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and that to be overwhelmed with the superior advantages of what they are pleased to call a natural state of society, we have only to contemplate the simple, contented life of the aborigines. Our own people may have the miserable reality too much before them to fall into grievous practical errors, but it is otherwise with those transatlantic enthusiasts who occasionally form an alliance with some “ Apollo of the woods," and learn too late that there is any. thing but poetry to be associated with the wigwam. It might be well for all those whose beau ideal of the red man is formed from such a character as Cooper's Uncas, or Campbell's Outalissi, to just glance at Mr. Wesley's Choctaw :-"Every one doeth what is right in his own eyes; and if it appears wrong to his neighbor, the person aggrieved usually steals on the other unawares, and shoots him, scalps him, or cuts off his ears ;-having only two short rules of proceeding, to do what he will and what he can. They are likewise gluttons, drunkards, thieves, dissemblers, liars.”
As a specimen of Mr. Wesley's' critical acumen, we may cite his observations upon Homer; and we need not remind persons of classical taste and information that the preference here given to the Odyssey is as consonant with present taste as it was repugnant to that of his own time. Aug. 12th, 1748, he says :-"In riding to Newcastle I finished the tenth Iliad of Homer. What an amazing genius had this man!-Yet one cannot but observe such improprieties intermixed as are shocking to the last degree. What excuse can any man of sense make for
• His scolding heroes and his wounded gods ?' Nay, does he not introduce the “father of gods and men,' one while shaking heaven with his rod, and soon after assailing his sister and wife, the empress of heaven, with such language as a carman might be ashamed of? Are these some of those .divine boldnesses which naturally provoke short-sightedness and ignorance to show themselves ?!”
Again : "Last week I read over, as I rode,* a great part of Homer's Odyssey. I always imagined it was like Milton's Paradise Regained,
• The last faint effort of an expiring muse.' But how was I mistaken! How far has Homer's latter poem the pre-eminence over the former! It is not, indeed, without its blemishes; but his numerous beauties make large amends for these. Was ever man so happy in his descriptions, so exact and consistent in his characters, and so natural in telling a story? He like
*“Poetry, history, and philosophy," he tells us in another place, “I read on horseback.”
wise continually inserts the finest strokes of morality, which I cannot find in Virgil :-on all occasions recommending the fear of God, with justice, mercy, and truth. In this, only, is he inconsistent with himself. He makes his hero say, “Wisdom never lies,'— and,
'Him, on whate'er pretence that lies can tell,
My soul abhors him as the gates of hell.' Meantime, he himself [Ulysses) on the slightest pretence tells deliberate lies over and over; nay, and is highly commended for so doing by the goddess of wisdom !"
Almost every page of the “Journal” is enriched with similar fruits of ripe scholarship, sound criticism, and refined taste; and proves the writer to have anticipated the literary, not less than the moral, sentiments of a more enlightened age. The same may be said of his appreciation of the sciences; and it may be doubted whether any one has done more than Wesley to settle and fix their relative importance. At a time when logic, for instance, was virtually discarded from the university course, we find him insisting, with equal beauty and truth, that this is "the gate of the sciences." “Nay, may we not say that the knowledge of it, although now quite unfashionable, is even necessary, next and in order, to a knowledge of Scripture itself? For what is this, if rightly understood, but the art of good sense ? of apprehending things clearly, judging truly, and reasoning conclusively?" How warmly he espoused the cause of this “unfashionable" science and art, appears from several entries in the “ Journal.” On one occasion, while waiting for a turn of the tide, he “set down in a little cottage three or four hours and translated Aldrich's ‘Logic."" To a young lady, whose studies he was superintending, he writes :-"I really think it [logic) is worth all the rest put together.” We are thus particular, because we believe the world is now prepared to appreciate these exertions for the restoration of a long discarded science. Archbishop Whately's excellent Treatise is, without design of course, but really, little more than an expansion of Mr. Wesley's “Compendium," and occasional hints; and the fine remark that “ logic is the gate of the sciences” is now echoed on all sides. In the English universities the doctrine is steadily gaining ground, that "no student should be allowed to enter upon the use of language in mathematical reasoning, until he has acquired more acquaintance with the nature of assertion, denial, and deduction, than can be obtained from previous education as now given :--this to be done by the study of the Elements of Logic.
* See Penny Cyclopedia, vol. xv, p. 13.
In this connection we may notice what appears to have been the germ of a Biblical and Theological Institute, or rather of a conference course of studies. Feb. 23, 1749, he says :-“My design was to have as many of our preachers here during the Lent as could possibly be spared; and to read lectures to them every day, as I did to my pupils in Oxford. I have seventeen of them in all. These I divided into two classes : and read to one Bishop Pearson on the Creed; to the other, Aldrich's Logic-and to both, “Rules for Action and Utterance.'” A more complete and systematical course of study for "junior preachers ” than this could hardly be named, and we should like to see the experiment repeated. Whatever we may gain by greater extent of surface, it is to be feared that far more is lost in depth. And yet these studies form, in Mr. Wesley's estimation, only the basis, the tow orð of ministerial qualifications, as may be learned from that “ Address to the Clergy,” already cited. To us it seems that such a document as this, which is one of the noblest monuments of its author's wisdom and piety, might have some weight in deciding the logomachy so often renewed on the subject of “literary attainments."
