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The undeserving of his care,
Be like thy God—be like the sun—
At his command yon lily springs,
With more than royal pomp displayed,
And not the proudest of your kings
Was half so gloriously arrayed.
He sends those careless birds to float
Delighted in the golden ray;
He gives the music of their note,
And feeds them through life's little day.
Those wild-flowers that so proudly rise,
Behold that straight and upward way
Thus long he speaks—and long their eyes
Long—long their troubled hearts shall keep
The memory of that mighty charm,
Which spread as o'er the stormy deep,
A sudden and a waveless calm. P. W.
THE DYING FATHER TO HIS DAUGHTER.
BY WILLIAM SMYTH, ESQ.
To me, my sweet Kathleen, the Benshee* has cried,
And I die—ere tomorrow I die.
Will live, my child, longer than I.
Let me bless thee, and bid thee adieu;
Was daughter so kind and so true.
Thou hast walked by my side, and my board thou hast spread,
For my chair the warm corner hast found,
When I saw that the laughter went round.
When memory was lost on its way—
Thou art weeping beside me to-day.
O Kathleen, my Love! thou couldst choose the good part,.
And more than thy duty hast done ;—
He merits the love he has won.
Look up to the mercy-seat then,
Come, come to my arms back again.
* In the Irish superstition, the Benshee is the warning spirit that announces death.
Art. IV.—A Collection of Essays and Tracts in Theology, from various Authors, with Biographical and Critical JYotices. By Jahed Sparks. 6 Vols. 12mo. Boston. 1823—6.*
Mr Sparks commenced the publication of this Collection not long before the resignation of his charge at Baltimore, and has continued it in quarterly numbers to the present time. Having now arrived at the close of the sixth volume, the publication is to cease. We are not inclined to suffer this event to take place without notice; for we have regarded the undertaking of the editor as an important one, and have been accustomed to give a hearty welcome to the numbers as they successively appeared. We take leave of the series with sincere thanks and unfeigned regret; regret for the discontinuance, and thanks for the service, which we think has been rendered to the religious public. For it cannot be that selections like these, from the writings of eminent theologians and devout christians, clergymen and laymen, philosophers and divines, should be sent abroad, without doing something to affect the public sentiment, and keep high and correct the standard of religious knowledge.
In the perpetual succession of books, which is passing before us, the old and established authors are likely to be forgotten and unread, except brought from the press in a new form. The strongest and best wisdom of the world may lie unregarded on the shelf, while the attention is so engrossed by the novelties of the day, except the press is made to call attention to it by placing it among the novelties of the day. For which reason the plan of Mr Sparks' work was excellent. He proposed to bring up again to the thoughts of men some of the valuable treatises on religion and theology, which had been crowded aside and lost sight of for a while, which had some of them become strangers even in England, and most of them almost unknown, because never yet printed, in this country. He proposed to do further, what perhaps would be of benefit scarcely inferior, to make known the lives and characters of their distinguished authors, to give to the present generation the light of their example; to revive the memory of their vir
vol. III.—No. III. 25
tues, to restore the influence of their piety, and make them fellow laborers for the welfare of man, not only by the words which, though dead, they yet speak, but also by their actions recorded in the books of faithful biography. Why should not the industry and modesty of Newton, the christian philosopher, the uprightness and piety of Emlyn, the Unitarian martyr, the philanthropy and independence of Penn, the pacific statesman, why should they not be in this time 'freshly remembered?' why not made 'familiar as household words?' Or, to speak in the more appropriate language of scripture, why should not these just men be 'had in everlasting remembrance?' He who does something to occasion this, to reinstate among men the fresh image of departed worth, to awaken the emulation, to quicken the zeal, to invigorate the faith, to enliven the piety of those who now live, by the example of those who are dead, and thus as it were to multiply their characters and labors in the world—he is a public benefactor. He does much to stimulate the mind of the age, and give it a right direction, and form its character and destiny.
Man forms himself in successive periods by the models which are set before him. One great mind living and acting in the presence of the world stamps its features on the times, gives not a name only, but a character to the age, and leaves its traces on all the institutions of the day. Such was Napoleon's. Such in one department was Byron's. Such in another and higher was Howard's. And sometimes a single book, powerful in energy of mind, original and convincing, gives a turn to the thoughts of the world, and may be traced in all the speculations and opinions of the times. Now all great characters and all valuable treatises participate, in some degree, this power of affecting the world, and operating on the individual and public character. Yet, some which are capable of doing it successfully, are thrust on one side by time and hidden by the accumulating rubbish of years. He does a good service who removes the rubbish, and exposes them to observation again, and, by the magical power of the press, raises them from the dead, and makes them contemporaries with the generations that are now passing.
All this it was part of the plan of this publication to perform. Accordingly there are two divisions of the work; the first consisting of biographical sketches of the authors from whom selections are made; the second, of treatises and essays upon important and interesting subjects. The range of subjects is very wide, there being no restriction but that of the merit and length of the piece. The choice of authors is also unrestricted. They are not taken from any one division of the christian church, nor from the advocates of any given set of opinions. But wherever an independent advocate of the great principles of religious liberty has been found writing with truth and force, no matter by what name he may be called, he has been enlisted into the work. Churchman, dissenter, and quaker— Jeremy Taylor, Robinson, and Penn, stand side by side, teaching common principles and advocating a common cause, proving by illustrious and beautiful example, that there is a common ground on which fair and honorable minds must meet, and that no differences of heresy can prevent their agreeing to withstand all usurpation over conscience, and fight side by side in the warfare against spiritual rule.
Of this class of works, which are always seasonable, Mr Sparks has here presented several of great value, by authors of a fine independence of spirit, and great power of thought. Amongst other pieces are extracts from the pithy Robert Robinson, that desultory, but animated and keen writer, whom none can read without delight, and yet whose volume of sermons recently published amongst us has found its way but slowly from the shelves of the publishers, perhaps because with all his smartness and shrewdness, he is not always sufficiently practical. From bishop Hare is given that exquisite piece of sober irony, the address to a young clergyman on the Difficulties and Discouragements attending the Study of the Scriptures, which had been published a few years since in the collection of choice tracts begun by Mr Wells, but which we believe he was suffered to discontinue for want of patronage. In the same class may be ranked the essay of Dr Sykes on the Innocency of Error, and of Dr Benson on the Belief of Things above Reason; both for the first time published in America and on that account, as well as for their intrinsic worth, acceptable portions of the work. In this class also are to be ranked a part of the extracts from the eloquent and poetical Jeremy Taylor, from whose Liberty of Prophesying are here culled choice passages, less known in this country than his sermons, an ediion of which has been widely circulated, and, as we should t.udge, more useful; since his sermons have seemed to us more