Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

28 October, 2009

THOUGHTS BY "OLD HUMPHREY"

After I posted the previous Wrights Lane item the other day (What Have We Done To Ourselves?), in which I more or less lamented the decline of religion on the world stage, I was reminded of something written 167 years ago by none other than one of my literary role models, Old Humphrey.
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"Old Humphrey" was the non-de-plum of George Mogridge (1787-1854) of London, a prolific writer who was frequently published by the London Religious Tract Society in the 1800s.  I was introduced to the works of Old Humphrey through a book "Thoughts for the Thoughtful (1842)" which belonged to my grandmother Harriet Perry (Peck) when she was a teenager.  Old Humphrey had a colourful turn of phrase and would be considered a homespun religious writer in his day.  He wrote very much as people talked in those days and his style makes for wonderful study.  He specialized in short essays and never failed to effectively make his point, generally by relating a story within a story. 

The old Banner of Ulster cited Mogridge's "winning simplicity which characterised the subject(s) of his sketch(es); and the lessons taught are such as must command the attention and respect of every Christian mind and heart."
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I have referred to Humphrey's work before on this site, recently in an item about "finger-post" roadside signs and choosing the right direction in life and another post on the metaphorical use of  "whetstones" to sharpen relationships.  Oddly enough, many times when I re-read what I have written, I wonder if I am actually channeling him.

It would seem that Christian commitment, or lack of same, was an issue for Old Humphrey even in his day.  Here's what he wrote on the subject in "This World, Or The Next?"

"There are many people in the world who like religion, and who love religion; but then, much as they like and love it, they like and love the world a great deal more.  So long as we like and love religion less than the world, we cannot fully enjoy its comforts and consolations. 

"There are thousands who would be seekers after the happiness of heaven, if they could do so without foregoing the pleasures of earth.  This world first, and heaven after, would do very well; but, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God," is too hard a command for them.  For them! -- Ay! it is too hard for any of us, unless God's grace has made it easy.

"Now, how does this matter affect you and me?  Are we choosing our own plan, or God's plan?  Are we obeying our own will, or God's will?  Have we made up our minds, come what will, to run after pleasures of a world which passeth away?  Or are we resolved, at all hazards, to seek after the joys of a world that endureth for ever?"

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