plete cessation of hostilities ; and by sound sleep we were recuperated, and awoke each morning ready for the struggles of another day." He then repeated the following stanza from Campbell: —

"' Our bugles sang triice, for the night-cloud had lowered, And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky, And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered, The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.'

" But this terrible conflict allows no truce. The enemy is as active at night as in the daytime. I have chartered a schooner, and shall be off with my family in a few moments. I have always had the reputation of being a man of nerve and courage. But you see now how pale and trembling I am. I can stand unblenching to receive the assault of sword, bayonet, musket or cannon balls; but this dark, unseen, infernal enemy makes me as feeble and timid as a child. I am afraid we shall be nabbed, some of us, at least, before we get into the pine woods. Farewell; I never expect to see you again."

But on his return at Christmas, he found me in good health, and learned, with surprise, that I liad not experienced a day's illness all the preceding summer. Though this man was not a member of any church, and rather sceptical in his religious tendencies, he became one of the firmest friends and supporters I ever had in New Orleans. He used to say, " Mr. Clapp, I neither know nor care any thing about your theology, but I know that there is something in your bosom that makes you intrepid in times of peril, disaster, darkness, and death. I know, sir,

that no array of terrors can drive you from the post of duty, and that, consequently, you are the very minister for New Orleans."

In addition, let the reader admit to his imagination another important particular, essential to even a distant and faint impression of the endurance allotted me in those " times that tried men's souls." The exercises of our minds in sleep and dreaming are determined, in a great measure, by the nature of our employments through the day. An agreeable day's work lays up a stock of delightful thoughts and sentiments for tlie silent, peaceful hours of the succeeding night. What, then, think you, must have been the images before my mind during that portion of each night, when an epidemic was prevailing, in which I attempted to sleep ? As to perfectly sound, dreamless sleep, it was almost a total stranger to me. Under the most favorable circumstances, I could only doze; and the various sights, horrors, and shudderings of the previous day, or week, or month were constantly passing in review before mc. In those disturbed hours I often talked aloud, or prayed over and soothed and encouraged the dying sufferer. At anotlier time I would pronounce a soliloquy in view of some broken-down, scathed, and ■ bereaved widow, with her fatherless children, and earnestly supplicate the blessing of Heaven in their behalf. If I had seen during the day an uncommonly severe 'case of agonizing and dying, the terrific image haunted me without intermission for a long time, awake or sleeping. Perhaps there is no acute disease actually less painful than

yellow fever, although there is none more shocking and repulsive to the beholder. Often I have met and shook hands with some blooming, handsome young man to-day, and in a few hours afterwards, I have been called to see him in the black vomit, with profuse hemorrhages from the mouth, nose, ears, eyes, and even the toes; the eyes prominent, glistening, yellow, and staring ; the face discolored with orange color and dusky red.

The physiognomy of the yellow fever corpse is usually sad, sullen, and perturbed ; the countenance dark, mottled, livid, swollen, and stained with blood and black vomit; the veins of the face and whole body become distended, and look as if they were going to burst; and though the heart has ceased to beat, the circulation of the blood sometimes continues for liours, quite as active as in life. Think, reader, what it must be to have one's mind wholly occupied with such sights and scenes for weeks together ; nay, more — for months, for years, for a whole lifetime even. Scarcely a night passes now, in which my dreams are not haiinted more or less by the distorted faces, the shrieks, the convulsions, the groans, the struggles, and the horrors which I witnessed thirty-five years ago. They come up before my mind's eye like positive, absolute realities. I awake, rejoicing indeed to find that it is a dream; but there is no more sleep for me that night. No arithmetic could compute the diminution of my happiness, for the last forty years, from this single source. Setting aside another and better world to come, I would not make such a sacrifice as

one. epidemic demands, for all the fame, pleasures, and gold of earth. What, then, will you think of twenty ?

A clergyman said to me not long since," You have indeed had a terrible time in New Orleans. You will be rewarded for it some time or other, but not here^ not here. A suitable remuneration awaits you in the kingdom of God, beyond the grave."

I shocked my friend exceedingly by saying, " I neither expect any such remuneration nor desire it. I have had my reward already. Virtue is its own reward. I am no more entitled to a seat in heaven for all I have done, (supposing my motives to have been holy,) than the veriest wretch that ever expiated his crimes on the gallows." I repeat it, every person who does his duty receives a perfect recompense this side the grave. He can receive nothing afterwards, except upon the platform of mercy. For the good deeds done in the body, there is no heaven but upon earth. When will Christian ministers learn this fundamental truth of the gospel ?

" The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy, Is virtue's prize: a better would you fix ? Then give humility a coach and six, Justice a conqueror's sword, or truth a gown, Or public spirit its great cure — a cro\vn."

In my efforts and struggles in New Orleans, I cannot presume to say that duty was always uppermost in my mind. Duty is to me an important, but a cold word. Yet I can assert, unqualifiedly, that I was not actuated by selfish, mercenary considerations— by any regard to the advantages of earth

and time. I did but follow the impulses of my nature. I love my fellow-beings, and when I see them in want, pain, sickness, and destitution, I fly to their relief because I cannot help it any more than water can help running downwards, or fire can help burning. . I deserve neither praise nor reward for acting in this manner. It is but a necessary carrying out of those spiritual principles which God has given me, and the very exercise of which is heaven itself— is the " divinity stirring within my soul." The persons who speak of Christians as not being fully rewarded in this life, it seems to me, have yet to learn the alphabet of revealed religion.

Again, during these seasons of trial, there is a constant drain on one's sympathies, which does not operate to lower or dry up their current, but to make it constantly more deep and rapid. It is often said that the power of sympathy is blunted and benumbed by familiarity, and being frequently exercised in the same way. This opinion has been expressed by the great Dr. Paley, of England, a divine whose defective powers of sensibility and imagination rendered him utterly incompetent to discuss many of the most interesting topics belonging to our spiritual nature. My own experience testifies that the oftener a professional man, either a physician or a clergyman, witnesses the distress and pain of a fellow-being, the greater will be his sympathy for suffering. As a general fact, the old physician has a much larger stock of tenderness than that with which he began his professional career. The medical gentlemen of New Orleans are to a remarkable

degree humane, sympathetic, and charitable. Every picture of woe and agony which experience has hung up in the gallery of their memories has added to the nobleness of their hearts.

But it is said that increase of sympathy is of course increase of happiness. I doubt the truth of this proposition. To sympathize, in cases of distress and misfortune, is to have a correspondent feeling of pain experienced by another. I have often seen a man come into a room where his intimate friend was dying of the yellow fever, and in one minute after reaching his bedside, turn pale, faint, and become violently affected with nausea and vomiting. I have seen the mother repeatedly go into convulsions at the sight of spasms in her beloved child. I might mention instances of this kind to an indefinite extent. Is such sympathy a source of happiness ? To be sure, this part of our nature is divine, and prompts us to deeds of magnanimity, of heroic sacrifice. And a magnanimous, self-sacrificing mind is happy, compared with one that is coarse, selfish, and unfeeling. Yet sympathy with sufferers is in every instance a painful emotion. A physician once said to me, " I had some time to sleep last night, but was kept awake by a painful remembrance of the agonizing scenes I beheld yesterday afternoon.'-'

I will illustrate the position of a minister in New Orleans with regard to this matter, by relating a single item of my own experience. I was called one afternoon to attend the funeral of a gentleman who died of the yellow fever. He was a total stranger to

me. I bad never heard of liim in his life. I was introduced to the widow, who was sitting in the same room with the corpse. She had the stare, the ghastly face, and wild expression of a maniac. I tried to speak some fitting words to her. I said, " Madam, it is our privilege to be assured that whatever befalls us in this life, however cruel and mysterious it may appear, is the ordination of God, and is consequently intended to subserve our happiness." At this point, she interrupted me, saying, with loud, excited tones of voice, " Do not speak to me of a God or Providence. Behold that corpse," (pointing to the remains of her deceased husband.) " If there was a good God controlling human affairs, he would not have robbed me of my children first, and then taken away my husband — the only stay, prop, and support left me on earth." I could say nothing more. After a very short service, the funeral procession moved off. A gentleman who lived next door to the deceased rode with me in the same carriage to the cemetery.

From him I learned the little that was known of the history of the deceased. He arrived in New Orleans the last of May, three months before his death, perfectly destitute ; he obtained a situation that yielded him a bare competence, by obligating himself to stay the whole year in the city. The epidemic broke out. He was a man of honor, and would not leave his post. He had two interesting children, a son and daughter, who died but a few days before him. The widow was left .without a dollar, and had not a single female acquaintance to 17

sympathize with her. On my return from tlie funeral, I called at the house to see her again, hoping by that time she would be more tranquil, I found her lying on a mattress, in the same room where her husband had expired. Slie herself had just been seized with the yellow fever. There was one hired servant in the house, and a colored nurse, who were preparing to leave immediately, because they had not been paid for their services. I assumed the debt which they alleged was due, and persuaded them to remain till the lady died or recovered. They said there were no provisions in the house, no fuel, and no comforts. I gave them enough to carry them through the night, promising the amplest remuneration for the future, if they would but faithfully take care of the sick woman. On my way home, I called a physician to her aid.

When I saw her early next morning, she was exceedingly ill. Finding that there was nobody to do any thing for her but myself, I started off at once on a begging tour, for my own means were exhausted. After running two or three hours in a blazing sun, I obtained the requisite assistance. At that time there were no Howard societies, no benevolent organizations, in the city. There was no concerted action with respect to objects of charity, but every thing was left to-the spontaneous generosity of individuals. Yet, when I reported that a family was in want, it was easy to procure the needed aid, by giving my personal attention to the matter. But this took up a vast deal of my time. To the credit of New Orleans be it said, that her inhabitants have

always been munificent in their donations for the relief of the sick and indigent.

This unfortunate lady, after a most severe attack, became convalescent. The hand of charity paid all her expenses — house rent, servants' hire, undertaker's bills, &c., till the return of autumn. Then a sufficient sum was raised to send her, with the remains of her husband and children, to her distant relatives. I mention this incident, not as any thing extraordinary; it was with me an every-day occurrence. But it may serve to show what kind of happiness accrues from the exercise of Christian sympathy. There is certainly something in it superior to mere selfishness. I have kept myself in a state of pauperism by benefactions of the kind above named. My charities for thirty-five years, in New Orleans, were not less, on an average, than one hundred dollars a month, or forty-two thousand dollars in sum total. And this was expended upon persons abject, poor, unknown, and unhonored, who could make no return except that of a thankful heart.

The moral history of the lady I have been speaking of is so interesting, that I cannot pass it by entirely unnoticed. When restored to health, she became very much attached to me, and very communicative. Her intellect was of the highest order, and her reading extensive. In person she was not beautiful. But she, as well as her late husband, was a confirmed sceptic. On a certain time, she said, " My own history is sufficient proof that there is no God. I look back upon a life of unintcrmitted sorrow and disappointment. I married against my

parents' consent, and they disowned me. My husband became a bankrupt, and at last we immigrated here to retrieve our shattered fortune.

" You know the sequel. I often say to myself, ' "Why did I not die in infancy ? Why was it that I have been subjected to the terrible, crushing burdens of such an adverse lot ? Now I have neither husband, nor children, nor family, nor means, and no friend to help me, except yourself. Let the fortunate praise their kind Creator; but I am a wretch doomed to eat the bread of a bitter and neglected lot — to walk sadly and alone through this cold, unkind, uncongenial world, till permitted to enter upon the repose of the tomb.' " By conversation and the help of appropriate books, I endeavored to inspire her with higher, more ennobling, and more cheering sentiments ; with what success will appear -from a passage in a letter which she wrote to me some years afterwards. In the succeeding winter she returned to her native place, taking along with her the remains of her husband and children. She was kindly received by her relatives, contrary to her anticipations, and became comparatively a happy and a truly pious woman.

Slie wrote me many times after her departure, but is now an inhabitant of the spirit world. In one of her last letters she recorded the following words : " Suffering has humbled my pride and softened my heart. I remember when you first told me that human life was not intended to be a scene of enjoyment, but a school of discipline, where, by a series of trials and instructions, the higher and

nobler capacities, which the Creator has implanted in the soul, might be developed and brought into activity. I now look upon the losses which I sustained in New Orleans as in reality the greatest blessings. Had my husband and myself lived there till we had become prosperous and wealthy, free from trouble, I should never have known that there was any higher good than the pleasures of time and sense.

" But now I behold and commune with an infinite Father. I no longer look upon my existence as a mystery, a curse, or a misfortune ; but I feel that each passing day spreads before me glorious opportunities to be improved, and glorious forms of happiness to be enjoyed. My health is feeble, and the physicians have pronounced me to be in a hopeless decline. Yet I am happy, and take much exercise abroad. My family bestow upon me every possible kindness and attention. Every pleasant evening I walk to the cemetery, and linger, till the setting of the sun, around the tombs of my husband and children. I have no doubts, no fears, no despondency. The graves of those I love are upon the summit of a beautiful hill. From this spot I look out upon the calm splendors of the departing day ; the golden and azure beauty of the skies, with the inspiring faitli that beyond them are those brighter regions, where I shall soon meet the true, good, and beautiful whom I have lost, to be separated from them no more. Under God, you were instrumental in bringing me out of darkness into the light of a pure and happifying faith." I could relate instances of a 17*

similar description, sufficient to fill a volume. And I have referred to the subject simply to enable the reader to form a faijit idea of the peculiar scenes in which my professional life has been passed.

