« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
third things which conduced to its effect alive in the open air in winter, or to keep the when delivered. In May, 1854, Mr. Caird lamp that burns steadily within doors from being preached this discourse in the High blown out if you take it abroad unsheltered from
the wind." Church, Edinburgh, before the Commissioner, who represents her Majesty at the The preacher then speaks of the shifts meetings of the General Assembly of the by which men have evaded the task of Scotch Church, and an exceedingly crowd-being holy, at once in the church and in ed and brilliant audience. Given there, the world; in ancient times by flying with all the skill of the most accomplished from the world altogether, in modern actor, yet with a simple earnestness which times by making religion altogether a prevented the least suspicion of any thing Sunday thing. În opposition to either like acting, the impression it produced is notion, the text suggests : described as something marvellous. Hard
“That piety is not for Sundays only, but for all headed Scotch lawyers, the last men in days ; that spirituality of mind is not appropriate the world to be carried into superlatives, to one set of actions, and an impertinence and declared that never till then did they un- intrusion with reference to others; but like the derstand what effect could be produced act of breathing, like the circulation of the blood, by human speech. But we confess that like the silent growth of the stature, a process now we have these magic words to read that may be going on simultaneously with all our
actions—when we are busiest as when we are quietly at home, we find it something of a idlest; in the church, in the world ; in solitude, task to get through them. A volume just in society; in our grief and in our gladness; in published by Dr. Guthrie of Edinburgh, our toil and in our rest; sleeping, waking; by the greatest pulpit orator of the “Free day, by night; amidst all the engagements and Church,” contains many sermons much exigencies of life.” more likely to interest a reader.
The burden of the discourse is to prove The sermon is from the text, “Not that this is so—that religion is compatible slothful in business ; fervent in spirit, serv- with the business of common life. This ing the Lord."* It sets out thus:
appears, first, because religion as a science, “To combine business with religion, to keep up sets out doctrines easy to be understood by a spirit of serious piety amid the stir and distrac- the humblest intellects; and as an art, sets tion of a busy and active life, this is one of the out duties which may be practised simulmost difficult parts of a Christian's trial in this world. It is comparatively easy to be religious taneously with all other work. It is the in the church—to collect our thoughts and com- art of being and of doing good : and for pose our feelings, and enter, with an appearance this art every profession and calling affords of propriety and decorum, into the offices of reli- scope and discipline. gious worship, amidst the quietude of the Sabbath, and within the still and sacred precincts of not of what words the copy set to him is com
“When a child is learning to write, it matters the house of prayer. But to be religious in the posed, the thing desired being the whatever he world—to be pious and holy and earnest-minded writes, he learns to write well
. When a man is in the counting-room, the manufactory, the market learning to be a Christian, it matters not what place, the field, the farm-to carry our good and his particular work in life may be, the work he solemn thoughts and feelings into the throng and does is but the copy-line set to him; the main thoroughfare of daily life. this is the great diffi. thing to be considered is that he learn to live culty of our Christian calling. No man not lost
well.” to all moral influence can help feeling his worldly passions calmed, and some measure of seriousness The second consideration by which Mr. stealing over his mind, when engaged in the per- Caird supports his thesis is, that religion formance of the more awful and serious rites of consists not so much in doing spiritual or religion ; but the atmosphere of the domestic sacred acts, as in doing secular acts from circle, the exchange, the street, the city's throng, a sacred or spiritual motive. “A man is a very different atmosphere from that of a com- may be a Christian thinker and writer as munion table. Passing from one to the other much when giving to science, or history, has often seemed as the sudden transition from a or biography or poetry a Christian tone tropical to a polar climate—from balmy warmth and spirit, as when composing sermons or and sunshine to murky mist and freezing cold. writing hymns. And it appears sometimes as difficult to maintain
The third and most eloquent division of the strength and steadfastness of religious princi- the discourse illustrates the thesis from ple and feeling when we go forth from the church to the world, as it would be to preserve an exotic the Mind's Power of acting on Latent
Principles. Though we cannot in our * Romans 12:11.
worldly work be always consciously thinking of religion, yet unconsciously, insensi- | earthly rest or relaxation, what the release from bly, we may be acting under its ever-pres- toil after which we so often sigh, but the faint ent control. For example, the preacher, shadow of the saint's
everlasting rest, the rest of amidst all his mental exertions, has under the soul in God! What visions of earthly bliss
can ever, if our Christian faith be not a form, comneath the outward workings of his mind, pare with the glory soon to be revealed'? What the latent thought of the presence of his glory of earthly reunion with the rapture of that auditory.
