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creatures who in their ignorance seek comfort from stimulating drinks, and thus actually force the liquid poison with every systole of their heart, into the heart of their babe; nor to those who make their condition an excuse for pampering every appetite of the body, and who from their own veins turgid with rich blood formed from high-seasoned and luscious food, pour into their infant's system the seeds of disease or early decay; - such will not heed any words of caution; but there are redeeming spirits of our race who are ready to give their very lives for their children's good. Let all such consider that there is a principle, as irresistible as that of gravitation, ever at work, by which the emotions and feelings of the mother are exercising an influence for good or for evil, over the disposition and capacity of the unborn babe which she bears within her. Let them remember that the prevalence of feelings of love, of kindness, and conscientiousness, bring not only the reward of cheerful sunshine to their own souls, but increase the chances of happiness for their offspring; let them remember that indulgence in melancholy, in peevishness, in envy, and ill-will, not only makes the passing hours more dark and cheerless, but may cloud the whole horizon of their child long after their own sun has gone down in death. Can there be a doubt about this? Does God care less for the soul than for the body, or fail to fix its laws? You know that a high and healthy condition of the muscular system of the parent will ensure great capacity for muscular vigor in the offspring : and is the feeling of benevolence or of conscientiousness less important than the muscular system? As surely as want of exercise on your part will give flabbiness of muscle to your offspring, so surely will inactivity of benevolence or neglect of conscientiousness in you render him less disposed to active and vigorous action of those faculties.
This principle is not new; but it is generally overlooked even by the intelligent few. There are so many other modifying influences; there are so many apparent exceptions ; so much depends upon the subsequent training of children, that the principle, though admitted in the abstract, is not acted upon. But, the mother may exclaim, is all this awful responsibility thrown upon me; is this weight to be added to the already unequal burden of parental duties and pains ? Oh no,
the father, too, is there, with his influence for good or evil, an influence more remote, indeed, but still powerful, and which is made better or worse by every year and by every day of
his previous life, accordingly as they were spent virtuously or viciously. And your parents too, - and your grandparents even, had their part in fitting the embryo heart of your unborn babe for the favorable growth of goodness, or the rank luxuriance of evil.
There may seem to be no thread running through these disjointed remarks, but here it is. Men are made for action, usefulness, and happiness. Now as the activity, the usefulness, and the happiness of an individual, — his intellectual power,
and his moral excellence, even, are greatly dependent upon the original structure and the actual condition of his bodily organization, so is it with classes and nations of men. This structure and condition are to a very great extent capable of being modified by means entirely under our control. Intelligent and virtuous parents strive to give to their children the best possible organization, and to teach them how to keep it in the best condition. So it should be with the virtuous and intelligent classes; they should look upon less favored classes as their children; - strive to improve their condition, and above all to give them that knowledge which will enable them to dispense with all aid. The frightful number of those unfortunates whose numbers encumber the march of humanity;-- the insane, the idiots, the blind, the deaf, the drunkards, the criminals, the paupers, will dwindle away as the light of knowledge makes clear the laws which govern our existence. But, in the mean time, let none of them be lost; let none of them be uncared for; but whenever the signal is given of a man in distress no matter how deformed, how vicious, how loathsome, even, he may be ; let it be regarded as a call to help a brother.
ART. IV.-A Discourse occasioned by the Death of John
Quincy Adams, delivered at the Melodeon, in Boston, March 5th, 1848. By THEODORE PARKER, Minister of the Twenty-eighth Congregational Church in Boston.
Within a few days one of the most distinguished states men of the age has passed away; a man who has long been before the public, familiarly known in the new world and the old. He was one of the prominent monuments of the age. It becomes us to look at his life, works, and public character, with an impartial eye; to try him by the Christian standard. Let me extenuate nothing, add nothing, and set nought down from any partial love or partial hate. His individuality has been so marked in a long life, his good and evil so sharply de fined, that one can scarcely fail to delineate its most important features.
God has made some men great and others little. The use of great men is to serve the little men; to take care of the human race, and act as practical interpreters of Justice and Truth. This is not the Hebrew rule, nor the Heathen, nor the common rule, only the Christian. The great man is the servant of mankind, not they of him. Perhaps greatness is always the same thing in kind, differing only in mode and in form, as well as degree. The great man has more of human nature than other men, organized in him. So far as that goes, therefore, he is more me than I am myself. We feel that superiority in all our intercourse with great men,whether Kings, Philosophers, Poets, or Saints. In kind we are the same; different in degree.
