Imágenes de páginas

impossible to meet them in any tangi- may have our feelings in a degree eleble form. We would here, by the vated, and may experience a glow of way, remark, that in the more recent pleasure, from some important views Unitarian publications, this mode of which he has disclosed of the literary proceeding has been very consid- connections of theology. We may erably abandoned, and the discus- be even thankful, that although he sions have become far more bold and has pot shown “how high" this sci. open than heretofore. This, we can ence may arise“ above," he has yet not but believe, will, in the end, be proved how deep" it may“ extend favourable to the interests of truth; below"-to the less important objects although it will impose on the advo. of human research. But why did he cales of correct opinion the most not fasten this golden chain to be strenuous and unremitted exertions to throne of God, and let it embrace meet the coming exigencies of the not earth merely, but the eternal kingchurch. There will, at least, be this dom of Messiah ! More than what he advantage in the contest, as it is now has done we have a right to expect likely to be carried on, and that is, in any discussion of a religious subwe shall know fairly what to oppose. ject. At least he who gave to men When sneers and insinuations only are their understanding, has a right to exe produced we know not what to say in pect more for the sake of his glory, reply; but when arguments or some and their good. The connections and thing in the shape of arguments are bearings of religion, or the science brought forward, we can meet them founded on it, reach not their destined with arguments. We would by no limits, till having passed beyond the means, needlessly alarm our readers bourn of mortality, they take in the on this subject; but it would not be invisible world and the interests of to act the part of that wisdom, which the soul. Nor can he in any sense, we might learn from the children of be “a consummate theologian,” who this world, when we see the enemy is not qualified by experimental piety, advancing in all his strength, to neg- to teach a theology of this grand and lect the means of repelling him. We solemn character. Our author's syshave no apprehensions for the finalis- tem of religion, so far as he discloses sue; yet, to justify ourselves in this any, is too meager for creatures that confidence, we must connect our re need all the riches of divine mercy in liance on the King of Zion, with our their forgiveness and salvation. It is own defensive activity.

too cold to affect a heart so josensi. To return to our immediate subject, ble as a sinner's. It is too wrapt up we would only observe further, that in generalities and abstractions, to to those who would wish to find point us to our duties, to administer to pure evangelical sentiment, in an in our wants, or even to inform us that augural discourse of a professor of we have any. If, on the extent and sacred literature in an important sem relations of the science of theology," inary of learning, this production can it was not absolutely necessary in or. not be, in the highest degree, accepta- der to complete the subject, to adble. Our taste indeed may be grati- vert to some of the peculiarities of fied with a style, sufficieotly sweet the gospel; yet it is not perceived and easy to charin the ear, without how this could be entirely avoided sacrificing to elegance of composition, by any one, so imbued with the any thing more valuable. We may spirit of the gospel, as he should be be entertained for the most part, with who " negociates between God and a pure diction, chastened isnagery, man." and rich and choice illustration.


Memoir of the Rev. Henry Martyn, employment, which, dreary and unhealthy

B. D.; Late Fellow of St. John's which he most meritoriously availed himCollege, and Chaplain to the Hon. self. The miners, it seems, are in the habourable East India Company; By it of working and resting alternately every Jobo Sargent, Jun. Second Ameri- four bours; and the periods of relaxation can Edition. Boston, Samuel T. from manual labor, they frequently de.

vote to mental improvement. In these Armstrong, 12 mo. pp. 490.

intervals of cessation from toil, John Mar

tyn acquired a complete knowledge of As two editions of this very inter

arithmetic, and some acquaintance also esting work have already been called with mathematics; and no sooner had he for in this country, and as a review gathered these valuable and substantial of it has appeared in a valuable

fruits of persevering diligence, in a soil

most uofriendly to their growth, than he foreign journal, reprinted among us, was raised from a state of poverty and de. perbaps some of our readers will re pression, 10 one of comparative ease and gret findivg a notice of it in our work, comfort: admitted into the office of Mr.

