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on, gathers, because they are flowers, thinks she can never have enough, and leaves off, be: cause the hand can squeeze no more--she binds it-it is a bundle of flowers-but the former is a nosegay.
A love of genuine simplicity is, perhaps, the best proof of an approximation to mental ma. turity. But there is an infantile state, during which gaudiness and glitter, shining metaphors, and poetical prose are preferred to it.
Nearly the same may be said with regard to what is ingenious. That which distinguishes the true from the spurious is this, the effect appears natural as soon as it is produced, though it was not obvious before; and the reader or hearer wonders that he had not been able to achieve himself what now seems so plain. Thus Milton, in referring to the consequence of Satan's advice in the council:
" The invention all admir'd, and each how he
If this statement be just, there is much that would
pass for the effect of genius that abides not the test. If the thoughts are surprising, they are not natural: and instead of being easy, they require labor to compréhend and retain them, as well as to produce them. They may indicate learning, and display knowledge, but they do not fascinate, so that a man cannot disengage his mind froin the charm! they do not dissolve, lim so that all his feelings are melted into a sympathy of delight with the subject! And here again it is no unusual thing for young preachers to err. They value things according to the labor tbey cost them, and expect others to do the same; and after straining and polishing, wonder at the little interest they have been able to excite; while others by a touch will electrify. The mind is in the best state for composition when it is full of feeling, but at ease, insensible of great expectations from it, and unapprehensive of difficulty. A man may run himself out of breath with his eyes in the air; the flowers are at his feet.
In the discharge of his office as a minister, nothing was overlooked
“ But in his duty prompt at ev'ry call,
bird each fond endearment tries,
“ Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
With regard to this part of his work in which he peculiarly excelled, though he imagined himself very defective in the manner of the performance; he bas expressed himself in a letter to Rev. Mr.' Sr, of BS: and the hints may be serviceable to others. : 56 You wish to possess my idea on visiting the sick. What I have to say upon this subject is in brief. I find it to be one of the most difficult parts of my ministry. To speak to a careless sinner as though his state were favorable, is not possible. To use those liberties which some good men do, I cannot, by attempting to torture the mind, by imposing duties which though they may be expected from convalescence, cannot from persons whose minds have been so injured by their disorder that they can. not preserve a chain of thought nor exert themselves in the diligent pursuit of knowledge necessary to be acquired. I can seldom do more than remind them that it is a melancholy consideration if they have put off the concerns of the soul till they are fit for nothing; urge them to examine themselves diligently, reminding them that while they are strangers to the evil of sin, they cannot put a true estimate upon Jesus Christ; that there is no salvation for any but in him; that if under a consciousness of their guilt they earnestly apply to him, from his merciful and gracious disposition there is hope concerning them.-Indeed the peculiar circumstances of the patient, guide to proper language, and it is pleasure rather than pain, to attend those whose state is promissory, whose sickness is sanctified, and who are reaping the benefits of a work of grace previously begun upon them. I generally turn from the sick to those who are healthy in the room, and conceive that by serious addresses to them, I may speak what is necessary to the sick. I generally endeavour to be very serious in prayer and usually if the case of the patient will bear it read, and, as it is your practice, make use of the scriptures in my address.”
Mr. Winter was singularly pre-eminent in the devotional part of his ministerial work. I bave heard many pray, but I never heard one that prayed like him. · I never knew him at a loss for a word, or using a word improperly: Such was the copiousness, such the flexibility of luis talent, that without any premeditation, he could perfectly accomodate his language to every oecurrence. He introduced little things with dignity, and delicate ones without offence. This gave him a great advantage, as he was enabled at all times to notice very affectionately the various and minute circumstances of his people. Were some to attempt' this, who possess not. his richness and ease of diction, it would only embarrass them and render them formal and absurd.
I am persuaded however, that much of his devotional fluency' arose from the state of his Tieart; for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. The purity and fervor of his benevolence made his tongue as the pen of a ready writer. We can easily plead for those we love, and he loved all he beheld. In one of his letters he beautifully remarks, in allusion to the words of our Savior, “ That when he looked down upon the congregation, he saw every where his brother, bis sister, his mother.”
-Nowonder such a man could prayor---preach. The sabbath morning he was more than ordinarily devotional, and commonly indulged himself at length, especially in intercession: at other tiines he was rather short.