But imagine what was, usually, my condition after the termination of an epidemic. Health reigns again throughout the city ; absentees, with strangers, are rushing back in crowds. The weather is as charming as that of paradise. All is stir, bustle, cheerfulness, gayety, and hope. Were one unacquainted with New Orleans, to drop in upon us at this moment, he would conclude that we were among the happiest of communities. No hearses are seen wending their way to the burying grounds. The doctors are comparatively at leisure. The posts of employment, made vacant by the recent mortality, are soon filled by strangers, as young, ardent, hopeful, and sanguine as were their predecessors, and destined, most of them, to share the same fate. But there is one class of persons whose hands and attention are still occupied by the melancholy duties devolved upon them by the epidemic which has just closed.

The work of the clergyman, occasioned by this visitation, is protracted through the succeeding winter, the year, and perhaps many succeeding years. Poor families, in greater or less numbers, have been left destitute and dependent. They have none to look to but the minister, who stood by, in the dark hojir, to pray, soothe, and support them, when their beloved husbands and children were consigned to the grave. They conclude, as they ought to do, that

" pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is, to visit the widow and the fatherless in their affliction." Though entire strangers, simply because I was with them in the season of sorrow and bereavement, they would come to me for counsel and aid, with as much confidence as if I had been a brother by the ties of natural affinity. I was regarded as the common friend and benefactor of the unhappy of every age, church, character, clime, and complexion. I have labored as much for those belonging to Orthodox and Catholic societies as for poor heretics and outsiders. I have always felt that any one who could say, " I am a man," had a sacred and imperative claim to my sympathies and kind interposition. Neither God nor mortality hath any respect of persons.

From Monday morning to Saturday night this class of sufferers used to besiege my doors, and draw upon my pecuniary resources. Young children had places provided for them in asylums, or private families. Older boys, of a suitable age, were apprenticed to some merchant, mechanic, or planter. But there is a great demand for such situations after an epidemic is over. There is often much difficulty in obtaining them. I could not tell how many weeks I have spent in hunting patrons for fatherless, forsaken, indigent boys. Tlien the widows were to be taken care of, and their wants, taste, capacity, and even whims could not be disregarded. Some had never been trained to any useful employment whatever, and had not the requisite skill to use the needle. What could be done for them ? Why, they

would tell me that they were able to manage a boarding house in excellent style, and there was one close by which they could procure, if they had only two or three hundred dollars to start with. Mr. Somebody would advance the funds, if I would be so kind as to indorse a note for them.

The note is executed ; the establishment is opened under apparently favorable auspices. But, in the space of a few months, through mismanagement, it fails, and to prevent being protested, I have the note to pay. The lady, then, perhaps, finds a second husband, and embarks once more upon the dangerous sea of matrimony. In a short time, she comes to me with some doleful story of maltreatment and desertion, and wishes me to put her upon the way of obtaining a divorce. Another, Avho had an excellent situation in a good family as a seamstress, had some misunderstanding with the lady of the house, and she has resolved not to live there another day. She modestly asks me to get another place for her, and she expects me to attend to it without.delay.

A third walks into my study when I am absorbed in meditating a discourse for the next day, and informs me that the man to whom I lately married her, and who seemed to be the very pink of morality, is not as good as he ought to be—is quite lati-tudinarian, indolent, and intemperate in his habits. The landlord threatens to turn her out of doors, unless the rent is paid before sundown. To prevent this catastrophe, she wants a loan of twenty dollars, which she will certainly return some day next week.

She obtains her request, and has hardly left the room before a fourth calls, to let me know that her son, for whom I got a place in a certain store, warehouse, or counting room, is overworked, besides being subjected to indignities which his father would not allow him to submit to an hour, if he were alive. His month is out, and she is determined that he shall never set his foot in that establishment again. It would be better for him to be in his grave than longer to endure such ill usage.

She is succeeded by a fifth visitor, who, addressing me with much warmth and a look of upbraiding, says, " You, sir, recommended a certain family as the best and safest place for my daughter in the whole city. But she is not only made a menial of, instead of being treated as one of the daughters, but the gentleman who, you said, was so pious, meeting her yesterday alone, offered her a gross insult; and I have taken her home that she might not be absolutely ruined."

In this way I am, perhaps, interrupted all Saturday morning, till the hour for dining has arrived. Next day, in all probability, the weather will be delight' ful, and I shall have to speak to a large audience, and among them will be many strangers of distinction, who have lately arrived ; I am entirely unprepared. These thoughts weigh heavily upon my mind, and make me sick. I am so nervous that I can neither cat nor sleep till the labors of the Sabbath are over.

Heaven have mercy upon a clergyman incessantly molested by trials and importunities like these.

They make tlio salubrious months of the winter almost as undesirable as the preceding autumn, which was so saddened with pestilence and death. When a man is buried, he can trouble you no more ; but these survivors of the conflict may follow you to your grave.

Yet these imfortunate persons are not to be blamed for the course they tak-e. They can do no better, as a general fact. Upon every principle of honor and religion, the community is bound to take care of them. In New Orleans this, obligation is recognized. A few years ago some cliaritable ladies belonging to the different religious denominations of the city, Protestant and Catholic, started an institution called the Widows' Home. It was fostered by benevolent individuals, and by the legislature of the state. Dr. ]\tercer, formerly of Natchez, Mississippi, but now of New Orleans, a man not only of wealth, but munificence, — another Poydras, Touro, or Lawrence,— has taken this establishment under his especial patronage. He has already bestowed on it fifty thousand dollars, and is prepared to increase his benefactions, if they shall be needed. This gentleman lias higher and nobler aims than to make his fortune merely subservient to his physical enjoyment— to the throwing around him, in the greatest superfluity, the luxuries and refinements of genteel life. He gives bountifully to churches, schools, missions, almshouses, and other institutions. He does all that becomes the opulent friend and helper of humanity to elevate it in knowledge and virtue, and animate it with hopes of a more glorious destiny hereafter.

The two most fatal yellow fevers which I have witnessed were those of 1837 and 1853. In tlie former year there were ten thousand cases of fever reported, and five thousand deaths. The epidemic broke out about the middle of August, and lasted eight weeks. This is the greatest mortality wliich was ever known in the United States, if we except that which occurred in the cliolera of New Orleans, October, 1832. The year 1837 is memorable for the introduction of what is called the quinine practice. It is now, I am told by the physicians, generally abandoned. By some persons abroad, our doctors have been much blamed for thinking to overcome the yellow fever by the above-named medicine. For myself, I do not wonder that they made such an attempt. It had been recommended by the most celebrated practitioners in the West Indies, and in other tropical regions. New Orleans has always been blessed with the most learned, skilful, and competent physicians; but they are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. The cause of yellow fever is to this day a profound mystery. It has been said that this is a true but humiliating confession by Dr. Dow-ler, of New Orleans. I quote from an article of his, published in the New Orleans Directory in 1854: —

" Heat, rain, moisture, swamps, vegeto-animal decomposition, contagion, and numerous other alleged causes are altogether inadeqxiate and unsatisfactory. This might be shown by travelling over hundreds of inconclusive and contradictory volumes, filled with special pleadings, diluted logic, theoretical biases, and irrelevant facts.

" It is most certainly the duty of every writer on yellow fever to explain the cause of it, if he can ; but it is equally his duty not to sin against the decalogue of logic, any more than against the decalogue of Moses. Fortunately, the conditions, if not the causes, of yellow fever are to a considerable extent known. For example, it is known to be connected — no matter how — with the warm season of the year, with unacclimated constitutions, with aggregations of people in towns and villages, &c. It rarely attacks rural populations unless they crowd together so as to become virtually towns.

" A correct appreciation of these conditions is next in importance to the discovery of the cause of yellow fever. Probably the former may prove, after all, the more important; for the discovery of the cause by no means warrants the conclusion that it is necessarily a removable or remedial one. The seeds of plants taken from Egyptian mummies contain the vital principle after the lapse of thousands of years, and will grow when the proper conditions shall be present, as heat, moisture, and earth, while the vital cause is in the plant. It is, therefore, a fundamental error to require a writer to explain the ens epi-demicum, or to receive the alleged doctrine of contagion as the only alternative, when he cannot show what the cause is.

"It is better to acknowledge ignorance than to advocate an error. It is better to keep a question of this sort open, tlian dogmatically to close it against investigation. In the former case, the truth may be discovered ; in the last, never. To knoiv ignorance is

preferable to ignorance of ignorance. To know that as yet we do not know, is the first step to be taken. Despair is not philosophical. The possible who can limit ? If the cause of yellow fever has not been discovered, it may yet be; and when discovered, it may, or may not, be controllable. If it should never be discovered, any more than the cause that produces on the same soil a poisonous and a nutritive plant, it is probable that at least its essential laws and conditions may be ascertained, so as to afford advantages and protection equal to those derivable from the knowledge of its true cause. All the lessons of philosophy teach that yellow fever has a cause, without which it cannot appear, and with which it cannot fail to appear. Its antecedents and sequences must prove, when known, as invariably connected and simple as any part of physics.

" The diversity of opinion on this subject among the learned is wonderful. Dr. Rush and others affirm that the plague left London as soon as coal was introduced into the city as fuel. Now, the part of New Orleans most severely afflicted with yellow fever in 1853 was in the neighborhood of the foun-deries, where vast quantities of coal were used. Sometimes the firing of artillery in the streets and public squares has been followed by the retreat of the epidemic ; at other times it has added an impetus to its march, as the eating of a salt herring was once followed by the recovery of a Frenchman and the death of an Englishman. The same is true of tar-burning. Milk, coffee, London porter, and various other articles have sometimes cured the black vomit, 18

at others they only helped on the disease. A process which has cured the yellow fever one year, the very next will destroy all the patients."

Consequently, when an epidemic sets in, the physicians are in a quandary. They begin, perhaps, with medicine that was most efficacious in a former year; but it kills rather than cures. In this case what can they do ? They must practise empirically. It is inevitable. They must travel blindfold, in a great measure. If they knew the cause of the complaint, they could apply medicines with skill and success, and avoid painful, and often most fatal mistakes. I have always sympathized with the physicians in New Orleans. Their duties in a sickly season are most arduous and responsible. Often have I seen them in a few weeks reduced to their beds by anxiety, toil, watchings, and disappointment; and multitudes, instead of thanking them, have cursed them, because they did not at once expel the epidemic from the city, which they could no more control than they could raise the dead.

Lately, our physicians have repudiated the use of drastic medicines in the treatment of this disease. They rely upon gentle remedies, the keeping up a constant perspiration by rubbing, and various external applications. The system of therapeutics at present adopted in New Orleans, with respect to diseases in general, approximates, in many particulars, to that prescribed by the homoeopathic faculty. It is certainly much more successful than tlie practice which was prevalent some years ago. In one of the earlier epidemics, I saw a physician, in his first

visit to a patient, who had been ill but four hours, take from him, by the lancet, fifty ounces of blood at one time. The sick man was bled till he fainted. He then ordered him to swallow, at once, three hundred grains of calomel and gamboge. So the physician himself testified. This sort of practice now would be regarded as certainly inevitably destructive of life.

In May, 1858, I went to Boston, Nahant, and Niagara, for my health. When at the Falls, I heard, by the telegraph and private letters, that the yellow fever had again become epidemic in New Orleans. This was in the warmest weather of July. Leaving my family, I immediately hurried home by the most expeditious route. I went in a steamer to Charleston, thence by railroad to Montgomery, on the Alabama River. From that place I took the mail route to Mobile, and reached the levee in about one week from New York. I was put out at the depot just before daylight.

This is on tha banks of the river, about a mile from the centre of the city. Whilst waiting to get my baggage, I could smell the offensive effluvium that filled the atmosphere for miles around, resembling that which arises from putrefying animal or vegetable matter. As I rode upwards towards the heart of the city, I became quite ill, and on rcacliing my residence was seized with fainting and vomiting. I took a bath, and was partially relieved. I then ordered some tea and toast, intending to spend the next twenty-four hours in my room, for I was completely overcome by fatigue and want of sleep. But the

hackney coachman knew me, and, contrary to his promise, spread the news of my arrival.

Before I had time to change my apparel, I was called on for professional services. In about one hour after entering my domicile, I left it to breathe the pestilence of a sick room. Here I found a physician, who was one of my parishioners and intimate friends. He exclaimed, " I am very sorry to see you here. I did not suppose that you could commit sucli an imprudent act as to come directly from tlie salubrious regions of New England into this cliarnel house, this receptacle of plague and death. It will cost you your life." From that day forward till November, I was enabled to attend to my duties every day. I was not seriously ill for an hour.

At this time, the city was full of moisture. It had been raining more or less every day for two months. And this falling weather lasted till the 20th of September. Some medical gentlemen thought that tlie severity of the epidemic was owing to the excessive rains of that summer. But the constant showers washed the gutters every day, and kept them clean. Besides, immense quantities of lime were strewed along the streets, yards, and squares, the exhalations from which were supposed to be antiseptic. It is a curious fact, that in 1837 the season was remarkably cool, clear, and dry. The weather resembled that of the so-called Indian summer. Yet the pestilence was never more destructive. And this very year, the fever was as virulent in the balmy, delightful weather of October, as it had been in the preceding rainy months. I judge, therefore, that the yellow

fever is not affected, one way or the other, by meteorological changes.

On the day of my arrival, it rained incessantly from morning till night. In the space of twelve hours, the interments were over three hundred. The same day, I visited two unacclimated families belonging to my own church, who were all down with the plague. In these families were nine persons ; but two of them survived. I knew a large boarding house for draymen, mechanics, and humble operatives, from which forty-five corpses were borne away in thirteen days. A poor lady of my acquaintance kept boarders for a livelihood. Her family consisted of eight unacclimated persons. Every one of them died in the space of three weeks.

