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with which, under such circumstances, they fall in with the moral sense of a parent. As long as I remained in England I visited the family, and well knew both his brother Benjamin, and his sister, Mrs. Dalton.
After taking my Bachelor's degree in January 1810, I remained in college till April 1811, when, having been elected fellow, I left Cambridge to enter upon the duties of a curacy at Nottingham. Thus
intercourse for three years and a half in college with my dear friend terminated: but what affection he bore me was afterwards testified, by the frequent visits he paid me during my residence of three years on that curacy, and by a very close correspondence which we kept up by letter. Of this correspondence I regret to find that there remains nothing except my letters to him, which he preserved; while his letters, together with those of many others of my friends, were committed by me to the waves of the Atlantic, in the year 1815; as a kind of pledge to my own thoughts, that I was beginning life afresh.
At an early period after my settling in Nottingham, I wrote to acquaint him with my circumstances, and invited him to spend some time with me in the next long vacation. I did not know that he was not truly sincere in his desires to serve God, though I was aware of many inconsistencies in his behaviour; as he must have also
* With what force and brevity did his wise mother caution her son, on his entering college, concerning this very point of forming few friendships! See page 11.
perceived many things amiss in me. But we had been faithful and affectionate advisers and reprovers of each other: we had parted, the last evening I spent with him in college, with a deep and tender conviction of the sincerity of our mutual attachment; and it was my hope that future years would bring with them still maturer fruits of Christian friendship. As he was, in some respects, a very competent critic in theological matters, I also forwarded to him from Nottingham several of my newly-composed sermons; upon which he freely wrote his pencil-notes. One of these notes may be selected, as tending to show the feeling which was afterwards known to have been long working in his mind, depriving him of all genuine spiritual comfort. The text of the sermon which he criticised was Job xiii. 23, How many are mine iniquities and my sins ? Make me to know my transgressions and my sins. At the part where my enumeration of men's transgressions closed, he remarks,“ Should you not have mentioned, specifically and largely, the continued, and, in many instances, contumacious refusal of offered mercy?” This was in the month of June 1811.
At another time he quoted, in conversation with me, a passage in the epistle to the Hebrews, with an emphasis which left a strong impression upon my mind. It was the concluding clause of chap. x. ver. 26. There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. As far as I can now remember, we were both of us acquainted with the sense of that passage and its context; but from his laying so
much stress upon it, I should infer (knowing better now, than I then did, the state of his experience) that he was inwardly troubled with that which is mentioned in the verse following, a certain fearful looking for of judgment; conscious, as he well might be, that he was deeply grieving, if not quenching, the Holy Spirit of God.
Not very long after, he and our friend Rippingall came down to Nottingham, and we spent a week in an excursion to the Peak in Derbyshire. On the Sunday evening preceding I had preached from S. Matthew vi. 6, on the duty and privilege of private prayer; and we had that evening some general conversation on the subject. When at Castleton,after having spent the day insurveying the wonders of the Peak, we were at night so allotted at the small inn, that my friend Neale and I had beds in the same room ; a circumstance which had never occurred to us before. Observing that he did not kneel down to prayer before retiring, I waited till we were laid down, and then spoke to him on the subject. But he was unwilling to be spoken to, and was very close and short in his answers. I said, “ You seem to have something locked up in your mind; and you keep the key of that particular chamber, and will let no person enter.” It was in vain, however, to press him further; he desired me not to speak on the subject again. What it was that habitually lay working on his mind I had then no idea of; but, from his acknowledgments at a later period, it is evident that, for many years, while his religious education and convictions were drawing him one way, the consciousness that he was not faithful to those convictions was continually drawing him in the opposite direction, making him often desire to think religion untrue. How many, alas!-not restrained and rescued, as he eventually was—have, from wishing to be infidels, finally become such.
In January 1812, he took his bachelor's degree. He was Senior Wrangler of his year. He gained also, in the course of the next week, as is generally the case, the senior Smith's prize. Being thus released, temporarily, from the severe stretch of academical studies, at the end of that week he came down to me at Nottingham, and spent some days of recreation. His triumph had been a high gratification to all his friends; to no one more sincerely than myself. I was pleased, however, most of all, to find that he was in his outward manner no-wise elated or puffed up. I canvassed him very closely as to his feelings upon,
what may justly be termed, so trying an occasion; and the only result was, that he seemed to me impressed with a consciousness of the ease with which he had earned his honours. He had, in fact, never been a hard fagger, but only a steady and regular student. There was nothing but a kind of intellectual quiet observable in the state of his mind; his manners were as simple as before.
If my letters had not been preserved by him, my memory would not have recalled the circumstance that I had, on the week preceding his examination, written to him in a very serious strain.
Although his mind may not have been then conscious of receiving all that my words expressed, yet (through the grace of Him who renders hearts and minds impressible) this letter may have been the means of conveying to him some thoughts, useful indeed at all times, but especially so at a season when the inmost soul is throbbing with anxious expectation, or with, perhaps, intense ambition. The following is an extract from the conclusion of my letter to him, bearing date January 10th, 1812; just three days before his entering the Senate-house.
“ So now, having done all that you can do in three years, think what an atom even a senior wrangler and a senior medallist's exertions form of that great stewardship, which is committed to us. I believe I shall feel more next week than I am now willing to express; because possibly your feelings need no excitement, probably some sedative. But the properest feelings, which your approaching examination ought to inspire, should, I think, be those of humility. Let me put you down senior wrangler and medallist; how little a part will this contribute to the general usefulness of the whole world,-how little to the enjoyments of your conscience-at a death-bed-and in another world, if the next world is, with you, to be a matter of joy!”
Some idea may be formed of his character at this time, from the remark made by a very sensible person at Nottingham, a close observer of