« ForrigeFortsett »
The other great work of Homer is the Odyssey.
Original. This contains a history of the adventures of Ulysses,
ON CHARITY. after the sacking of Troy, until his safe return and How sweet are the influences of beneficence! how peaceable settlement in his native Ithaca. During his salutary are its effects upon the disposition and the absence his wife is surrounded by numerous suitors, who heart, and we may add, upon the soul! We are called in vain seek her hand. After various misfortunes he to this chain of reflection by a letter from a friend, by arrives unknown and as a beggar in Ithaca, where he which we have been soothed and consoled under the has a fine opportunity of witnessing the conduct of oppression of disagreeable circumstances and irritated these suitors, from whom, while still unrecognized, he feelings. But it is not our purpose to speak of our sorreceives the harshest treatment. The length of this rows, but of one who kindly accords to us aid for article forbids a more full account of this work. It was redress. And putting away all inferior considerations, evidently written many years after the Iliad, and was we would wish to present our helper in a specific point probably the last production of Homer's genius. of view.
Besides these two works, there are other smaller First: that of a Christian, so as to deduce the true, ones, viz., the “Margitis,” the “ Batrachomyomachia natural impressions made on our mind, by his acts and or battle of the frogs and mice, the “Homeri Hymns,” his course; what we believe to be the possible influand some epigrams and fragments, which have been ence of those within the Church, in effecting deeper attributed to Homer, but which are probably the pro- | apprehensions and more important results of piety upon duction of a later age.
those without the Church. And this we shall suppose The genius of Homer is pre-eminently displayed in to be done mainly by the methods and through the agenhis description, both of scenes and characters. In this cy of consideration and charity. And here we mean he stands unrivaled. His characters are varied, full of not the mere appellative, spread over a widely diffused life, and all perfectly natural. There is a unity in the surface of various and undefined purposes, and which, character of each, which, while it possesses a proper like gold beaten to impalpable thinness, shall lose all variety of incident, is in every case recognized as the its efficacy and its worth ; but we do mean indeed the
Ulysses never taken for Agamemnon, nor "fine gold,” the kindness, the reality of help to our Agamemnon for Ulysses.
need, the liberal hand, the warm and comforting prinHomer was held in high estimation by the ancients ciple, which shall impart itself to the desolate and deuntil about the second century after Christ. He was sponding heart. then attacked by the Christians, who regarded him as In this particular of a consistent charity, do any of the great founder, or at least supporter of idolatry. the professors of righteousness think they pass free of Had they possessed the power, their burning zeal comment? They mistake much if they do. A scruwould have for ever deprived posterity of this rich treas- tinizing observation is fixed on them; a watchfulness,
His works, however, have outlived every storm— not the vigilance of sectarian jealousy alone, but the have maintained unimpaired their great and lasting broader and freer seeing of the unregenerate, unconreputation, and bid fair to concentrate upon themselves vinced questioner. The searcher after truth may err the eulogies of coming generations. Side by side in his judgment of what is truth; but he will not be will Shakspeare and Homer float down the stream of satisfied with any thing short of goodness in its profestime, increasing at every step the host of their admi-sor; and he submits the question to the sensible tests rers. And although the one was a heathen and the of a kind heart and a liberal hand. Charity, we know, other a vicious man, they possessed that genius and is a great text in the holy Book, preached about and insight into the secret recesses of the human heart, often inculcated; but like all other precepts, it carries · which will for ever forbid their being consigned to ob- its most effectual argument in the practice of its aposlivion.
tle. The fulfilling of the law is of irrefragible author. ity. “Charity shall cover many sins;" it shall possibly also have the seal of many souls. Do the saints
think of this? How great, how very great, are the imGODLY SORROW.
portance and the result to the Church, in their winSome well meaning Christians tremble for their sal- | nings from without the fold, of such as may be so convation, because they have never gone through that val | vinced, and so helped on? The merciful man and the ley of tears and sorrow, which they have been taught giver shall say, Amen. Yes, how much does the lookerto consider as an ordeal that must be passed through, on, (constraining the best mood of mind to the considbefore they can arrive at regeneration. To satisfy such eration,) how conclusively does he decide by the test minds, it may be observed, that the slightest sorrow for of heart and hand, whether, at least, he shall confide sin is sufficient, if it produce amendment, and that the in the individual—whether there is consistency of pregreatest is insufficient if it do not. Therefore, by their cept and practice. If he trusts, he also adds, “I would own fruits let them prove themselves; for some soils | fain imitate this man,” in the beauty of his charity, in will take the good seed, without being watered by the his moral demeanor, in his conduct of life. And to do overflowings of penitential tears, or harrowed up by this as he does it, I must enter the Church—the Church affection.—Lacon.
