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and is glad that this event has befallen him on the very day on .which, in the preceding century, near two thousand burning and shining lights were quenched. He meditates: "What a difference between their case and mine. They were turned out of house and home and all they had, whereas I am only hindered from preaching, without any other loss, and in a kind of honorable manner, it being determined that when my next turn to preach comes they will pay a person to preach for me." How serene and manly, not to say pious, is this temper! And yet the offense against Mr. Wesley was of precisely the same nature as that over which Parker whimpered, cried,, and broke off old friendships, while the offense of the former was infinitely less.
Parker returned to his little parish at West Roxbury, where, however the storm might rage elsewhere, he always found peace. It speaks well for him that all attempts to alienate the affections of his parishioners failed. They were his firm and constant friends. In this quiet abode he continued to study, read, think, and find domestic happiness; yet his eye watched the movement of the storm he had raised, and ever and anon he intervened in the conflict. He was evidently resolved to secure a hearing and compel a careful attention to his views. He begins to suspect that to continue in West Roxbury will be virtually to be buried alive. He keeps an open eye for a better chance to make the world listen to him. Various schemes for the accomplishment of this plan occupied his thoughts. Here is one: "I will study seven or eight months in the year, and four or five months I will go about and preach and lecture in city and glen, wherever men and women can be found. I will go eastward and westward, northward and southward, and make the land ring; and .if this New England theology that cramps the intellect and cramps the soul of us does not come to the ground, then it shall be because it has more truth in it than 1 have ever found."
Obviously a man of this temper would have a hearing in some form. Early in May, 1842, he sent the last sheet of his Discourse of Religion to the printer, and in somewhat more than a twelvemonth later his translation of De Wette's Introduction followed. As he found himself very much exhausted with these and other labors, he resolved on a year's travel in Europe. Mr. Russell, one of his parishioners furnished the needful
funds, and accordingly he sailed from New York on the 9th of September, 1943. Before we follow him on his journey let us consider the Discourse of Religion and some other subsidiary matters.
When Weiss comes to speak of this book in his Life of Parker he ascends at once to that region of lofty phrases which is so natural with him. He asserts that people had their doubts in regard to the reality of the research and learning implied in the foot-notes: "It led them to suspect an illusion. Had all these leading books in all languages been faithfully read and assimilated? . . . Though they could not undertake to read Mr. Parker's authorities to trace the monstrous plagiarisms, the fact was assumed by every subservient mind," etc. In this Discourse, as printed in Miss Cobbe's edition of Parker's Works, I count four hundred and four different authors cited in the foot-notes. I have never seen the first edition, but it is clear, from what Parker says, that not many citations were added to the subsequent editions. Twenty-nine of these authors Parker is recorded by Weiss to have read before this book was published. It would surely have been possible for Mr. Parker to have read the Latin, French, and German books which he cites in his foot-notes after his settlement at Springstreet. Weiss quotes also one Italian work, Vico's Scienza Nuova. Three or four languages are no marvelous achievement; and merely to read books without digesting their contents is as possible as it is unprofitable. But if Mr. Weiss means that Parker had read and assimilated all these books, it would not be difficult to show the assertion false. It is only needful to examine the list of works cited to see the impossibility of the thing. Parker says in his Experience as a Minister that he used to work from ten to fifteen hours daily in literary tasks—twelve to seventeen is the statement which he made to a friend—but in a letter to Mr. Isaac Parker, written while he was still in West Roxbnry, he tells him that he can obtain ten hours five days in the week for literary labors. The last statement is obviously the one most deserving of credit because it dates back to the period in question. At this rate the works cited would require Mr. Parker to read one volume every thirty working hours between his settlement and the publication of his book. This allows no time for letters, visits,
Fourth Seeies, Vol. XXV.—3
journeys, newspapers, reviews, for the thirteen elaborate articles which he wrote for the periodicals, for readiifg history, poetry, and other books into which he sometimes plunged, for Olympics, and verse writing and for private meditation in his reading and studies. The present writer has examined many of the works mentioned, has read many in all the languages to which they belong; they are mostly solid books, and they could not be read and digested in that time. Besides, the translation of De Wette was not finished July 13, 1837, and Parker tells us that the translation was the least of his labors in preparing that work for the press. On page 402, vol. i, of Weiss's Life, Parker tells George Ripley how he prepared this translation: "1. I read the original carefully, studied it (beginning in 1836) and the new editions as they successively appeared till 1843. 2. I translated word for word. 3. I read: (a) All the previous introductions of the Old Testament from Simon down to Hengstenberg. That was a labor. (5) All the Christian writers (Fathers, etc.) who treated of such matters down to Jerome and Augustine; that also took some time.
(c) I read all modern works relating thereto; often a weariness.
