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But if there be much about Chamouni in the works of God to interest in the highest degree the mind of every cultivated man, there is also much in the moral condition of the inhabitants to afflict the heart of the enlightened Christian. This charming valley, with its grand mountain scenery, lies in the heart of Savoy—a land over which the darkness of papal superstition is like that which rested on old Egypt, a darkness which may be felt." The shrines of the Madonna are seen, at short intervals, along the
road-side. Her chapels, with hideous images of the mother and the infant Jesus, are everywhere seen. Roman Catholic priests abound everywhere. The people are grossly ignorant, and the greatest vigilance is put into requisition to keep those who can read from getting possession of a copy of the sacred Scriptures. Surely it may well be said of that country: "Every prospect pleases, And only man is vile."
BY MISS MINERVA CATLIN.
A SHOUT, long, loud, tumultuous, like the voice But when the heav'n-lit fire of eloquence
Of congregated hosts, is on the air;
The foaming sea rolls back in trumpet tones
Is it the voice of praise
Sent from a nation's grateful heart to Heav'n?
That should have breathed in holy awe the prayer
Dense crowds press on.-Subdued but lovely
Imperial, proud Rome; cities of Tyre
Kindled upon his lip, and burning words
Tremble! th' avenging angel's on the wing,
With folderontery hast dared to rob
Of homage due to d alone; and move
THE POETRY OF PHILOSOPHY.
LIVING in a land of Christians and Christian privileges, we can scarcely imagine the condition of such a country as Greece in the days of her philosophers. We look to one fountain as the source of all doctrine, one standard of right and wrong. Then men followed the beck of the sage teachers, whose creeds were as many as themselves. But it is interesting to observe that the nature of men led them to adopt such creeds as possessed much poetical beauty. Perhaps a few moments passed in noticing this fact, may not be unprofitably spent. We shall not undertake to define Poetry. The admirer of Homer, or he who makes Virgil his companion in the closet and the walk, looks for vivid description and rich incident, as constituent parts, while the lover of Gierusalemme Liberata or the Divina Commedia, turns from these old epics in disgust. Equally at variance are the sentiments of the reader of Shelley, Goethe and Byron, from his who admires Thompson, Goldsmith or Cowper. The conclusion therefore is that Poetry is that which produces an effect on the passions varying as the cause. If we analyze the feeling produced on reading Milton, we shall find it not essentially different from that experienced by one who listens to the dash of the surf at night, while the melody of Tasso is none other than that of a bubbling fountain or the same waves singing themselves to rest. Unwritten Poetry exists everywhere; so much so that the idea itself has become hackneyed. Adam saw the Poetry of nature, and we fancy he must have listened often to the song of the morning stars. If he did not, we can answer for ourselves that we have. The earth waxed old and sinful, and the deluge woke man from a delirious dream. The last agonizing cry of mortality rang over the startled waters, and then years passed on before the dull realities of a growing world permitted the sons of Noah to regard the passions and propensities of the heart. Pass we immediately on to the days of Grecian Philosophy.
On the statue of Epicurus was inscribed: "Oh tenebris tantis tam clarum lumen extollere Qui primus potuisti, illustrans commoda vitæ."
A text that for a long discourse, we shall make it short. That light was brilliant but fitful, and has long ago died away. The ancient Philosophies (we hesitate when we say it, lest the dead of centuries turn restlessly in their slumberings) were glorious dreams, chiefly
rich in poetic beauty The growth of Poetry was analogous to that of mind until it arrived at a certain point. As yet that point was unattained, and man was prepared to receive the most fantastic ideas, and treasure them in proportion as they were less real and more dazzling. There had been as yet no thought of curbing or disciplining the spirit, and it is not the least remarkable feature of the Philosophies of that age, that while all were sedulously directing their attention to the soul, they rather regarded it as a distant object, the approximation to which was the object of life, than as the first principle of their own being, whose visible existence was in every thought and action. Of consequence they were ready to grasp no sound and perfectly constructed theory, but reason and imagination formed a strange alliance, and the product was those gorgeous and startling figments that we can only term dreams.
