« ForrigeFortsett »
An I indeed a child of God,
Or am I self-deceived ? Amid the thorny path I trod, Oft I refused to kiss the rod,
And sore the Spirit grieved.
And yet I often feel distress'd
At my own weight of sin; I mourn the peace I once possess'd, When Jesus was my constant guest,
And kept me pure within.
The world no longer fills my heart,
Its pleasures all are pain; And when I view Thee as thou art, The contrite tear will often start
I seem thy child again.
I love to meet thy children where
Thy symbols they dispenseI love the house of social prayer; And often when I'm sitting there,
Am freed from things of sense.
But if I am not truly thine,
Refine this heart from dross, Enable me by grace divine Its every idol to resign,
And slay them at thy cross.
Mary, farewell! a father's ardent pray'r
Wealth he asks not; though wealth, well us’d, is good
Nor does he ask the wealth of gifted mind,
The good thy father asks is grace divine-
THE SAILOR. Bury me not in the sordid dust,
When life shall cease to be; For where could I this body trust,
But in the deep blue sea ?
In thy broad bosom, mighty deep!
So quietly I'll lie; And, resting with my fathers, sleep,
While above the wilds winds sigh.
Thy weeds shall be my winding sheet,
My coffin be of shell; And where I sleep, in the caverns deep,
No chiseld words shall tell.
Roll on, roll on! ye mountain waves,
My dirge is in your roar-
Shall wake to sleep no more!
The sea shall then restore her dead,
And I from its depths will rise; Then may I mount with Christ my head, And dwell above the skies!
BY DR. THOMSON.
titled to name it and employ it as his own? Nor ORIGINALITY.
would he be deprived of this honor, or advantage, even if it could be shown that the first combination required
time, and labor, and expense, while the change was the ORIGINALITY, in the sense of creation, longs to result of a moment's exertion. It is hoped that many God only. As there is no particle of matter of which combinations of ideas, which are now poisonous, may he is not the creator, so there is no idea of which he is be rendered salutary by some genius who may discover not the author. Men may change the forms, and alter how to give a new play to their tendencies. the combinations, and vary the relations of matter; so 4. By transforming or abridging. Virgil has, in many they may modify, and decompose, and combine, and parts of the Æneid and Georgics, imitated Homer, but pervert the ideas which the Almighty furnishes, but they he has in many respects so improved upon his master, have no power to make an atom or an idea. Whether that we can scarce regard him as a copyist. The naor not we admit the theory that all ideas reach the tural theology of Mr. Paley is based upon “Howe's mind through the senses, this declaration will be obvi- Living Temple.” Scarce an illustration is to be found
in the former which is not contained in the latter; yet Originality does not imply the avoiding of all ideas the more modern writer has wrought out the illustrations which have been employed by others. We may use of his predecessor in such a masterly manner—has give the ideas of others and yet be original.
en to them so much force and beauty, from the recent 1. By presenting them in new combinations. If we discoveries of science, and has adapted the whole work all go to the same great source of ideas, the universe, to the common reader with such felicity, that no one it is not unreasonable to suppose that several shall be calls in question his merits, or his title to originality. attracted by the same fields, shall view them in the When an individual, by the incorporation of his own same aspects, and shall gather similar nosegays; but as industry, with matter previously prepared, immeasura. optics, and tastes, and intellects, like limbs and counte- bly enhances its value, he is original. When a writer nances, differ, so that, to microscopic vision, no two can makes a new and more valuable work upon the basis be found precisely alike, and as nature herself is sub- of an older one, he is not to be regarded as a plagiarist. ject to incessant mutation, perhaps it is impossible that 5. By simplifying. If a man were to make a vast two minds, acting independently, shall bind up the improvement in a machine, merely by rendering it more same ideas in the same combinations. Nevertheless, simple, more cheap, more portable, he would neverthethere may be approximation in the productions of dif- less be entitled to praise and a patent. It requires the ferent intellects, in almost infinite gradations, while highest kind of genius and of art to simplify. The each is entitled to the merit of originality. Important (untutored savage multiplies causes to multiply effects. discoveries have been made simultaneously, by differ- || As man emerges from ignorance he approaches his ent persons, without correspondence or collusion. Creator, whose great secret is a simplicity of causes, Truths, buried to the world for ages, have been revived reconciled with a multiplicity of effects. The greatest , by nearly the same process of ratiocination as that praise of a machine, a work, or a science, provided it which led to their first discovery. Ideas selected and answer the purpose, is its simplicity. That is evident: combined by a mind acting independently, constitutely a meritorious kind of originality which can seize an original production, and will in all cases evince a upon the valuable ideas of an author, and present them peculiar taste and talent.
