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ertions, beloved by his flock, and respected by all who knew him, in the prime of life, and with every prospect of comfort and usefulness, he seemed now to have reached the very station for which he was most eminently qualified, and in which a long course of useful and honourable exertion was presented to his view.
If such contemplations were indulged by his friends, they were destined very soon to be disappointed. Scarcely three years had elapsed from the time of his settlement over the church in Blucher Street, when it pleased the All-Wise Disposer of events to remove him from the scene of his labours to the enjoyment of that “ rest which remaineth for the people of God.” His demise took place rather unexpectedly in the autumn of 1829. In the month of August of that year, he was in the enjoyment of his usual health, and actively engaged in the discharge of his various duties. About the middle of that month, he left his family, who were at that time residing in the country, in company with Professor Taylor, of New Haven, to go to Woodbury, for the purpose of taking a part in the ordination of four missionaries, who were appointed to go to the valley of the Mississippi, 'to preach
the gospel, and establish a college.' To them, on the morning of Wednesday, the 27th, he delivered a charge, (written on the preceding evening after his arrival at Woodbury,) which is replete with the soundest advice, and evinces the most extensive knowledge both of men and things. As this was the last of his pulpit addresses, our readers may not be uninterested in perusing a few sentences, as they are furnished in the volume before us.
« There is a common feeling, which is in a high degree reasonable, that a minister of Christ should bear about him an atmosphere purer than that of other men ; that, secluded by his great privileges from many temptations, he should even breathe a better air ; that, like the angel who carried light in his garments into Peter's dark prison, he should be always ready to give forth consolation to the prisoner, and guidance to the lost. Let this anointing be on you. Let the spirit of the Lord your God be upon you, because the Lord hath sent you to preach the gospel. Except you realise this first blessing—if you go to war without the sword of the Spirit--you bring your own souls, and those of your hearers, into everlasting peril.
-« Let a manifest dependence upon God mark every sentiment and gesture. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. It is not in the wisdom of man to sharpen and sort his arms, so that they shall reach the heart. If you feel this dependence, you will be earnest, hearty, prevailing in prayer: if you express it and make it manifest, God will be in the midst of you of a truth. Paul may plant, Apollos water-God giveth the increase.'
roGo, then, beloved brethren, go under the guidance of the Angel of the covenant. May he make you the angels of his churches ! Go where such vast desolations draw your pity ; go with the unction of Christ our Saviour, making known Jesus Christ and him crucified. You carry with you the prayers and the sympathy of the churches ; and if at any time your hearts yearn again for your home, remember whose piety has made your home so delightful, and live for the holy vocation of making a delightful home for Christ and His church in the now waste and howling wilderness.” pp. 401–404.
On Thursday, the 28th, Mr. Bruen rejoined his family, and spent a part of the day in reading aloud to them communications relating to Greece, in the welfare of which he was deeply interested. During the whole of the day, he felt himself remarkably well; so much so, that he declared that it was a happiness to “breathe’. In the night, and during the following day, he was sensible of indisposition, though his tender regard for the feelings of his family, and his anxiety not to be hindered from proceeding to New York, to preach to his flock on the following Sabbath, induced him to conceal it. He left his family on the Saturday; and on the Sabbath, though suffering from severe sickness, he entered the pulpit, and began the services of the day. He soon found himself, however, unable to proceed, and requested the Rev. Mr. Peters to take his place. Shortly afterwards, he retired to his own house; "a brief journey, to be retraced by him 'no more, till his frame had lost the principle of life, and was re
conveyed to that spot, the scene of many solicitudes and prayers, “to wait for the blessed morning of the resurrection.' Medical assistance was promptly procured, and the progress of disease seemed at first to have been arrested, as on the following morning he appeared quite lively and active. Thinking himself recovering, he would not allow Mrs. Bruen to be sent for ; but on the Thursday, she arrived of her own accord, having learned that he was unwell. It had then become too evident, that all expectations of recovery had been delusive, and that his slender frame could not long sustain the weight of suffering by which it was oppressed. During the intervals between the paroxysms of his disease, his mind was calm and serene ; the bitterness of death 'was past’; the concerns of time were gradually losing their influence upon his mind; and the glories of the eternal world were acquiring a greater value in his estimation, and a more powerful hold upon his affections, as he approached nearer to the enjoyment of them. To each of his friends, and to each of the members of his church, he sent earnest messages of love ; in all of which he spoke as one who, in the hour of extremity, was tasting that it was no vain thing to have called upon the Lord. In this pleasing state of mind he continued until the 6th of September, (his biographer writes December, obviously from oversight,) when, just as the dawn was ushering in the first day of the week, were his labours and sufferings consummated. “And now,' adds the Author, we rejoice to believe that he dwells in the presence of “Him whom, having not seen, he loved.'
A variety of interesting reflections are naturally suggested by a review of such a life as that of Mr. Bruen ; but this article has already extended too far to allow of our indulging in any further comment upon the volume. We shall content ourselves, therefore, with again recommending it to the attention of our readers ; expressing our hope, that it may prove the means of stirring up in the minds of many of our young ministers and probationers, a kindred spirit of zeal for the service of God, of ardent aspiration after all that is praiseworthy and excellent, and of delight in every thing that can enlarge the understanding, cultivate the taste, or refine the feelings. With the superior advantages which this country presents for the successful cultivation of talent, we need but a clearer insight into the philosophy of preaching, and the theory of the mental action of mind on mind, to render our ministers as completely furnished for the successful discharge of their work, as the agency of human means can effect; and we know not where this insight can be more easily and effectually gained, than from observing the procedure, and studying the opinions, of such men as Mr. Bruen.
