Z CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.

First Trip down the Mississippi. . . , .62

Walnut Hills. ••.... 62

General Appearance of the Coast. . . . .64

Character of Stephen Poydi-as, Esq., the Philanthropist. . 66

Arrival at New Orleans. . . . . .69

CHAPTER V.

My First Sermon in New Orleans. . . .83

Extemporaneous Preaching. .... 83

Pecuniary Condition of the Church at Mr. Larned's Death. . 93 Generous Offer made by Judah Touro, Esq., . . 94

His peculiar Character, . . . . .95

Admission to the Presbyterj' of Mississippi. . . 95

Its Results. . . . . . . .100

Marriasre. . , . , . .113

CHAPTER VI.

General Remarks upon the Epidemics which have prevailed in New Orleans. . . . . .115

Asiatic Cholera m the Fall of 1832 and the Summer of 1833. 117

CHAPTER VII.

Change in my Theological Opinions and Style of Preaching. 163 Liberal Course pursued by the Congregation, A^ith Respect

to these Modifications. ..... 173

Generous Manner in which I was treated by my Presbyterian

and other Trinitai-ian Brethren in the Ministry. . 175

CHAPTER VIII.

Epidemics of 1837 and 1853. . . . .185

Remarks on the Popular Views as to the Insalubrity of New Orleans. ...... 187

The Causes of Yellow Fever, and its Remedies. . . 203

Its Bearings on the ^Morals of the Crescent City. . 209

CHAPTER IX.

The State of Religion in New Orleans Thirty-five Years ago. . . . . . . . 222

The Roman Catholic Church of Louisiana. . . 223

Its auspicious Influence on the Welfare of its Votaries, social, moral, and spiritual. ..... 235

The Peculiar Difficulties which Christianity encounters in New Orleans at the Present Day. . . . 246

CHAPTER X.

Symptoms often accompanying the last Stages of the Yellow Fever, &c. . . . . . .255

CHAPTER XI.

On the Connection between my Religious Teachings and the Prevailing Character of the Pecuhar Experiences thi'ough which I have jjassed in New Orleans. . . 265

CHAPTER XII.

Dangerous Illness. . . . . . .284

Convalescence. . • . . . .286

Journey to Europe. ...... 296

CHAPTER XIII.

Incidents of Travel in Europe. . . . .313

Reflections Avhich a superficial View of the Old World awakened in my Mind. . . . . .321

CHAPTER XIV.

Some further Particulars with Regard to my Interview with Mr. Carlyle 345

Erroneous Impressions prevalent among the wise Men of Europe concerning the United States. . . . 356

The Alps 366

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XV.

Interior of Franct. ...... 373

The Monotonous Aspect of its Seenerj'. . . . 379

Manner of keeping the Sabbath on the Continent of Europe. 380

CHAPTER XVI. Conclusion. . ..... 385

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

OP

EEV. THEODORE CLAPP.

CHAPTER I.

MY EARLY HISTORY.

I WAS born in Eastliampton, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, on the 29th of March, 1792. The place of my nativity is in the far-famed valley of the Connecticut River, and is remarkable for the beauty of its landscape ; scarcely exceeded by that of Boston and its vicinity, as seen from the State House. The house in which I lived was adjacent to the church and parish school. From my earliest time I can remember that both these institutions were zealously, if not successfully, employed in developing the higher faculties of my nature. Parental example and instruction did all in their power to promote my intellectual and moral culture.

What was the result of all these combined advantages ? Did they make the morning of my life calm, bright, and beautiful ? Parents and teachers watched over and labored for my advancement with the utmost assiduity. More kind-hearted, sincere,

(7)

and conscientious persons never lived. They, perhaps, achieved all that was possible, considering the principles upon which my education was conducted. This was intended primarily to instil into my mind the distinguishing doctrines of Calvinism. In the nursery, the school room, and the pulpit I was taught " that all mankind, (infants as well as adults,) by the fall of Adam, lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of the present life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever." The first instance of death which I witnessed was that of a little brother. Standing on the vestibule of life, in the smiles and beauty of his innocent age, he was cut down by the illness of a few hours, —

" Like some fair flower the early spring supplies, That gayly blooms, and e'en in blooming dies."

He had been my constant companion. I loved him as my own soul. It was impossible to realize that I should hear his voice and enjoy his company no more on earth. In the paroxysms of my grief I said to a weeping mother, " Will our dear Loring never, never awake again ?" She replied, at first, only with louder and deeper sobs. It was near the sunset of a lovely afternoon, at the close of spring. From a window by which the corpse lay was a prospect of gardens, shrubbery, orchards in bloom, green meadow^s, lofty mountains, and the distant glories of an unclouded sun, on the verge of the horizon. Pointing to the magnificent scenery, she said, with an expression of despair, indelibly impressed on my

memoiy, " Your brother "will never open his eyes again to look on me nor you — he will speak to us no more — no more listen to the voice of father, mother, brother, or sister — no more join in your plays — no more see the sun rise, nor hear the birds sing."

Her words filled my heart with unutterable feelings of desolateness and sorrow. Not a syllable was said with respect to that better world beyond the mysterious grave, where surviving relatives and friends may hope to meet the loved and lost, and take them again to their everlasting embrace, on the beautiful shores of a land immortal. For though she firmly believed in heaven, her creed made the question an awful, heart-rending uncertainty — whether she was destined at last to embrace all her children there —

" There ever bask in uncreated rays, No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear, While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.

Next morning the funeral was solemnized. The officiating clergyman, in the course of his remarks, observed, that in every instance death was caused by man's disobedience to the divine command, and should be considered in the case of children, who died before they were capable of actual transgression, as a just punishment for that hereditary guilt and depravity transmitted from our first parents to all their posterity. " The sinfulness of an infant," said he, " that is not old enough to do a wrong act itself, consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption

of his whole nature." " We might hope," he added, " that the benefits of the atonement would be extended to the millions who go to the grave in the period of infancy ; but God, in perfect consistency with infinite justice and holiness, might have left all mankind, without an exception, to perish forever in that state of sin and misery, which flowed inevitably from the first act of transgression committed in paradise."

Such were the ideas which the original teachings of beloved i3arents and venerable ministers impressed on my mind. All the subsequent instructions that were given me on this momentous theme, by my superiors in age and wisdom, were of an import equally gloomy and preposterous. No inconsiderable part of all the preaching to which I listened in my youth went to show, that mortality, weakness, pain, the countless forms of disease, sick rooms, death beds, graveyards, hospitals, the shroud, coffin, and tomb were the necessary, inevitable consequences of the first sin. I was even taught that an incensed Creator manifests his wrath in the volcano, earthquake, flood, storm, thunder and lightning; the excesses of heat and cold; sterility of soil; bleak, rocky wastes ; briers, thorns, and thistles ; poisonous plants and reptiles, and all other objects in nature that are the sources of pain and fear to our misguided and unhappy race.

These melancholy views of human life were most cordially and fully received, without even a suspicion that they could be fallacious. For they were infused into, what appeared to my unformed judgment, the

embodiments of the most sacred, sublime truths — into prayers, public and private, sermons, conversation, books, the interpretations of Scripture, and all the religious literature around me. They had been handed down, I was told, by nearly all the wise and good of former generations. I could not doubt their reality. True, they were so repulsive that I kept them out of sight as much as possible ; but, in spite of my efforts, they would obtrude tliemselves upon my mind often enough to darken and imbitter, to a serious extent, each passing day. They hung a cloud upon the serene and bright morning—the unutterable beauties of early dawn — the various and ever-renewed wonders of heaven above and earth beneath, wliicli were given to kindle and nourish in the soul even of childhood a deep, joyous sense of the constant presence of that great Father, in the plenitude of whose infinite life, light, truth, love, wisdom, power, and beneficence, we shall move and have our existence forever.

I am almost afraid to utter my real sentiments, lest it might expose me to the charge of being uncharitable to those who differ from me in theological opinions. I fully believe that if all children living could be enabled to see God as he really is, — unveiled and unperverted by the false lights in which his character is too often presented, — could they, from the beginning, be led up to a correct perception of the true nature and principles of his government, as revealed by Jesus, they would almost spontaneously resist temptations to sin and folly, and cleave with an unfaltering trust to the infinite One, as the

little infant does to the bosom of its fond mother. They would not dream that a real evil could, by any possibility, be inflicted upon the objects of his love and care.

Indeed, children should be early initiated into the certainty of suffering a just punishment for all the wrong which they may commit; but, at the same time, they should be carefully taught the doctrine, that punishment is only one of the innumerable forms under which boundless Love has been pleased" to make a revelation of his will and character ; that it is one of the strongest proofs of his infinite, everlasting, and immutable purpose to bring back all sinners, finally, to the paths of peace and holiness. Make a child believe that our heavenly Father can hurt him, or allow him, by any evil whatever, to be seriously and forever injured, and from that moment he becomes incapable, even, of that highest love for the Supreme, which, as our Saviour teaches, constitutes the essence and glory of evangelical faith.

In New England, generally, at the period I am referring to, the first impression which children, almost without an exception, received of God, was that of a Being from whom they had less to hope, and more to fear, than from all the wicked men and demons in the universe. ' This impression was strengthened by the uniform tenor of pulpit teachings. Hence religion was set before them, not with the bright aspect and radiant smile of a good angel, but looking like a fiend, with maniac eye, dishevelled hair, wrinkled brow, pallid and emaciated countenance — her expression that of unrelenting severity

— her hands armed with whips and scorpions, to drive us from every beautiful scene of nature into rugged and desolate paths, beset with briers and thorns, and bordered by impenetrable gloom. How can children admire the character ascribed to the great Parent, in the general strain of pulpit ininis-trations. It is a character " that they should not love if they could."

When will the veil of darkness and deformity be removed from the face of the most glorious object of contemplation in the universe ? When will religion be presented to children with more to cheer, animate, and encourage, and less to awe, depress, and break down their naturally buoyant and joyous spirits ? It is higli time that those accents were heard in every nursery, school, and temple of worship, which fell so gently and eloquently from the lips of Jesus eighteen hundred years ago.

More than we can imagine do children every where need the ministries of a true, hopeful, and cheering Christianity, which shall bind them to God's throne by the ties of a supreme, absorbing love ; draw out their hearts in unreserved confidence in the Most High, and forbid even the possibility of a fear or suspicion, that they can fail of reaching, ultimately, the regions of immortal and boundless good. The young would almost spontaneously choose the morally pure and beautifnl, were they brought up with the certainty upon their minds of enjoying a future life, free from sin, pain, sorrow, sickness, and death, with the other attendant evils 2

of mortality, in the presence and society of all whom tlicy loved on earth.

It is said that the American savage, when transported to England or France, sees nothing in the splendid creations of art, and the luxuries of the higlitffet civilization, half so dear to his soul, as the smoky wigwam, the widely-extended prairies, and interminable forests of his native land. This attachment to the scenes of early life is a universal characteristic of humanity, yet it is possessed in very different degrees. The barbarian has more of it, I believe, than many persons who come into existence amid the richest blessings which education and refinement can impart. When I call up before me the spot where I drew my first breath; the beautiful valleys, rivers, hills, ponds, plains, and grand mountain scenery ; the old scliool house, with its thousand associations ; the humble church; its bell, ringing the solemn call for worship; its choir, raising the voices of praise; and above all, that sacred retreat, that nursery of my youth, where a mother's warm heart and a fatlier's wisdom put forth all their energies to guide me in the pleasant paths of knowledge and honor; the whole, indeed, to-day presents to my mind a picture of surpassing loveliness. But it is a loveliness which, during the season of my boyhood, I could neither understand nor appreciate. Not until a later period could I realize the many charms of that humble home in which my childhood was passed.

Farther back than memory reaches, I learned to spell and read. When my nature panted for free-

dom, I "was sliiit up in a parish school, most of the day, during two thirds of the year. The one to which I was sent was kept in a small, uncomfortable building, with narrow windows, unvcntilated, insup-portably warm in summer, and cold in winter. In such a dungeon, subjected to a routine of irksome tasks, unrelieved by maps, charts, diagrams, globes, and other aids in the acquisition of knowledge, and which make it a pastime to the young, I was placed, for the best part of twelve years, to be instructed in the rudiments merely of reading, writing, arithmetic, and grammar. Sunday was the only holiday in the week. At sundown each Saturday night, all secular labors were brought toja solemn pause. Till the sunset of the next day, we were never allowed to leave the house, except to enter the church. In prayers, sermons, conversation, and books, heaven was represented to us under the symbol of an everlasting Sabbath day. What an ingenious expedient to make religion appear beautiful to the young, loving, and innocent mind! These, and otlicr things which I have no space to enumerate, produced, as I suppose, a singular anomaly in my personal experience. The actual amount of happiness which has fallen to my lot, was less in childhood than it is to-day. I was not so happy at ten as at twenty. Increase of years, and wider experiences, have not contracted, but enlarged, the sphere of my enjoyments. I have learned to look upon the world, with all its imperfections, in the light presented by the poet: —

" Cease, then, nor order imperfection name; Our greatest bliss depends on what we blame;

Know thy own point; this kind, this due degree

Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.

Submit; in this or any other sphere.

Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear ;

Safe in the hand of one disponing Power,

Or in the natal or the mortal hour.

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;

All chance, direction which thon canst not see:

All discord, harmony not understood;

All partial evil, universal good."

CHAPTER II.

COLLEGE, AND THEOLOGICAL STUDIES.

