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Title: The Life and Letters of the Rev. George Mortimer, M.A. - Rector of Thornhill, in the Diocese of Toronto
Author: Armstrong, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Life and Letters of the Rev. George Mortimer, M.A. - Rector of Thornhill, in the Diocese of Toronto" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

GEORGE MORTIMER, M.A.***


Transcribed from the 1847 Aylott and Jones edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                   [Picture: Public domain book cover]

[Picture: Silhouette of George Mortimer, signed: Yours truly affectionate
                             George Mortimer]



                                   THE
                             LIFE AND LETTERS
                                  OF THE
                        REV. GEORGE MORTIMER, M.A.
                           RECTOR OF THORNHILL,
               _IN THE DIOCESE OF TORONTO_, _CANADA WEST_.


                          COMPILED AND PREPARED

                    BY THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG, B.A.,

                     BRITISH CHAPLAIN OF MONTE VIDEO,
                              SOUTH AMERICA.

    “I bear the greatest veneration for the memory of that man
    (Archbishop Leighton) that I do for any man; and reckon my early
    knowledge of him, and my long and intimate conversation with him,
    among the greatest blessings of my life; and for which I know I must
    give an account to God, at the great day, in a most particular
    manner.”  _Bishop Burnet_.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                    AYLOTT AND JONES, PATERNOSTER ROW

                                * * * * *

                               MDCCCXLVII.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                         J. UNWIN, BUCKLERSBURY.

                                * * * * *



PREFACE.


THOUGH I feel it to be really a privilege to be the instrument of
introducing to the public the life and correspondence of the most
intimate friend, especially of my early life, that I have ever possessed,
and of one of the truly excellent in the earth; yet, from an unfeigned
consciousness of my incompetency for the task, I would most willingly
have left it to other hands, and to other hands I offered it, and urged
upon them my earnest desire that they would undertake it; but from all I
received excuses as to themselves, and pressing invitations to myself to
engage in the work.  They conceived that I might possess more materials
for the purpose than any other person; but they knew not the slenderness
of my capacity to prepare the memoir of one whose general character,
talents and excellences, merit a much abler pen than mine, to set them
forth with perspicuity and advantage.

His old friend and associate at Wellington, the Rev. John King, now
Incumbent of Christ Church, Hull, to whom I wrote on the subject, thus
addressed me:—“But independently of all considerations of this kind, I
believe you would be much better qualified than myself, or than any other
person I know, to do justice to the excellent yet peculiar character of
the departed.  Let me beseech you, therefore, to arrange your
correspondence and materials with a view to publication.”

His excellent and much-loved sister, Mrs. Holland, wrote to me as
follows:—“The early, close, continued, and personal acquaintance you had
with my dear brother, constitute you, in my opinion, his most suitable
biographer.”

And his brother, the Rev. Thomas Mortimer, wrote to me in a similar
strain:—“On the very day that I received your letter, I was fully
intending to write to you, _entreating_ you _not_ to abandon your design
of writing a memoir of your dear departed friend, my beloved brother
George.  _You_, above all persons I know, are the man to undertake that
work of love with any prospect of a successful issue.  Your own
correspondence with him, through such a long series of years, would alone
furnish rich matter, I doubt not, for a biographer.”

Thus urged and encouraged, I was unwilling not to do my best: and if I
have proved myself but an unfit steed to draw such a chariot, the
friends, at least, of my dear departed friend must not forget that it was
they who put me into it; and this same consideration also will, I hope,
lead others to view the faults and imperfections of the work with
indulgence.  Happily for me, the work is one rather of selection and
compilation than of original composition, and the life of my friend will
suffer less from the hand that draws it up, by reason of his speaking
chiefly for himself; his correspondence is, perhaps, his best memoir, and
this is the kind of life that it falls to my lot to prepare of him.

The attentive perusal of his letters for publication has most vividly
brought to my mind and remembrance the man whom, I can truly say, I loved
almost as my own soul; very delightful was our intercourse with one
another when associated together, very close was our intimacy, and warm
and stedfast our friendship: and the great point of union between us, the
connecting link in the chain of our connexion, was our common, and, I
trust, unfeigned faith in Christ crucified for the salvation of mankind.
We were neither of us originally destined for the service of the
sanctuary; but it pleased God, early in life, to call us to the knowledge
of himself, and to inspire us with an ardent desire to preach that gospel
to others, who had ourselves been made personally sensible of the
deliverance brought to the soul by it.  Through God’s good providence
also it was that we were both led to the same retired and secluded
village of Chobham, in Surrey, where, under the instruction of the Rev.
Charles Jerram, then curate of the parish, but since successively vicar
of it, and Rector of Witney, Oxon, we received the finishing part of our
education preparatory to our college course; and up to the time of our
leaving the university, we were personally, as well as cordially, united,
in no ordinary bonds of friendship, few days passing without our meeting
together.  From that time our personal intercourse may almost be said to
have ceased; he spent a week with me in my first curacy in Bedfordshire,
and I spent a week with him in Canada about two years before his death.
In the intervening long period, we did not meet, I think, more than once;
and that after promising one another a yearly exchange of visits, so
little dependence can be placed upon the events of time.  The time is
coming, however, I trust, when our union will be again renewed, and
become as personal and as cordial as before, but infinitely more pure and
spiritual, and therefore more perfect and satisfactory—subject to no
painful fluctuation or interruptions, and coeval with eternity.

_Monte Video_, _January_, 1847.



LIFE AND LETTERS.


GEORGE MORTIMER, the interesting subject of the present Memoir, was the
third son of Harvey Walklate Mortimer, the well known gun-maker in
Fleet-street, London.  He was born May 20th, 1784; and it pleased God to
deprive him of his excellent mother the latter end of the following year.
Thus bereaved of watchful maternal care, he was placed with a relative at
Birmingham, who loved him tenderly.  His health was delicate, and the
deformity which ever after made “his bodily presence weak,” was caused by
suffering him to sit and lie in one posture during a long illness, in
which his restoration seemed impossible; God, however, was graciously
pleased to spare him for future usefulness.

In the year 1787, his father again entered the married state, and George
and his elder brothers were treated with the fondest attention.  Little
deserving of remark is known of the days of his childhood and youth; as
he grew in years he attained to an average measure of bodily vigour,
enjoyed a good share of health, and was generally beloved and esteemed.
His first instruction was received under Doctor Hall, of East Acton; and
he finished his scholastic pursuits with the Rev. Mr. Audinet, a French
Protestant Clergyman, near the British Museum, who used to perform divine
service in French, near the Seven Dials; here, in addition to other
attainments, he acquired a knowledge of Latin and French.  In November,
1798, he was bound apprentice to Mr. Otridge, a respectable bookseller in
the Strand, with whom he continued for the usual period of seven years.

It is not exactly known at what period he became truly earnest and
decided in the Christian life, though it appears to have been in the
earlier years of his apprenticeship; and, as will hereafter be seen, he
considered the late Joseph Butterworth, Esquire, for some time Member of
Parliament for Dover, as his spiritual father.  The first notice which we
have of the state of his mind is found in a letter written to his elder
sister, to whom he was fondly attached, dated August, 1801.  Alluding to
that happy period, he says:—

    “When I first set out in the Christian race, I was mocked and laughed
    at, but this only drove me to my Saviour.  I remember with what joy I
    could appeal to the Lord, and say, ‘Thou seest, O my God, what I
    endure for thy sake;’ and I assure you no moments were spent so
    pleasantly as those which I could get by myself in some retired
    place, to lift up my heart to God; sweet, indeed, were the comforts I
    thus enjoyed.  I gave all into the hands of my Saviour, and
    everything I undertook prospered.  When in want of anything, I
    prayed, and all my wants were supplied; indeed, I never remember
    anything being held from me, but, sooner or later, I saw it would
    have been hurtful.  What encouragement to give all into his hands!”

                                * * * * *

                                                 Strand, 17th March, 1802.

IT is with thankfulness to my kind and indulgent God that I can tell you
my soul is in a prosperous state, and my desires after a higher degree of
divine life greatly increased.  The Lord is indeed blessing me; for
though I still find wrong tempers unsubdued, these are my burden, and I
cannot rest till I find daily pardon in the Redeemer of mankind.

                                * * * * *

Many extracts might be given from his letters written about this time to
his sister, which indicate his uncommon devotedness to God, and his
earnest desire for her advancement in the Christian life.

It has already been stated that he looked upon the late Mr. Jos.
Butterworth as the instrument, in the Divine hand, which brought him into
an acquaintance with his God and Saviour.  Through the advice also of
this same excellent man, it seems, he was led to turn his attention
towards the service of the sanctuary; and, prior to his going up to the
University, he went to the Rev. C. Jerram’s, to prepare himself for his
collegiate course; and from that gentleman’s house the two following
letters to his sister were written:—

                                             Chobham House, 5th Nov. 1806.

Dear Mary,

THAT kind and gracious God who watches over his children for good has
brought me safely to this place.  The country, though at present deprived
of many of its ornaments, has not lost its charms to me.  I have now
visited my accustomed haunts, and have experienced that pleasure in
recalling past ideas, which is better conceived than expressed.  On this
spot I am reminded of a glorious view of the unchangeable love of God,
and on that of his amazing condescension and my astonishing vileness;
here I recollect the excellent Fenelon furnished me with pious
considerations, and there the industrious and indefatigable bee
stimulated my sloth; and the result of these recollections produced in my
heart a glow of sincere affection to that God who had so variously
visited me, and a determination to devote all my powers to the
advancement of his glory.

Notwithstanding my haste to leave Islington, I found, on my arrival, I
was the only one of Mr. Jerram’s pupils who had returned.  At first I
regretted not taking your advice, but the spiritual treat reserved for me
soon made me change my mind.  This treat was no less than the unexpected
company of Mr. Venn, of Clapham.  Mr. V. had come the day before to see
Mr. Cecil, and spent that evening with Mr. Jerram.  As it is natural when
we taste fruit of a superior flavour to wish others to share our
enjoyment, I could not help wishing my sister had been with me to partake
of the pleasures I then received.  I sat in all the luxury of silence,
and listened to the gracious words which fell from his lips.  Among the
many things which warmed and charmed my heart, I think those made the
greatest impression which related to his father.  Oh, what a spiritual
heavenly man!  Mr. Jerram mentioned that he considered a few hours he was
permitted to spend with him as the happiest and most profitable he ever
experienced; “and so powerfully,” said he, “was his conversation
impressed upon my mind, that it was uppermost in my thoughts for the
succeeding half-year.  It was such an epocha in my Christian life as I
never enjoyed, either before or since.”

This day eight years I went to Mr. Otridge’s.  What a variety of changes
has taken place since that period!  Of all I esteem that the most blessed
which has brought me into my present circumstances.  May God so bless me
in this path that good may be imparted to my own soul, and glory ascribed
to his name.

                                                 Chobham, 27th June, 1807.

THANK you for your kind, affectionate, and Christian remembrance on my
birth-day; I had quite forgotten it; but this I remember, I was more than
commonly blessed in prayer, and had peculiar delight in reading the
Scriptures; indeed, I intended to note it down as a day of choicest
blessings.  May God favour me with many such days during the year on
which I have entered!  May many pentecostal seasons be given; may much
humiliation and self-abasement before God be daily felt; may the foot of
the cross be hourly visited, and may my views be incessantly directed to
Him who lives in heaven to plead for me!

I received much good lately in reading Wilberforce on Christianity.  I
took it up as a book which I thought I ought to read, but did not expect
that rich vein of excellence which I found in almost every part of the
work; his Christianity is truly vital, and his diction admirable.  I have
also finished the life of Judge Hale, by Burnet, and am now reading Mr.
Fletcher’s Letters.  I scarcely ever read a few pages without profit; the
wonderful spirit of this excellent man frequently brings tears from my
eyes; I stop and reflect, and would give all the world, did I possess it,
could I enjoy the same spirit.  I am well persuaded that no blessings,
excepting these, considered merely in themselves, are worth our pursuit.
Greek, Latin, and Mathematics, are but a poor portion, if we have nothing
more; it is my constant endeavour, therefore, that these things should
sit lightly on my mind, that, while conscientiously improving every
particle of my time, I may still reserve my heart for God.

                                * * * * *

The following extract is taken from the first letter of a correspondence
with the writer’s endeared friend, which lasted almost without
interruption during a period of twenty years, and, at distant intervals
afterwards, until about two years before his death.



TO MR. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                           Chobham House, Jan. 13th, 1807.

My dear Friend,

MR. J. favoured me with a sight of the letter you wrote to him.  It gave
me great pleasure to find you in the first class, and to hear, also, that
you are fagging for your next term; though, blessed be God, human science
is no indispensable requisite, either for salvation or for a minister of
the Gospel, yet it possesses innumerable advantages, and I doubt not but
you will hereafter reap the fruits of your present exertions.  Our
greatest fear, my dear Armstrong, is that we should substitute learning
for religion, and lest we should endeavour to regulate our conduct more
by our present supposed circumstances than by the will of God; but I am
persuaded your fears on this subject are similar to my own, and,
therefore, I need not enlarge.  As for myself, when I sometimes stand
still, and consider how ardently I am engaged about trifles, and, as
Young observes,

    “Wasting my strength in strenuous idleness,”

I am quite ashamed, and I go making fresh resolutions of more devotedness
to God and more zeal in his service: but, alas! how little ground do I
gain after all!  Assist me with your prayers, your constant daily
prayers; and though we are distant in place, let us meet one another in
spirit.  My time of evening devotion is from six to seven; let us
endeavour in simplicity of heart to meet one another at this time at the
throne of grace; and may God pour on each of us that which will not only
impart a _present_ blessing, but diffuse a sacred tune of heavenly
affection through the _residue of our lives_.  Our employments
necessarily require the exercise of thought, and very much tend to
produce what the Methodists term “distraction;” but still the constant
influence of the Divine Spirit, and a continued simplicity of intention,
will enable us to be recollected, even in the midst of our studies.  I
was very much pleased lately in reading in the “Epistles of the Apostolic
Fathers” a passage in one of St. Ignatius’ Epistles, somewhat to this
effect; he is giving us some directions for our conduct in life, and
adds, “But even the _worldly_ things which _ye do_ are _spiritual_, for
ye do _all things_ in Jesus Christ.”  Oh that this may be the temper and
spirit of our lives; may all _our worldly things_ be offered upon this
altar, which sanctifies the gift; and after this transitory scene of
being is ended, may we with pleasure retrace a life entirely filled with
God.  I remain, my dear Armstrong,

                   Yours, affectionately and sincerely,

                                                              G. MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

He was accustomed to spend his long vacations, during his residence at
Cambridge, with a private tutor, who spent the time in some salubrious
and pleasant part of the country.  The following letter was written on
one of those occasions, and is a proof of his taste for fine scenery, as
well as of his great application to study.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                    Dawlish, near Exeter, Aug. 12th, 1809.

My dear Sister,

You are, no doubt, returned from Broadstairs, and enjoying the pleasures
arising from quiet and regular movements, and now and then, perhaps, in
the midst of your retirement a thought wanders towards Devon, and you
begin to wonder “what has taken the little fellow that he does not
write.”  I confess, time has glided on so insensibly, that I was not
aware how long I had been here; I shall really feel sorry to leave my
present situation, for I never spent five weeks so agreeably before.  I
lodge with good people, who do all they can to accommodate me.  I make
progress in my studies, which is another source of gratification, and I
am situated in the midst of a country the most diversified and beautiful.
As it is quite new to me, and I may probably never visit it again, I
avail myself of the present opportunity of seeing everything worthy of
notice, and since my purse will not allow me to enjoy any “leathern
convenience,” I have commenced pedestrian, and frequently walk from
fourteen to eighteen miles a day.  I take a syllabus with me, and go over
my subject in my mind, so that a peep now and then is all I require: by
this method I lose no time, and combine profit with amusement.  My stated
walks, however, are much shorter, and devoted to relaxation only.  But
there is another source of gratification which I must mention, and which
far exceeds all the rest; it is this, I feel I am advancing in the best
of things; religion has an increasing and diffusive influence over my
mind; it seems more and more my element, and I am enabled to live in that
spirit which a friend of ours on a late occasion attempted to ridicule—I
mean a spirit of recollection and prayer; not, indeed, so much so as I
could wish, or as I ought to do, but still much more so than formerly.
When my time for devotional exercises comes round, it is welcomed as the
happiest of the whole day, and my Sabbaths are days of real pleasure and
permanent good.  May such in kind, though greater in degree, be the happy
experience of my dear sister, and may no studies, no employments
whatever, be prosecuted, but in subordination to those of a spiritual
nature.  Religion, I am persuaded, should be everything or nothing; here
only a middle course is dangerous.  If we profess to admire and to be
influenced by heavenly objects, we should prize them above everything;
and yet, alas! (O shame to our Christian profession!) to what poor and
paltry considerations are they not daily sacrificed!  Adieu, my dearest
sister; may God preserve you pure and unspotted from the world until the
day of his appearing!

Yours, most affectionately and sincerely,

                  Both in Christian and fraternal bonds,

                                                                     G. M.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                Cambridge, December, 1809.

STUDY is, I am persuaded, at present my duty; but I shall be heartily
glad when another year is over, and I shall be left to pursue the duties
of the sacred office in peace and quietness, if it please God. . . .  How
often do I picture to myself these happy scenes, and “catch a momentary
joy;” but, perhaps, this hand which now glides swiftly, along the page
may soon forget to move.  I may be summoned to another world in the midst
of my academical pursuits, and may never have the honour granted me of
building the house of God.  Should this be the case, should your brother
be called to the peaceful tomb before another revolving year, bear in
mind, when he is gone, that his supreme wish has been unfulfilled, and
that his studies and trifling successes have not so filled his mind as to
call it off from the care of souls, and the earnest wish for their
salvation.  In this work I would gladly live and die; but the Supreme
Disposer of events knows what is best, and in that I hope, not only to
acquiesce, but to rejoice.  You wish for my thoughts on letter-writing.
I do not think you should make two copies of any letters, except it be
necessary to keep one by you for reference; few such circumstances occur,
and therefore I would advise you to write at once what you intend to
send.  I do not mean that you should put down whatever comes into your
mind, but write deliberately and with caution.  I would illustrate my
meaning by referring to what takes place in polite conversation;
supposing yourself to be in company, and obliged to converse, you would
not weigh and ponder your sentences over and over, but merely endeavour
to avoid anything indecorous, and to express yourself in tolerably good
language; or, if you will, in the best manner you are able.  When you
write, then, you should endeavour to let your thoughts flow freely and
easily, and express them in the most suitable words which occur at the
moment, but by no means to be solicitous in seeking fine words or
eloquent phrases.  Horace has a famous line in his Art of Poetry, which
has great strength in the original, but I must content myself with
Francis’ translation,

    “For if the mind with _clear conceptions_ glow,
    The _willing words_ in just expressions flow.”

The substance of what I would say is this, having settled your subject in
your mind, write at once, in the best manner you are able at the time;
practice will give considerable ease, and you will shortly write, not
only well, but with despatch.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                 Queen’s, June 24th, 1810.

My very dear Friend,

YOU are now, Armstrong, engaged in an employment to which you have been
for years looking forward as the most pleasing in your life; your ardent
spirit could not bear inactivity in your Master’s service, and now your
wishes are granted, and you at last experience the blessedness of
sounding in the ears of a thoughtless and giddy multitude the glad
tidings of reconciliation through the death of our blessed Redeemer.  I
need scarcely tell you that you have of late engrossed many of my
thoughts, and been the subject of many of my prayers.  I hope that I feel
no _common_ degree of interest when I hear of any true labourer being
called into the vineyard of our Lord; and shall I be less concerned when
one of the dearest friends I have upon earth is called to a similar
employment?  You are _entitled_ to my best of wishes; you have them
freely; and I have no doubt but the blessings of God will rest upon your
labours, and that many in that great and dreadful day of account—many
will arise from Melchbourn and Bletsoe, and declare in the ears of an
assembled world,

    “I owe it to his care that I am here,
    Next to Almighty grace; his faithful hand,
    Regardless of the frowns he might incur,
    Snatched me, reluctant, from approaching flames,
    Ready to catch and burn unquenchable.”

O my friend, when I think of these inestimable blessings as connected
with the sacred office, I long to lay aside the drudgery of mathematics;
but I check myself; the future should employ but little of my thoughts;
how to improve the present should be my principal concern.  Much is to be
done here as respects my studies, and much more as to the formation of my
mind, the subjugation of my tempers, and the sanctification of my heart.
I would, therefore, content myself with my present situation, and
endeavour to make it my chief care to prepare for death and judgment.
These awful concerns have, for many weeks past, engaged my mind more
steadily and frequently than for some years before.  I seem to myself as
a dying man amidst dying men, and it is my aim to live accordingly.  I
have heard you say, when you were at college, that retirement and your
Bible have afforded you some of the most exalted joys you ever witnessed;
these joys have been lately mine.  I go up to my little room (which I
have fitted up and consecrated to sacred purposes _alone_), and there I
meet my God, find my Saviour precious, and experience the gracious
influence of the blessed Spirit.  When my hours of retirement come round,
I joyfully lay aside everything in which I may be engaged; for I feel, I
know, assuredly and experimentally, that I am going up to commune with
the best, the most gracious and compassionate of friends.  There I leave
all my cares and all my sorrows, and come down again to the concerns of
life with an unburdened, soberized, and tranquil mind.  Blessed be God
for all his benefits!  I had frequently looked forward to this last year
as the most trying of the three, and had imagined that if I found it so
difficult to keep my ground before, I should necessarily give way at
present; but JEHOVAH has been better to me than my fears, and I have
found the truth of that promise, “When thou passest through the waters, I
will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee;
when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither
shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

Believe me to be,

                     Yours, truly and affectionately,

                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                            Q. C., Camb., Nov. 19th, 1810.

My very dear Friend,

WITHIN a week or two past I have had to thank my God also for many
providential interferences; for success in our late examinations; for
being kept most mercifully from engaging in something which would have
been highly detrimental to me; for the acquisition of a most valuable
Christian friend (who is a great helper of my faith, and a very pleasing
and agreeable companion; he was, like myself, formerly engaged in
business, and also a Methodist); as also for a providential opening of my
path respecting my future situation in his church.  Of all the places I
have yet heard of, this seems most suited to my views and inclinations.
It is, Mr. Eyton’s, of Wellington, Shropshire, six miles from _Madeley_,
and surrounded by pious ministers.  The vicar is very pious and
laborious, of similar sentiments with myself, humble and affectionate.  I
know three men in Cambridge who are very well acquainted with him and his
situation, and they each say that they would go there in preference to
any place whatever.  My mother and sister (to whom I wrote a few days ago
concerning him) met him when in Shropshire; and they advise me by all
means to accept of it.  I wrote to him lately, and received an answer,
which has done my heart good.  I have not yet finally settled in my mind,
but I shall write either to-day or to-morrow, giving my final answer.  I
hope to be directed from above.  I would not trust my own feelings or
inclinations, but in the all-wise Disposer of events.  Pray for me, my
dear friend, that if I should not be useful there, or in any manner out
of my proper place, that something or other may intervene to put a stop
to all further proceedings.  I am daily obliged to make some little
preparation for orders, for Mr. E. is in want of assistance.  Should I go
to the place, I shall endeavour to be ordained soon after I take my
degree; perhaps in a month or six weeks, if I can procure a private
ordination.  My degree may suffer in some measure, but I cannot help
that; we must expect sometimes to be called to make a little sacrifice,
but it will all be eventually well.

Accept my best wishes

                   From your faithful and affectionate

                                                                 MORTIMER.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                              Q. C. Camb. Jan. 19th, 1811.

My dearest Mary,

MY time of anxiety is now completely over.  I have just been admitted
B.A., and have no more college matters to divide my attention, or call
off my thoughts from the grand concern which lays before me.  You will
wish to know how I succeeded in my late struggle.  I have no flaming
honours to plume myself with, but through the mercy of God have passed
through in such a manner as to afford cause neither for self-complacency
nor discontent.  I am a wrangler, though eleven from the top.  My tutors,
I am happy to state, tell me they are quite satisfied with my degree; as
it respects myself, I have not the least wish it were otherwise.  You
would find it difficult to enter into my present feelings.  I seem of
late to have been like a ship tossed and driven by the fiercest tempests,
and in danger every moment of sinking; but now I have gained the
long-looked-for shore, and am enjoying for a time those sweets which my
temporary leisure affords me.



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                              Q. C. Camb. Jan. 19th, 1811.

My dear Armstrong,

YOUR letter reached me, as you supposed it would, in the midst of a
“mighty contest,” and I may congratulate myself upon having fewer bones
broken than I might reasonably have expected.  In all our Lord’s dealings
with his people, there is the greatest display of wisdom mixed with
loving kindness and mercy; to satisfy _our_ wishes would frequently be
only to administer poison instead of a balsam, and therefore _He_
prescribes for us.  With these introductory remarks you may perhaps
expect to hear of some considerable disappointment in my place in the
tripos, but this is not the case; I have had every _reasonable_
expectation answered.  I am eleventh wrangler, and the fifth from the
bottom; had I been higher I might have been vain of my little successes;
if lower, I might have felt depressed and discouraged.  As it is, I am
not only contented but happy; I wish I could say as much of another of
the Jerramites, but I am sorry to say I cannot; poor C—, though fifth
wrangler, feels quite disappointed, and receives the congratulations of
his friends with a very poor grace.  Our good friend Frazer is a man of a
different spirit; he is third senior opt., but is nearly as much pleased
with it as any in the tripos.  Johnson is the highest Johnian, who is
tenth wrangler, just one above your humble servant.  Dicey, of Trinity,
is thirteenth.  The order of the men you will soon see in the _Christian
Observer_, and therefore I need not insert them at large.

I feel quite happy, my dear friend, in having done with every academical
contention.  I seem now to have nothing to do but to improve my mind by
the acquisition of useful knowledge, and to prepare for that most
important concern, the sacred ministry.  I take it very kind in your
calling my mind to these things in the midst of my late hurry; we are too
apt to be absorbed with the things of the moment, but through the rich
mercy of God, so great has been my composure for some months past, that
the Senate House and all its appendages ceased to be objects of terror or
solicitude.  I may account for this in a great measure from my having
fixed upon the curacy which I alluded to in my last.  The saving of souls
seemed more important than the acquiring of honours; so that my
mathematical studies were entered upon more from a sense of duty than
inclination; but I must not trouble you with these reflections upon a
matter which is now gone by, though gone for ever!

Adieu, my dear friend,

                        And believe me to remain,

                                                        Your ever faithful
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

As soon as he had passed through the Senate House, and taken his degree,
he was desirous of entering, without delay, upon the great work which had
so long engaged his thoughts; early, therefore, in the following month he
accepted the curacy of Wellington, in Salop, of which parish the Rev.
John Eyton was vicar; and in a letter to his sister, dated 11th Feb.
1811, after alluding to the prospect of ordination and of enjoyment with
Mr. Eyton, he says:—

    “My way is now clear, and all I want is gratitude to my gracious God
    for all his past mercies, and a richer, fuller baptism from above, to
    qualify me for the important, solemn duties which will soon engage my
    attention.  I have been enabled lately to recall some of those lively
    feelings which I experienced when I thought of entering into the
    ministry; a love for immortal souls, and a desire to spend and be
    spent for them in every possible way, in a more constant feeling of
    earnest desire than when I was buried under an enormous load of
    academical lumber.  I suffered myself to bear it as a mean to an end,
    but that end being obtained, I shall dismiss the larger portion for
    ever; what is useful I shall retain.  However, I am now free from
    these incumbrances, and shall hope to improve my liberty by turning
    the habits thus acquired to beneficial purposes.”

Thus all seemed in a fair way for his immediate removal to Wellington,
when an unexpected hinderance was put in the way of his ordination, by
the bishop of the diocese.  Such hinderances, in those days, to the
dishonour of our Episcopal Bench, were frequently thrown in the way of
men both of unimpeached character and of sound learning, to whose moral
excellence and literary qualifications their respective colleges bore
ample testimony; but they were men held in suspicion on account of their
great attention to religious duties, and their warm attachment to the
great doctrines of the Reformation: they were men of scriptural piety,
and of sound Church-of-England principles; but they bore a name of
reproach; they were considered as agitators in the Church, as holding
extravagant views, and as going out of the ordinary path of formality and
heartlessness, which characterized the great body of the Church in those
days.  Happily, such prejudices have, in a great measure, passed away,
and no such obstacles exist to the ordination or preferment of men of
such views and principles; not that such men are altogether exempt from
slight and neglect, from discouragement and opposition, on the part of
many of the rulers in the Church at this day; but they are now
constrained by the weight of their character, by their well-known
laborious habits in their pastoral duties, as well as by their wealth,
their influence, and their number, to pay them some respect and
attention; and, blessed be God! there are many of our ecclesiastical
governors who now know the worth of such men, and who afford them all
suitable encouragement and support.

Mr. Mortimer deeply felt this disappointment; but that God was pleased to
make it the means of calling forth the exercise of his Christian grace,
may be seen by the three following letters:—



TO HIS SISTER.


WITH a mind willing to acquiesce in whatever my God shall appoint, I am
enabled to leave this and all my concerns to his gracious disposal, being
fully persuaded that the Lord reigneth.  If I have at all profited by
past experience in anything, it is in this, a strong and operative
conviction that so long as we trust in God, our concerns, however
unpleasant at the time, will materially conduce to our welfare; and oh!
what an intolerable load of foolish anxiety and trouble does this
persuasion remove from our labouring minds!  You will perhaps remember
that one of the last topics of conversation, when you and Eliza so kindly
accompanied me to the Wash, was the necessity of sacrificing our own will
to others, if we would enjoy comfort ourselves.  I was naturally led to
speculate on the future, but could not help being forcibly struck with
the mighty efficacy of this principle, if suffered to operate freely on
our conduct.

As I think it very probable my continuance in college may be prolonged, I
intend availing myself of the opportunity thus afforded me of attending a
course of lectures on anatomy, chemistry and mineralogy.  When I thought
it my duty to ask for orders in March, I willingly gave up all thought of
enjoying this gratification.  I was enabled to sacrifice it to more
important considerations, but since these reasons no longer exist, I
shall gladly avail myself of the privilege.

Upon the subject of _general_ knowledge for a minister, I was much
pleased with Herbert’s “Priest to the Temple.”  “The country parson is
full of all knowledge: they say, that it is an ill mason that refuseth
any stone, and there is no knowledge but serves either positively as it
is, or else to illustrate some other knowledge: he condescends even to
the knowledge of tillage and pasturage, and makes great use of them in
teaching, because people by what they understand are best led to what
they understand not.”  As one means of preparing me for the great charge
which lies before me, I have begun a regular course of the lives of
eminently pious characters.  The good I received from this kind of
reading some years ago, makes me indulge the hope that it may be equally
serviceable now; but I would not rest here—it is a real baptism of the
Holy Spirit alone which can properly qualify me for usefulness in the
pulpit, and a consistent course out of it.



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                                Q. C. Camb. Feb. 26, 1811.

My very dear Friend,

                              * * * * * * *

SINCE I last wrote to you I have been spending a few days at Islington;
but my stay being very short, I was obliged to confine myself wholly to
home.  I visited but one person all this time.  I had hoped, however, to
have returned again soon, and to have done myself the pleasure of calling
on my several friends; but a very unpleasant circumstance has hindered
me—the bishop has refused me ordination at present: and I am under the
necessity of waiting till it shall please my gracious God to show my
path.  My vicar is a _notorious_ character, and my friends have all along
been apprehensive lest I should find some difficulty in getting ordained
to his curacy.  I must say, I shall not be a little disappointed should I
be obliged to relinquish all thought of Wellington; but the matter is in
the Lord’s hands, and I would willingly leave it to his all-wise
disposal.  If I have learned anything by my past experience, it is this,
to feel fully persuaded that all our concerns, however unpleasant they
may be at the present, will, either in this world or in the world to
come, terminate in our good.  In affairs of this kind it is better to
make as little fuss as possible: I must therefore beg you will not
mention it to any one.  I shall wait quietly for the present, in hope
that the bishop may relent; but should not this be the case, I must
content myself with some other situation.  Poor G. is similarly
circumstanced with myself; he has been refused _three_ times, and that,
too, in spite of the interest of the Master; he wishes to be ordained on
his Coll. Fellowship, and that lover of the truth, the good Bishop of
Ely, has every time put a spoke in his wheel.  But what a mercy it is
that, notwithstanding all the opposition which serious candidates meet
with, still they are not, cannot be, entirely hindered and excluded! * *
* * * *

And believe me to remain,

                   Your ever faithful and affectionate

                                                                 MORTIMER.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                 Cambridge, March 2, 1811.

I HAD imagined, some months ago, that the exercise of mind I was under
when preparing for the Senate House, was the greatest I should ever
experience; I was greatly mistaken.  O my sister, did you know how much I
have felt lately, you would truly sympathise with me; but I now enjoy
comparative rest; my feelings, indeed, have been strongly mixed, but the
better have generally, though not without considerable struggle,
predominated.  I have enjoyed more of the power of vital religion, and
that has been my support and stay; and would it but please my God to
indulge me with more communion with himself, HE might do with me and my
poor concerns whatever might please HIM.  HE alone is truly and
absolutely necessary for my comfort, and would HE but say, in my
subsequent career, “My presence shall go with thee,” I should feel that
enough.  I could ask nothing more.

                                * * * * *

The clouds which overcast his prospect of ordination for the curacy of
Wellington, were after a time dispersed, and he was admitted to deacon’s
orders at Eccleshall, on the 26th of May, 1811, and on the following day
he went to reside at Wellington.  He not long after wrote to his sister,
in reference to his new situation, as follows:—

    “Through mercy I am going on pretty comfortably in parochial matters,
    and have reason to believe I am in the situation which God designed
    me to fill.  My employment is my delight—my heart is in it—a
    circumstance I could seldom boast of when toiling through the
    drudgery of mathematics.  Mr. E. and I go on in perfect harmony.  I
    feel very much attached to him; and from the marks I am daily
    receiving of his kindness, I may conclude he looks with a favourable
    eye on my endeavours to help him in his important work.”



TO HIS SISTER.


                                          Wellington, 12th November, 1811.

IN my last I promised an account of my parochial proceedings: though I
have nothing brilliant to communicate, yet I hope I may say, after nearly
six months’ residence, that I have good ground to believe I have not
mistaken my path in entering the ministry.  The increase of congregation,
both among the poorer as well as the richer sort, afford me some
encouragement, and I have frequently observed persons manifestly affected
under the word delivered.  I am not so sanguine as to expect great things
should be done by so feeble a labourer as myself.  “The honest and good
hearted” among the congregation have already gladly received and profited
by the word under my most excellent vicar, and, consequently, it is not
to be expected that any remarkable change should be effected; but, as I
have observed before, I have perceived that the Spirit of God is among us
to apply the word, and so long as persons are not completely hardened, we
may indulge some hope concerning them.

A few Sundays ago I supplied the church of a neighbouring minister who
has not been long in these parts.  I preached from these words, “The Lord
turned and looked on Peter.”  I had taken another sermon with me, but
some how or other could not make up my mind to preach it, and it will
appear by the sequel that the Lord had some gracious purpose to answer by
it.  A poor woman, a former hearer of Mr. — happened to come into this
part of the country, and she mentioned to her daughter that she should
like to go and hear her old minister, but related at the same time a
dream that she had the night before, that a strange minister at Mr. C—’s
church was the means of doing her good and recovering her from her
backsliding state.  She accordingly came, and no sooner did I enter the
desk than she said to her daughter, “That is the clergyman I dreamed of
who recovered me to God.”  The subject by the Divine blessing was
suitable to her case, and Mr. —, who related the anecdote to me, stated,
that she began with fresh earnestness to devote herself to the service of
God, and gave manifest tokens of the work being from above.



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                         Wellington, September 17th, 1811.

My very dear Armstrong,

I HAVE been regaling myself this afternoon with a perusal of a large
packet of your letters, forwarded to me from time to time.  They present
my much esteemed friend under a great variety of feelings and
circumstances: but they uniformly exhibit him as the sincere and devoted
Christian, and as the warm and substantial friend.  Oh, how do I pity
that poor soul who has never experienced the exquisite delights of
friendship!  Believe me, Armstrong, I would not exchange the feelings
which at present animate my soul for all the wealth in the universe.  It
would be bauble when contrasted with the inestimable blessing of a
friend, whose heart, whose sentiments, whose pursuits, are congenial with
your own.  God forbid that I should ever see the time in which this
blessing should he withholden from me.  How do I admire those words of
Shakspeare:—

    “The friends thou hast, _and their adoption tried_,
    _Grapple_ them to thy soul with hooks of steel.”

I lament, however, one circumstance in which my sentiments and my conduct
were in this respect diametrically opposite; I mean when I so far gave
way to the feelings of the moment as to write that letter, which seems to
have caused you so much pain: your conciliatory answer, which I have just
been reading, makes me more ashamed of myself than I can express; I hope,
however, that it will prove a salutary warning through the whole of my
subsequent life.  You will be surprised, perhaps, at this apology made so
long after the offence: I make it from a conviction that my former letter
did not sufficiently express the feelings which I ought to have
entertained. * * * * *

                               Believe me,

                                               Your affectionately sincere
                                                                     G. M.



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                              Wellington, Jan. 28th, 1812.

My very dear Friend,

I VERY much long to see you and your little domestic circle, and,
especially so, in consequence of the information contained in your last:
for I am given to understand that personal intercourse will not much
longer be vouchsafed me.

Do not suppose, however, that I would wish that any personal advantage,
which I might promise myself from your remaining in England, should prove
the least obstacle to that most glorious work which it has pleased God to
incline you to desire and pursue.  I rejoice most sincerely in the grace
which he has poured upon you, and I admire the leadings of Divine
Providence, which have so clearly and manifestly opened your path.  But
still, notwithstanding the approval which my judgment is constrained to
give, yet I cannot altogether divest myself of that affection which would
fain induce me to chain you to some nearer spot.  It tells me that _real_
friends are few; it whispers also that, among all my friends, no one has
ever yet so completely merited the name.  But still, as it has pleased
God to put it into the heart of my friend to undertake so noble, so
glorious an employment, I cannot for a moment indulge any feeling of
complaint.  It is all well; and, as I said before, I rejoice in the grace
and providential dealings which have been manifested on your behalf.

It requires no small measure of _faith_ and _self-denial_ to leave the
pleasures of social life—the intercourse of friends and the innumerable
ties which a long series of years has tended to strengthen.  I have often
gazed in silent admiration at the peculiar kind of spirit which must
animate a missionary, and have concluded that it must be peculiarly
acceptable in the sight of Almighty God.  But, alas! much as I have
admired the spirit, I feel that I have scarcely a spark of it—not,
indeed, that I should find it difficult to forego the pleasures which at
present surround me, not that I should be staggered at leaving my present
situation to live in one which is remote, and which is now unknown to me;
but that I am sensible that _these feelings would not last_.  The
inconceivable ignorance of some, the stupidity of others, and the state
(I was going to say) of _moral and religious incapacity_, to which a long
indulgence in vicious habits has reduced the generality, would check my
fervour, damp my zeal, and cause me either to slacken my exertions, or
else to desist from the work in despair.  When we get into discouraging
circumstances, how readily do we slide into despondency.  We may not,
perhaps, altogether lose sight of the power of God, and its
all-sufficiency to help us through; but we are apt to conclude that we
are not the proper instruments; that we have protruded ourselves into
situations which God never designed for us; and that, though he _could_
most easily help us, yet that, for wise purposes, he sees fit to leave us
in a great measure to ourselves.  Such, my dear Armstrong, are our
reasonings in general, when brought into discouraging circumstances; and,
from a close examination of my own heart for some years past, I am
persuaded that whatever zeal and self-denial might animate me in the
first instance, yet that these blessed feelings would not last when
brought to those severe trials which are the lot of the _missionary_—I
mean of that person who has to contend with all the difficulties arising
from a foreign station.  These difficulties, however, in your case are
greatly diminished, and even were it otherwise the Spirit vouchsafed to
you, may enable you to grapple with them with the greatest ease.  Oh!
that this may be your constant experience!  I rejoice in that spirit and
temper which has hitherto regulated the conduct of my friend, and my
constant, my stated prayers shall ascend up before the God of power and
grace, that he may ever enjoy a rich unction—a complete baptism from
above.

Assure Mrs. A. of my kind regards.  Much as I admire _your_ faith and
self-denial, I think that of your dear partner no less conspicuous.  When
God has work to be done, how sweetly can he influence our minds so as to
make us co-workers with himself.

                               Believe me,

                            Your most affectionate though unworthy Friend,
                                                                     G. M.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer was married February 21st, 1812, to Miss Barford, a lady of
pious habits and of amiable manners, and who proved herself a most useful
and affectionate helpmeet to him.  In the view of this event, he
prepared, some months before it took place, the following resolutions for
his government in the married state:—

    “Since it is very probable I shall soon be united with my dearest
    friend M. B., and since we are always in danger of overlooking the
    duties of each relation in life, while engaged in it, though, before
    we enter upon it, we may perceive them plainly enough, I would,
    therefore, now, in an humble dependence upon Almighty God, and as in
    his sight, set my hand to the following resolutions, which I would
    purpose never to swerve from upon any occasion, let it be ever so
    trivial:—

    “1st.  Since the grand secret of domestic comfort depends upon the
    _regulation of our tempers_, I would, in the first place, endeavour
    to keep a strict watch over these; would avoid _pettishness_, of
    every description, and would guard against a degree of _pertinacity_,
    which has always been more or less troublesome to me: would never be
    _positive in argument_, and will strive to remove every appearance of
    _self-will_, and never to oppose my dearest friend in _any_ thing,
    excepting when duty _imperiously calls_; and even then, in such a
    manner as shall impress her more with an idea of my affectionate
    regards towards her, than of any wish to consult my own
    gratification.

    “In the 2nd place: will cultivate a _tender_ and _affectionate_
    manner, always seeking out means of promoting her comfort, and
    lessening her troubles; sharing every _domestic_ and _maternal_
    anxiety with _tender solicitude_.

    “In the 3rd place: will be completely _open_; will have no secrets;
    on the contrary, will consult her in everything; will give her the
    freest access to all my papers, letters, &c.; will also commit to her
    entire management all my money concerns; and will take no more for my
    private purse than we shall amicably settle between ourselves.

    “Fourthly.  With regard to _company_, will make choice of those
    persons who shall be most agreeable to herself, and will be very
    attentive to those of her relations with whom she may wish to be
    connected—especially her mother and sister.

    “Fifthly.  Being aware of the foolish trouble occasioned by
    fastidiousness in the _choice of food_, am determined never to
    express my partiality for any particular joint or dish, and never to
    make the smallest objection to anything which comes to table.
    Remember Duke Fortunatus, and the incessant squabbles occasioned by
    his fluctuating taste and pettish tempers.

    “So lastly.  As to the arrangement of _domestic concerns_, will
    interfere as little as need be, and will never meddle either in the
    choice or dismissal of the servants, and will be careful never to
    find with them unnecessary fault.

    “These rules and regulations I will read over the first day of every
    month, so long as it shall please God to spare me, and will make them
    matter of most serious prayer.

    “Should I see fit to make any additions to the above, will still
    never destroy _this_ identical paper, but keep it as exhibiting my
    views previous to marriage, and as a witness against me in future
    life, should I deliberately violate them.

    “I write these rules in my college rooms on the 20th of May, 1811,
    being the day on which I complete the 27th year of my age, and being
    also the last of my remaining in Cambridge.

                                                        “GEORGE MORTIMER.”



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                             Wellington, April 10th, 1812.

My very dear Friend,

I CANNOT describe the feeling of regret which the receipt of your last
letter occasioned, and I sit down, with depressed spirits, to dictate an
answer.  There is something exceedingly gloomy in the recollection that
one of the dearest friends I have on earth, is about to depart to a place
where there is no human probability of our ever meeting; and that he
should depart also without my being permitted to look him in the face, to
clasp his hand, and to bid him a parting adieu.  I feel truly grieved at
the circumstance, and the more so, as I had expected that you would have
been detained on shore longer than the time fixed on for your departure,
and consequently that you would have had some little spare time to pay us
a farewell visit.

                               * * * * * *

I feel comforted, however, with the hope of hearing from you
occasionally, and do give you my promise that I will endeavour to write
to you _every other month_, whether I hear from you or not; and my poor
scrawls shall be duly forwarded to your good brother, as you have
desired.  I will inform you of our proceedings here as minutely as I can;
and will take care to touch upon such of a more public nature as I
conceive may possibly escape the attention of your other correspondents.
But while I am thus writing, I cannot conceal from my Armstrong what has
recently passed in my mind.  I have long thought it to be a circumstance
highly disgraceful to our Church that so few individuals have appeared
who are willing to leave the comforts of life, and to endeavour to
forward, by their own exertions, the grand and momentous work which the
God of all grace is evidently carrying forward in all quarters of the
globe; and I now begin to feel a desire (should the providence of God be
pleased to open my path), to step forward in this great work.  I have
opened the matter to my Mary, and she tells me that she is willing to
accompany me to any place where I should see it my duty to go.  It has
pleased God to give us a competency as to this world’s goods, and should
any situation similar to the one you are going to, occur, we should
really feel no hesitation in accepting it.  What our future path may be
is uncertain; but I should not wonder if my dear Armstrong hears of our
following in the steps which he has marked out for us.  There seems much
to be done abroad, and few inclined to do it; should, therefore, God be
pleased to accept of my poor intentions to be engaged in forwarding it, I
shall rejoice in the circumstance, and gladly spend and be spent in so
glorious an employment.  I have said to my Armstrong what has been
mentioned to no other individual whatever, my Mary excepted; I must
therefore request he will not make the slightest allusion to it for the
present.

I have taken the liberty to send you and Mrs. A. a small token of parting
love; may they prove the means of your frequently remembering the
unworthy donor, and whenever you think of him offer up a silent prayer
for his spiritual advancement.  I have also to request that you will
accept of the enclosed notes; {30} they may, perhaps, prove serviceable
in procuring a few more additional comforts for your voyage and future
accommodations.  May the God of love accompany you in your voyage, make
you abundantly useful in your passage, and still more so in your destined
situation.  My prayers, my best wishes, do certainly attend you; and
though we may not meet on earth, yet I hope—I would I could say more, but
my treacherous heart will not permit me—but still I hope that you and I,
our partners, and the children whom God may graciously give us, may all
meet in that blissful state above.  My Mary desires her kindest regards
to Mrs. A. and yourself.

                               Believe me,

                                            Your ever affectionate Friend,
                                                                     G. M.



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                               Wellington, July 6th, 1812.

My dear Friend,

AS it respects myself, I must say that I feel the comparatively trifling
duties which I have to perform to be a burden, which at times seems
insupportable; but it is the burden which God has placed upon me, and,
therefore, I strive to go on and to press forward, notwithstanding all my
difficulties.  You would hardly conceive how much I dread any public
exercise until the moment in which I am actually engaged in it; I am
filled with the most dismal forebodings; but then, through mercy all my
fears vanish; and I have reason to believe, that my feeble efforts are
not altogether in vain.

Nothing further has elapsed respecting any change in my situation.  My
Mary feels a good many apprehensions on the subject at present, and I
believe I must leave matters till some circumstance or other makes my way
clear and evident.  _Our_ time is very seldom _God’s_.  There is a
haste—a precipitancy—in our proceedings, which is never to be discovered
in those of God.  The creation of the world—the calling of his peculiar
people—the coming of the Messiah—all show that God is slow in operation.
I feel, my dear friend, that I have daily and hourly need of learning a
lesson on this subject.  Whenever I feel hurry of spirits, and solicited
to do something or other in haste, I invariably find that it turns out
badly.  It is the power of the enemy—God’s procedure is
orderly—calm—deliberate: he leads us gently on, and, while he forcibly
convinces the mind, he opens our providential path.

                              * * * * * * *

We live in troublesome times, in a troublesome world.  But still we have
much to be thankful for, notwithstanding all, and we have a blessed hope
of things infinitely better in the world to come.  I delight to think of
those blessed scenes, and am persuaded that we all of us lose much for
want of reverting to them more frequently.  With heaven in our eye, how
cheerfully are we enabled to march forward; how courageously do we charge
through all opposing difficulties; how contemptuously do we look upon the
things of time and sense!  Here was the grand support of the Redeemer;
“_For the joy which was set before him_ he endured the cross, and
_despised_ the shame.”

I have lately been very much gratified by reading a piece of Dr. Watts’
on the Separate State.  We are apt to form too spiritual notions of the
world to come, and, consequently, having nothing upon which we can
solidly ground our investigations, we lose much of the interest and
delight which would otherwise be imparted.  When the _literal_ meaning of
Scripture seems to be absurd, we think we are fully justified in seeking
other interpretations; but to reject the plain and obvious sense merely
because it interferes with our pre-conceived notions of the subject, is,
in my opinion, quite unwarrantable.  We read of _cities_, _temples_,
_altars_, _mansions_, _feasts_, _trees_, and _rivers_.  And no doubt but
many of our enjoyments will be exceedingly similar to those which _Adam_
enjoyed on earth, when in a state of innocence; and it is very probable
that the employments which _engage us now_ will _fit us_ for similar
_hereafter_.  All our peculiarities of mind and disposition will have
room for their full exercise: the traveller may be permitted to take
excursions into distant worlds.  The _philosopher_ may pursue, without
limitation, the investigations of science and of art.  _The soul which is
enchanted with_ harmony, may, like David, be the leader of some celestial
band; and the _divine_ will be delighted with fresh discoveries into the
nature, the attributes, the perfections, of his God; while the other
myriads of beings, each in their proper class and society, will be
enjoying to the utmost of their capacity the blessings which are most
calculated to administer to their delight.

                                 * * * *

                                                 From your sincere Friend,
                                                                     G. M.



TO A YOUNG LADY.


                                            Wellington, August 13th, 1812.

YOU have my condolence, my dear Miss — in not being able to attend the
kind of ministry you approve of.  Most individuals have a turn of mind, a
peculiarity of thinking, which, in a great measure, may be considered as
their own; and hence it should seem advisable that when the choice rests
on ourselves, we should attend that ministry which comes nearest to our
own case and circumstances.  But, alas! this privilege is seldom allotted
us; local situation, parental restraints, and a variety of other things,
render it in general necessary to attend some place or other, which is
not, perhaps, in every view, that which, if left to ourselves, we would
have fixed upon.  The question, then, is merely this—ought we, under the
circumstances, to quarrel with the dispensations of providence, or
quietly and patiently submit, endeavouring to extract from existing
circumstances all the good we possibly can?  The language of wisdom, as
well as of piety, seems to direct to the latter course, as that best
calculated to promote our present comfort, and future welfare.  God has
certainly some wise end or other to answer in every thing of this nature,
and if we recollect, at the same time, how tenderly he loves us, how much
he desires our spiritual improvement, as well as our eternal felicity, we
shall rest so completely satisfied that we shall not have a single desire
to alter in the minutest particular.  But we are too apt to lose sight of
the wisdom and love of God, as connected with our affairs, we listen to
the suggestions of Satan, and fondly imagine that if we had the disposal
of things we could easily regulate our concerns, so as to make them more
effectually conduce to our welfare.  How presumptuous is such language,
when stripped of its false colouring, and presented under its real and
proper appearance.

                                * * * * *

On the 30th November, 1812, he writes to his sister—I think that I
mentioned in my last that there was an increase of congregation, and that
I could discover some traces of the operation of the Spirit of God in
applying the word.  These effects, I gratefully acknowledge, are still to
be seen, and it has pleased God to encourage me by bringing to my
knowledge two instances in which I hope a decided and saving change has
been produced—one on a lady of respectability in an adjoining parish, and
the other on an individual among the lower circles.

On the 11th January, 1813, he writes to the same, on the birth of his
eldest son;—I feel grateful to God for his goodness and mercy, as
manifested on the present occasion, and I am cheered with a pleasing hope
that the deposit which has this day been placed in my hands, will become
an heir of immortality, a glory to his God, and an instrument of good to
all around him.  He has been the subject of my prayers for some time
past, and I feel persuaded that God will not disappoint my hope.  I, and
its dear mother, feel anxious on its account, but what is our solicitude
concerning him compared with that of the dear Redeemer!  How kindly is he
interested in his welfare; how ardently does _he_ long to see in him of
the travail of his soul that he may be satisfied!  What encouragement
does this consideration afford to the exercise of patient hope and
persevering prayer.

And on the 24th of the following month, he wrote in reference to the
baptism of the infant.  We hope, should all be well, on this day
se’nnight, to devote our little charge to his gracious God in baptism.  I
feel it to be a solemn occasion, for I cannot but think that much, both
of its future happiness and usefulness, may depend on the manner in which
it is thus surrendered.  I am somewhat apprehensive that we shall not
quite please you with respect to the name which we think of giving it.
But it has long struck me as being a foolish custom which prevails at
present of giving those names by way of distinction, which, in fact,
owing to their commonness, are no distinction at all.  George, Thomas,
Henry, John, are used from generation to generation, and thus individuals
are incessantly mistaken and confounded either for other.  We have,
therefore, ventured to step out of the beaten track, and have accordingly
fixed upon Cecil, as one which, from many pleasing associations, has
become endeared to both of us.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                             Wellington, March 16th, 1813.

