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being persuaded that fame comes only when deserved, and then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is destiny.
It has become a common saying, that men of genius are always in advance of their age; which is true. There is something equally true, yet not so common; namely, that, of these men of genius, the best and bravest are in advance not only of their own age, but of every age.
As the German prose-poet says, every possible future is behind them. We cannot suppose that a period of time will ever arrive, when the world, or any considerable portion of it, shall have come up abreast with these great minds, so as fully to comprehend them.
And, oh! how majestically they walk in history! some like the sun, “with all his travelling glories round him;" others wrapped in gloom, yet glorious as a night with stars. Through the else silent darkness of the past, the spirit hears their slow and solemn footsteps. Onward they pass, like those hoary elders seen in the sublime vision of an earthly paradise, attendant angels bearing golden lights before them, and, above and behind, the whole air painted with seven listed colors, as from the trail of pencils !
"And yet, on earth, these men were not happy,—not all happy, in the outward circumstance of their lives. They were in want, and in pain, and familiar with prison-bars, and the damp, weeping walls of dungeons! Oh, I have looked with wonder upon those who, in sorrow and privation, and bodily discomfort, and sickness, which is the shadow of death, have worked right on to the accomplishment of their great purposes; toiling much, enduring much, fulfilling much ;-and then, with shattered nerves, and sinews all unstrung, have laid themselves down in the grave, and slept the sleep of death,—and the world talks of them, while they sleep!
It would seem, indeed, as if all their sufferings had but sanctified them! As if the death-angel, in passing, had touched them with the hem of his garment, and made them holy! As if the hand of disease had been stretched out over them only to make the sign of the cross upon their souls ! And as in the sun's eclipse we can behold the great stars shining in the heavens, so in this life-eclipse have these men beheld the lights of the great eternity, burning solemnly and forever!
GEORGE BARRELL CHEEVER.
GEORGE BARRELL CHEEVER was born at Hallowell, Maine, on the 17th of April, 1807, was graduated at Bowdoin College in 1825, and studied theology at Andover, Massachusetts. He was licensed to preach in 1830, and in 1832 was ordained pastor of the Howard Street Church, Salem, Massachusetts. He commenced his ministry with an uncompromising spirit against every thing that hindered the spread of the gospel of Christ, of the object of which "gospel”. he seemed to have a clear understanding. Such a spirit could not long need a subject against which to direct its energies. Accordingly, when the temperance reformation began, he was found the foremost and the boldest in the van of those who enlisted in this great moral warfare. In February, 1835, appeared in the “Salem Landmark" a piece entitled Inquire at Amos Giles' Distillery, which quite electrified that quiet community; for, under the guise of "a dream,” it depicted, in the most appalling colors, the hateful, souldestroying business of distilling and vending intoxicating drinks. Every one immediately or remotely engaged in it meditated revenge against the author, and a prosecution was instituted against him for libel, alleging that under the name of “Deacon Giles” the writer really meant a certain “ deacon" long and notoriously engaged in distilling; who was also “a treasurer of a Bible Society, and had a little counting-room in one corner of the distillery, where he sold Bibles." Mr. Cheever pleaded his own cause; but, to the lasting disgrace of that judiciary, he was condemned, and sentenced to thirty days' imprisonment,-an event to which his children may well look back with pride.
In 1836, Mr. Cheever went to Europe, and was absent about two years and a half. On his return he was installed pastor of the Allen Street Church, New York. In 1844, he again visited Europe, and remained there a year. In 1846, he was installed pastor of the “Church of the Puritans," in New York, in which he still remains.