On the anniversary of mj birthday, March 29, 1810, I commenced learning the Latin grammar, under the tuition of a clergyman distinguished for his classical attainments and skill in teaching. Previous to that time, I was acquainted with no language but my vernacular tongue. By the end of September of the same year, besides minor selections, I had perused, translated, and parsed the entire works of Virgil, Cicero's orations against Catiline, Sallust, and the Commentaries of Caesar, among the Latin classics, together with the Greek Grammar, the Greek New Testament, and the " Grseca Minora," which at that time was much used in fitting students for college. My preceptor, who had been a professor of ancient languages in one of the best universities of New England, was pleased to say that I was sufficiently acquainted with the writings above mentioned to become a teacher of them in any academy or school of the land. He thought my case presented a remarkable instance of rapid proficiency, and that no person of the same age over made more extensive acquirements in so short a space of time. He said, one day, after examining me critically in Latin and Greek, ^' Few men ever possessed an intellect more ardent and powerful than yours. By habits of persevering and systematic exertion, you 2*

may become entitled to a distinguished rank among scholars, and be qualified to defend Christianity against the specious errors now openly and ably taught by some of the leading clergymen and literati of Boston and Cambridge. We require a class of ministers to meet the present exigency, who, in addition to true godliness and profound tlieological attainments, will be able to gratify their hearers with the fascinations of a graceful delivery and an elegant style." From that day, I began to entertain, at times, serious thoughts of devoting myself to the clerical profession.

I look back upon the summer of 1810 as one of the happiest parts of my early life. The window of my study looked out upon a rich natural landscape — fields in verdure, gardens, orchards, running water, animals grazing, and other objects suitable to such a scene. Especially before breakfast and late in the afternoon, I used to look away from my books, to hold communion with the various forms of nature ; to enjoy, in sweet repose, the sense of beauty. Memory has kept that prospect before my mind ever since. To the present day, I delight in its contemplation.

" For my gayer hours, It has a voice of gladness, and a smile, And eloquence of beauty, and it glides Into my darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere I am aware."

Those meadows, those fairly-rounded hills, meandering streams, waving woods, white cottages, and fine buildings, have always been mine, and have

actually contributed as much to my real enjoyment as if, to use the parlance of law, they had been conveyed to me in fee simple.

All the essential interests of mankind centre in the soul. The poorest man, as well as the rich, owns as much of the outward world as images to his view the grandeur, loveliness, and perfections of God; as enables him to comprehend the Maker of all; to imbibe the inspirations of his Spirit, to attain those noble thoughts and holy affections, which are the only source of all the real blessings that lie within the compass of time, or within the boundless range of future and eternal developments. Virtue, heaven, immortality, exist not, and never will exist for us, but as they exist in the perceptions, feelings, thoughts of our minds. He is the richest and wisest person who sees most of God in the outward, physical \iniverse, in the pages of sacred writ, and in the wonders of his own nature. Offices, stocks, monopolies, mercantile gains, sugar and cotton estates, lands, freighted ships, and rich mines, can do nothing of themselves to awaken those sentiments, without which every human soul is dark, debased, impoverished, and miserable.

I cannot remember the time when I did not prize opportunities of study more than any other temporal blessing, simply because nothing else within my reach afforded equal pleasure. It was my ruling passion. To most youth there is not a more abhorred exercise than that of committing to memory, before the understanding can perceive tlieir use and application, the grammatical forms, rules, and prin-

ciples of a dead language. But I never could be cloyed with this kind of labor. Strange as it may-appear, in seasons of relaxation, spontaneously, without an effort, my mind used to run over the declensions of the nouns and the conjugations of the verbs in the Latin and Greek grammars, with as true a pleasure as the poet or musician feels in the prosecution of his favorite studies. I was so pleased witli the story of Virgil's ^Eneid, the naturalness and beauty of its scenes, and characters, and sentiments, that I went through it with an accelerating interest which rendered me almost insensible to the toil of mastering language. Occasionally, boys will make their appearance on the stage having the same mental idiosyncrasies. It is the natural result of an eternal law. Hence it is certain that the ancient classics will never sink into oblivion. Let those who have a taste for their beauties be gratified. I suppose there are persons whose peculiar powers and sensibilities of mind qualify them to be more useful, as well as happy, in learning and displaying to the world the wonders of Greek and Roman literature, than they could be in any other department of human activity. Those works of genius which the most cultivated nations of the earth have concurred in admiring as models, for so many centuries, can never be lost. They must have been framed by the standard of nature: —

" Unerring nature, still divinely bright, One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty must to all impart. At once the source, and end, and test of art."

In September, 1811, one year and a half from the time my preparatory studies commenced, I was admitted into the junior class of Yale College, Connecticut. One of the gentlemen who examined me remarked that I had compressed into the short space of eighteen months acquisitions which no young man, however vigorous his intellect, should attempt to accomplish in less time than four years. The fact is, that I had studied hard, from fourteen to sixteen hours a day, without any efficient out-door exercise. This last want I endeavored to supply by taking very little food. I lived chiefly on bread and water. Milk I was very fond of, but it operated as a narcotic. The carrying out of this programme,-which I might have foreseen, produced disastrous consequences. It reduced me to a skeleton, and brought on a complication of alarming ailments. I was induced to call in a physician. He prescribed abstinence from study, seclusion, and a course of medicine. In one hour from the time he left my room, I determined, without permission of the faculty, to take a journey for my health. Throwing the pill box and vial out of the window, at 9 o'clock P. M. the same day, I was a passenger in the mail stage running from New Haven to Albany. Here I wrote to my father, and the president of the college, to explain the reasons of an elopement which, in their sight, must have seemed mysterious, if not criminal. In a few days, kind answers were returned to my letters; I was excused, and encouraged to travel on, if it made my health any better.

Every week I felt stronger as I advanced, and

never stopped, except a few days at a time, till I reached my home at Easthampton, in the autumn of 1812. For seven months, I had wandered, sometimes on horseback, sometimes on foot, sometimes in a stage coach, wagon, or buggy, through all the w^estern and central portions of New York, from Albany to Buffalo. Travel, hunting, fishing, rough fare, sleeping on the floors, of log cabins, fatigue, wet, cold, a constant change of scenery, and a succession of stirring adventures among those wlio were then considered by many as border ruffians^ completely metamorphosed my physical condition, and, without a particle of medicine, placed me again in the full enjoyment of life and health. I have mentioned this item of my experience as illustrative of the chief causes of debility, consumption, and premature death, among the students of our colleges and universities. Had I followed the advice of my physician, I could not have lived through my junior term. To bo sure, I graduated one year later in consequence of this excursion ; but it was the means of my adopting a system of exercise quite as essential to growtli of mind as reading and meditation. During the two last years of my collegiate course, and tlie three devoted to the study of theology, I never failed, in all sorts of weather, to walk at least five miles every day, besides spending an hour in sawing wood, working in a garden, or some other labor equally active and invigorating. Prosper diet, exercise, sleep, and cleanliness, are the immutable conditions, not only of physical, but also of spiritual health.

A chronological account of my life's progress is not required by the purpose of the present work. If attempted, it could not be done by my plain, prosy pen with sulhcient spirit and beauty to interest my readers. The object before me is to trace a slight outline of those events and incidents only which reflecting persons can look at with pleasure, and I hope with profit, unconnected by the relations of time, or cause and effect. The celebrated Walter Scott once observed, that in an ordinary ride in a stage coach, he never found a man so dull, if a free conversation were opened, as not to utter thoughts to him original and instructive, which he would have been very sorry not to have heard. Were it possible, this record should represent experiences, the perusal of which would not be less edifying to great and distinguished minds than the conversation of illiterate, plain, but sincere and honest people in general.

It is a commonplace remark, that the events which determine the course of one's life are controlled by some unseen and irresistible power. I shall now advert to an item of my personal history that may serve as a commentary on the following words of Scripture : " 0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." The last year of my residence in New Haven, I was much in the society of a classmate by the name of Hopkins. The strongest attachment grew up between us ; we were never apart when disengaged from our studies ; wo received the nicknames of Damon and Pythias, the story of whose friendship will never die, so long as Grecian literature

is read and admired. Our class, graduated September, 1814. It was agreed that, after spending a few-weeks at our respective homes, we should meet and journey in company to Litchfield, Connecticut, to attend a course of lectures in the most respectable and systematic law school then existing in the United States. In determining to pursue the legal profession, we were guided chiefly by the belief that its principles were more congenial to our mental tastes and characters, than either those of medicine or divinity.

Young Hopkins lived about ten miles north of Easthampton, on the banks of the Connecticut. Ho wrote that he should pass my father's house in the stage on a certain Wednesday. I was ready to take my seat with him at the time specified ; but when the coach arrived, my friend was not among the passengers. The conclusion was, that some trivial circumstance had induced him to put off starting for a day or two. I waited patiently through the week, without seeing him, or hearing from him ; I then learned that he had been detained at home by serious illness. Immediately I went to visit him. He received me with much emotion, saying, "My work on earth is finished, and in a few hours I shall take my departure to

' That undiscovered country from whose botim No traveller returns.'"

He was perfectly calm and undismayed at the prospect of death, about which he conversed with much pathos and eloquence. When I bade him the last

farewell, with my hand clasped in his, he said to me, " 0 tliat it were in your power to view this world as it now appears to me, from the borders of the grave. Were I to recover, and enter upon life again, with my present thoughts and feelings, instead of going to Litchfield, I should repair to Andover, or Princeton, and become qualified for the ministry. The memory of disinterestedness, of self-sacrificing labors for our fellow-beings, and the hope of a glorious immortality through Christ, are the only sources of peace and support in a dying hour,"

These words sank so deeply on my heart, that I could hardly think of any thing else for months after his death. They produced a total revolution in my views and plans for life. I could not realize that he had been removed from my presence and society. It seemed as if he was still alive, and regarding me with a sympathy purer and deeper than ever. The unshaken belief that he was a constant witness of my doings, was an irresistible motive, prompting me to make every endeavor to lead such a life as would give him the greatest joy, till permitted by a merciful Saviour to meet again on the shores of a happy immortality. The project of devoting myself to the practice of law was abandoned, and in a few weeks I commenced the study of theology.

It might be argued that I acted with entire freedom in choosing a vocation which this beloved friend, in his last moments, urged me to embrace. But choice is in every instance an effect. This effect is always produced by some motive acting on the will. To say that I could have made an opposite choice 3

with perfect ease, is the same thing as to assert that I have power to resist the strongest motives which can be presented to my mind. In that case, I may trample under foot the most powerful inducements offered by the Creator himself to persuade me to obedience, and, in spite of his almighty will, tread the downward path to ruin. It is self-evident, then, that the events and circumstances which led me to adopt a profession for life, came from God, and exerted an influence upon my will, which, at the time, was as much beyond human control as the winds, weather, tides, or seasons. A true philosophy resolves all the differences, both physical and moral, which exist among men, into " the will and arbitration wise of the Supreme." " I know, 0 Lord, it is not in man who walketh to direct his steps."

I will relate another anecdote bearing upon the same point. In the summer of 1821, I spent a few weeks at a celebrated watering place in Kentucky. At that resort I met a large number of intelligent and fashionable people from the principal cities of the west and south, and a few from New Orleans. Their time was passed in scenes of pleasure, gayety, and excess, which I had never witnessed in the staid regions of New England. When Sabbath came, a discussion took place at the breakfast table, with regard to the best manner of spending the morning. " We cannot," some said, " desecrate the day by dancing, cards, and frolic. This would be a trespass on the laws of civility as well as the cliurch." The company finally concluded, if possible, to have preaching; and the ball room was selected as the

only place sufficiently large to afford suitable accommodations. It so happened that I was tlie only clergyman present. I had no written sermon with me, nor any kind of manuscript which would answer as a substitute. There was no time for premeditation, nor did I believe it to be in my power to deliver an extemporaneous discourse.

It was with some difficulty that a Bible was found. The master of the hotel acknowledged that there was none in his possession. Not a person there could furnish a copy of the Scriptures, except myself, and that was in the Hebrew and Greek languages. To escape from a disagreeable dilemma, it occurred to me that I might insist upon the impropriety of using the word of God in an unknown dialect. This was done. The argument seemed plausible, and for a moment held forth a prospect of deliverance. At this juncture the landlady recollected that a missionary, travelling through those parts a few weeks before, had left some books at the house. Among them might be the one which the occasion called for. When the servants were interrogated on the subject, one of them said that the books had been stowed away in the garret. A search was made. A Bible was found and laid upon the table at that end of the ball room appropriated to musical performances. The room was soon filled with a silent and attentive audience. There were none in the company willing to sing. After a short prayer, I sat down in the greatest agitation and uncertainty.

All at once the thought struck me that I would read the first Psalm, and make some remarks on it —

" Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly," &c. A few days before I had read, with great attention and delight, Dr. Paley's chapter on happiness, in his Moral Philosophy. Its leading ideas were fresh in my mind. With their help, and that of the Psalm, I was enabled to discuss, very imperfectly, the question, How shall happiness be found ? I spoke forty minutes by the clock, and thougli the thoughts of the address were trite, superficial, and commonplace, it was one of the most effective discourses which I ever pronounced, simply because it suited the place, the hearers, and the occasion.

Tills address was the primary cause of my settlement in New Orleans. There happened to be in the audience two gentlemen of that city travelling for health, who were trustees of the Rev. Mr. Larned's church, my illustrious predecessor. He had fallen in the epidemic of the preceding year. They were gratified with my extemporaneous effort, but were total strangers to me, and I never saw their faces till I became personally acquainted with them the next winter, on my first visit to Louisiana. As soon as they returned home, and at their suggestion, a letter was written to me at Louisville, by which I was invited to succeed Mr. Larned as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. I declined the first invitation, and also the second, because I was determined to spend my days in Massachusetts. Waiting at the falls of the Ohio for the commencement of steamboat navigation, which was obstructed by ice and low water, I received a third invitation. In it

the trustees proposed my returning to Boston by the way of New Orleans, pausing to preach a few Sabbaths for them, long enough to form a partial acquaintance with the congregation and the place. This proposition I was constrained to accept.