in all their power, divested of all incumbrances, and in 2. By giving them new applications. When the a much smaller compass. physician makes a medicinal use of some plants which If such be the ample range within which a man may were gathered for ornament, he is as much entitled to be original, there can be no excuse for plagiarism-no praise as if he himself had collected them in the wil-excuse for using the matter of another, verbatim, or for derness. Suppose that, before the arts and sciences had linking sentiment after sentiment, doctrine after docmade much progress, three men had experimented over trine, argument upon argument, illustration upon illusa caldron of boiling water, heated for culinary purposes, tration in the same order, and for the same purpose, as and one had applied steam to the cure of disease, an- | another has done, (though the language may be differother to the formation of oxygen and hydrogen gasses, ent,) while the boundless universe is before us—no exand the third to the propulsion of machinery--each cuse for stealing a paragraph here, another there, and would have been an original discoverer. When a wri- then calling the combination (like the image in proter makes a new application of the ideas previously phetic vision) an original composition. It is an origgathered by another, he is original. We may there inal conglomeration, or juxta position; for there is no fore employ combinations of ideas, prepared to our combination among such incompatible elements. I pity hand, and yet be entitled to the merit of originality. the mind that can employ itself in such a task, and pity
3. By decomposing and recombining them, so as to the conscience which cannot inflict a woful pang for alter their properties. Suppose a chemist take a com-such an offense. But my design is not to declaim pound, and by the mere use of reagents, call into action against plagiarism, but to recommend originality. I a new play of affinities, and thus alter the nature of the proceed, therefore, to notice some of the advantages of article, and increase its medicinal virtue: is he not en-1original effort.
1. It exerts a favorable influence upon the judgment. || premises. Hence, the necessity for patient, original inThis is the most important function of the mind. The vestigation. This begets the tendency to inquire into imagination may revel among splendid ideas, connected every thing, define every term, understand every fuctby no fixed laws, but it can arrive at no useful result. its bearings, relations, and tendencies. Sir Isaac NewThe memory may link facts by laws of association ir-ton reasoned like an angel in philosophy, and like a respective of their relations, but it is incompetent to child in politics or religion. Why this difference? discover truth. It is the province of judgment alone to His mind was as strong when applied to one subject as compare facts, to trace relations, to deduce conclusions. to another; but in physics he had made himself master Extensive learning, an imagination splendid as the of premises—in other sciences he had not. starry heavens, a memory capacious as the ocean would Logic is of no consequence to a man who has not be of little consequence, yea, rather injurious than ad accurately attended to every part of the subject which vantageous, unless controlled and employed by a sound he examines. If a man has not studied French he judgment. It was a remark of Demosthenes, in refer- will not be enabled to read it merely by putting on ence to fools, that success above desert is an occasion spectacles. of misth
ng, and good fortune above desert an occa (2.) By producing delicacy. Original investigation sion of misdoing.
