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1859.]
The Minister's Wooing.

and he watched, and he was everywhere “ Have you. been at all conversant
at once, and he kep' 'em all up for with the exercises of our young friend's
three days, till finally they lost their mind on the subject of religion ?” he
rudder, and went drivin' right onto the asked.
rocks. When they come in sight, he Mrs. Scudder did not at first reply.
come up on deck, and says he, .Well, The remembrance of James's last letter
my boys, we're headin' right into eter- flashed over her mind, and she felt the
nity,' says he, “and our chances for this vibration of the frail child beside her, in
world a’n't worth mentionin', any on us; whom every nerve was quivering. After
but we'll all have one try for our lives. a moment, she said, "It does not be-
Boys, I've tried to do my duty by you come us to judge the spiritual state of any
and the ship,- but God's will be done! James's mind was in an unsettled
All I have to ask now is, that, if any of way when he left; but who can say what
you git to shore, you'll find my mother wonders may have been effected by di-
and tell her I died thinkin' of her and

since then?" father and my dear friends. That was This conversation fell on the soul of the last Jeduthun saw of him; for in a few Mary like the sound of clods falling on minutes more the ship struck, and then a coffin to the ear of one buried alive;it was every man for himself. Laws ! she heard it with a dull, smothering sense Jeduthun say's there couldn't nobody of suffocation. That question to be have stood beatin' agin them rocks, raised ? - and about one, too, for whom unless they was all leather and inger- she could have given her own soul ? At rubber like him. Why, he says the

this moment she felt how idle is the mere waves would take strong men and jest hope or promise of personal salvation crush 'em against the rocks like smash- made to one who has passed beyond the in' a pie-plate!”

life of self, and struck deep the roots of Here Mary's paleness became livid; his existence in others. She did not utter she made a hasty motion to rise from a word ;- how could she? A doubt,the table, and Solomon trod on the foot the faintest shadow of a doubt,-in such of the narrator.

a case, falls on the soul with the weight “ You seem to forget that friends and of mountain certainty; and in that short relations has feelin's,” he said, as Mary ride she felt what an infinite pain may be hastily went into her own room.

locked in one small, silent breast. Amaziah, suddenly awakened to the The

wagon

drew up to the house of fact that he had been trespassing, sat with mourning. Cato stood at the gate, and mouth half open and a stupefied look of came forward, ofliciously, to help them perplexity on his face for a moment, and out.

“ Mass’r and Missis will be glad to then, rising hastily, said, “Well, Sol, I

see you,” he said.

“ It's a drefful stroke guess I'll go an' yoke up the steers." has come upon 'em.”

At eight o'clock all the morning toils Candace appeared at the door. There were over, the wide kitchen cool and was a majesty of sorrow in her bearstill, and the one-horse wagon standing ing, as she received them. She said not at the door, into which climbed Mary, a word, but pointed with her finger toher mother, and the Doctor; for, though wards the inner room; but as Mary lifted invested with no spiritual authority, and up her faded, weary face to hers, her charged with no ritual or form for hours whole soul seemed to heave towards her of affliction, the religion of New Eng- like a billow, and she took her up in her land always expects her minister as a arms and broke forth into sobbing, and, first visitor in every house of mourning. carrying her in, as if she had been a

The ride was a sorrowful and silent child, set her down in the inner room one. The Doctor, propped upon his cane,

and sat down beside her. seemed to reflect deeply.

Mrs. Marvyn and her husband sat to

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gether, holding each other's hands, the

CHAPTER XXIII. open Bible between them. For a few moments nothing was to be heard but We have said before, what we now resobs and unrestrained weeping, and then peat, that it is impossible to write a story all kneeled down to pray.

of New England life and manners for After they rose up, Mr. Zebedee Mar- superficial thought or shallow feeling, vyn stood for a moment thoughtfully, They who would fully understand the and then said, “If it bad pleased the springs which moved the characters with Lord to give me a sure evidence of my whom we now associate must go down son's salvation, I could have given him with us to the very depths. up with all my heart; but now, whatever Never was there a community where there may be, I have seen none." He the roots of common life shot down so stood in an attitude of hopeless, heart- deeply, and were so intensely grappled smitten dejection, which contrasted pain- around things sublime and eternal. The fully with his usual upright carriage and founders of it were a body of confessors the firm lines of his face.

