Foundling Hospital, worth fifty pounds a year, which was an important addition to his limited income. An effort made by himself to secure another position was less successful. A friend who was the owner of a chapel, at that time occupied by a congregation of Swedenborgians, offered the lease of the building to Sydney Smith. To secure the privilege of preaching in it, it was necessary to obtain the consent of the rector of the Parish. The letters addressed him on the occasion by Smith, afford the clearest proof of the necessity and poverty to which he was at this time reduced. His pride stooped to a plea for the admissibility of his talents and virtues to such a post, while he ingeniously complimented the rector, and warded off the objection to a divided interest, by reminding him that the mere surplus of his over-crowded church would fill the few seats of the chapel, which would, moreover, thus be rescued from what both must consider the vulgar and injurious doctrines of the New Jerusalemites. The rector saw in the proposal violation of church precedents, danger to the parochial establishment, and may have been naturally disinclined to admit a rival near his throne. He refused the application. Sydney, who thought it a grievance that any ranter might preach, as a matter of course, where a well-educated clergyman, with the noblest intention, could not gain admission, plied him with pleas and arguments; but without avail. The rector was determined to protect his parochial interests; and the more admirably the applicant argued, the more danger was probably seen in the request. Annoyed by the correspondence, the dignitary took refuge in an affectation of Christian submission to the logic of his opponent. Considering the position of the parties, the doctor in power and the curate in among the poor," as well as "the advancement of taste and science." Care of the chimney sweepers, a Free Chapel in the neighbourhood of the Seven Dials, Hospitals, the British Institution for the Fine Arts, the Alfred Club, were among his spirited and benevolent projects and labours. Besides his Philanthropic Reports, he wrote a little volume, Spurinna; or, the Comforts of Old Age, with Biographical Illustrations. He died in 1818, at the age of sixty-eight. A memoir of Bernard, written by his nephew, the Rev. James Baker, was published the next year.



poverty, it is but a pitiable illustration of the "pride which apes humility," which is presented by a sentence of his closing letter. "I hope never to be offended, sir," he writes, "at the freedom of any who are so kind as to teach me to know myself; and the inconsistency of my letter to you, which you are so good as to point out, is, alas! an addition to the many inconsistencies of which, I fear, I have been too often guilty through life."

In an article in the Edinburgh Review, Sydney Smith subsequently argued the general question of the allowance of free competition of preachers within the parishes, with an express allusion to his own case. He saw, in the deprivation, a great loss of peculiar talents and efficiency to church interests, and admitted, as well, the improbability of gaining his point. "We hope nobody," he writes, "will rate our sagacity so very low, as to imagine we have much hope that any measure of the kind will ever be adopted. All establishments die of dignity. They are too proud to think themselves ill, and to take a little physic."

Besides the poorly-paid duty at the Foundling Hospital, a favourite resort of the Londoners, for its excellent music, and the neat display of its charities, Sydney Smith also secured a morning preachership at Berkeley Chapel, where his genius and emphasis soon succeeded in covering empty benches with a flock of intelligent hearers. He afterward alternated this service with a similar duty at Fitzroy Chapel, with equal acceptability to the public. The character of these pulpit discourses, may be judged of by the "Two Volumes of Sermons" which he published under that title, at the close of this, his first London period, in 1809. They are terse in expression, marked generally by strength, propriety and dignity. There is underneath, rather than lying on the surface, a vein of genuine feeling. The occasional discourses for public charities are manly, vigorous appeals; full of sympathy for human infirmity, and confident reliance on Christian duty. Enforced by the preacher's full sonorous tones, their popular effect may * Article on Toleration. Ed. Rev., Feb., 1811.

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readily be accounted for. They have, what may be remarked attending all superior minds, an air, a voice of authority.

Though setting out with the zeal of a reformer in the pulpit, Sydney Smith really attempted little innovation upon its habitual practice. His published sermons have nothing special to distinguish them from many others of their class. He probably found, on experiment, that there was little room for originality in compositions of necessity circumscribed by various limitations; and had the good sense to recognise the boundary. In the Church of England, the admirable liturgy leaves little to be asked of the sermon. Sydney Smith was content that the Church should be her own expounder in matters of doctrine; and directed his attention to the practical religious obligations of life. His sermons, subsequently preached at St. Paul's, and to his country congregations, of which a volume was published after his death,* are grave and earnest, instinct with the solemnities of life and death.

*Sermons Preached at St. Paul's Cathedral, the Foundling Hospital, and several churches in London; together with others addressed to a country congregation, by the late Rev. Sydney Smith, Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's Cathedral. London, 1846. Two of the sermons in this collection, “On the Excellence of the Christian Gospel," and "On the Necessity of Prayer,” were freely borrowed from Dr. Barrow. The usage of the English pulpit would seem to allow some liberty in this particular. Sydney Smith himself tells us, in one of his letters (No. 545 in the collection) that he preached Dr. Channing's sermon on war in St. Paul's Cathedral: "I thought I could not write anything half so good, so I preached Channing." Channing's direct, manly self-reliance pleased him, the pith of his style, and his separation of great moral themes from disabling exceptions. These qualities are all to be observed as belonging to Sydney Smith himself.