militant of sin and of weakness-I must be sustained
as he is sustained—I must imitate his piety to God, to Verily, he compares himself to his poor neighbor, his reap a like reward of sanctity. And such is the com- meek and unassuming Christian acquaintance, and he ment passed on the Christian's course. 'Tis not alone says, “I am not as happy as he is! nor as good! I the cursory glance of the worldling. The collater of must look into this matter—for my power is greater creeds—the veritable seeker for right doctrines looks than his in all earthly things. There is some root of more closely—the serious and reflecting moralist, also bitterness in my soul! Ah, how do I admire his disina seeker after truth, says, “I must find his creed in his terested simplicity! Yet I cannot imitate it, I am so life, or else is his profession like ‘sounding brass and a rich.” Such is the grieving, the mental satiety of too tinkling cymbol;' an argument not for, but against him- much fullness. Yes, too much; for not only had he self, and a dividing from himself and his Church. received, but he had garnered up-not store for himself, What he says is not substantial; for truth is of God, and his alone; but in his barns there lay reeking in the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.'” And such the impurity of excess, the corn grains that should have inferences will for ever exist in the minds of unregener- fed the poor. He perceived, but he regarded not the ate men, against those who would teach without a cor “still small voice” from within, nor yet the quick, strong responding practice, above all of charity; and they cry of him that was ready to perish! Was it strange will exist even to the hindering of their salvation. that he felt not happy? Is the providence of nature Could all the secret influences which sway men be laid no better arranged? Hath God deputed giving to but open, (now a vailed mystery,) how well would it be one source to the bosom of nature alone, or does huknown that not by preaching alone, nor by exhortation, manity share the trust? Yes, let man, responsible nor by any outward hearing, was (often) the sinner man, beware of the after reckoning; beware that this called upon from time to time, and all along, to desire unholy vampire greediness destroy not his own soul. of holiness for himself—and varied they were after each If “charity covereth a multitude of sins,” surely its manner of man. Here it was the influence of some omission is of commensurate naughtiness. If “greater timely aid bestowed upon the natural man, in his sof-than faith or hope,” how great is charity? And do we tened heart awakening with his gratitude some deeper venerate it? Absolute misers are rare; but how many sluices of soul—a comment on his benefactor, a further are the misers in degree! He is a miser who, though ing of piety, a desiring of grace, to thank and love, he deny not himself or his own, yet with a tender heart even the great giver, God. Yet this same, if denied, suffers the infliction of want by what he withholds were peradventure stubborn, almost to reprobation. from others. And must he then be coaxed to his own good? And Mania is the most common infatuation. See the does his neighbor owe him a greater duty than he owes father-he is old, even superannuated. He is beyond himself? O no-he was at need, sorely vexed and in the solicitings of vanity or expense, yet he gripes hard want; and he asked for help, such help as he, unregen- and fast for lucre. Insensible of other cares, he is all erate as he is, would have accorded a suffering brother; alive to this. It is his besetting sin: a very money lust and the other must say whether in refusing him he de- possesses his soul, albeit, near the parting hour. But nied a prompting, a discerning of the right, the viola- he says, “I am careful for my children who come after ted principle of sustaining humanity. This, we know, me, that they may live.” Hath he been equally caredoes not excuse the first-it only suggests his apology. ful in other sort for them? I wist not-for God and But this sentiment, and these motives, you say are pe- Mammon abide not together. Yes, but the superfluity culiar and occult. Occult they are, and of a more pre- denied to the claiming of his kind, he devises to his cious sacredness for that. The Christian requires no heirs. By scrip and bond, at best discretion, in the saPhyrric priest to interpret for him—no sooth-sayer to credness of the law, engrossed on parchment, he makes admonish. He hath a Book and his own soul. And all sure. It is safe, and his care is no more about it. let him venerate the records of both, so shall he find Yet his devices are but of human ingenuity. He safety and an unction of belief.
guards against a world of craft and guile—a world of We somewhere read the words, “God in us;” wheth-change and contingency, of involved and subtle flucer it is a special grace, or whether it is the stirrings of tuation—whose continual mutation being outfigured in a Divine charity, we have no right to question, and its very self, day and night do continually certify of none to doubt, for the brief moment which it abides change to man. Yet all of these chances provided for, with us. If we shape the prompting into faithfulness, truly what is his advantage? Is there not One who we have done enough and well—if not, a speculation can will stronger than thou? God hath said, “Thou is uncalled for—the Holy Ghost of charity hath passed || shalt not covet,” nor hide away from the hungry. away, and you may not stay the penalty.
There were a promise indeed to thy heir, if with simAgain, shall we behold the man, not of want, for he ple faith thou hadst“cast thy bread upon the waters." is rich-neither wants he friends, nor the world's con- Surely, after many days hadst thou found it again. sideration in its sort. He has household felicities, and More beautiful is the course of the poor. By moments they cluster about him; he has abundance; his store- || does humanity assert herself, and the rich man is sofhouses and his barns have been enlarged; and yet are tened and affected as he compares himself to his poor, other harvests ripening in his fields—bis health is un-God-thristy neighbor; he looks on and is made better. broken, and his strength is at prime. What wants he ? || He sees how simple and how guileless is his course.