Mr. Cheever is the author of a great number of works, all excellent in their kind, evincing genius, scholarship, and industry in an eminent degree. But he has what all scholars have not,—ardent philanthropy and pure Christian patriotism, taking a deep interest in every thing that pertains to the well-being of his
1 Evayye.cov, “Good will to man.”
2 The following list, I believe, comprises all his works :- American Commonplace Book of Prose, 1828; American Common-place Book of Poetry, 1829; Studies in Poetry, with Biographical Sketches of the Poets, 1830; Selections from Archbishop Leighton, with an Introductory Essay, 1832; God's Hand in America, 1841; The Argument for Punishment by Death, 1842; Lectures on Pilgrim's Progress, 1843; Hierarchical Lectures, 1844; Wanderings of a Pilgrim in the Shadoro of Mont Blanc and the Yungfrau Alp, 1846; The Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1848; The Hill Difficulty, and other Allegories, 1849; The Windings of the River of the Water of Life, 1849; Voices of Nature to her Foster - Child, the Soul of Man, 1852; Reel in a Bottle, or Voyage to the Celestial Country, by an Old Salt, 1853; Right of the Bible in our Common Schools, 1854; Lectures on Corrper, 1856; The Powers of the World to Come, 1856; God Against Slarery, 1857.
Dr. Cheever, in earlier years, was a contributor to the “ United States Literary Gazette," “ The Quarterly Register," " Tbe New Monthly Magazine," and the “North American Review.” He has written articles of great ability for “The Biblical Repository,” “The New-Englander," “ The Bibliotheca Sacra," and “ The Quarterly Observer.” He was a valuable correspondent of the “ New York Observer” when in Europe, and editor of the “New York Evangelist" during 1815 and 1846. In 1857, he wrote a series of articles for “The Bibliotheca Sacra," on the Judgment of the Old Testament against Slavery, which evince characteristic argumentation, combined with remarkable philological investigation.
As in the first years of his ministry Mr. Cheever entered heartily the lists against our wide-spread vice,-intemperance,-over which almost the whole community were sleeping, so for the past few years his rigorous pen and eloquent preaching have been directed against our great national sin,-slavery. To the columns of the “ New York Independent" he has been a regular contributor since its establishment in 1849; and all his pieces, whether in literature, politics, practical morals, or religion, evince great power and genius, but, above all, the pure Christian patriot.'
THE BENEFIT OF GREEK CULTURE.?
With the exception of Shakspeare, on whom was bestowed one of the greatest minds God ever gave to man, the sweetest and best of English poetry is that which Greek scholars have written. Every page shows the power of an early familiarity with the treasures of antiquity. Spenser, that romantic and harmonious mind, grew up with Sir Philip Sidney, under the influence of classical studies. A greater than these, and after Shakspeare, it may be the greatest of all poets, was one of the profoundest Greek scholars that ever lived. He does not know the true power of Milton's poetry, who is ignorant of Milton's Greek. His genius, it is true, was baptized in purer fountain : it was familiar with the infinite, the eternal, the religiously sublime, in the poetry of the Bible; his mind was nourished and moulded more by the sacred writers than by all his other studies put together. Next to these came the orators, poets, and historians
1 “The fundamental trait of Dr. Cheever's character, which is the key to his preaching, is his sense of RIGHT. He detests compromises; he abhors oppression; be magnifies justice; he contends with all systems which bind, or enslave, or deteriorate, whether of governments, or forms, or laws, or institutions. He does not regard expediency or consult consequences. Fear is a feeling utterly unknown to him. He becoines fired with indignation against all Austrias and Judge Jeffries. His fullest sympathies go forth towards the oppressed Bunyans, or the pilloried Baxters, or the exiled Kossuths, or the imprisoned Williamsons."*-- Fowler's American Pulpit.
2 " It was not an accident that the New Testament was written in Greek, the language which can best express the highest thoughts and worthiest feelings of the intellect and heart, and which is adapted to be the instrument of education for all nations.” Again : “How great has been the honor of the Greek and Latin tongues ! associated together, as they are, in the work of Christian education, and made the instruments for training the minds of the young in the greatest nations of the earth.”- Conybeare and Howson's St. Paul, chap. i.
3 Tbat is, of course, "after" in point of time; for no one can doubt the superiority of Milton over Shakspeare in learning, genius, affluence and grandeur of thought, varied power, and sublimity.