Daniel, a merchant at Truro, he lived there especially as it is our intention that

as chief clerk, piously and respectably enthis article shall consist mostly of ex- joging considerably more than a competracts. To those who have already tency. At the grammar school in this perused the Memoir of Henry Mar town, the master of which was the Rer. tyn, we would suggest, that others, learning and talents, Henry was placed by

Cornelius Cardew, D. D. a gentleman of perhaps a majority of our readers, his father in Midsummer 1788, being then are ignorant of its contents, and that between seven and eight years of age. it is an act of justice on our part, to

Of his childhood previous to this period, inform them of this valuable accession

little or nothing can be ascertained; but

those who knew him, considered him a to the stock of religious biograplıy; boy of promising abilities.-pp. 14, 15. an accession wbich will be highly prized by every pious reader of it, in The success of young Martyn was this and in succeeding ages.

worthy of his humble but honourable But although many of our readers parentage. At the age of fifteen, he are ignorant of the existence of the became a candidate for a vacant work before us, perhaps there are scholarship at Corpus Christi Col. none, who are entirely unacquainted lege, Oxford, and though unsuccesswith the nature and value of the ser- ful, he passed an excellent examinavices of the subject of it. His name tion. In Oct. 1797, he became a as a missionary and a translator of resident of St. John's College, Cam. the scriptures, is familiar; and few bridge, where, although he commencemployments can be more pleasing or

ed his mathematical course, by atmore useful, than that of attending to tempting to commit the demonstrations the rise and progress of pious feeling of Euclid to memory, an employment in an eminent servant of Christ, and

which did not supply an auspicious of witnessing the manifestation of it omen of future excellence,' he ultiin distant, and heathen lands. mately attained the first station in

bis class. HENRY MARTYN, the subject of this Me. moir, was born at Truro, in the county of The tenor of Henry Martyn's life durCornwall, on the 18th of February, 1781, ing this and the succeeding year he passed and appears, with bis family in general, to at college, was to the eye of the world in have inherited a weak constitution; as of the highest degree amiable and commendmany children, four only, iwo sons and able. He was outwardly moral, with little two daughters, survived their father, Mr. exception was unwearied in application, John Martyn, and all of them, within a and exhibited marks of no ordinary talent. short period, followed him to the grave. But whatever may bave been his exterOf these Henry was the third. His father nal conduct, and whatever his capacity in was originally in a very humble situation literary pursuits, he seems to have been of life, having been a laborer in the mines totally ignorant of spiritual things, and to near Gwenap, the place of his nativity. bave lived " without God in the world." With no education but such as a country The consideration, that God chiefly rereading school afforded, be was compel. gards the motives of our actions,—a conled, for bis daily support, to engage in an sideration so momentous, and so essential

to the character of a real christian, ap. my heart doubly agonized, at the remem pears as yet never to base entered his brance of all my great transgressions mind: and even when it did, as was the against thee ever since I bave known thee case at this time, it rested there as a theo. as such! I left my sister and father in Ocretic notion never to be reduced to prac- tober, and bim I saw no more. I promistice. His own account of bimself is very ed my sister that I would read the Bible striking. Speaking of June 1799, he says, for myself, but on being settled in college, *** (the friend alluded to before) al Newton engaged all my thoughts." tempted to persuade me that I ought to at At length however it pleased God to tend to reading, not for the praise of men, convince Henry by a most afflicting vis. but for the glory of God. This seemed itation of his providence, that there was a strange to me, but reasonable. I resolved, knowledge far more important to him tban therefore, to maintain this opinion thence- any human science; and that, wbilst con. forth ; but never designed, that I remem templating the heavens by the light of asber, that it should affect my conduct.tronomy, he should devote bimself to His What a decisive mark this of an unrenew, service, who having made those heavens, ed mind:- What an affecting proof that did in his nature pass through them as his light may break in on the understanding, Mediator and Advocate. The sudden and whilst there is not so much as a dawn of it heart-rending intelligence of the death of on the heart!

his father was the proximate, though Providentially for Henry Martyn, he doubtless not the efficient cause of his rehad not only the great blessing of possesa ceiving these convictions. How poignant sing a religious friend at college, but the were his sufferings under this affliction, singular felicity likewise of having a sister may be seen in the account be himself bas in Cornwall, who was a christian of a left of it :- from whence it is evident, that meek, heavenly, and affectionate spirit; it was not only a season of severe but of to whom, as well as to the rest of his rela- sanctified sorrow; a seed time of tears, tions there, he paid a visit in the summer promising that harvest of boliness, peace, of the year 1799.-pp. 20, 21.

and joy which succeeded it.