and martyrs, who turned their backs on Mrs. Marvyn started as if a sword the whole glory of the visible, to found had pierced her, passed her arm round in the wilderness a republic of which Mary's waist, with a strong, nervous clasp the God of Heaven and Earth should be unlike her usual calm self, and said, the sovereign power. For the first hun

Stay with me, daughter, to-day !-- stay dred years grew this community, shut out with me!”

by a fathomless ocean from the existing “Mary can stay as long as you wish, world, and divided by an antagonism not cousin,” said Mrs. Scudder;

we have

less deep from all the reigning ideas of nothing to call her home.”

nominal Christendom. Come with me!” said Mrs. Marvyn In a community thus unworldly must to Mary, opening an adjoining door into have arisen a mode of thought, enerher bedroom, and drawing her in with a getic, original, and sublime. The leadsort of suppressed vehemence,—“I want ers of thought and feeling were the minyou!-I must have you !”

istry, and we boldly assert that the spec“ Mrs. Marvyn's state alarms me,” said tacle of the early ministry of New Engher husband, looking apprehensively af- land was one to which the world gives ter her when the door was closed; no parallel. Living an intense, earnest, has not shed any tears, nor slept any, practical life, mostly tilling the earth since she heard this news. You know with their own hands, they yet carried that her mind has been in a peculiar and on the most startling and original religunhappy state with regard to religious ious investigations with a simplicity that things for many years. I was in hopes might have been deemed audacious, were she might feel free to open her exercises it not so reverential. All old issues of mind to the Doctor."

relating to government, religion, ritual, “ Perhaps she will feel more freedom and forms of church organization havwith Mary,” said the Doctor. “ There is ing for them passed away, they went no healing for such troubles except in straight to the heart of things, and boldunconditional submission to Infinite Wis- ly confronted the problem of universal dom and Goodness. The Lord reigneth, being. They had come out from the and will at last bring infinite good out of world as witnesses to the most solemn and evil, whether our small portion of exist- sacred of human rights. They had acence be included or not."

customed themselves boldly to challenge After a few moments more of confer- and dispute all sham pretensions and idolence, Mrs. Scudder and the Doctor de- atries of past ages,- to question the right parted, leaving Mary alone in the house of kings in the State, and of prelates in of mourning.

the Church; and now they turned the

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1859.]

same bold inquiries towards the Eternal ies which forms, ceremonies, and rituThrone, and threw down their glove in als had thrown around them in other the lists as authorized defenders of every parts and ages of Christendom. The mystery in the Eternal Government. The human race, without exception, coming task they proposed to themselves was that into existence “ under God's wrath and of reconciling the most tremendous facts curse,” with a nature so fatally disorof sin and evil, present and eternal, with dered, that, although perfect free agents, those conceptions of Infinite Power and men were infallibly certain to do nothBenevolence which their own strong and ing to Divine acceptance until regenergenerous natures enabled them so vividly ated by the supernatural aid of God's to realize. In the intervals of planting Spirit, — this aid being given only to and harvesting, they were busy with the a certain decreed number of the hutoils of adjusting the laws of a universe. man race, the rest, with enough free Solemnly simple, they made long jour- agency to make them responsible, but neys in their old one-horse chaises, to set- without this indispensable assistance extle with each other some nice point of posed to the malignant assaults of evil celestial jurisprudence, and to compare spirits versed in every art of temptation, their maps of the Infinite. Their let- were sure to fall hopelessly into perditers to each other form a literature alto- tion. The standard of what constituted gether unique. Hopkins sends to El- a true regeneration, as presented in such wards the younger bis scheme of the treatises as Edwards on the Affections, universe, in which he starts with the and others of the times, made this change proposition, that God is infinitely above to be something so high, disinterested, all obligations of any kind to his creat- and superhuman, so removed from all

Edwards replies with the brusque natural and common habits and feelings, comment,-" This is wrong; God has no that the most earnest and devoted, whose more right to injure a creature than a whole life had been a constant travail creature has to injure God”; and each of endeavor, a tissue of almost unearthly probably about that time preached a ser- disinterestedness, often lived and died mon on his own views, which was dis- with only a glimmering hope of its atcussed by every farmer, in intervals of tainment. plough and hoe, by every woman and According to any views then entergirl, at loom, spinning-wheel, or wash- tained of the evidences of a true regentub.

