« AnteriorContinua »
perienced Christians." This conviction between the societies over which they appears to have been strengthened by a presided. Nothing so much favored the German Moravian missionary, with whom progress of Wesleyan Methodism as the he much communed, until, at length, a strict and orderly discipline established by sudden conversion occurred, by his own the founder, commencing from the small account, on the twenty-fourth of May, division of classes, and ending in the an1738,at a quarter before nine in the evening, nual conferences of the numerous preachwhile a person in a society in Aldersgate ers. The whole was very wisely calculated street was reading Luther's preface to the to bind the society to each other. The Epistle to the Romans. To strengthen society, in its infant state, had to contend his faith, he went over to Germany, and with much popular hatred, sometimes foproceeded to Herrnbut. (q. v.) He re- mented by persons in the upper ranks of turned in September, 1738, when he society. The followers of both Whitecommenced the systematic labors which field and Wesley were, in the first inmade bim the founder of the great re- stance, chiefly among the uneducated higious body of Methodists. He began to classes. In 1749, he married a widow of exhort and to preach, often three or four good fortune, which was, however, all times a day, at the prisons and other settled upon herself; but the union was places in the metropolis, and made fre- an unhappy one, and terminated in a final quent excursions into the country, where separation, in 1781. On the breaking his followers became rapidly very nume- out of the Ajnerican disputes, he wrote rous. His discourses were often attended a pamphlet on the side of government, with demonstrations of the effect pro- entitled a Calm Address to the American duced on the hearers, such as swoonings, Colonies, which produced a considerable outeries, convulsions, and similar results effect among his own followers. When of violent internal emotion and excite- the contest terminated in separation, he ment. He soon after accepted the invita- took a step which appeared a renunciation of Whitefield, who had some time tion of the principles of the Episcopal before commenced the practice of field- church, by ordaining preachers for Amerpreaching, to join him at Bristol ; and, in ica, by imposition of hands, and conseMay, 1739, the first stone of a Methodist crating a bishop for the Methodist Epismeeting-house was laid in that city. Some copal church. By this step he offended diñculties, which arose as to the liability many of the society, and especially his of the feoffees, nominated, in the first in- brother Charles; and it is asserted that stance, to the expenses of erection, by he himself repented it, as likely to further inducing, Mr. Wesley to take it all into that separation from the church, which, bis own hands, laid the foundation of the after his death, virtually took place. The unlimited power which he obtained over approach of old age did not in the least bis followers. Whatever chapels were abate the zeal and diligence of this extrasubsequently built by the connexion, were ordinary person, who was almost perpetall either vested in him or in trustees ually travelling, and whose religious serbound to give admission to the pulpit as vices, setting aside his literary and conhe should direct. It is thought that his troversial labors, were almost beyond caloriginal plan was to form a union of cler- culation. Besides his numerous exhortagymen, in order to further his scheme of tions, he generally preached two sermons conversion by their joint efforts; but the every day, and not unfrequently four or dislike of ministers of the establishment five, all which he was enabled to effect to join in it, reduced him to the necessity by very early rising and the strictest puncof appointing lay preachers, and em- tuality. His labors were continued to ploying them as itinerants among the within a week of his death, which took different societies of the persuasion. place March 2, 1791, in the eighty-eighth At the same time, he assumed the pow. year of his age. John Wesley had a er of dominating those preachers, and countenance wherein mildness and gravithus, as the societies increased, his au- ty were very pleasingly blended, and thority received indefinite augmentation. which, in old age, appeared extremely The opinions of Wesley, being derived venerable. In manners, he was social, from the Arminian theology, differed polite and conversible, without any gloom materially from those of Whitefield on or austerity. In the pulpit, he was fluent, the points of unconditional election, irre- clear and argumentative; often amusing, sistible grace, and final perseverance; in but never aiming at or reaching, like consequence of which a coldness grew Whitefield, the eloquence of passion up between them, and a lasting separation His style in writing was of a similar de
scription, and he seldom appeared heated, 1735, 4to.); Dissertatio Herodotea (Utrecht, even in controversy. The works of 1758, 8vo.); and a valuable edition of John Wesley, on various subjects of divin- Herodotus, with annotations (Amst., 1763, ity, ecclesiastical history, sermons, biog- folio). He died at Utrecht, in the year raphy, &c., amounted, even in 1774, to 1764. thirty-iwo volumes, octavo. In addi- WESSENBERG,* Ignatius Henry von, a tion to the accounts of Wesley by German ecclesiastic, of much interest on Hampton, Whitehead and Southey, there account of his dispute with the Roman is a more recent life of him by Henry see, was born of a family of high rank, Moore.
