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can appeal to facts as decisive and convincing as any which the biographer of Darracott has here recorded.
Were we not persuaded that the volume which Mr. Bennett has presented to the world, would obtain, as it deserves, an extensive circulation, we should not content ourselves with an imperfect abstract of the former part of his life, but should willingly accompany the afflicted sufferer to the chamber of sickness, and see “ in what peace a Christian could die?" We should also gladly transcribe many excellent passages from the correspondence of Mr. Darracott with Dr. Doddridge, Mr. Joseph Williams, the Rev. S. Walker, of Truro, and other eminent contemporaries. The obituary of this devoted saint is so affecting, that we feel reluctant to impair the impression of it, by any abridged statement. It is one of the most interesting records of holy heavenly triumph in the prospect of dissolution, that ever came under
It exhibits not only the composure but the ecstacy of faith---a setting sun in brilliant and unclouded glory: Not long before his death “he composed meditation which he enclosed in a letter to a friend in London.” “It breathes,” says Mr. B., “the language of an exalted Christian on the borders of Paradise.” We can insert only a part of this seraphical anticipation of Heaven---this rapturous effusion of devotional eloquence---of “ joy unspeakable and full of glory."
6 “ Is this” exclaims the dying saint-" the voice of my dear Lord ? Surely I come quickly? Amen says my willing, joyful soul, even so come Lord Jesus ! Come, for I long to have done with this poor low life; to have done with its burthens, its sorrows, and its
Come, for I grow weary of this painful distance and long to be at home; long to be with thee, where thou art, that I may behold thy glory. Come then blessed Jesus, as soon as thou pleasest, and burst asunder these bonds of clay, that hold me from thee Death is no more my dread, but rather the object of my desire. I welcome the stroke which will prove so friendly to me ; which will knock off my fetters, throw open my prison doors, and set my soul at liberty; which will free me (transporting thought!) from all those remainders of indwelling sin, under which have long groaned in this tabernacle, and with which I have been maintaining a constant and a painful conflict. This world has now no more charms to attract my heart, or make me wish a moment's longer stay. I have no engagements to delay my farewell. Nothing to detain me now. My soul is on the wing. Joyfully do I quit mortality, and here cheerfully take my leave of all I ever held dear below.-Farewell my dear Christian friends; I have taken sweet counsel with you in the way; but I leave you for sweeter, better converse above. You will soon follow me, and then our delightful communion shall be uninterrupted as well as perfect, and our society be broken up no more for ever. Farewell, in particular my dearest.-How has our friends ship ripened almost to the maturity of heaven-nor shall the sweet union be dissolved by death. What though we meet no more at Wwe shall embrace one another in heaven, never to part more. Till then adieu ! and know I leave you with the warmest wishes of all felicity to attend you, and the most grateful overflowings of heart for all the kindest tokens of the most endearing friendship. Farewell, thou my dearest wite! my most affectionate delightful companion in heaven's road, whom God in the greatest mercy gave me, and has thus to the end of my race graciously continued to me! For all thy care, thy love, thy prayers, I bless my God, and thank thee in these departing moments: But dear as thou art-and dearest of all that is mortal, I hold thes--I now find it easy to part from thee, to go to that Jesus, thine and mine, who is infinitely more dear to me. With him, I cheerfuily leave thee, nor doubt his care for thee, who has loved thee and given himself for thee-Farewell, my dear chil. dren, I leave you; but God has bound himself to take care of you. Only choose him for your own God, wiro has been your Father's God, and then though I leave you, exposed in the waves of a dangerous and wicked world, Providence, eternal and almighty Providence has undertaken to pilot and preserve you.
And now farewell praying and preaching ! my most delightful work! Farewell ye sabbaths and sacraments, and all divine ordinances. I have now done with
you all. As the manna and the rock in the wilderness, you have supplied me with sweet refreshment by the way; and now I am leaving you; I bless my God for all the comfort and edification I have received by your means, as the channel appointed for divine communications. But now I have no more need of
I going to the God of ordinances-to that fountain of living waters, which has filled these pools below—and instead of sipping at the streams, I shall now be for ever satisfied from the fountain head." » p. 100-102.
