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common welfare. At the commencement of the senior pastor's ministry there was scarcely a minister or church in the County of Worcester, that would willingly hold any professional communion with bim, or suffer him to preach within their precincts. Now, we are told, that there are twenty-one societies, within the same limits, which are avowedly Unitarian in their principles and forms; and that not an “inconsiderable number of these are among the most numerous and respectable in the county.” And if we rightly read the signs of the times in this section of our land, as well as throughout New England generally, there is a great and constantly increasing number of thinking persons, who, while they are still ranked nominally in Orthodox societies, so called, are finding it more and more difficult to pronounce, articulately, the shibboleth of the sect.
This interesting and very characteristic Discourse is brought to a conclusion, by a train of pensive and solemn thought. “If,” says the author, “the question of improvement has respect to the members of the society, who are the individuals to whom I can appeal? They, who with me began their course of Christian improvement, are removed from life; but one man remains, of those who invited me to settle with them as their minister; and but two women now live, who, at that time, were heads of a family. With one exception, I am the oldest man in the parish, and his connexion with us was but of yesterday. ... I have outlived my generation; and in the midst of society may be considered as a solitary man."
This is, indeed, an affecting example of the continually repeated lesson of the transitoriness of human relations, and the nothingness of human life. Fifty years ago he stood in the midst of a circle of nearly sixty families, most of whom were in early life. But he has lived to see one familiar face, after another, leave its accustomed spot in the house of God; and he has followed nearly six hundred persons of his religious fold to the “mightier congregation of the dead.” But though he has "outlived his generation," let him not think that he is a “solitary man.” Let him call to mind the sentiment ascribed to the elder Cato; -“Non cani, non rugæ, repente auctoritatem arripere possunt ; sed honeste acta superior ætas fructus capit auctoritatis extremos. Hæc enim ipsa sunt honorabilia, quæ videntur levia atque communia, salutari,
appeti, decedi, assurgi, deduci, reduci, consuli.” Let him feel, too, that he is held in respect and filial reverence by the children of his earlier associates and friends, and that, in the beautiful language of the Levitical law, they are all glad to “rise up before the hoary head, and to honor the face of the old man.'
Art. VII. – Miscellanies. By HARRIET MARTINEAU. In
Two Volumes. Boston: Hilliard, Gray, & Co. 1936. 12mo. Pp. 352 and 402.
Ther, who have read Miss Martineau's “ Illustrations of Political Economy,” will recognise the aspect of her genius, as displayed in the present work, to be another and the same,
reminding us of a strong family likeness pervading countenances of different features, while each is stamped with its own individual expression. In her “ Illustrations,” she treats of man in his social relations, and traces the good or evil effects which spring from obedience to, or violation of, those laws of production, distribution, and consumption, upon which the physical well-being of communities, and the happiness of the individuals composing them (so far as happiness is affected by outward circumstances), depend. Certain political and economical problems are wrought out, in which men and women stand for the figures. Though, in the prosecution of her task, most vigorous, just, and beautiful delineations of character are presented to us, and we are brought to see the very pulses of the naked human heart throbbing with hope and fear, joy and despair,- to watch that great conflict in which, with victory inclining from one side to the other, the mind and soul of man are ever struggling with the events which are his training and discipline, yet this is something incidental, - the illustration strictly ; while the thing illustrated is a truth depending upon those physical necessities which are common to the race, and upon those laws of demand and supply, which are as invariable and unalterable as the laws of natural science. But, in most of the articles composing the present collection, the writer's aim has been to treat of those influences, which operate upon man considered as an individual, which are the common heritage of humanity, the lessons taught by God to all his children, and which, though they may be modified by the position in which we are placed in social life, do not grow out of or depend upon it. Her themes have principally been drawn from that class of truths, which would concern Robinson Crusoe in his lonely island, no less than the inhabitant of the most populous metropolis on the globe. The religious principle, in its various stages of growth, and as operating upon minds of different classes and of the same class with different degrees of advancement, is discussed and illustrated with a fulness and clearness, admirable in themselves, and in such a manner as cannot fail to afford great help to those who are in any of the transition-states described. The sources of moral power, and the means by which the moral nature may be elevated and strengthened, are pointed out with a distinctness, which will win her the gratitude of many, over whose souls the dark shadows of doubt and self-distrust are yet hanging. She would fain lead the human soul to those fountains at which alone its immortal thirst can be slaked, arm the human mind with those truths which are its proper panoply, and fill the human heart with those affections in which alone it can find repose.