Six unacclimated gentlemen, intelligent, refined, and strictly temperate, used to meet once a week, to enjoy music, cheering conversation, and innocent amusements. They had been told that it was a great safeguard, in a sickly summer, to keep up good spirits, and banish from their minds dark and melancholy thoughts. They passed a certain evening together in health and happiness. In precisely one week from that entertainment, five of them were gathered to the tomb. One of the most appalling features of the yellow fever is the rapidity with which it accomplishes its mission.

There is some difficulty in arriving at the true statistics touching the epidemic of 1853. It was supposed by the best informed physicians that there were fifty or sixty thousand unacclimated persons in New Orleans when the epidemic began, about the 18*

1st of July. From that time to the 1st of November, the whole number of deaths reported were ten thousand and three hundred. Of these, eight thousand died of the yellow fever. The physicians estimated that thirty-two thousand of those attacked this year were cured. Of course, if this calculation be true, the whole number of cases in 1853 was forty thousand.

The horrors and desolations of this epidemic cannot be painted ; neither can they be realized, except by those who have lived in New Orleans, and have witnessed and participated in similar scenes. Words can convey no adequate idea of them. In some cases, all the clerks and agents belonging to mercantile establishments were swept away, and the stores closed by the civil authorities. Several entire families were carried off—parents, children, servants, all. Others lost a quarter, or a third, or three fourths of their members, and their business, hopes, and happiness were blasted for life. The ravages of the destroyer were marked by more woful and affecting varieties of calamity than were ever delineated on the pages of romance. Fifteen clergymen died that season — two Protestant ministers and thirteen Roman Catholic priests.

They were strangers to the climate, but could not be frightened from their posts of duty. The word fear was not in their vocabulary. Four Sisters of Cliarity wore laid in tlieir graves, and several others were brought to the point of death. It is painful to dwell on these melancholy details, but it may suggest profitable trains of thought. Set before your imagi-

nations a picture of forty thousand persons engaged in a sanguinary battle, in which ten thousand men are killed outright. One thousand persons will fill a large church. Suppose ten congregations, of this number each, were to be assembled for worship in Boston, on the 1st day of July, 1858, and that on the first day of the following November, in the short space of four months, all should be numbered with the dead. This mortality would be no more awful than that which I have witnessed in the Crescent City.

In a letter which was written by myself to the Rev. Thomas Whittemore, September, 1853, are the following lines: " Let us look for a moment at a rainbow of beauty spanning this dark cloud of pestilence. During the past season of gloom and affliction, the inhabitants of New Orleans have displayed a degree of heroism, a power of philanthropy, to me absolutely unparalleled. Families of wealth and ease, instead of going over to the delightful watering places in this vicinity, on the sea shore, to enjoy themselves, have passed the whole summer in the city, and devoted their days and nights to the taking care of poor, stricken-down, forlorn strangers, who had no claims to their charities but the ties of our common humanity. I know one gentleman and lady in independent circumstances, who have had under their charge, in the course of the summer, as many as thirty poor families, and all strangers to them. These they have taken as good care of as if they had been of their own kith and kin. Such things have been common all over the city, and in all

classes of our heterogeneous population. The members of the Howard Association have achieved miracles of benevolence. I hesitate not to say, that this city, in the late fearful visitation, has given to the world an example of Christian philanthropy as lofty as can be found in the records of all time. I have often thought, that if our northern brethren could have been in New Orleans the past summer, they would no longer entertain a doubt but that a slaveholder may be a Christian — the highest type of man, the 7iobIest ivork of God. Every means which ingenuity could devise or benevolence suggest has been employed to avert and mitigate the evils of the plague. More than two hundred children have been made orphans, and the ladies within and around the city are making clothes for them, and doing every thing possible to promote their welfare.

" Another thing which has deeply impressed my heart is, the northern sympathy which has been displayed towards New Orleans, notwithstanding the people of the free states are so widely separated from us, in opinion and feeling, with respect to the subject of slavery. Laying prejudice and antipathies aside, they have shown that divine benevolence which disdains all the limits dictated by selfishness, and looks upon every human being within its reach as having a sacred and imperative claim to its kind offices. What more could have been done for us than has been done ? I should like to shake hands with Mr. Gerritt Smith, and thank him with all my heart for his munificent subscription for the relief of the sufferers in our late epidemic. And Boston, the me^

tropolis of my native state, has given for us, I believe, a larger amount, in proportion to her population, than any other city. Massachusetts should be the first in all noble and illustrious charities, as she is confessedly preeminent in the glories of science, social refinement, and pure religion." Such were my impressions of these scenes, which were committed to writing at the time they occurred, in the autumn of 1853.

Thucydides has bequeathed to us a tragic and striking description of a plague which, in his day, took place at Athens. He tells us that demoralization raged there equally with the epidemic — that all the ties of friendship, of affinity, of moral responsi-bleness, of honor and religion were dissolved. All the refinements of civilized life, according to his statement, were swept away by a deluge of licentiousness— wild, frantic excesses, neglect of the sick and dying, the plunder of houses, murder, and other atrocities too awful to mention. The narratives of the plagues which have prevailed in Europe in modern periods contain similar statements. Are they credible ? If so, then it is certain that mankind are infinitely better now than they were in the olden times.

In the epidemics which I have witnessed, instead of unusual depravity, an extraordinary degree of benevolence has prevailed, shedding a heavenly light upon the dark scenes of the sick room, the deathbed, the coffin, the funeral, &c. Yet, with respect to this subject, New Orleans has been most shamefully misrepresented. In the summer of 1824, an English

officer came into our city on his way from Jamaica, West Indies. He was an intrepid, well-informed, interesting man, and was induced to visit New Orleans simply to gratify his curiosity. It ha])pened that he came to our church one Sunday morning; after the services, I had the honor of making his acquaintance. He said he was glad to be with us in days of mourning, disaster, and death, for he wished to become acquainted with all the phases of suffering humanity, and had much rather see New Orleans in the sickly season than in the healthy period of winter. He accompanied one of our physicians to the Charity Hospital, and walked with him through all the yellow fever wards. He used no precautions, and seemed to be entirely s\iperior to fear. We admired his courage, equanimity, and gentlemanly bearing. After a fortnight's sojourn, he left us in good health.

On his return to England, his travels in the United States that summer were published. A copy of the work fell into my hands. In turning to that portion of the book descriptive of his experiences among us during the time just mentioned, I was astonished at the assertion, that New Orleans, in the midst of a dreadful epidemic, was full of merriment, intemperance, and gayety. He says the sick were neglected and abandoned; that crowds rushed every night to balls, operas, and theatrical amusements; and that intoxicated persons were often seen uttering profane and ribald language when employed in burying the dead — in performing the last sad offices which humanity calls for. Words more false, defamatory, and

unjust could not be written. Similar fictions are propagated in our northern cities concerning New Orleans every time an epidemic prevails there. Yet the fact is, that in the darkest days its inhabitants have deported themselves nobly, and recognized the sacred claims of religion and humanity. Many of these libels are circulated in letters professedly written by persons who were eye and ear witnesses of the scenes which they described.

It seems to give some men peculiar delight to depreciate and vilify human nature. It is easy to be severe, harsh, satirical, and disparaging in commenting on the behavior of our fellow-beings. But no one was ever too charitable in his views of other men — their motives, principles, character, or conduct. It has been my lot, for the last forty years, to reside in what are reputed to be the worst places in the civilized world ; yet to this day I have not met a person so hardened, so brutal, as to be capable of treating with indifference, neglect, or levity, the suffering forms of humanity within his reach. In New Orleans, I have been often struck with admiration to see persons in the lowest walks of life making every possible sacrifice of time, ease, and money in attending on the sick, soothing the dying, and providing tombs and a decent burial for those who were absolute strangers, and utterly destitute. I go so far as to say, that I have never, in a single instance, seen poor and wicked people (as they are called) declining to perform all the offices of charity in their power to the ill and distressed around them. This most terrible form of sin has sometimes, perhaps,

been manifested in the higher circles of humanity. I have never behekl it even there.

When I hear liuman nature run down, — prayed, preached, or talked against, — I feel that it amounts to a virtual impeachment of God's own perfections. It is but a depreciation, a slandering of his own glorious work. I have witnessed noble and disinterested actions among all classes of mankind, not excepting the rudest and most vulgar. I knew a woman, herself impoverished, and so ignorant that she did not understand the meaning of the phrase " self-sacrificing benevolence^'' take a sick child from an adjoining house, whose father and mother had just died of the yellow fever, and watch over it till worn out with fatigue and anxiety, without the slightest hope of any reward, and when even her own children were dependent upon her daily labor for subsistence. I saw much of this woman, on whom the proud and fashionable, perhaps, would look only with contempt. She was faithful, sincere, truth-loving — the just, conscientious, generous friend of the poor, cast down, forgotten, and suffering, who could make no return for her kind doings. Yet she had never been a member of any church, and could not read her Bible.

I have seen poor young men, standing on the vestibule of mercantile life, close their stores, suspend all business, give their days and their nights, their toil and their money, to the relief of sick, indigent, and helpless strangers, from whom they could neither wish nor hope for the smallest remuneration. I have known them to carry on this work of charity,

till their health was -unclermined, and their lives were offered up as a sacrifice on the altar of philanthropy. And these persons were not members of any Christian church. What is religion, or philosophy, falsely so called, arrayed against such facts as these ?

I was once at Niagara when a man was carried over the falls. For fifteen long hours he clung to a log jutting out from between the rocks in the middle of the cataract. Thousands were spectators of the awful scene. What was their conduct ? The sufferer was a mere youth, about twenty years of age, one of the laborers engaged in excavating a canal, — a foreigner, without a relative near, — in the humblest possible condition and circumstances; yet the multitude looking on wrung their hands, sighed, struggled, and wept, as if he were united to them by the tenderest ties of affinity and love. What efforts were made for his deliverance ? Had it been practicable, almost any sum of money might have been raised to effect his rescue. For what ? Because his life, on selfish principles, was of the least value to any person present ? A gentleman from the Southern States offered a reward of one thousand dollars to any individual who would suggest a feasible plan for saving him. Shame on the traducers of man's lieaven-descended nature. They simply felt that the sufferer belonged to the great brotherhood of humanity. This was the secret of their excitement, their sympathy, their tears, and labors for his salvation.

Now, during the prevalence of an epidemic, the people of New Orleans act in the same way. They 19

are in the highest degree earnest, excited, serious, anxious, ready, one and all, to pour out their treasures and their hearts' blood, if it could avail, to save the victims of disease from the jaws of destruction.

The pulpit, literature, })hilosophy, and even poetry, lend their combined influence in helping on the work of misrepresenting and blackening the glorious traits of our holy nature. The preacher sometimes tells us that there is no real goodness outside of the church. Who were the three hundred men that laid down their lives at the Straits of Thermopylas, to vindicate the liberties of their native land ? Who were the thousands that have labored, toiled, and died, in New Orleans, in the cause of benevolence ? What estimate would be formed of their characters, if they were tried by the line, square, and compass of the Westminster Catechism ? Call up from the mists and shadows of l^ygone ages those noble and sublime forms, those right, enlarged, generous, philanthropic men, who poured out their lives for the common weal. These men, in our day, would not, on examination as to their creed, be admitted to the communion of any Orthodox church. No, nor would the Son of God himself. The church has done more to propagate mean conceptions of human nature than all the other influences which have tended to corrupt, darken, and debase our misguided race.

1 repeat it, our books of travel, our history, poetry, romance, — the entire body of our literature,— newspapers, reviews, works on political economy, &c., all aid the pulpit in undervaluing and carica-

turing human nature. I have never seen a letter, published in the northern religious newspapers, purporting to be a picture of the moral state of things in New Orleans, which was not a gross libel. Every one is exclaiming, " See, behold, how awfully wicked the world is !" I cannot join in this hue and cry ; I long to exclaim in and out of the pulpit, " Behold how good and noble mankind are ! "

I have mixed and conversed with the operatives of Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow, and other manufacturing cities of Great Britain. I have seen the lazzaroni of Naples, and the most depressed classes of Europe; among even these I witnessed the manifestations of disinterested love, which Jesus Christ defines as constituting the essence of true religion. The very worst person has something of this nobleness in his bosom. It is a perfection, the idea of which, however dim and undefined, is more or less the germ and element of every human soul. Go to any state penitentiary, collect its inmates, set before them the picture of a man " who loves the most unlovely of his fellow-beings, as God himself does ; who is accustomed to sympathize with the most ignorant and debased ; to give to the most uncharitable, if in need ; to forgive those who are actuated only by revenge ; to be just to those who would rob him of every farthing, if they had an opportunity ; to repay ceaseless hate with never-sleeping love;" would they not gaze upon the portrait with the profoundest satisfaction and delight ? But all know that it is impossible for a human being to sympathize with any virtue, unless he has in his own

bosom some true pcrccptious of its cliarms, and a capacity to become clotbed tberewitb. I bave often come across tbe heroism of divine love in tbe humblest Avalks of life, in the very lanes and hovels of society. And on such occasions I always thank God and take courage.

Cicero, in one of his moral treatises, remarks that our aflfectional nature constantly improves. Beginning with the tender sensibilities of home, it imperceptibly enlarges, from the love of parent, brother and sister, to those more expanded regards which embrace the vast society of human kind. Pope has thus paraphrased the thought: —

" Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake : The centre moved, a circle straight succeeds ; Another still, and still another spreads Friend, parent, neighbor, first it will embrace, His country next, and next all human race."

