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his will in the armies of Heaven, and shall the inhabitants of earth complain? Is it for me, frail mortal, to question the Almighty, or say, what doest thou? Rather, with the profoundest reverence, let me hide my face, and say "Thy will be done. O, Father of Mercies, give me resignation in whatever situation thou shalt place me."-You asked me how I should like to be a Clergyman? O how honourable is the situation of the meanest labourer in the vineyard! Providence, by its overruling kindness, has brought me to the knowledge of the Gospel. It has formed my talents, disposition, and inclination, entirely for a studious life, and yet apparently contradictory (though supremely wise) it denies the means. But how weak is human comprehension! Can we finite creatures penetrate the darkness which veils the throne of the Almighty, or know his secret purposes? How consolatory for me to reflect, that however mysterious the designs of Providence may now seem, they will finally terminate in the most extensive good. He who cannot lie has promised, that when father and mother forsake me, he will take me up.-I rely upon his word; and however boisterous be my passage down the stream of life, may I ultimately find the favour of perfect peace, the rest prepared for them that love him. I cannot conclude this epistle without assuring you of my sincere thankfulness for all your favours. O! could you read in the countenance the impassioned language of the heart, you would see in mine the animated expression of overflowing gratitude. But words are insufficient, and perhaps unnecessary. O! that the Great Supreme may shower upon you the choicest of his blessings! O! that he may long preserve a life so valuable to society! and that you may enjoy all the pleasures of life, without its sorrows and its cares, is the incessant prayer of

Artillery Barracks, Canterbury, 2109 Nov. 19, 1813."

Your most obedient servant,


To this most interesting and instructive Letter, we subjoin the following selections from the Poems which have been kindly entrusted

to our care:→


Yon noble structure, rear'd in Gothic state,

The Muse (O happy task!) shall contemplate;
Majestic pile! thy sacred scenes inspire

Thoughts most sublime, to strike the pensive lyre;

Within thy consecrated walls rose

The Church to all the eminence it knows;

There Learning, Eloquence, and Wisdom meet,

And advocate a cause sublimely great.

As the deep gloom that hovers o'er the night
Dispels before the morning's cheering light,

So here, the gloom that clouds the Christian day,
Before the Gospel sun-beams fade away:
There all the sacerdotal talents join,
And form an union heavenly and divine ;

There every Christian grace unite in love;
How emblematic of the church above!
Kind reader, walk within, and as you tread,
Pause, and peruse the records of the dead.
Here lies nobility, the envied great

Lie here, enshrin'd in monumental state;
These silent trophies, as you pass, convey
This solemn lesson, "work while yet 't is day."
Hear them, with monitory voice, declare
How transient all our fairest prospects are:
The flower that blooms at noon, alas! may fade
Before the coolness of the evening shade.
So all our best enjoyments, strength and pow'r,
How short and fragile! objects of an hour.
But soon this stately fabric shall decay,
The earth shall melt, and nature fade away;
Then when we leave this transitory scene,
There pain and sorrow cannot intervene ;
May we above on our Redeemer call-
Form one great Church-one vast Cathedral.
Sept. 11, 1813.

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Hail, heav'nly Charity! celestial guest,
Welcome thy genial influence to my breast;
The Muses join to sing, in tuneful strain,

The brightest virtue in the sacred train.

When Christians in one blest communion meet,
1. The sight how pleasing, and the force how sweet.
The noblest emblem of the blest above,
In this imperfect state, is mutual love;
"Love one another," hear the Saviour say;
His bright example points us out the way;
Then trace his footsteps, tread the path divine,
There love and kindness in perfection shine.
This heavenly gift dispenses blessings round,
Wherever hapless misery is found;

It treads the haunts of wretchedness and woe,
Relieves and pities all the ills they know ;
It shields misfortune, succours the distrest,

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And fires the tend'rest feelings of the breast;bai bajno,' nin
Remote alike from enmity and strife,