I have enclosed a copy of a new edition of _Alleine’s Alarm_, published
by Mr. Gilpin.  It was this book, to which, under God, I feel indebted
for the determination which some years ago I received, with respect to my
views and conduct.  I love it greatly in its old and less inviting garb,
but far better now.  Ah, my dear sister, many profess religion, many
enjoy some of its comforts, feel pleasure in an attendance upon its
institutions and its ordinances; but, to walk closely with God, to get a
deep and thorough knowledge both of him and of our own souls, to
penetrate beneath the surface of religion and to forward the life—the
inward life of God in the soul, something more is required.  In order to
this, our eye must be kept constantly directed to one and the same point;
we must learn that one thing is supereminently needful, and that
everything which stands in competition with it must be considered as dung
and as dross.  May God in mercy impart to both of us such clear, such
vivid and luminous views of its importance, that the present world and
all its gaudy trifles may be lessened in our estimation, and that true
and vital godliness, deep and genuine spirituality, may become more and
more the objects of our pursuits.  We were yesterday with dear Mrs.
Fletcher, and received, as usual, much profit from her choice, savoury,
and spiritual remarks.  The book, which lay open before her, was her
Bible.  I could not help thinking how much more efficaciously we should
all of us proceed, both as ministers and private Christians, if this
blessed book were more frequently and more seriously perused.  There is a
strange feeling with respect to it existing in the minds of most persons
who may be considered as even pious characters.  They would not feel
happy if they suffered the day to pass over without reading their chapter
or chapters, but still they do it as a duty, merely as a duty.  How
rarely is it taken up as a privilege, as the book of books, as the very
choicest treasure which we could possibly open; and yet, unless it be
thus resorted to, thus feelingly read and studied, how can we expect to
be great proficients in the Divine Life—how can we drink deep into the
Spirit of our God?  Could we see into the manner in which many
individuals perform the duties of their closet, we should not be much at
a loss to discover the reason of their want of spirituality.  It might
all be easily and naturally traced to this one single source—their hour
thus set apart is gone through in a manner not very dissimilar to a horse
in a mill; they go round and round with the same lifeless formality; and
when their duty is over, they pass with unaltered uninfluenced feelings
to anything which may next engage their attention; but how different from
those who walk in their solitude with God; who go to their closets as if
they were about to meet the very best friend they have upon earth; who
feel heavenly emotions on every such occasion rekindled; whose hearts are
made to burn within them; in short, who so wait upon God as to renew
their strength; who carry from their privacy a holy influence which is
easily discovered in the whole of their converse, tempers, and pursuits.
Give our kind love to Eliza, and accept the same yourself.  To both of
you we feel no small degree of affectionate regards; we often talk of
you, but still oftener make you the subject of our thoughts.



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                                  Wellington, April, 1813.

My dear Friend,

I HAVE of late been obliged to give up all thoughts of missionary
exertions; my _present_ ministerial labours (small, alas! as they are
when contrasted with the more extended operations of my dear friend) are
a weight which presses very heavily upon my mind; they drink up all my
spirits, and have so completely transformed me from the cheerful happy
individual which I formerly used to be, that could you break in upon me
accidentally and unawares you would hardly recognise me for the same.
Ah, my dear friend, could I have foreseen these things, I should scarcely
have dared to have encountered all the anxieties and perplexities
attendant upon the ministerial office.  I feel indeed that I have to
sustain a burden; but there is one cheering consideration—it is the
Lord’s burden; it is placed and appointed by him, and if patiently
sustained, not only his glory, but my own eternal welfare, and perhaps
that of others also, will be advanced.  But if I feel the burden so great
at present, how little am I cut out for so great a work as that which you
have the honour and the privilege to be employed in!

In the service of the sanctuary there were hewers of wood and drawers of
water.  I seem to be of this description.  But, though these individuals
were mean and insignificant, compared with others, yet were they useful
in their way; and, if God do but bless my labours, I trust I shall be
content and be willing to be employed by him to the end of my days.  I
would gratefully acknowledge some of his gracious manifestations in this
respect.  Two individuals have, I trust, been savingly brought to the
knowledge of God, and some few have, in other respects, been benefited.
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

But though my ministerial duties are thus oppressive, I have reason to be
thankful in other respects.  I have a dear wife, whom I tenderly love,
and God has been pleased to present me, about three months since, with a
sweet and interesting little son.  He is healthy, animated, and vigorous,
and proves to me a source of comfort which, I must frankly confess, I but
little anticipated.  I feel I have an important deposit placed within my
hands; but I trust God will enable me to train him for the skies, and
then all will be well.  We have named him “Cecil,” after our trusty,
excellent, and most valuable friend.  I should have preferred to have
prefixed in its stead that of my good friend whom I am addressing; but
its length, as well as the number of consonants which compose it, render
it as a Christian name somewhat harsh and sonorous.

Since I last wrote to you, I received a letter from our friend F—, of
Trinity.  It was the bearer of melancholy tidings; the cup of this
excellent young man seems to be composed of sorrows peculiarly severe.
He lost some time ago, as you will doubtless recollect, a tender father,
under circumstances truly afflictive, and now he has lost his still
dearer mother.

He heard, by letter, of her illness, rode to Inverness, where she then
was, without the least intermission; but when he arrived, she was dead.
The weight of this calamity upon his mind, together with the accumulated
pressure of temporal and domestic concerns, have caused him to pass
through deep waters; but God has given to them a sanctifying influence:
you would be truly gratified at the genuine stream of piety which
pervades the whole of his letter.  It characterizes a real child of God.

I have lately been turning my attention towards botany.  Should you ever
be sending a packet to your brother, would you be so kind as to enclose
me a few seeds of some of your choice and beautiful flowers; I mean those
which are peculiar to your climate?  You will favour me still further by
affixing the names by which they are commonly known.  If you have never
amused yourself in this way, you will be surprised at the inexhaustible
source of pleasure of which it is capable.  I walked out with my Mary
this morning through the adjoining country.  We were pleased and
exhilarated on various accounts; but our botanic pleasures were by far
the greatest.  Little, exquisitely tasty beauties were discovered by us,
which before had completely escaped our notice; they lie before me on my
table; and while I look at them, I am led to adore the Hand which so
elegantly and ingeniously formed them.

                               * * * * * *

My best wishes and my constant _weekly_ prayers attend you.  I greatly
love you—am tenderly concerned in your welfare, and shall always rejoice
on being able to congratulate you on its realization.

                                            From your ever sincere Friend,
                                                                     G. M.

                                * * * * *

About the middle of the year 1814, Mr. Mortimer was joined by a coadjutor
in the curacy of Wellington, of a kindred spirit with himself, and one
with whom he seems to have taken sweet counsel, walking to the house and
service of God as friends.  This was the Rev. John King, already
mentioned in the preface.  In a letter to his sister, on the 3rd of June,
1814, is this short notice of the event just referred to:—“My dear friend
King has joined us—he is beloved by all.”  In another letter dated the
30th of the same month, he mentions his great attachment to Mr. King,
their delightful opportunities of studying together, and that he esteems
his coming under his roof as one of the greatest blessings ever
vouchsafed.  His intimacy with this gentleman was formed at the
University; “being introduced to him,” as he mentions in a letter to the
writer, “the very first evening of his coming to college, and we have,”
he adds, “ever since remained in the closest bonds of union.”



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                                Wellington, Sept. 1, 1814.

My very dear Friend,

I FEEL thankful that a day of comparative leisure enables me to fulfil my
engagement as to writing to you.  It is the Lord’s goodness; and I cannot
help considering it as one out of many thousand other instances in which
prayer and simple reliance upon God tend most effectually to forward us
in our concerns.  I fear to trust my own unstable and treacherous heart,
and therefore begged of God that he would graciously assist me; and, were
I to do so constantly, how much better would it be for me! how many good
plans and well concerted schemes, instead of being rendered abortive,
would have been sped and prospered!  But, trusting in the goodness of the
plan, instead of the blessing of the Lord, and, at the same time,
overlooking my own utter insufficiency, I have been manifestly left to
learn lessons of dependence, through the unwelcome medium of failure and
disappointment.  But, after all the pains which a gracious God has been
pleased to take with me, how slow I am to learn, how unwilling to become
nothing, that God may become all in all.  And yet this is the only way in
which we can be either extensively or permanently blessed.  We are dealt
with as children; but on which of his children will a judiciously
affectionate parent bestow the greatest honour?  Not on the forward and
self-sufficient.  This is a spirit which he must chasten and subdue by
patient and humiliating discipline.  It is the child who is modest,
distrustful, and unassuming, who is diffident of his abilities, and
afraid of leaning to his own understanding, that will meet with the
countenance and support of the wise and tender father.  But to one of a
contrary temper, such a mode of treatment would be ruinous, and,
therefore, utterly inadmissible on the part of a parent whose
affectionate heart was regulated by a sound and enlightened judgment.
Ah, my dear friend, how often do we put it out of the power even of the
_tender Father of mercies_ to speed and prosper us!  How much humiliating
discipline are we incessantly courting by attempting to rob God of that
glory which belongs to himself alone!

A few evenings ago I received a letter from my agent in town, giving me
an account of some loss which I had lately sustained.  I took my dear
wife with me into my study, and falling on our knees, we prayed to the
Lord to bring us into a ready acquiescence with his divine will, and to
keep us from every the least feeling of dissatisfaction or expression of
complaint.  While engaged in prayer, those words, “God is love,” came
with sweet power to my mind.  I felt convinced that it was that divine
attribute, and that alone, which had appointed the circumstance; that I
could not have done so well without as with it; and, consequently, that I
had far more reason for gratitude and praise than for anything else.
Since that time how clearly have I seen that the _love of God_ is the
only proper key to unlock all God’s dispensations, and that when this is
used it will open to us treasures of mercies and of blessings which would
otherwise be for ever closed from our view.  The LORD teach me for the
future to profit by the instruction; and enable us to label, as it were,
each passing trial with some such inscription as this, “From your loving
Father.”

You, my dear friend, have had much to bear; and perhaps Satan has
whispered at times into your mind those considerations which are likely
to distress and to discourage you; but all is well; all originates in
love; and, therefore, as Parnell so sweetly teaches, “Where you can’t
unravel,” “you should learn to trust.”

I hope you feel confidence in these blessed results of your labours.
What a word is that of our gracious Redeemer’s, and how worthy to be
graven on the palms of every minister of his truth! “Said I not unto
thee, _if_ thou wouldst _believe_ thou shouldst see the glory of God?”
Surely it is nothing but our unbelief which hinders the Lord from laying
bare his arm, and doing wondrous things in righteousness.  In our parish
and neighbourhood we have lately seen a far more extensive work both of
conversion and progression than we have ever yet been indulged with; and
I cannot but ascribe it to the many prayers which have been recently
offered up in reference to this point.  Many of us have felt great
confidence that the Lord would revive his work among us; and he who has
taught us daily to pray that his kingdom might come, has in no way
disappointed our hope.  We trust, however, that what we have hitherto
seen are merely the drops before the shower.

Mary and King unite with me in kindest love to yourself and dear Mrs. A.,
and I remain,

                          Your ever sincere and truly affectionate Friend,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer, from his early connexion with the Methodists, imbibed many
of their views, and followed out some of their practices.  I cannot say
that he succeeded in convincing me of the expediency of the plan
described in the following letter, though possessed probably of some
advantages; nor do I think that he continued always to approve of the
same; but I think it right that he should speak for himself, and
therefore I shall give several copies or extracts of his letters on the
subject:—



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                      Wellington, Salop. October 27, 1814.

AH, my dear friend, what need have we all of being occasionally pulled
down, stripped of our fancied excellencies, spoiled of our boasted props,
and laid low in self-abasement and humility of soul at the feet of Jesus.
And considering this our need, how kind is it in the LORD to take the
painful pains with us which he does.  He had much rather rejoice over us
in unclouded prosperity; but our perverseness will not suffer him, and
therefore he forces himself to grieve us.  He constrains himself to cut
off the dangerous limb—to amputate—when it would be injurious to spare.

We have two _classes_, after the manner of the Methodists; one consisting
of men, and the other of women.  The former led by Mr. Eyton, and the
latter by myself.  Out of the men’s class, Mr. E. has selected six young
men, four of whom go out on a Monday evening, in turns, and expound to
the poor in four cottages in different parts of the parish; and much
good, I trust, has already been seen resulting from the plan.  Mr. E. did
not think of the classes till about a year and a half ago; but we all
feel truly thankful to God that they were begun at last.  You would have
been struck at the effects which soon began to follow.  A standard, if I
may so speak, was by this means erected, and many, who in all probability
would have remained halting and hesitating till the very end of their
days, were induced, one after another, to flock around it, and I have
been surprised at the degree of help which they have all received since
they were thus united.  And, in addition to their own personal benefit,
they soon became instrumental of good to others.  Our little society
became a kind of nursery of expounders, exhorters, and assistants in
prayer; and now, instead of a comparatively barren wilderness, we are
rejoiced to behold, in many places, an incipient garden of the LORD.

Another benefit I would just beg leave to notice, and that refers to
yourself.  You will know much more of the state of your people, you will
obtain a greater insight into their temptations, difficulties, and
trials, and will be led to look around you for the means of obviating, or
else helping them to bear them; and thus your manner of preaching will
become far more experimental, and, consequently, far more useful.
Without some such knowledge of our people as we thus obtain, our
discourses, as Mr. Jerram used to say, will be about it, and about it,
but seldom actually upon the mark.  I have found a very material benefit
myself in this way, and I would not have been without it for worlds.
Now, my dear friend, what hinders but that you should enter upon such a
class meeting?  If you have only three or four, begin with them; meet
with them weekly; begin with singing and prayer; relate to them the state
of your own mind during the week, and then inquire into the state of
their’s.  Prayer may conclude.  Mr. E. began, I think, with only four,
and was some weeks before he got above two or three more; but now the
men’s class is between thirty and forty, and the women’s not far short.
Do not be afraid of the Methodistical appearance of the procedure.  It is
full of benefits, and I have no question but that if you can prevail upon
yourself to adopt it, yourself and thousands more will have eternal
reason to bless God for its institution.  And, under such circumstances,
should a name, or an appearance, cause you a moment’s hesitation?  I
trust it will not. * * *

I remain,

                         Your very sincere Friend

                                                  And Brother in the Lord,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

The following letter is a beautiful manifestation of the greatest
humility as to his own Christian experience; it was addressed to his
sister:—

                                              Wellington, Nov. 17th, 1814.

My dear Mary,

I HAVE to thank my dear mother and yourself for the printed account, and
the accompanying letter relative to the Lord’s gracious dealings with our
dear departed brother: they have proved highly interesting, and, I trust,
truly profitable to us.  May our ears ever be disposed to listen to, and
our hearts prepared to receive, instruction from all the gracious means
which a God of infinite love and mercy is ever taking with us, in order
to our good, and when it comes to our turn to drop the garments of
mortality may it be with us, as it was with dear James, to be clothed
with those of light.  A tear may now and then involuntarily escape me
when I advert to the difference between his envied situation and my own.
He quite safe, I still surrounded with danger; still called to many a
conflict with the Christian’s threefold enemy; still smarting from the
wounds which my own unfaithfulness and presumption rendered expedient
that I should receive.  But I comfort myself with the recollection that
the time will soon come when I hope to be crowned as victor, and that my
continuance here below is with the merciful intention of giving me
increased opportunity of getting some fresh jewels to my crown, and of
getting those brightened which are already there.  May the great Captain
of my salvation so stand by me, that all these His gracious purposes may
be abundantly answered!  I bless God, I do feel an increasing desire to
live to Him, and to the glory of his name; and there are times in which I
feel that I have an increased power to do so.  When I compare the general
state of my religious experience with what it formerly was, I find that I
am enabled to exercise more uniformly submission to his divine will, and
to depend upon him more habitually for the supply of all my wants.  I
feel in many respects more crucified to the world, and the world seems to
have become more so to me; so that I care but little about a variety of
things which were at one time accustomed to engross much of my time and
affections.  In a word, I am led to conclude, that the life which I now
live in the flesh is somewhat more a life of faith in the Son of God, a
simple dependence and reliance upon Him, as my wisdom, righteousness,
strength, and happiness, as my all-sufficient Saviour.  But while I feel
great cause for thankfulness in these respects, yet how far am I from so
walking as to please my God!  I was thinking over the state of my mind
the other morning, and I felt deeply humbled before the Lord on account
of it.  My religion strikes me as being more superficial and
circumstantial, than deep, inward, and spiritual.  I possess a measure of
_union_ with God, but very little _communion_ with Him.  I am engaged in
His works, and doing His will in the main, but I hold slight and
frequently interrupted converse with Him.  But how can such a walk be
pleasing unto God?  But, perhaps, you will not be able to enter into my
feelings—as connected with this my defect in religious experience—unless
I have recourse to some familiar illustration.  An individual may be
walking by my side, towards the place which I would have him proceed to,
and in the way in which I would have him walk; but should he walk for
miles and hours together, in total silence, never, during these
intervals, drop a word expressive of his views and feelings, never
communicate to me the least thing which is passing in his mind; or should
he manifest a similar indifference concerning my communications to him,
should he never listen to my voice, or suffer himself to be so amused
with the surrounding prospect, or the incidents of the journey, as to
have no ear for me, what opinion should I form of such an individual?
Would he be walking so as to please me?  The application is easy—we may
be walking in God’s commands towards the place he would have us direct
our face, and in those paths which he has been pleased to appoint; but if
we do not hold converse with him, if we are backward to tell him what is
passing in our minds, or if we have no ear to listen to his kind
communications, suffering ourselves to be previously engaged with the
things by which we are surrounded, how little can such a walk be
gratifying to the blessed God!  Now, my dear Mary, here is my defect; I
do not cultivate, as I ought, that loving, gracious intercourse with my
loving Redeemer which it is my privilege to enjoy: not only many moments,
but, sometimes, even hours, pass without anything like direct communion
with him.  Oh, when shall I be able to adopt the language—the beautiful
expressive language—of one of Mr. Wesley’s hymns—

    “Far above all earthly things,
       While yet my hands are here employed;
    Sees my soul the King of kings,
       And freely talks with God.”

Let us help one another, my dear sister, in this important matter by our
mutual and fervent prayers.

Good Archbishop Leighton, alluding to the effects of intercourse kept up
on the part of ministers with the blessed God, has happily expressed
himself:—“They that converse most with the King, and are inward with him,
know most of the affairs of state, and even the secrets of them, which
are hid from others.  And, certainly, those of God’s messengers who are
oftenest with Himself, cannot but understand their business best, and
know most of His meaning, and the affairs of His kingdom.”  What a
luminous proof did this most excellent man afford in his conduct of the
truth of his own assertion, and what need have we, who are the ministers
and stewards of the same mysteries, to follow him as he also followed
Christ!



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                         Wellington, Salop. Dec. 29, 1814.

My dear Friend,

                              * * * * * * *

IN my last I mentioned to you the illness and expected removal of my
youngest brother, James.  He has since been called to his rest, and I am
truly thankful to be enabled to state that his death was attended with
circumstances highly satisfactory, especially when it is remembered that
he was not in any way a communicative lad, but, on the contrary, very
silent and reserved.  Well! he is gone—gone, I trust, to eternal glory.
The Lord, in his rich mercy, prepare us all to follow him!  He was the
youngest among us, and the least likely to be first called.  I hope that
we have most of us been induced by the circumstance to watch and to be
sober; “so to number our days as to apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  As
far as regards myself, I think I may say that the lesson has been very
salutary.  I have been led to consider myself as the next which shall be
called, and, of course, eternal and invisible things have appeared
exceedingly near.  I thank God that death has no sting to me.  Its sting
is sin, and that my gracious Redeemer has mercifully removed.  The
anticipation, therefore, far from being a means of uneasiness, is matter
of entire and sober satisfaction; not that I have any cause for
disquietude here below—not that I have any restlessness of desire arising
from a querulous or pettish feeling of discontent.  No, my dear friend,
God has been, and still continues to be, abundant in mercy and truth.
But still these things are not my God—this world is not my home.  I seem
to myself like a school-boy very agreeably placed at school—fond of his
master, pleased with his companions, and interested by his studies, he
has every sober ground for satisfaction, and, as such, does not pettishly
wish to be gone—does not for a moment think of leaving till his vacation
shall arrive: but still the thoughts of home delight him, and when the
summer which calls him there arrives, he most cheerfully complies—his
kind master, his pleasing companions—his engaging studies—all are most
gladly left; for these are not his home.  Ah, my dear friend, how lightly
should we all sit to the things beneath, to those which are nearest and
dearest, did we but consider heaven more as our _own_ place—as our
heavenly Father’s house!

I often wish, my dear friend, that the bounds of our habitation were so
fixed that we might not only correspond with, but face to face converse
with, each other.  This privilege I now enjoy with my friend King, who
for nearly a year has been on the same spot, and even in the same house.
But I still feel my heart longing after my absent friend.  This indeed
may originate in some latent feeling of ingratitude and discontent, which
leads me to overlook the mercy vouchsafed, and to long for that denied.
And yet I am not conscious that this is altogether the case: hardly a day
elapses in which I do not thank God for the blessing granted me, through
the medium of my present friend.  He is a most choice and valuable young
man—one of ten thousand.  And yet the question frequently arises in my
mind, why did I ever know—why did I feel so exceedingly attached to my
absent friend, if it were not the intention of a gracious and indulgent
God to give him to me in like manner?  But the ways of the Lord are in
the great deep: his footsteps are not known; and yet gracious, though
unknown, I would therefore be thankful that I have a dear—dear—very dear
friend, to whom I can write, and for whom I can pray, if I can do no
more; and my mind is solaced and comforted with the hope that a day is
coming in which we shall join to part no more; that glorious inheritance
is at hand where some adjacent mansion shall be assigned us, or where
distance shall prove no impediment or barrier to our intercourse.  May
our loving Saviour, who is “the way, the truth, and the life,” guide us
and ours all safe to this glorious kingdom!

I remain,

             Your very affectionate Friend and old Collegian,

                                                                   “MORT.”

                                * * * * *

Another of his friends, the Rev. J. C., the present rector of a parish in
Cheshire, may be here introduced—a friend whom he esteemed very highly.
This gentleman, in the former years of his life, was engaged in business,
and his friend was very desirous of detaching his mind from this pursuit,
and of leading him to turn his attention to the sacred office.  In one of
his early letters pressing this change upon his consideration, he makes
the following pertinent remark:—

    “It is not easy, when fixed by circumstances, and extensively
    surrounded by our secular concerns, to follow the example of Matthew,
    and immediately to arise.  The din of business and the clamour of
    dear friends drown the soft intimations of our passing Lord, and,
    questioning the reality of his call, we find it difficult to leave
    all behind.”

In the following extract of a letter to the Rev. J. Armstrong, Mr.
Mortimer states what he conceived to be the qualifications of a minister
of the word in a foreign or uncultivated soil; and also his views of
Arminianism.  His remarks on the latter subject were addressed to the
editor, to whom, in a former letter, he had given some account of a plan
which he and some of his friends had devised of raising a fund for the
purchase of livings, and had given to the designation of the object an
Arminian character.  The editor, who has often been considered as a
Calvinist, wrote to his friend to say he objected to the title of his
projected association; adding, that, in the event of his returning home
invalided, or from other causes, he could expect to derive no benefit
from his friend’s patronage:—

                                       Wellington, Salop. Feb. 25th, 1815.

My dear Friend,

                              ** * * * * * *

WERE I required to point out those qualifications which should
distinguish the minister of the word in a foreign or uncultivated soil, I
should not specify those qualities which are too exclusively dwelt upon
by many.  I should not inquire into the fervour of his spirit, the
commanding or winning nature of his aspect and address, the robustness of
his frame—“his iron sinews, and his bones of brass;”—all these things are
good auxiliaries, but they are not essentials.  The grand requisite seems
to be this, a quiet steady application to present duty, combined with a
peaceful and unbroken reliance upon the Lord; for if an individual be
possessed of a spirit and temper which this conduct supposes, he must
succeed.  Hosts of opposing difficulties will, one after another, fall
before him like the petrified band who came to seize the person of our
Lord.  All his patient labours, the produce of his faith, shall bear the
approving seal of God—all that he doeth shall prosper.  But, if present
duty be neglected, or supinely, or uninterestingly conducted—if his
reliance and confidence on God be broken—if his oppressed spirit sink
under every wave of discouragement which for the trial of his faith is
permitted to pass over him—under such circumstances, prosperity is
impossible; for even our gracious and our willing Lord can in no wise
help us.  From these considerations, I feel truly thankful that your
spirit faints not, that your confidence in God still remains, and that
you still apply yourself to your arduous work.  This Moravian (I should
rather have said this Christlike) spirit will, with the superadded
blessing of the Lord, bring to you and your dear flock a train of mercies
far exceeding the most sanguine of your expectations.  “Be strong,
therefore, and of a good courage; fear not, neither be dismayed; and then
the Lord thy God will be with thee whithersoever thou goest.”  He will
“Cover thy head in the day of battle; he will take hold of shield and
buckler; he will fight for thee, and thou shalt hold thy peace.”  But
while I am thus alluding to your ministerial duties, I would again
recommend to you what I took the liberty of urging upon you somewhat at
large in a former letter.  I allude to class meetings.  Whatever you do,
my dear Armstrong, do not omit these.  I have seen already, and daily
continue to see, advantages the most unequivocal resulting from them; and
am convinced that no one endued either with a spiritual mind, or with a
desire after it, would make an experiment of their efficacy without most
convincingly perceiving it.  In your own case, I have no question but
that the adoption of the plan I am recommending, would become quite an
era to you in spiritual prosperity, both as a church and as a private
individual—an epocha upon which you would ever look back with the most
unqualified delight.

You seem prepared, my good friend, to receive from me somewhat of an
Arminian trimming for the heretical alteration which you have ventured to
propose as connected with our “Living and Perpetual Advowson Plan.”  It
happens, however, that I feel no such disposition at present; not that I
am less anxious than before for the maintenance of _sound doctrine_
within the walls of our churches, but because I have a good hope that in
your case a caution upon these points is almost unnecessary.  I trust
that, notwithstanding the force of certain prejudices imbibed in the
early part of your Christian life, the leaven of _real unadulterated
truth_ has been introduced into your mind, and that a time will come in
which it will predominate to the leavening of the whole lump.  I should
be glad to find that this was the case even now; for, though the
circumstances in which you are placed at present forbid the introduction
of any extensive evil, yet still, I fear that some degree of evil will
almost unavoidably find an entrance.  For every portion of error has its
corresponding portion of evil.  _Truth_, _simple_, _unmixed_ truth, is
that which sanctifies, and truth alone.  But as to endeavouring to lead
you through all the mazes of controversy and debate to this desirable
end, I have not the least intention, nor even desire.  I had rather leave
you in the hands of God, by prayer, begging that He, the God of Truth and
the Father of Lights would, in his mercy, condescend to instruct you
himself, and, guided by him, you will then be led into all truth.  As to
the alteration you propose, we are perfectly of your mind, that the word
“Arminian” had better be omitted, and as such intend to drop it.  For,
though we should naturally be led to make choice of individuals the most
accordant with our own views, yet neither liberality nor candour would
teach us to exclude others.  Besides, all the good purposes arising from
the insertion of the term may certainly be answered without.  It will be
well known in whose hands the conduct of the affair is vested; this of
itself will show the _bias_ of our mind, and this is all we wish.
Exclusion upon the general scale is certainly no part of our intention;
we are thankful, therefore, for your friendly hint.

                             * * * * * * * *

We all unite in kindest love to you and yours, and I remain,

                               Your truly affectionate Friend and Brother,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                         Wellington, Salop. May 1st, 1815.

My dear Friend,

YOUR last letter gave me an account of dear Mrs. A.’s indisposition.  She
has been much on my mind of late.  I feared lest her protracted illness
should be the forerunner of something worse; and my mind shrunk from the
idea of the painful circumstances in which yourself would be placed,
should her removal be the ultimate issue.  But I have left the whole in
the hands of our wise and loving God, and I have no doubt but that all
will be well.  To be a stranger in a strange land, oppressed with cares
and surrounded with more than ordinary difficulties, and at the same time
reft of his bosom friend, the sharer of his troubles, and the assuager of
his griefs; this is a trial from which the mind revolts.  But still, “God
is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are
able.”  He will proportion our supports to our trials, and with Christ’s
strengthening us we can not only do, but bear all things; and, therefore,
all that we have to do is to shut our eye, and to yield our hand, and to
suffer our kind Lord to lead us whithersoever he shall please.  We have
nothing to do with anticipation respecting the future.  Grace is indeed
promised to us, not however in advance—not as a stock which we may
possess beforehand, but as we need it.  “As thy day, thy strength shall
be.”  I have found this consideration a great source of comfort to my own
mind when I have been recoiling at the painful possibilities of the
morrow; for, though I could not bear this and the other trial to-day with
my present strength, yet to-morrow’s strength may and will be sufficient
for me, provided I do but look for it.  Were a martyr’s trials in reserve
for me, a martyr’s grace would also be prepared for me.

With regard to myself all at present is peaceful in the extreme; my mind
calmly reposing on the God of all my mercies in tranquil dependence.  My
wife, my children, my servants, my property, all so suitable, so
calculated to administer to my comfort, and to leave me no reasonable
earthly wish unfulfilled.  All, my dear friend, is so well; all so
mercifully regulated, that I sometimes look around me with surprise, and
am almost led to suspect lest the treacherous calm should be merely the
forerunner of some tremendous storm.  But the consideration does not
alarm me; for “God is love.”

                                              From your truly affectionate
                                                  and ever sincere Friend,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

In the month of May, 1815, he was invited to Madeley by many of the
parishioners, a deputation from whom waited upon the rector, the Rev. H.
Burton, to request he might be appointed curate; and, accordingly, he
removed thither on the 8th of the ensuing month.  The following letter
addressed to the editor refers to the event, and enters somewhat into the
particulars of it:—

                                            Madeley, near Shiffnal, Salop.
                                                          June 15th, 1815.

My dear Friend,

FEW things were further from my thoughts, when I last wrote to you, than
that I should now be addressing a letter to you from the above-mentioned
place; but, “the Lord’s ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our
thoughts;” we may contrive, but he controls.  I had imagined that my lot
was, for some time to come, assigned to me among my dear people at
Wellington, and that in my late house of mercies, surrounded by the
family of my excellent vicar, and his valuable assistant, I should
continue to flourish and grow like a tree planted by rivers of waters.
But the Lord has seen fit to transplant me; of its being his work I feel
fully assured; and, therefore, I can now expect my comforts and blessings
in a different way and through other channels.  Thus, goodness and mercy
have followed me all the days of my life, and will still follow me.  I
do, indeed, quite wonder at the change; it seems more like a dream than
otherwise, that I should be fixed in this place and parish, of which I
had so often read, and which has always been associated in my mind with
that wonderful and astonishing man of God, the late venerable Mr. De la
Flèchere.  But you will, perhaps, wish to know the steps which led me
hither.  Mr. Walters, the late curate (or rather the present, for he does
not leave till next Tuesday) having heard of a situation which seemed, in
many respects, more congenial to his views than that of Madeley, gave
notice of its being his intention to leave, in the church on Sunday after
divine service.  The people were much surprised at the communication; but
since the choice of their minister has usually been left to themselves,
they immediately began to look around them; and, having fixed upon me,
they begged of Mr. Eyton, that he would give me up, and of myself, that I
would undertake the cure of the place.  Had I been disposed to consult
merely with flesh and blood, Madeley would have been the last place to
which I should have consented to have gone; but, as dear Mrs. Fletcher
and the people of all descriptions seemed desirous of my coming among
them, I thought it would be wrong to resist the order of God, and, as
such, professed a willingness to let them do anything with me which they
should please.  A deputation was accordingly sent to Mr. Burton, the
vicar, who resides on another living a few miles off, requesting him to
appoint me.  He received them, in the first instance, with a degree of
coolness which led them to conclude that there was but little hope.  He
did not even tell them that he would consider the application, but put
them off with mentioning another person who, he thought, would suit him.
Under such circumstances, prayer seemed the only resort, and to the
prayers of the church I believe I have been given, and to these alone.
In about ten days after the first application, I heard through the medium
of a relation of his, that he had some intentions of appointing me, and
as such I waited upon him, and was received both by himself and his wife
with a degree of cordiality and attention which quite surprised me.  We
soon came to terms, and I have since heard, from various sources, that he
is not only well disposed towards me, but quite congratulates himself
upon my having undertaken his cure.  Such wonderful revolutions, both in
mind and in circumstances, is the Lord able to effect.  All things being
thus far adjusted, I began to look out for a situation for myself, and
for a suitable tenant for the house I was about to leave, and in both
respects have I been led most remarkably to see the hand of God.  The
house I now occupy has been desired by many, as it is the only one in the
place at all suitable for a person in my circumstances; but a
disagreement among the persons who had to let it, prevented everything
like an amicable prospect, and it has been strangely left in the midst of
all for me.  How kind and how condescending is the care of God!  How does
it reach even to the minutest particulars, and much more to the
commodiously and pleasantly assigning the bounds of our habitation.  Our
removal also has been attended with blessings.  Scarcely anything, in the
shape of injury, has hitherto been perceived, and what trivial matters
have been noticed have only tended to increase our gratitude, by shewing
us what might have been, had not God given his charge as connected with
them.  You will smile, perhaps, at these kind of enumerations; but I feel
a pleasure in adverting to them myself, and, therefore, I must beg your
indulgence.  “A special and minute providence is an object of my firm
belief, as well as a source of my calmest and most extensive joys.  I
love to dwell on such a truth as this, ‘The very hairs of your head are
all numbered.’”

You have heard, perhaps, of the Honourable Mr. Ryder having been made
Dean of Wells, and of his most decided and open exhibition of piety in
his exalted situation.  About a month ago he was made Bishop of
Gloucester, an event which has filled the hearts of the pious in our
Establishment with inexpressible gratitude.  It may, indeed, be said by
us on such an occasion, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof
we are glad,” and to his name would we ascribe the praise.  A lady of my
acquaintance happened, at the time when his appointment was known, to be
dining in a party at which Mr. Wilberforce was present, and she states,
that two or three times he could not help saying in the most animated
manner, “I am afraid, I am too glad at it, but it is such a great thing.”

                                I remain,

                                            Your ever affectionate Friend,
                                                            GEO. MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer’s post at Madeley was, upon his entrance on the duties of
it, one beset with great difficulties; but by the blessing of God upon
his Christian spirit and conduct he overcame them all.  This will be seen
from the following extracts of three letters, the first and third
directed to his sister, and the second to his friend abroad.

After alluding to the difficulties referred to, he says, August, 1815:—

    “I feel a power to stand still and see the salvation of God; my chief
    attention is directed, not to outward circumstances, but to my own
    spirit.  I am desirous of cultivating kindness and affection, and am
    convinced that so long as nothing is cherished by me contrary to
    love, all will eventually be well.  We have had a most gratifying
    visit from Mr. and Mrs. Butterworth, and feel truly thankful for the
    kind providence which brought them among us.  What a stimulus to
    increased activity for God and our fellow-creatures does the
    animating example of such a character as Mr. B. afford.  Such
    sobriety of mind, such solidity of judgment, such earnestness of
    endeavour: I could not help applying to him the words of my favourite
    Herbert,

    ‘Let thy mind still be bent, still plotting where,
    And when, and how, the business may be done.’

    “Mrs. Fletcher still continues to speak once a week to her people and
    also to meet her class; her breathing is much affected, and she
    continues to break very fast.  She spoke on the Monday evening, while
    Mr. and Mrs. B. were here, for the last time on the weekdays.  The
    assemblage was highly gratifying.  After we came home, we reckoned
    upwards of fifty who had come from Wellington to hear her.  Such
    honour has this distinguished saint of God.”

                           Madeley, near Shiffnal, Salop. Sept. 1st, 1815.

SINCE I last wrote to you I have had to encounter many difficulties in my
parish, but I am thankful to state that they have now nearly subsided.
You must understand that my parish abounds with Methodists, or at least
that the greater part of the serious people are such, and of course the
church, though generally attended by them once a day, is looked upon as a
mere secondary concern.  Now though I respect the Methodists, so long as
they keep to their own place, and would gladly give to them, under such
circumstances, the right hand of fellowship, yet when they leave their
proper place and wish to occupy that post of pre-eminence which the Lord
has given to the church, then I feel it to be my duty to step forward and
to show them where they ought to remain.  My predecessors here, namely,
Mr. Fletcher, Melville Horne, and Mr. Walters, all of them preached at
regular times in the Methodist chapels.  When I came here they solicited
me, and Mrs. Fletcher among others was exceedingly urgent.  I felt it my
duty, however, most stoutly to refuse.  This, as you may suppose, gave
great offence, and they imagined that instead of a friend and encourager,
they had most strangely stumbled upon a most determined enemy.  Time,
however, has shown them that they misjudged me, and that I can be
friendly and yet not go all the lengths which they, through a regard to
precedents, had most unaccountably expected; and now, the sober-minded
come to church as usual, and everything seems to be proceeding in a
spirit of love and of kindness.  It is true, that some of the more
violent have seceded, but this is no more than I might reasonably have
expected, and, to speak the truth, no more than what I should have
wished; for I could never have felt at home, with individuals of this
description.  They have always been troublesome characters, and had they
remained, they would doubtless have been troublesome to me.  While the
mouths of many were opened loudly against me, I one day met with an old
Methodist of the place, who was a convert of dear Mr. Fletcher’s.  In the
course of conversation, I said to him, “Well Mr. P., do you think that I
have been a sinner above all others, in not preaching in your chapels?”
“Why, sir,” said he, “to speak truth, I must say that I think no such
thing, and I have always said, that as you are our minister you ought to
know your own business a great deal better than we do, and therefore that
we have nothing to do but to be quiet.”  I was much struck at the time
with his remark, and I believe, now, that the generality think with him.
My mind was at first much pained, but I endeavoured to maintain through
the whole a loving demeanour and a praying spirit.  I said little, took
care to avoid all exaggeration, and yet, at the same time, kept steadily
to my point.  And God has stood by me and brought me through in a way
that I could hardly have supposed.  To his name be all the praise.

You will be pleased to hear that one of my younger brothers, Thomas, has
recently been truly converted to God, and wishes to enter into the
church.  My father most cordially enters into his views, and has been
urgent upon me to receive him into my house, by way of preparation for
college.  This I at length consented to do.  And though it is somewhat of
trouble to me to do my duty towards him, in point of attention—for he is
quite a studious young man—yet I feel that his being with us is quite in
the Lord’s order, and am truly thankful for that grace which has changed
him, and that providence which has directed his steps among us.  From a
letter which I saw from a Methodist preacher, who attended the conference
last month, I understand that no less than thirteen preachers in their
connexion have left them with the intention of preparing for orders.
These are the men we want in our churches!  What does our excellent
establishment want, but _Arminian preachers_ and _Methodist discipline_!
But I must forbear lest I get a second trimming.  Leaving joking however,
aside, I felt truly thankful to hear of this, and I hope many will follow
their good example.  The Church wants them, and the Methodists can well
spare them.

                                * * * * *

                                                Madeley, Sept. 26th, 1815.

You will be pleased to find that matters are proceeding with quietness
and comfort in my parish.  For some weeks past I have not heard the least
syllable of complaint relative to my first obnoxious proceedings.  The
church is increasingly attended, and the spirit of God seems among us in
the application of the word.  I feel now at length thoroughly convinced
that my coming here was of God.  All I fear is lest my bodily strength
should not be quite equal to my duty.  My Sunday work is certainly
fatiguing.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                           Madeley, near Shiffnal, Salop. Oct. 26th, 1815.

My dear Armstrong,

                             * * * * * * * *

Since I last wrote to you I have seen it my duty to give up myself wholly
to the work of the Lord.  I am ashamed to confess to you, that the former
years of my ministry have been very partially devoted to his service.  I
have too frequently picked and chosen among my duties, avoided too many
which seemed to promise humiliation and mortification, and entered upon
others only so far as they left me an opportunity of cultivating and
enjoying other more favourite pursuits.  Oh, my dear friend, what a cage
of unclean birds is the polluted heart of man, and how many corners of it
still remain impure, even after it has been for the most part cleansed.
How much selfishness, (latent, indeed, or glossed over with some
speciousness of appearance,) still keeps lurking behind.  The Lord,
however, has very mercifully been leading me to part first with one
favourite pursuit and then with another, till at last I seem to have but
one business, and that is, to do the will of him who has called me to the
ministry.  That I perform this business in such a way as daily humbles
me, and fills me with confusion of face, I need scarcely tell you; for
you have long known the pride and the naughtiness of my heart, and,
though I keep fighting with my spiritual enemies, and am determined by
the grace of God, neither to find for them any apology, nor to give them
any quarter, yet I am but an unskilful combatant, and fall under a severe
wound instead of habitually conquering through him who hath loved me.  As
to my parish, I am very thankful to be able to state that matters are
going on very comfortably.  The spirit of dissent seems to be weekly
abating, and all seems harmony and love.  Two of the principal men among
us have not only given the most cordial and unexpected support, but have
discovered a degree of seriousness under the word, and a willingness to
converse about it, when not actually hearing it, as encourages me to
hope, that they are inquirers after the things which make for their
peace.  I was much struck yesterday with the very friendly conduct of a
Mr. A., one of the masters of a considerable coal and iron work in the
neighbourhood.  I had been inquiring about a place where I might go near
the Iron Bridge, one of the most populous places in the parish, to
expound the Scriptures and thus prepare them, by means of this stepping
stone, for an attendance upon the church, and for their meeting in one of
our little classes.  I soon heard of a room over the market place, which
was employed as a day school, nicely accommodated with benches, and
capable of holding between two and three hundred people; I was told it
belonged to Mr. A., but was let by him to the person who now held it,
upon the express condition, that it should never be used for any
religious purpose.  An application under such circumstances seemed
somewhat uncertain, but when I waited upon him, he expressed not only his
willingness, but his great satisfaction in having it so employed, and
told me, moreover, that he would give immediate orders to his foreman to
see that everything by way of whitewashing, and so on, should be done, so
as to make it as comfortable as might be.  I don’t know how it is, but I
feel my heart peculiarly united with this amiable man.  One night, after
spending two or three hours in his company, I felt just the same
sensation of indescribable union which I felt towards yourself the first
day I knew you.  O how should I rejoice to be made serviceable to his
soul, and to meet him a saved character in the day of the Lord Jesus.  My
Iron Bridge meeting I begin to morrow evening.  I feel it much upon my
mind, and should be greatly obliged by your praying for a particular
blessing as connected with it.  The population there and within a short
distance extends to some thousands. * * * *

With our kind and united regards to Mrs. A. and yourself,

                       Believe me, my dear Friend,

                                               Yours, most affectionately,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                 Madeley, Nov. 20th, 1815.

My dear Mary,

MRS. D. WHITMORE has offered to enclose a letter for me to yourself in
her frank.  I have availed myself of the opportunity thus afforded me,
and have the comfort of reflecting that for once, at least, my poor
scrawl will not cost more than its worth.

Mrs. D. and Miss Whitmore have lately been spending a few days with us,
and they have left us with a pleasing and powerful conviction of the
blessedness resulting from the society of those who live near to God.  We
felt, in the first instance, somewhat of reluctance in inviting them;
but, being persuaded that the law of love required that we should seek
our pleasure in the endeavour to communicate pleasure to others, we
thought it right to break through our cozy habits of retirement, and to
welcome them under our roof.  I need not tell you that we have been
abundantly repaid.  Christian intercourse, when sought and conducted on
Christian principles, must be productive of good, and I would gratefully
adore the goodness of the Lord for all the refreshment of spirit, and the
improvement of mind, which have been conveyed to me through them as
channels.  How clearly, my dear Mary, would the Lord be teaching us,
provided that we would learn of him that the faithful taking up of the
cross, even in those matters which appear but trivial and insignificant,
is the most effectual way of procuring present peace and future
blessedness.  In short, that the spirit of surrender is the one thing
needful, the grand preparative for happiness and holiness here, and for
eternal glory hereafter.  I do not know how you feel on this point; but I
must, with humiliation, confess to you, that this yoke of Christ does not
sit so gracefully and so easily upon me as it ought.  I would, however,
be thankful that I am endeavouring to bear it.  I am comforted with the
thought, and I may say with the experience, that the effort to
accommodate it to my stubborn neck is the most effectual way of making it
natural and easy.  I have been much helped to this endeavour by a
persuasion that the bearing of the cross is not the end, but the way;
that humiliations, mortifications, trials, and so on, are only so many
means which God is obliged to have recourse to in order to communicate
blessings; that he does not wish to harass, pain, and mortify us, but to
promote our comfort, and that the moment we are ready to take up the
cross, and begin to submit to the only terms on which it is safe in God
to bless us, then he cheerfully avails himself of the opportunity of
conveying to us, not the pain which we anticipated, but some gracious
token of his love.  “For the Lord taketh pleasure in the prosperity of
his servants.”  His name, His nature, is love.  In my last, I think, I
stated to you that matters were going on pretty comfortably in my parish.
I did not, however, enlarge, lest I should be conveying to you a more
favourable idea than contingent circumstances would authorize.  I now
feel that gratitude towards God ought to lead me to speak to his praise.
Many persons in the place have, to say the least, been very favourably
impressed, both among the higher, as well as the lower orders, and show a
considerable change in the whole of their demeanour.  The congregation in
the church, both morning and evening, continues to increase; and the
expositions, both in the town and the outskirts of the parish, are fully
attended.  If there is one thing more than another which seems to
encourage me, it is that of witnessing on all occasions, that the Lord
has graciously given to me what I have all along been led more
particularly to pray for—the heart and affections of my dear people.
They not only tolerate—they evidently love me.  I seem to myself the same
poor blundering stutterer as ever, and yet they meet me with pleasure,
and go from my ministrations with profit.  The Lord make and keep me
humble and thankful!  I sometimes think that all this is too good to
last, that the peaceful calm is but the harbinger of the treacherous
storm; I feel, however, that this is no necessary conclusion.  Could
humility and gratitude be the predominating feeling of our mind, we then
might be safely trusted with success.  But this is the grand
difficulty—pride and self-congratulation are ever apt to insinuate
themselves into our minds, and then adversity is necessary.  “It is
difficult,” as the pious Leighton observes, “to carry a full cup even.”
Pray for me, my dear sister, that all the will of the Lord may be done in
me, and by me, and that no evils on my part may put any impediment to the
free course and glorification of God’s blessed word.

                                * * * * *

The following letter to his friend, Mr., now the Rev. John Cooper, will
show how much Mr. Mortimer was in advance of the time in which he wrote
on the subject of lay-agency—a kind of help which, at that time, was
considered of very questionable propriety; but which has now come to be
admitted very generally, as expedient to meet the pressing wants of a
rapidly increasing population.  These wants, indeed, the editor believes
can never be effectually supplied by any means less than an extensive
augmentation of the number of _clerical_ labourers.  To supply these
means, he regrets much that the Lord Primate, together with the Episcopal
Bench, should not see it to be their duty to admit to deacon’s orders
upon a lower standard of literary attainments than is now required;
keeping persons so ordained, if it be thought good, in that order, until
they possess the usual portion of literary and theological knowledge, as
well as the ordinary title for priest’s orders.  On this subject also, as
will be seen from the same letter, Mr. Mortimer appears to have been
equally in advance of his brethren; for, at that time, the notion of such
an augmentation of the number of the clergy was little thought of, and
would have been in most quarters, as it is still in many, very generally
condemned.  His opinion is, I think, a just one—viz. that the _stability
and true respectability_ of the church is more effectually promoted by
sound piety, than by a certain portion of Latin and Greek.  “The union of
sound learning with genuine piety, is what every one must admire and
desire in a Christian pastor; but a man may do immense good with nothing
more than an unlearned familiarity with the Scriptures, with sound
practical sense and activity, taking part in all the business of the
parish, and devoting himself to intercourse with men rather than with
books.  I honour such men in the highest degree, and think that they are
among the most valuable ministers that the church possesses.” {69}  In
the meantime, however, until the clergy shall hear some proportion to the
population, we must have recourse to lay-assistants to supply, in some
small measure, the much to be deplored deficiency.  “For myself, I will
openly declare, that I see not how we can dare for any of those small
professional objections, which may be urged, if they are sought for,
against every comprehensive scheme of good, to refuse such aid in this
our great necessity.  It might be well enough for men, sitting calmly in
their closets, and forgetting all these mighty issues, to cavil and to
speculate, to raise difficulties as to the exact mission of the
lay-reader, and to wish (as which of us does not wish?) that bands of
zealous, well-timed, devoted deacons ministered instead among these
crowds; but it will not do for us, my reverend brethren, who know that
souls are thus perishing around us, to bring upon ourselves the guilt of
their blood; to let them be unwarned, and drag us with them into their
destruction, because, through blinding prejudice, or the widely
comprehensive sin of omission, we have, for a whole generation, shut out
of a parish the light which might have streamed into it.” {70}

                                                  Madeley, Dec. 4th, 1815.

My dear Friend,

ON the evening previous to my receiving your very kind and truly
acceptable letter, I had been speaking in the town from those words of
our Lord, “Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would
send [or rather _thrust_] forth labourers into his harvest;” and we all
seemed to find it a profitable season, especially when, in conclusion, we
were praying that this important blessing might be realized.  When your
kind favour arrived, I saw more than ever, the propriety of beseeching
God to “_thrust_” _them out_; for surely nothing but main force can
compel _desirable_ labourers.  Others come at a moment’s bidding—no
useful employments detain them—no endeared relatives or friends hang
about them, conscientiously and feelingly pressing their continuance
among them.  But when a prepared labourer, one whom “the Lord of the
harvest” has previously been fitting for his ministerial work; when such
a one is fixed on, none but the Lord himself can bring him out.  I have,
therefore, only one resource, and that is prayer; this, however, I am
privileged to use, and this I must still hope will eventually prevail.  I
assure you it would prove a source of no small joy to myself to welcome
you among us for your initiatory work; for, independent of the personal
gratification and profit which I must promise myself, your help in
various ways would be exceedingly acceptable to the people.  The most
populous parts of the parish greatly want help, and most gladly avail
themselves of the little which I and T— are able to give them.  At
present I feel as though I could do but little more: I have, indeed,
_one_ leisure evening during the week; but even this they have been
asking from me, and I fear to deny them.  My good friend need not,
therefore, be afraid of eating the bread of idleness, by secluding
himself for a short season among us; and with regard to his future
employment, a single month’s actual residence in a place tolerably
populous will fully convince him how much work of the highest importance
will call for his daily and even hourly attention.  And are there not
hundreds of places of this description opening to our wishes?  “Truly the
harvest is plenteous,” but with pain I must still add, that “the
labourers are few.”

I felt very thankful to hear of the determination of your friend B—,
relative to entering into orders, and of the kind and judicious conduct
of the bishop—a conduct, however, but seldom adopted.  The determination
of many on the bench to admit those only into orders who have previously
been at college, is, indeed, calculated to secure a certain portion of
Latin and Greek in the Establishment; but, at the same time, to exclude
from it, in many instances, that which it more needs and which would more
effectually conduce to its stability and true respectability; I mean,
vital, genuine piety.  What a mercy it is, however, that their
determination has been in so many cases made void, and that there is not
an instance to be found in which a pious young man has eventually been
excluded.  I think, I hinted to you, when you kindly visited us in the
summer, that I am too sensible of the dismal forebodings of kind friends
to let slip an opportunity of putting you again in remembrance.  But, my
dear friend, with all our zeal for the progress of the Lord’s work around
us, we must not forget its progress _within_ us.  I know not how you may
feel, but, with regard to myself, I am constrained to acknowledge, that
while I am endeavouring to mind the vineyards of others, I too frequently
neglect my own.  I get more and more of the habit of thinking
spiritually—speaking spiritually—and even acting spiritually; but there
seems in my own experience a great deficiency in point of _feeling_.
Spiritual things are not brought home to my own mind by an immediate and
constant self-application.  I seem like a spiritual purveyor who is
convinced that nothing but spirituality will do, and, therefore, my
constant endeavour is to convey, and to exhibit it.  But still, I fear,
at times, lest all this is more in reference to others than to myself.  I
hope, however, that the act of conveying and exhibiting it, is not
altogether unattended with good to myself; for the channel imbibes some
of the water which passes through it; and, as Leighton observes, “The
boxes in which our perfumes are kept for garments and other uses, are
themselves perfumed by keeping them.”

                             * * * * * * * *

What a world of instruction is conveyed to us in that beautiful passage
of the prophet, “In returning and in rest ye shall be saved!”  Now when I
fail, or when I wander, too often, instead of quietly returning and
resuming my endeavours, I am apt to sink into myself, and be discouraged.
In short, I seem rather to brood over my failures than to get pardon for
them, and to set about their amendment.  My paper tells me that I cannot
enlarge; I must, therefore, conclude, with the assurance that the best
wishes of Mrs. M. and myself continue to attend yourself and all your
circle.

                                I remain,

                               Your truly affectionate and sincere Friend,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                 Madeley, Dec. 29th, 1815.

My dear Armstrong,

                             * * * * * * * *

ON the 9th instant, dear Mrs. Fletcher was removed from the church
militant to the church triumphant, from a sorrowing church below to a
glorious one above.  The last few months of her life were attended with
much pain, but how sweetly did the Christian beam through all!  In her
former years she seems to have been called more particularly to glorify
God by an unusual degree of activity and usefulness.  Latterly, she has
been called to bear and suffer; but all in the spirit of her Divine
Master.  O my dear friend, how gladly would I join her glorified spirit
by making my escape from a world of sin and sorrow!  Do not, however,
mistake me; I do, indeed, love home, and strange would it be were it
otherwise, but still I would not run away to get there.  I see that there
is much for me still, both to do and to suffer; and as such, rather than
pettishly desiring to depart, I would calmly and quietly wish to
wait—wait till all my discipline is over, till I am better fitted and
prepared for my inheritance among the saints in light.