Setting aside the Bible, with all its propitious influences, I have long thought that the progress and experiences of human life, themselves, without any other instrumentalities, except the Holy Spirit, which operates on every heart, often inspire the soul with those meek and gentle affections that are the essence of evangelical holiness. I have been in the habit of asking persons, in their dying moments, whether they could, with all the soul, forgive their enemies — their bitterest enemies. Invariably they have answered in the affirmative. " We forgive all, as we hope God will forgive us," I ask, Do not all such persons die in possession of the right spirit ? For Jesus declares the forgiveness of enemies to be

the highest type of love. He tells iis that in heaven love is the only, the universal, and all-controlling principle of action. It has glowed, and been growing more intense, in the bosoms of angels, from eternity. Here we may be neglected, forgotten, despised, injured, and trampled upon. But be not discouraged. All things will come out right at last. Raise your eyes, saitli Jesus, to that spirit land where all things are radiant with the beams of an unbounded benevolence. There we may anticipate perfect love and confidence, the interchange of beneficent deeds only; a complete union of tastes and feelings, hearts and fortunes. There we, and all wliom we love, are destined to become more intimate and endeared, beauteous and refined, as long as eternity shall last.

To me it is plain that the gospel affirms this doctrine : that no creed, no scheme of redemption, no power of faith, or repentance, is sufficient to insure one's salvation who hates his brother. Equally positive is it in asserting, that all who die in the exercise of a forgiving spirit will go to heaven. Tliis category embraces all mankind, excepting infants and idiots. I know the clergy generally teach that death, of itself, has no power to change or improve the moral character. A more erroneous doctrine was never taught. Mere dying does more towards sanctifying a man than all the preceding acts, events, and influences of his life. It is the furnace by which he is purified, and prepared to enter, some time or other, upon the scenes of a purer and nobler existence, with angels and the just made perfect. 19*

CHAPTER IX.

THE STATE OF RELIGION IN NEW ORLEANS THIRTY-FIVE

YEARS AGO. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF

LOUISIANA. ITS AUSPICIOUS INFLUENCE ON THE

HIGHEST WELFARE OF ITS VOTARIES, MORAL, SOCIAL,

AND SPIRITUAL. THE PECULIAR DIFFICULTIES WHICH

CHRISTIANITY ENCOUNTERS IN NEW ORLEANS AT THE PRESENT DAY.

Multitudes suppose that genuine Christianity was not introduced into New Orleans till after its cession to the United States, the beginning of the present century. The first American missionaries, who visited the place shortly after the close of the last war with Great Britain, in their published letters and reports, expressed the opinion that the preaching of the gospel was as much needed in New Orleans as in any other spot in the whole world. They affirmed that there the pure faith of the New Testament was unknown and untaught. Yet the Catholic religion had been flourishing in that place from its commencement, one hundred years previous. Churches, schools, asylums, nunneries, and other institutions, such as are usually found in Catholic communities, had been built, with great labor and expense.

When deliberating on the expediency of making a settlement in New Orleans, I was told by divines of my own denomination, that if I went there, the most formidable enemy of the gospel would be

arrayed against me — namely, the Papal cliurch. From a child I had been taught to regard Popery as the man of sin, the great adversary of all goodness, described in the Epistles and the Apocalypse by St. John. In the chart of interpretation, pronounced orthodox at the north, numbers, dates, persons, places, and events were particularly laid down, to prove that all the evils, woes, and calamities mentioned in the book of Revelation were the maledictions of Heaven, denouncing the Roman Catholics. My instructors assured me that the Catholic faitli was rapidly spreading in the western and southern parts of our country. It should be counteracted, they said, as far as possible, by sending out Protestant missionaries, and establishing Sunday schools throughout the great valley of the Mississippi.

One can hardly imagine how strong, blind, and hateful were the prejudices against this Christian sect which deluded my mind when I began a professional life in New Orleans. I liad been there Init a few weeks before I was invited to dine at the house of a liberal gentleman, where I was introduced to several Catholic priests. I found them intelligent, enlarged, refnied, and remarkably interesting in conversation. Not a syllable was uttered about the differences of our faith. I was charmed with their style of manners. They left their clerical robes at home, and deported themselves with all the ease, elegance, and affability characteristic of well-informed and polished laymen. Before we separated, I was assured that they would be happy to see me at their private residences any time, and in the most free and

unceremonious manner. Gladly did I avail myself of an opportunity to cultivate their acquaintance. I wanted to obtain some personal knowledge of their peculiar faith, principles, and ceremonies. Heretofore, all that I had learned concerning these topics had been derived from Protestant writings and conversation. I was anxious to hear them speak for themselves.

In this respect my desires have been completely gratified. The first time that I was alone with a Catholic priest was an epoch in my existence. I was encouraged, contrary to my expectation, to propose whatever questions I chose in regard to his religion. I did so, and was always answered with apparent candor, directness, and sincerity. It seemed to afford him great pleasure to impart the information which I was solicitous to acquire. In a long conversation we discussed the principal articles of the Catholic creed — the authority of the pope, the worship of images, transubstantiation, the infallibility of the church, auricular confession, <fcc. During this interview I was struck with the fact that the objections to these tenets usually made by Protestant divines were met by explanations which I had never before seen or heard of. For example, the charge of worshipping images was denied, and refuted in the following manner: "All persons," obserA'ed the priest, " love to look on the picture of a deceased friend, who was the object of their highest esteem and affection when living. This is a universal trait of human nature. The Catholic church, true to this instinct, has employed art to preserve and trans-

mit to other times, to bear onward from age to age, the forms and expressions of those noble sufferers, heroic apostles, and bright models of virtue that flourislied in the antecedent periods of the Christian era. Who would not like to behold a perfect portrait of the Son of God, an exact representation of his person, when he tabernacled in flesh? Would not the sight warm, interest, and quicken our souls ? Would it not exalt the tone of our piety ?

" It is not true," he continued, " that we offer divine adoration — the homage due only to the Supreme Father — to these productions of human genius, not excepting the Madonna, the image of the Virgin Mary. We hold that the disembodied saints of former and later times are really with us, beholding our actions, and hearing our words, and helping us to lead a good life. Is not this doctrine asserted by Paul, in the following words ? ' Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of untiiesses, [meaning, as all concede, departed saints,] let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us; looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.' Now, with this beautiful, inspiring faith, is it not both natural and proper to request them to pray for us and bless us, as we ask those holy persons whom we daily converse with in the flesh, to remember us in their thanksgivings and supplications to God ? This is the head and

front of our offending. And for such a simple, scriptural practice we are stigmatized as idolaters. Do you think, sir, that this is fair and just ? "

I cannot resist the desire to relate an explanation, given at the same time, of that suhlime mystery, transubstantiation — the supposed conversion of the bread and wine in the eucharist into the body and blood of Christ. " We do not teach," he said, "that there is any actual change in the elements perceptible to our reason or our senses. The substances, after consecration, are, externally and visibly, the same as they were before; but we maintain that then the body and blood of Christ are mysteriously (in a manner incomprehensible to human reason) present with the substance of the bread and wine. So much Luther and his compeers professed to believe. So much is admitted by the Lutheran divines of our day. Indeed, we defend transubstantiation by precisely the same reasoning which is employed by Protestant ministers generally in support of the Trinity. Jesus says,' This is my flesh and my blood.' We stagger not at the declaration of God through unbelief. We do not undertake to solve the mystery upon philosopliical principles, but receive it on the authority of revelation, with a cordial, reverential, and implicit faith. In the same manner your clergy remark concerning the Trinity. For there are three that bear record in heaven — the Father, the Word, and the Hohj Ghost, and these three are one. Not one literally, they say, not one to the eye of human reason—that is impossible; but one in a glorious, transcendental, spiritual sense, at present inexplicable

to our narrow, benighted, gross, and sensual minds. Am I not right ? " inquired the priest.

It was not in my power to return a negative answer to the question. In a manner equally fair were the other peculiar articles of the Catholic faith simplified and explained. At the close of this interview, and, indeed, ever since, I have felt that a reception of the theology which was at that time taught at Andover required as much faith in what seems to the natural mind irrational or absurd, as that of any doctrine taught by the church of Rome. I have no space to pursue this topic further. Its full unfolding would require a volume. But no Protestant Trinitarian can consistently object to the Papal church, that its doctrines are repugnant to reason. They are not a whit more so than many of those which he most strenuously advocates.

I have often witnessed the celebration of high mass, not only in New Orleans, but also in various parts of Europe. There is not on earth another ceremony so august, solemn, and impressive. When the bell rings, at the instant of transubstantiation, the whole audience fall on their knees simultaneously, in silent, profound prostration before the altar, praying for the forgiveness of their sins, believing with all the soul that the body and blood of Christ are that moment before them, offered as a complete expiation, if they are truly penitent, not only for the sins they may have committed the past week, but during the whole of their past lives. The effect is thrillingly, ineffably sublime. There is nothing in our Protestant churches superior to it, as it regards

iaipressivcncss. I vras onco, on a beautiful Sabbath morning, in St. Peter's, at Rome, and during this part of the worship I could not help kneeling myself upon the tessellated pavement, to recognize my relation to that cross which speaks a universal language, which sheds the only light that shines on this dark world of sin — that cross which is both the emblem and pledge of our-final triumph over death, and admission to the realms of everlasting life and happiness. If I had been brought up from childhood in the Roman Catholic fold, no modification of my theological views, nothing this side the grave, could tempt mo to stray away from a worship whose forms and ritual are so simple and significant, yet, at the same time, grand, elevating, divine, and pure. I do not wonder that to those who have always been accustomed to a Roman Catholic church, our Protestant meetings should seem so unedifying, and even irreverent. "Were I to become a Trinitarian this year, I should, with all possible sincerity and earnestness, seek for immediate admission to the most holy Catholic church, " which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone."

I rejoice that some of the Protestant divines of our day seem willing to acknowledge that there are good and beautiful things even in Catholicism. Dr. Dewey, in his Journal of a Tour in Europe, writes as follows : " Nothing in Rome has astonished me so much as her three hundred and fifty clnirches. Any one of them is such a wonder and beauty as, if placed in America, would draw visitors from all parts

of the country. The entire interior walls of many of these churches are clothed with polished antique marble. They are hung round with paintings, and filled with marble pillars, statues, tombs, and altars. These altars, built often of jasper, porphyry, and the most precious stones, are commonly placed in recesses or chapels on each side of the church, so that they offer some retirement to the votary.

" I confess that I seldom enter these churches without an impulse to engage in worship. My companions both agree with me. We have often said, that if it were not for the air of pretension it would have to any of our acquaintances who might chance to pass, we should certainly do it. As we were walking in St. Peter's to-day, one said, ' It does not signify. I do wish in serious earnest that I could be a Catholic. I like their forms. These ever open churches, these ever ascending prayers; the deep seclusion and silence ; the dim religious light; the voices of morning mass or vesper hymn ; the sacred themes depicted upon every wall and dome; and again and evermore these holy altars, whose steps have been worn by the knees of pilgrims of ages past, — all these things commend themselves, not merely to the imagination, but to the most profound, unaffected sentiments of devotion."

Again he says, " One of the interesting services in the Catholic calendar consists of a periodical celebration of the virtues and sufferings of the saint or martyr to whom any particular church is dedicated. There are appropriate prayers and thanksgivings, anthems sung in commemoration of former days and 20

deeds; the cliiirch is illuminated and clothed with decorations, to make the ceremony as attractive and interesting- as possible. While many things ancient and venerable are passing away, I wonkl lay my hand on the records of ancient glory, and preserve them. The virtnes of the world are the treasnres of the world. I would enshrine them in sacred rites; I would embalm them as the bones of the saints are actually preserved, in the very altars of the sanctuary. To praise virtue is to commend it to the respect of others. But we never respect it so feelingly and deeply as when we behold it clothed with the beauty and power of example. Let, then, I would say, goodness and good men be remembered by appropriate times, seasons, and services ; let holy rites set forth, let holy words recount, their deeds and sufferings ; let their virtues be borne upon the breath of music, an offering and a thanksgiving to Heaven.

" And a festival in Catholic countries to commemorate a\\ saints —all good men — a season around which is gathered the mighty host of those who, in faith and patience, in suffering and triumph, have gone to heaven, — this, I confess, strikes my mind as something most meet, suitable, and hallowing. Our Protestant religion is too naked of such associations. ^ye are too reserved, I think, even in expressing our regard towards living worth ; we are not likely, then, to give too much expansion and expression to our enthusiasm for the heroism and sanctity of former days. It teaches a useful lesson to those who are struggling against the tide of this world's tempta-

tions ; it teaches a beautiful lesson to the yonng, the ardent aspirant after virtue, to know that the piety and fortitude v/hich, in their day, were humble and cast down, and fearful and despised, have at length come to live amid anthem and prayer, in the everlasting memory of all generations." How vehement, passionate, and stirring, as well as just, is the eloquence of the above quotations!

Since my acquaintance with Louisiana began, there have been, I believe, at no time, less than twenty priests stationed in New Orleans. Besides performing clerical functions in churches, chapels, convents, asylums, and hospitals, they have founded and kept in vigorous operation numerous schools and seminaries of learning for both sexes. In these respective vocations they have displayed the most unflagging zeal, and ardent, persevering industry. No Protestant ministers in the United States, of any denomination, accomplish as much hard service as they do. Morning, noon, and night, at all seasons, whether healthy or sickly, they are engaged in the prosecution of their arduous and responsible labors. Apparently, they live as if each day were their last, and as it becomes those to live who know not what a day, what an hour, may bring forth. Like the sun, which never pauses and never goes astray, so they revolve in the orbit of duty, a light, a charm, an ornament, and a blessing, to all who are embraced in their spiritual guardianship.

