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the work and the character of a faithful pastor. Even the worldling, could he be induced to read it, might be constrained to say, "Truly there is a reality in religion—these men watch for souls as they who must give account."
Dr. Proudfit lived to a good old age, and it is pleasing to reflect that as his natural strength did not abate, neither did his love grow cold. As in the early days of his ministry, so in the latter days of his life, he was the same spiritually-minded man.
What an encouragement this! and how does it tend to invigorate our faith to see one, through all toils and trials, all temptations and discouragements, holding on to the good profession which he made before many witnesses; still adhering to the principles and grasping the promises of that gospel which he had so often preached, -in the close of a long life, adoring in deeper strains of praise the protecting goodness and redeeming grace of God, praying with only the deeper earnestness for larger measures of a sanctifying spirit; and while looking with a steadier gaze toward heaven, still mindful of the interests of Zion, still seeking the salvation of the lost,breathing sentiments of expansive benevolence, and active to the last in every good word and work!
How different our feelings when the bright and shining light sets in darkness; or when the young minister of growing usefulness becomes careless, or by some false step counteracts the influence of former days, destroys his character and wounds the cause! Ah! when a minister does what in his youth he denounced—becomes
a the very character against which he was wont to warn the people of his charge—if it be not enough to destroy our confidence in any man's sincerity or to humble ourselves, surely there can be no more appalling illustration of the depravity and deceitfulness of the human heart. Too many instances have there been of these sad changes in the character and standing of ministers of the gospel, and some of late,-enough to clothe the ministry in sackcloth, if not to stagger the faith of the faithful; but were the instances multiplied, whatever their tendency, it would be more than counteracted, we apprehend, by the contemplation of one such life as is set forth in this Memoir :--there is a reality in religious experience. Though some may be chargeable with hypocrisy or with apostasy, here and there is one whose life gives evidence of his faith. “The path of the just is as a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day.”
“He taught us how to live, and ah! how high,
The price of knowledge, taught us how to die!"
Thus have we followed Dr. Forsyth in his interesting narration of the life of this good man; seen him in the days of his studious application and growing preparation for the gospel ministry; seen him in the pulpit, in the social meeting, in the midst of his loving family, in his self-denying journeys, amid his various labors of love; marked what he was, and how he thought and felt in the secrecy of his retirement; and at last, when he was probably unfitted for regular pulpit duty by increasing years, exerting himself in every appropriate way for the cause of the Bible and of missions,-in an especial manner for the cause of colonizing and Christianizing Africa.
Let us now accompany him, as he goes for the last time to that spot so sacred in his memory, where for forty years he had declared the everlasting gospel. How appropriate his reflections !
“ I have the prospect of preaching to-morrow to this dear people, to whom I long sustained the relation of a spiritual overseer in the Lord, and upon a retrospective view of days which are past, how much do I recollect which may call forth the language of thanksgiving, and how much to humble me in my Master's presence! How little, comparatively, did I feel the awful responsibility of the trust! How rarely, in addressing them from the pulpit, did I realize as I ought that each hearer was an immortal being, and must soon, very soon occupy either a mansion in heaven, with angels and the spirits of just men made perfect, where there is fullness of joy, or be tormented in hell without abatement or end! How often—to my shame be it acknowledgedhave I preached my own insignificant self rather than Him whom the hosts of heaven admire, and who is the only hope of the perishing sinner-seeking their momentary applause rather than their souls' everlasting salvation! Thou wouldst have been just, insulted Saviour, in confounding me before them for such daring presumption ; but, having obtained mercy, I faint not, and am yet honored to appear as thine ambassador, and have the prospect of proclaiming to them once more thine own unsearchable riches. Wilt thou condescend, blessed Master, to aid me on the present occasion ? O, for thy Spirit to shed light upon my understanding, which must otherwise remain dark, and with his influences to enliven and expand a heart contracted and cold ! O, for the tongue of the learned, that I may speak a word in season to all who attend ! Often, often have I felt thy power and seen thy glory within those sacred walls which I expect to enter on the ensuing sabbath ; often have I there experienced a degree of delight in proclaiming thy message which I have not language to express, and which, during the lapse of eternal ages, cannot be forgotten. Thou art still the same; thy power is the same to support, thy fullness to replenish an empty earthen vessel ; thy mercy is the same to pardon every imperfection ; and thy faithfulness to accomplish every promise in me, and by me, and for me.
In this I rejoice, that thou art the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”—Memoir of the Rev. Dr. Proudfit, pp. 295–297.
And now his end approaches: what his feelings were in reviewing life, and in looking forward to the endless future, may be gathered from the following extract, which, without comment, we submit to our readers' reflections :
“I have now advanced nearly four years beyond the prescribed period of human life. I am therefore forewarned by the purpose of God, and the natural course of things, that I must shortly be called to leave time for eternity. How solemn is the prospect of retiring from a world which I have so long inhabited, and in which I have seen so much to excite my admiration of the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Creator! How often have I been led to admire his bounty in the almost infinite variety of the productions of this world, some of them more substantial and necessary, others more delicate, designed, apparently, to gratify our taste! In the contemplation of this variety, often have I been led to exclaim with the Psalmist, • O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.'
