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The printed productions of Mr. Hooke, in addition to the Fast Day Sermon of 1640, from which we have so largely quoted, amount to half a dozen or more. Copies of only two of them are known to exist in this country.
Mr. Hooke died in or near London, March 21, 1678, aged seventy-seven. Having borne a part in that " slaughter of the witnesses" of which he had publicly treated, he "went," as Mather well remarks, "from the privileges of labors among the saints on earth to those of rewards among the saints in heaven." His body rests in the sleeping place on the North side of the New Artillery Garden," an honored associate of Puritans and Dissenters, "in the cemetery of Bunhill fields."
THE POWER OF CHRIST'S PREACHING.
WHEN the Great Teacher had ended the Sermon on the Mount, which not inappropriately has been described as the "Ordination Sermon of the disciples," "the people," as Matthew informs us, "were astonished at his doctrine. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes!" By the term "doctrine," we are doubtless to understand both the matter and the manner of the teaching of Him, whom John adored, as the "word of life." It may well be questioned, whether the contrast between the discourses of Jesus and those of all the "blind leaders of the blind" was any more marked and wonderful by the "gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth," than by the distinguishing characteristics of his mere manner or mode of speaking.
Among the fragmentary "thoughts" of Pascal, intended for his great work on the evidences of Christianity, there is an allusion to one characteristic, which in all probability was the preeminent and crowning distinction of the whole. It may be termed unimpassioned familiarity. It is that air of case and calmness, which a speaker exhibits, when he has long been conversant with his subject, and has become completely acquainted with all its bearings and relations. He may be said to look down upon his subject; for he has thoroughly mastered it, and
is entirely above it. He utters himself with composure, decision, and dignity, as if conscious of stating facts and delivering sentiments, which no intelligent and honest man will be disposed to contest. Perhaps we see the quality under consideration more strikingly evinced, in the language and intonations of one, who is relating what he knows to be true, and what has never been, and is never likely to be, questioned, but what at the same time may be of vast practical importance.
There are truths, which have become as familiar to us as "household words." Whenever these are employed in our conversation, or in our more elevated discourse, they seldom, if ever, give that cast of character to our style, which is invariably produced by what is novel or mysterious. Greatness, novelty, mystery, are all relative. The same object will affect different persons very differently. A man of intelligence, for example, when introduced for the first time into the midst of a manufacturing establishment, may make inquiries and indicate feelings, which afford no small amusement to the youngest or the most illiterate among the operatives. He may soon hear
"The loud laugh which speaks the vacant mind."
Let him converse with them a few minutes, upon things which are not so new to him, and they may be astonished with a great astonishment." A Rothschild could speak of a loan of twenty millions, with as much coolness and as little of excitement, doubtless, as many others would speak of a loan of twenty mills. A military man, with the heart of Napoleon, might calculate the results of the most sanguinary battle, as if the blood of ten thousand soldiers was of no more account, than a drop of the bucket. But he whom the "magic poetry of war" has never bereft of his reason and humanity, will feel "the hair of his flesh stand up," at the very thought of the spectacle of a battle-field, after the "morrow's sun" has risen upon the scene of horror.
Every one must know, that opportunity, station, employment, habit, experience, research, produce multiform varieties of thought, feeling, words, expressions of countenance, and tones of voice.
Now there is that in revelation, which bows the soul of man: nay more, it prostrates the Christian in the dust. If he who
ministers in holy things, has any suitable conception of his calling, he cannot fail to manifest a consciousness, that, in God and Christ, in creation, providence, and grace, there are heights which he never ascended, depths which he never fathomed, lengths and breadths which he never explored. Profound and extensive as may be his attainments, he will feel, that he is but an infant in the school of Christ, and has learned but a letter or two of the alphabet of celestial wisdom. When the attributes and works of Jehovah, redemption by the blood of Christ, resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the great day, heaven and hell, immortality and eternity, are his themes of argument and appeal, how can he speak without emotion? Is it strange, that he sometimes abounds in epithets and hyperboles ? When really elevated by the inspiration of momentous truth, he amplifies and expatiates; adds argument to argument, illustration to illustration, emphasis to emphasis. He would pour out words, until the fountain ceases to flow. He would exhaust intellect, imagination, emotion, utterance, gesture, in the intensity of his effort.
