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But these services only recognize the minister, — they do not make him a minister. They give publicity to the people's choice; but they confer on him no rights additional to those given by that choice.
In fine,- for we need not enter into farther specification, though abundant materials lie around us,-it is the mission of Protestantism, in every department of Christian organization, worship and life, to subordinate the form to the spirit of piety. It wages war not with forms, but with formalism. It recognizes the worth of the outward “beauty of holiness” as an aid in cherishing the inward sentiment of devotion. But it would leave every body of Christians, and every individual, to seek out such forms as, under the culture and existing circumstances of each, may best promote edification and progress, assured that under a wide diversity of administration the same spirit may only be the more fully developed and the more fervently enjoyed. We deprecate the growth of Romanism, and should rejoice to see a purer faith making rapid aggressions upon its borders. But we have no hope of this, until Protestants (so called) are emancipated from formalism, and manifest in all their separate communities “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” Until then, the formal, technical Christians of every
denomination will neutralize the influence and efforts of those who receive the Gospel as an inward life and power. We therefore rejoice in the quaking and disruption of every existing form of Protestant hierarchy, — of every organization, which has interposed its mandates between God and the individual conscience. These thrones are cast down, that the Ancient of days may sit, and the kingdom be given into his hands.
A. P. P.
Art. II. - FOX'S HISTORY OF DUNSTABLE.*
READING Mr. Fox's faithful and interesting history of the old township of Dunstable, we cannot but recognize in the narrative a miniature sketch of the changes, that have
History of the Old Township of Dunstable : including Nashua, Nashville, Hollis, Hudson, Lichfield and Merrimac, N. H.; Dunstable and Tyngsborough, Mass.' By CHARLES J. Fox. Nashua : 1846. 8vo.
Fox's History of Dunstable.
been going on in our New England for nearly two centuries. The first grants of land were made in 1665; and in 1674 the township, having received a charter from the General Court at Boston the previous year, took the name of Dunstable in compliment to the wife of Hon. Edward Tyng, who came from Dunstable, England. It embraced originally a tract of land of probably more than two hundred square miles, and formed a part of the county of Middlesex. Since then six whole towns have been formed from this territory, and nine other towns have received portions of its ample domain ; two of the former and two of the latter being now in Massachusetts, and the remainder in New Hampshire.
In looking at Nashua, the ancient centre of the old township, in connection with subsequent changes, we see at once the difference between the sources of wealth in the days of our fathers and the present. Farming was the great dependence then, and the village owed its rise to its central position in the most promising farıning region. The church with its tall spire seemed like a votive temple, pointing up to heaven towards the Lord of the harvests in gratitude for the fruit of the fields. Now all is changed; the population has crowded to the banks of the river, whose falling water is found to possess such vast power, and the main dependence of the people is on manufactures instead of agriculture. How much startled one of the fathers of good old Dunstable would be, if restored by some miracle to the earth, and allowed to see the transformations of the vicinity! The stately factories on the banks of the Nashua would prove to him how signally the sceptre has passed from the plough to the spindle ; the whistling locomotives, bearing now large companies of travellers and now huge burdens of merchandise, would well illustrate the progress of the arts and the facilities of communication ; the eight churches, on either side of the river, would exhibit in their various names the singular vicissitudes of New England theology since the days of the Puritans, when the charter of the township was granted on condition that a minister should be settled within three years, and when no man could doubt of what stamp the minister should be.
The valley of the Merrimac, upon which Dunstable stood, has been distinguished in the history of New Eng
land, and, in fact, of our whole country. Who shall tell the number of distinguished men who have been reared upon its farms, and gone forth to their energetic labors in every quarter of our Union ? Who can compute the amount of wealth that has been gathered from its waters, once in valuable fisheries, and recently in vast manufactures ? Who shall predict the future, or say what Manchester and Lowell and Andover shall be, or what new sites of industry shall spring up along these beautiful banks ? We have no fear of destroying the romance of the stream by such questions, for that is impossible. Nothing can destroy the sublimity of the mountains in which it takes its rise, nor the beauty of the broad lake which pours its waters into its current. Fair river ! emblem of what true life is, - sublimity and beauty at the fountainhead — fertility and industry along the course — with strength gathered from its very falls.