I went on the excursion to the springs just referred to, with much hesitation and reluctance. It was done merely to please some intimate friends, whose urgent solicitations overcame my will. The first week of my sojourn in New Orleans, I assured the trustees that nothing could induce me to stay there longer than three months. At the expiration of tiiis time I made every effort in my power to get out of the city forever. But God is stronger than man, and he was pleased to confine me there thirty-five years.

A power as omnipotent as that which makes the sun rise, or rivers descend, shaped the whole course of my professional existence and career in New Orleans. One item subtracted, or changed as to the circumstances above specified, would have modified my destiny, and colored my days with different hues for life. If it be asked what cause makes the fortunes of one man so different from those of another, the only scriptural and philosophical answer is, the will of God. In defiance of my strongest wishes, I was compelled to settle in Louisiana. I did not covet the allotment. Twenty-five years ago, if any man had prophesied that I should one day become a Unitarian, tlie reply to his prediction would have been, " Is tliy servant a dog, that he should do this thing ? " Then I should have thought it as likely that I might, at some future time, turn pirate, or highwayman, as to 3*

become an advocate of liberal Christianity. Either contingency would have appeared to me equally shocking and improbable. To-day, next to that of God's existence, the strongest conviction of my understanding is a belief in the doctrine of the final holiness and happiness of all mankind. And the most inscrutable phenomenon within my observation is that of an intelligent, good man who really doubts this great central, sublime truth of the gospel. I would also remark that the causes which brought about this revolution in my theology are as much beyond human volition as the motion of the planets. Profoundly do I admire these words of the Holy Spirit: " It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Cowper was an Orthodox, Cal-vinistic poet, the genuineness of whose piety is universally admitted. Hear his words:—

" God gives to every man The fortune, temper, understanding, taste, That lift him into life, and let him fall Just in the niche he was ordained to fill."

In another place he writes as follows : —

" Happy the man who sees a God employed In all the good and ill that checker life, Resolving all events, with their effects And manifold results, into the will And arbitration wise of the Supreme. Did not his eye rule all things, and intend The least of our concerns, (since from the least The greatest oft originate,) could chance Find place in his dominion, or dispose One lawless particle to thwart his plan. Then God might be surprised, and unforeseen Contingencies might alarm him and disturb The smooth and equal course of his affairs."

Yet every man is perfectly free and accountable, and deserving of punishment when he does wrong. Every man has his own way — so he feels and believes— so he actually has. It is equally certain that God has his way in every thing. If he has not, then there is something in the universe superior to his almighty will. In this case, it may be inquired. Is not every man directed by God ? Is he not unavoidably compelled to do as he does ? Was it not impossible for him to do otherwise ? These questions cannot be fathomed by philosophy, or theological science. If man were not free in a certain sense, he could not be blameworthy nor punishable. Still all concede that if he were not a creature of circumstances and influences beyond himself, it would be impossible for God " to work in him to ivill and to do of his good pleasure^'' and finally conduct him to everlasting life. The same Power that overcomes the infidelity of one human heart, can overcome that of a//, if it be his sovereign pleasure.

CHAPTER III.

ANDOYEE. — LICENSE. — ORDINATION. — SETTLEMENT IN

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY. ANECDOTES IN RELATION

TO THE FIRST VISIT OF THE REV. SYLVESTER LARNED TO THE VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI. — PECULIAR STYLE OF HIS PREACHING.

When I was a student in the Theological Seminary at Andover, Massachusetts, it was my good fortune to occupy, for some months, a dormitory in the private residence of the celebrated Dr. Woods, at that time professor of dogmatic theology in this far-famed institution. I was allowed by the doctor occasionally to sit with him in his own private study to learn my daily lessons. Only one condition was imposed — that I should never interrupt him by asking questions when engaged in writing. He treated me with uniform kindness, and apparently with great confidence. I regarded it as a most enviable privilege to spend so many of my hours in the presence of such an eminent saint and theologian. One morning, when we were both absorbed in our studies, a stranger intruded himself into our presence, to solicit advice in regard to some church difficulties that had occurred not long before in a town some miles distant. On the announcement of his errand, I instantly rose to leave the room ; but the professor told me that I had better stay and go on with my labors, else I might not be prepared for the

next recitation. After the gentleman had made a full statement of his case, Dr. Woods gave substantially the following decision. I do not pretend to give his precise words.

" Your friend has indeed grossly violated the laws of holiness ; but his misconduct is not generally known. It has come to the knowledge, you say, of but very few persons, who are all friendly to him and the church, and are anxious that the scandal should spread no farther.

" Moreover, he is a man of great popularity and consideration in the place of his residence. He is very rich, and liberal in his contributions to religious and charitable societies. By bringing his case publicly before the church for discipline, you may do an irreparable injury, not only to the man himself, but also to his amiable, unoffending family. In my judgment, no good could possibly accrue from such a measure. You had better pass it by with a private admonition, and continue to use his elevated position and extensive influence in building up the Redeemer's cause in your peaceful and flourishing parish."

After this case was disposed of, a second was presented for deliberation. A member of the same church had been heard to avow repeatedly his disbelief in the doctrine of the Trinity. He was in the habit of talking against it among his acquaintances. True, his moral character was unexceptionable ; nay, it was excellent — rich in every virtue that could serve to make one a light, charm, ornament, and blessing in society. " But," said the doctor, " no

matter how good or benevolent he is ; disbelieving the Trinity, he denies the faith once delivered to the saints, and is not fit to be the member of a Christian church. He should be arraigned for heresj, and if he continue contumaciously in error, let him be excommunicated."

The deacon then bade us farewell. During the above consultation, my lesson for the morning was totally unheeded. Two thoughts had for the first time entered my mind. First, a rich member of the church, honorable in the eyes of the world, may be dissolute with impunity. Secondly, it is not so heinous an offence to break the seventh commandment, as to affirm that there are not three persons in the Godhead. Previous to this day, I had supposed that those ivithin were always not only superior in goodness to any persons outside of the church, but were also invariably actuated by the principles of unsullied honor, unswerving truth, and impartial justice to all men, without regard to the distinctions of wealth, rank, fasliion, or office. It was painful to give up my long-cherished and implicit faith in the spotless purity of ministers and professors of religion.

Dr. Woods not only permitted, but urged me to apply to him, whenever I needed assistance in solving difficult problems relating to theology, or the interpretation of Scripture. A sermon had been preached in the chapel, in support of the doctrine of plenary inspiration, as it is called, or that the original Bible was dictated by the infallible Spirit of God — a standard of faith and practice in which there

was not a single error — iiotliiiig deficient and nothing superfluous. The assertion was, that not only all its thoughts came directly from Heaven, but even its words; that man had no more share, strictly speaking, in producing the sacred Scriptures, than in creating seas, stars, or planets. Human hands, indeed, inscribed the words on parchment, but they were directed by a supernatural, resistless influence, so that it was not in their power to record a syllable but what was in accordance with the will of God.

A suspicion that this view of the subject was untrue I had never before entertained for a moment. It had been inculcated in my hearing from the nursery up, by all those whom I listened to as oracles, as teachers of indisputable authority. But the sermon just referred to had the effect to set me thinking and doubting on the subject. Two difficulties struck ray mind. Was it possible that the disgusting impurities and horrid imprecations recorded in some parts of the Old Testament (for examples, see Psalm cix., and twenty-third chapter of Ezekiel) should have emanated from a being of infinite love and holiness ? Further, it was admitted on all sides, that the original manuscripts of the Bible are not in existence. Every copy now in the world came from uninspired hands. Intoour version, then, or any other version extant, corruptions may have crept, though its authors were ever so upright and careful.

With hope and confidence, I applied to the doctor to relieve me from these painful misgivings. I said to myself, It is indeed a glorious privilege to be the

member of an institution which can guide the anxious, inquiring student through the intricacies of error, and help him up the mountain of divine truth, " laborious, indeed, at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospects and melodious sounds on every side, that the harp of Orpheus was not more charming." I thought that if I could look at revealed religion aright, it would appear to me only beautiful, grand, and harmonious. The first objection was met by the remark, that " because God is infinite, we are not competent to sit in judgment on the morality of his doings. Parts of revelation may seem to contravene man's ideas of refinement, honor, and rectitude. But God's thoughts are not as .our thoug-hts, nor his ways as our ways. What to the infinite One is fit, proper, and benevolent, may appear to short-sighted, sinful mortals deformed, monstrous, unjust, and even malevolent. It is enough for us to know that God is boundless purity; therefore, in the blessed volume which he has mercifully vouchsafed to indite for our salvation, and which is a transcript of himself, there cannot be any thing corrupt or unholy. As it came from God, every item of it must be Godlike, from the first verse of Genesis to the last of the Apocalypse."

Such was the reasoning put forth to quiet my doubts as to plenary inspiration ; to reconcile the discrepant, to explain the absurd, and throw a haze of moral beauty over passages inexpressibly abhorrent to my natural, unperverted taste and reason. Notwithstanding my youth and inexperience, I then felt, with all the force of intuition, that if God's sov-

ereignty were divorced from what we are compelled, by the very constitution of onr nature, to regard as pure and righteous, then all the dearest interests of mankind, for time and eternity, would be afloat upon a boundless sea of doubt and peril; and the way would be prepared for baptizing the foulest despotism by the name of almighty and infinite goodness.

The second objection was answered by advancing a fallacy. " True," said the great man, " all the Bibles now in the world are but transcripts of an original which vanished from the face of the earth centuries ago. But from the infinite wisdom of God, it follows that he would not suffer a book composed by himself to fail of accomplishing the end for which it was given. It is reasonable, then, to believe that the transcribers of the sacred volume, in every age and place, have been the subjects of a divine influence, qualifying them to set forth God's word in the various languages spoken by man, according to its primeval import and genuineness."

The above instances are fair samples of the sophistical arguments employed to defend the peculiar dogmas then taught at Andover. My desires to find the truth were most sincere and intense ; but instead of being gratified, they were doomed to constant disappointment. Reading and studying the prescribed books and theses only served to thicken my darkness and multiply my perplexities. The professor said to me one day, that my chief difficulties undoubtedly arose from the fact that I had not been thoroughly drilled in the principles of implicit faith. 4

•38 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP

He defined implicit faith to be " a trusting to the word or authority of another^ without doubting or reserve, or without examining' into the truth of the thing itself.^' "The doctrine of the Trinity," he remarked, " is inexphcable to human reason, and fruitless attempts to solve the mystery may unsettle one's faith, and plunge him into infidelity."

But was it not my mission at Andover to investigate truth, independent of human authority, creeds, and formulas ? " No," said Dr. Woods, " your proper business here is to learn to read the Bible aright, and to receive its plain, undisputed assertions with an unquestioning credence, as the oracles of God. It is within the legitimate province of reason to inquire, ^rs^, whether the Bible is divinely inspired ; and secondly, what does it actually teach ? Further than this you cannot go. Reason is not competent to decide upon the philosophy of Scripture. We receive the teachings of God, however strange or incomprehensible they may appear to us, simply because wo know that he cannot utter an untruth."

These memorable sayings furnished a clew enabling me to escape from the labyrinth in which I had been long wandering. From that day to the present, the object of all my researches has been to ascertain whether God has actually spoken to the children of men in the Bible, and what is the real import of the connnunications therein addressed to us. I have stood firmly upon this platform for the last forty years. I love the original Scriptures; have read them by day, and meditated thereon by night.

The study of the Bible, according to tlie most

approved rules of exegesis, lias led me to repudiate the theological views which were embraced at the Andover Seminary when I lived there. They have also been repudiated virtually by the great body of the New England churches. A milder and more rational faith prevails among the descendants of the Puritans, than that of their stern, rugged forefathers. Genuine Calvinism has died in the Northern States, by a necessary and almost imperceptible decay. Professor Stuart, of Andover, did more, in his time, to bring about this revolution than Harvard University and all the Unitarian writings combined.

The opinion is quite common in the Soutlicrn and Middle States, that evangelical religion of late has suffered an alarming degeneracy among the people of New England in general. These lugubrious views are chiefly confined to clergymen of different denominations — clergymen, too, most sincere, pious, good, and charitable. They see that some of the long-established creeds and forms of our venerable ancestors are fading away. Opinions which they held sacred and essential are now not only controverted, but denied and trampled under foot, by Unitarian and other kindred sects. Multitudes look upon this deviation from the ways of our predecessors as the prolific parent of intemperance, libertinism, ])rofanity, desecration of the Lord's day, and other abominations. This is not to be wondered at: The contemporaries of our Saviour were perfectly honest in charging him with the most odious offences — irreverence towards God, dangerous heresies, intoxication, breaking the Sabbath, consorting with

gluttons and wine bibbers, and preaching doctrines which tended to latitudinarianism, and the subversion of all wholesome laws, both human and divine.

I would say to all those clergymen who cherish gloomy forebodings about the fate of revealed religion, that if you are sincere in the belief that the Bible came from God, you cannot consistently entertain any apprehensions in regard to its accomplishing the ends for which it has been given to the world. If a man, wlien gazing upon the sun in its sublimity, as it is sinking below the horizon, should say to you, " I am afraid we shall never see the sun again — that it has set to rise no more ; " would you not regard him as partially deranged—at least as laboring under some strange hallucination ? How much more absurd to be afraid lest man's folly and delusions shall blot out the uncreated sun of righteousness, that illumines the moral universe with an eternal radiance ! It is the promise of Jesus that the gates of hell shall never overthrow the religion of the New Testament. It will survive all the vicissitudes to which human society is liable, and demonstrate its legitimate claims to that lofty character which it assumes, as being not only the glorious, but the everlasting gospel of the blessed God. What a low estimate must that man form of Christianity who supposes that it can be reasoned, legislated, frowned, laughed, or ridiculed out of tlie world !

