraging, but, withal, a wistful look, which I cannot forget. Parents cannot always choose who shall be the friends of their children; for friendship is not a thing to be forced ; which
make them more anxious to see whom the children themselves make choice of as friends; for, if the parents have misgivings as to the choice, they may, by gentle methods, check it, and break it off; or, in case of approval, direct and cherish it for the best ends; and the duteous spirit of children may be known by the readiness