(d) I added from those what I thought necessary. ... I popularized thus: (a) I translated all the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew (Rabbinical), passages which De Wette left untranslated, and I put the original extracts into the margin. It was a pretty piece of work, as you may guess, to do into English the awful Latin and Greek of the old choughs who wrote so barbarously. I looked over the references to the Bible." That this work was done during the time which preceded the appearance of the Discourse of Matters Pertaining to Religion, appears from a letter to Mr. Smith, under date of October 10, where he says that De Wette is in press, and that three hundred pages are stereotyped. He complains of having been ill all the summer, so that he conld do almost nothing. Now it is remarkable that most of this work had no special relation to the Discourse. Here again we have the twenty-tongued boaster. Mr. Weiss is right in his supposition that Parker meant to have it understood that he had read the works he cites; such is the natural impression which the reader takes; and this impression is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Parker mow and then tells us that such or 8u.ch. & book he has not seen or read. This is the very youth who gets through all human history at the Divinity School, finds his investigations hampered by the limits of history, learns twelve languages thoroughly in two years, makes a mouthful of the course of study which was a three years' task for his class, and read meantime a list of books whose figure, as Reville says, really frightens us.
Mr. Parker's opponents "could not undertake to read his authorities!" Is skepticism, then, the indispensable qualification for scholarship? Shades of Stuart, Alexander, Norton, and Noyes, blush for .your inferiority to this stripling! Before leaving this part of the subject we ought to note the influence of Parker in the direction of boastfulness. He had none of that literary modesty which prompted Lessing to .write, "I would not seem to have read any book which I have not read." He never belonged to that University of which Liddon speaks, where it is a point of honor always to state things so that facts will more than justify the statement. To obtain credit for scholarship which we do not possess is literary dishonesty, and of this Parker was full. He seems to infect all who came in contact with him with the same spirit; for Mr. Weiss is by no means his sole victim. A curious illustration offers itself from the other side of the Atlantic. While writing these pages I have sought diversion rather than instruction in looking over a French book entitled Theodore Parker. It is from the pen of M. A. Reville, a distinguished Rationalist clergyman and biblical critic. I have found both instruction and amusement in its pages. Reville cites Weiss as his main, authority for the account he gives of Parker. Weiss says that Parker's grandfather carried a light fowling-piece at the capture of Quebec; Reville says he " distinguished himself" there. Weiss says that he '* was not engaged," though present, at the battle of Bunker Hill; Reville says he displayed a " veritable heroism " in that fight. Weiss says that when Theodore told his father that he had entered Harvard College he allayed the old gentleman's alarm at the probable expenses by telling him, " I mean to stay at home and keep up with my class;" Reville has it, "I intend to provide for my support by giving lessons or opening a school." Weiss confesses that Parker turned a little colored girl from his school in Watertown solely because certain patrons of the school demanded the act, and only defends him'by saying: "Thishe always confessed with mortification;" Reville expounds the line of defense thus: "But the very existence of his school, as yet hardly founded, and all his hopes, were at stake." Mr. Weiss says nothing about the personal attractions of Miss Cabot; but Reville, remembering that none but the brave deserve the fair, tell us that she " was a charming maiden, of remarkable beauty, and a teacher in the little town." Weiss calls the statement of belief in Parker's letter to Columbus Greene purely conventional; R6ville glosses as follows: "In this confession of faith, evidently inspired by the fear of shocking a soul by clashing too roughly with its belief, Parker intends by the possibility of eternal punishment, that which would result from a voluntary and eternal persistance in sin." But Weiss should have taught him better. Weiss surely says quite enough about what Parker did in the Divinity School, but he furnishes no ground for Reville's assertion, that " after a few months there he had surpassed most of his professors themselves." Reville closes a long account of the persecutions Parker underwent for his ideas with the incomprehensible statement that "the Boston Academy did not dare to open its doors to him, where, without controversy, he would have occupied one of the chief places." Weiss gives no clue to this grief, and what it is I am at a loss to guess. Reville says that Parker's congregation numbered from seven thousand to eight thousand souls; Weiss, that it sometimes reached three thousand. Finally, R6ville gives this original bit of information: Thanksgiving Day, *' an annual service commemorative of the Declaration of Independence." I was always surprised at the exact and extensive knowledge of rationalistic critics. This is by no means the only discovery of that sort which has enlivened the dreary labor of this investigation.
But it is time to look at the contents of the Discourse of Religion. It is evidently an effort on the part of its author to clear what he conceives to be religion from entangling alliances. It is a vigorous rejection of the authority of the evangelical faith. The peculiar dogma of the book is the sufficiency of human nature for all its functions. Man's religion is a joint development from the nature within him and the outward world. God, duty, and immortality are conceptions which arise of themselves in hum& souls. Out of these fun