Church history tells us of tlie rise, decline, and disappearance of many denominations that, in their day, undoubtedly, were necessary and useful, and

represented the highest religious development of which their respective votaries were capable. Could the admirers of those ancient forms come back from that unseen world, where pride, bigotry, and contention will never be known, they would be able to trace scarcely a resemblance between the ecclesias-ticism of the present times and that mode of worship and teaching to which their prayers, their writings, their fortunes, and their lives had been devoted ia vain. But still, praised be God, revealed religion has lost none of its original powers. And though all the various sects that flourish in our day were swept into oblivion, along with the accumulated rubbish carried down by the resistless surge of time, Christianity Avould live on in undecaying bloom and beauty. Archbishop Whately says, " Christ did not ordain an immutable outward style for administering his religion, but left the machinery of its forms and rules free, that, by a spontaneous unfolding, they might accommodate themselves to the ever-varying wants, taste, and progress of humanity. A system wanting this freedom and flexibleness would carry strong proof in itself that it did not emanate from God. Different ages require different modes of worship and communion."

Geologists have proved that our globe, from the beginning, has been constantly going through a succession of changes, while the principles by which it is governed have always remained the same. So it is with the church of Christ. In essence, it is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. Yet it is continually manifesting itself in new and higher forms 4*

of glory. The clnircli evinces nowadays her love for man in practical reforms never before attempted. Think of what is doing among us for the reformation of juvenile offenders ; for the improvement of discharged convicts ; for the training of the blind, the deaf, and the dumb. Think of those splendid palaces, reared for the accommodation of the insane and idiotic ; think of the numerous institutions for the relief of widows and orphans ; for the benefit of seamen ; for the promotion of temperance; for the suppression of war ; to ameliorate the condition of prison houses ; and to exalt the state of the dependent, industrial classes generally. Then we have tract societies ; missionary enterprises ; the gratuitous distribution of Bibles and other books ; Sunday schools, free libraries, lyceums, &c.; by which powerful instrumentalities the truths, hopes, and motives of the gospel are so wielded as not only to secure the salvation of the young and inexperienced, but also, in many cases, to arrest and reclaim hardened and inveterate offenders. To assert that, under such a multiplicity of divine means, — such a rich, unprecedented array of appeals and agencies,—our people are not advancing in religion and morality, is just as absurd as to deny that the happiest system of agriculture is adapted to increase the products of our fields, or to deny that the best appliances of education tend to promote the diffusion and increase of knowledge. No creeds, no forms, are essential to practical Cliristianity, but simply a life of pure, humble, and systematic beneficence. The recognition of this principle, coeval with Jesus Christ, is a

characteristic of the present age, and a cheering proof that we have renounced fables for truth — ." have left the ^ood old times far behind, never to see tlieni again but in the retrospect of tilings gone by." It is ushering in a brighter era, when Christianity will bear, in rich abundance, fairer flowers and more dehcious fruit than the world has ever yet tasted. To me the principles of the gospel are unassailable and incomparable. They give us rules, hopes, and consolations infinitely beyond the reach of human philosophy. Take away this last and only prop amidst the wreck of all earthly hopes and possessions, and to what shall the departing spirit cling for salvation, as it looks into the grave ? It has no Jesus to lean on ; it must sink in remediless agony and despair. Human reason admires the truths of the Christian revelation ; human experience affords them her loud and uniform testimony, and they find a congenial response in the affections of every noble heart. What are these truths ? I would answer, in general, the paternity of God ; the brotherhood of man ; that true religion consists in piety, purity, and disinterestedness, and an existence of immortal blessedness for all mankind beyond the grave.

In October, 1817, license to preach the gospel was given me, by an association of Congregational ministers in my native county. A few weeks previous, I had made an engagement to spend a year, in the capacity of chaplain and teacher, to a private family, in the neighborhood of Lexington, Kentucky. When I reached the place of my destination, the Rev. ^Ir.

Larncd, my predecessor in the First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, was expected to arrive there daily. His fame had preceded him as an eminent pulpit orator. On a Saturday afternoon, advertisements were posted along the streets and public places, that he would preach in a certain pulpit the next morning, at the usual hour of holding services. Long before the appointed time, the house was completely filled, and multitudes sought in vain for an admission. When he arose, and pronounced the text, — "He is the propitiation for our sins," — I thought that with such a subject, however ably discussed, it would be entirely beyond his power to answer the excited expectations of the audience. But he had scarcely uttered half a dozen sentences, before all fears of his failing vanished from my mind. I was rapt, elevated, and carried away, in common with others, by the charms of his singular and overpowering eloquence. I will present a brief sketch of this remarkable sermon.

He began by saying, that " all acknowledged because all felt their need of a Saviour. Your lot, my hearers, is cast in pleasant places, and you have a goodly heritage; your city is in the midst of regions on which Nature lavishes her richest gifts. You liave all the comforts and elegances which wealth, art, and refinement can bestow. Still the capacious desires of your immortal minds are not satisfied, because they crave that higher and better good which an outward world can neither give nor destroy. Jesus came to point our eyes to the only and narrow way that leadeth unto life. Your earthly posses-

sions must perish. You may be great and powerful; magnificent in talents, designs, and achievements ; admired, honored, and caressed by your contemporaries. Can such advantages save you ? —

* The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour ;

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.'

" When we reflect wliat human life is, however fortunate ; when we consider the ordinances and appointments,— the sudden alternations of health and sickness, joy and sorrow ; these indescribable scenes of endurance, privation, and bereavement; these painful sunderings of the ties of affinity, friendship, and affection that sadden our present existence, — how obvious is it that the cross of Jesus is our only hope ! For this makes it certain that the works of creation, the events of life, and the destinies of a coming world, are but the unfoldings of a Father's infinite wisdom ; tliat whatever befalls us between the cradle and the tomb, though so strange, inscrutable, and trying, is working to issues great and glorious beyond the reach of thought and imagination. Jesiis came to assure us that the Power which brought man into existence is eternal, boundless, uncreated, and immutable love — a love that taketh care for all; not one is neglected ; that watcheth over all; that provideth for all; for infancy, childhood, mature years, decrepit age ; for want, for weakness, for joy, and for sorrow, in every scene of this or another life; so that all forms of sin and evil shall finally

redound to the glory of God, and aid in accomplishing the unsearchable wonders of redeeming mercy revealed in the gospel. The teachings of Clu-ist enable us to say all is good, all is well, all is right, and shall be forever. Faith in Jesus, then, is an inheritance, a refuge, and a rest for the soul, from which the fates and fortunes of a mortal lot cannot shake it.

"The gospel has abolished death, and brought to light that spirit-land where the mysteries of earth will be explained — the land of brightness and beatitude, — the land of an immeasurable progress in wisdom and glory—where, instead of trials, there will be only triumphs; instead of darkness, the effulgence of an unveiled eternity ; instead of the bitter tears of sorrow, the beamings of an ever-increasing joy beyond the possibility of sin and temptation. ' Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.' What is death to a true Christian ? It is the hour of release from the burdens of mortality ; the hour of reunion with the absent loved ones, who have gone before us ; the hour when our inherent, irrepressible longings after fairer forms of beauty, and more ecstatic degrees of bliss than earth affords, will verge to their rich, everlasting consummation. When I look on that cross, illuminated by the radiance of God's own divinity, I exclaim. How inexpressibly precious is the light it sheds on our dark world, opening a way for all mankind through the gloomy shadows of sin and sorrow, and through the dark gates of the tomb, to the enjoyment of an inheritance incorruptible, un-defiled, and unfading! "

I do not pretend to state the exact words of tlie orator on tliis occasion, but the leading ideas of the address, which were indelibly impressed on my memory. He did not even allude to the doctrine of Christ's death being a substituted punishment, a vicarious sacrifice to appease the divine wrath, in order to make the salvation of mankind possible. Passing by all the unintelligible points of controversial theology touching the atonement, he presented to view a beautiful and striking picture, whicli needed only to be looked at to win admiration — a picture of man's frail, eventful life from the cradle to the grave. The whole audience saw that the portrait was true to nature ; and every one present, in spite of his creed, was made to feel that without the hopes of the gospel he had no outward prop to lean upon, no satisfying source of inward reliance, no adequate object for his ever-expanding loves, and no asylum to betake himself to in trouble, want, peril, sickness, or the final hour. He did not dogmatize about Jesus Christ, but produced in the hearers a profound conviction, that without a Saviour they were living in a fatherless and forsaken condition, poor, benighted, trembling orphans, upon a bleak and boundless waste, destitute, deserted, forlorn, and forsaken. The effect was wonderful. Tears were shed by those who had never before wept at the thought of all that is glorious and all that is tremendous in the prospects of immortality. Many of those seated in the pews at the beginning of the sermon found themselves standing up at its close. They performed the act of rising unconsciously.

Yet the entire delivery of that powerful discourse did not occupy more than thirty minutes. I had the honor of sitting in the pew of one of the most distinguished orators of Kentucky then living, whose son is now vice president of the United States. He remarked, on coming out of church, " That was a burst of natural eloquence infinitely superior to any thing I ever heard before, either in the pulpit, forum, legislative hall, or popular assembly."

No doubt Mr. Larned's sermons were indebted for much of their impressiveness to the striking superiority of his personal charms and accomplishments. A head of the most perfect outline ; the fire of genius flashing from large, prominent blue eyes; the fine features kindled up with intelligence; a symmetrical and Apollo-like form ; a deep-toned, musical, penetrating voice, whose whisper could be heard through the largest audience ; and a general mien unembarrassed, easy, and natural, at once graceful and dignified, — conspired to bestow on him a combination of natural advantages for speaking impressively which very few of our race have ever possessed. A distinguished statesman, who for many years was a member of Congress, and familiar with the first of American orators, remarked that " until he had seen Mr. Larned he had never beheld in the human form a perfect union of the sublime and beautiful. His statue, if chiselled by the hand of a Powers, would be pronounced, by all competent judges, to deserve a place among the finest models in the galleries of either ancient or modern sculpture."

Again, his eloquence was characterized by the easy, simple, unstudied manner in which he delivered his thoughts. There were no marks of art and labor either in what he said or in his mode of saying it. He did not appear before an audience in the air of an erudite, authoritative, pompous divine, a formal, ex cathedra sermonizer, but as an earnest, affectionate, loving friend, pouring forth the rich, glowing, unpremeditated effusions of his heart with the fulness and rapidity of a torrent, and with the apparent artlessness and simplicity of a child. His language was indeed rich and singularly appropriate. He was Tull of metaphors, lively images, and pleasing allusions; but they flowed from him without effort, and he seemed to speak as he did, in obedience to an irresistible impulse, because he could not help it. Every one knows that simplicity is the crowning ornament of the most effective eloquence. It is that dress of nature without which all beauties are imperfect, and fail of making a full and complete impression.

The sermons of Mr. Larned were free from the parade and dry technicalities of theological science. He never manufactured a discourse out of general and speculative propositions. He never couched the truths of Jesus in abstract metaphysical terms. Any child could comprehend his subject, words, arguments, and illustrations. It is universally admitted that no trait of good writing or speaking is more important than perspicuity. Of what avail the erudition and reasoning of the preacher, unless he be clearly understood ? No ornaments can give lustre 5

and beauty to a sermon wlicn its language is ambiguous and its arguments are obscure.

Mr. Lamed had studied the vohimcs of tlie human heart and human life more attentively than the sombre tomes of school divinity. Hence, though so young, he was enabled, in the happiest manner, to accommodate instructions to the different ages, conditions, and characters of the diversified classes composing a large, promiscuous audience. Each of those who listened to him heard something that seemed particularly addressed to himself— exactly suited to his trials, temptations, wants, sins, or sorrows. Those sermons are not only most interesting,— most powerfully occupy the imagination, —but also the most useful, which advance what touches a person's habitual conduct and cherished principles in every-day life. They discover a sinner to himself in a light in which he never saw his character before, and which awakens within him the strongest desires to be delivered from bondage, and raised to a new and better state. The object of every sermon should be to persuade men to become good ; not to discuss some abstruse theory ; to make a display of ingenuity and acquirements; nor to put forth startling novelties, but to make the hearers better, to give them clearer views, and more profound impressions of divine, eternal truths.

Although the subject of these remarks was endowed with the strongest sensibilities of soul and loftiest powers of expression, he never allowed tlie impetuosity of his feelings to transport him beyond proper limits. The ardor of his genius never divert-

cd his attention from the point of discussion, nor betrayed liim into any improprieties of look, manner, or expression. Plis friends never had occasion to remark, after leaving the church, that their pastor in the unconscious fervor of tlie moment, had uttered some imprudences, which an enemy or stranger might turn to his personal disadvantage, or to the detriment of the glorious cause which he espoused. This close attention to argument and propriety of words, this self-command, this supremacy of reason, this iindeviating attention to the decorums of time, place, and character, amidst the loftiest strains of eloquence, was one of the most captivating and persuasive charms of his pulpit exercises.

The manner of speaking, whoso most prominent traits have just been specified, is, in the strictest sense of the phrase, a gift of nature. One could no more acquire it by art and study than he could raise the dead, or arrest the planets in their course. He on whom it has been conferred speaks with the same ease with which he walks the ground or breathes the air.

" Some beauties yet no precepts can declare, For there's a happiness as well as care. Preachimj resembles poetry; in each Are nameless graces which no methods teach, And which a master hand alone can reach."

A perfectly correct, graceful, impassioned orator is a phenomenon which the world seldom sees, since so many extraordinary natural talents must concur in his formation. But most public speakers might be instructive and interesting, if they would only

follow nature, speak in public as they do in private, and only when they have proper materials for a discourse, and have previously considered and digested the subject.