The concluding chapter contains an admirable delineation of the character of Darracott, and an impressive statement of the instructions suggested by the preceding narrative. It is highly creditable to the taste and piety of the writer. Indeed every part of the volume abounds in useful and judicious observations.
Though there is occasionally a slight approximation to quaintness in the style and thoughts of Mr. Bennett, we have been highly gratified with the good sense and fervent piety which they generally display. We meet with no morbid affectation of sentiment---no misplaced attempts at finery,---no pathetic nonsense in his descriptions of character or of incidents : but a plain and interesting relation of a “good and faithful servant” of Jesus Christ. Ministers and churches are much indebted to Mr. Bennett for his valuable and (what deserves no small commendation in this age of large type, and margins) his cheap addition to our stores of evangelical biography. There is one advantage to be derived from the memoir of Darracott which we cannot better state than in
the language of Mr. Bennett, and with which we shall close our notice of his production.
The success of Mr. D. furnishes the more useful lesson in consequence of his being below the first class in point of talent. Men of transcendant abilities excite that admiration which paralyses rather than stimulates. Our self love excuses the barrenness of our lives by the plea of incapacity. Here we are taught, that not singular abilities, but unusual ardour produced the extraordinary lives of Luther, Whitfield and Darracott, while hundreds whose native powers were superior have lived useless and died unmissed. The learned trifling of many has added nothing to the treasures of literature, but the plain sense and flaming piety of Darracott won multitudes to the society of the just. Perhaps the greater part of those who will shine in heaven with distinguished lustre, as having turned many to righteousness, will be found to be men, not of transcendant power, but of ordinary capacities improved to the utmost by holy zeal.'
Of Mr. Darracott's “ scripture-marks" annexed to this memoir, we have only to say, that we think the text greatly improved, its meaning explained, and its comparatively trivial errors detected, by the commentary.
Art. XII. The Beauties of Christianity; by F. A. De Chateaubriand,
Author of Travels in Greece and Palestine, Atala, &c. Trans. lated from the French by Frederic Shoberl. With a Preface and Notes, by the Rev. Henry Kett, B. D. &c. 8vo. 3 vols. pp. 970. Price 11. Ils. 6d. Colburn, 1813.
Continued from page 55.) THE primitive constitution and the fall of man, are once more
resumed in an ingenious, fanciful, and considerably eloquent chapter, which somewhat strangely assigns as a new proof of the degeneracy of our nature, that want of harmony, that destruction of equilibrium, so apparent among the faculties combined in the constitution of man, while the other agents in nature, both the merely material and the sentient, as he observes, display a conformity in the elements of which they are constituted, and an adaptation to their ends. His illustration of the palpable fact of the discord in the nature of man, is made of true, questionable, and erroneous notions, all asserted, as a short paragraph may shew, in an equal tone of confidence.
• There is a perpetual collision between his understanding and his desires, between his reason and his heart. When he attains the highest degree of civilization, he is on the lowest step of the moral scale; if free, he is barbarous ; if he polishes his manners, he forges chains for himself. Does he excel in the sciences ? his imagination expires. Does he become a poet ? he loses the faculty of profound thought. His heart gains at the expense of his head, and his head at
the expense of his heart. He is impoverished in ideas in proportion
grows rich in feelings; his feelings become more confined in proportion as his ideas are enlarged. Strength renders him austere and cruel; weakness adorns him with graces. A virtue invariably brings him a vice along with it ; and a vice, when it leaves him, as invariably deprives him of a virtue.'
