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[2069] eternal growth, I am always aware that I am far larger and deeper for him. His influence has been to me that of lofty assurance and sweet serenity. He says, I come to him as the European to the Hindoo, or the gay Trouvere to the Puritan in his steeple hat. Of course this implies that our meeting is partial. I present to him the many forms of nature and solicit with music; he melts them all into spirit and reproves performance with prayer. When I am with God alone, I adore in silence. With nature I am filled and grow only. With most men I bring words of now past life, and do actions suggested by the wants of their natures rather than my own. But he stops me from doing anything, and makes me think.

October, 1842. To me, individually, Dr. Channing's kindness was great; his trust and esteem were steady, though limited, and I owe him a large debt of gratitude.

His private character was gentle, simple, and perfectly harmonious, though somewhat rigid and restricted in its operations. It was easy to love, and a happiness to know him, though never, I think, a source of the highest social pleasure to be with him. His department was ethics; and as a literary companion, he did not throw himself heartily into the works of creative genius, but looked, wherever he read, for a moral. In criticism he was deficient in ‘individuality,’ if by that the phrenologists mean the power of seizing on the peculiar meanings of special forms. I have heard it said, that, under changed conditions, he might have been a poet. He had, indeed, the poetic sense of a creative spirit working everywhere. Man and nature were living to him;

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W. H. Channing (1)
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