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J. G. Whittier (search for this): chapter 11
hy friend. 4th day morning. We know from Whittier's own statement that while his parents governin Tam O'Shanter. The best impression of Whittier's relation with the Society of Friends will bted, can well understand the point of view of Whittier, who certainly represented not merely its mosall be found in it. Amesbury, 3d mo., 1870.Whittier's Prose works, III. 305, 306, 309, 310, 313, 314. By the testimony of all, Whittier's interpretation of The Inward Light included no vague re, without awe or self-distrust. Mrs. Fields's Whittier, p. 91. Judge Gate also writes me in regard to Whittier's supposed interest in spiritual manifestations, as follows:-- In regard to spin abroad again during his stay. Mrs. Fields's Whittier, pp. 75-77. The following letter to his fass from Him, if it were possible. Pickard's Whittier, II. 651-53. He said once to Mrs. Claflinf a somewhat shy and self-withdrawn life that Whittier should have described himself in verse more f[9 more...]
Dante G. Rossetti (search for this): chapter 11
ng out of our people. Mrs. Fields's Whittier, p. 52. Yet the manner in which historic extremes have so often met was never more strangely exhibited than in a fact in early Quaker tradition revealed by Whittier to Mrs. Fields. In speaking of Rossetti and his extraordinary medieval ballad of Sister Helen, Whittier confessed himself strongly attracted to it, because he could remember seeing his mother, who was as good a woman as ever breathed, with his aunt, performing the strange act on which destroy the soul of the passing invalid, and it seems almost incredible that any sight or memory of human suffering should have called forth such a spirit of revenge in those seemingly gentle women. No one who has ever read the tragic close of Rossetti's song can ever forget it. ‘See, see, the wax has dropped from its place, Sister Helen, And the waves are winning up apace!’ ‘Yet here they burn but for a space, Little brother!’ (O Mother, Mary, Mother, Here for a space, between Hell and Hea
Alice Freeman (search for this): chapter 11
uggestive. On the night before the burning of Pennsylvania Hall in 1838, in Philadelphia, as an antislavery headquarters, there occurred the marriage of Angelina Grimke to Theodore D. Weld, both being afterwards prominent antislavery reformers. Miss Grimke was a South Carolina Quakeress, who had liberated her own slaves, and was thenceforward known far and wide as an antislavery lecturer, but her proposed husband was not a Quaker. At the time of her wedding, Whittier, who then edited the Freeman, was invited to attend; but as she was marrying out of society, he did not think it fitting that he should be present at the ceremony. He nevertheless reconciled it with his conscience to escort a young lady to the door, and to call on the wedded pair, next day, with a congratulatory poem. Pickard's Whittier, I. 235. This fairly indicates the hold his early religious training had upon him, when the question was one of outward observances alone. In reading, not merely Whittier's medit
the signs of the times who do not see that the hour is coming when, under the searching eye of philosophy and the terrible analysis of science, the letter and the outward evidence will not altogether avail us; when the surest dependence must be upon the Light of Christ within, disclosing the law and the prophets in our own souls, and confirming the truth of outward Scripture by inward experience; when smooth stones from the brook of present revelation shall prove mightier than the weapons of Saul; when the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as proclaimed by George Fox and lived by John Woolman, shall be recognised as the only efficient solvent of doubts raised by an age of restless inquiry. In this belief my letter was written. I am sorry it did not fall to the lot of a more fitting hand; and can only hope that no consideration of lack of qualification on the part of its writer may lessen the value of whatever testimony to truth shall be found in it. Amesbury, 3d mo., 1870.Whittier's P
John G. Whittier (search for this): chapter 11
Chapter 10: the religious side Whittier, as has already been seen, was born and brought up in the Societand was not a Quaker. At the time of her wedding, Whittier, who then edited the Freeman, was invited to attennext day, with a congratulatory poem. Pickard's Whittier, I. 235. This fairly indicates the hold his early tward observances alone. In reading, not merely Whittier's meditative and spiritual poems, but the very texaken all the sing out of our people. Mrs. Fields's Whittier, p. 52. Yet the manner in which historic extrean in a fact in early Quaker tradition revealed by Whittier to Mrs. Fields. In speaking of Rossetti and his extraordinary medieval ballad of Sister Helen, Whittier confessed himself strongly attracted to it, because he Hell and Heaven.) It is evident, however, that Whittier had in early life some vague vision of an intellecan, miserable men; from which general condemnation Whittier was exempted, although in later years their friend