confers upon the mind the powers of nice discriminaA man of sound judgment will accomplish much in tion and rigid analysis. The unpracticed surgeon may whatever sphere he is placed, and will know how to use perform coarse operations; but when he undertakes to every advantage he gains. If you look into history, or cut in the midst of important arteries and nerves, where mark the progress of events in Church or state, you the variation of a hair's breadth would occasion death, will perceive that the men who make the most display he trembles and desists. So the coarse mind may be are not those who control great results. Queen Eliza- suitable for coarse operations; but when the utmost beth, of England, exhibited extraordinary sagacity in nicety is indispensable, and when life or death, peace the choice of her public men. She had a cabinet equal or war, salvation or damnation, is suspended on the if not superior to any that England has ever boasted; || nicest movement of the judgment, it grows blind and but she put no showy men into it. She kept working faint. Dr. M'C., noted throughout the Union for the men for work, and showy men for show. On every celerity, and accuracy, and neatness of his operations, stage there are men of judgment behind the screen, once informed me that his skill had been acquired by who use the men of noise and show, as the engineer | striking at minute points, and that he had spent hours regulates and employs his machinery. They of the in doing nothing else. The mind trained to indepenlatter class may propel the wheels, but they do so only dent investigation, which has learned to fix its attenat the pleasure of the former. In no situation will ation, train its powers, concentrate its energy, move all man of sound judgment be at a loss for servants. Like its faculties in concert, may trust its power of discrimia great orb projected among inferior ones, he attracts to nation when other minds grow giddy, and cut with himself, by a noiseless, yet efficient energy, a system of calmness and firmness when splitting hairs. In the satellites which wheel around him in ceaseless homage professions of law, politics, medicine, and divinity, this and obedience. An impudent enemy once asked an delicacy of judgment can hardly be too highly prized. ancient general, (Iphicrates,) by way of taunt, what (3.) By producing solidity. The mind rests in its he was; for he had neither spear, nor bow, nor light conclusions when conscious of having thoroughly ex
“I am,” said he, “the man who commands all amined each step of its progress, in arriving at them, these.” Thus, with that crowning capacity of the as the student is confident of the correctness of his mind, judgment, though without learning, or brillian- translation when he has examined each definition, cy, or a store of facts, it will command them all. How parsed each word, and comprehended the grammatical important, then, to develop and train the judgment relations of each part and particle. Such a man is not This can only be done by the habit of original investi- easily shaken. He is firm as the rock. His firmness gation. Such a habit will tend to improve it.
is not, however, that of the mountains, which cannot (1.) By producing accuracy. It is an easy thing to move, nor the stubbornness of the mule, that has no reason by rule, but this will not always lead to correct understanding—it is the firmness of a mind conscious conclusions. A strict attention to each premise is indis- that it is right. Such a mind will court investigapensable. The arithmetician may do his sum by the right tion, hail truth under whatever name it may come, rule, but the result will be inaccurate, unless he shall cheerfully yield to conviction, but unless convinced that take notice, in turn, of each separate figure. Fallacies it is wrong, stand for ever in its position. A man of are, however, more frequently to be traced to imperfect ||this description is fearless and independent, relying not investigation than to illogical reasoning. They lie not so much on his talents, or ingenuity, or eloquence, but in the argument but in the premises. Most men reason on the force of truth. He fears no opposition; but like a well. One has remarked that the difference between garrison in a castle that is impregnable, he defies assault. the fool and the madman is this, the former reasons in 2. Originality exerts a favorable influence upon the correctly from true premises, the latter reasons correctly memory. The memory of facts depends much upon from false premises. The errors of men are generally the attention with which they are viewed. The habit of the latter kind. They fail in the examination of the lof original investigation fixes attention.
3. Originality exerts a favorable influence upon im- | moment's search. Of what inestimable advantage this agination. It restrains, regulates, refines the fancy; will prove, every one must at once perceive. The pracbut it curbs it not. Instead of permitting it to run tice of original investigation will secure such an associawild and lawless through the regions of space, it directs tion of ideas by rendering it habitual and absolutely neit to the noblest and most useful purposes.
cessary. All ideas
in demand for practical use, 4. Originality exerts a favorable influence upon men-are examined as they arrive, and assorted and filed. tal habits.
