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willing to concele, but will also yield a greater net profit than civilization of our age, is a system that involves land cultivated by great proprietors or their tenants.

masses of our people in far deeper degradation than “One objection, which has been always urged with great is in operation. Look at the condition of our farm.

can be found where the peasant-proprietor system eagerness and apparent force against the system of subdivision of land and small farms is, that the small farmers are too poor servants-homeless, heartless, and regardless of all to possess themselves of the extensive machines which science that should interest rational and immortal beings. has invented and will invent, and which enable their posses- Look at our miners and colliers, immured all daylong sors to economise labour and time, to carry out great agricul

in a living grave, and coming out, like owls, at eventural iniprovements at a small expense, and to perform many important agricultural operations, which cannot be performed

ing, black and misshapen spectres, that seem to without them.

mock and insult the blue sky of heaven, and the " This objection, however, is more specious than true. The green verdure of earth. Look at our railway sermore intelligence advances among the small proprietors, by vants, our steamboat crews, our police, our cabmen, means of the agricultural colleges, and of the schools of agri- our omnibus-conductors, and we know not who cultural chemistry, which are being founded throughout Ger

more besides—mainly, if not entirely, shut out from many, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Holland, for the express purpose of training the children of the peasant farmers

all the blessings of the Day of Rest, and to whom in the science of agriculture, and which are raising up a class

life is one unbroken scene of monotonous and oppres. of small proprietor farmers, who, for the knowledge of agri

sive labour. Enter the building at midnight where culture, put to shame the majority of our large tenant farmers that pyramidal chimney still vonnits its cloud of -the more, I repeat, intelligence advances by these means smoke-see these poor men, bathed in perspiration, among the small proprietors, the better will they understand working beside that fearful furnace; think how, night how to combine among themselves, so as to help one another to cany out those particular operations, which require an ac

after night, while you are asleep, they are busy with cumulation of capital for their successful prosecution.

their exhausting labours; how, in going to their “ As Counsellor Reichensperger says, “There is nothing to abodes, they have to run the risk of passing from prevent small proprietors availing themselves of the more that fearful heat to the keen frosty atmosphere outcostly agricultural machines, if several of them unite in the

side; and how, in their households, you can hardly purchase of them, and keep them for coinmon use. It is

tell day from night--for, as if Europe and America always a very easy matter so to arrange the agricultural operations of several farms, that one machine may perform

were combined in them, it is never day, and it is them all without putting any of the proprietors to any incon

never night, to all the household at the same time. venience."'+

Take a turn with us, if you please, through the “low

haunts of London,' or indeed of any other large Still another objection to the system of peasant town, and mark the fetid misery, the sad, sickening, proprietors is, that under it society must remain in a

appalling manifestations of crime and destitution stationary state-there can be little progress or en- that thicken around you. No, gentle reader, we are terprise-one generation must live exactly like its not ashamed to confess that we are not of those who predecessor. It is said to admit of no advance in the

look with unmingled complacency on the civilizaways or means of living, acting, or thinking, beyond

tion of the 19th century; and we are not sure that a certain fixed hereditary standard. The man of the we would break our heart, if we lived under a sys19th century is the man of the 14th, where this sys. tem which produced fewer luxuries and convenientem has prevailed long. All are producers of almost

ces, but did not degrade such masses of the people. all they consume, and no class is wealthy enough to But, after all, is it true that the peasant-proprietor set to work a class of producers of objects required system, applied to the agricultural interest of a for their gratification. Each family is a self-support-country, is necessarily so stationary? Not so much ing isolated unit, living a kind of Robinson Crusoe

so, certainly, as is alleged. Why, for example, should life on its own patch of land, producing in a rough not the peasant proprietor carry part of his agriway all its wants, and going without what it cannot

cultural produce to the markets, and exchange them produce. The want in this social state of a class

for other commodities which he needs, and which he with more than the bare means of living, and with

can buy cheaper and better than he can produce ? the leisure to apply to higher material or intellectual In proof of the position that peasant-proprietorship objects than the supplying of their own household does not deaden the spirit of enterprise, hear what wants by their own household work, is not favourable Mr Kay says : to the progress of society. Education of an ordinary