Li addition to the duties common to churches of every name, they are required to keep their places of worship open, not on the Sabbath only, but during

each day of the week. At every altar, mass is performed at least once a day. Then, the labor involved in the duties of the confessional is inconceivable to one who has not lived among the Catholics. I have known a priest engaged from daylight till noon, uninterruptedly, in receiving penitents, and that in the most inclement weather. All this time, he sits in a small place like a sentry box, applying his ear, in a stooping posture, to an aperture in the surrounding lattice work, which separates him from those who are making their confessions to him. This toil is unintermitted and everlasting. In the intense heat of July and the cold of December, (they have no fires in their churches,) it imposes a drudgery more severe than that of the poorest operative in secular life, whether he rolls the barrel and bale in the city, or digs and toils on a plantation.

In the cholera of 1832, I was the only Protestant clergyman that remained in the city, except the Rev. Mr. Hull, of the Episcopal church, who was confined to his house by a lingering consumption, and unable even to leave his room. This gentleman never left the city in sickly seasons, but fearlessly continued at his post, however great and alarming the mortality around him. So it was that in the first cholera I had no coadjutors but the Roman Catliolic priests.

One of these, Father K., was among my most intimate personal acquaintances. He often dined with me, and spent hours at a time in the seclusion of my study. A better man I have not known. He was as liberal in his theological views as Dr. Channing or Bishop Fenelon, and yet most ardently attached

to the Roman Catholic church. He was a firm disbeliever in the doctrine of endless misery, but did not advocate this view of futurity in his public discourses. His charities, like his soul, were large and unbounded. He inherited a handsome property, which enabled him to gratify his benevolent desires. In his labors during the cholera, this gentleman gave his services to all, indiscriminately, who needed the consolations of religion, whether Protestant or Catholic sufferers. " I feel," he said, " that all men are my brethren, and heirs of the same immortality. I spend all my time among the sick, irrespective of their character or creed.

" I am not allowed, indeed, to administer the rite of extreme unction to unbelievers. I do not attempt it. But with respect to such cases, I have a peculiar service of my own devising, dictated by the condition and circumstances of the sufferers around me, and which is not in any respect incompatible with my relations to the priestliood. I propound one question only to the departing sinner. I ask him if he believes in Almighty God, his Creator. If he answer affirmatively, (as all have hitherto done, without an exception,) I then offer tliis short prayer: May that merciful Creator, in whom you exist, forgive and bless you, and conduct you finally to those immortal joys which Jesus has procured for all men in that ' undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns.' " Could any thing be more simple, appropriate, or sublime ? He added, tears starting from his eyes with the utterance, " If it were in my power to prevent it, not one of these unhappy vie-20*

tims ■would be finally and forever lost." Will not, then, infinite, everlasting, and immutable mercy ultimately achieve their deliverance ?

This excellent man lost his life in carrying out an enterprise of benevolence. He undertook to establish an asylum and scliool for orphan boys on the Bayou St. John. He had collected qiiite a number of fatherless children, and made suitable arrangements for their maintenance and education; and when every thing, to human view, promised a rich harvest of success, the enterprise was suddenly blasted by the ravages of a tornado. It commenced about sundown, and before midnight caused the waters of Lake PontcUartrain to rise several feet, and flow towards the city like the incoming tide of an ocean. At the dead hour of night. Father K. was aroused by the rushing of the waters into his room. He made all possible haste to awaken the boys, and placed them under the direction of a tutor, who soon conducted them beyond the reach of danger. Then lie took some servants with him to the stables, to save a fine stock of cows from drowning. This object was accomplished, but with great difficulty. The good man waded and swam in the water so lono; that it brouoht on a chill and typhoid fever, which in a few days terminated his invaluable life and labors. To the community in general, and to myself in particular, his death was an irreparable loss. Our views on religion, and our tastes in general, were singularly harmonious. Strong and deathless were the sympathies by wliich we were united. I have not known a clergyman of my own persuasion whom I loved with a purer, in-tenser affection.

It is a wide-spread opinion that Roman Catholic priests practise certain immoralities, not only with impunity, but with the entire approbation of their parishioners, which, in Protestant communities, would blast completely and forever the reputation and influence of a minister. It affords me great pleasure to testify, that in New Orleans, just as much as in Boston or New York, a spotless moral life is a qualification indispensably necessary to the good standing of any clergyman, whether Protestant or Catholic. Priests are never seen in Louisiana at balls, theatres, private dancing parties, or operas even.

They do not teach that these amusements, abstractly considered, are sinful, but that, such are the weakness and prejudices of large classes in every community, they look upon it as incompatible with the spirituality and refinement of the priesthood to participate in their enjoyment. In their public deportment, the Roman Catholic priests of New Orleans are models of clerical wisdom, decorum, and propriety. They are sufficiently grave, serious, and dignified, and at the same time free from affectation, simple, natural, condescending, agreeable, and unconstrained in their intercourse with persons of every age, character, and condition in life. I have sometimes been present when tlicir religious peculiarities have been assailed by-unjust, gro?s, and insulting insinuations, and beheld with profound admiration their imperturbable equanimity, meekness, and forbearance. Happy would it be if all who profess to be the ministers of Christ should

faithfully follow the example of Him " who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, hut contrariwise blessing ; who, when he was reviled, .reviled not again ; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously."

Shortly after my settlement in "New Orleans, I was called to reside for two years in the lower part of the city, in the midst of a population exclusively Catholic. There was hardly a single Protestant family within half of a mile from our domicile. When we took up our abode there, we expected to be quite solitary and lonely. But very soon our neighbors became acquainted with us, and showed the utmost civility and attention. We found them sincere, warm-hearted, polite, affable, and as kind when we were in sickness and trouble as if they had been united to us by the closest ties of natural affinity. It struck me that persons so agreeable and exemplary in private life and the domestic circle must have a religion not entirely devoid of exalted and ennobling influences. Hence I determined to avail myself of the opportunity afforded me of becoming thoroughly acquainted with the religious habits and practices of the laity in every-day life, as well as in the cathedral.

It was my good fortune to be admitted to a most confidential and familiar footing with a Creole family occupying a fashionable and distinguished position in society. The lady was a native of New Orleans, and had never been out of the State of Louisiana.

She had not been personally acquainted with any Protestant minister except myself. She had never read any of our religious books. She had breathed a Roman Catholic atmosphere only, from the cradle upwards. As to every particular, I have not seen, in the whole course of my life, a more charming woman. Her personal attractions were of the highest order, set off with that indescribable ease, simplicity, and elegance peculiar to French ladies, and which render their style of manners so fascinating. Her mind had been carefully cultivated. Besides music and other accomplishments, her knowledge of books and the world enabled her to shine in conversation.

She was an example of industry and economy in the management of her domestic affairs. No married lady of New England was ever superior to her in this respect. She presided at the dinner table with unsurpassed grace and dignity; and before the guests were seated, invariably called on some one to supplicate the blessing of Almighty God upon the entertainment. It is no exaggeration to say, that this lady possessed those rare excellences and properties of a good wife so graphically described in the last chapter of the book of Proverbs.

But what seemed to me most wonderful in the person I am speaking of, was the superiority of her attainments in spiritual excellence. She commenced each day with prayer, reading, and meditation. On one occasion, she was so obliging as to invite me to examine her oratory, as she called it — the little chapel appropriated for her private devotional exer-

cises. Upon a table on one side of the room lay her most favorite religious books. Among these were the Bible, and the Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kcmpis—a work praised and used by Protestants of all denominations. It has been translated into all modern languages, and republished more than a thousand times. Indeed, this work is tlie storehouse whence Dr. Doddridge drew his principal materials in the composition of that celebrated manual called the Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul. I remember this work more particularly, because its leaves were soiled, and almost worn out by constant use, like the horn book in which little children learn their letters and rudiments. Indeed, she said that for years she had been in the constant habit of perusing this volume, along with the sacred Scriptures. Of all uninspired productions, it had the warmest place in her heart.

I learned one fact from this lady, which illustrates the superior wisdom and efficiency of the Roman Catholic religion. The whole routine of her everyday life was particularly marked out and prescribed by the rules of the church ; so that, by this means, every moment and hour were occupied with that faithful discharge of duties which consecrated the whole scene of her existence, filling her soul with an approving conscience, heavenly peace, and virtue pure—"sacred, substantial, never-failing bliss." But the Protestant minister contents himself with meeting his communicants once or twice a week only, in the church. Here he expounds to them the principles and rules of a holy life. After the

benediction they disperse, and he sees them not again till the succeeding Sabbath. He cannot tell whether, during the intervening days, they have lived like heathen or Christians.

But the pious Catholic, during the whole time passed out of the church, feels that he is in the presence not only of Almighty God, but also of the priesthood. For every Sunday morning he expects to render his father confessor an account of his doings for tlie week just finished. The lady above mentioned, speaking of the advantages of frequently confessing to a priest, remarked, "Why, if I were not in the habit of making a moral reckoning with myself every week, but were to put it off to that unknown, distant, imaginary period, called the day of judgment, with the sincerest intentions, I should be at the best but a feeble, languid, vacillating Christian." Memorable words ! Well would it be for every Protestant to ponder their import with deep attention. The Methodists have in their class meetings a sort of substitiite for these weekly confessions. Hence this church deservedly enjoys a distinguished reputation for earnest, efficient, and every-day piety.

One evening I was at her house, when the conver- • sation turned on the topic of there being no salvation out of the pale of the Catholic church. She expressed her opinion touching this matter in terms like these: " I believe that true religion consists in qualities of the heart, not in ceremonies merely — in loving God 2vith all the soul, and our neighbors as ourselves. They who are actuated supremely by these sentiments must be saved, whether Catholics, Protestants,

Jews, ]\Iahomctans, or Pagans." A priest, sitting by, exclaimed, " That is right! Why, even Mr. Clapp may be saved upon our own principles, for it is a canonical doctrine among us, that any honest errorist will be accepted on the ground of invincible ignorance — an ignorance which he had no adequate means of overcoming." In the preceding paragraphs I have given a true, unexaggerated, but imperfect portrait of one woman who adorned the Catholic communion. There are thousands like it in different parts of our beloved land. \Yould to God that every woman in this republic had essentially the same beautiful character.

Never, till I went to Louisiana, did I behold that living and most perfect exemplification of a Christian spirit exhibited in the conduct and benefactions of those denominated Sisters of Charity. Look at them. They were, in many instances, born and bred in the lap of worldly ease and luxury. But, in obedience to a sense of religious duty, they have relinquished the pleasures of time for the charms of a life consecrated to duty and to God. There, calm and gentle as angels, they stay at their posts amid the most frightful epidemics, till death comes to take them to a better world. What a spectacle ! Their whole existence is passed in watching the sick, and performing for them the most menial offices. They, indeed, fulfil the injunction of the apostle, " Honor all men." They glorify our common humanity. They feed the hungry and clothe the naked. When I have seen them smoothing the pillow, and whispering the consolations of religion for some unfortunate

fellow-being, in liis last moments, — dying among strangers, far from home, never again to behold the face of wife, child, relative, or friend this side the grave, — I could hardly realize that they Avere beings of mortality. They seemed to me like min-isterins; angels sent down from the realms of celes-tial glory. 0, how immeasurable the disparity between one of these noble spirits and a mere creature of the feminine gender, devoted exclusively to the follies and vanities of fashionable life, who makes a dazzling show for a few hours, and then sinks to be seen no more. These angels are seen in all our hospitals, both public and private, and in other places where their services are required, irrespective of the distinctions of name, religion, party, clime, or nation.

Indeed the Eoman Catholic church is infinitely superior to any Protestant denomination in its provisions of mercy and charity for the poor. They seek to inspire the most wretched and forlorn 'with those hopes that point to a better world. ' When I was in St. Peter's Church at Rome, on a Sunday morning, I saw the poorest, most obscure and neglected persons kneeling on its splendid pavement, by the side of the most noble inhabitants of the Eternal City. In that cathedral, there is no place assigned for the exclusive use of fashionable people, any more than there is in heaven. All meet on the same level, as children of one common Father ; as dependent on the same pardoning mercy ; as travellers to the same grave ; as partakers of the same promises, and lieirs of the same immortal glory. Throughout 21

Catholic Europe, the doors of the churches are kept open day and night, from year to year, and century to century. There, at any hour of the day, the forsaken outcast, on whom the world has ceased to smile, can repair, and falling down before the altar of his God, feel supported by the sublime faith that ho has in heaven a better and everlasting inheritance. I may say that Catholic churches are the homes of the poor. In countries enjoying this form of Christianity, the most fallen arc incomparably less degraded than the worst of those who live in Protestant lands.

Besides, they all, without distinction, participate in the sacraments of religion. No one is permitted to die without the rites of the chiirch. So it should be. Few Protestants know what is the nature of that last benediction, which the priest pronounces over the dying man. It runs, if I have been correctly informed, in a strain somewhat like the following: "Go forth, 0 thou immortal spirit, in the name of the Father wlio created thee, in the name of the Son who died to redeem thee, and in the name of the Holy Spirit that sanctifies thee ; and when thou leavest the body, may the resplendent multitudes of angels greet thee ; may the spirits of the just, clad in their white robes, embrace thee, and conduct thee to the everlasting mansions of the blessed." Could there be any thing more appropriate, more beautiful, touching, and grand ? But with us the poor die without a clergyman, without a prayer, without a friend, witliout any recognition of their immortality, as if they were about to lie

down with kindred brutes, in the same ditch, to exist no more forever.