It begets systematic habits of business. This or(1.) It begets a habit of observation. If a man rely derly arrangement of ideas will be transferred to the upon books or discourse for his ideas, he may pass business of its possessor. It will divide his time, systhrough every scene of business, or pleasure, without tematize his pleasures, devotions, and pursuits, and exobserving any thing with a careful eye-neither coun ert a beneficial influence over his person, his habitation, tenances, nor sentiments, nor opinions-neither men, and all his paths. It will almost of itself insure peace, nor things, nor events--neither the amiable nor the and comfort, and success in this world of folly and delovely, the beautiful nor the grand awaken the reflec- rangement. tion of his idle soul. He is like the heir to a fortune, 5. Originality exerts a favorable influence upon elowho avails himself of no opportunity for profit, becausequence. he relies upon the accumulations of others. It is quite (1.) It confers clearness of expression. This is inotherwise with the original inquirer. He sees a little dispensable to eloquence. We may have bombast, and world in every leaf, and sources of boundless contem- | noise, and argument, and declamation, without perspiplation in every star. Scarce a look, or action, or word cuity, but not eloquence. The language may be copiescapes his notice, no event so trivial as not to exciteous and beautiful, the voice harmonious, the subject inuseful reflection, or furnish a felicitous illustration. His teresting, the arguments, and illustrations, and appeals mind is in a state of continual activity, so that it is numerous and elaborate, figures on figures may be piled pleased to find something on which it may exert itself; up to a pyramid, but after all the speaker or writer will and in the exuberance of its thoughts it finds every fall far short of eloquence, unless he express himself thing with which it meets serviceable as a channel of with clearness. He may excite the admiration of the communication. It was a remark of one of the an- || ignorant, the stare of the gaping idiot, but he will recients, that he was never less alone than when alone.ceive only the pity or contempt of the intelligent, judiSuch were his habits of meditation, that in silence and cious hearer. Clearness is generally associated with in darkness, in dungeon or in desert, he found himself originality. A man can scarce be original, and at the in a beautiful and busy world, over which his own ac same time obscure. The subject may be such as to retive mind had spread life, and activity, and beauty, and quire language and arguments which are not familiar every little pebble, and breeze, and bird, and flower to all, but yet it may be treated so as to be perfectly seemed to crowd around him as children around a pa-plain to those for whom it is discussed. Whatever rent, anxious to listen to his discourse, to court his fa- | views a man compasses by his own exertions, will strike vor, to enjoy his smiles, and render him willing hom- him with more or less force, and whatever he conceives age and obedience. An eminent writer of our own strongly he will express clearly. We sometimes comcountry and times was distinguished in early life for a plain that although we understand a subject thoroughhabit of this kind. When riding alone he has often ly, we are unable to explain it. This doctrine enters been observed to dismount from his horse, draw from more frequently into my apologies than into my philoshis pocket a comm
nmon-place book, and note down for ophy; for it transfers the disgrace of failure from the future use some brilliant thought which had suggested man's mind to the nation's language, and leaves the itself to him in his solitary musings. Such a man will impression upon the hearer that the speaker's soul conalmost electrify an audience by a happy use of some tains depths unfathomed and unfathomable. That trivial circumstance which scarce any one else would mind must indeed be great for whose lofty conceptions have noticed.
the flexible and copious English language, enriched by (2.) It begets a habit of philosophical association. unnumbered accessions from ancient Greece and Rome, Nature will not permit our ideas to be separated and and from nearly all the living languages of the civilized independent. She takes care to link them together, earth, cannot provide appropriate expressions. It must but she connects them in a confused manner. We may be far above that of Johnson or Addison, of Milton or direct her in her operations if we choose, and thus make Shakspeare. It is a wonder that the great minds of forher services in this respect of the utmost value. In- mer ages did not discover this difficulty. It is strange stead of having our ideas all lying loosely in a box, that we, who could make ourselves understood, when we like the papers of the careless merchant-notes and re were babes, cannot now that we are men. But, irony ceipts, letters answered and unanswered, whether on aside, the English language is transparent enough to business, or friendship, or religion, or politics—all show the treasures beneath it, however deep they lie, thrown together into one huge pile, we may partition when it flows through a good channel. It is only when our memory into pigeon holes, classify them philosophi-it passes over a muddy bed that it becomes turbid, and cally, label them neatly, and lay them where they may reveals no riches below. I can point to men, distinbe safe, and where they may be found at any time after all guished in the political world, who are authors of able