An apostrophe in the "Course of Time" has much of what is so natural to us, when we would give expression to the excitement produced by intense meditation upon a sublime and spiritstirring object.
Great Ocean! strongest of creation's sons!
Loud uttering satire, day and night, on each
If such be the emotion, and the language of emotion, excited by one of the visible works of God, how shall we order our speech, when we come before God himself, and attempt to utter the sentiments of adoration ? How shall we address the "King eternal, immortal, and invisible?" How can we ever
"The thunder of his great idea?" grasp the " understand?" "O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!"
Mark now the preaching of Jesus. He discoursed of God, as his own Father, in the spirit of the most tender filial intimacy. He discoursed of the kingdom and purposes of the Most High, of the world of spirits, of angels, of heaven and hell, and of all the tremendous and amazing truths of the law and the gospel, as if there were nothing in them all, which to him was in the least new, or wonderful, or unintelligible. He was perfectly at ease, perfectly at home, as one brought up in the midst of the scenes of eternity; although "born of a woman," "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”
Whence, then, his knowledge, "seeing he never learned?" Whence his unimpassioned and sublime familiarity with those truths, which overwhelm the mightiest of men, with an amazement which transcends the power of language to express? The disciple who "leaned upon his bosom," has anticipated all such inquiries:- IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE Word was God.
UNITARIANISM INTO HARVARD
HARVARD College was instituted with special reference to the exigencies of the church, and for the maintenance and promotion of true religion. Accordingly, the first law in the college code. respecting the students, enacted by the Overseers in 1642, was, that "Every one shall consider it the main end of his life and studies, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life." For many years after its establishment, the institution continued to fulfil the object and the wishes of its pious founders. During the first half century, nearly all the ministers who were settled in New England received their education at Harvard College. And until within the last fifty or sixty years, by far the greater part of the clergy of Massachusetts were its graduates.
The college, at different periods of our history, partook deeply of the religious character of the times; or perhaps it were better to say, it gave a character to the times. Those who were first educated, in the days of the original settlers, and under the enlightened and fervent ministry of Mr. Shepard, were in general pious and devoted men. There was subsequently a season of declension, in the college, as well as throughout the country. It should be said, however, of Dr. Increase Mather, the sixth, and the most distinguished, of all its presidents, that he labored assiduously and successfully for the promotion of spiritual religion among his pupils. He preached to them statedly every week, advised them as to what books they should read, and cautioned them against such as he considered hurtful. He used frequently to send for them separately into the library, and there pray and converse with them, warning them of the terrible consequences of continued impenitence, and charging them to turn from their sins and live. Nor were his labors without good results. Such labors are never altogether fruitless. They are sure of some reward.
The presidency of Mather terminated near the close of the century. Sixty years later, when Whitefield visited the college, he found it in what he considered a state of lamentable declension. "Tutors neglected to pray with and examine the hearts of their pupils. Discipline was at a low ebb. Bad books had become fashionable among the students." The forms of religion were maintained, but its power was not felt. A revival commenced in college under the preaching of Whitefield, but a controversy soon followed, and but little fruit, it may be feared, was gathered. Still, there was no open defection from the faith of the New England churches, till many years subsequent to the time of Whitefield.
Willard, Leverett, Wadsworth, and Holyoke, who succeeded Mather in the presidential chair in the order here named, were all Calvinists. And so was Dr. Langdon, who succeeded Holyoke in 1774, and resigned in 1780. This is evident from his Summary of Christian Faith and Practice," which was published in 1768. The younger Wigglesworth was at this time Hollis Professor of Divinity, who, though less explicit on some points than his father, was certainly a Trinitarian and a Calvinist.