                                 * * * *

While my Mary’s letter lies before me, I feel disposed to copy another
part of it, relative to the management of school children.  “I was much
pleased a few weeks since at the national school.  Dr. Bell’s
arrangements are well made, and the mistress he has appointed is an
uncommonly clever woman, just fit for that situation, and apparently for
none else.  I asked her how she managed with the children when any of
them used improper language, having myself been much troubled with this
at our Shoreditch school?  She said such a case rarely occurred, but when
it did, she found it better to convince the understanding of the evil,
than merely to correct for the individual fault; and as she was
particular in explaining the catechism, commandments, &c., she had in
general little trouble in bringing such faults home.  For example, she
said, ‘A few days since, about twenty of the girls came to me, and said,
“O Governess! little Chambers has said a very wicked word.”  I lifted up
my hands, and said, “Blessed are the peace makers.”  If twenty of you had
come to tell me of a good deed, I would gladly have listened, but go away
and be ashamed at being so pleased to publish the faults of a
school-fellow.  I thought it right, however, not to let it go unnoticed;
and therefore called to me privately the monitor of the class.  She said,
“Indeed, governess, it was a very naughty word, it was O God.”  I said,
“Very well, that is enough.”  I then went round to the different classes,
who were saying the catechism; after a while I came to this class, and
after having asked several children the commandments, I said (pointing
the fore finger,) “Little Chambers, do you say the third.”  She
immediately burst into tears, and said, “O Governess!  I did say a
naughty word, but I will never do so again, if you will forgive me this
once.”’  This is not according to the plan of correction generally
pursued at schools, but it appears to me much more judicious and more
likely to produce lasting benefit.”

                             * * * * * * * *

My Mary joins me in kindest and most Christian regards to yourself and
dear Mrs. A., and in love to all your family, and I remain,

                                                Yours ever affectionately,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                 Madeley, Jan. 26th, 1816.

My dear Mary,

I HAVE been much struck of late with the forcible manner in which the
providence of God has been co-operating with his word in the endeavour to
teach me a lesson, which, of all others, I find so exceedingly difficult
to learn; I mean that of so numbering my days as to apply my heart unto
wisdom.  The removal of my dear mother-in-law, the unusual number of
deaths among all descriptions of persons in my own immediate
neighbourhood, and especially that of Mrs. Fletcher; all these conspiring
circumstances loudly enforce the necessity of being sober and watching
unto prayer, of having my loins girt and my lamp burning, of being in a
prepared posture of expectation, waiting for the coming of my Lord.
These effects, I am thankful to state, have in some measure been
gratefully traced by me in my recent experience.  One thing seems to me
more than ever to be truly needful, not indeed the obtaining and the
securing of inheritances below, but the getting prepared for my
inheritance above—an inheritance to which every day and every hour spent
for God is adding some increase of comfort, and which, when once
possessed, will be found to be worth the possessing—an inheritance
incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away.  O my dear Mary, how
does the grand enemy of our souls destroy by deluding! how does he
infatuate the world at large! how gross also the deception which he
practises even upon believers themselves, making then live nine-tenths of
their time, if not sinfully, at least uselessly for themselves, or for
the world, instead of for God and eternity, as a matter of course,
instead of with a pure and single aim.  But, alas! what is any action
when stripped of its proper motive, I mean the glory of God.  A man may
give liberally to the poor, he may carefully regulate his household,
bring up his children decently and even morally, and restrain his
domestics from immoralities and inconsistencies.  But if our liberality
is connected with our own reputation, if our children be merely educated
that they may bring credit and comfort to us, or if our dependents are
restrained and their good consulted, because it would reflect dishonour
upon us to pursue a contrary course; if these be our motives, what are
they after all but mere selfishness?  There is no reference to God in all
these actions, and, of course, no eternal reward can be expected from
them.  Their reference is to ourselves and that also in our present
state, but the future is left entirely out of the question.  I grant,
indeed, that a present reward is obtained, but this is all, and, in fact,
it is all which in most cases is sought for.  The benevolent man has the
reputation for benevolence, which he seeks; the moral educator of his
children has the satisfaction of seeing them orderly and decent, and they
bring to him the temporal comfort which he desired; the strict and moral
master has in the same way the present fruit of his labours.  But if
God’s glory, if a sincere desire of pleasing him, has not been combined
with the motives of these respective individuals, no eternal fruit will
be found from them.  They die with this present world.  How uselessly,
then, if not sinfully, are the generality of persons employed, and what
need have we all to strive to live more completely under the influence of
unseen celestial realities!  I feel these truths while I am writing them,
and the earnest prayer of my soul is, that, as a consequence of them, my
inheritance may rather be in reserve than in immediate possession.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                          Madeley, Salop. March 4th, 1816.

My dear Armstrong,

                             * * * * * * * *

YOU may perhaps recollect that in one of my former letters I mentioned —
as a violent opposer of everything which had the least appearance of real
godliness.  He also has been called from among us, and that in a manner
which of all others seemed most likely to excite attention, and lead to
serious inquiry.  O, my dear friend, what a mercy is it that our feet
have not been treading in the same unhallowed paths!  We see in him what
we ourselves should have been, had we been left to ourselves.  To the
grace of God—Arminian as you conceive me to be—I am fully convinced the
reason should be ascribed.  Dear Mr. — bears the afflictive stroke with a
union of acute feelings and perfect resignation, such as is seldom seen.
I should have imagined the stroke would have almost overwhelmed him; but
what cannot the grace of God enable us to bear?

You imagine that now I am fixed at Madeley, I have become more a
Methodist than ever.  If by the term you mean an attachment to their
peculiar doctrines, I must confess that you are not very far from the
mark; for I feel more than ever persuaded that with some slight
modification, they are the truth.  The more I pray, and study, and
experience, and preach, the more do I see of their accordancy with the
whole revealed will of God.  All seems intelligible, all in unison.  But
though more decided than ever, I trust that I am no bigot.  I exclude, I
would deal out contemptuous pity to, no one; and, therefore, God forbid,
that I should at any time lay that stress upon disputed points which
should lead my dear friend to imagine, that because we do not quite see
alike, that, therefore, I feel the least atom of diminution in point of
affection.  I can from my heart assure him that it is no such thing.
Should you, however, fancy that by my coming to Madeley, I am more of a
Methodist, because I am less of a Churchman; in this respect, I feel,
then, I can altogether clear myself.  The fact is, the more I see of
Methodism, the less do I admire it.  There is that party spirit, that
uncommon wish to proselyte, that settled jealousy against those who are
more successful in their endeavours—in short, that spirit which, if
suffered to proceed, would completely undermine our most excellent
Establishment, and erect itself in its stead, that though I cannot but
greatly love and admire some of its members, as a body I dare not give
them that countenance or support which I should do were their doctrines
the only point in consideration.  I therefore have adopted all that
strikes me as good in their system, but at the same time keep myself and
people perfectly distinct.  By this means, I have ill-will and opposition
to an extent which you would hardly conceive; but I go quietly and
lovingly forward, and I thank God my plans have hitherto well succeeded,
and I feel quite convinced that all will eventually be well.  What
provokes most opposition, is my using the same weapons which have so
successfully been employed by themselves, and that with the increased
advantage of their being combined with all the weight of influence
connected with the Establishment.  I wish my dear friend would try the
same weapons, and he would soon see the most beneficial effects. * * * *

Believe me, with kindest regards to yourself and Mrs. A.,

                                           Your truly affectionate Friend,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                             Madeley, Salop. Aug. 5, 1816.

My dear Armstrong,

                                * * * * *

YOUR two or three last letters, but more particularly the last of all,
seem written under a degree of depression which I am greatly concerned to
observe.  While engaged in doing a great work, while filling an important
post, and that with no small measure of patient perseverance, you suffer
yourself to suppose that you are doing almost nothing.  While your
friends which you have left behind you are admiring the zeal and the love
which have enabled you to tear yourself from the comforts of civilized
and refined society, and thus to forget, as it were, your own people and
your father’s house, while they are thankful for the grace of God within
you, you are so discouragingly comparing yourself with a Schwartz and a
Van der Kemp, as to request of your unworthy friend that he would pray
for you, lest, after all, you should prove a castaway.  Now, my dear
Armstrong, what must I say to such feelings and requests?  Must I
sympathise with my dear desponding friend?  I do so from my heart; but I
must also chide with him: you overlook the tender mercies of God towards
you; you keep your eye not on the bright side, but on that which is dark,
gloomy, and foreboding; and thus faith and confidence in your loving and
omnipotent Redeemer seem dormant and inactive principles.  But what is
the language of the Saviour under such circumstances of discouragement?
It is that which he addressed to Martha at the grave of Lazarus: “Said I
not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the glory
of God?”  It is that also which he used towards the afflicted father, who
with tears requested that, if he could do anything, he would have
compassion on him, and help him: “If thou canst believe, all things are
possible to him that believeth.”  Believe then, my dear friend, through
all your difficulties and discouragements, and your temporary darkness
will be succeeded by glorious and abiding light.  The clouds which for a
season overspread your horizon will be dispelled, and your glistening eye
will be cheered with a bright and resplendent day.  Perhaps, however, you
may tell me, that faith is the gift of God, and that we must wait till
this hinging blessing be bestowed.  But are not all the gifts of God to
be obtained upon the simple condition of asking? and were you to ask for
this gift, or for its increase, would the blessed God deny it?  I have
often found it exceedingly useful to my own mind, after having fallen
upon my knees to pray to that God who has promised to give to us all that
we ask in faith,—I have found it profitable to ask previously, that the
Lord would give me faith to believe, that the petitions which I should
present before his throne of grace, would be answered by him, and, as a
consequence, my faith has been strengthened far beyond its usual
exercise.  And with regard to discouraging circumstances, my constant
prayer has been that my faith might not fail.  Since I came into this
parish, I have had difficulties to encounter, such as some of my dearest
friends and fellow-labourers have confessed that they should not have
dared to meet, and I must acknowledge, that, at times, I have sighed, and
wept, and groaned, being burdened; and have had many a thought of leaving
my arduous post to some more intrepid and persevering spirit.  But
something seemed continually to be whispering to my dejected mind, “only
believe,” “let not your faith fail you,” and I blessed God that through
all I was enabled, in some sort, to believe, though not without many a
tremulous assertion, and equally trembling prayer, “Lord, I believe, help
thou mine unbelief.”  And it is with unfeigned gratitude towards the
blessed God, that I feel it my duty to add, that all my storms have, for
the present at least, completely blown over, and that success has been
vouchsafed to my poor mean insignificant labours, such as my most
sanguine expectations could in no wise have imagined.  Should I not say,
then, to my dear friend, as an experimental result “from believing verily
to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,”—“O tarry thou
the Lord’s leisure, be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart;” “Wait,
I say, on the Lord”?  But here I feel, as usual, that I must check
myself.  I forget to whom I am writing, and likewise what I am inditing:
I forget that I am addressing one who has that anointing from above which
teacheth all things, and that I am not composing a sermon, but scribbling
a letter.

I know not whether you were acquainted with S—, of our college, and B—,
of Trinity.  The former I used occasionally to meet, and was accustomed
to consider him as one of the very holiest men at college.  Since my last
letter, however, he, B—, and two others, have left the Church, because
they could not read the ten commandments, and are now preaching all the
heights and depths of eternal election, eternal justification, and
eternal sanctification: they have likewise begun to ordain others, and R—
K—, the member for L—, has vacated his seat, and received ordination from
them.  The moderate Calvinists are endeavouring to stop the growing evil,
but I am sorry to say, that among many it is sadly spreading.  It has had
one good effect, however; it has made many of the high men, as they are
termed, much more guarded and circumspect. * * * *

Mary and my brother unite with me in very kindest love to yourself, and
most respectful and affectionate remembrances to Mrs. A., and I may
likewise add, in very best wishes and earnest prayers for your dear
children.

                    I remain your very sincere Friend,

                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                  Madeley, Sept. 30, 1816.

My dear Armstrong,

I SUPPOSE that you are aware, that, as resident curate, I am entitled to
the use of the vicarage-house.  During Mrs. Fletcher’s life, I waved my
claim in her favour: but after her decease, I applied to the vicar, and
now that it has been put into pretty extensive repair, we have taken up
our abode in it, and a most holy happy spot we do indeed find it.  In the
room where I am now writing, some of my older parishioners state, that
they have frequently taken their tea with both Mr. and Mrs. F., and well
remember the happy seasons they enjoyed.  In the room in which we
commonly sit, they both of them departed in the Lord.  In a third
chamber, Mr. F was accustomed to retire for more private and wrestling
prayer, and, as we read in his life, the wall of which was stained with
his breath while importunately pleading.  Another room has the bureau at
which he was accustomed to write, and which, with many other things, he
left in his will for the use of his successors, that the house might not
be the worse for his having had it.  In a word, almost every spot and
fixture reminds us pleasingly of those exalted characters who have
preceded us, and call forth many an earnest prayer, and many a private
ejaculation, that those who follow them may drink deeper and deeper into
their blessed spirit, and tread more and more closely in their pious and
spiritual steps.

Dear Mrs. Fletcher once mentioned to us, that one day, shortly after her
coming to Madeley, she remarked to Mr. F., as they were entering upon
their premises, that she did not know how it was, but that she always
felt a measure of divine influence whenever she entered within the gate.
The holy man answered that he was not surprised to hear her say so, for
that there was not a single brick or a stone in the whole premises which
had not been sanctified by prayer.  I feel somewhat in the same way with
Mrs. F—, and though I am aware that God is everywhere present, and that
all spots may equally share in this his glorious presence, yet I cannot
but think that some places are privileged beyond others, and though,
perhaps, my Honduras friend may smile at his Madeley enthusiast, yet I
must frankly confess to you, that I consider it as no small privilege
that I dwell in the house, as well as labour in the parish, of one so
peculiarly devoted to God.  The days I have already spent here have been,
without any exception, the happiest I have spent upon earth.  Week after
week has rolled round in the peaceful enjoyment of the presence of the
blessed God.  My most painful and laborious duties have been not only
easy, but a source of thankfulness and joy far beyond any of my former
experience.  In a word, I seem to have known some _little_, at least, of
what is so beautifully described in one of my favourite hymns:—

    “Far above all earthly things,
       While yet my hands are here employed;
    Sees my soul the King of kings
       And freely talks with God.”

Pray for me, my dear Armstrong, that these feelings may not be
transitory, but abiding and ever increasing.  I too often rest contented
with the mere husks of religion, instead of feeding on the substantial
and the nourishing corn.  I am too generally satisfied with the outward
life of the Christian, the regulation of my conduct, temper, disposition,
pursuits, and so on; while that inward life of God within the soul, that
communion with the Father of spirits and the Son of his love, is too
commonly overlooked.  I want a _deep work_ of his grace within my soul,
and this I am now endeavouring in my poor feeble way to pray for, if so
be that I may eventually obtain; but my unbelieving heart tells me, that
I never was cut out for anything like spirituality.  One text of
Scripture, however, still encourages me, “This is the will of God even
your sanctification;” and therefore though faint, I would still be
persevering.

To-morrow evening, being the first Tuesday after quarter-day, our _church
classes_ hold their quarterly meetings for the second time.  The first
time of their meeting was a season which will long be remembered by me
with gratitude.  My heart quite melted to hear so many declare, that,
under God, they owned their first religious good to my poor feeble
ministrations, and when in the fulness of their hearts they could not
refrain from thanking the good Lord who had brought me among them.  And I
felt the more astonished and thankful inasmuch as I never had a fourth
part of the like success in all the former years put together in which I
had been labouring elsewhere.  Oh, what shall I render to the Lord for
all his benefits conferred upon me?  I will take the cup of salvation and
call upon the name of the Lord—still call upon him for his future help
and blessing, for without this I feel I can do nothing.  Our little
classes, I am thankful to state, are gradually increasing.  I think we
reckon sixty-seven in all.  As to one or two, I feel constrained to stand
in doubt, but the rest I trust are sincere souls.  But, while I thus
number my little flock, I feel that there is necessity to guard against
the spirit of David: I endeavour to do this, and to sink down before God
under a continual sense of my own nothingness; but pride is a subtle
enemy, and, as Dr. Watts so correctly observes,

    “We cannot make his glories known,
    But self-applause creeps in.”

                             * * * * * * * *

                                                I remain yours very truly,
                                                                     G. M.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                    Madeley, May 24, 1817.

My dear Mary,

IN the course of Mr. Bailey’s attendance upon Mary, we had frequent
opportunities of conversation, and, as I feel desirous of turning the
conversation to those points on which persons feel most capable, as well
as most desirous of talking, we frequently touched upon medical subjects.
One day I told him my fears that both Mary and myself were consumptive,
and that we had often talked about the possibility of our being removed
in this way.  He said, in reply, that Mrs. M— was not a consumptive
subject, at least he had discovered nothing as yet which led him to
suppose it; and that, with regard to myself, whatever predisposition I
might have had towards it in early life, it had since taken another
course.  I wished to know what he meant by its having gone off in a
different channel, even supposing that the predisposition once existed,
when he told me the following anecdote:—His father was a medical man and
accustomed to speak his mind without reserve.  He used to visit the C—s
in the place where they then lived, and knowing their constitutions
pretty accurately he used to say, the B—s (meaning his own family) will
go off into livers, and the C—s into lungs, intimating that these
disorders would carry them off.  Fanny, however (who was one of the C—s,
and similarly deformed with myself), he thought, owing to her form would
out-live them all, and escape the family disease.  The B—s removed from
the place, and Mr. B— having occasion to go there again after about
twenty years’ absence, was naturally led to inquire after his old
friends, when he found that all of them, excepting Fanny, had been
removed by consumption, and that she, feeling her spirits affected by
living in the place where all her family had died, had gone either to
London, or some such place, for society, but was otherwise quite well.
Mr. B— then told me, that he had no doubt that this was the case with
myself also, and that very many similar cases had occurred.  I had often
thought that I could trace much spiritual benefit as resulting from my
bodily form; nay, I have even been led to thank God for it, conceiving it
very probable that it had been the saving of my soul; but little did I
imagine that it conduced in any way to my bodily comfort, and that it has
probably been the saving of my life.  O my dear sister, how little do we
know of the goodness of the Lord towards the children of men; and how
little, with our present imperfect powers, shall we ever be able to know
in this present world; but what we do know tends to show us in characters
written as it were with a sunbeam, “HE DOETH ALL THINGS WELL.”

                                * * * * *

Extracted from a letter to his sister, dated May 17, 1817:—

    “Happy in married life.

    “Should your union, my beloved sister, with Mr. H. prove to you what
    mine has with Mary, you will be disposed to consider with myself that
    this ordinance is not merely divine, but to be ranked amongst the
    foremost of God’s gifts to man.”

Extract of a letter, dated June 2, 1817:—

    “As to myself, I feel that I have increasing cause for gratitude in
    all that concerns me.  I think I never felt so truly blessed in any
    former period of my life.  I really have no earthly desire
    unfulfilled; my cup literally runs over.  God is also very graciously
    pleased to prosper me in my ministerial labours.  I have the
    satisfaction of seeing fresh trophies of the Redeemer’s power to
    save; and my heart is rejoiced in seeing those whom the Lord has
    gathered around me, walking, in some measure at least, as becometh
    the Gospel of Christ.  To these, indeed, there are, as there is
    reason to fear there ever will be, some painful exceptions; but, upon
    the whole, I have abundant cause for thanksgiving and praise.  In the
    midst of all these causes for joy, I have many a memento that the
    excellence of the power is of God, and not of men; the cracked
    earthen vessel is but too apparent.  For this, however, I hope I feel
    grateful; for what is so great a blessing to a poor, proud, selfish
    being, such as I am constrained to acknowledge myself, as occasional
    humiliations?  They are the very medicine of my soul.”

After referring to two cases of affliction in his family, he writes to
his friend abroad, dated August 4, 1817:—

    “But out of all the Lord has most graciously delivered us; and I can
    look back upon the whole with real gratitude to God.  There was not a
    stroke or a drop too much; all was merciful in the design, and I hope
    the benefits still remain.  Tribulation working ‘patience,’ a calm
    waiting upon God.  Patience an ‘experience’ of his divine support at
    the time, and an experience of his eventual deliverance.  Experience
    ‘hope,’ an expectation of future help and future deliverance; and
    this hope will not make me ashamed.  There were times in which I felt
    this to be a weary land; but still I found the shadow of a great
    Rock, and this shade was truly refreshing to my soul.  Oh, that I
    could ever there abide!

    “I think I mentioned to you that our mutual friend Cox had the living
    of Bridgenorth presented to him.  He has been there now some months,
    but he labours under very great discouragement, owing to the little
    effect resulting from his ministrations.  A few weeks ago he wished
    that we should exchange duties, hoping that my Methodistical zeal
    might arouse them.  After an enumeration of the probable consequences
    to which he must make up his mind, I at length consented, and, as I
    supposed, the stir has been great; rascal, villain, ranter, field
    preacher, are the usual epithets attached to my opprobrious name.  A
    petition has been drawn up, with many signatures attached, requesting
    Cox to forbid me his pulpit; in short, the whole place has been in a
    hubbub.  Inquiry, however, begins to take place, the stagnant waters
    are moved, and after the working off of the scum and the grosser
    particles, we may expect to see purer and even living waters.  Cox
    answered their petition with becoming spirit, united with pleasing
    conciliation.  It has, I find, given great offence, notwithstanding
    all; but we wait for the issue in a spirit of prayer.  It is somewhat
    remarkable that Bridgenorth was the place in which Richard Baxter,
    author of the “Saint’s Rest,” met with such decided opposition, that
    as he went out of the town, he shook off the dust of his feet as a
    testimony against them; and, since that time, no preached gospel has
    prospered among them.  The Dissenters and even the warm-hearted
    Methodists have hitherto laboured almost in vain.  But who knows how
    soon the curse may be removed?  We keep encouraging Cox all that we
    possibly can, but he seems determined at present to leave.  Unite
    your prayers, my dear friend, with ours, that he may not be permitted
    to desert this wilderness and solitary place, but that he may
    patiently wait till he rejoices over it as a peculiarly verdant spot
    in the garden of our Lord.”



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                  Madeley, 21st Nov. 1817.

My dear Mary,

THE case of conscience with which your letter begins is such as would
puzzle a much more expert casuist than I ever expect to be; and,
therefore, after reading all that you have written upon the subject, as
explanatory of your views and feelings, I feel more disposed to commend
you in prayer to the teachings of God’s most Holy Spirit, than attempt to
darken counsel by words without knowledge.  I am sensible, however, that
this may originate in an unwillingness to meet a difficulty from a
consciousness of the scantiness of my spiritual information, and from a
fear of the consequent poor opinion you might entertain of me for my want
of success, I will, therefore, hazard a few remarks.  It has always
struck me that the creature occupies an improper place when we consider
it in any way essential to our good, when we fancy that there is any
absolute and positive necessity for the presence of any one thing in
order to constitute us happy.  It was God’s declaration to Abraham, “I am
the Almighty [_the all-sufficient_] God; walk before me, and be thou
perfect.”  And St. Paul so fully realized this, that he lived, as it
were, completely independent of the creature; he found his God an
all-sufficient portion, quite adequate of himself to satisfy the largest
desires of his soul.  He could, therefore, _take pleasure_ in
infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, &c.; for he experimentally
found that, as his afflictions abounded, his consolations did much more
abound.  In a word, he discovered in his God a happiness which was not
merely independent of the creature, but which flourished and abounded
under circumstances most likely to interrupt or destroy it.  The fact is,
that the creature is only an _arbitrary channel_, the pipe, if I may so
speak, which a God of love has been pleased to choose, in order to convey
his benefits.  The pipe is neither the benefit, nor the source; and, of
course, though it is conducive to our comfort, though it may in many
respects be _subservient_ to our welfare, yet it is by no means
_essentially necessary_, for God is the God of all consolation, whether
intermediately or immediately conveyed, and should He, on any occasion,
see fit to remove the medium, the same and even more abounding happiness
_may_ be received immediately from Himself; and since God is infinite in
his wisdom and in his love, this _will_ be so, provided it be for our
good.  And if we need not the former quantum of happiness, if it would
prove injurious to us, is it not a mercy that it should be denied?  But
perhaps you will ask, How are we to know whether we love the creature too
much or not?  How is it to be ascertained whether we regard it as
essential to our good, or merely subservient to it?  This may be
ascertained in two ways—1st, How do we feel when our channels are
removed?  Does it seem as though our all were gone?  If after a prop has
been removed from under us, we immediately fall, it is evident that our
_whole weight_ has been placed upon it; if we stagger and stumble, though
by dexterity we may recover ourselves, and not actually fall, yet we show
that _too much_ of our weight was resting on it; but if, after its
removal, we stand upright as before, it is manifest, as Archbishop
Leighton observes, that we have been leaning not on our prop, but on an
invisible arm for support.  The application is easy.  But I suggested
another means of ascertaining the same point.  What are our feelings
under any probable expectations of the removal of our channel?  This,
however, is so closely allied with the former that it needs no separate
enlargement or elucidation.  It is evident that the man who is filled
with alarm at the bare idea of the removal of his gold, is too much in
love with it, and, more or less, is making it his god.  And he who, with
more specious refinement of taste, dreads the interruption of his social
pleasures, or the removal of some of his wonted sources of good, follows
but too closely in the same steps.  God must be owned and felt as our all
in all.  He must be regarded, not merely as our _supreme_ good, but as
our only good, as that which is _alone_ necessary.  In a word, all I have
to say is summed up in those two expressive lines in the Methodist
hymn-book,

    “Lead me where I my heaven may find,
    The heaven of loving Thee alone.”

                                * * * * *

About the end of the year 1817, Mr. Mortimer entertained serious thoughts
of going out to New Zealand as a missionary, and for this end
corresponded with the secretary of the “Church Missionary Society” on the
subject; and it so happened that about this time also two New Zealand
chiefs, Tooi and Teterree, arrived in England, and it was proposed that
they should abide for awhile at Madeley, which they accordingly did.  The
providence of God, however, did not seem to open his way for removing to
a far-distant land, and he acquiesced in the result with his usual loving
submission to the will of God.  The following letter to the writer gives
some account of the way by which he was led to contemplate the step
referred to:—

                                                 Madeley, Nov. 26th, 1817.

My dear Armstrong,

MANY incidents have occurred since it has pleased God to separate us, in
which I should have regarded it as an exceedingly great comfort to my
mind could I have consulted you, and obtained from you either your veto
or procedas; but I think that I never felt the want of it more than at
present.  I hardly know whether I ought to puzzle you with a long detail,
pro and con., of what has of late been passing in my mind, or to wait
till I come to some conclusion.  But as I feel that I should unbosom my
mind to you in the fullest freest manner, were you now sitting by my
side, I will use the same freedom, though you are at a distance.  You
must know, then, that I have lately been exerting myself among my
parishioners on behalf of the Church Missionary Society, have read in my
different exposition-rooms the very interesting accounts published in
their quarterly papers and missionary registers, and, to make myself
somewhat master of the matters upon which I spoke, I began to go
regularly through the whole of the volumes which they have hitherto
published.  A great sensation has been excited among my people.  I
thought we should do exceedingly little; but God has opened the hearts of
my people, and I rejoice in the event.  This, however, is not the only
effect which has been produced.  My own heart has been so completely won
over to the missionary cause that I am inclined to think, I shall not
easily be persuaded to remain quietly and cozily at home, while so much
remains to be done abroad.  The call to continue here must be much
stronger than it has hitherto been, or my struggling spirit will be found
to burst its ties and make its escape to more needed labours.  I trust I
shall not force my way; this, under no circumstances, can be desirable,
but I think that hitherto my mind has leaned too much one way, and has
been too ready to interpret the suggestions of some, and the oppositions
of others, into providential intimations of its being the will of God, to
hesitate and eventually to abandon my object; but now I feel very
differently.  In the spirit of sacrifice, with our lives in our hands,
and almost our all of earthly good at stake, we shall hold ourselves
ready to proceed whenever we can with any consistency make our escape.
You will ask, perhaps, what are our plans?  I have often thought of
joining my very very dear friends at Honduras, but the unhealthiness of
the climate, and the stings of your musquitos quite deter my good wife,
and she shrinks from your shore with feelings which I dare not any
further attempt to correct.  To speak honestly, I fear your climate would
soon bring her to her grave, and therefore I should not think myself at
all authorized to press the point further than I have already done.  New
Zealand is the place which we have in our minds, and though the
inhabitants are cannibals, and though the ill treatment of the Europeans
has exasperated them to a degree of determined retaliation, which might
deter the mere worldly calculators from venturing to settle among them;
yet as we trust that the spirit of love and kindness will ever actuate us
in our intercourse with them, we trust likewise that our gracious God
will become a wall of fire round about us to keep them from injuring us.
A very amiable, interesting, and truly pious young man, who has lately
been through college, and is now waiting till he becomes of age for
orders, has fully made up his mind to join us so soon as his friends can
be persuaded to part with him.  Ever since I have been in the parish the
Lord has been pleased to knit his heart to me in a very singular way.
His mind has been turned to New Zealand for nearly three years.

The whole circle of my friends, together with myself, feel much obliged
to you for your communications to Mr. Pratt, which he has published in
the last _Missionary Register_, October, 1817.  They greatly interested
us, and we could not help rejoicing in all the good which the good Lord
is effecting through you.  May all this be only the promise of a more
abundant shower.

                                * * * * *

Letters passed at sea some time about the beginning of this year, between
Mr. Mortimer and the editor, each asking, without knowing the intention
of the other, that his friend would become sponsor for his next-born
child—a circumstance which explains the allusions made to the subject, in
the three following extracts:—



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                    Madeley, June 1, 1818.

THE honour which my dear friends have conferred upon my unworthy name
affected me greatly, and the more so, as within three or four weeks of
the time your letter reached me, two other similar instances of the very
great affection of my friends here had occurred.  Unknown to me, many of
them put their contributions together, and forwarded them to the Church
Missionary Society, for the support of two African children, to be named
after myself and my dear Mary; and a young man among the Quakers, to whom
the Lord has made me (his most unworthy servant) a channel of good, has
likewise taken my name.  What shall I say to these tokens of love?  I
know not what to say—but that I am ashamed and confounded before God, to
think that any mark of love and respect should be shown to me whom _He_
sees as so abject and polluted; and as to my dear friends, all I can say
is, the Lord reward them a thousand fold for all that their hearts
contrive, and their loving conduct so fully expresses.



TO THE REV. THOS. MORTIMER.


                                    Madeley, near Shiffnal, July 20, 1818.

My dear Thomas,

WE think of naming the dear little one Phœbe, a name much endeared to us,
as borne by one dear relation now no more, and by another still reserved
to us, whom we sincerely love.  It is a name likewise which has not as
yet been introduced among us.  We were thinking of joy and gladness, but
this we have left to be, as we hope, long enjoyed by one already in our
family, and to be in reserve in case it should be wanted for another, on
whom we should rejoice to see even an equal portion of her parents’
spirit.  A servant of the church is what we claim for our little one, and
may the claim be abundantly realized!

If Mrs. T. M. would not object to become one of the sponsors for our
little girl, and would permit us to employ some one as her proxy, we
should feel ourselves much obliged by her compliance.  My dear Honduras
friend has kindly consented to take upon him this charge for one, and we
purpose applying to Mr. John Eyton, as the third.  Perhaps you will be so
good as drop me an early line, and thus set me an example I so much need.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                    Madeley, Aug. 3, 1818.

WITH regard to myself I have nothing to write to you but a continued
series of failure and disappointment; and, if I might speak of the future
from the present, I should say, that the Lord is calling me to remain at
home rather than to go anywhere abroad.  The state of the case is simply
this:—When first I proposed myself as the servant of the Missionary
Society, I did not apprehend anything like difficulty with regard to a
supply for Madeley—the vicar, who is not resident, had always consulted
the wishes of the people, and had given them the choice of their
minister.  No sooner, however, was it known by him that I had some
thoughts of leaving, than he declared, in the most positive terms, that
he would not admit to a curacy a person of my recommending, and he quite
wondered that I should ever think he would, or, in other words, he did
not intend to have a person of my stamp.  It soon, however, occurred to
me, that if an application were made in behalf of my young but very dear
friend, — —, the vicar would, for the sake of his father, permit him to
succeed me: this he in fact promised, but when he found out that the son
was of a different stamp from the father, and that the wrong kind of
person was thus most unintentionally selected, he drew back and would not
take another step; and Mr. —, hurt at the whole procedure, declares that
he will not, upon any consideration whatever, make another application,
and thus matters are completely in _statu quo_.  I dare not leave my
people to an ungodly successor, and therefore the present intimation
seems to be, “stand still.”  I feel it a time of suspense, but I am quite
persuaded that all is in the very best hands, and of course that all will
be sweetly ordered for good.  I need not request you to pray for us; I am
assured of your love, and love will necessarily lead you to a throne of
grace on our behalf.

About a fortnight ago my dear Mary was confined, and safely delivered of
a little girl, whom we purpose naming Phœbe, and may God grant she may
prove a servant of the church, as that honoured individual whose name
stands prominently distinguished in the Word of God—not, indeed, by
becoming a lady preacher, as you designated Mrs. F—, in one of your
letters, but in such a way as is becoming her sex; and in how many
blessed ways this is possible we shall neither of us be at a loss to
determine.  We purpose availing ourselves of your kind permission to
employ you as one of the sponsors, and we feel ourselves much, very much
obliged by your compliance with our wishes.  Indeed, everything which
seems like bringing us nearer together affords us a degree of pleasure we
cannot easily express.

                                * * * * *

The humility of my beloved friend was not only deep but uniform, and it
was also most unfeigned.  I believe no sentiments conveyed in his letters
with regard to himself were more sincerely the utterance of his heart,
than such as appear in the two following extracts; and a savour of which,
indeed, runs more or less, through all his correspondence.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                    Madeley, Oct. 5, 1818.

My dear Armstrong,

YOURS of the 8th of August reached me yesterday evening, and afforded me
much refreshment of spirit after the labours of the day, as your kind and
interesting communications almost invariably do; but if they sometimes
may fail in imparting refreshment, they are never wanting in interest and
in solid instruction.  The only effect sometimes produced, is in deeply
humbling me, in abasing me before my friends, and in the presence of my
God.  I feel myself so wretched a sinner, and so completely unworthy of
your least notice.  Indeed, I sometimes think that if you could but see
me instead of hearing from me—could we but renew our personal
acquaintance—you would detect in me such evils as would almost make you
ashamed of acknowledging me.  In my letters, hurried as they generally
are, you see me under assumed appearances.  I step a little out of
myself, sentiments are expressed, prayers and wishes are breathed forth,
and statements likewise made, which are so very very far from being
habitual, that you can know but little of me in this way.  Were you
actually to know me, even all the joy of meeting an old friend would soon
give way to some such exclamation as that uttered by Æneas at the sight
of Hector, “Oh quantum mutatus ab illo.”  I thus write in consequence of
the first paragraph in your letter, in which you speak of having looked
over some old letters of mine.  The reflections in which this re-perusal
made you indulge quite startled me as I read them, and I cannot but still
think that no small measure of hypocrisy must attach to my character, if
my communications do really convey such sentiments to your mind as those
which you express; for I dare not withhold from you the humbling
confession that, gratified and thankful as I should be for the discovery,
I cannot perceive the impress of truth on any of them.  But I fear I
shall tire as well as disgust you with so much about self, and therefore
turn to some other subject.



TO THE SAME.


                                               Madeley, December 29, 1818.

My dear Armstrong,

WITH respect to myself, I can say but little, excepting what must tend to
humble me in the dust before the Lord and my fellow men.  I am still
stationary here, and from all that has transpired, both within and
without, I feel now convinced that whatever the duty of others may be,
mine is to remain at home; and, I think, I shall not easily be induced to
make any further effort to make my escape.  I am now quite content to
remain quiet here, and while set aside by the Lord, as an instrument in
whom he has no such pleasure, can adore him for the greatness of his
tender compassions, which intervened as an effectual barrier, and kept me
from bringing chastisement upon myself and my family for my presumptuous
folly, in thinking of stretching out my unhallowed hand in supporting a
cause, which, perhaps, I should only have touched, to have impressed on
it a mark of indelible disgrace.

But amidst these feelings which humble me in the dust, and even confound
me before the Lord, I still find him most graciously condescending to
visit me, and still perceive abundant tokens of his love in my parish,
and in my family.  All seems to wear a cheerful and exhilarating smile,
and if ever I was convinced that my being hindered in my plans was from
the Lord, I think it is now.  The affection manifested by all classes
among my dear people, when it was known that I had given up the idea of
leaving them, was such as will long be remembered by me with gratitude
towards my kind and loving God: for it is He, and He alone, who can thus
give us the hearts of our people.  O, may I serve in the Gospel of his
Son more faithfully than I have hitherto done!



TO THE SAME.


                                               Madeley, February 26, 1819.

My dear Armstrong,

IF I recollect right, I just alluded in my last to the very striking and
unexpected change which has taken place in my brother —.  The more I
think of it the more am I filled with astonishment and gratitude.  Had I
been required to select an individual, which, in my estimation, was the
least likely to become a trophy to the powerful grace of our Redeemer, —
would have been the person upon whom I should have fixed.  The grace,
however, of his so long despised Lord has at length triumphed, and he now
delights to build up the faith which he once so malignantly endeavoured
to destroy.

You will readily conceive that I have derived no small encouragement from
these dealings of my gracious God with my dear brother.  But the
encouragement has been greatly increased by the change which has recently
passed upon dear Tooi, one of my New Zealand guests.  After they had set
sail for New South Wales, in the _Baring_, the ship struck against a
brake, and they were obliged to put again into port.  During this
interval, Tooi was taken dangerously ill, and, in the estimation of all
who saw him, had not the least probability of recovery.  This painful
visitation, however, to his poor body, seems to have been the means of
salvation to his soul.  All the pious friends who surround him, speak of
the change as most unequivocal; and Mr. Hall, who attended them while
with me, and who is as far, as any one I know, from attempting to colour,
speaks in decided terms of the divine change which he has experienced.
Among other things in one of his letters, writing of Tooi, he says, “I
cannot help mentioning one of his simple speeches, which I think will
please you. ‘When I in New South Wales my heart no good: I come to
England, and hear the word of God, and, I think, O dear me, I want a new
heart; I begin to pray to Jesus to give me a new heart.  In my own
country, I sin very much, and, when in South seaman, the sailors teach me
to curse and swear—miserable work.  But the blood of Jesus runs down my
heart, and washes away my sins, and my heart feel comfortable and happy,
and I no fear to die.  Believe in Jesus is the way to go up to heaven,
and be happy for ever with Jesus, and all Christian friends; (naming
many, and you and your’s amongst the number).’”  O, my dear friend, how
blessed is true religion, and how touching is this simple account, which
shows, I think, that dear Tooi has become possessed of it.



TO THE SAME.


                                                     Madeley, May 3, 1819.

My dear Armstrong,

SINCE I last wrote to you, I have been called to pass through some
painful and unexpected scenes.  About twelve months ago my dear father
began to decline very rapidly in his health, owing to some serious
reverses which he experienced in his temporal concerns, and which preyed
very much upon his mind; the full extent we are none of us able to
determine, but one of my uncles and his son who were privy to many of his
transactions, can distinctly reckon up £75,000 which came under their own
observation.  All these losses had their measure of effect upon his
spirits; but, there was a lawsuit pending, and which had been commenced
some months since, which, if determined against him, threatened to sweep
away all that remained, and even to leave him insolvent.  Of this he
informed no one, but kept it working secretly within, till, at length, it
proved too much for him, and his constitution irrecoverably gave way.  On
the day of his removal, indeed, he was unusually well; was out in the
garden a great part of the forenoon, and very cheerful while taking his
tea, but about seven in the evening he was seized with a fit of apoplexy,
and he was a corpse by a little after nine.  His death much affected me,
and especially as I had my fears lest it should have been produced by a
mere sorrow of the world; but when I joined my dear mother, I was much
comforted by finding that the Lord’s gracious intentions in all this
apparently severe discipline, were mercifully answered; that they
produced in him a gradual weaning from the world, and an increased esteem
and relish for the things which concerned his soul.  And in this effect,
I hope, that we are all, at least most of us, enabled to rejoice, though,
in order to produce it, it was necessary that he should suffer the loss
of almost all things.  To think of his departed spirit, as happy with the
Lord, affords to us a balm of consolation which thousands upon thousands
could not effect without it.

But amidst all this wreck and ruin of property which I have gradually
been called to witness, what abundant cause have I for gratitude that it
has not come nigh me.  How graciously has God been pleased to provide for
me and mine!  For though my family is large, and its wants are
continually increasing, yet I have all and abound.  I have ever yet had
enough, and a little annually to spare; and I have no doubt but that,
with a little frugality, I shall be able to put by a little more towards
the settling of my dear children when they shall come of age.  Had I
known of the present posture of affairs, I might have done a little more
for them, but I am very thankful that I have done what I have.  And may
the God of love so regulate my conduct for the future, that I may never,
in any instance, unnecessarily encroach upon their due; for I feel the
force of the apostolic observation: “He that provideth not for his own,”
&c.

                                * * * * *

The following is a deeply affecting letter; but, like many of David’s
Psalms, if it begins in complainings, it ends in praises.



TO THE SAME.


                                                    Madeley, July 3, 1819.

My dear Armstrong,

AS to myself, I can say but little: I seem to be more of a loitering
formalist than anything else.  Many things which I began when I first
entered upon my charge here have gradually dwindled into the merest
nothings, and these have at length been given up.  And most of those
which are still continued seem to have lost that interest and power with
which they were once accompanied.  As to my own feelings and conduct in
the midst of all, they are my shame and constant humiliation.  I am so
accustomed to see this gradual deterioration in many instances, that I
almost invariably expect it in all others, and this makes me less earnest
in prayer and less zealous in action.  In all the coldness of apathy, I
seem anticipating nothing but eventual failure in everything; and then,
when nothing further is to be done here, I as coldly anticipate a removal
to some other scene, where similar efforts will be productive of similar
results.  These, my dear A., have been my general feelings for some
months past.  I have often paused to analyze my spirit and my conduct:
sometimes I have been ready to imagine that my indifference argued a
deadness to popularity and applause, and that while I was so content that
others should see that I was nothing, I was gaining some increase of
humility, and, of course, was making some little advancement in the
Divine life.  But within these few days, I have been awakened from my
sleep of carnal security, and have been deeply humbled before my God on
account of it.  I see that, instead of stemming the torrent, I have too
criminally suffered it to spread, till it has threatened ruin to all the
plain below.  Instead of propping I have rather undermined the tottering
fabric, and thus aided the natural decay from time and seasons.  Had
spirituality been cherished in my own soul—had patient self-denying
labours been uniformly pursued—had ardent believing prayer been
constantly offered—who can tell how much this tendency to deteriorate
might have been counteracted?  Who can tell, rather, what increase of
prosperity might have now called forth my grateful praise?  My motto,
therefore, has now become that of the cheerful, believing and animated
Apostle St. Paul.  It is said of him, “He thanked God and took courage.”
Instead of dejectedly witnessing this natural process, and as
despondingly anticipating still more and more, I feel, through the grace
of my Saviour, enabled thankfully to adore him for all the good which yet
remains; and, with a measure of cheerful courage, to devote myself to my
future work.  And I cannot tell you the sweet peace which has been
imparted to my distrusting mind, and the animated glow which has been
diffused through my cold and apathetical heart; but to think that this
blessed peace and love should have so long been strangers within my
breast, is cause of my humiliation before my compassionate Redeemer.  May
my endeared friend never have similar cause of complaint!



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                    Madeley, Oct. 4, 1819.

MY last informed you of the seeming health of our dear little Basil: on
Monday last, we availed ourselves of a favourable opportunity of having
him christened, and we all thought that, though a little fallen away, he
was looking very well.  On Wednesday, however, he was attacked with
infantine cholera morbus, and on the morning of yesterday his happy
spirit burst its way to God.  To us, indeed, the scene was very
affecting; it was the first inroad death had been permitted to make among
us, and his entrance spread a degree of awe upon our minds such as we had
not known before.  The strong feelings of affection likewise, and
numerous endearing recollections, kept making us weep till, like David
and his men, we seemed to have no more power to weep, and even all the
grateful expressions which kept bursting from our thankful hearts, could
only be uttered amidst our quickly flowing tears.  These stronger
feelings, however, have now somewhat subsided, and a holy calm of
gratitude has regained its seats within our breasts: our dear little one
has, indeed, fled from among us, but he has fled to a far happier
place—fled to the arms and bosom of his ever-to-be-adored Redeemer; and
oh! how quick, as well as blessed, the transition!

    “We scarce can say he’s gone,
    Before his happy spirit takes
    Its station near the throne.”

To-morrow, we think of committing his dear remains to the silent tomb.  I
have been selecting and marking out a suitable spot to be employed,
should we continue here, for the successive members of our family, as
they may be called from among us, and my prayer has been ascending to my
blessed Redeemer that we may every one of us leave as firm a persuasion
behind us of the safety of our eternal state, as our dear little Basil
has.  And, indeed, his removal has given me an increased confidence that
this will be the case; for our united prayers for our dear children have
ever been, that they might either live a holy life, or die an early
death.  My dear wife, though weak, is very mercifully supported in the
season of our trial; she feels, and that at times very sensibly, but
peaceful gratitude is still her constant companion: I say gratitude; for
it is not mere submission, it is the peaceful grateful adoration of that
gracious God who is too wise to err, too good to be unkind; and I am very
thankful for all the support and consolation which our kind Saviour so
mercifully affords her.  I think of having a small head stone for my
little boy, mentioning his name, the day of his death and his age, and,
underneath, the following lines which I put down in my pocket book when
you and I were at Enfield, little, indeed, imagining at the time that I
should ever have a dear child of my own over whose grave they would be
inscribed:—

    “On Life’s wide Ocean sorrowful and pained,
    How many Voyagers their course perform;
    This little bark a kinder fate obtained,
    It reached the Haven ere it met the storm.”

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer very kindly received the writer’s son William (now a
clergyman, and British chaplain at Valparaiso, in South America) into his
family, to be educated with his own children, and it is to this child
that allusion is made in the following letter addressed to him.

                                               Madeley, February 28, 1820.

My dear Armstrong,

I HAVE entered into these details, conceiving that no communication can
be more interesting to a father than those which concern an endeared
child; and happy shall I be if all my future communications be equally
pleasing.  Of this, however, I have but little expectations.  Many and
very painful fluctuations have I witnessed in my own children, and have
heard of the children of others, and therefore my dear friend must not be
surprised if my little charge should at times disappoint our expectations
or our wishes.  Oh what lovely, what heavenly blossoms have I sometimes
delightfully discovered in my eldest little boy!  He has seemed even
ripening for glory, and that also so rapidly, that we have almost
imagined that his stay would not be long among us.  Tears of gratitude
have stood in our eyes while we have seen the gracious evidences, or
while we have been relating them to each other.  In a few weeks, however,
the blossoms and the fruit have almost totally disappeared, and have left
us to sorrow in temporary disappointment, or to find comfort only in the
cheering exhilaration of hope.  Then, again, the winter has passed, and
lovely spring has once more appeared.  But it is all well; the harvest of
none of our labours is to be expected here; it is in that blessed world
above that we shall reap, provided that we faint not; and what greater
stimulus can we need to keep urging us forward even in the midst of every
species of discouragement?

William told me a few evenings ago that Mrs. Armstrong had received a
letter from you, which kept her in doubt as to whether you would join
her, or she you.  I know so little of what would be for the best, that I
would not attempt to influence you in one way or other.  The greatest
benefit which I can confer on my endeared friend is, to bring him and his
concerns to One who loves him infinitely more than I can do, and whose
infallible direction is promised in his holy word to the inquiring soul.
It was the prayer of my kind friends, I am persuaded, which kept me in
England when I had felt it my duty to take even most decided measures for
leaving it.  When they objected to my step, I almost invariably requested
them to pray for providential hindrances, if my intentions were not in
the divine order; and I told them, if I knew anything of myself, I should
not attempt either to break through the hedge, or to overleap the wall.
The kind Saviour heard their prayer, and I have never been so fully
persuaded of anything as of this, that my being detained in England was
completely of the Lord.  Should my dear Armstrong be projecting that
which is not in the will and order of his God, may the same merciful
Saviour hedge up his way, and plant the piercing thorn at every step, to
render his progress painful, and eventually to deter him!  But should his
removal be from God, then may all difficulties and impediments vanish
completely from before him!

Mary joins me in kind love to yourself and Mr. Ditcher, and I remain,

                           My ever dear Friend,

                                                Yours very affectionately,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                                   Madeley, Dec. 22, 1820.

My dear Brother,

WE have named our little boy Herbert, after our old and mutual friend;
and happy, indeed, should we think ourselves were he even in some small
degree to resemble that saintly man.  I give you his name, with the hope
of its being inserted in your list of those whom you remember in your
hours of intercession; and in the hope, likewise, that he will not be
forgotten by your dear wife.  He seems unusually well at present, better,
we think, than any of our children have been at his age.  The suddenness,
however, both of the indisposition and removal of our little Basil, has
made us consider the health and life of an infant as exceedingly
uncertain in its tenure; and we hope we are enabled to leave him
completely in the best of hands.  You may perhaps have heard, through
Eliza, of the removal of dear Mr. Purton: you know his worth, his strong
attachment to myself, and the right hand he was to me in everything in
which I could in any way use him, and, therefore, are prepared to suppose
what a loss has been sustained by myself and others.  I do not like
funeral sermons in general, but I thought I ought to take up my cross on
such an occasion, and endeavour to hold up his uncommon, unobtrusive, and
retiring excellence to the view of others, and then, at the same time,
pay my own tribute of friendship which I felt I myself owed to him.

In parochial matters, and in my ministerial concerns, we go on much as
usual.  Mr. Purton’s removal has put some extra burdens upon me, but they
are not as yet too oppressive, and, if they should become so, the Lord, I
doubt not, will give me some one who will share them with me.  Attendance
on church classes and expositions, nearly in _statu quo_; and this,
considering the tendency in everything to deteriorate, I consider as
rather encouraging than otherwise.  Our good friends and fellow-helpers,
the Methodists, however, seem to be more prosperous than ourselves.  The
chapel at the Green has just been considerably enlarged, and there is
some talk of its being opened in church hours, morning as well as
evening, and some rumours of sacraments and christenings are now and then
reaching my ears.  As to myself, I dare say nothing: I am rather disposed
to think that the morning service would be a benefit to the parish in
inducing many poor to attend, who, through shame or idleness, would not
come so far as to the church; and, as they are my parishioners, I hope I
should rejoice in their good, though this good should not be conveyed
through myself.  The sacrament and christenings, in the present state of
Methodism, follow almost as a matter of course, and therefore I am
equally silent on this subject.  All these things were not the original
intention of the founder; but were I a Methodist myself, I do not know
but that I should consider them as expedient, and almost as necessary
parts of present Methodism: why then should I feel on these accounts?
They are doing a great work.  I find them most important auxiliaries in
my own parish, and do sincerely wish them all that prosperity which, for
their works’ sake, they deserve.  A few months ago, I began to pray for
them, and have continued at stated times ever since; and though I never
reckoned myself exceedingly stiff in my Churchmanship, I am certainly
less so now than before.  God permits, and, not only so, he most
evidently owns and blesses; and why should we feel the spirit of Joshua,
and pettishly, or enviously, or selfishly wish to forbid them?



TO THE REV. J. ARMSTRONG.


                                                   Madeley, Dec. 27, 1820.

My dear Friend,

                             * * * * * * * *

I WAS very glad to hear, through my sister, of your servant Lucy, who
came over for Mrs. A— —, whom she saw at Mrs. W. A.—’s; she spoke of you
in the most affectionate terms, and described, in her simple but strong
manner, the change which had been effected in the settlement through your
ministry among them.  “Before massa came, many very bad; now, good, and
love great Massa,” and so on.  Oh, my dear friend, amidst all the
discouraging feelings arising from your not being able to do all you
would, you should not forget what has already been done.  We are most of
us too sanguine in our expectations, not suspecting that what exceeds the
cool and sober calculation of tried and well-disciplined faith has too
much to do with self, arises from self-confidence, and ends in
self-humiliation.  We are too apt, in imagination, to seize the magic
wand of Harlequin, and suppose that every touch will effect wonders; but,
to change the wilderness into the garden of the Lord, requires the
enduring spirit of the toilsome labourer, the stones must be cleared, and
the soil must again and again be turned: and even when the precious seed
is safely deposited, the patience of our hope must succeed to the labour
of our love.  How long does it usually lie beneath the surface, and when
the tender blade appears, how much longer the interval before the
perfection of the fruit! so long, that my endeared friend may never live
to see it in his own case: though he may sow, yet others may enter into
his labours; yet will both he that sows and they that reap, rejoice
together in that glorious and eternal harvest.

Since I began my letter, I have had a visit from our mutual friend, Mr.
Cox.  Since his residence in Shropshire, I have frequently had
opportunities of seeing him, and it is with unfeigned pleasure that I
have seen him evidently advancing in the best of things.  I think,
however, that I never saw him to so great advantage as now—the truly
Christian minister and the warm and steady friend.  He still continues at
Bridgenorth, and has apparently lived through all the hostility and
prejudice which his preaching and residence among them once excited.  He
begins also to see some important fruits of his labours.  How cheering is
all this!  Well, my dear friend, let us catch the animating glow, and
strive to live more for our loving Saviour and the great glory of his
name.

                                * * * * *

_Kind faithfulness_ towards our friends is a truly Christian grace—this
grace the subject of this memoir eminently possessed, of which the
following letter is a proof:—



TO THE SAME.


                                                  Madeley, April 28, 1821.

My much endeared Friend,

THOUGH circumstances certainly appear against me, and give you just
reason to suspect that no very overwhelming tide of affection flows
towards my expatriated brother and fellow-labourer; though I seem to have
lost all the ardent, or the softer feelings of the friend, in the cold
and apathetical conclusions of the mere calculator; though like the
callous brethren of the afflicted Joseph, I seem unconscious of your
grief, and can, like them, selfishly sit down to eat and to drink, or
rise up to consult with others, to decide your fate, and fix you in
sorrow;—though, I say, all these things appear against me, and though my
friend is constrained to number me among the annoying trio, yet still I
feel within me a pleasing conviction of real genuine affection, which
enables me to rise above appearances, and which persuades me that I am
not quite a stranger to that love which many waters cannot quench, and
which the floods cannot drown.  The fact is, my dear friend, that the
decision to which you allude in your last was my painful and not my
pleasant duty.  I felt, I hope, something like the surgeon who has been
called to perform some operation on the most beloved of his friends; were
he to hesitate, or were he to decline, how justly would he be answerable
for all the painful consequences which might result: but while he
proceeds, though steady to his point, though the fixedness of his eye
seems to proclaim him devoid of pity, though his unshaking hand seems to
indicate no shrinking from his work of torture; yet still the tenderest
emotions may exist within, and to the discriminating eye may be seen in a
thousand varying turns.  I do not, indeed, wish you to give me credit for
a perfect similarity to all this, and yet I do hope that when time has a
little more sobered down the strength, and perhaps intensity, of feeling,
you will feel more disposed to thank me for the thankless duty which my
friendship for you enabled me to perform.

