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York collection is found to have united them in an eminent degree, and especially if it has been formed with due regard to the last, the writer of this article will be among the first to thank the author for his production; and particularly as he will thus be released from all further labour in a like design, in which he has already made some progress, and for which he had intended in due time to lay his poetical friends under contribution.
WE called the attention of our readers to the character and works of Dr. Mayhew in our last number. We extract the following additional notice from an Historical Sermon delivered in the West Church, Boston, Dec. 31, 1820, by Rev. Charles Lowell, successor of Dr. Mayhew.
"The successor of Mr. Hooper was Mayhew, a name which cannot be pronounced without emotion by any friend to civil liberty, or the right of private judgment in matters of religion. He was truly a great man, second to none in his profession whom our country has ever produced. This opinion is not formed from hearsay, from tradition, which is often entirely false, and still oftener exaggerated. His writings remain with us, and they bear the marks of an uncommonly clear and vigorous mind. They sometimes, indeed, partake much of the warmth of his constitutional temperament, and there is a vein of satire, in which, for the sake of his opponents, we might wish he had not indulged, but they are full of thought, of sound sense, and cogent argument. His warmth too, is without passion, and his satire without bitterness. His natural disposition was open and generous, and, like every honest man who feels the importance of what he utters, he delivered his opinions with frankness and energy. The friends who knew him best have described him, not only as endowed with sin'gular greatness of mind and fortitude of spirit,' but with 'softness and benevolence of temper,' as most amiable in 'all the relations of life,' as 'exceeding in acts of liberality ' and kindness,' as a man of real piety and true devotion, 'an upright, sincere disciple of Jesus Christ.'
"Like the puritans, and the ministers of the congregational churches in this place at the present day, he renounced all attachment to human systems, reserving for himself, as he allowed to others, the liberty of forming his opinions and his practice from the word of God. He was not an advocate for the sentiments of Luther, or Calvin, but for primitive christianity, a zealous contender for the faith once delivered to the saints, not receiving the doctrines of grace as taught at the reformation, but the doctrines of grace as revealed in the Holy Scriptures."
What follows is a note to the above passage. "Dr. Mayhew was born in 1720. He was the son of the Rev. Experience Mayhew, who, though he possessed uncommon powers of mind, and might have ranked among the first worthies of New England,' devoted a long life to the service of God among the Indians on Martha's Vineyard. His son early discovered proofs of genius, and an uncommon strength of mind. His productions in prose and verse, whilst yet an undergraduate at the college, were supposed to be the productions of mature age.
He died of a nervous fever, occasioned by great fatigue in returning from an ecclesiastical council at Rutland, in the month of July. During his last illness, he enjoyed but for a short time the use of his reason. One circumstance, however, which I have from unquestionable authority, will evince the state of his mind when he had the power to exercise it. When all hope of his recovery was gone, the late Dr. Cooper said to him, Tell me, dear sir, if you retain the sentiments which you have taught, and what are your views?' With firmness, though with difficulty, he said, taking him affectionately by the hand, I hold fast mine integrity, and it shall not depart
The last letter written by Dr. Mayhew was on the day before his departure for Rutland. It discovers the solicitude he felt for his country, and suggests the plan of a correspon dence or "communion" among the colonies, which was afterwards adopted, and conduced much to the happy result of their struggle for independence.-The letter was addressed to James Otis, Esq.
It is by no means honourable to our community, that the writings of this great and good man are out of print, and sinking fast into oblivion. "No American author," says the interesting biographer above quoted, "ever obtained a higher reputation. He would have done honour to any country by his character and by his writings." Many of his productions were
republished, most of them more than once, in England, and in a form which discovered the high estimation in which the writer was held. Of one of them, on the subject of episcopacy, the author of Hollis' Memoirs remarks, It is perhaps the most masterly performance, that a subject of that kind would admit of.' His discourse preached on the 30th of January, 1750, has been recently republished, at the suggestion of the venerable President Adams, to corroborate the claim of this state to the earliest assertion of the rights and liberties of our country. In speaking of Dr. Mayhew, this great man has said, 'to draw the character of Mayhew would be to transcribe a dozen volumes. This transcendant genius threw all the weight of his great fame into the scale of his country in 1761, and maintained it there, with zeal and ardour till his death.' The most valuable of his publications might, probably, be comprised in three volumes octavo."
