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Christian minister, will be somewhat startled on finding thoughts which have often passed through his mind, but have never perhaps been so plainly expressed in words, suddenly laid before him in this manner, by one who is only on the point of entering on the same course.
It is not a little remarkable, that in both Dr. Carpenter's visits to the Continent, when labouring under severe indisposition, circumstances should have led to his being placed under the care, not of any
member of his own family, nor even of any tried and attached friend, but of comparative strangers, who nevertheless watched over him with an affectionate care and tenderness, as if they had known and valued him for years. In his first journey, he was introduced, when at Paris, by their common friend Dr. Blair, to Colonel, now General Pitman,who finding that the physicians recommended a winter's residence in the south of France, actually gave up a projected tour in Italy, in order to devote himself to one who had no claim upon him of personal friendship, whom he had scarcely ever seen before, and who was known to him only by the report of a valued friend. He invited Dr. C. to travel with him, and omitted no arrangement or attention which could add to his comfort or promote his recovery.
We are aware that every circumstance is providential,—that without God nothing cometh to pass. This, however, is a doctrine which we are in general led to receive from faith in scripture, and from the conviction of abstract reason, rather than from the plain manifestation of the Divine attributes in what passes around us; and therefore we are wont to term providential, in an especial manner, those events in which we can peculiarly trace the finger of God. Of such a nature was this ;-it seemed out of the bound of probability, that a Unitarian Minister, and one, too, chiefly known out of his more immediate circle as a controversialist, should be thus travelling as a guest, receiving the most affectionate care, with an officer of rank in the army, conscientiously attached to his own church, of whom two years before he had scarcely heard. Yet this, though a marked, is not an uncommon instance of the retributive goodness which here we see ' in part.' He himself laboured for others, without inquiring what claim they had upon his exertions, without regard to their creed or their previous circumstances; and though he did not always reap where he had sowed, he gathered where he had not planted ; and he was continually receiving unlocked-for kindness from those in a different circle of society ;-unlike himself in almost every thing but goodness of heart.”—p 307.
Certainly nothing could exemplify more strikingly than this very interesting incident, the extraordinary power which Dr. C. possessed from first to last, of conciliating the regard and attachment of all to whom he was personally known. It was this power, in addition to their sense of gratitude for his services, and their general esteem of his character, which enabled him to acquire such an uncommon personal ascendancy in both the congregations with which he was connected as a minister. It also contributed in a great degree to the powerful influence which he possessed over the younger members of his flock, to whose welfare and improvement he devoted himself with a zealous and affectionate earnestness, which could hardly have been exceeded if he had had no other object to occupy his time and attention. In this respect he has been equalled by few, and excelled we should think by none. In the young of all ranks and classes he ever took a most deep and affectionate interest, and regarded the promotion of their improvement and spiritual welfare as the most important object of his life. Some of the letters which he wrote to several of his young friends whom he watched over with tender solicitude in the hours of sickness and approaching departure are inserted in this Memoir, and cannot be read without emotion. They are interesting and touching in a high degree.
The interest which Dr. Carpenter took in young persons in general, leads us to speak of his character as an instructor of youth : an office in which he greatly excelled, and to which a large portion of his time was devoted. His talents as a mere instructor in the various branches of knowledge commonly taught in schools were very considerable, but his superiority here also was chiefly seen in the moral power which his singular uprightness, purity, strength of principle, and truly christian kindness of heart enabled him to acquire over his pupils. The most remarkable characteristics which distinguished him in this capacity are well described in a letter to the Editor from the Rev. James Martineau, who had ample opportunities of observation, first as his pupil, and afterwards as his coadjutor.
Dr. Carpenter's extensive experience in every department of education gives additional value and authority to the views of this important subject, which he has laid before the public. These appeared first in Dr. Rees' Cyclopædia, under the three titles of Intellectual, Moral, and Physical Education ;-they were afterwards collected by the author and reprinted with little alteration in a separate volume, entitled “ Principles of Education.” The three articles are all of them worthy of their author; but that on Moral Education appears to us the most valuable. Indeed we have not met with any work in which this part of the subject is treated with so much judgment and ability, with such satisfactory minuteness of detail, and on such pure, enlightened, and, in the best sense of the word, evangelical principles. Many
of his practical suggestions on the cultivation and discipline of the affections, are founded on the Hartleyan Theory of the Human Mind, of which Dr. C. was a great admirer, and which he has done much in various publications to popularize and recommend to the more general attention and study of those interested in these important inquiries. Hartley's Rule of Life he held in high estimation as an admirable compendium of practical morality, founded not only on a philosophical view of the constitution of the mind, but on an habitual reference to the authority of Scripture. “Hartley,” said he, “I deem my second Father; for it was from him that I first gained accurate and consistent ideas on the subject of human duty."
