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Remarks on the subjects of Andrew Ettleweel's Letters.
of the ruling power to remove every such cause of offence from
Nor is Mr Ettleweel's second letter on a subject of inferior importance. What he there says in opposition to the criminal practice of carousing together, in an alehouse on Sunday between the forenoon and the afternoon service is all very well, though I am sorry to think that he has not in this instance treated the offence with half the severity it demands. He has too much judgment and good sense to refuse a sober and necessary refreshment to those that have come from a distance, and who, whether in an inn or a private house will always conduct themselves with that decency of deportment, which, amid all our faults and follies, is still the prevailing characteristic of a Sabbath in Scotland; and the force of his censure is very properly directed against that vain and worldly conversation, which, at such a time, is not only criminal in itself
, but altogether anfits the mind for the peculiar duties of the day. But still he has not exposed, as he should have done, the fault he is criminating. For though it is no doubt an amiable weakness in Andrew that has induced him to deal so leniently with the feelings of his acquaintances, he ought ever, like a man of unyielding principle, to do his duty whomsoever he may
offend. And you are well aware, Mr Editor, and so is your
friend too, that it has long been a practice for many young people of both sexes to retire, during the interval, not for the
purpose of needful refreshment, but that each lad may enjoy the company of his lass, and perhaps mortify a rival who, though he waited long at the dismission, and gazed on the crowds till they had all gone by, was notwithstanding outwitted by some dexterous artifice cone trived, it is probable, during the pronouncing of the last. prayer. And hence it often happens, not to mention the scandalous excess to which this offence is generally carried on at the stated returns of our most solemn ordinances, that the minds of these young people when they return to the afternoon service, are in a frame directly opposed to what is absolutely requisite, and every one of them, by presuming to join in the expression of high devotion, while their hearts are otherwise einployed, and full of levity, are found lying unto God, and guilty of a sin only one step lower than deliberate blasphemy.
But these idle and profane abuses, so completely destructive of all moral and religious improvement are by no means peculiar to
Remarks on the subjects of Andrew Ettleweel's Letters.
Kilmarnock and the neighbouring parishes, nor confined to the working or illiterate part of the community. worthy friend be permitted to observe the manner in which a Sabbath, and a Sabbath evening, are spent by many a daring profligate in Glasgow; durst he but venture to look into the club-room to which we could direct him, or were it possible for him to believe the doings we have heard related by some “ that glory in their shame,” he could not fail to be exceedingly shocked, and would almost tremble lest the black cloud that overhangs it would rain down fire from heaven to consume the city. But turning away from the painful thought of scenes like these, and passing by the individuals that bear about with them the broad and leçible stamp of reprobation, we cannot help adverting to the very improper habit that prevails among many of otherwise excellent characters, of spending the time between sermons in the public Coffee-room; and, while speaking to men of this description, who are not to be bullied by declamation, or ridden down by authority, we would wish to lay aside every thing like resentment; to forget, if possible, the ill effects of their example; and treat with them solely on the grounds of tender and affectionate concern. Our limits indeed at present do not permit us to enter into an argument. But here it is not necessary. They that are disposed to resist the conviction of their own consciences upon
this subject will never yield to the reasoning of another; and, even when driven from every plausible defence, they will most strenuously ward off the necessity of compliance by alleging that every priyate resort, to which they can bave accoss, is fully as bad, if not
To reason, therefore, in such circumstances, especially since much of the argument must necessarily rest upon feelings which, as is greatly to be feared, are as yet strange to the offenders, would be out of rule, and altogether fruitless. We can only wish, and that most earnestly, to see them withdraw from under the polluting influence that prevails in such a place, assuring them with the fullest confidence, that, if they are to be finally happy, the time will come when they will rank themselves cordially with us, on what they already acknowledge to be the wisest and softest side of the question.
Nor is it mere officiousness that prompts us thus to intermeddle with the concerns of others. Sentiments of another kind, grounded on experience, must be called to account for it. Sometiinc ago, in the course of professional duty, as well as from pri
Remarks on the subjects of Andrew Ettleweel's Letters.
vate friendship, I was summoned to attend at the sick-bed of Lothario. He was a man loved by every body, and a welcome guest whererer he appeared. In social virtue, indeed, he seemed to have gained the highest perfection; and if at any time the tongue of slander presumed to arraign the goodness of his heart, every other voice was ready to wipe off the aspersion. Lotharia moreover was frequently in church He often displayed a fine taste in discerning the beauties of the sermon; and had it not been that he was regularly found in the Coffee-rooin during the intervals, many a one, even of the strictest prefession, would have been inclined to pronounce him religious. But all who felt within themselves the delicacy of religious sentiment, knew well that a feeling of that kind could not possibly exist together with those other tastes and habits, that led hiin so habitually at such a time to delight in the company to be met at a public News-room. And alas! the conclusion drawn from this single observation was but too correct. Personal religion and private virtue, which alone are of any use when the last hour arrives, were not among the many ornaments that adorned the character of my friend: and I shall never never forget what to him was the awful consequence. For when the mournful time at last came when I was obliged to give way to the clergyman, oh! how he grasped the good man's hand, and clung to it, as if it had been still, at that moment, in the
power of a fellow-mortal to save him from the indescribable terrors that were then thickening around. But ah! the day of probation was now at a close. And who shall ever know what Lothario suffered? For while heyet writhed under the agonies of despair, death came upon him; and forced him away to his account.
