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through scholastic trammels, and discarding technical phraseology, addressed his audience in plain but energetic English; and it was this which led him to select such proofs and arguments as were likeliest to carry the popular understanding. | And it is this which now renders his discourses such a mine of golden thought and sagacious aphorism. As in a mine, so in these sermons, there is many a sharp stone to graze the knuckles, and there is mud enough to soil the fingers; but even amid the most offensive ribaldry, the explorer is constantly rewarded with gems, from which truth flashes like light from the diamond, or in which it is coyly locked up, and kept curiously undulating like a sunbeam imprisoned in opal.
For South we cannot claim that he possessed an imagination like Taylor, a power of philosophizing like Cudworth and More, a strategic range of vision and a dialectic fairness and prowess like Barrow, still less an erudition like Lightfoot and Pocock, and, least of all, a fervor like Baxter and the hated Puritans; but of all these desirable attributes, or of others equivalent, he possessed a share so respectable that, turned to the best account by a consummate rhetorician, it secured for him a place of enduring eminence in the ranks of pulpit oratory. Of learning he had enough to preserve him from mistakes and solecisms, and to supply the theme in hand with apposite facts and instructive illustrations; and his usual exemption from pedantry compels us to forgive an occasional quotation from "the fifty-second book of Dion Cassius," or a scrap of Greek from the fifty-seventh epistle of Synesius. Nor have many preachers made a happier use of the materials supplied by mental science. In his remarks on conscience, on ingratitude, on complacency in the sins of other men, there are passages where for a moment he anticipates the masterly grasp and seer-like intuition of Bishop Butler; while of his sermon on "Man in God's Image," it is hardly too much to affirm that nothing had appeared before it in English prose, at once so beautiful in conception and so exquisite in language.
Of tender or gracious feeling there is little trace in Dr. South's lively and eloquent compositions; but there is much of what is usually understood by "unction" in the following close of his sermon on conscience: "At this disconsolate time,
when the busy tempter shall be more than usually apt to vex and trouble him, and the pains of a dying body to hinder and discompose him, and the settlement of worldly affairs to disturb and confound him, and, in a word, all things conspire to make his sick-bed grievous and uneasy; nothing can then stand up against these ruins, and speak life in the midst of death, but a clear conscience. And the testimony of that shall make the comforts of heaven descend upon his weary head, like a refreshing dew or shower upon a parched ground. It shall give him some lively earnest and secret anticipations of his approaching joy. It shall bid his soul go out of the body undauntedly, and lift up its head with confidence before saints and angels. Surely the comfort which it conveys at this season is something bigger than the capacities of mortality-mighty and unspeakable, and not to be understood till it comes to be felt. And now, who would not quit all the pleasures and trash and trifles which are apt to captivate the heart of man, and pursue the greatest rigors of piety and austerities of a good life, to purchase to himself such a conscience as, at the hour of death, when all the friendships of the world shall bid him adieu, and the whole creation turn its back upon him, shall dismiss his soul and close his eyes with that blessed sentence, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"
But, although there is little pathos, there is no want of warmth and vigor, and there are few things with which we sympathize more heartily than honest indignation. As, for instance, after quoting from Bellarmine the extraordinary proposition, “That if the Pope should, through error or mistake, command vices and prohibit virtues, the Church would be bound in conscience to believe vice to be good and virtue evil," he exclaims, "Good God! that anything that wears the name of a Christian, or but of a man, should venture to own such a villainous, impudent, and blasphemous assertion in the face of the world as this! What! must murder, adultery, theft, fraud, extortion, perjury, drunkenness, rebellion, and the like, pass for good and commendable actions, and fit to be practiced? and mercy, chastity, justice, truth, temperance, loyalty, and sincere dealing, be accounted things utterly evil, immoral, and not to be followed by men, in case the
reverend harpies, who, by plunders and sequestrations, had scraped together three or four thousand a year, but, presently, according to the sanctified dialect of the times, they dubbed themselves God's peculiar people and inheritance. So sure did those thriving regicides make of heaven, and so fully reckoned themselves in the high road thither, that they never so much as thought that some of their saintships were to take Tyburn in their way." Again: "Whensoever you hear any of these sly, sanctified sycophants, with turned-up eye and shrug of shoulder, pleading conscience for or against anything or practice, you should forthwith ask them, What word of God they have to bottom that judgment of their conscience upon ? . . . And if they can produce no such thing, (as they never can,) then rest assured that they are arrant cheats and hypocrites, and that, for all their big words, the conscience of such men is so far from being able to give them any true confidence toward God, that it cannot so much as give them confidence toward a wise and good man; no, nor yet toward themselves, who are far from being either."
