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enemies. Accustomed for many years to direct the studies, and hear the recitations of students in theology, he became familiar with the various difficulties that lie in their way. By extensive reading, with the aid of a very retentive memory, he had made himself acquainted with the different views of theologians; and by the daily and attentive perusal of the Holy Scriptures, he had imbibed truth at the fountain. Thus furnished, after many years of reflection, he matured in one hundred and seventy-three discourses, a system of theology, probably more copious and more replete with instruction, than any which the present age has seen.
His manner of preaching was distinct, forcible, and free from any appearance of affectation, either in action or utterance. It will not be difficult to discriminate the peculiar features of his pulpit eloquence. His voice was unusually heavy and sonorous. Its inflexions were highly musical and agreeable, but limited to a comparatively small number. A very strong and frequent emphasis, though it imparted dignity, conspired with some uniformity of tones, occasionally to tire the ear, and to lull attention. When every thing is emphatic and elevated, it is not easy to surprise by those sudden flashes, “which, like heaven's artillery, dazzle while they strike” At times, however, President Dwight rose to an almost unequalled height, and exhibited the finest examples of oratory. Whenever his soul was filled with peculiar transport, as in contemplating the capacities and employments of the holy angels, and glorified saints, his eloquence resembled a mighty stream, flowing majestically through meadows of living verdure, or groves of spices and golden fruits; whenever he was roused by viewing the awful nature and consequences of the infidel philosophy, it resembled the same stream, augmented to a mighty flood, and hurrying its way onward in an overwhelming torrent.
We purposed here to descant on the fidelity with which Dr. Dwight discharged the duties of the pastoral office;-on his sympathy for the afflicted, which often denied him utterance;-on the zeal with which he promoted works of benevolence;-on the fervency of his prayers at the sacramental table, by the bed of sickness, and in the court of justice: but, borne along in a delightful current, we have already been carried far beyond our limits.
It only remains, therefore, to attend him into the retirement of private life, and to take a transient view of him in his various social and domestic relations.
The transition from the writings of authors, who are distinguished for the excellency of their moral and religious instructions, to their private fire-sides, is compared, in the eloquent Rambler, to our entrance into a large city after a distant prospect: “Kemotely we see nothiug but spires of temples, and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded with smoke.” A disappointment like this, is often felt on our introduction to men who have attained eminence for talents and piety. By habits of seclusion and abstraction, they have perhaps lost the ability to mingle with interest in the concerns of the passing day. It was not so with President Dwight. In his manners he was in the highest degree dignified, affable, and polite. Like Johnson, he shone, in no place, with more distinguished splendour, than in the circle of the friends he loved, when the glow of animation lighted up his countenance, and a perpetual stream of knowledge and wisdom flowed from his lips. As his had been a life of observation and reflection rather than of secluded study, his acquisitions were all practical, they were all at hand, ready to enrich and adorn his conversation. In Theology and Ethics, in Nataral Philosophy and Geography, in History and Statictics, in Poetry and Philology, in Husbandry and Domestic Economy, his treasures were equally inexhaustible. Interesting narration, vivid description, and sallies of humour; anecdotes of the just, the gond, the generous, the brave, the eccentric: these all were blended in fine proportions to form the bright and varied tissue of his discourse. Alive to all the sympathies of friendship, faithful to its claims, and sedulous in performing its duties, he was beloved by many from early life, with whom he entered on the stage, and whom, as Shakspeare says, he "grappled to his soul with hooks of steel.” It is no small proof of his uncommon amiableness, that all who gained the most intimate access to him,
whether associates, or pupils, or amanuenses, admired, revered, and loved him most.
No love of study and abstraction, ever detached him long from his family, or prevented his taking the deepest interest in their welfare. The multiplicity of his engagements did not hinder his being to the partner of his bosóm, with whom he had been united from early life, a tender and affectionate companion. His children approached him with reverence, but still with the utmost freedom. They daily shared his conversation, and received his .counsels. Nothing which promoted their enjoyment, or which gave them pain, was too minute to affect his feelings. His brothers and sisters also, and more reinote connexions, uniformly received the proofs and benefits of his strong attachment. Indeed the meanest domestic in his household, regarded him with an attachment almost filial, and received a correspondent return from his feeling and benevolent heart.
After a rehearsal of so many virtues, the reader may demand, what faults must be named, to shade this outline, to make it a picture of real life.