Such thoughts as these naturally present themselves to the reader in view of the history before us. Yet other thoughts throng more readily into our mind as we look upon this book. It bears upon its title-page the name of one now no more in the world a man highly gifted and much loved — to the community a benefactor - of the church an earnest disciple and faithful helper - to us a most cherished friend. This work, written for the most part several years since, was revised during the declining health of the author, and did not pass through the press until after his decease. The wide and warm reception, with which it has been met by all classes of the author's fellow-citizens, proves the estimation in which he was held. We have thought that the opportunity of recognizing his high worth should not be slighted. He was an earnest reader of our journal, and we doubt if any young layman could be named, whose life has been more devotedly attached to the great principles of which its pages have been the organ.
Every one who has visited Nashua, (the most populous portion of old Dunstable, and recently divided into Nashua and Nashville,) has of course noticed the beautiful church embosomed in an exuberant grove on the river's bank. None of our brethren, who have preached there of late years, can have failed to be acquainted with the character
Charles J. Fox.
of the worshipper in that temple, whose name is now brought before us. None who have listened to his discriminating and earnest conversation, and seen the evidence of his pure example, will fail to visit the shaded cemetery where his remains repose, and look with tenderness upon the green sod and the violets that mark his resting-place. He loved to seek out the first flowers of spring; and many a time have we hunted the fields in company with him, to find the earliest specimens of that first and fragrant vernal flower, the trailing arbutus. Fitly these flowers bloom upon his grave.
Mr. Fox was born in the town of Hancock, N. H., October 11, 1811. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1831, entered immediately upon the study of the law, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1834. The last year of his preparation for his profession was passed at Nashua in the office of Hon. Daniel Abbot, with whom he became associated in business. For nine years he labored in his vocation with rare diligence, and in addition to large professional engagements he availed himself of every opportunity to further the public good. Short as was his active career when measured by years, it was long when measured by the amount of results achieved.
His name is connected with all the recent public improvements in the State of New Hampshire. He was an earnest friend of popular education, and employed his pen and voice assiduously in its behalf. The noble Asylum for the Insane at Concord owes as much to him for its successful establishment as to any man in the State. He was much interested in the condition of criminals and the modes of treating them; and availed himself of his experience as County Solicitor to collect facts upon prisondiscipline, and especially to urge the importance of providing appropriate places for juvenile offenders, apart from the society of men hardened in crime. Nor was he indifferent towards public enterprises of a more external character. The first rail-road in the State was indebted much to him for zeal in removing obstacles to its completion, and fidelity in discharging the duty of one of the most important of its offices.
İn the year 1840 he prepared the history of Dunstable, and in November of the same year he was called by an Act
of the Legislature of New Hampshire to a far more arduous task — that of revising the laws of the State. In connection with Chief Justice Joel Parker and Samuel D. Bell Esq., he was intrusted with this important commission in a manner highly honorable to one of his age. Judge Parker being prevented by his professional labors from taking more than an advisory share in the work, the burden fell upon the two junior Commissioners. Mr. Fox performed his portion of the task with a faithfulness and ability which every page of the Revised Code witnesses, and which, alas! was ere long to have a sadder witness in his own impaired health.
Whilst this important enterprise was going on, he undertook, in connection with the clergyman, then minister of the Unitarian church at Nashua, the compilation of the “ New Hampshire Book,” which was intended to give specimens of the native literature of that State, so affluent in distinguished minds, and to save from forgetfulness not a few names that were fast passing from memory. Mr. Fox showed great research in the materials which he furnished for this volume, and, by the labor bestowed upon it, gave new evidence of that love for his native State which was so prominent a feature of his character. It was published in 1842.
The revision of the Code of Laws was completed in March 1843. Instead of resting from studies that had so long kept him from proper exercise, and chained him to his desk so often far into the night, he plunged anew into the regular engagements of his profession, and as attorney and County Solicitor undertook labors altogether beyond his strength. The sixteenth day of August, 1843, he was seized with the illness from which he never recovered. He was not willing to believe that the alarming symptoms were proof of pulmonary consumption, and was confident of finding relief in a change of climate. Nor was his own sanguine hope without encouragement from judicious physicians. He resolved to try the effect of the milder airs of the Mediterranean, and accordingly embarked in the Stamboul for a realm which had so long haunted his dreams. With what feelings he bade adieu to country and kindred, these lines, a portion of a poem written hastily at sea in October, 1813, indicate :