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The Southern post and literary aspirant. (Macon, Ga.) 1837-1837, September 09, 1837, Image 1

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r AX i > LITERARY ASPIRANT. TWO DOLLARS IN ADVANCE—THREE DOLLARS AT THE END OF THE YEAR—SI 25 SIX MONTHS. c. XL HAWT.EITEH €c CO. iUiscellaiieoiEs Department. From the London Athenseum. AMERICA. [continued.] Among those whose names have crossed the Atlantic and Svhose works are well known in England, is Dr. Channing, of Bos ton. The lay productions, on which the literary reputaiion of this great divine is founded, are verv lew : a small volume oi es says comprises them all. 5 et, m these small limits, the hand of the master are so visible—the thoughts are of such broad sculp- un —the language is so severely beautiful .—and the truth and loftiness of the author s mind are so stamped upon every line, that, and he were not the h adt r ol a pow erful set t, anu should he never write more, h:s fame would have pedestal en ough : the Essay or Napoleon alone would make a reputation. Dr. Cliannmg is the great apos tle of Unitarianism. He was or - iginally a Trinitarian clergyman, and, in those days, not conferr ed remarkable either as Harder or speaker. The change in his sentiments took place while ne was still young : and at that time the believers in his new creed were few. Possessed (by mar riage if we are Hot mistaken) ot a considerable fortune, he was in dependent of worldly considera tions—and, in the same town where he had always lived, begun to preach his t hen unpopular doc trines, with a power and an < o quence which seemed to gather strength from opposition, and soon collected about him an at tentive, and, before long, a believ ing congregation. He has lived to see the Unitarians one ol the most numerous sects in New Eng land. By far the greater propor tion of the educated and wealthy are among his followers; the old est and best endowed univt rsitv is completely in their hands ; and a class of men have sprang up, and are settled over the numerous congregations about Boston, un paralled m any other sect tor tal ent and eloquence. Greenwood, Palfrey, Pierpont, (one of the best American poets,) Dewey, Vv are, Everdtt, (iormeriy a clergyman— How a member of Congress,) Em erson, and others, are not only efficient and influential pastors of churches, but authors of no mean ability, and contributors to the various Miscellanies and Reviews ol the Unitarian press. They all hear about them, however, the impress of their great master. — The sell-possessed, high-bred, polished m inner—the elaborate, brilliant, poetical sermon —the classic and musically-balanced enunciation—the refined allusion —the total absence of those tech nicalities which the profane call can —and the perlect adaptation of tone, style and delivery, to the sensitiveness of “ears polite” — mark them distinctly from all oth er clergy. A more gentlemanly like, scholar-like, ‘thorough-bred’ class of men is not to be found in tiie world. Dr. Cbanning is not an old man —but, for many y< ars, he has been considered, and has considered himself, at death’s door; it was to his hearers as if every sermon must be his last. His mind, how - ev: r, is in nil vigor, and his wri ting. and cv» n bis eloquence, in tins f ell ' & dying state, breathe an undimiuisiied enthusiasm. In person, he is singularly small, ad oftbe slightestpossibl frame: s en m the street, wrapped in a cloak, and covered with a clerical hat, he looks a child in the habil iments o» a man. (We were struck, by the way, when in Ed inburgh, with his resemblance to Jeffrey, tcough a much smaller man even than the critic of the Edinburg Review .) In private conversation, he seems depen dent, suffering, affectionate : his voice is querulous and low ; his steps and manner marked with debility ; and, if you did not stu dy closely his hand and eve, you would n ver imagine yourself in the presence of a man in whom there lived a spark of energy.— He creeps up the pulpit stairs with a feebleness almost painful —w bile the congregation is hush ed in anxious and breathless sym pathy—smks, exhausted, into the corner, and rises at last to give out the psalm, pale, and apparent ly quite unequal to the service.— A dead sih nee follows the first sound of his voice ; and they may well listen—for never were a po et’s words read with such caden ces of music. A prayer follows — low, brief, reverential, and wholly free from the irreverence and fa miliarity common m extempore addresses to the Deity. Another psalm follows—read, perhaps, more distinctly, & w ith less trem ulous debility than the first—and as the echo of the organ dies in the arches of the roof, he rises for the sermon. His cloak has been thrown aside,and he stands before his audience the slightest drapery of a human frame that would serve to keep his soul upon the earth. Across Ins forehead streams a single lock of soft brown hair, contrasted strongly with the transparent whiteness; his thin and hollow' features are calmly and merely intellectual in their pain-worn lines ; and his eye, BEACOIT, SEPTEMBER O, 1807. glow ing with the unnatural bright ness of sickness, large, lambent, and clear, beams with inexpressi ble benignity, li s voice, the most musical to winch it has ev er been our lot to listen, is first heard calm and deliberate, and is not varied till he has laid down the premises of his discourse.