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Weiss infers that he usually obtained less than six hours' sleep, though there is no ground, save Weiss's pleasure, for thinking so. The school exercises required eleven hours of his time per week. He sometimes taught private pupils as many hours more iir the week.
Now let us see what he did while in the school. He read the Fathers, and made careful notes and analyses of their works. The Fathers of the Church, prior to the Council of Nice, make up eighteen goodly volumes, as published by T. & T. Clark. But there are manifest signs that he read some of the Post-Nicene Fathers. The Catholic and High-Church parties usually embrace the Christian writers of the first six centuries under this title. The Oxford edition consists of forty volumes. The vacation of 183i was wholly spent in translating papers on La Fayette for Mr. Sparks. Here were two months gone. He spent a month of his last term on a visit to Washington. The poetic faculty kept up its proclamation of utter imaginative bankruptcy in legions of dreary verses. He translated, dipped into rabbinical matters, read books on the Messianic prophecies, and was favorably inclined to De Wette's views on this subject. He also asked himself some questions concerning the miraculous conception. He studied books on the Canon and the different versions of the Bible, translated the article on Rationalism from the Conversations-Lexicon, and also considerable matter from Eichhorn's Ur-Geschichtc. Faulus succeeded, and a paper was written called Hints on German Theology. Next he went through the "Wolfenbiittel Fragments,'' and began to read Spinoza. Under the caption, Horse Platonicse, analyses and criticisms on views contained in Plato's works are given. Sundays he used to walk to Charle.-town to teach a Sunday-school class in the State-prison. Notes on Coleridge's Table-Talk follow. He read Wegscheider, Stiiudlin, Storr, Schmidt, Cud worth, Henry More, Norris, Descartes, Lessing, Cousin, B. Constant, Leibnitz, and, finally, the words, books on magic, in which he was very curious," suggest numberless muddy tomes. He read Vico's Scienza Nuova, studied Ammon's "Fortbildung," and some Greek comedies, German commentaries, some volumes of De Wette, Kant, and a great many books on Gnosticism. The last was the subject of his graduating essay. He spent much of his time after the Fourth Series, Vol. XXV.—2
middle of 1835 in writing for and editing "The Scriptural Investigator," a periodical published by students of the Divinity School. His contributions to this magazine number forty. The most important was an essay on the Laws of Moses, very highly commended by Mr. Weiss, but not read by the present writer. This paper extended through several numbers. Here he also published a translation of Astruc's Conjectures on Genesis, though not without fears that it would cause some outcry. Eight of the fourteen months in which Parker read three hundred and twenty volumes belong to this period.
Besides this account, based upon manuscript documents, we find another equally curious from Parker's pen in the Experience as a Minister. He says that during the three years preceding his settlement at West Roxbury he "read the Bible critically in the original tongues, and the most important parts of it also in the early versions." "I studied the historical development of religion among, nations not Christian or Jewish, and attended as well as I then could to the four other great religious sects: the Brahmanic, Buddhistic, the Classic, and the Mohammedan. As far as possible at that time I studied the sacred books of mankind in their original tongues, and with the help of the most faithful interpreters. Here the Greek and Roman poets and philosophers came in for their place, there being no sacred books of the Classic nations. I attended pretty carefulty to the religion of savages and barbarians. ... 1 found no tribe of men destitute of religion who had attained power of articulate speech." He also names Locke, Hobbes, Berkeley, Hume, Paley, the French Materialists, Reid, Stewart, Butler, and Barrow, as giving him little help in his effort " to make an analysis of humanity, to see if I could detect the special element that produced religious consciousness in me, and religious phenomena in mankind." Kant aided him most, but, poor fellow!" he did not always furnish conclusions I could rest in; ... yet gave me the true method, and put me on the right road." With much reading and protracted meditation, then, he found certain great primal intuitions of human nature, of which he gives us the three most important to religion:
"1. The instinctive intuition of the divine; the consciousness that there is a God.
"2. The instinctive intuition of the just and right; a consciousness that there is a moral law, independent of our will, which we ought to keep.
"3. The instinctive intuition of the immortal; the consciousness of eternal hfe.
"I thought it a triumph that I had . . . devised a scheme which to the scholar's mind, I thought, would legitimate what was spontaneously given to all by the great primal instincts of mankind. Then I proceeded to develop the contents of these instinctive intuitions of the divine, the just and the immortal, and see what God actually is, what morality is, and what eternal life has to offer. First, from the history of mankind, savage, barbarous, civilized, and enlightened, I gathered the most significant facts I could find relating to men's opinions about God, morality, heaven, and hell, and thence made such generalizations as the facts would warrant, which, however, were seldom satisfactory. . . .
