Imágenes de páginas

tinctive excellencies of each. Both possessed great originality; Mr. Toller not so much in the stamina of his thoughts, as in

the cast of his imagination :' that of Mr. Fuller appeared chiefly in his doctrinal statements.

• Mr. Fuller convinced by his arguments, Mr. Toller subdued by his pathos: the former made his hearers feel the grasp of his intellect; the latter the contagion of his sensibility. Mr. Fuller's discourses identified themselves, after they were heard, with trains of thought; Mr. Toller's with trains of emotion... Mr. Fuller was chiefly distinguished by the qualities which command veneration; Mr. Toller by those which excite love.'

Candour, in all the modes of its operation,' was a conspicuous feature in the character of Mr. Toller; a candour connected with genuine humility and benevolence. And here his Biographer takes occasion, while doing justice to this rare quality in his friend, to introduce one of those admirable remarks which imbody the profoundest wisdom in language so simple, that we are led to wonder that we never saw the subject before in so clear and just a light.

• Whether his benevolent solicitude to comprehend within the pale of salvation as many as possible, may not sometimes have led him to extenuate the danger of speculative error too much, may be fairly questioned. Since the charity which the Scriptures inculcate, consists in a real solicitude for the welfare of others, not in thinking well of their state, he cannot be justly accused of a violation of its dictates, who contends that those doctrines are essential to salvation, on which his own hopes of it are exclusively founded.'

But we must not indulge ourselves in any further extracts from this delightful memoir, and we are but little disposed to turn from it to the business of criticism. Mr. Hall 'has, indeed, characterised these discourses better than we could do ; and it is proper to state, that those which are here selected from the Author's short-hand manuscripts, are given as memorials, rather than as specimens of his preaching, and appear under all the disadvantages of unrevised posthumous compositions. They are in number fourteen, on subjects per culiarly interesting. A very striking anecdote is connected with the third sermon, on the peculiar blessedness of Chris

tian connexions,' founded on 1 Pet. iii. 7. If we are rightly informed, it was preached on the occasion of the recent marriage of a member of his congregation; and we believe that the fact was learned from Mr. Toller's own lips, that it was the means of conversion to an aged couple, strangers in the town, who had been led by accident to Mr. Toller's place of worship. It appeared that the hearts of both were very deeply im

[ocr errors]

pressed; so much so, that after they had retired to rest, it prevented their sleeping; yet, the one was quite unconscious of what was passing in the other's mind, till at length a mutual discovery took place of the state of feeling which had held them awake; on which they, as by a common impulse, arose, and, for the first time in their lives, united in heartfelt supplication to Him who heareth prayer. We cannot take a better specimen of the Discourses, than is furnished by a very striking passage in this sermon.

3. Providence has so ordered it, that Christians should be, not only fellow-heirs, but fellow helpers to eternal life.-When you see a poor man go along the streets well-clothed, if you have a benevolent mind, such a sight naturally affords you pleasure ; but what a rich addition to that pleasure would it be, if God had given you the ability and the heart to clothe him! If your children are comfortably provided for, and are doing well in the world, it is not only a gratification to you that they are so, but a rich addition to that gratification, that, by his blessing on your industry, God has enabled you so to provide for them. So, it is not only an instance of rich grace, that there should be such a blessing as eternal life, and that Christians should be heirs to it, and going together to the possession of it; but also that God has so ordered it, that one shall be the means of helping another to it ;-that an affectionate wife, by her prayers and her becoming conversation and example, shall be the means of turning the face of her husband heavenwards; that a pious parent, by his assidụity, his prayers, and his instructions, shall be instrumentally the spiritual leader and guide of his child to the blessedness of eternal life; that a faithful, laborious minister shall not only go to heaven himself, but shall be the instrument and means of drawing with him acores and hundreds of his poor, ignorant, sinful, dying fellow-creatures. And I cannot but think God has graciously so ordered it, be cause it is so eminently endearing and delightful to reflect, not only that others are going to heaven as well as ourselves, and those that are dearest to us; but that he has honoured us as instruments in conducting them thither. Thus God has not determined that I should have but one heaven: I am to have two heavens-ten heavens hundred heavens-not only in being there mycelf, not only in seeing, those dearest to me there, but even in having been the means of conducting them thither. What must be the sensations of an individual, who, on actually entering heaven, shall behold a wife or a husband, a child or children, and a number of Christian converts, dressed in all the grandeur of eternity, and triumphing in all the blessedness of the sky! Indeed, what the sensations must be, arising from the reflection that God honoured my poor prayers, instructions, and labours, in making them the humble instruments of all this, is not to be conceived. The Scripture gives us some grand bints upon the subject, and that is all. “They that be wise for teachers) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever." "What is our hope,


or joy, or crown of rejoicing ? Are not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming! For ye are our glory and joy." “ Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know, that he who converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." This is enough fer us. And let us only imagine, as well as we can, what their sensations must be on meeting in heaven!!

pp. 65–68. The concluding paragraph was admirably adapted to have that effect in rousing the conscience, which, in the instance above related, it appears to have had.

" 5. How terrible is the sentiment of the text reversed !--Heirs together of the wages of sin and death! Friends, professing to love one another, united in ties of nature and duty, but united to earn the wages of unrighteousness! Fellow-travellers to destruction ! Fellow-helpers to the regions of everlasting death! Mutually cherishing worldly dispositions, instilling corrupting and carnal principles, and training up others for the devil, thus making provision for mutual misery! They also must meet in another state: but who can bear to think what a meeting it must be! If parents and families, husbands and wives, townsmen and neighbours, people who have met together to hear the Gospel, meet in hell, and have been the means of leading each other thither-what looks! what upbraidings! what

We turn with horror from the scene! God forbid that any of us should ever realize it! Amen.'

