Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Memoir and Notes by R. Shelton Mackenzie, D.C.L. Fun and wisdom are found in rich measure in these volumes, together with much lively matter of a personal, political, and professional character. The revolutionary relations between Ireland and England, and the elements of agitation which were kept at work by legislation against the Roman Catholics, make nearly every page more or less pugilistic, but always vigorous and lively.

The same publisher has issued, in two volumes, “ Poems, Descriptive, Dramatic, Legendary, and Contemplative, by William Gilmore Simms, Esq." The author has established his reputation as a poet and a novelist, and is sure of an increasing fame as the circle of his readers is extended

OBITUARY.

Rev. Seth ALDEN. — The pleasant but retired parish of Lincoln has been twice visited with a remarkable bereavement. Its two successive pastors, after a ministry of like extent, pursued with great simi. larity of character and spirit, were removed by the same disease, in the same month, though with an interval of five years. Those who knew them intimately saw, no doubt, many points of difference; but both gave themselves heartily to this quiet field of pastoral labor, both had a subdued earnestness admirably adapted to the flock which they led by these “ still waters,” both preached as impressively by the life as from the pulpit, both were snatched away unwarned, and yet with such foreshadowings of death as gave to their latter ministrations an unction better than any eloquence, - a pathos more effective than any logic.

Our lately deceased brother, Seth Alden, was born in Bridgewater, May 21, 1793. He graduated at Brown University in the class of 1814, conducted the Wakefield Academy the following year, in 1816 pursued bis divinity studies at Cambridge, and in the spring of 1819 declined an invitation to the ministry at Bridgewater, to receive a settlement of fifteen years' continuance over the Marlborough church in November of that year. In May, 1835, he succeeded Rev. Dr. Noyes in the Brookfield parish, and labored there with acceptance and profit for ten happy years. His next ministry, at Southborough, lasted but two years and a half. Upon his resignation of this charge, he immediately succeeded Rev. Samuel Ripley in the four years' service at Lincoln which was so beautifully closed by the hand of Death, on the second Sunday afternoon of November, in a friend's pulpit at Westborough.

It would seem, and it was the fact, that Mr. Alden had a strong attachment to country life, an early love for its simple manners, its healthy toils, its upaffected friendships, its peaceful retirements, its unostentatious trusts. He did not care to be known abroad. He loved to live for, with, and in his flock, to be cherished by them, revered by his household, beloved through his neighborhood, esteemed for his work's sake, honored, not for eloquence, but for character, and remembered by his daily walk rather than his Sunday discourse. He was not known generally amongst us : he seemed to attach little regard to what passed outside of the circle of his duty and affection.

Of one thing he could justly boast. He was a direet descendant, on both sides of the house, from the Pilgrims. "John Alden, who came from Eagland with the first party, and who was one of the signers of the original compact in 1620," was his forefather and his prototype. He was, like our friend, * a very worthy, useful, and exemplary man," and was honored by being “an Assistant in the administration of erery Governor of Plymouth for sixty-seven years." (Holmes's Annals, Vol. I.) His mother was a Carver, in the direet line from Governor Carver of Plymouth Colony, - so that, as Rev. Mr. Frost remarked in his excellent funeral discourse, “ two currents of Pilgrim blood flowed in his veins."

Springing from this faithful stock, it is not strange that the prominent feature of his character was fidelity. No duty ever came in his way which was not conscientiously, punctually, cheerfully performed ; no occasion ever waited for him, or found his talent “ laid away in a napkin." His lamp was always shedding a serene and a brightening light upon his path, from its opening to its close. In his family he was gentle, yet firm, not more affectionate than wise. In his parish he was distinguished by soundness of judgment, integrity of purpose, excellent common-sense, and unhesitating fidelity. Laboring with his own hands, like St. Paul, that he might not burden a feeble society, he honored toil by his sunny spirit. Notwithstanding bis frequent suffering by disease of the heart, which almost disabled him from returning home after his afternoon service a fortnight before his decease, he was aniformly cheerful; life was always bright before him; there was a silver lining to the cloud, – the regard of his friends, the love of his family, the reverence of his villagers crowning his exemplary life with peace. Not only was he looked up to by his neighbors as a sincere Christian, on occasion of his burial all work-day tasks being suspended, that the whole population might crowd within the mourning sanctuary ; but he was justly a favorite with the rural congregations, - his manly figure, his dignified address, his sound common-sense, his clear conscience, his thorough honesty making his modest presence acceptable. His preaching was thoroughly liberal, yet with a Puritan solemnity, - appealing to conscience rather than to feeling, to judgment more than imagination. He did “not dogmatize where wise men doubt, nor put his own inspiration on a level with that of the Apostles," nor condemn any of true life for differing from him in doctrine ; but went through his manly, consistent, practical labors with a soul as clear as a star, to shine, we doubt not, in another firmament, now that he is hidden from us here.