The imperfections of President Dwight were chiefly such as arose from that peculiar ardour of temper, which also imparted a mighty activity to his virtues. In his own view they were so heinous, that he has often been heard, in the confidence of friend. ship, to deplore them with tears. But he tried his own heart by a perfect law. To others, who compared him with his fellow men, they appeared in a different light. Even to the eye of prejudice, they weré neither numerous, nor heinous. "To the eye of friendship, they were hidden beneath his virtues, like the shades that are dimly descried beneath the brightness of the moon, shining with full orb in a cloudless sky.
Hard indeed is it for those who have long enjoyed his friends ship, and listened to his counsels, to realize that those lips, on which dwelt, the law of kindness, are closed in long silence: that that tongue of eloquence is mute—that eye of fire quenched, to beam no more.
SOME ACCOUNT OF READING, IN PENNSYLVANIA.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE PORT FOLIO.
Reading, August, 1817. WHOEVER takes a ramble round the borough of Reading, in the state of Pennsylvania, must be delighted with its situation, and the richness of the surrounding hills and country, all within a bird's eye view.'
Its population, I believe, is upwards of 5000. The river Schuylkill runs north to south east, at the end of the town, where there has lately been erected a very handsome bridge upwards of six hundred feet long. On this river, in and about the neighbourhood of Reading, are several mill-dams, and many valuable seats for mills, and other water-works. It is well known that the Schuylkill river affords abundant of water-powers for mills, manufactories, and other purposes. Some few miles up this river, in the vicinity of Orwigsburg, are abundance of coal-pits in full work, which supply Reading. The families now commonly use the coal, and to such an extent within the last two years, as to reduce the price of wood two dollars in the cord. The coal is fit for burning bricks and lime, and is used by several malsters and brewers. Ten bushels of the coal (at 80 lbs. to the bushel) give as much heat, and are equal in the consumption, to one cord of wood.
The entrance into Reading from Philadelphia, is about a mile and a quarter long, in a gradual descent to the river; this is the main and largest street. There is a smaller one about the centre of the town, running north to south. In both of these streets, there are some very capital houses and spacious stores, some of which, I understand, supply many towns and small stores, to an extent of about one hundred miles; and although there is this considerable business and traffic carried on in Reading, still it possesses more commanding advantages for a considerable increase, on account of the river, which shortly will be navigable to a great extent; as also the turnpike roads, which lead to most of the capital places in the state. Indeed, from the great spirit and enterprise of its inhabitants and neighbourhood, who in general are very wealthy, the borough of Reading, I have no doubt, must in a very
few years, bid fair to be a great market for trade and commerce, and must become a splendid place. Most of the capital houses, and those now building, are of brick; some of them are very costly, and in a good and elegant style of architecture. Here are two banks in good repute.
The public buildings, containing the law offices, are of modern date, and are of brick. The court-house spacious, with various rooms, and apartments in the upper story; is situated in the centre of the town. On each side, east and vest, are markethouses well supplied with the best of meat, vegetables, &c. and in great abundance. There are several churches and places of worship, viz:-Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Quakers; but it is to be regretted that they have no stecples, which certainly gives great beauty to a town, as well as dignity to the picture. Here let me notice the city of Philadelphia; why not adorn that city with such innocent and almost universal embela lishment as a lofty spire to a church? In my opinion it not only gives beauty to the sight, but also has some moral influence upon the heart.
I should have noticed, that there are several other streets beside the two former, but they are of less importance. The town is built chiefly on an inclined plain, which makes it peculiarly healthy, as on every shower, all the filth that might be in the streets, and foot pavements, are inmediately washed and carried off into the river.
I had frequently heard, before I came to reside here, that the town of Reading was a charming healthy spot, and much noticed fur the salubrity of its air; but I had no idea of its being so picturesque and beautiful; in truth, it was far beyond my expectation. The neighbouring grounds and pleasant walks, are a charming retreat for an evening ramble, and are very deservedly, much frequented by its inhabitants. The scenery around the town appears quite a terrestrial Paradise. The views are enchanting. I particularly noticed one from the south mountain, about a mile from the town--the meandering river Schuylkill, winding round its base. The view from the side of this hill towards the west and north is beautiful. The valley for many miles in extent, is charmingly variegated; and the windings of the river, all form