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ing mightily upon all the faculties, intellectual and moral, of his gigantic mind ; chastening, expanding, and elevating all his private affections ; filling his soul, in her moments of solitude, with all kinds of pure and heavenly meditations ; strengthening his heart to do his duty manfully in the walks of public life, in the glorious conflict for liberty and truth ; guiding him, throughout his years of activity, to deeds of disinterested virtue and heroic patriotism ; and finally consoling him in his. last desolate days, when he was left to mourn apart, in affliction, poverty and blindness.
For our incomparable Locke, his whole life appears to have been one uninterrupted course of innocence, piety and goodness. The purity of all his dispositions and habits, and his filial tenderness and fidelity, in his youth ; his high-minded contempt of worldly gains and honors, which courted his acceptance, in his manhood ; his unwearied, amiable endeavors, to serve his friends and fellow creatures on all occasions ; the cheerful piety with which he endured his complicated pains and sufferings for so many years ; and at last, the calm and dignified spirit of resignation in which he met approaching death ; -- all together afford a beautiful and almost unparalleled example of christian excellence.
In what relates to Newton, although he apparently had to struggle with some serious natural infirmities of temper, yet he seems, by the christian simplicity and integrity of his character, ever to have maintained a place in the esteem and love of all that knew him well. There are few passages of personal history more interesting and affecting, than the account of the tempora
ry disagreement, and permanent and cordial reconciliation, between Locke and Newton.* Therein, we may witness a moral scene highly worthy of our contemplation. The greatest philosopher of that or of almost any age, conscious that he had erred, feeling that by hasty and groundless suspicions he has wronged his virtuous friend, bows himself down like a very child, and in sorrow and shame entreats forgiveness. And that mistrusted friend, himself one of the noblest intellectual benefactors of his race, instantly replies to the entreaty with a humility, a frankness and a grace, which makes his character, on other accounts so great, appear withal exceeding amiable. It is a portion of their history that affords us, incidentally, a bright glimpse of the genuine, the unostentatious christian virtues, which belonged to these truly venerable sages. In understanding they were perfect men : in malice they were like babes.
In these respects, then, the example of Milton, Locke, and Newton, is one of very precious value.
How happy would it have been for the cause of religion, how happy for the world, if men distinguished by their mental superiority, had always been careful to exhibit similar examples of moral worth! How beautiful the character in which these perfections unite! How well the presence of each becomes the other ! How glorious to see a life of innocence and piety recommended to the notice and the veneration of millions, by being associated with exalted powers of intellect, with vast
* See the Letters between them in Lord King's Life of Locke. Vol. 1. pp. 417 — 419.
acquirements in knowledge, or with the achievement of great and famous deeds! Finally, however, in regard to these, their moral qualities, even the humblest of men may aspire to emulate the great ones of the earth. We may aim to accomplish this, if we can accomplish nothing more. Let us resolve to do so; and it will not be altogether in vain that we have been engaged in considering the religious opinions and example of these illustrious characters. May the one true God whom we worship, through Jesus Christ our Lord, crown our meditations and resolves with his blessing.
ISAIAH, IX, 6.
IX, 6. AND JOHN, I, 1.
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