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those of mingled pity and veneration. But ah! how soon were all my feelings changed! The lips of Plato were never more worthy of a prognostic swarm of bees, than were the lips of this holy man! It was a day of the administration of the sacrament; and his subject, of course, was the passion of our Saviour. I had heard the subject handled a thousand times: I had thought it exhausted long ago. Little did I suppose, that in the wild woods of America, I was to meet with a man whose eloquence would give to this topic a new and more sublime pathos than I had ever before witnessed.
As he descended from the pulpit, to distribute the mystic symbols, there was a peculiar, a more than human solemnity in his air and manner, which made my blood run cold, and my whole frame shiver.
He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Saviour; His trial before Pilate; His ascent up Calvary; His crucifixion, and His death. I knew the whole history; but never, until then, had I heard the circumstances so selected, so arranged, so colored! It was all new; and I seemed to have heard it for the first time in my life. His enunciation was so deliberate that his voice trembled on every syllable; and every heart in the assembly trembled in unison. His peculiar phrases had that
force of description, that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews: the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet; my soul kindled with a flame of indignation; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clinched.
But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgiving meekness of our Saviour; when he drew to the life, His blessed eyes, streaming in tears to heaven; His voice breathing to God, a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on His enemies, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,"the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter and fainter, until his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect is inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.
It was some time before the tumult had subsided, so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, but fallacious standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher. For I could not conceive how he would be able to let his audience down from
the height to which he had wound them, without impairing the solemnity and dignity of the subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of the fall. But, no! the descent was as beautiful and sublime as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastic.
The first sentence, with which he broke the awful silence, was a quotation from Rousseau: "Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ, like a God."
I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in the discourse. Never before did I completely understand what Demosthenes meant by laying such stress on delivery. You are to bring before you the venerable figure of the preacher; his blindness, constantly recalling to your recollection old Homer, Ossian, and Milton, and associating with his performance the melancholy grandeur of their geniuses; you are to imagine that you hear his slow, solemn, well-accented enunciation, and his voice of affecting, trembling melody; you are to remember the pitch of passion and enthusiasm to which the congregation were raised; and then the few minutes of portentous, death-like silence which reigned throughout the
house; the preacher removing his white handkerchief from his aged face (even yet wet from the recent torrent of his tears), and, slowly stretching forth the palsied hand which holds it, begins the sentence, "Socrates died like a philosopher,” then, pausing, raising his other hand, pressing them both clasped together with warmth and energy to his breast, lifting his “sightless balls” to heaven, and pouring his whole soul into his trembling voice,— "but Jesus Christ, like a God!" If he had been indeed and in truth an angel of light, the effect could scarcely have been more divine.
THE NATURAL RIGHTS OF MAN
JEREMIAH S. BLACK
Jeremiah Sullivan Black was born in the Glades, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, January 10, 1810; began the practice of law, 1830; became president of his judicial district in 1842; was elected judge of the supreme court of the State in 1851; and was chosen Chief Justice. In 1857, President Buchanan made him Attorney-general of the United States, and in 1860 Secretary of State. He retired from the office when Lincoln's cabinet was appointed, and engaged in his profession and in politics. He died in 1883. He was an able lawyer, eloquent speaker, conscientious judge, and honest governmental official.
BUT how am I to prove the existence of these
rights? I do not propose to do it by a long chain of legal argumentation, nor by the produc
tion of numerous books with the leaves dog-eared and the pages marked. If it depended upon judicial precedents, I think I could produce as many as might be necessary. If I claimed this freedom, under any kind of prescription, I could prove a good long procession in ourselves and those under whom we claim it. I might begin with Tacitus, and show how the contest arose in the forests of Germany more than two thousand years ago; how the rough virtues and sound common sense of that people established the right of trial by jury, and thus started on a career which has made their posterity the foremost race that ever lived in all the tide of time. The Saxons carried it to England, and were ever ready to defend it with their blood. It was crushed out by the Danish invasion; and all that they suffered of tyranny and oppression, during the period of their subjugation, resulted from the want of trial by jury. If that had been conceded to them, the reaction would not have taken place, which drove the Danes to their frozen homes in the North. But those ruffian sea-kings could not understand that, and the reaction came. Alfred, the greatest of revolutionary heroes and the wisest monarch that ever sat on a throne, made the first use of his power, after the Saxons restored it, to re-establish their ancient laws. He had promised