He sees that in obedience to toil, he receives the allot- || shall he not apprehend his imminent necessity-that ted pittance; he says it is enough for me and my chil-looking for of judgment to come? Yes, there is a
Inrinciple within the soul of man sufficient, with proper
science to stand betwixt his fellows and himself? And || tiable lust or accumulausum.
THE LADIES' REPOSITORY.
CINCINNATI, MARCH, 1842.
CALDWELL-LAKE GEORGE. Christ's faithful ministers. The second order is made (SEE ENGRAVING.)
up of the sanctified, or mature saints, who are ever Lake George, in the state of New York, is con- moving on the errands of love, and ministering not only nected with Lake Champlain, and is in some respects, to each other’s necessities, but also to the bodily or spirthe most remarkable body of water on the continent.itual wants of any of God's creatures within their reach. Such is its purity, that from the neighboring inhabitants | The third order consists of the justified, or immature it has received the name of Lake Sacrament. It is said saints, who are employed in the same services as the to be chiefly fed by surrounding springs, and it empties former, but in a more humble sphere; such as is suited its waters into the south end of Lake Champlain, above to the weakness of their infant states. These are evanwhich it is elevated about one hundred feet. It is of gelical hierarchies, which for their office and ministry late years much frequented by travelers, loungers, and are indebted to grace. sportsmen. Many of those who have sailed on its But there are orders of nature as well as of grace. bosom, give very glowing descriptions of its varying They grow out of our private and public relations. and interesting aspects. The shadows of the moun- The monarch and the subordinate magistrate are “intains passing over its clear, glassy waters, and the vary- | isters of God” to the people, and may in their office be ing tints and shades thrown upon it by the sunbeams called angels. Leaders of armies and subalterns—the reflected from the scenery of its shores, together with commanders of vessels, and all other unusurping authorthe majestic and enchanting character of that scenery ities, who have a perpetual or temporary official supeto the eye of him who has a relish for the bold and wild | riority and care over a given number of persons, may, in nature, are said to present a tout ensemble of almost | as to their functions, be called angels, for they minister, unequaled interest. Caldwell is a small town at the and angel is a name of that kind of office. The relations end of the Lake, much frequented by visitors. of professional and private life are of the same nature.
The teacher ministers to the pupil; the physician and
the nurse to the patient; the patron or benefactor to the Original.
object of his kindness. THE MOTHER AN ANGEL.
But I wish to select one other example from private life, which possibly surpasses all others, so far as the
privileges and obligations of nature are concerned. I "How sweet to gaze upon thy placid brow,
refer to the mother. In a sense peculiarly high and
She is such by the appointment of nature. By this
mother in such a relation to the child, that she only can My own pet lamb. And then to train thee up
afford the necessary ministrations. Hers are vital funcTo be an angel, and to live for GodO glorious hope!"
tions, in which the very being of the child is involved.
How affecting is this consideration to one who has firm Angel is said to be a name of office. It is therefore confidence in the doctrine of the soul's immortality. applied to mortals. The Scriptures, as in the Apoca- And the fact cannot be disputed. Hence the assertion, lypse, denominate the ministers of Jesus, angels.* The that by the appointment of nature, (by which I mean word äggaros signifies messenger, and may justly be ap- | the appointment of God, the mother is an angel to her plied to one employed by Providence, in some holy ser-child. The ministrations of God's invisible, celestial vice for the good and happiness of others. For these messengers, in behalf of mortals, do not commence so appointees of Jehovah are ministering messengers. | early as hers. The infant passes under the watch and The celestial angels are "spirits, sent forth to minister ward of angels from the mother's earlier keeping. The to them who shall be heirs of salvation."
sacred treasure, with its immortal jewelry, is primarily In heaven the angels are supposed to constitute va- intrusted to her custody; and by a divine constitution rious hierarchies. The Jews held that the orders were of things, all the unwearied energies of her nature are four—those of Michael, of Gabriel, of Uriel, and of || at first spontaneously, and afterwards with the zeal of Raphael. Of terrestrial angels there are certainly sev- glowing affection, pledged to the execution of her trust. eral orders. The first, or highest order, is composed of Thus by the appointment of the God of nature, she is
an angel-a minister of life and its supports to her * See Revelations, chapter ii.
BY THE EDITOR.
