« AnteriorContinuar »
3 o'clock, P. M. 25 fathoms. As calling me. The perfume from night was coming on, and no moon ten thousand flowers, washed in till half past 11, we steered off a the morning-dew, appears to have little. Although we are now under mingled in the breeze which a vertical sun, the temperature of gently blew from the shore. the air has greatly improved; the Among these I could plainly perthermometer has been at 75. ceive the predominance of the
yellow jessamin, or some one Thursday, Jan. 17.
which exactly resembled it in This morning, agreeably to ex- fragrance. If there were much pectation, about 7 o'clock, Land, to gratify the smell, there was oho! was cried by one of the still more to engross the eye. sailors, and echoed from the fore- The scenery is wild and beauticastle to the quarter-deck-joy ful, and in many respects sublime. seemed to inspire all. I looked, The whole coast is a chain of and strained my eyes again and mountains, which with us would again, to see, but could distin- be thought high. The line is no guish nothing from the horizon ways uniform, but as irregular as but the ocean. In about half an nature ever appears in her wildhour I began to see something, est works ; most rise like cones, which I should, had I not been perfectly pointed at the top; assured to the contrary, have others are cut down to half a taken for a dark cloud. On view- cone ; some are almost spherical ; ing however, frequently, I found and here and there a square mass that, contrary to the nature of a rises, with such a disproportion cloud, its line was invariable. between the top and base, that Habit is every thing. A Birming- the slightest concussion of the ham manufacturer has a more ex- earth would overturn it. As far quisite touch than the most deli- as the eye can carry you along cate female hand ; he can feel the coast, the mountains which the defect of polish on a smooth bind it have the wild and ragged surface, or of edge on an instru- appearance. From this first spement, which no eye or other touch cimen you will readily conclude can detect. So seamen discern that I began to form the most objects at a distance, which wholly pleasing anticipation of the healthbafile ordinary vision.
fulness and beauty of the Bra
zillian country. I already imaFriday, Jan. 18. gined, that, seated on a bank of
as I lay on Howers, under some broad spreadmy bed, contemplating the sere- ing shade, I was eating the orange, nity and pleasantness of the morn- the banyapa, the mango, and all ing, while the sun shone through the fruits of the tropic, in their the cabin windows, Mr. Johnson, perfection. I seemed already to from the deck, cried to me to inhale the fragrance of the flowcome and smell the flowers from ers springing in their deep valthe shore.
As we were full ten leys, and to contemplate with miles off, I supposed that he must transport the crimson velvet of be under some illusion. I had the amyrillis formosissima, and all however scarcely reached the the host of plants which have deck, before I thanked him for been said to present such new Vol. II....No. 10.
and superior beauties in this re- manifestations of it are but little gion,
distinguishable from the habits of previous life and manners. In
ternal evidence may be perfectly Lord's day, May 5.
satisfactory after this change, and This is the fifty-second day since we left Rio Janeiro. Be may gather strength by time and fore this I had hoped to have cisive at the moment, as hardly to
experience, yet may be so indefilled up many a page to my admit of direct inferences or deBut I have had enough to do to ductions. Regeneration is most drag this crazy frame from one
evident in those who have passed part of the vessel to another. their early life in opposition to all have been manifestly much worse religion. In proportion to the during the greater part of this vehemence of their opposition to voyage ; all my symptoms seemed the opportunities they have had to have been aggrevated. For of displaying their enmity, and to the first sixteen days, instead of
the number of persons who may gaining, the wind was so much have been injured, perbaps ruahead that we were to the south- ined, by the public propagation ward of our port. We then got of their erroneous principles and a wind which enabled us to lay iniquitous practices, is the attenour course; but before we got to tion which is attracted by a moral the line we were becalmed not revolution in their sentiments and less than another fortnight. We
conduct. are at present, by the good hand
It is well known that Voltaire, of our God, brought to what we for instance, had done all that was hope will prove only a few days possible for wit, and sheer, and run to our port. On this day, as malevolent misrepresentation to usual, we had our religious ser- do, towards the entire eradication vice.
of Christianity : nothing less would content him. It was the joy of his heart, the business of his life, the study of his whole mind, to
defame the sacred Scriptures, the The Conversion of Mr. De La Gospels especially; and so great
Harpe, a French Infidel Philo- was his antipathy to the Divine sopher.