New England was one vast sea, eration, the number of the whole human surging from depths to heights with race who could be supposed as yet to bave thought and discussion on the most in- received this grace was so small, that, as soluble of mysteries. And it is to be to any numerical valuation, it must have added, that no man or woman accepted been expressed as an infinitesimal. Dr. any theory or speculation simply as the

as the- Hopkins in many places distinctly recogory or speculation ; all was profoundly nizes the fact, that the greater part of the real and vital,

- a foundation on which human race, up to his time, had been actual life was based with intensest ear- eternally lost,- and boldly assumes the nestness.

ground, that this amount of sin and sufThe views of human existence which fering, being the best and most necessary resulted from this course of training means of the greatest final amount of were gloomy enough to oppress any happiness, was not merely permitted, but heart which did not rise above them distinctly chosen, decreed, and provided by triumphant faith or sink below them for, as essential in the schemes of Inby brutish insensibility ; for they includ- finite Benevolence. He held that this ed every moral problem of natural or decree not only permitted each indirevealed religion, divested of all those vidual act of sin, but also took meassoftening poetries and tender draper- ures to make it certain, though, by an

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exercise of infinite skill, it accomplished of eminent purity and earnestness, gave this result without violating human free awful weight and sanction to their words. agency.

If we add to this statement the fact, The preaching of those times was an- that it was always proposed to every inimated by an unflinching consistency quiring soul, as an evidence of regenerawhich never shrank from carrying an tion, that it should truly and heartily acidea to its remotest logical verge.

The

cept all the ways of God thus declared sufferings of the lost were not kept from right and lovely, and from the heart subview, but proclaimed with a terrible pow- mit to Him as the only just and good, it

Dr. Hopkins boldly asserts, that “all will be seen what materials of tremendous the use which God will have for them internal conflict and agitation were all is to suffer; this is all the end they the while working in every bosom. Alcan answer; therefore all their faculties, most all the histories of religious experiand their whole capacities, will be em- ence of those times relate paroxysms of ployed and used for this end.

opposition to God and fierce rebellion, The body can by omnipotence be made expressed in language which appalls the capable of suffering the greatest imagin- very soul,-followed, at length, by mysteable pain, without producing dissolution, rious elevations of faith and reactions of or abating the least degree of life or sen- confiding love, the result of Divine intersibility.

.. One way in which God position, which carried the soul far above will show his power in the punishment the region of the intellect, into that of of the wicked will be in strengthening direct spiritual intuition. and upholding their bodies and souls in President Edwards records that he was torments which otherwise would be intol- once in this state of enmity, that the erable."

facts of the Divine administration seemed The sermons preached by President horrible to bim,—and that this opposition Edwards on this subject are so terrific in was overcome by no course of reasontheir refined poetry of torture, that very ing, but by an “inward and sweet sense," few persons of quick sensibility could which came to himn once when walking read them through without agony; and it alone in the fields, and, looking up into is related, that, when, in those calm and the blue sky, he saw the blending of the tender tones which never rose to pas- Divine majesty with a calm, sweet, and sionate enunciation, he read these dis- almost infinite meekness. courses, the house was often filled with The piety which grew up under such shrieks and wailings, and that a brother a system was, of necessity, energetic, – minister once laid hold of his skirts, ex- it was the uprousing of the whole energy claiming, in an involuntary agony,

“Oh!

of the human soul, pierced and wrenched Mr. Edwards ! Mr. Edwards! is God not and probed from her lowest depths to her a God of mercy ?”