But not of grave and weighty matters alone does the “ Journal” treat. It furnishes many proofs of the descriptive talent of its author, and his taste for the beautiful in nature and art. Not seldom is Dr. Southey's “ascetic" heard to exclaim, “All things contributed to make it a refreshing season; the gently declining sun, the stillness of the evening, the beauty of the meadows and fields, through which
• The clear smooth river drew its sinuous train ;' the opposite hills and woods, and the earnestness of the people, covering the top of the hill on which we stood; and, above all, the Day-spring from on high-the consolation of the Holy One."
At another time we accompany him through “a green vale, shaded with rows of trees, which make an arbor for several miles. The river labors along on our left hand, through broken rocks of every size, shape, and color. On the other side of the river, the mountain rises to an immense height, almost perpendicular; and yet the tall, straight oaks, stand rank above rank, from the bottom to the very top.” Anon the scene changes, and we recognize this hero of the mountain and the flood, in the dim religious light of some ancient cathedral, charmed with the choruses of Handel-or the music of “Glory to God in the highest”-pealed forth from “such an organ as he never saw or heard before--so large, so beautiful, and so fully toned." There, too, he is “ well pleased to
partake of the sacrament with his old opponent, Bishop Lavingston." And with what holy fervor he exclaims, “O may we sit down together in the kingdom of our Father!" His exquisite taste for music is revealed in another passage:
“ While we were administering, I heard a low, soft, solemn sound, just like that of an Æolian harp. It continued five or six minutes, and so affected many that they could not refrain from tears; it then gradually died away. Strange, no other organist that I know should think of this."
In these personal memoirs, the historian finds the elements for solving one of the most interesting problems that has ever engaged his attention. He beholds a meek, assiduous devotee of learning, whose only wish would seem to be, as he himself intimates,
“Inter sylvas Academi quærere verum,” suddenly transformed into the intrepid reformer. Frowns and censures can no more awe; dangers cannot appal; flatteries cannot divert him. He shrinks from no sacrifice, no perils, no toils. At a time when the religious and social aspects of the nation were, by the admission of her most duteous sons and the heads of her church,* most gloomy and desponding, this youthful convert to “Bible Christianity” raises his wand, and the simoom of infidelity, which had been sweeping so fearfully across the channel, is suddenly arrested. One hemisphere, and one race of men, cannot now content him. In the true spirit of one who feels that the world is his parish, he is as ready to proclaim "justification by faith alone" in the wigwam of the Choctaw as in the mansions of England's merchant princes. By sea and by land, upon the earth and beneath it, we find him seeking for trophies of grace. To those dreary caverns and excavations of the earth, in Cornwall and at Kingswood, he was attracted, not by veins of gold and silver, or "bright jewels of the mine." Souls were his jewels; and societies of such as “have the form and seek the power of godliness spring up in all directions. Was there, ever since the days of the apostles, a career more worthy of the sanctified enthusiasm it elicited! We hear a disappointed child of ambition complain :
Dip westerly ; but, O! how little like
Not so sung Wesley. The object of his ambition, the constant aspiration of his heart, he thus expresses,
“O Thou that camest from above,
The pure celestial fire t'impart,
On the mean altar of my heart!
With unextinguishable blaze;
In humble love and fervent praise."
And, hence, how characteristic, too, were the results of those retrospective glances which we occasionally meet with ! "I am a wonder to myself,” he says, at the age of eighty-three; "it is now twelve years since I have felt any such sensation as weariness. I am never tired, such is the goodness of God, either with writing, preaching, or traveling.” It is a most curious fact, amply illustrated by the “Journal," and confirmed by tradition, that with advancing years his cheerfulness and fascinating vivacity seemed constantly to increase; and in this respect it is painful to contrast almost all other diaries with his. Not to take an extreme case, we might refer to the voluminous but very interesting “Memoirs" of Sir Walter Scott, whose writings, whatever else may detract from their merits, would certainly indicate a very happy temperament and disposition. But what clouds of gloom and disappointment thickened around him, as the sun of life "dipped westerly"-and who that has traced his life in the graphic limning of Lockhart will ever forget that "moriturus vos saluto," with which he sadly turned away from the ruthless and insolent mob, whose idol he once had been !
Not less favorably does this “ Journal” compare with others in respect to matters complained of by a late reviewer of Hume. “My own life," he sarcastically remarks of the historian's autobiography, “belongs to a class of compositions rarely commanding much confidence, say one in a hundred. Autos usually takes good care not to tell any tales which, in his own conceit, would lower his repute with Heteros—not one in a thousand. In all such compositions there is a great root of self-deception. We are far more proud of confessing our secret sins than in recalling the recollection of our open follies. But the philosophical historian is