My sister and brother Holland are with me at present and have been here
for some weeks past.  Many, indeed, are the pleasures of endeared and
social intercourse, and I feel truly thankful that we have been permitted
to enjoy them.  We have never met as a family since my sister was
married, and, though there has been all along an interchange of thought
and feeling through letters, yet we have found how far short all this
comes of vivâ voce and personal communications and endearments.  I have
no doubt but that a similar result would be experienced, could you and I
occasionally meet together.  And when we consider the almost insuperable
impediments which lie in the way of such a meeting, some feeling,
perhaps, steals into the mind which would have us think somewhat hardly
of the divine appointments.  Let us, however, be thankful that, though we
have not all the sweets of friendship, yet that so many are still
reserved to us.  And who can tell but that these may be increased, if we
are only more faithful in bringing each other, with our mutually known
concerns, to our compassionate God and Saviour?

                                * * * * *

After speaking of the arduous duties of his parish, as oppressive to the
flesh, the mind, and the spirits, he adds, in his usual heavenly strain,
to the same friend:—

    “It is still very blessed to be engaged in any way for the blessed
    Saviour.  This is, indeed, a work which pays in the doing.  I pray
    God I may love it even more and more.  But, were it otherwise, were
    every step toilsome and thorny, were there no brook to drink of by
    the way to enable us to lift up our heads, were the yoke galling and
    the burden heavy, were the cross, instead of concealing a latent
    good, only cruciating, were the cup of sorrows divested of all sweets
    and only filled with strongest bitters; still we have enough of
    stimulus arising from the glorious prospect of that blessedness above
    to inspirit our souls, and to enable us to toil up the most arduous
    ascent, and not only to drag on our wearied feet, but to lift them up
    with all the alacrity of cheerful obedience; for the joy which is set
    before us, we may well endure the cross, and, like our blessed
    Master, despise the shame.  O, my dear Armstrong, may we both of us
    live more with heaven in our eye, and with a lively feeling of our
    Saviour’s love in our hearts!  And then every murmur will be hushed,
    and nothing be heard from our joyful lips but the language of
    thanksgiving and praise.”

I hope the children of my late endeared friend will forgive the following
little notice of a father’s practice and of the habits of his children in
their juvenile days:—

    “Your letter, received yesterday evening, speaks somewhat at large on
    pocket money.  I think it probable, from what you there say, that
    threepence a week will be less than you would choose; if so, I will
    alter, though I think that threepence altogether unearned is quite
    sufficient.  I do not give a single penny to my own altogether
    gratuitously—_i.e._, independent of their own conduct and exertions;
    but still, while William was with me, I gave most liberal inducements
    to him and them, that they might readily gain sixpence each weekly,
    and have sometimes gone as far as a shilling, and even more.  Two of
    my children have some of their earnings in the Savings’ Bank; one has
    a guinea and another has £1 3s.  Indeed, my — boy is always scheming
    so largely that he has only a few shillings in hand, and these are
    devoted towards making a present of the new Life of Mr. Fletcher to a
    poor lad, who, a few weeks since, had behaved generously to him.  But
    this his excess of generosity arises, I think, more from his ability
    to acquire, than anything else.  “Oh,” he says, “I will soon earn
    it;” and in earnest he begins, and soon does.  But then, he is always
    poor, and unless I can snare him into something like saving habits, I
    fear he will always be so.  —, who has a guinea in the bank, is as
    generous as —, nay, has the greater appearance of generosity; for he
    has always something by him, and brings it out whenever anything
    benevolent is proposed; while —, being always behind hand, has to
    gain his before he can give it.  But all my children have habits of
    giving; some are careful, but none are penurious, and I hope never
    will become so.”



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                    Madeley, June 1, 1822.

My dear Friend,

IT afforded me great pleasure to see, on Tuesday last, your kind friend,
Colonel Arthur [now Sir George Arthur, Bart. and Governor of Bombay], who
arrived at Liverpool on the preceding Friday.  He was accompanied by his
lady, three children, and two servants, all of them in good health,
though Mrs. Arthur and the children bore the usual paleness which
Europeans so readily discover in the countenances of West Indian
residents.  I felt much gratified by the colonel’s urbanity of manners,
and had great pleasure in showing him and his lady all the lions of the
place.  He seemed greatly to like our neat church and rural quiet
churchyard, and the very ground appeared in his view to be more than
ordinarily consecrated by the residence of the venerable Fletcher.  He
gave me much interesting detail respecting Honduras, its church, its
schools, its people, and its minister; and of the last, he forgot not to
mention his difficulties, his battles, and his eventual successes.  He
spoke also of his health, and described him (though perhaps he would not
in this respect receive any great superabundance of thanks for his
pains), as being peculiarly suited to bear all the labours of his arduous
post, and that a change of place, however it might recreate the spirit,
was by no means necessary for the continuance of his health.  Now, I need
scarcely tell you that all this was very refreshing to my spirit.  I am
not permitted to see you, and yet such have been the singular
circumstances which have brought me in contact with those who have long
lived in the Bay of Honduras, that I have been favoured with details
almost as lively and circumstantial as an actual visit could have
afforded me.  And all the accounts strengthen in me the conviction that
my endeared friend is in his own real, identical, proper post—the one by
Heaven’s signature stamped with appointment and approbation too.  May the
Saviour who has appointed and approved, still bind him to it by his
constraining love!

The colonel was very kind in his inquiries respecting William; I sent to
Mr. Thurgar for him, and the counsels he gave him were very affectionate
and appropriate.  He left with him a sovereign when he parted from us.
He seemed particularly anxious for his welfare, and was very desirous of
gleaning everything encouraging that he might have the satisfaction of
communicating it to you—a satisfaction evidently very strong.

Last night, I received a letter from that very excellent and very pious
man, Mr. Francis Hall, who resided some months in my parish, as the
companion of the New Zealanders, and who went with them to New Zealand.
His whole conduct, while among us, left an indelible impression of the
genuine piety which so humbly but gracefully dwelt within him.  Every
recollection of the dear good man is refreshing to my spirit.  But I
wander from my point.  I received from him, yesterday, a letter which
ought to make us all truly thankful that we have been providentially kept
here, instead of being suffered to go, as we had once intended, along
with himself or others to this inhospitable shore.  He begins with
congratulating us on this point, and illustrates his congratulation with
such a narration of discouragement, connected with the state of the
mission, as would convince every unprejudiced mind that a family such as
mine has no business there.  A time possibly may come when the signs may
become more favourable; but certainly they are most discouraging now.

I hope I am thankful to God, as the only source of our good, for the
state of things in my own parish.  To say there was an outpouring of the
Spirit upon us, would be using language by far too strong, and yet some
gracious drops have descended—the dew has been resting upon us.  Our
classes increase—the public means are better attended; our Sunday schools
are more than doubled, and a spirit of hearing generally prevails.  And I
feel the more grateful for all this, as I have all along expected that a
seven years’ residence among them would produce a listlessness and
indifference bordering on satiety; but, though this term is now attained
within a few days, yet there seems no want of attention and no diminution
in interest.  The hearts of the dear people are still given to me, and,
as such, they still bear with and love me.  And if old things are said in
their hearing, they appear to come home to them with a new power, and
that power I would gratefully acknowledge is from above: to the grace,
therefore, of my Redeemer, I would ascribe the praise.  And I do still
cherish a hope that, so long as he shall be pleased to continue me here,
he will graciously command that the barrel of meal shall not waste, nor
the cruse of oil fail; that neither matter nor unction shall be wanting
in my humble ministrations.  Humble they, indeed, are and always will be:
the little treasure which I bear, is in an earthen, a cracked earthen
vessel.  But I hope I am still content, so long as the excellency of the
power may be seen of God and not of man.  Here, my dear friend, is the
grand point—we nothing; Christ all.  Oh, blessed feeling!  Never are we
so truly happy as when we most fully realize it.

We all unite in kind love to yourself and Mrs. A., and I remain,

                             My dear Friend,

                                                     Yours ever sincerely,
                                                                     G. M.

                                * * * * *

The friend to whom the following extract of a letter to the editor
refers, was one whom Mr. Mortimer had strongly urged to turn his
attention towards the service of the sanctuary.  The extract exhibits so
beautiful a picture of a good man that I cannot prevail upon myself to
omit it, and yet, not to offend the retiring feelings of the excellent
individual alluded to—he being yet alive—I suppress his name, though to
himself and some few of his friends the name will not be unknown.  I hope
he will forgive me this wrong which I have committed for the sake of
others.  In a note which the editor received from this gentleman,
forwarding to him several of the letters which he had received from Mr.
Mortimer, he says,

    “‘In honour preferring one another,’ seemed to be one of his (Mr.
    M.’s) constant rules of action.  For myself, I may most unaffectedly
    say, that while I feel grateful to God for the affection of such a
    friend for so many years, I equally feel my own utter unworthiness of
    such a privilege and blessing.”

    “Two evenings ago, I received a letter from my excellent friend, —,
    late of —.  He has at length applied for orders, and was admitted
    deacon, two Sundays since, by the venerable Bishop of Norwich.  Mr.
    Horne of Christ Church, Newgate-street, whose work on the Scriptures
    you have no doubt seen reviewed, was admitted by the Bishop of London
    three years since, and these two together with myself were a trio of
    friends meeting in Mr. Butterworth’s class.  Orders were at one time
    the furthest from all our thoughts, and yet have we been gradually
    led forward, and the third has at length joined us in the blessed and
    honourable employ.  I much regret that he did not break through his
    snares and impediments when, about seven years ago, I strongly urged
    him to the point; for he would then have not only spent seven more
    years in the more immediate work of the sanctuary, but would have
    saved himself many painful exercises and many severe losses.

                                * * * * *

    “But oh, how I admire the man!  If he shone in prosperity, how much
    more in adversity!  No murmur ever escapes him.  He does, indeed,
    glorify his God in the fires.  His altered circumstances make no
    alteration in the man, unless, indeed, they have induced greater
    spirituality of mind, more complete deadness to the world, and more
    unreserved surrender of all his affections and powers to the service
    of his God.  But here I am backward to speak; for he shone so
    conspicuously before, that I find it difficult to determine which is
    stronger of the two lights, both so strong that few could bear with
    them a momentary comparison.  Oh, may _our_ lights, my dear friend,
    so shine in every alteration of our circumstances, that we also may,
    like him, bring glory to our God!”

At the beginning of the year 1823, it pleased God to deprive the church
of the valuable labours’ of the Rev. John Eyton, Vicar of Wellington, to
whom Mr. Mortimer was exceedingly attached.  About seven weeks before his
removal, he left home with the intention of wintering at the Isle of
Wight, but the weather becoming very cold he was obliged to remain at
Portsmouth.  The children being all at home, he did not wish Mrs. Eyton
to accompany him; but a few days before his death, she received an
intimation that he wished to see her, and though she set off the very day
she received this information, she did not arrive till some hours after
his departure.  In reference to this painful event, Mr. Mortimer, in a
letter to his sister, says,

    “The death of Mr. Eyton has filled us with a degree of consternation
    and surprise which I find it difficult to express.  In what a
    changing world do we live, and how many evils does that part of our
    punishment “death” introduce among us.  Prayer seems at present our
    only refuge, especially with regard to his bereaved people.  The
    delicate and very difficult duty of preaching the funeral sermon has
    been assigned to me: the flesh would dispose me to decline were I to
    attend to its dictates; but I dare not listen.  I owe so much to my
    endeared and highly honoured friend, that I feel I must proceed.  Let
    me, however, entreat the assistance of your prayers.”

Some time during last year Mr. Mortimer was induced to undertake the
editorship of a monthly publication for young persons.  He refers to this
engagement in the following letter:—



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                                   Madeley, Feb. 13, 1823.

My dear Brother,

I AM obliged to you for thinking of me in reference to my monthly
engagements.  I can hardly expect that you should enter with any very
lively interest into this matter, though, I can assure you, your kind
assistance would prove a very acceptable service both to myself and my
readers; nor would the time be altogether lost, if the matter were
considered in sole reference to yourself; at least I should so conclude,
from what I have observed with respect to my own mind and habits, and I
very greatly regret that, for so many years, I suffered my feelings to
prevail over my better judgment, and cause me to neglect the throwing in
of my mite into some channel of usefulness.  But I do not blame others,
knowing how very unwillingly I was pressed into the service myself.  I do
not expect that my friends should, by any touch of my poor leaden wand,
start into active and willing contributors.  Had I Orpheus-like powers,
the trees and stones might follow me; but I possess none of these magical
or touchingly persuasive means, and therefore, though, as a point of
duty, I every now and then turn an entreating eye, and raise a feeble
supplicating voice, both the priest and the Levite are afraid of messing
themselves in my poor concerns, and prudently pass over to the other
side.  I would not, however, ungratefully involve all in this sweeping
and indiscriminate crimination.  A Samaritan or two have kindly pitied
me, and for their equally unexpected and unwearied act of friendship, I
feel myself peculiarly indebted.  But why all this enumeration?  Should I
not honestly confess that it is not altogether without reference to
yourself?  I am not a stranger to my good brother’s Samaritan-like
feelings, and a distant hope is cherished by me, that he will yet pour in
of his truly welcome supplies.

T. L., I should think, would at present pass quite as good an examination
as his brother B., but I would not recommend him to be over hasty in
applying for orders, nor indeed does he feel thus disposed himself.
Young men, I think, sadly err in this matter; they hasten into the
ministry far too soon, and repent of their haste all through their
subsequent years.  But perhaps it is hardly fair to ascribe all the blame
to them: it originates, in great part, with those who bear the expense of
their education, and who are glad of the first opportunity which presents
itself of getting them off.  But T. L. supports himself, and, therefore,
the burden and the advantage both fall, as they ought, upon the same
individual, and he so feels the desirableness of improving the present
time, that he prefers waiting a little longer.  Another pupil who is
reading with me, a very nice young man, supports himself in a similar
way; and I do not intend, for the future, to superintend the studies of
any who do not, in some way or other, pursue the same method.  And

                        I remain, my dear Brother,

                                                Yours very affectionately,
                                                                     G. M.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                                    Madeley, Feb. 5, 1824.

My dear Thomas,

                                 *******

Matters proceed among us pretty much as usual.  My people are kind, our
congregations good, classes very fair, and attendance on the weekly
expositions pleasingly increasing.  As to myself, I can say but little;
sometimes I am enabled to live in the spirit of the petition,

    “Each moment draw from earth away
       My heart, which lowly waits thy call;”

and then my peace flows smooth and tranquil as a river; then all my
affections take their proper channel, and are directed to a holy
spiritual end.  But, alas! too generally I find my feelings and conduct
better characterized by complaint than exultation, and have too much
reason to say,

    “Yet hind’rances strew all the way;
    I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.”

But I still keep fixing my eye upon the beauteous light, even when
furthest from it, and most ardently do I sigh after its most blessed
repose.  Well, perhaps, after all my failures, I may still become
habitually possessed of it; and indeed without it, I feel that I shall
never enjoy anything like true and substantial rest.  A minister without
the inward grace, and that also in a more than usual measure, is of all
others a character most to be pitied—I mean of all other Christians; for
in order to instruct others, he must of course be more advanced in
knowledge, and consequently will be called to a far stricter account.
Besides, the whole routine of his employments, carrying with them the
exterior of sanctity, are apt to impress, not only others, but himself
also, with fallacious hopes respecting the safety of his state.  The
constant repetition also of his duties has a strong tendency to render
the spiritual impression on himself less and less vivid, till at length
the pious feeling, in many instances, is entirely absent, and he detects
himself half hypocritically acting or performing a part, attempting to
raise emotion in others to which he is so much a stranger himself.
These, my dear brother, are our snares—at least they are mine; but I hope
I not only perceive them, but am watching against them.  And my comfort
is, that amidst all my consciousness of weakness, it is still my
privilege to rely on an all-sufficient Saviour.

You kindly speak in your letter of your being able to assist me in my
editorial labours, by furnishing me with accounts connected with the
different societies.  I fear, however, that the work will not proceed
beyond the present volume.  Its sale, I am thankful to state, has
increased since it was placed in my hands, and is still increasing; but
it will not cover the attendant expenditure—at least not so much so, as
to make it worth the publisher’s while to continue.  Its discontinuance,
however, will prove no great loss to me.  I edit the numbers of the
present volume for £2. 10s. a number, and, when my monthly expenses are
deducted, I have only about £1 each remaining.  My object, however, is
not gain, but a desire of being in some way useful; and as a work of the
kind seems desirable, I shall feel a little regret that it should cease.
But perhaps, after it stops, some London bookseller will venture upon
something of a similar kind, and, if so, it will then, in all
probability, succeed. * * * * * We all unite in sincerest love to
yourself, Mrs. T. M., and my dear niece, and

                        I remain, my dear Thomas,

                                                Your affectionate Brother,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                                    Madeley, Dec. 1, 1824.

My dear Brother,

                              * * * * * * *

I am afraid, from your intimations respecting your being in quest of a
morning service, that Mr. Pratt has failed in substantiating his claim;
if so, I shall be much concerned.  Retired from the emoluments of a
former occupation, he will possibly feel this diminution in point of
income; but for such a servant in the house of our God, I trust that not
mere adequacy, but even the munificence of our merciful Lord, is in
abundant reserve.

You inquire concerning my health.  It has been far from well ever since
my return from G—, strong as I seemed while there; no sooner did I enter
upon my parochial duties, than I began to fail, and in about a fortnight,
I was nearly as ill as ever.  This induced me to lay the whole matter
before Mr. Burton, and to request him to relieve my mind with an
assurance that, in case I should be under the necessity of leaving, he
would kindly indulge the parishioners with a suitable person in my stead.
His kindness has removed my difficulties, and left me at full liberty to
leave my work in more efficient hands.  I have had an application for the
curacy from a gentleman who strikes me as being very suitable, and Mr.
Burton has accepted of his services.  One difficulty, however, is in the
way.  He holds a living in the diocese of Worcester; but, being
peculiarly circumstanced, he expects that the bishop will permit him to
hold it in conjunction with Madeley, and to divide his time between them,
his curate sharing the twofold duty with him.  Should his application to
the bishop not succeed, he has recommended to me another person, who
seems equally eligible with himself; but with this latter person I have
had no communication.

As to myself, I am of course in uncertainty; but I feel confident, that
as I have hitherto been guided by the wisdom and goodness of my
condescending God, so he will still point out to me the way in which I
should go.

You speak of the mine of paper and print, and, like too many others,
comfort yourself with considering that your work is but a little one.
But good, my brother, beware, beware!  Three services on a Sabbath,
occasional weekly ministrations, and numerous official employments,
should almost entirely exclude every kind of preparation for the press.
With kindest love &c,

                       Believe me, my dear Thomas,

                                           Your ever affectionate Brother,
                                                                   GEORGE.

                                * * * * *

In the spring of 1825, Mr. Mortimer visited his London friends, one of
whom writes as follows:—

    “Your dear brother appeared so full of love and tenderness, and, at
    the same time, so interested himself in everything that appeared to
    interest us, that we could not help wishing for a much longer
    enjoyment.  I heard him preach but once: his sermon was truly
    edifying.  I will transcribe a brief outline of it, as you may find
    it a word of consolation in some season of sorrow.  Matt. xv. 28, ‘O
    woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.’  The
    advantages resulting from strong faith were pointed out in four
    important particulars; viz.—I. It yields to no discouragement.  II.
    It bears and even overcomes the most humiliating discoveries.  III.
    It receives the strongest marks of the Saviour’s approbation.  IV. It
    is put into eventual possession of every needful good.  Each of these
    points was marked out as strikingly illustrated in this affecting and
    interesting narrative.”

His brother, the Rev. Thomas Mortimer, has kindly furnished me with the
following communication respecting the same sermon:—

    “On Sunday, the 27th March, 1825, my beloved brother preached for me
    at my lecture at St. Olave’s, Southwark.  I shall never forget that
    sermon.  Being the only church at that time usually open in the
    Borough for Sunday evening service, there was generally a large
    attendance, and that evening the church was crowded.  On entering the
    pulpit, my brother’s diminutive figure excited attention; and, in
    some, produced a smile.  When, however, he had composed himself in
    the pulpit, his fine countenance, beaming with intelligence,
    evidently inspired some with respect, who, at first, had looked up
    with indifference, if not with scorn.  His announcement of his text
    was most solemn and yet most tender; ‘O woman, great is thy faith: be
    it unto thee even as thou wilt.’  From that moment the silence of
    death reigned; and, after a few minutes, every eye seemed fixed upon
    the preacher, and every ear listening to his voice.  The scoffer soon
    discovered that the preacher was no ordinary man: the candid inquirer
    felt interested in the subject: the timid and weak believer took
    courage: and the mourner drank in the water of life, with the
    eagerness of the thirsty soul.  Many a time, during subsequent years,
    have the tenderest and most grateful reference been made to that
    sermon by those who were accustomed to converse with me on the great
    concerns of their souls.  Though nearly twenty years have rolled away
    since that memorable night, the recollection of my beloved brother,
    of the touching words that fell from his lips, and the ‘unction of
    the Holy One,’ which evidently attended them, is still vivid and
    delightful, and will, I doubt not, accompany me to my grave.”

Intimation has already been given, in a letter to his brother, of Mr.
Mortimer’s entertaining thoughts of leaving Madeley, owing to the
declining state of his health.  The following several letters refer to
that event and to arrangements for filling up his important post in that
parish.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                 Yardley, near Birmingham, Sept. 12, 1825.

My dear Friend,

YOUR very kind and acceptable letter reached me three or four weeks
since; and I should have answered it much earlier had I not been in some
uncertainty as to my proximate movements; and I thought I would wait till
something definite should have transpired.  I have been here very nearly
seven months, and was thinking of returning to Madeley in about a month
from the present time; but it is now arranged that we should continue
here till the middle of February.  From what you mention in your letter,
I should suppose that you have been informed that I had left Madeley
altogether, but this is not the case; I have only _exchanged_ duties with
the vicar of this place, who has been, like myself, out of health for
some months past, and who thought that a complete change of sphere and
situation would prove beneficial to him.  He and his family, therefore,
reside in the vicarage at Madeley, and myself and family here; both of us
having left our furniture, library, &c., &c., for each other’s
accommodation.  The duties in this place being light, as compared with
Madeley, and the air exceedingly salubrious, I have found great benefit
from the change, and am pretty nearly as well as I was before I began to
fail; the whole of my family, also, have found their health considerably
improved; so that in this point of view we have reason to be thankful for
the exchange.  And I hope, also, that the change of ministrations will be
beneficial to both our parishes.  I hear of an increased attention being
produced at Madeley, and I ought to acknowledge with gratitude the
acceptance with which I am favoured here.

You mention in your letter that your engagement in your present curacy
will terminate early in 1827.  I read that part of your letter to Mr.
Gwyther (the gentleman with whom I have exchanged duties), who was over
here a few days ago, and he said, “Could we not contrive between us to
keep the curacy open for Mr. C. till he should be able to take it?”

Our present arrangement will, if we are spared, bring us to the middle of
February, 1826, which is only a year short of the time when you will be
released from your present charge.  Now, if we could manage so as to
supply till then, would you like to undertake the charge of the parish,
provided the incumbent would admit you, which, from what I have lately
ascertained, I think could easily be managed?  Since I saw you I have
engaged with an assistant, but merely _pro tempore_; the expense of which
is to be principally borne by the parishioners.  The sum allowed to him
will be £100 a year; towards which I myself give £30, on condition of
being occasionally absent, should my health require it, at the sea or
elsewhere.  The value of my curacy is full £100 a year besides the house.
You will perceive, then, that matters are now made much easier for you,
should you think of fixing your lot among the Madeley people, and I am
confident that the arrangement would be highly gratifying to them.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                               Yardley, February 21, 1826.

My dear Friend,

THOUGH I fully intended to have answered your very kind letter within the
time that you specified, yet, as it bears date October 15, I find that I
have exceeded the proposed interval _by more than a month_.  So much for
my _friendship_.  Had it been a letter _on business_, I have little
hesitation in saying that it would have been duly despatched; and, had
there been a dozen of this kind, I think I might venture to assert the
same.  But my friends, and those also the most intimate and endeared, are
too generally neglected; and many are the kind reproofs which my
remissness thus draws upon me.  You, indeed, my dear friend, have, _in
silence_, borne with all; and this ought to have made me more cautious in
giving you fresh occasions of pain.  But nothing seems of sufficient
influence to correct the inveteracy of my habit; and, therefore, I must
still, I fear, keep confessing my reiterated faults, and as often keep
throwing myself upon the kind forgiveness and forbearance of my friends.

I am still, as you will perceive from my date, at Yardley, and, from a
fresh arrangement, our exchange will be prolonged from March till the
latter end of July next.  Nothing has as yet been done about an assistant
curate for Madeley.  About a fortnight ago, I was congratulating myself
on the acquisition of a very desirable fellow-helper, the Rev. A. B—, who
had consented to join with me in the duties of the parish, and had
engaged the residence of our late departed friend Mrs. E—; but some
obstacles have since arisen, so that I fear we shall now lose him.
Should he decline, I shall not be over anxious in making any permanent
arrangement with any one else until my return in July, by which time I
should hope you will be able to speak somewhat more definitely as to your
own movements, as there will be only about six months to the time of your
own projected removal.  The impediments which have been thrown in the way
of every negotiation which I have entered into for so many months past,
incline me to think that it is more than possible the situation may,
after all, be reserved for my endeared friend.  But of the future how
little, or rather, how completely nothing, are we permitted to know; and
if we busy ourselves in the shrewdest guesses, or the most cool and sober
calculations, how generally are we disappointed!  It is our wisdom,
therefore, to be more occupied with the duties which more immediately
devolve upon us at the present, than with speculations about the
_probabilities_ of more remote and distant periods.

In the foregoing page, I mentioned the name of dear Mrs. E—, and I had no
sooner done this than the recollection of all that transpired between us,
during your short visit to us at Madeley, passed vividly through my mind.
What a painful winding up of W— matters!  But yet, in many respects, how
merciful! * * * With respect, however, to the endeared individual so
lately severed from her important charge, I have nothing to say, but what
is encouraging: most clearly, most satisfactorily, had she been latterly
ripening for that blessed world of spirits.  And as to the dear family
which she has left behind, “let us not sorrow as those without hope.”
They are beloved by many for their parent’s sake, and, in a qualified use
of the term, we may, perhaps, state the same respecting their parent’s
faithful and condescending God.  For He will, no doubt, remember them
peculiarly for good, and that for their parent’s sake; for the good
inheritance of their anxious desires and their holy fervent prayers,
will, sooner or later, be abundantly possessed.  We were truly thankful
to hear of dear Mrs. C—’s gradual amendment in health; and though it may
not be commensurate with our naturally impatient and restless desires,
yet every increase of so invaluable a blessing should call forth our
grateful praise.  We beg to unite in very kindest and Christian regards
to her, yourself, and family, and I remain,

                             My dear Friend,

                                                     Yours very sincerely,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                                   Yardley, June 20, 1826.

My dear Brother,

FROM what you must have perceived of the evident inclining of my mind
while you were here, you will not be much surprised at the contents of
the accompanying circular.  I have long paused, and, I hope, deliberately
weighed, as well as sincerely prayed, and now I must leave the result in
the overruling hands of an all-wise and ever-gracious God.  This I am
thankful to state, that I am at present enabled to do, with a measure of
calm and peaceful reliance, which I did not at all anticipate.



TO THE INHABITANTS OF MADELEY.


                                                   Yardley, June 19, 1826.

My much-endeared Parishioners,

WHEN I left Madeley, in consequence of the delicate state of my health, I
had fully intended to have rejoined you in a few months.  Various
circumstances, however, induced me to accept the proposals made at
different times by Mr. Gwyther, for lengthening the period of our
exchange: and now that this period is nearly terminated, I regret to be
under the necessity of stating, that I feel so strongly my total
inadequacy to resume my wonted station among you, that I dare not venture
upon it.

My health has indeed, through the blessing of God, upon the diminution of
my parochial duties, been considerably amended.  It is the opinion,
however, of all my more intimate friends, that, should I return to my
charge, I shall in a few weeks sink under the pressure of those numerous
parochial cares and duties which before so materially injured me.  I
have, therefore, felt constrained to resign my situation; and have just
written to Mr. Burton, stating to him, that I shall vacate the Curacy at
Michaelmas next.

I have not mentioned to him anything respecting my successor, leaving a
matter so materially affecting yourselves to your own superior judgment.
I hope, however, that the principal inhabitants of the parish will lose
no time in making a proper application to him; and from the repeated
proofs which I have had of his kind feeling towards you, I have no doubt
but that he will comply with any request which they may see fit to make
to him.

As to my own future movements I am altogether ignorant.  I trust,
however, that the same gracious GOD, who guided my steps among you, will
still appoint for me my future path: and with regard to yourselves, a
people who will never cease to be remembered by me with feelings of the
strongest affection, I do most sincerely pray that a pastor may be given
to you who shall, in all respects, answer your most sanguine wishes: and
thus supply my own numerous and often-lamented deficiencies.

Believe me to remain,

             Your very affectionate though unworthy Minister,

                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

The above was also sent to his friend, the Rev. John Cooper, accompanied
by the following letter:—

                                                   Yardley, June 26, 1826.

My dear Friend,

I FEEL that I ought not any longer to keep you in ignorance of my recent
decision respecting Madeley, though from what my brother has told me as
to inquiries made for you in London, I have no expectation of the
situation being really desirable to you.  Nor, indeed, if it were so,
would the time of your leaving your present charge admit of your
accepting it; for some one will, no doubt, be immediately engaged, and to
whom I would surrender as soon as might be required.  Our own movements,
as I have expressed in the accompanying circular, are quite uncertain; my
wife, however, seems strongly to incline towards the neighbourhood of
Clifton, in which spot she wishes to be permanently established.  It is
probable, therefore, that we shall bend our steps thither, and when
somewhat established I will try to obtain some light permanent duty in
the neighbourhood.  “Que Dieu nous dirige,” is the frequent aspiration of
my too solicitous mind—_too_ solicitous; for if I knew all the gracious
intentions of a God of love concerning us, I should peacefully leave
everything to his all-wise disposal, without the least degree of
restlessness or fear.

With respect to dear Madeley, I need scarcely add, that should you know
any one who strikes you as being suitable, and to whom the situation
would be agreeable, I should feel obliged by your mentioning it to him,
and getting him to communicate with Mr. G— on the subject.

We beg our very kindest and Christian regards to yourself and Mrs. C,
and, with much affection,

                       Believe me, my dear Friend,

                                                     Yours very sincerely,
                                                                     G. M.

                                * * * * *

After receiving the above with its enclosed circular, Mr. Cooper wrote to
his friend as follows:—

                                                  Wherwell, June 29, 1826.

My dear Friend,

I WAS not prepared for the intelligence contained in your very kind
letter of the 26th, having hoped, from the improvement of your health at
the date of your previous letter, that you would shortly return to your
important charge at Madeley, and that you might have continued there many
years, an instrument of blessing others, and being _increasingly_ blessed
yourself in your work.  But, I doubt not, all is well and wisely ordered,
and will add my affectionate though feeble prayers that you may be
divinely directed in all things.

Your letter, the end of February last, left it doubtful, whether Mr. A.
B— might not have finally determined to become your assistant in the
parish; and, prior to your last favour, I was looking to hear from you
next month, to know how this matter had terminated, in order that I might
judge whether the expectation of being associated with you, which I had
not entirely relinquished, might not be realized.  I now beg to state,
that, owing to the inquiries of a beloved clerical brother, two curacies
have been offered to me within the present month, both of which I have
declined.  And now, my dear friend, I put it to you, whether you think
Madeley is such a post as would suit one with such slender ministerial
qualifications as I deeply feel that I possess; and whether you think
your parishioners would be disposed to receive me favourably?  If you do,
I leave myself in God’s hand and yours, desiring that _He_ may do with me
as seemeth good in His sight; and requesting _you_ to take such steps as
you may judge proper.  The difficulty as to the time of resigning my
present cure may probably be got over soon after Michaelmas; my vicar
having said, when last I saw him, that he would release me on reasonable
notice, if anything eligible should be offered to me: still I wish to
remain in my present sphere as long as I conveniently can.  Having said
thus much, I will only add that Madeley has been regarded by me for many
years as a spot peculiarly sacred; it is still more endeared to me by the
consideration that my beloved and highly esteemed friend has been
labouring for ten years in that favoured scene of the apostolical
Fletcher’s ministry.

I wait with interest, but not with any anxiety, to hear from you the
result of my present communication.  Believe me ever,

                             My dear Friend,

                                                Yours very affectionately,
                                                              JOHN COOPER.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                                   Yardley, July 11, 1826.

My dear Brother,

You will be glad to hear that dear Cooper has expressed a wish to succeed
me at Madeley; and, in consequence, an application has been made by
myself and the parishioners on his behalf, which has been most favourably
received, and Mr. Burton has nominated him to succeed me.  Most truly
thankful do I feel that it has pleased God to give to the dear people
such a man.  May he long be continued to them, and may very blessed days
be still in reserve for that honoured spot.

My visit among them was highly gratifying to myself, and I hope I may say
not unacceptable to them.  I never witnessed in them such overflowings of
kindest feelings, and, what I hardly anticipated, while they manifested
affectionate regrets, I do not recollect a single instance in which they
censured or chode; but, on the contrary, seemed to think that the step,
though painful, was necessary.

Our own plans are still somewhat uncertain.  We think, however, of moving
towards Bristol, and of fixing somewhere within a mile or two of the
city, and have written to George Yate to engage us a ready-furnished
house for about a month.  We expect to leave this place the 30th of
August.

But I have said nothing of dear Mr. Butterworth’s removal, on which your
last letter principally dwelt.  I felt surprised and pained beyond my
ordinary feelings on such occasions; for almost all that I possess
spiritually, I owe, under God, to him.  But after all, he is not lost to
me, for I trust I shall rejoin him ere long; and, even during the short
interval of apparent separation, who can tell how near he may still be to
me, and how materially he may still be permitted to help me?  But,
however this may be, Jesus remains the same, and I trust that the removal
of every endeared medium of good may be the means of uniting me more
fully to Him.

Our kindest love to yourself and family, to my dear mother, Eliza, &c.;
and I remain,

                                           Your ever affectionate Brother,
                                                                   GEORGE.

                                * * * * *

The _letter_ from which the following extract is made, is chiefly in
reference to the providing means for an assistant-curate at Madeley;
towards which, Mr. Mortimer proposed to furnish £10 per annum, and also a
further sum of £10 per annum to aid the Curate’s Poor Fund, for relieving
the sick and distressed poor of the populous parish of Madeley; and it is
due to Mr. M.’s kindness and benevolence to state, that during the period
of his friend’s curacy, he generously contributed each year the proposed
amount for the poor; and for three years (during which time only an
assistant curate was employed), the like sum towards the other object
named.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                                   Yardley, July 31, 1826.

My dear Friend,

OUR way towards Bristol appears to be opening.  A very singular
circumstance connected with it has just occurred.  It seems to us all to
be too pantomimic—too magical—to be true.  But yet, what cannot the God
of wisdom and of love effect!  We are striving to wait, as you expressed
yourself in a former letter about Madeley, “with interest but without
anxiety” to see the result.  Oh, what a comfort it is to feel calmly
assured that, while we are leaving ourselves in God’s hands, all must
eventually be well.  Mary unites with me in kindest regards to yourself
and dear Mrs. C—, and

                        I remain, my dear Friend,

                                                    Yours, very sincerely,
                                                                     G. M.



TO THE SAME.


                                 Horfield, near Bristol, October 18, 1826.

My very dear Friend,

HAD not circumstances of various kinds interfered, you would ere this
have seen me at Wherwell; but, as I had no control over these, and kept
expecting that in a few more days I should be able to write to you
definitely, I hope you will not too harshly censure me, when I tell you
at length that my projected visit, like too many of my projections, has
come to nothing, and that it will not be in my power to see you before
you leave.  But, after all, your removal is not to a distant country, and
many may be the circumstances which the kind Providence of God shall
permit for our future intercourse.  You speak, indeed, of a kind of
necessity for conference and consultation at the present juncture.  Of
this, however, I am far from being convinced; for I think a stranger
always proceeds best with the least previous acquaintance with the
minutiæ of characters and proceedings.  A general idea is quite
necessary; but everything that is circumstantial creates a prejudice
either to the advantage or disadvantage of the parties concerned.  The
fresh unbiassed inspection brings us, for the most part, nearest the
truth.  Every one with whom I converse, who has any knowledge of you,
joins with me in thankfulness to God that it has pleased Him to direct
your steps to Madeley; most fully does it seem to have been, from
beginning to end, from Him; to Him, therefore, may we ever give the
praise.  And may you, my much-endeared friend, be so fully qualified for
your important charge; may the barrel of meal also granted for your dear
people’s supply waste not, nor the cruse of oil fail; or, in other words,
may matter and unction be so abundantly imparted, and so graciously
continued, that the time may never come in which your ministrations may
prove burdensome to yourself, or either uninteresting or unedifying to
your hearers.  With kindest regards, I remain,

                                               Yours, ever affectionately,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer’s life has now been brought down to the close of his
services at Madeley, where he had been resident pastor for about ten
years.  In taking a review of this period, we find him to have abounded
in the great duties of his office—in works of faith and labours of love.
What with his Sunday duties, his classes, his expositions, his schools,
his pastoral visits, and his manifold acts of charity and kindness to the
poor, in a parish containing very nearly six thousand souls, with his
weakly constitution, and by no means robust health, the wonder is that he
was enabled to carry on so arduous a course for so long a time.  Madeley
has been long and highly favoured; it is to be hoped that the people have
both appreciated and improved their privileges.  Mr. Mortimer met with
much kindness, encouragement, and acceptance in the diligent pursuit of
his self-denying career in that parish, and the decade of his services
there was no doubt attended with much usefulness, though the extent of it
may never be known until the great day shall reveal it.  He met also with
much that was trying and perplexing to him; much to wound his loving
spirit; much to grieve his affectionate heart; much to prove his faith
and try his patience; but he neither flinched from duty, nor swerved from
the line of conduct which became him as a minister of the Established
Church; and, what is more, he treated neither opposition in the spirit of
retaliation, nor opposers in a spirit of harshness or severity.  He was
eminently a man of peace, a man of love, a man of placability.  The
commencement of his services in the parish was attended with great
difficulties.  Considerable irregularities had been practised by his
predecessors; in their steps, in this respect, he was determined not to
tread; and though he felt himself bound to resist all entreaty on this
subject, to the offending of many, yet was it his prayer, his study, his
endeavour to conciliate all.  His steady though moderate Churchmanship
was, perhaps, always more or less a ground of offence in a parish which
had long been under the influence of Methodism; but wherever good sense
and piety prevailed his motives were respected, and his conduct
appreciated.

It was on the manifestation of some unhallowed zeal of party spirit that
the following addresses were printed and circulated in his parish, and
which exhibit the very moderate and conciliatory spirit of their truly
Christian author.



ADDRESS OF THE MINISTER OF MADELEY TO SUCH OF THE INHABITANTS OF
COALBROOKDALE AND ITS VICINITY, AS DO NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES MEMBERS OF
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.


                                              Vicarage, February 21, 1822.

My endeared Parishioners,

IT has lately appeared to me an indispensable duty to visit more
extensively my parish, and to devote myself more fully to other branches
of my ministerial office.  In the course of my visits I found a strong
regret expressed by many, that it was not in their power to connect
themselves either with me as their minister, or with the Established
Church as their religious communion: and that this, their inability,
arose principally from the great distance of the parish church from their
respective abodes.  This difficulty I have endeavoured partially to
remove by beginning an exposition on alternate Monday evenings: {142} and
I hope soon to be able still further to meet their wishes by assembling
with them every other Sunday morning, on a plan similar to that now
adopted at the Ironbridge school-room on the Sabbath evenings.

I feel a little apprehensive, however, lest these my proceedings should
be considered by some as intentionally interfering with other modes and
places of worship already adopted and attended in your neighbourhood; and
lest my motives should be so far misconstrued, as to be identified with
narrow-minded prejudice, or with intolerant hostility.

It should be remembered, however, that all persons have, and cannot help
having, their preferences; and likewise, that these preferences may be
openly shown by them, and even occasionally employed in influencing
others, without the least hostility towards those who continue in another
persuasion.  And I can appeal with the greatest confidence to my own
conduct during nearly seven years’ residence among you, as a proof of
this assertion.  For though I have uniformly shown a decided preference
towards the Established Church, yet I am not aware of having discovered,
in a single instance, the least opposition or hostility towards any
individual of another communion, merely as such.  Much, indeed, on my
first coming into the parish, was unhappily advanced to the contrary; but
I was determined to take no notice of such remarks, assured that they had
no foundation in myself, and that, when my line of conduct should be
better understood, they would gradually die away, and a different feeling
be eventually adopted.  This different feeling has, I am happy to state,
long been cherished by many; and it was from a strong desire that nothing
contrary to it should prevail in consequence of my present ministerial
procedures, that I have been induced to send you this circular address.

Oh, let me then, as your minister, entreat you not to regard me with a
misgiving or suspecting mind; but from the fulness of a loving and a
Christian heart to wish and to supplicate for me abundant success.  And
be not hasty in censuring either myself or others for attachment to our
venerable and established forms.  Give to us what you feel entitled to
demand for yourselves; I mean the right of preference.  And amidst
certain shades of difference, let brotherly love not only continue among
us, but let it abound yet more and more.  And with regard to myself, I do
most sincerely pray God that no feeling may be cherished by me, no single
expression uttered, and no conduct whatever pursued, which may, in any
respect, tend to its diminution.

With feelings, then, of unfeigned affection, believe me, my much-endeared
Parishioners,

               Your sincerely devoted Friend and Minister,

                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



ADDRESS OF THE MINISTER OF MADELEY TO THE INHABITANTS OF MADELEY WOOD AND
ITS VICINITY.


                                                 Vicarage, March 23, 1822.

My endeared Parishioners,

THE very kind reception given to the Address which I circulated among the
inhabitants of Coalbrookdale and its vicinity, and the feelings of mutual
love and affection it has been the means of eliciting, encourage me to
hope that a similar appeal to yourselves will be attended with equally
beneficial results.

The principal reason of my now addressing you, is, that I have very
painfully witnessed, within the short space of two or three weeks, a
great increase of party spirit arising from the measures recently adopted
towards forming and carrying on a Sunday school separate and distinct
from that which has so long been established among us.  The natural
consequences of such procedures, I am willing to hope, you did not
sufficiently estimate, or I can hardly imagine you would so hastily, and
at such a time, have adopted them.  You are sensible, I think, that my
wish is for peace; that my great desire is, that love may not only
prevail, but abound more and more; and that I am striving to pursue that
line of conduct, which, as a consistent minister of the Established
Church, devolves upon me, so as not to give the least unnecessary offence
to others.  Permit me, then, to ask, whether these recent measures are at
all likely to produce such pacific results?  Do they not rather tend to
range more decidedly than ever under distinct and separate parties, not
only the superintendents and teachers, but likewise the parents of the
children themselves?  Do they not in some measure force persons to
declare themselves on one side or other, and that not merely in opinion,
but likewise in decisive action?  And are not the individuals, thus
compelled to declare themselves, regarded with suspicion by those who
move in contrary directions?  I would inquire, then, is all this
calculated to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace?  And are
those individuals our best friends who are most earnest in this work of
alienation?  I mean no personal allusions, I assure you, to any
individual among you: I hope I very sincerely love you all; and I wish
that bonds of union may be multiplied, which may bring us closer and
closer together, instead of these cords of separation which, drawing in
other directions, will every day remove us to a greater and yet greater
distance.

Permit me also to ask whether this is the time for such exertions?  If
indeed your minister were sleeping at his post; if he were lying down,
and loving to slumber; if the schools happened to be on the decline in
respect of numbers, or in regard to the insufficiency of superintendents
or teachers; if scarcely anything were going forward adequate to the
necessities of the parish; then, indeed, such exertions might be called
for.  But how contrary is all this to the real state of the case!  It is
at a time when the schools are so crowded as to render it impossible to
instruct them in the usual place: it is at a time when, to afford greater
facilities of instruction, the larger schools are being divided into
twenty or thirty minor schools, and these so situated as to be almost at
the door of every child in the parish, and so arranged as to admit of
every one being taught who is capable of instruction.  You will readily
perceive, then, that the stir which is making at present, is by no means
called for in the existing necessities of the case.  To what, then, must
it be attributed?  It is commonly reported that it arises from a fear
entertained by some, lest my present plans and procedures should attach
too many children to the Established Church, and thus eventually make
them Churchmen instead of Methodists.  This reason, however, I feel I
ought by no means to admit; for, whatever may be said of others, the
Methodists of the parish of Madeley have long made it their boast that
they were firm in their attachment to our venerable Church: and so strong
has been their attachment, that the majority of them would never listen
to any proposals of having their services so conducted as at all to
interfere with the services of the church, and would never permit the
sacrament to be administered in their chapels; and there are many who
feel a secret satisfaction in being able to state, that they have never
yet partaken of the sacred ordinance, excepting from a clergyman; and
they are still determined that no one shall ever make this their
consistent glorying to be in vain. {146}  It is with peculiar
satisfaction, that I consider my relation to such individuals; and I
assure you, I rejoice over you as my parishioners; I point you out as an
example to others; and I hope we shall never see the time when the
parishioners, and more especially the spiritual sons and daughters of the
venerable and apostolic Mr. Fletcher, shall cease to be identified with
that Church of which he was so bright an ornament, as well as minister.
I feel, therefore, that it would be the height of injustice to suppose,
that the mass of such of my people as are termed Methodists have any fear
of their children becoming members of the Established Church; nay, they
would rather rejoice in it;—they rejoice in it even now;—and some of them
go so far as even to recommend it.  They tell their children, in the
fulness of their Catholic spirit, that their own attachment to the people
with whom they are joined, never arose from dissatisfaction to the
Church, but from a natural love to the private means which their own
people at that time so exclusively possessed.  But they add, that as
these same private means are now offered to them in connexion with the
Established Church, they would advise them to join themselves with its
respected members; and hence it is, that not a few among our classes are
the sons and daughters of such honoured individuals.  I say honoured, for
who can withhold from such the proper meed of approbation; for such heal
the breaches of our Zion, they build up its waste places; they repair the
desolations of many generations.

I am aware, however, that the same extent of feeling is not cherished by
all.  Some prefer their own communion, their own instructors, and
classes.  But I have heard such with the greatest candour acknowledge,
that their predilection arose merely from the circumstance that they
happened to receive their first religious good among them; and that
notwithstanding this their preference, they very highly respect the
Church, and that they wish its ministers abundant success in their very
important work.  And this I am persuaded is the feeling of ninety-nine
out of a hundred of the Methodists who compose my parish.  The welcome
they invariably give me when I enter their houses or cottages; the smile
of approbation which brightens on their countenance when we exchange
salutations as we pass; and the liberality which they discover in all
points of possible difference whenever they are accidentally touched
upon: all these things convince me that they have no hostility either to
the Church or to myself, and of course that they would not willingly
enter upon any plan which might have the least semblance of opposition.

To what, then, some will still ask, must these procedures connected with
the schools be attributed?  I feel, I confess, somewhat at a loss to
determine.  I hope, however, that they have arisen merely from a
well-meant, though certainly an ill-timed, zeal—a zeal, likewise, which
has a direct tendency, though not previously estimated, to promote
disunion among us, and a diminution of loving Christian feelings.  But
whatever may have been the cause of these procedures, I do hope, that the
serious evils which are beginning as a consequence to break forth, will
not only be checked, but entirely subside; and that all parties,
superintendents, teachers, and parents, will each in their respective
stations be ready to show that they are not among the last to bring about
so desirable an issue.

And now, with very sincere affection, believe me, my much-endeared
Parishioners,

                                        Your faithful Friend and Minister,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

The following simple narrative, related by his attached and faithful
servant Fanny, also beautifully displays the very kind and earnest,
though very decided, character of the excellent pastor of Madeley.

    “Some of the beer shops at the Iron Bridge used to be kept open very
    late at night, and master was determined to put a stop to their being
    open later than ten o’clock.  He used to go to them, and turn out all
    the men that were drinking in them after that time.  This enraged
    some of these men so much, that they declared they would kill master;
    for they said, ‘they were determined that no parson should interfere
    with them.’  Some of master’s friends heard of this, and told him,
    and tried to persuade him not to go to the Iron Bridge the next
    night; and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas did not wish him to go; and we all
    begged him to stay at home that night; but he told us he was not at
    all afraid of the men, and when I said that they would be sure to do
    him some harm, he said, ‘Why, Fanny, they have no power over me to
    hurt me; the Almighty is above them.’  So master went to the public
    house, and saw the very men that had threatened to kill him, and he
    talked to them for a long time, and told them that they ought to have
    been at home with their families, and that he hoped he should never
    see them there again.  He spoke so kindly, that they all listened to
    him, and never offered to hurt him; and when he had done talking to
    them, they told him, that they had fully determined to make an attack
    upon him that night, but that _then_ they felt as if they had no
    power to hurt him.  So master shook hands with them all, and then
    they all took off their hats and wished him ‘safe home,’ and ‘long
    life to him.’  And they were never there again after ten o’clock; and
    I think what master said to them then, did one or two of them so much
    good, that they afterwards became pious.”

Mr. Mortimer was equally desirous of putting a stop to the desecration of
the Lord’s day by the bargemen on the River Severn, and, for this
purpose, he tried every means to prevent the barges from sailing on the
Sunday.  In doing this, he experienced great opposition from some of the
barge owners, who purposely, as it appeared, kept their vessels locked at
Coalport at the latter end of the week, and released them on the Sunday.
At length Mr. M. was compelled to take them before the magistrates, and
have them fined, by which means he succeeded in entirely putting a stop
to this desecration.

He exerted himself also to have the law enforced against keeping open the
public houses and beer shops during the time of divine service.

He took pains to prevent the children from playing about the roads and
fields on the Sunday, and to secure the orderly behaviour of the Sunday
scholars in going to and returning from the Sunday schools.  There were
at one period six hundred children in the different schools in the parish
of Madeley.

The class meetings consisted of six; one for women, conducted by Mrs.
Mortimer, and the other five by Mr. M.  Once a quarter, the six classes
met at one place.  Mr. Mortimer’s object in having these class meetings,
though he evidently considered them as auxiliary to the public ordinances
of religion, was to prevent the serious members of his congregation from
joining the Methodists, which he had constantly found to be the case at
Wellington.

The following token of affectionate esteem was, no doubt, very acceptable
to the feelings of Mr. Mortimer, not so much from the worth of it, as
from the motive which gave rise to it—a motive at once honourable to the
hearts of the donors and to the character of the receiver.  This token
was a handsome octavo Bible, bound in morocco, inscribed on one side,

                      “To the Rev. George Mortimer, M.A.
                         A Token of Christian Regard
         From the Male Class, meeting under his care at Lincoln-hill,
                                    1817.”

And on the other side,

    “With a sincere desire that the rich promises contained herein may be
    his consolation through life, and his support in death.”

The following anecdote may, perhaps, be more suitably introduced here
than elsewhere, because, in all probability, it was during his residence
at Madeley that the fact recorded took place, though it was not related
to his daughter, who communicated it to me, before the winter of 1842–3,
during a sleigh-drive with her father, while descending a hill, which was
in a dangerous state, owing to its slipperiness and to there being no
barrier on the one side which was the edge of a precipice.

    “K— and I (and perhaps a third person, but I am not sure about that)
    were travelling from Wellington to Madeley in a post chaise.  When we
    were about to descend a precipitous hill, something seemed to say to
    me, ‘Pray, you are in danger.’  I resisted the impression, and said
    to myself, it is all nonsense; I will not give way to superstitious
    fears.  Again the warning was impressed on my mind, and I then paused
    and lifted up my heart in prayer to God.  I had no sooner done so,
    than I heard the postillion contending with his horses, which were
    plunging into the hedge on one side of the road; then they dashed to
    the other side, and it appeared as though we should have been
    precipitated over the side of the hill; but we reached the bottom in
    safety.  I then said to K—, ‘I will tell you what has been passing in
    my mind,’ and related to him all the circumstances.  K— then told me,
    that just at the same time, as he supposed from my description of the
    spot, the same thing was suggested to his mind, and that at first he
    repelled the suggestion, but afterwards yielded to it; but that he
    had not the honesty to confess the circumstance till I had done so.
    I know K— well, and feel perfectly assured that he would tell me
    nothing but the truth; and from the remarkable circumstance of the
    suggestion being made to the minds of both of us, I cannot, but
    believe it was an intimation from above of our danger and of the
    necessity of prayer.  For, although his angels are always at hand to
    succour us in danger, yet God has been pleased to make prayer a
    necessary means for obtaining their aid.  When I am in my grave, tell
    this for the benefit of others as an encouragement to prayer.”

My dear young friend and god-daughter adds, “I was very much impressed by
the charge with which my dear father concluded, and, that I might be the
better able to fulfil it, I wrote down the whole relation when I returned
home, of which the above is a copy.”