state papers, written not only with power, but accuracy | the warrior, he was willing to be dandled and caressed. and beauty, and who are perfectly ignorant of the first How awkward the minister who is always glittering in principles of grammar. They are men of original, in-armor, and who goes forth to feed the lambs of the dependent minds, and they understand what they write flock as he would to encounter the lion in his lair! so clearly that they express themselves without any con Who has not seen the splendid effort prove utterly fusion. The author of a grammar, in giving directions worthless in consequence of its irrelevancy ? and who to avoid blunders, gives the following as worth a thous- has not known a feeble production to electrify in conand rules, viz., “think well before you speak.” sequence of its perfect adaptation? When a distin
(2.) It secures an appropriate theme. Much depends guished clergy man was requested to furnish for publion the choice of a subject. The period, the age, the cation a copy of a sermon which he had preached during education, the habits, the prejudices, and the state a terrific thunder storm, and which produced a tremenof feeling of the audience must all be taken into con- | dous effect, he agreed to comply with the request upsideration. What may be proper at home may be on condition that the committee would agree to print unsuitable abroad. That which is adapted to the town the thunder and lightning which accompanied it. He may be useless
the country. An address which knew that it derived its charm from its appropriateness. would delight youth, might offend old age. Argu- One of the great advantages which the extemporary ments, language, illustrations, which would enchain orator has over one who uses a manuscript, arises from one auditory, might be deemed pedantic by another. the fact, that he can take advantage of every little cirThe Boanerges may throw his thunderbolts around him cumstance that may occur to attract the attention of with salutary effect, when the moral atmosphere is in a his hearers—the presence of some unexpected person, peculiar state; whereas, under other circumstances, his the appearance of a particular countenance, the enpower had better be restrained. The storm that refresh-trance of a swallow through the window, the sudden es the northern field, might tear to pieces the tender rising of a cloud may suggest brilliant thoughts, happy petals accustomed to drink nought but the oriental Jews. | illustrations, beautiful passages of Holy Writ, which, There is in some communities a peculiar proneness to because fresh and appropriate, animate the speaker and resist certain truths—a kind of moral idiosyncrasy. In startle the hearer. How thrilling must have been this such cases the wise physician of souls will dissolve that passage uttered by an orator, when preaching before pill in sweetened water, which, in a solid state, might a monarch, whom he noticed to be talking: “When be instantly rejected. The effect of a discourse depends the lion roars the beasts of the earth tremble, and when much upon the state of feeling of the hearers. When the Almighty speaks let the kings of the earth keep the mind is in a musing, melancholy mood, “Yankee silence." Doodle," however skillfully played, will grate harshly This advantage is similar to that which the scientific upon the ear, and almost agonize the soul; whereas, | physician has over the empyric. The latter prescribes “ Roslin Castle," by a much less expert musician, will for the names of diseases, the former for their symptoms, be to the ear charming as the harp of Orpheus, and will Solomon has beautifully described the charm of approspread over the soul as oil upon the troubled waters. priateness: “Words fitly spoken, are like apples of gold
That man who is always presenting the same doc- in pictures of silver.” trines and precepts in the same way, may have excel What can secure the advantage of appropriateness lent matter, and may occasionally do some good, when but that habit of reliance upon one's own resources his auditory happens to be adapted to his text; but his which leads to a close observance of every thing around course is as unscientific as was that of Dr. Sangrado, us? A man of sense can hardly fail to speak and in Gil Blas, who made the same prescription, viz., write fitly, who speaks and writes what his own intelblood-letting and warm water, for every patient. The lect furnishes. The man who derives his efforts from former character would be very useful, if God's provi- | books is like the blind giant-his blows are powerful, dences adapted congregations to subjects; and such an and when they happen to fall in the right place they do one as the latter would be uniformly successful, if the execution; but they generally miss the mark. But he Almighty fitted patients to prescriptions. How awk- who draws his matter from the hearts of his hearers is ward is that warrior, who never takes off his armor, like the skillful archer who sees the mark before he but goes to the forum and the fireside as he does to the lets his arrow fly, and can scarce be said to draw a bow field. There is a pretty illustration of this remark in at a venture. An original minister can easily get a the Iliad. Hector, going forth to battle, meets Androm- skeleton, and then clothe it with muscles, and give it ache, attended by her little son and his nurse. The il organs of life and sense, and above all animate it with lustrious father extends his arms for his dear boy; but a spirit, by going into any house in his neighborhood backward he inclines to the bosom of his fair-girdled and conversing with its inmates half an hour; and nurse, crying aloud, alarmed at the sight of his loved when he brings it forth on Sabbath, it will be sure to father, terrified at the brazen helmet, and the horse hair do execution somewhere. An original man has not crest. His father and mother laugh. Hector immedi- only an appropriate subject, but his illustrations are ately takes the helmet from his head, and places it all generally appropriate. They seem to grow out of his resplendent upon the ground. But when Astyanax subject. They are not like the flowers of the nosegay, perceived the countenance of the father, not that of I gathered for the vase-pretty, but scarce viewed before