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Herald of the times. [volume] (Newport, R.I.) 1830-1846, April 14, 1830, Image 1

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VOL. 1.
OrricE, comer of Thames-street and Sher
wan’s wharf, a few doors south of the Brick
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ed efforts for the public benefit. I
Newport, April, 1830. I
—err Y )B> PO
Mr. George A. Polter, Providence,
Dr. Lemuel W. Briggs, Bristol, I
Dr. Thos. P. Moore, Warren, |
Capt. George Lawlon, Tiverton,
Mr. Thomas Cook, New Bedford,
| [The Rev. 8. C. Tnacuer, late Minister of
the New South Church, in Boston, died at Mou-
Ilinel, in France, Jan, 2, 1818, wtat, 82. lle had
long been absent from this country for the recov
‘ery of his health. The following sketch of his
‘character is taken from a discourse delivered in
‘Boston, by his early and bosom friend, the Rev.
Ll:‘r. WM. E. CuanmNinG, the Sunday after
accounts of his death were received there.—
IWithout trespassing at all upon the limits of con
troversy, and entirely free from sectarian bias, the
Epicture here presented of a superior intellect, ani-i
mated by the hopes and incentives of religion, un
der circumstances the most trying to the heart of’
man, cannot fail to awaken in every reflecting
mind aspirations after virtue and a love of its Au
thor. Among the variety of puhlications, which
have conferred celebrity on Dr. C. and his country,
identifying his name with her infant literature, we
have always considered this sketch of Mr.
TuAcHER as his happiest effort, even in a walk
of composition where he is peculiarly successful.)
The news of Mr. Thacher’s death, al
though not unexpected, spread an unus
ual gloom through the large circle in
which he moved and was known. When
we thought of his youth and virtues, o
the place which he had filled and of the
confidence he had inspired,of his sickness
and sufferings, of his death in a distant
land, and of the hopes which died with
him,we could not but speak of his removal
as mysterious, dark, untimely. My own
mind participated at first in the generull
depression ; but in proportion as I have
reflected on the circumstances of this
event, I have seen in them a kindness,
which I overlooked in the first moments
lof sorrow ; and though in many respects
inscrutable, this dispensation now wears
‘a more consoling aspect.
I now see in our friend a young man,
uncommonly ripe in understanding and
virtue, for whom God appointed an early
’immortality. His lot on earth was sin
gularly happy ; for I have never known
a minister more deeply fixed in the hcurls‘
of his people. But this condition had its
perils. With a paternal concern for his
character God sent adversity, and con
ducted him to the end of his being by a
rougher but surer way, a way trodden
and consecrated by the steps of the best
men before him. He was smitten by
sudden sickness ; but even here the hand
of God was gentle upon him. His sick
!ncss, whilst it wasted the body, had no
power over the spirit. His understand
|ing retained its vigour ; and his heart,
las I often observed, gained new sensibil
!ity. His sufferings, by calling forth an
almost unprecedented kindness in in his
pe le, furnished him with new and con
people, furnish
stant occasions of pious gratitude, and
perhaps he was never so thankful to the
Author of his being, as during his sick
ness. I
He was indeed removed at length
from the kind offices of his fricnds.—l
But this event was fitted, and, may I not
say, designed, to strengthen his connex
ion with God, and to prepare him for the
approaching dissolution of all earthly
ties. I now see himtossed on the ocean ;
)but his heart is fixed on the rock of
ages. He is borne to another hemis
phore, it vvery whoro ho ocen the fout
steps and feels the presence of God.—
New constellations roll over his head,
but they guide his mind to the same
Heaven, which was his hope at home.
I see him at the extremity of Africa,
adoring God in the new creation which
spreads around him, and thanking him
with emotion for the new strength, which
that mild atmosphere communicated. 1
see him too in the trying scene which
;followed, when he withered and shrunk
Llike a frail plant under the equinoctial
sun, still building piety on suffering, and
igrowing in submission, as hope declined.
