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person to whom he had given a power of attorney. He cheated him I suppose. He was a fool for giving such a power as entitles any one to sell, as well as buy and receive interest; but there have been many such fools before him, and will be after him no doubt.'
Of such society our young friend was soon weary, and his aunt contrived a few white lies;' such as Dr. Paley in his moral philosophy would not much censure, but which every Christian of any considerable pious sensibility must abhor; to excuse his speedy return to her family. Here he found, that his cousin Lucy had not been so greatly favoured in her instructor as himself; but her education was finished; with the exception of the performance of a certain religious ceremony, which is deemed as necessary to the introduction of a young lady to fashionable company in England, as compliance with the test act, to the wearing of a dagger in the army or navy. We shall copy the account of this completion of an education, because it exhibits the spirit and tendency of the novel.
“ Matters were thus circumstanced when I returned from my London visit to the residence of my aunt. I observed an air of gravity on the countenance of my cousin Lucy, not usually seated there; and on the first moment of our being alone, questioned her on the cause. "I want your advice, Čælebs, said she, "for I have been for the last week very uneasy in my mind, in consequence of something my mamma says I must do before I am introduced to the world. I wish she had mentioned it while my governess was here, for I think she would have informed me what the ceremony means; but perhaps you may know.' I eagerly replied, she might depend on my best advice, and expressed, as I felt, much curiosity to be informed what she was expected to do. “Do you know,' returned my fair companion, what it is to be confirmed?' Certainly,' I replied, for I had been confirmed during the past year. Oh! how glad I am,' resumed Lucy, and what did you say and do?' I then related to her briefly, the sum of a few conversations which my late honoured preceptor held with myself, and several other of my schoolfellows, in which he endeavoured to explain the leading truths of the Christian religion; and asked her if she believed them, for if she did, she need not fear saying so to the Bishop. Lucy replied, she had no doubt but every thing in the Bible was true, though she Vol. I.
had not considered much about what was there, but what perplexed her chiefly, were the words in the catechism respecting what was promised and vowed by her god-fathers and godmothers for her, and which she was now to take upon
herself, namely_That she was to renounce the Devil and all his works, &c.- Now, added my cousin, 'I don't know what is meant by the pomps and vanities of this wicked world. I wish the makers of the catechism had said exactly what they were.'
0,' returned I, I can tell you what they are in the present day, for my master informed us. He said, that the fashions or customs of the world were
ever changing, as they were influenced by the various revolutions in society; so that no particular fashions and amusements were prohibited in the Scriptures; and for the same reason, perhaps, not by our catechismmakers; but the general rule was, that no worldly fashion or amusement was to be followed, which had the smallest tendency to lead our hearts from the love of God, and a preparation for heaven. He reckoned up among the pomps and vanities of this wicked world at present, balls, plays, card-tables, late hours in visits, loitering away of time in vain and trifling conversation, and spending an undue proportion of our wealth in fine houses, carriages, and dress.' Lucy hastily interrupted me - It cannot,' said she, mean balls, plays, and cards; for these are things I know my mamma intends me to go to, and I am learning the fashionable games: and you know she goes to them herself, though she has been confirmed.' "That does not confute the matter,' returned I; 'for my god-mother does the same, and yet she renounced them in my name, therefore, of course in her own. I was surprised to see a god-mother so vain and trifling; she ridiculed the little religion I have, which was not enough to keep me steady to my renunciation of the vanities even of her family.' Seeing Lucy still incredulous of my representation, I said I would refer it to the decision of the minister by whom she was to be examined; adding, I had no doubt of his readiness to inform her on every point in faith or practice; and that if he pronounced her fit to be confirmed, she need be under no apprehensions. You have greatly relieved my mind,' replied she, “and I will implicity follow his advice; perhaps he may advise me to stay till I am older: indeed, I do very much wonder that mamma should be in such a hurry to make me religious; for, speaking of you one day, she said, the only fault you had, was that of being righteousover-much, while you was so young. You surprise me too, said I, “but you know aunt does not always speak as she thinks.' Thus ended our argument: but with all the impatience of a disputant eager to insure the victory, I awaited the deci
sion of the Curate of the parish, before whom my cousin was engaged to appear the following week.
"Without entering upon the controversy, whether the rite of confirmation rests on Scripture authority or not, I may be allowed to remark, it affords an admirable opportunity to our clergy of the establishment for pouring into the ears of our youth, the wholesome food of sound doctrine; and that it is a well authenticated fact, that numbers of Christians trace their first religious impressions from this interesting period of their lives. May we not justly hope, that the majority of our youth entertain reverential ideas of the ministerial character, and like my young cousin and myself, are disposed to believe their affirmations, regarding them as oracles of wisdom and piety? But I hasten to relate the decision and effects produced therefrom on the present occasion.