“In 1843, the minister of the interior of Prussia presented kind may be very widely diffused in this social state;

to the king a report upon the condition of agriculture in reading, writing, and useful acquirements may be im

Prussia, in which it is said that the system of peasant proparted to all the population; and yet education may

prietors, which was introduced into Prussia by Frederic be very defective and uninfluential, and may lose in William III., has greatly improved the condition of the peadepth what it gains in breadth. Few in this social sant both intellectually and socially, and that it has not failed state are in a condition to enter into those higher

in its expected effect upon the material prosperity of the studies and sciences, which not only elevate the indi.

country, but has undeniably increased the actrrity and enter vidual to a high pitch of mind, but give society itself prise of all the people engaged in agriculture, and has been

the cause of the visibly growing prosperity of the people."* the language, ideas, and spirit of a higher intellectual condition. I

Even Mr D'Culloch, who is the great advocate of Now, even if this should be allowed to be a fair large estates, speaking of the famous Prussian edict statement of the bearings of the system in question of 1811, which enabled the peasants of Prussia to be. (and there may be some truth in it)-still, if the re- come proprietors, says :sult should be a happier, simpler, and altogether

It has given a wonderful stimulus to improvement. The better-conditioned mode of life among the mass of

peasantry, have begun to display a spirit of enterthe people, we hold that the balance would be greatly | prise and industry that was formerly unknown. ..... The in its favour. What we proudly boast of as the want of capital, and the force of old habits rendered the in

fluence of these changes in the outset less striking than many * Xay, i. 117.

† Kay, i. 125, 126. See Mr Laing's Work, chap. vi.

* Kay, i, 135, 136.


anticipated; but these retarding circumstances have daily pensable to the attainment of the ends for which diminished in power, and it may be safely affirmed that the

God, in his providence, places some men in situations country has made a greater progress since 1815, than it did during the preceding hundred years.'

of affluence, where they do not require to toil with

their hands for their daily bread. God never deIn regard to the bearings of the system on intel. signed that any of his creatures should be idle; and lectual or scientific progress, it should be remem- those whose situation does not call for work with bered, that under any system the rural or agricultural their hands, are called to work with something else population of a country never contributes very largely - to work with their heads, and to work with their to that. It is in towns that we must ever look for the hearts. The proprietor, to whom all the comforts of active prosecution of literature, science, and art. life are furnished without one hour's bodily exertion And, certainly, the world knows well enough by this on his part-to whom the sweat of other men's brows, time of day, that it is to comparatively poor men we and the strain of other men's muscles, supply the most are indebted for almost every great intellectual ample livelihood, has his own sphere of labour, orachievement, and that it has been the rarest thing dained, not indeed by man's law, but by the more inin the world to find a wealthy philosopher, or even violable laws of Heaven. It is his heaven-appointed a wealthy patron of learning and science.

office to be the friend, counsellor, and protector of Our space is beginning to warn us to be drawing to all that are connected with him—to think out the a close. We shall conclude our extracts by quoting problem of their welfare, and help practically to solve the sentences in which Mr Mill sums up the results it-to take an interest in their physical, intellectual, of his investigation of this subject :

and spiritual prosperity-and besides performing “ As the result of this inquiry into the direct operation and

these duties to his own dependents, to contribute his indirect influences of peasant properties, I conceive it to be

share to the discharge of public business, and to the established, that there is no necessary connection between this direction of charitable and philanthropic institutions. form of landed property and an imperfect state of the arts of Well would it have been for this country if our lords production; that it is favourable in quite as many respects as of the soil had generally been men of this stamp ! it is unfavourable, to the most effective use of the powers of the soil; that no other existing state of agricultural economy

