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cumbent upon all, who ever heard of a sabbath, and is of perpetual obligation both upon Jews and Christians; (the commandment, therefore, injoins it; the prophets have also enforced it; and in many instances, both scriptural and modern, the breach of it has been punished, with a providential and judicial severity, that may make by-standers tremble.) : secondly, as a privilege, which you well know how to dilate upon, better than I can tell you ; thirdly, as a sign of that covenant, by which believers are entitled to a rest, that yet remaineth ; fourthly, as the sinequá-non of the Christian character; and upon this head, I should guard against being misunderstood to mean no more than two attendances upon public worship, which is a form, complied with by thousands, who never kept a sabbath in their lives. Consistence is necessary, to give substance and solidity to the whole. To sanctify the day at church, and to trifle it away out of church, is profanation, and vitiates all. After all, could I ask my catechumen one short question--->“Do you love the day, or do “ you not? If you love it, you will never inquire, “ how far you may safely deprive yourself of the en“ joyment of it. If you do not love it, and you find 5 yourself obliged in conscience to acknowledge it, " that is an alarming symptom, and ought to make “ you tremble. If you do not love it, then it is a wea“ riness to you, and you wish it was over. The ideas “ of labour, and rest, are not more opposite to each “ other than the idea of a sabbath, and that dislike and “ disgust, with which it fills the souls of thousands, to “ beobliged to keep it. It is worse than bodily labour.”
To the Revd. WILLIAM UNWIN.
· April 6, 1780.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I never was, any more than yourself, a friend to pluralities ; they are generally found in the hands of the avaricious, whose insatiable hunger after preferment proves them unworthy of any at all, They attend much to the regular payment of their dues, but not at all to the spiritual interest of their parishioners. Having forgot their duty, or never known it, they differ in nothing from the laity, except their outward garb, and their exclusive right to the desk and pulpit. But when pluralities seek the man, instead of being sought by him, and
when the man is honest, conscientious, and pious, careful to employ a substitute, in those respects, like himself, and not contented with this, will see with his own eyes, that the concerns of his parishes are decently and diligently administered; in that case, con sidering the present dearth of such characters in the ministry, I think it an event advantageous to the people, and much to be desired by all who regret the great, and apparent, want of sobriety and earnestness, among the clergy. A man, who does not seek a living merely as a pecuniary emolument, has no need, in my judgment, to refuse one because it is so. He means to do his duty, and by doing it, he earns his wages. The two rectories being contiguous to each other, and following easily under the care of one pastor, and both so near to Stock, that you can visit them without difficulty, as often as you please, I see no reasonable objection, nor does your Mother. As to the wry-mouthed-sneers, and illiberal misconstructions of the censorious, I know no better shield to guard you against them, than what you are already furnished with--a clear and unoffended conscience. , I am obliged to you for what you said upon the subject of book-buying, and am very fond of availing myself of another man's pocket, when I can do
it creditably to myself, and without injury to him. Amusements are necessary, in a retirement like mine, especially in such a sable state of mind as I labour under. The necessity of amusement makes me sometimes write verses—it made me a carpenter, a birdcage maker, a gardener-and has lately taught me to draw, and to draw too with such surprizing proficiency in the art, considering my total ignorance of it two months ago, that when I shew your Mother my productions, she is all admiration and applause.
You need never fear the communication of what you entrust to us in confidence. You know your Mother's delicacy in this point sufficiently, and as for me, I once wrote a Connoisseur upon the subject of secret keeping, and from that day to this, I believe I have never divulged one.
We were much pleased with Mr. Newton's application to you for a charity sermon, and what he said upon that subject in his last Letter, " that he was “ glad of an opportunity to give you that proof of “ his regard.” .
Believe me yours,
To the Revd. JOHN NEWTON.
Olney, April 16, 1780.
Since I wrote last, we have had a visit from — I did not feel myself vehemently disposed to receive him, with that complaisance, from which a stranger generally infers, that he is welcome. By his manner, which was rather bold than easy, I judged that there was no occasion for it, and that it was a trifle, which, if he did not meet with, neither would he feel the want of: He has the air of a travelled man, but not of a travelled gentleman ; is quite delivered from that reserve, which is so common an ingredient in the English character, yet does not open himself gently and gradually, as men of polite behaviour do, but bursts upon you all at once. He talks very loud, and when our poor little robins hear a great noise, they are immediately seized with an ambition to surpass it the increase of their vociferation, occasioned an increase of his, and his in return, acted as a stimulus upon theirs— neither side entertained a thought of giving up the contest, which became continually more interesting