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cated. We can hardly form an idea of the greatness of that step in the Puritan Reformation, by which the Sabbath was rescued from its almost universal profanation, and brought back as the possession of the Church of Christ. The Puritans suffered much in England in defence of its sacredness. They fought the battle nobly, and by God's grace and providence gained it, in spite of the Protestant Book of Sports, the Romish desecrations, and the lax principles on the Continent. They had a great trial in England, but in this country they had a virgin soil to put their seeds in. They could plant their institutions and principles clean and uncorrupted, and not amidst tares. They were not working with a people steeped for generations in the immoral teachings and indulgences of the Papal Church. Hence this great possession of a Scriptural Sabbath is ours in greater purity perhaps than with any other nation in the world. As we have it, so must we keep it, guarding against its corruption, whether from native insidious decays and profanations, or the importation of injurious foreign examples and principles. Keep we the Christian Sabbath, and God will make it the bulwark of our Zion, and the best protection of our civil state.
It is from a grand post of observation that we can now survey the course of great events, on the tide of which God carried the Puritans onward. In all probability there never has been a set of men since the time of the Apostles, honored of God with so mighty an instrumentality of good in our world, as those colonists of New England. They were the founders of a race, an empire, and an epoch. They formed a Church, the power of which is at this day felt throughout the whole world.
Obviously, as to the means by which the great designs of God in the planting and settlement of this country by Christian colonies may be carried towards their completion, as God began this great work with the Church, it must be continued by the Church. As our fathers were thrown upon God, so are we. Our fathers conquered, by seeking not their own, but the things that are Jesus Christ's. The mission of the Church, which they began to fulfil, we must continue. The habits of self-denial and fixedness for Christ, which made them strong, we must return to. Their reliance on the Word of God, and their jealousy against every corruption of it, must be ours. Vain is it for us to have received an inheritance from our Pilgrim Fathers, if we think to keep it without the Spirit of the Pilgrims.
By their struggles, liberty is bequeathed to us. We do not purchase it, as they did, by suffering; it comes to us as our inheritance, which the Fathers laid up for the children. Mark, now, the course of great possessions. The energy, the self-denial, the patience, the endurance, the hardy virtues of a disciplined nature, that gained them, are rarely bequeathed with them. These are
things that we cannot bequeathe. Men may give their children the title deeds of their houses, but they cannot of their virtues. And their children may have the ability to spend what they have laid up for them, without even so much virtue of nature and of discipline, as to gain one farthing of their own. The ability to spend is sometimes the only ability developed by those who inherit large possessions, without having been trained in the rigid qualities that are requisite to amass them. It may be so with us, in reference to the priceless blessings bought for us by the blood and toil, the prayers and self-denial of our ancestors. We seem now to be in the spending mood. There is a great spending ability developed in our rulers, and it is not, as yet, contradicted or restrained by the virtue, justice, and patriotism of the people. And our spendthriftiness begins to be developed in the most diabolical and fatal form ever invented by men's depraved passions. We have been plunged into a wicked, wanton, unnecessary war, the course of which makes us think of that sentence in the Memoirs of Francis Spira,-Man knows the beginning of sin, but who bounds the issues thereof? If we had been compelled to gather our patrimony of freedom and prosperity ourselves, by our own conflicts and sufferings, we should not now be spending our strength for the injury of others. There is nothing can save us from the destruction that overtakes the dissolute heirs of great fortunes, but a return to something of the uprightness and piety of our fathers. May God bring us back to that! It is as certain as that there is a God, that the blessings they have gained for us can be kept by us, only by the possession and exercise of something of their Spirit. May God thus turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest he come and smite our inheritance with a curse.
The re-perusal of the letters of Cromwell, and the observance of the extreme difficulty which even minds like Carlyle's and D'Aubigné's experience in overcoming the incredulity in regard to his true character, will make every lover of truth anxious that the works, on which we have slightly commented, may be studied in this country attentively. The octavo edition of Carlyle's work, from Messrs. Wiley and Putnam, presents an engraving of the face of the hero; a noble face, the features of one of England's greatest, noblest men, that ever were or will be. The Committee of Fine Arts connected with the new houses of Parliament in London determined, we are told, that amongst all the rulers of England, Oliver Cromwell should have no statue. In refusing the Protector a place of memorial in the Parliament, they seem to have done what, considering the difference in the times, is nearly equal to the farce of certain priests at the beginning of the fifteenth century in digging up the bones of Wickliffe,
and burning them. What is it to the master of this face whether the Parliament of England give him, or not, a statue or a portrait among the worthies marked with the stamp of State? Of what importance will it be as to the appreciation of his character by the people? The exclusion might once have been a blow; but who cares now?
Carlyle states the following problem. Given, a divine heroism, to smother it well in human dulness, to touch it with the mace of death, so that no human soul shall henceforth recognise it for a heroism. And Carlyle says that he will back our English genius against the world for working out such a problem, for truly great things have been done in that sort.
