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dence at Bristol; to judge from so much as I heard. He could hardly have fallen in with the common notion; "Lead them to the true evangelical principles of doctrine, and the morals will follow of themselves." I would answer, "If so, how superfluous is a large portion of the New Testament, as being specifically and often minutely preceptive !”

CCXXVII. TO THE REV. JOSIAH HILL.

Stapleton, December 24, 1842. I am glad to find you safely settled in your temporary domicile (you can understand the interest I have in so describing it) after passing once again over several score of leagues of this unhappy planet. I am wishing you may never but once more make that same traverse; so that in that once more you may say to the hills, the streams, the towns, the inns, the bridges, as you shall pass them, adieu. The thought has often come on me, in my occasional journeys, as one thing and another has passed my view, “I shall see that no more!" And this sentiment becomes more distinctly felt in the late decline of life, not only because the shortened residue of life renders it of course less likely that journeys will be repeated, but also because there is a peculiar pensiveness, an evening shade, over the general tone of feeling.

The town is become to me very nearly as if uninhabited; and besides, my walking faculty is strangely diminished within the year now so near an end; and also the time of going after books, looking in at auctions, &c., is nearly gone by. From necessity it is so at present with you, and I hope will be so when you shall find again much more opportunity for indulging the folly. A folly, I repeat, with grievous emphasis, when I look round on this room; wondering how I could ever be so besotted as not to see the impossibility of reading the long accumulation. And mine is a more bitter repentance than yours can be; for you have dealt on saving terms, while I have foolishly expended money which often was wanted for other uses,

and in a quantity which would have been valuable for those

uses.

Have you wholly given up the project and task of making some use of the Diaries of a pious man? You may do so and little more will be said. It is very curious to observe how the first eagerness for publishing something about a good man has quieted down after the project had been kept some time in abeyance. There is something melancholy in this, as showing how the warm memory of the good can decline by degrees to a comparative indifference, even when there is not a real change in the judgment of their worthiness. In a little while after our departure how very, very few, will feel a painful sense of wanting us. It will be confined to some three or four (if not still fewer) who had a cordial deep attachment to us, from relationship, or the most intimate kind of friendship. One has a feeling, that it would be gratifying to be so remembered by these few that, in their advance toward the end of life, they should be delighted with the thought and expectation of meeting us again elsewhere. You have such remembrances of the departed, remembrances cherished in the depth of the heart; thus placing you in an affectionate relation to a world unseen.

Our sense of deprivation in the loss of persons who were dear to us, is soothed by the thought that there are so much fewer to feel anxious for in leaving them behind. In this matter I have the advantage (in this particular view I may rightly call it so) over many, in having only these two of my family to leave exposed to the ills of life in this wretched world; and you have the advantage over me. One, chiefly, will be the object of your last solicitudes. I do not say, that I could wish myself in the same case; but I have often thought, that to see my children safely and happily out of the world would be a very strong consolation for their loss. But we must not distrust that all-sufficient Providence in which we profess so firmly to believe.

The strangely mild and almost vernal temperature (a delightful sunshine while I am writing) seems to promise that the old year shall go off in smiles, and even in buds and flowers, an alleviating circumstance to ill-clad, illhoused poverty. In alleviation of this, one is now hoping that something will ere long be done by man. .

Glad

to see what a strong and wide excitement is produced by the operations of the "League," aided by calamitous experience. There seems to be an universally confident expectation of the abolition, at no distant time, of that detestable incubus on the nation's prosperity, the Corn-law..... [The] Premier must make stout fight for it yet awhile, in order to stand well with his gang; at the same time that I believe there is no man in England more fully convinced that it is a nuisance which ought to be abated.

CCXXVIII. TO W. L. R. CATES, ESQ.

December 30, 1842.

DEAR SIR,-You will naturally, and indeed inevitably, have considered your not receiving any acknowledgment of your friendly letter, of a date so very far back, as a proof (I need not say of so plain a fact as a very defective civility, but) of great want of kind and benevolent feeling. This interpretation would be so reasonable, according to fair and usual rules of judging, that I am reduced to the hope that you may be able to believe me, when I assure you, it would be entirely a mistake.

