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the most extensively-useful of modern divines has so minutely endeavoured to trace the principal bearings of his course, through times and scenes and subjects full of agitation and perplexity and danger.
Where shall we find thoughts more choice, or better adapted to those three contemplative seasons of our existence-Morning, Evening, and wakeful Midnightthan in the Hymns, next following, of Bishop KEN?
From Dr. Watts I offer you only the beautiful ode, on the Setting Sun; one of the finest of our English Lyrics.—So may Time close, with you, and with me!
From Law's “ serious Call” you have here one of the most admired treatises in our language, on a particular branch of the use of Time. That book, however, cannot, without much caution, be recommended to you. It is, throughout, deficient in clear evangelical statements of the free grace of Christ, and of the work of His Spirit in the hearts of believers. Fallen Man needs something more than perfect rules : he needs a guide to One, who alone can give him the heart to love holiness, while renouncing all hope of being justified by his own doings. Still, read his spirited argument on Early Rising : as far as this topic is concerned, you will find him (so, at least, he seems to me) unanswerable.—When, further, you read his description of the Man of Letters transformed into the faithful Village-Pastor, let your thoughts be lifted up in prayer, that all the Clergy of our land may copy that picture!
DR. DODDRIDGE, a man delicate in health, and therefore wisely methodical in his multifarious labours for the good of souls, presents you with a far more systematic arrangement of the duties of a day, than any other of the writers that I have quoted; not excepting even Bishop Hall. Those who walk not circumspectly, will regard his Rules as too formal and strict; not fitted for persons in active life, but savouring rather of the contrivances of a recluse. Yet, this eminently useful writer was not only a studious critic and author, but a laborious preacher, pastor, and tutor : witness the account given by his Biographer, and which is here added, concerning his employment of his time :—and to the exactness with which he observed his own rules may be attributed his success in some of his most important labours. Deviations from absolute punctuality may, indeed, every day occur : these, however, form no excuse for desultory habits. Rule must ever be deemed of the highest value, by an upright conscience. As for those who are regardless of maintaining the perfect health of the soul, and who therefore would slacken the yoke of system, and shun strict duties as a dull monotony, I would offer to such the quaint but excellent lines of Herbert, where he heartens his reader against the scoffs of free and heedless livers :
Slight those who say, amidst their sickly healths,
« Thou liv'st by rule.” What doth not so, but men ? Houses are built by rule; and commonwealths.
Entice the trusty sun, if that you can,
(The “ Church Porch.")
That which is wanting in Law is supplied by JOHN Wesley ; a statement of the doctrines of man's inability to help himself, and his consequent dependence upon Divine grace. These essential doctrines stamp a value on his exhortations; and with them he intermingles some pleasant allusions to his own remarkable experience, in regard to Early Rising.
From the copious mines of Practical Observations on the Bible, by the late venerable Scott, I have selected remarks on Longevity; and, on a Spiritual and Wise Mind. There is added one piece of great value, not to you only, my young friends ; but to myself also, and to all those who, like me, are passing
onward, through the later stages of our journey. The plan which he suggests, of self-examination, in reference to distinct and entire portions of life, is full of wisdom. It is a method of attaining true self-knowledge, which commends itself more and more on every trial of it; and at each step it constrains the genuine servant of Christ to take a more lowly estimate of himself, and to raise new songs of adoration to his Saviour.—Considering, further, that, not in London only, but in our whole nation, and in almost all the world, there has been, for many years past, a great access of the “ Commercial Fever", I have selected from Mr. Scott's writings the portraiture of an eminent merchant, who had fairly weighed the value of both worlds; whom Mammon favoured, but who yet followed Christ. Where may we see busy life and holy retirement, opulence and wise bountifulness, so well blended together ?
From the testimony of my concluding authority, Dr. Farre, you may perceive how intimately the right governance of Time and Temper is connected with that divine institution, the Rest of the Sabbath. My attention was first attracted to this document, by hearing how skilfully this physician had been wont to counsel persons of my own profession, on the prolongation
of their life and usefulness. My mite of evidence I gladly contribute to his scientific and experienced decision; for, so far back as two-and-twenty years since, when I was suffering from over-exertion in my clerical duties in a large provincial town, the very same advice, here given, was then suggested to me by a medical friend; and I adopted it. By steadily pursuing this plan, devoting one of my week-days to comparative leisure, through God's blessing I recovered tone; and to this it may be attributed, that I did not, as I have seen other young clergymen do, sink under my early labours. Since that time, often have I impressed this Sabbatic principle upon my brethren in the Ministry; and more especially on that class, with which I have been principally connected—Missionaries. The uncongeniality of a foreign clime is, in fact, far less destructive than incessant fatigue: when, therefore, both are combined—wasting heat, and wearing labour --how can it be otherwise, than that the devoted Evangelist should sink into an untimely grave? I can add nothing to the doctrine so perspicuously, so humanely and authoritatively laid down in the document alluded to; which, I am glad to see, by its chronological order, placed at the end of this Manual, closing my volume with an emphasis.