I very gladly comply with a hope expressed by Mr. Mortimer’s eldest
daughter that I will insert in the memoir of her dear father, a letter
addressed to her by him when she was about ten years of age; and, as it
was written during his residence at Madeley, I insert it here before we
take leave of that place:—

    “We returned to Madeley on the evening of last Thursday week; and I
    am thankful to state that we have all of us received considerable
    benefit from our journey.  Your brothers and sisters seemed to enjoy
    themselves exceedingly.  The latter part of the time we were joined
    by your uncle, who spent about eight days with us; and having hired a
    car for that time capable of holding eight or nine persons, we were
    enabled to see all that was worth seeing in the neighbourhood.  We
    often wished that you and C— had been with us in our excursions; but
    more particularly while we were going over the castle of Aberconway,
    for it struck us as conveying one of the most perfect ideas of both
    the extent and uses of a castle of any we could recollect to have
    seen.  The town also is surrounded by a strong and turretted wall,
    and gives a good notion of a walled city, such as we read of as
    connected with former times.

    “We greatly prefer Glan y don to Barmouth.  It is about six miles
    from Abergeley, in Denbighshire, North Wales.  It is situated in a
    delightful recess termed Llandrillo Bay, and the scenery all around
    is picturesque in the extreme.  Such a pleasing combination of the
    sublime and beautiful I have seldom seen.  The sea-shore, however,
    after all, presented us with the chief attractions.  I collected and
    fixed the names of many of our English shells, and that also in a
    state far more perfect than before.  I began also a collection of
    marine plants.  These I shall have pleasure in showing to you when
    you return home.  You will be surprised, perhaps, when I tell you
    that they amount to upwards of sixty different sorts, and these are
    exceedingly few in comparison of those I should have met with had we
    been there a longer time, or had we waited for the equinoctial winds,
    which, perhaps you know, bring the greatest quantity of marine
    substances to the shore, tearing them from the rocks to which they
    adhere and grow.

    “A— begins to learn the names of a few of the more common shells, and
    was much pleased with making an incipient collection.  He has
    purchased some plain cards, and, after dividing them by pencil marks
    into regular departments, he pasted his specimens upon them; and I
    think you will say, they look tolerably well.

    “Your aunt — stopped with us about a fortnight after you left us, and
    I accompanied her up to London.  The only coach, which we could with
    any convenience go by, was principally occupied by nine convicts, who
    were being conveyed from Shrewsbury to London, previous to
    transportation; and, during the night, two of them were in the coach
    with your aunt and myself.  These were two of the most noted
    pickpockets belonging to a Shrewsbury gang, and, as you will readily
    suppose, we were not at first much disposed to relish their company.
    But, as they were ironed and exceedingly well-behaved, we soon got
    reconciled to them, and were not a little interested in the
    observation of this novel description of character.  It presented,
    however, a melancholy admixture of ingenuity and depravity.

    “You will be sorry to hear that during our absence at the sea, poor
    Mr. P— died.  He dropped down suddenly while standing in the
    rope-walk, and never spoke afterwards.  He was advanced in years and
    his death was expected; but still, in such an uncertain world as
    this, who can be secure?  May we all be fully prepared when our
    summons shall arrive.

    “You inquire concerning H.  He began his letters while we were at
    Glan y don; but I cannot say any great things as to his proficiency.
    Within these few days we have permitted him to dine at our table, and
    he has behaved so very well that we intend he should continue to do
    so for the future.  L. and P., for nearly a month past, have been
    introduced to our morning family prayer, and I am happy to state that
    they conduct themselves with much propriety.”

After spending about eighteen months at Yardley, near Birmingham,
exchanging duties with the vicar of that parish, Mr. Mortimer finally
left Madeley and removed to Clifton, August 30, 1826; but the situation
not being in accordance with his retired habits, he took a house at
Horfield, whither he removed on the 10th of October of the same year.
From this place was written the letter of which the following is an
extract, bearing date, January 17, 1827.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG, BUENOS AYRES.


FROM my brother, who joined us here the day after the arrival of your
letter, I was rejoiced to find that Mrs. Armstrong and your family had
arrived in safety; for though your frequent voyages must have
familiarized _you_ in some degree to danger, yet _we_ who encounter
nothing beyond the minor and comparatively trivial perils by land, feel a
something approaching to _wondering_ gratitude at your seemingly
hairbreadth escapes.  But possibly I misjudge my endeared friend.  The
observation which he has thus had “of the works of the Lord and of his
wonders in the deep” has called forth his augmented tribute of praise.
And I trust that being once more surrounded by his dear family, his
comforts will thicken around him, and his sun of prosperity will become
brighter and brighter, and that, if consistent with the divine will, it
may set again no more.

By the commencement of my letter, you will perceive that _I_ have been
wandering as well as yourself; and, considering the difference of our
locomotive powers, I am almost disposed to regard my own movements as the
most astonishing.  Madeley I have entirely given up, and left in the
hands of my dear friend Cooper, than whom, I know not any one more suited
to the place.  He is, I find, very acceptable.  I can say but little at
present of myself: for my _first_ object in settling here was the health
of myself and family, which has already, I am thankful to say, been
considerably improved.  And now I am waiting for the first eligible
employment which shall present itself in Bristol, that my renewed health
and strength may be devoted to the glory of Him who has mercifully
restored them, and to the benefit, I trust, of those around me.  But
though I have not as yet any settled employment, I am almost constantly
engaged twice on the Sabbath, and, were I not resolutely to refuse, I
should frequently be requested to take a third service.



TO THE SAME.


                                     Horfield, near Bristol, May 23, 1827.

My much-endeared Friend,

FOR with these appellations I must address you, though the long intervals
which I suffer to transpire between my addresses may perhaps induce the
suspicion that they are not the legitimate expressions of the heart.  But
as this is the general, not to say the universal, character of my
correspondence, and as you must, by this time, have had sufficient
opportunities of discovering my weak points, I will comfort myself with
the hope, that though you find me tardy, yet that you will not regard me
as insincere.

Your letter of the 18th of August last was conveyed, I presume, through
some private hand, and did not reach me till some months after its date.
It contained, as you will perhaps recollect, the painful accounts of the
bereavements which you have lately been called to endure, in the loss of
your two most beloved daughters; and to one of your disposition and
habits—one so affectionate, and domestic, and in every sense paternal—the
dispensation must have been one of no ordinary suffering; and yet so
sweetly do the feelings of the true Christian combine with those of the
sorrowing parent, that I almost envy you the power which you so blessedly
possess; an attainment to which I look up, when I consider it in
reference to yourself, with admiring gratitude; but which, when I advert
to, in contrast to my own imperfect and limited experience, humbles me in
the dust.  Hitherto, indeed, I have had but little affliction in my
family; yet that little has not been borne with that meek and patient
submission—with that deadness to the world and that detachment from the
creature—which ought to characterize the child of God.  But if I so
readily faint in the day of comparatively minor sorrows, how can I be
expected to stand in the day of increased and lengthened suffering—the
_evil_ day, asked for by Satanic malignity, and rendered but too
necessary in order to bring before me the latent evils of my own
unsanctified heart?  Still, however, the divine panoply has been
mercifully provided; and what should hinder me from becoming strong in
the Lord and in the power of his might?  I will therefore hope in his
mercy.  I will expect, that should sufferings await me, such as those
with which my endeared friend has been visited, I may still be enabled to
glorify my God in the day of my visitations; and then all will be well.
For sanctified sorrow not only loses all its pungent and corrosive, and
deadly qualities, and thus leaves our neutralized minds in the possession
of calm and settled peace; but it has reference also to that happy and
eternal state above, where all our light and momentary afflictions shall
be succeeded by that inconceivable weight of glory which shall suffer
neither diminution nor end.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer’s next engagement in the duties of his sacred office, was at
St. Mary le Port, Bristol, first undertaken temporarily during the
serious illness of the regular minister, the Rev. Thomas Grinfield, which
lasted for some months, and afterwards sharing the services with him for
a year, before his going to the curacy of Hutton.  He entered upon this
duty for the first time, on Sunday, December 10, 1826, and continued in
the discharge of it until the end of September, 1828.  In this sphere he
seems to have laboured with peculiar pleasure, acceptance, and
usefulness; his talents as a preacher appear to have been better
appreciated, and his services more valued, than in any other situation
that he filled either before or afterwards; and, speaking after human
judgment, I cannot help regretting that ever he felt it to be his duty to
leave a field of so much promise, and one which he was so well calculated
to improve and cultivate; and, if I do not greatly mistake, his own mind
was not entirely free from feelings of regret on this subject.  Of his
adaptation to the place and of the benefits resulting from his ministry
there, he was not himself insensible.  He thus writes to his sister, Mrs.
Holland, August 5, 1828:—

    “In my ministerial duties it has pleased the Lord to give me a degree
    of acceptance among my present charge which I was never favoured with
    before.  At Madeley, indeed, the attendance was good, and as much of
    interest was kept up and spiritual benefit conveyed, as kept my
    naturally anxious and misgiving mind from quite sinking; but in
    Bristol it has been far otherwise.  The attendance at church has
    greatly increased; the affection of the people seems to be given me
    in an unusual degree; and I do hope the blessing of the Lord keeps
    bringing home the word with power to their hearts.”

He makes reference also to his labours at St. Mary le Port, in a letter
to the Rev. John Cooper, in terms which sufficiently indicate his own
feelings and sentiments, and which are plainly expressive of his own
judgment upon a comparative view of his services at Bristol with those
performed elsewhere.

                          Hutton, near Cross, Somersetshire, Feb. 4, 1829.

My much-endeared Friend,

I AM quite ready to acknowledge my faults; and lest, through
forgetfulness, I should in a similar manner offend in this instance also,
I am determined to despatch my communication at once.  You kindly allude
to gratification received from this source in time past.  Such hints
coming even from an indifferent quarter, always frighten me; they make me
fancy that something will of course be expected for the future; and
knowing so fully the mere business-like strain in which I am generally
accustomed to write, and my want of spirituality when I touch upon
serious subjects, I have such a shrinking, not to say horror and dread of
letters of mere friendship, that while intending to pay my just and
lawful debts in this department, I keep insensibly postponing their
discharge, till I fancy my answers would be out of date, and would fain
sit down with a quiet and contented mind.  Creditors, however, are those
merciless kind of beings that it is no easy matter to escape out of their
hands, and ever and anon some upbraiding or threatening communication
appears in due form before me.  Not, however, that I could be so wanting
in urbane feelings, as to speak in such terms of Madeley despatches; they
are, of course, the merest and most gentle of all mementos—all lapses of
time are so graciously overlooked, and the most unblushing halts on the
part of the most notorious offender are rather implied than expressed.
You will therefore be kindly pleased to accept my most humble and
grateful acknowledgments for such unmerited mercy; and hoping for ever to
profit by such benignity, I now beg leave to conclude my lengthened
exordium.

As you appear to have seen my good friend Y—, you have no doubt heard
from him most of the particulars connected with my recent change.  I do,
indeed, most fully believe, that I am in the spot to which I have been
most evidently directed of the Lord; and in respect to outward comfort
and suitableness of employment, I suppose I should hardly find another
situation equally eligible; _but_, _after all_, _I cannot help regretting
the termination of my Mary le Port engagements_.  Much kindness have I
received in various forms from my Madeley people—much also, and most
strongly expressed, from my temporary charge at Yardley; _but I never
seemed to live so fully in the hearts of any of my people as those_,
_from whom unavoidable circumstances have so recently separated me_.  I
am persuaded, however, that all is right both for me and for them; and if
developing circumstances should not reveal this to the eye of sense, yet
that faith which brings its luminous atmosphere around the results of
cautious procedure and humble dependence will cheer the mind with its
present assurance, till it shall conduct us to that world where, without
the least shadow of a misgiving, we shall acknowledge that our guiding
and gracious Saviour “hath done all things well.”  My outward path has
indeed, for some time past, been in many respects somewhat mysterious and
painfully perplexing; but such are frequently the movements even of those
who not only have the cloudy pillar to guide them, but who also are
careful to follow its guidance.  And, even allowing that ourselves have
not thus followed with this undeviating step, still we have the privilege
of penitent return; and, from whatever point we may retrace our wandering
step, we see the same heavenly guidance before us, waiting to conduct us
onward in the unerring way.

I feel much obliged for your interesting allusion to Madeley procedures;
your dispensary, infant-school, and clerical meeting, have all of them,
not only the approval of my judgment, but of my heart. . . .  And
therefore I do, in all respects, most sincerely rejoice that the kind and
gratifying permission of which you speak was ever given to me.  My fear,
however, is, lest you should be doing too much, encouraged by that
_half_-untrue and sadly delusive maxim, “Better to wear away than to rust
away.”  I would rather have you patronise that far more prudential
substitute suggested by the biographer of Leigh Richmond, “I labour less
that I may labour longer.”

I do indeed most sincerely rejoice with you in the blessed testimony
afforded to you by your endeared and dying sister, to the faithfulness of
our gracious and Omnipotent Redeemer.  How few are the families where the
leavening influence of true religion has been more extensively or more
blessedly experienced!

We had not heard of the arrival of our Ceylon friends till your last
reached us.  Most truly rejoiced shall we be to be permitted to meet
them; but the notorious offender has some draw-back to his anticipated
pleasure—a four or five years’ _halt_ keeps haunting his perturbed mind.
Nor let your gifted men of punctuality smile, as they read these
compunctious movements—these reiterated confessions,—lest our insulted
spirits spring from beneath the ignominious tread, and, elate with all
the consciousness of our newly acquired powers, hold ourselves in
readiness to repel the charge and to retaliate the affront.

You have heard, I suppose, of my having taken three pupils to instruct
with my own children; my time, as you can readily imagine, is far from
sluggishly employed; my health, however, is, and has been for some time
past, through God’s blessing, unusually good.  Within the last three
weeks, I have been a little threatened with a return of Madeley feelings,
but this has been through attempting too much.

Our united and very kindest love attends Mrs. C. yourself, and family,
and

                        I remain, my dear Friend,

                                               Yours, ever affectionately,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

The next step in the life of my endeared friend, which comes under our
notice, is one which filled all his friends with surprise—one which they
could not contemplate without much concern—one, the expediency of which,
they could none of them fully perceive—one, indeed, which they could not
but consider as uncalled for and unnecessary.  I refer to his leaving
England, and proceeding with his family to settle in Canada.  At an
earlier period of his life he appears to have been animated with a pure
and holy zeal for the cause of missions to the heathen, and would, if his
way had been open, most gladly have entered upon that self-denying
service.  But now he was not stimulated by such a motive; indeed, he can
hardly be said to have made even ministerial duties his chief object: it
was not to seek a new fortune in the vineyard of Christ, but to improve
his worldly fortune for the temporal benefit of his children.  I do not
presume to censure Mr. Mortimer for this step, though I agree with many
of his friends in considering it a very questionable measure.  He was not
like a man in needy circumstances; Providence had supplied him with a
very comfortable independent income; one perfectly adequate to provide
for all the reasonable wants of his family, and to enable him to place
out his children in suitable situations, as they grew up; much more so,
if I do not greatly mistake, and with much greater satisfaction, too,
than he has been able to do in Canada.  Where the object is the cause of
God, I should be among the first to recommend a man to leave his home,
his friends, and his country, and go to the very ends of the earth, if
called to such a service; and I see no reason why men of business, if
their disposition lead to it, though they possess even good properties,
should not expatriate themselves for the purpose of commerce, or the
increase of their fortune; but I hesitate as to granting the same liberty
to the minister of Jesus Christ, especially where it has pleased his
heavenly Father to furnish him with the necessary supplies of life in a
tolerably competent measure.  It is clearly the duty of a clergyman, as
it is that of a layman, to make such provision for his family, in the
event of his removal from them, as his circumstances will permit; but to
make this the first object of consideration in determining upon an
important movement in life—in leaving one’s own country and settling in
another—does seem to me not very warrantable.  Upon these considerations,
I cannot, I confess, perfectly concur with my late beloved friend in the
measure under contemplation.  No doubt he was fully satisfied in his own
mind of the propriety of the step on which he had determined, and that
the accomplishment of it was in accordance with the path of duty and the
order of Providence.

But let Mr. Mortimer speak for himself.  Four, out of the five following
letters, touch more or less upon the subject, and explain his views of
the measure and of the desirableness of it.  In the dark view taken in
some of these letters of the prospects of his native country, the writer
of them by no means stood alone; and though commerce seems to have
recovered itself, and the prosperity of the nation has assumed a more
promising aspect, yet the encouragement given to Popery by the State on
the one hand, and the movement in the church towards the increase of its
ranks, and the augmentation of its influence on the other; the
unmanageable state of pauperism, and the ungovernable, and, I fear, to
any considerable extent, the unimprovable condition of the peasantry and
the poor of our great cities, cannot be contemplated by the Christian
patriot without fear, alarm, and consternation.  We are evidently in the
state of a volcano, and everything seems to indicate a no very distant
eruption, which may rase the foundations of the Church and State, and
scatter misery and wretchedness, rapine and bloodshed, murder and
destruction, over the face of the land.  The elements of some general
convulsion are preparing with a rapid progress; and awful, it is to be
feared, will be the catastrophe, if, by timely repentance, the blow which
threatens us, and which undoubtedly we deserve, be not averted. {164}



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                        Hutton, near Cross, Somersetshire,
                                                                Nov. 1830.

My dear Armstrong,

I DO indeed feel myself much obliged to you for kindly breaking through
the impediments which my lengthened silence put in the way of our renewed
intercourse.  I often reproached myself for not writing; and yet there
seemed such an awkwardness in recommencing, that I fear I should never
have had courage to combat with it.  But your truly welcome letter has
opened my way, and I most gladly avail myself of the unexpected facility.
But before I proceed to other matters, I ought to assure you that yours
is not any personal or any peculiar or isolated case.  All my friends,
and even relatives, are successively neglected; and if it were not that
so many of them are touched with a similar feeling of kindness with
yourself, and ever and anon renew the needful impulse, I should soon be
forsaken by them all, and find myself, what I so richly deserve, “a
desolate old man.”

All your topics of communication cheer me.  I truly rejoice with you in
the erection of the church.  It was a noble emprise, characteristic of my
endeared friend, and peculiarly owned and blessed of his God; of its
extent of good, eternity will alone unfold.  Your account also of your
dear children was read by me with much interest, and with real gratitude.
How faithful is God.  In the spirit of the Levite you have thrown up your
inheritance among your brethren.  And some of us, not sufficiently aware
of the nature or extent of your faith, and but little called to tread in
similar paths, were inwardly dreading some disastrous shock.  But the
whirlwind, the earthquake, and the fire, were only the creatures of our
own imagination; while all that is real is “the still small voice” of our
God, proclaiming, as is usual with him, to those who can trust him, his
goodness, and his love.  May the same goodness attend all the other
branches of your dear family.  And may you and your beloved wife be long
spared to them, to the church, and the world.

I know your friendly feeling would prompt you to enquire respecting our
several movements.  But where shall I begin?  All is and all has been
well with us; and yet much has been transpiring which we little
anticipated.  The calls of our family have induced struggling and
self-denial.  My curate could not be retained.  The tutor for my
children, when he left for college, has not been replaced.  First, his
duties devolved on me; then the extra care of three pupils.  Removing,
too, has been attended with loss.  And various other matters have all
been tending toward the same point.  But still I would reiterate the
declaration—all is and has been well with us.  To some spirits,
struggling and difficulty is absolutely necessary.  Like stagnant waters,
they must be shaken, or they will acquire the evils consequent on
inactivity.

I have for some years past been endeavouring to feel my way as to a
settlement in one of our colonies; having little expectation of being
able to settle my children at all advantageously in England.  All I
wished for was something in the shape of ministerial duty, without much
regard to the emolument, but as a kind of satisfaction that I was not
going out of the way of usefulness.  But my inquiries were fruitless.
Indeed my friends were not over anxious about my success.  They mostly
inclined to my remaining in England; and therefore did not, I believe, at
all exert themselves.  Now I begin to fancy that I am getting too old for
such an experiment.  Though possibly should anything desirable present
itself, I should not wonder at my old feelings reviving.  But I should
not now be tempted, I think, with anything short of a chaplaincy; and
these are so far from being come-at-able, that I consider my emigrating
schemes as at an end.  My views, however, with regard to my own country
are still the same.  I was never a national croaker; and have, I think,
always been disposed to look at the bright side.  Still I can anticipate
nothing but rapidly increasing distress, and not very far distant ruin.
And this has almost invariably been the case with great commercial
nations.  The influx of extraneous wealth, producing such increase of
population, and such extent of luxury, and when these arrive at a certain
point, other countries, other markets, successfully compete, and
eventually surpass.  At one of these points we are already arrived, and
the retrograde impulse is beginning to be most painfully felt.  All
classes, indeed, are much suffering at present; and had it not pleased
God to have given us a popular king and a most plenteous harvest, it is
most generally believed that a revolution would ere this have taken
place.  Many, I know, are still dreading it.  A letter which I received
but a few days since from a General, a father of one of my pupils, is
strongly expressive of the feelings which still prevail in the
metropolis.  To add to other causes of apprehension, we have just
received the account of the resignation of the Wellington ministry.  All
is indeed perplexity.  But still the Lord Omnipotent reigneth; all is in
his hands.  And possibly what we are dreading is only the small cloud of
needless apprehension, which will either soon blow over, or only
discharge itself in unexpected and undeserved mercies.  But why should I
allude to public events; for, with letters from your friends, you
receive, no doubt, a budget of the public papers, which bring all these
matters before you in all their diversified aspects and bearings.

As to my ministerial employments, I feel on the whole comfortably
engaged.  My sphere is but small; and my success not very apparent; and
yet circumstances seem to require my continuance; nor does any moving of
the cloud point out any other place.  I therefore go labouring on; and
should it please God to fix me eventually in some other situation, I
shall find all the benefit from my past exertion; for I make a point of
preparing one new sermon every week.

Mrs. G. M. unites with me in very kindest remembrance to yourself and
dear Mrs. A.

                  And I remain, my much endeared Friend,

                                                    Yours, ever sincerely,
                                                                     G. M.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                                    Hutton, January, 1831.

My dear Friend,

I AM much obliged by your kind and prompt communication respecting the
removal of poor Mr. Burton, your vicar.  I am afraid it will prove the
precursor of many difficulties, both with regard to yourself and beloved
Madeley.  We must look, however, beyond these probable perplexities with
that steady eye of faith on the promises and perfections of our ever
faithful God, which shall enable us not only eventually, but at each
successive movement, to feel the grateful persuasion that all is well.  I
hear from Mrs. D. W—, that Mr. B— gives her some encouragement to hope
that your continuance there is more than probable.  Should any aid be
required under such an arrangement, I shall be happy to continue the £10
yearly which I have already devoted to this object, and I beg you will
not feel the least scruple in the transfer.

I have been, with much contrivance, plotting an arrangement for you in
conjunction with myself and Mr. H—, but one or two matters would not, I
fear, fall in with your wishes, and therefore I have let this slip.  I
have written however to a dear friend to be on the look out for you, and
shall try to call in other aid, as well as keep an observant eye myself.
I feel persuaded that mercy is still in reserve for my much endeared
friend.  Mrs. M— unites with me in very kindest regards to yourself, Mrs.
C—, and your family, and

                                I remain,

                                               Yours, ever affectionately,
                                                              G. MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                                     Hutton, Aug. 9, 1831.

My dear Friend,

I DID, indeed, intimate to Miss P. my intention to write to you at an
early opportunity, and I am quite ashamed and sorry that I should have
delayed doing this so long.  Your very kind and most interesting letter,
received a few days since, has not only opened my eyes, but warmed my
heart; and, even were I disposed any longer to postpone, I should find it
somewhat difficult to do it.

I do, indeed, most sincerely rejoice with you in all the goodness and
mercy which have attended you during your residence in Madeley.

You kindly and delicately suppose that the incipient attentions showed
you, on your first going there, were in some measure from their kindly
feelings towards myself.  Possibly, the glowing descriptions of a friend
might have prepared the minds of many for expectation, and have procured
for you the more than ordinary courtesies of introduction.  But such
expectations would have terminated in all the vexation of contrast, had
there not been that suitableness in my dear friend which I had supposed,
and which the parishioners were in no way backward to discover.  It is
with much gratitude to our God and Saviour that I look back on the whole
of the past transaction: the circumstances which seemed indispensably to
require my own separation from the dear people of Madeley; their
hopelessness respecting a suitable successor; your willingness to accept
the charge; the kind vicar’s willing consent; and the long interval of
reciprocal endearment which has since been experienced—one so cordial,
and so thorough * * * and, surely, that most munificent and touching act
of their kindly feeling and high respect which they showed you on your
departure, is no small proof of the accuracy of my supposition.

“Hitherto hath the Lord helped me,” may be the encouraging motto of my
friend.  And greatly will it rejoice me to hear that in his new, and yet
more extensive sphere of labour, the same distinguishing mercy from on
high attends him: you go accompanied with many prayers, and encouraged
with many a cheering recollection of the past; and, what is more
comforting, I will freely acknowledge, to my own mind, you go onward with
a humble sense of your own nothingness; surprised at the results of mercy
which you see; pausing, not in self-congratulation, but in lowly
gratitude, to survey and express them.

                             * * * * * * * *

The account which you give of the new vicar is very encouraging, and
answers, in all respects, to the other testimonies which have reached me.

The times seem peculiarly perilous, both politically and
ecclesiastically; though I was never given to “croak,” yet I cannot but
feel that we are on the eve of danger.  God only can avert it, and in Him
is my hope; but _out_ of Him everything seems gloomy and foreboding.
Could my dear wife see and feel with myself, I think it probable, that I
should make some effort to escape from all this stormy wind and tempest,
to some one or other of our colonial shores, and there endeavour to
establish my family under more auspicious promises than those afforded by
our native land: for the mercantile day of England has long been
declining, and with our increasing population no very cheering prospects
can be cherished. {171}  My way, however, is not yet clear; and till my
path is opened, I feel no desire to proceed.  With your own large family,
thoughts of the future will no doubt, at times, be attempting anxiously
to intrude.  But I know full well the accustomed sobriety of your mind,
and can easily imagine how quietly and peacefully you leave these
bewildering anticipations with Him who has encouraged us to cast all our
care upon Himself.  In this, as in other respects, may I ever be
endeavouring to follow you.

We are truly glad to hear of Mrs. C.’s amended health, and of the comfort
which you have in your residence and situation.  It seems, indeed, in all
respects, the very place for you, and long may you and your beloved wife
be spared to reside among them.  Our united and very kind regards attend
you both, and all the members of your dear family.

                        Believe me ever to remain,

                                             Your very sincerely attached,
                                                                     G. M.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                                    Hutton, March 6, 1832.

My dear Friend,

I BELIEVE you are almost the only one to whom this peculiar and endearing
appellation is considered by me as truly belonging, who has not as yet
been made acquainted with my intended movements.  Had it been at all
practicable, I should have taken you in my way, in my late lengthened
tour to Hull, Raithby, and London; but circumstances would not then admit
this, and I cannot now indulge the hope.  A similar tour, about eight
years since, found you in Liverpool, and my residence in Shropshire; and
then I was permitted to enjoy with you a few hours.  But much as my
spirit has always been refreshed with the pleasing and profitable
intercourse with yourself, a few hours lately would have been
particularly valued by me; for I know not whether such may ever again, in
this world, be afforded me; my late tour having been a leave-taking visit
previous to my finally leaving this country for Ohio.

I know not what your views may be on the subject of emigration, for I do
not recollect to have touched upon it in any of our conversations.  My
own mind, however, has, for many years past, been directed towards it,
and I have only been waiting for the most eligible opportunity of putting
my plans into execution.  My three sons go with me in the first instance,
and in a few months after, my dear wife and three daughters.  Our mutual
friend, the Rev. Josiah Pratt, has written to Bishops Chase and
McIlvaine, about ministerial employment, and I expect to hear from them
soon.  But, I understand, there is a great want of Episcopalian ministers
throughout the United States; they are, therefore, gladly welcomed, and
handsomely supported, so that I have no grounds to fear in this respect.
The climate also of the State, to which I am intending to proceed, is
considered as very fine and healthy, and living is little more than one
half of what it is even in country places here.  In addition to these
advantages, I hope, with God’s blessing, to find remunerating employment,
and suitable settlement for my children—a matter which has been long
perplexing me, and of which there is certainly no prospect in this
country.  I had intended at first to have made an extensive purchase of
uncultivated land, which, in the inland States, is selling for two or
three dollars an acre; but this plan I have relinquished; for my
ministerial avocations, and the settlement of my children, together with
the enjoyment of suitable society, were hardly compatible with a
situation surrounded by uncultivated districts.  I am thinking of sailing
from Liverpool, in preference to Bristol, as I hear that the
accommodations are much superior, and the time of sailing more certain.
Do you know any friend there to whom you could obligingly write yourself,
or recommend to me to apply to, who would be so good as, first to make
enquiries about the packets, and _finally bargain_ for me?  I wish to
sail as soon as I can after Easter-day, April 22; and I want five cabin
places, for myself, three sons, and a pupil, or protegé.  During your
residence in the vicinity of Liverpool you may, probably, have become
acquainted with some persons now resident in America, to whom an
introduction might prove to me of considerable service.  It is, indeed,
held forth as the land of liberty, prosperity, and religion; but there is
no place in which we shall not find the need of friends; and, especially,
will they be valuable in a strange land.  If, then, you could obligingly
help me in this matter, I should feel much indebted to you.  I am
particularly desirous of getting my books exempted from duty, if I
possibly could.  I have diminished these, with many a shrinking feeling,
to about one-third of their number; but, even now, there are four hundred
weight, and the duty is one shilling and three pence per pound, on
_bound_ volumes, the chief of which mine are.  Books are, in fact, my
implements of trade; almost all of them either ministerial or scholastic;
and as the common artisan is permitted to take his tools, why should not
the minister and tutor his?  Perhaps, the justness of this would be
allowed on our arrival at New York, if I could be put in the way of
obtaining it.

Strange and startling, perhaps, as my projected movements may seem to you
on their announcement, I shall not venture to ask you whether revolving
months or years may induce my Madeley successor to follow my steps.
Unprepared, however, as he may be, at present, for such a scheme, even in
imagination, it would be no matter of surprise to me, should he, ere
long, be as fully persuaded as myself of its expediency.  Beneficed
clergymen, who have charges they cannot without much cost, either of
feeling, or temporal sacrifice, detach themselves from, may see it their
bounden duty to remain; those, also, who have connexions which may help
to settle their children in after life, or those who have only one or two
children to provide for—these may still linger in their once prosperous,
and ever endeared country; but the unbeneficed—unpatronized heads of
large families must, I fear, sooner or later decamp.  “Our hive” (as our
mutual friend Mr. Pratt, observed to me) “is too full, and we must lead
out our respective swarms.”  But may the God of providence and grace ever
guide us, and, wherever we either go or remain, may He both “bless us,
and make us a blessing.”  Our very kindest love attends yourself, dear
Mrs. C., and your family, and I remain,

                             My dear Friend,

                                                    Yours, ever sincerely,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                                     Hutton, June 6, 1832.

My endeared Friend,

I LEAVE Hutton to day for Bristol, and expect to go on board the brig
_Active_ for New York, to-morrow; and, as my only remaining means of
communication, I take up my pen to bid you adieu.  Had I sailed from
Liverpool, as I was once intending, I should certainly have endeavoured
to have spent a few hours with yourself and family; but the expenses of
travelling and of conveying luggage so far across the country, together
with the higher charges in the Liverpool vessels, obliged me to consult
my purse rather than my feelings; and I am persuaded that my endeared
friend will not be the first to censure me.

We are now proceeding to Upper Canada by the way of the United States;
and though the climate is somewhat colder in winter, and hotter in
summer, than our own, it is considered as very fine and healthy.  To
myself also it has this no small recommendation, that it is under British
Government, and is principally inhabited by British settlers.

I have used all endeavours to procure ministerial employment there, but
as yet in vain.  Our present leading men are too liberal to give support
to any religious object; and the Canada company prefer the
recommendations which arise from local knowledge and representations.
But on this latter account, I still hope, that when I arrive there, I
shall not be long before I hear of some situation or other in which I may
be usefully employed.  Some desirable introductions to residents have
been kindly afforded me.

The want of religious instruction is almost the only drawback from the
Canadas.  In many instances persons are thirty or forty miles from a
place of worship.  This, however, is no small call on the superabundant
labourers among ourselves; and I do expect, that ere long this call will
be fully regarded.

And now my endeared friend, what shall I say as to all the comfort—the
unmixed satisfaction—which, for so many years, I have been permitted to
enjoy in our occasional intercourse?  To our gracious and faithful
Redeemer let us give all the praise!  And may we ever be looking forward
to the time, when the friendship of earth shall be followed by the
blissful and never terminating enjoyments of heaven.

Mrs. G. M. begs to be united with me in kindest remembrances to yourself,
Mrs. C., and family, and I remain, my endeared Friend,

                                                    Yours, ever sincerely,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer and his three sons set sail on the 11th of June, 1832.  He
gave an account of his passage to America, of his reception in Canada,
and of his first impressions and expectations there, in the following
letters to Mrs. Mortimer.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                            Aug. 6, 200 miles from a Port.

JUNE 12th, Tuesday, 9 o’clock.  Driven from the cabin by disposition to
sickness, I write on deck on one of the hen coops.  Last night all of us
fell giddy and beginning to be squeamish—took the brandy in sips and all
were immediately relieved.—Herbert also lost his head-ach.  Our nightly
abode was, I confess, an uninviting concern.  When I lay down I seemed as
though I should be suffocated and was obliged to rise up in haste, but
soon got reconciled, and managed, at last, to get off and slept pretty
well till five.  The wind has been favourable ever since we sailed, the
captain in good spirits, nothing could be better.  At nine, yesterday
evening, we cast anchor; the captain, in consequence of the haziness of
the weather, being afraid of proceeding, lest, not being in open sea, he
should run foul of land; we resumed operations, however, between two and
three.  The ship remaining stationary was the cause of the close and
confined sensations which we had on getting into our berths at night; for
when the vessel is in motion there is no want of fresh air and no feeling
of oppression.  I am again, my dearest Mary, on deck.  I have just been
humming over three or four times my favourite verse,

    “O may I ne’er forget,
       The goodness of the Lord;
    Nor ever want a tongue to spread,
       His loudest praise abroad.”

Ah! we called upon him in our trouble, and he hath delivered us out of
our distress: we could, therefore, “praise the Lord for his goodness and
for his wonderful works which he showeth to the children of men.”  I had
scarcely finished writing the contents of the first side of my sheet,
when the wind began to veer round, and blowing from the west with great
violence, the ship heaved and rolled to such a degree, that the whole of
the passengers, without exception, were taken so suddenly and so
distressingly ill, that they were obliged to dash, as quickly as
possible, to their beds—no time for undressing, and none, of course, for
arranging our little alleviations and preventives against sickness.  Our
party were all differently affected, but all suffered much for about
twelve hours.  Arthur was quite unconscious of what he did—Cecil
occasionally incoherent—Herbert very quiet, but at times greatly
suffering.  Indeed, I had serious thoughts, whether we should ever
recover; but I lay musing, and praying, and casting the weight of my
oppressed spirits on my covenant God in Christ Jesus, and soon had a most
blessed state of peace.

Sunday, June 17, 12 noon.  We have just had service on deck—an
interesting scene, and seemingly not unacceptable to the auditors, who,
in pleasing and attentive groups, were lying, or rather sitting, round
me.  We had three or four good singers.  Hymn,

    “God moves in a mysterious way.”

Text, Gen. xii. 1.  The deck presents quite a Sabbath scene, most of the
men either reading or quietly sitting.  God openly honoured.  Wind
greatly against us, out nearly a week and only 200 or 300 miles from
land; but I have no restlessness, indeed scarcely a wish; peace more than
usual.  On deck we fared but badly, the spray besprinkled most in their
turn.  One wave, more unmannerly than the rest, drenched the mate, soaked
the captain, and soused myself and Cecil and Herbert.  We shook ourselves
as well as we could, and sat quietly till we were dry.  The mate says he
has been thirty-one voyages and. never knew such rough weather at this
season of the year.  In the evening, all was calm and we ate in
quietness, and with good appetite, a meat supper, followed by biscuit and
cheese, and supported by our good bottled porter.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                           Brig _Active_, August 13, 1832.

THIS day week, I forwarded to you by the ship _Science_, Greenock, three
letters, written at different times during our voyage.  After reading my
third it seemed so vapid and uninteresting that I determined to
discontinue my journal, and, of course, my extracts from it; for, though
many things seem interesting to us in our isolated and pent-up situation,
yet, when soberly reviewed, they amount to a mere nothing.  As, however,
we are now approaching the shore, I am desirous of having a letter nearly
finished that I may forward it as soon as possible after our arrival,
should it please God to permit us to reach the much longed-for shore.
The last week has been one of much anxiety and perplexity to most of the
passengers.  The ship we spoke with told us we were out in our reckoning,
and this communication proved but too true.  We thought we were within
200 miles of land, but it then appeared we were distant between 500 and
600.  Our provisions and our water had already begun to fail, and many on
board had been reduced to very short allowance.  Judge, then, of the
feelings which prevailed when our actual distance was ascertained.  The
_Science_, indeed, spared us half a barrel of flour, but what was this
for our increasing necessities?  The privations, therefore, have daily
become greater, and, to such a degree has murmuring and dissatisfaction
prevailed, that a mutiny by many is daily expected.  The Lord, however,
is in this, as in everything else, the all-sufficient God, and he will
still continue to protect and to bless us.  And, indeed, since I last
wrote to you, we have had many and most striking instances of his
watchful and paternal care.  On one occasion we were exposed to the most
terrific storm of thunder and lightning, which we had ever witnessed, and
its nearness was so great, that we appeared in immediate danger of being
shattered to pieces.  Upon the most accurate calculation, it was at one
time only a quarter of a mile distant, and if it had actually passed over
our vessel, loaded so extensively with iron, the consequences would, in
all probability, have been fatal to us all.  During the last week we fell
in with the fog, and one of the West India Island hurricanes, terrific
and awful beyond previous conception: it must be witnessed to be fully
understood.  Towards its close I ventured upon deck, and truly thankful
was I to learn that no damage had been sustained, no mast shattered, not
a single leak sprung.  Some, indeed, attributed this to the tightness and
excellence of our fine little vessel, overlooking the goodness and
faithfulness of our God.  Ah, how it grieves me to the heart to see the
loving-kindness of our God so generally lavished upon us in vain!  But
the confinement of a ship calls into exercise almost every latent quality
of the mind; the secrets of hearts are indeed most fully revealed, though
the exhibition is by no means gratifying.  In many respects, however, it
is useful, and I feel very thankful for it as it regards our little
party.  Habits and dispositions have unfolded of which I had scarcely the
least idea, but which discovery will materially influence me as to the
steps which should be taken in reference to my future movements and the
eventual disposal of my children.  We are now, I believe, about 100 miles
from land, and it is well that we are no more; for most of our comforts
have failed us in the cabin, and we are brought under allowance as to
water, and they speak of this as to other provisions; so that we manage,
as you may suppose, but badly; and were we to continue much longer in our
present state, I fear that our health would materially and even
permanently suffer.  But we make the most of what remains, and keep
cheering ourselves with the hope that it will not be for long: the wind,
however, is far from favourable, and we proceed with great slowness.
Nine weeks to-day have we been out at sea—I should rather say, since we
set sail—and few calculated upon a longer time than five or six weeks; so
that it is not surprising many among us are beginning to suffer.  But, as
I mentioned, hope sustains us, and the God of love and mercy will, in his
own good time, extricate us out of all our troubles.

                                             Delaware River, August, 1832.

WE are at length, dearest Mary, through the good providence of God,
brought about midway up the river on which the city of Philadelphia
stands; but, in consequence of the cholera still prevailing there, we
shall be obliged to perform a short quarantine of two or three days in a
place about twelve miles on this side of it, and after that we may
possibly be detained, previous to our passing the Custom House, for a day
or two longer.  In less than a week, however, from the present time we
are hoping to proceed to New York, and thence on our Canada journey.
Like the great Apostle we should thank God and take courage.  Many have
been his tender mercies towards us, and I feel a calm and blessed power
to resign all the future into his hands.  We have just passed a most
beautiful village (Newcastle), built completely in the English style; but
everything now is so fresh and novel that we view it with tenfold
interest.  We are all, thank God, in very good health, and the cholera
has considerably abated at New York.  I should hope we are running no
risk in proceeding in our intended line, and, indeed, no prudence would
be any sufficient safeguard, for I hear that it has spread to very many
of the surrounding places, and therefore there is no possibility of
getting entirely out of its way; but that God, who directed our steps
through the United States, will, I am confident, preserve us.  I have
been reading twice with great attention a small work of Dr. Granville,
which has thrown great light upon my mind, both as to the origin,
treatment, and prevention of the disease.  It was given by Mr. Grant to
Arthur, and I consider it quite providential that it was thrown in my
way.

                                                  Philadelphia, August 22.

AND so, my Mary, through the mercy of my God, we are brought at length to
the long-wished-for shore, and the thrilling feelings of pleasure which
we experienced as we stepped once more on land were half delirious—it
seemed scarcely a reality.  In a short time, however, the delirium of joy
subsided into a most delightful state of peaceful gratitude.  We came
here yesterday afternoon, and soon began to reconnoitre; passing from
street to street in rapid succession, and for the first time since I left
England I was thoroughly tired, but at the cost of my poor bleeding toes,
which were so sore that I could hardly put on my shoes, but on they went,
and a little after five I awoke our party to proceed on fresh adventures.
The first exploit was in the captain’s boat, which he kindly lent to us,
and a fine rowing we had across the Delaware to a small island near the
State of New Jersey, where three of the young people enjoyed a most
delightful bath.  On our return to breakfast such a scene of rapacity was
exhibited as would have astonished even an indulgent and ever apologetic
mother.  The captain had previously talked of a good blowing out, but now
we experienced it.  Your half-famished eldest son has, I think, taken
precedence, but we were none of us far behind him, with such relish did
we apply to the abundant and novel and delicious fare which was set
before us.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                       York, Upper Canada, Sept. 21, 1832.

NOTHING as yet has been determined respecting myself.  The bishop was
absent on a long tour of visitation, but I obtained a letter of
introduction to Archdeacon Strachan, through Captain Fitzgibbon; and His
Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Colborne, having heard of my
arrival, expressed a wish that I do wait upon him.  Both he and the
archdeacon behaved with great kindness, and mentioned places which they
thought desirable; but I wait for the advice of the bishop, to whom I
have written on the subject.  I am disposed, however, to fix on Hamilton,
a rising village near Ancaster, beautifully situated, and bidding fair to
become the third town in the province, York and Kingston only taking
precedence.  No church, indeed, is as yet built—service is performed, in
the Court House—but one is fixed on.  My salary will be £100 sterling, a
rectory house, forty acres of cleared land, besides some—I forget the
quantity—uncleared, and the sum I may obtain by letting the pews.  The
Governor and his lady are both truly pious.  I dined with them on Tuesday
and spent a most pleasant evening.  The archdeacon is uncommonly
friendly; our whole party took tea with him on Saturday evening, and I
have called on him since.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                       Thornhill, near York, Oct. 8, 1832.

I DO not wish to raise your expectations in any improper way, but I still
think I ought in justice to say, that I think you will be tolerably
pleased with the situation in which I have been led to settle.  There is,
indeed, no fixed salary, and perhaps nothing beyond £40 or £50—the sum
given by the congregation—may be obtained by me.  But the Bishop and
Governor both expect that I shall receive from the clergy reserves £100
more, and, if so, this £150 will be very fair.  As to the distance (only
thirteen miles from York) it has a decided preference over Hutton, and
the society is in my estimation far superior, and mostly English.  The
church is small, but the attendance good, far more than the Hutton
average.  They appear also quite pleased with my coming, as my
predecessor, though a learned man and a great orientalist, had no aptness
for parochial engagements.  I forgot to mention that the spot and
neighbourhood is considered most healthy.  If the young folks are
desirous of seeing their future location, they may look into a map of
Canada, and they will see a road leading from York to Simcoe Lake,
directly north; this is called, George Street Road, each side of which is
cleared for the space of two or three fields.  It is on this road that
Thornhill is situated.  I intimated in my last letter that I had some
thoughts of building a house to be ready to receive you on your arrival,
but you will be glad to hear, that I have entirely given up all idea of
it; it never will do, at least for me, and therefore I have made my
continuance here depend on the trustees of Thornhill Church, allowing me
£40 or £50 per annum, and their providing me at a moderate rate a house
suitable for my family, some time before the 10th of June next, 1833, at
which time, through God’s blessing, I hope to see you all here.  And
surely he _will_ preserve you; not a box, or package, or anything has
been lost, everything brought safe over the perilous ocean and the
intervening space, and shall not the same faithful God of love preserve
my Mary and all her accompanying charge?  I will, therefore, trust, and
not be afraid.

I received a message from the Governor last night, in which he tells me,
I may depend on having the £100 he mentioned to me.  He is peculiarly
kind and a great blessing to the province.  The people seem very desirous
of detaining me; Messrs. — assure me that some house sufficiently large
shall be provided.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                       Thornhill, near York, Nov. 4, 1832.

TO-DAY, dearest Mary, when I arose, I found the first snow lying on the
ground, and, as the thermometer now indicates, that we are fast
approaching our Canadian winter.  I have staid at home to-day to get
matters more fully in order, that I may meet it as pleasantly as I can.
A few days previously I quitted my cold, smoky sitting room, and took up
my quarters in my favourite bed room, removing into it my books, boxes,
and in fact everything, except the chairs and one table, which I have
left below to receive company when they shall honour me with their
visits; which, in spite of my bachelorship, and the non-attractions of my
place, they feel themselves bound in courtesy to do.  Think not, however,
that I freeze my visitors, for I too well remember the cold rooms into
which I have been ushered myself, while in England.  Mrs. Crosby,
therefore, has received a strict charge to keep up a fire from ten to
five, and when visitors are expected a semi-mountain of logs is added to
the pile.  My bed room has been greatly improved by nailing up three of
the bedding wrappers (and which, for the purpose, I found a most
invaluable treasure), against three of the windows, so as to exclude all
the searching, piercing, cold winds and air, which, I hear, penetrates so
bleakly when the winter fully sets in; for this aforesaid bed room of
mine has no fewer than four windows; for the Canadians, not being taxed
for their lights, think they can never have enough, and hence we are
broiled in summer and frozen in winter, as the concomitants of our
delectable liberty.  I have now, therefore, as you will perceive, only
one window remaining; but this is quite enough, and you would join me in
my conclusion had you to-day seen the snow forcing its way by some
unaccountable means through some imperceptible apertures, so as quite to
wet some clothes which for a few minutes I had incautiously placed under
the window.  My removal to the bed room was the day before yesterday, and
the two last nights were the only two in which I slept comfortably.  I
got an extra blanket that was of no perceptible benefit; a second
counterpane was added to the weight of the superincumbent clothes, but
not apparently to the warmth: I then slept in a pair of silk stockings;
but these also, though the best of all my auxiliaries, were not adequate,
and I was therefore obliged to put over these a pair of my worsted warm
socks; but even then I had a chilly feeling towards morning.  Since,
however, I have been sitting constantly in my room, and have had a fire
there, and a good one too, all the day long, lighted before I rise, and
left burning with renewed logs when I go to rest: with all these helps
and adjuncts I do now exceedingly well, but what I shall do in the real
winter I know not.  Now the thermometer is not lower than 20° or 25°
below freezing point in the night, but then it is frequently 10° or 12°
below zero, and once last year it was 29° below it.  Perhaps I shall have
recourse to the Russian fashion, and sleep with the feather bed over me,
or between the blankets, but even then, poor nosey and its neighbours
will receive no benefit, and the gentlemen, I suppose, will complain of
the injustice done to them, while all the other parts are so cozy, and
they are left to bounce against the icy formations produced by the
moisture from the breath; but, as little Herbert would say, we must
breathe, and so poor nosey and company must take their chance.  I think I
have not, as yet, alluded to one of the chief Canadian annoyances, the
amazing prevalence of the house fly.  All places swarm with them, and the
most respectable persons, who feel the annoyance greatly, quite despair
of getting rid of them.  In a few days, however, I effected a clearance,
and afterwards only a comparatively few stragglers made their appearance,
which were daily removed; and this must be done, if you would have any
comfort.  I took up a volume in boards at a lady’s here, which had been
lying on its side on the shelves, and when I touched it it was so rough
with the abundance of their excrement, that I wondered what kind of
excrement it was covered with, till I examined and discovered the cause
of the evil.  Gauze or muslin covers most of their things, but as to the
mass of them, they are filthy beyond endurance; and then the creatures
keep buzzing about you incessantly, and keep you in a continual fidget
with their intolerable tickling.  Then, again, they almost cover your
plate while you are eating, and as to indulging in a siesta, that is
impossible.  If a loaf of bread is left uncovered a short space, its
surface is so eaten as to appear quite grated; and all other articles are
laid by them under similar contribution, though it may not be quite so
discernible.  I guess that my Mary will be equally zealous with myself in
attempting this clearance.

Mr. — has just been here; he is one of the trustees of Thornhill Church.
To him and his associates the Governor has this day made over 600 acres
for the use and benefit of the minister out of the clergy reserves.
These they will perhaps exchange for half the number of acres near the
church, situated on the George Street Road, and when the exchange shall
be effected, they will proceed with the house.  You have heard about the
long and still unsettled disputes about the Clergy Reserves.  In Mr.
Pitt’s administration, a certain portion of the land was reserved for the
clergy in each township; but the Presbyterians of the Scotch Church and
the other denominations have lately put in their claim, and since the
litigation commenced, nothing has been done, no lands, in any case here,
I believe, have been assigned.  His Excellency wrote to Lord Goderich,
and has just obtained from him permission to assign lands to such clergy
as at present are just being fixed in their respective districts.  Sir
John is now acting upon this permission; some lands belonging to the
clergy reserves have been sold to form a fund, in hand, and out of this
he builds the parsonage house.  We are much indebted to the Governor, Sir
John Colborne, for his perseverance, without which no adequate provision
for ministers of our church could have been made, for none of our
congregations would hear a word about contributions as long as there was
a chance of the clergy reserves being obtained.

Oh, how glad I am, my Mary, we came here, instead of going to the United
States, and that the good providence of God directed us to this country.
Depend upon it, we shall never regret the step we have taken, every day
convinces me of its expediency, in every point of view.  May the same God
of love who brought us safe and directed us, as the pioneers of our
little party, bless, preserve, and keep those that remain, and bring you
through every perplexity and trial to this land of his peculiar smile.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                                  Thornhill, Nov. 8, 1832.

I have for the last two or three weeks been expecting another letter from
Locking, and supposing that it would contain various things which I
should like to touch upon in reply; but, as the roads keep me at home for
a day or two, I am unwilling to let this state of leisure pass by.
Yesterday, I returned from York, having been conveyed there and back by
the kindness of a lady in this place, the weather just held up for the
time.  Had we been a day later it would have been terrific work, but I
live in hopes his Excellency the Governor will mend the great north road
on which Thornhill stands.  Sir John has commenced operations both in the
town and neighbourhood of York, and his success there encourages hope in
this, though the sum to be raised for the purpose is £20,000.  My
reception among the great in York was gratifying—the condescension and
kindness of all parties quite surprises me.  My abode was at the
hospitable bishop’s, who in this, as well as in all other respects, is a
truly Christian bishop: he pressed me to lengthen my stay, and was almost
hurt that I did not comply.  His chaplain is a true Christian, and of
very pleasing manners.  When he found that Arthur was residing in York,
he offered me his kind attentions on his behalf, and before I left he
mentioned him also to the bishop.  I was much struck with the pious
solemnity with which he put the licence for Thornhill into my hands; it
seemed a real committal of souls to my charge, so different from the
matter-of-course transactions which I had in all other instances
witnessed.  Sir John’s party I joined in the evening, dinner six o’clock,
not much in this respect to my liking; but everything else connected with
the visit most agreeable.  He has received permission from Lord Goodrich
to proceed with the projected plans for settling the clergy, and he tells
me he will make the commencing trial with myself.  When it is more fully
and definitely known to me, I will report to you; but what I gather at
present is, that he will give me as incumbent 300 acres of land, forty of
which shall be cleared at his expense, and a suitable house erected; and
he thinks all can be done with ease for your reception, on or about the
10th of June.  He does not promise me a salary, but, till this be
accomplished, the bishop will try to give me at the rate of £100 per
annum.  He however cannot engage.  The people promise me £50 per annum:
they are very kind to me, and show me the greatest attention.  The
congregation increases, and though I am not forward to speak upon such
subjects, I do feel that the situation is important, and the Lord has
much work for me in this place.  My heart also is in some measure in my
work; I feel it blessed; its former anxieties and oppressiveness are
astonishingly removed, and thus the Lord has at length granted unto me
what I almost regarded as impossible; so that the anticipated wilderness
has been made to smile and blossom as the rose—the peace and blessedness
within having shed its transforming influence all around.  I had often
read the 45th of the Madeley Hymns in reference to the future, but I
little thought how completely it would be realized.  The hymn begins
with, “That man no guard or weapon needs,” and the last three verses you
will perhaps excuse my transcribing—

    “His love possessing I am blest,
       Secure whatever things may come;
    Whether I go to east or west,
       With him I shall be still at home.

    If placed beneath the northern pole,
       Though winter reigns with rigour there;
    His gracious beams would cheer my soul
       And make a spring throughout the year.

    Or if the desert’s sun-burnt soil
       My lonely dwelling ere should prove,
    His presence would support my toil,
       Whose smile is life, whose name is love.”

Many of the Irish Protestant clergy are coming out in the spring, with
large quotas of their flocks, driven out as they are by the violence of
those who refuse to pay the church tithes.  I met one of this description
the other evening at the bishop’s, a warm-hearted and spiritually minded
Irishman; his details were most affecting, but highly interesting, and I
thought I could see a striking providence in their being thus compelled
to flee at this present time to a country where they were so particularly
needed, and where their own temporal comforts would be so materially
increased.  The good bishop quite rejoiced over his anticipated treasure.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                              Thornhill, January 18, 1833.

