Imatges de pÓgina
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accredited by the Spirit, to link the nations together in the new relation of universal amity.

At that period it was not as it now is in respect to the feeling of brotherhood amongst nations. Then raged bitter hostility and severe bigotry in men otherwise to be considered enlightened; and barriers, since broken down in peaceful times, were still erect and blood-stained. Tranquil years have since given opportunity for the labors of such ambassadors between man and man, as the subject of our remarks, to operate freely in almost every department of mental and moral geography.

Modern public morality has effected a worthy progress, so far as it has removed its approbation from the warrior's achievements to those of the scientific discoverer; from the conquest of pride and anger over human blood, to the triumphs of mind over passive matter. But a still worthier progress must be accomplished. A newer morality must award its highest honors to those, who discover and apply new practical plans for aiding human regeneration, and conserving pure human generation. The law and principle of these works have long been revealed, but the actual intellectual means, as well as the physical contingencies, yet remain to be unfolded. This is man's most sacred social duty, and until this reality becomes the ruling vitality in his actions, neither his actual beneficences, nor his intellectual discoveries will have any real value with relation to true manhood, how much soever they may enrich the community, or render famous the individual.

All our improvements in machinery, though, when viewed in relation to sanguinary war and national pride, they are highly to be extolled, fall into the shade when compared with the conquest of man's selfish nature. To enable two ears of corn to grow where only one grew before, may be worthy of the highest honor which man in society can bestow. If this be true, how great return should be decreed to him, who enables thought to spring up in the mind heretofore barren, or devises means, having for their object the direct generation of moral vitality in man himself.

Such seems to have been the high and peculiar mission of Mr. Greaves. In many particulars he was as eminently qualified to carry it out. No second or selfish object diverted him from the primary purpose. He was ever

open to the interruption of inquirers, ever ready to lay his mind before those who, having better expounding faculties, were qualified as public interpreters, and had their private pleasure therein. He was of that nature, of which the world is happily not without other examples, which, abounding in all the qualities and organism requisite to the construction of an eminent character, with moral courage of the purest kind, with intellectual perspicuity far above the common lot, and energy equal to their popular manifestation, yet takes a direction which in its own day, at least, keeps the name from the public eye. These are the central minds of their circle, around which minds more circumferential revolve; the under mind upon which the superficial minds rest. Were the originality in many books, speeches, or institutions to be thoroughly traced, it would often be found necessary to transfer the merit, if any there be, from the known name to the unknown author, Greaves. Often was his the suggestive mind which either corrected the well-meant efforts of others, or started the original thought. His corrections, like his originations, were always effected by a faithful endeavor to connect the expressed idea with the true originator. This he had the faculty of doing in so many and such varied forms of expression, that he had an entrance into every mind, a word for every person. The educated and the uneducated, male and female, rich and poor, alike confessed the potency in his words, though their influence not unfrequently ceased when his pen or voice was stilled. But let us not too hastily adopt such a conclusion. There are now scattered over the thoughtful world written records of his efforts, to recall the mind of the author criticised to the real being Author, which cannot ultimately fail of beneficial results. There are now embosomed in many hearts sayings deep and living, which, as quickening conditions, shall tend to the reanimation of the living Word.

He was thus, in the most eminent sense, a practical philosopher. His gratification was far less in having the fame of good works, than in seeing them accomplished. Nor in other respects was he less actual. He early had a deep and permanent intuition of the Pythagorean idea. That everything needless should be given up; that all things, every action, should be made subservient to the one great end, was not with him a mere idea to be spoken of, but

actual practices. By an adherence to principle in this manner, in respect to diet, to behavior, to mental freedom, moral candor, and divine love, he became, despite of all tendency to retirement, an eminent example and a frequent theme of discourse to all who knew him. His presence made an academic grove in every familiar place; and his history calls to mind the reports of the celebrated men of antiquity. London streets have been, though perhaps not frequently, the scene of a happiness which must be secured rather in a penny loaf and spring water, than at luxurious banquets; in singleness of heart, rather than in family enjoyments.

