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THREE DAYS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS,
The second day's past and Columbus -he sleeps
He dreams, how a veil drooping over the main,
At length o'er Columbus slow consciousness breaks
HITHERTO the too common idea of the great reformer's character has been, that it was a compound of ruggedness and violence. These traits have been so prominent, that the finer lines of his character have been completely shaded from sight. Another reason of our misconception has been, that we too often honour mere daintiness of mind with the names of delicacy, sensibility, &c. Perhaps, however, the finest, richest, and most generous species of character, is that which presents to the dainty, the most repulsive surface. Within the rough rind the feelings are preserved unsophisticated, robust and healthy. The “noli me tangeri” outside, keeps off the insidious swarm of artificial sentimentalists, which taint and adulterate, and finally expel all natural emotions from within us. The idea of a perfect man has always been prefigured to our minds by the lion coming out of the lamb, and the lamb coming out of the lion. Of this description of character was Luther. Nothing could exceed his submissiveness and humility, when a choice was left him whether to be humble or daring; but when duty spoke, no other consideration was for a moment attended to: and he certainly did then shake the forest with his magnificent ire. If we behold him one moment, to use his own quotation from Scripture—“pouring contempt upon princes,” we see him the next, in his familiar correspondence, a poor, humble, afflicted man, not puffed up with pride at the great things he had accomplished, but rather, struck down with a sense of his own unworthiness. As to his violence, it was part of his mission to be violent: and those who lay it to his charge as blame, seem to us, not to accuse him, but to accuse Providence. Not to have been violent, he would not have been in earnest: and here it must be observed that his violence was only verbal. It was merely the rousing voice, to wake Europe from the lethargy of ages. In his opinions and
views, he was the most moderate of reformers. In his coarseness however, his low origin certainly speaks out; yet there is something sublime in the peasant (the miner's son,) dragging popes and kings into his wrestling ring, and handling them with as little ceremony as he would a hob-nailed clown in a market place.
But let us follow him into private life. Here it is that we shall best learn to appreciate him. We will not dwell upon his constant contentment in poverty, and his contempt for riches, because this is characteristic of nearly all the great men, who are really worth more than gold can procure them: but his long, unbroken friendship with Melancthon—a character so unlike his own, and in some respects so superior, as Luther himself was the first to acknowledge, struck us as proof that he possessed much sweetness and gentleness of disposition. Envy or jealousy never for a moment interupted the fraternal affection that subsisted between these great men. Of those passions, indeed, Luther seems to have been incapable. Neither did personal ambition come near him. Though he had so many titles to it, he never claimed the supremacy over his cotemporary reformers. Notwithstanding the great things he had performed, he gave himself no air of grandeur or importance. There was a simplicity and commonness in his habits and conversation, that contrast wonderfully with the revolution he brought about. This simplicity, we were going to say, shows his native greatness, but we correct ourselves and add, that it exhibits that Apostolic frame of mind which all the messengers of God from Moses downward, have displayed. Such men are moulded at once by the Hand that sends them. The accidents of this life have no power, (as they have upon others,) to change or modify their moral conformation. There is a oneness, a wholeness, an uncompoundedness of character in these elect instruments. On their moral frame is chiseled by the Divine finger one idea, and only one.
THE COLOURING OF HAPPINESS.
Luther's piety was not put on him, but broke out of him. It flowed in a mingled stream, with his every-day life and conversation. The gravel and the gold rolled together in the rich channel of his mind. He made no effort to exhibit only the one, and conceal the other.
LIFE OF MELANCTHON.
Che Colouring of Happiness.
My heart is full of prayer and praise to-day,
But O! to-day
THE COLOURING OF HAPPINESS.
My thoughts are like tense chords that give their music
Oh, in this sunbright sabbath of the heart,
To determine right and wrong, is of more consequence than to comprehend the doctrine of the planetary system : but while it required, in order to unfold the wonderful laws of the planets, the gigantic intellect of Newton, the higher gift of the determination of right and wrong, is bestowed upon the simplest peasant, upon the man who cannot repeat the enumeration table.