‘He does not indeed look without an oc-
Icuional sinking of the heart, without
some shudderings of nature, to a foreign
Imil as his appointed grave. But he re
'members, that from every region there
is a path to immortality, and that the
lspirit, which religion has refined, where
ever freed from the body, will find its na-
Itive country. He does not indeed think
without emotion of home,—a thought,
how trying to a sick and dying man, in
a land of strangers ! But God, whom he
]adorcs as every where present, seems to,
‘him a bond of union to distant friends,
rand he finds relief in comniitting them to|
‘his care and mercy. At length I see
“him expire ; but not until suffering has'
done its work ef discipline and purifica.-:|
tion, His end is tranquil, like his owni
'mild spirit ; and I follow him—not to the
tomb, for that lifeless body is not he—!
‘but to the society of the just made per—’
’fcct. His pains are now past. He has’
found a better home, than this place of
his nativity and earthly residence. \Vith-;
:out the tossings of another voyge, he
'has entered a secure haven. The fever
‘no longer burns in his veins—the hollowl‘
and deep voice no longer sends forth omi
nous sounds, Disease and death, hav-|
ing accomplished their purpose, have‘l
lost their power, and he remembers, with|
gratitude, the kind severity with which|
‘thcy conducted him to a nobler life,than
|thnt which they took away. Such is
lthe aspect which this dispensation nowi
wears ;—how different from that which
it first presented to sense and imagina-”
!tion ! II
Ed. Her.
Let me pay a short tribute to his mem-|
ory. It is aduty, which I perform with’
a melancholy pleasure. His character|
| was one, which it is soothing to rcmcm-f
ber. It comes over the mind, like the
:tranquillizing breath of spring. It asks!
‘no embellishment. It would be injured
iby a strained and laboured eulogy. |
. The character of our friend was dis
;tinguishcd by blandness, mildness, equa-!
‘bleness and harmony. All the elements,
‘were tempered in him kindly and hnppily.lj
IHe had nothing of asperity. He pass
‘ed through the storms, tumults and col
lisions of human life, with a benignity
‘akin to that which marked our’ perfect
!guide and example. Thismildandbland
jtemper spread itself over the whole man.
'His manners, his understanding, his pie
ty, all received a hue from it, just as al‘
'soft atmosphere communicates its own
‘tender and tranquil character to every
‘object and scene viewed through it.
l With this peculiar mildness he united
firmness. His purposes, whilst maintain
ed without violence, were never surren
‘dered but to conviction. Ilis opinions,
Ithuugh defended with singular candour,
‘he would have sealed with his blood,
‘He possessed the only true dignity, that
iwhich results from proposing habitually
‘a lofty standard of feeling and action;
‘and accordingly the love, which he call
‘ed forth, was always tempered with re
‘svect. He was one of the last men to be
‘approached with a rude familiarity.
. His piety was a deep sentiment, It
‘had struck through and entwined itself
‘with his whole soul. In the freedom of
!convcrsation I have seen how intimately
(God was present to him. But his piety
'partook of the general temperament of
his mind. It was warm, but not heat
"ed; earnest, but tranquil ; a habit, not
:un impulse ; the air which he breath
‘ed, not a tempestuous wind, giving occa
'sional vioience to his emotions. A con
‘stant dew seemed to distil on him from
‘heaven, giving freshness to his devout
'sensibilities ; but it was a gentle influ
icncc, secn not in its falling, but in its
fMults, 11s plely appearca cmeny in
‘gratitude and submission, sentiments pe
‘culiarly suited to such a mind as his.—
‘He felt strongly, that God had crowned
ihis life with peculiar goodness,and yet,
{when his blessings were withdrawn, his
‘acquiescence was as decp and sincere
‘as his thankfulness. His devotional ex-
Icrci:ses! in public were particularly strik-|
ling. He came to the mercy seat, ns’
:one, who was not a stranger there. He
’secmed to inherit from his venerable fu-l
',ther the gift of prayer. His acts of adora
(tion discovered a mind penetrated by the|
llmajcsty and purity of God ; but his suln-i
'lime conceptions of these uttributes were|
lalways tempered and softencd by a senset
‘of the divine benignity.