Theodore D. Weld (search for this): chapter 11
pter 10: the religious side Whittier, as has already been seen, was born and brought up in the Society of Friends, of which he always remained a faithful member. In trying to solve the problem, how far he felt himself strictly bound by the usages of his Society, the following anecdote, as told by Mr. Pickard, is suggestive. On the night before the burning of Pennsylvania Hall in 1838, in Philadelphia, as an antislavery headquarters, there occurred the marriage of Angelina Grimke to Theodore D. Weld, both being afterwards prominent antislavery reformers. Miss Grimke was a South Carolina Quakeress, who had liberated her own slaves, and was thenceforward known far and wide as an antislavery lecturer, but her proposed husband was not a Quaker. At the time of her wedding, Whittier, who then edited the Freeman, was invited to attend; but as she was marrying out of society, he did not think it fitting that he should be present at the ceremony. He nevertheless reconciled it with his co
eard him on that day he became more than ever a light unto our feet. It was not an easy thing to do to stem the accustomed current of life in this way, and it is a deed only possible to those who, in the Bible phrase, walk with God. Such an unusual effort was not without its consequences. It was followed by a severe headache, and he was hardly seen abroad again during his stay. Mrs. Fields's Whittier, pp. 75-77. The following letter to his friend Charlotte Fiske Bates — afterward Madame Roger--conveys most fully his point of view as to immortality. To Charlotte Fiske Bates. 1879. I suppose nine out of ten of really thoughtful people, were they to express their real feeling, would speak much as thee do, of the mingled dread and longing with which they look forward to the inevitable surrender of life. Of course, temperament and present surroundings have much influence with us. There are some self-satisfied souls who, as Charles Lamb says, can stalk into futurity on stilts
Henry Wilson (search for this): chapter 11
old friend who was interested in spiritualism, and he asked Mr. Whittier to visit a medium with him; not being well that evening he declined, but late in the evening his friend returned. Mr. Whittier asked whom he saw. Well, he replied, I saw Henry Wilson. Did you? What did Henry have to say? He spoke of you in very complimentary terms. What did he say about me? He said if he were to live his life over again he would pattern more after you, because he thought you had made less mistakes in your political life than any one he had known. And Mr. Whittier said that this statement agreed substantially with a statement which Mr. Wilson made a short time before his death. He always spoke of spiritualism as something to be explained, while in his religious life he.was indefinite about embracing any particular tenet outside of the Friends. Ms. letter, Aug. 26, 1902. Mrs. Fields describes him at that summer watering-place, the Isles of Shoals, as being once moved, which he rarely w
John Greenleaf Whittier (search for this): chapter 11
tiful faith, devotedness, and fortitude, which come, not of the sect, but by nature, would most fittingly adorn the annals of Quakerism. Thee would not approve the monthly meeting cant, or have anything of our ludicrous quaintness, wouldst thou? but rather lay the foundation for a pure and correct taste, than minister to one, [old] and vitiated. I have never seen the Wordsworth sonnets alluded to, but will look at them, to understand thy place. Thy idea only wants the setting of J. G. Whittier's poetry to make it the richest jewel on his crown of fame. But I would have thee lay it by, uncut and unpolished, till restored health and the quiet occupations of a home life will allow thee to work upon it without paying the price, which has been the penalty of too many of thy literary labours. Thee had a double motive, hadst thou not, in mentioning the subject? one, for its own interest, and the other to remind me that it is not good for us to dwell too much upon our own little
Nehemiah Emerson (search for this): chapter 11
the day, while he sat patiently on in the corner of the pretty room. Mrs. Thaxter was steadily at work at her table, yet always hospitable, losing sight of no cloud or shadow or sudden gleam of glory in the landscape, and pointing the talk often with keen wit. Nevertheless, the idleness of it all palled upon him. It was Sunday, too, and he longed for something which would move us to higher levels. Suddenly, as if the idea had struck him like an inspiration, he rose, and taking a volume of Emerson from the little library, he opened to one of the discourses, and handing it to Celia Thaxter, said:-- Read that aloud, will thee? I think we should all like to hear it. After she had ended he took up the thread of the discourse, and talked long and earnestly upon the beauty and necessity of worship — a necessity consequent upon the nature of man, upon his own weakness, and his consciousness of the Divine Spirit within him. His whole heart was stirred, and he poured himself out tow
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