صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

all unity is lost, and but for the four walls which bound all this, one would hardly be able to combine out of it a whole. The spire is pleasing in the landscape; it tells of civilization and Christianity ; besides, the place for a bell is indispensable. Its perpendicular lines, however, which point the sky, do not harmonize with the long, horizontal, and depressed lines of Grecian architecture, so that the contrast is too marked, and therefore improper, and not pleasing. A late writer says of the Gothic or pointed style, in its fullness and grandeur: “The first and chief expression is that of the thoughts raised to God, and, separated from the earth, ascending boldly and straightly to heaven. This is what every one must feel in contemplating the aspiring pillars, arches, and vaults, even if he cannot analyze the feeling. All the other parts of the whole are symbolical and significant. The altar was placed opposite the rising sun; the three principal entrances were to receive the crowds of people from the different parts of the world. The three towers express the three persons of the mystery of the Godhead, according to the Christian belief. The choir raises itself, like a temple within a temple, with exalted dignity. The figure of the cross was used in the Christian churches from the remotest times; not merely arbitrarily, as it may be supposed, or that it should attract the eye from the other beautiful forms. The rose is the principal feature of all the ornaments of this style of architecture; the peculiar form of the windows, doors and towers, being derived from it, as also the rich decorations of leaves and flowers. The cross and the rose are therefore the chief forms and symbols of this symbolical style of architecture. The expression of the whole is the solemnity of eternity, the thoughts of earthly death interwoven with the most enchanting plenitude of a life of perpetual bloom.” When we add to this, that it is the growth of the Christian religion — that it admits of any capacity, being equally adapted to the cathedral pile, or the rural church — susceptible of ornament, or chaste in its simplicity — admitting of a great variety of form, so that it does not weary by its sameness and complete and perfect as a whole, - we think that it possesses claims superior to that of any other style, and therefore is preferable for its “fitness." We will not say that in no case is the Grecian temple fit or beautiful; but when stripped of its chief characteristics - gigantic size, and massive and enduring material - we may then think that there is little left to be desired. And when the town hall, the exchange, and the church, express but one and the same purpose, its propriety is at least questionable.

“ If to do, were as easy as to say to do, chapels had been churches." we confess it we confess that it is much easier to pull down than to build up. — We wish that the best and wisest men who are scattered here and there among us, would turn their attention somewhat toward this subject, and use the influence of their character and cultivation to the improvement of those around them.

A material of an excellent and enduring kind is quarried for us in most parts of our country; but from what we conceive to be a shortsighted economy, it is neglected for a more perishable and meaner one. When we consider the lasting nature of stone compared with wood, and the saving in annual outlay, which with the wooden edifice is necessary for the continuance of its short life, we conceive that prudence, if nothing more, will select it over any other — but the judicious expenditure of what is now frittered away in these puerile attempts at style and ornament, under the direction of the man of taste and skill, will give us all that we ask.

We would that these now shapeless rocks should lift their moss-grown tops toward the heavens, and mingle with the primeval forest that has so long waved over them. From a spot where nature has done much, and man can do more, should go forth the sounds that call the poor to pray; beyond, spreads out the rich and teeming valley or the ceaseless ocean, all telling of the majesty of God, yet subservient to man; here, the vine creeps over the broad buttress, or in sportive growth stretches its long arms up the moss-covered trunk; the birds mingle their sweet notes with those of man in praise and thanksgiving. It is a green spot in the desert of the world, where wells up the fountain that slakes the thirsty soul — that satisfies its most earnest longings

a place of prayer, and praise, and offering." Here gather the hard hands and earnest faces of honest industry — the smiles of childhood, and the whitened heads of age - the youth in early manhood, matron and maid -- they all unite in one common purpose ; one thought, one idea pervades the place. The man feels that he is but a small part of the great whole, yet that he has a work to do; and he must go away with a soul soothed and quieted, with purposes elevated and refined.

NO. XVII.-VOL. IX. 24

case.

“ He has renewed his strength, and goes forth like a giant refreshed with wine."

Could we but add to this the modest parsonage, overgrown with woodbine and ivy, its hidden walls telling of quiet meditation and holy purposes, the picture would be entire ; and we venture to say, that among all the representations of EngJish life and scenery, none are more generally pleasing than these. The refined feel the charm — the rich, that here gold is powerless — and the poor realize their humanity, and that God, the father of all, is so to them.