No Protestant denomination, with the exception of the Methodists, have suitably remembered the poor. This remark was once made by a distinguished preLate of the cliurch of England. In our Northern cities, New York, &c., there is an actual rivalry as to which church shall be the most exclusive. And one congregation has erected a separate building for the poor to worship in. Churches are constructed on purpose to shut out the poor. The pews are sold, like the boxes of a theatre, to the highest bidder. The poor can never enter there. 0, what a commentary on the Christianity of our times ! After spending the week in folly and dissipation, the aristocratic among us can repair to a fashionable place of worship on the Lord's day morning, to gratify a love of dress, to indulge that wicked, pitiful vanity, which one act of true religious worship would annihilate forever. I do not know where all this will end ; but I do know that Protestantism will soon go down into the dust and darkness of death, unless it changes its entire ecclesiastical plans and policies. Eternal honor be to the Romau Catholic church, for practically observing the distinctive precept of our religion to remember and bless the poor. For the larger the charity of a church, the nearer it is to God.

Now, the Catholic church, as I have described it, went along with the first colonists, who settled themselves on the banks of the Mississippi. It has grown with their growth and strengthened with their

strength, and the religious wants of the people of Louisiana have been as well supplied as those of Massachusetts, all things considered. I never go abroad without being compelled to listen to the utterance of the most disparaging and unjust remarks about my adopted state.

Travelling in Europe in 1847, when introduced to distinguished literary gentlemen as a resident of New Orleans, they almost invariably said, " We have always been told that your city is the most wicked, immoral place in the United States." One distinguished author, speaking of Louisiana, observed, " Its pliysical resources are undoubtedly very superior ; but, alas! you have no literature and no history— the only things which can shed glory on a state. This is the first time I have ever met an educated gentleman from New Orleans. I am really glad to see you. Has Louisiana yet produced any scholars, poets, orators, or savans, worthy of note?" This question was asked, as I thought, in the spirit of sneering and sarcasm. It seemed intended merely to wound my feelings ; for, a moment before, I had remarked that the first log cabin on the spot where New Orleans is built, then a wretched swamp, was erected within a century, and that nearly all the improvements in the state had been made w^ithin the last fifty years.

I ventured to reply thus : " Sir, you are familiar with tlie circle of human history. Did you ever read of an instance in which a nation only one, two, or three hundred years old had enriched itself with orioinal works of science and literature ? It took

nearly one hundred and twenty years to build St. Peter's Church. What a long succession of ages was requisite to produce the cities, temples, palaces, and galleries of art, which adorn England, France, and Italy! Hitherto, the people of Louisiana have been occupied, of necessity, in reclaiming and fortifying their lowlands against the annual inundations of the Mississippi, building houses, turning cypress swamps into beautiful plantations, and providing themselves with the various physical accommodations and improvements upon which the superstructure of civilized life every where rests. At present, for the most part, they import their books, not because they want the genius, but the time and other means essential to the creations of art and philosophy. As to our history, it is very recent, but contains some items of interest. You have heard, I suppose, of the invasion of New Orleans by your countrymen in 1815, and remember the results."

"True," he said, " the victory to which you have referred must be classed with the most brilliant displays of military skill and bravery recorded in the annals of time." He was surprised to learn that the conquerors of Napoleon were subdued by a patriot band of peaceful planters and merchants, who fouglit for their homes with the same undaunted, invincible spirit which has inscribed the names of Leonidas, Miltiades, and Washington on the tablets of immortal glory. Charles Gayarre, late secretary of the State of Louisiana, has given to the world a noble work upon our history. It is replete with narratives of wild, romantic, and thrilling inter-21*

est. The author is a Creole, thoroughly acquainted with the character of Louisiana, deeply enamoured of its beauties, and has painted them in elegant and polished language.

When I travel in New England, too, I am often pained by hearing Louisiana spoken of in terms of disparagement and vituperation. Last summer, a clergyman of Massachusetts observed to me that he could hardly conceive of a greater calamity than for a pious and enlightened minister to be compelled to spend his days in Louisiana, where Christianity was encumbered by the corruptions of the Roman Catholic church. I have already given my opinion concerning the practical Christianity displayed by the priests, and their care for the poor, the outcast, the sick, and tlie dying.

There is indeed less religious display in Louisiana than in some other sections of our Union; but if what Paul asserts in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians be admitted, that the essence of Christianity consists in generous affections and sympathies towards our fellow-beings, I contend that the inhabitants of Louisiana have quite as much religion as those of Massachusetts, New York, or any other northern state. Charity, says the apostle, as above quoted, is the only thing absolutely needful in order to our acceptance with God, the charm and glory of the intelligent universe, the very soul, life, and breath of heaven itself. I would simply ask our traduccrs whether they can see our hearts, and positively pronounce them to be destitute of those noble sentiments denominated charity in tlie New Testa-

ment. I would invite them to remember and act in accordance with the following words of Jesus: " Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant ? to his own master he standeth or falleth." If gospel benevolence proves the existence of Christian principles, it is certain that true religion reigns and flourishes as vigorously in Louisiana as on the banks of the Hudson or Connecticut.

Some reader may feel inclined to say, " If the above statements are true, would it not be best for us all to join the Roman Catholic church immediately ? " I should answer, " Yes, provided you can honestly subscribe to its theological opinions." For myself, I cannot believe in the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity. If it were in my power to adopt this system, I should as soon as possible become a Roman Catholic. I cannot but regard our doctrinal views as more simple, true, and evangelical than theirs. But their ecclesiastical organization, rules, and polity are infinitely superior to that of any Protestant denomination in Christendom. And the more closely a sect imitates Popery in these particulars, the greater will be their usefulness and prosperity. I wish well to this, ancient, venerable dispensation of Christianity. I rejoice that her churches, schools, and nunneries are multiplying on every side. I should like to see them spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Arctic Sea to the Antarctic, till the matin and vesper bells shall resound along the valleys, from hill

to hill, and from mountain to mountain, throughout a republic covering the entire western continent.

A great deal has been said of late about the danger to this country in consequence of the immigration to our shores of Catholics from foreign lands. It is thought that the poor Irish, who are constantly coming among us in such crowds, will exert a most deleterious influence, putting in jeopardy our civil liberties, and sowing broadcast over the land the seeds of moral contagion and death. The poor Irish — may Heaven bless them! I want not their aid at the ballot box. Never shall I be a candidate for their suffrages. Yet I can say with entire disinterestedness that I cherish towards them the liveliest sympathies.

I have seen much of the Irish in New Orleans, in seasons of peril and disaster. I love them, however poor, for their many generous and noble traits of character. I do not fear that their influence will be injurious to us, either in a political or religious bearing. But I am reminded that they bring to our shores degraded, dangerous characters and habits. If it were really so, is it to be wondered at, when we remember what scenes of the most atrocious despotism have been grinding them to the dust for a long series of ages ? They are exiles, seeking a refuge from want and oppression. They are God's children. They are our brothers. In the extremest need and destitution, should wo not open our arms to receive them with a cordial welcome, and rejoice that they can find a home in this happy land of peace, freedom, and plenty ? It is not in my heart

to speak of them in terms of contempt and bitterness. He who appUes to them vile and opprobrious epithets virtually " reproaches their Maker."

But, some say, they are stupendously ignorant. Is it their fault, if they are so ? For more than seventy years, in Ireland, a Catholic schoolmaster was liable to be transported, and if he returned, to be adjndged guilty of high treason, barbarously put to death, drawn and quartered. This most iniquitous law broke up their schools. The children of necessity grew up uneducated, and must come here ignorant, if they come at all. I thank God that they do come; there is room enough for them all. I rejoice on their own account; for it is an encouraging, well-established fact that, in general, Irish immigrants, as soon as they land among us, begin to improve, and rapidly to assume a more elevated character, especially when they do not forsake their national church, and prove recreant to the faith of their forefathers. Their children can hardly be discriminated from those born of English ancestors, and lose all trace of their original descent, except in those impulses of a naturally noble and generous heart, which distinguish Irishmen in all times, in all latitudes, and under every phase of outward condition and circumstances.

Some are afraid of their religion. It is perfectly safe in a free country to tolerate all forms of religion, because the principle of reverence in man, uninfluenced by coercion, can never lead to any species of immorality. If the Roman Catholics become more numerous in this republic than any other sect, the

fact will prove conclusively the superiority of their teachings and mode of worship. That they should grow, till finally to outnumber all the Protestant denominations, is hardly possible. Besides, church despotism belongs to the things forever gone by. It cannot be resuscitated. We might as easily revive a belief in knight-errantry, witchcraft, the mythologies or fabulous traditions of the old Greek and Roman states. The press, the free school, the ballot box, and universal education " have already opened to every view the palpable truths that the mass of mankind was not born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God." It is a most unfounded alarm, then, that these annually increasing immigrations of foreigners into the United States can essentially interfere with our national prosperity. The majority bring with them the means of a competent support. How could we get along without them? Deprived of their aid, what would become of our canals, railways, manufactories, rising towns and cities, and public works in general, on wdiich depends our progress in civilization, wealth, freedom, science, morals, and religion ? With the help of foreigners this republic was founded; by their help it has been preserved and advanced to its present state of glory and happiness.

The first Protestant church in New Orleans was built about forty years ago, belonging to the Episcopal denomination. The second was founded by my predecessor, the Rev. Sylvester Larned, and was first opened for public worship on the 4th day of July,

1819. On the lower floor there were one hundred and eighteen pews. The galleries were spacious, and capable of accommodating about four hundred persons. Both sides of the galleries contained free seats, which were always filled by strangers. On this account, our place of worship was often called the Strang-ers^ Church. It was generally believed that its pastor was a " setter forth of strange g-ods," to use an expression of St. Paul. Hence those who regarded him as a false teacher not imfrequently came to the Presbyterian meetings to listen to the novelties of an heretical pulpit. Whatever may have been the cause, our church was honored by tlie attendance of the most respectable strangers during the winter season. The pews were always taken by residents of the city, and there were more applicants than could be accommodated. It was a usual saying among my orthodox friends, that the merchants and planters who came to New Orleans during tlie healtliy months to transact business never left the city without going to " the American theatre, the French opera, and Parson Cfapp^s church.''^ The insinuation is obvious. But notwithstanding the slander, perhaps the friends of truth have cause to rejoice in the greater facilities which were thus afforded for its wider dissemination. Whenever and wherever I have travelled, on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I have constantly met with strangers whose first words were, " We have seen you before ; we have heard you preach in New Orleans."

I dined out in London on the second day after my arrival. When I entered the drawing room, filled

with a most brilliant circle, as soon as I crossed the threshold, a lady ran to greet me, saying, " Though I have never been introduced to you, I feel as if we were old acquaintances, for I visited your church several weeks in succession one winter, when sojourning in New Orleans." She then mentioned some of the subjects upon which I had preached, and the anecdotes and arguments which were employed. It affected me so deeply that I could scarcely refrain from tears. She was hardly seated before anotlier lady claimed an acquaintance, on the same ground. One winter, it was her good fortune, she said, to be a regular attendant at our meetings in New Orleans.

In Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, even Paris, and Geneva, in Switzerland, I was made to feel as if I were at home, by those who recognized me at once, but had never seen me except in the pulpit, or at a funeral. Merchants, and the agents of large mercantile houses from various parts of Europe, flock to New Orleans every winter. They are, with scarcely an exception, intelligent and liberal. Among them are some of the warmest friends I have ever had. If I have spent my days in advocating sentiments essentially and fatally erroneous, perhaps no minister living has done more hurt then I have done. But if, as some believe, I have espoused the true and right, it is a pleasing reflection, that my humble efforts have perhaps contributed to the advancement of virtue and knowledge in matters of the deepest importance, both for time and eternity.

Within the last twenty years, Protestant churches

have greatly multiplied in New Orleans. At the present day, I believe they number twenty-five or thirty. The Catholic churches have increased in an equal ratio, so that Christianity has the same external means of growth and prosperity in the Crescent City as in New York or Boston. The greatest hin-derance to the spread of the gospel in New Orleans is the peculiar condition of its inhabitants. Nearly half of these are what may be called a floating pop^ ulation. They go there only for the honorable pur-pose of accumulating property. No one of them, hardly, looks upon New Orleans as his home. Of course, all are anxious to gain a fortune as soon as possible. What care they for New Orleans, provided their respective personal schemes of profit and independence can be achieved ? Hence the number is comparatively smaller than in places where the population is stable, who feel a deep, abiding interest in building up churches and other useful institutions. Those who do favor such objects are singularly devoted and self-sacrificing. The society is fluctuating and heterogeneous almost beyond a precedent. It is constantly changing. In a very short time, the settled pastor sees his pews emptied, and filled with new occupants. He has hardly time to form their acquaintance, before they vanish, to be succeeded by another set of strangers. The disadvantages necessarily attendant on such a state of things are obvious. I do not mean to intimate that the people of New Orleans are more immoral than city population in general. We do not think they are more corrupt, or depraved, or worldly, than those who live in Bos-22

ton and its vicinity. It is not to be wondered at that those who go south merely to buy, and sell, and get gain, should say to the clergyman and his solicitations, " Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season I will call for thee." Upon the whole, New Orleans perhaps is rising as rapidly in the scale of moral and religious improvement as could be reasonably expected.

CHAPTER X.