* * * The delight of a warm bed the Canadian can fully appreciate.  The
other morning the thermometer stood 18° below zero, or 50° below freezing
point, and during last night I conceive it must have been much lower: it
is now near the middle of the day, and the glass is only 1° above zero,
and yet, difficult as you may feel it to credit me, it seems to me a mere
nothing.  I can hardly imagine that I am in the midst of a Canadian
winter, that horrible and terrible of previous anticipation: the fact is,
that the severe weather only lasts for two or three days at a time, which
is far different from a continuous season of four or five months, and
though sharp and searching in itself, yet fire, clothing, and due
attention, bring all to a common English temperature; and then the air is
so cheering and bracing that you smile cheerily, rather than feel
oppressively.  But, in reality, I can hardly proceed in my description,
not for want of words but of ink; for it not only freezes in the ink
glass while on the table, but after I place it on the hearth and thaw it,
the pen-full freezes while I am writing; so that I am obliged to stop
ever and anon to thaw it in the pen, and yet with this acme of
congelating miseries, I smile and laugh and go battling on; but all this
sounds worse than it really is, so do not be alarmed.



ON EMIGRATION.
TO MRS. MORTIMER.


I FEEL somewhat puzzled as to what I ought to say with regard to
emigration.  As to agriculture, employment can easily be procured in the
upper province, and the wages are good; but the state of destitution in
which some of the families arrive is very distressing, and keeps them
back for a considerable time.  I cannot recommend any family to come out
unless they have £9 a head for each individual.  It happened to one young
man who had paid £1. 15s. for his passage to Quebec, and yet with one and
another charge he had only a few shillings left out of £12.  At Kingston
I heard of a family of emigrants whose baggage was sold by auction to
enable them to find the money to proceed to the agricultural districts.
If emigrants can proceed with their baggage, and a few shillings in their
pockets, they soon feel thankful for their altered circumstances.  As to
the two men and their families, I must leave it to your decision, and to
influence them as you judge best.  If they come, it should be as early as
possible: leave England in February and get to Quebec in March.



TO MRS. MORTIMER.


                                                 Thornhill, Jan. 18, 1833.

As to emigration I feel at a loss what to write.  There is in fact hardly
a man living but in some way or other may succeed in this fine country,
and yet there is scarcely a man who may not fail and suffer
disappointment, so that I dread recommending; but were I in the condition
of nineteen out of twenty, I would make every effort to come out.  Most
have to rough it for about a year; few need do this much longer; that is,
if thoughtful, prudent, and moral: their wilderness soon begins to smile,
and comforts one after another crowd around them.  I must turn to my
log-book for something to say on this score.

    “Of all settlers the medical profession seems to have least
    encouragement; they are worse off than even ministers; for in this
    country the population is so scattered, and the roads so
    impracticable, that they slave and toil beyond all endurance for a
    scanty pittance, and finding so small a remuneration, they are
    obliged to merge their professional engagements into those of the
    largely cultivated farm.  Should they speculate on more extensive
    practice and larger returns in some of the towns there, so many have
    anticipated them, that they half starve before they can get into
    practice, and, after paying dear for their rashness, are compelled to
    return to the country, and to rough it like others in employments for
    which their previous habits have but little qualified them.  Another
    evil is that all the three branches are here united, there not being
    a sufficient call to admit of a division; and then, again, we are all
    so healthy, excepting, indeed, the whiskey drinkers, who die by
    inches, but who have no peculiar _penchant_ for bitter drugs; so that
    had it not been for the cholera, which so extensively visited us, I
    fear the medical gentlemen must have had no great cause to
    congratulate themselves on their speculations.  The best description
    of settlers are young persons with or without families, married or
    single, who can command about £1000 in cash, and have about £80 or
    £100 per annum, on which they can regularly calculate.  These can
    purchase a fair quantity of land in cultivated districts, where there
    is good society and English comforts; can build their house ample,
    commodious, and well-looking; and can realize from their farm what
    will enable them to live as gentlemen.  I know two or three families
    of this description, in this neighbourhood, who have freely exhibited
    their finances before me, and they are just what I have noticed
    above.  And if these do well, much more those whose income is larger.
    Such are the settlers we most need, for improvements follow so fast
    in their train.  Capital and taste are in their case combined, and
    their respective neighbourhoods start into notice and comfort.”

As to young men of the more respectable order, they must be willing to go
into trade, and in this they have abundant encouragement, not so much in
specific trade as in the keeping of stores, both wholesale and retail,
and to such they give a salary for five or six years, and then either
take them into partnership, or else set them up in some country store,
furnishing them with goods on easy terms to begin with.  Farming will not
do for young men of this description, till they are of age to farm for
themselves, and then they may begin, if they have a small capital to
purchase land and stock it.  They want very little of any previous
training; the advice of some friend or neighbour on the spot is quite
adequate, if he be of any tolerable capacity.  As to settlers I can say
little beyond what I have intimated before.  With £10 or £12 a head, they
need not hesitate a moment.  The principal thing is raising sufficient
money to bring them far enough into the country, and without this it is
almost cruelty to say a word to induce them to leave England.

                                * * * * *

To finish these remarks on emigration, from one who knew what it was from
his own experience, I shall add one other short extract from a letter
dated Feb. 21, 1835, addressed to Mrs. D. Whitmore:—

But with all this improvement in society and literature, the matter of
emigration puzzles me more than ever.  Produce is sadly falling; my wheat
I sold last year for 4s. 3d. a bushel; the same sample would now fetch
only 2s. 6d., and all other farming produce of course in the same ratio.
Farmers, therefore, are crying out that they shall now be ruined.  Stores
also abound so greatly, that a very small profit can be obtained, where
competition is so great.  Fortunes, therefore, are not, as they once
were, so easily procured; and most classes of emigrants are sadly
disappointed.  Those who come out with ample means will easily succeed;
for living is so cheap, and capital wanted, and amply remunerating
interest in various ways obtained.  But then, again, those who already
have fortunes, or ample means, will mostly prefer the good old country,
and well they may.



TO MISS E. FORD.


                                              Lockport, State of New York,
                                                              May 1, 1833.

My dear Madam,

IT was very unexpectedly but most joyously that I received your kind
communication respecting the sailing of the _Bristol_, {196} and I lost
no time in leaving Thornhill for New York.  I am now on my way thither,
and hope to find a few leisure intervals during my journey to fill my
sheet, reserving merely a small space for a postscript, that I may
communicate, should all be well, the tidings of the safe arrival of the
endeared party: they have much occupied my thoughts of late, and,
sometimes, with too much of anxious solicitude, for which I have as often
felt reproved; for such has been God’s mercy to us hitherto, that it is
not merely infirmity, but positive sin to be distrustful of his
faithfulness and love.  I feel much indebted to you and Miss Ford, for
your peculiar kindness to my dear Mary.  I am never surcharged with
feeling, I wish it were my habit; but still great kindness quite affects
me, and as requital will be ever out of my power, I must look to the
beneficent and faithful retributor above, and would give vent to the
utterance of my heart in the language of the holy and grateful apostle,
“The Lord grant that you may both find mercy of the Lord,” and especially
“in that day.”

Your kind present of the newspapers, &c., will be very acceptable, and
yet, perhaps you are hardly aware of the extent of either our political
or literary information.  We have two monthly magazines published in
York, and three or four newspapers, and from New York we have two weekly
newspapers, designed expressly for English readers—the _Albion_ and the
_Emigrant_, full of English news and English literature; so that in a
month or six weeks, we have all the cream of the London and country news,
as well as the best of the lighter articles from the British periodicals.
The _Edinburgh_ and _Quarterly Reviews_ are reprinted at two-thirds of
the English price; also the _Christian Observer_, and other standard and
monthly and quarterly works.  Messrs. Harper, also, in New York, reprint
the best of the English works in the _Family Library_, at three and
sixpence each, executed like Murray’s, and their series amounts already
to fifty-three volumes.  Another series is furnished by Lee and Carey, at
Philadelphia, and a third of a religious sort at Boston; so that in a few
months, when I can spare a few pounds, I hope to be able to furnish my
family with an extent of literature far beyond my capabilities in
England.  Among my own congregation we have also a book society, well
supported and well supplied; we are, therefore, not a little chagrined
when your boasting Englishers think of us as in a semi-barbaric land of
literary destitution: for we not only feel ourselves a part of the great
nation, but regard ourselves on nearly an equal footing as to the
comforts and luxuries, while in many respects we feel that we have the
most decided advantage, so we warn you not to treat us either politically
or personally with scorn.

On the day I left York, government despatches had just arrived, which
announced the dismissal of our two Crown Officers, the Attorney and
Solicitor General, owing, it is supposed, to too great freedom in debate
in our House of Assembly—the ferment it excited was almost
ludicrous—“_delenda est Carthago_” was emphatically pronounced.  The Whig
Ministry must be annihilated.  The province, though hardly prepared for
such a measure, must at once be severed—such despotism could not be
endured.  I acted, as I generally do on such occasions, as pacificator,
and smilingly quoted the well known lines of old Dr. Byron, in the
conclusion of his _Bedlamite_—

    “Kill your enemies’, kill a fool’s head of your own,
    They’ll die of themselves, if you let them alone.”

It is whispered also that our excellent and deserving governor (Sir John
Colborne) has not escaped censure; this I am truly grieved to hear, for
his services cannot be too highly estimated, and our province is indebted
to him beyond all expression.  I fear, however, that his removal is not
very remote; he is too pious, and too tame a politician, to give
satisfaction to the administration at home; but my contracting limits
oblige me hastily to conclude, and to assure yourself and Miss Ford how
truly I remain,

                                                        Yours, gratefully,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

P.S.  June 6, New York.  Yesterday the dear party arrived all in health
and safety.  Never did I feel more truly thankful.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                             Rochester, State of New York,
                                                              May 2, 1833.

* * * * * * * Your fame, my frater, has long ago reached this far distant
province, and I ought gratefully to acknowledge that it has, in more
instances than one, proved the passport to gracious and kindly reception.
It was to this, I think, that my boys were principally indebted for the
footing they obtained in Kingston, and many other little turning points
of good are pleasingly associated in my mind with the high estimate and
kind feeling, which has been cherished towards you as a minister, or an
author.  Once, indeed, it appeared rather the precursor of evil; for our
good bishop, previous to my introduction, fancied that I was the _actual
man_; the great Mr. Mortimer himself, the author, the distinguished
preacher in London.  And many a congratulation had he cherished within,
to think that he had obtained so goodly a fish in his Canadian net.
“Then you are not Mr. Mortimer from London, the author.”  “No, my lord,
his brother.”  “Oh, only his brother!” was the consolatory adjunct; and
the dismayed little man was left in his own littleness, unpatronized,
unbefriended, to make his own way; and to this day is, in all
probability, reaping the bitter fruits of the unhappy prepossession; for,
though his self-complacency keeps him from concluding, that his diocesan
regards him as a mere blank, yet he cannot but be aware that the rich
prize still remains in the wheel, and which he had fondly imagined had
been proclaimed as his very own.

My ministerial matters, however, notwithstanding this inauspicious
commencement, are pleasingly progressive.  My salary has been fixed by
our good governor at £100 per annum; £20, or £25, I obtain from the
rental of pews; a house is provided for me by my congregation, free of
expense; arid I have a promise of some good glebe land, which, in a few
years, will be of considerable value.  My people are kind; ministrations
seemingly acceptable; church and expositions well attended; temporal
matters encouraging; living cheap; and two tolerably advantageous
purchases secured for the children; so that the good hand of the Lord
appears to be resting upon me.  Indeed, never for a moment, that I
recollect, have I repented of my step since I have been here.  Once or
twice, during our voyage, “when no small tempest lay upon us,” when the
raging billows seemed on the point of ingulphing us, so great did my
responsibility seem, as connected with the immortal souls of my little
unprepared party, that I almost wished that I had never ventured on the
perilous step.  But, never for a moment, since our arrival here, have I
had the least cause to retrace; and my only regret is, that I did not
proceed before.  But, perhaps, all is right, as to time also; and,
indeed, when I glance upon some few of the deterring circumstances which
intervened to retard me, I cannot doubt but that these also were from the
Lord; that the deed, the time, the place, have all been under the
direction of an agency superior to our own; and what a comfort does this
assurance impart!

I forgot to mention, in my last, how much I felt obliged to Mr. Hartwell
Horne, for the sundry introductions, and other tokens of kindness, which
his parcel conveyed to me, just on the eve of my departure from England.
Be so obliging as to convey to him my sincere thanks.

As to tuition, I have, I believe, myself altogether done with it.
Hundreds of pleasant hours has it, in various ways, procured me, and
during some few of the weeks I have been in Canada, have my classical
studies been resumed with peculiar interest.  This, partly for their own
sake, and partly as a preparation for any opening that might arise in the
college, or elsewhere.  But I have now taken my final leave, not in
dudgeon, nor with painful regret; but in calm surrender to the will of a
superior power.  Dear King, was, I think, in his kind and affectionate
counsel in the matter, quite wrong; such employments are not so much my
duty as my snare.  The scales have at length fallen from my eyes, and
though I cannot say, I can now see clearly, yet I see enough to convince
me that, for the residue of my short life, I ought to give myself wholly
to my one grand and absorbing avocation.  Let, therefore, collegiate
honours be sought and enjoyed by others.  With these altered views,
perhaps, were I permitted to gain the ear of an endeared relative, whom
you well know, I should whisper certain cautionary monitions in reference
to similar points; for though from his endeared lips the confessed
“weakness of his heart” has had a charm and a persuasive influence which
won my full approval, yet now that the syren notes can no longer bewilder
me, I see, as in my own case, the snare rather than the duty, and the
couplet of the almost forgotten Dryden, in which he cautions the aspirant
parson, chimes in with my own overlate, but salutary musings:

    “Those who contend for place and high degree,
    Are not his sons, but those of Zebedee.”

Whisper, then, in my stead, in some auspicious moment, to this endeared
individual what I am so desirous to convey; but mind that you whisper it
in tenderness and love.

But my sheet is filling up so fast, that I have hardly left myself room
to assure you of the interest which I still, and I hope, ever shall feel
in all the concerns—personal, domestic, and ministerial—of my endeared
brother.  His opportunities of leisure are so few, that I must not often
expect any direct communications, but whenever conveyed they will be most
grateful.  Accept then yourself, and convey to our dear mother, Eliza,
and all your beloved family, the sincere and warmest love of your ever
attached brother.

                                                                   GEORGE.



TO MRS. D. WHITMORE.


                                       Thornhill, near York, Upper Canada,
                                                          August 18, 1833.

My dear Madam,

WE were much indebted to you for your last most kind and welcome letter:
most joyfully was it received and opened, and with peculiar interest were
its instructive and interesting contents perused.  So long and so closely
written a letter, however, must, we fear, have been sadly trying to your
eyes; and we fear this the more, as we learn from Miss E. Ford, that you
have recently been experiencing somewhat of failure in your sight.  We
know how peculiarly trying this circumstance must prove to one, whose
enjoyments have been so principally derived from this source; and we
tremble at the least intimation of its probable diminution.  But we would
still say in the language of the man of God, “But the Lord is able to
give you much more than this.”  And, from what you have experienced under
past seasons of privation and discipline, you may still expect that,
should God be pleased to try you yet further in this most painful
visitation, he will not withhold from you that superabounding grace,
which in its blessed issue of spiritual and eternal good is more than
tantamount to the most valued of our other joys.  My endeared mother, as
you well know, has been called to the acuteness of the same trial with
yourself; but, O, how sweetly does she bear it—so cheerfully resigned—so
peacefully yielding all to the wise and loving discipline of her kind and
compassionate Lord, saying, in the language of her favourite hymn:—

    “All that I prized below is gone,
    Yet, Father, still Thy will be done.”

But to return to your letter.  Your decision respecting York (now
Toronto), exactly corresponds with that adopted by ourselves; and,
therefore, we have no intention of going there; nor, indeed, any present
intention of fixing in any other place, though many outward circumstances
are far from being inviting.  We are sadly cramped together in a wooden
frame house, consisting of only four rooms, and these, owing to the
badness of their construction, peculiarly hot and oppressive in summer
and more than usually cold in winter.  Nearly half of our things too are
unpacked, and our landing and other places crowded and littered by the
boxes and trunks, which contain them; in short an air of untidiness and
discomfort meets our long-trained English eye, wherever we turn it, and,
at times, our heart almost sickens at the sight; and, were it not for the
counteracting influence of better feelings, we should adopt some hasty
measure to accomplish a retreat into some situation, which might
authorize the expectation of somewhat more of outward comfort.  On Mrs.
M’s. arrival we were in hopes of being settled in a far more suitable
abode, and had, in fact, engaged to take it; but its distance from the
church and the mass of our population was so great, and so many other
inconveniences attended it, that we decided on remaining for the present
where we now are.  They promise, indeed, to build for us a small house
near the church, which is to be ready by spring; but their promises have
hitherto been so fallacious, that I hardly know how to trust to them, and
the plan of the building is so small, that I am not without strong
misgivings, lest we should feel it our duty to decline it.  And if so we
must either build for ourselves, (seldom either a wise or lucrative act),
or else, in true Canadian style, must turn out and seek other quarters.
The people, indeed, are kind to us, and the attendance on my ministry is
far from discouraging; but if they so little prize the residence and
settled ministrations of a clergyman among them, as to refuse to
accommodate him with a plain and commodious residence,—while for
themselves many of them have built elegant and spacious mansions,—they
must not be surprised, if their miscalculating selfishness terminate in
his withdrawing from among them.

Our temporal matters are encouraging; for living here is so cheap, that
our income is far more than adequate to our regular demands.  I have
purchased two cultivated farms of 100 and 105 acres, with clearances of
forty and sixty acres respectively, and out of my savings have already
paid off the first instalment of £250, and in a few days hence shall pay
£150 more; in all, £400; so that, through God’s blessing, we are already
beginning to reap the benefit of our expensive removal, and, without
being over sanguine, we may perhaps indulge a hope, that still further
mercies are in reserve, if not for ourselves, still for our dear
children.  We are very rapidly advancing as a province.  God has been
very gracious to us in our Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Colborne, a
pious, discreet, and sound intentioned man.  Capital also is gradually
finding its way among us; so that we are beginning to attract the notice
of our jealous neighbours, who see the rudiments of a vast empire rising
up close beside them.  And, hitherto, we have been singularly prospered.
A radical party, however, of considerable strength is, as you will
perceive by the public prints, beginning to trouble us: it is headed by
the discontented worthless —.  Without this drawback, we might almost be
tempted to exclaim, “O nimium fortunati.”  But I must conclude.  Our
kindest and united love attends yourself and all your party, and

                               Believe me,

                                                   Yours, ever gratefully,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

It is not without considerable hesitation that I have determined to
insert the letter which follows in the Memoir of Mr. Mortimer, not only
because he might not himself have fully concurred in the publication of
it, but because there may be a difference of opinion as to the expediency
of it.  The subject, however, is, in my mind, one of such importance to
the interests of the church in Canada, that I should not think I had done
my duty were I to exclude it; and I am happy to say that, so far as the
subject itself is concerned, I have the full concurrence of some who,
from their experience in the ecclesiastical affairs of Canada, are fully
competent to give counsel in the case, and who perfectly agree with
myself in thinking that a much larger spirit of liberality is necessary,
not only to the extension, but also to the support and prosperity of the
existing church in that country.

There can be no greater benefit to a community, nothing to contribute
more to its general well-being, than an adequately supported and
efficient church establishment.  It is the foundation of everything
really good and great, useful and advantageous, honourable and
praiseworthy.  It is the grand means of promoting religion and morality,
peace and good order, charity and good-will, kindness and sympathy
between the different ranks in society, diligence and industry,
subordination and allegiance to the powers that be: in a word, everything
that can make a nation happy and prosperous in itself, and respected by
neighbouring countries.  The duty, therefore, of making strenuous efforts
for the accomplishment of so desirable a purpose must be apparent to all
who feel the paramount necessity of religion, and to all such, perhaps,
it may be apparent; but the difficulties of every infant colony are urged
in bar against it.  These difficulties are fully admitted, and due
allowance made for them; neither is it the intention of the writer to say
one unkind or unreasonable word on the subject; his design is rather to
encourage for the future than to condemn for the past, feeling, as he
does, very forcibly, the circumstances of trial and privation with which
the settlers of new colonies are for the most part surrounded.  Bodily
support—food and raiment—must necessarily be had in the first place; but,
except to this, I should be disposed to say, that to no other could a
provision for religion be second; for not more necessary is food and
raiment to the body than the offices of religion to the soul: indeed, the
supply of these wants is equally necessary, and where they are not
simultaneously provided for, but where the former is over and exclusively
cared for, it is more than likely that the latter will be neglected for
years to come.  Under the difficulties, however, in which emigrants to a
newly formed colony find themselves, it seems, in the first place, the
plain duty of every state to provide for the support of religion in their
infant settlements, or, where this is withheld, it clearly becomes the
duty of private Christians, possessed of wealth and competency, either
individually or incorporated into societies, to afford, as far as may be,
the aid required.

Happily for Canada much has been done for it in this way; first by the
state, and now by the contributions of a more private and voluntary kind,
and especially by the venerable Society for the Propagation of the
gospel.  But a country ought not to be always looking to and depending
upon such adventitious assistance; she ought _at some time_ to rise above
eleemosynary aid, and make an effort to provide for her own spiritual
wants.  The enquiry then naturally arises, Whether Canada is, or is not,
become of sufficient age, or standing, or competency, to take upon
herself the responsibility of supporting for her own use and benefit the
services and ordinances of religion?  I should unhesitatingly reply, that
it is more than time that a beginning were made to throw off the state of
childhood and reliance, and to assume that of manhood and independence.
But are there to be found in Canada more than _a very few_ towns, and
those too only of the first class, that have taken upon themselves to
provide altogether for their own church establishments?  Wherefore?
Because there are not more that are capable of doing so?  I fear this
would not be found to be the real state of the case.  Mr. Mortimer’s
statement is much more likely to be the correct and faithful one.  I feel
assured that there are many towns or townships which might have done much
more than they have towards this great and honourable work.  What! shall
the Presbyterians, the Independents, the Roman Catholics, in towns of a
second-rate class, support entirely their own churches and ministers, and
shall Episcopalians constitute the lagging party, the one most backward
in this most blessed and holy work;—nay, shall the American
Episcopalians, dwelling on the very borders of Canada, and therefore
little differing in their circumstances from those living in the colony,
support their own religious establishments, and shall the English
Episcopalians be found deficient?  Surely this does not speak much either
for the liberality or the churchmanship of our Canadian countrymen.  If
we claim a pre-eminence for the reformed and catholic Church of England,
all the members of that Church should be pre-eminent in their attachment
to, and zealous in their support of it; they should not be behind any
others in their gifts and graces, waiting for the coming of the Lord
Jesus Christ.

Let every reader, then, of Mr. Mortimer’s Life, ask himself, have I done
what I could?  Have I contributed liberally, with a willing mind,
according to my ability, towards the erection, enlargement, or in giving
comfort and convenience, and a suitable appearance to my church?  Do I
dwell in my ceiled house, while the house of God lies waste?  Am I
anxious to see all things about the house of God and the services of
religion done decently and in order?  And do I take my share in the
management of the secular affairs of the church?  Am I sufficiently
anxious to promote the comfort and well-being of my pastor?  If he have
sown unto me _spiritual things_, is it a great matter that he should reap
my _temporal things_?  More than persuaded, confident I am, that if every
member of the church of England in Canada would seriously lay this
subject to heart and urge upon himself the great duties connected with
it, much more would be done there to promote her interests, and to make
her independent of all extraneous aid.  All might contribute more than
they do; some in money, some in lands, and they who could give neither,
might give of the produce of their lands, or the fruits of their labour,
or occasionally their labours to assist in tilling their pastor’s
grounds, or in planting and cultivating their gardens.  Depend upon it,
that he who feels adequately the real benefits and blessings of being
taught in the word, _will minister unto him that teacheth in all good
things_.  Pastors should not be unreasonable, and, if they be
right-minded, they will have no wish to lay unnecessary burdens upon
their people: but their people, if their minds be duly influenced by
religion, will be as desirous to provide for them, free of all charitable
support, as to maintain their own families in perfect independence.

Besides, the good Churchmen of Canada should really consider the many and
great calls now made upon that source from whence their church receives
its chief support; I mean, the Society for Propagating the Gospel.  It
has only been by renewed efforts and extraordinary exertions that the
society has been able to maintain so great an expenditure in Canada;
perhaps, too, at the expense of withholding very important help from
other needy parts of our extensive colonial possessions; and it is not
reasonable, nor generous, nor just, to require assistance one moment
beyond what is absolutely necessary.  Every township, therefore, in the
colony should begin, with as little delay as possible, to make its own
provision for the public worship of God.

Verily, earnestly do I pray that the foregoing remarks, together with the
letter of my late dear friend, which has elicited them, may be kindly
received, deeply felt, and earnestly followed, not only by good
resolutions, but by personal and immediate exertions for the gradual
accomplishment of a work so truly honourable to those who promote it, so
fraught with blessings to generations yet unborn, and so full of glory to
God.



TO MISS E. FORD.


                                       Thornhill, near York, Upper Canada,
                                                            Oct. 17, 1833.

My dear Madam,

You express your surprise at the reluctant support afforded to ministers.
This is partly to be ascribed to that selfishness which is so sadly
prevalent in our fallen nature; they can build (commodious and even
sumptuous) houses for their own prosperous families; they can call, out
of their perpetually increasing means, comforts of every description;
but, to their minister, they can calmly and gravely say, “Oh, you must
wait patiently, and in time all will be right; we have had to wait before
you; it is quite impossible to force matters in Canada,” and so on.  And
then, in the spirit of that affected benevolence which prompted that
hypocritical wish, “be ye warmed and be ye clothed,” they point us to
eventual comforts, and care not to make the least sacrifice which may
conduce to the attainment of the end.  In regard to house, to salary, and
to everything pecuniary, I have experienced scarcely anything but
disappointments, and at times I feel a little piqued at the contrast
between their warm expressions of regard, and their unwillingness to
contribute to the comforts of my family; for, as to myself I care but
little; but still I would not wish to be hard upon them, for though they
have property, very few have money, and as soon as they procure this,
they sink it in the further cultivation or stocking of their farms.  And
then, again, they have that admirable loop-hole for escape—the clergy
reserves, which seemed to promise everything, but have done scarcely
anything; a broken reed, which is perpetually piercing those who lean on
it with sorrow; but which affords our people so ready an excuse for
refusing to come forward to our aid; so that of all classes of emigrants,
ministers, in a pecuniary point of view, are by far the worst off: they
cannot, with propriety, go into the woods, for they must fix in the more
populous and more cultivated districts, where land of course is high, and
thus one of the chief sources of prosperity is cut off; and, as to trade,
from this of course they are excluded, but still they are the class of
settlers most needed.  And, in the midst of occasional pique and
disappointment, I cannot but feel thankful to God who directed my steps
to this country, and who, by the property which he has previously given
to me, gives me the prospect of enjoying, in this land of cheapness, a
great increase both of comfort and temporal prosperity.  At present,
indeed, we are anything but outwardly comfortable: the house we formerly
mentioned was found too inconvenient, and therefore given up, and we are
still in the lodging I occupied previous to the arrival of my family.



TO THE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER.


                                         Thornhill, Toronto, Upper Canada,
                                                            July 14, 1835.

My much-endeared Brother,

WE were in some measure prepared for the communication conveyed to us by
your letter of the 20th of April, and which reached us yesterday evening;
for our Shropshire friend had heard the report of our beloved mother’s
departure, and had made allusion to it in communications received some
weeks since.  Well, her happy, holy spirit, is at length released.
Fulness of days has been granted to her, and, though they have not been
unattended with labour and sorrow, yet has her kind Saviour been with
her, and as much of outward alleviation and inward serenity and peace
have been experienced by her as her circumstances and state of body would
admit of.  And now has she entered into the fulness of her gracious
reward, and her sainted name must ever be inhaled as the precious
perfumed ointment, by all who know how to estimate her deep, consistent,
and exalted piety.  And where shall we now look for her fellow?  For the
race of the distinguished and peculiar few seems now to have become
extinct.  In vain shall we look for a Cooper, a Rogers, a Fletcher, a
Lefevre, or one like our equally distinguished mother.  A prophet indeed
is no where so little esteemed as among his own kindred.  And yet I am
persuaded that there is that in the heart of my endeared brother, which
will fully respond to the encomiums which have thus unintentionally
escaped me. * * *

Your letter bears the goodly inscription of “Thornhill Parsonage;” but,
alas! it is a sound without locality.  It exists in my kind brother’s
imagination, but nowhere else.  A house indeed has long been talked of,
and was at length erected, but a mere laical abode.  But I am happy to
say that matters are now likely to be on a proper footing.  I have
purchased four acres of land (at £50 an acre!!) near the church, for
which the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has consented to allow me an
equivalent in wild land, as well as for a sum not exceeding £500 for the
erection of a parsonage.  And operations have commenced, but when they
shall be terminated I know not.  The lumber must be sawn and seasoned,
and continue seasoning till next spring, and we are told that a finished
habitation will be ready for us in the fall of the next year, October the
1st, 1836.  But what a distant period! my hand misgives me while I write
it; for my whitened locks and weakly frame point to a far different
abode.  May my affection combine with my judgment, and may my short
residue of days be so numbered by me, that wisdom’s lessons may both
diligently and effectually be learnt!

When I sat down I was purposing a tolerably close imitation of your own
very lengthy (eleven-lined!) epistle, and was about to find some
convincing, or at least plausible, reason for my shabbiness.  Happily,
however, my pen has kept sliding on; and finding myself so near the
conclusion of the third side of my closely written sheet, I may assure
you with a tolerably fair and unblushing front, of our unabated and most
affectionate regards to yourself and all your endeared family, and not
least, those of your sincerely devoted brother,

                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

P.S.  Our kindest love also to all our endeared relatives.



TO MRS. D. WHITMORE.


                                               Thornhill, August 21, 1835.

* * * * * Your account of dear Mr. —’s increasing infirmities, and their
necessary effect on yourself and Mr. G. W., has given rise to many a
pensive, perhaps I ought to say, melancholy, feeling.  Indeed, I hardly
dare think of the breaking up of connexions, comforts, health, and so on.
My foolish heart too frequently deceives itself with delusive hopes.  I
say, too generally, “I shall die in my nest”—the soft downy nest of easy
pleasant dissolution.  But when anything reminds me of the thorn, the
sharp-pointed, piercing thorn, which is mostly found there, then I start,
and my spirit almost sinks within me; and I have little either of manly
fortitude, or of Christian magnanimity; at least, the subject is so
unwelcome, that I rather turn from it, than submissively await it.  At
times, indeed, I feel willing that the taking down, the unpinning of the
tabernacle, and the loosening of all its cords, should take place under
any circumstances which my gracious God shall appoint, and I feel a
persuasion that his faithful love will so adjust everything, that he will
in nowise “suffer me to be tempted above what I shall be able” to bear;
and it is to this point that I have of late so frequently directed my
prayers, that all the preparatory circumstances of death, the undoing of
that which has been inexpediently or criminally pursued, the pulling down
of vain and worldly hopes, the detaching of the soul from even the last
of its too-much-clinged-to objects, the patient endurance of the bodily
evils which, as the precursors of death, in some shape or other await me;
that all these may be so met, and so peacefully and cheerfully borne,
that, instead of grieving the Spirit of my God by any unhallowed
feelings, I may surrender everything with cheerfulness, and endure all in
his blessed order.  For the melancholy fact must not be withheld from
you, that, after all I have known, and felt, and preached, I shrink from
very many of the circumstances attendant on dissolution: and what,
perhaps, will surprise you more, and what I am still more ashamed to be
obliged to acknowledge, is, that I am frequently conscious of a kind of
latent infidelity, as to the reality of the coming world.  I do not
absolutely disbelieve; for revelation assures, and all my reasoning
confirms, and yet it is one of those points on which I am constrained to
say,—“Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.”  But how I have ventured
to touch upon these topics I hardly know; for I carefully keep them from
my own self, hardly daring to acknowledge their existence; and I am so
ashamed of them, that I keep them still more carefully from others.  And
yet it has produced a strange relief to me, thus explicitly to advert to
them; it has given to them more precision of shape and locality; I see
with more distinctness what my enemies really are, and I seem encouraged
to hope that, by the grace of God, even these may be overcome: and I
trust also, that, by thus unfolding these weaknesses of my nature, I
shall awaken in my kind friend that decree of sympathy, which shall call
forth from her an occasional prayer on my behalf.  I never more needed
prayer, nor never so much estimated its value, as I have done of late; it
is truly wondrous in all the branches and bearings of its beneficial
influence.

But I must turn to other matters.  I often think of your self-imposed
silence when we were leaving England, evidently not approving of our
step, and yet not wishing to enter into any enlarged reasoning or
discussion; and I as often think, was my endeared friend right in her
non-approval?  I am ready to acknowledge, that we were never so out in
our calculation as in many of the results of our Canadian migration; and
in the estimation of observant friends we must appear, I should think, to
have strangely missed our path.  And yet so marked are all the leading
circumstances which have transpired, that we cannot, for a moment,
question either the permissive or the appointing mercy of our God.  It
has been of essential benefit to myself; it has been of especial good to
— also; her views and feelings have undergone a most material change, so
that I quite marvel at the wise and gracious process; and in various ways
has the removal been beneficial to our children.  But all this is hidden
from outward observation; no one perceives either the needs-be, or the
result, but the outward appearance it is which puzzles them—all is
completely in contrast with our former selves, and so little in
accordance with our property and with what we have a kind of right to
expect in the shape of accommodation from our parishioners.  We would,
indeed, without much difficulty, should we see it to be our duty, bring
ourselves into altered circumstances; we could retrace at once our
migratory steps and reach our native land richer by, at least, a thousand
pounds than when we left it.  We could also leave our present
unaccommodating people, purchase or build on some advantageously situated
spot, retire from the peculiar awkwardnesses of Canadian ministrations,
and more privately exercise, without cost to any, the exposition of God’s
word, and the visiting of the sick and needy.  We might also build, at
once, in this place, at our own cost, and, without pecuniary regret, let
slip a few hundreds of pounds on the impolitic speculation of procuring
somewhat more of suitable and becoming accommodation.  We might dash also
through some others of our temporary unseemlinesses, and be able to write
in an altered and more gratifying strain to our now wondering
friends—might encourage our sons, for example, to launch out into
avocations, or attempt other branches, which, while they have more
appearance of gentility, would only sap the foundation of their future
respectability and comfort.  We might do all this and much more, and
pride would suggest its partial or total performance; but we should be
either forcing our way, or premature in our movements.  Grace and duty
bid us calmly and patiently to await God’s time; and we are not without
hope, that he will at length bring us into his wealthy place.  All is
well: with our hearts, we can say so, and with this conviction, we may
and ought to be content.  And I say this, not to justify our procedures
(for this really has become to us a very small matter), but to bring an
endeared friend into a more correct estimate of what is actually passing
among us—to show her that, while discomfort appears to be in some
respects outwardly surrounding our little edifice, much of God’s
blessing, with peaceful acquiescence and comfort, is still found within.

I need make no mention of the termination of our endeared mother’s
earthly career, on whose account we are at present in mourning; we have
heard no particulars of her last moments, nor, indeed, are these
necessary in order to assure us that her end was blessed.  You and
ourselves have known her in her married life, and in her widowed state.
But even in this her limited sphere, we have seen her as a most
distinguished and honoured servant of the Lord; but, from all I have
heard and read, almost all the brilliancy conspicuous in her unmarried
life was then suffering an eclipse; and so those of the brightest and
most dazzling rays of the Miss Richie of former times, were nearly
forgotten in the conjugal and domesticated Mrs. Mortimer.  Her life, you
know perhaps, is in the course of publication, and I shall look for it
with much interest.  I fear, however, that it will be wanting in
incident, though her diary, which she has kept for many years, may supply
much of unexpected material.  Her published letters I read many years
since with peculiar pleasure. * * *

                                  Yours,

                                   My dear Madam, ever gratefully obliged,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO MISS E. FORD.


                                                 Thornhill, July 28, 1836.

My dear Madam,

I AM becoming so sadly neglectful of my duties, as a correspondent, that
I not only richly deserve from my friends their censure, but a total
discontinuance of their kind communications.  To yourself and respected
sister, however, my neglect assumes the aspect of ingratitude; you have
so diversified and heaped on me your kind and delicate attentions.  I can
say so little that is apologetic, that I will not make the attempt; but,
as in my approach to a Higher Power, I would at once acknowledge the
fulness of my delinquency, and solicit from your united kindly feelings
that indulgence which I am in nowise entitled to expect.  I trust,
however, that your forbearance will not be exercised in vain, and that it
will be long before I again trespass to a similar extent.

But though I have no apology to offer for my long silence, it may in some
measure be accounted for in the present uncertain state of our affairs;
for I have long been hoping that something definite would arise, and I
was unwilling to write to you before.  But week passed on after week, and
we are still in statu quo.  The B—s have probably informed you of our
intention to remove to some other situation, for the sphere is
exceedingly limited, and the church-people unusually few; so that, after
a four years’ trial, I should hardly feel justified in spending my little
residuum of strength in a spot where the deficiency of proportionate
result is so great.  Our accommodation, too, in our confined lodgings,
are far from suitable, and all our personal attempts, as well as
expectations from others to amend them, have hitherto failed.  This minor
matter, indeed, would not, of itself, have been sufficiently strong, to
induce us to remove, but, taken in conjunction with all the other
matters, I have, at length, felt it my duty either to fix in some other
mission, as our cures are here denominated, or else to retire altogether
from public to more private engagement.  I have written to our good
bishop on the subject, expressing a preference for the vicinity of our
children, or some more southerly and more genial part of the province
near the lake shores.  He has kindly promised to do all in his power to
meet my wishes, but he has not hitherto been able to succeed, and we are
waiting the result of his further endeavours.  You have heard enough, I
doubt not, of our political affairs to need any enlargement on this
point.  Very nearly, indeed, were we on the point of provincial ruin.
But through God’s mercy the decision and good sense of the
Lieutenant-Governor have saved us from anything immediate, and, I hope,
also, from ultimate evil; for there is a strong conservative feeling
brought into exercise, which is not very likely soon to subside.  In our
last Parliament, which the Lieutenant-Governor dissolved, there was a
large Radical majority; but from the recent return for the ensuing
Parliament, out of sixty-two members forty-four are Conservative, and
only eighteen Radical; so that we have good reason to expect an amended
state of things.  It will be months and years, however, before we attain
to a sound, healthy, and flourishing state; for emigration is very nearly
at a stand; capitalists, of course, have no courage to venture among such
a set of revolutionary ruffians.  The less monied, who are compelled to
go somewhere, proceed to the States to the far west by hundreds and
thousands.  Labourers and mechanics not only turn aside from us, but
leave us after settling among us from want of employment, or, rather,
from want of money to pay them for their labour.  Toronto, for months
past, has had quite an appearance of gloom; so many shops shut up, and so
little trade done; and other towns complain in like manner.  Farming,
too, where farming labour is paid for, is so losing a concern, that, if
it were not absolutely necessary for the supply of their family in
country places, there is scarcely a gentleman but would give it up.  I
have annually lost by mine—little indeed, but still, lost; and the
general cry among my neighbours is, Nothing is to be got by farming.
Indeed, were it not for the comparative poverty of the settlers, the tide
of emigration would soon set homewards: but, to realize the means of
return would, on a general scale, be impossible; were they to attempt to
sell, no sufficient number of purchasers could be obtained, and the sum
realized would go but a little way towards living in the same style in
England; so tarry they must.  Still, the hearts of many are turning
towards their beloved country, and they would soon rejoin their friends
if they could.



TO MRS. WHITMORE.


                                    Thornhill, near Toronto, Upper Canada,
                                                       November, 12, 1836.

* * * * During most of the time since I last wrote to you, we have been
in great uncertainty concerning our movements.  At one time I felt so
sinking under my ministerial duties, combined with the peculiarities of
the climate, that my wife and Cecil were strongly urgent on me to retire
from all public and obligatory duty, and to do no more than what my
strength or spirits would enable me occasionally and privately to attend
to.  With this intention, after inspecting numerous places, we made a
purchase in the salubrious and delightful district of Niagara, and were
just on the point of removing thither; but, on inspection, the title did
not appear satisfactory, and, at the suggestion of the solicitor, I did
not complete the purchase.  While, however, this matter was pending, my
people, at a public meeting, strongly expressed their hope, that I would
not adhere to my intentions of removal, and so unanimously and
affectionately pressed my continuance among them, that I at length
consented; and have since made arrangements for building a house at my
own expense, on some land I had previously purchased near the church, and
am intending now to go on with as much prudence as I can; but still to go
on, and to die, if it please God, in the harness.  Of late, however, the
Lord has been pleased so to enable me to use appropriate exercise in the
open air, and so to husband my little strength, that all the unfavourable
symptoms under which I was labouring some few months ago, have altogether
disappeared; and with present adequacy of physical powers and with more
than usual encouragement in spirit, I am proceeding with my work, and
trust all will be well.

                                * * * * *

After speaking of his family, he adds,

* * * * * Much have we, indeed, of God’s temporal smile, nor is the light
of his gracious countenance withheld.  All, all is love, and we would not
only submissively, but gratefully adore.  Permit me to assure you of our
best wishes for the months or years, which may yet be in reserve, may
they prove pre-eminently the best!  “For such power belongeth unto God;”
and believe me, Yours, my dear Madam, very sincerely,

                                                              G. MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer left England in part to avoid the storms and tempests which
overhung that country, little thinking that in attempting to avoid a
_possible_ danger, he ran into an _actual_ one; so very dim is our
foresight and so weak our power of resistance.  A destructive rebellion
took place in Canada in 1837, which, from his residence being on one of
the main roads to Toronto, whither the rioters were proceeding, put even
the personal safety of his family in great jeopardy.  He refers
especially to this event in the following letter:—



TO MRS. HOLLAND.


                                                 Thornhill, April 3, 1838.

You kindly allude to the circumstance of apparent danger in which we have
been placed during our recent revolt, but God has been very merciful to
us, and, not merely screened us under the sheltering wing of his good
providence, but graciously kept our minds in sweet serenity and peace.
You may judge of the apparent peril to which we were exposed, when I tell
you, that on the afternoon of the evening on which they (the rebels)
proceeded to Toronto, two parties passed our door, the one consisting of
200, and the other of 300 persons; and were, under God’s providence, kept
from the execution of their murderous and destructive designs against the
persons and houses of the more loyal and opulent, merely in consequence
of their being obliged to hurry past us to Toronto two or three days
sooner than they had anticipated.  As a clergyman too, and more
especially as a beneficed one, noted and vilified as possessing one of
the obnoxious rectories, concerning which they have so loudly clamoured;
on this account I was a doubly marked man; my name was inserted in their
list of intended arsons, and my family as well as myself were to be shot,
as we were attempting to escape the flames; at least, such were the
pleasing tidings which were widely circulated among us, and the fearful
and timid found it no easy matter to restrain their feelings, or to
exhibit calmness of spirit, or manliness of conduct.  Many passed
sleepless nights, and all around us gave indication that there were solid
and extensive grounds for alarm.  Colonel M—, the person who was shot on
the first night of the revolt, was an attendant on our church and a
resident in our neighbourhood, and, in the very midst of the excitement,
was brought to our churchyard for interment.  A hostile attack was
expected by many, and the mob, who assembled to pay the last sad offices
to their veteran friend and neighbour, came accoutred in their swords,
daggers, pistols and fowling pieces.  A novel and a painful scene, but
which was altogether uncalled for; no attempt having been contemplated.
My eye glanced on one of the assembly; a loyal, but strange and penurious
man, whose habits had never suffered him to become possessed of anything
in the shape of arms, and he was leaning on his trusty lengthened pitch
fork, a weapon, of which I heard, he was afterwards vaunting that there
was nothing like that.  His presence, however, to my mind at least, was
far from pleasing; it ill-accorded with the scene before us, and seemed
so ridiculous, that I could hardly refrain from a momentary smile.  Of
the general and more public details you are doubtless most fully
apprized; for I perceive that our Canadian affairs are exciting a
peculiar interest in our fatherland, and are commented on with an
accuracy, which shows that they must have been perused with every means
of the fullest information lying before them.  All is now, through God’s
providence, in a state of quietness; while, therefore, we feel indebted
to our friends for their kind sympathy, and their affectionate
expressions of hope, that our provincial troubles may cause us either
quickly, or eventually to retrace our steps towards our beloved native
land, we must still assure them that nothing is further from our
thoughts; our path has been deliberately chosen, our objects have been
extensively gained, much of God’s temporal smile is resting upon us, we
are now established in our ample, commodious, and, I might say, beautiful
house, the society around us is superior to what is found in most country
places in England; our income is ample and enough for all exigencies.
Life is gliding gently along with as little disquietude and as much
comfort as we can ever expect to find in the present world; peace and
tranquillity reign in our domestic circle, God’s spiritual blessings are
experienced by the majority of our family, and some hopeful indications
given by all, and, therefore, why should we wish for a change?  Of myself
and my own immediate duties, I would say, but little good is being done.
Ministers are much wanted, and, were I in England, it would be only to
extrude and thrust out some of the partially engaged or wholly unoccupied
with which you are overburdened already.  No, my endeared sister, much as
we love our native land, much as we value our still more beloved friends,
we ought not to close our eyes on our present mercies, or so mix up the
cherishing of regret with causes for thanksgiving, as to destroy their
efficacy, or to diminish their heart-stirring effect.

                                * * * * *

While Mr. Mortimer’s friends did not approve of his expatriating himself
and family, so some of them, who visited him in Canada, were by no means
convinced of his having improved on his lot and position in life by his
change of country.  The Rev. B. Luckock was one of these, who was so
struck with the inferiority of everything which he saw, that he
afterwards wrote to him in no very measured terms of his dislike and
almost detestation of what he called his wretched situation.  These
condoling and sympathizing notes produced no echo in the mind of Mr.
Mortimer, and he wrote to his friend in the following playful terms,
united to strains of piety and seriousness, very expressive of his own
satisfaction with the change which he had made:—

    “Both your letters found me at Thornhill, and from the same miserable
    and deserted place, I date, as you will perceive, my present letter.
    It is difficult to determine what class of feelings we should indulge
    in at the accumulated epithets of loathing and abhorrence with which
    you speak of our delightfully happy sojourn; our disposition,
    however, to merriment prevailed, and we all laughed most heartily at
    your intemperate and ill-timed abusings, so completely and so
    pleasantly had the whole class of our own feelings and circumstances
    been changed since your visit to that anything but “happy valley.”  I
    need not detail to you the various incidents which, through the kind
    providence of our God, have tended both to fix our steps and to
    settle our minds; the hundreds of miles which were previously
    travelled—the ineligibility of every spot and every abode in some
    important particular—the striking Providence which put some
    unexpected and final stop to our negotiations in each of the matters
    on which we were disposed to venture—the altered feeling and conduct
    discovered by my people, when they perceived me fully resolved to
    leave—their solicitations, accompanied with proffered, though not
    accepted, pecuniary liberality to remain among them—the erection of a
    large, commodious, and tasty, not to say beautiful, house, on the few
    acres of my own, near the church, which I had some time before
    purchased—the settling of a most esteemed, and delightful,
    intelligent, well-educated, Christian family, within a few stones’
    throw of our residence—and, finally, the induction and installing of
    the long unbeneficed curate into that most lucrative and honourable
    piece of preferment, “the Rectory of Thornhill.”  Happy consummation
    of the most ambitious wishes, or only to be credited by the envied
    and enviable dignitaries of our Church, of which “I am proud to
    think” that my valued and respected friend is one!  But I wander;
    there, then, we are at Thornhill; but, through God’s mercy, under
    circumstances of great comfort, much, very much, indeed, which calls
    forth our gratitude and praise; so that what I partly smilingly,
    partly ironically, and partly believingly, predicted, has been
    strongly fulfilled; the course adopted by the Abyssinian Prince has
    been closely followed by ourselves, and not an atom of wish do we now
    feel to exchange the place of our abode for any other in the
    province, and we may say even in the world.  Of the younger branches
    of the family, I am not of course speaking; they may possibly be far
    from the rest and quiet, a and satisfaction of the older folk.  As to
    ourselves, however, we wish for no change; to live and to die where
    God’s good providence has now at length fixed us is the ultimatum of
    all our wishes.”



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                  Thornhill, Upper Canada,
                                                            Feb. 11, 1840.

My dear Armstrong,

I FEEL much indebted to you for having complied with Mr. Ditcher’s
suggestion, as well as to Mr. D. himself, for so kindly and judiciously
making it. {226}  And I hope that now we shall be able to enjoy a little
occasional intercourse, not perhaps to the same extent, or with the same
buoyant energetic feelings of our more youthful bygone days, but with the
spirit of those who are drawing nearer and nearer to life’s peaceful
termination, and who, while grateful for the attached intercourse which
has characterised a few of their past years, must still feel that in this
world of severings and perturbations we form our several friendships, not
so much to enjoy them on earth, as to renew and perfect them in heaven.

What you mention concerning your dear family has greatly interested me.
God has been very very gracious to you and them, and I do sincerely
praise him on your and their behalf.

I have thought a good deal on the hints you throw out respecting my
namesake and endeared godson, and hope the best wishes of your heart will
be realised with regard to him.  Canada, however, does not strike me as
being the place for him, at least in a pecuniary point of view.  £150
sterling, with a house, and three or four acres of land, is the utmost he
should calculate on.  Though a rector, I have no more than £135 sterling,
and have no parsonage house, but am dwelling in one erected by myself, at
my own cost.  The general allowance made by the bishop at present is £100
sterling; and this is paid out of the sum contributed by the different
societies in England, principally the Propagation, or by the fund arising
from the sale of clergy reserves.  In addition, however, to this £100,
the bishop expects that the congregation should provide four acres of
land, build a parsonage, and pledge themselves to give a salary of £50.
But this pledge is too frequently merely nominal, the money being very
seldom fully, or at all nearly, paid, and little more is obtained beyond
the bishop’s allowance, excepting what may arise from surplice fees and
the rental of church pews.  Something in addition, however, may be
expected when the vexatious matter of the clergy reserves shall be
settled; but as these will be uncleared land, no immediate advantage to
any extent would of course accrue.  Upper Canada, indeed, I consider as
one of the most necessitous of all our provinces, and none offer so
little in the shape of just and equitable remuneration.  Much, therefore,
as I should rejoice on many accounts at Mr. George’s coming here, I am
afraid he would find it very difficult to procure the means of adequate
support.  Orders, indeed, if only tolerably qualified, he might with ease
and without expense obtain.  Important spheres, also, of ministerial
engagement are numerously presented.  And to one who has no thought of
entering on a married life, or is prepared to rough it, or contentedly to
sink below the customary grade of his profession—to one so prepared, the
missionary field of Canada is the very place.  But to those who are
otherwise minded, we ought, in Christian charity, and even in common
fairness, to present the salutary _cave_.  Sir George Arthur, no doubt,
would do all in his power to assist him, should we be permitted to retain
him among us; but in Canada his means of this description are exceedingly
limited, and I should almost think that he could exert a more beneficial
influence on his behalf by endeavouring to obtain, through his English
friends, some appointment as chaplain to one of the colonies, or, should
this be questionable, some benefice in Australia, or elsewhere, under
circumstances of more encouragement than we are authorized to hold out in
our poor, neglected, harassed province.

You speak of the possibility of giving us a visit; I need scarcely assure
you how greatly it would delight us all; I fear, however, that Sir George
will have left us, unless you are somewhat agile in your movements.  I
have been apprised by him (though quite confidentially) of his kind
intentions towards yourself.  How astonished should I have been at their
realization, and how unspeakably rejoiced.  But still all is well; and if
time discover not this, faith can tell us of an important day that will.

You lay on me, my endeared friend, a next to impossible injunction; what
a string of kind affectionate inquiries relative to my own procedures,
personally, parochially, domestically.

My labours, I trust, are not altogether in vain in the Lord; our
congregation has been increasing ever since I came here, and this year
the church was enlarged to nearly double its former size, and the
additional pews were all let in three or four days after they were
offered for rental.  Some few of my people seem to have been under
gracious influence, and have given me much of encouragement and hope.
And my people at large show me much kindness, and appear attached to my
ministrations.

Socially and domestically we have much of comfort.  Good house and
premises, good servants, one of whom has been with us twenty-three
years—and good neighbourhood—pleasant distance (twelve or thirteen miles)
from Toronto—almost every English comfort within our reach, not to say
every luxury.  The only cause of regret, perhaps, is that in these
matters we are going too much a-head.

We are far too gay, as a neighbourhood, for my simple liking.  A few
evenings since, one gentleman had a party of sixty persons present, many
more invited, with a part of the band of the 93rd regiment, from Toronto.
And very shortly after, another of my congregation had a still gayer and
more extensive assemblage.  But you will now begin to sigh over my
interminable and undecipherable scrawl; and therefore, in simple pity to
your straining eyes, I shall only add, that with most affectionate and
Christian regards, in which my whole family unite, to yourself and dear
Mrs. A.,

                                I remain,

                               Your ever attached, though unworthy friend,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

I insert the following address, not only because it may be generally
useful, but because it may be as applicable now to those for whose use it
was originally written, as at the time of its publication: and if a
stranger may be allowed to urge their attention afresh to the warm and
affectionate remonstrance of their late pastor, he would just remind
them, that Divine worship, on the Lord’s day, being a paramount duty, an
attendance upon both services is obligatory on all sincere Christians,
except duties of mercy or necessity preclude such attendance.  All other
excuses or reasons admit of no justification, and in the great day will
be viewed only in the light of positive neglect of God’s service, arising
either from sinful disobedience, or culpable indifference.  The partially
formal observance of the Lord’s Day, by an attendance on the morning
service, spending the rest of the day in pursuits entirely alien from
sacred duties, is the Sabbath of the mere nominal Christian, not of the
sincere disciple of Christ.



