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a professor's chair had obliged him to forego. What appeared to be the necessity of Methodism less than half a century ago, to man our new institutions of learning with the best preachers in the Connection, has turned out a serious misfortune. The teacher and the preacher, like the poet, must be born, cannot be made by man's device. The qualities which fit a man to attain eminence in the pulpit often unfit him wholly for the professor's chair, and while the duties of the class-room may prove a capital novitiate for the professor, it is doubtful if many who have become illustrious in the sacred desk have been able to adapt themselves to the routine of college life; and it is almost certain that a majority of those who tried the experiment have surrendered a large part of their influence and authority as preachers. It must be deeply regretted that Dr. Bascom ever became a college don. Had he lived long enough, his friends believe that he would, in part at least, have regained his old ascendency as the Apollos of American Methodism.
With his accustomed promptitude he set his affairs in order to begin the duties of his new office, and with his old courage started to fulfill them. His first appointment was to hold the St. Louis Conference, at Independence, Mo., in July. Cholera was raging throughout the West, and he who voyaged upon the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers that season (there were no railways then) took his life in his hand. Bishop Bascom, conscious of the danger, quietly went to his work. The rivers were low and he was delayed on the way, and although starting in what seemed good time, only reached the Conference on the fourth day of its session. He preached to the edification and comfort of all who heard him, and presided with an impressive dignity and urbane grace which gave assurance of his distinguished fitness for the high place. On his way back he preached with great effect in a number of Missouri towns, but was ill when he reached St. Louis. It was Sunday morning; he was at once asked to preach, declined on the score of his illness, but after a moment said: “If you will get a congregation, I will, with God's help, preach this afternoon—it may be my last opportunity.” That was the last congregation which ever hung spell-bound on his lips. He reached Louisville a few days later, started for Lexington, his home; but after an hour's drive was obliged to return, went to bed, and never left it until,
a few weeks later, his body was carried to the church, and then to the grave. When asked, toward the close, if his faith in Christ remained strong and serene, with his old emphasis he answered, “Yes, yes, yes." On the morning of Sunday, September 8, 1850, about the time at which for so many years he had been used to enter the church of God to proclaim the truths of Christ crucified, his spirit entered the “general assembly and Church of the first-born, which are written in heaven.' He completed the 54th year of his age in the month that he was ordained a Bishop, and in less than four months after ceased at once to work and live on earth.
“Genius, sir!” said Dr. Johnson, "genins is labor." “Genius," said Buffon, “is patience.” If these definitions be true, or even if a far larger meaning be given to the word, Dr. Bascom was a noteworthy man of genius. His temperament, narrow opportunities for improvement in early life, imperfect direction, adverse influences, prescribed limitations which he, which no man, could pass. But what Cecil said of Sir Walter Raleigh was equally true of him : “I know that he can toil terribly. He wrought, as few other men have done, to make himself a workman that needed not to be ashamed.” His remarkable powers of conception, invention, sympathy, and utterance were schooled with unwearied industry, and made tributary, not to his own advancement in worldly honor or emolument, but to his Master's cause, and the loyal service of that Master's Church. We might almost fancy Bascom sitting for both the portraits Clarendon has drawn of Hampden and Falkland. Of the first, he says: “ Who was of an industry and vigilance not to be tired out or wearied by the most laborious, and of parts not to be improved on by the most subtle and sharp, and of a personal courage equal to his best parts;” and of the other: “Who was so severe an adorer of truth that he could as easily have given himself leave to steal as to dissemble.” A loftier word yet gives us the key to his character—“he endured as seeing Him who is invisible."
The heroic days of Methodism produced few men more worthy to be held in remembrance. In his life endless fame was predicted for him, so prodigal are we of the crowns with which we adorn our heroes. In thirty years his fame has shrunk to a tradition; in half a century more he will be for
gotten save by the student of Methodist archives.
“ Had he not respect unto the recompense of the reward ?"
Trusting that, at no distant day, the dust of Henry Bidleman Bascom may be placed in the grounds of the Vanderbilt University at Nashville, I turn from his grave in the Louisville burying-ground and betake me again to my path, growing somewhat lonely now because so many of those with whom I once took sweet counsel have fallen by the way, he among the rest; and as I muse upon ministers covetous of worldly fame, murmur in the darkness Tennyson's lines :
“We pass, the path that each man trod
Is dim, or will be dim with weeds.
