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pursuits of learning and the arts of its vigor and freshness; and its rappeace? The Spartan mother sent id passage through a number of forth her son to battle, giving him editions is owing more to its subject his shield, and saying—“Go, my and the popularity of its predeces. son, return with this, or upon it.” sor, than to any merit of the work. The Christian mother should teach Its apparent inferiority in point of her son another lesson: “If thine composition may arise in part from enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst, the fact, that Mr. Headley's peculiar give him drink.” This seems to style is not remarkable for those accord with the sentiments of Wash. qualities which wear well. The ington, as appears from the follow- secret of this he has inadvertently ing incident. While on a journey revealed in his preface. Io alluding to the frontier settlements of New to the charge of repetition, he says, York, soon after the close of the “The intense words of our laorevolutionary war, he stopped for a guage are soon exhausted, and one night in the valley of the Mohawk, is often compelled, in describing at the house of a lady whose hus. thrilling scenes, to choose between band had fallen in battle. She in- a weak sentence and the repetition troduced her two sons to the Gen- of strong words and perhaps simi. eral, with the remark, “I have de- lar comparisons.” voted these sons to fight the battles Here lies the capital mistake of of their country.” “I hope, mad- this writer. He tries to be intense, am," replied Washington, "you but not in the right way. A thrillwill train them for a better service; ing scene is to be described : bis I have seen enough of war." mind falters between two extremes,
We intend to make particular al- and it being absolutely necessary lusion to only one of the books that a thrill should be produced, it whose titles are prefixed to our ar
decides in favor of the intense ticle, viz., Washington and his Gen- words, and now they come down up: erals, by Headley. Having before, on the reader" like an avalanche;" in a review of Napoleon and his as if beauty, or pathos, or sublimity, Marshals,' expressed pretty freely in writing, depended upon strong our opinion of Mr. Headley as a words and startling comparisons, martial biographer, we consider it and not upon clear conceptions esunnecessary to say much of this pressed in natural language, and the work, which is marked by the same indescribable louch of genius given characteristics as its predecessor. to the whole scene.
It is like the There are in both the same indica. mistake of the painter who wishing tions of hasty and careless compo- to produce a striking portrait
, makes sition, the same dashing style, the every feature as prominent as he same profusion of jumbled meta- can, and loses the likeness, which phors, crude expressions, and un- depends not on a Roman nose, nor finished sentences, the same disre. a Grecian forehead, but upon the gard of sense and syntax, the same expression, which comes from a mock-heroic sentiments and rash mysterious combination of all the assertions, about the same number features, and which the talent of the of earthquakes and thunderbolts, real artist can alone impart. Mr. with a sprinkling of avalanches, Headley's repugnance to weak senand the same signs of the author's tences is probably the reason why fondness for battle scenes, and of we have such strong ones as the his admiration of warriors.
following: -" With all his strong “Washington and his Generals,” passions bursting, and nothing but however, is if possible, more loosely themselves to burst upon, he bewritten than the other, while it lacks came a prey to those self-lashings
which furnish the climax of rage.” the author's opinions of his own “ The water was charmed into foam heroes. This impression however by the raining balls." " Those is very distinct, that there were shattered veterans then swung, rent giants in those days, and that they asunder, and rolled heavily to their performed many wonderful exploits, camp.” “The smoke refused to but their individuality is lost in their lift in the damp air.” “The silent greatness. The truth is, Mr. Headredoubt suddenly again gaped and ley is not a writer of lives. He shot forth fire like some huge mon- has a talent for describing some ster.” This constant effort to pro- scenes with much vividness and efduce effect by the use of emphatic fect, but not for drawing characters. words and startling comparisons, He repeats a great many facts, running out sometimes into rant and makes many sensible observations, nonsense, offends the reader's laste and gives some characteristic touchand presents so often the same im. es; he forms a gilded frame for a ages to the mind that they become portrait; he sketches, he paints, tame and wearisome. If, frequent. bedizens,—but he does noi portray. ly in the course of a chapter, and His volumes therefore are sketchsometimes iwice on a page, a charge books-fancy pieces: they give us of troops or a stroke of a broad. the scenes of the Revolution, but not sword is compared 10 a 'thunder. the men of the Revolution. boli'-thunderbolts become as com. As public observers and informmon as any sort of bolts and make ers of the moral tendencies of popno more impression, and thus tame- ular books, besides expressing our ness, the very evil shunned by the own views of the subject this writer, comes round at last. For work, and protesting against such our own part, we prefer a weak delineations as are fitted to foster sentence now and then, to so many the war-spirit, we feel bound to nostrong ones “ bursting and nothing tice certain dangerous statements but themselves 10 burst upon.” The inculcated here and there in its fault alluded 10 belongs not only to pages. We do not accuse ils auour author's descriptions of scenes, ihor of intending to teach anything but to his delineations of character. contrary to sound morality. But, The impressions which his sketches either through a propensity to say make upon the reader are at best strong things in a strong way, or his vague and unsatisfactory on account absorbing admiration of military of much confusion in the plan and chiefs, he, at times, confounds all conduct of the narrative, and a distinctions of right and wrong. want of connection between the We particularly refer to his manner several parts. We observe, for ex- of estimating character, by striking ample, at the top of a page, such a a balance between a man's good topic as “ His influence over others” and bad qualities.