" At the examination at Christmas, It may be well supposed, that to a sister, 1799,” he writes, " I was first, and the acsuch as bis, her brother's spiritual welfare count of it pleased my father prodigiously, would be a most serious and anxious con- who I was told was in good health and cern: and that she often conversed with spirits. What was then my consternation, bim on the subject of religion, we have his when, in January, I received from my own declaration. “I went home this brother an account of bis death! But summer, and was frequently addressed by while I mourned the loss of an earthly pa. my dear sister on the subject of religion ; rent, the angels in heaven were rejoicing but tbe sound of the Gospel, conveyed in at my being so soon to find an heavenly the admonition of a sister, was grating to one. As I had no taste at this time for my my ears." The first result of her tender usual studies, I took up my Bible, thinking eshortations and earnest endeavours was that the consideration of religion was rathvery discouraging: a violent conflict took er suitable to this solemn time; nevertheplace in ber brother's mind, between his less I often took up other books to engage convictions of the truth of what she urged my attention, and should have continued and bislove of the world; and, for the pres. to do so, bad not * * * advised me to make ent, the latter prevailed, yet sisters, simi- this time an occasion of serious rejection. larly circumstanced, may learn from this I began with the Acts, as being the most case not merely their duty, but from the amusing; and, whilst í was entertained final result, the success they may antici. with the narrative, I found myself insensipate from the faithful discharge of it.-"I bly led to inquire more attentively into the think," he observes, when alterwards re doctrine of the Apostles. It corresponded Fiewing this period with a spirit truly nearly enough, with the few notions I had broken and contrite, “I do not remember received in my early youth. I believe on a time when the wickedness of my beart the first night after, I began to pray from rose to a greater height, than during my a precomposed form, in which I thanked stay at home. The consummate selfish. God, in general, for having sent Christ into ness and exquisite irritability of my mind the world. But though I prayed for parwere displayed in rage, malice, and envy, don, 1 bad little sense of my own sinful. in pride and vaio glory and contempt of ness: nevertheless I began to consider my. all; in the harshest language to my sister, self as a religious man. The first time I and even my father, if he happened to dif went to chapel, I saw, with some degree fer from my miod and will : © wbat an ex. of surprise at my former inattention, that, ample of patience and mildness was be! I in the Magnificat, there was a great de love to think of his excellent qualities, and gree of jos expressed at the coming of it is frequently the anguish of my heart, Christ, which I thought but reasonable. that I ever could be base and wicked *** bad lent me Doddridge's Rise and enough to pain him by the slightest neg. Progress. The first part of which I could lectomy God and 'Father, why is not not bear to read, because it appeared to


make religion consist too much in humili. for thyself—seek them not." He ation; and my prond wicked beart would

received the highest academical honnot bear to be brought down into the dust. And ***, to whom I mentioned the gloom

He says, 'I obtained my highwhich I felt, after reading the first part of est wishes, but was surprised to find Doddridge, reprobated it strongly.-- Alas ! I had grasped a shadow. In March, did he think that we can go along the way 1802, he was chosen a fellow of his that leadeth unto life, without entering in at the straight gate!'"-pp. 21–25.

college, and twice discharged the du

ties of a Public Examiner with great It will be perceived that his pious propriety. In October, of the same sister had not laboured in vain ; he year, he determined to labour for the subsequently wrote her:

cause of Christ, as a missionary. With respect to the dealings of the Al

The triumph of Martyn's religion mighty with me, you have heard in gene over the temptations of literature, is ral the chief of my account; as I am worthy of notice. In all schools a brought to a sense of things gradually,

degree of emulation will exist, which there is nothing peculiarly striking in it to particularize. After the death of our fa

must not unfrequently have a very ther you know I was extremely low spirit unhappy influence on the minds of ed; and like, most other people, began to the subjects of it. In colleges, where consider seriously, without any particular the rival parties are of maturer years, determination, that invisible world to which be has gone, and to wbich I must

and the objects in view are more. one day go. Yet still I read the Bible un. valuable, the rivalry must be greater, enlightened and said a prayer or two, and the evils of it proportionally inrather through terror of a superior power, creased. But from to one of our than fiom any other cause. Soon howev. er I began to attend more diligently to the public institutions, can we learn the words of our Saviour in the New Testa. value of those objects for which the ment, and to devour them with delight: members of an English University when the offers of mercy and forgiveness contend ;-we say contend, for the were made so freely, I supplicated to be made partaker of the covenant of grace,

exertions of the rival parties must with eagerness and hope ; and thanks be frequently be associated with the to the ever-blessed Trinity, for not leaving worst of passions, and are frequently me without comfort. Throughout the

