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and disgust. Having had to some extent the pecuniary condition of subordinate ministers in their hands, those ministers have been doomed to budge to them.

The day, however, is now past and gone for ever, when potent and primitive censure will be feared and dreaded. Still less will it ever be again succumbed to.

All tattlers and busy-bodies in talking about eccentricity, are apt to use the generic term without reference to the different species. Hence, it only needs to be said of a man that he is eccentric, and some undefinable suspicion arises, that this man somehow or other-nobody knows how-is in the wrong, and faulty. It is resolved that he must be so, because he is eccentric, if for no other reason. And let the eccentric man, in question, be a Christian Minister, the conclusion is arrived at with a jump, that at any rate he is no better than he ought to be, and churches, parishes, or Methodist circuits, would do well to avoid him. They do avoid him, no matter what he and his family suffers from that avoidance. They, as they think, are delightfully saved from the awful risk of having him among them. They won't have him, and if they are right in this rejection, nobody else should have him. He is doomed, therefore, either to be forced upon somebody, or go about his business; and the fact of his adding to congregations and churches, and instrumentally blessing men, by turning them from their iniquities, is con

sidered a secondary affair-perhaps, a trifle not worth the mention. This eccentricity has ever been regarded by a class of little-minded people, who have not seen it, but merely heard about it from the preposterous and false accounts of men at a distance, as a very ominous thing, portending something disastrous, --some hindrance or obstruction to the

prosperity of religion, though they cannot say what. Yet to my certain knowledge, some of these halfalarmed men are most objectionably eccentric themselves. Yet they are stone blind to their own real faults, and seem, like the fabled Cyclopes, to have one staring eye in the middle of their foreheads, to look into the imaginary faults of their neighbours.

I have hinted that a kind of horror of eccentricity is felt mostly by little-minded people, and most heartily do I wish that this superstitious feeling had been confined to such people; for in that case, many a pang and much suffering would have been spared to unrighteously censured and degraded ministers. But most unhappily, a few learned divines have connived at this mischievous folly. Their everlasting monitions about being always serious, and their strong animadversions upon levity, have been quoted as an authority for censure and repudiation. Utterly overlooking the variety of circumstances in which a man may be placed, and the numerous incidents which occur from time to time, to justify little humour and facetiousness, they have virtual

taught that a man must have the same expression in his countenance at a wedding, as at a funeral.

Men of this sort are usually of a dejected aspect, and without being aware of it, they disregard our Saviour's express injunction, “Be not as the hypocrites of a sad countenance." (Matt. vi. 16.) They may fancy that by this excess of gloomy gravity, they are recommending religion, and producing the impression on their neighbours, that they are holier than most other Christians; but if so, let them at once be undeceived. A few dull and melancholy people, no doubt, have a very high opinion of their sanctity, on account of their sad faces; but as to the majority who know them, they think no such thing. They look out for evidences far superior to mere external demureness, to be convinced that any one Christian is superior to any other Christian. For my own part, I have lived too long in this world, and have studied the ways of men too intently, to be taken in by mere appearances. I do not at all question the sincere piety of some solemn looking men ; but, there are others, with solemn looks, whose socalled piety, is a thing of their own making. They put on gravity to accomplish their selfish designs, though to the unprovoked and lasting injury of their neighbours. O take these men away from me! Some of them assert wilful falsehoods--they defame you—and will most barbarously lacerate your feelings. Should a ruffian with a clenched fist wound you in the head and face, a little surgical aid, or

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patch of brown paper soaked in vinegar, might soon heal the wound; but, when a solemn would-be saint, with pious brutality, opposes your true and lawful interests, does you positive and lasting injury, and under the pretext of promoting the cause of God he is a man to be shunned and avoided; yet he should be prayed for, that God may undeceive him and make him a better man.

CHAPTER V.

MENTAL ECCENTRICITY.-ITS OPPONENTS.

ECCENTRICITY! Would the laws of grammar or rhetoric allow me to personify and apostrophize this quality, I might say, “O thou enemy to my comfort and well-doing in this world! Thou desperate obstructor to all promotion! Thou alleged cause of innumerable trials, why dost thou so pertinaciously cling to my soul ? Get thee hence! and let me be an orderly concentric—a dear, simple, plain, (not to say) do nothing man; going in the regular circle of other dear, plain, simple men; never daring even to do good unless in formally prescribed ways-letting even opportunities of rendering valuable service go by unimproved, if they cannot be improved except by thy assistance.” Thus, if eccentricity might be personified, might I talk to it, and charge it with the moral enormity of prompting me to be in “labours more abundant,” and to incur displeasure for doing real and positive good. I was once deemed eccentric, for giving useful lectures in public institutions, though by such eccentricity, I secured large audiences and helped their funds—for I never received pay

for a lecture in my life. Amongst some Divinity lectures, in chapels, I once gave one on “Pulpit Eloquence,” which was well received by unusually large

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