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SAMUEL WOODWORTH, 1785–1842.
SAMUEL Woodworth was born in Scituate, Massachusetts, January 13, 1785. Having learned the art of printing in his native State, he removed to New York in 1809, and was for some years editor of a newspaper there. Afterwards, he published a weekly miscellany, called “The Ladies' Literary Gazette;” and in 1823, in conjunction with Mr. George P. Morris, he established “The New York Mirror,” long the most popular journal of literature and art in this country. In the latter years of his life he suffered from paralysis; and he died in New York, December 9, 1842, much respected for his moral worth and poetic talent.
Mr. Woodworth published, in 1813, an Account of the War with Great Britain, and in 1818, a volume of Poems, Odes, and Songs, and other Metrical Effusions. From the latter we select the well-known song, by far the best of his lyrics, and which will ever hold its place among the choice songs of our country, called
THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET.
How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
That moss-cover'd vessel I hail as a treasure;
How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
ANDREWS NORTON, 1786–1853.
REv. ANDREws Norton, D.D., was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, on the $1st of December, 1786, and graduated at Harvard College in 1804. He studied theology, but never became a settled clergyman; and in 1809, he was elected tutor in Bowdoin College, which situation he held for two years. In 1811, he was appointed tutor and librarian in Harvard; and, in 1813, he succeeded Rev. Dr. Channing as Biblical lecturer. Upon the organization of the theological department, in 1819, he was appointed “Dexter Professor of Sacred Literature,” and fulfilled its duties till 1830, when he was compelled by ill health to resign it. He continued to reside in Cambridge till his death, which took place on the 18th of September, 1853. Dr. Norton was married, in 1821, to Miss Catherine Eliot, daughter of Samuel Eliot, Esq., of Boston.
Dr. Norton was a profound and accurate scholar, an eminent theologian, and for talent, acquirements, and influence, one of the first men in New England. He wrote occasionally for the literary and theological journals published in his vicinity, and is the author of several theological works. His greatest and most matured work is on the Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels, the first volume of which appeared in 1837, and the second and third in 1844. He also published A Statement of Reasons for not believing the Doctrine of Trinitarians concerning the Nature of God and the Person of Christ, and some other religious tracts of a controversial nature. His contributions to the literary and religious journals of his time, though not numerous, were of a very able character. He was the editor of the “General Repository and Review,” which was published in Cambridge, and was continued for three years, from 1812. To the new series of the “Christian Disciple,” in 1819, he contributed many valuable papers. In the early volumes of the “Christian Examiner,” the articles on the “Poetry of Mrs. Hemans,” on “Pollok's Course of Time,” on the “Future Life of the Good,” and on the “Punishment of Sin,” and in the fourth, fifth, and sixth volumes, a series of articles on the Epistle to the Hebrews, are from his pen. In the “North American Review,” his most noticeable articles are those on “Franklin,” in September, 1818; on “Byron,” in October, 1825; on Rev. William Ware's “Letters from Palmyra,” in October, 1837; and a Memoir of Mrs. Grant of Laggan, in January, 1845. He has also written some verses of a devotional cast, of great beauty and sweetness."
“Mr. Norton's writings are all impressed with the same strongly-marked qualities, bearing the image of the man; the same calm but deep tone of religious feeling; the same exalted seriousness of view, as that of man in sight of God and on the borders of eternity; the same high moral standard, the same transparent clearness of statement; the same logical closeness of reasoning; the same quiet earnestness of conviction; the same sustained confidence in his conclusions, resting as they did, or as he meant they should, on solid grounds and fully-examined premises; the same minute accuracy and finish; the same strict truthfulness and sincerity, saying nothing for mere effect. And the style is in harmony with the thought.-pure, chaste, lucid, aptly expressive, unaffected, uninvolved, English undefiled; scholarly, yet never pedantic, strong, yet not hard or dry; and, when the subject naturally called for it, clothing itself in the rich hues and the beautiful forms of poetic fancy, that illumined, while it adorned, his thought.”—Christian Eraminer, November, 1853.
POSTHUMOUS INFLUENCE OF THE WISE AND GOOD.
