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views of harmless eccentricity, but while we are glad of these, so far as they promise better treatment in future to eccentric ministers, yet they come for ever too late to remedy the evil results of censoriousness as to the past. Whatever sufferings have been, or may

be now, endured by other ministers similar to those to which I have been obliged to submit, I can only pray that God will bless them, dispose them to protest against Pharisaism, and seek its utter subversion-its final overthrow.

Some good people, from infancy, have had particular marks on their faces, -as the appearance of wine, or some kind of fruit,--this makes them look differently from men in general, and they cannot help it. Now none but rude and unfeeling persons make disparaging remarks upon them on this account. And so some have mental constitutions, differing from the majority of their fellow mortals, and they cannot help it. Yet they do not offend God : and who, but censorious Pharisees, will ever twit them, and punish them on this account?

“Well, but by preventing us from censuring eccentricity, you will encourage eccentric men to indulge in all manner of extravagance." Nothing of the sort. It is your interference that is the most likely to produce such an unfavourable result. Let them alone, and their own good sense and discretion will effect that moderation and self-government, which unjust censures can never accomplish. In meddling with the eccentrics, in a quietly primitive fashion, you are apt to think yourselves very wise men and great philosophers; but you are neither the one or the other. I have frequently been astonished at the conceit of many grave personages, and their admirers. Not only have they imagined that personal godliness is pre-eminently their's on account of their gravity, but that deep thinking and intellectual power are their almost exclusive prerogative. All conversations, all public oral addresses, all writings carried on with stiff and almost frowning seriousness, are supposed to be identical with vast mental superiority. Now this is, not in every case, certainly, but in very many instances, a contemptible delusion. Democritus, who was called the “laughing philosopher," had as much good sense and mental superiority as the solemn and “divine” Plato; and he was as fond of study and solitude as that great man. I have said somewhere in my writings, and will say it again, lest you should forget it, that this Democritus was accused of insanity, and Hippocratus was ordered to inquire into the nature of his disorder. The physician had a conference with the philosopher, and declared that not Democritus, but his enemies, were insane!

Making allowance for some theological errors in the mind of this superior man, who lived in times of pagan darkness, he was highly esteemed. He repeated, before his countrymen, one of his compositions, called Diacosmus. It was received with such uncommon applause that he was presented with

500 talents! He died in the 109th year of his age; before Christ 361 years.

Democritus laughed at the follies and vanity of mankind, who distract themselves with care, and are at once a prey to hope and to anxiety. He was a wise and a merry old man, yet ever industrious and laborious in his studies; yea, and could be grave too, with gravity of the best quality, the quiet placidity of good sense and pity for superstitious follies. He might have been wrong in his rigid scepticism concerning ghosts, but he was right in the following case :“Some youths, to try his fortitude, dressed themselves in a hideous and deformed habit, and approached his cave in the dead of night, with whatever could create terror and astonishment. The philosopher received them unmoved ; and without even looking at them, he desired them to cease making themselves such objects of ridicule and folly." (See Lempriere's Class. Dic. p. 247.)

It is now (in 1859,) about two thousand two hundred and twenty years since Democritus left the world. How many of our modern philosophers will, like Democritus, be talked of with approbation, two thousand two hundred and twenty years hence ?




THERE is a very remarkable dignity in some writers, which restrains them from giving any reply to objections made to their books. They prefer what they call dignified silence. How much real philosophy there is in this dignity, I will not undertake to determine; but I do at this moment recollect a remarkable saying of that eminent writer, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Somebody had talked to him about the far-famed virtue of silent contempt, and about its being the best reply to slander; and I rather think that in numerous instances it is so. But there are exceptions, and so Dr. Johnson thought, and hence he observed : “Silence is as much in the power of a guilty man, as one that is innocent.” Well spoken, brother Samuel! And here I might observe, that a great number of the Psalms of David, are replies to opponents and complaints against them. Virtual and even formal protestations against objectionable characters, and these written by divine inspiration, and published to the world by the immediate sanction of God himself! Now, then, if silence is for the most part a virtue, (and an argument of sublime dignity, like that of a stupendous rock dashed against by furious waves in a storm, yet remaining silent,) it does

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not follow, that we must let anybody and everybody go unanswered. Charity, and a wish to enlighten them, will sometimes dictate a reply. " What, says the reader,) are you going to be at your old tricks again, and advertise your books?" My dear friend, do have a little patience with me, and put the best and the right interpretation upon the following dialogue :

Mrs. Addlepate, not being quite satisfied with the “ books,” makes another call.

Mrs. A.-"Well, really, Sir, full of charity as I am, I must be candy with you, and speak my mind.”

Author.-"By all means, madam.”

Mrs. A.-"I never critikizes authors with severity. I makes candy allowances for everything pecooliar, whether in idees or language.”

Author.-" That, madam, is an amiable quality in a reader.”

Mrs. A.-"I puts the best constriction I can on every thing!"

Author.--"Good again, Mrs. Addlepate.”

Mrs. A.-“But I do wonder, how you, as a minister, could say in your appendage to the little work, on pastorial visiting, that certain persons who demonstrate against ministers, was like wild kannibals, eating up human flesh."

Author.--"Read that appendix again, madam, and you will see that I there represent the agonized feelings of excellent ministers at the sight of men who come to oppose them, without any reason but such as


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