In whole, however, even when the light of pursued to the ruin of health. divine truth was beginning to dawn on my

that country, the avenues to every wind, I was not under that great terror of reputable and profitable employment future punishment, which I now see plain. ly I had every reason to feel : I look back obstacles intervene, which excessive

are crowded, and in addition to this, row upon that course of wickedness, which, like a gulph of destruction, yawn premiums only can remove; for eved to swallow me up, with a trembling de ery thing a license must be obtainlight, mised with shame at having lived so ed, and for every license sums must long in ignorance, and error, and blind.

be paid, which are prescribed by ness.-pp. 27, 28.

a goveroment versed in the arts of At Cambridge, he now constantly. taxation, and needing all the skill attended on the ministry of Mr. Sim- which it exercises. Stimulated to exeon, and thus 'gradually acquired ertion, by the difficulty of securing an more knowledge of divine things ;'. independence, and by the rewards of but he says, 'I can only account for successful literary exertion, the scholmy being stationary so long, by the ar who is without patrons or good rea : intenseness with which I pursued my sources, feels that he is striving for studies, in which I was so absorbed the comforts and conveniences of life. that the time I gave to them seemed If successful, he obtains a fellowship, not to be a portion of my existence.' worth perhaps two or three times the At the public examination for de- salary of a President of Yale College ; grees," his mind was singularly com and a fellowship may be a stepping posed by the recollection of a sermon stone to some of the livings in the which he had heard not long before, gift of his college. If he do not oba on the text Seekest thou great things tain a fellowship, the good scholat

may find other very eligible situa- tion and determined perseverance, tions; and distinction at the Univer- with which he followed his mathe sity will be a good security for 'obtain- matical pursuits, which increased ing them. These circumstances, in their power by use, and which at addition to all the common induce- length in the Senate-House, gave him ments to exertion, incite the students the first rank among men of great to the most unremitted labour. Hen- taleots, and as great industry, enabled ry Kirke White, who fell a victim to him also to make unusual advances interise application, said that if he in divine knowledge. The great atwere to paint a picture of Fame, tention which he gave to the instruccrowning a distinguished undergradu- tions of Newton, enabled him to give ale, after the Senate-House examina- still greater to the precepts of his tion, he would represent her as con God. He had a daily subject for recealing a Death's head under the ligious meditation, and doubtless felt mask of beauty. This however, is the value of that power of mental abnot all the evil. Ambition, envy, straction which Stewart places among and other evil passions, must of course the faculties, but which is evidently spring up, and the youthful christian the product of patient study. Ail is in great danger. The same grace his knowledge became consecrated. which enabled White to come off, un His acquisitions of every kind were impaired in moral worth, from such devoted to the cause of religion. It dangerous ground, called Martyn in- was in this spirit that he determined to the kingdom while a student, and on a mission to the heathen. His enabled him to triumph over the temp- self-devotion was not that of a man tations of learning. Severe applica- who had nothing to relinquish, and tion to science perhaps retarded his little to hope for. He had learned, progress, but christian principle in- not so much by the afilictive dispencreased io strength, and gained a de- sations of God, as by the teachings of cided victory

his Spirit, that all is vanity; and he Some might have supposed from acted in conformity with the lesson the manner of his conversion, from taught him. While he was the object of the fact that his convictions of sin high regard for his talents and acquirewere not unusually great, and that he ments, while in the enjoyment of a was brought to a sense of things fellowship which secured him an hongradually,' that he would not have ourable independence, while surbeen eminent for piety. Such con rounded by friends who were uncomvictions of sinfulness, as some at the monly dear to him, and who abunperiod of their conversion are favour- dantly repaid his attachment, and ed with, are undoubtedly very desira- while the future presented an inviting ble. They leave an impress upon prospect, fair to the eye, and rich in the mind, which gives to it a deter- every valuable product, Martyn, lookmined character, and are perhaps ing not at the things which are seen, productive of that ardour in the cause but at those which are not seen, with of religion, which renders the posses a determination which nothing could sors of it so useful. The case of Mar. shake, but with a humility which was tyn, however, is one of the exceptions unfeigned, said to those who wished . to the general rule, if such rule exists; for messengers of the grace of God and bis religious character was one to the heathen, "Here am I, send of uncommon excellence.

me.' The sacrifice which he made We have seen that he rose superi was a free-will offering, but the deour to the temptations which sur

voted victim was not insensible to rounded him at college. Not only did the consequences of such self-denial. be triumph over them; he made his Such was the result of his convicacquisitions subsidiary to his religious tion of religious truth. He made conimprovement. That patient atten- tinual advances in the divine life. In

« AnteriorContinuar »