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end is answered. For this purpose he has made a simple story, in many of its parts founded on truth, the medium through which high and momentous points of doctrine are brought under familiar discussion, with a view of gaining, more particularly, the attention of those who would fly from works of a professedly serious and theological nature; and he indulges a hope, that such an attempt to beguile his readers into a consideration of matters intimately connected both with their present temporal, and future eternal, welfare, may be the means of leading them on to the prosecution of a deeper and more enlarged enquiry into these most important subjects.
Ir fell to my lot to sustain the misfortune of losing my parents at an early stage of my life, and though at that period I was little sensible. of the calamity, every succeeding year brought with it a poignancy which increased until I arrived at maturity, when, as I began to feel my independence, it forsook me, and finally left upon my mind a sensation of indifference towards myself, and a disinclination to sympathize with the feelings of others. In comparing my situation and circumstances with those around me, I found a void that I could not fill. There was a chasm caused by the breaking up of filial and parental affection that nothing, now connected with me, could close; and the happiness in which I saw others placed with regard to their relatives, and the strong interest which each of these seemed to feel in the concerns of the others, created a disappointment that rankled in my heart, and at length produced the evil passion of envy, ultimately terminating in misanthropy. At
school, I believe, though not looked upon as a good-natured boy, I was never considered a dull one; indeed, I took delight in acquiring a mental superiority over those, who, in other respects appeared to be more happy than myself, and I had the satisfaction of frequently hearing my talents envied, though not so often as my unsocial and gloomy spirit contemned. In this manner I passed my boyhood, neither loving, nor beloved, for I had nothing in my disposition to excite affection, and there were none whose kindness to me prompted even a feeling of regard. A promise had been long given by an old friend of my father, who was a man in power, that if my inclination led me to the church, I should be provided with a living. This induced my easy guardians to grant an allowance from my small patrimony for the purpose, and I was placed in the University, where my unsocial habits induced me to become diligent, that I might have a pretence for avoiding society, and that I might better inspire those with respect who were inclined to treat my manners with contempt; and many were the instances in which I made myself dreaded by the scorner, and to be courted even by the wise. Here, however, after a residence of two years,