תמונות בעמוד

About four o'clock in the afternoon friends, pupils, acquaintances and strangers were accustomed to assemble at his house, and he was welcomed on returning home by a numerous company who had met to enjoy his rare powers of conversation. He possessed, in a very uncommon degree, the art of adapting his subject to each individual, and whether he were theologian, man of letters, philosopher, statesman, or tradesman, he would converse with him respecting his particular profession, with an ease and familiarity of knowledge, seldom possessed by any but those following the same vocation. He never suffered himself to speak dogmatically. “I believe," "may we not say,” “ if one might be allowed so to speak,” &c., generally prefaced the expression of his own opinions. His great master Socrates might always be discerned in his discourses. He had a natural talent for satire, which approached very nearly to the irony of the Grecian sage; and with which he had the power to sting deeply; but it was exercised rarely, and only on fitting occasions : he was ever upon his guard, and often repressed a witty thought from a fear that it might wound or prove offensive. It was a rule with him, before entering upon an argument, to ascertain that he and his opponent were agreed as to first principles. In 1762, Mendelsohn had married the daughter of Abraham Eugenheim of Hamburg. This marriage proved a particularly happy one. Mendelsohn was successful in business, and had attained to a degree of affluence, which not only permitted him to live in genteel domestic comfort, and to entertain at his table the guests whose society he valued, but which also enabled him to supportwhich he did with the utmost liberality—his own and his wife's poorer relatives. He delighted in acts of beneficence. Had some opportunity occurred of aiding a fellow-creature, and had his exertions proved successful, his whole countenance brightened and reflected the joyousness and benevolence of his inward feelings.

Integrity, magnanimity, modesty, ingenuousness, kindliness, and every social virtue, were the distinguishing traits of this great man; his exalted character became, after his death, the frequent subject of discourse and admiration among his friends : a theme on which they fondly dwelt long after he had been withdrawn from their circles. The learned in Berlin, by whom he was highly esteemed, took many and various occasions of testifying their regard : professor Engel in particular. On the day the remains were interred every Jewish shop in Berlin was closed,-a mark of respect customary only at the burial of a chief Rabbin. A sure indication of the love and veneration of his countrymen, who knew no means of giving a more convincing demonstration of their just and grateful appreciation of the merits of their distinguished teacher.

To this Socrates of her native land, to this independent thinker, acute reasoner, and elegant writer, Germany has adjudged a place in the temple of fame, and of worth: the more willingly and unhesitatingly in proportion as the access difficult, and the pathway obstructed and encumbered by adverse circumstances and external hindrances.

E.R. B.


Vol. IV. No. 15.-New Series.


I. Services at the Presbyterian Chapel, Stand; on occasion of the Ordination of the Rev. P. P. Carpenter, B.A. By the Revds. J. G. Robberds, C. Wellbeloved, and J. J. Tayler. London: J. Green.

We rejoice to see these Services resumed in the Unitarian Churches; and that these, the first published Services, for many years, are of a beauty and felicity that cannot fail to recommend and justify the practice. We know no social occasion more worthy of a religious celebration, than the first connection of a young Minister with his Congregation. It is one of solemn interest to him; and he ought not to be left alone at such a time, unassured whether there is the least synıpathy with his position or his feelings in other breasts. Nothing can be more cold, bare, and heartless, than the common usage of our Churches in this respect. The young Minister, timid, trembling, awed, is left to introduce himself, to speak of his own emotions, to anatomize his own confused sensibilities,—to preach on Duties and Relations of which he knows nothing by experience,- and is then suffered to retire, doubting whether an occasion so great to him, has any interest for others,-and whether by taking for granted earnest solicitude on the part of his Congregation, the solemn Charge just committed to him, he has not been guilty of painful exaggeration and extravagance. These inaugural days are cold promises of future zeal and cooperation; and we speak from experience when we say, that they are enough to kill at once the romance and enthusiasm of the profession. Without excessive indifference on the part of Congregations, and a very low appreciation of Pulpit and Pastoral Usefulness, the present state of things could never have existed; and we hail the renewed practice of introducing a young Minister to his Charge with some solemnity, as a sign that there is increased earnestness in the Ministry itself, and increasing vitality in the pastoral connection.