We read that " the righteous perisheth and is forgotten." Why ? Because moral greatness is too plain, quiet, and unostentatious to become the theme and wonder, the gaze and admiration, of those who live only for the evanescent possessions and pleasures of time and sense. The exploits of the soldier, though degraded as to moral character, may be blazoned all over the civilized world, and go down on a wave of glory to future times. The pens of learned historians, the tuneful measures of the poet, the eloquence of orators, the finest creations of the pencil and the chisel, have often been employed to perpetuate the name and achievements of bad men, — oppressors and robbers, — whose lives appear only hateful and infamous in the sight of the Christian and philanthropist. But after all, clergymen have no just cause to be dissatisfied with their peculiar condition and allotments. If a minister of the gospel be sincere and faithful, no matter how poor, opposed, persecuted, or despised he may be, yet he is, in reality, among the happiest of our race. His lot is preeminently glorious. Amidst the severest trials he breathes the atmosphere of an immortal world. The " soul's calm sunshine," nobleness of heart, large attainments of wisdom, conscious peace and virtue pure, open to him the sources of perennial, sacred, and constantly increasing bliss. A clergyman who has no taste for his profession must lead a

life of degradation and wretchedness. Of all men living, a hypocrite in tlie pulpit is, perhaps, the most mean, odious, and unhappy.

I remember my intercourse with Mr. Lamed with peculiar satisfaction. I was personally and intimately acquainted with him. We were classmates at the university for one quarter. Our rooms were adjacent, and I saw him every day under all the various phases which a collegiate life presents. There was a correspondence between us during his residence in New Orleans. The last letter which I received from him was written but a few days previous to his death. These circumstances, with a deep sense of the wonderful superiority of his native genius, make me anxious, if possible, by this brief notice, to rescue his name from absolute oblivion.

No man was ever more agreeable in the social circle. Though he was a great talker, yet no one ever felt in his company that he talked to gratify pride or pedantry, or for vain show of any kind. He would often charm the listeners who hung on his words, and even move them to tears, when he seemed quite as unconscious of the power he was exercising, as a child engaged in thoughtless prattle with surrounding playmates. It was often said that he was as affable and social among the vulgar, illiterate, and profane, as when conversing with more congenial spirits. Yet his conversation was always unexceptionable in a moral point of view. A gentleman, travelling with him on a steamboat, observed that he conversed often with the crew, the deck passengers, and even with certain persons who were known to be professed 5*

gamblers. Some present thought this freedom was very improper in a clergyman. He excused himself by saying that all men are equal in the siglit of God ; tiiat he felt bound to be civil and kind to every person within his reach, irrespective of character; that the most humble and ignorant individual on board might communicate to him, if an opportunity were offered, some fact or item of experience which would suggest useful thoughts for the discourse which he expected to preach the next morning. It was a noble observation, and the practice that it implied doubtless contributed materially to increase his knowledge of human nature, and the uncommon skill which he displayed in touching the sensibilities of those Avhom he addressed. How often are the piety and learning of clergymen absolutely inefficient from their want of a thorough knowledge of men, and a more extensive acquaintance with the world!

Whilst in New Orleans, Mr. L. was in the habit of receiving visitors as guests at the breakfast or dinner table. This was done to save time. In this manner he formed an acquaintance with a large circle of gentlemen, both Americans and Creoles, belonging to other denominations. On one occasion the Catholic clergy of New Orleans, in a body, partook of his hospitalities. It is thought by many that his outdoor influence did more good than all liis labors in the pulpit. Although liis susceptible and finely attempered constitution was so social in its tendencies, — although he was so youthful, buoyant in spirits, full of the sallies of wit, humor, and anecdote,—^yct he always maintained inviolate the dignity and propri-

etics of the clerical vocation. No one ever accused him of saying or doing any thing unbecoming the character of a clergyman.

When Mr. Lamed was only cigliteen years of age, he had occasion to journey from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, his native town, to Albany, New York, in the stage. On the way, a lively conversation was kept up among the passengers, on a great variety of topics. At the hotel where they stopped for the night, an English traveller of the highest intelligence, inquiring the name and profession of Mr. L., observed, " Among the persons of all countries whom I have seen, that young man shines most in conversation, and possesses the greatest powers of eloquence." Such was the impression which he universally made on educated men of every name and nation, who came within the reach of his fascinating powers.

One of the attendant physicians of the Charity Hospital, who was living when I first went to New Orleans, told me that during the awful epidemic of 1820, Mr. Larned almost daily visited that institution, up to the very week of his death. He passed much of his time in the abodes of sorrow, Avant, and bereavement. In him the widow and orphan, the sick and forsaken, the destitute stranger and seaman, the tenant of the hospital, and the criminal cliained down in his dungeon under sentence of death, found a Avarm-hearted, efficient friend. In the epidemic of which he was a victim, August 31, 1820, he called on the church treasurer one morning for pecuniary assistance, saying that his means were exhausted.

and nothing appeared to him more inconsistent than to pray for the sick and dying, without furnishing them with tlie supphes which tlieir physical wants demanded. To a pliysician wlio urged him to flee from the destructive pestilence, he said, " I may lose my life by staying here this summer, but I cannot leave without violating my most imperative convictions of duty. Death does not seem so great an evil as that of deserting my post to escape the yellow fever." Was there ever a more beautiful offering laid on the altar of benevolence, religion, or patriotism ?

When I reflect upon the charms of the character but faintly sketched in the above remarks, its unsullied honor, unswerving truth, and unflinching faithfulness, its noble, self-sacrificing, disinterested, and magnanimous spirit, I feel how unfounded and unjust is the sneering, disparaging insinuation of the sceptic, that there is no reality in virtue ; that it is but a pleasing fiction, a poetic dream. I thank Heaven that the light of heroism and religion has shone more or less brightly on all the preceding generations of men. It is my happiness to believe that goodness exists in every latitude and longitude; tliat every where throughout the wide field of humanity, tlie roses of virtue bloom; that in every community are those who are good because they love goodness ; good in the inmost recesses of their hearts, good in their most retired and secluded hours, when no eye but that of the Omniscient beholds them. Yes, there are hearts in the worst neighborhoods on the banks of the Mississippi, and among the rufhans

(to use the parlance of the day) on our border settlements, whose sympathies are warm, generous, and noble. In every class of my fellow-beings, for the last forty years, I have met persons enamoured of the charms of moral excellence. I have found those who, though poor and illiterate, born and reared beyond the sphere of church influences, manifested in their daily deportment the forgiving spirit of the gospel, (the sublimest form of holiness;) who, amid scorn, insult, injuries, and misrepresentation, expressed neither in the countenance, nor by words, nor by actions, the principles of scorn, hatred, or retaliation. I have seen mothers grow more kind, gentle, subdued, and forbearing, in proportion to the unfaithfulness, the cruel neglect, and unthankfulness with which they were treated by the members of their own households, partners and children. Every day have I been struck with the proofs, not of man's native corruption, but of his original rectitude and glory. God made human nature. If it does not. work out the results which he intended, must he not look upon mankind with feelings of sorrow and disappointment ?

Tuesday succeeding the Sabbath on which Mr. Larned delivered the discourse which has been already described, I rode with him from Lexington to Frankfort, the capital of the state. After our arrival, he was invited to preach the same evening, at seven o'clock, before tlie legislature of Kentucky. In this body were several gentlemen whose names had been famous throughout the Union, and who had been representatives and senators in Congress.

The news of his successful effort at Lexington had reached the place before him, and raised high expectations. Wlien Mr. Larned arose to read tlie hymn, a person wlio sat near mo said, " If tliat boy can utter any thing about religion to enchain the attention of this thoughtless, ungodly crowd, I shall confess indeed that he is a prodigy of eloquence."

When Mr. Larned announced his subject, it seemed to me most unsuited to the place, hearers, and occasion. These words were his text: " He that believeth on the Son of God hath the 'witness in himself.''^ The topic discussed was, the evidences of Cln-istianity — a topic presenting a vast, boundless field of thought. How could he even enter upon it, I said to myself, in the short space of a single sermon ? After I went to my room, I made the following memoranda in my note book, giving not so much the exact words of the discourse as its leading thoughts. " Not one person in a hundred thousand," said the orator, " has the mind and means, books and leisure, requisite to investigate the truth of the Bible upon logical principles. But there is one way by which all, however weak and unlettered, may arrive at satisfying convictions on this subject, without examining the external proofs, documents, and objections appertaining to the divinity of the Scriptures.

" Is there one in this audience who has doubts as to the heavenly origin of Christianity ? Act upon the platform of the text, and your unbelief will gradually and imperceptibly give way, as the bright and balmy effulgence of morn dispels the mist and dark-

ness of night. When you rise from your bed tomorrow morning, read a few verses of the Sermon on the Mount, or some devotional part of the Old Testament; then, kneeling down, offer to Heaven a sincere prayer that you may be guided through tlie trials, duties, and perils of the day by the spirit and principles of what you have just read in his word. Go forth, and act as nearly as you can in conformity with your matin orisons. Do this with all your soul every day forward, and before the expiration of the present year you will have imbibed unconsciously the elements of a true religious faith. You will feel the divinity of the Bible, though you may not be able to argue the question with the sceptic. ' With the heart man believeth unto salvation.' Praying sincerely, and acting accordingly, will cause your soul to be warmed with the beams of a Creator's love.

" You will then ' have the witness in your own bosoms,' that revealed religion is a celestial, refreshing stream from the inexhaustible Fountain of life. In this way, you may acquire a faith of a more adamantine firmness, a more intimate and unwavering conviction, than any variety or amount of reading, study, and scholastic attainments could inspire, unaccompanied by prayer and a good life. Tiiere is no royal road to heaven. The king and his subjects, the noble and ignoble, the wise and the ignorant, the master and the slave, can commune with God, and feel his inspiration, only as they lead prayerful, humble, just, pure, and conscientious lives. As to the unspeakably important subject of personal

religion, the decisive question is not, What are your thoughts, researches, pliilosophy, or creeds ? but, What are your hves ? Only those who do the will of God can have true faith in him. This evening, you have, perhaps, youth, bloom, friends, opulence, power, and all that a worldly taste most covets. But reflect, I beseech you, how soon these shadows must vanish. When the days of darkness shall arrive, when affliction and bereavement shall sink down like an incubus upon your hearts, when the stern realities of life shall have scattered your visionary hopes, — and that time must soon come, — you will bo the victims of unrelieved gloom, misgiving, and despair, unless sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust in that almighty, infinite, eternal, and unchanging love, revealed in the person, mission, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection of the Son of God."

These thoughts were recommended by all the charms of a natural, easy, graceful, dignified, and solemn manner, pronounced with tones and variations of voice clear, full, and melodious as the strains of the richest music.

This sermon was but twenty-five minutes in length. It is impossible to describe the effect it produced. It was a universal observation, " We never heard any thing like that from the pulpit before." The remark was strictly applicable to my own feelings. Indeed, Mr. Larned gave me new ideas about the best mode of preaching. I learned from him the utter worth-lessness of mere doctrinal, controversial sermons. He delivered two addresses on topics concerning which there is the greatest diversity of opinion in

the Christian world; yet in these sermons he did not so much as alhide to any of the popular dogmas of the day. One could not have divined, from any thing- which he said, to what particular sect he belonged. His appeals embraced only truths that are undisputed and indisputable — truths that strike a chord which God has strung in every human heart.

I have been a traveller in tlie old world. It left upon my soul an impression of miglity things, which will forever remain in my mind — the ineffaceable images of grandeur. I have crossed the Alps, and looked down upon those lovely vales that derive an increased beauty from the stupendous objects around them. I have seen the glories of Europe — its cities, palaces, castles, cathedrals, gardens, and galleries of art. But none of these objects do I remember with as deep emotions of wonder, admiration, and delight, as the preeminent genius, and the noble, disinterested conduct, of that young, fearless missionary, who laid down his life to add another church to the temples of the living God in New Orleans.

Mr. Larned entered Williams College, in his native state, when only fourteen years of age. He studied theology at the seminaries of Andover and Princeton, and commenced his professional life in the spring of 1817, being about twenty years of age. He died on the 31st of August, 1820, — a victim of the yellow fever, — in the morning of life, and to' human view, just entering npon a brilliant and useful career.

CHAPTER IV.

FIRST TRIP DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI. WALNUT HILLS.—

GENERAL APPEARANCE OF THE COAST. CHARACTER

OF STEPHEN POYDRAS, ESQ., THE PHILANTHROPIST.— ARRIVAL AT NEW ORLEANS.

In the winter of 1821, I left Louisville for New Orleans, to preach a few weeks, as I have before mentioned, in the pulpit of the First Presbyterian Church, which had been vacated by the death of Mr. Larned. The waters were high, and the steamboat on which I embarked moved with great speed. In less than a week I was wafted beyond regions where the ice and snow still held dominion, into the temperature, verdure, fragrance, and beauty of spring. The effect of such a sudden transition was enchanting. On the borders of the river we saw but one small town, (New Madrid,) between the mouth of the Ohio and Warrenton, in the State of Mississippi. Just ])C'fore reaching this place we were cheered with the green tops of the Walnut Hills, where Vicksburg now stands. They were then beautiful and rich eminences, covered with an abundance of those trees whose name they bear. It was not till some years afterwards that the first house was erected on these bluffs. To-day it is the site of a large commercial city, from which vast quantities of cotton are shipped ; whose broad streets, handsome public buildings, and

numerous churches, show that its inhabitants are inteUigent, refined, opulent, and liberal.

