« EdellinenJatka »
not Presbyterian, nor Episcopal, nor Baptist, nor Methodist, but Congregational; not Trinitarian and Calvinistic, but something else. What that something should be called need not have exercised him much, and probably did not. He laid chief stress on the practical parts of religion, attaching comparatively little importance to its theories. The spirit of the Gospel, its lessons for the heart rather than the speculative reason, its obligations, its comforts, its divine assurances, were to him the believer's great concern. His affections were quick, his sympathies overflowing, his sensibilities tremblingly alive. So marked a trait was this in his disposition, that a ribald writer, in a collection of miscellaneous essays called “ The Puritan,” had the effrontery to describe him under a ridiculous nickname as disqualifying himself, by a mawkish tenderness, for the duties of his holy office. The indecent slander was refuted by the united testimony of his people, who had been confirmed and consoled times without number by his pastoral faithfulness. He had his weaknesses, of which no one was so well aware as himself; but they were not allowed to interfere with the discharge of his duties. Nay, that very readiness of his to melt with his emotions would sometimes give the highest efficiency to his acts of condolence; and when he was weakest, then was he strong. He was subject to great changes of mood; sometimes depressed beyond the point of a sustained manhood, and then again elated — at least in the earlier part of his life — beyond the point that appeared strictly becoming; but he never lost sight of his relations to an Almighty Father, and never abated his benevolent feelings towards those fellow-sufferers and fellow-sinners who were “ also in the body.” He was invariably modest, gentle, compassionate; grateful as a child for every kindness; ambitious of maintaining a good esteem and report among men present and to come; and loving to lean upon those friendly regards, which he loved still better to return, and which he strove to deserve, while he had too much self-respect to solicit or to stoop for them. His manners were affable, very engaging to most persons, and not repulsive to any. There was nothing hard, or morose, or severe about him; noth
ing vehement; nothing importunate or unduly pressing ; and nothing too yielding either, when his conscience and not his feelings stood concerned. He was a courteous Christian gentleman. In spite of the pensive and almost plaintive tone of his mind, it had its playful keys, that were not seldom in motion. His wit stole out, half-suppressed, by the side of his learning, and made him at times the most agreeable of companions. This comic element of his nature always seemed to come shyly forward. It was kept in check by his native diffidence, the decorums of his profession, the sober hues of his habits of thought, and the working experiences of an anxious life. But perhaps it seemed the pleasanter on that very account. It never heightened its flavor by satire and illnature, nor amused itself at the expense of others.
As a thinker and writer, he is represented by an unusual number of printed performances. They are not famous, they are not remarkable for profoundness, or novelty, or force, or elegance. They were prepared because stated duties demanded them, or historic taste led to them, and not because a fervid genius inspired them. They are composed of occasional pamphlets that are apt to die with their occasions, and of researches in natural and civil history which require patient toil and scarcely admit of a talking popularity. Most of them must dissolve in the general current of improvement, and be nameless, though not inoperative, or else give place to successors that shall be more valuable or more showy than they. But they do great honor to his industry, his accuracy, and his intellectual and spiritual culture. They are written in a simple and pure style; written with pains-taking and a scholar-like zeal; written to impart knowledge and to do good. They had their uses once, and retain some of their virtues still. They have won for him an estimable place among the worthies of his generation and of the land. His work was done in the day of it, and done well; and it will follow him with approbation, though little may remain to challenge applause. It ought not to be omitted in this connection, that there was another Muse besides that of History standing by him, whose favor he carefully sought. He often composed verses that met commend
ably the circumstances that called them forth. Some of them were sung or recited in public assemblies, and never failed to please. If they carried with them neither fire nor tears, nor showed any extraordinary gifts of fancy, they breathed an excellent spirit, and flowed in skilful and graceful numbers. They have the good fortune to continue in memory, and to have a life upon the tongues of men. The yet growing fame of EDWARD EVERETT has quite lately revived some lines of his, and brought them widely into notice. He was the minister who baptized the future orator and statesman, and he prepared these verses for him to speak, when a very little boy, at a school exhibition. Nothing can be more felicitous than they are, with their perfect ease and unforced playfulness. It is not often that one's early pleasantries can be brought up at a distant day, recommended by their own merits, and even made illustrious by noble associations.