— Ten minutes have elapsed—and you have forgotten the man in the interest he has awakened by the truth-like and lucid statement of his theme. He is less a preacher to the hundreds about you, than an intelligent friend making a communication of persona l inter est to yourself. Your mind is wholly ins own. At this point, the strange and peculiar cadences to his voice begin to strengthen and change : his sentences are more varied—from the brief and impressive antithesis to the elo quent appeal, and energy ; and Ins tones, w hich you had thought so solvery sweet, fill and gather power, and seem illimitable in compass and expression. Tussive and almost motionless t.ll now, his slight frame seems to dilate— bis countenance kindles—lns lips seems burning with earnestness and fire ; and v.hcn his thin arm is stretched forth, with its wasted hand, at Lie thrilling crisis of his appeal, he seems trail formed to a prophet—instinct with superna tural revelation, lie goes on, and his discourse is lull of sur prises to the mind and -to the car. Conclusions spring suddenly, and yet with irresistable logic, from the commonnest premises : and his enunciation,to which w e again recur, and which is as varied in its stops and as curious in its ca pabilities as an organ, changes from pathos to command—from calmness to impassioned fervor from the most measured and lin gering music to the most rapid and accumlating enthusiasm— with a wonderous facility, which seems the immediate and burning overflow’ of inspiration. He ceas es—and disappears—and there is no stir in the congregation. He is the first to break his own spell; he has given out the concluding hymn of the service before a sound is heard from the entranced and breathless multitude before him ! We have digressed somewhat, perhaps, in giving this sketch of Dr. Chaimmg as a preacher. As a literary man,how over, his w orks are so few, and so well known, that mere criticism would have been superfluous. For the same reason we do not take up room with unnecessary extract. His writings arc reprinted, and before the English public. [to ije continued.] VOEUEO X. — 210. 2. om: reason for few ale b ai ty. “ Fontaine asked me om day,” says M Chateaubriand, “ whv the w omen of the Jewish race were so much handsomer than the men. I gave him a reason at once poetical and Christian. The Jewesses, 1 replied, have escaped the curse which has alighted upon their fathers, husbands and sons. Not a Jewess was to be seen a mong the crowd es priests end the rabble who insulted the son of Man, scourged him, crowned him with thorns, subjected him to ignominy and the cross. T 1 i women of Judea believed in the Saviour ; they loved, they fol lowed him ; they soothed him un der afflictions. A w oman of Be thany poured on his head the pre cious ointment, which she kept in a vase of alabaster ; the sinner anointed his feet with a perfumed oil, and wiped them with her hair. Christ, on his part, extended his grace and mercy to the Jewesses; he raised from tire dead the son of the widow of Naih, and Mar tha’s brother, Lazarus ; he cured Simon’s mother-in-law, and the woman who touched the hem of his garment. To the Samaritan woman lie was a spring of living wat< r, and a companionate judge to the w oman taken in crime.— The daughters of Jer salem w< pt over him ; the holy women accom pained him to Calvary; balm, and spices, and weeping, sought him at die sepulchre, ‘ Woman, why weepest thou V llis first appear ance was to Magdalen, lie said to her, ‘ Mary !’ At the sound of that voice Magdalen’s eyes w ere opened, and she answered, ‘ Master !’ The reflection of some very beautiful ray must have res ted on the brow of the Jew esses.” [Xew- Yo rk Mirror. THE INFLUENCE OF MUSIC. Oil many occasions, we have urged the culture of Music, as constituting a means of much so cial happiness. It is now pro posed that this should be made a regular branch in our schools, and every friend of the people must wish success to the experi llien t. [Pkila*. lelphia Sa.. Comv r. In urging this consideration, Dr. Channing beautifully remarks: “ I am not now' called to speak of all the good influences of .Mu sic, particular!) of the strength which it may and ought to give to the religious sentiment, and to all pure and generous emotions. — Regarded merely as a refined pleasure, it lias a favorable hear ing on public morals. Let taste and skill in this beautiful art be spread among us, and every fam ily w ill have anew resource ; home will gain a new' attraction ;