ADDRESS
TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWNSHIP OF THORNHILL


                                                  Thornhill, Oct. 1, 1840.

My much-endeared Parishioners,

I PERSUADE myself you will receive with your wonted kindness a few words
which I am desirous of pressing on your serious attention.

Our church, I am happy to think, has, through your own liberality and the
kind assistance of our English friends, been so far enlarged as to admit
of considerable increase in the attendance; and it affords me matter of
much satisfaction, that even before its completion, the whole of the
extra-sittings were secured.  And though occasionally pained at the
irregular attendance of some, still I cannot but feel gratified in
meeting, on the Sabbath mornings, so encouraging a congregation as that
which usually attends.

But here I am sorry to say that much of my satisfaction, as connected
with our church attendance, terminates.  For when the morning service is
concluded, as though the Sabbath itself were also ended, we see no more
of the mass of our congregation till we meet them on the following
Sunday.  A painful inquiry, then, as you will easily conceive, is often
presented to our minds, as to the probable manner in which the remaining
hours of your Sabbath are employed.  Some few of you, I know, are kindly
endeavouring to instruct the young in our Sunday-schools; some few also
(oh that there were more!) make a point of instructing their own families
at home; and some few more attend the evening service in the church.  But
what, I would affectionately inquire, becomes of our congregation at
large, after the morning service?  As consistent churchmen, I take for
granted that you conscientiously confine yourselves to the ministrations
of the church: for, convinced that the principles of dissenters are in
direct opposition to—are altogether subversive of—the interests, if not
the very existence of the church, you cannot but abstain from everything
which may seem in any degree to support them; and as your attendance on
their place of worship must be so considered, I may naturally conclude
that you refrain from frequenting them.  But as you go to no dissenting
place of worship, and as only a very small number attend the evening
service in the church, in what way must I suppose that the rest of the
Sabbath is, for the most part, employed?  Oh, think not that I am
uncharitable, if I cannot help suspecting that it is too frequently
frittered away in idleness, or in unprofitable pursuits; in unhallowed
reading; in domestic amusements; in visiting or receiving visits; in
Sabbath rambles; or possibly in some other still more decided
profanations of this sacred day.

Under this impression, then, you will permit me to urge upon you the
bounden duty of increased conscientiousness in regard to
Sabbath-employments?  Let the golden moments be duly appreciated and
diligently improved.  Religious reading, family instruction, and personal
devotions, should, of course, employ a portion of your time, especially
your Sunday afternoons; but as to your Sabbath evenings, I should hope
that you will be convinced of the paramount obligation, to devote these
to an attendance on the second service, which is now regularly afforded
to you in the church: and that you will strive also so to arrange your
other matters, as to admit of your being accompanied by as many as
possible of your respective households.

I ought not, perhaps, to withhold from you, that much surprise has
frequently been expressed by my clerical and other friends, that I should
not as yet have succeeded in obtaining a more regular attendance on the
second service, which, at so many different times, I had been attempting
to establish: and our excellent bishop was much at a loss to account for
the painful circumstance.  I am hoping, however, that this reproach will
ere long, by the Divine blessing, be removed from among us.  Public
opinion is now so universally in favour of having a second service in our
churches, whenever the clergy have it in their power to give one, that I
have no need to enter upon this point.  But surely if it be admitted that
it is the duty of the clergy to provide such a service, is it not equally
a duty on the part of the people to attend it when it shall be provided
for them?

Suffer me, then, to request your kind and willing co-operation in this
matter, calculated, as it so evidently is, to promote the spiritual good
of yourselves and of the neighbourhood at large.  And will you permit me
to tell you how repeatedly my heart has sunk within me, when I have
adverted to the little I have hitherto been able to effect in this
matter?  How grieved have I been to look around our church on the Sabbath
evening, and to see so many seats vacated, which in the morning had been
so cheeringly filled.  Oh how difficult do I then find it to believe that
such absentees can feel much of affection either towards myself or my
assistant—their church or their Saviour.  But I try to check these
feelings, and would hope for better things.  I well know the kindness of
your hearts, for many a proof have I received of your affectionate
regards.  And I trust you will not only bear with me in this
expostulation and appeal, but so co-operate with me, that in my next
report to our respected bishop, I may be able to convey the gratifying
intelligence, that the attendance on the evening service is little short
of that, which, with such pleasure, we so generally meet with on the
Sabbath morning.

Believe me,

                My much endeared friends and parishioners,

                                           Your truly affectionate Rector,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.



TO HIS SISTER, MRS. HOLLAND.


                                                 Thornhill, Oct. 21, 1840.

                             * * * * * * * *

WE congratulate you on dear Henry’s account.  Oh, how glad should we have
been had Canada been commiserated by him: had I twenty sons and should
you ask, how I should wish to dispose of them, I would say, Oh, let them
be clergymen—pious, faithful, useful ministers of our beloved Church, and
let them all be fixed in Canada.  I hope my dear nephew will be on his
guard: caution him against a religion of forms and ceremonies, and high
priestly assumption, none of which can be maintained without sapping the
grand fundamental article of our Protestant religion, JUSTIFICATION BY
FAITH.  Once admit that there is anything inherently gracious in anything
but what is simple faith, and Protestantism is virtually at an end: let
anything be expected otherwise than from Christ by faith through the
power and agency of the divine Spirit, and carry out this admission to
its full length, and you are inevitably landed safely in Romanism.  I
fear much for the younger clergy.

                                * * * * *

In another letter, in reference to the above subject, he writes:—

Oh, my dear sister, I quite tremble when I think of the probable results
of the present wide spread of tractarian notions.  High churchism, if it
be suffered to proceed, and does not meet with a speedy and most
effectual check from the rulers of our Church, will hurry hundreds and
thousands into Romanism, or force the decidedly Evangelical into
secession.  Awful times seem to be awaiting us, and I hardly dare think
of them: indeed, I keep putting away every consideration almost as fast
as it comes; or, rather, I endeavour to keep rolling the weighty care
upon One who is both able and pledged, in answer to believing prayer, to
sustain it.  These principles are exerting no small degree of influence
in our province.  Oh, forget us not in your prayers! we greatly need
them.  As to myself I need say but little.  My health and spirits are
restored to a degree which I little anticipated, and I am enabled to go
through such duties as I engage in with comparative ease and comfort.  A
calm, tranquil, peaceful old age has been mercifully vouchsafed me, and
all I want is more grace to enjoy and improve my many mercies.  I am
always backward to speak of spiritual things, lest while recounting God’s
mercies, “self-applause should step in;” but I still owe it to the
goodness of my condescending God and Saviour to testify that I do hope
his work is not retrograding in my soul.  Infirmities, I have many—mental
and spiritual, as well as bodily; but still some precious deepenings are
I hope not fallaciously discernible.



TO THE REV. JOHN COOPER.


                                    Thornhill, near Toronto, Upper Canada,
                                                             Jan. 4, 1841.

My much endeared Friend,

How can I convey to you the heartfelt satisfaction, which I received in
perusing your most truly welcome letter?  My many infirmities will
_hardly_ admit of my complying with your request of an early reply; for I
have only written one letter, I believe, for many months past, and that
with extreme difficulty; and I have no expectation of being able to
finish this without sundry rests and postponements.  But I am desirous of
making the attempt, and indeed should feel myself altogether unworthy of
so endeared and estimable a friend were I to place _his_ letter among my
unanswered accumulations, or avail myself of the filial aid of one of the
amanuenses to whom, on especial occasions, I am constrained to have
recourse.

But while I allude to the circumstance of difficulty connected with
writing, I ought not, I suppose, to pass on to other matters, without a
few words of explanation.  About a year and half ago, I suffered sundry
strains and contusions from a fall, from which I have never yet quite
recovered; and though I feel no positive pain, when I am perfectly at
rest, yet when I use my shoulder or the muscles connected with it, in any
continuous operation, I am sure to suffer; and, whenever I imprudently
and pertinaciously persist, I feel the effects for days, weeks, and even
months.  A habit of caution therefore, has crept upon me; and having at
no time possessed any strong predilections for the labours of the pen,
and especially for the duties of the correspondent, I have, at length,
almost persuaded myself, that I am fully released from the obligation.

I am reluctant to fill my sheet with reference to myself, and yet I ought
not to withhold from you the yet further allusion to infirmities.  Long
have I been failing in my health, and long have my ministerial duties
proved too great a call on my general strength, and especially my nervous
system; but I still feel reluctant to retire from them.  My wife and
children were indeed repeatedly striving to bring me to the point, and
represented to me the desirableness of withdrawing before such an attack
should be experienced, as would render the residue of life burdensome to
myself, distressing to my friends, and useless to all.  Still, I
shrunk,—it seemed almost an awful thing to retire from duties so solemnly
undertaken; and from which none but God could release me.  In this state
of uncertainty I was seized with so violent a nervous affection, while
engaged in some public but unimportant matter, that I lost, in the course
of few minutes, all power to read, and could not for some days make out
the very commonest words without spelling them just like a child; and
though, as my nerves acquired a little more tone, I was enabled to
recover somewhat of my suspended powers, it was not till several weeks
after my seizure, that I was enabled to appear again in public duties;
and then I could merely _preach_, not _read_.  But this resumption of my
duties gradually brought on such oppressive, not to say alarming,
symptoms, that I, at length, felt fully convinced that my poor weakly
frame was no longer able to bear such onerous duties; and having, through
God’s mercy, obtained an assistant, who exactly suits both myself and
people, I have turned over to him my yearly stipend with every public and
oppressive duty, and am now rector indeed in name, but little further: I
visit, indeed, parochially, and am endeavouring in various little ways,
to counsel, regulate, and forward the movements of others, and to be a
bond of union to the somewhat heterogeneous mass around us; and the
silent intercessor for their diversified good, when it is not in my power
in any other way to aid them.  And I trust, that God is still among us as
a people.  As to other things, the kind interest which you have ever
taken in my welfare, makes me wish that you would just introduce
yourself, if only for a few minutes, into our midst.  I could not have
believed that so much comfort awaited me in my latter days.  Pecuniary
means quite adequate, not only for necessaries, but for extensive
comforts; a commodious, elegant, and tasty abode, close and open carriage
for summer, a cutter and sleigh for winter &c.; estimable society, and
superior by far to most neighbourhoods in the province, within two hours’
easy drive of the capital (Toronto), and this well and even luxuriously
supplied.  No lack of literature.  I see the best books, and have access
to, or take in myself, the most approved periodicals and newspapers,
almost to overpowering.  And all this, when I derive no income from my
ministry (excepting the pittance from letting the glebe of my rectory),
and having no aid, as in England, from pupilizing; so great are the
advantages of residing in this fine province.  In England all was
struggling and difficulty, and no possibility of settling my family;
while here, I am enabled to call every reasonable comfort around me, and
to live in a style, not indeed of ostentation and display, which has
never been my aim, but of comparative ease and comfort, such as calls for
many an expression of grateful praise.  The earlier part of my residence
and ministrations in this place were not indeed over abundant in
encouragement, and I had frequent thoughts of relinquishing my apparently
hopeless charge, and escaping from my comfortless location.  But my way
never appeared to me so satisfactorily opened as to authorize the final
step, and truly thankful am I that I continued.  For three or four years
past all has been encouraging, and I cannot but regard the spot in which
I hope now to end my days, as one of the most eligible and pleasant,
which this fine country can present.  The visit paid to us by Mr. B. L—,
and to which you allude in your letter, was in the very midst of our
discouragements, and most affectionately did he sympathize with us.  A
few months after his return he expressed similar sympathy in the letter
he wrote to me, which quite made me smile, as descriptive of scenes and
feelings which seemed to have reference to “the lang syne;” so completely
had our circumstances amended.  But when, in a subsequent letter of a few
months later date, his mind seemed only able to dwell on the same
mournful scenes, and we had got fully established in our comfortable
abode, with all our numerous satisfactions around us, and at the same
time enjoying abundant proofs of our being deeply and firmly seated in
the affections of our attached people.  Thus circumstanced . . .

                                                           March 25, 1841.

THUS far, my endeared friend, had I written nearly three months ago, and
then abruptly terminated my operose endeavour, effected at four different
sittings, and at length laid by, almost in despair.  But through God’s
mercy, I am beginning again to use my pen with far less of annoyance;
and, after having despatched three short letters, on the three last days,
and being tolerably sound after the operation, I have looked out my
suspended communication, and have no small pleasure in resuming.

The non-completed sentence will, I suppose, speak for itself, the
intention being simply to assure you that, though possibly you may have
heard through Mr. B. L—, of our being surrounded by nothing but
_desagrémens_, we are, in fact, some of the most delightfully located
persons in the province—perfect joy and satisfaction—a paradisaical
blessedness—a very elysium of delight.  Unfortunately, however, for my
description, it was written in January instead of March,—the provinces
since united—seat of government removed—radical elections—a fearful
preponderance of rebel abettors—destructives and liberals—our beloved
Church threatened—the Papacy fearlessly exhibited, and giving but too
much reason for anticipating its eventual triumph, and Protestant
Episcopal subversion.  All around us gloomy, and full of dismal
forebodings; and our only hope (if the Divine Disposer be overlooked) in
the detrusion from office of those Whigs, who so vexatiously retain their
places at home, and not content with liberalism, and bringing into
jeopardy England’s every good, are carrying with a yet higher hand their
destructive and church-subversive measures in its colonies.  Such, alas!
is the present aspect of our horizon!  But as to myself, I am happy to
say that it does not much trouble me.  It is indeed not a little cloud
which hangs over us, but dark and far-spreading; and yet I cherish hope
that it will soon blow over.  We have had our direful threatenings
before, but God has dealt very mercifully with us; and I trust that
similar mercies are now also in reserve.

But I am hardly leaving myself room to say a few words on other matters.
Greatly did it rejoice me, my endeared friend, to follow you in your most
pleasing recital of the numerous exhibitions of God’s mercy and
faithfulness to yourself and family, and I have no question but that in
many respects you will see yet greater things than these;—yes! all is
well—much of spiritual good has been reaped by my beloved friend.  He has
gone forth bearing precious seed, and even here has come again with joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.

                                                           April 21, 1841.

MUCH to my mortification, I was unable, as I had wished, to finish my
letter, when I added the few lines about a month ago; but that slight
effort brought on a return of my disability, and obliged me to be again
quiet; and, were I to consult the suggestions of prudence, I should not,
I believe, now venture on a few lines which I am desirous of appending by
way of conclusion.  But I am so thoroughly ashamed of both my apparent
neglect, and the fussiness attendant on my endeavours to write to you the
letter I have done, that I can keep my sheet by me no longer, and, though
I seem to have many things to say to you, I must content myself with the
assurance, that with unabated affection, and with every good wish for
yourself, Mrs. C—, and family, in which Mrs. M— most sincerely unites, I
have the pleasure to subscribe myself,

                        Your long attached Friend

                                                And brother in the gospel,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

After an interval of eighteen years, I saw my late beloved friend only
for the second time after our leaving Cambridge and settling in life.  I
saw him for a few short hours in the year 1824, and, from that time, I
had not that pleasure again until July, 1842, when I had the long-desired
happiness of paying him a visit at Thornhill, and passing a week with
him, in the society of his kind family, to whom I had never before been
personally introduced.  We used, when at college, to promise ourselves
the pleasure of alternate annual visits, little thinking that, for so
long a period, the bounds of our habitation were to be no nearer together
than the eastern and western hemisphere.  At Thornhill, I saw my endeared
friend in different circumstances and relations to what I had ever
personally known him before—as the pastor, the husband, and the father;
and I was not disappointed in contemplating him in these characters.  He
was as venerable in appearance as grey—I might rather say white—hairs
could make him, and which crowned a countenance of the most benignant
aspect—serene, intelligent, animated, and beaming with tenderness and
affection.  There was also in his manners, in the tones of his voice,
and, when speaking, in the peculiar expressiveness of his countenance,
something remarkably sweet, mild, and engaging.  The general contour of
the upper part of his body, especially his long white hair behind,
reminded me of the later likenesses of the justly celebrated John Wesley.
His body was of low stature and deformed, which, at first sight, might
have given to a stranger but a lowly opinion of him; but every
disadvantage from appearance soon wore off, and the mind shone brightly
through the mean and weak and uncommanding body, which contained it.  A
pleasing instance of this effect occurred when I was in Canada.  He was
kind enough to spend three or four days with me at my son’s—a visit to
which the following letter has some reference, and which, as being the
last I ever received from him, though it contain nothing of any
importance, I insert with a deep recollection of the intercourse which I
had with my friend on the occasion.  We were spending an evening together
at the house of a friend: a lady of piety and intelligence was present as
a visitor like ourselves, and who had never before seen Mr. Mortimer.
Before the evening passed, she observed to me, “That gentleman is no
common man,” so struck was she, and, perhaps, contrary to her
expectations, with the superior cast of his conversation, which I had
myself also observed in the course of the evening.



TO THE REV. JOHN ARMSTRONG.


                                                  Thornhill, Aug. 7, 1842.

My dear Armstrong,

IT struck me that the last thing you said to me in parting was, that you
would inform me of your movements, and for such information I have
hitherto been waiting; but as I possibly may have misunderstood you, and
you are expecting to hear from me, I had better write at once.

Circumstances, I find, will not admit of my going to New York just at
present, nor do I apprehend that I shall find it necessary for the
accomplishment of my literary purpose to go beyond Buffalo, or Rochester
at the farthest, though this I cannot quite settle till I see you.

I shall hope, if all be well, to sleep in Toronto on Monday next, and
proceed the next morning for Niagara or Queenston; or, in fact, whatever
place I shall find, on inquiry on board the steamer _Transit_, shall be
the nearest point to your son’s abode; and from that point shall make my
way to him as I can.  I am no nice traveller on such occasions, and
therefore very readily get accommodated.

There are two or three matters I am wishing to talk over with you, and
which strike me as of no small importance in reference to our Canadian
ecclesiastical matters.  I suppose you have not been able to arrive at
any decision in our favour; and, while we are beating our rough and
perilous way, you will be felicitating yourself, when in some tranquil
cozy retreat, that you have escaped the threatening danger of our more
unquiet seas.  But whether such outward tranquillity is awaiting my
endeared friend or not, I trust he will ever experience much of that
peace which his peace-imparting Saviour can alone bestow; and may the
peace and rest which awaits him in heaven be realized by him in all its
delightful fulness.  And oh, may his unworthy friend be privileged to
meet him there!  Our kindest regards to yourself and our endeared young
friend,

                      Yours ever, my dear Armstrong,

                                        Most affectionately and sincerely,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

The last letter addressed to his fondly attached sister, Mrs. Holland,
was written in a broken manner, and was probably among the last, except
on mere matters of business, which he ever wrote.  I have myself seen but
one other written after the date which this bears, and which will be
noticed presently.



TO HIS SISTER.


                                                 Thornhill, April 6, 1844.

AM not dead, dear Mary, but increasingly abhorrent of the epistolary—it’s
no use scolding—quite inveterate.  [After entering more minutely than
usual into family details, he adds,] Self alive again—marvel
greatly—though an old man, still two full services on the Sunday—no
assistant—do all the parochial—visit not a little from house to house,
more regularly and systematically than has been my wont—never felt my
duties less onerously—peaceful dependent, and more hopeful—more power to
cast my burden on another, and find my Redeemer mighty—oh never fails—so
faithful, condescending, kind.  Sorry, oh sorry, that deafness has
appeared; but could Brother G. heal as well as sympathise, he would soon
show, by its immediate removal, that blundering affection, instead of the
wisdom of love, which marks mortals’ wishes and decisions; but, dear
Mary, it’s more than compensated.  May that blessed Christian grace of
patience have its perfect work!  Am a middle man still—hate Dissent, but
never preach against Dissenters—love the men, but greatly deplore the
evils of the whole system—therefore budge not from my long wont—a real
Churchman I hope still, but neither ultra high, nor ultra low.  And now,
dear Mary, adieu—your letter has shamed, has lovingly shamed me, and
therefore have written something.  Kindest love from all to all.

                              Yours as ever,

                                                                     G. M.

                                * * * * *

The day before his death, Mr. Mortimer addressed a long letter to his
brother, the Rev. Thomas Mortimer, full of interest and full of kindness,
and which, no doubt, will be treasured up by him with great care and
affection; but it is of so personal and domestic a tenor, that it is only
a single short extract that I can with propriety insert in this memoir,
though nothing could be more appropriate, as a conclusion to his
correspondence.

                                                            June 14, 1844.

* * * * Of myself a word or two will suffice.  Though old and
grey-headed, my God forsakes me not; but graciously imparts a gleam of
sunshine in my latter days, which almost makes me marvel.  I have just
completed my sixtieth year, and, though encompassed, as ever, with
infirmities, have for the last twelvemonth done full duty twice on the
Sabbath.

The flame yet flickers, and till it shall sink into total darkness, may
it send forth some shining ray to enlighten the minds and change the
hearts of my beloved Canadian people.

                        Adieu, my beloved Brother,

                                                Ever affectionately yours,
                                                          GEORGE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer’s death, which took place on Saturday, June 15, 1844, has
been so suitably and feelingly described by others that I have nothing to
do but to avail myself of their services.  These consist of notices of
the event, taken by the public papers of Toronto; a resolution of the
Central Board of the Church Society of the Diocese of Toronto, presented
to Mrs. Mortimer by the Rev. W. W. Ripley, secretary; a brief memoir
drawn up by the Rev. Thomas Grinfield, and inserted in the _Bristol
Journal_; and letters written by his amiable and excellent daughter, Miss
Phebe Mortimer, giving some account of the last years of her father’s
life, as well as of the circumstances and particulars of his death.



(_From the_ “_Church_” _newspaper of June_ 21, 1844.)


It is with feelings of no ordinary pain and grief that we announce the
sudden and afflictive death of a venerable friend and fellow-labourer in
this diocese, the Rev. George Mortimer, M.A., Rector of Thornhill.

As this deeply-lamented gentleman was proceeding on Saturday afternoon
last from his residence to Toronto, his horse, when about half way
through the village, took fright, and the reins breaking, the carriage
was upset, and Mr. Mortimer was thrown violently against the stump of a
tree.  He received immediate assistance, and was carried into the house
of a neighbour, Mr. Griffiths.  Dr. Paget, his medical attendant,
speedily arrived, and drove him home.  On the way he spoke with
cheerfulness, and hopes were entertained that the injury would not prove
very serious; but soon after his arrival at his own house, he expressed
his conviction that he had not long to survive—an apprehension which was
confirmed by his kind and afflicted medical friend.  Having called his
family round him, he addressed them in his own peculiarly affectionate
and earnest manner, upon the solemn change he was soon to undergo,
blessed them, and presently after sunk to his rest, so calmly and quietly
that they knew not of his departure until the mournful event was
communicated by Dr. Paget.  About two hours only had elapsed between the
occurrence of the accident and his death.

The servant who had driven him, was thrown also with great violence
against a heap of stones, and severely hurt; but he is now, we are happy
to say, recovering.

The well-known excellencies of Mr. Mortimer in every Christian sphere and
relation, render any extended remarks of our own unnecessary.  He was all
that the mind can conceive, in this imperfect state, of a gentle,
consistent, and established Christian.  With talents and acquirements of
the highest order, a polished mind and a benevolent heart, he was fitted
to adorn any society; while the zealous and conscientious discharge of
every pastoral duty to which his strength was equal, added to a large and
systematic charity, endeared him, in a peculiar degree, to the flock who
were so fortunate as to enjoy his ministrations.

In the diocese at large, as a well-informed, pious, and influential
clergyman, his loss will be severely felt; a loss the more afflictive to
many, from the very recent opportunity occurring at the late visitation,
where he attended apparently in unusual health, of enjoying the benefits
and gratification of his society.

He has gone to his rest in a mature, though not old age; and, in the
words of a contemporary, “the chief consolation to the family and friends
of this truly good man will be, that he died in the full assurance of
entering into the perfect realization of the true believer’s promised
happiness.”



(_From the Toronto Patriot_, _of Tuesday_, _June_ 18, 1844.)


MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT.—It has seldom been our task to announce a more truly
melancholy accident than that which, on Saturday evening, deprived the
diocese of Toronto of one of its most zealous, useful, and truly
respected clergymen, the Rev. George Mortimer, of Thornhill. * * * * * *
* Few men could have moved in a sphere of more active Christian
usefulness than this most excellent minister of religion.  To the poor,
and the neighbourhood generally, of Thornhill, his death will be a severe
loss.  His charities were large, and extended to the bounds of his
clerical remuneration and a large private income.  The chief consolation
to the family and friends of this truly Christian man will be, that he
died in the full assurance of entering into the perfect realization of
the true believer’s promised happiness.



(_From the_ “_British Colonist_,” _a Presbyterian paper_, _of Tuesday_,
_June_ 18, 1844.)


WITH much regret we announce the death of the Rev. Mr. Mortimer, of
Thornhill. * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Mortimer was the incumbent of the Episcopal Church, at Thornhill; he
was beloved by his congregation, and held in high respect by all around
him, and distinguished for his benevolence and charity.

                                * * * * *

AT a meeting of the Central Board of the Church Society, of the diocese
of Toronto, held at the Society’s House, on the 3rd July, 1844, the Lord
Bishop in the chair: on the motion of the Rev. H. J. Grasett, M.A.,
domestic chaplain to the Lord Bishop, seconded by the Hon. W. Allan, it
was

_Resolved_—That the Central Board of the Church Society of Toronto, with
feelings of the deepest emotion, embrace the first opportunity of their
meeting together since the sudden and lamented death of the Rev. George
Mortimer, M.A., Rector of Thornhill, to express their sorrow in the
removal of a member of their body, who, for warm yet humble piety,
enlarged and Christian charity, a self-denying course of life, and a holy
devotedness to his Heavenly Master’s cause, was surpassed by none of
those who have been commissioned to feed the flock of Christ in this
diocese.

And while the Board view in this melancholy bereavement, the chastening
hand of a merciful and gracious Father, who scourgeth every son whom he
receiveth, they most sincerely beg to offer their condolence to the widow
and family of their deceased brother, who, his warfare being
accomplished, has been thus suddenly called from the Church militant to
join the society of those who have departed hence in the faith and fear
of the Lord.

                                                    (Signed) JOHN TORONTO.



(_From the Bristol Journal_.)
THE REV. GEORGE MORTIMER, M.A.


WITH deep regret and affectionate esteem, we record the death of one,
whose memory (we are persuaded) is embalmed in the hearts of many among
our fellow-citizens—the REV. GEORGE MORTIMER.  In the midst of his
ministerial usefulness in Upper Canada, whither he emigrated from this
city about ten years ago, his valuable life was suddenly terminated by
one of those mysterious dispensations of Infinite Wisdom, which, while
they make us feel our deep ignorance, exercise at once reverential
submission and Christian confidence.  Thrown from an open carriage
against the stump of a tree, he received a fatal injury on his chest; and
having been carried to his home, and placed on his bed, he expired within
two hours.  It is remarkable that, as a fall, suffered in his infancy,
had injured his growth, and distorted his person, a fall should have
proved the occasion of his death.  For several years (between 1826 and
1834) he resided in this neighbourhood; first at Horfield, when he
officiated as evening preacher at St. Mary-le-Port, in this city;
afterwards, as curate of the Rev. Alfred Harford, at Hutton, in Somerset.
He was a man equally distinguished by his intellectual and Christian
excellence.  The strength and symmetry of his mental constitution
presented a striking contrast and relief to the imperfection of his
stature and his form—imperfection redeemed by a countenance eloquently
expressive of benignity blended with intelligence.  Those who enjoyed his
personal intimacy will remember him long among the most instructive and
interesting of companions—among the most kind and faithful of friends.
As a preacher, he was eminently popular, powerful, and profitable;
peculiarly excelling in accurate details of practical and social duty,
and also in discriminative representations of the character and the
heart.  A mind acute, perspicuous, methodical, enriched with knowledge at
once varied and exact; a natural _unwritten_ eloquence, aided by a voice
of peculiar and pathetic tone—imparted an extraordinary charm to those
evening discourses, which, delivered to crowded auditories in St.
Mary-le-Port Church, have left, we doubt not, vivid and valued
impressions on the memory and the heart of many a surviving hearer.  At
this moment we well recollect particular passages of his preaching; and
especially his farewell address, heard with mournful eagerness by an
overflowing throng on the evening of the day preceding his departure for
America: the text, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve!”—the sermon, a
masterpiece of comprehensive and momentous exhortation.  On the next
morning (Monday) in company with many of his attached friends and
hearers, “we accompanied him to the ship, sorrowing most of all for this,
_that we should see his face no more_.” (Acts, xx. 38.)  Our Canadian
colony, then the scene of large emigration, and greatly in need of able
clergymen, rejoiced to receive the treasure which Bristol once enjoyed.
By his natural and acquired endowments, Mr. Mortimer was singularly
qualified for usefulness in the new field of his ministry.  In his
extensive parish of Thornhill, the parish church was considerably
enlarged during the year preceding his last, towards which he contributed
greatly; and also effected the establishment of two other churches, with
clergymen attached to them, in the same extensive district.  During a
long course of years, Mr. M— had made it his rule to expend a _tenth_
part of his income annually, on the various objects of Christian
benevolence: his liberality must have proved doubly valuable, where,
while numerous necessities demanded relief, the people are generally
_slow to give_.  In what high esteem he was held by his Canadian
brethren, is sufficiently attested by the extraordinary honours of his
funeral: the Bishop of Toronto, accompanied by more than forty clergymen,
many from distant places, attended his remains to their sepulchral rest,
with tears of mingled love and grief.  He has left an excellent widow and
six children to lament his loss, and cherish his memory.  Of his sons,
two are engaged in the ministry; one as a missionary among the Chippeway
Indians, and the youngest is studying in the College of Toronto for the
same sacred destination.  May the spirit of their father be perpetuated
in his children’s children.

                                                                     T. G.

August 7, 1844.

                                * * * * *



TO MISS ELIZA FORD.


                                            Thornhill, September 25, 1844.

My dear Madam,

IN compliance with the wishes expressed in your letter to Mamma, and at
her request, I proceed to retrace the latest years of my dear father’s
life.  Though it is in some respects a painful task, and one for which I
feel myself incompetent, I shall be quite repaid if I afford any pleasure
to the respected and valued friends of my late beloved father.

I think you must have heard of the distressing nervous attack which my
dear father had about four years since, and which, for a time, entirely
incapacitated him for the discharge of his ministerial duties, and
obliged him to engage the services of a curate.  When he had partially
recovered, but, at the same time, felt unequal to the resumption of his
ministrations at Thornhill, he undertook a service in a retired place,
nearly four miles distant, where no church service had been before held.
He felt very much interested in this self-imposed charge, which he
termed, in speaking of it to me, the nursling of his old age.  Many of
the members of this congregation, which consisted entirely of farmers,
mechanics, and labourers, have frequently spoken in strong terms of
gratitude for his attention to them, and I hope that his labours there
were in some measure appreciated.  When he afterwards gave Mr. Townley
some assistance in Thornhill Church, {252} he still continued his
exposition, as he was accustomed to call it, at the German Mills, but
then went only once a fortnight, and my youngest brother, with the
consent of the bishop, officiated as lay-reader, on the alternate
Sundays.  At the end of June, in last year, my dear father having felt
very anxious to resume his charge at Thornhill, at length came to the
determination of dismissing his curate, notwithstanding the fears of his
family that he would be unequal to bear the sole burden of the then
greatly increased parochial duties.  Connected with this determination,
was a resolution to devote himself entirely to his ministerial work, and
he re-entered upon it with renewed zeal and ardour.  At the same time he
entirely gave up all his literary pursuits, and, as if to confirm his
purpose, removed from his study all the geological and other scientific
works, which had previously engaged and captivated his attention.  This
was an evident and great sacrifice, but it was made with cheerfulness for
the sake of his Divine Redeemer; and the comfort and great peace of mind
which he enjoyed in doing his Master’s work, fully recompensed him for
this act of self-devotion.  Our fears respecting his health proved to
have been groundless, for he frequently said that he never felt his
ministerial duties less oppressive than he then did.  The good health
which he enjoyed was greatly promoted by the practice which he had
adopted of driving out regularly every day, and which he then continued
both for the benefit of the exercise, and also for the purpose of
visiting his parishioners, very many of whom lived at a distance of many
miles.  His visits have been frequently alluded to, and they appear to
have been prized by many, as marks of kindness and condescension, when
they could not appreciate their spiritual advantage.  During this last
year of my dear father’s life, owing perhaps to the exclusively religious
nature of his studies, his conversation much more frequently than before
took a serious turn.  I was frequently much struck with the beauty of his
observations, and at times the thought occurred that his remarks were
those of one ripening for glory.  At the end of last May, Arthur and his
bride came to visit us, and we then effected a family meeting, every
member being present excepting Maria.  During the next week, my dear
father was present at the bishop’s triennial visitation, and at the
annual meeting of our Diocesan Church Society; and his apparent good
health was generally remarked by his clerical and other friends.  The
ceremony of opening a church in our neighbourhood, occurring in the
following week, he thought it his duty to attend; but these exertions,
combined with the excitement of an enlarged family circle, affected his
health, and on that account, during the three last days he spent the
whole of his time in parochial visiting.  The man-servant spoke with much
feeling of his conversation during their drives, and mentioned his having
said, each day, when they reached home, “Once more, Stephen, God has
brought us home in safety.”  Some of the persons that he visited on those
days remarked to a young friend, that their minister spoke to them
particularly of preparation for death.  On Saturday, the 15th of June,
having heard that his bookseller in Toronto had received a supply of new
books, he determined upon going there to select some theological works.
While he was waiting for the carriage, he returned to the dining-room,
and talked in a very lively manner till it was ready.  He had only
proceeded about a mile on his journey, when the fatal accident occurred.
The newspapers gave a correct account of the accident, which perhaps you
have heard—that the horse ran away; that one rein broke suddenly, though
nearly new, which caused the horse to make so sudden and violent a turn,
that the carriage was overturned, and that the man, though thrown out as
well as his master, was only slightly injured, while the latter received
his deathblow on the chest, by being thrown with violence against the
stump of a tree.  It had long been the practice of my endeared father,
and one which he recommended from the pulpit, to make death a daily
subject of prayer, and a part of that, I believe, daily petition, was
that he might, if consistent with the will of God, have an easy death.
The testimony of his kind and skilful medical attendant, is a decisive
evidence to the striking fulfilment of this prayer; for he told us that
no other death was so easy, excepting when occasioned by lightning, as
that which terminated the existence of my dear father, who, he assured
us, suffered no pain.  He also mentioned that he considered it a very
remarkable circumstance, that he should have survived so long a time as
four hours: for that two hours was deemed the utmost length of time that
life could be prolonged, under such circumstances, and that instant death
was the frequent result of such a blow.  That such was not the case in
this instance, we felt very thankful, and he himself expressed his
satisfaction at being brought home to his own bed, and his thankfulness
that none of his bones were broken; not knowing then the fatal nature of
his accident.  He expressed a desire that some of his family should leave
the room, that he might be quiet, and we all therefore quitted his room,
excepting Dr. Paget and Arthur.  He was perfectly composed, and resigned
to the will of God, whatever that might be, but expressed a wish that he
might fall asleep in Jesus.  When he became aware, or rather suspected,
that his end was approaching, he sent for all the members of his family
who were then at home, mentioning us by name, and we received in
succession his last blessing.  He was then perfectly calm, and in a
peaceful state of mind.  Almost his last words were expressive of his
admiration of, and thankfulness for, the wonderful plan of redemption:
his words I do not remember accurately enough to quote, but his last
petition was for his beloved flock!  Dr. Paget, though his affectionate
heart felt deep sorrow, said, that it was a privilege to witness such a
death.  The testimony which has been borne by all ranks to the esteem in
which he was held, is very gratifying.  The bishop came from Toronto,
though with great inconvenience, to pay the last mark of respect to the
dear remains of one whom, to the credit of both parties, he greatly
respected, though differing from him in many points.  The church was
greatly crowded on the mournful occasion, and a deep feeling appeared to
pervade the assembly.  The pulpit, &c. were hung with black cloth, and
all the genteel residents in the neighbourhood put on mourning.  These
are the consolations which the world has in its power to offer to
mourning relatives, and very many have we received, nor were they by any
means undervalued by us, but, added to them, we had far higher sources of
comfort, in the perfect assurance that he whom we mourned had entered
into his rest, and in the full assurance that the event, deeply
afflicting as it was to us, was ordered by an allwise and gracious God.

Mamma desires her Christian respects to yourself and your dear sister, of
whose very afflictive state of deprivation of almost every outward
comfort, she was truly grieved to hear.

My dear father was much affected when he heard, through Miss B—, the sad
intelligence, and he more than once alluded to your dear sister’s
blindness with tears of sympathy.

                         Believe me, dear Madam,

                                    Very sincerely and respectfully yours,
                                                           PHEBE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *

The following letter, written by the same hand, repeats so much of what
was said in the foregoing, that at first the writer of these memoirs
determined, on the omission of one of them: but, upon consideration that,
though there was repetition, there was also so much variety of
expression, as well as of additional matter, he judged it best to insert
both—a judgment which he doubts not will be approved by his readers.



TO MRS. HOLLAND.


                                                  Thornhill, Feb. 8, 1845.

My dear Aunt,

                             * * * * * * * *

“The memory of the just is” indeed “blessed”; and I wish that the last
remembrances of my beloved father could have been traced for you by a
more able hand than mine.  His memory is, I am sure, treasured in the
hearts of very many here who knew him.  I wish it may incite them to
follow him as he followed Christ.

The last year of my beloved father’s life was marked by an entire
devotion to his ministerial work; for when he came to the determination
of resuming the entire charge of his parish, it was accompanied by a
resolution to abandon every other pursuit, and to devote all his time and
powers to the one object of winning souls to Christ.  As if to confirm
this purpose, he put away from his study library all the geological and
other scientific and literary books with which it was furnished, and
replenished it with theological works.  It was to him an act of great
self-denial thus entirely to give up the studies and pursuits which had
previously so engaged and captivated his attention; but they were
relinquished with cheerfulness, because for his Redeemer’s sake; for he
observed at the time that he made this sacrifice, “Oh! it is a very
little thing to do for my Saviour.”  He was fully recompensed for this
devotion to his Heavenly Father’s cause, as appears from his having
expressed to mamma the great comfort and peace of mind which he
afterwards enjoyed in his clerical avocations.  From that time a change
was apparent in his conversation; for although he was always accustomed
to introduce religious subjects in conversation with his family,
especially in the evening, when he would sit with us for a short time
after family prayers, still, during the last year, his conversation,
partaking of the exclusive nature of his studies, was more uniformly
serious than it had been previously.  I was frequently much struck with
the beauty and spirituality of his observations, and, once or twice,
while listening to his conversation, the idea presented itself, that the
sentiments and feelings he expressed were those of one who was ripening
for the garner.  This, however, was merely a passing thought, and never
at all realized or dwelt upon; for my dear father was, at that time,
particularly well, and he frequently told us that he never felt his
ministerial duties less burdensome.  One of his remarks, which made an
impression on my mind at the time, has since struck me the more from the
coincidence of the following text being written in one of the blank
leaves of the Bible that he was accustomed to use, until within the last
two or three years of his life: “When I am old and grey-headed, O God,
forsake me not.”  Psalm lxxi. 18.  The remark which he made in
conversation was this: “He has been my God from my youth up, but I never
felt that he was so near to me as now in my old age.”  These are not, I
think, quite the expressions he made use of, for I quote from memory, and
although I attempted to write them down the same day, I could not even
then recall the _words_ that he used.  Often similar attempts that I made
failed also, and I then relinquished the idea that I had entertained, of
preserving in writing some of my endeared father’s religious
observations.  During one of our drives to the station at the German
Mills, speaking of the ministering of angels, a subject of which he was
very fond, he remarked, that the dispensation of _faith_ under which we
are placed made it necessary that an unseen agency should be employed for
our protection and deliverance, as otherwise faith would be lost in
sight; and also that, had these ministering spirits been made visible to
us, we should have been very prone to place our reliance upon _them_,
instead of putting our trust simply in God.  He pursued the conversation
as we ascended a very steep hill, and said, “I think we are little aware
how constantly angels are employed on our behalf; perhaps now, an angel
is leading that horse by the bridle, and encouraging it onwards.”  One of
the horses, a fine animal, was then exerting itself to the utmost; for
the roads were very bad at the time, and the hill was therefore very
difficult of ascent.  I think the following anecdote will be interesting
to you, as it is one which made a strong impression on my dear father’s
mind, and, as it is short, I am tempted to copy it for you: “As one said
to Philip J. Jenks just before he expired, ‘How hard it is to die,’ he
replied, ‘Oh, no, easy dying, blessed dying, glorious dying.’  Looking up
at the clock, he said, ‘I have experienced more happiness in dying this
day, than in my whole life.  It is worth living for, it is worth a whole
life, to have such an end as this.  I have long desired that I might
glorify God in my death; but oh!  I never thought that such a poor worm
as I could have come to such a glorious death.’”  I believe this account
of “happiness experienced in death,” contributed very much to weaken his
apprehension of the pains of death, which he afterwards entirely lost.
It had, however, long been his own practice, and one which he recommended
to others from the pulpit, to make death a daily subject of prayer,
particularly as regarded its _time_ and _manner_; and I believe one of
these daily petitions was, that he might have an easy death, if
consistent with the will of God.  This petition was answered by his
Heavenly Father in a striking manner, for our kind friend and physician
assured us, that he suffered _no pain_, not even so much as a person
experiences in fainting.  It is also remarkable, as Dr. Paget mentioned
to us, that in no other way could his existence have been terminated with
this absence of pain, except by a stroke of lightning.  The doctor also
considered it remarkable that he survived so long after the fatal
accident, as instant death frequently occurs under such circumstances.
That such was not his case was an unspeakable comfort to us; and he
himself expressed his satisfaction at being brought home to his own
comfortable bed.  He also stated his thankfulness for the circumstance of
no bone being broken, or even dislocated, and quoted that passage of
Scripture, “He keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken.”  This
was before he was aware of the fatal nature of the accident.  He
expressed a wish to be left alone that he might be quiet, and we all left
the room in consequence, except Arthur and Dr. Paget.  We had no idea
that any danger was to be apprehended, till a few moments before he
expired, when he sent for us, asking for each by name, and for the
servants also.  He said he thought he was dying, and added, “Do not be
surprised if I should struggle at the last.”  Immediately after he said,
“What a salvation is that which Christ has purchased for us; what a
blessing that I have nothing to do now!  My dear flock, may the Lord
bless them all, and provide for them!”  Then seeing us all around him, he
said to each, “May the Lord bless you.”  These were his last words,
except the expression of his wish to lie down.  I supported his head on
my arm, and thought that he was falling asleep—but no, it was the sleep
of death.

Mr. Osier preached a most excellent funeral sermon from this appropriate
text, “Blessed are those servants, whom their Lord, when he cometh, shall
find watching.”  My dear father was employed to the very last in doing
his Lord’s work: his three last days were spent entirely in parochial
visiting, contrary to his usual practice of spending the greater portion
of each day in his study, and two or three hours in his drives and in
visiting his people.  Some of those whom he visited on these days,
afterwards told a young friend, that he talked to them principally about
preparation for death.  The man-servant also has spoken with much feeling
of his conversation during those drives, and he mentioned also, that each
day, when they reached home, he said, “Once more, Stephen, God has
brought us home in safety.”  My beloved father’s consistency of conduct
won for him the respect and esteem of all who knew him, even of those who
differed from him, sometimes widely, in religious opinions.  Such was the
case with the bishop, who however not only respected him, but entertained
very kind feelings towards him, which he evinced by coming from Toronto,
though with great inconvenience, and unsolicited, to pay the last mark of
respect to his remains.  The public testimony which was borne to the
excellence of my dear father’s character, in a resolution of the Central
Board of the Church Society, of which body he was a member, was so
gratifying, that I cannot refrain from copying a part of it.  He is
spoken of in the resolution as one “who for warm yet humble piety,
enlarged and Christian charity, a self-denying course of life, and a holy
devotedness to his Heavenly Master’s cause, was surpassed by none of
those who have been commissioned to feed the flock of Christ in this
diocese.”

One of the features of character alluded to in this resolution had been
especially observed by a young clerical friend, who, when speaking with
much warmth of the high estimation he entertained of my dear father’s
character, particularly mentioned his _great humility_.  As an instance
of this, he told us, that, when he had gone with my father into the
vestry after preaching what Mr. D. considered a most excellent sermon, he
had spoken of it as furnishing cause for fresh humiliation, and a
stimulus to greater exertions and more earnest prayers for the future.
Mr. D., on the same occasion, alluded to the peculiar facility with which
he constantly introduced religious remarks in conversation, which, he
said, he had particularly noticed on the few occasions on which he had
met him in company.  In answer to an observation, that my dear father had
often deplored the want of this very gift, Mr. D. remarked, that this
circumstance afforded a fresh proof of his humility.

                            * * * * * * * * *

                        Believe me, my dear Aunt,

                                             Your ever-affectionate Niece,
                                                           PHEBE MORTIMER.

                                * * * * *



PREACHING.


MR. MORTIMER, says one of his friends {262} (well fitted to form a
correct estimate of him), was “a _rarely gifted_ person.”  As a
_preacher_, he possessed very considerable excellence.  His
extemporaneous discourses were of a very finished kind, lucid in order,
striking in illustration, and powerful in application.  These discourses
were not the mere effusions of thoughts unprepared and of matter
undigested, but the result of diligent reading, close study, and fervent
prayer, which alone can enable even the competent _extempore_ speaker to
address a Christian congregation with any good effect.  He was eminently
a practical preacher, and signally excelled in pourtraying the unfair
arts so often practised by men of business with a view to their worldly
gain: and, as his hearers were mostly tradesmen, his graphic delineations
were sometimes keenly felt in the consciences of individuals, who were
ready to say, “Art thou come to call our sins to our remembrance?”  More
than one of his mercantile hearers has asked him, in private intercourse,
by what means he had acquired so exact and extraordinary an acquaintance
with the varieties of fraud, which, however familiar in the busy walks of
trade, might be supposed little known to a minister of the gospel.  To
such a question he has replied, that he had derived his knowledge, partly
from the habitual study of his own heart, partly from his personal
experience of a busy life in his earlier years; as he had been
apprenticed to an eminent London bookseller, previously to his collegiate
preparation for the ministry.

So searchingly did he probe the consciences of his hearers, that it was
not unfrequent with some among them to visit him for the purpose of
private conference, counsel, and consolation.  He well knew how to “speak
a word in season to the weary,” with a peculiar sympathy and kindness.
Yet quite as well he knew how to apply “the terror of the Lord:” and I
remember his telling me, that one of the _most effective_ sermons (as he
had reason to believe) which he had ever preached, was of terrific
character, and founded on those words of overwhelming horror; “In Hell he
lifted up his eyes, being in torments.”  _That_ sermon (he had reason to
hope) had been used by the Lord as an instrument for rescuing “a brand
from the burning,” which the preacher aimed to represent.  Another of his
most striking sermons, divided between the morning and evening of the
same Sabbath, was formed on a theme contrasted with the preceding, the
_conduct_ and the _reward_ of the faithful Christian, as exemplified in
St. PAUL: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I
have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that
day.” {264}

But, whatever excellencies he possessed as a preacher, Mr. Mortimer was
unconscious of them himself: for he frequently deplored what he
considered the inefficiency of his ministrations, and was accustomed to
speak in the most humble terms of his sermons.  On one such occasion, he
said, “When I come out of the pulpit, and turn over in my mind what I
have said, I think, What does it all amount to?  How much more to the
purpose it might have been, and how much more useful!”

On the Sunday evenings, after committing his past endeavours into the
hands of his God by prayer, he would turn his thoughts from the review of
what he considered his past failures to the hope of future usefulness, by
at once renewing his exertions.  With this view, he was accustomed,
before he retired to rest on the Sunday evening, to look out a text for
the following Sunday, and to form the outline of the sermon.  But
although he was thus peculiarly anxious about the preparation of his
sermons, he seldom spoke on the subject without remarking upon the
necessity of the accompanying influences of the Holy Spirit, to render
efficacious even the most highly wrought, powerful, and most convincing
sermon.  Indeed, he has expressed the opinion, that the most common-place
sermons were often made the most useful; because, in such cases, the
preacher, being aware of their defects, and being thus divested of all
feelings of self-congratulation, was led, in more humble dependence upon
God, to entreat that He would give the increase.

In connexion with this subject, he once mentioned having preached for a
friend on a rainy day to an exceedingly small congregation.  The
comparatively large number of empty pews presented a very discouraging
aspect, and tended very much to depress his spirits;—altogether such was
the effect produced on his mind, that least of all on that day would he
have expected any favourable result from his sermon.  Some time
afterwards, when he was spending an evening at the house of a person who
resided at some distance both from the place where he preached and from
his own home, a lady, who was of the party, took an opportunity of
stating how much she felt indebted to him for the spiritual sight that
she had received through his instrumentality.  He was at a loss to know
what she alluded to, for he had no recollection of having seen her
before: but she brought to his recollection the thinly scattered
congregation in his friend’s church, for whom he had preached on a very
rainy day: and then stated that she was one of those few hearers, and
that the sermon had made so deep an impression on her mind as to have
been productive of lasting benefit.



PASTORAL VISITING.


IN his pastoral visits, Mr. Mortimer appears to have been remarkably
successful.  He seems always to have paid attention to this very
important and often very useful part of the Christian pastor’s office,
but more especially during a few of the latter years of his life, making
his daily drives for the benefit of his health subservient to that
purpose.  He made a point of visiting at first six, and afterwards ten
families during each week, by which arrangement he considered that he
could visit each family four times during the year, besides paying more
frequent visits in case of illness, or any particular affliction.  He not
only visited the different members of his congregation and others
belonging to the church, but he went to every house in the immediate
neighbourhood, and, for several miles around, he knew the occupants of
almost every house.  When he visited Roman Catholics, or Dissenters, he
never sought to enter into controversy with them; for he considered it,
in general, unprofitable, and seldom productive of the desired effect of
bringing them into the fold of the Church.  He was far, however, from
shrinking from entering upon the subject, when it appeared desirable for
him to do so; and when the subject was brought forward in conversation,
he stated the grounds of his firm adhesion to his own communion, and
conscientiously, but with a mild and affectionate manner, warned them of
the sin of schism.  On such occasions, _unity_ was generally the theme of
his discourse, and he would dwell much on its importance and obligations,
and urge upon them the consideration of that beautiful prayer, “That
they, Father, may be one, as we are.”  He was never satisfied unless he
could give a decided religious turn to the conversations he had with his
people, but, even if he failed in doing this, he always contrived to
introduce some serious remark before he left their houses.  A
Presbyterian, who was warmly attached to her own Church, when speaking of
Mr. Mortimer, said, “Ah, he was a real good man.  I have often said, that
he and Mr. J. [the minister of her own communion] were the two best
ministers in Canada.  I wouldna miss going to hear Mr. Mortimer preach in
the evening [she went to her own place of worship in the morning], but I
havena the heart to go now.  I weel remember how he sat here, for near an
hour, talking to my husband the last time he was here.  My husband served
at Waterloo, and they were talking about the battle, and such things; and
then he stopped all of a sudden, and smiled, and said, ‘but I didna come
here to talk about politics.’”

He was particularly desirous of impressing upon the minds of those whom
he visited the importance of individual and experimental religion, and
would constantly remind them that their great aim should be to prepare
for heaven.

He took also occasion to warn them of open sins which they were in the
habit of committing, such as drunkenness, or the neglect of public
worship.  An old man, who frequently gave way to a habit of intoxication,
and, perhaps from this cause, has now become prematurely infirm and
almost childish, alluded to the last visit of his pastor in the following
manner:—“On the Thursday—the Thursday, you mind, before he died—old Mr.
Mortimer came to see me in his little carriage, and his man drove him:
and he gave me a caution.  He said, ‘Mr. —, I saw you on Yonge-street a
short time since, and you were drunk;’ and on the next Saturday he was a
corpse, and I lost my brother:” and the old man turned aside to hide his
tears.

The husband, or rather the widower, of a Presbyterian, mentioned that his
wife had frequently remarked to him, that there could not be a better
minister by a sick bed than Mr. Mortimer: for that he never excited
persons, but that at the same time he did not delude them about their
eternal prospects, but spoke candidly to them, according to their
different states of mind.  She said that there was no minister that she
should so much like to see, if she were ill, as Mr. Mortimer.  Her wish,
however, was not gratified, for she survived him about half-a-year.

Another person, a member of a Presbyterian family in the neighbourhood,
after stating that Mr. Mortimer was very much missed, said, “And no one
misses him more than my mother; for he used to come and sit with her, and
talked so nicely to her, that it did her so much good—it did her good
till he came again.  There will never be another minister like Mr.
Mortimer: if there were to come five thousand, there would not be another
like him.” {268a}

He took an interest in the concerns of those whom he visited, and,
following the example of St. Paul, strove to “please all men in all
things, not seeking his own profit, but the profit of many, that they
might be saved.”  “He was not naturally fond of children, and I was much
struck, on that account, with the remark of a woman when talking about
the visits of my dear father; ‘Ah, miss, your father was mighty fond of
this little one, and he took so much notice of him the very last time he
was here!’  Another woman said, ‘Ah! he was a real gentleman, and he
would sit down with us, and talk so free and pleasant-like.’” {268b}



CONFIRMATION.


