« ПредишнаНапред »
comes to us with practical code of the greatest purityknown to every conscience to be such. Equally plain, and plain from this, is it that if this code were universally acted upon, it would make a universal paradise. And, in connection with a general simplicity and verisimilitude of manner, Christianity assures each unbeliever that if he will in good faith set himself to acting upon it, he shall know of her doctrine: certainly a very fair offer, winning in its first aspect, full of an air of candor and ingenuous self-confidence, making faith easy, if faith is justified, giving a crucial test of her claims quite independent of scholarly accomplishment and leisure, and indeed of everything save an honest desire to know the truth. And then to rouse him to this desire she presses him with motives of such vastness that no greater could possibly be imagined. Lo! heaven, if you win a practical faith ; otherwise hell! And after faith has been formed, she continues from that better fulcrum to ply the believer as long as he lives with the mightiest leverage of gratitude, hope, and fear. Shall any tell us that a system whose practical side so appeals to universal conscience, whose intellectual side so approaches the masses of society with most easy and decisive test of itself, adapted to their laborious and uncultivated state, and which forever follows up all with infinite motives, is not in possession of sources of power which, were there no other, would make it a world-mover!
Ministers of Christ! After such a survey as we have now been engaged in taking, it seems proper for us to cherish something of the feeling with which one may suppose a provincial Roman to have returned to his place after having gone personally over the Roman world and studied at its center the theory of that great power of which he had seen such abundant evidences. Sextus Calpurnius, proconsular legate of Aquitaine and patriot, had never really doubted the might of Rome; but it must be confessed he has come back to his province with the fact lying in his mind in a new shape and light. What has he seen? Some things certainly which he could have wished not to see—many breaches of the law among subjects and rulers, especially in outskirting countries : much misconduct among the best citizens, tending sadly to
the disadvantage of the state: everywhere parties, loudvoiced and fiercely gesticulating parties; Grecists disputing with Latinists, the friends of one provincial policy protesting against the friends of another, the partisans of one general warmly accusing the partisans of another, one scheme of military tactics struggling with hard words against another scheme. He has even encountered on the borders of the Hercynian forest some Roman cohorts in full retreat from winter and savages; nay, under his own eyes not longer ago. than the ides of May one whole legion was fairly swallowed up in Africa through heat, battle, and mismanagement. But what of that? Has he not also seen the eagle of the empire stretching wings from Britain to Mount Atlas, and from Euphrates to the pillars of Hercules? Has he not found this wide region profusely sprinkled with public works-highways, bridges, acqueducts, arches, palaces, Colisea,-massive, Roman-built? Has he not found the name of Roman citizen better protection to him than spear and shield among twenty different languages? Has he not met the legions in all climates steadily, conquering hunger and thirst; cold and heat; man, nature, and themselves? Has he not seen great commanders faint before them like children, great national coalitions briefly trampled out, some great Carthage sending up from endless rubbish a smoking testimonial to a still greater foe? Has he not seen haughty kings uncovering before the majesty of the Roman People, empires holding place proudly as Roman allies and wards, and the whole Roman world the abode of order and thrift beyond all other lands? At last coming to the City, Mistress and Mother, has he not stood by the tomb of Scipios and there studied the victory, the glory, the empire in its sources? Lo! the soundness of her jurisprudence; lo! the patriotism of her citizens; lo! the passion for glory among all her classes; lo! the substantial reward she gives to feats of public service; lo! the training of her families to statesmanship and command; lo! her liberty and flexibility as citizens, her discipline and centrali zation as soldiers! Yes, Rome is mighty. Having felt her pulse both at the extremities and at the central heart,
in the fresh present and in wrinkled antiquity-having handled her thews and sinews through parallels and centuries : yes, this is indeed no pretender triumphing by grace of almighty chance, but a true giant full of life and brawn, including in herself a full philosophy of her success. So he comes exultingly to his province again. He too is a Roman.
