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the attained, I should be forced to mention fame. can say how many hearts are, at this moment, throbbing in unison at the thought, and quickening at the sound, of fame. O rich reward, to have our names become as household words, and the plaudits of our genius echoed across the waters from the shores of another hemisphere ! What a mighty agency is this controlling love for the applause of others! The soul, conscious of its powers and its exalted destiny, struggles to realize its lofty position here on earth, and would rather burst its bonds than live among its fellow-souls, " unhonored and unknown."
"Nature cares not,
Although her loveliness should ne'er be seen
Unless his fellows can behold his deeds,
He cares not to be great."
Too often, doubtless, has this desire become an insane passion for notoriety,-notoriety at whatever price, and in whatever direction. But the desire of the writer to become known of men is to a certain degree, unobjectionable. It is right enough to wish to have our merits acknowledged, and even a good man will be glad to extend his influence by increasing his publicity. The assent and encouragement of the intelligent world is a great inducement to manly effort. A man who is eager to impart instruction, or give pleasure, will properly desire to do this for the greatest possible number. He will not shrink from attracting attention, but if called upon to meet the gaze of the world will try to do it manfully. But when glory has become the ruling passion of the soul, and the writer in his study has an ear-drum ever stretched for the applauses of the multitude, when his cry is "O, fame! fame! fame! next grandest word to God!" then has he lost the meaning of his high vocation, the truth will suffer violence at his hands, and it will be far better for him to find the object of his passion unmoved, “like the sphinx, staring right on with calm, eternal eyes," than that his burning wishes should be granted him. To be faithful to his trust, the author must make all love of show or applause succumb to the one purpose of being true to his best thoughts-of expressing them in their
naturalness and purity. Says Longfellow, "It were bet ter, therefore, that men should soon make up their minds to be forgotten, and look about them or within them for some higher motive in what they do than the approbation of men, which is fame-namely, their duty; that they should be constantly and quietly at work, each in his sphere, regardless of effects, and leaving their fame to take care of itself." Though fame is not to be coveted, still it is not to be avoided, either present or posthumus. To have our names survive us is a high responsibility, but it is not to be dreaded nor shunned. It will be a joy to a christian soul, to be the medium of truth to others, or the exemplar of a true life. Let us conclude, then, that fame, or the applause of many, is not to be set up by the author as an anticipated reward, but that he may look for a recompense in the pleasure of influencing the minds of others.
There is a pleasure in "making our minds the minds of other men.' There is a delight in knowing that,
66 a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
It is a joy to feel that when some great or good thought has been whispered into our souls, or when an old truth has presented itself in a new and more persuasive form, we may multiply the pleasure or the benefit derived therefrom, to every soul within our reach. Says a writer, "To come into contact with other minds, even though for limited periods-to move them by a silent influence-to coöperate in the construction of character-to mould the habits of thought-to promote the dominion of truth and virtue to exercise a spell over those we have never seen and never can see-in other climes-at the extremity of the globe, and when the hand that wrote is still forever, is surely a most wonderful and even awful prerogative." And a high commission certainly it is. Happy the author who has given utterance only to his pure and noble thoughts, who has given only the better part of his nature as an example to the world, and "dying, left no line he wished to blot." But woe to those, blind guides, who having power to think and set their thoughts before the minds of others, do prostitute their natural capacities to the service of sin, and exert an unholy influence upon
the minds and hearts of their fellow-creatures. They sow tares instead of that good seed which would bring forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold." Methinks of such, the great Teacher would exclaim, Verily, verily, I say unto you, they have their reward." Again, the author finds a pleasure in his employment itself. A writer, whom I have once before quoted, speaks of the "pleasure of composition, as perhaps, after all, the greatest of the author's rewards; just as, in so many other cases, happiness is found, not in the object we professedly seek, but in the efforts we make to obtain it, and in the energetic employment of our faculties." It is true, I have previously spoken of the dissatisfaction and discouragements of the employment, but of course these are not constant nor predominant. There must be something to buoy up the mind in its labors. First comes the conception of the work, just dawning on the mind, its outlines indistinct and its details undetected in the distance, beautiful and enticing in its wholeness. This is the beau ideal which is to lure him on to the accomplishment. And then, when the subject has become a nucleus in the mind, and thoughts are hovering round and drawn towards it, it is a pleasure, less unmixed though it may be, to exert his power to adapt them all, and to perceive the parts assuming their proper places, and shaping themselves into symmetry and beauty. The author has the joy of expressing what he feels in the way he likes to express it. And that this is no mean joy we have the testimony of Coleridge. He says, "I expect neither profit nor general fame by my writings, and I consider myself as amply repaid without either: poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward."" That is a delicate delight of the writer's, after tracing a thought through the avenues of the mind, to secure it long enough to have it daguerreotyped to see it expressed in the best and only way, and definitely comprehensible to other intellects than the one where it was born.