The light of revelation had not dawned on Greece, when a star arose above an obscure hut in Miletus. All eyes were directed towards its wanderings until it settled over Athens, in the full brilliancy of the Socratic Philosophy; men were charmed to worship. Well had it been said of the son of Sophroniscus, • Illustrans commoda vita." Disciples gathered from all countries to hear him reason of righteousness, temperance and a judgment to come. Righteousness that we might even now almost recognize, Temperance severe and stern, a future, that the sage feared yet longed for. He arrived by a direct and logical method at the memorable conclusion that he knew nothing save his want of a teacher from above. The pupil forgot the master's warning. The latter, led by the love and full appreciation of truth, was heedful and chastened. The former, loving the beautiful and mystic, as well as retaining much of his teacher's counsels, put forth ideas of immortality, not inconsistent with revelation, but marked with a high degree of poetic fervor.
Plato was a strong reasoner, and (strange union) a poet. We challenge uninspired literature to produce such a perfect specimen of Poetic Philosophy; apparently heedless of the last conclusion of his master in hidden lore, he groped in search of that which the unaided intellect cannot attain. Read if you will the record of numbered years, open the garner of buried ages, look at nature's storehouse of fair things, the earth and sea and all beauty, and above at the depths of pure unfathomable
glory; and learn of all these. Treasure up all the learning that time has hoarded for you, but dare not to lift the veil of the future, or gaze at aught in it, until you have knelt to him whose alone the future is.
Far be it from us to depreciate in the least, the work of the mighty Academician. We are not so mad. Our object is only to show the helplessness of Philosophy, when the light of revelation is withheld. To the question, " Shall 1 read Plato?" we answer unhesitatingly, “If you can appreciate and understand him, Yes." Unsurpassed in argument, he was led too far and became of necessity poetical. With him, forget that you are in a land of gospel light and revealed religion, regard utility as a motive too base for an immortal, and then revel with him in the dreamy land.
We can see him now, his white locks streaming in the wind, which he points to as an emblem of the soul, unseen yet felt, unknown yet known. We can catch the flash of his eager eye, and see the convulsive movement of his lip as he half hesitates to speak of things so mighty. And now, his head thrown back, and his eye fixed upward, as if to gaze into infinity, and ask of the eternal what he is, we can hear as a rich strain of music, the words that picture forth to Ayatov. This is
"An Orphic song indeed,
A song divine, of high and passionate thoughts To their own music chanted."
We have heard it! at midnight when the soul, wrapt in the mantle of its own imaginings, had gathered to it all things of the olden time, when in the inner sanctuary of this temple, the high priests of learning were ministering as they were wont, in days that are told, and the voice of all material things was hushed in the anthem of departed glories, then, above the thousand chords, touched by ten thousand hands, have we heard the thrilling music of the old Academy.
But the fathers of the Ionic school were not the only Poet Philosophers. Long after the star of Socrates had set, when the grove was temporarily deserted, and the Platonists were
an obscure sect, the torches of Aristotle, the Stoic and the Cynic were flashing in the palaces of Greece. Did space allow we might go on to show the poetic beauty of these scarce inferior sages. We have no treasures save our Bible, that we regard with half the veneration and love that we have for the fragments of Pythagoras, Zeno, Epicurus and the unconnected quotations of Antisthenes. It is much to be lamented that the vitiated taste of this age is rejecting the antique because it is visionary, and courting and greedily seizing on that which is a hundred fold more so. The cold winds of a modern age swept over the fair flowers of Ancient Philosophy, and they withered. The unskilful nurture of the Roman suffered them to grow unprotected, and the Reformation finding them in such hands ruthlessly chilled them. They hung drooping and lifeless, yet rich in color, evidencing their former beauty, until the touch of Bacon, leading on the pack of modern utilitarianism, scattered them on the ground. Few cared to gather the petals; yet we might linger long here to show how the modern founder of inductive reasoning, chose the gems of Aristotle as the foundation of his theories. But this is not in our course. A few leaves were saved from the general wreck, and placed in that sanctuary of time-honored things the scholar's closet, and here and there, a solitary may be found, kneeling before a leaf of the ancient poetic Philosophy. Need we pause to derive a moral from its fate? "Here" exclaimed the earl of Rochester, laying his hand on his Bible," Here is true Philosophy." The sage of old time looked earnestly for an unknown teacher; we kneel to him revealed unto us.