But when we think how the case has actually stood, has so beneficial effects on the industry, the intelligence, the we cannot help recalling the letters on the Babylonian frugality, and prudence of the population, nor tends on the palace wall, “ Weighed in the balances, and found whole so much to discourage an improvident increase of their wanting!” The hard-hearted avarice that has ever numbers; and that no other, therefore, is on the whole so tried to squeeze the last penny from the sinews of favourable, in the present state of their education, both to their moral and their physical welfare." +

an over-toiled peasantry, may have been but rare;

but certainly it has not been rare to meet with proThe conclusion to which we come on the whole prietors of the soil whose idea of their situation has subject is, that there are many important advantages just been, that " by good luck” they were placed in in the system of peasant-proprietorship; but that circumstances where they might gratify every inclithese are not so universal, nor so comprehensive, as nation without trouble, and make life one varied to make it desirable that the whole land of a country scene of luxurious ease and self-indulgence. The should be under the system. As in literary compo- great city, and the watering-place, and the continent, sition, it is said that the best effect is produced by a and the ball-room, and the race-course, have been due mixture of long sentences and short, so in social laid under contribution to furnish this pleasure; while economics, the best state of things seems to consist the peasantry have been entirely handed over to an in a proper combination of large properties and small

. | agent, necessarily incapable of performing the paterWe would desire, at the least, to see a considerable nal duties of the proprietor, and whose principal ofnumber of small properties in every parish or dis-fice has been to collect the rents. When we think trict, enough to constitute a class of sturdy, inde- how grievously the duties of property have for the pendent yeomen, like the “ Adam Ayliffes ” of for.

most part been neglected and ignored-how little the mer times, and to furnish a sufficient stimulus to the principle seems yet to be acknowledged, that every industry and honest ambition of the poorer inhabi- proprietor is under an indefeasible obligation to work tants of the district. But we would not like to see with his head and heart for the benefit of his people, all large properties broken down into fragments. and how opposed the class of proprietors has been, on There seems to us something peculiarly beautiful in the whole, to vital Christianity—we confess our hopes the relation between a proprietor and his tenants, or are but faint of seeing their influence largely sancti. other dependants, when it is thoroughly sanctified fied, or consecrated to the advancement of the Chrisand directed by Christianity. That picture in the tion good of the community. Still, we would not first chapter of Ruth, where the kind-hearted and

like to see a station abolished, which is capable of godly Boaz comes among his reapers with such simple being turned, through God's blessing, into such a dignity, and exchanges with them such kind and pious powerful agency of good, and which could supply salutations, is one which we can never look on with- some elements of usefulness that would not be found out emotion-one which we sigh to see a reality under another. Much of the happiness of men arises again. But it is sad to think that the age of kind from the relations of superiority and dependence in and simple Christian intercourse between proprietor which they are placed to each other, when these re. and tenant is receding more and more into the backlations are under the influence of a kind, Christian ground of the past, and that the cases there are of it spirit. Divorced from that spirit, and placed under are so very few, as almost to stand solitary in their the direction of a greedy selfishness, they become respective districts. We would, indeed, desire to

sources of unmeasured cruelty and suffering; re. sec our largest properties reduced to such dimensions claimed from the dominion of selfishness, and placed as would enable the proprietor to be personally ac- under the holy guidance of Christian truth and love, quainted with all his tenants, and personally cog- they are turned into prolific springs of happiness and nizant of all that is going on.

We deem this indis

comfort. And though on our social borizon no very Geograph. Diction., apud Kay, i. 142, 143. † Mill i. 360, 361, encouraging prognostications are to be discovered of


a change that will turn the mass of our landed pro- and manly vigour which are often found in Scottish prietors into holy guardians of the temporal and piety, he excelled in that spirit of tender Christian Christian welfare of the families under them, yet we affection, which is believed to be somewhat scarce on could not but grieve over the general demolition of this side the border. Could more of Mr Bickersteth's so many rills or channels, through which unnumbered loving spirit be infused into our Scottish bosoms, the blessings might be carried to thousands of our families. result would be, that a more beautiful and more infia