Pope, who is generally a weak, and almost always a wicked man, should, by his mistake and infallible ignorance, command the former and forbid the latter? Did Christ himself ever assume such a power, as to alter the morality of actions, and to transform vice into virtue, and virtue into vice by his bare word? Certainly never did a grosser paradox, or a wickeder sentence drop from the mouth or pen of any mortal man, since reason or religion had any being in the world. And I must confess, I have often with great amazement wondered how it could possibly come from a person of so great a reputation, both for learning and virtue too, as the world allows Bellarmine to have been. But, when men give themselves to the defense of wicked interests and false propositions, it is just with God to smite the greatest abilities with the greatest infatuations." Unfortunately, however, much of South's indignation is lavished on men whose memory is now dear, and whose depressed condition should have been a powerful appeal to the forbearance of a generous foe. To trample on the fallen, or to torture a victim whose hands are tied, is no great token of chivalry; and, in his in- Racy and idiomatic as is our author's vectives against republicans and Puritans, English, it is too often debased by slang. South knew full well that they could not In the same way, his wit not rarely deretaliate. Had the pulpit been open, or generates to ribaldry, and the temptation the press been free, they might have re- of a keen or humorous remark is always minded their accuser of his former con- too powerful for his reverence. Thus : nection with themselves; and while they "With two or three popular, empty words, might safely have asked him to point out such as Popery and superstition,'' right the sacrifices by which he had evidenced of the subject,' 'liberty of conscience,' · his sincerity, they might have hinted, that Lord Jesus Christ,' well tuned and huof all enemies the most truculent and un-mored, a skillful manager of the rabble forgiving is a turncoat or an ungrateful may whistle them backward and forward, protégé. With language like the follow-upward and downward, till he is weary, ing, the walls of Whitehall and Westminster Abbey used to resound on days consecrated to the "Happy Restoration of King Charles the Second :" "In the late times of confusion, how was the black decree of reprobation opened and let fly at them [loyalists] both from pulpit and press, and how were all the vials of wrath in the Revelation poured upon their head! Every mother's son of them was a reprobate and a castaway, and none were to hope for the least favor hereafter who had not Cromwell or Bradshaw for his friend here. ... Nor were these enthusiasts less liberal in denouncing God's curses upon their enemies, than in engrossing his blessings to themselves: there being none of those
and get up upon their backs when he is so." Again: "The truth is, they [the Jews] were all along a cross, odd, untoward sort of people, and such as God seems to have chosen, and (as the prophets sometimes phrase it) to have espoused to himself, upon the very same account that Socrates espoused Xantippe, only for her extreme il conditions above all that he could find or pick out of that sex; and so the fittest argument both to exercise and declare his admirable patience to the world." And in the outset of his sermon on "The Christian Pentecost" there is a hit at the Protector of a nature so profane that it is better to leave it where we found it.
HAVE here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.MONTAIGNE,
Is the designation given by the apostle to God's holy angels. The idea is carried further, and in not, so far as we know, repugnant to Scripture; and Christ himself taught us that those who are accounted worthy to obtain a resurrection from the dead are equal unto the angels. And, asks IRVING—
What could be more consoling than the idea that the souls of those we once loved were permitted to return to watch over our welfare; that affectionate and guardian spirits sat by our pillows when we slept, keeping a vigil over our most helpless hours; that beauty and innocence, which had languished into the tomb, yet smiled unseen around us, revealing themselves in those blessed dreams wherein we live over again the hours of past endearment? A belief of this kind would, I should think, be a new incentive to virtue; it would take away, too, from the loneliness and destitution which we are apt to feel more and more as we go on in our pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world, and find that those who set forward with us lovingly and cheerily on the journey have, one by one, dropped away from our side. There are departed beings that I have loved as 1 never again shall love in this world; that have loved me as I never again shall be loved. If such beings do ever retain in their blessed spheres the attachments which they felt on earth; if they take an interest in the poor concerns of transient mortality, and are permitted to hold communion with those whom they have loved on earth, I feel as if now, at this deep hour of night, in this silence and solitude, I could receive their visitation with the most solemn but unalloyed delight. In truth, such visitations would be too happy for this world; they would take us away from the bounds and barriers that hem us in, and keep us from each other. Our existence is doomed to be made up of transient embraces and long separations. The most intimate friendship, of what brief and scattered portions of time does it consist? We take each other by the hand; and we exchange a few words and looks of kindness; and we rejoice together for a few short moments; and then days, months, years intervene, and we have no intercourse with each other. Or, if we dwell together for a season, the grave soon closes its gates, and cuts off all further communion; and our spirits must remain in separation and widowhood until they meet -again in that more perfect state of being when soul shall dwell with soul, and there shall be no such thing as death, or absence, or any other interruption of our union.
