« 上一頁繼續 »
convince yourself that a child with a man's head and heart, is not speaking to you with a child's artless simplicity. And sometimes he will sketch some Scripture scene, unfolding one truth after another, with the most consummate skill, until your heart is subdued and captivated. Never does he show his peculiar power so strikingly, as when developing such words as these : “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.” In such a field, he would light on the most beautiful flowers; and cull them with such taste, as best to set forth the character of God, as seen in the handiwork of nature. “How beautiful the rich colors of the peach, the grape, the cherry! Why thus beautiful ? How fair the rose, the lily, the fruit-blossom! Why thus fair ? How surpassingly elegant and delicate is the flake of snow, falling like a brilliant from heaven! Why is it so elegant and delicate ? Ah! God has emotions which are gratified with the fair workmanship of his own hand. Nature is God's own daugh. ter, and he decks her beautifully!” Thus he passed on from one thing to another; from nature to revelation, from sweet flowers to the bloody cross, grouping the whole together like a skilful artist, that his hearers might rather see, than hear, the infinite tenderness of God's love; and at the same time, see that this is to be the character of His children.
I look back with the most intense delight to many sermons Dr. Stowe preached in the Seminary chapel. They have engraven themselves on my memory, and, I trust, my heart yet feels their influence. Such a sermon was that preached from Hebrews ii. 10, on the reason why Christians are called to suffer. I shall never forget the thrill caused by one simple allusion, with which he introduced his subject, showing how close a connection the subject had to every person. “An Oriental prince once was grieving immoderately over the death of a favorite daughter. A sage promised to raise her to life, if the prince would inscribe on her tomb the names of three persons who had not been afflicted. The search was unavailing. Every one had tasted of sorrow." The challenge may be safely given to produce a more touching and yet apt preface to a sermon on sorrow. The entire discourse was character. ized with the richest emotions, and one could almost pray to be afflicted, as he saw, with such clearness, afflictions subduing pride, soft
ening down natural asperities of character, awakening sympathy, opening new sources of emotion, giving depth and body to sympathy and piety, weaning us from the world, and making us spiritually-minded. In emotion and child-like simplicity, associated with the most beautiful substratum of thought, I think that sermon one of the richest I have ever heard. His emotions so completely enlisted my own, that it was a luxury to weep. It was indeed luxury to a heart still smarting under the sudden death of a sister.
This style of discourses I always considered his best, and leaving the deepest impressions. It would not be difficult to occupy pages with the most beautiful illustrations. He once closed a sermon on the words, "For even here. unto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps," with a short poem, recited in a way which subdued all to tears. I have never seen the poem in print, and yet I regard it as a gem. Dr. Stowe found it in a lady’s album, but knew not its author. It is so beautiful, that I think it a pardonable offence to quote it entire.
“Oh, fear not thou to die !
Far rather fear to live,--for life
By peril, pain and strife.
Bat life!-the spirit sbrinks to see
The of woe may be.
a darling enterprise with him. He sometimes has kept a small circulating library of such books as “ The Pilgriin's Progress,” translated into German, and found easy access to many Romanists through this medium. In his efforts to reclaim the victims of Romish priestcraft, he is not wanting in courage. When the Protestant Society was formed in Cincinnati, Dr. Stowe engaged to deliver a public lecture in its behalf. The night was stormy, and yet the church was crowded. Not a few Romanists were present, but the Doctor never swerved from his straightforward and pointed attacks on the system of Popery, particularly in its developments in this country. The whole lecture was characterized by great learning, most shrewdly applied. It was a tremendous attack on Romanism; and yet so generously and kindly was it conducted, that Romanists could not but smile good-humoredly, as they were knocked down. On such an occasion, the Doctor shines excellently well, and shows the strong qualities of his mind to the best advantage.
