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Old Portraits, Part 1, from Volume VI., The Works of Whittier: Old Portraits and Modern Sketches   By: (1807-1892)

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This eBook was produced by David Widger [widger@cecomet.net]

OLD PORTRAITS AND MODERN SKETCHES

PERSONAL SKETCHES AND TRIBUTES

HISTORICAL PAPERS

BY

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

CONTENTS

OLD PORTRAITS AND MODERN SKETCHES. JOHN BUNYAN THOMAS ELLWOOD JAMES NAYLER ANDREW MARVELL JOHN ROBERTS SAMUEL HOPKINS RICHARD BAXTER WILLIAM LEGGETT NATHANIEL PEABODY ROGERS ROBERT DINSMORE PLACIDO, THE SLAVE POET

PERSONAL SKETCHES AND TRIBUTES. THE FUNERAL OF TORREY EDWARD EVERETT LEWIS TAPPAN BAYARD TAYLOR WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING DEATH OF PRESIDENT GARFIELD LYDIA MARIA CHILD OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES LONGFELLOW OLD NEWBURY SCHOOLDAY REMEMBRANCES EDWIN PERCY WHIPPLE

HISTORICAL PAPERS. DANIEL O'CONNELL ENGLAND UNDER JAMES II. THE BORDER WAR OF 1708 THE GREAT IPSWICH FRIGHT THE BOY CAPTIVES THE BLACK MEN IN THE REVOLUTION AND WAR OF 1812 THE SCOTTISH REFORMERS THE PILGRIMS OF PLYMOUTH GOVERNOR ENDICOTT JOHN WINTHROP

OLD PORTRAITS AND MODERN SKETCHES

Inscribed as follows, when first collected in book form: To Dr. G. BAILEY, of the National Era, Washington, D. C., these sketches, many of which originally appeared in the columns of the paper under his editorial supervision, are, in their present form, offered as a token of the esteem and confidence which years of political and literary communion have justified and confirmed, on the part of his friend and associate, THE AUTHOR.

JOHN BUNYAN.

"Wouldst see A man I' the clouds, and hear him speak to thee?"

Who has not read Pilgrim's Progress? Who has not, in childhood, followed the wandering Christian on his way to the Celestial City? Who has not laid at night his young head on the pillow, to paint on the walls of darkness pictures of the Wicket Gate and the Archers, the Hill of Difficulty, the Lions and Giants, Doubting Castle and Vanity Fair, the sunny Delectable Mountains and the Shepherds, the Black River and the wonderful glory beyond it; and at last fallen asleep, to dream over the strange story, to hear the sweet welcomings of the sisters at the House Beautiful, and the song of birds from the window of that "upper chamber which opened towards the sunrising?" And who, looking back to the green spots in his childish experiences, does not bless the good Tinker of Elstow?

And who, that has reperused the story of the Pilgrim at a maturer age, and felt the plummet of its truth sounding in the deep places of the soul, has not reason to bless the author for some timely warning or grateful encouragement? Where is the scholar, the poet, the man of taste and feeling, who does not, with Cowper,

"Even in transitory life's late day, Revere the man whose Pilgrim marks the road, And guides the Progress of the soul to God!"

We have just been reading, with no slight degree of interest, that simple but wonderful piece of autobiography, entitled Grace abounding to the Chief of Sinners, from the pen of the author of Pilgrim's Progress. It is the record of a journey more terrible than that of the ideal Pilgrim; "truth stranger than fiction;" the painful upward struggling of a spirit from the blackness of despair and blasphemy, into the high, pure air of Hope and Faith. More earnest words were never written. It is the entire unveiling of a human heart; the tearing off of the fig leaf covering of its sin. The voice which speaks to us from these old pages seems not so much that of a denizen of the world in which we live, as of a soul at the last solemn confessional. Shorn of all ornament, simple and direct as the contrition and prayer of childhood, when for the first time the Spectre of Sin stands by its bedside, the style is that of a man dead to self gratification, careless of the world's opinion, and only desirous to convey to others, in all truthfulness and sincerity, the lesson of his inward trials, temptations, sins, weaknesses, and dangers; and to give glory to Him who had mercifully led him through all, and enabled him, like his own Pilgrim, to leave behind the Valley of the Shadow of Death, the snares of the Enchanted Ground, and the terrors of Doubting Castle, and to reach the land of Beulah, where the air was sweet and pleasant, and the birds sang and the flowers sprang up around him, and the Shining Ones walked in the brightness of the not distant Heaven... Continue reading book >>




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