THE ANGEL GUEST.
APPROPRIATELY following the preceding, and practically inculcating an important lesson, are these verses from the laureate Tennyson:
How pure in heart and sound'in head,
Should be the man whose thoughts would hold
In vain shalt thou, or any, call
The spirits from their golden day, Except, like them, thou too canst say, My spirit is at peace with all.
They haunt the silence of the breast,
The memory like a cloudless air,
But when the heart is full of din,
ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF GRACE.
THE apostle reminds the Hebrew Christians that the Captain of their salvation was made perfect through sufferings. Hence he deduces an argument for the doctrine that they who would be like their Lord will also be called upon to pass through tribulations, and that HE, having himself suffered, is able to succor them in the trying hour. Of such, sustained by grace in every sorrow, tempted, but triumphant, it is well said that
Amid all that humbles and scathes-amid all that shatters from their life its verdure, smites to the dust the pomp and summit of their pride, and in the very heart of existence writeth a sudden and "strange defeature," they stand erect, riven not uprooted, s monument less of pity than of awe! There are some who pass through the lazar-house of misery with a step more august than a Cæsar's in his hall. The very things which, seen alone, are despicable and vile, associated with them, become almost venerable and divine; and one ray, however dim and feeble, of that intense holiness which, in the infant God, shed majesty over the manger and the straw, not denied to those who, in the depth of affliction, cherish his patient image, flings over the meanest localities of earth an emanation from the glory of heaven.
"Be yourself rather than Gabriel" was the sententious direction given to a young minister. Similar advice may be given to those who write. Do not hunt after models nor try to imitate. Be yourself, for as WHIPPLE has well said:
There is no model style. What is pleasing in the diction of one author disgusts us in a copyist. Every writer is his own standard. The law by which we judge of his sentences, must be deduced from his sentences. If the style indicate the character, it is relatively good; if it contradict the character, though its cadences are faultless, it is still bad, and not to be endured. We may quarrel with a writer, if we please, for possessing a tasteless nature, but not with the style which takes from that nature its form and movement.
The tread of Johnson's style is heavy and sonorous, resembling that of an elephant or a mail-clad warrior. He is fond of leveling an obstacle by a polysyllabic battering-ram. Burke's words are continually practicing the broad-sword exercise, and sweeping down adversaries with every stroke. Addison draws up his infantry in orderly array, and marches through sentence after sentence, without having his ranks disor
dered or his line broken. Luther's words are "halfbattle;" his "smiting, idiomatic phrases, seem to cleave into the very secret of the matter." Gibbon's legions are heavily armed, and march with precision and dignity to the music of their own tramp. They are splendidly equipped; but a nice eye can discern a little rust beneath their fine apparel. Macaulay, brisk, keen, lively, and energetic, runs his thoughts rapidly through his sentence, and kicks out of the way every word which obstructs his passage. He reins in his steed only when he has reached his goal, and then does it with such celerity, that he is nearly thrown backward by the suddenness of his stoppage. Jeffrey is a fine lance, with a sort of Arab swiftness in his movement, and runs an iron clad horseman through the eye, before he has had time to close his helmet. Talfourd's forces are orderly and disciplined, and march to the music of the Dorian flute. Those of Keats keep time to the tones of the pipe of Phoebus. Willis's words are often tipsy with the champagne of the fancy; but even when they reel and stagger they keep the line of grace and beauty. Webster's words are thunderbolts which sometimes miss the Titans at whom they are hurled, but always leave enduring marks where they strike.
Words are not, when used by a master-mind, the mere dress of thought. They are, as Wordsworth has happily said, the incarnation of thought. They bear the same relation to ideas that the body bears to the soul. A thought embodied and embrained in fit words, walks the earth a living being.
THE ARCTIC FIRMAMENT.
