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company him; and at the age of fourteen, he proceeded to Berlin.
But here, such was his poverty, that he had not sufficient money to provide even a single regular meal. He frequently sustained bimself upon dry brown bread ; and afterwards, in his prosperity, would relate in the circle of his friends, that when he purchased a loaf, he would notch it, according to the state of his finances into so many meals, never eating according to his appetite, but according to his means. Amidst, however, all his discouragements, his ardor for knowledge and his early attair ments were so remarkable, that he became an object of attention in Berlin, where an opulent Jew, hearing of his talents and high moral character, admitted him into his family and intrusted him with the education of his children.
From this period, he gradually rose in reputation, and by his fame as an instructer and author, both in the Hebrew and the German language, soon acquired a competence. His marriage in 1762, was a source to him of great domestic felicity, as it also was an evidence of the elevation and purity of his character. For his biographer relates, that' he took no notice of some enticing overtures from some of the best families in Berlin,' and made choice of a lady, whose understanding and virtues were her chief portion. He had several children, but had early experience of domestic sorrow in the death of the oldest. The manner in which he notices this event to his friend Spalding, the eloquent author of the Destiny of Man,' a work which had just then been published, is in itself so beautiful, as an expression of parental affection and of a grief, so often appointed, that we cannot avoid extracting a part of it for our readers.
• Within the last few days I have been obliged to forego the pleasure of writing to you, and to suspend our discussion on the destiny of man. I am still plunged in the deepest affliction caused by the death of my first-born child, a girl eleven months old. I have nevertheless reason to give thanks to God for the happy and serene existence she enjoyed during her evanescent abode here, when she gave us hopes of future exultation. Do not, however, imagine, my friend, that this delicate floweret was made to fit through this world for no wise purpose, like an etherial vision, which is now before us, and then is seen no more. No; she had already accomplished various designs here. Many were the tokens of her Creator's infinite wisdom which she manifested to the intelligent observer. From a babe, scarcely more than vegetating, her eye was observant ; she soon gave evident proofs of memory and recognition ; smiles of complacency hovered on her lips, and lo! the intellectual being! As we observe the lily which gently grows, then expands, and exhibits simple beauties, so plainly did we see in this infant those emotions of soul which distinguish man from the brute creation; such as compassion, impatience, surprise, and reflection, displaying them. selves gradually in her looks and gestures. She increased from day to day, in intelligence, and became richer in contrivances to convey her thoughts to others. p. 35.
But it is not our intention, even were it here within our power, to enter into the details of Mendelsohn's life, or to exhibit at length his admirable character. His biographer adverts to only a part of it, when he says, in reference to his rapid success and popularity, followed by the usual consequences of envy and calumny, · Mendelsohn was no sycophant; but, being by natnre the humblest and mcekest of mortals, and an utter stranger to guile and dissimulation, he made it an invariable rule to turn away wrath with a soft answer; and perhaps the only prejudice, he could never overcome, was that against his own abilities.'
The chief value of this work is the view it exhibits of the opinions of the most intelligent Jews on their own religion, and of their principles with respect to proselytism. Nothing can be more satisfactory on this point, than the letter of Mendelsohn to the celebrated Lavater. It is by far the most interesting article of these memoirs. It was called forth from the writer, by a somewhat over-zealous, we might almost say, unwarrantable appeal to his sincerity, by Lavater himself. It is well known, that the virtues and talents of that amiable divine and physiognomist were notunningled with eccentricities. He was incapable of indifference upon any subject; and his enthusiasm had too often the ascendency of his judgment. It appears that he had been translating 'Bonnet's Inquiry into the Evidences of Christianity,' from its original French into German ; and, much impressed himself with the force of its arguments, he dedicated it to Mendelsohn, with the following very pointed address.
• I venture to beseech you--nay, before the God of truth, your and my creator and father, I beseech and conjure you—to read this work, I will not say, with philosophical impartiality, which I am confident will be the case, but for the purpose of publicly refuting it, in case you should find the main arguments, in support of the facts of Christianity, untenable ; or, should you find them concly. sive, with the determination of doing what policy, love of truth, and probity demand—what Socrates would doubtless have done, had he read the work, and found it unanswerable.
May God still cause much truth and virtue to be disseminated by your means; and make you experience the happiness my whole heart wishes you.' p. 45.
It cannot appear surprising, that a mind like that of Mendelsohn, should be perplexed and even grieved, by an appeal like this. He loved peace and was willing, having passed the meridian of his life, to repose in the faith, he had deliberately received, and to leave to others the quiet enjoyment of theirs. His reply, which occupies more than twenty pages, is admira
ble. It is seldom that a writer speaks of himself with so much modesty; or of great truths with such wisdom and eloquence. He thus alludes to his own established convictions, and to the disadvantages of his lot, as a Jew
My scruples engaging in religious controversy, never proceeded from tinsdity or bashfulness. Let me assure you, that it was not only from the other day, that I began searching into my religion. No; I became very early sensible) of the duty of putting my actions and opinions to 1 test. That I have from my early youth devoted my hours of repose and relaxation to philosophy and the arts and sciences, was done for the sole purpose of qualifying my. self for this important investigation. What other motives could I have had ? In the situation I was then in, not the least temporal benefit was to be expected from the sciences. I knew very well, that I had no chance of getting forward in the world through them. And as to the gratification they might afford me-alas ! much esteemed philanthropist! the station allotted to my brethren in the faith, in civil society, is so incompatible with the expansion of the mind, that we certainly do not increase our happiness by learning to view the rights of humanity under their true aspect. On this point, too, I must decline saying any more.
He that is acquainted with our condition, and has a humane heart, will here feel more than I dare to express. p. 51.
We reluctantly defer the remainder of this article to another number.
MR WHITMAN'S LETTERS TO PROFESSOR STUART..
Two Letters to the Rev Moses Stuart, on the subject of Religious Liberty. By Bernard Whitman, Boston, Gray & Bowen. 1830..
The object of Mr Whitman's pamphlet, and the style in which he proposes to conduct his argument, are thus stated, near the commencement of the firsti Letter.
• As you,' says he, addressing Professor Stuart, have spoken freely concerning Unitarians, you will not object to my using great plainness of speech in relation to the measures of the Orthodox. I shall faithfully endeavor, not to please Unitarians or Trinitarians, Liberal or Orthodox, but to speak boldly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and the exact truth. I do not write as a Unitarian, or an advocate for Unitarianism ; but as a Christian, and an advocate for christian freedom.
That I may not be misunderstood, I will give a definite statement of the proposition which I shall endeavor to demonstrate. It may be expressed in the following terms. The measures attempted and adopted by the leaders of the orthodox denomination in our country, for the preservation and propagation af their peculiar views of religion, are subvervise of free inquiry, religious liberty, and the principles of congregationalism.'
With this proposition he starts, and the riesign of the Letters is to establish it by a reference to facts. The proposition, or assertions equivalent to it, it will be recollected, have been confidently denied by Professor Stuart, who 'avers before heaven and earth,' that it is not true.* Mr Whitman has adopted the only effecual mode of reply. He has collected and arranged a vast body of facts all having a bearing, greater or less, on the point at issue. We confess we think that he has been entirely successful in his attempt. We mean not to say that all parts of his pamphlet are equally satisfactory, or that it has no imperfections; but taken as a whole, his train of facts and arguments contains an ample and complete refutation of the Andover Proses
He has certainly manifested great industry in collecting evidence from various quarters, nearer or more remote, and we have reason to believe that he has been cautious not to admit any facts which he has not the
* See notices of his Letter to Dr Channing in Unitarian Advocate Vol. II., page 116, also page 154, New Series.