But in our country, even if the requisite facilities ential style of piety would prevail among us, and the were afforded for the introduction of peasant-pro- great cause, for which Scotland has suffered and prietorship, or small estates, there is no likelihood of sacrificed so much, would advance more and more. the subdivision being carried too far. The abolition On the other hand, if the piety of such men as : of some of our old feudal laws of succession—the Bickersteth had more of Scottish robustness in it, it simplification of the forms, and lessening of the ex. would enable them to assume a finer and firmer popense of conveyancing, and the occasional exposure sition, and to tell with far more effect on the popuof landed property for sale in such lots as would be lation of their country, suitable for peasant-properties-are the most of the changes that could be desired to facilitate the intro- Mr Bickersteth was born among the romantic hills duction of the system. The division of the largest of Westmoreland, at Kirkby Lonsdale, on the 19th class of properties into estates capable of being March 1786. His father was a surgeon in that towe overseen personally by the proprietors, would be the --of highly estimable character, but not, at that time, work of several generations. On the other hand, in of evangelical religion. When only fourteen, a situaour large manufacturing cities, or abroad in foreign tion in the Post-office, in the Dead Letter department, parts, or in our colonial possessions, great fortunes was procured for him, an elder brother having preare being frequently accumulated, large part of which viously been appointed to a situation in the same office. their owners are invariably anxious to invest in land. His connection with this brother, who was a pious While many properties of considerable extent would young man, seems to have been much blessed to thus remain in the hands of the original proprie. Edward. It led him to consider earnestly his state tors and their descendants, purchasers would be before God ; and after vainly struggling to reach a found for many others, without the necessity of holy style of living by his own exertions, he was a: breaking them up into fragments. In some cases, length brought to a thorough knowledge of his sinit would be necessary to divide the property into fulness, and to reliance on Christ as his Saviour. The small estates. Provision would thus be made both seed of the divine life being thus implanted in his for the continuation of an aristocracy, and for the soul, he used every means to promote and encourage upraising of a class of honest and independent yeo- it; and by a most diligent and unwearied "exercismanry; and were the influence of a vital Christi- ing of himself unto godliness,” carried over his anity superinduced over the whole—were the love whole life, he was enabled to attain the singular and fear of God to reign throughout the community, measure of Christian excellence, and Christian useand the favour and blessing of God to be the heritage fulness, which distinguished his career. After being of all-brighter days than any that we can look back six years in the Post-office, where his duties were on in the past, would dawn on our happy land. easy and mechanical, the activity and energy of his

Our last utterance on this subject must be to repeat, spirit were shown in his exertions to obtain some that mere social arrangements are in themselves but more active and useful employment. He became an the secondary conditions of a nation's happiness; and apprentice to a solicitor, and remained in his emcertainly we would not have taken up the attention ployment till 1812, when he settled in Norwich, in of our readers with them, if we did not believe that the same capacity. The careful and methodical they have a most important bearing on that "righte- habits to which he was trained in these situations ousness” which alone “exalteth a nation, as well as were of very great service to him in his future life. upon that “sin” which is “ a reproach to any people.” Meanwhile, his religious character expanded; and

from the following “ resolution” formed by him at

the age of 21, it will be seen how high were his aims LIFE OF THE REV. EDWARD

of personal improvement: BICKERSTETII.*

“ I will sincerely endeavour, and I also believe it to be my MR BICKERSTETH belonged to a class of minds of best interest, and a sure evidence of my salvation, and through

the merits of Christ, pleasing to God, to obtain the greatest which recent years have furnished many interesting specimens. Mr Simeon of Cambridge, Sir Fowel possible height of piety, and never to stop short, or to tbirk I

have attained, till death crowns me with victory. To reach Buxton, Sir Andrew Agnew, and the present Lord this, I must be the best Christian, the best friend, tte best Shaftesbury--are all instances of men, not gifted by servant, the best master, the best housekeeper, the best son, nature with very remarkable talents, or with much of the best brother, the best labourer; in short, I must strive to that kingly faculty that gains and sways other minds ;

be perfect in my state of life, as my Heavenly Father is per

fect. Here, then, is a work fitted for an immortal soul. It but who, by a most diligent improvement and ener

would indeed be rain to attempt to be this by my own getic application of their abilities, by great simplicity strength; but here is my hope, I have a promise of a better of purpose, and Christian fervour of spirit, have strength, and this very night I will implore the aid, not of gained a position of very high influence, and done a man, but of God, and he is able to work all this in me. large amount of good. Mr Bickersteth belonged to