Whoever believes the last part of this statement, will have to consider, when meditating the expulsion of any particular vice of his nature, whether he may not be about as good a man while retaining the vice, balanced and partly neutralized by its twin and inseparable virtue, as he would after the expulsion of them both together. And if he judges that he may be even nearly as good, he will hardly comprehend why he should undergo the painful toil of fighting the vice out of him ; for a fearful operation it will be, even notwithstanding the aid that might be received towards promoting its exit, from the attraction of its kindred and conjunct virtue, which will always have a strong tendency to go off. So favourite a locality does any vice find in the human mind, so powerfully does it cling or radicate there, that it would not consent to quit, even to gratify the principle of evil and the spirit of evil by taking away a virtue. It will scorn the example of Castor and Pollux, who enjoyed an equal alternation of ascendency; it will be like Timour, nominally recognizing, in the earlier stage of his career, an associated and even superior potentate, but at the same time ranking and commanding him among his vassals; it will be the giant, with the easy carelessness of conscious power giving orders to the sulky, perhaps, and wayward, but finally obedient dwarf.
The author attempts, in sufficiently eloquent phrases, but to fail, something in the way of explaining how the desire of forbidden knowledge in the original man, broke up the harmony, the order, the equilibrium of the human nature. But he may
be allowed to describe truly, and poetically, the consequent state of that nature :
* He is manifestly in a state of being which some accident has overthrown: he is a palace that has crumbled to pieces, and been rebuilt with its ruins, where you behold grand proportions and mean patches ; magnificent colonades which lead to nothing; lofty porticos and low ceilings; strong lights and deep shades; in a word confusion and disorder pervading every quarter, and especially the sanctuary.'
Our authór takes a compass too wide for the most advantageous execution of what should appear to be the main design of his work, and too wide for the measure of his attainments. In undertaking to display the Genius of Christianity,' it surely was not necessary for him to place himself in a field of controversy thrown open on all sides, and to send challenges of combat so far abroad as to all the malignants against the system of Moses, who have brought the means of offence from antiquarian, geological, or astronomical topics. And certainly he has been far too much the wanderer, the romancer, and the poet, to have possessed himself of all the knowledge requisite for demolishing these aggressors, if such a work as this had been the proper place for such an execution. He might have seen that it would be of little available service toward verifying the Mosaic records, as to the distance and the dates of the creation and the primitive events of the world, to enumerate all the arbitrary, capricious, and deceptive modes of computing time, which, as he justly says, are sufficient to make history a frightful chaos. Such an exhibition ought, indeed, to have some quelling effect on the impudence of such men as have made no difficulty of proclaiming the infallibility of an Egyptian, or Indian, or Chinese chronology, or indeed any other chronology, provided it would only contradict that of the Bible : but this vast jumble of uncertainties and impositions cannot prove the necessary rectitude of the one most ancient and simple account of ages.---He remarks on the changes in the length of the Egyptian year, on the deceptive enumeration of names in their dynasties, and on the changes by which one name shall obtain to be reckoned several tiines over. He then exclaims,
What necessity is there, after all, to lay so much stress on orthographical disputes, when we need but open the volumes of history to convince ourselves of the modern origin of men? In vain you may form conspiracies against truth, by inventing ages that never existed out of your own imagination; in vain you may conjure up death to borrow his shades ; all this will not make mankind any other than the creatures of yesterday. The names of the inventors of the arts are as familiar to us as those of a brother or a grandfather. Tubal-Cain taught men the uses of iron ; Noah or Bacchus planted the vine ; Cain or Triptolemus fashioned the plough. History, medicine, geometry, the fine arts, and laws are not of higher antiquity, and we are indebted for them to Herodotus, Hippocrates, Thales, Homer, Dædalus, and Minos.'
In descanting on the ruins in which we retain the melancholy Vestiges of ancient states, he seems as if he would jeer the infidels for not having been prompt enough to turn to the account of their cause the extraordinary monuments found within these few years in North America, on the banks of the Muskingum, the Miami, the Wabash, the Ohio, and in particular of the Scioto, where they occupy a space of upwards of twenty leagues in length; and consist of ramparts of earth, with ditches, glacis, moons, half moons, and prodigious cones, which serve for sepulchres. Inquiries have been made, but without success, what people could have left these remains. VOL. X.