Page images
PDF
EPUB

This deserves to be well understood and considered. The question with which we are first concerned in this great case, has nothing to do directly with Episcopacy or any other outward constitution as such; it regards the being of the Church, and its primary attributes, as an article of faith, in the sense of the ancient world. Is the faith of the ancient Church on this subject, as we find it uttered among the supposed fundamentals of the Creed, to be accepted as something still in force, or is it to be rejected as an empty dream and idle superstition? Is the Holy Catholic Church, as it once filled the soul of Christendom, a" figment,” or is it still as in the beginning a divine fact on which men are required to lean as the very pillar and gronnd of the truth” that starts in Christ? The misery of much of our modern religion is, not just that it differs from this or that particular form of church life, which may be supposed to have distinguished the early Church, but that the Church itself is taken to be a wholly different thing. It is notorious that the Church, according to the universal sense of the ancient christian world, was held to be the repository actually of superhuman powers among men, the medium not metaphorically but really and truly of grace lodged in its very constitution, from Christ its head, for the salvation of sinners. In such view only was it regarded as an object of faith. It was identified with the idea of Christ's Mediation, as a perennial fact in the world. The foundation of the christian life was held to be objectively at hand in its institutions, for the use of all who might lay hold of it by their means. Prophetical and priestly functions were felt to belong to it, as the Body of Christ. Ils sacraments were regarded as vehicles, by the Spirit, of the high and solemn realities they were framed to represent. The idea of a mystical supernatural force going along with the activity of the Church, was acknowledged in every sort of way on all sides. All this is notorious; and it is just as notorious, on the other hand, that for much of our modern evangelical thinking this whole conception of the Church has gone entirely out of authority and date. A painful chasm holds here beiween much of our modern religious habit and the religion of the ancient Church. It becomes accordingly a great question, and the first we need to settle in relation to ecclesiastical order, (without clear and full answer to which it is vain to agitate any other questions in regard to it,) whether in this issue the ancient faith, or the modern variation now noticed, is to be taken as the true sense of Christianity. Church or No-church; that is the point which first requires to be settled. And to do this, it is not necessary to proceed empirically, or in other words to be ruled by mere outward observation. Back of all Lo here, or Lo there, in this case, is the necessary constitution of the Church itself as an article, not of sight, but of faith. That starts in Christ; and according to the view we have of Christ, in the end, will be and must be our view also of the Church. We come to the true conception of the Church through a true and sound Christology, (as in the Creed) and in no other way.

J. W. N.

MEMORIALS OF JOHN BARTRAM AND HUMPHRY

MARSHALL.
Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall.

By William Darlington, M. D., L. L. D. etc., with illustrations. -pp. 585. Lindsay and Blakiston, Philadelphia.—1849.

To rescue from oblivion the existing memorials of John Bartram, founder of the celebrated garden, near Philadelphia, which bears his name, and Humphry Marshall, author of the "Arbustum Americanum,” the first ireatise on plants ever written and published by an American,-men of Quaker descent and of native Pennsylvanian growth, who, while our country was yet new and filled with hostile savage tribes, while the study of Natural History, even in Europe, was yet in its infancy, before the slar of Linnæus had risen to its full height, with no advantages of education beyond those afforded by the common school, which, at that day, must have been few indeed, and without the aids of fortune, led by natural taste, ventured forth into the wilderness, to explore and gather the vegetable treasures of so vast a region, travelling by manifold journeys, unprotected amid a thousand dangers, along the whole eastern slope of the Alleghenies, from the shores of the St. Lawrence to the swamps and everglades of Florida,—was a task that no one could execute half 80 well as the learned editor of the “Reliquiæ Baldwiniana.” He deserves the hearty thanks of “the lovers of Botany, on both sides of the Atlantic,” to whom he has been pleased to dedicate this superb volume.

The value of the work is greatly enhanced by an article on the progress of the Science on this continent, judicious notes, and biographical sketches of Bartram, Marshall, and their botanical conteniporaries. But it owes its bulk to letters to and from distinguished naturalists and philosophers at home and abroad,

among whom were Linnæus, Franklin, Logan, Clayton, Catesby, Gronovius, Sir Hans Sloane, Fothergill, Miller and Dillenius.

Bartram's chief correspondent, however, was Peter Collinson, a wealthy merchant of London, and a member of the Society of Friends. His memory is well preserved in the beautiful genus Collinsonia. The letters, which passed between them, during a period of thirty-four years, froin 1734 to 1768, by reason of the absence of scientific terms, the quaint simplicity of the style, the honest enthusiasm everywhere manifest, and the frequent allusion to interesting political events of the time, must charm any one, who has even but a general knowledge of our indigenous plants and animals.

To the editor, eminently fitted, as he is, by long and thorough acquaintance with the Flora of the Atlantic States, north and south, it must have been a rare pleasure to trace out and identify the plants, described by Bartram in common language, and known to him mostly by their vulgar names. We coincide with his decisions in all cases, save two, where he seems himself to have been in doubt.