He dreamed of a life to be; "Now the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Mere worldly wisdom has always been proved to be folly.
Here are wisdom and Poetry mingled with inimitable beauty; here is music to the weary soul; balm to the plague-marked brow; water to the parched lips; here is TRUTH, the тo kakov of all Philosophy W. C. P.
INCIDENT IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF OUR
BY REV. C. A. GOODRICH.
It was my privilege, about eighteen years ago, to make the acquaintance of an English gentleman, named WILLIAM T. MONCY, who related to me the facts I am about to record. He was a man of rare and varied excellence, who had served his country in numerous stations of honor and trust, in different parts of the world. For many years, he was a member of the House of Commons; being one of that small body of Christian statesmen, who, in connection with Mr. Wilberforce, supported Mr. Pitt in his general line of policy, and were thus enabled to claim many concessions from the Minister, of the highest importance to the cause of humanity and religion. Never will it be known, I believe, until the disclosures of the great day, how large was the share of this noble body of men, in preparing the way for those wider operations of Christian benevolence which characterize the present age, especially in those parts of the world where British favor and influence have been made to throw their protection around the friends of religion and humanity.
Mr. Moncy afterwards went to India in connection with the same Christian party, and in furtherance of their designs. He resided for some years at Bombay, occupying a judicial post of great responsibility, and it was there that the events took place, of which I am about to speak. When I knew him, he had recently returned from the East, and was then filling the office of British Resident, at Venice; a station selected for him by his friends, as one in which to repair the injury done to the health of his family by the enervating climate of Hindostan.
Here, as everywhere, his chief desire, his constant aim and effort was to do good, especially to the souls of men With this view, he sent to England for a young clergyman of evangelical principles and devoted piety, and supported him, at his own expense, as chaplain of the British Residency at Venice. His object was, to provide a place of Protestant worship for thousands of his countrymen who visit Italy every year, in pursuit of health or pleasure, and who take up their residence for a part of the season, in that city of palaces and paintings. The pleasing manners and generous
hospitality of Mr. Moncy, would naturally make his house the resort of most of the English who passed through Venice. To these claims on his time and attention, he laid himself open with a readiness not often found in public functionaries, because he hoped, in this way, to draw many under the influence of the gospel, who knew little or nothing of spiritual Christianity in their own country. Those who frequented his house every day of the week, could hardly refuse to assist him, by their presence on Sunday, in holding up the Protestant worship of their native land. The English, indeed, have a sentiment of honor on this subject, which, I regret to say, is shared by too few of our countrymen who visit the continent of Europe. They consider it a mark of rationality, to attend public worship in foreign countries, according to the ordinances of their own church; so that persons of that gay and pleasure-loving class, who, coming from America, utterly neglect the services of the sanctuary while in France and Italy, are found, among the English, sustaining the Protestant worship of their fathers with the utmost punctuality. This gives evangelical churches among them an opportunity of doing much good to the gayer part of their countrymen abroad. Many to whom religion had been a thing of mere outward form in England, have, for the first time in their lives, heard the gospel preached in its true import and power, on the continent, in chapels opened and sustained by such men as Mr. Moncy and Lewis Way, who, in going abroad for health or pleasure, go abroad also to do good.