hour when the heavens shall yield an absent Lord
to our embrace, to be parted from us no more for “Like a secret atmosphere it surrounds and ever? And if all this be most sober truth, what is bathes his spirit as it goes on with the external there to except this joyful hope from that law to work. And have not you, too, my friends, an Au- which, in all other deep joys, our minds are subject? ditor-it may be, a great cloud of witnesses'— Why may we not, in this case too, think often, but at least one all-glorious Witness and Lis. amidst our worldly work, of the house to which we tener ever present, ever watchful as the discourse are going, of the true and loving heart that beats of life proceeds ? Why, then, in this case, too, for us, and of the sweet and joyous welcome that while the outward business is diligently prosecuted, awaits us there? And even when we make them may there not be on your spirit a latent and con- not, of set purpose, the subject of our thoughts, is stant impression of that awful inspection ? What there not enough of grandeur in the objects of a worldly work so absorbing as to leave no room in believer's hope to pervade his spirit at all times with a believer's spirit for the hallowing thought of a calm and reverential joy? Do not think all this that glorious Presence ever near ?"
strange, fanatical, impossible. If it do seem so, it
can only be because your heart is in the earthly, but We shall give but one extract more, not in the higher and holier hopes. No, my friends! the final illustration of this third head of the strange thing is, not that amidst the world's discourse. It is a very good specimen of work we should be able to think of our house, but one of those exciting and irresistible that we should ever be able to forget it ; and the bursts by which Caird sweeps away his stranger, sadder still, that while the little day of
life is passing-morning, noontide, evening-each audience. Imagine the following senten- stage more rapid than the last ; while to many the ces given at first quietly, but with great shadows are already fast lengthening, and the defeeling, gradually waxing in energy and clining sun warns them that the night is at hand, rapidity, and at length, amid dead still wherein no man can work,' there should be those ness and hushed breaths, concluded as amongst us whose whole thoughts are absorbed in with a torrent's rush :
the business of the world, and to whom the reflec
tion never occurs, that soon they must go out into -"Or, have we not all felt that the thought of an eternity, without a friend, without a home! ticipated happiness may blend itself with the work of our busiest hours ? The laborer's coming release from toil, the schoolboy's coming holiday,
The discourse thus ends, in orthodox or the hard-wrought business man's approaching Scotch fashion, with a practical concluseason of relaxation—the expected return of a long sion. absent and much loved friend-is not the thought We think it not unlikely that the serof these or similar joyous events, one which often mon has been toned down a good deal beintermingles with, without interrupting, our com fore publication, in anticipation of severe mon work? When a father goes forth to his ' labor till the evening,' perhaps osten, very often, in the
criticism. Some passages which were very thick of his toils
, the thought of home may start effective when delivered, have probably up to cheer him. The smile that is to welcome been modified so as to bring them more him, as be crosses his lowly threshold when the thoroughly within the limits of severe good work of the day is over, the glad faces and merry taste. Mr. Caird need not have feared hosvoices, and sweet caresses of the little ones, as they tile criticism from us. We most cheerfully shall gather round him in the quiet evening hours, acknowledge merit, even when found the thought of all this may dwell, a latent joy, & in a clergyman whose ordination has no hidden motive, deep down in his heart of hearts, may come rushing in a sweet solace at every pause
more dignified source than “the laying on of exertion, and act like a secret oil to smooth the of the hands of the presbytery.” We think wheels of labor. The heart has a secret treasury, Mr. Caird has deserved the honors done where our hopes and joys are often garnered, too him by royalty; and we willingly accord precious to be parted with even for a moment. him his meed, as a man of no small force
And why may not the highest of all hopes and of intellect, of great power of illustration joys possess the same all-pervading influence? by happy analogies, of sincere piety, and Have we, if our religion is real, no anticipation of much earnestness to do good. He is of happiness in the glorious future. Is there no still young-we believe considerably un home and loving heart awaiting us when the toils der forty-and much may be expected of of our hurried day of life are ended? What is him.
From Sbarpo's Magazine.
BIOGRAPHICAL TABLEAUX OF ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT.
FROM AUTHENTIC AND HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED DOCUMENTS.
THE PATERNAL DWELLING.
Tegel, the family residence, by means of A CONSTELLATION shines in the firmament art and taste, into a little paradise. He in the name of Humboldt ; for it is impos- was a philanthropist, affable, and most sible to speak of Alexander von Humboldt benevolent; and his death, at the age of without thinking of his gifted brother fifty-nine, was deeply and generally reWilhelm, the great statesman, and the gretted. still greater etymologist.