received an excellent education, and, in Wesley, Charles, younger brother of 1802, was made vicar-general of the the above, was born at Epworth, Dec. 18, bishopric of Constance. In this sphere 1708, educated at Westminster school he labored zealously. He took great care and Christ-church, Oxford, where he of the education of the clergymen in the graduated master of arts in 1732, accom- diocese, and encouraged them to publish panied his brother to Georgia, and also communications of their experiences as became a preacher in the Methodist con- pastors. He strove to give the German nexion, for which he wrote hymns, now language its proper importance in the litsung in their chapels. Some of his ser- urgy. According to an agreement with mons have been printed; and his poetical the authorities of the Swiss canton Lucompositions exceeded those of his cerne, which, till 1815, was under the ecbrother, from whom he differed on vari- clesiastical government of the bishop of ous points. His son, Charles, born in Constance, he began, in 1806, to abolish 1757, displayed, even in infancy, an aston- some convents, in order to establish semiishing genius for music. At the age of naries for young clergymen, and a great two years and three quarters, he astonish- alms-house. On all these accounts, the ed his father, by playing readily, and in nuncios of Lucerne had long marked correct time, a tune upon the harpsi- him as suspected, when, in 1814, his bishchord; with which instrument his moth- op, Dalberg, nominated him, with the coner, almost from his birth, had been accus- sent of the grand duke of Baden, as his tomed to quiet and amuse him. It is a coadjutor, and successor in the bishoprie. curious circumstance that he would never The Roman curia refused to confirm him; suffer her to play with one hand, but, and when, after the death of Dalberg, the even before he could speak, would place chapter of Constance elected him bishop, her other hand on the keys, to complete the pope immediately issued a briet, the harmony of the piece, by the addition March 15, 1817, ordering the chapter to of the bass. From the earliest moment choose a man of better reputation. The of his performances, he always added a German Catholics insisted that the chaptrue bass to every tune which he played. ter vicar does not need the confirmation of At the age of twelve or thirteen, it was the pope, and that it cannot be refused to a thought that no person could excel him coadjutor, except on account of disqualiin playing the works of Corelli, Scarlattifying charges sufficiently proved. More and Handel, to the study of which he over, it was provided in the concordates had almost wholly contined himself for with the German princes, that their subsome years. He then visited London, jects, when accused before the pope, might and received instructions in composition defend themselves before judges selectfrom doctor Boyce; and under the inspec- ed from their own countrymen in Ger. tion of that gentleman he published his many. Wessenberg was refused this first production, a Set of Six Concertos privilege, and called upon to give up his for the Organ or Harpsichord. He after- bishopric immediately: He, therefore, wards ranked among the first musical set out for Rome, to defend himself
, but professors of England.
could obtain no satisfaction. The grand WESSELING, Peter, born at Steinfurt, duke declared that he would support 1692, an eminent critic, presided over the Wessenberg, as long as no sufficient gymnasium of Middleburg, was after- charges were proved against him, and wards a professor in the university of laid the whole affair before the diet at Franecker, and, at length, occupied the Frankfort. At length the bishoprie of chair of eloquence at Utrecht. Besides Constance was dissolved, in 1827, by other works, he published Observationum variarum Libri duo (Amst., 1727, 8vo.); herg, whose name is afixed to most of the endles
* Brother of the Austrian minister von Wecerne Probabilium Liber singularis (Franecker, London protocols, respecting the Belgian quere 17:31, 8vo.); Antonini Itinerarium (Amst.. tion, with that of Esterhazy, for Austria.
