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faultlessness, and every touch glow to perfection? The uncouth vigor of unpolished genius is becoming less and less acceptable to the growing fastidiousness of the public eye and ear. Advancing public taste requires, not so much the bolder stroke of genius, as the more exquisite finish of refinement. When we are told that the frequent exhibitions of the most perfect orátory among the ancient Athenians had given a delicate discrimination even to the market women, we cease to wonder at the labor of their rhetorical preparation, or that the prince of orators should have considered the cave, and the mirror, and the seaside declamation necessary to meet the demands of the public taste. It would appear to me that little need be said of the comparative worthlessness of translations as substitutes for the original classics. Genius is untranslateable ; you may parallel the phraseology, but you can never translate the mind of antiquity.

He whose taste at all qualifies him to appreciate or feel the beauties of finished style, must be aware, that whatever constitutes the charm of any given passage must be peculiar to its own mould of expression, and that if that mould be broken, all that gave it its most exquisite magic is marred. Who that knows what beauty of language is, has not felt, in the process of composition, nay, perhaps, of conversation, that on some occasion language afforded but a single term which would most completely hit the exactness of his meaning; or that if a period has been so exquisitely rounded to his own taste, that any maring its proportions would despoil the felicity of its execution. Change a word, the finish is dashed and the spell broken. It has now received the impress of his peculiar mind; if his be the mind of heaven-thrilled genius, he has left there a dash of its ethereal spirit, and depend upon it, it can never be transferred. It is unique. Let now a foreign mind endeavor to catch that spirit in a foreign phraseology, and mark how it will evanesce in the transfer. The idea does not flash upon the translator's view with the vividness of the original conception ; his mind may be tempered with different elements ; his periods may be tuned to a different melody; his native language possess a foreign spirit, or if generally congenial, it may not have an idiom to hit with a happy touch the precise crisis of idea. One, or all these causes together, must ever give translations the whole impression of a different mind; and prove, as it strikes me, most conclusively, that you cannot translate the genius of antiquity. Scarcely necessary is it, at this day, to urge the particular importance of a knowledge of the original Scriptures to the theologian. One language there is, indeed, of special importance to him; a language which stands apart, sanctified and peculiar—the venerable Hebrew. It speaks to us from the glooms of the farthest antiquity, like the voice of omnipotence, from the cloudwrapt Sinai. It is the language of holy seers and heaven-wrapt bardsof the sainted, the inspired, and the martyred of the psalm, the prophecy, and the law ; nay, Jehovah's own voice hath echoed its syllables. Its fragments now remain like the ruins of some broken temple, whose every relic bears the impress of the once present Jehovah.

It is not asserted that every minister must be a profound critic, nor need we be asked if we expect them to be able to correct the learned translators of our common version. Without being specially qualified to untie a knotty philological point, it may be safely asserted, that a

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moderate scholar would see more luminously the exact vein of inspired thought in the sacred originals, than can be the case when veiled by the most transparent translation. Nor would I assert that no one can be a successful minister of the cross, without the ability to read the Scriptures in their own dialect. The names of many a burning light of the Church, through every age of her eventful history, beam forth in glorious refutation of such an assertion. The fact is, that there is an immense range of theological knowledge in our own language too often neglected by the classical, and sometimes by the Biblical critic, the pages of which are well worthy to be turned by his daily and his nightly hand.' Through this field should he pass, he might occupy a position in the varied departments of the Church, fully as important and as useful as his whose powers have been lavished for years upon the analysis of etymologies. The minister of Christ may, and should, indeed, make the whole intellectual world tributary to his purpose. He may range through every field, and find a flower for the paradise of God; he may ascend into every atmosphere, and borrow a ray of illustration to beam upon his subject. The wider the sweep of his studies, the more large will be his resources, the more liberal his views, and as a universally probable consequence, the more effective his efforts. History, poetry, mathematics, natural and mental philosophy, the languages, and literature, ancient and modern, each in its own sphere presents advantages, either to discipline the powers or supply the materials of the mind. But living encyclopedias are rare beings; and as these different kinds of acquirement are of different degrees of importance, and consonant respectively with different tastes, it becomes in many cases necessary to describe a narrower circle, which shall include those things mainly, of which no minister of the Gospel should be ignorant. And assuredly, as a matter of feeling, every minister would wish to catch the prophecy and the Gospel as it burst from the inspired lips of Isaiah, or flowed from the apostolic pen of Paul. But especially in the great contest for the truths of the Bible, the combatant at the present day must be fully furnished with Biblical literature. The exigencies of the Church demand, to say the least, a class of men who are fully competent for the field, where Greek meets Greek, and who are perfectly at home wherever the discussion is carried. At no point, if duty be done, need the result be feared. If a Wesley, even in the chair of his own classic Oxford, amid the rival masters by whom he was surrounded, was by pre-eminence surnamed

