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ments of Hosea Ballou 2d. No other class of persons, equally large, knew him so well in these particulars. In all the solid qualities of the essay and review his productions have for years had neither rival nor second. In that limited sense in which such a term is soinetimes applied to the writings, of uninspired men, Dr. Ballou has for years been our authoritative writer; and before any one among us felt it prudent to dissent from his conclusions, it has been deemed somewhat obligatory carefully to examine the processes by which he reached his conclusions. But well understood as were his powers in these pages, we cannot refuse ourselves the satisfaction of attempting a trifle more than simple allusion to them.
The distinguishing trait of Dr. Ballou's understanding was in its breadth and comprehensiveness. He saw through and round his subject. He never mistook a segment for a complete view. Hence, in his leading disquisitions he realized the necessity of ascertaining, as far as possible, all the data ; and he never ventured upon a process of reasoning until this preliminary work was faithfully performed. It is easy enough to perceive that every person who assumes to write on subtle themes, should do as much--easy to see, that neglecting such precautions, his theorising must be unsatisfactory. Yet every day's observation and experience assure us, that it is a rare gift that can adhere to such a course. The ordinary intellect is in too much haste, has too little of persistent force, is too willing to succumb to the excitement and passion of the hour, is too easily diverted from a steady course by objects which touch the emotions and fix prejudices. Encountered by the flaws and the rough billows of the lake, the lighter craft, dependent wholly upon the breeze, have no resource but to scud before the wind; it is only the heavy and well ballasted vessels, having a propelling power of their own, that can hold a direct course in spite of the eccentricities of the wind and the deep. With most men, the popular current is irresistable,
,—we mean in the sense that it carries with it the reason as well as the conduct. It is hard to believe against the fashion-hard to reason against the impulse of the hour. Why, as we write, how have we quasi non-resistents, under the strong emotions occasioned by a national crisis, become clamorous for war! How do thousands who but yesterday scorned the military, passing a procession of uniforms with averted gaze, now flock to the “ parade!” Very likely, the new impulse is nearer the right and expedient—the necessities of the time may have demonstrated the wisdom of the axiom, “In time of peace prepare for war." But had our intellects been able to take larger views, and to form profounder judgments, we might have seen in time of peace even, what it is but little merit to see now, in time of war. We repeat, the understanding is very rare that can hold its way against the prevailing impulse of the hour ; or that can find the right and the expedient without the aid of such impulse. This is the understanding that grasps principles, has confidence in their unchangability, and never loses sight of them even amid the dust created by popular paroxism.
We can name few men that were more largely gifted in the particular that we have described, than Dr. Ballou. His feelings were easily and strongly moved by objects which commended themselves to his judgment; but the fashion of sentiment never imposed upon him. Some years since, when the dramatic power of a female reader had created a Shaksperean panic, and every body, for the time, admired Shakspeare, Dr. Ballou remarked to us, in reply to a question which called for the remark, “ People can now see things in Shakspeare, that would astound Shakspeare himself if they could be pointed out to him!” He saw much more clearly than we, that the popular appreciation of the great poet was only a spasm and a fashion—that half a dozen public and professional “readings" could not do the work of years of private and personal study. His faculty to apprehend, not only great principles, but the relations of great principles, made it impossible that he should be a bigot. No man held more tenaciously to conclusions he had laboriously evolved, but we never heard it said of him, no one could say, that he had any hobbies. While some of us have been clear as the sun on the problem of sovereignty, and others of us equally positive as respects the problem of free-will, did he not see, more clearly than most of us, the relations of the two ? Has he not done much to moderate the intensity and qualify the judgments of both parties? Did not the elaborate essay, published in the Quarterly years ago on “ Divine and Human Agency,” have a palpable effect throughout the denomina
tion? We speak interrogatively; for we are unwilling to mingle anything of a controversial spirit in the tribute we desire to pay to the gifts of that great man.
