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have no doubt that some of these brethren have greatly underrated their abilities. They can easily refute those taunts; but if they cannot, it does not follow that no one can. If we have given them too much credit for ability they are surely unfit to be Methodist Church legislators. As to our Church government not being American, as is charged, the position has its origin in very superficial views of the subject. Somehow the American people give it the preference. It suits them. Nor is it in the least degree at variance with civil and religious freedom. It guards that sacred boon more
. effectually than any of those systems which have so boastfully assumed its special guardianship. It places civil and ecclesiastical supremacy in different hands, whereas those systems, offered to us as models, place them in the same hands, a measure which constitutes the basis of all Church and State establishments. Under our present system it would be impossible to unite Church and State, though every man, woman, and child in the United States were a Methodist. The system furnishes a constitutional obstruction. The first step toward the removal of that obstruction is a lay delegation. Then the danger would commence. As a patriot and philanthropist I am opposed to it. It is thought to be very important to keep apart legislative, judicial, and executive powers, by vesting them in different persons; but there seems to be no just apprehension of the danger of uniting civil and ecclesiastical supremacy in the same persons, unless it be in the persons of ministers, as though to be constrained by the love of Christ to preach the Gospel transformed them into the most dangerous men. The separation of these jurisdictions is the great problem which Italian patriotism desires to solve. God grant that they may be soon separated, not to be reunited in the persons of laymen, but to remain separate forever. If we could have things according to our own mind in this country, we would have no minister of the Gospel in Congress, or in any civil office, until he had given up his parchments as a presbyter in the Church. Nor would we allow any layman to unite in his possession civil and ecclesiastical power by sitting in the civil legislature and in the supreme council of the Church. If any would have supreme ecclesiastical power he should disgorge the civil. And if he would have the civil he should relinquish the ecclesiastical. We would have no honorable senators, leaving their seats in the capitol to legislate in the synods, and general assemblies, and conferences, and conventions of the Church. We regard with almost equal aversion a lay-governed Church and a priest-governed State. They are both at variance with the genius of Christianity. Methodism is now immeasurably in advance of other systems. They must make rapid progress to overtake her. We trust that she will not enter upon a course of retrogression for the sake of their company.
An attempt has been made to cause the impression that the exclusion of laymen from the highest councils of the Church rests upon a tacit imputation to them of inferiority to ministers in intelligence and piety. This is not the case. If other reasons quite sufficient cannot be given, we shall abandon the argument. Great talents and moral worth are demanded in the various departments of business and professional life. Besides, our laymen are entitled and expected to occupy posts of high honor and responsibility in civil government. We expect them to be our sheriffs, judges, senators, governors, generals; and if we have not a Methodist president of the Republic, it is not because we have not men of talents and virtue equal to the office. The ends of society would not be answered by crowding all the distinguished talent and virtue into the Christian ministry, if it were possible to do so. Is political sovereignty withheld from all females and male minors on the ground of a want of intelligence and trustworthiness ? Is the naturalized foreigner, who cannot write his name, or read his naturalization papers, superior in these qualities to the great body of American students between the ages of nineteen and twenty-one? Is every brainless profligate over twenty-one years of age superior, in these respects, to the mothers, wives, and sisters of our eminent statesmen? It is not difficult to find other reasons. We conclude, not because the subject is exhausted. It is scarcely opened. But limits are assigned, and must be observed.
Art. IV.-LEIGH HUNT.
The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt, with Reminiscences of Friends and Cotem
poraries. Two volumes. New York: Harper & Brothers. The Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt. Two volumes. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. The Prose Works of Leigh Hunt. Four volumes. New York: Derby & Jackson.
In this country where every one, like the knight of La Mancha, professes to be son of his own deeds, there is much impatience with minute details of genealogy. This leads to the loss of many
useful lessons. By some study of their ancestors, men may know more of themselves than by confining their observations to the small space and time in which they personally live. If they would read their own lives and characters with intelligent eye, they should collate the earlier editions of themselves which may be found by careful
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XII.-16
search in unfrequented corners of the great library of humanity. Having patiently deciphered the half-obliterated pages, and become familiar with the black-letter type of those old volumes, we shall better appreciate the style of the page of life which to-day demands our notice.
Leigh Hunt had a theory that a man is but his parents or some other of his ancestors drawn out. The two extremes of mirth and melancholy which met in him were contributed to his character by his parents. With all the thoughtfulness of a biographer, who sincerely aims to aid his readers in understanding his hero, he gives us on the threshold a key to his character. Wisely and filially he devotes several pages of his autobiography to his parents, thus enabling readers to see in fountains springing in the far West those ingredients which flow in all the current of his after life.
Leigh Hunt's father was a native of the West Indies. He married a lady of Philadelphia, and settled in New York as attorney and barrister. On the breaking out of the Revolution he unwisely adhered to the cause of George III. He was treated so roughly for his toryism that he fled to England. He soon after abandoned the law, and became a preacher in the Established Church. The ingratitude of republics is proverbial, and the zealous loyalist soon found that it is not confined to one form of government, but sometimes forms a trait of royal character. Though he had suffered severely from his espousal of the royal cause, and soon became a preacher of distinguished talent, he looked in vain for preferment from the head of the Anglican Church.