But the points of resemblance between the “ Miscellanies” and the “ Illustrations” are many and striking. There are the same beauty and transparency of style, the same freshness and originality of thought, the same sympathy with the race in contradistinction to certain favored individuals or favored classes, the same want of reverence for forms and creeds and usages and opinions which a man practises and holds for no better reason than that his father practised and held them before him, the same disposition to question, examine, and take nothing for granted, the same healthy devotional spirit, the same sensibility to everything morally beautiful and true, the same comprehensive charity, the same clearsighted faith.
The two volumes before us contain a variety of miscellaneous articles, originally written as contributions to periodical works, during the years 1829-1832. Among them there is, of course, much diversity of style and character, as well as inequality of merit. so definite plan bas been followed in their arrangement, which was intended solely for
convenience of reference. Miss Martineau, however, in her Preface (in itself a striking and valuable production, and by no means to be skipped over by the impatient reader,) has given us a sort of catalogue raisonné of the various articles, by the aid of which, they assume the semblance of a symmetrical and proportionate whole. The book should be read in connexion with the Preface, not only to do full justice to the writer, but for the sake of the greater benefit which the reader may thereby derive from it. The following paragraph presents us with the “presiding idea ” of the whole work.
“On looking over these pieces, after an interval of four years, during which they were wholly forgotten, it is evident to me that one presiding idea must have been in my mind during the composition of the whole; dawning over the first, and brightening up to the last. One piece bears the name of The Progress of Worship.' This name might, with equal propriety, be given to the tale called Solitude and Society; to the parable of the Hermit who went out to his matins; to the verses headed The Three Ages of the Soul; and to the 2d No. of the Sabbath Musings : and I am finally tempted to give this title to the whole book. Its application, however, might not appear so clear to others as to myself; and I shall therefore confine myself to indicating it by a second classification in this Preface.” - Vol. 1. p. iii.
Miss Martineau then proceeds to define and describe the various stages of the religious sentiment, and points out the several articles appropriate to each stage as having been written in reference to it. We should be glad to extract largely from this portion of the Preface ; but our limits will not allow us to take the whole, and, justice to the writer forbidding us to dissever a part from its connexion with the remainder, we must content ourselves with the following paragraph at the close.
“I am far from imagining that there is any thing new or peculiar in this idea of the progress of worship : but, though it may be found traced out in every page of the Gospel, and wrr: pht out in the lives of the noblest of heathens before, and thu wisest of Christians since its date, it can hardly be said to be sufficiently familiar to us as long as we see religion treated as a concern apart from all other concerns; waited for, as for a morning and evening breeze, instead of being unconsciously breathed, as the element by which we live. It cannot be said to be sufficiently fa
Vol. 1. p.
miliar to us, as long as any intend to be men of business in the prime of life, and Christians some time or other. It cannot be said to be sufficiently familiar to us, while any of us are supine under the abuses of society, or terrified at the march of events, or paralyzed by human opinion, or falling short in any way in those duties in which religious sentiment is designed to be a sufficient stimulus and support.
Indifference in such duties is a sufficient proof that our religion has not engaged our human affections ; that our worship, if we worship, has not advanced beyond the second stage of its progress.”
The most obvious characteristic of this work, and that which strikes the most superficial reader at a glance, is the extensive range of its subjects, and the various forms in which the mind of the writer addresses that of the reader. Almost every sort of intellectual taste can here find its congenial food. There is the milk of narrative and parables for babes, and the strong meat of metaphysics and philosophy for men. Religion is here elevated to meet the wants of the doubting and questioning sage, and there brought down to the comprehension of the child, who, with clasped hands at his mother's knee, seeks to give utterance to the dawning sentiment of worship. In one place, we behold the stream of devotional feeling gushing warm from the heart of faith, and, in another, the spirit of examination and inquiry is pushed to a degree of boldness which will alarm some " weak brethren.” Poetry and prose, tales and reviews, literary criticism, philosophical essays, metaphysical analysis, and theological speculation alternate with each other, and present their various attractions to various tastes; and yet there is a certain unity in the midst of all this diversity. Each production has the strong stamp of individuality. In whatever form she is presenting her thoughts, and whatever class of minds she is addressing, we can perceive that the same interests are uppermost with her, and she is not losing sight of that vocation to which, as a writer and thinker, she has been called. There is nothing of the tame formality of imitation, or of that coldness which springs from the same interest, or rather the same want of interest, in every thing; but there is the warm flush of sympathy on every page, and every sentence comes fresh and sparkling from the fountains of the heart. Her views and opinions are entirely her own, and have not been borrowed or taken upon trust. Whatever may be thought of their sound