Put Carlyle's problem in the following formula, and " English genius" itself will fail to work it. Given, the memory of a great ruler in the consciousness of the world, and in the hearts of his countrymen, to pit successfully against it a Parliamentary Committee of Fine Arts proscribing the statue of the man! Neither dulness, nor envy, nor dread of republicanism, nor the mace of death can do this, nor can do anything more in it, than make the proscribing Committee themselves assume the aspect of a viscous incapacity of flunkeyism (to adopt for the moment Carlyle's own idiosyncratical coinages of expression), so long as the transaction itself has a record in man's memory.
In battling against this dulness, misconception, ignorance, tred, and proscription, in the "dull, dismal labyrinth of the past history of England, where centuries have rotted down, and gone confusedly dumb and quiet," Carlyle has achieved a piece of true heroism, almost as great as Cromwell's own conflicts. He has indeed performed a great work. For the first time he has taken the character of Cromwell out of the disfiguring bogs of history, and placed it in its indisputable integrity and truth, clearly before the whole world's vision. He has set the hero himself before us, speaking, acting, writing, in a simplicity, freedom, wholeness and nobleness of development, and perfectness of consistency, of which the world can show few other examples. Using Cromwell's own materials, the incontrovertible utterances and actions of the man, he has presented a portrait, in which, while its fidelity cannot be denied, is at the same time entirely a new thing in English biography and history. For, heretofore, "not men, but nightmares," have written and painted England's "Cromwelliad." In Carlyle's language, human writing, in reference to this period, and the great actor in it, has been the art of burying heroisms and highest facts in chaos. Out of this chaos the memory of Cromwell has loomed up like a horrifying Medusa spectre on the poor nations. Now, "like a Heaven's apparition, which it was, it stands radiant, beneficent, before all THIRD SERIES, VOL. IV. No. 1.
hearts, calling all hearts to emulate it, with the recognition of it in a psalm and song."
The secret of this change is the apparition of truth instead of history. The continuous, unvarnished succession of a man's letters, speeches, actions, from the beginning of his appearance to his dying hour, must develope what he was, spite of all the glosses, entanglements, distortions and false colorings of history. Set forth the man in indisputable documents and events, which were the work of his own soul and body, and keep him in sight, himself speaking and acting, so that you lose him not behind the verbiage of the historian, or the clouds of historic speculation, or the supplies of conjecture and false coloring instead of fact, and you have a real life, a definable character, an undeniable existence, of the nature of which, you yourself, not the historian, are the judge. You, and the world with you, pass udgment, and what is it to you whether it be the judgment of the historian or not? You would not look into Hume to find the character of a man, whose life, conduct, and conversation you had been acquainted with.
The judgment of Cromwell's character no longer depends on a packed historic jury. Carlyle deserves a statue from England for showing so incontrovertibly that Cromwell deserved one. The greatest of all triumphs in this development, is the clearness, the consistency, the purity and depth of coloring, in which the Christian character of the hero comes into view, and remains supreme and unaltered, even to the close. If this, with D'Aubigné's Vindication of the Protector, be thoughtfully studied, the conquest of incredulity and prejudice is sure.
THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT.
By REV. ERSKINE MASON, D. D., New York.
WHEN the Son of God was about to leave the world, he consoled his disciples, in view of his departure, with the promise of "the Comforter;" by his agency, was the end of the Redeemer's mission to be secured, His kingdom built up in the world, and the expectations He had raised in the minds of His followers, to be fulfilled. Upon this simple "promise of the Comforter" therefore, hang the hopes of a fallen world, and of every member of our lost and ruined family. If this world is ever to be delivered from the curse, and robed again in its original glory; if any being upon earth is to be renewed in the temper of his mind, and made an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, it must be through the making good of these words of Jesus Christ. Indeed the whole effect of the gospel, all the results, which are to satisfy a Redeemer's soul in view of its bitter and agonizing travail, are wrapped up in this promise of the Spirit. His is an agency therefore of vast moment and intense interest. Second to none in importance, it should be second to none in the esteem which we yield it, and in the study which we give it; and though our minds may dwell upon the wondrous manifestation of "God made flesh," upon the condescension and magnitude of his love, in clothing himself with humanity, and on our account going to the death of the cross, yet it is this promised agency which makes this manifestation appear wondrous, and brings home this love with power to the spirit. We admit the absolute necessity of the work of atonement; but we claim a necessity equally absolute, for the work of redemption. If it is true, that "without shedding of blood there is no remission," it is no less true that "except a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
The best method perhaps of arriving at the meaning of the promise, and the nature of the agency it respects, is to turn our attention to some scenes which the Bible represents as proving the fulfilment of the promise, and to some facts which are admitted to be the results of the agency in question.
We go directly to the occurrences of the day of Pentecost. Since the departure of the Savior, the disciples had been in seclusion, remaining in obedience to the command of their master, at Jerusalem, until this promise was fulfilled, and they were endued with power from on high. It is not denied that then and there a