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first secured, then prepared by the elaborate
ingenuity of cooks, then digested by the elaborate
machinery of the digestive apparatus, and then
conveyed to various organs by the wondrous
machinery of the circulationare set going to bring
a little liquid into contact with the delicate
membrane of a cell, visible only under the
magnifying powers of the microscope. Every organ
of the body is composed of millions upon millions
of these cells, every one of which lives its
separate life, and must be separately fed. To feed
it, thousands of men dig and plough, sow and
reap, hunt and fish, rear cattle and slaughter
them; thousands act as mere agents and carriers
of the food; thousands as cooks; and each has
to satisfy the clamorous demands of his own
hungry cells. The simpler plants floating in
water, or the simple parasites living in the
liquids of other animals, feed without this bother
and this preparation. The higher organisms
have to devote their energies to secure and to
prepare their food, because their simple cells
cannot secure it, and must have it. In man,
self-indulgence and indolence often weaken the
digestive machinery, which has therefore to
be stimulated into activity by condiments,
by flavours, and by mental exhilaration: his
meal becomes a banquet. The stimulus of
festal excitement, the laugh and conversation
of a joyous dinner, spur the lazy organs of
digestion, and enable men to master food, which
if eaten in solitude, silence, or sorrow, would lie
a heavy lump on the stomach. Eating seems a
simple process, until a long experience has
taught us its complexity. Food seems a very
simple thing, till science reveals its metamorphoses.


THERE are, perhaps, no countries in the known
world so fond of religious excitement as
England and America. The phrase "religious
excitement" being here used as comprehending not
only revivals and other convulsive exhibitions of
that nature, but the headlong following of
preachers who, either by their religious writings
or by their sermons, or both, attract great
numbers of disciples, both in person and pocket.
The causes of such success are numerous;
foremost among them may unquestionably be set
down the intolerable dulness of regular sermons,
which, in respect of composition, and in respect
of delivery, are for the most part the very worst
discourses known to mankind. It must also be
taken into account that the irregular preacher
generally preaches extempore, and that there is
a strong inherent disposition in the Saxon race
to listen to speeches; then, his discourse is of a
fierce-flavoured, strong, and fiery kind, and it
was not Garrick alone who was best pleased by
the highest pepperer; then, the congregations
of eccentric preachers are not under the usual
restraints, but may take an active part in the
proceedings, and give vent to their feelings by
groaning, moaningsand even sometimes
occasional rollings on the chapel floorand many
other like demonstrations. Again, the sermons
of some of these preachers are in parts like a
Joe Miller, or Complete Jest Book, comprising
many jokes and puns that can be repeated afterwards
by the hearers with great success. Finally,
it is the custom of these gentlemen to represent
themselves as on terms of familiarity with the
Deity, which good understanding awakens a
strange complacency in the breasts of their
admirers, as if they partook in the distinction.

It is the object of the present paper to revive
the remembrance of a few popular preachers,
deceased. Those who are living speak for
themselves; but it is noticeable how closely they
model themselves on the dead, and how very
little originality is to be found among them.

One of the most remarkable of these was
Rowland Hill, sixth son of Sir Rowland Hill,
baronet, of Hawkstone. He first began to
preach when he was at Cambridge, and he
received severe censure from his superiors for going
about and preaching in the barns and farm-houses
of the villages near the University. When he
left Cambridge, and had been ordained, he used
to preach, sometimes as often as thrice a day,
to large congregations. He used to stock his
sermons with queer phrases and odd illustrations,
and often amused his congregation with jokes.

On one occasion, when preaching at Wapping
to a congregation composed chiefly of seafaring
men and fisherwomen, he greatly astonished his
congregation by commencing the sermon with
these words: "I come to preach to great
sinners, notorious sinnersyea, to Wapping
sinners." On another occasion, there came a heavy
shower of rain, which compelled several persons
to take refuge in the chapel; Hill, remarking
this, looked up and said: "Many people are
greatly to be blamed for making their religion a
cloak, but I do not think those are much better
who make it an umbrella." In 1803, the time
of the first grand volunteer movement, he
preached to a large congregation of volunteers.
Two psalms, of his own composition, were sung
on this occasion; one of them was sung before
the sermon, to the tune of "God save the
King;" the other, after the sermon, to the tune
of "Rule Britannia." It began: "When Jesus
first at Heaven's command."

Hill was earnest in manner, and imposing in
appearance. He was very tall, and had a loud
sonorous voice; he would seem to have been a
modest man, and to have particularly objected
to being considered an enthusiast. Preaching
once at Wotton, he said, "Because I am in
earnest, men call me an enthusiast, but I am
not; mine are the words of truth and soberness.
When I first came into this part of the country,
I was walking on yonder hill. I saw a gravel-pit
fall in and bury three human beings alive. I
lifted up my voice for help so loud that I was
heard in the town below at a distance of a mile;
help came and rescued two of the poor sufferers.
No one called me enthusiast then, and when I see
eternal destruction ready to fall upon poor
sinners, and about to entomb them irrevocably
in an eternal mass of woe, and call aloud on