"Oft a fine thought would flush his face divine,
Thirdly, the social pleasures of authorship are among its rewards. There is a sort of miniature fame, which if it be not so stirring an object of desire as a world-wide renown, is certainly not less real and tangible. To have your works read and admired, and your name repeated, by multitudes of whom you know nothing, has more of glory in it, doubtless, but less of pleasure, than to have your merits appreciated and acknowledged by the favorite few. But the circle of fame may be narrowed down still more, and with still less alloy in it perhaps. Since, unlike most other pursuits, the author's is one which retains him mostly at home, and his workshop is under his own rooftree, it is but natural that domestic happiness should be interwoven with his literary pleasures. There may be those who would hardly rank the company of others, while writing, among the delights of the profession, and most would perhaps generally prefer to think in solitude. But to such as appreciate the joys of home, and choose on occasions, the rule of the Penates in conjunction with Minerva, the mention of such a minor recompense will not seem undesirable. Sterne's wife would knit and listen while he read her chapters of his works. It is true, such enjoyments will be apt to be at the expense of the thought, and this the author must take into account. The encouragement of one's own household must, however, certainly be a solace. Reading the precious labors of his brain to the sympathizing circle about his own hearth-stone, he may for a while forget to fear the critic's sternly just decisions.
But there is another benefit resulting from authorship which is not unworthy of a mention here. I mean the reflex influence on the author. The very exercise of elucidating truth is an improvement to a man. By writing out his thoughts he gives them a greater definiteness, and knows his own opinions better.
"To remember, write; to be accurate, write; to know your own mind, write;
Hast thou a thought upon thy brain, catch it while thou canst! The commonest mind is full of thought, some worthy of the rarest, And could it see them fairly writ, would wonder at its wealth."
He may also strengthen himself in all pure and virtuous purposes. He may make his best moments counsellors to
himself, and thus become his own mentor. His experience is recorded for his own benefit, as well as that of others. In his times of weakness and self-distrust, when all his thoughts are but common-place, and his lower nature seems predominant, at such times he may recur to the inspirations of his nobler hours, and find both a refreshment, and an earnest of the higher state to which he may attain. Or when sin has overcome the will, and he has yielded to temptation, among the messengers of retribution that throng around him, come silent reproaches from the pages that tell of the lofty purpose, and the higher view of duty vouchsafed unto his soul.
Such are some of the rewards which the author may expect to reap in the prosecution of his calling; no glorious and dazzling prizes indeed, but such as he alone can receive. They are, perhaps, the truest rewards of duty, and no less than are granted to her followers in other directions. Like most other recompenses in life, they follow in the line of, and are consequent upon, the labor itself. We are prone to look for some imaginary and external pleasure, but it remains as true now, as when the proverb-writer spoke it, that "the good man shall be satisfied from himself."
J. C. P.
Moral Influence of Worship.
Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation. Boston: Gould and Lincoln. 1853.
WE confess that we were prejudiced against this book when we first read the title, but we have found so much to approve in it, that we can overlook the folly of its author in selecting such a conceited form of announcing his subject, and thank him for his plain statement of truths, which our Calvinistic friends have not always been willing to accept as truths.