Frederick the great reposed much conFrederick Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander fidence in Humboldt's father, who was, as Baron von Humboldt, the younger of adjutant to the Duke of Brunswick, frethese brothers, and the subject of the quently in personal communication with present paper, was born in Berlin on the the king during the most eventful period i4th of September, 1769, in the same of the Seven Years' War. In a letter year with Napoleon, Wellington, Cuvier, about the fall of Wedel, Frederick writes: Canning, Walter Scott, and Chateau- "I have told Humboldt every thing which briand.
can possibly be communicated at such a Short as is the period of man's exist- distance.” ence, the time allotted to those whose Even after he had left the princely mission it was to rule or to enlighten the court of Potsdam, he retained the most world has generally been still more cir- entire confidence of his sovereign: and cumscribed. Indeed, those who have ac- the British ambassador at the court of complished the most extraordinary deeds Prussia writes, in 1766, about Major von have seldom attained a great age, but Humboldt as of a man “of good underAlexander von Humboldt has been per- standing and beautiful character," and as mitted to approach closely to the utmost one of the first of those who may look limit of human life; to outlive his great forward to become ministers under the contemporaries; to shine as an intellectual future king, William the Second. Pharos, longest and brightest at the turn- It is a curious coïncidence, that the ing point of two centuries, and to fore- mother of the scientific discoverer of stall the future in many of its most sacred America in the nineteenth century should intellectual efforts.
bear the same name as the geographical Humboldt combines the privileges of discoverer in the fifteenth century. This noble descent with so much of true nobil- excellent lady possessed, however, quality, that he can dispense with an historic ities which conduced much more to the exhibition of his ancestry, and with a advantage of her sons than the sound of gnealogical furbishing of his escutcheon. her celebrated name. Apart from her His father served in the Prussian army great administrative talents, it was she from 1736 until 1762, and attained the who discovered and nurtured the rare rank of major. In 1764, the king ap- capabilities of her children already at the pointed him chamberlain to the Prince of most tender age; and her husband at Prussia, and in 1766 he married Elizabeth his death committed their education to von Colomb Dowager Baroness von Holl- her charge with the most entire confiwede. Our hero and his brother were dence. the issue of this marriage. He resigned The mother of Humboldt possessed the his post at the court of the crown prince happy faculty of interesting the tutors in 1769, and from that time lived without whom she engaged by means of her amiaoffie, but not uselessly. He converted 'ble confidence and high-mindedness in favor of their pupils. Tegel continued | ly selected for beautifying the royal garalso, after the death of Major von Hum-dens. The tenants of Tegel paid only a boldt, the same resort of the most elevated nominal rent, viz., £20 14s.; but they society.
were bound to cultivate the silkworm, Even Goethe paid a visit to Tegel and plant annually 100,000 mulberry during his stay in Berlin in 1788. The trees. Major von Humboldt, like his prebrothers Humboldt were at that time nine decessors, complied with the terms of his and eleven years of age; and at a later contract, and expended a considerable period, when Wilhelm von Humboldt had sum in mulberry trees and in the improveretired there into almost monastic quiet ment of the estate; but neither the muland seclusion, for objective contemplation berries nor yet the silk cultivation proved of art and science, the poet dignified the successful, and was at last entirely disconspot where a great spirit followed the tinued. instincts of his genius regardless of all Wilhelm von Humboldt writes in after worldly considerations.
life about Tegel to his friend, Charlotte It is interesting to trace the various in- Diede: “I live here, where I have spent fluences which have operated in the for- my childhood and part of my youth; the mation of any celebrated character. There country about is at least the most beautican be, however, no doubt that the ful round Berlin. On the one side there maternal nature operates most directly is a great forest, and on the other rising and substantially. The effect which the hills covered with plants, and a view of an society of a lady like the Baroness von extensive lake intersected by several islHumboldt must have had on the minds ands. The little spot which is my home and characters of the brothers Humboldt, is especially adapted to exhibit all the can scarcely be over-rated. In spite of charms and afford all the pleasures which ill-health and the constant mental depres- we derive from the view of great, beautision to which she was subject, she never ful, and varied foliage, through all the failed to have her sons and their mentor changing seasons. About the house stand with her for some hours daily. It is also old and broad shady trees, which surround by no means improbable that Alexander it as with a green fan. Over the fields von Humboldt's love for France, which avenues run in different directions. In he in after life regarded as his second the park there is a thick and dark underfatherland, and whose language he speaks wood. The lake is encircled by forests, and writes as well as he does his mother and all the islands are bordered with trees tongue, may be ascribed to the traditions and bushes." of his maternal ancestors, one of whom It is reasonable to infer that the objects had left Burgundy after the revocation of which here surrounded Alexander von the Edict of Nantes.