It is by no means adviseable that where two Parties enter into mutual Relations, one of the Parties should lay down for both the Duties and Obligations of the connection: and for the sake of impression, of delicacy, of the first freshness of sentiment, it is proper

enforce upon

and becoming that some third Parties should speak to the Emotions, and unfold the moralities of the occasion.

The names of the Ministers who took a part in these Services are sufficient guarantees that no element which the occasion might supply, of tenderness, impressiveness, or instruction, was suffered to be lost. The Service itself is the best Defence that could be made for the propriety and utility of the observance: and in this view its Publication may be attended with important results. This design of the Publication is indeed stated in the Preface, which is not supposed to have proceeded from any one of the Ministers who officiated.

“ There has perhaps been a tendency, among the English Unitarian Dissenters, to give up all forms which have been, apparently, perverted from their original purpose ; and, in so doing, we may have deprived ourselves of useful opportunities of receiving important instructions, and cherishing Christian zeal and charity. The following pages are offered as a fair specimen of the nature of a service, which is designed solemnly to ratify one of the most important of human compacts, to

both Ministers and People the duties which they owe to each other, and to animate and strengthen those who partake in them, in their labours for the spread of the kingdom of Jesus.”

The liability to abuse, or the fear that among the Unitarian Churches the practice might lead to ecclesiastical assumptions, or to the idea of some mystic virtue, is purely ridiculous,—the pretence of those who have not sufficient feeling on the subject to lead them to regard it with any sympathy. The only question is, is it an occasion presenting peculiar moral aspects, not to be passed over without notice and improvement, and deserving, by its importance and delicacy, of a religious solemnization ?

The only part of the Service, in the form employed at Stand, of which we more than doubt the wisdom and propriety, is the Address required from the young Minister, in which he is expected to give a statement of his views and motives in undertaking the office of Pastor. We object to any man being required to speak of his own motives,—it is making a provision for insincerity, conventionalism, and exaggeration,-and the purest and holiest motives will be nothing the purer and holier for being publicly professed. The sacredness of motives forbids the enforcement of their sacredness upon others. That which God is to judge of, and the heart is to guard, must not be avowed to man.

Neither can we regard it, as at all prudent or becoming, that the young Minister should make a declaration of views or opinions even of the most general kind. No young Minister can be chosen for the maturity of his judgment, or the ripeness of his knowledge on Theological Subjects. He ought to feel that only his moral and devotional qualities can be of much value to others. If he professes Doctrines or Doubts he may be giving a fixed record to opinions,—which increased knowledge and experience may lead him to wish blotted from the printed page. Litera scripta manet. We cannot say that the present Address, though in other respects modest and graceful, has tended to remove this impression from our minds. There was surely no occasion to profess an ignorance that may not be everlasting, or to connect Mystery with the Redemption of the Gospel. We disapprove of these statements of opinion,-because we hope the time will come when the following sentence could not have been spoken :

“I rejoice that we have redemption through the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of sins;' but I pretend not to explain in what way this was effected.”

It is with pain that we drop, on such an occasion, the slightest word of disapproval, which we should not have suffered ourselves to do,—but that we are really deeply solicitous for the revival of these Services, and feel bound to point out whatever might act as an impediment to their more general adoption. We would confine the Address of the Minister, though we do not see the necessity of his speaking at all, to the expression of his hearty and earnest reception of the Congregational invitation,-to an avowal of his mental freedom as an individual, who, if he is to find hidden treasures of truth, must have his liberty respected,—and to his prayer for the divine blessing.

Mr. Wellbeloved commences his instructive and affectionate Charge, by guarding against any possible misunderstanding of the nature of the Service.

We, your older brethren, affect no superiority of rank over you, nor do we pretend to confer upon you any particular gift, or to impart to you any qualification, which you do not already possess, for the due exercise of all the functions of a minister of the Gospel. We do not wish to be considered the successors of the apostles in any

other respect than as embarked in the same cause with them, engaged as they were, in the preaching and defence of Christ's Holy Gospel, and in promoting the eternal interest of our brethren. It is not from us that you are now to be sent into the world. It is not our's to give you a commission to preach the Gospel, or to administer Christian ordinances. That com.

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