The pastoral duties, as formerly practised, seem to be fast passing away, and giving place to a loud and wonder-exciting declamation. If this be an evidence of the growing spirituality of the people, it is well; but we doubt if such be the

A desire for change, a restlessness, an ambition, seems to influence all classes, and we now rarely find the contented and holy man, bound by ties of association and mutual kindness to the people to whom he has ministered ; who has struggled against the selfishness of this world, that he might be not only a spiritual comforter, but one whom we might safely trust when perplexed with the anxieties of a loo busy existence - a man without guile. The efficacy and importance of sermonizing hold a prominent place in the minds of the greater part of the community. We have no objection to this, but let us not give up the other.

We would respectfully suggest to those having influence in this matter, whether the admission of persons to be our teachers, of no very great capacity, and a limited perception of the workings of the human mind, may not have been detrimental; and productive, to some extent, of the very evil that we have been deprecating. We do not doubt the purity of intention of these; we question not their motives; but we think they are mistaken, and know not what they can do best.

In our selection of the site for the rural church, sufficient room may be had for placing the monuments of departed worth around it, so as to give it an additional beauty and interest. It must be confessed, we think, that the places provided for the last repose of the mortality of those who, when alive, possessed no small share of our affections and hopes, are characterized by a neglect which would shock the sense of the Indian who strews flowers over the grave. A plain slab, bearing the name, birth, and death, stands in some desolate, untamed field — and this is all! Let the man sometimes wander amidst the tombs, and yield himself to the influences of the place; there, commune with his own thoughts, and with the dead ; his mind, diverted from the excitement of the crowd, will get something of the realities of things, and he will go away with a truer

estimate of the value and uses of life. We would divest death of some of the charnel-house appendages of decay and darkness, and let in a gleam of sunshine, that will light the soul to that higher communion where we may meet with those we have loved and lost. Let not the man of taste fear to show it, in the cultivation of flowers around the grave of a friend ; it is a mark of affection, that would once have been repaid by the smiles of one whose spirit now looks upon him with an eye of love. The debased and worldly may trample upon these things, but not always :

“ A still, resistless influence,
Unseen, but felt, binds

up

the sense.”

A better spirit, a reverence for holy things, now so rarely seen, will come upon them. Such consummation is devoutly to be wished; we may then look forward without dread to " a cheerful old age, and a quiet grave.

Public attention has of late been strongly awakened to the importance of providing suitable places of repose for the dead, especially in the vicinity of our large cities; and the beautiful grounds which have been selected for cemeteries at Mount Auburn, near Boston, at Laurel Hill, near Philadelphia, and at Greenwood, in our own neighborhood, are a proof that a purer taste in relation to the subject is already prevailing in the community. All these sites are well chosen, and admirably adapted to the sacred purpose to which they are devoted ; but we happen to be most familiar with Greenwood, from its proximity to us, and therefore we can speak of it more particularly, without justly incurring the charge of local prejudice. We know but few lovelier spots in the world than this, and none of greater capabilities for every improvement appropriate to such a cemetery. It may challenge a comparison with Père la Chaise, with the most famed of the Campo Santos in Italy, or with those which overlook the “Sweet Waters,” in the neighborhood of the Golden Horn. The contemplation of such a cheerful and tranquil

resting-place at the end of the wearisome journey of life, deprives death of half its terrors; and we know not how the unpleasant associations connected with the material grave could more effectually be removed than by a visit to it at this delightful season, and a sight of those peaceful shades, under which we may rest, when we have put

off “ mortal coil.” We have only to hope that the hand of man, in the part of the work which it belongs to him to do, will not mar the beauties which nature has so richly and gracefully distributed there.

our

Art. VIII. – 1. The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Re

public of Texas. By WILLIAM KENNEDY, Esq. London: 1841. R. Hastings. 2 vols. 8vo.

2. Texas and the Texans ; or, Advance of the Anglo-Americans

to the Southwest ; including a History of Leading Events in Merico, from the conquest by Fernando Cortes to the Termination of the Texan Revolution. Philadelphia: 1841. Thomas, Cowperthwait, and Co. 2 vols. 12mo.

3. Texas in 1840; or, the Emigrant's Guide to the New Repub

lic. By an Emigrant, late of the United States. New York: 1840. W. W. Allen. 12mo.

On what ground does Texas claim to be recognized as an independent republic, and what is the probability that it will be able to maintain its independence, and raise itself to a respectable rank in the great family of nations, are questions which naturally arise in the mind of every one who is interested in its destiny. To these questions a fuller and more satisfactory answer is given by Mr. Kennedy, in the work whose title we have just cited, than in any one which has come to our knowledge. The high character of this gentleman and the fact that he has no personal interests to advance by what he writes, add great weight to his testimony, and we are highly gratified in having such an authority in support of the opinion we have long entertained, that at the battle of San Jacinto were laid the foundations of the second durable state on the American continent. Mr. Kennedy went to Texas with a mind unprejudiced against the country by the

« السابقةمتابعة »