« 上一頁繼續 »
tions which before involved great difficulty, and altogether to strengthen the argument for the authenticity of the Acts and the Epistles of Paul, by proving what Paley denominates the undesignedness of the various coincidences discovered between the formal history by Luke, and the occasional correspondence of the apostle with his friends, both in their corporate and individual capacity.
As to the special importance of Mr. Tate's labors, it is incumbent to observe that they must be estimated in conjunction with the argument of Paley. He has succeeded in making out a more complete narrative than his learned and acute predecessor. The strength of the argument derived from the obvious undesignedness of coincidences depends upon the degree with which they exclude, not only the appearance, but the very possibility, of design. In proportion, therefore, as they are subtle, indirect, circuitous, or complicated, so are they valuable. The more remote and the more deeply imbedded in the tissue of the narrative, the more convincing are they as evidence of truth. * Broad, obvious, and explicit agreements,' said Paley, 'prove • little ; because it may be suggested that the insertion of such
is the ordinary expedient of every forgery. The occurrence of such may be expected in genuine writings, but then they form no test by which genuineness may be ascertained. The chief stress of any argument of this nature results from the proof that such coincidence was undesigned, and either was not likely to be, or could not possibly be, matter of previous arrangement. The strength of the proof is always according to the evidence which excludes design.
As wefind it difficult or next to impossible to make any citations from Mr. Tate's work which would enable our readers to judge of its value for themselves, it behoves us to be the more explicit in recommending its perusal to all persons who are either interested in the evidences of christianity, or in the general elucidation of the apostle Paul's life and writings. They will find this a book of invaluable reference when any difficulty arises as to the order of events, or any question as to obscure allusions and other matters connected with the Epistles and the Acts. Mr. Tate has contributed some valuable critical observations on particular expressions. Altogether we are delighted to receive such an important addition to the Horæ Paulinæ.
There is only one suggestion which we wish to offer to the learned author. In publishing Paley's work in connexion with his own he has compelled his readers to purchase both. As Paley is already in every theological library, he ought to have left those who wish to have his own work the option of purchasing it apart. At present they must pay for both Tate and Paley- or not read Tate. Why should they be constrained to
purchase Paley for the sake of Tate, when they already possess the original work upon which Mr. Tate's is founded? We trust the author will accept our bint, and in case of a second edition, which will no doubt soon be required, print his own work alone.
Art. III. Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home. By Miss SEDG
WICK. 2 vols. London: Moxon. 1841.
M ISS SEDGWICK is well known to many of our readers
as an American authoress of considerable celebrity, some of whose works have been reissued from the British
and are obtaining an extensive circulation amongst our people. She visited the old world’ in 1839, and the volumes now before us consist of letters written during her residence in Europe, to her friends at home. Miss Sedgwick's literary reputation, aided by the numerous letters of introduction which she is understood to have brought to this country, obtained her ready access to the best society in London, which she has described with a fidelity and liveliness that can hardly fail to win the confidence, while it ministers to the pleasure of her readers. Her personal demeanor is reported to have been inartificial and unpretending,-the outward expression of a mind which respected itself too highly to violate truth for the sake of effect, and was too keenly alive to whatever was beautiful or grand, to stoop to any of those exaggerations of phrase by which inferior writers endeavor to supply the absence of real feeling.