Author and Finisher of our Faith,
that (Charity would hope, even THE circumstances attendant of Voltaire, that those are mistaon conversion are extremely va- ken who thus interpret it) the rious. In those who have hap- private mark placed at the corner pily been favoured with the of his letters, to remind his conunspeakable advantage of reli- fidential friends of their duty, was gious education, they are seldom E. L' 1.-Eerasez l'Infame; very sudden or very observable. “ Crush the wretch ;"—meaning, It may even be doubted, whether by the wretch, the Saviour of the the subject of this important world! What was the state of change is always aware of the mind of the dying Voltaire, his time or manner in which the fact disciples have diligently concealtook place, since the externalled from the public. But if he
had been so changed some years governors of France, during many before his death, as to vindicate a turbulent scene, were somethat faith which he formerly vili- times friendly, sometimes inimifed, what a striking instance of cal, to literature and literati. By all-vanquishing grace would be one of these temporary presihave been !
dencies M. de la Harpe was arThe divine sovereignty did not rested, and shut up in the Luxsee fit to manifest itself in that embourg. The greater number particular instance. Neverthe- of those with whom he had been less, a chief disciple of that particularly connected, had alatheist, no less bitter than his ready suffered on the scaffold; master against the truth, no less and the same fate appeared to be hardened in his guilt,-no less reserved for him. At the mosarcastic in his manner,-no less ment when he was consigned to a determined as an enemy to Christ prison, the opinions of those moand his cross, and as a worshipper dern philosophers with wbom he of the goddess Reason, almighty had associated, were not effaced Reason! lately stood forth as “a from his mind; and, though he brand plucked from the burn- abominated their effects, the prining;" and, after having proclaim-ciples themselves bad not altoed the Gospel to numerous audi-gether lost their influence. tories, has died a penitent and a In this comfortless situation M. believer.
de la Harpe had the happiness of Such of your readers as have finding a fellow-prisoner, whose paid attention to French litera- piety afforded him the means of ture, know that there was a soci-consolation, and by whom it was ety of eminent men of letters recommended to employ himself who held regular meetings, in in studying the Psalms of David, order to canvass the best mode which M. de la Harpe had never of directing their attacks against looked into but as containing Christianity. Diderot was the some poetical beauties; and even patriarch of these atheists.- of these he did not retain the D'Alembert, Duclos, Condorcet, least remembrance.
His new and many others, were members friend, however, fearing lest he of this society. But none was might alarm the philosopher by more conspicuous than M. de la such a proposition, urged this emHarpe. He was the favourite of ployment rather as the means of Voltaire ; repeatedly visited him, amusing his anxious mind; and, and resided with him at Ferney; therefore, requested him to write acted on his theatre, dedicated a mere literary commentary on his first play to him; and, in re- these sublime productions. turn, Voltaire revised his produc M. de la Harpe, charmed with tions,-recommended him to offi- an occupation which was so concial patronage,-secured a party formable to his taste and inclinain his favour,-and, in short, ex- tions, entered at once upon the erted all his interest to render work. At the very commencehim popular. De la Harpe, tread- ment of it, he was convinced that ing in the footsteps of his master, the Psalms contained poetical promoted the French Revolution beauties of a superior character ; to his utmost. The ever-shifting and, as he proceeded, this opinion
чроп те. ,
was proportionably heightened. God whom I had scarcely know The perusal of other pious works What ought I to do? said 1,strengthened the growing dispo- what will be my lot? Upon the sition ; and be, at length, disco- table lay Thomas a Kempis. I vered the real source of those bad been already assured of the consolations, and that help to excellence of his work, of the which the wretched never apply comfort I should derive from it, in vain. This commentary, which and of the power it possessed to was at first undertaken with the sooth my desponding thoughts. I, warmth of gratitude, and continu- therefore, opened the book, as ed with the zeal of piety, became accident directed, and my eyes the preliminary discourse of the fell at once upon these words, translation of the Psalter, the first Behold, I am here, any son; I come work in which the author an- to you because you have colled nounced his conversion.
