Imatges de pàgina

word as he uttered it, it would have been found to possess all the purity and correctness of his printed style. It was in this, rather than in the materials of his discourse, or the power of any particular passage, that he gave evidence of a superior mind in the richness and accuracy of his spontaneous expression, and the perfect lucidness of the whole arrangement, and the completeness with which every part was finished so as naturally to introduce the succeeding. These qualities he always displays ; and I presume that I witnessed them to as great advantage in this simple address to his ordinary congregation on a rainy day, as if I had been fortunate enough to hear him when he had prepared himself for some extraordinary occasion, and was laying out those energies by which crowds are delighted and shaken.

His manner was very quiet; earnest, but perfectly calm ; never loud, never vehement, and rising in warmth only to a gentle glow. Action, he used none. He lifted his right hand once, I think, and then barely raised it from the cushion. No effort to manage his voice, no looking about; sometimes he turned his head a little, and they who can see his eye, which from my situation I could not, say that it is keen, and expressive. In a word, he had the air of a man who was wholly absorbed in attention to his thoughts, and to whom it had not occurred to consider the manner in which he should utter them. He just leaned forward in the pulpit, and talked. Yet, although he said the plainest and most familiar things, there was no releasing the attention from him throughout the whole. He perfectly won and held the ears of all, who followed him with as

little effort and as little conscious attention, as if they were following the train of their own thoughts. What power does this indicate !

So uncertain a thing is eloquence. Here is a man, who has no compass or power of voice, no grace or variety of gesture, I may say no gesture at all, who yet enchains the mind of the hearer on the most familiar topics and on the most ordinary occasion, without making an exertion ; and, on important subjects, where the occasion demands effort, moves and thrills the hearts of thousands, and is one of the most eloquent men in the world. Such as I saw him, such in the main, as I was told, his manner always is ; something more earnest perhaps occasionally ; but always calm, quiet, and composed ; exciting and overcoming by the steady energy of strong and well arranged thought, and distinct sustained elocution, rather than by bursts of impassioned vehemence, or the power of splendid declamation. How different from the eloquence of Chalmers, which yet has been equally celebrated and successful! How very different from that of Irving, who made London, in all its ranks, mad with excitement and admiration! Both of these preachers owed much to extrinsic advantages and external helps of oratory. The power of Hall is almost exclusively that of the mind, with the least possible aid from personal advantages or any exterior consideration. At least, this was my conclusion when I had heard him, and it was confirmed by those on the spot who had been accustomed to his preaching. Those who had only been acquainted with his published works, would figure to themselves a very different speaker. They would

fancy that his elevated style of composition, so finished and so strong, must indicate a loud round utterance, and a great deal of flowing energetic action. It is not easy at once to reconcile the actual manner of delivery with the style of composition. Yet, after once hearing the author himself in his own way, it seems as if any other delivery would be unsuitable. So uncertain a thing is eloquence ; and in such various and opposite manners may it be found in a high degree of perfection.

Before laying down my pen, I would briefly add, that I was delighted with the testimony borne by my friends in Bristol to the worth of this distinguished man ; and with the free and warm manner in which they expressed their admiration and pleasure in his preaching. They spoke particularly of his power and excellence in treating of subjects connected with the inward workings of the soul, its various exercises of religious experience, and all that is highest and most spiritual in the nature and destiny of man, and the character and dispensations of God. They gave me some account of his exalted and elevating views on the latter topics.

I was charmed with this ; because, as my friends are Unitarians, and Mr Hall has formerly indulged himself in some virulent abuse of their sect, I thought it highly honorable both to him and them, that they should be ainong his willing and warm admirers :to them, because it proved them to be above prejudice, which so often blinds men to the greatest excellencies in a political or religious opponent, especially if he have at any time vehemently assaulted their principles—to him, because only by the truest worth

I say

of character, could he have conquered such a prejudice, and turned into admiring friends, those whose holiest sentiments and feelings he had wounded. I found a great deal of this fair and candid mind among the Unitarians of England ; and when I think on the style in which they have been assailed, I cannot fail to see in it the honorable fruit of a truly christian spirit.

If this communication prove acceptable, Messrs Editors, you may perhaps hear from me again Meantime, I am respectfully

Yours, &c.


Two Letters to the Rev. Moses Stuart, on the subject of Religious Liberty. By Bernard Whitman. Boston, Gray & Bowen.

We said soinething of the character and purpose of this performance, in our last. For the gratification of those who have not read it, or who may be deterred by its bulk from attempting it, who we hope are but few, we now proceed to take some further notice of its contents.

Mr Whitman's first topic is the use made of human creeds, which may be justly regarded as unfriendly to free inquiry, and the progress of truth, and as tending to enslave. Creeds, in fact, are but fetters invented to prevent the growth of mind; a sort of Chinese slipper for the intellect. In proportion as they are reverenced, the understanding is restrained from a free and profitable exercise of its powers. Mr Whitman first instances the creed of the Theological Seminary at Andover, which he inserts ; a curious document, indeed, to which the professors of the Institution are required to renew their subscription every five years, promising that they will maintain and inculcate the Christian faith, as expressed in the creed.' That is, they are required every five years to say, that they have made no advances ; that they are just where they

years ago, not a whit wiser, and never mean

were five to be.

On the effect of such a provision, Mr Whitman remarks at some length. He then considers the use made of creeds in the admission of members into churches, and in their excommunication, which he contends with some plausibility, at least, is a violation of the principles of religious liberty. Next, in the

dividing of churches ;' and he takes the case of the First Church in Wilton, N. H. Next, in the exclusion of ministers.


• Look,' says he,' at the use made of human creeds by the orthodox in excluding from their fellowship ministers of their own sentiments. As a fair illustration of this measure, take the proceedings of the orthodox synod at Baltimore. The circumstances are briefly these. The Rev Mr Duncan of Baltimore, a distinguished orthodox divine, was invited to preach the annual discourse before the students in the Theological Seminary at Princeton. In his sermon he spoke slightingly of human creeds, and urged the young men to make the Bible alone their standard of faith and practice. These remarks were not relished by the ev Dr Miller, the Principal of the institution ; and at the opening of the next term, he took occasion to deliver an introductory lecture on the utility and importance of huinan creeds. Mr Duncan soon published a work on the subject of

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