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congregations-printed, approved and commended by the late Dr. Chalmers, of Edinburgh, and the then Bishop of Lincoln-sold off. And yet a grave minister said to me in a letter, "give up all this nonsense about eloquence !" I have referred to this in some of my other publications; and I do it here, because I have too much reason to think that some other feeling has prompted opposition to me, and that the charge of eccentricity has been but a pretext. Quite sure I am that the word eccentricity is given by the jealous-minded, as a title of reproach, to hinder some useful men from becoming too conspicuous.

Eccentricity! a shocking bad thing, if we believe some ignorant and ill-natured accounts of it. You may affirm of a minister that he is idle; "Ah, well," says Mrs. Sympathy, “the dear man is nervous and cannot do everything." Say of another, he is envious, “that,” says a friend, “cannot be proved." Say of another, he is covetous. “O no," says Samuel Saveall, “he is only economical.” Say of another, he is re

, vengeful. Why," says Peter Pugnacious, “ he has, to be sure, a little mettle in him, and shows a proper spirit.” Say of another, he is sly, deceitful, and disregards truth. “Ah, well,” says, Ferdinand Fox,

we ought to be wise as serpents, but he is a monstrous pious man for all that.” Thus are obvious and notorious sins explained away. But let it once come out respecting another minister, that he is eccentric, and then, as many in the company as do not know him, and are more or less inclined to censoriousness, pronounce sentence against him. Their deluded imaginations, aided by innate hostility, teem with all sorts of vague, undefined and undefinable notions to the man's disparagement. A few present may belong to that class of ignoramuses, who do not know what eccentricity means, but think it must be something bad. Whether it means necromancy, or ventriloquism, or a man standing on his head, or wearing his coat inside out—they can't exactly say. But certainly it must mean some extraordinary deviation from the centre of gravity.

And we agree with these talkers, that if there should be men with such oddities, they are unfit for the Christian ministry. It is most profoundly to be regretted that, notwithstanding incessant and extensive preaching throughout the world, there should yet be even among perpetual hearers of the Gospel, so large an amount of ignorance, absurdity, and what may be truly called narrow-mindedness." We heartily wish all people to be thoroughly religious and devotional. We would not have them connive at any moral evil; nor can we reasonably object to their censures, when rightly placed and administered with kindness and affection. But the mischief is, the want of efficient pulpit instruction in numerous places; the reiterated appeals made from the pulpit to people's passions, to the neglect of their understandings—the keeping them used to one set of notions--and the setting up such a formidable barrier between the godly and the community at large, as

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to exclude the former as much as possible, from all social intercourse with the latter, has made some religionists particularly stupid. As Christians, we all know very well that sinful intercourse with the world is interdicted, and as Christians, we have no relish for it. But social intercourse, excluding sin, is allowable, and often renders Christians morally beneficial to their worldly neighbours, and witty Christians have often allured worldly people to Christianity, while stiff and gloomy bigots have driven many from it. Stiffness and bigotry, however, though by some interpreted in a most favourable way, as if they were simply too rigid adherents to punctilios of decorum, and to the doctrines of a man's favourite sect, yet well intended and an evidence of a man's sincerity, are not always entitled to so much consideration. A stiff bigot is often a disguised worlding, and a desperate Pharisee. He hates “the pomps and vanities of this wicked world," professedly from a pious hatred to their pride and profanity,—but really and truly because they are expensive, and he loves the money better than these gratifications which money would purchase. He don't like eccentricity and wit, not because they are always really to be blamed, but because his trickery and selfishness smart under the castigations they administer. He would be thought a first-rate Christian ; but the keen and faithful satirist explores him, and exposes his self deception. He makes a great fuss about the imaginary faults of his neighbours, and the eccentric


man shows him, to his intense annoyance and mortification, his own real, delinquencies. Who then can wonder at the pious horror with which he contemplates eccentricity?



Mrs. ADDLEPATE is an elderly widow lady, of great property; her education in her youth was neglected; yet she seems to have considerable information on various subjects. She is fond of conversation-is not without some pretensions to literature; she reads much, especially new and strange books. She is very, yea, very religious; she interests herself much in the appointments of ministers. She delights in gravity, and abhors “lightness" and eccentricity; she uses the Metropolitan dialect, as it flourished some fifty years since, in singular perfection. You would think that she imagined the non-aspiration of the letter h, and the substitution of v for w-a mark of aristocracy. She dresses elegantly; for she thinks it no sin whatsomdever for people's apparel to shute their helewated sitivation in life; as for

servant gals, they should have plain clothes, and never pershume to aspire at imitation of their Missuses.” She is not without some beauty in her countenance, though some years beyond fifty; she says she has ever cherished a most “righteous aversion to henseggtricity.” She cannot but think that eccentricity, (though she does not clearly understand it, and cannot properly pronounce the word) leads people into


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