We have no room for further extracts, but must notice as peculiarly striking and valuable, the two discourses' on the • influence of what we call trifles on our future state.' That is a very excellent one, entitled, “ Habitual Remembrance of • Christ urged.' The first two contain many highly impressive passages; but the definition of Omnipotence (pp. 3–6.) justifies, we think, the opinion of Mr. Toller's Biographer, that his talent, lay in force and beauty of illustration, rather than in comprehension or depth of thought. The last sermon is that to which Mr. Hall refers as producing so overwhelming an impression on the audience. It will be read under every disadvantage; and it is perhaps saying all that can be said for a sermon to which we are led to bring expectations wrought up to an unreasonable pitch, that it has enabled us to conceive of the effect attributed to it on delivery. A noble simplicity and a careless grandeur are described to have been the distinguishing features of his eloquence. This simplicity is stamped on all his compositions ; but the charm of his manner, by which

the mind was captivated and subdued it scarce knew how,' cannot be transferred to the written memorial. It is like Vol. XXI. N. S.


[ocr errors]

touching a fine instrument, from which we may draw tones that convince us of its power, but the master-hand is wanting

Art. V. 1. Recollections of the Peninsula. By the Author of

Sketches of India. 8vo. pp. 262. Price 8s. London. 1823. 2. The Personal Narrative of a private Soldier, who served in the

Forty Second Highlanders, for Twelve Years during the late War. 12mo. pp. 264. Price 6s. London. 1821. NHESE two publications will mutually illustrate each other.

The one is written by an officer, the other by a private ; they describe the same scenes, and give us different versions of the same glorious story-war with all its maddening excitement,--war with all its liorrors. We have already adverted to the former work in reviewing Dr. Southey's History of the Peninsular War, and it was not our intention to defer so long a more particular notice of its contents. Its Author unites the somewhat discordant characters of a military enthusiast and a sentimentalist. He talks of Xenophon and Polybius, but moralises like Mackenzie and Sterne. He has an eye for the picturesque ; and a march through Spain afforded ample opportunities of gratifying his taste, in the costume, the scenery, and the military spectacle, while his feelings seem to have partaken of the intoxication of romance. We could have fancied that we were at times reading the imaginative descriptions of Geoffrey Crayon, rather than the account of a sanguinary campaign ; so much does the man of feeling predominate in these pages, over the scientific soldier.' They are the “ recollections," evidently, of one who was a very young officer at the time, and they strikingly contrast with the matter of fact narrative of the old soldier. A sentence which the Writer found scratched in charcoal on the wall of a chapel at Albuera, comes pretty near the truth : · La Guerre

en Espagne est la Fortune des Generaux, l' Ennui des Officiers, et le Tombeau des Soldats.'

It is but just to give the Writer's own account of the object he has had in view in drawing up these Recollections.

• I have more than once distinctly stated, that it is not my inten, tion to offer a professional view of the progress and conduct of the war, or to enter at all upon a regular detail of movements and positions. My humble wish is, to draw a picture of campaigning, and if I succeed in recalling one scene of interest to the mind of any veteran who served in the Peninsula, or if I kindle one spark of enthusiasm in the bosom of a youthful soldier, however feebly I may have written, I feel that I shall not have written in vain.' p. 126.

[ocr errors]

was a scene

Now according to our young hero's testimony, nothing is more inspiriting, exciting, and even amusing than a campaign. • To follow up a retreating army,' for instance, 'is at all times

amusing ; but when you do so for the first time, your curiosity and pleasure are almost puerile. (p. 127.) . Our business

.' among the rocks,' he says on another occasion, of laughter and diversion, rather than of bloodshed and peril; for though some of the enemies' grenadiers discharged their muskets at us before they broke them, still, our loss was very trifling, and the danger too inconsiderable to be thought or spoken of.' (p. 173.) The soldier's wants

• are all provided for : he is fed and clothed; he sleeps, too, in comparative tranquillity; for, wrapt in his watch-cloak,

he reposes in a camp, surrounded by arms and comrades, • and ever prepared for resistance, which may indeed bring • with it death, but a death always honourable, seldom unre

а venged.' (p. 119.)

• Neither is the sick bed of a soldier lonely or deserted. It is true, the anxious care and tender offices of a mother, and the affectionate solicitude of a sister, are wanting. Those comforts, which at home are sure to be provided for the chamber of an invalid, are wanting. Yet, here, some warm-hearted friend will smooth the pillow for your feverish head, will speak to you in the manly yet feeling language of encouragement ; will procure, and often prepare for you some delicacy; and, in the dark and silent hour of evening, will sit quietly by your side, consoling you by affectionate pressures of the hand, for pain and suffering, and watching anxiously that nothing may interrupt or scare your needful slumbers. Yes, such a picture is not romantic; in civil life, men have , homes, parents, wives, children, brothers, sisters; but in the profession of arms they become dependent upon friends. No where is friendship more true, more warm, more exalted, than in the army; absence from the mother-country, privation, peril, the pursuit and attain. ment of honour, are so many ties which bind soul to soul, in bonds bright and indestructible.' pp. 74, 5.

'I well remember,' says the Writer, in another place, • how we all gathered round our fires to listen, to conjecture, and to talk about this glorious but bloody event.' This was the Battle of Talavera, in which the division to which our Author was attached, was not engaged; and they * naturally regretted,' he says, that they had borne no share • in the honours of such a day, and talked long, and with an

undefined pleasure, about the carnage."

• Yes, strange as it may appear, soldiers, and not they alone, talk of the slaughter of battle-fields with a sensation which, though it suspends the lively throb of the gay and careless heart, partakes

« AnteriorContinuar »