The Christian Observer for June, 1846, makes a grave representation of Sydney Smith's obligation to Barrow. The publication, it should be remembered, was not an act of Smith but of his executors. A similar negligence occurred in the posthumous publication of the sermons of the American Bishop Ravenscroft, one of the most esteemed divines of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Sydney Smith, but little indebted to the books of others for the honours of his writings, cannot be supposed to have practised any wilful deception to heighten his reputation. Writing of the imputation of receiving attention for articles in the Edinburgh Review not from his pen, he says: "I should have considered myself the lowest of created beings to have disguised myself in another man's wit and sense, and to have received



If the world was indebted to the residence of Sydney Smith at Edinburgh for the establishment of the Review, and the series of brilliant articles with which he followed up its first successes, London was also immediately a gainer by the courses of lectures on Moral Philosophy, which he delivered during three successive seasons, upon his arrival in the great metropolis. These popular discourses, as well on abstract as familiar topics, were doubtless suggested by his attendance upon the thoughtful and stimulating lectures of Dugald Stewart, his intimacy with the Scottish ratiocinators generally, and with the original and inquiring Thomas Brown. But if he was under obligations to these men for the choice of subject, and a certain speculative habit in the technical portions of his course, there was a wide field lying all around these intellectual barriers which he made entirely his own. This was in what may be called the practical moralities of his text -the quick, genial, kindly introspection with which he penetrated to the heart of his subject, and brought to the world noble and charitable thoughts, full of liberality of opinion, zeal for virtue and human sympathy with his kind. The term moral philosophy truly characterizes them; for their subtle niceties of the intellect, their keen distinctions, and rapid play of wit, are subordinate to their healthy sentiment, and a certain ardent perception of the beautiful.

There were twenty-seven lectures, in all, before the Royal Institution. Sydney Smith was led to undertake them by the proposals and encouragement of his friend Sir Thomas Bernard, who

a reward to which I was not entitled." After this we may conclude that, in preaching the sermons of Barrow or Channing, he was doing nothing considered out of the way or dishonourable in the English Church. In this respect he would appear to have followed the practice of the chaplain so judiciously chosen by Sir Roger de Coverley, who, upon being asked of a Saturday night, who preached on the morrow, replied the Bishop of St. Asaph in the morning, and Dr. South in the afternoon. Another important qualification insisted upon by the good knight was possessed by the Reverend Sydney in perfection. He had "a good aspect and a clear voice." (Spectator, No. 106.)

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had been associated a few years before with the American Count Rumford, in the foundation of the society. The success was immediate. An audience assembled, composed of the most intelligent society of the metropolis, large in numbers for a popular lecturer in London even at the present day, numbering six to eight hundred persons. This, though far below that of the company on any distinguished occasion of the kind in New York or Boston, of late years, was held to be an immense achievement. Ladies and philosophers were alike entrapped into admiration. A long time after, the lecturer, who was accustomed to speak lightly of the performance as a matter of literature, remembered with pleasure the brilliant result. Toward the close of his life he was applied to by Dr. Whewell for some information on the subject discussed, when he replied, "My lectures are gone to the dogs and are utterly forgotten. I knew nothing of moral philosophy, but I was thoroughly aware that I wanted two hundred pounds to furnish my house. The success, however, was prodigious; all Albemarle street blocked up with carriages, and such an uproar as I never remember to have been excited by any other literary imposture."* His friend Horner, who was in London, writes to Lady Mackintosh, at Bombay, that there were but two topics in London that winter, the young Roscius and the lectures of "the Right Reverend, our Bishop of Mickleham," which, as we learn from Lady Holland's Memoir was a familiar title given to Sydney Smith, from the seat of Conversation Sharp's cottage in Surrey, where the friendly circle frequently met. It was something, in the popular way, to en

* Letter to Dr. Whewell, April 8, 1843. Memoirs, ii. 456.

† Richard Sharp was distinguished in the conversational circles of the metropolis. Hence his sobriquet. His forte lay in metaphysics. There is an anecdote of Rogers having proposed to him some question of this kind, when he somewhat discourteously replied, "There are only two men in England [probably Mackintosh and Bobus Smith] with whom I ever talk on metaphysics." (Dyce's Table-Talk of Rogers.) Sharp was a careful, refined writer. His single volume, "Letters and Essays in Prose and Verse," is the book of a scholar-thoughtful and polished. He was from 1806 till 1820 in Parliament. He died in 1835, at the age of seventy-six, leaving a

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