In the rear of this city, the country is rich and beautiful, the hills crowned with neat houses, the valleys and plains presenting a landscape of almost continuous and highly-cultivated plantations. In New England, many persons think that this part of the south has a population almost semi-barbarous — characterized by lawlessness, profanity, desecration of the Sabbath, gambling, intemperance, and deeds of sanguinary violence. This impression arose from the setting up of a few isolated instances of disorder and bloodshed, which found their way into tlie newspapers, and sent a thrill of horror throughout the Union. I have travelled extensively in the State of Mississippi, and can testify that, all things considered, — the lateness of its admission into the confederacy, the various disadvantages and hinder-ances in the progress of a frontier settled by an aggregation of adventurers from all quarters of the civilized world, — it is not inferior even to Massachusetts or Connecticut in the manifestations of moral excellence, truth, honor, justice ; a patriotism willing to die for the land it loves ; a philanthropy that is ready to pour out its treasures and its life for the common weal.

Here we began to discover the magnolia grandi-flora, an ever-verdant laurel, with its thick, soft, dark foliage and fragrant flowers, which do not put forth at once, but bloom in succession for a long time. It was delightful, after having passed through an unbroken, inundated wilderness for nearly eight

hundred miles, to come suddenly into the climate of the palmetto or fan palm, the China tree and ca-talpa, the wild honeysuckle and jessamine. Here, in the month of March, the wild wood displays such a variety of flowers of every scent and hue, that the gale is charged with fragrance, as if wafting odors from " Araby the Blest." On our left hand was an almost uninterrupted line of bluffs, between two and three hundred miles, commencing at Walnut Hills and terminating at Baton Rouge; either bounding the river, or receding far enough from the shore to afford bottom lands, which have long since been converted into luxuriant, widely-extended cotton plantations. They have an endless variety of figure, and are crowned with beech, hickory, and holly trees. Even to this day, the traveller beholds no dwellings on these finely rounded eminences, because, in the apparently salubrious breezes of summer, by which they are fanned, there lurks a malaria much more noxious to health and life than that which hangs over the low, swampy lands at their bases.

On the right hand shore was the same forbidding scenery that had filled our entire horizon for several days — impervious, tangled, sunken, interminable forests ; the crape, the funereal drapery of long moss, completely covering the branches, and sometimes the whole trunks of the trees ; boundless ranges of cypress, live oak, and malaria — the favorite haunts of alligators, moccason snakes, mosquitoes, and other nameless, most abhorred species of animated-nature. I said to myself, If there are '-'-fauces orcV^ —an entrance to the lower world—in our country, it must

he somewhere in these dismal, marshy tracts, more liateful than the fabled Styx of Grecian mythology. Now, after a lapse of thirty-five years, — in ascendhig or descending the river, — you see on the same shore, every two or three miles, a splendid plantation, with the usual appurtenances. When a stranger inquires the use and object of a cluster of little buildings — neat white cottages lying about the principal house — he is told that they are the habitations of the laborers. There the negroes live in separate families. Each of them has as good a dwelling, furniture, table, and other physical accommodations, as the great body of laborers in the free states. True, they are not as elevated in the scale of intelligence and enterprise ; if they were, they would not be slaves. It is not in the power of man to meliorate their condition so long as their intellectual and moral development remains unchanged.

A little below the city of Natchez, on the western shore, commences that artificial mound of earth called " the levee," of considerable elevation, and extending down to the neighborhood of the Balize. AVere it not for these mounds, tlie rich, beautiful, and productive strip of soil, called " the coast," would be annually inundated and incapable of cultivation. The word coast is used to designate the land bordering the Mississippi River, for two or three hundred miles above its mouth. At Point Coupe, the coast commences wearing the aspect of a country which has long been beautified by the plastic hand of skilful agriculture. Here, too, you begin to see extensive orange groves, intermingled with the wide-6*

spreading and verdant branches of that venerable tree, the live oak — the moiiarch of southern forests. Here, too, 3'ou sec that magnificent plant, which the French call " pcct," with its foliage perfectly green during the winter, and the extremities of its leaves terminating with thorny points.

In this village, our attention was directed to the mansion of Stephen Poydras, Esq., a gentleman who was alike distinguished for his wealth, personal excellence, and public charities. Good people, I said to myself, must live all over the world ; for they arc found here in the midst of an old settlement of French Catholics and slaveholders, where a Protestant minister was never seen, and where the Catechism of the Westminster Assembly of divines was never taught. With this gentleman I became intimately acquainted. A more pious, upright, self-denying, humble, generous man never lived. He was every whit as good as the late Amos Lawrence, of Boston, and quite as charitable. But has the name of Poydras been blazoned through our land ? Did any one ever pronounce his eulogy in Faneuil Hall, or in any of the New England pulpits ?

0, no ; he was a Frenchman and a slaveholder. " Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ? " Yet, in every respect, Poydras was not inferior to the greatest of those philanthropists whose lives have slicd sucli an undying lustre upon the land of the Puritans. He endowed an orphan asylum in New Orleans, which will bear down his name forever. It is called after him. It was the only institution of the kind in the city in 1821. In tlie dreadful epi-

demic of tho succeeding year, it took in hundreds of destitute orphans, that might otherwise have perished. He gave the proceeds of a very handsome property, amounting, I believe, to twenty thousand dollars per annum, to be distributed in marriage portions to a number of poor girls in the parish of Point Coupe and the adjoining parishes. He gave, in particular, a rich endowment to the school of the district where he lived, besides various other magnificent charities, which I have not space to mention. Let the really great have their names written on pillars more durable than brass, —

" Higher than pyramids, that rise With royal pride to brave the skies ; Nor years, though numberless the train, Nor flight of seasons, wasting rain, Nor winds, that loud in tempests break, Shall e'er their firm foundations shake."

All the material glories of earth will one day vanish " like the baseless fabric of a vision." The elements will waste even the marble of our tombs, and our worldly achievements be lost in everlasting for-gctfulness ; but those beneficent deeds by which we kindle smiles on the face of helpless orphanage, decrepit age, or indigent manhood, — by which Ave impart wisdom to the erring, give light, encouragement, and consolation to those who are sinking beneath the allotments of a mysterious Providence,— will never die. Instinct with tlie spirit of a divine life, tliey will cross the theatre of time, and the gulf of death, and grow more beautiful through the countless ages of an unending existence.

Below Point Coupe, the banks on both sides of the river are uniform. Tlic levee is continuous. The cultivation of cotton, rice, and sugar cane is regular and universal. The breadth of the cultivated lauds is generally two miles — a perfectly uniform strip, conforming to the shape of the river, and every where bounding the deep forests of the Mississippi swamp with a precise line. For two hundred miles, plantation touches plantation. I have seen in no part of the United States, not excepting the Connecticut River, a more rich and highly cultivated tract of the same extent. It far exceeds that on the banks of the Delaware. Noble private residences, massive sugar houses, neat villas, and numerous negro quarters succeed each other in such a way that the whole distance has the appearance of one uninterrupted village. -The mansion houses are spacious and airy, some of ihcm costly and splendid, situated in the midst of orange groves and pretty gardens, in which abound tlie delicious cape jessamine, multitudes of altheas, bowers of the multiflora rose, and a great variety of vines and flowering shrubs peculiar to this climate of perpetual verdure and loveliness. The fields, the gardens, the fine houses, the sugar manufactories, &c., apparently move past you as you descend, like the images in a magic lantern.

You see, too, that this wliole region is not destitute of the forms and institutes of Christian worship. The Catholics have numerous churches along the coast, aud the spires, seen at the intervals of every six or seven miles, cheer the eyes of all who are not sceptics or bigots. Emerging suddenly from the

sombre, sunken, moss-clad scenery of the Upper Mississippi into these enclianting regions of culture, wealth, and beauty, I was greatly excited.

On a beautiful morning near the close of February, we were landed at Lafayette, where the boat stopped to discharge a part of her cargo, about three miles above New Orleans. The passengers, impatient of delay, concluded to walk to the city. Leaving the levee, we took a circuitous route through unenclosed fields, which a few years before had belonged to a large sugar plantation. They were adorned with a carpet of green grass, where herds and flocks grazed in common. Here and there we passed a farm house in the midst of gardens, luxuriant shrubbery, and orange groves. The fruit was thickly scattered along the ground, like apples in the orchards of New England, when autumn pours forth her ample stores. The air was cool, inspiring, and scented with the flowers of early spring. The music of the thrush, and various other species of singing birds, saluted our ears with their sweetest notes. All things, as far as our eyes could reach, seenied like a paradise.. These suburbs, then so radiant with rural charms, are now the site of a large portion of the buildings belonging to New Orleans, and contain, at the lowest computation, eighty thousand inhabitants.

With the beautiful and soothing sensations which such a morning and such scenery naturally awaken, my first entrance was made to the metropolis of Louisiana. I was cordially welcomed, and well provided for. The trustees formally waited upon mc in a body. They struck me as being remarkably fine-

looking gentlemen, with polislied manners, and -well-informed, but so cheerful, easy, natural, and agreeable in their conversation, that I concluded at once that they were not communicants of the Presbyterian church. In the course of our interview, I ascertained that such was indeed the fact. Not one of the number was a Creole of New Orleans. They were immigrants from various quarters of the United States and Europe, who had been led to unite in establishing a church for Mr. Larned, not to gratify any sectarian preferences, but to enjoy the society and teaching of one whom they admired for his personal qualifications only — his extraordinary genius, learning, and eloquence. They were so enthusiastic in their praises of my predecessor, that I not only ■ despaired of being able, in any tolerable manner, to fill his place, but I felt that it would be presumption to make even an attempt to address an audience that had been accustomed to such an elevated style of pulpit exercises. I told them plainly that such were my feelings, and begged them to excuse me from preaching at all. Two of them immediately replied, " We once heard you preach at a watering place in Kentucky, and if you preach now as well as you did then, the people of New Orleans will be more than satisfied — they will be highly pleased." The occasion referred to has been already mentioned.

The next day — Wednesday — I was invited to dine with Dr. Davidson, an eminent physician, who belonged to the board of trustees. There were no gentlemen present but those of the medical profession. The company comprised all the American

practitioners then in the place. They did not number, I think, more than half a dozen. The two doctors ^yere present Avho attended Mr. Larned on his death bed. He had opened his church every Sunday from the beginning of the epidemic, though all his friends importuned him, in the strongest terms, to desist from his labors, and to repair to the pine hills, on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain, where the yellow fever had never been known.

" Last summer," said Mr. Larned, " when the epidemic broke out, I followed your advice, and ran away into the country. In my absence, both the French and English newspapers animadverted on the course which I took, and inquired if it were consistent with the character and obligations of a Protestant clergyman to desert his people in periods of calamity and general suffering. Catholic priests always remain at their posts, whatever perils assail them. I felt in my heart that these criticisms were just, and resolved that I would never leave New Orleans again in a sickly season. I must adhere to this resolution. Duty is ours, events are God's. Surely, a minister in his vocation should feel the ennobling principle of honor not less acutely than a military hero. The soldier of the cross should always act on the motto, ' Victory or death.^ It is as ignominious for a clergyman to flee from the approach of disease, as for an officer of an army to skulk on the field of battle."

In harmony with this sublime sense of duty, my predecessor encountered the epidemic of 1820. For more than two months, he exposed himself, wherever

the line of his profession called, to the shafts of the dread enemy. Fi-om morning to night he was occupied with the sick and tlie dying, and in attending funerals. Unsolicited he walked through the wards of the Charity Hospital every twenty-four hours. The 27th day of August Mr. Larned preached his last discourse, at eleven o'clock, A. M. The weather was beautiful, and the audience unusually large for the season. It was observed that his countenance was remarkably florid, as if flushed by some preternatural excitement. His delivery was uncommonly animated and eloquent. This fact was noticed by the whole congregation. His text was Philippians i. 21, " For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

" We never heard him speak before," said Dr. Davidson, " with equal impressiveness and solemnity. In contrasting the burdens, frailties, and suiferings of a mortal lot with the glories of immortality, he seemed to be inspired. The bosoms of his hearers were stirred with the strongest emotions of delight, wonder, and astonishment. He intimated that his own work on earth might be drawing to a close. ' I am ready,' said he, ' to meet a final hour ; to take a last look at the countenances of beloved relatives and friends ; to see this fair and glorious scene of sublunary shadows no more. For I have been made certain through Jesus, that the universe of my Father stretches far away beyond the islands, shores, and oceans of earth's spreading continents. As I see this audience with my bodily vision, so with the eye of faith do I now gaze upon those higher regions,

whera disembodied spirits are expatiating over the verdant, smiling fields of an everlasting life — a life unassailable by disease, toil, pain, infirmity, sin, temptation, or death. To me there is nothing dark or desolate in the entrance to a world of spirits. 0, let me die, that I may go and live forever ! 0, welcome, thrice welcome the hour when the portals of the tomb shall open to receive these mortal remains, and the light of a better world shall break in upon my forgiven, 'redeemed, and emancipated spirit!' I do not mean to intimate that the above were the precise words used by Mr. Larned, but the general strain and import of his peroration, as described to me by many, who were present on the occasion.

" As soon as I came out of church," said Dr. Davidson, " I met a circle at the door, conversing about the sermon. All remarked the unusual redness of our pastor's face, and the unearthly eloquence of his words. In a few moments after reaching my residence, a message came that Mr. Larned was taken ill on his way home from church, and wanted to see me immediately. I obeyed the summons without delay. On inquiry, I found that he had been seized with a severe chill and pain in the back, — the invariable precursors of the yellow fever, — before daylight Sabbath morning. He ate nothing at breakfast, hut drank two or three cups of strong coffee to relieve his head, before entering the pulpit. This stimulus, together with that of speaking, tended greatly to aggravate his fever. His symptoms were most unfavorable.