“ With a grave, or rather melancholy air, Lucy entered the drawing-room, where a few minutes before the young Curate had been introduced to my aunt and myself. Although I would have given half my fortune to have staid the interview, I obeyed the nod from my aunt, which indicated her wish I should retire. The warm emotions of sympathy I experienced, were only equalled by my impatience for a private audience, which I could not obtain till the following day. I had, however, the satisfaction to observe my cousin's face was again restored to its usual air of cheerfulness, at which I was not in the least surprised, having frequently heard my late preceptor's poor parishioners observe, that a visit from him always did their hearts good,' and made their spirits lightsome. What a happy lot is that of a Minister, and how well have I judged by choosing it, exclaimed I to myself, as I mused over the bright side of clerical duties.
“ The happy moment for gratifying curiosity arrived, when Lucy declared the substance of what had passed at the dreaded and important interview, in nearly the following words: Celebs, you were never more mistaken in all your life about the meaning of the catechism. Mamma seeing me Aurried when I first came in, engaged Mr. — in conversation, which composed me more than she could be aware of, as it turned on the very subject which had perplexed me so much. She asked him whether he was a subscriber to the new assembly, and he replied in the affirmative; though he said his profession would, as he conceived, make it indecorous to join the dance or the card table, but he should occasionally be a spectator. Mamma commended his religious consideration in public, but she hoped he had less reserve in private, and that she should be favoured sometimes with his company to her parties. To this he very politely bowed his assent, and I then of course felt certain there
was no harm in these sort of entertainments. As I suppose I now looked a little more composed in my mind, mamma opened the subject for which he had expressly called. He commended her for wishing me to be confirmed, and hoped my own wishes coincided. I replied I had no objection, if I was fit to be confirmed. He then asked me if I could repeat my catechism perfectly. Mamma answered I could do so before I was five years old; for though she did not approve of teazing children with book learning very early, she took care that both you and I should be taught our duty in the catechism. Mr. said he made no doubt I had been well instructed, and there could be no reason to suppose the Bishop would refuse me confirmation. He advised me to read over again and be quite perfect in the catechism, and to use a few prayers and meditations which he would send me; and soon took leave after a little more conversation about indifferent matters: thus, concluded my fair cousin, this dreaded affair has turned out a mere bugbear of my own creating.' “You are not sure of that neither,' returned I, “you forget the Bishop, perhaps he may be more inquisitive.' I thought of that,' returned Lucy, 6 and hinted the idea to Mr. just as he was going way; but he assured me he had attended many confirmations, and never heard a single Bishop ask any question.'
My cousin flew gaily away, and left me deeply musing on her short discourse, particularly her concluding sentencema Bishop asks no questions on these occasions: what an unbounded confidence then does he place in his inferior brethren; yet here was an instance of its fallibility. The solemn doctrine of responsibility rose for the first time to my youthful imagination, and I resolved never to be a Bishop.”
That confirmation is managed in this way in America we do not affirm; and of several of our worthy prelates we must certainly expect better things. It may not be unprofitable, nevertheless, for the best of Bishops to read these strictures of Cælebs; for we are all easily tempted to supineness, and negligence in the discharge of clerical duties. Even the love of science, when pursued for our own gratification, or as the means of fame, may tempt even a good minister to perform the work of the Lord negligently, as the story of Cælebs clearly evinces; notwithstanding the solemn premonitions of his faithful teacher, who followed him with paternal epistles. In one of these he warns the youth, that the divine and moralist may have drunk so deeply of the stream of learning, as
to need a renovating draught from that well of living water, which Jesus alone can give.
While on this subject we remark, with regret, that several passages of the novel convey, probably without the author's intending they shoold, an idea that the acquisitions of science are unfriendly to piety; and that col. leges invariably divert the attention from the sacred volume and secret prayer. We are not displeased that some of the British colleges should be censured on this subject; and we doubt not but many of their professors would have said to a youth who should have written like Celebs, 'your piece is radically defective; you have founded your arguments and illustrations on scripture principles—now we lay them quite aside when we reason upon any subject:' still irreligion springs not from science; nor are the fountains of learning, by any thing in the nature of human literature, necessarily rendered fountains of infidelity. But Celebs went to college, and his religious principles being very questionable, and his feelings unsettled, was tempted to be less strict in the outward observance of the forms of religion, and to be. come to a degree, extravagant and immoral: which, alas! is no unusual case; even in our comparatively virtuous seminaries and universities. When our hero had arrived at the age of eighteen, and before he left college, his aunt informed him that he might not be so poor as she had hitherto induced him to suppose.
“She informed me the grounds on which she built her fears for my slender provision, which was the circumstance of my father's property being in the hands of an old friend of his, who was a Presbyterian, and consequently, agreeably to the old adage, might be expected to play a few · Presbyterian tricks. She acknowledged that he had paid all my expenses with great readiness, and declared himself willing to render me a satisfactory statement, when I was of age to demand it. She accounted for my never having seen this friend, from the circumstance of a quarrel having arisen between the gentleman and herself on their first interview, when I was committed to her care at three years of age. She recommended me now to pay him a visit, and endeavour to obtain particulars of my real state of pecuniary resource; at the same time cautioning me against being caught in any religious trap he might lay for me,