He says, in —but in looking through the re. speaking of General Lee, “The marks under this head we find ob- lamb can not become the lion, nor servations upon changes in a man's the lion the lamb, by any sort of style of writing, or some anecdote cultivation. Therefore such a perillustrative of patriotism or magna. son is not to be judged by the extent nimity, which, by no art of con- and frequency with which he passes struction, can be made to relate to the line of right.” “ His noble gen. “ his influence over others." We erosity, magnanimous self-devotion find asserted on one page, what is to the welfare of others, his hatred denied on another, so that we are of oppression and scorn of meanoften unable to gain a distinct idea ness, are to be placed against his of the men brought before us or of bursts of passion, sudden revenge, VOL. VI.
and those faults which are commit- thinks a man's religious notions are ted in moments of excitement. Of of no consequence-adding, a weak Paul Jones—" he was an irregular mortal can be no more answerable character, but his good qualities for his persuasive notions, or even predominated over his bad ones.” skepticism in religion, than for the Of Arnold—" several stories are color of his skin.... I desire most related of him to prove that he was earnestly that I may not be buried dishonorable, many of which are in any church, or church-yard, or doubtless true—but there is one in within a mile of any Presbyterian his favor outweighing them all in or Anabaptist meeting.house; for my estimation ;" “ this noble and since I have resided in this country, generous act offsets a thousand ac. I have kept so much bad company cusations of meanness." Again he when living, that I do not choose to says of General Lee—“one ought continue it when dead.” This is always to average such a character the character “one ought always to as that of Lee, and let the good average and let the good balance balance the bad.” Now let us look the bad.” It strikes us that such a at our author's own account of this rule of judgment confounds all man. “His hatred was intense and moral distinctions, overlooks the unsparing, and where it fell every ruling principle of conduct, and green thing withered. The hostili. lessens our detestation of the most ty he exhibited towards Washington, depraved characters. Every huto the day of his death, is the only man being has good impulses, and instance in his life when he seemed does some things that accord with to be governed long by a revenge. the rules of mere morality. Benful feeling." “ With all his strong edict Arnold committed treason but passions bursting, and nothing but once, which, according to this philos. ihemselves to burst upon, he be- ophy, may be neutralized by a hun. came a prey to those self-lashings dred acis of bravery and muniti. which furnish the climax of rage.' cence. We could multiply exam. “ It was this which fed and kindled ples, if they were necessary, to show into tenfold intensity, his wrath”- ihat such a rule applied to charac“be sprinkled even his letters with ter, as in the work before us, is profanity”—“his vanity, ambition most pernicious. and self-confidence were enormous,
Of the historical inaccuracies in his morals were as bad as his man. these narratives we shall say nothing, pers-he was terribly profane, and since our limits will not allow us to always followed the bent of his own go into the necessary references and passions."
“His religious senti- details, and other journals have al. ments may be gathered from his ready, to some extent, discharged will. After bequeathing his soul to that duty. the Almighty, he declares that he
REVIEW OF DR. SPRING'S “POWER OF THE PULPIT."
" It is the worst of all trades,” and is the result of his own experi. said John Newton, of the Christian ence, and is so embodied in the form ministry," but the best of all pro- of discussion, as to find easy, befessions ;" and a truer remark nev- cause indirect access to those for er fell from the lips of that emi- whom it was designed, then it may nently wise and pious man.
