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qualities of those with whom he was thrown into contact; he was never given to criticize the deeds of others. He found at Penzance much to gratify him with regard to matters of most importance, as well as in the lovely scenery, and the genial climate.
Writing to the author of this memoir in a letter dated “Penzance, Jan. 28, 1863," Mr. KEBLE expressed himself in the following terms with regard to religious matters at Penzance:—“Also in Church matters I consider that we are remarkably well off. - is a remarkable preacher, (and I am thankful to say I can now hear him, which I could not for several weeks ;) his course of thought is always original and instructive, his manner very impressive, his aim most practical, and he has a power, to me very enviable, of going straight to the mark, and saying just what he means in a few words which no one can mistake. I should think it was greatly owing to him that the Church holds her own so far as she does in the Peninsula ; scantily in comparison, as doubtless you know : e.g. when there were sermons on the same day for the Lancashire distress in the Church, and in the chief Wesleyan place, about two stones-throw off, the gatherings were £178 and £175, or thereabouts, respectively. And there are no end of meeting-houses besides, and only one rather small chapel, conducted by a Mr. — who seems a very good hard-working man."
Another friend whom Mr. KEBLE occasionally assisted in the services of his church near Penzance, has spoken of the well-known and characteristic humbleness of the great Poet, as having been very strongly marked during his sojourn in that retired watering-place. This friend has observed about Mr. KEBLE that his “forgetfulness of who he was in the eyes of others was evident in the way in which he deemed a call upon himself as an honour to himself, and so thanking you for coming to see him.” The excessive reverence of manner which he exhibited during the celebration of the Holy Communion was also much noticed by this same friend, who remarked :-“His seemed to me to be worship indeed.”
To this friend he expressed his feeling that “dissenters should be dealt with lovingly and forbearingly, as being, alas! the wronged party in bygone times.”
This same friend mentioning to the writer of this memoir Mr. KEBLE'S “fondness of the sea :" said, “Such a view as he had when he lodged at 'the Baths,' Penzance, seemed to awaken the almost silent poetic chords to music again. He would speak of being rocked like a child to sleep by the waves that washed up to the very house-walls and shook them. At another time he would describe the waves as coming to render obeisance, as it were, twice a-day to the queen-like mount, and retire again : or he would watch with admiration the grand masses of cloud, like chariots driven over the sea between the two extremest boundaries of the bay, like war-chariots urged on from south to north across the sky.”
The first visit of Mr. KEBLE to Torquay was in December, 1863; he was then in comparatively good health, but in great anxiety on the score of his dear wife, on whose account he had quitted home. On that occasion he remained at Torquay until after Easter, 1864. He was very constant in attendance at the services at St. Luke's Church, both on Sundays and week-days. When help was really wanted he was most kind in giving it to the clergy, who deemed it (to use the words of one of them, expressed to the writer of this short memoir) a privilege to stand “beside him, and be associated with such a man in the holy ministry of the Church.” Still, even in the help thus afforded to his brethren at Torquay by this holy man, his retiring humility was very marked, for (to use the words of one who has been already named) “he preferred, if left to his own choice, to preach in the small church in the rural district of Cockington; though when he did no part of the duty, he preferred the large and crowded Church of St. Luke's, the services of which were much to his taste.” One sermon, preached by him in the parish church of Torre on Easter Eve 4, 1864, made a “deep impression” upon his hearers, as being a very remarkable sermon, imparting real comfort to them. Another sermon, on the "condition of the departed,” preached in the course of a series at St. Matthias', “was a source of great comfort to many of that large class of the mourning and the anxious, who are to be found at Torquay." He preached many lectures on Wednesday evenings in Lent at St. Mark's Church, and once at St. John's Church. He also once attended a Ruridecanal Chapter, in which his profound humility was the admiration and astonishment of those who were present: with all his deep learning he seemed more ready to listen to the opinions of others than to express
He left Torquay for Penzance soon after Easter in that year, but returned to it in December on his way, for the last time, to Penzance after his seizure. On that occasion he received the Holy Communion privately on St. Thomas's Day, and in St. Luke's Church on the festival of the Circumcision. He was at that time unequal to see more than a very few intimate friends, and his sojourn at Torquay was short, as he hastened on to Penzance on account of health.
Notes of this sermon are given in the “Tormohun Parish Chronicle” for June, 1866, published hy E. Cockrem, Strand, Torquay.
He seems to have had great “love for Torquay," and he used to say of it something to this effect :-“This place reminds me of Oxford; it is the only other place in England where the Church bells are going all day.”
Towards the end of Mr. KEBLE's life he had many changes amongst his curates at Hursley. Frequent absence from home, chiefly on account of his dear wife's health, made it needful for him to keep two curates for the services at Hursley and Pitt : and although the same senior curate (the Rev. J. W. Richards) remained for nearly the whole of the last seven years of Mr. KEBLE's life, there were during the same period three junior curates in succession, besides one who lived in the vicarage during the course of one winter. There was about the Poet such a peculiar loveliness of disposition as endeared him to all who had to serve under him, though it were but for a short time. He could speak reproof when needed, but it was loving reproof, and he would always make every imaginable allowance for the mistakes, faults, or omissions of duty of those about him. But in truth no words can worthily describe the real saintliness of the character of the author of "The Christian Year." Those who knew him loved him, and could not help loving him, and those most intimate with him now know that they have lost in him their best friend on earth.
Such was Mr. KEBLE's deep humility, that he was accustomed to hold in very low estimation that book which has caused his name to be a “household word," and his fame to spread wherever the English tongue is spoken. There were several expressions in “The Christian Year” which were far from being satisfactory to him, still he always felt disinclined to alter what had been so widely circulated. There was one verse in particular, in the Hymn for “Gunpowder Treason,” which for a long time was ever a source of actual annoyance to him. He had been wishing to have it altered for many years; but not satisfying himself with any form of emendation which he could think of, he left it as he had written it.
He knew that the words which he had written
“O come to our Communion Feast :
There present in the heart,
Will His true self impart.”
did not really contradict the doctrine of the Church o. He himself explained the meaning of the words by his work upon “Eucharistical Adoration," in which he made clear what was his own faith about the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Communion. Still he could not be satisfied with the expression “not in the hands,” because he felt that it was liable to be construed in a sense not accordant with his own ripened faith, and that practically it was misleading some persons into a low estimation of the blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. In giving his sanction to a little work entitled “Devotions before and after Holy Communion,” for which he wrote a short preface, he had excluded a couplet of the Rhythm of St. Thomas, which he thought might be taken to imply belief in a carnal presence of our Lord, and he was
See the Preface to the second edition of “ Eucharistical Adoration.” Ed. 3rd., p. xiii., note.