That I may implore this aid the more ardently, rethis class. Besides the instruction which we inay

collect, I am running the race, and the prize is immortal. I gather from this aspect of his life, there is much to

am fighting a battle: I am on a journey. I am seeking a

jewel and a crown. All these are but images; my dangers be drawn also, from the beautiful exhibition of the

and also my rewards are, and will be, infinitely greater." spirit of Christian love which his character presented. If he was somewhat deficient in those elements of robust The desire to do good to others now began to fill his

bosom. “I wish to live in the way,” he says, " which * Memoir of the Rev. Edward Bickersteth, late Rector of Wat. ton, Herts. By the Rev, T, R. Birks, A M. 2 Vols. London, 1851.

will bring most honour on religion, and do most good

to others.". With this view, besides making con- | knowledge, joined to his judicious spirit, and thoscience of the utmost diligence in business and blame roughly excellent character, laid the foundation for lessness in his personal deportment, he joined him. the great influence which he afterwards acquired, as self to visiting societies, and adopted other means of a leader of the evangelical section of the English usefulness. This parents, not sympathizing with his Church. earnest feelings, expressed their aların at his appa- Even after his retirement, in 1830, from the mis. rent fanaticism ; he replied in terms that combined sionary secretaryship, he continued to undertake Christian firmness with the spirit of dutifulness and very many tours, and perform many other labours of the desire to avoid offence. Afterwards, he had the love, in behalf of the Missionary Society. And this great happiness to see his parents adopt his own was not the only institution whose welfare was dear views, and manifest his own spirit, in religious mat- to him. The Bible Society--the Pastoral Aid-the ters.

Jewish Society-the City Mission-the Irish Mission When he removed to Norwich, every thing seemed -and the Evangelical Alliance—were all peculiarly to promise fair for his worldly prosperity. He had dear to him ; and to the last, he exerted himself, in just entered into partnership with a like-minded numberless ways, to promote their welfare, and infriend, Mr Bignold; he had also been happily mar- crease their usefulness. ried to Mr Bignold's sister; and the business in When lie undertook the missionary secretaryship, which they were engaged brought ample means of he associated with that duty the charge of the aftersubsistence. But the desire to devote himself ex- noon congregation in Wheler Chapel, Spittalfields. clusively to the service of Christianity had been Various circumstances, especially lis frequent absteadily gaining strength. While in London, he had sence from home, interfered with the success of his seriously entertained the question of taking orders ; | pastoral labours; and it was not till near the close of but the decision to which he was then led, was in his connection with the congregation, and his enterfavour of his remaining in his first profession. At ing on the full duties of the charge, that he found Norwich, there was as yet no branch of the Church much encouragement in his ministerial labours. Even Missionary Society ; Mr Bickersteth resolved to at- then he seems to have found his miscellaneous duties tempt the establishment of one. In this attempt, he so oppressive, that when, in 1830, Mr Abel Smith, met with much opposition; but opposition only con- the patron of the parish of Watton, placed that firmed his purpose, and deepened his interest in the charge in his offer, he very gladly accepted of it, and Society. The Branch was established, and flourished in a few months entered on the oversight of a pleabeyond expectation, Mr Bickersteth being the life sant and moderately-sized rural parish. and soul of it, while he continued there. An office In the discharge of his pa toral duties, he was chaof Secretary to the Society being at this time vacant racterised mainly by his affectionate zeal for the salin London, and Mr Bickersteth being well known for vation of the souls of his people. The objects of his his zeal and devotedness in the cause, it was sug- | life at Watton were thus laid down by him :gested to him that he should apply for ordination to the Bishop of Norwich, and fill the situation for

“1. To devote myself ardently and fully to the work of the which he was judged so suitable. Some reluctance boriously. In visiting unweariedly every part of my parish,

ministry. In preaching the glorious gospel diligently and lawas shown by the Bishop to confer ordination so from house to house, with many tears, with much prayer. speedily on one who had not had a University educa. “ 2. To foster the spirit of religion in the county. By cletion; but these difficulties were overcome, and in

rical meetings and intercourse. By religious associations and 1815, Mr Bickersteth became a clergyman, and was

meetings in different places. By opening my house to every appointed one of the Secretaries of the Church Mis plan for doing good. sionary Society.