i His understanding was of a high or
‘der ; active, vigorous and patient ; cap
lable of exerting itself with success on ev-;
!ery subject ; collecting materials and il-i‘
Nustrations from every scene ; and stored
with a rich and various knowledge,whiclw
few have accumulated at so early an ngc.j
His understanding, however, was in har-
Imony with his whole character. It wns‘|
not so much distinguished by boldness,
rapidity and ardor, as by composed cn-’
ergy, judiciousness, and cxpansivcuoss.l
You have an emblem of it in the full,
transparent and equable stream, spread-.
ing around it fruitfulness and delight.—
His views were often original and often’
profound, but were especially marked by |
justness, clearness and * compass of |
If&ought. I have never known a man,"
80 young, of riper judgment,of more de
liberate investigation, and of more com
prehensive views of all the bearings and
connexions of a subject, on which he was
called to decid:, He was singularly free
from the error ito which young prcach-i
ers most readily fall, of overstating ar-|
guments,and exaggerating and straining
the particular topics which they wish to
enforce. Butin avoiding cxtrnvngance,l
he did not fall into tameness. Thcrc:
was a force and freshness in his concep
tions ; and even when he communicutcd‘
the thoughts of others, he first grafted,
‘them on his own mind, so that they Imd;
lthe raciness of a native growth. His
lopinions were the results of much mental'
!action, of many comparisons, of large'
and liberal thinking, of looking at a sub-l
ject on every side ; and they were ex-|
pressed with those limitations, which long
experience suggests to others. e read
with pleasure the bold and brilliant spcc-:
ulations of more adventurous minds ; but
he reserved his belief for evidence, fort
truth ; and if the most valuable gift of
the understanding be an enlarged, «li:x-Il
criminating, judgment, then his was a
most highly gifted mind. ‘
From a mind so balanced, and a taste
so refined, we could hardly expect tllutl
fervid eloquence, which electrifies an
assembly, and makes the speaker for a
moment an absolute sovereign over the
gouls of moen, Ilis influence, like that
of the great powers in the natural world,
was mild and noiscless, but penetrating
and enduring. That oratory, which
overwhelms and bears us away like a
torrent, almost always partakes of cxag-{
geration and extravagance, and was
therefore incompatible with the distin
guishing properties of his mind. His im
agination was fruitful and creative ; but,
in accordance with his whole character,
it derived its illustrations more frequent
ly from regions of beauty than of grand
eur, and it imparted a colouring, at once
Irich and soft, and a peculiar grace to ev
ery subject susceptible of ornament.—
His command over language was great.
‘llis style was various, vigorous, unbor
'rowed ; abounding in felicities of expres-
I:-'inn, and singularly free from that trite
!ucss and that monotonous structurc,!