He is an element, a representative, and part guardian of this great Political Force. New spirit and energy awake within him in view of the dignity of his position and of the power which he has to support him. His arm is strong anew for frontier strifes and upholding of the Roman majesty. And as to those sons
. of Rome, those cohorts given to his charge, ye shades of Cato and Curtius! will he not watch over and fan with all his might that old Roman character and discipline out of which such proud results have grown? So should feel every minister of Christianity after coming from a new survey of the evidences and sources of its power. Let him exult that he is part and parcel of this strong system. Let his heart swell with new courage and enterprise for evangelic battles. Let him feel that in his place, however obscure, he is representing, not some fraction trembling on the verge of nihility, but a great muscular integer, and that more than old Rome at her strongest marches behind the standard of his honorable legation. It is specially ours, O captains for Christ, to see that the Christian republic receive no detriment. It is yours and ours, O Christian and responsible overseers, to see that, through all these ancient parishes and as far as the arms of our enterprise and prayers can reach, the purity on which the power of our religion is centered be maintained inviolate in main doctrine, practice, and institutions. What the main particulars of this powerful Christian purity are, we have seen: and as the soldier takes special pains to protect vital parts, so let us apply ourselves with special resolution to parry from our Christianity those frequent blows which attack her simplicity, the absolutism of her open Bible, her independence on man of the individual conscience, her large flexibility in mere externals, the practical character and infinite sanctions of her whole scheme.
ARTICLE II.-ROBERTSON'S SERMONS AND EXTEMPORE
Lectures and Addresses on Literary and Social Topics. By
the late Rev. FREDERICK W. ROBERTSON, M. A., of Brighton.
Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1859. Sermons, preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton. By the late
Rev. FREDERICK W. ROBERTSON, M. A. First, Second and Third Series. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1859.
On Sunday, August 15th, 1847, there appeared in the pulpit of Trinity Chapel, Brighton, a new incumbent, by the name of FREDERICK WILLIAM ROBERTSON, who for six years attracted to it a crowded congregation, distinguished throughout England for intellect, wealth, and fashion, and who, dying on the same day of the same month, in 1863, bequeathed a still wider influence to his name by the publication of the successive volumes which owe their contents chiefly to the cherished recollections of his admiring friends. His figure was frail, and marked by extreme delicacy, the work of incipient disease ; his head was beautifully moulded, and evidently the temple of a lofty and proportionate mind; a face spiritual
; and varying with the feeling of the moment; and his utterance “ melodious and thrilling.” He was an extempore preacher, preaching from "a few words penciled on a card, or scrap of note paper,” speaking for the most part in a style simple and direct, but sometimes rising into a style of combined beauty and force, as finished as if elaborated in the study, only more vital and effective. The reigning feature of his sermons was their intellectuality. We have not met anywhere the traces of a more thoughtful and independent spirit. He seems to have subjected every doctrine of Christianity, not excepting the most sacred, to the tests of his analysis and experience. He thinks boldly and speaks freely, but it is rationalism married to faith, it is reason obeyed and honored, but bowing, in the end, at the foot of the cross. Before, however, proceeding to speak thus specifically of him, it will be of use to inquire into the facts of his short history. Our information is not large, but of interest. Born in 1816, he died in 1853, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, and about twelve years, as far as we can gather, after his ordination. It is an important fact, and illuminates his character and style of thought, that he belonged to a military family, his brothers, father and grandfather having distinguished themselves in the British army. He had himself so strong a predilection for this profession, that he would have entered it had not the commission, for which he had been waiting, reached him four days after he had been matriculated at Brazennose College, Oxford. He ever retained this early feeling, and some of the most eloquent passages in his writings occur in the defense of the service. It will do good to those whose associations in life and habits of thought are so far removed from the profession of arms, that they can see in it no possible points of contact with practical Christianity, to learn how a mind like Robertson's, at once intelligent and Christian, exquisitely sensible to the horrors of war, and too scholarly to be caught by its shows, could look upon it with favor, and even derive from it stimulus to a more magnanimous devotion to the service of the Prince of Peace. There occurs, in his vindication of the claims of poetry upon the working classes, a passage in which he alludes to the sentiments on war so eloquently advanced by our countryman, Dr. Channing. He says:
" It is wonderful how the generous enthusiasm of Dr. Channing has led him into such a sophism. Take away honor, and imagination, and Poetry from war, and it becomes carnage. Doubtless. And take away public spirit and invisible principles from resistance to a tax, and Hampden becomes a noisy demagogue. Take away the grandeur of his cause, and Washington is a rebel, instead of the purest of patriots. Take away imagination from love, and what remains ? Let a people treat with scorn the defenders of its liberties, and invest them with the symbols of degradation, and it will soon have no one to defend it. This is but a truism.
“But it is a falsity if it implies that the mere change of symbolical dress, unless the dress truly represented a previous change of public feeling, would