SYMPTOMS OFTEN ACCOMPANYING THE LAST STAGES OP THE YELLOW FEVER, ETC.

In tlie epidemic of 1829, a young man of very superior character, and a member of our church, fell a victim to the yellow fever. I was called to visit him but a short time before he died. I entered his chamber precisely at noon. It was a cool, lovely day in the latter part of October. I found him dressed and walking the room with a brisk, lively step. To the inquiry, " How do you do, my friend ? " he replied, " I never felt better in my life. I am free from pain, and if my attendants would allow it, I should immediately go into the streets, and take a walk. But the doctor, who has just gone out, says that if I have any unsettled business on hand, it should be arranged without delay. I have sent for you to help me." At that instant, other friends came in. His will was made, signed, sealed, and witnessed, in a few moments. The company then retired, except the nurse and myself. I was asked to read the Scriptures, and pray with him. Afterwards, he intrusted to me some messages for his widowed mother and relatives, who lived in a distant state. He then remarked, " It is possible I may be near my end, but I think that the doctor has mistaken my case. Will you tell me honestly what you think about it?" I did not undeceive him. He

had made every possible preparation for his last exit, and no harm could accrue from his being buoyed up with the hope of a speedy recovery.

And I have sometimes known men apparently in the same condition that he was, get well. Nothing conduces more to promote the convalescence of a yellow fever patient than good spirits. If he makes up his mind that his case is a hopeless one, he will most certainly die. 1 have sometimes seen persons convalescent before they suspected what was the real nature of their malady. In two or three days more, they would have been out; but a careless servant or indiscreet visitor, contrary to the express orders of the physician, happened to disclose the secret in his hearing. He was alarmed by the intelligence, fancied that he felt worse, and in spite of all our assurances that he was out of danger, in the space of a few hours sank rapidly into the arms of death.

" With thee, sweet Hope, resides the heavenly light That pours remotest rapture on the sight; Thine is the charm of life's bewildered way. That calls each slumbering passion into play."

In yellow fever, a strong, unwavering expectation of a happy issue often accomplishes more than any kind of medicine which could be administered.

In a certain epidemic, a young man of my acquaintance had the yellow fever in the severest form. As he was near me, and an intimate friend, I became one of his nurses. Pie had not the slightest idea of dying, and often said, " Don't be alarmed ; Yellow Jack cannot kill ???<?." He indulged in facetious remarks, to keep up our spirits, for he saw that we

were anxious and alarmed. On the third day, about noon, he was seized with the black vomit. The doctor came in, looked at him a moment, and then taking me one side, observed, " It is all over with him; he will die before sundown ; I shall give no further prescriptions; do with him now whatever you please." There was an old French nurse in the room, who had spent her days in taking care of the sick, and was familiar with the Creole mode of treating the yellow fever. She exclaimed, " If you will allow me, I think I can cure this gentleman." We of course consented that she should make the trial. By this time, the respiration of our friend was getting very difficult, and his limbs were cold. She called for ptisans, spirits, warm water, and various other remedies, intended for external application only, whose nature I do not remember. We commenced rubbing his body all over, and using every possible means to excite perspiration. In less than two hours, he began to grow warm ; the vomito ceased ; his breathing became easier ; he perspired freely, and slept soundly the latter part of the night. In the morning, the doctor stopped at the door in his gig, to ask what hour the patient had died. To his great astonishment, he learned the favorable results of our experiment. In a few days after, the man entered his store, well. He is still living, and enjoys good health.

In the same epidemic, I visited a young married gentleman, not so sick as the one just mentioned, and perfectly confident that he should recover. On the third day, when the fever had reached its crisis, his

90 *

■wife became exceedingly alarmed. Beckoning me into an adjoining room, she said, " I am afraid my hnsband will die. He lias never made a will. If he leaves us without making one, myself and children may be left penniless. I wish you would broach the matter to him." I replied, " Your husband is full of Iwpe; he has no thoughts of dying; and if you will let him remain undisturbed till sundown, his danger will be passed." However, she refused to follow my advice, and declared that if I declined acceding to her wishes, she should mention the subject to him herself. I was then young, timid, and inexperienced, and consented to comply with her request. I approached the subject as delicately as possible, and remarked to the gentleman that although he was doing well, and in all probability would be abroad in a few days, yet to guard against contingencies, it might be expedient to give some directions as to his temporal affairs. " Your lady would like to have you make your will this morning." " Make a will! " he exclaimed, with a stare of astonishment; " is it possible that I am in any danger of dying?" He became exceedingly agitated in a moment, lost his hopes and courage, and in three hours was a corpse. In my judgment, if he had been let alone, he would have gone through the ordeal safely. From that day to the present, I have sought by all lawful means to inspire the sick with the most pleasing hopes, and never to intimate any thing which may tend to produce alarm, misgiving, or despair.

To return from this digression. I sat with the

young gentleman referred to on the first page of this chapter three quarters of an hour. All this time he was either walking or sitting, and engaged in cheerful and animated conversation. Suddenly, lay-mg his hand upon his heart, he exclaimed, " I feel strangely; I feel as if I should faint; I must lie down." I immediately rose, and helped him to his bed. In one moment after his head was laid upon the pillow, a stream of warm, fresh, healthy-looking blood gushed forth from his mouth, covering his apparel, bosom, and bed clothes, as if he had been stabbed at the heart with a dirk. After that issue of blood he breathed not again. I felt of his heart, and it was still beating, and continued to pulsate for some moments after respiration had ceased. His body was quite as warm as my own. I expected with the utmost confidence that life would return ; but the next morning he was buried. All these things happened in the space of one hour — between noon and one o'clock P. M.

This young man was very intelligent, and twenty minutes before he expired, conversed with more brilliancy than I had ever lieard him before, wlicn in the plenitude of health. He repeated poetry, and made profound philosophical remarks on life, death, and immortality. Among other things, he observed tliat nothing written by man ever impressed him more deeply than the following lines of Gray's Elegy : —

"For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ?

" On some fond breast the parting soul relies ; Some pious drops the closing eye requires ; E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries; E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires."

He asked me a curious question but a few moments before he lay down to die. It was this: " Suppose," said he, " that I was placed in some vessel composed of the densest and hardest materials, and hermetically sealed, like the glass receivers used in chemical laboratories ; would my disembodied soul find any difficulty in permeating this exterior covering? I conclude," he added, " that my spirit, if freed from mortal encumbrances, could, in an instant, pass directly through the globe, and pay a visit to our antipodean brethren, and perhaps make a journey to Orion, Pleiades, or Arcturus, in less time than it now takes to walk down to a store on Char-tres Street." In this voluble and imaginative style, like a clairvoyant or mesmerized person, he poured forth words with the rapidity of a torrent, till the moment of dissolution. His whole being, both intellectual and physical, seemed to be preternaturally and powerfully excited.

" In cases of yellow fever," says Dr. Dowler, one of the most eminent physicians in New Orleans, " at the moment of death, the circulation of the blood is sometimes more active than it ever was in the zenith of life and health. In one instance, a thermometer was placed in the armpit of a corpse at the last expiration, and remained there fifty-five minutes. The first five minutes gave 105° ; the next five minutes, 106|°; the next, 108°; ten minutes more, 108°; ten min-

utes, 108° ; ten minutes, 108° ; and the last ten minutes, 108|°. The veins were greatly distended. A ligature was placed on the arm; a vein was opened ; about two ounces of blood jetted out, after which a trickling took place for a considerable time, amounting to twelve ounces. The circulation was found to be very rapid about the head. The left jugular was opened, as for ordinary blood-letting, but no bandage or pressure was used, the head being raised, so that the orifice was on a level with the breast bone. Tlie blood jotted out completely, without wetting the skin, forming an arch, the diameter of wliich continued to extend for five minutes ; at the end of eight minutes, the arch had contracted, owing, apparently, to small clots on the margins of the orifice, and the skin having once become wet, the blood, without being materially diminished, ran down the neck, jetting occasionally on removing clots from the orifice.

" For about one hour, the flow was copious, but at the end of that time, was diminishing rapidly. I caught nearly three pounds at first; this, with what ran down the neck after the jetting ceased, I estimated to amount to five pounds, or eighty ounces, from the jugular alone. As the blood-letting progressed, the discoloration of the skin of the face diminished. There was, as already mentioned, no bandage or pressure. It would be impossible, in this way, to bleed a living man half as much, as collapse of the vein, clots, fainting, &c., would prevent it. Hence the circulation in the veins was probably more active and persistent than in health. Let it be supposed

that the upper or distal end of the jugular contained an ounce, when opened; this being discharged, no more could replace it, only by a circulatory force. But here the tube is filled eighty times in a few minutes.

" The heat of the patient in the early stages of the yellow fever is usually very great, but it falls off towards the close of the disease, both in the convalescent and dying stages ; but among the dead, in many cases, it rises Idgher than in life, from a quarter of an hour to six or seven hours after death, rising sometimes to one hundred and thirteen degrees, and falling in the very same and in different regions both internally and externally."

The cases just enumerated are phenomena not, indeed, ordinarily witnessed in yellow fever epidemics. In this as in all the works of God, amidst a general uniformity, individual instances are greatly diversified. Is the yellow fever one of God's dispensations ? Undoubtedly. It is a deduction of reason, —may I not say of common sense ? — that there is but one efficient Cause of all the phenomena, both physical and moral, which take place in our world. The Bible affirms repeatedly, and in the strongest terms, that no evil can befall man without the knowledge, permission, and appointment of our heavenly Father. God does not love men less because they are writhing in pain, and " stretched in Disease's shapes abhorred." These calamities are just as necessary for man's development and highest good as the charms and advantages of ease, health, youth, bloom, and beauty.

111 New Orleans, the instances have been numerous of patients rising from their beds, putting on their apparel, and engaging in conversation about their business, and plans for the future, but a few hours, or even only a few minutes, before death. Dr. Cartwright, in his account of the epidemic yellow fever which occurred at Natchez, in 1828, says that " in the last stage, in which fever, in the etymological sense of the term, disappeared, and all severe pain with it, the patient, before debilitated, often regained his strength so as to be able to walk about the room, and converse cheerfully with his friends. When there was no evident cause for this apparent recuperation, it invariably portended a fatal termination.

" A shoemaker, the day before death, got out of bed, went to work, and nearly finished maknig a shoe." He also says that "in the hospital, four or five patients, in the last stage of the disease, acquired great strength, left theij beds, got brooms and the like, and after parading through the rooms for a time, died almost instantaneously." A man has been known to arise, shave, make his toilet with unusual care, sit down and write a letter to his distant relatives, informing them of his convalescence. It was folded, sealed, put into the hands of a servant to be conveyed to the post office, and before he could return to his master he had expired. In another instance a man arose, dressed himself, and walked the streets the length of several squares, and fell lifeless on the banquette. Monsieur Robin, in his Travels in Louisiana, mentions the case of a

physician attacked with yellow fever, who, unconscious of any sickness, continued to attend his patients until just before his death. When interrogated, he declared that he was in good health. Others died reading, apparently in the greatest joy, and sometimes in raptures of delight. A young man indited a beautiful epistle to his betrothed as the world was receding forever from his view. Going to see a sick man one morning, I found him sitting at a small table, with his usual costume on, and reading a newspaper. He was in the greatest flow of spirits, full of wit, laughter, merriment, and jesting. I was requested to take a chair directly opposite to him, and the table was so narrow that our faces almost touched each other. He was very fond of talking on phrenological subjects. There was an acquaintance, whom he did not prize very highly, who had just before left the room. He was describing his craniology in terms so irresistibly facetious that we both burst yito a peal of laughter, when, in an instant, — in the twinkling of an eye, — he dropped his head upon his arms, which were laid upon the table before him, and breathed not again. We immediately placed him upon the bed, to see if he could not be resuscitated. But life had fled to return no more.

CHAPTER XI.

ON THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MY EELIGIOUS TEACHINGS AND THE PREVAILING CHARACTER OF THE PECULIAR EXPERIENCES THROUGH WHICH I HAVE PASSED IN NEW ORLEANS.

Fenelon, ill a work which he wrote on preaching and the composition of sermons, says that " no book is more important to a clergyman than tlie volume of human Kfe. He should read it by day, and meditate thereon by night. Such a study will enable him to accommodate directions and exhortations to persons of all ages, conditions, and circumstances. And whenever a preacher advances what touches a man's character, or is applicable to his peculiar state and deficiencies, he is sure of being heard. To discover a person to himself, in a light in which he never saw his portrait before, produces a wonderful effect."

Since my settlement in New Orleans, I have tried to adopt the platform recommended by this venerable prelate of the Roman Catholic church. Setting aside the Bible, I have learned more about religion from reading the phenomena of the human heart and human life, than could be acquired from all the uninspired books in the world. The topics to which I allude in this remark arc the following: "What is man ? Why have we been created capable even of angelic virtue, in a world where unavoidable circum-23

stances render us so vile and grovelling, so frail, unwise, and unworthy ? Whence these longings for exquisite, uninterrupted, ever-increasing happiness, where existence is made up of such adverse fates, hardships, and sufferings ? We feel desires, aspirations, that soar upwards to the illimitable heavens, yet, in fact, are as destitute as the worm under our feet. Whence these strange extremes of joy and sorrow, light and darkness, good and evil, earth and heaven, which are mingled in our nature and allotments ? Tliese questions weigh heavily upon every reflecting mind.