"Next, from the primitive facts of consciousness, as given by the power of instinctive intuition, I endeavored to deduce the true notion of God, justice, and futurity. Here I could draw on human nature, and not be hindered by the limitations of human history. I studied books on sleep-walking, dreams, visions, prophecies, second-sight, oracles, ecstasies, witchcraft, magic wonders, the appearance of devils, ghosts, and the like; also the Pseudepigraphy of the Old Testament and the apocraphy of the New, with the strange fantasies of the Neplatonists. ... I did not neglect the Mystics."
We shall presently show that this work, if done at all before his first settlement, must have been done ere Parker left the Theological School. I might fairly pause here to ask if there can be time to do more work than this in the twenty-four months spent by Parker in theological study at the school? Those months are=seven hundred and twenty days. Suppose Parker studied fourteen hours per day, we have ten thousand two hundred and twenty hours. Let any man, the abler the better, consider whether as much work has not been assigned to this space of time as can be well performed in it. "I have taken no notice of the fact that his plan of study provides for only eleven to thirteen hours of daily study; nor have I made any allowance for Sunday, from a feeling that Parker made none. In a letter to George Ripley, Parker says that he has not told all about the studies of this period, and Weiss throws out similar hints.
But there is more to come. Parker was a great linguist. Considering how much else he had done, we are somewhat surprised to find that on entering the Divinity School he claimed a good acquaintance with French, Spanish, German, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and a "little Syriac." Eight languages, including his vernacular—no poor equipment for a young man of twenty-four. But in the school he made the most startling progress. Twelve languages were added to his store during the two years of his stay. Here is the list given by Weiss: Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Icelandic, Chaldaic, Arabic, Persian, Coptic, Swedish, Danish, modern Greek, and AngloSaxon. Besides these he gets a smatter of Ethiopic, and attempts the Russian; the last was given up for want of somebody to teach him the sounds of the letters. This smatter of Ethiopic, shows what Mr. Parker thought of his attainments in the other languages of this list. It is a suspicious fact that Theodore came to Cambridge with a "little Syriac," but was soon so "nice " in his acquaintance with it as to be consulted by Professor Willard on certain difficult points. The truth is that accurate scholarship was not his gift. Mr. Senkler corrects his Greek. He boasted to Dr. Howe that he knew how to write French, Spanish, and German. We have been able to find no specimen of his German. When writing to German friends he sometimes drops in a German word with his English, but never ventures upon a full sentence. When he attempts an Italian phrase, a Spanish word drops in unperceived, and eludes the notice of his affectionate biographer. When he sprinkles his account of his broken umbrella on the route from Avignon to Aries, he says, "Madame Fumeau had se mit sur la, and it was cassee / therefore voila maparapluie cassee." This can hardly be called a French sentence; for the voild, in spite of the vigilance of Parker and his editor, has slipped off its proper accent, while the se mit sur la defies translation until M. Reville has corrected it for French readers. I know that these are small matters, but they are just such as Sainte Beuve brought against the Latin scholarship of Pontmartin, and of which he declared that they are decisive of the question of nice scholarship.
Indeed, it could not be otherwise. Mr. Parker read too much, his life through, to read well; he attempted too many languages to know any accurately. Mr. Weiss, however, writes that "all languages, dead and living, were mastered with great rapidity. . . . He learned not merely the vocabulary of a new tongue, as so many American students do, to get at the general sense of a book in the most economical manner, and push over the ground with smart conjectures, but he loved philology; the grammatical structure and derivation of a language attracted him first. The vocabulary came next."
This praise is lavished on a man who is said to have added to his stock of languages a fresh one every two months, at a time when he was surrounded with all sorts of work. If we are to believe this at all, we must believe it, with Tertullian, because it is impossible; and yet these incredible tales rest upon the testimony of Mr. Parker himself. In a letter to Miss Cabot he claims acquaintance with some twenty languages. I think this account must be taken with very large allowances for the temper which led to the assertion of his early rejection of the dogma of endless perdition. ,
To show that these studies must have been conducted, if at all. prior to his graduation in 1836, careful note will now be taken of his proceeding between that date and the next June, when he became pastor of West Roxbury. On August 6 we find him at Barnstable, where he remains four weeks, writes several sermons, and reads before half that time is gone about a dozen books; all he has with him, in fact. August 11, he begins to translate Dr. Wette's Einleitung. He reads Sholling's lectures on Academical Study, and finds them too ideal. In October he is preaching in Northfield, Mass., where he declines to settle. In November he preaches at Barnstable again, where he avoids a call. In December he supplies Dr. Flint's , pulpit in Salem. He studies the English State Trials, and analyzes the great speeches contained in them. From these he learned method. He is in North field in January, 1837, candidates in Greenfield in February, preaches a good deal in Salem during the spring months, is married April 20, finishes his translation of De Wette May 20, is settled, June 23, at Spring-street, and has the revision of his translation of De Wette nearly completed July 13. The merest inspection