the Grecian ;' if a Walsh, firm by his side in the day of apostolic exertion, from his capability of stating from memory the number of the recurrences of any Hebrew word in the Old Testament, was titled, without hyperbole, the living concordance ; if a Clarke, surmounting the most extraordinary obstacles by the most extraordinary perseverance, united the most extensive acquirements to the most unique simplicity, and flung around the sacred text the most luminous and the most copious, the most original if not always the most defensible expositions, those who coincide with their general views and make their pursuits an exemplar, need not fear that thorough research will disturb the foundations of their faith, or intense application chill the ardor of their piety.

Nor is it so perfectly clear, that even the pulpit may not derive from

classic antiquity the most illustrious models of eloquence. If the dicta of the most eminent masters are the best directories in the pursuit of any high acquirement, it may be safely asserted that this point is well nigh unquestionable. If that eminent pulpit orator of England, Robert Hall, pronounced Demosthenes the greatest of all human orators, averred that no man of soul feeling could read his oration upon the crown without catching fire at every page, and drew his rhetorical illustrations, and even the spirit that animated his own performances, in a great measure from him; if that pre-eminent pulpit orator of Germany, Reinhardt, was surprised in the day of his prime, to find that in his early perusal of the choicest writers of antiquity, he had unawares made the best preparation for his subsequent distinguished success ; if that most eminent of the pulpit orators of France, Bossuet, constantly wrote with the poems of Homer before him, averring as a reason, that he wished to imbibe his light immediately from the sun, it becomes the minister of the Gospel who has the same models within his reach, to hesitate before, in the face of such authorities, he pronounces them unworthy of his study. And still more authoritative is the weight of such and other revered and venerable names against the charge of the immoral tendency of classical pursuits. That there are no productions of immoral tendency, that there is no occasion for a discriminative selection, is more than need be asserted of classic literature, and more than can be asserted of any other. It is an impracticable policy to endeavor to guard a free, inquisitive, and liberal mind from the reach of immoral tendencies; these infect alike every moral and every literary atmosphere, and that must be an imbecile integrity which is to be preserved in a depraved world, not by being armed against the force of temptations, but by an attempted artificial quarantine from them. Should the literature of France be proscribed, because it opens at once to the youthful reader the voluptuousness of Rosseau and the impieties of Voltaire ? He who acts upon this principle must neglect every modern language ;-he must unlearn his own.

It is the expression of an eminent English orator, from whom it may seem immodest to dissent, Edmund Burke, that vice • loses half its evil by losing all its grossness.' The depravity of the sentiment is scarcely disguised by the felicity of the expression. Vice, on the contrary, redoubles the danger of its fascinations by reducing the excess of its grossness. Gross vice is generally repulsive vice. And it is precisely this circumstance which renders the immoralities of ancient literature, for the most part, ineffective. He who is well acquainted with the temperament of antiquity, must well know that much of the delicacy of our social life is essentially modern ; and the reader of antiquity, who even finds it necessary to disturb its dregs, finds comparatively very little of those refined blandishments with which modern genius has tinged seductive vice, to render it more insinuating to the juster fastidiousness of our moral sense. If, however, just views of human depravity be a proper preparatory to human renovation, the very vices of antiquity have an efficient moral. If the Christian would learn the folly of unguided human wisdom in its highest estate, mythological antiquity may furnish the amplest illustration; if the prevalence of the Gospel of peace shall hereafter make military enthusiasm appear one of the strange insanities of our race, it may then be an object to ascertain, how the early mind of man was addressed, to inspire the martial frenzy; if posterity shall wonder by what syren notes the cup of inebriation could be radiated with fascination, the anacreontic hymn may then be perused as a rare phenomenon in the history of the human mind.

Nor be it forgotten, that many of the purest of human minds have been most deeply imbued with classic literature, and those, while they have found far more proofs of, than temptations to, the depravity of the human heart, have there found the most noble discipline for the human intellect.