a concordate with the pope, and an however, in which he was placed, afarcbiepiscopal see erected in Freyburg, forded him little aid in the developement by which Wessenberg lost his place of his talents. There were neither proof vicar. He distinguished himself in fessors, paintings nor prints among the the first chamber of the grand duchy primitive settlers of Pennsylvania. For of Baden. He is the author of an excel- some time, he pursued his favorite emlent history of popular schools in Germa- ployment with red and yellow colors ny (Die Elementarbildung des Volks, &c., (which he learned to prepare from some Zürich, 1814), and several small ascetic Indians who had roamed to Springfield), works. He has also published two col- and indigo, given to him by his mothlections of his poems, and Christian er, together with brushes made of the Images, à Means of promoting the hair of a cat. At length, a merchant Christian Spirit (2 vols., Constance, 1826 named Pennington, who was his cousin,
-27), a work in which he considers the having seen his sketches, sent him a box connexion of the fine arts with Chris- of paints and pencils, with canvass pretianity.
pared for the easel, and six engravings. Wessex, that is, West Saxony; one The possession of this treasure almost of the most important of the kingdoms prevented him from sleeping. He made of the Saxon heptarchy in England, all the necessary arrangements in the garduring the sixth, seventh and eighth cen- ret, where he commenced his labors wries. Egbert, king of Wessex, founded with the dawn every morning, absenting the kingdom of England, by the union of himself entirely from school, until the inthe other kingdoms of the heptarchy. quiries of his master caused a search and (See Egbert, and England.)
discovery to be made. His mother found West, Gilbert, an ingenious author, him in his studio ; but her inclination was the son of doctor West, editor of to anger soon subsided on beholding Pindar's works, and was born in the his performance. Instead of copying year 1706.
He was sent to Oxford, servilely, as might have been expected, he and afterwards obtained a commission had composed a picture from two of the in a cavalry regiment. He did not, how- engravings, telling a new story, and colever, long remain in the service, retiring ored with a skill and effect which, in her to Wickham, in Kent, where he devoted eyes, were surprising. She kissed him his time to literary pursuits and the enjoy- with rapture, and procured his pardon ment of the society of his friends. The from her husband and his teacher. Mr. patronage of Mr. Pitt obtained him, in Galt, in his life of West, says that, sixty1751, the situation of clerk to the privy seven years afterwards, he had the graticouncil, he having previously held a dep- fication to see this piece in the same room uty's place nearly twenty years. The with the sublime picture of Christ Retreasurership to Chelsea college was after- jected ; on which occasion the painter dewards added through the same interest. clared to him, that there were inventive · On the death of an only son, in 1755, his touches, in his first and juvenile essay, grief induced a paralytic affection, which which, with all his subsequent knowledge carried him off in the following year. and experience, he had not been able to His Observations on the Resurrection surpass. By degrees, the report that a were printed in 1747. His other writings boy, remarkable for his talent for paintare a poem on the Institution of the Or- ing, lived at Springfield, began to extend der of the Garter, and a translation of until it reached the ears of Mr. Flower, some of the Odes of Pindar.