BUILDING OF THE WEST CHURCH.
In the notes to the above-mentioned sermon, which contain a great variety of interesting local information and anecdote, we find a communication from the Old South to the West Church, which it may not be unseasonable to copy.
"As soon as the determination of the society to erect a new house of worship was known, they received invitations from the Old South church, the New North church, the church in Brattle street, and King's chapel, to unite with them in worship till the house should be completed.
The proceedings of the Old South church and the letter of their minister, the late excellent Dr. Eckley, will serve as a specimen of the spirit which was breathed by them all, and of the union and harmony which at that time subsisted between all the congregational churches in the town.
'AT a meeting of the brethren of the Old South church and Congregation, after public service on Sabbath afternoon, the 26th day of January, 1806-
'It being known that the Church and religious Society at West Boston, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Lowell, contemplated the taking down their present building in order to erect a new edifice for the public worship of GOD,-and during the time occupied in the undertaking, might be in need of some suitable place for the enjoyment of the usual services of religion, therefore
'Voted unanimously, that it would be highly gratifying to this Society, if their brethren of the West Boston Society would
meet with them for worship in their house,-the two pastors jointly leading in the public devotions :
Voted unanimously, that the Rev. Dr. Eckley, and the Standing Committee of this Society, be a Committee for the business of inviting the West Boston Society to their house of worship-with assurances of their christian esteem, and of the purpose to render the accommodations during their continuance with them, as agreeable and convenient as possible.
Minister of the Old South Society.
These votes were communicated with the following letter: Charles Cushing, Esq.
"WITH much satisfaction I communicate to you the enclosed votes. Be assured not only of my hearty concurrence in the wish that they express, but of my personal respect and esteem for the religious Society, to which you are requested to present them, as soon as is convenient.
With due regard,
Your friend and obedient servant,
January 22, 1806."
It was most convenient for the society to worship at the chapel, and they cannot forget the cordiality with which they were received, and the kind attention with which they were treated, by the society assembling there, and their much respected pastor.
The following extracts from a letter of the late Dr. Eckley to the Rev. T. Worcester, of Salisbury, prove that his opinions were by no means strictly trinitarian. They are quoted by Mr. Channing in his letter to Mr. Thacher, who says," his opinions on this subject were again and again expressed before me with perfect frankness."
"My plan, when I saw you, as I think I intimated, respecting the Son of God, was very similar to what your brother* has now adopted. The common plan of three self-existent persons forming one Essence or infinite Being, and one of these persons
being united to a man, but not in the least humbling himself or suffering, completely leads to and ends in Socinianism; and though it claims the form of orthodoxy, it is a shadow without the substance; it eludes inspection; and I sometimes say to those who are strenuous for this doctrine, that they take away my Lord, and I know not where they place him." The orthodoxy, so called, of Waterland, is as repugnant to my reason and views of religion, as the heterodoxy of Lardner; and I am at a loss to see that any solid satisfaction, for a person who wishes to find salvation through the death of the SON OF GOD, can be found in either."-"I seek for a plan which exalts the personal character and attributes of the SON OF GOD in the highest possible degree. The plan which your brother hath chosen does this-The scheme he has adopted affords light and comfort to the christian. I have long thought so; and I continue to think I have not been mistaken."
Written by the celebrated botanist Sir J. E. SMITH, M. D. F. R. S.
When power divine in mortal form
So when in silence nature sleeps,
And his lone watch the mourner keeps,
Blest be the voice that breathes from Heaven,
To every heart in sunder riven,
When love and joy and hope are fled,
"Lo, it is I-be not afraid."
When men with fiend-like passions rage,
Blest be the voice, though still and small,
God calms the tumult and the storm,
No creature is by him forgot,
Of those who know or know him not.
And when the last dread hour shall come,
While shuddering nature waits her doom,