With the exception of man, we see all things around and above us moving on in obedience to laws, wise, orderly, and harmonious. How magnificent is yon firmament! How bright and blessed are the beams of the sun ! Mountains, hills, plains, valleys, and lakes are formed into scenes of indescribable loveliness, as if earth was intended to be a paradise. The groves are full of melody. Happy beings range every walk and department of the brute creation; but man groans under the crushing burdens of existence. He struggles and wears himself out in efforts to obtain that food, and other accommodations, Avhich the brute enjoys in absolute exemption from labor and anxiety. Finally, at an unexpected moment, death steps in to close this short, eventful career. The curtain falls ; the actor takes his final exit for regions hidden from mortal sight by clouds and shadows utterly impervious to the light of human reason.

How inexplicable do these things appear ! I have

been sxirroimded with honest and inquiring sceptics. Often have they addressed me thus : " Why wore we not made like the brutes, to run a constant round of gratification only ? Why were we not so created as to be capable of accomplishing all the purposes of our existence, and attaining the highest happiness, by the indulgences merely of our natural desires and appetites ? How different is our condition from this ! At every step we encounter various forms of opposition. Obstacles and obstructions come from without and from within. Every day we feel the pressure of wants whicli earth cannot supply ; every week, in spite of ourselves, is more or less a week of trials, sorrow, temptation, and bereavement. Now, reason looks upon this state of tilings, not with wonder only, but also with utter amazement. Reason inquires, If God is good, why is not man a larger recipient of his goodness ? Why do not conscience and pleasure, desire and duty, always speak the same language ? Why are they ever clashing, opposite, and contradictory, the one clamorously demanding what the other forbids ? Why have not things on earth been so arranged that our state here might correspond with the picture suggested by these lines of the poet: —

' To virtue in the paths of pleasure trod, And owned a Father when they o-wiied a God; No ill could fear in Him, but understood A sovereign being, but a sovereign good ' ?

Yet in the sublime depths of Nature above, around, beneath, and within us, we see no traces of a

Father's hand. As if in contempt of our weakness and misery, she rolls on in her course — dark, stern, silent, resistless, and appalling as the grave."

To such objections I have usually replied in the following terms: It is obvious that if we had nothing to guide us but animal appetites and passions, we could not occupy the rank of moral and accountable beings. We should in that case, like the bird, reptile, or fish, belong to the brute creation merely. What, then, would become of glory, wisdom and worth, indomitable energy and resolution, the trampling upon the mean and base, the triumphing over the vile—all those beauties and sublimities of virtue which shed eternal lustre on the character and history of man, that proclaim his alliance to the Divinity, and the everlasting expansion of his destiny? If our passions were not so constituted as to rebel often against our sense of the true, good, and proper, we should be as incapable of performing noble actions as the oak of the forest or a buffalo on the prairies.

I am compelled, then, to regard the world in which we are placed as perfectly adapted to our wants and the sublime purposes of our creation. There is no other spot in the universe where we could be as well off for the time being as we ar.e here. God has placed us in this school of difficulties for benevolent purposes only, that by resisting, struggling against, and overcoming them, we might develop our powers, rise to a more intimate union with himself, and form the habits required for our exaltation and blessedness, as wc shall travel onward upon the line of an existence that can never terminate.

The peculiar life which I was called to pass through iu New Orleaus enforced upon me the conclusion of Scripture that there is no absolute, eternal evil iu the boundless universe of God. Nothing that we call evil is final. It is only the necessary means of a greater and ever-expanding good.

" Presumptuous man, wouldst thou the reason find Why made so weak, so little, and so blind ? First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, Why made no weaker, blinder, and no less ; Ask of thy mother earth why oaks are made Taller and stronger than the weeds they shade; Or ask of yonder argent fields above Why Jove's satellites are less than Jove; Say not, then, man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; Say, rather, man's as perfect as he ought. His knowledge measured to his state and place, His time a moment, and a point his space."

Again, by living in New Orleans I have been deeply impressed with the vanity of human ambition, and the worthlessness of what men usually most covet — the possession of wealth. Cases of the following description have been constantly passing before my eyes, like the successive pictures of a panorama. A young man settles iu New Orleans. He is noble and highly gifted, the delight and hope of his friends, relatives, and acquaintances. After the ordeal of the yellow fever, he becomes established in a profitable course of business. With a most commendable perseverance he carries forward his various enterprises, till he believes himself independently rich. Happening to be in the counting room of one of these fortunate persons, on a certain morning iu the month of November, he spoke to me thus: — 23*

" I pity yoii, when I think of the hard, cheerless, and unprofitable labors of your professional life. You are just emerging from the toils and horrors of another epidemic. Poor you are to-day, and probably always will be. Nor is your destitution to be regarded in any other light than a misfortune beyond your control. The sufferings which you are compelled to relieve will always keep your purse empty. It will be impossible for you, as long as you live here, to lay up any thing against sickness or old age. My own fortune I consider as a fixed fact. This coming winter I intend to wind up my affairs, and retire to some healthy part of the world, to enjoy the remainder of my days in leisure, in the tranquil pursuits of an independent country life. What is the use of clerical labors in such a place as this, where Mammon and Bacchus reign supreme ? If you were a lawyer, merchant, or politician, you might succeed here. And if you are determined to pursue your present vocation, would it not be better to repair to a more propitious latitude — to Boston, or some northern city, where the institutions of religion are settled, and where your labors and talents would be better understood and appreciated ? "

This advice emanated from a noble and sincere mind, but it was a mind which had never been lifted above the low plane of a merely physical and sensual world. At that time I was upon the vestibule of my clerical career, young, and inexperienced as to the vicissitudes of a temporal life. Walking from this interview to my study, the reflection was deeply impressed on my heart that the counsel of

my friend was deserving of serious consideration. It might be that he was right. It might be that I was making a foolish and visionary sacrifice, by occupying such a forbidding and unpromising field of labor as New Orleans. The subject weighed heavily on my mind. I never for a moment harbored the idea of engaging in any secular profession. But the thought occurred to me that it would perhaps be expedient to accept the invitation of my friend to accompany him the next summer on a tour through the Northern and Western States, with a view, among other things, of selecting a more eligible theatre for my professional pursuits.

Here the matter rested for a while. In the inscrutable scheme of divine Providence, this person was not permitted to realize the beautiful plan which he had marked out for future consummation. It was otherwise decreed in the counsels of Heaven. Within a few weeks after the conversation just mentioned, and before he had enjoyed an opportunity to call in his means, and invest them in permanent securities, a great, sudden, and most unexpected revulsion in the commercial world swept over our city. His darling fortune, which he had looked upon to be as stable as the everlasting hills, was swallowed up forever. All his possessions and glories vanished in a 'day. He never recovered from the blow. A few years afterwards I saw him laid in the grave, a bankrupt not only as to property, but also in regard to moral worth and spiritual excellence.

This and similar incidents put an utter end to all thoughts of taking any steps to better my outward

circumstances in life. I felt the surpassing wisdom of those words of the Psalmist, " Verily, every man in his firmest state is but a vapor. Surely every man walketh as a shadow. Surely he disquicteth himself in vain. He heapeth up treasures, and know-eth not who will enjoy them." The heathen poet Horace somewhere says," What is less durable than flowers in spring ? What is more changeable than the moon ? Yet these are the best images of human life. Why, then, should creatures, by nature formed to mortality, fatigue themselves with endless and uncertain projects ? " The anecdote to which I have adverted presents a point of instruction, although not, indeed, novel, nor extraordinary; yet I look back upon it as an epoch in my moral history, and as such, it is, perhaps, deserving a place in these very humble records. I coiild multiply instances of the kind, in my subsequent experiences, whose recital would fill volumes.

About that time my mind was first opened to realize the truth and beauty of the following description, which, though familiar to me from a child, I had never before appreciated: —

" Know then this truth, (enough for man to know,) Virtue alone is happiness below; The only point where human bliss stands still, And tastes the good, unmingled with the ill; "Where only merit constant pay receives. Is blessed in what it takes and what it gives; The joy imequalled, if its end is gain, And if it lose, attended with no pain ; "Without satiety, though e'er so blessed. And but more relished as the more distressed; The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears Less pleasing far than virtue's very tears;

Good, from each object, from each place acquired, Forever exercised, j'et never tired ; Kever elated while one man's oppressed, Never dejected while another's blessed ; And where no wants, no wishes can remain, Since but to wish more virtue is to gain."

This is a poetic paraphrase of those memorable words of Scripture, " Great peace have they who love,^thy law. They have a happiness which the world can neither give nor destroy." For years I have been in the habit of repeating this quotation, many times in a day — I might almost say continually. Its beauties have pervaded my soul, and dictated the predominant thoughts, feelings, and actions of my life. They have afforded me not only a purer but an infinitely higher degree of happiness than I could have derived from all the merely temporal possessions and glories of earth. That hour I became richer than gold could make me, when God was pleased to reveal to my heart the sublime sentiment, that human happiness does not consist in the pleasures of a physical and sensual world, in whatever profusion or variety they be enjoyed.

Jesus Christ began his first discourse by declaring to his hearers that it was not in wealth, fame, office, power, or pleasure, to confer the bliss they sighed for. Blessed, he said, are they only who are enamoured of the charms of wisdom, integrity, and moral excellence ; who admire a gentle, meek, forgiving, pure, social, loving spirit; who have the living' God for their help, and whose only hope is in his infinite life, light, truth, love, wisdom, power, and beneficence.

Of the whole number of young men who have immigrated to New Orleans since my first acquaintance with that place, very few have succeeded in acquiring an independence. One of the fortunate few retired to his native place, and built a charming villa, where he and his family miglit be happy for the rest of their days. But in one year after their removal, the father, mother, and two children were laid in their graves, and left their wealth to others. Now, this gentleman was wise in accumulating property by all the honorable means in his power. I think, too, that he was wise in leaving New Orleans when he did, and fixing his residence in a more salubrious and beautiful place. But he was not wise in abjuring religion, and going upon the ground that his happiness depended upon outward condition and circumstances only. There is no delusion by which mankind are greater sufferers than this.

It is hard for them to believe that virtue and happiness are coincident. The doctrine of the New Testament is that all living, whether high or low, learned or ignorant, rich or poor, would be happy to-day, if tliey were sincerely actuated by the principles of the gospel. It is hard to admit this truth. We struggle against it to the last. Tell a young man that he may live and die poor, and yet be a noble being, obtain the highest honors of life, and enjoy its purest pleasures, your words will sound to him like the very essence of folly and fanaticism. He thinks that his mission in this world is to get riches, to amass gold, to scrape together the dust of earth,

and that without these he will sink into utter wretchedness and insignificance.

Imagine the external condition of mankind to be represented by a scale resembling that of a thermometer. Place a rude, illiterate, inexperienced, wicked young man, say of the age of twenty, at the lowest degree in this scale. Now, suppose that, without the slightest intellectual or moral improvement, he were to ascend from one stage to another of success, till he became invested with the splendors and advantages of a millionnaire. During all this progression of outward good, he would suffer a regular diminution of enjoyment, and in his final state would be more wretched than he was at the beginning. This may seem incredible to some, but I feel certain of its truth, because in several instances I have witnessed the identical experiment, and carefully noted the result.

I once heard a merchant, now in his grave, who began life with nothing, and had acquired a large estate, confess that no successes which attended him in the acciimulation of property had added a particle to his happiness. " So far as circumstances of fortune are concerned," he remarked, " I was far happier when a poor boy fifteen years old, in a country store, and earning a few dollars only per month, than I have been at any subsequent period of my life." Yet this man had never failed in his business, had never met with any considcra]jle reverses of fortune. The course of his affairs had been remarkably smooth and prosperous. At the same time he was surrounded with the endearments of a refined,

happy family, and not a member of his domestic circle had ever died.

This gentleman took a pew in onr church. He had occupied it but one Sunday previous to the visit, during Avliich the conversation just referred to took place. Monday morning I called on him, and was conducted into a private apartment, a recess to his counting room. Alone and undisturbed we had a long conversation on the subject of religion. He led off by saying that " yesterday was the first time he had ever attended church in New Orleans, and that he had never in his life before had any conversation with a clergyman on religious matters." It was evident that he had read and thought much. But from a youth he had cherished the idea that Christianity was but a delusion, and that death was an eternal sleep. When I asked why he came to hear me preach, he replied " that Judge C. had told him that our pulpit advocated some new views of the Bible and a future state, which he thought would be interesting to me." Then he made the remark already quoted, that he had not found happiness in temporal prosperity. *' Can you explain," said he, " the reasons of my failure ? "

I answered him by making a quotation which seemed to me relevant. In my efforts to enlighten and convince honest inquirers after truth, it has long been my habit ^o use, as far as possible, the arguments and words of distinguished writers in preference to my own suggestions. In this manner I have given to the ideas which I wished to communicate the power and authority of a great name, that to

many minds is quite irresistible. I said Dr. Palej somewhere remarks, " It is a well-established fact in the science of human happiness, that no plenitude of outward gratifications can make their possessors happy, unless he have something in reserve, something to look forward to, and hope for, beyond the the grave. The merely worldly man feels himself confined; he sees the limits on every side, there is no room for an adequate expansion of his soul. The human mind is so organized that it can never be filled, sufficiently interested by the realities of today. It is constantly looking beyond the scenes of the present tense, to find refreshment and support in the anticipated glories of some distant event or attainment. Condition, external circumstances, have so little connection with our true welfare as to render it probable that the means of happiness are equally distributed among mankind, and that in this respect one person has no advantage over another. Tlu'oughout society, every external blessing that one possesses, not enjoyed by his neighbor, has some offset or counterbalancing drawback, every peculiar evil to which he is subjected some peculiar compensation."