Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

She ap

a prevailing solicitude for the salvation of others. peared early to feel, what is more frequently acknowledged than deeply experienced, the infinite value of infinite things. The spiritual world was to her a reality near at hand. It was not a mysterious, distant, uncertain future, seldom thought of, and scarcely believed; but it unveiled itself to her mind as a vast and solemn scene, which a few shifting moments would inevitably and clearly unfold to her; far more certain than the light of to-morrow's dawn, and incomparably more important than all that is dear and interesting in the enjoyments of to-day. From this impressive view, a lively concern for the safety of those around her would naturally arise. Among her school-fellows, and in the bosom of her family, she commenced her missionary labours; and let those, who, animated by her example, are ready to exclaim-Almost thou persuadest me to be a missionary--but who yet fear to encounter the dangers and privations of the service in a foreign land, resolve to imitate her as a missionary at home. Who has not a brother or sister, or friend, or servant, still a heathen at heart? Who might not, if duly impressed with the nearness and solemnity of the invisible state, and suitably anxious to improve every opportunity for impressing others, expend the zeal of a missionary within his own circle, and by judicious, affectionate, and persevering exertions, in that limited sphere, perform his part in evangelizing the world? Is it possible, indeed, that an individual, the subject of a conviction so deep and abiding, could be found, who would not surmount every obstacle which timidity, on the one hand, and obduracy or reproach, on the other, could throw in his way, in the hope of carrying his friends and associates with him to heaven? It is true, that some portion of Apostolic courage is necessary even for this; and let no one who shrinks from the smaller difficulty, suppose himself qualified to encounter the greater, with every fearful form of persecution and death in at distant land. The trial of cruel mockings, though painful, is not so severe as many a conflict which the missionary exile is called to endure.

It would be an act of injustice to the interesting narrative of Mrs. Newell's life and sufferings, were we to detach any part of it from its connexion with the whole; and we deny ourselves the melancholy pleasure of selecting those passageswhich are most deeply affecting, in order that their impresOf sion may not be weakened upon the reader's mind. this narrative,' says the English Editor, there is no part so deeply touching as the letter addressed by Mr. Newell, to his mother; hard, indeed, must that heart be, that can remain unmoved when this is perused.' And though, at the moment, our feelings objected to such a preparation, as likely to diminish the interest it was calculated to excite, yet

6

after perusing it ourselves, we cannot refuse a similar testimony, nor avoid pointing out this mournful letter, as a pattern of considerate tenderness in disclosing the death of her child to a widowed mother, and of Christian principle supporting a broken heart.

In consequence of this afflicting event, an admirable sermon, which is subjoined to the present Memoir, was preached at Haverhill, Mrs. Newell's native town. The text is chosen from Matthew, ch. xix. v. 29:-" And every one that hath forsaken "houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, "or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shail receive an "hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." • But

where,' says the writer, shall we find the singular character exhibited in the text? I answer, in every place, and in every "condition of life, where we find true religion.' And after illustrating this in various instances, he proceeds

• The Christian missionary, whose motives are as sublime as his office, forsakes all for Christ, in a remarkable sense. The proof which he gives of devotion to Christ, is indeed of the same nature with that which other christians give; but it is higher in degree. Others for. sake the world in affection, but enjoy it still. He renounces the enjoyment, as well as the attachment. Other christians esteem Christ above friends and possessions, and yet retain them far enough for the gratification of their natural affections. The missionary, who has a right spirit, counteracts and mortifies natural affection, by actually abandoning its dearest objects. The distinction, in short, is this: other christians have a willingness to forsake all for Christ; the missionary naturally forsakes all. The cause of Christ among the heathen possesses attractions above all other objects. It has the absolute control of his heart. He forsakes father and mother, house and land, not because he is wanting in affection for them, but because he loves Christ more. He forsakes them because his heart burns with the holy desire, that Christ may have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.'

The sermon concludes with an address to the friends of the missionary cause; and the strain of it, together with the melancholy occasion, is so applicable to a recent event, that we shall give it entire, as well suited to animate English zeal, and to support the minds of English mourners.

Let not your hearts be troubled by the adverse circumstances which have attended the commencement of our Foreign mission. Recollect the various hindrances, disappointments, and sufferings, encountered by the Apostles, the first missionaries of Christ; who yet were destined to spread the triumphs of his cross through the world. The experience of ages leads us to expect that designs of great moment, especially those which relate to the advancement of Christ's kingdom, will be opposed by mighty obstacles. The adverse circumstances, therefore, which have attended the outset of our Foreign

