And now, friendly reader, who have borne me company so far, your task is ended. You will have no more of the recreations of A country parson. Yet do not be alarmed. I trust you have not seen the writer’s last appearance. It is only that the essays which he hopes yet to write, will not be composed in the comparative leisure of a country clergyman’s quiet life. And not merely is it still a pleasant change of occupation, to write such chapters as those you have read: but the author cannot forget that to them he is indebted for the acquaintance of some of the most valued friends he has in this world. It was especially delightful to find a little sympathetic public, whose taste these papers suited; and to which they have not been devoid of profit and comfort. Nor was it without a certain subdued exultation that a quiet Scotch minister learned that away across the ocean he had found an audience as large and sympathetic as in his own country; and a kind appreciation by the organs of criticism there, which he could not read without much emotion. Of course, if I had fancied myself a great genius, it would have seemed nothing strange that the thoughts I had written down in my little study in the country manse, should be read by many fellow-creatures four thousand miles off. But then I knew I was not a great genius: and so I felt it at once a great pleasure and a great surprise. My heart smote me when I thought of some flippant words of depreciation which these essays have contained concerning our American brothers. They are the last this hand shall ever write: and I never will forget how simple thoughts, only sincere and not unconsidered, found their way to hearts, kindly Scotch and English yet, though beating on the farther side of the Great Atlantic.
After all, a clergyman’s great enjoyment is in his duty: and I think that, unless he be crushed down by a parish of utter misery and destitution, in which all he can do is like a drop in the ocean (as that great and good man Dr. Guthrie tells us he was), the town is to the clergyman better than the country. The crowded city, when all is said, contains the best of the race. Your mind is stirred up there, to do what you could not have done elsewhere. The best of your energy and ability is brought out by the never-ceasing spur.