Perhaps his mind never has enkindled with greater enthusiasm, than on the subject of the Reformation, and especially its central spirit, Luther. When in Germany, with the spirit of an ardent admirer, he visited the principal places hallowed by the remembrances of the Reformer. The pilgrimage, for the Doctor's enthusiasm rendered it little less, seemed to imbue him with the most profound admiration for Luther, and now he cannot speak of him in moderate terms. Those who hear him preach, will not find many occasions pass, without some admiring allusion to Luther, or some grand quotation from his writings. He is a constant reader of the writings of Luther, and so far as an intimate acquaintance with these, and an enthusiastic admiration of him, can fit one to be the defender of Luther, I know of no one so well fitted for the post as Dr. Stowe. When he first delivered his course of lectures on Luther, no finer specimens of genuine enthusiasm could be produced. He prosecuted his work with the greatest assiduity; and to the last, sustained the interest of his audience. This is saying not a little, when it is remembered that he lectured some fifteen or twenty times during as many weeks. I have never known a more complete power exercised for so long a time, and such a variety of emotions in the same individuals. Laughter and tears, joy and indignation, anxiety and confidence, consternation and exaltation, chased
each other over the countenance, as the chequered and eventful history of Luther passed rapidly in review. Never did the Reformer stand more really before us, as a living char. acter, than during those lectures. He scarcely seemed one of another age; but we seemed to be with him in his mighty strugglings, and to be moved by his stormy eloquence. Or rather, we ourselves seemed to be carried back by the magic of our teacher, until we ourselves became actors and witnesses in the exciting events of the sixteenth century. The Doctor gave the minute incidents which lent the charm of real life, seen by ourselves, to those events. Luther, the boy in his father's cottage, and Luther, the youth singing his way to favor in the streets of Eisnach; sometimes rudely treated, and shrinking home hungry and weeping, and at others, kindled into hope and gladness by a kind word, or a generous donation, alike excited our sympathy. Luther, the strong-minded student, plodding his way wearily in pursuits, which so admirably equipped him for the great mission God had sent him on, and at length, by a marked Providence, inclosed in a monastery, elicited our fears as well as hopes, for the magic of our historian seemed as yet to shut out knowledge of the excellent results of these things. We seemed standing by Luther's side, when in the university library at Erfurth, he first saw a Bible, and heard his exclamations as he read it. How real and present that exciting and pregnant incident was! It was good to be there, even in imagination.
And thus we were carried along, until the whole grand period was finished. We felt aroused, when those ninety-five theses were nailed to the church-door in Wittemberg. In breathless baste we followed him to Worms, and felt ourselves the nobler, because we belonged to the same race which produced such
We trembled to see him stolen away from death, and so kindiy imprisoned in the Wartburg. And thus, from one scene of conflict to another, froin one triumph to another, in all which the handiwork of a special Providence was gloriously visible, we passed, until we saw him die in Eisleben, his native city. It is not strange that such a subject, in the hands of such an enthusiastic ad. mirer, should so completely captivate every mind.
And when reading of the liberality of a Lowell, in endowing an institute, the object of which is, to substantiate and spread true Christianity,
I have thought that no one could add a more precious mite to that excellent object than Dr. Stowe. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to hear that he had been invited to Boston, to repeat his lectures on the life and labors of Luther. Right certain am I, that in interest and value, those lectures would not detract from the splendor of those already delivered before the Lowell Institute.
As a scholar, Dr. Stowe is immeasurably superior to Dr. Beecher, who makes no pretensions to scholarship, in the common acceptation of the term. His scholarship is displayed to the best advantage in his critical examination of the Bible. He reads and speaks German fluently, and keeps up an intimate acquaintance with literature and politics in those countries where the German language prevails. Some of his most beautiful allusions, in public and private, are to events and persons in Germany. In this particular he is an egotist, and yet the most pleasant one I ever saw. One could
hardly wish him to change from what he is, merely to get rid of the odious "I.” The
very quality of his egotism lends a charm to the man, and a freshness to his words. As a philanthropist, he takes a warm part in all causes tending to the good of his race. companion, he can be most delightful if he choose. As a friend, he will go to any length to aid one in distress. What member of Lane, in 1843, will ever forget the paternal assiduity with which Dr. Stowe watched for fourteen weeks over poor Kidder, so long struggling with death? or the feeling lament he uttered over him when death came at last, and sent the young saint to his rest? A thousand eccentricities shall be forgotten in that benevolence which took a stranger as a brother, into his own house, and which soothed the harsh work of death, until it seemed fleaven's rugged, yet kind angel, dispatched to bring home one redeemed out of great tribulations !