THE intrepid KANE, whose name will hereafter be a synonym for persevering adventure, thus, under an arctic sky, raises his own thoughts and those of his readers from nature up to nature's God:
The intense beauty of the arctic firmament can hardly be imagined. It looked close above our heads, with its stars magnified in glory, and the very planets twinkling so much as to baffle the observations of the astronomer. I have trodden the deck when the life of earth seemed suspended, its movements, its sounds, its coloring, its companionship; and as I looked on the radiant hemisphere circling above me, as if rendering worship to the unseen center of light, I have cjac ulated, in humility of spirit, "Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him?" And then I have thought of the kindly world we had left, with its revolving sunlight and shadow, and the other stars that gladden it in their changes, and the hearts which warmned to us there, till I lost myself in memories of those who are not, and they bore me back to the stars again.
MAN, THE CUSTODIAN OF HIS OWN
THE lines of Dr. Young,
Heaven's Sovereign spares all creatures but himself That hideous sight-a naked human heart, have been often quoted. Hence is derived the startling truth that every man knows something worse of himself than he knows of any other human being. But it is also true, as the learned in these matters tell us, that
Every human face carries written upon it the story of its owner. The prevailing thoughts have shaped the organs; the prevailing passions have furrowed the
lines. No emotion, whether of joy or sorrow, passes off without leaving behind it the penciled traces of its presence. It may be so. We need not quarrel with a theory, which, for the present, is no more than a speculation. The generality of mankind are, happily, but indifferent physiognomists, and for our time, at least, are likely to be spared a knowledge which, if it ever come, will make the world intolerable. We have no anxiety to find a window opened into our consciousness, to take the public behind the scenes, where we can be seen, stripped of our stage dresses, in naked simplicity; and still less have we a desire to pry curiously into the secrets of others.
The living torrents which, for eighteen of each four and twenty hours, stream along our streets, are made up of units. How many of these have each a history that would infallibly interest us if we knew it. How many are struggling, suffering, hating, loving, failing, succeeding, doing everything of which the most delightful novel is but a feeble counterfeit. And our feelings, if we were admitted to all those confidences, would speedily be worn thread-bare by perpetual friction. Here, too, as in most other things, we have cause to think the world well-made; that it is well for us all that we are allowed the exclusive custody of
our own secrets.
PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED HEREAFTER.
DR. WATTS has a beautifully suggestive thought with reference to the better world: There I shall see, and hear, and know, All I desired, or wish'd below,
and John Foster advises the treasuring up of difficult questions with a view of having them made plain when this mortal shall have put on immortality:
One object of life should be to accumulate a great number of grand questions to be asked and resolved in eternity. We now ask the sage, the genins, the philosopher, the divine-none can tell; but we will open our series to other respondents. We will ask angels-God.
A WRITER in one of the British magazines thus apostrophizes:
Blessed influence of one true loving human soul on another! Not calculable by algebra, not deducible by logic, but mysterious, effectual, mighty as the hidden process by which the mere seed is quickened, and bursts forth into tall stem and broad leaf, and glowing tasseled flower. Ideas are often poor ghosts; our sunfilled eyes cannot discern them; they pass athwart us in thin vapor, and cannot make themselves felt. But sometimes they are made flesh; they breathe upon us with warm breath, they touch us with soft responsive hands, they look at us with sad, sincere eyes, and speak to us in appealing tones; they are clothed in a living human soul, with all its conflicts, its faith, and its love. Then their presence is a power, then they shake us like a passion, and we are drawn after them with gentle compulsion, as flame is drawn to flame.
EMBLEM OF THE RESURRECTION. JOHN BUNYAN, in his own quaint style, thus paraphrases the apostle's well-known figure relative to the resurrection of the body:
There is a poor, dry, and wrinkled kernel cast into the ground; and there it lieth, swelleth, breaketh, and, one would think, perisheth. But behold, it receiveth life, it chippeth, it putteth forth a blade, and groweth into a stalk. There also appeareth an ear; it also sweetly blossoms, with a full kernel in the car. It is the same wheat, yet behold how the fashion doth differ from what was sown! And our brawn will be left behind, when we rise again. The body ariseth, as to the nature of it, the self-same nature; but as to the manner of it, how far transcendent! "The glory of the terrestrial is one, and the glory of the celestial another!"