It adds a sweetness to the cup of life;
It knows how easily we go astray-

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How soon we deviate from the good old way; anW
It holds our brighter side to outward view,

But veils our frailties and our follies too.
The brightest gems that can adorn the mind,
In this ingenious age, are basely coin'd;
Ill-judg'd munificence and generous vice
Sometimes will ape this pearl of greatest price
The best of works done with a view to fame,
Have no pretensions to its sacred name.
Celestial Virtue! brightest of the train,
May thy blest influence universal reign;

May thy devoted advocates increase,
Till all dissensions end in Christian peace.
Then when this transitory life is o'er,

And Death shall waft us on th' eternal shore,
There, through a blest eternity above,

We'll join in sweet communion, perfect love.
Sept. 26, 1813.


We hope to be able to collect some more definite particulars relating to the Life of this extraordinary Boy, which we may publish at a future time, with one or two further selections from his compositions.



SHAKSPEARE calls this month "dark December." The cold mists, the cloudy days, the storms of snow and sleet, and the drizzling rains, fully justify his epithet. There is nothing remarkable in the natural appearances of this month to call for a particular description ;-indeed, the general features of nature in November and in January are so similar, that our observations are almost entirely anticipated.

But December has throughout the Christian world a peculiar interest, as being the season of celebrating our Redeemer's nativity. Christmas is a period which the customs of our ancestors, and the disposition for social in-door enjoyment which the outward cheerlessness of the season excites, have recommended as our great festival of domestic hilarity. It is now that the great and the wealthy indulge in elegant entertainments, in which their servants and their dependants participate; it is now that the middle classes gather around them their children and their relatives, and give a moral charm to their festivity by associating it with the kindliest feelings of the heart;—it is now that even the humble peasant feels a more than ordinary pride as he collects his family round his blazing hearth, and indulges for one day in unaccustomed luxuries. We would not repress such enjoyments while they are regulated by decorum, and while the great event which Christmas celebrates is not forgotten amongst its festivities. Cold-hearted indeed must be the moralist who would frown at the indulgencies and the social gaieties which remind us of

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selfish indeed must that man be who would refuse his humbler fellowcreatures a participation for a short season in the habitual gratifications which opulence can procure.

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As our notice of this month would be more than ordinarily brief, were it confined to its natural appearances, we will step a little out of our usual course, to describe some of the ancient modes in which Christmas was celebrated in this country.

The festivities of Christmas commenced with the vigil of the feast. Our forefathers, when the common devotions of the eve were over,

and night was come on, were wout to light up candles of an uncommon size, which were called Christmas candles; and to lay a log of wood upon the fire, which they termed a yule-clog, or Chris mas-block. The old but obsolete practice of lighting up the different private habitations, as well as churches, on Christmas Eve, is regarded as part of the ancient ceremony of the Pagan Juul-tide, or Feast of Thor, who was typified as the Sun, or supreme Governor of the Seasons; though the Christian Fathers judiciously contrived to withdraw attention gradually from the primitive object, and to regard such illuminations as expressive of the Light which was born into the world. The expression of Juul or Yuul, when applied to clogs, logs, batches, or blocks, games, ale, cheesecakes, dough, &c. as well as all the corrupt variations into which it has fallen in different counties, of Jul, Jol, Yule, Yeule, Yu, Nule, Ule, and U, each signify Christmas; while the addition of games or clogs, &c. severally denote the amusements or articles in use at that holy season.

Stow, in his Survey of London, tells us, "Against the feast of Christmas, every man's house, as also their parish churches, were decked with holme, ivy, bayes, and whatsoever the season of the year afforded to be green; the conduits and standards in the streets were likewise garnished." It has been conjectured that the ancient custom of dressing churches and houses at Christmas with laurel, box, holly, or ivy, was an allusion to many figurative expressions in the prophets, relative to Christ, the Branch of Righteousness, &c. or that it was in remembrance of the oratory of writhen wands, or boughs, which was the first Christian church erected in Britain. Before we can admit either of these hypotheses, the question must be determined whether or no this custom was not prior to the introduction of the Christian

faith amongst us. Dr. Chandler tells us, "It is related, where Druidism prevailed, the houses were decked with evergreens in December, that the sylvan spirits might repair to them, and remain unnipped with frost and cold winds, until a milder season had renewed the foliage of their darling abodes."