The following list of Dr. Harris's publications is the most complete that can be furnished :
1. SERMONS AND ADDRESSES. 1. New Year's Sermon. Jan. 1, 1796. 2. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. John Pierce, Brookline. March
15, 1797. 3. Sermon on the National Fast. May 9, 1798. 4. Century Sermon, to a Society of Young Men. Dec. 25, 1798. 5. Sermon on the Death of Washington. Dec. 29, 1799. 6. Sermon on the Death of his Mother. Feb. 8, 1801. 7. Sermon after the Execution of Jason Fairbanks. Sept. 13, 1801. 8. Sermon on the Church Covenant. Dec. 6, 1801. 9-20. Twelve Masonic Discourses. 1801. 21. Sermon at the Installation of Rev. Abiel Abbot, Beverley. Dec. 14,
1803. 22. Address at the Interment of Three Persons drowned. Dec. 28, 1803. 23. New Year's Sermon to the Young Jan. 1, 1804. 24. Sermon on the Death of Deacon Abijah White. Oct. 10, 1804. 25. Artillery Election Sermon. June 3, 1805. 26. Discourse before the Humane Society. June 10, 1806. 27 - 29. Three Discourses before the Second Church, Dorchester. 1806. 30. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. C. H. Sherman, Dover, N. H.
May 6, 1807. 31. Sermon before the Union Lodge, Dorchester. June 24, 1807. 32. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Enoch Pratt, Barnstable. Oct.
28, 1807. 33. Thanksgiving Discourse. Nov. 27, 1807. 34. Discourse on Forefathers' Day at Plymouth. Dec. 22, 1808. · VOL. II.
35. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Samuel Osgood, Springfield.
Jan. 25, 1809. 36. Sermon on the Death of Hon. James Bowdoin. 1812. 37. “ Earnest Caution against Suicide.” A Sermon. 1812. 38. Sermon on Sensibility. Preached and published in England. 39. Sermon on the Death of Ebenezer Wales, Esq. March 5, 1813. 40. Sermon on the Death of Judge Moses Everett. March 29, 1813. 41. Sermon before the Boston Female Asylum. Sept. 24, 1813. 42. Address before the Washington Benevolent Society. Feb. 22, 1813. 43. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Ephraim Randall, New Bedford.
Oct. 26, 1814. 44. Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. Lemuel Capen, Sterling. March
22, 1815. 45. Sermon at Thursday Lecture. “Pray for the Jews.” August 15,
1816. 46. Sermon on leaving the Old Meeting-House. 47. Sermon at the Dedication of the New Meeting-House. 48. Sermon before the Rising Star Lodge, Stoughton. 1818. 49. Sermon on the Death of Nathaniel Topliff. Dec. 4, 1819. 50. Sermon before the Philanthropic Lodge, Marblehead. 1822. 51. Sermon before the African Society in Boston. 1822. 52. Sermon before the Society for propagating the Gospel. Nov. 26,
1823. 53. Address at the Interment of James Davenport. 1824. 54. Address to the Union Lodge. 1824. 55. Sermon on the Death of Mrs. Dearborn, Boston. 1826. 56, 57. Memorials of the First Church in Dorchester. Two Dis.
courses. July, 1830. 58. A Valedictory Discourse on leaving his People. Oct. 23, 1836.
2. MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATIONS. 1. The Triumphs of Superstition. An Elegy. 1790. 2. A Clear and Practical System of Punctuation. 1797. 3. A Chronological and Topographical Account of Dorchester. 4. Account of the Happy Death of a Young Child. 1815. 5. A Textuary, or Guide to Preachers. 1818. 6. Serious Soliloquies, interspersed with Hymns, for Children. 1819. 7. Biographical Memoir of Father Rasles. (Mass. Hist. Col.) 8. Some Account of the Old Book of Records, Dorchester. 1834.
3. LARGER WORKS.
1. Natural History of the Bible. 1793 and 1820. 2. Journal of a Tour to Ohio. 1805. 3. Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe, Founder of Georgia.
4. COMPILATIONS, ABRIDGMENTS, &c. 1. Constitutions of the Fraternity of Masons. 1792 and 1798. 2. Massachusetts Magazine or Monthly Museum. Edited by him in
1795 and 1796.
3. Beauties of Nature delineated. From Sturm's Reflections. 1800,
2d edit. 1801. 4. Exercises of Piety. From Zollikoffer. 1803, 2d edit. 1807. 5. The Minor Encyclopædia, compiled from the best Authorities. 4 vols.
1803. 6. Hymns for the Lord's Supper, original and selected. 1801, 2d edit.
1820. 7. Sephora, a Hebrew Tale. Abridged and corrected from the London
Edition. 1835. At the time of his death, he had commenced a History of Dorchester, of which only three chapters were written.