It was a happy mingling of the moral and the intellectual, that led Dr. Ballou to distrust all expedients and all reasoning that under any circumstances compromised or deferred a principle. We remember a marked example in illustration of what we mean. In reply to a somewhat warm tribute to the merit of Mr. Grote's History of Greece, he remarked, sanctioning everything we could say with exception of a single particular, “ But he justifies the Athenians in the resort to ostracism.” “Still he justifies the practice only on the ground that the safety of the State demanded it, while the necessity required only a temporary enforcement of the custom.” “ True, but when, even for a moment, a State breaks from a clear dictate of moral though it may avoid a present danger, it is only getting into other and more threatening dangers.” On a certain occasion, a religious society, with a view to the payment of a troublesome debt, resorted to an expedient that seemed to him a departure from the example which should come from such a body. “I hope it will fail to get any money,” said he; the remark seemed to us rather uncharitable, till he completed his thought, by adding, “they had better fail in that, than fail altogether.” Nothing could persuade him but that every invention that made a compromise of principle was sure to return and plague the inventor.
Of the effects of Dr. Ballou's labors, we must be indulged a word. We can describe them no better than by characterizing them as of the permanent kind. As a controvertialist, he knew principles not men. So clearly did he discriminate between principles and expedients—-between the durable and the transient—that productions which came from him a quarter of a century ago are pertinent to the wants even of to-day. Most of us must confess that in the more impulsive phase of our theological experience, we honestly made use of arguments in which we have learned no longer to confide. Much of our early literature is poorly adapted to existing needs. Dr. Ballou thought and wrote for the future as well as for the present. It was an extraordinary gift that could do this.
It is but a further amplification of the same essential point to add, that nothing of a personal nature ever appeared in his literary productions. He carried on no guerilla warfare against men-he fought only against error itself. No one could provoke or coax him into a discussion in which the parties would necessarily have as much prominence as the themes. He loved Universalism and the denomination as its instrument of progress ; and he labored to build the cause upon a permanent foundation—the rock of principle. In this single aim, he exhibited a forgetfulness of self-a disinterestedness of spirit and aim truly heroic. If regard is had to the pecuniary results of his toil
, seldom has any man done so much and received so little. In all this we write words of very great praise—but we write them without mental reservation and without qualification.
But we must close. At the date of the sad event which has given occasion to our humble tribute to a great and good man's memory, we had but little space in these pages at our command. But we could not defer a purpose to say at least a brief word of the man who, it has always seemed to us, came nearer, in moral and religious excellence, the Master than any other man whose acquaintance we have enjoyed. We realize, however, that had our space been unlimited, we could not have done complete justice to the theme-our readers would still have found fewer things said than unsaid. At whatever point we approach the character of Dr. Ballou, it at once dilates to large proportions. His devotion to the cause of denominational education,—the monument whereof is the brief history, yet marked prosperity, of our infant college on Walnut Hill—an institution which has received its impress and guarantee of continued usefulness from his powerful mind and pure character ;- is fidelity to all the working interests of the denomination, calling him to its associations, conventions, and kindred assemblies ;-his profound sympathy with all the reforms of the age, so far as based on the acknowledged authority of the Christian records (and he turned at once from every movement, however rich in promise, that even questioned this authority);-his Christian influence, all the more real because unconscious, operating as a ministry for good in quarters little known to himself;--and, to name but one more particular, his abounding yet quiet humor, which made sunshine under every roof that covered him, and every circle he entered, relieving the hard features of his solid acquirements, and making him the most genial as well as most instructive of companions ;-in every one of these several traits, we should, did we give way to the feeling that the special topic warms within us, expand our words into so many essays rather than paragraphs.
But he has gone from our earthly midst. In the family, the church and congregation, the circle of brethren, the institution to which he gave the maturity of his wisdom, in these pages, where for years he gave the elaborate productions of his industrious brain, he will no more be seen ;-except, indeed, in that high and more spiritual sense, in which, though dead, he is yet with us. Rich is the legacy he has
And while we can but mourn for his sudden de. parture, we will strive to be grateful that he was so long spared to us. May we evince our gratitude by greater efforts to emulate his extraordinary worth.
G. H. E.
1. The Relations of Slavery to the War: and the Position of the Clergy at the Present Time. Three Discourses. Preached at Watertown, N. Y. By Rev. E. W. Reynolds. 1861.
The great crisis which the madness and the crimes of wicked men have brought upon the nation, very naturally and properly suggest a large proportion of the topics alike for the pulpit and the religious as well as secular press. The present number of the Quarterly contains two papers widely different in specific matter and treatment, yet both pertaining
the one directly the other indirectly—to the national theme. We feel a pride in the conviction that our periodical, as evidenced by the articles referred to, will be found equal to any of its contemporaries in the ability and fidelity with which it has answered the demand of