* 3. To pursue religious publications as God shall enable

me, first trying to improve my present works. To write an His first duty, after his appointment, was to visit address upon missions. To write a treatise on baptism, and the missionary stations of the Society in Africa, re

on visiting the

poor. port on their state, and endeavour to remedy the “* 4. To attend specially to the religion of my own housesomewhat untoward condition into which they had

hold. My wise, children, and servants, must have more of fallen. This difficult and important duty was dis

my thoughts, prayer, and time, as it regards their spiritual

welfare. charged by him with much judiciousness and faith

* 5. To give that time to the Church Missionary Society fulness, and at once gained for him a very high place which does not interfere with other duties. The most imporin the regards of the Society.

tant aid will be in journeys and committees. And in all, and For about fourteen years after his return, he con.

above all, tinued to discharge the ordinary duties of Secretary.

“ 6. To walk closely with God, content with nothing, but His former professional training gave him the busi

as I have communion with God in the duty, and seek not my

And ness habits that fitted him for the mechanical part of

own glory, but His whose I am, and whom I serve.

here of special importance-prayerful reading of the Scriphis duties; while the warmth and fervour of his tures, close self-examination, and much fervent prayer.". spirit, and his intense devotedness to the missionary “ The labours of Mr Bickersteth in his own parish, did not cause, rendered him equally suitable for the more differ, by any striking features, from those of any other faithspiritual department. The two great elements of a

ful clergyman. He was coustant and affectionate, though, missionary secretary were thus combined in him; l others, in his private visits; but his chief strength lay in the

from the pressure of public duties, less abundant than some and in office-work, pulpit-work, and platform-work, ministry of the Word. His sermons were less adapted to he was equally at home. Part of his duty was, to arouse the careless by the terrors of the law, or to probe deepvisit different parts of England to promote the inte ly the consciences of men, than to attract them by an earnest rests of the Society; and it was in the discharge of exhibition of the love of God in Christ, and to establish be this duty-in preaching, organizing, and watering hopes, and of the peace and joy to be found

in the gospel.

lievers by a glowing description of their privileges and their that his activity chiefly appeared. By this means, too, he became familiar with most of the pious cler- | liarly striking and impressive, from their simplicity of style,

His expositions in the school-room or in the family were pecugymen in the church ; he knew the state of reli- and heartiness of tone, and their rich fulness of divine gion in almost every district; and this extensive truth."


The results of Mr Bickersteth’s incumbency are Pastoral-Aid Society, though he believed it to be thus given :

an unscriptural wish- because there was another “ Though no signal revival of religion, at any one time, Society that might still employ that agency ; he dishad taken place during Mr Bickersteth's stay at Watton, there approved, in the end, of the separation of the Free had been a gradual progress. The number of communicants, Church from the Establishment, even while he apwhich was about 25 when he first came, had increased to an above 100 met around the Lord's table.* The Word of God; cured greater means of usefulness; and he held to average attendance of more than 80 persons, and sometimes proved of Free Church principles, because he seemed

to think the position of an Established Church sethough the results were far short of what their pastor earnestly desired, had not been spoken among them in vain, and the Church of England, notwithstanding all its anomany a peaceful and holy deathbed had borne witness to the malies, corruptions, and heresies, because there was blessed power of the gospel of Christ.”

a great deal of good in it, and because a great deal In the midst of all his labours, he found time to

of good might be done in it. It is impossible for us compose a considerable number of practical and de- in Scotland not to regard this weakness in the chavotional treatises, whose usefulness and acceptable. racter of Mr Bickersteth, and other excellent men, ness have been shown by the very large number of

with the keenest feelings of grief and alarm. It editions through which they have passed.

allows a quiet nest to numberless elements of error In domestic life, the character of Mr Bickersteth and mischief, where they may germinate undisturbed appears to have possessed a very great charm. His till they have acquired strength enough to convulse the biographer presents some very interesting and at

church to its very centre; it lets the assassin or the tractive pictures of family life at Watton Rectory.

