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2. That, he who was the express image of the glory of the Father, was clothed in flesh, that it was no phantom which had exhibited itself to them under a human form.
3. And thirdly, he intended to imply, that there were in reality no such beings as they had imagined, and to point out in what manner all those names of xons, such as light and life, whose attributes they supposed to be exhibited in Jesus, might be used in reference to him, and applied to him.
"In the beginning," he says, " was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God;" those attributes of the Deity which have been embodied under this title do not constitute a separate being emanating from him, but are and always have been a part of his nature ; by the exercise of them was every thing made that has been created, and every thing done which he has accomplished; they are the light and the life of men, and a glorious exhibition of them has been made, which men in the blindness of their hearts have not acknowledged. John was commissioned to bear testimony to this exercise of divine wisdom, power and goodness, which is extended to all men, and which has been displayed in the world, though the world knew it not. " It came to its own;" God first showed forth his mercy to his peculiar people, and they have not acknowledged his band. 55. And the logos was made flesh ;" the Divine goodness was exbibited through the agency of one who possessed human nature, who was clothed with a real body like other men. It was no deception, our eyes have seen the glory of the only begotten and dearly beloved Son of God ; our ears have heard the gracious truths which proceeded out of his mouth whilst he dwelt among us. And it is of him that John bore witness, &c.
From this very brief explanation of those parts of the passage with which we are principally concerned, it will be seen that we do not suppose the logos to mean Christ, but the Divine attributes which were displayed through him, and consequently that the apostle allows no intermediate existences emanating from God, or supplying the place of a soul to a human body, but claims as the immediate exercises of God's power and goodness, those revelations of truth and acts of mercy which He enabled Jesus Christ to discover and to perform. The explanation seems to us simple and clear ; but we are aware that it may at first, appear very differently to others, and we ask them merely to examine more particularly the statements we have made with respect to the notions of the Platonists and Gnostics, and the probability of St. John's writing with reference to those notions. To us the supposition, which the trinitarian must make, seems a most extraordinary one. He must either believe that this obscure language, which occurs no where else in the New Testament, but which was much in vogue with a numerous and troublesome sect of heretical Christians of that day, was used by St. John without any reference to that sect; or he must imagine, that the Platonists and Gnostics derived their language from that of the Christians.* But we ask, what reason can be given for this very remarkable language, if it was not used in reference to the same terms, which were current among these philosophic Christians. And if it had this reference, we think our case is made out, for we esteem it altogether improbable, if these notions, with respect to the logos particularly, were common to all Christians and made an essential part of their creed, that we should find so much more said about it by the philosophers than the apostles ; we think it perfectly incredible that three separate narratives of our Saviour's ministry, an account of the preaching of the principal apostles, and numerous letters to the churches they established, should have been written without a syllable escaping from their pens, without a hint dropped even by accident upon these very remarkable subjects. While, on the other hand, as we know from historical evidence, that erroneous ideas with regard to certain intermediate beings between God and man, derived from heathen philosophy, were early incorporated with Christianity, we can perceive no improbability in the supposition, that the apostle who attained the greatest age, and wrote later than either of the others, should have thought it necessary to oppose them. It is in the writings of St. John that we find them explicitly and directly contradicted, and we therefore think it most probable that he intended to check their extension.
It is not to be supposed that this passage can be understood without diligent attention ; and we are able to furnish our readers only with hints to assist their researches, as we should be obliged to devote too much space to an elaborate defence of these positions. The principal difficulty is to render one's self familiar with those modes of thinking, and forms of expression which were common in the times of the apostle, but which now seem so strange and absurd, that we are almost inclined to doubt whether men ever indulged in such vagaries.
* This is the idea of Bryant with regard to the Platonists. See bis work on the Logos.
MEMOIR OF JOHN GALLISON, ESQ.
Our last number contained a brief notice of Mr. Gallison ; but his rare excellence, and the singular affection, esteem and confidence which he enjoyed, have been thought to demand a more particular delineation of his character. And the office is too grateful to be declined. In the present imperfect condition of human nature, when strange and mournful inconsistences so often mix with and shade the virtues of good men ; when truth, that stern monitor, almost continually forbids us to give free scope to admiration, and compels us to dispense our praise with a measured and timid liberality; it is delightful to meet an example of high endowments, undebased by the mixture of unworthy habits and feelings; to meet a character whose blamelessness spares us the pain of making deductions from its virt And our satisfaction is greatly increased, when Providence has seen fit to unfold this character in the open light of a conspicuous station, so that many around us have had opportunity to observe it as well as ourselves, and that we can give utterance to our affection and respect, with the confidence of finding sympathy and a full response in the hearts of our readers.