In nature we find individuals, not orders and genera : but for our own convenience in understanding and recollecting, we do a little violence to nature and put the individuals into classes. In this way we understand better both the whole and each of its parts. Human Nature furnishes us with individual great men; for convenience we put them into several classes, corresponding to their several modes or forms of great
It is well to look at these classes before we examine any one great man ; this will render it easier to see where he belongs and what he is worth. Actual service is the test of actual greatness; he who renders, of himself, the greatest actual service to mankind, is actually the greatest man. There may be other tests for determining the potential greatness of men, or the essential; this is the Christian rule for determining the actual greatness. Let us arrange these men in the natural order of their work.
First of all, there are great men who DISCOVER general truths, great ideas, universal laws, or invent methods of thought and action. In this class the vastness of a man's genius may be measured, and his relative rank ascertained by the transcendency of his ideas, by the newness of his truth, by its practical value, and the difficulty of attaining it in his time, and under his peculiar circumstances. In Literature it is such men who originate thoughts, and put them into original forms,
they are the great men of letters. In Philosophy we meet with such, - and they are the great men of science. Thus Socrates discovered the philosophical method of minute analysis which distinguished his school, and led to the rapid advance of knowledge in the various and even conflicting Academies, which held this method in common, but applied it in various ways, well or ill, and to various departments of human inquiry ; thus Newton discovered the law of gravitation, universal in Nature, and by the discovery did immense service to mankind. In Politics we find similar, or analogous men, who discover yet other Laws of God, which bear the same relation to men in society that Gravitation bears to the orbs in heaven, or to the dust and stones in the street; men that discover the First Truths of Politics, and teach the true Method of Human Society. Such are the great men in Politics. .
We find corresponding men in Religion ; men who discover an idea so central that all sectarianism of parties or of nations seems little in its light; who discover and teach the universal law which unifies the Race, binding man to man, and man to God; who discover the true method of Religion conducting to natural worship without limitation, to free Goodness, free Piety, free Thought. To our mind such are the greatest of great men, when measured by the transcendency of their doctrine and the service they render to all. By the influence of their idea, Letters, Philosophy, and Politics become nobler and more beautiful, both in their forms and their substance.
Such is the class of DISCOVERERS, - men who get truth at first hand — truth pertaining either especially to Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, or at the same time to each and all of them.
The next class consists of such as ORGANIZE these Ideas, Methods, Truths, and Laws; they concretize the abstract, particularize the general ; they apply philosophy to practical purposes, organizing the discoveries of science into a railroad, a mill, a steam-ship, and by their work an idea becomes Fact. They organize Love into Families, Justice into a State, Piety into a Church. Wealth is power, Knowledge is power, Religion power; they organize all these powers wealth, knowledge, religion into common life, making Divinity Humanity, and that Society.
This organizing genius is a very great one, and appears in various forms. One man spreads his thought out on the soil, whitening the land with bread-corn ; another applies his mind to the rivers of New England, making them spin and weave for the human race ; this man will organize a thought into a machine with his Idea, joining together fire and water, iron and wood, animating them into a new creature, ready to do man's bidding; while that with audacious hand steals the lightning of Heaven, organizes his plastic thought within that pliant fire, and sends it of his errands to fetch and carry tidings between the ends of the earth.
Another form of this mode of greatness is seen in Politics, in organizing men. The man spreads his thought out on mankind, puts men into true relations with one another and with God; he organizes Strength, Wisdom, Justice, Love, Piety; balances the conflicting forces of a nation so that each man has his natural liberty as complete as if the only man, yet, living in society, gathers advantages from all the rest. The highest degree of this organizing power is the genius for legislation, which can enact Justice and Eternal Right into treaties and statutes, codifying the divine thought into human laws, making Absolute Religion common life and daily custom, and balancing the centripetal power of the mass, with the centrifugal power of the individual, into a well proportioned State, as God has balanced these two conflicting forces into the rhythmic ellipses above our heads. It need not be disguised, that Politics are the highest business for men of this class, nor that a great statesman or legislator is the greatest example of constructive skill. It requires some ability to manage the brute forces of Nature, or to combine profitably nine and thirty clerks in a shop : how much more to arrange twenty millions of intelligent, free men, not for a special purpose, but for all the ends of universal life! Such is the second class of great men
the ORGANIZERS; men of constructive heads, who form the institutions of the world, the little and the great.
The next class consists of men who ADMINISTER the institutions after they are founded. To do this effectually and even eminently, it requires no genius for original organization of truths freshly discovered, none for the discovery of truths, outright. It requires only a perception of those truths, and an acquaintance with the institutions wherein they have become incarnate; a knowledge of details, of formulas, and practical methods, united with a strong will and a practised understand