MR. MORTIMER devoted a good deal of time and attention to preparing the
candidates for the confirmation that was held at Thornhill, in July,
1843.  Mr. Townley was then assisting him; for he began the instruction
of the candidates several months previous to the solemnizing of the rite,
and he was thus left more at liberty than he had ever before been for
this important branch of duty.  His plan, on that occasion, was to divide
the candidates into three distinct classes; viz., one comprising the
juniors, and another, the adults of the less educated among his
congregation, and the third embracing the remainder.  The first of these
classes was required to learn by heart portions of an explanation of the
Church Catechism, which they repeated to their minister when they met
together on a specified afternoon in each week.  Their attention was
particularly directed to the Scripture proofs of the Catechism, which was
also commented upon in a familiar manner, and particularly in connexion
with confirmation.  In order to encourage them to learn the Catechism
well, a prize was promised to each of the three who should be able to
repeat the whole of it most accurately.  The adult classes met also once
a week in the evening, and were prepared with answers, which they read
from the Bible, to questions on scriptural subjects, with which they were
furnished the previous week.  They also repeated a part of Dean Nowell’s
Catechism, which, together with the scriptural questions, formed the
subject for addresses and interrogations.  The third class met one
morning in the week at their pastor’s house, and they were expected to
give verbal answers to questions on the Book of Common Prayer, with which
they were previously supplied.  For the use of this class also, Mr.
Mortimer prepared a set of questions and answers explanatory of the
sacrament, which will appear in another place; and he made use of a
Catechism on Confirmation to explain that ordinance to the candidates,
besides distributing several tracts on the subject.



SOCIAL MEETINGS.


IN the years 1842 and 1843, Mr. Mortimer established several different
week-day meetings for promoting the spiritual benefit of his flock.  One
of these was held on Tuesday evenings, and was conducted alternately by
himself and Mr. Townley, both, however, being present.  The meeting was
opened by singing a hymn, and by offering up a short extempore prayer,
either by himself or Mr. Townley.  One of them then spoke on some subject
connected with experimental religion; after which, some of the members
were expected to make observations connected with the spiritual life of
the Christian, or their own particular experience, or to ask any question
on practical or doctrinal subjects; and, when a pause ensued, one of the
clergymen would carry on the remarks, or introduce another subject.
Singing the doxology, and the use of one or two collects, or,
occasionally, extempore prayer, and the blessing, concluded the meeting.
This meeting was not continued long; for it was not found to answer,
owing to the difficulty that persons experienced in speaking on these
subjects.

After this was given up, another was established for the Sunday-school
teachers.  There were twelve members, all young, in the same rank of
society, and on terms of intimacy with each other and with their
respected pastor, at whose house they met; and these circumstances,
together with the cheerful easy manner in which it was conducted,
combined to render it pleasant, as well as profitable.  Each member
learnt by heart a short portion of a catechetical work on the “Elements
of Christian Knowledge,” which they repeated by turns, and afterwards
gave verbal answers to questions, previously written out, on
miscellaneous subjects connected with religion, such as the evidences of
Christianity, the history of the Old Testament, or doctrinal subjects.
Questions were prepared by Mr. Mortimer for this purpose, and other
questions were copied by the different members from a book of “Questions
on the Old and New Testament, and the Book of Common Prayer, by the Rev.
Edward Thompson.”  The different subjects thus brought forward, always
drew forth many interesting and profitable remarks in connexion with the
duties of Sunday-school teachers.  At other times, they were addressed as
professors of Christianity.  These meetings were very much liked, and are
still looked back upon with feelings of pleasure and grateful
recollection by, at least, some of its members.  They only lasted one
winter, as the summer evenings were not found so convenient for them, and
the following winter Mr. Mortimer was unable to resume them, as his whole
time was devoted to other ministerial duties.



LIBRARY.


AT the beginning of the year 1837, Mr. Mortimer opened a “Library for
Sunday Reading.”  It contained, at first, about 150 volumes, and, as the
books were very much read by all classes of persons, about 100 more were
afterwards added to the number, all of which were furnished at his own
cost.  They were lent gratuitously, and were changed weekly in the
vestry.  The different readers were furnished with a printed catalogue of
the books, that they might have the opportunity of selecting those that
they preferred, as being most suitable to their taste or circumstances.
These books were in circulation up to the time of his death.

About the same time an attempt was made to establish a “Library of Useful
Knowledge,” at Thornhill, the object of which was to promote useful
information to “Farmers, Mechanics, and Artizans,” at a cost so trifling
as to bring it easily within their reach; the terms of subscription being
five shillings annually, or a penny-a-week for each volume.  This
endeavour, which was made with the hope of improving the habits and
character of a large portion of the population, by furnishing profitable
employment for leisure hours usually spent in idleness or frivolous
amusements, was mainly seconded by Mr. Mortimer, who made a handsome
donation towards it in money, besides about eighteen volumes, most of
which, though scientific or literary works, were distinguished for their
religious tendency.  Most of the gentlemen in the neighbourhood also
contributed towards this library.  It was found, however, for the most
part, that there was no taste for this style of reading among the class
for whom the library was intended; only ten or a dozen persons availed
themselves of the use of the books, and in rather more than a year
applications for them ceased to be made.



EXTRA-PAROCHIAL SERVICES.


IT was while visiting the people in the neighbourhood of the GERMAN
MILLS, in August, 1841, that their state of spiritual destitution was
impressed upon Mr. Mortimer’s mind, and he immediately determined upon
trying to do something for them.  As he had then no Sunday duty to
perform, and, at the same time, was partially recovered from his nervous
attack, he made up his mind to attempt a Sunday service there himself,
and immediately began to inquire if any room could be found for the
purpose.  A farmer, whose house was very conveniently situated, on being
applied to, willingly consented to secure the use of a room in his own
house, without any charge, for the remaining term of his lease,
five-and-a-half years; nor would he at any time accept any remuneration
for the expense and trouble which he incurred by the service being held
in his house; and both himself and his wife were ever ready to do all in
their power to promote the comfort of their minister, and of those who
were engaged in the Sunday school, which was also held in the room used
for Divine service.  Their generous conduct much pleased Mr. Mortimer,
who often said, that they would never suffer for “sheltering the ark of
God,” but that, on the contrary, he felt sure that as the “Lord blessed
the house of Obededom,” so He would bless them and their family.  The
room being then in an unfinished state, Mr. Mortimer agreed to have it
prepared for Divine worship at his own expense, the fitting up consisting
simply of a desk and benches.  On the 5th of the following month,
September, the service was performed in this room for the first time.
Mr. Mortimer was much surprised, and greatly encouraged by the largeness
of the congregation, many being unable to find seats, and standing in the
entrance.  Before the following Sunday the room was furnished with
additional benches, which, altogether, was considered sufficient to seat
a hundred persons.  On that day also, there was a large congregation, as
appears from a memorandum in Mr. Mortimer’s handwriting; “The room quite
filled, and overflowing.”  As he himself expected, however, after a time,
the novelty wore off, and the congregation decreased, leaving an average
of about seventy attendants; but even this number he thought a large
congregation, considering the scattered state of the population.  He
always felt a peculiar interest in this station, which he styled, “the
nursling of his old age.”  The congregation always appeared grateful for
the establishment of the service there, which they evinced by the
willingness with which they subscribed to the “Church Society,” when
called upon to do so.  Though this place is not more than
three-and-a-half miles from Thornhill Church, it is believed, that not
more than one person during their residence there ever attended the
church service, until it was held at the German Mills.  The settlement
derives its name from the circumstance of the surrounding country having
been settled chiefly by Germans many years since; at which time there
were mills close to the house in which the service is now held.  These
mills have been long since in ruins, having never been repaired, owing,
it is said, to some superstition connected with the history of them.
There are now scarcely more than two dozen houses within a circuit of
half-a-mile from the ruins of the mills.  The other dwellings are
scattered on the different surrounding farms.

On the 10th October, in the same year, a Sunday School was begun in
connexion with the Church, which was well attended, having from forty to
sixty attendants.  At the time the Church service was established at the
German Mills, there was no Sunday service there of any description.  The
Methodists had previously attempted to establish prayer and other
meetings, but had then no service of any kind: as soon, however, as the
Church service was commenced, Mr. Mortimer was informed that they had
again opened a meeting at a house close by, apparently for the sake of
opposition, but of which he took not the slightest notice: it was shortly
afterwards given up, though in a little time re-commenced.

In the same manner, when he was informed that the editor of the
_Christian Guardian_, a Methodist paper, had written against him, he
would not even look at the paper, observing, that “it matters but little
what people said of him.”  He considered it the wisest plan to let
opposition die away.  By some he was called a Puseyite, by others a low
Churchman; but his own aim was to be “a consistent Churchman.”  What he
considered one breach of consistency is mentioned in his pastoral letter
to his parishioners at Thornhill; viz., attending other places of
worship: another was contributing towards the support or encouragement of
Dissent, which he invariably declined doing from conscientious motives.



CHARITY.


THE following memorandum is made in his pocket-book for 1832:—

    “After I leave England, I purpose giving one-seventh to poor-purse,
    as my object in devoting one fifth was that I might more extensively
    employ the poor about my premises, &c. &c.  But as there is no want
    of labour there, so large a proportion will not be needed: at least,
    it so strikes me at present.  Possibly, however, more will be needed
    for the cause of God.”

One way in which employment was given to the poor at Hutton was, making a
side walk through the village, covered with white spar, which was
procured from the neighbouring hills, and was broken very small.  His
rector, the Rev. Alfred Harford, shared in many of the plans which were
adopted for the benefit of the poor in Hutton.

Mr. Mortimer made a point of never being his own instrument in affording
pecuniary assistance to any of the persons he visited.  If he noticed
that any persons were in distressed circumstances, or if any told him of
their difficulties, he would mention them to Mrs. Mortimer, and she would
do what was necessary to relieve them.  Indeed, she was in every case his
almoner; for he never himself gave any money in charity.  His reason for
this was, that the people might have no selfish aim in desiring his
visits, which he wished to be purely spiritual.

                                * * * * *

As a HUSBAND and a FATHER, Mr. Mortimer was a pattern of conjugal
tenderness and of parental kindness: there was a remarkable suavity in
his manners, which greatly endeared him to his family, and indeed to all
who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.  If ever he said or wrote an
unkind word, he was the first to discover and acknowledge it, and to make
the most ample apology.  His humility was so great that it might have
been suspected of disingenuousness, if those who knew him the most
intimately were not well assured of his Christian simplicity and
sincerity.  His youngest daughter, writing to me, says, in reference to
this subject:—

    “He kindly made me the companion of his drives before he began to
    visit his people regularly, and he frequently talked to me more as if
    I were his friend than his daughter; for he would speak of his
    religious feelings, and even of his faults.  He once said that he had
    no wish to conceal his sins and failings here; for that they would
    all be revealed before the assembled multitudes of men and angels at
    the day of judgment.  I frequently felt deeply humbled by the thought
    that I was so unworthy of the feelings my beloved father entertained
    towards me: but I was fully aware that it was his _own disposition_
    to cause him to feel as he did towards me.”

My amiable young friend and god-daughter also writes, in reference to his
kindness to servants:—

    “My dear father was the kindest and most considerate of MASTERS.  He
    was always anxious to promote the comfort and happiness of his
    servants, and very careful not to wound their feelings, or to give
    them unnecessary trouble or annoyance.  He often expressed his
    pleasure at seeing them seated by the fire at their needlework, or
    enjoying the society of their relatives and friends, and would tell
    them that he wished them to be as comfortable as he was himself.  Nor
    was he less mindful of their spiritual welfare, and took pains to
    instruct them in the great duties of religion.”

For the foregoing particulars, illustrative of my friend’s character as a
Christian pastor, and in his domestic relations, with the exception of a
part of the article on the character of his preaching, attributed in a
note, to another friend, I am entirely indebted to his youngest daughter,
Miss Phebe Mortimer: nothing is due to myself except for the arrangement
of the materials with which I have been so kindly and so well furnished.

From the foregoing sketch, as well as from the general contents of the
volume, Mr. Mortimer’s character is clearly seen, and cannot fail to
excite admiration:—let every reader here add a prayer to be enabled to
imitate as well as to admire.  That my friend was possessed of no
peculiarities, or of no defects, I do not affirm; but they were blended
with so much purity of motive, integrity of principle, and correctness of
conduct, that his general excellences were visible to all, his
peculiarities were known but to few.  His _extreme carefulness_ in
expenditure, and his—seemingly, at least—_over anxiousness_ to preserve
unimpaired, if not to increase, his fortune, led him to the adoption of
some measures, which by many of his friends were thought questionable.
It is, however, exceedingly difficult to judge another in this matter,
or, indeed, to set up any precise and universal standard by which to form
a judgment in the case.  So many among the clergy, it is to be feared,
err in the opposite extreme, and so much reproach has been brought upon
the Church and the clerical character, by the want of a sufficient
prudence and economy in secular affairs, to prevent pecuniary
embarrassment, that the error of too much care is much to be preferred to
that of a want of it, where it is attended by such counteracting
properties as marked Mr. Mortimer’s management of his income.  His
systematic charity, his cheerful and bountiful liberality, and his strict
integrity, more than balance any defective peculiarity in his secular
matters.

If I might venture to sum up Mr. Mortimer’s character in a few words, I
should say that his whole life, from the time of his becoming a decided
Christian, was characterized by firm faith, deep humility, great
decision, steady consistency, self-denial, holy zeal, and patient
perseverance; and his manners were characterized by urbanity, kindness,
and sweetness of address peculiar to himself.  As a pastor, as a private
Christian, as a relative, and as a friend, he has left an example worthy
of imitation.  “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith
the Spirit; for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow
them.”

Mr. Mortimer, just before his death, gave directions to destroy all his
papers and writings, and it does not appear that he kept any record of
the events of his life, or of his Christian experience: no specimen,
therefore, of his regular composition has come into the hands of the
writer.  The following fragments or remains have been collected from
different sources, and show his opinions on the several subjects of them.



ARMINIANISM.


YOUR very Christian remarks and feelings connected with my much honoured
and much beloved Wellington friend deserve my sincere thanks.  You are
quite right: the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is of
infinitely more importance than nice and subtle distinctions upon points
of which, after all, we know so exceedingly little.  I do not think those
two sermons should have been attached to the volumes, whose other
contents are generally practical: and I objected at the time, but the
opinions of others prevailed.  I think with you that the text is
unhappily chosen.  As to the contents, we shall of course differ: but I
can say so much as this, that I attach so little importance to the
peculiarities of the system which I adopt, that, for many months past, I
have declined _in toto_ entering upon the subject with every one who
would dispute with me: and am so moderate in my own statements, that most
of my Arminian friends have their fears of my eventually leaving
them:—not that any alteration has taken place in my doctrinal views, but
simply in the ideas of importance which I used at one time to attach to
them.



ATHANASIAN CREED.


THE Athanasian Creed is not the milk which the Church gives to her babes,
but the test to which she brings her heretics.



CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION.


As to Catholic Emancipation I profess to know and to fear but little.
Were I better acquainted with the effects of the present system, I fancy
I should think with such men as Mr. Wilberforce: but not knowing these,
having only a very limited survey, I feel quite satisfied to let them
think for me.  A meeting was lately called at Bridgenorth to petition
against the claims.  I refused both to attend and to authorize the use of
my signature.  I am equally satisfied, however, that the bill should be
lost: and I should imagine that the strength in the Upper House will
always throw it out.



DR. A. CLARKE’S COMMENTARY.


YOU ask me my opinion of Dr. Adam Clarke’s Commentary.  I think that upon
the whole it is a great work: and few persons could have produced such a
one.  But after all, the Dr. is not to be depended on, he is far too
venturesome and far too positive—he drives through thick and thin—certain
opinions must be maintained, certain characters must be vindicated, and
this is done in a manner and spirit which is not quite suited to my
taste.  I continue, however, to take in the work for the present: but
have told one of the Methodist preachers stationed here, that, if he can
part with it for me on reasonable terms, I will take from him Benson’s
Commentary in its stead.



CLASSES.


As to classes, I still think that something like church fellowship is the
grand desideratum of our Church.  The Communion, which was originally
intended for this, now completely fails.  It is almost anything but the
_communion of saints_.  Private meetings, too, of a familiar,
conversational, or expository kind, do not quite come up to the supposed
point.  There must be some enclosure—some hedge of separation, something
which shall admit the apparently sincere inquirer and exclude the
worldly—something, in fact, which shall “gather believers together out of
the mass of the ungodly world.”



DISSENT.


IN reference to Dissent, I am, I believe, what Dissenters consider a
high, bigoted, stiff Churchman, but the simple true Churchman is all I
wish to be known by.  I love my Church right thoroughly, and I love
Church unity in the same degree, and have never, for many years past,
done anything by countenancing, encouraging, aiding, or abetting Dissent,
and I hope I never shall; but I cannot, dare not, unchurch Dissenters,
and deny that they are sections of Christ’s outward and visible Church,
and, of course, I cannot but respect the private characters and conduct
of many individuals among them.



EPISCOPACY.


As to Episcopacy, I think with Bishop Hall, that it is necessary for the
_well_ or _better_ being of a Church, but not essentially necessary to
its very being itself; and as to High Church principles, or Puseyism, or
Tractarian notions, I go not a single step.  I regard them as quite
subversive of the doctrine of Christ; there is not one single point, by
which they are distinguished but, if honestly carried out, must lead to
Romanism.  Admit, for example, that in ordination there is conveyed
through the bishop, of necessity, and independent of the state of mind of
the candidate, any grace or virtue or qualification for the spiritually
and graciously discharging the duties of the ministerial office, which is
not conveyed by Presbyterian or Methodistical ordination, and you
arrogate for our Church what neither Scripture on the one hand, nor daily
observation on the other, will substantiate.  They may authorize and
commission those who appear to them already qualified, but it is the
Divine Spirit alone, which can fit and qualify with all the gifts and
graces necessary for a due discharge of their important function.



FAITH AND WORKS.


WHEN a man is justified by faith, he is by faith accounted just and
righteous _before_ God.

When a man is justified by works, he is by his works proclaimed or
declared _to man_ to be just and righteous.

To be justified is generally to be considered or regarded just or
righteous.



FIRST STEP.


THE first step in vital religion is a sense of the presence of God.



FRIENDSHIP.


IT generally happens when there are little unpleasantnesses among friends
and relations, that they arise from mutual faults, and therefore I cannot
but conclude, that there must have been something either in my
observations or manner, which it would have been better to avoid.  I am
surprised, however, that you should so long have suffered from such
incidents: friends, and especially relatives, should be like two bowls
suffering temporary collision; they should rub and go on, for in this
imperfect state we must expect many such a rub; we cannot move at equal
rates, we cannot keep at equal distances, there will be an infringing
every now and then, but still let us go on, go on in love, agree to
differ, and expect occasionally to feel; but why should this feeling be
either strong or lasting?  I am glad, however, that you have relieved
your mind, and though it has been a little at my expense, yet as the
effort has been beneficial to you, I will not attempt in any way to
destroy the effect, but will, for the sake of good will and kind feeling,
admit anything you have said.  And here may such matters rest “never to
rise again.”



MILLENNIUM.


ON the Millennial question, I am always backward to speak; for I expect
no personal reign: look for nothing very immediate, and then merely
suppose a general or universal profession of Christianity throughout the
world, and deeper work in the hearts of believers.  As to the time of
previous trial, I dare hazard but little—in sober truth, I do not suffer
myself to be puzzled, or even much occupied with _unfulfilled_ prophecy;
with this we have graciously little to do; it is purposely so revealed
that it cannot be previously known, that it may not seem, when
accomplished, to have been through its prediction fulfilled.



SIR ISAAC NEWTON.
(_From the Rev. T. Grinfield_.)


MR. MORTIMER had a fine mind for mathematical studies, and took a high
degree in the Senate House Examination of 1811.  I have often questioned
him on topics connected with those studies;—and well remember asking him,
on one occasion, what he supposed might be the reason why NEWTON, with so
vast a mind for mathematical science, and after such unprecedented
success, should have deserted all further investigations of that kind
during the latter thirty years of his studious life.  With his
characteristic sagacity, he promptly assigned a reason which has not
(that I know) been remarked by Sir D. Brewster, or the other biographers
of NEWTON, and which, while it exempts him from the unjust imputation of
an enfeebled mind, does just honour to his piety, and may probably be the
real, deep, and admonitory reason: “Ah, sir, we must remember that, great
as he was in intellect, after all NEWTON was but a man, who had the same
_wants and cravings of the heart_ with ourselves.  Having achieved his
great discoveries, he began to feel within himself, _this also is
vanity_: he could not find, in his mathematical demonstrations, _rest for
his soul_—_satisfaction_ for his _heart_, he therefore turned his
attention from science to the _Scriptures_.”  I thought the explanation
at once original and just, and, as it refers to “Magnum illum, NEWTONUM,
qui genus humanum ingenio superavit,” {284} singularly interesting and
impressive:—a fragment, among many reminiscences, that I would fain
preserve from being lost.



BISHOP OF PETERBOROUGH’S EIGHTY-SEVEN QUESTIONS.


THE Bishop of Peterborough, in my opinion, richly deserves all he has met
with; and I do hope that since many, perhaps a majority of our bishops,
read the _Christian Observer_ the rough handling he has experienced will
operate beneficially on the bench at large.  From my heart I hate and
detest all inquisitorial measures.  Perhaps, however, the Evangelical
body need some fan or other to purge the floor; and though a great stir
has lately been made about oppression &c., I am not without hope that it
will do us considerable good.



SUBJECTS FOR PRAYER.


I.  That we may habitually realize a _sense of the Divine presence_.

II.  That we may live in the will of God, and feel that it is _precious_
to us.

III.  That we may be _grateful_ Christians—_trace_ our mercies—and
thankfully adore the good Lord for sending them.

IV.  That we may be helped against the soul-ruining, and God-dishonouring
sin of _unbelief_.  “Lord, increase our faith.”

V.  That our confidence may be strengthened as connected with prayer in
general, and especially in these private addresses.

VI.  That we may discover in all our enjoyments, social intercourse, &c.
&c. _true sobriety of mind_, and guard against every approach to a
_light_ and _frivolous spirit_.

VII.  That we may manifest a spirit of faithful admonition and reproof,
combined with tenderness.

VIII.  For earnestness in the cause of God.

IX.  For those gifts and graces implied in the outpouring of God’s
Spirit.

X.  For a discovery of the love of Jesus, and a greater knowledge of him
in all his saving benefits—wisdom, righteousness, and strength.

XI.  For growth in grace in general, and in its evidences.  1st.
Increased love to the Saviour.  2nd. Increased hatred to sin; and 3d.
Increasingly lowly views of ourselves.



SACRAMENTAL GRACE.


WITH regard to sacramental grace, I do not conceive that an episcopally
ordained minister has any inherent grace deposited in him, which imparts
a greater efficacy, when a sacrament is administered by him, above what
may be received by graciously prepared recipients, who may have it
administered by others not episcopally ordained.  The good imparted is
immediately and directly from the Divine Spirit, just as the power of
seeing came immediately and directly from Christ, and not through the
clay with which the eyes of the blind man were anointed: no inherent or
even transferred power with which the clay had become endowed, but a
simple transaction between Christ and the believing applicant.  The
outward and visible signs are of great importance, but most lamentable is
it when they are invested with that power which belongs to God alone.
The connexion between these views and Romanism is easily apparent.
Salvation is no longer of faith, but of works:—use forms, ceremonies,
penances, sacraments, prayers, recitations, liturgical services, and all
is done: grace is conveyed, and that, too, in proportion to the number
and frequency of the performances; and the state of the heart all the
while disregarded—the vast surplusage of merit will be obtained, or
extreme unction adjust all.



THE SACRAMENTS. {287a}


1.  What are the Sacraments? {287b}

    “They are outward and visible signs and pledges of inward and
    spiritual grace.”—_Ch. Cat._

2.  How many are the Christian Sacraments?

    “There are (only) two Sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the
    Gospel: that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.”—25_th_
    _Art. Ch. of England_. {287c}

3.  What are the design and use of Sacraments?

  The principal design is to convey “spiritual grace” to the soul: and
  their chief use consists in their being suitable “means” for the
  purpose.

4.  What is the nature of the Christian Sacraments?

    “Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of
    Christian men’s profession, but rather they be certain sure
    witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will towards
    us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only
    quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in Him.”—25_th_
    _Art. Ch. of England_.

5.  What do you understand by “spiritual grace,” which you say it is the
design of the Sacraments to convey to the soul?

  The term grace has many significations in Scripture: but most commonly
  it either means good-will, or favour (Romans xi. 6; 2 Tim. i. 9; Rom.
  v. 20); or it signifies the _internal operation of the Holy Spirit_
  upon the soul, regenerating, purifying, and sanctifying our nature: and
  the Sacraments, when duly regarded, are signs and pledges of the one,
  and effectual means of conveying the other.

6.  How, then, are the Sacraments to be regarded?

  Simply as _means_ of grace, and not as _necessarily_ conveying any
  internal benefit to the soul: for no such benefit is, or can be,
  derived from them, unless the mind be previously prepared to partake of
  them as God has willed and commanded.

7.  What proofs can you adduce that the internal benefits of Sacraments
are not absolute, and independent of the previous state of the mind?

  _First_, because we have no warrant either in Scripture, or in the
  reason of things, to think so; and, _secondly_, because, if they were
  so, no one could eat and drink in the Lord’s Supper to their own
  condemnation, which St. Paul affirms is the case with those who eat and
  drink unworthily.  (1. Cor. xi. 29.  Acts viii. 13, 20–23.)

8.  But though this is the case in the Lord’s Supper, are not the
benefits of Baptism absolute and unconditional?

  No: repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ are indispensably
  necessary in all cases previously to any _saving_ benefits being
  derived from the use of this sacrament.  Repentance and faith, however,
  though previously necessary, are in nowise the _meritorious_ and
  _procuring_ cause of these benefits; they form only a preparatory and
  necessary meetness for a due reception of them.

9.  But are not infants, although incapable of either repentance or
faith, invariably regenerated, renewed, and sanctified in and by this
sacrament?

  All that are baptized are said to be regenerated, because the outward
  ordinance is a sign or emblem of “spiritual regeneration.”  And nothing
  is more common, both in Scripture and in ancient writings, than the use
  of a term which only denotes the _sign_ for the _thing signified_.  And
  in the judgment of Christian charity, in all cases when this sacrament
  is rightly received, and the after conduct corresponds with the
  professions therein made, we may conclude that they partake, as of the
  sign, so also of the thing signified.

10.  What do you understand by the sacrament being “rightly received”?

  The sacrament is rightly received in infant baptism, when the parents
  and sponsors have just scriptural views of its nature and design, and
  present children to be baptized in obedience to the authority of God;
  simply, humbly, and sincerely depending upon his unmerited grace and
  favour in Christ Jesus; and are truly desirous that the child so
  presented by them, may become “the faithful soldier and servant of the
  Lord Jesus Christ;” and when the sponsors themselves exercise
  repentance, whereby “they forsake sin, and faith, whereby they
  stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that sacrament.”
  In all such cases we have “a presumptive certainty” that spiritual
  regeneration commences in the ordinance; for then it is “_rightly
  received_.”

11.  What is the best _after_ proof of this?

  The best after proof which children can give of this is, the fulfilment
  of those promises and engagements made for them by their sponsors in
  their baptism.

12.  And what were the promises and engagements?

    “That they should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and
    vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh;
    that they should believe all the articles of the Christian faith; and
    that they should keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in
    the same all the days of their life.”—_Ch. Cat._

13.  But how do you show that children in after life are bound to fulfil
those engagements made for them by others, at this unconscious period of
their infancy?

  They are bound to do so by the obligation which they themselves owe to
  God, inasmuch as their parents or spiritual guardians entered into such
  engagements only, on their behalf, as each individual is bound to
  fulfil, whether such engagements had or had not been entered into by
  others.



TEMPERANCE.


PUBLIC opinion is, through God’s mercy, effecting much among us.  Much
bitterness, indeed, still exists in some, as well as most determined
opposition.  But the work is of God, and I feel a blessed assurance that
much good will eventually be done.  I am beginning to perceive with much
thankfulness that the Temperance Society is an important engine in aid of
all my ministerial plans—a kind of stepping stone to the church and to
piety; and I am careful to watch all its movements, and to follow up
every indication for good.

                                * * * * *

THE following letter, addressed to the Rev. John Cooper, it is presumed
may not unsuitably close the preceding Memoir.  The writer, who so
affectionately expresses his deep obligations to the late Mr. Mortimer,
has been for many years the faithful minister of a large parish in
Shropshire, very near the scene of Mr. M.’s former labours in that
county.

                                               W— Vicarage, June 18, 1845.

My dear Friend,

I FEEL sincerely and deeply obliged to you for the kindness you have
shown in sending me the interesting extracts you have made from Miss
Mortimer’s letter, relative to her beloved father.  There are few, if
any, to whom I am so deeply indebted as I am to that dear and valued
friend.  At an early period of my life he noticed me with a kindness and
humility which I can never forget.  These were, indeed, traits constantly
exhibited in his Christian character, but they were the more affecting
and attractive as appearing in a man of such ability and accomplishments.
Whatever I know of Christian truth and experience I owe in a high degree
to the daily conversations which I was permitted to enjoy for many months
in three or four successive years, with him, and to the sermons and
expositions which I heard from him at that time, every Sabbath and every
week.

After I left Madeley I saw less of him, though our intercourse was
renewed, in some measure, when he came to Bristol, and, in the end, he
succeeded me in my old curacy at Hutton, on my presentation to the living
which I now hold. * * * Not many letters ever passed between us; but _I
have never ceased to remember him with admiration_, _gratitude_, _and
love_.  _Indeed_, _take him altogether_, _and I have never seen his
equal_.

With my very kind regards to yourself and family,

                          I remain, my dear Sir,

                                                     Very sincerely yours,
                                                                  G. L. Y.



THE WATCHFUL SERVANT.


                                 A SERMON
               PREACHED AT THORNHILL CHURCH, JUNE 19, 1844,
                        OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF
                     THE REV. GEORGE MORTIMER, M.A.,
                        _Rector of that Township_.

                         BY THE REV. F. L. OSLER.

                                LUKE XII. 37.

    “BLESSED ARE THOSE SERVANTS WHOM THE LORD, WHEN HE COMETH, SHALL FIND
    WATCHING.”

ON receiving an invitation to officiate on the mournful occasion which
calls us together, accompanied with a request that I would also preach a
sermon suitable to the afflicting circumstance, the oft-repeated
encouragement of my dear departed friend, eagerly to embrace every
opportunity of setting forth Christ, was brought home to my mind, and a
voice from the dead seemed to say, Stand in my accustomed place, and for
me tell to my bereaved family and friends, to the people of my charge and
of my many prayers, that the Gospel which they have so often heard
proclaimed by the lips now cold in death, is not a vague uncertainty, but
the power of God unto salvation; and while they weep for one whose most
earnest endeavours were to promote their welfare, that they should not
sorrow as those without hope, but seek earnestly to become imitators of
those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

So suddenly was he whose loss we mourn taken from the midst of us, that
the necessity and duty of watchfulness naturally presents itself to the
mind; such is the injunction implied in the words of my text—to _that_
and the _blessing_ promised let us first direct our attention.

Under the figure of a householder, or master, and his servants, Christ
represents Himself, and those who profess to be His disciples; for it is
evident that the words are addressed to such, and not to the godless and
profane.  And as Christ’s _watching_ servants are also to be _working_
servants, fidelity, diligence, and perseverance the Lord requires to find
in them, when he comes to call them to their account.

“It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful,” saith St.
Paul.  No other qualification can compensate for the want of this, and
the higher the trust reposed, the greater is the fidelity required.  How
solemn, then, and awful, is the position of the minister of Christ! he
has not only to watch for his own soul, and take care lest his very
duties, by their frequent performance, become the means of imperceptibly
leading him to trust in them, and think that because he is made useful to
others, it must, therefore, be well with himself, but also to watch for
the souls of others.  As Christ’s ambassador, there is committed unto him
the ministry of reconciliation, to entreat sinners in Christ’s stead to
be reconciled to God; and should any perish through his wilful neglect,
either to warn or to give instruction, against the unfaithful minister is
denounced the fearful sentence, “his blood will I require at thy hand.”

Deeply did our beloved friend feel this; his daily prayer and study was
to make full proof of his ministry, and seek by every means to win souls
to Christ.  His manner of life from the time of his first coming among
you, up to the hour of his death, is known to most present.  In his
family the kind husband, parent, and master, anxious for the comfort and
welfare of all, yet most anxious that each who dwelt beneath his roof,
might love that Saviour who was so precious to his own soul.  Owing to
the delicate state of his health, and what he suffered from even a little
unusual excitement, he was, perhaps, seen less in his family than most
clergymen; but those friends with whom he felt that he could act freely,
and leave when he found himself no longer equal to conversation, will
doubtless bear me witness, that as the head of a family few excelled him,
and that it was a happy privilege to join with him at the family altar in
prayer and praise.

In the temporal property which God had given him, we find the same
earnest care that God might be glorified thereby.  His liberality is well
known, and the principle on which he acted, he believed to be in
accordance to God’s revealed word.  At first, a tenth of his property was
set apart, and after a little while, not feeling satisfied with that
portion, one seventh of his income, as he received it, was regularly set
apart, and most carefully used, as might best promote the glory of God,
and the good of his fellow-creatures.  All he possessed he considered as
a talent given by God with the injunction, “Occupy till I come,” and as a
good steward he laboured faithfully to improve the talent committed to
his trust.

But the fulfilment of his ministerial duties was that which engaged his
most earnest attention.

He would not offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing, and whether
his sermons were what is commonly termed extempore, or written, they were
composed with much care, and after much prayer.  His anxiety was to win
souls to Christ, and to give to each his portion of meat in due season;
he was careful, almost to a fault, that the subject on which he was
treating should be rightly divided.

But his greatest delight {298} appeared to be in visiting his people from
house to house, warning the wicked of the danger of his ways, encouraging
the weak, comforting the feeble minded, but more especially delighting to
dwell upon that theme so dear to his own soul, the love of Christ.  As a
father with his children, they were all upon his heart, and few days were
suffered to elapse in which he did not visit some families, and his
visits were literally ministerial ones, as many present can testify, and
who will do well to treasure carefully the instructions they have
received, and pray earnestly that they may be profitable to their souls.
Judging by the test which Christ himself hath given us, “By their fruits
ye shall know them,” will it not be the testimony of all who knew our
dear departed brother, that he was in the highest sense of the term a
faithful minister of God? and doubtless he has heard from that Master
whom he loved and served, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter
thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

And he was not only faithful but diligent.  It is well known that the
strength of our friend was small, and that he was afflicted with a
nervous affection, the natural tendency of which is to prostrate the
energies both of mind and body.  He felt this and struggled against it,
and frequently would return to his house completely exhausted.  With him
there was no “spare thyself;” whatsoever his hand found to do, he did it
with all his might, and as a good servant, his aim and endeavour were to
make the most of that strength which was given him.

Patience and perseverance also are necessary qualifications for the
Christian minister.  “Ye have need of patience,” saith the Apostle St.
Paul, “that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the
promise.”  “Add therefore,” saith St. Peter, “to your faith, virtue; and
to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance,
_patience_.”  “In your patience,” saith Christ, “possess ye your souls.”
And because his difficulties are great, and the enemies with which he has
to contend, numerous and powerful, he must put on the whole armour of
God, in order to withstand the evil day, and having done all to stand.
He must not only pray, but pray with all prayer and supplication in the
spirit; he must not only watch, but watch with all _perseverance_.  May
it not, alas! be said of some, that they began well, but lacked patience
to run the race that was set before them; as St. Paul complains of the
Galatians (chap. v. 5), _Ye did run well_, and yet afterwards they made
shipwreck of faith.  The young Christian, when he feels himself as a
brand plucked out of the burning, and experiences the love of Christ in
his soul, constraining him to devote all his powers to the service of
that God who called him out of darkness into marvellous light, like
Peter, is ready to combat a host of men in his Master’s defence, wonders
at his former blindness, and almost thinks it strange, that any should
neglect the service of so good a Master.  And in like manner the young
minister, when first appointed to his charge, and opening his commission
as one of God’s ambassadors, like the untried soldier, thinks of great
things to be achieved, and the difficulties seem light; but by degrees
both find that the course cannot be run without many a struggle, nor the
victory won without many a battle.  And the minister of Christ more than
any other, will be assaulted by the great adversary of souls with
temptations exactly suited to his circumstances and disposition, and all
tending to one point, the making Christ, and Christ crucified, if I may
so state it, a secondary object in his ministrations, first in name,
second in reality, giving to other duties and doctrines, valuable in
themselves and in their proper place, that pre-eminence which belongs to
Christ alone.  Alas! my brethren, do we not see too much of this in the
present day!  Bread is asked for, and a stone is given by some who once
preached “Christ in everything, and everything in Christ.”  But we can
thankfully bear testimony to the perseverance of our dear departed
brother in the right way; from the day of his admission into the sacred
office of the ministry up to the hour of his removal from us, he looked
unto Jesus, as the author and finisher of his faith, set Him always
before him, and with deep humility sought to follow in his steps.

He was ordained in the year 1811, and for many years officiated in the
parish of Madeley, England, and the testimony of those who knew him there
is, that he was systematic in all his plans, which were laid after much
consideration and prayer, and then as earnestly carried out.  For eleven
years and a half he was your minister, part of which time he was unable
to perform any active duties from weakness, and a violent nervous
affection which seized him when the Bishop of Toronto visited this place,
to consecrate the church and confirm the young.  It was to him a severe
trial to be laid aside, as he used to express himself, as of no more use,
and yet with cheerful humility he would often observe, “The Lord’s work
can go on without me,” or words to that effect.  But contrary to his own
expectation and that of his friends, he was again restored to comparative
health and strength, and oh, how eagerly did he resume his duties
directly he felt himself equal to them, and his gratitude to God was
great for enabling him again to set forth Christ!

Joined to fidelity, diligence, and perseverance, was continual
watchfulness.  He waited for the Lord’s coming, he watched unto prayer,
as one who was to give an account.  The exhortation of the prophet
Ezekiel (iii. 17), “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the
house of Israel,” was deeply impressed upon his mind, and every means in
his power he used to win souls to Christ.  He watched over the young of
his flock with a father’s love and a father’s anxiety, and many present
can testify to the affectionate kindness with which he received them in
little parties to explain and enforce the precepts of the Gospel.  In
visiting his people he was watchful to speak a word in season, making it,
I believe, a rule never, or very rarely, to leave a house or family
without speaking of the one thing needful.  Ever remembering that the
vows of God were upon him, he was studiously careful that even in manner
he might act as became a minister of God, whilst at the same time few
were more cheerful than himself.  His pulpit preparations were also
subjects of much anxious watchfulness and prayer: he studied what he
conceived to be his people’s wants, and in love endeavoured to declare to
them the whole counsel of God.

And whilst watchful over those committed to his charge he was not
unmindful of that solemn hour which has come upon him.  For some time
previous to his death, he seemed to have the subject continually present
to his mind, and would frequently observe to the servant who drove him,
on returning from his accustomed rides, “Once more the Lord has brought
us home in safety;” and particularly during the last week his
conversation at every house he visited, was on death, and the necessity
of a constant state of preparation for it, warning the careless, and
entreating the almost Christian to come out from an ungodly world, and so
to live as to be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of Man, when he
shall come to judge the world in righteousness.

A few days since he observed to his servant, “I shall not be long here,”
and mentioned with satisfaction that the house was his private property,
and that Mrs. Mortimer would not have to leave it, as she must have done
had it been a parsonage.  These remarks were made when his bodily health
appeared to be improving, and, humanly speaking, there was every
probability of his being spared many years; and it is satisfactory to
dwell on these minute particulars now, as they give us the most certain
evidence that the sudden call to render up the account of his stewardship
found him ready and watchful for the summons.

Our beloved friend was found watching, and the blessing promised is his
portion; he received the earnest of it in this world, he doubtless enjoys
it more fully now.

He was blessed in the enjoyment, in no small degree, of the confidence
and affection of his people; he was looked up to as a father and a
friend, and the outward demonstrations of respect and sorrow which appear
on every side this day prove that the loss is felt to be no common one,
and many are ready to exclaim, “My father! my father! the chariot of
Israel and the horsemen thereof.”

He was blessed in being permitted to see that his labours were not in
vain in the Lord.  Whilst we would by no means lay down ministerial
success as the certain token of God’s favour, or the want of it a mark of
his displeasure—for sometimes the most faithful devoted ministers are
only permitted to sow the seed, while others reap the harvest, in order
practically to prove to us that it is not by human might or power, but by
the Spirit of God alone, that souls can be converted to Him; that a Paul
may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God alone who giveth the
increase—yet it is a blessing, and a great and precious one, to be
permitted to see the work of the Lord prospering in our hands.  Little,
perhaps, do some present think of the anxious hopes and fears which fill
the minister’s heart while preparing for his public ministrations, or
striving to bring before his people the whole counsel of God.  How often
in the bitterness of disappointed hope he is ready to exclaim, “Who hath
believed our report?”  But when he marks the earnest attention paid to
his ministrations, the vanities of the world forsaken by some, who
boldly, and yet with humility declare, Whatever be the conduct of others,
“as for me and my house we will serve the Lord;” great is his
encouragement, and he goeth on his way rejoicing.  This blessing was
vouchsafed to our dear departed friend, and he was also permitted to see
that his ministrations were so highly valued that the church in which we
are now assembled required twice to be enlarged to accommodate the
increasing congregation.

There is something painful in the thought that so good a man should be
thus suddenly, and in such a manner, taken from the midst of us.  We
should have chosen for him a long and peaceful old age, and when, at
length, he must depart this life, like corn fully ripe, the Master whom
he loved and served would come and gently receive him to himself.  But
his death and the manner of it was appointed by One wiser than man, and
who loved him better than his dearest earthly friends.  Even in his
sudden death, there was a blessing and an answer to many prayers.  From
the state of his bodily health, and what he had previously suffered, he
used to dread the pains of dying, and earnestly prayed that he might
either be spared these pains, or be strengthened under them.  And God
gave him more than he asked; for nearly two years past this dread was
taken away, and the bodily pain he suffered after the accident, was, I
have been informed, not equal to the uneasy sensations experienced at
fainting.  At first, he did not consider that he had received a fatal
injury, and on being taken up, exclaimed, “He keepeth all my bones, not
one of them is broken.”

His kind friend and physician Dr. Paget, hastened to his assistance, and
brought him gently home.  The family, naturally much alarmed, eagerly met
him as he was being carried into the house, anxious to ascertain the
extent of the injury; he strove to calm their fears by telling them, what
he then really thought, that he was not seriously hurt.  But when laid
upon his bed, and he found, as he expressed it, that it would be instant
death for him to lie in any but the one position, then he felt that he
should never rise again, and was thankful for being brought home to his
own comfortable bed.  He then spoke with much feeling of the kindness and
gentleness of the persons who took him up immediately after the accident,
repeating, “Kind—kind,” and expressed himself as quite resigned to the
will of God, not anxious to live, and ready to die.  He alluded briefly
to his temporal affairs, and when he felt his end approaching, desired
that those who were not present might be called, when he addressed a few
words separately to each, ending with “_God bless you_.”  It was
evidently an effort for him to speak much, and his memory appeared to be
in some degree affected, as he mentioned none of the family who were
absent, and only addressed those present as they stood directly before
him.  Having spoken to his family, he then prayed for his people; they
had always been very dear to him, and often had his prayers ascended
before the throne of grace on their behalf, and now, ere the spirit took
its flight, whilst yet he might plead for a blessing to descend upon
them, he lifted up his heart with the words, “God bless my poor dear
people;” and having uttered this prayer, he lay for a time quite still,
and then so gently fell asleep in Jesus, that an old and valued servant
of the family observed, “How sweetly master is sleeping!” and knew not
that it was death until told by the physician, “It is the sleep of
death.”

He was permitted to retain his senses to the last, having lived about
four hours after the accident.

Beloved friends, may the dying prayers of your late valued minister be
heard and answered abundantly on your behalf!  “Blessed are the dead
which die in the Lord, even so, saith the Spirit, for they rest from
their labours.”  Our departed friend has fought the good fight, has
finished his course, and entered into his rest.  He now beholds Him whom
having not seen he loved.  Oh that those who are ready to exclaim “Let me
die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his,” may
treasure up the instruction they have received from him they will see no
more, till all meet at the judgment-seat of Christ, and seek to follow in
the steps of their departed minister as he followed Christ.

We observe from what has been stated, that even in death he was greatly
blessed, but what is that compared with the blessing he is now
inheriting!  We weep around his lifeless corpse, but his freed spirit
rejoices in the presence of its God.  Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things
which God hath prepared for them that love him: and in a little time,
that which was a weak and fragile body whilst animated by the spirit, and
now about to turn to corruption, shall rise a glorious body; it is sown
in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour and
shall be raised in glory.  Our departed friend looked forward to this
when more than once he exclaimed, a little before he closed his eyes in
death, “I am going to my rest,” not yet to the fulness of bliss.  It doth
not yet appear what we shall be, man cannot describe it; raise the
imagination to the highest pitch, and still it will fall far short of the
reality; for “when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall
see Him as He is.”

From this subject let us seek to derive some practical improvement.

1st.  A solemn warning.  The words of my text are addressed by Christ
through his servant to each present, and the scene before us proves that
in such an hour as we think not, the Son of man cometh.  Who would have
thought a few days since, that we should have been assembled here on this
occasion, or that your minister, whose renewed strength seemed to promise
many years of usefulness, would have been thus cut off suddenly as in a
moment?  Oh, my brethren, you well know that he taught you long and
faithfully, ever willing to spend and be spent in your service.  You must
meet him at the judgment-seat of Christ, and how will you answer it if
you then be found unprofitable servants, and he who loved and served you
here, and was honoured and loved by you in return, be obliged to testify
against you, that he entreated you in Christ’s stead to be reconciled to
God, and you refused?  May the awful words which are written in the
forty-seventh verse of the chapter from whence my text is taken, awaken
each of you to greater diligence, since the servant which knew his Lord’s
will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to that will, shall
be beaten with many stripes.

2nd.  Submission to God’s will.  Be still and know that I am God, and
this not of necessity, because we _must_ submit, but pray and labour that
though sorrowful we may yet be rejoicing, since we sorrow not as those
without hope, that this affliction may produce a lasting blessing.  Thus
Eli submitted when the message from the Lord declared such heavy tidings
against him and against his family, saying, “It is the Lord, let him do
what seemeth him good.”  And thus holy Job, when his property was lost,
all his children taken, and his body afflicted with sore boils, from the
sole of his foot to the crown of his head, and his very wife urging him
to curse God and die—“Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and
shall we not receive evil?  The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away,
blessed be the name of the Lord.”

3rd.  Encouragement.  We remember the gifts and graces of our departed
friend; but from whence were they derived?  What made him what he was?
The Lord.  And who supported him all his journey through life?  It was
the same God.  He found the grace of God sufficient for him, and the
feeling of his heart at all times was, “not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
but unto Thy name be the glory.”  The God who called, guided, supported,
and blessed our departed friend, is still the same.  His arm is not
shortened, nor his ear heavy, and His direction to us is, ask and ye
shall receive, that your joy may be full.  We may therefore derive also

4th.  Comfort.  Doubtless our friend hath entered into the presence of
the Lord, and the meanest redeemed sinner will sing a louder song of
triumph than the highest archangel.  Angels have never tasted of
pardoning grace and redeeming love.  Did you love your minister?  Then
thank God that he is released from all sorrow and trial.  Thank God for
what he has promised, that, having preserved your minister to the end, He
will, if you seek Him, also preserve you.

My reverend brethren, in this bereavement, there is a message from God
sent to us, as watchmen of the House of Israel.  One is taken from our
midst, and we are left exposed to peculiar trials and temptations.  Our
brother was the same, and he continued faithful to the end.  And what was
his strength and comfort?  It was Christ.  Oh let us beware of preaching
anything but Christ crucified, as “the way, the truth, and the life” for
perishing sinners.  The more we seek and exalt Him, the more shall we
feel in our happy experience, “Christ all and in all.”

In conclusion, let me remind this congregation that your late minister’s
instructions are yet sounding in your ears.  Oh take heed to them.  Pray
that the Holy Spirit may be to you a spirit of remembrance, bringing
again to your minds what has been said to you; and as you pass the mound
of earth which covers his mortal remains, strive to call to mind what he
said while yet with you, and seek the grace of God to enable you so to
live that you may become followers of those who, through faith and
patience, inherit the promises.  Amen.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

               J. Unwin, Printer, 31, Bucklersbury, London

                                * * * * *



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ALBERT BARNES’ NOTES,
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                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~

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FOOTNOTES.


{30}  Twenty pounds.  J. A.

{69}  “Dr. Arnold’s Letters.”  Vol. ii. p. 170.

{70}  “Archdeacon (now Bishop of Oxford) Wilberforce’s Charge, 1845,” p.
17.

{142}  It must not be understood, however, from this statement, that I
wished to invite to these expositions only such individuals as are
mentioned above, I must candidly confess that it was not altogether
without reference to yourselves.  I hoped that by these occasional
meetings we should come somewhat nearer into contact: and that, as a
consequence, feelings of love and of kindness might more diffusively
prevail.  It afforded me, therefore, real pleasure to see so many of you
kindly giving me the meeting on the two evenings on which I have been in
your neighbourhood.

{146}  It has been strangely imagined, and even reported by some, that I
do not wish those who consider themselves Methodists to join with the
rest of my people in partaking of the sacrament, and that I object
likewise to administer it to them at their own houses, when unable to
attend the church.  I feel pleasure in availing myself of this
opportunity of assuring them, that such statements are altogether
erroneous.  My heart rejoices to see them whenever they attend: for it
reminds me of that general assembly in heaven, where all party
distinctions will be lost in one common feeling of love, and when we
shall all join in sweetest unison in singing that new and never-ending
song.  My feelings also are similar when kneeling around their beds of
sickness, and consecrating those elements of which we are about to
partake in remembrance of that Redeemer who has taught us so emphatically
that his disciples should love one another.

{164}  “Unquestionably our aristocratical manners and habits have made us
and the poor two distinct and unsympathising bodies; and, from want of
sympathy, I fear the transition to enmity is but too easy when distress
embitters the feelings, and the sight of others in luxury makes that
distress still more intolerable.  This is the plague-spot to my mind in
our whole state of society, which must be removed, or the whole must
perish.  And under God it is for the clergy to come forward boldly, and
begin to combat it.  If you read Isaiah iii., v., and xxxii.; Jeremiah
v., xxii., and xxx.; Amos iv.; Habakkuk ii.; and the Epistle of St.
James, written to the same people a little before the second destruction
of Jerusalem, you will be struck, I think, with the close resemblance of
our own state to that of the Jews.”—_Dr. Arnold’s Letters_, vol. i. p.
286.

{171}  At the date of this letter, the public mind was much agitated by
the question of Parliamentary Reform, and an alarming spirit of
lawlessness prevailed in many parts of the kingdom.  In a few weeks after
this was written, the city of Bristol was for about two days in the hands
of a numerous mob; setting all authority at defiance, and committing the
most fearful depredations, burnings, &c.  These events, happening within
a few miles of Mr. M.’s residence, would doubtless increase his
forebodings as to his native land, and his desire to remove to a foreign
scene of ministerial labour.

{196}  This vessel sailed from Bristol the 22nd April, 1833, bound to New
York, having on board Mrs. Mortimer and her three daughters as
passengers.

{226}  Mr. Ditcher, now vicar of South Brent, Somers, had succeeded Mr.
Mortimer in the curacy of Hutton, where Mr. Armstrong was paying him a
visit; he suggested that, being in the house lately occupied by their
mutual friend, Mr. A. should write to him from the same, which he did
accordingly.  It is from this circumstance that the allusion to Mr.
Ditcher is made.

{252}  On the 10th of October, 1841, Mr. Mortimer preached at Thornhill,
in the evening, for the first time after his nervous attack.  His text
was very striking—“I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the
Lord.”  After that he preached occasionally in the evening, until he
altogether resumed his duties, about the middle of the year 1843.

{262}  The Rev. Thomas Grinfield, who greatly admired and loved Mr.
Mortimer, and for whom, from his first acquaintance with him, he
entertained sentiments of mingled affection, esteem, and admiration.

{264}  From a communication made to me by the Rev. J. Grinfield, to whom
I am indebted for several papers and letters with which he has kindly
furnished me, and of which I have made ample use in this memoir.

{268a}  Such an influence over the minds of those who widely differed
from him, and perhaps viewed the Church to which he belonged with much
prejudice, was not attained but by a course of great kindness and
consideration towards all, and the thing gained was worth all the cost of
it.  Mr. Mortimer was not an indifferent Churchman; but he felt that,
like his Divine Master, he should not only be of a _meek and lowly_
spirit towards his own, but that he should exercise tenderness and
conciliation to the Samaritan as well as to the Jew; to the Dissenter as
well as to the Churchman; considering all as entitled to the benefits of
his flock, though they were not disposed to partake of them.  It will be
said, perhaps, that many Dissenters are not only bitter in their spirit,
but violent in their language, and provoking in their conduct and
actions.  If it be so, let us set them a better example; let us show them
a more excellent way; let us make them the objects of our kindness and
prayers, and not of our scorn, hatred, and opposition.  “Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

{268b}  From Miss Mortimer’s communications.

{284}  From the inscription by Dr. Bentley, on the pedestal of the
sublime statue by Roubiliac, in the Chapel of Trin. College, Cambridge.

{287a}  Drawn up for the use of the candidates for confirmation.

{287b}  The word Sacrament is not found in Sacred Scripture; but it
signifies an _oath_: and the Christian ordinances of Baptism and the
Lord’s Supper were very early designated by this term, by some of the
fathers; because the dedication of ourselves to God in these ordinances
is as binding and obligatory as a solemn oath.  In the Roman style, it
signifies a most solemn and inviolable engagement.

{287c}  _Baptism_ under the Christian dispensation corresponds with, and
was instituted in place of, _Circumcision_, under the Jewish
dispensation: and the _Lord’s Supper_ corresponds with the _Passover_.

{298}  After stating that it was Mr. Mortimer’s delight to visit his
people, Mrs. M. informed me that his nervousness was so great, that
pastoral visiting was a duty he rather dreaded than delighted in.  How
faithfully then must that duty have been performed when thus imagined to
be his delight!—_Note by the Author_.





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