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But it is time to ask, whose are the great names of American eloquence? Whom will posterity regard as the Demosthenes or Burke of our age and republic? Surely if facilities and opportunities for public speaking-with daily and nightly practice conjoined, are sufficient to make great orators, our country must be the most prolific region under the sun.
Aside from the pulpit and the bar, we have neither record nor tradition of American eloquence, anterior to the disputes with the mother country. These furnished the exciting theme - and popular assemblies the most ample scope for the first orators of freedom. This was the era of Quincy, Warren, Otis, Henry and the Adamses. Of the effect produced by their impassioned harangues, we have abundant evidence-but the harangues themselves are, for the most part, lost for ever. We know not that this is to be regretted. Their unpolished though vigorous eloquence was adapted to the times, and accomplished its objects—but had it been faithfully preserved it might have offended our more fastidious ears. The vital interests involved—the magnitude of the danger-the intense feelings of an excited community, produced a sympathy with the orator, which we could not fully realize, thus in the estimation of his hearers, redeeming his vehemence from the charge of extravagance.
But now the medium through which we behold them is misty and dim. Time and distance have surrounded them with a haze of glory. We wish in this case no clearer vision, for what the eye cannot discover, fancy will supply.
With the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and the organization of the government the parliamentary eloquence of our country may be said to have commenced. Systema. tized opposition and combined party action then first applied the stimulus to debate,-a stimulus which seems to lose none of its irritating properties by the lapse of time. Were we called upon to select from the great and good, who figured at that time in our national councils, the two highest names on the rolls of eloquence, those names would be Alexander Hamilton and Fisher Ames. Our opinion of Hamilton's eloquence must rest mainly on the testimony of those who heard him. His speeches as they have come to us, do not correspond with our impressions of his remarkable powers. Great and eloquent beyond most, if not all
men of his day, he certainly was, if we may believe the concurrent statements of friends and foes.
Of the powers of Mr. Ames we have more satisfactory memorials. His eloquence is generally flowing and delightful,-rising at times to passages of great power and pathos, —and conveyed always in a diction remarkably correct, terse and beautiful. Like Burke, he is distinguished by philosophic and comprehensive views. Such is the skill with which he draws from human nature, and from history, his lessons of political wisdom, that his orations and writings are as instructive as they are pleasing. Hence he is one of the few writers, whom we read with interest, long after the occasions and the excitements, which called them forth, have for ever passed away.
We will not, by a bare enumeration, (and time would allow no more,) do injustice to the many respectable, and the few brilliant orators, whose names appear in our Legislative and Congressional annals. Let us then at once ask, Which is our trio of great names? Who are the men who have been allowed to seize and decide the triumviral honors of American eloquence? Whom would the candid, united sense of this wide empire, select as its ablest men, from among those, who for the last quarter of a century, have swayed its councils? “Of the three hundred,' name but three.” For whom, on entering for the first time the Senate chamber of the nation, does the stranger, whether native or foreign, soonest inquire ? Inquire! Nay, the pen and the pencil, and wide-mouthed Fame have made the inquiry needless. How soon his eye recognizes the features; how soon his whisper breathes the illustrious names of Webster, Clay, Calhoun !
In contemplating the qualities of these extraordinary indi. viduals, we are again struck with the fact, that men may be eminently great and yet eminently dissimilar.
Mr. Calhoun is the acknowledged chief of metaphysical orators. His mind is uncommonly acute, with a rare faculty of seeing or making distinctions. His reasoning is equally subtle and plausible. He loves to revel and soar in the airy regions of abstraction. He is the great Des Cartes of the Political Acadeiny. His theory is always curious-often beautiful-sometimes sublime ; but it is a theory of “vortices." The course of his political fortunes may have
affected unconsciously the hues of his mind, for his views are often sombre, and his anticipations of the future ominous and foreboding.
Not so with Mr. Clay. He loves to move on the surface of our earth, and amid the throng of fellow men:-or if at any time disposed to climb, 'tis only to some sunny hill-top, that he may get a wider view of the busy, happy scene below. He is the orator of popular principles and common sense. His views are expansive, rather than deep-his grasp of subject not so strong as it is broad. He needs no interpreter to make more clear his meaning, nor any other index to the kindness of his character, than his homely, but open and expressive face. As a speaker, his style is Ciceronean; graceful and winning, rather than impetuous. Witty, and prompt at repartee, he is more skilful and ready in the skirmish of debate, than either of his great competitors.
