Pass we now to another worthy character, who had locality upon the aforesaid property of Castle Cumber. Solomon M’Slime, the law agent, was a satisfactory proof of the ease with which religion and law may meet and aid each other in the heart and spirit of the same person. An attorney, no doubt, is at all times an amiable, honest, and feeling individual, simply upon professional principles; but when to all this is added the benignant influence of serious and decided piety, it would not be an easy task to find, among the several classes which compose society in general, anything so truly engaging, so morally taintless, so sweetly sanctimonious, so seductively comely, as is that pure and evengelical exhibition of human character, that is found to be developed in a religious attorney.
Solomon M’Slime was a man in whose heart the two principles kept their constant residence; indeed so beautifully were they blended, that his law might frequently be mistaken for religion, just as his religion, on the other hand, was often known to smack strongly of law. In this excellent man, these principles accommodated each with a benignant indulgence, that manifested the beauty of holiness in a high degree. If, for instance, law in its progress presented to him any obstacle of doubtful morality, religion came forward with a sweet but serious smile, and said to her companion, “My dear friend, or sister, in this case I permit you.” And on the contrary, if religion felt over sensitive or scrupulous, law had fifty arguments of safety, and precedent, and high authority to justify her. But, indeed, we may observe, that in a religious attorney these illiberal scruples do not often occur. Mr. M’Slime knew the advantages of religion too well, to feel that contraction of the mind and principles, which in so many ordinary cases occasions religion and common morality to become almost identical. Religion was to him a friend—a patroness in whose graces he stood so high, that she permitted him to do many things which those who were more estranged from her durst not attempt. He enjoyed that state of blessed freedom which is accorded to so few, and, consequently, had his “permissions” and his “privileges” to go in the wicked wayfares of this trying world much greater lengths than those, who were less gifted and favored by the sweet and consoling principle which regulated and beautified his life.
Solomon was a small man, thin, sharp-featured, and solemn. He was deliberate in his manner and movements, and correct but slow of speech. Though solemn, however, he was not at all severe or querulous, as is too frequently the case with those who affect to be religious. Far from it. On the contrary, in him the gospel gifts appeared in a cheerful gravity of disposition, and a good-humored lubricity of temper, that could turn with equal flexibility and suavity to every incident of life, no matter how trying to the erring heart. All the hinges of his spirit