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cessive ages have approved. Now where can we go for such judges or such oracles in this, country, but to these very men, and these very works which I am convicted of imitating? Do I in this asperse the authors of the present day? by no means. They remain for the judgment of posterity, and are no criterion to go by while they live. But as to the writers of the periodical press, who give out oracles of taste, - they are one class of beings; the writers for future ages are another class of beings, whose souls are under a different inspiration. The one inspired by gain, applause, and malignity; the other by truth, and the common weal of men. And their style must be different, as the style of a charlatan exhibiting his wonders on a stage, is different from the style of a philosopher, searching in his closet into the deep relations of the universe.
I should not have thought it worth my while to expend so many upon
these arrogant, nameless, self-constituted guardians of Taste, whose petty bonds I burst, and whose utmost spite I set at naught in the liberty of a free-born man, and a devoted messenger of truth,-for them I care not, except that they should be converted from hired scribblers
into servants of truth; but I am concerned to see the bondage in which they hold the noble spirit of this land, and I give this example of a resolution to be free. While I live I will write the thoughts of my heart, after the manner that seemeth best to my mind; and while there is no censorship upon the press, I will publish them to my countrymen,
while I think they may serve the common good.
1st Dec. 1823.
REV. THOMAS CHALMERS, D.D.
MINISTER OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, GLASGOW.
MY HONOURED FRIEND,
I thank God, who directed you to hear one of my Discourses when I had made up my mind to leave my native land for solitary travel in foreign parts. That dispensation brought me acquainted with your good and tender-hearted nature, whose splendid accomplishments I knew already; and you now live in the
of my heart more than in my admiration. While I laboured as your assistant, my labours were never weary, they were never enough to express my thankfulness to God for having associated me with such a man, and my affection to the man with whom I was associated. I now labour in another field, among a people whom I love, and over whom God hath, by signs unequivocal, already blessed my ministry. You go to labour likewise in another vineyard, where may the Lord bless your retired meditations as he hath blessed
operations. And may He likewise watch over the flock of our mutual solicitude, now about to fall into other hands. The Lord be with you and your household, and render unto you manifold for the blessings which you have rendered unto me. I could say much about these Orations, which I dedicate to you; but I will not mingle with any literary or theological discussion this pure tribute of affection and gratitude, which I render to you before the world, as I have already done into your private ear.
My honoured Friend,
Caledonian Church, Hatton Garden, July, 1823.