"' Doctor,' he inquired, ' do you call this the 7

yellow lever ? ' I replied,' Your complaint is not yet sufficiently developed to enable me to give a positive answer to your question. By to-morrow we shall know better about it.' I passed most of the afternoon and evening with him. He grew worse rapidly. Early Monday morning, in a paroxysm of great suffering, he repeated the question, ' Doctor, have I got the yellow fever ? Do not deceive me; I am prepared to know the whole truth.' And the truth v/a,s told him. ' I have another request to make,' he said —' that whenever you consider me beyond the hope of recovery, you will let me know it.'

" The next day, on Tuesday, it became obvious that he could not live many hours. I remarked to him that it gave me great pain to say that his disease must soon terminate fatally. He received the intelligence with perfect composure, and rehearsed the text on which he preached for the last time — ' To me to live is Christ, to die is gain.' All company had been kept from visiting him. His wife, whose health was so feeble that she could not aid the nurses and attendants by personal cooperation, came into the room at his request. He bade her a most touching, affectionate adieu, and when she left the room desired her not to return, saying that he sliould soon meet her in heaven, and that he wanted to spend his few remaining moments in prayer and meditation. He was sensible to the last, never murmured nor complained, and was almost continually uttering sentiments like these : ' All is right; all is IVell; all is safe. Father, not viij unll, bnt thine, be clone.^ His last words were addressed to a lady of

the Methodist congreg-ation, who was hy his hed side daring a great part of his siclcness. She ai^kcd liim whether his hopes remained unshaken. He replied,' I know in whom I have helieved, and that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day. Without a doubt, fear, or misgiving, I resign my spirit into the liands of God, who gave it.' " Dr. Davidson related to me a curious fact during our conversation at this time. He was a trustee, church treasurer, confidant, and bosom friend of Mr. Larned. During the ravages of the epidemic in 1820, Mr. Larned spoke to him, when returning one day from the sick room of a dear friend, about to die without what the Presbyterians call a religious hope, in the following strain : " I must either renounce the theology which was taught me at Andover and Princeton, or abandon entirely the practice of visiting the death beds of the irreligious. What can I say to the poor sinner about to draw his last breath, who confesses that he has led a worldly and impenitent hfe ? Such was the condition of the sufferer whom I have just left with the chill of death upon him. Around the bed was a circle of mourning friends and kindred, stupefied with horror and heartrending agony, whose solemn silence was broken only by the sighs and shudderings of grief and despair. I confess that our religion" could afford them no words of hope or consolation. Could 1 tell them, what I had been led to regard as Bible truth, that death in every instance is the awful consequence of original sin ? that it is a thick, overshadowing cloud, where God is present only in displeasure, unless the

dying person has experienced a change of heart, and leans on the vicarions atonement made by Jesus as the only ground of salvation ? Impossible! The young man on whom the mortal stroke has fallen, though amiable, has led a gay, thoughtless, worldly, fashionable life. He is dying with a character wliich cannot now be changed. It is too late. If there be not in the great Father a free, independent, unconditional, undeserved, unpurchased mercy for our lost race, then there can be no ground of hope for the sinners around us, who in crowds are entering the unseen world, without faith and repentance."

About this time, a great change came over Mr. Larned's preaching. This was admitted by all who attended his church. At the first prayer meeting which I attended in the vestry room none but the communicants were present. In the course of a free conversation on the prospects of religion in the Crescent City, the members of the Session and others present remarked that, much as they admired Mr. Larned for his personal accomplishments, genius, eloquence, and noble bearing, they could not but feci that he died at a fortunate moment, both with reference to liis clerical fame, and the prosperity of evangelical faith in New Orleans. I was astonished at these words, and asked for an explanation. They replied, that during the last year of-Mr. Larned's life, he scarcely so much as alluded to the distiu-guishing doctrines of Presbyterianism in the pulpit. His sermons were general homilies on the goodness of God, and the excellences and pleasures accruing from a religious life this side the grave. He also

manifested, they said, a fondness for worldly society, which seemed incompatible with the character of a devoted minister of Jesus Christ. The deacons told me that they themselves, and nearly all of the communicants, had deserted the society, in a body, several weeks before the death of their late pastor.

At the same dinner party I had much talk with a Dr. Flood, at that day the oldest and most popular of the American physicians in New Orleans. He was a gentleman of great colloquial powers, and much originality of genius. Speaking of New Orleans, he said, " Sir, the Creole inhabitants, here, enjoy as large a share of health as falls to the lot of those who live in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or any other northern city. It is a most palpable error which is circulating abroad, that the locality of New Orleans precludes even those who are born and brought up within its limits from the blessings of firm, full health. Tliis idea is refuted by a thousand facts — by the exemption from diseases in general, which characterizes the native population ; by the remarkable health of infants; by the entire absence of those local maladies which are almost universal in higher latitudes ; and by the appearance of the population generally, which will compare most favorably with that of any other people, for all the indications of uniform and vigorous health. Even during the last summer, amidst all the afflictions, discomfort, and gloom of the epidemic, one could see at the St. Louis Hotel, every morning, among the old residents, who remain here permanently, as fine specimens of health as can be found 7*

any where on the continent. The same remark is applicable to Charleston, South Carolina, Jamaica, St. Domingo, Havana, and the West Indies generally. Let a man become acclimated, and let him adopt the habits of the old population, and he may be safely insured at as small a premiimi as in any part of the United States."

I received this statement then with utter incredulity ; but now I can cordially subscribe to its correctness. During eight months of the year, New Orleans is blessed with an extraordinary degree of health. From the first of October to the ensuing summer, the weather is generally more agreeable and salubrious than that of any other place with which I am acquainted. Dr. Dewey somewhere says, " Whilst the disastrous days of the year are carefully recorded, preserved in memory, and often dwelt upon, its happy days are forgotten. They pass unnoted in the table of life's chronology, unrecorded in the book of memory, or the scanty annals of thanksgiving. My brethren, if, for a series of years, we could place before our minds the many happy months which have been swept beneath the silent wings of time ; if we could call up, from the dark backward and abyss of years, the hours of ease, peace, health, beatitude, in which the current of life has flowed on, amid kind and blessed visitations of Heaven's beneficence, bearing us calmly and gently upon its bosom as the infant in its mother's arms ; if we could make them stand up before us as vivid realities, and behold them as we do our faces in a mirror, — we should deeply feel that God has con-

stantly lavished upon us the richest bounties, and that ingratitude is the most enormous and aggravated sin of which we are guilty." These remarks are apj)licable to those of ever}'' locality on tlic globe. Is not tiie healthiest spot within our borders often visited by the pestilence that walkcth in darkness, and the destruction that wasteth at noonday ? Not imfrcquently, amid the bracing winds and snows of winter, fatal epidemics prevail in the healthiest parts of New England. It is thought by those well qualified to judge correctly about the matter, that con- ■ sumption, in its various forms, causes a greater destruction of human life in Boston, during the space (we will suppose) of every ten years, than the yellow fever does in the same time in New Orleans. At the north, the ravages of this fearful scourge are almost unnoticed, because they are regular, unintcrmitted, and looked upon almost as a thing of course, belonging to the ordinary current of human events. But in the Crescent City, the enemy comes down in a moment, without warning, like an Alpine avalanche, exciting the notice, wonder, and sympathy of the wdiole land; and after having fulfilled his mission in the compass of six or eight weelvs, mysteriously disappears as he came, and is followed by a period of singular and almost universal health, sometimes extending even to years. As to the cholera, it is not peculiar to New Orleans, but pervades tlie globe. It should be observed, also, that the yellow fever is confined almost exclusively to strangers. It is the process by which exotics become assimilated to air, climate, temperature, &c., different from, and, in some cases, almost antagonistic, to those where they

were born and reared. So far as the arrangements of God are concerned, I believe that all over the globe, the blessings of the seasons, weather, climate, soil, scenery, and other means of pliysical happiness, are pretty equally distributed.

There is, indeed, no geographical position where a low-minded, debased, and licentious man can be happy. All the beauties of nature are lost upon his hardened, perverse, and misdirected soul. The outward world appears to such a person a dull, indifferent, commonplace, wearisome affair — a deep, narrow valley, hemmed in by inaccessible rocks, filled with the rubbish of dull cares and tiresome vanities. But to the eye of a good man, all nature is clothed in beauty. " It unfolds in the numberless flowers of spring; it waves in the verdant branches of the trees, and the green blades of grass; it haunts the depths of the earth and the sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious stone. And not only these minute objects, but the ocean, the mountains, the clouds, the stars, the rising and setting sun, all overflow with beauty." The same may be said of the marsh, the swamp, the barren heath, the sandy desert ; the shapeless rock and hanging precipice; the most rude, gross, and uncultivated parts of nature : every thing which a noble man looks upon—the clods of earth, the furrows of the field, the insensible rock — are to his eye emblematical of the grand and lovely attributes of an Almighty Father. I repeat it, that to a virtuous man, wherever he is, — on the Connecticut, Hudson, Ohio, or Mississippi, — nature presents, in constant and ever-varying forms, images of the fair, orderly, proportioned, and wise, filling his

soul with rapture, and lifting it up to the infinite Parent. This is in accordance with Scripture. " The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork."

It is a common opinion that Louisiana is much inferior to the Northern and Middle States, with respect to the numerous advantages of climate, healtli, temperature, and natural scenerj. A distinguished naturalist has endeavored to show that tlie inhabitants of Lapland, for example, all things considered, derive as much happiness from the physical influences by which they are surrounded, as those who reside in the verdant regions of the soutli, where reign eternal spring and summer ; where the seasons, as they revolve, let fall no blight nor chill upon the rich and smiling landscape. He contends that the peculiar advantages of every latitude liave corresponding disadvantages, so that God's goodness shines as strongly on one spot as another.

When the native of Switzerland takes up his abode in the luxuriant and beautiful clime of the south, — those green, sunny regions, where the glory of former generations still glimmers on the falling monuments and crumbling columns of immortal art, wliere nature lives forever, and forever spreads its unfading charms, and the bosom of the earth is fair and fragrant through all the circling months, — he beholds nothing so interesting as the mountain tops covered with eternal snow — those rugged rocks and frowning precipices that distinguish the wild landscape endeared to him by the tender reminiscences of home and childhood.

Not long since, I met at Niagara Falls a French Oreolc family, intelligent and refined, who had never before wandered beyond the limits of their native state. Whilst they seemed to appreciate the new and glorious objects which almost continually greeted their sight, as they journeyed north and east, still they remarked, that they had seen no place which they would prefer, as a residence for life, to the spot where they were born. To their eye, no prospect was more pleasing than that widely-extended plantation, where they had lived from the beginning amid all the endearments of a happy home. " How poor," exclaimed they, " are the cultivated hills and narrow intervals of New England, compared with the luxuriant soil of Louisiana, loaded with the richest productions— rice, cotton, sugar cane, <fec.! " In our gardens are the orange, fig, and olive, all sorts of elegant shrubs, and every variety of flowers. We are awakened each returning morn by the melodious notes of the birds, whose lives have been passed upon the spot where their existence began, and that seem almost to be a part of the family. How bland, balmy, fragrant, and salubrious, our atmosphere! One of the ladies belonging to the company applied to her native state the following lines of Byron: —

" Know ye the land of the myrtle and vine, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine ? Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom ? Where the orange and olive are fairest of fruit. And the voice of the nightingale never is mute ? Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, In color though varied, in beauty may vie ? "

CHAPTER V.

MY FIRST SERMON IN NEW ORLEANS. EXTEMPORANEOUS PREACHING. PECUNIARY CONDITION OF THE

CHURCH AT MR. LARNED'S DEATH. GENEROUS OFFER

MADE BY JUDAH TOURO, ESQ. HIS PECULIAR CHARACTER.— ADMISSION TO THE PRESBYTERY OP MISSISSIPPI. — ITS RESULTS. — MARRIAGE.

The first time I preached in the Crescent City was on the morning of the last Sabbath in February, 1822. On the previous Saturday evening, a committee of the trustees waited on me, to ascertain upon what plan I intended to conduct the services of the church. They said, " In all probability, the next day will be one of the loveliest of the spring season; and if so, there will be an overflowing house. Notice has been published in all the newspapers that you are expected to preach in the Presbyterian church on Sunday morning. Besides," they remarked, "your name has been a subject much talked about among us the last week; great expectations have been raised. We have assured our friends that you are in every respect qualified to be a successor of our former lamented pastor. Now, we have one request to make : it is, that you will not attempt to read a manuscript sermon. The hearers will expect you to imitate Mr. Larned by speaking extemporaneously, and apparently from tlie inspiration of the moment. You might read in our pulpit the best-written sermon that was ever composed, equal to one of Chalmers's,

Robert Hall's, or Dr. Channing's, characterized by profound, original thought, neatness and purity of style, happy metaphors, language perfectly a]:)propri-ate, and completely polished, yet the congregation would retire dissatisfied, saying, ' We have heard a discourse erudite indeed, and able, but it was not like one of Mr. Larned's, — free, unconstrained, persuasive, coming warm and natural from a heart replenished with ardent, impetuous feelings, poured forth with the fulness and rapidity of a torrent.' "

I promised to comply with their wishes, and do the best in my power to gratify a New Orleans audience, but begged them, in case of a failure, to allow me to steal away as silently as possible the next week, in some vessel bound for Boston or New York, where the reading of sermons is tolerated in all pulpits. The committee retired. It was near nine o'clock in the evening. I had prepared a written discourse on the immortality of the soul, being determined never again to attempt extemporizing in the pulpit. I was in despair. I knelt down, and prayed for divine guidance and support. Arising, I paced the room for some moments in a paroxysm of anxiety, during which many schemes for escaping from the dilemma passed through my mind. Finally, I came to the conclusion to commit to memory the principal heads of the discourse I had written, and some of the most prominent sentences under each division, and trust for the remainder to the spur of the occasion.