In the ancient festivities of Christmas, while the cheer was of the most inviting nature to our hale countrymen, the dishes had a particular reference to the great festival of the Nativity. The first dish was generally a boar's head, which was conveyed to the principal table, with much pomp and ceremony; or in some instances a gammon of bacon; and a boar's head on Christmas-day is yet, at Queen's College, Oxford, solemnly ushered into the Hall, with a Monkish carol. Both these customs had the like allusion; and both were meant to express an abhorrence of Judaism.-Plumb puddings and mince pies, in token of the offerings of the Wise Men from the East, of which their ingredients were considered to be types, and the latter, made long, with pieces of paste over them in the form of a cratch, or hay-rack, in remembrance of the manger in which our Saviour was first laidwere sure to be prepared in liberal profusion; and lamb's wool, or a composition of ale, sugar, nutmeg, &c. so called from its peculiar softness, passed from hand to hand in the wassail bowl, until jollity




Con Pew 3dnin bus itself grew tired.-The wassail bowl, of which there are still some customs remaining to keep it in remembrance in Sussex and other parts of the kingdom, was the name of the favourite vessel out of which Saxon ancestors took such copious draughts, as even to call for legislative interference. When the Saxon warrior brothers, Hengist and Horsa, first visited this kingdom, at the solicitation of Vortigern, Prince of the Silures, the British chief became deeply enamoured with Rowena, the young and beautiful niece of Hengist; and forgetting his country, quietly submitted to the ambitious views of his subtle ally, who, from an auxiliary, soon rendered himself a governing monarch in our isle. At a banquet prepared by Hengist, in honour of Vortigern, Rowena, instructed by her uncle, presented to the aged Prince a cup of spiced wine; and with smiles welcomed him in the words, "Waes heal hlaford Cyning," i. e. "Be of health, Lord King;" to which, through his interpreter, he answered, "Drinc heal," or, "I drink your health." The result answered the views of the Saxon; Vortigern wedded the blue-eyed nymph, and became regardless of the premeditated encroachments on his dominions. Waes-heal, from that period, not unnaturally became the name of the drinking cups of the Anglo-Saxons, in all their future entertainments: they thereby kept up a remembrance of one of the principal means by which they had acquired possession of this country; and the friendly salutation of wishing health became firmly established, and even yet remains among us.

The origin of giving presents at Christmas, though it may be distinctly traced to the practice of the Romans at their Saturnalia, seems to have only been a natural part of that benevolence which sought to make dependents and inferiors happy at this season of festivity. The derivation of our name for these gifts is curious:-Masses or prayers were appropriated to every purpose that could best answer the ends of monastic avarice: and it became, among other practices of the Monks, customary to offer masses for the safety of all ships that undertook long voyages: to quicken the pious gratitude, therefore, of those who embarked in such ships, or were connected with their safety, a box was regularly appropriated to each ship, and kept in the careful custody of the priest, into which money or other valuable considerations might be put, to secure efficacy to the prayers of the church.These boxes were opened at Christmas, in each year, and thence got their names of Christmas-boxes, which readily came to be understood as the title also of the presents themselves; and that no person interested in the several vessels, however poor, might neglect these oblations, they were encouraged to beg of their richer neighbours box-money, or, in other words, money to enable them to supply the priest's box, that they might be entitled to partake of the virtue and efficacy of the prayers, which otherwise they could not reasonably expect.

In the contemplation of these ancient customs, of which the traces are very imperfect in our own times, there is undoubtedly much of folly and superstition, which served as an excuse for riot and debauchery.

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