a justice of Chester, who, having looked West, Benjamin, was descended from at his works, obtained leave from his paa respectable English family, belonging rents to take him, for a few weeks, to to the denomination of Quakers, who his house. Whilst residing with this had emigrated to America in 1667. His gentleman, he derived great advantage father, John West, was a merchant, set- from the conversation of the governess of tled at Springfield, in Pennsylvania, where his daughters, a young English lady, well Benjamin was born, Oct. 10, 1738, being acquainted with art, and with the Greek the tenth child. In his seventh year, he and Latin poets, and who loved to point gave the first indications of his propensi- out to the young artist the most picty for the pencil. As he was watching turesque passages. During his residence the sleeping infant of his eldest sister, it there, he painted the portrait of the wife smiled, and, struck with its beauty, he of a lawyer of the neighboring town of sought some paper, and drew its portrait Lancaster, the sight of which made in red and black ink. The circumstances, people come in crowds to sit to him for their likenesses. He likewise executed a rise was rapid. He was introduced to painting of the death of Socrates, for a the king, George III, whom he ever gunsmith of Lancaster, who had a clas- found a steady friend and munificent pas sical turn. On his return to Springfield, ron, and by whom, on his first presentahis future career became the subject of tion, he was directed to paint the picture anxious consideration; and, finally, the of the departure of Regulus from Rome. matter was submitted, by his parents, to the Lord Rockingham made him an offer of a wisdom of the society to which they be- permanent engagement, with a salary of longed. A deliberation was accordingly £700 a year, to embellish, with historical held, the result of which was, that, though paintings, his mansion in Yorkshire; but the Quakers refuse to recognise the utili- he preferred depending on the public. ty of painting to mankind, they allowed He continued to be the king's painter unthe youth to follow the vocation for which til the monarch became superannuated, he was so plainly destined. Soon after- executing numerous works on historical wards, however, he took a step utterly at and religious subjects, besides a few porvariance with the principles of the sect; traits. On the death of sir Joshua Rey. but, strange as it may seem, he received nolds, he had been elected president of the neither admonition or remonstrance. This royal academy, and took his place, Mareh was to join the troops under general 24, 1792. He delivered an address on Forbes, who proceeded in search of the the occasion, which was much applauded. relics of the army of general Braddock. When George III was first seized with He was called home in a short time, by the mental malady which incapacitated intelligence of the illness of his mother, him for the duties of government, West and arrived only in time to receive the was engaged in executing various reliwelcome of her eyes and her mute bless- gious pictures for the chapel at Windsor : ing. This was a severe blow, for he was but when that event occurred, he was in. devotedly attached to her. In his eigh- formed that his labors must be suspended teenth year, he removed to Philadelphia, until further orders. On the recovery of where he established himself as a por- the king, he was directed to go on with trait painter. His success was consider- the works; but, on the recurrence of his able; and, after painting the heads of all illness, he was again ordered to suspend who desired it in that city, he repaired to them. The story of his dismissal from New York, where his profits were, also, court was spread abroad, with many agnot insignificant. In 1760, by the kind- gravations, by the malevolence of eneness of some friends, he was enabled to mies whom his success bad created ; and proceed to Italy; and, July 10 of that injurious statements were circulated reyear, he reached Rome. There he ob- specting the sums which he had received tained access to soine of the most distin- for his pictures. In consequence, le guished personages, and first made him- published an account of what he had ob self known as an artist by a portrait of tained, which was no more than a just lord Grantham, which was attributed, for compensation for his labors. During the a time, to Mengs. After recovering from peace of Amiens, he went to Paris, for the an illness of eleven months' duration, purpose of beholding the splendid collec. he visited the different cities of Italy for tion, which Napoleon had placed in the the purpose of inspecting the works of Louvre, of the masterpieces of art, and the great masters scattered through them. was treated, in that city, with the greates After his return to Rome, he painted a distinction by the most prominent perpicture of Cimon and Iphigenia, and Sons of the imperial court. Soon after another of Angelica and Medora, which his return to London, he retired from his increased his reputation, and opened the seat as president of the royal academy, way to those marks of academic appro- where he had to encounter an opposition bation usually bestowed on fortunate art- strong in numbers and ability ; but, in ists. He was elected a member of the short time, he was restored to it by an at academies of Parma, Florence and Bo- most unanimous vote, there being but od: logna, to the former of which he pre- dissenting voice. In his sixty-fifth year, sented a copy of the St. Jerome of Cor- he painted the celebrated picture of Christ reggio, of great excellence. In 1763, he healing the sick, for the Quakers of Philawent to London, intending to proceed to delphia, to aid them in the erection of his native country; but, finding that an hospital in that town. It was exhibitthere was a great probability of his suc- ed in London, where the rush to see it cess as a historical painter in that ine- was very great, and the opinion of its extropolis, he established himself there. His cellence so high that he was offered 3000 guineas for it by the British institution. As the great masters; and he composed them he was far from being rich, he accepted with the serious ambition and hope of the offer, but on condition that he should illustrating Scripture, and rendering gosbe allowed to make a copy, with altera- pel truth more impressive. No subject tions, for Philadelphia. He did so; and seemed to him too lofiy for his pencil: he the work is still exhibited in that city, considered himself worthy to follow the where the profits arising from it have ena- sublimest flights of the prophets, and bled the committee of the hospital to en- dared to limn the effulgence of God's large the building and receive more glory, and the terrors of the day of judgpatients. The success of this piece im- inent. In all his works, the human form pressed him with the belief that his ge- was exhibited in conformity to academic nius appeared to most advantage in pic- precepts; his figures were arranged with tures of large dimensions. “ As old age," skill; the coloring was varied and harmosays Allan Cunningham, “ benumbed his nious; the eye rested pleased on the perfaculties, and began to freeze up the well- formance; and the artist seemed, to the spring of original thought, the daring in- ordinary spectator, to have done his task trepidity of the man seemed but to grow like one of the highest of the sons of and augment.