I read no more. The This conversion was attended instantaneous impression which I with all the marks of a sincere experienced is beyond all exconviction. The manuscript potes pression; and I am as unable to of M. de la Harpe afford an addi- describe as to forget it. I fell tional proof of it. “I was in with my face on the earth, and prison," says he, “ all alone, in bathed in tears; while my words a small chamber, and in a state and my cries were but half utterof profound sorrow ;-but many ed from the violence of my sobdays did not pass before I found bings. At the same time, I found that the study of the Psalms and my heart expanding and relieved, the Gospels, had produced a but, at the very same moment, as strong, though gradual, effect in if it were ready to split. Indeed, my mind. I was already num- I remember very little of this bered among the faithful. I be- situation, but that I wept long, held a new light, but it alarmed and that beyond all comparison : and terrified me, by discovering my heart never experienced such the abyss,--an abyss of forty violent and delicious emotions, years of error. I beheld all the and that these words, Behold I am evil, but could not discern the here, my son, did not cease to reremedy. There was no one to sound, as it were, through my afford me aid. On one hand, my soul, and to arouse all the facul. life appeared before me, repre- ties of it.” sented to me by a light which When M. de la Harpe was libebeamed from the torch of celes-rated from prison, his sole occutial truth. On the other, I looked pation was to support the cause on death, that death which 1 which he had so fervently emdaily expected, and as it was then braced. His Lecons de Littérainflicted. The priest no longer ture, had been long expected. appeared on the scaffold to con- The author, however, resolved sole the dying victim : he as- to make this work subservient to cended it rather to die bimself the interests of religion and the there. Oppressed by these de social principle: a work which solating ideas, my heart sunk originally had no other object within me; and addressing my-than to teach the rudiments of self in a smothered voice to thelliterature and of taste. Great as
the difficulties were which op- his predecessors. Connected as posed themselves to such a de- he had long been with the infidel sign, M. de la Harpe was deter-writers, he was well acquainted mined to pursue it; and, in spite with the strong and the weak of the various obstacles he en- parts of their doctrine ; and, to countered, and the persecutions use his own expression, he had he suffered, he finally succeeded passed almost the whole of his in the execution of it.
life in the camp of the enemy. M. de la Harpe considered it as All the activity of his mind was a duty to proclaim in public those exerted in the sacred cause to truths which he had formerly which he had devoted himself; been 60 unfortunate to oppose ; nor did the continual dangers to and it was with this view that he which he was exposed interrupt resumed the chair of the Lyceum. the tranquillity of his mind. He The effect produced by him at bas often said that this period of the first sitting will never be for- proscription was the happiest of gotten. The orator, in a speech his life. His intimate friends had full of energy and pathos, gave a frequently seen him, when he picture of the national manners, thought himself unobserved by pointed out their causes, and in- them, prostrate on the earth, as spired the crowded audience it were, before God, and displaywith those sentiments of indigna- ing signs of the most lively and tion and regret which he himself sincere repentance. His health, felt.
however, was materially affected The noble and pathetic delive-by bis confinement; and, after ry of M. de la Harpe gave great his return to public notice, he weight to the principles which gradually sunk under a complicahe maintained ; and it was re- tion of disorders. He preserved marked with truth, that his elo- his presence of mind to the last ; quence became
more perfect and when his enfeebled eyes when it was altogether conse-could not bear the light from crated to the support of such a amidst the curtains which were cause. It was to be expected drawn around him, from the that his zeal would attract, as in gloon of this anticipated tomb, he effect it afterward did, the spirit continued to converse with his of persecution; and he was twice friends on the comforts he expeproscribed. An order was issued rienced from religion, on the to get possession of him alive or errors of his life, and on the dead; but he continued to pur- mercy of his God. He died Feb. sue his labours with undisturbed 11, 1303, aged 64.* tranquillity. His “ Defence of In contemplating a character Religion" then occupied his mind. like that of De la Harpe, we must Without consulting the authors make considerable allowances for who had treated the same sub- the circumstances in which it is ject, he confined himself to the placed. The darkness of popery, meditation of the sacred writings, as to spiritual things, is surely and drew from that only source very unfavourable to a searcher the arguments which he opposed to the philosophers. He pos- No. IX. of the Literary Paporanga : a work
* The above particulars are taken from sessed an advantage unkoown to lof great merit.