The letters are written in an admirable temper, with just such prepossessions as an intelligent American may be expected to entertain. There is no pretension about them, but they nevertheless furnish information which to American readers must be full of interest. “I forewarn you,' she says to her correspondent in her first letter, not to look for any 'statistics from meany valuable information.' I shall try ' to tell you truly what I see and hear; to chronicle,' as our ' friend Mr. Dewey says, 'while they are fresh, my sensations. To this rule Miss Sedgwick strictly adheres, and there is in consequence a freshness and individuality about her volumes not frequently met with in the hackneyed ways of authorship. She landed at Portsmouth, July 4, 1839, and was strongly moved by the historical associations which occurred to her memory.' When I touched English ground, she says, “I • could have fallen on my knees and kissed it; but a wharf is
not quite the locale for such a demonstration, and spectators operate like strait jackets upon enthusiasm, so I contented 'myself with a mental salutation of the home of our fathers, the ' native land of one of our dearest friends, and the birthplace of " the bright, the immortal names' that we have venerated ' from our youth upward.' Miss Sedgwick was much struck with the aspect of what she beheld. 'Every thing,' she remarks, ' looks novel and foreign to us : the quaint forms of • the old, sad-colored houses; the arched, antique gateways; • the royal busts niched in an old wall; the very dark coloring of the foliage, and the mossy stems of the trees. We seemed to have passed from the fresh, bright youth to the old age of • the world. The form and coloring of the people are different ' from ours. They are stouter, more erect, and more sanguine.'
Amongst her letters of introduction Miss Sedgwick was fortunate enough to have one to Captain Basil Hall, which was delivered with some hesitation on account of the prejudices which, in common with her countrymen, she entertained against the English officer. Captain Hall, however, completely redeemed himself in her estimation by the most polite and unremitting attentions, which are recorded with the frankness of an ingenuous mind. What a host of prejudices and false ' judgments,' Miss Sedgwick remarks, ‘had one day's frank and
kind intercourse dispersed to the winds — for ever! We could wish that our countrymen were more disposed to meet the prejudices of foreigners, whether personal or national, in the same spirit of courteous gallantry.
We pass over the sketch which is given of our author's lionizing at Portsmouth, as also her trip to the Isle of Wight, with which she was thoroughly charmed, and her impressions of the miniature beauties of which she expresses herself wholly incompetent to convey to her correspondent. 'Call it Eden,' she exclaims ; ' call it
Paradise; and, after all, what conceptions have we of those terræ ' incognitæ. The Isle of Wight, they tell us, is a miniature of • England. It has the exquisite delicacy and perfection of a minia'ture by a master hand. Something was no doubt due to her sudden transition from ship board to this lovely garden, the secluded and modest beauties of which are not destined, we fear, long to escape the profane hands of the rude intruder. Before repairing to London Miss Sedgwick visited Winchester Cathedral, and in her notice of this splendid memorial of by-gone days, opens up to us a class of emotions of which, from long familiarity with the monumental records of the past, we are almost wholly ignorant. America is utterly destitute of such historical associations—the connecting links between the past and the present,--the outward and visible proof of the truth of
those records with which the student of history is familiar. We are not, therefore, surprised at the powerful emotions which such edifices raise in a cultivated American. They speak to the eye, and there is a vividness and graphic force in their language, to which the most eloquent descriptions cannot attain. But our author shall speak for herself.
• The chief object of the excursion to us was the Cathedral, which is the largest in England. A part of it is of the Saxon order, and dates from the seventh century. What think you of our New-World eyes seeing the sarcophagi containing the bones of the old Saxon kings -the Ethelreds and Ethelwolfs, and of Canute the Dane; the tombs of William Rufus, and of William of Wykeham; the chair in which bloody Mary sat at her nuptial ceremony , besides unnumbered monuments and chapels built by kings and bishops ; to say nothing of some of the best art of our own time, sculpture by Flaxman and Chantrey ? Their details were lost upon us in the effect of the great whole ; the long-drawn aisles, the windows with their exquisite coloring, the lofty vault, the carved stones, the pillars and arches-those beautiful Gothic arches. We had some compensation for the unconsciousness of a lifetime, of the power of architecture, in our overwhelming emotions. They cannot be repeated. We cannot see a cathedral twice for the first time, that is very clear!