Leigh Hunt was born on the 19th of October, 1784. Though a native of England, he always had the kindness to regard Americans as cousins, and had the liberality to be pleased with the popularity of his books on this side of the Atlantic. We can appreciate this liberality the more when we know that his cash account owed little enlargement to the publication and sale of his works in America.
Had Hunt been born in America, we should have had him, according to a theory of his own, without poetical genius. While he makes exceptions of certain individuals, he says: “As a nation I cannot
· get it out of my head that Americans are Englishmen with the poetry and romance taken out of them.” He dislikes our proclivity for money-getting. He imagines a great counter built along the American coast from north to south, behind which we are all standing, like so many linen-drapers, ready to drive bargains. He has hope for us, however, not doubting that “in time this unchristian opinion will come to nought."
If his portraiture of character is correct, it was fortunate for
Hunt that he was not born in America. He would have aspired in vain for standing behind our great counter. He had no capacity for accounts; he had a horror of dates and figures, and only learned the value of money from the trouble it gave his friends to extricate him from his pecuniary embarrassments. He confessed ignorance of the multiplication-table; and when editor of the Examiner was ignorant of the simplest financial fact pertaining to the paper-the price of its stamp. In the two fascinating volumes of his autobiography few dates are to be found. We are led along from one occurrence to another without knowing the dates of the most important events. Our hero manifests as much reluctance to inform us of his age, as the vulgar theory attributes to ladies of uncertain years.
There is one pleasant exception to our general lack of knowledge. A portrait adorns the entrance to the volumes, in which the author wears a countenance so youthful that few would suppose him to have passed his twentieth year. To obviate misapprehensions, the engraver inscribed “ætat 36" below the picture.
No one in all the history of English literature could laugh at dates with a better grace than Leigh Hunt. He preserved the glow and spirit of his youth to his latest years. His heart was always young. Years passed over him, and silvered his head, and made his step infirm; but his youthful sympathies were alive and vigorous to the last. When" a gray-headed senior,” his senses were alive to the pleasing sights and sounds which charmed his youth. One day, while in a music store, he fell upon some songs which he had sung in childhood. The discovery called up pleasing recollections, to which he gives utterance in agreeable style. "They were the only
• songs I recollect singing when a child, and I looked on them with the accumulated tenderness of sixty-three years. I do not remember to have set eyes on them in the interval. What a difference between the little smooth-faced boy at his mother's knee, encouraged to lift up his voice to the piano, and the battered, gray-headed senior, looking again for the first time on what he had sung at the distance of more than half a century!"
While his youthful temperament was a source of great beauty to his character, there was with it a shade of defect. He was once described, in no inaccurate terms, as “ the spoiled child of the public.” Smiled upon and flattered in very early years by the public, then treated coldly for a time, and at length looked upon again with favor, he acquired a sensitiveness to praise and blame which is a mark of youthful rather than manly character.
By going to other sources, as well as the autobiography, we pre
sent the following paragraph of dates : Leigh Hunt was born October 19, 1784. He published a small volume of juvenile verses in 1802. In 1807 he published a series of critical articles on the London Theaters, which attracted attention from their bold tone and independent spirit. He and his brother became proprietors of the Examiner in 1808, which soon attracted popular attention for its literary ability, and the independence with which it advocated liberal principles in politics. So truthful were its strictures on men in high places, and the corrupt practices of government, that bitter and powerful animosity was aroused against it. In 1810 a series of prosecutions for libel was instituted against the editors, succeeded by an imprisonment of two years, which terminated on the 3d of February, 1815. Some of Leigh Hunt's best and most popular poetry was published soon after his liberation, as the fruit of his involuntary retirement from society. In 1818 Leigh Hunt established a weekly paper, entitled the Indicator, conducted after the manner of the Spectator and Rambler. The essays published under this title, collected and republished many times, constitute their author's most substantial claim to remembrance. In 1822 Hunt went to Italy, at the earnest solicitation of Byron and Shelley. In 1828 we find him again in England, prosecuting his literary labors with redoubled ardor.: Essays, translations, compilations, and original works almost without number, fell from his fruitful pen. His death, which occurred August 29, 1859, severed one of the strongest ties which bind us to the literature and literary men of the early years of this century.
The series of malicious prosecutions of the editors of the Examiner, and their final conviction and imprisonment, form a thrilling and highly instructive chapter in the history of the press. The Examiner was a progressive newspaper, the chivalrous champion of reforins, and the avowed opponent of abuses. Its editors were young, ardent, and sincere, and sufficiently regardless of consequences to give utterance to the most unflattering truths. “The Examiner," says its autobiographical historian, “began its career like most papers, with thinking the worst of those from whom it differed, and expressing its mind with fearless sincerity."
Considering itself the champion of the injured, the Examiner espoused the cause of Major Hogan, of the British army, who, not having received promotion as rapidly as he deserved, had written a pamphlet, in which he exposed the unjust manner in which preferment was sold, and the highly dishonorable means which were employed to obtain it. The Examiner noticed this pamphlet, and made such editorial comments upon it as were prompted by its ardor in the