What fame is left for human deeds
Fade wholly, while the soul exults,
And self infolds the large results
ART. II.-A GLIMPSE OF OLD TESTAMENT ESCHA
1 SAMUEL XXV, 29.
“And the soul of my Lord shall be bound up in the bundle of life (of lives) with Jehovah, thy God." Tas passage seems to denote, here, nothing more than a wish that David's life might be preserved; but the form of the strange expression and its proverbial aspect intimate a higher idea: God, the source of life and the ever-flowing fountain of life, or lives. Compare Psalm xxxvi, 10, D"771pagby's, Quoniam apud te est fons vitae, (fons vitarum.) It is the fountain of lives, as here the bundle of lives, fasciculus vitarum, in the plural. This use of the plural (o"n, lives) is so constant in Hebrew that it ceases to excite our surprise, although the idea that must have given rise to such a usus loquendi is well worth our study. In such strange expressions as this (1 Sam. xxv, 29, and Psalms xxxvi, 10) it becomes quite significant-suggestive of thoughts which, although warranted by
the Old Testament, do not show themselves upon the surface, or obtrude themselves on the mere surface reader. The Commentary of Rabbi Tanchum on these words and those that follow is curious and deeply interesting. He refers it to the future state of the soul. This is double, and expressed by two remarkably contrasted similes—the bundle and the sling. We give the passage as found in Pocock's notes to Maimonides, “Porta Mosis,” text 154, notæ 92, 93 : “ To some souls there is given a sublime degree, and a secure habitation with their Lord—a life immortal and not liable to dissolution. Other souls become the sport of the waves of nature; they find no security, no resting place, but perpetual pains and unintermitting anguish, forever and forever, like stones cast out of a sling, and sent whirling about in the air, according to the strength of him who sends them. This is, in truth, the opinion of our wisest men as well as of the philosophers.” It is Rabbi Tanchum's commentary on this passage, and is all designed to show the contrast, which is very strikingly brought out, between the rest, security, and blessedness denoted by the safe bundle of life to the souls inclosed within, and the unrest, the wandering, the everlasting vagrancy denoted by the figure of the sling and the souls cast out with its utmost projectile force, as would seem to be meant by the words y pn 93 7ına, év uéow tñs opevdóvns, or, as the Vulgate has most forcibly rendered it: “porro inimicorum tuorum anima rotabitur quasi in impetu et circulo fundae."
The only question is, Is there any ground for such an imagination as that of Tanchum in any thing that we know of the ancient belief of the Jews respecting a spirit-world? There may be, in the first place, a pure critical objection. Even if the Jews believed in a future state or a spirit world, such a thought, it might be said, would seem out of place on such a purely secular occasion. Instead of coming from a devout prophet or psalmist, instead of being the language of exhortation or devotion, it is put in the mouth of the garrulous Abigail, in what seems a mere complimentary or salutatory formula, having no connection with any thing so serious. That was the last thing she was thinking of, even if it were a doctrine. of the more thoughtful Jewish mind; she only wishes to recommend herself to David, and get him to overlook the doings of her foolish husband. This seems plausible, but, after all,
the objection of itself amounts to nothing. We need not suppose the reapers of Boaz to have been unusually devout or spiritual men, or very devout at all, when they returned the salutation of their Master with the religious formula, 7372' 17477", “Jehovah bless thee." Still, such formulas show a religious nation, at least one that had been religious, or whose national life had had a deep religious ground. See Ruth ii, 4.
The question is not what Abigail meant, exactly, but whence came' the strange formula she so flippantly, and it may be unthinkingly, uses. It might have lost its serious meaning, and come to be used in a inere formal manner, as if one should say, “May you live a thousand years,” or, as the Jews sometimes used that still more solemn and spiritually significant expression, “ As Jehovah liveth, and as thy soul liveth.” It may be that Abigail employed it in a mere temporal sense, or as a general prayer for long life and prosperity. But none of these suggestions satisfy the inquiry. There are none of them that would have given rise to the formula. They are meanings into which it might degenerate, but to which it never could have owed its birth. The more solemn must have been first. There must have been at sometime a power or depth of meaning in it corresponding to the strange power and vividness of the language. There must have been a serious reason for these peculiar words and more peculiar figures. The " binding up in the bundle of life,” (or lives, 7178, something firmly bound and holding secure,) and the “casting out of the sling,” (to denote the very opposite,) must have had a strong significance to give it currency as a popular formula. The more we look at it in this point of view, the more it will be seen that the arguinent, instead of being in the direction of this actual objection, is just
the other way.
But did it have any ground in any common belief of the Jews? It may be said that the notion of Tanchum is opposed to the silence of the Old Testament, generally, respecting a future life, and especially the recognition in it of distinct states of happiness and retribution, or of blessedness and reprobation, or casting out, such as might seem to be denoted by “the bundle ” and the sling, if we give them this application. There is reason, however, to believe that the common popular opinions among the Jews respecting a spirit-world were more fixed and