be expected to issue in great and Let any one go to it as a trade, lasting good. whether the gain sought be honor, Such good we expect from the influence, competence or comfort, work before us. Its author, subject, and it will prove to him in its pro. form, the classes it addresses, and gress, and infinitely more in its end, its mode of address, are all such as " the worst of all trades.” On the to give it claims upon our notice, other hand, let any one enter it with and interest in our hope. From right views and feelings, in the spirit few, if any in the land, could it of labor and self-sacrifice, to honor have emanated with the same proGod and do good to men, and no priety as from Dr. Spring. His ex. matter what toils and privations may perience has been various, and his attend it, he will find it " the best of ministry long continued and richly all professions :" the best in its dis. blessed. He has not made it his cipline to his own mind and heart; business to amuse or alarm the comthe best, alike, in its restraining and munity, by every now and then exreforming power; the best in all its ploding theories, which if novel, are influences, social, civil and moral, questionable, or if manifestly origion nations and individuals, for time nal, are as manifestly irrational and and eternity. Even if assailed by false. He has not been the lion of obloquy, opposition, or persecution, "anniversary” platforms, or famed its progress, like that of the Son as the popular lecturer, nor often of God on earth, will be attend. appeared in the pages of periodicals ed by light and blessing, and its and reviews. A higher and nobler end, like his, be the fullness of joy praise is his due. He has stood, for and glory
a lifetime, at his one post of toil and “ Besi” as it is, however, it is not duty; making the ministry his work beyond improvement; for, as with and his only work; confining him. every profession, its improvement self to that part of the field to which is that of those who are in it; and Providence directed; “ deaf to all every effort to improve them should and many calls to other labors, and be welcomed with respectful favor. other fields of labor; sowing and True, it is a difficult, and too often reaping as seed-time and harvest, a thankless office to give advice, according to promise, have return. though the man that suggests wise ed ;" unmoved, alike, by the assaults counsels, sustained and enforced by of slander, or the praises of friendstrong reasons, is the benefactor of ship; persevering in his toils, and,
But when it comes from to an extent equalled by few, in his one whose position gives it weight, studies ; his diligence unremitted,
and his armor all on, while many a * The Power of the Pulpit; or 'Thoughts younger man may have been thinkaddressed to Christian Ministers, and ing of rest. The providence of those who hear them. By Gardiner God has given him a standing from byterian church, New York. Baker & which he may speak with weight; Scriboer, 1848.
and the suggestions he offers will be
received with interest and profit by meaning of the inquiry, "Who is the ministry and the church. sufficient for these things ?"
The work is addressed to “ Chris. We do not mean that the work is tian ministers and those who hear perfect. Its method might be im. them ;” and is adapted to impress proved. It has some verbal defects, and be useful to both. It opens for which, doubtless, the proof-read. with a touching dedication to the er is responsible, such as Charnoch youthful ministry of the land, and for Charnock (p. 46), Waberton for then proceeds to speak of the great Warburton, and Witsus for Witsius topics suggested for their consider. (p. 51), Robertson and Dickenson, ation. These are, the power of the for Robinson and Dickinson (p. 51), pulpit; the truth of which it is the Tabot for Talbot (p. 269), &c. vehicle; the living teacher; the di. Mistakes like these as to proper and vine authority of the ministry ; its familiar names, are not to be class. aid from the power of God; the ed with such mere misprints as great object of preaching, and every maker for matter (p. 196), and unthing subservient lo it; the preach. executed for unexerted (p. 199), er's interest in his subject; the dili. and care for ease (p. 323); but are gence, prayerfulness, piety, exam deserving of special reprehension ple, and responsibility of ministers; in a publishing firm, one of the the ministry compared with other partners of which, if we mistake professions ; a competent ministry not, has been a student of theology. to be procured; the proper educa- On the part of the author, we tion for the ministry ; pecuniary sup- might object to his use of the word port of ministers; prayer for them; “depreciate” (p. 312), or to the the consideration due them; and construction of such sentences as the responsibility of those who en. the fifth on the 334th, the last on joy their labors.
the 342d, and the first on the 345th All these topics are presented pages. We can not agree with him with clearness, and pressed with the (pp. 345, 346) that " public spirit” earnestness of a personal appeal- is, in any sense,“ the prominent fea. with the definiteness of thought and ture of Christianity.” We doubt aim that we expect in a work origi. the correctness of ihe estimate (p. nating in some specific, and to its 331), that "not far from seventy author's mind impressive occur. ministers in the American church rence. In style, the work is chaste, can trace their lineage to the elder serious, manly, marked throughout Edwards ;" for though the state. by strength, and often rising to elo- ment has so often been made, that quence. There is no affectation- Dr. S. is not responsible for its repno wandering—no attempt at rheto. etition, yet with some means of ric—no puerile conceit of original. knowing, we can not make out one. ity. All is natural, direct, and third of that number. The connect deeply solemn. We feel that the ed statement, that “his (President author has forgotten self in his full. Edwards') earliest known ancestor ness of the subject; and under the was a preacher of the Gospel, setinfluence of this feeling, our hearts tled in London, in the reign of open to a deep interest in it, as the Queen Elizabeth," is certainly in. flowers open to the sun. And this correct in one, and alınost certainly interest increases to the end, until, in two respects. As to the first, as we close the book, we rise from Dr. Spring, being himself descend. its pages with thoughtful and serious ed from the same stock, should have spirits, with a higher estimate of the been aware, that his “known ances. power of the pulpit, with a deeper tors” in several lines, are easily tra. and more chastened sense of the ced back to a much earlier period