If I were to attempt to explain how, then, such a thing could happen, I should have to confess to you such a power of the besetting sin of procrastination, as I hope your own experience cannot, and never will, enable you to conceive. It would be an exhibition amusing to the spectator, but mortifying enough to me, if it could be shown how many hundreds or thousands of things which I acknowledged proper to be done, was disposed to do, and intended to do, to-morrow, were not done in due time, or not done at all. Defer the thing once, defer it now, and there is no knowing when its time will come. If one imitated any other person's bad example, as submissively as one imitates one's own, what a contemptible servility it would seem.

It is gratifying to be held in cordial esteem by a person of intelligent and serious mind, even when personally unknown. At the same time I would wish to be something better than flattered, by the assurance of having been happy

enough to render a material service to such a mind. A benefit conveyed through a silent channel, in a direction of which I could have no conjecture, to your mind from mine, making me, as it were, a sharer in a good with a person I have never seen, and may never see, I would account a favour conferred on me by a good Providence. Your name will be remembered as affording one pleasing assurance that I have not lived altogether in vain.

Presuming that you may not be advanced very far on in life, I hope you have yet a prolonged course before you for making the best and happiest use of life; and I trust that a numerous train of advantages will be afforded to you for accomplishing that great purpose.

With sincerest wishes and prayers that it may be so,
I am, dear sir,
Very truly yours,

J. FOSTER.

COXXIX. TO THE REV. JOSIAH HILL.

January 31, 1843. Considering what an infinite multiplicity of things is taking place in the surrounding world, one finds one's own insignificance in having so little for one's own part to recount. To live through the day, in ordinary habits, to sleep through the night, continuing and repeating this through the week, through the month, with very occasionally a call by an acquaintance, and a letter from a distance; and thus a short life is wearing away.

.. What a vast transition it is from one's own little share of good and ill to that of the national millions, whose interests are this week portentously coming in question, and under no hopeful auspices. The settled expectation seems to be that the hateful and demented party are to carry it all their own way, for at least one year more of aggravated national calamity. One can sometimes almost wonder that the righteous Sovereign does not strike such a combination in iniquity with some evident signal mark of avenging justice. But this is not now, as of old, the order

of his government. There is the sad consideration, besides, that the suffering part of the nation are, for the greatest part, in no condition to appeal to Heaven, being no less strangers to the knowledge and fear of God than the class under whose iniquity they are suffering. The most melancholy consideration as to the suffering masses is, that their afflictions can have no tendency to do them good in respect to a higher interest, but powerfully the very contrarytending to alienate their minds from any belief in Providence, and to generate a spirit of recklessness, contempt of law, and intense revenge. They are alienated from all observance of religion by their squalid condition, and their children are deprived of education. If they could be suddenly thrown loose, as in the French Revolution, with what a dreadful fury would they rush on the proud, splendid, sumptuous ranks that have been treading them to the earth. It will, after all, be strange if the cup of bitterness shall not yet come round to them even in this world. . . . One goes fully along with the animated spirit of the Anti-Corn-law League; confident that they are working a commotion, before which monopoly will be prostrated at no far-off time. It will be interesting to have the collective manifestation, in their grand meetings of this week, of the effects already produced, and the plans and means for prosecuting and extending the war. . . . .

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Stapleton, near Bristol, March 30, 1843. MY DEAR OLD FRIEND,-For it is a long, long time to look back upon since the friendship was young,-I was exceedingly gratified at receiving your letter-dilatory as I have been in acknowledging it, and as I am in every thing I ought to do with dispatch. It was a strange and pleasing surprise to see at the end of it the name of Fanny Purser. It gratified me that the said Fanny Purser should, through so wide an interval, have remembered me with so kind a feeling as should induce her to write to me. This feeling was excited by the mere sight of the name; and it became

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