1 shall not dwell on the delightful Christian intercourse which I had with this excellent man and his family, in the eight or ten days during which his kindness detained me under his roof. My sole object, indeed, in speaking of his life and character at all, has been to prepare the reader to enter more fully into the events I am about to describe. The facts have been given to the public in general terms before; but there were circumstances connected with the scene, as presented by Mr. Moncy, which greatly heightened its interest; and which though necessarily suppressed when the events were
recent, may, at this distance of time, without impropriety be given to the world.
We were conversing one evening on missions to the heathen, a subject on which the mind of Mr. Moncy always kindled at once into the liveliest interest. I asked him, among other things, whether he knew much of the American missionaries in India.
"I know them well," said he, "some of them personally, and others by the report of friends, in whom I can perfectly confide. I regard them as one of the noblest bodies of men, that ever went in modern times, to preach the gospel of Christ among the heathen. have been well acquainted with missionaries of various countries, English, French, German; but I must say, the American missionaries, especially those who first went out to India, were superior to most or all of them. They had a strong sense, practical talent, patient industry and indomitable zeal, united to a singleness of aim, and an elevation of Christian principle, which admirably prepared them to be pioneers in this great work."
"What circumstances have led you," said I, "to form this high estimate of their character?"
"I was in India," said Mr. Moncy, "in 1812, when the first missionaries of the American Board arrived at Calcutta. My station was at that time at Bombay, at the head of the police, and of the criminal courts, in that part of the Presidency. The news reached us, that five Americans had just landed at Calcutta, in quest of some field of labor among the heathen. It was a peculiarly unfortunate time. The government at Calcutta had long felt a keen jealousy of missions, even as conducted by Englishmen, and under the guidance of such men as Carey and Marshman. But that foreigners should obtrude themselves into a concern of so much delicacy, and especially Americans, who had been for years on ill terms with the government at home, who had assailed us with embargoes, and threatened us with warthat such men should be permitted to endanger the stability of our Indian Empire, and the life of every Englishman in the country, by the preposterous attempt to change the faith of one hundred millions of people-all this seemed to most men in power, to be utterly beyond endur
comparatively small. Yet there were some at Calcutta, even among the members of the Board, who defended the missionaries, and insisted that they might safely be permitted to remain. The majority, however, decided against them. They were ordered to depart for Eng. land; and we read in the Calcutta papers, their names reported as passengers in a fleet which sailed for Europe in November, 1812. Judge, then, of our astonishment, when two of them, Mr. Hall and Mr. Nott, with the wife and child of the latter, arrived at Bombay in the beginning of the year 1813. Convinced, however, of the rectitude of their intentions, though they had left Calcutta for Bombay against the will of the government, I immediately offered them my assistance, and interceded with our governor, Sir Evan Nepean, in their behalf."
"Sir Evan Nepean! Was he not a Vice President of a Bible Society, and a friend of
"He was, and it was the knowledge of this fact, that induced the missionaries to take refuge in Bombay. But, unfortunately, reports of the most unfavorable character respecting them, had just reached the governor, from Calcutta. They were charged with having violat ed a promise they had made to quit India, and go at once to the Isle of France; they were, therefore, ordered immediately to leave BomBay. Sir Evan Nepean, however, at my request, listened candidly to their explanations on this subject, and deemed them satisfactory. He permitted them to remain until orders should be received from Calcutta, and even wrote in their favor to the government there. In the meantime, I invited them to my house, and gave them every facility in my power for the furtherance of their designs. I found them to be men of a truly noble spirit; generous, devoted, self-sacrificing men, who counted not their lives dear unto themselves,' that they might finish with joy their work of mercy among the heathen. We had begun to anticipate the most favorable results, when an unexpected difficulty arose. An American vessel, the Alligator, arrived at Calcutta in the month of May-the war between England and America, you remember, had commenced some months before -bearing a letter of protection from our Admiral on the Halifax station, Sir John B. Warren, representing this to be a missionary ship, sent out with communications to the American missionaries in India. Suspicions, however, were excited, she was seized, and the court found on investigation, that she had been employed in