But we have a higher motive, than the relief and gratification of personal feelings, for paying this tribute to Mr. Gallison. We consider his character as singularly instructive, particularly to that important class of the community, young men. His life, whilst it bore strong testimony to those great principles of mo. rality and religion, in which all ranks and ages have an interest, and on which society rests, seems to us peculiarly valuable, as a commentary on the capacities and right application of youth, as demonstrating what a young man may become, what honour, love, and influence he may gather round him ; and how attractive are the christian virtues at that age which is generally considered as least amenable to the laws of religion. For young men we chiefly make this record ; and we do it with a deep conviction, that society cannot be served more effectually than by spreading through this class a purer morality, and a deeper sense of responsibility than are now enforced by public opinion ; for our young men are soon to be the fathers, guides and defenders of the community; and however examples may now and then occur of early profligacy changed by time into purity and virtue, yet too often the harvest answers to the seed, the building to the foundation ; and perhaps it will appear on that great day which is to unfold the consequences of actions, that even forsaken vice leaves wounds in the mind, which are slowly bealed, and which injure the moral powers and predispose to moral disease through the whole life.
In this connection it may be proper to observe, that there is no country, in which society has such an interest in bringing strong moral and religious influences to bear on young men, as in this ; for our country has been distinguished by the premature growth of those to whom it gives birth. Various circumstances here develop the mind and active powers earlier than in Europe. Our young men come forward sooner into life ; mix sooner in the stir and conflicts of business and politics ; and form sooner the most important domestic relations. It has often been suggested, that the mind suffers under this forcing system, that it is exhausted by excess of action, that a slower growth would give it greater strength and expansion. But be this true or not, and we trust that the suggestion is founded on remote analogies rather than on observation, one thing is plain, that in proportion as the young advance rapidly in intellect and activity, there should be a powerful application of moral and religious truths and sanctions to their consciences and hearts. Their whole nature should grow at once. The moral sense, the sense of God, should not slumber, whilst the intellect and the passions are awake, and enlarging themselves with a fearful energy. A conviction of their responsibility to God and society should be deeply wrought into the opening reason, so as to recur through life with the force of instinct. Mr. Gallison was a striking example of the early and harmonious unfolding of the moral and intellectual nature, and in this view his character is particularly fitted to the wants and dangers of our state of society.
When we know or hear of uncommon excellence, it is natural to enquire, by what propitious circumstances it was formed; and hence the curiosity which has sifted so diligently the early history of eminent men. But such investigations we believe, generally teach us, that character is more independent on outward circumstances than is usually thought, that the chief causes which form a superior mind are within itself. Whilst the Supreme Being encourages liberally the labours of education by connecting with them many good and almost sure results, still, as if to magnify her own power and to teach men humility and dependence, he often produces, with few or no means, a strength of intellect and principle, a grace and dignity of character, which the most anxious human culture cannot confer. In the early years of Mr. Gallison, we find no striking circumstances or incidents which determined the peculiarities of his future character.
The processes, by which he became what he was, were inward; and the only voice, which could disclose them, is now silent in death.
He was born in Marblehead, October, 1788. His mother, a sister of the late Chief Justice Sewall, survived his birth but a few hours ; and his life began with one of the heaviest of life's afflictions, the loss of a mother's love. He was so happy however as to be the object of singular and never failing kindness in his surviving parent, whom he requited with no common filial attachment; and he may be cited as a proof of the good effects of that more unrestrained and tender intercourse between parents and children, which distinguishes the present from the past age. He was early placed under the tuition of the Rev. Dr. Harris, now President of Columbia College, New York, then preceptor of an academy, and rector of an episcopal church, in Marblehead. He is said to have endeared himself to bis revered instructor by his docility, industry, modesty, love of truth, and steady improvement. He held a high but unenvied rank at school ; and it may be mentioned as an evidence of early judgment and a constant mind, that some of the friendships of that early period went with him to the grave, and were among the best enjoyments of his life.
He entered the University at Cambridge, A. D. 1803, in the 15th year of his age ; and whilst his unremitting application gave him the full benefit of its various provisions for literary improvement, his consistent character and social virtues won for him universal confidence and esteem. On leaving the University be commenced the study of the law under the Hon. John Quincy Adams, and having completed his preparation under the Hon. Joseph Story, began the practice of his profession at Marblehead A. D. 1810. By the advice of his friends he soon removed to this metropolis, a more proper, because wider sphere of action. Here he experienced, for a time, those anxieties and depressions, which form the common trial of young men, who enter a crowded profession. But his prospects were brightened by a connection in business, which he formed with the Hon. William Prescott, and which, as it was unsolicited and attended by other flattering circumstances, gave him a gratifying assurance of the confidence which he had inspired. The progress of his reputation as a lawyer was soon a matter of common remark; and those, who were most capable of understanding the depth and extent of his legal attainments, were confident, that should his life be spared, he would attain the highest honours of his profession.
He died December, 1820, at the age of 32. The shock given to the community by this event was unusual and the calamity was heightened by its unexpectedness. His general health, cheerfulness, and activity had given the promise of a long life, and his friends were not alarmed for him until a week before his New Series-vol. III.