Immense pictures, em- genius. But below all this splendor, bracing topics which would have alarm- there was little of the true vitality; there ed loftier spirits, came crowding thick on was a monotony, too, of human charachis fancy ; and he was the only person ter; the groupings were unlike the hapwho appeared insensible that sueh were py and careless combinations of nature ; too weighty for his handling.” He paint- and the figures seemed distributed over ed several works of great size; but few the canvass by line and measure, like were willing to be purchasers of pictures trees in a plantation. He wanted fire and which occupied so much room. Domes- imagination to be the true restorer of that tic sorrow mingled with professional dis- grand style which bewildered Barry, and appointment. His wife, with whom he was talked of by Reynolds. Most of his had lived for some sixty years in uninter- works, cold, formal, bloodless and pasrupted happiness, died Dec. 6, 1817. He sionless, may remind the spectator of the did not survive her many years. With- sublime vision of the valley of dry bones, out any definite complaint, his mental when the flesh and skin had come upon faculties unimpaired, his cheerfulness un- the skeletons, and before the breath of eclipsed, and with looks serene and be- God had informed them with life and nevolent, he expired March 11, 1820, in feeling. Though such is the general imthe eighty-second year of his age. He pression which the works of West make, was buried beside Reynolds, Opie and it cannot be denied that many are distinBarry, in St. Paul's cathedral. West guished by great excellence. In his was in person above the middle size, of a Death on ihe Pale Horse, and more parfair complexion, and firmly and compact- ticularly in the sketch of that picture, he ly built. He ever preserved a sedate so- has more than approached the masters briety of sentiment, and happy propriety and princes of the calling. It is, indeed, of manners, the results of a devout do- irresistibly fearful to see the triumphant mestic education. In disposition, he was march of the terrific phantom, and the mild, liberal and generous. He seriously dissolution of all that earth is proud of impaired his fortune by his kindness to beneath his tread. War and peace, sorrow young artists, whom he endeavored to and joy, youth and age, all who love and assist in every way. The advice which all who hate, seem planet-struck. The he gave them in his discourses from the Death of Wolfe, too, is natural and nopresident's chair was marked by good ble, and the Indian Chief, like the Oneisense and affection. The following ex- da warrior of Campbell, “a Stoic of the tract in relation to his paintings is from woods, a man without a tear,' was a hapthe biography of him, written by Allan py thought. The Battle of La Hogue I Cunningham :-“ As his life was long and have heard praised as the best historic laborious, his productions are very nu- picture of the British school, by one not merous. He painted and sketched up- likely to be mistaken, and who would not wards of four hundred pictures, mostly say what he did not feel. Many of his of a historical and religious nature, and single figures, also, are of a high order. left more than two hundred original There is a natural grace in the looks of drawings in his portfolio. His works some of his women which few painters were supposed, by himself
, and, for a have ever excelled.”—See Galt's Life and time, by others, to be in the true spirit of Studies of Benjamin West (London, 1816