So deep, so intimate was the interpenetration of the Spirit in him, that the power to express it affirmatively was by no means equal to it; and very generally his mode was found objectionable, until so far diluted that there was near danger of altogether losing the spirit. The fact, however, doubtless is, that it was what he would express, that was difficult to admit, and not the terms used to express it. The idea itself being new and unknown, novel and strange necessarily must the language be in which the speaker endeavors to expose it. However, this may now be made an experiment by every candid reader. The world already so fully abounds in scriptures, that there will not be much vice in the addition of a few more lines, especially when on all hands that one popular quality, novelty, must be conceded them.

Antecedent to the year 1830, Mr. Greaves appears not to have kept any regular record of his thoughts. His written efforts were deposited on the margins of the books he read, or displayed in private correspondence, or on still frailer or more portable scraps of paper, too freely, and now too widely distributed to be gathered.

Amongst his relics there are twelve quarto volumes of manuscript, in his own hand writing, which, being of a small character, these papers are really a monument of constant industry as of pervading love.

Inertia was unknown to him; and the love in his activity was as unfailing as itself. When not conversing or lecturing, his pen was constantly in motion. If unemployed publicly, he in private found means to render his presence on earth essentially useful to his fellow man. The simple operation of marking passages in books, by his pen, was

from his mind a commentary more pointed, more valuable, than on many occasions the lengthy annotations of the profound scholar. This slight, dumb sign that mind has been busy there; this proof that some other soul could touch the deepest ground which the deepest wisdom could express, that some auditor could be whose ear could catch the most sacred harmony which the profoundest harper could attune, is magnetism enough to involve a second reader, and to render him participant of the joys of the two predecessors, with the addition of the animating feelings peculiar to himself. To mind the footprints of mind, in an unmindful world, are doubly cheering.

There are occasionally still to be seen on earth giant minds, who bestride the narrow world of literature like a colossus; men of intelligence so living and so penetrating, that they seem to have the key in their own minds to every book. Their minds are enabled to transcend the author's, and to reflect back upon the book a brighter light, and more valuable similitude, as the human form is more estimable than the glass in which it is reflected.

Before we proceed to furnish extracts from these which, we hope not unprofanely, we may call sacred volumes, we would endeavor to give a few examples of the workings of his mind in the mode above mentioned, of contrasting the various authors which from time to time fell under his observation.

These marginal notices being spread over a course of many years, thirty at least, are not all the survey of a mind from one position. Though the central point is constantly expressed in them, there must necessarily be some graduation, during a series of years, in the utterances of a progressive mind. Mr. Greaves had a strong intuition also of the importance of a change in terminology. He evidently had an appreciating perception of the heavy chains, which oft repeated words and phrases throw around the mind, which otherwise were free to express spontaneously the germinations of the births within.

We are the better enabled to do this, as Mr. Greaves published some of these in the year 1827, in the form of a periodical essay, under the title of the Contrasting Magazine, having the assistance of Dr. Biber as editor.

DIRGE.

I.

I SAW the pine trees on the shore
Stand solemn in their dark green shroud,
I heard the winds thy loss deplore,
Whose beauty worlds had fleetly bowed.

Thy beauty! God's own hand did press
Thy rich curls round thy Grecian brow,
And wound thee in lithe loveliness;
I see thee standing by me now.

I hear thy solemn anthem fall

Of richest song upon my ear,
That clothes thee in thy golden pall,

As this wide sun flows on the mere.

Away't is autumn in the land,
Though summer decks the green pine's bough,
Its spires are plucked by thy white hand,

I see thee standing by me now.

II.

I dress thee in the withered leaves,
Like forests when their day is done,
I bear thee, as the wain its sheaves,
Which crisply rustle in the sun.

Thou trackest me as blood-hounds scent
The wanderer's feet all down the glen;
Thy memory is the monument

That dies not out my heart again.

So swift the circling years run round
Their dizzy course, I hope to hide;
But till they lay me 'neath the ground,
My resting day shall be denied.

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