| which the habit of rapid composition onl
ll'amilinr subjects almost ‘torces on llml
Iprcachcr, and which so often cm-rvutvi
the most powerful and heart-stirring
rtrnths. His character as a preacher|
needs no other testimony than the im-|
Iprcssiun left on his constant and most
enlightened hearers, To his people,
Iwho could best judge of his inteilectual
; resources, and of his devotion to his work,l
his public services were more and morc‘
'intcrusting. They tell usof the ufilncncc;
of his thoughts, of the beauty of his im-i
agery, o 1 e tenderness and earnestness
of his persuasion, of the union o('_judg-I
ment and sensibility in his discuurses,l
and of the wisdom with which he display-I
ed at the same moment the sublimity and
practicableness of Christian virtue,—
They tell us, that the early ripeness ofj
his mind did not check its growth ; but;
that every year enlarged his treasures
and powers. Their tears and counto-l
nances tell us, more movingly than words,
their deep sorrow, now that they shall
hear his voice no more, |
' Of his social character I need not;
speak to you. No one, who ever met
Ihim in a friendly circle,can easily forget
the attraction of his manners and conver
sation, He carried into socicty a checr-,
fulness, and sunshine of the soul, derived
partly from constitution, and partly from|
his bright, confiding views of religion ;I
a delicacy, which instinctively shrunk’
from wounding the feelings of the lmm—i
blest human being ; a disposition to oym
pathise with every innocent enjoyment ;
and the power of communicating wilhl
ecase and interest the riches of his mind.i
Without effort, he won the hearts of men
to a singular degree. Never was man
more universally beloved. Even in
sickness and in foreign lands, he contin
ued to attract friends ; and it is our con
solation to know, that he drew from stran
gers much of that kindness which blessed
him at home. I
In his sickness I was parti(-ularlyl
struck with his submission to God, and
his affection for his people. His sub
mission seemed entire. There was no
alloy of impatience or distrust. His
sickness was a severe trial ; for his heart
was bound up in his profession, and if in
any thing his ambition was excessive, itl
was in his desire to enrich his mind by la
borious study. He felt deeply his priva
tion, and he looked forward to an early
ideath as a probable event. But he bow
ed to Providence without a murmur.
He spoke only of the divine goodness,
“I am in God’s hand, and his will be
done,”” were familiar sentiments, not ut
tered with common place and mechanic
al formality, but issuing, as his tones
and countenance discovered, from the
very depths of his heart. A firmer and
calmer submission could hardly have
been formed by a long life of suffering.
His feelings toward his people seem
ed at times too strong for the self-posses
sion and calmness by which he was char
acterised. Their kindness overpower
ed him. The only tears, which I saw
start from his eyes, flowed from this
source. In my last interview with him,
a day or two before his voyage, I said
to him, “I trust that you will return, but
I fear you cannot safely continue your
pastoral relation. We have, however,
another employment for you, in which
youmay be useful and happy.” He an
swered, “if I get strength I shall use
it fur any people, T wm willlng 10 haz
ard my life for their sakes. 1 would
preach to them, although the effoit should
shorten my days.” He added—*Should
I forsake my people after the kindness I
have reccived; the cause of religion and
of the ministry might suffer ; and to this
cause I ought and am willing to make
any sacrifices.” Such isa brief'sketch of
our lamented friend. He was one ofthe
most blameless men, of the most devot
ed ministers, and of the fairest examples
of the distinguishing virtues of Christian
I It was in the course of this spring
[lBls] that Lord Byron and Sir \'\Jalter
Scott became, for the first time, personal
ly acquainted with each other. I{’fr Mur
ray,having been previously on a visittothe
latter gentleman,hadbeen intrusted by him
with a superb Turkish dagger, as a pres
ent to Lord Byron ; and the noble poet,
on their meeting this year in London—
the only time when these two great men
had ever an opportunity of enjoying
cach other’s society,—presented to Sir
Walter in return, a vase containing some
human bones that had been dug up from
under a part of the old walls of Athens,
The reader, however, will be much
better pleased to have these partic
ulars in the words of Sir Walter Scott
himself, who, with that good nature which
vomdow lhine 1o €5B 4MIADIE than admira
ble, has found time, in the midst of all
’his marvellous labours for the world, to
favour me with the following interesting
‘communication, I
[Moere’s Life of Lord Byron
“My first acquaintance with Byron
began in a manner rather doubtful. I
was so far from having any thing to do
with the offensive criticism in the Edin
burgh, that I remember remonstrating
against it with our friend, the editor, be
cause 1 thought the “Hours of Idleness”
treated with undue severity. They were
written like all juvenile poetry, rather
from the recollection of what had pleas
ed the author in others than what had
been suggested by his own imagination ;
but, nevertheless I thought they contain
ed some passages of noble promise. 1
was so much impressed with this that I
had thoughts of writing to the author ;
but some exaggerated reports concerning
his peculiarities, and a natural unwilling
ness to intrude an opinion which was un
called for, induced me to relinquish the
1 was very much struck, with all the
world, at the vigour and force of imagina-
tion displayed in the first Cantos of Childe
Iflarold and the other splendid produc
tions which Lord Byron flung from him
‘to the public with a promptitude that sa
\voured of profusion. My own popular
ity, as a poet was then on the wane, and
1 was unaffectedly pleased to see an
lauthor of so much power and energy ta
‘king the field. Mr. John Murray hap
'lpened to be in Scotland that season, and
'as I mentioned to him the pleasure I
'should have in making Loed Byron’s ac
’quaintance, he had the kindness to men
(tion my wish to his lordship, which led
‘to some correspondence.
