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Doctor's degree in his profession, which is looked upon to be such a high honour among theologians? If he be not of the Christian religion, of what religion can he be ?

Wor. Ah, Sir! the science of Christian theology, as you call it, may be found in a thousand Universities, and treasured

up in ten thousand heads, but all this will not do as a substitute for the grace of God in the heart. I do not wonder that my dear, sick son-in-law, wishes in the midst of the reveries which his fever may have created, for a better teacher than Canon Careless, for his beloved flock, on whom of late he has bestowed such an abundance of pains.

Dr. Skillm. I must confess, Sir, if I did not attend to my profession a little more correctly, than the Canon does to his, my patients would be ill satisfied with such neglect.

Wor. It rests with you only to take care of the perishable body, but with him the immortal soul. What profane neglect !

Dr. Skillm. Why, Sir, though I do not like to speak against the religion of my country, (as some religion is necessary to keep the common people in awe,) yet I have often thought, that if the generality of the Clergy really believed in their own religion, they would practise it better than they do'; and if they doubt it, can it be necessary

for us to believe it? Wor. O Sir! I am sorry your opinion should be so loose about matters of such importance.*

Dr. Skillm. But, Sir, you quite mistake me; I have a high opinion of the Christian religion, as containing the

* The bad lives of the Clergy is no more an argument against Christianity and what we all should be, than the bad tricks of a set of odious pettyfoggers can be produced against the practice of common honesty, which is, or should be the bounden duty of us all.

purest system of morals, and consequently the best calculated for general good; but still I have my doubts, whether the French philosophy be not true, namely, that ." death is an eternal sleep.” I don't know that we have any proof of the immortality of the soul, though I hope it may be so.

Wor. But, really, Sir, there is a something in us, so far beyond what brutes possess, that most people and nations, however ignorant, have discovered a spark of immortality in themselves that death could never quench.

Dr. Skillm. If I have my doubts about these things, they have never prompted me to be guilty of that which is immoral ; and if I suppose that this life only is all that we have, I am naturally excited by such doubts, as a physician, to pay the greater attention to the cases of my patients.

Wor. Ah, Sir! I should like to put into your hands some excellent volumes I have in my library, respecting the evidences of Christianity, that the most obstinate infidel could never confute ; but the strongest evidence, is what it really accomplishes on the human heart; and your patient, at Sandover, has happily evidenced the proof of this, in a manner that has surprised all who know him.

Mrs. Wor. But o Sir! do let us wave the present subject, and try, if possible, to pacify his mind respecting the supply of his Church.

Dr. Skillñ. Madam, that is half the reason why I came over myself, instead of allowing a messenger to be sent; for I wish very much to have his mind tranquilized on that subject. He talks much about a Mr. Lovegood. I think he says he is the minister of this parish, as though no one could preach a good Christian sermon, but him. But as you know, that I live at a considerable distance, I have not heard much about that gentleman, only that report says, he is rather given to enthusiasm.

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Wor. Ah, Sir, no one is less given to enthusiasm than Mr. Lovegood. But as it is now so late in the week, it would be next to impossible to procure a supply for his own Church, were he even to attempt it ; and were he to shut it up, in order that he might serve another at a distance, he would be subject himself to considerable blame; especially as it is rather the duty of the churchwardens of Sandover, to seek for a supply under such circumstances. However on.

2. the Monday morning we will be off as early as we can.

Dr. Skillm. Really, Sir, I am not conversant about such laws. But as Mr. Merryman dislikes the Canon so much, where would be the harm if Sandover Church was to be shut up until he recovers. Surely the people have been sufficiently instructed how, to perform their duty, without going to Church every Sunday. As for me, it is well known that I have no time for such sort of services, excepting now and then for example's sake. But I think if a man has but a good heart, that I conceive to be a thousand times better than going to Church. Some

may please their Creator in one way, and some in another. If I do my duty to my patients, and occa, sionally give my advice to the poor gratis, I cannot conceive the Almighty will require more from me; so that, supposing there is a future state, I hope my chance is not a bad one.

Mrs. Wor. O Sir! this is not the time to be talking about good hearts and religious chances; the grand question is, what can be done to ease the mind of my dear son-in-law ?

Wor. I know Mr. Lovegood will not be wanting to the utmost of his power, to accomplish Mr. Merryman's wishes, and there is an old clergyman in the neighbourhood, that may be able to give us some assiscance : I will send directly to see what can be done.

Mrs. Wor, But, O my dear Mr. Worthy! with your

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leave, I must go over directly and see how he does. I feel for my poor daughter, as much as for him. If he should die, he will be happy, but what a disconsolate widow she will be! Ah! poor dear child ! if she was to come back again to us in her weeds with her dear babe, what a disconsolate widow she would be !

Dr. Skillm. Madam, if you should go, he has it not in his power at present to give you a rational answer ; and I fear your presence would add considerably to the agitation of his mind. [To Mr. Worthy.] I hope, Sir, you will persuade Mrs. Worthy not to determine on the journey just at this time; perhaps after a few days the disease may take a favourable turn: I shall instruct the Apothecary, to watch every turn of the fever, while I am absent; and in point of good nursing and attendance, he has too much of them already.

Mr. Wor, to Mrs. Worthy. I think my dear, the best plan will be, to take the Doctor's advice, at least for the present. Let our feelings give way to reason ; and I will go directly to Mr. Lovegood, and settle with him how he can secure Mr. Meek, as a supply for his Church, for to-morrow se'nnight. If he can come over bere on the Saturday night, and we have only a morning service with us, I can send him back time enough that

may serve his own Church in the afternoon; and, I think, as we have always such a large congregation in the afternoon, on such an occasion, it might not be amiss, if I were to send to Mr. Goodman, the dissenting minister, he is not above seven miles from us. Mr. Lovegood always speaks of him, as a very pious man ; and I am told he preaches very good and plain sermons': and he might occupy the Sunday-school room, as far as it will hold the people. He cannot be allowed to preach in the Church, as is the case occasionally in other countries : I heartily wish he could.

Mrs. Wor. I heard him once, and he gave us an ex


cellent sermon.

But I fear he cannot be here in sufficient time, as the nearer road is bad, and if we send the chaise for him, it will be considerably round.

Wor. Yes, but the people will not regard waiting half an hour, if he will but engage to come.

Mrs. Wor. Though I am so exceedingly anxious to go over to Sandover directly ; yet if I submit to what you and the Doctor deem best, it must be on this condition, that while you are absent a message be sent every morning, that I may know how he does.

Dr. Skillm. Though I confess I do not understand these different mixtures of religion ; and though it seems to me best, that every man should keep to his own way of thinking, yet that is no concern of minė. I am very glad, madam, that you have agreed to postpone your visit, at least a few days longer; and I'll assure you, believing Mr. Merrymąn to be a very good sort of a man in his way, I feel myself not a little anxious for his recovery.

I mean therefore to give him another call, before I return home this evening, though somewhat out of my way: therefore with your leave, Sir, I will ring the bell, that I may order the carriage immediately.

While the chaise was getting ready, the Doctor partook of some refreshment, and hastened to repeat his visit to his patient, according to his promise.

Mr. Worthy went next to Mr. Lovegood. It may easily be conjectured, how much Mr. Lovegood was affected, at the alarming tidings from Sandover, which so seriously threatened the life of his beloved son in the Gospel.

His mind was so greatly overwhelmed on the following sabbath with apprehensions and fears, that he had enough to do, to grapple with the overflowings of his

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