One remains. In all the qualities of the orator and statesman, fitted to confer present power and lasting fame, Mr. Webster's pre-eminence will be denied by few. In him we behold a mind of great native vigor; early roused to energy by the very necessities of his early origin ;-disciplined to habits of severe thought by the laborious study of law ;-trained in all the arts of intellectual warfare on the hard arena of forensic strife ; and finally expanded to its present mighty range of eloquence, philosophy, and statesmanship, on the broad and stirring theatre of the public councils. Those who have heard Mr. Webster, are well aware that he owes a portion of his power to personal advantages. The lofty brow, the dark and cavernous eye, and the heavy, deep-toned voice might alone enchant a gazing auditory. These impart to his calmer and ordinary discourse, a serious earnestness, and a senatorial dignity; but in moments of high excitement, by no means of frequent occurrence, they seem like the blackness, and fire, and rolling peals of the o'er-charged and bursting cloud.
His style is remarkable for its simplicity. To utter thoughts of the highest order, in language perfectly simple ; by lucid arrangement and apt words, to make abstract reasoning, and the most recondite principles of commerce, politics, and law, plain to the humblest capacity, is a privilege and power, in which Mr. Webster is equalled, probably, by no living man. This simplicity, which is apt to be thought
so easy of attainment, is, nevertheless, in this as in most cases, undoubtedly the result of uncommon care. Like the great Athenian orator, Mr. Webster is always full of his subject. Like him, when most simple in his diction, he is yet admirably select. Like him too, he can adorn where ornament is appropriate, and kindle, when occasion calls, into the most touching pathos, or loftiest sublime.
As a public man, Mr. Webster is eminently American. His speeches breathe the purest spirit of a broad and generous patriotism. The institutions of learning and liberty, which nurtured him to greatness, it has been his filial pride to cherish :-his manly privilege to defend, if not to save. In no emergency, on no occasion, where he has yet been tried, have the high expectations formed of his abilities, been doomed to disappointment. The time-honored Rock of the Pilgrims; Bunker's glorious mound ; and old Faneuil Hall; have been rendered even more illustrious by his eloquent voice. Armed at all points, and ready alike for attack and defence, he has been found equally great, whether wrestling with champions of the Law, before its most august tribunal, or contending on the broader field, and in the hotter conflicts of Congressional warfare. We cannot say that it is matter of regret to us, that he is no longer a candidate for office, though that office be deemed the highest. The Senate,—the SENATE—is undoubtedly his true sphere of benificence and glory. There may he long be found, foremost amid the mighty names, which are at once our crown of pride, and tower of strength.
ARTICLE V. CHRISTOLOGY Of The Book of Enoch ; With an account of the Book itself, and Critical Remarks
By M. Stuart, Prof. of Sac. Lit. in the Theol. Seminary at Andover.
The time has been, when the deepest interest was felt among the Literati of Europe, in respect to the book named at the head of this communication. Hidden treasures are generally sought for with great avidity ; but when brought to light, and cupidity or curiosity has been satisfied, the interest in them is very apt to subside.
During the earliest ages of the Christian church, the book of Enoch was well known, and, as it would seem, stood among many in high repute. Even a canonical writer of the New Testament, viz. Jude the author of an Epistle, appears to have quoted from it. At least this has generally been so understood, both in ancient and in modern times. That the reader may judge for himself, as to the probability of this, I will place the passage from both the writings in question before him. Jude vs. 14, 15.
Enoch, Chap. II. . " And Enoch also, the seventh “Behold he comes with ten thoufrom Adam, prophesied of these, say-sands of his saints, to execute judging: Behold the Lord cometh with ment upon them, and destroy the ten thousands of his saints, to exe- wicked, and reprove all the carnal, cute judgment upon all, and to con- for every thing which the sinful and vince all that are ungodly among ungodly' have done and committed them of their ungodly deeds, which against him." they have committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
The question, whether Jude has actually quoted the book of Enoch, is one, indeed, about which there has been, in modern times, some diversity of opinion. In the sequel I may resume the consideration of it, after some account of this book has been given. For the present it may suffice to remark, that the ancients, who were acquainted with the so