! It was in the spring of 1815, that,
‘chancing to be in London, I had the ad
|vantage of a personal introduction to
il,ord Byron. Report had prepared me
'to meet a man of peculiar habits and a
Iquick temper, and I had some doubts
Iwhcther we should be likely to suit each
|other in society. 1 was most agreeably
édisappointed in this respect. I found
;Lord Byron in the highest degree cour
teous, and even kind. We met for an
hour or two almost daily in Mr. Murray’s
Idrawing room, and found a great deal to
say to each other. We also met fre
quently in parties and evening society,
so that for two months I had the advan
tage of considerable intimacy with that
l‘distinguished individual. Oursentiments
‘agreed a good deal, except upon the sub
| jects of religion and politics, upon neither
;of which I was inclined to believe that
Lord Byron entertained very fixed opin
ions. I’remember saying to him, that I
really thought, that if he lived a few
'years he would alter his sentiments.—
iHe answered rather sharply, “I suppose
'you are one of those who prophesy I will
‘turn Methodist.” 1 replied, “No—ll
!don’t expect your conversion tobe of such
lau ordivary kiud, I would rather look
'to see you retreat upon the Catholic faith,
,and distinguish yourself by the austerity
jof your penances. The species of re
'ligion to which you must, or may, one
I'dny attach yourself must excite a strong
‘power on the imaginatior.” He smiled
| gravely, and seemed to allow I might be
right. :
] On politics, he used sometimes to ex
press a high strain of what is now called
iLibemlism ; but it appeared to me
lthat the pleasure it afforded to him as a
vehicle of displaying his wit and satire
against individuals in office was at the
bottom of this habit of thinking, rather
‘than any real conviction of the political
principles on which he talked. He was
Iccrtuinly proud of his rank and ancient
family, and, in that respect was as much
of an aristocrat as was consistent with
good sense and good breeding. Some
disgusts, how adoptedl know not,seemed
to give this peculiar and it appeared to
me, contradictory cast of mind ; but, at
heart 1 would have termed Byron a pa-
trician on principle.
‘ “Lord Byron’s reading did not seem
to me to have been very extensive either
lin poetry or history. Having the ad
;vuntuge of him in that respect, and pos
sessing a good competent share of such
‘,rcuding as is little read, I was sometimes
'able to put under his eye objects which
'nad tor him the interest of novelty. I
remember particularly repeating to him
the fine poem of Hardyknute, an imita
'tion of the old Scottish Ballad, with
lwhich he was so much affected, that
’somc one who was in the same apart
imcnt asked me what I could possibly
‘have been telling Byron by which he
'was so much agitated.
1 saw Byron for the last time, in 1815,
after I returned from France, He dined,
or lunchefl, with me at Long’s in Bond
street. I never saw him so full of gayety
iand good humor, to which the presence
\of Matthews, the comedian, added not
a little. Poor Terry was also present.
After one of the gayest parties I ever
was present at, my fellow traveller, Mr.
Scott of Gala, and I, set off for Scotland,
and I, never saw Lord Byron again.—
Several letters passed between us—one
Iperhapo every half year. Like the oM
heroes in Homer, we exchanged gifts ;
I gave Lord Byron a beautiful dagger
}mounted with gold, which had been the
property of the redoubted Elfi Bey.—
But | was to play the part of Diomed,
in the Iliad ; tor Byron sent me. an™e
NO. 2.

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