* Ho alludes to the imprisonment of Passmoro Williamson, of Philadelphia, by Judge Kane, for an alleged contempt of court,--an act so mean, as well as tyrannical and unjust, that it excited contempt and indignatio i throughout the land.
of Greece. He was wont to prepare himself for composition by the perusal of his Hebrew Bible, or of some Greek poet:
“ Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
He had “unsphered the spirit of Plato,” and held companionship with Æschylus and Sophocles and Euripides, and in thought and imagination was all fragrant with the richness of Grecian mind : his exquisite language was moulded on those ancient models, not less in its great strength in Paradise Lost, than in the lightness and harmony of the Allegro and Penseroso. Andrew Marvell, that rare example of virtuous patriotism, one of Milton's most intimate friends, and one of our best prose writers as well as most pleasant poets, grew up under the same kind of discipline. Gray has been called the most learned man in Europe : he was certainly one of the most finished classical scholars. The spirit of the Grecian mind pervades his poetry, so elaborately wrought, so pure in its moral influence, abounding in such rich personifications, such lofty images, and often such sweet thoughts. Collins, too, that child of imagination and tenderness, was a superior Greek scholar, as any man would judge from his exquisite lyrical productions. And it is worthy of remark that the purest and the most valued of all English poetry should happen to be the production of minds thus severely disciplined. Indeed, it is preposterous to think of becoming a true scholar, even in English literature merely, without a knowledge of Greek.
BUNYAN IN HIS CELL.
Now let us enter his little cell. He is sitting at his table to finish by sunlight the day's work, for the livelihood of his dear family, which they have prepared for him. On a little stool, his poor blind child sits by him, and, with that expression of cheerful resignation with which God seals the countenance when he takes away the sight, the daughter turns her face up to her father as if she could see the affectionate expression with which he looks upon her and prattles to her. On the table and in the grated window there are three books,—the Bible, the Concordance, and Bunyan's precious old copy of the Book of Martyrs. And now the day is waning, and his dear blind child must go home with the laces he has finished, to her mother. And now Bunyan opens his Bible and reads aloud a portion of Scripture to his little one, and then, encircling her in his arms and clasping her small hands in his, he kneels down on the cold stone floor, and pours out his soul in prayer to God for the salvation of those so inexpressibly dear to him, and for whom he has been all day working. This done, with a parting kiss he dismisses her to her mother by the rough hands of the gaoler.
And now it is evening. A rude lamp glimmers darkly on the table, the tagged laces are laid aside, and Bunyan, alone, is busy with his Bible, the Concordance, and his pen, ink, and paper. He writes as though joy did make him write. His pale, worn countenance is lighted with a fire as if reflected from the radiant jasper walls of the Celestial City. He writes, and smiles, and clasps his hands, and looks upward, and blesses God for his goodness, and then again turns to his writing, and then again becomes so entranced with a passage of Scripture, the glory of which the Holy Spirit lets in upon his soul, that he is forced, as it were, to lay aside all his labors, and give himself to the sweet work of his closing evening devotions. The last you see of him for the night, he is alone, kneeling on the floor of his prison; he is alone with God.
God's retributive providence may be invisible as the angel of death, and gradual as the remorseless tido that steals its march for centuries, or the malaria that depopulates cities and makes the very sight of them the dread of the traveller. Sometimes a series of retributive providences is unfolded, no one of which, by itself, excites alarm or surprise, till in the lapse of ages the solemn work is done, the nation has passed from existence, and historians write its epitaph, and philosophize upon the causes of its fall. A lingering decay may be far worse than a sudden overthrow; so that, in such a case, the common lamentation of mankind may be deeper for the degradation that remains than the glory that has departed. A nation dies when the spirit of every thing good and noble dies in it. The name may live when the elements of life and beauty have departed. God may suffer the sins which a nation is cherishing to consume its energies, till the gangrene becomes incurable, and then his abused mercies work their own revenge.
How solemn, in such a case, are the records and the proofs of the divine indignation; the prediction and the fulfilment seen and
I have stood beneath the walls of the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Temple of Karnak in Egypt; each