He sees that in obedience to toil, he receives the allot- | shall he not apprehend his imminent necessity-that ted pittance; he says it is enough for me and my child looking for of judgment to come? Yes, there is a dren: it is bestowed but day by day to keep us humble, principle within the soul of man sufficient, with proper but along with it is given us the grace to be thankful. | aids and appliances, for his discernment of truth; but And the words which sanctify his table are, “Whether now he is vexed and aggrieved, and under a cloud; and more or less it is of thee, O Lord; thou rememberest now, will not the faithful pastor, the compassionate us; let us not forget Thee for ever.” And this humble brother, soothe and help him-for many a sinner arrives grace shall find record above, and the lowly of heart at truth by the avenues of nature? The gentle vouchshall be entitled to a more honorable seat; verily he safings of sympathy can allure in some mood, when shall eat bread in his Master's kingdom. This is the the severity of faithfulness and of preaching might appoor pious man; for though the “poor have the Gospel pal and repulse. And though the ultimate of faith is preached to them,” yet they do not all accept it. And not attainable by nature alone, yet its beginnings may when the death-angel shall spread his broad wings over be there; and these simple admonitions, if wisely folthat humble chamber, his thirst shall be satisfied, and lowed out, may be effectual of the more determinate his fever allayed, in mysterious sense, by that water, of counsels of revealed truth. Who is not softened and which he that drinks shall never thirst again”-even subdued, almost to a looking for of grace, by a relief, a the water of eternal life. The rich man, we say, looks sympathy which is sufficient, a help and a rescue in our on and is converted from the error of his way—for the time of need? And our teacher, would he be faithful beauty of holiness, and even charity by self-denying and effectual, must identify himself, not with our weaksacrifice, was manifested in this lowly Christian disci-ness and our sins alone, but with our wants, natural as ple. But such examples are rare, and mostly found in spiritual. If he withhold himself from our necessity, places remote from the thoroughfares and the corrupt- and only give the gifts which cost him nothing, he loves ing influences of life.
us not-he doth not even pity us, and we love not himBut it is of charity we would speak. All unrelieved we disdain his gifts—from purer lips than his will we human want has, if not its resentment, at least its alien- | seek for truth; and so are we hindered in our progress ating action against such as refuse of succor; and as in that better path which should divide us from our naturally has it its gratitude of relief; and this shall be anxieties, and win us from our suffering and our sincommensurate with the depth of heart which we find ning—which by grace should blot out the animosities in the sufferer. And such an one (of worth and weight of nature, and especially should admonish us of that if gained) shall be most decidedly hindered by the ad- obduracy in ourselves which is our greatest hindrance verse action of withheld relief. It is of necessity, not and our greatest crime. of craving, we speak, saying, I, with my unregenerate And whatever we have said, we would not attempt, heart, could not have resisted this appeal. And is a nor dare to excuse, on any ground, a withholding from harder person indeed holier than I? Along with the the Church. We would but offer, in extenuation, the averted affections we grant there is an unreasonableness necessities and the waywardness of nature, and its of inference; for a short-coming priesthood cannot im- blindness to those things which are spiritually discernpeach the holiness of truth, nor impair what is essen- | ed. And particularly would we commend and place tially immutable and of God. But misery is often in relative view that Gospel charity which acts hand in both unreasonable and wicked; and no argument sus-hand with nature, and afford reciprocal advantage to tains them in withholding themselves from the Church, || both. Charity, perhaps, shall win the sinner from the or in not endeavoring to obtain the blessing; but there error of his ways, and shall herself be blessed by that is a direct one for it, even their necessity itself. Yet effectual calling which shall add the seal of many souls to in the unregenerate bosom is sentiment stronger than her ministration. But who is the questioner—an idle reason or thought, and besides it wars in its own cas | and querulous complainer against the allotments of life? tle—the fleshly heart of man-unrebuked of the alien No, not such an one; but one well tried by the hindranforces either of discretion or of duty. We hear, too, ces and engrossments of immediate cares--one knowof misanthropy from the same cause. Some are fluent ing the deteriorating influences of imperative necessity, in such talk, and dissertate, and would prevent the pa- even where the purpose and the determination is for a thetic and the picturesque of suffering; and this is the right seeking, and a supreme reverence for the better only way in which they touch the subject at all. But hope, which sustains against the world. We would we think not with them--we think sufferers' comment propose simply the argument of suffering, and the is not so wide of propriety. It is more specific and claim of charity, and would show the bearing and inmore positive. It alienates from a hard brother of fluences of each upon the unregenerate heart as it is. the Church, or turning selfward, it tends to obdurate
B. the heart, which in human gain reposes only in insensibility, and without hatred of its kind is yet uncaring of hope or of safety. And is man, then, a mere crea Avarice has ruined more men than prodigality, and ture-a being of sense and of will only? Without the blindest thoughtlessness of expenditure has not demoral responsibility has he no monitor within, no con- stroyed so many fortunes, as the calculating but insascience to stand betwixt his fellows and himself? And I tiable lust of accumulation.