Humboldt must have fostered his innate There is no lack of information about love of nature. Tegel, the childhood's home of Wilhelm The childhood and youth of Alexander and Alexander von Humboldt.
were spent in uninterrupted companionSome two hours distant from Berlin, ship with his brother Wilhelm, and their separated by a pine wood from the capital, years passed as happily as might be exlies a smiling oäsis in the sandy desert of pected from the pecuniary and otherwise the Mark Brandenburg—the village and most favorable circumstances of their pacastle of Tegel on the Hevel. The river rents. expands here to a wide, beautiful lake, During the winter, the family lived at with several small islands and richly Berlin in their own mansion, and in th: wooded banks. On the high, hilly terraces summer occasionally at Ringwald, an of the northern shore stands the castle, estate in the Neumark, but generally at from which, looking southward, there is a Tegel. An impression prevails that fine view of the town and citadel of Campe, the author of the German version Spandau. Tegel was originally a hunting- of Robinson Crusoe, was the first instrideseat of the great Elector. During the tor of Alexander von Humboldt; but childhood of Alexander von Humboldt it this seems to be at variance with truth; had one of the richest nurseries for exotic for Wilhelm von Humboldt mentions lim plants. It contained in 1786 about five in a letter, written in December, 1822, hundred different kinds of North Ameri- to his friend, Charlotte Diede, as tutor to can trees alone. These were subsequent- his step-brother, Hollwede, and as having left Tegel about 1770 or 1771. Alex-seas, as presented in charts, the wish ander was at that time about three years for a view of the southern constellations of age. Campe can therefore have had which are denied to our firmament, nothing to do with his education or the drawings of palm trees and of the cedars formation of his character. Nor is there of Lebanon in a pictorial Bible, may any ground for the opinion that Campe's implant in the soul the irst desire for “Robinson Crusoe” has produced or even travelling in distant countries. Were it strengthened Humboldt's love of travel; permitted to me to recall personal remit was not written until some nine years iniscences, to ask myself what caused after he had left the Humboldt family, the first impulse within me of an unconwhen Alexander was upwards of twelve querable longing towards the tropics, I years of age; and, in spite of its populari- would be obliged to name George Forsty, and of its having passed through near-ter's description of the South Sea Islands; ly fifty original editions since its first pictures by Hodges, exhibiting the banks appearance in 1780, it is going too far to of the Ganges, at the house of Warren say, simply because it is possible that Hastings in London ; a colossal dragonHumboldt may have read it, that Campe's tree in an old tower of the Botanic “Robinson Crusoe,” stripped as it is of Gardens near Berlin." the poetical feeling, the depth of thought, Thus much by Alexander von Humand the philosophic tendencies which boldt himself about the inclinations of his characterize its great model, De Foe's childhood and the desires of his youth. immortal work, had a lasting influence on To this may be added, that the impresa mind like Humboldt's.
sions which he received very early in EngOur best guide on this subject is the land must have produced in him the most description given by Humboldt himself of lively impulses, and created the firmest the sensations and desires of his youth, as resolves in favor of his future great underdepicted by him at the commencement of takings. The detailed description of this his journey to the equinoctial regions of circumstance belongs, however, to a later the New Continent.
period. Meantime it is sufficient to point “I have,” he says, “ from my first towards the rare and happy coincidence, youth felt a burning desire to travel in that a youth from the Continent, gifted distant countries little frequented by with the most lively fancy and the most Europeans. This desire characterizes a rare abilities, and impelled by the most period of our existence in which it pre- intense eagerness after knowledge, should sents itself to us as a limitless horizon, have had the good fortune to possess as where nothing has greater charm for us tutor, in a journey to England undertaken than the pictures of physical dangers and with a view to instruction, the celebrated the strong emotions of the soul. Brought companion of England's most celebrated up in a country which maintains no direct navigator. intercourse with the colonies of both the On a journey through Great Britain in Indies, and afterwards an inhabitant of 1790, Humboldt was accompanied by mountainous regions, distant from the George Forster, the fellow voyager of sea-coast and celebrated as the seats of Captain James Cook. extensive mining operations, I felt within The youth of Alexander von Humboldt me this progressive development of a lively happened to fall at a time in which so passion for the sea, and for long voy- much had been accomplished, and still ages." Farther on he says: “The con- greater results had been prepared for upon templation of geographical charts, the the wide field of geographical discoveries. descriptions of travellers which I had All nations were, just at that period-in read, exercised a secret, irresistible spell, the second half of the last century-more and placed me in intimate relation with than at any former era, inspired with a dethe most distant objects and countries. sire to perfect their knowledge of the counI was agitated by fear and pain when I tries and seas belonging to them, and to contemplated the possibility of being confirm their claims by means of scientific obliged to renounce the hope of seeing descriptions. The unfortunate enterprises the beautiful constellations which shine in of La Perouse, 1785-88; Entrecasteau, the regions of the South Pole.” And in 1791-94; Blight, 1787, and Malaspina,
Kosmos,” he says: “Childish pleasure 1789–93, were unable to weaken the in the form of countries and inclosed desire for travel and discovery which