Upon this subject I would be no bookish pedant. Classic literature is no sovereign specific for transforming stupidity to genius, for I really know not where that desirable recipe is to be found. On the contrary, it may, perhaps, aggravate the naturally desperate case, by adding pedantry to dulness. We sometimes meet with scholars who are all scholars ; linguists, whose minds are packed with etymologies and trammelled with syntaxes. Their learning does not seem to be absorbed into the elements of their minds, but to stand out an extra. neous unamalgamated mass. Their erudition is ever obtrusive; the ill-managed allusion and the ill-time quotation is ever informing you that they have read the classics ;-they are of the intellectual aristocracy. The pedant in any department is disgusting, no wonder the pedant in languages. The mind of the truly liberal scholar imbibes not their dead mass into his memory, he inhales their spirit into his soul; they impregnate his entire genius, grow with his growth, and strengthen with his strength, until they have, imperceptibly perhaps, all but reorganized his intellectual constitution. He is above the obtrusive display of ill-introduced erudition ; you might live weeks with him, perhaps, without seeing any other display of his acquisitions than manifested itself in the natural flow of a rich and exuberant mind. Classical learning, (says one well qualified practically to estimate its worth, the eloquent Webster,) classical learning in men who act in conspicuous public stations, perform duties which exercise the faculty of writing, or address popular, deliberative, or judicial bodies, is often felt where it is little seen, and sometimes felt more effectually because it is not seen at all.

It is in accordance with the calm and manly verdict of such minds, and not with the cxaggerated enthusiasm of pedantry, or the gross Vandalism of indiscriminate innovation, that the value of the classics is becoming decided. From the public mind they will receive, we may confidently trust, an estimation accordant with that which they have received from our institution. Without deciding that they are necessary alike for all, or refusing the other privileges of collegiate life to those who neglect them, it earnestly recommends their study to all, and withholds from those who have not acquired them, the appropriate testimonials of a liberal education. Distant, indeed, be the day, when the fair proportions of the educated character of our land shall be marred, by striking them from its requisite accomplishments.

To the mind, indeed, capable of the refinements of literature and science, how rich is the pleasure of luxuriating in the treasures of its own stored thoughts. Eloquently true, indeed, was Cicero's description of the ceaseless flow of enjoyment poured from this source upon

a mind like his, when he pronounced literary acquisitions the nurse of early, and the stay of declining life; the ornament of prosperous, and solace of adverse vicissitudes; our constant home companions, yet never impeding us abroad; attending alike our nightly repose, our arduous journeys, and our rural residences. Such a mind is, indeed, never solitary. Its solitude is peopled with memory's glowing images, and fancy's vivid creations. Its possessor finds within his own soul an ever fresh and ever salient spring of mental exhilaration. Shall he go forth to contemplate the rural scene ? Nature opens her mysteries to his keen analysis, or expands her prospects to his intense gaze. Does he press amid the bustle of the crowded city? The mystic page of human character reads lessons of wisdom to him, invisible or incomprehensible to the common mind. Does he retire to the seclusion of his study? The hallowed spirits of antiquity are ready to come forth, and utter at his bidding oracles of wisdom, which none but minds like his can hear. Does he enter the social circle? Who like him pours forth the flow of colloquial eloquence, and like him receives the copious reflux of the pleasure which he creates and communicates ? He may run no ambitious career, equipped though he be for a mighty

He may seek no lofty elevation, qualified though to vie with the most towering crest. His


be a temperament that loves not their excitement, or a philosophy that scorns to seek the honors that seek not him, or a piety that loves the quiet usefulness which Heaven's eye alone measures and appreciates. His is a treasure that knows no exhaustion, inflicts no retributive sting, and knows no equal but the joy of an approving conscience and a smiling Heaven.


REVIEW OF POLYNESIAN RESEARCHES. Polynesian Researches during a residence of nearly eight years in the

Society and Sandwich Islands. By William Ellis. From the latest London Edition. In four Volumes.

From the time the Pacific Ocean was discovered by Vasco Nugnez de Balboa, the intrepid Spanish navigator, the attention of the world has been directed less or more to that interesting quarter of the globe. Directing his course across the isthmus of Darien, in the year 1513, the enterprising governor of Santa Marie discovered the great Southern Ocean, and thus accomplished what Columbus so ardently desired, namely, the only practicable rout in this direction to the East Indies.

The manner in which Balboa conducted himself in making this discovery is highly creditable to the piety of his heart. It is stated, that on being informed by his Indian guides that he might view the sea from the next mountain they should ascend, Balboa advanced alone to its summit, and beholding with gratitude and admiration the vast ocean spread out before him in all its majesty, fell on his knees, and poured out his heart in thanksgiving to God for having conducted him

Vol. V.-January, 1834. 3

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