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literature; or, by their labours, their sufferings, and triumphs, in the cause of truth, the truth of any kind, but especially the truth of the Gospel;plagued them, by exercising the most heroic qualities for the oppression and misery of their fellow-creatures, or by employing the noblest talents for the perversion of the minds, and corruption of the morals, of all whom their sayings or their writings could reach. The beings, then, of whom we speak, either by their examples held up in perpetual remembrance, or by productions of genius, which have survived the destruction of empires, and the changes of dynasties on the face of the earth, continue to this day, more or less, to form the manners, and control the destinies of all people, by whom the first may be known, and the latter studied.
It is far above a vulgar fate to be registered in a genealogical table a few centuries after death, though but to fill the space of so many letters as spell the name thus rescued from oblivion. It is a step higher towards the temple of fame to be sung in poetry, though only to swell out the harmony of a verse:
"fortemque Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum."
But to have left on record one saying, repeated through all ages as a maxim of wisdom; to have been the founder of one class of men, distinguished as a body among their contemporaries; to have performed one act of invincible fortitude, like Mutius Scævola, when he laid his right hand upon the burning coals, because it had mistaken its victim, and slain but a courtier, when it aimed at a king; or, like Decius Mus, to have rushed, a self-devoted sacrifice, into
the heart of the enemy's array, to secure victory to his countrymen ;-this is to be exalted to the rank of one of those invisibles to whom we have alluded,
-one who has had his share, however small and indiscernible, in making some others different from what they would have been without such bias, and so far aided in bringing human society itself to its existing state. In like manner, they who have left material monuments, though now in ruins, exercise dominion over the living, by furnishing inexhaustible models of imitation, or inimitable objects of rivalry. The nameless artists who hewed from blank marble the Venus de Medici and the Apollo Belvedere; the mechanical hands that wrought the sculptures of the Parthenon; the forgotten architects of Gothic Cathedrals; and the builders of the Pyramids, equally forgotten;-these, though unregistered here, have yet a being in that invisible world, whose inhabitants we are revealing, as influential agents, though no longer either corporeal or spiritual existences among us.
Now these invisible beings, who thus "rule our spirits from their urns," or, being dead, yet speak with immortal voices,-though they be of all ages and countries, from creation till yesterday, and from Japan to California, are all contemporaries in that sphere which they occupy. Adam-for Adam is the first and the lord of the ascendant among them -Adam is contemporary with all his posterity, down to those who were last promoted to this peerage. Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander and Cæsar, Jenghis Khan and Buonaparte, are simultaneously training up heroes and spoilers of mankind.
Moses and Solon, the Decemviri and Justinian, with our own great Alfred, inferior only to the first, are at this hour teaching statesmen to govern realms which violence has subdued or liberty recovered. Solomon and Socrates, Bacon and Newton and Locke, are daily instructing the same scholars, in wisdom, science, and morals. Demosthenes and Cicero are yet the masters in eloquence, from whose tongues enraptured students catch" thoughts that breathe, and words that burn," to quicken their own minds, and touch with fire their own lips. Homer and Virgil, Tasso and Milton, never cease, by their songs, from inspiring youthful bards, in all ages, who, seeing the dreams of glory of their predecessors realized, thence augur the fulfilment of their That the living population of this very kingdom are, in a great measure, what they are by what they have learned, from a multitude of forerunners, cannot be doubted by any one who has himself had intellectual communion with the great, the learned, and the good of past times, and ascertained the effects of such fellowship on his own life.
As children, in respect to their intellectual condition, are born blanks, to be inscribed with the characters which parents, companions, tutors, and the state of society around them, gradually impress upon their minds, subject to the modifications which are produced by their own awakened powers, and the silent, perhaps unknown, operations of God's Holy Spirit upon their hearts, or the malignant influences of Satan and his emissaries who may have access to the same; as children do thus, in a great degree, grow up to be what examples and circumstances make them,
so is every generation collectively more or less fashioned according to the precedents, not only of their immediate ancestors, but of their pre-existent fellow-creatures of all countries, whose history and literature may be read and studied in their own. Utterly savage nations, having no history or literature,
-no commerce with an invisible world,-are but what their fathers have been before them, and leave nothing to their posterity beyond what they themselves inherited. They live and die unimproved by the experience of others, and unimproving others by their own; so that their condition is only stationary, because they are incapable of sinking lower, being already but worms in the dust of existence, crawling forth by accident, and hastily retreating into darkSuch seem to be some of the Caffre hordes of South Africa, and the aborigines of New Holland. The unchangeable manners of barbarians are remarkably exemplified by the fact, that the Greenlanders and the Esquimaux, residing two thousand miles apart, have the same language with little variation, the same shaped clothing, boats, fishing tackle, and construction of huts, as well as corresponding superstitions, in lieu of religion. Such absolute coincidence between two originally distinct tribes were impossible, (though the nature of their several climates and their similar occupations would induce the expectation of general resemblance ;) but here that coincidence has continued to exist, while, from the impassable gulphs and deserts, nine months of the year more frozen than the Alps, between Greenland and Labrador, no intercourse can have taken place for a period beyond the power of calculation. Yet
even these savages, before Christianity raised them to the rank of men, and prepared them to be associates with angels, and worshippers of God in his eternal temple,—were superior in ingenuity, intelligence, and enterprise, to the brutish New Hollander and the idiotic Bushman. It is difficult to imagine how either of these clans could ever have emerged from their iceberg-state, while they had no history, no literature, no commerce with an invisible world. The Gospel brought all these to them, and thus transformed them from darkness to light, socially and intellectually, as well as turned them spiritually from the power of Satan to serve the living God. Semi-barbarians have history and tradition, truth and fable, poetry and science, of some kind, monstrously and inextricably blended. Hence, the little morality to be traced in their religion is so atrociously assimilated with impurity, as to aggravate every evil, while it is almost impotent for any good. Such are the Hindoos and Chinese. These are greater, and wiser, and in some respects better, for what has been done for them by the dead, though, from a paralyzing attachment to what they have received, they neglect to add to it; while, not continuing the process begun before their birth, they remain wilfully impracticable subjects for superior improvement. After all, their commerce with that world of invisible beings whose influences we are illustrating, is so very imperfect, that they see them but as the half-opened eye saw "men like trees walking." Their records of events and ideas of truth are correspondingly out of due proportion;-in Hindostan all is shadowy, gigantic, multitudinous; in China, all is puerile, little, and fantastical.