The “waggish Tipitiwitchet Sensitive,” which made the Frenchman " ready to burst with laughter” (p. 243), and was so highly esteemed by Friend Peter, that he would spare Linnæus only a single leaf, as he says (p. 251): “O, Botany, delightfullest of all sciences! There is no end of thy gratifications. All botanists will join with me in thanking my dear John, for his unwearied pains to gratify every inquisitive genius. I have Bent Linnæus a specimen and one leaf of 7'ipitiwitchet Sensitive: only to him would I spare such a jewel. Pray send more specimens. I am afraid we can never raise it. Linnæus will be in raptures at the sight of it“ this pretty Tipitiwitchet,alluded to also on pages 241, 245, 248, 249, and 275, cannot be the Schrankia uncinata, Willd., as may be seen at once by comparing Claytons two letters on pages 408 and 411. In the first he writes, “ I intend sending you some seeds of our thoray Sensitive Plant ( Schrankia?)(most probably the Schrankia uncinata, Willd., which grows in Southern Virginia, where Clayton resided), and in the second, " I should be glad of a little seed of the Carolina Tipitiwitchet or Sensitive Plant. I dare say, my friend Mr. Franklin would be kind enough to frank a small parcel of seeds from you to him.” The Tipitiwitchet was not, then, found in Virginia, but came from Carolina, and accords so well with the Dionæa muscipula, Ellis, that we cannot help thinking it must be the plant meant. John Bartram had a brother living at Cape Fear, N. C., in the midst of the circumscribed VOL. II.-NO. II.

13

locality of the Dionæa, and his son William, ten years after Col. linson received the Tipitiwitchet, bears the following testimony: “Observed likewise in these Savannahs' abundance of the ludicrous Dionaea muscipula (Dionæa, Ellis. epis. ad Linnæum, miraculum naturæ, folia biloba, radicalia, ciliata, conduplicanda, sensibilia, insecta incarcerantia.—Syst. vegetab. p. 335). This wonderful plant seems to be distinguished in the creation, by the Author of nature, with faculties eminently superior to every other vegetable production ; specimens of it were first communicated to the curious of the old world by John Bartram, the American botanist and traveller, who contributed ils much, if not more, than any other man towards enriching the North American botanical nomenclature, as well as its natural history.”—(Travels, p. 470).

The other case in which we differ from the worthy editor occurs on page 422, in a letter from John Bartram to Moses or William Bartram, at Cape Fear, N. C.-“ Next day he lent me his horse to ride over the Congaree, seventy miles, to Georgia. In this ride, I found a wonderful variety of rare plants and shrubs, particularly a glorious evergreen, about four or five feet high, and much branched, in very small twigs growing upright. The leaves are much like thc Newfoundland Spruce, rather smaller, and grow around the twigs close, like it. The seed is very sinall in little capsules, as big as mustard (Cyrilla racemiflora, L.?)Now Cyrilla racemiflora, L. has lanceolate leaves, and was known to Bartram as the "plumed Andromeda" (v. p. 549). Without doubt, this “glorious evergreen,” should not be set down as Cyrilla racemiflora, L.?, but certainly as Ceratiola ericoides, Willd., which abounds on the hills north of Augusta, Ga., the point where Bartram would be most likely to strike the Savannah, and agrees precisely with his graphic description.

Reluctantly do we close our brief notice of this entertaining volume, which in every way reflects honor on the State, and hope that the author will continue his labors in this field of bis. tory and record the bloodless triumphs of other men of science, who have lived and died within our borders. Mercersburg, Pa.

T. C. P.

Savannahs just south of Wilmington, Y.C.

ISLE ROYALE.

[At a time, a few years since when the Copper fever had reached the crisis of delirium, happened the truthful incident recorded in the following lines. A company had secured a 'location' on the southern shore of Isle Royale in Lake Superior. In order to maintain a Squatter's claim to their territory,—the lands being then, as they yet are, governmental possessions,—a hut was reared upon the premises, and a man, Charles Mott by name, together with his wife, Angelica, carried thither and left. Stores were supplied thought to be quite sufficient for the ample maintenance, through the long winter at hand, of the solitary two; but the event proved otherwise. The Island, full of loveliness as it is, is all loneliness. Of birds, away from those of prey, and water fowl, there are almost none, save of one species, about the size of a sparrow, and of a voice, that is singing day long and all night, clear as a lark's, and musical as a nightingale's; but they abound. The miners call this bird the Pe-dee. Of beasts a stray fox, or a deer, travelled perilously on the ice from the Canada Shore, are only ever seen, and that rarely. Unable, consequently, when their provisions were exhausted, to have them renewed by such resource, the Squatter and his wife were driven to the worst extremity of destitution. The earlier life and habits of the latter, (she was Indian-born, and forestbred,) qualified her for sterner endurance than the other, and she yet lives at the Saut Ste. Marie to testify of that time, and of iu trials.]

By the fair heaven it is a sight

That thrills one's soul to see!
Oh, laughing lake! oh, leaping light
Oh, crystal sky, and pearly tide,

Where sunshine seems a curtain, thrown
Abroad the sea and air, to hide

Some purer lustre not its own!
Where cliff and crag with clouded brow,
Upon the dancing waves below,

Look stern and frowningly;
And sombre pines, thick clustering,
Abroad their veiling shadows fling,
Mellowing the gleam to softer hue,
They seek, but vainly, to subdue !

Oh, for a home mid such a scene
Of wilderness and evergreen!

« PreviousContinue »