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me and the breathing stillness of nature is around me, or where, it may be, the voice of the tempest is in the top of the great oak by which I kneel, and its roar is among the hills, while the lightning writes the name of God on the sky, and the thunder speaks of his majesty; if I cannot stand by the sea-shore and hear the bass of nature's great anthem, yet let no poor work of man come between me and the remembered emotions which such scenes excite in the hour of my worship before the great and holy God, whose hand made all these things. “Where is the house that ye build for me?” says God, “and where is the place of my rest?” “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” Far rather would I find in the simplicity of the place of worship a confession of its inadequacy to lead the mind up to God, than to find any beauty of architecture, or any gorgeousness of decoration that would lead me to admire the work of man, and draw the mind from God. Here, however, God has left man at liberty; and much is to be allowed for the influence of education, and constitutional peculiarity, and early associations and impressions. I have no sympathy with that state of mind which would prevent worship in a cathedral. God is there. But I would have it forgotten that it is a cathedral, and remembered that God is there. I would so magnify God, and bring his spiritual presence so near, that those things should be indifferent, and that in the cathedral, as well as in the plain church or under the open heaven, men should equally worship God in spirit and in truth. There is, however, great danger that the excitement of what is poetical and imaginative in man by architecture and music," considered simply as music, and painting, and statuary, should be substituted and mistaken for the pure and holy worship of God. On this point the simplicity of Puritanism has been regarded as austere. But so has the true worship of God always been regarded by the many. While, therefore, we find in our Bibles, and in the works of God, the motives and the media of worship, while we are willing and desirous that the fine arts should have their appropriate temples and be cultivated as they ought to be among a refined people, we yet remember that even under the old dispensation, the acceptable worship went up from an altar of unhewn stone; and we think it best accords with the spirit of the New Testament, and is shown by history to be safest, and is most conducive to the worship of God in spirit and in truth, that a chaste simplicity should characterize all the structures and all
“On no account would I say any thing to discourage the universal and high cultivation of sacred music. This differs from the other fine arts, because its appropriate office is not impression, but expression. Where it is regarded ani admired for its own sake, it obstructs instead of promoting the worship of God."
the forms of our religion. We think that the appropriate object of religious services is to cultivate the moral and religious nature, and that there should be no attempt to produce an effect upon the mind by forms, or to blend the emotions appropriate to the fine arts with those higher emotions that belong to the worship of Cod. Perhaps our Puritan ancestors carried their feelings on these points too far; but we think it can be shown, from the nature of things and from the developments of the times, that they were substantially right;-and we abide in their faith. I would rather have joined in one prayer with the simple pastor and his persecuted flock among the glens and fastnesses of the rocks in the highlands of Scotland; I would rather have heard one song of praise rise and float upon those free breezes in the day when the watch was set, and the bloody trooper was abroad, set on by those who worshipped in cathedrals; I would rather have kneeled upon the beach with the company of the Mayflower when persecution was driving them into the wilderness, than to have listened to all the rituals and Te Deums in every cathedral in Europe.
ATTRACTIVEN ESS OF IRREGULAR ACTION.
If it be inquired how the impression of intellectual power has come to be associated with skepticism and wickedness, an answer imay be found, first, in the fields of literature and speculation commonly entered by the skeptical and licentious. These are those of imagination, wit, ridicule, and transcendental metaphysics. Their object, the last excepted, is not truth, but impression ; and this last is as yet so overrun with strange terms—is so the common ground of truth, falsehood, and nonsense, each aping the profound—that it is difficult to say whether it is better as a huntingground for truth, or a stalking-ground for vanity, or a hiding-place for falsehood. That there is power in this literature, is not denied; but the power of imagination, wit, assumption, and even of bathos, is not distinguished from that of fair and searching investigation.
A second answer we find in the effect upon the mind of all irregular action, especially when combined with daring or fool-hardiness. The utmost power of a horse, exerted in the true line of draught, will excite no attention. Half the power put forth in rearing and plunging will draw a crowd about him. A cheap method of notoriety, the world over, is this rearing and plunging. Sam. Patch,' leaping over Genesee Falls, could gather a greater crowd than Daniel Webster. The great powers of nature—those by which she wheels up her sun, and navigates her planets, and
! See page 468.
lists vegetation, and circulates her waters, by which she holds herself in her unity and manifests her diversity—are regular, quiet, within the traces of law, and excite no attention. Here and there the quiet eye of a philosopher expands in permanent wonder; but from the very fact—the greatest wonder of all—that these forces are so clothed in order and tempered with gentleness, they are to the multitude nothing. Not so with volcanoes and earthquakes, with hurricanes and thunder-storms, with water-spouts and cataracts. These are irregular manifestations of the great forces that lie back of them. Compared with those forces, they are only as the eddy to the river; only as the opening of the side-valve and the hiss of the steam compared with the force of the engine that is bearing on the long train; and yet these are the wonders of the world. So with the mind. When it respects order and law, when it seeks the ends and moves in the channels appointed by God, its mightiest and most beneficent movements excite comparatively little attention. But combine now irregularity with audacity ; open a side-valve; assail the foundations of belief; make it impossible for God to work a miracle, or to prove it if he should ; turn history into a myth; show your consciousness of power by setting yourself against the race; flatter the nineteenth century; dethrone God;—if you make the universe God, yourself being a part of it, so much the better, do thus, and there will not be wanting those who will despise the plodders, and hail yon as “the coming man.” Baccalaureate Address, 1858.