His death was worthy of his life, worthy of remembrance by his brethren in the ministry, worthy of being cherished as an admonition by the congregation to whom his parting words were spoken, and by that other flock whom God has twice startled by his most solemn voice. He was reading in a distinct and earnest tone the last verse of the 106th hymn of Greenwood's collection, and had just finished as appropriate a line as could have been written for his utterance, “ And fit us for those realms of joy,” when he fell backwards without a struggle or a groan, uttering a more impressive sermon than living lips can breathe upon the "uncertainty of life and the waiting presence of death. A hymn by Montgomery, then in his hands, seems meant for his departure :

" At noon thy labor cease !
Rest on thy sheaves, thy harvest' task is done :
Come from the heat of battle, and in peace,
Soldier, go home! with thee the fight is won."

NOTE TO ARTICLE ON “ AN ORTHODOX VIEW OF THE TEMP

TATION OF CHrist” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 445 NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.

Clarke's Essay on the Christian Doctrine of Prayer, . 449
The Workingman's Way in the World, and Lee's Mer-

rimack, or Life at the Loom, . . . . . . . . 452
Kane's United States Grinnell Expedition, . . . . 453
Guizot's History of Oliver Cromwell, . . . . . . 455
Higginson's Spirit of the Bible, . . . . . . . . 457
Shurtleff's Edition of the Records of Massachusetts, ..
Sears's Edition of Roget's Thesaurus, . . . . . . 460
Oliphant's Russian Shores of the Black Sea,. . . .
Schaff's Life and Labors of St. Augustine, . . . . 461
Ives's Trials of a Mind, . . . . . . . . . .

462 Gurowski's Russia as it is, . . . . . . . . . 463

463 Hugh Miller's Schools and Schoolmasters, . . . . 464 Safford's Life of Blennerhassett, . . . . . . . Griffin's Junius Discovered, . . . . . . . . . 466 Wells's Annual of Scientific Discovery, ....466

461

465

INTELLIGENCE.

Literary Intelligence, — Recent German Literature,

A Mistake Touching Dr. Priestley, - Unitarian Pub-
lications,– New Books, ..

Obituary. - Rev. Alexander Young, D.D., . . . . 485 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 489

16

THE

CHRISTIAN EXAMINER

AND

RELIGIOUS MISCELLANY.

MAY, 1854.

Art. I. – THE POPULAR USE OF THE BIBLE.

menced, he evidently baoof Erasmus, the be most shre

himce in simple tif the tolerated much of their po the

WHEN Martin Luther, the boldest of monks, com. menced his assaults upon the practices of the Roman Church, he evidently had, up to a certain point, the sympathy and countenance of Erasmus, the greatest scholar of the age. Erasmus was a man of the most shrewd and cautious nature, worldly-wise and discerning, a lover of tranquillity. He saw a considerable way before him, and yet not far enough to give him a bold confi. dence in simple truth. No one was more keenly sensible than he was of the tolerated iniquities of his time, and of the fact that they owed much of their power to the Church, which adopted instead of resisting them. His own pen in his own hand wrote some of the most scorching satires upon ecclesiastics, their follies and vices, and in his familiar correspondence he freely ex. pressed opinions which would have convicted him before the Inquisition. But he was a timeserver. He dreaded above all things else popular excitements and fanati. cism. His favorite fancy was, that all theological ques. tions, and all matters of Church authority, practice, and discipline, should be debated in the scholarly conclave, with closed doors, the multitude not being parties to them.

VOL. LVI. — 4TH. S. VOL. XXI. NO. III. 28

« ZurückWeiter »