Our ILLUSTRATIONS.—The readers of the Parlor Magazine do not need to be told that we have made some change in the general character of our em bellishments. If the reason of this innovation does not suggest itself, as we think it must to most minds, all we have to say is, that we have adopted this course mainly for the sake of variety. We do not love to plod along for half a century over the same road, and take the liberty to presume that our patrons, unless they are ultra-conservative, are a little like us in this respect. We shall be governed by their taste in the matter, nevertheless, and should be grateful for any hints from them in respect of our illustrations in general, or any in particular.
The steel engraving in this number is a view of a section of Harper's Ferry, in Virginia. The scenery at this point and in the immediate vicinity, has been represented by travellers of obser. vation and judgment, as scarcely rivalled, in grandeur and picturesque beauty, by anything in the Union. We have never visited it, though we have long had the pleasure in anticipation; but if the sketch which our artist has given is at all a truthful one, the scenery seems to justify the enthusiastic remark of Jefferson in regard to it, that “it is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” The Ferry is situated at the junction of the Shepandoah with the noble Potomac. From all that we have heard of this spot, we are
clined to think that the beauty of the scenery is in character not unlike that of Trenton Falls in our own State. The eye takes in, at a glance, all the north side of the Potomac and the Shenandoah, an impetuous torrent, foaming and dashing angrily over numerous rocks which have tumbled from overhanging precipices. There is, too, a distinct view of the picturesque tops and sides of the mountains, and the gentle, winding current of the river below the bridge-presenting altogether as tourists generally agree, a landscape capable of awakening the most delightful and sublime emotions. Now that the communication from this part of the country and Harper's Ferry is so direct and cxpeditious, there is little to hinder the admirer of such scenery from making the tour, and thousands of northern travellers are at. tracted to the spot every year.
We have not asked our publisher why he chose to accompany this sketch with the portrait of a rabbit. It may be a mere whim of his-per
haps a matter of convenience. But there certainly is a pretty close affinity between such a spot and this beautiful forest rambler. We warrant there are scores of rabbits at Harper's Ferry. Poor fellows! We never see one bounding along in the woods, and occasionally looking timidly over his shoulders, to see whether there is an enemy near, without a feeling of pity; for unfortunately for them, their flesh is delicious, and sportsmen take great ght in hunting them. We came pretty near killing one of the innocent creatures once in our life, as we remember. A dog in our company had chased one until he gave up in despair ; and the poor, innocent, persecuted rabbit uttered such a cry of anguish, that we were fain to spare his life. If we have ever been tempted to shoot one since-and we are not perfectly sure that we have not been so tempted—the recollection of that heart-piercing cry has been the means of arresting our arm, and saving the rabbit. We doubt much whether we could sleep well o' nights after shooting one. We honestly believe we might be in a condition little more enviable than that of Macbeth, after the Banquo affair ; and we should not be at all surprised to find ourself some night suddenly waked from a nightmare by the vision of a murdered rabbit, weeping like a child, and we muttering something like this between our teeth:
“Thou canst not say I did it-never shake Those
locks at me."
Summer ExcursIONS.— Jean Paul gives it as his decided opinion, that travelling takes all that is woody from man, as transplanting takes the woody particles from cabbages; and cherishing a profound respect for this as for most of Jean Paul's notions, and withal having sundry other equally good reasons for leaving our city for a time, we have made some delightful excursions during the summer, which we intend to speak of, when we are in the vein, in detail. Meanwhile, good reader, presuming you have not decided upon the route you will take, and presuming, too, that you intend to treat yourself—and your wife, if you are so happy as to have one-to some excursion or another, we must sketch for you an outline of our rambles—just taking the liberty of hinting that, though this is a very free country, intolerably free, almost, and you of course can