topmost heights with every awful lifeNot that these men were indifferent force possible to existence. He whose or insensible to the dread words they faith in God came clear through these spoke; their whole lives and deportment terrible tests would be sure never to bore thrilling witness to their sincerity. know greater ones. He might certainly Edwards set apart special days of fast challenge earth or heaven, things present ing, in view of the dreadful doom of the or things to come, to swerve him from lost, in which he was wont to walk the this grand allegiance. floor, weeping and wringing his hands. But it is to be conceded, that these Hopkins fasted every Saturday. David systems, so admirable in relation to the Brainerd gave up every refinement of energy, earnestness, and acuteness of civilized life to weep and pray at the their authors, when received as absolute feet of hardened savages, if by any truth, and as a basis of actual life, had, means he might save one. All, by lives on minds of a certain class, the effect of

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a slow poison, producing life-habits of the

cye of the mourner as a great assemmorbid action very different from any bly with one accord lifting interceding which ever followed the simple reading hands for the parted soul. of the Bible. They differ from the New But the clear logic and intense indiTestament as the living embrace of a vidualism of New England deepened the friend does from his lifeless body, mapped problems of the Augustinian faith, while out under the knife of the anatomical they swept away all those softening prodemonstrator;— every nerve and muscle visions so earnestly clasped to the throbis there, but to a sensitive spirit there is bing heart of that great poet of theolthe very chill of death in the analysis. ogy. No rite, no form, no paternal rela

All systems that deal with the infinite tion, no faith or prayer of church, earthare, besides, exposed to danger from ly or heavenly, interposed the slightest small, unsuspected admixtures of human shield between the trembling spirit and error, which become deadly when car- Eternal Justice. The individual entered ried to such vast results. The smallest eternity alone, as if he had no intercedspeck of earth's dust, in the focus of an ing relation in the universe. infinite lens, appears magnified among This, then, was the awful dread which the heavenly orbs as a frightful monster. was constantly underlying life. This it

Thus it happened, that, while strong was which caused the tolling bell in green spirits walked, palm-crowned, with victo- hollows and lonely dells to be a sound rious hymns, along these sublime paths, which shook the soul and searched the feebler and more sensitive ones lay along heart with fearful questions. And this it the track, bleeding away in life-long de- was that was lying with mountain weight spair. Fearful to them were the shadows on the soul of the mother, too keenly that lay over the cradle and the grave. agonized to feel that doubt in such a case The mother clasped her babe to her bos- was any less a torture than the most om, and looked with shuddering to the dreadful certainty. awful coming trial of free agency, with Hers was a nature more reasoning its terrible responsibilities and risks, and than creative and poetic; and whatever as she thought of the infinite chances she believed bound her mind in strictest against her beloved, almost wished it chains to its logical results. She delightmight die in infancy. But when the ed in the regions of mathematical knowlstroke of death came, and some young, edge, and walked them as a native home; thoughtless head was laid suddenly low, but the commerce with abstract certainwho can say what silent anguish of ties fitted her mind still more to be stifloving hearts sounded the dread depths fened and enchained by glacial reasonof eternity with the awful question, ings, in regions where spiritual intuitions Where?

are as necessary as wings to birds. In no other time or place of Christen- Mary was by nature of the class who dom have so fearful issues been presented never reason abstractly, whose intellecto the mind. Some church interposed tions all begin in the heart, which sends its protecting shield; the Christian born them colored with its warm life-tint to the and baptized child was supposed in some brain. Her perceptions of the same subwise rescued from the curse of the fall, jects were as different from Mrs. Marand related to the great redemption,- vyn's as his who revels only in color from to be a member of Christ's family, and, his who is busy with the dry details of mere if ever so sinful, still infolded in some outline. The one mind was arranged like vague sphere of hope and protection. a map, and the other like a picture. In Augustine solaced the dread anxieties all the system which had been explainof trembling love by prayers offered for ed to her, her mind selected points on the dead, in times when the Church which it seized with intense sympathy, above and on earth presented itself to which it dwelt upon and expanded till

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