Besides what is introduced as it were incidentally in this work, Dr. Carpenter wrote much on Mental and Moral Philosophy ;-most extensively in two articles under these titles in the Cyclopædia, which contain a fuller development of the general principles he had derived from the study of Hartley. These articles, or rather extensive treatises,—though they bear every appearance of having been prepared in haste, and doubtless under the pressure of his usual urgent and varied avocations, contain the results of much deep and well-matured reflections on the important subjects of inquiry to which they relate ;and if they also had been published separately, after having had the benefit of a little compression and abridgment, would have been a most acceptable present to the lovers of metaphysical and ethical researches. He himself, however, was dissatisfied with them, probably for the reasons we have already referred to, and valued more highly the chapters on the same subjects, contributed by him to the well-known work entitled “Systematic Education;" in which the same general principles are unfolded more concisely, but in a more distinct and attractive form. As these volumes have had a pretty extensive circulation, it may be hoped that the portions contributed by Dr. C. have been instrumental to a considerable extent in diffusing a taste for these valuable and improving studies.
A list of the author's numerous publications is appended to this volume, at the conclusion of which we are glad to observe the announcement, as in preparation for the press, of “Lectures on the Atonement, or the Redemption of Mankind by our Lord Jesus Christ.” These were intended as a sequel to the Examination of Magee; and we anticipate such a view of the subject as will recommend the doctrine he supports, not only by powerful argument and learned criticism, but by an earnest and successful endeavour to derive from it the most valuable practical inferences for the establishment of the Christian character and hopes. We understand that this publication is to be superintended by the third member of the honourable and highly-promising triumvirate, who inherit, along with the name of Carpenter, the talents and virtues by which it has hitherto been distinguished. May they all be long preserved to brighten its lustre by many a good work and labour of love!
You ask me where the radiant region lies-
WREATHE ME A CROWN!
Wreathe me a crown—a crown of deathless flowers !
wherever nobler powers
ART. VII.-HOURS WITH THE MUSES. By John C.
PRINCE. Second Edition. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. That poetical genius is not confined to any rank, or produced by any external circumstances, is an old and true remark. We have seen poets grow up under the stern and stirring influence of republican rule, and fostered by the splendid pomp of Courts, as well as nurtured in the careless retirement and literary ease of private life; nor does it seem unnatural to find ardent feelings flowing into song amid the wild hills and simple pleasures of rural life, or to discover some amongst an educated Scottish peasantry, who whilst they speak to our hearts by their enthusiasm for their “ain fire side," astonish our minds by the degree of cultivation and intellect visible in their works. But in the Author before us we have poetic talent appearing in circumstances where we were little prepared to expect it, nurtured in starvation and squalid misery in the dismal precincts of a Wigan cotton-factory
There is a little sketch of Prince's life affixed to his poems, which affords a striking illustration of Shelley's opinion, that
“ Most wretched men are cradled into poesy by wrong,
They learn in suffering what they teach in song." J. C. Prince was born at Wigan in 1808. His father made reeds for the weavers, supporting a family of several children by a very precarious business. Not having means to send his son even to a day school, the only instruction within young Prince's reach was the scanty portion he received at a Sunday school, where he obtained a very imperfect knowledge of reading and writing; but his application was unwearied, and he spent every leisure moment in poring over any stray books he could procure. Even when at the age of nine he was put to his father's trade, and obliged to work fourteen or sixteen hours a-day, he would steal from his bed when the rest of the family were asleep, to read by the dim light of the “slaked” fire such romances as those of Monk Lewis, Mrs. Radcliffe, and Defoe. He at length obtained a copy of Byron, which he studied with intense delight, and then burst upon him the feeling that he was himself a poet. “ A Child of Song. Oh! sadly pleasing name,
Which steals like music o'er my gladdened heart,
Becomes a spell whose power will ne'er depart.