In performing this labor, I sat up till daylight, then threw myself upon a sofa, and slept till the

servant called me to breakfast. I had become calm ; but it was the calmness of despair; for I had abandoned, even, the hope of succeeding in my mission. When the bell rang at eleven o'clock, I went to the church determined and reckless. It was one of those delightful mornings which I have never seen any where but in Louisiana. The large house was crowded with the most noble-looking audience that I had ever gazed upon; for then, ladies and gentlemen in New Orleans dressed as finely to go to church as they did when they went to the opera, evening party, or ball room. There were a good organ and excellent singers. During the music, immediately before the sermon, I attempted to recall to mind the heads of the discourse which I had spent the night in committing to memory. Thoughts and words had alike vanished from the tablets of my soul. I could think of nothing but that " sea of upturned faces." If there had been before me some short notes of the substance of the discourse, I should not have looked on my condition with so much despair. I said to myself, " If the hearers are not solemnized, they will doubtless be amused at my awkward, clumsy, feeble, perplexed, embarrassed, and desultory efforts." A cold perspiration covered me. Conforming as nearly as was in my power to what had been said was the habit of my predecessor, when the music died away, I arose very deliberately, opened the Bible, and after reading the text, closed it and laid it aside, that tlicre might be ample room for action.

The moment I looked upon the audience, the words I had learned by rote the night before came to 8

my recollection. I found no difficulty in rehearsing them ; but I felt certain that they sounded to my auditors stale, fiat, and insipid, although they seemed quite attentive and absorbed. Every eye was fixed Upon me ; but I ascribed this attention to the politeness of my hearers. They were too noble and high-minded to manifest their indifference openly. I confess, with shame and sorrow, that I thought more of man than God in delivering that discourse. This was the real source of all my perplexity; and to the present day, I cannot go into the pulpit with becoming indifference to the opinions and criticisms of those whom I address. Touching the subject of popularity, I have a morbid sensitiveness, which betrays, if not an entire absence, at least an extremely low condition of personal piety. If ministers felt properly their responsibility to God, they would be able always to preach well.

When I descended from the pulpit, the same gentlemen who had given me their advice the evening before, grasped my hand warmly, and congratulated me on the brilliant effort that had been made. They said it was enough to establish my fame. It was almost impossible to believe in their sincerity. Could it be that they would deceive me on such a grave matter ? The disclosures of Monday proved that they had expressed their sober convictions. The audience on that occasion was composed of the elite of New Orleans, with respect to refinement and intelligence. Among them were the ablest members of the bar, — those who had belonged to Congress, — physicians, enlightened merchants, many strangers

of distinction, and the conductors of the daily press. In my commendation every voice was joined. Whilst my vanity was soothed by this unexpected success, it awakened appalling apprehensions as to the future. I was now fully committed to the position of an extemporaneous preacher. But the excitement must be kept up. Another Sunday would soon come. The favorable sentiments which had been inspired, unless maintained and deepened on the next occasion, might end in disappointment and disgust. I thought of these lines of Pope : —

" Unhappy fame» like most mistaken things, Atones not for that evil which it brings; Then most our trouble still, when most admired, And still the more we give, the more required."

But the Rubicon was crossed. Nothing but sickness or death could withdraw me from the engagement which had been made and ratified by the united plaudits of the society.

In this quandary, it was requisite to act promptly and decidedly. I first thought of writing out my sermons in full, and committing them to memory. But I soon found that this course would make an exorbitant demand on my time. I could not master a manuscript sermon, so as to rehearse it with ease and correctness, without several mornings' study. My predecessor had a remarkable facility of memory in committing his own compositions. He spent the whole week, from Monday till Saturday afternoon, in out-door avocations. About dark, he drank strong tea, and then went into

his study. Between that hour and ten or eleven o'clock, he wrote down completely his sermon for the next morning. When finished, he read it once over very attentively, hefore retiring to rest. He rose very late Sabbath mornings. About an hour before the commencement of the services, he read his manuscript a second time, threw it under his feet, walked into the pulpit, and pronounced the discourse precisely as it was written, in tlie easy, flowing, unembarrassed manner of animated conversation. This anecdote I had from Dr. Davidson, an intimate friend, who was well acquainted with his habits. I have heard of one great American orator and statesman who can do the same thing—the Hon. Edward Everett, of Massachusetts.

Incapable of making such an effort, I was compelled to have recourse to some other mode of preparation. There was then in New Orleans one of the most eloquent lawyers of his day. I obtained, an introduction to him. In the course of conversation, I remarked, that as I was just beginning to speak in public, and experienced much difficulty in tlie process, I should be very much obliged if he would tell me what kind of previous preparation for delivering a speech he had found most effective. He replied, " I never speak without intense premeditation on my subject, unless compelled by some unforeseen exigencies. With respect to ideas, you cannot be too careful and accurate in your preparation ; but if you write down every word, and commit it to memory, (I have tried this once or twice,) you will overdo the matter, and render your discourse

heavy. In spite of yourself, it will appear stiff and unnatural, labored and cold. I am a very wicked man, but if I had to preach in your pulpit next Sabbath morning, I should select a subject to my taste, then make, as the lawyers call it, a brief o^ what I intended to say. This I should carry with me through the week, and during my leisure hours, even when walking along the streets, think closely on its divisions and subdivisions, till I had attained a full and distinct view of the matter which I wished to clothe in words, till I had become warm and interested in it, and made it perfectly familiar to my thoughts. Then I could enter your pulpit, and speak with fluency, earnestness, ease, and with the best ornaments of style, manner, and elocution, that my poor genius could command. What do you think of this plan of preparing sermons ? " he inquired.

" It strikes me as admirable," I answered, " If you will try it next Sunday," he added, " I will be present, and honestly give you my opinion of the character of your performances." I retired to my room, chose a subject, made a brief, and faithfully followed his directions, — with one exception, — I did not take it into the pulpit with me. He kept his word, and came to church on Sabbath morning. Meeting me after tlie services, he said, " Sir, your discourse was natural, easy, simple, and magnificent; you laid down sentence after sentence, and paragraph after paragraph, entirely fit for the press ; I did not noticcx tliat you tripped a single time, which you would have done, had you used a manuscript. You will make

an extemporaneous speaker quite as popular and brilliant as ever Mr. Larnecl was." This gentleman communicated to me what was worth more, as to the secret of speaking well in the pulpit, than all which I had lieard from the professors at Andover, or read in treatises on the subject.

The above plan I have followed sedulously all my life since. The first fifteen years of my residence in New Orleans, I was particular in writing my briefs. I had preserved a large basket full of them, which were all burned when I left the people of my charge, in May, 1856. For the last twenty years, I have made only mental preparation for the pulpit. Each of the sermons of mine publislied in the " Picayune " was written off from memory, at two sittings—one on the Sabbath evening after it was delivered, the other on Monday morning, before breakfast. Not one of those discourses was rewritten or revised.

I hope it will not look like presumption to give my opinion concerning a question which has been so extensively contested among the clergy, and remains still undecided — whether extemporizing or reading sermons is the most instructive and edifying mode of delivery. Surely I may be pardoned for expressing a judgment dictated by the results of thirty-five years' practice. I do not use the word extemporize to mean preaching without study, premeditation, and careful composition. It is an insult to an audience to go before them, if it can be avoided, relying entirely for utterance upon the spur of the occasion. AYhatever be his native genius, no clergyman can succeed as a settled pastor, without fixed habits of

the most persevering and energetic study. lie should rise at four o'clock A. M. in summer, and five A. M. in winter, so as to secure an opportunity of from live to six hours of uninterrupted study, before he is liable to be broken in upon by company, or by applicants for parochial ministrations. This routine I have faithfully piirsued dui'ing the whole of my residence at the south. Without such systematic, previous, regular application and toil, it is impossible for any clergyman to make suitable provisions for the spiritual nourishment and growth of a large promiscuous congregation.

Think what resources are wanted to preach even. one good sermon ; but a hundred are needed for a single year. AVho is sufficient for these things ? Can that man become adequately acquainted with the natural sciences; history, sacred and profane ; the Bible, its exegesis ; the science of human nature, of ethics, and of beauty, — can that man have a soul warmed and enriched with the profound and diversified topics wliich appertain to pulpit instruction and persuasion, who spends the most of nearly every day J!i visiting, running about to make lyceum speeches, and addresses at political meetings, in cursing our civil rulers, and scolding tliem about those awful derelictions of duty which threaten to ruin this glorious republic ? What a pity the parsons were not allowed to sway a sceptre over all human interests, secular and divine ! In that case, the millennium, no doubt, would soon be in its zenith.

Nevertheless, I am satisfied that if a minister consults his highest usefulness, he will not depend much

upon his notes in the pulpit. If he reads entirely or chiefly, ho cannot adopt an easy, natural, impressive, and unaffected manner. There is an infmite difference between written and spoken language. If I were to read to my people in New Orleans, from the pulpit, one of Dr. Channing's best sermons, it would strike them as cold, artificial, elaborate, dull, and uninteresting. Positively, it would have a narcotic effect upon them. But let me present the same tlioughts in the style of vivid, unforced, agreeable conversation, and they would be kept wide awake, absorbed, and intensely interested.

The most effective pulpit style which I have witnessed at the north (if we except occasional tedi-ousness, prolixity, and some other peculiarities,) is that of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, of Brooklyn, New York. In one part of his discourse, there is close reasoning; in another, familiar talk; in a third, grand declamation ; in a fourth, a fine, original picture of the imagination ; in a fifth, something that will send a laugh like an electric shock through the whole audience ; in a sixth, an appeal to the sublimities of God, duty, and retribution, which makes all present feel solemn, and moved perhaps to tears.

In some instances, all these difTerent manifestations are combined into a single paragraph. An orthodox " old fogy " would of course be shocked at one of his discourses, as it would seem to him utterly devoid of reverence, l)ut he could not go to sleep under its delivery. For myself, I cannot but honor and admire the man who, in defiance of all the

prudery and pedantry of church conventionalisms, enters the pulpit to pour out a Niagara of original thoughts on the great themes of Christian truth and duty, and social progress. I must say, however, that I have no sympathy with his peculiar views on slavery. Here I differ from him as far as the east is from the west. If all ministers, like Mr. Beecher, would abandon, but for an hour, their manuscripts, and speak in public as they do in private, we should not hear these universal complaints about cold, dead, dry, metaphysical sermons. But, generally, people would find the church a more interesting place than the opera, theatre, ball room, museum, or evening party.

A meeting of the society was called, on the third Sabbath after my arrival in New Orleans, to elect a permanent pastor. I was chosen to fill this office by a unanimous vote, both of the pew holders and communicants. I told the committee, who waited on me to ask my acceptance of the post to which I had been called, that I could not give them an answer till I had examined the pecuniary affairs of the church. The treasurer's books and papers were placed in my hands. By the aid of a young gentleman familiar with the routine of a counting room, I soon ascertained that the church indebtedness amounted to forty-five thousand dollars. They could show no assets whatever ; there was not a dollar in the treasury. As soon as these facts were ascertained, I informed the committee that I was immovably determined not to accept their offer at all, unless the above-named debt were in some way liquidated.

The legislature of Louisiana happened to be in session at that very moment. The trustees applied to them for a lottery, which was then considered a justifiable mode of raising money for charitable objects. It was granted at once, and the same week the scheme was sold to the agents of Yates and Mclntyre, New York, for twenty-five thousand dollars. The balance of the debt was raised by selling the church to Judah Touro, Esq., a merchant, originally from New England. The property was worth a great deal more than twenty thousand dollars. The sale of the church was looked upon as merely nominal, although it was purchased witliout any conditions, expressed or implied, or any pledges as to the final disposition which should be made of it. All had confidence in the general character of Mr. Touro, and were very glad to have the church put into his hands.

Mr. Touro was left an orphan about the age of ten, in his native place, Newport, R. I. After that time he lived in Boston fifteen years, and was trained to the pursuits of mercantile life. He immigrated to New Orleans in 1802, and never left it for a day till his death, with the single exception of marching to the battle field, at the time of the invasion, in 1815, to lay down his life, if necessary, (and he came near doing it,) for the preservation of our liberties. Did he not display a patriotism as noble and undaunted as that of Washington, Warren, Lafayette, or any others whose names are inscribed upon the brightest pages of American history ? It is universally known what sort of a place New Oideans has been, espe-

cially for the last forty years, with respect to sudden, extraordinary reverses and fluctuations in commercial affairs. In rapid succession the storms of distress have desolated that emporium, sweeping away like a crevasse, in a few short hours, the hopes and possessions of hundreds and thousands, and producing a complete revolution in the community. I have seen the millionnaire of one year laboring in the next as a clerk in a counting room or bank.

Through all these " times that tried men's souls," Mr. Touro pursued the even tenor of his way, ever calm and self-possessed, and with his robes unstained. The poisonous breath of calumny never breathed upon his fair name as a merchant and upright business man. The most tempting opportunities of gain from the shattered fortunes which were floating around, never caused him in a single instance to swerve from the path of plain, straightforward, simple, unbending rectitude. He was uniformly just. " Justice," says Plato, " is the divinest attribute of a good man." I heard Mr. Touro once remark, that, in his whole life, he had never knowingly, deliberately injured a fellow-being, either as to his person, property, or reputation. Of all the glories which men have displayed in any age, none is more entitled than this species of excellence to our unqualified admiration. None is more rare. I heard a deacon of an orthodox church, in the interior of New England, who was largely engaged in selling goods to the surrounding farmers, say, a short time ago, that he had to keep a strict eye even on a majority of the church members with whom he dealt, or they would