ALBERT G. GREENE
WAs born in Providence, Rhode Island, February 10, 1802, and was graduated at Brown University in 1820. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and, after some years of practice, was elected Clerk of the Municipal Court of the city of Providence, and Clerk of the Common Council, which offices he now holds. He has written many beautiful fugitive pieces of poetry, but deserves especial remenbrance for his humorous elegy on
Old Grimes is dead—that good old man—
He used to wear a long, black coat
' This is not so much an imitation as it is a successful rival of Goldsmith's “Elegy on the Glory of her Sex: Mrs. Mary Blaize;” and, as our literature has, comparatively, but little humorous poetry, I am glad to enliven my book with what I can find of it that is good.
His heart was open as the day,
His hair was some inclined to gray,
Whene'er he heard the voice of pain,
The large, round head upon his cane
Kind words he ever had for all;
His eyes were dark and rather small,
He lived at peace with all mankind,
His coat had pocket-holes behind,
Unharm’d, the sin which earth pollutes
And never wore a pair of boots
But good old GRIMEs is now at rest,
He wore a double-breasted vest,
He modest merit sought to find,
He had no malice in his mind,
His neighbors he did not abuse,
He wore large buckles on his shoes,
His knowledge, hid from public gaze, He did not bring to view,
Nor make a noise, town-meeting days, As many people do.
His worldly goods he never threw
But lived (as all his brothers do)
Thus undisturb’d by anxious cares,
And everybody said he was
REv. LeoNARD BAcon, D.D.," was born in Detroit, Michigan, on the 19th of February, 1802. His father was for several years a missionary among the Indians, to whom he was sent by the Missionary Society of Connecticut. He died in 1817, leaving three sons and four daughters. At the age of ten, Dr. Bacon was sent to Hartford, to prepare for college, and, in the fall of 1817, entered the sophomore class in Yale College, where he so distinguished himself as a scholar and writer that a high position was predicted for him in the profession he had chosen,_that of the ministry. In the autumn of 1820, he entered the theological seminary at Andover, Massachusetts, where he prosecuted his studies for four years. Soon after leaving Andover, he was invited by the First Congregational Church of New Haven, whose building is known by the name of the “Centre Church,” to preach to them. Over this church he was ordained pastor in March, 1825, when he was but twenty-three years of age; and at this important post he has remained ever since.
Though Dr. Bacon's life has been a quiet one, and barren of incident, he has filled a large space in the eye of the Christian public, especially of the Congregational Church in New England; and the high estimation in which he is there held is evident from the frequency with which he is invited to deliver addresses before literary societies or sermons at ordinations. He embodies, in a remarkable degree, the distinctive features of New-England character and theology, having the reliance, energy, and adaptation peculiar to its people. He gives his time and energies to the discussion of a great variety of topics, and seldom assumes a position without triumphantly maintaining it. To great firmness and compactmess of mental structure he adds high polish and purity of style; and occasionally, where the subject demands it, he calls to his aid a playful ridicule and keen sarcasm that set forth the object of them in its true light. It is astonishing how, with such laborious pastoral duties, he accomplishes so much in the field of literature.”
! For a more extended account of this distinguished clergyman, read “Fowler's American Pulpit.”
2 The following are his chief published works:—Select Practical Writings of Richard Barter, with a Life of the Author, 2 vols. 8vo, New Haven, 1831; Manual for Young Church Members, 1smo, New Haven, 1833; (this is an exposition of the principles of Congregational Church order;). Thirteen Historical Discourses on the Completion of Two Hundred Years from the Beginning of the First Church in New Haren, 8vo, New Haven, 1839. Besides these volumes, about twenty-five of his sermons and addresses have been published, delivered on various public oceasions, such as ordinations, meetings of temperance societies, literary societies, &c.; among which are the Phi Beta Kappa at Yale and at Harvard. His first contribution to the “Christian Spectator,” on “The Peculiar Characteristics of -he Benevolent Spirit of our Age,” was in March, 1822, when he was a student at Andover; and during every year down to 1838, there was scarcely a number of that celebrated magazine that was not enriched by his pen. To the “New Englander," also, since its commencement in 1843, he has been a constant contributor, and all his papers are marked with an ability, earnestness, and directness that make them among the most readable articles of that able review. He is now one of the editors of the New York “Independent,”—one of the most ably conducted religious journals in our country.