mission, are far from presenting any discouragement. They rather afford new evidence, that this mission is to be numbered with all other enterprises, calculated to promote the honour of God and the welfare of men. These various trials, brethren, are doubtless intended not only to qualify missionaries for greater usefulness, but also to humble and purify all, who are labouring and praying for the conversion of the Heathen. How effectually do these events teach us, that no human efforts can ensure success; that the best qualifications of missionaries abroad, with the largest liberality and most glowing zeal of thousands at home, will be of no efficacy, without the blessing of God. When, by salutary discipline, he shall have brought his servants to exercise suitable humility and dependence, and in other respects prepared the way, no doubt he will give glorious success. The cause is his; and it is vain to depend for its prosperity on human exertions. The death of Mrs Newell, instead of overcasting our prospects, will certainly turn to the advantage of missions. It will correct and instruct those who are labouring for the spread of the Gospel. The publication of her virtues will quicken and edify thousands. It will also make it apparent, that the missionary cause has irresistible attractions for the most excellent characters. Her character will be identified with that holy cause. Henceforth, every one who remembers Harriet Newell, will remember the Foreign mission from America. And every one, who reads the history of this mission, will be sure to read the faithful record of her exemplary life and triumphant death. Thus, all her talents, the advantages of her education, the beauties of her mind, and the amiableness of her manners, her refined taste, her willingness to give up all that was dear to her in her native land; her fervent love to Christ; her desires and prayers for the advancement of his kingdom; her patience and fortitude in suffering, and the divine consolations which she enjoyed, will all redound to the honour of that sacred cause, to which all she had was devoted. Her life, measured by months and years, was short; but far otherwise, when measured by what she achieved. She was the happy instrument of much good to the holy kingdom of Christ, which deserved all her affections and all her labours. She died in a glorious cause. did she pray, and weep, and die in vain. Other causes may miscarry; but this will certainly triumph. The LORD GOD of Israel has pledged his perfections for its success. The time is at hand when the various tribes of India, and all the nations and kingdoms of the earth shall fall down before the King of Zion, and submit chearfully to his reign. A glorious work is to be done among the nations. Christ is to see the travail of his soul, and all his benevolent desires are to be satisfied. The infinite value of his atoning blood is to be completely and universally illustrated; and the full-orbed splendour of redeeming love is every where to shine forth. The power of God will soon accomplish a work, which, seen in distant prospect, has made thousands, now sleeping in Jesus, before leap for joy. Blessed are they who are destined to live when the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. And blessed are we who live so near that day, and even begin to see its bright and glorious dawn. O sun of righteousness arise: shine upon the dark places of the earth; illuminate all the world. Amen.'

Nor

Art. VII. Cona, or the Vale of Clwyd; and other Poems. Foolscap 8vo. pp. 215. Price 7s. 6d. Longman and Co. 1814.

THE requisites that form a poet, are by no means so generally attainable as the increasing number of votaries might lead us to imagine. The materials for their labour may indeed be collected, but the creative and directing genius that plans with decision and effect, and vigorously imbodies its conceptions, is not the result of complacent determination in a writer, nor is it always to be attained even by long study and close intimacy with the highest productions of the art. Indeed, had it been otherwise, a rival of the author of the Eneid, might be expected in the person of some industrious Scaliger; and in the shape of a Bentley or a Porson, a second Horace might start up to administer to the vanity of the great, with learned and courtly elegance.

It is in the power of any diligent mind, to store itself with vivid expressions and beautiful images, and to disburthen itself of these with sufficient facility, according to the rules of art; but if the creative power of invention has not, with more than Midas-touch, enriched and perfected the whole, we look upon such productions with feelings similar to those excited by the. works of the turbaned tribes of modern Greece, who, in the very seat of taste, construct their incongruous and tasteless edifices, with remnants of Parian marble, and the choicest specimens of the chisel.

The story of Cona possesses not the smallest claim either to novelty or interest. Cona, the heroine of the piece, is the daughter of a druid. She marries a young man whom her father has brought up from his infancy, and who proves to be the son of the king of Wales, though, for any consequences that result from this notable discovery, he might as well have been the son of his majesty's goatherd. The nuptial bower is suddenly illuminated by fires from the beacons of Venlis, Moel-y-Gaer, Dwyrdee, Strathalun, &c. and the bridegroom is obliged to sally forth in defence of his country; Cona loses her senses by the fright; and taking a coracle which she finds on the sea-shore, sets off to Ireland, where, after wandering some time, she isdiscovered by her husband, who is very opportunely wrecked on the coast of that island. Cona recovers her senses sufficiently to recognise him, and then dies. Of the numerous common-place passages in this poem, which may strike the superficial reader as very pretty' the description of the heroine may suffice. Yet all the forms that Nature's pencil drew,

Languished when Mervyn's peerless child was nigh;
Her eye was ether's mild unsullied blue,

Her locks the fleeces of the orient sky;

Her cheek had drunk the pure carnation's dye,
That blush'd upon a ground of stainless snow;
Her bosom with the eider-down might vie,
And in her virgin heart emotions glow,

That angels might not blush on heavenly thrones to know.'

p. 6.

The effects of the beacon-fires upon the feathered tribe in their vicinity, is somewhat better.

The indignant eagle springing from his nest,
Enraged that flames usurped his lone domain,
Soared sullenly to seek a place of rest,
To distant hills, but all his search was vain ;
The fires were bright as evening's starry train;
Low in the vale, by the false dawn deceived,

The lark essayed a song, and sunk again.'

The following account of the hero's achievements in the field, exceeds our comprehension..

'On high he towered, no limb was seen to shrink,

Though clouds of darts came thickening through the air,
No form of danger taught a soul to sink,
That soared above the workings of despair
In eye of Meredyth the achievement fair
In virtue's lustre shone, he lightly sprung
On empty car, some rival deed to dare,
That might by bard of future age be sung,
And wake the harp of fame to glory's record strung.
His coursers trampled down the daring foe,
Who opposition to his progress gave:
The flying coward sunk beneath the blow

Of lance, from point of which no speed could save ;-
The astonished line divided like a wave

Cut by a jutting rock, while streams of blood
Distained the horse's hoof, and glowing nave;

The chief beheld with calm intrepid mood,

And springing from the rock, safe on the chariot stood.

Then on the wings of wind the chariot flew,

Swift as the passing wonder of a dream,

Unhurt from wonder's straining gaze withdrew,
As sudden as the rapid lightning's gleam,

That none the sight reality might deem:
'Twas magic all, and mute astonishment.'

From some unaccountable quarrel between the Author's muse and the golden-tressed Aurora, he has chosen to describe that lady, as a grey-headed old man; yet we ought not perhaps to quarrel with the only personification in the work, which has the merit of novelty. The language is not always correct, in regard either to grammar or metre; but it is often elegant, and would have been still more so, if the Author, among his numeVOL. IV. N. S. 2 Z

« AnteriorContinuar »