網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Mr. Frelinghuysen. But these and other honors he deelined, feeling it to be his duty to remain in the pulpit as the pastor of a people devotedly attached to him. The following are his chief publications:—The Fruits of the Spirit, a volume of Christian ethical essays, published in 1839; Early Lost, Early Sared, on the death and salvation of infants, 1846; a volume of Sermons, 1847; History of a Penitent, or Guide to an Inquirer, 1847; an edition of Walton's Angler, with copious literary and bibliographical notes, 1848; Lays of Lore and Faith, with other Fugitive Poems, 1848; The British Female Poets, with biographical and critical notices, 1848. For twenty years Dr. Bethune has been continually invited to deliver orations and lectures at various colleges, and before societies in different parts of the country; and of these the following have been published:—1837, On Genius, delivered at Union College; 1839, Leisure, its Uses and Abuses, before the Mercantile Library, and The Age of Pericles, before the Athenian Institute, Philadelphia; 1840, an Oration before the literary societies of the University of Pennsylvania; and the Prospects of Art in the United States, before the Artists' Fund Society, Philadelphia; 1842, The Eloquence of the Pulpit, at Andover Theological Seminary; and The Duties of Educated Men, at Dickinson College; 1845, Discourse on the Death of Andrew Jackson, Philadelphia; and A Plea for Study, at Yale College; 1849, The Claims of our Country on its Literary Men, before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard College.

OUR COUNTRY.

What has God done, what is he doing, what is he about to do, in this land Ž He has set it far away to the west, and made it so circumstantially independent, that, if all the rest of the habitable earth were sunk, we should feel no serious curtailment of our comforts. The products of the whole world are, or may soon be, found within our confederate limits. He brought here first the sternest, most religious, most determined representatives of Europe's best blood, best faith, best intellect; men, ay, and women (it is the mother who makes the child) who, because they feared God, feared no created power, who, bowing before his absolute sovereignty, would kneel to no lord spiritual or temporal on earth, and who, believing the Bible true, demanded its sanction for all law. To your Pilgrim Fathers the highest place may well be accorded; but forget not that, about the time of their landing on the Rock, there came to the mouth of the Hudson men of kindred faith and descent, men equally loving freedom, —men from the sea-washed cradle of modern constitutional freedom, whose union of free burgher-cities taught us the lesson of confederate independent sovereignties, whose sires were as free, long centuries before Magna Charta, as the English are now, and from whose line of republican princes Britain received the

boon of religious toleration,--a privilege the States-General had recognised as a primary article of their government when first established; men of that stock which, when offered their choice of favors from a grateful monarch, asked a University; men whose martyr-sires had baptized their land with their blood; men who had flooded it with ocean-waves rather than yield it to a bigottyrant; men whose virtues were sober as prose, but sublime as poetry;-the men of Holland Mingled with these, and still farther on, were heroic Huguenots, their fortunes broken, but their spirit unbending to prelate or prelate-ridden king. There were others, (and a dash of cavalier blood told well in battle-field and council;)—but those were the spirits whom God had made the moral substratum of our national character. Here, like Israel in the wilderness, and thousands of miles off from the land of bondage, they were educated for their high calling, until, in the fulness of times, our confederacy with its Constitution was founded. Already there had been a salutary mixture of blood, but not enough to impair the Anglo-Saxon ascendency. The nation grew morally strong from its original elements. The great work was delayed only by a just preparation. Now God is bringing hither the most vigorous scions from all the European stocks, to “make of them all one new MAN ;” not the Saxon, not the German, not the Gaul, not the Helvetian, but the AMERICAN. Here they will unite as one brotherhood, will have one law, will share one interest. Spread over the vast region from the frigid to the torrid, from Eastern to Western Ocean, every variety of climate giving them choice of pursuit and modification of temperament, the ballot-box fusing together all rivalries, they shall have one national will. What is wanting in one race will be supplied by the characteristic energies of the others; and what is excessive in either, checked by the counter-action of the rest. Nay, though for a time the newly-come may retain their foreign vernacular, our tongue, so rich in ennobling literature, will be the tongue of the nation, the language of its laws, and the accent of its majesty. ETERNAL God who seest the end with the beginning, thou alone canst tell the ultimate grandeur of this people ! Phi Beta Kappa Oration.

1. After the eventful issue of the siege of Leyden, the Prince of Orange and the States-General, grateful to the heroic defenders of that city, offered them their choice of an Annual Fair or a University. They chose the University; but, struck with the nobleness of the choice, the high authorities granted them both. The University was established in 1575, and became the Alma Mater of Grotius, Scaliger, Boerhaave, and many other renowned men. See page 688.

VICTORY OVER DEATH.