Let us, Mr. Editor, while we drop a tear to his mcmory, draw a curtain over the scene, and presume not to pry into. the secrets of the world unknown. But let us, at the saine time, learn to cherish with habitual tenderness, the sentiments of pure and undefiled religion as the basis of a more perfect morality; that when the sun
of life is going down, and the shades of the long night begin to close, the bright star of Hope may ascend, and the seraph of Peace be awaiting to conduct us happily to everlasting repose.
Letter from Gavin Kinloch.
TO THE EDITOR.
DEAR FRIEN', Its no frae an auld doitsd carle like me that ye're to expeck ony thing that can instruck them wha tak yir beuk; an'
ken weel that the time's gane by whan I could help to wyle awa' a lang winter nicht, or join i' the daffin I liket langsyne.
The ingle side that used, ye min', to be sae blythe an’ sae canty at e'en, is a' lanely now. The neebors that cam' aften to see me afore, are drappin' awa'; for there's nae kent face comes up the loan to speer after me, but Andrew Ettleweel, honest man, whiles whan he's gaun by to Kilmarnock, an' Pate Walker, maybe, in' the gloamin', whan he's drivin' hame his father's kye. But, sin' ye were sae kin' as to say that
wad like to hear frae me again, I ance thocht o' writin' something concernin' the respeck that sud be paid to the place whare our friens are buried; an' whare some o’us, maybe, 'll soon be lyin' oursels; an' to tell how sair it gangs to the heart, to see daft callans rinnin' thochtless owre the graves o' our ain folk, an' puin' the gowans that soud get leave to grow aboon them. But, as I said afore, it wadna do for an auld doited man like me, to tak sae muckle upon him. Ye'll see yoursel by this unconnecked letter that
my min's aye wannerin' on subjecks that no mony like to think on; an' I doubt, gin I were to say muckle about reverencin' the place o' the dead, the minister micht mistak' me to mean that his horse soud na gang there; an' some young folk micht be tempted to forget the commanns o' the Alinichty, an' laugh at the silliness o' a puir heart-broken auld man. So I sen' this just to tak fareweel o' ye,
an' to thank
for speakin' sae respeckfully o’ Sandy, an' fór a' the kindness. I hae met wi' frae you an' yours. I've telt Mr. Wilson to sen' you a sang now an' than, whan ye want it for yir Mirror. But oh! Sir, while
ye hae't in yir power dinna forget, aften an' earnestly to advise yir readers no to be owre muckle bun’
ony. thing they hae here. Tell them, an auld man, wha coudna stan’ affiction himsel', gied ye this advice, and left them his blessin', an' wis’d to them an' to you, that a' yir hopes o' happiness in this warl
mayna be blasted as mine were, an ilka man, whan his en' comes, may hae his ain bairns about him to lichten his partin' moments, an' carry him to the place appointed for a' livin'.
Letter from Gavir Kinloch.
There's anither thing I wad like to speak to ye about. Ablins you or some discreet man amang yir acquaintance can tell me, gin there be nae death watches now, nor ony that my grannie used to speak sae muckle about afore she died. Nae doubt, auld folk spak' o'mony things langsyne, sic as dreams, an’ warnins' an how the Enemy gangs about misleadin' the wicked, an'ither things, whilk are a' fan' out to be lees now, as I hae heard say: but I canná whiles help doubtin', gin it be sae, whan I fin' sae muckle in
my ain experience, that peeous folk used to say, sudna be neglecket. I seldom gang, out to walk, but I fin' myseľ wannerin' in the Kirkyard, tho' I maybe ettled afore I cain' out to gang the ither gate; an' I spen' the lea-lang nicht in dreamin' that Sandy's cum hame again, or that I'm gaun some ither whare conversin' wi' him about leaven. I thocht yestreen, we cam' to a bonny glen, an' as I was vera wearit, we sat down thegither on a wee green knowe: then my grandfather, and my father, an'mony mae, that hae been lang dead, cam an' shaket han's wi' me; an' they sang sweet sangs like them that auld Elspa Morrison said she learn’t in Fairy-lan': an' then I thocht it was the kirkyard we were in, an' me sittin' on Sandy's grave; an' there was ane new houked aside it, an' my gran'father pointed till’t, an’ syne they a' leuked at me.
But what I'm maist at a loss to account for is, that the Linty he learned sae mony blythe tunes till, has, forgot them a' now; an' whiles it disna sing ava for a week, an' then it sings the hale day—the lan' o' the leal.” An' the wee doggie that used to rin ahint him often begins to howl sae pitifu', that it wad break yir heart to hear him, as it's helpit to break mine: an' the flowers i' the yard that he delved about, an' busked sae bonnily, are a' witherin'; an' some o'them hae clean died awa. I whiles think that thae flowers are like Sandy, and that the leafs, the auld wizen'd leafs that fa’ beside them whan the win' blaws, are
To be sure its unco silly in me to be speakin’ sae muckle o' thae things; but ye wad excuse me gin ye kent that it helps to mak'
my breast lichter, an' maybe its nair my duty to think o? sic like, than some o' my frien's advise me till. Last Sabbath, ye min', the minister, i' the coorse o' preachin' upon the duty o' readin' the Scriptures, said hoo that they can gie comfort in every 'affliction, an' that we're aften direcket to places that best sute our state; an' whiles we get warnin's in them o' the ills we inay