Art. IV. 1. On Political Economy, in Connexion with the Moral State
and Moral Prospects of Society. By Thomas Chalmers, D.D., Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh. 8vo.
pp. viii. 566. Price 12s. Glasgow. 1832. 2. Illustrations of Political Economy. By Harriet Martineau. No. I.
to V. Price 1s. 6d. each. London. 1832. TN this volume, Dr. Chalmers 'bids adieu to political economy, 1. with an earnest recommendation of its lessons to all those ' who enter upon the ecclesiastical vocation. They are our
churchmen, in fact,' he adds, who could best carry the most 'important of these lessons into practical effect.' In Scotland, at least, he thinks, the clergy might, with the greatest ease, if sufficiently enlightened on the question of pauperism, clear away that moral leprosy from their respective parishes;' while, “stand‘ing at the head of Christian education', they form the only
effectual dispensers of all those civil and economical blessings • which would follow in its train. In other words, the great secret of political wisdom, the foundation stone of national prosperity, the key to political economy, is-EDUCATION, under the effectual superintendence of the ministers of religion. The Author's main design, in the present work, has been to establish the following specific proposition :
"That no economic enlargements in the wealth and resources of a country, can ensure aught like a permanent comfort or sufficiency to the families of the land. Followed up, as these enlargements are, by a commensurate, or, generally, by an over-passing increase of the population,—the country, while becoming richer in the aggregate, may continue to teem with as great, perhaps a greater, amount of individual distress and penury, than in the humbler and earlier days of her history. In these circumstances, the highway to our secure and stable prosperity is, not so much to enlarge the limit of our external means, as so to restrain the numbers of the population, that they shall not press too hard upon that limit. But the only way of rightly accomplishing this, is through the medium of a higher self-respect, and higher taste for the comforts and decencies of life among the people themselves. It is only a moral and voluntary restraint that should be aimed at, or that can be at all effectual; the fruit, not of any external or authoritative compulsion, but of their own spontaneous and col. lective will. This is evidently not the achievement of a day, but the slow product of education, working insensibly, yet withal steadily and surely, on the habits and inclinations of the common people; begetting a higher cast of character, and, as the unfailing consequence of this, a higher standard of enjoyment; the effect of which will be, more provident, and hence, both later and fewer marriages. Without this expedient, no possible enlargement of the general wealth can enlarge the individual comfort of families; but, as in China, we shall behold a general want and wretchedness throughout the mass of society. With this expedient, no limitation in the way of further increase to our wealth will depress the condition, though it will restrain the number, of our families; but, as in Norway, we shall behold the cheerful spectacle of a thriving, independent, and respectable peasantry.'
pp. 551–552. We exceedingly like the idea, that Education is the one simple and specific remedy for all the evils resulting from the unequal distribution of wealth, the excess of population, and the other sources of distress and embarrassment which press so heavily upon the country at the present moment. We are so deeply convinced of the importance of a moral and religious education for the economic well-being of a people', that we should have thought it difficult to over-estimate its value and efficiency; nor can we have any objection whatever against Dr. Chalmers's doctrine, except this one, -that the brilliant promise which it holds out, rests upon calculations, we fear, of that one-sided character, which omit to take into account the per contra. We feel some difficulty in believing that the entire difference between the Norwegian peasantry and the Chinese, as regards their social condition, would be removed by their being placed on a par in point of moral and religious education. We very much fear that Christian instruction, although it has changed the face of society, and is, we trust, destined to effect changes still more extensive and beneficial, will not immediately operate as an efficient check of all the
political evils that afflict the community. It is quite true, that, in proportion as men learn to govern themselves, they stand less in need of the restraints and interference of government. And the predicted time is approaching, when all the governments of this world will be, in some sense and degree, merged in the government and kingdom of Christ. Nevertheless, for some ages to come, there seems to us reason to apprehend, that governments will find something more to do, than to support the clergy, in order to the education of the people, in order that they, the people, being educated, may marry later, or not at all, and not contribute by their imprudence to overstock the country. Even supposing that this scheme should succeed in Scotland, and the great political lesson of celibacy pro bono publico et suo, be there implanted by the endowerl clergy in the minds of the people, how would it succeed in China ? There, no law of pauperism', except that of nature, 'maintains the population in a state of per
petual overflow'; and yet, we fear that Christian instruction would do little towards checking its increase, or raising the price of wages in the Celestial empire.
Dr. Chalmers may well claim a respectful hearing upon any subject, even although it may be one that may seem out of his province, or which he does not perfectly understand. If not a very profound political economist, he is what is far better,—a sincere philanthropist; and if his theoretic principles are not always sound, his aims and motives are always guided by an enlightened benevolence. His practical measures for promoting the Christian ' and Civil Economy' of large towns, are also admirable, and entitle him to national gratitude. The present volume contains much that is excellent in sentiment, ingenious in argument, and eloquent in discussion. Still, it has confirmed the impression produced by the Author's former writings on subjects of political economy, that his talents and turn of mind do not remarkably qualify him for such inquiries. He is by far too bold a thinker, to be trusted in matters of historical accuracy or financial calculation ; too sweeping a generalizer, to be correct in statements relating to complex subjects involving infinite details; too apt to suffer one great idea to fill up the whole field of his intellectual vision, to the exclusion of other objects which, by being taken in, would have corrected his false perspective. The volume abounds with the most startling paradoxes, —with some positions, indeed, which, if proceeding from a writer of less eminence and unimpeachable integrity, would lead one to lay down the book with feelings bordering upon contempt. Of this description are some of his remarks on the scurvy economics' of the day; although we feel persuaded that nothing is further from his design, than to advocate a profligate expenditure of public money, even could he prove it to come wholly from the pockets of the landlords.