As the Redeemer is glorified in his flesh, so shall the believer be raised up to glory at the last day. What then to him whose faith can grasp things hoped for and unseen, are all the passing ignominies, and pangs, and insults, which now afflict the follower of the Man of sorrows, the Lord of life and glory? Every revolution of the earth rolls on to that fulness of adoption, “when this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to pass this saying, Death is swallowed up in victory;” when these eyes, now so dim and soon to be closed in dust, shall behold the face of God in righteousness; when these hands, now so weak and stained with sin, shall bear aloft the triumphant palm, and strike the golden harp that seraphs love to listen to ; and these voices, now so harsh and ‘uneless, shall swell in harmony ineffable to the song of Moses and the Lamb, responsive to the Trisagion, the thrice holy of the angels. Yes, beloved Master, we see thee, “who wast made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor;” and thou hast promised that we shall share thy glory and thy crown

“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ l” “Us!” And who are included in that sublime and multitudinous plural? “Not to me only,” says the Apostle, “but to all them that love his appearing.” Ye shall share it, ancient believers, who, from Adam to Christ, worshipped by figure, and under the shadow ! Yeshall share it, ye prophets, who wondered at the mysterious promises of glory following suffering ! Ye shall share it, ye mighty apostles, though ye doubted when ye heard of the broken tomb Ye, martyrs, whose howling enemies execrated you, as they slew you by sword, and cross, and famine, and rack, and the wild beast, and flame ! And ye, God's humble poor, whom men despised, but of whom the world was not worthy, God's angels are watching, as they watched the sepulchre in the garden, over your obscure graves, keeping your sacred dust till the morning break, when it shall be crowned with princely splendor | Yes, thou weak one, who yet hast strength to embrace thy Master's cross | Thou sorrowing one, whose tears fall like rain, but not without hope, over the grave of thy beloved ' Thou tempted one, who, through much tribulation, art struggling on to the kingdom of God! Ye all shall be there, and ten thousand times ten thousand more | Hark! the trumpet! The earth groans and rocks herself as if in travail! They rise, the sheeted dead; but how lustrously white are their garments How Jazzling their beautiful holiness! What a mighty host! They fill the air; they acclaim hallelujahs; the heavens bend with shouts of harmony; the Lord comes down, and his angels are about him; and he owns his chosen, and they rise to meet him, and they mingle with cherubim and seraphim, and the shoutings are like thunders from the throne,—thunderings of joy:— “O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ I’’

CLING TO THY MOTHER.

Cling to thy mother; for she was the first
To know thy being, and to feel thy life;
The hope of thee through many a pang she nurst;
And when, 'midst anguish like the parting strife,
Her babe was in her arms, the agony
Was all forgot, for bliss of loving thee.

Be gentle to thy mother; long she bore ».
Thine infant fretfulness and silly youth :
Nor rudely scorn the faithful voice that o'er
Thy cradle pray'd, and taught thy lispings truth.
Yes, she is old; yet on thine adult brow
She looks, and claims thee as her child e'en now.

Uphold thy mother; close to her warm heart
She carried, fed thee, lull'd thee to thy rest:-
Then taught thy tottering limbs their untried art,
Exulting in the fledgling from her nest:
And, now her steps are feeble, be her stay,
Whose strength was thine in thy most feeble day.

Cherish thy mother; brief perchance the time
May be that she will claim the care she gave;
Past are her hopes of youth, her harvest prime
Of joy on earth; her friends are in the grave:
But for her children, she could lay her head
Gladly to rest among her precious dead.

Be tender with thy mother; words unkind,
Or light neglect from thee, will give a pang
To that fond bosom, where thou art enshrined
In love unutterable, more than fang
Of venom'd serpent." Wound not that strong trust,
As thou wouldst hope for peace when she is dust.

[merged small][ocr errors]

LIVE TO DO GOOD.

Live to do good; but not with thought to win
From man return of any kindness done;
Remember Him who died on cross for sin,
The merciful, the meek, rejected One;
When He was slain for crime of doing good,
Canst thou expect return of gratitude :

Do good to all ; but while thou servest best,
And at thy greatest cost, nerve thee to bear,
When thine own heart with anguish is opprest,
The cruel taunt, the cold averted air,
From lips which thou hast taught in hope to pray,
And eyes whose sorrows thou hast wiped away.

Still do thou good; but for His holy sake
Who died for thine; fixing thy purpose ever
High as His throne no wrath of man can shake;
So shall He own thy generous endeavor,
And take thee to His conqueror's glory up,
When thou hast shared the Saviour's bitter cup.

Do naught but good; for such the noble strife
Of virtue is, gainst wrong to venture love,
And for thy foe devote a brother's life,
Content to wait the recompense above;
Brave for the truth, to fiercest insult meek,
In mercy strong, in vengeance only weak.

EARLY LOST, EARLY SA v ED.

Within her downy cradle, there lay a little child,
And a group of hovering angels unseen upon her smiled ;
When a strife arose among them, a loving, holy strife,
Which should shed the richest blessing over the new-born life.

One breathed upon her features, and the babe in beauty grew,
With a cheek like morning's blushes, and an eye of azure hue;
Till every one who saw her was thankful for the sight
Of a face so sweet and radiant with ever fresh delight.

Another gave her accents and a voice as musical
As a spring-bird's joyous carol, or a rippling streamlet's fall:
Till all who heard her laughing, or her words of childish grace,
Loved as much to listen to her, as to look upon her face.

Another brought from heaven a clear and gentle mind,
And within the lovely casket the precious gem enshrined;
Till all who knew her wonder'd that God should be so good
As to bless with such a spirit a world so cold and rude. .

Thus did she grow in beauty, in melody, and truth,
The budding of her childhood just opening into youth;
And to our hearts yet dearer, every moment than before,
She became, though we thought fondly heart could not love her more.

« 上一頁繼續 »