« ÖncekiDevam »
he loves them not. He has done his best to stand impartially between them and the cavaliers; but it is evident that his feelings are altogether with the roystering smokers and imbibers on the first plantations of the “ Old Dominion.” These jovial souls he describes to the life, because he perfectly knows what manner of spirit they are of. But his Puritans are not human beings. They are, like Frankenstein, the work of a magician who is frightened at his own creation. They are like the iron-man of the Rosicrucians, very terrible in his mechanical justice. They are mere moral machines, with clock-work consciences, wiry affections, and souls wholly made up of the wheels and screws, cogs, cams, and ratehets of an iron dogmatism, all unpolished and unoiled. They have great virtues and merits ; but they are the virtues of a rolling-mill, and the merits of a hydraulic press. Mr. Paulding, like multitudes of others, wholly misconceives the Puritan character. He regards them as grim and gloomy, rigid and rancorous, foes to innocent mirth, and strangers to the gentler affections. Whereas they were common mortals, in whom the common affections and sympathies of our nature were elevated, as well as strictly regulated, by the strong restraints of divine grace. They loved their wives and children as much as we love ours; but, possibly, they loved God, and duty, and self-denial more. Strange as it may seem to some, they even took pleasure in fun, such as they deemed compatible with right. Hugh Peters was a great joker; Nathaniel Ward, the author of the “ Simple Cobbler," was a noted humorist; and Oliver Cromwell, it is notorious, often descended to the roughest practical jests with the great men of his court. Yet all of them were held in the highest esteem by their co-religionists. Perhaps no better mode of dispelling the absurd prejudices as to the social life of the Puritans, could be devised, than the publishing of a collection of their witty sayings, which often bit as keenly as their swords, and which must have relaxed their features into something like the hearty cheerfulness which, in all ages, has marked the British mind. We hope that no one will ever be tempted to renew Mr. Paulding's experiment of working up romances out of Puritan stuff. No man can succeed in the attempt, who is not in full sympathy with the religious life of the Puritans; - and no such man will ever write a novel.
PRESIDENT HITCHCOCK'S LECTURES ON THE FOUR SEASONS. We know not how to speak of these four sermons in terms of admiration so strong as we could wish; and yet we dare not speak of them so highly as we might, for fear of provoking the spirit of unbelief. We shall persist in our admiration, let those who will ascribe our enthusiasm as to this small volume to a too fond appreciation of one whom to know, is to esteem and love. We know not where to find, in so small a space, such a delightful blending of Orthodoxy, piety, science, taste, appreciation of nature, fine instinct for analogy, and “ "curious felicity" of simple and eloquent expression. “The Resurrections of Spring” is a discourse full of exceedingly ingenious and original discussion of the doctrine of the final resurrection; and a defence of it, on novel scientific ground, against the objections of the doubter. “The Triumphal Arch of Summer" is such a spiritualiz
ing of that beautiful object, God's "bow in the clouds," as is singularly
VALEDICTION. The editors of this work for the year now closed,
He is, however, authorized to expect efficient assistance from most, if not all, of the present editors, and from many of the ablest writers and scholars in our ecclesiastical connection.
Oct. 17. Professor E. C. Wines, at Vergennes, Vt., as an Evan
Mr. Charles B. Smith, Levant, Me.
Rev. Charles Hyde, South Coventry, Con.
DEATHS OF MINISTERS,
Oct. 24. Rev. William Riddel, South Deerfield, Ms., æ. 83.