• I was not prepared for the sensations to be excited by visiting these old places of the Old World. There is nothing in our land to aid the imperfect lights of history. Here it seems suddenly verified. Its long-buried dead, or, rather, its dim spectres, appear with all the freshness of actual life. A miracle is wrought on poetry and painting. While they represented what we had never seen, they were but shadows to us; a kind of magic mirrors, showing false images ; now they seem a divine form, for the perpetual preservation of the beautiful creations of nature and art.
• It happened that while we were in Winchester Cathedral service was performed there. I cannot tell how I might have been affected if it had been a more hearty service. There were the officials, the cler. gyman and clerk, a choir of boys, and, for the audience, half-a-dozen men, three or four women, octogenarians, or verging on the extreme of human life, and ourselves. I confess that the temple, and not He who sanctifies it, filled my mind. My eyes were wandering over the arches, the carvings, the Saxon caskets,' &c., &c.—Vol. i. pp. 27, 28.
Arrived in London, Miss Sedgwick repaired, of course, to the Tower, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, and other objects of curiosity. The hours spent in Westminster Abbey are represented as having more sensations in them than months of • ordinary life. It is worth crossing the Atlantic,' she remarks, 'to enter the little door by which we first went into the
Abbey, and have your eyes light on that familiar legend, 'O • 'rare Ben Jonson. And then to walk around and see the * monuments of Shakspere, Spenser, Milton, and other inspired
* teachers. You have strange and mixed feelings. You approach nearer to them than ever before, but it is in sympathy with
their mortality. Miss Sedgwick was 'grievously disappointed' in St. Paul's, than which, she says, ' a more heavy, inexpressive 'mass can hardly be found cumbering the ground. We demur to this judgment, but will not be tempted into an architectural digression. The most interesting portion of Miss Sedgwick's letters from London consists of sketches of some of our literary men, with whom she met in the quiet intercourse of social life. The following is her account of a breakfast party at the house of the author of the Pleasures of Memory.
. We had the pleasure of a breakfast at Rogers'. Your long fa. miliarity with his poetry tells you the melancholy fact that he is no longer young ; a fact kept out of your mind as far as possible on a personal acquaintance, by the freshness with which he enjoys, and the generosity with which he imparts. I have heard him called cynical, and perhaps a man of his keen wit may be sometimes over-tempted to demonstrate it, as the magnanimous Saladin was to use the weapon with which he adroitly severed a man's head from his body at a single stroke. If so, these are the exceptions to the general current of his life, which, I am sure, flows in a kindly current. K. told me he met him one winter in Paris, where he found him enjoying art like a young enthusiast; and knowing every boy's name in the street he lived in, and in friendship with them all. Does not this speak volumes ?
• He honored our letters of introduction by coming immediately to see us, and receiving us as cordially as if we were old friends. He afterwards expressed a regret to me that he had not taken that morning, before we plunged into engagements, to show me Johnson's and Dryden's haunts, the house where our Franklin lived, and other classical localities. Ah! this goes to swell my pathetic reiteration of the general lament, 'I have had my losses !'
*His manners are those of a man of the world (in its best sense), simple, and natural, without any apparent consciousness of name or fame to support. His house, as all the civilized world knows, is a cabinet of art, selected and arranged with consummate taste. The house itself is small—not, I should think, more than twenty-five feet front, and perhaps forty deep, in a most fortunate location, overlooking the Green Park. The first sight of it from the windows produces a sort of coup de théâtre ; for you approach the house and enter it by a narrow street. Every inch of it is appropriated to some rare treasure or choice production of art. Besides the pictures (and • What, you might be tempted to ask, “can a man want beside such pictures ?') are Estrucan vases (antiques), Egyptian antiquities, casts of the Elgin marbles decorating the staircase wall, and endless adornments of this nature. There are curiosities of another species,-rare books, such as a most beautifully-illuminated missal, exquisitely-delicate paintings designed for marginal decorations, executed three hun<dred years ago, and taken from the Vatican by the French-glorious robbers! In a catalogue of his books, in the poet's own beautiful