SELF-PERPETUATING POWER OF THE
THE thought may not be new; but it is happily clothed by Dr. Thomson, when he says of the Bible:
It has a self-perpetuating and multiplying power. Infidels have written books: where are they? Where is Porphyry, Julian? Fragments of them there are; but we are indebted even for this to Christian criticism. Where is Hume, Voltaire, Bolingbroke? It requires the world's reprieve to bring a copy out of the prison of their darkness. Where is the Bible? Wherever there is light. Speaking the language of heaven in seven score and three of the tongues of earth, and giving the word of God by forty millions of voices, to five times as many million ears, and in tongues spoken by six hundred millions of men; and having swept its path of storm through all time, it still walks triumphant, despite earth's dying malice and hell's eternal wrath, and like the apocalyptic angel, though it wraps its mantle of cloud around it, calmly looks ont upon the world with a face as it were the sun encircled with the rainbow.
UNSUCCESSFUL IN THIS LIFE.
THERE is truth beautifully expressed, and words of cheer for multitudes, in the sentiment accredited to GEORGE S. HILLIARD:
I confess that increasing years bring with them an increasing respect for those who do not succeed in life, as those words are commonly used. Heaven is said to be a place for those who have not succeeded upon earth; and it is surely true that celestial graces do not best thrive and bloom in the hot blaze of worldly prosperity. Ill success sometimes rises from superabundance of qualities in themselves good-from a conscience too sensitive, a taste too fastidious, a self-forgetfulness too romantic, a modesty too retiring. I will not go so far as to say, with a living poet, that the "world knows nothing of its greatest men," but there are forms of greatness, or at least excellence, that "die and make no sign;" there are martyrs that miss the palm, but not the stake; there are heroes without the laurel, and conquerors without the triumph.
IDOLIZING THE INTELLECT.
BISHOP ARMSTRONG utters a timely warning as to a very common tendency, especially among the gifted and the educated:
There is always a fear lest the intellect should become idolized among the educated classes, lest it should create false views of the dignity of human nature, lest it should be used selfishly, because it lifts men so VOL. XII.-27
easily above their fellows, and places them on high as objects of admiration. Literature and science, in their countless branches, are, after all, great tempters; they are apt to become idols, to make men their devotees; the fame, and attention, and note, which they bring, when successfully pursued, are cords of great power in tying our souls to the world, and the Christian graces are apt to be secondary objects of desire, if desired at all, amid all the excitement of a scientific or literary life. The very exercise of intellect, apart from any feelings of ambition, is so pleasurable, as it seems the nearest of anything to the creative power, that we are disposed to treat it as such, to live in a world of our own making, to live upon our own thoughts, virtually to worship that through which we succeed, to delight ourselves with our own mind's work, to gaze with fond admiration on the surprising flights of reason, and to fill ourselves with those notions of the dignity of man as a reasoning being, which little dispose us for the humbling doctrines of the Cross.
WE are not sure that we know what is meant by woman's rights in the sense in which that phrase is commonly used at the present day. Perhaps it is our own fault, for we heard one of the ablest advocates of the cause, a female in boots and pant-no, in Bloomer costume, harangue a mixed multitude for an hour upon the subject. She convinced us that there never was more than one sex so imposed upon as the female, but failed to make us see the remedy, although possibly others did, for they applauded the sweet creature to the very echo. It is gratifying to know that those fair ones who have lost any of their rights, in the only sense in which we comprehend the term, may most certainly regain them by the simple process here pointed out. It is from the pen of the late Henry Reed:
It is not by clamoring for rights, it is not by restless discontent, but it is by tranquil working out of the Heaven-imposed law of obedience, that woman's weakness is transmuted into strength-a moral, spiritual power, which man shall do homage to. Ambition, pride, willfulness, or any earthly passion, will but distort her being; she struggles all in vain against a Divine appointment, and sinks into more woeful servitude, and the primeval curse weighs a thousandfold upon her, and the primeval companionship perishes. But, bowing beneath that law which sounded through the darkening Paradise, she wins for her dower the only freedom that is worthy of woman-the moral liberty which God bestows upon the faithful and obedient spirit. It is from the soil of meekness that the true strength of womanhood grows; and it is because it has its root in such a soil that it has a growth so majestic, showering its blossoms and its fruits upon the world. Her influence follows man from the cradle to the grave, and the sphere of it is the whole region of humanity. We marvel at the might of it, because its tranquil triumphs are so placid and so noiseless, and penetrating into the deep places of our nature. It was the sun and the wind that in the fable strove for the mastery, and the strife was for a traveler's cloak; the