The relations between man and man cease not with life. The dead leave behind them their memory, their example, and the effects of their actions. Their influence still abides with us. Their names and characters dwell in our thoughts and hearts. We live and commune with them in their writings. We enjoy the benefit of their labors. Our institutions have been founded by them. We are surrounded by the works of the dead. Our knowledge and our arts are the fruit of their toil. Our minds have been formed by their instructions. We are most intimately connected with them by a thousand dependencies. Those whom we have loved in life are still objects of our deepest and holiest affections. Their power over us remains. They are with us in our solitary walks; and their voices speak to our hearts in the silence of midnight. Their image is impressed upon our dearest recollections and our most sacred hopes. They form an essential part of our treasure laid up in heaven. For, above all, we are separated from them but for a little time. We are soon to be united with them. If we follow in the path of those we have loved, we too shall soon join the innumerable company of the spirits of just men made perfect. Our affections and our hopes are not buried in the dust, to which we commit the poor remains of mortality. The blessed retain their remembrance and their love for us in heaven; and we will cherish our remembrance and our love for them while on earth.
Creatures of imitation and sympathy as we are, we look around us for support and countenance even in our virtues. We recur for them, most securely, to the examples of the dead. There is a degree of insecurity and uncertainty about living worth. The stamp has not yet been put upon it which precludes all change, and seals it up as a just object of admiration for future times. There is no service which a man of commanding intellect can render his fellow-creatures better than that of leaving behind him an unspotted example. If he do not confer upon them this benefit; if he leave a character dark with vices in the sight of God, but dazzling with shining qualities in the view of men, it may be that all his other services had better have been forborne, and he had passed inactive and unnoticed through life. It is a dictate of wisdom, therefore, as well as feeling, when a man, eminent for his virtues and talents, has been taken away, to collect the riches of his goodness and add them to the treasury of human improvement. The true Christian liveth not for himself, and dieth not for himself; and it is thus, in one respect, that he dieth not for
It is delightful to remember that there have been men who, in the cause of truth and virtue, have made no compromises for their own advantage or safety; who have recognised “the hardest duty as the highest;” who, conscious of the possession of great talents, have relinquished all the praise that was within their grasp, all the applause which they might have so liberally received, if they had not thrown themselves in opposition to the errors and vices of their fellow-men, and have been content to take obloquy and insult instead; who have approached to lay on the altar of God “their last infirmity.” They, without doubt, have felt that deep conviction of having acted right which supported the martyred philosopher of Athens, when he asked, “What disgrace is it to me if others are unable to judge of me, or to treat me as they ought?” There is something very solemn and sublime in the feeling produced by considering how differently these men have been estimated by their contemporaries, from the manner in which they are regarded by God. We perceive the appeal which lies from the ignorance, the folly, and the iniquity of man, to the throne of Eternal Justice. A storm of calumny and reviling has too often pursued them through life, and continued, when they could no longer feel it, to beat upon their graves. But it is no matter. They had gone where all who have suffered and all who have triumphed in the same noble cause receive their reward; and where the wreath of the martyr is more glorious than that of the conqueror.
SCENE AFTER A SUMMER SHOWER.
The rain is o'er. How dense and bright
Cloud above cloud, a glorious sight,
In grateful silence earth receives
Each flower expands its little leaves,
The soften’d sunbeams pour around
The wind flows cool; the scented ground
Mid yon rich clouds' voluptuous pile,
Might rest to gaze below a while,
The sun breaks forth; from off the scene
And all the wilderness of green
Now gaze on nature—yet the same—
Luxuriant, lovely, as she came
Hear the rich music of that voice
She calls her children to rejoice,
Drink in her influence—low-born care,
Refuse to breathe this holy air,
Faint not, poor traveller, though thy way
Though cold and stormy lower the day,
Nay, sink not; though from every limb
Thou dost but share the lot of Him
Thy friends are gone, and thou, alone,
Look upward to the eternal throne,
Bear firmly; yet a few more days,
Then, wrapt in glory's opening blaze,
Christian thy Friend, thy Master, pray'd
Then met his sufferings undismay’d :
0 ! think'st thou that his Father's love Shone round him then with fainter rays
Than now, when, throned all height above, Unceasing voices hymn his praise?
Go, sufferer! calmly meet the woes
Then, rising as thy SAviour rose,