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the right. From the just reputation which he had acquired at the university, and the advantageous connexions he had formed, there cannot be a doubt that the road to ecclesiastical preferment lay open before him; he had only to pursue his way to arrive at emolument and distinction. He was even more fortunately circumstanced than the generality of churchmen; his proficiency in classical erudition was such as must have rendered him a desirable acquisition in the capacity of a tutor even to the first families and interests in the nation. He could make himself eminently useful, and therefore could, in some measure, have commanded fortune. To discuss the foundation of his religious scruples is not necessary in this place. It is sufficient that they were most conscientiously entertained; and of this the strongest proof was the regret which he so commonly expressed that the career of his honest ambition was interrupted, and his sphere of usefulness proportionably circumscribed, by the continual opposition between his duty and his interest.
This tenaciousness of his integrity, this strict adherence to the dictates of conscience was not confined in a solitary instance, nor to
* Justum et tenacem propositi virum,
one walk of life, it was visible in every transaction whatever, and was carried, as some would think, to an extreme, if there can be an extreme of rectitude and honesty. Some things, which in Mr. Wakefield were too generally regarded as the faults of temper, are to be attributed to this source;-to a feeling exquisitely delicate of the just and upright in human dealings. To this he cheerfully sacrificed every other consideration, and "counted all things but loss" for the performance of his duty. If his zeal for what he regarded as the right carried him on some occasions beyond the strict boundary of prudence, still let not those who may differ in opinion from him mistake the motive. It was pure as that of a martyr, and as it was pure it was respectable.
It may appear somewhat extraordinary, that though of a very fervid spirit, he never in private seemed desirous of making proselytes to his religious opinions. The writer of this character (who was particularly honoured with the intimate acquaintance of Mr. Wakefield for a longer series of years than, perhaps, any man now in existence out of his own family, and who yet essentially differed from him on the most important points) can testify, that he never made the slightest attempt to
gain over his friend to his own opinions. He seldom indeed introduced them in conversation, unless he was attacked upon them. He professed himself in general a friend to free inquiry, and recommended a perusal of the scriptures to every one, rather with a view to the exploring of the truth than to confirm or establish any particular doctrines, whether his own, or those of any other sectary.
If Mr. Wakefield erred, it was in the sex vere, and, perhaps, sometimes uncharitable, manner in which he treated his literary and political adversaries. Yet even in this-the most vulnerable part of his character-it may with truth be affirmed, that he was directed more by principle than by passion. It was that nice sensibility to every deviation from moral principle, so characteristic of his own conduct, that rendered him severe towards those who seemed to trifle with their duty. Besides this, he had imbibed an opinion that every literary controversy should be strenuously conducted, or not entered into at all; and this he thought justified the violence of the parties, especially when truth was the object. His controversial writings are, therefore, in some instances, defaced by intemperance of language, by personalities, and even by rude
expressions. Much of this would have been corrected had he not always been too hasty in the composition of his productions, or had he taken time to correct them. But they were in general the effusions of the moment, and committed to the press, perhaps, without his having even once glanced over their contents.
In private life, where his natural dispositions were most predominant, he was the reverse of this. He was the mild, the cheerful, the amusing companion. His lips were tinged with honey, though his pen was sometimes dipped in gall. He was lively and even playful in conversation. He loved young persons, and was beloved by them, as was evinced, among other instances, in the attachment of the students at Hackney college. He could bear contradiction with great temper, though he asserted his own opinions with firmness; but in general he was not fond of dispu
Let not the infidel or the sceptic audaciously claim any "lot or part" in this excellent man. His opinions, though differing in some respects from established doctrines, were diametrically opposite, and invariably hostile to theirs. He was not satisfied with thinking that the scriptures offer much better grounds
for virtue than any system that ever appeared; his opinion was that they furnish the only grounds, and other systems none at all. He was therefore a firm believer in the promises and prospects afforded by the gospel.
Mr. Wakefield's talents will scarcely be judged of correctly by his publications. His reputation for classical learning is indeed well established, not only in this country, but throughout Europe. He was critically versed in all the Greek and Roman writers: he was master of the Hebrew, and possessed a knowledge of the Arabic and even the Coptic. For these studies he was eminently qualified, by possessing one of the most retentive memories that ever fell to the lot of man. He assured the writer of these pages that at one time of his life he had by heart the whole of Virgil and Horace, almost the whole of Homer and of Pindar, and the Holy Scriptures. Of this we may cite as a proof his uncommon readiness and aptness at quotation. Those. pieces which he composed most rapidly are full of learned quotations, when it is manifest from the time he employed upon them, that it was impossible any part of it should have been expended in looking into books. He frequently indeed lamented that his memory was so tenacious, that in composing, the chain of