“ But in retiring from this world, where there is so much to awaken our admiration, the eye of faith can look forward to scenes still brighter and more glorious, to new heavens and a new earth; and if in this world there is so much to fill us with adoring thoughts of God, how magnificent beyond conception must heaven be, where he dwells in light, where Jesus sits effulgent in the midst of the throne ; but how little do we know of the mode of our future existence ; in what province of the divine dominions the New Jerusalem is established; what are the exercises and joys of the redeemed; in what manner are they admitted to sellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;. what is implied in seeing God face to face, and knowing even as we are known; in what way shall spirit commune with kindred spirit during the space which intervenes until the resurrection of the body; what are we to understand by bodies, powerful, spiritual, incorruptible, glorious, which shall hunger no more nor thirst any more, capable of serving God night and day!
“ Little as is now known of these things, in the ordinary course of nature they must soon, very soon be realized by me; and in taking a retrospective view of my journey through life, who of the human family is more indebted than myself to a forbearing, forgiving, beneficent God? Truly goodness and mercy have followed me so far in every step through the wilderness. I have been favored with an exemption from torturing pain and loathsome disease, with a competency of temporal blessings, and an unusual measure of health to enjoy them. I have also been favored with the affections of a large circle of friends, and with the confidence of a church to which I ministered for more than forty years ; and by offices of a more general nature I have had opportunities of extending my acquaintance with many thousands in various parts of our country, and of every Christian name, with whom I hope to be associated for ever in the kingdom of our common Father; and although far advanced in years, I am scarcely sensible of the infirmities common to persons of my age. I enjoy the various senses of the body unimpaired, the exercise of memory, and of other powers of the mind.
“ Amid favors thus multiplied, I have only to complain of myself, of my ingratitude for mercies innumerable; of opportunities lost, which might have been improved in doing good or receiving good; of indolence and insincerity in the service of my Master and of my generation; of the inconsiderable advancement in spiritual wisdom, in faith, love, and all the other graces of the divine life. For all these transgressions, for my omissions of duty required, for my commission of sins forbidden, I humble myself this moment before a holy God."-Memoir, pp. 304–307. If a man who thus preached and wrote, thus lived and died, whose
a memory is enshrined in the hearts alike of his family and his flock, and to whose successful efforts in their behalf various benevolent societies have paid a just tribute, were not a true minister of Christ -though Prelacy might not have recognized him—where shall we find one?
If the gospel of Christ, whose doctrines he believed, and on whose promises he relied; whose discoveries of love and mercy opened his eye to behold God in his works, and moved his heart to retrace the image of God in his fallen creatures; whose spirit shed a hallowed influence over the intercourse of his daily life, and poured a flood of glory around his dying pillow,-if this gospel be not true, worthy our warmest appreciation and self-renouncing efforts to extend and perpetuate its blessings, what can be true; or, amid all earth-born interests, worthy a moment's thought?
Art. III.-A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape
Gardening, adapted to North America; with a view to the Improvement of Country Residences : comprising Historical Notices and General Principles of the Art, Directions for laying out Grounds and arranging Plantations, the Description and Cultivation of Hardy Trees, Decorative Accompaniments to the House and Grounds, the Formation of Pieces of Artificial Water, Flower Gardens, fc. With Remarks on Rural Architecture. Second edition, enlarged, revised, and newly illustrated. By A. J. DOWNING, Author of Designs for Cottage Residences, &c. Pp. 497, 8vo. New-York: Wiley & Putnam. 1844.
The natural course of things is from the physical to the intellectual. Man first appears as a physical organization; his first wants are corporeal, and his first impressions and ideas are received from external objects. But in due time appears also the intellectual.
Impressions from external objects are not passively received merely, as they are by the brute. On the contrary, they give rise to certain mental phenomena, and receive various accessions and modifications from the inherent power and spontaneous activity of the soul. With the awakening of the internal faculties, man becomes conscious of a new class of wants and aptitudes. The mind has its necessities and demands, which are not less imperative in their way than those of the body. It requires knowledge to satisfy its curiosity, and appropriate objects to gratify its sensibilities.
Among the various susceptibilities of our nature, and not the least interesting and important of them, is taste, or a power to perceive and delight in the beautiful. The manifestation of this impulse is very early in the history of the mental development, and so universal, that every one must be conscious of its operation within himself. The child shows it in preferring certain colors, sounds, and forms, before others. It is seen in the rudest state of uncivilized life. The savage must not only be warmly clad; his clothing must be attractive to the eye. It is not sufficient that his war-club and paddle should be strong and serviceable; they must also be ornamented. In civilized life, buildings of the simplest form satisfy the first demands; but as the means of comfort multiply, they are constructed with some regard to beauty, until at length architectural embellishment becomes a regular and systematic branch of study. Hence, we perceive that æsthetics, or the science of beauty, embracing all the principles applicable to the fine arts, as well as those pertaining to the works of nature, and to the departments of mind and morals, has its foundation in man's primitive constitution.
In entering upon the field of literature belonging to the domain of taste, it would be agreeable to our own feelings to make some remarks the connection between taste and morals, and on the relation between æsthetics and Christianity. But this, our limits do not permit. We may, however, lay down a few principles very briefly, as an appropriate introduction to what may follow.
We have already seen that the mind has its demands, its impulses, or whatever else you please to call them, as well as the body. Nor do we see any reason why its intimations are not as clear, and, at least, quite as authoritative, as those of the other. If the inclination for food intimates a law of the physical constitution, certainly our inclination for the beautiful as clearly intimates a law of our mental constitution. And if our preference for one kind of food before another is a reason, if there be no stronger to the contrary, why we should eat it, so our preference for certain