thief secrete himself in the house, till the family are Speaking of the training of his family, he says:

all quiet, when he may steal or murder as he pleases;

it secures a little peace to-day, but at the expense “Religion was never exhibited to them as a system of arbitrary restraint, or as contracting for them a wider circle

of we know not what dangers to-morrow. Would of pleasures, in which the children of worldly parents would

only that this policy could be regarded as harmless! be permitted to engage. They were taught to regard it as a As it is, it utterly prevents the sound men of the system of privilege, a constant fountain of domestic joy | English Church from assuming the bold attitude of and mutual lore. Their father carefully excluded them, it Reformers; while it gives rise to the most painful apis true, from worldly, society. Novels were practically pro-prehensions, lest the cause of truth, in England, hibited, and vain and idle words in songs, even when they

weakened by close contact with so many elements of might happen to intrude in music-lessons met his instant and decided disapprobation. He objected to dancing, and the corruption, may ultimately be overborne by the ball-room was of course entirely prohibited. But the home champions of error. circle was so happy-life was so rich with varied interest, Perhaps the feature of all others most instructive that his children were little tempted to desire amusements, in the Life of Bickersteth was his constant attenof which they felt no need, and which were habitually associated in their minds, with the ideas of unhealthy dissipation,

tion to the inward conflict, and unceasing endeavours waste of time, and extreme spiritual danger."

to get all holy principles made active, and powerful,

and triumphant in his heart. This is really the Regarding his occasional visits on missionary busi

great practical concern of the true Christian. “If I ness, Mr Drummond of Edinburghi thus writes :

do not unceasingly attend to this, my spiritual life is “ His visits were indeed precious and soul-refreshing; they not worthy of the name.”

Mr Bickersteth did conwere such as to make us feel, as though we were entertaining stantly attend to it. We have already seen proofs an angel unawares. The announcement of one spread cheerfulness and happy expectation, and the joy or prospect was

of this, and the memoir furnishes them in great more than equalled in its fulfilment. Faith was confirmed; plenty. On one occasion, for example, he notes seren the mere earthly admixtures that mingled with contending things that are to be asked at the Lord's table, for the truth, were rebuked, and love and forbearance were grace for early rising—full private morning prayer enlarged. His was the spirit that rejoiced as little in iniquity -constant mid-day prayer-diligent evening prayer as it rejoiced much in the truth. The impressions made by -self-denial in things pleasant to the fiesh-interhis sermons and public addresses were uniformly deep and extensive. The influence of his private intercourse was pervad

cession for the people committed to me-enlarged ing

and sustained. The garden of the Lord seemed to give liberality." His own vineyard was kept with care, forth its special sweetness, when this spiritual labourer ap- while the vineyards of others were cultivated too. peared, laden with the precious fruits of the gospel, peace and In nature, good cultivation will make an indifferent love."

soil produce more than a superior soil carelessly tilled. The great weakness of Mr Bickersteth, like that

It is so also in the kingdom of grace. The soil of of most English evangelical clergymen, lay in his

Mr Bickersteth's garden was not naturally very rich, practical toleration for unsound principles, when not

but it was well kept. It was regularly opened to the immediately or flagrantly productive of pernicious conse

dew and the sunshine of heaven. And much fruit quences, or not actively neutralizing agencies of good.

was borne to the glory of God. When he saw a bad principle in the very. act of producing ruinous results, le placed himself in decided opposition to it; but when this connection

WYLIE'S PRIZE ESSAY ON POPERY.* was not palpable and outstanding, he was too ready. We lately had occasion to observe that the Evan. to be satisfied. Hence he continued a member of the Bible Society, though Socinians were admitted gelical Alliance is fast becoming a power in this to its committee, and its meetings were not opened

and other lands. It is hated by Romanists as emby prayer-even while he felt these things to be bodying the reality of which they have only the counwrong—because he believed that practically God

terfeit or caricature, but it is a fast bond of brotherwas honoured by the Society, and much good was

hood among all who hold the Head. Its captious done by it; he was for succumbing to the wish of

friends complain, indeed, that it has not addressed it. the Bishops, against employing lay-agency in the * The Papacy: its History, Dogmas, Genius, and Prospects,

being the Evangelical Alliance's First Prize Essay on Popery. By * The population was about 900.

the Rev. J. A, Wylie. Edinburgh: Johnstone & Hunter. 1851.


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